Swimming lessons in the toilet

Boy the girls have been brushing their teeth quietly for a long time….

20170228_103559  “Don’t worry mommy, we were just using our cups to take toilet water to clean the sink”  and even better, “ummm… I think Caleb forgot to flush”.

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.


My favourite Belle things

Here are some fun facts about Belle these days… fun in my opinion anyways.


1.  She just started saying “I wuv uuu” (I love you).  The first night she showed me this trick she got to stay up an extra 30 minutes so I could make her repeat it to me…. that’s how mom gets paid.

2. As soon as she knows you want to change her diaper or put her to bed she runs.  This is currently hilarious… ask me again in a month.


3. She loves to eat.  She loves every kind of food, even spicy, ethnic, stinky cheeses…I haven’t tried this combined in one dish… but mostly everything!  Except she won’the eat bread… I am not sure we are related.

4. She takes all her favourite toys and books to bed.  It is a party in that crib.

5. She has recently discovered she has nipples.   This is very fascinating to her and she is happy to show and tell, to cashiers, dog walkers, mail man… modesty is a work in progress in this house.


6. She will wear anyone and everyone’s shoes or boots in the house.  But refuses to wear socks or footwear outside of the house.  I usually bring her places barefoot and put on her shoes before we go indoors.

Preparing your body for Pregnancy 4

Part 4: Getting Fit if you’re Fat

This is a sensitive issue.  I completely understand!  After 3 very closely spaced pregnancies, and lots of  bedrest I gained a lot of weight.  It took me just over a year to lose the close to 50lbs I had gained.

Being overweight when you get pregnant puts you at risk for many issues, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a big baby (think about the stitches!!), and later your baby has a higher chance of being overweight.  These are long term issues, which may make it easy to put aside.  But the elephant in the room is that if you’re bigger when you’re trying to get pregnant – guess what?  You’re just going to get bigger!!  If you’re already feeling it, it’s not going to get any easier!  Even in the best of pregnancies moving around is challenging, being overweight makes it much harder and many times more exhausting.

How do we know if we should drop some weight?  Check your BMI on a calculator.

If you are over a BMI of 25, you most likely have weight to lose.  In some cases, if you are under a BMI of 25 you may still have weight to lose.  You should be at a weight where you feel energetic, and feel confident.  For me, this is around a BMI of 22/23 because I have a small frame, and I am still nursing.  But when I was not nursing, it was lower.  However, someone with a larger build might be much more comfortable around 25.

I think there are hundreds of ways that people could los weight, so do what works for you, as long as you are eating healthfully.

How did I lose the weight?

I think a lot of the success I had was due to the fact that I was tracking my food, weight and workouts.

I kept track of what I ate on MyNetDiary which is a calorie calculator.  The goal was not to be overly strict, but studies have shown that people who keep track of their food tend to eat less.  I had a range of calories that I would consume depending on my activity level, and if I was hungry I would eat closer to the top end of my calorie range.  (1500 to 1800)  If there were days that I consumed much more than I planned, like at a special dinner, than I might go as low as 1250 the next day.  Because I am nursing I stayed above 1200, and listen to my body.

I tried to get on the scale once or twice a week.  I didn’t want to get obsessive about it, but if I let it go too long, I would also slack on the other areas of my plan.

I went to the gym when I could.  This means I had a plan to go 3 times a week.  If I couldn’t go then I would try to go for a good walk, or get up earlier and go for a jog on the treadmill.

I focused on eating whole foods, which means food you could find on a farm, or make in your own kitchen.  I ate lots of fruits and veggies.

I drank lots of water.

If you want a treat, try to eat just half and see if it will satisfy you.

Eat more mindfully, slowly enjoying each bite.

The main change that I experienced was to avoid being excessively strict, but aim for a balanced approach.  I stopped feeling guilty about eating foods that are not perfectly healthy.  If I really wanted a piece of delicious chocolate cake, I would plan for it calorically, and make sure it was the best darn cake… or wait for the chocolate chip cookies Grandma makes when she visits. YUM!




What do you do with Chard?

We get one of those awesome organic fruit and veggie boxes each week, and there are occasionally a few items that we struggle with.  But is chard not the most challenging healthy food to include in your family’s diet?


With all the benefits packed into this green powerhouse, I was getting desparate to find a way to get the kids, and hubby to eat it and hold it in their body longer than it takes to “chew and spit”.

I have tried a few different options, such as: stir fries  – FAIL!  with eggs – FAIL!  with salad – FAIL!  In chili – my normally chili-crazed family could not spit it out fast enough!

I came across a swiss chard stew that was rated poorly online.  With a few tweaks, I thought it might actually be a hit with my kids.  And it was!  Especially Isabelle… but that girl loves to eat any healthy food.

1 bunch of swiss chard, chopped (only the green part)
1 cup baby carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
A bag of baby red potatoes, or equivalent, chopped  (around 12)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil (leaves torn or chopped)
5 cups broth (I used chicken once and beef once, the chicken was better)
1/2 t black pepper
1 t kosher salt

Everyone loved the stew.  The exception was my son.  He loved it the first time I made it, and didn’t like it the second time around, (I am guessing it’s because I ran out of garlic the second time).

Otherwise it was a hit!

Confidence = Injuries

Let this be a warning, mainly to myself.. but when things start to feel calm, a storm is brewing!

Two days ago, I distinctly remember putting away the last of the clean, folded and ironed clothes.  My kids were quietly playing with puzzles, and dolls.  They were well dressed and had eaten a healthy dinner.  The dishes were done.  Homework was taken care of.  The floors clean and toys picked up.

Man I was feeling that if prizes were handed out for moms who had it all together, this is the day I’d win.

Then came yesterday.  I got up early to make everyone scrambled eggs, and Isabelle woke up as I snuck past her door, so she became my volunteer helper.  I put her up on a chair, and cooked the eggs on the furthest burner.  Of course, she somehow reached the pan with a finger and burned herself!  It was a very small and mild burn, but I felt so bad for her.

Later in the day, when all was bandaged up and kissed.  The girls were playing on the couch and of course Elise falls off it and hits her head.  Really Really hard.  As she was walking towards me she was doing a drunk sailor walk.  She keeled right over, hit a drawer and our hard wood floor, with you guessed it, her head.

As I went to pick her up, her eyes wouldn’t focus and she was limp like a rag doll.  I hope she’ll forgive me for mentioning it, but she then wet herself and me.  Seeing her like this really scared me.  She clearly had at least a concussion.  So I started thinking about what I needed to grab to go to the hospital.  As I started getting ready to take everyone to the hospital, Elise started to come around.  Once she was changed into dry clothes she was 100% fine.  I forced her to do every neurological test that seemed age appropriate, and she was fine.  No blood or bumps or bruises.  I woke her up every couple hours to walk her around and slept right next to her.  She was fine, but wow, that scared me!

The next morning, I decided to give Belle a quick bath in the kitchen sink.  As a side note: I may only have a couple more weeks that I can get away with this, she is getting so big!  Within a minute or two of her splashing in the water, she stood up quickly.  She slipped and smashed the top of her nose on the very sharp corner of the steel divider between our two sinks.  Acccch!  This time, there was a good deal of blood and swelling!  After cleaning her up and giving her hundreds of kisses, she seemed fine.  And today, her nose looks just a bit swollen and the cut looks much better.


It has been a painful couple of days.  But I am hoping that this big injection of humility will decrease the ouches around here.