Weight loss 6 weeks post partum

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Any other mamas have a really tough time dropping the baby weight?  It probably doesn’t help that I’ve had really challenging pregnancies, and had to limit my exercise to “activities of daily living”.  Which means in doctor-speak, I can shower and walk around the house a bit.  It also probably doesn’t help too much that I’ve had my 3 kids in 3 years.

I’ve tried a few different weight loss strategies, that have worked well for other moms.  For my first baby, my strategy for losing the baby weight, was having the baby.  …. so that didn’t exactly pan out for me.  After my second baby, I realized that the baby weight won’t just magically disappear on its own because I’m exclusively nursing.  So, I tried eating a strict paleo diet, that worked spectacularly for my dear friend.  But for me, by the end of the month, I had gained 2lbs.  Really??  Really??  I realized then, that when I’m nursing, my body is a very efficient calorie saver.  Which will come in super handy if ever we are in a famine… so there’s that.

Now I’ve just had my third baby about 6 weeks ago, and for the first time, I’ve lost 20lbs (and a .5 if we’re going to be exact).

What was different this time?

This time I did not restrict myself when I was hungry.  I did however stop eating after dinner, except for when Grandma made me the kids her world famous chocolate chip cookies, and coffee cake. mmmm.  I did try to stick to 2 cookies a day, not 24.  I also bulked up most of my meals with veggies and fruit.  And tried reaching for almonds and hard boiled eggs if I was hungry instead of brownies.  Lastly, I also aimed to go for a walk a few times a week.

I have a long way to go before I’ll even come close to pulling up jeans from 5 years ago.

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But I’ll be happy if I even come close!  This body rocks… it helped bring 3 people into my life that I love with all my heart!

Monday September 29th, I’ll be starting a challenge to drop another 5 lbs over 3 weeks.  If you want to join in, comment or e mail me at thecrayoncircus@gmail.com.

Drowning in babies and housework?

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Your kitchen is starting to look like this… and you’re wondering, “do I need some outside help?”

…you might.  I know there have been a bunch of times in the last few years, that there is no way I would have survived without a few extra hands.  For all my pregnancies, I’ve been placed on modified activity, which means “chill out”.  So we’ve tried a whole bunch of different forms of help, here’s the best and worst of each, and when I found each is ideal.

Cleaning company:

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The good: Your house will sparkle when they’re done.  They will get the deep cleaning done, and you won’t get weird foot fungus from your shower.

The bad: 15 minutes after they leave, the kids will probably spill a litre of olive oil on the kitchen floor.  You’ll have to wait another two weeks to get that cleaned up.  Also, you have to leave the house or stay out of the way while they work.  And don’t forget, you still have to pick up every day, and do dishes, laundry, etc.

This is great when for: when you’ve just had a new baby, and you want to spend as much time as possible with your little ones, but don’t have the energy to scrub the floors.  This was ideal for us when I’ve been recovering from c-sections, but still want to invite people over, without them worrying about getting the plague.

Local Babysitter:

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The good:   A local babysitter or mother’s helper is ideal to do specific things, like feed your kids dinner, or take them to the park.  They probably have loads of energy to play hard with your kids, and they’ll probably sleep well that night.

The bad: They are not you… and they are generally inexperienced.  So you have to be specific with what you’re asking them to do, and have realistic expectations of how much they can handle.

This is great for when: you desperately need to catch up on a few minutes of sleep, or run a few errands.

Daycare:

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The good: Licensed daycare will keep your little ones safe for extended periods of time.  They often have great ideas that you can replicate at home for activities and organization.

The bad: They’ll catch lots of colds and infections.  The daycare workers are just that, workers.  As much attention as they give your little one, they do not have the same attachment you and little one share.  You miss out on all the stuff your little one has done all day.  It’s also very expensive if you’re picking a great one.

This is great for when: you are unable to watch your kids for whole days at a time.  When I had a toddler, and was having a challenging pregnancy, daycare was very useful for 2 days a week.  I could schedule doctors appointments when he was at daycare, and catch up on sleep knowing he was safe.

Au Pair:

The good: An Au Pair is usually a student that would like to travel in your country.  These young girls have loads of enthusiasm and energy.  You can specify what you are looking for in your interviewing process, so you’ll probably find someone that is compatible with your needs.

The bad: You need to have an available bedroom for your Au Pair, money to cover their living expenses and their allowance.  You may end up having personality clashes, or other challenges related to someone living with you.

This is great for when: You need help throughout the day, most days.  If your husband travels or works long hours, and overnight backup is helpful.

 

What food to bring to a new mom?

She’s health conscious, and you are not gifted in the kitchen… or you’re just lazy… what do you bring her??

Here’s a few ideas that will help her regain her strength in the early recovery days, and I promise, she won’t gag!

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So your friend/sister/coworker/neighbour just had a baby!  Congratulations for the addition of this precious blessing to your circle.  First, and foremost, do NOT show up empty handed.  No matter what!  Worse case scenario, bring her a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket, or a couple bottles of Guinness (legit, it helps make milk…. or at least relaxes her).

A few years back, before we had children, we visited hubby’s extended family for a week.  They just had a baby days ago.  I am mortified to admit that we let them feed US, and clean up after us!  *red*

Always ask ahead if they have any special dietary requirements or preferences.

1. Buy a bunch of ground meat, and a few simple veggies (onions, peppers, carrots), saute the meat and veggies in a pan.  Let it cool, and put it in a large ziploc bag.  Label it and freeze it flat (or bring it over the same day).  This can be added to tomato sauce for pasta, put on pizza dough, served as tacos, or eaten as is.  Protein is very helpful to mom’s recovery!

2. Go to the organic frozen foods section in your supermarket and grab frozen chopped kale.  This can be added to smoothies, omelets, pasta.  Kale has protein, b vitamins, folic acid and fiber.  What a sweet treat if you pre-made a few smoothie bags for her, see http://onceamonthmeals.com/10-summer-smoothies-to-refresh-refuel-and-detox/ for a few ideas.

3.  Boil 3 big or 5 small peeled sweet potatoes.  Once you can easily squish it with a fork, drain.  Mash.  Add half to a quarter can of organic coconut milk (watch texture).  Grate an apple into it, and add a tbsp of cinnamon.  This sweet dish has a variety of healthy nutrients, and the coconut milk and cinnamon will prevent a sugar crash.

4.  Make or buy a bean salad.  Aim for one with lots of veggies and not too much sugar.  The fiber in the beans will help a new mom’s tummy.

5.  Baked oatmeal is easy to make, there are many good recipes online, our favourite is found here, http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.ca/2009/03/beyond-cold-cereal.html .  But if even this is just too much, buy a bag of good oats and ground chia seeds (maybe organic almond milk), and bring that over.  Oats are great for milk production, and the vitamins help improve mood.  The chia seeds help with digestion, stave off sugar cravings, and have omega 3’s.

6.  Get a big tub of the best yogurt you can find (organic, low fat, greek is ideal), and some organic berries, and some organic nuts, like pistachios or walnuts.  This has protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats.  My personal fav is to put natural nut butter on the yogurt and mix it in!  Yummy to me, but hubby says it smells like diapers….

All that to say, it’s not too hard to bring over something healthy.  It is an even greater blessing to bring over food and offer to hold the baby (after you’ve washed your hands thoroughly of course), and tell the new mom to have a shower or nap…  Don’t forget to scrub something (anything) while she’s napping!!

 

Countdown, LAST week!!

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That’s right buddy, 7 days, and you’ll have another crying, poopy, attention-requiring sibling.  Are you as excited as mommy??

I’ve never really been a nester in any pregnancy, and this one isn’t an exception.  Over the last week we’ve slowly gotten a few last things done.  We’ve set up the newborn-ready high chair, pulled out the bouncy seat, and made sure the double stroller is ready to rock, as soon as I am.  We have not gotten diapers though… not sure what we’ll do if baby comes early… could I stick Elise’s diaper on a 6lb newborn you think?

IMG_4444 … ok, buddy, we’ll get diapers this week.

Today, we got all fancy and bought a bike trailer.  When we got home with it, of course the kids wanted to push the new trailer around the driveway, so we let them.  Even though it was raining pretty hard.  Caleb, the little man, looked at all of us and said: “Guys, don’t get stuck by thunder”.  He was right, the storm was getting strong, so we went inside and had a dance party, which is always a winner around here.  But somehow, each time without fail, after a few minutes, mom and dad turn into sharks trying to eat the kids.

We’ve also been doing a few last little spring cleaning projects… and being the mean parents that we are, we gave the kids the job of cleaning the patio doors.

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Caleb did a wicked job, and I confess I’ve walked by and thought the door was open a couple of times.  Elise got right into it too, and proceeded to clean the dog, the carpet, some toy trucks, parts of the floor, followed of course by her mouth.  mmmm

IMG_4511 just kidding… maybe.

I’m also holding out hope that in the next week I’ll be able to convince Elise to let me cut her fingernails without shrieking so loud the neighbours come over to check.  … yeah you’re right.  I should just wait until she turns 4.

If you clean the bed… the messes will come

Last night, gave us the old…

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So we woke up feeling a little…

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So after begging for an uneventful remaining of the pregnancy, after our hurl-a-thon yesterday,  and all new, fresh linens, this mommy decided, “hey, it’s a good day to take away pull ups at night time.”

Guess what this mommy was doing at 3 am this morning??  That’s right, cleaning little boy, changing sheets, pillows, pj’s and even using wipes for his hair (shhh don’t tell).  It could have been worse though, at least I only saw the end product of his excessive gatorade consumption yesterday, and not the tummy bug that’s been polluting the bathrooms around here.

I guess I was a little groggy this morning.  Those exciting pregnancy hormones are not a fan of letting you sleep much, and I had a little boy who thought it was morning after our adventure. I got dressed and headed out early to unlock our neighbour’s door for a contractor, (they couldn’t meet him, pretty sure I wasn’t assisting with a B&E).  After letting him in, and meeting another neighbour on the street, I realized that my shirt no longer covers my whole tummy!  *humiliated*  Maybe this doesn’t seem tragic… perhaps you have not known the aesthetic benefits of having 3 kids in 3 years by 3 c sections, on a 5’3″ frame at 8+ months pregnant. …ack!

Sorry for all the whining.  The rest of the day was amazing.  I saw an old friend from grad school, who now leads an exciting professional life and has a brilliant perspective on life.

We also got a nice long quiet time around here because little man was exhausted after our middle of the night clean fest.

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(and yes he’s wearing bottoms.  They’re just really really short *ahem underpants).