Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 16th 2017

TenThoughtTuesday

  1. I decided it was time to change my TTT image.  What do you think?
  2. Today is a beautiful day so I decided to make myself an iced matcha this morning in the mug I made a couple of weekends ago when I went to a ceramic cafe with my friends.  #awesome IMG_3417
  3. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a Sunday Runday post in two weeks.  I’m not sure what happened, but I need to get a grip.  I know that if I start running again, the rest will follow.  Send me some good vibes, ok?
  4. Yesterday was Elliot’s second appointment with our osteopath.  She’s working on helping him deal with colds better so that they don’t drag on or turn into ear infections anymore.  His third and last treatment is in a few weeks.

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    Just chillin’ in the waiting room.
  5. I recently discovered the @vibrantandpure Instagram account and I’ve been finding myself drooling uncontrollably ever since.  I decided to try her technique out and perk up the cream cheese for the kids’ bagels this morning.  Here’s how things came out.  Needless to say, the kids were very impressed when they saw their breakfast.

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    From top to bottom: matcha, maqui powder, acai powder, paprika & curry powder
  6. Because I like to try new things, I decided to set up my late grandmother’s old (according to the instruction manual 1971) sewing machine and learn how to sew.  I figured I would try to make a doll mei tai for my daughter.  I was surprised by how much I liked sewing and by the fact that the things I was making were relatively decent.  I made oodles of mistakes, but they have allowed me to learn a great deal, so all in all, it’s a good thing.  The problem is that once I was halfway through the headrest, the machine stopped working.  Namely, the needle isn’t picking up the thread from the bobbin anymore.  Urgh!  At first, I thought the bobbin had emptied itself, but it hadn’t.  I re-threaded the whole thing, but it didn’t work.  Any tips before I bring it to get serviced?
  7. Did everyone have a good Mother’s Day?  I was spoiled with a massage, a lovely bouquet of tulips (my favourite flower) and we had a really lovely raclette supper.
  8. This morning, I brought Elliot out in the front yard.  He’s not a fan of the grass, but at least, he doesn’t cry when he’s sitting in it (he just doesn’t move haha!). IMG_3430
  9. Elliot has pretty much dropped his morning nap.  He can generally stay awake for the full hour it takes me to drop the kids at daycare and get back home in the morning.  If he sleeps, it’s generally a mere 5-10 minutes, then he’s happy as a clam once we get out of the minivan.  Amélie and Charles had dropped their morning nap at about the same age.
  10. Amélie is officially out of training pants for nights.  As for Charles, he wakes up dry about one day per week.  I noticed that when he ends up going to bed around 8 rather than 7:30, he almost always wakes up dry.  I don’t want to make a habit of getting him to bed that late, so I might have to move up supper instead.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in Parenting

Ups & Downs

Ups and Downs

Charles is a very sweet little boy.  He is just full of love.  He runs on hugs, kisses and cuddles; these are what fuel his days.  However, like most (if not all) 4 year-olds, he lacks the abilities to express exactly how he feels and the strategies to deal with his emotions when they bubble up.

Charles is also very intense and his emotions are always very close to the surface.  He’s not happy, he’s elated.  He’s not hurt, he’s near-death.  He’s not sad, he’s heartbroken.  He’s not irritated or angry, he’s (and please forgive the language) fucking pissed.

A couple of days ago, for instance, he completely lost it when I told asked him to get ready for bed.  Because of the busy weekend, Charles missed out on naps and ended up going to bed later than usual, so I decided to have him go to bed a little earlier than usual.  He was more than annoyed.  He decided to show his displeasure by shutting the washroom door on his little sister’s fingers because she happened to look at him while he was pouting.  Then, when I asked him to apologize, he completely lost it.  He started screaming at me, kicking, hitting me and throwing things at me.  I told him that I was going to let him calm down.  He stayed in his room a good five minutes, letting loose primal scream after primal scream.  After that, we were able to talk.

This time of the year is always very difficult.  Income-tax season is difficult on everyone around here, but it is especially difficult for Charles.  Every year, the weeks following the end of the month of April are difficult.  Charles struggles with the the fact the he missed his dad during his 60 hour weeks.  He struggles with the joy that he felt when his dad takes the first week of May off to spend with his siblings and himself and with the sadness brought about by his return to work afterwards.

I feel poorly equipped to handle his outbursts.  We are always able to have a good talk afterwards.  He is always able to tell me how he could have worked out his anger or frustration differently.  I always repeat to him that I love him no matter what.  That I love him as much when he is kind and happy than I do when he is angry, yelling and throwing things at me.  I know better than to try to talk to him when he’s out of control, but I lack the tools to help him manage his emotions in the short lapse of time that occurs between frustration and utter meltdown.

How do you go about helping your little ones manage overwhelming emotions?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 9th 2017

TTT

  1. I am so behind in my blog reading!  I really need to find some time to catch up.
  2. We’ve been dealing with the consequences of floods caused by the unrelenting rain around here.  At our house, we’re fine, but a few blocks away, roads are closed because of flooding.  One of the two bridges that lead to the island of Montreal is closed so traffic is horrendous.  Luckily, the road I take to drive the kids to daycare isn’t affected.
  3. Today is supposed to be the worst day and water levels are supposed to start receding starting tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe, though as this is what is forecasted for the next week.
  4. Despite the crappy weather, we managed to get some time outside when it was nice out (meaning just super cloudy).  The kids went to the park and had some fun.
  5. We had a really busy but super fun weekend.  On Friday, my husband and I managed to go to the restaurant just the two of us.  Then, on Saturday, we went to see our friends to celebrate their son’s birthday party.  Charles, Amélie and Elliot had a blast.    Finally, on Sunday, after going to the pool (Charles and Elliot) and gymnastics (Amélie) classes, we went to my parents’ house for a lovely family brunch.  Afterwards, I went to a ceramic cafe with my two friends for some girls-only time together and they all stayed for supper.
  6. The neon noodles I made last week turned out wonderfully!  My kids gobbled them up.  Well, except Elliot.  He wasn’t impressed and just threw them on the floor.  I just tossed them in garlic butter and served them with sweet and sour chicken and steamed broccoli.IMG_3278
  7. I’ve recently discovered a love for matcha tea.  I went to David’s tea about a week ago and bought some peach matcha.  It is so delicious!  It’s great as a hot latte, just plain hot and is amazing as iced tea (not that I’m drinking much iced tea these days).  I’ve yet to try it as an iced latte, but I’m certain it will be awesome.
  8. I recently read an article on the Dirty Dozen on the David Suzuki website.  I checked through my makeup and realized that everything I own (not that I own much) contains at least one ingredient from the dirty dozen.  Since I’ve been wanting to wear makeup more often, I started researching brands that don’t contain any of the offending ingredients, but I keep coming up short.  I think I’ll just give up and go back to my au naturel look.
  9. I haven’t gone out for a run, or a swim, or done any type of physical activity since last Thursday when I played some squash with my husband.  I am going totally nuts, but I’ve been feeling under the weather recently (thank you dear children and husband for kindly sharing your colds with me) and have been faced with rain and cold temps outside (did I mention that yesterday, it snowed!).
  10. Tonight, I’m planning on making some oven-baked crispy skinned chicken thighs with steamed green beans, pearled barley and an acorn squash puree.  It’s going to be yummy!  What are you eating tonight?

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 2nd 2017

TTT

  1. We have been having absolutely horrible weather (complete with flooding and the like) around here.  It’s cold and windy and rainy and grey.  Bleh… On the bright side, the grass is green.
  2. On Saturday, we made the most of the beautiful day (despite the 50km/h winds) and went to the park in the afternoon.  Then kids then decided that they wanted to take a walk and so Amélie and Charles took turns pulling the wagon while Elliot tried desperately to touch the turning wheel despite being securely strapped in.
  3. I decided to take a play from Elizabeth’s book and make some neon spaghetti noodles.  The plan was to eat them yesterday evening, but we ended up stuck in some horrible traffic because a streetlight was out of commission, so I ordered some pizza instead.  We are going to have it tonight instead.  Look at how awesome the noodles look though!

    IMG_3275
    The kids are going to go nuts once I plate this tonight.
  4. Sunday we had our movie night.  I made some brown sugar & sriracha chicken wings, homemade oven-baked fries and some popcorn shrimp.  We decided to watch Brave.  I found it entertaining, but it’s not the best (animation) movie I’ve seen.  The music was absolutely amazing though.
  5. Charles is getting really good at MarioKart Wii.  He races at 50cc, but he’s almost always placing top 5 now.
  6. I’m really happy because I’ve started playing the flute again.  I hadn’t realized how much I was missing it.  Oh boy, though, my mouth gets sore really quickly, I have to relearn to loosen up my lips and right hand a bit.
  7. I went swimming on Sunday and it went really well…except my butterfly lap.  It’s hard to believe that when I was a teen it was my favourite stroke!  Oh well, I definitely have something to work towards!
  8. I’ve finally finished the mesh for my crocheted scarf.  Now, I have to get working on the chains to weave through the mesh.  I’m planning on doing that while I watch my daily tv show with my husband as it’s not something that requires a lot of concentration.
  9. I recently discovered the joys of audiobooks!  I listened to The Chemist last month and it was pretty good.  I started listening to The Fifth Season recently and was wowed by the imagery.  The description and vocabulary used are really wonderful.  However, this book is definitely more complex that The Chemist and I’m having a lot of trouble following what is happening.  I might have to read it instead.
  10. INCOME TAX SEASON IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!  And I finally get my husband back *woot*woot*!

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 13

sunday-runday

Hello again!

I know, I know, I skipped a week.  Elliot’s been nursing a pretty bad cold, I ended up with an ear infection and I was in full blown income-tax-widow mode.  But I did do most of the things I had planned for week 12.

(By the way, if you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to).

I’m super excited because I’m allowed to start running again.  It’s going to be a long process, but I’m fully invested in it, so it’s going to be alright.  Because of the extremely progressive reintroduction of running, it’s going to seem like I’m doing way too many things in a week for the next few weeks (months?), but it’s not as bad as it might appear.

How last week went

  • Crossfit: I’m rocking these workouts now and have been consistently seeing improvements.  Since they are only 20 minutes long, I’ve decided to add a second session to my weeks (and I’ve semi convinced my husband to join me for one of them).
  • Squash: I had a really off day with regards to squash.  I realized about halfway through that it was because I was afraid of injuring myself.  The fact that I elected to not take any Motrin, was wearing shorts instead of leggings andhad to stop after 30 minutes due to a sharp pain in my leg the previous week didn’t help.  We still had fun though.  Oh!  I successfully hit the ball off the back wall and got it to hit the front wall twice too (woot!).  I was so surprised the first time that I actually lost the exchange because I was too busy celebrating LOL!.
  • Swimming:  I ended up going to the pool only once, but it was great.  I ended up swimming 6 additional lengths after completing my routine to get my distance up to 1km.  I’m looking forward to doing it again in the coming weeks.

This week’s plan

Sunday: Swim, 850m (34 laps)

  • 150m warm up, free
  • 4 x 50m, kick  – 1 slow lap, 1 fast lap, 15 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 100m free, 3rd lap of every set in IM order, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 100m cool down, free

Monday:

  • Run
    • 5 min. walk (warm-up)
    • 1 min. run / 1 min. walk x3
    • 5 min. walk (cool down)

Tuesday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Crossfit
    • Strength: Weighted squats 5-5-5-5-5-5 (weights next to hips)
    • WOD: 4 rounds
      • 40 jumping jacks
      • 80 singles
      • 40 crunches

Wednesday: Swim (see Sunday swim)

Thursday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Squash

Friday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Australian pull-ups (8-8-8-8)
  • WOD:
    • Run (see Monday run)
    • 4 min. kettlebell circuit

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

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One thing I’ve noticed since starting to blog some 4.5 years ago (and this is probably because I read a fair amount of blogs written by mothers) is that there seems to be this desire to lose the baby weight and try to regain as much as one’s pre-baby body as possible.  That’s great, really (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!

In my case, I’m super happy with my post-baby body.  Ah, but now I hear you thinking: “But why is she talking about losing weight, then?”

Let me explain.

I am well aware that three pregnancies and deliveries have wreaked havoc on my body.  Let’s talk, for instance about:

  • my droopy breasts (nope, cannot even think of going out of the house without a bra anymore – as for strapless bras…useless!);
  • the road map of stretch marks on my belly;
  • my plumbing problems (oh hello unexpected flow of urine accompanying laughter!);
  • the scar(s?) along my perineum.

Need I say more?

Anyways, like I said, I’m totally cool with those.  I’m happy with all of the changes that have occurred in my body in the last 5 years.  They are the reason I have three beautiful children.  I would go through it again.  Heck, I want to go through it again!  But I digress.

The simple fact is that I don’t want to go back to my pre-baby body because, for me, that would mean regressing.  To be honest, even though my pregnancies took a toll on my body, it’s is my years of sedentarism before pregnancy that have caused the most damage.

For years, I convinced myself:

  • that I didn’t need physical activity to lead a balanced life;
  • that I just didn’t have time to work out;
  • that I was more of a bookworm and gamer;
  • that it was absolutely fine to spend so many hours sitting each day, every day.

If I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself, I would.  Of course, if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself.  I’m, hum – how can I describe it…pridefully independent?  I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice.  I don’t like asking for advice.  I suppose I take it as a challenge to my self-reliance (“what, you think I can’t figure that out on my own?!”).  I like to be in control.

The good news is that I’ve taken control now.  I’m already fitter than I was five years ago.  And though it’s tough sometimes, I’m determined to get my body in decent shape.  In the past, after an injury (as has happened to me recently because of running), I would have just stopped.  Now, I found an alternate activity while I wait to get back on my feet.  In the past, I never would have even considered working out in the evening.  Now, I’ll take the time I have to exercise, even if it is in the evenings.

It’s no secret that to make any change three things are needed: a catalyst, a plan and a great deal of perseverance (at least, in the beginning).  I’ve always been super organized, so making a plan isn’t super difficult for me.  I’m also very stubborn, so perseverance works pretty well for me.  What I was lacking, was a catalyst.

As it turns out, my kids are that kick-in-the butt I needed.  I realized one day that I want to be able to run alongside them with ease as they learned to ride a bike.  I want to be able to play and run around with them without becoming out of breath within 30 seconds.  I want them to know that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  Most of all, I want to do everything in my power to be here, in this world, with them for as many years as possible.  That requires a healthy body.

I’m still a gamer.  I still read.  I find time to crochet and play the flute.  But it’s not all I do now.  Now, I don’t only try to eat a balanced diet (which is something I’ve been pretty good with overall), but I am also working to have a healthy body.

Have you made any major changes to you life recently?  What has been your catalyst?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: April 25th 2017

TTT

  1. The kids all seem to be over their colds (yay!) and Elliot two lower lateral incisors cut over the week (because why not cut teeth while nursing a virus?) so we’re all back to our usual cheery selves.
  2. The last week has been quite intense.  Last Thursday, I saw my physical therapist for the first time.  On Saturday, I had to go to the dentist with the kids to get one of Amélie’s teeth checked (her upper left central incisor is darkening because of a fall that happened a couple of weeks ago).  Yesterday, I saw my osteopath and had my second appointment with my physical therapist and tomorrow I have an appointment for Elliot with my osteopath.  Phew!  Jam packed!
  3. I’m super excited!  Because of my visits to the PT and the exercises that I’m diligently doing every day, I can finally start running again (albeit very progressively).  I’m planning on going out tomorrow for my first run.  Woot woot!
  4. I’ve started to play the flute again and it feels great…
  5. …Unfortunately, this means that I have to reevaluate how I’m going to adequately juggle my responsibilities and hobbies (yes, that includes blogging) from now on.
  6. Despite getting the house treated against an invasion of carpenter ants last year, they’re back again this year *sigh*.  So we have to get in touch with an exterminator again…
  7. Right now, it smells absolutely delicious in the house.  I’m roasting some garlic for tonight’s supper: a pasta bake with a sun-dried tomato and roasted garlic alfredo sauce and chicken & bacon.  It’s going to be decadent!
  8. This week, I finally received the new Bluetooth headphones I ordered via Kickstarter a few months ago.  I’m so excited to try them out so it’s a very good thing that I can start running again!  Look out for a post on them in the coming weeks.
  9. Last weekend, I was rudely awoken by a sharp pain indicative of an ear infection in my left ear.  The pain has since subsided (I don’t need pain medication to deal with the pain anymore), but my ear still feels blocked.  It’s totally weird because it’s not like I’ve had a stuffy nose or anything.  I’m crossing my fingers for it to resolve itself: I’m really hoping it’s not a bacterial infection that would require the use of antibiotics.
  10. My one and only cardigan decided to kick the bucket yesterday after very many years of good service.  I’ve found myself needing to replace it.  In keeping with my desire to only purchase eco-responsable clothing from now on, I bought one from Ten Tree Apparel.  I’m probably going to post about them as well  in the very near future.  But if you want to learn more about them, I encourage you to check them out.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in Guest Posts

Guest Post: Tips for Parents Before They Send Their Kids Off to Camp or Daycare

Today, I’m super excited to feature a guest post by Alex Robbins (thank you!).  With registration to summer camps on its way, this is a must read!  I hope you find it as informative and enjoyable as I did.

TipsCampDaycare

Tips for Parents Before They Send Their Kids Off to Camp or Daycare

By Alex Robbins

Sending your kids to a child care program – whether it be a summer camp or a daycare – can be a great idea for both parent and child. Kids can experience new things, make new friends, and learn new skills while parents can have some much-needed relaxation time. It’s a win-win situation – if you make the right decisions. Here are some essential tips for parents on what to do and consider before sending their kids off to camp or daycare.

Talk to you child and figure out the right type of camp

If your child isn’t ready for the full sleepaway camp experience, it’s important to figure that out before you send them on a trip that could end up disastrous. Conversely, if your child is ready for an adventure it would be a shame to bore them with a minimal camping experience. Does your child want to stay local, or venture to a camp that’s further away? Is your child ok with all-day daycare? Or do they need half-day care to work their way up to being apart from you for that long? These questions are vital to knowing the right situation to put your child in over the summer. Don’t exclude your kid from the conversation. In the end it’s all on you as a parent, but your child is the one who’s going. Their input should not be ignored.

Know how to avoid bad programs

There’s nothing worse than spending your money on a summer camp or daycare center and finding out later that the facility isn’t taking good care of your child. Maybe the program is uninspired, the facilities are dirty or under-maintained, or the staff is unqualified and unattentive. It’s worth it to take the time to do your research beforehand, so you can weed out any bad apples.

One thing that should send up major red flags is the program’s child to caretaker ratio. If there are too many children and not enough adults, it’s very unlikely that your child will receive the proper amount of attention. Another thing to look for is accreditation. Some non accredited centers are just fine – even wonderful – but you really need to dig deep to figure it out. Accredited programs have gone through rigorous tests to ensure they are up to snuff.

Talk to the staff at the camp or center. Ask how they are chosen. What are their qualifications? Is there an open-door policy, as in there are no restrictions on when you can show up to check on your child? If not, they may have something to hide.

Talk to your kids about possible dangers

It helps to be prepared – even over-prepared. Before you send your child away to be in the care of others, you must talk with them about some potential dangers that could arise.

One talk you need to have is the one about alcohol abuse. It’s important to set clear boundaries for your child, so if the moment arises they will have your voice in the back of their head. It’s also important to take an understanding approach, however, that doesn’t scare or shame. Your child needs to feel comfortable being honest with you, and that can’t happen if they are constantly in fear of punishment.

Another talk you should have is the physical abuse talk. It’s a tough subject to bring up, but it’s paramount to ensuring your kids have a safe and fun time while away. Let your kids know that there are no such things as secrets when it comes to their interactions with adults and other kids while away. Be frank with your kids, so they will know how to accurately describe any situation that made them uncomfortable, should the unfortunate situation arise.

You wouldn’t take a vacation without doing the proper research and making specific plans. Sending your child on a “vacation” is no different. Take the time to pick the right facility and talk to your kids about any potential dangers – even if they seem far-fetched.

Alex Robbins is a father to three lively boys who believes that home safety is a number one priority when you are around this much energy and curiosity! He is involved with a community of parents at Safety Today that have come together to help promote safety in the home and in the community.