Posted in fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

IMG_3091

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.

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: April 18th 2017

TTT

  1. Yesterday was a rough night.  Amélie and Elliot spent the night engaged in what sounded like a coughing competition.  As for Charles, he decided to forgo the Pull-Ups.  So I ended up changing him in the middle of the night.
  2. I’m so over sore throats, coughing, fever and runny noses.
  3. Thanks to the fun little app Plant Nanny, I’ve managed to increase my water intake over the past few days.  Big shout out to Maggie for talking about it on her blog recently.
  4. My husband and I are getting better at squash and had quite a few really nice exchanges yesterday evening.  I’m kind of bummed though as I burned a hole through my favourite pair of leggings by sliding to hit a ball.
  5. I decided to dive into a role-playing server on WoW yesterday.  I’ve been meaning to try for a long time, but have always been afraid to.
  6. To celebrate Easter and my father-in-law’s birthday on Sunday,  my MIL reserved the chef that came to my house for my wedding.  We ate some freakishly delicious short ribs.
  7. Yesterday, I ordered some yarn online “by accident”.  Ha!  It’s 100% cotton yarn so that I can crochet some little octos for the maternity ward of a local hospital.
  8.   Today’s going to be a beautiful, albeit cold, day.  It’s a welcome change from all the rain we’ve been getting.  Now, if it could get consistently warmer, I’d be very happy!  The kids don’t mind though, so it’s all good.
  9. Charles went to the hairdresser with his dad over the weekend for a much needed haircut.  He looks so handsome now.
  10. My husband and I played bowling on the Wii with Charles a couple of days ago.  Despite our best efforts, he beat us.  Beginners luck, I suppose.

What’s on your mind thi

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 12

sunday-runday

Hello again!

First off, Happy Easter!  I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

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.

So…runs are officially off the menu for a few weeks, which is a bummer.  I’ve got an appointment with a physical therapist on Thursday so I’m hoping to get some exercises to strengthen the muscles I need for a forefoot strike.  I’ve also called my osteopath to see how she can help me.  It’s kind of a bummer because the weather is really warming up, but since I don’t want to injure myself further, I figure a break is for the best.

How last week went

  • Crossfit: Yeah!  I did my session with Charles who was over-the-moon at working out with his mama (and, gosh, 4 year olds rock squats like it’s the easiest thing in the world!).  I finished with almost 7 minutes to spare and did some kettlebell to round up my workout to 20 minutes.  It felt great!
  • Squash: I unfortunately had to stop playing after 30 minutes because the pain in my left leg became so intense that I felt as though my tibia was going to snap in two if I took another step on it.  Bleh… This is pretty much the catalyst that got me to see my doctor though, so I guess it’s a good thing.  We did have a nice game though with some pretty awesome exchanges.
  • Swimming: I was reminded of the fact that I love swimming.  I swam for years before hitting adolescence and deciding to take on a more sedentary lifestyle.  I wanted to ease into it, but the workout I picked was too easy.  I ended up adding some laps at the end to get a good half-hour in the pool.  Also, since Elliot decided to get landed with the flu (poor guy, seriously, he seems to be catching everything!) and I had only 3 hours of sleep on Wednesday night, I skipped Friday’s planned session and went to bed instead.  By the way, how do you guys remember your swim plan?  I ended up doing this: IMG_3223

Week 11 plan

Sunday: Easter Sunday so the pool’s closed.  Sooooo, depending on the weather, I’ll either go out rollerblading or stay in and do some stationary biking.

Monday: Squash

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: 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

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Swim

  • See Wednesday swim

Saturday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Pushups, 10-8-6-4
  • WOD: 15 min AMRAP
    • 20 Air squats
    • 15 lunges
    • 5 Australian pull ups

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Parenting

The Time I Peed My Pants

No, I’m not talking about when I was a kid.  Though I’m sure I must have had some potty training accidents way back when, I don’t remember them.  I do, however, remember the incident that occurred about a month ago.

You see, I was getting ready to make some granola bars.  Since we had some salted caramel on hand, I was savouring a spoonful of the stuff (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!) and reading the ingredients out loud to my brother, who happened to be in the kitchen at the time.

But then, as I was nearing the end of my description, something horrible happened: a glob of caramel detached itself from the spoon that I was holding and plummeted towards the ground.  Now, because it was the only reasonable thing to do, I tried to scream, but since I was reading, I ended up singing in an Opera-like fashion the words “sunflower seeds” (because that’s the ingredient that I was reading at the time).  At the same time, I raised my left leg to save the caramel from falling onto the kitchen floor.

I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, perhaps I had myself convinced that I would lick the caramel from my pants (in my defense, it is absolutely delicious!).  Anyways, my reaction elicited mockery on my brother’s part who had particular fun imitating me.  Needless to say, we both burst in uncontrollable laughter in a matter of seconds.

I was down on my right knee with the damp washcloth my brother had tossed me to clean my pants when it happened: I was laughing so hard that I literally peed myself a little.  Now, I could have just gotten back up, changed and moved on to other things leaving my brother in the dark about the accidental trinkle, but I didn’t.  The whole situation was so ridiculous that I couldn’t not announce matter-of-factly: “well, I’m going to go change my pants now because I just peed myself”.

As you can imagine, the uncontrollable laughter started up again.  Even now, as I think about it, I can feel some giggles bubbling up.

Do you have a funny anecdote you’re brave enough to share?

Posted in crochet

Wednesday WIP: April 12th 2017

wednesday-wip

Hi guys!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s TTT post, I finished Charles’ pig earflap beanie.  And, you know, though I found Charles’ choice of complementary colours questionnable at best, they all work remarkably well together.  Perhaps he’ll be a fashion designer later on?  Haha!

I’ve also progressed a bit on the scarf I was working on, though I took a break from it after Amélie found both the scarf and my scissors and “helpfully” cut my working yarn.  On the bright side, she didn’t cut into the actual scarf!  I really like the color progression and enjoy the big blocks of colours.  I’m hoping to finish it this week.

FullSizeRender 2

I also started working on another little octopus a while back.  The initial hospital that I contacted hasn’t gotten back to me, but I’ve found another one who might be interested.

FullSizeRender

I played around with this one and added an eye patch to turn it into a pirate.  I only have 5 tentacles left to crochet before I can stuff it and close it up.  I also decided to do 3 sc instead of 2 sc in each chain link of the tentacles.  It makes for a bit wider tentacles but they are also tighter.  I’m eager to finish it to compare with my other one and decide what I like best.

What project(s) are you currently working on?  Feel free to link up to one of your own WIP posts!

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: April 11th 2017

TTT

  1. We had an absolutely beautiful last couple of days.  Yesterday was warm enough to go out without a coat.  Elliot also got to explore the balcony for the first time.

    IMG_3213
    And my sister-in-law wonders why I nickname this one “chubby face”.  Just look at those cheeks!
  2. Unfortunately, my shins haven’t gotten any better.  Yesterday, my husband and I had to stop our squash game after half an hour because it felt like if I tried to run one more time, my tibia would snap.  I’m so frustrated!  I sent an email to my doctor’s office this morning and I’m planning on calling my osteopath for an appointment to see if she can do something to help while I wait for my doctor to be able to see me.
  3. I finished the beanie that I was working on for Charles last week.  I’ll be posting a picture of it in tomorrow’s WIP post.
  4. Elliot has gotten really good at standing up.  He’s often letting go of one hand, he’s been using various toys and boxes as walkers and he has started cruising by holding onto the couch.
  5. I super excited to tell you that I will be sharing a guest post with you on Thursday!
  6. Income tax season is almost over.  I’ll finally stop being a temporary single mom soon!
  7. We went to see some friends over the weekend and I finally got to meet my friend’s 6 week old!  Oh gosh, baby fever came washing right over me again!
  8. This week, we’ve got slow-cooker baby back ribs, club sandwiches and homemade falafel on the menu.  Deeeeee-licious!
  9. Today’s going to be a pretty difficult day.  Charles and Amélie decided to keep themselves awake yesterday evening so they are super tired today.
  10. After keeping it at bay for a few weeks, the cold that everyone’s gotten in the house except me has finally caught up with me.  *Sigh* Oh well, with water, rest and sinus rinse, it shouldn’t be too bad overall.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?  Feel free to link up in the comments section!

Posted in Parenting

Sleep Walking

What do you do when the baby wakes up 45 minutes into his nap and can’t fall back asleep because he’s stuffy from yet another cold (gotta love how thoughtful Amélie and Charles are when it comes to sharing germs)?

IMG_3214

You make the most of a beautiful day, stick him in the woven wrap, secure a hat onto his head and go out for a nice long walk.  Win-win!

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 11

sunday-runday

Hello again!

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.

How last week went

  • Runs:  My run (yup, I ran only once) was pretty difficult.  I managed to do 4/5 intervals, on the other interval, I needed a longer walking break.  I also ended up with some pretty persistent shin pain, which is why I skipped my two other runs.  From what I’ve read, I’ve ether got shin splints or a stress fracture.  Until I can see a doctor, I’m going to lay off running for a while.  When I do start again, I’m going to return to C25K so that I can get longer walking breaks and give my lungs a chance to adjust.  I also think I’m going to have to start taking my inhaler again.  Yup, fun times.
  • Crossfit: After catching up on my sleep, I was soooo ready for this.  Again, it went really well!  I even managed to finish before the 20 minute mark, yay!  Since things are going so well, I’ve decided that starting on week 13, I’ll do 2 crossfit sessions instead of one per week.  I’ve also decided, that when I finish with time to spare, I’m going to do some kettlebell work (because it’s so darned fun!) until I reach the 20 minute mark.
  • Squash: my husband and I decided to take up squash again!  Since my brother is at home on Monday evenings, it’s easy for us to get out of the house once the kids are down for the night.  This is going to be a weekly occurrence, yay!

Week 11 plan

Sunday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

Monday: Squash

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

 

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

Saturday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Overhead squat, 5-5-5-5-5
  • WOD: 5 rounds
    • 5 pushups
    • 15 crunches

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!