Posted in fitness, running

Motivation

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So, I think I mentioned in my last TTT post that I had started running again.  For those of you who don’t know, I discovered a love for running a little under two years ago, while I was on maternity leave for my daughter.  I followed the C25K running program and was able to go from being out of breath two thirds of the way into my 8x 1min run/1.5min walk to being able to run 5km nonstop after just 3 months.  It.  Was.  Fantastic.

Then, one morning, I sprain my ankle during a run.  I wasn’t able to train for a couple of weeks, but was still determined to run the race I had signed up for (not one of my best ideas, but I wanted to do it so much!).  Then, I became pregnant.  Enter first trimester fatigue and 24h nausea.  Yeah, let’s just say I stopped running.

This time around, things are different.  Instead of running in the mornings, I run in the evening once the kids are all in bed.  Instead of running outdoors, I run indoors, on a track.  And it is hard.  Real hard.

By the time I can leave the house, it’s 7:45pm.  Besides the fact that I am super tired and would much rather stay in the house and crochet or stream Netflix, I never quite know what to eat for supper or how much to eat because I know I’ll be running rather soon after my meal.  When I get back home around 9pm, I’m on a high and it takes me a couple of hours before I’m able to settle into sleep (plus, I know I’ll be getting up at least once during the night to nurse Elliot and I’ll be up by 7am the next morning to get everything going).

It annoys me to have to bundle up (we’re in the middle of our Canadian winter here), sit in a cold car and drive to the gym (thankfully only 5 minutes away) before I can start my run.  It annoys me that I have to re-bundle up, get back into a cold car and drive back home before I can get into my cozy pyjamas.

But you know what?  I do it anyways.  I do it because I know that once I’ll be on the track, it’s going to feel good.  I do it because I know that once I’ll be finished my run, I’ll be proud of myself.  I do it because while I’m running, I’m not thinking about everything that’s going on in my life, I’m not having to divide my attention between my 4 children (I mean, 3 kids and my husband hahaha) I’m by myself in my own zone and it is good for my sanity.

I’ve managed to get out for my run each time so far by:

  1. Scheduling my run days in advance (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
  2. Getting into my running clothes as soon as the kids are down for their nap/ the night (seems kind of foolish to be all dressed up to run and then not go).
  3. Keeping all of my running gear (shoes, water bottle, earbuds, lock…) packed in a bag.
  4. Talking to my procrastinating inner child and kicking her in the butt and bribing her with a post run smoothie.

Do you like to run?  How do you stay motivated?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: 10/03/15

TTT

1.  Wow, I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these.

2.  Bear with me, I’m still trying to find a balance between crocheting, baking and blogging.  I’m thinking I may decide to blog on fixed days just to help me get back into a rhythm.

3.  The weather is finally getting warmer around here.  We’re up on in the pluses (just barely) for a couple of days this week.  It’s a welcome change from the frigid months we’ve been having.

4.  The changing weather has gotten me primed for Spring/Summer sports.  I want to buy a balance bike for Charles so I’ve been reading quite a bit to see which one would be best for him.  Do you have any suggestions?

5.  Following my post on winter car seat safety, I reinstalled the base for the bucket seat in both cars and, following one of the tips I’d read, I tried getting the toddler in his seat without his coat.  To my surprise, it actually wasn’t all that bad and he actually prefers it that way (I no longer hear him whine that he’s too hot!) so I’m going to keep my kids out of coats during winter in the future.

6.  Amélie has been rather miserable the past two days.  Her top teeth are just about to cut, so I can’t really blame her.

7.  Speaking of teeth, and what they’re used for, the little miss is ROCKING solids!  Let me tell you, she knows exactly where it goes and she is not happy when we sit her in her chair without food.  So far, she’s had steamed broccoli, cucumber “fries”, applesauce (on a loaded spoon which she grabs), avocado, banana and toast strips.

8.  Now that baby girl can stay in a seated position unassisted for long periods of time, I have started bathing her with her brother in the big tub (no worries, I always have a hand on her).  The first time they went in together, Charles was so happy and he remained calm for as long as his sister was sitting beside him.

9.  This Sunday, we are going to a sugar shack (yum!).  Now that Charles isn’t as allergic to dairy (the only thing we have to still steer clear of is fresh milk), it’ll be even funner than the first time we went.

10.  There are only two classes left in Charles’ winter swim session :(.  When the new session starts, both he and his sister will be taking lessons (Charles is old enough to be in the water without parents now).  And after seeing how happy baby girl was in the tub, I can’t wait to see how she’ll be in the pool!

Happy Tuesday!

Posted in Parenting

Did You Know? Winter Car Seat Safety

A quick note on comments before you start reading this post.  Since this seems to be a touchy subject and that parents on either side of the discussion can be quite, um, passionate, about their point of view.  Because of this, I reserve the right to moderate or delete any comment that I consider to be inappropriate in its tone or content.  We are all adults, it is quite possible to defend one’s point of view in a respectful manner.

Thank you.

***

I’ve been debating whether I should actually write this post or not.  You see, writing it has the potential to earn me a fair bit of flak because it is a subject, just as a few others in parenting, that seems to have two well-defined and opposite camps.  Anyways, here I go.

What you need to know is this: I am not perfect.  I know, shocker, right (*fake gasp*).  I am also known to compulsively follow rules and compulsively read about a subject that grasps my attention until my brain is about to explode.

Did I mention that I was a bit compulsive?

A short (read: very short) while ago, as I was compulsively researching the best harness to booster seat for my toddler (’cause, y’know, the baby is getting just a biiiiiit heavy and big for her bucket seat), I came across a post that made the voice inside my head go: “say whaaaaaat?!?!”

Just like that ^^^
Just like that ^^^

You see, after about 2 years, 3 months, 1 week and 6 days (give or take a few hours) of being a mother, I learned that to properly secure my kids in their car seats, I should strap them in sans winter coat.

Go ahead, say it: “Bad mama!”

(For the record, adults should forgo the bulky coats too).

Now, in all seriousness though, the arguments behind the information that I should not strap my children in their car seats with their winter coats on makes perfect sense (you’ll see why later on).  The revelation, however, has left me a few things that I have trouble wrapping my head around.

1.  Why was I never told this?  I mean, I know it’s my job to be informed about the finer and not so finer points of parenting (ie: safety), but I very honestly had no idea about this.  Granted,  I did not read any of my car seat installation manuals (in which this point is covered) cover to cover.  I read what I needed to make sure that my child would fit in the seat and read what I needed to securely secure in a secure fashion (sorry, sorry, I’ll stop) the car seats in our cars.  BUT, it would seem that it would have been pertinent to know this a little earlier in this parenting gig.  I mean, at the hospital, they talk about shaken baby syndrome, they talk about putting your littles down on their backs to sleep, they make sure you are able to feed and bathe your child properly and they don’t allow you to leave the hospital until they have seen your newborn strapped into his/her car seat to make sure you know how to transport them safely.  But never do they say anything about coats and car seats at the hospital (or anywhere else for that matter).

2.  Why have I never seen anyone do this?  It gets cold where I live.  I’m talking -25 Celcius plus windchill.  And the cold lasts for several months.  Despite the fact that parents seem to be split 50/50 on the subject, never in my whole two years of parenting have I ever seen anyone strap their kiddo in their car seat without their coats on unless it was a baby that was in a bucket seat with a winter cover.

3.  How can I manage this with two young kiddos and, more importantly, do I want to manage this?

Now, I’ve read a few (read: a lot of) articles on the subject recently and they all include tips and tricks to do this.  I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  • Park you vehicle in a heated garage.
  • Buy a cozywoggle (advertised as the only winter coat that is car seat safe) for each of your kids.
  • Put the coat on the wrong side (ie: zipper in the back).  Once in the car, sit your kid, unzip, remove arms from sleeves, buckle up your kid and keep the coat on top of him/her to keep warm.
  • Remove coat once in the car and cover kiddo(s) with a blanket kept inside the vehicle.
  • Dress you littles in enough layers to keep them warm for their trek to the vehicle.
An example of layering.  Photo used with permission.
An example of layering. Photo used with permission.
  • Let your car warm up in the driveway before putting the kiddos in (for those of you who live in a place with anti-idling laws, I’ve read that there is a caveat that allows for idling for up to 15 minutes in a 1h period if the temperature is below or above a certain point).
  • Move to a place that doesn’t have winter.  (It would seem that Malta is one of the most temperate spots in the world)

Now, these are all great tips and I could use any one or combination of them, BUT, do I want to?  I’m trying to imagine the logistics of it all.

If I want to warm up my car ahead of time, that means that I have to leave the toddler and 6 month old alone in the house while I run outside to start my car.

If I want to put their coats on and them remove them once in the car, I still have to expose them to (sometimes) umbearibly cold winds as I keep the car door open to strap them in.  (And though the cozywoggle really is a wonderfully innovative product, I still have to unzip and expose my kids’ arms and torso to the chilly temps as I strap them in).

I don’t have access to a heated garage (unless we demolish the wall that’s separating it in two).

Oy!

In all fairness, I could manage pulling this off when I have a long road ahead of me.  For instance, I am considering (“considering” being the key word in the sentence) doing this when I make the 30 minute drive to and from daycare.  Maybe.

Methinks I can at least get baby girl out of the convertible infant car seat and back into her heavy muscle-making bucket seat, throwing a blanket over her until the weather gets warmer (now that I’ve removed her winter sleep sack, she should fit).

But when I have quite a few errands to run and I am alone with my two littles?  No, I won’t do it.

Food For Thought.

I thought I’d share this with you.  I put Amélie in her winter snowsuit in her bucket seat and tightened the straps until they passed the pinch test.  Then, without loosening the straps, I got her out of her snowsuit and put her back in the bucket seat where she failed the pinch test…miserably…

What do you do, coat or no?  Did you know about this?  If so, how/when did you hear about it?

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Posted in Parenting

Winter in Canada

Winter in Canada is a great time to…

1.  Bundle up

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What. Is. This? I can’t even move in this thing!

2.  Go skating

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That was fun, can we go around the rink one last time?

3.  Be silly

Who needs the beach when you can just use snow?
Who needs the beach when you can just use snow?

4.  Get creative

When it's too cold to play outside, just bring the white stuff inside!
When it’s too cold to play outside, just bring the white stuff inside!

5.  Relax

Ah, this is the life!
Ah, this is the life!  Is my supper ready soon?

6.  Learn to share

What *is* this thing , big brother?  Can I put it in my mouth?
What *is* this thing , big brother? Can I put it in my mouth?

7.  Take up a new hobby

Making a scarf takes a lot of concentration!
Making a scarf takes a lot of concentration!
Posted in Parenting

Our Daycare Bag(s): The In-Between Season

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but ’round here Mother Nature always seems to get flustered when she’s trying to transition between seasons.  In the last three days, we’ve gone from 15C, to 25C to -15C and back up to 0C.  We’ve had grey skies, clear skies, rain AND snow.  Because of this, it’s far from easy to know how to dress the kiddo in the morning.  Soooooo, I thought I’d let you guys take a peek in our daycare bag.

Not one, but two bags.
Not one, but two bags.

We’ve all heard the expression “less is more” right?  Well, when you have to prepare a daycare bag for the in-between seasons, more is more ;).

The basics: these are things that are in the bag all year-round

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  • An epinephrin injector and a bottle of banadryl for Little Dude’s dairy and flaxseed allergy.
  • A changing pad, some coconut oil, about 10 bamboo inserts (and the same amount of flushable liners), 3 envelope covers, a box of wipes and some plastic bags to put the dirty/wet diapers in.
  • A pay-by-the-minute cell phone and its charger : ok, I think this needs a bit more explaining.  You see, neither my partner or I need a cell phones as we are both easily reachable at our jobs (and we have a landline at home).  We decided to buy a cell phone about a month before Charles was born in case there was an emergency while we were with him.  Seeing as the bag follows the baby, the cell follows us as well.
  • His vaccination booklet, medicare card and hospital card

To protect him from the elements (we “mix and match” the winter and spring gear to adapt to the weather)

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  • A winter coat and winter pants.  A winter hat, neckwarmer and a pair of mittens.  (We used to have his winter boots in there too, but now they are too small so we have to settle for his spring footwear).
  • A fall/spring 3-in-1 coat (waterproof/windbreaker outer shell, fleece jacket, put the two together to make a warm coat), splash pants, a pair of thin wool gloves, rain boots with an optional fleece liner for cooler days.
  • Some shea butter to protect his face from the cold and the sun (because, let’s face it, he does not keep the neckwarmer over his mouth and cheeks).

Other stuff

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  • A change of clothes: two pairs of socks, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a long sleeved shirt.
  • Once a week, I also include a 20oz jug of coconut milk for him to drink and for his daycare provider to cook with when needed.

What’s in your daycare/diaper bag?

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Eat & Sleep

TTT

  1. I had my monthly appointment with my ob/gyn today.  Apparently, the attacks on my immune system that have happened over the past month have left their mark.
  2. After getting me on the scale, noting the number on my follow-up sheet, looking back up at the scale and getting me to get back on, my doctor asked me what had happened over the past month (um, where do I begin?  Cold, flu, gastro, ear infection…).  I’m off work for the next month so that I can rest, eat and get my immune system back online.
  3. I’ve got three awesome guest posts lined up for the next three weeks.  Look for them on Wednesdays!
  4. I’ve also got a surprise for you all on Thursday and will be needing your participation 😉
  5. I was actually able to sleep for a whole night in my bed last night (I usually move to the spare bedroom when the big guy starts snoring).  It’s either because I was sleeping on my left ear and couldn’t hear anything out of my right one, or because I’m just plain tired, or because my hormones have stabilized enough to allow me to sleep well.
  6. My brother wants to make some key lime white chocolate chip cookies.  They.  Are.  Going.  To.  Be.  YUMMY!!!!.
  7. I brought my son with me to my appointment this morning.  He was absolutely awesome!  We ended up waiting 45 minutes before it was my turn and he passed the time by reading his books out loud (so cute!), playing with his stuffed animal and observing everyone in the waiting room.
  8. We finally started watching the third season of Game of Thrones.  I got sucked right back in!
  9. We had another snow storm last Saturday.  Did I mention that I was sick and tired of winter?  I mean, come on, we’re almost in April and we’re still getting temps in the low teens (Celcius 😉 ).
  10. Ooooh!  We’re going out to buy some rain boots for Charles this weekend (because spring *is* going to come eventually, right?.  They’re going to be sooooo cute!

How was your Tuesday?