Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Ally's at school, Parker's asleep on the sofa and Sophie is still sleeping in the buggy from our walk earlier. And me?  Oh... I'm just daydreaming about this:

Wouldn't it be lovely to leave our rain soaked dreary island for a week over Christmas to a sun drenched gorgeous island? I think so too..... and so I'm off to google vacation packages for Hawaii. :D

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's moments like these.....

                ......... that make the stresses of the day melt away.

My experience with Placentophagy

As most of you know, I had my placenta encapsulated (dried, ground up and put into capsules) during my first few days postpartum. I decided to take them to avoid PPD but I got so much more out of it than that! For me the benefits were noticeable right away which surprised me.. I was thinking it would take a week or so to kick in.
Benefits of placentophagy for me were:
  • increase in energy. This was huge for me because with my first two children, I was so tired for the first few months. This time I was going for walks and feeling good about it at 4 days pp.
  • increase in mental clarity. I felt awake after only a few days of taking my pills. There was no "mommy fog" that I had with my first two. And you'd think with 3 children in the house, I'd be feeling foggy more so this time around!
  • no major mood swings. My mood and my emotions have been pretty consistent, no major ups or downs like during pregnancy or postpartem after my first 2.
  • milk came in earlier. With my first two, my milk didn't come in until day 5 an 6. This time it started coming in at the end of day 2.
  • faster recovery. I think because my body was more nourished from the placenta, I was able to heal faster, I wasn't as sore and my stitches healed faster.
  • shorter postpartem bleed. The other two times I had very heavy bleeding the first two weeks and bleeding didn't stop until around 6 weeks in. This time, it slowed down within days and fully stopped by week 4.
  • increase in libido/quick return of desire. This is a bit tmi but it's an unexpected benefit for me and I know lack of desire is a huge stress for most new moms. I don't know if it's the hormones or because of all the other benefits and I just feel more like my old self faster that this increase and return of libido has returned quicker.
I was taking two capsules a day bit on "rough" days I took two more later om in the day. I stopped taking it at 6 weeks as I felt 100% healed for a few weeks but within a few days I was no longer feeling as great. I was tired and irritable and feeling down. So started taking them again but only 1 per day now and will do so until they run out.
All in all, I am SO impressed and thankful for this amazing healing organ my body grew to grow Sophie and to heal me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I knew it was possible to make your own yogurt but I was always intimidated by it for some reason so I never tried it. But then someone on my facebook posted a link to a recipe and said how easy it was so I had to give it a try!
It was even easier and tastier than I imagined. Plus with making your own yogurt you know exactly what's going in it which isn't so true for store bought brands and not to mention the money saved.

All you need is:
2 litres of organic milk, any percentage of fat will do (you can use cow's or goat's, I've heard you can try soy and almond too)
1/2 cups starter yogurt (either saved from a previous batch of homemade or an organic plain yogurt with probiotics)
cheese cloth
big bowl
several heavy towels

~To start, pour the milk into the crockpot and set on low for 2.5 hours.
~Unplug the crockpot and let sit for 3 hours.
~Stir in the 1/2 cup yogurt.
~Cover the crockpot with heavy towels.
~Let sit overnight or about 8 hours.

I find that at this point it's still a little too runny for my liking so I:
~line a strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth and set over a big bowl.
~Put it in the fridge for a few hours or until it reaches your desired thickness.

I like to serve mine with fruit, granola and a touch of honey. SOOOO yummmy! Parker thinks so too:

* You can also make yogurt cheese by leaving the yogurt to strain over a big bowl overnight. The consistency will be like cream cheese. I add some salt and some herbs to taste. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wear Your Baby!

I really hope that babywearing doesn't get a bad wrap now that Infantino recalled their bag slings. Baby wearing advocates have never supported the use of those bag slings because of their dangers so hopefully babywearing will continue to rise in popularity with the general public!

Anyways... onto what this post is really about: I need a new baby carrier!! Even though my husband bugs me about my cloth diaper and babywearing obsessions, I honestly do need a new one.
When Parker was 7 days old I bought the cuddlywrap by Peapod Creations and I loved it. He was a very unhappy little man who was diagnosed with GERD so being in an upright position was really helpful plus he felt more secure being close up to his momma. Still to this day (at 22 months) he loves to be carried. I still use the cuddlywrap now that Sophie is here but meh... I'm not loving it as much as with Parker. I think because I am constantly changing positions chasing after Parker, it's losing it's stretch way quicker. It seems like it's fine for a bit but then if I take her out and then back in it goes all wonky and gets uncomfortable. And she's only 2 months old...I can't imagine carrying her in for more than another month or two.
I also have an upMama ring sling that I really like and use often. I originally bought it when I was pregnant and could no longer wear Parker in the Ergo. But it wasn't comfortable to side carry him and for some reason it made my belly go numb when he was in it. Sophie really likes it but only when upright in it (she does not like the cradle hold at all). But my darling husband was trying to be helpful and washed my sling in warm water and then dried it in the dryer. So while it still fits, the tail is really short and it just doesn't fit as great as it did pre-shrinkage!
Then when Parker was maybe about 6 months I bought an Ergo and it was a huge improvement from the pocket sling I was using (I'm not a fan of pocket slings as they are hard to fit to your body exactly) it still wasn't The One. It would fit great if there was just one more strap in the back or if the strap that buckles on your back was a bit lower. It sometimes felt like it was slipping off my shoulders. Plus this carrier was SO not attractive on a plus size momma, instead of holding me in like I would have preferred it highlighted and enhanced my momma belly. Not what I was looking for at all!
So now here I am looking for something new. I'm thinking either a woven wrap or a mei tei. I think the woven wrap would support me the best and have all the benefits that I love so much while not getting all stretched out like the stretchy wrap does. But the downside to that is that it's a pain to put on... with a busy toddler I want something a bit quicker to put on. So that leads me to thinking that a mei tei carrier would be best. Easy, supportive, super cute but just like the ergo, not the best for my body type.
Decisions, decisions....

2 months old already!

How did that happen?! Little Miss Sophie Maddelyn is 2 months old (plus 2 days as of today) and she weighs 11lbs 2.6oz.
She has her first visit with our family Dr. on Monday to check her weight. Between weeks 5 and 8, Sophie has only gained 3oz. At our 6 week m/w appt, our m/w said to check her weight again in a week and if it isn't a substantial gain to take her in. Well, I missed week 7 so I took her in on Monday (2 months exactly) and since there wasn't a decent weight gain in that two weeks, I made an appointment.
I'm worried that the Dr. is going to blame tandem nursing for her slow weight gain but my supply seems to be as strong as it's ever been. In fact, when Parker nurses more often like when he was sick, my supply increased big time. Sophie is different from my other two in how she nurses. She doesn't like to comfort nurse, doesn't like to fall asleep at the breast either. She's just there to eat and that's it which makes it hard when she's very uspet and I'm trying to comfort her as nursing my other two would always be the way to instantly stop the fussiness and tears. So I get that's why she's not gaining a pound a week at this stage like my other two were!
Anyways.... here's hoping for a decent weight gain at the doctor's office on Monday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quality time..

Quality one on one time seems to be my biggest struggle since our family grew to a family of 5. But it's something I'm really working hard on lately. This past week especially, I've been thinking more about our family and my relationship with each member in it and I learned that each one of those relationships can use a little help.
I find that Ally being that she's almost 14 is hard to connect with the most on a daily basis. We butt heads and don't always enjoy each other's company. But I know that she's been feeling left out now that we have 2 small ones in the house so I've been making extra effort even when some days I just don't want to! Quality time with her is all about doing things away from the little ones, letting her have all the attention for a little bit. That doesn't happen every day but we go to the library, sneak out for an ice cream cone and every night we'll talk about her day while doing the dishes.
With Parker most of my one on one time with him is when he's nursing or if he wakes up in the middle of the night and we'll cuddle together until he falls back asleep. I look forward to when Dave's home on the weekends so that I can lay down with him for a nap just the two of us. We snuggle in tight, arms wrapped around each other and he'll grab onto a lock of my hair to twirl as he drifts off to sleep.
Sophie... again one on one time comes when she's nursing or when Parker's asleep and I sing to her or bathe her.
Staying connected with my husband hasn't been easy either. Since Sophie's been born we pushed each other's needs to the side and forgot about us as a couple which I know isn't uncommon but it's scary how quickly a happy marriage can sour if neglected. Having three children (and all who are at such tough ages: teenager, toddler, newborn) has been hard on us and we were getting resentful of each other as well as felt rejected by the other so this past week we've been working more on us: going to bed together, sitting near each other on the sofa and actually talking to each other.
It's not easy and we're just a family of 5. Makes me wonder how large families do it and make it look so easy at the same time!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Meet my new love

This has been my sanity keeper for those days when you've hit the wall. You know those days where your toddler is throwing himself on the floor because you stopped him from colouring on the carpet with permanent marker, your baby wakes up every time you put her down and your teenager is... well, is being a teenager ("but mom.... everyone else's mom lets them dye their hair pink, pierce their (insert body part), or go to parties").
4 drops of this lovely tincture and I've gone from crying in the corner to calmly being able to handle the situation.

Bach's Rescue Remedy.... where have you been all my life?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Plans for the future....

I'm thinking of returning to school for waldorf training (I'm a licenced ECE already). I've been thinking about this for a few years as I love the philosophy behind waldorf but last time I looked into it, it was no longer being offered on the island.
So instead I was going on with my plan to open a nature based, waldorf inspired family care centre that I've been toying with for the past two years. After working in daycares for the past 10 years, I'm appalled at how much plastic there is and how many chemicals go through a centre. And don't even get me started on the amount of garbage from disposable diapers. I shudder when I think about it!
As a parent, I want what's best for my children but when it comes to selecting childcare for them... there is nothing that even remotely resembles what I want for my child. So I want to give parents the option of a greener toxin reduced childcare centre. Imagine children using real cups and spoons instead of the cheap ikea plastic ones, no sippy cups, cloth diapers, safe toys made from natural resources, real open ended props that encourage the use of their imaginations, chemical free cleansers and curriculum that teaches children about their impact on the earth, in a real family based care setting.
But then I went back to the waldorf education website for the island and guess what... they're offering courses again! And the schedule isn't bad at all... 2 weeks each July and a week each Spring and Fall for two years starting in 2011. Which means I can still open the childcare centre in my home but just hire out for those 4 weeks of the year and it wouldn't be such a stretch in the type of care I'd be providing.
NOw just to come up with the $4400 tuition by next May. :S

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New beginnings (or returns of old habits?)

We watched Food, Inc. last week and it's convinced me even more than I already was that we have to start eating ethically. We eat a mostly (octo-lavo)vegetarian based diet except for 1 or 2 meals per week but our snacks choices are pretty bad. We reach for overprocessed junk most of the time. Heck, I've even been lured in by McD's more than I care to admit in the last year.
So now I'd like to get back to healthier and more ethical eating. After two nearly back to back pregnancies, moving twice to new cities and a marriage, I've gained. A lot. Now that I'm done with having more babies (at least for the next 3 years), and about to embark on a new adventure in my life (see next post!) it's time to get back into taking care of this momma! I always feel like I push myself and my needs to the back burner (I know I'm not the only one out there that does this!) but no more, I need to be healthier and happier for me. :)
I'm not making huge changes.. just baby steps that I know I can stick with. That I won't give up on when things get a little tough... a return to old habits I've lost along the way.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sick kiddos....

My two littles are sick. Parker started feeling sick about a week ago with a nasty chest cold and runny nose. He's starting to feel better but he's been quite miserable the past few days, lots of crying and tantrums and needing lots of mommy time. He's been nursing as much as Sophie lately which is fine but I didn't even think about germs being passed on to Sophie. And plus he tried to share his soother with her a few times so of course Sophie is now sick.
She started to show signs of a cold on Monday with a cough and a bit of a runny nose but has been her usual happy self and was nursing lots (yay!). Then yesterday her cough got worse, she had a few spells of diarrhea and threw up twice. After she got sick the second time I took her temp and she had a very slight fever of 37.5 but was miserable and would only stay up for a few minutes at a time.
I decided to call the nurses line (in BC it's 8-1-1) just to get some advice because I know that symptoms can change for the worse in small babies really quick. I was worried she'd get a higher fever but because she was under 3 months I had no idea what to do about managing her fever. They recommended because she was so young and because she was having a hard time staying awake and was getting sick after she nursed to bring her in to the ER. I asked if the clinic would be okay since I loathe hospital trips but was told that she'd most likely need an x-ray so they'd send me there anyways. Then just for some fear factor.. she told me to take my cell phone and be prepared to call 9-1-1 on the way if her conditioned worsened. Umm... thanks for that! I wasn't worried about her being sick before until I heard that!
We called my MIL on the way so they could meet us to take Parker home so he wouldn't have to sit in the ER. The dr. ordered an xray and bloodwork but I was thinking it was just a heel prick but instead I learned they needed a vial. Parker had to have this done when he was just a few weeks older than Sophie because of his absence seizures and I just couldn't do that to Sophie for a chest cold. Just as I was telling Dave that we were going to refuse the bloodwork, the nurse came in and said the pediatrician who was going to see us said the bloodwork wasn't necessary (thank you!). But she did need the x-ray so off we went for that. Parker also had to have that and I remembered the chamber they put babies in to get a good look at them and was dreading it. Luckily, they didn't use that for her and she was just able to lay on the table. I was still upset about it but an old coworker of mine was doing the x-ray on her and that made me feel better.
When the pediatrician came to see us, she said she's already seen 8 kids with RSV that day and many of them had been admitted. But although Sophie sounds pretty awful, the congestion isn't in her chest (xray was clear) and because she was still nursing fine we didn't have to stay. But to keep an eye on her because she was either at the peak now or would be at the peak in the next day.
Anyways, long story short (if there's one thing I'm good at, it's rambling! lol)... she's still nursing but she's already thrown up her morning feed because her cough is so bad. And overnight her diaper was barely damp. So I'm praying that we don't need to bring her back. On the plus side, her breathing is fine and Parker seems to be back to his normal self today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sophie's Birth Announcement

We finally got around to getting Sophie's birth announcement done and it looks fabulous!! Jenifer from hellolovedesigns made it for us ( and she was so great to work with and super speedy too!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Placentophagy Resources

When I was pregnant with Sophie I researched as much as I could about placentophagy (consuming placenta). It's hard to find resources on this because there really hasn't been many studies done so most of what's out there is personal experience.

I decided to do up a list and a bunch of links to resources I found useful in learning about placentophagy and encapsulation and share it! Hopefully you all find it useful as well and it helps you decide that using your placenta for postpartem healing is the way to go! (I really like the information on this site but as someone who is learning to process placenta I'm a bit disappointed with the business side of things. When I inquired about taking the training through them, I got a recorded interview to listen to before calling them for my own interview. In the taped interview, the owner of PBi explained how it would work once training is completed and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Basically, you pay PBi a certain amount from each time you are hired to encapsulate placenta and you have to get a certain number of clients each month. This felt like I was applying for a carsales position and I was not interested at all and have decided to learn myself through experience. But ignoring that, they do have great information on their site),8599,1908194,00.html (a humorous article on a father's experience with encapsulation) (GREAT resource with LOTS of information) ( is one of my favourite resources for all things natural. This has a link to the process in encapsulating placenta. (another link to a discussion on (video clip)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Meal Plan March 7-13

For the past two years, I've been making up a weekly meal plan to help cut the cost of our grocery bill. I've come to love meal planning for not only that reason but because it allows for more creativity with cooking. I hate staring into my fridge and cupboards and having no idea what to cook for dinner! Now I leisurely browse through my cookbooks (I *heart* cookbooks!!) looking for inspiration.

This week I decided to stick with one cookbook, The Eat Clean Diet Family and Kids Cookbook. I love the Clean Eating magazine so was curious to try out the cookbook!

Here's our meal plan for the week:

Sunday: Molasses Baked Beans served over brown rice
Monday: Falafel with tzaziki and Cucumber and tomato salad
Tuesday: Chicken Bites with Oven Fries
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Eggs over black bean salsa
Friday: Friday Night Chili
Saturday: Soup (I have frozen leftover soup from the week previous)

As an extra from the cookbook, I'm making breakfast hermit cookies. They sound so yummy and maybe now Ally won't fight me on eating something before rushing out to catch the bus!