16

Open Farm Day

Sorry for not being around as much lately. Chronic pain has taken over my life for the moment as we’re trying to come up with a solution, but I’m hopeful after a specialist appointment today that we might be making progress.

This past Sunday was Open Farm day in Nova Scotia. Basically, it’s a day where farms in our province open their doors to welcome the public, so that we can all meet our farmers and see where our food comes from. It’s a great program, and we wanted to take advantage of it.

We chose to go to Noggins Farm because it is only 1hour away, and is great for kids! Besides the u-pick area of the farm where you can pick apples, herbs, berries, pumpkins, etc., they also have a giant corn maze, and lots of kids mazes, a play area and pony rides.

We started out apple picking. We had to wait about 15-20 minutes for a wagon ride to the orchard, which wasn’t too bad as it was a gorgeous day, but L had other ideas. Waiting is boring and not very fun when there’s a whole farm to explore. Luckily there were some giant corn stalks nearby she could check out!

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After a brief tantrum due to the fact she wasn’t allowed to run wild, the wagon arrived and we were off for a trip to the apple orchard! We were picking Gravenstein apples that day, and L loved it! It took a while to teach her that we didn’t want the rotten apples that had fallen on the ground, but she got the hang of it! She also learned that pulling apples off of a tree is hard work for a not quite two year old! She had to put her whole body into pulling!

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You can just see her working so hard. Hard work pays off though, because the best part of picking an apple straight off of the tree is eating it straight from the tree. Those apples were quite literally dripping with juice!

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After we finished picking apples, we went to one of the food trucks on the farm. They had the usual offerings of fries, poutine (a Canadian thing – fries, cheese curds and gravy. Sooo good!), etc. But they also offered hot fresh corn on the cob dipped in a thermos full of melted butter. Nothing says “welcome to fall” like that!

After eating we decided to do the corn maze. L was loving it and was running full speed ahead – that is until she didn’t like that Mommy and Daddy wanted to head in a direction she didn’t want to go. Try explaining to a toddler that we have the map and she’s going to get us lost for days if we listen to her. There was no reasoning with her. There are places in NS that offer Haunted Corn Mazes close to Halloween where you are chased through the maze by people dressed as zombies, chasing you with chainsaws (no blade) etc. They’re super scary – almost as scary as being stuck in a corn maze with a toddler tantrum. FML.

So needless to say we hightailed it out of that maze and played on some kiddy games for a while. She went through a rope maze, climbed bales of hay, scooted through tunnels, and then sat on top of a giant tire.

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All in all, it was a pretty great day at the farm! We had lots of fun, and came home with more apples than I know what to do with. I gave a bunch away and still have too many. It’s like I was temporarily insane and forgot that I’m lazy and unambitious and that all of these apples would just lead to work. I’ll have to do some baking, or they’ll go to waste. Sigh. Stupid Momma.

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Time to get creative. I’ve you have any “lazy mom” recipes that involve using up a crap ton of apples, I’m all ears. Anything that takes too much effort will be promptly ignored.

I’ll be trying to up my frequency of posts again soon, I just need to get some pain relief so I can sit for long enough to write.

xo

(ps – did you vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs? It won’t take away my pain, but it will make me smile! Just click on the image to the right – one click = one vote!)

7

I now know how Mr. Potato Head came to be.

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For the love of potatoes.

You know how kids are. They go through phases where “this is my my most favourite toy ever!”, and nothing else will do. L has one of those – it’s her Lamby. It looks like this guy, except it’s now a permanent shade of dirt grey and probably full of more germs and bacteria than I care to admit to.
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While she hasn’t given up  her Lamby (and I doubt she ever will), she has found a new love. A potato. Sadly, I wish I were referring to Mr. Potato Head, but I’m not. I’m talking a plain old dirty potato. She found one in the potato bag the other day and has had it ever since. She carries it around with her, she puts it into her pot and stirs it to make what I can only imagine is potato soup (which I then have to pretend to eat a bazillion effin’ times a day), she lays on the floor and hugs it and cuddles it, she asks to take it to bed, and she cries when we try to put it back in the potato bag.

WTF. Seriously. It’s a potato.

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I fear this might end up being her first science lesson.

Will she freak out when the skin starts to get all wilted and squishy? What will she do when it starts growing eyes? I could put it in water and show her how it grows, but I think she’s too young to understand that – she just wants to cuddle the damn potato! What will she do when it starts to rot and I have to toss it? Will she notice if I replace it with another potato? If I steal it from her, does that make it a “hot potato”?  Holy hell, I can’t believe this is even an issue…

I’m feeling this way about a goddamn potato. I can’t imagine what’d I’d be feeling if it were a pet!

This must be how Mr. Potato head was invented. Some freakin’ parent realized their kids pet potato was about to rot and give them diseases, so he made it into a toy. That’s got to be the only explanation.

Speaking of Mr. Potato Head, did I ever tell you all the story about how he almost murdered my Mother? That’s a whole other blog post…

(If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you could vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs. Like, I’d love you enough to share my chocolate bar with you….maybe. Just click the Top Mommy Blog button to the right –> and that’s it! One click = one vote. You don’t have to do anything else.)

21

The wait is over – Motherhood Confessionals!

I’d like to start off this post by thanking all of the Mama’s who put their guard down and submitted Motherhood Confessions to me for this blog post. I quite literally couldn’t have done it without you!

I know I normally try to take a funny stance on my posts, but sometimes more serious posts are necessary. Like this one, for example. I read all the time about Moms who think they are failures and think they aren’t living up to the standards a “good Mom” should be able to achieve. What we don’t realize, is that we are all good Moms who are just way too hard on ourselves.

One of the Mum’s brave enough to submit some confessions eloquently described why I felt this was important. I’m including what the awesome Mama from Momma Needs Coffee wrote to me about submitting confessions (with her permission to do so, of course).

“I am really glad How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day decided to run this. I am always stressing out about the ways I think I am failing and trying to find ways to make myself better. I was going to write about a specific time when I felt like I had failed, but I realized that it was the day to day things that stress me out more than the one time occurrences. I realized that there might be some other mom’s out there who feel equally guilty while they are confessing things, even if it’s only to themselves. I needed to forgive myself for not being perfect. And at the end of the day, I am not failing at all. Why? Because my kids are happy, healthy and most importantly: LOVED.”

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Before I post the confessions, I would like to again stress that these are completely anonymous and posted in a random mixed up order. I’ve also put one or two in there of my own that I needed to get off my chest. If we learn anything from this post, I hope it is that we are all good parents, no matter how much we feel we might be failing. We all go through ups and downs, highs and lows, and moments of immense frustration. It doesn’t make us bad Mums – it makes us normal ones!

So without further ado, onto the confessions!

  • At my daughter’s first Christmas, we had to go to multiple family members homes to make the visiting rounds. With a baby less than 3 months old, and very little sleep that night, I was plain exhausted. We didn’t leave my father in law’s home that night until after 11pm to head home. My partner fell asleep in the car, and I was driving. It was a 45 minute commute. Thirty minutes into the drive, my baby started to cry uncontrollably. I pulled over 15 minutes away from home, and went to check on her in the back seat. Her winter hat had fallen off of her head and was completely covering her face which lead me to panic. But that wasn’t the worst part. She had fallen asleep at my father in laws house, so I put her in the car seat to sleep on the floor with a blanket tucking her in. When we packed her up for the drive, we must have forgotten to remove the blanket to be sure she was strapped in – she wasn’t. We drove 30 minutes on a highway with her in the carseat, but without being strapped in. I strapped her in and cried for the 15 minutes remaining in the drive, and then cried myself to sleep that night. I was a new Mom, and I’d failed at keeping her safe.
  • There have been times when I have left the kids in a diaper that I know is wet because I am preoccupied with something else. Not something important. Something like a game on Facebook, or reading a book.
  • I have plopped my kid in front of the TV so I could write more, I’ve hid in the laundry room to eat a chocolate bar while inconspicuously wiping the residue off of my face as I casually walk out, I’ve bribed and threatened all in one sentence…but one other thing I do feel bad about and need to work harder to stop is being on my damn iPhone. It has so many apps that notify me of things and being a lover of instant gratification and validation, I check them immediately, if possible, rather than waiting until free opportunities. WordPress has me bad…I love that damn notification sound. I don’t check FB very much on it, but definitely check texts and WordPress when they notify me. Both kids know how to work the phone from seeing me. When my daughter says something about me being on my phone, I say that I am scheduling playdates and activities for her and her brother..which is partly true and partly a lie. I’m doing that but also checking in to see what new comment just came to my post. So, there you have it. I spend too much time on my iPhone. Now that I’ve confessed, I may have to make an effort to stop.
  • I’ve yelled at my newborn asking him what his problem was on a few occasions (all the while knowing that I was the one with the problem because, y’know, the crying baby is crying because it’s the only way he knows how to communicate).
  • I keep “fast food” in the house for days when I am too lazy to put any real effort into cooking a meal. Frozen waffles, chicken nuggets in a box, a bag of fries, corn dogs. I tend to go through these pretty fast, even though I normally enjoy cooking.
  • One Christmas I was given some Lindt chocolates. You know the really yummy red balls. Whenever I ate one I’d give the kids a cheap Walmart foil wrapped chocolate. When I ran out of cheap chocolates I’d sneak eating my special yummy chocolates so I didn’t have to share with the kids. One day I got caught eating one and the kids wanted some, so I lied and told them I couldn’t share because these chocolates have alcohol in them. Lol Oops!
  • I’ve let my son cry in his crib “just one more minute” to “see if he can sort himself out” more than once in the middle of the night.
  • I snap at the kids. I lose my patience. More often than I want to admit to. I try not to, but I do.
  • I’ve been careless enough that my son ended up doing a face plant off the couch and onto the floor.
  •  I too, sometimes wait to see if the baby and the toddler with self soothe, partially because I’m tired and I really don’t want to get out of bed. I’m also guilty of the pajamas until three o’clock, potato chips as a meal, and toys when they really don’t deserve them because they have been misbehaving but everyone in the store is staring at me like I’m the world’s worst mother if I don’t buy them, offenses.
  • I love my kid more than life itself, and wouldn’t change having her in my life for anything. But sometimes I really miss life before her – things like sleeping till noon, making last minute spontaneous plans with my girlfriends, and generally being able to put myself first for anything. I love her, but I miss my “before” life.
  • Sometimes I wish I could go back to when I didn’t have kids. When I could sleep whenever I wanted. Eat when I wanted. Have extra money. Not have to wonder if I remembered to put the wipes into the diaper bag when we are out and catch a whiff of something unpleasant.
  • When my son was a little baby – about 3 months old – I went out for a few Xmas drinks with friends. I left a couple of bottles with daddy – one for the middle of the night wake up and one for the morning even though I’d be back. Anyway, my son just would not take the middle of the night one. There was no way I could feed him either. I’d had quite a bit to drink. We ended up just pouring just a little down his throat from a cup. He finally settled and went back to sleep. When he woke up for his morning feed he just refused the bottle again and screamed and screamed and screamed. With the calculations from the breastfeeding website, based on what I drank the night before I felt I still had about another hour to go before my breast milk would be 100% alcohol free but he just wouldn’t stop crying and in the end I fed him. He had a big sleep after that feed, I’ll never forget it, and I stood over him virtually the whole time as I was terrified I’d made him drunk. To be clear, I hadn’t had a drink for something like 7 hours, but still, it was worrying for me.
  • I love my daughter, but sometimes other people’s kids really annoy me.
  • I’ve gotten annoyed with my son because he was being needy and I just wanted to read one more post.
  • I sometimes sneak money out of my kids piggy banks when we are getting low on cash before pay day.
  • Forgetting baby wipes. I have done this. Numerous times. And not noticed until I had the diaper off one of them and no way to get anything. I used a receiving blanket and threw it out. When the baby spit up…I used the spare clothes that were in the diaper bag to wipe her and I up.
  • I’ve “not noticed” a few dirty/wet diapers so that my partner would have to change them.
  • I turn the TV on for the kids almost every day so I can lie on the couch and cat nap. I need it. I can’t function otherwise.
  • Sometimes I pretend to be asleep when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night in the hopes my husband will hear her and wake up to deal with her. If he doesn’t hear her, I’ll “nudge” him awake so that he does.
  • I cry a lot and wonder how other Moms do it. I don’t tell my friends that I’m having a hard time dealing with being a new Mom because I’m afraid it will make me look like a bad Mom. So I cry to myself.
  • I’ve told my daughter that her lunch/dinner is actually called “cake” or “cookie” just because I know if I use those words to describe her meal, she’ll eat it.
  • I sometimes feel resentful towards my partner for not doing as much to look after our child as I do.

 

That’s all I received for confessions from all of you lovely, amazing, spectacular Moms. I’m sure most of us can relate to one, if not all of the confessions on this blog post. And if we’ve learned anything from relating to these confessions it’s that we’re all in the same boat. We’re all Moms. We all struggle, we are all forgetful, but above all else, we all LOVE with every inch of our hearts. That is the most important common factor.

So let’s focus on the love, and not the failures. Because after all, we aren’t the first or last Mom to feel that way.

Xo.

(PS – Don’t forget to click to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just click on that fancy button on the right hand side of my blog. One click = one vote!)

10

Shameless self-promotion – please vote for me!

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Woohoo!

I’ve reached the three months of blogging I’m supposed to have to get onto Top Mommy Blogs! But for me to make it anywhere on the rankings, I need your help.

Look to the right – see that little picture that says vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs? All you have to do is click it! One click automatically equals one vote – easy as that! You can vote every day, and help me to climb the rankings.

Let me know if you’re a Top Mommy Blogger, too and I’ll be sure to spread the love.

xo

1

Motherhood Confessionals – Last Call!

Do you make your kids eat a healthy breakfast, while you yourself scarf down a doughnut?

Do you ever hide when eating candy or a chocolate bar so you don’t have to share with your kids?

Do you ever plunk your kids in front of the TV so you can get a 30 minute cat nap on the couch?

Have you ever been out and had your kid have a major diaper blowout, only to realize you forgot to pack extras?

Did have difficulty bonding with your child from the beginning?

Mother’s never talk about how they’ve messed up, the shortcuts they take to get through the day, their secret shames, their failures or their breakdowns. Here’s the thing though…we all go through it on some level or another. Nobody is perfect, no matter how much they try to make you think they are.

I truly believe that we as Moms are too hard on ourselves and need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. In case you haven’t heard of my proposed “Motherhood Confessionals” post, I’m planning to post ANONYMOUS confessions sent in my Moms (or Dads!) so that we can all read them and say “Hey, I’m normal. Everybody goes through stuff like this, and it isn’t anything to be ashamed of!”.

I’m hoping to start writing it and putting it together on Thursday September 12th, so this would be your last call to submit a confession. It can be anything – big, small, funny, shameful, embarrassing, stressful, etc.

All of the confessions will be posted in a random order, and completely anonymously so there is no way to be able to see who sent what. If you’ve put in anything I think would be an identifier (Ex. if on your blog you always refer to your child as “Moon Pie”, and that name was included in your confession I will edit that to say “Child/son/daughter” to make it less identifiable).

So this is it – last call for confessions! I’d love to have a big selection to choose from, so please I’d love it if you contributed. You can contact me on the Suggestions/Ideas section of my blog, or by private message on How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far. Imagine how great it will feel to read these and realize you’re completely normal, and doing an amazing job!

 

4

SMU Frosh Week Rape Chant – Why I’m Now Ashamed of my Alma Mater.

Let’s lay it all out. The media may use the term “unconsensual sex”, but let’s call it what it is – rape.

You may now have heard the news of the disgustingly insensitive Frosh week chant at St. Mary’s University that has now gone viral – not in a good way.

In case you haven’t, here is a link to an article explaining how a Frosh week chant effectively condoned and encouraged the underage rape of young girls.

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/09/05/saint-marys-university-frosh-chant-about-underage-sex

It’s hard for me to know where to begin on this other than to say that while I write this I’m quite literally feeling sick to my stomach. I attended St. Mary’s University, and I only participated in about half of the frosh week activities available to us. I don’t remember this cheer being used when I attended (2001), but where I didn’t attend every event, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t used.

The lyrics to the chant are as follows:

“Y- is for your sister

O- is for “Oh so tight”

U- is for underage

N- is for No Consent

G- is for Grab that Ass

SMU boys, we like them young”

The President of the Student Association is claiming that he (and the over 80 student leaders) didn’t notice the message, that it was more about the rhythm and the rhyme of the chant. Pardon me, but presumably they’re intelligent enough to be accepted into University, so I find it hard to believe they’re unable to interpret such a slap-you-in-the-face, overtly sexually violent message. Which leads me to my next concern: We are desensitizing our youth to sexually violent acts.

This is the day and age where a song like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” can top the charts, without question to his message. The words “I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it”, to me can only be interpreted one way. But when it comes to the topic of sex, there shouldn’t be any blurred lines. Yet lyrics such as these and the video that goes along with it that sexually objectify women are the norm – even most young women these days don’t see how it is devaluing their bodies and their right to sexual human rights.

If you watch the video of the Frosh week chant at SMU, you’ll see that sadly even most of the young women in this video are actively smiling and participating in the chant, seemingly oblivious to the connotations or implications. Either they are so affected by pop-cultures objectification of women’s bodies and the right to say “NO” that they honestly didn’t think twice about the lyrics, or even sadder, are so fearful of being the girl who says “that’s wrong and inappropriate” that they didn’t speak up and stayed cowardly safely camouflaged in the crowd.

These students, however can hardly claim ignorance. All of the student leaders, and the student President himself are at least 2nd year students at SMU. Which means, that they were around last year for yet another viral news story – that of Rehtaeh Parsons. At the age of 15, a local girl went to a party and was gang-raped by a group of young boys while she was intoxicated, vomiting, and clearly unable to give consent. They photographed the assault and distributed it around her High School where she then had to endure taunts and bullying from male and female students alike. After 17 months of inaction by the police department, she committed suicide. It made international news, but sadly the only thing ever pursued was child pornography production and distribution and not rape charges. Why? They claimed not enough evidence. Apparently the photos/videos of her nearly unconscious and vomiting, plus the boys bragging about it were not proof enough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Rehtaeh_Parsons

This story was viral, and for good reason. It was an injustice to Rehtaeh and to all victims of rape. Rather than teaching young women that these crimes are intolerable, it taught them that their assailants could not only get away with the crime, they could get away with bullying, taunting and haunting her for the rest of her life.

The media uses the term sexual assault. For some reason, the word assault doesn’t carry the same weight as the word rape. This chant is promoting RAPE. It is promoting the violation of a young girl’s body. It is promoting the degradation of a woman and completely making light of her right to say “NO” and to protect herself. With Rehtaeh’s story going viral (especially since it was in the same city that SMU is located), along with the widespread public outcry for changes in the school board for how they handle cyber-bullying and how the police force handles rape allegations, how could not one of these University students have picked up on the insinuations bragging lyrics to their chant? These people are old enough to vote for our country’s leader, but yet they can’t decipher between right and wrong? There are no blurred lines when it comes to rape.

Our daughters are being taught that their bodies are not their own. Their bodies are to be used in cheesy pop-videos and objectified. Their bodies are simply there for male domination, wherever and whenever they please. Their voice does not matter, and even if they have suffered a rape and are brave enough to report it to the authorities, their voice will still not be heard or valued. Our young girls, rather than standing united against rape, are furthering the assault by victim-blaming and bullying. Our young girls are so afraid of becoming a victim themselves, that they’ll do anything not to stand out from the crowd and stand up for what is right.

That speaks loudly as to where our society is headed. We’re regressing. We need to change how our young girls and boys alike are educated on what constitutes rape. We teach them their ABC’s and their 123’s, but it is just as important (if not more so) to teach them right from wrong. To teach them that it is okay to stand up against rape and rape culture. To teach them that our bodies are our own, and nobody has the right to violate the boundaries we set for ourselves. To teach boys and girls alike that when it comes to sex, there are no blurred lines. Rape is rape.

Even more importantly, our justice system needs to show our youth that if they are a victim of such a crime they will be taken seriously and justice will be swiftly and thoroughly pursued. We haven’t done a good job of showing them that recently. There have been too many instances in the media where a victim speaks out, and is then re-victimized and persecuted among their peers until they reach a breaking point. We haven’t shown them justice at work.

Where have we gone wrong?

I only hope my daughter and her peers can grow up to learn differently.

9

Woohoo, I’ve been featured!

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

Please excuse the lack of creativity when it comes to the title of this post, I’m just so excited that I couldn’t think of anything else to put up there.
One of my blog posts has been featured in The Blog Strut! I’m so very excited, as I never thought something like this would happen to me. I write simply because I enjoy writing. It’s become a sort of outlet for me, and to know that others are reading my posts and liking them enough to feature them is still such a crazy thought for me.

I’d love it if you could head on over to the page and take a peek at some of the other featured posts. It’s also a great place for you to promote your own blogs! Just link up to them with a post of your own, but be sure to stop by a couple of other fellow bloggers pages to say hi.
http://www.mypersonalaccent.com/linkyparty/

PS – I’m still accepting submissions for The Motherhood Confessionals. I’ve got a couple of great ones so far, but I’d love to have a varied selection for all of us to read. I feel it would be almost therapeutic for all of us to know we aren’t alone.

Also, don’t forget to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook. We are getting closer to our 200 like mark, which is when we’ll have our giveaway! Have you entered?

Happy Friday everyone!

9

Motherhood confessionals…the proposal

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Last night, I was a bad Mom. I’m going to partially blame it on a new medication I’m on that has left me anxious, irritable, kind of depressed and snappy. (I have an appointment on Thursday to get off of this medication, as it isn’t really working for its intended purpose anyway).

This medication has shortened my emotional fuse immensely, and because of it I snapped at L.

L didn’t want to eat her dinner last night. She spit in on the floor a few times, and pursed her lips tightly closed in refusal to eat. More than once I said rather loudly to the fiance “I’m so done with her! I can’t take her anymore!”. Then when she was still whining and complaining I did the worst. I got right in her face and raised my voice too loudly and harshly and said “That’s ENOUGH! STOP IT!”, all while pointing my pointer finger out right in her face nearly touching her nose.

Instantly I felt regret. Instantly I felt like a failure to her. Instantly, she cried. Not just any cry…an afraid cry. She didn’t understand why Mommy was yelling, and didn’t understand why I was so angry. After all, this isn’t the first dinner time fight we’ve had, but it is the first time I lost my cool.

To be honest, I don’t really understand what made me so angry either.

How could I have done that? That is not my personality. That is not me. I later broke down completely in my bedroom (poor fiance trying unsuccessfully to console me) feeling like I’d failed her as a mother. My bedsheets had a puddle of my tears stained on them. I know that my losing my patience did nothing to better the situation. She still didn’t want to eat supper, only now Mommy was scary, too. I need to get off of this medication…

(I will add that 5 minutes later, I knelt down to her level and apologized to her. I told her she didn’t deserve to be spoken to that way and that Mommy was wrong and sorry. We hugged and kissed it out, and the two of us were good for the rest of the night).

This is way worse than the times I’ve forgotten to pack her a change of clothes when she was younger and she had baby poop explosions all over the one outfit I had for her. It’s way worse than the times I’ve left her in her pyjamas all day at home because Mommy was too lazy to get either of us dressed for the day (all day PJ parties!). And it’s way worse than the time I let her cry in her crib just “one more minute” to see if she’d soothe herself back to sleep because I really didn’t want to get out of bed.

Then it got me thinking. None of us are perfect, right? We all must have some secret confessions we want to make.

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So here is my proposal – I want to do a blog post called “Motherhood confessionals”, where I can anonymously share some of our weaker moments. Something you forgot to do, something that makes you feel like you’ve failed, something that you do to get by day to day (like drink wine after the kids go to sleep).

If you’ve got a confession to share, just contact me under my “Suggestions/About” area, and let me know your confession. I will not post your name or blog URL to your confession (unless you’ve given me permission to do so).

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I think it would be a great way for all of us Mom’s to see that nobody is perfect, we aren’t alone in our struggles or our failures, and that life does indeed go on.

Hopefully this will work out and we’ll end up with a great (anonymous) confessional post. Oh and Dad’s – if you have a secret confession please feel free to share it as well. Would love to hear from both sides!

4

Hypocritical Health Hurdles – the 2nd visit.

I’m a little behind on filling you all in with how my second visit with Registered Dietitian Sarah Dunphy-Morris went.

I had my second visit with her on Friday, August 30th. This was the day that I gave her my 3-day food log, and was nervous about what she’d say about it.

I logged everything I ate on Thursday August 22nd, Saturday August 24th and Monday August 26th. I had to pick three days that were not consecutive and included at least one day that fell on a weekend. Having a visual for every cookie I ate, every latte I drank (with shots of chocolate in them of course), and every breakfast I skipped was kind of an eye opener. But I followed the rules and didn’t try to modify a single thing for those three days, because she needed to see an accurate starting point in order to make better recommendations.

Our second visit was approximately 30 minutes long, and I would say it was kind of divided into two halves. The first half of it was going over my food diary, and the second half was education based – teaching me about label reading.

When I sat down in her office on Friday morning, I was prepared for the judgment. My hackles were up and I was ready to defend every crappy thing I ate. I didn’t have to though, as once again there was no judgement and I wasn’t lectured. We sat down together and she went through the list with me, simply asking for clarification on what I had written down. She asked about approximate portion sizes for each item consumed, and the times of day that I consumed them. For example, she confirmed that it was actually butter on my dinner roll and not margarine, asked if it was milk or cream in my iced lattes, and whether my pasta was white, whole wheat or rice. I was also pretty vague on some of the things I wrote down. My “glass of juice” could have been any size, so she made me clarify how big the glass was I was drinking from. For all she knew I could have been drinking out of a bucket, just like the drinks they serve on the beaches in Thailand.

Buy all the fixings for your drink in a bucket, fill up that bucket with the stuff provided, drop a straw inside and the bucket becomes an instant drinking glass!

Buy all the fixings for your drink in a bucket, fill up that bucket with the stuff provided, drop a straw inside and the bucket becomes an instant drinking glass!

Once she had all of the details clarified, she explained that now she would be able to enter all of this information into her computer program that analyzes everything. The results of the food diary will be given to me on visit number three, once she’s got the data and the cold hard facts in front of her. I’m actually kind of glad that we’re taking baby steps, because I think if I was overloaded with information and changes all at once, I’d start to become overwhelmed and quit.

The second half of our visit was all about label reading. I learned to compare two similar products and pick the one that is the overall better choice. I now know to look at the portion sizes and make sure they are comparable to each other, and to look at the % daily value. I also learned the 5% and 15% rule – Keep the “bad” things under 5% and the good things above 15%. Well I’m paraphrasing a lot, but basically if things I want to cut back on (ex. sodium, sugars, trans fats) are under 5% of the daily % value on the label, then it is considered not too bad. If things I want to increase (ex. fibre, vitamins, calcium) are above 15% then it is considered good. But if it had 20% daily value of sodium, and only 2% daily fibre, and not a lot of other good values, then I might want to compare and make a better choice.

I was only half looking at labels before. I would look at two crackers, and see which had more fibre, which had less sodium and pick the better of the two not knowing anything about percentages. Now I have some more to look out for at the grocery store.

So basically from the labels I have to look at 5 things:

1) Serving size. Compare the serving size on the label with what I ACTUALLY eat. I probably eat 3-4 times what the portion size says I should have.

2) Calories. Pretty self explanatory.

3) Percent daily value. Tells me if there is a little or a lot of a certain nutrient in a food.

4) Get less of these things: Sodium, Cholestorol, Saturated and Trans fats.

5) Get more of these things: Fibre, Calcium, Iron, Vitamins (A and C the most I think).

This image from the Government of Canada is very similar to the one I was given.

This image by the Government of Canada (Health Canada) is very similar to the one I was given.

Overall, I think things are going really well so far. This week my homework is to read the labels when I grocery shop and let her know anything that has surprised me, or any changes I made in my purchases because of my findings. I’m taking baby steps, but I think that will be better in the long run. Small changes are easier to manage than big ones, and so far I’m doing alright. If I had to change a million things at once, I’d probably cry and quit.

This, I can do.

10

Reflections on the long weekend

This past weekend was a long weekend here in Canada, with Monday being Labour Day. We all had a day off, so we tried to make the most of it while we had some sunshine.

I learn new things about myself as a parent and about my little L every day, but this weekend was full of new discoveries for both of us. I thought I’d take some time to reflect back on the weekend and share my findings with all of you.

– We woke up Saturday morning to a house that was a disaster. Monday to Friday for us goes by in kind of a blur, and then Saturday is when I usually try my best to play “catch up” on the tidiness of the house. So when people come by on a Saturday unexpectedly, it sends me into a mild panic attack. I mean, God only knows what must go through their minds as they step through our landmine toy covered living room floor, and see days worth of dishes piled up. Uggh. So realization number one for me is that I must find a way to get more energy so that I can keep up with the house better.  I don’t want to feel like a housewife failure before I’m even officially a wife.

It also made me realize that I hate those people who are all “Oh excuse the mess” when you walk into their perfectly tidy and clean house. I kind of want to punch them for making me feel even more inadequate lol.

messy-house-cartoon-rron13l

– Late Saturday afternoon/evening we started the drive to my fiance’s father’s house which is 45min-1hour away. (Yes American friends, us Canadians tend to measure distance to get places by time rather than miles/kilometers. So if you ask me how far away does my Mother live, I will respond “Oh about 15-20 minutes away give or take with traffic”). We packed up the car, and started the drive which actually was pretty easy. We got to his Dad’s and had a ham dinner waiting for us which L devoured. L loves ham!

– That evening while out playing in the yard with the dog, L saw her very first toad! It was a pretty big guy, and he hopped around the driveway. L followed him along his way while happily saying “Hop, Hop, Hop” as she hopped with him. She thought it was a frog, and I called it a frog, too because I didn’t want to ruin her excitement at seeing him. I tried to catch it to give L a closer look, but C thought I was crazy because “it’s just going to immediately pee on you and excrete toad juices all over your hands!”. I caught toads all the time when I was a kid, so I thought nothing of it. He was too fast for me, though. I guess I’m brave when it comes to catching toads, but not when it comes to many other things.

– I discovered that both L and I do not do well sleeping at other people’s houses. (The fact that I forgot my medication probably didn’t help at all). She went to bed two hours past her bedtime and was too afraid to go in a strange room by herself, so we let her fall asleep on the couch then transferred her in. When she woke up screaming and afraid at 130am, she and I co-slept till about 330am.

PROPS TO ALL YOU CO-SLEEPERS OUT THERE! Holy mother of eff, that is not something I ever hope to have to do again! I was punched in the eye, kneed in the throat, kicked in the groin, arm-slapped across the face and drooled on.Yeah. I didn’t sleep. I maybe got 3 hours of sleep that night.

sleepingwithtoddler-580x554

– The next morning we explored Grampy’s yard and L picked blueberries and blackberries straight from the bushes and ate more than I thought humanly possible. Berries do taste best straight from the bushes, though. When the rain started we had to go inside. We were caught in a SEVERE thunderstorm warning. The thunder was so strong, that when I went to pee it actually shook the toilet I was sitting on (though C’s Dad claims it wasn’t the thunder shaking the toilet – ha ha ha). We lost power a couple of times, and a house in the local area actually was struck by lightning and caught fire. We had to wait out the storm for a couple of hours before we could drive home, because visibility was next to nothing with the torrential downpours of rain.

I learned though that L is not afraid of thunderstorms at all! If anything, she was more pissed off at Mother Nature for ruining her day and stopping her blackberry feast. She’s just like her Mama – bring on the storms!

– I caught L “reading” to herself for 30 minutes straight to a book that doesn’t have a single picture in it. Imagine my surprise (and pure glee) when I saw she was trying to read the Deathly Hallows. Like Mother, like daughter. She may turn out alright, yet.

deathly_hallows_wallpaper

I wish I had more long weekends with my C and my L. It really makes me realize how quickly time is passing, and how much I’m afraid I’m going to miss as she grows up.

Did you have a long weekend? How was it spent?