About Me

My photo
I am a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby led weaning, extended rear facing, eco conscious, married mommy to two beautiful children. They have changed my view on the world we live in. It is now my number 1 goal to make it the best I can for them to grow up in. I find myself always rethinking how I want to live my life and often feel like sharing my findings and thoughts with others. So I guess here's my chance :o) I will talk about topics that interest me. If you dont like them or dont agree, well... there's nothing much I can do!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DIY children's easel

Over a year ago, when we were taking apart Abigail's crib, part or the railing broke so we knew we could not use it for any future babies. Most people would have thrown all the pieces out.we were very close to doing the same but then I saw a picture of somebody who converted an old crib into a desk. Seriously thought about that but then decided to think of something else since the desk would take up a lot of room that we don't really have.

This past summer, I used the railings in the garden. Perfect for my cucumbers to climb.
But then we were stuck with the sides and bottom part. I really didn't see a use for the bottom part but definitely thought of one for the sides! Instead of spending $$ on an easel that may or may not be used, we could just repurpose our crib parts and make our own!
Here is what we did.

1 - We squared them off.

2 - We attached 2 hinges
 at the top. 

3 - We attached hooks on the side
to keep in sturdy

4 - Attach a small shelf
5 - Paint any cut parts
6 - Decorate!

Voila! Super easy. Only took an hour or so all together to put it together! And she loves it! And all we paid for were a couple of hooks, hinges and stickers!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last day teaching!

Today was my last day teaching the kids! Other than the odd day after the holidays to work with the teacher replacing me, I am officially on maternity leave now. Using up sick days until baby is born. If it were any other time of the year, I would have gone on sick leave earlier. This cold has really been kicking my arse. Teaching all day is absolutely exhausting. No wonder I haven't been able to kick this thing. Hopefully now, I can rest at home during the day, nap when I feel the need to, and finish the couple Christmas gifts left to do. Next week, we can start our bedroom renovations and then finally start getting things ready for baby.

Although it was ugly Christmas sweater day at school, I decided to actually get relatively dressed up. It was great because I actually was told I looked pretty today by my husband, students and coworkers. Great way to end the school year!

Quick pregnancy update (33 weeks 4 days). Weight gain is still great, blood pressure still has tons of wiggle room, and after Sunday night's mega painful movements, 2 doctors have said they think baby is head down! Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

32 weeks and 2 days...

Time absolutely flies! I only have 6 days of work left and 6 weeks before we start encouraging labour naturally. Everything is still going great with baby. My weight gain is normal and blood pressure is excellent. I am feeling very positive about my upcoming Vbac. That may be because a lady who has been very important in vbac preparing journey recently had her own hba2c (home birth after 2 sections)!!! Still haven't heard from the midwife program but I actually don't think I would change doctor at this point since things seem to be going so well.

The only real issue that I'm having is my pelvis ligaments are still pretty tight. The tightness on one side is making the other side compensate. Hip gets pretty achy, especially at night. The soreness is leading to a major lack of sleep at night. I'm constantly rolling over from side to side. I even find myself waking up to sleeping flat on my back. Soon enough, I will have my days free so I will get the chance to catch up on rest.

Baby hasn't quite turned head down yet either. I know it is still pretty early and there is still a couple weeks left for baby to turn. I will keep up with chiropractic appointments and will start acupuncture later for encouragement.

I am needing more and more to help support this ever growing child. My calorie intake has gone up quite a bit. Even though I am drinking more fluids than I ever have, I still feel quite dehydrated. I'm sure the fact that winter has arrived and that the heat is now on in the house doesn't help much. When I start staying home all day, I will have a pitcher of water out that has my recommended daily fluid intake. It will be easier for me to keep track then.

Nesting mode is about to start in full force. Keegan has agreed to redo the floors in the bedrooms over the holidays. We will do one room at a time. I'm figuring it will take 2 days per room to rip out baseboard and carpet, paint room, then put down new flooring and baseboard. Once the baby's room is done, I will finally be able to take out all the clothes and get the hundreds of cloth diapers ready (but more on that room later!)

The newest development is that Keegan may be leaving sooner after our estimated due date than anticipated. So much sooner that we are now just hoping that he will be around for the birth. We will be doing everything possible to encourage baby to come as soon as its ready :)

Be sure to let me know of all the tricks to help get this baby out in time!

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 weeks!!!

It seemed like it was just yesterday that I started keeping track of fertility symptoms. Fast forward 15 months later and here I am, already 30 weeks pregnant.

I officially enjoy eating now. I am now up 20lbs from my lowest weight. That means 10 lbs in the last 3 weeks alone! Because of the sudden weight gain, I now have my first official stretch marks from this pregnancy. Ah well. It also means that my maternity pants fit a lot better as well. More belly, butt and boobs!

Little baby also had its first set of hiccups today. Felt kinda odd at first but then once I realized what they were, made complete sense! I have been seeing a chiropractor for the last week. Weird hip pain that plagued me 6 years ago started to come back so I wanted to make sure it didn't get too bad. Turns out I have very tight ligaments that are preventing my pelvis from opening up as it should. Even all the ligament softening hormones running through my system aren't helping. Regular chiropractor and massage therapy appointments for me now to help keep everything nice and loose and keep hip pain away.

Keegan and I attended a yoga labour workshop this past weekend. It was neat to practice positions that served a particular purpose while in labour. Combine that with the labour preparation we will have with our doula, I should hopefully have lots of techniques to use in order to have a "pain medication free" birth.

Last week, I had a freak out about my Vbac. I became worried that I wouldn't be strong enough to go through with it. I thought of how disappointed I would be in myself. After being told that it is perfectly normal to doubt myself all of a sudden, and that I was a strong woman who is doing everything in my power to give us the best possible chance at a Vbac, I realized I was being quite silly.

I saw my doctor last week to have her sign medical papers in order to be excused from jury duty and she filled me in on a couple things. Since she was still unhappy with the information I got from the OB during my referral visit a couple months back, she decided to email him just to get a couple clarifications. As long as baby and I are healthy, they have no problem with me going to 42 weeks. If ever I had to be induced for a medical emergency, he will take care of that. He will see me regularly during my last month of pregnancy. He also explained to her that if I didn't want an epidural, that they had to respect my wishes. So yay! She is now more on board with my natural childbirth wishes!

More frequent doctor, OB, chiropractor and massage appointments, the holidays, and my 30th birthday will help the next 10 weeks zoom by! I wonder if I will remember to post updates more frequently?!?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

20 chore Tuesday

It has been a while. With only around 10 weeks left until we get to meet our second baby, there is still soooo much to do!
  • Here is what I need to finish up at work this week as I prepare for whomever will be replacing me.
  1. Make quiz 3.1-4 (8)
  2. Plan division for ch 3 (8)
  3. Plan order of operations for ch 3 (8)
  4. Make list of informal assessments (8)
  5. Make list of formal assessments (8)
  6. Finish 2.2 puzzle activity (9)
  7. Do up quiz for 2.1-2 (9)
  • Here is what I still need to do at home in order to finally get these home renos on the go before I am 9 months pregnant!
  1. Measurements of Abigail`s room
  2. Measurements of nursery
  3. Measurements of master bedroom
  4. Measurements of hallway.
  5. Move things around in nursery for storage
  6. Empty bookcase in A's room
  7. Empty closet in A's room
  8. Take out everything except for bed, dresser, chair and side table from her room
  • Give 500
  1. Lay everything out in basement
  2. Make list
  3. Take picture
  4. Pack up for delivery
  5. Write post :)
Busy week! Throw my very first chiropractor appointment and a visit to the massage therapist in there as well and I'm sure I will be ready to relax this weekend!

20 chore tuesday

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The importance of making an informed decision

So instead of simply following my doctor`s advice, I have decided to seek other opinions. Isn't that what we are supposed to do anyways? Are we not encouraged to make informed decisions? How can a decision be informed when you only know part of the information?

I guess I have always wanted a vbac since one of the very first questions I asked the OB on call after Abigail`s birth was if I would need another caesarean next time. I was told "of course not!". And that was the day after she was born. Fast forward two and a half years, and some information I am receiving now is going against that.

During one of my first prenatal appointments, I was made aware of the risks of a vbac. No problem at all. She wanted me to understand the risks in the choice I was making. But what about the alternative? If I wanted, I could have a scheduled cesearian to prevent any of those vbac risks. Ok. But are there not risks with having major abdominal surgery as well? She didn't openly share those details with me. She wanted me to see an OB to go over more details.

Met with an OB based at our local women/baby hospital. Started off by saying that he firmly believes in the mother`s right to make the choice on how to birth their child as long as they know and understand all the risks. We went over the risks of a vbac. Alright, but then he also went over the risks of a 2nd cesearian.

Going over the details, I still stick by my choice to try a vaginal birth after a caesarean. If an emergency comes up, I have no problem with medical intervention. I`m glad that those options are available to me. I have spoken to a 3rd doctor about certain medical interventions and I have been told many are not necessary. I am not making my decisions based on "research I have found online". I am making my decisions based on medical advice given to me by several doctors who have years and years of education and experience behind them. I am not basing my research on medical professionals who are known to be ridiculed by the natural AND medical birth communities for her lack of references and blatant misrepresentation of facts in her articles. Instead, I choose to go with information from these kinds of sites.

  • http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2010/Ob_Gyns_Issue_Less_Restrictive_VBAC_Guidelines
  • http://www.ican-online.org/
  • http://www.vbac.com/
  • http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/cesareanrisks.html
  • http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/vbac.html
  • http://www.sogc.org/health/pregnancy-vbac_e.asp
  • http://www.sogc.org/media/advisories-20090617a_e.asp
  • http://www.sogc.org/health/pregnancy-csection_e.asp

In the end, the decision is ultimately up to the mother. We should not be attacked for wanting to know all benefits and risks to all our options.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Frazzled - So much to do yet so little time!

The moment has officially hit me that this baby will be here before we know it. Maybe it's the fact that I only have 25 teaching days left until I start my maternity leave. Christmas break is days after that, then only a couple weeks until our anticipated birthday. With so much going on over the next couple weeks, time will fly by and yet there is still so much to do!

Still need to finish all our holiday gifts. I have finally figured out what I will be giving. Some handmade and some bought. Now to get off social media ad get to work!!

We still need to redo the flooring In all our bedrooms. I really can't set up the baby's room (even though it won't be used for a couple months) until we get everything done. I doubt I will repaint the walls but I may add some new splashes of colour. We'll see I guess.

Still no word from the local midwife program so I'm still on a waiting list. I am attending a big information session do hopefully I will get some news.

I am possibly putting together a local vbac support group. We have had interest shown by a couple moms as well as a local doula who "specializes" in vbacs. Fingers crossed we can get something underway before mid January!

Oh and Abigail can totally fall asleep by herself now. This helps immensely when I am feeling quite tired. We can both go to bed at the same time. We no longer need to wait while sitting next to her for her to fall asleep. But more on that later!

Nothing else to say other than people are saying I'm big. Many think that I am ready to pop any day and are shocked to hear that I still have more than 10 weeks left!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The end of the 2nd trimester

This pregnancy has gone by so fast. End of my 2nd trimester already. We are getting into the home stretch now. 8 weeks left of work. I'm certain it will go by very quickly seeing as there are still plenty of big projects to get done before baby arrives.

I put on 5 lbs in the past 4 weeks! So that means I am officially up 10lbs in total (15 from my lowest weight. Could be attributed to the fact that I notice myself eating more throughout the day. My blood pressure is still nice and low (115/60). I passed my 1hr glucose test, my haemoglobin looks great and I did not get my flu shot today.

I did have an important conversation with my doctor this morning. I essentially asked her if we would ever get to a point where us disagreeing on something would become too much. I started off by saying that we both really like her and would love to stay with her but that I was worried (wanted to start with positive). She knows that I strongly believe on having an absolutely natural, intervention free birth as long as both baby and I are completely healthy. If one of us become distressed, I do not mind interventions at that point. Because of this, and as long as we are both healthy, she said she doesn't mind to agree to disagree (such as with the flu shot today) as long as I understand the risk in going with/against something. She even said she had no problem with me not being induced for "lateness" as long as an OB agrees that all is still good. If we do come to a time where she feels she can no longer "take care of me", she says she will help me find someone else. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

Keegan no longer has any deployments scheduled until the new year (as long as the Canadian Navy doesn't send any troops down to help with Hurricane Sandy devastation) so we can now get started on our home renovation projects. This weekend, we will be going out to stores to check out new flooring for both basement and bedrooms. We will be starting with the bedrooms first. Once those are done, I can finally finish Abigail's new big sister room and then get started on the baby's room.

Monday, October 22, 2012

20 chore Tuesday - Gonna try to be busy!

So Keegan is sailing for the week. The last sailing trip scheduled until the new year. It will give me a week to continue the purge for the Give500 Challenge and also to continue our work towards Abigail being able to fall asleep by herself. Here it goes

1. Be up and out of bed by 6am
2. Make eggs for breakfast
3. Take out meal for supper
4. Be out of the house before 7am
5. 1 hour glucose tolerance test (YAY!!)
6. Get back to work before 9am
7. Hopefully get another preparation time during 1st period
8. Drink 1 litre of water
9. Publish this post
10. Publish 25 week pregnancy post
11. Create Scholastic shopping list.
12. Purchase graph for white board
13. Mark gr 9 quizzes
14. Create work booklet for student
15. Put away Abigail's clothes
16. Put away dishes
17. Put on load of laundry
18. Meal plan for the week
19. Tidy up living room and kitchen before supper.
20. Leave Abigail's bedroom at lights out again.

Oh I hope I get it all!!

20 chore tuesday

Saturday, October 20, 2012

25 weeks pregnancy update

I can't believe it has gone so fast! I started peeing on 30 something pregnancy tests this time last year. So much has "happened" in the last several weeks. We met with a very natural minded OB, had a not so great appointment with my regular doctor, and nesting has started for real.

I am officially fully into my maternity wardrobe. I have put on about 10lbs over the past month or so. My pants are starting to fit a bit better but the jeans are still a little too "MCHammer"ish for my liking. I guess that's what happens with second had clothing. Certain sections are already stretched out a bit. I did however actually spend some $$ on myself and got 2 new pairs of pants and 2 new comfy tops (all 4 pieces were on clearance racks though). I still have 2 pair of skinny jeans that are nice and stretchy so I still wear those with elastics in the bottom holes to keep them closed. I do have a couple pair of yoga pants that I can dress up with a nice top. Certain days, I just want to wear comfy clothes.

We saw an OB a couple weeks ago. I'm sure my doctor was hoping that he would tell me all the risks of a Vbac and reasons why I would need all sorts of medical interventions while in labour. We didn't discuss interventions but he was the first to discuss not only Vbac risks but also the risks of a repeat Cesarean section. You can only make an informed decision when you know all your options. I am still completely on board for a Vbac. We finished that meeting with him saying that hopefully he would never really need to see me. He hopes that everything goes well a and that we would not need any extra help. I need to make another appointment to see him though because I completely forgot to ask him about all his specifics (how far past due he goes, breech, what interventions would he refer using, what were his thoughts on my wishes of dealing with pain naturally...).

I then had an appointment with my regular doctor. She was very disappointed that we didn't talk about specific interventions. She really really wants me to have an epidural. Something about it allowing my uterus to relax between contractions. I explained to her my reasons for not wanting one. I want to be able to walk around, labour in different positions as well as in the shower if needed. I can kiss those coping techniques goodbye if I were to get an epidural. Then she talked about me getting a flu shot next time I see her. I told her I didn't want one and she jokingly asked me if I was going to fight her on everything for the the rest of this pregnancy. Well maybe. A friend suggested I ask her "At what point will us not agreeing on something become a real issue?" If more problems arise, I can simply transfer care to the Ob. Actually, I'm hoping to make the cut for the Midwifery program at the hospital. They have recently hired 2 new ladies so maybe that will help my chances.

Nesting has really begun. We have started looking at new flooring for our basement and our upstairs. I am also taking part in a Give 500 challenge we have so much that we no longer use in our home. There are so many people out there who can put it to great use. I am organising charity/shelter pick ups for a couple weeks from now so whenever I have some free time, I will go through a section of our home and purge. Nothing is safe!!

So no more than another 17 weeks left of this bun baking in the oven. Still lots to do.
Refloor/paint basement
Refloor/paint bedrooms
Prepare the baby's room Montessori style
Finish baby blanket
Start Christmas gifts
Finish Give500 challenge
Meet with doula and doctor about birth plan/labour preparation.
Turn 30

I better get started soon to be sure to have enough time to complete everything!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homemade granola bars!

I go through periods of time where I absolutely love to bake. Being 5 months pregnant, I want to make sure that the snacks I choose to eat are healthy. Thus began my quest for an awesome granola/protein bar. I started searching for recipes. Most protein bar recipes needed protein powder which would be great for some but I'd much rather get my nutrients from real food. I couldn't find a recipe that had the things that I wanted : rolled oats, fruit, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. So after looking at many to get an idea of measurements, I created my own recipe!

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped raisins
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  1. Melt butter, honey and peanut butter in small pot.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a big bowl.
  3. Once melted, pour wet ingredients over dry ones and mix.
  4. Press firmly into baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  5. Put in the fridge to set.
  6. After a couple hours, slice into portions and store in sealed container. Be sure to leave a layer of wax paper between your layers so they don't stick.

I found when slicing into them, the thinner sections fell apart. Next time, I will try a smaller pan that has sides going straight up (not slanted) and will make them thicker. I will also change up the recipe and try some dried cranberries, seeds or nuts. What kind of adaptations will you try?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

20 Chore Tuesday - Sick Edition

Still feeling pretty stuffy. Bad enough for me to be taking Tylenol to help with sinus pain. Ah well. Here is my list for today.

20 chore tuesday

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Give 500

We have tons of stuff. I was mentioning to Keegan the other day that if ever we decide to sell our house, we will need to rent a storage locker just so we can purge a lot and free up some room for staging. With our second child due in February, I had been planning on doing some intense purging and nesting as it was. Then yesterday, I read an awesome post about simply giving away 500 items from your home. There are no real rules to this project.  However you count each item is up to you. Whatever time frame you set for yourself is up to you. Whichever way you choose to give your stuff away is up to you.

 We are giving ourselves to the holidays to give away 500 items. Keegan and I are pretty excited about actually having a goal to work on. We already have a corner in a room with items for us to give away. Now to start posting photos in various groups I'm part of.  The great thing about such a wide scale project is that there are lots of people across the world cheering us on!

#Give500 Challenge at Joyful Abode
Join in the challenge to #Give500 things away!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Operation fall asleep night 4 & 5.

So night 4 was pretty uneventful. She seems to love to new routine. Loves picking her books and then crawling into the big wicker chair. And once we are done all the books, she grabs her 2 favorite ones to bring them into bed with her to read to her friends. We were both asleep by 930. I actually woke up still sitting in the big comfy chair at midnight!

Night 5, again, she loves the routine. She actually told me that it was time to turn off the light when she crawled into bed. At 915, she isn't asleep yet but hasnt said a word in 10 minutes so I'm sure sleep isn't too far off.

She just went through a couple minutes of her absolutely wanting to hold my hand. Gave her her favorite blanket and she cuddled right up and off to sleep she went. Bedtimes before 10pm are great!

I think this weekend, I will start leaving her room for short periods of time. I do have loads of laundry to fold. Whenever she will call my name, I will come back. Hopefully the periods will get longer and longer. Maybe this transition won't take months. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Operation fall asleep night 3

So here I am, past 9pm and I have not sat on her bed once. I am in a big wicker basket chair next to her bed. This chair is awesome! May need to steal it for living room. I can actually lay back and be comfy. This belly is seriously starting to get in the way.

She has told me many times "good night". It would be so easy to just get up and walk out of her room just to see how she'd react but I don't want to set her off.

Oh my! 930 and she is asleep!! Yay!! I love her!

20 chore Tuesday Easy day

Totally making today's list completely doable!

1. Get out the door before 730am.
2. Dr appt starts on time.
3. Tell her that OB appointment went great. He went over vbac risks AND rcs risks.
4. Tell her I still want a vbac :)
5. Let her know we are working with a doula for birth preparations and labour & delivery.
6. Let her know that we want Keegan to deliver baby.
7. Get to work on time. Didn't happen but that's why I had someone covering for me... just in case.
8. Drink water.
9. Eat snack.
10 & 11. Put together "Emergency substitute plans" for grade 8 an 9.
12. Get substitute binder all set up.
13. Drink water.
14. Assign grade to gr8 quiz.
15. Enter grades into online system.
16. Eat snack.
17. Wash diapers.
18. Fold laundry.
19. Put laundry away.
20. Drink more water.

Wish me luck!!!

Visit Joyful Abode to cheer on others.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Operation fall asleep - Night 2

So here we are. Just waiting for her to finally be tired enough to fall asleep. About a year ago, bedtime was sometimes a 2 hour ordeal. And that was lights out with her in bed! She was just never falling asleep before 930-10 o'clock. Instead of starting at 7-730 and losing all my "me time", we just started bedtime later. Didn't change anything in her sleep time so we kept it like that. If we have success with her falling asleep on her own, then we can always try inching up her bedtime by a bit. But for now, I'm only tackling one obstacle.

Last night, she tossed and turned in her bed and eventually fell asleep with me rubbing her back and belly at 1010pm. She also had an absolutely crummy sleep. Woke up at 230am crying and then thrashed about in our bed until morning. I had to force her to cuddle with me hoping that her body would relaxe and stop moving.

- Tonight, we did our little routine of bathroom then reading, lights were out at 9 and she has been very calm. She is just laying there, drinking her sippy and eating some little crackers she found. She is also reading some books to herself. Sippy and books are hopefully what will keep her distracted from me and allow her to fall asleep.

- 930 and she desperately wants to hold my hand. I'm not giving in. She is just holding my arm instead. Oooh! Big yawn!

-948 and she is all curled up sideways. I'm pretty sure she is asleep but I will still wait a minute just to be sure.

-950 and I am walking out of her room. 20 minutes earlier than last night!

Bringing in a chair to sit in next to her bed for tomorrow night. Fingers crossed she stays calm like tonight.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Falling asleep by herself - The first night

Other than a night or 2, Abigail has never fallen asleep by herself. When she was a newborn, she always fell asleep while breastfeeding. Past a year old, she no longer fell asleep while nursing but would eventually drift off to sleep with someone sitting on the floor next to her floor mattress. It would, on average, take an hour before we could leave. This summer, we transitioned her to a big double bed. Since then, we actually need to be up in bed with her. It still can take up to an hour for her to fall asleep. We are extremely lucky if she is asleep by 930 since most nights, it is 10pm. Friends and family have mentioned on numerous occasions to just let her cry. We tried that once (controlled crying for 1-2-3 minute intervals) and it felt so wrong, I promised to never do it again. Even now, I feel wrong letting her cry by herself.

Her lack of bedtime routine is entirely our fault. We have never established a routine. Sometimes we start bedtime at 8, sometimes 9, sometimes we are not even home. We don't give a bath or massage every night. So figuring something out will be the first thing and sticking to it the most important.

So here is the schedule we are trying
8 - snack
830 - brush teeth, wash face, diaper, pjs, read books
9 - lights out.

I will stay in her bed for several nights until she gets used to the new schedule. Then I will sit at the foot of her bed, then on a chair and hopefully make my way out of her room while she falls asleep all by herself.

Tonight, I followed routine and am sitting here, at 10pm, writting this with one hand since she absolutely wants me to rub her back while she falls asleep. She is some lucky we lover her so much!

With a new baby on the way, it would be great I she could fall asleep on her own since I will not necessarily have 2 hrs to just sit with her for her whole bedtime routine. It may take a couple months for this whole procedure to give us a result we want. We are ready. Any ideas or tips are welcomed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our monthly meal planning

Over the past couple weeks, I have had a couple people ask about how and why I do my meal planning for the month. I plan for the month because I find it easier to space out different kinds of meals (like bbq, pasta, chicken, specials...). There is also lots of flexibility as well since most of our weekly menus change a bit by the time we arrive to it. So here it is...

  1. First, on a empty monthly calendar, I write down any evening appointments, special days and when the New York Giants are playing football.   
  2. I write down what I would like throughout the month. I put easy meals on nights where I have little time to prepare anything. I put pizza on Fridays since we have fun making our own. I choose something fun for game days. I plan fresh meat meals for earlier in the week. And I always leave Saturdays empty because there is normally once during the week that we dont follow our menu so we basically make something with whatever food we have left.                                            
  3. On the weekend, I take a look at what I have planned and do up a quick grocery list. I once made all my grocery lists for each week at the beginning of the month but I found myself making slight changes as the month progressed and then my lists were no longer good. So now I save myself the energy and just list out weekly.
  4. I write the menu out on her weekly menu board. Joyful Abode showed us how she made a cute board for her kitchen. I made mine a bit bigger to include more elements

 Meal planning has allowed us to only buy what we need which also allows us to save money. I also make extra of certain meals and freeze them for later. I dont really use the lunch and snack sections right now but definitely will once our second baby blesses us with its presence and I go back to eating all my meals at home. I also plan on possibly watching someone else's child in our home so those sections will be very useful when that happens.

Do you plan your meals weekly or monthly? Let us know your tips.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

20 chore Tuesday #4

Totally cheating today. Already feeling overwhelmed with work. Do I see 13 more weeks of this in my near future, hard to say. Emily, you thought your numbers were bad last week, I just counted my weeks left of work and went from 10 straight to 13. Decided to skip 11 and 12 entirely. And I`m a MATH teacher!! ;)

  • Work
  1. Cancel Thursday's dr appt
  2. Class lists printed for fire drill
  3. Plan this week gr 8
  4. Plan this week gr 9
  5. Grade 1.1-2 gr 8 work
  6. Grade gr 8 quiz
  7. Drink 2 full glasses of water
  8. Eat snacks throughout the day
  9. Get snacks from car after fire drill
  10. List assessments throughout ch 1 gr 8
  11. List assessments thoughtout ch 1 gr 9

  • Home
  1. Put away clothes
  2. Empty dishwasher
  3. Clean cat`s box
  4. Fill out weekly meal board
  5. Drink lots of milk and water
  6. Wash diapers
  7. Put them out on the line this evening so they dry tomorrow.
Visit Joyful Abode to cheer on others.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The highs and lows of week 20

This week has been full of highs and lows.

Keegan came back home last week. He has been going out to sea with the military for years and years. Being gone for 11 our of my first 20 weeks for this pregnancy was just becoming tiring. Last week, I was finally able to feel baby moving around with my hands. He was also able to feel tons of kicks one evening. Great way to start the week!

We had our first official prenatal visit with our doula. We chatted for 2 hours. Her and Keegan laughed several times. I`m glad he likes her. Makes having her there on our big day much easier! She even gave me homework. Although my doctor was worried about my lack of weight gain, she was. She suggested I get a minimum of 80g of protein each day. So our big task for this weekend is to make changes to our monthly meal plan and to check out some local organic shops for protein rich snacks. My other homework tasks from her are to have the discussion with my doctor that (a) we will have a doula with us for labour and delivery and (b) that Keegan wants to "catch" our baby :)

My huge low was a sudden rise in blood pressure. With Abigail, my blood pressure rose to the high end of normal at about 34 weeks and I was put off work. Had a sudden rise at 38 weeks that led to me seeing black dots. I was told that evening that I would be having my baby that night. So it is no surprise that I freaked out a little when, as I was walking down the hall to my classroom, I started seeing loads of black dots for a good 5-10 seconds. So I went to the pharmacy during my lunch break and my bp was most definitely up. So I just took it easy for the rest of the day and stayed in my seat as much as possible. By supper time, it had come back down a bit and then yesterday, it was down to normal. We see an OB on Monday so we`ll see what he has to say about my bp.

After being absolutely exhausted for the first couple weeks of pregnancy, I have felt absolutely great since then. Well that changed Wednesday as well. Woke up with my body yelling at me to not move. I`m just tired. going to bed and falling asleep early at night isn't helping too much. Hope it`s not related to my bp.

So here`s to hoping the next couple weeks have no lows like this one had! To jump start them back to highs, going for a swim tonight. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

20 Chore Tuesday #3

Wrote this last night since I knew I wouldn't have time today. Going to be quite the busy day for me here at school. Lots of prep work ontop of regular home tasks. So here it is!
  • For home
  1. Doula visit!!!
  2. Fold laundry
  3. Put laundry away
  4. Clean bathrooms
  5. Tidy kitchen
  6. Put some of A`s clothes away in her new dresser
  7. Fold diapers
  8. Clean living room and play room for doula visit
  9. Clear through more paperwork
  10. Clear front entryway
  11. Continue flood diary
  12. Redo September's meal plan.
  13. Get cash
  14. Go over finances
  • For school
  1. Make quiz for gr 8
  2. Make assessment lists for gr 8
  3. Plan sections 5-7 for gr 8
  4. Plan ch 1 for gr 9
  5. Plan alternate schedule for gr 9
  6. Do section 2 activities for gr 9
  7. Do assessment grids for gr 8
  8. Gr 9 portfolio
  9. Send in martinity leave request

Visit joyfulabode and cheer on others!

Monday, September 17, 2012

20 weeks!!!

Half way there! It's feeling more and more real now that baby is giving me big kicks and punches. Baby especially doesn't like it when I have to reach and put A in her car seat. The leaning forwards holding up her weight work my core muscles a bit too much for its liking I guess.

We meet up with our doula tomorrow evening. Excited for K to finally meet her. I hope he likes her! Maybe she will have some books she will share with us to read. There is a local doula who offers vbac preparation classes. She comes highly recommended by doctors and from our local birthy community. I have decided not to take them. I think with a vbac encouraging OB, a doula, my knowledge, my awesome Twitter vbac mommas and new information we will learn as we get closer, I should be good.

I have finally started swimming. I went twice this weekend. It felt great to get back into the pool (I used to be a lifeguard and swim class instructor). I only swam a couple hundred metres each time. It was awesome to just float around in my bikini sporting my big round baby bump. But once gravity jumped back into the mix when I climbed out, wow! My belly literally felt like a large bowling ball! With the swimming, prenatal yoga I plan on starting soon, AND a toddler to run after, I should be in shape soon enough.

My meal plan for September has had to change a little bit. Need to add more carbs for me since I still have yet to put on any baby weight. My belly is still getting bigger and bigger every week but I wold feel better if I could at least fill out my jeans a bit better!

During the next 20 weeks, I'm hoping to replace the flooring in the basement and in all the bedrooms, finish getting A's big sister room all set up, and also set up the nursery again. Cant think of anything else... that is unless I'm missing something huge.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

20 chore Tuesday #2

During the summer, I started following #20choretuesday through Twitter and Instagram. It is a great way to motivate yourself to have a productive day and to encourage others as well.

Here is my list for today. It is a mix of home and work tasks. I definitely will not have it all done today but I can try!

Be sure to visit Joyful Abode's blog to cheer on many others!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

18 week update!

Almost halfway done this pregnancy! It has gone by so fast. These past 2 months have been great since I was on summer break from work. Abigail still went to daycare everyday. She loves the routine so why keep her home? Work officially starts back up in a matter of days. I'm sure the weeks will go by even faster. Here are some small updates.

  1. I still have not put on any weight. I have not been sick and I am eating better than I was a couple months ago. Maybe I should see a nutritionist to ensure that my diet is alright. The doctor was not too worried about it. Maybe she didn't even notice. Now that work has started, I will just make sure to eat and snack regularly during the day to increase my calorie consumption.
  2. I now feel baby move all the time. It started out with fluttering a couple weeks ago and now, I am pretty sure I feel big ol' kicks! My favorite memories from the last pregnancy is stopping in the middle of teaching just because Abigail decided it was the best time for a dance party. The students even enjoyed seeing her move around. Looking forwards to that again with the same students, just 3 years later!
  3. I have lots of appointments coming up during the month of September. We meet our new doula (yay!) and go over specifics, our 20 week ultrasound, and I also meet an OB who is supposedly very pro-vbac. What a way to start the school year! 
  4. Small projects have already been started and they are still ongoing. Crochet baby blanket is looking fabulous and my monthly meal planning helps alot since I will hopefully be swimming most evenings.
  5. I am no longer worrying about my vbac. If I have to completely ignore what some people around have to say, I will. I truly believe that Cesarean sections are a life saving procedure that some  moms and babies definitely need. If the baby and I are still healthy and are not in distress, then there will be no need for medical interventions. Plain and simple.
I'm looking forwards to establishing a great routine over the next couple weeks. Work on some of my nesting projects, go swimming several times a week and eventually convince Abigail to fall asleep in her room by herself!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nesting projects.

There are tons of projects I would love to do in our home. When I was 5-6 months pregnant with Abigail, I wanted to redo our living room. That is the room where I spend the majority of my time in so I wanted a change before A was born. So we ripped up the old carpet, put down new laminate flooring and painted. Keegan was away at sea that week so my sister came to stay with me for the month and she helped me renovate the room. She learnt how to operate the electric saw since I wasn't going anywhere near the dust. The room is great now with new floors that are way easier to clean!

Now that the midway point of this pregnancy is quickly approaching, I feel the need to take on another huge home project. There is painting to be done throughout the house, flooring to be replaced throughout the house and a garden expansion to get ready for the spring. Here's the list!
  • Replace basement flooring
  • Replace upstairs flooring
  • Expand garden boxes
  • Set up spare bedroom downstairs
  • Get pictures up along stairs and throughout house
  • New mancave furniture
  • New flooring laundry room
  • Paint Abigail's new room
  • Replace ceiling fixtures throughout home
  • Re carpet all sets of stairs
Keegan will only be home from sailing for a couple weeks this fall so we will have to choose which projects to complete carefully. I think we start with the basement. Get some nice "warm under you feet" cork flooring to replace the old forest green carpet and rearrange the spare bedroom to actually have some usable space. We can have a futon there for guests and maybe even set up a craft area (I'd love to learn how to sew!)

The only projects I don't see us completing before baby#2 arrives is redoing the stairs and upstairs flooring. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

20 chore Tuesday!

I figure I'm going to give this a try. I first saw this over at http://www.joyfulabode.com/ I have lots I want to do today so hopefully this will encourage me to do most of them.

- Finish meal list
- Plan August meals
- August grocery lists
- Put away my clothes
- Put away A's clothes
- Call gym about swim membership
- Inquire about evening babysitting
- Dig out bathing suits
- Throw out dead plants
- Water those that are still alive
- Fold laundry downstairs
- Diaper laundry
- Post highchair for sale
- Empty dishwasher
- Cut and freeze watermelon
- Store away some toys
- Empty dehumidifier
- Clear stuff from A's big girl room
- Clean toilets
- Vacuum main floor

Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Official end of the first trimester.

First trimester is officially done and oh my, was it full of drama!

Weight gain : Still a bit under but at least I haven't lost more over the last couple weeks.

How clothes is fitting - While I am still on vacation, I will continue to wear my tank tops since they are long and stretchy. My belly had suddenly popped so I do need to put away some of my shorter shirts. I purged the majority of my maternity clothes since I am much smaller than I was the last time I was pregnant. I still have all my cute tops though so I will be wearing those once school starts up again in a couple weeks.

Telling friends - We have officially made it public on Facebook. At 12w+1, we had our dr appt. We wanted to record the heartbeat. It took a good 5 minutes for the dr just to find it! Those were a horrible 5 minutes. Thankfully, we found it and were able to get it on video. So we posted it :) And then today, at 14w, I posted baby bump pictures. With pictures up, more and more people will be finding out.

Pregnancy project - My baby blanket has been started. Since we won't be finding out the baby's sex, I decided on 3 colours that will look great regardless of whether it's a boy or a girl. Green, yellow and purple. It is still in the early stages but it looks great already!

Road to vbac - Having a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) is very important to me. There are lots of obstacles that I will have to surmount. Having a healthy baby is important but so is me being healthy. And if I dont have to have major surgery, I would rather not. My dr is NOT totally on board with a natural intervention free birth so I am searching for one that is. I am still on a waiting list for a midwife. Fingers crossed!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My 816 days of breastfeeding.

So my first week not breastfeeding A since she weaned herself  just happens to fall on World Breastfeeding Week. 816 days, 116 weeks, 26 months. However you want to count it, it has been an awesome ride.

We had a bumpy start. She was extremely sleepy during her first 36 hours and only fed a handful of times. The night nurse said that she had to feed and since she kept falling asleep at the breast, she brought in a bottle of formula. I didn't want to use it so I didn't. It just sat there and they took it away the following day. She then spent the day under the uv lights and came out a whole new little ravenous girl.

6 months turned into 1 year and then just kept going  When my maternity leave was approaching its end, I realized  it didn't have to be "all or nothing" for my breastfeeding relationship with A. When she was 14 months old, we slowly weaned from 6-8 feedings a day to just 2 (bedtime and when she woke up during the night).

Then I became pregnant. My breast became so tender and sensitive that I wanted to wean her myself so bad. Luckily, the pain was short lived. She then decided to wean herself from her nighttime feeding. Occasionally, she slept through the night and when she came crawling into our bed, she just wanted to cuddle. 2 weeks ago she just wanted to hold my hand while she fell asleep at bedtime. Then she surprised me a couple days later, when i was 12 weeks pregnant, and actually wanted to nurse. Little did I know that that would be our last breastfeeding session together.

I'm happy I allowed A to decide for herself when she wanted to be done breastfeeding. Fortunately, I never got many of those unnecessary "Are you still breastfeeding?!?" comments. I'm sad that she is done. But I am totally excited for roughly 26 weeks from now for my next breastfeeding relationship to start!

Monday, July 9, 2012

10 weeks!

I'm officially a quarter of the way there! The first trimester is nerve wracking! Always worrying. With Abigail, I only found out at this point so there was much less worrying with that pregnancy.

Weight gain : I actually lost about 4 lbs but then put 2 back on. So technically I'm at -2 lbs. I haven't been sick or anything. I just haven't been very hungry.

Clothes : The majority of my summer clothes still fit me since I am actually at my smallest size in my adult life. My younger sister (who is slightly smaller than me) works in a teenage clothing store so each time I visit, I leave with hand-me-downs. I have loads of tank tops (which will stretch nicely) and several flowy dresses so I should be good for the summer.

Breast feeding : For the passed year, Abigail has maintained nursing twice at night (bedtime and when she woke up and transitions to our bed). I definitely went through the "holy cow my breast hurt" phase. I told myself several times that I would have to wean her if the pain continued but thankfully it didn't. She has actually weaned herself down to just nursing at bedtime. Those sessions are getting shorter and shorter so maybe she will wean herself completely soon? We will have to see.

Vbac preparation : I have a wonderful support system full of some fabulous ladies. We will all help each other prepare for our big day. So far, I have met with a couple potential doulas. I think I may have met my match :) I will soon have the very important prenatal appointment with my doctor where we will discuss all the details surounding my vbac. Hopefully we are on the same page or else I may need to find a new doctor.

Due date drama : I had my dating ultrasound last week and it was absolutely amazing to see the little baby. After 7.5 weeks past conception, it is 2.5cm long and was moving its arms and legs away and you could clearly see the little itty bitty heart beating. Beautiful!! According to the ultra sound, the baby is measuring right where it should be with my due date being based on ovulation.

Other facts : Most of our neighbours still don't know (and if they do, they havent mentioned itnto me yet!). We haven't made it official on fb yet. I am already starting to show so it wont be long until most of our friends find out.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Due Date

So I am at 6 weeks and 2 days... unless you ask my Dr.

Irregular cycles make dating a pregnancy difficult. By MY calculations, based on my ovulation day, I figured my EDD is early February. I went in for my first prenatal visit today and even though she is aware and we have been working on trying to normalise my cycles, she still insists that my LMP be used to decide my due date. That puts my due date a whole week ahead of time. You may be thinking that a week isn't that bad but since I'm aiming for a Vbac, it does matter. Since I can't be induced towards the end of this pregnancy (it increases my risks of uterine rupture), I either give birth naturally or we go in for another c-section. I'm starting to worry that doctors will say that I am so far passed my due date that I would need to schedule a c-section.

I will be going in for a dating ultrasound. Hopefully since it is still early, the results will be closer to my true date. If I`m not happy with the results, who knows what I will do to get my dates changed. Now if only I would have lied about my lmp, I wouldn't have this worry. I'm sure things will work out though. Must stay positive!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First month

First month already done. Baby is the size of a poppy seed. Brain is being developed as I type this. I never got to enjoy this part the first time around since I was already 9-10 weeks pregnant when I found out. I also never got to deal with the "uncertainty" of the first 12 weeks. I'm definitely not sad I missed out on this part last year.

Since we had been trying for a while, we were both very eager to find out. I was blessed with irregular cycles so that means I have taken about 20 HPT since the fall (thank goodness for Costco!). And finally, with some stability, SUCCESS! We have always questioned our decision to either tell friends of not. And since Keegan will be sailing for the majority of the next several months, if I were to have any issues, I would need support from friends and family. We wont be announcing it on Facebook anytime soon but are definitely letting most people know.

Since we now need to start getting Abigail`s "big sister" room ready, I have decided to crochet a big beautiful afghan for her room. A fellow pregnant military wife in my neighbourhood has agreed to show me how! With summer break fast approaching, nesting can start early! Now if only this first trimester cold could go away...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wish I blogged more often

I truly admire you guys who blog on a regular basis. I wrote 6 posts back in August and once in December but other than that, nothing. Maybe I shouldn't over think it and just write shorts posts. Short posts are better than nothing right?! I would love to be able to put at least one out a week. Is that too much? Juggling work and home has filled my day to the brim. Wake up, get ready, work, make supper, try to entertain Abigail, then we all go to bed at the same time. Doesn't leave much time for anything else much less sit down and write about something.

And yet there is so much I could talk about! -Work. But I will actually stay away from that topic unless I want to risk my job. -Abigail. She is becoming so smart. Her vocabulary is expanding daily! -An update on my new year's resolutions. I have worked on them all! -My ever-expanding landscaping. Lots of new vegetables hopefully being added this year. -Eco-consciousness. All the little changes that we have made. -Complain. Well that topic list is unfortunately never ending.

Maybe I should start out with something really simple like posting a special picture once a week. Hopefully I will be pregnant soon since that will give me more options for a weekly post. Having 2 months off this summer should give me time to get into a routine. If you know of any other little topics that are easy to post about on a weekly basis, please share!