Saturday, March 31, 2012

The New Eating Plan

 Geoff and I, overall, are pretty good eaters. We have decent diets that include a lot of fruits, veggies, lean meats and of course the occasional treat.

However, with the inevitable expansion of our family, we wanted to improve our eating habits however we could and come up with a new eating plan that helped us to achieve the following:

a) a healthier diet
b) making the most of our groceries (not wasting food)
c) save time in the kitchen

 So, we went to visit our nutritionist at work and although she agreed we ate pretty well, there were certainly some areas in which we could improve.

The biggest was increasing some of the protein in our diet and mixing up our source of this protein. She also wanted us to vary the sources of grains and nuts.

Geoff was afraid that our nutritionist would make us eating foods that weren't what he would consider to be "food". Luckily, she used a lot of the stuff we already eat and modified it.

We now eat a lot more healthy snacks of nuts, fruit and yogurt. We eat pasta, but we mix it up between brown rice pasta, corn pasta (it's actually delicious) and whole wheat pasta. We have introduced quinoa instead of rice for some our dishes. We ensure that we are eating consistently throughout the day and that we are snacking on healthy things such as greek yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, bananas dipped in almond butter and sugar snap peas (don't even get me started on how addictive these things are).

Not only have we been eating more consistently and better foods, we have been preparing all of the veggies ahead of time so that when we get home, there are dinners ready to be made. It has saved us a lot of time.

As well, we have learned to make meals that are not only simple, but that use basic ingredients that we can use for our lunches the next day. For example, extra cooked chicken breast used for our healthy chicken and veggie pizza (on whole grain thin crust) was used the following day in chicken breast wraps for our lunch.

I love that our new diet has made cooking easier, more fulfilling nutritionally, and we aren't throwing out all the leftovers and remnants that we were. I love this new diet. Geoff does too. It's a great step in the right direction and it'll make life easier and cost effective once Baby G comes along and time becomes precious.

Luckily for us, Mira is a super non-picky eater and has taken well to the new changes. She loves snacking on almonds and raisins (instead of granola bars all the time) and she has enjoyed the latest addition to her lunches-ants on a log.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


My little girl is heading off to India with her father, aunt, cousins and grandparents next month. Her father was born there and her grandparents were born and raised there and started their family in different parts of the country. Next month, the entire family is heading to India (Mumbai) for a family wedding and an opportunity for much of my ex's family to meet Mira for the first time. There is always going to be a part of me that worries about my little girl travelling without me, whether it be Ottawa, Florida or as far as away as India. I am also, however, very excited that she gets to go to India and experience such a neat place! I am feeling good about the fact that she will be with her extended family members, who know the ins and outs of India really well. Being only 5 years old, I hope that she can remember some of this remarkable trip and appreciate the things that she'll see. It'll be a long 9 days for her Mama back at home, but I am grateful that her grandparents are going and providing her with this opportunity.

In preparation for the trip, my ex and I wanted to make sure that our little monkey girl was properly immunized. There are many diseases over there that aren't of concern to us here in Canada and we want our precious girl to be protected. So, her father got her the first of three doses of Twinrix, which protects against Hep A and B. I was the one to take her to her second dose.

Mira used to do really well with needles. In the fall I took her for her 5 year old vaccinations and they were over and done with before she really realized what had happened. She still wasn't impressed with the fact that she got needles. So when it came time for her Dad to take her for Twinrix, she was panicking. She screamed like she was being axe murdered while being given the needle.

Luckily I knew about this needle aversion before I took her for her second dose. It didn't seem to matter though. No matter how much re-assurance I provided and soothing thoughts I tried to instill in her, she was starting to go into a frenzy before the nurse even rolled up her sleeve.

She fought, kicked, grabbed and screamed while I had to try and hold her still (while protecting little Baby G belly from being abused) so that the nurse could administer the shot. She shrieked and almost blew out my right ear drum.

Immediately after giving Mira the shot, the nurse left the room to get Mira some more stickers (one of the bribes used by the nurse to get her to co-operate). Once the nurse left, Mira walked over to me and said she had a headache. She was also a funny colour of green and white. She sat on my knee and her eyes suddenly rolled back in her head and she slumped to the floor.

I, of course, as any mother would do, started screaming Mira's name and crying. I had no idea what was going on and why Mira was behaving this way. The doctor and nurse quickly scooped Mira up off the floor and put her on the bed. Mira came back around quickly and they monitored her blood pressure and oxygen while Mira lay crying on the table. I was crying in the chair. I had thought that it was a reaction to the needle.

The doctor tried to re-assure me that it wasn't a reaction, but rather it was Mira's body shutting down because of the immense stress she was experiencing. The insane stress and slight pain of the needle likely caused an overwhelming affect in her body and her body compensated by dropping her blood pressure and causing her to black out. Mira was completely fine and was ready to go (with a handful of stickers) within 15 minutes. However, it was a traumatic experience for both her and I. She still has a 3rd dose in August and I'm trying to figure out how to reduce her stress.

I have to go for a Rhogam shot on monday for the pregnancy (if you have a negative blood type) and so I'm going to bring Mira with me so she can see someone getting a needle without all the panic and stress. I'm sure it won't cure her of her fear and it'll be something that she'll have to work through, but any little bit helps right?

Any suggestions from anyone out there whose children suffer from needle-induced anxiety to the point where they pass out?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Living Things

This spring has started early here in Ontario. This week we have had nothing but record breaking temperatures, lots of sunshine and a few arguments with Mira with regards to her not being allowed to play outside until the sun goes down. This little girl has to be up at 5:20am every morning so that we can get her to the baby sitter for 6am.

My daughter is a nature lover and it becomes especially obvious when spring comes around. My little Greenpeace advocate always stuns me with her environmental awareness and love of all things living. Last night, on the way to ballet,the weather was stunning so we were driving with the windows down. The sun was pouring in the back window and Mira had her eyes closed and was soaking in the rays on her beautiful little face. Appreciating the warmth and beauty of the sunshine comes natural to her. After taking in some rays, Mira pointed out a lady bug that had found its way into the back of the minivan.

She mentioned how beautiful "she" was and then proceeded to say "mama, we don't squish beautiful lady bugs do we?"
Me: "No baby, we don't squish any living things. We don't kill animals or bugs".
Mira: "Ya, because she is our only hope."
Me: "She is our only hope?"
Mira: "Ya, animals and living things on the planet are our only hope for a healthy Canada and a healthy planet"
Me: "Wow, where did you hear that?"
Mira: "Nowhere. I learned it myself. 'Cause I'm smart."

I was stunned and so proud of my little environmentalist. Whether she learned it through school, through the babysitter or through her family, she has it figured out and at a much earlier age than I ever expected or hoped. She has learned to respect all animals and living creatures, not just the ones we share our house with (dogs/cats/pet fighting fish). She has figured out that all living creatures, no matter how big or how small, have a special role in our environment and she respects that.

I mentioned this to Geoff today and he said that she had said the same thing to him the day before, but about caterpillars, not lady bugs. Makes me a proud mama :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Little G in 3D

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to see our little G in 3D. We went to UC Baby on Tuesday afternoon and spent an hour watching our little guy move around and make some absolutely adorable baby expressions. Little G spent the majority of the time playing with his toes and his fingers, meaning he is going to be a real yoga master! This kid is flexible! I guess we were all this flexible at one point and we lose the ability to touch our toes to our foreheads. To see our little guy actually comfortable in this position is hilarious.

Geoff's mom was able to come to the appointment with us which was really special. She had told us that back in the day of her being pregnant with Geoff and Graham, you only had an ultrasound if something was wrong. So for her to sit in on this ultrasound, especially it being 3D was pretty darn cool. Her excitement couldn't be contained. She couldn't wait to see her grandson's face for the first time!

Little Mira came with us as well but she lacked the attention span to fully appreciate what was happening. Plus, she'd already had the pleasure (or displeasure in her 5 year old mind) of attending several of our other ultrasounds. This was just another appointment that involved a box of toys (they think of everything!).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me. It was my 33rd birthday yesterday. I spent the day not doing anything spectacular. I enjoyed my daughter, boyfriend, dog, the little one on the way and....Thai food. Geoff treated me to some amazing Thai food for my special day. Tonight we are doing the night out with Geoff's parents (his Dad had a birthday March 6) to celebrate at our favourite little Georgetown pub called the St. George. Mira loves this restaurant because every tuesday night they play darts. Mira calls it the "arrow game" and it provides her with much enjoyment.

It's funny how birthdays as a adult (and an adult with children/being pregnant) is totally different then when I was younger. I forgot my own birthday last year and this year, well, it passed without much anything. No major drama (which I'm grateful for) and all of the wonderful people (and dog) in my life were with me to celebrate. Not too shabby I think for birthday #33. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

24 Weeks

Here we are at 24 weeks. I'm finished 6 months of pregnancy and I move into month 7. "Little G" (for Little Geoff) as we call him, weighs 1.3-1.5lbs and is about a foot long (12-13inches). The little guy is constantly moving and shaking in there. The kicks to the ribs haven't started yet, but at the rate we are going, it won't be long now. Kicking and punching my bladder seems to be "Little G"'s favourite hobby.

I am feeling really good besides all of the kicks and frequent trips to the bathroom. Getting comfortable at night can be a challenge, but I'm not finding it hard to actually fall asleep.

A typical question I'm being asked right now is "are you craving pickles and ice cream?" The answer is no. With Mira I had more food aversions than cravings. I have the same aversions with this guy as I did with Mira. I love all "beige" foods. Breads. Bananas. Arrowroot cookies. Rice. Pasta. Eggs. Greek Yogurt.

I do not love fish right now. I'm usually a pretty decent fan of the stuff.

Only a few more months to go until we get to meet our little guy. The countdown begins and Geoff cannot wait to meet his little boy. Mira is excited to meet her little brother and constantly comes up with new and exciting names for him. Tonight, she wanted to name him "ketchup". I'm really glad that she doesn't have final say.