Thursday, July 31, 2014

post maternity leave wardrobe update

I've been looking forwarding to non maternity clothing for a while. You know, tops that aren't stretched or stained from breastfeeding. My longstanding joke is that I'm going to start dressing uber conservative post breastfeeding just because I crave high necklines! I'm quite tired of my breasts hanging out.

Yup, you read that right.

I'm tired of having my boobs hanging out. I long for high necks, long sleeves and full coverage. After a year of feeling like my breasts are always on display, I long for inaccessible, high neckline clothing. I'm ready to reclaim the girls, put them back in their pretty bras, and just start feeling a little like, on some small level, my body is my own again!

If I'm honest, it's part of going to back to work that I'm really looking forward to. It's totally trivial but there you have it.

So I keep eyeing up clothing, looking for items that meet the criteria. But here's the kicker: now, when I don't need it, I feel like everything I see is breastfeeding friendly whereas last year this time I couldn't find tops anywhere. Go figure.


So if you happen to see some really sweet high, funky necked tops at a decent price, let me know. Cause I'm in the market. Just saying...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

reusuable food pouches

A while back, this blogger wrote about the hidden environmental costs of using baby food pouches. She made some great points, from the market creating a need that doesn't really exist, to the fact that all these pouches are a nightmare in terms of waste. She also pointed out some good things, like the organics and food combos to introduce little ones too.

But as a mama who is particularly concerned about the consumption culture that surrounds little ones, I had already made a move towards buying my own reusable, refillable pouches through my local mom's co-op (have I ever told you how much I love my local mom's co-op and how dangerous it is at the same time?!) from Nourish.

I'll admit, for a long time I didn't use these pouches as Liam just didn't seem to get how to use them independently. And since he won't let me feed him anymore, filling them with foods I need to spoon feed him isn't an option.

But frustrated with his resistance to cereals and running low on finger food inspiration, I thought I'd try mixing his cereal/smoothie into the pouches and try again now that he's almost the big ONE.

I won't lie. There were a few mishaps. One that involves a certain mama losing her cool, scooping goo up from everywhere, and the need to pull apart the high chair to throw everything, straps, seat cover and all, in the wash machine since the thorough scrubbing hasn't done the trick...

But guess what?

Yesterday he got it. And he was adorably pleased with himself when he realized that if he sucked on the spout, food came out.

Yum, blueberry, banana, oatmeal, yogurt, chia mix!

Look mama, clean hands (sort of)

I admit, I'm pretty stoked that he's figured it out as it gives me a way to get those veggies back into him. Since moving to finger foods, making sure he's getting enough veggies has been a bit more challenging because it's just easier to hand him raw fruit and I forget to steam veggies in advance. Now I can pull out the kale, peach, yogurt mix to add into his cereal.

Random tip (especially if you have a trouble maker like I do): make the mix thicker, not too liquidy, because then they can't just pour it out!

Product Review: I like the pouches. They're relatively easy to use, clean, and fill. Customer service was great. The only thing I would have liked would be for the bags to have a double ziplock for the more precocious child.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fruit Monster

Since Liam's birthday had a monster theme I decided to make a fruit monster.

Here's how I did it:

Cut off bottom so it sits on the tray...

Cute out mouth and hollow out watermelon

Use creativity to make face and load with fruit

Enjoy the cute treat!

Friday, July 11, 2014

diy microwave popcorn

Who doesn't love popcorn?  I know I do. But I don't love microwave popcorn bags. They're expensive and full of junk. I miss the hot air popcorn maker that we had growing up, but honestly, don't really want to buy yet another kitchen gadget.  So when I came across this tutorial to make your own microwave popcorn, I was sold.

I gathered up the supplies:
  • popcorn
  • brown paper lunch bags
That's it. (Oh, and a microwave).

I poured in my 1/4 cup of popcorn and folded the bag over 2x and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. (I used my Quick On button, so I imagine that's high power). Paul mocked me saying that he thought that it was going to come out of the bag, but it didn't.

And here are the results:

 Honestly... not a single kernel burned AND most of the kernels popped. I was pretty impressed. This is WAY cheaper and healthier than your store bought bag.

And since I'm looking to make healthy popcorn, I decided to try my own flavourings (I have a coworker who rocks at this, so I knew they could be tasty). I took mine from this blogger.

For the sweet tooth: Mexican Chocolate

Mix of icing sugar, cocoa and cinnamon

For the savoury tooth: Italian and Parmesan

Mix of Parsley, Basil, Garlic, Onion and Parmesan

Best thing about the mixes? I doubled the popcorn for both bowls (1/2 cup total*) and used about 2 tsps of butter, just enough to coat the popcorn and catch the seasoning. So overall, WAY healthier option!

And voila. DIY healthy microwave popcorn!

* I don't recommend trying to pop the 1/2 cup in one bag, all at once. I did it twice, in two 1/4 allotments because the bag really isn't big enough to hold the doubled amount.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

miss Mayla

Mayla is starting to get old. Paul and I have been watching the transition over the past year or so. We've noticed that she struggles more to jump up on the bed or various other physical activities that she used to be quite nimble at.

I was sorting through files a while back and realized that she's actually 16 years old now. I adopted her in 1999 when she was 8 months old and she's been my home and family ever since.

Over the years she's changed and grown with me. But now she's getting to that point of no return. Recent problems have revealed that she has a degenerative kidney problem and that we need to put her on palliative medicine to help her kidneys function properly. It's not a cure, just a fix to help maintain her health/quality of life.

So now we play the wait and see game. Will the meds help? What is her overall health and comfort? When has the illness taken her to a point in time where it's time to let her go so that she's not suffering?

Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with it all, even though I'm sad, because I know she's had a good life; that I rescued her from an overcrowded SPCA in Victoria when she was a sickly little thing that most people would have walked past. But I saw her in that cage, rubbing up against my hand, so very much in need of love and affection and my heart was hers. She has been the being that I have come home to now for 15 years.

I hope that despite the little monster that I have brought into her life, you know, the one who just is so excited about her but doesn't understand the concept of gentle yet and thus drives her crazy, that she will be healthy and happy in these last months/years. That I can ensure that when it's time to let her go, that she'll know that I love her deeply and that she has been my fixed point in the sea of change that has marked my life since leaving home. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

cleaning the chaos and creating space for inspiration

Lately I feel a little like I've been drowning in chaos. My home feels crazy cluttered and I feel totally overwhelmed by the idea of even starting to clean. Of course, it doesn't help that my little monster has his own ideas about cleanliness, including, but not limited to, pulling everything out of the drawers and leaving them on the kitchen floor.

So when I decided to tackle my craft room, I knew that I was just going to have to embrace the chaos that comes with cleaning with Liam under foot:

I knew that I needed to tackle this room though, even with Liam underfoot, because I haven't been doing anything creative and I miss it. I didn't want to step foot in the room because it had become a dumping ground for everything over the past month or so, which means I have not be scrapbooking, art journaling, or pretty much anything in the space. All of which means that Marya was feeling pretty out of sorts not having a creative outlet.

Because the one thing I have learned since finishing school is that this girl needs projects AND creativity nurtures my soul and makes me a happier person.

Every time I looked at my craft space, I just cringed and thought, no, another day.

But there are several sayings about chaos and desks and possessions and identity that have been rolling around in my head lately as I avoided the task. The first being that a cluttered desk/home can be the sign of a cluttered mind (in my case very true) and having too much stuff prevents us from finding ourselves in lieu of being defined by the stuff.

So I dove in and already I feel lighter and more excited about finding time to do something creative!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

something I wrote, in the wee morning hours, the morning my water broke last year

July 16th, 2013. Written at 3:57am

Ok, I think it's safe to say that it's official: I've hit baby making meltdown point.

I'm sure it's normal and lots of late pregnancies go through this. But this baby needs to get out. He needs to do something because I'm starting to lose my shit for a multitude of reasons.

1. Other than getting fatter and redder when I walk, my body doesn't really seem to be doing anything that marks any progress towards labor. I think that at least if I had some sort of signs that labor was imminent I'd feel calmer. I know, I actually asking for some pain, contractions, sore hips, etc to indicate that he's moving down and getting ready.

2. I've done my entire pregnancy in French, my second language, which means that I don't have the fluidity to express my ideas, feelings, and/or concerns. It makes it harder for me to ask questions or to have the language to realize things in my appointments that I might catch sooner in English. For example, we don't have a follow up appointment booked: do I call you or you call me?

3. My Mom is only here for a limited amount of time and I feel a ton of pressure (self-imposed) to have this baby before she leaves in order for her to be able to meet him.

4. It's so bloody hot and we have no air conditioning in our home. I'm literally melting and feeling beet red on a daily basis at the moment, which as you can imagine, makes me particularly pleasant to be around.

5. I'm just freaking out. Point blank. I know it's hormones and I know that I should appreciate every moment I have before my life changes irrevocably but I'm freaking out over here and feeling like this baby is never going to come and honestly, I don't know whether I am more inclined to wanting to break down into tears or throw a temper tantrum. Yeah, I'm only half joking as I write that which is the scariest part of it all.

6. I want to trust that my body just knows what it's doing because let's face it, it has throughout my entire pregnancy but the raging hormones are starting to make me doubt it. As in, what if my body is one of the few that just doesn't know? What if, gods forbid, it fails me in this final hour, and doesn't do what it should do naturally? What if? What if it fails and I have no follow up appointment, where do I go, what do I do? Do I wait for my Dr to call me or do I call for an appointment? And never mind all the irrational fears I have about said call and the fact that I feel like I'll be left hanging in the Quebec medical system because no one will see the urgency that I am currently feeling?

Oh yes, my hormones are at an all time freak out level. It's a fact. I am currently in the midst of a complete meltdown, don't say I didn't warn you at the beginning of this post!

On the other hand, somewhere deep beneath the hormonal freak out I have enough of a small voice of reason in there to remind me that this too shall pass and that what I'm feeling is probably very normal; to trust that the system won't completely fail me and that I'll go to my ultrasound on Wed, if I don't go into labour first, and there will be a well planned out follow up routine in place that I just don't currently know about and that the medical system, in their blase "been there, done this a million times" overlooked sharing with this first time Mom because they lost sight of the individual over the routine. Yeah. And really, my body has been fine this entire pregnancy so it'll be fine with labour.

Right? Right. Help a hormonal pregnant lady out... remind her that it's going to all work out just the way it needs to and that I just need to relax. The end is only a matter of days away and it's going to be fine.


I can't help but find it sort of ironic/funny that I was melting down so much for something that was only hours away! Literally 47 hrs later I was holding Liam in my arms. Not that I'm going to have another, but I can see how a second pregnancy would just be so different! And how I would cherish those last days so much more than I did the first time around because the newborn stage is infinitely harder than the big, red, bloated stage. Just saying...


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