Tag Archives: advice

Are you a Natural Mother?

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Are you a natural Mother? I sure as hell am not!

Being a Mother has been the only job I’ve ever had in my life that brought me to my knees begging for mercy on multiple occasions.

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My husband recently brought it to my attention that other people he knows (sometimes himself included) feel inadequate when around me as a parent. This made me sad. Never since becoming a Mother have I EVER tried to force my opinions or ideas on another Mother because I know people parent from their own experiences. What may be important to me, may not be for you.

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Here is a perfect example. When my husband and I were about to become first time parents, I had actually gotten my ideal job offer, BUT, it wasn’t meant to be because my husband was on a trajectory that would make him 3 times more money than I would ever make, but it would require him to leave for long stretches of time, and IF I took my job offer, it would have meant that my baby would be without either of his parents for most of the beginning of his life.

My own Mother’s words rang in my ears about how much she had wished she could have stayed home with me when I was small instead of leaving me in daycare or with various babysitters and I made the decision to stay home, because I wanted better for my son than I had. I wasn’t sad about it because I have faith in myself and know if I went back to work tomorrow I know I could get a full time job, without much headache.

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I think this is what makes me come off to other Mothers as being a natural. The opinion that others have of me, doesn’t bother me. I will tell you it is entirely because of the fact that life has taught me, when others find fault in you, it is because they don’t have the bravery to look at themselves and figure out what is driving them to criticize others. I know I look crazy to others and I know others think I should care more about their opinions but I just walk through my life to my own beat, looking a touch crazy on a regular basis, and I’m proud of that!

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I parent my children without apologies. I make every bad situation into a teachable moment for them and myself. I’ve turned every meltdown that my kids have thrown in public into a teachable moment for me, sometimes I learn my lesson and say, “No way am I gonna attempt that shit again” other times, I just am hurting to solve the issue and try and try and try again! I hear the criticism from others, I just don’t care! Also I have developed this amazing ability to tune out people, I mean if I can tune out the screaming banshee of a child of mine throwing a tantrum about having the wrong spoon colour, tuning our a mean mommy wannabe is easy peasy.

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Back to my original point, I am not a natural Mother, nope not me, you must have me mistaken for someone else! My house is constantly a mess, I swear in multiple languages, multiple times a day! Everything about Motherhood has been difficult for me, I just stepped up, and did my best, researched the shit out of everything I could and then applied what I could to my own situation. Now I will make a list of the things that didn’t come easy to me.

Pregnancy

Childbirth

Recovery from childbirth (two c-sections that had open holes for over two months, and terrible nurses making me cry in hospital both times)

Sleep (the fact that none of my kids slept for more than 3 hours at a time for more than a year a piece) I am not a morning person.

Breastfeeding judgement

Pumping problems

Judgy Grandma telling me to give formula because my kid was too skinny

judgy relatives thinking that both of my kids were on the Autism spectrum (even though I am trained to find markers of learning disabilities and they are trained to be gossipy Aunties, please give me your unsolicited and uneducated opinion)

Hormonal imbalances

Infertility issues when trying for my second

Miscarriage when trying for my second

Dealing with having my health deteriorate due to complications from childbirth

Weight gain for someone like me who used to be athletic!

Dealing with postpartum depression

Despising my husband for not helping because of his and our culture’s chauvinist ways.

My husband not standing up for me to people who constantly criticized me in his circle of people

My husband not stepping up to the plate once we became parents

Recognizing my children have allergies, and then having to step up to the plate and change everything that I had learned to about cooking and relearn to make everything from scratch. A whole lifestyle change.

Even now, I get so much judgement for REFUSING to hang around people that despise me, because it isn’t worth my emotional sanity to give toxic people even a moment of my time.

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The point of all this is to show you, or someone you know that even when you suspect that someone is perfect, chances are they aren’t. I struggle EVERY Day! I am constantly learning how to deal with life so that it doesn’t tip me back into depression. I don’t want your pity because I deal with my emotions, I have balances and checks in place to ensure that I don’t fall back on hard times. I am emotionally intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it, but I am very cautious of whom I ask.

I hope you take a good hard look at yourself today and just be happy that you have made it this far!

 

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Nut Free, Egg free weekly dinners for the whole family! Keto, Paleo & Gluten friendly

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I’ve decided that sharing one recipe at a time can make it difficult to plan for a whole week. So this week, I made 4 different meals, and it is now Saturday and I still have leftovers! Some tweeks can be made to make these follow the Keto or paleo or gluten free diets 

The meals were as follows: 

White fish cooked in lemon butter with couscous and mixed veggies.


This one I pan fried the fish in the juice of one lemon and half a stick of butter, I just dipped them in breadcrumbs (since I don’t use eggs) and made the couscous and veggies in another pot at the same time. I used one package of frozen veggies the carrots and peas mix. Couscous is super easy to make, if you have some tomato sauce laying around it would taste really nice on top of the couscous and veg mix. That’s it, super simple. Follow the directions  on the box for couscous and throw the veggies in at the same time bring to a boil, cover and let sit. 
Chicken thighs with quinoa in a red pepper sauce (one-pot meal).


This I sautéed the chicken thighs in my new non stick pan with butter, turmeric and garlic and minced half a red onion. I puréed three peppers and once the chicken was browned I threw in the puréed peppers and 1 and half cups of quinoa, covered it and simmered it for approximately 15 mins. If the quinoa isn’t soft and fluffy at the end of the 15 then add a cup more water, stir it and cover again for 7 mins. Repeat that as necessary until the quinoa is fluffy! Serve it with cheese for the kiddos and hot sauce or cayenne pepper for the adults!
Vegetarian black bean chilly in lettuce wraps for the adults, and cheddar tortilla wraps for the kids.



There are 4 wraps on this plate and two people ate them lol in case anyone thinks I’m a pig, I am usually but I controlled myself lol

I mean was my masterpiece for the week, made in the instant pot! I soaked a whole bag of black beans or approx 3 and 1/2 cups in a bowl for 30 mins. I sautéed minced garlic, red onion, and mushroom and garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Once sautéed I added puréed Roma tomatoes (I’ve also made this with a jar of tomato sauce) and then added frozen organic corn. Covered the instant pot and set to chilli. While that was happening I made two cups of quinoa with vegetable stock! For the adults I served this on top of lettuce sprinkled with pepper, avocado slices then quinoa and the chilli on top sprinkled with cheese and a small bit of Greek yogurt. The kids I did in a cheddar wrap, they ate it and asked for more. We also ate this on leftover day, and today for dinner! Winner, winner, vegetarian dinner!!!

Tex mex style casserole over rice for the kids and without carbs for the adults


This was easy since I had my seasoning made, which consists of garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sea salt, turmeric,  and cayenne pepper. I browned the ground beef in butter and red onions garlic and seasoning. Then threw it in a casserole dish,  threw in chopped Roma tomatoes, package of shredded cheese, and chives I grew and baked it for 30 mins at 350degrees. You could serve it over rice, or even leftover quinoa! 
This really helped me in the week not to be stressed and well fed. In case you didn’t already pick up on this, I use whole fat ingredients for myself and the family. It’s very close to the Keto or Paleo Diet, and I do personally take from them for myself alone, but I don’t make my kids eat super clean. Unfortunately tree nuts and eggs are basically in everything so I am forced to make almost everything from scratch. 

School lunches, both Nut Free & Egg Free!

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So I’ve now completed making lunches for the first two weeks of school. I must say it has been a successful week, because NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING HAS COME HOME!!


What I did was on Sunday while I was making dinner, I refused to sit down, and make my kids two varieties of wraps. 


For the wraps I used spinach wraps and regular wraps or tortillas. They both had no added sugar, and not as much salt as regular or even most whole wheat bread. We always accompany with two fruits and one veggie in the small planet box compartments. 

WRAP 1:

I had was slow roasted beef from natural selections, with old cheddar cheese and sliced dill pickles! This was a big hit with my kids, like Huge! Either on spinach or plain tortilla. 

WRAP 2:

Natural selections turkey with sliced Havarti and green apple slices! Again Boom! Huge hit!

Then I placed all ten wraps into a large bag and kept it in the fridge pulled a new one out every day and sliced on the diagonal, or you can slice it in pinwheels if your kids like that fancy schmancy stuff!

This weeks wraps were amazing! I know because we all taste tested

WRAP 3:

Apple butter, turkey, shredded mozzarella, cucumbers in an ancient grain wrap!

WRAP 4:

Apple butter, Black Forest ham, cucumbers and feta!

I forgot to take pictures of all the wraps but here is one lunch


My kids LOVE cucumbers! I gave them Ontario peaches and strawberries and a cup of yogurt (Liberte strawberry 2%)mixed with half a cup of Motts fruit and veggie sauce (mostly because my little one loves the combo and there is quite a bit of fibre in it) 

I write this for people who get mad that they have to deal with kids allergies at school, or parents who don’t know what to pack, or parents who want to get out of the norm of package foods, or even want to have their kids eat healthier. I really hope it helps!

Happy Back to school!!

Stay tuned for more homemade snacks without packaging!

Funny story

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I was emptying out my hubby’s clothes from the laundry and pulled out a Long Blonde hair and got so upset, I started throwing all his clothes all over the floor, just tossing it here and there…midway through my hissy fit I realized it was my own long grey hair!!!!

I’m an idiot today! I put the clothes neatly away after that!

Progress with going Grey

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For those of you wondering if I’m still doing it, hells ya! I’m still letting my grey come in and I’m still staining it various shades of purple, and I’m super duper lOving it! 
This is me pre-coffee still in pjs and no product in my hair, this is what happens when I go to sleep with wet hair! Since most of my hair is grey I’ve started incorporating a blonde shampoo into my shampoo rotation, I personally like Lee Stafford, it makes my hair smell nice and washes out the salt and chlorine from the pool nicely! 

Don’t Hang Around Toxic People!

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Recently, within the last few years or so I have come to the realization that I don’t have to hang around people I don’t like, nor do I have to make my kids be in their presence. I’m not under this impression that you should see people to keep up appearances, because well truthfully that is utter bullshit. People who force themselves to be around people who they don’t like, just come off as disingenuous, and fake. When my son was born I make him a promise that I would attempt to put as much good into this world as possible and this is one of the ways that I intend to do that.

The problem with this decision is that I’ve been faced with so much backlash from people that I should make an effort and keep putting myself out there and quite simply I now say; “No.”

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People show you who they are with the way they treat you, and sure someone can have a bad day every now and then and be a bitch, but when someone continuously insults, degrades, questions, demeans or just straight up puts you down in front of others, no matter how many chances you give that person they are going to keep treating you this way because you are Allowing them to treat you this way. You show the aggressor that it’s okay to keep treating you like garbage and they will continue to treat you like garbage until you show them otherwise.

I find that people want you to be a part of the status quo, and the second you decide to do better than them in life, they begin to attempt to bring you back down to their level. The crabs in a bucket theory. The theory being that if you put crabs in a bucket, and they see one crab escaping, they will jointly pull that crab back into the bucket, basically telling that one lonely crab that it should know its roll and fall in line.

We as humans are the same for the most part. It is very rare to find real friends, even family. I have so many family members that told my mom and I off when she was divorced, then there were friends that stood by us. I’ve even had people, tell me off and degrade me in front of my spouse and children, on numerous occasions and then still be expected to hang out again with this person. I’m proud of myself for not doing it. This person is a family member, and the betrayal that I felt when I was degraded cut me deeply. I mourned our times together and then I reminded myself, if that person could do that to me, truly they may not have ever been genuine towards me. I haven’t spoke to this person in years now and when mutual friends or family tell me about them I literally give zero fucks. I smile and nod and don’t feel a thing. It’s sooo fucking liberating to give zero fucks!! I highly suggest it, it is the best medicine for a tortured soul!

Losing a parent or having a great loss in life usually wakes up fake people. This is another observation I’ve made. I lost multiple people whom I was close to at every single developmental stage of my life, and every single one of those people, taught me great lessons in life and their deaths all changed the course of my life for the better. The last person I lost was my mentor. He was my best friend if I’m totally honest one of my greatest life teachers. I used to refer to him as my Canadian Dad. He would always tell me that I just cared too damn much about what everyone else thought about me. It was very true, and in his life he encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, and I always did knowing that he would be there with pizza, gin & tonics with reruns of the sopranos to make me feel better. When he passed, after a long, painful batter with brain cancer, I went full force into living life with less of other people’s expectations on me. I’m sure there were some points in my life where he was cheering me on like “Fuck Yes Leena Jump!” I think I really heard him sometimes, I feel like I still do!

So I guess the point of this long drawn out post today is that I want you as my friend to feel my freedom. Life doesn’t have to be about bullshit toxic people. Cut off people who only bring bad shit to your life. You will feel liberated. You will be happier not having to worry about how someone is looking at you or what they are saying behind your back. Surround yourself with people who tell you what they think of you to your face. Life is too short, to waste on fake friends. Do you and be good to others, just because they are humans like you and I promise you only good things will come your way. If you put goodness into the world, and stop putting bad vibes and Bullshit drama, your life will improve immensely.

Try it and please let me know how it works out for you!Zerofucks

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling with Children

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So first I must thank my wonderful friend Lauren for telling me to put all my information stored in my head up on a post

First step to ease your mind about travelling with children is what form of safety and travel gear will you take? Car seats, Strollers, play pens oh My! Well if you are travelling to specific cities you may be in luck, because you can rent gear from two very reputable companies, and get this, they DELIVER the gear to your destination! Hotel, home, or airport! Whaaaat?!

This is important for people who are concerned when they rent carseats from car rental places, i mean they usually have the cheapest of the cheap, and lowest safety rated carseats. These two companies below, allow you to Choose the same britax you have at home or the city mini jogger if that is your stroller, allowing kids to feel comfortable too!

Their sites are: http://www.weetravel.ca (so reasonably priced) and http://www.coast2coastbabies.com (they only work in select US cities)

So that’s check one off of your list.

Next step is the Stroller you want to take (especially if the companies above don’t service your area). I think the city select is the best stroller of all time.It maneuvers with one hand and can go into any handicap washroom stall, folds easily and is a general lifesaver. When we had two small kids they would face each other and entertain each other. When they were tired it fully reclined, while keeping the canopies closed. It was as if they were in their own business class pods! It is a pricey stroller if you don’t have it but you can easily find them second hand online in great condition! The configurations available on this are just too good to be true. Now that my oldest is 6, he rides the boogie board on the city select and his brother is in the seat, and trust me for connecting flights it is a saviour to not have to run holding a child who cannot run as fast as you, when you can literally just push and run (i recently had to do this in the Vancouver airport at 4am, it was as if I got a bootcamp workout in!) I have no doubt I will be using this stroller for at least two more years especially for travel, which will mean that I’ve had it for 9 years!

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What to pack for the flight?

I have a simple rules for packing a carryon bag. I pack for a worst case scenario. I take a Carryon (wheelie suitcase) and my giant TokiDoki Juju Be soft bag (Starlet or Super Be which can later be used at my destination as a beach bag and a stroller bag.

starlet

starlet1SuperBe

For a baby in diapers: 3 outfit changes, 1 diaper per hours in transit, a travel pack of wipes, (not a small one but the decent size ones in case of a poop explosion) 3 snacks (milk and water if they are not eating solids) per hour of flight, and a way to wear baby and a swaddle blanket for them to cover their eyes like a sleep mask, while rocking them to sleep. My kids sleep with white noise and in the dark so if i cover their eyes on a plane its like the ideal sleep situation for them. Multiple pacifiers if they take them, and in case you lose them!!! No judgement if you don’t.

For a toddler: 3 outfit changes (i usually let them travel in pjs), 1 diaper per hours in transit, 4 snacks per hour (because chewing is good for their ears, especially if in pain). For entertainment purposes, their favourite digital movies downloaded on their ipads or portable DVD player, their headphones, and a little kid neck pillow. Also their favourite Stuffed toy. I also buy like a bunch of mess free colouring books from dollarama, and let them go to town!

For Mom: It’s probably wrong if I say little alcohol bottles, especially as my first item right? well it isn’t too bad, I have done it and will do it again, just to calm my nerves. In all seriousness; 1 change of clothes, ear buds, gum, and basically anything you need to look human and feel like a human and not just a walking Mom zombie! I take my makeup bag, and a headband and hair-tie. My favourtie thing I just found out about was wearing a giant cotton scarf (if you are still wearing baby they have nice baby wearing scarves that you can pull over yourself if you are feeling a chill.

For liquids, medicine, and easy access: I usually take two giant ziplock bags and keep one in my diaper bag. I take tylenol for the kids (who I wake up early, and let stay up late, and they almost always sleep on the flight) I give them tylenol and gravol, 20 mins apart with the last dose 20 mins before take off. I will justify this once, and only once. The tylenol is usually for the pain in their ears, I know by trail and error that this helps, because every time I’ve travelled with my children if one of them refuses the tylenol he is the child that screams their head off on the plane, because he cannot handle the pain in his ears! I also give them a dose of gravol, because they do get tummy aches, and motion sickeness in the car on a regular basis, and after one flight where both of them were screaming that they wanted to throw up every 30 mins, I will always keep liquid gravol ready to go and now it even comes in chewables so you can take chewables for the tylenol and gravol now and not have to worry about the liquid rules.

I also take extra strength tylenol, advil, and sinutab (if you get congested on a flight) for myself in my ziplock medicine bag and benedryl in case of a random allergic reaction. I also keep all the liquids and meds in that are in the ziplock in a Jujube fuel cell, along with two small spoons, forks, and medicine dispensers 2 of them in case one is sick you cant have them sharing (this has happened to me, I shit you not it almost killed me the stress)

Fuel Cell

When you have a baby or child you need to have a little wristlet like the JuJu Be Be Quick that I keep in the outside pocket of the diaper bag with the change bag. In it i have 2 diapers, baby wipes & disinfectant wipes (to wipe down all the seat handles and tray tables and anything your kids can touch because those things are nasty, and the last thing you want is to be sick from some random airplane bug at your destination) When you have the wristlet you can just grab it and the change pad and hands free go to the washroom.

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beQuick

Sometimes I used a second Be Quick for passports and a pen and any travel documents so that everything is in one place and I wear it until I’m on the plane, and then put it inside my diaper bag in a zipped up pocket.

One very important thing you need to pack: Confidence, that you can do it, and even if you don’t who cares, no one else on that flight paid for a private plane so they should know that babies will be babies, and if they don’t give them a death-stare! It isn’t easy travelling with small children but it is doable and can be fun, once you get the hang of it!

CHECKLIST: (you can screenshot and print this list)

  1. Call the travel rental gear places to set up the framework of your travel.
  2. Pick a stroller that will work for your family
  3. 3 outfits per child and one change of clothes for yourself.
  4. diapers per hour in transit depending on child (see above) _____________________
  5. 3 snacks per child and adult per hour
  6. quick grab wristlet (BeQuick) for diapers wipes and change pad
  7. Have a fuel cell handy with small cutlery (sporks) and medicine dispensers 1 per child, and all blister pills or bottles in a separate ziplock bag incase of a leak. You can also store baby bottles in this and it can clip around any diaper bag so that you are hands free.
  8. Be Quick (wristlet) with a pen, and passports and travel documents in it
  9. little backpack for toddler or small child with their headphones, tablet, stuffed animal and crayons and colouring in it so that they have it and they feel like a big kid. If your toddler is travelling with a paid seat they are entitled to their own carry-on take advantage of it. It will give them a feeling of independence, which you may be able to use against them, by saying; “Remember lets all be big boys and girls and use our manners and be thoughtful towards others on the plane” it’s worth a shot!
  10. Also in case of an accident you will need some good plastic bags to shove any soiled clothing into and then tie shut so the rest of your stuff doesn’t smell.
  11. for the above reason I also keep in that liquids ziplock bag in my carryon a little bottle of gain laundry detergent that i pour onto any soiled clothes
  12. One final tip, and this is for any traveller, I vacuum seal all of my carry-on suitcase items, and get a little hand vacuum pump. it saves on room, and I keep all of our clothes in them sealed when travelling to prevent ticks or bedbugs hopping a ride home with me. I know this works because they will die without the oxygen, because I’ve seen a dead tick fall out of a bag when doing laundry after vacation…because sometimes you forget to close the bag, but those suckers can survive the plane right home with after being vacuum sealed!

 

Hope this helps you. If you like it please feel free to share! Please also share any tips that you would like to share!! I’m always open for more advice in my storage of information.