Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lacing up my running shoes

So I nearly went off my meds again this week, and it wasn't by choice! Wednesday night as I took my pill, I realized I'd forgotten to venture out with the hooligans, er, boys, to get my refill and I'd just taken the last pill. I was headed to visit my mom on Thursday, leaving early in the morning and not returning until well after midnight. So, after tucking Felix in for the night and Jay was well into the bedtime routine with Elliot, I put on my running shoes and set out.

Ahhhh running. How I have missed you! I started running on the treadmill at the gym in the months leading up to our wedding. I had worked up to being able to run for 30 minutes straight. I stuck with it, but when I became pregnant with Elliot, I decided to take a break. (Actually, that's not completely accurate. There was a pregnancy before Elliot. I kept up my usual routines: running several times per week, visiting my chiropractor, sleeping on my tummy... but I had an early miscarriage and although none of those things were at all likely to have contributed to it, I was v.e.r.y cautious.) And thus ended my relationship with my running shoes.

Fast forward 3 years. With 2 kids, running is going to be the fastest way to get in shape. I don't have much time to take care of myself, but need to make it a priority. I go to my Mommies in Motion exercise class (formerly Stroller Strides, but there were copyright issues) one a week. Usually we're late getting out of the house, so I run with the jogging stroller. Elliot laughs and encourages me "Faster, mama! Faster! Why are you stopping? Go fast!!!"

Ok... getting back on track: I headed out to the drug store around 8:30 Wednesday night. I ran most of the way there. I thought I was doing pretty good, until I'd get in between songs on my iPod and I could hear myself gasping. Funny, it didn't feel like I was all out of breath.

The pharmacist looked up my file and then said, "Actually, there are no more refills left on this prescription." I actually had a total 'WHAT - you've got to be shitting me' moment. My jaw must have dropped and that, combined with my red from exertion face (it was horrible - I caught a glimpse of my reflection on the way out the door) and my sucking in the air, quickly had her adding "But we can probably loan you a few to tide you over until you can get in to see your doctor." BIG relief. They loaned me six and I now have an appointment to get a refill on Tuesday. Phew!

It was getting dark when I left the drugstore. The air was very damp and misty. I didn't feel like running anymore, but imagined Jay at home with 2 screaming boys, so I decided I should pick up my feet. It's amazing how heavy and sore your legs can be at first. They were protesting the simple action of walking, and here I was prodding them to propel my body faster.

Within seconds of starting to run again, instinct took over and it felt totally natural. Everytime I'd slow to catch my breath, I could feel the aches and pains returning. Then I had to start all over again. But the wind in my face was refreshing. I love looking up as I run, watching the tree branches above me fly by. But that is how you fall into holes and smack into construction signs, so I don't do that anymore.

It was a good thing I ran home. Within 5 minutes of arriving, Felix was crying. It was a simple resettle, but I'm glad I was there for it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mmmm Fudge

Freezer Fudge - a 'healthy' alternative

1 cup cocoa
1 cup natural nut butter
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2-3 TBSP water

Warm the nut butter (I usually use peanut butter, as it's what I have on hand), either in small pot on stove or in microwave. Mix in cocoa, water and maple syrup. Pat flat into freezer safe container. Freeze. Enjoy!

It's best to use all natural ingredients: 'peanut only' butter, for example, and pure maple syrup, not Aunt Jemima! Since the nut butter is a good protein source and there wouldn't be any/many refined sugars, it would be a bit filling and should satisfy a chocolate or fudge craving without tempting you to go overboard and eat the whole pan in one sitting. In theory.

It makes a very bold flavoured 'fudge', dark chocolate fans should enjoy it. I brought this to a party once, but it wasn't a bit hit, since it's not sweet & creamy like traditional fudge. Oh well, I don't like traditional fudge, so more for me!

Today, I was out of maple syrup, so used about half a cup of brown sugar, which I melted with some water in a pot on the stove. I added the last few drops of maple syrup in the bottle and added a tiny splash of vanilla, then mixed in the cocoa and peanut butter. It's sweeter than usual, and a good variation. Next time I think I might try a different kind of butter - maybe almond or hazelnut - and add a splash of mint extract.

Mmmm. Fitting, since today is very rainy. If only the kids could amuse themselves safely long enough for me to curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee and a few pieces of my fudge. If only....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

10 inches gone

Soooo, I finally did it. I went and chopped off all my hair. No more mom ponytail for me, thank you very much! The great part is that the length cut off was just over 10 inches, which met the requirements to donate it to Locks of Love a non-profit organization that donates hair pieces to children who've lost their hair to cancer and other diseases.

I made sure my hair was clean and dry, without any styling products in it. Then I told the hairdresser what I wanted to do and asked that she lop off as much as possible before washing it. She split it into two ponytails, did a dry cut, and Voila!

It's going to take a while to get used to having such short hair (a cute little bob), but I love it!

While I was out getting chopped, Jay and Elliot were home rearranging the guest room (again) to accommodate the crib. As of tonight, Felix is in his own room. We'll just see how well this goes. I'm certain I'll be spending most of the night in the spare bed!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Naptime, not peekaboo!

Ahhh Felix. I laid down with him for his afternoon nap and endured 10 minutes of him trying to pry my eyelids open. With each nano-second sliver of eyeball he'd reveal, he'd smile wide around his soother and cackle at me. When he couldn't roll my lids up like blinds, he tried scooping out the eyeball instead. And when that also didn't work, he resorted to an old favourite: How many fingers can I stick up mama's nose? How far in can they go before she jumps? How about my thumb? Maybe my pacifier?? Oh joy.

He was stupid tired, but obviously not going to sleep with me there, so into his crib he went. Where he wailed furiously for 4 minutes while I curled up in Elliot's bed and read a book. Then I went back in and rubbed his head until he conked out. And slept for a whole 25 minutes! Somehow got him back to sleep (more head rubbing and back patting) and he napped another 20 minutes or so, and that was that.

Little stinker!

At least he got a full hour's nap this morning. Me too, that was nice. Except for the dream I had which ended with me screaming at my husband "Fine then. I'm getting a divorce lawyer as soon as we get back to Halifax." Fun times. I hate dreams like that, they ruin my whole day.

Speaking of ruined days, I was later than usual picking Elliot up from daycare today (because Felix wouldn't settle in the stroller for another afternoon nap until late, and there was a huge line at the post office). When I got there, he was crying on one of the teacher's laps. Unusual for him. She said it was because they were cleaning up the playground toys and he wasn't done playing with them yet.

His face was filthy - snot mixed with sunscreen and sand will do that - so inside we headed to pick up his backpack and wash his face. Afterwards, he started crying when it was time to get in the stroller and he said he needed a change. Back inside we went again to clean a very messy diaper.

As soon as I started wiping him off, he arched up off the table, screaming and crying for me to stop and to be gentle. Poor little dude, as soon as I wiped him up, I saw a nasty bloody rash. It's very unusual for him to get a rash, especially one that bad so quickly. Cleaned him up, slathered him in diaper cream and took him home. He wouldn't even sit down at supper time, or when he was playing afterwards. Hovered on his knees, refusing to sit. Had another messy diaper before his bath and flat out refused, in hysterics, to sit in the bathwater. More cream, some Motrin, lots of hugs and kisses, and now daddy is putting him to bed. Poor monkey. I hope it clears up soon.

And on that note, my gin and tonic needs to be refreshed. Yum!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reunited, and it feels so good!

Just over 13 months ago, at 30 weeks pregnant with Felix, my water broke. I'd been out for a nice walk with a friend and her little girl. We went back to her house, she kept Elliot and fed him supper (then took him home, bathed him and put him to bed) and her husband drove me to the hospital. Long story short, everything resealed and I didn't go into labour. BUT, I ended up in the hospital for 5 days, hooked up to an IV getting antibiotics to keep possible infection at bay, and getting steroid shots to help mature the baby's lungs. The IV made me swell instantly. Before going home that night, Jay took my wedding and engagement rings with him.

I was pregnant and on bedrest for a very looooong time afterwards. The little stinker was 10 days overdue in the end! Bad swelling in my hands and feet. I had horrible carpal tunnel in the last weeks, which lasted about 8 weeks postpartum, too. Washing my hair was miserable, and it would take several attempts with numb, stupid fingers to get Felix latched on to nurse. My fingers never went back to their old size. I kept telling myself it was the extra weight I had yet to lose, that soon my rings would be back on in all their glory. And the days turned into weeks and months and finally a year, then longer still.

Last week, I said enough was enough. I went in to get them resized. Turns out, my ring finger is now a size 7/7.25. And my rings were both size 6.25. Yeah, not bloody likely to fit me any time soon! I got them sized to a 7. Picked them up today. (They still feel tight, but I'm hoping that's just the heat today, and the fact that I was actually jogging ~ !!! ~ this morning.)

Here they are - so pretty! Looking at this picture, man, my hands are in rough shape! Nails bitten to the quick, skin all dry and reptilian. Eeeew! But look, I have shiny bling! That makes everything better!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mmmmm cake.


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla or mint extract (and your favourite tipple if desired)
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake may rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

A bit chewy, but it hits the spot when you're in the middle of a bad craving and you've already eaten all of hubby's M&Ms and he's hidden the leftover Easter chocolate and that chocolate protein shake just doesn't seem appetizing. Goes well with wine.

Edit: Holy crap. Just ran a calorie analysis on this. Wait for it. 949. Delish, isn't it!!!!!! Use applesauce instead of oil to slash that waaaay down.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Parenting sucks.

I am furious with Elliot today.

I skipped my stroller strides class this morning as we had a rough night with Felix (who has a fever and is super congested yet again) and couldn't get out the door on time. But we still headed to the mall. On the way there, there is a little green space park - paths and walkways in between people's houses, etc. It's nice and sheltered and quiet. I generally let Elliot out of the stroller to walk there as it's safe.

Today, he walked nicely most of the way then high tailed it down a path into someone's back yard. I cut through the bushes too, calling after him that we needed to stay on the path, it was not our yard and that he needed to come back. He ran faster, giggling. I started running and yelling that there was a ROAD UP AHEAD - ELLIOT STOP NOW! In my stern voice. (Which of course woke up Felix who was napping, strapped to my chest in the Ergo.) Nope, he ran right out into it and down about a house length and into someone else's yard, where I caught up with him. I told him I was very angry, that it wasn't safe to run into the road and that he's not to run away from me. And marched him back to the stroller where he had to ride the rest of the way.

We got to the mall and I kept my word from last week that we'd get the dinosaur mall stroller, the upstairs we went for coffee and to meet up with a friend. I let Elliot out of the stroller to sit with us at the table. He was very good and I gave him a bit of freedom (bad move on my part) by letting him throw our trash in the garbage about 20 feet away. Soon after, he got down from the table and ran away giggling through the food court. I chased him and saw a woman reach out to scoop him up for me - turns out I know her, so we chatted for a bit after I talked to Elliot again, me holding him in my arms the whole time. Then he got marched back to the stroller and buckled in.

Then it was time for diaper changes, so we went down to the nursing room in Sears. The room was occupied, so we used the room next to it that has a bed (for those elderly shoppers who collapse? I guess) and a small washroom attached. Turns out Elliot's cloth diaper leaked all through his pants and I didn't have a spare pair. Then he went toddler-wild while I changed Felix's unexpected poop, tearing the blankets of the bed and jumping and such.

Even in the midst of crazytown, I still snapped a couple of pics:

I put Elliot back in the stroller (in a disposable diaper, socks and shirt) while we went out to shop for a new pair of pants. He took his socks off and threw them on the floor. He managed to get out of the stroller and ran through Sears, I only caught up with him in the portrait studio on the other side. Luckily, my friend was still with me, so Felix was safe back in the clothing department.

Another big lecture and a smack on the bum for that one. Got him new pants (several more escape attempts, including hitting/biting me while I carried him from rack to rack.) Pants on, paid for, then we headed home.

I'm so angry at him, and myself. I know I handled it wrong, but honestly don't know what I should have done. Well, I should have just gone home after he ran from me on the way there, but I needed to pick stuff up and didn't want to punish everyone (and the friend I was meeting).

I've tried stern voice, calm voice, loud voice, quiet voice, spanking (1 light swat on bum) hand smacking, forced confinement in the stroller, time out corners, rationalizing, withholding things (you threw your cookie so you're not getting another one, etc).

I don't want to hit my kids. I hate that I've resorted to it. Obviously it doesn't work and Elliot's hitting back, so he's already learned that bad behavior from me. How can he learn not to hit if I smack him? Bad, bad parenting. Not the way I ever envisioned my parenting methods.

I have been consistent for the most part, and escalated when he wouldn't listen, except that now he just won't listen. Some of it is typical toddler boundary pushing - hell, most of it is - but he finds it funny.

We're not going out without his backpack leash again. I just don't trust him. He needs to earn back that trust. But I hate taking away his freedom. He likes to run - I like to let him run where it's safe. I try to provide places and outlets where he can run free and explore.

I am so close to giving up and becoming a hermit which will likely result in me being on the news with a headline about psycho mama goes apeshit and children are found in the freezer, etc.

I'll bet this morning was a combination of sugary foods, likely poor sleep (he was awake at 6am, an hour earlier than usual), typical toddler acts and a cranky, tired, mama. Knowing that doesn't make it easier to deal with. I still need to find a way to make him know that pushing those boundaries (running away) isn't tolerable.

He had an ok breakfast, but it was a bit high on sugar: honeynut cheerios, milk, honeydew melon. (Not too far off his usual breakfast, but not as substantial. Note to self: switch to plain cheerios or something else) While in the mall, he had 1/2 a raisin bran muffin, grapes, honeydew melon, cheese, shreddies, cheerios, raisins and a blueberry nutragrain bar. He fell asleep in the stroller on the way home, sometime before 12:30 and slept until 4. (I managed to transfer him to his bed and he stayed asleep)

Since waking up, he's had a piece of toast with peanut butter cut into the shape of a gingerbread man, 2/3rds of a banana, milk, water, cheese, grapes, and a bean & sweet potato burrito. Supper is in an hour and I doubt he'll eat much!

Ugh. I need a drink. Or a spa vacation.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Such a lovely day today. It took forever for the sun to come out, but when it did, I hung out the diapers while Jay took Elliot for a walk around the block before lunch.

Elliot had a good nap, then we went outside to watch Jay mow the lawn. Elliot dragged out his toy mower and helped, then put all of his outside toys in a line. Then Jay's dad came and picked up Elliot and took him away for the rest of the afternoon!

Grammy & Grampy Silver had a huge pile of dirt in their yard and they said it was very hard to get Elliot out of it when it came time for supper!

Meanwhile, Jay, Felix and I joined the neighbours in their backyard for an impromptu BBQ. Felix had fun dragging himself around their lawn and rolling balls back and forth. Then, he climbed up the 3 steps to their deck. A first for Felix! He's eyed up our steps at home many times, but has only gone so far as to pull himself up to standing at the foot of them. It will be interesting to see what he does the next time he sees them. I remember going out to a movie with Jay when Elliot was about 8 months old. When we came home, Grampy Silver said "Wow, he's sure good on stairs!" Jay and I looked at each other, shocked. Until then, he hadn't climbed them. The baby gate went up the next day.

They brought Elliot home a little after 7 and we slooowly made our way back to our yard and got the boys inside for bath time. Poor Felix had been awake for 5 hours at this point, but he was in a surprisingly good mood. (Refused a third afternoon nap) He crashed pretty quickly while nursing after his bath.

Ahhh. Time to sit, maybe watch some TV. Wine's all gone. Too bad - will have to make sure to pick some up tomorrow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Is anyone out there?

Feeling a bit blue and pensive today. Must be the rain.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ladybugs and backyard shenanigans

Took both boys to my stroller strides class this morning. It went much better than I expected. Elliot stayed in the stroller calmly and watched while 13 women ran up and down the mall, stopping at each point to do 10 jumping jacks or touch the floor. Then there were pushups and crunches and more running. When we first got there, while we were doing laps around the mall, Elliot asked "When are we be to your exercise class?" Cutie pie.

I let him out of the stroller towards the end of the class and he ran happily up and down the mall, doing a length up traveling squats with us, too. He played with his dinosaurs on the yoga mat and got territorial when it came time for me to do pushups.

Then I traded in our double stroller for a fun ladybug car mall stroller and put Felix in the Ergo and we got coffee and muffins (much crying ensued - Elliot wanted "a WHOLE muffin of my OWN" instead of the piece I offered to share and instead his many snacks.) And then he pitched a fit because he wanted the dinosaur car instead of the ladybug and "I don't want number 21. I want a different number. I want the DINOSAUR!"

At least he uses his words. Most of the time.

Calmed him down and it was time for Felix to nap. Managed to nurse him, then we walked around until he fell asleep. Elliot and I shopped for dinosaur swim trunks (no luck) and stroller accessories. (Some luck.) Then Felix woke up, so we traded the ladybug back and headed over to Walmart for new cheap shoes for Elliot to ruin at daycare.

Since it was nearing lunch time and I knew it would be a while before we were home and something yummy was prepared, we stopped at Sobeys for some Cheesy Macaroni from their deli. (YUM!) We got it to go and while I was paying, Elliot whipped Felix in the face with a dinosaur (I think it was the ankylosaur) and broke the skin under his eye. Much crying, but he was soon soothed.

Elliot fell asleep in the stroller 5 minutes later. Somehow, I managed to keep him asleep when we got home and carried him up to his room. Yes! Felix and I had lunch and then we went for a nap, too. (Ok, he napped, I read a book.)

When we all got up again, Elliot stated he didn't want to do anything, so we headed out into the backyard where the boys played in dirt, ate grass, ate rocks, and did general boy things.

Then Elliot helped harvest some rhubarb and we went inside and made a strawberry rhubarb upside down cake. It was delish!

Both boys melted down quickly and I was very glad when Jay got home. Then it was bath and bedtime for both (Felix is sooooo restless!) and whew! Supper for mama and daddy.

Long day.
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