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Sugar Sugar

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Well, day 10 of sugar detox is going surprisingly well.  I am not crazy hungry, and no one has run away from home in fear of my mood swings.  I am not going to use the “D” word, that begins with “DIE”.  I prefer to call this new eating plan, downsizing.  Mostly because I hope it results in downsizing my pants, shirts, dresses, etc.  It is also a prettier word to describe something that isn’t always pretty or easy.  I have lost significant amounts of weight in the past, and even managed to keep most of the pounds off.  For me it requires constant vigilance, and that is the part that wears me down eventually. 

Here are a few things that keep me moving forward in my downsizing plan:

Before you start: See your doctor for a check up and tell them you are thinking about losing weight.  Then talk to a dietitian and find out healthy ways to reach your goal.

Set goals: Set a weight loss or health goal and figure out how you are going to acheive it.  Do you have more success with a work-out partner?  Do you need a weigh-in buddy to be accountable to or give moral support?  I am a lone ranger for the most part, but do need a meal plan to give me specific examples of what I should eat.

Keep positive: Don’t let negativity keep you from reaching your goal.  If you have a bad day or week, move on and try to do better, allow yourself a do-over.  Reward yourself with ‘non-food’ treats when you have success.

Educate yourself :  Read packages, you will be surprised at what is hiding in some of your favourite foods.  Learn about portion sizes, invest in a good food scale, measuring cups, and digital weight scale.  I find that using a smaller plate, or bowl will help me keep portions in check too. 

For example, I began to measure portions, and took note of just how much the serving sizes are for some of my favourite foods.  They aren’t necessarily all junk foods, but things I eat everyday, and contain some sugar.  I don’t eat a lot of take-out or junk food, ‘normal’ foods are making me fat because my servings are often super-sized!  My morning cereal regime was double the suggested serving.

cereal serving 1

Suggested Serving

 

serving 2

Normal Serving

 

More ideas?  Some people find that counting calories and keeping a food journal helps them.  I opted out of those routines.  I have a meal chart from my dietitian that tells me how many starches, proteins, veg, and dairy I should be aiming for during the whole day.

Last, but not least, get moving!  I enjoy walking, but not much else when it comes to exercise.  Find something that works for you and your schedule and stick to it.  Consistency is important, it is hard to reach any goal without it.  Whether it is working toward a promotion at work, or teaching your toddler to potty train.

I am finding it difficult to fit some of my new goals into an already busy schedule.  I find that I have to constantly give myself permission to ‘think of me’.   Like a lot of people in a caregiver role, I sometimes feel guilty for putting my needs into the list of priorities.  I realized that if I don’t take care of myself, I am an unhappy mommy who can’t keep up with her toddler.  I’m sure you will get to hear a lot more about this new ‘sugar-free’ adventure!

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In the 18th Month of Life My Sweet Girl Gave to Me…

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This speaks for itself...

As I reflect on life post-baby, I recognize that each month of her life has brought new changes.  Sometimes these changes are visible in her development, or personality.  Others are visible in me and my approach to parenthood.  I am often asked “What is your favourite stage?”.  I believe that every age and stage brings it’s own joys and challenges.  Sleep issues have been on the top of our challenge list from the beginning.  The nurses kept telling me her newborn sleep would come soon.  I’m still waiting… I have strived to consciously find the joys in this new challenge.  I fear that the terrible twos have crept into our home, 6 months too soon. 

*sung to the tune of  “12 Days of Christmas”*

In the 18 th month of li-fe my sweet girl gave to meeee.

 Head spinning tantrums, fly-ing fo-od, cab-in fe-ver, days with no shower,

5 slop-py kisses! 

Crayon on the walls, laundry to the ceiling, more general whining, and

bags from the la-ck of sleep.   

I’m not kidding; within four days of her 18 month ‘birthday’ this sweet child has flipped her lid!  And it happened very suddenly.  I put my sweet angel down for a nap as normal, with hugs and kisses offered to me, she snuggled up with her favourite stuffy, and was asleep within 10 minutes of her head laying on the mattress.  I went to work for a few hours while she was still sleeping.  I came home to a tantrum that would rival the head spinning scene in the Exorcist.  The whining, crying, kicking, and screaming continued on throughout the evening, and stretched to bedtime.  Now it was my turn for a tantrum, nothing is allowed to interfere with the precious and oh so fragile bedtime routine.  That routine has been shattered, along with her naptime as well.  As soon as there is even the faintest whiff of bedtime the wailing begins.  It took her an hour to fall asleep this afternoon!  By then it was supposed to be wake up time!  And she isn’t even easy going during the non-sleep routines anymore.  It is as though the extra hours of daylight are fueling her crusty attitude, making it extra crispy in it’s golden rays.

So I am certainly not looking forward to the time change this weekend.  Lose an hour of sleep? Can I opt out please?  I haven’t even set my watches to the correct time for the last three time changes.  I choose to live in my own alternate universe. One where my sweet girl returns to the sleeping angel that was.  And where I don’t need to have 3 cups of coffee to make it to noon.

What used to be

SICK Stages

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My gloomy view

Here we are, Spring around the corner.  A time for birds to start singing, and tulips to poke their fresh green tips out of the soil, as a thank you to the sun for it’s increased daylight.  Yet here I am up to my hips in nasty laundry.  Sickness has descended on our little slice of heaven.  All I can say is EWWW.  I would rather have a cold for a full year than to have the ‘stomach flu’.  The bug started making its ugly presence known at the beginning of the week. My daughter gave us a beautiful 18 month ‘unbirthday’ present, and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.  She was sick twice during the night, and I in my denial, thought she seemed fine. 12 hours later I was kicked out of my denial as the sickness trend began: sick child, wash, dress, spot treat laundry, rinse and repeat ad nauseum. 

I have already visited five of the stages of dealing with a sick child.

Stage 1) Denial; “You have never had Melon, it must have upset your stomach”. 

Stage 2) Blame; “Who brought this sickness into my sanctuary?!  Did Daddy bring it home from work?  What, no one else has this sickness at play group?” .

Stage 3) Acceptance; “We could have picked it up anywhere.  It’s only a few extra loads of laundry, and 2 sleepless days/nights”. 

Stage 4) Hope; “You’ve been sick for 24 hours, let’s go to the doctor, but you’ll feel better soon”. 

Stage 5) Anger; “What? This could last another few days? This is normal? She is still too young for over the counter medicine to treat her symptoms?” 

I am hoping that Stage 6 can be titled Joy; “Yay, no more poopy laundry, cranky baby, tired and showerless mommy”.  But alas, that stage will have to wait as I am revisiting the previous stages.  It is three days later, my daughter is still cranky because of the lingering fever, but thankfully free of clothes and blanket ruining symptoms.  Also, my husband has been up all night with his own version of the bug, and my own stomach is not feeling too good today.  I am hoping that the rumblings and queasiness are a result of exceeding my usual caffeine intake.

Stranger Danger

For someone who never really had the nerve to speak up about anything for most of my life, things have really changed in the last year.  It is easier to talk to strangers than it is to people I have known for a long time.  I find myself talking to strangers more and more everyday.  Not just behind the privacy of my computer aliases, but in line ups at stores, coffee shops, and random places that my wander lust brings me. It used to be that I would stand stoic in line, waiting for my turn to be next, sometimes grumbling under my breath at the hold-ups.  I used to be able to stealthfully slip into stores and get my purchases home with little attention being drawn to me at all.  Now, I feel like I need to have a little more patience and to put on a happy face during shopping trips. It’s not that I am in any less of a hurry now, or have less on my mind.  I feel like everyone is watching the crazy lady with the cute kid to see what she will do next.  Paranoid?  

The biggest change in the last year and a bit?  For those that don’t know me, I am usually wrestling with an 18 month old while loading and unloading a cart, loading bags, handing over coupons, and paying the cashier.  And then if the totals come up wrong, hold on for another endless wait for correction, or worse yet, be sent to another line up @ the service desk to get your OWN money back.  Phew…excuse the mid-blog rant.  The physics of shopping have changed, so I have had to change too.  It is almost impossible to travel unseen or unheard in public places when you have a baby.  And the odds seem stacked against you for even the simplist of outings: 

1)A stroller or cart loaded to capacity, almost impossible to turn a corner without being Hercules. 

2)The Toddler screaming for the snacks on the shelves or in the hands of other people nearby.

3) The mommy brain that won’t let you remember what was on the list you left on the kitchen counter.

4) Getting on or off a bus with a fully loaded stroller and traversing 3 foot high snowbanks so carefully carved by the plows, and hard packed by the cold.

5) I forgot what I wanted to write for this one…

That being said, I can choose to let the frustrations come out and bombard the people who happen to share my personal space.  Or I can try to put a humourous spin on the situation.  The talking to strangers factor can sometimes pay off.  And generally I find that a smiling baby brings out the best in people, and somehow gives them the desire to be friendly in a situation that could be stressful or irritating.  Yes, I know there are people who claim to hate children, I have met many over the years.  I’m not addressing them today.  A smiling baby also distracts people when you cut in front of them in line.  Talking to strangers has become a newly learned social skill for me.  Apparently it’s not too late to teach this old cat some new tricks. Now if only I could remember what my closing point was supposed to be.