Its Getting Festive

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I couldn’t help myself.  I mean I suppose I could if I tried but I didn’t really.  Johannes is practicing for his school Christmas concert every day and we’ve made the shift from listening to Thomas songs in the car, to Christmas carols.  Add to this below zero temperatures and two days of snow fall and it sure feels like Christmas is here.  While Magnus napped Johannes and I decorated the house.  This is the first year where he seems genuinely excited for Christmas, Santa, cookies and parties.  I think its going to be an incredibly fun holiday season!  Best one yet!

And yes I do realize that its still November, but I couldn’t help myself.  Next on the list of Christmas decorating “to-do’s”….buy and put up the Christmas tree!  December 6th, its on my calendar.

What’s the earliest you’ll put up holiday decorations?!

Week 2 #BBK Get Fit Challenge

healthy salad recipe bbk get fit challenge week 2 iPhone photo @bluebirdkisses

Salads, this week is about salads.  But first a recap.

I was…correction, I AM so blown away by the response I got to this challenge.  I thought maybe one or two of you maximum, would want to follow along and help me on my way, but it seems I am so not alone on this journey and that in itself is inspiring me.  It also holds me accountable because I can’t just very well quit something that I said I was going to do now can I?! So how did you do?

Me?  Well to be honest I think this challenged actually made my week easier in some ways.  It helped to have the oatmeal made ahead of time, giant thank you to my husband for making a big batch on Sunday for me.  Instead of having to think about what sort of toast I wanted for breakfast and make it, I knew I had a batch of oatmeal ready to go so I could easily spoon out a bit of it, heat it up, throw cinnamon, crushed nuts, and berries with it and have that along with my giant glass of water and coffee for breakfast.  Johannes even wanted the same thing so it made breakfast a no brainer.  For next week I’m going to try my friend Julie’s recommendation and boil some eggs that I can easily mash up with avocado or even eat along side my oatmeal.

Water…I think I did ok, but not amazing.  I could do better.  I will do better.  I’m going to make sure every day that there’s a bottle of water in the car so when I’m driving the kids around I can sip as I go.

Now before I explain next week’s challenge I just want to say that the next challenge is meant to build on this week’s not replace it.  So keep drinking the water and keep making healthy breakfast choices.  I’d also love to hear how you did, what breakfast choices did you make?  any tips that can help me, and anyone else who reads this blog?

roasted-butternut-squash-and-chickepea-salad-3 roasted squash and chickpea salad

Now…

Week 2 challenge – SALADS.  I don’t eat enough salads generally opting for the sandwich at lunch or the pasta/pizza dinner.  So for the next week the challenge is to have one salad a day.  Small or large.  As a side or as a main course.  For lunch or dinner, it’s yours and my choice (for now).  But just get some healthy greens and antioxidants in.  And if you happen to order the salad while out for a meal, ask for the dressing on the side so you can regulate what and how much you put on.  Personally I’m going to stick to vinegrettes for the dressings, and as often as possible I will make it myself.  Dressing can sometimes contain more sugar and more fat than a Big Mac…this is legit I promise.

So how does this sound?  Doable?

Here are some healthy hearty salads I pinned on Pinterest.  And also one that I made myself a while back (above), to get you inspired and started with this week’s Get Fit Challenge.

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lentil and goat cheese salad

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butternut squash and barley salad w/ poached egg

b903be38ac19428579847004e56d899a avocado salad with kick-ass dressing

Sick at Two Months – What I’m Doing

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I knew it was coming.  It was only a matter of time before Magnus caught a cold.  As much as I try to keep the boys separated when Johannes is sick, its virtually impossible to do.  So now here we are, Magnus is exactly two months, and he is sick.  No fever, no cough, just sinus stuffiness and congestion.

I find myself less panicked than I was the first time Johannes was sick, but not at all less worried.  My fears are still the same, will he be able to rest?  what if he stops breathing during the night?  How do I help him breathe better?

Some remedies I remembered right away, while others were new to me.  But so far here is what I’ve found to work.

(1) Eucalyptus essential oil on his chest, feet and a couple of drops on his clothing every few hours as the smell disappears.

(2) Vicks humidifier on with the Vicks vapour pad running during the night.

(3) Nursing every two and a half hours.  Because of his stuffy nose he will not nurse if he is awake, so I let him fall asleep and then feed him in his sleep when he is calm and his nose seems to be a little bit more clear.

(4) Putting two drops of saline solution in each nostril, followed by suctioning the buggers out with the Nosefrida snot sucker.

(5) Letting him sleep strapped to my body in the K’tan wrap during the day.

(6) Elevating his mattress so its at a little bit of an incline.

(7) Running a steaming hot shower with eucalyptus oil in the bottom and sitting in the steam with him for a couple of minutes.

This seems to help, but its not a cure.  Magnus is still sick and he’s still sad and miserable.  I still find myself worried, sad and contemplating whether or not to sleep on the floor of his room in a sleeping bag tonight.

Oh, and coffee…I’ve been drinking lots of coffee.  Its a must.

P.S.  I do realize that I need a manicure pretty badly.

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Sleep Deprived Forever

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I’m going to be sleep deprived forever, or at least for the next couple of years I figure.  The whole daylight saving business really messed with Magnus’ sleep schedule, and now I’m hardly sleeping at all.  His cuteness wears off after the first few hours, and by 2am I am just about ready to feed him to the raccoons.

ok ok don’t yell at me!  I’m joking.  I would never feed this kiddo to a raccoon! sheesh!  But sleep is at a premium these days, although I seem to be less stressed out about it all than I used to be with Johannes at first.  I know that the sleepless nights come and go, but eventually they disappear entirely and are replaced by big kid demands like back rubs and water runs.  And just as good night sleeps return to me, I will long for a little babe with goofy smiles and little coos to wake me up at 2 am again.

Happy Friday sleepy peeps.

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Reflecting on Motherhood

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Although Johannes is closing in on his fourth birthday and even though Magnus is almost two months old, sometimes being a mother…someone else’s mother…still catches me by surprise.

I’ve immersed myself completely in this role.  I love my boys with every fiber of my being.  I feel fortunate and humbled to be their mom, to keep them safe and guide them through life.

Are there frustrating moments?  Yes!  oh yes yes yes.  Sometimes I lose my temper, mostly at Johannes.  Patience is at a premium lately and unfortunately I sometimes find myself on the brink of madness.  I lash out and then it makes me sad.  I look at my boys and feel guilty for not having more patience and not being more in control of my emotions.

Are there moments where I wish I could just be alone?  Yes!  Especially bathroom time.  I savour every moment.

But then there are also the amazing moments.  The ones that catch me by surprise at times when I least expect them to.  The times when Johannes out of the blue comes and gives me a giant hug and tells me I’m the best mommy he has.  I won’t remind him that I’m the only mommy he has, because I would like to believe that its not by default that he things I’m great.  Or the times when he asks me if he can hold his “little tiny brother” and then I hear him whisper how much he loves him in Magnus’ ear.  Or the times when Magnus gives me his big giant gummy smile, or gives off little smirks in his sleep.

I’ll take the good with the bad.  Motherhood will likely be an ever evolving process for me.  I’ll grow and learn right along side my two boys.  As they grow into men, I will grow into a matriarch.  I will learn from my mistakes and be better for the days ahead.

Take Me to the Farm Mom

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I couldn’t help myself, I wanted a pumpkin patch photo of Johannes and Magnus, but what I got was so much more than that!  Friday morning Johannes and I had dentist appointments, so when he asked me for the 200th time to take him back to “the farm” I figured, why not.  So my friend Nicole and I planned it out and took our boys to Springridge Farm in Milton.  Close to the dentist, and close to my mom and dad’s for nap time.  The boys ran and played.  There was a lot of giggling, screaming and sweaty hair.  I got exactly 20 photos of the kids in the pumpkin patch and each photograph includes one or both of them either tossing pumpkins down the hill, or rolling on top of the pumpkins.  They’re so silly.  And well, Magnus just slept in the fresh air while my grandmother pushed him around.  So in the end there was no pumpkin patch photo, no staged shot for the family album…but I hope that maybe the boys got a morning full of awesome memories, and some fun pictures to remember it by.

Oh and to clarify, Johannes is covering his ears because he is TERRIFIED of the chickens, not the sound.  He covers his ears when something is terrifying.  Go figure!