Category Archives: Motherhood

Meal Plan Monday: Week # 15

This week I have some great recipes in store. I don’t know if you can tell, but I love pasta and anything with cheese! Some tasty ideas for your week ahead!

Rememeber, if you do wind up using something from a meal plan, let me know! Feel free to tag #CookingwithMPM if you take photos of your creations! I would love to see someone finding inspiration here!

Featuring Delicious Everyday, Read Eat Repeat, Olive Jude, The Messy Mommy, Food Pleasure and Health, My Gluten Free Miami, The Starving Chef, and My Frosted Life

Enjoy!

Monday: Tortellini in Sundried Tomato Sauce from Delicious Everyday

Tortellini in Sundried Tomato Sauce; Photo Credit: Delicious Everyday

Tuesday: Kung  Pow Quesadillas from The Starving  Chef

Kung Pow Quesadillas; Photo Credit: The Starving Chef

Wednesday: Red Thai Curry from Food Pleasure and Health

Red Thai Curry; Photo Credit: Food Pleasure and Health

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini from Read Eat Repeat

Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini; Photo Credit: Read Eat Repeat

Friday: Crispy Salmon over Roasted Leeks and Fennel from Olive Jude

Crispy Salmon over Roasted Leeks and Fennel; Photo Credit: Olive Jude

Saturday:  Messy Mommy Pizza from The Messy Mommy

The Messy Mommy Pizza; Photo Credit: The Messy Mommy

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan Sliders from Read Eat Repeat

Chicken Parmesan Sliders; Photo Credit: Read Eat Repeat

 

Soup, Salad, and Dessert of the Week!

Soup: Gluten Free Turkey Soup from My Gluten Free Miami

Gluten Free Turkey Soup; Photo Credit: My Gluten Free Miami

Salad: Frisée Salad with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Oil from Olive Jude

Frisée Salad with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Oil; Photo Credit: Olive Jude

Dessert: S’mores Brownies from My Frosted Life

S’mores Brownies; Photo Credit: My Frosted Life

What to Do Before You Leave for A Holiday

Mummy Confession: I’ve sometimes forgotten to do things before I leave the house, like take out the trash, or hang the laundry, but these are things you simply cannot do when leaving on holidays.

As we prepare to go on holidays for a short while, there are some things we need to remember, so I figured I would compile a list and share it here as well. Hopefully it will help you remember what to do when you go for a trip, whether it be a day or months at a time! Pin it for later, or share with someone you know who is going away for longer than a few hours!

In case you’ve missed them, find some helpful things to bring along for the trip in the car (some yummy road-worthy recipes in there!) as well as a list of what to bring on a trip to the snow (with kids)!

1. Take out the trash– In the bin, and if there is a garbage day while you are away, be sure to put it kerbside and arrange for someone to move it after it is emptied. Nothing like coming back home to a house smelling rancid or the bins completely full for another cycle before they are emptied. Or, the chance that there is a windy day, and your bins wind up wrecked or involved in some hit and run incidents.

2. Use up/store the perishable foods– Whether you are freezing meat or making sure to eat it, be sure you don’t leave it for too long in the fridge! Milk, vegetables, and other products need to be eaten, drank, or stored properly away, too. French toast for brekkie every morning before the trip could be a valid option!

3. Do the laundry– You will have enough to do upon your return, and no one wants the smell of dirty gym clothes sticking around too long in the laundry basket either. And be sure nothing sits wet in the washer. Mould and mildew are not pleasant!

4. Wash the Dishes- Not only will it be nice, look nice, and all that jazz, it won’t wreak and be covered in mould once you come back from your time away. Let it also be noted, if you have children or people who leave cups and containers, etc with drink or food in them, find them and empty and wash them all. Spoiled milk in a sippy cup is no one’s friend.

5. Ask someone to keep an eye on your mail– Especially if you’re expecting a parcel or a large amount of envelopes, it would be a good idea to ask someone to mind your mailbox! If you are away for a substantial time, put a hold on your mail.

6. Sort out the children &critters- Duh to the kids, right? And I’m case of pets, always ask someone to help care for them if they aren’t coming with you on your journey. You can have someone come to your house, or find somewhere for them to stay so they are properly cared for in your absence.

7. Be sure all appliances (minus the fridge) are unplugged and off– There is no need to have more electricity running while you are gone, and there are obvious ones that would be fire hazards. Just unplug everything that doesn’t need to be on. It’s probably also smart in case there is a lightening storm and the chance of surges especially with computers and other technology.

8. Lock up everything- Before you leave, be sure everything is locked properly and maybe close those blinds.

9. Ask someone to keep an eye out– Whether it’s a neighbour or friend, it’s wise to have someone check on your place while you are away and let the proper authorities know if there is any suspicious activity. Maybe consider giving your phone number, too.

10. Put a hold on any subscription service that is unneeded- Grocery or food box subscription? Ask to put a hold on it, as you don’t want to come back to rotten food. Going away for a longer time? Consider asking your internet provider or cable subscription service to put a hold on your service until your return. No need to pay for months you won’t be using if it’s a long trip!

11. Mow the lawn- In case of lawn-mowable seasons, just do it before you go so your lawn isn’t (too) overgrown when you get back. I can’t imagine needing to do more when you get back from a relaxing time away.

12. Tell someone who cares about you details of your trip, just in case– I err on the side of caution, and always tell someone how long I should be away.

13. Flush all of the toilets– Just do it because…well…do it. Better yet, scrub them down before you leave and come back to a clean toilet.

14. Turn off the lights– Nothing like a high electricity bill to greet you after an expensive holiday! Am I right?

15. Make a list of what you need to get on your way home- Now, maybe it’s a given, maybe it’s not, but if you’ve emptied your refrigerator before leaving on holidays, you may be missing any sort of ingredients to satisfy your hunger (or the hunger of the little ones) upon your return. Be sure to swing by the grocery store on your way back if possible, or set up for a grocery delivery the day on or after your return, so you don’t need to worry about it. Especially a smart move if you return to work or school the day after you come home.

I hope these are helpful as you pack for your journey wherever and for however long you may be leaving! If you have any other suggestions, I would be glad to hear them, so I don’t forget anything!

 

Self Care and the Mom’s Night In Box: A Review

Mummy Review: I neglect to practise self-care a whole lot of the time. Mom’s Night In Boxes are a good way to help me practise self-care.

Disclosure: I was sent the Mom’s Night In Box in exchange for a review, however all opinions and suggestions are my own. The “Date Night In Box” is an affiliate link, which means I may get credit for qualifying referrals. See my disclosure policy for more details.

Time to myself is scarce lately. Especially since my littlest refuses to sleep through the night no matter the strategies or products we try. I know that it is important to take care of yourself as a mother, but it is HARD to find the time. Often, I am drained and exhausted by the end of the day, and the baby still won’t be officially “asleep for the night” until around 2 or 3 in the morning. (With that, he still wakes hourly or every other hour, so getting anything apart from sleep done is nearly impossible.)

The Mom’s Night In Box offers even a little pampering for those few minutes you find (or you lucky ladies can turn it into a night)! I was gifted this gorgeous little box and wanted to tell you all about it, because who doesn’t like a nice treat or pampering every now and then?

“Every month, MOMS NIGHT IN sends you a box filled with fun, unique, and relaxing moms night in items, ideas, and activities, all aimed to help you take a moment every month that is just for you! Each month will be a new theme and will focus on helping you renew and recharge.” — -~MomsNightInBox.com

The Mom’s Night In Box is a subscription service box full of pampering goodies (or you can choose just a once off). For a few minutes, or a whole night, you can get yourself started off with some of the great selections inside!
The June box included:
Stash Lavender-Tulsi Herbal Tea (in a teabag)
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner
The Earthy Child Fresh Mint Sugar Lip Scrub
LemonCrate Handcrafted Cleansing Grain Scrub
Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish in Rose Dust
Salon Board, Bath Scrubber, Face Cloth, 3 candles, small disposable cup and a sprig of lavender.

Since my husband was on baby watch, I make sure to use this opportunity for a nice bath. Yes, it may have been midnight, but I was going to use this opportunity to the fullest! I lit the candles and put in some of my favourite bath soak (Milk Bath) from The Body Shop along with my Christmas present, a never-opened bath pillow.

Next step was the face mask, which was definitely a refreshing feeling (and a resealable bag, since I only used a small amount), and let that set while the bath filled. The Sugar Lip Scrub was a cute little container and great for the winter months, since my lips are often dry and in need of exfoliation.

After I boiled some water in a kettle, I poured myself the tea, which was a nice change to my typical English Breakfast. I like that it came in a tea bag rather than loose leaf. It had a nice relaxing bit of lavender in it, great for a Saturday night!

After that, just soaking and enjoying the quiet, and use the scrubber which was handy. Yes, I know The Mom’s Night In Box website does have some music to play along, but I like the quiet. It’s not a common occurrence, so I cherish every silent moment.

The Black Vanilla Hair Conditioner smells absolutely amazing! I love that it can be used in wet or dry hair, or as a detangler and just left in! (I may have used it in-between showers, too, just so I smelled a bit nicer!) My girls insisted on their having some as well, as they like nice-smelling things.

I’m actually saving the nail polish for some time with my girls, so I haven’t utilised that as of now, but they’re in love with the colour! Maybe we can use some of the leftover scrubs and pampering bits for a little bit of a girly-night-in!

If you were interested in getting a Mom’s Night In Box, I do recommend it for either you or the person in your life who needs some pampering, even just for a few minutes!

Screen shot from Momsnightinbox.com

The Mom’s Night In Boxes come in various price ranges, from  a monthly subscription (non-renewing) to a full year’s subscription of Mom’s Night In Boxes delivered to your door each month!

Screen shot from Momsnightinbox.com

Do you want something a little different? Maybe something for time with the husband? How about getting another one of the their “Night In Boxes“?! They also offer a Date Night In Box, Faith Night In Box, and Daddy Daughter Night In Box along with the Mom’s Night In Box! They seem to have some great ideas for all sorts of night’s in, so if you are looking for something different to other subscription boxes, this is one to try! They do ship to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and a few other countries!

What do you do to practise self-care? Do you remember to set time aside, or do you neglect to remember too often?

There’s Something Wrong: A Fearful Admission

Mummy Confession: I have prolapse.

It took a lot of inner conflict within myself to post this on my Blog because of how personal this is, but I figure if it can help anyone, it’s worth it.

**Please note this post contains descriptions of a medical condition.**

.

.

.

.

“Honey, there’s something wrong. Can you come here please?” I yelled from the bathroom. It was just one day after arriving home from the hospital after the birth of our second child.

“What is it?” My husband questioned as he approached frantically.

“I’m so sorry hon, but I need you to take a look at this. This can’t be normal. There’s something really wrong. What do I do?” I asked in tears.

My husband opened the bathroom door, bracing himself for, he was certain, nothing he hadn’t seen before. After all, he had just witnessed the unintentional water birth of our second child just 20 hours before. We were home on an early release program, and the midwife had just left a few hours before after checking in on how everything was going.

As he looked at me, he reached for his phone.

I’m fairly certain he nearly passed out, and I know I would have, because what was supposed to be inside my body, was not. I held what I later learned was my cervix in my hand, trying to prevent it from protruding any further. What on earth was happening to me? Am I going to die? Surely, this can’t be normal!

We looked up the number the hospital told us to call in case of any questions, and proceeded to ask, “So, something is coming out that I’m pretty sure shouldn’t. I’m not exactly sure what is going on, but would it be best to come in?”

[Yes. I am ridiculously calm it seems in times of duress (sometimes).]

The midwife instructed me to come in as soon as possible. So, we loaded up our newborn, called someone to watch the other child, and were off. Back to the hospital.

The midwives seemed fairly concerned (which in turn concerned me), and yet I had to wait for a doctor to come and check out what was going on. I was told to lie down and wait.

After what seemed like ages, a doctor came in, looking less than impressed. I was investigated and she seemed less than concerned about what, to me, seemed like a pretty big deal. Things should not be on the outside that don’t belong there. She told me to cough, and was not phased. I figured she was probably thinking, “why are you even here?” She told me to push, and all I heard was a slightly surprised, “Oh. That’s not supposed to happen.”

She informs me that I have prolapse. I am given some pamphlets on kegels, told to keep up with those excercises and call to make an appointment with the physiotherapist. Simple, it seems, and I was on my way back home again.

Prolapse is a medical condition in which the pelvic floor muscles are weakened, causing pelvic organs to sag, or buldge.^

After speaking with the physio on the phone, I was given some restrictions for a while. No heavy lifting, nothing heavier than my baby. No extended walking. No straining when using the toilet. Practice my kegels and rest when I feel I need to.

I was on a waiting list for 6 months to actually see a physiotherapist, and after a couple months of visits, I was feeling more normal. I could walk without “heaviness” or having to sit down after short periods of time. I didn’t wet my pants every time I sneezed. Yes, that hadn’t ended after I had my baby.

Prolapse is described as when, “muscles and other kinds of tissue that hold everything in place get stretched out, weak, or torn. When that happens, some of your body parts can drop down below where they’re supposed to be” by WebMD. Basically, in my case, birth had stretched or weakened these muscles, causing the prolapse.

I later learned after asking in my physio appointment that I also had diastasis recti (see Pam’s Story about diastasis here), a separation of the abdominal muscles, which was fairly common in women with prolapse. This limited my excercises even further.

I had another baby, but this time I knew what was happening to my body. I called in the midwives and they started by mentioning surgery and asked if I was done having kids yet. I wasn’t read to make that decision! Was it really necessary? I even felt a bit mocked and embarrassed when I was asked why I didn’t take a picture and post it on social media to ask my friends about it. So, even though I knew what was happening, it still frightened me because it seemed it was still very much an unknown and maybe misunderstood medical issue, especially for “someone my age.”

The midwives got a gynaecologist, who then referred me to a physiotherapist the following day. The process for physiotherapy went a lot quicker this time, and I was seen within a few weeks. Again, I was given restrictions and a pamphlet on kegels and pelvic floor exercises.

I was told this several times, that “at my age” it was not typical to have prolapse. I sat down with a gynaecologist and spoke about what happens now, and what could happen in the future. Yes, some prolapse is a high grade (they rate on a scale 1-5), and they would need surgery sooner obviously. I was told, thankfully, that my prolapse was not very bad, and with physiotherapy it improved drastically. I may never need surgery for it, just to continue with kegel exercises, and do what I can to lessen the strain on my pelvic floor.

I live with it now, and was told that it will always be there, but with proper management (exercises and whatnot) the talk for any further action is not anywhere near as urgent as anyone had initially scared me into thinking. And, though it doesn’t have a huge impact on my life, I’m sure it plays a small part, and obviously I need to be mindful in the future, maintaining my health.

I just hope my story helps someone possibly not completely freak out when they find they have prolapse. The solution is not always surgery! You don’t need to decide right after your baby was born if that was your last! It’s not a health issue I have heard of a lot, or even at all. They definitely don’t discuss prolapse in those birth classes! It’s possible to help manage and improve, and with the proper excercise, get back to nearly normal, though it may take time.

If you have any questions about prolapse or other medical conditions, be sure to consult your doctor or other health care professional. I have included some resources below.

What issues did you have after birth that completely shocked you? What do people never talk about that you feel they should know even just to be armed with knowledge for postpartum? **if you are leaving a comment with graphic detail, please be kind enough to insert a “**Disclaimer: Graphic**” before, thanks!

 

What is prolapse?

What are the symptoms of prolapse?

How do I prevent or treat prolapse?

Pelvic Floor First: Helpful information and excercises to help with pelvic floor health

Continence Foundation of Australia

Inspirational Mamas: Courtney and Her Pregnancy Journeys

Welcome to another Inspirational Mamas post! Another mum I got to know through my pregnancy and babies communities is here to tell a little of her story. Courtney is a mum of three who has been kind enough to tell us a bit about her pregnancy journeys as well as some useful tips for mums with NICU bubbies. I am encouraged as I read her story, and hope you can find some inspiration here, too!

I am a wife, a type 1 diabetic, a mom to 3 boys, and two of my children were preemies.

Photo Credit: WWEFR.com

When we got pregnant with our first child in 2012 my husband (then boyfriend) had only been dating two months. Although we weren’t together long, we were over the moon excited and quite frankly scared. We made it 10 weeks into our pregnancy when we had a miscarriage. I thought for sure he would run but he didn’t. He stayed by my side. The day after what would have been the due date of our first child, we found out we were expecting again, and a few days later my husband asked me to marry him.

Fast forward to 32 weeks and 6 days pregnant; my mom and I were out baby shower shopping, when I started having what I thought were Braxton hicks. Around 10:30 at night the Braxton hicks wouldn’t go away so my husband and I decided to go into labor and delivery. Once there they checked me and told me I was having contractions (mainly back labor) and I was 3cm dilated and we weren’t going anywhere. The next morning after being hooked up to magnesium all night, I sat up in the hospital bed and my water broke. We delivered our first son. He spent 20 days in the NICU, and so did I. I never once left his side and slept in the hospital every night. Since he was our first child we were able to do this and it was the best thing for me and my baby.

Photo Credit: NCLEX Nurse

In February of 2015 we welcomed our 2nd son into our family. I made it to 38 weeks and had to be induced. Being a type 1 diabetic making it to 38 weeks is a huge milestone!

June 6, I had been having contractions for 4 weeks but every time I went into the hospital to get checked I was always sent home, still contracting very painfully, but I knew something wasn’t right. In a week and a half I gained 36 pounds in water weight, I had a headache that would not go away, spotty vision, but the doctor at the hospital chalked it up to all being normal and wanted to keep me pregnant until 37 weeks, I was only 32+6. When the doctor finally went home and a new doctor came on I was 33+3 and within 10 minutes of this new doctor coming on we were preparing for an emergency csection because I had severe preeclampsia and baby was not doing well at all.

Photo Credit: Lamaze For Parents

Our 3rd son, was welcomed into our family on June 10th. He is still in the NICU and will be for a while until he learns to eat from a bottle but he is doing outstandingly well.

Through all of my pregnancies and before I have been a type 1 diabetic. It has been very difficult to control my blood sugars but I do what I need to for my children. I have the control and numbers of a non diabetic when I’m pregnant because I’m not only taking care of myself in the situation but somebody else as well. While in the hospital with preeclampsia with my third I did go into DKA (diabetic keto acidosis) because one of the nurses didn’t know how to give insulin shots and never gave me any insulin (the insulin would run down my arm) and I had to be transferred from labor and delivery to the ICU.

All of my pregnancies have been very hard on my body, and my last one nearly killed me. When asked if I wanted my tubes tied the on-call doctor warned me that if I were to get pregnant again the outcome would not be very good for me or baby, so with that I decided to get my tubes tied. My husband didn’t even know until we were in the operating room and they asked and I signed the papers. We had already talked about no more children, but the children we have now need their mom around more.

I am incredibly blessed and thankful to be a boy mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And even though Beau is still in the NICU we are still keeping a schedule and we can’t wait until he gets to come home and join this crazy, amazing household.

Tips from Courtney: Things NICU parents should know:
*it’s okay to ask for help, and if help is offered accept it

*remember to sleep, you are not a bad parent if you miss some feedings

*the NICU nurses will become like family, don’t be afraid to voice any concerns that you have

*ask questions, it’s your child, you have a right to know what is going on

*don’t be afraid to jump in and help (at the end of our nicu stay with our first we were checking his temp and everything)

*cry if you need/want to. If your child is feeling pain you will too and it hurts your soul

*make the NICU like home, if you aren’t ready to go home, stay with your child and snuggle the heck out of them (just don’t fall asleep holding them)

————————-

If you have any questions about diabetes, preeclampsia or preterm labour, feel free to check out some of the resources below. Please see your doctor if you have any questions about your pregnancy or birth in regards to any of these conditions or any other questions at all! Feel free to browse my Pregnancy and Beyond Resources as well.

Resources:

About Type 1 Diabetes: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/type-1-diabetes#1

Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes: http://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/how-to-get-pregnant-with-type-1-diabetes-all-the-lifestyle-tips

Pregnancy with Diabetes: http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/aug/a-guide-to-pregnancy-with-diabetes.html

Preterm Labour: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/premature-labor#1

Preeclampsia: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/pre-eclampsia

 

Photo Credits: http://www.lamaze.org/blog/learning-more-about-preeclampsia

How long can a diabetic go without insulin?


http://www.promdinurses.com/2009/10/vital-informations-about-preterm-labor.html