A Birthday Tribute

This is my first post in quite sometime. I could list all the boring reasons of how busy life gets or how I just couldn’t find the time. I won’t though. I will say what got me writing again in so long, other than missing it so! Is to honour my little guy turning 6 on Friday, April 14th. Pre warning, it is a long one.

His 1st birthday

Summer 2015 hanging in the city

When I first found out I was pregnant in August of 2010, both myself and husband were beyond ecstatic. I didn’t think it would be easy for me to get pregnant being Hypothyroid, I thought that it would take months, maybe years before I would carry a child. To find out the test was positive was a shock and joy! We shared the news with our closest family right away, because we just couldn’t wait and we wanted them to share in the excitement that we were feeling.

 

 

Early in my pregnancy I started to have cramping and spotting, I didn’t think much of it and I stayed positive, but that spotting quickly turned to heavy bleeding and even more cramping. I remember I was at work, at work! Not even at home with my husband. I was at work and ran to the bathroom where I was curled up in the stall crying from the pain and trying to call my husband repeatedly who was not answering the phone. He couldn’t hear the phone because he was with his daughter (my step daughter) at the CNE. I kept calling and calling, with no luck. My friend at work got in a cab with me to get me home as I kept calling. I finally got a hold of him and I told him he had to come home, to which he said “we just got here”. I think I swore…like a lot…and told him if he didn’t come home now he would be single. I know what I saw in the toilet (sorry for the graphic image) and my heart was broken. I was literally sobbing uncontrollably.

Fast forward to more hospital visits and hearing from doctors that my blood work was coming back positive and the pregnancy hormones were going up. I was prodded and poked so many times, I was tired and stressed and anxious all the time. I finally demanded more tests be done. I will never forget  what happened after the lengthy ultrasound at Women’s College Hospital. I was waiting to see the doctor to go over the results, he walked in looking anxious and worried. I immediately felt even more anxious and stressed. I grabbed my husband’s hand and the doctor said the following words:

Dr:“You lost one of the babies”

Me: raised eyebrows.

Dr: “you didn’t know?”

Me: “know what?”

Dr: “You were pregnant with twins but one did not make it”.

I laughed, because I honestly didn’t know what to do. I looked at my husband whose face was in shock.

Me:“twins?”

Dr:“yes, you were pregnant with twins, but you are not anymore…if you see here (points to ultrasound) you can see the empty sac”

Me: “Are you sure?” because clearly he is wrong right?

Dr: “Your baby who is still there is fine”

Me: TEARS!!! I was crying for my baby who was ok, I was crying for the baby I didn’t know I had and then in less than a second was taken away from me.

Let me say this now, nowhere in either family are there twins. Not my mom’s side, not my dad’s side, not my husbands family. We would have been the first. What I did find out is that women 35 and up release a plethora of eggs, who knew?! Let that be a lesson to you women out there.

What did I learn from going through a miscarriage of a twin? Nobody gives a shit. Seriously. Not one shit. Zilch, zero, none. I heard so many times “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy” “it wasn’t meant to be” or the best “well you didn’t know you had twins” or “You didn’t plan on twins” Who the H plans on a multiple pregnancy? I mean I used to joke when I was younger that I wanted to be pregnant with twins to get pregnancy over with once, but come on!  I wanted to scream to everyone to shut the F@*k up! I lost a baby, a baby, gone. I literally had a miscarriage in a bathroom stall at work not knowing what to do. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on edge. I found out I had ovarian cysts, and fibroids & all kinds of craziness. Despite that, I was told that I had the most boring pregnancy from a medical standpoint.

I kept my feelings under wraps because it was clear to me people just didn’t care and felt that I shouldn’t be sad because I was still pregnant. I literally made myself numb over the whole thing. April 13th (my due date), I didn’t know it, but I was in labour. I had intense contractions all day yet I still walked to my OB appointment and walked home. Those who know me and know how fast I walk should know it was the slowest walk of my life, I should have known what was coming. My husband came home early from work with a migraine telling me “you better not go into labour tonight”. He basically willed it to happen, I mean come on. I went to bed after having a piece of toast for dinner because I just wasn’t hungry. I remember waking up thinking “I should keep track of these contractions”, because at this point it was clear I was having crazy contractions. I closed my eyes and then it happened. My water broke just before 3am on the 14th, and I jumped – well it might not have been a jump being 9 months pregnant- out of bed and woke up my husband as I started freaking out that it was really happening. You know those courses they advise you to take, to teach you what to do and how to breathe and all of that? Well it was clearly a waste of time because my pain went from a 7 to 1,000. We called our parents to let them know it was going down – no pun intended, and headed to the hospital. Did you ever watch that show, The Baby Story on TLC? Where they follow couples as they are about to give birth, during the labour etc? Did you ever see the episodes where the women are moaning in pain? Well I did, and I laughed at them thinking they sounded ridiculous. Well karma slapped me hard in the face and there I was moaning and crying from the pain. I thought for sure they would tell me at the hospital that I was 7 cm dilated. I was 2…2…2cm!!! I said I needed something for the pain to which I was told they can’t give that to me until I hit at least 5cm. That is when I started puking up the toast I had the night before. I finally got an epidural. Sidenote, no matter how much pain you are in you are asked a boat load of medical questions before they give you the epidural and ask you to sign the papers. Through my pain I asked why my husband couldn’t do it for me…they were not impressed. I scribbled my name and was told to remain still. Yeah, like that is possible when you have a human inside you trying to get out.

Fast forward to when I was told I needed an emergency C-section because my son was facing the wrong way and his big head was not fitting, so he was freaking out. I was ok with it, it just meant that I would be able to hold him sooner. He was crying when he came out, I was crying, I still don’t know what my husband was doing but I swear he wasn’t crying and the vision I had of him holding and kissing me did not happen. I will never forget the moment they put him on my chest. I said, through slobbery tears “hi there buddy”, and he instantly stopped crying. He was good, he was better than good. He was perfect.  Brady Walker Davidson was born on Thursday, April 14th 2011 at…..shoot….I am not sure what time. When he was born I looked at the clock in the operating room and it was stuck on 7:30 with the second hand trying to move. The doctor said to me “sorry, the clock isn’t working but it is blah, blah o’clock” I am positive it was around 12 sometime.

2 months old

I spent many days for the first few months hiding my tears and my anxiety. I didn’t want to admit it but I was going through postpartum depression. I was also still dealing with the pushed aside of emotions of losing Brady’s brother or sister. We spent so much time cuddled together, or taking walks. When it was just him and I, I felt amazing because I could be me and he didn’t judge me, not once. When other people came around I would plaster on the fake smile and pretend I was this perfect new mom doing it all. I never sought professional help to talk about my depression, I think I just dealt with it and got through it with the help of Brady. Of course I still to this day am filled with guilt and questions of what I could have done differently.

Brady & I having a moment

A couple of years ago Brady asked if he would be a big brother and I started to cry. I told him about his twin and how I believe with all my heart that he has his own guardian angel always looking out for him. Then I found out about the “Rainbow baby”: A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss.In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. It is even more meaningful because if you ask Brady what his favourite colour is, he says the “the rainbow, I like all the colours”.

So here he is, my little boy who is already starting to not look like a little boy. He is 4 feet tall, his feet are almost the same size as mine, I know that doesn’t mean much with my petite feet, but he wears a size 1.5. He has long, skinny legs, a mess of dark brown hair that I comb everyday and it never looks the same when he comes home. He plays basketball, T-Ball, he snowboards, he’s with me and cheers for the New England Patriots & tells people Tom Brady won the superbowl 5 times, he loves to read, he loves superheroes and lego, he is my biggest cheerleader when I race,  he is a strong swimmer and doing amazing in swimming, he runs too! He has run a few 1km races and a 5k – that he ran in 39min! He will be doing his first triathlon this summer. He has the most insane memory and remembers even the smallest details on things, he’s in SK and reads at a Grade 2 level, he loves math, science and wants to be a pilot when he grows up, despite being told he’s colour blind. He is certain by the time he gets old enough he will be fine. He also wants to learn how to scuba dive when he’s older. He’s obsessed with Curious George and has to watch it everyday before bed. He also loves the Wild Kratts and can tell you anything you want to know about a variety of animals, he loves New York City! We went in May of last year and he had the best time walking around the city, riding the subway and spending time with my brother and sister in law. He loves his Uncle Jonathan by the way! He is funny and sweet and loves to cuddle and shower me with kisses. If he sees me crying he will wipe away my tears and hug me. He can drive me crazy with how stubborn he is, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Summer 2016, his first season of T-Ball. He took it very seriously!

 

One of our many training runs together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here he is, this perfect little boy who teaches me everyday more than I can ever teach him, who inspires me everyday to be a better person and who I am so lucky to have. Without him knowing it, he is helping me heal the hole in my heart that has been there since I lost his twin.

Canada Day at the Blue Jays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday buddy, I know your brother or sister is with us celebrating too.

 

Balance Wellness and Family

***originally posted on Huffington Post***

We live in a society where our days are filled with work, family obligations and a to-do list that seems to multiply as the hours tick by. In addition to our busy schedules we find ourselves constantly distracted by our smart phones, email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope. Basically if it can distract us from what we have to get done, chances are, we will happily procrastinate in the deep abyss of social media. Now, if you happen to be a parent on top of everything else, you don’t stand a chance.

I am a mother of a 4.5 yr old boy and I will admit that my relationship with distraction started when my bundle of joy was a baby and I was up at ungodly hours.  It was my connection to the outside world beyond the unending cycle of feeding, diapers, laundry and cleaning until my husband walked through the door.

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Before I had my son I was an avid runner who was doing my teacher training to become a yoga instructor. I was going to a class called Body Conditioning By Dancers twice a week. I was active. I knew labour would take a physical toll, but then an emergency C-section turned me into someone who could barely get out of bed on her own. I longed to have my active lifestyle back and knew that I had to make some changes to get myself back on track.

It is easy for parents to fall into a pattern where they are just always on the go. Wake up, breakfast, feed kids, dress kids, get kids to daycare/school, rush to work – but stop at Starbucks to get a caffeine boost to get through to lunch, another caffeine boost to get through the afternoon, finish work, rush home to pick up kids, take kids to extracurricular activities, get kids home, dinner, homework, bath and bed. I know that feeling of saying goodnight to your little one and just wanting to collapse on the couch for about 5 minutes before falling asleep. You finally drag yourself to bed and start all over the next morning. What’s missing from all of this is one major important piece. Your overall wellness! As parents we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we let our own health slide. That needs to change. As the wise Elle Woods from Legally Blonde said “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy”

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Taking care of you creates a domino effect, before you know it your spouse is picking up on what you’re doing, your kids pick up on it, your colleagues are picking up on it, your boss is picking up on it, everyone has more energy and everyone is happier, calmer and honestly a lot more fun to be around. So where do you start? It doesn’t have to cost you much to bring back wellness in your life.

 

  1. Parent to a baby/toddler: Use them as your very own gym prop!
    Hold them as you squat.
    Use them as a weight for bicep curls or an overhead press.
    Put them down and get into a push up position each time those elbows bend, give your little one a kiss. You could also check out Toronto Yoga Mamas for classes you can bring your babe to.
    Once they are old enough to be in a jogging stroller (usually about 7-8 months since this is when your little one’s neck is strong enough), strap them in and go for a run
  2. Kindergarten to middle school age: Once your little one no longer has to be in a stroller, get walking as family, or yoga as a family, hiking as a family. Kids learn from example if they see you doing it, chances are they will want to too. There are loads of run events where kids can take part with their parents, like Canada Running Series for starters
  3. Regardless of how old your child/children are: Finding time to get out on your own and move is so important. Most yoga studios offer an introductory month offer where you can attend as many classes as you can/would like to. Maybe register for Class Pass. It allows you to browse a plethora of fitness and yoga studios. Not in your budget? Put those social media skills to work as a way to learn about free events happening in your neighbourhood. Tribe Fitness or Lululemon as an example offer free yoga/fitness classes and run groups.
  4. Short on time: between your long to do list? Workouts like tabata or HIIT will give you fast results in a short amount of time.
  5. Corporate yoga/fitness: There are quite a few yoga/fitness instructors (ahem…me 😉 ) who do corporate classes and will come to your place of work to teach private, semi-private or group classes. You don’t even need to leave your office, just your desk.
  6. Meal prep: this is HUGE. All the activity in the world doesn’t matter if you and your family aren’t eating right. I like to spend time on Sunday planning meals for the week. Meals that include everything to give you a well-balanced meal. What can also help with this? A crockpot. A crockpot will become a good friend. When you get up in the morning put all your ingredients in there and set the timer. Come home hours later to a warm cooked nutritious, delicious meal.

These are just a few steps to help bring wellness back into your life. What’s not on the list? Surround yourself with people who want to help you succeed and enlist the help of friends and/or your spouse/partner. Before you know it your positive energy and outlook will result in a happier, more efficient you. Not just at home, but at work, your productivity will increase. It’s a win – win situation.

Finally, once you have planned your week and your meals, remember to be present: “Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now, and that’s a revelation for some people: to realize that your life is only ever now” ~ Eckhart Tolle

 

 

Train with Grains ~ Banana Blueberry Chocolate chip muffins

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As a mom of a very active 4 year old, I am often on the go.  Teaching my yoga classes, hitting the gym for strength training or out for training runs in between all the other “mom” things I need to do keeps me busy on a daily basis. As a result, I am not the best at having healthy snacks to throw in my bag. I am scoring high points with meals on a regular basis, but snacks, not so much. My little guy will be content with bananas or apples or blueberries…really any fruit and this kid will inhale it all and I usually have a bag of almonds in my bag, but sometimes I want more. That is when I cave in and hit up the closest Starbucks for their Banana/Chocolate chip muffin…..I know, I know, you don’t even need to say it. But it is so good, especially when they warm it up for you. I can’t help it, it is a guilty pleasure, especially as a treat the day after a race. I am not alone right? No? Just me? Alrighty then….

This began my quest to find a healthy guilt free muffin recipe. A muffin where I would enjoy eating the entire thing and not just the muffin top – Seinfeld anyone? Again, just me? Well I found a recipe that is so, so, so good and ticks all my must haves for a healthy muffin treat.

Banana Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. Zero flour, zero white sugar, zero oil.  Just all good and all delicious melt-in-your-mouth-give-me-more-I-want-all-the-muffins!

They were quick and easy to make. I will generally ignore a recipe if the ingredient list is too long or if the time to make it is too long, but this was perfect. They are great to eat on the way to the gym or to teach, or as a great snack after I have completed a training run. The best part, they are also 100% kid approved, he doesn’t miss the flour or white sugar one bit 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I use Giddy YoYo raw cane juice crystals)
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, mini or regular (I used a little less than ½ and then piled in the blueberries)
    • Since the original recipe is just banana and chocolate chips, I went crazy with the blueberries! Pile in as many as you want 🙂 But be sure to add them after you have mixed everything together.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying cavities with cooking spray or lining them with paper liners**. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips to a blender or food processor and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full. Optional: sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top of each muffin.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

 

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Notes

** If using paper liners, you’ll want to spray them with cooking spray as well, since the lack of oil in these muffins could make them stick to the liners after baking.

Be sure to check out the Good in Every Grain website for more RECIPES

Share your favourite pre or post run snack or meal on Twitter or Instagram usuing the hashtag #TrainWithGrains for your chance to win a $50 “Good In Every Grain” prize pack!

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Mom

moms smarter than dads

 

 

 

 

 

From the moment you get a positive pregnancy test result and you share your excitement with the world, you get an overload of information from well meaning friends and family (maybe even some of the non-family and friend variety.) Whoever it is, the “advice” doesn’t stop.

Like.

Ever.

Everything from sleepers, to the reasons why you MUST breast feed (because there is no other option), to whether or not you should find out the sex to which stroller to buy.  Literally anything and everything.

Then you have your bundle of joy and you think it will stop and be replaced with some love and joy.

N to the O!

That’s when it becomes how long they should sleep in your room and how hard you should be patting them during burping.  It also means talking about all the classes and programs that you must join, because your 2 month old baby really needs the social interaction even though he can barely sit up.

Then they turn one and you think, ok he’s a toddler now it must stop right?  No, it just turns into “HE’S NOT IN DAYCARE?” (said with a horrified look like I just told them I feed him Mars bars and Twinkies all day everyday)  “Is he in any programs for social interaction?  You don’t want him to be a social outcast, do you?”  Then I start to feel guilty about only having him in two programs, all the while I’m thinking, if I want my son to turn into a mature, responsible person wouldn’t I want him to spend time with mature responsible adults instead of a bunch of other screaming kids that hit and bite and scream?

Here’s my deal. I had trouble breastfeeding, meaning I was not producing enough to feed my child, so I made the decision to start supplementing with formula and pump so that he would still get some breast milk. However the more I pumped, the less there was, and my day turned into constant attempts of futile pumping and stress over not being able to feed him “the best thing I could feed him”.  I would constantly hear how I needed to keep trying because it is so much better for him and so convenient for you.  I heard it all and I was getting more and more upset and stressed. Looking back, I don’t regret for one second my decision to feed my son formula. Of course I wanted to breast feed but I couldn’t, so what was I supposed to do? Let him starve?

I am made to feel guilty about my decisions as a mom quite often. Not always with words, sometimes with looks. Whatever it is, I am made to feel guilty. When I went back to running, yoga and body conditioning classes three weeks after he was born, I had to deal with the horror from others like I had left him home alone and unattended. Going away on fitness retreat? How could I? You want to know how? I do it because I don’t want my son to grow up feeling that I resent him because I gave things up or “sacrificed” for him. I think that living my life to the fullest, the way I did before he was born, sets a positive example. He will grow up watching my husband and I going on work trips, going to concerts, going away on adults only getaways, etc. and he will know that we will always come back and we come back stronger and happier. This is just a small part of helping him to grow into a successful, happy, independent man.

Here are my “bad mom” confessions.

I’m not a crafty mom.  There, I said it.  I colour and that is about as crafty as I get. Will I get better at it? Maybe.  Never say never, right?  (but don’t hold your breath)

I let him watch TV – Curious George, Super Why and Sesame Street – so go ahead tell me that I am destroying his brain cells. We all know deep down that sometimes letting them watch some TV is a saving grace.

I don’t do baking; I order cakes, cupcakes etc from my favorite bakeries. I know my strengths and baking is not one of them. Again, will that change in the future? If he comes to me when he is a little older and says that he really, really wants to bake a birthday cake for his dad, then we will do it together. However, I can promise you that it will not look pretty at all. In fact it will most likely be lopsided and a total mess.

I am not with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!!! I am a firm believer in setting examples, and running, yoga, fitness classes, are nothing but positive examples for him. Do I miss him when I am not with him? Of course!

These are just a few of my “bad mom” confessions, but I can guarantee that making all of his food from scratch, making sure he gets loads of fruits and veggies daily, making sure he drinks water as his main beverage, having a strict bedtime routine (that includes a bath daily – yes daily), teaching him everything from manners to letters & numbers, to swimming, patience, animals & the sounds they make, to downward dog and upward dog, and everything in between more than makes up for what some may call my “shortcomings.”

My son is 21 months.  He knows his letters and he knows what a hippo, panda and a plethora of other animals are. He is fiercely independent and wants to do it all on his own. He sometimes does not stop talking about everything he sees and is absorbing. All of this and so much more is all the evidence I need that all those naysayers are wrong. I will continue to smile and nod when I get any “advice” and if you think I’m a bad mom, then I must be the best damn bad mom there is.

Oh and one more thing, I don’t change for anyone.

children responsibilityi am not your friend parent

What’s For dinner?

It is shocking to me what is happening to kids these days. I am talking about their lifestyles, both physical activity levels and their eating habits. The health of Canadian children has deteriorated over the past few decades. Childhood obesity has risen sharply—a quarter of children and youth are now overweight or obese—and physical fitness has declined. Physical activity is associated with health benefits in children and youth. It’s simple. The more activity, the greater the benefit. Children should be getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day, A DAY. In addition to that,  at least 3 times a week they should be  engaged in vigorous activity. As parents, we are responsible for the health of our children, so why do so many parents let this slip?

As a mother, it breaks my heart to see children spend hours in front of some kind of screen. Computer, TV, iPod, whatever it is, instead of being active they are becoming unhealthy and rotting their brain to boot. Did you know that the average Grade 6-12 student spends 7-8 hours a day in front of a screen? This has to change. It starts with us, the parents.

In addition to the lack of physical activity I see, I hear of so many parents going for the quick fix when it comes to meals. McDonald’s happy meals are not healthy in any way; it does not matter if you have a carton of milk or apple slices with it. Let’s look at the chicken Mcnugget shall we? I know what you are thinking; it’s chicken, it has to be good. Those chicken pieces are fried and loaded with refined sugars, artificial flavours, sodium etc. It will fill you up fast and then 2 hours later you will crash and find you are hungry again which will just lead  to overeating and packing on the pounds. Taco Bell is not healthy in any way! Most food courts in malls are not healthy in any way!  Lunchables are not healthy in any way! Pre-cooked packaged frozen meals are not healthy! Things like chicken kievs, chicken fingers, or pre-made shepherd’s pie are not healthy!  What happened to lunches with apples and carrot sticks, and sandwiches with lettuce? Why are schools having pizza days and Swiss Chalet days so often?

I have actually heard this excuse from parents for why their kids aren’t more active “They come home from school and they are exhausted”. Why do you think that is? Poor eating habits, a lack of physical activity that makes you lethargic, unable to get a good night’s sleep and then waking up tired and going through your day in a haze. It is a vicious cycle that needs to stop parents! You need to make time to get active; you need to find the time to provide healthy meals for your kids. It is your responsibility as a parent to provide not only clothing and shelter, but also meals that cover the four basic food groups.

I am not saying that I don’t agree with treats. Treats are great! I have many restaurants that are on the naughty list, but I don’t eat there all the time and I am active 6 out 7 times a week. Growing up my brother and I had treat nights when we would have pizza, or some dessert. But my mother who worked as a nurse and was often on 12 hour shifts would make – from scratch our dinners. Every dinner we had was accompanied with salad! Salad! Imagine that. Most kids these days don’t even know what salad is, and actually most adults don’t know either. If you are one of them, it is that green stuff that you add veggies, fruit, nuts, etc to and it tastes delicious.

I have to take a second to applaud Mayor Bloomberg, mayor of my second favourite city (after Toronto, of course), New York. He is instating a ban of any sugary drink that is larger than 16oz, another step in the right direction towards combating obesity. This will apply to any cinema, food truck, restaurant, etc. Well done Bloomberg on an amazing step in the right direction. If only our mayor could step up like that….hahahahaha! Yeah right.

Please parents and even non parents we need to change things. Please take a moment to watch the Active For Life PSA. I am sure that most of you have seen the commercial on TV, but it is something that needs to be viewed more than once. I take my role as a mother to my son extremely serious. At 1, he eats things that shock many adults. Most toddlers and kids freak out when down the cookie aisle, mine freaks out when in the produce section of Longo’s. Yes, I spend a lot of time preparing his meals. He is my son, I would do anything for him and it is never a waste of time.

Parents put  – and rightly so –  so much attention on their children’s education.  Starting with getting them into the right pre-school, focusing on them getting straight A’s, getting into a good university, so they can go on to have a successful career. How about putting the same attention into making sure they are living a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis? Good grades and a well paying job will only bring so much happiness. If your child grows up with weight issues, they will likely have health problems and self esteem issues that will plague the rest of their lives.

I am very fortunate to have an amazing group of women as my support, accountability and my sweat it out partners. Eva Redpath empowers women to live healthy lifestyles, which then resonates to our families and loved ones. I would like to take a second to share some advice from her to you about our food choices. She was inspired (and has since inspired me) by author/journalist/food guru Michael Pollan. He wrote the fantastic book In Defense of Food and the recent Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. Below are his and her rules to eating.

  • If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever you can
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored
  • Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle
  • Eat only food that will eventually rot
  • Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
  • Treat meat as a flavouring or a special occasion
  • The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead
  • Pay more, eat less
  • Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper
  • Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
  • It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
  • Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the colour of the milk
  • Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself
  • If it’s on a shelf, in a box, wrapped in plastic, it’s meant to last! Don’t eat it or it will “last” on you!
  • If it had a mother, grew in the ground or came from a tree, eat up!
  • If you buy fresh foods, you will eat fresh foods. Leave the calorie-filled, non-nutritional junk food at the grocery store

Now that I got that off my chest, what are you waiting for? As corny as it sounds, children really are the future. We owe it to them to provide a healthy lifestyle.

1 Year

I started to write this on April 13th , the perfectionist that I am took awhile to finish it. I hope you enjoy it.

It is the eve before my son’s 1st birthday. It is crazy to think that a year ago at this time I was in labour and I didn’t even know it. I had an appointment with my OB on this day (April 13th) and thought it would be a great idea to walk there and back. I live 6 subway stops, or a 30 min walk away from where my OB has her office. Like every appointment I had throughout my pregnancy my husband was meeting me there. Bless him; he never missed a single appointment, ultrasound…nothing. On this particular morning it took me 90 min to walk all the way up University. 90 MIN!!!! By the time I got there I could barely breathe. I had been having pains from the time I woke up. My OB assured me that it was normal since April 13th was my due date. I, of course, took her word. After all she is the doctor, and this is my first pregnancy, so what did I know. I did know that I felt extremely uncomfortable, with all kinds of cramping and so sick.  These were things that I had never felt in 9 months. After my 90 min walk back home, I curled up splayed out as best as I could on the couch and decided that I was not going to move for the rest of the day. My husband came home sick with a migraine around 3pm. He told me “you better not go into labour today”. I laughed…..

Fast forward to 2:30am (now April 14th) and I was not sleeping well. The cramping I had been feeling all day started to get more annoying, then it dawned on me that these must be contractions! I remember thinking that I should really start timing them and not to wake up my sick, sleeping, snoring husband. I closed my eyes and then it happened. Whoosh, warm and wet all over. I jumped out of bed faster than any woman who, is now clearly in labour, probably should have and started freaking out. That’s right. The woman who was so calm and cool and had the best pregnancy ever, was freaking out. I obviously woke up hubby. He pulled out our labour check list and we knew that we had to head to the hospital. I had other plans. I wanted to take a shower, comb my hair nice and do my make-up. Judge all you want, but I am not the first mom to want to avoid the horrific after photos taken. I’m all for capturing those precious first moments of a baby’s new life, but do you have to post them on facebook when you look like death?  Comb your hair, or better yet, save those for the personal album at home.  I mean really!  I don’t know how many other women out there decide to take their time going to the hospital once their water breaks, but let me tell you I do not recommend it. The second my water broke the pain of the contractions went from a 2 to 100 in about 5 seconds….

And then it got worse. By the time we cabbed it to the hospital (we are so urban, eh?), I was now experiencing a level of pain I didn’t know existed. All the breathing techniques that I had learned in pre natal class were gone and forgotten. All I could do was cry. Once we made it to triage I was told that I was 1cm dilated. Not the 7cm that I thought I should clearly be based on the pain I was feeling. All I could think was “my god, it will just get worse”. I decided then and there  that I wanted an epidural. I managed to get that out through my moaning (yes, I was that woman), to which I was told “we don’t give epidurals until you get to 4cm.” I responded with “I DON’T CARE! I NEED IT NOW”. I know that most people say that getting an epidural hurts, but not for one second was I freaked out that a needle was being inserted into my spine. All I could feel was the intense pain of the contractions. To all you women out there who are not sure if you want to go natural, I will tell you this. Don’t be a hero. Take the drugs.

After being in labour for 8 hours, the doctor decided that I needed to have an emergency C- section. At that moment, all I cared about was our little man arriving safe. I got to see him being pulled out, it was so surreal and the tears started flowing immediately. When they brought him to me I cried even harder and the first thing I said to my husband through my sobbing was “He…ha..ha…has your nose”.  Brady Walker Davidson was born at 12:15pm April 14th 2011.

I have always wanted to have a son. For as long as I could remember, when all my friends talked about having little girls, I was adamant that I wanted a boy. I have my little man now and he is simply amazing. To watch him grow and learn new things each day is unreal. He is funny, mischievous, stubborn (I have no idea where he would have got that from) and loveable (he loves giving hugs and kisses). I have loved him from the first time I saw his heart beating at 8 weeks on an ultrasound. There are days that I feel worn out and just exhausted, but his little grin gives me the strength to keep going and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I love being a mom to Brady. I tell him pretty much every day that I am the luckiest mom in the world to have him as a little boy. I may have a scar from a C – section and a few stretch marks around my belly button, but I wear them with honour and pride. He was worth it.

Brady  – 1 day old                                     Me and Brady on his 1st birthday

   

Thanks for reading 🙂