; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Followers

I noticed that I have two new followers who either don't have a blog or it's viewable only by invite.  So I wanted to say hello and welcome to Spearmint Baby and oops the other follower dropped out so we're back to just the one.  EDIT:  I figured it out the other site.   It's Snugglepotandcuddlepie.  Thanks for following. 

Normally I'd visit any new followers and leave a comment or follow them back when I stop by their page.  If you are a follower and I haven't visited your page, please let me know and I will make an extra effort to stop by your site. 

I won't be posting today as we have another showing.  We had one on Monday which was a bust so hopefully tomorrow's will be better.  It's our own realtor that's showing the house so at least you know that they are familiar with the house and aren't showing a large house to someone who wants a small one.  DUH. 

Anyways, hope you all have a great Thursday. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday. A Little Cat Lovin.

This is E before J ever came along.  She loved her kitty.   A little too much. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recipe Tuesday - Meatballs

I have learned a new trick to get my kids to eat meat and that is meatballs. If I brown ground meat and put it in spaghetti sauce, they hate it and refuse to touch it. If I throw it into meatloaf.. same thing.   If I take that meat, roll it into a little ball and cook it.. they eat it. WHY? I have no idea. They do like things that are small and interesting though so maybe that's it.

The tricky thing is to make sure the meatballs are not too dry. I hate dry meatballs myself even if they are covered in a sauce. I learned a great tip off one of those Food Network shows and so here is how I make my meatballs.

You will need:
1 pound ground meat (I prefer ground chicken or turkey, moister and tastier to the kids)
1 egg
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs parsley flakes

and for today's recipe I added 1/4 cup chopped spinach leaves so I could get a little extra iron into them. It's easher to chop and disguise if you wilt the spinach first in hot water but I find so much of the nutrients leach into the water even in that quick dip and blot procedure so I just go with raw.

and/or really any other seasonings like garlic that you'd prefer.

Mix together really well.

Fill a medium saucepan with water, set on high to boil. For extra flavour try using chicken or beef broth.

When the water is boiling, start rolling meatballs in your hands. You can use an ice cream scoop to do this as well, but I like making really small meatballs. Firstly, it cooks faster and secondly smaller portions for smaller mouths equals good sense. Wet your hands first as it will keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.  Then simply drop each meatball into the water/broth.  Go ahead and fill the pot up.  I like to let them cook for at least 10 minutes to make sure it cooks all the way through. 

Now if you're going to add this to spaghetti sauce, it's absolutely perfect.  Pile a couple on top of their spaghetti and cover with sauce.  My kids will eat this without sauce though.  They just love it and they didn't even bat an eye at the fact that it has green bits in it. 

Now I have to admit that this is probably a plain tasting meatball without sauce for us grownups but kids don't seem to like a lot of spice.  At least mine don't.  To that end, you could divide up the ground meat after you've added the oatmeal and egg and then spice your batch up with extra seasonings and diced onions etc. 

A lovely extra touch to these meatballs is to throw a little shredded cheddar into them.  Also, if we are eating them plain, I like to add extra flavour browning them in a little butter in a frying pan.  The great thing is that because they already cooked, I don't have to worry about how long they are cooking for and get just let them brown nice and evenly.  I don't know about you but I tend to get paranoid about sausages etc and so they end up a little crispy.  *L*

Monday, April 27, 2009

An end of an era?

My darling, my baby, my boy, my wee little man turned two yesterday.  Wow!  It's amazing to reflect that 2 years have gone by.  

Two years since my husband was brutally fired by his long time employer without so much as a care or concern that his wife was expecting a baby in less than 7 weeks.  

Two years since I went through his what can only be described as traumatizing labor and delivery. We thought he was ...  I can't even say it, it's just that horrible.  It still brings tears to my eyes when I think on it.  Did I mention he was born at 12 pounds? Naturally?  

Two years since I found out that another one of my babies had a heart murmur.  (he's fine now)

Two years since we thought he may have had nerve damage in his right arm.  Cause he got stuck coming out.  (he recovered, thanks to Mommy perserverance in arm exercising). 

Two years since our house went on the market cause my husband bought a business in another town because he was so desperate to have a job, we borrowed against our equity.  Our house is still for sale. 

Two years since I learned the joys and the differences of parenting a wee little man.  (Have you ever noticed how much boy's pee stinks more than girls?  It's weird, I know.)

Two years since I got to see the joy in my daughters' faces when we brought their baby brother home. 

It may have seemed like a long two years but it really did go by amazingly fast.  From babyhood, to eating, to smiling, to crawling, walking etc.  Wow.  Just when you thought the breastfeeding would never end, you could just scream the next time they clamped down on your nipple and bam they no longer want it and yes, you're just a teensy bit sad. 

Did you know that we called O commando baby for a while?  He used to drag himself around on his forearms before he learned to crawl.  We called it his commando baby manouever.  

So here I sit feeling just a wee bit sad at the end of another era.  We are saying goodbye to the toddler and hello to the soon to be pre-schooler.  It's time like these that I wish I could step back for a little while and snuggle them a little longer.   I'd hold on and savour it knowing how brief these moments really are.  That time moves faster than we think and all this other stuff, is just not as important.  

Happy Birthday O!

In the Mommy Trenches

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sayings, Every Family Has Them

I had to chuckle last night as my husband was describing the serious airtime the girls had had that night.  We have our own unique way of saying things sometimes and thought I'd share one with you. 

Airtime:   Used to refer to the amount of time the kids' feet are off the floor in a crying/tantrum fit. I don't know about yours but when mine are seriously upset they jump up and down repeatedly. 

What's one of your family sayings? 

In the Mommy Trenches

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Get my gloves girls.... I'm going in.

Seriously, if you don't hear from me tomorrow.. send help.  You might want to start looking over by the washing machine.. that foot sticking out from under the mound of dirty laundry, just might be me. Or I might be in the back bedroom suffocated by the smell of urine soaked crib sheets or I might have my head in the oven, passed out from cleaning it.  Those fumes are deadly. 

Not there... try by my desk I might just be under it clutching school newsletters to my chest crying silently while muttering "no more, no more, I don't want to volunteer, I can't bake 200 cupcakes for tomorrow, just no time, just no time."

On second thought... never mind.  There's no way I want my house to be plastered all over the news from the search and rescue team.  Just leave me there.  Eventually my husband will find my body.  Possibly when he's looking for a clean shirt.   Hopefully, he'll mourn me and not just my super mom cleaning abilities and multitasking organizational skills.  Hopefully he'll be crying and saying..."my poor dear wife.. I should have cleaned the bathroom more."  *sob*

A girl can dream, can't she?


In the Mommy Trenches

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recipe Tuesday - Salmon Steaks in a Cilantro lime marinade

I love cilantro. I don't know what it is about this herb but I just love the smell of it. Whenever I bite into something with that smell it just makes my senses soar. So I'm always looking for ways to use it in my dishes. This dish was a hit with my family. My kids like salmon but don't like too much fuss with it so this was just right.

You will need:

* bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1 tsp butter or oil
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* juice from one lime or 3 TBS lime juice
* 1 1/2 cups of honey
* salt & pepper

In a small sauce pan melt butter or oil and saute garlic for 30 slightly. Note the amount of butter or should be just enough to saute the garlic in. Add the honey, lime juice and mix together. Continue stirring on low heat until honey becomes runny, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat allow to cool for a minute or so, pout into shallow bowl or pan (big enough to fit steaks in)

Take your salmon steaks, salt and pepper them and place them into the marinade and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Now you can either grill or bake:

Grilling: lightly oil grill plate so fish doesn't stick. Grill on high heat approx minutes each side or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Baking: Bake at 350 degrees in a foil lined pan for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork. I like to make a foil pouch covering the salmon steaks so they don't get too dried out on top. Be careful you don't overcook or it tastes like rubber.

What makes this such a great recipe is that prep time was like 10 - 15 minutes (including marinade time). If you get your fish marinading them you can prep the rest of the meal and have everything cooking at the same time.

Some extra Tips:

Here in Canada, we are able to buy Salmon steaks in the freezer section of our grocery store. Highliner is one common name brand but I've found the Gold Seal Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets to be the best tasting. Now I'm talking about plain salmon steaks not the kind that you get with sauces or pre-seasoned and the like etc. It's reasonably priced and it comes with 4 steaks. Having a pack or two of this in your freezer is very handy.

Now you don't have to thaw these ahead of time according to the package. You could throw these in the oven straight from the freezer with a little salt and pepper but it does help to have them slightly thawed for the marinade to actually work.

To make the meal even quicker,I used canned potatoes. Now normally I don't like things out of can but these potatoes are precooked, all you have to do is put them in a pan with a little butter and pop them in the oven with the salmon and voila, 2 dishes done in a flash. Just add your favourite vegetable and you are all set.

Max prep time/cook time: 25 minutes.

In The Mommy Trenches

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mr. Mom - One of My Favourite Videos

A little potty ponderation

Last night as we're getting ready for bed I come across J sitting on the toilet reading a potty training book swinging her little feet.  

Mommy: "Hi, Sweetie, are you done?"
J: "Yup, I just pooped."
Mommy: "good girl, you went poop." *thinking okay I have to do a wipe check*
J: looks over her shoulder and into the toilet and says "yup, two poops.  I get a treat". 
Mommy:     "um, no sweetie you only got treats when you were little and just learning to go poop on the potty."
J: "when I was a berry little baby, I used to sit on the dora potty, yeah so I don't fall in and get flushed.... with the poop."

My husband and I had a little chuckle over this conversation but later I wondered if this was a little insight into her thoughts when she was younger?  Was she really worried about getting flushed down the toilet even though it's obviously not a giant black hole?  Was that why she didn't like to go poo on the potty, it takes longer to poo than to pee? 

But who knows what goes through their heads.  When she was smaller she hated things going over her head. This included getting dressed and she cried every time I dressed her.  This drove me crazy because it was, in my mind completely irrational.  Obviously I wasn't very good at hiding my annoyance because as she grew out of this fear she said to me... "see mommy, I don't cry anymore when it goes over my head."   I felt bad because I hadn't been very understanding with my poor mite.  I was too rushed.  

Just like E you could toss around and throw on the bed etc and she just loved it.  She loves horseplay.   J didn't and it took me quite a well before it finally went through my head... J doesn't like it!   So I stopped doing it.  DUH, that should have been obvious but sometimes we are just so caught up with what we have to do that we forget to stop and listen to the tiny voices and give them some credit.  It doesn't matter that their fears are silly, it's real to them and deserve our time and attention and understanding.  

No matter how much it drives us crazy!

In the Mommy Trenches

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homemade Playdough & Free Fun

Times are tough with everyone and with the recession looming over us, our families today have to cut back.  Lately it's been pressing on me that I need to do something to help make our dollars stretch farther.  

Besides earn more money, which is really not a possibility, the only other solution is to cut costs. So to that end I've been contemplating things I can make at home.  So far I have come up with play dough.  In the past I've figured it was easier to just simply buy the pre-made stuff but figured maybe now is the time to jump in with both feet and make it myself.  I found a recipe for play dough here.  I will let you know how it goes when I've made it. 

I also found a article giving tips on how to have fun for free with your kids here.  It's silly really because most of the ideas are pretty simple but sometimes you just need someone else to point out the obvious.  For example, it had not occurred to me to do a treasure hunt with my kids. We've played hide the stuffies with E in the past, which was a big hit, but have never done it with all three of them.  

I've also been thinking about making my own granola bars and fruit strips (a friend gave me a food dehydrator) but haven't gotten too far with it.  I have come across some recipes online but have to look them up again.  

I found the above articles on a new website that's just getting started called modern family.  It looks to be interesting. I am looking forward to seeing more articles and tips from them. 

In the Mommy Trenches

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tips for Buying a Change Table

Are change tables really necessary? Not always. It all depends on your lifestyle and budget. Having a safe place to change your baby on the other hand, is important.

The traditional change table is expensive and pretty much useless once your baby is grown out of it. Did I say useless? Well maybe not so much useless but rather an eyesore. Use it as you may for storage etc, it doesn't really add to any room decor that I am aware of and quite often takes up precious space. 

Having said that, if you can pick one up second hand for a reasonable price, go ahead. There is a reason why you have to be first in line at the rummage sales to get these coveted baby items.  When I had my first child, I was fortunate in that my brother gave me his old one and with a little paint, we had a fresh new table for free.  

However, if you can afford it why not buy a more versatile piece of furniture. Just look in any baby store these days and they are selling lovely sets of coordinating dressers with space on top for a change pad. Not only does it add to your room decor, but it's also a more mature look that will grow with your child especially if you are purchasing one of those convertible cribs. You remove the change paid and voila an ordinary dresser again. 

As for the change pad, I would recommend buying a foam change pad which curves inward. It not only has a belt attached to it for securing your child but it also comes with straps at the back that you can firmly screw into the back of the dresser to insure it will stay in place. Although, I have found the foam alone sufficient for non movement.

While baby furniture can be expensive, a versatile dresser is a great investment. You don't have to stick with the baby stores either. When we were expecting our second child, I chose to go with a modest 4 drawer pine dresser from a non-baby store which was much cheaper and made out of solid pine. The bonus was that it came unfinished so I could stain it to whatever color scheme I chose. The foam pad works great and I've now been through two children with this system. I still haven't made up my mind what color to stain the dresser though.  (There's that commitment issue coming up again)

I liked having the traditional table in the kid's bedrooms because I could put their diapers, baby blankets etc on it.  However, because each one of our children slept in a cradle in our bedroom for the first six months or so it became a pain to take them out of the bedroom to change them all the time.  That's when I opted for using the top of the dresser for a change table.  The drawback being that you have to use the top drawer for their diapers and wipes.  The drawback to the change table is that when the baby starts crawling, all that stuff will be tossed off the shelves before you can say "boo".  

As always safety is important. Never leave your child unattended on a change table and always make sure your furniture is properly assembled and shop smart.

I'd love to hear from you on what your preferred system was.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Diaper bags: Which is best for you?

Diaper Bags: The Bane of My Existence! You can get diaper bags in all shapes, sizes and varying price tags. Three children later I have yet to find the perfect diaper bag. Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.

Diaper Bag #1: I went for the cute and cuddly, sage green Pooh Bear bag. While this diaper bag was adorable and roomy and was really actually quite versatile and not too feminine for hubby to carry around, it did not hold up. Within a year that vinyl, easily washable interior was separating from its seams and the whole bag had to be trashed.

In the end, I ended up using a trendy nylon sport bag from Avon which held everything I needed and looked great on my shoulder. (It was Pink)

Diaper Bag #2: With the advent of our second child, I decided it was time to purchase a new diaper bag. This time, forgoing the cute and cuddly diaper bags,I shopped high and low until I found this practical nylon (inside and out) diaper bag that would easily be thrown into the wash. TA DAH! I found it, the "perfect bag". Uh, not exactly. This bag while although it is versatile and durable, it wasn't quite roomy enough for the doings of two children. However, for just one baby, I'd recommend it. It's by BABY ESSENTIALS and was purchased at HBC at around $30.00.

To its testimony though, I still have the bag and it is still in great shape. I've just learned to pack lighter.

Diaper Bag #3: With the birth of our third child I became aware of a program through Nestle where if you sign up for their baby program they send you out a "free" diaper bag filled with coupons, samples and a bottle. Who can say no to free stuff? Initially I loved this bag.  It's a backpack style with one strap. It's fairly versatile, easy to carry and doesn't look like you're carrying a diaper bag at all. Especially for young moms, I think this is a stylish solution. However, if you have more than one small child, it's not big enough.  It fits just the basics, diapers, wipes, maybe one outfit and that's it.  Any more than that and it's constantly popping open.   

This is our current diaper bag to date.  Diaper bag #2 having been retired since we only have one child in diapers left (hallelujah) and don't need to have two going at the same time.  

This type of bag can be found in a variety of colours and prices tags at a variety of stores.

To find the perfect fit for you, it is essential to determine your needs and style. Is it for just one child, will you be traveling a lot with it, is style or durability more important to you?

In the end it comes down to personal taste and what you can afford. If you are wooed by the cute Disney models, just be sure to check the interior. Is the vinyl interior thin and brittle feeling, are the seams well sewn and sturdy. Do the zippers zip smoothly? Does the color match your eyes? (Just kidding) Does it have enough pockets and accessories to suit your needs. Most moms end up using their diaper bag as a purse to save carrying two bags around, so pockets can be important.

My best recommendation is if you know you are planning on having more than one child or even twins, you may need to go for the less adorable and more practical styles. Nylon is very durable and washable and if you can find a bag with nylon inside and out, it's a good buy. You may need to spend a little more and get quality now. However, this is not always the case so be sure to be a smart shopper.

A diaper bag alternative for all you stylish and possibly sporty moms is a sports bag. These come in many different colors and styles and nowadays are quite trendy. Again, just be sure to check the quality of the materials used in its making.  Think, can I wash this if something leaks?

One final thought: Costly does not always mean better so get out there and shop smart!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And now for something completely... useful

I will be posting this week a couple of more useful posts regarding purchasing baby basics such as diaper bags, change tables.  That sort of thing.  

Please note, these posts are not product reviews nor are they sponsored posts.  Just a few tips if you will from someone who's been there... three times.  :)  (And we have a whole lot of crap to prove it!)

For those of you with older children, hopefully, it will still be interesting and I would appreciate you putting in your own two bits as to what worked for you.  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hello Advertisers... We're in a Recession!

I, like many others, love to look at the sales flyers that come with my weekly newspaper. Who doesn't love the idea of a sale and seeing what's new in the retail world. However, lately those flyers have been making me a little envious as I stare at the $3,500 bracelet touted as the "perfect gift for mom". The subtle message being relayed is that there is no limit as to how much you should spend for a gift and that it is actually the norm, most people out there wouldn't hesitate to drop that kind of dough on a piece of jewelry; and therefore, you are somehow lacking because you can't.

Reality is we can't afford that and most others can't either. How must our men feel though? They work hard to put food on the table and a roof over our head. Most of our men these days are "metrosexual", involved in just about every aspect of house and home. They love their wives. They would love to be able to buy us everything our little heart desires. But can they? No. Then how must these advertising messages be affecting them? Do you not think it would be somewhat demoralizing to be confronted on a weekly basis as what is and is not the norm to buy their sweeties no matter what the cost. To know they will never be able to afford it. I feel sorry for the impossibly high standard being set for our men.

It doesn't just stop there though. I recall another familiar big store commercial where this supposedly average women is doing her Christmas shopping, including a $2,000.00 laptop for her brother. Seriously, who can afford to buy computer equipment for a sibling never mind their own child for Christmas. I once bought my brother a $200.00 VCR and he was choked. You see he couldn't afford to buy me a $200.00 gift, he had a young family while I was single with a good paying job. I hurt his pride even though I just wanted to give him something I knew he needed. I will never do that again.

We are inundated with messages to spend, spend and spend some more. No wonder North Americans are suffering under an ever increasing debt load. Our children are growing up expecting to be handed their every desire to them on a platter. Witness the young girl throwing a tantrum on Oprah because her mother wouldn't buy her a different cell phone. She already had several.

I don't know what the answer is. The media is not going to suddenly change their ways and cut down their advertising. Retailers are not suddenly going to drop their prices and make these things more affordable for the everyday joe. Society will continue to be obsessed with celebrities and their fashionable lives. We must, however, strive to instill into our children decent work ethics and that money doesn't just fall from trees. You have to work for what you get and sometimes you have to work very hard, sometimes for very little.  Teach them the value of a dollar and one day you will see them become the successful people they were meant to be.  

Okay, I sound like my grandfather but it really rings true to me. 

So I no longer read the flyers, they stay in the newspaper and make their way directly to the recycling bin. Hey, most days I don't even read the paper at all.  If only I could some how get those darn cell phone commercials to stop playing, I'd be more content.  Cause right now I'm lusting after one of those phones that you can blog on the internet etc with.  How cool is that?  *Cough*   

My husband doesn 't say much, but still I wonder if it does really bother him. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tears of Joy?

Yesterday Hubby had the day off on Wednesday, which is why I didn't get to post anything but I digress.

I take E to school and head off to the grocery store.  I have volunteered myself, yeah how stupid am I, to cook Easter dinner this weekend.  I have been spoiled for far too long.  Usually my mom makes a turkey and my MIL makes a turkey.  Do you KNOW how much a turkey costs?  One single turkey!  Well here in Canada they can be expensive.  I'm not used to spending $20.00 on meat for one meal.   Course we are going to feed like 9 people.  I had to phone home.. "uh honey, do you think 6 to 10 kg will be enough?"

I while my morning away at the grocery store, hit the dollar store for some basket stuffers and I come home to hubby doing laundry like crazy.  He had just about every possible load going and in various stages of folding all over the living room furniture.  The kitchen had been tidied up from breakfast etc.  Now I never said my hubby didn't help out.  (I'm pretty sure I never said he didn't help)  The problem is he is inconsistent and when he does decide to help, he goes just a little crazy with it.  Like it's this marathon of cleaning that has to be all done in one day.  I like to do a little laundry every day.  

But hey do not take this in any way as a complaint.  I was glad to get the laundry done, we've been a little busy lately for me to be really on top of it.    I started to help him put away some of the laundry but when I walked through the bathroom, the smell hit me.  No, it was a clean smell. The smell of cleaning supplies having been used.  I look at the taps, sparkling.  I look at the counter, cleared.  I look at the mirror, spotless.  He CLEANED the bathroom.  Tears sprang to my eyes as I walked back out, told him in what was probably a way too serious voice, "you rock" because I was trying not to really cry.  He was all oh crap, what have I done to make her cry, until I said, "you cleaned the bathroom, thank you" and gave him a big hug.  He was relieved.

I am surprised by my reaction (so was he thank you), it's not like he shouldn't help out by cleaning the bathroom.  I guess it's just with how busy our lives have been lately, it was exactly what I needed at that moment.  For my man to dig a little deeper and extend a little more help.  I don't think he completely understood it and I wasn't going to explain it to him because that would just start the whole, who does more debate but it really made my day.  

So now I am going to take my cup of tea outside and play with my son because I have no laundry to do today and my bathroom is still sparkly clean.  How nice is that? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well Colour me... stupid.

Oh, oh, what's she done now, you're thinking.  Settle down, I haven't really done anything monumentally stupid, well not today anyways.  No, I'm talking that all too popular and difficult topic of communication between the sexes. 

It's taken me a couple of days to even settle down to post this.  You see with me working 4 nights a week, I pretty much plan all the meals in the house.  When hubby gets home, supper is already on the table so we can eat as a family before I rush out the door to work leaving hub with the dishes.  Lately, however, hub's been under a lot of extra stress with work and family etc so I've been trying to pick up some of the extra work like trying to make sure a lot of the supper dishes get done while I'm making supper, making sure the dishwasher's empty for him etc.  

However, it seems the more I do, the less he does.  I don't think he's even realized that he hasn't helped out with the laundry for the past two weeks, made the bed or even vacuumed.   Course he wouldn't cause I've been picking up the slack.   

So I do all this during the week, taking it on the chin, doing my bit for the team er family.  You'd think that on the weekend would be the time for him to jump in and help a little bit with some of the eating decisions.  I thought I was communicating my need to him for him to help with some of the preparation and decision making on the weekends by frequent questions like ... "what do you think we should have for lunch? or what do you want for dinner"  What are we going to do about dinner?" etc.  

I don't know about your husbands but mine amazes me with his ability to actually not answer a question, I walk away and realize half an hour later that he still hadn't answered the original question.  Part of it is because our house is crazy and I do mean crazy with 3 kids.  They all seem to want 100% of our attention now.  Part of it is because he appears to be actually pondering the question.   Guess what, he's not! Usually we waste a whole lot of time until I just get up and do it myself.  AGAIN

So this weekend was like no other except for the fact that I got real pissed about it.  I decided that I wasn't going to cook.  Hub knew I was annoyed about the whole what's for dinner, we'd had words about (too long to get into) so what does he do?  Takes the kids outside and plays with them for 2 1/2 hour.  Ignoring the fact that we still have to resolve the dinner issue.  Okay, maybe I was being childish, but now I was really ticked.  There was no way I was cooking dinner. 

Finally at 7:00 p.m. (their bedtime btw) he brings them in and makes Kraft Dinner.  OMG! That was the best he could come up with?  For us it was soup.  No, I did not want to eat left over 2 day old soup for dinner thank you very much.    

So after the kids are in bed we have it out.  Guess what?  He's totally clueless to the whole let's plan out meal ideas.  You know his man brain.. (no, not that one) just does not go there.   If I want him to plan dinner he's got to know in advance. 

Here's the kicker, if I want him to help out with dinner, then he will. I just need to tell him.  Uh hello, that's what I thought I was doing with the whole, what should we eat questions.  No, apparently I have to be more specific and notify him days in advance. 

Yeah, like I get advance notice.  Well actually I guess I do cause I am the one who usually makes it every day.    Apparently he draws a complete blank when I ask him about meals.  It simply does not occur to him that he could get up of his @ss and look through the cupboards/fridge and give me some freakin suggestions.  When I pointed this out to him, he shrugged and said "yeah I guess I could do that."

So apparently.... I am not communicating very well.  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why am I always the last to be fed?

Cause that's just what mom's do.  They meet the needs of their family first.  Am I the only one to get somewhat annoyed that this is always the case?   

Here I am at 10:30 a.m.  I've gotten three kids dressed and fed, scrambled around like a ninny looking for O's shoes, phone hubby to see if he put them in some bizarre place like we've all known husbands to do at one time or the other, only to find them outside around the side of the house.  Hubby was like "well I know he came inside last night and I praised him for taking his shoes off. I just don't know where he took them off"  Turns out O decided to take his shoes off at the other side of the house.  This left me with 5 minutes to get E to school.  Cause you know O's feet grow so fast we only have like one pair of shoes for him at a time.   E gets dropped off at school then it's the grocery store for us.   Bada bing bada boom, we're home and I have yet to eat. 

Course then there's the unloading of the kids, ensuring they are in a safe place while I unload my groceries only to be greeted the minute I'm inside the door with "I want a snack."  Yeah that's nice honey, mommy would like one too.  But I can't, I have to put the groceries away first.  Then my little ol mommy heart feels bad and I fix them a snack first... course I'm also hoping to stall them for extra time to eat by keeping them occupied.  Thank god for DVDs!

My goal over the last few months is to try and instill in my children some sense that mommy gets a turn too.  Yeah, I know you mommies of older children are laughing your heads off right now.  Yet I can dream, can't I?   I find myself whining back at them that it's "my turn, you've eaten, it's mommy's time to sit down and eat."  I regress to 2 year old status cause I want my toast and tea and five minutes.. okay who's kidding I'd like 30 minutes at least to read, blog or what have you while I eat/drink it.  That when I sit down, the demands end.  That having breakfast/lunch means that you eat at the table until you're full then you go play.  You do not promptly go sit on the couch and ask for a snack/drink while mommy's trying to clean up the after meal carnage.  That having eaten all your own food off your own plate does not mean suddenly that you need to have a "bite" off of mine.  The food's the same, just on a different plate.  Get it?

They are starting to learn that when mommy sits down to eat.. that's it.  They have to wait until I'm done before they get anything else.  Cause after all, we need to teach our kids some boundaries.  They can't expect us to be jumping jacks all day long.  Well they expect it, they are just not gonna get it (most of the time).  Of course, that means putting up with the countless "are you done eating yet?" and I find myself dragging out my last bites and morsels so  I can stay seated for just a few moments longer.  

So while you might as well call my breakfast now brunch you can bet I'm not going to settle for regular peanut butter toast but am going to go all out with a toasted tuna, avocado, tomato and turkey bacon sandwich, cause after all it's my turn now

Friday, April 3, 2009

Infertility part 2

So I was pretty upset and there was no way we could afford going for the "serious" infertility treatment. So that's when I got back on the web and found an interesting little article by Dr. John R. Lee. You may have heard of him, he is a well known authority on the benefits of using natural hormone supplements to balance women's hormones particularly in menopausal women. The article I stumbled across talked about estrogen dominance and the surprising number of women who suffered from this along with a list of symptoms. I was fairly intrigued by this article and especially how Dr. Lee used progesterone cream to treat infertility in his patients by placing them on the cream for 3 months from days 5 to 26, stopping on day 26 to bring on menstruation. This made sense to me, if you are short in progesterone, why not boost your body up a bit first. I didn't even have to do that.

I was even more determined to try this when I approached a local pharmacist regarding the cream and Dr. Lee and she had heard about him and indeed, recently attended a seminar on the uses of progesterone cream. Being a woman about to enter the menopausal years, she was curious to discover more. With material prepared by her and, of course, Dr. Lee's facts, I was able to approach my family doctor with the information and he was willing to prescribe the cream to me.

From then on, I basically had to "quack" myself. My family doctor didn't quite seem to get it, neither did the pharmacist, they weren't thinking infertility and the whole ovulation cycle so I proceeded on my own once I had the cream in my hands. Solely by reviewing the information in this article, I used a fertility monitor to track ovulation, once I determined that I had ovulated I promptly began using the recommended dosage of progesterone cream and continued using it for 14 days. I did a pregnancy test on day 14 and if the test was negative, then I discontinued the cream.

It took me only two months to achieve a successful pregnancy. The first month I missed my ovulation because my cycles were so irregular.  The 2nd month I was bang on. I was in complete shock and I tested five times before I told my husband, then I tested daily until my appointment with the doctor to confirm the pregnancy. We were ecstatic. Naysayers, of course, will say it was coincidence etc. but after more than two years I was suddenly pregnant and went on to deliver a lovely and healthy baby girl. When we were thinking about baby number two, I simply stopped using birth control because it's often true that it's easier to get pregnant the second time around because your hormones are balanced etc. Well, nine months later of using no protection hadn't worked for us so I went back to my doctor and got more progesterone cream. That month I didn't even think I had ovulated, my cycles were so out of whack, I used the cream anyways and thought there was always the next month. What to my surprise then when I tested, on a hunch, I was indeed pregnant again.

I wish more people were aware of the uses of progesterone cream for fertility. The focus seems always to be on menopause when there are so many cases of unexplained infertility out there. My problem was that my hormones were probably borderline, sufficient for the appropriate test levels but not for conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy, so I got swept aside. If it hadn't been for that article, I never would have tried progesterone cream and may never have had three beautiful children. 

Now almost 7 years later I can gloss over the whole event in my life with relative ease. However, it was one of the most painful periods of time in life.  I still remember the heartache of waiting month after month for some sort of sign of pregnancy, for answers as to why "not me too".  I spent countless hours researching articles on infertility, joined groups, listened to all sorts of zany advice from well meaning people.  I even spent hours looking at children to adopt overseas. If we could have done it financially, we would have been there in a heart beat. Now, I have been blessed and thankfully I don't have to look back at that period in our lives very often but when I do, I can turn and look at the three smiling faces of my babes.  I just wish I could share my knowledge with others and have someone else benefit from my experience.  The few tentative feelers I've put out have met, so far, with silence.  


suggested articles:

Progesterone Deficiency Article

Dr. John Lee,md

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breakfast Anyone?

A double post today.. but I had to share what happened this a.m. 

My kids, my angels, my adorable ones, my monsters decided to make us breakfast this a.m.  now I was not particularly receptive at this point as along with my nocturnal awakenings by O they woke us up after a mere 5 hours sleep with a screaming match in their bedroom.  These are the times I wish they didn't share a room. 

So what can a 5 year old, 3 year old and a soon to be 2 year old make?  Hmmm carrots in their cereal anyone?  I am serious.  They made us tupperware bowls of cereal which look to be brown and orange floaty things.  The orange things are as I have said, carrots. The brown floaty things? It does not resemble any cereal that we have in the cupboard.  Could they have used, and this is just a guess, bread crumbs?  

For their own delightful breakfast they had toast an jam.  The evidence of which is on the front of the dishwasher, the counter, the table, the backs of the chairs and on my mail, which is nowhere near where the bread, jam, toaster sink is.  Perhaps they needed something to read while they ate?  

My mode of grumpy mom who didn't get enough sleep gives me the escape of not having to put on a brave face and eat this stuff.  Yes, I am a mean mom.  I didn't appreciate their efforts whatsoever.   You want me to like your breakfast?  Let me sleep.  End of story. 

Infertility Part 1

I recently came across this article/post I had drafted some time ago for Helium, an online forum that supposedly helps pays you for your posts and enables you to be in touch with potential work through the marketplace.  It does pay, but it's based on a rating system based on the opinions of your fellow writers.  Which is fine but even if you're #1 in your topic it still is only pennies.  You have to submit several articles a day I am sure just to make it work for you.  I just didn't have that time. Anyways, I figured I would share this because I cannot impress enough on couples struggling with fertility to explore the whole hormone issue as I had.  

Relax, it will just happen. You're trying too hard. A couple of the most inane and surprisingly common suggestions ever and exactly what you do not want to hear if you have been trying for any length of time to conceive. I mean, really, how could I be "trying too hard"? Of course, then there are stories about a friend of a friend, cousin's uncle's niece who got pregnant when she stopped trying, cause she relaxed and took a vacation. Uh huh, yeah I am sure that was the reason.

I struggled with infertility for over two years. I got to know my body pretty well and began to realize just how crazy wanting to have a baby can make you. Let's wake up at the same time every morning, don't move an inch except to reach out for your thermometer so you can take your temperature and painstakingly record it on this little chart, which no one seems to really pay all that much attention to by the way. Let's lie still after hubby makes a deposit with your legs so romantically raised in the air, hoping everything will travel down or up rather to reach the eggs. It was amazing when I found out that there is only a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle. That floored me.  Yes, I took biology but those little facts lay way back in my high school brain.  My more recent adult brain drained of all pertinent school learning information seemed think that everyone I knew got pregnant just by thinking lusty thoughts.

Eventually I was referred to a fertility specialist. I live in a small community where having fertility treatment meant a 2 hour ride on the ferry to the big city. So I wasn't going to be starting anything drastic to start. My doctor looked at my temperature charts, sent me for regular blood tests to assess my hormones and eventually put me on a cycle of clomid. That didn't work at all. I did think I was pregnant one time but ended up bleeding so excessively I am sure that that pregnancy didn't "take". Oh, did I mention I also went into the hospital for this simply horrid treatment where he shoots die up my tubes to see if they are blocked.  Now I've been through the pain of childbirth but I can say that this is right up there in agony. Men are so lucky!

I researched the web as much as possible to educate myself and learned about a little thing called luteal phase defect, which basically was that if the time between ovulation and when your hormones spiked again was too short, there wasn't enough time for an egg to actually implant into the uterus lining. Looking at my temperature chart mine seemed on the short side, ideally it's supposed to be 14 days, mine seemed less. My doctor looked at it and said yeah it was a little on the short said but didn't think that was the problem. Instead let's get you checked out for endometriosis even though you have absolutely no history of endometriosis. So on our 3rd anniversary, I went in the hospital to have a procedure done where a camera is inserted in me to check the lining of my uterus etc. A complete waste of time I thought because I had never had any symptoms like that at all but I didn't want to be difficult or to come across like I wasn't cooperative. So, I did it and there was nothing to report, course. The kicker was when my doctor called to report, he seemed fairly dismissive, didn't inquire once into how I was feeling or how I was recuperating and said it was up to me now, maybe he could send me over to the city to see a specialist, to let him know. I felt like he had just brushed me off. Like I can't figure out what your problem is so oh well. I was now the victim of the phenomenon called "unexplained infertility". 

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Worldless Wednesday

    Prince Charming:  "Hey Barbie, What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"

    Barbie:  "Who says I'm a nice girl, Prince.  Looking for a date?" 

    (You can't tell by the photo but it's a real slinky, polyester kinda dress.   It came on a doll with thigh high black boots and a green fur coat.  It became known as hooker Barbie and was given as a gag gift at a Xmas party because of it.  Course, we don't tell the kids that.)