Apr 30, 2010

Ask Me Anything Answers

Did anyone notice I didn't post anything yesterday? I was hoping you didn't but it's unlikely that's the case. You ever have one of those days where you don't want to go to work? That was yesterday for me. And, fortunately for me, I can call "the boss" and say "hey, I'm taking the day off" and, so, I did. I know that sucks and that lately I've sucked more than usual and I have no excuse. Well, I have some excuses but I don't think you need to hear 'um.

So, as promised, you asked and I'm going to answer.  Actually, there were a few questions about my exact location. I try to do my best to not disclose this specific info as there are some serious creepers out there and the thought of them knowing where I live is even creepier. Sorry! :)

In the order I received them...

Q: Are you & Dan planning to have another baby? (As if this isn't the first time you've been asked this :))
Have you considered any PT work positions instead of going back into career girl?

A: I am looking forward to having another baby and Dan and I will hopefully be having another babe in the future. However, it will likely be at least two to three years from now as, once I find a job, I would like to show them my worth and give them my all for a few years before I take off on maternity leave... I think that's only fair. As far as going back to work PT... I have definitely considered it. If I could find a job I would love, that would provide a good income, I would definitely do it. But, unfortunately, I'm not "rich" and I need a good income so my hubby and I can live comfortably.

Q: What do you think is ideal spacing between siblings? 

A: Good question. I have heard pros and cons for both and I totally think it depends on your family and the make-up of your family. For having kids several years apart, I have heard that it's not so great because the kids don't like to play together. On the other hand, I've heard (specifically with girls but I know it works both ways) that older kids are super helpful as they look at their new sibling as a "doll" and all the want to do is help. Because of the way I grew up, I always kind of assumed I'd have kids relatively close together (my sis and I are 18 months apart) - I think we often try to replicate our own childhoods (if they were good ones). However, life just don't work that way... plans change. See the question above for more on that! :)

Q: What does your husband do for a living that has afforded you to be a SAHM and what kind of job are you currently looking for?

A: My husband is loaded rich and owns several large companies. HAH. I'm so lying. I assume this question must be from one of my American friends and here is the answer... In Canada we get a year of maternity leave. So, I am not a SAHM, I am on maternity leave. My husband's family is all American (as is he) and they all wanted to move to Canada when I told them we get a year maternity leave. It's pretty great, I'm not going to lie... I have so much respect for you gals who have to go back to work so soon.

Q: As an American, I am quite jealous that Canadians have free healthcare -- is the quality of your healthcare system just as great?

A: To be clear, I've never experienced the American healthcare system. With that said, I love the healthcare system in Canada. Yes, it's not perfect - there are long wait times and so on. But it's fabulous that I know my family will be taken care of to the best possible standard no matter what, no cost. And, it's my understanding that many of the issues we have in our healthcare system are widespread, regardless of whether your country has free healthcare or not. When I saw the documentary Michael Moore did on the healthcare system in the U.S. (and I don't know much about it, I am not critisizing, trust me) - specifically, when I saw families losing their homes because they couldn't afford their healthcare bills, that was heartbreaking. That is not something we worry about here in Canada and that's wonderful. 

Q: How did you and your hubbs meet? 

A: I'll try to shorten this as I could likely get carried away. I worked at a bar during university. Dan used to come in for lunch with his colleagues and I loved him. I barely spoke to him cause I'm a wuss but I used to call him "Clark Kent" because he wore glasses and was kind of "geeky" looking but super hot at the same time. :p Anyways, like I said, never talked to him except to ask if he wanted more Coke or Ketchup. A few months later, my roomie dragged me to her work Christmas party (I'm not a super party gal) and he showed up with his roomie. He sat at the table near me and I FORCED myself to talk to him... pretending he looked familiar and trying to find out how we recognized each other (meanwhile I'm thinking "it's CLARK KENT"). We talked all night and I got his ICQ (yes, remember ICQ) contact from his roomie (cause I was too wussy to ask him myself) and we talked all Christmas (he went to Cali and I went to Toronto for x-mas). When we got back we went on a date and that was that. We both knew right away - we said the "l" word within a month of our first date (insert your "ahhhhhh"s here). :p

Q: What do you believe?? Every once in awhile you mention God, but then you also say "OMG" and stuff like that; what do you believe about God, and how do you think that will affect how you raise your daughter?

A: This is a tough question that I prefer not to go into too much detail about... I try my hardest to avoid the "risky" subjects - politics, religion, etc. as I want to keep MOmMy bRaIn light and I don't want to offend anybody. With that said, I absolutely believe in God and will raise my daughter to have faith as it has given me strength and peace of mind throughout my life.

Q: How did you meet your lucky man? :) How did you know he was the one? Do you feel in love at first sight?
A: I answered the first part of this question above. How did I know he was the one? Mostly because he was the first guy I dated who I could really be myself with. Other than that, we were best friends and we still are. Even when we're having those "I hate you" days, we can still laugh and we always get over it. Marriage is not perfect and mine is no different - it is WAY harder than I would have ever believed growing up. It's hard work. A good family friend gave me advice when I got engaged - she said two things (1) Be each other's best friend and (2) Getting out is not an option, especially when you have kids... you have to work for it. This was the best advice I've been given on marriage to date. 

Q: Since this is anonymous and won't be seen by others :) I just wanted to tell you that it's 'nada,' not 'nodda.' The first few times I just ignored it, but you seem to use the phrase a lot so I thought I'd let you know! :)
A: Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Thanks for letting me know... honestly, you could probably find 1000 spelling/grammar errors in each of my posts. I still spell "definitely" wrong almost every time I type it and I always want to say "as per ugge" as in "per usual" but I never know how to spell ugge, usge, ?!?!? Maybe you can tell me?? :)
Q: Tim Riggins or Coach Taylor?
A: Hardest question I was asked. For those of you who haven't watched Friday Night Lights... Season Four starts on NBC on May 7th and, honestly, if you don't watch it, I don't want to be friends anymore because I know you'll love it and anyone who passes on something that will make them happy is crazy, and thus, shouldn't be my friend! ha ha ha, joking. But, seriously, it's awesome. Eff. I still can't answer this question. Tim Riggins is obviously the obvious choice but I love how Coach Taylor is such a MAN. This question needs more detail - are we talking a one night stand or long term relationship? Like, if I choose Riggins do I only get him for a one night stand (as per the show) or do I get him permanently? I assume that part of the question is that if I choose Riggins I am assuming I only get one night with him vs. choosing Coach who I would mostly likely marry and have football babies with... hmm. I may change my mind a thousand times over this but I'm choosing Coach Taylor. I like a man who will fight with me about putting out the garbage (cause he feels it's his duty)... that's hot. Ahhhh, Tim Riggins though. Ok, Coach Taylor. Tim Riggins. Coach Taylor. Tim Riggins. Definitely Riggins if I can have him for life... I mean he was a pretty good "Dad" to that kid next door of the older chick he was sleeping with. :p
Q: Which online photography course are you doing? Would you recommend it? What type of camera do you use?
A: I'm doing a four-week, camera specific course right now on betterphoto.com. It was great. There is so much to learn about photography and your camera, that I think it will take me years to figure it all out. But this course was definitely a great start and I am definitely a better photographer than I was four weeks ago!  I use a Canon Rebel EOS XSi and I love it. 

Q: I noticed once that you are a fellow Canuck... what part of Canada do you live in? And do you like it there?
A: I live in Eastern Canada and I love it here. I've lived in a few provinces and definitely (spelled that right the first time FYI) have found my home here. YAY Canada! Such a fabulous place to live. 

Q: What's your biggest pet peeve? 

A: Hmmm. Probably my biggest pet peeve is when people try to make it seem like their life is perfect... when people are fake and try to hard. That drives me nuts. I notice it more as a Mom now because I am aware of when other Moms are putting on a "show" to make it seem like they are a super Mom and have it all under control, when we all know that none of us has it under control all the time! These would be the same people who put on make-up, push-up bras and do their hair before going to the gym. :p You're crazy! :p ha ha ha.

K, that's all I got... I consolidated a few questions as they were similar or the same.

This was fun - a lot less personal questions than I expected... I didn't know what to expect opening up myself to anonymous questions! :) Thanks again for participating!

If you ever have any other questions, let me know - I'll answer. :)

Happy weekend - yipee!

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Apr 28, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Holy Mac - this is almost over, thank GOD! But I'm sick of writing about weight and crap so I'm totally going off in a different direction this morning... :)

Last night, a 1 am, I was awake (gee, I wonder why? Baby yelling at me through the monitor maybe??), lying here getting grouchy that I was awake and that I knew Jane wasn't hungry but what other of the five hundred things that could have woken her up was bothering her. Anyways... I was very close to dashing downstairs to get my laptop so I could give you a glimpse into the thoughts of a Mom, middle of the night, tired, grouchy, confused, etc. Then, after lying her and thinking about what I would write (which included a lot of "effin's" and so on), I decided it best not to do that. Why? Mostly because of Mommy Guilt (which I talked about on Monday). I feel like if I complained (using a lot of "effin's") about my middle of the night wake-ups, I'd be complaining about Jane and there's way too much guilt in that. Not to mention, you'd probably think I was some anger-issued, grouchy Mother which I am not at all. Even though in my head I'm saying "why the eff are you effin' up again?", externally I'm saying "shhhhhh, it's ok, Mommy's here". :)

When she woke up at 12:30am, I though "here we go" in for another fab night of 5 wake ups and no sleep. She stayed awake for an hour and a half. Can someone explain this to me? She couldn't have been hungry. It could have been teething. It could have been gas. I don't think she was too hot or too cold but I turned up the heat anyways. She's not sick. I didn't respond to her right away... I let her "cry it out" for 30 mins and she was just getting more worked up. So, I went in and gave her the soother. As I was walking out, she was standing back up in her crib starting to yell again. That wasn't going to work. But I gave her another 30 mins. After 30 mins of getting more worked up, I visited again, took her in my arms and rocked her a little thinking if I got her calmed down again, I could put her down and she'd get herself back to sleep. Gave her the soother. Put her in the crib. Stands up and yells. Awesome. Left the room, 5 mins of yelling later I said "eff this", went back gave her the soother again and another one in her hands to play with (I don't know why this works but it does, it's like having it in her hands keeps her from standing up again and she just pops one out and puts the other in over and over again)... and it usually distracts her enough that sometimes she'll fall asleep. Five minutes later, silence. Hallelujah! Back to sleep assuming she'd be up in another hour and HALLELUJAH, she slept until 5:30am. I just "fed" her (i.e. she nibbled for five seconds and then fell asleep again) and now I'm hopeful she'll sleep until 7am. I know she doesn't need to be fed at 5:30 (especially when she's not really eating just wanting the comfort) but it gets me an extra hour and a half and, otherwise, I fear I'd be re-doing the whole 1am experience.

Ok, so that's a lot of detail and, maybe, a lot of "effin's". I realize the "effin's" have to stop too because it's not going to be a heck of a lot better when Jane hits daycare saying "I want some "effin" juice please"... tee hee hee. In my defense, I don't use it a lot... just when I'm super sleep deprived and grouchy. I think my problem may be inconsistency? I don't know. On the nights when I've slept well the previous night,
I am willing to let her "cry it out" more (like last night) but too a limit... in other words, I'm willing to let her go for 30-45 mins before I say "eff this" and go for the soother. But on the nights after a hellish night, I will often respond right away, giving her anything she wants (boob, soother, etc.) so that I can go back to sleep right away. There's no consistency. The other "thing" may be the naps. Jane still has two naps a day... about an hour to an hour and a half each. I definitely think cutting down on the length of the naps by waking her after an hour or whatever would help the nighttime situation... and I will do that - once I'm back to work. Until then baby, I NEED my breaks! It's worth the wake ups to get those few hours during the day when I can do some things for me... especially with all these projects lately. When I go back to work, I can let the daycare deal with the no breaks situations (ha ha suckers) and hopefully I can slide in and take advantage of more sleep throughout the night! :p A girl's gotta dream.

In the meantime, all these projects are making me skinny. I'm too busy for after dinner snacks! Another pound gone which means only one left to go, which basically means if I have another pee this morning before I eat breakfast, I could possibly be at goal! ha ha ha, I'm sick! I haven't got the b*** to try on my old work clothes again yet in fear that the disappointment that I'm basically there and those pretty clothes still do not fit will send me into a chocolate eating spiral, but I may give it a shot later today (during one of my breaks). I'll keep ya posted.

Expect next week to be your last WIW post... yipee! God, I never expected it to take so long. I wanted to be one of the girls who, 2 months post baby, everyone was saying how incredible it was how quickly I lost the weight! :p ha ha ha. Hilarious how much your priorities change once the baby actually arrives... caring about that kind of crap goes out the window.

Here are my stats:
Starting WIW weight: 157lbs
Current weight: 138 lbs
Pounds lost: 19lbs (which coincidentally is how much Jane weighs and seems insane that I lost that much weight)
Pounds to lose: 1lb (a good pee) :p

The latest pics are from my photoshoot with Jane on the weekend. I'm definitely learning from my photo course and also self-teaching some things in photo editing that I'm enjoying. Quickly becoming an addict! :) This last picture is of Jane doing her new favourite thing - hugs. She's so sweet - she'll hug everything, get right down and snuggle with it, even me! I love it... too cute!

Two more days for "ask me anything" and one more for our $50 Moody Mamas Maternity Gift Card giveaway! :) I haven't gotten tons of questions yet which is kind of funny as it suggests that I'm so open on this blog that y'all feel that you know everything about me! That kind of makes me happy! :)

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Apr 27, 2010

Forgive Me

You officially have reason to get grouchy with me this morning as I have NO TIME to blog this morning - I have about a bazillion projects I'm working on including my photography course, editing photos from a "shoot" this weekend, building a wedding website for a friend, cleaning (my sis and bro-in-law are visiting this weekend) and so on.

I don't know why I take on so much? Ah, yes I do - because I love it! I love to be busy, I love projects and I love the types of things I'm doing... so it's all self-inflicted.

As if it weren't bad enough that I'm not writing about anything fun today, here's more for you to do (if you're bored):

Enter my giveaways - who doesn't want free stuff? It's easy to enter, you basically just have to comment. I know, I know... some of you don't love the giveaways so....

If you don't love the giveaways, take the time to "ask me anything" (click the link in case it ain't obvious) as I'll be answering anything on Friday! :p Fun questions welcome!

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Apr 26, 2010

Mommy Guilt

Watching Ellen last week gave me the inspiration for today's post... J-Lo (yes, she drives me crazy too) was on. Ellen asked her what the hardest thing was about being a Mom. Her answer? "The guilt". So true.

One thing that no one prepares you for and no book tells you about is the guilt. And, although the guilt decreases a little (or so it seems) as time goes on, it never goes away.

It's starts off as guilt for putting your baby down. Literally. I used to feel guilty, when Jane was asleep (when she was "brand new") putting her down in her swing or cradle. She slept so much better in my arms that I felt I was being selfish by putting her down so I could do something for me. That ends and then you start leaving the house. Then you feel guilty for leaving them so you burn it around the grocery store like there's a rocket in your a** to return home and find them completely content. Then you feel guilt when they are playing on the floor and you aren't playing with them (because you're doing one of the 100 other things that needs to be - cleaning, showering, etc.). So, you immediately lie on the floor and give up on the dirty dishes. Then you have to go back to work. I don't know this guilt yet, but I'm told it ain't pretty.

Guilt is just one of the new emotions (is guilt an emotion?) that accompanies the worry, stress, fear, and complete JOY that comes with being a mommy. So far, what I've learned, is that the only thing that "cures" the guilt is to go ahead an do what you were going to do and see that, in the end, your baby is fine! ha ha ha. I think sometimes, as Moms, we feel like our babies won't be happy unless we're there with them. I'll never forget the first time I left the house for longer than an hour (it was four). I almost cried when I left, seriously (nowadays I do a little happy dance when I get a break like that... and I feel so guilty saying that that I feel like I should delete it but I am resisting temptation and moving on). I expected, that when I was gone, Jane would realize it and cry the entire time. So, the entire time I was gone I was thinking about my sweet darling stressed, upset, missing her mommy. When I returned home, she was asleep. I asked Dan how she'd been and his response was "fine". No crying. No fits. No missing. I was almost upset that she didn't even notice I was gone. But, in the end, it was the thumbs up that I was unconsciously looking for. Now, do I feel guilt when I leave the house? Yep. A little. Not going to lie. But I do it anyways. As soon as I'm in the car, I've forgotten about the guilt (or else the music blasting in my ears prevents me from focusing on it :p) and I'm back to "old Jenny" again, just for a little while.

I wouldn't say "the guilt" is the hardest part of being a Mom - more than likely the worry, or no sleep or not having a clue what's wrong when somethings wrong crap. But, for J-Lo who probably has a baby whisperer on staff, nannies, etc. I can understand how this would be her biggest challenge... and, frankly, I find it funny how we're all the same, even though we aren't. Who knew I had more in common with J-Lo than my name and the fact that I'm world famous for my insanely fabulous booty. tee hee hee.

Happy Monday!

PS - Didn't get that giveaway post up last night (completely forgot) - it's below! :) And don't forget to submit your Ask Me Anything questions. I'll be answering any and every thing this Friday!

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Cloo For You Giveaway

If you're "newer" to MOmMy bRaIn, then you probably haven't fully realized the extent of my Etsy addiction... my introduction to Etsy? After my newborn photoshoot, I asked our photographer, Kerianne, where she got all the beautiful hats that she used in her photos. One word. Etsy.

I wasn't home for 10 minutes before (1) I was addicted and (2) I had purchased two beautiful hats from Cloo Gifts... two different shades of pink, duh! :p

Since then, I have bought at least 8 hats from Ching (the creator/seller). They are all beautiful, so well made (her winter hat lasted all winter and I packed it up for use on the next rugrat - if it's a girl, obviously). I got SO many compliments on it too... most people asking if I made it myself and talking about how talented I am as a Mommy! :p ha ha ha, of course, I mentioned Ching and Etsy and, hopefully, spread the addiction a little myself!

Recently, I bought a few gorgeous hats with ears from Ching for a few girlfriends who are pregnant and Ching was fabulous and sent along a few hats for me to giveaway on MOmMy bRaIn! Honestly, this is my new favourite shower gift. They are so unique, look good on every baby and are pretty gender neutral! You know you're not going to be stuck in that "crap, I got her another hooded towel, or another set of blue jammies. Not that Moms don't love that, and trust me, the duplicates are fab. But, it's nice to get something you wouldn't have gotten for yourself - non?

If you/your pregnant friend knows the sex, I highly recommend the hat with earflaps... Jane has four. They are so gorgeous and you can pretty much get ching to make one for you in any colour or size.

Chings hat range from $10-$13 which is INSANE as I've paid as much for a hat from the grocery store that I saw fifteen other kids wearing on my way out.

Here are the details of our Cloo For You Giveaway:

Ching sent TWO gorgeous "little bear" hats (that's what I call 'um) but they are technically hats with ears and ear flaps... one nutmeg and one off-white. Both are gender neutral and could be used for a sweet boy or girl!

How do you get 'um?

Check out Cloo Gifts on Etsy and comment about what other item you would love to have for your little one or pregnant friend.

That's it.

Next Monday, I will select two winners - it'll be first come, first serve on colours so be sure to check back to see if you're a winner!

Don't forget - we also have a $50 gift card to Moody Mamas up for grabs until Thursday (for US ladies only).

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Apr 23, 2010

A Mute Button

Last night was another hellish night of no sleep. I kind of anticipated it as Jane, who usually hits the "pillow" passed out, took an hour and a half to fall asleep. I gave her motrin, thinking it was teething and nodda. I gave her Cocyntal, thinking maybe it was gas and nodda. Eventually, she fell asleep. I hate nights like that. It's only happened twice so far but it sucks.

I mean, after the babes go to bed for the night, that's basically the only time during the day that us Moms can really take a deep breath and relax. During daily naps, we're running around trying to get everything done and counting down the minutes until they wake again. At night, after they are asleep, it's all about us. We know, if we wanted to, we could have hours of uninterrupted me time.

Obviously, I'm not saying that I love it when Jane goes to sleep because I get a break - I love spending time with my little monkey. Often, when she goes for naps during the day, I'm counting down the minutes until she wakes up because I want to hang out with her, I miss her. But, at night, it's a little bit of freedom every day.

Last night, I needed a mute button. I needed to hit pause on my life and just sleep. During the third wake-up of the night (each of which lasted at least an hour), not only was I lying there listening to Jane yell at me through the monitor but my stupid cat was howling outside my door and the dumb dog was yelping downstairs in her crate. Had I had the energy to chase the cat and go downstairs to get the dog, I'm fairly certain I'd be up on animal abuse charges this morning... seriously.

Instead I posted a very nice, half-serious, Facebook status saying the following:

Free to a good home - one paranoid schizophrenic (yes I looked up how to spell that) dog and one cat who doesn't shut up.

After I gave it some thought, I re-considered my status (not as you may have expected) and re-posted the following:

Free to a good home, trailor, tent, hut, cardboard box...

And I offered only the dog as the cat ain't too bad sometimes. I mean, half the time he's a cat and he's off sleeping in some nook that you'd never find and half the time he's following you around YELLING at you (not meowing or purring, yelling). Friends can back me up on this... he is part Siamese and he doesn't meow. He yells.

On a positive note, it's not even 9am and Jane is down for a nap so I'm hoping, once I finish this post, that there was a new Vampire Diaries (yes, I am that cool) on last night for me to indulge in. And, if you want to go a step further (which I always do), Oprah is having Danoka Fanning (ha ha ha, in the re-read I realize I spelt this wrong but too funny so I'm leaving it as Danoka) on today with some super secret Eclipse (Twilight) trailor or something later on. My little dose of the fantasy world today where a mute button is not necessary as everything is perfect - except for the whole drinking blood, eternal life crap. Details, details! :p

I was supposed to have a playdate this morning (sorry Steph) which I abruptly canceled after last night's festivities... half because I'm exhausted, half because who knows what kind of terror Jane will be on today and the other half (there's three halves right?) because I washed my hair yesterday with the intention of straightening it and never got around to it... so I'm looking very 80's right now with insanely huge, wavy, frizzy hair that isn't acceptable for the gym, let alone leaving the house for a social outing. I could do it, yes. But why. I'd rather watch Vampire Diaries! :p In case you don't believe me, here's photography proof, taken by the webcam:

Have a great weekend!
FYI... I snuck a giveaway in between Wednesday and Thursday's posts this week for a $50 gift card to Moody Mamas Maternity. If you're interested, be sure to check it out in the sidebar.

Also, I ordered a few knit baby hats from Ching on Etsy (Cloo Gifts) again for some baby showers and she was fabulous enough to send a few extras for a giveaway! Starting on Sunday - I've got three gorgeous hats to give away, so check it out!

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Apr 22, 2010

Ask Me Anything

I was thinking... a few weeks ago I asked you a bunch of questions and got to know you a little better. SO, maybe you wanted to ask me a few questions and get to know me a little better? Or maybe I'm thinking I'm way cooler than I actually am and you just want me to zip my mouth and keep typing... :p I mean, most of you know about my life as a Mom and, if you've followed for a while, you know quite a bit about the type of person I am... but, perhaps, you're curious about something about my life or about my blog or anything!

If you're interested, enter your question below...

If you can't see the SUBMIT button (I know with the previous form it didn't appear for some of you), just leave a comment on this post. I thought the form would be easier as I know sometimes leaving a comment feels like a big pain in the butt!

Sorry today's post isn't more interesting but two things (1) I think it might be fun answer some of your questions and (2) I had to drop off the car for a tire change this morning so I have NO TIME! Life happens and it's been an insanely busy week!


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BIG Happy Birthday to my bestest best Emily - I loves you SOOOO much!

Apr 21, 2010

Moody Mamas $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Here's an opportunity for the Mamas-to-be to win $50 worth of fabulous maternity clothes...

The Moody Mamas spring line of fab and stylish maternity clothes hits the virtual racks this week at Target - you don't want to miss it! With a devout following of Hollywood hot mommies like Heidi Klum and Jessica Alba, Moody Mamas has created a fabulous, colorful spring capsule collection for expectant moms who want to look sexy and chic this season. Each piece is inspired by the runway and boast such soft fabrics you'll feel like you're wearing your best lounge-outfit all day. Prices range from $39.99 to $49.99 so check out Target asap so you don't miss out on getting the right size (sizes go up to plus size). To shop the collection, click for Target here.

Want the chance to win a $50 Gift Card for Moody Mamas?

Here's the details:

(1) Visit the spring collection at Target and leave comments on your 3 favorite pieces.

** Contest is open to US Ladies only **

That's all folks - the winner will be announced next Wednesday night!

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Weigh-in Wednesday

Another half-pound gone this week, so only 2 lbs to go which basically makes me feel like I'm there. With fear in my heart, I set out on the weekend to try on some of my pre-baby summer clothes (which I couldn't even get up over my thighs last year). Happily, I shall not have to hit the stores this year as my favourite size 6 shorts from Old Navy fit as good as ever... not too tight, not too lose (as if too lose would bother me! :p).

I hate shorts. Not because they show off the legs, just because I'm pretty confident that no one, except for celebrities who wear them with high heels and weight 100 lbs, look great in them. I always preferred to wear casual skirts or dresses in the summer than shorts.
But, fact is, seeing as I'll be chasing around a 1 year old this summer, unlikely I'll be comfortable flashing the world my voo every time I have to bend down or sit on the floor.

Hey, did you hear about this new "trend" for female celebs? IMAGINE - they are deciding to go "au natural" in magazines. No touch-ups, no air brushing, etc. What do you mean, you are going to promote looking like real people and not putting a "perfect" image out there for girls to try hopelessly to attain? Cool. I'm on board and giving these chicks more credit than I am joking about above as they are definitely sending a message and the "pressure" just might work a little. First to get "naked", Jessica Simpson on Marie Claire... and she went all the way - not only no air brushing, no makeup and no hair styling! Can I just say that I love this girl? I know most people thing she's dumb and all that crap but I like her. Did anyone else watch "The Newlyweds" when she was married to Nick?
Dan and I loved that show, they were hilarious and, despite the mansion and crazy cars, just like any other couple... and now that I have severe mommy brain, Jessica Simpson looks like Einstein next to me some days. I think she's the poster child to how parents can screw up their kids - her father was a pagent Mom, if you ask me (not classifying all pagent- Moms as "pagent-Moms", you know what I mean though). Anyways, check out these pics - she looks freakin' gorgeous. Did you see her on Oprah recently? Of course you did, you're Moms. Talking about her "weight" issues and how the paparazzi blow up that she's so over weight and such when she's a size 6. Now, with that said, she does look slightly bigger than what we got used to seeing her when she was dancing around washing a car in a bikini during the Dukes of Hazard days. However, s'no different than someone throwing my wedding pictures in my face now and saying "how come you don't look like that anymore". I'd kill 'um!

Britney's also come out and posted the pre-touch up photos from a Candies shoots for all to see. Don't know if that's because she's trying to promote good body image or if she's just gone off the rails again. Regardless, the girl has also been up and down in weight a little more than your average toothpick celeb (e.g. she didn't do a Shape magazine cover 4 weeks post-baby claiming it was just good eating and "chasing around the kids" that gave her her six-pack back) and I can appreciate that. She looks freakin' great in both untouched and retouched photos but you can definitely see that they shaved off her thighs to make her look less muscular. Her waist has been slimmed down as well. God, if I re-touched all my photos like that, weigh-in wednesdays might never have existed! :p

It makes me so happy to see the trend kicking off. Imagine if it blows up and magazines start realizing that I don't want to see some 100 lb 15 year old girl trying to sell me a wedding dress or bathing suit. I'd much rather see a normal person wearing it so I can, somewhat, imagine what I may look in it. A girl can only dream! And mostly I dream because I have a daughter and I hope the world isn't full of over-processed, "perfect" images of women as she grows up. I mean back in the day Marilyn Monroe was IT and she was no Gisele Bundchen. Glamour mag posted this photo of a model in an issue last year (without drawing to the fact that she was "plus-sized" - in model terms)... they just used the photo and it BLEW UP. Apparently, they got such a great response from their readers they decided to do it more often - hey, it's a start! Fact is, ladies, we're the consumers, we're the voice, we are basically the CEOs of these companies... if we demand it, they'll give it to us.

As usual, I started writing this post without an idea of what to say or talk about... I mean, these weigh-in wednesdays have been ongoing for ages now and I'm sure you're getting as sick of hearing my excuses and whining as I am of doing it. Hoping these pics and, somewhat, "real" women help you have one of those days where you feel like HOT STUFF, cause you are!

Here are my stats:
Starting weight: 157 lbs
Current weight: 139 lbs
Pounds lost: 18 lbs
Pounds to lose: 2 lbs

Lots of love beautiful girls,

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Apr 20, 2010

Finger Food Fun

We started giving Jane finger foods (cheerios and such) when she was around 7 months old... starting with a little toast, over-cooked veggies, cooked fruit (like apples), mushed banana and so on (you get the picture).

Since then, Jane started going through this independence stage about two months ago - not wanting to eat anything from the spoon, unless she's holding the spoon herself... I have numerous food groups on my ceiling because of this.

As a result, I've been focusing a lot of attention on finding a wide variety of finger foods to fill her belly... at first, I will admit, it was challenging. However, with a little help from Wholesome Baby Foods and some common sense, it seems to be working out ok so far.

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite finger foods and by my favourite, I mean Jane's! :) I'm not going to list out the obvious foods, but some things I never thought of initially or that I've found good tricks for - everyone knows how to cut up carrot!

  • Blueberries - WARNING: if you do not have a full-body bib, designate blueberry eating clothes as they stain everything. We use frozen wild blueberries which are juicier than fresh, so that makes a difference too. The frozen are sweeter and smaller as sometimes the fresh can be as big as a grape.
  • Watermelon - seedless. I cut it up into 1cm x 1cm blocks.
  • Avocado - is this a fruit? Again cut up into a little bigger than 1x1cm blocks as avocado is so mushy when it's ripe.
  • Pear - Jane loves super ripe Danjou pears. They are super soft and sweet.
  • Apples - I'll peel an apple, chop it up and throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds and this makes it soft enough for toothless chewing.

  • Sweet potato - I buy fresh sweet potato and the packaged sweet potato fries too - sometimes I'm just too lazy to make my own. I don't bake the packaged ones, I throw a few on a plate and in the microwave for 1 minute and this makes them hot and soft. Cut 'um up and voila, she loves them.
  • Frozen sweet peas - I hated peas. YUCK. Then my sis introduced me to President's Choice frozen sweet peas (Canadian only). They come in a white bag in the freezer aisles and they are Jane's absolute favourite snack. I just throw 'um under some hot water to thaw them out.

Proteins and Carbs:
  • Tofu - I buy firm tofu from Costco. I chop it up into bite size pieces and toss it in graham cracker crumbs because they are a little sweet or wheat germ... something to give her a little traction so she can pick it up easily. You don't have to warm/cook tofu, it's fine as is. Tofu (and edamame - below) are great alternatives to chicken/beef if you're too lazy too cook - and a lot cheaper too!
  • Cheesestrings - quick and easy, avoids having to chop up cheese - I just peel it into four sections and break it apart. She loves cheese.
  • Macaroni and Cheese - I over-cook some whole wheat macaroni, toss it with a little butter and some parmesan cheese. Always a hit.
  • Beans - I love beans... not like mushy beans or baked beans or anything like that. Just plain beans - in quesadillas, salsas, soups, etc. So I always have leftover from my recipes. I rinse 'um (usually black beans) and Jane loves 'um. They really have very little flavour but are full of protein and fibre.
  • Eggs - what I didnt' know about eggs was that once babies reach 9-12 months, you can introduce eggs but eggs YOLKS only (the yellow part for those who are having "one of those days"). It's the egg whites that have the vlutalutenens (I just made up that word) that babies are allergic too. ha ha ha. The best way to avoid egg whites it to hard boil your eggs and pop the yolk out, cut it up and voila, that's all.
  • Edamame (a.k.a. soy beans) - both a veggie and a protein, you can usually get them frozen and shelled. They are a good size (a little larger than peas) and with a little salt, I love 'um and so does Jane.

Some other tips that have worked for me is tossing veggies (like sweet potato) in a little brown sugar - it adds a little sweetness and sometimes that's all it takes for them to shovel in the veggies. Also, just make variations (less oil, less sugar, less cheese, less spice) of the same things you're eating - like grilled cheese sammies, quesadillas, chicken dishes, etc. Whenever I'm cooking dinner, I always modify a small portion of what I'm cooking so Jane can eat it as well - this saves me having to cook two separate meals at lunch and dinner.

Through friends and my own research I've found several recipes for muffins and other things (e.g. black bean brownies) that are made with fruit and veggies (as alternatives to butter and eggs). I shared the recipe for the Cauliflower Banana Chip Muffins I made a few weeks ago. This week, I tried out Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins (thanks for sharing Lindsay) and they are just as good (actually better because I put more chocolate chips in them :p).

If you click the link above, you'll get the original recipe, here's what I used instead and they turned out fab:

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins for Baby and Momma

3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 large)
1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flax. Combine the egg, applesauce, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Makes 12 muffins.

I love these and so does Jane - you can't taste the zucchini at all - if you I would have pretended I didn't make them and would definitely not be sharing the recipe! They make a great snack for both of us!

If you haven't discovered cheerios, you are missing out. Most Moms know this "trick" but a 1/2 cup of cheerios can give you an hour of freedom. They are also perfect for keeping kids busy while in their strollers or out on the go. Cheerios are a Moms best friend, I bring them every where.

Ok, that's all I got today - to be honest, I completely forgot about the blog this morning as I was working on my photography assignment! I'm losing it! :p

Winner posted for our Clorox Green Works Giveaway in sidebar! :)

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Apr 19, 2010

The Lowdown

Is lowdown a word? It's not coming up red on my screen... more importantly, I'm not sure I'm using it correctly as I'm about to give an update on what's going on in my house. I think that's "the lowdown" or is it the "downlow"? Hmmm, downlow comes up red and sounds gangsta. I'll stick with lowdown. FYI... the above paragraph basically summarize the thoughts that go on in my head every minute of the day. I question everything I say and do these days because my MOmMy bRaIn does not seem to be clearing up. Although, from job interview experience, it does seem to be temporarily disguised at least for short intervals. :p

Here goes...

I'm still jobless. Am I stressed about it? Heck yeah. I haven't been applying for jobs all over the place but, fact is, that's because there aren't that may jobs to apply for! (If the following sounds arrogant, I apologize, I don't mean it to sound that way - you know me). I'm pretty confident in myself. I am also pretty confident that I can be great at whatever I do and I can pretty much learn to do anything. I'm smart, I'm ambitious, I'm a go-getter, I'm creative, I'm a great communicator... Obviously I have some "weaknesses" (chocolate for one :p) but so far my biggest challenge in finding a job seems to be that I'm either over-qualified or under-qualified for every job that is out there and there are so many people looking for jobs right now that employers don't have to take a chance on someone who's not the perfect fit... cause they can probably find someone else who is perfect. I've yet to find the perfect job. I've found jobs I would love to do and am confident I could do well, however, my resume doesn't "say" that I have the skills to do the job, even though I feel I do. As if job hunting wasn't complicated enough, add in my beautiful 10 month old. If and when I get interviews, I have to find someone to take care of Jane which is made difficult by the fact that we don't have a lot of options (thankfully friends have been able to step up so far). Aside from the immediate issues of babysitting, Jane was registered for daycare in May... daycare definitely puts time pressure on as if it wasn't already on anyways. Thankfully, I've been able to push our daycare back until June but now I worry what will happen if I get a job mid-May! This is why it's ideal NOT to lose your job while pregnant or on maternity leave... most people don't have to worry about this stuff. They have a set "return to work" date and can coordinate accordingly. I hate that I'm sounding like a whiner right now because I know, compared to a lot of others, I am very lucky. We are not in a life-or-death situation, not financially in ruins, etc. I know I am very lucky.

Janers is doing fabulously. She is such a happy child, always laughing, always smiling. We took a chance and went out to dinner last night (for the first time in months) and she was awesome. Last time we took her out, she was too small for the highchair so we had to take turns holding her and walking around - not your ideal enjoyable dinner situation. This time I pre-packed every one of her favourite finger foods, put her in the high chair and she was as happy as a lark. She had everyone in the restaurant wrapped around her finger... was so nice to get out and now I'm confident about doing it again, whereas after our previous experience, I was avoiding it like the plague.

She's been pulling herself up on everything for the last four weeks or so. Always wanting to stand and getting a lot sturdier on her legs which is just so cute. My favourite thing right now is that, when we're playing together on the floor, every once in a while she'll scurry over to me (I'm lying down), stand up against me and snuggle into me. It's like the happiest moment of my life every time she does it! To those Moms out there with young babes, it's hard not getting any affection back when you're giving so much... it's so worth it when it starts coming back to you, so worth it. I don't know if she's anywhere near walking yet. She still seems very cautious about it all, which, I'll admit, I kind of love. The stress level automatically increases when they start crawling, then they start standing up and it goes up again, then walking... oh my! My Mom is visiting this week and says that she can see why Jane's not taking steps as of yet - apparently her legs are insanely long. You don't notice these things when you're the parent, it's just normal to you. My Mom says her legs are so long that it's throwing off her "center of balance". What that means to me? Peace of mind. Most parents are trying to promote the physical milestones - racing to get their kids crawling and walking. I'm not trying to stunt it but I'm not forcing it at all... I love it when Jane reaches milestones but I must say life was sometimes easier when I could set Jane down and not worry that when I turned my back she'd be crawling up the stairs!

The other benefit of having my Mom here is that she was able to shed some light on Jane's waking during the night this morning... obviously I didn't wake my Mother when Jane woke, but a Mother is always a Mother and my Mom can probably hear a baby waking through several layers of concrete, let alone a measly wall. She said it sounds like she's got a little discomfort, like teething or something. Which is kind of what I thought. Jane's got five teeth through now with at least two more sitting at the gums (how do you say that? Every time I type "gums" it says it's not word but gum doesn't sound right). I've always thought that her waking was teething but you feel like an idiot blaming it all on teething, especially for three months straight. I don't know. That's the hardest part... going into her room at 3am thinking "what the heck is wrong". You never know. Is it teething? Is it that she is only crying to get a reaction out of me? Is it that she's hungry? Is she cold? Is she hot? Does she have gas? Is she constipated? Is she sick? Does she have a feaver? Should I leave her for a bit? Should I go in and give her her soother and see if that works? Is she only spitting out her soother so I respond?... it never ends.

It's snowing here today. No, I'm not kidding. It's freakin' mid-April, we were wearing shorts two weeks ago and it's snowing now. The tulips are covered in snow. Fab.

I've been taking a photography course which I'm loving. Ever since Jane arrived I've become obsessed with photography (thus, the four hundred pictures I post on facebook everyday). I'm going to start taking pictures for friends of their babes and so on and really looking forward to that. It's nice to have that to keep me busy aside from being a Mom (as if that's not busy enough). :p

I'm sure there's a bazillion other things that I should update you on but I can't remember them and I've only got 20 mins before Jane wakes up (actually, before I wake Jane up). I know, what I have referred to as the sin of parenting, waking a sleeping child. However, we're going to try halving the length of Jane's two naps (which are usually about an hour and a half each) during the day to see if that helps sleeping through the night. I'm on the fence about this one and I so enjoy my "breaks" during the day, however, if I ever find a job when I find a job, it will be nice to get a full nights sleep and let someone else worry about getting a break! :p

Happy Monday!

Oh, FYI... just got some feedback with a little curiosity of whether the blog will end when I get a job - here's my answer. No. I will do my best to keep up with daily posts, although, I cannot guarantee it. However, I love this blog. I love writing and I love meeting and sharing mommyhood with all of you. It will never end (insert scary villain laugh here). :p

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Apr 16, 2010

Feedback Feedback

Hey y'all - sorry for the late post, I hate being late! It's one of my biggest pet peeves. When Jane was born, I made a point to get ready for everything as early as possible so I could avoid being late for things... obviously, sometimes you can't help it (e.g. when she'd poop all over her outfit as we were walking out the door) but 90% of the time is good enough! :p

It's been a week since I posted my request for feedback on the blog from everyone - thanks for taking the time, I know it wasn't likely as fun as reading my usual ramblings but it was super helpful to me! If you haven't done it, it's not too late - there's not cut off on telling me what you think!

I'm going to be 100% honest, I'm exhausted and I'm going to rush through this post like a kid on Christmas morning as I've been awake since 3:30am (not because of Jane, because I'm becoming a stupid insomniac), she's now gone for a nap and I am going to attempt to do the same myself. Thus, there will be no proof reading, no editing, nodda... you get what comes off my fingers, straight up.

The first few questions (about you) were really just me being nosey... wanted to see who's checkin' out the blog cause, aside from those of you who have become friends, I have no idea! If you want to be my friend - email me, add me on facebook, etc. I have currently reach my in-person friend quota (if someone is voted off the island, I'll accept applications :p) but my virtual friend quota is limitless as I already spend all my free time on the computer! :p Finding out where you came from was interesting - a lot from TopMommyBlogs.com which just pisses me off as they keep refreshing their voting which means everyone's votes drop to zero and I've gotten sick of asking everyone to vote for me, so I kinda gave up - which I now see sucks as I've met a lot of great Moms that way. :(

The important "stuff" was finding out what you like and what you don't like...

I'm super flattered that most of you selected "My Life Posts" or "Advice Posts" as your favs... most of the time I feel like I'm blabbering and talking nonsense, so it makes me feel great to know that you, somehow, enjoy this. Perhaps, to you, it's like watching TMZ, it makes you feel good to know there's someone out there crazier than you! :) It's also ideal that these are your favs as they also are the posts that take the least time/effort. Most days it takes me an hour or so to write up each post - it's not so much the writing as it's the editing, adding watermarked photos, links, etc. that takes the time. Giveaway/review posts always take a lot longer as I have to try and remember what I liked best about the product - a task that is made difficult by my lack of consistent brain power these days.

Most of you selected "Giveaway/review Posts" as your least favourite, which also makes me happy... First of all, I will say that I never intended on doing a weekly giveaway. I did my first giveaways in December as a Christmas special and all of a sudden, it was product city and everyone was contact me about doing reviews. I turn down about 5 companies a day for reviews because (1) their products are totally irrelevant (ummm, I'm not reviewing books for teenagers seeing as my daughter is 10 months old and the thought scares me), (2) I don't think the product is useful and/or (3) they won't do a giveaway - I'm not a review blog, I don't want to be. If you won't offer my readers something for free too, I'm not interested.

These results made me so happy that I requested your feedback as, honestly, I thought you guys would be pissed if I didn't do any giveaways! Ah, the many pitfalls of poor communication. Last week I didn't have a giveaway product and I was worried everyone would be disappointed... it's too much pressure. So, here's my thoughts... I'm going to continue keeping giveaways to a minimum - if I have a product to share, my review/giveaway post will be up on Sunday. That way it won't take away from my regular weekly posts about tips-n-tricks and, mostly, nonsense!

Ok, glad we got that off our chests! :p

Lastly, guest posts. Some of you were nay some yay... kind of 50-50. I rarely do these anyways but, if I do, I'll make sure they are relevant. Some said you'd like to hear from my sister - well, folks, some people like to write and to some it's a chore. I've asked her before and, literally, didn't hear back about it. I will ask again, she's got some great stories to share. I'm also WAY over due for a Dissecting Daddy post and promise to do a Daddy-interview asap!

Alrighty, I have to go as Jane's finally asleep and my laptop battery has 4 mins left!

If there's anything I missed, hit me a note...

Actually, I have some ideas related to dissecting daddy posts - can y'all send me any questions you'd like me to ask my hubby about being a daddy? Something, perhaps, you'd like to ask your own hubby but (1) don't want to or (2) can't get more than a "okay" or "yeah, that's fine" out of him... comment, let me know!


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Apr 15, 2010

Before & After

After seeing some pictures of myself that I didn't so much enjoy, I decided to do something about it... of course, this was after I threw a "I hate Jen" pity party and ate enormous amounts of chocolate which instantly made me feel better and then worse because then, not only did I not like my hair and face, but now I was "fat" too.

I wish every women could walk outside their own body for one day. I wish every women could see themselves the way other people see them for one day. I think we would definitely see ourselves differently after ward. We are so critical of ourselves when we look in the mirror or see ourselves in pictures. For example, take this picture of Jane and I. This was the day that I threw the pity party. I hated the way I looked in these pictures. I went through them all and criticized the messiness of my hair, the chubbiness of my arms, the fatness of my face, everything (I'm being 100% honest here people so don't bother commenting to refute my points as, to me, they are completely true - that's assuming you'd want to make me feel better of course). This was the only picture of myself from that day that I posted on Facebook and I got comments like this "must be hard being so beautiful" and "gorgeous" (from girlfriends of course). I was like WTF - I pay you guys too much cause I look like a**. But this is exactly my point, to others we look completely different than we do to ourselves... of course it helps when these people love you but you get my point.

After these pictures I did what any girl would do to redeem some of her confidence and I choose one thing about myself that I hated to blame my self-hate on... this month it was my hair. I haven't had my hair cut since Jane was 3 months old (that's 7 months for the math "experts" out there). It was long, drab, lifeless, volume-less (which says a lot as my hair is insanely thick), boring, dull, messy, crappy... you get the point. I immediately called my fabulous hair guy to book an appt.

Not only was my hour and a half long hair appt fabulous because I got a great cut and eliminated my reason for my current self-hate but it was also an awesome break for me. I mean, I take "breaks" all the time... to run, to hit the grocery store, etc. Does any of that sound like a break to you? Yeah, that's what I thought. It was awesome to sit, relax, make fun of celebrities and forget about all of the things I had to do when I got home.

I'm sure most Moms do things like this for themselves and, technically, my running would have to be my favourite "me-time" right now. But my hair appt was completely selfish, all about me, and it was AWESOME! :p I may just get my hair cut monthly 'cause it was so great for my spirit (ok, I hate this word because it makes me sound like some birkenstock-wearing-yoga-loving-natural-healer person - not that there's anything wrong with that but it just ain't me).

SO here's my recommendation for all the Moms out there, if you're not already doing it... take a couple hours each month to do something totally SELFISH! I don't mean exercise, I don't mean shopping (unless it's shopping for you ONLY and not because your hubby needs new undies), I mean something completely for you - a massage, hair appt, belly dancing class (this is my friend Steph's "thang"), etc.

I will admit, for the first time in 7 or 8 months I felt a little guilty leaving... perhaps because I knew I was being completely selfish or the fact that Jane chased me across the room towards the door and then stood herself up on the gate, peaking through the holes at me LEAVING. Regardless, I smiled, kissed her on the forehead and took off! :)

Post hair-cut, I'm back to my old self again... content with my appearance (as if anyone is ever completely satisfied - I bet even Gisele hates something, (like her elbows or something completely stupid that normal people don't even think about cause we have too much other crap to be grouchy about) and happy overall.

Here's the before and after - just to be clear, the "after" hair is prettied up and my typical day-to-day style will be much less cool.

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Apr 14, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Holy Mackerel I am so glad I took "before" pictures when I first started Weigh-in Wednesdays. When you're losing weight, like anything, it's usually so gradual (unless you're one of those crazy motivated exercising types that lost your baby weight in a week - Kristie... :p) that you never really notice the changes. I mean, you feel your clothes get looser and so on but part of you convinces yourself that it's just stretched out. It's not until I look at the photos below that I go HOLY CRAP, 18 lbs is a lot of weight! I notice it most in my waist/tummy area, especially in the profile shot... it's really no surprise that's where most of my weight was seeing as I was PREGNANT (duh!). Literally, when I took those before shots I thought it was useless. I remember I used to post pictures every few weeks and never looked any different so eventually I just gave up posting them. I'm kind of glad I did because right now I'm feeling pretty good about myself which is a pleasant surprise and a rarity for some of us post-baby Mommas (scratch that, most women are overly self-critical of themselves, it's not limited to Moms).

I finally got my new properly-fitted running sneakers on Friday and they are awesome! I ran on them the first time Monday morning and was so relieved that I didn't have any joint pain, foot pain, etc. when I was done... I specify types of pain because the rest of my body hurt like heck but not my feet and joints! :p tee hee hee.

Dan and I ate like crap last week - I've been super stressed about finding a job and sleeping like a** as a result. Excuses, excuses, I know but c'est la vie... I'm an emotional eater (who's not?). Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had dropped a half pound on the scale this week... and by pleasantly surprised I mean SHOCKED. Typically, with only a half pound lost I would say I didn't lose any weight but seeing as I'm only 2.5 lbs from the goal now, half-pounds are starting to become more significant!

I got a new recipe for you this week... good for Mommy and Baby! Now, similar to my Black Bean Brownies, don't get caught up in the ingredients - be open minded.

Cauliflower Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chocolate chips
(I used dark)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 cup banana puree (a.k.a. mushed)

1 cup cauliflower puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

(1) To make cauliflower puree, I boiled a 1/4 head of cauliflower for 10-15 mins until soft, threw it in the food processor (without water) and voila, that's all.
(2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

(3) Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl, excluding your sugar - flour through to cinnamon.

(4) Mix remaining ingredients together in separate bowl with a large whisk.
(5) Combine two mixtures and stir until well mixed
(6) Spoon into muffin pan to make 16 muffins.

Each muffin is about 125 cals. They taste pretty yummy (definitely not like cauliflower - which I hate) and this is a great way to sneak veggies into food for your babes, makes a great snack for them. You should see Jane's face when she tastes the chocolate!

Here are the details in case you need to see it clearly laid out:
Starting weight: 157 lbs
Current weight: 139.5 lbs (officially saying I'm in the 130's now)
Pounds lost: 17.5 lbs
Pounds to lose: 2.5 lbs (basically like a good pee) ha ha ha

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Apr 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning Clorox Green Works Giveaway


Ok, if you're anything like me, it's around this time of year that my inner "Monica" comes out (a Friends reference in case it's not obvious and if you don't get the reference then where the heck were you for the entirety of the '90s?). I am a little sick and enjoy cleaning a bit too much... actually, let me clarify, I enjoy the effects of cleaning too much. It's like exercise for me - I hate it when I'm doing it but when it's done I love how it feels after ward. Right now, I'm taking an hour a day to completely neglect Jane (I'm not serious) and work on a cleaning project like cleaning all the windows inside and out or cleaning underneath the pink foam flooring that basically covers my entire main floor.

Y'all know that I've been a Clorox wipes-aholic since Jane was born. Anything that makes my life easier is essential these days and I love that I can use these to quickly clean my counters and bathrooms without having to haul out the sponges, buckets and sprays. Honestly, I feel like I need a tool belt that has a wipes dispenser because when I get on a "kick", I just walk around with my bottle of wipes looking for things to clean.

Anyways, for the first few months after I discovered them, I used the regular Clorox wipes. Then, I turned into my new, somewhat granola-y, self and converted to the Clorox Green Works products including the Green Works wipes. Personally, for me, I still use my homemade cleaners (click here for the easy, awesome recipe from Ange) on anything Jane will come into contact with (floors, toys, etc.). But when it comes to my kitchen counters, bathrooms, and any other place where the thought of what's living on the surface gives me the heeby-jeebies (no idea how to spell that), I like to use good old fashioned store bought products because it gives me peace of mind to know that there's something "special" in there that's going to make those germs run like hell.

The Green Works wipes are the best natural wipes product I have found - claiming to be 99% natural (made of essential oils like coconut and lemon). You may ask what's the other 1%? Personally, if that 1% is the scary chemically crap that makes the germs die a painful death, then I'm content with that. Aside from the fact that they are made from natural ingredients, they are also biodegradable which makes me feel a heck of a lot better when I go on my cleaning kicks and end up tossing 10 or more of them in the green bin. I use these babies on everything - kitchen counters, faucets, cutting boards, toilets, showers, tables, my stainless steel appliances, etc. My only complaint is that sometimes it's more difficult to get the wipes dispenser to work easily for the Green Works wipes vs. the regular - perhaps because the Green Works wipes aren't as thick as the others (likely because of the biodegradability factor).

Once I started giving Jane the odd bottle, I immediately switched to Green Works Dishwashing liquid. The thought of using some perfumey, chemical-y, washing soap on her bottles creeped me out. I mean, even if you rinsed the heck out of your bottles, they still smelled like "lilies" (or whatever scent you bought) which is just scary to me because what chemical residue had to be left on the bottle in order for it to still smell like the soap? I've been using the Green Works diswashing soap since then and I've never had any complaints... I mean, I'm no seasoned dishwash liquid tester, but the stuff works! How much detail do you need?

Other Green Works products that are available include All Purpose Spray (currently resides in my cleaning cabinet), Glass Cleaner, Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Dilutable Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner, and Laundry Detergent - and they are pretty cheap too. I picked up a two-pack of GIANT bottles of Green Works wipes at Zellars a few weeks ago for $5 (on sale) - shown in the picture with Jane. Obviously, I don't let Jane play with cleaners regularly (duh), I just wanted it to be obvious that (1) I own these products and (2) I buy them myself and don't just endorse whatever free stuff is sent my way! :)

Wanna give 'um a try for your Spring Cleaning this year without paying a cent???

Clorox Green Works Giveaway Details:

One lucky (ok, to clarify, you aren't really lucky because winning these products means you have to clean which sucks but you're lucky because you're getting fab products for free) MOmMy bRaIn lady will win a 946ml bottle of Clorox Green Works All Purpose Spray and a bottle of Clorox Green Works Cleaning Wipes.

To enter:
(1) Comment on this post letting me know your LEAST favourite Spring Cleaning To Do OR sharing a time-saving or unique Spring Cleaning tip.
(2) Be Canadian - sorry US/International ladies this one is for us pale-faces only! :p

Vote For Use @ Top Mommy BlogsFor extra entries:
Vote for MOmMy bRaIn on TopMommyBlogs.com by clicking the button to the left... one entry per vote per day
Blog or Tweet about this giveaway (one entry per tweet)

That's all folks!

** Stay tuned for Friday when I address your feedback re: giveaways - some changes to come! If you haven't given your feedback yet, click here. I would appreciate it!

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Apr 12, 2010

Sleep Deprivation

When you're pregnant, the number one comment you get from friends who are already parents is surrounding sleep deprivation (originally, I spelled this driprivation... which says enough right there). I think 50% of the reason I am so MOmMy bRaIned is that I haven't had a full night's sleep in 10 months and 6 days.

Yes. That's right folks. Jane has never fully slept through the night... she's slept 8pm-5am which is basically "through the night" if you ask me but no one asks me - they just look at me with sympathetic eyes and make an "ahhhh... she'll get there some day" comment. News flash, I don't need your pity people cause your baby only sleeps "through the night" because you don't put him/her to sleep until 10pm. tee hee hee. Anyways. If Jane was regularly sleeping from 8-5 I'd have no complaints but that only lasted 3-4 weeks and that was 2 months ago. Now she's going to sleep at 8, waking at 3-4ish, then again at 5:30-6ish and sleeping until 7ish.

Here's the catch-22. I am totally cool letting her "cry-it-out" (yes, eating my own words - don't bother quoting back to me that like 6 months ago I said I'd never do this) as she'll often get herself back to sleep in a minute or two. However, there are some nights where she cries for an hour. Now, to clarify, when I say she "cries", I don't let her get worked up. All Moms know the levels of cries....

The Two Second Whine
- Basically a screech because you've taken away something they wanted to tried to give them something they didn't want
The Drama Queen Cry (DQ)
- Sometimes derived from the Two Second Whine, the DQ Cry is more like a yell. There are no tears and it can instantly be stopped through strategic distraction.
The Attention Seeking Cry (ASC)
- More dramatic than the DQ cry with the intention of getting you to respond. Again, no tears are present. The Attention Seeking cry can easily be resolved by giving in - this is typically the middle of the night cry that Jane does.
The Somethin' Ain't Right Cry (SARC)
- Most of the time we have no idea what the somethin' is but, regardless, this is the cry most Mom respond to immediately. There are tears, there is hyperventilation, screeching, etc. Similar to the DQ cry, the SARC can occur as a result of an extended ASC but is typically the result of something more serious - teething pain, discomfort, stress, a head bonk, etc.
* Yes, I assigned acronyms because I'm too lazy to type out three words more than once.

Ok, now that we've established this (there are probably many more types of cries but these are the main ones I can think of right now), I am comfortable letting Jane cry-it-out if it is either the DQ or the ASC cry. However, if I hear the SARC even if I know it is a result of extended ASC, I respond. To me it's completely counter-productive to allow Jane to get so worked up and stressed and assume that somehow she's going to be able to get herself back to sleep after that... I don't think so.

Here's the problem. When she starts with the ASC, I usually wait 10-15 mins to see if she'll go back to sleep. If she doesn't, I'll pop in her room (making no noise, not talking, not touching, etc.), give her a soother and leave. Most of the time this works. If, however, it doesn't (which I know right away because she'll stand up again before I even get out of the room and start the ASC again), then I have two options: (1) return to her room, give her boob for 2 mins and both of us go back to bed or (2) go back to my room and lie there awake listening to her for at least another 30mins to an hour - the "right' thing to do according to most books - I hate books. Regardless, when I'm lying there awake at 2am, all I can think is EFF I wanna go back to bed NOW and sometimes it's just not worth it to do the "right" thing. Sometimes I say "eff it, she'll sleep through the night at some point in her life and I want to sleep now" and I feed her and happily go back to bed. So, yeah, I get that I'm totally screwing myself but what do you want me to do... I like sleeping and it doesn't matter if I go to bed at 8pm, if I'm waking up every few hours, I'm not getting enough sleep.

Here's the other thing that I'm telling you so you won't be surprised by it... sometimes babies go from sleeping "through the night" to waking up several times again (and by sometimes, I mean, usually). Babies go through stages - teething, discomfort because of solids, who knows what else (they don't speak to me and I'm not an expert). Most of the time you have no freakin' clue what's going on. You can try reading books and doing all the "right" things (God that "stuff" drives me mad) or you can just follow your instincts - the "experts" who write those books don't live with you. They don't know your baby. They don't know your style. Did our grandparents have books to tell them what to do? No, they had parents. They had instincts. Every one of our own Mother's could write a parenting book and claim to be an expert - I mean, most of us turned out pretty OK (aside from my sister, ha ha ha, joking Nancy).

So, to summarize, am I sleep deprived? Technically, yes. Am I tired? Before 8pm, No. Would I like a full nights sleep? Heck yeah. Would I trade it for anything? Heck No.

A year ago, I would have been working in a chronic zombie state on this style of sleep. But, I'm used to it now. Like most Moms, I don't roll out of bed and mope around lazily with a crabby attitude complaining about how tired I am... I spring out of bed with the sound of my daughter babbling through the monitor, throw on my joggers as quickly as possible and run to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth before she goes from babbling to DQ crying. And, when I open her bedroom door, I'm on - smiles, enthusiasm, exaggerated everything, etc. There's no time for drowsiness. To Jane, it's the "Mom Show" and I'm the star.

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PS - Thanks to those who have provided feedback to me as requested in Friday's post - if you haven't yet, see below. I am loving hearing what you like/like-less. :) Will leave it up for another few days and then respond! :)