Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More on the Healthy Life

So ...
While we prepare Doodle for the whole elimination diet and prepare ourselves for the healthy lifestyle, I did something I was kind of dreading.
I went back to Weight Watchers. Ugh.
If you have known me for awhile (online or in person) you'll know that I struggle with my weight, and for me, pretty much the only thing that consistently helps me lose/maintain my weight is the wonderful program that is Weight Watchers.
I've done the online version and the in-person version. Yes. I count points. And I journal what I eat. I don't enjoy it, but at the end of the day, for me it works and I lose weight. So, I decided to go back.
But for the first time in my life I went with a friend! Both of us have done the program. Both of us know what we're getting into. And both of us kind of dreaded the first weigh-in. Going together made it so much better. Okay. So, we didn't exactly stay for the meeting. It had been too long since we'd seen each other, and we already know all there is to know about the program. So, we decided to have a yummy (read: not WW approved) dinner before we embark on this weight loss journey.
To be completely honest, my weight when I stepped on the scale wasn't all that horrible. It's about 10 lbs higher than where the doctor would like me - but considering I'm nursing I can accept I'm a few pounds over her suggested weight. But, it's about 20 over where I'd be happy and 30 over my skinniest. So I have a ways to go.
We're going away in July and my goal is 5lbs though I'd be thrilled by 10.
I'm actually looking forward to this journey, because sometimes a journey is a little easier with a friend by your side.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I've been hesitant to blog about what's been going on with us health wise, but now that we've been going through this for a bit, I figure it's a little more okay.
Ever since the baby was little she has been struggling with gas. Long story short, but after visits to the doctor and eventually the hospital I was frustrated by no answers and went to a naturopath who suggested eliminating dairy from her diet. The visit for the baby was short.
The long part of that visit was a conversation about Doodle.
This doctor was very concerned about his behaviour. She thought it was very erratic and basically blamed it on sugar and his diet in general. Her bedside manner was horrible and I left pissed off that she had blamed me for his hyperactivity, but part of the problem is that she was right. For quite awhile now I have been concerned about his behaviour.
ADHD has been whispered to us. Hyperactivity has also been mentioned.
But, what I had noticed is that he's not constantly hyper. And as a parent it's incredibly frustrating that one day he can listen and behave and follow directions with no problem, and then you catch him at the wrong moment and he can't. I know part of this is being a little kid, but it's not that. For instance today I was at my sister's place. Her almost 3 year old was having a rough afternoon. She was having temper tantrums, and just not listening. But, my sister could pinpoint it to a lack of sleep and needing a nap.
With Doodle it's not like this. Sure he has his moments where we know he needs sleep. But, the hyperactivity is not that. It's like he physically can't stop himself.
Recently he started karate. He loves it. I love it. His teacher is an amazing woman who is a former kindergarten teacher. She works magic in her karate classes - and gets a room full of 3-5 year olds doing various things in tandem, quietly. I have a lot of respect for her.
After the last class she asked to speak with me.
She was concerned about his hyperactvity also. But, she explained it to me.
Basically she said that once he enters the school system he will be recommended to be on Ritalin because of his hyperactivity. She has noticed that sometimes he seems to have uncontrollable energy, and said that from her experience with children she doesn't seem this as a behaviour/parenting issue, but rather as a chemical one that may be triggered by something. At one point in the class she was helping him with something and he said his brain hurts. She asked him why and he said "it's the food my mom gives me." (oh the mommy guilt from that comment, but that's a whole other issue!)
She suggested that we do allergy testing and see a naturopath.
Interestingly enough I'd been doing a lot of research since the initial naturopath visit. My mom and I had just attended a lecture given by a naturopath who is about 20 minutes away from my house. And I liked her. And spoke to her after.
So, we're going to go and see her and see what she suggests for Doodle. Actually, I have been e-mailing back and forth with her along with reading as much as I can about the link between diet and behaviour. It's scary what's in our food - and it's scary what I've been okay with.
It looks like we're in for an "elimination diet". Seriously. Want to know what it's about? Here's what she said in an e-mail
"If you are up for an elimination diet, you may want to try avoiding the following foods: any food additives or preservatives (colours, preservatives, nitrates in hot dogs or cold meats), dairy, cane sugar, and wheat. Definitely prepare for this one, find substitutes that Doodle enjoys and get a good cook book ( I like The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal) before embarking on the elimination period, which should be 3 weeks. You should notice a shift in his behaviour if he is sensitive to any of these foods or additives."
I know it sounds crazy, but I think we're doing it. It may kill me. But, if it doesn't I'm sure I'll be a stronger person for it. And, I'm doing it right along with Doodle. And if I'm doing it, the Baby's doing it. And by some stretch so is Phat Daddy.
I think June is going to be a Long month!
If anyone has done this before I'd love to hear your input.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Roxy Sinus RULES!

Who is Roxy Sinus? Miley Cyrus. Hannah Montana. You know. Her
I have to admit that if a year ago you had asked me what I would be doing every day, I would never have guessed I would be drivign around in a mini van rocking out to Miley Cyrus. Not in a million years.
But here I am, a newly minted 30 year old, with 2 car-seated children driving a mini-van, windows rolled down and Hannah Montana music blasting from the windows. It's a little sad, a little strange and pretty much my life.
For some reason Doodle thinks her name is Roxy Sinus, and is completely in love with her. To the point he wants me to buy her poster! We already own the CD.
I realized the craziness of our family's Miley Madness when I was stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru window. I'd just ordered my coffee and was waiting at the window (for a really long time) and Doodle asked me to turn on "Rocky Sinus" to help calm the baby (she too, loves Miley). Of course, we need it full volume. And I forgot where I was and started to sing along.
I realized that, from the other side of the window, the teenagers waiting for their frappuccinos were laughing at me. Why? Cause I was not only blaring Miley, I was singing along, a little louder than I should have been considering I was at a drive-thru window.
But, in fairness I go through that drive-thru often enough that the women at the window know me and my children, and have been known to give me treats for Doodle to go along with my coffee. And I knew the music wouldn't bug them. I just didn't account for how ridiculous I looked singing along.
It's addictive though. Very addictive.
And far far better than Raffi. Safer too, because I knew the sign language to go along with Raffi, and me, driving any vehicle while signing the words to "Five Little Ducks" is much scarier than me trying to sing along to Miley Cyrus.
Or, come to think of it, maybe it's not!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Nanny Decision

One of the hardest decisions as a parent, in my opinion, is childcare.
Honestly, the decision of whether or not a parent will stay at home is a huge one. And, once that's decided (whether due to finances or choice or both) the childcare decisions happen.
This is something that we've been talking a lot about in our home.
I know for sure I'm going back to work. Some days it makes me sad, but I also know that I'll be okay with it and once I settle into it enjoy it. But we had to talk about childcare.
Doodle spent almost three years in various daycares. He thrived in them, and we were happy. I don't regret that he went. In fact, I think it was a fantastic decision.
But with 2 children the decision changes. Because our kids our 4 years apart, the daycare decision would be a problem for us. They would basically never see each other because provincial guidelines mandate that they would have to be separated - in the playground and in the facilty - due to age.
I hate that.
I mean, I understand why. It does not work to have infants on the same playground as 4 year olds. But, I also want my kids to see each other.
Add in the crippling cost of daycare centres multiplied by 2 children, and it's a lot of money for a situation I wouldn't be happy with.
So we were left with choices - home daycare or a nanny.
We have chosen to go the Nanny route.
Please don't tell me the horror stories - I have heard them and read them and am terrified by them. But, I also know that there are horror stories no matter what route you choose, and at some point you have to hope and pray that your choice works.
Tonight I interviewed a nanny who will likely be the nanny we get. She met a whole bunch of criteria, and when we discussed discipline techniques for 4 year old boys, we were totally on the same page. So, I think we've found a nanny.
I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.
Part of me doesn't want to think about all of this right now. But, I know that when I have all of this in place I will be more relaxed - not stressing about what's to come but enjoying the time with my kids.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Identity has been on my mind a lot lately.
It's inevitable when there's a lot of change in life. In a few months I've left work (on mat leave), had a baby, become a stay at home mom, and in a week I'll be 30. All of it is good, but it's also a huge change. And, even though this has taken  me by surprise, I am baffled by all of it.
Honestly, I'm lonely.
At work I had a function. I knew my role. I knew my colleagues. If anything I probably spent maybe a little too much time chatting on certain days. But, it's nice filling that role. It's great being "in the loop" and being invited for drinks. I love the fact that my job has me in the department that plans events. I love writing stories about people in the company.  Sure it's work, and there are days when I want to scream. And there are days when I disagree with my colleagues. And I'll admit that some days have been really really bad.
And I kind of hate the GO train a lot of the time.
But. When I'm at work I have a handle on who I am. I know where I fit in. I am up on the gossip.
Here at home it's different.
I go to play groups and know nobody.
And when I make conversation I get the pleasantries and then everyone goes back to their friends and I can't break into the clique.
The gossip, it seems, is where there is a sale on Robeez, and how many of the kids are there with their nannies. Until you break in it's surface stuff. And it's hard. Brutally hard. Especially when, like me, you thrive on talking to people.
And, I miss my work friends. I know I can call and I do sometimes. But, I don't want to interrupt their days. And, it's kind of dumb to say "so ... today I went to a playgroup, gave Doodle 2 time outs, went to the playground. And and and ... they had good samples at Starbucks." (really, breakfast sandwich samples were a highlight today).
To be clear, that's not what I think Stay at Home Moms do. I know this. My sister is a SAHM extraordinaire and fills her day. And she often has coffee with me. I'd be insane without her and my mom.
But, when you're on leave it's hard.
When Doodle was a baby it was different. I had 2 friends to hang out with and I relied on them for sanity. We'd go to playgroups. And it was fine. But now I'm starting over. 
And, really - I don't know where to start.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Little of This A Little of That

Mother's Day
Yesterday was a perfect Mother's Day. Phat Daddy surprised me with a trip to my favourite restaurant - Cheesecake Factory! This meant a trip to Buffalo (holding our collective breath since we don't have a birth certificate for the baby). We had a fun time. We didn't spend tons of money. We did shop at Target and Walden and had a blast.
I'm still ever so grateful for our portable dvd player for the van.

The Baby's Health
I had an *interesting* visit with the naturopath on Friday. Perhaps more details to follow soon. It was pretty stressful. But ... we believe the source of the baby's gassiness and sore tummy is a milk allergy. Since I'm breastfeeding it means eliminating all dairy from my diet except yogurt. It means NO CHEESE. So. I enjoyed the day yesterday and now I'm jumping on the dairy free bandwagon. I actually have a huge list of things that I should and should not eat (basically no sugar) and so I sort of feel like I'm drifiting in this new world of organics, no milk and little sugar. She tried to cut out my coffee consumption, but that may just kill me.

It's Almost my Birthday!
I'm turning 30. Eek. Actually, this isn't a huge deal to me. The 30 thing that is. What is a big deal is that it's my birthday. And, I am moving into another decade.
Lately I've sort of felt I'm ready to be in my 30's. I have 2 kids, a house and a van. Seriously. Not to mention I don't feel over the hill. My grandad is going strong at 99. I have a long way to go!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Do You Think?

Here's the baby. Take a look at her belly. I think it looks huge. As in African babies who don't get enough to eat huge (I have been and seen those kids - it looks the same). The doctor said it was a distended belly with too much gas. But there's nothing to do. (This article is helpful, but still. Doing a google search not so helpful.)
I'm not so sure.
She sent me to a pediatrician who basically said give her Ovol and she'll be fine.
She's not crying or anything, but she seems uncomfortable all the time.
So, tomorrow I'm bringing her to our naturopath (who used to be an OB/GYN) to see what she thinks. I'm not terribly worried, but I just feel like I need to check it out to make sure everything is okay. You know?
But, look how chubby my little girl is. I love her chubby cheeks! She's now 9 lbs 14 oz, up from 6 lbs 6 oz at birth. Soooo cute.

Always Remember Your Keys

One of our cats, the little cat, likes to go outside.
We believe that cats should stay indoors, our cat feels she is an outdoor cat. It's a constant struggle.
Every day when I take the kids out of the house (which can be like 10 times a day) I have to get the baby in her stroller, make sure Doodle has his stuff, get my shoes, purse, etc. Then we get to the door opening procedure.
Doodle opens the door and holds it while I simultaneously pull the stroller out and push the cat back. It's kind of funny in an annoying way. Usually the cat gets out so then I have to park the stroller, keep my eye on Doodle and get the cat, who may or may not cooperate, and then put her in the house.
It's lovely.
So today.
We were going to Phat Daddy's office to pick him up and bring him home for lunch. (and then drive him home again ... don't ask)
Doodle was ready. He decided to open the door. I told him to close the door. He saw the cat and let her out. (he knows this is not allowed) Then he laughed and said "look. the cat is out." So dummy mommy runs out to get the cat.
And what does Doodle do?
Slams and locks the door behind me.
There I was, on the porch, cat in hand, knocking on the door while Doodle is beside himself laughing. I was shouting at him to let me in.
My neighbour, who was outside gardening, came over to tell me she'd been locked out as well, and not to worry. Apparently this is hilarious to 4 year olds (her kids are now in high school). At least I've been warned.
Someone is in big trouble today. And me ... I'm just glad that once I calmed down and told Mike I got through the whole story without laughing because I can only imagine how much of a super mom I looked like knocking on my own door.
We're officially one week into this staying at home with 2 kids thing and it's already killing me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Doodle is completely addicted to soothers.
I know. He's 4. He should not have a soother. Trust me, we have been saying that since he turned 2. The problem is, he is completely addicted.
Doodle has had a soother since he was about 2 weeks old. We loved the soother. I, especially, loved the soother, since he always needed something in his mouth. When I went back to work (he was about 14 months) we didn't see the need to take the soother away. He was starting daycare and it was him comfort item. As a parent it's a lot easier to let your child go to daycare if you know there is something he loves.
When he was 2 he switched daycare, something just as emotional for me as for him, so there was no way we were going to wean him. Fast forward to turning 3 and we were on to more life changes - we'd just moved to a house and another daycare. We loved that soother. And on it went.
Someone suggested that we take the soother away at his fourth birthday. I couldn't do it. The thing is - he was getting a new baby. I figured that he needed it to comfort him. And, I didn't want him to relate the soother being taken with a new baby. And I didn't want him taking the baby's soother... And on the arguments went.
Until we realized that OUR CHILD IS 4 AND USES A SOOTHER.
I mean, it was constant.
So, Phat Daddy and I have put an end to this.
Here's the rule. The soother stays in the bed. We have an entire check mark behaviour reward system that goes along with it.
Doodle does always seem to want something in his mouth. We have replaced the soother with sugar free gum during the day. The child goes through as much gum as someone quitting smoking. Seriously. The kid is addicted.
Today in the van he said to me "I miss my soother". But, being the strong willed person I can be, I just said I was sorry, but he's 4.
The funny thing is, I think I'm having a harder time with him quitting than he is. I don't know why. Really, I think it's because I feel like I'm forcing him to give up something he really loves. And even though every part of me knows that he needs to give it up, for me it's hard. I hate taking it away from him. To me it seems like such a stupid thing to force him to give up. I mean, it's a soother. It's a piece of rubber and plastic that brings him comfort. 
Seriously. What is my problem?
So, we're fighting the good fight. We're being strict parents. And, for the most part he's okay with it. 
Want to know my secret? I usually keep one of his soothers on me in case of emergency. I feel better knowing it's in my purse. I stash it in there just in case something happens.
So far I haven't pulled it out. He's good. I'm good.
Who knew an addiction would be so hard to break?

Friday, May 2, 2008

At Least We Got a Playdate out of It

Yesterday was Doodle's first day at home with me. He finished daycare on Wednesday.
In typical type-A fashion I planned a full day. It combined all sorts of fun stuff including a trip to Ikea, a doctor's visit for the baby, a haircut at Doodle's favourite place and then pictures with his cousins.
Okay, yes it was a little much, but I had confidence in my new SAHM skills.
It was all going so well until the doctor visit. You know, the well-baby visit that takes 10 minutes.
Not so much.
Our "well-baby" visit turned into a panicked trip to the ER after spending an hour at the doctor's office.
One minute everything was fine. The feedback was positive, the baby is gaining weight, etc etc. And then I asked about her tummy. It seemed rather bloated to me. The correct term, as I have learned, is distended. And, either she was totally fine or she was really sick. The doctor (whom we have now seen weekly, and who Doodle professed his undying love to yesterday), told me that she would really rather I see a pediatrician as soon as possible.
In the end everything is fine.
It truly was just a whole lot of gas. We're giving her Ovol and burping her a lot. But, we only found this out after 2 doctors saw her and she had a stomach x-ray. I was actually remarkably calm throughout the experience. And Doodle? He was amazing. He listened. He behaved. He sang Twinkle Twinkle every time the baby cried. Every.single.time! At the top of his lungs. But, hey. That's far better than him having a meltdown or running away. And who doesn't love Twinkle Twinkle? (answer: the nurse helping us yesterday).
But, while I was waiting for the x-ray I was sitting with a mother who I recognized. Our sons were in daycare together, and got along really well. We lost touch, but when we met at the x-ray lineup we decided to get our boys together for a playdate.
So, the whole day wasn't lost.
And as for the pictures. Well, I got the ones I needed done today, and we'll go for the cousin pictures next week.
Personally, I'm a little tired. Okay. Exhausted. It's a LOT harder being a SAHM to a 4 year old than it is to a newborn. I think next week we need to set up some sort of routine. As Doodle said to me today, it's his second day of staying home from daycare, and he hasn't actually been in his home.