NOT THE CAR!

‘Oh my baby falls asleep the second I start driving.’

‘The humm of the car puts my newborn right to sleep.’

These are things you would never hear my husband or I say.

Why you ask, because our son HATES the car.

It isn’t a phase (everyone has told us this) it is sheer torture for everyone in the car when we have to go somewhere. He screams, cries, starts to get sick, and sincerely hates it, with every inch of his little 17 pound body.

We noticed it when we took our first road trip (we never really drove with him before that) to the other side of Germany, 700 km away. It was a daring move to take a 6 week old on such a long car trip but we split it into 2 parts and spent the night half way. Thank goodness we did, because it was torture.

I was crying, my husband was trying to stay calm and drive, my mom (who was visiting for Easter) was trying to help and O was the most uncomfortable little guy in the world. It was not a nice drive.

Needless to say, we’ve flown back to my husbands hometown ever since.

But I digress.. 20 minutes is his absolute max, he cannot go any longer in the car without starting to get seriously upset. I swear most other moms (including our moms) don’t believe us until they witness it. And let me tell you, you will never forget it after being in the car with him past the 20 minute max.

So, over the last 8 months we have been trying to find ways to help him in the car, because if it is hard on us, I can only imagine how horrible the little guy must be feeling.

We’ve spoken to doctors who only tell us that we can’t medicate him. (Thank you, we know that and wouldn’t want that anyways.) They’ve told us we have to tough it out, asked if we have installed the carseat properly (ugh, yes.. ) and told us that when we can move him to a forward facing car seat it should get better.

Well friends, that means it won’t be for another 16 months.

If you are reading this because you’re going through the same thing, first, I feel for you, and second I know you are probably getting desperate! So here are some ways that we have tried to help him, I hope they help your little one too!

First, I sat in the backseat when he was exclusively breastfeed and would breastfeed him while we were driving, I know I know, you cannot take him out, so I did this miraculous thing and leaned over the carseat and would feed him. Yes, at times it felt like I needed to remove a rib, but if it meant he was comfortable I was fine with it. (a mothers true love is like no other)

Once he stopped being exclusively breastfed, I made sure to always bring a bottle of water with me for him to sip on. It helps having something going into his tummy, and well, food is just too messy for the car when its a puree haha.

We also have moved his carseat to the center of the back bench. Not only is this the safest place in the car, but it gives him a chance to be slightly higher and be able to look out the windows, kind of.

We have also positioned mirrors in the back seat for him to be able to see things moving outside. It really helps, when he is able to look at them. Sometimes he isn’t interested.

Bring toys, a lot of toys, preferrably something they can chew on. ,This helps them stay happy and not cry because they have something in their mouths.

Lastly, if we have to drive somewhere longer than the 20 minute allowance, we make sure someone is sitting in the back with him to keep him happy, give him new toys, point outside, sing, laugh, blow raspberries and feed him if necessary.

All in all, we avoid driving like the plague. We fly as much as we can and we don’t do social acitivites which are futher than 30 minutes max. I know it isn’t ideal but it stresses me out having him so upset and we just don’t find it necessary.

Does your child like the car?

Have any tips for other parents suffering with car syndrome? Please comment with your tips, share the knowledge!

Hope you’re having a great day! xx

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I’m Lost

This February marks 6 consecutive years since I’ve been living abroad.  In those 6 years I’ve managed to go ‘home’ to Vancouver once or twice each year. Usually I get the homesick itch every 9 months or so (and it’s usually because I miss my favorite food or restaurants) and a short 2 week visit curbs the feeling. 

But what happens when it doesn’t feel like home anymore? 

Ah, the inevitable lost feeling. If you’re an expat living abroad or have ever lived abroad for a period of time you’ll know what I’m talking about. The feeling that no where yet everywhere is home, but you no longer feel like your home is home. 

What?! 


Let me explain..

We went back to Vancouver this past summer for our annual trip, but mainly to introduce O to our family and friends there, and Canada to O. I was so excited to have everyone meet our son and to get my fill of ‘home’. 

The first two or three days was great, filled with guests, family, friends and a wonderful baby shower my best friend and mom planned for us. We were over the Jetlag quickly and really settled within a few days. But after the weekend I felt awkward, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling but I found myself aggitated, uncomfortable and out of my element. My husband noticed it too and kept asking what was wrong but I couldn’t explain it, I didn’t even know what I was feeling. 

We took a day to ourselves and went on a family adventure downtown and did some shopping and went for lunch. This was when it hit me.. 
I was standing in line at my favorite store which I dream about shopping at once a year (if you’re from Canada you’ll already know I’m talking about Aritzia.) The woman in front of me was paying and the cashier complimented her bag and the cute outfit she was buying, and I thought to myself “how annoying that must be, all the woman wants to do is buy her outfit and probably run over to Starbucks. She doesn’t want to have a conversation with a complete stranger.” Then the woman started talking back and telling her about her recent trip and her reason for buying the outfit. Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it, I had lost my Canadian-ness. 

In Germany, you rush through line ups, don’t make small talk (barely say hi to people walking down the street) and mind your own. So after my thought in the line up I realized I had adapted to German standards (expected after living here for so long). 


Then it got me thinking, I do nearly everything differently than I used to. 

I was sad. I was hurt. I felt betrayed, upset at myself and most of all lost. 


You see, in Germany I’m a foreigner, yes I speak German fluently but I don’t think like a German, I don’t act like a German and my name stands out like a sore thumb! But in Canada I’m a foreigner too, I don’t act Canadian in social settings anymore, I speak English, obviously, but everyone always tells me that I speak with an accent and I don’t feel like it’s home anymore. I’m stuck between being a foreigner anywhere I am and it sucks! 

In the end, home is where my husband and son are. Whether it’s in Germany or Canada or Africa, I’m happiest with them. Regardless of my nationality, they get me and my mix of actions. I won’t be so caught up on where I am in the world anymore and more focused on the memories we’re making. 


Part of me will always be Canadian and part of me will always feel at home in Germany, once the next chapter of our lives comes in sure part of me will be stuck in that place as well. That is after all, the joy of being an expat, isn’t it? 
Thanks for reading! Xo

Baby on the move 

This is a question I get asked a lot so I thought I’d start with it.

Traveling with a baby!

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Living far from both my in-laws and family, as well as a passion for exploring, traveling, and in particular flying, will be the norm for our children. Our first big flight with little O was to Vancouver, guys, it’s a 10 hour flight, for his first flight!! Needless to say, I was so worried, not only about O’s behavior, but about the glares, eye rollers, upset people around us.

But wow, I was amazed! The flight was so awesome! The flight attendants were so accommodating and O was so happy and giggling the whole time, all the passengers loved him and kept telling us how beautiful he was -SUCH a nice surprise!

Believe me when I tell you, I had over planned for the flight, we bought portable baby hammocks that attach to the seat (waste of money) packed numerous blankets, brought expressed milk in case I felt uncomfortable to breastfeed him, brought a carry on full of toys to help keep him entertained, all of which we didn’t need.

But here’s what you do need to survive a long ass flight, or any flight for that matter. First and foremost, an easy going attitude. As soon as we got on the plane O had a huge explosion, leaking on his pants, haha we weren’t able to change him until after take off so this is where I realized, no matter how much I planned, it was out of my control. Aside from the usual diaper bag necessities here are a few things which with help immensely!

Baby banz headphones, they are amazing not only for flying but for hotels too! We didn’t need to use them the whole time, we only put them on when there were other children sitting near us, as they tended to be somewhat unpredictable with melt downs haha. O didn’t hear a thing and was peacefully sleeping while the 2 year old behind us was screaming.

Some kind of white noise. We really like the white noise app on our phones, O really relaxes to the sound of water running so anytime he would get uncomfortable (generally with take off and landing) we would turn on the app and let it do its magic.

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A wrap/carrier, we obviously wanted him to be the most comfortable on the plane, for his sake and all of the passengers, and of course he’s most comfortable in our arms, which we were expecting to spend a lot of time walking around with him (it’s what we signed up for when we became parents) so tag team walks around with your partner to make it easier on you both and use a carrier or wrap to help your back out from time to time.

Disposable baby changing pads, this is one I learned after the fact, the change tables in the washrooms are essentially useless, I know they mean well but common, his head was wedged between two pieces of wood haha, it looked so uncomfortable! So what we ended up doing was changing him in the bassinet or on the seat between us, of course, if your child has horribly stinky poop, try to use the washroom for those ones, but for a simple change, the seat/bassinet is fine and much more comfortable for them too!

Try to get the front row with the bassinet option, or ask for an extra seat. Luckily we’ve managed to get the front row from time to time, and if not the front row they’ve given us an extra seat which is so nice to let him stretch out his lets when he needs to.

Snacks for yourself! If your breastfeeding this is crucial, you need to keep up with your calories to avoid your milk supply from dropping. If you aren’t, it’s still important to get energy to keep up with the littles. I brought a bag of snacks and water and it was empty by the time we landed. This is a big tip!

Toy sanitizing baby wipes or something similar. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times O dropped his toys, these made me feel safe that they were cleaned afterwards with something that he can put in his mouth. Also bring wipes for your hands, our son was teething and always wanted to chew on our hands. After washing with the airplane water we didn’t want to let him put them in his mouth (ew) so we would use some of these wipes and bottled water in the sink to wash our hands.

Rest when they rest. Really though, when the baby is sleeping or your partner has them, rest, don’t worry about anything but resting.

And here are some things you don’t have to worry so much about.

Don’t worry about bringing expressed milk, O didn’t even want it and I felt very comfortable feeding him oddly enough, if you’re afraid you won’t feel comfortable you can always ask the flight attendant if you can feed in the back or front of the plane. They are usually really accommodating and try their best to make you feel comfortable, so don’t stress. In the end, most people understand, he’s a human and needs to eat too.

Don’t worry about their ears, O slept through take off and landing numerous times, which makes me think it isn’t as bad as we think it is. I was expecting him to wake up screaming at any point but he was good!

Don’t worry about other passengers, most people understand and even those who don’t get soft when babies smile or laugh at them, so in the end they aren’t upset at all. Justiciable on your baby and everyone will be happy, I promise.

In the end, while flying with a baby is much different than the relaxing ways before (we would watch movies, talk, read and get served), it has its own charm and fun to it. We love experiencing it through his eyes and seeing the excitement at the littlest things. Enjoy it, and remember, you’re making beautiful memories that you’ll cherish forever!

Where to sleep?

Okay, full disclosure, we co-sleep and I love it!

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I know, I know, it’s horrible, the worst thing I could do for my child. He’ll get dependent on it. I’ll have to have him in our bed forever. -I’ve heard it all!

But in the end it works for us, so I don’t need to hear it -thanks!

First of all, when I was pregnant, I was 100% against co-sleeping. I thought it would feel weird, I would feel uncomfortable and it just wouldn’t work (I thought I would roll over my child in the middle of the night). But in reality, it is glorious! I cannot imagine any other way working for OUR FAMILY (yes folks, it is our family we make the shots, not you, or Sally, or John so comments are not necessary).

If you’ve read this article you know why O was comfortable with sleeping with us from the beginning, so it just kind of happened this way. Babies have an incredible way of just disturbing your expectations and creating a beautiful pattern which works for you. Anyways, back to co-sleeping.

My fear of rolling over my child was ridiculous, I doubted the mother instinct until I became a mother and let me tell you, it is insane!

He could move a finger, in my dead sleep and I’d wake up. For real. It’s a mom thing. Anytime he moves, takes a deep breath, starts getting hungry, starts waking up, I wake up instantly. Aside from that I never move in my sleep anymore. It’s the craziest instinct, I’m not sure how it happened but I sleep in one position, like a barrier to protect my baby (again, crazy mom instinct). So, if this is your fear as well, trust me when I say, our bodies do not fail us. And yes, I am well rested at night despite this.

Secondly, there are so many advantages to co-sleeping. Especially if your an exclusively breastfeeding mama.

Don’t even get me started on “SIDS”, but studies have shown that co-sleeping encourages the babies to breathe in a more regular pattern. Meaning it lowers the risk of them to stop breathing. This happens as they feel their mothers breathing body with every breath and get in sync with their breathing encourage long them to continuously breathe -seems logical anyways.

It creates a healthy bond. I love cuddling and feeling someone close, so why wouldn’t a new baby who knows no one or nothing in this world other than their mom and dad? They’ve heard their mothers heartbeat in the womb for 9 months, so having their mother close enough to hear her heartbeat is reassuring and comforting to them.

For breastfeeding moms, it is so easy! You don’t have to wake up, stand up, take baby out of the crib, stay up to breastfeed, put them down then go back to bed (I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep). You simply feed them, laying down, they fall asleep and then you drift off shortly after as well. It is so easy and relaxing!

All advantages aside, of course co-sleeping can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. We have a king size bed, and I would never attempt co-sleeping in anything smaller, I’d wouldn’t leave us with enough room. Take away any pillows, blankets or things that could suffocate your child. Put up a guard or rail on the edge of your bed to prevent anything from happening. And lastly don’t ever co-sleep under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even over the counter medicine as it can make you sleepier than your normal state). We take all these precautions and when we sleep in hotels or anywhere but home, we even go the extra mile (I have taken foams off of beds, not used pillows or blankets) you name it.

To some it may seem ridiculous, unnecessary and perhaps odd, but we have THE happiest baby, we all get 8+ hours of sleep every night and he has the comfort of knowing that his mom and dad are never far away from him.

And ps, to the woman who told me that my son will always want to sleep with me, you know because your son was the same way after you co-slept. I ask you, does he still come to bed to sleep with you at age 32?

 

Bathe everyday

I have found in the short 6 months I have been a mom (crazy how fast it goes by) that this is a very controversial topic. Whether or not to bathe your child every day.

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Lets get down to it.

A lot of mothers have heard that you should not bathe babies every day because it washes away the protective coating on their skin. This is only true within the first 6 weeks of life. As I’m sure you’ve already realized, babies are born with a thick layer of white on their skin which has protected their skin in the womb. Some mothers keep this on until it either gets soaked into the baby’s skin or rubs off naturally, while others bathe them right away (generally the hospital does this). Which ever you prefer is your deal, however, after 6 weeks this is usually gone and the baby’s skin is then normal (while still very delicate).

So after my son’s umbilical cord stub fell off and his skin was to its normal state, we started bathing him every night as part of our evening routine to get him ready for bed. Not only does it help him realize it is now bed time (more on our nightly routine here) there are numerous other advantages to the nightly bath.

There are so many reasons why I bathe my son ever night.

First, it prevents cradle cap. Cradle cap is not pleasant, I cannot imagine that it feels nice for a baby to have, and it looks gross. When O was about 6 weeks I noticed he was starting to get it because he had such long hair. His hair, as any person, was getting greasy throughout the day and causing cradle cap, we introduced some calendula shampoo and within two days any sign of it had vanished and we haven’t seen it again.

It’s pleasant for their bottoms. Of course, we wipe them down at each diaper change, but could you imagine not showering, we don’t sit in our by product as a baby does yet we still want to shower daily (regularly) to get our parts clean, wouldn’t you want that for your baby?

Diaper rash-it gives them time each day without a diaper on, which means less chance of diaper rash. Any time they don’t have a diaper on helps prevent diaper rash so having a bath every night ensures that there is at least a bit of time each day without a diaper.

Skin check, this year in particular there have been so many cases of ticks come up. Bathing every night gives me a chance to really inspect his skin and see if there are any scratches, rashes (he has really sensitive skin) or perhaps any bites from insects or bugs, more or less any changes on his little body.

Germs -need I say more? There is an old wives tale that exposing your child to germs early on helps their immune system, this is not completely true. They have determined that while a small amount of germs, which your baby gets in contact with themselves (meaning they are able to touch things themselves to get the germs, and for a 6 month old, that isn’t much) is okay. However, the million other germs they’re exposed to from people touching them is not okay. This is not a natural way of them being exposed to germs and can be extremely harmful for babies. Therefore, a nightly bath ensures that these germs are washed away, regardless of where the person, animal, door, etc. has touched them.

It’s enjoyable. I have not met a baby who didn’t enjoy the bath. While it can take time out of our schedules and sometimes we may not have the energy for it, but they enjoy it, and what’s nicer than the thought of finishing off your child’s day with a smile on their face.

Of course, bathing can dry out their skin, so I am always sure to lotion him up with coconut oil after each bath. I also take this time to massage him because I’m sure their little muscles get sore from all that playing throughout the day. Extra bonus, coconut oil is anti-fungal, read more about how I used coconut oil during pregnancy here.

So what’s your take? To bathe or not to bathe?

Thanks for reading! xo

 

Essential to life

Guys, I have joined a little late in the game but I am obsessed with essential oils.

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I was curious about them for some time but after having O and wanting a natural home and natural products for our bodies I finally gave in and got them. I was hesitant at first (and still am with using them on O) but any chance I get to use them, I am blown away at how effective they are. I LOVE THEM and will never go back!

First, I want to say, please do not use essential oils lightly, and use them at your own risk. I do not advise using them without speaking to a professional and/or doctor who can guide you. I am in no way an expert on oils and am constantly learning new things. Use them with caution and make sure to use them with extra caution around and on little humans.

So, I essentially got them for O. For natural bug repellant, to make homemade sunscreen, for bum cream and to help calm him. Little did I know they did so much more!

To be honest, I have yet to use them for homemade sunscreen, or make a bum cream for him. But the day will come as he has EXTREMELY sensitive skin (sorry, its my fault) so they will be our savior I’m sure.

But I do use them on him from time to time, but mostly on myself.

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For O (he is currently 7 months old) I diffuse different things to help him. I diffuse lemon in the am to help get his day started, and lavender at bath time to help calm him down. I diffuse these two every day without fail.

I also use Lavender mixed with (A LOT) of coconut oil on the bottoms of his feet if he’s had a particularly hard day.

For the mini man, that’s about to the extent I use the oils at the moment. As I said, I am hesitant as they are powerful stuff and he is an extremely sensitive boy. So the older he gets the more I will use.

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But, the fun is with me. I use them for everything!!

I diffuse lemon or citronella to keep bugs away. I use them for my allergies, headaches, muscle pain, face cleanser, pimple vanisher, scar eliminator, to help with sickness, literally any issue that comes up with me, there’s an oil to help.

So, a few ways I use them:

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Allergies -I put a drop of lavender, copaiba (a mix especially from Young Living), peppermint and Lemon on a table spoon of honey and ingest it. It takes a whole 30 seconds before I feel it hit. It is amazing and I love it!

Headaches -I am quite cautious with peppermint as I am still breastfeeding and it can slow down production, but I either apply it to my hair line, or back of neck or simply inhale it. It helps tremendously.

Muscle pain – I use Panaway (another mix from YoungLiving) it soothes my muscles after a long workout or at the end of a long day, plus smells amazing!

Face cleanser, pimple eliminatior -for this I use another blend from Yound Living with teatree, lemon, lavender and a whole bunch of other goodness (purification is the name) and it seriously cleans the face and helps get rid of pimples. I was suffering from post pregnancy break outs and within a few days this cleared it all up and has ensured that it isn’t coming back!

Scar eliminator -I use Frankenessence to help eliminate any scarring I have, it takes a little while but does the job!

Again, I cannot stress enough to educate yourself before using oils. I do not advise ingesting them or using them on your skin unless you know they are a good grade and come from a reputable company. Also, speak to a consultant or someone who is educated in oils before using them in any way.

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What kind of oils do you use for what? I am so interested in learning different things and cannot wait for my collection to expand!

Thanks for reading! xx

Sleeping baby

I have to say, ever since O was born he’s been a pretty good sleeper but I do think that the environment and routine we have implemented is really helpful.

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To be honest, before I had him, we had envisioned him sleeping peacefully beside our bed in his crib until 6 months, then move him into his own room -I have to laugh at the thought of it. I know some people where this works for their family and that is great! Every family works differently, however, for us, this just wasn’t how it worked best.

First off, O had amniotic fluid still in his lungs after birth (a normal situation) which caused him to kind of choke, cough a lot. Of course, this is scary, and being first time parents, we were terrified. So, my husband and I took turns sleeping while the other held him while he slept to make sure everything was okay (this may be extreme to some of you but it gave us peace of mind).

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So after the first week or so, he was used to, and we were used to, him sleeping around us. I was also exclusively breastfeeding him, so it was extremely unpractical for me to have him sleeping in his crib, have to take him out, feed him and try to put him back afterwards since he’d always fall asleep while he ate. So, I would have him sleep next to me, when he would get hungry, I heard him routing and would feed him laying down, after he would fall asleep I would then too. My husband was able to sleep through this all (thank goodness because he had to go to work the next day), my son wasn’t put through any discomfort and I was able to easily fall back to sleep. It was (and has been) wonderful.

I know a lot of people are not keen on co-sleeping, but to be honest, there are so many advantages to it. You can read more about it here.

But back to the beginning of our routine. We initially started with a routine at about 6 weeks when we were able to start bathing him. We have since changed his bedtime, but the routine always stays the same regardless of the time. This has also helped us with traveling in different time zones.

So we start with some calming activity, usually reading a book, going for a walk or gently playing with a toy. Afterwards I bathe him. After the bath I blow dry his hair, massage his body with coconut oil, and put on his pjs.

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From there we go into the bedroom (everything is dark to avoid stimulation after the bath) and I breastfeed him in the dark while laying down, generally he falls asleep, however if he doesn’t I simply pick him up and hum a song while holding him and he falls asleep. It is a very simple process and he never cries or fusses and I am at peace because I know he’s gone to bed happy (there’s something about him going to bed crying that disturbs me).

For napping we also have a (somewhat simpler) routine. We close the blinds turn on some running water white noise and gently rock him to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes, sometimes 10 and he’s generally easy to put down. His naps are usually 30 minutes in length and he has one nap a day for 1.5 hours in the morning. I was interested in starting a routine, but to be honest it never worked for us and I was more stressed out than anything.

Now he’s such a happy baby and has made his own routine more or less.

What’s worked for your family’s sleeping arrangement?

Thanks for reading!

The smartest person in the room

A month ago I was inspired by a holiday themed post about how to deal with family over the holidays. It noted that the quietest person is often the smartest, which really got my wheels turning.

I sat back, thought about it, and had to dive in a little deeper. I thought about the people I know from different cultures, their views, accomplishments and how they interact with others in social settings. I did some searching of my own and have come to the conclusion, not only are the quietest people in the room generally more intelligent, they are also those who are more open to change, culture and experiences, they are also the least hot headed ones who remain poised in a debate.

Here’s why:

The OVER talker:

The person who is always talking (or trying to out talk others by talking louder) doesn’t really know what their talking about. Sure, they might be talking about something that they personally know of, however, they are too wrapped up with their own thoughts and opinions, they can’t hear any other perspective on it in order to really understand the topic -they see it one sided and their views are likely not to change. They also seem to always revert back to this topic, even if the topic of conversation has changed, they will find someway to always revert back to their comfort zone, as though to appear as they can talk about a range of topics, while really sticking to only what they know.

The OVER talker in the room is trying to over compensate. They feel vulnerable that the topic may change to something they don’t know much about or that those around them may start to think less of them, so they try to overcompensate by over talking (or actually speaking loudly) to make others believe that they are the smartest/know what they are talking about.

You will also find that the loudest person in the room strongly voices their opinions on topics, and will not have any room for others opinions or an open discussion which may bring up valid advantages and disadvantages to the topic. They are stubborn enough to think that only their opinion is right, and there is no discussing a topic without them getting angry. They are usually also ones who are appalled should you disagree with them, even if you casually disagree, without causing any debate, merely stating that you disagree usually gets them flustered and confused.

These are generally the people who are all about ‘selling themselves’. They are the ones who care most about status and positioning and think that the louder and more they talk, the more respected they will be. They are the ones who speak to make others feel or appear ‘dumb.’

The QUIET one:

Those who are not talking or trying to be the loudest are able to listen, understand, assess and analyse what they are being told. They then enhance their understanding on a range of topics and strengthen their brains through listening rather than speaking. This engages their mind into strategic thinking, problem solving, and gathering evidence which strengthens their overall mind.

The one who is the quietest is able to assess their surroundings and peoples demeanor in order to react/communicate better with those they are in contact with. Chances are, the OVER talker actually has no idea who they are really communicating with as they are too busy thinking of what they will say and how they will defend their thoughts. Whereas, the QUIET one is able to really understand the people they are communicating with, thus able to communicate more effectively and have a better understanding of how the others perceive them and their points.

The QUIET ones also don’t have anything to prove to anyone. Their demeanor isn’t overbearing and they aren’t constantly trying to control the conversation and persuade others to ‘believe’ them. These are the successful ones who know from experience to wait until others ask about something, knowing that at that point do they really engage and are open to your thoughts and ideas.

The QUIET ones are those secretly owning the room. They are allowing the OVER talker to think that they are giving into their tactic and letting them think they are the smartest, this is when the QUIET one can take advantage of their positioning by having no one feeling threatened.

They are those who speak to add value to a conversation, to make progress, to learn something themselves and to ensure that everyone benefits from the conversation (learns something).

So which are you? The QUIET one or the OVER talker? Do you agree? I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say! xo

Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy diet

As I have mentioned in this post, I was on a strict diet (calorie counting and no alcohol or carbs) nearly right up until I got pregnant. Therefore, I knew that if I started eating everything in sight I would gain a significant amount of weight during my pregnancy.

During the first 2 months I was so ill with all day sickness that all I could really stomach was some plain rice and apple juice, gross, I know, but the thought of other food turned me off. Once I started feeling better, about mid 2nd month, I started really tracking everything I was eating to make sure I was getting enough calories and adequate amounts of nutrients. I did intense tracking for about a month and figured I had gotten the hang of it so I eased off.

Overall, my doctor is always impressed with how healthy mine and the babies stats are and I truly believe it is due to my eating habits. I am not a saint, I have eaten at McDonalds when I was craving french fries, I even had a piece of cake for breakfast one day after my birthday, but in general, I am very aware of what I am putting in my body. I do eat more chocolate now than I ever have, I used to hate chocolate (but, studies have shown that babies born to mothers who ate chocolate every day were happier in general, I also believe the mother and father were both happier during the pregnancy ha) and I think that during these 9-10 months we are growing a baby and giving up so many delicious cheeses, fish, caffeine, etc. we are allowed to indulge from time to time.

So here are my tips to maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy (without depriving yourself of the good things once in a while).

First, I don’t eat anything which is prohibited. Even if it is a grey area where some think it’s okay and some don’t, I am the type of person who would live in constant guilt if something were to happen, therefore, I steer clear of these items completely. This includes; lunch meats, moldy cheese, caffeine (yes, I do not consume and teas or coffees with caffeine in them, and yes I am aware that chocolate contains some caffeine), alcohol (duh), sprouts, cilantro, parsley, raw fish, etc. With me not eating red meat and having a nut allergy, this can sometimes cause problems when eating out, so we generally eat in. I cannot tell you how many times I have ordered a salad only for it to come with sprouts or bacon in it. Its easiest to stay at home.

As I don’t eat a wide range of meat proteins, it is really important for me to get protein through beans, chicken, some types of fish (although I have been really turned off of fish since getting pregnant), and dairy products. Generally I have plain Greek Yogurt for breakfast with some fruit. Greek yogurt is amazing, especially if breastfeeding, it is packed with all the healthy fats and it a great source of protein. I also make sure I have a good size portion of chicken each day (whether for lunch or dinner) to make sure I have gotten enough protein. If my lunch has chicken/beans in it, then I make sure my dinner has cheese in it to top off any insufficiency I may have in protein for that day. Some of my favorite chicken recipes are here and here.

Of course, I add in whole grain items like a hand full of pasta, a slice of bread, or Special K for breakfast to ensure I am getting enough calories and always have a meal packed with vegetables, such as this one, for lunch and another with veggies to ensure that I am getting 5-8 servings of vegetables a day. Aside from that, there is olive and coconut oil we use to cook our meals, which provides any fats I missed throughout the day.

As for snacks, sometimes I will have vegetable sticks (carrots, cucumber), or some cheese with crackers. I really love having fruit in the fridge, it makes it easy to grab something fast when a big wave of hunger comes. I usually have nectarines, pears, bananas and oranges.

At the end of the day, I usually indulge in some dark chocolate (if I can find some without traces of nuts) or a treat I have made, such as this or this. This way I don’t feel deprived of anything, I get my sweet fix and our sweet babe gets enough vitamins and protein throughout the day.

On a side note, Special K has been a life safer. I know it doesn’t taste the best, but I have had so many friends complain of constipation throughout their pregnancies. I have to say there were 2 days where I wasn’t feeling too hot, started eating a handful of Special K each morning with my Greek yogurt and have been regular ever since. If you are having any issues, I swear by Special K, just the regular bland kind. It will be your lifesaver -I promise!

Labor Prep

I cannot believe how fast my due date is approaching! I know I talk a lot about pregnancy on here and I hope that you guys enjoy it as much as I do because I just know, once he’s here, I am going to miss being pregnant so much!

So with my due date fast approaching I wanted to get my body as prepared as I could for the big day. I started these routines at the beginning of my third trimester as most doctors recommend. I’m sure not all of the things I do actually help, but it is my first pregnancy so I figure, why not give everything a try and see from there what helps/doesn’t. Also, this post may go into too much info for some of you, I try to keep it real.

So I have kept up with yoga and my work out routine as much as I could, I am also doing deep squats numerous times a day in order to help him get closer to the finish line. I have heard of jogging, to help as well, but to be honest, this kind of scares me, I don’t want him thrashing around in there -anyone else with my on this? The squats are also to help maintain muscle in my legs for the big day as I plan on birthing in the squatting position -TMI? Sorry! and the yoga is also wonderful for my breathing techniques.

This one may be too much info for you, but, I also started perineum massaging. I figure, why not give it a try for my first birth, as they say that it doesn’t do much for consecutive births. I have to say, this is pretty uncomfortable, the first few weeks were great, I was able to reach my arms around my belly, but now, at 40 weeks, it is tight! I use organic coconut oil and take about 20 minutes, not applying the pressure for a constant 20 minutes but do 5 and off for a minute and 5 again. The first times I did it, there was a lot of tension, however, I have to say, it has gotten easier with time. I know a few women who have asked their partners to do it for them, that’s not for me, I want my husband to still look at some parts of me without thinking of it as a job -haha.

SHAVE/WAXING! This one is big for me, call me vein, but I don’t want to end up in labor and be self conscious of what is going on down there. So I make sure once a week that my legs, lady parts etc are decent enough, and I say enough, well, as you can imagine at 40 weeks pregnant, I’m not all too limber.

Sunless tanner, the same deal as waxing, I want to make sure that I feel good to have pictures taken, and am fully aware that I will most likely go into labor in the middle of the night without makeup on, therefore, I want to feel good and not have such white pasty skin. So I use organic sunless tanner and it makes me feel so much better!

I am of course, doing acupuncture, you can follow up on that here, here and here and I am also drinking Raspberry leaf tea, found here. I am not doing it merely to get him to come out, I am all for waiting until he’s ready, I am doing it for the benefits during labor. Acupuncture can reduce active labor by 2-3 hours and raspberry leaf tea helps the uterus contract ‘practicing’ the muscles needed for labor.

Aside from those, I am also preparing for life after birth by drinking breastfeeding tea. My midwife advised drinking it to help my milk come in, and has it ever! I will be ready for him when he’s here! I have also gotten a postpartum corset to help with my ab and back muscles and help me get back to the shape I was in before.

Other than that, I know my body will know what to do when the time comes, so I let it runs it’s course.

What have you done in preparation for labor? Anything I am missing out on?

Thanks for reading!! xo