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May 22, 2015

Taking a Break...to Chuckle #ChuckleRun #Run4Fun

So it's been almost a month since my first half marathon. I'm not going to lie...it took me a good three weeks to recover. My first two runs back sent pain shooting through my right knee and I started getting really worried about my upcoming race calendar.

It dawned on me that something in me has changed. The medals are lovely. The sparkle and bling. Sure sure.

But I've become competitive. Any who have I been competing with? Myself.

So I took a few steps back, and not just because my knee felt like it was going to shatter. I want to run just for the fun of it. I want to laugh and smile and be silly for a change. I want to show my boys that Mama isn't afraid to wear shorts with neon knee high socks and a tutu. In public.
A photo posted by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei (@sweetstellas) on
Those that know me intimately, know that I take things way too seriously, almost all of the time. It's time to change that and focus on the fun. What better way to do that then to have fun while I run?

On May 31st, I'll be heading up the #RuntheDistrict #Run4Fun Ambassador team for the #ChuckleRun. It's just a 5km (note: three years ago...it would have been "a 5km? are you freaking kidding me? no!") so it'll be a nice and easy race...with a big loud mouth medal at the end.

Come run, walk and chuckle with us in the Western Fair District as we support Vanier Children's Services, KidSport and Oxford-Elgin Child & Youth Centre. The route promises to be historic, scenic and comical with every step you take toward the finish line.

Run for fun...it's about damn time!

A photo posted by Run The District (@runwfd) on

May 21, 2015

Chicken and Peaches #babyfood #recipe

Finding great recipes that incorporate lean fats and protein into baby food is a lot easier than what you think. Sure, pureeing meats isn't for the faint of heart, but they hold great nutrition for your growing babe and their busy body.

Mix together

2 cubes of pureed chicken
2 cubes of pureed peaches
2 tbsp of infant oatmeal cereal

If you are making your own baby cereal, I find that it is best to add the oatmeal while it is still warm to defrosted cubes of baby food. Then, let it all mix and sit over night and you will have a really hearty breakfast for your little one.

To make pureed chicken, poach your chicken breasts or thighs in boiling water until cooked through, then puree in your blender or food processor. Otherwise, do like I did and roast them! I love roasting nearly all of my baby food ingredients. It heightens the flavour, and I can set a timer and go on about my day while the oven is cooking. Two roasted chicken breasts will yield approximately one ice cube tray of chicken puree.

If your baby isn't a fan of peaches, try this recipe with pears, apples, plums or even cauliflower!


May 19, 2015

5 Ways to Help a Mom Through Infant Loss, Stillbirth and Miscarriage

You very likely know someone who has experienced some type of infant loss, be it miscarriage, stillbirth or a the death of a young child or infant after birth. Perhaps you have experienced this type of loss, and aren't quite sure how to find the words to ask for what you need.

When a parent experiences the loss of their child, a big part of their heart is broken. There is immeasurable guilt. Time seems to stand still.

As a friend or family member, how can you help?
As a parent going through the loss, how do you ask for help?

Here are five things that you can do to help when someone you know is experiencing infant loss
  • Remember dates. Jot down the due date, and remember that your friend is likely going through a huge range of emotions, most of them painful. This would have been when she should be holding her baby. She would be celebrating birthdays around this date, so remember that and send her a quick thinking of you note or text when it draws near
  • Take her out for coffee. Sometimes a good cup of tea or coffee can soothe the soul. Sometimes it can't. But all you can do is try.
  • Make arrangements with a spa to treat her to a service. Better yet, pick her up at her house, drop her off at the spa, and take her out for lunch when her treatment is done.
  • Hold the space. There are moments when there are no words, and that is absolutely ok. Sometimes the parent going through the loss doesn't want to hear it'll be ok, or you can always try again. Stay away from the cliches and advice, because nothing will really ever make this better for her. Just hold the space, hold the quiet, and let things be.
  • Bring over her favorite meal. That is, make it and bring it over, but text her when you're driving away and have left it at her doorstep. She may not want to see people, not even her very best friend, but I am certain that she will appreciate the care and time you took to make this meal for her.
As a mom going through infant loss, it is difficult to ask for the help and support that you truly need. Sometimes you want to forget that the whole thing happened, and other times you want to hold onto what of your pregnancy you had and honour your baby like only you can.

On days when you want to be left alone, it is perfectly ok to post a note on your door asking for quiet, saying you're napping or asking for deliveries to be left at the door. If you don't want to see anyone or have visitors, that's ok. It's your choice who you let in and when.

If you need a buffer, ask your best friend to field calls or texts for you. Let your family know that you'll be in touch with him or her, and then have them send updates to your family.

There are no right answers, no perfect solution or checklist to follow when you've just experienced a miscarriage, still birth or infant loss. It's incredibly emotional. It's heartbreaking. But there is support out there, and those who care about you will want to help. Let them know when it's ok, when you need space and know that their heart is in the right place.


May 14, 2015

10 Thoughts While The Baby Is Napping

A parenting perspective today with my 10 Thoughts series. There are many times when I lay the babe down for one of his naps, and he is awake only about 20-45 minutes later. But...there are also the times where he rocks out a 3 hour nap and I am able to be Wonder Woman {figuratively}.

1. Why is Klaus such a jerk? I mean clearly he's in love with Caroline and all, but he's such a jerk to everyone. He says he's pure evil and can't help himself, but really he's a scared little man. It's so sad.

2. Did I eat breakfast?

3. No no no no no no....please go back to sleep....

4. What was I supposed to be looking for, again? Baby gates? Hypnobirthing? Spiritual Birth? No...wait...uhh...yep. Baby gates.

5. This Shane dude is crazzzzzy!

6. Oh Pinterest, you are a fountain of information....time-sucking-infographic-wonderful-information

7. I probably should figure something out for Father's Day.

8. I should also start juicing again, and get Owen to drink them before school. How is that kid living on chicken nuggets, noodles with cheese, granola bars and waffles?

9. Why can't laundry just fold itself? Someone really should get on inventing something for that.

10. Why does iced coffee make me have to pee so freaking much! Man, since having a baby my bladder is like "uh...no...no liquids please!"

Had a funny thought while your babe was napping? Post it in the comments!


May 11, 2015

Stuffed Mushrooms for Breastfeeding Moms

This recipe is nutrient packed for breastfeeding moms, and it probably one of the yummiest, heartiest and healthiest dinners that I made all winter. I have two variations of it: dinner with large portobello caps, and appetizer with minis!

Mushrooms and spinach are fantastic for breastmilk supply, and bacon....well....it's bacon. It should be in everything.

4 large portobello mushroom caps
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups of spinach, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 cups of goat cheesse
shredded cheese for topping

Preheat your oven to 400F

Chop your bacon into small pieces, then brown in a hot skillet. Remove and drain away the excess grease, then return to the pan. Add in your chopped garlic and spinach, cooking just long enough to heat up and wilt the spinach.

Remove and mix well with your goat cheese, then fill your mushroom caps. Top with  shredded cheese and place the caps on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then broil for 2-3 minutes to make the cheese nice and bubbly.

These stuffed mushrooms are amazing and hearty. We each had two for our dinner one night in February, and it was definitely enough to fill us up, without feeling guilt about what we ate.

To make mini versions, simply fill mini portobello mushroom caps with a half tablespoon of your filling, top with a little bit of cheese and bake for 5 minutes, until tender.

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