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July 23, 2015

Oatmeal with Parsnips and Blueberries #babyfood

One of our favorite vegetables is parsnips and at around 9 months, was something that Graeme really enjoyed. I would mix it with beef and broccoli, but I started wanting to figure out other ways to offer this nutritious, nutty vegetable to him and it dawned on me...breakfast!


This pairing is really amazing for babies. My guy is a bit of a tank, so adjust the amounts according to your own baby but you can introduce this around 7-8 months. It even makes a really hearty breakfast for toddlers and preschoolers!

3 tbsp oatmeal (cooked with a bit of water in the microwave)
3 cubes of pureed parsnips
2-3 tbsp frozen blueberries

Parsnips, when pureed, make a great substitution for apples when you are trying to transition to chunkier foods, like the whole frozen blueberries. For this recipe, I took the cubes of parsnips and frozen blueberries out of the fridge the night before and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, the next morning, I added the freshly made oatmeal and he chowed down.

Parsnips are rich in fibre and potassium, as well as antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for baby food!

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July 21, 2015

5 Tips for Surviving Life with a Newborn

When I first meet with a brand new postpartum doula client, I make sure that they know one thing by the time I leave their home. The first six weeks postpartum are about survival. Whatever that looks like to you, however that has to happen...whether you're in yoga pants every day or you get dolled up and hit the mall just to bring some normalcy to your life...however you survive is completely fine.


  1. Eat when the baby eats. Sure you've heard about sleeping when the baby sleeps, but you have to fuel your body (even if you're not breastfeeding). Keep a stash of crackers beside the chair that you sit in when feeding baby. Make granola bars and keep them in the freezer. Stock up on individual packs of crackers, cookies, pretzels, dried fruits and nuts. Noshing throughout the day will help keep your energy levels stable.
  2. Sundresses are your friend. This time of year means one thing...heat and humidity. To easily feel like a normal person again, stock up on some sundresses (and body glide to protect your skin from chaffing). They're flowy and girly, so you will emotionally feel relatively pulled together, but not stuffed into shorts and tank tops that might make you emotional over your post baby body. 
  3. Remember that the fourth trimester is about recovery. There will be time for fitness later. This is about survival and recovery. Eat well. Hydrate yourself. Be kind to yourself emotionally. Sleep when you can and don't sweat the small stuff. The saying (as much as it might grind your gears to hear) This Too Shall Pass is all too true. Sleepless nights are temporary, as are mood swings, your baby ponch and engorged boobs. 
  4. It's ok to say no. If you don't want visitors to pop over, say so. If your freezer is fully stocked to the point of dripping overflow water on your floor, say something. People mean well, they really do, but if you need space that is completely ok. You and your body have just been through a massive change and you're trying to adapt to a little babe needing you at every moment of every day. If you need space, just say the word. People will be far more understanding than you think.
  5. Ask for Help! It doesn't make you any less of a parent to ask for help. Maybe you need someone to come over and hang out with the baby so you can grab a shower or a nap. Maybe you just need a friend to come over with a glass bottle of wine so you can feel like an adult again. Ask for help. There are loads of family and friends out there who are itching for a way to help, but aren't sure what you need.
My tips for surviving the first six weeks could go on and on, I'm sure, but really at the heart of it is that you know your family and your baby best. You know what works for you, and need to stand in your power. Be confident in the decisions that you are making for your family!

My clients always ask what I would do if I was in their situation. I tell them that I don't live in their body, nor do I have to take care of their baby on a daily basis...so it's not fair for me to dole out that type of advice. I do say...if I needed a shower, I'd put him in a bouncey seat on vibrate on the bathroom floor....or.... it's only best if it's what works for you....and....it's not selfish to want time to yourself, you have to take care of you!

Remember....the fourth trimester is about recovery and survival. Whatever you need to do to survive, even if it deviates from your original plan for pregnancy, birth and parenting, that's ok. Plans change...babies change...life changes, and that's pretty awesome.

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July 15, 2015

DIY Herbal Bath Soak

After my first half marathon in April, my muscles were in some serious need of a hot soak in the tub and some healing herbs and oils. I knew that oats and epsom salts would be my base, but wasn't too sure what herbs to use to get the maximum relief for my legs.


After some research, I found that rosemary is a prime ingredient in most postpartum bath soaks as it has been known to help with muscle relief, circulatory problems, as well as mental fatigue and fluid retention (source). Peppermint is one of the main ingredients in many of the athletic muscle relief gels, so adding a bit of peppermint essential oil was a given.

Here's my quick and simple recipe for a DIY Rosemary Mint Bath Soak

1 tbsp ground oats
1/2 tbsp oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp epsom salts

Combine all of the dry ingredients together, then add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil. Mix well, and tie in a cloth square. I had cotton on hand, so that's what I used, tied with cotton ribbon.



To steep, simply toss your pouch into the bath while you are running the hot water. I left mine in the bath for the duration of my soak, and smushed it around a little bit to get all of the milkiness from the oats into my bath.

Now, this is a bath soak meaning that it is absolutely not for consumption. It is safe to use during pregnancy as there is not enough rosemary in the pouch to be deemed harmful or medicinal grade, however breastfeeding moms may want to skip the peppermint essential oil as mint has been known to decrease breastmilk supply.

For more information on safe herbs during pregnancy, please go here.

Other varieties of this bath soak are....

dried citrus peel
rosemary and sage
lavender and lemon essential oil


Enjoy!

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July 14, 2015

10 Thoughts I Had While Wedged Between Carseats

Over Christmas holidays this past year, I had the task of sitting between two car seats in the back seat of our SUV as we drove from Florida to Ontario. Not exactly the most comfortable or easiest spot to be in!


1. Good lord my hips hurt! If I don't have a cupholder wedged in my ribs on one side, I have the seatbelt lock digging into my hip on the other side.

2. This might be the worst idea he's ever had. How long is this drive? 21 hours? Not happening!

3. Ok, baby asleep, Bear asleep, maybe I can scoot up front just for a bit and get the seat warmer on my back.

4. Seriously, baby? Seriously?! I can't even move without his mommy-radar going off!

5. Rest stop! LET ME OUT!

6. {upon waking up} Where in the heck are we?

7. I'd like to see him wedge himself back here...my hips were not made for this!

8. Canada flags!! We are almost there!

9. {after boys and luggage are unloaded} I don't think I can move....

10. Next year, I'm flying.

Seriously friends, I don't recommend doing this. Not even a little bit. Sure, sometimes there are circumstances where mom needs to sit in the back with baby, but doing that between a convertible rear facing car seat with a 6 month old and a high back booster with a 4 year old...oh your hips. Your poor poor hips!

But...if you're faced with having to sit between two car seats for an extended period of time, make sure you have access to...

a good book
your phone
snacks
a pillow
a blanket
leg room
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July 6, 2015

10 Things to be Grateful For

When looking for this months gratitude inspiration, I stumbled across this...


They seemed so simple that I thought I would take a moment a reflect on each one. This month, I encourage you to do the same and find gratitude in the simplest of things.

The early wakeups will come and go, the noise will quiet and the chaos and mess will soon be after thoughts when your children are grown and move on to lead their own adult lives. Be grateful for the lessons that you've taught them and the experiences you have shown them.

The laundry, the dishes. The dirt and grime of bathrooms. They may seem like daily chores, but in fact they are things in life to be grateful for, that not every one has.

I'm grateful for dirt, worms and bugs.
I'm grateful for superheroes, loud noises and farts.
I'm grateful for snuggles, stories and kisses.
I'm grateful for strong mamas, sweet babies and emotional dads.
I'm grateful for home, friends and wine.
I'm grateful for here, now and this moment.

What are you grateful for?

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