Welcome my dear, Alaina.

On Tuesday, March 26th at 1am I woke up with back contractions. It was 6 days before my due date. They were more noticeable then most of the “false” labor I was having in the week’s prior. The contractions were strong, often but tolerable. “They” always say, if you can walk and talk though them it is not active labor… and I was texting. I was texting my sweet friend about if the contractions were going to progress or if I should try to go back to bed.

At about 2am my friend advised me that it was probably time to wake up Daniel. When I woke Daniel up, he was under the impression that he was snoring and I had come to kick him out of bed, Ha! After I explained that I thought that it was time to meet our little girl he proceeded to ask me multiple times if I was sure. I drew a bath to see how my contractions would act in the water. (Did you know that water will slow down contractions if they aren’t “real” and speed them u if the are? So cool right?)

At 2:30am we called my sister to come over and then we called the midwives pager. The midwife (Bayli) could hear me working hard with each contraction do they decided they would head over.

My sister arrived around 3:30am and not to far after that midwives (Bayli and Chelsea) were here. After we chatted about what had been happening they checked my dilation and I was only 3cm. I felt so defeated. These contractions felt intense and they were coming quicker. I decided to head into the shower to attempt relieve some of my back labor. As I was in the shower my sped up rapidly, contractions every 1.30 last 1 min ( 30 sec recovery time was feeling pretty brutal)  My midwives headed downstairs to start some paper work and I spent some time hanging over my birth ball with my sister and Daniel taking turns putting counter pressure on my back as my labor processed. As the involuntary pushing and baring down started I heard Bayli run up the stairs and I knew I had dilated fully and baby was going to be here soon. She didn’t even check me at this point. She just said’ We are going to set up for baby’s arrival now.

Finally about 4:55 I started to transition. For those who don’t know, this is the final and most intense part of labor. This is when a woman’s strength is tested. I felt there was nothing I could do to cope. I just remembered feeling the next contraction without a break from my last. I was just repeating “ no no no no no”.

My midwives had ran a bath for me and they suggested I see if being in the tub made end more tolerable. I moved around the tub trying to get relief from the contractions and involuntary pushing. I really thought Alaina was going to come out my bum but my midwives reassure me that they had never seen that before.

They asked if Daniel wanted to catch baby and he very quickly declined that job which was a good thing because as I stood in my next contraction, I pushed and Alaina came out extremely fast and was caught mid fall but the student midwife. (I kinda picture she looked like a baby giraffe being born, where they just fall out and toward the ground)

Alaina was born at 5:44am and the first thing Daniel said “S**t I am glad I wasn’t in charge of catching the baby”. I held my baby to my chest as I walked to my bed; we laid down and stared at each other as we waited for the placenta to be delivered.

I nursed Alaina for the first time and the midwives did all the checks on both of us that they needed to. They cleaned up and started laundry. My sister got Aria up and made her breakfast as Daniel and I just stayed in bed staring at our new addition.
The one thing that I really wanted was for Alaina to weigh more then my first daughter (Aria) who was 6lb 3oz. My heart sank, Alaina came out weight a tiny 5lb 8oz but she latched really well and is growing like a champ.

Veggie Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cauliflower chopped**
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp hemp heartsimage1

Instructions

  1. In a pot, with a steam basket in the bottom, steam cauliflower until it falls apart easily when pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain cauliflower and add to blender or magic bullet
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
  4. Season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Prepare your favourite pasta and combine

** I have uses a number of different veggies along as it adds up to be 3 cups.

I have prepared the sauce with butternut squash and carrot to imamate a cheese sauce and Aria loves my spinach, zucchini and broccoli version.

Easter Baskets with Less Added Sugar

I love Easter! I love the feeling that spring is here and the celebration of our saviour Jesus!
The tradition of Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts is so fun but I am not a fan of all the added sugar!
I am sharing some of my top suggestion for Easter baskets your kids will love without all the chocolate and candy.

For all ages:
Books
Beach Toys
Music/ CDs
Healthier snack options

  • For baby I really like Love Child Organics! My top picks would be love ducks, banana o’s and oat bars
  • Annie’s Organics cheddar bunnies or Honey gram bunnies
  • Smart food popcorn
  • Kind bars/LÄra bars

New PJs
Reusable festive straws/cups
Festive Hair Clips/ Accessories
Festive Temporary Tattoos
Bubble Bath. Bath Bombs

For baby and young kids:
Bathtub books
Bath Toys
Teething Toys

For older children:
Festive Stickers
Festive Coloring Book
Nail Polish
Travel puzzles
Travel Games
Individual Lego Toy Pack
Educational DVD
Movie passes
Lip Gloss
Sidewalk Chalk
Festive Earrings

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Little Boy Age 4
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Little Girl Age 6

 

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Toddler Girl Age 14 months
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Toddler Boy Age 19 Months

Aria’s Favorite Muffin Recipes

Apple Banana Carrot Muffins- No sugar added
I found these to be perfect for baby led weaning!

prep 10 mins,/cook 15 mins/total 25 mins
yield 24 mini muffins/ can be frozen

Ingredients

  • 1medium Apple peeled, cored and diced,
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tbsp oil (vegetable or coconut) (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat Flour
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • Peel and grate carrot, place apple and carrot in a pot with a little water, pop a lid on and simmer until apple soft. Usually takes about 5-6 mins.
  • While apple and carrot cooking, place banana in a large bowl, mash with a fork.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  • Puree the cooked apple and carrot( I use a magic bullet, but a blender will work fine)
  • Add apple and carrot to the other wet ingredients.
  • Beat these wet ingredients together with a hand-held beater, should become smooth, yellow and a little frothy.
  • Add the flour, flax seed and baking powder.
  • Beat for a further 30-60 seconds to make a well-mixed batter.
  • Portion into an oiled muffin tin Mix makes 12 standard sized muffins or 30 mini muffins.

Bake at 350 F for 15 mins, cook time is based on making mini muffins. If you are using a standard muffin tray and making approx 12 muffins the cook time will be longer, approx 25-30 mins.

Once the muffins were cooled I stored them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer so I can take one out as needed.

 

Healthy Zucccini, Carrot, Banana Muffins
Prep 10 mins/ Cook 20 mins
Yield 30 mini muffins/ Can to frozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 mashed bananas (or 3 mashed bananas and ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce)

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Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin.
  • Add the whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, flax seed, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • To a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk them with a fork to break up the yolks. Add the canola oil, the grated carrot, the grated zucchini and the mashed bananas and mix with a spoon until all the wet ingredients are combined.
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  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold everything together using a rubber spatula just until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Drop about a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each of the prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until the muffins are a nice golden brown.
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  • Remove them from the oven and from their tin and let them cool completely on a cooling rack before enjoying!

This recipe makes about 30 mini muffins, but I usually make 24 mini muffins for the babe and 3 regular sized muffins for my husband and I to enjoy.

I pop these in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for whenever I need a quick snack for Aria.

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Why I exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months

I get this question all the time!! People ask me when I am going to stop breastfeeding, they comment about how breastfeeding must be “annoying” compared to formula feeding. The number one reason I decided to exclusively breastfeed till Aria was 6 month old was because I had more than enough breast milk! This blog is not indented to shame any parent that chooses to formula feed. I would like the same respect back when I say this is just what is best for me and my child.

Most people do not realize all of the benefits of breastfeeding for not only baby but mother too. Breast milk contains the perfect mix of fat, protein and carbohydrate for the babies developing physiology.  It contains protective substances that give baby immunity to diseases and contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Research has shown that breastfed babies even have a better antibody response to vaccines than babies that are formula-fed; babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and have 8.6 times lower risk of diarrheal illness.  Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies and help to protect children against a variety of acute and chronic disorders. Plus, They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor!! Ladies, can you believe that we can make something so powerful ?!

Breastfeeding also confers intermediate- and long-term benefits on both the child and the mother: For the mother — Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster. Not everyone finds that it helps but the possiblity is also a nice hope! It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding was and is very important to me. It has to be the choice of the mother and baby if they want to breastfeed. Please don’t think that breastfeeding came easy to us even through my supply was substantial. Breastfeeding is personal, and it can be very default. I believe that no one should be forced to breastfeed if its not right for them and no one should be forced to give up on breastfeeding if they feel they should continue.

I am still currently breastfeeding at almost 8 months but we have also introduced foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, eggs, non-dairy milks/yogurts and cheeses. I plan to breastfeed until Aria is 1 year old, as long as that still works for us.

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I use the evenflo milk storage bags. They have both oz and mL on every bag plus they include an encouraging message!!