The “F” Word: Fitness Challenge

In a few days everyone will be making New Years resolutions and the I know from experience that a very popular one is to loose weight. Now that Monkey is almost 9 months old and I have 3 months left of my maternity leave I figure it’s probably time for me to hit the gym a little harder so I can fit into my work clothes again. Not only will I be hitting the gym but I will be making healthier choices, because I refuse to to believe that the only way you can loose weight is with some of these crazy diets and meal replacement programs out there.

I am a foodie so one day I will want to eat real food again and along with that will come the weight I lost and some of its friends. I want to show Monkey how to eat properly so he doesn’t have to worry about these things when he’s an adult, because let’s be honest weight worry takes up way too much brain space for many of us.

For the challenge I will be posting daily on Instagram what I am eating, and my workout plan/Fitbit screen. The last Friday of every month I will let you know my progress, what worked and what didn’t work. And because I know I won’t be the only one making this resolution I challenge all of you to join me! Tag me in your Instagram posts and comment below what is working for you. Let’s cheer each other on because we all need a little support when it comes to fitness.

The “F” Word is a weekly post about all the fun things. On Fridays we will talk about food, fashion, family, friends, faith, fitness and other f words that make life a little brighter.

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Baby Basics: Baby Food

Because Monkey was born as premature as he was when to introduce solids was a bit of a challenge. He was no so premature that you throw the “actual age” timeline out the window, but early enough that he definitely did not meet milestones like feeding when others born around the same time as him would. We were instructed by his paediatrician that we were not to start solids until after his 6 month check up. 

This apparently  posed a bit of a problem, because nothing drives Michael and I more crazy than a picky kid and according to the occupational therapist this was high probability when starting solids at 6 instead of 4 months. This is because babies get comfortable with the textures they are introduced between 4-7 months and the more textures you introduce in that time the less likely you are to have food aversions. So we had to cramp 3 months of learning and exposure into 4 short weeks.

Monkey began with oatmeal pablum for about a week. This helped him figure out how to manipulate the food in his mouth and swallow. We then moved onto some roughly puréed foods and this is where I will start with baby food making that monkey just loved!!

Carrots:

Steam carrots until soft and purée in the food processor until desired texture. Use the water from steaming to add some of the lost nutrients back in that were lost during steaming.

Freeze in individual ice trays so they are ready for quick dinners
We did this with all the food we introduced at that time. Then we moved onto mixtures of foods. We were pretty strict with waiting 3 days between introducing a new food in case of allergies  so we introduced foods that would go well together early on so we could mix them. Monkey’s all time favourite mixture is Lentils and Pumpkin… we still eat it almost daily and I always have a tray full in the freezer. 

Lentils and Pumpkin:
1 cup of red lentils

1 small can of Pumpkin puree

Water to cover the lentils

Boil the lentils in water until soft adding water add needed. Once cooked and cooled pour into a blender. Add the can of pumpkin purée and blend until mixed well. Divide into ice cube trays and freeze.

Mixtures were so successful we quickly moved to solids like avocado and scrambled eggs and of course Puffs (a.k.a. baby crack).  Which was another resounding success. And honestly 10 weeks after started with pablum monkey eats ALL THE THINGS. He is the furthest from a picky eater (aside from the obsession with lentils)

All you Mama’s out there who are working with occupational therapists and feeding clinics to help your littles meet a feeding milstone close to on time I promise your little will eat real food. When you are given the information and plan to help them get what they need it can be really daunting and give you visions of making flavourless food for the test of you life, but stick with the plan. We all remember how hard the bottle feed/breast feed journey was, this one is so much easier!  

Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!

Mommy Moment: First Hugs

When Monkey was first born he was quickly taken to the NICU to be stabilized. When I was finally able to see him a few hours later he was in an isolette with IV drip and CPAP. I was told I was not allowed to even touch him because it would be too much stimulation and he would stop breathing. 
This was not in my plan. For the last 34 weeks, and if I can really be honest for a large part of my life I had pictured how today would go. The script was as follows: around 40 weeks go to hospital, have unmedicated vaginal delivery, then skin to skin. How were we supposed to bond and form attachment when we can’t do skin to skin? Even the signs all over the NICU walls promoted it, and I wasn’t allowed because it could harm my baby. 
So I sat, in a rocking chair and watching him. I watched his little chest rise and fall, watched the numbers on the monitors suddenly change from good to bad to ok, watched the nurses provide basic care. And there I stayed until it was insisted that I get some rest late that night.
I was admitted to a room with another mother who’s baby was not on the NICU so I spent my first night as a mother alone, with another mother who got to hold her little while I feared for the life of mine. 
Early the next morning we learned that Monkey was still not stabilizing and would need several more interventions to breath independently. So still without having held him we agreed for him to have intrusive procedures that came with potential success and a lot of risk.
And so we waited, and we prayed that everything would be a success; and we we’re fortunate enough that it was.
 And then finally, 28 hours and 10 minutes after Monkey’s grand entrance into the world I could hold him. His breathing stabilized, his heart rate steadied, and his temperature regulated. Because there are few better things in this world than a mothers touch.

Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.

The “F” Word: Bean Burrito Bowl


I honestly make this almost weekly, especially when Michael is away because it doesn’t take a lot of work, it packs a ton of flavour and it makes about 4-6 servings so I can have meals for a few days. It has a ton of colour as well so it can be  pretty beautiful on your Instagram account (I love food porn and make a ton of it myself check out my Instagram @themcgills).

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Ingredients:

1 cup of dried black beans or 1 can of black beans

1 red pepper, diced

1 can of corn or 1/2 cup frozen or fresh

1 red onion, diced

1 avocado

1 lime

1 tomato

1 tablespoon of chilli powder

1 tsp cumin

1 cup basmati rice
Directions:

  1. The night before soak the black beans in 6 cups of water. A few hours before assembling dinner drain beans and boil in 6 cups of water for 90 minutes adding water as needed. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a frying pan fry onion, and red pepper until soft. Add corn and beans until warm.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking cook rice according to instructions.
  4. Once rice is cooked mix with vegetables and add spices.
  5. Once in a bowl too with avocado and tomato, and a squeeze of lime. 

Let me know what you think and how you make this recipe your own in the comments bellow! 

    The “F” Word is a weekly post about all the fun things. On Fridays we will talk about food, fashion, family, friends, faith, fitness and other f words that make life a little brighter.

    Baby Basics: Stocking Stuffers

    One thing I struggled with in the Christmas gift department this year is the the stocking. In our house Santa brings stockings filled with yummy treats, a small toy, something to read, a toothbrush and special bath products that are extra luxurious. So what do you get  little person who has only lad teeth for about 2 weeks so his toothbrush is pretty new and is too little eat any of the treats? 

    After wondering Babies R Us for an hour or so I managed to come up with the following list of things that I think he will enjoy!

    1. The Stocking


    Ok so I am very aware that this will be his only first Christmas but this can be a socknwe had down from Marcus to the next little and so on. Plus it had a monkey so how could we not get it!

    2. Rubber Ducky

    Monkey’s favourite time of day is bath time, and his favourite time of swimming lesson is when the rubber duckies come out. This will be a win.

    3. Book

    At 8 months Monke is at that age were story time is more about him grabbing at the pages to put in his mouth and scratching at the pictures trying to pull the images off the page so a board book with textures is perfect for his age.

    4. Toothbrush

    Santa always brings a nice fresh toothebrush for Christmas in our house, even if you only have half of your 2 front bottoms ones.

    5.Bath Lotion

    This stuff is like MAGIC! I difuse Gentle baby in Monkey’s room at night and mix it with coconut oil to use a massage lotion every night. It has a soothing soft sent that when combined with massage relaxes baby and sets them up for a good night sleep.

    6. Favourite Snacks

    Now these are a favourite in our house and I am hoping by having it poking out the top of the stocking it will encourage him to want to look and see what’s inside.

    7. A little something special 

    What are some fun things you picked for your little’s stocking for their first Christmas? Leave your ideas in the comments and follow me on Instagram (@TheMcGills) to see Monkey’s sock under the tree on Christmas morning.

    Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!

    Mommy Moment: A Mother’s Instinct 

    Shortly after Michael and I got home from our honeymoon we learned that we were expecting our first child and due in May of 2016. This was such exciting news, baby would be the first grandchild on my side of the family and the first in 3 years on Michael’s. Everything was going to plan; which is pretty typical for me. I am a planner like no other according to my best friend Alissa.

    The pregnancy went along smoothly, my prenatal appointments looked great but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “there’s something wrong”. I would often say we need to have everything ready by the end of March because you never know what could happen. At one appointment I broke down crying to the doctor saying I was worried there was something wrong and no one was telling me. I was reassured that the baby was healthy and I had absolutely nothing to worry about. 

    I kept attributing the worry running through my mind to first time mom jitters, but boy was I wrong… and extremely accurate.

    Easter 2016 arrived and Michael and I spent the weekend at Mass, and celebrating with family. I felt great after just getting over probably the worst cold of my life. When I returned to work on Tuesday I teased my officemate that I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions all weekend and that maybe I would go into labour in the office… his biggest concern since finding out I was expecting.  I thought I was hilarious!! On Wednesday I started my day a little late, a voice told me to take my weekly bump shot before leaving for work because it could be my last. Like I had been doing for months I pushed that out of my mind and rushed off to the office. 


    That entire day I felt off, I struggled to sit and stand and had no appetite. On my way home I decided to stop by my clinic and thankfully my GP was working walk in. He did an non stress test and said everything seemed ok and I was probably dehydrated from my cold so go home, rest, drink lots of fluids and if there is any blood or sharp pain go directly to the hospital. So I did just that… all of it.

    On March 31, 2016 around 2am I woke up and went to the bathroom and there was the tiniest bit of blood. I debated (can you believe it, I DEBATED!!!) waking up Michael to go to the hospital but thankfully after months of fighting it I let the little voice win. We packed up a few things because my hospital bag was not ready and we headed out. 

    While waiting in the exam room at the hospital and having nothing to look at but the giant clock on the wall I realized that the cramping that had been going on since weekend were about 3 minutes minutes apart. After the doctor examined me, Michael was told I was being admitted and would not be going home until baby came whether that was in 6 hours or 6 weeks. 

    Later that afternoon after hours of more poking, and ultrasounds Michael was sent home to get my things because I had only thrown a shirt and an extra pair of underwear in my purse because when packing that night I was certain this was not happening. The nurses put me in the bath hoping it would slow labour because I still hadn’t progressed any further than my exam at 3am. 

    At about 2pm my water broke, Michael was still gone and the little voice said you couldn’t have done anything different except pack your hospital bag. Thankfully Michael made it back to the hospital just minutes that felt like hours later and at 2:50pm in a room full of labour delivery nurses, obstetricians, pediatrcians, and a NICU team of nurses and respiratory care specialists our son was born. He cried, Michael cut the chord and he was taken away to be examined by the NICU team. Then he stopped crying…

    Our little bundle was whisked away to the NICU and Michael followed where his journey of several respiratory treatments began to stabilize him. Over the next few days we watched the team of nurses and doctors perform procedures and treatments on him to stabilize his breathing so he could come home, and after 36 days he did. And now he is a happy, healthy, growing far too quickly 8 month old Monkey.

    I will post more about our time in the NICU and how we managed to get through that difficult time soon. 

    Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.