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Monday workout– incline intervals

March 11, 2013

Today when I went to the gym I brought Ella to the childcare for the first time.  I was a nervous mama and really didn’t know what to expect when I brought her there.  I have had the form filled out for a few weeks now but for one reason (Dr appt) or another we just hadn’t made it there.  I wasn’t in a huge rush to leave her in their capable hands, but I knew it would be a good thing to fit into our busy schedule.  I’ve been trying to figure out the best times for me to work out.  Mondays and Wednesdays Sophie is in nursery, so if I could get my workout done either with Ella (a walk on a nice day) or bringing her to the childcare it would be great.  Then the other days in the week Steve could watch the kids or we could do the walking thing as well.

I’ve been nervous because Ella has been a bit clingy since returning from Canada. She is fine for the most part but will play strange with people she doesn’t see often.

Thankfully today though she did well!!  One of the ladies who was working took her out of her car seat for me while I was signing her in and Ella did play strange, but not for long!  It was maybe a minute, if that and then she was all smiles again.  I left for about 50 minutes and when I came back she was fast asleep.

I kept thinking about what Kelly said to me “if they need you, you are literally only a minute away”… and I was…up a flight of stairs in the gym. No biggie.

I did an incline treadmill workout and I was sweatin’!  After a 2 min warm up (walking 4mph) I restarted the treadmill and this is what I did:

Time (mins) Speed (mph) Incline %
1 to 3 4 2
3 to 5 4 5
5 to 7 4 7
7 to 9 3.7 9
9 to 10 3.7 12
10 to 12 6 0
12 to 14 6.5 0
14 to 16 7 0
16 to 17 4 5
17 to 18 4 7
18 to 20 4 9
20 to 21 4 12
21 to 23 3.7 13
23 to 25 3.7 14
25 to 26 3.7 15
26 to 27 6 0
27 to 28 6.5 0
28 to 29 6.9 0
29 to 30 7 0

 

I didn’t write the workout down, but this is basically how it went.  I LOVE doing incline intervals. I love walking at a really high incline and then running it out.  It’s almost like running out the tightness that your legs start to feel when walking on an incline.

Altogether I covered 2.28 miles and climbed 592 feet in 30ish minutes. 

workout summary

I plan to keep doing workouts like this one!!  I’ve found a few great ones like these from Julie at peanut butter fingers.

After ward I did a bit of a strength work out.  Planks, lunges, squats.  I can thank Lindsay for the ideas.  I read her blog post this morning just before going to the gym.  Great timing!

The rest of the day was spent doing house stuff, playing with Ella, a trip to the post office, a grocery shop etc!  It was a busy day!

Lots of time for cuddles though!

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Hope you enjoyed your Monday!

Spring?

March 4, 2013

I really feel like we are getting close to spring.  It must be just around the corner right?

When we were in Canada we had some snow, but I have to admit – after living in England for over six years now and not having to deal with a full Canadian winter I can’t really say I miss the weeks and weeks of snow.

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It was fun to mess around in while we were there, but since i’ve been back from our holiday we haven’t experienced temps below zero and there has been no snow whatsoever.  It’s allowed us to get out for walks and to the park, when it isn’t raining that is.

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On Saturday the four of us went to feed the ducks and take a walk in the park, that ended with an ice cream for Sophie.

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Right around this time of year I always get the desire to get rid of stuff!  Last weekend Steve and I went through our wardrobes and dresser and filled a few bags of clothing to donate.  I’ve also started listing things on eBay.  Some of my maternity clothes are just to nice to get rid of and since they were only worn for a short time and still in such good shape I might as well try to make a few bucks.  I’ve never sold anything on eBay before so here’s hoping it works! 

Today while Sophie was at nursery and Ella was napping I washed all the windows on the main floor of our house.  You know when the sun shines in and you can see the dirt on the window? Drives me crazy!  You’d think I was nesting or something, does that actually happen after the baby is born?

Anyway, I really hope spring is on the way.  I am so happy it’s March.  Lots to look forward to this month.  Ella is 4 months old on Friday, my sisters birthday is Saturday, Mother’s Day is Sunday.  Next weekend we are going to an amusement park for my father in laws birthday (he chose something to do for the kids), Easter is coming up, and we will be springing forward with our clocks.  We will be happier to see daylight a little longer each day!!!

What sorts of things do you do in the spring?  Do you usually “spring clean” your house??

Adventures in babywearing

January 29, 2013

I didn’t use the moby wrap when Sophie was a baby.  I used a carrier probably a handful of times but with Ella I wear her all.the.time.  Maybe it’s a second-baby-there-is-so-much-to-do-with-two-kids thing, but I LOVE it.

I started using the moby within days of Ella’s birth.

*edited to add: I use the Moby D!

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I moved the one panel for picture purposes but it would normally go over her head slightly for support.

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Out for a walk in the first week.

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I absolutely love putting Ella in the moby wrap and she loves it too.  There aren’t many days that go by where I haven’t put her in at least once.  She’s been known to spend three hours at a time in it, and within minutes of putting her in she’s out like a light.

When it was just Sophie and I, when she was an infant – it was easy to sit on the couch all day and hold her while she slept.  Not much got done around the house some days but I didn’t care too much because I loved those days where we would cuddle on the couch.  Now, with the moby I can still hold Ella while she sleeps, but I can do things with Sophie too.  Win win.  There are still some days where things don’t get done in the house but every mom has those days! 

The great thing about the moby is I can do things – like cook (safely), clean, do my make up, play with Sophie, do laundry, go on walks, shop etc.  If worn correctly it is super easy to keep them secure while getting on with daily tasks.

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Perfect for those tired mama days.

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I love how she snuggles.

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I will probably use different carriers as Ella gets older.  I hear the Ergo is a great one, but I also have others at home that I could probably try first! 

Oh and despite all the babywearing we do, I definitely love those moments where we hang out on the couch too.  Sometimes you need to sit and take it all in.  Life is full of all kinds of busy, you know?

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Have you ever used the moby wrap or another type of carrier?

Excuse me while I introduce myself…

January 11, 2013

…again.

Oops. Seriously, I haven’t posted since Ella’s birth story?!

I feel like I have already missed out on posts about this little munchkin’s first couple of months.

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…and her first Christmas.  This picture was actually taken on Dec 9th, at my mother in laws when she had us over for an early Christmas get together as we would not be in England for Christmas.

It was funny, on New Years Day I said to my mom that I was planning on blogging everyday of 2013.  I think that was about 10pm, she said you better get going!  Fat chance on that happening.  But I do have a lot of intentions for this year!

We are in Canada, visiting my family.  I should rephrase – the girls and I are in Canada, and Steve is back home in England.  He was here for three weeks over Christmas and we had an amazing time with the kids and my family but he had to go home to go back to work.  We sure are missing him and we have been able to talk to him each day via skype.

Thankfully while he was here, we got snow!!

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I remember when we were in Canada for Christmas a few years ago, pre kids and we didn’t even get any snow while we were here.  Not this year!

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Sure it is starting to melt, but we really enjoyed it while it lasted.

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When we booked our flights we decided that I would stay with the kids for a few extra weeks to get in wonderful visiting time with my family and friends.  This does mean that I will be flying back to England on my own with my two kids…

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but hey… it’s an over night flight and I am counting on a five letter word: sleep. Please pray for me! haha. Luckily I still have a few more weeks to spend here.

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My nephew Grayson and I!!

Oh and by the way…

Ella is two months old!

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See you soon!

Ella’s birth story

November 22, 2012

I’ve been going over this day in my head for the last two weeks and I’ve found it difficult to come up with words to sum up how unbelievable Nov 8th, 2012 was. 

Two fun facts about this day:

1)  I was supposed to see my midwife at 1:30pm for my 41 week appointment (41 weeks + 1 day- 8 days overdue.. let’s be exact here!).  She was going to do a “sweep” to see if she could get things moving.  She was then going to call the hospital to book an induction date.

and 2)  Steve took this day off work.  He has some extra vacation days to use before the end of Dec, and because I was going to the midwife he wanted to be home just in case things started after I saw my midwife.

Little did we know, our girl had other plans for us!

I had been having braxton hicks contractions for a good few days prior. Probably a week, mostly starting at night when I’d go to bed but never lasting.  The same happened Wednesday night.  I went to bed, had a few braxton hicks contractions, thought nothing of it and went to sleep.  When I woke up around 2am I still had them but they weren’t painful at all. I’d have one every once in a while.  Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows how little sleep you get in the last weeks/days of pregnancy so I was up off and on a lot that night. 4am was the time most mornings when i’d be up for a good hour and I noticed that I was still having these twinges.  Finally around 6am I thought to myself what if this is it?  I got up and had a shower.  By the time I got out of the shower, Sophie was up and I told Steve what I had been experiencing.  I said to him maybe he should get in the shower and we should get Sophie into the bath just in case.  The contractions were definitely more than braxton hicks at this point. They were very irregular, but I knew this had to be more.  We all got dressed and got Sophie some breakfast.  Steve made me a cup of tea and some toast with butter and I bounced on the birthing ball for a while.  By 7:15am we called his mom and told her that we thought she might need to come over, but not to rush.  The plan was always that she would take Sophie for us while we went into hospital, whenever that would be… which as it seemed would be today!  By 8am she was at our house.  I paced the rooms, back and forth from the living room into the kitchen.  We all chatted and I worked through each contraction, which by now some were more painful than others but not unbearable.  They were not regular at all.  Some were 11 minutes apart, some were 6, some were 8.  There was no consistency.

I remember something Steve’s mom said to me that morning:  wouldn’t it be great if you had this baby by lunch time and could be home by tea time?  Right…..right…

As I was working through a couple of contractions,  Sophie would follow me and say “mommy, what you doing?”  I just paced and paced, sometimes stopping to get my breath.  I wondered if she could sense something was going on, but I never wanted her to know I was uncomfortable or in any pain at all.  By 10am I suggested that my mother in law take her out somewhere, and she agreed.  Sophie was getting restless anyway and I thought I could deal better with what was probably to come if she wasn’t there.  My contractions were still irregular.  My midwife had told me when we did my birth plan at 36 weeks that once they were 6-8 mins apart and lasting for 40+ seconds then I was to go in to hospital.  So we waited for that.

Once Sophie left and I knew she was ok and occupied it was almost like my body relaxed and said let’s do this. 10:15am I was on the phone to the hospital telling them what was going on.  I got the same instructions…wait until they become more regular.

10:45am I call my parents.  We’ll be having a baby today! My contractions were becoming more intense and I couldn’t talk through them anymore.  I actually handed Steve the phone while talking to my mom while I had to breathe through one.  This is when we knew we had to go.  My parents were super excited for us, even though I had just woken them up out of bed (it was 5:45am their time!).  I remember asking my mom if she’d be going back to bed, to which she answered of course not.  They were too excited and they wanted updates!

The car ride over was hard work.  Ever have contractions while in a car?  So uncomfortable. You can’t walk around while trying to cope, you can’t bounce on a ball, all you can do is sit there and try to breathe through them.  I had one contraction on the 5 minute journey to the hospital and then another one while waiting for a parking spot.  Steve was getting nervous.  I then had another while walking through the parking lot, then one in the elevator and then one at the desk while checking in at the delivery suite at the hospital.  Yep, this was real!

I got into my room at 11am and  immediately I was checked by the midwife who would be delivering our baby.  I was shocked to find out I was 8-9cm dilated!  I’m pretty sure I said are you kidding?

I asked for some pain relief, but I figured it was too late for an epidural, which was ok with me.  I didn’t have one while delivering Sophie either.  I asked for pethadine though, which I did have when I had Sophie. My midwife went to speak to the head midwife and they suggested that since I was so far along, and the pethadine would pass through the placenta to the baby that I try to labour without it.  I agreed, because I do remember the pethadine last time making me super drowsy when I was trying to push Sophie out and I really didn’t want that again.  I decided I would try the gas and air.  When I had Sophie I tried it and didn’t like it.  This time I figured if this was the only thing that was going to get me through this delivery, I was going to use it.

(Entonox (gas and air) is a colourless, odourless gas made up of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide. It’s also known as laughing gas. It has a calming effect and can take the edge off labour pain, rather than blocking it out). source

So there I was, bouncing on the birthing ball, working through each contraction and sucking back the gas and air.  It helped, big time.  The birthing ball helped.  I did not get off that thing for the next 2.5 hours unless they had to check baby’s heart rate (which was done using a doppler).  All we were waiting for was my water to break.  Once it did, we knew baby would be so close and i’d be ready to push.  We waited and waited.  I bounced through each contraction, Steve pushed on my back through each contraction.  I was having crazy back pain and I kept telling him to push on my lower back as hard as he could.

Finally, my water broke.  My midwife said things would likely back off a bit.  It’s like the body’s way of giving you a break because of what is yet to come.  And sure enough it did.  The contractions eased up, I got to breathe a little easier, have some water and get ready to meet our baby.  I remember looking at the clock;  1:30pm.  I told everyone that I was missing my appointment with the other midwife.  They laughed and said not to worry.  If a woman misses their appointment at 41 weeks pregnant they figure it out:  she’s in labour.

Things did start to pick up again soon after, and I was told our baby would be here in a few contractions.  Well it was a bit more than a few because I would only get an urge to push with every other contraction.  So in six I’d only push for three of them.  This made things feel like they were dragging on but also gave me a break to build up my strength to push again.  I lost track of the time at this point because I could only focus on one thing, meeting our baby.  Soon enough the baby’s head was right there. I was told we didn’t want to deliver baby too quickly so I had to breathe through the next couple contractions even though I wanted to push.  That was hard! They wanted my body to naturally help me deliver our baby.  And that’s exactly what happened.

2:14pm, our baby was here!

In my birth plan I had said that I wanted Steve to tell me the sex of the baby.  The midwives were great with this and held the baby up in front of us.  Poor Steve didn’t even get a chance to tell me before I said it’s a girl!!  I couldn’t help myself in the moment!  They immediately placed her on my stomach to clean her off and she began to cry.  I saw tons of dark hair, the most beautiful pink skin and gorgeous big eyes looking back at me.  We kept telling her how pretty she was and we were so excited to meet her after all this time.

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Steve was an amazing coach.  He did everything I asked (haha, I know that sounds funny but he didn’t know the back labour I was feeling!!!), and he encouraged me throughout the whole thing.  When we were at home he kept me relaxed (labouring mostly at home was the best thing ever), and once we got to the hospital he kept me focused.  The midwives…I cannot say enough about them!  They were amazing.  They did not leave me from the moment I arrived at the hospital until we were okay once Ella was born.  They coached me through the hardest part (the delivery) and chatted with me about all things in between contractions (topics like Canada, if we’d have more kids, my job etc). 

Ella had all of her checks done after we had some skin to skin contact for a while.  She passed everything with flying colours.  I was told if I wanted to we could go home that evening.  I would just have to feed Ella twice before we went to make sure she was latching okay and we both needed to be checked again later on that day.  I was so excited to get home, not only to be in our own home with Ella but also to see Sophie.  She had no idea what her mommy and daddy had been up to that day and we really wanted to introduce her to her little sister!

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After feeding and more check ups by the midwives and paediatrician we were allowed to go home.  7:30pm we were on our way!

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Remember what my mother in law said to me that morning?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had this baby by lunch time and could be home by tea time?

Unbelievable!  I woke up at 6am that day knowing something was happening.  I was home nearly 14 hours later with our new baby girl, Ella Elizabeth.

She is such a little blessing.  She completes our family in ways that I didn’t know were possible.  She is loved by so many people and she doesn’t even know it yet xo

Introducing Ella Elizabeth

November 13, 2012

41 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  Last Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 2:14pm.  That was the magic day. 

8 days overdue, our little girl decided to join us in this world!

7lbs 14oz of pure love.

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We are overjoyed to have another daughter, to give Sophie a sister and finally meet the little one who had been there all along, but we didn’t know it.  Our little Ella.

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That moment when she was born was surreal…it all went very quick and could not have gone better.  I’ll be back to post the birth story later this week but wanted to at least post and say she’s here!  Most of you likely know by now anyway, so as I think more about her birth and continue getting use to life with two, i’ll leave you with a few more pics.

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Five days old with her big sister.

41 weeks!

November 7, 2012

Other possible titles for this post…

Baby will not budge.

I must be really comfortable in there.

Baby has his/her own agenda.

On September 26th I wrote a post.. See it here.

Titled 5 weeks to go.  And in that post I said After all, from here on out I never know when things could happen (hopefully I am not saying that 6 weeks from now).

Famous last words right? haha!  It is literally 6 weeks to the day since that post, and here I am – still pregnant!  I think I would be going just a little more crazy if I didn’t have Sophie to keep me occupied on a daily basis.  We fill our days with so much that they fly by and I cannot believe that I sit here 7 days over due.  You know the saying.. where does the time go?  Yup, that.

I took a picture on my due date. Here I am in all of my 40 week glory!

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I haven’t taken a picture today yet, but I will likely get one at some point.  There isn’t a huge amount of change going on.  Huge being the important word here.  I feel it!  Generally though, I am okay.. nights are the worst, to sleep, to get comfortable, when the Braxton Hicks contractions really kick in and I always think is this it?  Then I wake up the next morning and realise.. no, it definitely was not.  Still pregnant. hehe. 

Let’s break this post down a bit more to cover what we’ve been doing lately.

Fun activities with Sophie..

Dance.  She’s LOVING it, and i’m loving watching her.  I bought her some new black shoes last week and she wore them around the house singing “heel and toe, heel and toe.”

Being outside.  Kids just do not feel the cold.  It isn’t super cold here –but it sure isn’t summer.  Steve took her out on his bike the other day for the first time (he just bought it… we’re so wishing he had it this past summer).

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I was a super nervous mama and kept looking out the window to see if they were home every 5 minutes.  I tried to distract myself with a shower, some laundry and other odds and ends. She came home and told me all about it. Apparently she said “faster!” the majority of the time.

We also have a new to us bike that we got handed down from our niece Emily who has outgrown it.  We got it this past June but Sophie was too small for it then.  She’s had a bit of a growth spurt and fits on it pretty well with a little adjusting of the handle bars.  Lots to grow into, though she can peddle just fine. 

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(yes the helmet looks a little high and wonky because I put her hat on underneath, trying to keep her head warm AND safe at the same time.  We might have to fix this).

Before we went out yesterday..

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Cheese!!

I love her “cheese” expression.. as evidenced in other pictures!

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CHEESE!

She’s such a ham.  Open your eyes honey! hehe.

And lastly, (the list could go on)..

Fireworks.

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Sitting with Grandma waiting for the show in our backyard to start.

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Weee! Sparklers!! 

I could fill this post with a ton more, like how she saw Disney on Ice on Sunday.  I could post the blurry pictures from the play centre the other day (girl does not sit still).  It has been so great for me to be off work and spending so much time with her.  We’ve been filling our days with lots to do.  As a full time working mom I always wondered how SAHMs fill their days.  Obviously there is the regular household stuff to do, which I do plenty of, but there are many activities to be done with a toddler as well.  I don’t want to spend my maternity leave in the house, but I also don’t want to break the bank either.  So, it’s my goal to find fun things to do to keep us having fun, learning and just generally enjoying the time.  I suppose it’s finding that balance!

Any stay at home moms out there?  What’s your fav thing to do with your kids?  How do you find that balance?

Well, hopefully the next time I post I will have someone new to introduce you all to!  See you soon!

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