More Women Turning to Hypnosis for All Phases of Child Birth07.22.14

Guest Post By Colin Christopher

When you say the word hypnosis, many people instantly think of people in a stage show being magically transformed to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. But the truth is hypnosis is much more than that, and carries many benefits throughout all stages of pregnancy, helping women to cope with everything from morning sickness, pain and the actual delivery.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate Middleton, underwent hypnotherapy to treat food aversion and morning sickness related to her pregnancy. Since then, expecting moms everywhere are wondering if hypnosis is right for them. The simple answer is yes because after all, hypnosis is an all-natural therapy, but if there are any medical complications related to your pregnancy and your doctor doesn’t want you to do it, always take his or her advice.

Medical professionals have used hypnosis and self-hypnosis techniques since the 1930s to help expecting moms achieve physical comfort and relaxation. Other benefits to hypnosis for pregnancy are shorter labour and quicker recovery; it can help a woman sleep better and deeper; it can lower blood pressure; it can help keep the mom to be in a more positive state of mind and also avoid postpartum depression; and it can help alleviate heartburn, nausea and morning sickness.

When starting out, it is best to use hypnosis in the afternoon or evening when the physical symptoms are less. This helps the patient stay more focused and relaxed. Hypnosis can be done with a certified clinical hypnotherapist, and similar self-hypnosis techniques can be used alone by the patient. If you decide to work with a professional hypnotherapist, it is highly recommended you make sure they are certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners, or similar organization.

How it works

The process usually begins by having the patient lie down and begin taking slow and even deep breathes for about five minutes. With the patient fully relaxed, the hypnotherapist will then proceed to offer suggestions out loud. These same suggestions can be made by your spouse or a trusted partner.

A few examples:

- Your stomach is calm and relaxed.
- You are calm, relaxed and feeling strong.
- Your baby is calm, relaxed and healthy.
- The more relaxed you feel the calmer and more comfortable your stomach feels.
- The more comfortable your stomach feels the easier it is to focus your mind and remain calm and clearheaded.

- As you feel your head clear, you feel that you can eat what is nourishing to you and your baby, and as you do, your stomach feels calm and comfortable.

These are just the most common suggestions that are made during hypnosis, but you can replace these suggestions with some that are more personalized to your situation. If you’re worried that you won’t be a good mom, for example, come up with suggestions that reinforce the reasons why you will be a good mom.

Additionally, the hypnotherapist or spouse can reinforce the suggestions physically, by putting their hand on the woman’s stomach. As they put their hand on the stomach (or instruct the pregnant woman to use her own hand), they make a verbal suggestion by saying, “Any time you don’t feel well, you feel better when you put a hand on your stomach. When you put a hand on
your stomach it feels calm and comfortable and your mind becomes clear and focused on your health and well-being.”

This physical touching combined with the suggestion forms an association, so even when the pregnant woman is not hypnotized and she begins to feel nauseated, she can trigger the subconscious suggestions with the simple physical touch of her hand.

The reason hypnosis works so well is because the conscious mind acts as a gatekeeper to the subconscious mind, and under hypnosis we can make the conscious mind inactive, allowing us access to the subconscious mind. This allows us to get deep into the part of the brain that deals with the reactions to stress, pain, emotions and more. In a sense, hypnotherapy can reprogram your beliefs that birth will be comfortable, easy and exciting.

Many women are apprehensive at first when trying hypnosis, and for that reason it’s important they know they are always in control and will never do anything against their will. A person under hypnosis can come out of it whenever they choose. In most cases, after the first session, most women are eager to get back to a hypnotic state because it makes them feel better, more confident and relaxed about their pregnancy.

Colin Christopher is a clinical hypnotherapist certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. In his clinical hypnotherapy practice, Colin works with expecting mothers to make pregnancy relaxing, less painful and more enjoyable. He is author of the book Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make or Break You. Visit www.easybabybirth.com, http://www.colinchristopher.com/, and www.stmbook.com

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We night weaned! (Again!)07.18.14

2014-01-28 17.09.36Imagine this post was about night-weaning my 16 month old Bug. It’s not– it’s about night-weaning his 3.5 year old sister!

Until about a month ago I was nursing Babe to sleep every night and nap and quite honestly hating it. On top of it, she’d wake multiple times to nurse, as would Bug. I spent hours, daily, nursing two kids to sleep and spent my nights rolling back and forth nursing whoever asked. It sounds crazy. It was. And now it’s done. These days Bug nurses throughout the night (he’s getting four molars!) but I don’t even care. Nursing one child all night is a walk in the park!

I was nursing Babe through the night  because it was, believe it or not, the easiest option. Before Bug was born we successfully night weaned our 2.5 year old in anticipation of Bug’s arrival. But when he was born I somehow started nursing her again–all night.

Her world imploded when her brother arrived Earthside. Maybe it was guilt or maybe fatigue or ambivalence. However it happened I started nursing her at night again for a full year! Then I decided not to anymore.

There wasn’t much drama, but cutting out nursing at night wasn’t the first step, it was cutting out nursing her to sleep. I still do it once or twice a week when Papa is at work but our new routine has changed my life– it’s changed all of our lives.

Now Babe gets five minutes of milk in bed then she falls asleep as Papa reads to her. Sometimes it takes a long time. In the beginning she really wasn’t into it but now she looks forward to it. And tonight, she even cut her five minutes short.

“There’s no milk left,” she reported. “Let’s save the other side for the baby.”

I don’t know when Babe will wean but on nights like tonight I finally see that one day she actually will.

 

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How to Practice Safe Sun06.30.14

Summer weather has arrived and it’s time to lather on the sunscreen, right!? Well, maybe not.

Despite consistent sunscreen use, the rate of new melanoma cases – the most dangerous type of skin cancer – continues to increase.

Experts debate whether this is due to the harmful chemicals found in many sunscreen products, a lack of UVA protection, the decrease in Vitamin D production, or a false sense of security which may be encouraging people to spend more time in the sun.

Whatever the reason, sunscreen should be chosen carefully and used in combination with other protective measures. Read below for my ‘safe sun’ tips!

Guest Post by Megan Pennington

1 – Don’t get burned

Studies show that people who spend more time outdoors, but do not get a sunburn, actually decrease their risk of developing melanoma. Staying inside all the time is not the answer!

2 – Wear Clothes/Accessories

Even on overcast days, UVA light can still cause skin damage. Shirts, pants, sarongs, hats, and sunglasses all provide excellent protection.

3 – Find Shade

Sit under a tree, or create your own shade using a big umbrella or canopy. This is especially important for the little ones.

4 – Don’t Forget Vitamin D

Vitamin D production requires short periods of unprotected sun exposure. See my article on Optimizing Your Vitamin D to ensure you’re getting enough, as this may be a key factor in cancer prevention.

5 – Diet Counts

Antioxidants found in certain foods can help protect against sun (and other environmental) damage. Such foods include colourful fruits and vegetables, cocoa, green tea, and fish.

 6 – Use Sunscreen – With Caution

Most commercial sunscreens rate Moderate to High risk for your health! (See Skin Deep ). When prolonged sun exposure is inevitable, check out EWG’s Sunscreen Guide for details on how to choose a safe and effective sunscreen.

Megan is a Naturotherapist, Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach based in Montreal. For more information, check out www.mpHolisticNutrition.com

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Why I shaved my head05.22.14

babe3The other night, I put the kids in the bathtub and shaved my head. #5, #4, #3, #2.

It was not a very meaningful moment, though I sort of expected it to be. I’ve given myself haircuts (much less drastic ones) before and wept in the mirror. Not this time. I cleaned up and went about my evening.

It really was a test to see how attached I am to my hair–to my appearance. And it would seem I really am not. I used to be. Most people are, I think. I spent so many tears, crying about bad haircuts and how ugly I looked. Bad dye jobs, difficulty getting my curls straight enough. I had an undercut, a mushroom cut, a mullet, extensions, red, blue, green, purple, black, brown, orange, dreadlocks… Seriously, name it.

My grandma always said, “Your hair is your beauty.” I wonder if she still thinks that. Over the years she’s allowed it to be its beautiful white self. No orange dye, no perm! She hasn’t seen my shaved head yet. I don’t imagine she’d like it. Though she always talked about how round my forehead is and now it’s even more visible.

I had short hair as a teenager and always felt more masculine than I liked. But a couple months before I shaved it, I cut it fairly short and still felt feminine. How can you not feel feminine when you’ve given birth twice recently and you’re always breastfeeding?! I feel quite feminine now, even with this shaved head.

When I say I shaved my head for Babe, I mean this. She is gorgeous. Blue eyes, blonde ringlets. She gets multiple comments a day from strangers and non strangers about her looks.

“Comment t’es belle”
“Look at that beautiful hair”

And so on. Like it matters! She’s starting to ask if she “looks beautiful,” usually with regard to the outfit she’s chosen. Like it matters.

Papa and I repeat. “Yes, you look beautiful, but it’s more important to be nice (or gentle or funny…)

I want my kids to know their hair is not their beauty. Their soul is, their heart is. Nothing else matters.

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Profile of a Modern Mother: 8 Facts That Will Surprise You05.18.14

Guest post by Dr. Eve Feinberg

Since the first official Mother’s Day in 1914, the profile of a modern mother has drastically changed. The statistics show that women are avoiding marriage, delaying childbearing, utilizing fertility technology to become pregnant, freezing their eggs to stop the biological clock, and using donor eggs to have children.

Here are eight facts about modern mothers that will surprise you:

1. The modern mother may not be married.
According to the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, 48 percent of all first-time births in the United States are now to unmarried women.

2. The modern mother is older.
Older women have shown the highest increase in birth rate. According to the CDC, the birth rate in 2012 for women ages 40-44 was 10.4 births per 1,000, the highest rate reported in 33 years. The birth rate in 2012 for women ages 35-39 increased to 48.3 births per 1,000. Birth rates among women in their early 20s hit a new record low, and births declined among women ages 25-

3. The modern mother is familiar with fertility treatment.
Approximately one or two of every 100 babies born in the U.S. is born as a result of advanced fertility treatments.

4. The modern mother may be a stay-at-home mom.
Pew Research recently found that the number of stay-at-home rose to 29 percent, up from 23 percent in 1999.

5. The modern mother may work full-time.
When mothers with children under age 18 were asked whether they would prefer to work full time, Pew Research found that mothers preferring full-time work has grown to 32 percent in 2012 from 20 percent in 2007.

6. The modern mother may have conceived using in vitro fertilization.
IVF is responsible for over five million babies born since its inception. According to the latest findings from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 61,740 babies were born as a result of IVF or other fertility procedures in 2012, the highest number in history so far.

7. The modern mother may have frozen her eggs for future use.
Women choosing to freeze eggs and stop the biological clock continues to grow in popularity, particularly since the American Society of Reproductive Medicine removed the experimental label from the procedure in 2013. Doctors estimate that over 5,000 babies have been born with eggs frozen for fertility preservation.

8. The modern mother may have children from donor eggs.
In 2012 16,858 embryos were created from donor egg and used in fertility treatment, up from 11,627 in 2003 (SART).

Author Bio: Dr. Eve Feinberg is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Medical Director for the Center for Fertility Preservation at Fertility Centers of Illinois. She has helped countless couples and individuals achieve the dream of parenthood, and personally overcame infertility to have a family. www.fcionline.com

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How I saved my family from a burning barn (My PPD story)05.05.14

tandemI’ve been waiting for months to publish this post. Waiting till the time was right. Waiting till I was better. And I am. Better than ever.

If you haven’t heard it already, postpartum depression can happen to anyone. I thought if I knew the signs it wouldn’t happen to me. But it did.

Why I am choosing to publish this post now is that I am finally off the antidepressants I started taking nine or ten months ago.  I feel like myself again. A better self, even. Likely thanks to all the meditation and yoga I make time for.

I don’t know why it’s the image that is conjured up whenever I think of my PPD, but I see my whole family in a barn being swallowed by flames. I was the only one who could extinguish the fire and I was the one who set the barn ablaze.

I let the fire burn for months. Then I got help.

I was in denial. I was too “proud” to admit I had PPD. I was very adverse to the thought of taking brain-altering meds. Finally things got really bad.

  • I kicked holes in the wall.
  • I cried daily, more than once.
  • I was terrified my kids were going to die. Babe specifically.
  • I yelled a lot.
  • I slept a lot. It was hard to get out of bed.
  • I wanted out. My perfect escape took many forms.
  • I was too anxious to leave the house.
  • I dreaded being left alone with both kids.

I knew I needed to seek help when Babe had a fever and it gave me a full-on panic attack. She had a heat rash and I spent the day vomiting. And my breaking point was a painful altercation with a close family member. I was pushed too far.

I started seeing a counsellor who specializes in postpartum adjustment. Speaking with Carly once a week did wonders for me. She helped me cope with Babe’s behaviour “issues.” She was hitting kids at the park. It was embarrassing and I felt like it was all my fault.

My mom flew here from BC to help. While she was here she mostly helped by taking care of Babe and giving me some room to breathe. She helped me pick up some of the pieces. But I realized while she was here that therapy and placenta pills alone were not enough. Fish oil and aura cleansing might have helped too but I needed something more.

A friend I respect very much told me she once went on antidepressants at a tough time in her life. She gave me the analogy of a room so messy you don’t know where to start the job. The medication helped her to find somewhere in the room to stand as she started to get things sorted out.

That day, instead of taking her up on her terrifying invitation to go to a spa in silent meditation, I went to a private clinic and walked out with a year-long prescription for Cipralex.

I’m not necessarily advocating for psychotropic drugs but I do think that in life or death situations they have their place. I reluctantly took the medication for my family. I needed to be there for them and stop worrying about stigmas that came with taking these pills. Things got drastically better. The medication and therapy made every day life possible. Anxiety lifted, as did depression.

Those dark days are now a blur. Things are so good now that I have to ask my husband, closest friends and my mom to remind me just how bad it was. I never had the common PPD symptom of a disconnect with the new baby, on the contrary, he brought sunshine to the gloomiest days. He still does!

The closest things I take to medication now are those good old placenta pills I left waiting in the fridge when I started my Cipralex. I drink a few drops of Rescue Remedy daily as well as a spoon of Fermented Cod Liver Oil. I take care of my health with good nutrition yoga, which is exercise for the body, mind and soul.

That’s the story of the burning barn. I’m thankful to everyone who helped me, especially my beautiful husband and my mom. And am thankful I found the courage to allow myself to be helped. If you read this and think you might have PPD, please get help. You owe it to your family and to yourself.

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Mom and baby yoga– it is what it is!05.01.14

melanieThe other day, three year old Babe said to me, “It is what it is.” Where did you hear that? I asked her. She said she heard it in her yoga class! Ha! Babe doesn’t go to yoga class, but she’s got the right idea.

Mom and baby yoga is fun and sometimes stressful. It’s a place to relax and a place to get in shape. A place to meet other moms and feel normal. It’s a place to go to with zero expectations because things will NEVER go as planned! So when Babe said, “it is what it is,” I thought maybe she remembered the classes we did together when she was only a few months old. Maybe that’s the class she was talking about!

With mom and baby yoga we need to surrender to the possible chaos. We need to breathe through it. We need to accept the situation and our babies and our bodies and the bodies and babies of all the other mamas there on the mats with us! It’s the perfect way to practice yoga. Acceptance!

Since doing my Radiant Child Yoga certification I’ve really launched into yoga in a bigger way than ever. Especially mom and baby yoga. I have my own practice and teach children’s yoga, but on the mom and baby front I teach twice a week, am doing a special formation in it once a week and also attend weekly classes with Bug. At this very moment I see mom and baby yoga from all of the sides! (Except the baby’s side but I can’t figure out how I could make that work… I have to use my imagination!)

 I am more than half way through a 40 hour mom and baby training at Equilibrium with Jayme Hernandez, a remarkable woman who three years ago taught me all about yoga in birth which allowed me to have a glimmer of control during Babe’s hospital birth. I heard Jayme’s voice guiding me to use low voice vibration through my contractions. My best memory of that first birth was using this in the shower with Papa at St. Mary’s Hospital, the outside world blocked out. It was amazing.
And I now have the pleasure of taking part in Jayme’s first mom and baby teacher training and I am learning so much. Yes, I’m already teaching mom and baby yoga but the learning never stops. Jayme’s classes are inspiring me and getting me to the deeper spiritual level that I’ve felt like I was having a hard time invoking in my classes these past few months. I come out of the training buzzing with thoughts and ideas for the moms I teach. We learn things in theory, using our baby dolls. We imagine what teaching a class of eight moms and newborns would feel like. We observe moms and babies as Jayme teaches her beautiful classes. Next week we practice teach our classmates.
The classes that Bug and I take with Melanie Faucher at her studio, Espace Shanti are also huge learning for me. I’m IN the mom and baby class. MY baby is the one that is potentially “disrupting” the other students. MY baby is the one who might spend most of the class wanting to nurse. Maybe he’ll regurgitate on the mat. Maybe his diaper will explode. Maybe we’ll be late for class. Maybe I’ll be too tired from a sleepless night to “properly” participate. I need a pen and paper beside me throughout the class because it’s the class I’m in but I can’t help but take it on as further training. I don’t even have words to describe Melanie. She is my teacher, business associate and friend and I feel so grateful the universe brought us together.
And the classes I teach. This is where all my learning is put into motion. I currently teach two groups of mom and babies and I am in love. I was originally worried about teaching adults (because kids yoga is a whole different thing!) but the more I do it, the more I believe it’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
Mom and baby yoga– that’s what it is!

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Common Misconceptions about Getting Pregnant in Your 40s04.23.14

Easter-eggs-bg Guest Post by Heidi Hayes

These days, many women choose to have children later in life. While celebrities like Kelly Preston and Halle Berry have gotten pregnant in their 40s, it’s not as easy as one might think. I went through my own personal struggle with infertility, and was able to have a family through adoption and using donor egg.
After my experiences, I wanted to help others understand there are options available, and not to give up on the family you long for. Through Donor Egg Bank USA, a national frozen donor egg bank, I have helped hundreds of women who have overcome infertility and now have a baby. Here is some information that I wish someone had told me when I was trying to conceive a family.
Common misconceptions about pregnancy in your 40s:

  1. Celebrities are having kids at age 46. Isn’t it easy?There are many celebrity mothers who are having kids in their 40s. While it is statistically unlikely that some older celebrities are having children without any assistance, it is important not to compare your experiences to others. Some celebrities share their experiences with infertility, but most do not.Pregnancy is easy in your 40s.
  2. Once you reach age 40, there is only a five percent chance you will get pregnant in any given month (compared to 20 percent at age 30). Pregnancy is possible, but women need to know the most valuable and irreversible factor impacting success is time. This is largely due to a steady decline in egg quality that begins when a woman is in her early 30s and then accelerates in the late 30s.
  3. Only women struggle with fertility issues
    For men and women in their 20s, there is an equal chance of problems with infertility in either partner. For couples with a female partner in her late 30s or 40s, the chance of infertility due to egg quality rises dramatically.
  4. The age of a man doesn’t matter when trying to conceive
    Age can make a difference in both men and women. A study in Nature found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of autism and schizophrenia, which experts say may be one of the factors in the rise of autism diagnosis in recent years. The increase in medical problems with advancing male age is very small; the autism increase may be from 1 in 150 in the general population to 1 in 100 for men over 50. As women age, the chances of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome increase. These abnormalities typically occur due to a decrease in the quality of the egg with aging. A 25-year-old woman has a 1/1000 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. The chance is 1/30 in a 44-year-old using her own eggs.
  5. You can only get pregnant using your own eggs
    According a recent study by Fertility and Sterility, 40-year-old women treated for infertility have a 25 percent chance of achieving pregnancy using their own eggs. By age 43 that number drops to 10 percent, and by 44 it becomes 1.6 percent. For those who are unable to use their own eggs, the good news is that women can achieve pregnancy success using donor eggs regardless of her age. Women at age 40 using donor egg give birth at a rate of roughly 45 percent, a success rate higher than younger women using their own eggs. The high success rate for recipients using egg donation does not decline with age.
  6. If you’re healthy and fit, you’ll get pregnant with ease
    You’re in great shape. You run half marathons, eat organic and fit into a size six. But the truth is that eating nutritiously and maintaining a healthy weight can boost fertility and help balance ovulatory disorders, but it does not affect your ovarian supply and the health of your eggs.
  7. Older mothers are less likely to have twins
    It may come as a surprise that older mothers have a higher likelihood of conceiving twins. As a woman ages, her follicle stimulating hormone increases. FSH develops eggs inside the ovaries prior to being released into the fallopian tubes. High FSH levels can cause two or more eggs to release, which can result in twins. The likelihood of spontaneously conceived twins rises from 1/80 in a 25-year-old to 1/40 in a 42-year-old. Higher FSH levels are also associated with declining fertility, which means follicles may work overtime and release more eggs to compensate for lowering fertility. Twin rates have also increased due to general fertility treatment and patients choosing to transfer multiple embryos. The latest data shows that twin rates are declining as many women choose to transfer one embryo.
  8. If you’re entering menopause, you can’t have a baby
    There’s a 10-year stretch of perimenopause that precedes the complete cessation of menstrual function, which is known as menopause. The quality of a woman’s eggs during this time is significantly reduced and the chances of conceiving decline sharply. The chance of a miscarriage, for those who do conceive, is significantly increased. For women beginning perimenopause, which includes the months or years preceding menopause, a pregnancy may still be possible. A pregnancy will depend on where your body is at in the perimenopausal process. To increase the chances of success and save time, both parties should undergo basic fertility testing.
  9. Your family is very fertile, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant
    It’s true that there is a genetic component to ovarian function and a correlation between your mother’s and grandmother’s ability to conceive at an older age. However, this is a very limited factor and cannot provide significant reassurance. Conversely, if there is a history of early menopause in your family this will raise the likelihood of a problem. Your fertility potential and egg supply is individual. If your grandmother had her last baby at 43 and your mother had infertility at 41, this does not make your chances of conception any higher or lower.
  10. Having a baby with donor egg doesn’t make you the biological mom
    The egg donor is a genetic donor who provides the egg cell and half of the DNA in the creation of each baby, but the woman who carries the pregnancy provides the biological environment to allow the embryo and baby to thrive. The woman who intends to parent is the true mother of the child. Motherhood is a conscious choice, regardless of how a baby is conceived or born.

Author Bio: Heidi Hayes is a mother of three through adoption and donor egg. After her personal experiences with infertility and professional experience in the infertility industry, she now helps others achieve their dreams of having a family as the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA, a national frozen donor egg bank.

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Baby Gourmet Plus review and giveaway04.19.14

unnamedThe day we received our Baby Gourmet Plus samples, the whole family had been sick. Babe, especially didn’t feel like eating because her throat hurt. These sweet little squishy packs saved the day! She ate only these pouches and breastmilk for a couple days straight. Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows I’m pretty picky about what my kids eat. I have no problem with them eating these.

The pureed snack is made of 100% organic fruits and vegetables.
We did the Baby Led Weaning thing with both kids. Maybe I’m lazy but I hate spoon-feeding. I like to eat my food and I like for my kids to eat theirs.  These pouches make self-feeding on the go very easy.
Before Babe was a year old, a friend introduced us to Baby Gourmet’s pouches. She always had them in her diaper bag or car for a quick and easy snack. I started to do the same. The reason I love them in the car is purées are really tough to choke on (age depending, I guess, but my kids are one and three). I’m more comfortable with Babe eating applesauce than an apple, for example, when she’s in her carseat. Baby Gourmet pouches are the ultimate travel food.
To make this review honest and balanced: These are convenience items and with convenience items, there is waste. I’ve made peace with the waste that comes with these once in a while snacks.

unnamedBaby Gourmet had generously sent us a good-sized box of each flavour of Baby Gourmet Plus:

  • Coconut, Kiwi & Mangosteen with quinoa (dairy is Greek yogurt)
  • Yumberries with Plum & Ancient Grains (dairy is Greek yogurt)
Neither flavour lasted long.  Both kids loved each of the flavours equally, I’d say. Bug doesn’t speak yet and I got a different answer from Babe depending on which one she was eating whenever I asked. I don’t even know which I liked best–probably the Coconut one, but it’s a pretty tough call!
The other day I gave the very last one to Babe and the kids literally fought over it. Some made it in their mouths but they needed a change of clothes.
If you’d like to give Baby Gourmet Plus a shot, you can find it at Walmart, Target, Maxi, Provigo and Loblaws. Or better yet, enter the Rafflecopter below to win a box of each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Happy birthday, Bug!04.18.14

applecheeksI had what felt like all the time in the world to blog during Babe’s first year. Rather than a baby book I pretty much recorded it all right here.

Bug. Baby number two, I love you every bit as much as I love your big Sis but life kicked my butt this year. I haven’t had much time to record your first everything. Also though, how much does it really matter?
I’m in bed, nursing both kids to sleep, writing this out on my phone. It’s two days before Bug’s birthday but who knows when I’ll end up posting this!
At a year old, Bug is walking. He’ll take more than five steps and fall. He’s getting better every day. Watching him grow at this important time in his life is phenomenal. I don’t feel like I in any way missed Babe’s first year but I was working a lot more and she was in daycare. I saw her first step– at daycare. I probably blogged about it. Bug, however, has been taking steps for a while. Maybe a month, maybe two weeks. I really don’t know. But I’ve lived it. No one is in daycare now. They’re with mom or dad, as I feel they should be.
Bug has eight teeth.
When you say hello, he puts his hand to his ear like he’s on the phone. I don’t know why bit it’s adorable. He also does the sign for “all done.”
He doesn’t talk much. Mama, papa and “tien,” which means “here you go” in French. He never stops babbling though. He is a big, noisy boy. Always has been.
He weighs more than 30lbs now, in size 24m.
He is always in a great mood. Huge smile. But he’s very sensitive. His lower lip comes out so far when he’s offended. It’s so exaggerated it’s hard not to laugh.
His sister is the absolute light of his life.
Oh, this last year has been the hardest year of my life but I am so glad to have you, my sweet Bug.

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