07 February 2012

Booster Juice, I don't need you anymore

As part of my 90 day commitments, I'm drinking smoothies and/or shakes as part of my healthy eating plan. (Yes, I've read about the perils of smoothies, and I'm aware of and ok with them.)

One of my FAVOURITE indulgences in days gone by were Booster Juice-type smoothies. They always seemed IMPOSSIBLE to replicate at home, but at up to $6 a pop, they were hard to justify.

Not anymore! Lol!

Berry mango smoothie
1 cup Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango Fruit Smoothie
1 1/2 cups Western Family Bite Size Blend frozen fruit
1/4 cup water
1 scoop (30g) Kaizen Naturals natural whey - vanilla ice cream flavour
--> blend well. (I use a hand blender and a 1 litre wide-mouth mason jar - less dishes than using a full-size blender!)

Mmmmmm yum!!!

The protein shake mix (Kaizen Naturals) I use is the best I've found (and actually, Todd found it!): whey (not soy) isolate and concentrate, stevia (NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, flavours or colours), GLUTEN FREE, 24g protein to 1g sugars, AND.... It's only $27.99 at Superstore for a 30 day supply (at 1 shake a day). Plus, and I tell you, I've tried a LOT of shake mixes, it is the BEST TASTING one too. I actually like it plain with just milk.

And no, I don't work for Kaizen, nor do I get any benefit from this post. I just feel that people should know that they have AFFORDABLE options for shake mixes, that do the same things, if not better than the expensive ones. :)


05 February 2012

Process Vs. Product

I know the theory behind process vs. product when dealing with kids. I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree with it, because my generation was taught at a very young age: product > process, and thus there are many people like me who struggle with the fact that we can't be perfect at everything (not so good for self-esteem!).

But sometimes, there are instances when a project DOES need a product, and it ISN'T all about the process. And I think that teaching kids that too is important. So that they understand that in life, there is a time and place to be focused on your product and not just the experience.

Case in point: homemade Valentine's cards. There are 15 other kids in Xman's class and 6 other kids in Shanman's class. To not complete the product would mean that a) some kids would get left out, or b) mummy would do it all. Two unacceptable options in my book.

My compromise?
The boys chose their colours, I made the elements and then guided the crazies in the assembly process.

The result?
Two happy boys who got to glue (X got to cut out too, his latest obsession), and put stickers on, their cards for their classmates.

We got product AND process, and I didn't yell or pull my hair out in frustration.

Yes! Win-win-win!

(The pictures are my "template" on the left, and 4 of each of their interpretations of the template on the right. Red and orange were X's chosen colours and blue and purple were Shan's.)

04 February 2012

Question: Do you share your breastfeeding photos online?

The Facebook debacle.  How many blog posts have been written about his?  *sigh*  I shudder to think of the real estate that is being occupied by this idiotic situation, when TRULY, it is avoidable.

***** If you are just reading/hearing about this now, go check out this page: FB! Stop.. and this regularly-updated blog post on Jodine's World to read the history of the most recent chapter in Facebook's persistence in being a bully and participating in the digital harrassment of breastfeeding mothers worldwide. *****

Boba, a baby carrier maker, posted this pic on the facebook page on 2 February, with the caption: "Press *LIKE* if have photos of your baby breastfeeding. Do you share them online?"

How cute is this pic?!?! LOL!
And I posted this in the comments:
"yes I do. I LOVE my pics of breastfeeding my boys. breastfeeding has been SO HARD for us, and there have been different challenges with each of my 3 boys, but amidst the tears and the struggles, we have succeeded, against all odds. I've been breastfeeding for a combined total of 50 months, none of my boys have ever had a drop of formula, and we're still going strong with baby #3. And I'm PROUD of that fact. Because it's NOT easy for everyone. And because I had NO ONE close to me to help me. If breastfeeding was NORMAL, and everyone SAW it, perhaps I'd have had someone in my life I could call on, to help me through the pain, the spasms, the pinching, the blood, help me with latch, with nursing strikes, with mastitis, with supply issues, etc etc. But it's NOT NORMAL. Even though "they" say it is, here in North America, it's not. Breastfeeding isn't even allowed on Sesame Street anymore. Breastfeeding needs to be RE-NORMALISED, and how else to do it than by making breastfeeding photos NO BIG DEAL? And how do we make them NO BIG DEAL? By posting them, by dealing with the backlash, and by desensitizing our society to the sight of *gasp* a non-sexual breast, and a baby feeding as God designed it to do: at the breast.

I feel that our goal, as "those militant lactivists who post their breastfeeding photos" is that we WANT people to say "meh, whatever, another breastfeeding photo." You don't have to think it's beautiful like we do.... but it should be commonplace, and NO. BIG. DEAL. I do NOT want people to be gawking at my boob. FAR FROM IT. I want to feed my baby when he's hungry, without people getting all up in my face. I want my grandchildren to be breastfed when they need it. I want my great-grandchildren to be breastfed when they need it. I don't want their mothers to feel the shame of feeding their children in public like so many do today. Because that is sad. Sad that any mother should feel shame in providing for her baby. And it IS NOT NECESSARY."
Not long after I posted it, a few people (including the lovely Emma Kwasnica, and Jennifer V T) shared the second paragraph with their peeps... and as I read it back again, this response is probably the best I've pulled out in regards to the photo debacle. 
Sometimes, I can be eloquent, but others, when emotion comes into play, well, I become a cursing, blubbering moron.  I was apparently calm enough to articulate my views on this heated debate in a way that I feel proud of my communication skills.  LOL.  (So yes, folks, English class in school DOES have a purpose.)  I wanted to post it on here for posterity, oh, and for a broader audience than just the likers on the Boba page. ;)
So what about you?  Do you share your breastfeeding photos online?  Do you scrapbook them?  Oh, and next question, are you going to a Facebook nurse-in on 6 February?????  I'll be in Seattle - meet me there! 

02 February 2012

Changing habits

The rule of thumb with habits, good and bad, is that it takes 40 days to make a new habit, or kill an old one.

That means forty days of being diligent, persistent, and conscientious of your actions.  Paying attention.  Being engaged with your own actions, and not just operating in a haze.  (HA!)

I'm bringing up changing habits NOW because I LOATHE the whole "New Year's Resolutions" thing.  I turn 33 this year, and I've wasted enough time in my life lamenting at how I wasn't able to keep up with my NYR this year, BUT NEXT YEAR!!!!  Good gravy.  I've been of the frame of mind, for about the last 7 or 8 years or so, that I don't do resolutions, per sé.  I do GOALS.  Why?

Because setting goals WORKS.

And my goal right now?

To change my habits.

I have a list the length of my leg of habits I'd like to change or develop, but since I'm the type of person, that in order to not get totally overwhelmed, then stressed, then have debilitating anxiety attacks, which THEN result in hideous depression - *breathe* - I have to take baby steps.  So, because 90 days seems to be "THE THING" right now (P90X, Vitality for Life, etc), and yesterday was the 1st of February, I made a commitment to develop a couple of new habits, and to COMMIT to persistence and diligence and engagement with these habits for the next 90 days.  That will take me to 30 April, 2012.  (I will then be 33. :D)  Because, realistically, I know for me, 40 days?  Probably not enough.  Besides.  GO BIG OR GO HOME. ;)  And changing a couple of actions for 90 days seems like a good enough baby step for me.

I'm really excited to see what 2012 holds for our family.  We have faced some MASSIVE adversity and challenges as a family, financially, emotionally, physically, you name it, over the last 4 years most specifically.  And I personally have battled for years with stress/anxiety, depression, and most related to being a housewife: inadequacy.  I LOGICALLY know that these feelings are bunk, but feelings don't have to make sense.  And I know that logically, in order to deal with them, I need to address my actions - and create new habits.  Hence, I'm changing habits.

I'm going to be posting in the coming weeks about my commitment, in addition to other things, and I'd love to hear what kind of things that you have committed to - either now or in the past.  What things have you battled with in your commitment?  What challenges have you faced to keeping those commitments?

Dinnae ;)