Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The benefit of chocolate during pregnancy

so it seems that the chemical compounds in dark chocolate may stave off pre-eclampsia in pregnancy

what's not to love when you read that yummy things are actually good for you. the joy of chocolate continues

here's a link to the good news -


Monday, April 28, 2008

crockpot - the slow cooker so good

until recently, i had no idea of the sheer joy a crockpot could bring to one's life
yes, i would have said i was insane too if i didn't know how incredibly valuable they are

i had my husband pick one up a few weeks or so ago as a nice one was on sale for half price and i thought why not. in university people used to use them in the dorms to make mac and cheese so i knew it would at least be good for something

well what a revelation!

you just plop everything into one pot, set a timer and it's ready hours later. and you can add veggies for the last hour on high and all the meal is in one pot. omigosh couldn't be easier. we've had more roasts and whole chickens in one month than in the last 2 yrs.


there are 2 recipe collections i've gone to for ideas in crockpottering - a year of crockpotting is quite inspirational - great ideas, written by a woman who has a passion for this cooking form. outside of the recipe ideas, the photos and reviews of each recipe...well makes you want to become a crockpot devotee! index of their slow cooking collections - i love and have for years, and their slow cooker recipe collection is replete with many crockpot options - love!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Being RH-

i am rh-
i had no idea until i got pregnant
i thought i was o+
that's what my mom and sisters are
i don't know about my dad but he must be rh- since i had to have got this from him
so here i am with a rarer blood type
my husband is o+
and against medical advice i only had my rhogam shot (winrho) after cal's birth as i didn't want blood products preserved in chemicals exposed to my unborn baby unless it was absolutely necessary
my midwife was ok with it, but i was chided by an obstetrician - oh so you don't believe in diabetes or the flu? insulting when receiving the shot during pregnancy means only a slight reduction in the risk of sensitization!

so here is the deal on being rh-

the problem during pregnancy is if a woman is rh- and carries an rh+ child - this is what ended up being the case for me as i learned post labour - when i received my first, and only winrho shot.

if fetal blood mixes with the mother's blood either before or during delivery the mother will produce antibodies that will essentially work to terminate any future pregnancies that have a + baby. you reduce your chances with the shot, but i just don't see how it is warranted during pregnancy unless you have bleeding. i had my blood tested every week from week 27 onwards to make sure i didn't develop a sensitivity - this was a risk i was comfortable with and am so glad i took now.

if you develop rh sensitivity any future baby will probably need an in utero blood transfusion and another one once they are born. yes - another thing i had to be concerned about during pregnancy...

i wanted to know more about rh- people once i discovered i was one of them, and came across this interesting list - am bolding the ones that so far seem to relate to me ;) (from

"There are certain similairites that occur to those having rh negative blood - according to some who have it there are common patterns found, which include the following:
1. predominance of green or hazel eyes that change color like a chameleon, but also blue eyes
2. true red or reddish hair
3. low pulse rate
4. low blood pressure
5. keen sight or hearing
6. ESP
7. extra rib or vertabrae
8. UFO connections
9. love of space and science
10. a sense of not belonging to the human race
11. piercing eyes
12. para-normal occurrences
13. physic dreams
14. truth seekers
15. desire for higher wisdom
16. empathetic illnesses
17. deep compassion for fate of mankind
18. a sense of a 'mission' in life
19. physic abilities
20. unexplained scars on body
21. capability to disrupt electrical appliances
22. alien contacts"
- and a few in there are kind-ofs -- i can't disrupt electrical appliances but the weirdest thing is after wearing a watch for a few weeks they always break unless they are digital - have had 8 watches that happened with in the past 5yrs

Thursday, April 24, 2008

window cleaner - home recipe

my window cleaner is simple

in a spray bottle i use (approx
2c water
1tbsp castille soap
4tbsp vinegar
2-3 drops essential oil (i like citrus-y choices for cleaning)

voila! done and easy

window cleaner - home recipe

my window cleaner is simple

in a spray bottle i use (approx
2c water
1tbsp castille soap
4tbsp vinegar
2-3 drops essential oil (i like citrus-y choices for cleaning)

voila! done and easy
i put a label with the ingredients so that they can be refilled before they are totally empty and no screw ups!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

one more on the subject of earth day

i should of course point out the obvious - breastfeeding is earth-friendly!

here are two wonderful links that talk about it -
Breastmilk: the perfect renewable resource

from La Leche League

a few of the highlights - "The undermining of breastfeeding is the destruction of a natural resource and should therefore be seen in the same light as logging in the rainforests or overfishing our seas and rivers."

"If 50% of infants born in Canada (total births about 400,000 per year) are bottlefed for six months, then more than 15 million tin cans would be discarded."

earth day

so i went out on a long walk today - as usual with the boy in tow - and just saw the usual - lots of cars with one person in them. i don't know why i thought earth day would be different, and it isn't.

my earth day came when i got pregnant and decided to start making my own cleaners, body products, and buy more food with less packaging. we had already started using cork in our renos and energy star appliances. also enacted the if it is within 45min of walking time i walk - even in winter! having a child has made me realize that it one person can make a difference, and part of the reason i rejuvenated this blog was to start sharing ideas and recipes for making things at home. it is more effort, but it is less expensive in the end, and gentler on the part of the world around me. if i am to be a caretaker of the place around me for my son, then i am going to keep trying.

i celebrate the earth and what it means to me.

i celebrate the earth for my son

i promise to keep trying

Sunday, April 20, 2008

all purpose cleaner - home recipe

(the brown bottle is my all purpose cleaner)

1 tbsp. borax
4 Tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. castile soap
2 cups water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 drops essential oil - grapefruit this time around

- into reusable plastic squirt bottle

Saturday, April 19, 2008

prematurity, ppd and homeopathy

when callum was born 6 weeks early i didn't feel that wave of unconditional love wash over me. i had heard that the moment you meet your child, you'd fall in love and a part of your heart would now be outside your body. it didn't happen that way for me.

although i made the birthing experience as calm and complete as possible given the circumstances, i quickly realized i would be contending with deep feelings of anguish over the loss of a natural birth and a full term baby and having my baby home with me. seeing him in an isolette - gauvage tube, monitors and all - and the bruises on his little hands and feet from all the bloodwork and tests ruptured my dreams of feeling the instant connection and bond with this tiny little person.

and then the dark feelings came, and the horrible thoughts and the flashbacks. and i would re-traumatize myself over and over with them. i didn't want to take meds even though i fantasized about harming myself and my child. i would weep as i pumped breastmilk out of me, with a child that was unable to latch. when he finally did latch after exclusively pumping for nearly 3 months, the feelings were still there.
i did not want to risk our breastfeeding relationship so i refused prescription drugs. but i knew i needed help. i did research and came across natrum muriaticum, and it helped get me through the worst days to feeling like myself again.

natrum muriaticum, or nat. mur. is essentially cell salts. i like to think of it physiologically as helping bring my body to homeostasis - to balance. funny that not only is it considered potentially helpful for ppd, but also mucous-y conditions. in the past it has always been my sinuses and respiratory tract that have contributed to times when i felt unwell. it would be interesting to see if it all could be linked together - i believe it is in me.

ppd is rampant in women who have premature babies. when i think of the nicu, and abandoning the home birth plan and having the most unnatural of births in the end, i think ppd is really inevitable. i liken the nicu, and going home without my baby to the symptom picture of post traumatic stress syndrome - they are really quite similar. i was warned that it is very common for mothers of premature babies to have it - and i was no exception.

in many ways, breastfeeding has done as much for ppd as anything else could. after the struggle, it has saved me. as i continued to question myself and my body with no answers and no risk factors for a premature birth and ultimately and medically no reason for having a premature baby, breastfeeding helped me regain - piece by piece - the joy, the sanity, and the connection to my son.

i feel like nat. mur. helped create the bridge too - toward healing and connection. my son has taught me humility in the realest sense and has been my greatest teacher.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

how life brings your friends

it's funny sometimes the way life brings you friends. i have an unexpected friendship that arose from my short few weeks in thailand when i was studying thai yoga massage and reflexology.

a fellow canadian, who although she expresses herself in a different way, shares a similar world view. i suppose she would have been labelled a hippie in another era, but i just see her as genuine, giving, and open.

the universe is amazing at play - she and i ran into each other at ottawa airport a year later - a world away in more ways than one. i made the obvious comment, well it was to us, that the universe intends for us to be friends. and that short, distant (geographically) friendship has meant a great deal as she just emanates love and support.

if there is proof sought for the existence of past lives i think that we just simply knew each other before. she lives a beautiful life without pretenses and trappings of materialism and i am blessed to call her friend.

why moms can't do yoga

omg, i was laughing out loud at this one...had to share

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

so, i am sitting inside...

...on this mild and sunny evening
why? well it just so happens that work is crazy - the monumental merge between delta airlines and northwest airlines looks like it's going to happen.
having been on the front line employee - participating end of a merged airline let me tell you - mergers are NOT fun!
my seniority bottomed out - i've been with the airline for over 13yrs and my seniority is still nowhere near where it was half a dozen or so years ago.
fist fights, protests, the gamut ran with the merger.

america west and us airways merging was no picnic but two huge airlines coming together should make for a messy time for employees and even messier for their seniority. i wish them a better outcome than i experienced!

Monday, April 14, 2008

supper celebration

well we had a nice supper gathering last night to celebrate callum
i don't know if he knew it was his birthday fest ;) , but he was certainly excited for the company

so i spent the better part of the day making
2 legs of roast lamb, carrots au gratin, peas with onions, roast potatoes, along with a host of dips for part of the munchies

we all had a lovely time and it was nice to cook for a bit of a crowd

plus - the best leftovers! mmmm lunch and supper today already...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

breastfeeding is normal

love this article

"the “breast is best” tagline is a disservice to women and babies. Such slogans suggest that formula-feeding is the norm and breastfeeding is something better than the norm."

""The truth is, breastfeeding is nothing more than normal. Artificial feeding, which is neither the same nor superior, is therefore deficient, incomplete, and inferior. These are difficult words, but they have an appropriate place in our vocabulary."How often are we reminded that breastfeeding is simply normal? Every mammal species on the planet uses mammary glands to nurture its offspring. This is one of the defining characteristics that classifies humans as mammals. By choosing not to feed our infants in the normal way, we expose them to many known and unknown risks."

Friday, April 11, 2008

kohlrabi - is that how you spell it

i have been wondering what you can do with this vegetable.

i have been experimenting with lots of different ones, but kohlrabi stumped me

...until i found a site with an explanation of what it is, and how you can make it a meal

Thursday, April 10, 2008

breastmilk contains stem cells

an ethically sound source for stem cells!

i always knew breastmilk is powerful - it is great for infections and scars. it helped my c-section scar to begin to lighten from its angry purple state. plus we've been using it to treat callum's eye infection, and did for his ear infection and when he had a stuffed up nose.

this should be more prominent news - and maybe if the pharmaceutical co.s find a way to make money off of breastmilk it will be deemed more newsworthy.

the link - Breast milk contains stem cells

some of the highlights of the article:
" discovery that human breast milk contains stem cells is confident that within five years scientists will be harvesting them to research treatment for conditions as far-reaching as spinal injuries, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. "
“The point is that many mothers see milks as identical – formula milk and breast milk look the same so they must be the same. But we know now that they are quite different and a lot of the effects of breast milk versus formula don’t become apparent for decades. Formula companies have focussed on matching breast milk’s nutritional qualities but formula can never provide the developmental guidance.”
"Further research on immune cells, which have also been found in breast milk and have already been shown to survive the baby’s digestive process, could provide a pathway to developing targets to beat certain viruses or bacteria."

ah - the human body is simply grand!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

making your own deodorant

ok, a real stinker of a subject.

i am trying to come up with a successful combo that will allow me to shed the use of heavy metals as applied from commercial deodorant to my armpits.

it's all in the experimental stages but given that the safety of deodorants is not firmly proven, i've finally decided to try and minimize any future exposure and limit health risks.

i plan on using some shea butter i picked up with baking soda and some essential oils, maybe some alcohol and see what happens.

here are a few recipes i came across for making your own deodorant - haven't tried them yet but likely will!

3 tbsp vodka
3 tbsp distilled water
2 drops tea tree oil
2 drops thyme oil
2 drops eucalyptus oil - put all in a spray bottle

1 cp baking soda
2 drops bois de rose oil
1 tbsp rosewood herb

we'll see...i mean smell...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


we made it!
am including the message sent out to friends

it is hard to believe that our little boy is one.

callum started life by showing up 6 weeks early - before steve and i could adequately get through any new parenting books . thankfully, you get time to grow into the role of parent, to learn, and callum has taught us that waking us at all hours is a small price to pay for his infectious laugh, his unimaginably warm cuddles, his truly slobbery kisses, and reaching his little arms to be lifted up. i am so grateful that the first few days of constant tests and bruises, feeding tubes, and time in an isolette has made every single moment of holding him close so precious to me.

and so i have the signatures below as part of my way of celebrating my son, of celebrating my role as mother, celebrating life, and learning and growing with callum.

for those of you on facebook, the video i have made of one year with callum is of slightly better picture quality and is in the video section. for those who are not, i uploaded it to youtube, and am including the link -

a year with callum -

we are blessed

Monday, April 07, 2008

callum turns one - part one

i didn't think his birthday would happen in stages
but we've all been so unwell so i cancelled his original birthday celebration and have resched it for this weekend.
and sis was up for 2 performances so my mom and niece also came
so we had a dinner out thanks to my mom
and some cake and presents too

a pic or two is warranted...

callum and his cousin roisin
the lot of us - well andrew and mom aren't in the pic
auntie sinead gets some callum cuddles!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

the essentials for making home cleaning supplies

most of my cleaning supplies that i make at home use some combination of water, vinegar, castille soap, borax, baking soda, and essential oils

one of the easiest cleaners to make is dishwasher detergent - equal parts borax and baking soda, and adding vinegar during the rinse cycle. about 3tbsp of the borax/baking soda is all that's needed (i keep it in a sealed jar and shake before use)

so pics of the cleaning basics...

castile soap and baking soda

plain old white vinegar

borax - not always easy to find but a lot of natural food stores carry it

Friday, April 04, 2008

if you need to use your dryer...

steve and i moved into an old house almost 2yrs ago. circa 1906, our house has needed a lot of work, with a lot still to do.
mending ill repairs etc.

we did buy energystar appliances as the tenants that lived here before took the washer and dryer with them, and had broken the dishwasher and stove and left us an old fridge which we gave to our handyman extraordinaire - sylvain

in any case, winter and spring are often difficult times to dry the laundry outside. but there are ways to avoid using dryer sheets or commercial fabric softeners (discovered by research and trial and error!)

easiest - dry your laundry on low heat as you would for delicates - static cling almost zero

next easiest - take aluminum foil - make a small ball and toss it in - buhbye static

not hard but effort required - take a small washcloth (i use one of callum's baby washcloths - wet it, rub in baking soda - at this stage you can toss it in or if you have a fabric hair elastic you can form the cloth into a ball so none of the baking soda comes out

you can add 2-3 drops of your fave essential oil to the foil or washcloth if you like a scent

Thursday, April 03, 2008

normalize breastfeeding - nursing ad

now that callum is on the cusp of becoming a toddler, i find myself saddened by the shock and questions that often arise for mothers who breastfeed past one. given that the world health organization has noted that the average age a child is breastfed until in this world is a little over 4yrs old - WE are the ones who are not normal.

i don't plan on severing my nursing relationship with my son anytime soon. and you can be a working mother and continue to breastfeed.

it's interesting how in such an "advanced" society we have such poor acceptance for really the most natural thing in the world. as an accompaniment to today's stint on the soapbox, i am posting a clip that shows toddlers and babies nursing. it was made by the health dept in puerto rico. seems like we can learn more than just how to salsa from our latin american neighbours.

the other one year siggy

ok i couldn't help myself - another signature for callum's birthday
plus i am still unwell and am not all that inspired to blog
but the best kind of filler - pictures!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

one of the animated siggys of callum

this is officially a fluffy post...i am in the throes of the flu, feeling like caca but this signature for callum's turning one cheers me up - one in a week!

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