5 And 3! Oh My!

If you’ve been a reader of my Ramblings for a while, you’ll know that my wonderful daughters share a birthday, 2 years apart. If you’re new to this little blog of mine, well, now you’re in the know as well! 😉

Today is the girls’ birthdays. They are turning 5 (Rina) and 3 (Béatrice). I have been busy trying to organize their special day, getting birthday and christmas presents done and finding a good paleo cake recipe.

I have managed to get the birthdays all done and under control and I still have a few items to pick up for the girls for Christmas. I have made a futile attempt at writing my Christmas cards with high hopes of sending them out later this week and I managed to only write up one so far! Man! I tell you, I feel like I’m somewhat organized in my day-to-day life, then December rolls around and all hell breaks loose! I get nothing done and stress levels go through the roof. Fortunately, the hubster has been pitching in a lot lately and I’m secretly hoping it will be a trend that lasts. 😉

We went to the truck light parade on Saturday evening and I think the girls enjoyed it very much. Rina was squealing like the most high-pitched piglet out there and Béatrice was dancing on my shoulders. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the girls since Rina had school today.


I'd say they managed a decent loot!

I’d say they managed a decent loot!

After we were done with lunch and it was time for me to bring out the less than impressive cake I made. I really don’t enjoy baking. To make it worst, I’m not really talented at it either. I’m just not crafty that way! I tried really hard to make them a cute birthday cake and it turned out more like a laughable mommy-fail of the year. I made a paleo cake from PaleOMG’s book and although I was told the cake and icing tasted good, the decorating was similar to Rina’s drawings… Not quite what I was going for. We sang “Happy birthday” twice and the girls blew their candles. BeZU even hugged me while she said: “Thank you for my cake Maman!” Bless her heart, that kid is simply amazing!

Once we were done eating lunch, cake and opening presents, we decided to go to the park atop the reservoir and have a little walk. We split up into two groups and somehow, lost Rina by doing so. I thought she was with the husband’s group and vice versa. A quick run along the trails surrounding the park and I found her sitting at the lookout, just waiting there. She got a quick scolding and I thing she was pretty scared off as she was all teary when she ran back to me. I told her she did good by waiting in one place and we went over other safety things before rejoining the rest of the group.

Before we lost Rina

Before we lost Rina

This morning, I went to Crossfit and even though I wasn’t feeling it at all (still sore from 1/2 Cindy on Friday), I was determined to get the juice flowing again in my sore body. Here’s what we did:

Skill: (1 Hang squat clean + 3 Front squats) x 5 E90s

I was aiming for 95# on my last set, with a realistic goal of 90#. I ended up doing this:


I was stripping my butt out of the squat and I really wanted to focus on NOT doing that in order not to screw up my sciatica even more. Also, I was using the slam ball as a guide as to how low to get to at the bottom and hoping to create muscle memory without going lower than I need to. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better, I think. It’s so hard to have to re-program all my lifts and not dropping as low as I can go into them, but I know I’m taking a few steps back in order to keep moving forward injury-free.

WOD: Swing And Pop

That was my first attempt at this one and what was written on our white board is different from what’s written on our blog so I’m a little confused, but I ended up doing what was on our white board, FG:

8min AMRAP:

  • 5  DUs + 15 singles
  • 15 AKB @ 26#
  • 5 KB push press / arm @ 26#

I didn’t think I would be strong enough to do all my rounds with the 26# KB for the KB push press and I had the 18# on my mat as a back up, but I managed just fine. It was a lot of hard work and my reps were low compared to everyone else, but I am so skittish of injuring my sciatic again, that I really don’t mind. I’m still working hard and making the best of it all while remaining safe. So far, so good!

I came back home, showered, ate lunch with Béa and then I was off to finally deliver baby Bailey’s blanket. I finished it a while back and finally managed to deliver it today. She’s such a cutie and so friendly! She was singing and cuddling and just adorable! I could have squeezed her all day, but I had to go back to my chores. I made some food for dinner and then it was time to pick up Rina from school and our evening routine. Hopefully, I can get to my christmas cards tomorrow and get those done and over with! Here’s to hoping! 😉



Beach And Birthday Love

Phew! What a fund day we had today!

It all started with a fun Beach WOD that was held by our Box at Willows Beach. The setting was so pretty. Mt. Baker was so very visible in the distance and the ocean was just lying down in front of it. I really should have taken pictures, but I was too busy having fun with my Crossfit family. My real family was also there to cheer me on as Ben and the girls played on the beach while I worked a good sweat

The WOD was a team one that consisted of this:

In teams of 2 partners, 3 rounds for time:

  • 50 double KB thrusters
  • 50 burpees
  • 1km run
Uhm yeah! That was totally Kathleen and I when the team WOD was announced!

Uhm yeah! That was totally Kathleen and I when the team WOD was announced!

The thruster and burpees were 1 partner at-a-time and the run was both partners together. We started strong with the KB thrusters (2×26#) and that got heavy fast. Coach AJ said that was probably close to a 70# traditional thruster. I did my half and then moved onto the burpees. I still can’t believe I did all my burpees Rx! Who knew I could be good at burpees!?! I sure didn’t! Then we went out on the beach for the run. Rina was keeping pace with us. I was amazed at her form and stamina and also, at the fact that I could barely keep up with her. 😦 My 4 year-old is better at running than I am! Kathleen was nice enough to slllloooooooowwwwww down her pace by a lot and she stayed with me, even after I urged her to go on without me.

For our second round, Kathleen ran ahead to our KB spot and started us off strong. She looked so good doing the double KB thrusters! Fierce! I did 3 and then switched to 35# KB taters. I tried again and did 2, then switched back to KB taters. I was having some bladder issues doing the double KB thrusters, so yeah, that was fun! Not! I ploughed through the burpees though and those felt good. Kathleen’s shoulder started to bug her by the end of the thrusters and she decided to modify them on the last round. Off we went onto the beach for our second run. I was worn out, but Kathleen kept motivating me by urging me to take deep belly breath, pace my steps on my breaths and to use my “long, light legs”. I tried to imagine my legs being long and light, but had a really difficult time. Still, We took only a few breaks and went back to the KB.

Once again, Kathleen started us off strong and I just resolved to do my taters. Burpees were good and I just couldn’t believe how good I felt doing them Rx. Not only that, but since Kath had modified them to a plank burpee, I figured I’d give her shoulders a break and did 10 on my last set so she would only have one last set to do. She urged me to run to the stairs leading to the beach and I obliged. Once we made our way to the compact sand, she also suggested we run to the “first log on the beach” that was almost at our turnaround point. Had I been alone, I would have quit much before that point, but because she was by my side, I kept moving forward, one step at a time. She let me walk from the log to the rock and then we turned around. I had made up my mind to run back to the stairs and I even managed to pick up my pace! Kathleen was such a good coach. I told her many times to take off ahead of me, but she wouldn’t leave my side! Best. Partner. Ever! I made my way up the stairs and then, with Kathleen’s encouragement, I sprinted back to our KB before falling on all fours. We came in last in 37:50, but I was pretty happy with how I had done overall!

I was a bit stressed about making our way back home as I had planned a surprise birthday party for Ben’s 40th. There was no way I wouldn’t celebrate this special occasion and I had to rush back home as I had told people to come around 1215.

There was a screw-up with my food platters order and they weren’t ready when my SIL went to pick them up 😦 We had to wait an hour before they were ready for pick-up and other than that little hiccup, I think the lunch party was a success. Ben seemed genuinely surprised (he thought I had something planned at the beach) and he thanked me a bunch of times after everyone left. Now if you know my husband, you know he’s not a man of many words, so for him to be so thankful meant a lot to me! I guess I did good!

Birthday boy and his girls!

Birthday boy and his girls!

You see that cake? It was a hazelnut/chocolate cheesecake. Now, I’ve been resisting all the temptations since starting my Whole30, but today, I allowed myself to have a slice of that cake. On day 22, I made the full decision to have something non-Whole30 compliant. Will I start back my Whole30 from day one? Nope! I knew full well my husband’s birthday was in the middle of my Whole30 challenge and I had made the decision when I started it that I would have a slice of his birthday cake. I fully assume this decision and I refuse to stress about it. I will keep it going as strong as I can until I leave for Cuba in August, but until then, I feel better not having the processed stuff. Not sure I have more energy, but I sure sleep better and I seem to perform better when I do my WODs. Also, I haven’t had to rely on these since I started, and that is a huge bonus!

So long, trustee crutch!

So long, trustee crutch!

I posted this yesterday:

Said no to Bite-size brownies in order to rock my bikini in Cuba!

Said no to Bite-size brownies in order to rock my bikini in Cuba!

I may not have abs yet, but I have nice obliques and I,m so darn proud of my traps! The slice of cake was good, but I can feel it sitting in my throat now and although I’m glad I had it, it just goes to show that this much sugar doesn’t agree with me at all! Back on the Whole30 wagon as of now! 😉 I have given some of the cheesecake away to our guests and there’s about 1/4 of it left for Ben and the girls to have if they choose to have any. As for me, I’m more than happy to go back to my meat, veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds!


The Story Of Béa

A year ago today, I gave birth to our 2nd bundle of joy. Here’s the low down on how it all happened…

December 6 2012. It was 0600 and all was quiet in the house. Everybody was still asleep except for me and I thought I would seize the opportunity to go have a quiet hot bath. I was 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant with a sore back so this moment was golden. As I was relaxing in the tub, I started having contractions. I had had Braxton-Hicks on and off for some time already so I wasn’t really worried at the beginning. These contractions however, were slightly stronger than my “usual” Braxton-Hicks so I got out of the bathtub and started the timing app on my phone. They were all 30-40 secs long and were all 5 minutes apart. I figured I would wait until our appointment with our doctor that same morning to see what she would recommend. We got through our normal morning routine with me having regular contractions every 5 minutes until our 0900 appointment with the doctor. As she was going through our appointment, I had to stop to answer her questions whenever I would have a contraction, but I was fine afterwards. She strongly recommended we go back home, grab our stuff and make our way to the hospital without any delays.

I was in labour! Naturally! I was thrilled my body had know how to start labour on its own, without needing to be induced. I was a little less thrilled that my bag wasn’t even packed! I threw some stuff together quickly (much easier to know what to bring the 2nd time around) and we drove on to the hospital. It was the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CAR RIDE EVER even if it was only about 10 minutes! I was glad to be able to get our of the car and get moving through the contractions. We were admitted quickly and I was place in a room with all our stuff.

I got examined throughout the day, but I wasn’t dilating very fast. I remember being at 5cm for most of the day. I kept labouring with consistent contractions every 5 minutes ALL. DAY. LONG! Ben was with me as well as Rina and Aunty Sandy came to visit too. It was nice to have them all there, but during the contractions, I just wanted some silence so I could focus on my breathing and it was hard to achieve with all these people in the room.

Around dinner time, Ben went back home with Rina to figure out a sitter for Rina for the night. That was a bit stressful as Aunt Sandy was working a night shift and we had nobody to help out. Since we live in the main floor of a house, we asked our landlord (who lives upstairs) if she didn’t mind keeping an eye on Rina overnight. Ben left her with the baby monitor and promised to be back in the morning to get her up. That took about 4hrs as Ben had to give Rina some dinner, bathe her, put her to bed and come back to the hospital. I was lucky enough to delay my epidural and was allowed to labour in the shower. That was a true godsend! The hot water was constant and I could just sit there with the hot jet on my back. I had a family friend visit with me and she stood in the doorway of the bathroom. We chatted for a few hours, with me going quiet only when a contraction would come. I have to say, that was the best part of my labour. I just wish Ben could have been there with me.

When Ben finally came back to the hospital (around 2100), I stepped out of the shower and after discussing with my doctor, we decided to get the epidural in so she could go and rupture my membranes to try to speed up the process. I got the epidural in around 2200 and the doctor ruptured my membrane. The labour progressed rapidly from then on. At this point, I had been labouring for 15.5hrs. That was already 3.5hrs longer than I had with Rina and we still had no baby 😦

The epidural wasn’t really effective and the pushing was a lot more painful than it had been with your sister. I think I started pushing around 2230 and I could feel EVERYTHING. I will admit to letting a few swear words out in French to blow off some steam and some of the pain, but I was still wanting to see everything in the mirror they provided. Ben, on the other hand, just kept focusing on me, not wanting to peek at all! I didn’t care, I just wanted him to be there, next to me.

After a very long day and 18hrs of hard work, you finally appeared in our lives. You were born December 7 at 0030 and will forever share a birthday with your big sister! You were perfect and we were thrilled to finally get to meet you. Your Dad and I debated for a little bit about whether your name should be Béatrice or Zoé and we quickly settled the issue. You were a Béatrice and Zoé became your middle name. I even got to give you the breast for a little bit before the doctor had a serious discussion with us. Once again, my placenta wasn’t coming out and she didn’t want to delay the extraction as I was already bleeding a lot. I remember asking the doctor if it was serious and she replied with no muss nor fuss a very resounding “yes”. I knew from her answer and the frown on her face that she was getting worried and I passed you along to your Dad. I had to focus on trying to push that placenta out.

After 20 minutes of unsuccessful pushing and bleeding, she called in the OB/GYN and I was wheeled into the OR for a manual extraction. The OR was literally across my room in the hall and while I was being wheeled away, I felt 2 huge gushes of blood run out of me. Now, I was getting worried. I said goodbye to Ben and once in the OR, I just mentioned to the OB/GYN to do his thing and get me back to my husband. I could feel the blood pouring out of me and I just didn’t want Ben to be alone with the girls. The OB/GYN just replied that I was in good hands and not to worry, I would be back with Ben shortly.

I was given a lovely sedative and quickly drifted off to the wonderful la-la-land of conscious sedation. I woke up in time to see the OB/GYN showing me my mangled placenta. I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t pretty to look at. He had managed to remove it all and gave me 7 spanking new stitches while I was under to repair the tear I had endured during labour. I was grateful for that.

I was then wheeled over to the recovery room and I was not feeling good at all. I was dying of thirst like I had never been before. I found out later on that I lost over 2 L of blood, hence why I was so thirsty. My blood pressure was very low and I remember seeing it plummet at 82/44 at one point. I was given fluid replacements and I needed supplemental oxygen as well to keep my saturation up. I could tell Ben was getting worried next to me. It was now 0430 in the morning and he needed to go back home to Rina, but the LDR nurse told him he couldn’t leave me alone on the Mother-Babe Unit. I told him they had nurses there to take care of me, that it was a load of BS and to go home and get some rest and take care of Rina.

I finally was better enough to be transferred to MBU and I sent Ben back home. I couldn’t get up to feed you, but I couldn’t get up to feed you throughout the rest of the night so I rang my bell whenever you wanted to be fed and a nurse came and handed you over to me. Breastfeeding was established quickly and without any hitch and I was so happy for that. I don’t remember much from that day, other than I was not allowed to get up until that evening because of my low blood pressure. I also had a low hemoglobin (83, my normal was 140) so I was dizzy a lot and slept for most of the day when you didn’t need to be fed.

The next morning, I was finally allowed to get up for longer than going to the washroom and I had a shower on very wobbly legs. I was faint, but I was alive and we had a perfectly healthy new baby girl. We were now a family of four and Ben had his girls with him!

To be completely honest with you, I don’t remember much of your first 4 months of life. With my hemoglobin so low, the night feeding and Ben being back at work full speed, it was extremely hard to get through the days. Every day that ended was a blessing as we had made it one more day without any incident. The past year hasn’t been easy at times, but I wouldn’t change any bit of it because of the family we have.

I can’t believe you are already turning one! I truly don’t have a baby anymore: you give me “high fives”, you are “furniture walking” and pulling yourself up like it’s nothing, you have 5 teeth already, you love to dance, you are a beautiful darling girl and when you set your mind on something, you are very determined. I love your smiles and giggles, I love how you could eat the house down, I love your hugs and kisses and I am totally smitten with you. The same goes for your Dad. He truly adores you and you just ham it up for him!

Happy birthday my sweet BeZU! Take your time growing up, I feel like I can’t keep up with how fast you are turning into a little girl. I love you with all my heart and cannot imagine our lives without you in it.


Maman Xxo

P.S. You can read all about Rina’s birth here.

Birthday baking!

Sweet Rina,

Yesterday was your Dad’s and Grand-Papa’s birthdays. They share the same birthday. I know, it’s a bit freaky that my husband shares a birthday with my dad, but that’s how it is in this family! Because your Dad and Nonno went to play golf in the morning, your Grandma and I took a trip to the land of “Let’s spoil Rina” aka Carter’s / Osh Kosh. We dropped some serious moolah for some clothes for you, but most of it will have to be returned, unfortunately. I’ve washed and dried the new clothes according to directions on labels and everything has shrunk to the size of clothes that is now getting too small for you… And since we wanted to get you clothes that you could grow a bit into, these just won’t do. Hopefully, they’ll give us an exchange without too much fuss.

When the men came back from golfing, your Grandma and Nonno took off for an intimate dinner at the Sooke Harbour House and your Dad had to go in to work in the evening, so it was just the two of us for dinner and bedtime. However, because we didn’t really celebrate your Dad’s birthday yesterday, I am currently in the process of baking a vegan Tiramisu cake from “The Everyday Vegan” by Dreena Burton while your Grandma has gone to get us supplies so we can make homemade pizzas for dinner. If the batter of the cake is any indication as to how the cake will turn out, it will be finger-licking good! I’ll try to remember to take pictures of the cake and pizzas and post them on here later if you’re lucky. The sun is finally out, the house smells of cake, it’s going to be a good day, I can just tell! 🙂


Mom & Dad Xxo

Abort! Abort! Abort!

Sweet Rina,

I have to face the facts: the dreaded shin splints are back 😦 I was feeling a soreness in my shins all day on Wednesday after my jog and today, when I went to run errands with you in your stroller, I could feel the all too familiar pain in my shins. I am really bummed out as I was determined to do the C25K once and for all. I will bench myself for a week, hopefully recover, then give it another try. In the meantime, I’ll be doing Pilates, yoga and other workouts by Tracy Anderson. I’m just hoping I keep losing some weight.

I called Jess to let her know I wouldn’t be doing the jog tomorrow and we decided to go walk instead. I am really disappointed, but there is no way I will “push through the pain”. That’s what I did last time and it got me nowhere, so I won’t be doing that this time around. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) all the way. I guess I will have to walk the TC10K too 😦

You know what, I won’t be disappointed. I’ll keep working out, it’ll just be a different kind of workout. I just finished a cardio Pilates in the living room and I was sweating my tush out so I have to have burned a few calories right there! 🙂 And, of course, I will keep taking you out for walks and errands !

In other news, your dad is acting very weird, asking me if I’ve used my computer today and if it was working fine, then asking me if I received an email from him. I don’t know what he’s up to, but I’m thinking it has to do with my upcoming birthday. When I asked him what he was up to and demanded for him to tell me what he had done, he just replied: “Think of it as an Easter egg hunt”. I CAN’T stand surprises! I am the most curious person there is! Our first Christmas in BC, we woke up one morning (close to Christmas) to the sound of the fire alarm in the apartment complex where we used to live and once we decided to exit the apartment, my 1st reaction was to go grab the presents from under the tree because I didn’t want to miss finding out what your dad had gotten me! That’s how curious I am! You can imagine that his behaviour is simply killing me right now!

In yet another unrelated topic, you slept really well last night. You did 8h30, had a bottle and then slept again for another 3hrs in you own bed! Normally, I get up with you anytime between 4-6am and we both go to the futon to “sleep in” until 7am or 7:30am! Ha! However, last night, you slept until 7am in your own bed and had done the same 2 days prior to that. Could it be that you are starting to sleep a little bit more? Here’s to hoping!

We love you very much my gorgeous girl!

Mom & Dad Xxo

1 week old: It’s the little things in life…

Gorgeous Rina!

I wanted to write this yesterday, but somehow, there was too much to do during the day and I completely forgot to do so. Yesterday, you turned 1. One week old that is. Your Grandma ended up staying an extra day due to a delay in her flight travels and it was very welcomed! She has been such a great help around here during her stay, helping out with laundry and making a good minestrone soup for us yesterday!

Later today, your dad will be leaving for work so this will be my true test of flying solo for the 1st time. Although, yesterday was a test-run as I had to take you to the doctor all by myself. That was exhausting in itself and it made me realize that my life will now be looked at on a micro-schedule from now on. I have to set myself smaller goals for each day and if I get to accomplish anything other than my short “To-Do” list, it’s gravy on top!

On the menu today was the following: give you a bath (check), have a coffee (check), shower (check), go for a stroll with you (not done yet) and I also managed to put a load in the laundry (wasn’t on my list, but your dad is helping before he leaves for work). Overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty good day so far and it’s not even 1pm!

The next bit will be targeted for the new moms out there reading this. My little tips from what I’ve learned so far, being a mom for a week!

1. REST: Whenever you can. I usually try to nap in the afternoon when you are asleep too, although, sometimes, you have your “awake periods” during that time so it makes resting a bit difficult. I am fortunate enough that your dad takes over once he gets home from work so I can catch a bit of a break!

2. HYDRATE: drink plenty of water. I carry a bottle with me around the house and guzzle on it all day long, particularly after I’m done breastfeeding.

3. EAT: try to have nutritious snacks around that are fulfilling: granola bars, cheese, yogurt, fruits, veggies that you can munch on. I didn’t get to have lunch until 4:30pm yesterday and I was famished by then.

4. SET YOURSELF SMALL GOALS: I am a major type A person and I’ve learned to let go a bit. The carpets and floorings need major vacuuming, but I’d rather go for a stroll with you later on today than vacuum. Your dad can help me with that tomorrow as he isn’t working.

5. LEARN PROPER POSITIONING IF YOU PLAN ON BREASTFEEDING: It will save your nipples and a load of unnecessary pain. As I recounted in your delivery story, I have caused great damage to my nipples and breast right from the start and things are only starting to improve now. As a NICU nurse, I am lucky to know a bunch of very qualified Lactating Consultants who have been kind and generous enough to help me with solving my issues with cracked and painful nipples while feeding you. The major thing that has helped me was learning to latch you on my breast in the asymetrical position properly. You can see a very good information page here. In the past week, I’ve had to deal with blocked ducts and cracked nipples. I’ve thought of quitting breastfeeding numerous times, but then I think about all the benefits of breastfeeding for you and I just keep going. It is painful, but seeing your “milk drunk” face when I’m done feeding you is reward enough to keep me going!

I will leave you with these 2 pictures. The 1st one is while I was being induced in the hospital and it’s the last picture of my belly that I have (it’s a bit grainy as it was taken with my phone). The second one was taken this morning. Don’t ask me how much weight I’ve lost, I have no idea (haven’t had time to weight myself yet!), but the pouch is getting smaller and although it’s nowhere near being on my list of concerns yet, it’s nice to be able to re-acquaint myself with my feet again! 🙂

Last belly pic
Day 8 post-baby belly


Finally, a picture taken of you last night and our 1st family picture!


Rina, 1 week old


1st family pic outside of the hospital!



Mom & Dad Xxo