Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time

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Loosing My Mat Leave Mojo

January 2016

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I don’t know yet if I’m headed down the PPD path or if there is another entirely logical for the way I’m feeling.

I often find January depressing. Whether it’s the weather – cold, snowy winter has arrived in all its gloomy dampness, making it hard to get out and about (too cold for LM) – or the short days (lack of sunlight contributing to my sudden SADness), or Christmas being over for another year. We finally got our decorations packed up and all the leftover goodies put away. But looking at the houses up the street with their lights still on only serves as a reminder that the holidays have run their course.

I love Christmastime – the music, the movies, the decorations, the food, the act of giving to others and partying it up with friends and loved ones. Despite the anxiety (#ref Looking back) I can still centre on the joy. I enjoyed MD’s Christmas so much – but she was older, and things went at a little slower pace. She could open her own presents (with some help) and have some Christmas dinner. I was done breastfeeding so a bit of wine didn’t hurt either. This year, however, the whole season seemed to go by at light speed. With two, one of which was eating and napping at frequent and unpredictable intervals, and me being tired from middle of the night wakings, I didn’t stop long enough to soak it up.  I seem to have trouble letting go of all the things I didn’t get to do, rather than what I did.

Maybe its because I’ve been surrounded by people for the last two weeks and haven’t had time to myself – except for the four minutes I’m in the shower or on the shitter – to decompress and recharge.

Maybe its because I’ve been stuck inside with an almost five month old and almost five year old for the last three days. Even if the weather is nice, MD is too old for a stroller but can’t keep up with me walking.

I’m stressed about my lack of activity, and how I’m ever going to get the next thirty pounds off, and OMG I don’t want to go near a scale after everything I ate over the holidays, and how am I ever going to work up the energy to work out when I’m so tired.

Maybe I’m going through sugar withdrawal. I’ve been trying to eat better the last few days and my body is like why are you starving me! (even though its far from starving).

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation finally catching up with me. Why is it that I seem to need more sleep than my children? Will I ever sleep again?

Whatever the reason for this funk, I feel like being a Mom has stopped being fun. For the moment. I keep telling myself it will get better, and every time MD walks into the room I am reminded and reassured of that truth. LM is at a wired age – not quite ready for solids, no longer content to lay on a blanket on the floor and look around but not yet crawling, still needing naps about every two hours. I’m the kind of person who craves structure to feel like I’m functioning normally, but with LM, while having a semblance of a routine, we still lack enough structure in my day for me to feel satisfied and productive. Just a few more months I tell myself, just a few more months, he’ll meet these developmental milestones and all will be well for another while.

Then the guilt kicks in. Guilt for wishing my life away. Guilt for not keeping our daughter home from day care at least part time. Guilt because I’m tired of breastfeeding (tired of him biting the boob that feeds him, but determined to meet my 6-month goal. What about the cost to my wellbeing . . .?). Guilt for just wanting our lives to go back to normal (even if it is a “new” normal). Guilt for being so selfish. Guilt for not appreciating my beautiful, funny, healthy children, when so many struggle to have children or have had to stay goodbye too soon. Guilt, and anxiety, because the closer he gets to that “fun”stage the closer I get to going back to work. And now I know that I can never get this time back. This time that I wish I could pull a Stephane Dion and “do over” with MD.  MD who in six weeks will be five years old. I well up as I think and type this, the thought of that number five on her cake, of registering her for grade primary in a few weeks. Sad that my little girl has grown up before my eyes. Sad that I feel as if I’ve wasted so much of her childhood wishing myself forward to the next stage, fighting the stages that were hard, trying to figure out how the heck to be a mom, forgetting to live in the moment, until we’re suddenly at now and time is going too fast and I wish I was in that episode of Stargate where Major Carter slows down time so the human-form replicators can’t get off that planet. I know someday they won’t need me any more. I don’t want them to wonder where I was when they did.

Maybe it is all of those things. Plus one more – maybe I’m going to get my period back next month. I remember feeling similar with MD just before that landmark, but that time I was angry. So angry I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with my family. I had no idea that the first post partum period was accompanied with this wave of emotion. It’s a little easier to deal with when you know what to expect.

Maybe I just need to write it all down. If only I could get the hour or so to put it all together in this post. I need to write. I need to cry. But I’m afraid if I start either or both I won’t be able to stop. But I have to be able to stop, to put a cap on it at least temporarily. Because my kids need their mom.


So this is life

Forgot How to be the Happy Mom

The Truth about Maternity Leave




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May 2015

So I’ve been worried that I might have gestational diabetes. As with my previous pregnancy, being pregnant has completely changed my relationship with food. Cravings, aversions, seemingly needing to eat higher calorie foods to avoid the nausea that is always lurking just under the surface of my pyloric sphincter. It didn’t help that we had the winter of our discontent and I couldn’t be as active as I was before, or the foot injury early on (an injury that came back to haunt me from Week 31), or the weekly lemon Sanpelligrino with 33 grams of sugar each! This time I’ve put on a lot more weight at a faster rate than before, and my doctor is monitoring it. I recently had the glucose tolerance test done, and it all came back normal, as is my blood pressure. A lot of the extra weight is likely fluid retention in my legs and feet, which seems to improve as I increase my activity level and keep them elevated when I’m not on them.IMG_0249

I was pleased I was able to be active for our recent adventure to Montreal. Yes, we took a “baby-moon” (1 ½ hour flight with carbon emissions and all), leaving our daughter with her grandparents for a week while we took a pre-baby # 2 escape. While the weather was dampish for the most part, it is a beautiful city with lots of history, friendly people, and man do they know their food! I don’t think we had a bad meal the entire time we were there.

I felt incredibly guilty after one particularly good meal that I just couldn’t finish, leaving behind what for some in developing nations would equate to a week’s worth of food. As I mentioned above, my relationship with food as totally changed during pregnancy, and I find I end up wasting a lot more than I normally do. Often this is because I’ll have a craving for something and want to eat it every day for several days, so I’ll buy a batch of whatever it is in bulk, then suddenly I can’t look at it any more without feeling nauseous. And often it is something that no one else in the house wants to eat either. So we end up throwing it out 😦 I hate food waste knowing that so many people go without. My goal for the remainder of the pregnancy is to try to keep food portions in perspective and not waste as much food.


I’ve been continuing to drop off yoghurt containers at Feeding Others of Dartmouth, so they can send leftovers home with their clients, thereby reducing their food waste (see Week 13). This is also why my intervention for 100 in 1 day – Feed 100 Families – is so important to me. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into it this year, which is why I’ve had less time for blogging. The blog is also going to take a back seat to other more important matters very soon.

Speaking of waste, we bought metro day passes one of our days in Montreal. Instead of throwing mine away at the end of the day, I passed it on to a homeless person who was hanging out in a bus shelter near our hotel. Hopefully he was able to make some use of it.

  • Read more about food waste in North America here.
  • And one woman’s story of how she strives to live a waste-free life here.

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Week # 32 – New Beginnings

September 6, 2014

It is a season for fresh starts. The job offer finally came through, and after several years of trying I can finally say I have a job that relates to both what I studied in school and my on-the-job training. It’s a job that while not directly related to the environment, I do provide administrative support to environmental monitoring programs. So I’d call that a green job . Horray 🙂

The location of this job also allows me to take the bus to work as often as I want! But realistically I am aiming for two days a week until I’m more settled-in. I can also visit the Farmer’s Market on my lunch break, and visit Feeding Others of Dartmouth to drop off containers.

As for my personal life, the only baby news is that there is no baby news. Now feels like the right time to take a hiatus from this particular goal, and rethink whether it’s what we really want. The timing wouldn’t be great, having just started a new job. Speaking of time, I’m more confident we still have lots of time, if in a few months we decide we do want it after all.

Now that the weather is cooler, days are shorter, and we’ll be spending less and less time outside, I’ll likely be spending more time blogging. Expect to see more regular posts from me in the coming weeks about tree planting, garbage pick-ups, and more ways I am trying to live a healthier, more environmentally friendly lifestyle – without completely losing my sanity.

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Week #13 – FOOD Drive!

March 23, 2014


Ever have those mornings when you just can’t get yourself going and you hit snooze like 18 times. That’s how I feel about my blog this week. It’s not that I’m losing interest, and I still have lots of ideas, but I just couldn’t seem to get the ambition to actually sit down and start typing. Ok, so it’s not really ambition-related and more a function of having free time and lack of distractions to get into the right head-space to write. (I can’t imagine what I could possibly be distracted by. It couldn’t possibly be that my daughter won’t go to bed or that Friday at the grocery store she managed to lose her favourite little bunny, and then  fell up the stairs on the way in the house almost splitting her eye open). also seemed to be having some difficulties this weekend. But here I am.

This winter isn’t helping. I don’t know about you, but I know I’ve had enough of this winter weather! I know I’ve ranted on and on about the weather –we’re all feeling it.

Although this Thursday marked the first “official” day of spring, we’re likely in for some cold temperatures for a few more weeks.

For those who don’t have shelter or don’t have adequate heat in their homes for whatever reason, this winter has been especially challenging.

So this week’s challenge – start a collection of yoghurt containers at work for FOOD.

Feeding Others of Dartmouth (FOOD) (also known as Margaret’s House) offers shelter and hot meals to adults in need.

They have an ongoing need for donations of plastic food containers to store and serve leftovers for clients.

Yoghurt, ice cream and margarine containers work best, but they can also use take-out containers or Tupperware that you’re looking to get rid of. They must be clean and must have lids.

Yesterday morning I dropped of two bags to them. They always open the door with a smile, and are always so appreciative. :-)

And how exactly does this help the environment? Although most of these types of containers are recyclable in HRM, remember the three Rs – reuse comes before recycle, and using these containers again for leftovers extends their useful life before heading for the blue bag.

HRM has only been recycling all plastics for about two years, after a report recommending that plastic types other than 1, 2 and 4 be included. Before this time, we had to sort our plastics, checking the bottoms for the little number in the triangle. The argument was that to recycle the plastics, they would have to be shipped overseas, cancelling out any benefit achieved by recycling by the carbon emissions produced.

If I understand correctly, the city has decided that the money that could be gained by exporting the plastics, and the impact of diverting the waste out of the landfills, was worth the CO2 impact. Hopefully some of the money recouped is being used to plant additional trees to offset the emissions. In fact, HRM has been working on an Urban Forest Mater Plan, including planting additional trees.

So is recycling really benefiting the environment here? Or is it like buying recycled carpet from California? I haven’t done the calculations, and until then, I will continue to eat my organic yoghurt and reuse the containers, and top it off by carrying a reusable shopping bag in my purse, and let the eternal optimist in me hope for the best :-)