Friday, June 29, 2012

Aquanatal and Operation: Popeye

Aquanatal is simply wonderful.  I went to my second class last night.  The regular instructor-midwife was out last week because her sister was in labor, but she was back this week and worked us a bit harder than her substitute.  Plus, the regular instructor-midwife's accent was softer and easier for me to understand, so I was able to keep up with the routine and conversation better.

Even though I'm not the slimmest mum in the class, I seem to be the most fit.  I attribute this to keeping up after my son.  For the arm strength exercises, I wasn't having any issues while my exercise partners were wincing.  My years in competitive swimming has also been showing through in exercises that require just arm strokes or leg cycles, or in relaxation floating.  A bit of a compliment too-- the instructor was asking if I'd still be swimming competitively if I wasn't pregnant.  "Oh hell no... I haven't swum competitively for years and years, but it just sticks with you.  I hope all my babies are water babies."

And then my age showed when we were asked who were first time mums and who were already mums.  Most of the class raised their hands to first time mums.  "Who has one or more?"  Only mine and one other hand was up.  "Who has two or more?" That question left only my hand up.  "Boy or girl?  How old are they?"  I grinned nervously and answered that one's a girl and she's off to college (its usually quicker and easier to just say that since we're supposed to disclose all completed pregnancies to midwives)... the next is a boy and he's 16 months old.  And this next one is a girl.  The stares from the other mums are all shock: what an age gap!

The class is very enjoyable-- I'm getting a lot out of it and feeling good about myself.  I'm meeting other mums and sharing stories.  I think once both kids are at nursery, I'll look into a water aerobics class-- it's just been that good.  And its just a great break from having Arthur to myself for the full day, at the end of it.  If I have any frustration from our day, I can work it off then and come back home feeling refreshed mentally and physically.

The biggest frustration lately:  I'm embroiled in that age old parent versus child war on veggies.  Arthur used to be great with vegetables.  I was so proud when he got excited and even grunted for his broccoli.  Since he had that stomach bug weeks ago, however, and I gave him whatever he could keep down, he's decided he doesn't want his veg anymore and its been difficult to even get him excited about fruit now.  Its been bread.  Bread. Bread. Bread.  Crackers, breadsticks, toast, muffins... that's about all he'll take with the same enthusiastic gusto that he used to have for fruit and veg.  It breaks my heart and sometimes I can't even bear to watch him eat all that 'junk' while dumping all the 'good stuff' onto the floor.

Meanwhile, hubby says, "He's just being a typical toddlers.  He's still thriving.  He's still slender and active.  He'll outgrow it.  Just relax."  Well, maybe.  But I still have this overwhelming urge to ensure that Arthur's getting the most nutritious diet possible.  There is so much conflicting information out there on the subject.

A lot of parents have resorted to offering nothing but vegetables, or else sending their kids to bed hungry.  I just can't bring myself to do that.  I think its cruel and there are too many kids in the world who doesn't have a choice in going to bed hungry.  What a terrible luxury it is to have that as an option!  Most wouldn't do that to an adult, why do it to a child?

I wrote an article about Picky Toddler Eaters a while back, but it seems like the rules have changed.  I've research and referenced Dr. Sear's Feeding the Picky Eater: 17 Tips.  It is reassuring to read about toddler food binges.  We've tried the nibbler tray, but again, Arthur's reaching for only breaded items from the tray.  I've tried dips, but so far they just make Arthur gag.  Spreading and topping have similar results.  So, I'm giving 'Drink it' a go.  Today, I've added a new tool to my arsenal.  I now own a hand blender.

Besides bread, I can get Arthur to take drinkable yogurt in his sippy cups.  So, I have devised a plan for hiding veg in his eats... we're making smoothies and I'm adding spinach to them.  Plus, if I'm serving food with a sauce, that sauce gets treated as well.  I got three sippy cups ready to go.

Here's the quick recipe, if there's any interest...

  • 1 small cup of yogurt
  • 1 small banana
  • 2 tablespoon scoops of blueberries (wonderful superfood)
  • Eyeballed equal portion of fresh spinach leaves with their stems removed
  • Splash of milk to consistency

And blend it with the hand blender.  Quick clean up.  Small footprint for storage and counter space too.  If I had known about this hand blender before getting the food processor-- because it does come with attachments for chopping-- I wouldn't have bothered with the food processor.  Since its smaller, its just perfect for preparing quick, fresh, single sized children meals.  It's going to get a lot of use after Victoria starts on solids.

Hopefully, I'll have some good news to report on Operation: Popeye.

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