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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 6 - Clutter Challenge

I am loving the clutter challenge and the closer I get to February the more excited I am to keep going. 5 things a day is really much much easier than I thought it would be!

So to continue....

26 - Little Board Book (donating it to playgroup)
27 - A phone (hopefully someone will buy it.)
28 - A Calendar for 2010. (free-cycle)
29 - A Thomas Jefferson Education. (give it back to my girlfriend)
30 - A Mothering Magazine (donating it to friends)

As this is New Years Eve my intention (because no one keeps resolutions) is to keep getting rid of 5 things a day until my house is clutter free.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 5 - Clutter Challenge

I made it! I am totally caught up. It took me a little but I have made it to 25 pieces of clutter!

The List for Today

21 - Night Light
22 - Lanolin Cream, I have way too much of this stuff.
23 - Dog Harness. Not sure what to do with this....
24 - A cloth bag. Donate it to goodwill?
25 - A stuffed teddy. (did I mention how much I can't stand teddies?)

It feels so great to have started the de-clutter process. It is just amazing how we are so bogged down by all the clutter that we acquire.

Day 4 - Clutter Challenge

Back to the Clutter Challenge. This is awesome! I have never felt so motivated and my house is getting cleaner room-by-room...the best part is that my kids and husband are joining in now too!

So, the list.

16 - Leather Pants. They will never fit me again. I am hoping to sell them and get a little cash and some space at the same time!
17 - 5 pairs of Children's socks. We got many pairs for Christmas, so I decided to get rid of the ones that I can't stand, that never stay on, or are just plain ugly.
18 - Baby Name Book. Will pass it on to a new mom.
19 - Going to Bed book. I had 2 copies.
20 - Siblings without Rilvary book. Needs to go back to it's original owner. :)

And yes, I have more, so there will be another post today...but then I am all caught up!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I am at a cross-roads. I feel like someone is trying to shove me off of a pirate plank and into the water. I feel like I am being forced to make decisions, and in-decisiveness is more my style. Not saying that is a good thing, just that I get panic attacks when *I* actually have to make a decision. Like my dog. I wanted her too, but had to make my husband make the Final decision to get her, and this house, and to get married. (my heart was pounding insane when he asked me, as I was so afraid to make the choice....not that I didn't want to be his wife, I did. I just didn't want to have to be the one to say yes.)
And now, school. Yes, it rears it's ugly head once more. My son will be 5 in may. So in order for him to be able to go to kindergarten next year he needs to be registered by the end of next month...actually, the 11th of like 13 days away.

I go back and forth on this. On the one hand, my parents, in-laws, and husband are can't say that something doesn't work or is fundamentally flawed until you give it a try. On the other hand, why would I want my son to be a guinea pig?
I have friends that have their children in public school and they thrive. I have friends who homeschool and their kids are amazing! I have a friend who uses the blended program (which i am most interested in, and her kids seem pretty well adjusted....) I just can't decide. It's not helpful that I get into a yelling match with my husband every time we talk about it. He thinks I am irrational...I don't think he sees my side because his mom worked in the school system her whole career. So, I would say, that is a little biased, isn't it?

So, what is my worry...lets lay it out on the table.
My son is bright. Yea, yea, yea...every kid is gifted. (or at least every mom thinks her kid is.) I have to say that I am not making it up, my second son is no where near the intellectual capabilities that my first son had at his age. (the same can be said about the second and his physical attributes.) My son was talking by 9 months. Sentences. He has an incredible memory, he asks WHY all the time, he experiments, he can do simple math, count to 20, the alphabet is down pat...he is 4. He is also incredibly active. He likes to run, jump, bounce, climb, yell, interrupt, etc. He is sensitive, empathetic, and above all else a gentle soul. (to everyone other than his brother.)
My fear is that I will put him in school, and he will be forced into this little box that doesn't fit. That he will be made to conform and his little soul will be broken. (I am not afraid of the peer group, bullies and the like, as he can stand up for himself.) It is the adults and the parents at the school that I have no control over.

I fear that he will be made to sit, to learn not to interrupt, to not ask questions, etc. To beat the intrinsic nature of learning out of his system. When he knows the answer and the teacher does not call on him, he is crushed. How many times does one need to be crushed before they stop trying all together?
My fear is that he will be labeled ADD and left to sit in a corner for some grade 6 student to teach him how to read, because the teacher can not be bothered to work with the kids that need more help, or seem like they are unruly. That she will focus on the little girls that sit so nice and colour within the lines.

My fear is that if I kept him at home he would learn nothing. That he would be a social outcast, that he would not be successful in jr.high or high school. That he would never go to university and that I wasted all that potential.
Mostly, my fear is that I am going to do something wrong. (I also feel alone in this decision.)

**Update for September 2012. We are still homeschooling and it was the best decision that we EVER made. He is flourishing and learning at such an excellerated pace. He is really doing better than I could have ever imagined. Listen to your guts mamas! You know your children best.**

Day 3 - Clutter Challenge.

What? 3 posts in one day? I haven't even got to my actual post of the day yet! Still playing catch-up so I am almost there... :)

Here's the List

11 - GLO Stick (un-opened)
12 - Pager. (returning it where it needs to go)
13 - Breast-feeding Bracelet
14 - Broken Necklaces and Earrings. (this was a wonderful thing that really needed to be done, my jewelry box looks fabulous.)
15 - Nursing Cream

I have 2 more sets of 10 until I am caught up, but think that it should wait until the morning, when I can actually get into my kids rooms!!!

Day 2 - Clutter Challenge

So I am still technically on Day 1, but I started late so I am playing catch-up for a few days. I am suprised at how easy it is for me to find 5 things a's actually easier to find 10 or 12 and my house is looking so nice, because I organize as I go about the challenge.

Here is the list of my next 5.

6 - Stack of old paintchips. (why we keep these? who knows? we want to paint, but never have the time or the money to do so.)
7 - Broken Nutcracker. (Didn't make it past Christmas with a two year old...poor guy.)
8 - Organic Ginger Aid Tea. (I am going to send this to my cousin who is expecting.)
9 - Confessions of a Naughty Mommy. (I am planning on taking this book to a Used Book Store...unless someone wants it...anyone?)
10 - Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies. (Again, to a Used Book Store.)

Keep an eye out for my next post, coming in like 2 seconds..... lol

Day 1 - Clutter Challenge.

I signed up for the Mothering Dot Commune Clutter Challenge. It's From December 26th to February 1st. The whole premise is that you need to find 5 things a day to get out of your house, and trash doesn't count. :)
(Unless it's stuff like old earrings that needed to be trashed.)
I got to a slow start but am up to 5 items as of yesterday. I am going to post the items here just so I can keep motivated. (but will continue to post regular blog posts as I can...)
I need to decide on what I would like as a reward at the end...any suggestions??

The List

1. An Elephant Stuffie
2. A Broken Kids Clock
3. A Play Drill
4. A bag of gDiapers, looking to sell, but will cosign or freecycle if need be.
5. A whole host of old medications. This was actually a long time in coming, I had way too many expired etc. and was able to put them away properly.

All in all, a good start!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Don't Understand You.

I bought a book today on how to raise boys. My mom gave me crap and said that "You don't need to read a book on raising boys, you just do it!" She is right, I know...always right. But, a part of me still wants to see what this author will tell me.
I feel that when you have a girl, and totally correct me if I am wrong, that you can level with her to a point. You may get frustrated and argue, but you understand where she is coming from because you both think in the same way.
I don't think like a boy. Not to be too simplistic, or cliche, but I dont understand why farts are so funny, or why banging into walls or your baby brother is so hilarious.
When it comes to arguments I need to have some idea of how to argue with a boy/man. It's like when I get so frustrated with my husband because I just can not see where he is coming from and I shut down, or become defensive, or start yelling, or crying, because I just can't understand's not that I can''s just that we think differently; and unfortunately my sons will think like that too.
Sometimes men just dont make sense, and that is what I need the book for.
I know that it is not going to help me make these little robot men that I will be able to completely understand, manipulate and control. ( I don't want that) It may give me some tools, however, to better understand, talk and listen to all the men in my life, so that I dont get defensive, put walls up and maybe have a better relationship with my's worth a try anyway. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pie for Breakfast

My kids have been known to eat pie for breakfast, as well as a whole host of dessert products...Cinnamon Buns, Strudels, Turnovers, Donuts and the like. It's not because I think that these have any nutritional value in any way, but mostly because some days (like today) I just feel incredibly lazy and can not bother making them eggs, or toast, or pancakes (yet that seems like dessert as well) .
If you look at it that way, pie is actually more nutritious than the other things listed. I mean, look at the pie we had this morning. Apples, figs, a homemade least it has fruit in it.
I tell my kids that the reason that we had pie was because we are having a backwards day! They seem to get excited and I get off the hook.
I also get to make myself an individual smoothie, which I like much better than breakfast anyway!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas and Kids

I am usually not a fan of family get togethers, as my husband and I are the only ones with children (as we are both the oldest). It's not that our families have any issue with our children, it's that we don't get to sit and chat with everyone, and are constantly trying to keep a handle (literally) on our children.
Christmas however, is considerably better. I think that it may be because the kids are supposed to act like kids. What I mean, is that there are no real expectations on children to act a certain way because Christmas is for children.
Children are expected to be loud, obnoxious, and all around crazy! People like it, laugh, take pictures and on.
This Christmas was great. No expectations, just enjoyment.
I also love the fact that children are what makes Christmas special and magical. That they get so excited over a tiny little toy that you knew they just didnt know HOW excited!!
LOVE watching them open up the paper, ripping it, getting so excited with anticipation.... awesome!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More thoughts on Boys....

A friend's husband was talking to me today at playgroup how there are a considerable amount of girls verus boys being born a year, a number that amounts to 200,000 more girls than boys born in Canada it got me thinking. Why is it that I am a boy maker?
I really believe in fate, and everything happening for a reason, so there must be a reason why I make boys.
I have been mulling over this for a while and have come up with the following conclusions.
One : I am a very caring and empathetic person, and treat my sons with respect. I encourage sensitivity and problem solving. This will help them to be sensitive and caring dad's when they are older.
Two : I am a huge birth and breastfeeding advocate. Men (unfortunately) have traditionally had more power in politics than women. Perhaps my sons will fight for women's rights in these realms as men as well.
Three : They will also be supportive to their wives. (or else... ;P)
These are just three reasons that I have so far for why I would be given son's to raise....I am sure that I will think of more as the time comes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Jackets and Carseats.

I live in Canada. Guess what? Baby it is *cold* outside! Recently I have been noticing posts from mothers, blogs, facebook etc. that talk about the dangers of having your child wearing a coat in the winter in the car.
I get it, the jacket is bulky and gets in the way of the seat functioning properly. So the solution is to A) no jacket, B) poncho (polar fleece), C) the car-seat trick (which is still debatable between car seat techs) Here is a thread off
I guess I am super jaded having an emergency worker living in my house...I think that we can take all the precautions that we could possibly take and it's still not a guarantee that anything will be any better.
If you think about the amount of people that have died in cars over the years by drunk drivers, and the amount of drunk drivers that walk away with out a scratch after being ejected out of their cars it's really incredible. Sad really.
So instead of condemning mothers for using carseats with winter jackets, or thinking that they are knowingly putting their child at harm...maybe just maybe, the car seat tech should sit her ass down outside in -37 Celsius with a wind chill and wait for 15 - 20 mins....I mean if you were to get into an accident and rendered unconscious, how fast do you think the medics are going to get there?? And if your accident was bad enough that you are unconscious do you think you have heaters, and windows protecting your self and kids from the elements...and how fast does a child get hypothermia...
I am not saying we shouldnt be informed, but one size does not fit all and we really can only do the best that WE can.
I mean, I wasnt even in a car seat growing up.....thats progress isnt it?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Quintessential Hockey Mom

I have always been afraid to be the mom of boys. When my first son was born I was nervous to say the least. Nervous about the extra appendage, the temper tantrums, the "boy" stuff...I was convinced that because I was a girl I would know how to take care of girls.
Once he was born, there wasn't really a learning curve. I really enjoyed being the mom to a little boy. The only downside that I could see was that many of my peers and friends were having girls instead. So finding friends for my son (same sex friends) was tough, but other than that, nothing. When we became pregnant with our second son I wasn't really feeling either way, in regards to having another son, I was happy that my boys would be brothers.
When finding out that I am expecting another son (surprise!!!) this time around, I have to say that I wasn't was a funny feeling actually. I was more upset that I wasn't going to have that relationship that I have with my own mother. Not saying that boys can't have meaningful relationships with their sons, just that I wanted to recreate that relationship with my mom.
After a couple days of processing that I am going to be the mother of 3 boys, I have wondered what is it about being the mom of boys that makes me so nervous.
I have come up with a few things.
First, boys seem to move on when they get married. So I am nervous that I will be left alone. Secondly, women have much more influence on their girls than their boys. My biggest fear is that my boys will end up marrying some girl who parents completely different than me and I will have to watch idly by as my grandchildren are left to cry, or they use corporal punishment or whatever. And who am I to say how some other woman parents their children....even if they are my grandchildren.
Third, and this may be a bit crazy, but I really think that having daughters helps you in the long run. Men can idolize their mothers, and I would like my sons to tell me what they think, without fear of repercussion. It's my opinion that a daughter challenges her mother more and therefore when a mother becomes a mother-in-law, she will be able to handle the rambunctious daughter-in-law better.
Does this mean that the son does not challenge his mother, no not at all....but I do feel that son's tend to "baby" their moms more than daughters.
I guess I am not too excited to be that mom. The one of the three boys in sports, or the aggressiveness...but I am hoping that the way that I parent them will offset that a bit.
Fingers Crossed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Complete Lack of Motivation

I have stuff to do today, lots of stuff. Laundry, cleaning my kitchen, finishing my bedroom, sorting through more clothes, dishes, a shower, and it goes on....
My issue is this complete and utter lack of motivation. All I am doing is looking at Blog lists, refreshing on Facebook, and checking my email...again and again.
Why? Why am I so unmotivated?
Pregnancy could be a factor, but I slept pretty well last night. Going outside is a huge factor, as I hate the snowy cold wintertime...esp. when it is -30c. Maybe that I am nice and warm in my own house is an issue too....
I am also thinking that it could be the fact that I am reading that Mama Renew book and it is making me drudge up all these emotions and it emotionally drains me. Also, with the other "stress" going on with my life that I just can't seem to let go of.
I was really hoping that my friend would call me yesterday so that I could let go of the AP group for good.
I have re-joined the Mothering dot Commune, which I used to frequent very regularly before becoming a moderator, and with talks of my husband and I relocating, maybe its better that I give myself some space from my community. I just don't feel that it is giving me what *I* need. I don't feel like it is *my* tribe anymore.
I don't really know any of the new people that post on a regular basis, and a lot of the questions are really redundant...I guess that is what happens when you are pregnant with your 3rd baby...sleep, and eating is just something you do.
I would rather spend my time getting more education or writing articles or something that feeds my soul.
Lots to think about anyway.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Self Care

I am reading this book "The Mother's Guide to Self Renewal" I am on the chapter on Self-Care. How we as mothers do not take any time to do things that make us feel renewed or refreshed or whatever. We will forgo our shower if that means that we can do X for our kids, or even skip a meal or two because we are busy with the children.
I was really struck by the amount of time that I spend doing other things, instead of things for my self. One of the questions asked was "What are your top 3 life priorities?" based on what you do, or devote most of your life energy to...for me that would be cleaning my house, spending time on Facebook (working), and chatting with people on the phone about things that shouldn't really all.
So, I wont call them New Years Resolutions because they always get broken...but I do want to work on taking time for ME for MY family and MY relationships. The ones that are real, not superficial.
As I am entering the stage in my life when I am going to be the mother of 3 children, I need to get my priorities straight, and do things that feed my soul. Things that make life easier and less stressful for my kids, and my husband. Stop trying to make everyone else happy.
I am going to choose maybe 5 friends to concentrate on. The rest will just be on the surface. It's not like that is a bad thing, sometimes surface friends can be the best, because they are ones that you just have a good time with.
I just spend so much time repairing other peoples relationships, making sure that they feel supported, when I feel abandoned at times. (not by everyone)
I just need more me time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Matter of Opinion.

I have been butting heads politically the last couple of days, I kind of find it humorous because "pre-kids" I wanted to be a politician. lol. Thank god that my children saved me from that! Anyway, the other funny thing is that it is friend politics and mommy group politics, so politics of the worst kind!! :)
I was trying to explain to a couple people that a respect of legacy is always to be followed when starting a new project, not that one thinks that they need a pat on the back, but a simple "we appreciate what you have done" should always be in order...or that is what I think anyway.
While discussing my viewpoints with another person (who is also a good friend, so this sucks) she said that "You are only one person, and you have opinions, but not everyone has the same opinions." Which is completely true. I do only have my own opinions, and you know what I could really really do without rocking the boat. I am a pretty easy going person and am quite easily satisfied, however, when people come to me and tell me what they are feeling I feel (maybe wrongly) that I should bring it up so that we can be more open and harmonious. So, while people *think* my opinion is my own, it isnt. Not at all. Especially not in the area in question.
The other thing that I wanted to point out, was that yes I have my own opinion, but the same can be said of this is her opinion that my opinion doesnt have any merit. Again, while this may urk me, it doesn't really matter at my core whether or not she agrees with me, because I think that all people have a right to their own opinions, and the world would be super boring if we all agreed on the same thing. (and even best friends have difference of opinion.)
My issue is that she was alluding to the fact that the only people whose opinions matter are those that actively participate in the mommy group via the chat boards, or the in person playgroup. That is where I actually have the issue.
Some people do not participate because it does not give them what they need or what they are searching for. This does not mean that they need to be discounted, far from it. If you are not meeting the needs of all your constituents, then perhaps you should take a survey, figure why not, and fix it. Do not assume that they will just find something new, or a different tribe or something else.
It's kind of like the Birthing organization that I belong to; we learned that the vast number of women who were looking to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) were feeling unsupported by all levels...we did not assume that they would find a different magazine, or a different organization...we changed our policy to include more VBAC friendly stories and articles, because our mandate is to provide information to all women for an empowered birth.
Same should go with a parenting group who practices "attachment parenting" > which I learn more often than not that the principles that we hold dear and want to instill in our kids, we never ever treat other adults with the same principles.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pink is the least of the trouble.....

A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook today about the "pinkification" of Girls. You know, pink dresses, shirts, shoes and the like, but also the pink toys that focus on the domestic sphere and the fairy-tale sphere. (princesses, fairies, etc.)
I don't disagree...I do notice that the girls side is completely pink, with a little purple thrown in there just for fun! I also notice that there is tonnes of tulle, make-up, sparkles and the like. What I do disagree with is the statement that the boy's side has more variety.
That is simply not true.
Go to any big box store and while it may *look* like the boys have more variety, they really don't...the boxes are just different colours.
When walking into a big box store and going to the boy side you basically have 4 aisles of selection. They are as follows, Transformers (which signify war and violence), Starwars/Startrek (which also are war/violence), Marvel/DC; Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, (which are also fighting, violence), Trucks, Cars, Ambulances, Fire Trucks etc. (how many cars can one small child have?), and last but not least Nerf. (oh right, guns.)
So basically the aisles are Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Cars, and Fighting. (there are some cars that have gun attached so they squeak by....).
Have you ever noticed how all these toys look the same, just different heads? Like how different is a Transformer, from a Marvel Transformer, to a Marvel Action Figure, to a Starwars action figure, to a Startrek action figure, to a Car...(okay pushing that one... ;P).
So back to the argument that girls have no selection in their toys. Let's see, yes they are all pink, but they have dolls, tea-sets (cant boys play with tea sets?), housewares (can boys clean?), and dress-up clothes that are pretty and sparkly. (yes, boys have play-clothes, but they are 3 types...Ninja, Soldier, or Firefighter.)
The difference is that even a Barbie is an open ended toy. She can do much more than shoot a gun at zombies/monsters/evil scientists/or decepticons. Dolls can allow girls to pretend to be a teacher, a mommy, a midwife or any other sort of person who deals with babies and children. Housewares is completely open ended. They can cook a meal, have a tea party, and interact with language when playing with these toys..."would you like some sugar in your tea?" rather than "DIE Decepticon!! DIE!!"
I just think that once you look past the colour you see that toys that are marketed to girls lead them down a path of empathy and sensitivity, meanwhile boy toys are wrought with violence and ill will. (not to mention gross, and ugly).
So the bigger picture is not the "pinkification" of girls but rather the creation of stereotypical roles within our society for the different genders.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

In Search of Sleep.

We don't sleep very well in this family. I can't actually remember the last time one of us got a full eight hours of sleep. I think you just get used to it after a while. Well I do anyway. If I am not waking up myself to pee, then I am getting up to soothe a nightmare, or pat a child back to sleep. I find it really funny that when you are pregnant the first time people tell you, "oh, get sleep when you can"...or after the baby is born they then say "Sleep when the baby sleeps." like it is easy or something.
I just think as parents we just get used to sleep depravation.
Then there is the sleep trainers. They lead parents to believe that babies are supposed to sleep a minimum of 8hrs a day and that just is not true for all babies. Each child is really different and while some are just born good sleepers, others are not.
I think it has more to do with the parent's temperament really. What I mean is that some people are light sleepers and some are not. I know for myself and my husband nighttime is so different for us. My husband wakes up so fast, even for the slightest noise. I, on the other hand can sleep through a 4 year old climbing in my bed, and a two year old trying to twiddle, and a baby nursing through the night. So sleep comes easy for me...and not even that, but I seem to be able to live on much less sleep.
So when people rely on baby trainers I really just think that perhaps they need more sleep than some other person. Some times I think that it's needed, if used in the right way (like not neglecting your child, and checking on them periodically). Is a mother who beats her child, or yells, or whatever because her sleep deprivation is leading to depression, or severe mood swings worse or better than a sleep trainer?
What do you think??

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Second Birthday

My little guy turned two years old today. It's so mind blowing that it was only two years ago that I welcomed him into this world upstairs on my bed.
When you first have a child you expect that your life will be forever changed but you don''t realize just *how* much that it does change. Or how much you learn with every child.
I truly believe that our children are sent to us to teach us something. It could be patience, it could be empathy, understanding, or even how to stand up for your self.
My little guy has taught me that every child is incredibly different no matter how much they look like their older brother. He has also taught me to think on my feet, to let things slide, and to listen to my intuition much more. His older brother was able to tell me what he needed at a very young age and this one makes me do all the work!
He is a very high spirited and energetic boy, who definitely knows what he wants in life and will let you know if he isn't getting it.
I feel blessed to have such a wonderful little man in my life and look forward to watching him live and grow.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Sushi and Pregnancy.

I ate sushi last night. There I said it. I went against the grain and ate my share of glorious california rolls, salmon, tuna, red snapper, a spicy tuna roll, and the like. It was so good.
I am a huge sushi fan and so are my kids, so it is hard for our family to take it out of our diets for a whole 9 months. My kids actually like it, and are well behaved in a Sushi restaurant, so when I get pregnant I mourn for the days that I can go back and have my monthly Sushi infusion.
So last night was payday, and my son's second birthday is this weekend, and we decided to treat ourselves to a meal out. We asked the kids and the bigger one said Sushi. (we know the little one loves it just as much.) So we went.
Once we sat down we noticed that they changed the menu and the cheapest way for a family of 4 to eat was to get the Sushi for 2 and a couple extra avocado rolls.
I have always known of the concern about Sushi, Lunch Meats, Hotdogs, Soft Cheeses etc. So I was a little nervous consuming the fish. But I did. :)
I justified it by saying that women smoke through their whole pregnancy and what is a little bacteria on a fish going to do to me? I mean I haven't even gotten that H1N1 Vaccine as of yet, and that seems to be a much bigger deal.
As I ate each scrumptious piece I felt so guilty, but so satisfied at the same time.
I sat there thinking *why* was it so bad to eat Sushi? I mean, didnt women in Japan eat it everyday? Wouldn't they continue to eat it in pregnancy? My husband commented that perhaps they had the right bacteria in their stomachs to combat the bacteria. But I eat sushi once a month, so I must have that same bacteria. I also thought, maybe it was the mercury? If that was the case, I would just not eat Tuna, or Salmon for a couple months. (but all food is bad, someway or another. See Food Inc. if you don't believe me.)
So then I thought if I got sick I could tell the doctor I ate Sushi and then they would know how to treat it.
I then decided that all this would have been solved with an iPhone, and then put that on my Christmas list.
When I got home I googled, and guess what...I was right, and it is a fallacy. I was actually shocked. I expected to have many articles on just how bad Sushi is, but found that it's actually just one of those things you need to eat in moderation. Sure, bacteria exsits, and so does the mercury, but not in high enough levels in the fish choices I ate, and I live in the suburbs in a city, the restaurant that I chose to eat at is spotless.
You certainly learn something new everyday!
Want to read for yourself? Check out here, here, here and here.
Lastly, douzo meshiagare!!! (enjoy your meal!)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And Letting Go...

I was talking to a friend today about my last blog post. She commented on how the things that make me the most stressed (ie. Organizations that I have my toes in) really don't *need* me. That is true. We have extra people who moderate the parenting group that I belong to, and although there will be a huge transition from the old to the new site and the fact that I am an adminstrator the new website, I dont have to be.
Also, with regards to the non-profit that I belong to, if it makes me crazy instead of inspired, I don't *need* to continue to feel the way I have been feeling.
It's not that I don't know that I am replaceable, because I do. Maybe not at this moment, but if I step down someone else will step up. It's inevitable. The world gives us what we need. :)
I just feel un-heard. Not that people don't hear me, because they do. It's hard not to hear me because I am so incredibly opinionated. But, they don't *hear* me...or I perceive that they don't. Or maybe they hear me, but don't really understand, or see the bigger picture. I have a problem with that one, because I don't like to see people make mistakes, and if they have already been made by me, or by past members of a planning commitee, then it's hard for me to let go of that control and say, "It's okay to let go." "It's okay for people to make mistakes." "It's okay for them to have a different vision." "It's okay to move on." "It's okay."
The hard part for me is letting go, giving up all of the work and effort that I have put into something to allow other people to take it on. It's not that I don't think that others are capable, or that they are not as's almost like I just need them to acknowledge the importance of another opinion, or the hard work that others have done before them...and perhaps the politics that exist.
I guess this is practice for when my children have grown and I have to let go of them and allow them to continue to grow on their own.
I never view myself as a "Type A" but maybe I really am one.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I am so tired of the politics that happen with women. So tired. I dont understand why everything has to be such a flipping production. I am actually glad that women are not the leaders of the free world because I think we would spend WAY too long arguing with eachother and not accomplishing anything.
the thing is that every little comment and nuance is examined and over examined and hardly anyone takes anything at face value...or just what it is, and offhanded comment.
Like really, who the heck cares about whatever it is that you do..personally, professionally, with your kids, with your pets, your political views, etc. Why can't we just share information and get on with it.
I just hate having to justify myself over and over and over.
I am just feeling like I am bashing my head on a wall over and over, and am so grumpy....maybe it's just the pregnancy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Listening ...or not.

I am on a journey at the moment. Since I am taking a break from School, and from Volunteering I have a little more time for myself as of late. I am working on relationships, with my family, my friends and even my dog!
At the moment my biggest parenting issue is that my older child (4) doesnt listen to me. He can hear me, he just chooses not to follow instruction.
I have to say that it is the most incredibly frustrating thing that he does. I understand that I dont want him to everything that people ask him to do, as questioning a persons motives is always nice when being asked a favour...but I am asking him to stay in a bathroom stall while my pants are down around my ankles and the other child is being wrestled away from the Tampon Disposal....yuck! But no, instead of heeding his mothers warnings and requests and threats, this 4 year old disappears under the door, and races to the entrance of the building so that he can then press the handicap button. SOOOO frustrating, not to mention unsafe.
I have asked for many many different opinions, and have tried pretty much all of them, save spanking....I honestly dont think that one would work either. (not that it is even an option for me), I am just at my wits end and felt I had to rant about least that way I feel like I am actually doing something.!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Question of Parenting Style.

My last post I concentrated on "attachment parenting" and the disservice that "experts" can do to new mothers by making them think that some how this will lead to angel children. Today I am going to talk about the 3 types of parenting that are in Barbara Coloroso's book "Kids are Worth It."
The first thing that I should point is that there has to actually be a classification of 3 types of parents. we all basically fit into one of 3 molds...I dont think so. There are as many types of parents as there are kids so to try and place us all into a category again undermines our very abiltiy to parent and makes us question those instincts that we have towards our offspring.
Anyway, I digress. Let's start.
This parent is a bear. Doesn't really listen to their child, uses corporal punishment, is punitive etc. Not someone you want to aspire to be. :)
The listener, The *I* statements, the reasoning...basically the run of the mill parent. The one that we *should* all be.
The jelly-fish. Lets their kid get away with anything, and honestly, at least for me..the hardest parents to deal with. No discipline at all.
Now where is "AP" on this know what? It could be all three. Shocking!!!
But really, sometimes we have to put our foot down, esp. when safety is a concern and at other times we can be totally permissive when we want to keep our cool and know that this battle wont matter in the long run.
Whatever the case, it just doesnt matter what the label says you are. You are you, and you know your child and you want to do the best you can do as a parent. No "expert" telling you what you "should" do is going to help you, if anything it will just make you feel more judged or more guilty for something that you may have done in the past.
Parenting is hard. Its the hardest job that anyone will ever have, bottom line. If you teach your kids respect, respect for them, you, and life what else really matters?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


For a long while I have been a part of an Attachment Parenting group. I have posted about it often. Maybe too often...
As I get older, or more experienced in my parenting I have come to realize that it isnt an US vs. THEM type of universe when parenting.
I admit it, I could not stand to hear about parents sleep training their kids and yes, I judged them harshly...too harshly. I somehow had to make myself *better* than these parents...and I mean, wasn't AP'ing so much harder? Didnt that make you the more committed parent? Parenting through the night as well as the day....
Anyway, I have really come to realize in the last little while that these other parents have much more to offer me than I had once thought. For one, they dont make me feel guilty for not spending every waking moment with my child, for feeding him a hot dog, or for losing my cool once in a while. Of course I am not saying that every AP mom makes me feel that way too...I am just saying that certain "baby experts" lead you to believe that if you breastfeed until they self wean, co-sleep until they decide to leave the family bed, and feed them all organic that you will have the perfect little children. And if not, you failed.
I am here to call Bullshit. First off there is this little thing called Nurture vs. Nature. No amount of AP'ing is going to make a HUGE difference on your child, especially if you are responsive to your child, but understand that BALANCE is key. You can be respectful to your child and foster a healthy relationship without following all those "baby b's " or referring to your self as an "attachment parent".
While I am at it, the whole concept of the "attachment parent" leads us to failure...who is someone who isnt? an "detachment parent"? What does that say? What kind of message is that?
We need to be respected for all of our parenting choices and to be able to say, "hey I do that different, and its okay". I really think that we would have more of a village if that sort of thing happened more often, and we didnt play into these "experts" ideas of how it is to parent.
I will be the first to say that I make mistakes and I dont have a clue what I am doing most days, and most of the time I am just learning as I go. But, every single day I learn something new and I am open to change and all I want is for my kids to say when they are 20 years old, that they do not have a question in their mind that they were loved by their parents and that they were treated with respect and therefore they will treat others with respect. Label or no label.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

I just finished reading Siblings Without Rivalry, it really only took me 3 hrs (uninterrupted!). The basics concepts of the book were really well laid out.
The only real issue that I had with the book was that it is really hard to use the concepts on a 2 year old and 4 year old. Both get way too upset to really listen.
Most of the concepts talk about using words and understanding and working things out with little parental suggestion.
Something along the lines of "I see two sad children, who both want to watch different TV shows, can you both work together to figure out how both of your needs can be met?"
I think that perhaps with a 5 - 20 year old that could work, but a 2 and 4 year old....they just get too angry.
They dont understand that their actions have any consequences for other people.
I really enjoyed this book though and would suggest it to other parents for a sneak peak on what to say when their kids get a little bit older. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Presentation: Supporting Mothers.

When the demands of motherhood get so great that we sometimes forget who we are ourselves we need to reach out and be available to other mothers looking for the same thing. There are many different ways to support other mothers, and sometimes when life gets so hectic and busy that we forget that we were once where the new mom is.

Can you remember it? That first time you felt like a mom? You may tell yourself that it was the first time you felt the baby kick, or the first time you heard your baby cry, or maybe you think it was just after your baby was placed on your chest. These are all legitimate moments to think of ones self as a mother. I can remember when I first felt like a mom, it wasn’t when I felt that first kick, heard the first cry, or even pushed that child out so fast that he caused my midwives to jump to! It was 3 days later.

My milk had not come in. I was wearing clothes that did not fit, too tight on the tops, too loose on the bottoms. I was on partial bedrest because of a tear. So I hadn’t showered, or really been able to do anything for myself. It was 4 in the morning and this little baby was crying. Now, some back story for you all to chuckle at. My son was planned to the day, let me tell you. It was the night of my 23rd birthday, and I was just finishing my 3rd year of university. I was a psychology major. I had been married for a year, and honestly felt like I had accomplished nothing. So I said to my husband that I wanted to do something I could be proud of, something that I was “good” at. I was “good” at children. I was a nanny, a sister to 3 younger siblings…so we decided to get pregnant. And we did. The next month. Of course I was so sure that I could “do” this baby thing that I still enrolled in my fourth year, fought through the morning sickness. (or all day sickness) and tried in vain to finish that year out and convocate, in April and have the baby in May. We had it all planned out nicely.

What do children teach us? That you have to be flexible. So needless to say, none of that happened. But, that is another story entirely.

So, back to the bathroom. I could “do” this. I was “good” at children. So why on earth was this baby crying and why on earth did I have no idea how to make him stop?!

And then it hit me. It hit me hard. So hard that I had to hold on to that little baby for dear life so that I wouldn’t drop him on the cold bathroom floor.

I became his mother.

I realized that this little baby, this little defenseless, fragile, teeny 7 lbs boy was completely reliant on me for his sole survival. That although he had a dad that was in the other room, and a grandma, and a granny, and countless others. I was his mother. I was the one where the buck stopped. I could at that moment, decide to step up and become his mother and tell myself that perhaps I didn’t actually “know” children as much as I thought I did, or I could go back to bed, give him to his daddy and give up. I decided to embrace this new role, with tears streaming down my face.

For I realized what this meant. I was responsible for him. I would sacrifice everything for him. I would be there through good and bad, through happy times, sad times, and even the best of the mad times. I would do my best for him and give my all to him. As I wept, and sobbed, I welcomed my new life and mourned the passing of my single womanhood.

My husband went back to work. My mother visited, but infrequently. The massive amounts of people who had once graced my door offering gifts and hugs and questions of “can I hold the baby” all died down to the sound of TLC on the television. I found myself increasingly alone. Even more so since my friends had all returned to university, or the ones who had graduated were no where near having children.

I felt lost. Bored when he slept, and haggard while he was awake. I started visiting online parenting groups and connected with one that had weekly playgroups on Thursdays in the basement of a church. I was to nervous to take the baby out by myself but reading other mothers comments and answers to questions made me feel better about my day.

This little contact that I had with other mothers was a turning point for me. I started looking for it. Waking the streets when I thought others would be out. Listening for the swings to start at a playground by my house and rushing out to see if I could catch that mom, or at least say hi.

I have to say that this was the lowest part for me. And I know of some women that got much lower than I. And all I can say, is thank goodness for outreach programs.

Things started to turn around when I started to attend a monthly breastfeeding support group. I started seeing moms on a monthy basis and we would meet for playdates as well. The online group that I was a part of started having playgroups in my community as well. I started getting out and meeting people. Talking about my problems, my frustrations, listening to other mothers talk about theirs, and building that sense of community.

As I started to get to know some of the mothers better I would call them, or email them just to chat. We would go out for breakfast as our children got older and were more likely to allow us that luxury. We would go for walks, go to the mall, library, zoo, science center, you name it.

But it wasn’t the outings themselves, it was that one on one. That mother to mother support. That acknowledgement that I wasn’t alone. That my child wasn’t the only one who liked to throw spaghetti in a ceiling fan, or run around all day in his underwear. That no one really knows what they are doing but we all pretend that we do. That we are all just trying to do the best for our kids in any way that we can.

That mother to mother support. Nothing is more important as a new mom than to find likeminded mothers that believe in some or most of the things that you do. That understand what you are talking about that can just lend a shoulder to cry on, and ear to listen to, or an encouraging, “you are doing great!”

In my line of business, and within the organizations that I volunteer for, I often get the question, “but where do I find these moms.” For some women it’s easy. They are extraverted they have friends that are going through pregnancy with them, they like to organize things and people generally find them. For others, like myself, it can be a tough climb.

I tell these moms that they need to be open to everyone, and that can be tough as a new mom as you are always trying to “fit” in to some group. It’s easy to judge eachother as the mommy wars rage supreme. Bottle vs. Breastfeeding, Crib vs. Co-Sleeping, Vaccines, Soothers, Parenting Styles, and these are just a few of the many, many, many things that mothers can judge eachother on. Discipline. That is a big one.

Regardless of judgment, I tell mothers that they must put themselves out there, and look for moms to talk to. Events like this one, where there is a common ground. Just to work up the courage to say hi. I tell moms that other mothers want them to say hi. That they are too shy themselves, or that they feel like their life may not be as interesting as it once was when business trips are replaced by diaper changes.

And we, the experienced mothers, we must remember what it was like to be that new mother. To take ourselves back to the time when we first realized that we were a mom, and remember what it felt like before we made our connections, our community. It is easy enough to forget as the children get older, or as we add more to our fray.

We have to make a conscious effort to embrace these new mothers. To listen attentively to their concerns, their questions and their suggestions. Although we ourselves may feel over worked, over whelmed and have issues that are well past the baby stage, we have to remember that these women are actively looking to find their place in the mommy world. That they have just recently gone through that life changing moment in the bathroom, and realized that they are that baby’s sole lifeline.

So, say hello. Congratulate that mother for nursing, or wearing her baby, or just getting out the house. Offer her suggestions for resources in the community. I always carry cards on my person with the contacts for some playgroups in the city and for city run resource centers.

She may not take your help, your suggestions or your friendship…but if she does, you will walk away knowing that you have made that woman’s life infinitely better just by being you.

And one day, she may end up, standing in a room, delivering a speech about how mother to mother support is the most important thing that she could have ever received. All while thinking about you, and the kind words that you imparted to her, when she was a new mom struggling in the fray.

I want to take this time for some of you to share your story of when you first realized that you were a mother. (or a father) and how you gain support.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Run Right Down.

This month is the pits for me. I have an incredible amount of work to do and it all comes to a head on the 30th! I just cant seem to catch up and I am tired all the time. I think I will go to Home Outfitters tomorrow and get another blender so I can make some smoothies....they make me feel SO much better!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Fashion Dilemma.

Before I had children I considered myself quite "trendy" and "well put together". It's no secret that I have much of a clothing addiction, but I am finding myself quite literally drowning in clothes. Also, finding myself pregnant again, the 3rd time in 6 years I have this issue with maternity clothes as well.
I am not too sure what I should really do.
I have all of these beautiful dresses and skirts that I used to wear before I had my children and have not worn alot of these for many years, and while some would say to give them away, or sell them, but I really love them and they cost money.
While I know this is partly because I have a bit of a hording problem, but I think its more of a want to go back to that time...a time when I could wear anything beautiful without worrying about baby spit up, poop, or food being thrown at me, or having my clothes used as a napkin or tissue.
I think with kids you just cant wear the nice clothes, especially if you are a SAHM, (stay at home mom). You can't go to a park with a skirt and nice heels.
I think I am whining now, I know the answer is to get rid of the clothes...I just dont want to give them up.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just Gross.

I just had a quick story to share with all of you at the lowest point of this pregnancy and morning sickness..... So my elder son (4) went up the stairs to go pee. I heard flushing of the toilet, once and then twice. I then get a call, "Mom!!!! MOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! Ryan flushed my ambulance bed in the toilet!!" Ryan is 2 and has shown a keen interest in potty learning. I RUN up the stairs...light headed from the run I ask keenan, "What???? what happend??" Keenan replies, "Ryan flushed my ambulance bed down the toilet" he starts crying, "I want it back....wail." I look at ryan. Who has the same smirk that belongs to my husband and my brothers when something is wrong....I ask him, "Ry, did you flush a toy down the toilet?" He nods. I sigh. I look at the toilet. It's filled with pee. (at least its in the toilet and not on the floor). I look around the toilet and surrounding area for a little ambulance strecher that is no bigger than a fork and no wider than a credit such luck..... I curse to myself (in my head) and yell at my children to give me some room. I thrust my hand into the pee water to feel if there is a toy wedged in the elbow of the toilet...there is. I cry to myself, and try to un-wedge it, thanking god for small bones. I wriggle it, gagging on the pee smell, and finally get it free...sludge comes to the surface with it....(today is bathroom day incidentally). As I try not to gag, I take the toy to the sink, flush the toilet, and wash my hands....and keenan's hands, and ryan's hands....and then put a new rule in effect... The door to the bathroom is to stay shut at ALL times.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pregnant Again.

Yep, thats right.
Pregnant It's kind of funny how when someone adds a second child everyone is excited and thinks its great that the first child wont be an "only" but when you add a 3rd....well then you are just crazy. I think having ANY children is crazy, but having more than one is just certifiable.
I am grouchy, and grumpy and overworked. Yes, I have 2 boys already that were making me nuts. And morning sickness, oh morning sickness, or in my case "all fricken day sickness" sucks. Period. I feel like crap, and look like crap, and completely lack the motivation to do anything that is work related, or school related.
They say, "this too shall pass..."
Not soon enough I am afraid.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Interesting thought for the day.

Discipline problems are greatly reduced when transitions are planned properly. And children's well-being is promoted when they feel that they have some control over what they are doing and when they are doing it, rather than being "herded" or moved from activity to activity in a rushed and thoughtless way.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The right to bring kids.

I have kids, yes I do. Two of them in fact. Excitable, active, inquisitive children. One toddler, and one preschooler.
I have been noticing of late that we (my family and I) seem to be getting the shaft when it comes to family get togethers when the occur *outside* the home. It seems as though while the grandparents love and cherish their grandchildren they do not want to see them in public. Which some would say is understandable.
While I do agree that there are certain things that children should not be invited to as a wedding, a funeral and the like, a family dinner, a graduation dinner, a birthday dinner are all things that they SHOULD.
Now, it could just be that I feel like this because I feel not being invited to said events is like discrimination. Discrimination for having children. Like Joey's Tomatoes who just dont have a kids menu, and good luck finding a high chair.
So maybe it is because the grandparents dont want to eat at Boston Pizza, that could be a reasonable explanation. I would take that explanation. I would understand that eating out with small children can be annoying. I get it.
However, to invite the other siblings, the ones that *dont* have children, or *choose* not to, is in my opinion just mean.
That is where the discrimination comes in.
If we were invited we would decline to go to fancy restaurants or try and get a sitter.
But we would need the invite first.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hitting as Love

I met a women who also had two boys today. She really spoke to me in such a way that I felt we really connected on a personal level. I was explaining to her how I would become frustrated that my boys were hitting eachother so much and that I had hoped that they would show love and compassion to one another as I did not condone violence in my home.
She laughed and said, that men can not show compassion towards eachother. They can not show love. Well, not in the way that a woman shows love and compassion. If they did, they would then be ridiculed.
As she explained this to me, I started to cry. It was as if she had explained the bottom line fundamentals of boys and men. That they DO love and they DO feel compassion they just express it by hitting, and wrestling and the like.
She went on to say that little boys have a very different relationship with their brothers and their dads and fighting, or rough housing is a way that they express that they are feeling safe with that person. Safe enough to feel vulnerable enough to say, hey we can play at something that can really hurt, and I trust you not to hurt me, because I love you.
This explanation was pure perfection to me, and really made me look at my sons and the relationship that they have with eachother, with their dad and with me.
Boys are expected from a very young age to "man up" to "stop being a sissy" to "stop crying like a girl" and once we place all these restrictions on them they then have to find other acceptable ways to express their feelings. (unless of course they are in sports where bum tapping is okay, or crying after winning a big game.)
This mom really changed my viewpoint about fighting today, and I dont think she will ever know how truly grateful I am.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A new way of looking at things.....

So it is no surprise that I subscribe to the "attachment parenting" philosophy. I breastfed (eed), co-sleep (slept), baby wear (wore) both of my children. I have read Alfie Kohn, Elaine Faber, Gordon Neufield and the like. (Dr. Sears as well). But, I have always felt that there is/was no need for this label.
This "AP" label. It just makes women crazy. That we have to do X and X and X to prove to someone, anyone (ourselves?) that AP is the only way that you can possibly "do right" by a child. I am one of those who fell for that way of thinking hard. 4 hard years ago in fact. I never let my child Cry-it-out. I never once belittled him, ignored him and the like....well, who exactly am I trying to kid?
I am a human first, a woman second and a mom 3rd. Of course I have screwed up. I have not left him to cry, that is right, but he has screamed in my arms. I have ignored him, I have yelled, lost my temper and all the others, I havent smacked him....but who exactly am I qualifying to?
Do you, dear reader, really truly care if I screw up my kid? Isnt that my right as a parent?
So back to the whole AP point that I was trying to make and then got distracted.
I have friends that CIO. And I see their kids, they are just as grouchy as mine, as disrespectful as mine can be, and as loud and obnoxious too...maybe that is just "preschooler". These women are not evil. They are doing the best that they can do, with the knowledge that they have, and who is anyone to judge them. Me? Do I have that right? You? How would I feel if someone judged me? Thought I was the worst parent in the world because I cant keep my boys clean.
I change them over 5 times a day...clothes that is.... doesnt matter, as soon as I put it on its on the floor covered in paint, dirt, snot or other things too gross to mention.
Why am I all riled up? I have been reading my parenting forum and the newbie moms, you know the one's with *one* kid who is less than 2. The ones whose children cant walk let alone backtalk...they just judge so harshly. And it burns me up, because I was like that too. SO judgmental. They just dont understand that by saying "I am so glad that I AP" means that they are building a gap between moms that just need a little support, some guidance, some help. The energy could be so much better spent. Instead of an US vs. Them mentality. Of course I dont have a leg to stand on as I also hold grudges forever.....
One last point on AP and this is the big one, the reason for this post. I actually dont think we AP our kids...I think we AP ourselves. Our children will all react the same way no matter how we raise them, it is how we react that matters.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Other People's Kids

I do love children for the most part. My own children drive me a little crazy now and again. I think compared to most of my friends I am a bit more strict than they are, and I never noticed this until I started hanging out with them more when their children were around.
I posted about discipline (the way other people discipline) a while back and how it didnt actually affect me, how I parent or how it doesnt affect my own children. I have come to the realization that perhaps I was wrong on that assumption.
I was right to say that in the moment a way that a person decides to discipline their own child, or not discipline does not affect any of the above, however, how that child then acts towards *other* authority figures and children in general does affect all of the above.
Dont get me wrong, I do love my friends kids.. I am just starting to notice that some of them (mainly the girls) do not treat my sons so well. They can play nicely for hours but then can turn on a dime, uttering hurtful things and a whole bunch of sassyness.
I honestly try to respect my friends and their parenting style, and for the most part my closest friends and I follow the same style...the difference comes in expectations. Some parents have different expectations for other children. And that is not a bad thing, if we all had the same expectations the world would be quite boring and we wouldnt be able to learn from eachother.
That is where I am a little more strict or harsh, I guess. I expect K to fall in line after he has been given 3 warnings. If he does not comply we leave. Immediately.
He doesnt have a chance to rectify his behaviour. I feel he is given ample warnings and ample time to fix what he is doing.
On the subject of other children....I am not sure how to handle them.
For the most part I am hands off when it comes to my friends children, but there have been more and more times when I have been in a situation where these children disrespect me, or my authority or disrespect my children. The problem with children is that for them to learn something it has to be immediate. But going to find the mom to deal with the situation makes the learning opportunity disappear. And then I wonder, what should I do?
Talk to the child directly? Treat them as I would my own? Some of my friends use gentle discipline, and so talking would be preferable, however, some of these children do not practice "gentle discipline" themselves and just get saucy and rude.
I can usually let it slide off my back, but as keenan gets older and these girls get cattier, it will take all my strength not to say something to them directly. But the question remains, should I?
Is it in my right to correct a girl when my son's feelings are hurt? Would the same happen to him if he was the one hurting feelings? I would hope so.
I just feel like K is a very sensitive boy and the older we get the more comments he receives from girls. It's not that these girls are picking this up from anyone in particular, or that their parents are to blame...that is not the case at all.
Girls get this mentality where they get catty. Bottom line. They form cliques and groups and clubs. People are denied entrance to one and allowed entrance to another, solely based on membership. (this happens in the adult world as well)
So what is a mom to do?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Berry Picking

As an aside from the cottage for the time being.....
We went berry picking at a friends farm today. It was so great to be out in nature in this beautiful weather, it made me feel like maybe we are getting a summer after all.
She has two massive gardens and we went to pick raspberries....I can actually attest, being a city girl and all, that I had no idea that is how raspberries look on a bush. No wonder they are so fricken expensive if someone has to actually pick all of those and put them into little containers before sending them to the store....incredible.
K was happy as a clam to run around and pick as many as he could stuff in his mouth with R close behind.
They were occupied for hours.....says something, doesnt it?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Holiday - The Begining

Well, that was interesting.
I am going to try and blog about my visit to the cottage this year, but as I was without a computer for two weeks I have an abundance of topics to discuss.
I thought, perhaps that I would start from the beginning as it happened in a typical fashion for our family.
I stayed up late the night before to pack much to my hubby's dismay. I came to bed at around midnight. I made sure to set my alarm for 5am since the flight left at 8am and I had two kids to dress etc. Hubby set his alarm as well.
Can you believe that neither of them went off? Not one.
No idea why mine didnt, but hubby's battery died.
So we woke up at 6:30am, just by fluke. We panicked.
We threw stuff in suitcases, took sleeping children and RAN to the truck.
We left our house at 7am. We made it to the airport at 7:30am. As our flight was boarding, and ran to check our bags. (thank goodness for online checkin)
We actually made our flight with minutes to spare.
The funny part was that the next day after hubby charged his phone it went off at 5am (so 3am ont time)...and when we got home my alarm went off at 5 am as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pit To Distress

I don't write a lot about birth on my blog because this blog is more for personal ramblings and I ramble enough to keep it full already. Having said that, being next in line to become the President of a Birth Advocacy group, means that perhaps the blog will start to have more tidbits of Birth Culture thrown in from time to time.
I just read a blog post here and here and have to say that I am floored. Not so floored that I am actually surprised, but floored that doctors can be so damn selfish.
No Hippocratic oath needed. Just numbers, times, procedures.
No accountability for the mothers well being, physically or mentally. Not to mention how the babies will recover as well.
Now, I have to say that I understand that there is a need for C-Births. My own husband was a frank breech and they went for the section. I am positive that it did in fact save his life. However, 30 years ago they were not even close to as common as they are today, and I am not thinking that the physiology of women has changed exponentially in one generation.
The bottom line is that society says that we can't do it, we cant naturally birth our babies...well not without an epidural anyway, and for that matter, we can't breastfeed either, but formula is a great alternative.
This is WRONG.
We CAN and all we need is the support. Support of our friends, support from our spouse, support from our community, or caregivers etc.
When a women goes into labour I want her to have all of the information that she possibly can so that when the doctors come to say, "we are just going to give you some pitocin" She can know before hand what the maximum dose is for her body and will be able to cut them off if they tried to "pit to distress" her baby.
And by the off chance that she does end up having a c-birth she is *proud* of the fact that she has done everything she can and that her baby comes into the world without distress.
No regrets, no questions, just reassurance, and support.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Boys and Dolls,

It's no secret that I am more of a "genderized" mom. This means that I don't like it when my boys wear panties, dresses, high heels are okay for dress up...I have never bought them a barbie. On the other hand I am not into war toys and dont like fighting games.
I do have dolls for my boys though. This may make me a hypocrite in some peoples eyes, but I really feel like having a doll allows them to show their sensitive side and then can also mimic parenting.
My boys love to cuddle, hug, and kiss their babies. They fight over them and take them everywhere.
It's actually funny to me that out of ALL of the toys that they have they would become so connected to dolls.
This does of course make me nervous for when they are older, as they become more "genderized" then they already are and some other, older boy(s) say, "boys dont play with dolls"
I hope that I can make my boys feel confident enough that it wont phase them....their mom on the other hand......

Monday, July 06, 2009

Xavier Rudd

I went to the Xavier Rudd concert last night. It had to be the weirdest experience that I have had in a while.
First let me preface by saying that Xavier Rudd is got to be my favourite artist. His music speaks to me rhythmically and lyrically. He sings about social change, the environment, and the like. As I become more and more of a hippie in my old age, I really feel connected to what he is saying and most if not all of his shows change me that little. People love, sing, smile, sway and dance to him. It is truly a movement.
Last nights show however, was the oddest Xavier concert I had been to. For one, it was a packed house at the Jubilee (which is more of a formal concert place) and the majority of people did not look like stoners or hippies (who usually come to his shows).
I was excited, I thought it was great that he was reaching a higher audience...until...we sat next to these two bimbos who were drinking vodka out of pepsi bottles, talking and texting while the show was going on, and generally being disrespectful...did i mention that they got up and left the show 3 different times....second, no one stood up to dance, or sing unless Xavier asked (which he had to do twice).
No Dancing. It was crazy.
The whole purpose of a Xavier show is to dance.
I was trying to figure out WHY it was such a wierd vibe.
The venue...way too formal, too comfortable chairs??
The Crowd...too mainstream? No one knew him? Too corporate? Inner City Jackasses? Stampede?
Maybe the just didnt get the message?
I just find it so wierd, and cant get it.....
I have posted a Xavier song here, just so you can see what I mean about the message...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Canada Day

We had a great day at Canada Day celebrations yesterday. It is so fun to teach the boys new things. Keenan had never really heard the national anthem and Ryan thought that all of the festivities were wonderful.
We did have some junk food, but mini donuts are hard to resist. (I resisted...)
We actually bumped into an old roomate who has a band now that is actually quite successful. It was kinda funny to see him as we sometimes wish we could be like him, and he seemed totally blown away that we had children. (he knew that we did but had never met them). It was especially funny that both K and R loved to rock out to his music.
Seeing him again did make C feel a little sorry for himself, because he really misses the fact that he doesnt play music as much as he could.
I think he should just sign up to a market collective or something.....

Standing your Ground

As soon as you announce that you are expecting the advice starts. Everyone wants to tell you what to expect for your pregnancy, your birth and parenting in general. At first you may welcome the comments because you would like to learn as much as you can.

As the weeks go by, you start to form a construct of who you will be as a mother. You will take some advice while completely disregarding other advice that does not fit in with your birth plan or parenting style. Some people have no issue telling others that they disagree, but many new mothers feel that they must listen. They may believe that what they are hearing is true because they have no experience of their own to reference. I am here to tell you that you are the best parenting expert there is regarding your child.

At some point you will encounter people whose positions on birth and parenting you do not agree with. It can happen in a prenatal or playgroup class, or with close family and friends. While you have no obligation to listen to what the people in these classes say, it can be more difficult when the contrary advice comes from your inner circle. It may feel more personal and that makes it more difficult to brush the comments aside.

When facing disagreements, it is always good to be as informed as possible. Information is the first tool we can use to diffuse a disagreement. It makes it easier to explain why you are following the path less traveled. Know your position and the facts around it and you will feel more confident with your choice.
For our parents, it was normal to give a baby a bottle filled with pabulum at bedtime, and put them on their tummies to sleep. It was the best information parents had at the time. We would not do that with our children now. The pediatric advice has changed in 30 years because we know more. So although Grandma may think that they old way is the proven way, we can show her and others that recommendations are not the same now and we can tell them why.

Moms do not need to be defensive or disagreeable. By showing the information in black and white you can get others on board. There are lots of resources in the community for new moms including naturopaths, midwives, and doctors who can all help when talking about food or sleep related issues. There are also parenting books on every topic available at the library. If you are close enough, you can suggest a book to the other person so you can discuss the issue once they have read about it.

The most important thing for a new mom is to find support. Seek out likeminded people who believe in the same ideas that you do. Just having a support network of other moms will do wonders for your own personal convictions. You can find a variety of parenting groups through the Birth Unlimited resource guide or on the Internet. Get out of the house and meet people. You may think that you are the only one who believes in your choices, like vaginal water birth at home with midwives, but that is not the case. There are many, many moms and dads that believe the same things you do. You just have to find them.

Finding your support network will be the first step in to being more confident in your choices. Educating yourself will be the second. If you are confident in the choices that you are making, then people will be less likely to challenge you on them. Have a united front with your partner and keep your cool. Recognize that not all things are or have to be open for discussion. You can tell your friends and family to respect your decisions and that you will not discuss it anymore. Be strong and use your support network to build your confidence.

Remember, your birth and parenting choices primarily affect your immediate family unit. It is not your mother or your mother in law who will be woken up in the middle of the night. It is you. So make decisions that work for your family. Doing what is in your heart as best for your family is all you can do.

You are human and your positions may change as you encounter life changes. The key is to believe in what you are doing and be informed. Never feel guilty for doing your best. Do not stress over every comment sent your way. Your children will love you because you love them. And really isn’t that all that matters in the end?

**originally published in Birthing Magazine Summer 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009


I was talking to a couple good friends about the previous post. I have gone through many different thoughts on how to deal with it. I guess it comes down to three.
1. Get over it. (which I am inclined to do.) Just ignore the drama and get on with my life.
2. Blast it all over, (which I am not interested in doing), this just makes her feel like she has power because she has made me mad.
3. Call her on it. (hmmm.) This may actually be an idea. Actually ask her what the problem is, so that we can move on.
That might be a good wouldnt be a bad thing to get over it. :)
But then, this shows her that I actually care and I really dont.

So back to square one.

Doesnt it seem like we are really back in highschool?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

True Friends.

I have been struggling with this post. I have been enraged, outraged, and overtly pissed off for the last couple days and have been trying to formulate what type of blog post I wanted to write. While still wanting to keep people anonymous, and keeping a level head.
I am not the type of person who goes off the handle on a regular basis, even though I am still quite young, and have had older people tell me that I am en-passioned. However, there are a couple things that make my blood boil, and cause me to rise in action.
Truth, Justice, Compassion, the Greater Good, Honesty.
If you live your life according to these values we will get along, no problem. I know that sometimes moms can have off days, and hey I have them too, so I always try to see all sides of a story and figure out all angles, and also give the person the benefit of the doubt....even to my detriment as my mom would point out.
So where am I going with this.....
Let's just say that I have a group of friends, ones that I know well, and others that I dont know as well...and there is a certain person within this group that has decided upon herself not to like me at all. Now, in a professional capacity, I can work with this woman. In a personal one, not so much....but then do we have to like every single person we meet, and for that matter, just because we share the fact that we parent the same way, are both women, and both had children come out of our bodies, does not best friends make....I digress...
So anyway, we dont see eye-to-eye, bottom line. And I dont really think the whole world or a group of friends for that matter should be brought in to it. Dragged through the drama....(which, coincedentally seems to follow me like a black cloud recently.)
Bottom line is that she is making these friends choose between me and her. Like we are in high school or something! And I am getting pressure to yield and make amends...for what exactly?
It's not that my friends are being dragged through this, when I never wanted them to in the first place, its not that I actually care that she dislikes me so much that she can not stand to be on the same world wide web as me, let alone at a social function...however, she can talk to me at a professional level....what pisses me off the most is that she has called my friendships in to question.
Not following..... lets go back to here. This is the single most defining moment for me as a woman. To realize that even though we age, we grow babies, we raise children in a caring matter, that some women never grow up and high school lasts why is this particular post have any relevance to this one?
Back then, I stood up for my friend. I put my whole heart, soul, reputaion on the line for her because I felt that she was being treated unjustly.
I told others, and strained friendships that I had made, because I stood up for her.
Now the same thing is happening to me. And I am honestly afraid that these women, these moms that I trust to be honest with me, and truthful, will bend to the will of one, and I will be shunned, and that will show me that no - one really has my back, and that I am some sort of anomoly that will continually put herself on the line for other people with no reciprocation at all.
It's not like I would actually ask these women to do this for me, as I think even in asking brings me down to the level of a high schooler. Also, there is enough drama happening that, really, what would be the point? And it would just fracture more relationships for no reason.....
But, it makes me sad, and melancolic, to think....who, who really, has my back?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sleep...or Lack Thereof

I seem to be in a sort of time warp when it comes to sleep and my children. Here I am at 11:02pm and my children are finally asleep.
Usually this wouldn't bother me, but lately it is. A lot.
The thing is that I really really need to study. I have a couple classes that are winding down in the next month and I really have to spend some time to finish them, and if my kids are not sleeping until 11pm then when am I supposed to do this work?
What ends up happening is that as soon as they are both sleeping I spend an hour "de-stressing" from the day....either cleaning a little, eating, going on the computer etc. Maybe doing some actual work...and then I start studying and then I go to bed at 1 or 2am. This would be okay if I wasn't woken up at 7am.
I feel like a zombie. I dont feel like I am actually doing well in my classes if I cant do any work at a reasonable hour.
I could just shut the door at 7pm and listen to them scream, but I dont because I have made this commitment to myself and to them that I will be there for them when they need me, especially in the arena of sleep, but boy is it tempting.
I have so much stuff to do in the evening and can never do it.
I guess what I really have to do is bite the bullet and wake up earlier and then wake them up earlier, and perhaps skip the nap until they are on a good schedule.
I would love it if they could both be asleep by 8pm.
Then maybe I could get to sleep myself at a decent hour.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Discipline Post

A mom on my parenting board put out a simple call for some advice on how to discipline her 3 year old daughter, from the flurry of responses you would think that a "time-out" was the WORST thing that you could EVER do to a what about a spanking???
I am beginning to feel like one can never win at the mommy wars game. For one, it starts with conception, ageism, and fertility, then birth experience, then nursing then sleep, now discipline....when will it ever end.
Honestly, I dont give a rats ass how you parent as long as YOU feel in your GUT that you are informed, empowered and are doing the right thing for YOUR family. I will gladly help you find resources, but in the end, to time out, or not to time out is not going to affect me....until that is my son brings your daughter home who has never been told no in her poor sons! ;P

I did however want to share a couple of ideas about discipline and maybe "attachment parenting" in general.

So, as an "attachment parent" we want our children to be as attached, as emotionally cognizant, as well rounded, sensitive and the like. To understand to respect all peoples regardless of colour, creed, or race. How exactly can we do that if there are no limits on our children?
I am not saying that we should expect our kids to be little soldiers. I will be the first to tell you that I enjoy it sometimes when my son questions the norm, or says no. That shows me that he is gaining independence, confidence and understanding of the world around him. Our world has boundaries and it is up to us to show our children where those lines lay.
I do not advocate allowing the child to have the upper hand. You are the parent. The buck stops with you. Bottom line. Kids dont want friends. I am not even 30 yet and I have plenty friends whos parents were permissive....can we say no motivation and sex and drug addictions??? Maybe this is because they never learned about control?

Our children are not robots, they are autonomous creatures that learn a million things everyday. I for one think we are doing them a HUGE disservice if we "talk our feelings to death". In my house it is NOT okay to hit the dog or the baby. I honestly could care less why. I really could. My older son is immediately removed. Kicking, screaming, punching. I tried to ask him why he hits his brother, or the dog...."because I like to." Stalemate. So I moved to "it is unacceptable to hit your brother or the dog unprovoked, if you do so, you will sit alone, on this stair. We show love in this house, and if you dont want to you can play by yourself in your room." Children need to know how to deal (defense mechanisms) when they do not get what they want (stress). We have to help them figure out how to deal with it.

I will not be beside my son everytime something doesnt go his way. He has to know how to deal with that himself, so I am setting him up to be an emotional cripple that will have an anxiety disorder because he can not leave the house for fear of someone saying, no.

We only know our children, and how our children cope with a particular situation. I would never ever tell a mother of teenagers that what she is doing could scar her, am I in that situation? How do I know that? Because I read it in a book....better yet a book by a man who was never home with his kids because he was busy promoting his book? How does he know?
So, when others with children who are NO where near my child's age, ability, or environment give their two cents I can respect it, I can listen, but I will not take it to heart, because I will listen to some one who has a child in a similar situation, or has gone through it before.....

I can't make my children do anything, as I have said before, but I can show them what is acceptable and what isnt...and as a parent that is the best I can do. I am only human, I make mistakes, one size does not fit all......

and lastly, if your child is a perfect little angel and does nothing to displease you.. (and I am talking over 3 years old), your day is coming....and it's not the way your parent...that could be a part of it, but it's called NATURE vs. NURTURE and nature usually wins. ;) (you could just be one of the lucky ones with an easy to please tempermented child....I know I am not!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Birth(ing) Day

It's my baby's birthday in less than one hour. At this time four years ago, I was having mild contractions sleeping well, and getting excited of what could be.
I never imagined it would be anything like it has turned out. I got pregnant because I felt like something was missing from my life. That I was meant to be and do more than what I had accomplished in my 24 short years on the planet. I thought that by having a baby I would somehow have "done" something with my life.
So selfish.
Keenan has changed me. He saved me from myself. I owe more to that little boy than I do to anyone else in the world, save my husband, and my mother.
He has taken me down a path that I never even knew existed and for that I am eternally grateful.
The things that I am most passionate about, Birth Experience (empowering women to have an informed birth), and Mother to Mother support, would not have even been on my radar if I had not had Keenan when I did.
He has shown me a whole new way of living, of loving, of patience, of compassion, of friendship. I owe my bestfriends to him. Women that I feel connected with, honored to be within their tribe, honest, real women who I would have never met, if not for Keenan.
He was made me grow as a person, as a woman, and as a mother in ways that I never even thought that I could grow.
He makes me laugh everyday, and some weeks he makes me cry as well. He is blunt, talkative, sensitive, empathetic, altruistic, compassionate, wild, loud, crazy, hyperactive, strong, intuitive, smart, extremely smart, talented, loving, proud, beautiful, silly, protective, loyal, trusting, and perfect. I wouldn't have him any other way.
Happy Birthday my baby. You are a big boy now. :)
or as he says, "I am a lower case 4 today mama, on my real birthday I will be an uppercase 4."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My thoughts on the Pool.

I am friends with Gemma Kelsall. I am also going to say that I am proud to be friends with her. Some people may think that she is a lunatic, or lazy or some other semblance that really isnt true, but I will stand by her and her cause until the end.
Don't know what I am talking about? Read here and here. Don't worry I will wait........
Oh also read here, because that is what I am going to blog about.

So now that you are all up to date, lets clarify a couple things.....
1) The City of Calgary has given Gemma letter after letter telling her why it is not okay to nurse in or around the pool. The whole reason why she even thought about having a "nurse in" was so that she could get the city to hammer down an actual policy. That's all she wanted. Edmonton has had one for years, and she has never been commented to in that city or at any of the other pools in Calgary. Just the pool in question has the issue with nursing in and around the pool.
2) So since it was just this pool. perhaps it is just a couple staff members that have problems with nursing moms, and if so, I bet they are sorry now that they ever opened their mouths to disagree.
3) They even complained to her when she nursed on the deck...just wanted to state that for the record.
4) The media focused on the age of her child, and so did all of the negative posters....what is wrong with people? 21 mos is not too old to be child is 16 mos and has 3 teeth....3.
5) The attitudes of public breastfeeding is what makes me the crazyiest...but I am going to donate a whole blog post on that one....
6) The hate mail. Seriously.
This one blows me away. A couple years ago Gemma was nominated for the Vibe 985 baby shower. 60,000K or something like that. She became a finalist, and sadly didnt win. But, she was a finalist because over 10,000 people voted for her, because they liked her, her kids, and saw what hardship she was going through....then this same city, attacks her for wanting a clear policy on where exactly she can nurse her baby.........
Which by the way, really wasnt the point.
The point was....the city had a policy, the lifeguards ignored the policy, harrased her, and were taken to task......
And a last point, who cares if she does or doesnt nurse in the pool....does it really affect you personally....? I mean really, are you right there swimming with her, in the toddler pool? If not, why do you even care?
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