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Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Activist

*Warning Rant to Come*

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. While I love to see what my friends are doing and like to read interesting articles that they share, and connect with clients for business...I can not stand all the so called "activism". Especially when it comes from the AP/Natural Parenting Camp. Do these moms have nothing better to do with their time then to make other moms feel like crap.
One mom went as far to say that it wasn't her that was making people feel guilty for whatever (carseats/breastfeeding/circumcision) because she could not *make* anyone have feelings that they don't already have.
Give me a break!!
Of course you can make people feel bad when you get on the "I am a better parent than you because I birthed my babies in a tub with dolphins, breastfed and coslept until 6 and am still re-facing at age 10." Oh, I didn't include the "I love my son more because I didn't mutilate him" comment.
Get off your high horse.
I actually did have a homebirth, breastfed, and have un-circ'ed boys....but I didn't do it so that I could use them as some sort of trophy in the mommy war. I did it because *I* wanted to.
All I want for women is to feel supported in their choices and to feel empowered when they make a choice. If that choice is to have an elective C-section, to buy formula from Mercola, or to choose to circumcise her OWN son so be it.
Thank goodness that we live in a country where we have the opportunities to make these decisions ourselves. Imagine if we didn't. Or imagine that instead of Car Seat Techs arguing about how long a child needs to rear face, if they got OFF the computer and went down to the hospital or birthing center or MALL in their area and did car seat checks to make sure that they were all installed correctly.
The last point I have to make is that when you become a "fan" on Facebook, it means that you "like" something enough to take the time to click on whatever it is...this doesn't mean that you need to be exposed to doctrine every single day about this cause.
Take breastfeeding for example. Yes, I "like" it...but don't you think I know already about the benefits? I already said that I liked it.
I have to say that I am really grumpy, but I am so tired of the same posts being shared over and over again, by people who have never been on the other side, or who don't really want to.
Do you think that mom who posted about not being able to make people "feel" guilty has ever felt guilty? Or perhaps we should find something that she does feel guilty about and then fill her inbox with those posts over and over and over.
Have some compassion and meet people where they ARE.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Thyroid

I went to get my thyroid tested again as I am feeling tired, and insomniac, and grumpy and all other symptoms that are related to being Hyperthyroid.
And levels are off. In order for the doctor to figure if it is Graves or a nodule, I have to do the iodine in the blood thing so that they can see if it affects the whole thyroid or just a part of it. This would only take a day to do, and then I would have a definitive answer....but it also means that I can't nurse for 2-5 days. I could still be home with E but not able to nurse....what the heck am I supposed to do? How could I explain to a 10 month old that I have no interest in stopping nursing but that we need to take a break for 5 days for *his* own good.
If I hadn't had such issues with keenan maybe i wouldn't feel so against stopping. It's not the nutrition for me. It's totally the bonding, and being able to comfort at my own breast.
I had hoped that perhaps being 5 years older and wiser and meeting all different types of people and so many different ways of parenting that I would know that it isn't that big of a deal.
But it is. To *ME*.
I just don't want to stop. I feel so torn. Selfish and Stupid.
How can I comfort my baby without my breasts? It seems impossible to me.
I hate this.
Hate it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Conundrum

When I was first a new parent 5.5years ago, I parented with my gut and agonized over the "type" of parent that I wanted to be. I had been given Babywise as a gift while pregnant and the whole book rubbed me the wrong way. I happened to stumble upon an ad for a online parenting group that called themselves "Attachment Parents" but really thought nothing of the term, because I thought that all parents were "attachment parents"...didn't we all want to be attached to our kids?
And really, all that I was looking for were people to connect with because as a 24 year old University student I had absolutley NO friends with kids....ok not entirely true because my best friend had a baby just out of highschool but she lives in another province.
So there I was looking for people to go on playdates with. So I joined this group and started asking questions and posting, and finding myself pretty mainstream and not entirely supported by this group. They had their ways and apparently I was not crunchy enough. I made some good connections and the women were really nice people, just a lot of them were at least 5 to 10 years my senior and were pretty black and white when it came to what was acceptable and what wasn't.
So I joined another local pay for service forum to find more people to bond with, meanwhile I was still having issues breastfeeding and finding no support what so ever, other than the LLL. So I joined this other group and it was way more mainstream, but the parents were even older and the kids were all older too, and I felt like an even bigger outsider.
A couple moms posted asking questions about Crying-It-Out and I posted links to articles and blogs that I had gotten...but really I had no idea because who would really leave their child to cry? I mean really? My baby was a great sleeper and I could sleep with him and he could breastfeed while I was sleeping so really, what was wrong with them.
I would be lying if I said that I didn't get flamed. At the time it pissed me off so badly because all these women got so much support for CIO or ignoring their babies and I was the one being told that I lived in fairy tale land.
I left that group, and coincidentally met a really good friend of mine at a LLL meeting. I gave the AP group a second chance and started recruiting. I have met many many inspiring women throughout my time with them...I have also met women that make me want to put my head through the wall...but that is life!
I became a really strong advocate for cosleeping, and/or responding to your baby...but more importantly *listening to your own gut*.
Sure mother to mother support is paramount, and we need tribes to keep us sane, but at the same time we have to be aware of the decisions that we make and how they affect us and own own families. Cosleeping doesn't work for everyone. It works for me, but I am one person in a city of one million.
I have found often in my years of being a "attachment parent" that this type of parent is too smart.
Let me try to's like smart and neurotic, but somewhat insecure. I am not excluding myself from this evaluation. I came to this conclusion when I was picking my oldest up from school and was explaining to one of the moms how much I loved Alfie Kohn. She did not have a clue who I was talking about. She said that she wasn't really into parenting books and did most of her parenting by instinct.
This is exactly my point. I was the moderator of the AP group of my city for 3.5 years and in that time I read every single questionnaire. "What is Attachment Parenting to you?" and almost every single answer was "I didn't know that what I was doing had a name until I *read* about it somewhere."
So back to being way too smart and neurotic...Attachment Parents are researchers. They research the hell out of something to find the appropriate answer. Textbooks, parenting books, expert advice, emails, forums and websites, blogs, all searching for what an "AP" parent would do in that particular situation....but the kicker is that no one actually knows because AP is not something you do, it is something you are.
Most people follow Dr. Sears Baby B's...but I have said before and I will say it you really think he did all those? He was on tour making money. Bottom line. He had 8 kids to feed. It was Martha who really knows...but then she only knows how to parent *her* own kids.
So back to the CIO and the rest of the rules etc. We as "AP'ers" try to hold ourselves to some higher standard that our "mainstream" counterparts. I was right to get flamed by all those women. They were older and wiser and had learned more about parenting than I had in the 18 mos that I was a parent of one pretty easy boy.
But what happens in the AP community, I am noticing is that new moms come in trying to find out what constitutes AP and how to assimilate into the community but only have parents of children that are maybe 2 to 4 years older than their own children to gather information from. And you have your die hards that live on another level, or your super "natural/green" parents that follow another sect, and so the new mommies think that this is the norm that these are the parents that they have to look up to...when really in real life they are nothing like the posts and chats that they answer.
Really. Who is going to actually say that they did something that is not AP on an AP forum. NO ONE. Because people are so afraid of losing their community or tribe or what have you.
So they form little separate groups with other moms of kids the same age and get together in real life and find out that it's okay to dislike your child somedays, and that makes you human.
But this doesn't help the community as a whole because those secret conversations are not shared with all the new mommies that are looking for support.
It seems to me to be a real conundrum.
People are not completely honest for fear of being judged by those who are afraid of being judged themselves. All because some "expert" wants to make money by selling a book, and tours and an endorsed "arms reach cosleeper."

So, in closing to this incredibly long winded blog post...I am going to post the things that I hate about myself and how I parent...a confessions post (which we used to do in the AP group long ago) to let others see just how human I am.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is Santa Real?

Every year there are a slurry of posts about whether or not to "do" Santa. Lots of parents feel like it is lying to their kids and do not feel comfortable with it.
This post of Code Name Mama really breaks it down on why that particular blogger doesn't engage in the Santification of Christmas.
I get it. I really do. Of course we don't want to lie to our kids about anything, but you are lying to yourself if you think that you will never stretch the truth with regards to your kids.
I hate the commercialization of Christmas. There is nothing that I hate more than having to think of some gift that you know is just going to get re-gifted or returned or the like. Wasting money. I would rather give homemade items or things that I know will get used.
I personally think that Christmas is only for children, and because of that we "do" Santa every year. For me it's not lying. I don't tell my kids that there is a Santa. I ask them what they think, and they think that he is real.
Who am I to tell them that he isn't? Just because I personally don't believe in something doesn't mean that it ceases to exist for anyone else.
Also, because St. Nick was a real person, (as far as anyone knows) then why can't we still celebrate the idea?
Really.... I am finding it harder to explain to my son the story of Jesus. And you know what? I use the exact same wording when it comes to Jesus and God as I do for Santa.
Some people believe in Santa. Do you Keenan? How do you think he gets from house to house, etc etc. Some people believe in Jesus. Do you Keenan? Do you think there were angels at his birth? And you know what...he does.
Is it lying that I don't tell him MY belief on God or Jesus or angels, or fairies etc.
I want my kids to question the world and question my beliefs and my parent's beliefs and my husband's beliefs and on and on...because they are human, and we have the ability to think and learn for ourselves.
So I will provide information, and let my kids believe in what they want to believe and support that decision and play along....because really I have never stopped believing.
Santa, in my opinion is the spirit of giving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time Marches On

As everyday goes by I think that I want to update my blog but never seem to have the time. I started this blog to keep my musings as I am a journaling type of person and enjoy writing for leisure. With the kids being sick non-stop these last two weeks any type of "leisure" seems to be a pipe dream, but isn't that just the way? The kids take priority.
Getting sick this week myself showed me what awesome supports I have in this city of mine. We had a massive dump of snow and yet my friend still came to my house with a bottle of gingerale, and my parents drove to come and collect my whole family so that my mom could take care of us.
While being taken care of, instead of being the one taking care of, it really hit me how in denial of my hyperthyroidism I am.
Last year while pregnant with Ewan I was diagnosed with Graves disease and at the time I was devastated. No, it's not cancer, but it is a major lifestyle change, diet change, daily medication and the like. Stuff that until this week I was just not interested in even thinking about.....but as the post says "Time marches on" and I really need to get it under control.
Not only because I am hungry all the time, and yet do not have an appetite, but also because I am so tired, and weak and insomniatic.
I need to get it together for the sake of my kids. I bet that I would be a way better mom without these incredible mood swings and anger outbursts...all related to hormones.
I am just so tired of being tired.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Re:I feel like such a terrible mother :-(

This blog post is an answer to a post on feeling overwhelmed and such with your first child when pregnant...I wanted to keep this to remind myself.

I have been trying different ways to post this and sounding supportive.
Please read this with love and understanding as that is what I am trying to convey, and WISH that someone had posted this for me when I was feeling the same way...

#1 - you are hormonal as many people have said which causes you to lose your temper faster or be irritated by things that may not have irritated you in the past.
#2 - you are tired which is more of the same above
#3 - you are wrapping your head around having another one and all the psychological stuff that comes with that...and believe me that in itself is a huge point.

But, #4 - your daughter doesn't know any of that, and to her they are just empty excuses.

When I was pregnant with my second, and after he was born my first (keenan's) whole world fell apart. I *used* to listen to his needs, wants, demands etc as much as I could, I researched, posted and listened to so many people, but it turned to all about ME because *I* was grumpy, *I* was tired, *I* was sick really *I* ceased to be the mom that he was used to the mom that he knew, I was some stranger that puked all the time and yelled.

After coming out of it at 6mos post partum (and dealing with some PPD), I realized that I HATED myself for being that mom, and that I couldn't be AP if I had broken his little spirit so badly...and so became the anger to myself, which still eaked out towards keenan until he was 3.5-4.
And then I got pregnant with Ewan and realized that these kids didnt ask for this.
They don't ask for us as parents and they certainly do not ask for a you know what, I stopped.
I stopped yelling, and cursing and the like because *I* did this to *myself*. *I* was the one who was pregnant and if I wanted to get mad at anyone it needed to be at the man who made me that way and not the child who was just wanting a cuddle, a glass of milk or the like.
We can not change their behaviour but we can change how WE react to it.

I know you are sick, and tired and scared of not having enough love or that you won't be a "good" parent or an "AP" parent....but that doesn't really matter. Your daughter loves you NO MATTER WHAT!

And if you feel bad now you can change the way that you are reacting so that you don't have the same regret that I have and feel bad for every. single. day.

You are a GOOD MOM! You CARE! This shows that you are the best kind of mom.

Stop beating yourself up, go into her room and tell her that you love her, that you are grumpy because you feel sick and remember she isn't doing any of that on purpose...she just needs you.

So be there.

And when you get so mad that you want to yell and scream and say how much you dislike your child at that moment for doing X, come on here, vent, blog, or call me (number left out for the world wide web)...
because I have BEEN there and will never ever judge you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Embracing ADHD

When my oldest son started Kindy earlier this year he was "flagged" for his intensity. The teacher (who I love) asked me if I wanted to pursue testing and coding. In this province if your child is diagnosed with a learning disability or condition such as ADD or ADHD then the school gets more money to use to help facilitate his learning.
I don't really want to code him as this would follow him around forever, and I also have no desire to medicate him.
I am trying so hard to just accept him as he is. He is a bright, extremely bright, well spoken, imaginative, sensitive, empathetic, curious, excited, active little boy. While some of his behaviours bother me, such as the growling and the intensity..I am trying to see them not as problems, but as personality.
I read this book "Raising the Spirited Chid" and it said, to get a child to stop a behviour such as intensity would be like asking him to stop breathing. It's pretty impossible. It's how he is hard wired.
So instead it is working on myself.
Right now I am finding it more difficult because my husband is away so often and the littlest one demands SO much of my attention. (read that - he can never be put down without screaming like his hands and feet have been cut right off!)
I know that all of this is just a phase in life and that I have to be more flexible and more understanding. I try very hard not to fly off the handle when the behaviours are manifesting. I take deep breaths and look at my children as they are - children.
Not little robots that I can control but people who are just learning and expressing themselves.
Tonight I had a "conversation" with my eldest son after the little boys went to bed.
It amazes me just how intelligent he is and how he holds things deep inside. The little things that bother him (like the baby crying) it makes me proud that he is the way he is.
The label of ADHD is really just a list of characteristics that I am happy that my son has. (and I also think a symptom of the society that they live in).
So I will embrace it, and welcome it, and live with it, and learn from it.
And love him more each day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Mommy Wars - a rant.

I have been in the parenting game for 5 years. I have many friends that are Stay at Home moms, Work at Home moms, Work out of Home moms - both full time, part time and some time.. Moms that are single parents, Moms that are sometimes single parents, and widow Moms. I know moms with one kid, two kids, three kids, 4 kids, 5 kids, 6 to 9 kids. Step moms, IVF moms, adopted moms.
I know moms that are in poly amorous relationships, moms that swing and moms that only have sex to get pregnant.
I know Gay moms, Straight moms, Bi moms and moms that havent decided. I know moms of just boys, of just girls or of both.
I know moms that homeschool. I know moms that just use public school, or private school or unschool.
The thing is that I know ALOT of moms and I feel that each and everyone of them is doing the best possible job that they can do with the resources that are given to them. We ALL love our kids so why do we continue to judge what each one of us does?
For me I feel that this mom vs. mom war tends to lessen as our children get older, but is then brought back into the limelight when a "new mommy" enters the club.
So what is the solution?
Perhaps by telling her that everything changes and the stuff that you think is so important at THIS stage won't matter in 5 years and to listen with an open heart to EVERYONES struggles and SOLUTIONS and that you will learn from it and change. And change. And change.
Being a mom is hard work.
Pat your self on the back.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween Planning

Here are just a couple ideas that I am playing around with for halloween!

Gory Hand - Presentation is everything.
This is both a yummy treat and a great decoration to scare your friends. Use a clean rubber glove. Make a strong cherry or other red jello by using 3/4 of the recommended amount of water. Hang the glove over the sink by using clothes pins attached to thin strips of wood. When the jello has cooled pour into glove and place in the deep freeze. Be careful not to have the hand pressing against anything or it will ruin the shape. When the jello is frozen cut the glove off using small scissors. Keep your masterpiece in the fridge until ready to display.

alternate Gory Hand tip:
Take a clean rubber glove and fill it with water, tie it and put it in the deep freeze. Keep it in there until your party. When you're ready take it out of the glove and put it in the punchbowl instead of ice!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Polite Thing

Picture saved up all your money to buy a nice fancy car you have always wanted. You love the feel of the seats, the smell of the upholstery, the way that the engine purrs. You love it so much that you take it with you everywhere, and why wouldn't you? It's your favourite car.
One day you drive it to your mom's house for a dinner party. All your mom's friends are there and they gush about how cute you look in your new car. Your mom's best friend's daughter enters the room and tells you how much she would love a car like that.
You take people out to show it to them. You rev the engine. People love how shiny it is, and they comment on how great it is for you to have gotten it. You spend almost as much time in the party as you do outside admiring your new car.
Later in the evening you notice that your mom's friend's daughter has taken your keys and is attempting to drive away. You panic and run out side to stop her. Your mom grabs your arm and says, "Why not let Jenny have a turn? You have to share."
You get visibly upset. It is YOUR car! Why do you have to share it with anyone? You yell at your mom and say no! But, instead of your mom taking your side she tells you that you are not being a very nice child and that you have to learn how to share your things.
You are outraged! You kick and scream! You are so mad at Jenny for taking your car. No one is taking your side, and worse yet you are being punished for it.
You don't understand. You are so sad.
People laugh it off and say, "Ah that is life...everyone has to learn how to share."
But do we? Would you share your car if someone asked you to? Or how about if someone just came and took it....and maybe if you would, what if it was the one thing that meant the world to you...would you then?
Think about it for a second, and then ask your self why we expect our children to share if we as adults don't....

Monday, September 20, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

It's true you know; that old saying that kids grow up so fast. While we are in he trenches some days just seem to go on and on and on, and you can't wait until bedtime so you can get your adult time (even if that just involves a pee by yourself).
The last couple of weeks has really shown me just how quickly children do grow. My eldest is in Kindergarten. I knew that by being 5 he was in the last year of babyhood, but now watching him run happily into in the school, not paying any attention to the fact that his mom stands there looking longingly at the little boy who is quickly morphing into a bigger boy.
And yes, the fart and pooping jokes are becoming more frequent, but it's not just that. It's this responsibility and this willingness to help and to take care of his brothers. It's when he notices that something is unjust and I have to try and explain why.
It's the level of understanding that he has, but with the sensitivity of the younger boy still in there.
I really feel like he is growing too fast. That these years just whipped by. All those days spent indoors watching treehouse because I was tired or sick or pregnant or just bored. Wasted.
As I look at this littlest one who can even roll over I think of just how much a person grows in 5 years, it's phenomenal really.
And I start asking myself if I did all I could do, and if I have no regrets and if I did everything that I wanted too...and I know I didn't, and I do have regrets, but there is nothing I can do except try harder now. Get more involved now.
Ignore the stuff that doesn't matter. It only takes a second to go and look at a picture or a craft or a playroom. Get down to his level and play. I say this over and over.
Honestly I think it's because I don't like "boy" play. It's way too rough. Dragons, dino's, cars and transformers....what about house, and store and family?
I have started to put reminder notes around the house to calm down, to breathe and to take time for my kids, and time for myself...which will give more time to my kids.
In 5 more years my eldest will be 10 and in grade 5.
I want him and I to look back and say, wow. That was a great childhood.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Boy! You look like you've got your hands full!

No Kidding.
I am not sure why people continue to say this to mothers of more than one child. Is it perhaps because we look like we do not have it together in any way shape or form? I wonder this because I hear this from strangers seconds before my head explodes and rolls down the pavement....
I guess I shouldn't complain. At least they are not commenting on my age, or the fact that I (and not my husband) am a rampant breeder.
I was thinking about this the other day, the having my hands full part....I have begun to ask myself WHY.
WHY do I have my hands full? Why is it so stressful to leave my house? Why do I get caught in incredible situations like the Shoppers incident?
Perhaps it's because I don't listen to myself.
I am so stressed out with all these other little things that really don't mean anything in the long run that I ignore my gut and take tired, hungry, grouchy kids out...without the diaper bag.
So really I am doing it to myself.
Of course a tonne of this comes from the fact that I live at home with my parents. 9 more days, 9 more days, 9 more days.
I am not complaining by the way, my mom kicks ass, and i have been pampered with the meals and cleaning...but there is something about not having your own space for 2 months that makes you go a little mental.
I think what I was trying to say before I got on this tangent, is that I really need to be more organized and take things slower. I have my hands full, yes. But that doesnt mean I have to be out of control.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Balancing Act

I am in the process of moving house and have moved in with my parents for the time long long month.
It's not my parents and I that have a difference of opinion, well that is not entirely true...
The main thing that I notice is that my siblings and my parents (to a lesser exent) get super irritated at my children. Mostly when they are acting like, well, children.
Kids are loud. My kids are incredibly loud. There are 3 of them all under 5. The 5 year old is talking non-stop, the 2 year old is making animal sounds, and the baby...well, he cries. :)
I just get this pressure to make them conform and I am just not that type of person. I want my kids to be kids. They are little. They shouldn't have to sit and eat all their dinner or stop running around or being absolutely quiet until 10am.
I feel incredible pressure that I am not doing it right, and I sometimes wonder about when we were in tribal setting how the village that raised the child didn't have these crazy expectations placed on the children.
I bet it was way less stressful.
Now don't get me wrong, I completely appreciate that my parents have opened their house to a family of 5 for 5 weeks...and yes, it is hard on everyone, and yes people have to make sacrifices for family...I get all of that. I just really feel like a huge outsider even when in my family of origin, and I never thought that I would feel that way. Not in a million years.
Yes, I am more laid back than my siblings. Yes, I let things slide. Yes, I am lazy at times. But I like the way that I am raising my kids, and I like that they don't have many expectations....does this mean that I am setting them up for failure?
Who knew moving back home would zap my self confidence?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Spectacle

If Shoppers could have charged for the hilarity that was my life today at their store they would have made some serious cash.
I knew that I shouldn't have taken my brood out today. I could tell this morning when they were all acting out; yelling and screaming and fighting with each other. Of course I understand why they are hard to handle...we are in the middle of moving, we are living with my mom (the grandparents) for a month, they have no schedule, their dad is working so much, it's the summer...I could go on and on.
But just because I understand where the behaviour is coming from doesn't mean that I have to accept it or enjoy it.
So back to Shoppers. I had to get my mail changed over because we are no longer in the townhouse. Of course I had to take ALL 3 kids with me so it was fun for the whole family.
The cash line was going incredibly slow and I had the bigger two strapped into the stroller. The baby was sleeping peacefully in the wrap.
The two bigger boys started to hit each other enough that another mom stopped and asked them to stop fighting with each other. She tried to explain to my sons that they should be nice to each other and they responded by hitting and yelling louder.
I decided to pick up the middle child and hold his hand and leave the biggest one in the chariot with the brakes on. The middle screamed to be let go and the bigger one rocked the chariot trying to kick over the display. (and cue the baby in the wrap needing to feed.)
I just wanted to get out of there, as fast as I possibly could.
Finally at the point of meltdown I threw my kids into the stroller and attempted to leave...and then the peanut gallery really showed its face.
I squeezed my double chariot through the first set of doors and then tried to push it through the second....and got stuck.
Somehow the doors of Shoppers are big enough to accommodate a double Chariot to get in...but not out.
I felt like I was going to cry. I had 3 children melting and I was stuck in the vestibule of Shoppers with many many people watching...some laughing, some staring, and some shifting uncomfortably.
I ended up taking the kids out, taking the wheels off and SHOVING it out of the doors.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How Old Are You?!?

It's really none of your business is it? This question keeps coming up again and again, and it is really starting to tick me right off. I have noticed that it is more frequently asked since I have had the 3rd boy child.
Not that it didn't happen before, but it's happening more and more and more.
I took my kids to the doctor and while trying to wrestle my 2 year old into submission while my 5 year old sat on the bed and my 3 month old cried in the sling, the doctor asked, "Can I ask you how old you are?" I was taken aback...was my loss of control at that moment related to *my* age, or more the age of my squirmy two year old? (I would put my money on the 2 year old!)
Or the random woman on the street who demanded to know if in fact all 3 boys were mine, how old they were, and how old I was... Who comes up to someone and demands to know their age? What gave her the idea that it was okay to come up to me and ask me that?
I honestly do not understand why people feel that it is appropriate to come up to me and ask me how old I am...some how insinuating that perhaps I am too young to have one child, let alone 3. My husband says that I should take it as a compliment, but I don't. It really ticks me off.
Just because someone decides to start with the career and not the family as I have chosen does not make them *more* qualified to have children, or more able to pass judgement.
If a 45 year old woman was walking around with 2 or 3 small kids, would random strangers and doctors ask *her* how old she was?
I decided to have my kids young because honestly, I feel like I can handle them better when I am young. I wanted to have more than a few kids and I wanted them close together. I wanted to be done having babies by 30. I wanted to be able to stay home and not worry about the career that I was leaving or hoping was staying on hold for me.
Because my mom had her kids young.
Because my grandma had her kids young.
Because I *wanted* to.
Thats right. Not only am I young (which is B.S because I was 8 years older than my mom when she had me, when I started) I planned them. Each and every one.
So stop asking me, because I am going to start asking it right back. Why? Why does it matter to people?
Age is just a number...and in 20 years from now when my kids are all in college, (or whatever they want to do) I will only be in my late 40's and free from diapers, and kid drama...and then the table will turn, and I wont be judged anymore.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Someone must be listening.

I wrote my last post talking about the discrimination against boys and one of my fav Bloggers did the same here.

Here is my response to that blog post.

I am glad to see this post Annie, as I have been feeling this backlash for over 5 years. I am the mother of only boys, 3 of them to be exact…5yrs, 2yrs and an infant. I am really starting to resent people when I am out in public and get insensitive comments directed at me and my boys. (Are you going for a girl? Did you want a girl? Hopefully one of your sons will be gay…and so on. Do people not think that perhaps I am happy with my boys?!)
I want to preface by saying that I was in woman’s studies in university and considered myself to be a feminist…now, I am just getting tired of the reverse discrimination against my kids and feel resentful towards the woman that try so hard to make everything “equal”.
I really feel that my little boys get discriminated against because they are not girls, or should I say that they do not act like girls…you said it yourself “how can parents help their boys to be better citizens and people?” Who says that the are not already? Who says that the way a “girl” acts is the proper way to act? She may act like a girl stereotypically does, quiet, shy, listens, sits, etc…but that doesn’t mean that WE as Women/ Mothers need to enforce these codes of behaviour on our boys. I followed the link above provided by a commenter and it explained how to stop the gender gap…I want to ask all of you, WHY? Why do we have to act the same? Why can’t we embrace our femininity and let the boys embrace their masculinity? Why do we try and make our sons more empathetic, or sensitive or whatever emotion you wish to “create”? What gives us the right as WOMEN to try and TELL a man or in this case our son how he “should” act?
Is my brain wired the same way as his, science would tell me no. So why would he want to think like me, or is he even capable?
I think in our society we are trying to feminize boys and we don’t respect them enough to know that they will be who they are biologically.
Why is it that it is okay that a girl have Girl Scouts that are just for girls, but the boys are expected to share? Why can’t they learn just boy things?
I could go on forever on this topic, as I have started already, but I urge any woman with sons to read “The Wonder of Boys” by Michael Gurian. It explains that what boys really need is a tribe of their own, a place where they can just be “a guy” and they need a MALE mentor, and HE will show them the proper way to “act” like a “man”.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Reverse Discrimination

I run in many activist circles. I have friends that fight for the rights of animals, for the right to breastfeed wherever and whenever (including a swimming pool), for the right to allow women the choice to keep their child or to abort, for the right of the newborn male to keep his foreskin...but above all else these friends fight for the rights of women. It's safe to say that the majority of my friends are feminists. I get it, I am right there with them, I think women should have the same opportunities as men. I think that women should get to choose what is right and okay for their bodies and themselves. I think women should be valued for their intellect rather than their T and A. I took many a women's studies course in why is it now that I have sons that I feel like I may be on an island all by myself?
The thing is that I notice that there is a lot of reverse discrimination when it comes to boys. Girls can pretty much play both gender roles with not much of a comment, but boys on the other hand are encouraged to be gender neutral to a point, but once they pass that point people get uncomfortable. A boy can have long hair, until he is school-aged and even then he will be called a girl many many times before he reaches that age. He can wear pink, but will get commented on for it. He can play with dolls etc, but he must also suck it up when he is upset, brush it off when he is hurt and pretend that he is fine when he gets insulted.
There was a recent post about what to say if a girl is wearing a bikini top, as if it some how makes her listen to "the man"...but what if a boy wore a bikini top....not so comfortable now is it?
And then there is the stuff that makes me personally irritated with society. We can have all of these classes and clubs that are co-ed. But, we cant have just boys clubs because women fought so hard to get acceptance into them...but on the other hand we have "women only" clubs that boys can not attend. (the biggest one being Boy Scouts Vs. Girl Scouts). When I brought this up to a couple friends about wanting my boys to have their own club, it was like I had spat in the face of feminism...when really I just wanted my boys to be able to do boy stuff....
Because really we ARE different. I feel like we are oppressing little boys for the sake of our feminism.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Breastfeeding and Divorce

This is a response to this horrible post.

Disclaimer : This is my blog so these are my opinions, just putting it out there.

I get so tired of women blaming children for their lack luster lives. I get it, we all have those days when we just want everyone to go away so that we can do some sort of activity that is just for us. But to blame children for the fall out of a marriage is just cowardly in my opinion, and furthermore to blame breastfeeding is just incredulous.

The thing is unless you were raped you had some say in whether you were going to get pregnant. And guess what, you knew fully well that this wasnt some 5 year gig. Parenting is for life! Get over yourselves. If you didnt want strechmarks, your "fun bags" to sag, the C-section scar or for your va-jay-jay to be disfigured then you should have kept your legs closed. (or gotten you or your partner fixed.) It is you people that make the No Kids people so crazy. Fuel to the fire.

Let me tell you something that may shock you...Breasts are for feeding. *gasp* I could honestly care less if you want to do it under a blanket, in a bathroom or out there for the world to see. Babies tummies are made for breastmilk. Instead of formula we should have milk banks!! It is insane that women feel burdened by society or judged that they are guilted into breastfeeding....they are for feeding!! Why on earth does milk squirt out of them if not for a child to get some comfort and sustenance? (and formula feeding moms dont start harping on me...if you couldnt nurse it was because you were abandoned by society, and were not given the right tools to nurse. I KNOW I have been there!) And if you don't want to nurse, DONT. Why the heck would a baby want you to resent him everytime you have to feed him? But OWN it and say, it's because *I* didnt want to...and then get on with your life. Stop trying to persuade others to follow suit.

But to say that Breastfeeding is Creepy, or to say that it destroyed a marriage is a piece of crap. Breastfeeding is NORMAL. Whats creepy is that a man would be placed in front of his children. That HIS needs are more important than that of a helpless newborn.

Let me tell you something ladies...there is this thing called a Gigi. Get one for him. He can use his hands and a tissue. And another thing, if a man thinks that his needs should be placed before his baby's maybe, just maybe this man isnt worth the ring? Just a thought....

There are all these articles going around about how children, and breastfeeding are oppressing women and that we can have it all. I am just gonna say it. We CAN'T. Or as a wise wise woman said to me, "We *can* have it all, just not all at once." What causes divorce rates in this country is the thought that we shouldnt have to compromise. Guess what? You do. You can not have your cake and eat it too.

We ALL make decisions that forever change the course of our lives. There are some of us that say, yes. I made that decision and so now I am paying for it, but it isnt the child's's yours. So grow up.

No regrets your life with no regrets.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Other Side of the Face(book)

I am a big fan of Facebook. I like to look at other peoples profiles, yes creep, and love to see pictures and videos of people that I can't see in real life. I have over 300 "friends" and have joined many a group and a fan page over the last year. I like to chat, as other people seem to choose that over the phone, and I just like to feel connected.
My DH is out of town alot so FB becomes a little like going out on a Friday night to me. Socializing, laughing, commenting on pictures and posts etc....but in the last couple weeks I have become a little disillusioned by the glorious Facebook.
The thing is that nothing is private anymore. Nothing is new news. If I do end up talking on the phone with someone I already know what they are going to say. I already saw their status update, pics from the zoo, and the video of the birthday party. So what do you talk about? Other peoples walls..."so did you see what suzie did yesterday?" "yea that video was funny".
It kinda gets old...and a wee bit boring.
The worst part that has happened just recently was that I was party to a "discussion" between a couple of my the old way (like 5 years ago) they would have picked up the phone or met for coffee to discuss their disagreement, and I would not have had any idea that they were having an issue. They may or may not have included me, and even then I would have had to take their word for I saw the whole thing; and BOTH sides were not very nice to eachother. I kind of feel like the kid whose parents want to get divorced and they are arguing and the kid is sitting there with her ears covered, but she still knows what they are saying.
It was just bad.
I really did not want to see that side of my friends, especially directed at eachother. It makes me that much more uncomfortable.
So for me that was kind of the end of Facebook as I know it.
Dont get me wrong, I will still post and check it etc, but I need to get off of it and make an effort to see people in real life where words do not get confused in tone.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Over Protection

It's no secret that I sometimes lose it when the kids are driving me bonkers. I raise my voice and say things that I shouldn't say.
It's funny that I can let myself get away with this bad behaviour but can't allow anyone else to; especially my husband.
It's not really fair. I am not sure why I hold him to a higher standard than myself. He has just as much of the stresses that I do, he works just as hard and he has just as many issues with the boys, but when he reacts just as I would I hold him more accountable.
Sometimes I feel that it may be because he is a man, and yes I know that is a total cop out...but I mean it in the way that he may be harder on his boys because society wants us to toughen them up. Meanwhile I am searching for why the child is acting out and making excuses for it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Attachment Parenting - The Fallacy

We have all heard the term "Attachment Parenting." It was coined by paediatrician Dr.William Sears after reading a book called "The Continum Concept" by Jane Leidloff. Combining her ideas with the work of Dr. John Bowbly he introduced AP to the world. He wrote many books and articles in magazines such as Mothering to outline the 7 Baby B's that one must follow to "be" an "Attachment Parent."
As a new mom trying to find her sea legs 6 years ago I read everything from Baby Wise to The Baby Book and what he was saying in those 900 pages really resonated with me. I followed those Baby B's exclusively. Now as a mom of 3 young boys I want to let you know that the Baby B's and "Attachment Parenting" is a crock.
You can Breastfeed that baby until he is 10 and he will still say that he hates you. You can bed-share until she is 15 and she will still defy you. You can wear that baby in a baby carrier until your heart is content and he will still look you in the face and lie to you about something.
The Baby B's and the term "Attachment Parenting" just give women more tools to oppose eachother, to continue with the mommy wars and judge eachother more harshly.
In my opinion you could do every single one of the Baby B's and still NOT be an "Attachment Parent". You could also not do any of them and have the most well adjusted and attached children ever.
I like to think of it as who a person IS as a parent and not what they DO.
The Baby B's are like a loose list of things that you can do with an *infant* to foster attachment, and all of these become obsolete for most of us once our children are around 3 or so. (there is of course the stray person who continues to co-sleep and breastfeed until 10, but there are not many here in North America.)
So after 3 years do we just cease to be an "Attachment Parent"? I think that instead of focusing on the list of things that make you AP we stop putting all our efforts into judging those that feed with formula, wear a bjorn or push a stroller and focus more on how to foster attachment with the preschooler, young child, tween, teenager and young adult.
How to instill confidence, self esteem, and self worth. To foster empathy and sympathy but also assertiveness.
We need to ignore the claims made by other moms saying that "I AP my kids and they turned out so right" because her kids have just as many off days as yours do, and she loses her temper or takes the easy way out sometimes too.
So stop believing people when they say AP is the BEST way, it may be for some people, but I think what the best way is LISTENING to your OWN gut and doing what is BEST for YOUR family. If that means following 2 or 1 or none of the Baby B's so be it.
Parent your children with love, with respect, with kindness, empathy and compassion. Have no regrets, and be kind to yourself in the process and you will be even better than a so called "Attachment Parent". And as a bonus your kids will be better off as well when these unattainable expectations are released from your psyche.
I am no longer an "Attachment Parent". I cast that label from myself. I am my kids' mom AKA a parent and the BEST one that my kids deserve.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


When my first was just a little baby I would get so caught up in the *shoulds* of life. He *should* be eating this much, pooping this much, crying that much etc. I would get such anxiety if he wasnt meeting these arbitrary milestones. Who exactly created these milestones? Who was I putting him up against? I constantly went on all sorts of message boards to try and measure him up against someone. I had NO confidence.
Why? It's not like I didn't understand babies. I have 3 younger siblings. Not only that but I babysat and nannied all through my youth. So you would think that I would have known and understood that babies are all made differently and there are NO *shoulds*.
I look back at his little life and think of all the times that I got so frustrated about when he should sleep. I would try to put him down at 7pm, (because I wanted to watch survivor) I thought that he should be asleep so that I could have my "adult time".
It's laughable. I shake my head.
As I type this it's 11pm and my littlest (8 weeks) is lying here sleeping on the couch beside me. I watched the whole season finale of Glee with no problem, nursing and patting him down while enjoying my program.
No *shoulds*. I don't expect anything from him. Ever. I just take him one day at a time.
This comes with experience, confidence and age. I know that times will be tough and then they wont.
I just accept that he is a baby and babies are unpredictable at the best of times and just roll with it.
Now, if only I could use the same techniques with the oldest...........

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bad Behaviour.

I went to the Canmore Children's Festival today with my 3 kids, hubby and my kids Granny. It was a beautiful day for it and there were many things for the kids to do. Face painting, bouncy castle, concerts, magicians and the like.
I was nervous to take the kids because I was afraid that they would act out as there has been many transitions in our household and they are not coping as well as I had hoped...but I understand why they are.
To my glorious surprise my kids were excellent. They listened and followed me, they came when called, they had a general great time. The other kids were for the most part pretty well behaved as well...of course there were a couple kids that were acting out, but nothing that you wouldnt expect from 2-10year olds.
What surprised me was the behaviour of the other PARENTS that were there. Now, I was in Canmore, so maybe some of it may have to do with people on vacation, or maybe because they expected that somehow they should have gotten everything they wanted or needed...
Whatever the case these parents were the poster children for snot-nosed brats.
I waited in line for 30 mins for the Bobs and Lolo concert and got front row seats because of the organizer said that children (older) could sit at the front on the floor in order to leave more room for more when hordes of children started rushing the stage I wasn't too surprised...but when I noticed that they were 2 year olds I was. I HAVE a two year old and I would not let him rush the stage and LEAVE him there un-supervised. It was like these parents thought that it was the job of the people in front (ie ME and MY family) or the organizers or the talent to watch their
These little guys walked all over the stage and no one was watching them, the tech guys looked petrified....not to mention parents then decided to sit in front of us because they wanted to "make sure" that their two year old was having a good time, meanwhile blocking the view of my 5 year old who HAD a seat...
Self Righteous. They KNEW that I was irritated about it as well, because they kept looking at me. So when this one mom sat right in front of my 2 year old I just let him kick her in the back until she moved.
I just couldnt believe that all these parents were so laissez faire when it came to their disregard for the performers and the other kids and parents...and these are my peers!!
To top it off we went to the bouncy tent and this one little boy (3) was attacking other children kicking them and hitting them, littler kids than him, and this dad yelled at him to stop hurting his daughter and pulled him out...only for the rest of us parents to realize that his mom had left him there! WTF?
I get the whole "free range children" thing, but give me a break...there is free range and then there is negligence. (or laziness)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trying to Understand

I have been at my parents for a couple days while trying to keep my house clean. I am finding the boys incredibly hard to handle, the bigger one more than the little ones.
My parents commented that perhaps he has ADHD. Just because he doesnt respond to regular discipline. I started researching it and he hits a whole bunch of markers. He also gets super intense the more that he is stimulated.
I have always noticed this intensity that he has just under the surface and it's something that I really have a hard time dealing with. Looking at these websites and books tho, it shows that perhaps this intensity is just a part of him...and maybe he does have least I have something to start looking at...
It makes me think that maybe I should look into it more because maybe it will help me understand him more....and deal with him better.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Handful

So after listing my house and hiring a cleaning company to come to clean it so you could eat off the floor, I decided that perhaps living there would not be the best idea.
I moved in temporarily with my mom, just so that the realtor could show it easier, without toys and crap around. Also, so that showings could be at any time without me having to run around and try to fix any chaos that happened in between showings.
Keeping the kids out of the house has not been easy. We are home bodies so we are completely out of our elements. We don't have much of a routine on a regular day...but now it is completely non-existant.
So my kids are a little hard to handle to say the least.

Friday, May 07, 2010


I am insane. I have decided that it is time to move. I have a 3 week old baby and I am packing up my house, de-cluttering it and listing it on Wednesday. Let me tell you, I think I may have lost my mind.
It is a huge job, even though we live in a small townhouse. The amount of clutter/ garbage and crap that this house has is just incredible. We ( my mom, sister, husband and myself) have been working non- stop to get it ready to list this week.
My realtor said that it needed a serious declutter, and he wasnt joking. I am sure he felt like he stepped into an episode of the horders. We have made some progress, it kinda echoes in places.
I am confident with the $600 I am going to be spending on cleaning that it will be ready to list and show...but not confident on how long I can keep it that way.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Hitting the Wall

So it was bound to happen sooner or later...the dreaded grocery shop. I had gotten enough food to last me until my husband got home but late last night I remembered that my son's birthday party is on Wednesday and I still do not have a cake for him. So off to the grocery store we went.
It wasn't a total disaster, they were pretty well behaved...that is until I let them get a cookie from the bakery...then it wasnt so pretty.
They were fighting and trying to climb out of the cart. I know that I must have looked like a real mess. Asking them again and again, and getting more and more frustrated as they fooled around. I finally buckled them both in (which I should have done in the first place). They whined and cried and screamed as I was at the checkout and the baby started as well. I was feeling really overwhelmed and tired, and just wanted to get home.
Once we got to our car they would not cooperate and get in their car seats and so I had to climb up and put them in the seats. They cried and whined and screamed...meanwhile the baby was crying too. I just wanted to get home as soon as possible.
I drove home as fast as I could. (just 5 mins away)
I pushed the garage door opener to get to my sanity and promptly hit the side of the door frame with my van.
So the door frame is not damaged, but my beautiful van has a wee bit of a scratch....I think I lost my mind at that point.
I really did hit the wall.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

And The Saga Continues

So a couple days ago when I was just about at my wits end, my children decided that they didnt need any sleep. So at 3 am boy child two woke up, and then at 4 am boy child three woke up. Now this would not have been such an issue IF they had both decided to go back to sleep...however, that didnt happen...and it also didnt help that I have been trying to get "me" time in the evening, which meant that I did not go to sleep myself until after 1am.
So after all this being sleep deprived and grumpy my good friend asked me if she could take my kids for the afternoon so that I could just have a nap with the little one. I took her up on her offer immediately, as I was so tired. Knowing that this was going to happen in the afternoon made the morning a much nicer time. We got ready for 1 pm and we all packed up and went to the van.
As soon as I pulled on my automatic sliding doors I knew something was wrong...they were not so "automatic"...I thought to myself, "Did K leave the lights on?" > even though I told him not to touch the interior lights...
I put my keys in and tried to turn it over. Dead.
I started to panic. Not only was I going to miss my nap, but my husband was not going to be home for 5 days. I thought 5 days without escape would be way too much for me. I told K that the van was dead and had the biggest temper tantrum ever. I was weirdly calm...which is probably because this was just too much. If anything could have happened it kept happening. It was like Karma was coming and kicking my butt.
I called my friend in a panic, telling her that we couldnt come, that I was mourning my nap and that I was going to lose it. (which I did, but having said this it was the first time that I cried since having the baby)...she calmed me down and asked if I had AMA. Which I did.
It was like a light at the end of the tunnel. I had forgotten that I had AMA because I dont drive POS cars anymore, so I have not had to use it. ;P
They came in 40 mins and boosted my van, which made me so relieved as I thought that I would have to go get my second car (which is for sale) drive it to the garage, and then put the van in neutral and try to push it out of the garage and boost my van....with 3 kids....
I drove to my friends house and she watched my kids for 2 hrs, I went right home and napped. I was woken at 4pm by the phone ringing, I thought it was my friend calling so I answered it.
No, it was my Mother In Law, who my husband had told me we had re-scheduled, telling me that she would be arriving momentarily.
Now, this wasnt the issue, the issue was that IF I had known that they would be visiting I would have cleaned instead of I put the baby gates up and kept them in my living room...
When it rains it pours. :)
ps. Did you know that Graves Disease is caused by Stress??? NO KIDDING

Friday, April 30, 2010

An Attempt to Move

When my oldest was just a wee one, before I learned of slings and things. My husband and I bought a house. The house was a 3 bedroom condo, about 1200 sq ft. in a very family oriented community. We thought that it would be a great house to raise a family. Now 5 years later and 2 more kids and a dog, it's a little cramped.
Now, I don't *need* a new house. I like the idea of keeping your foot print small, but and I don't know if this is the Jones in me talking, I just feel like it's too small. I like the layout upstairs, and the kitchen is not bad..but my living room and dining area make me insane. There is no real space for the boys to spread out and do their thing. So they end up ripping apart my living room to jump on, or bring all their toys onto the landing, which is another "bigger" space.
I really only want a unfinished or partially finished basement and some semblance to a backyard and I would be happy for a while (5 more years??)
I really want to be able to open the back door and allow the boys to play on the back deck while I put the baby to sleep. I can join them after the baby is sleeping.
Now, its hard for other children to nap, because we are so on top of each other.
I also think the dog needs her own space too, and I want the crate out of my living room.
The issue I am running into now is that I have to move this summer for everything to work out the way that we want it to.
That means, cleaning, de-cluttering and listing my house (and keeping it clean) while my husband is away for days on end and I have a new born...this is gonna be tough.
But worth it I hope.
Maybe I should just go on vacation....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Maiden Voyage

Imagine if you will, a newly minted mom of three decides to enroll her eldest son in soccer. The first game is the second day that she is single parenting for eight days. She has most of her routine figured out at home, but she is still trying to figure out how to juggle three children outside of the house.
So picture this, a Van pulls up to a soccer field and the doors open. A mom jumps out and runs to the other side of the vehicle to pick up a screaming baby that looks to be 2 weeks old. He is starving and all he wants is to be comforted and to get a little milk. She holds him in one hand as she unbuckles a 2 year old. Once the 2 year old is free he bee-lines it out of the van and runs into the field. The mother grabs the two year old and goes back to unbuckle the 4 year old.
The 4 year old decided that before he went to soccer that he wanted to wear his rubber boots, but upon arriving and noticing that none of the other children are wearing boots he decides that he wants to wear his shoes.
So he sits on the sidewalk and asks his mom to put them on. She tries to with little success as the baby is still crying and the 2 year old keeps trying to escape.
Another mom with older kids approaches the mom and asks if she can help, "because I have three and know what it is like." The newly minted mom gives the more experienced mom the newborn and says "He is just really hungry, as soon as I get this one to practice I can feed the baby."
The 4 year olds shoes are put on and the mom takes the baby in one hand, and carries her bag, and a long piece of fabric in the other hand. She orders the older children to follow her....the wrong way.
Once the mom has realized she has gone the wrong way, she quickly changes course. She has now decided to just undo her tank and start nursing while walking as the baby was becoming frantic.
They finally make it to the right field, once they get there the coach throws a shirt and pair of socks at the 4 year old and says, "get your mom to help put those on." The mom looks at the socks and shirt, and digs out the shin pads from her bag. She attempts to put them on but she only has one free hand and her 2 year old keeps running away. She puts her leg over the 2 year old so he cannot run anymore and tries in vain to put the socks and shoes on. Another mom shows up (happens to be a friend) and the mom BEGS her to put the shoes and socks on the child. She does. She then asks the mom to hold the infant as she wraps the long piece of fabric around her, as it is cold the mom does a crappy tie and shoves the infant in and latches him on. She then runs after the two year old for a whole hour. The fabric keeps coming undone and she gets stares and comments from those around her about coldness, activity level of the two year old, and comments about the fabric.
Once the game is done the mom gives the kids a snack and while the two year old is occupied with eating she re-ties the fabric properly.
They pack up and start for the van. She now has a soccer ball in one hand, and a bag and a water bottle in the other. The baby is close to her chest and she looks confident. She tells the two boys to run to the van and as the two year old gets to the cement he trips and eats cement. His front lip is cut open and he is hysterical. He goes blue and passes out, the mom doesnt look too concerned, and if you asked her what she was thinking she would reply, "Can it get any worse?!" The mom drops everything in her hands and picks up the lifeless body of the two year old to the van. She squishes the baby in the wrap in the process who then starts to cry. The four year old starts crying as well as he is scared that his brother passed out.
The mom places the child on the front seat and blows in his face and flicks his ears to wake him up. He takes a huge breath and starts to scream unconsolable. The mom then hugs and kisses the two year old until he calms down.
She puts the 4 year old in his carseat, buckles him in and re-assures him that everything is okay. Buckles in the 2 year old and promises a popsicle for his lip when they get home. Buckles in the 2 week old and caresses his head. She then climbs into the drivers seat, takes a deep breath and starts the van, and closes the doors.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Birth Story - Part Four

With my previous deliveries the pushing part was the best part. No pain. So when my midwife told me that I was fully dilated I was excited to start pushing. I had gotten out of the tub because I didn't really feel like I had the leverage that I needed to effectively push out the baby, and in hindsight I had probably decided to go on the bed as that is what I was used to. (muscle memory).
Pushing wasn't painless this time, however, and that really surprised me.
With every push I could still feel my lower back spasm, and so instead of letting go completely between each push, I held it and kept the tension until the next.
I pushed hard and could feel movement. My midwives commented on how I had my bag of waters bulging before the baby's head. Suddenly with a loud *pop* the waters exploded and hit my head midwife full in the face! I could hear the others joking about having a shower and how much water had come away. I kept my focus however, thinking about my walls and carpet, and continued to push.
The next push and I was crowning, the next came his head. Shoulders with the next push and he appeared at 9:52pm, after 4 or 5 pushes.
The relief that I experienced once he came out was immense. I had never felt anything like it and my back stopped hurting immediately.
I held him close and kissed his little head. We hung out for 30 mins waiting for the placenta and he started showing signs of wanting to nurse.
I wanted to see if he could self latch, as in the breast crawl video, and was delighted when he did.
My placenta was birthed shortly after and we skyped with my husbands mother as she was in the U.S. and unable to attend. (my mother and sister were present).
After everyone had gone home my sister sent me a copy of my birth story from her perspective, and it is the most powerful thing I have ever read. She talks about how inspiring it was for her, and how she wants to birth naturally. She talks about the power of the female body and how birth is a process and not a medical procedure.
So while I felt that this birth was my toughest, my little sister put it all in perspective for me.
Pain with Purpose; with a wonderful gift at the end.

The Birth Story - Part Three

I had gone to the Birth Breastfeeding and Bonding conference and had met Barbara Harper while pregnant with E. I had heard of the benefits of labouring in water since my first pregnancy, and had used the water with K until my water had broken. I had read all about water birth and all of the positives that came associated with it, "natures epidural" and the like. I was still pleasantly surprised when I got into the water and my contractions seemed to disappear.
I was worried that the contractions would stop all together and then I would have to get out of the tub. I sat pensively and waited for the next contraction to come. When it did it was still intense but bearable. I was so happy that I had this relief, as the contractions out of the water were the most painful of all my births.
Its not that I have had orgasmic births or anything, just that with both K and R the really intense contractions were at the end, and I had very few of them before pushing. I wasn't prepared to experience those types of contractions from the middle of labour on. These particular contractions were much different than that of my other births. They started in my sacrum and flowed into my uterus, down my thighs and into my calves. I could not walk through any of them, and if this had been a first birth I can honestly say that I would have probably asked to be transported to the hospital for some pain relief.
I had absolutely no idea how to cope and was saved by the water. If I had not had the water I am honestly not sure what I would have done.
I rocked through each contraction on my knees in the warm pool. My midwives, knowing my wish for a peaceful and less chaotic birth than that of my first and second, spent the majority of the time chatting with eachother at the kitchen table. Every 15 mins or so they would come up to check to see how I was coping, do a fetal assessment and then leave.
After about an hour of being in the water my contractions ramped up and they started feeling like they had when I was out of the water. I was so happy that my husband was there as he sat vigilantly by the pool side (he refused to get in :P ) holding my hand. I was having a really hard time trying to cope and so I grabbed my husbands hand and squeezed with all of my might. I could tell that it hurt him as well.
As the contractions increased I tried as best as I could to breathe through each one, finding it more difficult as they started to come one on top of eachother. I kept thinking that if they were to continue with such ferocity that I would not be able to cope at all. I remembered reading that one has to open and let go to make labour less painful so I kept repeating "open, open, open, open" through each one, hoping that they would give me some reprieve.
As the last couple went through my body I told my midwives (who had all appeared at the same time) that I did not think that I could do it anymore. My midwives and my husband reassured me that it was almost over.
I kept looking at the bed, thinking that it would help if I just got on it. I desperately wanted to be checked again just so I could know how much longer I would have to endure. I got out of the tub and had the most powerful contraction that I had ever had. I tried to breathe through it, and when it was over I quickly got on may back and demanded to be checked by my midwives.
She quickly checked me and told me that I was fully dilated and that there was just a little lip of a cervix left and if I wanted to push through it, or if I wanted her to move it for me. I told her to move it, and asked if I could start pushing. She laughed and said, whenever you feel like it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Birth Story - Part Two

My labour started as the previous ones did. Braxton Hicks for days on end. I felt like I was constantly in a start, stop cycle of labour. It started 3 weeks before I actually went into labour. I had a wonderful Blessingway and three days later I had a period of strong Braxton Hicks that lasted 3 full days. I thought that these contractions that were consistently 7 mins apart were the real deal; unfortunately they were not.
My husband was set to go back to work on the monday and so on Saturday I started to panic that he may not be home to witness and support me during the birth. I had tried everything that I felt comfortable doing to bring on labour and was feeling very disheartened that it wasn't happening. I went for a massage and hoped that it would start on the Sunday. By Sunday I was having inconsistent contractions and we decided that we would just go for a really long walk. I had written a blog post about how frustrated I was and decided just to let go of all expectations. We walked for an hour and I got a Chai Latte and we headed for home.
Once I got home my contractions were staying at 2 mins apart. They seemed pretty legitimate but I was worried that it was false labour so I didn't let anyone except my mom, my cousin and my good friend L in the loop.
I called my midwives, just because I thought that they could just check me and let me know if anything was happening. We decided that I would call back in an hour to re-assess.
I kept walking around and around and around my island just to make sure that the contractions continued as I really wanted my husband to be home. I plugged in my ipod and downloaded a contraction app just so I could keep an eye on them.
Another hour and a half went by and my contractions kept on coming, not only that but they were getting stronger and stronger.
I was excited and started thinking that it was the real thing.
I called my midwives again and the midwife said that she would be over in 30 mins. I couldnt wait, and hoped that the contractions kept coming.
When she arrived she brought in all of her supplies and I worried that we would have to help her load them all back into her car if I was actually experiencing false labour.
She asked me if I had gotten the tub ready and I told her that I had. I took her up to my room and the other midwife arrived.
We did my blood pressure and a fetal heart tone, and then she asked me if I wanted to be checked. I agreed.
I was 5cm and she said that I had lost my plug and that there was a lot of show. She told me that yes, I was in labour and that she expected me to have the baby in 6 hrs at the latest.
I called my mom to come and watch my other kids and went about getting the tub filled and finishing my laundry. The midwives joked about how they thought that it was funny that I was in active labour while folding laundry, I commented that you could not do laundry with one hand.
My mom came over and we had supper, we put the boys in a bath and then put the boys to bed.
An hour after the boys went to bed I started having contractions that were an 8/10 on the pain scale. I then asked to be checked again (now at a 7) and went into the tub.

The Birth Story - Part One

When you become pregnant the first time you know that at some point you will have to give birth. You really have no idea what to expect, and have nothing to reference it to. You are basically blind to the experience, with some theoretical knowledge but not much else. Even if you take birthing classes you have ideas of how to cope with pain, but you really don't *know* what is coming.
For your second birth you have some idea of how the birth will go, generally. This is unless your first birth had complications and you hope to have a different experience. If you had an uncomplicated birth then you have an idea of what it will feel like and how it will go.
After having two, it seems like your birth will be old hat. Its not that you don't look forward to it, but you know what is coming.
Both of my previous births followed the same formula. Contractions for 7 - 10 hrs, active labour for 1-2 hrs of hard contractions followed by pushing. Pushing for me was the best part, no pain just progress.
So, following all that I thought that I knew what was coming. I was ready for birth, I wanted to meet my baby, I had prepared myself. All I had to do was wait...which was difficult for me.
So imagine my surprise when this labour and delivery was nothing like I had expected...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trying to let go.

I had hoped that I would have a new baby now, but it seems my girlfriend S is going to be right. (She always goes over her dates, and so thought that I was crazy to think I would go any earlier.) I just had the 10th in my mind for the last 9 months, so I am a little disappointed that he didn't come yesterday...and what is worse, it just seems like everything has slowed right down. I mean, yes, I still am having contractions all the time, but nothing regular. It makes me really tired. I have been sleeping a tonne. 2 hr naps and going to bed at 9pm.
I keep thinking of R's birth and thinking how I had to let go in order for him to come. I am trying to think of all the things that I need to get ready or to let go so that this little one can come. I keep coming up with dead-ends. I really feel like I am ready.
Well, as ready as one can be to go into labour. It's not like I *want* to go into labour...who really does? It's hard work, and as quick as it can be done, it's still like a massive workout. I sometimes think that my other two are holding me back as well. Like they need to be taken care of before I go into labour, but they have been sleeping pretty well for the last couple days so I am not sure what is up with that either.
All this wouldnt matter if I didnt have until tomorrow to figure it out. If I wasnt on a deadline this baby would have shot out 3 days ago...but no, it will just wait until the husband is on the plane.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Frustration and Too Much Information.

My husband now works shift work, but the kind of shift work that takes him away for days on end....
I made the mistake of getting checked by my midwives at my last appointment, my husband is only home for 5 days and I wanted to see if I was at least starting labour. They checked me and the diagnosis was awesome. 3 cm dilated, fully effaced and engaged and a paper thin cervix. My midwife was convinced that it would be no more than 2 weeks. I was hopeful that it meant that my husband would not miss the birth.
So began a waiting game that is making me insane.
It's not like nothing is happening, I get contractions...every 7, 10, 5 or 2 mins apart, for days. I have other changes that I have noticed as well, I have a back ache, leg cramps, and am incredibly grumpy. (of course that could just be the fact that I have a cold at this time as well).
A couple nights ago I had contractions so strong that they caused me to have a cold sweat. Now, that is intense.
The issue I am having now is that he goes back in 3 days and we have to book the flight, I feel like I am on this horrible timeline and there is nothing I can do.
Now, dont get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of natural birth and do not want to force my body into doing anything that it isnt ready to do, but my biggest fear is that he will get on the plane and at that exact moment I go into labour.
It's just frustrating, that's all I am saying.
Come on Baby, gimme a sign.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Water Birth

This post is purely to spite my husband. :P I told him I was going to write it, so here I am.
I am planning a water birth with this baby. I have borrowed a tub and set up my room to look like a birthing suite. The pool is on one side and the bed is on the other.
There is space for the midwives to work and we have set up a resuscitation station should anything go wrong (in or out of the water).
I am really excited about it. My last two births were incredibly fast and I felt completely out if control. I also experienced quite a bit of discomfort because when a woman goes through a fast labour she doesn't get the build up of hormones that one would get if their labours were a little slower.
Birthing in water may slow it down just a little and give me the pain relief that I am looking for.

Now for the spiting husband doesnt like the idea of a water birth because he thinks that we are not water mammals so why would we birth in the water. (regardless of the fact that the baby is made in the water).
He also thinks that it brings up too many variables that can not be controlled. (because you can control birth).
And he thinks that I just want to do it because it is popular. (which isnt necessarily wrong....I mean if loads of people are having water births and say how great they are why WOULDNT you give it a go?)

I just want to try, make this experience less chaotic and more calm. (and I only have a couple weeks to go...if that.)

For more information on Water Birth check out HERE.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Toddler Property Laws

I came across this today and laughed as I thought of my two year old.

Toddler Property Laws

If I like it, it's mine.
If it's in my hand, it's mine.
If I can take it away from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If we are building something together, all of the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it's mine.
If I think it's mine, it's mine.
If I give it to you, and change my mind later, it's mine.
If it's broken, it's yours!
~ Author Unknown.

We are definitely going through the "mine" stage right now as he is well aware that a baby is coming any day now. It's hard not to laugh at just how serious he gets when it comes to what is his and what isn't.

This kid is in for a wake-up call I think.... ;P

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Completely Superficial Post

This post is just for me to compare all of the wraps that I am interested in for this new baby. :)
I have always defaulted to "boy" colours and my wraps are all very dark and subdued. I want a little more vibrance. :)

The one on the left is the Girasol Rainbow.

I like it because it has a lot of bright colours. The only downside is that I think my best friend owns this one, and I dont want to buy the same wrap as her. Another good friend of mine said that perhaps I should get the night Rainbow, but honestly, it looks dirty to me....

This one on the right is the Girasol Night Rainbow.

I am a fan of the Girasol's weave, it is lighter than a Didymos, but heavier than a Ellaroo. There is a Girasol that I seem to be drawn to, so maybe I will try and get one of these...

This is called the Girasol Symphuo (above). I really like the vibrance of the colours and the brown strips seem to pop right off the fabric. I think this one *may* be my favorite so far. I would actually sell two of mine to get one of these. (A ring sling, and a Ellaroo.)

There is also this one on the left, which is just named #26 which is kinda funny. It reminds me of the Rainbow, but I would like to see the two of them side by side to truly see what the difference is... (in real life.) I think that the Rainbow is block colours and this one is more striped.

So next to the Neobulles, which I am unsure of because I have never felt one to know what the weave would feel like. The colours are really vibrant, and my girlfriend *may* be bringing them into her store....

Both of them seem to be pretty much the same. The one on the left is a softer looking wrap, colour-wise, with pink and turquoise as the main colours. The one on the right has much more red to it.

So dear friends, which one do you like better? Please leave your comments and help me to choose a new wrap for this little one. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reality Check

Did that make you cry? I know I did. With the last couple of weeks being
tougher, with a lack of a husband for the most part (our choice - work),
I have been counting down the hours until the kids go to bed. What this
video reminded me was that I CHOSE to stay at home with my kids to
WATCH them grow up. I only get them for so long before society takes
them away from me.

I sometimes need to be reminded of that fact when I am about to go crazy
over the constant demands of more this and that. It's not a picnic with two
preschool aged boys at home and another baby any day now, but this was
my choice, and I need to own it.

I decided to post this video on my blog so that I would always have it as a
reminder of how precious time is and to absolutely try to live life in the
fullest. Of course we get bogged down by adult responsibility, but
sometimes that phone call or email or facebook status doesn't need to be
answered right away, and so what if you don't answer it at all...they will
call back, email you back, and there is always another day for status

I want my boys to look back and really enjoy their childhood. They can
say to their spouse, "I had a pretty good childhood, I felt loved and
appreciated." Rather than, "my mom was counting down the hours until
we went to bed."

We just have to remember to take each day as that, a new day, and hug
our love ones close.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

THAT Mom....

I confess. I am one of those people that judged people who had kids harshly before I had my own. I used to work at a resturant as a hostess and saw many many families and unruly children. I promised myself I would never ever let my kids do any of the things that the kids were doing at the tables. (like dropping french fries!!! *gasp*)
When I got pregnant it got worse. I would notice parents yelling, grabbing, and children screaming in shopping carts and I would think these moms were the worst! Kids don't have to cry ever, I thought to myself, If you know what you are doing.
I became a nanny just before I got pregnant and thought of that time as my trial for having kids. Let me tell you, those kids that I watched had THE BEST nanny. I got down at their level, played, didnt need to discipline, they went to sleep easy! (of course I had the energy of a 23 year old!!)
So, now here we are at 33 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old boy and a 4 year old boy, both of who have energy coming out of the ying-yang. I can admit that perhaps I was a little quick to judge these past moms....
You see, I was THAT mom at the playground the other day. I had gotten maybe 4 hrs consecutive sleep the night before and my husband had been gone for 7 days. I was going just a little crazy with the continual need to separate my boys as they love to rough house. I decided that I would take a friends advice and take my kids to the playground. There is one rather close so I thought we could kill an hour or so before I had to start making dinner.
Once we got outside my kids bee-lined for "Summer Bucket"; which is full of all of our outdoor summer toys. K was ecstatic to find water guns and pistols. Of course he showed them to R and the two of them immediately started shooting eachother.
The kids BEGGED to take them to the park and I quickly looked over to see if there were any other kids or moms at the park. Noticing that there wasn't, I agreed.
They were in heaven and the best part was that I could sit my butt on the bench and just zone out.
We were there for less than 10 mins when the local school bus pulled up and children started appearing with their moms and siblings to the park.
My kids were super excited to now have real people to use for target practice. K and R started "piss-shoe-ing" every single mom and toddler. They were acting like crazed mad men!
K started saying how everyone was bad and he was going to kill them.
I felt so embarrassed. I tried, with little success to get them to just point at inanimate objects. When I tried to take the guns away I got massive temper was starting to go down-hill. I started to feel judged and watched by the other moms, and knew that when they went home that they were going to post about the frazzled mom with the 2 boys and the guns.
I became THAT mom in that moment, the one that people say, "I will never let my kids bring guns to the park and shoot people."
I do wish that perhaps they gave me some slack as you could tell that I was quite haggard, tired and 33 weeks pregnant.
Moral of the story. Don't judge moms, you have no idea what their day has been like.

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