Ads 468x60px

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Same, not Different

I have been listening to some of my friends and aquantinces about how difficult it is to raise boys, and all of the challenges that they face with their sons.
At first people suggest that it could be a variety of things, as kids are usually affected by many different environmental factors.
Food. The types, organic or non, dairy, food colouring, gluten, frequency of eating, or not eating for that matter.
Potty. Whether they go potty really affects the mood of kids. I know that mine get aggressive when they need to pee.
Energy. Too much sleep, not enough sleep, exercise, how much running do they need? The more energy they burn off the better it is for everyone involved. (hard in the winter)
There can also be many more things that we just don't know that affect boys and girls equally, development, environment, brain...etc.
I started thinking that perhaps that it may be because some of these moms have girls as well...
Let me explain. It's no secret that I believe that girls and boys are hardwired perhaps the mom expects her son to act a certain way and that he is such a handful because her daughter isn't?
I think this could be a real answer for some of these moms...I see them with both of their children, or all three, and see that the girls are talked to in a different manner. For example, "Hunny, can you please get your boots on" vs. "(Child's name) put your boots on."
It could be that the boy is harder to deal with and that he needs that direct-ness, but I dont think so.
I think that I have the benefit of seeing that both of my boys are equally challenging in their own ways and am better to just go with the flow than try to understand what is causing it. Just by listening to them and giving the opportunity to get angry and frustrated without me coming down on them allows them more time to process and then we get on with our day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Post on Haiti.

I couldn't continue to watch the coverage about Haiti on the news and the telethon without commenting for a moment.
There are a couple things that I want to mull over...I do want to preface by saying that a good friend of mine's husband is from Haiti and I hope and wish for all of his family to be safe and healthy.
I wanted to talk about the orphans, children and the newborns. This was a country that already had it's share of children that needed adoption, and the disaster just added to that toll. It makes me frustrated that the media thinks that if Canadians adopt these children then their nightmare will end. That is complete ludicrous. These poor children will have post traumatic stress syndrome...and most of them are old enough that this disaster will haunt them forever. Some children saw their parents die in front of them, siblings, friends, loved is going on an airplane across the world going to help? I mean really, I am not saying that if we adopt these kids that it wont have an impact, far from it...I am just trying to say that they will need major attachment parenting, and psychological help. Imagine being 5 and losing your mom, and then just being flown to another country where you dont speak the language and some stranger trying to "save" you and assimilate you into the just worries me...for the kids.
I think that the parents that were in the process of adopting will have a better handle on things because they understand why they were adopting in the first place. We all want to help, and I am trying to be as politically correct when I post this, but not ALL people are meant to be adoptive parents, and I question some of the motives of the people wanting to.
My husband and I have always talked about adopting or fostering to adopt, but we want to do it to give another child a step up in life that they may not have had the opportunity to, I wouldnt want to adopt just to be one of the ones that "saved" the children....
The next thing I wanted to rant about was the backlash that aid organizations have been getting when sending formula to newborns in Haiti. Yes, there is not very much clean drinking water. Yes, we need to educate women on breastfeeding and encourage it....but at the same time, sending donated milk seems like a big production. Every child deserves breastmilk, (hopefully their own mothers). Let's just say that the mother passed away, or she is too injured to nurse...perhaps we can take off our Lactivist hats for just a minute and realize that while corrupt (now) formula was created for a reason, and that we should accept the donation from any company (even Nestle) if they are willing to give it. Formula could mean life and death for some of these infants, and to get caught up in semantics at this time of crisis I feel is in poor taste.
I am as much of a breastfeeding promoter as the next person, but I do see the inherent need of formula. Especially in places where it is low income and lack of resources. The cost alone to send pumped milk itself would be, transit, pasteurization, re-fridgeration...Perhaps this money or milk could be put to better uses. (at this moment).
I just feel that the west is trying to make this better by throwing money at it, by holding up a badge that says "I donated to Haiti" like it is some fad or something, using this horrific crisis as a soap box for some other agenda. We need to help them get on their feet, help with aid, find some of the children's parents, and help them re-build.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 20 - Clutter Challenge

Picking up speed.

96 - Book on Cats.
97 - Mosquito Net for a baby stroller.
98 - 2 Childrens Books.
99 - Cat's harness and Lead.
100 - Pillow Case!!

Great 100 items done! Just 50 to go and I have 1 week to go!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 19 - Clutter Challenge

And the list continues...

91 - Another Playtex Drop In
92 - A bunch of operating CD's for a Window's machine
93 - Mop / Broom hangers x 2
94 - Toy Police Badges
95 - A big bag of clothing (adult)

95/ 150 done...looking good!

Day 18 - Clutter Challenge

I am still working away at my clutter challenge, but doing a horrible job at writing it down and keeping track, but my house continues to look fabulous.

So the list.
86 - Paper Bags from Planet Organic
87 - A Diego Game.
88 - A Santa Teddy
89 - Palmers Bottom Butter
90 - Drop in for Playtex Nursing System.

Not bad, more to come...hopefully today!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The End of a Chapter

I have a habit for doing thing for free for the benefit of others. I guess I just have a philantropic nature. I really enjoy helping people, even if it is to my detriment.
I have been actively involved in a parenting group (grassroots) in my city for the last 6 years, I have attended countless meetings, been to many many a potluck and a playgroup, and moderated the forum for 3.5years.
I am not sure why I kept on doing it. The bickering, drama and stress alone that I showcased in this blog, should have been enough to get me to stop. For some reason I felt obligated to stay. To stay for friends, because of the time and effort put in, for my own need of acceptance, to show that I can make a difference? I am not sure. I just know that as of yesterday, I just couldnt.
The group has been taken over by a new board of directors and the transition has not been an easy one. I am friends with all of those on the board, but one should not mix business and pleasure. I am really happy not to have to be the "devil's advocate" for all those members that emailed me quietly offlist because they did not want to stir the pot, and knew that I had no problems in doing so.
Now, I can just participate. I dont have to watch my tone, or make sure that I am showing a good face for the parenting group. I can do whatever I please, accountable to no one but myself.
In reality, I will probably just fill up this new free time with something else....PTA anyone....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 17 - Clutter Challenge

This day will be full of posts for the clutter challenge! (just to catch up!)

81 - Kid's Book - Zip
82 - Kid's Book - Fiddle I Fee
83 - Kid's Book - Old MacDonald Had a Farm
84 - Kid's Book - It's Silly Time
85 - Vanilla Scented Candle

I could use all the books as one, but books are hard for us to give away so I am going to count each and every one. :)

Day 16 - Clutter Challenge

I have kind of fallen off the bandwagon as my kids are making me crazy, and the house is looking worse for it.
I do have some stuff however,

76 - A Spice Jar
77 - A Bag of Magnets and Buttons
78 - 4 Little Einstein CD's
79 - A Blood Pressure Cuff (toy)
80 - Kids Book - Plop

80!!! Woot!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Disciplining the Parents

What a concept.
My mom actually brought this lightbulb moment for me. Let me explain what it means and where I am coming from.
So today at playgroup things were a little more chaotic than I would have liked. Many of the moms had already left the room to go to see the parent educator and I was left to watch the children with the other volunteers. Needless to say, on the first day back, many of the kids did not have good listening skills. There was blatant disrespect and behaviour issues.
I listened to the facilitator ask the children time and time again to "please stop the behaviour" but they didnt. I started to get frustrated and asked the facilitator what course of action were we going to follow, and that my child would have been removed from the situation LONG ago. She replied that "We don't do time-out" and then continued to plead with the child to stop...
So, feeling that I had lost my power I decided to leave, as I was leaving a little girl (3.5yrs) looked me straight in the eyes with a "look at what I am going to do" and pushed my 2 year old to the ground, and gave me a smirk.
I was not going to let this child think that she could disrespect me or my 2 year old son, so I exclaimed. "(child's name) we do not push little children. You need to apologize to him." She looked so taken aback that *someone* was holding her accountable that she ran SCREAMING to her dad.
He promptly picked her up and asked her what the problem was, and what was wrong. I went right up to him and said, "She pushed my son, on purpose, I expect her to apologize."
Now, I know forcing children to apologize is just dumb. They are going to dig their heels, but for some reason, losing my authority in the playroom made me NEED to get it back from this child and her dad....and you know what, it took 15 mins of her crying and making excuses, but she finally apologized.
Did I handle that one wrong....probably. So while recanting the story to my mom she said, "why would you think that the children would care what you think? You need to hold their parents accountable."
She continued to explain that when a child is in school and skips or whatever, the parents are called and chastised by the principal, and then they put pressure on their child not to do the offending behaviour again.
So her solution for my issue would have been to go up to the parents and say, "Don't you teach (child's name) not to push younger children? That type of behaviour is not acceptable in my house." By shaming the parents they may think that perhaps instead of coddling their child they should step up and actually parent.
Hey, like I have said time and time again, I am all for gentle discipline and attachment parenting to a point; but some behaviours are just not okay. Period.
Hitting, Slapping, Fighting, Choking, Scratching, Spitting, Hair Pulling, Toy Throwing, Hitting Parents, Hurting Animals, Hurting Babies etc. No amount of talking and distraction is going to put a stop to these behaviours. The child needs to know that this type of behaviour is NOT acceptable in the least bit, and that their are consequences to those behaviours. Immediate consequences.
Thats my rant....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Crying Post

A good friend of mine just decided to Cry It Out with her child last night. I know this because she posted it on Facebook. I don't really understand why people post that stuff on their Facebook profiles...maybe to get support or to support others I would assume. What basically starts happening is a mommy war right on her wall. Pro - CIO vs. Against.
This is one of the BIGGEST issues that splits parents down the middle, so I was surprised that she actually did post it, as she is a business owner as well, and mom's are incredibly fickle. I never post that I don't vaccinate, co-sleep, or whatever, because I don't think my clients need to know...and if they want to know they can ask me to my face.
The thing with Crying It Out is that everyone has a different opinion on what Crying It Out actually entails...some would say *any* type of uncomforted crying, other would say *any* type of crying period, another would define it as crying for 10 - 15 min intervals, some say leaving a child for 12 hrs in their crib and not going in..for anything.
I am more of the latter. I understand why parents use crying it out. I truly do. I completely sympathize with moms feeling so helpless and sleep deprived that they hope that anything will work. And it does work. Science supports it. Of course psychologists refer to it as the extinction method, or learned helplessness, but those words are not really as marketable.
It really comes down to a child's temperament and personality, and my issue is with the "experts" that think that one size fits all and even if your child pukes not to go in, and they will learn in 3 days! (or asphyxiate on their own vomit and die...but that isnt in the talk either).
I think a mom that is sleep deprived should try anything that she can to get some sleep, but she MUST listen to her instincts. If she feels sick, or sad or whatever, STOP. If she thinks in the bottom of her gut that maybe, just maybe this may be hurting her baby...STOP. If she feels okay letting her child cry for 10 mins and then the child falls asleep and she goes in to check on them and all is be it. What she does in her house does not affect me or the relationship that I have with my children, and honestly I would probably be jealous that she got more sleep than me the night before.
The bottom line is that we have lost our ability to just listen to ourselves and our children. We have instincts for a reason, we need to listen to them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Really Good Day

I had an incredibly awesome day with my boys today. Does that mean that I usually don't? Well to be honest a 4 and a 2 year old can be trying at the best of times and that just gets worse when you get more pregnant. ;P But, one of my intentions is to spend more time with my family and so today I decided to take the boys to the zoo.
We had our regular class that we go to on Tuesdays, which was WONDERFUL to get back into our regular routine after the holidays, and then we went straight to the zoo.
We got there at 11:30am, and then decided we would get lunch. I was to meet up with some friends at 1:30pm, so I knew that I had plenty time to get the kids fed and watered.
We got lunch and then just walked around the zoo for a couple hours. Had some snacks and walked around some more.
It was not stressful in the least bit. This is a huge turning point for me as taking them anywhere would cause me to have a meltdown by the end of the trip.
I think a lot of it was because I had no expectations. No one to really meet, I mean my friends were going to be there, but it was a large group, so I wasnt expected to stay with them.
We were able just to do the zoo at our own pace, just for us.
I think I may do this more often.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Breakdown - Cross Post

This is a Cross Post from my Homeschooling Blog. Can you tell what I am thinking about all the time?

I had a complete mental breakdown last night. Today my son was registered for Kindergarden. My mom says that it's something about mothers and sons, that the mothers get over emotional about sending their children into the world, and I wondered why is that? Or at least, why is that for me?
I think for me, and I have stated it time and time again, that I feel that our Western society breaks boys. It squashes their empathy, sympathy, and sensitivity. Boys are told to "harden up" as soon as they are in a peer environment.
When I have my boys at home or near me, as I would with homeschooling, I can be there to help them through the trials and tribulations of these outside forces. I can tell them that they don't need to listen to what others say, that they are confident, and that family is most important. When they are in the public realm I lose all of that control.
My husband says that I can't shelter him and keep him in a bubble forever, as that doesn't give him a fighting chance. I understand that. I am still saddened however that it is almost inevitable and the only way that society can ever not have that impact is if we (my family) leaves North American culture, and while I am up for that my husband is not.
I know that one must learn how to deal with others and move away from their parents...but at 5? What purpose is it really to have children away from their mothers for hours on end, when the mom is able to be home? Who does that serve? The Child? The mother? or the government?
I guess I am still a little skeptical, as what do they really learn in Kindergarden, Grade 1 and Grade 2?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 15 - Clutter Challenge

The kitchen cupboards...I am still sneezing 2 hours later from all that loose spice! I found many things to get rid of, and cleaned the cupboards at the same, win!!

The List

71 - 2 cans of Lemon Flavoured Nestea
72 - 2 extra jars for spices
73 - 6 jars of baby food (expired)
74 - Crayola Ta - Doodles (these things make me mental so messy)
75 - 2 more bags of pregnancy tests...they will expire before I use them again...

And on to the next catch up. :)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Day 14 - Clutter Challenge

Just a quick post for today. I have my 5 items, but I am afraid to go into the really cluttered places because they are just so much these are just random things found while cleaning.

66 - A old block from a block puzzle, lost in the abyss of the toy chest.
67 - A magic bag to go back to my mom today!!
68 - 50 test strip pregnancy tests, that are going to my friend...dont ask, it was a pregnancy test coop.
69 - An old cake pan that has seen MUCH better days.
70 - A little man from the Candyland game...his friends were thrown away many months ago.

And since that is from yesterday, I need to find 4 more things to catch up for today! (but I have a Christmas party to go to, so it may have to wait until tomorrow, as I have to get ready!!)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Day 13 - Clutter Challenge

I went into the abyss today...the basement. I have plenty of things to put on my list now.

61 - A Pillow. We have way too many in this house.
62 - 2 sets of cloth dryer sheets...I think that should count for 63 as well.
63 - (see above)
64 - A beautiful Brown and Green Babyhawk. (de-stashing)
65 - Some Avon Skin Cream.

Pretty good hey. I am getting good at this de-cluttering thing!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Day 12 - Clutter Challenge

Back on track so to speak.

The List.

56 - A Jar of Meal Replacement that I will never use....sorry mom. (she doesnt read this anyway).
57 - A Picture Frame and Picture that we had over our bed for years...until we renovated the bedroom.
58 - A Leather Jacket....may go with those leather pants I posted about earlier....
59 - A Spatcula
60 - A Scraper for a George Forman Grill that we sold a LONG time ago.

Thanks to my good friend Jenny for telling me to check my cupboards. :)

Day 11 - Clutter Challenge

It's been harder and harder to find pieces for me to get rid of. Not that I don't have a tonne, it's just that every spot turns into a big job in the process....

So for today (making up for not posting yesterday)

51 - A Lamp, that we got a light -bulb for and found it wasnt actually working...ask me how long I had a dead lamp in my living room....
52 - A Fax Machine.
53 - Another set of Phones with 3 handsets....insane.
54 - A hand towel that is eaten by overuse.
55 - A Gingerbread House set. (was saving it, for what? I have no idea.)

There will be another post momentarily while I find 5 more things for today!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Childbirth Education.

I have decided to go ahead and get certified to teach child birth education. There is a big movement about taking our voices back in the birth room, and I feel that I can help a lot of women by educating them. Education is the first step to empowerment.
I can also start making a little money for my family. Right now I may own a couple businesses, but neither of them pay me, they will in time, but right now I dont bring in an income, and so even $100 a month would help me immensely. (especially as my children get older).
I still plan on finishing my degree, but that will take more time, even more that a new baby is coming. I hope to get my education degree when all is said and done, as ridiculous as that is, because that is what I entered University for over 9 years ago....full circle I guess.
I am really excited to have a new focus in my life, and I would like to think that it was the frustration that I felt in my volunteer work that allowed me to see the bigger picture and how side tracked I really was.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Day 10 - Clutter Challenge

It is getting harder day by day to stay motivated, as the kids just rip everything apart...but I do have some items for today.

46 - An old wildlife calendar from 2008
47 - A 2009 Calendar
48 - A basket that was for a kids tea set that is broken
49 - Half chewed Uniqua (the dog got it).
50 - A Wall-E Leapster Case

Still not doing too bad. I put some of the stuff up on Facebook and Kijji to sell, and have yet to get any bites... so that is a little disheartening.

I did completely finish my desk though, and that in itself is just amazing. I threw out / recycled a whole garbage bag full of paper!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"Your Best Birth" - a review

As I am pregnant again I have been doing quite a lot of reading about birth. Not because I think that I need to know more about the process of, I think I have that down having 2 natural births at's more the different perspectives on birth and the ways that various authors choose to represent those perspectives.
I just finished "Your Best Birth" by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. While I enjoyed the film, "The Business of Being Born" I was a bit skeptical about the validity of a book written by a talk show host on natural birth.
I am happy to report that I was so completely wrong.
This book is written like your best friend is giving you the low down on birth (in America). It has a uniquely casual feel that I have not encountered in pregnancy and birth books before. She tells it like it is, doesn't sugar coat anything, but also keeps her views very natural. It is a lovely balance. The free birthing hippie, the home-birth loving professional, and the mom who has to birth in a hospital would all enjoy this book. She does outline the risks involved in drugs and interventions and caesarians, but does so in a way of having been there. (she had one hospital birth with intervention, and a home birth no interventions, and her co-writer Abby had an emergency C-section for the birth of her son Milo who had a congenital defect in utero).
The fact that these women have had such varied birth experiences themselves makes them even more approachable, and you don't feel judged by them, they are open minded.
I really felt that the message in the book was that Ricki and Abby just want to inform women, and help them achieve the empowered births that they experienced, but the also do not want to hold the woman's hand. They want her to take responsibility for her own birth and her own experience coming into motherhood.
I think that this book is meant to be a starting point for pregnant moms, as they give a lot of information, but the tone is conversational so if a mother wanted to get more information she would have to do some more research on her own. Ricky and Abby had thought of that as well, they have 6 pages of resources in the back including questions to ask your provider, and steps to creating a birth plan. They also go through all of the philosophies of birth, such as Bradley, Birthing from Within, and Lamaze (just to name a few) but do not go deep into the techniques allowing the mom to do more investigating to see what technique is a best fit for her, her partner and her baby.
In all I would rate this book very high and would recommend it again.

Day 9 - Clutter Challenge

Well, it's getting tougher. It's not that I don't have the clutter, it's that I am cleaning more as well and a lot goes into trash and recycling. So, my list isn't that great today.

The List.

41 - A candle in a blue holder.
42 - A Binder.
43 - A broken toy police car.
44 - "Your Best Birth" (passing it on)
45 - A cover for a Blackberry. (giving it away.)

See, still not bad for taking more time to clean than de-clutter.... and I also completely filed and organized my desk in the process!!

That is progress!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Day 8 - Clutter Challenge

And on to Day 8. I am actually not home tomorrow de-cluttering as we are visiting the In-Laws, so I decided to get extra from today and make the post ready to go for tomorrow!

The List.

36 - Plan Toy Catalogue.
37 - Tummy Ease. I am going to send this to my cousin who has horrible morning sickness.
38 - A printer. Yes, I said that. A Printer. Now I just have to figure where to drop it off.....
39 - A Sony Cybershot Camera...for Sale!
40 - 2 plastic coat-hangers. (I am a wood fan).

Wow! 40 items already!

Supastar! lol


It is the first day of 2010. Crazy. So much has changed in my life since 2000. (well for one, I had just graduated from High-School). I now have a husband, a load of debt, 2 beautiful sons, a dog, 2 cats and a baby on the way, I co-own a business, I volunteer for a non-profit that provides advocacy for women in birth, and I have some of the best friends that I have ever had.

Usually people write resolutions but I believe that resolutions are never kept. So this year I am making Intentions. Intentions are things that you want to do, but do not have the same level as failure that resolutions do, when you don't make them.

So my Intentions for 2010

To find ways to use my skills to bring some cash into my household.
To eat more local, more sustainable, and more on the periphery of the grocery store.
To take time for myself every week, even if it is 1 hr, and do something just for me.
To get a shower every 2 days!
To read one book a month that is NOT on parenting or birth.
To get certified in Childbirth Education.
To start teaching classes on Childbirth Education.
To go out socially once a month with my girlfriends, and not because of a volunteer commitment, or work.
To go on a date with my husband once a month. Just the two of us. (unless the baby needs a nurse.)
To clean one room in my house a day.
To continue the 5 things a day clutter challenge until I am clutter free.
To stop stressing about things that I can not control. (other peoples actions, and how they affect OTHER people.)
To spend more time doing crafts, and reading with my children.
and the big one....
To spend a designated amount of time a day on the computer and IGNORE it the rest of the time.
To go outside once a every two days with my kids.
To get my children more physical activity.

I think that is all for now....what is your biggest intention for 2010?

Day 7 - Clutter Challenge

I am on a roll with this clutter stuff. I have been cleaning like mad in the process. Must be early nesting.

So, because I have other cleaning to do, here is the list for today!

31 - Shea Butter. (I don't even know what to do with this stuff. Can you eat it?)
32 - Paint Pot of a colour that looks horrible on my wall....I am not sure why we kept this tester paint so long.
33 - Discovery Toys Catalogue. Christmas is over!!
34 - Rebecca Eckler "Toddlers Gone Wild." I was thinking of gifting this to my good friend LBR, but will wait to see if she reads my blog first. I will give her 2 weeks and if she doesnt say anything I will wrap it up for her...(she HATES Rebecca Eckler).
35 - Little Jar of Bubbles that got all spilled out, but we kept for some reason.

I still have more, but will wait until tomorrow to post.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Networked Blogs