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Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's the little things.

I have been thinking a lot lately about others and the way that they choose to parent their children. When I was a new mom I was extremely passionate about how to parent, I saw a right way and a wrong way. I can admit it, I was pretty judgmental. I can say that now, and apologize to those who I probably insulted along the way. I can still get judgmental, when I see something that crosses the line towards neglect or harming a child, but for the most part I could really care less what others do with their kids.
So why the long disclaimer? I am going to post about how I put my kids to bed and why I do it.
Some would argue that one needs "mommy time" and that time starts once the kids are in bed preferably by 7pm. I don't work like that. I am on call 24/7. All the time. Am I tired? Hell yes. Do I get grumpy sometimes? Yes. Do I complain about it to my friends...yes, I am human after all. But for the most part, I cherish these moments that make me the most crazy.
I read my kids 6 stories. 2 for the little one and 4 for the big one. I answer all of the questions that are asked. I go to the potty again and again just to make sure that they are really ready for sleep. I get the teddy, and the baby and tuck them in as well. I then lay down and snuggle them. Each kid gets as much time as he needs.
Does this cut into the "mom time"? Yes. "Is it irritating some days when I have other things on my mind?" Yes. "Would I change it?" NO.
I love to snuggle them. I feel like I get to connect in these moments. My little one drifts off to sleep with no tears, patting my face and kissing me. I soak every moment up. How many times will he do this? Not many. Boys start to pull away by 7years.
The older one and I talk about his day, what bugged him, what made him happy, sad...what he wants to do the next day, etc. He loves to kiss my belly and say goodnight to the baby. I look at him and realize how big he is already, and how fast they grow.
I had my kids because I wanted to share my life, and experience life through the eyes of a child. I wanted to experience unconditional love.
Every moment I spend putting my kids down, I try to burn it into my brain for when they are older.
Life is so precious and so fleeting, I try to live my life with no regrets, and having my kids go to sleep, with no tears and snuggling their mom just makes ME feel better.
So back to the disclaimer. That is why I co-sleep sometimes, why I nurse until 2, and why I don't let my kids Cry It Out....because it feed *my* soul too.

The Spirited Child

I went to a parent's group today just to learn more about my kids etc. We were talking about temperaments and how no matter what your parenting style is, how it will not affect the child's innate personality; no matter how hard you try.
We talked about labels and how we can say lots of negative labels when referring to our kids, but how we can change those labels into positive traits as well. For example, bossy could be self-assured, defiant could be independent, nosey could be seen as curious. When we look at these labels in a positive way we see that we actually want to cultivate them in our children. Self-assured, independent, curious adults are exactly what I want my sons to be.
We also talked about the label of the spirited child. We took a test to see if our children had any of the traits that a spirited child is supposed to have. I thought that between my two kids my younger one would be more spirited as he is the most vocal and active. That boy knows what he wants and will not rest until he gets it. What surprised me the most was that my older son ranked the highest on the spirited scale. It was shocking to me actually.
He does not do well in transitions, he is extremely sensitive and empathetic, he likes things just so, etc. I was wondering why I didnt notice any of this until I took this test and it occurred to me that I "over parent" him. I dont want the battle or the conflict so I head it off at the pass, I cut the crusts off his peanut butter sandwich and serve it on a green plate with a green cup....I read him 4 stories before bed, and get the water, and the snuggle, I make sure the labels are cut out of his shirts, he doesnt have to wear jeans, etc. Now I realize that the reason I don't see that "spirit" is because I have made his life easier, and he doesnt have many transitions....but is this doing him a dis-service? Should I be ignoring his quirks and making him see that it doesnt always go his way?
Am I coddling him? And what does that mean for kindergarten?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Paramedic's Wife.

My husband is a paramedic. He is not an "ambulance driver", he does not just do first aid or CPR. He doesn't just drive people to appointments or to the hospital. He is not a taxi service. He is not paid as a professional driver.
He wears a bullet proof vest to work because sometimes he needs to help people who have been in violent situations, and the person receiving the help may have their attacker near by, not wanting them to survive.
He can get attacked by dogs, wives and husbands who are angry and violent, by people so messed out of their minds that they don't know what they are doing.
He saves lives. He has saved many many lives. Sometimes I wonder if he should. (from an ethical and religious point of view...who is he to decide whether someone lives or dies?) He has saved the same people many times in a row because they want to die.
It frustrates me that he doesn't get the acknowledgement and respect that he deserves. It frustrates me that the unions can't band together like fire-fighters, cops, or nurses. It frustrates me that the wives and husbands of paramedics don't bond together and commiserate or build community.
It frustrates me that he has seen so many bad things done to people by other people so that he loses a little empathy for man kind. He has lost his feeling that people are inherently good.
It frustrates me that we spent 4 years to get his education, went over 20K in debt (just to survive while he got his education) and have burnout after 6 years to show for it. Also, that his education, while 4 years long does not count as a degree.
It frustrates me that paramedics are such a vital part of the health care system and never get a thank-you, a card or some flowers.
It frustrates me that he works long hours away from home dealing with people who abuse the system.
It frustrates me that people think that he is less than he is, or that he sits on his ass playing video games between calls and that is why he should have to try and raise a family on $14 -35 / hr....and not a penny more. EVER.
It frustrates me that this still bothers me after 6 years.

I hope that one day we can finally leave the field of EMS behind us forever.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wanting a Break

I realized the other day that I have not been without my children for more than 48hrs, and even then it wasn't in a row. My girlfriends have been getting together more recently, and I would really like to join them, but I feel like I should stay home, get organized, spend time with the husband and the children all before our lives take a huge turn to the right....
I would love to get a break however. A mom's retreat. Somewhere where I can read a book without any distractions, revitalize. Get a spa treatment. A hair cut. A Latte. Just have some more time to myself before I give birth and this little one inside becomes all encompassing.
I know that in two years from now, I will not have left any of them for long periods of time as a baby really keeps me housebound. (I am not complaining, I do not feel comfortable leaving a newborn - two year old.)
My youngest son is weaned. He sleeps in his own bed (most of the time), sleeps through the night (some of the time) and is pretty independent. My older son is completely emotionally ready to be left with dad for 2 days....
I just need to figure out when, where and how.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making the Best Decisions.

I recently posted about how I found my dream home. We found out that we could afford it, it would just put us at the top of our borrowing bracket. So now we are faced with the emotional decision of wanting our dream home, and waiting for it.
It's kind of interesting, before my husband and I would have jumped on it because we live by our guts and emotions, but we want to make the best decisions that we can for our future.
So, we will wait.
I am dying for a new house. Especially one with a backyard, especially as my husband goes away for work...but we want to have ourselves in a situation where we are comfortable, can save up some savings, and be able to pay for some of our 3 children's schooling.
I think the right decision will be to buy one that we can really afford with lots of wiggle room so that we can go on vacation twice a year. (once in the summer and once in the winter). We can renovate as we see fit, as we like to reno...and we will make sure that it is near to a park or a green space, but not necessarily on one.
Of course it could all change in time....I guess we will see in 3 or so months. :)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Dr.Jack aka The Man

Thank god for Dr.Jack Newman. I emailed him after I had my meltdown yesterday. He replied as only Dr.Jack can and assured me that I could nurse and that the radiation treatment was not even an option if you had a little one.
So, radiation is off the list for the time being.
He also recommended some different medications and told me to ask my doctor about them. I was so relived to hear that women can successfully nurse with Graves. Not that I actually doubted it because I have been having symptoms for quite a while. Like read: years.
I was also concerned about passing it on to the new baby as a couple of people had told me that this might be the case. He assured me that it could not cross in milk but may cross through the placenta and to let my midwives know in case the baby needed treatment in the first 3 months.
If I have any extra money laying around this year I am going to donate it to his clinic, as he alone is one of the best resources for breastfeeding in the whole of Canada.
(I would urge you to do the same. :) )

Pity Post - pay no mind...

I am awake at 1:16am due to hunger and pregnancy induced insomnia...
Today was a interesting day, mood wise.
We went and saw a show home that we can now afford because of my husbands new job. It was lovely. I fell in love with it immediately. You know when you have your list in your head of every little thing that you may want one day...this was my forever house. I could live there NO problem for years. The only thing is that my husband would have to stay a rig worker for 10 years to pay off the mortgage.
Also, I am starting to get nervous about the 8 day away thing. Supper and bedtime are the hardest parts of the day for me and I will really miss my hubby, but I have to keep looking at the bigger picture. I know we can do this...and if I lived in that house it would be even more
All this is exacerbated by this damn Graves bullshit. It's really hitting home for me today, and probably the actual reason why I am awake. I mean no one is actually "normal" but to actually know that you have a disease that affects your quality of life is really daunting. And the treatments scare the shit out of me. (this is my blog I can swear if I want). I mean, cutting your neck!! Your NECK. Good lord. I can't even take pre-natals because they make me gag, but I am supposed to go on meds for my whole life? Every day? And radiation...radiation?! I can't even go into that one, as I will just get more upset.
I haven't been googling Graves a lot because I don't want to hear horror stories, or get myself too worked up with mis-information...but I did join a support group on Facebook, and while the stories are uplifting and people are getting treatment, I keep noticing that they all have my symptoms. Some of these symptoms are ones that I didn't even know WERE my eye twitch, and watering. I thought that it was just stress from my husband. I got it after having apparently it is one of the first signs.
I keep hoping, and praying that this is just some mistake. I mean they haven't *actually* diagnosed me yet. I haven't had the antibody test to make sure that it is, as it is super hard to figure that out in they will have to wait until I give birth and the hormones all fix themselves.. THEN we can go get tested.
I just really hope it isn't. (and that it isnt cancer either.)
This really really sucks.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Still Processing

We have had many big things happen this week and I am still processing them but am feeling that we may be getting back to normal. My husband gave his 2 weeks from a job that he has worked at for 6 years to work up north for an 8 on shift...which will be a big change..
I will post more about it once we get closer as stuff is still being worked out.
I am having tones of Braxton Hicks which is normal for me to start getting at this stage of the game (28weeks). Just more tiring than anything.
And as for a follow-up from my last post...I am feeling so grateful for all the wonderful support and advice that people are giving me. I really feel like I have a strong network of friends and family to draw on in the next couple years while I figure all this stuff out.
I am def. leaning towards another baby tho...just to delay deciding anything at this moment at time. :)
My oldest will be starting soccer in March...I will then be a soccer why not add another boy to the mix....
(I dont think my husband reads this....)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


This is a harder post than I thought it would be. I have been trying to write it since yesterday, but the words are not as available as I would have hoped, which means that I am still processing.

I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder yesterday. Graves disease. The reason why I have been a toothpick for over 6 years.
See, I started at about 120 lbs before having my kids, and my last weight was just over 90 lbs, on a 5'6" frame...needless to say I look pretty emaciated.
But, still able to get pregnant, and gain weight while pregnant; so kinda confusing.
When I was pregnant with my last child the midwives noticed that my thyroid levels were low, and we got them retested but they normalized so we stopped investigating. This time they were even lower, almost non-existent. So they kept testing and a specialist finally decided that Graves is what I have had since my early 20's.

I have very conflicting feelings about getting the diagnosis. On the one hand I feel relieved that it isnt cancer, or something worse. I am also surprised to find out that all of the weird things that I thought were just quirks of myself, are actually tingly fingers, and insomnia.
I am also freaking out about the treatments that are available.
Basically there are 3.
1) Radiation - my least favourite but most effective treatment. While I don't get the willies from radiation itself, I am nervous to either a) have to wean my child prematurely, and b) not be around them for at least 4 days after treatment. I have not ever been away from my kids for 48hrs, let alone 4 days....and my oldest is almost 5.
2) Surgery - again, the need for weaning, and not being there for my children. Not to mention a huge scar across my neck...partial decapitation is not something one would look forward to.
3) Medication - 30% effective...not really good odds. Again the weaning, the doctor did say that I could nurse while on medication...but at the same time, what would this medication do to my new little buddy.

So, the neat thing is that pregnancy actually inhibits this disorder, but I can't be pregnant forever. Although this may cause me to try for #4 in a year or two....if only to delay these choices. The worse part is that I am an attachment parent that *wants* to nurse for as long as mutually agreeable, and *wants* to wear my baby close, and not leave my kids for long periods of time.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

C-Sections vs. The Zodiac

I am the Vice President of a Birthing Advocacy group and so I have some strong opinions on the way that women are treated in the birthing room.
I have many issues with the way that women are induced, and how interventionist our society has become when it comes to a birth. Women are not machines, and birth is not a formula, it's different for everyone....
Anyway, this post is not to go on and on about my beliefs that are backed by science, this post is to talk about why (in my nut bar way) I am opposed to elective c-sections.
The bottom line for me is that we humans don't get to choose everything about our babies...we don't get to choose the gender, we don't get to choose the colour of hair, skin, or eyes, we don't get to choose the weight, the child's personality, intelligence and the why do we get to choose a birthday?
I am one of those freaks that believes in the zodiac. I am a Gemini through and through. So it bothers me when doctors want to induce a woman, or schedule a c-section before the baby is don't start flaming me about the necessity of c-sections. I absolutely believe that there is a time and a place for them, and my dislike for the choice of date really doesnt matter if they are before or after the mid-month (when the sign changes). However, if your doctor says, I have an opening on the 20th or the they or you really have a choice to what sign your child is born under? Do you even think about that? I don't think many people do.
Maybe I am a complete freak for even thinking about it, but I do....I would hope that when at all possible that a woman be allowed to START her labour and then if a C-section is needed we already know what sign the child was to be born under. I mean, does it really matter if she has a couple contractions? (if anything those contractions will help with milk production later).

Monday, February 01, 2010

A Rut.

You know when you can see the end goal and know how to get there, but just can't seem to make it in a timely manner? That is how I feel at this moment...I am stuck in this rut.
Now, I warn you that I am going to bitch about finances for a moment, which is probably faux-pas but that is all I think about at the moment...or at least it is at the forefront of my mind.
I used to go to school, and I couldnt afford this school, so I got my mommy to co-sign a loan for me so I could go. I, in the meantime (last year of school) got preggo (totally planned) and stopped going to school full time. So, said loan, came into repayment.
Not a bad thing entirely. We also got the Child Tax Benefit and that was automatically placed into the account paying the loan.
Fast forward to last year, and for some reason the govt started sending cheques rather than putting it into said acct. So the loan goes into arrears, by quite a bit, before we are any the wiser that this has happened.
Now, to today. We are still in arrears about $200. Not a lot of money I know, but to just throw $200 at a loan when you are living off of one income and trying to pay for food is just not happening. Of course the bank doesnt care that we pay them $400 a month to try get caught up to this stupid loan.
I wish that everything wasnt so black and white and that they would just back off a little because we do pay every single month. The min. payment is $140 and we pay $400...and yes, it is still in arrears, but come on...we pay in good faith.
My dream will be realized when I can move this loan out of the institution it is in and put it somewhere else, close all my accounts and never ever use them again.
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