Ads 468x60px

Saturday, September 03, 2011


When most people post about Sanctimommies they are talking about me.
Someone who Co-Sleeps (doesnt CIO), Babywears (every day all day), Births at Home, Breastfeeds well into toddlerhood, delayed or selective Vaccination, eats Organic. (or as organic as I can do at the moment), Homeschools (oooh..that is a new one!) etc. etc. etc. etc.
Oh wait! And the pinnicle is that they tell other people about thier way of life.... guilty.
But here is the thing. I dont really care if you used CIO, wear a Bjorn or use a Stroller, Fed Formula because you think that it is better than Breastmilk. I dont care if you had an Elective C-Section, Vaccinated right on Schedule or Eat at McDonalds every other week. I honestly do not care nor wish to change your mind if you are happy for all the decisions that you have made while rearing your young child. Honestly.
It does not affect me or my family.
I can say that with my hand on my heart. We are all different people who do things for different reasons, I don't judge you, and you don't judge me....right?
Wait...well maybe I do judge...because there is ONE itty bitty thing that makes me want to run up to another parent and slap them accross the face with thier own childs want to know what it is?? Something that DOES affect me and my family....
I have been to MANY MANY a playground this summer, at all times of the day and I have noticed (and so have my kids) a growing populace of young tweens (8-15 yrs of age) at the playground alone (and you Free Rangers would LOVE this), but its not all make believe and fun play.
Its blatent, hurtful, un called for Bullying.
"I am going to kill you if you touch the swing"
"I am going to hit you if you go on the slide"
"EWWW! You kissed your brother! You are GAY!"
"I don't like you"
"I am not going to play with you"
Screaming, "Its our Ball, Get OVER it!!" to a 3 year old....
and then when confronted, by this overzealous sanctimommy, "That is RUDE. You will NOT talk to my children in that manner." I get, sheepish, "sorrys" and "I was only jokings"
So moms. There it is.
Teach your kid some RESPECT and all will be right with the world.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Penny in Hand...and Mouth

I almost lost my baby to a penny. One cent. A worthless, useless, peice of copper (and lead) that my older child(ren) had left on the floor. You know the saying, "Find a penny, pick it up and all day you will have good luck."
No. Not at all.
I saw the baby had something in his mouth. (as he always does), and was aruging with my older two to stay in bed, as they had gotten out for the millionth time. (which they also do when daddy is not home).
I slammed the door, told them to stay in bed, and put the baby on the floor to change his bum.
As I was changing him, I remembered about the item in his mouth which I thought was LEGO; since we have a TON of that laying around the house.
He looked at me and giggled as I lifted him up to remove the object, at that moment he laughed and choked. I panicked.
I could hear that it has gotten stuck, so I put him across my knees and did the back blows that I was taught by my husband when a child is choking. No use. He just kept coughing and crying. I thought at least it wasnt in his airway.
I called my husband and asked what to do, and then got a lecture from a very irate firefighter/paramedic that told me that he could not assess our son as he was over the phone. So I hung up and called our 24 hour health service.
At this time the baby had stopped crying, but my mommy gut was still going off. As I explained all the symptoms to the nurse, drooling, not nursing, not eating etc... she asked me to give him a sip of water, which I did and caused him to go into fits of coughing again.
She told me to drive to the closest hospital immideately. (I should have called the ambulance at this point).
I called my mom to come over and watch the other two children and got dressed, me and the baby (as we had been in pjs), and while I was putting him into his car seat my mom pulled in.
I got in the car and sped the whole way (yes, not safe) to the hospital.
As I was driving I could hear him struglling, and gurgling, so I started to panic. It took me 15 minutes to get there from my house... (it usually takes more like 25).
I pulled into short term parking, looked at the pay meter, decided to check on the baby first...I opened the van door and he was covered in drool and vomit. It was like he was foaming at the mouth. (a sign of airway obstruction).
He did not look good.
I decided to skip the payment for parking and RAN him into the ER. Right up to the front. Waited 2 minutes while they were doing paperwork, and then was called to the window.
As soon as I got there I started bawling.
I explained what had happened and they took him into the back. As soon as we got a bed the tirage nurse called a code and 2 doctors and 3 nurses came running in.
I lost it. I felt like the worst mother of the year. So mad at myself for not being more vigalent about toys on the floor.
They gave him an Xray and stabilzed him. (apparently if he was on his back or on an incline - like a car seat, it exacerbated the problem).
I was shocked when I saw it was a coin.
Wedged in the collarbone area, side ways. So he could breathe when upright but not able to drink, or eat.
I was told to grab my car seat out of the van and then we were transported to the Children's hospital in the area by Ambulance, lights and sirens.
Once we got there we got a room in the ER and waited until 4 am for a bed to open up. He was not allowed to eat or drink so I kept him in the sling (Thank Goodness I Brought the Sling!!) which made him think it was nap time.
We were told that we had a bed and so we went up and I was shown a bed....for him.
Which makes sense. But we are cosleepers, and there was NO way that he would ever sleep in a crib for the first time in a hospital!
So we slept in a chair.
The things we do for our kids. I slept sideways with my feet over the edge. They were so numb when I woke up an hour later that I thought about calling a nurse!
We waited for 12 hours in all for day surgery.
They took him from me and put him out and then used an endoscope and a pair of itty bitty forcepts to take the offending penny out. The whole procedure was less than an hour.
But the LONGEST hour of my life so far.
After he woke up he nursed and we had to wait an hour to get discharged.
We (my mom who had come to be with me for the surgery) drove back to the first hospital where my van was (no ticket!!) and then I jumped out and drove it home.
I am keeping the penny forever. I am going to make it into a peice of jewlery.
A friend of mine stayed with my older boys to help out, and we had many people ask how we were doing.
He was fine, no worse for wear. Happy as a clam at the hospital, with me, snuggled in my sling. I on the other hand was an emotional wreck and now hyper sensitive to anything on my floor.
I guess that is what happens when a penny almost takes your child away from also readjusts your priorities, and the way that you look at things in life.
How something so small, so useless, so worthless could have *killed* my son. Taken him away from me forever.

ps. a penny is as corosive as a battery when in the human body. THROW your pennys AWAY!!
pps. ALL of the health care personelle were amazing. All of them. So understanding, supportive and caring. For such a horrible incident for me and my family they made it feel better. I will be forever grateful to the men and women who worked in both ER's, surgery and Patient Transfer forever.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Super Mommy No More

I have a super power.
I can run on 4 hours of sleep without a cup of coffee. I can run after my 3 kids with an incredible amount of energy. I can eat whatever I want and not gain a pound. I am a size 0 without even trying.
I can work on many different things at one time. I run a business, a household, volunteer for a non-profit and stay up until 1am baking cookies to be that perfect mom....and it is killing me slowly...literally.
Things that I thought were MY normal are abnormal.
I have an auto immune disease. Disorder. Whatever.
It is like I am running a marathon every day all day long. Tricking people into thinking that I am coping.
I guess that I am not.
Graves causes extreme mood swings, which would explain why I am Dr.Jekyl and Mr.Hyde most of the time.
Graves causes a super high metabolism, thyroid storms, headaches, joint aches, food sensitivities, insomnia, etc. etc. etc.
I am still trying to wrap my head about #1 - losing my super power. Feeling as tired as all of my friends. Cutting back. Taking time for myself.
#2. Treatments. They all suck. All of them.
Pretty much take a person like me who doesn't trust the pharmacutical companies enough to Vaccinate my kids and now I have to be dependent on them for the REST OF MY LIFE.
and ever.
I also have to render my thyroid useless. Kill it or cut it out, and then go the other way, and try and manage all the weight gain, the tiredness, the exhaustion, while taking care of 3 kids under 6. (did I mention that I am homeschooling as well?!)
Maybe I should just get pregnant again and push it off.....
So if you have been wondering why my moods are all over the place, why I am grumpy, mad and all the rest...there it is.
And no, not contagious. Caused by environmental factors. Which could literally be anything from being on Formula as a baby to microwaving hotdogs under a plastic cover. Or maybe ny flavoured water addiction.....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When there is a will....

**Warning - This is one of those TMI posts about kids and poop.***

So my 3 year old is not potty trained.

We have tried EVERYTHING.

Stickers, stamps, star charts, no diapers, pull ups, just underwear, going every 30 minutes, going every 15 minutes, sitting before breakfast, sitting before bed, reading stories, playing games, yelling, threatining, bribing and giving up completely.


So he knows where the poop and pee go, but he doesn't care. He would be happy to sit in filth all day long.

We are getting better. He is asking to go pee, and the fact that he learned how to stand and pee is making it a little better. It's a novelty, so he tries to go every so often.

Poop is a whole other story.

He used to under the sink. Most likely because he got yelled at. Yes, I know. Bad mom. Apology, apology, etc.

So the other day I am getting dinner ready, I have the older one talking my ear off about a new transformer and how it changes his perception of the universe; while his little baby brother tries to take his first steps between my legs as I am trying to pour pasta water out....and I notice the 3 year old is missing.

I know in my gut what he is doing. Mom intuition.

I RUN up the stair to catch him mid squat in the *carpeted* stairwell. He looks at me with a "Shoot! Mom caught me" look.

I pick him up without a word and take him to the potty. He says, "I had an accident mom."
I say, "I know." and then because I am frustrated and there is poo everywhere *just* beore eating dinner I say, "but you know what, you have to sleep in your own bed, because only boys that poop in the potty get to sleep with their brothers."

Fit ensues. Dinner, Bath, PJ's, Story....and then take him to his room. Fit continues.

I explain that until he poops in the potty he cant sleep in his brothers room. He RUNS to the bathroom, rips down his pull up, sits on the toilet and PUSHES like he is passing a gall stone. Goes red in the face, and poops out the *teeniest* poop he has ever done.

He looks at me and says, "I pooed in the potty mama! Now I get to sleep in Ks room!"

You got me there.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

At Least it's Clean

I wanted to post this before I forgot. A snapshot in a day of the life with 3 small boys when your husband works away from home.

I have this couch in my garage. Don't ask me why or how it got there. Just know that it is in perfect (kidless) condition and will not fit down my stairs. Of course the fact that it is in my garage means that my van can not fit in the garage which means it needs to be sold.... perferably BEFORE the snow comes back.

I have put the couch on kiijjij and on craigslist etc. And have gotten a few bites. I have been keeping it set up and clean in the garage, just in case people want to see it. (which is hard...because it is in my well as the lawnmower, and gardening tools).

Yesterday I had made an appointment for a woman to come and look at my couch. She wanted to come around one. So at 11:30am I decided to start to wrangle the boys into their clothes so that they looked presentable when a stranger was to come.

At 12:30pm they were finally dressed. I threw them outside in the backyard to play on the swings while I put the baby in the carrier so that I wouldn't have to worry about him when the lady came.

I walked outside with the baby on my back and watched and felt my mouth go into a silent "O" of horror as I looked at my middle child, the 3 year old, hose in hand spraying directly into the garage, right beside the couch.

"I am cleaning it mama. The garage!" O.M.G

The lady was coming to look at this "mint" couch and my 3 year old was trying to give it a bath.


Needless to say the couch is still there. (not because it got wet, because he *just* missed it)

We will try again another day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crying It Out....Again (RANT)

My cousin recently posted on her FB status that she was having a hard time putting her littlest one to sleep. He is just under a year old. Somehow, this opened her up for complete unsolicited advice from all of her "friends".
What skeeves me the most is that people get so passionate about this subject so you can't just say, "I didn't CIO, and my kids sleep great", you get to be attacked for your choice...passive agressively.
Don't Coddle, it's proven children have to "self-soothe"....ummm, really? Prove it. Because I can actually prove the opposite, here, here and here. Oh, and here.
Not to mention that I was a psych major in University and so "attachment theory" was a whole semseter class.
Oh, but "coddling" them will make them more dependent.
No. It doesn't. And I have a 3 year old who can tell you that for sure.
Dependence LEADS to Independence.
Once a child is sure of thier environment and *trusts* the people around them, they will venture out. If they don't.. (or think that you are going to abandon them) then they are much more "clingy."
And can we seriously stop with this "independent" "dependent" "clingy" "coddled" language?
Why DON'T you want your child dependent on you? Would you rather they be "dependent" on a friend? a peer? a stranger? How about a molester?
If you don't nurture your children, some one else will take the opportunity to.
So be HAPPY that they *want* to be with you, to share with you, to be comforted by you, to NEED you.
Just drives me insane.
If you want your child to "self-soothe" and be "independent" at 1 year old, then maybe you should have not "coddled" them as a newborn. Newborns don't need to be "coddled" do they? Maybe you should start the way you want to finish....or maybe you should get a dog.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ode to Muffins

I recently volunteered at my son's kindergarten class. They are going to have a kindergarten celebration where they wanted to provide a meal for all of the parents. The day that I volunteered they wanted me to help make muffins with the kids.....problem is, I am not a baker....but that was only the beginning.
It started out simple enough, an email to ask us to bring some mixing bowls and maybe some measuring cups.
I got into the classroom and the teacher then informed me that since the grade 3's were writing their provincial achievement tests (another post on those shortly) in the staff room we could no longer use the kitchen to bake in. (which they had been using the day before)
We were to use the science room in the classroom, which was home to meal worms, and beetles. Yuck. (they were in cages so it was just more squeemish than actually gross)
We also learned that we only had two bowls and so if we wanted to make more than one batch we would need to wait for one full batch to be completely finished.
My partner (another mom) and I started mixing the ingredients in the bowl. We added the butter and then the sugar, and then looked for something to cream them with. There were no utensils, since we were not in the kitchen! I ran down to the main office to ask for a couple forks and the admin assistant said, "I can not have you go into the staff room as there are children writing an exam. I do have some spoons that you can have." and she passed me some PLASTIC spoons. I looked at them and said, "I can't really cream with plastic." She shrugged.
I went back to the classroom with my spoons.
Both the teacher and the other mom laughed when they saw what I brought back. We attempted to do the best we could with the things that we had. Mashing bananas to mix with a plastic spoon was a laughable sight.
With our incredibly lumpy mixture, we went on to the dry ingredients and saw that we needed another bowl, which we did not have.
I caved and called my husband to bring me my electric stand mixer.
I went out front and waited in the rain for him to take the 10 minutes that it took to get both of our other kids in the van, load the mixer and be my hero.
I ran back into the classroom with all the necessary tools to bake. We cruised through the rest of the instructions, and put little baking cups in the muffin tins.
Poured in the mixture and then headed to the break room by the gym where an extra oven was pre-heating.
We got to the room, and a little girl and he OT were writing the exam at the table. We were shot a look like...can you see we are writing here? We quietly tip-toed in and then put the muffins in.
I went back to the classroom and nursed my hurt hand, which had gotten bruised when the kids switched the mixer to "on" when I was plugging it in.
After the 15 mins, we went back to get our muffins which turned out wonderfully, and the OT said, "please take them out as they are too distracting!" We had 2 more batches to go.
She asked if we could wait until after the test....but we couldnt because the kindergarten class was over before the test would be over.
So two more batches went in, and we felt so bad going in and disturbing the test. (why they did not go to the library I am not sure).
We started to clean up by using the sink, which had horrible water pressure and then lacking paper towels. Finally, the OT came in to apologize for getting in our way and offered us the kitchen sink to clean up.
The muffins turned out wonderfully, and while it was a bit chaotic the kids learned a whole lot.
Lesson of the day - never take your kitchen for granted.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What is...A Food Coop?

There is no question that food is one of the most expensive things that you have to buy. That and with the fact that you actually have to continue to buy it no matter what - or you will literally starve.

There are lots of studies done on food; the right food, the wrong food, etc, etc, etc.... but for the most part organic, and fresh is the best way to go.

I live in a cold climate where the growing season is less than 4 months at best, so I supplement my family's diet with food from a Organic Food Buying Coop.
The way that it works is that you find an existing coop (the easiest) or start your own by finding 4 or more family's that want to work with each other cooperatively to save money on food.

You have to find a Company that then ships to a Distributor in your city. We use Horizon who is okay with food buying coops. We only have the rules of having to have a credit card on File and that we need to order a minimum of $1200 every order (be that monthly, every two months, every 10 weeks or even quarterly.)

Once you set up your Coop, you need to figure out a way to organize the order. We use which offers free software to keep track of what people order out of the catalogue, the invoices etc.

We have 2 people who follow the order from the beginning to the end, by making sure that we add our cases in a timely matter, call/email in the order, and arrange for pickup.

The great thing about a Food Coop is that you share the costs by splitting cases. You also save money because you take out the middle man. The Cooperative part is that you have to give up a few hours of your day on a Sunday or Saturday every two months (or so) and then go to the distributor and pick up the food, put it in your vehicle, sort it out and shop. :)

You may be skeptical, but I can honestly say that my 250g Goat Cheddar costs between $7 - 11 dollars at the store and costs me $5.90/bar from the food coop. (and that is just cheese!)

Any thing that you buy from a natural or whole foods store is available (minus the fresh produce), is available for 25 - 50% off the price.

Couple this with shopping at farmers markets and buying meat in bulk (direct from farmers), help to keep my family healthy.

We spend $250/every two months on Food Coop, $125-150/week for Fresh Food, and $100/month on Meat....for a family of 5.

I think that it is worth it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


So my eldest son at 6 years old has a super hard time playing by himself or with his little brother for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

I tend to get frustrated because he always wants to be around me, showing me what he is working on at that exact second. For the most part I go and see, but sometimes I have other stuff to do like check my email, do a load of dishes or laundry, put the baby down for a nap or heaven forbid try to take a pee by myself.

My three year old does not really have this issue and will sit with whatever toy for hours on end. Each kid is so different!

I think some of the issue comes back to the six year old's constant learning. He wants to share with me the stuff that he learns because he is a social person. He also loves me so he is curious to see what I am doing and likes to check up on me.

Throughout the day I tell him to go play, take him into the craft room, or play room or his room and get him started on an activity...10 mins later he has come back to me to ask me to come see, to do something else, to have a snack or the like. And I again take him to go and play.

Sometimes I even kick him outside with a shovel and set the timer for 15 mins just so he will stay outside to get some fresh air (in good weather). Of course I have my moments when I get annoyed and yell at him to go and play...and he does, for 10 mins!!!

That is's 9:30pm and I put him to bed 2 hours ago. He is more than happy to play lego, or read books until midnight alone in his room if I let him....what is up with that??

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Such a controversial subject. Much more than I could have ever imagined. I don't usually delve into the reasons behind my hippy choices, but I thought in this case I would. Mostly because everyone had to give me their opinions.

The thing is that no one actually knows anything about the chicken pox. No, I am serious. Some doctors that I have talked to think it is liken to the plague, while others are not bothered by it at all. Some nurses encouraged me to expose my kids, while others thought it was one of the worst things that a person could do. No one could really tell me much about it, how to catch it, how to manage it or how long it lasts....but they could tell me that there is a vaccine.

I have chosen to delay vaccinations for my children because I had an extremely adverse reaction to the DPT vaccine as a 18month old child. So bad that they could not get my fever down for many hours, mis-diagnosed me with meningitis and gave me a spinal tap. I do not feel that I need to take that risk for my sons. I also do not like the fact that the vaccine for chicken pox is now conveniently located in the MMR shot...which is the most controversial shot out there at the moment.

Also, the vaccine schedule changes for children at the age of 7, where you get LESS vaccines and single dose vaccines...shouldn't it be the other way around?

In any case I exposed my middle child because he has the highest immunity and so I thought I would get him done, and then he would pass it to the other two...however, the biggest one got it first, and then the middle.

It is a lot different than I thought it was. They had a mild fever, wanted a little more of a cuddle, and were more wired than anything else...of course they have spots, but at most we have 30. I know that this is probably a mild case, but it makes me wonder why people think the vaccine is any better. Some kids still get it even with the vax, and McLeans just put out an article stating that the risk for shingles (which everyone seems to be up in arms about) is on the rise SINCE the vaccine has been released. But wait! They have a vaccine for shingles now so I guess we are all covered.

In the end I wanted my kids to get it before they were 7. And if they had made it to 7 without catching it naturally then I would have vaccinated them...oh and if you are over 7 and never had it - there is a vaccine for you.

I think what I have learned from this whole experience is to continue to listen to my own gut, do my own research and hope for the best.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flagstaff to Tucson

Arizona is such a neat state as it goes from desert canyons to mountains with pines to saguaro cactus. It really is amazing.

The kids were pretty happy at this part of the trip because we were so close to getting to granny's house. They just sat quietly and played with the myriad of toys that were now strewn around the back seat of the van.

While in Utah I had googled for a store that sold my coconut milk yogurt (which is not available in Canada) and got a hit for Whole Foods in Phoenix. The husband was not happy to be driving through gridlock in the afternoon of a strange city, but it was really cool to see and we liked it instantly.

The problem with this trip was that we were flying through all the cities while the kids were good or the baby was sleeping and missing the travelling part. Seeing the real people in a different city, so stopping to go to a grocery store was actually really cool.

When we got to Whole Foods I felt like I had just hit Disney Land for people like me! Almost everything had a vegan option!! It was amazing! And so many different snacks for the kids. Things that I just can't buy here. I dropped almost 100 dollars in no time....hoping that my food wouldn't spoil before we made it to granny's.

We got some great sandwiches to eat on the way (and these weird smoothie bags for Ewan) and we were on the way.

Less than 2 hours later we pulled into Granny's house! The kids were so excited and we were happy that we just didn't have to sleep in a hotel for another night.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Provo, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona

I don’t think that I have ever seen anything as beautiful as the drive from Provo, Utah to Flagstaff Arizona. We took the Scenic Byway – Hwy 89 and the sights were something out of this world. From the amazing red rock canyons all the way to the pine trees of Flagstaff this part of the trip was like candy for the eyes.

Of course the kids were less than enthused that we would have 1 more sleep until we saw Granny…”But we are in Arizona mom!!” and so I brought out the sticker books and Bakugan Stickers and all was well for a couple hours. I had also invested in dry-erase crayons and white boards from the dollar store. (much smarter than dry erase markers…)

By waking up early, the baby would nurse before being put in the car and then we would stop for a snack at 10am, then noon for lunch and then 2pm for another snack (unless he was sleeping from 1-3pm) in which case we would push through unless someone had to pee.

The Hwy 89 is like one of those highways that you see in the James Bond movies or car commercials. Incredibly beautiful and roads that wind around and down the moutain ranges. Chris said that he would LOVE to come back with something with a little more horsepower and sleekness than that of a minivan.

We went into Bryce Canyon and I can honestly say that it was the most spectacular thing that I have EVER seen in my entire life and if you are going into Utah it is well worth the stop. We had a nice lunch of Subway that we had gotten from Panquitch, and then after the canyon stopped at the gas station at Carmel Junction to pee and get more water. (The bathrooms were really nice for a gas station! I was pleasantly surprised!)

The next stop was Kanab, but seconds before we hit the town we saw a place that we could go into a cave system, but in true Utah fashion the flow of traffic was going way too fast and the sign came way too late for us to stop and see them. We are going to try for the way back.

As the red rock changed to orange I thought of all the mothers who must have such a job cleaning dirty mud prints from their children and/or pets!

We passed over a dam and decided that when we drove back that it would be a stop, and we stopped at a scenic point to get our pictures taken. The kids were happily watching Ponyo (thanks to a great friend lending me her DVD library) and we continued with not much issue to Page, Arizona.

That is until we left Page. We should have stayed the night as the kids were done! So the next 2 hrs were the worst part of the trip so far. No amount of DVD’s, food or anything would make them happy. So we hit the road hard, and made it into Flagstaff….we did get a little lost and had to rely on the TomTom to make it to the hotel. We ordered from the Olive Garden and went fast to sleep!

Idaho to Provo, Utah

Once the children had been fed and watered at the Lava Rocks we continued on.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to see outside because the weather was so bad. We happened to dive right through a snow warning and wished that we had invested in a couple pairs of winter at parts of the trip.

We were so thankful that we have a van with a DVD player in it, as the kids watched back to back movies. Since this day seemed so much longer because of the lack of secenery to look at we brought out the Tag Reader and the Leapster. I had gone out before hand and uploaded new books to the Tag (for Ryan) and we bought a new game for Keenan (which we would have had to anyway, since we lost all the games in the move…what is up with that?!).

But by far the BEST toy that we bought (and that I brought out) for this leg of the trip was a Lego Hero for each of the bigger boys. They played with those robots for hours and hours and hours! They were so obsessed with these toys that we actually bought two new ones for the ride home.

This was the day of great contemplation and conversation for the two adults in the car who do not always see eye-to-eye all the time. Topics ranged from spirituality, to school, to philosophy to 5 year plans and beyond.

I have said many times on my blog about how I have been a single parent this last year with my husband going away so often for work, so it was nice to be able to just have a conversation with him uninterrupted by the children who were glued to Finding Nemo and Lego Heros.

Once we hit Utah we were surprised how it was such a diverse landscape. Which would be a theme that continued with us on the trip down to the bottom of the states.

One thing I can say about Utahan’s is that they are incredibly nice people, so polite and helpful….but the most incredibly fast drivers that I have ever encountered. The flow of traffic was at least 30 over the speed limit making me and my family of travelers looking like an old man going for a leisurely drive on a Sunday afternoon.

Once we hit Salt Lake City we really saw what I would say was the first stereotypical American city that we would see on the trip. HUGE. I thought that my home city was big…um no.

Salt Lake went for miles and its subdivisions were as big as my own city. The architecture was amazing! It was such a beautiful city. We did not have as much time as I would have liked to see it all, but we are hoping to see more of it on the way back.

The kids were melting by the time we made it to the hotel, so the pool was a welcome sight for us all. We also ordered Dominos and were FLOORED by how cheap it was. We quickly had dinner, went for a walk by the river to stretch our legs and went to sleep to get up early for the next day!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Butte Montana to Idaho

Day 2 started not too bad. The kids did not sleep that well because our dog (oh did I mention that we took the dog?) would growl or bark under breath at every. Single. Little noise that she heard…which was a lot when you factor in the partiers that just had to stay up until 1 am that morning. Should I mention that our kids were super loud at 6am and that we didn’t tell them to be quiet, to return the favor. ;P

The breakfast room was amazing! The boys had eggs, fruit, toast and cereal with 3 helpings of juice. We made sure to bring in our to-go cups and Chris filled his with coffee and I with hot water to make instant oatmeal for Ewan later in our trip. (I also took some plastic cultlery and a couple cups that were awesome for putting freeze dried blueberries in for the boys so that they didn’t drop them on the floor of the van.

We drove through the rest of Montana which was pretty chilly weather wise, so we are not too sure why people think that Canada is so cold…because Montana and Idaho are pretty much the same. FREEZING!!

We stopped at the Walmart in Butte to grab some more snacky foods as the ones from home were being depleted pretty fast. We got some buns, peanut butter and jam thinking ahead about lunch. There is a McDonalds in pretty much every town but I am anti McDonalds…I know, I know, every fast food place is just as bad as McDonalds, but I have chosen them as my boycott and so I don’t eat there (or let my kids either – that goes for Wendy’s, DQ, Harveys and the like..)

We had to stop about every two hours for a gas fill-up and a pee from one of the kids (who did really well btw – Ryan kept a clean diaper the whole trip!)

We ended up stopping at Lava Rock formations in Idaho when the weather cleared for a moment to make our PB&J’s and look at the scenery (oh, and feed that baby!!) It was cold! Really cold! They (the husband and the two older boys) only lasted out there for maybe 10 minutes. (they were only wearing polar fleece though.)

Ryan took this opportunity to have the blowout of the century in true vacation fashion and I decided since it seemed that less girls were using the facilities I would take him in to change him.

I did have a little hissy fit as I had not yet figured how to pack the van for optimal usage and the wipes were buried where they shouldn’t be. So I ended up throwing stuff and yelling, and having to meekly apologize once I had attended to the disaster in my 3 year olds pants.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lethbridge, the Border and Beyond

Once we left Lethbridge to continue our pilgrimage to the U. S. of A the ride was smooth sailing. We made sure to leave C-spot before the baby needed a nap so he slept for most of the trip down.

Going through Couts and Milk River was nice to see as we had only been that far once. We hope to make it to Writing on Stone National Park this year…as well as Ontario, and Victoria…lol.

The boarder was not at all what I expected it to be. I seriously thought that it would be a huge wall with guard dogs and guards everywhere…guess I watch too much TV! Not to say that there was no security there, because there was…just not to the extent (that I could see) that I thought there would be.

The guard asked the simple questions, where are we going, how long etc, and looked at the passports. As we drove away K exclaimed that he could see the guards gun.

Once we crossed the border we were heading for Butte Montana.

Montana is a beautiful state with mountain ranges and praire like fields. Other than the speed limit increasing to 130km/hr we didn’t notice much of a difference at all for the first jaunt of the journey.

As we headed towards little towns and cities we could see the shift from Canadian to Americanisms. The signs from the highway were over 50 feet in the air, so you could see them from the highway. Also, the towns were packed really really close together, so you would have nothing to look at but field for miles and then a huge city!

Another thing that we noticed right away was the lack of “Welcome to” signs. There would be a little sign that said Butte X amt of miles away, and then the turn-off but no big sign to say that this was the town. I guess it would be a bit redundant, but I like to take pictures of the welcome signs so I was surprised when there was none to be found.

Butte Montana was again not what I expected. I really thought that American cities were really big and full of super rich people, and in Butte it was kind of the opposite. One main road runs the length of the city and there are casinos on every other, if not every corner. The city looked a little like it was lost in the 1980’s but it was still a pretty little town with all the amenities (read Walmart) that you would ever need.

The best thing about the hotel that we stayed at was that it had a pool and room service provided by Perkins, who also provided the BEST breakfast room I think I have ever seen in all my days of travelling EVER. The boys LOVED the pool and the food and in the end isn’t that all that matters??

Happy Kids for Day 1.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Road Trip. C-Spot to L.A.

When my husband suggested that we go on a holiday in the winter I completely agreed. Warm sun, surf and sand was just what the doctor ordered, especially since my home city did not get above 20 degrees in the summer this year.

When he then said that he would like to visit his parents in Arizona, I thought, "yes, that would be cool. Save on the lodging and the kids get to see Granny and Grandad."

Then when he said he wanted to DRIVE all the way down there in 4 days...well then I wasn't so sure.

We planned to get up early and start the 4 day trek at 5am...of course it is *our* family so we ended up leaving the house by 8am.

After the routine stop at Timmies we got on the road.

The ride to Lethbridge was uneventful. I had packed up a bunch of new toys for the boys to play with and had plenty of snacks so they were quite satisfied for the ride there. We had done that particular drive many many times before because Chris and I actually met at the University of Lethbridge and so we like to visit often.

I decided to get the camera out and start taking pictures of the sights as we passed them, and then noticed that we did not have the memory card in the camera. I had taken the point and shoot out of my purse in favor of the bigger camera, but they both used the same memory card and I had forgotten to put it into the bigger camera. 11am when the London Drugs opened in Lethbridge Chris went in to get a new memory card.

The next stop was the border and the boys, in true boy fashion started to squeal just as we were going through. Thankfully the guard was a nice one and just laughed as we went through.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

End of an Era.

A couple of days ago my favourite parenting magazine Mothering said that it could no longer sustain the magazine portion of their business and that they are going to go towards an information/web only form of publication.

I was shocked. Mothering has been around since the late 70's! I could not believe that such an important part of my information gathering was going to be no more. I give out these magazines to clients and to friends who have babies and so I am sad that this part of the company will be no more. I love the realness of a magazine, the smell, the feel and the fact that I can stash them just about everywhere. I will have to guard my back issues that much more carefully. :)

I have been thinking alot on why this has happened. Of course the American economy is partly to blame, and they could have too much staff or what have you. But I think the real reason is because they are no longer a "Fringe" magazine.

Let me explain. For many many years Mothering has been accepted by one type of person. Your super crunchy attachment parent. (of course Natural Family Living as well). So you had one type of subscriber that would pay $30 or more (which is almost double than other "mainstream" parenting mags) because they wanted to feel that others felt the same way.

After 2005, "AP" became more "mainstream". I used to be on a parenting support forum that really was a proponent of Crying it Out, or smacking, or yelling and all out "seen but not heard" children. I went back again to see what their thoughts were, just because I was curious, and instead they were talking about their favourite slings, cloth diapers, sleeping in the same bed as the baby, and nursing well past a year.

I was kinda thrown.

But it's true. Attachment parenting principals are becoming more widely used. Mostly because parents are listening to their guts and not the textbook, or the doctor, or their mom, or whoever...just themselves.

And so with this "trend" mainstream magazines are more likely to print about safe ways to sleep with your baby, how to breastfeed, and what sling is the most awesome....and that takes market share away from Mothering as you can get 24 issues of Todays Parent for $1! (which is way cheaper...)

In a way, they kind of helped to make themselves obsolete.....and I am not sure if that is good or bad in the end.

Burned by Facebook

Since I don't think it can get any worse than it already is I thought that I would write a blogpost.

A couple days ago I posted a picture on my facebook account. Many people commented on it...
It was simple enough, a picture of my house and one of my kids.

I was posting it to show my husband what the house looks like moments before he gets home. I went upstairs to put my kids to bed and then came down stairs to a shit show. 

Usually I don't post profanities on my blog but in this instance I am calling it like I see it.

What I came down to was something that I am feeling the ramifications 3 full days later. To make it as simple as possible, my mother in law and friends were having a difference of opinion. (and neither side was backing down).

I am not going to take sides on this one as it is impossible. The sad fact of the matter and the reason for this particular blogpost is for me to vet out my feelings about it.

Everyone involved were adults and adults make their own decisions on how to respond and ways to conduct themselves. So I am not going to apologize for the way that people handled themselves and that is not my cross to bear as *I* was not involved in the least bit, all I did was post a picture of my life on my personal FB account.

What the purpose of this blogpost is, is to make people think, maybe for a second on *WHAT* they are posting on *other* peoples pages. Yes, I get that FB is an open and public forum...but I have said again and again that we would NEVER say the stuff that we say to people on FB that we would to their faces. The social tact is gone, replaced by the ability to say what ever we want, never actually having to deal with the actual consequences.

Whether or not you feel that someone is out of line or whatever, you have to think of how this will effect the original page owner.

All I know is that all the comments from one little picture has now put stress on the relationship between me and my MIL, me and my friends, me and my husband, me and my immediate family, and stress and conflicted feelings within myself.

I never thought that *I* would be a person that would dislike facebook and think about deleting my account...but at this moment, I do.

So in the future. Think before you Facebook!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Food Wars

In my last post I complained about the school that my son goes to gave him hot chocolate without asking me first. I did talk to the teacher and she had read the ingredients as so not to give it to him if there was dairy in it, and there was none. She told me that she has a daughter with an allergy so that she double and triple checks with my son, but sometimes forgets to get a hold of me (which I totally understand, but that if for another blog post).

Yesterday was Valentines Day. I was incredibly excited that the children had decided that they did not want to do valentines as they found them wasteful and instead to bring a donation for the Children's Hospital in our area. They were however going to have a Valentines Day party and asked the parents to send a "healthy snack".

I do not now where people think that cakes and cookies are healthy! It blows my mind! I get it, its a party, its valentines, cupcakes and cookies in the shape of a heart...cute..I know...but NOT healthy!

I sent my son with tomato and cheese skewers and pineapple hearts...and you know what? They were all gone when I got the container back.

Children will choose healthy foods if there is an option!

I know, I shouldn't really complain. The parents are trying to get involved with their kids and supply snacks that they will enjoy ~ and who doesn't enjoy a good sugar cookie? But, then to wonder why the kids are all grouchy, acting out, and the like after a party that really allowed them to stuff on junk for 2 hours is really a no brainer.

And please, please don't get me started on the red food dye!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Food Fight

My son told me that he had a hot chocolate in class today.

I completely freaked out.

I have a dairy allergy. No, it's not life threatening, but it hurts like heck. Think of the worst pain you have had now stick it in your gut. I have also gotten hives and had trouble breathing so I am sure that if I pushed could be a little more of an issue.

When keenan was 1 year old a stranger (mom) fed him some goldfish crackers and he had such a violent reaction to them that I never EVER gave him a milk product like that again.

It could have been the orange dye, it could have been the day, it could have been a lot of things, but all I know is that I had NEVER seen him in so much pain. So I now tell everyone that he cannot eat cow's dairy and we cook accordingly, and buy snacks accordingly.

I do have to say that I do cheat once in a blue moon...a cookie here (not chocolate), or a muffin there (not buttermilk) or even a super small piece of cake at a birthday party (with no icing). Even though I cheat I don't think that means that he can get dairy whenever *someone* else chooses.

After he told me, I panicked. I pictured someone giving him a whole glass of heated chocolate milk!! I jumped out of the van to ask the volunteer coordinator if it was true and she wasnt sure. So I asked the other kids. Yes, water and powder.

The other moms asked me what was the big deal? I said because Hot Chocolate is made with milk. They said, well if it was the powder and water, then it shouldn't be a problem.....okay.....but what is the powder made from? (usually skim milk).

What if I gave my friend's kid that was allergic to peanuts a piece of crust that had a tiny bit of peanut butter on it....would that be okay? I know it wouldn't. And yes, argue with me that milk wont kill my kid, because it won't. But what if I was Jewish? Is it okay to give him something with bacon on it?

The bottom line is that people who do not have allergies or sensitivities do not give any thought to those of us who do. It makes me crazy. (and I probably looked crazy running out of the van to ask the other moms about a drink given in class).

I just have problems with people giving my kid food that I did not Ok. Does that make me over protective? Nuts?

What do you think? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bad Breastfeeding

When I had my first son I was convinced that it would be super easy to breastfeed. I mean my mom breastfed all of her kids (4 of us) until the age of 2! How hard could it be? Babies are born to be breastfed right??

Well, yes....but it was not that easy. The thing was that I was so over confident that no one realized that I was doing it wrong. My latch was terrible and my son was losing weight, fussy and not thriving. My whole mothering concept was wrapped up in being able to nourish this baby from my breast. If I couldn't do it, then I was not a "real" mom.

I had to supplement for a while and donor milk was so under ground that I had no choice but to formula feed while I pumped day and night and took the maximum dosage of motilium just to get a supply back...and I did. When Keenan was 7 months we were able to do away with formula. He was on solids and my milk made up the rest. I was ecstatic...

BUT. I can see how damaging all that was to my self esteem...all the over obsessing and weighing and crying and thinking I was damaging my son...I went to a couple LLL meetings when I was in the midst of it all and found very supportive help. More help than that of the breastfeeding clinic who told me that I was causing brain damage by refusing to supplement.
I over heard many people talk disparagingly about other women in the LLL, saying that they were militant etc. etc. and my experience was not that way at all.

Fast forward to now. Having now breastfed 3 children, 2 to 2 years old, and the last one going strong at 10 months I bristle at the way that nursing moms talk about formula feeding moms. Online chat rooms, forums, facebook pages, blogs and twitter.

Calling them uneducated, or ignorant, or selfish for "choosing" formula over the better, more superior choice. Laughing and saying, "my breastmilk has no bugs in it!" after a woman found little bugs in her powdered formula. This lactivism that seems to be out of control in the social media world. It doesn't really stop there. Someone will step up and say, "hey, some of this is a little insulting" and then an onslaught of comments ranging from the woman's education to the way she is raising her own child come into question. The woman herself becomes a punching bag for those demonizing formula.

Don't get me wrong, I think breastfeeding is best, but I also think that there are other ways to get your message across than flaming mothers who use formula. Comments saying that because donated milk is readily available that other women can't use any excuse not to use breastmilk.....not taking into account that some women just don't want to use other women's milk. It's not helping. Demonizing Dr.Mercola for creating a more organic, natural's not helping.

I support breastfeeding moms. I have been to rallies, nurse in's and organized breastfeeding challenges. I nurse in public. I nurse toddlers in public. I smile and thank other women for nursing in public when I see them.

But I also do not walk up to a woman in the mall and tell her that her infant formula is going to cause all these issues with her baby in regards to health, that she is selfish, that she is a bad mom, that she made a horrible, disgusting, choice that her baby never going to forgive her...that isnt okay in real life. Why is that okay on Facebook?

Maybe I do get touchy because breastfeeding wasn't easy for me and that I felt guilty and sick every time I made up a 4 oz bottle of formula. I felt like a failure. I felt like I shouldn't have become a mother. The LAST thing I would have needed would be for some self righteous mom to tell me that I was damaging him. I *knew* that breast is best. But what choice did I really have? We only do as best as we can with the information given to us at the time.

I wish that lactivists would STOP flaming the moms and put your money where your mouth is. Do the research and find a formula company that you can't stand ethically (there are a lot) and boycott them. Write to them. Boycott companies that they support and visa versa. Money; (or lack there of) talks.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sleep Training.

My advice to a mom of a 8 month old that wakes up every two hours and is at the end of her rope..

The thing is that some babies can be "trained" by No-Cry, or Shush-Pat, or whatever...but some just can't. You either get a good sleeper or you don't. What is more important is for you to get some coping techniques.

My eldest STILL doesnt sleep though the night and he is 5. (he stopped napping at 15mos as well.)

I would suggest going to bed with him so that you get *some* sleep before that first wake up, and if you leave the lights off he may just dream feed and go back to sleep. I know, it sucks! But when we choose to parent the way that we do, alone/adult time becomes part of the sacrifice.

I also found that the *more* I stressed about sleep the *less* my kids will sleep. It's almost murphys law. If I took a couple days and said, I will just go with it, my kids would not *feel* me trying to pull away and they would become more secure and then let me have more freedom.

Does that make sense?

Our kids can feel when we want space, and feel resentment, and they get scared and insecure so they *latch on* (pun intended) even more.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Younger and Wiser?

I was just looking at a bunch of my favourite Bloggers the other day PhD in Parenting, CodeName Mama, The Feminist Breeder and Christie Haskell on the Stir. All pretty much blog about my "type" of parenting. I think their blogs are wonderfully informative and I forward them often to friends on Facebook.

I was noticing today, as they have all posted about their own families recently, that not one of them has a child *over* 6. (PhD in Parenting's son is the oldest and born in 2004)

What is up with that?

It's a theme that has been following me for a while and just now rearing it's ugly head in my Blogreel. My child is older than the children of a lot of the parents that I go to for advice.
I really don;t think that this is intentional...I follow blogs because I am a techy. I have had this particular blog since I was pregnant with my first (way back in 2004/2005) because I was looking for somewhere that I could share the milestones of pregnancy with friends (since I was the first to get preggo - well... second).

Some would say that maybe it is because Blogging is so new. Well, that is kinda true but there are bloggers of teenagers out there..they just don't blog about "parenting" and more about "life" or school/food/crafts/cakes/etc. etc.

Others would say that it is because "Attachment Parenting" or "instinctual parenting" or what ever you want to call it, is new....and it really isnt. Dr.Sears came out with his first books in the late 70's early 80's...and my own mother breastfed and co-slept with ALL her kids until they were 2. (not to mention sharing feelings, gentle discipline...the whole deal (pssst. she was also a TEEN mom - does that shock you?! :P )

I feel that when I read these posts of my favourite bloggers I get more of a sense of validation...that yes, I have been saying that all along, or hey, I blogged about that 3 years ago, or just wait until your child is 4....

What I would love is to read a blog by a mother who parents like I do, but has children that are OLDER than mine. I want to see what she would have done *differently* so that I can maybe change some of the things that I do in my life.

When everyone is going through the same thing, it is great to commiserate, but you don't learn as much as listening to someone who has already *been* at that stage and survived to tell the tale.

What do you think? Do you follow any "AP" blogs that feature parents who have older kids????

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Apps for Preschoolers

While many parents will shy away from technology I have fully embraced it for me and my kids. We are all apple users. A year ago I got a MacBook Pro for Christmas from my hubby and with the purchase we got a free iPod Touch. It kind of sat dormant in the car until one day I was searching "Transformer" Apps out of curiosity and then both me and my 5 year old son have been hooked!

Many parents wonder what are some Apps that are appropriate for kids, so I have put together a list of all the Apps that my children (preschoolers) love!

Angry birds - Who doesn't love this App? It is incredibly easy to navigate and it teaches physics at the same time. While my son just loads the slingshot and fires without much thought...he loves to see the buildings crash to the ground. He also passes some levels that I get stuck on, because he just doesn't stop firing!

Animatch - A matching game. I am not a huge fan of the matching games but my kids love them. This one is more for the 5 year old and not the 3 year old as the little one just gets frustrated. The cool part about this App is that when you press on a tile it makes the sound that the animal makes so not only are you using visual learning, but audio as well. (and kinaesthetic if you attribute that to the tap screen.)

Glow free - These are kind of like old school "paint" for windows. You just pick a colour and drag it across the screen. Both boys like this App. Easy, easy to use.

Fire Lite - This is a really cool App. It is just like the "paint" above but it is with fire. The kids can make it glow and get hotter and change the direction of the flame. Even I like this one!

Zoola - This is a great App for the under 5 set. (yes I let my 3 year old play too!) This App. has 3 screens with 12 animals each. Farm, safari and forest. The child presses one of the animals and it lets you see/hear how to say it's name and what it sounds like (male, female and baby). I really like this one, and my 3 year old does too! It is a really easy to use App. and great for teaching the little ones how an iPod/iPhone works.

Planets - This App. isn't really for kids but it is a Free App. and you can't go wrong with Free! It actually shows you all the constellations and the way that the planets look in 3D. My kids don't understand this one as much but they like to look at Earth and Venus and se how alike they are and it leads to many different conversations about space!

Cute Math - Exactly like it says...cute! This is another Free App. so the quality isn't that great (picture wise) but the idea is there, and I don't think the kids notice that the graphics are not outstanding. Kids are told how many melons or apples they are supposed to collect and then drag them to the basket. They also do easy adding and subtracting. A little early for my particular kids, but you can never start math too early in my opinion. :)

Feed Me (french) - This is another great Free App. that teaches kids french. (Although I wish I understood it!) Oh, well....exposure to another language is good...right?

Lekar - This App. is made by IKEA, which I think is awesome. IKEA is known for being an innovative company and this App. is no exception. It's whole premise is to get you up and active with your kids, and I love that!!

Animals Lite - This is a letter/word recognition game where the child drags the letters into the right spots to make a word. Each letter says it's name and when they are strung together properly they hear what the word says. This one is more for 4-6year olds.

Tales 2 Go - I just downloaded this App. as they had a free trial. It is basically stories for different age groups. My kids don't love this one as much as Angry Birds or Make a Martian, but they do use it and sit quietly for the amount of time it takes for the story to finish...which is a win in my books!

Word Wiggler - What starts with this letter, etc. This App. is great for learning letter recognition. Both my boys love this App. and it is super easy to navigate for the 3 year old which is awesome. I like how they will play this one together, the older one telling the younger which is right!

Make A Martian - The kids LOVE this one, and who wouldn't? Super easy to use for both the kids and this is the one that they fight over... (need a new iPod it seems). The basic premise is that the kids click different eyes, ears and tentacles among other things! I really recommend this one.

And lastly, the App. that started it all.

Cybertoy Free - Or so it says! This App. is smart because each transformer costs .99c and of course the kids want everyone. I do like that they can transform the cars with a swipe of a finger and that there is an option for Bumblebee to bust a move, but otherwise this is the App. that I load when I need that 15 mins of peace.

Do you have any favourites? Leave your suggestions in comments.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Screw the Books

As some of you may know I have been in this parenting journey for 5 years. Funny enough 5 years seems like a lifetime. Working with parents I am exposed to a lot of mommy judgement, not directed at me in particular but listening to moms conversations when I am setting up or taking down a class, trade fair, event etc.

And every single year new moms put their feet so far up their butts it is not even funny. They talk and gossip about how so-and -so and her kid is so this or so that. How the kid will be messed up, and how they will NEVER do that....

I know, I know! I did it too!! This is the sad part. We are so disconnected with our community that we don't even know it!! Imagine if you became friends with moms before you were pregnant...if we had an opportunity to learn rather than judge?

When I had my first son I had to run into a local baby store to grab a soother clip or something and left him in the car with my husband...he was 3 0r 4 months old. In the store there were these two moms having a conversation, one was holding her baby and the other had her (7 to 9 month old) baby sitting/crawling on the floor.
I can't tell you how disgusted I was. I mean that baby was on the dirty store floor!!! Gross.....laughable isnt it?!

My children would NEVER go on a gross floor like that....oh yes they would! And later when I had my third he would eat cheerios of said gross floor if it meant I could make a purchase with both hands!

The Feminist Breeder wrote a post recently about this phenomena. It's so true, each generation of mothers sits upon her high horse if only for a moment to be kicked off by her kid...maybe not kid #1, or #2 but at some point she will.

Reading every parenting book and following every class and doing everything that the "experts" say will NOT make your kids any less fucked up than they are going to be. It will just make you feel more depressed that you are doing it all *wrong*.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Impossible Passport Photos

We would like to take a holiday into the states later this year to visit family. We thought that we would drive since we really don't want to have to deal with any of the TSA drama that has been unfolding in the last couple months.

We also thought that it may be a good experiment to either A. See how insane we really are. or B. See if we can make it as far as it will take us to the cottage in the summer, and C. If we can make it there without killing ourselves, the kids or eachother (all in the figurate sense of course!)

So the trip (driving) is going to take us a minimum of 3 days. We know that to be realistic that it will probably take closer to 4 because we have 3 small children and a dog that will probably need to pee just as mush as the children maybe 4 days isn't even realistic....hmmmm......

Anyway, because we are leaving our beautiful but COLD country and decided to go down to the warmer parts of the U.S of A. we needed to get passports. However, getting passport photos for 3 children under the age of 5 is a journey all in itself.

First of all they want your children to look straight on into the camera so that they can see *both* of their ears. This is almost impossible as kids look everywhere BUT where you tell them to. Second their mouths must be after you spend YEARS trying to get them to smile at the camera you are now telling them NOT to.

My five year old would not look at the camera even with bribing him to. I tried to no avail to get him to look straight, no smile, chin up, look straight, chin up....straight!!!! It was so frustrating. So finally after we got his picture done and on to the next kid to do this all over, the photog told's too dark!!!

We finally got all the pics done after 45 mins (no joke) of pleading, threatening, and bribing....and still have to see if the passport office will make us do it again.


What are your tips for getting passport pictures done with children?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pass the Vegetables Please

My son is a vegetarian. He refuses to eat anything that ever had a heart beat. The rest of our family is about 75 - 80% vegetarian depending on the week. Ever since I had my first son I have been trying to eat more local, sustainable and in season. I have many friends who are vegetarian, vegan and the like, but I have never been able to fully commit myself. (it's the sushi and the lamb).

At first I thought that my son was just an incredibly picky eater. He was only 3 years old. He just didn't like the way chicken tasted...or beef...or lamb...or fish....hmmm. I tried him on Tofu expecting him to turn his nose up at it, I mean even some grown ADULTS turn their nose up to tofu. But no, he gobbled up his whole plate and asked for seconds and thirds!!

I tried to bribe him with chicken nuggets and fish and chips. He wouldn't have any of it. More carrots he would ask, more sweet potatoes, more peas. I finally resigned myself to the fact that my 5 year old can make some decisions all by himself.

He loves Edaname. Can't get enough noodles and loves to eat gnocchi. Veggie Potstickers, spring rolls, and of course peanut butter sandwiches. There isn't too many veggies that he doesn't like apart from mushrooms and black beans.

I used to try and fight it, because lets face it, vegetarian is a better/healthier option...but for a busy mom of 3 sometimes it's easier to get drive thru Swiss Chalet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Freak of Nature.

When I would go out with my first I would secretly hope that people would look at me and think how cute my baby was. I really did. I loved getting those smiles that people give you when they see you with your first baby. Of course, they could have been secretly thinking, "hahaha! She doesn't know what she is in for!" But, I think for the most part people just like seeing babies.

After I became pregnant with my second, I would hope the same. I would hold my 2/3 year olds hand and then have the baby in my carrier of choice. We would walk and people would say, "oh, what sweet boys you have..." I really enjoyed just going out with the two of them and walking wherever we needed to go, taking our time and being our silly selves.

I didn't think that it would change. As my brood got bigger I thought that people would still give me that smile and say how precious my kids were. They didn't change, so why would I think that the interaction with people would?

But it did. I wrote about it in this post and this post. It were these outings that made me feel like a freak of nature with all of my kids. And the sad thing is that I only have 3. Many people I know have 4 or even more. I dread going out with them. I feel like everyone is looking at me, and maybe it is all in my head, but I can't handle the judgement. I just don't have the confidence to put up with it.

Sometimes I get the nerve to try go out again with all 3 because I need something that can't wait until the husband comes home. But inevitably every time that I do, fate steps in and shows me that I am a fool to think that anything should really go my way.

For example. We went to the grocery store (ahh the grocery store land of judgement galore) and I had both my kids in the "car cart" and the baby in the wrap (tied loosely because he was nursing). The 3 year old started acting out and standing on his seat, I warned him that I was going to buckle him in..he ignored me. So I calmly leaned over and put the strap on...the baby started fussing because he was being compressed by me bending over (but it would take a SECOND to snap the strap and we could go) and all of a sudden this old lady (70's) came over yelling, "HIS HEAD!! HIS HEAD!! YOU ARE SQUISHING THE BABY'S HEAD!!!" and I was...a bit...(it really wasnt that bad.)

Anyway, the WHOLE aisle then decided to look at this freak wearing this long piece of cloth tied to her squishing her baby, and her two other children crying and whining.....I wanted to crawl in a hole...I thanked the lady, said he was fine, and left.

I go to that particular store often, and feel sad that it's things like that which make me afraid to go out.

It's almost like I feel ashamed to have 3 children. When I am around my friends I don't as like I said, many of us have more than one...but when in public and I have one child holding my left hand, and one child holding my right, and then the baby on the front, it just makes me feel uncomfortable.

ps. the picture is from Demi Bella which I am totally ordering from!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Barely Making It? Change it up.

I have talked before how it irritates me when people say "I don't know how you do it" in regards to single parenting 85% of the time. My response is always "Not well!" Today was sure one of those examples!

My lovely sister came over last night to watch my children for me so that I could go on a much needed Moms Night Out. (which I enjoyed immensely) When I came home we decided to stay up and have some girl time. I stayed up WAY too late! 2 am is not okay for moms of 3 kids. I felt sick in the morning. (and I didn't get my latte, so that makes me grouchy as well). She helped me put together some furniture (IKEA), and then went back to her life...and I back to mine.

There is something about lack of sleep and lack of latte that makes children's fighting and whining that much more hard to take, and makes me a much worse parent. I was yelling and screaming and sending kids to their rooms because *I* was having the tantrum.

It's interesting how just that little bit of extra sleep can really change the tone of the day. Also, how when I lose control it just reinforces the behaviours that I don't really like to see in them...but they are just copying the way that I react when I am having a tough go.

Weekends have always been the toughest in any case because being alone with no adult interaction really drains on me. But I have said this before. I really feel that being a parent that tries to be present and aware of my kids feelings etc, sets me up for a little bit more failure because the expectations of my self are much higher than they could be.

I try not to speed through the day because I don't want to rush through their childhood, so I decided instead to sign them both up for a class. It's a sports class right in the middle of the day. So we get out, change the routine and make the day better.

After our class we visited Starbucks and got hot chocolates, and my latte... we then came home and watched a movie together, dinner then bedtime....and the hope that tomorrow will be much better! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Confessions of a Lazy Mom

As of late I have seen many different blog posts and Facebook statuses of moms telling WHY they choose to do something one way or the other way. A lot of these posts pertain to the AP or "attachment parenting" way, or as it is now being called "instinctual", "intuitive" or "natural" way of raising children.
What gets my goat up is when these mommy bloggers extoll the virtues of their way, or that it is the "best" way of raising children....not that it is just a different way. I don't understand why they have to "defend" their position.
So, I have decided to come out of the closet and tell you how I started to "AP". It's because I am the laziest parent you will ever meet.

Breastfeeding : Which is easier?
1. Popping a boob into the mouth of a hungry 4 month old and going back to sleep, or
2. going to the store, finding formula, buying the right bottles,
sterilizing said bottles, walking down the hallway at 4am to mix the formula, feed the
baby, burb the baby and then have to wash the bottles and start all over again?

Having said all that, I did have to use bottles and formula for my first born as we had an uphill battle with establishing nursing for the first 6 months, but I can tell you that while nursing my 2nd and 3rd with no issues Breastfeeding is the easier choice. Convenient, less work, and way way more sleep.

CoSleeping/Bed Sharing : Which is easier?
1. Laying down with the baby when you get tired and nursing them to sleep and falling asleep yourself, and when they wake up, pulling them close and popping said boob...or
2. Rocking, shushing, bouncing, nursing, to sleep, trying to transfer, having them wake up 20 mins later to start all over again, waking in the middle of the night, having to get out of bed and walk down the hallway to get the baby to sleep and then come back to your own bed exhaused to start all over again an hour later?

I absolutely started bedsharing with my kids because I did not want to have to walk down the hallway and go and get them. It was so much easier for me just to roll over, comfort them and go back to sleep. Sure there is a safe way of cosleeping and of course I need to highlight it, and funny enough people who do feed children formula should not...but for me and the fact that I was nursing through the night, it saved me HOURS of sleep. This was not at all about lowering the risk of SIDS, about regulating body temperature, or for was all because I am way to lazy to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

Babywearing: Which is easier?
1. Having a baby content and sleeping on you or
2. Holding your baby all day until your arms feel like they are going to drop off, or trying to get the baby calm and then putting them down, only to have them cry and have to pick them up and do this over and over and over again, or have to buy so many batteries for all the devices that they now make to give us some reprieve for our sore arms?

I think I became a babywearer the first time I tried to pee while holding my son. It's true. He had fallen asleep while nursing and I didnt want him to wake up when I tried to transfer him so I thought, how hard can it be to pee holding something that weighs 10lbs? HARD. Getting my pants around my ankles wasn't the hard part, it was pulling them back up...with one hand...and dont even get me started on the button. I know, I know, too much information...but seriously, it was the hardest thing ever. Put that baby in a wrap however (mind the tails) and you can do ANYTHING! Anything. With two hands the possibilities are endless!! You can eat steak!! You can cut it yourself!! (I also babywear with wraps because they are cute...but that is another blog post.)

There are many more things that I do because of my laziness...but that is for another day. (the kids are bugging me to play!!) :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Year - A New Outlook

I have been feeling extremely burnt out with the husband being away so often that it is spilling into all aspects of my life. I feel that I am a grouchy friend, a grouchy mom, and just pessimistic in general.
I have decided that every time that I feel the urge to post a whiny status update on Facebook I will write about something that I feel grateful for instead. It will be a stretch but I am sure that I will be able to turn my pessimistic attitude around.
For the most part it comes from having to be a single parent for more than half of the year with little to no support. I find it interesting that people always wonder "How do I do it" and the sad truth is that I don't have a choice...what else are we going to do? This recession has hit us just as hard as it has hit anyone we truck on.
It's not the taking care of the kids that puts me in a bad mood, because for the most part my kids are pretty awesome. They like each other and play really nicely, they listen and are a joy to be around...we have our moments, but what parent doesn't?
It's AFTER the kids go to bed. When I am all alone with no one to talk to about my day. I came from a family of 6, there was always someone around to just BE around. To talk to, or not talk to...but they were there. Now my family is Facebook or A&E.
It's so easy to get sucked into the computer and chat with people but I am feeling a massive lack of community. Maybe I am the type of person who just needs more - who knows? But I am going to try and look on the bright side, do more things than the computer and TV....and get a life.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Networked Blogs