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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.
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