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Breastfeeding in Public March 13, 2014

Posted by dreamom in family, Life, Parenting.
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Recently, in response to news of a breastfeeding mother being discriminated against while nursing her child, a news station posted a poll asking people whether it was appropriate for her to be nursing her child there.  Although it was presented as a discussion point, the fact is it isn’t.  The Ontario Charter of Human Rights says “What about breastfeeding? You have rights as a breastfeeding mother, including the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.”  ( http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/pregnancy-and-breastfeeding-brochure#sthash.mvmYosh3.dpuf )

I contacted the station to discuss the role they are playing in the discrimination by persisting in this conversation, which is pointless, as the woman was within her rights, and what happened to her was wrong legally.  This was my reply to their response to me.

“No one suggested what was illegal? Breastfeeding in public? I certainly hope not! What IS ‘illegal’ (in opposition with the Charter of Human Rights in Ontario) is asking a woman who IS nursing in public (be it in a cashier line, a park, a pool, Target, Whole Foods, etc, etc) to cover or move and to be more discreet. How is discussing if that makes people comfortable “a fair issue for discussion” with “many different opinions”. I have heard several discussions on the matter, and have worked to end the discrimination against breastfeeding mothers on Facebook. It is not a matter open for discussion. If the woman is legally entitled to be there, she is allowed to breastfeed there. Period. If that makes you uncomfortable you have to get over it. Just like you have to get over a gay couple beside you on a plane making you uncomfortable. Just like you have to get over how having a female coworker or supervisor is making you feel uncomfortable.

In having these discussions based on the comfort level of people, you are perpetuating the discrimination that breastfeeding mothers face. The stories of some women are ridiculous. Most have not made headlines. Poll how many breastfeeding women have been asked to move, be more discreet, to cover up, or to stop breastfeeding by anyone.

I feel your station missed an opportunity to have a really useful discussion about how what the mother was doing WAS appropriate, and HOW can we make it more publicly known that breastfeeding is a protected right for the mother and child. How can businesses make it more known for their patrons and staff that breastfeeding is going to be respected.

I am sorry to say that I simply expect more from the media and the role that they (you) play in shaping public opinion.”

 

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The News Around Here January 7, 2014

Posted by dreamom in Balance, family, Goals, Happiness, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
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It has been more than a while since I wrote last – which explains why I have a hard time creating a following…

What’s new?  We have a new baby girly (Sweet P).  She is overly loved by The Wild Man, J-Man, The Little Lady, and The Monkey Man.  It was surreal having her arrive so quickly, nicely at home after the two losses before her.  She has a infectious laugh and the brightest eye, and The. Most. Pinchable. Cheeks. Ever.

Monkey man is finishing grade 8, and looking forward to … ::gulp:: high school next year.  He sees himself as so mature and grown up, but he is still my baby boy in so many ways.

The others are being homeschooled, and it is amazing to walk that education journey with them.  It definitely has ups and downs, but more about those later.

One thing that I have been thinking on lately is that I ENJOY writing.  In an effort to do more of what I enjoy, I hope to write a bit more frequently.  To do that I am going to have to tame the busyness that we get caught up in though.  That is part of my goals going forward.  Writing more, work on photography, create more life balance for the family, and work on publishing my book that I wrote eons ago.

We are off to a rousing start.  I took on a project that took up too much time and had me scrambling all last week, and now we are sorely out of routine while a blizzard rages outside.  It was a snow day for school (people were trilled), and work (people were anxious and upset), and now all the roads in the county are closed, and the temperature is dropping to -20 PLUS windchill.  I think tomorrow might be more of the same…

 

Soooo… What was it like? February 25, 2012

Posted by dreamom in Faith, family, Happiness, Home, Life, Parenting, Pregnancy Loss.
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I can’t say that I have had this exact question, but the fact of the matter is that this is what I was trying to find out before hand – I wanted to know what to expect – but there was nothing to prepare me.  That being said I am told that it is different all the time, so my experience might be of limited usefulness, but it is not an issue for me to talk about so this is me sweeping open the curtain of this taboo subject and inviting all who have been through this at any stage to comment with YOUR experience – even if you post it as anonymous.  I am being descriptive of the process I went through, so keep that in mind if you think you might find it difficult for you to read…

My Story

Those reading have read a lot about my emotional journey through this, but there is so much more.  Hand in hand with that was the physical aspect of losing Hannah.

The weirdest thing was that prior to finding out from the ultrasound, and for what seemed like a long time afterward there was no physical sign that she was gone.  I had an anterior placenta so I was not feeling movements much by that point anyway.  This of course meant that the news came out of nowhere, and then was almost unbelievable.  It WAS believable though as I felt the loss and grief the hardest during that time.

In actuality is was a mere four days before I had bouts of spotting/bleeding and cramps.  The cramps were rhythmic and at times fairly uncomfortable, so I believed and hoped that it would be soon.  In retrospect I am glad it wasn’t as I had a lot of grieving and processing to do.  Shortly after 24hrs of start and stop contractions they would stop entirely until I took something to induce them a couple weeks later.  The spotting and bleeding didn’t though.  That kept up for the entire two weeks and would result in my being very housebound as I was nervous about the birth suddenly happening while I was out and not in my safe space of home.

Every day I lived with the uneasiness of the birth starting and my not having support with me, and everyday I had a visual reminder that this was REALLY happening.  It was both torture and reassuring.  A true double edged sword.

I tried several emotional clearing and homeopathic methods for spurning on the birth.  In the end I chose that when two of my close friends were with me that I would take a tonic to induce labour – which it did – within minutes of taking it under my tongue.

When they started the contractions were fairly light and not terribly rhythmic.  for reasons which I could not explain, except that life goes on, in that early part of labour my friends and I were laughing and joking around, and it mostly only hurt when a contraction coincided with a laugh.  They got gradually stronger, and were noticeable uncomfortable for periods of time.  They were not as rhythmic as  I was expecting, and they were not as strong as I was waiting for either.  For many hours (about 4) my friends and I visited and chatted and waited for labour to pick up.  It didn’t.  It just rumbled along, and I fought feeling discouraged as I felt the contractions spacing further apart and lesson in intensity.  At that point my friends and I decided that we should sleep as we had been up all night (I took it late at night thinking it might take time to start having an effect).  I dozed off and on – occasionally stirring awake with a contraction just to doze off again.  In the early morning one of my friend’s baby woke up and I woke her up to go nurse her.  The contractions were still coming, but were not rhythmic, and were lighter than the night before.  I was feeling discouraged.

My friends and I discussed taking more tonic, but I was not feeling settled with that decision and dragged my feet doing so.  As the house woke up and my husband and kids were downstairs getting breakfast and starting the day I was feeling antsy.  Suddenly I felt like I had to pee – I went, and I felt I needed to go again.  There wasn’t really anything there, but I would head right back because I FELT like I had to pee.  I came back from my 4th or 5th trip to the bathroom, and I felt a really strong contraction start.  I felt hopeful – this was the strongest I had felt all night!  I tried to breathe out the pain, but it didn’t work, and it was just getting sharper.  I tried shifting my position to manage the pain, and it didn’t work – it hurt so badly I felt cold all over.  My friend glanced at my shifting and moaning, and said “You look a little transition-y”.  I remember glaring at her and saying something along the lines of “I am afraid to say that it is transition or it will all stop again!”.  She asked if I wanted to move to the area I had set up to birth on, and I said sure.  She helped me over and went and got my other friend.  At this point the ‘contraction’ was certainly subsiding.  I was feeling discouraged and thought that I might indeed just nap again.

At that point it got very strange for me.  I didn’t feel any pain, and no contractions, but I had this … urge to breath out deeply.  I thought maybe I was supposed to push, but there was no urge, and nothing to push against.  I looked at my friends and told them I was confused.  I felt my body was wanting me to just breath.  One of my friends looked me in the eye’s and said “Your body knows – just listen and relax.” Then she put her hand on my shoulder, and I felt the tension of the confusion just melt out of me.  I took deep breathes and just breathed them out hard and slow.

Suddenly I felt a ‘spoolsh’, and that was it.  I sat there while my friends checked and it seemed like everything was out.  I just sat there.  I didn’t look down, I just sat.  After what seemed like a long time I needed to pee – for real this time – and I carefully got up as my friend covered the ‘baby’.  When I got back I sat down and my friends and I looked at what I had laboured out of me.

It was amazing.  It was the placenta with the amniotic sack intact.  Even that was incredible.  That was something I had hoped for weeks earlier.  To my friends I had said “I also got an email from someone who told me about her m/c at 12.5 weeks and the baby was born in the sack. It gives me something to hope for – it seems- gentler…” just three days after hearing the news, and now over two weeks later that very wish came true.  I felt no grief.  I felt blessed.  I knew the baby was dead, nothng was changing that – but here there had been a grace – for me.  It was of no benefit to the baby to be born in the sack, but to me it was a blessing, and I basked in that grace in that moment.

As we sat on the bed and opened the sack and discovered the miracle inside I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the wonder in my hands.  Although I would wish a thousand times over that she was still thriving in my womb, it was amazing to see such a small person in my hands.  Her feet were not quite the length of my baby finger nail, and it was amazing.  We gently unfolded her tiny body and marvelled at how perfect she was – despite the obvious effects of that time in the amniotic fluid waiting to deliver.

We took lots of pictures – my husband came and saw her, the midwife came and looked over everything and was pointing out the anatomy of the placenta to me.  A friend had knit a tiny little hat for her, but it was huge, so her hat became her nest and she was nestled in a small box in her nest and her placenta still attached.  It was the perfect farewell after the longest 2.5 weeks of my life.

Once I had showered and got settled in bed my midwife checked my blood pressure and told me sternly to rest as I just had a baby.  I smiled and nodded, and intended to do just that.  The problem is that I don’t FEEL like I just had a baby.  I am not nursing a baby, napping with a baby, or feeling the physical effects of having just had a baby.  Not even afterpains.  I only know it when I have overdone it and I end up needing to rest longer to make up for the lost iron, if nothing else.

It was the most strangely, wonderful, most sorrowful experience of my life thus far.  I still look on her birth as perfect.  I still look on her life and heave a heavy sigh for the moments I thought I would have, but didn’t.  But I DID get to see her.  Touch her.  To see the amazing thing my body was producing.  Shortly after the birth a friend messaged me that her fetal cells are in my blood for the rest of my life.  I looked it up, and it is true!  Hannah’s cells are a part of me, and will do active things in my body that people are just starting to understand – like repair tissue and offer protection from disease.  To me that is amazing.  And a comfort.  I have not lost her – she is a part of me.

I have no idea what the next few months, years, decades will look like, or how this experience will impact them – but I feel ready for it.  I feel ready to see what life after the death of my child will be like.

Do you have a story to tell?  I would love to hear it.  🙂

To My Dear Child… February 13, 2012

Posted by dreamom in Faith, family, Fears, Home, Life, Parenting, Pregnancy Loss.
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I never thought I would have to say goodbye to you before I met you, but here we are. You are gone to heaven, and I am carrying your body in me just waiting for this last part of you to leave me. You are gone and I have never seen your face, counted your toes, or kissed your fingers. I will never have that moment when you are fresh from the womb, dripping with amniotic fluid to see you squinting at me and feel your breathing on my chest. I will never feed you at my breast, as I have all your siblings. Those things feel really huge and sad right now, and I am trying to understand why you didn’t stay longer.

Part of me feels really guilty. Guilty for not cherishing the annoyances of pregnancy for the sheer fact that you were with me. I didn’t know that was all the time we had. If I did, I would like to think that I would have jumped for joy when I was throwing up. Grinned with sheer glee as my ligaments felt tight and sore. Smiled as my hips pained me with the sciatica. Danced with enthusiasm when I thought that the exhaustion was going to overtake me. I didn’t though. I complained, I scowled, I grumbled that the pregnancy was not easier – then poof. You were gone. Did I chase you off? I know in my heart that I didn’t – That your life on earth was meant to be a mere vapour – the purpose for which I can’t conceive.

I have struggled for the last week and a half with letting you go. Physically I have tried to induce your birth for the past week. Nothing is working. I COULD go to the hospital and force you out, but I can’t do that. You are holding onto me for a reason – or me to you. If I rush that I know that I will miss out. On what? Grief, sadness, anxiety, pain? Maybe. What I am afraid of though is that I will miss out on healing. I will miss out on that moment of accepting that this is the totality of our parent/child relationship. I conceived you, grew you for a mere moment (or so it feels), and now I have to let you go. Not for you though – When I let you go has no impact on you at all. You are HOME. You are with God. The only piece of you that my body is clinging to is not important to you anymore. For me – it is all I have. The empty shell of you. I never got to witness the person that was in the shell. I don’t know how to be okay with that until I meet you in heaven. I need to though.

I am hurt, and angry, and confused at how this has happened. I can’t hold onto that though. I need to be active and participate to wade Kyle through his impending adolescence. He needs my focus and energy, so I need to leave you in my past so that I can do that. Libby is such a nervous and anxious little waif, and she needs me to teach her bravery, and trust. I can’t do that if I am holding onto fears and doubts. She needs my time to teach her how to be a woman of God, and to develop her potential – I can’t do that if I am living in the past where I have you with me. Jordan is smart as a whip, but is having problems. Behind on his speech and I won’t even start into the potty training or the problem of beating on Micah every chance he gets. He needs me to focus on his weak areas and to help him overcome his difficulties – whatever they may be. Micah is starting everything. Talking, potty training, learning social skills. He needs me to teach him everything I know, and to nurse him down at night so that he slows down and rests. I can’t do that if I am so wrapped up in you and your brief stay with me that I can’t see or attend to their needs. We absolutely wanted you, and had room for you, but I need to accept that you are gone. That you DON’T need me. That is why I need to let you go. I don’t really know what that is going to involve yet, but the first step is to birth your body to this world. I need to let go of it.

It is scary to contemplate. I have managed in the last week to get myself to a point where I could eat and function again, but what about when I REALLY let you go? How much is that going to hurt? How am I going to be able to let you go? First your body, and then your lack of presence. How will I be able to let you go THAT much. Will I ever have a day where I don’t think about you, or try to find out what went wrong? Will I ever accept that you were never meant to breathe the same air as me, or suckle at my breast? Will I ever accept that I was never meant to nurture, raise, and hold you like I was the others? I hope so. I am told I will, but right now I can’t fathom that…

I love you, my child. Until we meet in heaven watch over us, wait for us, and know that we love you. We will always love you.

Love,

Mom

A Pacifist Remembers November 8, 2010

Posted by dreamom in Faith, family, Happiness, Life, Parenting, Peace.
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It is times like this when I feel like my inner Old Lady makes an appearance.  Maybe that is because my grandmother was the biggest pacifist I knew.

When I was growing up we would solemnly attend the neighbourhood Remembrance Day Ceremony, and pay respect to the people lost in wars – both in the World Wars, and wars all over the world.  I remember distinctly that the ceremony always talked about the loss of civilian lives as well as the fallen heroes who worked in the military.  I also remember the old shaky voices of the veterans as they talked about the experience of being in war, and imploring us as the future to not let it happen again.  War was not about creating heroes or an opportunity for hero worship, but a horrible, catastrophic event that was to be avoided.

My young child mind took this to heart, and believed that these veterans were begging us to consider the cost of war, and that it was not heroes that came home, but heartbreak.  Add this to the experience of having a very publicly pacifist grandmother, and I became a very pacifist me.

All that was during the Golden Age for Canada, when we were not a country at war.  Now, everything is different.  Some people don’t understand that while people made fun of our military for being ‘wimpy’, they were serving the essential role of “Peacekeepers”.  That was a position to be proud of!  Although we definitely made mistakes in that role, it was evident to the world that we valued Peace, and as such valued people.  Not just the people on the ‘right side’, but the innocent people who lose their homes, livelihoods and lives when wars break out in their neighbourhoods.

Now we are a country at war.  We have an active military presence in countries and we are not there to make peace.  We are there inflicting our brand of justice on ‘the wrong side’, and taking civilians down in our path.  That changed everything.  It changed the way the world viewed us.  It changed the way the people in active service viewed themselves.  It changed the way that we as Canadian lay people viewed the military.  It changed the way that we, Canadians, viewed the world.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the current Red vs. White Poppy controversy.  There is a complete disconnect for people as to what the point is.  As kids we were taught that the colour red was significant because it symbolized the blood that was spilled – the blood that flowed on the ground like rivers to lower ground – the blood that filled the waters of seas and bays, and lakes, lapping on the shore in place of the beating heat that it just left .  There was no distinction of WHOSE blood.  None of it was glory – just loss.  That red poppy is supposed to remind us of the loss.

The white poppy is white to be a reflection of the ideal.  White represents purity, and the absence of the ‘blood’ is certainly the ideal.  It doesn’t suggest that anyone sacrificed in vain, but that going forward we should maintain that purity.  It is a hope that new lives won’t be lost, and that peace will reign in our land, and others.

In reality it is fitting to have both.  The red to remind us of the bloodshed, and to allow us to remember the cost of war on a personal level.  It is in keeping the words of those WWI, and WWII veterans – the ones who implored us to lead the world down a different path so that wars would end, and peace would prevail – that we also wear the white to remind us to work towards peace in any and all situations.

Instead the whole thing has turned into a pacifist vs. veterans thing.  People talk about pacifists as though they are heartless extremists who want to defile the memory of people lost in wars, and sully the experiences of those veterans who came home from wars forever changed by their experiences.  There are ‘Support the Troops’ drives that people are bullied into, or labelled as traitors and ingrates if they feel that it is more about supporting the war than the troops.  There is a stigma put on the white poppy, and now the Canadian Legion is talking of SUING people for wearing or supporting the white poppy campaign.  Really?  REALLY?!  For supporting peace, and for supporting NO MORE OF OUR MILITARY BEING KILLED people want to tar and feather us?

I don’t get it.  I don’t get why the notion of peace is incongruent with supporting the troops and their families, by our interest to GET THEM HOME.  I don’t understand why a girl during the Gulf War was spit on and beat up for having a peace sign on her cheek.  I don’t understand why the RCL is wanting to sue people for promoting peace.  I don’t understand people being upset that you support the troops, but not the war.

This Remembrance Day, as all the others that my children remember I will be supplementing the message they hear at the Remembrance Day Ceremony and will be recounting the words of those veterans I heard speak as a child.  The ones that hoped that their experience was not in vain, and that future generations would be able to live in peace, and that the lives of their comrades were not lost in vain, but resulted in saving others from being lost.

This Pacifist remembers the lives lost, and in response, out of a moral conviction, out of heartbreak, and out of  respect for all those lost in wars – promotes peace.

The Importance of Informed Choice… August 19, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Happiness, Home, Life, Parenting.
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As a La Leche League Leader I end up doing a lot of myth busting in my helping calls and home visits. There are the usual sources – Grandma’s Aunts, people in the grocery store, but many people don’t realize how many myths are perpetuated by Doctor’s, nurses, and people trained as ‘Lactation Specialists’ (as public health or OB nurses with training are called in Ontario…)


This is stemming from the fact that I am sitting here in front of my morning coffee watching baby shows, and trying not to wake the house with my shouting at the TV. People being told to supplement, people talking about how on day two they HAVE to formula feed because they have no milk… (Did I mention TV programs in the source of myths part…). With my newly acquired awareness (perhaps from the coffee? 🙂 ) I realized an important piece.

The La Leche League holds a rotating series of four meetings that address different topics and stages of breastfeeding. The LLL suggests that women attend each of the four meetings AT LEAST once before the birth of the baby. This is often hard to explain to people who are barely showing! With meetings being a monthly event, to attend all four you are starting (ideally) at month 4 or 5! For most women that is not when they are expecting to hang out with the ‘breastfeeding club’!

What I came to realize is that if HALF of the people on these shows had done research, and attended meetings, aligning themselves with a community of breastfeeding parents – that most would not say the things they do, and maybe not choose the option to formula feed or supplement…

Breastfeeding is a fairly publicly acknowledged positive choice for Mom’s and babies. What some people don’t realize is that this pattern of myths and assumed norms is simply carried through from the prenatal stage. With each baby I learn more about the options I have as a pregnant woman, and why things are suggested and routinely done. With each baby I shave more off the list as I learn more about what it is that is being done, and why. That isn’t to say that it isn’t appropriate for anyone, but that I find that things are not appropriate for me and my family.

What I appreciate about midwifery care, is that there is nothing that is done and offered that is off the table. Everything will be explained – ESPECIALLY if you ask. Why do they do this? What do they learn from that? What are your options concerning this? What risks, or risks of risks associated with that. You will get an answer, and usually an option! As someone who had midwifery care for all of my pregnancies I often take that for granted.

Watching these shows, and wondering why people make the decisions they do I realize that it is by making myself informed on an ever increasing amount of topics associated with everything from prenatal care to schooling that I have given myself choices. Armed with information I can choose if I conform to the standard, or if we as a family are going to choose an individual path. Even if you choose mainstream things all families should have an individual path. You will know that you are on a path that is unique to you and your family when you have looked at the options (whether offered or not) and understand WHY you are doing what you are doing, not just knowing what you are doing.

Well folks. That is the fruit of my ranting today… And I thank our midwives for being a source of information and choice for the commencement of our journey into the parenting of each of our little ones…

Don’t mind me – I’m just trying… August 4, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Fears, Goals, Happiness, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
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It was suggested to me some time ago that when Mom’s use the word ‘trying’ that they are setting themselves up for failure.  I listened intently, and added some thoughts of my own, and decided that it is true.

I volunteer for an organization which comes along side breastfeeding mom’s and offers various types of support as needed.  I hear Mom’s say “I am going to try to breastfeed” all the time.  If I had a nickle  for every time I heard it, I would be a rich woman indeed.  (Feel free to give me a nickle when you use that term with me! lol).  My thought was always ‘FANTASTIC! They are going to try!’  What was pointed out to me though is that in saying that they are leaving the possibility open for failure, and thus reducing their commitment (as to not look to do more than trying) and increasing the chance of…  non-success.  In hindsight this makes perfect sense to me, and I can see that playing out in the people I have ‘trying’.  The solution?

It was also suggested that what we as parents should do is just make a decision – such as “I am going to breastfeed” (which incidentally what I did unintentionally).  If things aren’t going well, and your life is falling apart, you aren’t receiving sufficient support, and you feel trapped – you don’t just gradually make little consessions here and there – eventually slipping out of breastfeeding without noticing it – you make a new decision.  Perhaps saying “I will now be  pumping to supplement one feed” or some such thing as to make it manageable, yet maintain control and having a clear idea of where you stand.

I found this to be a fantastic way of looking at things and have been trying to rephrase my parenting strategies as to tell myself, as well as others that I am committed to said strategy.  For instance, I am no longer ‘trying’ homeschooling.  I AM homeschooling.  When and if I see a need to make a new decision regarding the education of my children (for which I can choose – sadly for one child I am stuck with whatever I can manage to get from the PS system…), I will.  This has made all the difference for me. I can plan things without fearing looking foolish, and I can order curriculum without ‘hoping’ not to waste money.  I can tell the kids that we ARE doing such and such today without hoping I wasn’t just wasting everyone’s time on something that might not work…

Today I began to read a book in preparation for the birth of baby #4.  I know that when I tell you the topic that many of you will choke on your tea, water, etc. and say “Why on earth would you try something like that!?”  It is on having a Diaper Free baby.  I was first introduced to Elimination Communication (EC) by a good friend (who I miss dearly) from Guelph.  I was skeptical too – although I hope I was nice about it…  The first time I was handed the baby and was asked if I could ‘pee her’ (at maybe 2 months), and I did the whistle cue, and that sweet baby started to pee – I was convinced!  I tried to start with Jordan at that point, but he was nearing 10 months and having nothing of it…  Keep in mind I was ‘trying’.  I did start attending the EC meetings and met other Mom’s (besides my friend) who were, or had done this style of infant hygiene with success.  I knew that this was indeed something I wanted to do – if only Jordan was willing…

Now with baby #4 getting closer, I started reading the book to refresh my memory of what I was hoping to embark on, and build up my knowledge bank so I would be ready.  Tonight as I headed for bed I set down the book, and with renewed vigor thought “I will have to try that.”  At that moment it hit me.  I was only planning to try.  I was in other ways getting the diapers organized, thinking about where to put them so they would be handy.  I was pondering getting disposables for the icky umbilical cord days.  I was only trying.  I was excited to try, but even for something as non-life threatening as diapering decisions I was getting my emergency plan in place and planning my escape route.  I would like to say that going diaper free is more daunting than breastfeeding, thus relieving myself of the commitment to the decision, but that is just not the case.  I was lucky to have access to the support I needed and the stubborn drive to get through the bumps, and the fact that I gave myself no other option for infant feeding.  Baby was getting my milk.  Period.  I was not going to pump for the nursing years because that is way too hard.  Period.  Somehow the baby and myself were going to figure out the dance of milk transfer from me to baby.  Period.  There was no word ‘try’.  EVER.

If I am going to plan to succeed with this I am going to have to erase the word ‘try’, and insert the word ‘do’.  Period.  If I was having this baby in Guelph I would know that I would have the support of my dear ECing friend, and the group of women who met to support each other in this diaper choice that was so against the norm.  Here in good ol’ Manitoba I don’t have that.  My friend Mhairi is supportive – although having not done it herself… yet 🙂  That is all I know.  Heck I have been a bit of a black sheep here for having cloth diapers.  (When mom’s see the diapers or covers they beam and say “OH!  You have cloth diapers!”  Like they have just found water in the desert…)  It is going to be hard to not try.  It is going to be harder still to just do it.  I can’t wait to start explaining my taking my infant into the bathroom at…  anywhere!  I DO know that it is achievable, and I do think that it is a wise choice (in the end) for Mom, baby, and the environment – but this is going to take an AWFUL lot of doing!

Down to Business July 28, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
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Before the end of school Kyle’s teacher from this past year, and this coming year sat down and went over where he was at.  Turns out in the transition from Ontario to Manitoba he missed out on some cursive writing, and numeracy.  Since he left school a bit early to visit his Dad, and came back half way through July I decided that we would start in earnest in August.  I am a bit early, but it seemed like the time was right.  So today is our big day.  He is working on Addition – with a constant prod to keep motivated.  Also on the plan today is Music (he is also supposed to practice the recorder this summer), and doing a journal entry for today.  I ordered his cursive book a week ago, and am hoping that it will be in anytime.  It is the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, and is a fantastic way to teach printing and writing…

Libby is only four so the pressure is never on to push the ‘schooling’, but she is lamenting about how she has all these books that she can’t read, and will explain to Jordan (sorrowfully) that she would like to read to him, but can’t.  She is really anxious to get going, so away we go.  The plan for her today is doing some printing (Kumon, until the HWT book for her comes), a Kumon Cutting book – to work on fine motor, and a bit of phonics.  She too will do a journal entry (as they all will every day) – with the hope being that the writing will increase to eventually match the picture.

Because no one likes to be left out Jordan has some Kumon books on folding, and cutting to do, as well as making a picture for his ‘journal’.  With him it is less about learning the basics, and more about learning the routine.

In the coming days I hope to find our Children’s Bible – we typically would read a story from it, and have the kids retell it, or do a picture about the story.  It has been missing since the move, and gradually I hope to re-establish the routine that we had started last summer in Guelph.

That along with a trip to the park should make for a pretty full day.  The only thing that will derail it now is that it is 10 am and Kyle is already showing signs of needing a nap…

Gearing up for the week, months ahead… February 22, 2009

Posted by dreamom in Faith, family, Goals, Happiness, Home, Life, Parenting.
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So, today got off to a bad start.  I believe that the root of that would have been my blogging at 4:30 in the morning, instead of sleeping.  My problem tends to be that when I am stressed I tend to sleep poorly.  I know that I shouldn’t feel stressed or anxious about the upcoming move – after all, God knows where we will live, and how we will manage, and has all that looked after.  There is always a disconnect between knowing it, and living it though…

I ended up crawling into Kyle’s bed with him last night – I was not the only one  up all night – All three kids were moving about the house at various points in the night in search of other sleeping arrangements.  Once I was in Kyle’s bed, I did sort of, sleep okay – just short…

I woke up at 8, and due to not being prepared, had to be at church for 8:30.  Right as I was walking out the  door of the house I got a call from the church saying that the teacher on the schedule had talked to me about being unavailable for this week due to being involved in the service.  I did remember that conversation, and I at this point realised that I had never dealt with that.  Not only was I going into the lesson at 11am unprepared, I might also be teaching the 9!  Luckily the teachers husband was willing and able to take on the class, and I helped by preping his craft for him.  Whew!  That was a close call.  That was also the reminder I needed that I can no longer perform this role effectively, and I made it a priority to fill my remaining weeks of teaching.  On the 8th I have a coordinators meeting, and if no one has come forward by then – I will go ahead and step down with no one to pass the torch to.  I know that I can’t keep doing this…

After church my husband and I decided that we would do the run to Ikea to get bunk-beds and the bedding that the kids are in need of, and that we need to get before we leave Ontario.  It started out fine, but after a while I was frustrated that I wasn’t getting the support of my husband (who preferred to disappear – thankfully with the kids), the kids were melting down because that is what kids do in a large chaotic environment, and Kevin was melting down because that is what Kevin does in a large chaotic environment.  By the time we left we were all in a tizzy.  We decided that we would treat everyone to a cinnabon, and trekked across the city to get one.  We got there to find that they were closed.  Closed and sold out according to the grumpy lady in the store…  At this point we threw in the towel and went to Pizza Hut for supper.  I turned out to be quite pricey, but at least we got home in time to get our pre-fed kids in bed…

I am sitting here planning to go to bed early – as soon as Jordan is ready in fact.

Jumping in with Both Feet September 19, 2008

Posted by dreamom in family, Home, Life, Parenting.
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As I listened to my neighbours talk about their new schedule of working and school, I had a brilliant idea.  I could babysit their kids!  Later I came in the house and told DH that I offered my services.  He was dubious, but supportive.

All in all it has been going great.  The girls are not bad (although they have spent some time testing the boundaries).  It is even forcing us into a bit of a routine.  Today I am awaiting a visit from the county to determine if I can be a licensed care provider.  I am finding that stressful.  all of a sudden someone is going to tell me how to do things.  I wouldn’t bother, but my pay will increase by over $100/wk.  That is enough of a reason to get the process going.

To keep up with the counties standards I will have to get into a routine, and stick with it.  I am trying to figure out how that is going to work.

In addition to my new found job, I was officially accredited with the La Leche League yesterday.  It was four months of studying and such, but I got through it (very quickly to boot!)  I am really excited to be able to help women with breastfeeding.