Saturday, March 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

I had a yoghurt last night. Astro "Smooth & Fruity". It was vanilla flavour. Since when is vanilla a fruit?

Lucy went to a classmate's 5th birthday party. She came home with a home-made CD of "Audra's 5th Birthday Party Songs". I read the title list. "Had a Bad Day" "I'm Too Sexy" "(I Don't Like Your) Girlfriend" "Shake Your Booty".....I'm thinking, how am I going to explain what 'too sexy' means to a five year old?! Turns out that one (and others) were THE CHIPMUNKS!! (Lucy calls them 'squirrels'). How do you explain sexy in relation to a chipmunk?

The kids like yoghurt "Tubes". They come in opaque plastic tubes. They have artificial colours. Dudes, you can't see the colours unless your two and you spin yourself around in a circle really fast while holding the Tube in your hand instead of your mouth.

How come the pizza can arrive in 40 minutes during a blizzard, but it takes the plow 40 hours?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Mirth

I hope everything has settled down, LOL, and the regular 4 or so readers of this blog are still here. While I welcome new readers, the manner in which they came was not appreciated, and thankfully that issue got quickly resolved, so I'm left with just the regulars now :)

On the way up to Bancroft at Christmas we saw a funny sign that I really want to blog about but forgot to. Recently, the establishment was in the news again and it reminded me to blog.

The Atherly Arms is an 'adult entertainment bar' just outside Orillia, Ont. It's been there forever I think. They usually have one of those black rental signs out front, and in December it said "Now hiring/All Positions" LOL!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

WTF Happened?

Apparently Cara linked to my blog? I just looked at hers and I didn't see anything. I know she's extremely pregnant and hormonal, but I don't think she's mean or hurtful, just taking my ramblings WAY too personally. Nothing I have been writing here is about her! Wow....where are all you coming from?

I only wrote in her comments "What a beautiful baby belly! I was never round, just stuck out and then flat. Why will you know the date and it'll be before 39 weeks? What's wrong with going into labour when your baby/body wants to? It's usually a much easier labour :)" I HAD MISSED HALF OF HER POST ABOUT NEEDING A C-SECTION due to computer malfunction. I APOLOGIZED in an email to her. Then she wrote about strangers offering advice just because of a pregnant belly, and I thought that was funny, and well put!

I'm not trying to start a birthing war. I'm not trying to educate anyone (right now). I WAS JUST REFLECTING ON HOW I NEVER HEARD HORROR STORIES.

Yes, blogs are public. But would you start butting in on someone's private conversation in line at the bank? Just because you can hear/see a conversation does not mean you need to put in your two cents. But there's nothing wrong with discussing it later with others! Reminds me of the week I spent every evening in the ER and came home and told my husband all the gory things I heard through the curtains. But I was not about to open the curtain and tell the guy with the boil on his butt (true story) that he should have stayed in Florida instead returning here and costing our health system money considering he'd had the boil for three months before moving back to Ontario. I love having people read my blogs (especially the knitting one; this is NOT the knitting blog), but it is a little bizarre to me that strangers are coming here to insult me over a misunderstanding by SOMEONE else. Good grief, I think some people need to get back to knitting.

On the other hand, I would love to hear more about how a personal filter changes how you view something. Do you have anything to share? As for believing in "The Secret"....I believed that what you focus on, expands; for YEARS before I had ever heard of "The Secret". I just knew that if you focus on good things, you will see good things more easily. If your personal filter is negative (like my husband's usually is), you will have a very hard time seeing good things that aren't so obvious. What's wrong with that? THink of the "Serendity Prayer". I'm not religious at all, but there's a lot to be said for it. I choose to view life through a positive lens. That's not to say nothing negative has ever happened to me....assults, miscarrages, near-divorce, no career, lost friends, traumatic birth....but I don't view them as horror stories. And I don't want anyone to tell me that they are!

That's all there is. I wish Cara well, I never would want anything 'horrible' to happen. Birth is unpredictable and any mom-to-be needs a positive framework for the event. I understand not wanting to have a million comments about what could go wrong, or did go wrong, but those aren't horror stories. Those are babies.

Now, excuse me, I have to go put my horror to bed :)

Or, sorry, I believe I was wrong, and the words are "Evil" and "Opinions".

Thanks for all the positive comments too. I didn't think I was all that crazy. Although, I don't really care if others think I am, LOL. However, I will NOT be sharing about peeing in my pants, and the therapy thing just didn't work out ;)

Just a Little Extra

I have more I want to say, but it's busy here.

Contrary to what Cara believes, what I wrote is NOT about her. We had already exchanged a couple emails (my computer had farted and I missed her original post on having a c-section and not wanting to hear bad things, and I was clueless of that when I asked why she was having a c-section and then proceeded to send her the Spinning Babies link and wrote about what I'd do in that situation). I thought I had made it clear in my email that it was about what I would do. I'm sure she's done research; I really don't think I said or implied (in my post or emails) that she hadn't (but many doctors have no experience with doing things like holding a flashlight to the belly to convince a baby to turn). It doesn't matter to me.

My last post here was germinated after reading the funny bit about how having a pregnant belly means you're fair game for advice (but truly, it's not limited to that.....mention to someone that you have high cholesterol, and suddenly you hear about their husband's sister's aunt's husband who was about to have a quintuple by-pass when they started taking castrated yak semen pills and suddenly they are cured), and then by her declaration of not wanting to hear horror stories.

I wondered why I had never heard horror stories. And I realized it's because I don't view someone else's historical retelling of such an important event as 'horror' or 'helpful'. Cara needs to stop internalizing what others are saying about themselves. I could really care less how Cara gives birth; it's not my concern.

But....then I started thinking some more. Having had a traumatic birth, I began to feel judged by her ignorant labelling of my birth story as horror. I don't go around telling it to pregnant strangers, or even pregnant non-strangers. I do share it sometimes with the message of education, empowerment, and entertainment. There's a lot that others could learn from my birth story. But to have it labelled as a horror story by a stranger is a little much.

It's no secret that I'm a believer in "The Secret". What you focus on, expands. However, if you ignore educating yourself (NOT DIRECTED AT CARA, just a general 'yourself'), you will actually feed the fear. You know there are things to be fearful of; by not knowing what those are, and what you can do, you are NOT going eliminate fear or those events. To eliminate fear, you must attend to it, allow it to exist and be acknowledged. Then you can not worry about being consumed by it.

There was a show in Canada, similar to TLC's "Birth Story". One woman was hyper-fearful of having to have an episiotomy. She spoke with her doula, but she couldn't hear and absorb what the doula was telling her....she was stuck in being afraid of her fear. Once she was in labour, she got dilated to "9 3/4cm" but just 'couldn't' make it to 10cm. She 'had' to have a c-section. Coming out of recovery, she was filmed saying "At least I didn't have to have an episiotomy!". OMG. That was very avoidable--both the c-section and possibly the episiotomy.

THAT was my point of the past post. It was a post about VIEWPOINTS and how looking at something through the horror lens may create horror; choosing the filter you use is important.

For all of those women, who like me, have a "Horror story about birth" and want to share it...just email me and I'll post them here! With your own commentary, or mine; up to you. It's NOT about trying to scare someone; it's about retelling your personal story in the hopes it brings healing to yourself and information to others. My filter is education, not 'scare the pregnant chick'.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


One popular blogger is expecting a baby very soon, and is having a planned c-section. She asked that people don't post comments with horror stories about c-sections. She doesn't want to hear anything negative, and wrote:

"I'm sure someone somewhere has done a study on the phenomenon I like to call "let's scare the crap out of the poor pregnant girl who doesn't know what she's gotten into but because I've done this at least one time I have all the answers to every question about pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, etc and know EXACTLY the RIGHT THING this poor pregnant girl should do if she loves her baby just a little bit." Have you had any experience with this?"

I thought it was funny at first. And put that way, I do still think it's funny. But I view things differently. I don't know if it's got anything to do with being Canadian, or what, but women never told me horror stories, or gave me unsolicited advice (except for the Italian nona in the greenhouse who said Huey should have a hat was 30C outside the greenhouse...). I NEVER had any backlash or comments about breastfeeding in public either. On line, especially in parenting groups, we share birth stories, and quite often offer unsolicited advice though. But I've never thought of it as a horror story to scare the uninitiated pregnant lady. I view it as that person's story of an important event. I hear they might have unresolved issues, I hear they want to share their experience, perhaps to enlighten me, perhaps to save me from what they went through. And I APPRECIATE everything anyone has ever told me---even if it was a little scary from their view. If my baby was breech, I would be THRILLED to have someone point out the Spinning Babies website to me. If I was going to be induced with Cytotec, I'd be ecstatic if someone told me that it's not approved for use as an induction drug. If I mentioned I had trouble latching my newborn on when my milk came in, I'd have kissed the person who told me about Medela nipple shields. If I planned a c-section before my due date, and someone mentions that it might short-change my hormone system and breastfeeding might have a rocky start, I'd start calling around for LCs and talk to my OB. If these bits of advice came because someone else had a 'horror story', I don't really care--it's not an omen of my experience. It's not casting a shadow on my experience---if anything, I will be more prepared, more educated. And what's wrong with that?

I think it's doing yourself a disservice to ask for only positive comments about something so serious as a surgery. In this case, it's not just a birth; it's a major abdominal surgery with complications possible for baby and mother. Yes, it might be preferred to a vaginal birth in many circumstances, but to get mad because someone mentions that THEY had XYZ happen and they just want to share that so others might be more aware, or because someone shares a website about how to turn a breech baby?
Man, if I hadn't seen photos of breast reductions with incisions that had opened and other complications, I would have been a nutcase when it happened to me.

I wasn't scared BECAUSE others had shared their stories. They weren't horror stories, they were actually lifesaving stories.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm One of THEM now!

The entry into motherhood is surprisingly abrupt. Yes, you've had a few months to get used to the idea of being a mother; you have the labour time to wish you'd never thought of being a mother, LOL, but then suddenly--there baby is! The time of birth for baby is also the time of birth of the mother.
Usually, women have pretty strong ideals about the kind of mother they will be. I wanted to be structured, full of activities every day. I knew I couldn't schedule feedings or actual sleep, but I wanted everything else scheduled/routine. Huey had his own ideas though. You know 'hard' babies exist, but until you have one, you really just don't know what it means. Huey needed to be held and moving all the time. He had reflux; I also had overactive letdown. Rough combination. I had always been the one who could calm any baby; suddenly I was the frazzled, sleep deprived, unshowered mother made fun of on TV and comics.
Being a teacher, I looked for answers at the library. I discovered Dr. Sears' "The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting the Fussy Baby and High Needs Child". Here was my child! You know how everyone asks "Is he a good baby?". Argh. So many times I wanted to say, "No, he's rotten, hateful and way too loud". But Dr. Sears understood.
This was also my introduction into 'Attachment Parenting". For the most part, to me, it was just respectful and intuitive parenting. But to have a label on it and a doctor's stamp of approval, made it 'real'.
I'm not a 'hardcore' AP parent. We don't co-sleep for several reasons--I'm a lousy sleeper, we have a double bed and Rob takes up most of it, we wanted a marital bed, not a family bed (but the kids are more than welcome in our bed when they need it--most days in the early months the baby would join me after Rob left in the morning). I did 'share sleep' with Huey alot, on a futon in his room, and even more with Megan. I didn't breastfeed as long as I had planned. I read about slings in the Dr Sears book when Huey was a few months old, but didn't think a one shoulder carrier could be comfy and we bought a 'Snugli' style carrier. Not to mention that the only ring slings I had seen were ugly, bulky, and on women with Birks and hairy legs and flowery dresses. We used it for the first 4-5 months, but not a whole lot due to the awkwardness, the heat, the belief that the carseat carrier was what you're supposed to use. Then winter came and we hibernated and he got too heavy to be hanging off my front. LOL. I used it for Lucy a couple times, but it was winter.

Then came Megan. I've written about how I found out about 'Hotslings' pouches from --a very 'mainstream' parenting website/shop. I knew with another Nov baby that I'd need a way to walk Huey to school once the snow started. I wasn't putting an infant in a stroller in Dec outside, or a sled! So, I discovered the pouch, and that I could sew my own. We loved it (one shoulder and all, LOL), and moved on to other baby carriers.

Babywearing Megan has been wonderful, and I definately feel a much better bond with her (at least while carrying her) than I ever could pushing a baby away from me, hidden in a stroller. Megan was a needy baby, in similiar but different ways than Huey (Huey also had his sensory and temperment issues, whereas Megan is a more 'pleasant' baby). When I wear her, I can't imagine how unattached other moms must be when their baby goes from car to stroller to mall to car without ever coming out of the carseat--even getting fed by a bottle in the carseat. Yeah, the moms look zen, but their babies have flat heads ;)

Some people mix up 'crunchy' with AP. 'Crunchy' is the 'granola-head' factor. Organics, vegetarian, green power, etc. Many crunchy parents also follow AP because it's a good fit. And many AP parents become more crunchy as they are repsecting their child, they start to respect themselves and their world more. My move to part time cloth diapers was part crunchiness, part frugality, part fedupness with the whole diaper business. And I could sew them :) Now that's she's wearing CD mostly, she is actually not using the potty at all! So backwards of how it's 'supposed' to go.

One other big 'crunchy vs AP' issue is vaccinating. We started out blindly following the recommendations by the doctor. Why not? Doctors don't want to hurt children, and at least here in Canada, it's not a money issue like with the States. I knew there was an anti-vax crowd, but I didn't know them in real life. Then I joined "Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting" Yahoo group. Many are vehemently apposed to all vaxes, some selectively and delay vax. And I could see the point of both camps (sometimes I really hate having that ability). I don't want my kids to get some of the illnesses, and I know that some of the illnesses are rarely serious. And I know that vax aren't 100% effective. But what I didn't know was what is IN vaccines.

Ick. It really is icky. It's not just some 'medicine' to prevent illness. The stuff is grown using fetal cells from animals or aborted human babies (not all vaccines, but many). There are preservatives in it. And antibiotics! And we blindly inject these highly concentrated concoctions into our newborns/infants who are supposed to have to only process breastmilk for the first six months. Sure, I don't want my infant to get tetanus, but apparently tetanus vaccines are highly diluted and don't work well, and tetanus was extremely rare during WWII, so how common is it in my life? Same for other diseases. I've posted here and on my other blog about the Gardasil and Chicken pox vaccines. The same things can be written about most (if not all vaccines).
Somewhere I have a link to a great article about the tetanus vax if anyone wants it.

So, this past week, I filled out forms to have my kids listed as not fully vaccinated. Some of it arose because of switching family doctors, just plain laziness, and changes to the vax schedules, but I made the decision to not fulfill the requirements of the Public Health Department vaccination program for school admittance. We'll probably do some more vaccines, but many we won't and the forms don't specify; it's all or nothing in their eyes. So, I'm one step up on the crunchy scale now :)