Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Using Babies for Activism

I think it's great to parent with intention. Whatever your philosophy is, it's great to have a basis for your actions. I've talked about being a lazy parent---breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, etc. Those are principals of "Attachment Parenting" as well. I love to let other parents know that there is a name for this parenting, and all the ways that being a 'lazy' parent is actually good for your children. I know I've sort of brainwashed Meg about babywearing as she often mentions about seeing sad children in strollers and wants me to make a sling every time she sees a pregnant woman! LOL.

But I don't use my children to further the "AP" movement. Nor do I go around pushing it on others, I just try to let moms know there are other options out there. I have been reading a blog lately called "Peaceful Parenting" (I don't want to link directly to it, because I'm not interested in starting any sort of 'war'). I agree with most of her ideology....it's all good for our babies. Recently (Fri. Nov 12 2010), she posted pictures of clothes for babies and adults that they sell, with parenting activism slogans. Now, some of them I did think were funny! "Eat Local" with a graphic of a baby breastfeeding (graphic, as in drawing, not graphic as in real and up close).
But some of the shirts I just don't think are appropriate for children to wear.This one says : Breastfeeding, Sling-riding, sleep-sharing, intact Lucky Boy
Really. Why do you need to advertise all that on your child's shirt? Why isn't he IN a sling? If he were, you wouldn't be able to read all that. And what happens when he gets to be oh, 12 or 14 and his girlfriend is looking at his baby book....
Oh, wait. Here's one for older boys!

I don't need to know this about your child! As a teacher, what would I say if he came to school in this shirt? I know, nothing here is offensive, or perverted, or sexual....but still. It's one thing to share your beliefs when someone asks for them, but it's another thing to use your children to spread the word. How is another little boy who was formula fed, stroller stuffed, solitary slept, and circumcised going to feel? Unlucky? How will his mother feel? That might depend on if she cared about those things, but even if she hadn't cared one way or the other about co-sleeping or formula, etc, she still did what she felt was the right thing for her and this shirt implies that all other types of parenting are wrong and perhaps even damaging.

What I would love to see is a shirt that says "Ask my Momma why I'm so lucky" or "Ask my Momma how you can have a great babe like me!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Labadee, Labadoo...

I should forget about "The Rest of My Life" and just write about Labadee, Haiti. It appears that's all anyone comes to this blog to read. Oh, and some come for the visit to Jamaica. LOL. So much for the breastfeeding, gentle birth, babywearing advocacy, or the delightful pictures of my brood. We had a great time in Labadee though, and I hope my posts reflect that and let others look forward to their day too. However, Labadee has undergone a HUGE transformation since Oasis of the Seas starting docking there. But it's still a nice place to rest and relax, or have some fun too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Update on Images on the Web

I haven't yet found out an easy way to find out if my blog pictures have ever been stolen. If anyone knows, let me know! However, I spent a few minutes today Googling different word combinations about babies, diapers, woolies, etc to see if anything comes up in their Image results. But with THOUSANDS of results, I can't sift through them all.
But something did happen that startled me. I have another blog, besides the knitting one. It was made after my mom and dad's 40th anniversary party in Aug 2007. I wasn't using Facebook at the time and it seemed an easy way to show off large numbers of photos from the big day, and other extended family events. There hadn't been any "stats" available for it through my Blogger dashboard, but today I looked again. One page had been visited. You can look to see how people got to your blog and I followed it to bing.com search engine and some searches with combinations of the words "mom" and "pantyhose". There, on the first page, is a picture of my cousin's daughter....not a mom, and not even showing below her waist (but the caption under the photos is "...after straightening her pantyhose...but judging by her expression, maybe before"). Two rows below that image is one of Meg, from the same post.

How on earth could I know that writting that ("adjusting her pantyhose") would bring up her picture on a search engine? I don't know how popular Bing is, but when I typed the same words into Google, I didn't get the pictures (at least, not as far as I scrolled down). I got a ton of pictures I really didn't need to see on a Tuesday though. And hopefully none of my kids ever Google "pantyhose".
What other phrases should I Google/Bing? And how can I track my photos?

Monday, October 4, 2010

How Do I....

....find out if someone has stolen pictures from my blog, or linked to them? I know at the bottom of each post there is a "Links to this Post" but I can't continuously go through each post and click on that.
A parenting blog I read has recently discovered that pictures of her (deceased) child were on a strangers computer, half a world away, along with child porn. The pictures of her child were innocent, harmless, typical child pictures. She was contacted by the police of that country. Many commenters mentioned that similar things happened to them. But how can I find out if any of my pictures (or posts) were taken?

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Upon reading the last post about my very quick recap of 2009, I forgot Rob's car accident. That was the first weekend in Oct; it took till mid-March to get a court date which was set for Aug 12. All went well. I'm sure there's plenty other things I could have written about. The thing is, it's much easier to post pictures on Facebook, and for people to leave comments. But here, you can write more and put the pictures into the writing. It just takes longer to get the pictures loaded to Blogger. Five at a time? They need to change that!

There's a new feature on Blogger that lets you look at your stats. You can see how many people read which posts, where they're from, how they got here. The two most popular posts for this blog are the ones about Montego Bay and Labadee. Over 90 page views each. This is so cool to see how people get here. Feel free to leave a comment at anytime!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2009/2010 Review

I know I never finished my review of last year. So here it is. House hunting sucked. Packing sucked. The PODS were great, after getting a replacement for the one that leaked. The mortgage lady at the big-name bank, sucked. And cost us lots of money due to her ignorance of her job. Closing day sucked because of the people buying the house of the people buying our house. They couldn't get their down payment to their lawyer on closing day to close that house which meant that our house couldn't close which meant we couldn't close on the new house. The PODS had left before we knew this. We had NOTHING except a colouring book and a hot tub. Some people might have gone skinny dipping in the hot tub. Rob had to work the next day so we finally hit the road during rush hour and crashed at his parents for the night...no pajamas, toothbrushes, or anything. Finally I got the house keys the next afternoon and we started moving in. Found out quickly the roof was more rotten than thought. Then we found out the gas woodstove in the basement wouldn't light and when we lit a wood fire upstairs, the basement filled with smoke. The shed in the backyard was rotten, the swingset nearly fell over. Every faucet leaked. There's no studs in the basement walls. The deck was horribly built. Rebuilding the deck caused the slow water leak in the basement to become a flood during a week of monsoons. Our dog got sick for the first time in December, got better, then died on Christmas Eve. I had a massive tooth infection and got a neck ultrasound and found out I have a thyroid problem (nodular goiter) and enlarged lymph nodes and plaque in the carotid artery. A routine eye exam showed plaque in the blood vessels of the eyes and she said to see my doctor to get my carotid arteries examined. I am at risk for glaucoma and didn't get a total pass on the field vision test. I saw a cardiologist and had an extensive stress test and carotid artery ultrasound and he said everything was fine and clear but I need a different hypertensive medicine. I bought a home blood pressure monitor and my readings at home are WAY lower, much lower than typical 'white coat syndrome' can explain. I still have to wait till the end of October to see an endocrinologist.

Gee. Have I forgotten anything? We got a puppy; nephew of our dog that died. Sigh. I feel like I've been on a merry-go-round and need to get off. Soon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

June 2009

May ended with a trip to Whitby/Oshawa to check out a few houses and see what the housing market in general was like. June started off with no answers to our pressing questions: should we hold off for an offer that makes us happy, even if Rob had to live with his parents for months? Do we upsize our house since we're moving anyway (and the house we were in was proving to just not cut it sizewise)?

We hosted a surprise 40th birthday party for my older brother, Ted, and a mini-party for Huey's 9th birthday (and recognizing all the other May/June birthdays!). Most of our family had never been to our 'new' house in the 3 years we'd been there! The pinata was a trouble-maker. Auntie Cheryl bent our broom trying to smash it open (it actually lasted until this past weekend when Rob fatally cracked it). Why is this underlined? I can't even see an option for underlining!Huey finally resorted to the plastic baseball bat.

The hot tub was enjoyed by all the kids. From left--Lucy, Meg, nieces Allie and Abby, and Jasmine at the front right (my cousin's daughter). Huey got in later, and I think Logan was away with his Daddy.Even Cooper had a great time at the party, especially with Ted!From left, Cheryl and Mike (my younger brother), Uncle Duncan (Jasmine's grandpa), Lucy and Rob; enjoying my FIRST attempt at cooking ribs!The ribs were such a hit, I cooked them again later in the month.

Mid-week following the party, we listed the house for sale. Despite our carpet salesman's attempts to win us over, he didn't, LOL. We'd been working with Andrea since Sept. 2002 and had no reason to leave her, even though she wasn't optimistic with the listing price Rob insisted on. Showings started a little bit slowly, with the first one being cancelled, but on Sunday we had a showing that resulted in an offer being presented that night---3 days on the market. There was a lot of back-and-forth negotiating, and in the end, the client wanted to sleep on it cause it was getting late. We settled in the morning with our conditions being met...at almost the asking price. A closing of Sept. 30 meant I'd have a few weeks while all kids were in school for packing, and they were happy to not start at a new school on the first day of school, where they might get lost in the shuffle. The purchaser had a condition though that he'd sell his townhouse in two weeks, which our agent was happy with. We continued with showings and silently laughed when several agents said during the agent open house, that it was priced too high!

However, Rob still did not officially have a new job!!!

In between showings, we still had speech therapy, pre-school 'tutoring', child development social worker visits, swim lessons, and my dad was in the hospital.
The offer we had was accepted on Monday June 15, which meant his two week clause should have been over on June 29, but the next part of the story happens in July. So maybe we had given him three weeks.
On June 30, Rob got an email from the 'manager-to-be' with an email attached that Rob never responded to, about employment verification. It was dated June 4. We looked closer at it, and the original sender had spelled my name wrong and we had never gotten that email. He immediately sent off the employment info, which wasn't acknowledged until July 6. We were beginning to realize just how SLOW things could be there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

May 2009

May was an interesting month. We continued with the waiting for Rob's security clearance for his new job at OPG. I continued planning a surprise birthday party for my brother. We continued getting prepared to sell the house. We continued imagining scenarios of quick sell vs wait for price; Rob living with his parents; buying a new home quickly instead, etc.

Knowing we were going to have a period of time without medical/dental/vision benefits, I focused (LOL) on getting those things checked up. I wasn't due for a vision test or new glasses, so I started with kid #1, Hugh. He had been to Rob's opthamologist when he 1, and then to my optometrist when he was about 3. Or 5? All I remember is that I had a crawling baby with me too. At the end of grade 1, the class got vision screenings by the Lions Club. He came home with a note saying that either he didn't understand the test, or he might have some colour blindness issue. Knowing that Hugh often has trouble with directions, I filed the note away and promptly forgot it, thinking we'd take him in 'someday'.
I mentioned this to the assistant doing the pre-screening. She got out the colour blindness test book (click the link to test yourself!), and right away it was obvious!! My about to be 9 boy is colour blind! He's always been good at art, and very detailed, so we were stunned. Now, his is not severe, but can affect future occupations. We started remembering instances that could have tipped us off. Reading the diagrams and putting together Lego of various shades of grey. Not 'knowing' the difference between the beige house and the grey house. Not realizing I had coloured my hair. We began questioning him all the time...he didn't understand why Daddy would bother repainting the living room the same colour when we had always said we didn't like it, LOL!! He has trouble with shades of grey, esp. in combo with lavender and beige. Dark blue and black are hard to tell apart. Different shades of rust/orange/brown in combination appear very similar. He will be able to drive.
Further research indicated that colour blindness is passed through the mother's side. Apparently, my mom's dad was colour blind. Shortly after this, when we had that surprise party, my cousin's (my mom's sister's daughter) son was wearing something that made me question him too. Don't know if she's followed through though.
Huey is a little farsighted, and like me, is very light sensitive due to pale pigmented retinas.

Next came Lucy's trip. It was her first time. Turns out her eyes are totally wacky and she needs glasses!! But no colour blindness or light sensitivity.
Then it was Meg's turn. She didn't get perfect on the colour blindness test, but she was only 3 1/2 (they use one with shapes). She is also light sensitive.

We have bushes out front, and every year, there are baby birds, usually these ugly starlings/grackles (?). The momma's get upset when the birds fall out of the nests, and they'll hover nearby, but they can't do anything about it and they don't last long. Good lessons on life for the kids.
I managed to get the kids to pose for the almost annual crabapple tree portraits.

It took a LOT to get a picture of Lucy smiling!

And Meg and Lucy discovered 'meat on a bone', aka "Cavegirl meat".
I had been having a lot of dental/jaw/joint pain over the first 5 months. It was absolutely horrendous at times. My dentist adjusted a filling, and that gave relief for a short period, but I just sort of resolved that I would forever have an 'issue'. I did decide to get a new nightguard. Oh, that was fun, getting the mould. She had to use a small child's size tray!! A little while later, one night while washing my face, I felt a lump on my jaw. Well, not quite the jaw, not quite the gums, sort of really deep in the gum/fleshy part. When I went back for the nightguard check up, she took an x-ray, and noticed a spot that 'could become troublesome' and 'should' get looked at. But not by her, of course. I'd have to go to Brampton. Although her ad in the phone book said they do root canals, they don't actually.
Well, with all the business of 3 kids, about to sell the house, possibly not having dental plan to cover any treatment, and feeling better....I neglected to go get it checked. Stay tuned for what happened in September!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

April 2009

So, April started out wonderful--we had a massive snowstorm April 6/7: And then it proceeded to turn quite warm:

Meg and Iggy, my brother's iguana who was 'staying' at our parents.

In Bancroft (Ontario) for Easter, they have an 'egg hunt'. They go around the big park and throw mini chocolate eggs into the grass/snow/bushes. The year before, Easter was in late March, and there was still a lot of snow. You could see the metallic foil of the eggs quite easily, but I'm sure lots still got lost, LOL. This year, there was no snow.
Easter 2008 (below)...note the seasonal footwear choices, LOL!
We found this adorable potato:

April was a very busy month for activities. Meg had story time, speech therapy, swim lessons, and in-home pre-school readiness sessions. The concert band I was in had two concerts and all the prep that goes along with that. Huey and Lucy also had swim lessons. I wrapped up April with two crazy days--dentist, pre-school session, swim lessons for Huey and Lucy one day, then Meg had swimming lessons, a visit out of town with an OT, back to town for storytime, and then a concert on the last day of April.

Rob filled out his security clearance forms, and they were rather interesting. For some jobs, you had to fill out parts if anyone in your family had been out of the country in the past two years. We were concerned with one section that wanted a reference from someone in your neighbourhood that you've known for 3 years. Well, we hadn't even lived there for 3 years yet! Mid-April Rob suggested July 6 as a start date. He didn't want to give notice to Husky until the clearance was official, and at that point, he wanted to give 4 weeks notice (that eventually turned to 2 weeks, LOL).

And Rob finally finished the cabinet we had gotten through Freecycle. I had nearly choked when the giver said it was an antique because it was about 40 years old. LOL. It had been built in Hanover, which is north a ways from Orangeville, then it spent time somewhere, with her father-in-law, then her husband got it and took it to Brazil (where he met her), and they had just returned from about 7 years in Brazil to Orangeville and she didn't think it fit their decor. Well, gee, I don't think it'd fit anyone's decor these days, but we had visions! I initially wanted woven caning in the doors, cause I wanted it more opaque, but the glue Rob used to adhere the caning to a board to make it stiff enough, didn't work out. So, we went with glass. I keep meaning to find some paper or fabric to put behind the etched glass. Or maybe I should get some spray paint? Here's the before picture:And that pretty girl is Lucy--Meg is surely that tall now--that shirt is too small on her!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

March 2009

Back to the Year in Review.
In March I took the kids to "Grandma and Grandpa with the Pond" in Bancroft, so I could use their wonderful laundry room to dye t-shirts for the kid's school; for them to use as 'uniforms' during sports games. In the end, I had to do some at home in the washing machine, and I think they worked better and were certainly less tiring than standing in front of a sink, stirring heavy wet cotton shirts with a big stick. The kids' school has a monthly assembly and every month they acknowledge a certain character trait that they want to encourage. They try to work it so that every child gets at least one 'award' at some point through the year. As well, they give awards to children that either have significant improvement in core subjects, or a B average in core subjects on their report cards. During March, both Lucy and Huey got awards.

Hugh also got a piece of artwork put on display, in the FRONT hall of the school! It was made in early fall, and was to be a self-portrait, without the use of scissors. Huey had been wearing a Spiderman t-shirt that day. The art was taken down before the end of school and an email to the principal asking if we could get it back went unanswered :(

Buster, the dog, is obviously very fond of a particular spot on the loveseat at Grandma's. Although she looks ....dead? Meg was actually asleep and didn't notice Buster trying to get comfy.

We waited patiently through March about Rob's job interview at OPG. They had said they'd know by mid-March, and finally on March 26 (the interview was Feb 10), they offered the job to him! They said security clearance could take 6-8 weeks, so we set a tentative start date of early June. I started planning a family party for early June too, LOL. We had our real estate agent come over, and boy, was she surprised to hear from us! We had been in the house for less than 3 years, and it had taken over 3 years to find it! She was not optimistic about the housing market, but we felt that if needed, we could hold on, as Rob could live with his parents. We wanted the kids to finish school in Orangeville anyway, and we thought maybe we could spend the summer in Bancroft, leaving our house empty and pristine, for showings. There was no rush, as technically, Rob didn't actually have the job yet! But we re-did the kitchen floor and our agent recommended someone for the carpeting. He came and did an estimate, and mentioned he was also a real estate agent. Rob asked him how much our house was worth, which threw him off guard a little, LOL. He came back for another walk through with his agent's hat on, and prepared some comparables for us. But really, we didn't like him as much as our agent that we had been using since Sept. 2002. Stay tuned for more real estate/new job sagas!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This blog has been delayed due to technical difficulties!
I decided after starting the 2009 year in review, that I would upload the photos in reverse order so that when Blogger puts them in the working window, they would be in the right order. However, at about the same time, I started a massive re-arrangements of my photos. When we first started using digital photography, I wasn't sure how I wanted them organized. I made separate folders for each of the kids, one for the family, and then added folders for particular events...but then I'd be faced with the question...does this go in Meg's folder, or the family folder? Etc. I decided a couple months ago to just keep my knitting/sewing etc pictures separate and start just using the monthly folders. Then I had to go back through the other folders, and make many new ones, to put the old pictures into the correct month. To add to the difficulty, when we transferred the pictures from our old computer to this one in Nov. 07, most of those pictures did not keep their 'taken on' date info. Some pictures I had dated as their file name, some were of particular events and I could easily remember the month, but there were some that were too general---Huey in the sprinkler at Grandma's.
And then...Rob decided to 'optimize' the computer's viewing system and now all the pictures show up as photo icons instead of the actual photo thumbnail. And since I stopped naming most pictures, I have to open each picture to find out what it is.

So, until we get that sorted out, just keep up with me on Facebook, LOL.

Friday, January 15, 2010

So This is 2010.

I have a (step) aunt who sends out a wonderful yearly letter of her family's adventures that year. It's always filled of trips and cruises, the success of their business, and what their kids are up to. We know their life is not perfect, but for 15 minutes while reading the letter, it sure seems like it.

I keep thinking I should write one too. But keep the real stuff in it. Let's see. How did 2009 go for the Mainwarings of Orangeville, now Whitby?

We had a massive snow storm at the end of January, after having a fairly mild Christmas.
Meg's fashion sense continued to evolve.

And Daddy did his first and only hair cut on one of the girls.
FebruaryMeg explored the world of make up. And got a 'real' big-girl haircut.

We went to Bancroft to 'celebrate' the creation of the newest statuatory holiday "Family Day" which co-incided with my mom's birthday. If you look through the bush, you can see the 4 wheeler out on the pond, with Rob and probably the two girls.

We went for an evening walk around the neighbourhood. Almost all the snow we got at the end of January melted.

One happy participant; one not-so-happy one. Rob grew a goatee for Valentine's Day. I made him the hat for Valentine's Day. Guess which one has lasted longer?In early February, Rob got another job interview with OPG (Ontario Power Generation, the portion of the former Ontario Hydro that deals with power generation management--they create and run the power sources, but Hydro One actually delivers the power). This time, it was in downtown Toronto. They wanted to set up the appointment quite quickly so we thought things would move along quickly. After travelling from his parents' house in Oshawa to downtown Toronto by GO Train and subway, Rob was pretty sure he didn't want to work downtown. They seemed pleased with the interview though.
I'm going to leave off here as I forgot to upload the pictures in reverse order and it takes too long to rearrange them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sami---Singer 327

Sami left a comment (not sure why this blog and not my knititng one) asking if the Singer 327 has a built in knit contour. It does! I haven't used it, but I do have patterns for it. I'm hoping I'll have room in my new studio space to have it set up all the time and finally learn to use all the features. There is a (bad) picture of the machine on my other blog and the knit contour is the black roller on the left side of the machine.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I can't believe my last post was Nov. 24!!! A LOT of things happened in December, mostly crummy, and I had lots of fodder for posts, but between Facebook, life, Ravelry, and my other blog, this one just got a little neglected. Sometimes I need time to digest things before I start blabbering away on my blog too, LOL.

The kids started back to school today, so finally I can use the computer again! I have a long list of things to do now that I have my kidless time back in the afternoons, so it may be a couple days till I get back here again. Hang tight (or check me out on Facebook, LOL).