Monday, December 30, 2013

Let The Baby Drive

Originally posted onSaturday, December 02, 2006 on my knitting blog

 I read this GREAT new book, called "Let The Baby Drive" by Lu Hanessian (host of Make room for Baby on Discovery Health). No where does she mention 'high needs baby' attachment parenting, or even Dr. Sears. But she has talked about using a pouch sling and a Snugli (although she did say the baby was facing outwards in the kangaroo pouch with his legs dangling.... doesn't sound like any pouch I know of). But she is obviously dealing with a high needs baby, and intuitively doing AP (except for co-sleeping) .

In light of the discussion on CIO, I'd thought I'd share a passage regarding hearing another mom talk about letting her 5 month old cry it out. The baby had hysterically cried for 15 minutes, frantic. He stopped after 3 nights. The mom said it was hard to do, but it worked...

"I want to howl interminably about how pitiful I think it is to let a baby bawl himself into exhaustion alone in the dark. I want to lift the flaps of auburn hair from her ears and shout, "What are you TALKING about, woman? This child is twenty weeks old! He was in the WOMB longer than he's been out here! He has gas! He has a hangnail! He's thirsty! He's lonely! He's disoriented! His incisors are coming in! His Velcro diaper tab is pinching his thigh! And you want to teach him how to SLEEP? He wants comfort for things you can't see! CAN'T YOU SEE?"....."
"I guess I couldn't let Nicholas scream hysterically alone in the dark, because I think of all the trust he has built in us to respond to him. This pool mother has broken her son's night-waking pattern. But if I did that to my baby, I feel like I'd be breaking HIM."

Although my other kids learned to sleep on their own by 6-7 months, Megan didn't. But if I listened to her cues, I could hold her and have her asleep in 5 minutes. I'd rather hold her for 5 minutes (while I check out emails, LOL), then listen to her cry alone for 5 seconds.

Added Later--This was written as a post on the Yahoo "Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting" board back when Megan was about 7-8 months old. I was still holding her to get her to sleep at that time, but she has quickly learned to fall asleep on her own. Except when she wakes during the night, LOL.

Stupid Husband Questions

Again, an old post from my knitting blog, but this never gets old :)

Comebacks for stupid Husband questions
He said . . .. I don't know why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to put in it.
She said .. . You wear pants don't you?

He said .. . .Shall we try swapping positions tonight?
She said . . That's a good idea - you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa.

He said . . .. What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?
She said . Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

On a wall in a ladies room . .. "My husband follows me everywhere"
Written just below it . . " I do not"

Q.How many honest, intelligent, caring men in the world does it take to do the dishes?
A.Both of them.

Q.How does a man show that he is planning for the future?
A.He buys two cases of beer.

Q.What is the difference between men and government bonds?
A.The bonds mature.

Q. How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?
A.We don't know; it has never happened.

Q.What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?
A. A widow.

Q.Why are married women heavier than single women?
A.Single women come home, see what's in the fridge and go to bed. Married women come home, see what's in bed and go to the fridge.

Man says to God: "God, why did you make woman so beautiful?" God says: "So you would love her." But God," the man says, "why did you make her so dumb?" God says: "So she would love you."

How to Have A Happy, Secure Child

Originally posted Dec 2 2006 on my knitting blog.

To see the source of this article, click here.

April 09, 1998

Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers SayBy Alvin Powell
Contributing Writer

America's "let them cry" attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.

Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they'll feel safe, according to Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller, researchers at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.
The pair examined childrearing practices here and in other cultures and say the widespread American practice of putting babies in separate beds -- even separate rooms -- and not responding quickly to their cries may lead to incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders when these children reach adulthood.

The early stress resulting from separation causes changes in infant brains that makes future adults more susceptible to stress in their lives, say Commons and Miller.

"Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma."

The Harvard researchers' work is unique because it takes a cross-disciplinary approach, examining brain function, emotional learning in infants, and cultural differences, according to Charles R. Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute at Florida State University and editor of The Journal of Traumatology.
"It is very unusual but extremely important to find this kind of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research report," Figley said. "It accounts for cross-cultural differences in children's emotional response and their ability to cope with stress, including traumatic stress."

Figley said Commons and Miller's work illuminates a route of further study and could have implications for everything from parents' efforts to intellectually stimulate infants to practices such as circumcision.
Commons has been a lecturer and research associate at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry since 1987 and is a member of the Department's Program in Psychiatry and the Law.
Miller has been a research associate at the School's Program in Psychiatry and the Law since 1994 and an assistant professor of psychology at Salem State College since 1993. She received master's and doctorate degrees in human development from the Graduate School of Education.

The pair say that American childrearing practices are influenced by fears that children will grow up dependent. But they say that parents are on the wrong track: physical contact and reassurance will make children more secure and better able to form adult relationships when they finally head out on their own."We've stressed independence so much that it's having some very negative side effects," Miller said.

The two gained the spotlight in February when they presented their ideas at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Commons and Miller, using data Miller had worked on that was compiled by Robert A. LeVine, Roy Edward Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development, contrasted American childrearing practices with those of other cultures, particularly the Gusii people of Kenya. Gusii mothers sleep with their babies and respond rapidly when the baby cries.
"Gusii mothers watching videotapes of U.S. mothers were upset by how long it took these mothers to respond to infant crying," Commons and Miller said in their paper on the subject.

The way we are brought up colors our entire society, Commons and Miller say. Americans in general don't like to be touched and pride themselves on independence to the point of isolation, even when undergoing a difficult or stressful time.

Despite the conventional wisdom that babies should learn to be alone, Miller said she believes many parents "cheat," keeping the baby in the room with them, at least initially. In addition, once the child can crawl around, she believes many find their way into their parents' room on their own.

American parents shouldn't worry about this behavior or be afraid to baby their babies, Commons and Miller said. Parents should feel free to sleep with their infant children, to keep their toddlers nearby, perhaps on a mattress in the same room, and to comfort a baby when it cries."There are ways to grow up and be independent without putting babies through this trauma," Commons said. "My advice is to keep the kids secure so they can grow up and take some risks."

Besides fears of dependence, the pair said other factors have helped form our childrearing practices, including fears that children would interfere with sex if they shared their parents' room and doctors' concerns that a baby would be injured by a parent rolling on it if the parent and baby shared the bed. Additionally, the nation's growing wealth has helped the trend toward separation by giving families the means to buy larger homes with separate rooms for children.
The result, Commons and Miller said, is a nation that doesn't like caring for its own children, a violent nation marked by loose, nonphysical relationships.

"I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children," Commons said. But "punishment and abandonment has never been a good way to get warm, caring, independent people."

Copyright 1998 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Oldies

Originally posted Dec 1/2006 on my knitting blog

I Killed the Ducky
For Lucy's birthday, I got her a lot of little things. One was a "Grow Your Own Ducky". I thought it was like those little pills with the sponge shape in it, that you throw in the bath and the pill dissolves and the sponge grows. This wasn't in a pill, but you put it in water, and over 3 days it grows. That's a long 3 days for kids. The water was getting a little gross looking on the second day, so I thought the ducky would like some fresh water. I don't recall anywhere on the package it saying "Don't use hot water". Right before our eyes I killed the duck. The orange bits are his bill, the rest of him was a bright yellow. Sad, but funny.

We have two local (Orangeville, Ontario) papers, and one of them prints two great columns each week. One by folk/children's entertainer Eric Nagler who happens to live up here, and the other by Gordon Kirkland who lives out west. This week Mr. Kirkland did another installment of his recent experience with selling his condo and moving. But this paragraph made me laugh:

As I have said many times before, I know that no matter what, the meager fact that I am the husband in this relationship means that Diane will always have a logical reason for doing absolutely anything. Any doubts that I might have about the rationale will be wrong, because if a man speaks in the forest of a marital relationship and there is no one there to hear him, he is still wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Tonight is Rob's company Christmas Party. They used to big elaborate affairs, with hired entertainment and goofy things that no one really cared about (except for thinking how they would have rather had a larger bonus, than fake papparazzi pretending to take guests pictures when you entered). I used to take all week to get ready. Do the toenails, the fingernails, a facial, shop for a dress/shoes, tweeze the brows...This year...well, I did my hair on Tuesday night and my brows on Wednesday. On Wednesday night in bed, Rob asked me what I was planning to wear (I didn't go last year, and there wasn't one the year before, so it's been a while). I said "I don't know." He got worried, LOL. So this morning I tried on everything I own and decided on the Burgundy dress I have worn for many events in the past 8 years. It fits again :) I've really got my $35 out of that purchase, LOL. Sometimes you CAN be frugal and cheap at the same time.

Monday, December 16, 2013


And because she's just so darn cute:
She helped herself to the leftover pizza in the fridge! And this is Meggie with her Grandpa (my Dad).

This giant bear was from Grandma and Granddad with the Pear Trees for Megan's birthday. I know she looks a little frightened here, but she really loves it now. She loves most stuffed animals, but hasn't had one for her own until now. It takes up about a third of her crib. Then I realized she could easily climb out (or, more likely, fall out) on top of it.
Oh, speaking of falling...last night Megan fell into Lucy's bath. Fresh jammies and diaper on of course. It's never when she actually needs a bath, LOL.

This was originally posted on my knitting blog, Nov 28, 2006.  Meg had just turned one, Lucy was 4, and Hugh was 6.  Ahhh.  The good old days...

Remembering the Old Days...

November 26, 2006!!  From my knitting blog originally.
Baby Olypmics

Beware of the silent moments:

No baby was harmed in the making of these photos, although a disk of green paint has been rendered useless! 

I'm having a hard time editing since these were cut and pasted from my knitting blog.  Sorry for the crappy layout.  Miss Meggy is still a messy girl, but at least now, she doesn't eat non-food items!


Monday, December 2, 2013


I got this email from my MIL :)

Find your birthday and then find your tree. This is really cool and somewhat accurate. Find your tree below and see what you are like...

Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree  This is me!
Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 - Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) - Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 - Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 - Fir Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) - Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Ash Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 - Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 - Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 - Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) - Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 - hornbeam Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Walnut tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) - Beech Tree
Dec 23 to Jan 01 - Apple Tree

TREES (in alphabetical order)

Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.)

.Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant,friendly, unpretenti ous, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut Tree (Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, loyal in love, faithful, sexually oriented, never forgives or forgets unfaithfulness, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest,talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighti ng and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud,self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action. Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant,cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of; sophisticated people.

Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to,emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut Tree (Passion) -- shy, fun, loving, compassionate. Believes in quality not quantity of friends. Loyal, dependable partner. Loves travel and adventure. Cautious, dependable, tend to worry about the little things. Likes to be in control, but willing to bend when necessary. The importance of family. Partnership very important.

Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capri cious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.

I thought it was a neat thing!  What tree am I? Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable. I'm not sure what about that all makes it/me a fir tree, LOL, but sounds good anyway :) I used to be very into the Zodiac, but don't have time now. What ever happens, will happen. And it happens however it should. I don't know that I believe in 'fate' but I just believe that things happen when and how they do for a reason. It's a great excuse for a procrastinator :)


Originally posted on Nov 19/2006 on my knitting blog

Not much going on. Bought a new sofa and a loveseat last night at IKEA. What we really need is an entertainment unit. We went to IKEA in early October to look at them. Rob wanted an Ektorp sofa. Our futon and loveseat, while used heavily are still okay. I have no where to put things like candles/plants/pretty things. I don't have the piano in the house anymore, and we gave back the china hutch, so I have no where to put things out of kid reach. We looked back then and liked something. We looked in the catalogue.
We went back to IKEA a few weeks ago with the trailer, intent on getting the entertainment unit. Rob decided we should wait and measure the walls and see just where it's going to go.
We went BACK to IKEA last Sunday (as well as to Idomo) but didn't take the trailer. The Ektorp line is on sale--buy one, get one half price. I really want the leather one, but it's not part of the sale. We agree to buy the Ektorps instead of the entertainment unit (hoping it comes on sale too).
So we GO BACK TO IKEA LAST NIGHT to buy the Ektorp sofa and loveseat. I really like the chaise, but it's too 'weird' for Rob. We've been married nine years, and have bought 2 chairs in that time (besides a few little things). Everything else is inherited, hand-me-down, or bought used/Freecycled. It's time for grown up furniture. Even though the grown ups are out-numbered, LOL.

That couch (and covers) did NOT last very well. Springs have poked through the couch cover (not the separate, decorator cover), and this wore holes into the separate cover. Something on the frame of the loveseat broke. When you sit on the couch, you really sink down now. We inquired about getting it replaced, since it has a 10 year warranty. Well. You have to take the couch and loveseat to the store and they'll decide if it'll be fixed or replaced!! So, we never did.


Originally posted in November 2006 on my knitting blog.

I got a great book from the library, and I just wanted to share some of it. "Could it Be B12?" by Sally M. Pacholok, RN and Jeffrey J. Stuart, DO. Why did I get this book out?

I knew that B vitamin deficiency is quite common. On the back, there's a blurb...and the word 'autism' caught my eye. Before Huey started talking, there were suspicions of Austism. Then I see the word 'fertility'. No, I'm NOT trying. But you never know....I did have a miscarriage once, with no clear reason.

There is something in this book for just about anyone who has anything wrong with them. That's NOT to say that B12 deficiency is the cause for every malaise. But it is an easy thing to be deficient in, and easy to check. But doctors sometimes forget that easy and common should be starting places.

The first couple of chapters didn't do anything for me (Aging vs B12 def., Mental Illness, MS). Chapter 5 is about Strokes, Heart Disease, and other Vascular Problems.
I have high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, despite being a decent weight, a non-smoker who exercises, and eats a reasonably good diet. I know I have a genetic situation passed down from my Dad. I asked my internist about my risk for a young age heart 'incident'. He said my risk is no greater than anyone else's, and women don't have to worry till menopause. Now, he's a nice doctor and all, but I get the feeling he's checking off days until retirement. While I'm doing as much as I'm willing to reduce my risks, I'm not too sure about that no risk yet idea of his.

This book goes into detail about the connection between B12 and Homocysteine. I have heard that homocysteine is a factor in heart disease...but with everything else to consider, knew nothing else. I won't go into too much detail, but if you are deficient in Vit. B12, your homocysteine levels go up, and that is apparently a greater predictor of heart attack than cholesterol levels. Okay, I'll add this bit "Excess homocysteine causes your blood vessels to lose their elasticity, making it harder for them to dilate, and damaging their inner lining. That damage, in turn, allows cholesterol, collagen, and calcium to attach to the inner walls of your blood vessels, where they can form sticky deposits called antherosclerotic plaques. These plaques narrow your arteries, and drastically increase your risk of suffering deadly disorders...." Guess who's calling the doctor? Folic acid gets mentioned a lot in heart health discussions, but research is showing that you need both folic acid and B12 to lower homocysteine levels. It's recommended that anyone at risk for B12 deficiency and anyone in their list on page 86 (including pregnant women) get tested for homocysteine levels.

The next chapter is "Lost Children: When B12 Deficiency Causes Developmental Disabilities or Learning Problems". So, we all know Huey has a Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD) called Sensory Integration Dysfunction. He's also showing signs of auditory dysfunction and has always been troubled with social skills issues. The first page of this chapter states "'s often the most health-conscious mothers who put their children at greatest risk." (page 92). WHAT? A B12 deficient pregnant mother who breastfeeds, passes on a B12 deficiency to her child. Yes, most pregnant women take Folic Acid to lower their risk of Neural Tube Defects, but in order for folic acid to work, there has to be enough B12 around.
And only newly-absorbed vit. B12 readily crosses the placenta. So...a pregnant woman who is so nauseous that meat is mostly off the menu...(and I thought I had screwed him because I couldn't stand fish while pregnant so he's probably lacking in the Omegas as well). And breastfeeding while B12 deficient just results in a deficient child. B12 deficiency in infants shows when they lose their speech, social skills, and motor skills.

The women most at risk are vegans and vegetarians. While trying to be healthy in other ways, they can have such low levels of B12 that regular vitamins won't do any good. Vegan B12 supplements are made from plants, and the body doesn't recognize/use the ingredients as the same as animal protein B12, and these 'pseudo-vitamin B12' analogues may actually block the uptake of real B12 (which vegans/vegetarians aren't really getting anyway). The trouble is, Psuedo-B12 shows up as real B12 in blood tests. If you are a pregnant/nursing vegan/vegetarian, you should get a urine MMA regularly during pregnancy and nursing. And test your infant too. Even women with no risk factors can be starving her baby of B12. This is particularly true for infants who were not first-borns.
The good news is that an infant who gets tested positive for B12 def. will respond very quickly to treatment.

It's not just women who are at risk. Many children get put on veg. diets to improve their health. These children are now at high risk for B12 def. If they have been veg. for several years, just changing their diet will not replenish lost stores, even after numerous years. In fact, they may never reach optimal levels. These children need to have their urine MMA status checked regularly, and usually need B12 injections if high-dose oral supplements (ie--not a multi-vitamin) Flintstones vitamins contain 6 micrograms of B12, but 1000 micrograms are needed to correct a deficiency. That's a lot of Rubbles to swallow.
Other children at risk are those with Crohn's disease or any gastrointestinal disease ro surgery, any autoimmune disorder, celiac disease, gluten intolerance, iron deficiency, exposure to nitrous oxide...(and since reading "Wheat Belly" and realizing how crappy wheat is....)
There are also genetic conditions that affect the absorption of B12.

Now for the Autism/B12 connection. We all know that autism diagnosis rates are skyrocketing. Many theories abound. In Britain, it's the rapid decline of cold-water fish in the diet. In Japan, it's TV and video games. In the US, it's vaccines. Autism is actually a description rather than an actual diagnosis, because the cause (and there can be several) is rarely identified. Researchers are finding that many autistic children are improving with B12 injections, even if their MMA is within a 'normal' range. Pediatric B12 deficiency symptoms are also many autism symptoms. And many geriatric B12 def. symptoms are the same as autism.

The question is also asked, if there really is a link between vaccines with thimerosal (a preservative that is approximately 50% mercury) and autism, why don't all children who get the vaccines develop autism? Genetic predisposition is one factor. Another key piece of evidence is that when mercury is introduced into the body, B12 will bind to it in order to remove it. It's possible that the children who react adversely to mercury containing vaccines have undetected B12 deficiency or B12 defects, and their B12 def. is worsened when exposure to mercury causes additional stores to bind to the mercury and be removed from circulation. If a child has an undiagnosed inborn error of B12 metabolism, B12 transport defect, or just a deficiency....  (Also, since then, it's been found that Tylenol depletes the brain of gluthione, which is needed to remove heavy metals--such as those in vaccines.  And doctors routinely recommend tylenol for babies, including prior to vaccines).

If you would like the list of Red Flags for B12 def. in infants, children and teenagers, let me know. It's on page 109.
Guess who's getting his MMA and homocysteine levels checked?

Still more to scare you. B12 and fertility. A deficiency in B12 can be associated with recurrent early fetal loss, reduced sperm counts and sperm motility. Before going for any expensive fertility treatments/testing, get both partners tested for urine MMA and homocysteine levels checked (high homocysteine levels have been linked with recurrent early miscarriage). There is also a the MTHRF gene that causes abnormally high homocysteine levels.

Now, the kicker. Are you at risk, and B12 and surgery chapters. I'm thinking...I've only ever had a D&C after a miscarriage (this was written before my breast reduction). But in reading that chapter--the risk is NOT the surgery, but the use of nitrous oxide. Apparently, the use of laughing gas short circuits the body's ability to use B12. Prior to getting pregnant with Huey I had a lot of dental work done. With laughing gas. While being told to not push for over 3 hours with Huey, I consumed a LOT of laughing gas (but who exactly, was laughing?).  And recently Hugh had laughing gas at the dentist and I totally didn't remember this...

Two Minutes

Originally posted on Nov 11/2006 on my knitting blog.  I haven't checked the links, but if they don't work, just google :)

My aunt is an email forwarder. You know those types. I love her dearly, but I am not an email forwarder and I apologize now to everyone who has had bad luck because I've broken the chain :)

She sent another one this week. "After witnessing an episode where one man in a supermarket (it's also been reported to be in a Shopper's Drug Mart) loudly demanded to be served during a November 11th two minute silence, Terry Kelly went home and composed this song. Someone has expanded it into this short video. Terry, who is a blind Canadian, is currently touring in New Zealand. He is currently a member of the National Board of CNIB. " That was the content of the email, with an attachment that our antique computer couldn't open.

Now, I love music. Studied it in university. I'd rather listen to unfamiliar music than silence. And I'm proud, in a Canadian way, to be Canadian. But I've got to admit, sometimes Canadian music can be ...rough around the edges? Cheesey? Especially theme/charity type songs.

This morning I was listening to Barrie's rock station, 95.7FM as I took Huey to school. They were talking about a Red Rally today to support the Canadian Troops. They talked about this Terry Kelly and the song. Ho Hum I thought.

Oh. My. Soul.

This is one of the best Canadian songs I have heard in a long time. Beautifully written, produced, and sung. While it has a definite East Coast/Maritime folk feel, Terry's voice is distinctly Canadian and distinctively good. It reminded me of ..oh shoot...the Edmond Fitzgerald guy.
I'm not known for being an outwardly emotional gal, but I was glad it was just me (and the kids) in the truck.

When I got home, I tried to find the song on the internet. I found his website and lyrics. Click on Pittance of Time on the left. If you know more about MP3 than me (and that would mean just about everyone out there), you might be able to hear the song.

So, remember. Tomorrow, November 11, 11:00AM. Shush.

Early Experience with Trolls

This post is originally from Nov 8/2006, and posted on my knitting blog.  It's still sort of funny, so I thought I'd repost it here!

 I posted to a Yahoo group I'm in about Lucy turning 4 (remember, this was 2006), and linked to here. That group is "Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting". Slightly Crunchy being of the 'granola head' mindset--organics, cloth diapers, minimal impact, etc--it's 'slightly' crunchy because not every one who attachment parents is a granola head extremist, hugging endangered trees on the weekend. Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that respects the needs of babies/children, by respecting/responding to their communication, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping...etc (someday I'll post more about it).

Just before I put my link on, a woman joined the group and started giving her opinions on fertility, conception, pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Very strong opinions, telling one member to not go to any of her doctor's appointments, not to listen to her husband...(I can't find what post she was replying to as she didn't include any of it). Women need to do it like it was done before modern medicine took over. One woman posted that modern medicine prevented her from dieing in childbirth and saved the life of her newborn, who was in the NICU, and she was recovering from a C-section the day before. That woman has been a member throughout this troubled pregnancy, and we are well aware of her situation. The new member had the nerve to tell her that that was crap and she wouldn't die, doctors lie.

So, I get a little 'in her face' about her lack of respect and disbelief that she thinks she knows more than that woman's doctors. She reads my entry about Lucy's birthstory, and writes back that she disagrees with my birth!! OMG!!
I was going to copy the ensuing discussion to here. She's so adamant about 'taking back birth' to the way it used to be, it's almost hilarious. But I'm going to wait till later...see what happens today (back in 2006...the messages were actually deleted from the group).

You want to know the real kicker about her? She's never had a baby. Is not even pregnant. Not even trying to get pregnant, not even planning on trying. Cracks me up.

We realized later that this woman was most likely a "troll"....looking for hot-button topics on the internet just to create a stir.  Never do people change their minds about a topic when confronted in the ways that trolls do it.  Never.  But yet, they're still out there!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Megan's First Steps!

Originally published October 25, 2006 on

Megan walked! For the past couple days, she's been able to take a shuffle step, but today, she put together about 6 little shuffle steps to go from point A to point B (the tub of markers). I was trying to take her sleepers off, and they were still around her feet--she looked like a prisoner in ankle irons, shuffling along :)
I told Rob last night she'd be walking by the end of the week and he didn't believe me!
I must transfer all the Christmas footage from the video camera to tape tonight! LOL. So all my kids have walked before they turned a year old. But Megan's the only one who hasn't yet visited the ER, LOL. Some nights I've wanted to, and if she was my first I probably would have, but I know there's no point. She's still so tiny looking. She's the oldest at 'Story Time', most are 3-4 months old--and most are as big as her. And because they're shorter, they actually are chubbier than her! And some of their heads look gigantic too, but Megan's proved she's got some smarts :) She knows how to slide open the baby gate and sneak upstairs. I'm not sure those are the smarts I want her to have, but oh well, LOL.

Sleeping Beauties

Originally published October 23, 2006 on

Meggie is on the verge of walking. She can get up and down from a squat, lets go of whatever she's holding on to, and does a shuffle step, once....

 And she is becoming a Daddy's girl finally :) I went out twice on the weekend, and came home to these images.

And this from someone who says I'm going to spoil her by holding her while she falls asleep!  (I cannot get Blogger to put them in the middle.  Ugh).

Huey got sent to the office! He spat milk in the face of his friend. Had no reason why he did it. He's really behind on 'sight words' and breaking up words to sound out more than the first sound. He doesn't even remember 'an' from one page to the next, even though the entire sentence is repeated ("Is this an insect?").
And Miss Lucy....ever since she started school, she's been one grumpy gal. At first, it was cause she was sick, but it's still going on. Attitude! Oh man, what a little screamer/whiner/complainer now. I think part of it is a continual lack of sleep. I feel the same way :) Or it could be cause she's about to turn 4, and she's going through a developmental phase that sometimes happens in the months before a birthday. Still so little, but wanting to be a big girl.

We went to a family farm business to go pumpkin picking. Lots of fun, but shocker at the cash register: $29 for 3 pumpkins of assorted sizes and one small gourd! Photos at a later still takes forever to download the photos!

Random Questions

This was first published on my page on October 18 2006.  Some answers have changed over the past 7 years, look for the italics....

1. FIRST NAME? Tracy
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Don't think so, although there is an old Audrey Hepburn (?) movie with a character named Tracy. Maybe Mom can answer, LOL. I was going to be Gertrude Mildred.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Some have complained that I am not emotional, but I think I'm overly emotional at time. Last time I cried...probably pretty recent.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It's okay. Pretty basic and textbook.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Mediterranean spiced roast turkey/chicken.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I used to be a really big journaler, until it was used against me and totally shook my world upside down. Well, the journal didn't actually do it, but what I had put in it did. I started keeping journals for the kids....but they are SO out of date. I tend to write the fun stuff in emails/forums already, I don't feel like taking the time to handwrite it again into a journal.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I could do it in slow motion. I'd parachute too if it were slow motion.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Multi--Grain or Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. But I rarely buy them, instead I have PC Bran Flakes with 1 TSBP of slivered almonds and 1 TBSP of dried cranberries or fresh fruit.  This has totally changed!  I don't eat cereal since going low carb/high fat.  I sometimes have an oatmeal/flaxseed mix.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Shoes that tie up?. Do I have any?
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not as strong as I'd like, but babywearing an almost 18lb baby 2 miles, 4 times a week has got to have had an impact.  Oh, boy, do I miss babywearing.  Definitely not strong anymore!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I like Breyer's or Kawartha Dairy ice cream. Anything with things in it and a multitude of flavours. Gold Medal Ribbon, Bear Claw, White Thunder, Praline Pecan. Although I'm a chocoholic, I don't like plain chocolate ice cream.
14. SHOE SIZE? 8 1/2
15. RED OR PINK? Depends on what it is :) I actually like both.
16. LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOU? My belly, and my shyness.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? The friends I had in high school before I dated the Ex who thought he should be the only friend I needed.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I have the need to read every email that comes in the various Yahoo groups I'm in. I'm getting better at deleting without reading emails about Passap machines, ribbers, cloth diapers, etc....please DON'T send this back to me, LOL!
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Jeans, dark; lilac t-shirt (had been wearing a ratty souvenir sweatshirt from 1995, but, well, I sweated (see question #12).
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? The lemon filling from the danish I put in Huey's lunch that he didn't eat.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Lucy tell the neighbour boy she got a sticker on her shirt, LOL.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Periwinkle. Or aquamarine. The ones that can't be described with one it blue, or is it green? LOL.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Lilacs, lavender, and roses.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON I saw this somewhere but don't remember, then I stole it from Sandra. I've only met her twice, but she seems pretty fun :)
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Sweet ice tea. Sweet coffee. Flavoured coffee with whip cream on top.
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Knitting. I used to watch a ton of figure skating...back when they were my age. Now they just make me feel old.
29. EYE COLOR? Green
30. HAT SIZE? Small.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Glasses. I wore contacts for a while, but not now. I would really love to have laser correction, but I'm squeamish and too frugal.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Nothing exotic. Fresh, flavourful, but not fancy-schmancy.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I laugh at scary movies, but do get freaked out by 'pyschological thrillers'. Hate sappy movies....but I'll watch them when Rob's not home, LOL.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? BOTH! And fall. I love the time from Labour Day to Thanksgiving. I used to LOVE really hot days....before the need for Humidex readings came about.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who's offering :)
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Tiramisu, fresh fruit crisp, vanilla ice cream with peaches and melba sauce made from my Mom's raspberries. Any Ontario fruit (although I prefer prepared 'dessert'). Caramel sauce over apple slices. Caramel sauce on my finger.
38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Sandra already did it, so that leaves Lucky, CatBookMom, Clarissa, or Z. I think that's most of my readers, LOL.
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Huggles can Juggle. Franklin wants a Pet.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Don't have one. It's just the desk. I'm frugal and I hate choices.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I don't remember exactly. I was waiting for 'Renovate My Wardrobe'....oh, "X-Weighted" was on first. Watched Oprah that I had taped.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Windchimes with low sounds, not the twinkly ones.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Bahamas, or Alberta?
6. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Special? As in no one else can do it? reads this, LOL. But I'm a good flute player and have made pastry better than my mom's---with her special recipe.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Suburb of Toronto.
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from Sandra.

That wasn't too bad :)


Originally posted on on September 25, 2006!

Is she not the cutest thing?! life on the wild side!
Megan, 10 months old!!

Wacky Wednesday

Little Mikey was coughing into his sleeve.  "I'm sick" he tells me.  "Yes, a lot of kids are sick right now, so am I" I replied. 
"I threw up while getting dressed this morning, but it was just on the edge of the carpet so that was okay" Mikey tells me. 
"And you came to school?"  I asked. 
"Yes, it's a school day so of course I came!"

And THAT is why I've been eating jello and chicken broth for the past week!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Megan's Birth(day)

Yesterday was Megan's eighth birthday! So, I thought I'd document her birth story here as well. Unfortunately, even though in some ways it feels like yesterday, a lot has become fuzzy, and some details I can't remember if it was with Lucy or with Megan. But I remember the important stuff :)

I got pregnant at the end of February 2005, and I emailed Rob saying "You have 35 weeks to buy a new truck". LOL. By week 5 I was terribly nauseous and that lasted until week 14. I even gave up coffee! Then I was terribly sick for two weeks with a sinus infection (this also happened at the same time that I was pregnant with Lucy). Then my arthritis flared up. And stayed flared up until delivery. It was a very painful pregnancy. My family doctor said "Take an Advil". I said "That doesn't work". She said "Take two". I finally got Tylenol with codeine, but that didn't help either. I had the same OB as with Lucy, Dr. C. and he just kept saying "Take it easy". Then he started to add "Don't do so much". That got me concerned, but I don't have anyone here to take over what I couldn't do, and Rob wouldn't, so I trudged on.

By around 24 weeks, I looked quite big--even though I had started at my lowest pre-pregnancy weight ever. I started having extreme heartburn/reflux again, and around week 36 finally got a prescription which worked wonders. The baby wasn't a very active baby, and if I went to the hospital every time Dr. C said "If you don't feel anything in 4 hours..." I'd be there almost every day (I don't think I ever bothered to go). But every night at 10pm when I got into bed, baby would wake up and have hiccups!

By the end of my pregnancy I was actually a little on the small side and people would be surprised that I had only weeks to go. My blood pressure had been so low this time that it was surprising to be smaller--high blood pressure is linked to smaller babies. I had one late ultrasound though that said I was within one week of EDD for size and was supposed to have another one but never did. I was just in so much pain that I actually wanted to get it done with.
At around 38 weeks I told Dr. C. that although I disagree with 'inductions of convenience' or before the EDD, I just couldn't take much more. Luckily my blood pressure was starting to go up and I had actually lost weight so that was reason enough to schedule an induction.

Rob and I went to the hospital early (8am, LOL) on Thursday November 17. He drove through the downtown instead of the by-pass, and went so slowly I was getting mad--we were late! I got put in a room and Dr. C came to do the induction (Cervadil again). He said I was already 2cm. I wasn't surprised--I had been having pains that felt like they were in my cervix, but weren't 'being kicked' pains. I had to stay in bed with the monitors for a while. The nurse was getting frustrated because baby was not active. She made me drink lots of water and juice but baby stayed calm. Finally I got to get up and walked around knitting. The head nurse was also a knitter and she went and found me a gown that has a pocket on the front, to hold the yarn :) I do have a picture, but it's not digital. The weather was a lot like today...blizzard one minute, sunny the next, but it was very cold. I had never wanted to be stuck in the hospital for labours, but there I was.

Not much was happening again. Around 2:30 it started to pick up and I started to have to focus a little. But no pain. They checked me and said I was 4cm. They knew about the quickness of Lucy's birth and were hoping I'd deliver before shift ended at 4. At 3, I was feeling the same way, so they said I could use the Jacuzzi. I had wanted to use it before, but it never happened. Oh, it was so nice! I have a picture of me in it too, but not digital. Apparently I stayed in it for an hour :) The contractions pretty much went away. Occasionally I could feel some 'tightening' but no pain. My arthritis had made me very concerned about dealing with the traditional (well, traditional in the sense of 'modern' medicine) delivery positions, but I was actually feeling quite good that day, and the tub certainly helped.

At 4pm they said I had to get out because Dr. C wanted to check me.
He said I was still only 4-5cm, and they were concerned because baby's heartrate was not variating with the contractions. He said he was going to break my water and put a scalp monitor on. I didn't want my water broken at only 4-5cm--like they did with Huey's birth because I knew it would make it a lot more difficult to cope (I wouldn't say 'painful'. You create what you fear.). But we went ahead. He seemed to take forever, and was NOT very gentle!
Dr. C stood up and said he was going to the ER for an emergency and would be back soon. The nurses said 'absolutely not; you are not leaving this ward, she's going quick'. That was the last coherent thing I remembered.

I was suddenly so overwhelmed with contractions that I thought I was going crazy. They did hurt and I was mad I was stuck in the bed which was so uncomfortable, not conducive for good labour but yet, I couldn't move. I really wish I had had a doula, or a labour nurse who would have stuck their face in mine and kept me together. Rob kept asking if I was okay! Dude! Not! With Huey, he had been in such a bad position, that I never felt the contractions in the front, I only ever felt like someone was kicking me in the butt with steel toe boots. I don't recall transition at all with him. With Lucy, we were alone, and I thought I was just going into active labour. This time, I didn't know what the H*ll was going on.

At 4:15 they gave me a shot of Demerol. This relaxed me between contractions but then I was unprepared for the onset of the contraction. I wanted up, but couldn't even open my eyes. If they had gotten me up/out of bed right after my water had been broken, I would have been better able to deal with it and focus, but the nurses were too busy chatting, and really, it all happened so fast, I don't think anyone really knew it was going to go like that.

At 4:30 I felt the urge to push, but they had me hold off for a few more minutes. I was a little uncomfortable in the position but I knew there was no other option there. I remember thinking that no one was helping me with the pushing. I had said I didn't want a cheering squad counting down from 10 with each contraction, but I really felt like I wasn't doing it 'right'. In the past, I had thought that women who scream during pushing were just not 'focused', but here's what happened with me. The Demerol made me loopy and spaced out. Then SMACK a contraction. Took a few moments to clue in and focus. At the end of the contraction, that focused energy has to go somewhere. Hence, the end of contraction yell. There still wasn't "pain" but a whole heck of a lot of pressure, LOL. I remember putting my hand down there to apply some counterpressure, but was pushed out of the way.

Megan Anne popped out at 4:47pm. She was only 6lb 9oz. So tiny!!

Once again, immediate relief and recovery! But I was so shocked she was a girl! I kept saying it over and over again "It's a girl? I had a girl?" Sometimes now, I'm still surprised, LOL. Especially since in the early days, she looked exactly like Huey!
The doctor said I needed an IV and I said no, why now? But he insisted. The nurse couldn't get it in and he took over, putting it in my right hand. I couldn't bend my hand to eat dinner! The next day though I had a huge bruise on my left hand that took awhile to disappear.

When Rob phoned home, apparently Huey was not too thrilled to hear it was a girl. But when Grandma and Grandad brought him (and Lucy) to the hospital...the look of absolute adoration on his face was priceless. He was smitten! I think he was mostly happy to know that it wasn't another 'Lucy' to wreck his stuff, that this little bundle was not at all what he thought a 'new baby' was going to be :)
It was fairly quiet at the hospital, but I was surprised at the treatment I got (or, rather, didn't' get) by the nurses. With the other births, I had been told to ask for help before getting out of bed the first time. So, by the time the IV bag was empty, I needed to go to the bathroom. The nurse seemed ticked off--she asked if I was dizzy or lightheaded, and I said no. She asked "So why do you need help?" Ummm...because the IV is empty, and I was told previously to ask for help. The other times, the nurses were great helping with the post-baby ....maternal accessories, LOL. This time, she pretty much just turned on the light!
I don't remember with which baby it was (Lucy or Megan), but I was holding her in the rocking chair, in the dark, with the door open. Just relaxing. This one nurse comes in, flips on the lights, and says "What are you doing in the dark? She could choke and turn blue and you wouldn't notice!"., if I were asleep I would notice?

Megan was very sleepy, probably because of the Demerol so close to her birth. I didn't know what to do, LOL. I tried waking her up after two hours to feed, but she wouldn't. One nurse came in and said, just let her sleep. Going up to 4 hours once, would be fine. But I couldn't sleep because I figured she'd be up soon, LOL. Other nurses came in and were mad I hadn't filled out the 'eaten/pee/poop' sheet in enough detail. I had written 'about 5 minutes' for the nursing. She wanted to know exactly how long Megan had nursed. Exactly how wet was the diaper. The other nurses were've done it before, just do what you need to.

 After the nurse left to go sign in and hang up her coat, someone from finance/billing, came and pulled Rob to the door to discuss something about the insurance not covering the room. I was freaking, being left alone, and Rob was like "Do you not hear what's going on in here? My wife's about to give birth. Go away". LOL.
My family doctor came in the morning and checked her out. Dr. C. came around lunch and said I could go home at 5pm--it had to be 24 hours after birth. It was so cold!
Because she was so calm/placid/sleepy I woke her every two hours to nurse. I never got too engorged (no pain this time) but man, did I leak :) The day after I got home though, all my pelvic joints were hurting. We went to IKEA and Megan had her first outing in her pouch. It was so nice, except for all the pain I was suddenly in. It's likely that the endorphins released during labour masked my arthritis pain and allowed my joints to be more flexible and moved too much. The pain I was having was different than the pregnancy arthritis pain, but I hadn't had it after Lucy's birth. It took awhile to feel 'back together'.
On the Monday after her birth we went to the family doctor's for a weigh in and she was actually up in weight. On Tuesday we went to the breastfeeding clinic and the nurses there noted she was quite jaundiced--which the doctor had said she wasn't. But there is a difference between 'breastmilk jaundice' and 'regular' jaundice. It took awhile for her yellowness to disappear.

Megan stayed very calm and non-responsive for a while. That's not to say she didn't cry! She just didn't respond to things like the stove buzzer, the dog barking, or dropped pot lids. We were concerned about her hearing, even though she had passed the tests. She loved her pouch, spending a lot of each day in it. Around 3 weeks she started with the reflux. Around 8 weeks, she 'woke up' and by 12 weeks was the typical newborn. She put on weight really well at the beginning, but by 5 months had slowed down. I never really did a 'naked baby' photo shoot because I kept waiting for her to get all chubby and round.

She weighed in just before her first birthday at 18lb 14 oz. Around 6 months the LC predicted 18lb at a year! The reflux had not totally gone away yet; it got really bad after starting solids, and gradually had become 'silent reflux' (or what adults call GERD--there's not much spit up, but it still happens). She had a really hard time adjusting to the new house, having a very early case of separation anxiety. She got two teeth around then, and about 2 months later, got 6 teeth in two weeks. On Tuesday I noticed the very start of her upper molars poking through. She's still breastfeeding, and thank god because she did not tolerate the milk trial! But with the reflux also comes frequent feedings and night wakings.
By 6 months we also noticed that her 'speech' was not hitting milestones, so by eight months she already had a visit with the Wee Talk program!

At 8 months she learned to crawl, and was up the stairs a week later. She started walking at 11 1/2 months.  She was quietly persistent, more likely to give up than get frustrated but that all changed over the years. She wasn't a giggly baby, but she loved Huey. At a year she still didn't blow raspberries or wave bye bye, but could sign for least, I think she was signing for milk. Maybe she was waving bye-bye, LOL.

At thirteen months, she finally made her first self-initiated, sign.  She went into the kitchen at my aunt's house, and there were about six dogs.  She looked in amazement, and signed "more" LOL!

She loved to be worn, could climb up onto things, and was attached to her 'hair' (a fake hair ponytail/extensions piece that I got her at 6 months when she started getting a little too attached to my hair).

(this entry was originally written for her first birthday, so I've left it in, it's interesting to see what I was hoping for the next year!)
What does the next year hold? Hopefully more speech development. It'd be nice if one out of the three doesn't need speech therapy! We've never had a trip to the ER, so I expect that at some point, LOL. And hopefully she will start sleeping through the night as her reflux diminishes more :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Lucy!

From this:
to this:
 in eleven short years!
My baby is eleven today. I know she's not 'the baby' but she's still my baby!

What follows is the story of Lucy's birth, as I think that how we are born in some ways is a predictor of who we become. If you're looking for knitting content today...I did knit a bit on a pink baby sweater while I was in the hospital :)

I got pregnant on Valentine's Day, 2002. My family doctor was on leave (he had a rare form of lung cancer and later died, at the much too young age of 34) and his replacement--although young, and nice--did not deliver babies. She referred me to the other doctor in the clinic that did babies, but he felt I would be better treated by an obstetrician. I have high blood pressure, controlled by medication. My original family doctor had no issue with it, and it actually was not an issue, but there's a doctor shortage here so they can certainly pick and choose. There were two OB/GYNs in town at the time. One was a brash, out-spoken Indian woman who had treated me in the hospital during my miscarriage. Although she got my treatment moving, I wasn't keen on how she talked to the nurses in front of me, especially since it was regarding me ("Put the sides up! She's lost a lot of blood, doesn't have an IV yet? She's going to pass out, roll off the bed and sue the hospital!"). So I thought I'd check out the other doctor (the woman doctor also later died, having been murdered in India when she went back to care for her ailing father).

Dr. C. is a very quiet, reserved, short, guy, also Indian. We live in a town of 26 000, and it is very white. Both OB/GYNs were Indian. Later, we get another woman OB/GYN who is also Indian, but also another man who is African. Sort of odd, in some ways, but hey, when you are so short of family doctors that 13 are needed just for those who don't have a family doctor, any doctor who comes to town is a sort of celebrity.

During my appointments, Dr. C. rarely said anything. How are you doing, and take it easy were the two most common lines. He wasn't ...unfriendly ....he just had nothing to say, LOL. Around week 20 I pulled some groin/ab muscles when Huey took off down the street. I was in such pain during the night, I was sure I had ruptured the placenta, and if I turned on the light there'd be a pool of blood. There wasn't, and I went to my regular appointment the next day, still in pain. Dr. C's response to the story--"Don't do that again." LOL. It was an uneventful pregnancy, some arthritis pain (didn't know that's what it was at the time). I had one trip to the hospital when I hadn't felt movement for awhile. The ER people couldn't decide if their Doppler thingy was working or not, so they sent me to the OB ward. The nurse there decided after having me on the monitors for a while (which showed a lot of movement that I never felt) that the placenta was in the front (near where I had the muscle pull) and she had moved behind it, so I didn't feel the kicking.

I never discussed my birth wishes with Dr C, but my 'plan' was in my file at the hospital. At my last appointment, he wanted to book me for an induction. I said not until after my due date. We discussed it a bit (the hypertension and all that), and I agreed that I would go for an induction any time after my due date. The first date I could be booked was Nov 11 or 12, my due date was Nov 6, so I was fine with that.

I woke up Nov. 6 with a major headache, nausea, dizziness...all signs of pre-eclampsia, a big risk for me. My internist and Dr. C were both not in their offices, and at this point, I had no family doctor. I was advised to go to the hospital to get checked out. Well, I knew that if I went, I wouldn't be coming home without a baby, LOL. Rob came home from work early, and we went for our last family ride in the pick up :) There were no other signs of pre-eclampsia, but Dr C said he'd induce me in the morning just to be safe. It was, after all, past my due date!

I was pleased to find out he wouldn't use Pitocin, and used Cervadil (a 'tampon' used to soften the cervix). I put up with the required bed rest time, then I was up and about. I had had much worse contractions in the weeks prior. A couple hours later, he asked if I was having any 'twinges'. I laughed! I had wanted to avoid negative language, but to hear this little Indian doc call them 'twinges' and 'rushes' caught me off guard. Before lunch, he asked if I was having any 'tightening'. LOL. Not much was happening, and after lunch he checked me and I was 4cm. I was surprised! I called Rob and told him to come back.

The nurse said it was time for another stint on the monitors, but then went next door to do a delivery. I got bored of waiting, so at 3, we took a stroll down to the breastfeeding clinic. I was having real contractions now, not regular, and not painful (no negative language!). I was chatting in the clinic, and at about 3:15, I felt a pop. I thought my water must have broken, but no.

However, the contractions suddenly took off! It took 15 minutes to make it back down the hall to my room! At about 3:40, a nurse walking down the hall, getting ready to go on shift at 4, heard 'the birthing sounds' and came in to check on me. She asked if I wanted an epidural (obviously she hadn't read my birth plan). I said maybe, if I have to do much more of this (thinking that I was just entering active labour and was still only 4cm--don't forget, this was my second baby!). She went to put away her coat, look at my chart to see if I could get an epidural or something else, and came back to check me to see if I could get the epidural yet. LOL.

I was completely dialated!! Talk about shock!! Dr. C was called, they gave me laughing gas, and at 4, the doc came in. He wanted to wait a few more minutes before I started to push. At 4:15 my water broke, and at 4:18 (don't quote me on that) Lucy Raylene was born! She was 7lb 10 oz, and had Daddy wrapped around her finger instantly. He wouldn't let me hold her!

In retrospect, it was good that I was already in the hospital, because if I had been at home, I probably wouldn't have called Rob until 3:15, maybe 2:30.

Would he have made it home, and then to the hospital? The recovery was so easy compared to the highly medicalized birth of Huey. Besides all the side effects and complications of epidurals that no one tells you (did you know that drugs used in child birth are not approved by the FDA for use with infants/fetus?), there is a recovery period just from the epidural. With a non-medicalized birth, the recovery is instant, as soon as the placenta is out, life goes on! It was incredible. Not painful at all, I think because of my attitude, and my preparedness. After all, I'm the gal the dentist knows to give extra freezing to, automatically, LOL. Anyhow, this is about Lucy, not about epidurals :)

If it weren't for Lucy, we might never have gotten the Sensory Integration Dysfunction diagnosis for Huey. She is funny, sensitive, very clever, and a joy to know.  There's no one else just like her, and that's fine with us!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Thoughts

I have heard that some schools are not allowing costumes on Halloween, and instead are doing a black and orange spirit day, to try to be more inclusive.

I'm not sure about this.  On one hand, I'm of the "You moved to Canada by choice, you need to join with us, not demand we change to suit you"; on the other hand, I do want to be inclusive and mindful of the unique differences that make up our country.

Yesterday was Halloween, and our school does allow costumes (no masks, no weapons, etc).  It was our first indoor lunch recess, and the kids were all on the carpet watching Spongebob Square Pants Halloween videos.  One by one, they were called off to get their costume on.  At the end, there was one boy without a costume.  There is about 16-18 kids in the class.

This boy is in JK, and his brother is in SK, in the other classroom.  I know the family is Muslim, and the mother wears a full hijab (head, most of face covered, and body covered in dark robe).  The boys speak with an accent and are often hard to understand.  The boy asked me if there would be Halloween tomorrow again.  He looked sad when I said no.  Once all the kids were in their costumes, he started to cry.  Luckily, the teacher had returned, and had a few extra costumes (apparently it also happened the day before in the other classroom).  He picked one out and was happy.  I'm not sure if his brother had a costume.

Would a "black and orange day" made a difference?  Last week was "Pajama Day" and these boys did not wear their pajamas, so I'm inclined to believe they wouldn't have worn black and orange.  He was one child, out of 18.  Should those other 18 (many who are also first or second generation Canadians), miss out on a North American tradition because of 1 child out of 18?  Yes, some schools have higher numbers than this (and in the French Immersion program at this school--which starts in grade 1--there are a LOT of minority children), but many schools are still pretty much mixed, or around this number.  Even at a school where, say, 10 of the 18 are Muslim, or Hindu, etc, is it necessary to tailor everything to those 10?  Didn't they come here to become Canadian, to leave their problems in their old country?  I can see hanging on to your cultural differences that are a strong part of your heritage/religion, but what about adding in the new traditions of your new country?  This one child felt very left out by not participating in the sacred Canadian tradition of  dual weather costumer selection (inside the school and the crazy weather in the evening).  It could have easily been avoided, and he would have come home feeling even more Canadian. 

Would a "black and orange day" make him feel Canadian?  I don't think so.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Birthday!

This was originally published 7 years ago on my knitting blog, back when I had only one blog.  I've updated it to reflect the correct age :)

Today is my 'little' brother's birthday. Michael is turning 29! Can it be? He's come a long way in 29 years, LOL. We no longer call him Yoda, or Yodel, or even Yodie. Hard to believe such a loud, rambunctious toddler turned into a serious, fun-loving, reasonably volumed adult :)

I don't have any baby pictures of him on-line, but I had pulled out some pictures from an album when he was about 5-6 months old, because I realized how much Megan looked like him. I tried taking a picture of those photos.

I also tried taking some photos of Megan in the same pose in a white sleeper, but she wouldn't stay still. She also wouldn't stop smiling. The crazy thing is that Megan probably weighs, at 10 months (these photos), what Michael did in his photos! And now she has more hair. I really should find a 5-6 month photo to make a better comparison.

These photos don't show it either, but she totally looks like a baby photo of my Dad that is on the wall at my parent's!

And just cause she's so adorable:
Do you think it was a good meal?
What you can't see is the stuff on her lap!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

To Each Their Own

This was originally published in 2006 on my knitting blog, but now that I have a non-knitting blog, it's better suited to here!

I'm in a Yahoo parenting group, called "Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting" and there seems to be a lot of Mormons and ex-Mormons. Someone (not necessarily a Mormon, but I think likely), posted a link for the latest in swimwear (this was early in the summer). It was tongue in cheek, but it is definitely a real business! I particularly love the 'slimming suit'. It's important to be modest and not show much skin....but we must look as slender as possible while showing nothing! Quick, go take a look! I'm sure we'll have a few weeks of summer sometime again :)

This summer (2013) we were planning a trip to a water park, outside Ottawa, Ontario (our nation's capital!).  I noticed on the website that "burkini's" were allowed on some slides.  I had an idea what a burkini was, but since they're not at all bikini's, why play on that word? 

I'm looking at my list of labels to add to this I add the religion label?  Since these swimwear requirements are due to religion, I guess so!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hazardous Television

This was originally posted on Sept 22, 2006 on my knitting blog.  I'm just moving posts over here so that my knitting blog is really a KNITTING blog :)

Is anyone else annoyed with "Bringing Home Baby" and "Baby Story" on TLC?
They should come with a disclaimer: "Following any/all of the parenting activities in this episode might put your baby in danger and play havoc with their health".
My big pet peeve: car seat safety. I know 8 out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. But if you watch "Bringing Home Baby" you might see more than 8 out of 10. For the past two days, both episodes showed the infant car seat in wrong for the trip home from the hospital. Primarily, they left the handle up. Don't people read the instruction books? What about the stickers that are right there, ON the car seat: "The handle must be in the DOWN position when used in a vehicle" or "The arrow must point this way when used in a vehicle" and if it's that way, the handle is down. On Wednesday, the mother was sitting RIGHT beside her baby in the backseat. Didn't she wonder what all the different stickers say? The handle was UP. The scary thing is....this mother is a lawyer! DOH! I also see chest clips too low, babies in snowsuits or swaddled under the straps, and convertible seats facing the rear that are not reclined enough. Argh.

But my BIGGEST pet peeve....the bottle feeding! The new episodes show a baby being bottlefed in the opening title sequence. So you see it in every episode. The statistics are now that just over 70% of newborns are breastfed. Bottle feeding is not only the un-normal, but also the uncommon, way to feed an infant. So why is it portrayed on TV as the "normal" way to feed? 

 So often the 'excuses' the mothers give are lame, indicating a lack of education or dedication: "My milk hasn't come in" (no one's milk has come in by day 2), "He's got a bit of jaundice" (giving a bottle of bovine breastmilk isn't the cure--more nursing or bili blankets work better), "Daddy wants to feed him too" (if Daddy works full time, how many feedings does that mean he can actually do? Out of 10 feedings, he might be around for 4---mainly middle of the night--not the greatest bonding time. Ever heard of a breast pump?). "It's not easy to breastfeed" (but it's not easy having kids with allergies, ear infections, asthma, diabetes, lower IQ, and cancer---and don't forget the increased chances of SIDS). Not to mention the increased cancer risks and other health issues to mom by bottle feeding.

There is no substitution for human milk. Formula (bovine breast milk, essentially) is more suited to feeding orphaned cows than it is for feeding human babies. Formula is so not the optional food for babies, that the World Health Organization lists it as the fourth option. It is better to have donated human milk than to use formula. There are human milk banks opening up in many places and mothers are willing to pay huge amounts to feed their babies with the food that the baby's body is designed to consume. There are Yahoo groups for women with milk to share, and parents looking for human milk. There are mothers that induce lactation to feed their adopted baby, or in one case I know--she induced lactation after nine years (that's years, not a typo) for her ex partner's newborn. Now that's love!

Now, I know there are some women who are going to cry "I tried, but it wasn't easy" or "I have to work" or "He didn't take to it" or "Bottles are more convenient". Those that get the most defensive about their position are usually suffering from hidden guilt. Having guilt means that you know, deep down, that you didn't do the right thing; make enough of an effort. Guilt is different from regret or remorse.  You may feel regret that you didn't breastfeed, but not guilty.  And that's fine!  If you have that defensiveness/guilt and have any more children, then that guilt might be a good thing actually. If you really tried--consulted LCs, BF clinics, books, videos, used pumps, herbs, prescription medication, etc--and it still wasn't successful, then you shouldn't have any guilt (but unfortunately too many mothers have guilt about everything). For an awesome article on guilt and breastfeeding, check out 'Rev Jan's' website.  However, we must keep in mind that each mom's level of "tried everything" is different.  You can't try everything if you don't know about something.  Making a mom feel bad because she didn't know about More Milk cookies, isn't helpful.  Yes, even with the internet, a mom may not learn everything, nor be comfortable with trying everything, nor even have access (or support) to try everything.  My "everything" may not be your "everything"....but is there a minimal "everything" that all moms should try?

My personal opinion, through 7 years of research and practice: Newborns under 6 weeks should only receive formula if there is a medical issue. Infants under six months should only receive formula under the guidance of a doctor. Free samples of formula at hospitals should be banned (some hospitals have made great gains in this area). Nestle and Enfamil (and any other company that has infractions) should be held accountable for breaking the WHO Breastfeeding protocol that they signed. Currently there is no punishment if a formula company signs and then does what they please anyway! Every workplace should have 'pumping rooms' like at Starbucks' head office. Doctors should go over the 100 reasons to breastfeed with a pregnant mom before delivery. The US program WIC (Women, Infants & Children) should not provide formula for babies under 2 months and should increase their support of breastfeeding. Over half of the formula sold in the United States is through the WIC program. Guess who pays for WIC? Taxpayers of course. New research into the "virgin gut" indicates that babies should have only breastmilk for the first 6 months, and that even powdered formula is not a good option because it's not sterile.  Formula should go back to being the emergency food it was originally intended for.  Our want of convenience is causing a health crisis.

The 70%+ breastfeeding rate is better than it was 20 years ago. But it should be higher, to match the number of women that can actually breastfeed, not just the ones that 'want' to breastfeed. However, much improvement needs to be made in sustaining this number over the first 6 months. It is currently recommend that babies receive nothing but human milk for the first 6 months, but only about 17% of babies are still breastfed at 6 months. That's lousy. Even my LC was surprised when I said I 'only' made it to 9 months with my first two. She thought it was awesome; I was disappointed.

So, I guess I can't call myself a 'closet lactivist' now, LOL.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lucy in the Sky with Scissors

Originally posted on my knitting blog, August 30, 2006
This is the Jane of the Jungle bikini from I added a lot of short rows to get the bottom to cover the curvature of her behind, especially with a diaper on, LOL.
But take note of the beautiful long, curly, blonde hair. Oh so darling. A total pain to comb, but oh so cute!

I don't know how well you can see interesting, asymmetrical shag...Lucy decided in Feb. to cut her own hair. While I was in the shower. Normally, Huey the Policeman would have come upstairs and yelled. I asked him why he didn't..."This is my favourite show and I didn't want to miss it". We were about to head out to meet Huey's occupational therapist, there was nothing I could do at that moment. We went later that day to get it 'evened out'. Sob.
For a long while we had been planning, and talking to Lucy about, to donate her hair to Locks of Love--a charity that makes wigs for kids with cancer. We kept saying, "After school starts", "After Christmas" "After New Year's".... It had just gotten long enough to donate, without looking like she'd cut all her hair off. I hadn't chosen a place/time to do it, but it WAS going to happen.
Until I walked into the basement and saw the heap of hair on the little table... I had to leave the room I was so upset. I called Rob at work even! After we got back from the OT, I collected a wavy section and taped it together, and bagged up the rest. She had cut it right down to the scalp underneath at the left back. The hairdresser was shocked, but the end result was cute. Unfortunately, dressed in Huey's hand-me-down winter coat, she looked like (and got called) a boy, a LOT. Then early in the summer, we went back to get it evened out some more, and she put too many layers. It's cute, but boyish. It was starting to grow out and we had finally done ponytails again.
 This was April 2006, about two months after the haircut.
June 2006, 4 months post hair cut.

Yesterday, Lucy made a paper crown and wanted to tape it to her head. But her hair was in the way. I trimmed her bangs, and around the face and thought that'd make her happy.

Nope. Not good enough. She got her kid scissors and scalped herself again! Right above one ear, underneath at least, but no cute ponytails for the first day of school next week :(