Friday Ramblings

On the Baby…

I think we’ve hit the famed nine month sleep regression, which can be caused by any number of things: major skill development, teething, realization of object permanence and separation anxiety. Molly has not been sleeping well at all, barely napping through the day and awake numerous times in the night, often every hour. It’s like she’s a newborn again! From what I’ve read, the suggestion is to wait it out and not do anything drastic (ie sleep training) for a couple of weeks. Not an easy feat, especially at 2am when she’s been awake for two hours. Ugh!
But our girl being who she is, she’s handling it like a champ! She somehow manages to stay chipper despite the lack of sleep. Can’t say the same for her mama…but she’s cute so I get over it pretty fast ๐Ÿ™‚

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On Twins…

That’s what it’s like, having my nephew here during the week. I feel like I have twins! It’s not easy and I have mad respect for families with multiples. This week has been particularly rough. CK has such a different personality than Molly, and I find it hard to handle sometimes. He’s very quick to react. It’s getting easier though, especially as we figure out his napping schedule. He’s almost 13 months and at that point where he’s not sure if he needs one nap a day or two.
I managed to get out on a couple of walks with them both this week, but it’s hard to fit that in right now because their nap schedules are not syncing. If I can get that coordinated, we’re golden!

On Shades of Grey…

I found grey hair. My roots are growing in quite distinctively (have to get that taken care of) and there they are. Greys. Sigh. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m 35 and many of my friends and family have had grey for years. It was bound to happen. It’s just that I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have grey. Maybe because I have a baby and plan on having another. Small kids have a way of keeping me young, at least for the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

On A Crazy World…

One of the things I agonize over when it comes to raising Molly is how to protect her from the ills of the world. I don’t want to become a helicopter parent, but recent events make me want to move to the middle of nowhere, homeschool and never let her out of my sight. A month ago there was a attempted abduction at the elementary school where my sister teaches. Last week there was another attempt, this time close to my home, near the school Molly will most likely attend. MY HOME. I was here, in this house with Molly and my sister’s kids when some bastard attempted to abduct a young girl a few minutes from here. Makes me sick. And also makes me want to walk her to and from school until she graduates from college.
I hate that we’ll have to do it, but we have a bit of time yet before we have to teach her about being safe in that way. I’ll be doing some research as to the best way to approach it. If anyone has any resources, please share!

On Spring…

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Excuse last years foliage and the garbage (how does that amass in our garden??)…the snow JUST melted over the past week and I haven’t had a chance to get out to the gardens yet!

Happy Friday all! I’ll leave you with this adorable video of Molly laughing at her daddy ๐Ÿ™‚

To Vaccinate or Not Vaccinate: That Is the Question.

Discussions on vaccinations inevitably become heated. It’s one of those topics that people are usually either for or against, with very few on the fence.

Well here sits someone on the fence.

For years I believed that to vaccinate was the only choice. Before I met A, I would never have questioned that. But my husband has the most amazing way of challenging me to think outside the box. Confession: It pisses me off sometimes! There I was in my own little world and bam! Bubble burst! Hello real world.

Now that we have Molly though, I’m happy for his influence. I don’t ever want to take anything for granted when it comes to making the right decisions for our children. His thoughts on vaccinations made me question everything I had ever believed about them and so when the time came to make that decision (and yes, it is a choice as far as I’m concerned), I was torn.

I believe in vaccinations, I really do. They have and continue to save countless lives by reducing the incidence of infectious disease. But I began to feel a little unsure whether it was the right decision for us when reading about what exactly is in vaccines and the possible side effects from those ingredients.

I know, I know. Health officials and organizations assure us vaccines are safe, even for babies. But how can they know for sure? What if it’s one of those things they thought was beneficial but thirty years later it turns out it’s not? Like, say, smoking?? And babies bodies are so little! How can they handle what’s injected without consequence?

It’s my job as a parent to protect my child. I’m not going to let someone make decisions for me. I wasn’t raised that way. I’m going to research, ask questions and form my own opinion. The most important question to me, when making any decision for Molly, is: what impact will this decision have on my child? Or could possibly have on my child?

Such questions need answers and so I did some research. Both sides make valid points but I found it difficult to weed through the rather extreme and negative comments each side had for the other. I looked at studies, but with a careful eye. I took statistics. Data can be manipulated. I looked up data as opposed to studies of data, such as the incidence of certain diseases in our area, the number of people vaccinated vs. the number of people not and how effective are vaccines (they don’t work in 10-15% of those immunized. That’s a statistic from Health Canada). I read documents on government sites, on non-government sites. I read the Vaccine Book by Robert Sears, which was by far the most neutral explanation of vaccines I found. I talked to my doctor and found out which vaccines she uses so that I could read the ingredients (it’s one Dr. Sears recommends as having the lowest amount of Aluminum uses as an adjuvant).

A and I had numerous discussions. We talked about not vaccinating and the impact that could have (contrary to popular opinion, in Ontario, the public education system cannot deny your child entry if they’re not vaccinated as long as you have a signed letter from your doctor stating that it’s for religious or philosophical reasons). We talked about delaying her vaccinations until six months, so that we could give her body a chance to build it’s immune system (there’s research that vaccinations interfere with this). We talked about which vaccines we want her to have and which we’d like to opt out of. We talked and talked and talked.

And after all of this, even after Molly was born, we still hadn’t decided. What to do? Either choice t could potentially expose our child to harm.

In the end, for me in particular, the decision came down to one thing. I know the possible risks of vaccinations. But the risk of Molly catching a disease that could cause her to die far outweighs those risks. We live in a highly multicultural neighbourhood and soon enough Molly will be interacting with other children and families that travel all over the world, to areas where the diseases Canada vaccinates against are prevalent. We just can’t take that chance with her.

We chose to vaccinate, following the recommended schedule but opting out of the Rotavirus vaccine and the chicken pox vaccine.

I still feel iffy about it. Whenever I take her in for her shots I feel apprehensive. The What Ifs start to take over.

Such is the way of parenting I guess. You make a decision and hope for the best! But I’m happy that I asked the questions I asked. I’m glad that I maintain that skepticism. I feel confident that it’ll help us make better choices for our daughter.

Just a quick side note, I don’t intend for this post to incite a debate. It’s more of an accounting of our decision concerning vaccinations. But I want to say for the record that I don’t think it’s right for people to criticize others for their decision not to vaccinate. They haven’t done so lightly, having done, I’m sure, extensive research on the matter. To accuse them of the hateful things I’ve read here and there is uncalled for. They are not bad parents. We’re all doing what we think is best for our children.

 

Friday Ramblings

On I Had a Boob Job…

Haha, just kidding! I did have a mole removed on my left breast though, so I like to joke that I had work done ๐Ÿ™‚ During my physical last fall, I pointed out a funny looking mole to my doctor. She referred me to a plastic surgeon, who suggested that even though there’s a small chance it’s up to no good, we remove it. Agreed! So on Wednesday I found myself at our local hospital. It was an easy, outpatient procedure. My doctor is extremely easy going and put me at ease by pumping Pearl Jam into the room. I find Eddie Vedder’s voice calming ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m feeling no pain at all and though I have stitches, there’s nothing holding me back from showering or even breastfeeding! I just have to be careful with Molly because sometimes she grabs at my breast when she’s particularly hungry and it does pinch a bit now and then. I go back in two weeks to have the stitches removed.

On The Baby…

My darling little girl threw me for a loop on Tuesday night! Around midnight she started moaning/crying in her sleep every 10 minutes or so until finally around 12:30am she woke up seriously crying. We dosed her with some Advil and I nursed her until she calmed down and went back to sleep. She then proceeded to sleep off and on for the next three hours, not giving me a chance to fall back asleep before she was up again. Finally, at 4:30 I gave up and woke up A, who managed to get her back to sleep for good. Neither of us were happy campers the next day, especially since I had both a dentist appointment and my mole removal to deal with. Sigh. Such is the way with babies, though never with us. In the seven months since she was born, we have NEVER had a night like that, where I was awake for such a long time. It’s hard to keep your cool, even when you now they’re not feeling well.

On Operation Organization….

It’s been on hold this week. I’ve done nothing in the way of organizing around here. It’s funny how some weeks I feel like I have tons of time, and some weeks I feel like I have none. I’m hoping to get the pantry in the kitchen cleaned out this weekend. It’s to the point where when I open the cupboards, I expect something to fall out.

On An Expensive Nursing Session…

Our wireless internet does not reach Molly’s room, which is where I spend the most time nursing her. While I nurse, I use all manner of apps on my iphone, particularly Pinterest and Safari. I’ve been pinning and browsing to my hearts content, expecting to receive a message if we’re close to going over our data limit. So it came as a surprise to me when I received a phone call asking if I’d like to change our plan since we’ve been going over our data limit for the past few months. What?? I checked our bill (which I confess I don’t review…stupid online billing…I prefer paper but they charge you for that now! Stupid ROGERS) and sure enough, we’ve been going over. Well apparently our wireless provider (ROGERS) does not do that anymore, a significant detail we weren’t told when we changed our plan last year. For February we owe an extra $120 in data overage!! We complained and the customer service people were surprised they don’t notify you anymore. Their own employees didn’t know!! The guy I talked to was kind enough to give us an extra 4 GB in data for this month while we figure out how to get the wireless into Molly’s room (which A has since done…I’m lucky to have a tech savvy husband), but I’m extremely shocked and disappointed in our provider (have I mentioned it’s ROGERS?). It’s wrong for them to take advantage in that way. We should have been told when we switched our plan. And yes, it’s partly our responsibility to check our usage, but when you’re used to things working in a certain way, you’re not quick to change. Something, I suspect, considering how much money our provider (ROGERS) is leeching off of us, they want to happen.

And that’s it for this Friday! I hear my little one stirring on the monitor. She’s sitting up in the crib now when she wakes up. Lowering her mattress is on our to do list for this weekend.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Raising a Daughter

A and I were chatting the other day. About what exactly I can’t remember (shocker!) but he did utter one thing that stayed with me, mostly because the force with which he said it made me laugh:

I don’t want my daughter to dress like a woman

A father’s love for his daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

And to be honest, a mothers love as well. If I had my way, she’d live at home forever, safe and protected in our arms tucked away from the many ills of society. My greatest hope is that she’s a nerd when she’s older, and doesn’t get caught up in drugs, drinking and sex as a teen.

But it got me thinking. Right now, Molly’s needs are few. Eat, sleep, poop and love. Those are her basic requirements. As she grows though, it’s going to be our responsibility to help her become the woman we’d like her to be. We’ll need to introduce the morals and values that will help her make the right choices when faced with life’s challenges, and to help her face the consequences when mistakes are inevitably made.

It’s overwhelming at times, to think of our influence on how she develops.

Christmas is a Bad Word?

One of my favourite things about living in Canada, especially in Toronto, is how multicultural we are. On any given day I can walk down the street and walk by dozens of people who come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. I am pro-immigration; why not give people a chance to live in this great country of ours? After all, Canada as a nation wouldn’t exist (and neither would the US for that matter) if it wasn’t for immigrants.

But I have a problem and I apologize if it comes across as racist or prejudiced. That’s not me at all; I abhor all forms of racism. I believe that everyone should be free to hold onto their beliefs and culture and practice them openly without judgment or persecution, as long as said beliefs are not harmful or violate the rights of others.

Here’s my problem: Christmas seems to be disappearing and by that I mean that all ofย  sudden it’s become a four-letter word and I don’t like it. This has been happening for years now but the final straw for me was over the weekend when I saw Loblaw’s, one of the country’s biggest grocery store chains (run by the ever so cute Galen Weston Jr.), selling “Holiday Trees”.

Really? Holiday trees?? Is calling them Holiday trees supposed to entice non-Christian’s to buy them? People aren’t stupid! A Christmas tree by any other name is still a Christmas tree.

Why are we taking the ‘Christmas’ out of everything? I don’t understand how it can be deemed as too religious when it’s supposed to be a religious holiday! I don’t see us asking Muslims to change the name of Eid to something less religious, orย  asking those of the Jewish faith to come up with a new term for Hanukkah.

Should I change my name because it refers to ‘Christ’?

It’s become a very important practice in this country not to suppress other peoples faiths and I believe in this wholeheartedly…so why are Christians being asked to suppress theirs? I wish my friends a Happy Eid and a Happy Hanukkah. Why has it become so awful for me to wish others a Merry Christmas?

True, Christmas is clearly a dominant holiday in our intensely multicultrual society and sure, our customs and traditions have become somewhat exaggerated over the past century.ย  I also believe that there has been a somewhat unhealthy explosion in the retail side of Christmas. But I think the majority of people recognize that for what it is, and regardless of the trappings, celebrate the true meaning of the season: we celebrate the birth of Jesus, peace on earth and good will towards others. By removing ‘Christmas’ from the equation, they’re making it a generic holiday and not the special, and yes, religious, time it’s supposed to be.

Maybe I have no right to complain. I’m a WASP through and through. I’m white, I’m English and I’m Protestant. Culturally and historically speaking, my ‘people’ have not met with half the persecution that other cultures and religions have been subjected to (though my Quaker ancestors weren’t exactly welcome in Europe. And Newfoundlanders have been the brunt of jokes for years! Kidding. Remind me to tell you my favourite sometime).

But part of me is afraid that being so careful not to offend others, we’re going to lose our own cultural identity. And who has the right to say that my culture is any less important than my neighbours?

Sigh.

Sorry if anyone is offended by this. I just had to get it off my chest!

 

Friday Ramblings

On Dressing the Same…

A and I reached a new level in our relationship this morning, one completely unintended and one we’ll try not to repeat in the future, I’m sure, because we don’t want to be ‘THAT” couple: we’re both wearing purple tops and jeans (different shades of purple, his deeper, mine brighter, but purple all the same).

Though in a sense it’s kind of fitting, since today is our 10 month luniversary ๐Ÿ™‚

On Black or White Situations…

I was thinking this morning about things that are black and white; either you like them or you don’t, no inbetween. Some things that fall into this category for me are:

  • Crocs (don’t like ’em)
  • The Duggar Family (like ’em)
  • The Tragically Hip (like ’em as a good Canadian should)
  • Brussel sprouts (don’t like ’em)

On Not Eating Sugar…

I did so well this week! I resisted a home made apple cake for a co-workers birthday and a pumpkin nut cake made by my mom. My only slip up was having an itty bitty lolly pop the other day. Go me!

On My Kitty…

It was her 10th birthday this week! I had fully intended on putting together a photo montage, and I most likely still will, but couldn’t let the week go without mentioning it. She had a great day, with extra snuggles and to her delight, a little bit extra food with her dinner.

On Snow…

According to my BFF who lives just north of the city, there was snow falling this morning! I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet! Yikes!

On Remembering Today, 11-11-11…

Today North America remembers those who have served and those who continue to serve our countries in the name of peace and preserving human rights (Remembrance Day in Canada, Veterans Day in the US). We will never forget your contribution and sacrifice.

Friday Ramblings

On My Personality…

A totally nailed me last night! And I don’t mean in the way that your dirty minds are thinking. I mean, that he came up with a very apt analogy for how I think sometimes:

“You’re like a magnet when it comes to ideas. Either you snap to it right away or your repel against it”

I laughed because it’s so true! I do have definite ideas about how things should be and am resistant against new ideas initially, but if you give me a bit of time, I’ll come around.

Most of the time ๐Ÿ™‚

On Women’s Fashion…

Grown women should not wear bows in their hair. End of story, that’s a wrap.

On Rude People…

I don’t know if he was in a rush or genuinely didn’t see what was in front of him, but a man pushed through a turn-stall at the subway this morning, just as a visually impaired man with a seeing-eye-dog was trying to go through. Obviously the blind man couldn’t see that the guy was coming, so he kept going but so did the other man! Shoved right into him.

On How Cute My Niece Is…

One of her favourite games is Hide and Seek, where her idea of hiding is to pull a blanket over her head and have you guess where she is…

Aunt C: Where’s CJ??? I can’t find her anywhere! Is she……in the kitchen?

CJ: (in a quiet, muffled voice)…nooooo

Aunt C: Hmm, I wonder where she could be!? Is she….in the living room?

CJ: ….noooooo

Aunt C: I know, I bet she’s….IN THE BEDROOM!!! (pull away blanket/pillow/whatever she’s covered herself with)

CJ: Giggle, giggle….Mo’!! Mo’!!! Hide!

 

 

Remembrance

It’s Remembrance Day in Canada. It’s a time for us to remember and honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve our Country.ย 

I had a discussion with my sister’s father-in-law (who served in the Greek army) over Thanksgiving. He was adamant that like other provinces in Canada, Ontario should give people the day off. I agreed, to an extent, because this morning at 11am I was at my desk participating in a webinar and didn’t have a chance to observe a moment of silence. If I wasn’t at work, I could have watched the ceremonies on TV or even attended one locally.

However, and I told him this, I think it’s beneficial to the youth of our nation to actually be at school, where they actively participate in and discuss Remembrance Day. At least we know they’re being educated about it. If they were at home, how much would they absorb?

As it is, 11am came and went and I was absorbed with work. So tonight I’m putting aside all my personal life woes and I’m going to be thankful that all I have to worry about is when N will be in touch. It could be much, much worse. I live in a free, safe and democratic country and it’s all because of those people we remember today.

 

Ten

When I was 10, the year was 1988. I was in Grade 4. I was a gypsy for Halloween and I remember clearly doing a project on figure skating during the Calgary Winter Olympics. I got in trouble for the first (and only) time in school forging my mom’s signature in my daily journal (funny how when you’re a kid you think you can get away with such things).

Growing Pains was my favourite show.

The summer I was 10 we rented a motor home and drove to BC and back. I listened to Tiffany and Belinda Carlisle the entire trip. We were home for a week or so when my parents shipped my sister and I off to Newfoundland to stay with my grandparents while they moved us into a new house. I remember coming home to that new house in a brand new station wagon (the kind with the seat in the back facing the wrong way) and that Fall I started Grade 5 at a new school.

Playing was the ultimate, and at the top of my list of favourite pastimes when I was 10 were Barbies, Lego and riding my bike (but not past the green electrical box).

The thing that wasn’t on my mind was sex and babies, unless you counted the one second ‘touching’ Ken had with Barbie (poor Barbie, Ken was selfish) to make their baby (which Ken looked after while Barbie was off being a lawyer).

You’ve probably all heard in the news by now about the 10 year old in Spain (she’s of Romanian descent) who gave birth this week. If you haven’t, Google it. It’s quite the disturbing story. I try very, very hard to respect other peoples cultures and traditions, but this is ridiculous.

Never mind the fact that physically she was a woman because she hit puberty (which is also sad at the age of 10, but that’s another issue altogether). Puberty doesn’t make you ready to be a mom, and physically having a baby that young is dangerous. Emotionally and mentally this is a 10 year old child and there’s a level of selflessness that comes with being a mom that a 10 year old just doesn’t have. How can she take care of a baby when she’s a baby herself?

And don’t even get me started on the idea ofย  how a 10 year old is having sex! I knew about where babies came from, but there is no way that I understood exactly what that meant at that age. Why wasn’t she playing?ย  What happened to her childhood? How did she get to that point? It makes me sad. Very, very sad.

I held onto my childhood for as long as I could, because as the saying goes, “Innocence is bliss”. No one should have to grow up that quickly and regardless of your culture, children are universal. They should all be protected. I hope people take this as an opportunity to tune into what their own kids are doing and the kinds of activities they’re into.

I might go home tonight, pull out my barbies and play a little. Just like I was 10 again.

Down with hormones

I feel SO much better today! It’s absolutely incredible the nastiness hormones can do to me. And apparently as I get older, it will get worse. Super.

Maybe early cultures had it right when they sent their women off into isolation when ‘Aunt Flo’ visited. Probably saved everyone a whole lot of aggravation.

Now that you’re all aware of my cycle, and now that my mood has considerably improved, I’m going to share my love list for today.

Today’s theme: Things I’m thankful for, which are always on my mind but hard to remember sometimes, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

  1. My sister. What I would do without her, I have no clue. The idea of her not being in my life is inconceivable.
  2. Having my parents live so close. For 7 years they lived on the East Coast and though it was an amazing opportunity for my sister and I to gain our independence, we missed them dreadfully. It’s still novel to me that they’re only 10 minutes away!
  3. I have a small, but awesome group of friends who love me for me. Thanks guys!
  4. Other than migraines and sinus issues, which I seem to be managing better, I have good health.
  5. I have access to nutritious, healthy food that I love to eat!
  6. I have a job I love, and though I wish I made more money, I have enough to keep me afloat and still go on nice vacations and buy clothes
  7. I have the sweetest kitty in the world. She might hog the bed, but she loves me unconditionally (as long as I keep her fed)
  8. I live in Canada, whereย  peace is paramount and natural disasters are few and far between
  9. I live in the 21st century, where medical advances are advancing, technological leaps are leaping and the quest for equality is equalizing.
  10. I have never, ever questioned that I’m loved and supported. That’s been there my entire life and isn’t going away any time soon.