Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Past

We've had two christmases this year, and both were wonderful fun. Now it's over and I'm sleepy.

Things with the pregnancy are going well. At least I'm assuming they are. I'm 11 weeks now. At 6 weeks I saw my Dr. He said "Oh No!" and sent me for bloodwork. I firgured instead of paying out of pocket it would be best to wait for my medicare card (which I had applied for in October). Unfortunately it took until Dec. 15 for it to arrive. I tried twice to get the blood drawn (I was told to come back a week after I had the test done), and had even booked the appointment, but sadly things just didn't work out. In all that time I was calling my Dr office about once a week to find out if I could just get a referral to an OB (since my Dr wouln't be delivering the baby anyway) and talked with a midwife about my options. Still, nothing happened.

Then when I called to cancel the (useless) follow up appointment, the receptionist informed me there was a clinic I could go to that didn't require a refferal! YAY!

Only problem - no open appointments for the next month. Grr.

So we're praying for a cancelation and really getting anxious to get everything in motion. Not showing yet, still feeling a bit sick and exhausted, and having a slight feeling it's a boy.

I had bloodwork done about a month and a half before getting pregnant and was given a perfect bill of health, haven't had any odd pains of bleeding, so I'm assuming all is going as it should be. Be praying that is true and we get confirmation of it soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tis the Season

I love Christmas time.

I love the snow. I love the lights and decorations. I love visiting with family. I love Christmas music. I even love the malls being full.

This has always been my favorite holiday. I have only good memories of Christmas (even the year my Dad was bit by a dog and was almost in the hospital for Christmas). I can't wait for the weekend - Liz is visiting, then we're heading to Woodstock and then next week going to my parents.

We don't have a tree or many decorations this year. We did have some lights up, but between the baby and the cat they didn't stay up very long. Since we're going to be away for a couple weeks, a tree didn't really make much sense for us either.

But even without all the decorations, it still feels like Christmas. THe joy, the excitement. I can't wait to see Hana with all the lights and everything, and on Christmas morning. It's so wonderful to be able to make new wonderful memories for her.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

fun

The Golden Compass

Is getting a lot of hype. It reminds me of the Harry Potter and DaVinci Code hysteria. I've heard people say that movies like this (promoting atheistic ideas) should not be made.

I think it's a bunch of crap. The story is fantasy. Yes, there are ideas that are presented that go against Christian teachings, but how is that any different from most other movies that are made, especially in this genre?

It frustrates me when I see Christians so afraid of ideas. Ideas are powerful things, yes, but they only have the power that we give them. I think it's important to know and understand what others believe. How else can we expose the Truth if we aren't aware of what lies they believe? How can we be like Paul in Acts 17, using the culture, the beliefs, the Truth around us to bring people to God if we ignore all of those things and just pretend they don't exist?

I plan on seeing the movie. It looks interesting. I've heard it's a bit violent for young kids, but that doesn't really apply to me. I might read the books too (if the movie interests me enough in the story). I am not threatened by ideas that I know are wrong.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday Hana and I went for a walk. We had been in the house for two days straight because of the snow, and we needed some fresh air. I figured I could put her in her new snowsuit and walk down to the store with her in the stroller.

Have you ever tried to take a toddler for a walk after a snowstorm?

First, you get the child dressed and put them in the snowsuit. I got Hana in the pants and had her boots on, then put her int he stroller before I put on her mitts (er...a pair of my thick socks....but it worked...) and coat on. I don't know how I came up with this idea, but I'm so glad I did.

Apparently putting mitts and a coat on a toddler is the equivalent of the marshmellow man on steroids - fluffy, strong and angry. Hana tried as hard as she could to kick and arch out of her stroller. It was awful. I almost took a picture, but figured the neighbours might be wondering what all the noise was, so instead we headed out.

(one plus of the mitts, she wasn't able to take her hat off for once!!)

So we head out and once we're moving Hana settles down and even seems to be enjoying herself. We get to the main road and I'm so excited to see the sidewalk is plowed. Er, sorta. Apparently they plowed the sidewalk before some of the streets for some reason, so at the beginning of every block there's this huge pile of snow. Have you ever tried to push a stroller through a huge pile of snow? It doesn't work so well. So I would pick her up and carry the stroller a few feet. Then we turn the corner and half of the snowbank caused by plowing the sidewalk has fallen in. There was a lot of stroller carrying to be done.

We came home by the side roads and just walked on the street.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

13 Months

Hana is 13 months old.

She is pulling up on any stable surface and cruising around on the furniture. She gets stuck because she doesn't know how to sit back down, but for the most part standing is what makes her happy. Unless it's beside her walker. She won't stand up within a foot of her walker. We try to walk her over to her walker and on the way she sits down.

She's weaned from the bottle. She gets her milk in a rubbermade straw cup - sippy cups didn't work for her, this is perfect and will last for years. She's also eating a lot better now, altho she doesn't like leftovers. If she's had the same thing within the last 24 hours and I haven't just made it fresh, she wants nothing to do with it. Anything she doesn't want gets picked up, piece by piece, and removed from her sight. If I'm not sitting beside her with a plate or my hand out, it ends up on the floor. Frustrating, but better than just randomly throwing food.

She has 5 teeth now and 3 more on their way. It's made sleeping interesting, but for the past week she's spent most or all of the night in her crib. Makes mama happy.

She is so curious, so interesting in how everything works. She loves books, and laughing, and goldfish crackers and the cat. If she's having a meltdown because the world just isn't fair I know one of the above will calm her.

She's getting so big, so un-baby like, but at the same time she still enjoys cuddling in my arms when she first wakes up or if she's having a rough day.

Snowed In



That's the view from our patio door. That's a snowbank. We're staying in today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Baby

It's so good to finally be able to tell everyone!

Not that I couldn't have (or didn't....) sooner, I was just waiting FOREVER for that shirt to arrive!

I'm almost 7 weeks, I think. We're not to sure. Basically we got the house and decided we could start trying again and two weeks later I got a positive test.

I'm due around July 20th. Again, date isn't all that accurate because I can't remember the proper date to start from. But I figure most babies aren't born on their due dates anyway. That will make Hana almost 21 months old. Close, but not too close. I will be in the "two under two" club for a while tho.

We're so excited, and so blessed. It was quicker than we anticipated, and there's been so much going on lately it seems a little crazy, but I'm so much looking forward to the next nine months and what God is going to do for my family.

Picture

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, November 23, 2007

Help out a friend?

Can everyone do me a favor?

go to vibe985.com and vote for my friend Gemma in the 50 000$ baby shower contest?

She's a friend of mine from Calgary and could really use the help with this. The winner will be announced on Monday, so vote as often as you want between now and then. She's contestant #7 and you can read her story on the site.

Thanks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

News

So much has been going on lately.

Hana is 1. We're all moved in to our new house. Just got phone and internet yesterday, and it's so nice to be able to connect with the outside world again.

With all that, I've become a NaNoWriMo dropout. Ah well, there's always next year.

There's other stuff too, but it will have to wait.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

One

I can't believe she's been outside of me for a year.
She's beautiful, cuddly, intelligent, creative, funny, adorable, active, curious, determined, emotional, social and every other thing I could ever have hoped she would be.

This past year has had it's rough points, but through it all she's the highlight. There have been times we've both broken down into tears, but it's never been anything a night sleeping side by side couldn't fix. She fills my heart with laughter and my eyes with tears of joy. She's made me the mother I am, and a better wife, better friend, better woman than I ever was before. She's made Ben a wonderful father, wonderful husband and the best man I have ever known.

I do have pictures, but can't find the cable for the camera, so you'll have to wait.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaNoWriMo

Not only am I moving and celebrating my daughter's first birhtday this month, I'm also writing a novel.

1050 words done, 48950 to go.

See you in December

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Checklist

64000$ mortgage : check
14000$ down payment : check (thanks to wonderful people who love us!!!!)
Insurance : working on it
Carpet Cleaners : need to make a call
Turning on power : check
Calling a Lawyer : currently on hold
Rejoicing in all that God has made possible this week: will never end.

Seriously, this has been a roller coaster! So many phone calls, prayers and words of thanks as things have all fallen into place since the first time I saw the house last Friday.

If you're curious, go to http://www.westwoodgardens.info/
We've bought unit 7 and are now only needing to sign the mortgage! We'll get the keys on Saturday and the official closing date is November 9th. If anyone feels like helping us move on the 10th let me know!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Almost a homeowner

We're just waiting for paperwork. The closing date is the 9th. It's a 3 bedroom, 1200 sqft townhouse condo. Needs a few updates here and there, but is essentially move-in ready. Once the mortgage goes through we'll have the keys and I can start cleaning.

This is a wonderful thing, and something that wouldn't have been possible without God, and so we praise Him for all His blessings.

Now, anyone want to suggest paint colours?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No House

Well, the bank came back with a really high counter offer, and there's a lot more than would need to be done to the house right away than we had realized, so we're looking for other options. Hopefully we'll find something else quickly.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

House

No, not the tv show...

Ben and I are looking at getting a house, but there's a lot of steps involved. We found a place we like that is reasonably close to Ben's new job, and we have a meeting with a mortgage specialist on Tuesday.

Please pray that things go smoothly in whatever direction is best for them to go.

Thanks!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Which Way?

Click on this

Which way is the girl spinning? Clockwise or counter clockwise?

(Don't worry, it's not one of those things where you look at a picture and something freaky happens, I promise!)

Now, the real question: Can you get her to spin the other way?

I can!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Give

I've decided to make this my browser's homepage.

That way every time I go online I'll be reminded to click and help fund mammograms for women - helping them fight against breast cancer.

I challenge you to do the same. It doesn't even take a minute and it's completely free. No strings attached, just open your browser, click the pink button and then continue on with whatever you were doing. If you're not willing to do it daily, at least do it today. Every click counts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hair Days

So I'm trying to grow my hair out long. Like, sit on it long. For fun (because growing your hair is so much fun...that whole half inch a month, good times).

So I joined the Long Hair Community. It's great, lots of good advice, beautiful inspiration, all round good web community.

Someone decided to post a 30 day challenge, to wear your hair up for 30 days. In a row. I rarely wear my hair up 30 minutes in a row, so this should be interesting. I'm trying to learn new ways to put it up, so if I come up with anything interesting I'll let you know. So far I've managed a french braid. Exciting huh?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Socks!

New socks might not be that exciting for a lot of you, but I learned a new way to make socks and I'm pretty thrilled with it.

I was browsing knitting blogs yesterday (because they're oh so much fun!) and read about the "magic loop method" and so just had to go out and get a long pair of circulars. I had already learned how to do toe-up socks with a short row heel. I love this method because you can really see the size of the sock as you go and make it a perfect fit. Plus the short row heel is so much less complicated than doing a heel flap and picking up stitches and all that headache. Also the figure 8 cast on makes a seamless toe, which is great for people who hate seams at the toe.

So here's a run down of how to make THE BEST socks
I use Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (the little 2$ skins) and size 7 circular needles (29")

Hold the two needles parallel with the points facing the same direction and wind the yar between them making figure eights until you have 10 stitches on each needle (you only need 8, but I always do extra in case I screw up!) The needle with the end of the yarn hanging off it gets slipped out so that those stitches stay on the wire of the circular, but don't pull it all the way through, leave a loop between the two sets of stitches. Knit 8 stitches off the other needle. Adjust so that both sides are on needles again and this time slide the side you just worked off so the other side can be knit (sounds much more complicated than it is!). Again, remember to keep a loop of wire between the two sections of stitches.

That is basically the magic loop method (but check the first few pages in the search linked above for a better explanation and pictures). You'll do that for the whole sock except for the heel. To shape the toe, on the second and second to last stitch every row (for each needle, so increasing on 4 stitches total) knit front and back to increase. I start with 8 stitches and increase until I have 22 on each needle (but I have little feet). If you figure out your gage (eg. 8 sts per inch) and the size of your foot (5 inches) and round up to make it even you can easily figure out how many stitches you need (40). Then you just knit. Knit until you get it long enough it goes to the front of your ankle. For the heel you just work one half of the stitches, leaving one stitch on the needle and turning the work as you do each row (read the short-row links above), then when you get about 6 working stitches you start to increase again, and voila! a heel! A few more rounds (ok, a lot more rounds) with ribbing for the cuff, and you're done!

Mine aren't done yet, still working the foot of my first one, but I just started yesterday. I'll get pics when I'm done!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

11 months old

Wow time flies. My baby girl is 11 months old today.

This morning I woke up to her rolling around beside me. Once she realized I was awake she looked at me with a big smile and snuggled against my chest. Bliss.

She wants to walk all the time now, but she can't walk on her own yet. So daily Ben and I take her for walks around the house. Seeing the two of them walking and laughing makes my heart soar.

There's so much learning going on right now. Her newest game is putting and taking. She'll put a toy on the chair and then take it off. She'll put a block on top of another block, clap her ands, and then take it off. It makes me giggle.

She's persistent. When she wants to get somewhere interesting - like under a table or where a kitty is sleeping - she figures out a way to do it, then looks over her shoulder and smiles at me proudly.

Nothing could be better than this.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Life is Good

This has been a wonderful week:

- We found a WONDERFUL church

- Liz came to visit and trusted me to help her pick her hair cut, and she looks hot.

- Hana's x-rays were clear, there's no infection

- I spent all of yesterday with other mom-friends

- I got to talk to Jess Tot Weaver

- I went out last night with other moms and no babies (4th time going out without Hana for more than an hour)

- Hana has slept from 9ish to 6ish the last 3 nights!!!

Life is so good right now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My baby is sick

She's had a cough for well over a month. At first it was because she had a cold. Then she had a lingering runny nose. Then I couldn't figure out what it was and called the Dr.

I'm a severe asthmatic. I've been hospitalized a lot because of attacks and infections, especially when I was small. I was diagnosed when I was not much older than Hana, and at her age was in the hospital more than I was out of it. I know how serious just a cough can become.

The Dr. prescribed her an inhaler, got chest x-rays and asked if there was a family history of asthma. Be praying that she gets over this cough and that her lungs are whole and healthy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Idealism

I consider myself an enlightened idealist. There are certain things that I think/feel/believe and I know the world would be a better place if others agreed, but I also know that's not going to happen. I see the way things could (should) go, but know that they won't always go like that.

Life is hard for idealists. There's a lot of disappointment. There's a lot of frustration. There's a lot of pain. There's a temptation to turn cynical, jaded, to appear uncaring as your sense of justice is trampled on again and again. There's a lot of thought, a lot of passion, a lot of emotion.

It can make it hard to let things to, to not act, to be patient. It makes it easy to care, to move, to do something. Unfortunately there isn't always something to do, and sometimes one must resign to the fact that this is the way the world works.

I enjoy my idealism, my passion, my drive, my emotion. Yes, it leaves me wounded at times, but I'm also stubborn, so I get up and keep on moving. In my mind moving towards a small bit of change is better than not moving at all, so for now I take what I can get.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sleep

I never get enough sleep. In the past year I can only think of 4 times that I have gotten 6 or more hours of sleep in a row, and one of those I was medicated. This is nothing new though, I've had issues with insomnia since I was in high school. In college it was normal for me to only plan on about 6 hours of sleep a night. When I was pregnant I was getting up 3 or 4 times a night, and was awake about every hour. So having Hana get up two or three times a night really isn't such a big deal.

I know some of you will be shocked that my 10.5 month old still wakes up at night. She doesn't get up to eat, and usually doesn't need a diaper change, she just wakes. About half the time she puts herself back to sleep, sometimes she needs her soother, and sometimes she needs help getting back to sleep and comes into our bed, or I don't feel like getting up at 7 and bring her in bed with me with the hope that she'll go back to sleep until 9 - but those ones don't really count because it's technically morning when she wakes up.

I'm not bothered by Hana waking up at night, because I know I wake up at night, and Ben wakes up at night, and pretty much everyone I know wakes up at some point during the night and then falls back asleep. I don't even mind going in to help soothe her and help her get back to sleep - motherhood is a 24 hour job and I want Hana to know that I'm there for her no matter what time it is.

That's not to say that I don't get frustrated or even angry at times over the whole situation. There have been times when Hana has been in her crib crying with me sitting on the floor, also crying, and holding her hand. There have been times when I've had to wake Ben to help soothe her because I just couldn't take it anymore. There have been times when Hana and I have had to sleep on the couch to keep from waking the rest of the household. Frequently I nap during the day to catch up on sleep I miss at night (although usually missing sleep at night has nothing to do with Hana). It's rough, it's annoying, it stresses me out, and there are nights when all three of us have ended up crying. But Hana is never left to cry alone.

Not that I think crying will necessarily cause any permanent damage (altho if high levels of stress hormones are bad for adults I can't see how they couldn't be bad for babies...). I just know that if someone I love heard me crying and didn't offer comfort I'd feel alone and abandoned, and crying myself to sleep gives me horrible headaches and bad dreams, and I don't want to treat Hana in a way that I would not want to be treated. I know this is temporary. And I know getting her to sleep through the night is no guarantee that I'll get any more sleep than I usually do anyway.

(as a side note, STTN is usually defined as sleeping from midnight to 5 am without waking. I don't understand why people get in such a row over infants of x age needing to be able to STTN - at the age of 24 I still rarely fit that definition, and I was sleep trained...)

With moving and teething and transitioning to one nap things have been a little rougher than usual with sleep. She went from waking once a night (around 5) to waking twice a night, and then on bad teething nights sometimes 3 times (when the advil wears off). She's been doing well lately, going down MUCH easier since we dropped the morning nap and settling herself the first time she wakes at night.

Anyway. I was thinking early this morning (3:23 to be exact...) as I tried to comfort my crying daughter by leaning over her crib and rubbing her head - why is baby's sleep such a hot topic?

If you look at humanity though the eyes of anthropology, babies waking in the night and needing comfort is completely normal and to be expected. No matter how you believe humanity came into existence, you can't deny the fact that for a good chunk of our history we were tribal, nomadic, and lived communally - babies had to be kept close for their own safety - the threat of animals, cold, and other dangers was a real one. Globally most babies sleep with their mothers, not in a crib down the hall. Sharing sleep regulates temperature, digestion, and breathing. Sleep cycles become synchronized. Most of all, the baby knows they are safe and secure. A baby can not survive on their own, and they know that. I think waking at night for comfort is just their way of making sure we remember that they are completely dependent on us, no matter how independent and self sufficient we trick ourselves into believing they are.

(and as that thought was running through my mind I picked Hana up and brought her in bed with me, she settled and we got to stay in bed until 9, with one short waking around 5:30)

Not that I'm against cribs - Hana is peacefully sleeping in hers right now. But I can't deny that she (and possibly Ben and I) would probably get more sleep if she was in bed with us. Maybe all these "sleep issues" we think babies have are actually ones we bring on ourselves.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In other news...

My baby has a tooth. FINALLY!

Hana started teeething at 9 weeks. Yup. Chewing on hands, drooling, cranky, liked it when I rubbed her gums, swolen gums, everything. SHe would have at least a couple days every week where she was out of sorts and chewing on everything, but most days were ok. THe last month has been a little rough.

So she's pretty cranky, and another tooth is about ready to come through, and her top gums are swollen. It's going to be fun here for a while.

Media Awareness

Sometimes the propaganda floating around out there just makes me sick. This is just a friendly little reminder to take everything you see with a grain of salt - it seems no one is telling the full story

Friday, September 14, 2007

Guilty

I have issues.

Ok, so that much goes without saying. More specifically, I have guilt issues. THey come from a few different sources, here's some of the major ones:

- Close relationships with passive-agressive/manipulative people. THese people have the unique ability to bend reality to suit their needs, making others responsible for their feelings, actions, disappointments etc. It's hard enough bearing the weight of one's own live, let alone that of others.

- Work situations that caused me to bear the consequences of the decisions of others. This is why I'm always nice to people who work at call centers. It's not their fault; they're just doing their job.

- The inability to meet unspoken expectations. I will do all I can do to meet a reasonable expectation, but if all I feel is the negativity from not meeting some obscure hidden standard, I'm left feeling defeated.

So I have this issues, and I'm aware of it, but that doesn't make it go away. For example, a few weeks back I told Tyler and Denise I'd help chaperone a trip to the zoo for their summer program. THe day before the trip the breaks started acting up in the car and I didn't feel save having Hana in it (and Ben didn't like having me in it...). Unfortunately, because of circumstances beyond my control, me not going would me the trip couldn't happen. THankfully something worked out, but I still felt guilty all day for causing the complication.

I'm realizing my guilt issues affect my life. If Hana can't sleep I feel it's because I'm a bad mother. THe rational part of me knows it's because she's overtired/going through a pahse/whatever.

It doesn't matter, I still feel responsible, and I still feel guilty.

I have sleep issues. Sometimes they interrupt the daily flow of our family because I need to nap. Usually, instead of sleeping, I toss and turn because I feel guilty for needing the sleep.

I let myself get into situations that I know are unhealthy for me because protecting myself would put someone else out.

I'm pretty much always feeling guilty.

I really don't know what to do. I feel so responsible for the happiness/fulfillment/dreams/expectations of those around me that at times I just feel helpless. And then I feel like it's all my fault and feel guilty for having any frustration, let alone expressing it.

So here's my idea. I'm not trying to be selfish, I'm just setting some ground rules to try and make things a little easier.

- If lack of sleep is preventing me from being effective in what I am trying to do and the opportunity to sleep arises, I will take it.

- If my family does not regularly enjoy a specific food or drink it should not be expected that we regularly have it available, no matter how much our guests may enjoy it, so long as we have a suitable substitute.

- being a good wife and mother means regularly taking time for myself and my passions. I will fell free to do so as long as my immediate responsibilities to my husband and child are taken care of.

- I have a right to my opinions and am entitled to express them respectfully.

- I am not responsible for the happiness of others so long as I am treating them with dignity and respect.

- I can not be held accountable for the decisions, attitudes or actions of those around me.

- The house needs to be cleaned once a week; it doesn't even all have to be on the same day. When other things are more important, housework will wait.

Now maybe if I can remember those things I'll be able to ease up on myself a bit.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fun and Games

Hana and I have a new game.

I lay her down on the floor at one end of the room, then go to my computer at the other end and see how much I can get done before she rolls over and pulls on the coards.

It's fun, and she's getting quick!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Confessions of a reluctant co-sleeper

When I was pregnant with Hana I had so many ideas and thoughts about how I would parent. Within about a month they pretty much all went out the window.

The hardest one for me to get over was my disinterest in co-sleeping. Ok, disinterest is too mild of a word. I hated the idea. Ben and I had decided that Hana would be in our room for the first month or two in a pack-n-play bassinet, and then she would sleep in her own bed. That lasted about half a night.

When I was struggling with nursing, I would bring Hana in bed with me because side-lying was pretty much the only osition that worked for us. However the fear of rolling on her and the attitude that I would never be able to get her out of our bed made that short lived, and back to the pack-n-play she went once I stopped nursing.

That was when I realized she was a very noisy sleeper, and we all decided (as in I decided) that we'd sleep better if she was in her crib. I'd rock her and settle her and then I was free for the night.

Or at least free until the early morning hours when she thought it was morning and I still wanted more sleep.

And so the routine began. I lay down with Hana to help her go to sleep, then move her into her bed, and then sometime between midnight and 7 am she comes back in with us.

My reasons are selfish though. It's easier to pop her soother in her mouth when it's inches away from me instead of accross the hall. And she sleeps longer in our bed, which means I sleep longer, and that's always a good thing.

But we still don't co-sleep all the time. Not because of the insane idea she'll be sleeping with us until she's a teen. I mean come on people, if sleep associations from infancy were that far ingraned then most of us would still be in cribs wailing before we fell asleep. No, it's because I can't get over my need for my own space. I can't let go of the idea that it's my only baby free time (even if it does only come in two hour incriments).

 x  n n nm mn n n รง gb vbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb xc zx n hn xcv  ˜¨hjjx∆˙vz (Hana's contribution to the subject....).

So for now, Hana is welcome in our bed at any point in the night, so long as when I go to bed I can convince myself she's spending the night in her own room.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nimy

Is the name of my new kitten. Well, almost my new kitten. Officially I'm just fostering her, but it's only a matter of time.

She's about 6 weeks old and was abandoned by her owners at a bus stop. Thankfully one of the volunteers with Carma was there at the time. She came to the house two days ago and has already made herself at home. She' tiny, cute, persistant and full of energy (just like another little girl in my life....).

So why nimy? It's short for Nimrod...makes me giggle.

Pictures to come.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mobility

Hana is mobile.

She's still not crawling, but she can get anywhere she wants by rolling and wiggling. It's pretty entertaining to watch actually. She seems to be always moving now. ALWAYS. Last night at 5 (yay 5! So much better than 2 or 3!) I had to change her. She was on her belly. Have you ever tried to change a baby when they're on their belly? Here's step by step instructions:

1 - Turn baby on to back then reach to unfasten diaper.
2 - Turn baby back onto her back, hold her with one hand and unfasten the diaper.
3 - Get the new diaper.
4 - Turn naked baby back onto her back
5 - grab baby by ankles and remove wet diaper (note: hold ankles tightly as baby will try to twist around again)
6 - place new diaper under baby and ease her down onto it
7 - let go of ankles while holding baby's belly with other hand
8 - fasten one side of diaper (note: which ever side you try to fasten, baby will decide to roll to)
9 - turn baby back onto her back
10 - repeat
11 - fake fastening one side until baby turns, then quickly fasten the other
12 - repeat steps 9-11 as needed

It's fun having her able to roll around, and we think she'll be crawling/scooting soon, but we'll see. Right now she and Caylee are playing around on the floor watching kittens. I love being a mom!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mighty God

Have you ever sat and meditated on the might of God?

mighty (as defined by the dictonary widget) means "posessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size".

So an ant being able to lift 10x it's weight could be considered mighty. Or a small group of people taking on and winning against a huge corperation can be considered mighty. Such a small force achieving something so great is a display of might.

Now think of how huge God is. The God of all gods, creator of heaven and earth. Think of the force - the power or strength - that He exhibits in order to be called mighty.

I grew up near water, on the Saint John River minutes away from where it met with the Bay of Fundy. In my teens I used to spend a lot of time on the bay watching the waves, or out in the middl eof the night in a thunder storm. There was something so beautifully frightning about those times. The power of the water, the rumble of the thunder, the flash of the lightning. It made me feel small, and yet at the same time so very safe.

I serve the God who can still the waves, the One who created the thunder and the lightning.

TO be in the presence of God is to experience something beautifully frightning. I love the image from Isaiah 6. He describes the scene with such detail, he must have been struck by the beauty of it. Still, he is aware of himself, of his folly, his faults, his powerlesness in the face of the might of God. And God, in another display of His might, welcomes him, cleanses him, makes him worthy.

Why do I consider the forgiveness of God a display of might? None can be His equal. No one on earth could even come close to comparing, we're in a different class, a different creature all together. The Father created us and can so easily rule over us.

But He doesn't.

Instead He forgives, teaches, loves, accapts and welcomes us as His children. We are not a threat to Him, not in our disbelief, our good and bad intentions, in our ambitions or anything. God's might is so huge, so absolute, that He is able to lower Himself, to come as a servant, to die as an innocent in order to make us live, and still be God, no less powerful, no less holy, no less mighty.

Praise be to the mighty God

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Exodus part 3 - The Mountain

The mountain.
Part 2 is here, part 1 is here


The mountain was the destination, the purpose of the exodus. The people were called out of Egypt to go to the mountain to worship God.

Then something went bad. Very bad.

While at the foot of the mountain they heard God's voice, and it terrified them. It scared them so much that they decided they didn't want to hear from God anymore. That was Moses' job, not theirs. So they sent him up to talk to God while they waited.

You have to wonder how long that was. Apparently for some it was far too long, they got bored. They got so bored in fact that they had time to cast an idol out of gold. THink of how much time and effort that would have taken. Finding a craftsman, collecting the cold, melting it, molding it. THis was no spur of the moment decision.

They had encountered the real and livng God, but He was too much for them. THey wanted a tamer God. One they could see, one they could control. They made a calf.

How stupid that seems when we look at it. We with our vast knowledge and understanding of God. Yeah....right...

How many times have we been touched byt he breath of God and turned away? How many times have we felt real worship, have we joined with heaven itself in praise to the King, and then decided it was too uncomfortable. Too unpredictable. Too lavish. Too eccentric. Too whatever.

I'm not saying we should (or even can) continually live in that space, in that moment where there is God and nothing else. As wonderful as it would seem, we couldn't survive in that space, it's not where we're supposed to be, at least not yet. As important and wonderful as praise is, we should be more like Isaiah, crying "woe is me" as we experience the presence of God, offering to be sent out in His name so that we may be welcomed back to praise when our time has come.

Still, worship is neglected. Real, true authentic connections with God scare us. THey're unpredictable. THey're not "seeker friendly", they don't fit the time frame. Heck, sometimes connecting with God doesn't even fit in the church building.

There is a deep need for God and at the same time a deep fear of Him. Perhaps is the residue of our sin nature, perhaps it's just the result of our humanity, I don't know. I do know, however, that there is a tendancy to try and create worship instead of experiencing worship. THe Israelites did do what they were supposed to - they worshiped. It was the object, the method, the content of that worship that needed to change. Perhaps the same is true in our lives.

Monday, September 03, 2007

10 months

My baby is 10 months old. I now have a baby who can figure out a way to get almost anywhere she needs to go, even if she's not quite crawling. She can also stand while holding on to things, and pull up to her feet when holding our hands. Her first word is kitty (well, acutally it's more kihteee, but we get the point). She's also started eating well, almost two jars of baby food a day plus whatever I can give her from supper. She's learned the art of making faces for laughs and is a great source of joy and laughter for anyone around her.

As Hana grows I become more aware and in awe of the love of God. I am forming dreams for her, but I know that my desires will only play a small part in the person she becomes. I know I am her caretaker, and that at some point I will have to let her find her own path, and now that she's moving around that thought is at times frightening. I'm amazed that God would trust me to such a task, it is my highest priority.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Carma

Have you ever heard of Ca-r-ma?

It's a group that will trap, fix and release stray cats and release them again. This keeps the cats from breeding in the wild, but also respects that they become wild animals and doesn't force them to be re-domesticated. At the same time, when they get kittens, they fix them and adopt them out once they've been socialized. To socialize the kittens they give them to foster families. It's a pretty good system.

So, right now, we've got 4 kittens. Two arrived a week ago yesterday, two more a week ago today, one two days ago, and one was adopted yesterday. It's been wonderful. They're very scared for the first few days, and a couple of them still hide when we try to play with them, but they've come a long way. It's a wonderful thing to do, plus we get to cuddle kittens, what could be better than that?

Here's our kitties:






sigh.

I'm going to miss them when they're gone


And here's a picture of my punk baby, just because she's so cute
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Update

- We're online again!
- My laptop died about two months ago
- Last week I replaced it with a 1.83 ghz mac mini
- I'm very happy with the mini

There were a few adjustment issues at first for Hana, but that was to be expected. She spent a few nights screaming for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. It was hard on us, but we all made it through it. She's rolling all over the place now, waking once a night again, but it's better than 2-3 times a night.

Ben starts his job on Tuesday, but it has no benefits, so he's still looking for something else. Be praying that something comes along.

I'm going to see Cirque de Soleil on Saturday with family and am super excited.

Pictures will be updated within the next 24 hours.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Soon

We're getting high speed on Wednesday. That means posts, pictures and updates are all coming soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Still here

Not online (nearly) as much, but still around. We're very happy to be settled and Ben started his job today. It's more travel than we'd like though. Our options are to find a different place to live (closer to the Sussex area) or to find a job closer to the moncton area. I'd personally prefer the latter, but we'll see. Pray for us. The sooner we get that figured out, the sooner we can look at getting our own place, which is the main goal right now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

circumstance

As I was about to go to sleep an idea was going through my head, so instead of sleeping here I sit typing.

I was thinking about the unchanging God - how Christianity boldy declairs God to be the same yesterday, today and forever. This has proven to be difficult for some people because of the differences between the Old and New testaments. It's almost as if the God of the old testament is one of wrath and the God of the new testament is one of love.

How do we reconcile this, how do we make it fit?

In the Old Testament the "holy life" was governed by law. There were the laws written in the Torah (the Jewish holy book) and then there were the teachings of those who studied and interpreted the law. For example, the Torah would say not to work on the Sabbath. The teachings would define what work was (no more than x number of steps away from home for example), and when the Sabbath began and ended. So these two forms of "law" and a whole lot of time meant for a whole lot of rules. These rules were impolssible to follow all the time, and so sacrifices were set up to sort of "fill the gap". Depending on what law was broken a different offering or form of repentance was laid out to cover that.

Then there's the new testament where the sacrifices and the laws seem to go out the window. What happened? Did God change His mind? Did He give up on us and lower the standards?

No. We changed. Or rather, our circumstances changed.

Think of it this way - in the Old Testament there were different rules for those who were "clean" than for those who were "unclean". There was a general understanding that "unclean" was a temporary state and so none of those laws were lifelong.

Humanity was in a state of "unclean" without method of changing that state. The Laws given in the OT were laws given with the understanding that they would be temporary. There was a better way coming, they just had to wait.

That's why things like not wearing blended fabrics, or not eating certain foods, or staying outside of town for certain things aren't important anymore - they only applied temporarily, only until the final sacrifice of Christ.

So does that mean none of the laws apply?

Hebrews 10 is a wonderful chapter. Starting at verse 8
8First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). 9Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


The intent of the sacrifices (the requirements of the law) was to set our hearts on the will of God, not the will of man. It is God's will to save us, to woo us, to love us and for us to grow in that love and show it to all we know. When our will is focussed on God then none of the law is needed - it's purpose is already being fulfilled.

When one is fully focussed on God, on living a holy life (which first requires the belief that it is possible to live such a life) then the law becomes obsolete. It only exists because of the circumstance we find ourselves in.

So God never changes - His pourpose is eternal. We are the ones who change, through His power, so that we no longer need the law and are truly free to live our lives in Him. That isn't to say that nothing is a sin when a person is devoted to God - no one can "get away with murder" so to speak. It just means that a person totally devoted to God wouldn't do those things, and so it's not an issue.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

9 months

My baby girl is 9 months old. Here are some of the things I love about her:

- kisses
- her new found ability to sleep through the night
- her smiles
- the way she shakes her head no no matter what you ask her
- her little "seal crawl"
- how curious she is
- how she lets us know when she needs to potty and uses less diapers in a day
- laughing
- the proud look she gets on her face when she rolls
- the cute smile when she gets tired of being on her belly and lays her head on her arms
- the "fishy", "old man" and "sad" faces
- how well she's handled the traveling, new places and new faces the past two weeks
- everything else that makes her, her

She's the most amazing baby I've ever known. So sweet, sensitive, understanding. Those are qualities I admire in her and know will make her a better person. Every day I'm more in love with her. I can't wait to get to know her thoughts, her dreams, her understanding of the world.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A few things

- Ben and our stuff made it accross Canada, yay!

- Hana has slept through the night 3 nights in a row, another yay!

- I'm so used to getting up I still don't get uninterupted sleep, but now it's my fault...

- We'll be landing in Moncton on Wednesday

- Ben's job starts on Monday (13th)

- Hana has almost learned to crawl. She's kinda doing a seal walk right now, pushing up on her hands and pulling her legs behind her. She's also rolling on her tummy to sleep.

- It's wonderful to be with family and friends.

- I get to go see Cirque de Soleil at the end of the month. Yay again.

Feminism

For years I tried to tell people (and myself) that I am not a feminist.

Sorry, I lied.

See, I'm not one of those "man hating" feminists, and I'm not even al for the equality thing either (because honestly, if I were in a burning building I'd be much more comfortable with a man coming in to save me than a woman). I do very strongly believe that women should not be paid less for the same work, or be denied any sort of position, advancement or salary because they decide to start a family.

I appriciate (and would hope I could expect) for a man to hold the door open for me, or to treat me with old fashoned respect.

But I am a feminist.

I believe in the power of women - that women have a perspective, an intuition, a wisdom that men don't have. I beleive that the power of women is ignored and minimalized in western society. That instead of those qualities being seen as assets for the business world, women are encourged to masculate themselves or promote their sexuality in order to advance.

That's just wrong.

There's this idea floating around that educated women who choose to leave the "working world" to raise a family are doing some sort of grand injustice to the world (and to the rest of the women in it). I am personally offended by this. I have a BA and plan on furthering my education at some point. I may go back into full time work before I'm finished raising my children, I may not.

I think I will do a much better service to the world raising my children than sitting in an office (even if that happens to be a church office). That's not to say anything against mothers who choose to work - I'm talking about myself and nothing more. Everyone has their own strengths, their own abilities, their own situation.

I can't understand why there is such alow view of the stay at home mom. I know I used to think it was crazy. I thought I'd go completely stir crazy being home with Hana. I even planned on going back to work when she was 6 months or so, just to get out of the house. Now, being a SAHM and knowing some of the wisest, smartest, most creative women in the world who have chosen to SAH, I'm amazed. There is so much to do, so much to teach, to learn, to share, to experience.

I have time for relationships. I have time to make a difference. I have desires, passions, dreams - and the courage to follow them. I have a plan to make the world a better place, and I see it coming to light in my family.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Elimination Communication

After a few questions (and a comment telling me to "stop potty training Hana and let her be a baby!") I thought I'd try to give a bit of an explanation of Elimination Communication (EC).

Diapers have not always existed, nor are they used globally. EC is a natural way to deal with infant elimination (bowls and bladder) without diapers. However, most North Americans who EC do use diapers as a back up method, tho generally with baby on the diaper instead of diaper on the baby. This makes it easier to see when there's a "miss" and to better understand the signals.

Babies from birth signal before they eliminate. It could be a grimace or relaxed look on the face, wiggling to a certain position, making a certain noise, whatever. If you catch these signals and hold baby over an appropriate "potty" (bowl, toilet, sink, whatever...), they learn their communication is effective and over time will refine it.

There are different windows where it's recommended to start EC, but it can be done at any time, so long as the care giver is patient and observant. This is NOT the same as "infant potty training" where restraints or punishment are used in order to teach the child when to hold and when to release. It's very gentle and responsive to the baby's own body needs.

With Hana we EC part time. We actually started using a potty when she was almost 6 months old (when she could sit unassisted), but really started doing it when she was about 3 months. Hana had issues with her formula and was very constipated. Every night we would have "naked time" before bed and that's usually when she pooped. After a few weeks, she would not poop in her diaper, but would whine, cry, struggle etc. until we took it off. She trained us pretty well.

About a week before we bought the potty I was talking to a member of my babywearing group, her daughter is only a couple weeks older than Hana and had been ECed since birth. She said they went through only a couple of diapers a day. Less diapers means less wash, so it sounded pretty good to me, especially since we had already learned Hana's signals.

Last month Ben, Hana and I went away for the night to a church retreat, and forgot to bring the potty. Actually, it wasn't so much forgot as we didn't even think to bring it with us because she was so young. She didn't poop at all that weekend and was quite uncomfortable. When we got home we put her on the potty and within 5 minutes she felt MUCH better.

We're a little slack with catching Hana's pees, but she's teaching us to pay more attention. She's gone 3 hours with a dry diaper today, which is amazing considering the ammount of fluids we're filling her with because of the heat. She whines when she needs the potty, and goes within a minute or two of being put on it. It really is amazing that she's picked up on it so quickly. Then again, if you had the option to not sit in your own pee you'd probably learn pretty quick too.

Hana likes her potty. She'll sit there for a few minutes and play with her toys, and we take her off once she's done. There's nothing difficult or harsh about it at all. Every day I'm more amazed at her abilities, her personality and her ability to communicate her needs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Arrived

Hana and I are in Saint John.

Ben's leaving Calgary tomarrow.

Our stuff is somewhere in Ontario.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

in a word

We know the answer to "what's in a name?" but what about "what's in a word?"

There are times when people are careless with words and it works out to more than just semantics. Every word has more than one meaning - there are personal feelings, connotations and experiences that we each attach to the words we use and the words we hear. Something seemingly (and intending to be) innocent can come across completely insulting and offensive because of these hidden meanings.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the cultural or intended connotations that come with words. Things that show a bias in one direction or another, words that were originally intended to be derogatory.

Like not too long ago when there was the "nappy headed ho's" comment made. It wasn't meant to be an insult, but there is no denying what the original meaning was - to refer to a group of professional female athletes that way was insane, and mayhem ensued.

There are times when these comments are innocent - like when someone asks me what I "do" and I say I'm a mom. Any response including the word "just" (as in "oh, so you just stay at home?") kinda irks me a bit - because I don't "just" do anything. I work harder now than I thought possible. I don't fault people for this, I'm just using it as an example.

My point? Be more careful with your choice of words. Look at things from the other side, take into account the mindset of whomever is listening (or reading). There are so many negative attitudes and perceptions floating around that we have allowed by claiming ignorance, and they will never stop unless we start paying attention.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Flawed Logic

Something I was reading the other day pointed this out, I thought it was rather interesting.

We're told to be careful how we treat infants because we don't want to set up bad habits. For example:

Don't sleep with your child - you'll never get her out of your bed.

Don't respond to every little noise - he needs to learn to self soothe.

Don't always carry her around - you don't want her to get used to it.

and so on.

And yet....

We never hear anyone say:
Don't let your baby pee in his diaper, you'll never get him potty trained.

In fact, we EXPECT babies to eliminate where ever and when ever in their diapers for two years (or more!!!) and then learn how to use a toilet when they're developmentally ready. Too bad that attitude can't be transfered over to some of the other situations.....

(and some would argue that's it's completely backwards and it's the diapers that aren't necessary and cause problems...)

Suck Face

Over the last few days Hana has started giving kisses.

Usually that means grabbing our face and sucking whatever is closest to her mouth - nose, chin, cheek, it's all good for her.

I love it!!!!!

My mommy loves me...and some news....

In 3 sleeps my mommy will be here. And my nanny. Because they love me.....and because I have the cutest baby in the world.

They're flying in on Sunday, spending the week visiting, and helping us clean and pack, and then flying back east with Hana and I next Sunday.

I only have 9 days left in the city. Sigh. The time is going so fast and not going fast at all at the same time.

Most of our stuff is packed, and yet the house still seems SO full. We've given so much to Goodwill in the past two weeks I'm shocked we have anything left. I really don't know how we collected so many things we don't need in such a short period of time.

I'm really hoping Hana does alright with this move. It's such a big transition! There's just no way to keep her routine consistent right now, even having Ben home all day is odd for her. We're trying to keep fairly on her routine for going out and bedtime and such, but she's also transitioning her naps right now, so even that is a little difficult.

By the way, so unfair that we're loosing the second nap already! She's not even 9 months old! Anyway...

So next week visitors, then a week at my mom's, then a few days with Ben's family, then we'll land in Moncton.

As for the landing in Moncton, looks like things are going to be fairly smooth with all that. We've got a place to stay until we get settled (thanks Denise and Tyler!!!), and Ben has a job.

Yup, that's what I said, a job.

We found out a couple days ago, it's a factory in Springfield NB, so kinda far from Moncton, but it's something and we'll go from there. I'm just so amazed at how well things are working out for this move. So long as next week goes well, and the traveling (Hana, mom, nanny and myself by plane, my dad and uncle Dana in Dad's truck and Ben and his dad in our car), then we'll be able to relax fairly soon.

so...ah, that's what we've been up to...what's new in your life?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Question Everything

This is one of my new philosophies in life.

I will not accept something just because I am told I should.
I will take nothing at face value.
I will not expect myself to agree with every opinion from a certain source just because I agree with some of it.

Now of course I will still trust people (until given a reason not to), but there is very little from human sources that shouldn't be questioned.

As far as I'm concerned if something is true it can handle a question. If I am sold on something and believe it fully then I am not threatened when someone questioned or disagrees with it - that gives me the opportunity to better understand, refine and learn to express my position.

So I read, I question, I ask, I try to see things from opposing points of view. I've always done this to one degree or another, but I want to be more purposeful with it - no sacred cows, nothing off limits. If it's true then it can handle the question...if it's not then why would I want to believe it anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

truths

I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth. I don't know how it happened, when it happened, or how long it took, but can't deny the fact that it is.

I believe in universal truth, ultimate right and wrong, and that such truth exists regardless of circumstances or belief.

I believe in grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and the ability to find understanding in any situation.

I believe that all human life is sacred and that humanity comes with basic rights to food, water, shelter, safety, human touch, love, education, empowerment, and respect. I believe these rights exist regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexuality, location, ability or any other human characteristic that can be exploited.

I believe that free will is the God given ability to make a choice, even if that means rejecting the good and embracing the the bad.

I believe in the Bible, that it is a continual revelation of God for those who seek Him.

I believe that peace can not be accomplished through war.

I believe that each person has a responsibility to do what they can for the well being of others.

I believe that wealth and prosperity exist so that everyone can be provided for.

I believe humans have the responsibility to be stewards and guardians of the earth and all animals, and that we are doing a horrible job.

I believe that more can be learned through listening to someone who disagrees with you than someone who agrees with everything you say.

I believe that respect should be earned and not commanded.

I believe that questioning authority, traditions, status quo and rules is essential for growth as a society.

I believe that a government should serve it's people.

I believe that God is bigger than human understanding.

I believe that more lives are changed through compassion than through judgment.

I believe anyone can say they would behave a certain way until they're faced with an unimaginable situation.

I believe in the power of women.

I believe that our differences only make us stronger when we are united together.

I believe that there is always a choice and to say other wise is to give up power to others.

I believe there is wisdom in other cultures, other beliefs and other people that we miss when we are too focussed on ourselves.

I believe that opinions, beliefs and ideas can and should be respectfully expressed so that everyone involved may be edified.

I believe that the status of children in western society now is similar to that of women through history and hope that common practices now will be appalling to those reading our history.

I believe that legalism is one of the greatest evils in the world and until people begin to question their motives, judgments and why they believe what they do, we will not see any change in our world.

I believe in peace, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Crazy

There was an article published recently declaring that children as young as 6 months can lie. You can read it here.

Now that you're back, let's discuss.

The premus here is that there is nothing really wrong with the child when they cry, therefor they are lying and manipulating their care giver into responding to them. Seems basic enough. I'm sure everyone who's spent any time around kids has encountered this - baby cries, nothing seems wrong, you pick baby up, baby stops crying. So obviously they were just trying to manipulate you, right?

Or let's consider this. Baby has limited means of communication. Baby is feeling lonely, stressed, cold, uncomfortable, itchy, whatever. Baby cries and is picked up. Whatever was bothering baby suddenly isn't bothing them, they stop crying.

Yeah, sure, but the researches covered this, they said babies would cry, wait for a response, and then cry again. Well if most babies start doing this at 6 months then Hana is ahead of the curve. At around 4 months she learned that she could "call" to us when she woke up in the morning. It isn't really a cry, but I suppose that's what it would sound like if you didn't know what she was doing. That's how we knew she was awake and ready to get out of bed in the morning. She wasn't making us think something was wrong, she was just communicating in the only way she knew how.

So why do babies "cry for attention" - I have a theory. Babies start life with the ability to communicate. There are signals they make when they are hungry, when they need to eliminate, when they are tired, when they need to be held etc. The first few months of life is spent refining this communication. For example:

Mother is watching baby. Baby moves towards mother's breast. Mother makes no response. Baby moves hands to mouth. Mother makes no response. Baby sucks hands. Mother makes no response but wonders what's going on. Baby cries. Mother feeds it.

Next time things are similar:

Mother is watching baby. Baby moves towards mother's breast. Mother makes no response. Baby moves hands to mouth. Mother makes no response. Baby sucks hands and whimpers. Mother feeds it.

And the next time:


Mother is watching baby. Baby moves towards mother's breast. Mother makes no response. Baby moves hands to mouth. Mother feeds it.

Ok so it might not be quite so smooth as that and it takes a lot more practice, but you get the point. Baby and mother develop their own language in order to get things done. If these signals are missed in the early months then the baby resorts to crying. Not crying to manipulate, but crying because that's how they've learned to express their needs.

So why does this happen?

Because we live in a culture where children are seen as less than adults. Their needs aren't as important and need to be controlled, scheduled, or extinguished. We're told by relatives, strangers, friends and (most appalling) medical professionals that if we're not careful a baby will quickly gain power over us and manipulate us and we'll become slaves to our children. The only way to stop this is to very early teach a baby "who's boss". There's even the perpetuating myth that crying is good exercise for babies and is actually necessary for proper lung development.

Give me a break! Look at things from the eyes of the child. Hana is in the "grab everything and put it in mouth" stage. She's so funny to watch because her mouth is almost ALWAYS open waiting for whatever it is she's trying to get her little hands on. We're pretty good about keeping safe things within her reach, but every now and then she's grab a forbidden object (my glasses for instance), and we'll have to take it away from her. We try our best to always trade things because we want to teach her to give, not to take, but it's not always that easy. So she cries.

Now some would say she's crying so that I'll take pity on her and give her the object back.

I say she's crying because something she worked hard to get has been taken from her and she doesn't understand why. She's frustrated, confused, a little angry and has no other way to expect that. Yes, she'd stop crying if I gave it back (wouldn't you?), but that doesn't mean the purpose of the cry was to manipulate. I don't give it back. But I also don't dismiss how she's feeling. I let her know I understand she's frustrated and upset, but that she can't chew on x because of y. Then I try to find something that will make her happy.

Why do I react like that? Firstly because that's how I would want to be treated. Secondly because I want to teach her to name and express her emotions in a healthy way. Thirdly because I want her to see that her feelings are valid and important so that she'll learn to validate and respect the feelings of others.

There's this idea floating around that parents are either dictators ("because I said so" sort of thinking) or permissive (let their kids have whatever they want no matter what). As with almost everything else, there is middle ground. It is possible to set boundaries for children (because everyone needs healthy boundaries) without minimalizing their feelings, needs and wants. Yes, even wants. I get things I want but don't need (like tonight when I asked Ben to go get me some popcorn at 10 pm...my husband is too good to me!), so I extend the same ability to Hana. No, she won't get everything she wants, and as she grows up I'll t each her how to choose what is important, but right now I make those choices for her. I hate the language of control that is used when talking about parenting. We need to empower children, to support them in their emotions, in their explorations, in their desires. There's this cultural attitude that allows us to put adult motivation (manipulating emotions for a desired response) on a child's behaviour (having no way to express how they feel but crying).

Sigh...

It's human nature to learn behaviour through what we see and experience. If power is taken away from a child then they will take away power. If feelings are dismissed they become uncaring. I honestly think that if the world had a healthier view of children we would have a lot more healthy adults.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

little things

apparently I have a lot to say today...

I went on a walk earlier and realized there will be some little things I'll miss about Calgary:

- having Planet Organic at the end of my street
- seeing jack rabbits EVERYWHERE - on my walk there was one hopping down the sidewalk towards me, then it crossed the road.
- seeing the mountains


And then there are things I'm really looking forward to when we get back to NB:
- seeing stars
- water (the bow river doesn't cont as water...)
- having all of my family close by

who'd a thunk it

(ETA: this is post #200, yay me. I should get a prize or something.)

Apparently my mouth isn't the only part of me that likes sweet things. The rest of my body does too!

THe past while I've been looking for alternative/natural body products. I have serious sensitive/dry skin issues. I've never found a face product I could use more than ever other day without getting a rash. I have to apply most lotions 3+ times a day to keep my skin from getting dry. In the winter it gets so bad that I have to always wear something soft against my skin because some of my clothes will actually hurt when they rub against me.

When I moved out here I found Lush. Absolutely wonderful products! Nothing I've tried there has ever caused a reaction, the lotions work all day, and the Dream Cream even made Hana's eczema go away! It really is wonderful stuff, but still uses additives/scents.

Then there was my hair. I have course, wavy/curly hair. For most of my life it's been dry and frizzy. I've recently learned that it needs moisture, oil, and to be left alone. So I've stopped washing it as often, wash with conditioner, don't blowdry and don't use a brush. It's much happier now, so soft and shiny.

So what does all of that have to do with sweet stuff?

Well, I've recently discovered that a bit of conditioner mixed with brown sugar makes an excellent scalp/body scrub. It's wonderful stuff. And once my scalp is all clean I deep condition my hair with a honey/conditioner mix.

Yup, sounds odd, but it works!
Here's the proof:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I love it. I really want to grow my hair long again (like, really long), so I'm hoping using this stuff will keep it nice and shiny and pretty. Plus compared to salon stuff, this is cheep!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Parenting

Have I mentioned how much I love being a mommy?
It's the most wonderful thing in the world. I'm in awe of my daughter, her curiosity, her personality, her excitement and joy in the simplest things. No really, the simple things. One of her favorite things to do is sit outside and try to eat the grass, she could do that for hours.

I'm a much different parent than I thought I would be. I remember telling Ben that after the first few weeks she wouldn't be in our room, and she'd never be in our bed. The reality - in our bed was the only way I could get her to nurse when she nursed, and she still sleeps in our bed when she needs to.

I also have stopped trying to count how many ounces she takes how many hours apart. I don't know how much she eats during the day, but it's obviously enough. Really the only sort of scheduling I do is with her sleeping, and it's on a schedule she fell into on her own. That's even changing right now, I think she's either about to learn to crawl or transitioning to one nap. I really hope it's crawling!

I had heard of elimination communication when I was pregnant and honestly thought it was a little insane. Now as I write this my 8.5 month old is sitting on her potty.

I didn't expect to parent like this, but the more I read, the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I wouldn't want to sit in my own mess. I wouldn't want to be left alone to cry myself to sleep. I want her to grow up respecting the needs of others, and that means respecting her needs.

As she's gotten older things have changed. I only wear her when we go out or if she's really cranky, where as before it was for 6-8 hrs a day. I let her fall asleep on her own for naps and bedtime instead of laying down with her or rocking her, but I still go in and comfort her if she cries. Usually if she cries going to sleep it means she needs to be changed or she's hungry. The rest of the time she's wiggled herself to the corner of her bed and is stuck. Last night she managed to spin completely around before going to sleep, her feet ending up where her head was when I had laid her down.

She's taught me so much. How to laugh, how to look at the world differently, how to make people around me smile. It's a wonderful thing, more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. I'm a better person as her mother than I could have been on my own.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Whelmed

As in, overwhelmed.

In 10 days my mom and grandmother will be here for a week. I have 10 days to get packed and finish the list of things I need to do before I move. AHHHHH

Well, that's not completely true. I will be doing some packing when they get here, like the kitchen and such, and cleaning, but I want to get as much of it done before they arrive that I can. There just seems to be so much to do.

And then I have my usual problem as well. I'm isolating myself from people. I don't like saying goodbye. I can't handle it at all. So instead I just avoid people. I haven't gone to playgroup for a while, even though I could have. I don't want to go to church either, but I will at least this week because I'm supposed to be helping in the nursery. I should be spending time with my wonderful friends here, but instead I'm hiding. Sorry!

I can't believe how much junk Ben and I have. There's so much stuff that we're donating just because it's not worth it to bring it back east. We don't need it. Still, there's a lot we're keeping and taking, I just hope it isn't too much to fit on the truck. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Teething Sucks

My poor baby girl. We've been going through this for MONTHS (like, since she was 3 months old) and still no teeth. She's working on three of them, her gums are all swollen and we can feel the hard bumps of teeth, but nothing has broken through yet.

Just when I think it's as bad as it can get and they've got to break through, it gets worse. The last few days have been really rough, she wakes up every hour or two in pain, she has a hard time eating, and nothing really helps. This means we have a very tired hungry and cranky baby girl. She's been sleeping in our bed because it's easier to sooth her back to sleep there, but it means Ben and I don't get much sleep either.

During the day it's easy enough to keep her happy and distracted, but at night things get much harder.

On another note, she now has 4 "words" - dada, nana, baba, and mama. As of right now she seems to use them randomly, but Ben says she says mama when she's tired and wants me. Dada seems to happen when she's having fun (whether or not Ben is here), and the other two are completely random.

She's also so adorably cute that I really don't care that much about how she keeps us up, extra snuggles during the night are definitely not a bad thing, and I know she'd much rather be sleeping too. I just hope it doesn't get any worse.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Pressures

There was an interesting illustration done at church last night. Four people were given balloons, and it was explained that the balloons were under internal pressure, and there was something in them. To get the something out they either had to increase internal pressure or external pressure. So they all stepped on the balloons and it was found that three of them had moldy garlic and the other had a Campino. The point was that the pressures did not determine what was inside, it just brought out what was hidden.

I thought it was a great illustration, and it gave me a lot of peace. The last two years have been wonderful and hard at the same time. There are parts that just completely sucked, and parts that were absolutely wonderful. And through it all, I've changed.

Through these rough things Ben and I have had to make difficult decisions. We've had to act on things in ways that surprised people. We've had to make choices that people don't understand and have questioned. We've had to look at things, both internal and external, things we had never really questioned, and evaluate them with new eyes.

There is nothing we regret, tho we had hoped some situations would have turned out differently. We're both different people than we were when we moved out here. Stronger, more assured, with more faith and more hope and at the same time with less expectations. I hope that as new challenges rise up against us we'll still have some of those good things left.

Friday, July 06, 2007

8 months

My baby girl is 8 months old. Wow how time flies.

I remember being pregnant this time last year, she was just starting to kick hard enough for other people to feel, I was huge, I knew she was a girl, and I couldn't wait to meet her.

Now, I'm just as amazed. She's so curious, so interested in everything going on. Yesterday in the line for starbucks she was on my back and one of the people behind me was having a staring contest with her. She usually would win, and then smile and laugh. It was great fun. She watches people, and she picks up on things. I can tell already she's going to be very intuitive and empathetic - if I'm stressed she will not go to sleep for me, no matter how much I try to mask it. Instead, she makes faces and noises and gets me to smile and relax.

She also has a very strong personality already, which doesn't really surprise me. That can be such a good thing, so long as it's nurtured. She'll have the inner strength to stand for what she believes, to make changes, to be someone. I need to learn how to encourage those things and learn to understand her so we don't end up clashing all the time. I'll have to learn how to pick my battles as she grows up.

She's beautiful and fun and talkative and I just love her to bits.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New Look

I hennaed my hair, what do you think?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Clarification

From my previous post.

I haven't fallen into the "I'm ok, you're ok, everything is relative" pit (because honestly I don't think such a thing really can work...if we all weren't living/doing what we thought was right then why would we be doing it?)

I just feel that making laws against abortion because God makes it clear all life is sacred is like putting a bandage on a paper cut after the arm has already fallen off and the person is bleeding to death. There is a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed, and until it is the little things can't really be fixed anyway.

Yes, there will be those who won't have an abortion just because it's illegal. They're also more likely to be the ones willing to sit and talk with a counselor about the far reaching effects of abortion and to seek out other options. We should put our energy into support, education and relationships with people, not into legislation that won't stop the real problem anyway.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

World Police

A wonderful community that I'm part of (both online and in person) recently had a discussion in abortion. It was amazingly civil and I know I learned things and I'm sure others did too.

As would be expected, religion was brought into the discussion. It wasn't done in a derogatory way (well, at least it wasn't intended that way), but there was the "God says so, so there" sort of feel.

Things like that always make me uncomfortable. I am a Christian, I'm even on the conservative side of Christianity. If I see someone who I know has professed to be a Christian living in a way that goes against the core of the faith I feel an obligation to do something to correct the issue (in Hebrews we are told to "spur one another on towards love and good deeds" - spurring isn't always fun), however, for those outside of the faith, I see no justification for expecting them to live as I do.

See, the Bible was written to those who already had at least some interest in God, if not some connection with Him. the things written there, the rituals, observances, principles, they're for those who believe. There is not one command that I am aware of that was not written either to the Israelites (in the old testament) or to the new churches (in the New testament).

So when it comes to issues like homosexual marriage, abortion, premarital sex etc. I have very strong, biblically based opinions. But I can't take those opinions any further than those who have submitted themselves and chosen to live a certain way.

I think of it this way - there is no reason to assume that my belief in God is any deeper or more meaningful to my life than a Hindu's belief in their gods is. According to Hinduism the cow is a sacred animal. I choose to eat beef, and so under their belief system I have done something wrong. However, I can't be held accountable to it, because I'm not under that law.

And the same holds true for Biblical law - I don't have the right to hold someone to a standard that they are not aware of, especially one that requires an intentional decision to be under.

I don't think national laws should be dictated by religion - by ANY religion. I don't think that Muslim states should require everyone there to live as if they are Muslim. In the same light I don't think that so-called "Christian" nations should require that everyone act as though they are Christians.

Yes, I believe there is a right and wrong. I believe there is a God who will at one point judge everyone on earth. I don't know the standard of that judgment, however, and I'm not going to pretend I do. As far as I'm concerned if a person is living life without connection to God for whatever reason then anything they do after that doesn't really matter as far as eternity is concerned. And if they have or are seeking a connection with God as I know Him, then He will deal with whatever "issues" there may be, regardless of what I say. I am here to spur, it is God who convicts.

So while I'm pro-life and given the chance will do what is necessary to support a woman in the decision to keep her child (meaning I'm willing to take in a teen mother, to support treatment programs for mothers with addiction, to help financially and to just be a friend to someone going through the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy), I still think it's much better for a woman to have access to safe abortions rather than put the life of the mother at risk as well. As can be seen globally, abortions will happen, unless something dramatic happens to change the culture. It's sad, it's tragic, it's bad, but it exists and we need a much better way to deal with it than turning away and pretending it won't happen.

Friday, June 29, 2007

4 weeks

Ok, really it's 4 weeks and two days....
That's when I'll be getting on a plane and heading back to New Brunswick.

Sigh and sadness.

I've really loved being in Calgary the last two years, even tho some of it wasn't always all that great.
The things I'll miss most:

1. Friends from my AP and Babywearing groups!
2. My church
3. Not having to use the car much
4. Chinatown
5. the mountains
6. the c-train

I'm sure there are other things, but those are just off the top of my head. This really is a great place.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cut

I love this song.


It explains it so well - "the only anesthetic that makes me feel anything kills inside" - such a contradiction, but oh so true.
The chorus
I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
relief exists
I find it when I am cut.

It's one of my favorite songs, it makes me feel normal, helps me to realize other people have been there, other people understand. And that helps keep me safe.

Self injury is more common than you realize. Everyone reading this probably knows at least one person (besides me) who self injures (I don't anymore, Feb. 13, 2001 was the last time). That number goes up the more time you spend around teens. Don't be afraid of it. Don't think it's something it's not (done for attention, a suicide attempt, no big deal). It comes in many forms, some of them invisible, some potentially fatal.

Also be aware that the self injury itself isn't the real problem. It is a way to deal with other things happening in life. Once those things are dealt with and other, healthier coping mechanisms are learned the self injury will be much easier to manage, and may even fade away on its own. First aid is important, safety is important, but honestly there are times when injuring is not the worst thing a person could do.

If you want any other info, feel free to ask, I've got tons.
be safe.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My life in pictures

Ben had Friday off so we've been having fun. It's been a good weekend, here's some things we've caught on camera:

Ben got his new Onbu and I got to show him how it works (this is the flowery side, it also has a more "manly" side, but real men don't care about stuff like that)



We decided to go to the zoo, so Ben got Hana strapped on and off we went.




I had Hana in the rebozo so she could see better. (yes...we took two carriers for a trip to the zoo...what's your point...)



We saw elephants.


And then tonight just for fun I decided to play with henna I had frozen when I did my hair...which I need to do again sometime soon. (BTW...that design is on my left hand...and I'm left handed....I did it with my right hand...go me...)

The end.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Boycott

July 2-8 has been named as Nestle Free Week

What's so bad about Nestle you ask?
The boycott has been going on for 30 years and is due mostly to Nestle targeting mothers in impoverished nations in order to get them to use formula. As was stated in 1978

"Can a product which requires clean water, good sanitation, adequate family income and a literate parent to follow printed instructions, be properly and safely used in areas where water is contaminated, sewage runs through the streets, poverty is severe and illiteracy is high?"


The answer, of course, is no.

Now, I formula feed Hana. It was a hard choice to make, but one of necessity, things had gotten so bad she was starving and would not latch. I know other people who formula feed just because they choose to, and that is their decision to make. However, they did so with clean water and sterile materials, ensuring their baby was not getting contaminated food, doing the best they could even tho it wasn't the optimal source of nutrition. So this isn't about a mother's ability to choose what she feeds her baby.

This is about targeting mothers in situations where preparing formula properly is near impossible, in North America and around the world. In North America low income families are more likely to use formula. I don't know if you've noticed, but formula is expensive, 11-30$ a can, which for Hana (who eats about 30 oz a day) lasts about 5 days. If mother's can't afford the formula they're prone to water it down or offer substitutes (juice etc.) and the baby ends up not getting the nutrition it needs. Sure, Nestle (and other companies) are good about sending them coupons, but think about the difference that would have been made if the mother was given the support and resources she needed in order to successfully nurse. Also, even with the coupons, Nestle is still bringing in a profit, so they really aren't being the good guys.

In the same vein, targeting mothers in situations where clean water is nearly impossible to come by is just horrible. Baring any life threatening condition that would make breastfeeding more of a risk than contaminated water there is no reason why formula would be the best choice. It makes me sick to think of those infants who could be getting all the food they need (and antibodies) from their mother safely but instead are starving.

So even tho Nestle formula might say "breast is best" they still give out samples to mothers in hospital (and anyone who has breastfed knows the first few days and weeks are all a confidence game), give gifts to health care workers and promote their formula over the "competition" (a successful nursing relationship).

According to the World Health Organization, 1.5 million babies die every year as a result of not being breastfed. That's too many.

So please consider joining this boycott, even just for the week. And don't forget to let Nestle know you're boycotting them and why.

There's more info here, here, and here.

Oh, and a list of what to boycott is here. Remember to always check labels, companies buy and sell products all the time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

True Words

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.