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


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


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.


I got a wonderful phone call from a wonderful friend (and one of my favorite people on the planet) tonight. It was bliss. One of those conversations that just goes. We talked about a lot of things and I honestly don't know how we got from one to the other, but we did, and it was wonderful.

There's something about having someone I can share everything with. I am blessed with a handful of people I can completely be myself around, talk about anything, share anything, and have no fear of judgment.

Not that I'm not myself around most of my friends...there's just certain conversations that would be awkward for some people, or would make them feel uncomfortable to ask for clarification. There are things that people don't want to hear or wouldn't understand. Parts of myself that don't fit with people's perception of me (either in a positive or negative way).

So when I have a chance to share those things, things I'm working through, things I'm thinking about, things I'm exploring or interested in, it makes my heart soar. Makes me feel relaxed and content and loved.

Friend, I hope you felt as good after we talked as I did!

Monday, June 18, 2007

25 important things I've learned

In the order they came into my head:

1. No one does everything perfectly the first time.
2. An apology goes a long way to making things better.
3. Most of the time there are just as many things to be happy about as there are to make you sad, the choice is yours
4. Smiling at strangers makes for interesting reactions.
5. Looking someone in the eye when you talk to them makes them feel you care.
6. Parents are an amazing source of experience.
7. The older you get the more you have to offer the world.
8. We have a responsibility to take care of people who can't care for themselves.
9. We have a responsibility to care for the earth.
10. Sitting in a comfortable chair makes any conversation easier.
11. Sometimes a cookie makes things better.
12. A five minute break can make you more productive than the tightest schedule.
13. Some things are much more important than how others think about you.
14. You are not responsible for the emotions of others, so long as you act respectfully towards them.
15. Babies smell wonderful.
16. Age and wisdom aren't always opposites.
17. A lot can be learned from children.
18. A week really can make a difference in a life.
19. Someone out there really needs you to be part of their life.
20. God is there to be found if you really look.
21. No one knows everything.
22. Reading can be good for the soul.
23. Nature is good for the soul.
24. Laughter is vital to a relationship.
25. "The greatest of these is love"


Ben and I went on a much needed retreat with out church this weekend. It was bliss. Because of his shift work we missed the first night but made it up there Saturday morning.

We spent time with friends, ate good good, played with kids, just all around had a wonderful time.

As it gets closer for us moving it gets so much harder. It took so long to build relationships with people, and now we have to leave them all behind. sigh.

Friday, June 15, 2007

On ideas, disagreements and rights

I'm a little shocked right now. It seems I have a much wider audience to my blog than I had originally thought. That audience presumably includes members of an online community that I had removed myself from because of the negativity and unhealthy attitudes I found there.

Those people have now chosen to start bringing their negativity here and that upsets me. I want this to be a safe place for me to share my thoughts, ideas etc. with friends and random passers-by without fear of being attacked.

I'm not afraid of being disagreed with, and anyone who knows me personally should be well aware of that. I've been disagreed with so many times in my life I can't count them. Sometimes it was because of a misunderstanding. Sometimes it was because of personal preferences. Sometimes it was because of different interpretations of facts or different experiences. Sometimes I could swear the other person was just on crack. Sometimes I was the one on crack.

Differing opinions don't bother me. They don't frighten me, intimidate me, make me nervous, make me feel guilty or anything like that. If I have a strong opinion about something that means I've put my time and effort into forming that opinion. I want to be right (seriously, do you really know anyone who wants to be wrong?), and one can't be right without all the facts. So by listening to others opinions and getting as much information as I can I'm able to grow and adapt my opinion as needed. This even means admitting when I'm wrong (*gasp!*). It also means asking questions and listening to the opinions and reasons of others.

So if that's how I feel, then why have a problem when people come to my blog and give unsolicited "opinions" not about what I've said but about me?

I see a blog as sort of a virtual "front yard" - not completely private, but a fairly safe personal place. Most people there will be friends, but you will get the odd uninvited visitor. Message boards on the other hand are more like coffee shops. Much more public, yet still allowing personal and even semi-private interaction.

Having people come to my blog and say mean sarcastic things about me is like having someone I have purposely removed myself from come to my house and start yelling things in front of the neighbours. Not cool.

Yes, they have the right to disagree with me, and I will listen to their points and even interact with them. Yes, they have the right to read what I say and for their own opinions about not only my position but about who I am as a person. They even have the right to express that opinion (and, regardless of how poorly presented I will even take it into consideration, or at least ask Ben about it). However, I think most people would agree that a line is crossed when someone spouts off personal complaints in a public place.

That's what I have an issue with. Disagree with me, fine, share your reasons and we can both learn. Don't like me, again, fine, I can't make you like me and I'll make it through life fine without your approval. Want to make sarcastic and negative remarks in my space in front of my friends? Don't expect me to listen or keep them there.

I don't presume to be able to control anyone in the world. Everyone is perfectly capable of making their own decisions. You don't like what I say, fine. Write me off as some crazy lady who doesn't know what she's talking about. Live your life how ever you want to. Raise your child how ever you want to. I have no doubt you love your child and are doing what you think is "best"...

(Note: just because a person thinks something is "best" doesn't mean it really is. There are people in the world who think it is "best" to place their child's hand against a hot stove so they'll learn not to touch it. Or people who think it's best to leave their child sitting in their own waste for hours so they'll learn not to soil their pants again. Or people who think it's best to raise their child believing that their ethnic group is superior to all others.)

I believe that in order to make the best decisions we need to have the best information. For years people thought smoking was good for their health until the information changed. I think it's important to share new ideas and experiences so we can all learn and be better people. So I will keep sharing my opinion here (and anywhere else I feel is appropriate). No one forces you to read it.

I won't try to defend my choices. I feel no need to defend myself to strangers, and friends either know my reasons or will ask. If you don't like what I say feel free to respond, but if you are attacking me don't expect me to pay much attention.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Attitude Adjustment

(Disclaimer: Nothing I'm about to say is an attack on any individual. It's a lament over the current state of things, and possibly a gripe towards the people with some sort of authority that perpetuate it, but nothing personal. If you do the things I complain about here I understand it's just because it's the "norm" and "the way things are done" etc. I hold nothing against you. Basically don't read more into this than what I'm putting here...thank you.)

Our current culture has an awful view of children. Ok, maybe awful is going a bit to far, but at the very least it's frightening and negative. Parents are so often told (by Doctors, books, "experts" etc.) that they need to "train" their child.

Children aren't dogs!

It's so frustrating to me when I am told I need to "sleep train" Hana. Or when people think I'm odd for "potty training" her. Or when I'm told it's such an awful thing that I respond to her or wear her because I'm "training" her to be clingy and needy.

If we treated any other class of people the way children are treated there would be an uproar. If an elderly person without mobility was left without access to a bedpan and had to sit in soiled clothing for an hour (or more!) people would have a fit. If a person without the ability to clearly communicate was left alone crying until they fell asleep authorities would be called in. If we see a stranger on the street in obvious need of something (a tire change, for example), we stop to help. If someone is hungry we do what we can to feed them.

And yet when it comes to infants none of the above applies. We're told they need to be left to figure things out for themselves. To "self soothe", to learn they can't always "get their way". I'd like to find the person who first came up with that idea and ask them where their mind went.

If anyone else in my life were in need of something, someone I cared about even the slightest bit, I'd be seen as mean or uncaring if I didn't offer some comfort or respond to them in some way.

We somehow lost sight of what it means to be a child - to explore, to learn, to grow, to be in the care of another. Yes, children need structure and boundaries, but they also need to be able to be children.

Attachment theory
talks about the need for a child to develop secure attachment to a primary care giver. This security helps to balance and regulate the child, giving a safety. When it comes time for the child to explore or try something new, they have the reassurance of that safe place and the confidence to try new things. Unfortunately, outside of early childhood education or child psychology, attachment theory isn't very well known.

Some people think this is just part of me being an idealist. Or it's because Hana's my first child. Or because she's a baby. Or that I just plain don't know what I'm talking about. I don't care. I'm going to raise my child with the same respect and dignity that I would show to anyone else and would respect for myself. If I were to hit an adult it would be considered assault, so I won't hit her. I don't like crying myself to sleep, so I don't make her do it. I can eat when I'm hungry so I extend the same privilege to her. I know that the people who love me will be there for me when I need them, and I make sure she has the same security. I will teach her to be a loving and compassionate person by being loving and compassionate towards her. I will let her know there are things in life that aren't fair and she won't like, but that they're small compared to all the good things she can get out of life, and I will help her to work through them.

A quote I love (tho can't find who said it) is "It's easier to raise healthy children than it is to fix broken adults.". I think that once this mentality is more widely adopted we will see a big change in the world. I want Hana to be part of that change.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I've had different people ask me different questions about babywearing, so here's some common questions and some info if anyone is curious:

Does it hurt your back?
Nope. Not at all. Ok, sometimes, but only when I do things wrong. I have muscle damage in my back (had a muscle spasm and seize when I was in high school, in a lot of pain for a long time and it still flares up when I'm not careful). Generally, I don't carry anything over about 10 lbs for any length of time without causing issues. Even being pregnant through me all out of whack because my posture was all messed up.

However, with babywearing, I can make sure Hana is in the right position so she doesn't hurt me. That means keeping her close to my body (so it doesn't throw off my posture), carrying her on my back, and making sure she's nice and high up.

Is it hard to get her on your back?
It was scary at first, but not difficult, especially once I got used to seeing other people do it. This video shows different ways to get baby up and down (Hana likes the "whoops" method some days). Basically practice over a bed or kneeling on the floor (or kneeling on the bed) and you get used to it. So does your baby. Hana hangs on now while I wrap her, which makes things easier (I'm still holding her too, don't worry!).

What should I use?
Anything. If it means having your baby with you rather than not, use anything. A Snuggli, Baby Bjorn, Mei Tai, Wrap, Pouch, Ring Sling, Podeigi, Onbuhimo, Soft structured carrier, rebozo, amutick, anything (tho I think that's a pretty complete list of options..). From my own experience and stories from others, the Baby Bjorn and Snuggli type carriers are good for newborns but then get very uncomfortable. They're also difficult for short people. We have one and Hana was in it once, for about 5 minutes. There's also some reaseach (which are admittedly biased towards wraps) that feel the position of the baby's legs (hanging straight down) can be damaging. Honestly I see little boys in them and sort of cringe myself. Other more traditional carriers have the baby's legs spread like they are when carried in arms. This is also the position babies with hip dysplasia are put in to encourage their hips to grow properly. It also allows the baby to be in a closer and higher position, which keeps their weight in a better position for the wearer.

I am a biased towards more traditional carriers (not the ones you can buy at Toys R Us) because they are prettier, last longer, are more comfortable and are more versitile, and most of what I talk about will relate to those. Really tho, use anything. I've even seen people use towels, pants and sweatshirts.

Why babywear?
Some people think it's just plain silly that I wear Hana. Other people even think it's harmful. They don't realize there are benefits to it for everyone.

First of all, I've never known a baby who didn't go through a "I want to be held all the time" stage at some point. A lot of mothers get frustrated that they can't get anything done. If you have a carrier, all you have to do is toss baby on your back and you can do pretty much anything (aside from driving, some exercise, and activities that require you to be on your back, etc.). It also makes shopping trips easier - next time you go to the mall, count how many people you see carrying the baby and pushing the stroller.

Babywearing is also good for nursing - it's possible to nurse in most carriers without anyone even knowing that's what's happening. And you can move around hands free.

In the early days, babywearing helps regulate a baby's system. Kangaroo Care is becomming more popular with preemies. If it's good for them, why wouldn't it be good for a full term baby?

There's a full list of benefits here

How long can you use them?
For most of them, as long as you want. I've seen pictures of people showing off with adults in different carriers. It's kind of funny to see. I've had people make comments along the lines of wearing Hana being a bad idea because when she's bigger I won't be able to, but I figure as long as I'm able to lift her I'll be able to wear her (just don't know if she'll want to be worn that much lol). Some carriers are better with bigger or smaller babies, and some have weight limits (depending on the brand), but usually they're able to be used in different positions and are long lasting.

Where can I get one?
Unless you're lucky and live in a place where they're available, you'll most likely have to buy online. Or, you can always make your own.

Babywearing is a wonderful thing. It might not be necisary (but then one can argue that no baby prouduct is really neccesary), but it does make life easier.

Here's some of my favorite babywearing sites:
The Babywearer

NINO: Nine In Nine Out

Wear Your Baby

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Growth Spurts

Hana's getting big.

Of course, big is relative. And being that she's my daughter, I don't expect her to ever be really all that big. Hopefully, unlike me, she'll actually pass the 5 ft mark.

When we took her to get checked this past Wednesday I was surprised that she's 16.5 lbs (at 7 months...). I still get a little teary when I realize her pants are getting a little short. Then I look at the tag and realize they're 6 month pants and I'm lucky to have gotten as much wear out of them as I have (altho some of her 3 month tops still fit).

Well, tonight she woke up wet and needed her jammies changed. Ben, being the wonderful husband and father that he is, grabbed some clean jammies out of the laundry basket and went to change her.

He brought her back out looking like this:

Apparently there is a limit to how much baby you can stuff into a sleeper. It was just washed, which means she has worn it in the past week.

So tomorrow I'm going to go through her clothes and start packing more stuff away. My little baby is growing up...sniff

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Got Bento?

I do I do!

In the past 3 days we've gotten 3 bento boxes. Two from ebay and one locally (I love having a city with a chinatown!). After pricing around, I can honestly say that the best deals on Bento sets (including accessories) are at Bento Yum (especially since the day after I ordered one of my boxes they started carrying whole sets of the same one for about 5$ more...grrr).

So, I have a Hello Kitty box with chopsticks and divider that I bought here, a blue sakura dot box with divider from Ebay and a black box with red lid for Ben bought on Ebay (it's bigger than any of the other boxes I've seen). I also bought a utensil set for Ben.

And here's what I can do with them:

Lid part: sunflower seeds and some smarties
bottom tier: half a baked potato, leftover hamburger helper and a boiled egg with baby spinach dividers
right tier: cottage cheese with raspberries, baby spinach and baby carrots. In the bottle is the dressing for the salad. There also should have been other stuff for the salad but I hadn't realized we were out of veggies and cheese. Ben said it was ok.

I also packed basically the same thing for me, just smaller portions. I'm not going anywhere today, but I have a bad habit of forgetting to eat when Ben isn't home, so this way when I remember it's all ready for me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

7 months

ok, a couple days late again...oops?

My baby girl is now 7 months old. In the last month we have changed 1 poopy diaper. Speaking of diapers, she's finally out of the size small ones that we were given and into the mediums. We take her for her shots tomorrow, so I'll find out how big she is then, but I'm thinking it's right around 15lbs right now.

She's starting talking, more specifically, saying dada. Over and over again. All the time. Dadadadada dada dadadada dadada. It's much better than the grunting that she had been doing for a while.

Still no tooth, we're waiting.

She's super curious and aware of things going on around her, so many people have pointed this out to us.

Her hair is growing in (finally!).

She can shake her head no.

Going to sleep at night she rubs her belly and it looks like she's doing some little dance, super adorable!

She's eaten: carrots, avacado, peaches, mango, pears, watermellon, honeydew, tomato, mustard, apple sauce, and sweet patato, but no more than about a tbs at a time of anything. She likes tasting but isn't sold on the whole eating thing yet.

She's perfect, I love her, and I can't even remember what life was like before her.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


These are some things I've been thinking lately.

I'm a Christian. I believe in one God, that people are separated from Him, and that the only way to fix that separation is through the sacrifice of Christ.

I don't believe that because I'm a Christan that I've somehow got some sort of spiritual superiority, or that my hunger and devotion to God is any greater than anyone elses.

See, I believe there is some truth in every belief system. In fact, I think that the things we ignore in Christianity, things that we might even class as wrong or evil, make us miss out parts of God that He has revealed.

religion is created by man. God has continually revealed Himself, and we're left to interpret it. God reveals Himself in a sunrise, in the birth of a child, in scripture, in dance, in music. All good gifts come from God, all truth is God's truth, and I think we all miss Him in different ways.

So do I believe that "all roads lead to God" - no. I don't, because religion, doctrine, all that is all interpretation, and interpretation can be wrong.

The way I see it, every religion has within it a fatal vice, something that can distract a person from their search for God. It can be power, knowledge, experience, answers, empty promises, anything. I think if a person is able to overcome those things they will always keep searching for God, and realize that no one interpretation of Him has all the answers.

The Bible says that the earth reveals His glory, that He has written eternity on the hearts of men. How can we ignore that and think that somehow we have contained Him in the walls of a building, in a book, or even in our hearts. When Christians talk as though they are the only ones to experience God, to feel His love or see His glory or do His work it makes me mad. It ignores the work of the Spirit, the desire of others and the ability of God to work any situation for His glory.

So those are my thoughts...anyone else want to chime in?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Birth House

I bought this book on Wednesday. It was WONDERFUL

It's set in Nova Scotia, during the first world war. It's about a midwife, from her first birth experience, during a time when the "miracles of modern medicine" were making births "pain free" for women - meaning they missed the birth of their children.

It was a beautiful, wonderful book, dealing with homeopathy, turning a breech baby and other common "problems" with birth. The main focus of the book was the struggle for women to be able to choose how they birth their child - at home when possible.

I find it interesting that this same discussion is happening now as more and more doulas and midwives are fighting for hospital privileges, as more and more women are looking for alternatives to a hospital birth, and as the medial system is (finally) realizing that midwives could take a lot of strain off of the medical system.

I admit with Hana I was scared to give birth. When I found out she was breech I was almost relieved because I had been so scared of what could happen - of an episiotomy, of the pain, of forceps and epidural. At least with a section I knew what would happen.

Now that I've spent more time reading about birth, I've come to realize that pregnancy is not cause for medical intervention. Birth is not a medical procedure. Yes, there are times when intervention are needed, and medical advances have kept so many mothers and babies safe, but for most women, these things aren't needed.

I'm so looking forward to my next birth. If the laws in Canada were different it would be a home birth, but having had a c-section that's not possible. I will trust my body, I will endure the pain, and, hopefully, I will bring my child into the world in whatever position makes it easiest for it to happen.

This was a wonderful, sweet, sad and empowering book. I highly recommend it (and if anyone in Calgary wants to borrow it just let me know!)

(P.S. I also found it quite humorous that at the same time as adressing the "evils" of masturbation, one of the "cures" for the "neurosis" that happened to women was a weekly treatment by a trained obstetrician that lead to orgasm...or at home with the use of a battery powered vibrator.)