Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Three years ago today I was getting out of bed and heading to the hospital.
My last day pregnant

We signed forms, I got an IV, had one last ultrasound and waited for the OR. Hana was breech and was born through c-section. I remember lying on the table after getting my spinal block, nervous about the surgery but so excited to meet my baby girl. I watched the clock once they told me they were starting, and in less than 15 minutes they held up this beautiful baby girl.


I can't describe the feeling of finally having her in my arms. She was so tiny and precious. We had our struggles at first, but the more time we spent together, the more she was in my arms, the more I fell in love with her. Such a full personality, so much curiosity, determination, wonder. She changed the way I look at the world.


The more I get to know her, the more I'm amazed by her. Her determination and curiosity seem to intensify as she gets older. Her imagination, the way she cares about others, her sensitivity and creativity just amaze me.


She's growing up, not a baby anymore. I'm having such a wonderful time getting to know her, helping her learn, and learning from her. She is the one who made me a mother, and I'm so honoured to have her. Without her, without the challenges that we've gone through, without her sensitivity and way of looking at the world I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Happy Birthday babygirl, I love you so much!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Update

When I last updated about my kids, they were 6 months younger. Wow does a lot change in 6 months.

Eli is 15 months old. His favorite word is ball. He's not as verbal as Hana was at his age, but he is very mobile. He's toddling around like he's king of the world. He gives kisses in his own special way (read: bends down so you can kiss his head) and wants to eat everything in sight. He has 4 teeth with two on the way any minute now (please) and loves climbing things. In fact, he can get himself up on to all of the kids chairs we have. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned how to get himself down. He just sits there making his "stuck" noise until someone rescues him. He smiles all the time, this wonderful grin that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. He laughs all the time too, a true belly laugh, just like Hana. My kids make me enjoy life so much more than I ever thought possible.

Hana is aproaching 3 at high speed. She knows her birthday is on November 3. She knows she is going to be three. She knows her full name and that she lives in Moncton. She's learning letter sounds and how to use scissors. She has imaginary friends. In the last couple of months we've noticed a lot of changes with her. I swear someone is slipping her expresso behind my back. She never walks - she hops or runs or crawls or spins. She has this overwhelming need to touch or do or help with or hold or move or try or see or ask why about EVERYTHING. Example:

One day I was sitting (read: hiding) in the kitchen meditating (read: trying to gain a little sanity) when her blond little head peeks around the corner.

Hana: Mama, what are you doing?
me: I'm taking a little break babygirl (yes, I still call her babygirl, my mother still calls me boo on occasion, so I've got at least another 23 years with this nickname)
Hana: Can I come take a break with you?
me: No baby, not right now
Hana: Why mama?
me: Because if you were here it wouldn't be a break
Hana: Oh. After your done having break I can have a break with you?
me: ah, sure baby
Hana: Are you done a break now?

As exhausting as she is, she's so much fun. Every day when the boys nap we either do crafts or play with play dough or learn letter sounds or some other activity that's just for big kids, not for babies. She's very adamant that she is a big kid. Not a princess, not a boodle (one of my other nicknames for her), not a little girl. No no, she is a big kid, that's it.

As for Ben and I

He's doing well with school, has midterms next week, but he's not worried. He's really loving what he's studying and doing great with it. It's nice to see him so much less stressed and having time for things he enjoys and energy to spend with the kids.

Me, I'm doing great too. I'm knitting like crazy for Christmas but can't post details because family reads this (Hi everyone! Love you all!) but I'm pretty exciting about what's coming off the needles. Babysitting is doing well and we've got a pretty good routine going.

Life is good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Readers

I'm sorry it's been so long since I last wrote. I'm sure I've left you wondering, I know I've spent time wondering if you're still out there.

See, I had a really bad year (read: decade) and after some particularly tough times during the summer (read: barely being able to function) the husband and I sat down to evaluate things (read: decided to start meds).

No really.

I've struggled off and on with depression since I was a teen. Through the troubles I had nursing, it was confirmed I had a serotonin* imbalance (the meds I tried to boost my supply messed with me, they were serotonin blockers. who knew.). I thought it was just a slight thing and kept doing what I always did when things were rough - eat well, sleep lots and try to ignore the desire to crawl into a hole and pretend I didn't exist. Only those things are really hard to do with two young kids and a husband.

This year was bad. The worst Ben has seen me (we met in 2001), I'd even say worse than when I was in High School because I didn't have the escape of classes and self injury. I was a mess. Angry, wanting to sleep all the time. Wanting to eat everything in sight. No patience for the kids or for Ben, isolating myself from my friends (sorry friends).

So I finally sucked up my fears and asked for antidepressants. It wasn't the stigma or anything that had kept me from meds before, it was a fear of what they would do to me (I have a nice family history of odd medical things/reactions) and I also didn't want to know what I had been missing.

Honestly, it was one of the best decisions in my life. I feel human, I feel free. I feel better than I did on the days I thought I felt good. It has made a fundamental change in the way I see myself and others. I don't feel like the scum of the earth. I don't worry about what people really think of me. I'm able to enjoy my kids and not feel like a horrible mother. I'm able to open up to my husband. When I smile it's because I'm actually happy rather than because I know I should feel happy.

Life has taken a huge upswing. We're in a church we absolutely love. Ben is back in school doing something he's always wanted to do (computer programming at NBCC). I'm still home with the kids (and a couple of extras). Life is good. Hopefully there will be more regular posts here now that I can think and enjoy again. Plus my kids are super cute and do funny things.

* HA! spelled that right the* first time
*er...spelled that one wrong....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

still unwritten

I have both nothing and too much to blog about
topics that have run through my mind (and might merit their own post at some point):
- car seat safety
- my spinning wheel
- potty training
- kids update
- general cultual attitude towards kids
- summer plans
- going back to work

Until then, a brief update:
- Ben is working! He got a job with Irving for the summer. In September he's heading to Community College to take computer programming
- Eli is 11 months and has learned to climb stairs. He also has 3 teeth
- Hana is constantly telling stories and singing songs. She still gets up once a night.
- I got a spinning wheel and am working on Christmas knitting.

Great Song

I heard this tonight at a coffee shop. I liked it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Map Reader

A long time ago I came up with a theory. I was trying to reconcile a God who knows all things with free will. God is outside of time, has read the final chapter so to speak, knows the result. But that's a hard thing to wrap your head around.

My solution was to think of life as a map. So many different roads, different ways to get to the same place, different points of intersection for the same issue, people, events. Each choice we make is a road we go down, and we can only see to the next turn. God holds the map, directs us to our destination, no matter how many wrong turns we take.

Ben and I have started going to a great church, the pool. We've only been a few times, but we feel good there. It's a church plant, there are other young families, we feel God there. And it meets at 2pm. It's great.

One of the things we reflected on last Sunday was the idea of living a life that is appropriate to our calling, and in that understanding and accapting that we are, in fact, called.

Regardless of how many wrong turns, how many mistakes, how many bad choices, thoughts, actions we have behind (and ahead of) us, we are called.

And my paradigm shifted.

See there are things in my life I have done wrong. Things I'm not proud of. Things I'm ashamed of. Things I feel make me unworthy of my calling.

I had it backwards.

Shame has no place within the church. For years it has been used as a tool of spiritual abuse to keep people in line. For years it covered me, leaving me always questioning, always insecure, always hiding. Because I had it backwards.

We talk about God taking us where we are, but not about God knowing where we could go. It was the mistakes, the sins that became part of my life after my calling that tried to strangle my spiritual life.

I didn't realize God knew those too. And called me anyway.

So now it's not about hiding how unworthy I am, but trusting that somehow God is bigger than I am and sees my worth anyway, and every day living as tho I already am worthy.

He sees where I've been, where I am, where I am going. The choices I will face, the times I will fail and the times I will rise. And still he leads me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Been a Long Time

I haven't been writing much. Not just here, either. I haven't been very active on my forums or anything. Which is odd for me, writing has always been a regular habit of mine.

I have been thinking tho. A lot. About good things, deep things, things that matter. But the problem with thinking and not writing (at least for me) is that the thoughts vanish like the wind and i'm no better of for having thought them.

I'm going to try and remedy that.

By way of update:
- Eli crawls, weighs 22 lbs and has pulled up a couple of times. He's been sick off and on since January and his Dr thinks he's asthmatic. We're off to a pedi on Monday
- Hana is potty training, weighs 26lbs, is more fun than I could imagine and has finally started sleeping through the night 3 or 4 times a week! The parents rejoyce
- Ben was laid off, got a job, was fired and is looking again. He's going back to school in the fall.
- I'm going to start doing some evening/weekend work to help fill in the gaps and make it possible for us to redo the bathroom this summer. With potentially 3 asthmatics in the house the thoughts of what's lurking behind my bathroom tile keep me up at night.
- After 4 years of living on my own I think I've finally gotten the hang of keeping house. We'll see what happens when Ben isn't home as much
- In the near future I'm buying a spinning wheel. This makes me giddy with excitement.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crisis of Love

I am in shock. Over the past year I have become aware of so many marraiges in crisis. Some of these are people I went to school with. Others are families I've become close to through message boards. All of them have surprised me.

It's hard to hear about it and not get a little scared. Some days it feels like marriage is a game of Russian Roulette and you never know when things are going to go horribly wrong.

I know these things just don't happen. I know I'm not getting the whole story. I know I can do nothing other than work on my own marriage. It still breaks my heart.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eli- 8 months

Can't. Believe. It.

My baby is getting so big. I sat him on my lap the other day and suddenly realized that my hand doesn't touch his armpit and hip at the same time when I hold him. This was shocking. He's starting to get longer and isn't so round anymore.

Every time he grows my heart just bursts with joy. Things were so bad back in October. Like, really bad, wondering if he's sick or has growth problems or I messed him up by starving him bad. I comment a lot about loving the look of fat babies to friends of mine (a lot of whom have fat babies) - it's because you KNOW they are healthy and growing and have everything they need. Seeing Eli grow and having t move his leg fat to wash underneath is just such a blessing.

The only down side is the sweater I knit him is already looking a little short.

He eats real food now. It dawned on me the other day that he's 8 months old and could probably feed himself. It was just this sudden realization, it feels like I somehow missed a few months or something. He does great with cheerios and other small bits of food. He eats with us at meals now, which is much nicer than having him yell at us the whole time, wondering where his food is.

He's still not quite crawling. He's kind of stuck in reverse, which sort of makes me laugh. He tries so hard to get closer but keeps going further away. It's cute.

These milestones are so great, but hard at the same time. We don't plan on having any more kids (well, we're keeping adoption open as an option in the future, but that's it) so this is the last time I'll see these changes. Sigh. It makes me feel so blessed. Eli is so different from Hana, I can't wait get to know his version of the world as he grows, to see how their two perspectives mesh and clash together and with my own. I can't wait to learn all the things that he has to teach me. Already he reminds me to smile more, to laugh more, to just sit and enjoy what's around me, because it all passes by so fast.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I like knitting. A lot. It gives my hands somethign to do and makes me feel productive. It's a reward for cleaning, a tension reliever in the evenings and gives me an excuse to meet new people.

As such, I've been doing a lot of it lately. Right now I've got three projects OTN (on the needles) - socks, a sweater for the girl, and this shawl. Click that and look at the beauty of the shawl.

It's my first time knitting lace. It's my first time knitting with lace weight yarn (it's like thick thread). I'm finished the first chart and on my second (of ten) repeat of the second chart. It's pretty. I'm really excited.

Unfortunately, the charger for my camera has gone awol, so no pics of my pretty (or many of the things I've finished recently...or of my kids for that matter...)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

sometimes it hurts

When the things I believe and know and want don't line up with reality. Eli is 7 months old, he's happy, growing, wonderful. But there's still something that pains me as I watch him grow.

He weaned at not quite 5 months. Those of you who regularly read my blog know the story. He stopped gaining weight at 9 lbs (weighed at 10 wks). We tried everything. EVERYTHING. feeding constantly. Pumping constantly. Teas, herbs, medications (that made me go nuts), everything. I did all I could to keep him from having formula for over a month. Trips to Drs and lactation consultants. Telling Hana I couldn't play with her because I needed to feed Eli. Getting up at night to pump and to feed. So much work, so many tears and so little gain.

In fact, the gain was only 2 oz. In over a month. He was malnourished. You could see his ribs. It kills me to think that my desire to breastfeed, to keep him from having formula could have caused him harm. It could have affected his growth and the development of his brain. I was under the guidance of medical professionals, which is good, because otherwise my dreams could have killed him.

So I switched to formula. I still nursed as much as I could, but after a while my supply got to the point where nursing frustrated him too much and he wouldn't latch on. He refused me. At five months he was not getting any breast milk at all. Yes, I know, I could have found donor milk for him. Honestly tho, I didn't want to. At that point I think feeding him milk from another woman would have broken me. At least with the formula I was preparing it so I could sort of trick myself into believing I was the one providing the nourishment for him.

For some of you this wouldn't have been such a big deal at all. Some probably think I'm nuts for holding out as long as I did. But it mattered to me. It mattered so much, especially after all I went through with Hana. It matters a lot to me - there are forums I don't go to any more, people I feel uncomfortable around, articles I don't read, conversations I don't take part in.

There's such a dichotomy surrounding formula. The people who use it and think it's great and the people who don't and their passion for breastfeeding makes it seem as tho it should be in the same category as poison. I know they don't really think that. No one that I have shared my story with has ever made any negative comment about me using formula with my kids. But it still hurts.

It hurts to have to explain. It hurts to think people see me as an ignorant mother, or one that doesn't care, or one who isn't as bonded to her kids as they are, or that I am trying to take the "easy" way out.

Nothing about feeding Eli has been easy. For months this has weighed on me, and for weeks I've been half writing it all out, as if to be absolved in the confessional of the internet.

I don't want it to matter so much. I know I made the right choice. Yes, there are risks with formula - lower IQ, higher chances of illness and cancer, exposure to chemicals that I don't want in their systems. But for us it was weighing those risks against malnutrition and having a mother with very unstable mental health.

I don't want to be ashamed or to feel I have to hide Eli's bottles. I don't want to have to pour my struggles out, to admit to practical strangers that my body doesn't work right, that on my own I can't nourish my children. I don't want to try to normalize formula as a good choice, because I know for the vast majority of infants it isn't.

Never have I looked down on a mother who has chosen not to breastfeed. I admit at times I have to remind myself not to take it personally, but it's their choice to make. I do my best to encourage and inform without being pushy, and I admit I live vicariously through the nursing experiences of my friends.

I don't even know what I hope to accomplish by writing this all out, I know my decision was right and I've been validated by the people who are close to me.

Added later, because sometimes I need to write things twice to get where I want to go:

When I hear things about the benefits of breastfeeding or the risks with formula feeding it's like a stab to the heart. Not because I feel guilty, because I don't - I know this is my only option, I know I tried everything else. It hurts because I'm still angry. Something was taken away from me, something I dreamed of, prayed for, worked for, wanted with everything I have. The reminder of what that loss costs - both for me and for my children - is painful.

I don't go to LLL meetings to offer support to other women, because I'd have to bottle feed my son there. I don't go to local meeting about natural birth/parenting, because I don't want to have to explain to strangers how my body doesn't work right. I shy away from people that I know agree with me and feel as strongly as I do about nursing and breast milk and all those other things because I know I look like a hypocrite when I walk into Wal-Mart and pick up a can of formula. I have to remind myself not to take it personally when women I know choose not to breastfeed for what I think are silly reasons. It's hard. It's lonely. It's heartbreaking.

I do think women need more support with nursing. I also think the real problems that can come up - how hard it is in the first few weeks, the uncertainty, the real possibility of latch and supply issues, etc. need to be brought up more. I think there needs to be a distinction between what is NUTRITIONALLY best and what is GENERALLY best for a baby.

Mostly tho, and I say this as a person who lives in an area where a woman can NIP and not be looked at (I was nursing Eli everywhere for months), I think the only reaction people should have when they see a mother feeding her baby in any way is a sense of joy and peace because that baby is being nourished, cared for, and loved.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who am I?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about who I am and what kind of person I want to be. The last few years have been quite a transition for me, and it's been hard to find myself int he midst of everything else. These are the tings that are important to me, the kind of woman, mother, friend and wife I want to be. Some of them I'm better at than others, but they are all goals I am activly working towards.

- I want to be the kind of woman who feels good about herself, even on my bad days.
- I want to be the kind of woman who can express her feelings without guilt, malace, insecurity or fear.
- I want to be the kind of woman who takes time to laugh, relax and be thankful for the world around me.
- I want to be the kind of woman who lives a life full of interest - hobbies, studying, events and experiences.
- I want to be the kind of woman who has a deep, rich and relevant spiritual life.

- I want to be the kind of wife that chooses to submit to her husband in love, trust and partnership.
- I want to be the kind of wife that makes the home easy for her husband to come home to - complete with home cooked meals and some form of order.
- I want to be the kind of wife that encourages and inspires her husband to be a better man, giving him strength, ideas, support and anything else he needs to find his dreams.
- I want to be the kind of wife that can talk to her husband - no nagging, no games, not afraid to show vulnerabilities.
- I want to be the kind of wife that is still dating her husband and all the fun and excitement that goes along with that.

- I want to be the kind of mother that gets down on the floor with her kids, gets loud and dirty, makes mistakes and messes and everything else, experiencing life with them.
- I want to be the kind of mother that gets respect from her kids by respecting them.
- I want to be the kind of mother that prepares her kids to live as successful adults, even if that means not always getting my way.
- I want to be the kind of mother that always talks in the positive about her kids, even through all the struggles and challenging times.
- I want to be the kind of mother whose kids (and their friends) can feel comfortable around, talk to about anything and respectfully disagree with.

- I want to be the kind of friend that one doesn't hesitate to call in a time of need, no matter what time of day it is.
- I want to be the kind of friend that will show up and do dishes or laundry or just chat when someone is having a rough day.
- I want to be the kind of friend that will have people over and not worry about the state my house is in.
- I want to be the kind of friend that keeps in touch with people instead of just keeping track of them.
- I want to be the kind of friend that listens and shares and is open with no pretenses, judgment or anything else that keeps people from really being honest and really getting close.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time Changes

Three years ago around this time I found out I was pregnant. Scared, excited, thrilled, nervous, so many new emotions and plans.

Two years ago Hana was doing little more than sitting and putting everything in site into her mouth.

Last year she was standing, cruising, crawling, but not walking. She was, however, saying a whole lot. At the top of her lungs.

Today, Hana and I were outside jumping in puddles, chasing each other and learning what happens when you throw chunks of ice at the ground.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Personal Solstace

I hate winter.

Well, not really, it is generally my least favorite time of year, but I do like snow and Christmas and other wintery things. What I hate is what winter does to me.

Like many people, winter is hard for me to get through. I'm stuck inside, it's dark and dreary. I get cabin fever, I miss people, I get discouraged and lethargic and can't seem to break myself out of it. It sucks away my energy and my spirit. Some of the worst things I've gone through have happened in winter, which also colours my thoughts towards it.

In short, winter sucks.

And then through March every year I notice things start to take a turn. I think about spring and summer, of rain and the beach. I push myself to get out of the house more and connect with people. I start to feel more alive again.

From now through November things will be much different. It's like I can think again, breathe again, function again.

Now if it would just stop snowing...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Eli - 7 months

Yes, I am aware that this is a few days late. I'm in denial.

I can't believe he's 7 months. He's eating food and spinning in circles on the floor and crawling backwards and all the other things 7 month olds do.

He's my baby and he's just growing too fast!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm very proud of myself right now.

I just designed this:

It's a mug cozy. I found a pattern for a similar one. Well, kinda similar. It had a bottom, and the top wasn't attached, and it was a different stitch pattern. I made it, and liked it, er, except for the above changes. So I came up with my own. Charted the pattern and everything.

It took less than 5 hrs start to finish.

Now I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thrown Away

Has anyone else noticed the absurdity of disposable products?

A few months ago I saw a comercal for paper plates. The point was you have more important things in life than doing dishes, so just throw everything out. Brilliant, right? Never mind that most people have dishwashers, and if you don't doing dishes only takes about 20 minutes anyway. Because really, watching tv or checking email is way more important. Sure, they make it seem like you're going to spend time with family, but let's be honest, if you have time to be online you have time to do dishes.

Things like that frustrate me a lot. Ben and I work really hard to not use dispible products. Because really, buying something with the intnet of using it once and throwing it out, especially when there are other re-usable products that accomplish the same thing, rediculous.

We use rags instead of paper towels, wash cloths instead of napkins for the kids, microfiber instead of swiffer, cloth diapers and I have a Diva cup. I figure we save at least 50$ a month (altho Hana is in disposables right now because she refuses to potty and I can't afford bigger diapers for her right now, but we're working on potty training) just by doing a two extra loads of laundry a week.

Yes, extra laundry, which does mean extra water and extra power. However, when you take into consideration the resources used in manufacturing as well as the wast from the packaging and the products themselves, we're still coming out ahead.

The only downside I can see to reusable products is that they don't really benefit the economy any. Well, except for reusable bags. I buy one of those a month when I forget to bring one with me.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Know what, I'm a bit of an idiot

See, there are certain topics I refrain from posting on here because of what I assume my readership is :namely those from BBC who find my blog through Matthew's links (thanks Matthew!).

See, when I was at Bethany, I was, er, different. Well, not my first year. My first year I was loud and outspoken and had an opinion on things. I quickly learned that wasn't the way to go, toned back and kept my mouth shut. It was a survival instinct. I had tried finding another school, but no one offered my program. So I sucked it up.

So now there are things I think and say that surprise some people. I know this because one of my friends emailed me because she had heard I was "saying some controversial stuff" and wanted to make sure I wasn't completely heathen. As fun as it was to think I mattered enough to be gossiped about, it kinda made me rethink things. See, as much as I own my opinions, I still have this nagging need to have people like me. Flying under the radar again becomes my default.

Now, I've branched out. There are people who read this that have never even heard of BBC, it's not something that defines me anymore, and so it really makes no sense to have it define my thoughts (or at least how I express them).

Not that I really think anything I have to say is all that controversial. I just want to be able to use this as a sounding board for the things I'm working through. Of course, comments are always appriciated. Tell me I'm wrong, tell me why you disagree, build me up and teach me things I don't know. Let's have a conversation.

Well, assuming that people are still reading

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It's a wonderful thing to feel normal. To know that what you think, feel, believe and experience is validated by others. To be told there is nothing wrong with you, that someone understands, that it's ok because you're not the only one who does it. Normalizing is a powerful thing. It's also very dangerous.

One thing that humans as a society have come up with in order to live with each other are social rules, along with taboos. The ability to shame people for being different keeps most people in line. Those it doesn't work on weren't really seen as a threat because their numbers were so few. They were isolated, and heard mentality ruled.

Then came the internet. And suddenly, everything is normal. You can find anything on the internet, including people who will agree with almost any position. Suddenly there is no more shame, no more isolation, and you can follow the heard right into your own version of normal.

When I had my issues with self-injury was when I started spending more time online. One of the things I found was a support forum for cutters. That site simultaniously keep me sane and drove me crazy. It basically kept me right on the edge between healthy enough where I wouldn't need to cut and messed up enough to where I was a real danger to myself. Finally I had people who understood, I didn't have to feel guilty and ashamed, I was ok. It was ok. They did it too. It couldn't be so bad. It was normal.

See the problem?

To this day I have a hard time on those sites. As much as I would love to be a support for others, to show them that recovery is possible, I just can't do it. I don't have enough strength to remember that normal is not the same as good.

It's like holding an AA meeting at a bar.

I don't know how the culture can combat this. In some ways it's good - things are being brought to light that shouldn't have been hidden in the first place. Victims are being given validation, closure and healing as they come together. Cultures are being de-mystified and understanding is being shared.

In other ways it's a very dangerous thing, as not all information being shared is good and not all shame is bad. There are some things that should never be seen as normal.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hana - 27 months

Hana is two. Every day I'm both reminded and amazed that she's two. Sometimes she seems so much older - she pretends, she plays, she understands, she shows empathy and she has the most hillarious conversations. Other times she reminds me just how frustrating being two can be - she doesn't always understand why she can't do things, she can't always express exactly what it is she wants or needs. She has big emotions that are hard for her little self to handle.

Her big thing lately is playing pretend. She loves playing in her kitchen and making dinner. I'll be sitting feeding Eli and she comes over with a plate and fork and tells me it's very good. She even sits one of her toys up at her table so she can feed it. It's ver cute. She has a play phone that she uses all the time and chats away while she does other things (wonder where she gets that....) and she loves playing with her own keyboard and mouse.

She loves doing things with me, no matter what I'm doing she wants to help and be part of it. IT can make things take longer osmetimes, but I love getting her involved. During Eli's nap I wrap her on my back while I make dinner and she thinks it's just the best thing ever.

The best thing lately is that she's finally (mostly) sleeping. After fighting to get her to sleep until midnight for a couple of weeks, we decided to cut out her nap. THings were difficult for a week or so, but she's settling into the new routine now. Best part is, she goes to bed at 7 and sleeps until 6 with only one wake up! Half the time she's not even really awake, she just comes out of her room, asks for Ben and then goes right back to sleep. Much better than being up with her for an hour or more, or her being up three times a night!

SHe's teaching me a lot right now. How to be patient, how to stay calm, how to frigure out what is really important. We have our moments, but things are much better right now than I thought they would be. I want to teach her how to handle her feeling when she just wants to explode. I want to show her how to communicate how she feels instead of just screaming and yelling. I want to let her know it's ok to feel frustrated and annoyed and disappointed sometimes. I want to let her know that I am aalways there to help her, no matter how bad my day is, no matter what time ofthe night it is. I want her to always know how much I love her and how blessed I am that she is my baby girl.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eli- 6 Months

My boy is 6 months old. I can't believe how fast time is going. He had his 6 month check yesterday and he weighs 16lbs 12 oz! He's so fat and happy now. In fact, he's so fat his feet are round. It's adorable.

All day long he chats and sings and babbles. Loudly. I think he's trying to be heard over Hana. He adores his sister. Sometimes they just stare at each other and laugh, it's adorable.

He's now an expert at sitting. No rolling or crawling yet, but he's trying. Instead of swimming when he's on his belly he tries to push, he's just not quite strong enough yet. I don't mind him not being able to go on his on for a while longer - it makes my life much easier.

He's so jolly, so happy all the time. He has the best grin I have ever seen in my life and I get it almost every time he looks at me. The only time I've ever really seen him unhappy was when we stuffed him into his bunting bag to keep him warm. He looked so mad, it was adorable.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


See that! It is technically a sweater. A very short one with no sleeves, but a sweater none the less.

I'm even still working on it. Actually the body is about an inch longer than it was when I took that pic earlier today. That was right after I divided the sleeves and tried it on her to see if it fit. So far so good. I'd like to get the body done this week and then the sleeves over the weekend. I already have a design in mind for Eli.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I'm knitting a sweater. At least I hope what I'm knitting will become a sweater and not just another UFO at the bottom of my knitting bag that I cover with yarn so I don't need to think about.

Kim (my wonderful SIL) and I were talking about knitting and it's unfortunate association with old ladies. So I was showing her some Ravelry links to nice sweaters. We found this one that we both liked. I told her if she got me the yarn I'd make one for her. In my impatience (and this happened less than 24 hours ago) I decided to cast one on while I wait. Except it's a slightly smaller version for Hana.

The fun thing about that is I've had to modify the pattern. A pattern that I've never done before. A pattern for a type of sweater I've never knit. Should be interesting. I'll keep you updated (cuz I know wondering about my progress on the sweater is going to keep you up at night).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Creamy Potatoe Soup

This is my new favorite meal. It's super easy and tastes so good. Hana loves it too!

(I don't actually measure anything, so these are guesses, you might have to adjust to taste)
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk (I use soy, if using cow's milk, add flour so it doesn't go all nuts)
diced onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs butter
3 cups cubed potatoe
2 cups cubed carrot
pepper, salt, other spices to taste

sautee the onion and garlic in the pan, then add broth and milk. Heat, but do not boil. Add potato, carrot and spices, cook until veggies are soft. Take out some and blend, then add back to the soup (makes it thicker). I blend almost all of it - I like nice thick creamy soup. I also made a "cheeter" version today - I didn't have any broth or onion (really hate grocery shopping so I put it off) so I used water and onion soup mix. A little too salty for my taste (even with the low sodium kind) but still yummy. Ben and Hana also really like this soup, always a good thing. This makes a lot of soup - I'm debating freezing some or just having left overs all weekend.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Diva Convert

Warning: This post is about menstrual cups. If you don't want to know, stop reading.

Over the past few years, I have become (in the words of my mother) a hippie. It started with the babywearing, then the organic/whole foods, cloth diapers, reusable bags and now this: the Diva Cup.

Diva Cups are a brand of menstrual cup - reusable cups worn internally to catch menstrual flow. I know what you're thinking. No really, I know. When I first heard of them I thought it was the most disgusting unsanitary gross and all those other adjectives too, but somehow I've changed my mind.

I think it started with cloth diapers. Anyone who has switched to cloth realizes that washing poop off a diaper is much less icky than wrapping it up in plastic for all eternity (have you ever stopped to think how much poop is in a landfill? now that's gross!). Next came FAM (fertility awareness method, a form of natural, non-hormonal birth control) where I got to know my body better, inside and out, and got much less squeemish about discharge and that whole area. Finally, there was birth, with all it's discharge, blood and general ickyness. I don't know how anyone could be squeemish about such things after that.

Along with the cloth diapers, I had already started thinking about using cloth pads. The amount of waste with disposable pads and tampons is just insane, not to mention all the resources used in manufacturing them. I have issues with disposable products in general - it's intentional waste, used resources and packaging for something we intend to throw out. Doesn't sit well with me. Cloth pads seemed a good option, as they're reusable and preform the same function. They do, however, require upkeep and can get a little expensive.

Which lead me to menstrual cups. It didn't disgust me anymore (at this point I realize that a woman should never be disgusted by her own body), requires very little upkeep, and only cost 40$ (or about 3 months worth of pads). So I got one and this is my first cycle using it.

I thought it would be difficult to insert, but it wasn't. All it requires is knowing where your cervix is so you can place the opening of the cup around it. Using FAM I was good to go. I thought it might be uncomfortable, but I don't feel it at all.

Now, to be realistic, it is a little messy to insert, but hands are washable. And it would be a little awkward to do in a public restroom, but can be left in for 12 hours, so that would rarely be necessary. There is no risk of TSS like with tampons, because the cup doesn't absorb, it just holds. Most importantly, aside from the box it comes in, there is no waste.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Story of my life lately. So many good intentions falling short, good ideas left in waiting, commitments forgotten. Sigh.

I blame the weather - everything is shades of grey right now. We do get a lot of sun in our main room, but only for a few hours. It feels like the days are actually shorter, when really they're just darker, and it's hard to be motivated in the dark.

Still, not everything is being neglected - I had my first babywearing client this week and I think it went really well. I'm hoping to have a few clients each month - teaching them the importance and value of keeping their babies close in cloth carriers. Honestly I don't know how people do it without carriers, especially with babies like Hana. Eli is different - he's mostly just in a sling when we go out, not so much at home. Hana, on the other hand, is still wrapped at least once a day to help settle her for bed. She's also really started liking looking over my shoulder while I cook. It has the added benefit of keeping her from climbing on the table, always a good thing.

Every day I get up (far too early in my oppinion), clean, play, cook, think, spend time with my kids, make a few phone calls. I'm happy, I'm active (relative to a few months ago at least) and I'm feeling much more productive than I have in a long time.

There are still more things I would like to get out of my head and into writing, but I'm working on it. It's not about lack of time, but misplaced time, a lack of priorities. Baby steps.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hana - 26 months

THe past month Hana has changed a lot. She's talking so much now - conversations, stories, imaginative play. The other day she and I were playing in her kitchen and she said "oh, mama very thirsty!" and then got one of her little cups, held it under her little faucet, and then gave it to me "here, drink of water, much better!" and I was so proud of her.

She's such a caring kid. Any time she sees someone sad - weather here or on tv - she gets this concerned look and says "oh, big hug." Sometimes she even says "needs milk" which I find cute - she picked that up from Eli waking up hungry and crying.

She knows the letters of the alphabet, can count to 15, builds towers with blocks, jumps, sings songs and picks up her toys. She's even learning hte yoga poses on the Wii fit. We have so much fun together.

She's still waking at least once a night, but we think it's some sort of odd sleep walking/sleep talking thing. One night she came into our room to tell us her diaper was broken. Another time she said she was very hungry and needed some toast. Last night she was screaming at the top of her lungs for a blue crayon. Most of the time she goes right back to sleep, but it would still be nice if she just stayed in bed. I keep telling myself it will happen when she's ready, and in the meantime we take every day as it comes.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Eli - 5 months

I can't believe he's 5 months old already. In fact, I'm so in shock about it that it hadn't even occured to me until now that I needed to do his update.

He's grown so much. Over 15lbs according to our Wii Fit. He has learned to sit and is trying very hard to get moving when he's on his belly. He laughs and grins and chews on anything he can get his hands on.

He's all boy. I have to admit I was a little nervous about raising a boy - I never really spent much time with little boys so it was an unknown. It's so natural tho. I can see his personality - curious, determined, intense. Whatever he's doing he puts all of his attention into. Play hard and sleep hard. And he does sleep. Two naps a day and wakes once at night, it's like a dream. All day long he's always thinking, doing, trying, and then when he sleeps he crashes and is so peaceful. It's a wonderful thing.