Thursday, July 22, 2010

PhD in Parenting

Still feeling guilty about going back to work, and stumbled upon this great post on Dr. Phil's Stay at home Mom Vs. Working mom show.

PhD in Parenting

stay at home vs the working mom

i have a neighbor that I mostly really like, but she continually rants about how much work it is to be a stay at home mom. These rants are peppered with snide remarks about nannies "raising the children" on the street, kids calling thier nanny "Mommy" and daycares and dayhomes being a threat to the safety of children everywhere. Of course, I used a dayhome with DS #1 and am getting a nanny upon my return to work, facts which she is well aware. We live in a well to do neighborhood, so she also comments that anyone living around us doesn't "need to work". Yep, guess I should quit my job and move to government housing - that would really give my offspring a leg up. This, from a woman who stops breastfeeding at 5 months because it's no longer convenient and feeds her baby canned food. We all make our choices.

I'm on mat leave with my second child, and to be honest, it is WAY less work than a full-time job, plus parenting & life maintenance (groceries,laundry,and all that fun stuff). As a stay at home mom, I read the paper everyday. I relish a coffee, often outside in the sun while my kids play in the sand box or climb up and down the slide. I have time to check my facebook account and time to write a blog. When I go back to work, most of these wonderful parts of my day will disappear. I get to make my kids breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have naps with them in a big pile of blankets. It's awesome, and I appreciate it becuase it is fleeting - I will be going back to work. Maybe being at home with her kids really is hard work, as I often hear her screaming at her children in utter despair, and god bless her poor husband, who gets home from work, makes dinner and then gets yelled at about every 10 minutes for not completely taking over the parenting upon entry to the house.

I wouldn't mind staying at home, but went to school for a long time to have a career that I really love and that pays me very well. Better than hubby makes. Financial stability and lifestyle choices result in me partly wanting to work, and partly needing to work. So I stare at the fence as she rants, and uncharacteristically say nothing, run to my blog and vent. Thanks for listening.

distance creates the closest families

So, I'm back from 3 weeks with my family. And while the visits with individual aunts, uncles, cousins and brothers were good, my dad's girlfriend could not have been more poorly behaved. Rewind - my mother died of cancer 4 years ago and the hag moved in a year later, much to my horribly lonely fathers delight. the children, myself included, all dislike her for various reasons but this visit took the cake, rallying her to such ultimatums as "you need to choose - your children or me!" Who says such a thing. The sister in law noone likes also threw a tantrum resulting in one brother now avoiding all family functions for some indeterminate time. Living away from my family has been a source of angst for me for 15 years, as I miss the big get togethers and events and think my children will grow up restless and flightly by not having the village of family to watch over them. But in church last sunday, reflecting on all the great things my life has brought our family, i vowed to stop the cycle, and act with love and forgiveness in dealing with the crabby girlfriend and mentally unstable sister in law. Good luck to me, eh?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Must have Baby list...

So I'm packing for another trip home to visit my long distance family and am going over the things I will need for my 4 year old and 6 month old to remain occupied in houses with next to no toys...aka Grandpa's farm. My sister in law is expecting her first baby in the fall and I'm looking around my kid clutter wondering what she needs so I thought I'd share my Must Have Baby list after the second child...Note: this is very different from a mom's first baby must have list, which, due to the paranoid society in which we live, new mom's are conditioned to believe that the socilogical development of thier child will be EXTREMELY enhanced by some gadget or gizmo...I am not a follower of this school of thought so my list is simple.

1. A door hanging jolly jumper. Not a jumparoo. The jolly jumper allows baby from about 3.5 months or head holding time, to rocket themselves thru space in a most enjoyable manner and is easily packable in any suitcase or diaper bag. Both my boys love the door hanging Jolly Jumper and can easily spend more than an hour jumping with glee, and have been known to completely wear themselves out in it and fall asleep with their little heads lolling cutely. I had a jumparoo and it sucked. Big, bulky, any didn't allow baby to do 360's to explore the world around. And the real Jolly Jumper is less than 1/2 the $$.

2. Dingly Dangly noise making toys with chewing gadgets. These come in about 1 trillion different forms and every one is enjoyable to baby. Favorite is the book like plush animals that have different stimulation formats on each page. Disney also has a winnie the pooh animals "flower" and this too is well loved among the babies in my life.

3. Play mat - find one with good stimulating colors and lots of hooks for cool toys. For my first I borrowed a friends and bought aforementioned dingly dangly noise making toys. For the second I bought the Precious Planet mat secondhand for $25 and it is a sweet playmat. Make sure the bottom disconnets so you can wash the mat as spit and slobber will collect in mass amounts during a good play session.

4. An exersaucer - this is only good for a short term, between head holding and crawling so don't break the bank. and if you've got a jolly jumper, the exersaucer may be duplication.

5. You. There is nothing that will bring your child more pleasure than your attention, your smile, a good story read by you, or a snuggle on baby's tickle points.

That is it for my must have list, assuming you've got a crib and boobs for milk. Breast pumps are good is your exclusively breastfeeding but not used as much as you think they'll be. Grobags are ok, but not worth the $$, cheaper versions work great. And I've already posted on cloth diapers so that's all I've got for today.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calgary Perennial Garden in June

What's out and about in a Calgary garden? My tulips are just finishing their show, and I'll have to split them this fall. Moss phlox has been on show for over a month. Bleeding hearts are just popping the first of thousands of those beautiful drops. Mayday, crabapple, plum and chokecherry are done, their last fragrant wisps have left my backyard. Lilacs are fading, but their scent is still strong. and this week my globeflowers exploded in yellow as well. Dianthus, a biannual, are on their 3rd season and I even split some clumps this year. Front yard bigroot geraniums are peeking out a few flowers but the backyard ones are a few weeks behind. One lonely purple tongued bearded iris has flowered in a pot.

Anticipation is building as my lupins have beautiful heads about to pop. Peonies have formed buds and the ants are marching up and down. Still shooting upwards are the delphiniums, yarrow, shasta daisies, meadowsweet, sedums, poppies...hmmm what else do I have back there?? Beebalm, daylilies, lilies, hollyhocks, more irises, wild rose, david garden phlox....all these grow really well in my new neighborhood soil.

What is struggling are mock orange, hydrangea, regular apple trees. And surprisingly my hostas are just peeking out of the's almost July! I can't recall if this is normal, but now that I've blogged it out, I'll know for next year! I know that I was impressed with the spread of the hostas sometime last August.

I am sad though as it appears I killed a few rows of my vegetable garden by putting mushroom compost a little too thickly as topdressing. My carrots, lettuce, green onion, and some peas have yet to poke their heads thru and it's been 5.5 weeks since planting. Beets, spinach, sunflower, potatoes, beans and some peas are a few inches tall. Yum!

Update on Kuwaii cloth diapers....kill that smell please!

so after raving for months and months, I unhappily noticed something awful about my precious diapers. They were really starting to stink! with the warmer weather, my laundry room was a cesspool if I didn't wash daily. The smell continued to get worse. I tried sunning them. I tried hot water washes. Then one day I recognized the smell....chicken coop. Ammonia. My diapers were reeking of ammonia. I remembered one lady telling me her poor baby's penis was bleeding from ammonia levels in his pee being too high. I began to watch for signs of illness in my Peanut Butter baby. I began to search ebay for new diaper inserts, thinking maybe I'd try bamboo or hemp to compare the difference vs. microfibre.

Then I googled "Ammonia cloth diaper" and all was illuminated! Turns out detergents build up on diapers, especially my favorite microfiber filled Kuwaii's. And blog after blog said that Rockin Green diaper detergent was a kick ass way to kill that ammonia smell fast. So off to the Rockin Green site, and I found a retailer right here in town! She dropped off the detergent the same day and my testing began with the 1 hr soak. Didn't work. Too much detergent and diapers still smell like a chicken coop! Soaked the other half of my stash overnight and BAM! the smell is gone!

volunteering sucks...a bible girl gone bad

so isn't volunteering supposed to make you feel like you're contributing to society? Give you the warm fuzzies and add a bit of spring into your Mary Poppins step? why does it just irritate me? how many hours should it take to organize 150 volunteers for a community bbq? Alot! Too many. Lucky for me it's all over come saturday!

I was raised Uber-religious. First Catholic, then Pentecostal Assemblies, and then the Victory Chuch. I was a peer-tutor, I taught Sunday School, I was awarded the United Way award for volunteering. I used to love to volunteer and didn't really feel like it was demanding too much of me. Now, between 2 kids, a man, a long distance family and daily life, I'm full up of giving. This community bbq just reminds of that fact.

When I was in bible school I volunteered at the homeless shelter as good Christian girls should. Problem was, I didn't really see those people as real people. And now, a more mature and worldwise me knows they didn't really appreciate the little pep chat I had to spew at them out of moral compunction. Since I left the church (mostly the Victory cult) I've learned so much about really seeing people as people rather than projects to be fixed. Nobody wants to be someone's pet project.

So I'm a bible girl gone bad. Lived in sin - it was the best decision I made during my early 20's. My husband and I have a great relationship and are very well matched. I am a member at an Alliance church that doesn't jump all over every decision and ask me to accept the word of church leaders as a direct word from above. I think there are alot of ex-Victory Church-ers out there, scarred from the demands of that church and the money hungry Hills. How is their retirement home in Hawaii anyway? I think God is trying to tell me to let it go. I get that feeling every time I drive by the Victory Church that sprang up in my neighborhood a few years ago. The feeling creeps in when I get little notices in the mail from them and it makes me want to scream, run down there and graffiti a warning on the front doors. Things are not as they appear people!!!So what brought on this rant? Hubby is watching season 2 of True Blood and they're showing the Leadership Retreat of the Church of the Sun....uncanny how true to life it is!!