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Tuesday, 17 April 2012 09:38

A Day in the Life - TAT

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This week, Growing up Geeky and Love, Lattes and Lullabies are hosting Toddle Along Tuesday with 'A Day in the Life'.  I find this theme to be quite daunting - and I'm nervous to admit what I do (or don't do) on a given day.

A typical day for us starts at about 8am (my husband has flexible work hours, so he lets his alarm go off until he feels like getting out of bed...), which is about the time Celia wakes up and starts talking to us through her bedroom door.  Brian grabs a bottle of milk for her, and brings both Celia and bottle to lie next to me in bed while she drinks.  I love this almost-cuddle time, but it often ends up being more of a wrestling time, since Celia seems unable to stay still while doing anything.

Celia then rolls herself off the bed (with a little help) and I reluctantly follow.  Then I typically forget to change her diaper and settle her in to her booster-chair to have some breakfast - usually oatmeal, cream of wheat, waffles, or pancakes.

Then it's playtime with her toys.

I'm hoping to change her schedule a bit, but recently, Celia has taken her long nap from about 10 or 11am for about two to three hours.  For this reason, I rarely tackle leaving the house in the morning, so I have to admit that we don't get out much. During her nap, I spend some time online, do some house cleaning and since being pregnant I often have a nap myself.

After Celia wakes up, it's lunchtime, and then playtime while I clean-up. 

Then, we don't have much time until one of Celia's babysitters comes to watch her while I teach piano.  I have three different pre-teenage girls (two of whom trade me babysitting for piano lessons) who watch Celia in her bedroom or downstairs while I am teaching. 

Then when Daddy gets home, it's supper time (which I've hopefully prepared before I began teaching), and then playtime with Daddy while I continue teaching. 

Every two or three days, Celia has a bath before bed (she's started really disliking them, so we don't push it).  Then at about 7:30 or 8, it's time for another bottle of milk, followed by tooth brushing.  Then storytime, prayer and bedtime.

If I have energy after that, I do a bit more house cleaning and read a book or watch TV with Brian. Then I have a bath, and go to bed!

I'd like to say we go out more, but I don't have a vehicle while Brian's at work, and the weather here has been a bit too cold to go outside even still.  I can't wait until it warms up!

Monday, 16 April 2012 22:00

Be Ready for Anything...

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I've been trying to read more news articles - particularly on children and parenting recently, and there's a significant trend in reporting on the concept of 'helicopter parenting', and it's quite a controversial topic.

This article on the Today Moms website, talks about crawling helmets being made for babies - not for riding on a bicycle or anything like that - but for everyday crawling around the house.  To protect them from normal baby bumps and bruises. 

I doubt that a helmet on a baby at 8 months will significantly affect how this child behaves when he is older, but the pattern indicated by the parents who require this at this age might just indicate a level of paranoia that will probably significantly affect that poor child when they are old enough to realize just how abnormal their parents are.  By putting a helmet on a crawling baby, you might decrease his risk of a serious head injury, but you are also likely increasing his risk of a serious psychological imbalance.  I have seen children who are 'babied' to a small degree, and they become adults who are not really confident in being adults.  They have been told that they need help and protection from everything, so they go along with that, and never branch out on their own or do anything productive for themselves.  They become unproductive and unsatisfied people. 

I have a 16 month old daughter, and not a week goes by when I don't panic about some terrifying possibility or another.  My daughter could get hurt someday - but honestly, there are no lengths I could go to that would protect her from everything.  There is ALWAYS - no matter what I do - the chance out there that she could get hurt, or even killed.  My daughter is mortal - someday she will die - and I pray that it is not for at least another 80 years, but no one has that guarantee. 

So, with every choice I make with her, I have to think about the immediate consequences as well as the long-term ones.  Ultimately, what will this choice do for my daughter, and what is the likelyhood of each possible consequence?

If I allow her to go to the park unsupervised, is the 0.0002% risk that she could be kidnapped enough to outweigh the 48% risk of her having less confidence as an individual if I keep her home, and never allow her in public without an adult closely present?

Will she be required to wear a helmet while riding a bike? Absolutely.  Will I demand she wear a seatbelt in the car? Of course.  Will I teach her how to protect herself and be wary of strangers? Yes. 

But there will come a day when she will the leave the house and I won't see what she does.  She might be 13 and riding a bike with her friends helmet-free, or 17 and getting into a vehicle and choosing not to wear a seatbelt.  Someday, she may choose to trust someone who shouldn't be trusted and allow herself to be taken advantage of.  And I will have to pray and trust that I have taught her well, and that she will choose by herself - with no one watching her - to be as safe as she can be.

As her mother - from the moment she came into being, I began the process of letting go.  The process of realizing that she is not part of me, but an entirely separate being, and is learning how to be 'herself' more and more each day. 

Yes, I want her to be safe, but I want so much more for her to be HER. Even if that means taking a few bumps and bruises along the way.  I have to accept the fact that anything could happen, and that is part of life, but I will make every effort to make sure that she is free to be herself. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012 22:35

Helicopter Town in Florida?

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I just ran across this article about a town in Florida that has banned children under the age of 18 from leaving their homes without adult supervision.  This seems like insanity to me, anyone else?

I had a friend once who commented on how she couldn't let her 9-year-old daughter walk to the park alone because she didn't feel it was safe.  So, she was worried about her daughter getting the amount of exercise she needed based on the fact that my friend didn't have time to take her every day.  I thought this was crazy.  Has our world changed so much since I was a child that a few blocks' walk to the park is considered unsafe? 

Please let me never become that sort of parent...

I may struggle someday with letting my children out of my sight - I am an extremely paranoid person, after all - but I believe in the importance of independence, and my children will never learn how to survive on their own if they are not increasingly 'on their own' as they grow up.  Not that I'll leave them to fend for themselves, but at 9 years old, isn't a walk to the park a good place to start?

Friday, 13 April 2012 09:42

She's Talking!

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My daughter may be 'behind' the world in learning to walk (nearly 16 months), but her language skills are heading through the roof! Maybe she's not that special, but it amazes me how this little girl who didn't walk or talk (not even a word) a month ago, is suddenly able to have entire conversations with me...

She started out with (probably typical) 'Dadda', and 'No!', and although she said 'Mumma' occasionally, it wasn't consistent enough for me to think she knew what she was saying... about last week she started pointing to me and saying 'Mumma', and the other night she started crying and when Brian walked into her room, she said 'Mumma!' as if she wanted me (I'm definitely more likely to pick her up and cuddle her...).

Now all of a sudden this last week, I've heard her say the words 'more', 'ball', 'Grandma', 'Grandpa', 'Table', 'Diaper', 'Cat' (which is weird, because we've always referred to the cat as 'Kitty'), 'baby', 'down', 'up'... ok, that's all I can remember at the moment, but I'm impressed!

Last night we even heard her talking in her sleep! Nothing intelligible, but it was cute anyway. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012 10:35

Another Late TAT...

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I'm late for another Toddle Along Tuesday with Growing Up Geeky, but I thought this was another fun one and wanted to do it anyway...

So after much thought about this particularly photo hunt - what exactly is a 'photo blooper' anyway? - I came up with these photos, not because the photos themselves were bloopers - I took them very deliberately - but because it seemed like a 'life blooper' I was catching on 'film'. 

Do you see why I found this funny? Look a bit closer if you don't...

I just want to note that I did not put her soother on her face.  I found her this way during an afternoon nap - I have no idea how the soother ended up there, but I thought it was hilarious anyway...

Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:35

Pregnancy Update

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With all of the chaos in my life right now, I frequently forget that I'm pregnant at all, which is actually nice in some ways considering how obsessed I was with my first pregnancy.  The less I think about it, the faster the time goes by.

So, the first trimester has almost slipped past me already, and I'm just a few days passed the 11 week mark. 

Image from

If my baby were a cartoon, he/she might look something like this.  I had a doctor's appointment this week on Tuesday, and heard the heartbeat for the first time.  It was beating at 176 bpm, which is pretty much exactly where Celia's heartbeat was at this time. Next week I have my second ultrasound, and I'm excited to see my little bean look a little more like a baby!

So far I'd have to say that pregnancy is fairly nice to me all around.  I've had a few moments of extreme-run-to-the-bathroom-to-throw-up nausea, and my energy level is severely depleted, which isn't helped by the fact that my family seems to undergo all levels of crisis whenever I'm pregnant, but that is really all I can complain about.  This baby seems to be a much pickier eater than Celia was, and there is a long list of things that make my stomach turn right now... I really hope that changes after the baby is born.

Friday, 06 April 2012 11:54

Pre-Parenting Exercise

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Recently I was browsing through some old documents on my computer, and I came across an exercise that Brian and I did together when I was pregnant with Celia.  I'm sure I found it on the internet, and I didn't keep the 'instructions', but I think the basic idea was for each parent to rank the following parenting areas from most important (10) to least important (1) individually, and then to come back and compare each other's lists and discuss any discrepancies.

I don't remember how our discussion went here either, but here is the list, and our ranking.

     Samantha's Ranking                        Parenting Area                           Brian's Ranking         
10 Moral Values 8
9 Religion 9
8 Education 10
7 Nutrition 2
6 Activities 4
5 Manners 6
4 Grooming 3
3 Friends 1
2 Chores 5
1 Money 7

I think I want a re-do, because I'm not sure this is how I would rank all of these things now, and I think Brian might want a second crack at this also. 

There were some notes in the document about our discussion surrounding some of these items - where I had ranked 'money' low, and Brian had ranked it relatively high, our discussion indicated that we were translating 'money' to meaning very different things.  It is not important to me that my child is wealthy someday, and I hope they choose a life path that is more in line with their beliefs and happiness than with what will profit them financially.  Brian was viewing this as being related to 'self-sufficiency', and so I had to agree that although I don't want my children's lives to be 'ruled by' money, I will certainly expect that they are able to be self-sufficient as adults. 

The discrepancy on nutrition is still a point of some contention... Since I struggle with PCOS and how that effects my body image, it's important to me to try to eat healthy and give my children the best chance in that way as I can.  Also, Diabetes is rampant in our family, so I want to avoid excess sugar to try to ward off this illness as much as I can with myself and my children, but my husband seems to feel as though it's really 'no big deal'. Sigh.

This was a fun exercise though - if you're like me and enjoy this sort of thing.  How would you rank these areas? Does your spouse agree or disagree?

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 21:11

Potty Pictures

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I really fought with whether or not it was 'ok' to post 'potty pictures' of my daughter on the internet - although I am the sort of person who really doesn't worry much about privacy, there's always a chance my children will. Oh well.  They have me for a mother.

This week's 'Tag Along Tuesday' with Growing Up Geeky requested favourite photos - that WE have taken. Not a professional, but in this case, a photo taken by myself.  This was difficult because so many of the best photos of Celia were taken either by my husband or a professional - and I'm really not that great a photographer. 

These photos are my favourite, because I think they are absolutely adorable... starting with the best picture...

These next two I included because although they aren't as good as 'photographs', they are really funny...

She's laughing to herself.

And in this one she looks so engrossed.  I love it.  I' gave her the book because although she easily poops on the potty, she has a little trouble with staying on the potty during the process... and I don't really enjoy cleaning it off the floor, so I was trying to keep her entertained without needing to move.

So, there it is.  I posted potty pics of Celia on the internet.  I hope she doesn't hate me for it.

Monday, 02 April 2012 21:23

Hat Day

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My daughter hates wearing anything on her head.  All summer long last year I struggled with keeping a hat on her head.  I decided wearing a hat was a non-negotiable however, so we would have long struggles where I would put the hat on, and she would take it off, and I would put it on, she would take it off... and we'd do that until she got tired of it, which was usually a pretty long time because she definitely inherited my stubbornness. 

Anyway, the other day she came across this hat...

She put it on her head, and didn't take it off for about 20 minutes.  It was adorable but somewhat confusing.

Celia, you HATE hats!!!?!!!?

Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:18

Too Many Bad Things...

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Does it ever feel like 'bad' things in life pile up? Sometimes they seem to all gang up on you and hit you at once...

Two nights ago, I received a call from an Aunt about one of my Grandpa's.  I knew he was dealing with cancer, but evidently he has become much worse and they are expecting him to die any day now.

Last night, while I was teaching piano, suddenly my husband runs up the stairs and asks 'How long have we not had hot water?'.  I said I hadn't been aware we were without hot water.  It turns out, he had just been downstairs to see the basement flooding with water from the water heater, and he was wondering how long it had been pouring out.  The plumber showed up and said we needed a new water heater, and it would cost him $1400 plus tax to do it.  We don't have $1400.  We don't even have $400 right now, so we will be without hot water until we can find a cheaper alternative or can come up with $1400. 

While we were waiting for the plumber last night, Brian got a call about his Grandpa saying that he had just received news of a potentially life-threatening health concern.  Nothing confirmed in this regard, but it's a scary situation for the family nonetheless.

Top all of this off with the fact that my Dad remains in his bed at the hospital, unable to really communicate with us and unable to do really anything, including eat real food.  The doctors have advised us that he should have a feeding tube 'installed' directly into his stomach, and that we should discuss our 'wishes' about resuscitation, etc.

Someone told me that bad things always happen in three's, and although the water heater isn't nearly as big a deal as the other three things, it still seems to tip the scales in the 'too many bad things happening' direction.

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