Saturday, October 31, 2009

photog carnival!

First of all, here is Riley's new haircut. Doesn't he look way too old? But so cute.

I forgot to take an official 'before' picture previous to his haircut, so I just scrolled through some older photos to find one of him with longer hair. This isn't the greatest picture, but it does show how his hair was long enough to get in his eyes:

And after!!

A blueberry pie I made in September...

And our doggie when he was just 6 pounds. He now weighs 23 pounds and is still peeing on my floor. In fact, this is how he tells us he needs to go out, is by peeing just a small puddle. How on earth do I break him of this? It works, because I reenforce it every time by putting him out!!

Since labour day was so late this year we had a full week before school to do fun family stuff. One day we braved the new toll bridge by our house and went to Golden Ears Park for some hiking. The new bridge as opposed to the old ferry cuts the trip from an hour to an hour and a half, to fifteen minutes. Rock on! Obviously it was much warmer and sunnier in these photos than it is now.

Here we are rockin it country style at the IPE in Armstrong that same week

And some of our extended family on my side went out for a very nice meal to celebrate my Aunt Lynne's birthday;

First day of school!!! Gosh, that day never gets easier, because it always punctuates the fact that they are really a whole year older and bigger and more independent...
First day of grade one;

First day of kindergarten;

Matthew's birthday!!!

And that, my dudes, concludes this photog carnival.

In other news, this new method of putting Riley to sleep works like a freaking DREAM!! Props to Brent, who put it into action and has been willing to keep it going. I tried it for the first time today when I put him down for a nap. It took only 5 minutes to put him to sleep, and then another 5 minutes to put him back to sleep after Matthew opened the bedroom door and yelled "Mommy!!!"
We cuddle him a bit until he's relaxed, then put him in his bed and hold him down by the hip/bum bones, just enough pressure to keep him from getting up, and pat his bum with the other hand. Within about 30 seconds he stops fighting, and then he relaxes again and drifts off to sleep without distress. Wow, a cool method I didn't read about it a book, that works like a charm without making him feel alone. How cool is that?
Go Vose Team, go!

Friday, October 30, 2009

just a quickie

My brother was given tamiflu and released to go back to his hotel room, and is already feeling better than he was. THANK YOU for all your prayers for him: I'm positive it helped hoist him back into the land of the well!!

Remember our Einstein Riley? He got his first haircut yesterday. He HATED it, so we gave hiim a lollipop [did I not learn at the harvest festival??? But it was just ONE lollipop, and after the haircut was done I snuck the rest into the garbage]. He looks so grow up!!! I cried afterwards a tiny bit, because he looks like a big boy now. And super cute.

Good news!! Brent found my camera cord so I can finally post photos again!!!!! Tomorrow. I promise.

Brent and I stayed up realllllllllly late last night sewing Ayden's halloween costume to wear to school today. I went to bed at 1 a.m. and got up at 4:30 to go to work for 10 hours. Brent went to bed at 2:30 and got up at 7:30 to take care of the kids all day. It was SO worth it, because Ayden won a prize for the BEST costume in the primary grades. Matthew got an award for the cutest costume in the primary grades, which is fabulous because then they both feel special and neither one of them is left out. The costume we made for Ayden was special requested; he wanted to be a mummy. His costume is FANTASTIC, and I will post photos tomorrow.
As you can understand, today I am just too tired.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

U2 and stuff

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for the support regarding my bullying neighbours....I appreciate all your ideas and support, so much. I am not sure what I'll do, but I like the idea of referring to Brent. I might even address the fact that they treat me differently--along the lines of, "I've noticed you speak to me less respectfully than you speak to Brent about problems, so I would rather you talk to him about it." And at work, I have to work out a way to be slightly more assertive without being rude. It's one of those universal problems everyone can relate to--you're so blindsided by the rudeness that you can't think of a good response on the spot. I think part of me just needs to accept that even with good conflict management on MY part, you can't win them all and there WILL be some people who persist in being rude or bullyish and who are just not going to like me. Once I let go of wanting to work out a positive relationship with them, I will be able to problem solve a way to work with them despite their dislike. (WHO, seriously, would choose deliberately NOT to like me? I'm nice! I like people!! *Sigh*)

Second of all, I wanted to ask for prayers for my brother. He is at Burnaby hospital with H1N1 flu, numb extremities, and difficulty breathing. I guess I don't post much about my brother, I'm realizing!!! He's 28, lives in McBride and runs a Vac Truck business that he built from scratch and sold for big money on the condition that he run it for another 2 years. He is also starting up a drilling business for mining prospectors, so he is very busy. He came to Vancouver this week to meet with potential drilling clients and got so sick he was stuck in his hotel room with no idea how to get to the hospital. Eventually his fiancee Morgan bullied him over the phone to get in a cab and go to the hospital, which is where he was the last I heard (last night). The bullying involved me, because she threatened to send me to his hotel room to get him and take him to the hospital, and he was worried about spreading H1N1 to my kids. He's generally healthy, although he only has a half a pancrease left as the aftermath of a barfight years ago. My brother's name is Chad. He's the one in our family who always gets in these catastrophic scrapes and has these near death experiences (Grizzly bear confrontations, pickup truck totalling, bar fights, etc), so it should really come as no surprise that he is now the one to catch H1N1 pretty seriously. Chad and I are very different people, but we get along really really well.
So, pray.

Thirdly, last night Brent and I went on the best, most amazing, fantastic date we've gone on in years. We went out for dinner and then to the U2 360 degree tour show in Vancouver!!! U2 is the one concert we WILL SPEND MONEY and carve out the time to go see. Their music has always been a part of the soundtrack of our relationship and a big part of what we listened to in the early years. Now we don't listen to as much music together but we are still both big U2 fans. IT WAS AWESOME!!! We went to Steamworks Pub in Gastown for supper (Brent's favourite). I had blackened salmon topped with homemade salsa on caesar salad, and a Kimono martini, and Brent had the lamb burger and 2 pints of pumpkin ale, and we shared the hedgehog ice cream pie for dessert....oh, the blissful calories....ohhhhhhh.......yummmmmmmm.......
Much to my disappointment, U2 was NOT having a preconcert dinner at Steamworks. We still had fun.
Then we took a cab to BC Place. The concert was so great. These guys really know how to put on a show (it helps to have millions and millions of dollars, dude). Look!

This was SO COOL. Beautiful Day was our walk back down the aisle after getting married song, and it has woken me up in the morning on Brent's phone alarm clock for YEARS. So we know every word, every note, every nuance, of that song VERY WELL :P
It's amazing the energy created by 60,000 people and four extremely talented musicians (and millions of dollars in sound and lighting equipment). I have designed a few sets in University and so I have a small appreciation for set design details, and this one was fantastic. Like, no imaginative creative dream was left unrealized.
Like, dudes.
I loved it.
And I love my hubby.
Fantastic date.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Okay, so Riley has changed up his sleeping patterns and this is posing a problem. Here's the problem: until now he has easily fallen asleep in our bed while nursing, then slept through a transfer to his own crib in the boys' bedroom and stayed asleep in his crib until after midnight. Now he will not always sleep through the transfer, and when he does he only stays asleep in his crib for about 10 minutes before waking up and wailing. I need that few hours after all the kids are in bed unencumbered, and I really really prefer to have access to my bedroom during that time. Otherwise, sex is an elaborate exercise in relocation, getting ready for bed must be done on tiptoe in the dark, and any objects like books or crochet or the laptop computer require some navigation to acquire. I don't mind doing all this for a newborn (who generally sleeps through all that anyways), but I DO mind doing all this for a 14 month old toddler. So. Problem.
Tonight I tried a few solutions. First, I nursed him to sleep in my bed and tried for the transfer. He sort of woke up for the transfer and only lasted 10 minutes. So I tried comforting him and putting him back in his bed, but he was having NONE of THAT. So I crawled inside his crib with him. I did that with Matthew a few times when we first adopted him, too. It works, but getting out without waking the baby is ridiculous. So I laid in his crib with him, repeatedly making him lie down, for over an hour before he finally fell asleep. Then when I tried to sneak out of the crib, he woke up and stood up and wailed. So much for that hour of my life. Jeepers. So then I tried the pick up/put down for awhile. I know that this method can work really well, and I also know it can take hours each night for several nights in a row. I was willing to put in the time, but I couldn't keep it up for more than five minutes because he's so HEAVY that it hurts my arms and back to pick him up and put him down repeatedly! So I went downstairs to see if Brent had any ideas. He offered to take a turn trying to get him to sleep in his own crib, and five minutes later he was back. Yup, five minutes of work and Riley was asleep. His technique? Hold him until he relaxes, put him in the crib, hold his hips firmly with one hand so he can't get up, and pat his bum with the other hand. Viola.
Was it that daddy has no boobs? Or is magical? Or that the 2 hours I spent trying to get him to sleep wore him out? All of the above, I think. Tomorrow he's going to gramma's house because Brent and I are going to a U2 concert, but Thursday night daddy's on duty again. In fact, I may put him on duty for naps also, to really get the message across that the crib is his bed now and that we are quite serious about him falling asleep there. I'll nurse him first, so he gets the same amount of milk in a day.
The joys of parenthood. Good thing I have such an awesome partner in crime.

Monday, October 26, 2009

14 months and 12 days

Did I mention I have another yeast infection on my breasts? Yeah, that SUCKS ASS. It's almost gone now, but it sure hurt for awhile there. I'm wondering if Kharma has it in for me? I obviously tortured a young mother heartlessly in a previous life and am now getting my just deserts. Is that how you spell that? I dunno. So, we took the boys to a harvest festival that Brent's parents' church, which happens to be our friends Gary and Louise's church also, was organizing last night. That was a hideous sentence. Can a former English major REALLY write such an aweful sentence? I'm going to leave that the way it is, so you can all have a laugh and feel good that someone who majored in English can write such a horrific sentence. There is hope for us all.

Okay, harvest festival. Games, a cookie walk, a lollipop tree, a craft table, songs, hot dogs, and CANDY. LOTS AND LOTS OF CANDY!!! For #3, I don't generally seek out junk food for him, but I don't restrict him much. If he wants what his brothers are eating, he can have some as long as there are no nuts. So, he had LOTS AND LOTS OF CANDY from 4 pm til 7 pm last night. Brent went off to work and I drove my three sticky, hyper, vibrating, wild, overstimulated boys home to bath them and put them to bed. My older two worked off their sugar high in the bathtub, but Riley stayed up very late. He was still bopping around my bedroom when I fell asleep at 11:30, fried and angry and swearing off sugar and HFCS for the rest of our lives. Sometime shortly after I fell asleep he crawled back on our bed, attached himself to my nipple, and didn't let go until 7 a.m. Every time I tried to ease myself away from him, he woke up frantic and reattached himself. I couldn't find the soother so I just stayed stuck to him. With the yeast infection, it's painful to nurse him so I can't really sleep through it that well, so needless to say NEITHER of us got very much sleep last night. Holy CRAPOLA! Did I ever pay for not caring if my 14 month old eats candy. I care now. Not for him, but for ME.

Especially if there is a chance I might run into an ex at the grocery store, I'm gonna need my beauty rest.

Today marks 14 months and 12 days of breastfeeding Riley, which is officially one day longer than I have ever breastfed one child before. I nursed Ayden for 14 months and 11 days, which I only know because the last day was the day of my friends' wedding, which I was in, and during which I got dehydrated and was separated from Ayden, and that was the last of my milk. I didn't try too hard to get it back, because I was pretty well emotionally done with breastfeeding at that point. For those of you who don't know, Ayden was one of those *SURPRISE* gifts you get from the Universe about 2 or 3 years earlier than you want them?? I wasn't ready. Brent wasn't ready. Our bank account wasn't ready! So by 14 months I felt like I had slogged around in pregnancy and breastfeeding land for a good, long time and I just wanted to feel normal and unattached (physically) to a baby. I really clearly remember feeling that I had sacrificed SO MUCH time and effort and personal space and bodily beauty to breastfeed this child by 14 months. This time around it feels so different, because we are so used to being parents and having no personal space and to putting in the effort required to care for offspring, so it feels like breastfeeding was normal and not wildly selflessly giving like last time. Once I stopped nursing Ayden I was so glad to have my body back to myself for about a month. Then I missed it WILDLY. I would still cry when he was 2 1/2 and I was cuddling him to sleep or giving him cow's milk, because I wasn't breastfeeding him and I missed it.
I was worried this time that my milk might disappear again. Maybe magically at 14 months and 11 days, it would disappear. Of course that didn't happen. I didn't say my fear was RATIONAL; I said it EXISTED!!!
My goal with Riley is 2 years, and then beyond that i will let him decide when he is finished. If he tries to decide before 2 I will actively encourage continuing and consider it a 'nursing strike.'
At my last La Leche League meeting he was playing with the toys and the kids on the floor, when he suddenly stopped in his tracks to investigate what one of the little boys (who is 4 years old and still nursing--props to his pregnant momma!) was up to. It was so funny to watch his face. It was like, "What's he doing? Ohhhhhhh, he's getting milkies! I WANT MILKIES, TOO!! MUST HAVE MILKIES!! WHERE IS MOMMA? THERE SHE IS! MOMMA, MILK, MILK, MILK, MILKMILKMILKMILKMILKIES!!" And he climbed frantically into my lap and nursed for 10 minutes amongst all that noise and activity. So cute.

Another one of my neighbours yelled at me today about my dog. I hate this place. I need my own house, with my own yard, where we can do what we want and it's nobody's business. After she stormed off from my door, I went into the kitchen and put my head on the counter and cried so hard. So, so hard. Why can't people just be nice? Why aren't people kind? Do I look like the type of person who can be easily bullied? Because I get bullied at work and I get bullied by my neighbours and I'm just so FUCKING SICK OF IT! Sorry about the swearing. I can't say it out loud anymore because my kids are too smart, but I can say it on my blog because you're all adults so hopefully you won't be adversely affected by my swearing influence. When I was venting to Brent about it after he woke up this afternoon, I said, "It's hard for me because you are either working or sleeping when people see me out with the dog, so I get the brunt of the poor conflict management and angry behaviour from the neighbours." But we both stopped and kind of realized at the same time that neither neighbour would have said anything rude or angry to Brent. For some reason, they respect him more. What is it about me that makes me an easy target for people who are looking for an outlet for their pent up anger, rudeness, resentment, or general dissatisfaction with life? I don't roll over and take it. I don't! I stand up for myself! I try really really hard to walk that fine line of assertive but not defensive or aggressive. I have a temper and I try to control it and not getting defensive but rather talking it out. Do I need to be more peremptory? More confrontational? More rude? Maybe I just need to grow taller?
I'm at my wits end here, because I have no extra energy to deal with nasty people. I have three kids and a dog and a cat and a exceedingly messy house and a job and a husband (xoxo) and I just don't have any extra to spend on people who like to yelp at me about my dog doing normal dog things, like taking a poo in my own yard, or escaping out the door and running into the front yard. Neither do I have extra energy to spend on bitchy ER nurses who cut me down in front of my coworkers by saying I don't take good histories when it's impossible to GET a freaking history from a man who has had a stroke and his wife who knows nothing about his medical history. Maybe you can surmise a good idea of someone's medical history and of what exactly happened today from that, but I can't.
And maybe I'm going into the wrong profession, because midwives are the bottom of the medical pile when it comes to respect from their peers. I am not asking for respect, though. I could give a rat's ass what other medical professionals think of me as long as they keep it to themselves in my presence and don't bully me. Same with my neigbours. I know Susan doesn't like my dog. She doesn't like dogs in general, but I don't care. I know it probably drives her nuts that we have three small kids and a dog and we're always in the yard that adjoins hers, but I don't care. The only time I care is when she's ringing my doorbell with a shouting match planned and not one ounce of grace in her mind for me. Not one milligram.
No one stops to think that other people might be having a really bad day, or week, or year; that their car may have just been totalled or their mom just died or their husband beats them in the privacy of their own home at night sometimes or even simply that they might have an anxiety disorder and seasonal affective disorder and really need some freaking kindness today. Does anyone give anyone the benefit of the doubt these days? How do people run around being bullies and get away with it for so many years?

I might be overreacting. Just a tad. But I'm angry, and it is tough because I've worked so hard for years to control my temper but I'm seeing it NOT serve me well to control it in the manner that I have been doing. I don't want to unleash the temper but I don't want to be perceived as someone who can be bullied, either. And lately I'm getting the impression that quite a lot of people see me as a doormat they can wipe their feet on.
At least if I were some stranger at the grocery store, it would be a chance encounter with no lasting consequences. But these are people I live and work in close proximity with, so you would think they would consider the consequences of butting heads with someone they have to see over and over again. But somehow I'm such a low threat that I'm a doormat. Even though I'm not. Do I need to be more assertive? I feel like locking my doors and staying inside for the rest of my life, with people who are kind to me.
Except Riley when he eats candy. Then he's not very kind.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Palliative (work stories)

Most of us would generally like to not think about when or how we might die. This includes me. But some days I am forced to think about it, because I see people in my line of work who are either close to death, or have already died. I have a few things to say about this. First of all, when I think about dying, I would really rather NOT do it in a hospital. I'd rather die in my sleep, after a peaceful, pain free evening of watching ocean waves or birds in the trees, or a beautiful sunset or something, in my easy chair or my own bed. But I've seen quite a few situations where people want to die at home but it becomes too difficult to get adequate pain control or to stay hydrated, and then they are tortured by the time someone calls an ambulance. It's hard to say what is better; try to stay at home until you can't handle it in hopes you can die at home, or plan to go to the hospital near the end? Home care can help, but if it isn't working for whatever reason, what is the plan B? I just hate to see dying people in pain. Like, writhing around and yelling pain. Some pain is sometimes inevitable, and something we have to come to terms with. But uncontrolled pain that can be helped by drugs or hydration, simple things we have to offer people to help ease the transition, is heartwrenching.
Sometimes I want to sign a DNR order now, while I'm in my early thirties and healthy, so I can avoid the indignities of a drawn out thing and the ICU and heroic efforts that simply prolong suffering or render someone's final days, months, or even years to a semi bionic existence hooked up to machines. But then sometimes I think I'd rather have all heroic measures taken, for the chance at more hours of life, more time with my family, and more opportunities to learn to embrace life fully. I have been to deaths where the person had signed a DNR order, but the particular circumstances surrounding their death made it such that full resuscitation was likely and a few more good years possible, but the DNR renders this all to speculation because we are not allowed to resuscitate. I have also been to deaths that are inevitable, long, drawn out processes and they DON'T have a DNR order and we are forced to perform CPR on someone who is very ready to die. I've also been to deaths where CPR is hopeless, and the person's situation is incompatable with life, but CPR is done anyways, for the sake of the people watching, so we can say we did everything we could. This happens more frequently with sudden or traumatic deaths. Like car accidents and stuff. There is a crowd of fifty people standing around watching and guts all over the road and car parts and engine oil; what do you do, just stand there? There is expectation thick in the air that you will do something. So we do CPR. And then we call it. And then we cover them up with a blanket.
All CPR is futile, because no one ever gets out alive. We are always simply posponing the inevitable. Of course, it's not entirely futile, because we would all appreciate a few more years on earth, given the choice.

I have to tell you, this would be my ideal way to die: after a meal of cesar salad and steamed crab, a long cuddle with my kids, and some quality time with my hubby, I'd like to die so instantly I have no idea it's coming. One second, happy and cozy, the next second gone. Preferably somewhere where my family doesn't have to clean me up, if it were messy, which it often is if death is that sudden.

Just so the universe is aware of my order, I'm going to put that out there. Request made. We shall see how it pans out.

Last week here in Chilliwack someone tried to order up their own death; they put a gun in their mouth, pulled the trigger, and the Universe said NO. Now he has a scratch on his nose, a hole in his mouth, and another hole in the top of his head. He's fine. Some sheepish, but otherwise fine. At least he didn't blow his face off and survive, which I've also heard of. If your gonna survive, it's better to have a face.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Close calls, roasting ovens, and shenanigans

I'm glad you guys like my stories. It really helps me to rant them, and then let them go....
Caryn has a really awesome solution for my dog poop crazy neighbour: poop in a box and leave it on her doorstep, and videotape her opening the box. Replay on days where people are mean to you and need a laugh.
CHECK! Will be done tomorrow!!! WOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEE, would I LOVE TO SEE HER FACE!!!!!!!
I'll post the video here so you can all enjoy it with me. I promise I won't videotape myself pooping in the box.

So I had a close call today, of the non-life-threatening variety. I was at the grocery store line up around dinnertime with Riley in the cart and a conveyer belt full of groceries. I was wearing one of Brent's t-shirts, jeans that are too big for me, one pink sock and one blue sock, and a fuzzy ponytail. When it rains, what's the point of doing anything with your hair? It just fuzzes anyways. Unfortunately it rains like HALF THE YEAR here, so a fuzzy ponytail is pretty much my hairdo du annee as opposed to du jour. It was grungy and dumpy and made me look about 15 lbs heavier than I am, which is about 30 lbs heavier than I SHOULD be, but who cares, it's just the grocery store, right?
Well, I'm standing there when in walks MY EX BOYFRIEND. Not the one I had before I met Brent, but the one before that. The only one I would care about seeing me at all, because he was the only one I respected one single iota by the time the relationship was over. This particular boyfriend was meticulous about his appearance. He had this thing about dignity in public, which I was so obviously sorely lacking with my baby-lugging-grocery-shopping-30 lbs-too-fat-looking-fuzzy-hair motif, and which made me want to be Harry Potter with his invisibility cloak SO BADLY.
Not that I want my ex. Seriously, he and I were poison together. PUH-oison. But I do want this ex, if he ever sees me, to think "Shazam! She's looking great!! She's so pretty. I really liked her. Oh, how lucky her husband is to have such a great wife." I don't know if any of you can relate to this, but I want this reaction pretty bad. Especially because when he walks in the store he is dressed perfectly. Expensive black pants, funky and stylish yet very high end dress shirt, cool fluevog shoes, expensive black pea coat, and perfectly messy-yet-professionally styled hair. Urk. Have I ever felt more frumpy in my life? I think no. I use my spidey senses to watch him stroll over to the floral department and pick out a large bouquet of flowers (while listening to music on his iphone) and then come over and STAND BEHIND ME IN LINE as I hike up my pants and try desperately to suck in my gut and look 115 lbs. Ohmygoshohmygosh will he recognize me? Will he say anything to me? What will I say? I'm going to go all red and stutter, I JUST KNOW IT!
I turn around to face him and say hi, and I realize it's not him. It's not my ex boyfriend, the one with all the dignity and all the coolness and all the"Her husband is so lucky!!!"
Whew. That'll teach me to go to the store in my frumpy clothes and fuzzy hair. I want to cry with relief. And laugh out loud at myself, getting all worked up about NOTHING!

I bought a roasting oven recently. It is supposed to be for roasting turkeys and roasts, but I use it for turkeys and pasta sauce and APPLESAUCE in large quantities! I had an assembly line of child slave labour in my kitchen this afternoon: Matthew washed , Riley played in the washing water, I cored and peeled, and Ayden sliced and took out the hard bits that surround the seeds, which often get left behind by my corer. Suddenly I smelled something burning and realized that Riley had turned the roaster on to 450 degrees with just a few apples in it and no water!!! Yikes! I managed to save them without stepping on the underfoot dog, or swearing, or knocking any kids off their chairs.
Another 9 jars of applesauce, done! I have only 105 lbs of apples to go....

Working tomorrow....
Wish me luck!

Sleep, oh beautiful sleep, why can't we be BFFs?

So Riley is generally a good sleeper, but every time he changes that, I post about it. So it may seem he is a poor sleeper, but that is not the case. And I'm about to complain again. It doesn't bother me to wake up numerous times in the night to feed him. It doesn't bother me to nurse him to sleep as long as he settles down quickly. It doesn't bother me to have him sleep in my bed, as long as he starts off in his own. So, as you can see, I'm not that picky. But here is what DOES bother me: waking up in the middle of the night to a baby who is WIDE AWAKE AND WANTS TO PLAY! Oh boy. Last night he woke me up around 1:30 a.m. and I brought him into my bed, breastfed him, and he kept popping off to babble or climb on me or smack Brent in the face or kick me in the stomach. For two hours. This means that I fell asleep around midnight, woke up at 1:30, and stayed awake until about 3:30. And then. And THEN! He woke up to Brent's alarm at 7:00, squealing and excited to be alive!! Was I excited to be alive?? Um, no.

He normally naps at around 1:00 in the afternoon, but he crashed at 10:45 this morning. Surprising. I think the worst part is that I can't just let him play around while I sleep because he wants to be touching me at all times while playing in the dark in the middle of the night, which keeps me awake. If I could just put him in his crib and let him play, I would be okay, but there is no way he will put up with that without protest. And his brothers sleep in his room so if he protests it will eventually wake them up [but really I just can't bear to let him cry, though he's old enough now that I could Ferber him or pick up/put down sleep train him without guilt because he's well attached and has established trust--he's my #3 baby and I just can't do it. But I WILL if he makes this middle of the night coffee break a regular occurrence!].
What to do?
Complain about it, obviously. On my blog.

I've also been having trouble with anxiety again this week. On the weekend I missed 2 supplement doses in 36 hours, and I paid for it on Sunday. Hoo boy! I was anxious and angry and sad and just so afraid. Afraid of always feeling that way. Afraid of slipping back into a funk. Afraid of being the mom who yells and stomps around and generally dislikes her kids all winter [I exaggerate, but I'm always afraid of being That Mom]. Afraid of becoming unhappy!
It was a good confirmation that the natural supplements I've been taking [heretofore referred to as my crazy meds] are working. Which I appreciate. But I did already know they were working. And then later this week, on Wednesday, I forgot to bring my evening crazy meds to work with me on a 1:00 pm to midnight shift, so I was 7 1/2 hours late in taking them and I paid for that on Thursday. Wednesday night our last call of the night was one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" calls, which are generally routine public assist calls. We go, pick the person up off the floor, settle them in their bed/chair/walker/wheelchair, take some vital signs, offer to take them to the hospital, but leave after they refuse. But this one, though the patient kept reassuring us that he was fine and just needed help to get up off the floor, gave me very good reason to suspect a stroke. The entire left half of his body was drooping and weak, and he was having trouble answering my questions. He understood me perfectly, but couldn't always get his body to reply in answer to my questions, or move to follow my directions. So, off we went. BUT between his wife knowing nothing of his medical history except "He takes puffers for something," and the patient being pretty much uncommunicative, I had not much of a story to give to the hospital. I phoned ahead to let them know what I had discovered in my assessment of him, but for medical history I had almost zilch. Same with a story of what happened that night; did you trip and fall or get dizzy and fall? Did you lose consciousness? Did you eat today? Did you hit anything on the way down? What position did you land in? Did you hit your head? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
The nurse at the ER looked at me in front of six other people and said, "You are a very poor historian."

I went to her later and tried to explain myself, including the fact that it was the end of my shift and I was very tired. She rolled her eyes and said, "Yeah, well..." and shrugged her shoulders. I think she hates me. Why do random people you work with hate you? Isn't that weird?

Anyways, this scenario was driving me crazy by replaying in my head all day Thursday. I couldn't let it go. It funked me. I shouldn't allow people who choose to be jerks to funk me, but when I'm teetering on the edge of anxiety and fighting it off and forgetting my crazy meds, I just can't. It is too bad we can't all be more gentle and human with each other, you know? Allow each other to have moments that look like weaknesses; give each other the benefit of the doubt?
Then midday I let my dog out to pee and he decides to poop. Awesome, because it's not in my kitchen, right? One of my neighbours (the one who lives six doors down from me and whose lawn isn't in any danger of being pooped on) says to me, "Do you mind coming over here and cleaning up after your dog?" with a VERY crabby look on her face. "Yes, I'm planning on cleaning it up," I said. No way no how am I rolling over and taking accusations that I don't clean up my dogs poop. I DO clean it up, and hate doing it, and will take credit for doing it even when I hate to. She points to the ground and says, "It's right here. You need to clean up after your dog." "Yes I know it's right there, that's why I'm standing here, to watch where he poops and then go get a bag and come back and clean it up. I ALWAYS clean up after my dog." She says, "Hm. There's another pile over here in Susan's front yard." I didn't believe it was from Simon, though it is remotely possible. "From my dog?" "I'm sure it is; it's pretty small." Okay, I don't mind cleaning up that poop too, on the off chance that it is actually Simons, and because Susan doesn't have a dog so why should she have to clean up dog shit in her front yard? But I was PISSED OFF that this nosy busybody neighbour who doesn't even live next door to me is reprimanding me for not cleaning up my dog's poop when in actual fact it is clear to see that I'm standing outside in the rain in my socks in my yard, watching him poop. It's obvious to me that I fully intend to clean it up, and if it isn't obvious to her, then she should wait a few minutes to see if I do clean it up. And if I don't, she should be more polite about asking me to. Or she should mind her own fucking business and keep her trap shut, but we're talking bloody busybody. Let's be realistic.

I couldn't let that one go, either. When I went out to collect the poops in a bag I yelled over to her yard "I ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER MY DOG!!!!" and slammed the door. I don't know if she heard me or not but it sure felt good. I'm pretty sure she did hear me. I'm SO READY to MOVE out of this bloody townhouse with your neighbours sitting in your lap and the existence of a strata justifying spying, gossiping, snooping, and generally poking around in other peoples' business. I'm sick of it. SICK. OF. IT.
And I increased my dose of St John's Wort because I obviously need some help coping this week, and today I feel much better. I've lost my obsession with the neighbour and the nurse, and daily life feels more manageable. I was taking 1/3 the recommended dose anyways, so it was pretty safe to increase it, I think! Especially now that the sunshine is gone for good, and the rain has settled in to stay. I need some extra help. I should also journal my thoughts about these two incidents so I can be better prepared next time someone treats me unfairly. It's just so tough! I hate being treated unfairly! I'm good at my job, and I'm good at cleaning up my dog's poop. I shouldn't have to take flak from RETARDS WHO JUST LIKE TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL LIKE SHIT!

It's a pro-D day so my kids are home from school. I should probably stop ignoring them and go make some lunch.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

general ramblings

Anyone have any tips on training a husband? Anyone? Anyone?? For three days I have asked Brent to walk the dog. For three days the dog does not get walked, and the cumulative lack of exercise means his behaviour is ATROCIOUS. He's chewing and pissing and shitting and jumping and chasing...And I KNOW it is because he needs to be walked, but it happens to be the weekend (plus Friday, which was a gong show day that made all my well laid plans of walking to and from school gang aft aglay) and I happen to be sick and tired of being the only one who even THINKS about walking the dog. And I happen to be tired overall. And busy. Hence, I delegate the job of walking the dog to a man who has his head up his ass.
He's a nice man, but I'm pretty sure he can't hear me with his ass cheeks down around his ears like that. He did clean the kitchen today, and the bathroom sink in our ensuite--how he managed all that with his eyeballs full of rectum, I have no idea, but I sure appreciate that he did. SO, there is good and bad. I really shouldn't complain.

I went on a date this afternoon with Ayden. We saw Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, in IMAX 3-D, which was cool. I have never seen a 3-D movie before (dare I admit it?? It seems to be a coming of age rite of passage that slipped by me), so that was neat to finally experience. Ayden and I laughed SO HARD, and we're both the same when we watch movies, because we yell at the screen and lean over to the person we're with to say retarded things like, "Did you see that??" or, "He said 'hungry, hungry!'" or other obvious and irritating statements. It's glorious to go to the movies with someone who has a similar movie watching style to yourself.
Some weird, stinky man came and sat in the row in front of us 3/4 of the way through the movie, which was freaking strange. He was alone, at a kids movie. And he stunk like BO and beer. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon, AT A KIDS MOVIE. Then he got up and left 10 minutes before the end. Isn't that weird?
It takes all kinds.

My dad brought me 150 lbs of apples to sauce. Holy dina. I ordered 3 boxes, which also meant 60 lbs, but he heard only 3 boxes, and found me a stinking deal and brought me 3 FIFTY POUND BOXES! Crikey! But it's perfect, because I have tons of apples to sauce now. Which I totally need, because my kids go through applesauce like it's going out of style. But I better get going on them soon, or we won't have much applesauce at all!
And the dog ate one of the apples. He's such a bad dog. Grrrrr. He's not, really, he's just a puppy but I can't deal with puppy if he hasn't been walked and he's ridiculous.
And the newly renovated bathroom sink flooded yesterday. Sigh. [another reason why the dog didn't get walked was because Brent was fixing said sink, so I'll give him credit for that too].

The sun peeked out this afternoon, highlighting the maple leaves out in all their autumn glory. That was gorgeous! And it was glorious to see the sun for a bit.

I'm almost done another crochet toy, which I'll take a photo of and someday, hopefully, share with you all....if I ever find that camera cord....

I went to the same church I went to last week, when I was unfaithful to my regular church, remember? It was good again, but iffy in the sermon department. There was some mention of 'male leadership' that made my spideygirl senses go into hyperdrive. But I had to leave before the sermon really got underway so I'm not sure what was said after that, and I'm not sure how I feel about it anyways. I mean, I know that I disagree with any division in leadership spiritually, physically, or otherwise between men and women, including (and actually especially) in a family, but I'm not sure how I feel about disagreeing with a particular church on this matter. I think MOST protestant churches we could go to in our area would probably believe in male 'headship' or 'leadership' or whatever, but it would be something that wouldn't come to the forefront very often, theologically or intellectually speaking. So do I leave to find something else because it was mentioned in the opening sentences of one sermon once? Do I live with it and simply agree to disagree? I sure wish I could have heard the rest of the sermon (but part of me doesn't, because I can get pretty tied up in angry knots over this particular issue) so I could judge the situation more clearly. The nursery was full to capacity so I couldn't take Riley there without staying myself, so I had to leave the sanctuary to go hang out with him and all the babies in the nursery once he got squirrely.
The jury is out. I'm not sure what I'll do.
Tamie asked me when she was here, what my ideal church would look like, since we're hunting for a new church? It was a very good question. I'm not sure exactly, but I know that I prefer a more traditional, liturgical, non protestant style, although I'm not sure I could fit there long term either, since I have very nontraditional beliefs regarding women, homosexuality, and evangelism. I don't know that I can find the church that fits me well in all areas, and maybe the fit isn't really the point? Church isn't supposed to be about me and how it feeds me and what I get from it--that's a lotta me in one sentence! Church is about God, and about community, and about wrestling with and learning about and engaging with God together. I don't want to worship with people who don't know me, because I hide what I truly believe, and therefore I feel like a lonely fraud, or have my children be educated in a direction that I fundamentally oppose. But nor do I want to argue with or justify myself to a group of people who disagree with me. Because I could be wrong. I could SOOOOOOO be wrong, about all of what I believe. Maybe I'm fundamentally dysfunctional because my husband and I share leadership in our home, and maybe there is only one true religion which is clearly delineated in quite literal factuality in the Bible, and maybe I'm being unknowingly disobedient by not evangelizing my neighbours. When I write that out it sounds facetious, but I'm actually quite serious, that I acknowledge that I am no wiser than anyone who has come before me, and I am positive I have some things wrong. Maybe a whole bunch of things wrong.
In the end, the church question boils down to how much dissonance can I live with, and not feel isolated and fraudulent. I want a church community. I want to be challenged, and to meet together, and to care for each other in community. I want my children to grow up in a church, surrounded by people who strive to know and be known and follow God. I want to teach my kids the fundamental Christian stories, and structure, and truths, so that they can build upon them as a foundation for the rest of their lives, and grow from there. I want my kids to grow up knowing how to give to others, and take care of people when they need friends, food, care, a listening ear, babysitting, lawn cutting, advice, or love. And most importantly, I want my kids to learn by being around people who have an active and deep spiritual life and relationship with God. So not going to church isn't a positive option, either.
Hm. Not sure what will come of all this, but it is very good to think about...

Congratulations officially go out to my friend Rob and his girlfriend Hyangju, who got engaged a few weeks ago!! Hooray for love! Hooray for Rob finding his soulmate! Hooray for weddings! :) xo.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Okay, about a month ago I officially stopped watching So You Think You Can Dance Canada because it pretty much turned into pornography on us and I'm just not that into porn. I can't allow my six year old kid to watch it, and I really feel bad watching it without him, plus it really was just too heavy on the sex for me to engage in it. I didn't like it at all. And it takes a LOT of sexual content to be too much for me, because I always think that sexuality is a big part of the human experience, and art is a reflection of and wrestling with the human experience, but it was just too much for me. So I'm sorry I have nothing on the SYTYCD front to comment upon.
However, tonight I went to Vancouver for this evening's portion of the ScotiaCentre's Dance Festival weekend--AWESOME! I didn't want to go. I SOOOOOOO didn't want to go, and I even almost made up a lie to get out of going. I was trashed from a gong show day with dog piss everywhere and boot camp in the freaking pouring rain and last minute trips to visit gorgeous fat delicious babies and a quiche that didn't rise and bacon that smoked and a very cranky, overtired baby and a dog that needed walking, so I just wanted to curl up with my husband and watch some t.v. But I'm glad I went in the end, because it was so good to get out and engage in dance culture and art culture again, and to think pretty heavily about the thematic and symbolic content of several dance pieces and listen in on the talk back with the choreographers afterwards. It was nice to think about something deeper than what's for dinner and how do I toilet train my freaking dog. It was inspiring. I'm going again tomorrow night!


Excitappointed is what I feel. My first doula client had her baby (excited!!), but didn't call me (disappointed). It's totally okay, because I knew it was a distinct possibility, and she is a good friend so I knew she would call if she needed me and not if she didn't, and know that it was really just okay that she do what felt right for her in the moment. She actually wound up with a last minute home birth! Which I take partial credit for, since I had leant her books that were home birth friendly and talked positively about midwifery care, which she was interested in investigating when I first found out she was pregnant. She just got to 9 cm before her midwife realized it and when she found out how dilated she was, she didn't want to go to the hospital so they just stayed home! How cool is that? :) Well, I guess not everyone who reads this is as avid a birth junkie as I, so I might have to preface that with: home birth data suggests that home births are as safe or safer than hospital births for low risk women who have had good, supportive prenatal care. There are some distinct benefits to giving birth at home, which my friend is enjoying now.
Beautiful births happen in hospitals, too, and there are some benefits to giving birth in a hospital. I gave birth in the hospital for both my bio babies' births. I am also a big fan of home births, so I am excited that my friend got to have one and is very happy that she had it, despite the last minute change in plans. Last minute changes in plan are difficult for any labouring woman to integrate, and geographical location is a big one! The fact that she feels satisfied is the most important aspect, because birth can be so empowering and beautiful, if the woman feels happy with what happened. It matters less the location and/or interventions and/or method of delivery, and more that women feel a sense of control during the birth, and well supported and valued by everyone. It is her body, after all. She should have the bodily integrity to be the most active participant in all the decisions that need to be made.
I think I'm ranting now.

I went to my friend's house this afternoon to help her out and give her some breastfeeding support. Her baby is SO CUTE! I know I'm entering the right line of work for me, because changing a newborn diaper or gushing over a baby or helping a mom tune in to the cues and instinctual behaviour that are involved in breastfeeding is SO MUCH FUN to me! I loved sitting with her for an hour and just following her lead, answering questions, and trying to tune into the right brained mooshy emotional nonlinear newborn baby brain vibe in the room so that I could teach her what I know in a way she can learn without being overwhelmed with information. Isn't it hard to absorb information when you have a new baby? I am always like, "Could you write that down? I know it's only four tips but I'll never remember it." It has to be delivered in a way that makes sense to the right brain of the new mom (or experienced new mom), and has to be the right information at the right time. I'm gushing on this friend, dudes. She is a natural at mommying, and she had this well supported pregnancy and beautiful wonderful home birth and has not left her bed to go further than her bathroom in two days because she has the help she needs and is taking care of herself like she should (and we all should, and for the most part, do: but it's nice to cut out the bustling hospital and the car ride home, if you can!).
So satisfying.
I'm excitappointed.
But I know for sure I'll be called for this next birth in November/early December, so I'll look forward to that!


Friends!!! Thank you for the comments, seriously. I had two unlurkers! I was beginning to wonder for awhile if everyone was just too busy to read my blog anymore, especially with the sporadic posting. But I can see that this is not the case, so thank you. I'm glad you keep coming back for more. :)

Today is Brent's birthday. Shall I do a 34 post for him?! Likes, dislikes, developmental milestones? He can now change a diaper and flip a pancake at the same time! I called him at work midmorning to wish him a happy birthday. We went out for Thai food for supper, and the boys and I made him a cake and gave him some gifts. So great. It's fun that now we can go out for supper and be our own party because there are five of us (Brent's sister came, also, so we were six). It's strange that he's almost halfway to forty. The old geezer.

I'm exhausted. My dog is getting bigger; he is now big enough to reach up and help himself from the table. The other day he helped himself to half my sandwich. He wasn't that popular that day. Today he only peed on the floor once all day. That's a first! I like him a lot. He is easy (aside from the peeing), he sleeps lots, he chews very little, he's crate trained, he is good with the kids, and he is mellow.

Matthew was retested by his speech pathologist, and she is very excited by how far he has come in one year. I am, too! This time last year he was virtually unintelligible and we spent a ton of time and energy trying and trying and trying to communicate with him. Basic stuff. Food. Emotions. Toileting. Choices. Wow. When I remember the effort it took to decipher a single sentence, I can't believe we lived that way as long as we did! Now he tests appropriate for his age in articulation. Now we have to work on sentence structure and grammar. I would say that in a year of therapy, his intelligibility has improved by at least three years developmentally. And now he is ready for prereading learning, whereas before he was so encumbered by his speech impediments that he couldn't even be bothered to learn his colours or shapes, or count past five. Speaking was so much effort that it took all his mental focus. And the FRUSTRATION! In his little VOICE!! And now he is free of all that. Wowsa! So great. Who knew that $2800 worth of speech therapy could be so valuable?
Tongue in cheek.
But worth it.
So worth it.

I have a doula client due any day now, and another one due the end of November!! :D Superduper excited!!! AND TOTALLY FREAKING NERVOUS!!!!
AND I applied to UBC yesterday. :D :D :D
When I say I'm going to do something, I do it, baby. And not a moment too soon, since my job is rapidly becoming frustratingly insipid. Not the actual job, but the station politics. Who has the energy to wade through so much negativity? Ick. Wednesday I spent 2 hours of my shift doing work and 10 hours of it killing time. Ten dollars an hour to be away from my kids is SOOOOOOO not cutting it anymore. I wish this strike would end so I could transfer to dispatch just for a change and the fact that I would get paid a lot more. No more standby ten dollars an hour. If I'm away from my children, if I'm trained and prepped and ready to go with a stocked ambulance and a headful of knowledge, experience, and passion for medicine in my head, I should get paid my full, decent, regular wage to be there. At work. Whether I'm performing CPR on anyone right that second or not.
I can't believe anymore that I used to do this for 2 dollars an hour, because ten is no longer acceptable to me.
[for those of you who don't know, part time paramedics make 2 or 10 dollars an hour when not actually on an ambulance call helping people. My full wage is $23.74 per hour, and I make that only when actually on a call. Yes, it is ridiculous. Yes, I hate it, no I don't have any other option in BC, write to your MLA about it.]

Have I mentioned that I'm tired of being on strike? Uh huh.

I just finished this book:

by Heather Armstrong, whose blog I am a devoted reader of [thanks, Dana for sending me a link to her blog several months ago!]. She's awesome. She is freaking hilarious! And so real. Her book describes her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum months with her first child, and especially focuses on her postpartum depression, which got so bad she was hospitalized, thankfully, because that is what got her back on track. It reads well, and made me laugh hard enough to make me cry on many occasions, and made me cry in earnest on several other occasions. It's written so that other women will not feel alone in their struggle, and maybe to burst some babylusting bubbles regarding the nitty gritty reality of parenthood. It's very funny. I highly recommend it, whether you are female or not, a parent or not, and a victim of a mood disorder or PPD or not. She is a good writer, has a strong sense of voice and style, and is always authentic. Every word of that book, even on the copyright page, is one hundred percent authentic. Go read it. Now. Do not stop. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Now I'm reading Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, the midwifery guru of North America. She and her compadres were some pretty severe hippies, let me tell you. Wowsa! I'll write a full review when I'm done, but I wanted to share this one quote;

When a child is born, the entire Universe has to shift and make room. Another entity capable of free will...has been born. In that way, every child's birth is exactly like the birth of a world teacher. Every child born is a living Buddha. Some of them only get to be a living Buddha for a moment, because nobody believes it. Nobody knows it, and they get treated like they're dumb. Babies are not dumb. Just because they don't speak English doesn't mean they're dumb. A newborn infant is just as intelligent as you are. When you're relating with her, you should consider that you are relating with a very intelligent being who just doesn't speak your language yet. And you shouldn't do anything gross to her before she learns to speak with you.

-Stephen Gaskin, Ina May's husband, and spiritual leader of their community

I love that truth that he points out, that babies are intelligent beings, and that every child is a world teacher. So beautiful.

Love to you all! Good night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

14 months

Riley was fourteen months yesterday! Wow, how did that happen? I keep thinking about 'this time last year'--which saw us driving home from our wonderful Mackenzie thanksgiving feast and visit, a thirteen hour trip with lots of screaming!!! Riley was still a floppy little newborn blob [said with immense affection], and now he is running AROUND!

Riley is amazing. He has wispy, fuzzy, flyaway, Einstein hair, the longest eyelashes on the planet, big brown eyes, seriously heart slaying dimples, and a penchant for taking his diaper off every chance he gets. He loves to play shy, hide his face in our shoulders, and flirt with people outside his family from a safe distance. His favourite things include
the dog
his brothers
hockey sticks
his brothers' light sabres
books, especially Usborne touch and feel books with all sorts of tactile things on the book pages
running (read 'away')
running water in the sink
throwing things
tickle monster

He opens books and starts chatting away in babbly baby talk--SO CUTE!!!
He walks down stairs unassisted
He screeches when toys and things are taken from him, particularly by the dog
He can walk backwards
He reminds me of Brent. He is sweet, easygoing, even tempered, loving, joyful, funny, and affectionate. He is also particular about certain things.
Of course he also reminds me of Brent when I look at his face, because I'm apparantly incapable of producing offspring that look anything like myself.

He still gets called Mr Magoo, Bu, and Einstien. And Smiley.

We love you, Smiley! Happy 14 months!!!

Grateful!!! Oh, so grateful...

So, two things.
(1) I'm sorry I've been a spotty blogger lately, and I promise to step it up better. (2) I'm discouraged that so few of you are leaving comments! I don't know why, but the comment leaving aspect of blogging is pretty important, and cool, and more conversational and positive than blogging to silence.

This past week I got to meet a BLOGGER FRIEND!!!!!! Tamie and her boyfriend Jon are on a 6 week road trip and they spent 3 nights including thanksgiving with us [Canadian thanksgiving; not to worry, my American friends--you didn't miss thanksgiving somehow, yours is yet to come (Rachel: this means you)] and it was FANTASTIC!!!!!! I love Tamie even more in person than on her blog, and it was supersuper cool to hang out and talk and go for coffee and cookies and really good panini, and go for walks, and just be together. I also like Jon a LOT and think them a good pair, which is heartwarming. I like to see my friends happy, don't we all?
Things I am grateful for:
-Vitamin B complex/Vitamin D/omega3 fish oils/St John's Wort/PS 100 adrenal supplement (omygoshomygoshomygosh, I have a whole new respect for medication as a part of treatment of mental illness--I always thought it could be good, but kind of judged its overuse...which I still do, but I have a new, healthy respect for how it can help. So much of my energy in the fall and winters goes into surviving my mood, that it is hard for me to embrace and experience life fully. But it is so much smoother with these natural medications...)
-fal leaves
-an inordinately sunny autumn this year so far
-living close enough to my kids' school that we can walk to and from
-having a warm, safe, nice home (though i'd like a bigger one with no strata, please)
-living in a country with free education, free access to health care, year long maternity leave, wonderfully full ranged opportunities for women, funded midwifery care, breastfeeding support, and etc
-my wonderful, handsome, unique, funny, longsuffering, patient, kind, perfect partner husband
-my sweet, smart, funny, yummy kids
-my mom
-my cousin Sara
-my sister
-good art
-supportive in laws
-MY BED (we have a king sized monster that is so fabulous I don't understand how ANYONE SLEEPS IN ANYTHING ELSE--I would cut a hole in my house to make this bed fit in it. I love it. I wish I could spend all day and all night in it, every day)
-warm showers
-FOOD, especially cheese [Rachel, we need to get married]
-freedom from anxiety [some days are more hard won than others]
-Heather Armstrong at and It Sucked and Then I Cried, that book I told you ROCKED.
-the ocean
-pretty stuff
-open air markets (Cranberry Festival!)
-cell phones
-more love
-even more love

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm the crazy lady

I have not had any episodes of crazy since I started my new pill regimen last Sunday. It's hard to describe how they help, because although I nickname them my 'happy pills,' they really don't make me happy. It's like this. In the summertime, when there is tons of light and sunshine and warmth and late dinners and lazy days at the water park, I feel pretty good. I feel like the real me. There are some ups and downs, and I have to be on guard for dips or spikes or waverings in my moods, but I feel capable of managing them. When fall hits, I flounder. It feels like deep, cold water is creeping into the room and I'm paralyzed to stop it, and I know I'm in for months and months of immersion in this cold dark water, and it's just too much to bear. The pills take me out of the water and make me feel capable again. Not happy, but like the real me is still here, and I can manage my moods. The pills make me normal. The work I do on top of that monitoring my thoughts and emotions, is what makes me happy. It feels really really freeing to feel capable and normal and authentic.

The supplements I take are as follows;
one prenatal vitamin [nutritional support while breastfeeding]
one probiotic capsule (acidohilus) [to help my body keep yeast in balance and prevent infections]
vitamin D 1000 IUs [for depression/anxiety]
Omega-3 fish oil, super concentrated capsule [for nursliing's brain development AND for depression/anxiety]
vitamin B complex [for depression]

one prenatal vitamin
one probiotic capsule
vitamin D 1000 IUs
omega-3 fish oils
St John's Wort [for depression]
PS 100, or phosphatidyl serine [adrenal support, to balance overall stress hormone levels, which helps in overall relaxation, coping, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and etc]

I take 1/2 the recommended dose of St John's Wort right now because it can CAUSE anxiety, and give you 'funky dreams,' as one friend told me. I figure if I need a higher does I can ease my way in.

Also, I buy all my supplements at the health food store, and I always ask which are the better brands. You get what you pay for, with vitamins and supplements.

And that, my friends, is the vitamin cabinet of a crazy lady :)


We cheated on our church this morning....
We went to a different church. We have been thinking about possibly maybe finding a new church in recent months. [my church has been tying me up in frustrated knots for awhile]. Today we took a plunge and went to a church very close to where we live--how cool is that?? It was nice. And there were a few people there that we know from various things around the community, so that was cool. I think we might cheat again.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

scary dog and happy memory

I had an anxiety attack right before I took Matthew to school today. A smallish, milder anxiety attack compared to others I have had, but significant enough. I was loading the dog and kids in the car when suddenly out of my own backyard came this ENORMOUS black and brown rottweiler cross (it looked like the cross was a pitbull, based on the shape of his head). He wasn't aggressive, but he was VERY FRIENDLY and in my space!!! He investigated the cat, and then effectively 'chased' me around the yard and driveway as I panicked. I don't like big, scary dogs, I don't like them surprise visiting my yard, and I definitely don't like them getting friendly with no owner in sight. He had obviously escaped from his yard and was having an explorational adventure, meeting the neighbours and such. Yaughck. Not my cup of tea. So then I had to drive while crying and shaking, pretending that I'm fine for Matthew.
I'm over it now, but it was a bit of an adventure in my own driveway.

In funnier news, this morning Riley figured out how to turn on the answering machine that is built into our phone, and which we don't use. He also recorded a greeting of himself chattering and babbling for about five minutes! Every time the phone rang and I didn't get to it in time (um, that's about 99.98% of the time), I got to hear his babbling coming from the phone. As did our callers. Brent phoned and actually thought it was Riley live, and was talking to him. He felt foolish when he discovered it was just a recording. :)
I figured out how to turn it off again so that message is no longer available, but it was sure funny at the time. I heard the phone ring, then Riley's voice, even though i was holding Riley on my took me a minute to figure out what was going on!

Also, I wanted to mention that since Riley was born I've been terrified of one small thing. I've been afraid that once Riley reaches the age or developmental stage that Matthew was in when we first adopted him, that I will start having aweful flashbacks or memories of the hardest times. You know, times where I yelled at Matthew while he cried, or slapped him to try and get him to stop holding his breath, or just times when he would do something and I would think to myself, "I HATE HIM! WHAT HAVE I DONE???!?" or a million other guilty, anxious, angry memories. I'm still afraid of this. Riley is not quite the age Matthew was when we adopted him, but he is definitely doing things Matthew was doing developmentally. But so far I've been blessed beyond measure with happy memories of Matthew at Riley's age or stage. Tuesday I was pushing Riley on the swing at the park and he was laughing and laughing, and I clearly remembered pushing Matthew on a swing at the park and him spitting gleefully until his jacket and chin were soaked, laughing his head off. And countless other times when I pushed Matthew on the swing and we would play tickle--every time I pushed him, I would squeeze the ticklish spot on his thigh right above his knee, and he would fling back his head and giggle. Then he would swing away and look back at me, all sparkly eyed, waiting for the next tickle.

I also pulled out some of the clothes Matthew wore when he first came home, because they now fit Riley and are the appropriate season, and I've been overwhelmed with happy memories of Matthew wearing them, and nostalgia about when he was small.
OhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygosh, it's like the time when my counsellor asked me, "Do you ever picture Matthew as a grown up, happy man, married and with children of his own?" and I just neverever had--I just hadn't pictured that I would pull out clothing or memories from Matthew's first months with us and feel HAPPY, and remember GOOD STUFF! I'm realizing that maybe, amongst all the hardest moments, there were a lot [A LOT] of good moments that my memory dismissed. I wanted to not live in denial of my inability to cope as a parent, and I wanted to acknowledge how hard it must be for Matthew to live with a noncoping parent, and I wanted to punish myself with guilt, but in so doing I think I went overboard and forgot to notice anything peaceful or calm or positive or strong in me or between myself and Matthew.
I'm glad the swingset and the tiny clothes and Riley himself are helping me to redeem that. Whew.

Hi again

We had a great boobie weekend last weekend! I went to the breastfeeding challenge on Saturday with Riley and my cousin Sara and her breastfeeding baby Ryen. We latched on. We won prizes. It was great! I'll be doing it again next year for sure! We also did the Run For the Cure, which NOBODY donated any money in my name for--our registration fees are donations and next year I'll focus more on fundraising. It was so fun and so busy and so emotional!! I cried a few times. Especially when i saw a woman my age with a survivor shirt on, and her three year old son whose shirt said "I'm running for mommy." I can't even type it without crying about it. Breast cancer SUCKS for ALL women of all ages (and some men), but it really hits home when you see someone your own age and life stage who has survived it.
We dressed up fun in pink and there were 18 people on our team! It was great.

I still can't find my camera cord to upload photos for you. I'm sorry! When I locate it I'll update you visually.

I found a wooden push toy in my dirty diaper pail this morning, though. I wonder who put that there? Riley has a real passion for putting things 'away.' Books on the bookshelf, clothes in the laundry baskets, and toys in the diaper pail [apparently!]!!

He also still has a passion for switch nursing. Five seconds on one boob, then switch. Five seconds on the other boob, then switch. Switch back. Switch. Switch. Switch. Switch. My back is becoming very flexible, because I usually nurse him lying down, which means I can switch without moving very far. Brent loves it. Lots of visual boobies.

I have started the application process for UBC. :D

I have 2 doula clients. One due in two weeks, and one due in six weeks. Yahoo! Wish me luck.

I have also been wrestling for several weeks with my moods, but as I think I mentioned, I emailed one of my former midwives who is also a naturopath and she recommended some natural supplements for mood disorders. I finally got to the health food store on Sunday and purchased what she recommended, and I have to say how surprised I am by how quickly they have worked! It is AWESOME to feel NORMAL again and not have to fight so hard to get through my days. I've also been able to take some time and write out some thought records, which really helps me refocus my mind back towards more balanced thinking and away from excessive negative, tragic, or anxious thoughts. So between the supplements and journalling my thoughts, I am feeling MUCH better this week than last. Thank heaven. Fall is SO HARD for me emotionally. Despite its beauty and the relief of cooler temperatures, fall represents an unrelenting march towards winter and away from the sun that really only brings me despair.
It is kind of funny, though, to have to take fistfuls of pills again. It's like I'm pregnant all over again! I think by the end of my pregnancy I was taking 18 pills a day?? Plus liquid, plant based iron! Jeepers.

I made a most delicious meal yesterday. And went to boot camp. And lost another pound for 2.5 lbs total. I made roasted spaghetti squash and blackbean soup which was an amalgamation of my cousin Sara's roasted pumpkin and garlic soup, and this cream and squash and black bean soup I saw in a magazine. I also made pork tenderloin baked in applesauce and garlic, and a salad, and we had olive bread. Ohhhhhhhhh sooooooooooo yummmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy....
And homemade cookies for dessert.
Life is delicious.

This morning was a bit of a gong. Ayden and I had a huge fight over whether or not I had signed his agenda last Monday evening (he didn't believe me until I pulled it out and SHOWED him), we were running late, and I had both big boys by the front door dressed and ready to go, an dog peeing on the floor, Ayden's lunch still needing to be made, and a baby with a poopy diaper and the ONLY diaper I had left was outside in the glove box of our car. By some miracle we still walked to school and we still made it on time. Thursday mornings is the day our diaper service comes to pick up our dirties and leave us some cleans, and this week I seriously was on my very last diaper this morning. Usually we have lots extra, but I've started double diapering him at night so we go through them faster. Riley doesn't pee at night, but his first pee in the morning is a huge one (he HATES the potty with a passion so it's rare that I can catch it in the potty, though it would sure be nice! I bought him a new toilet seat that goes on the big toilet so hopefully he'll like that better!). Hence, the double diaper.

Matthew was the special helper at school the day before yesterday. You should have seen how proud he was of himself! So cute! And it is wonderful to see him so well behaved and responsible and happy at school. I was worried about him and school, but it turns out that was needless.

I'm off to read my Heather B Armstrong book. I'm 2/3 of the way through it and I LOVE IT. I'll do a review when I'm done.

xo, all! And pray for me tonight, I have my first face to face meeting with my second doula client tonight at 7--she's the one due in 6 weeks!!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Where is everyone? :) September is a very busy month. I don't have much time, but I wanted to let you know we'll be out of town this weekend so I likely won't be posting. We're going to Victoria to do the Run For the Cure with extended family.

My books from Amazon arrived yesterday!!! WOOHOO!!! I've been reading Heather Armstrong's It Sucked and then I Cried. LOVE IT. She's hilarious, and it is SO GOOD to read a book by someone else who has had a mood disorder, too. P.S. the advent of fall is tossing me into darkness...I have a list of naturopathic stuff to take but haven't gotten my butt to the store to purchase them yet. But I will. Life's GOT TO be better than this every fall. I always felt embarrassed about admitting the fact that winters are hard. Seasonal Affective Disorder seems so conventional, so flavour of the month, so everybody's got it, that it seemed like I couldn't actually have it. But EVERY SEPTEMBER I get anxious and sad. It's time to face facts, Mel. SAD it is. On top of an anxiety disorder. Yes, life does kick you while you're down [I've a friend with OCD and PPD, how unfair is THAT?]

To cheer me up, I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies yesterday. OH YEAH BABY! Cookie making is twofold: one, it's yummy. Who doesn't like cookies? Two, it makes you popular. Call me a slut, I'm all about being popular. Especially in my own house.

So, I've been reading and eating cookies. And I lost a pound and a half!

Riley gained it, because he hit 22 lbs suddenly, so we turned his carseat around. Hooray! His legs were getting longish to be comfortable facing the rear of the vehicle, so it was good timing. This also means Ayden is free to use his booster seat (it wouldn't fit before with one carseat rear facing), so he is happy also. Riley likes acting like the big boys, so he's happy too.

Matthew got his kindergarten shots this morning. Considerably less screaming was involved than last year, when Ayden got them. Brave Matthew. He's a trooper.

I have to go pack for our trip. Hopefully I'll get to the store before we leave for Victoria; I've got to get these moods under control. I also have to do some more thought records for the same reason! Arg! Winter, I hate thou!!! Pray for me. I'm going on the ferry tonight with three kids and a puppy BY MYSELF.

P.S. I'm participating in the 2009 Breastfeeding Challenge tomorrow morning with my cousin. If you are a breastfeeding mom and/or advocate, check it out! Maybe you can go to the one in your town!!

Also, I watched Love Happens the other night: don't waste your money. It was aweful. I had to apologize to my friend, because I picked it out and tortured both of us!
I also read Water For Elephants, which was FABULOUS. Read it if you have a chance.