June 29, 2011

Kids and First Class

An informal poll went by my Twitter feed lately, asking whether kids should be banned from First Class. A lot said yes.

Wow. Really?

I'm going to sum up my point really quickly and maturely:

A plane is public transit. I pay my fare, just like everyone else, to sit in my seat. My kid pays a fare, too. A plane is really just a big bus in the sky. If you don't want to sit with other people (let me remind everyone kids are PEOPLE) then charter your own damn private jet.

Fer reals, yo!


OK, but seriously. You can't have a car seat in First, nor can you use the CARES harness. That means you can only bring a fairly small child in First in the first place. I like having the extra room and really, if mama's comfy, baby is more likely to be comfy and therefore, quiet.

I have no problem if airlines want to institute "Kid Free Flights" or something of the sort. Maybe they can offer some flights of the day and guarantee they're kid free. But to outright ban all children from First Class? Nope. Sorry. You won't have my (much needed) business.
That's just *my* two cents.

Plodding Along

We had the first adoption/fostering info session last night and it seems that my friend either misunderstood or was lying to me? Yes, we can have the kids in the same room, just not the same bed (quite reasonable to me!) and yes, we can proceed after a "traumatic" event like death in less than a year if we're ok with it. It's a case by case thing. It all comes out in the assessment anyway. I'm a little upset because I don't understand why she would lie to me, I really don't. It's not like we're in competition - from what I understand there are more than enough kids to go around. Good thing I didn't listen to her and kept going along with my own plans! Plod, plod, slowly plod....

I've also been occupied trying to find another therapist to do an assessment on Boo's speech. The first one didn't even look in his mouth. He has a little bit of an upper lip tie and a high hard palate. Helllooo? Can anyone try looking at that? I'm thinking there might be some apraxia(CAS) going on? It's tough also because he's under two and it's hard to get a diagnosis before two, but he's almost there, soooo...by the time I actually get an appointment, maybe he'll be two? I'm going private again cos I don't have time to wait for this shit. Plod, plod....
Don't remember if I mentioned this, but my mom gave him a complex command in French (go get my bag and bring it here) and HE DID IT! I was so surprised! My little dude is bilingual. *beaming with pride*
Makes the plodding more bearable.... :)

It's a lot of work being a mama.

June 27, 2011

New Info

Zee child has discovered if he climbs on something, he is taller and can reach more interesting things! *sigh* I just don't know where to put anything anymore. I need to empty the apartment and just have washable, padded walls.

Also, food tastes better if it has been vrooomed around the floor like a car.

Tomorrow evening and the evening after he gets to hang out with his Abu, since we're going to the adoption info sessions. I am scared and excited by this at the same time. I've heard they show horrible stories of children who have been abused to scare you from adopting (or just knowing what you're getting into). But I also hear they provide cookies and juice, so it can't be all bad, right?

June 26, 2011

There's No Instruction Manual

No nothing makes sense
Nothing seems to fit
I know you'd hit out
If you only knew who to hit...
-Acrobat by U2

I find since getting pregnant and then having a child, my life just hasn't gone quite as planned. Though, come to think of it, I'm no longer sure what my plans were. I think I thought some things would just flow easier and others would be harder and in reality, none of those things were the case!

I feel like I'm at a crossroads in a lot of ways: Do we adopt, or do I try to get pregnant? Do we worry about my child's weight and development, see more specialists or wait and see? Do I disclose all these things in a very public blog on the Internet? Do I start working for myself again?

I don't have a lot of answers right now, but I think the purpose of this post is to tell other moms and dads they're not alone. Your life changes completely when you have a child and not always in ways you'd expect. It's ok not to know what to do or where to go or how to get to the next point. It's probably ok to take it one day and a time and just keep plugging along.

The first thing my dad said when I told him I was pregnant is that, "we all do the best we can at the time and they don't come with an instruction manual."

I guess that's what I have to remind myself.

What little bits of wisdom help you through tough times with kids?

June 22, 2011

We Are All Habiba - Nurse-In Peaceful Protest

The great news is that Habiba has been reunited with her daughter, now 16 months, after over a month of separation!

There will still be a nurse-in here in Montreal tomorrow. Here are the details because we can't allow these horrible things to keep happening:

Last month a Moroccan mother who sought refuge in Spain from an abusive relationship had her 15 month old child taken away from her because she refused to stop breastfeeding her. After much outcry, Spanish authorities finally reunited mother and child yesterday. All over the world, people have been peacefully protesting and the Montreal protest/lullaby singing will still go on as planned tomorrow:

Facebook Event

If it rains, Boutique Bummis will be hosting us inside their store.

June 17, 2011

Daddy Image

Well ladies, it's not just happening to us! You know the way the media uses predominately teenagers to model adult clothes, skewing everyone's image of what a normal woman should look like?

Well I just got an email from Joe Fresh, inviting me to check out the best ideas for Dad this Father's Day and there are some mighty young looking Dads featured.

Now I'm not saying they have to use old fogies in golf shirts, but don't these guys seem more like college frat boys to you?

Yes, of course dads can be cool! I agree. But why not get some real dads next time?

While I'm here, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies! Even the teen ones ;)

June 11, 2011

Have Baby, Will Volunteer

Volunteering and giving to charity were always very important things to me before I had a child, but after having one, I found it's not always easy to volunteer with a baby in tow. Still, I was determined to find some sort of association that would be happy to take me and my kid because I feel it's important to instill a healthy sense of gratitude and giving. I found an opportunity in the form of Roots of Empathy and jumped at the chance.

Roots of Empathy
is an organization with the aim of ending violence and bullying in children and helping them cultivate empathy. Through different studies, they found that bringing a baby into a classroom calms children down, helps them learn to accept differences in each other and be kinder. They've also discovered down the line, the project reduces the rate of teenage pregnancies.

My son was four months old when we started visiting a grade five class in an under-privileged neighbourhood of my city. It was a pretty average class, with some of the kids having reading or learning problems. What I saw though was a very excited and welcoming group who were shy at first, but as they got to know my baby son, they opened up. We visited their class every three weeks or so and they got to watch my son grow. They remarked on his differences over time - new hair, new teeth, sitting up, crawling - and delighted in the changes as much as I did.

I saw how much it impacted them - children who the teacher said never spoke up in class were suddenly up in front of everyone talking and singing songs to my son. Even those who had difficulty writing were now motivated to write and read poems and stories for him, which we got to keep.

I think my son had a great time being the center of attention and I cherish the time as the experience got me out of the house at a time when I sorely needed it. I can only hope that the program expands to all schools across Canada and that my own son will be able to benefit from it.

I highly recommend it and they're always looking for little ones. If you have an infant, sign up fast because it can only be done during the first year, as that's the time of most noticeable developmental changes.
Good luck and happy volunteering!

June 08, 2011

Go the F**k to Sleep

We had one of those nights last night - the Little Man kept waking up, and decided that he'd had enough by 5:30am, so we've been up since then.

I'd heard about this book before, but had forgotten about it (probably in all my sleep deprivation) and my hubby sent me the PDF this morning. It's a children's book for adults, written by a father of two and it's called: Go the F**k to Sleep

It written as a poem and had me laughing out loud this morning.

Best verse:
"The cubs and the lions are snoring
Wrapped in a big snuggly heap
How is it you can do all this other great shit
But you can't lie the fuck down and sleep?"

Someone should sing it slowly like a lullaby and see if that works.

UPDATE: You can see Samuel L. Jackson (isn't that apt!) reading it on Letterman!
(The videos keep getting taken down by Audible, so you may have to search around.)

June 07, 2011

Bad Mama!

Yesterday I turned away for a second (it only takes a second!) and my son peed off the edge of the balcony! My downstairs neighbour was not sitting outside, thankfully!

Today I forgot the phone in his nursery while he was napping :(

Make Formula Like a Cup of Coffee

I almost feel dirty for writing this because it gives the product more press, but have you seen Nestlé's new BabyNes?

Like one of those K-Cup coffee machines, you put a capsule of formula into the machine and about one minute later, a perfectly made bottle of formula pops out for you to feed your baby. There are four changes of formula during the first year and one for each year after that. There's also a "sensitive" formula for days your baby isn't feeling so hot.

There's a lot of outrage in the breastfeeding communities over it right now and many think (or hope) the cost will be prohibitive enough to keep it from catching on all over (it's sold as a test run right now only in Switzerland). I don't know tons about the Swiss economy, but I don't think the cost will keep many away if you're the type into designer baby stuff. I converted the prices and the machine is about $300 Canadian and the capsules are about $60 Canadian for a pack of 26 (making one bottle about $2.20. I have no clue how much a "normal" bottle of formula costs). One can also buy a handy carrying case ($93 CAD) to take the machine with you wherever you go!

However, when you consider there's obviously a market out there for baby wipe warmers, $700 cribs and $500+ strollers, this machine is small beans. I can see it becoming a status symbol also.

You can choose between a 90ml capsule and a 120ml capsule. (I actually have no clue how much a formula fed infant drinks - and it should be added that even though their site specifically says one should breastfeed for the first 6 months at least and they say their formula is for "babies," they still offer infant formula capsules. Interesting! No where do they use the term "infant." They do use "little one" and avoid infant terminology all together.) Would there be a lot of wasted formula with those sizes?

Unlike regular formula, they're also willing to deliver capsules to your house. They're just trying to make feeding your child as easy as possible for you. Maybe they'll offer to have someone come to your house and push the machine button for you while they're at it. Why not just offer wet-nursing services at that point? I wouldn't be surprised if Nestlé got into that business. I can see it now: We know breastmilk is best for your baby, so here at Nestlé, we will offer you healthy, high-quality wet-nurses. Your wet-nurse will live in your home 24/7 so you can have access to perfect breastmilk for your baby day and night. She is also portable (two well-designed feet and legs for walking) and fully washable."

I'm not in outrage over this because I believe if you have already made the decision to breastfeed, this machine doesn't really change much for you. Formula is formula, even if it only takes a minute. You still have to wash the bottles!

*Note: my information comes directly from the BabyNes.ch website. I in no way support or endorse Nestlé or formula feeding. My opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way to write this.

June 06, 2011

June 04, 2011

More Adoption Set Backs

In news of annoying set backs, we found out we can't put an adopted/fostered child in the same room as a biological child. So we'd have to clear out The Little Man's old room, which would mean we'd have to pay for storage again or just move. Not that it matters anyway because I'm disqualified from a child this year now because my father just died. We have to wait 1 year after a "traumatic event" to even be considered. I miss my dad, but I'm not traumatised. We've been trying to adopt since 2008 - this has nothing to do with my dad and never has. So I'm a little annoyed. I'm just starting to feel like they'll just come up with *anything* to slow the process down.
It's looking more and more like I'll have to get knocked up again if we want a child in any reasonable amount of time. Unless someone has a better idea? I guess if I were rich I could just pick one up in Malawi or something :s

QC is paying for three cycles of IVF now, so we could get PGD and while I could still miscarry, at least we have some assurance it's not a genetic mutant. But then Clomid has been linked to birth defects now, so are we really better off? Not to even mention all the weirdness that stuff would do to *my* body. Blargh!

Sometimes I wonder why some women are like the Duggars with like 20 kids and some women have so much trouble.

Ack, my friend just posted pics of her new baby and I have a new niece or nephew due any second now. My uterus is talking to me....

June 02, 2011

20 Month Update

He's 20 months now and I forgot to plug in my camera, so I have no recent pics :(

His appetite has picked up a bit since the iron supplement (anemia can cause a lack of appetite, so that could explain a lot!).

He's still not really talking, but I think he tries sometimes. He says "gar" for "car" sometimes, but mostly "vroom, vroom." But he understand complex commands ("go to the kitchen and bring me the fish toy") and things like that, so I have no complaints. Otherwise, he says "dada," "mama," "ja" (yes), "na" (no) - and he shakes his head now, so that's good. I've taught him more signs because he just picks those up in a day no problem and it's easier.

I have to teach him to climb up and down stairs because he's really behind now.

He is amazingly gregarious and friendly. He runs up to other kids, smiles and waves, but they're always more shy. Our neighbour's sister sometimes visits with her 22 month old and they are equally friendly and get along really well. Together, they yell and bang on stuff and they get a big kick out of that.
I am impressed with how independent and self-assured he can be (not always!). When he is off in the park on an adventure, he has no fear to run off and explore. When *I* chose to leave him though, that's another story.

He loves wearing hats and my headbands.

His favourite toy seems to be a red MegaBlok car my friend bought him for his birthday last year. She also got him a blue one and a yellow dump truck and he likes those a lot, too, but he takes the red one to bed with him sometimes and holds it when we nurse. He spins the wheels until he falls asleep.

I bought new nursing bras this weekend because I hadn't since just after I gave birth. I hadn't anticipated nursing this long, but that was before I really understood the benefits and just how easy it *can* be. It's not always - especially now because to a lot of ignorant people, it's "weird" and I'm constantly being undermined by doctors who don't know *anything* about breastfeeding at all.

But back to him! He's super affectionate and luckily I taught him to give closed mouth kisses - no more of those goobery, messy kisses. I also taught him to blow kisses, so that's nice.

He dances A LOT, usually to African drum rhythms and piano music (he loves the CTV News weather music!) so I want to take him to the tam-tams when the weather is nicer.

He likes drawing, but he keeps eating crayons, so I have to watch him really closely (he's fast!). He has an Etch-a-Sketch and three Magna Doodles (and he can't eat those) so he uses those a lot. If only I could get him to eat *food* as much as crayons...maybe I need to make crayon-shaped food....