Friday, October 31, 2008

One Toothed Wonder

My big little baby boy Gideon got his first tooth yesterday!



And yes, it is awesome that he is smiling in the first pic and frowning in the second.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mama Didn't Make the Cut

Judith and I are doing dishes.

Me: Judith, who is your best friend?
Judith: Lambie!
M: Who's after that?
J: Daddy.
M: Who's after that?
M: Who's after that?
J: Gideon.
M: Who's after that?
J: Roarie.
M: What about Mommy?

(Judith stops for a second, then quietly leaves the room)

I guess I didn't make the list.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome To The Family, Kitty!

Sorry I have been absent the last few days. A few things have happened that have demanded of my time.

But please let me introduce you to the newest member of our family! The name he came with is "Squishy", but we may change it, because my brother has a cat named Squishy. Any suggestions?

I think it will be a good learning experience for Judith. She absolutely adores the kitten! But she has yet to truly understand that the cat is its own entity, and not her plaything, and it does not, in fact, need to obey her every command. She cried herself to sleep last night because she was upset that the cat wouldn't stay on her pillow and sleep with her. She also has a bad habit of lifting him up by the fur on his back instead of picking him up gently by his belly. We're working on that. But he seems to like her despite it all, he follows her around, and if she is sitting on the couch he will sleep beside her or cuddle on her lap. It's adorable! I hope that this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Took His Hand and Followed

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I...
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood...
My kitchen wasn't swept today
But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill...
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.

I think this poem is beautiful. This is really how I feel about being a mother and possible home schooler. Although these days my house has been a little more on the clean side and my daughter a little more on the bored side... Before Gideon was born we were going out on adventures all the time. This poem excites me, but has also left me a bit convicted.

I found this poem at, along with a lot of other great homeschooling resources.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Breastfeeding Experience

Breastfeeding is something I always assumed I would do. I was breastfed as a baby, and it just made sense. What everyone failed to inform me, however, was how difficult it could be.

My daughter was born after a 43.5 hour labour. I was completely exhausted and suffering from a second degree tear, but that did not seem to interfere with the intense feeling of euphoria that flooded my body. I wanted to start breastfeeding right away. There was a shift change in the hospital right after the birth, and my wonderful midwife was replaced with one that was not so gracious. The baby's head was shoved on to my breast, and I was left to basically figure it out on my own.

I had no idea how much it was going to hurt. After a few hours the euphoria was gone and the exhaustion and pain I was experiencing was overwhelming. I couldn't sleep. I was overflowing with hormones and emotions that I was not prepared to deal with. The baby kept crying, but I couldn't figure out how to feed her, and was too weak to pick her up or hold her very long. In the morning a new midwife came and showed me some compassion, but didn't have time to stay with me and help. She told me that breastfeeding was going to hurt me more than most women because I was so fair and had flat nipples. But that I could do it just as well as anyone else. I was frustrated and by then my nipples were completely destroyed. I had no help, and was getting no rest. Every time the baby cried my heart sank through the floor at the thought of having to endure a feeding. I wasn't sure if I could keep doing it. The thought of nursing for a whole year, 6 months, or even 3 months was too overwhelming to think about. I couldn't believe other women could actually do this, it was so hard.

We ended up leaving the hospital early and then spent a day or so in a birthing centre where there were no other patients and the midwives were able to give me their full attention. Finally, after many tears and having two midwives constantly at my side for what seemed like an eternity trying and trying and trying to get the baby to cooperate, she finally figured out how to latch properly. She had become a very fussy baby, undoubtedly just as frustrated as me with the whole breastfeeding thing.

I was relieved to be able to go home, although things remained extremely difficult. My nipples had been torn up and bleeding for three days, and even though my daughter finally figured out how to latch properly and was not causing any more damage, the healing process was long and painful. A midwife came to my home every day for a week to check on the baby and I and help with breastfeeding. My daughter lost a lot of weight in the first three days, was running a fever, and was still not feeding well, so I ended up having to go visit my doctor. Fortunately, my doctor, midwives and everyone around me was very supportive of breastfeeding and switching to formula was never suggested, even though I secretly wished I could just give up and be done with it. After about 10 days she finally gained a llittle bit of weight. She wasn't back up to her birth weight, but she had at least gained some, so my doctor was satisfied with that and just urged me to continue on. I was also surrounded by a wonderful community that believed in me and encouraged me to persevere. My husband and I were living in Australia at the time, and our families were back in Canada, so I don't know what we would have done without our amazing friends. I learned to take it one feeding at a time, and not worry about anything else. Breastfeeding was now my more-than-full-time job.

It took 3 weeks for my nipples to finally heal, and considering that I had to feed 8-10 times a day, around the clock, it was the longest 3 weeks of my life. My nipples were still quite sensitive, even though the wounds were gone. I dreaded every feed. Every time she latched on I would scream and curl my toes. Shortly after the sores and scabs had disappeared, I suffered a short bout of mastitis. I thought I was going to die. But I continued to nurse through it, and after about 24 hours, I started to feel better. My breasts still hurt for several days though. Then just to ensure I had the full spectrum of the painful nursing experience, I got thrush when my daughter was about a month old. It came in association with the constant yeast infections I had which hindered my postpartum healing and made sitting extremely painful, and also horrible fungal infections in my finger and toe nails, which made holding anything and walking painful as well. I was in an extremely rough shape. Not to mention the overwhelming feelings of rejection by my daughter and failure as a mother. I was a physical and an emotional wreck.

My daughter was experiencing her own pain as well, it turns out. She was always fussy at the breast. She would eagerly latch on at first, but shortly after the letdown she would arch her back, pull off and scream. The rest of the feeding would consist of me trying to squirt milk down her throat as she screamed. It was so frustrating for both of us. I was devastated that breastfeeding was a battle rather than a bonding experience. I can recall a few nights in the first couple of weeks where neither of us slept, and we both just cried and cried. She wouldn't sleep all day either. It was very hot. We were both exhausted. She was constantly hungry. She was not a happy baby whatsoever, and never smiled. During the day I would try to feed her for an hour, and then give myself a break for an hour, just holding her while she screamed. Once the sun went down she would normally sleep for a few hours at a time, and accept the breast a little more willingly since we weren't sweating on each other as much.

Three weeks after the birth a mama in our church heard my daughter cry and informed me that she had 'the reflux cry'. Her own two daughters had reflux as babies, and she knew the sound of the distinct cry. She showed us how to hold her upright with a hand firmly on her tummy to ease the pain, and even came to our house and helped us prop up the bassinet so our daughter could sleep as vertical as possible. This helped immensely. We finally got more sleep at night, and were able to help her cope during the day. Nursing was still quite the ordeal, but we were getting used to it. Knowing that my daughter was also in pain helped me to be more compassionate. We were in this together.

Breastfeeding hurt me for the first 4 months of my daughter's life. The reflux affected her ability to nurse and keep food down for 6 or 7 months. But eventually we found our groove. I finally felt like I could breathe again. I had an excellent milk supply thanks to my hour-on-hour-off feeding schedule in the early days. My daughter gained weight, slowly but surely. She was always skinny, but healthy. Eventually she began to smile, and around 6 months after she was born I was rewarded with her first giggle. When we moved back to Canada we were occasionally urged to give her formula, but by then there was no way. We had worked too hard. I was extremely confident in my decision to breastfeed. I realized that this whole experience was indeed a bonding one. We had persevered together despite everything, and in doing so we were bonded together much more solidly than we would have been if breastfeeding had gone smoothly.

Breastfeeding became a big part of who I was, I did a lot of research on it, and decided that I would nurse as long as I could. I discovered attachment parenting, and found a community that supported me. At one point I even considered becoming a lactation consultant.

My daughter ended up nursing for 19 months. Around 18 months of age, she started becoming less interested in the breast and not asking for it much. When I would offer her the breast and she wasn't interested she would bite me, so I quickly stopped trying. Eventually she stopped asking completely. It was totally natural and I didn't experience any pain as a result of weaning. My breastfeeding experience was in like a lion, out like a lamb. I was kind of sad in a way that she weaned so early, I wanted to nurse her until she was at least 2, and had dreams of tandem nursing her and her sibling that we were trying to conceive. But I was completely satisfied. I know I did the right thing, and my daughter and I had a wonderful relationship. I proved to her that I would never give up on her no matter what. I felt like a champion. I was so proud of myself. I can totally understand why many moms choose not to breastfeed or stop breastfeeding, it is definitely not easy. But for us it was worth it. My sense of failure at first had now become a very satisfying sense of accomplishment.

At first breastfeeding was awful, but my daughter and I persevered together, and honestly it taught me so much. I learned to be patient and selfless, and discovered that motherhood was HARD and often painful, but so worth it. Breastfeeding broke me as a person more than anything in my entire life, but like a seed, in doing so made room for much personal growth. It eventually built me up, stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever. It taught me what I needed to know deep in my heart, lessons that cannot be explained in words, and made me into the mother I would need to be for my children. It humbled me, and also empowered me. I think all mothers probably experience this no matter how they feed their babies, but for me the trials (and eventually triumphs) of breastfeeding was my 'make AND break' experience of motherhood. Breastfeeding was so much more than just nourishing my baby, even more than bonding as well. Breastfeeding laid the foundation of motherhood for me.


I am currently breastfeeding my son, who is 6 months old. My experience with him has been completely different. It was hard at first, again, as it took him 2 weeks to figure out how to latch properly, and to be able to handle my powerful letdowns. I would pump a little at first until the flow wasn't as forceful, attempt to nurse him, and then I would pump more and feed him my breastmilk with a small cup. But it didn't hurt at all, thank God. The worst part was having to wash the pump in the middle of the night. After a couple of weeks he figured it out, and we have been going strong ever since. He is such a wonderful baby! He seriously brings so much joy to my life. He has been smiling and giggling from day one, and loves to cuddle. He nurses like a champ, even in public, which has made my life pretty easy. He nurses every 3-4 hours during the day, and every 2-3 hours at night. But he sleeps and naps well, and is just so darn cute and happy, so I don't mind his frequent feeds. At 6 months he is 23 pounds, and no one has suggested giving him formula, haha.

My two breastfeeding experiences were vastly different, but both equally as rewarding. I would encourage any new or expecting mama to stick it out, no matter how hard it is at first. Surround yourself with people that love you and support exclusive breastfeeding. Don't allow yourself the option of giving up (unless absolutely medically necessary, of course). Accept it as a new essential part of life, like breathing, eating, and going to the bathroom, and it won't seem like such a burden. Don't treat it like a chore, or it will become one. It is not easy, but it is worth it. If you can make it through the first few weeks, it gets much better. Persevere, and you will be rewarded in the end. Most of all, cherish the nursing experience with your baby, no matter how much it hurts or frustrates you, because some day you will miss those intimate times.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mmmm... Babies

I remember when Judith was about 3 or 4 months old, visiting Dave's Tante Ruth and her going on about how much she loves babies and she said "Don't you just want to eat them?"

I thought "Um, no. You are crazy."

In my defense, Judith was never really the edible type.

Fast forward two years. Gideon was born and taught me just how scrumptious babies can, in fact, be. I do get the overwhelming urge to munch on his cheeks and belly and fat little fingers and toes all the time. He giggles his jolly little face off. It's the best.

I guess for me it took two children to make me crazy, but alas, here I am.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mom, You Are Embarassing Me

This morning when I was nursing Gideon I was singing some kind of diddy like I normally do, making it up as I go. Then, without looking at me or missing a beat with nursing, Gideon's hand slowly and gently reached up. He placed his fingers above my top lip, and his thumb below my bottom one. He firmly pinched my mouth shut and held it that way for a few seconds. Then slowly and gently, he let go and his hand came to rest once again on my shirt collar.

I got the hint.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sweet and Sour Freedom

Last night I went grocery shopping by myself.

Normally I go on Monday mornings with the kids, but the carseats were not in the van (we had put them in the truck when we weren't sure what was going on with the brakes), and I couldn't find my house keys, so we didn't go. I thought it might be nice for me to be able to go by myself for once, so I waited until Dave got home and we ate dinner, then Daddy got to babysit while I set out into the night.

Going out with both kids is such a huge, overwhelming ordeal sometimes. The prospect of having some FREEDOM for once was quite alluring.

But I was wrong.

I felt really lonely the whole time. It was weird. It was quiet. But not quiet in the soothing, refreshing way. More in the eerie, uneasy way. I didn't feel like 'myself'. I reverted back to the old shy, extremely self-conscious Kelly. It took an hour and fifteen minutes instead of my usual two hours, but it felt like much longer. I didn't feel as present and 'in control' as I do when the kids are with me.

Maybe the extra time and effort required to take the kids out with me is worth it.

It's true that sometimes my kids bring out the worst in me, but I'm beginning to realize that they also bring out the best.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today is my Local Breastfeeding Challenge!

What: A challenge to gather together as many nursing mamas as we can at the same place and time. There will be related booths, registration packages with great coupons and information, prizes for different categories and a babywearing fashion show - plus more to be announced!

Why: To raise awareness about breastfeeding.
Canadians celebrate World Breastfeeding Week October 1-7, and this year in Canada the theme is "Mother Support: Reclaiming Our Breastfeeding Culture." This issue has recently been brought to the forefront with prominent news stories such as that of Manuela Valle at H&M and the Westjet incident, and more shockingly, the ensuing frenzy of comments in response to the articles on sites such as Now more than ever it is crucial that we create a positive support system and environment for nursing moms and moms to be everywhere. We aim to do this by holding this fun event at which parents can discuss, relate, gather information, have fun and feel accepted.

Who: Breastfeeding mamas, babies/children and their supporters.

When: Sunday October 19, 2008 10am-12pm, latch-on at 11am sharp!

Visit for more information.

For further information on the hows and whys of breastfeeding, please browse the following great websites:
101 reasons to breastfeed:

EDIT-Ugh. When I set out this morning I noticed there was something definitely wrong with the brakes on my van. Turns out we were out of break fluid. By the time we got that fixed, I missed the event. I'm so bummed...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hey This Is Gideon...

I have taken over the laptop while Mommy isn't looking. She uses this thing a lot when she nurses me and cuddles me, so I have been watching her closely and learning. I just want you all to know that as of yesterday I can now roll from back to front to back to front to back to front to off the bed. But Mommy always catches me, don't worry. I am quite proud of myself for being able to get around now! It's not so easy when you are this chunky, and have a huge cloth-diapered butt.

Now here is a picture of me to adore. This is Mommy's favourite sweater of mine. The picture below in Mommy's last post is less than flattering, in my humble opinion. It was kind of mean of Mommy to take my picture while I was in complete anguish, then laugh about it, and make you laugh at me too. But... what can I say... I am a sucker for attention! I mean, look at this face, how can you not love me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

That First Spoonful of Applesauce is Always a Doozey...

It is impossible for me to not laugh when I look at this photo. This was so what I needed today. Thanks Gideon, you're the best.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homeschooling Resources

I have been looking into homeschooling information the last few days. I came across a local magazine for homeschoolers and it really sparked my interest. Apparently this city is the best place in Canada as far as homeschooling support and resources.

I read an article in Mothering magazine a while back on homeschooling/unschooling and it really excited me. I'm still somewhat unsure of myself and my ability to adequately equip my children for higher education down the road, but everyone I have talked to who homeschools has given me much encouragement. I still have a couple years to decide, although Dave has made it clear that he would prefer our kids to be homeschooled.

From what I've learned through websites and forums, socialization really isn't an issue with homeschooling these days, as there are so many opportunities for kids to get together and participate in activities and hang out. We are planning on getting Judith involved with dance and/or gymnastics this fall, and she already has several little friends from our attachment parenting and church communities (some of whom will also be homeschooled).

I don't know yet if I would purchase curriculum or do it on my own, but here are a few websites I have found recently. I am posting them mostly for myself so I don't lose them, but maybe someone else out there will find them useful too.

Homeschool For Free

Teach Your Kids Online

Beginning Homeschooling

The Miller Family Homeschool

Christopherus Homeschool Resource

I also was given the books Homeschool Your Child For Free, The Big Book of Home Learning: Getting Started, and The Big Book of Home Learning: Preschool and Elementary.

I guess that's a good start, eh?

If anyone has any other great resources please let me know. I definitely want to be prepared if I do embark on this adventure. I also need to build up some more confidence for when I discuss the possibility of homeschooling with people who oppose the idea. I'm not so good at defending myself...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleepy Baby

This is a really cute video.

I totally know this feeling. Some days I nod off continually.

The baby kind of reminds me of Gideon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

We are off this morning to visit Dave's aunt and uncle a couple hours north of here. I met them briefly once at a family reunion, but I don't know them really at all. So I'm a little nervous but I hope all goes well.

Dinner there is a pot luck and I just want to share the recipes of the food I'm bringing. Because I think it looks fabulous.

I got the recipes from which has a plethora of yummy, healthy recipes.


First is a chicken potato salad. This would also make a good entree! I would double it (or more) in that case. I am totally copying and pasting this...

Main Ingredients:

Chicken Breasts: 2 *preferrably local free-range and/or organic!
Onion: 1 medium, coarsely chopped
Garlic: 1 clove, chopped *pfft, I used like 4 or 5 cloves, I love garlic.
Nugget Potatoes: 1.5 cups, cut in half (or equivalent chopped potatoes) *I used all of a 1.5 lb bag of mini potatoes.
Green Peas: 1/2 cup
Olive oil: 3 tbsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Salt *I used msg-free seasoning salt instead of salt and pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

Mayonnaise: 2 tbsp
Yogurt: 4 tbsp
Lemon: juice of 1
Fresh Dill: 2 tbsp, chopped


1. Marinate the potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper (*or seasoning salt). Bake in the 350 F oven for 45 min or till golden.

2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt 1 tbsp butter with olive oil. Add onion and fry for 2 min. Add garlic and fry 1 more min. Add chicken breasts, salt and pepper (*or seasoning salt) and cook for 5-10 min on each side (*or until thoroughly cooked, it took longer for me). Let them cool.

3. In the boiling water, cook green peas for 5-10 min. Darin and cool in iced water.

4. Blend all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cut chicken breasts into small cubes. Mix chicken breasts, potatoes and green peas and blend in the sauce. Keep in the fridge.


And I am also bringing a green salad with orange juice sauce, found here...

Main Ingredients:

Salad Green Mix
Feta Cheese
Black Beans
Sliced Almonds: (or pinenuts)

Sauce Ingredients:

Orange Juice: 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
Dried Mint: 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds : 1/2 tsp


1. Blend all sauce ingredients.

2. Mix all salad ingredients and serve with the sauce.


I am very excited to eat these! I hope everyone else enjoys it too!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I bought Judith 4 little wooden puzzles for her birthday (which is next month). Of course she found them, and I told her she wasn't supposed to have them until she was 3. But she was insistent so I let her have one. I've never seen her focus on something so intently for so long, and she did it! She's never tried a puzzle like that before.

Upon completing it, she looked at me and matter-of-factly stated "Mommy, I am 3."

She loves this puzzle. She does it all the time now. It totally seems to be her "thing". It is a skill she must get from her father, as I'm not much of a puzzle-person.

Before watching, please note: this was first thing in the morning, so it's dark, Judith is in her pj's and has morning hair. And the tv is on in the background, please excuse the music.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Yesterday morning I pulled a venison chop out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. Judith, being my constant shadow and always full of questions, wanted to know what it was. I told her it was Bambi and that we were going to eat it (don't judge until YOU have had her follow you around every second of every day, edging you little by little into an abyss of insanity). She was surprisingly very excited at this turn of events, and said "Yay! I want to eat Bambi!" I had to blink a few times to make sure this was really real. You'd think she was related to my dad or something (I come from a family of avid hunters, who were horrified when I was vegan for a few years). Then all day she kept asking if we could eat Bambi yet.

When supper time came she refused as usual to eat any meat. Even though it was "Bambi". But she was excited for Daddy to eat Bambi.

It must be the Dora treats, making her think that it's fun to eat her favourite tv friends.

P.S. I got my hair cut on Monday! I think it's cute, but I feel more like a mom now for some reason. It makes me look more grown up maybe?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Homeschool Family

Dave and I are thinking of possibly homeschooling our kids. We are currently working on simple things with Judith like letters and numbers. She's totally a kinetic learner, so a traditional school environment might hinder her learning. But it will depend on our life situation at the time as well.

For now, enjoy this video.

P.S. This is not necessarily the type of family I aspire to be.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gross? What Does That Even Mean Anymore?

This morning as I wiped the snot from Gideon's nose with my sleeve, I realized that becoming a mother has brought me a long way as far as my tolerance for all things "gross".

This morning I also threw the diapers in the wash, grabbing handful after handful of wet and soiled cloths with my bare hand, no problem. Poop washes off.

I get spit up on every day, most of the time I don't even bother changing anymore. Barf stains are the new black for me.

Gideon is a boy. I get peed on sometimes when I change him (although not as much anymore). It happens. Not a big deal.

Potty training Judith involved being peed on, handling soiled clothing, and cleaning up accidents on the floor. I got over it.

I pick at Gideon's cradle cap. All the time. It's addictive.

Some nights when I get up to feed Gideon I realize that my side of the bed is saturated in breastmilk. Then I go back to sleep in it. Like I care what I will smell like in the morning. And the need for sleep outweighs the risk of drowning.

Judith. Spills. Everything. EVERYTHING. You wouldn't believe the towels I go through in a week cleaning up after her. Her face is always dirty and her hands always sticky. But she still deserves hugs and kisses and the hand prints on the walls and my pants don't bother me too much anymore.

Judith often eats off the floor. She drops her food there, and we don't like to waste. Sometimes I cringe because the floors aren't always so clean (because of all the food dropping, it's a vicious cycle). Other times I do it too. I discourage this practice in public places, however.

My kitchen is often starved for attention. We live in a basement apartment, so food starts to bring forth new life after being left out for about 10 seconds. Changing the garbage was agony when I was pregnant. But I've since gotten over it. Mold schmold.

I admit I do intervene when Judith finds something on the ground and immediately puts it in her mouth (candies, straws, popsicle sticks, etc). I take it away of course and try to get it through her head that WE DON'T DO THAT! But she hasn't died yet... or even gotten sick.

I kiss boo boos. Dirty, bloody gross boo boos. Nothing heals and consoles like mama's kisses.

I could probably think of more, but Judith just dumped her potty full of pee all over the bathroom floor... again. Gotta go!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tired Today...

Our fridge is really full right now (yesterday was grocery day).

I spent a few minutes this morning rearranging things so I could fit something in.

Then I realized that the cereal box does not go in the fridge...


P.S. Dear Gideon, feeding every 2 hours all night, and then refusing to eat for 4 hours straight in the morning is MEAN. You deserved being sprayed in the face repeatedly.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy 6 Months Gizmo!

Gideon is 6 months old today.

The kids are celebrating by having colds. Fun times.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

This Morning I Woke Up to This

I guess Dave was confused.