Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An alternative to the New Year's Resolution

Tonight I stumbled upon a new blog I haven't seen before Practical Parenting where the author spoke about focusing on the happy stuff for the new year instead of making resolutions that we don't follow through. Her first post titled Project Happy launches a great way to think about the new year and a great way to focus on  even the smallest moment of joy each day.

I know personally this would be a great project for me to be part of. I could  really use this kick in the  pants and focus on the happiness in my every day existence. I also know that documenting my happiness weekly will be very challenging. It means changing the way I think and making an effort to comment on what makes me smile each day.

My happiness today was listening to my son laughing as I tossed him in the air and completing my gift to my husband...a few day late

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Living with

As my son's mother I of course want the best for him this includes appropriate toys. The first question that arises is who deems the toys to be appropriate? At the moment its me and I am making the determination by reading articles online about age appropriate toys. I also have personal preferences for having as few battery operated items in the home as I feel its wasteful and who needs all the noise that battery operated toys bring!
I blogged last year about this same topic on my other blog. Christmas Musings I still feel the same way a year later and have not made any decisions or come to any conclusions regarding our Christmas celebrations.

With these thing in mind I have continued to narrow down the toys we have out for Saylor to play with by going through the wooden toy box and removing toys that were no longer age appropriate or he wasn't playing with. I also took all of the the toys out of the toy box and put what I was going to leave out for him on a book shelf I moved from another part of the house.

Saylor has books and toys he can access any time and in the 2 pink totes a wonderful set of wooden blocks. Pete and I have noticed that Saylor is being more selective in what he chooses to play with now and there are fewer to strewn around. After iChristmas is over and life returns to its normal rythms I will once again go through his toys and put a few away  for a little while. So that he can have  something "new" to play with later on.

I have also found some wonderful blog posts that reflect my feelings about living with less.
Loving earth mama -why having less toys may bring more happiness and The mother co - Too many toys

I had a wonderful experience yesterday that truly renewed my belief in the spirit of the season. On a whim Pete, myself, Saylor and Ana (aka Grandma) decided to go out for lunch in a local community called Chemainus . We always eat at the Willow street cafe where the food is made on the spot and always delicious! The cafe wasn't very busy so we quickly got our food and enjoyed every bite. We had come to the end of our meal and we were packing up to go when a fellow approached our table and gave Saylor a wonderful toy handmade by this fellow Grandfather. I wish we had gotten his name! What a wonderful surprise and I am so grateful for the reminder about the spirit of the season.

I may be choosing to live with less and be trying to eliminate some of the clutter in our lives but I have a feeling this toy will be hanging around our home for a very long time.

This was difficult to get a picture of. It is a little figure with moving limbs hanging from a bit of elastic. When the "ladder" is moved the figure spins around like a gymnast. Thanks again to this fellow who brightened up our day and shared some Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Switch in Some of my thinking

I have had this post hanging around between my ears for over a week now. I prefer to plan my blog posts in my head comming up with my titles and some of the subject matter before I start writing. I know other bloggers have a note book dedicated to this process. I think that's a great idea I also know its not something I would maintain. On to the real topic.

Over the last three or four months I have been gradually de cluttering and getting rid of items we are no longer using or have no reason to store for future use. I made a large donation to charity and I have been using a couple different swap 'n shop pages on Facebook to sell other items. I have even sorted through my son's toys in anticipation of a few gifts being received at Christmas.

The aspect of this project that inspired me write about the process is knowing I need resist the urge to go out and purchase more items with the cash from selling what I can. To curtail my spending I have made goal of buying Saylor a new bed by his next birthday in May. I know I need to save up at least $500 for a bed,mattress and bedding. With a goal in my mind it motivates me to think differently about the small amounts of cash I make from selling things here and there. If I hang onto the money it will add up and I can meet my goal.

Previously I would get a little money in and I would immediatly find a way to spend it. Now I need to recognize my goal and make that my priority. I am going to try to write down the items I think I need or want and then wait a week before I rush out and buy something unless its food related.

I am feeling really good with my progress but I also know I have more work to do. I find it really difficult to maintain my momentum with this de- cluttering project.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peaceful parenting Collaboration: Response #3 Being Positive

First I have to say that I have been procrastinating on this post as I feel that I haven't put much focus on this topic. At first I was trying to catch myself being negative that worked for a few days then I just forgot about it.  When I did give it some thought I found myself being negative around some of my son's behaviour. Like when he repeatedly attempts to stick objects in the electrical sockets or throwing toys over the gate towards the wood stove. I know at 18 months old he isn't able  to hold back and control these impulses. As his mom this is often frustrating to me and I do focus on the negative maybe a little too often.

I have also found myself feeling very negative towards the lack of time I get for myself. I rarely get quiet time on my own to refresh and relax. My wonderful and dedicated husband is busy with his full time job and full time volunteering. This means breaks and quiet times for  mommy are infrequent. I know this is the stage my life is at and in time my son will grow and need me less and I will once again have that time I crave. I think I need to find a way to move past my negativity and frustration and really enjoy the moments I do get on my own. I haven't laid a plan out to move forward but this topic has certainly increased my awareness round negative and postive thoughts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Forgiveness: Mindful Parenting Collaboration #2

When I saw the topic last week my stomach did flip flops and I knew that this was something relevant to me. I let the information settle between my ears for a few days and gave myself time to process. It didn't take too much effort on my part to identify a couple people who I have felt "wronged" me in some way. Mulling this over further I was uncertain of my next step so I searched the internet for some resources that discuss forgiveness. I found this link and found it to be great reading, especially #16 Give up on all hope of a better past. -Matt Child this resonated with me. I have more work to do on forgiveness but I think I'm on my way. I have an object that belongs to one of these people that I would like to forgive. My goal is to return the object in the next few days so that each time I see it I am not reminded of the situation. My hope is that once I have returned the object I will fully be able to forgive this person.

In previous posts I have easily added links for some reason I am now having problems adding links :(

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breastfeeding at 17 months

Tonight as I was nursing my son to sleep I was reflecting on our nursing relationship. The first several weeks were beond challenging. It started with a poor latch despite lots of help from the lactation consultant in the hospital and my midwives. The poor latch led to cracked and bleeding nipples thank goodness for calendula cream. It healed my sore nipples and was safe for Saylor. It took a little too long for us to get a good latch sorted out and by then my milk supply had decreased. That led to a regime of taking domperidone, pumping and drinking a herbal tea was supposed to help,that all in hopes to increase my milk supply. All the work was definetly was worth it! We also supplimented with some formula until he was about 4 months old. After about 6 month I slowly decreased the time I put into pumping and eventually stopped altogether. Just after Saylor's first birthday I also stopped taking domperidone knowing that I had done my best and if my milk supply dried up I was ok with that.

Some how 17 months later Saylor is still nursing on demand with no signs of stopping. I love those quiet moments when he is happily nursing and I can soak in his scent and movements. He may no longer be my small infant but he is still my young son who my life now evolves around. I will continue our breastfeeding realationship until he decides he has had enough. There is nothing else that can calm or soothe like a bit of cuddle and some mama milk.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting stuck in the details

Yes, I admit it I got stuck in the details of the first challenge of the Mindful parenting collaboration. I didn't move past determining what my current values are. I would still like to write a mission statement for myself some times soon. There is a chance I was over thinking what I needed to do and because of that I felt overwhelmed with the weight of creating a mission statement.

What I did work was writing down my values and answering a few questions.

What do you feel called to do and to be?
Be a wonderful mother to my son

What are you passionate about?
Being a mother and allowing time to be creative

What were you passionate about before you had kids?
Creating with clay at first I included my job but husband pointed out that this really wasn't true

What are two strengths that you have? >
creativity, organization

How could you use these two strengths?
Organization helps keep a tidy home and creativity brings fun and art into our lives

How does your homemaking and raising a beautiful family fit into doing something for the rest of the world?
The way I raise my son impacts the world because of how he lives in the world now and in the future. My homemaking affects the world when I am dedicated to recyling.composting and making wise choices in our attitudes about consumption and commercialization

What are the things you model for your children that you are most proud of?
Organization, fun, joy, calm

If you had to name three things that are your top values, what would they be?
family, organization, creativity (I found narrowing down these 3 words very difficult it took my several hours)

As I went through and searched for my answers to these questions I also chatted with my husband about the questions and what his responses would be. I enjoyed those conversations a lot.

In the past I have taken time for meditation and yoga I enjoy both of these activities but at present don't do of them. So over the last 4 days I have been trying to breath a little more and felt better for it. That sums up my inner work for this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Intial Reflections on Mindful Parenting Collaboration #1

I anticipated that taking part in Mindful parenting Collaboration was going to be challenging. What I didn't foresee was that the sense that my logical brain has atrophied in the 18 months since I last worked outside the home at my money earning job. Last night I started to read online about how values are defined or explained. I searched for some  information and I read it over and over before it felt like it sinking in. Following some of the links posted over on  It's Ok I began to get a grip on how values are defined. To me "values" has always seemed complicated or difficult to comprehend what the word really means. Then I jumped over to The parenting passageway and found a list of questions to answer and that answering these questions would help guide my journey on this inner work. (I see now that these same questions are also shared on It's Ok that just shows I am going to be re reading things many times) I am currently struggling to answer these questions.

I suspect this sense of  atrophy that is going on between my ears isn't going to go away but it is certainly going to get a jump start participating in this great project.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ditching Sugar

In mid September I started to think about how much junk food and by that I mean candy and chips I was  consuming all to0 often. I rarely eat fast food like burgers,french fries already and I am not a pop drinker. The more I thought about  it and became really aware of the junk I was eating I realized that it was time to change that behaviour. I read a little bit about decreasing sugar from my diet and knew that I could do it.

On October 1st I stopped eating chips and candy. I know that I could also cut out white pasta and rice but I  decided to focus solely on the chips and candy for this month. I am happy to say that I have done extremely well. I did eat a small piece of home made chocolate cake on Thanksgiving and this week my hormones have been a little off balance so I have had a couple small sweets. As an additional bonus I have lost about 8 pounds just buy cutting out candy and chips.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jumping in with heart and mind

I am going to explore my thoughts around how I parent Saylor with the blog It's Ok and Mccrenshaw blog together they are hosting a Mindful-parenting-collaboration . I am going to participate in this project. I am feeling reluctant and aprehensive about participating in the collaboration. I think the feelings are coming from the unknown. What am I going to learn about myself? What am I going to learn about becoming a better mother to Saylor? I am also applying extra pressure to myself because although its not a requirement I am going to write about my experiences with the challenges issued during this collaboration. Knowing that I am going to document the challenges here makes me feel more accountable in my participation of the Mindful-parenting-collaboration . The collaboration starts on October 21 and will explore 20 different topics.

All right there it is out in the universe. I am going to enjoy it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Parenting with my instincts

While I was expecting I didn't read any baby books or parenting books. I did read many blogs and reasearched many different topics online including cloth diapering and breastfeeding. After Saylor arrived I quickly realized that anything I may have read was a vague guideline at best. What I needed to do was follow my heart and my instincts and so far following my feelings has served me extremly well. Recently I have started to read an amazing blog Peaceful Parenting that discusses how to be a peacful parent. This blog has really opened my mind to other options that I have as a parent. Its a well written blog and full of great information. The second blog that I have been following is Play at Home Mom I have been truly inspired by this blog! The blog has several contributors and they write about activities that they do with their children. They even show things to do with very young children under a year old. (I'm not going to go into the details contained in each blog. They are both full of so much information it would be silly for me to re write it here)

Today I took the risk and introduced Saylor to glue and coloured sand. We started with drizzling glue on some heavy card stock. In advance I had put the coloured sand in a shaker (from a barbeque rub) and we shook the sand onto the glue. After a few shakes Saylor tried to get the lid off the shaker he wasn't able to so I did it for him. He promptly dumped the sand all over the paper and into the baking sheet. He enjoyed dumping the sand so much that we did this over and over.
I would have never taken the chance of showing Saylor glue with out the influence of the Play at Home Mom . I know that following my motherly instincts has been a wonderful thing and I only doubt myself when others question why I am doing something. I am grateful that I have found some wonderful information to add to my parenting tool box and I know Saylor will benefit immensly from my learning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I say I a little too often

I have made an observation about myself recently and its a little disturbing. I have noticed when chatting with another mom that as they are relaying a recent experience with their child that I interject myself and I feel some how compelled to contribute my experiences in relation to what they are speaking about. Later when I replay the conversation it seems to me that I am being a little rude and awfully self centered. I am aware that I am doing this but I also don't seem to be able to just listen, take in the conversation and leave it at that. I wonder why this is? Am I a little too isolated? Maybe I do need more interactions with other moms. Does any one else find themselves doing the same thing?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Finding Myself

I think just recently over the last couple of weeks I can finally feel the deep hazy fog rolling away from my brain. My son is 16 months old and I didn't suffer from post partum depression that I could define. I was able to care for myself and my son. I was able to lead my life but what I didn't have was a clarity in my mind. I think some of that mental fog can be attributed to sleep deprivation and the stunning reality of being a mother. I now love being a mother and all of the minute details that encompass the experiences. I often feel as if I am following my "gut" or my "heart" most of the time and my brain lags behind trying to catch up. This lack of control leaves me with a sense that I'm floating through each day on auto pilot. I could compare it to a ship at sea and there is no one at the wheel steering the ship. This sense of being in a fog each and every day was near impossible to describe to anyone. Now that the fog is lifting I wonder what it is that has changed. Maybe some of it is more adult conversation and maybe some of it is just the passing of time. What I do know is that I'm glad the constant fog is lifting and I'm starting to feel more like myself.

Loosing myself in Motherhood

May 13 2011(I originally wrote this on another blog and have moved it here)
I have had this blog post in my head for several days and even written it a few times in my head at night as I'm laying in bed trying to get to sleep. Now that I have a few mintues to write as Saylor snoozes beside me I'm at a loss for words but I will try to convey my thoughts any way.

Recently I read a post on another blog and the author spoke about needing time for herself to do some of the things she loves to do but hasn't had time over the last year as she has has a young son who is a month or two older then Saylor. Her conclusion was to find a spot in a local day care for her son a couple mornings a week. I think the author is very strong to recongize her needs and at the same time she knows she will be a better parent if she meets some of her own needs.

This post caused me to think and ponder my own needs. As most mother's new we make sacrifices to meet the needs of our child (children). Personally I am missing the time to create and work with polymer clay ( ) Creating with clay has been a big part of my life for more then 5 years now. Now I rarely have time to walk into my studio never mind have time to work and be focused at the same time. I think I am all right with where I am at in my life at the moment. I know the time will come when Saylor is a little older and can play on his own or not need me so much. When that time comes I want to know that I spent as much time cuddling and caring for him as he wants each day.

The time will come again soon that I can work with clay and create as much as I want. In the mean time I am soaking in every giggle and tear that Saylor shares with me. In no way do I think less of the above poster I wrote about. In fact I admire her strength in acknowledging what works for her and her family.