Friday, 29 May 2009


In the movie Doubt Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a priest who gives a sermon on gossip. I can't stop thinking about this sermon. It went something like this:

A parishioner goes to confession and tells the priest that he really didn't have much to confess, only that he had been gossiping. The priest does not take this lightly and says gossiping is just as harmful as any of the 'serious' sins. What harm can gossiping do the parishioner asks. The priest tells him to go home, get a feather pillow and stand on the roof of a building and slice the pillow open with a knife. The man does this and returns to tell the priest that he has followed his instructions but does not understand. The priest tells the man to go and pick up each feather and put it back into the pillow. That would be impossible says the parishioner. The feathers have flown everywhere. You are right says the priest. This is exactly what happens when you gossip.

Recently I was the subject of some gossip. Nothing earth-shattering or even deal-breaking. But it made me think about how unfair we can be with each other. All it takes is a suggestive hint or a persuasive anectdote to change someone's mind about someone or something. Gossip magazines know this all too well and are able to cash in big time off of our hunger for just a whiff of a story, the slightest intimation of wrong doing on someone else's part.

I'm definitely not an innocent bystander in this discomforting pastime. I've sometimes found myself embellishing details or leaving out important ones to depict myself victim or victorious. I've hinted at impropriety where there was none to make a story interesting or funny. I know that it's not nice. I knew it when I was doing it. But like I said, recently I was the subject of gossip. And when I learned of it I felt hurt and disappointed. I even cried.

Imagine if the gossip was earth-shattering and deal-breaking.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

A Crash course

I don't know if this look of irritation has always been there or if he developed it over the last year and a half as the result of becoming second fiddle in this household. All I know is that I'm already being bossed around by a tiny tyrant in diapers and pleasing this sour puss is the last thing on my mind these days.

It wasn't always like this though. We used to be close, Crash and I.

Our vetrinarian Dr. Jen saved him from a close call with death when Animal Control found him on the side of the road mangled, bloody and barely breathing. She said that they were ready to euthanize him when they heard the tiniest little "mew". Dr Jen and her team felt compelled to at least try to save him but didn't hold much hope assessing from his condition that he had to be at least 12 years old and in very bad shape.

But thank goodness they did because within the next few months this old and battered feline healed into a vibrant, gorgeous and feisty cat. Dr Jen realized that her estimation of his age was far off and that he was only two or three years old. They named him Crash not only for what he had already endured but also because of the havoc he began to wreak in the clinic - running into walls chasing balls, demanding his needs in clear and articulate meouws, tormenting the patients there on short visits.

At the time, Shaune or I had been making weekly stops at the Vet's office to pick up insulin for our old pup Judge who had been diagnosed with serious diabetes a few months prior. And each week, Dr Jen would have a different rescued animal (almost always cats) in the display crate in the front lobby of the clinic in hopes that an adoption or two would take place. A few times Shaune would come home and mention this one cat. It bothered him that this cat seemed to have been there longer than any of the others that were up for adoption.

Well I guess you know where this story is going. It bothered Shaune more and more and weirdly, I never saw this particular cat on my trips to the clinic. I would ask Shaune - is it the one with the orange stripes? No. The odd grey cat with the stitched up eye? Nope.

Finally, I said, well lets ask about him. We did. Dr Jen and her staff were thrilled that we were interested. They knew us well - our dog Judge had been their patient for the past 9 years and he had singlehandedly probably paid Dr Jen's mortgage for at least a full year - with his knee replacement, X-rays and ultrasounds, yearly shots and insulin, not to mention several one or two week stays at Hotel-So-Expensive-We-Considered-Selling-The-Shirts-Off-Our-Backs-Just-To-Pay for his recovery.

Anyway, they couldn't be happier that we wanted to take Crash home. He'd been with the clinic for almost five months most likely because people were looking for kittens.

That was two and a half years ago.

These days I grumble and complain about the attention he demands of me. I threaten him when he's using my furniture as a scratching post. I hover close by when Deaglan is smothering him with kisses and bear-hugs. But at the end of the day, I have to admit he's been a pretty good sport about becoming second fiddle.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Love letter with an apology thrown in

Dear Deaglan,

you turned 17 months yesterday and immediately I felt the need to apologize to you.

You see while you are learning to do all sorts of really neat things like unbuckling your seatbelt in the bike trailer (thank goodness there is a safety belt too), climbing down the stairs (backwards with some help), really enunciating the word 'daddy' (although still no mummy), pretending to blow your nose with a kleenex and really embracing anger, I seem to be digressing.

Picking your nose and inspecting your poop have not only brought me a peculiar satisfaction but have become a daily need I never anticipated. I've also started to feel obsessed about making sure you're wearing a hat and sunscreen and often found my fingers twitching to wipe away your snot and drool.

I know that if you were 12 or 13 you would be mortified and most likely refuse to be seen in public with me but I have to tell you that it seems to be out of my control. I really didn't list this on my five year plan and couldn't have imagined myself picking things off of your highchair after you were done and popping them into my mouth without hesitation. Iused to be appalled by such behaviour myself, and wouldn't dream of going two days straight without a shower.

So today, the day after you've turned 17 months and have made me and your dad so proud by the progress you continue to make in your development, I wanted to document this apology. I hope you will show me some mercy when you realize that I have become a big mushy ball of mother and that it wasn't intentional. I hope someday when I am fixing your hair with my saliva, you look at me and shake your head and dismiss it as just me being me. I also hope that when you bring your first girlfriend home for dinner you roll your eyes lightheartedly when I whip out your baby pictures and proceed to remember every goo and ga you ever uttered.

I hope my sweet baby boy that someday you forgive me for becoming this bragging-about-you-unapologetically, covetous, worry-wart, gushing, adoring, too-much-affection-giving, making-you-the-centre-of-my-universe type of woman that I have morphed into since the day I laid eyes on you. I honestly don't know how it happened. But I do hope you take pity on me and cut me some slack and always know that at times I swapped my dignity for your your well being and I never once regretted it!

love M-u-m-m-y (sounds just like it's spelled)

Friday, 22 May 2009

Fabulous Mervat

My friend Mervat, a beautiful mother of three, a scientist, and a writer from Australia also nominated me for an award this week. I must tell you that this is the best kind of recognition. To know that people are reading what I'm writing and thinking about me in this way - well it warms me.

Mervat's posts are genuine and just plain lovely. Two of my favourites are Brave & Generous Kayleigh and My tender child. I hope you will go and visit and see for yourself.

The Your blog is fabulous award asks that I list five of my least favourite things. Only five??

-I really dislike construction. In our city - I'm sure it's like this everywhere-just about every major road gets torn up and detoured for most of the summer. Getting to work in the morning takes an extra 10 minutes at least which translates into getting up earlier, rushing around - you get the picture!

-I'm weak when it comes to yummy food. Here's my question. Why do fries and gravy cost less than a salad or sushi? Why does eating healthy have to be made even more difficult?

-I find this conflicting message a bit frustrating - stay out of the sun but get Vitamin D. So I lather Deaglan with SPF 50, cover his head with a hat and then give him a Vitamin D supplement.

-All the good shows end at exactly the same time every spring and we are left with reruns all summer long. Shouldn't cable prices go down to account for this??

-Bathing suit season. I'll just leave it at that.

I love so many blogs and it's really difficult to narrow down just a few to honour with this award. If I didn't include you, please know that a more fitting award will be coming your way soon.

The V-spot


Musings from the deep

A lil Welsh Rarebit

Ponderings of a porcupine

All of these women are fabulous in my books. I hope you check them out and get hooked like me.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Friends honouring friends

I do alot of reading and one of my favourite genres is found in the the spiritual growth/self-improvement section of a bookstore. I've always been interested in the pursuit of a higher self, not because I dislike who I am, or think that something is broken that needs to be fixed, but because I think there is a place that we can all reach if we look within ourselves, where love is the rule, and kindness and giving are the fuel that powers us. But I am a citizen of this world where it is easy to fall prey to consumerism, greed and selfishness and where competition and survival of the fittest are rewarded, and self-improvement and spiritual success wan in comparison.

But here in the blogging community where sharing, support and love reign supreme, my hopes have been renewed. The trust we all bestow upon each other to dabble in a bit of creativity and put it out there for all to see, to write about our personal lives, to reach out and say a few kind things just because we want to uplift each other - this is the kind of neighbourhood I am proud to live in!

This week I was tickled to find that I had received two awards from two beautiful women I really admire and feel honoured to be recognized by.

Janine from Sniffles and Smiles awarded me with the Noblesse Oblige Award and it is no surprise that she was presented with this award which requires that the blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs,
has a blog whose contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions and has a clear purpose. Janine's blog does all of this and fosters a better understanding of social, political, economic, the arts, cultures, sciences and beliefs and is refreshing and creative and promotes friendship and creativity and positive thinking. Some of my personal favourite posts have been Beware the blog and Dr no decision but you should visit her and find your own.

The receiver of this award is encouraged to list some the achievements of this blog. I'm not sure if this blog has achieved anything but I will tell you that it has taken on a life of its own. When I started, I wanted a forum to post pictures of Deaglan's development so that friends and family near and far could keep up with our lives. From that it has become a place for me to really talk about motherhood from my perspective. In the back of my mind I always hope that someday Deaglan will read what I've shared here and know me a bit better and understand the total abandon with which I have embraced his presence in my life. The fringe benefit and the surprising gift that has come with blogging has been the friendships with these wonderful people from all over the world!

It is my pleasure to pass this award on to some of my friends.

My voice, My view

T-Rex mom and dad tales

Family Fountain

Peace and love

...and now I'm a grownup

Check them out, I always feel so good when I visit them!

I will do a separate post on the other award I received this week since this one has undoubtedly taken up enough of your time:)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A few words about Shaune

Usually I only mention Shaune in passing here on my blog. Mostly I talk about Deaglan or the experiences that have impacted me. But today I wanted to stop and tell you some little things about Shaune.

He’s a pretty funny character, a really great husband and a fantastic daddy. He’s passionate about animals (I’ve often warned him that if he doesn’t stop cuddling with the cat, one day Deaglan’s buddies will refer to him as that weird Cat Guy) and lawn maintenance. And he’s also a wizard in the kitchen.

He keeps me laughing and well fed. Here are a few more odd tidbits about the one I call husband.

-He refers to me by my maiden name (Maheu) instead of Kim or sweetie or Honey

-He LOVES the food network

-He is creeped out by flat feet

-He calls Deaglan “Word” not Deaglan, not buddy, not sport (I'm not sure why and I've never asked)

-He thinks anything to do with poop, flatulence, or burping (well just about any loud noise emitted from the body) is downright hysterical – I’ve seen tears roll down his face from laughing at a fart joke

-And yet he gets completely squeamish when he sees Deaglan’s poopy diapers

-He is a huge fan of Zombie movies and can watch any one of the Night of the living dead series over and over and over….

-He is quiet around most people but sometimes I can’t get him to shut up

-He's smart and skilled and can figure out how to put just about anything together

-He is kind and generous and would help anyone in need

-He is not vain or self-centred

-I’m lucky to have him in my life

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Let me count the ways

Inspired by a post on Her bad mother where mamas from all over the world share five things they love about being a parent, I tried to narrow down my list.

It was tough. But I came up with some of my current faves.

A few days ago I asked Deaglan for a hug and a kiss. He looked up from what he was doing, came running over, threw his arms around my neck and put his drool-drenched lips to mine. I would have a hard time trading that moment for a million bucks. (please note - this is a rare occurence, I usually have to beg, plead and then force affection out of him these days)

I had Deaglan when I was 36 - a bit late by most standards. For all those years my only priority was me. But when he was born, he bumped me out of first place. He took over my life, my consciousness, my heart and my soul. I don't miss being number one.

My friend Kirsten over at the Norwindians did a beautiful post a few days ago to celebrate her son's fourth birthday. She said something that I loved and completely related to: "I never imagined playing race cars could be so much fun." Like Kirsten, the enthusiasm with which I have learned about all things 'boy' has both surprised and delighted me.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the goodness parenting has brought to the relationship between Shaune and I. More complicated yes. More issues to argue about of course. But this new connection is organic, binding, and thoroughly fulfilling.

However, for me the biggest and best part of motherhood so far has been the emergence of my better self.

So without further ado and this big lump in my throat, please share with me the top five things you love about being a mom/parent.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Cheese sandwich

I found out through Facebook that one of my grade school principals died. I'm not sure exactly when he passed but I heard that his wife died within six months of his death. Mr. Gibson was a nice man.

My most vivid memory of him was the year I was seven and attended school for the first time. We were adopted the June prior and spent the entire summer learning English. My parents (the people who adopted me) wanted to place my sister and I into our age appropriate grades even though we had never been to school. My mother, who was a grade school teacher herself, had conveniently forgotten to mention to the school that this would be our debut into the education system. So she spent June, July, and August prepping us in a way that didn't betray her oversight.

Besides a mulatto boy we were the only brown kids, my sister and I, going to that school. It was 1978. Culture shock could not aptly describe what we faced in those first several months in Canada.

Every morning we boarded the school bus, lunch boxes in tow. By our stop the bus was already half full of rowdy kids, laughing and boisterous, deaf to the bus drivers shouts to "SIT DOWN!" We attracted some curious stares with our wary immigrant dispositions, me, shy and always in my sister's fearless shadow.

It didn't dawn on me that the chanting was aimed at us. On the way to and from school it was the same boys in the back of the bus whose rhythmic shouts finally caught my full attention.

"Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!"

In truth it was the wad of paper that hit me on the back of the head one day which clued me to the fact they might be shouting this at me. I had never heard the word before.

"Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!" Every morning and every afternoon.

Soon, the same boys would greet us this way on the school yard.

"Hey Paki, you stink!"

My sister and I discussed this and concluded that it most certainly was not a good thing to be called Paki.

She had made fast friends with a wonderful girl who lived down the street from us. Kathleen was beautiful and fun and very kind. But she was also very knowledgeable especially in our eyes. She told us that we needed to yell back at these boys. She even told us what to yell.

"You can't do nothing when they throw things at you either. Throw something back!"

Her words were empowering.

The next day we boarded the bus, anxious but equipped with a proper defense. The boys in the back of the bus began their chant as soon as we came into their sight.

"Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!" "Paki!"

"Shutup you Honkey!" we both said shakily but loud enough for them to hear.

The boys started to laugh hearing our feeble attempts to retaliate. They began wadding up paper and throwing them at us. Not backing down, my sister opened her lunch box, unwrapped her sandwich and hurled it at them. She missed the boys and hit the back window of the bus instead. The boys were giddy with this reaction and grabbed the sandwich and whipped it back. It hit me square in the face. Cheese and Miracle whip.

I bit my lip to keep from crying. My sister shoved me into a seat and grabbed the sandwich and threw it back. It became somewhat of a food fight with kids throwing all sorts of things. In the background the bus driver could be heard shouting and threatening.


And this is when I had my first meeting with Mr. Gibson. Our conversation went something like this.

"So I heard that there was a foodfight on the bus today. Can you tell me what happened Kim?"

"The boys were calling us names and throwing things at us." I croaked shaking with fear that I had really gotten myself into big trouble if the principal was talking to me.

"What names were they calling you?" he asked gently.

"Every day they say Paki! Paki! Paki! Then they say 'You stink Paki!'"

"And so tell me what happened today. What did you say to them? It's okay, you won't get in trouble. You just tell me the truth, okay?"

"I said 'Shutup you Honkey!'"

I could tell from his reaction to this that he already knew what we had called those boys. I couldn't be a hundred per cent sure but I think that he was also trying to keep from laughing.

"Kim, can you please tell me what that means, that word you called those boys?"

"I don't know." I started to cry.

"It's okay, you're not in trouble." He came around the desk and put one arm around my shoulder. "I'm going to talk to those boys. They won't be calling you names anymore."

And sure enough the name calling stopped after that.

Mr. Gibson moved on after that year. I ended up going to highschool with his kids. I learned then that he was married to a Chinese woman and his two kids Mai Ling and Mark were biracial. I was sad to hear of his death this year.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

See a shrink!

I'm a big fan of mental health. I have absolutely no problem admitting I need to consult a therapist and have done so repeatedly throughout my twenties and thirties whenever I felt it was necessary. I would go so far as to say, that I feel even mentally healthy people should talk to a non-biased mental or spiritual guide (therapist, minister, AA group) on a fairly regular basis. And if after therapy your doctor determines that some medication is needed then I'm all for that too.

So you can imagine how irritating I find it when people still think that getting psychological help is a sign of some sort of weakness. I think it's weak to drink your problems away or take out your unhealthy rage on your family members, or find some other unhealthy outlet to try and dump your illness into.

I find it curious that people would not hesitate to see a doctor if one of their other major organs was malfunctioning. Or see a specialist if they contracted some life threatening illness. And although it's commendable to start eating well and excersing, don't our minds deserve the same kind of looking after? If we wait until it becomes a new fad I'm afraid we'll continue down this destructive path the world has been on.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Some cold hard truths

I have a lot of belly fat. It’s where I always gain my weight. I’d never had a flat stomach in my life, even when I was a little girl. But after gaining 60 pounds with Deaglan it’s not a very pretty sight. I’ve always been curvy, never worn a bikini proudly, always have a hard time finding a top and bottom set that would even fit my proportions. I’m an apple not a pear.

A few years ago a confused woman at work consistently had me mixed up with another brown girl. Only this other brown girl was a pear not an apple. So when the confused woman would see me at the gym, working out (we have a convenient workout centre right in the building where I work outfitted with the latest equipment and classes and costs ten bucks a month to use) she would grab me by the shoulder and say: You look so great – you’ve lost so much weight! I didn’t embarrass her but I knew that she meant my butt looked smaller. The brown girl she had me mixed up with has a large bottom, I have a bigger mid section but almost never gain weight in my rear. So this unfortunate visually challenged woman thought that my workouts were paying off because my butt looked smaller. This went on for some time and I won’t even go into the “all brown people look alike” discussion but I’m sure you were thinking the same.

A few years ago I used to really focus on my abdominals and let them stand in the way of how I saw myself. I’ve always hated my figure. Especially here in North America, it’s harder to feel physically acceptable when the idea of beautiful has been tall and thin for so long. Technically I’m the opposite of that. Short (just over 5’2” – for a while I was telling everybody that I was 5’3” but it’s just not true so I stopped) and on the verge of chubby (132lbs – boy the honesty is pouring out of me now!). I think I might have been a big hit during Marilyn Munroe’s day save the skin colour.

But something surprising came along with Motherhood. Acceptance. I still want to be a healthy weight and look good in clothes but I could care less if I have flat abs or can fit into a size four. The thought of working to fit into a bikini sounds exhausting. I have no problem wearing a ponytail for 12 days straight and unless I’m at work prefer flat shoes or runners to heels any day of the week.

I have to say motherhood aside, a part of this definitely has to do with feeling happy about my life and a part of this has to do with the fact I lucked out in the husband department. He almost always finds me attractive (even on those days I wish he wouldn’t – you exhausted moms know what I’m talking about here!).

Last summer, wearing any sort of a water-activity garment was out of the question but I really have to consider my options this year since we have one of those wading pools which will be so much fun for Deaglan if not for his mom.

I saw this bathing suit at a local department store and have seriously considered trying it on.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Why suffer in silence?

Every time I've spilled my guts out to you, friends, I've spent the next day in a state of angst. Did I reveal too much? Did I really need to go that far?

But then I recall some of the blogs that I adore and remember that it is the human-ness that appeals to me. I love the serious and the raw, the humility, the humour, the nonsense and the revealing.

I put myself in your place and ask if I feel judgmental after I've read something deeply personal that you've written. Never. I feel connected to you when you honour me with something classified.

I told someone recently that sometimes I suffer in silence. This has been especially true with motherhood.

On the one hand I want to have the most current information available so I read everything I can. But I'm realizing, as you practiced parents already know, much of parenting is learned through doing. And each phase comes with a set of challenges (exhibit A to the left - he's now able to climb onto the kitchen table) as well as overwhelming marvels.

I've been wrestling with the breastfeeding dilemma on my own, listening to the limited advice my own mind had to offer. Your comments were refreshing to my cyclical thinking. I loved reading about your experiences. Each comment has been a small gift that has filled me with light.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Confessions of a breastfeeder

When I thought about breastfeeding during my pregnancy, I had no conception of how much it would impact me. I had no idea that it would bring me such joy. I couldn’t fathom that one day I would have to stop nursing my baby and it would break my heart.

Neither Deaglan nor I knew what we were doing that first week or two. The aftercare nurses on the maternity floor tried to teach me. It definitely didn’t come naturally to me or him. Once my milk came in I felt relieved. But still the baby was at my breast for up to an hour at a time. How was I going to get a break this way, I wondered? He eats every two hours or so and at each feeding he eats for an hour. Was this right?

I was exhausted and afraid of doing everything wrong. It was one of the midwife team members who asked me the right questions. How is breast feeding going? How long is he drinking for? That’s too long; show me what you’re doing. Okay I see what the problem is. Here’s how you do it – bring the baby to the breast not the breast to the baby. Keep at it. It won’t feel natural at first but by about week six you’ll be in sync with each other.

And it did feel odd every time for the first couple of months. What a strange sensation to have this tiny human feeding from one of my body parts.

But the midwife knew what she was talking about because by the second month we were in tune with each other and the odd feeling faded. I know that breastfeeding doesn’t work out for everybody; several people I know, who had babies around the same time as me, couldn’t do it for one reason or another. I felt fortunate that the little effort I put in created a successful experience for me. It was so convenient and inexpensive. And the time we’ve spent together has been some of the greatest gifts of my life.

During my pregnancy, I had read that a baby should be breast fed for at least six months. So that was originally how long I planned to do it for. But once the six month marker came and went, I couldn’t even imagine stopping. I did start introducing solids but as a complement to breast milk. My next goal became to stop by 10 or 11 months so that he could be independent when daycare started. But even then I didn’t feel either of us was ready to completely stop. So I weaned him during the day and was able to nurse him from 5pm on. This worked out really well for the first few months of going back to work.

Work was difficult in the beginning. The separation was unbearable. But that’s another story for another time. Suffice it to say that I felt like I was doing something wrong in being away from him. It took several weeks for me to feel relaxed at work.

I knew that I had to think about weaning but none of the reasons seemed very compelling. I loved the time we still spent together while he was nursing. He is such a happy kid. I’d read articles after articles which championed toddler breastfeeding. Studies show that North America is one of the few places that stop so early. Many countries in the world continue until children are four years old. The benefits to the children beyond some well known health benefits such as fewer and less severe infections, decreased risk of some childhood cancers, are an increased sense of security in their own independence, increased sense of pleasure which leads to happiness for both the mother and child.

But too often, mothers who have had a trouble-free go at breastfeeding and who have enjoyed it, feel pressure to stop after a year. There is a sense of being judged or disapproved of if you continue to breastfeed past one year. Yet UNICEF has always encouraged breastfeeding for two years or longer.

My goal was to wean him completely by the end of April. I tried not to think about my own feelings about it, only the technical aspects. He can’t depend on me forever I seemed to be arguing for the proponents of stopping. And I will go back to a normal breast size. But the part of me I was consciously shutting out wanted to scream. I reasoned with myself that our relationship would not change. He would still love me the same, need me the same, want to hug and kiss me the same. But that part I refused to hear threatened to scream even louder.

On the surface a large part of me was ashamed to still be breastfeeding at 16 months old. Was this some kind of a weakness in me? Was I encouraging dependence? The questions and answers swirled around in the back of my mind day and night.

Then I read Catherine Connor’s post one day and finally wept. I cried because she had written about this experience as I had been experiencing it. I cried because the thought of this experience ending for us made me irrepressibly sad.

I read and re-read articles. At the beginning of his life it was so that I could understand him, why wasn’t he sleeping through the night, was he getting enough to eat? Now I wanted to find reasons to continue. I wanted scientific evidence that would give me permission to continue nursing. And all of the articles supported breastfeeding well into the toddler years. So why did I feel this pressure to stop? Who was making me feel this way? Shaune had never said anything to suggest that time was up. And so far I hadn’t discussed it with even my closest people for fear of being judged.

So in keeping with my plan, on April 30th I tried to stop. I was sad all day long at work, more sad than I’ve been in a long time. I cried. Deep sad crying, like when you lose someone. Grief consumed my body; the rationalizations no longer a help.

I called Shaune at work. Sobbing, I told him that I wasn’t ready yet.

“No one is telling you to stop nursing him. I’m okay with it. It’s nobody’s business how long you want to breastfeed for.”

I got off the phone and let relief fill me up. I had someone’s permission to keep going. Why did I need it? It was my body wasn't it?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” - Rajneesh
“You may have tangible wealth untold: Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be I had a Mother who read to me.”-Strickland Gillilan
"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of love.” -Maureen Hawkins

Friday, 8 May 2009


I've been trying to write a post for a few hours now. Deaglan is sick again and has been waking up about every 15 minutes to half our since 7:30. Letting him cry it out just isn't an option when he's this sick. I won't lie, I look forward to the precious few hours after I put him to bed as me time. A glass of wine, dinner with Shaune, maybe a good show on tv, maybe some time on the computer.

But we've been to the doctor three times this week. Once for pink eye, once for a sore throat and cold (the daycare said he refused to eat or drink anything on Tuesday) and tonight for an ear infection.

All I can say is that I am very grateful that we have healthcare and my heart breaks for those parents that don't. I also have a benefit plan through work which covers a substantial portion of all prescribed medicine. We are so very lucky.

A friend and colleague of mine said something so profound to me the other day that I just have to share it here. She travelled to Korea to teach English for a year a while back and I think the experience really changed her. She said the experience made her realize that pure luck was responsible for the circumstances we are each born into. Isn't that so true! What makes me more deserving of this abundant life than any one of the millions of hungry and homeless people in this world?

I found this today and it made me smile. I wanted to leave it here for you (especially all of you moms out there). Send it out if you get the chance. I did today and I received some delighted phone calls and emails from moms I know.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

One rule fits all

It's quite wonderful to witness this small human learning. He surprises us with something unexpected daily.

On Saturday morning I was lagging a bit. I thought I had covered the basics - fed him breakfast, changed his diaper, closed the right doors, had water and milk within his reach and then settled on the couch to nurse my ailing body while he played around me. A few minutes later he came, stood in front of me and made a hand gesture. I had seen this before but had to think for a second about where. Then it came to me. It was a sign for 'more'. He put his little fingers together and then touched his two hands together. Then he sat down in front of me.

I was delighted! The daycare staff had mentioned that the kids learn some sign language but I had never seen any of it. I glanced over at his sippy cups and noticed the milk one was empty. What a genius I had given birth to!

There have been countless other brilliant little feats too. I don't want to get carried away by listing them all but don't think I wasn't considering it. For instance, you can't imagine the precision with which he is able to indicate the body part I ask for. Bellybutton. Ears. Feet. Tongue. Hair. Some of these he picked up on his own; neither we nor the daycare drilled it into him.

But equally enchanting (to us parents anyway) are instances where we have been trying to teach him something and he finally learns. This was the case with the blowing of a kiss. Whenever one of us left the house the other would show Deaglan how to blow a kiss and wave bye-bye. It took several weeks for this to really materialize but when it did, it was as if we had won some long-standing civil suit or lost enough weight to finally fit back into our highschool jeans. Now when grandparents visit they are treated to a goodbye wave and a sailing kiss.

But our jubilation was slightly short-lived when on Monday, Deaglan seeing the neighbour across the street getting into his Ford Explorer and pulling out of the driveway, began to wave and blow kisses. In the parking lot of the doctor's office, he felt it was appropriate to blow kisses to the construction workers who were getting into their trucks to go for lunch. On our drivehome from work and daycare, he blows kisses to anyone passing by.

I guess we could learn a lot from his love thy neighbour attitude!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


I was trying to explain blogging to someone the other day and I had so much to say that I found myself saying nothing useful at all. It frustrated me later to think back on the conversation and realize that I didn't articulate what I wanted to express.
My friend Jenn who I used to work with introduced me to blogging. She and I also each had beautiful babies in the same year. Sadly she moved back to Manitoba to be close to family and friends. Miss you guys!

I am not that old but old enough that I lived more than two thirds of my life without the presence of a computer. I actually completed four years of university (including an honours thesis in community psychology) without the use of a computer. I guess that's not as astounding as thinking about Mark Twain or John Steinbeck doing their work!

And when the internet came, I didn't really understand and felt it was out of my reach. I watched shows and read articles and agreed that here we had another medium to corrupt our society, create new types of criminals, encourage sedentary behaviour, steal our childrens' innocence.

But then I went back to school and found that I couldn't function without a computer, without the internet. I learned skills that the university of my day didn't teach me. I began to get a little excited. I found myself embracing it despite my best intentions to see it just as a textbook or a library.

It has become so much more than that.

I used to think of friendship in such typical terms. Someone you grew up with, went to school with, worked with, lived in the same neighbourhood as - had some sort of a physical connection with. And so when I started making friends through blogging, I questioned whether this was 'real' friendship or not. I would probably never meet these people, borrow a cup of sugar or share a bottle of wine.

Most of the people I've met in this community are scattered all over the world (all over the world!!). Someone in Alabama likes me enough to give me an award that claims: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Another person in New York finds it worthy of her time to mention that I have been a friend to her and also awards me a friendship award.

And then there are my friends in Australia, and India and Brazil, and San Francisco and British Columbia and Los Angeles and the United Kingdom - how can I express to you what your comments mean? How much I enjoy reading what you write each day, the pictures you share, the vulnerability you are willing to risk.

I think that along with our advance in technology we have to advance our definition of connection and friendship and neighbour.

I'm thankful for the advances in technology that have brought all of these wonderful friends into my life.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Before you go calling the authorities

I've been sick all week. It's been a real drag. I missed work. I missed all of your blogs. I missed doing fun things outside with Deaglan. I missed doing housework - okay no I didn't. But looking around today I wished I had done a little something so that I didn't have to face this mountainous cleaning job ahead of me.
Shaune did the best he could. Yesterday he came into the house from the backyard without the baby. From the look on his face I knew he was up to something he thought was pretty hilarious.
"Where is he?"
"Okay, I give up, where did you put him?"
"You'll have to come and see."
And sure enough, when I walked outside, there was Deaglan in the deck box.
"Get it? It's a Deck Box?"
"Yes, I get it, good one."