Friday, October 27, 2006

Apparently I'm an invalid

Bought a card reader so now the camera situation is fixed for the time being. So, here was the post I wanted to put up earlier.

Bought a cushion today to help with the 'roids (and it does by the way). Here is the tag that was on it:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why didn't I just stay on the pill?

It's another one of those days. But worse.

Emily is precocious. Most people who know her, know that. She is "strong-willed," which is a nice way of saying she is a pain in the ass sometimes. Today she is being so nasty that I am having a serious existential moment. This happens when you sit in the bathroom and make up a song about poo coming out of your bum just to help a toddler produce. Then, you quickly realize, there is nothing to produce. She has instead figured out that she can use the need to poo as a delaying tactic in regards to naptime. This is when it hits you how your life has changed from one where you filter information to a minister of the crown to one where you sing about poo and go all ga-ga when it is in a potty looking like ice cream. And all in a matter of weeks.

The problem with toilet training that no one told me is that a toddler hits a point when they don't want to where diapers anymore but they also aren't ready to shed them alltogether. They still need them on outings, in the car and for sleeping. Today, Emily refused every type I offered: cloth, pull-up, regular etc. Finally, I hit my limit, launched her into her room for a final timeout (I think I counted around 4 or 5 by this time after a morning of shouting (by her, not me), not cleaning up her toys, hitting, etc etc), then covered her bed in plastic, stuck a sheet on top and told her that I didn't care if she slept in a puddle of her own pee, she was getting in bed and staying there.

It registered because she got a look on her face like: "what the fuck? are you seriously going to make me do that? are you seriously seeing right through me and going to make me put my money where my mouth is? Interesting."

I put her in bed, walked out, went downstairs, looked at the bottle of wine, put on the tea instead, and then yelled "For fuck's sake!" just to make me feel better, which it did.

Maybe I'll have a chance with Hope. Unlikely. She'll probably end up sleeping in her own pee too.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I hooked up my camera to John's laptop and still nothing. So, I'm going to try to replace just the connection cord thingy and see if that works. So, no pictures still.

In the meantime, Emily is really coming along with the toilet training. Lots of pee happening and last night a giant poop that she described as looking like ice cream. Needless to say I won't be eating soft serve again for a long time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Heathens no more

Today I took Emily to church for the first time since her first Christmas Eve when she was 4 months old and really just a drooly, poopy thing in a dress. Now that she's two she can participate in the kids' program so I decided it was time to get on with this if it was going to happen at all. I went to Ottawa Mennonite Church as it is the only denomination I really feel comfortable in after being brought up in a very evangelical and conservative church - the kind of place I don't want to be associated with again. And certainly not the kind of place I would want Emily to experience. Ever.

The Mennonite Church is, while describing itself as evangelical, much more accepting of alternative views, much more internationally and community driven particularly in the realm of peace and justice issues. It is just a good fit for me. And if Emily wants to find something else when she is older, or not attend at all, that will be fine with me and ultimately, her choice.

The morning went like this for us: the first 20 minutes or so take place with the whole congregation. Then the kids leave for children's hour while the adults can stay behind for the regular worship service. This will be the ultimate goal for me but for today I took Emily to children's hour. It started with all the kids together. A woman played the guitar and talked about all the colours you find in nature right now using the example of Indian corn. Then the kids split off into age groups. Emily is with the 2 and 3 year olds. They did a craft and had a snack and then it was time to go home. The other parents were great - very open and inviting to me (which can occasionally be a problem in Mennonite churches if you are not Mennonite yourself).

The best part for me was that when I walked in the doors at the start the first person I saw was one of my best friends from university who I haven't seen in years. She attends there. I didn't even know she was living in Ottawa. Holly McNamara. Very cool and made it that much better for me. Of course, there were many other Grebel people there too that I know. That's the Mennonite game for you.

I felt really at ease there - we'll be back in two weeks (next week is the community Hallowe'en party in our neighbourhood). Emily really liked it and is still talking about the "lady and the corn." I must have felt at ease because my first action was to pull out the ass pillow and plop myself down. It was either that or stand the whole time. I figure these people shoulld get to know the real me from the start. Ass and all.

Stupid technology getting me all used to it and everything

Ugh. For some reason I can no longer download the pictures from my camera onto the computer. Not sure if this is a camera issue or a computer issue but it royally sucks. Until such time as we (a) figure out and fix the problem; (b) get a new computer; or (c) get a new camera there will be no pictures. I may explore the option of downloading to John's laptop and then blogging from there but it seems like a lot of effort with all the software downloading required etc.

And I had a great photo and post to put up. Will have to delay that one.

Friday, October 20, 2006

One of those days

Today was one of those days you hear stay-at-home mums talk about. You know, when you almost completely lose it on your toddler, when you give her a time-out just so you can cool down, when your hemorrhoids are at their worst, when the baby just won't sleep, when the toddler pees on her step stool, when there is nothing in the fridge for dinner (but you manage to pull off a home-made pizza with minimal toppings and get the toddler to eat it!), when your partner doesn't get home until 6:20, and you end your day downing two glasses of wine regardless of the fact that you are breastfeeding. Yah, it was one of those days.

However, I did manage to pull myself together enough to take a couple of cute pictures during Hope's bath.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A little discouraged

Dr. Guo did not say: "it will get worse before it gets better." However, it has gotten worse overnight. The 'roids have never bothered me in the middle of the night but last night and through this morning they were really bad. What's up with that? I'll go once more and see what he says but if it's going to get worse like this, I think I'll just go for the prescription from my doctor cuz this sucks.... ass.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Update on the 'roids

This is for Beth to pass on to Marlene. I finally saw an acupuncturist today. His name is Dr. Guo. He is, clearly, Chinese and practised in China for 30 years. His clinic was full which is probably a good sign. His clinic is in this slightly cracktown area in the side of his house. Suspicious at first, but then when I went in, it all seemed fine and on the up and up. Anyway, he stuck me full of pins, first on my back and one actually in my butt - well just at the top of the crack, but still - and then I had to flip over and he stuck two in my stomach area, and a bunch in my legs and feet.

Okay, so true, the pins don't hurt at all. But there is definitely radiating discomfort due to the pressure points. This to me means that it is doing something. The top-of-my-butt one sent shooting pain into my left cheek. Weird. And the ones in my feet made my arches hurt and ache. So cool. He also told me to put cold water on the roid twice a day. Granted I haven't done that yet. I'll start either before bed or tomorrow morning.

He told me to come every day for a bit. Yah, right. Not practical when a person is looking after two kids and the hours are very limited. Can you imagine a two year old and a 6 week old hanging out for an hour in a clinic full of pins while their mother is being stuck and prodded? So, instead I'll be going Saturday and then Monday and see what I can swing after that. It just means that my pain will be extended a little longer.

Oh, by the way, he has a money-back guarantee! He said that he guarantees that he'll fix the roids or my money back. I can't lose!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Toddler tribulations

Emily has really been testing me the last few days. It is particularly bad just after lunch and supper, when she is getting tired and about to head to bed. She will do things that she knows are wrong such as take Hope's soother, refuse to come with me upstairs, refuse a diaper change, throw a tantrum about watching t.v., throw a tantrum about going to bed, etc etc. I give her a time out and she refuses to stay on the stairs or in the corner; she laughs when I get angry; I try to physically hold her in place and she laughs, wiggles, etc. Yesterday she actually hit me. That's when I really had it and let her know. This only made things worse. The conflict between us seemed to be escalating each day and I wasn't getting anywhere. That was clear.

Obviously my discipline style wasn't working with her. I would characterize my discipline style as very stern and firm. I lower my voice, sound very serious and sometimes angry. I tell her what she has done wrong, why it is wrong and the consequences if she does it again. Using this, she almost always does it again, clearly to get a reaction and attention - this is likely a symptom of having "competition" for my time now.

After deciding my current method of dealing with all of this wasn't working, I decided, in the absence of my mum (the guru of child discipline in my opinion), that I should turn to some "professionals" and see what they had to say. I have started with the Baby Whisperer. In summary, she essentially says that you can't be "subjective" in your discipline with toddlers, i.e. you can't show them your emotional reaction to the situation (anger, frustration etc). You have to remain calm and see the situation objectively - why it happened, what the toddler is experiencing etc. You also need to verbally recognize how the toddler is feeling, intervene (by correcting them) and then have consequences if the behaviour continues. I started applying this today. I feel I was using the right approach in telling Emily what she did wrong, why it had to change, etc but I was way too emotional about it and she reacted to that. The results have been great today. Each time she started to get a bit out of control or head towards a tantrum or conflict, I stayed calm, got down to her physical level and recognized how she felt but why it had to be done my way. I didn't go into big explanations. I just told her the deal and sometimes it was just "I know you're upset but no more Barney." If she pushed it, I told her the consequences and she always complied if she hadn't at the start.

Reading the Baby Whisperer stuff again has also inspired me to reattack toilet training which hasn't been going well lately. I was still getting her on the potty when I could but she would sometimes resist and I didn't push it, thinking it would be a mistake to do so. Anyway, I'm totally changing my tactic and I'm going to try the B.W. method instead. So, this afternoon, Emily and I went and bought a load of "big girl" underwear and she was in it all day. The result was that she did sit on the potty 4 times and also had several accidents in her underwear, which the B.W. says to expect. However, I'm going to keep it up and see what results I get. I think that if I'm consistent, and persevere through the accidents, I'll get results in a few weeks.

I'm tired of diapers and want to take it down to one kid at this point. Also, a two-year old's poop is gross. I'll be sure to post constant and graphic updates.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Some pictures

As today is raining, and I am therefore trapped indoors with a toddler and a newborn, I only have time to quickly stick up some photos and say nothing interesting or intelligent (I'm not sure I ever do that actually).

The first picture is Emily playing her favourite sandbox game - bakery. This was on the last sunny day that Ottawa will have until next summer, according to local forecasts. Ack! There will be many crafts done in our house this week it seems.

The second photo are the two most beautiful people in the world. Look at that toddler face. Look less at the baby acne face.

The last photo is Emily giving one of her many hugs to Hope. I'm going to start calling her "baby-crusher."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favourite holiday. It lacks the bustle and stress of Christmas preparations (although I love Christmas Day itself) and also has the advantage of often beautiful weather rather than frostbite temperatures and bountiful farmers' markets. I think my love of Thanksgiving however really comes from growing up in Niagara where it is such a celebration of harvest and every few houses have a fruit stand outfront and a pumpkin display and the weather is amazing and I spent it at craft sales and jumping in piles of leaves.

This morning we all went on a walk to check out the new footbridge over the Rideau Canal (which Emily refuses to recognize as a canal - "No, lake"). The walk was a little long for Emily who wanted to walk rather than ride in the stroller. Hope, of course, slept in the hug-a-bub the whole time. Great work-out for me - I'm hoping that with that and breastfeeding, any pregnancy belly will be gone in no time.

The turkey is now in the oven, the table set, the house smells amazing, the pumpkin pies are made and I'm about to hop in the shower so I can enjoy the rest of this great day. To add to the greatness, I got Hope to sleep right before I walked into Emily's room to put her down for her nap (which is now easy-peasy, I might add). Could it get any better than that?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The poop hit the...

potty! Yes! It's true! This afternoon, after her nap, Emily made a deposit on the toilet. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I am on my way, at least in a small way (and believe me, it was small), to a diaper-free child. True, there could be some regressions in the future, but for now, Emily has at least broken that barrier into the world of people who don't sit in their own refuse.

Of course, she has also broken the barrier into the world of people who crap in the living room... in front of others. (Her potty is, for my convenience, parked in the living room at the moment so I can get her on it while I am breastfeeding, if need be.) Luckily, most of those people are under the age of 3. Or, perhaps, over the age of 93.

No "cown"!

"Cown" is Emily's word for crying. And today, there was no cown! Emily just said "bye bye, Mummy" just before I left her room and that was it for her nap. Yes! Total success! Of course, there are other issues - a couple of behavioural issues popping up now - not staying in the corner when she is told, refusing to have a diaper put on (maybe that's not such a bad thing), etc. I guess the usual for a two-year old.

This morning we had some great play-doh time, then to the "coffee shop" (Emily's name for Tim Horton's) for lunch with Omi, then leaf collecting on the way home. Now Emily is napping and Hope is about to get a bath.

Fall has arrived in Ottawa. Emily had to wear a hat and mitts this morning on our walk. It's a beautiful, sunny day but only about 14 degrees. Celcius that is, for any of you living among the 'mericans.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Not so bad today

Yesterday was another tough day of getting Emily to sleep. It was another almost 30 minutes of crying but today was a different story. So thankful. There was only about 5 minutes of crying at the most and her heart wasn't in it. I'm hoping by tomorrow there will be almost none.

This morning we went to the Museum of Science and Technology since it is another crappy, rainy Ottawa fall day. Emily loved riding the snowmobile (twice) and going in the crazy kitchen (twice). Hope was a total trooper just riding/sleeping in the stroller.

Yesterday morning was Emily's first day at her playgroup and she loved it. So did Omi and I. It was so well done and the leader/teacher, Paul, was amazing. It is so refreshing to see a man doing something like this. The best part of it, from Emily's perspective, was riding this funky car contraption across the gym down this cool ramp and of course, then playing with the big bouncy balls. My only concern is when I have to take her there on my own with Hope in tow. Report will follow next week.

Well, both are asleep so time to do... something. Maybe clean a bathroom or just do nothing at all.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First day, kind of

Today was the first full day with both girls at home, with Emily finished daycare... kind of. It was sort of unreal because John's mom, Rose, is here for the week so I have quite a buffer from the reality that will set in next week.

It was a really fun day actually. We went to the Parkdale Market and park this morning. Of course, Hope cried in the car on the way there resulting in screams and crying from Emily as well. But, then I just popped Hope in the Hug-a-Bub and she slept until we got back in the car (at which point she repeated the trip there). We shopped in the market getting gorgeous apples, brocolli, etc and then Emily played on the swings and slide.

The only really bad part of the day was putting Emily down for her nap. She totally resists me leaving the room. In fact, "resists" is too mild a term. She full out freaks out. I had to dig my heals in and let her cry today. It took over half an hour, with me periodically standing outside her door reassuring her, until she fell asleep. I figure it will take about 3 days of that until she realizes that (1) she isn't going back to Dawn's (2) she realizes I'll be here when she wakes up and (3) she realizes she can't win.

After her nap, we went to the sandbox where she, Omi and I made sandcastles while Hope dozed in the pram.

On a negative note, Hope, at 3 1/2 weeks old, has caught Emily's cold. What happened to the immunities provided by breastmilk? I guess it is no defence against a toddler who spends time in daycare. Anyway, it seems like it is already on the way out, thank goodness.

On another negative note (will it stop?), I have yeast in my breasts and have again provided the entertainment in my house by painting my nipples purple with gentian violet in order to cure it. Of course, this also means that Hope looks like a miniature version of Chuckles the Clown. Oh, and you can also, by way of this photo evidence, see the development of the baby acne that I promised. Isn't she gorgeous?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What no one else will tell you....

that hemorrhoids are possibly as bad as the labour, birth and delivery all put together. I thought I had avoided the worst of it, being that it is now three weeks later. I was suffering a bit but able to manage it with a daily routine of Preparation H. But then, today happened... welcome, constipation. Welcome, a marble-sized (we're talking the large guys, not the cat's eyes) hemorrhoid that is requiring me to walk like there is a piece of lumber between my cheeks and to ensure that I always take a pillow to the car with me. The thing about it that is different than labour etc is that there is no obvious end in sight. My midwife gave me a list of some herbal remedies to try that are supposed to cure even the most chronic case of the roids but could I get them at my local natural food store? Of course not. Instead, according to them, I need to call a Shaman (yes, you read that right) or an herbalist. I'll be on that first thing tomorrow because the idea of pooping right now has me completely and utterly terrified which isn't exactly helping the problem. Beth, does Marlene have any quick fixes beyond the piece of witch hazel-soaked toilet paper that is currently wedged in my bum?