Posts Tagged "Monthly Review"

Briefly November

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 in Featured, Parenting | 2 comments

Briefly November

This month I learned again that it feels better to listen to the little voice in your head rather than ignore it. Earlier this month our landlord approached us and inquired if we would be willing to move before our Lease is up in August. She’s a really nice woman and we like her. She was not being evil. She’s going through a rough patch and we would have loved to help her out. I was rather overcome with panic and yet because I wanted to help her, we started looking for somewhere to move. We even looked into buying a place (but that’s a depressing tale for another day). During that week, I really couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I was totally consumed with the whole moving situation. My intuition was telling me that it was NOT a good one. I don’t think there are many people out there who relish the packing and cleaning involved in moving, but having moved a lot as a kid, there’s a part of me that still finds moving kind of exciting. Given that our house is pretty tiny and we’re expanding our family, a move could be a good thing for us too. But wait a minute. There’s the catch. We’re expanding our family. Our due date is only 3 months away. Back in 2008, we were expecting Noa and we made the decision to move the same month that she arrived. We didn’t just move to a new house; we moved to a new community and in the process left behind my sister and her kids who were virtually like Rain’s siblings. We also moved out of our bus and into a real house. Inflicting this many changes on our not-quite-three-year-old all at once was more than he could handle. He had a very hard time adjusting. We vowed not to do that again. We had committed to keep our kids’ lives as consistent as possible for at least 3-4 months on either side of our due date. But this month we found ourselves only thinking about what WE (the adults) might be capable of. My pregnancy is going smoothly. I am feeling well. I am feeling physically capable of moving. I can rationalize and consider the benefits of moving now. I can intellectually separate the move from the birth of our baby. As a parent, I can welcome a baby with unconditional love. I have moved many times in my life and am capable of adapting to new surroundings. As we ran out of options for December 1st rentals, we found ourselves looking at January 1st opportunities and caught ourselves rationalizing that we could make that happen. It wouldn’t be so bad. Except for that little voice in the back of my head that kept telling me that this isn’t a good idea. I had to keep reminding myself that little people, while resilient, need consistency in their lives. I had to remember that the question is not what we are capable of, but what are our kids capable of. The truth is that in many ways asking a 5 year old and a 2 year old to welcome another family member is a pretty big deal. It doesn’t seem fair to also ask them to cope with: having all of their things packed into boxes a week of driving back and forth from house to house the boredom while mom and dad pack and clean the late nights and late dinners associated with moving learning to get used to the sounds and smells of a new house losing the comfort of home (during the wait until the new house feels like home) Moving now, or anytime in the next 6 months, is not the best decision for my kids and my intuition was telling me that every time I looked up rental listings on craigslist and felt overwhelming panic. So I told our landlord that we couldn’t do it. Guess what happened? She was fine with it. And I feel a hundred times better for having listened to...

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Briefly October

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 in Featured | 1 comment

Briefly October

The things I learned in October: Despite my best intentions, I can’t seem to get my butt in gear to blog as often as I’d like while also juggling a 2 year old, homeschooling a 5 year old, doing the books for our family business, re-designing the website for the family business and being pregnant. I don’t manage to stay nice Mommy when 2 year old has a melt down and doesn’t want to wear the costume that I fretted over for weeks and finally pulled together the week of Halloween. Challenge for future learning posts: Learn how to keep my own stress from infiltrating the holidays for the whole family. I really love making our own pickles. We made our first batch in August (dill pickles) and finally got to test them this month. So yummy. We also did beet pickles and pickled carrots over the weekend, bringing the total count to 19 quarts of dills (cukes), 12 quarts of pickled beets and 11 pints of pickled carrots. We also just got a canner as a gift from my in-laws and look forward to doing jams, sauces (apple, tomato, pear) and fruits & veggies (peaches, pears, tomatoes). Aaron and I have gotten into this as a joint hobby and find that it’s a nice way to spend some time together despite that it means that the kids either watch too many movies or rip the house apart jumping on every surface and spreading bedding and pillows far and wide. We drown our sorrows while cleaning the mess by eating pickles. I should mention that this is a surprise because I hated canning as a kid, partly because it was forced labour and partly because my mom would get really stressed out (file this under legitimate reasons for #2 above). Pregnancy related nausea likes to stay longer and longer with each of my pregnancies – another reason why this will be our last baby! With Rain I was feeling better by 12 weeks, with Noa it was somewhere between 14 and 16 weeks. This time, while I’m definitely over the all day sickness and exhaustion of the first trimester, nausea in the morning is still persisting at 24 weeks. Bummer! I may also have to accept that pregnancy seems to be increasing my allergies too as I sneeze my head off every day this fall (never having suffered from fall allergies before). Anticipating the births of friends’ babies and seeing the newborn photos afterward works very well as means to get me excited about our own little surprise baby—until the middle of the night when I can still be struck with intense panic at the thought of grocery shopping or bedtime with three kids. What I Learned This Month posts are inspired by Amber of Strocel.com. View this month’s link-up on her site to see what she and her participants learned in October...

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Briefly August

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 in Featured | 2 comments

Briefly August

This monthly review is inspired by Amber Strocel‘s monthly What I Learned post. Hop over to her site to catch the other participants in her link up and to read what she learned too. Here’s what happened in August: I learned that committing to a homelearning program for Rain feels surprisingly good (for now). Ask me again in a couple of months. I learned how attempted to can dill pickles. I say attempted because we have to let them sit for a couple of weeks before we try them so at this point I don’t know if it was a bust or not. However, we took the kids to a local u-pick farm and picked cukes together and then Aaron and I canned 19 quarts of pickles for the first time. Can’t wait to try them. I discovered that our local Waldorf school initiative will be starting small this year by offering a two morning a week Waldorf Kindergarten group. This means that Rain can go there and get some Waldorf education, I can get a bit of a break, and we can still try out homeschooling. I can’t tell you how happy I am about this arrangement. This is actually my ideal set up and I wish it could continue that way into the coming years. In addition to the two morning Kindy program there is also a Friday morning Waldorf circle (where parents stay) that sounds like a fun social outting too. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the families from the school over the past year and we look forward to our continued involvement with the school initiative and to developing a deeper friendship with these families. I thought a lot about what it takes to feel done having children and discovered (even before this baby is born) that I am totally done. I had always wanted three kids and yet, I also felt some very real disappointment about the positive pregnancy test. For the first time, I could see all the benefits of only having two children and it felt ok. In fact, should I have miscarried early on in the pregnancy, I’m not sure that I would have continued to pursue the idea of three kids. This was a surprise to me and put things in perspective a bit. Nevertheless, now that we’re on the road to three, I am getting excited and looking forward to February and I’m also content knowing that after the baby arrives, I won’t find myself perpetually yearning for another. I’m sure Aaron is relieved to hear that too. I celebrated as four of my friends welcomed babies this month (including one set of twins). All of the singletons (and one of the twins) were boys by the way. I reflected on the idea of wishing and whether or not I subscribe to it. In the coming days, I’ll tell you about my experiment with wishing. I started to feel moderately less sick and tired and I officially crossed over into the second trimester! What did August hold for...

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Briefly June & July

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 in Featured, Parenting | 11 comments

Briefly June & July

I had been intending to do a monthly review on, well, a MONTHLY basis. But it turned out that most of what I learned in June, I couldn’t share with you all until now. So then, what I learned in June & July: 1. Old friends really are the best friends. In the middle of June, we hosted a reunion at our house for 3 of my school friends and their partners. I stressed about being hostess for 3 couples in our small house but it ended up being such an amazing weekend. 2. Prepare for the worst; hope for the best. That’s kind of how I operate. I need to worry about the what ifs and prepare for them. I understand that about myself. Fair enough but that mentality also means you waste a lot of time worrying and stressing about things that will probably never happen. In the case of our reunion, I was again pleasantly surprised by the outcome and I kind of worried for nothing. Apparently I need a little more of the hoping for the best part and a little less of the preparing for the worst. 3. What to Expect when You’re Unexpectedly Expecting. We were still on the fence over whether or not to have any more kids. Aaron was happy with just two. I have always wanted three kids. However, Noa has only recently started sleeping through the night and I’m kind of exhausted from the challenge of 5 years of back to back pregnancy and breastfeeding and night nursing. I don’t feel I have the energy to start all of that over again just yet. I can also see that if Noa gets too much older, I won’t want to go back to baby stuff. I could see the window of opportunity for a third baby closing and I’ve been working hard on being ok with that. So then we got the rather unexpected news that I’m pregnant. I cried. It wasn’t what we were planning for right now but the decision’s been made for us and in the end, it will all feel right, I’m sure. It’s definitely getting easier as the weeks go on—getting used to it, I mean. Otherwise, it’s so far been getting progressively worse with the nausea, the food aversions, the exhaustion, but I’m told that even that will get better some time soon. In the mean time, I’ve learned that in this situation: There’s almost nothing your friends and family can say that seems to be the appropriate response when you break the news. When they are happy and excited and say, “Congratulations!” wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, I thought to myself, “don’t they get it? How do they not see that the next three years are going to be so exhausting and hard?” When they (especially parents of one or two already) say, “Whoa. Really?” and open their eyes in terror while they try to smile encouragingly, I felt hurt that they weren’t happy for us or self-conscious that they thought we were crazy or stupid. In the end, Aaron and I were able to joke about it and came up with the best possible response a friend could make: a big smile and shout “Surprise!” It’s quite possible to have very mixed feelings about the little one. In fact, if I were to think hard about it, I had mixed feelings every time I got pregnant and that was ok. Embarking on new parenthood is kind of terrifying. Every. Single. Time. There are new complicated challenges to be faced each time. There’s always a steep learning curve. Somehow with our planned pregnancies, it was easier for me to accept that. This time, I feel guilty for feeling those things. As if I am rejecting the poor little bean. While I’m not that enthusiastic about multiple ultrasounds, an early dating ultrasound definitely taught me the power of visuals to help in bonding. So far we’ve been feeling kind of punched in the face with this news and I’ve been sick and tired and generally feeling...

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Briefly May

Posted on Jun 1, 2010 in Featured, From The Mouths of Babes | 10 comments

Briefly May

What I learned in May 2010: If either of my children intends to pursue dance in the long term I have to be prepared for a ridiculous schedule of rehearsals at recital time. Rain has to be at dance 11 times over the course of two weeks, which involves hauling a squirming toddler inside and trying to corral her while wrestling Rain into dance shoes and ushering him into class in a sea of parents and preschoolers in a room the size of a closet. Run I mean, fun! Making butter from raw cream straight from the farm is not as straightforward as using store bought whipping cream, but tasty nonetheless and Rain loves kneading bread. I love working at the midwifery clinic as office administrator and when I put my mind to it, I CAN write a bio. I love Sir Ken Robinson, love his TED talks and I am currently loving his new book, The Element. I would sew a lot more if I could leave my sewing machine set up permanently. I can get a lot of sewing done while my daughter naps and having all the pieces cut and ready to go ahead of time makes sewing much more enjoyable. The weather in May is much more unpredictable than I would have predicted. Hello summer? Where are you? The steps to being awesome are easy to come up with but following them is not. Burt’s Bees avocado butter pre-shampoo hair treatment makes my hair happy. Rain is a comedian, an artist and has a flair for showmanship: Rain came out of the bathroom calling “Mom, you have to come see the treat I made you!!” I replied, “Promise me it’s not poop.” He said, “I promise.” As I entered the bathroom, he pulled a towel off the towel bar with much fanfare to reveal his masterpiece: a drawing of himself picking his nose! I can assure you that I was NOT able to keep a straight face as I explained that we do not write on the walls of our rental...

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