Archives for May 2007

Growing Stuff

I have a garden. Sort of. I plant things, and they grow, but I don’t do much cultivating. It’s survival of the fittest in my yard. I have a lot of berries, because (1) I like them, and (2) they’re pretty easy to grow, and (3) they’re fun for my kid. Unfortunately, reason #3 can lead to problems. Like, when Hannah picks and takes a bite out of the very green strawberry she saw me admiring.

My strawberry patch isn’t large, and the first crop is just starting to grow. I recently planted a few more, but it will be a while before they yield any reward.

To fully appreciate the travesty, here is the half-eaten strawberry beside the next-biggest one in the patch.

Luckily, the raspberries are coming along nicely.

The blueberries are in full flower, and looking promising as well.

And, of course, I have a bumper crop of weeds. See how healthy and vigorous they are?

Parenting Books

I am a huge fan of parenting books. In fact, I would venture to say that most of my parenting choices are informed by what I read. I always have a pile to go through, because there’s always something or other that I want to learn more about. Another technique that I’d like to hone, or viewpoint that I’d like to hear about. Here are my favourites so far:

1. Kids Are Worth It! – This is my favourite book. I know that I’m going to re-read it many times. It really shifted my parenting focus away from constant praise to quiet encouragement. It focuses on gentle and respectful discipline, which teaches your kids to see problems as challenges to be solved, rather than catastrophes for which they will face punishment. I love this book!

2. Unconditional Parenting – This book is short on details, and long on philosophy. The underlying premise is that we must treat our children respectfully, and communicate our unconditional love and support. The first half of the book is a hard read, leaving you feeling more than a little guilty. Once you get through the whole thing it’s worth it, though. I am a convert, and I’m striving to practice Unconditional Parenting with Hannah.

3. Playful Parenting – I think this book is an excellent companion to Unconditional Parenting, because it provides a lot of details on how to connect with your child through play. There’s a chapter called ‘Learn to Love the Games You Hate’. How can that be anything but a great read? Fabulous book, and far more scholarly than the title suggests.

4. My Child Won’t Eat! – I have a small child. I worry about what she eats. This book put all of my fears to rest. The basic premise is that kids need much less food than adults generally think they do. Some kids (like some adults) are just small, and overfeeding them will not make them grow taller, only wider. This book made meal times much more relaxed and enjoyable for me, assuaging my mama guilt.

Up next? How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. I’ve heard only good things. I also have a copy of Living Simply with Children that I’ve been dying to read. So, I’d best get cracking!

Sweeter than Honey

A little over 6 months ago I experienced a skin-care revolution. I tried washing my face with honey. I read someone else’s experience online. Like me, she had sensitive easily-irritated skin, and she was raving. I was somewhat skeptical, but thought I would give it a try.

I have to say, it is the best thing ever! I don’t use make-up, so I’m not sure how it would work if you did, but otherwise it’s brilliant. Almost immediately my skin became less blotchy. It is no longer oily or dry, even at the end of the day. It felt really weird at first, since it’s so totally different than the foamy face wash products I have been using for decades. But now, I can’t imagine using anything else. Here’s some great things about honey:

1. It’s cheap! You can buy a jumbo jug for $12.00 at Costco, which lasts you for months and months.
2. It’s completely natural. You’re not exposing yourself to perfumes, dyes, or chemicals.
3. It’s a natural humectant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture. But it isn’t oily or greasy at all.
4. It has antiseptic properties, so it kills nasty bacteria.
5. It works as an anti-irritant, calming your skin.
6. It tastes great, if you happen to get a little bit in your mouth. 🙂

Containing the stickiness has been a bit of a challenge, but otherwise I just love this so much. 6 months later, it keeps getting better. I am a true convert, I don’t think I will ever use a commercial face wash again.

Online Shopping

I am an online shopper. I love it. Anything that I can buy online, I do. Groceries, books, clothes, yarn, baby stuff. I’ve bought them all, and more, from some website or other.

Back in my carefree youth, before I had the tyrannical toddler my precious daughter, I did most of my shopping in an actual store. It was a rare week when I didn’t wind up at the mall picking up something. As I sit here typing, post-child, I can’t remember the last time I set foot in a mall. I believe that it was 2 weeks ago when I paid a brief visit in Abbotsford, while Hannah was off with her grandparents. Before that, it was sometime in April.

Shopping with a toddler is a chore, no two ways about it. If I can acquire needed goods without having to pack my reluctant offspring into a carseat, and endure tears when I decline the repeated requests to buy cartoon-emblazoned tcotchkes, I am all over it. Shipping fees be damned. And I am not alone. I have seen the eyes of other mothers light up when I pass along great online shops. It seems that we have even less desire to see our unruly children out in public than sour-faced store owners. 😉

But the best part of online shopping? All of the packages that you get in the mail. It’s like Christmas all year long, without the crowds or parking hassles. Shop on!

New Video

Springtime in the park…

Dreams

I’ve always remembered my dreams.  Particularly that last, most vivid, dream that occurs as I’m waking up.  In the past, when I put my head on the pillow at night I would have a flash of that morning dream.  My mind’s way of re-connecting with sleep, I would remember things that I had forgotten during the day.

All of this changed when I had a baby.  My sleep became interrupted, my cycles fragmented and broken.  Sleep-deprivation has changed things as well.  Although I fall asleep more easily (collapsing in exhaustion, rather than drifting off), I don’t remember my dreams nearly so often, or so well.  Even when Hannah sleeps long and well, I don’t have the same experience of my dreams that I used to.

This makes me sad.  Not all of my dreams were good, of course.  I’ve had the dreams where I couldn’t find my clothes, or overslept and missed an important event.  But I’ve also had dreams that were marvelous.  Dreams that answered questions I had, dreams where I could fly or breathe underwater, dreams in which I was fabulously successful.  There’s a marvelous richness and escape in dreaming, and when I can’t remember my dreams, it’s as if I’m not having them.

I hope that, over time, I will reclaim my dreams.  I will not be the mother of a small child all of my life.  These manifestations of my subconscious are one thing that I look forward to reclaiming, when I make it to the other side.

Feet!

I can no longer deny it – my feet are growing.  Or grew.  Or something like that.  Here’s my tale of woe.

In my teenage years, I wore a size 6 1/2 or 7 shoe, depending on the fit.  While I still attempt to squeeze into a size 7 out of habit, it just will not happen anymore.  On my recent shoe excursion I didn’t even fit the 7 1/2 styles in most cases, and had to go up to the 8.  I’m not sure if this happened during pregancy, or is a natural effect of aging.  I don’t like it, though.  I am short.  My feet just cannot grow too much more before it starts to look weird.

I am willing to accept the body changes that come with childbearing.  My stomach will simply never be the same.  But my feet?  Really now!

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