Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Too good not to share...

I'm reading a book for my final Masters level course: Empowering the Child: Nuturing the Hungry Mind by Raymond H. Hartjen, Ph.D

This quote / framework struck a chord with me, not only as a teacher, but as a mother:

I will be compassionate with my fellow beings, be moral in my decisions and relationships, be open to all points of view, and be creative. Be self-reliant and call on my inner strengths to get over hurdles, both large and small.

He then speaks about how these are some of the essential human skills children need to develop to realize their full potentials.

Pretty much, eh?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Sacrificial Limb

My Sacrificial Limb... no typo...

As my old family doctor once put it, my back problems were
"because of your genes... and not the one's you're wearing."
I come from a long line of people with bad backs; my father, 2 uncles, 2 aunts, grand uncles have all had back problems, accupuncture, regular chiropractor visits, MRIs, CTscans, etc. Yay for family trees - pout- I am also the runt of the family (both sides) standing in at a whopping 5 foot fawk all. (Yay for me! The only people shorter than me are children under 10 years old!)

So... throw a couple of pregnancies into this mix...

I was lucky (?) enough to simply gain a baby belly while carrying both my children. From behind, you'd have no idea I was pregnant; from the side was a whole other different story! I had a BELLY -- both times. I don't know how many times I was asked if I was carrying twins, or when my due date was only to have people gasp when it was 2 or 3 months away. (Makes for a hellish cranky pregnant mamma!) My daughter, though, was born a month early and weighed 7lbs, 6oz... she would have been over 9lbs, they speculated. My son, he was a week overdue, and weighed 9.5lbs! ACK! (Just to note: I'm no scientific/yoga genius down there; I had c-sections with both... my "lowers" thank god for that!)

My real persistent back problems started by month 4 when I was pregnant with my son. Sciatic pain was dehabilitating; I'd be walking in a mall and almost fall on the floor in pain. It led to numbness in my left leg. It wasn't pleasant and because I was pregnant they couldn't do x-rays, so my doctor suggested I see a chiropractor:
Dr. Kate. I heart her!
I was in rough shape. She actually asked if I had been in any car accidents I was in such rough shape! (I wasn't!) She said my SI joint was, well, fucked.  Kate worked on my back twice a week until I was 8 months pregnant. SThen we switched to once a week simply because it was winter and she was scared I'd go off the icy roads driving the half hour it took to get to her place. I was also going for bi-weekly massages! I was a mess.

After giving birth, we all thought things would get better. By the time my son was 4 months, though, things were only getting worse with my back/hip/leg. My family doctor gave me exercises to do and sent me for x-rays. The x rays confirmed Kate's suspicions -- my SI joint was f'ed -- but it was because my pelvis struggled under the weight of those 2 children; it was titled and putting strain on the joint. It was causing my body to be aligned as if I had one leg shorter than the other.

Soooooooooooooooooooo.... in order to correct this, I needed orthotic soles for my shoes. More appointments! To make this already long story shorter, the orthotics have been a godsend! They, coupled with still regular appointments with Kate, keep me aligned! Yay!
But there's a problem...
What am I going to do in the summer? I was the one who wore sandals from mid-April until the first of November! I doubt I'll find sandals that will accomodate my not-so-sexy orthotic insoles?!?!? And I won't be rocking sneakers with capris! (Hello?! Sign me up for the tacky tourist contest near you! I'll even buy a fanny pack! -- eyes roll --) Ugh. Insight? Anyone? Do I foresake style for my back/leg/butt? Or do I foresake comfort for fashion? Suggestions are MORE than welcome!

(PS: this post was inspired by @nuckingfutsmama's parking lot back-heroics as she tweeted the other day. Misery loves company ;))

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

De do bharail?

I've been back at work now for over a month. The transition has been rather smooth, taing do dhia!

I'm a teacher. I teach at a small, rural school of 125 students; I teach grades primary (aka Kindergarten) through to grade 12. (I know... the poor little things come in the door in grade primary and they don't get rid of me as a teach until they walk across that stage and get their graduation diploma!) Among other subjects, the largest part of my caseload is Gaelic language and Gaelic culture.

How does this fit in with being a mom? Well...

Gaelic is my second language. I learned it in university; in fact, it was my minor. Although I come from a family tree steeped in Gaelic tradition on both sides of my family + my husband's, it is not a language I speak on a regular basis.

When DD was a baby I spoke a lot of Gaelic to her. Actually, I spoke a lot of Gaelic to her up until she was about 3 years old and she "mastered" the English language. Suddenly, Gaelic took the back burner because whenever I would speak to her in Gaelic, she would answer in English. And so, the use of Gaelic in our house declined. When DS came along, we still exposed him to Gaelic music and some Gaelic phrases here and there, but he didn't/doesn't have nearly the same amount of Gaelic spoken to him.

Now that I'm back to work, I teach the Gaelic language on average about 3 hours a day. Mind you, once I pop by the babysitter's to pick up the kids, my mind is thinking in Gaelic, thus, I'm speaking more Gaelic to them. This has been met with mixed reactions. Sometimes DD will say,
"Teach me more Gaelic, Mommy" (I always usually write Mommy the Gaelic way "Mamaidh"; it still sounds the same, FYI!)
while other times she'll say,
"I don't wanna be talking Gaelic!"
This is an inner battle for me. I want to be speaking more Gaelic to them both, but it seems the increasingly English world has truly taken them over.

I'm curious as to whether other bilingual moms/dads/families have similar inner battles.
As the title of this post says, "What's your opinion?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

We're on a road trip & we're trying to keep 4 year old busy for the 5 hour trip by counting deer we see along the side of the road. The pic is her tally so far! ;)

Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My entry in the MabelsLabels Blogher Contest...

My entry in the MabelsLabels Blogher Contest...

Write a post on your blog in response to the following hypothetical situation: Electrical storms are going to wipe out the Internet (perhaps forever). You have one day left to write about your passions: what do you want to say to the blogosphere in 300 words or less?

Dearly Beloved,
We have gathered here today to bid farewell to our friend, our confidant, a significant part of our lives. For many years Siber Spayce brought us all together, united as one. No matter what our beliefs, where we hail from, our skin colours, our social status, our age, we can thank Siber for allowing us to share together.
When I think of Siber a small smile can't help but grace my face. Over my morning coffee, Siber & I shared news and sports headlines, simple "Good mornings" from my tweeps, a glance at electronic notes from my friends and family, or even my boss. (I think Siber would secretly chuckle along with me as I deleted some of those work emails without even a passing glance!) When life would give me lemons, I could turn to Siber to try and make myself that glass of lemonade. Siber helped me re-ignite my inner voice, gave me confidence to reach out, provided me with answers to seemingly trivial questions, allowed me to research and further my education and sometimes just provided the background music to my-so-called-life.
Now, this isn't to say that Siber wasn't without faults; nothing could be that great, right? Sometimes Siber would be slow, and cranky, and some curse words would be had, but, we all know this was before smartphones; so, Siber, you're saved on this one!
Alas, before we say our final farewells, I think we would be remiss if we didn't pause and think about the impact, be it a small ripple or an overwhelming wave, that Siber has had on each of our lives. So, let us raise our coffee mugs, squint our eyes, place our fingers on the home keys, or hit that enter button in the sky... in your own private, or not-so-private way, think of Siber...
Siber Spayce, I thank you. It's been a blast. I'll miss you and the impact you've had on my life each day. And I thank you for all that you've done, all you've inspired in me and in others. Someone once said:
A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click. ~Author Unknown
Siber, I hope your last click takes you on the journey you've deserved.
We will all truly miss you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The birds & the bees, please...

While driving home from the city one day not too long ago, DD decides:

Mommy, I think you should have another baby so I can have a little sister. Yeah, you should grow another baby in your belly & I'll name my new little baby sister, Rosie, like on Caillou.

(oh God)

Um, DD, you wouldn't know for sure if it was a baby brother or baby sister, though.

Well... anyway... I think you should have another baby... What do you have to do anyway? Like, eat lots of food so that your belly gets bigger and bigger?

Well... no, DD, that's not quite the way it goes.

(sings to the radio... loudly)

How does it work then, Mommy?


Um, Daddy puts a seed in Mommy's belly.

(Note: I had already thought of how to address this when the time would come... and I got the idea from an article in a magazine... Today's Parent or something)

Her eyes grow BIG:

You mean, like when he's shopping for seeds for the garden he just gets a baby one... and what if he put a flower seed instead?!?! Could you grow a flower in your.....

(I switched the stereo to fiddle tunes & told her to whistle/jig along!!!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm no Nostradamus...

... but I think the Apocalypse may be coming?!?!?

  1. DS has started sleeping through the night. Five nights in a row. It just happened. BOOM! After 12 months of multiple wakings a night, somehow he's decided that sleep is a good thing. AND, he laid down on the floor today, so I asked him if he wanted to go for a nap. He nodded his head and said "Yeah". That was an hour ago... he's still sleeping! I LOVE THIS!
  2. Yesterday Dear Hubs (DH) came home from work with a piece of paper for me to read to DD. It was hotel reservations for 4 nights at one of our favourite spots. He took 3 days vacation next week while I'm on my Spring Break and he planned a mini-vacation trip for us!!!! He didn't even consult; just took it upon himself and did it. DD and I LOVE THIS!
  3. Today he had an appointment at his employer's medical office. Instead of driving right back to work, he stopped at Tim Hortons and brought DD a chocolate milk and me a coffee... at home... which is 25 minutes out of the way. WTF?!?!? DD and I LOVE THIS!
I don't know what to think of all this random goodness! I'm puzzled... but I sure as hell hope it lasts!!!!

Hope your week is as gratifying!
Happy Hump-Day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Soundtrack of My Life

Every year I do this little project with my 6th grade classroom music students; I ask them to think about their lives thus far -- the milestones, important moments to them, etc. Then we take some time looking at movie soundtracks & how they really help to tell the story. The whole unit culminates with them creating the soundtrack of their lives (which is only 12 years, but it's as cute as hell!)

So, why not? Here's the soundtrack of my life thus far: (a few more than 12 years worth)

  1. Theme song to Mr. DressUp: my earliest memories as a child are watching Mr. DressUp everyday and wanting to be able to draw as well as him
  2. Tell My Ma -- The Rankin Family: Growing up in Cape Breton made the Rankin Family a staple cassette in the car. That, and our upbringing with copious amounts of fiddle music, step- and squaredancing!
  3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun -- Cyndi Lauper:  a simple summation of my elementary & junior highschool years; Great Friends, many sleepovers, good, clean, giddy fun!
  4. To Be With You -- Mr. Big and/or Unloved -- Jann Arden: ugh. Unrequited teenage love, broken & mended-the-next-day hearts, too many tears, too much wasted time.
  5. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town -- Pearl Jam:  first boyfriend in university, good parties, "man these guys can sing", just love this song and the memories of being on my own it holds!
  6. Fast as I Can -- Great Big Sea: When hubs and I started dating, I was 18 & he just turned 25. It was a whirlwind of emotions, grown-up emotions, and learning how to find myself in the chaos of my life at that point. Thinking about it all makes me smile.
  7. I Love You Period -- Dan Baird: Aside from being an English major in university, I really thank, and do believe that if it wasn't for me dating hubs at that time, Lord knows what path I would have taken in my life! Plus, my soul-searching led me to get an education degree as well!
  8. Feels Like Home -- Chantal Kreviazuk: Our first dance at our wedding
  9. 45 Years -- Stan Rogers: The other song we wanted to dance to at our wedding, but the DJ didn't have it... so... we play it every year on our anniversary. I once even had it played for him on CBC Radio on our anniversary.
  10. Butterfly Fly Away --Miley Cyrus: Although this is a new song, everytime I hear it I think of my first pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage. My little butterfly...
  11. Daughters -- John Mayer:  It took a lonnnng time to finally get pregnant again & meet our daughter. Wow. Life has never been the same. (And I can thank her for introducing me to the Miley song above; serendipity?)
  12. You Are My Sunshine -- For 6 months, this was the one thing that could make DD stop crying. WEIRD!
  13. Taladh Na Beinne Guirme (The Blue Mountains Lullaby) -- Jeff MacDonald: My minor in university was Celtic Studies / Gaelic Language. My friend, Jeff, is one of the people I look up to the most when I think of me learning the language. He wrote this lullaby in Gaelic & hubs and I played it nonstop for DD when she was going to bed each night. It's truly beautiful, even if you can't understand what he's singing:
  14. Bog a'Lochain / Athole Cummers set -- Ashley MacIsaac:  Again, my love of traditional fiddle music and my Cape Breton upbringin shines through here. When DD wasn't listening to the above lullaby, she was listening to fiddle music. This particular tune Bog a'Lochain has become her favourite; she calls it her tune. And nothing warms my heart more than when she & hubs sit down with their fiddles playing tunes. While she can't get the notes right yet at only 4 years old, I can tell you that the music is in her (as the old folks would say!)
  15. Come Rain or Come Shine -- David Francey -- While this is a love song, so to speak, when I hear it I think of the tiring nights and days leading up to & following DS's birth. He wasn't a great sleeper & I would be so frustrated, and tired, and at my wit's end, that I would sing this over and over; cuz we all know that even though you're so tired and done, you can't help but look at the little face of the bundle you're holding in your arms and feel such love.
So, these are my moments thus far in my life. This is my soundtrack of my life.
Cause these are the days worth living
These are the years we're given
And these are the moments
These are the times
Let's make the best out of our lives -- The Calling

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Food for thought?

Hubby and I were talking last night about our kids' eating habits/preferences. Here's a list of their favourites:
  • macaroni, cooked with tomato juice
  • Kraft Dinner
  • blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • grapes
  • bananas
  • mashed potatoes
  • broccoli
  • green & yellow beans
  • spaghetti & parmesan cheese from East Side Marios
  • french fries with copious amounts of vinegar
  • plums
  • peaches
  • scrambled or boiled eggs
  • grill cheese sandwiches
  • tomato soup
That is basically all the foods they will eat. Hubby and I are left wondering,
Where the hell did they come from?

4 year old daughter rarely touches chocolate and will only eat plain chocolate - we LOVE it; any variety. And every Saturday night when I'm making nachos, nacho dip or bringing out the chips for Hockey NIght in Canada, she asks for a veggie tray! In fact, one day she said to me,
"Remember the good ole days, you know, Mommy, when we used to have veggie trays?"
She simply NEVER looks for junk food. Weird, I tell you. Plain weird.

What will your kids be having for lunch? Supper? or while watching Hockey Night in Canada?

Monday, March 1, 2010

My first tweet

My First Tweet

Oh my god! It's hard to believe, but thanks to another tweeter I just found out that today is my twitter anniversary! I can't believe it's been a year of tweeting!

When I started tweeting a year ago I had a 3 week old baby boy at home and was thoroughly enjoying the sleeplessness (um, that hasn't changed a year later... see previous blog post!) of being a stay at home mom on maternity leave once again. My 4 year old was testing my patience as we tried to get into a groove. As I was bombarded with Treehouse, and later, the Family Channel, on TV & preschool conversation all day long, I turned to twitter for my news & sports updates. Twitter was my line to the outside world! (And it drives hubby nuts -- which is ammo enough to keep it up! wink)

Fast forward a year... wow where did that year go?

Here's a little visual of my most tweeted words:

Looks like I was a big part of my tweets, eh?

But, you know what? I recently tweeted to @partymummy that it's the common gripes and experiences of many yummy mummies on Twitter that keep me coming back for more. In fact, it was Erica Ehm and the Yummy Mummy Club that fostered a purpose in my blogging. I had always had a couple of blogs I was juggling around, but the inspiring moms on here allowed me to really tap into my inner blogger. Thanks to all of you! While I don't even know if anyone reads my posts (no one really comments) I do enjoy writing them.

The sad part is, now that I'm back to work, I really miss my tweeps/tweeters/twitter friends. I desperately search for more time each day to reconnect with the other moms I've encountered on twitter.

Essentially, I've found out I basically tweet about a few things:
  • Life as a mom
  • hockey
  • teacher stuff
And, really, that's my life summarized. Isn't that what Twitter is all about? Summarizing your life in 140 characters or less?!

Catch ya on twitter ;)

PS: A special shout out to @melissamacneil who intro'ed me to twitter in the first place. ;)