Friday, April 15, 2011


Want to enter for your chance to win some great prizes? Head on over to this blog to enter! I'm a new follower but what I've read so far I like! I'll definitely be a regular follower of her blog now!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm going to try to make this a regular thing because forcing myself to slow down and remember what I am thankful for is such a great exercise and really reminds me to change my perspective. Today, I am thankful for:

  • A best friend. A girlfriend that knows more about me than I do some days. Someone who has been an important part of my life for 12 years and has been there for the wonderful times and the trying times. When I am not available, she is a second mommy to my boys. We have a rare, beautiful friendship and I have to remember to not take it for granted.

  • A long, cold winter that has allowed me to be nearly fully booked with Doula clients from June - September! Nothing else to do all winter than make babies, right? ;)

  • While we have all been battling minor illnesses, I am thankful for our overall health. A family that I have known most of my life lost their 13 year old son last week to brain cancer. My heart aches for them and their pain. I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through and have walked through the last few years as he battled his illness.

  • A supportive, understanding, compassionate staff at our Elementary School. I was subbing in kindergarten yesterday and got a call that Luca had fallen and cut his head and was bleeding a lot. With no questions asked, they found coverage for me within seconds so I could rush out to take him for stitches. Thankfully, it was a small wound with lots of blood (heads bleed like crazy!) and he didn't require stitches, but knowing that I was able to leave without any questions or repercussions was such a relief. And when I walked into the school this morning, the first question asked was how Luca was doing. We are so lucky to have such a caring staff and I am excited for Luca to be a student there next year!

  • Even though the snow is not welcome and I've grumbled about it today too, I am thankful that it is only snow, not floods, earthquakes, fires, etc. We have a warm and safe home and if the biggest complaint is that driving is difficult and it is too heavy to shovel, we're doing pretty good.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brokenhearted Boy

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect the feelings of your child and when those inevitable hurts occur, it tears you up because there is nothing you can do to stop the hurt from happening.

Children base their level of friendship on tangible things. They can't rationalize certain situations and know that friendship means more than being invited to things or sharing a snack together.

Being a teacher, I often hear the phrase "You're not invited to my birthday party" come out of the mouths of children trying to hurt the feelings of their friend. Birthday parties are huge for little kids and it is an outward demonstration of friendship.

Last week, my 4 year old son was absolutely devastated to discover that a boy that he thought was one of his favorite little friends was having a birthday party that included many other children from his preschool class and he was not invited. When he asked me if he was invited and I had to respond "I guess not, honey", he looked up at me with his eyes glistening wtih tears and said in a quiet voice "why not, Mommy?".

This broke my heart. My dear, sweet son thought that because of something he did, he was not invited to the party of his little friend. What was I to say to him to explain this?

We try to teach our children to share, play nicely and not leave anyone out, but then when it comes to birthday parties- the biggest event of months for some, and something that the birthday boy or girl are excited to talk about- we allow our children to be selective in who they invite and foster that feeling of superiority for the birthday child and the feeling of inadequacy in the ones that are not invited.

I understand the need to limit numbers for parties- logistically speaking or to fit into a "rule" of children allowed at a birthday party- but to willingly and knowingly do it at the expense of a young child that can't comprehend the reasoning is only teaching our children that it is ok to hurt the feelings of others as long as there is a "reason" to it.

We see this behaviour in adults as well. Those dinner parties that only a select few are invited to, the yearly parties centered around annual events, Christmas parties, etc. Adults are continuing the trend that they learned as children about party ettiquette and are using their party invitations as leverage in friendships and wielding them as superiority swords over their "friends".

With the birthdays of both my boys quickly approaching, I will look past the difficulties of having a larger group of children than I maybe would like, in order to allow my children to invite all the friends they desire so no one feels left out. I don't want my children to learn that it is alright to leave someone out and hurt their feelings at any time, especially for an event that is highly anticipated and publicized in the world of preschoolers.

In a time when teachers ask parents to send a Valentine's Day card or Halloween treat to every child in the class so that no one feels left out, why are we still allowing birthday parties to be elite events for only the select few "worthy" friends?

Now, don't get me wrong, many of the students in the preschool class have invited every child to their parties. I think that when one child doesn't do this, it makes it more obvious and pronounced. When my son asks "I was invited to so-and-so's party and I don't even play with her very often, but I play with so-and-so all the time and he didn't invite me. Why, Mommy?" What is a mother to say?

When I know the answer is that the mother of that child has a "birthday rule" and only invites a set number of children, how do I explain to him that he didn't make the cut this year?

Friendship is not based on numbers and how many children will fit comfortably around a table. I will not allow my children to think for a moment that it is ok to leave someone out because there is not room at our table. We can pull up another chair and make room to include that person. If we are going to instill in our children the importance of sharing, playing together nicely, being honest, etc, it needs to start with events that they can see and relate to.

I want my children to learn from example, and I am going to do my best to ensure that the example set by the boy he thought was a good friend is not the one that he follows. When it comes time to pass out invitations to his friends, I will ensure that no other child has to ask his or her mommy why they weren't invited to celebrate their friend's special day. No child should have to ask that question and no parent should have to try to explain away that hurt.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm totally stealing this idea from my dear friend Tasha! I read hers and thought that it was an exercise we should all participate in to remind us of how good we have it! So, on this Thursday, these are things I am thankful for, in no particular order:

  • My amazing, good looking, supportive husband. He does so much for us all the time. He is truly my partner in every sense, tackling the parenting and tasks at home as much as I do, plus he works full time to support us. He has been nothing but supportive while I work to make my doula business a success, even when this means that I am busy in the evenings at meetings, so we basically cross paths at the door and he is left to get the kids ready for bed. Even when it means that we won't get as much camping in this summer as we'd like (just like last summer) because it looks like I will be on-call for a good portion of the summer. How did I get so lucky to be blessed with a man like him?

  • Finally some sunshine and Spring weather!

  • The opportunity to do some promotion of my doula business. I am fortunate to be a part of the Airdrie Welcome Wagon baby shower, which will give me exposure to over 100 expecting or new moms. That event takes place on Monday, April 11. I was also very lucky to be able to speak at a prenatal session with a doula that I love and respect. We were honored to be asked to share the benefits of doula care with a group of 12 expectant moms. Out of that meeting, I have already arranged 2 potential client meetings- one for a mamma expecting twins! I was discouraged a few months ago at the slow pace of doula work, but things are beginning to pick up again and I am really excited to be able to do what I love again!

  • Time with family.

  • I am thankful that I have a handful of truly great, wonderful friends. These girls are ones that I know without a doubt I can count on to help out when needed or to be a listening ear and never keep tabs and expect anything in return (and they know they have the same with me). They are women that I admire, respect and love deeply. Some live very near and others I don't get to see as often as I'd like, but they are all equally dear to me and each have a very special place in my life. Really true friends are not always easy to find, but I have been blessed with a few of them and for that I am truly grateful.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Smart phones can be Scary phones!

I just read this article on my friend Canadian Mama's blog and watched the clip she provided and it scared me! Technology can be so wonderful but it can also be so dangerous. If you have ever taken and uploaded a photo from your phone, you're going to want to take a look at the clip.

My March Book List

I didn't get as much read this month as I usually do for a few reasons:

-I worked a ton in March subbing. A few opportunities came up to be in the same classroom for 3-5 days at a time so I took those. I enjoyed the days that I was working, even though it was quite a bit more than I usually take on in a month.

-Chris and I are a wee bit addicted to Prison Break. We watch it on Netflix. It started with Chris watching the first season and me reading my book beside him. I quickly realized that I was doing much more watching than reading and finally decided to just watch with him. We are now about to start Season 4, so not only did I lose a lot of reading time to tv, I anticipate that the same will happen for the next few weeks as we watch the final season. I did manage to get through a couple books though.

Firstly, I finished the one I had started when I wrote my last post.

by Anita Shreve

Truth be told, I didn't love this book. It started out strong and had my attention but as the book went on, my attention waned. Somewhat due to Prison Break distracting me, but also because I felt that it was dragging on a bit and I wasn't very satisfied with the ending. It wasn't terrible, but also not one for my favorties list.

Heaven is For Real
by Todd Burpo

I read a synopsis of this book one morning while at work and thought it sounded interesting. Later that afternoon, I stopped into our community library to have a look at our new renovations and was pleasantly surprised to see this book on our New Releases shelf. Even though I was still reading Testimony, I signed it out anyway. As soon as I was done reading Testimony, I started on this one and read it in 2 days (work interrupted my reading time! Haha).

Whether you believe in Heaven or not, or are or aren't a Christian, I thought that this book was fascinating. It is a true account written from the point of view of a father whose son nearly died and over the course of the next few years, reveals details of Heaven that he saw when he was on the brink of death. Things that this boy could not have known, he casually revealed to his parents, such as meeting his father's grandfather, whom he had never met, but picked out of a photograph that he had never seen before. Or telling his parents that he met the sister his mother miscarried before he was born.

The book was incredibly easy to read and is truly fascinating and is making news headlines all over the place. I definitely recommend this, regardless of your beliefs. Perhaps you will be challenged a bit reading this....

Check it out here.

Sing You Home
by Jodi Picoult

I am almost finished this one. I always look forward to her books being released. I've read a large majority of her books and always find them to be controversial, emotional and addictive. Jodi Picolt never fails to put controversial topics front and centre in her novels and her research and attention to the topics are obvious. I love that the story itself is easy to read and captivating and yet, her novels challenge my beliefs and make me ask questions. I love that about them.

I also love the way that she alternates different perspectives throughout the book. She writes from the point of view of each main character, which really allows the reader to see a clear picture of all sides of the issue and weaves compassion for each character's motives and beliefs. By the end of the book, my position on the topic at hand has probably bounced back and forth a number of times. I'm looking forward to finishing this one.

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

This book is next in line after I finish Sing You Home. I'm looking forward to this one because I quite enjoy historical fiction, and also because the topic is something that I am drawn to. Watch for my opinion on this one next month!

Read the synopsis here.

What have you read this month?

I'm always looking for new books to add to my reading list, so any suggestions are great!