Friday, 30 September 2011

Alice and Jean Paul

Friday, we went to an extraordinary exhibit. I really don't consider myself a fashionista (c'mon, I realized that I have matching shoes with my daughter) but the work of Jean Paul Gaultier always amazed me...especially after taking sewing classes with a teacher that could see the designer's master pieces in his soup!

We were a bit last minute since the exhibit will end this weekend (so many people) but I could not miss the opportunity to see The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

When I woke up that morning, I had my doubts on the success of this activity. I bring Alice with me everywhere but is going to an exhibit of this caliber pushing my luck a little too far? It is not like if I can change her dirty diaper between a conical bra that belonged to Madonna and a sexy sailor attire!

People told me that it would be impossible to have my pre-baby life back. They were totally right. Obviously, things are different. Maybe I would have spend more time reading the descriptive texts and I would not have had to hold a 15lb baby on my hips for an hour. However, it is all fine with me.

The exhibit was delightful but the fact that Alice was with me made it a million times better. She had her little Jean Paul Gaultier inspired outfit (black and white stripped onesie) that turned out to get us a lot of attention from many visitors. Since she was not tired, I showed her the exhibit as if she could understand me. I told her about the fabric, the design, the inspiration behind each collection...and I obviously made sure that she did not grab anything in her little hands!

I can't predict the future and focusing on possible "problems" with Alice won't do me any good. It is always smart to be farsighted for stuff like an extra outfit in case of a poop accident or a stroller cover in case of rain but I won't let negative "what ifs..." control my life.

I had a wonderful time and from all the smiles and giggles that Alice made that day she certainly appreciated the exhibit. And as many visitors told us: "You are never too young to visit a museum"...especially when it involves beautiful stripped outfits!

And don't forget my little giveaway!

* * * * *
emily: I started baby yoga class when Alice was 6 weeks old. We didn't do any class during the summer because there was nothing available. We went to our first swimming class 3 weeks ago. It is all very fun. You sing to Ramona? So cool! I "sing" to Alice but I'm not very good at it ;)

dear olive: Thank you so much!

ally: I also think like that but maybe it is part of the process or something like that.

uk lass in us: Until 12 months old? I didn't know that this could be possible. And how can you not like olives ;)

daniela: Ah, thank you so much. Sometimes, I ask myself if I share too much information about my life but I get so much positive feedback and I honestly really love blogging.

courtney: I'm very (VERY) well aware that I'm super lucky to get 18 months with Alice :)

sara-ananda: Oh non! That was not the point!!! I knew that you would say that (not jealous of my 18 months) and it is perfectly cool...we are all different.

tracey: Thank you so much for the amazing comment. It is wonderful to learn about other women's experience. I must say WOW (10lb 11.5 oz baby) I told a friend who got a big baby : you have an awesome vagina ;)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Alice is hosting a GIVEAWAY!

Alice is hosting a little giveaway to celebrate her 6 month birthday!

It is also a chance for me to thank you all for following my motherhood adventures and to be so generous with your advice. I can't thank you enough!

Alice and I decided that it would be awesome to giveaway a custom name print from my talented new friend and soon to be mother Bess from English Muffin. Alice really enjoys her own custom name print that will be on her nursery's soon as I have a ride to IKEA to buy a "Ribba" frame.

Bess will create a unique design using the letters from your child's name (or the person of your choice!) and the corresponding animals from her adorable animal alphabet poster. You can choose 2 colors for your design and provide some information as to the feeling you would like your design to have (bright, fun, colorful, muted, pastel, soft & sweet, etc...).

To have a chance to win, simply leave me a comment at the end of this post, until October 7th (it is next Friday) at 5:20pm - Montreal time (Alice was born at 5:20pm)...but there is one little catch (if you want)! You have to tell me one of your accomplishments as a mother...or if you don't have kids, as a woman. Don't over think it, most of the time, the simplest things have the greatest impact.

But you can also just say hi ;)

* * * * *

clairsy: Baby led weaning is totally new to me. I think that it is not in Canada yet. I like the idea of doing a similar approach but with the puree and also add some pieces of food. Looking at the blocks in my freezer makes me all much colors!

mjb: A lot of people told me that sweet potato is a winner with babies. Don't judge me but I never cooked sweet potatoes until last week. I'm still reading about baby led weaning since it is very new to me. I must admit that I'm a bit afraid.

lola: Very interesting! I didn't know about saturated fat, choline, natural iron, fermented foods and omega 3. I don't even know where I can buy fermented cod liver oil!!! Oups, the links are not working.

little gray pixel: Alexa is so freakin cute! Wow, she had so many different types of food. This is so cool! I love that you said that Alice will guide me. Pretty nice.

taryn: I'm planning to do a mix of purees and baby-led weaning since it made sense to me and I feel comfortable doing that. I will totally get the little mesh thing. This should be fun. I'm also excited for cute photo :)

montague: Where was I? Everybody knows about baby led weaning except me!

emily: I also love the idea of exploring food by picking up, feeling, tasting, smelling...and smearing all over the place but the more I think about it the more I realized that I'm not totally comfortable with the idea...I'm too chicken at the moment but maybe things will change.

julie alvarez: It is a super concept but since it is totally new to me I still have to process the "what? the baby won't choke?" thing. But so many people did it and it looks like a very fun experience. Maybe I just need a bit of time to adjust.

190.arch: Thank you so much about the information concerning the iron reserve. Very interesting. Oh, yes, I would also enjoy good food if I was in Italy! I did what you told me and this morning, she played with her spoon and empty bowl. It was fun to watch! Take care.

hoola tallulah: Wow, you are such an awesome mom. I have to tell you that I totally admire you :) You rock!!! I don't know if girls have better dexterity. Maybe I should investigate a bit :) Thank you for the book information. I will try to find it at the library this weekend.

ingrid: I agree. Plain grains look so boring! Why do you always start with carrots? Are carrots that cool?

erstwhiledear: This is awesome. I would love to take a photography class. It is one of my dreams. You are lucky :)

jamie: Let me know how it works...when you start.

lina: Thank you for the pear info. Hard poop sucks ;) The red bell pepper was part of the menu created by the community centre.

kara: I would love mashed avocado...with shrimps...but just for me ;) Annie's mac-n-cheese is a very good option!

kim u: Why is everything so different! Each person has a theory! Oh yes, I will totally make butternut squash puree. There is a infant/child first aid course at the community centre. I will see if it is available next week. I'm actually curious about the poop.

rita: I actually love to make puree for Alice. I will try to find Super Baby Food at the library. Wow, you made your own cereal. You are pretty intense :)

janet: I'm just like you. I think that I will do a mix of puree-cereal and baby led weaning. I'm also afraid of choking...and the mess. I didn't know that you are a teacher...just like my parents. When I was still living with my them, they would often talk about neglected kids and it would always break my heart. This video is awesome since it tells an important message and is beautiful to look at.

lin: The cantaloupe was cooked before we made the puree. And the banana/pineapple was simply blended together. No lemon juice or anything.

daniela: Avocado rocks!

lara kasabian: I don't know what your boyfriend said but I have the feeling that he is right! Well, you have 2 options: you can use a breast pump (I don't like it but I do it anyway) or you can do it manually. I always have the feeling that I'm a cow when I do that!

newbiedad: Hi dude :)

m: I will try not to get discouraged. It is just that I so want her to love me! But it doesn't work like that! We also have to give vitamin-d supplement.

one claire day: We often forget how smart babies are. This is why I like so much this little video.

dear olive: Welcome Kellie. Ah, Claire is the best. She is so amazing. xox

oscarlucinda: Thank you so much! The workshop was so fun that my friend and I decided to go again next week.

the franglaise: I would have reacted just like you :) Now, I should get the hungry catapillar is a classic!

kristin: Why is it going to be easier to raise a bilingual child in Switzerland? I'm curious!

shanon: I would react just like you. The only difference, with my stroller, Alice is always facing out towards the world. One less thing to cry about ;)

Dear 6 months old Alice

Dear Alice (aka kitten),

Six months ago, we welcomed you into our life. Ever since, watching you grow has been our favorite hobby. Each milestones, large or small, is a celebration. You are a delightful little lady and we could not be more happy to have you by our side.

I thought that it would be nice to tell you how life in our little family is on a daily basis.

The day starts generally at 5:00am when you open your big gray eyes and turn your head to look at me from your crib. Eventually, you will sleep in your own nursery but for the moment I think that we are all (including the cat and the dog) happy to share the same sleeping space. Breastfeeding early in the morning is one of my favorite moments of the day...when we all cuddle in bed as the city is about to wake up.

At 9:30am, rain or shine, we go for a walk with Brian. You are not in love with your stroller but I understand that the safety straps can be a bummer for a baby full of energy. I'm now a pro at "driving" the stroller (or as your dad calls it the USS Kitten-prise...your dad is a geek, but not a trekkie). I can go up and down stairs, while opening doors and making sure that you still have your socks on.

We are two busy bees. I often joke that I should hire a personal assistant to make sure that I don't forget anything. We have swimming class at the Montreal Olympic Stadium, massage class at the Community Centre, various activities with the Hot Mama Club lovely ladies, appointments at the clinic and since you are pretty popular we often spend time with family and friends.

I'm happy to report that the entire neighborhood saw me breastfeeding : the coffee shop, the movie theater, the park, on the sidewalk, even at church during a wedding! I often let you use me as a pacifier since you don't have one. Luckily for my nipples, you hardly fuss. It is completely silly but I have great pride knowing that for the moment, you never shed a tear. However, I must inform you that I will probably cry with you when that day comes.

I love that your face brightens when your dad comes back from work. I gave up trying to feed you when he opens the door because suddenly your priorities change! You are now very active and eager to discover the world. You easily grab objects (please, go easy with the pets) and you laugh at the most unexpected sights. For example, you find Brian hilarious when he barks to get fed. Because looking at you laugh is, for us, the most extraordinary thing in the world, poor Brian now finds himself barking for many minutes before we put food in his bowl.

Your nightly routine is pretty simple. We wash you, apply a lot of lotion on your eczema prone skin, put on your footed pj, feed you one last time and you quickly fall asleep on the bed while your dad and I play UNO on the mattress. After, I delicately transfer you in your crib. It is now 8:00pm.

Alice, you should also know that this adventure would not be the same without the support that I get from many amazing women...most of them we never met in person. However, their impact on our day to day life is enormous and we should forever be grateful for their generous commitment. Thank you so much blog friends!

I'm so lucky to have a year long paid maternity leave but I have a scoop for you Alice. Your dad and I have being talking and I'm happy to tell you I will take an extra 6 months at the end of my maternity leave. Consequently, you will start day care at 18 months. This news fills my heart with so much joy!

To many adventures,

Mom xox

p.s. I still stare at you when you sleep!

* * * * *

To avoid a forever long post, I will answer all your helpful comments about baby food (and other posts) in my next post...and there will be a giveaway to celebrate Alice's 6 month birthday :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A phenomenal capacity for learning

A delightful little video from Help Them Grow.

From their web site:

"During the first years of life, a child’s brain develops at an impressive rate. Thousands of neuron connections - the very source of language, emotions and learning - take place at specific times during this period. Far more than we can imagine.

But it’s important to note that there are certain moments when your interactions have the greatest impact. You must therefore concentrate on these windows of opportunity."

Monday, 26 September 2011

Ignorant Claudia

This week, in 4 days exactly, Alice will be 6 month old...half a year! And what comes, in theory, when your baby reaches that age? You introduce solid food. From what I understand, you start with baby cereals (mixed with breast milk...if possible) and slowly you add more variety to the menu.

As far as I'm concerned, as a kid, I was a picky eater. Maybe all kids go through the "I only want pasta" but, sadly, I find that some people never really leave that boring phase. I have nothing against the classic "meat+potato+vegetable" combo (I actually like it quite a lot...once in a while!) but food is an amazing universe full of possibilities: from homemade bread to wild blueberries, from chickpea dishes to seal stew (I lived up north for a summer), from raw cuisine to Kraft Dinner (do not judge me) is endless!

I hope to share with Alice my curiosity and love of food. Her culinary adventure starts this week and I could not be more happy! However, like most baby related topics, there a many theories on how to introduce food to a baby's diet and I must admit that I'm a bit confused! Do you have any advice for me? What was your kid's favorite puree? When did you start? What schedule did you use? How much food did you give at first (1tbs seems so little)?

On a "related" subject, I just want to point out that community centers are amazing resources for new mothers. Last week, with a friend, I went to a baby food workshop. For 2 hours, we peeled, cut, mixed, blended and divided in ice trays nine types of baby food. Alice has now more than 200 little cubes in our freezer...for the low price of 10$. Pretty awesome don't you think?

On the menu:
roasted pepper
banana & pineapple
turkey & vegetable
beef & vegetable

* * * * *
one claire day: It is truly an amazing book. I was not sure about the meal planner thing but it is actually pretty cool. I made a little Excel sheet and during the weekend I do the planning. It is my motivation to try new recipes. And I get all excited for, for example, fish night or is pretty funny. The daycare went very well. I'm happy that it was just 2 hours and I must admit that I was thinking about Alice all the freakin time.

j: As you ca see, I just wrote a post about baby food! I'm very excited but I'm also freaking out! It is such an important step. I think that I have to write the way to pronounce my blog's name would be fine ;)

barbara: Thank you so much!

lina: That your be lovely! When? Where? What? xox

little gray pixel: Thank you! Now I just need to buy spray varnish to finish it.

megan: Not silly at all! If it was just me, I think that I probably would have canceled my inscription to the workshop but since I was with a friend, well, she gave me a lot of mental support ;)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

We all deserve a second chance!

Today, I gave a second (or 3rd or 4th or 5th) chance to a cheapo vintage nightstand that I purchased a few years ago. There were water stains and kitty damage on the top and was in great need of a little makeover.

After I read this simple tutorial, I picked up a can of white spray paint and a lace curtain at the second hand store. In less than 30 minutes, I had a "new" nightstand! Now, how can I stop the cat from clawing the wood (damn destructive kitty...but I still love him anyway)?

* * * * *

erstwhiledear: It is such pretty cool article!

sara-ananda: You should not feel guilty! I know a bit about your situation and it totally makes sense that you need some time alone to finish your project. You know what is best for you and baby A. And you are doing such a wonderful job. It went well for Alice. We just had a little milk problem. She was so excited when we got there that she didn't want to drink. When I came back after 2 hours, poor little bird was grumpy. Oh, talking about time to do stuff, we should have coffee soon.

bec hem: It went very well. It was a nice place with very professional people. I felt safe for Alice (and for me)!

lola: Good point! I didn't realize that people could not pronounce my blog's title. It goes a bit like that :
aux - letter
pe -
ti - letter
oi -
seaux -

taryn: I'm exactly in the same situation. I will write an "Ignorant Claudia" post about solid food this week.

luke and pamela: I was so happy to read that article. I had to share it asap :)

SEO Services UK: Thank you so much!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Baby milestone!

Or maybe it should be a mom milestone! Today, for the first time, I will let Alice in the hands of perfect strangers. Ok, they won't be junkies or homeless people (no offense to junkies and homeless people) but daycare workers at the community clinic. They know (in theory!!!) what they are doing but I'm still freaking out. Should I place my head between my knees and breathe...would this help me or is it normal to fear this milestone?!?

All of you, readers from the U.S. (and most places in the world), you can laugh at me as much as you want. I'm well aware that most of you had to go back to work full time when your baby's neck was not strong enough to hold is/her head up. Alice is almost 6 months old and, last night, I had a bit of insomnia because I would be without her for a small 2 hours while I go to a baby food workshop.

My friend (the one breastfeeding her baby under an apple tree) will be with me and her daughter will be with Alice at the daycare. This should give me just enough mental strengths to make delicious baby food without cutting one of my finger in the process ;)

Note: Take a look at this great article about breastfeeding in Mongolia.

* * * * *

jen: Same thing for me! Ah, I love treasure hunts. So much fun. A few years ago, for my birthday, Dan made a treasure hunt for me and it was awesome. Some things never change.

lin: I'm so happy that you enjoy my simplicity posts. I will eventually write more about simplicity because it is such an interesting subject.

little gray pixel: Really? Well, I'm telling you to be bored at least once a month ;)

lina: Well, my mom tutorial is mostly in Hudson so you can imagine the over scheduling! I just can't believe that we never had coffee should organize something!

uk lass in us: Ah ah ah! This was written in the book (they complain of being bored when they have to clean their rooms). So funny!

Friday, 16 September 2011

It is that simple - Part 3

Previously on aux Petits Oiseaux: It is that simple! - Part 1
Previously on aux Petits Oiseaux: It is that simple! - Part 2

My mom is a retired elementary school teacher but because she is so dedicated (and because it is always nice to have extra cash) she took a few tutoring jobs. Her "clients" are in a wealthy area but I'm sure that this situation can happen anywhere. We all know some parents (or maybe it is your case) who can't financially afford hockey/ballet/music/painting/photography class for their kids but for the sake of giving them all the possible opportunities they charged it, without hesitation, to their credit cards...but this is another story!

In our academic system, it is common for a school to allow a kid with learning difficulties to graduate as long as he or she takes private summer tutoring class. A) Taking summer tutoring class sucks! B) Taking summer tutoring class right before swimming class sucks even more! C) Taking summer tutoring class right after tennis class and right before swimming class is the end of the world for a 10 year old kido. Even though my mom is an awesome teacher, she was really doubting the success of this tutoring class! After all, this was a case of "over-scheduled kid"!

Activities are good for kids but, according to Simplicity Parenting: "Too many scheduled activities will limit a child's ability to motivate and direct themselves". Most parents have good intentions but "I'm bored" time is crucial for kids to be creative...out of frustration!

While I was reading that part of the book, Dan told me about an article written by Scott Adams (Dilbert) regarding this societal problem. His text, on the benefits of boredom, claimed that our brain needs boredom so we can process thoughts. Good ideas generally don't come in moments of over stimulation (including endless moments on Facebook, Internet!).

So boredom is truly a gift. It will be difficult to do but when Alice will look at me and say :"But mom, I'm bored", I won't always rescue her. She will have activities like swimming or whatever but she will also have "doing nothing" times.

Anyway, if she is like us (especially her dad!), this should not be too difficult to accomplish ;)

* * * * *

lola: OMG, twins!

lara kasabian: Ah, thank you.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

You are marvelous!

Yesterday, out of the blue, I found myself taking care of an adorable 2 month old boy. For a little hour, I was the sole responsible of the wellbeing of two miniature humans (and way too many pets since Dan and I were dog sitting an extra pooch this week). If you read my blog you might remember that I never, in my whole life, took care of another baby except Alice. So let me tell you that even if I was up to the challenge I was still a bit worried about certain technical aspects. For example, what if both babies were hungry at the same time? Is it possible for me to breastfeed Alice and bottle feed Arno simultaneously?

Long story short, everything went very well but my reflexion in the mirror felt pretty surreal. I had "regurgitation prone" Arno in my Ergo carrier and teething Alice balanced on my right hip...while bouncing on a big blue exercise ball.

So I would like to take this opportunity to tell all the mothers who are taking care of more then one child one thing: You are marvelous! You must have a sense of organization that would make any event planner (and I'm one) jealous. During my little adventure, I found myself praying a few times that both kiddos won't request milk or too many diaper changes and would hopefully sleep during the entire time. However, when you have many kids, prayers like that are pointless because, well, because this is probably how normal life is for you.

So just to make this very clear: You are marvelous!

* * * * *

new duds: I love that our place is pretty much always "clean". Also, every night, I take a little 10 minutes to put our stuff back to its place...much better to wake up to a organized home!

emily: Thank you! The only thing I didn't like about the book: the words are sssooo small. It was difficult for me to read it for long periods of time (maybe it is just me?).

bec hem: Oh, believe me, it is a peaceful place to be!

daniela: A raincoat is a must (+ rain boots). I'm telling you, you will love the book. And little toes are also a favorite toy for Alice.

olena: Oh wow, thank you so much! You made my day with your comment :) xox

taryn: Well, according to the book : yes! Alice is still too young but the author said that generally kids love to listen over and over again the same long as the book makes the kid uses its fairy tales and stuff like that. He also said that most books, these days, are less for kids and more for adults (pretty illustrations but the story doesn't say much to kids). You can have many books (and toys) but you should just have a few favorites in your kid's room. You can create a "library" in your closet and sometimes bring a new book (or toy) for a while. I does make sense, well, I think!

sometimes life is bliss and sometimes not: Thank you so much! Also...dummy French Canadian in not sure that she understands this part of your comment "your blog translation is a little loose from french to English".

anneemall: Super! I know, it is just that when you write about simplicity it is a bit silly to post a picture of a newly purchased item. And yes, you are good at making the guilt disappear!

giselle: It is such a great book with many many many good ideas.

sara-ananda: C'est certain que si j'étais (ou Dan) un chef les choses seraient TRÈS diffétentes!!! Je suis jalouse :)

magpiesandmagnolias: Can lavender cross the Canada - US border? Here, lavender grows like weeds in gardens.

Monday, 12 September 2011

It is that simple! - Part 2

Previously on aux Petits Oiseaux: It is that simple! - Part 1

When people come to my place, they often comment that we don't have stuff lying around everywhere. When we moved in, 3 years ago, we selected functional pieces of furniture and added meaningful decoration accents. We now ask ourself "Do we really need this?" before buying something new and dispose responsibly of outdated items. Obviously, we did the same to create Alice's nursery.

A lot of stuff leads to a lot of choices. But what is wrong with that? These choices are distractions from a kid's natural growth (neural, social and physical) and create a false feeling of "power" (more more more!!!). According to Simplicity Parenting: "A smaller, more manageable quantity of toys invites deeper play and engagement. An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm".

Dramatically reducing the amount of toys (even those awesome vintage ones on Etsy!) is a good starting point. However, it also works for books *sigh*, clothes *sigh* and all the other rooms because a minimalist nursery would be completely inefficient in a cluttered home *sigh sigh and sigh*.

By selecting a small amount of appropriate toys (touch, imaginary play, nature, art, etc.), kids should become more attentive, imaginative and creative. As the author wrote: "Imagine watching your children create new worlds and new ways to play with their toys, instead of their requiring new toys to play with."

I remember, as I kid, I loved to recreate the world of Anne of Green Gables. I would braid my hair, dress up in old "costumes", grab a picnic basket and pour milk in a glass jar. Just like Anne, I would keep the milk cold by putting the jar in the little stream next to my mother's house. At the time, this was my definition of a perfect afternoon.

So, do you think that you can embrace a more simple environment for your family?

* * * * *

I don't want to contradict myself here but look at my new rain coat...because pushing a stroller with one hand and holding a dog leash in the other doesn't leave me much option to hold an umbrella! It is indeed necessary :)

* * * * *

lola: Really? You are so right. It does make grocery shopping so much easier.

daniela: It is an awesome book!!!

lydia: What was your favorite part? Are you going to try some advices from the book?

little gray pixel: How come men never decide what is for dinner??? Wow, you work until 8pm. This is a long day. I hope that you will have your family dinner time. xox

becca: Thank you. It is truly a wonderful book.

lindsey [homegrown spud]: Oh, could you please tell me more about the Montessori versus Waldorf thing. I don't know much about Waldorf and I just started to learn more information about Montessori.

luke and pamela: Your library should have it. It is very popular.

jacinthe: T'es trop hot :)

allie: Thank you so much for the information. I usually over-think stuff like that all the time. I will also try to use my mom instinct on that subject.

It is that simple! - Part 1

If I had to write a book about my values regarding how I want to raise Alice, well, it would be a complete waste of time because this book already exist: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The book is basically a solution to overscheduled and overwhelmed kids (and parents). The author, a Waldorf educator, divided his theory in four levels of simplification: environment, rhythm, schedules and filtering out the adult world.

This book is so awesome that I decided to dedicate the next few posts to it. Each post will cover an aspect of "Simplicity Parenting" that I want to incorporate in my family life. However, since Alice just turned 5 1/2 months, it is difficult for me to judge, at the moment, how efficient "Simplicity Parenting" is in reality...or is it just nice on paper?

Saturday morning is probably my favorite moment of the week because we all go for the same restaurant. And I won't lie if I tell you that I pretty much order the same thing every single time. It is our little ritual!

A big part of the Rhythm section is dedicated to food: family dinner (a necessary comeback for happy and healthy kids), simplifying tastes (did it exist 50 years ago or is it "new" food products?) and simplifying dinner (What's for dinner?).

I don't know of you are like me but "What's for dinner?" might as well be my baby's first words. It may sounds stupid but "What for dinner?" always come with its share of unnecessary stress:

Me: Dan, you decide.
Dan: No, you decide.
Me: I don't know!
Dan: Well, the public market closes in 30 minutes.
Me: Shit, really???

So Dan and I decided to apply a suggestion given by the author. Strangely enough, I find that this attempt at "simplification" is putting us right back in the 60s and I know that many of you (including me) will raise eyebrows : regular meals on regular know, Pasta Monday, Chicken Tuesday, Fish Wednesday, etc.

However, this quote from the book totally made sense to me: "Instead of marshaling tremendous energy, inspiration, ingredients, and creativity every evening, certain decisions are already made. There can be variation within each night's staple; pasta night could include a range of possibilities. But you are not staging a new Broadway production, from concept to performance, every night."

Silly or logical?!? Oh, and Monday is now pasta night :)

* * * * *
joeynomad: I totally agree with you. You will always find people who will think you are doing something wrong regarding childbirth. I hope that you will have what you desire but, as you said, a healthy and happy birth is what is truly important.

j: It is crazy the amount of women in this situation! It is wonderful that you had such a good midwife.

erstwhiledear: Oh, just like me (ten months reading about the birth and almost nothing on postpartum).

oscarlucinda: If I was pregnant again, I would still try to go for a natural childbirth. However, I would be more "relax" if things don't go according to my plan. I hope that things will go smoothly for you and baby :)

daniela: It was also the right thing for me at the moment. We have a lot in common!

mirella: Totally agree! It is wonderful to have options. C'mon, I gave birth to Alice on a birth stool! I just think that women should focus a little bit more on the baby and less on the way the child was born.

kim u: Hurray for healthy mom and healthy baby :)

ashley: Ah, thank you so much. Parenting is difficult enough without us comparing each other all the time and putting unnecessary pressure on us.

sarahvine: I totally agree with you. A natural childbirth, if possible (and we each have our definition of possible), should be a the best option. Oh, and totally true about the doula and her own agenda. And maybe I'm a bit negative but in practice, I do think that motherhood is too often a comparison game. I try to stay out of it but sometimes it is very difficult. Oh really, good to know that first births are notoriously difficult. Thank you so much for all the info. You rock :)

su: Thank you Su. Your mom's comment is actually pretty interesting. xox

sara: You did good Sara. You are awesome my friend! You are so courageous and strong. You have no idea how much I admire you!!! xox

one claire day: Oh Claire, I didn't know your birth story. You are so brave and, omg, 23 hours! And it is so sad that nobody told you about Lalie's position. This is so unprofessional. Don't feel sorry about your comment. I would NEVER (and I'm pretty sure that none of my readers...they are all so nice) judge you. You are such a incredible mom :) xox

roberta jane: You are awesome. I really hated myself when I asked for the epidural. Now that I think about it, I find my reaction pretty silly. I was so happy that my doula told me to be happy with my decision. So, just like you, my child's birth was a beautiful, mind-opening experience.

anna of (green gable): Thank you! I had a very good time traveling with Alice. I just changed a few things (no fancy restaurants for example) and voilà!!!

anneemall: Really? Oh no! This is horrible (bad, bad business practice)! I hope that the product that you will get will, at least, be safe to use with your baby.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Childbirth revolution rant

Every generation needs a revolution. This is how the film One World Birth starts. This social media project, if I understand correctly, called itself a revolution in 2 parts: one regarding the way that women give birth around the world and other one in the way that films are distributed.

The creators of One World Birth asked the most amazing birth experts, such as Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin, to be part of their project. I'm not here to rant about One World Birth. It actually looks like an awesome resource and I know that, when pregnant, I would have looked at the entire thing with great interest. No, I'm actually going to rant about something that bugged me ever since I gave birth. The film trailer just gave me the pretext to write about it : childbirth guilt!

There is indeed a "revolution" happening in the world of childbirth. Women are getting more aware of their options and their rights. Films such as The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake helped to start this "revolution". I highly applaud that. However, I personally find that there is a downside to that "revolution". Women of our generation hire doulas, invest in alternative child birth class, read a multitude of books on the subject, make birth plans and day dream about their own personal revolution. I know what I'm talking about since I was one of those women. Don't get me wrong, if I had to do it again, I would not change any of it but I would add a very important chapter to my childbirth and postpartum preparation.

I would add a great big chapter dedicated to the eventuality of a "failed revolution". I find that women have a tendency to be perfectionist...even while planning the way that they will welcome their child into this world. I'm an event planner so, believe me, I was more than prepared...would it be great if I I could have emailed fetus Alice a copy of the "procedure" that I planned for that big day: the Holy Natural Childbirth ;)

As usual, I will be honest with you. After I asked for the epidural I felt like a total failure. Luckily for me, I had people around me who quickly helped me move on and taught me how to be proud of what I was going to achieve. However, it happened a bit as a crash course. I find that we are not mentally prepared for a "failed revolution" and that many new mothers keep a bad taste in their mouth about their childbirth.

Contrary to the women in The Business of Being Born, we are not bitter because we got "forced" to take an epidural. No, we are bitter because WE asked for an epidural and this, my friend, can f**k up any new mother who spent ten months focusing on a natural childbirth.

So yes, I love all those trendy documentaries and books about how women should embrace childbirth and I encourage you to pursue your dream if this is what you want. I just don't want this "revolution" to bring sadness and guilt during one of the most magical moment of your life.

The end!

note about the pictures: Alice's "date" (we were going to a wedding) with her unofficial godfather...our friend who gave us a ride to the hospital at 3am when I was in labor.

* * * * *

courtney: Not funny ;) Well, I do have a wolf t-shirt!!!

lola: I also think that Alice is a classic name. It was on a list of old baby names.

bugheart: A name is important but generally it is not the end of the world (unless you have a very stupid name like, um, Blanket!!!).

di: Ah ah ah! Arlo is, to my opinion, a much better choice!

little gray pixel: Oh, thank you so much :)

one claire day: Totally but still very funny!!!

anonymous: Ah, funny that you are also on that silly list. Wren is super cute.

emily: Ah ah ah!!! I like the good lube comment ;)

jennifer: Oh, sleeping = a happy mom and eventually a happy woman! We also share the bed with Alice (exactly like you and Guy).

paola zakimi: You are so very talented :)

lola: Oh, move to Quebec! We can have tea together :)

sara-ananda: Oh, totally, French grammar and spelling is much harder. And, since I didn't go to an English elementary school, Alice has to go to French school. Anyway, it is not a bad thing!

sarahvine: Hebrew looks like such a fascinating language. About sign language, some people love it and other think that it is not that good. I will take the workshop and see how it goes. Thank you for sharing your experience. Very helpful for me :)

maz: I'm honestly not very good with languages. Yes, I'm pretty much perfectly bilingual but it was not easy for me. I hope, as you said, that since kids have an amazing ability to learn other languages, it will be easier for Alice. Thank you. I would love to learn Norwegian but it looks so difficult :(

luke and pamela: It would be great if Alice could eventually speak Spanish but one thing at the time!

rita: I can't wait to see how the sign language course will work! I know there is a lot of songs and it looks pretty funny. So far, I know how to "say" more milk mom (it was on their website)!

daniela: Let me know how it works for you...not that our babies will speak that soon but you the future.

megan g: Yes, you are right, Scaredy Squirrel was in French first.

lindsey [homegrown spud]: Thank you so much for reading my little blog...and leaving me super nice comments! Don't worry, life is awesome and not that different with a baby...well, for me anyway. Oh, the geese were saying "shit, it is so freakin cold here"!!! xox

Thursday, 1 September 2011

This is not serious?!?

Dan and I are devastated ;)
You really can't compare Alice with Atticus or Saraphina!