Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Losing my Religion?

I was raised in the United Church of Canada. I went to Sunday School, sang in the Junior Choir, took Conformation classes. I married into the Anglican Church of Canada. My babies were baptized in an Anglican Church. I taught Sunday School at an Anglican Church.

I didn't grow up in a family that put a lot of focus on religion. I saw the Bible on our bookshelf (King James version) but I never saw my parents read it. We celebrated Easter the secular way, with the Easter bunny and chocolate. We went to church on Christmas because my brother and I were in the pageant. The Nativity set my mom made in ceramics class came out every Christmas to decorate the fireplace mantle.

I always thought Christianity was pretty simple. God created the Universe and everything in it. Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sins. Easter and Christmas were celebrated every year with special foods and gifts. Be nice, share your toys and go to Heaven when you die.

Then I grew up. I went to other churches besides the one I grew up in. I found out there are many flavours of Christian out there. Every church has it's own set of rules and own way of interpreting the Bible. Some churches think gay marriage is ok. Some churches want the women to wear headscarves and long skirts. Some churches ordain women and some do not. Some churches baptize babies and some churches baptize adults. Some churches believe that you need to be Saved to get to heaven. Some churches believe you are saved by Grace. Who is right? Am I right? Are you right?
Some people use the Bible as a template for how they live. Have you read it lately? Have you noticed how many inconsitancies there are? How do you know which rules to follow?? The Ten Commandments are a good place to start, but do I have to put four tassels on the corners of all of my scarves? (Deuteronomy 22-12)

Where does Science fit in? I used beleive that God formed the Universe. He set in motion the wheels of Evolution. Or did he? Is the Christian story of Creation the right one? The Aboriginals have a really interesting and beautiful story. All cultures and religions have their own take. Who is right? Why should I believe that I am right? The Big Bang Theory makes much more logical sense to me.

I am trying to figure out where my questions are coming from. Do I just not believe in God anymore? Or is it that I don't have any faith in organized religion? I love the idea of church. Being a part of a community of people who share the same beliefs is very comforting.

I really need to figure out how I feel so I know what to teach my kids about life. I can't just tell them the answer is 42, can I?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Carnival of Kid's Health

I submitted a post I wrote a while back to The Carnival of Kid's Health.

Why don't you go check it out and see what the other moms have written too?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Didja miss me?

I've been visiting my parents this past week.
It was a long day today traveling so this post isn't going to make much sense.
Here are some random tidbits from the past week:

  • My sweet friend Robin and I tried to cruise Main Street like we did in the Olden Days, but it wasn't quite the same in a minivan full of kids.
  • Emmett and Charlotte played for hours with my friend Tara's kids, which was great because then we had lots of time to catch up.
  • While visiting Robin's farm we realized that Emmett is an Indoor Kid as he begged to be left in the house while the rest of us donned rubber boots to tromp through the mud to look at her livestock. Charlotte couldn't wait to get dirty. I see agriculture in her future. (Robin would be so proud!)
  • Charlotte didn't want to come home today. Grandma's place is more fun.
  • Slide is being dumb and not letting me change the caption for the first picture in the slideshow. It should read: A little hike to blow off steam.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This made my day.

The sky is cloudy, the world is grey. I don't want to fold laundry.

This is frickin' genius.

Go. See for yourself.

Slow down, Part Two.

Emmett and I had an actual conversation today. I think this is the first time we have conversed. It was very short and very simple. Yesterday Emmett fell and scraped his knee. I asked him if it still hurt. He said Yes, then reminded me that he fell yesterday and cried.

This conversation took quite a bit of time. Emmett has to think very hard when he speaks. His words come out very slowly and deliberately. You have to listen very hard because most of his words are still pretty hard to understand. Yesterday he showed his dad his new Transformer and actually said the word. RIchard didn't catch it though because he said each syllable seperately, with a big pause in between. (It sounded like three words, but if you strung them together they mostly sounded like Transformer.)

Again, I am reminded to Slow Down. Emmett needs me to stop, look him in the eye and let him finish his thought. It is all too easy for me to put words in his mouth, to speak for him. This will not help us reach our ultimate goal.

Slow down. Breathe. Listen.

Slow down.

This is something I struggle with in my day to day life. When I worked outside of our home I was a nurse in a hospital. For part of my career I worked in the float pool. That meant that I only went where extra help was needed. My days were always busy. I had to keep one eye on the clock at all times lest I miss a medication, treatment, or vital sign. I settled on to a floor eventually but the pace didn't slow down. I worked on an orthopaedic surgical floor. My days were a whirlwind of prepping patients for surgery, taking care of them fresh from the recovery room and assisting with rehabilitaion. My watch was one of the most important things I wore. That, and my nursing shoes. (I didn't catch on to the Croc craze....don't get me started on those!)

When I made the transition to stay at home parent the first thing I did was take off my watch. Here, I don't really need it. If the kids are hungry, it's meal time. If the kids are tired, it's nap time. If the kids are picking on each other, it's go outside time. They tell me what time it is.

I still need constant reminding to slow down. Why do I hurry? There are times we really do need to hurry, when it is time for a therapy appointment, for example. Most of the time though, why do I care if Char takes 10 minutes to put her shoes on? The grocery store is open until 1100 PM. We will get there before it closes. She needs to do things herself. If you rush her she melts down. I need to remind myself that this is how she is learning. 10 minutes to put shoes on today means a child who can dress herself tomorrow. That is one less child for me to dress!

Emmett reminded me of this yesterday. I couldn't see his bedroom floor. There was kind of a funky smell in the air. It was time to really clean up. I had grand plans to tidy his room, vacuum and then meet my friend for our Tuesday walk. (see yesterday's post?)

Emmett does things his own way. His version of tidying was to make the room messier first. He decided to resort and refile all of his toys before putting them away. As I sat on his floor, my blood pressure rising along with the tone of my voice something inside of me snapped. I heard a little voice. It said: "Shhhhh. He's CLEANING." Why was I rushing him? The more I pushed him to do it my way the more he resisted. The more he resisted the more frustrated I got and the less actual cleaning happened.

I sat down. I sorted flashcards. I changed the sheets. I found three sets of dirty pjs balled up in various corners of the room. I opened a window.

Emmett sorted. He showed me various toys. He set aside a box for Charlotte. He found a place for the Matthew toys that had wandered in. He practiced using his new, ever growing vocabulary. I didn't get the vacuuming done. We went for our walk.

You know what? The tumbleweeds of dog hair were still on the stairwell when I got home. The house was still standing, even though I didn't cross that one thing off of my to-do list. I am going to have to vacuum again today anyway.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?

My friend April works at a college that is taking over the buildings of what used to be a mental hospital in our city. The land is expansive, the buildings grand and beautiful. Some of the buildings date back to the late 1800s when the hospital was known simply as The Asylum for the Insane. Then name changed a couple of times over the decades to reflect changing views on mental health. The facility was so large that it was largely self-sufficient. The people who lived and worked there even grew their own food.

Of course, there is a dark history and lots of ghost stories to go with the facility's past. As a nursing student I was able to read the files of some of the previous residents while on practium at a psychogeriatric facility.

The kids and I meet April regularly and go for walks on her lunch break. One day she discovered this lovely little park. At the time we didn't know it, but it is actually the hospital's cemetary. There isn't a single marked grave. The only hint as to what is in this park is a very small cenotaph. It is quiet and peaceful here and the view across the valley is stunning. Apparently only the very fortunate got buried here. There are former patients buried all over the grounds of the hospital.

This is the stuff ghost stories are made of.

Monday, July 7, 2008


So, a little background info for those of you who haven't met me in person:

I got my first grey hair when I was 21. I remember vividly looking in my bathroom mirror in my crackerbox-sized apartment in Teeny Tiny Blink and You Miss it Town, Manitoba. I phoned my mom to tell her all about it. Eventually that little grey hair decided it was lonely and more of it's family and friends showed up on my head to keep it company. I decided to take action when I got sick of hearing "You're too young to have so much grey hair!" at work over and over. I got some cute blonde highlights that blended out the greys nicely.

A few years ago and a lot more grey hairs ago I reached a milestone in my stylist's chair. She had to double process my hair to cover everything. When I was single and childless, and even when I was a mother but working, dropping $100 (or more) at the salon was not such a big deal. Today, when I am a stay at home mom who just wrote a cheque to the plumber for $600, dropping $100 at a salon seems quite extravagant. That $100 won't even cover our weekly grocery bill.

That brings us to today. Every once in a while I try to stretch my salon colour with a home dye job. It never ends well. My greys are stubborn. Home hair colour usually washes right out of them in under a week. I decided to give it one more try. A couple of weeks ago I bought the stuff that said it was specifically for grey hair. It washed out in three shampoos. Frustrated, I dug to the back of my linen cupboard today and found a box of colour and while Matthew was napping decided to give it one more try. I mixed the little bottles, made a note of the time and then busied myself for the required 1/2 hour. While I was waiting I noticed that this particular brand of colour was not as stinky as others I had used. It actually smelled quite pleasant. I also didn't have the telltale stains around my hairline that I usually get when I apply dye. That should have tipped me off that something wasn't right. Of course, I was tired, a little frazzled and hoping to finish this up before Matthew woke up. When it was time to rinse and condition I picked up the last little tube left in the box. I looked at the label. I was holding the pigment in my hand. D'oh!! All this time I was walking around my house with a mixture of colour developer and conditioner on my head!!

I beat my head on my computer desk and complained to a sympathetic online friend. I then called the help line on the side of the box. A friendly lady with a lovely French accent took my call. It turns out I didn't do any damage, and if I had, in fact, mixed this stuff correctly I could have turned my fading highlights green!! The lady at the call center kindly explained to me what I need to do to colour correct my highlights before applying new colour, and recommended brands that would cover the greys better. I wrote everything down. (It involved mixing two different boxes of colour) I then decided that by making a small mistake instead of a bigger one The Universe was trying to tell me that I should just let the pros handle this.

My appointment with my capable and experienced colourist is on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What Apraxia sounds like.

I shot this video of Emm reading a story with his therapist today. I just thought that you might like to know how Emmett sounds when he is speaking.

He has been working so hard on his speech lately and I am very proud of him.