Come at me 2018!

Well folks, another year has come and gone and I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. When I reflect on 2017 there’s little I recall fondly. My personal life wasn’t terrible but the world as a whole was hurting and as an empath, I spent a lot of my time feeling sad on the behalf of others. I did get to experience some personal growth and challenged myself to do new and intimidating things. I did so with success. I flew across the ocean with my best friend and visited two countries on a completely different continent from my own. Beautiful England and lively Ireland. I would definitely say this trip was the highlight of my 2017. I got to meet my best online friend Emily after years and years, and we spent a few days with her at her quaint little flat in London. The culture and vibe in both London and Dublin was intoxicating, I can see why they’re such favourable tourist destinations. I can’t wait to go back, preferably with my partner in tow. He’d absolutely love Ireland, especially since so much of our ancestry originated there.

My year was filled with lessons and some I learned and some I undoubtedly missed. New year’s day was the first Full Moon of the year and it was also a super moon (at one point it had a rainbow around it). I went to my cousin’s to spend the evening reflecting on our past year together. We burned candles, incense, and smudged sage. We did a Year ahead Tarot spread each, we did tea readings, we discussed our goals moving into the new year. We made little brooms with bells and anointed the gifts we exchanged by smudging them, rubbing them with Frankincense oil, and putting them in the full super moon. She made a herb blend to burn while focusing her intent on the year ahead while I made an oil blend. Then in true “us” fashion we snuggled up in bed and laughed at memes. Here are a few photos from our night!

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Finally, my “resolutions”. I’m on day 2 of not smoking in the new year, it’s an ambitious goal but I really want to quit and I hope if I really really want to quit, that will be enough to keep me away from it.

Besides that I just wish to learn as much as possible in the new year. Be more positive, work on my skills and hobbies, and indulge in the things I enjoy.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

I got a new laptop so I can blog like a normal person!

Ahhh finally! It’s been a really long time coming, the one I was using previously had really seen better days. It was missing keys, couldn’t be used without being plugged into a power source, I had to squeeze and crack the casing every single time I opened it to get the touch pad to work, and it felt like it was giving my thighs 2nd degree burns. Needless to say it was time to take the ole thing out behind the barn and- you know the rest. My amazing partner greeted me at lunch today with an early Christmas gift, it’s a MacBook Air. I am really familiar with Apple products as I have an iPhone, iPad, and my desktop setup is an iMac. So it was immediately comfortable for me! I am really excited to be able to blog and work and nerd out without wanting to hurl myself into oncoming traffic out of pure frustration! It’s really tiny and feels a bit like holding a newborn baby for the first time but I think I’ll get used to that. Happy Christmas to meeee!

The main reason for the new laptop was because blogging on a dinosaur is extremely challenging and discouraging. It went from being an emotional outlet to the source of most of my stress lol Sometimes I felt like a caveman trying to work that old thing. We also finally replaced the broken keyboard on the iMac so that will be useable again!

I’ve been working on organizing my life both physically and mentally and somehow this feels like a small victory. We cleaned our basement so we could utilize all the space we have down there for a home office, play space, reading nook or what have you. I revived the blog, I cleaned out our spare closet to make room for craft supplies for the kiddos, I cleaned out the spare bedroom to make my own sacred space more comfortable, we created a more structured routine for the kids, and I’m staying on top of my ADHD and being a more productive version of myself thanks to a combination of medication and motivation. So here’s to fresh starts, whether it’s Spring cleaning in the fall, replacing your old junkie electronics, or just focusing on the power of positive intent and striving towards positive changes in your life! Cheers.

Things I wish I had known about breastfeeding

It’s a no-brainer that nursing your baby is a fantastic option. Does breastfeeding make you a better Mom? No. Is it great for your baby? Yes. I knew the basics of breastfeeding before I started with my daughter. Nipple meets mouth. Pretty simple, right? Negative. Breastfeeding can be extremely challenging for some Moms and literally impossible for many as well. I learned that quickly when I was in the hospital after giving birth and my stubborn daughter (she gets it honestly) refused to latch. I wondered if my nipples were broken, if I was producing enough milk/colostrum, maybe they were clogged? Maybe I wasn’t holding her right, she isn’t a football after all. Among all these questions I was asking myself, was this little voice telling me to keep trying, a determined little voice that knew I chose this for a reason and I’d be damned if I walked out of there with a formula fed baby. After 12 hours, my starving little bundle finally latched on and began nursing. The emotions I didn’t know I was going to feel were overwhelming, relief washed over me as I tried to wrap my head around how my body could sustain this little life. Me, just plain old boring Kate. As if it wasn’t mind-blowing enough that I grew three humans in my body and gave birth to them, I was now about to exclusively breastfeed one for the first 6 months of her life.

Which brings me to the biggest thing I wish I had known. I had already established that I would nurse her for 6 months and not a month more. I’d give her a bottle and pump if I had to, but mostly I just wanted my body back after that point. Fast forward 6 months and this stubborn girl will not take a bottle. I try every nipple size, shape, colour, you can think of. I try spoon feeding her breastmilk, I try sippy cups, I try normal cups. But do you think that child was going to wean without a fight? Hell to the no. I kept telling myself eventually, if I was persistent enough, she would take a bottle. Fast forward a few more months and she is 10 months old and still nurses regularly. She doesn’t have much interest in food. She’s slowly learning to take a bottle but it’s been a real process. My point is, don’t go into nursing with a preconceived idea of how it’s going to start and finish. Every baby is different and a lot of them don’t magically self-wean. 

I’ve been struggling to maintain a social life where I can go out with my friends for more than a couple of hours because I have this tiny human at home waiting for the boob. She needs me. It’s more than food for her, it’s comfort. I love to be her comfort, but I also love my sanity. I’ve accepted that I might end up nursing her longer than I anticipated and it took me a long time to accept it, but that’s okay. I just wish I had known before so I wouldn’t have felt so… trapped, for lack of a better word. 

Another thing I discovered, is that nursing bras are not for everyone. I had one in the beginning along with cloth nursing pads (which were amazing, especially when you’re frugal like me). I always messed up the snaps on the bra and fumbled around and just generally had a rough time before I started using a sports bra. I could plop my boob out in like .5 seconds. Now that the engorged awkward stage is over, I can wear pretty much any bra I like and I have no issues. Same goes for nursing tops, I wore my regular tops, it’s just as easy to lift it up and tuck it into your bra as a nursing top is to pull down, plus regular shirts provide a nursing cover without the intention of it, it’s great. 

Lastly, I always thought I’d be really open about nursing, I thought I’d just pop my boob out and nurse her wherever and whenever I felt like it. I was wrong about that as well. I’ve actually only fed her in my home and at friend’s homes, never once in public. It’s not because I’m uncomfortable, it’s because I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like making other’s feel uncomfortable. Does that mean you shouldn’t nurse in public because you might hurt someone’s feelings? Definitely not. It just means that I made the personal choice not to, even after convincing myself I could and would. 

Has it been 6 months already?

MagnoliasPaisley is almost 7 months old now! I can’t believe she is already over 6 months old, but another thing I find hard to believe is that Daniel was away from work for that long. He returned today and it was my first time taking care of the three kids by myself since she’s been here! I actually find myself more motivated when he’s gone because I want him to come home to a relaxing environment so we can all make the best of the time we have together. When he was on paternity leave he was so incredibly helpful, but I was so incredibly spoiled and lazy because of it! Now I am getting back into the “stay at home Mom” groove. Cleaning, feeding and bathing the spawns, activities, and playing with them. I actually feel great about it and I was more than ready to begin transitioning into a new routine.

We’ve made some drastic changes to our diets (Dan and I) because our eating habits were terrible to say the least. So our last haul of groceries was quite different than the usual but it’s been great so far. I only miss my Timmies. I’ve been focusing a lot on my artwork still, trying various types. I’m doing an “art every week” for 52 weeks challenge and haven’t missed a week yet. 😀 (I’m working on week 12 this week!)

All in all, despite my lack of updates, I feel like this has been the best 6 months of my entire life. I feel like my family is complete. We are all content, growing, and learning every single day and I don’t want to miss a second of it. I am sitting now with a home full of sleeping kids, the boys in their beds, Paisley in my lap, and only the ticking of the clock and the clicking of the keys for sound. The quiet is beautiful, but I look forward to the chaos of tomorrow, as I do everyday.

xo