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.

Shy or Anxious?

The last few times I have taken Braden to school, he has really struggled with me leaving. He stands alone on the playground staring at me as I walk away. Of course, my heart will not let me leave when I see him like this, so I turn around and go back, every time. I usually encourage him to find his classmates, talk to some kids he doesn’t know, introduce himself to them, wait for a turn on the slide, etc. He tells me he’d rather stand where he is. Eventually I asked some other child who looked bored and alone if he’d like to go talk to Braden. He did. So I left once I saw them chatting. The stranger boy was chatting happily while Braden stood there looking nervous and confused.

As I walked home I asked myself,  “Did I unintentionally pass my social anxiety on to my son?”.
Since he was young I didn’t really have him out and about around other children. He’s always been used to being around only his Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister. He’s got friends but they aren’t all at school with him. I understand he’s shy and being shy and having social anxiety are not the same thing. So I am trying to gauge which of the two he really is. He seems to get really sad and uncomfortable when he is in social situations, so that makes me lean towards anxiety. However, sometimes he tells me he is fine. Sometimes he flat out says “I’m just shy.”

Regardless, I think school will be good for him. He is slowly coming out of his little shell and I have absolutely learned my lesson. Chase starts school next September, I will absolutely be getting him used to being around other Children well beforehand and the same goes for Paisley. I don’t want to hinder them with my own socially awkward tendencies. Ultimately it’s not fair for me to force my behaviours on them and deprive them of a social life just because I don’t want to leave the house.

Please send positive vibes to Braden as he continues on his journey! 🙂

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

The last few weeks have been…

Dreadfully boring. I find it really difficult to write about the goings on in my life when the goings on consist of mindlessly obsessing over The Sims 4 and eating copious amounts of Ice Cream (Hey, free ice cream for a year, it needs to get eaten some time right?), But today was eventful, well this whole week and a bit really…

A while ago Braden had this assessment for Kindergarten and that was incredibly nerve wracking for me, I think my anxiety has been at it’s peak the last few weeks just thinking about sending him off to school. BY HIMSELF. Ugh. I have never even hired a babysitter before let alone sent him off to be supervised by one man or woman who also happens to be supervising 20 some other 5 year olds. I have a hard enough time with 2 kids, I can only imagine what it is like to deal with like a zillion in one class. But I also can imagine how little individual attention he might get and that frightens me, because I’m selfish. I think he did good in the assessment but honestly, he didn’t want to talk about it. I think that was mostly because it bored him besides being allowed to play with scissors, which we never let him do before that day, now he has his own pair! He chose to tell us about the scissors and the sticker they gave him, but nothing else stood out to him, I guess.

Then there’s Chase! He has gone to a few speech assessments, hearing tests, and the hubby & I went to a program called “Little Talkers” for him. His speech has gotten progressively better and he even had a point when he was assessed that his speech had improved so much that the speech pathologist told us to get lost for 6 months. Well 6 months passed and we had to take him in for another assessment and this time he gets to go to speech therapy for 8 weeks, but she still thinks he has made amazing progress and that makes me so happy. He might actually stop talking like a cute little cave man. “Me love you Mommy!”

And finally, today. Today was a big day because Paisley had her first round of Immunizations and we decided to get two birds stoned at once and book Braden in at the same time for his booster shots before school starts. We were really nervous about Braden getting needles because he’s old enough to know what is happening but still young enough that he wouldn’t really understand how important it was to get it done. He was excited all day about his appointment because we chose not to tell him what was going to happen. The poor kid probably thought it would be like any other doctor’s visit. 😦 Once we got in there, we decided to get his done before Paisley so it wouldn’t scare him away. The nurse was really nice, and he liked her. She asked us if we wanted to get his flu shot while we were there too and of course we said yes. So that meant the poor monster was getting two needles instead of one. He sat quietly on Daddy’s lap who had to hold him in this weird ass arm lock you only ever see in wrestling, and pop. There was the first needle. Braden pouted and looked confused and scared and kept repeating “ow..ow…ow” but he didn’t cry….yet. Once he realized he was getting another needle the tears started flowing, he had a really hard time but once it was over he calmed down in my arms.

Then it was Paisley’s turn and Braden made the mistake of watching. Well when the nurse poked the needle into her leg and she cried, Braden busted out into tears again screeching “Paisleyyyyy!!! You’re hurting her!!”. It broke his little heart to see his baby sister hurting. The second needle pissed Braden off even more than his own I think. He was sobbing and whispering in my ear to tell the nurse to stop. It broke my heart that he was crying, but it warmed my heart to think at such a young age he had such strong feelings of empathy for his baby sister. He got a sticker and when we got home he was spoiled with popcorn, hot chocolate, and cuddles with Mom.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new appointment, as Chase goes in to speech therapy. I’m sure I’ll be back very soon with another update on my boring and sometimes not boring life. xo

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