I knew I wanted Harley to start swimming classes as early as possible. I will be writing a whole lot more about that in the future – why I thought it was important, how it’s going, and of course a run down of the cool developmental impact swimming can have on a little one. However, before we could get in the water together, we had to sort out one of her most basic issues. She is by no means potty trained, or even close to being ready for potty training, so I needed to find a swimming nappy solution. Thankfully, the awesome people from Bambino Mio sent me one to try out.
I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I’ve only used disposable nappies thus far. I had grand ideas of using cloth nappies before Harley was born, but when she came so prem and we had to use those size zero Huggies because they were the only thing that fit her tiny little bum… well, I just knew I wasn’t going to go back from my awesome disposable nappies that I can forget about once they are dirty. So a cloth swimming nappy? How would that go? Surprisingly, really well.
The conflict in Syria is serious business. It’s devastating, leading to thousands of deaths and displaced people. While the debate rages in Europe and America about refugees and who we do or do not want in a country, our humanity is being tested. I remember being a fairly young kid during the crisis in former Yugoslavia, and Elie Wiesel went to see the camps there, then “the latest holocaust”. He went to shed light on the plight of people anywhere in the world – whenever we stop seeing a group of people as our own, there will always be horror and death. The latest dehumanized group seems to be anyone from the Middle East, or probably better put, any muslim. Omran Daqneesh changes that.
During recent political talks with my mom, or with anyone really although she and I talk about it the most often, we are shocked at the current political situation in America. But then we look back, and can point to any period of time when even great presidents did awful things. Just look at FDR turning back a ship packed with jews during WWII, sending them back to certain death. He was an amazing president, but that was a terrible decision. A decision that Europe and America are making all over again, this time with Syrians. But this isn’t a post about politics. This is about a scared little boy who breaks my heart into tiny little pieces.
Until I started this parenting journey, I had no idea about midline crossing. I’d heard about it occasionally in other contexts, but I didn’t really understand what it was or why it mattered. I remember talking about it with my mom what feels like forever ago, when Harley first started at TopTots, and even though she has a degree in early childhood education, she was also pretty in the dark about it all. It’s relatively new research, so your parents, in-laws or even teachers might not be aware of it, but ask any occupational therapist about it, and they will rave about how important it is. So, here’s a bit about the whole midline business, and why it’s such a big deal, as well as some ways that I’m encouraging Harley to do it as much as possible.
First up, the what. The main one people talk about is crossing your left-right midline. Imagine a line drawn down the center of your body, dividing your left and right sides. Other midline crossing that is often encouraged is the front to back line, as well as the top to bottom line. For the first, imagine lying down and being sliced in half as if you were making a sandwich, while with the second imagine the typical way that a magician would pretend to slice an assistant in half. Okay, so now you know where the lines are, but why do they matter?
I live in a complex. It’s not ideal, but it’s a pretty nice place to stay. It was great as a first home for me and Dean, and while it’s getting pretty small now, at least it’s safe, and nicely run. We bought our unit seven years ago now, and four years ago I became a trustee so that I could keep tabs on the estate and make sure our investment was being well taken care of. A couple years later, some real rabble rousers started to get involved, and our then chairman who had managed the complex for almost a decade decided it was better to sell his unit and get out than to stay on. He advised me to do the same. I planned on resigning from the trustee board, but instead got roped into becoming the chairperson (yeah, don’t ask me how that happened).
After a year as chair, a whole new trustee board was elected and it seemed okay. We had a new chairperson (thankfully, seeing as I hated being the chair), and things continued on. Our estate even managed to install fiber, which is really all I ever wanted anyway. But now it seems like chaos reigns supreme, with all sorts of secret meetings, backstabbing, scheming and nepotism. Is this just what all trustee boards and home owners associations become?
I came across an interesting blog yesterday. In it Hayley asks if everyone else is spending a fortune feeding their families, and she described her monthly shopping. It sounded almost exactly like my shopping, and I’ve been wondering the same thing – Dean and I live a comfortable life, but I keep finding that our money is getting tighter and tighter and the majority of our spending seems to go towards food. I’ve been paying closer attention because of an article I’m going to write as part of Harassed Mom‘s series called “What we ate this week” (I promise I will answer your questions soon, Laura!). We really spend a lot just to eat these days.
Part of it is, yes, takeaways or going out to eat. But surprisingly, that’s not as big a thing as I imagined. We might go without cooking once or twice in the week, but for the most part we cook our food. Plus, I like to think that I’m pretty smart with how we shop. I tend to buy our meat once, or maybe twice in the month online from a fantastic butcher who delivers. Their prices are really reasonable and the quality of the meat is great. Plus, I order all the things in 500 gram or 1kg portions, so it’s already nicely divided – just throw it in my deep freezer and pull out what I need, as and when I need it; just the right amount for dinner at night and my breakfast and lunch of leftovers. The rest of our food usually comes from the two local stores – PicknPay and Woolies.