Life happens in the beautiful negative spaces

negative space

When I initially started this blog, I was determined that I would write every day. I mean, why not? And really, what was the point of it all if I couldn’t commit to writing each and every day, chronicling our daily lives, my thoughts, and whatever else is going on? Even when Harley first came home, I was committed to writing on a daily basis, even if I didn’t always manage. At the start of this year, I decided to try and plan blog entries, to make it easier to write regularly, to write better posts because I’d have the time planned for each one. Of course life doesn’t work like that.

It’s now over a week since my last post. I had a crazy week at work, and then Harley got a stomach bug and that seemed to consume whatever semblance of time and sanity I had left. Oh, and can I mention that I’ve been fighting off a cold as well? As much as I wanted to write here, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. When I did have some consecutive minutes or hours, I wanted to spend them with Dean and Harley, wanted to relax together, to just be together. But when I thought about the fact I hadn’t written here, I felt so bad, felt like such a failure, until I stopped thinking of it negatively, but rather as negative space. Continue Reading

Sleep training, co-sleeping and believing in myself

co-sleeping lie

Sleep. I love it, and I miss my old sleep patterns so much. I’m one of those people who has always loved sleep. I could stay up and party with the best of them, but most of the time I’d be in bed by 10 at night, asleep by 10:30 and happily lie in until eight or nine in the morning (when I didn’t have to go to work, obviously). Then, we had a baby, and all that changed. She hasn’t been a horrible sleeper, but she never did that whole sleep through for 12 hours thing. Ever. The best I’ve ever had is six hours of straight sleep, followed by a few more two to three hour intervals.

Recently, I started reading about night weaning as a means of helping her sleep through the night. But the more I read, the more everyone seemed to say that we had to get her bedtime routine down, that she had to learn how to soothe herself to sleep or she’d always need me to help her fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. While the articles made sense, I simply don’t believe in sleep training. I know it works for people, but I’m adamant that I will never let Harley just cry, that while it might teach her to “self soothe”, it also breaks her trust that I will always make her feel better, that I will always listen when she needs me. Continue Reading

Baby Throne review – Stress-free toilet training

Baby Throne

Harley is now 15 months old, and to be honest, I hadn’t considered even thinking about potty training until she was at least two if not three. It just wasn’t on my radar of things to start doing now – she can’t yet communicate consistently, so how could she tell me when she has to go? And besides, how could she even have the body awareness to know that she has to go? I figured I’d wait and cross that bridge a bit further down the line. 

Then I read this post from the awesome Mandy of Pregnant in Cape Town, and I wanted the Baby Throne. I even entered her competition (I didn’t win). Again, I forgot about it, figuring the time would come when we’d start toilet training and I’d worry about it then. But then I was sent a Baby Throne, and it is truly a remarkable piece of tech that has already started to save me time, energy and nappies. Continue Reading

Being the bigger person, and its side effects

bigger person

Life isn’t fair. I often wish it was, and I try to be as fair as possible, but it seems that several times for week (and sometimes per day) I’m reminded just how unfair life is. The hardest working people don’t always get the promotion. The assholes don’t always get what’s coming to them and the kindest most generous people can get dread diseases or struck down in their prime. Even in our own relationships, things aren’t always (ever?) fair. Which is why we all teach our kids to be the bigger person, or at least, I hope other people are teaching their kids that, too.

I remember being taught it in some ways. Being taught not to stoop to other people’s levels, to take the higher path, to be the bigger person. If someone is a bully, don’t bully them back but rather understand where they’re coming from, assert yourself and then move on. Don’t hold a grudge or dwell on past slights, but move forward. It’s like that Michelle Obama quote, “When they go low, we go high”, and it’s an important lesson that applies to more than bullies, but just those who go low in general. But there’s a sad side effect of it, too. Continue Reading

“Be Careful” – a phrase I’m avoiding

careful

I have never broken a bone (knock on wood and all that). I haven’t even sprained an ankle or dislocated a shoulder. The closest I’ve come is jammed fingers from playing basketball in high school, which led me to quit the basketball team so that it wouldn’t get in the way of my piano playing. During a farm trip, I jumped off the hay loft, but only the lowest rung. As I got older, I enjoyed some thrill seeking behavior, but I was always very aware of risks and really rather careful. And it’s something I’m very aware of while raising Harley to be a confident, brave little girl.

Let’s be clear, though – I was very brave and confident when it came to intellectual or emotional pursuits. I had no issue raising my hand in class, even if I wasn’t 100% sure of my answer. I’d audition for lead roles in plays, jump at opportunities to do public speaking, and dive heart first into relationships. I wasn’t overly careful in those regards, but when it came to physical feats, I wasn’t even willing to hang upside down from the jungle bars on the playground. Part of that is because I was very aware of the risk of getting hurt, or embarrassing myself, and I wanted to stay safe instead. Now, as a parent, I’m trying to figure out the line between healthy risk taking and safety. Continue Reading