Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting sick

I used to think I had it bad when I got sick. Everyone does, right? After all, your head is pounding, you feel nauseous, or you are totally sapped of energy. Or all of the above, which is how I feel right now.

I used to know nothing. Little did I appreciate being able to call in sick to work and lay down on the couch with a hot tea. I could watch movies or sleep if need be.

Getting sick when you are a stay at home mom is a totally different ballgame. The kids don't let you call in sick. If you are really really sick, you might be able to get your spouse to stay home. But otherwise, suck it up, take some advil and deal.

Forget laying down. Spud seems to take offense of anyone laying down in his vicinity. (Perhaps that is related to his hatred of going to sleep.) He'll push on your head and do everything he can to make you sit up. Once you're sitting, he undoubtably wants to pull you off in one direction or another.

Sweetpea is still basically a newborn (I don't know for sure what age they are considered newborn until). She could care less if I am exhausted, she needs to eat. This time, I fought a serious battle to make breastfeeding work and that means I am the only one that can feed her, day or night. She also inheritated some of the anti-sleep genes that her brother has, so she can't seem to go to sleep unless she is being walked around or at least bounced on the exercise ball.

Meanwhile, Spud seems to be teething, so he is cranky. REALLY cranky. Waking up from his nap, he threw a fit. When I pick Sweetpea up, he throws a fit. Yet, for some reason, he has started taking offense to her being put in her swing, so... wait for it... he throws a fit. He wants to hold her, then he pushes her away.

Really, none of this is abnormal behaviour for my (or anyone else's) children. The difference is, I just want to curl up on my couch with a tea. And that's not an option.

How little I appreciated being sick before.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I hate Canada post

Right now, I am really hating Canada post.

"Canada Post has served notice that it intends to raise the price of a basic stamp to 54 cents from 52 cents, starting in January.
The Crown corporation is also proposing to double the cost of mailing large envelopes, like the ones widely used in online shopping.
The cost of mailing a package weighing 500 grams would rise to $5.50 from $2.25."

(source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081022.wpostalhike1022/BNStory/National/home)

Yes folks, that means that small businesses like myself may have to double their shipping costs in order to stay in business.

Now what's my beef, you may ask? I pass that cost on to my customers anyways. Very true. However, my biggest problem with this is that American sellers can send packages into Canada for less then I can. What a great way to encourage people to buy within Canada.

I understand and accept that it should cost me more to send internationally. Because of this, international customers are likely to have a preference to buy within their own country. Fair enough. Some of them still buy from me, but I understand if they choose not to. However, as a Canadian resident, I should have a slight advantage within Canada when it comes to the cost of shipping. Not so.

When I started my clippie business, I intended to have it be a clippie and bow business. That is, until I found out more about Canada post. While clippies can go in padded envelopes, bows would have to go in boxes to not get crushed. It would cost me about $6 to mail a small light box to the States and about $8 within Canada. Meanwhile, an american seller can send a 200 gram box (pretty standard weight for a few bows) to CANADA for a mere $2.86. Pretty hard for me to compete when I have to charge 2-3 times as much for shipping.

So I accepted the fact that everything I sold would have to fit into a padded envelope, and be less then 2 cm thick to fit through the "slot of doom".

Now, Canada post is going to double the cost for me to mail these padded envelopes.

So much for any kind of a level playing field...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have an obsession

I love pretty things. Even as a little girl, I loved to have things simply because they are pretty. My mother once described me as a crow because of this. I just like to collect things and put them in my nest.

Now my obsession has become ribbon. A part of me wonders if I started this clippie business because I wanted an excuse to collect more pretty things. Here is my latest order of ribbon.

There's red and pink, blue, orange and green. I have more of my favourite lollipop ribbon and more colours of it. Pink and blue denim. Two of the boxed sets of ribbon that have such lovely prints.

Yes, I am obsessed. I won't tell you how many hundreds of dollars I have spent on ribbon in the last few months. This order is only a part of it. After all, you might tell my husband. But, rest assured, it will all be put to good use.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I became one of those mothers...

Today I became one of those mothers that other mothers raise their eyebrows at. Oh, the incompetence...

I was at the nearby malls play place today with Spud and Sweetpea. Now, Sweetpea is generally a passive observer in our adventures since her main activities still consist of eating, sleeping and pooping. In the last couple of weeks though, she has also started to smile alot.

So, Spud was climbing one of the structures. (A far better climber then he ought to be at 19 months.) Sweetpea was sitting in her bucket seat in front of me giving me one of her heartmelting smiles. I took a moment to coo and smile back at Sweetpea and when I looked up, Spud was no longer there. No worries, he probably just headed back to the tunnel he was at a moment earlier. Nope, not there either.

My heart started to beat a bit faster as I looked around for him. After what felt like an eternity (but was probably no more then a few seconds), I look towards the entrance, and there he is, gazing into the vast expanse of the mall. I call out his name and he looks back at me, waves, and takes off. The parents standing around the entrance part way for him to go through while looking on dissaprovingly. I rush over (while carrying Sweetpea in the bucket seat) and have to ask one of the ladies (who had moved aside without being asked, for Spud) to get out of my way. He doesn't get far before he is apprehended and brought back. (Only to take off again a few minutes later, which brought an end to our play time.)

Now throughout all this, there are many raised eyebrows and "tsk tsk"s.

And so, I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies to all the mothers and fathers I have "tsk tsk"ed in the past. I am sorry I let out that sigh as your son grabbed the chocolate bar. I realize I was out of line when I gave you a look for not controlling your temper tantruming daughter. I even understand why you just bought that that toy rather then having a full out fight in the middle of the store. I did not know.

I think a harness is in Spud's future. I can just see the looks already...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unwarranted advice

It's cold in Calgary today. And when I say cold, I only mean it's the kind of cold that we complain about and bundle up for in the fall. When we get days with this temperature after the winter, you'll see people wearing shorts. In other words, it was about 5 degrees with a fairly nasty wind.

Now, I have a toddler that goes crazy if he doesn't get to spend time outside. I also had to make a trip to the post office. I figured it would be fine to walk, so I stuck Spud in the stroller and Sweetpea in my wrap and embarked on the approximately 20 minute walk. (While I could have let Spud walk, that would have made it into an hour long walk.)

As I am nearing my destination, the wind picks up and a little bit of rain (snow?) starts to fall.

I pass a man who is walking with a (around) 9 year old boy. (Who, I might add, only has a light jacket, and no hat).

He looks at me and says "what are you doing out here in this weather?" to which I cheerfully respond, "it's good for all of us to get outside." He looks at me with a scornful look and tells me "you have a little one. She's too young to be out in this weather." Now, I am trying very hard to stay polite. I give a little laugh and tell him that she's only too young if she isn't dressed for it.

I mean, this is Calgary. We're in Canada, buddy. Do you expect to have palm trees and drink margaritas by the pool year round? The weather is going to drop to MINUS 30 at some point. Quite frankly, I am not prepared to spend half the year inside simply because the mercury goes below 10.

Sweetpea was bundled up better then anyone. She was in the wrap, which puts her right against all my body heat. My coat was done up over top of her. The only part of her protruding (and the only reason he could even tell there was a baby girl there) is her head. That head was covered in a warm, cozy fleece hat.

And hello? Hypocrite? His son (or child in his care) was very ill prepared for the weather.

I could have told him all this, but I didn't. Since I having my children, I am learning that there are times you just have to keep your mouth shut. Smile and nod. Smile and nod...

Why is it that perfect strangers feel the need to give advice to you simply because you have children?

And just for the record, here's a couple pictures of the (very cute) hat that Sweetpea had on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Going on a pumpkin hunt

This weekend, we took Spud on a pumpkin hunt at a local commercial farm, butterfield acres. The idea of it was that we go to the farm, go for a ride on wagon pulled by a tractor, find a hidden pumpkin, decorate it and then go pet the animals.

Spud is a toddler. Apparently someone didn't give him the agenda, because he wasn't that good at doing things the way they were planned.

Upon arriving at the farm and getting our tickets, we headed over to the playground to wait for our time slot to come. For the most part, he liked running around in the leaves, but there was a slide there that he absolutely loved. It was much faster then the ones at the playgrounds we go to. A 5 year old got off of it terrified, but not my little guy. He went down over and over again.

After a little bit of play on the playground, it came time to head over and listen to the pre-trip announcements. We headed to the "hoe-down stage" and listened to the safety talk. Spud had more fun playing on the hay bales and trying to pick up the giant pumpkin.

We then went on a wagon ride to go for the pumpkin hunt. Spud LOVED the wagon ride and was completely enamored with the tractor. So much so that when we arrived where the pumpkins were hidden, he didn't care about the pumpkins and just wanted to stay on the wagon.

Unfortunately, by the time we got him away from the wagon, most of the pumpkins had been claimed. It seems they only put out the exact number for how many children there are, and another child had claimed 2. Fortunately, Spud didn't care about the pumpkins and would rather run around in the leaves.

We did convince him to take a bit of interest in it.

Although he wasn't too sure about the decorating part.

In the end, we did get a toddler masterpiece. One without the "parental help" that many others received.

Once the pumpkin was decorated, it was time to explore the farm. He liked looking at the animals, but was a little nervous when he went in the parts where he could actually pet them.

Ultimately, Spud was more interested in the farm equipment, the playground and a dandelion that he found.

Throughout the whole experience, Sweetpea stayed nice and snug in the wrap. (See her cute Halloween clippie? HazelsZippyClippies.etsy.com)

Ultimately, it was a good experience. Butterfield acres claims to be the "real farm experience" and I can't say it was really that. The pumpkin hunt felt a little bit like an assembly line experience, as they really tried to rush us through. But we had fun. I think we'll do it again in a couple of years, once Spud and Sweetpea are both old enough to care a little more about the pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

4:00 AM

I am starting to really dislike the hours of 4 - 6 am. The reason I dislike them is because those are hours when I should be asleep, but lately have been awake.

The last week, Sweetpea has been waking up around 4:00 to eat. Now, I accept the fact that she is going to wake up during the night to eat. She is only 6.5 weeks old and when you decide to become a parent, you sign up for that. However, I would really like it if, after eating, she would go back to sleep. But she doesn't. She has wide open eyes and simply won't settle and fusses and cries when I lay her down or even lay down with her.

Somehow I was blessed with 2 children that just don't sleep well.

Now, maybe it's my fault. My parenting style has been described as attachment parenting. While I am hesitant to use the label, there are definetely aspects of it that I can't deny I follow. One of those is that I won't leave my children to cry it out.

So, here I sit, with my baby in a wrap, bouncing up and down on an exercise ball while I add an entry to my blog. Meanwhile, I know that my husband is upstairs sleeping in Spud's bed with him, because he woke up a couple hours ago and wouldn't go back to sleep without a cuddle.

Surely the day will come when both of my children sleep through the night. It has to. I'm just not holding my breath expecting it soon.