Sunday, November 29, 2009

New issue of urbanbaby & toddler now available

The Winter 2009-10 issue of urbanbaby & toddler magazine is out! Featuring the 2009 Cover Photo Contest winner and an interview with high-profile Canadian mommy Mary Jo Eustace. Pick up a copy at your local community centre, public library, or Safeway store. Or, read it all online at

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Muppets do Bohemian Rhapsody

My sister sent me a link to this hilarious Muppet-tastic version of Bohemian Rhapsody. You must watch. Monster, we love you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A mother stripped of her pride!

A recent scene involving my four-year-old daughter Lauren, myself and a family friend.

Lauren: Thank you for the present...

Me: (Looking on, beaming because Lauren had just thanked the person who had given her a water bottle as a gift, without any prompting) Good job, Lauren!

Lauren: (Continuing to the gift-giver)...but it's not very much fun!

Cue the wah-wah-wah music (signifying the limpification of my pride).

Pregnant Leanne: Week 25 - Sexy mama?

November 24, 2009: Week 25 of pregnancy

So as you know, I’m on the smaller side as pregnant women go. Evidence suggests that in certain outfits and on dark nights you can’t even tell. In my own mind however, I’m very pregnant. So pregnant in fact, that the idea of a man hitting on me is deeply disturbing. I’ve read that a lady never feels so "womanly" as when she is pregnant. If by "womanly" they mean "round," then, yes, I feel very womanly. But womanly as in sexy? NOPE. Case in point: I was innocently grocery shopping a few weeks back (in daylight...!) when a random man complimented me in the soup aisle and tried to strike up a conversation. Come on, man! I’m going to be a mother! I said, in my head. Gross.

Just this week, on a dark and stormy night, I was walking to my car from the gym and a pair of guys thought it fit to comment on my "hot bod." Too late, boys, someone already beat you to it! I mean really! "Hot bod?" Pervs. I’m amazed that the attention that I used to find amusing pre-pregnancy, I now find a tad offensive. I do realize (boys will be boys after all) that the focal point is likely my huge mom-to-be boobs and not my baby belly but still, I’m going to be a mother!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pregnant Leanne: Week 24 - Yawn...

November 17, 2009: Week 24 of pregnancy

Sleep. I’m trying to remember when I last slept through the night and attempting to forecast when I will again.

I think my little embryo settled right onto my bladder immediately following conception and I don’t expect to see a full eight hours again until my little human can make its own toast! Is this peeing every two hours thing a form of baby boot camp? Am I being trained for 3 am feedings now? Sadly, I don’t get to be a mama zombie during the day quite yet and actually have to function and drive and do payroll. Plus this little baby is kicking and I suspect making snow angels, as soon as I settle down to sleep. Isn’t that fun?

I’ll admit I’m starting to find comfort in the movements, but then that is "Day-time Leanne’s" thoughts. "Night-time Leanne" is not so charitable. "Night-time Leanne" would prefer to sleep on her stomach but this seems to really get the uterine party started.

My solution? I’ve purchased THE best pregnancy pillow ever. It’s shaped like a molar so I’m supported and cuddled from all sides. A small consolation for what is the beginning of a lifetime of compromises.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What this Mommy knows for sure

You know that question that Oprah always asks her guests: What do you know for sure? I have often wondered what I would answer if asked that question. Until now, I couldn't think of anything.

My son has been sick for a long time and he has gone through too many medical procedures to remember. Countless needles; IVs; bowel flushes; drug therapies; hot compresses; surgeries; tubes up the nose, down the throat and into the stomach -- through it all, I had always felt one thing: helpless.

But during the most recent round of treatments, I discovered that I am not helpless at all. After a treatment that left my son crying and screaming, something miraculous happened. As I wrapped my arms around him, folding him into me, he breathed a deep and heavy sigh and his body slowly stopped heaving, and he was just...calm.

I remember, when both my children were just babies -- how they'd howl when someone else carried them. And I remember how very proud and useful I felt when all I had to do was hold them in my arms and they'd nestle into me as if to say, "I'm home now."

What do I know for sure? That no one can soothe, comfort and love my children better than I can.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My sick child

So, my son is home from the hospital and we are thrilled to resume our normal schedule. Happy he is well enough to be here. But last night, a sobbing Benjamin came into my bedroom at 12 midnight complaining of extreme itchiness. I turned on the light and lifted up his pajama top only to see new blistering lesions on his chest, back, bum and legs.

I wanted to cry. I still do.

The oncologist said we should see her first thing on Monday. If the lesions are still forming, despite the surgery to remove the mass that ultimately is the cause of it, as well as the IVIG pre-surgery, we will move quickly to step 2: drug therapy. He will get doses of rituximab via IV. It will shut down his immune system.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bringing my boy home from the hospital

Today, my son Benjamin is getting discharged from the hospital after surgery on Monday to remove the mass in his pelvic cavity. The surgeon considered the operation a success, having been able to remove most of the mass (he said it was not possible to take all of it out without causing damage to other organs). So there is a possibility, as there was the first time the surgery was done, for regrowth.

Benjamin has lesions but they look like they're subsiding due to the intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) he received prior to surgery. We are praying that the surgery and the IVIG will do the trick and put this disease to rest for good.

He has been very diligent to follow the doctor's orders to stand up and walk by today in order to gain discharge. I have to admit that I dangled a sushi dinner to motivate him. It seems to have worked.

I can't wait until he comes home today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Who needs to bond with baby? Just stay connected via umbilical cord.

I have discovered a practice called "lotus births" and am kind of repulsed by it. Do you know what a lotus birth is? It's not a mainstream thing, and is apparently practised mostly in homebirths. Here's what I found about this practice.

According to Wikipedia, it is:
Lotus birth, or umbilical nonseverance, is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord attached to both the baby and the placenta following birth, without clamping or severing, and allowing the cord the time to detach from the baby naturally. In this way the baby, cord and placenta are treated as a single unit until detachment occurs
And according to website Lotus Fertility, this is why it's done:

Q: Why bother to question cord-cutting protocols? Why change family traditions?

A: Care providers and parents who have experienced Lotus Birth babies observe that they are demonstrably more relaxed and peaceful babies who do not manifest the common (and stressful to baby and mother) 1 lb. newborn weight loss and breastfeeding jaundice that is associated with the first week of life after "normal" birth's cord cutting, particularly cord cutting within an hour of birth. These observations have yet to be studied by university hospital pediatrics, though hospital lotus births have taken place in Australia. Needless to say, a beneficial impact on child and family development is what motivates the exploration of non-severance options.
Maybe it's just me, but the thought of leaving my baby attached by umbilical cord to the placenta until the cord dries and naturally breaks off, puts my gag reflex into action. The stench alone...! The drying and detaching would take days. So, where do you put the dangling placenta in the meantime? Just leave it waving out in the air? Snap it to the side of baby's onesie?

Would you ever consider a lotus birth?