Archive for March, 2010

Maybe I Could Have a Do-Over…?

I often wish I could go back and start raising my kids all over again. You know, right from the delivery room all the way through until now. A do over. I would love to have a second chance to avoid the mistakes I’ve made with my children thus far, and implement all the wonderful ideas I never got around to accomplishing the first time. What would I do differently you ask…well….

1. Immediate Epidural with J –  that’s right, I don’t believe we get any awards, nor do our offspring give two hoots whether gave birth to them with or without drugs. I suffered immensely and actually about 12 hours longer than necessary b/c of my stubborn refusal to take an epidural. Once I had received it, labour moved swiftly and painlessly. And frankly, I consider a vaginal birth as “natural” as can be but I don’t deny that I used several types of pain management drugs and finally an spinal epidural. My son came out healthy and he and I were both safe so whether or not I had an epidural; I still count it as a natural birth, anyone who disagrees can label their own birth experience anyway they like.

2. Make J sleep in his crib right from the start – spending his first 2 weeks in the incubator gave my little lamb a comfortable cocoon feeling, such that, when placed in the “giant crib” he had difficulty sleeping comfortably. Our solution was to allow him to fall asleep in the swing or car seat, and then we would move him to his crib where he would happily wake up unaware that he had been transferred in the night. Unfortunately when he became too large to sleep or even sit in the swing, we had a terrible time getting him to fall asleep in the crib. Lesson learned, baby #2 ALWAYS went into the crib awake and fell asleep!

3. Spanking –  As our oldest is a Strong-willed child in the first degree, we found the use of spanking when he was little a necessary part of attempting to discipline him. Although I believe that the Lord gives us the authority and right to spank our children in a loving and controlled manner, I don’t believe that this is always an effective and successful choice for all children. It certainly had little affect on J, and we eventually stopped implementing this form of punishment because it seemed to be more causing more problems rather than solving them. Given a chance to do it again, I would not use corporal punishment again.

4.Work from home – A couple of years ago, I was offered a job that involved researching, editing and writing content for a website. This was a part-time job that required me to work a little every day, entirely from home and according to my schedule. In theory. As much as I loved the people I worked with and found the job stimulating and enjoyable, it became overwhelming and occupied far too much of my time. I found my career as a “stay-at-home-mom-working-from-home” became a “working-mom-at-home-sometimes-noticing-the-kids sort of career! Not cool. Whether the job itself was too demanding for what I could offer, or whether I am simply not very good at organizing and balancing my time, I am not sure. I do however regret allowing any job to consume me and keep me from spending time with my little ones, which of course is the whole reason I stayed home in the first place.

5. Baby Book – Here is where my shameful secret comes to light. I have no baby books for my children. There, I said it, too late to take it back. The truth is, I am not very good at following things through. Ever. The truth is that I started a Winnie the Pooh baby book for J and only made it through a couple of the first pages that mark the early milestones. I also started a scrapbook for G  (because by the time she came along, no one was doing baby books anymore, it was ALL about scrapping and stamping!) with about 5 fully finished pages of cropped photos, funky decorative trim and carefully printed journalling under each image. Yeah, I would definately maybe do a proper memory book for my children if I could do it all over again.

6. Baby Videos – So with my oldest, we had a video camera, a fairly big camera compared to tiny credit card size video cameras around today. It was a wonderful gift from my parents to help us chronicle the amazing  movements and gassy smiles of our firstborn, as well as a way to help keep grandparents engaged as we live about an hour apart. We took videos of every bath given, mess pooped, grin smiled, toy broken, shelf trashed, book ripped, wall coloured, yogurt spilled, tantrum thrown, pool splashed, sleep dreamed, jolly jumped and bite taken….but just with the first one. Why not videos of baby G you ask? Well the answer is as simple as it is embarrasing; our camera broke a couple of months before she was born.  The battery pack died and we had to plug it in so we could use it, and with the onset of wireless and camera phones, it was sort of embarrassing to lug this big camera around looking for an outlet just so we could catch a glimpse of her ladyship picking her lovely little nose. Fortunately for her and any future episode of “Gigi the E True Hollywood Story”, we purchased a digital camera so there are thousands of photographs of every stage of her life for the last 4 years. Future fans will simply have to take our word for the fact that she could speak.

I fear the list of things I would do differently as a Mother is quite likely longer than the list of things I consider myself to have successfully accomplished. I think that is the nature of mothers, to look back through our personal history and second guess ourselves at every turn, so I will stop my list here for now. Besides I have some photographs to sort through, maybe I can upload them and make some sort of home video out of them…

Galactic Discrepancies

My children LOVE all the Star Wars movies. My son specifically is absolutely smitten with the whole franchise, to the extent that every time we are trying to explain something to him, he finds a way to equate each element of the conversation to an event in one of the 6 Star Wars movies. “So you mean like the time the Chancellor was trying to convince Anakin to turn to the Dark Side and he became uglier and sicker, that’s what happens to us when we hold on to angry feelings?”

I remember the “orginial movies” with fond memories and have throroughly enjoyed sharing the Ewoks, Chewbacca, a handsome Harrison Ford and R2D2 with my kids. Unfortunately, for me, the family bonding has been somewhat marred by the blatant inconsistencies in the sequence of the 6 episodes. I realize that The Phantom Menace (TPM), The Clone Wars (TCW) and The Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) were made 30 years after the older A New Hope (ANH), The Empire Strikes Back(TESB) and The Return of the Jedi (ROTJ); which of course means that they will be considerably more impressive technically and in the area of special effects. But in watching all 6 I have come to the realization that there was little attempt made to even try avoiding the inconsistencies.

Although I am sure that there have been hundreds of notes and article written about this very topic in the world of fantasy and galactic novelty, it’s on my mind right now and since I have a minute, I thought I would share the things that I find most irritating about the “New vs. Old” Star Wars movies.

1. Princess Leia tells Luke that she remembers her Mother as being beautiful…but at the end of The Revenge of the Sith (ROTS), Queen Amidala dies giving birth.

2. Luke Skywalker was born at the end of ROTS and at the beginning of ANH he is merely a teenager; yet Obiwan has aged several decades. Anakin was very young when he turned to Darth Vader but at the end of the ROTS, yet Luke sees his father without a mask while he is dying and he is clearly more than 20 years older than he was when he put the mask on.

3. IN TPM little Anakin is friends with Padme, maidservant to Queen Amidala. Later in the next movie we find him meeting Queen Amidala again and she is referred to as Padme, with no explanation as to why she was pretending to be a servant in the first movie, even when he tried to say goodbye to his “friend Padme” and Queen Amidala said she would pass on the message when Padme returned…weird.

4. In TPM, Anakin leaves his droid C3PO with his mother when he leaves with Qui Gon for Jedi training. And yet, somehow C3PO ends up in the care of Princess Leia at the beginning of ANH.

5. At the end of ROTS, ObiWan and Yoda decide to hide the children from Darth Vader and the Emperor, and yet they choose to keep his last name as “Skywalker”, doesn’t really seems like a very good idea.

6. How do Yoda  and the Jedi council know everything about everyone; and yet have no idea that Anakin is slipping to the dark side, that Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith, Anakin is married to Padme and she is super-sized pregnant>>>?

7. In TPM, Darth Maul and Darth Sidious are discussing that they will “At last have (their) revenge”, but their is no explanation as to why they are seekign revenge against the Jedi Council.  Also if the Sith come in pairs, why does Darth Sidious have Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Anakin as his apprentices all within the space of one movie?

8. Why did ObiWan and Luke Skywalker both “have to face Darth Vader”? Why was that necessary? I don’t understand.

9. When Luke and ObiWan received the SOS message from Princess Leia through R2D2 and decided to go to Alderaan, why didn’t ObiWan mention that Luke had a sister and that this was her? According to the final scenes in ROTS, ObiWan was part of the decision to split Padme and Anakin’s twins and he would presumably have knowledge of the family she was placed with…and yet he didn’t seem to make the connection in ANH. 

10. Why does Chewbacca have such a connected friendship with Yoda in the ROTS and heavily involved with the resistance movement and yet in movies 4, 5, 6 he appears to have no knowledge of the Jedi or personal interest in anything but making money with Han Solo?

I am positive that there have been other inconsistancies and issues throughout the 6 movies and specifically occuring in the gap between Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) and A New Hope (ANH). If I have missed things that have irritated or confused you also, please feel free to leave them here in a comment, as I’m sure somthing you catch will spark my memory! Thanks for bearing with me through my little rant….may the force be with you! 😉

Literally Speaking…

“I’m going to run out and start the car, just watch your sister and I’ll be right back.” Simply enough instruction right? I guess, unless you are a very literal 4 year old. I came back in the house in time to see my 1year old baby more than half way up the stairs to the second floor. “What is going on, I thought I asked you to watch her?” I said. The answer? “But Mommy, I AM watching her…I’m watching her go up the stairs!”

“Take the toys downstairs” I feel like this one is self explanatory, how could a child not understand this instruction? We have a huge play area in the basement filled with toys, books and puzzles etc . And yet as I just tripped on the pile of Polly Pockets at the bottom of the stairs and lay face up on the cement floor with a basket of dirty laundry underneath my back, I realize that my littlest child has taken my instruction literally and has left her toys “downstairs”…right at the bottom of those stairs!

“Get rid of the stuff in the living room” Now when I say “get rid of” of course that is Mom-Speak for, put the toys in the toy box, garbage in the garbage can, shoes at the front door, pillows on the couch and dishes in the sink. However what I end up getting is toys and books stuffed behind the lazy boy in the living room and all dishes and paper garbage shoved behind the basement door!

“Hurry up or I’m going to leave you in the car!”  This one usd to be an effective threat to achieve compliance from defiant children. Unfortunately the last time I pulled this threat out I was surprised at his response, “Ok, that’s better, I didn’t want to go into the store anyways!” Oops. Now what?

“Yes you can taste the cookies, just don’t eat the whole bag.” I figured that my daughter was smart enough to catch the sarcasm in my voice. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that perhaps my sarcasm is lost on the children when I found the nearly empty bag and heard “What’s wrong Mommy? There’s still ONE left!”

We’re leaving in a minute“. My little ones will chomp at the bit, driving me crazy if I tell them we are going to the park and we’ll be leaving in a minute. My husband also has trouble not taking this one literally. When I say that we are leaving in a minute of course I mean that we will be leaving sometime in the next 20-30 minutes. After I get my purse, get my jacket on, my shoes on, put the dog in the cage, pack a snack, check my blood sugar, make a coffee-to-go, find my keys, answer one last email, get the children pottied, dressed and in the car.

Of course the most famous of which is, “stop touching your sister!”…I’m not touching her! *with finger pointed 1 cm from her face*…well at least they are listening…literally.

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