What I’m learning from my kids

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I know the concept of what my children have taught me is pretty overdone. I mean, a lot of it goes without saying, right? Love, of course. Patience … not yet, but I’m working on it. Imagination and finding a sense of humour in life, without a doubt. But maybe more superficially then all that, I’ve been thinking about some things that my children have taught me on a practical level, in ways that have actually helped me in day to day life. And it’s stuff that is very specific to their personalities. Continue reading

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Birthday wishes and cupcakes

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I can’t tell you how happy I am that it’s February. More importantly: January is over. What a slog that month was. I normally don’t come down so hard after the high of the holidays, but that’s just where I am I guess. You’ve been hearing about my potty-training struggles. I had no idea I would find potty-training actively depressing, but it’s seemed to have that effect. Or maybe more anxiety-causing. I spent the first week that X was out of diapers in a constant state of near-panic. I know, I need to just relax a bit, right? It turns out that I’m just a worrier, and everything is going very well, and we’re all very happy and getting used to peeing somewhere other than our pants. (This house has been accident-free for 8 days!) The sun appears to be wanting to shine again, both literally and figuratively, and I’m looking forward to what spring brings us.  Continue reading

Sleighbells jingling and Christmas crafts

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‘Tis the season for Christmas crafts! Okay, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve make a Christmas craft since my macaroni and glitter days of yore, but X is actually really into art right now. I got him his first paint set and he loves it! He’s also super clean, which is both surprising and fantastic. I can leave him alone with his paint and a piece of paper, and come back later to find a masterpiece on the paper and only on the paper. How many two-year-olds can do that? (I actually have no idea. Is this normal? I initially thought this was going to be the messiest project ever, but now it’s a great easy way to pass a rainy afternoon.)

Since X wants to be all artful, I also indulged in buying some craft supplies. My favourite is a cordless hot glue gun (with light!) that makes me feel like I am a total crafter, even though this really is my first time ever doing anything like this. But a lot of crafts I’ve seen that look super cute entail a glue gun, so I went for it. Continue reading

Adorable babies and Pavlik harnesses

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Sometimes, as a parent, you feel like you are just nailing it. Last week was one of those weeks for me. E got another ultrasound of her hips, and they have developed just fine, so she no longer has hip dysplasia. She still has to wear her evil harness, which irritates the hell out of me, but I’d much rather be irritated than worried about her (more on that below). Xander started preschool, and is killing it there. He already has the teachers wrapped around his manipulative, charming little finger and I’ve witnessed him rallying the kids to break the rules already (of course, he wasn’t the one to get caught). I have a little leader there, I must help him learn to use his powers for good rather than evil. E started eating solids and loves it all. She doesn’t even make a mess she’s so desperate to ensure every last morsel ends up in her mouth. And X had his first live-action experience on the potty. We were both equally shocked, actually. To be honest, I think it sort of disgusted X, as he has no inclination to ever do it again. But at least he did it once. Continue reading

Soup Diet Revised

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Once again, it’s time for me to face facts: it’s going to be awhile before I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. As with after having X, I find myself still surprised by how much weight I have to lose. I was SOOO much more careful this time around. I gained the recommended healthy amount of weight I’m supposed to gain (albeit on the high end, but I actually felt like I was dieting during the pregnancy. So hungry. But the Euro OBs are way more harsh about this. I was told I would feel hungry the entire time and that meant I was probably eating the right amount). It’s clear to me that I’m one of those women who just gains a lot of weight during pregnancy. To be honest, I almost wish I had just gone nuts again. At least I would have enjoyed myself at some point.

The truth is, pregnancy is really really hard on the body. It’s two months later and I’m still recovering, still some residual pain from the whole ordeal. Doesn’t really make me want to procreate any more. Good thing I already have two pretty cute kids. But it seems so unfair – you go through this whole process, it’s uncomfortable and painful, then it gets REALLY painful, and then … your whole body has been reshaped. And I’m one of the lucky ones without any real lasting damage, it’s all superficial for me. But you then hear stuff like: you need to start working out as quickly as possible in order to make up for all this damage. Because the truth is, that stuff about being patient and the weight will come off on it’s own, it’s bullshit. That weight is not going anywhere until you do something about it. Continue reading

Beauty Beat: The second pregnancy

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I just packed my hospital bag in preparation for the impeding baby-coming that will be happening over the next few weeks. In truth, it really freaked me out. I know I’ve been through this before, but somehow I seem to be less prepared than last time. Maybe because that’s true. Last time I was taking baby classes, reading every book I could get my hand on about how to have a baby. This time, not so much.

Maybe it’s because our birth plan got thrown out the window due to, you know, nature. Or because I’m just lazy. But for the most part I just don’t think too much about the delivery, because it’s going to happen, and then there will be a baby. I’d rather concentrate right now on the time I have left with X, just the two of us.

But at eight months pregnant, I’ve definitely been slowing down. I look and feel terrible. And I am lazy – it becomes way too easy to put off showering when you barely have time to sleep, and putting on make up just makes me laugh. I have a hyperactive toddler and a belly that’s taking up it’s own postal code, so why bother trying to be pretty. But I have to say that feeling like a beached whale isn’t fun, and isn’t improved by a pimply, haggard appearance. I don’t think not caring about how you look is entirely healthy. The not troubling about your appearance whatsoever. While cosmetics may seem frivolous, they also say a lot about how you want to be perceived by the world.

I’m guilty of not caring about how I look, and also guilty of buying cheap cosmetics at the grocery store, not focusing on quality or even whether the colouring is a perfect match. To be honest, I get a little intimidated in fancy cosmetic stores, especially here in Geneva where everyone is so rich and … European. But I’ve decided todo the research I need to get the proper products I need to look my best.

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Canada vs. Switzerland: Musings on private health care

Disclaimer: this post is mainly about pregnancy, so if you have little interest in that, skip over it. Or about the politics of health care. Look at the cute baby and move on!

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The weather isn’t the only benefit of living in Switzerland

 

I have lived in Switzerland for nearly 10 months now. I have lived in our little house at the foot of the Saleve for a longer period of time than I lived in our renovated house in Calgary. The reality of this just blows my mind. And we’re getting comfortable here. Things I used to find intimidating are just a part of the daily routine for me. Of course that’s going to happen – it’s not really a surprise. But I’d say at this point we’re able to make some comparisons between our newly adopted country and the one we were raised in.

It’s not just the superficial stuff. Like, food is a little different in Switzerland. Well, yeah. And the weather is nicer (it really is – we just had the first snowfall here last week. Instead of something I dread, immediately calculating how bad the roads are going to be, how long the cold snap will last, what I’m going to do with the little one until it’s over, I can think “pretty” and yell for X to go get his boots on).

But there are some deep seated differences when it comes to how the countries are run. I think that if it were just Z and I here, without kids, I would still feel more like a visitor than anything, and wouldn’t pay as much attention to the system. But having a child means you necessarily have to get involved and engaged with the world around you. Getting pregnant and having a child here, well, that throws you overboard into the system. There’s no escaping it, you must learn how to swim. Continue reading