A list!

I have a million little tidbits whirling around in my head, with no time to fully flesh them out.

Here, Internets! Feast upon my mind-scraps !

  • If you read my potty-training post and became purple with rage, and wandered around your house the whole day sarcastically muttering things like “Oooh, I’m Madeleine, I’m such a hippie, MY kid was potty-trained in three days! Aren’t I soooooo great? I mean it was just It was sooooooooo easy!”  Then REJOICE, and take solace in my struggles, for we have been experiencing many a potty-training regression.

    After the accident-free week we had another week of around one accident a day, followed by a few of what seemed like not so much “accidents” as deliberate acts of defiance. And then we had the mother of all potty-training days, where she peed her pants during a bucolic visit to a nearby pumpkin patch, and then peed in my lap later on the same day.So, up and down, really. The pumpkin-patch incident I am attributing to lack of sleep (apparently naps and/or nighttime sleep are not necessary when both sets of grandparents are in town, PLUS an aunt. I mean really, who can sleep with so many people willing to bend to your whims and pick you up all the time?) but we seem to be on an upswing again, with a return to dry overnights and no accidents for a few days ago now.

    Anyway, I felt an update was necessary. It’s a process, I think, rather than a cut and dried situation.

    I was George Bush, basically. I hate being George Bush.

    Potty training accomplished! Oh no wait - shit! Olive, are you peeing? Stop peeing! STOP PEEING!

    Potty training accomplished! Oh no wait – shit! Olive, are you peeing? Stop peeing! STOP PEEING!

  • I have really been struggling with my health lately. Ever since moving back to Alberta I have been having horrific migraines: pounding head, nausea and vomiting and light sensitivity – the whole nine. It is extremely unpleasant and I am not sure what to do about it.

    I used to get migraines like this when I was in high school, and I’m wondering if it’s an Alberta thing. I am getting them roughly every week or so, and they involve this lovely routine of waking up to feel my head being gently bludgeoned by a sledgehammer, everything suddenly being SO LOUD and SO BRIGHT, and then puking. Then I have to take Gravol for the nausea and wait for that to settle in enough for me to be able to take some water and Advil to kill the headache. Then I crawl into the fetal position and cry and feel sorry for myself until it passes.

    Sometimes it come and goes with varying intensity for two days, which is just- wow. Migraines and toddlers should be mutually exclusive, if you ask me.I had one of these delights the morning of the pumpkin patch excursion, and felt better by the end of the day only to have it return with a vengeance the morning of Olive’s birthday. It was immensely frustrating, because I wanted to be hosting and preparing, I wanted to be getting things ready, rather than relying on Adam’s parents, and my mom and sister to do it for me. I was so grateful that they were there to do it, because otherwise I honestly don’t know if her party could have happened at all, but I can’t explain how disheartening it was to be lying in my dark bedroom listening to other people take care of Olive and get everything ready.

    I felt completely useless, and infuriated that I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be. I couldn’t be the host I wanted to be, the mother I wanted to be, or the wife I wanted to be. My body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. All I could do was lie there and wait out the pain, and over think how incredibly useless my body can be.

    Struggling with my health will be a lifelong theme for me because of my kidney condition, but it never ceases to frustrate me. It bothers me that Olive pretends to be sad, and then asks for medicine to make her feel better, because of all the times she’s seen me crying in bed, and explaining that Mummy will feel better as soon as her medicine starts working. I feel like seeing this is letting her down in some fundamental way I can’t even put words to.

    I feel that to her, I should seem invincible, unstoppable. A mother should be a force of nature, a rock. And there’s nothing I feel less than right now.

  • In lighter news, I have a bunch of updates of the house kind to share with you soon. I have been going a bit crazy trying to get things done, so much so that after I complete a few things I still have on the go, I’m taking a break for a bit – no more house stuff.

    It can be so easy to jump on that treadmill, but the problem is that it’s never finished, you’re never finished. There’s always another project, another thing to do. So I am going to take a break, finish thing up, and then take it a bit slower and try to enjoy the process, rather than trying to race to that ever-elusive finish line. It’s a mirage , folks. But here is the list of things I have done, and am still doing. I’ll assemble pictures soon:- Restored the rusty wrought iron railings on our front steps, painted them a glossy black, and painted the worn front and back storm doors black, too.

    – Updated the knobs on our kitchen cabinets from flat brass knobs to colourful mismatched ceramic ones

    – Finished my desk, made from a door we found downstairs.

    – Painted my dilapidated black filing cabinet yellow and used it as legs on one side of said door desk

    – Found a old oak kitchen table on Kijiji for $50, sanded it, stained the top and made chalk paint to refinish the bottom in white. I found mismatched wood chairs at the Habitat for Humanity reStore and am going to paint them all coral.

    – Hung curtains in our room – no more nudie Madeleine for all the world to see. Huzzah! Modesty is restored

    – Painted the baseboards and hallway doorframes white, (in progress)

    – Finally got a composter, and set it up in the backyard. I am so excited to get composting again – our garbage stank! I forgot how stinky garbage can get when you are throwing food in it!

  • Perhaps most excitingly, I was approached to be a contributing writer for a fabulous site called Earth911. I’ll be writing roughly two articles a week. My first one (appropriately enough, about waste-free kids birthday parties) is here – and how cute is that baby?!

    This came about at the perfect time, because I was sort of sniffing around for something I could do part-time to contribute to our household financially, and keep my brain active. Sometimes I struggle with the identity of being “just” a stay-at-home mom – but that, as well as the process of transitioning into this role – is a whole post in and of itself. Nonetheless, it makes me feel somehow better to say that I am a writer. Which is horrible, really, because being a mother is enough all by itself. Or it should be.ANYWAY, Earth911! I am so overjoyed to be contributing to such a vibrant, informative site, and sharing fun ways to become a better hippie.

  • That’s all folks. Happy Tuesday!
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  • Reply Sam Pereira October 8, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I have so much to say about this post, but I only have time to say this: “Why should motherhood be enough?” It’s not. It feels like it should be. But it’s not. We are so many more things than “just” a mother. I’m learning this very slowly. In fact today I’m off to look at a couple of childcare centres to put the baby in one day a week… at this stage just for a little me time. How selfish, right? I feel rotten. But I too could write a whole post on this. I’d better go. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. (and congratulations on the writing gig. Getting paid to do what you love…? That’s the dream baby!)

  • Reply jamie October 8, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    madeleine, no! you can’t just suffer through migraines! that’s awful! advil does not work b/c a migraine is this whole syndrome of things going wrong, not just head pain! you must read “the migraine brain” if you haven’t. but first and foremost, get to a doctor and ask for a prescription for a triptan. maxalt, relpax, imitrex, these are all different types of migraine abortives, that stop the migraine, the whole thing, from happening (the head pain, sensitivity to light, nausea, etc, all goes away, b/c it stops the migraine itself). it’s not a pain medication, not any kind of analgesic or narcotic. since pain is just a side effect of the migraine and not what is actually happening at the root of the migraine. if you haven’t yet, discovering which triptan works best for you (for a lot of people, the most common one, imitrex, is not nearly as effective as maxalt but it is a very individual thing, you’ll only know once you’ve tried and compared a few) will be life changing. instead of being out of commission for half a day, or whole days at a time, how about feeling better in just 1 hour? please tell me they have triptans in canada! i feel so sad to hear you’ve been suffering!

    • Reply jamie October 8, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      oh, also, i forgot to mention, maxalt comes in a “meltaway” variety so it’s not a problem if you can’t keep a pill down. in fact, there are even injectable ones for people for whom the meltaways still aren’t good enough.

  • Reply Cynthia Barnes October 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    I am so sorry about your headaches Madelaine. Wish I could offer some helpful advice. We are enjoying our vegan diet and group here in POwell River. If you are consuming oil from the grocery store as opposed to health food oils that might make a difference

    well thanks for your kind words and support I know what you mean by endless projects and me a so called senior in denial

    Love from Cynthia

  • Reply Lora B. October 8, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    So sorry to hear you are suffering from migraines:( I agree with everything Jamie has said – as much as it sucks to rely on medication, when I finally started taking axert (a triptan), it changed my life. I used to always be worried about making plans or important events because of my chronic migraines that could suck the joy out of ANYTHING. However, when I decided to start a family I realized I needed to find a medication free way of dealing with the pain. Acupuncture and Craniosacral therapy have made a huge difference. I actually do not need to take the medication nearly as often anymore since I started going for treatment. You might want to give those a try. Do not stop trying though – you will find something that works! Good luck!

  • Reply Kate December 5, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Just came across your blog in the last few weeks, loving it so far! I just popped in to let you know you have another Canadian fan (from Vancouver, BC) and as for Migraines I know exactly how you feel! I have been suffering from migraines for about 4 years and it has not been fun as it ruins a whole day very quickly. For me it turned out to be a thyroid/adrenal issue and after seeing a Naturopath (and now working for one for almost 3 years) I am almost migraine free! It’s been an amazing, eye opening couple of years and I highly suggest chatting with one just to see if you can get a fix for them without heavy medication. With a mix of diet change and a few vitamins, they are pretty much completely gone and much more manageable when I do get one. Anyways, thought I would leave my two cents and say great job on an awesome blog! -Kate

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