Monday, 31 October 2011

Team #workingforlessjunkinthetrunk 10/31/11 - Updated

Welcome to Monday, the day on which I am suppose to update you all with my weight loss hopefully stats.  However, since I did my actual first weigh-in on last Tuesday night, I shall do that again this week and then just update this post with the good hopefully news.

I am beginning to realize that I am so sort of weight loss weirdo.  Hold on, hold on I am not getting all down on myself, I am simply pointing out a fact.  You see, I have no problem with the whole exercising aspect of weight loss.  In fact, I love exercise . . . so much so I am amazed that I am dealing with all this junk in my trunk in the first place.

The problem is with my eating.  I don't eat the greatest, I am the first to admit it, but even when I go eat fairly well I still eat too much.  So here is the point where I am honest with you and say that I continued to struggle with it all last week.

For certain there were good points but it continued to be harder than it really should be.  I am well aware of how to eat properly and I am not one to buy into fade diets.  Focusing on eating natural ie. not processed, food that is preferably in season and local is the way to start.  Moving on to focusing on portion size and realizing that there is no need to fill that huge plate.  Finally understanding moderation with everything.

I have a habit of turning to soup when I am trying to regulate or drop some weight.  It is cheap, easy and often contains enough veggies to help me get in my daily recommended amount.  Of course the trade off is the fact that it is so often ridiculously high in sodium.  Sigh.

So the good from the past week:
I made it to kickboxing 4 times last week.  Three of those 4 times were for double classes so that meant I was working out for at least 1:30.  One of those night was the start of our fitness challenge during which I completed 155 weighted squats and worried that I would never be able to get up off the toilet for days afterwards.
I gave up buying coffee and began making it here at work or at home.  This means that I use less sweetener and less milk.  I have also switched to Stevia as a method for sweetening my coffee.
I ate out only once in the past week and that was for a fundraiser for Little Miss's school so I wouldn't have done it otherwise.

The not so good from the past week:
I have been really hit and miss with the tracking of my calories and "forgetting" to track some little things that I know have calories but wished didn't.

Goals for this week:
Better focus on tracking my calorie intake and not "forgetting" to track things.
Continue to get as much exercise as possible. 

Weigh-In for this Week:

Staring Weight: 174.4 lbs.
Current Weight: 173 lbs.
Lbs. lost/gained: - 1.4 lbs.
Lbs. till goal: 23 lbs.

There you have it.  Well not really but you will have it tomorrow night after I update this post.  Soooo, you will just have to check back in to see the number.  Oh the suspense. Remember to tune tomorrow for the powerful conclusion to this post!


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Rollercoaster Ride

Ah yes, today was one of those days with lots of ups and downs, highs and lows. 

What can I say, it started off pretty damn good as it was my turn to sleep in.  What a little bit of heaven that is after being up between 4:45 and 5:15 the rest of the week.  The little guy even climbed in bed with me and napped for a bit . . . yes, I call it a nap because he had already been up since around 5:30 so when climbing back in with me it was not sleeping in so much as napping.

From there the morning went by quietly.  We played, we shopped and we headed to swimming lessons. 

Swimming lessons went off without a hitch . . . well until the lessons were over . . . then for some reason the little man decided absolutely lose his tiny mind.  When I say lose my mind . . . I mean gone . . . never to be seen again . . . GONE. 

I handled it okay for the first 10-15 minutes.  The sliding himself across the floor while screaming . . . I stood there, held my breath and told him that when he was done it was time to leave.  The screaming continued.  I picked him up, the screaming continued. I put him down, the screaming continued.  The anxiety began to rise.  The anger boiled underneath.  I lost control and I squeezed him hard.  Harder than I should have. Shock and disgust, my stomach churning, I quickly handed him to Brad and hurried away while the tears streamed down my cheeks.

Needless to say the screaming continued.  Once back to the car, I held him close and told him I was sorry . . . told him that I loved him . . . and just held him.  Forgiveness in his cuddles.

Home and lunch was eaten.  Pottery was painted.  Soup was made and a pumpkin carved.  A family dinner where the majority of us actually sat and ate was had.

Bed time was filled with cuddles . . . first from a very tired Little Miss . . . finally from my little man. 

There was my day . . .  the highs, the lows and the cuddles. 

Now we shall see how tomorrow goes.  Well the highs and here's hoping at least one low . . . on the scale that is.

Did you ride a roller coaster this weekend?  Or where things smooth sailing?

Friday, 28 October 2011

TGIF - The Guest Post Edition

Today is Friday and that means TGIF!!!  This week I am particularly happy that is it Friday because I have not gotten more than 5 hours of sleep each night . . . and that does not include the at least once nightly wake up from a kid.  I am tired.

Also, we began the Fitness Challenge at the gym last night and it was challenging.  I thought I did okay when I managed to pull off 155 squats before my legs gave out . . . that was before another girl managed 250.  Oh yes, you read that right.  Crazy!!!  However, that is going to be a pretty tough bar to surpass so essentially we all should have dogged it last night and then been amazed at our improvement in 6 weeks.

Anyhoo, Jen from Just Jennifer, the founder and brains behind this awesome linky, asked me if I wanted to guest post for her today.  Oh hell yeah! 

So hop on over to read some happy thoughts that may just put a smile on your face!  Hopefully cause that was what I was aiming for.  While you are there, take a moment to get to know Jen if you don't already.  She really is awesome, sweet, supportive, funny and has the ability to knit which I sooooo cannot do.



Thursday, 27 October 2011


So a phone call from my therapist reminded me that I had totally forgotten about my appointment with her.  I managed to get there for half of my scheduled time . . . which is just about enough time with her.

After the usual blah, blah, blah how am I feeling stuff we got down to the nitty gritty.  She put me through that whole level of depression test.  You know the one where I am asked a whole series of questions and my answers apparently come up with a level of depression.

Well it turns out I have been upgraded.  Oh yes, I am no longer severely depressed.  Nope, I am only mildly depressed!  Woo  hoo for me now I will only mildly suck the life out of a room, instead of fill it with gloom and doom.  I totally rock!!

Actually, I have been feeling much better so I can live with mildly depressed if this is what it feels like.


I am actually feeling pretty proud of myself and that is a feeling that seems to have disappeared with my mind.  A wonderful member of our board mentioned a project that I have been putting a lot of time and energy into.  He wanted the rest of the board to know what a "wonderful" job I had been doing on this project.  I have to admit it, him taking the time to mention it made me beam and I was able to proudly show off some of my work to the rest. 


The little man seems to have decided that he would like to start potty training.  The winter is not really my idea of the perfect time to start that but hell, if he is willing to give it a go then I am game.  For now he tells me "I pee" and into the bathroom we go.  He climbs up and parks it on the potty seat with a big ol' smile on his face.  Now due to the fact that the splash guard on our current potty seat seems to be practically non-existent, we have worked out a system so that when he pees it doesn't just spray all over the bathroom . . . or worse, into my face.

So once he is parked on the seat he knows to push his penis down and pull his legs together.  Not ideal but seems to at least change the trajectory and that is all I am aiming for.  Haha, aiming . . . I totally just made a pun and so didn't mean to!

I would love to be able to tell you that the tuck and squeeze methods works but so far he hasn't actually peed on the potty.  We have had lots of attempts and so far they have all been dry.  Oh well, it is a start and hopefully we will be out of diapers sooner rather than later.


Is it just me or do you find that once you have decided to focus more on eating less and better that suddenly all you can think about is food?  Man, I just keep thinking about all sorts of yummy yet crappy foods.

Now with Halloween coming up there is going to be all sorts of chocolate and I LOVE chocolate.  That is okay.  I shall try and allow myself some because to go without will more than likely end up with me gorging on it.  Also, Nicole has totally promised to hold my hand through it so that should help.


Anyhoo, this appears to be a total post about nothing and written in the style of dear Eden . . . but without her insane talent. 

What about you?  How has your week been?  Anything more exciting than potential potty training?


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Team #workingforlessjunkinthetrunk

So Nicole at Healing Mutti put it out there, in a very open and honest post, that she wants to lose some weight.  Hell, the girl posts photos.  She is my hero!

As I have previously mentioned here once or twice that I have been pondering doing something about my slowing increasing butt.  Nicole has been my beacon, my inspiration, my wind beneath my wings . . . I am totally following in her footsteps and refocusing on dropping some of the extra weight.

In tweeting about this we have created a hashtag, #workingforlessjunkinthetrunk, for those who want to join us in this journey.  Nicole even created a link-up where on Mondays we can post how things are going, weigh-in and just work to support each other.

Here it goes . . . again.

Current Weight: 174.4 lbs.
Goal Weight: 150 lbs.
1st Milestone: drop 10% of body weight = 17lbs.
Milestone Date: February 25

I seem to have stumbled into joining in on a Fitness Challenge at the gym.  Not knowing what I am in for, I was weighed-in tonight and I can earn points by attending classes, participating in different challenges and I have no idea what else but it should help as I start on this endeavor.

Team #workingforlessjunkinthetruck is open to anyone, so if you have been thinking that perhaps it is time to work on your fitness, join in because there is strength in numbers.


22 Things I have Done

Okay so I missed the boat with the 22 Things I Haven't Done post but what the hell, I am totally jumping on this bandwagon.  Why you ask? It just seems like it will be fun and who doesn't want a good time.
  • Climbed a pyramid in Mexico, going up and down the side without the rope. 
  • Completed my Masters Degree while working full time, in the midst of a divorce and finally, finding myself pregnant.
  • Followed my heart knowing that even though it would cause pain at the time, it meant not living half a life.
  • Won, not one, but two lip-synching contests.
  • Wrote an undergraduate paper that my professor said could not be done . . . and received an A on it.
  • Gave birth to both of my kidlets at home, on the bed that played a role in their conception.
  • Played hockey until I was almost 4 months pregnant.  Thank goodness the season ending coincided with the fact that my hockey pants no longer fit.
  • Zip-lined in the Costa Rican rainforest, tubed a Hawiian irrigation canal and walked the Red Light district of Amerstdam.
  • Biked through four different countries.
  • Got a little frisky in the closet of a model home.
  • Instructed step, spin and strength classes at a gym and loved it.
  • Cried as I stood looking at the burnt out remains of my office which is in an historic home.
  • Bought a sex toy for someone I work with.
  • Pushed the emergency exit door open just to see what would happen. I was only 10 at the time.
  • Played a game that involved riding in the trunk of a car and trying to determine where I was with the clues given to me by those in the car.
  • Got drunk for the first time in my life at the birthday party for my English teacher.
  • Went to see the Duke and Dutchess of York, when they were still married, as they toured Canada.  Woo hoo, she was on my side of the car. 
  • Was the person at a construction site that holds the Stop & Slow sign for two summers.
  • Was also nearly crushed by a dump truck in front of my Grandparent's house.
  • Saw the New Kids on the Block in concert 3 times.  Then tried to balance that out by seeing The Tragically Hip 3 times.
  • Learned a rather important lessen on internet search engine when I inadvertantly stumbled upon gay porn while trying to find information on the Enola Gay - you know, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb during WWII. 
  • Spoke out about my on-going struggles with PPD and in doing so, began the process of healing.

If I could add to my last point, I really do feel like I am starting to heal.  So, I am going to resume with my whole attempt to rid myself of some of this junk I am storing in my trunk.  The lovely Nicole over at Healing Mutti inspired me to get back to it and together we are supporting each, and putting ourselves out there so that you hold us accountable.  She will be doing her weekly weigh-in on Monday.  I would rather do mine on Friday but I may be convinced to join her on the whole start of the week thing. 
As of Monday, October 25
Weight: 174.4lbs.
Goal Wight: 150 lbs.
Target Date to reach 10% of body weight: February 25
Nicole is amazing and posted a couple photos of herself.  I am not that brave.  I hate having my photo taken at the best of times but right now . . . not so much.  Perhaps I will have Brad take a Before picture and I will be able to show you a Before and After . . . you know, once there is an after! So here we go!!! 
Click here to join in.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Music Therapy with Mammywoo: Part I

Last week Lexy from Mammywoo created her own meme and sent it out into the blogesphere.  It is a meme that I can really relate to and I felt totally compelled to join in.

Lexy set out a bunch of rules . . . something about chosing three songs, three groups and three sets of lyrics that speak to you in some way.  Yeah, once again I am going to Fight the Power and approach this meme from a slightly different perspective. Go and check out Lexy's page if you want to follow along with the rules the she set out.  Also, just go and check out her site because she is one hell of a writer and one hell of a fighter.

I find that when life is tough, I use music as an outlet for whatever feelings are struggling within me. 

After my precious Grandfather had a stroke and was hospitalized I turned to A Perfect Circle to help me release the helplessness I felt looking at him, a shell of himself, lying on the hospital bed.  It killed me to see him like that, so tiny, so helpless, so powerless and so afraid of dying. 

At work, in the car and at home I would play A Perfect Circle over and over again.  Their powerful, yet haunting music spoke to the sorrow I felt, the fear that I was facing the death of my Grandfather . . . it would be the first significant death in my life. 

There were two songs in particular that I would fixate on, sing at the top of my lungs and release the tears that needed out.  The first song was Orestes.  It was one particular refrane that got me, made me wonder if it was what my Grandfather was thinking. 

"Give me one more medicated peaceful momment."  Maynard would sing this over and over.  "And I don't want to feel this overwhelming hostility." 

From my perspective this had to be how it felt to be trapped in a body that now longer did what you wanted it to do.  Mentally there but physically trapped.  Scared of death but terrified to remain in this fleshy prison.

Sleeping Beauty was the other song that saw heavy rotation during this time. 

"Drunk on ego. Truly thought I could make it right if I kissed you one more time to help you face the nightmare. But you're far too poisoned for me. Such a fool to think that I could wake you from your slumber, that I could actually heal you."

This one just seemed to put to words and music the absolute powerlessness I felt when I looked down on my Grandpa in the hospital.  Crushed, hands tied, sick with the knowledge that there was not a damn thing I could do for him. 

To this day when I hear those songs I am taken back to that time and I can still feel those emotions . . . hell I can almost taste the salt from my tears.  Yet, I still love those songs.  I love the power behind the voice of Maynard.  I love the musciality of each and every song.

If you haven't heard of the band before I really suggest you check them out.  Oh, if you are a fan of Tool  then you are already familiar with the lead singer.

What about you?  What role does music play in your life?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Vacation from Parenting

This whole mommy gig is pretty awesome.  It is amazing to watch this little creations grow into themselves and sharing this journey with me.  I love my kids in ways that I cannot even begin to describe.

That being said, at the moment I am feeling pretty much over it.  I am exhausted.  I cringe when I hear a little voice calling out for "Mommy".  I have been to quick to frustrate and feel angry over the littlest things. The responsibilities are becoming more and more like a massive weight pushing me down.   All in all I am burnt out.

I need a vacation . . . some time away from this whole parenting thing.  A chance to enter the washroom on my own and not either a) have a visitor the whole time or b) have a screaming child banging on the door to get in.  I want some solid sleep.  I have an almost desperate desire to not hear the word mommy for an extended period of time.

Luckily for me in just two weeks I have an opportunity to do just that and I have to admit that I am becoming more and more excited about it.  I am travelling to my nation's capital with a bunch of new friends from my kickboxing group.  The reason for the trip is a Masters Workshop that is going to take us through about five different classes of martial arts.  It will be one whole day of working out, learning new things and just doing some fun and different for myself.

This is my opportunity, my chance to get away for a weekend and take a mini-vacation from thee responsibilities of parenting.  I am so looking forward to just being able to spend some time chatting with adults and not having to worry about anyone else but myself. 

Will I miss my kids?  No doubt about it.  Will I feel guilty for going?  Yeah, more than likely.  I have made arrangements that will lessen this guilt.  I have asked my parents to come and help Brad for the two nights.  I know that he can do it on his own but let's face it, if you have the option to not single parent you might as well take it. 

Will I pay the price for being away for the weekend?  This is the only draw back to my weekend away.  You see, Brad and I were gone for 5 nights to attend a friend's wedding on an island.  It was nice but in all honesty, it was not worth the price I had to pay when I returned.  Suddenly my kids would not let me out of their sight.  I had to be there to do everything for them.  It was all about mommy and I was the only one they wanted.  We went away in March, 7 months ago, and I am just now starting to see a slight shift that allows Brad to in more. 

Five nights away was not worth 7 months of at times oppressive neediness by my kids.  So not worth it.  With all this in mind, there is some concern on my part that once I return things will go back to they way they were when I got home in March.  I have to be honest with you . . . I just don't know if I can deal with that sort of smothering without cracking.

Have you ever just desperately needed time away from your kids?  Did feeling this way make you feel guilty? Are mine the only kids who basically became little parasites upon returning home?


Friday, 21 October 2011

TGIF: The Cereal Edition

I am about to attempt to on an entire post about my love of all things cereal. 

I can see you wondering why the hell is she going to do that?  Well, I strongly suspect that it might have to do with the fact that I have eaten cereal for 4 of my past 5 meals.  Breakfast and dinner yesterday, and breakfast and lunch today.  In fact, I am enjoying a steaming bowl of apple-cranberry oatmeal as I type this.

Looking back, I do believe that I have always had a bit of a crush on this simplest of breakfast foods.  This crush has evolved, become deeper, more committed and more focused on my heart . . . health that is.

As a young child I was all about the ones with characters on the front, prizes at the bottom and, of course, the ratio of marshmellow to cereal . . . the higher the better.  Found memories of fighting over the last tiny box of Corn Pops while camping come flooding back whenever I see one of those multipacks of itty-bitty cereal boxes.

Total aside now but does anyone remember Boo Berry cereal.  It was part of a trifecta of scary cereal for kids that  Boo Berry, along with Count Chocula and Franken Berry, formed.  Turns out that shit will turn ones pee green.  It totally freaked me and my mom out until she realized it was the blue dye from the cereal and I wasn't dying. Interestinly, I haven't see that cereal in ages . . . perhaps too many parents were worried that they kids were dying when they noticed their pee was green.  And before you ask, I don't remember if it turned poop into some funky colour as well.


My tastes have evolved to matching my growing maturity . . . you do know that I can hear you laughing right?!   Now I am all about the ones with pictures of oats on the front, granola at the bottom and, of course, the ratio of fibre to cereal . . . once again the higher the better.  You want me to buy your box of cereal just post a high percentage of daily fibre and I am sold.  44% of my daily fiber needs . . .  I just have to have it!

Now I have children of my own and they have embraced my love of all things cereal.  We have been known to enjoy cereal of dinner on the odd occasion . . . genereally not more than once a week.  For a while they were right with me when it came to cereal choices as well. 

I do admit that I try and avoid the really high fiber cereal with them because they eat enough fruit that they are more than regular . . .  in fact, it probably wouldn't hurt to introduce more cheese into their diets for its wonderous "bunging up" properties . . . you know it is all about balance.

Refocusing now.  For the longest time they were all about Cheerios and Shreddies but then their dad got to them.  You see, he has not reached my level of maturity and still eats cereal like a 7 year old.  When Brad shops he comes home with boxes of Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes.  For him the higher the sugar content the better.  He then ups it by putting brown sugar on it.  Seriously, who puts brown sugar on Frosted Flakes . . . well Brad of course. 

Now Little Miss is requesting Frosted Flakes with brown sugar and Buddy is happily handing me the Fruit Loop box.  Sigh.  Nothing like starting ones day with a bowl full of sugar. 

I could easily spend a good 20 minutes to half an hour just purusing the cereal aisle  . . . well if I didn't have the kids with me.  There are so many new ones that just look oh so yummy.  The only thing stopping me from picking up some of them and giving them a whirl is the price.  Holy hell, but I am not about to spend $7 on a little box of cereal . . . $6 maybe but not $7.

If Brad and the little man are still feeling like crap I know I will have to fight hard against the temptation to once again enjoy a bowl, or two, of cereal for dinner with Little Miss.  What?  Don't tell me that you have NEVER eaten cereal for all three meals in a day?!  You haven't?  Really, it is only me? 



Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sickness Has Hit Our House

It all started on Tuesday just as we had arrived home from daycare . . . I got the little guy out of his car seat and headed into the house to drop off some of our many bags . . . suddenly Little Miss began yelling "He's puking".  Sure enough I turned around to see the little guy standing in a pool of puke, with some of it still dripping from his chin. 

After a very long night spent in bed with me and a day home with Grandma, he seemed okay enough to return to daycare . . . apparently I was wrong.  With an hour left in my work day I received that oh so familiar phone call from the daycare telling me that he now had diarrhea and was running a fever. Poor little guy.

What I was not expecting was to return home to a sick husband.  He must have the poorest immune system of any adult I know.  Seriously, I am the one who was puked on.  I was the one who was up during the night with the little guy.  I was the one who spent the rest of the time in bed with the sick boy . . .  yet he is the one who ends up sick.

I become very anxious when he is out of commission leaving me to deal with the kids on my own.  I am fine if he is actually not at home but I find I get anxious and angry when he is home but not able to actually help.  This anxiety, on top of an already sick little guy has managed to turn me into a giant ball of stress.  What am I stressing about? Oh man, I am not even certain I can put it into words.

I already know that I am not going to get much in the way of sleep because both kids prefer to sleep with someone . . . seeing as one of the someones is out of commission . . . it means that I am up.  I have done it before . . . it either means I jump back and forth between kids bedrooms or we all end up in one bed together. 

My stomach is in knots and I am so short tempered . . . all because my husband is sick.  It is not fair to him, I can see that he is not at all well and yet I feel resentful that I am left to care for the kids all on my own.  Why do I feel like I can't cope?  Why do I get so bloody anxious? 

I just need to get through tonight.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Lazy Ass Parenting

So between a September birthday, an October birthday and Hallowe'en my favourite season is now filled with all sorts of opportunities for me to flex my creative parent muscles and do all sorts of amazing things for my kids.  Yeah, the problem is that I don't seem to have that sort of muscle, it is more just a flabby spare tire that knows it has to do something but is not certain how to go about it.

I have never had a theme to any of my kids birthday parties.  I don't really plan games or activities.  Hell, for the past couple of years I have just relied on throwing up the jumping castle and letting the kids at it.  I have been known to actually bake a cake for these birthdays but I am not opposed to picking up an ice cream cake.  Also, when I make a cake it doesn't look like anything other than a cake.  There are no ships, no frogs, no lions no anything other than a circle.

This year I went all out and totally phoned the fire station at the last minute to see if they had tours of the station.  They did, the tour was free and off we went.  I actually laughed out loud when I was asked if I was going to make a fire truck cake.  No.  It wasn't even a fire station themed party.  It was just a party with toys from the house to play with.

Now it is Hallowe'en and I realized that I have put pretty much zero thought into their costumes.  I am totally keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of the costumes I borrowed from my cousin will fit Buddy because that is one less costume for me to worry about.

I have been able to pretty much get away with just putting costumes that I have borrowed on my kids for the past few years.  I suspect that this year is going to be different as Little Miss has gone and developed opinions on all sorts of topics related to her.  Sigh.

Shockingly she says that she wants to be a princess.  We have a few dress up clothes that could work if we lived in a more southern climate but given that more often than not kids need to make certain that they have on several layers under their costumes, these are not really options.

I suppose if I were more creative or cared more, I would look into buying something or *shudder* make something but I have to admit that neither of those options are all that appealing to me. 

Wish me luck because I am going to have to come up with something soon because the deadline is fast approaching. 

What about you?  Are you one of those moms who is all about creating memorable parties and costumes?  Or are you like me totally lacking that sort of desire or inspiration . . . basically a total lazy ass?


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Not Quite So Speed Arrival of Buddy

So on Little Miss's birthday I regaled you with the tale of her unplanned home birth.  In an effort to not totally suck at my parenting duties for #2, here is the tale of the planned home birth of Buddy. 

So my second pregnancy sucked as bad as the first one.  Oh yes, I was sick the entire nine months yet again.  In fact, about half way through I turned to Brad and informed him that once I popped this kid out it was his turn . . . oh yes, I pretty much demanded that he get snipped because I was NOT doing that ever again.

While the pregnancies were similar what the with puking and all, they were different enough for me to be convinced that this one was a boy.  I was 100% convinced when my on my due date not only was I NOT giving birth, I was actually heading to the midwives for a stretch & sweep to get the whole show on the road. 

At this point I was already on mat leave and home with Little Miss.  I really had no desire to have her attend this appointment . . . I just wanted to have my cervix stretched and swept on my own thankyouverymuch.  Brad took a bit of time off work to come home and watch her and I headed off to my appointment. 

Already in a foul mood because this baby had yet to make it appearance and I was SO over being pregnant, the day continued to head towards the shitter when my car broke down.  So there I am, basically 10 months pregnant and stuck way too far away from home and way too far away from the midwives . . . oh yeah, and Brad had the cell phone in case I had to call him 'cause I was in labour. 

I waddle over to a house and ask if I can use their phone.  They let me in and I phone Brad to come and get me.  Back outside, the gentleman takes a look at my car when I suddenly realize that I should phone the midwives.  He then hands me his cell phone. Why couldn't I have used that the first time.  Apparently he thought I might be trying to scam him and steal his cell phone.  Shit, I was huge . . . I am fairly certain he could have caught up to me in seconds if I tried to run.

Condensing now, Brad came and dealt with the car while Little Miss and I headed to the appointment.  So for all my effort to not have her at the appointment, there she was right at the end of the table . . . front and centre . . . while the midwife did her thing.  I just had to sigh when I hear What doing mommy?  What doing?

The Show

Four days after my due date came and went, I woke to cramps.  I was already expecting a visit from one of my midwives who was going to come to the house and do yet another stretch and sweep . . . what can I say . . . I REALLY wanted that kid out.

My parents were down for the weekend just in case the baby decided to make an appearance. 

It was determined that I was in fact in the early stages of labour.  Rather then head home only to come back again, my midwife hung around to monitor the progress.  Around 4 or so she sent me and my mom out for a walk while she and Brad got the bedroom ready.

That was the longest short walk of my life.  My god, I had to stop every couple of minutes to bend over and try and breath through a contraction.  By the time we got back to the house I was most definitely in labour.  After a lovely conversation with my neighbour we decided it was probably about time I got checked out by the midwife again.

Things were moving along and shortly afterwards my second midwife arrived all ready to help. 

This delivery was so much harder than my first.  I was exhausted from chasing around Little Miss.  I didn't know it at the time, but apparently the little guy had his arm up in a manner that pretty much had he stuck.

We flipped me around, had me laying on my side with one leg up in the air, had me squatting on the bed . . . anything to get that baby out.

I admit it, this time I was scared.  Scared that I was not able to do it without any pain medication.  Scared that this little baby was stuck in me.  Scared that I would have to try and make it down the stairs and into a ambulance.  Scared.

Finally with all of the strength I could muster I pushed that baby out . . . with minimal tearing I might add. 

My mom, who was either down in the kitchen cleaning or taking bloodied face clothes to the laundry room, came into the bedroom moments after Buddy arrived.  After giving her brand new grandson some loving, she went to the basement to get Little Miss.

Little Miss and my dad had been playing in the basement the whole time.  Her grandparents bathed her, got her in her jammies, read her a new book about babies and then brought her in to introduce her to her new baby brother.

So we were now a family of four . . . we were complete. 

Happy Birthday little man.  I cannot believe that you are already two years old.  I am sorry that I was not the mom that I could have been or should have been in these first two years but I promise I am doing everything I can to be the best mom for you from now on.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Stupidly Mundane Things

So this weekend I was a wee bit cranky.  Why you ask?  Oh lord who knows but I was and we all had to deal with it.

While driving around on fumes, which gets me all anxious and makes the crankies worse, I got to think of all the really silly shit that can annoy the hell out of me.  I thought to myself, Woo hoo self . . . perhaps I could rant about all these silly things here on my blog.  Then I remembered that it was Monday and I had planned on linking up with Stasha again.  Cool, I totally ignored the given topic last week and though I may as well continue the streak.  But . . . then I remembered that my favourite Pink Chickie was going to pick the topic and damn it I was certain it was going to be something I could NOT ignore.

Sure enough, the Pink One picked guilty pleasures . . .  holy hell but isn't writing about my guilty pleasures one of my guilty pleasures.

So . . . what is a girl to do but combine the two into some strange hybrid post that both rants and peaks into my guilty pleasures. 
These are just a few of the things that I thought of this weekend past.

My List of Guilty Pleasures or Rants * it is up to you to figure out which is which

1.  Those truly stupid ballsacks people have hanging off the back end of their trucks.  Really?  Really?  Why the hell would anyone think that those are a good idea?!  Seriously, it just makes me think that you are horribly overcompensating and pathetically uneducated  . . . so unless that was the message one was trying to convey, those are a BAD idea.

2.  I may or may not become a bit of a closet fan of pop music.  I used to despise all things Britney but now I find myself singing along when she and all her pop music making cohorts come on the radio.  Seriously, how can one not want to sing along to that damn song about moving like Jagger or anything by Britney from her breakdown and on.  Note: this guilty love of pop music does not extend to anything by Katy Perry since she kissed a girl and seriously J.Lo . . . man . . . way too old to be singing about partying on the dance floor with her drink in the air.  See how I combined that guilty pleasure with a rant!  Thankyouthankyouverymuch!

3.  People who pull right onto the highway before reaching highway speeds . . . even though there is still tonnes of on-ramp to go.  Why?  Why do you feel the need to immediately jump right onto the highway when you are only going 60?!  Kilometres for those non Canucks out there.  The speed limit is 100! 

4.  Potty seats that don't have much in the way of a splash guard.  My little guy is pondering starting the whole potty training thing but when he sits on the toilet he little penis is aimed right at me.  Now I have been lucky in that so far he actually hasn't done anything on the toilet but that luck could change any day now.  I made it through his infancy without getting peed in the face, I would hate for that stat to change now.

5. I recently, and by recently I mean yesterday, discovered these things called a cake in a cup.  Seriously, all I do is add milk to the powder, pop it in the microwave for just over a minute and I have a yummy sauce & cake.  They come in chocolate and caramel . . . I have a  sneaking suspicion that they may get consumed in mass quantities over this winter.  Sigh, so much for loosing that junk.

6.  Beer.  I never used to be much of a beer enthusiast and I tended to stick more with wine or anything of the chocolate variety.  Lately however, nothing seems quite as tasty as a beer . . . particularly after work.  Not sure why but I am just riding the wave and seeing where it leads me. 

7.  Okay, so I just posted this lovely dovey post about my husband so I feel as though I can point this out without having to feel too bad.  So the man has been laid off since June.  It sucks but I thought to myself Wow, here is an opportunity to get some stuff done around the house.  I have never really had a chunk of time off without kids and so this was never an option for me.  I asked the man to steam clean the carpets.  Our kids are many wonderful things . . . what they aren't is great at not spilling shit all over the beige carpet in the living room.  Now the beige carpet has all sorts of yucky stains and it really, REALLY bothers me to look at it.  And it still bothers me to look at it because he NEVER got around to steam cleaning them.  Argh!  There are days I want to be like our amazingly nutty neighbour and just rip up all the carpet on a whim and replace it all with wood. 

8.  Hallowe'en will soon be here.  I am not so much into the whole dressing up thing and I should really get on thinking about costumes for my kidlets but . . . I do love those little chocolate bars that people give out.  I see it as my responsibility to go through my kids candy and remove a certain amount because . . . well they certainly do not need that much candy.  I don't keep it all for myself.  Oh hell no, I actually hand out the things like suckers, candy corn and anything else I deem yucky to people who come to our door.  You see, that way I can save the good stuff that we buy and hand out the stuff that I would ultimately just throw away.  I totally just gave you all an idea didn't I.  You are totally welcome for that.

9. Texting.  I can't stand when people are sitting at a table and everyone is off in their own little world texting away and ignoring those they are with.  That being said, I may have just sent my first series of text messages and totally enjoyed it.  Hanging head with shame . . . yes I know that I have finally moved into the 20th century . . . eventually I will move into the 21st century.  So while I now better understand the enjoyment derived from texting, I still think it is totally rude to sit on your phone rather than communicating with the people around you.

10. Kickboxing.  I know that it totally shouldn't be a guilty pleasure and that I am doing something for myself but I still feel guilty but I love it . . . hence the whole guilty pleasure thing.  I have been making a huge effort to get back there way more often.  One, I need it for my mental health.  Two, I need it to prevent any further trunk growth.  Three, I really enjoy punching and kicking things! 

What about you?  Do you have anything you feel like ranting about?  What about some guilty pleasures you feel like sharing?  Anyone else find that new J.Lo song as preposterious as me?


Friday, 14 October 2011

TGIF: The Happy To be Stuck Edition

I have been struggling with the whole mommy-guilt thing as of late which has resulted in me feeling a whole hell of a lot of anxiety and anger . . . not the greatest combination of feelings when trying to get along with those I love or really, anyone I come in contact with.

I am not certain I would have been out of this funk as quickly as I have if it had not been for Brad.  He not quite literally kicked my ass and forced me out of the house and to the gym . . . and I love him even more for that.  This week I have made it to the gym on three consecutive nights and each night Brad has put the kidlets to bed all by himself without complaint.  I can safely say that if the situation had been reversed I probably would NOT have been so gracious. 

Brad and I did not have a storybook romance. We are not high school sweethearts.  The path we took was at times very messy, littered with lost friendships, but we knew that through all the darkness we had each other's back.

We haven't been together all that long . . . what is it now . . . about six years or so.  However, during that time we have gotten pregnant, gotten married, had two babies at home and suffered together as I have battled with postpartum depression.

We joke that we are stuck so we might as well just go ahead and love each other . . . flaws and all.  If I remember correctly, we may have even told each other that we are stuck in our wedding vows.

I can see how saying that we are stuck may seem negative but really it isn't.  What it means, at least to me and I believe to Brad, is that we are in this for the long haul.  We will not turn from each other when life becomes hard.  This knowledge gives me a sense of security that no matter what, he will be there for me.

My god has he been there for me.  He was there the night that I miscarried.  He supported me need to not really celebrate Christmas that year.  He was there as I struggled to gain my footing after the birth of Little Miss.  Most importantly, he has continued to be my rock through my PPD.  There has never been judgement from him, just concern and support.  Brad was the one who talked with my midwives just before Buddy arrived.  He told them that I had struggled after Little Miss and he needed them to keep a close eye and me and make me talk.  I am certain that he doesn't understand what I am going through but he has stood by my side and has held me up as I have sunk into that terrible darkness. 

My husband is an amazing father.  I watch in awe as he plays with the kids . . . not a skill I am completely comfortable with.  He is an amazing husband.  Okay, he is not always on the same page as me when it comes to house work etc. but for the really important stuff, he totally rocks.  Most importantly, he is an amazing friend to me and I love him with all of my heart.

Brad, if you are reading this, I just feel inspired to quote from that great 20th century lyricist . . .  Huey Lewis and let you know that "I'm so happy to be stuck with you"!  What can I say, it is not everyday that one can quote from Huey!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Band-aids Don't Go There

We made that most tragic of parenting errors and bought band-aids for Little Miss with characters on them . . . you know the extremely expensive ones that happen to look a lot like stickers.

There are Spider-Man ones, Princess ones, Scooby-Doo and Cars too.  There are even Fairy ones . . . I know this because I am currently sporting two on some very sore toes.  Why yes, I am in fact sporting these band-aids while wearing open toe sandals . . . cause I'm classy like that.

It didn't take long for the kidlets to decide that these were basically glorified stickers and fake an injury just to get one.  Little Miss would suddenly have an invisible cut and Buddy desperately needed one because he did something to his knee/hand/forehead.

Band-aid consumption in our household was becoming increasingly insane and decided that it had to be stopped.  So I did just that and bough regular old plain beige band-aids.  The sudden rash of unexplained injuries ended and we now had band-aids when one was actually needed.

Then my mother-in law began adding the fun bad-aids to all her gifts and the craziness began again . . . hence the fairies on my big toes. 

The other day I had one of those parenting moments that had me spouting off advice I never thought I would have to give out.  The little man was in one of his "need to be permanently attached to momma" mornings and it appeared that he wanted to jump in the shower with me.  Fine, anything to stop the crying and whining.

He never actually made it into the shower but seemed to enjoy the whole nakedness thing and I was able to enjoy my shower.  As I was drying off the little guy noticed a package of Cars band-aids on the counter because my big toe needed a break from all the Disneyness of the Princess/Fairies and motioned to me that he desperately needed one. 

So, like the ever compliant minion that I am, I got one for him and then asked where he wanted it.  He quickly scanned over his body before deciding on the perfect spot.  A little tugging, pulling and yanking in my direction let me know that he wanted me to put that band-aid right on the tip of his tiny penis.  No sweetie, we don't put band-aids on our penis. 

This then led to a conversation where we created a new house rule.  We don't put band-aids on our penis or our vagina.  Seriously, since having kids some rather strange sentences have exited my mouth. Sigh.

What about you?  What are some of the strangest sentences you have ever uttered to your kids?


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Slip Sliding

Set backs are normal.  No one is happy all of the time.  Just because you are feeling down doesn't mean that the depression has wormed its way back to being front and centre. 

I keep telling myself this because to be perfectly honest, the past couple of days I have been feeling really, really down.  My ability to concentrate and focus has disappeared once again.  I feel exhausted and weak.  I am near tears and scared.

I am scared because I cannot see anything in my life over the past couple of days that could have triggers these feelings.  Life has just been chugging along, nothing out of the ordinary to disrupt our routine.  Yet here I am struggling not to cry.

I don't even have the energy to be angry that I am feeling this way. 

Ah, perhaps I just need more sleep.  Perhaps I need to exercise more.  Perhaps it really is just my hormones playing some sort of sick game on me.  Not cool hormones, not cool. 

Through it all I did manage to arrange a tour of the fire station for the little man's birthday party on Sunday.  He is going to love it because he loves all things truck related and fire trucks . . . well now those are just magical to him.  So you see,  I am functioning, I'm just not much fun. 



Monday, 10 October 2011

Simple Pleasures

Hum, so today was Thanksgiving Monday for those of us who live in the Great White North.  I am all for celebrations that result in more time spent with my family but Thanksgiving is one of my favourites.  I could wax on about how it is a favourite because I take the time to really think about what it is that I am thankful for . . . but that would be rather disingenuois.  You see, it is one of my favourites because I love the fall.

Autumn is my favourite season.  I love to see the leaves on the trees change colour.  I love the beautiful sunny days.  I love the fact that the weather is starting to cool down and I can move back into my clothing of choice . . . pants and long sleeves.

After a couple of meals with family and friends we spent today at home just the four of us.  At some point today I actually did stop and think of how thankful I am for my life and how it is the simple pleasures that truly make days like today great.

So in the spirit of so many blog posts out there, I thought I would create my very own list . . . of the simple pleasures I took note of today.

1.  There is nothing like the feeling of sliding into a freshly changed and made bed.  Crisp new sheets pulled tight, my head sinking into a pillow fresh from the dryer and covered with a new pillow case . . .  what a wonderful way to fall asleep.

2.  Seeing the look of excitement in the eyes of my kids as they experience something new.  We took the kidlets apple picking for the first time today.  They were so proud when they not only found an apple on the tree but when they picked it and put in in the basket all by themselves . . . wow, they were so proud of themselves and so was I.

3.  Sleeping with the window open.  There is just something about snuggling down warm in bed, with a cool breeze blowing in.  A room cooled by fresh air is the best atmosphere to sleep in and just makes me feel all warm and safe. 

4.  Baking something from scratch.  There was a time, long ago, when I lived at my parents and thus they bought the ingredients, that I would do all sorts of baking.  My god, I used to bake bread from scratch.  Nowadays my kiddos think that all muffins and cakes can be made by dumping powder from a box and adding water . . . or maybe even an egg.  Today Little Miss and I took some of the apples that we picked and made homemade apple crisp.  It was delish  . . . seriously that is what my four year old said . . . delish . . . where do they pick up these things!

5.  Outdoor chores.  Seeing as it was gorgeous out, we set out to get the backyard ready for winter.  We pruned back our out of control Rose of Sharon bush and created a new garden area.  We weeded and mowed the lawn.  We still have a bit more to do but that will wait until after next weekend and our birthday party for Buddy. The combination of being outside and getting shit done . . . it really can put a smile on my face.

6.  Accidentally finding a gift.  My little guy loves, LOVES Grover from Sesame Street but apparently Grover is the one character that they have decided does not need to be marketed.  There are 2 billion different toys with Elmo on it . . . hell I even found a plush version of Murray but no Grover.  Saturday was one of those shopping days . . . I wasn't even looking for something for Christmas but there he was . . . a tiny little Grover sitting in a fire truck . . . seriously a fire truck yet another thing my little guy LOVES  . . . what are the chances.  You better believe I grabbed that little blue monster and hauled him to the cash. 

7.  Accidentally finding a gift . . . and then finding out it was on sale!  Oh yes, Grover was on sale for 25% off!!!!  I am not a shopper but I totally did a happy dance in the aisle of Toys-R-Us.

8.  Staying up late to be silly.  Saturday night I took part in my very first Twitter party . . . #wineparty at that!  Now believe it or not, I wasn't drinking as I was already in bed but it was fun just to take the time and tweet.  I haven't been on as much as I have been and I have really missed chatting with people.  Saturday night I stayed up too late and I just chatted and I had fun.  I tried Tweetchat for the first time.  Got motion sick watching the conversations fly by and I loved every minute of it.  Who knows, perhaps it will become more of a regular thing for me . . . and perhaps next time I will actually have a drink while tweeting.

9.  My little girl can totally weld a hammer.  I am just beginning to learn about all of the different events out there for families . . . and the fact that some of the best events are totally free.  Earlier in the summer Brad took Little Miss to a kids workshop conducted at the Home Depot.  The kids are given a little orange smock and a kit to build something.  To date, Little Miss has created a coaster set, a message board and, just this past weekend, a little wooden helicopter that she is going to give to her brother for his birthday.  Yes, I am well aware that this is a total marketing ploy but you know what, I don't care.  It is a great way to introduce kids to the pride of creating something with their own two hands and it is free . . . that is my kind of marketing ploy.

10.  Going out for breakfast.  When Brad and I first got together I introduced him to the joy that is going out for breakfast.  There is just something so relaxing about being able to sit there and chat while someone else makes the coffee, brings it too me . . . hell they even refresh my cup without me having to ask.  Sigh!  Well those of you who are parents will understand when I say that going out for any meal is no longer all that relaxing when there are little children involved.  This morning we ventured out again and it was truly a relaxing breakfast.  We brought cars for the little man and colouring books for Little Miss and they behaved amazingly.  I was able to enjoy two, oh yes two, cups of coffee and we didn't have to scarf down our food because the kids weren't getting antsy.  It wsa a great way to start this holiday Monday.

So there are just some of the simple pleasures I took joy from this past weekend.  What about you?  What are the simple things that bring happiness to you?


Friday, 7 October 2011

TGIF: The Thanksgiving Edition

So today is Friday . . . which is always a good day . . . but this Friday is even better because it is the Friday before a long weekend.  This weekend is Thanksgiving in the Great White North and it looks like the weather is going to make this a warm and truly wonderful weekend.

Historically, at least here in Canada, Thanksgiving was meant to celebrate the harvest.  You see it gets cold here, in some places it gets hellishly cold, and the fall harvest was so important for survival over the long cold winter.  And here ends my history lesson . . . you are welcome!

Thanksgiving in my family has always been a time when the entire extended family got together, crowed into someones house and ate way too much yummy food.  All in all, it was an opportunity to just take time out of our busy lives to spend time with family and that is what we are preparing to do once again this weekend.

This year we are doing something a little bit different.  Tonight we are having some of our closest friends over for a Thanksgiving meal of turkey and all the fixings.  It will yet another crazy Friday night with the kids running amok and the parents sitting and enjoying time spent with adults . . . and hopefully some fun beverages!  Only time will tell if the kidlets will keep up their Friday night tradition of getting buck naked and jumping on Little Miss's bed with the Shew Fly Don't Bother Me blasting from her stereo!  What can I say, I am apparently raising some partiers.

I am truly thankful that we have such wonderful friends in our lives . . . friends who have become family. 

We will also be heading to my parents to get together with a whole bunch of my mom's family . . . which is awesome, loud and often results in my Grandma some how insulting someone.  Ah good times!

I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Of course I am thankful for all the usual crap . . . my family and friends are happy and healthy  . . . yada yada yada!  I have to say though, the thing that I am most thankful for is the fact that I am finally starting to feel more like myself.  I guess that means that I am thankful for crappy therapy and meds that help to pull me out of my shitty mood! 

Finally feeling more like the Jenn that I used to be is an amazing gift and one that I am not going to take for granted. 

So what about you, what are you thankful on this Friday? 


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Words of Wisdom: Start Strong

Once again today I met with my therapist.  Why start by mentioning that? Well today in bloggy land some very special women are working hard to shed light on the terrible fact that so many new moms end up struggling with Postpartum Depression . . . even worse is the fact that far too many struggle alone.

I am one of the fortunate ones who has people around me who recognized that I was struggling and worked hard to get me the support that I needed.  I am on medication to help stabilize my moods and I am seeing a therapist to help create coping mechanisms for when life becomes overwhelming again.

Things are looking positive for the first time in a long time . . . in over 3 years to be more precise.

After the birth of my daughter, an unplanned home birth at that, and the struggles with breastfeeding I found myself overwhelmed and struggling to get even the most basic tasks done at home.  I was exhausted and scared that I was failing at this whole motherhood thing.  There were times when I would become overwhelmed with anger at the fact that life was just not how I thought it should be.  What did I do to deserve a kid who wouldn't sleep?  What did I do to deserve a kid who wanted to be held and on the move at all times?  Why?  Why?  Why? 

I had undiagnosed PPD. 

Then I got pregnant the second time and things just got darker.  I began to give up things that once made me happy because they now caused nothing but anxiety.  I could not longer manage to make it to the gym.  Reading was just too much.  Work became a place where I felt uncomfortable, overwhelmed and unliked . . . completely alone. 

Finally my little guy arrived and I continued to spiral downward.  This time I was consumed with rage and very, very scary thoughts about things I wanted to do to my tiny baby. 

I broke down on my husband, sitting in the dark on our bed, holding my brand new baby boy with thoughts of throwing him as hard as I could against the wall streaming through my head .  . I begged Brad to help me. 

It hasn't been an easy road.  Since that night I have been lucky enough to get help from so many wonderful people.  My midwives, my Interpersonal Therapy nurse, my doctor, my wonderful husband, my amazing friends both in real life and here on-line. 

There have been ups and downs.  Giant steps forward and monumental leaps backwards but I keep working towards my goal.  One day I will be able to call myself a Survivor of Postpartum Depression. 

Wouldn't it be amazing if every new mother who finds herself struggling, overwhelmed and afraid knew that she was not alone.  Wouldn't it be amazing if every single mother was provided access to treatment.  Wouldn't it be amazing if every mother who has found herself in the grips of Postpartum Depression was able to call themselves a Survivor of Postpartum Depression.

To learn more about Postpartum Depression or to make a donation to the cause, visit Katherine at Postpartum Progress. 


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

He Did What?! Wednesday . . . on Tuesday

He Did What!?
Well okay, I know that it is currently Tuesday but I am guest posting on Australia where it is currently Wednesday . . . time zones are so cool!

So if you wouldn't mind, hop over and visit me at blog home of the amazing Glowless.  I know, she is totally awesome and while you are there remember to peek through her past posts because well, it really is a great place to waste time!

Without further adieu . . . my post for He Did What?!  Wednesday.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Political Correctness, Prejudices and Other Topics we Are Not to Speak of

I was going to write a post on how allowing someone to punch you in the stomach over and over again for a period of at least 2 to 3 minutes may not be the smartest way to spend a Saturday morning. . . Yes, I did in fact do that and I felt oh so invincible at the time . . . now I am just wincing and avoiding touching my ribs, but a topic just keeps coming up in conversation lately and has got me thinking . . . what is the difference or is there a difference between political correctness and just accepting differences?

See now, this all started with a tweet sent out stating that the tweeter thought it odd that schools are willing to have church services in their buildings but won't allow coaches/teachers to bow their heads in prayer.  Well now this is a topic that always peaks my interest because of my family.

You see, once upon a time I was an active member of a little Baptist church in my home town.  No, no, no this was no Southern Baptist Church . . . there were no spontaneous shouts of Hallelujah or hands waving in the air . . . actually it was quite the opposite.   I found myself pulling away from this belief system when I entered university.

I was a history/cultural anthropology major and that meant studying lots of different cultures and their varying belief systems.  I was exposed to so many fascinating new belief systems.  This exposure left me wondering how I could truly say that one was correct over another.  I can't and today I struggle to put any sort of a name on my beliefs but know that I harbour a strong sense of acceptance and tolerance.

Okay, I shall now reel myself back in from that total aside and back to the topic at hand.   I tweeted back that schools will rent their space out to whoever is willing to pay for it.  Another tweet back stating that said tweeter felt that this was hypocritical.  Another tweet from me asking if it would be hypocritical if the space was rented to host other services such as Jewish, Buddhist or Islamic service.  Back again with a response of "yes" and that is all just seems too politically correct.

Hum, is it really politically correct?  You see, I am not certain that it is.  I am not 100% familiar with American history but I am fairly certain that the division of state and religion is outlines in the Constitution . . . I know it is here in Canada.  This is nothing new and yet the enforcement of it has so many crying out against it . . . calling it political correctness gone wild.
So no I don't think that schools enforcing the separation of state and church is a negative thing.  I believe that public schooling should be free from the teachings of a church  . . .  any church.
Cut to a wonderful piece written by the one and only Lady E.  In her piece Lady E delves into people claiming the hardships and obstacles of the past to permit them to skirt around the political correctness of today. 

Hum, she does a much better job at explaining it all but I shall try.  Basically she wrote about a young man she knew in university.  This young man grew up in a very priviledged family, attending private schools and having all sorts of material goods at his disposal.  Yet he created art from the perspective of an black man being oppressed by white society.  Lady E. took acception to this because this young man had not exactly lived an oppressed life.

It all boils down to this . . . I am lucky in that I was born into a privileged country and that I happened to be born with a colour of skin that allows me a certain amount of simplicity in my day to day living.  Let's just state it like it is . . . I am a white Canadian and I have never had to deal with the hardships that racism creates. 

That being said, I am not my ancestors.  I do not judge a person based on their skin colour, their hair colour, their religious beliefs or who it is that they have fallen in love with.  I am NOT my ancestors.  Yet time and time again I am made to feel like I must apologize for the terrible deeds done by white Canadians of British descent,  therefore I should probably apologize for all of the terrible deeds done by white Britons as well.  Oh yes, I am also totally aware that this easily fits under the twitter hashtag of #firstworldproblems.

I cannot control the past and the beliefs held by my rather privileged ancestors but I can help to change the future by teaching my children the beliefs that I hold dear. 

I will not play the angry female who has been repressed by a male dominated society because that has not been my experience.  In return, I ask that you don't judge me based on the actions of my ancestors.