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Christy's Houseful of Chaos » politics: How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have nothing to give them and then I’m so keenly aware of them pulling on me, talking to me, seeking approval and asking for attention and I don’t know what to (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Peter MacKay’s wife doesn’t help his – or our – cause

The latest flap over sexist comments from Justice Minister Peter Mackay came about when a Mother’s and Father’s Day emails from Peter Mackay to his staff were leaked to the media. The comparison isn’t pretty: put side to side it makes it seems like mothers should be applauded for doing housework like changing diapers and making dinners while fathers are praised for moulding, guiding and influencing their children. Sigh.

That the comparison is clearly sexist shouldn’t exactly be controversial to most readers of this blog, but the blame game is a little less straight forward. Let’s get a few things (Read more…)

cmkl: Growing by leaps and bounds

I daily marvel at my daughter. I expect I’m like most parents. But I often get caught in the mental rut of baby parenting, despite the fact that Mallory’s eight. The baby parenting rut assumes the child is totally incapable of almost everything. But every now and again Mallory does something (or several things) to […]

A Puff of Absurdity: What’s a Mother to Do?

It’s always harder to have something taken away than to never have it in the first place.  But still…

A local high school is removing a few dozen students from the school bus route because the board realized the kids are within official walking distance to the school – 3.2 km.  Families are upset because they can’t afford the bus fare, their teenagers can’t be expected to walk that far, and, during a couple weeks of December and January, the sun will be just about to rise when they embark on their morning trek.  One parent commented in The (Read more…)

Christy's Houseful of Chaos » politics: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those weird non-holiday holidays. There’s issues with the ethics of cut flowers and a need to buy ethical fair-trade organic chocolate. There are those who complain about it making single people feel bad and others who say its all just a marketing scam. Yet this year, despite the strangeness, I’m drawn to the idea of Valentine’s Day.

See the 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day. In Canada it’s the day of the missing women memorial march remembering native women who have been murdered and/or trafficked. In other countries it is the day for One Billion Rising, (Read more…)

cmkl: Balance beam

Balance beam. As the family photographer it fell to me to attend Mallory’s last gymnastics class. She had an ear to ear grin on during the entire class. Except when she was really focussed. Of all the activities we put her through this is clearly her favourite.

350 or bust: For Our Children: Stand Up, Speak Out

It`s TED Talk Tuesday on 350orbust. Marianne Williamson, an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher and New York Times bestselling author, spoke at TEDx Traverse City earlier this year. I love that she`s running for Congress in 2014; she could be a game-changer. *

cmkl: On the occasion of the website re-launch

So today marked the finale of a two year campaign to re-design, re-engineer and re-everything the flagship website where I work. And after the most excruciating day of bickering about DNS changes, being incredulous about block translation bugs, and general angst, this was waiting for me at home. My heart melted.

A Puff of Absurdity: Paternity Rights in Rape Cases

It’s an interesting moral dilemma to have a judge decide a child has access to a father when the only contact the mother and father had was a sexual assault producing this child.  This isn’t entirely the story here.  In this article, it could be a case of statutory rape.  It’s possible there was a relationship for a while, that led to vocally consensual, yet not actually legal, sex.  It’s not clear from the article if it was a guy jumping out of the bushes or a romantic tryst gone wrong or something in between.

The young mother, H.T. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On factory families

Sure, some are responding to the Fraser Institute’s “study” on the costs of child-rearing with mockery and/or outrage. But in fairness, let’s acknowledge that the study’s validity simply depends on the accuracy of its assumptions, which may well vary from parent to parent.

And given Christopher Sarlo’s reliance on children costing precisely zero in housing, furniture and care expenses, it could be that he’s found a highly profitable enterprise for anybody who sees this as a model for a happy and healthy family:

A Puff of Absurdity: On Categorization of Behaviours and Abilities

People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will change everything.  There is no single magic bullet.  - Temple Grandin

Some people are quite upset about the recent change to the DSM that removes Aspergers as a separate category from Autism. Now kids formally diagnosed as having Aspergers are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) instead. The WHO advocates using the ICD anyway – where Aspergers is still a separate category; the DSM is more American than universal.  Whatever. I’m more bothered by how the DSM and ICD are set up to begin with.

Why do we want (Read more…)

cultural sn:afu: Little Victor Update | Finally, he can fly

A few days ago Victor and Andrew, his older brother, were playing what was essentially ‘motionless tag’ in the living room. Basically it was Victor tapping Andrew’s shoulder, then yelling “tag, you’re it”, and Andrew immediately doing the same right … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Parenting Level: 100

I’d love to see her take on Barbie. Alltop can take itself too humorously sometimes…

cmkl: Mallory read to her parents tonight

Warning: braggy parent post trigger warning. At least I can promise I will keep it short. I wanted to mark the occasion. Mallory read ten pages of Charlotte’s Web to Irene and I tonight. We were coaching her a bit but she was doing it.

cmkl: Some moments in my life are truly awesome

Mallory said this to me after we got back from her Oma and Opa’s place this afternoon. Don’t know what she was thinking of but I thought of her going over the jump Irene made for her on the hill in Opa and Oma’s back yard.

cmkl: Another year, another cookie

Mallory was in the cookie race again. No idea how she finished overall but she headed out strongly. I saw here smoke someone else from her heat climbing the hill and she tells me she came in second of all the girls she started with.

cmkl: The next thing you hear about Mallory’s sleep habits

Will be when I announce she slid moving out of the house to go to university, join the circus or whatever she decides to do as an adult. Because both times I have blogged to say she is sleeping on her own she’s gone back to co-sleeping almost immediately afterwards. So the next time it [...]

cmkl: Really the end of co-sleeping this time… maybe?

In November 2011, Mallory started sleeping on her own after co-sleeping since she was an infant. At the time, it was an event we’d been hoping for since 2008.

Another Step to Take: vaccines and the selling of fear.

I read an article today about a family in New Zealand where a young boy came down with tetanus. His father is speaking out about their decision not to vaccinate, admitting that it was the wrong decision and hoping to spare others the pain they have had to suffer. The following stuck out to me: He’s not stupid. If anything, he was just a little bit too smart for his own good.

The Williams are the one in 10 parents who opt out when it comes to vaccination, not out of ignorance, but because they think they know everything. Williams said they believed they’d done their research but now admits they were out of their depth. 

Also: He also says they fell for the myths and conspiracies that pepper the internet. The Williams downloaded information from the internet and underestimated the diseases while over-estimating the risks of the . . . → Read More: Another Step to Take: vaccines and the selling of fear.

A Puff of Absurdity: On RESPs, EAPs, Grants, Gains, and Morons

Okay, maybe “moron” is a little harsh.  I just finished a painful conversation with a banker.  We argued for over an hour before he asked a superior and conceded that I actually know what I’m talking about.  Here’s the deal…

ETA (Jan 10) – Okay, wait!  The following shouldn’t have happened at all according to Rob Carrick AND according to the Canada Revenue Agency.  I’m still waiting for National Bank Securities to explain themselves – or for the agent I spoke to to apologize for an error that maybe had nothing to do with company policy.  And I could be out (Read more…)

cmkl: Seven

Around this time in 2006 Irene and I were settling in to a room at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, tired, bewildered, but crazy, heart-bursting in love with our newborn child, Mallory.

cmkl: Cast off

Mallory had her cast off at CHEO this morning. Her arm feels a bit tentative and as anyone who’s ever had a cast remembers, the skin on her arm was pretty gross. But she’s happy to be free of the thing. As am I. . . . → Read More: cmkl: Cast off

cmkl: Pink cast

Mallory and I went to CHEO today for a follow-up x-ray and examination of Mallory’s arm. And lo and behold she scored this stunning number. So Mallory has two weeks of this just-past-the-elbow cast. It’s got more signatures on it now but it’s every bit as radiant.

cmkl: Buckle fracture

Last Tuesday Mallory fell off a play structure at school when another kid slammed into her. She came home complaining of arm pain and when it was clear that it wasn’t going away I put a tensor bandage on it. There was swelling, bruising, no numbness, reduced mobility and reduced hand strength.

Canadian Progressive: Sexism: A Call to Arms for Decent Men

Guys, we have a problem. We are letting way too many boys get into adulthood without actually becoming men. We’re seeing more and more adult males around who are not men.