Thursday, August 30, 2012

momstown Turning 5 Big Thank-you!

I don't think we could have had a better success at our birthday party this year. We had an amazing team of helpers that got us through our day without any hitches (minus one AMA call to get Janine's car open). We had beautiful weather to complement our great party. It was so exciting to watch it all come together first thing in the morning. It was a great feeling to look around and see everything all ready to go as people started lining up.

Last Minute look around before everyone started arriving
                                                                                                     Bouncy House/Castle courtesy of the Toy Hutch

 Thank you to our volunteers who took such good care of our registration table and made sure every one was registered in a quick and friendly manner, so everyone could have as much fun as possible.

  Our morning started with individual photo with Scholastic's Clifford the Big Red Dog!! Then he joined the fun!!

Once the day got underway we had local sponsors support our six pillar programs and share them with everyone at the party!

Edmonton Public Library supporting our Literacy Pillar by doing story time!

Hetty & Dyllis from Walters Music Studio sharing their love of music and supporting our Music pillar!
Simply For Life doing a snack station supporting our Nutrition pillar!

Champions Gymnastics supporting our Fitness pillar!
Tiny Labs supporting our Science pillar

Thank you to Investors Group for our Rest and Relax Station for the moms and for Electric Cherry Nailz coming to do mini mani's for the moms!

 Thank you to Fisher Price for giving us  toys to test out then give away at the end of our party, it was always full of kids playing, it was a little difficult to pulls the kids away when it was time to give the toys away :)

We ended the fun with parachute time and gathering together to sing Happy Birthday right before devouring delicious mini cupcakes from Crave!

Thank you to Angel's Heavenly Delights for our back up cupcakes!

If you didn't already know, has partnered with Today's Parent, throughout the months of August and September if you sign up with any momstown chapter or renew your current membership you get a free 1 year subscription to Today's Parent or add on to your current subscription!

                                                     Our Fantastic Prize Table!!!

Thank you soooo much Britax for all your prize donations, especially the coveted stroller!

Maria from CoverBoo Couture bringing her donation!
                                                      Some of our winners :)


                                                 Putting our feet up after a good day :)

                         Thank you a million times over to everyone that came and had fun!!!!


Saturday, July 28, 2012


PTSD is short for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A condition commonly suffered by the members of our Canadian Forces. However as stated on the Vancouver Birth Trauma support group site, around 30% of women are traumatized during the birth of their child and between 2% and 6% go on to develop PTSD. The cause of PTSD for me is from the trauma that I experienced during the labour, delivery and post delivery of my daughter Hannah. Hannah was born Friday, the 5th of September 2008. On September 4th, my first day of Maternity leave and 37 week checkup everything was looking great. I was retaining a lot of water but this had already been happening since my 20th week of pregnancy. My obstetrician was relieved to hear that I was done working and I was looking forward to watching daytime TV for a few weeks. My husband had started his Vehicle Technician training with the Canadian Forces in Borden Ontario a few days prior. He had already had the permission from his Sergeant to take a few days off when Hannah was born. Everything was in place. The 5th, 6th and 7th were my prenatal classes with my best friends who were my coaches in case Nick didn’t make it in time. All that was needed was for me to get some rest as I had been working 12 to 14 hour days up to this point in preparation for my planned four month maternity leave. 

Well Hannah had a different plan. On the night of the fourth while skyping with my husband Nick my water broke. I was Strep B + so off to the hospital I went. My hospital of choice was a teaching hospital which only takes deliveries after 37 weeks. Since I was exactly 37 weeks I made them keep me. Took the intern who I nicknamed Dougie Howzer what felt like a million internal examinations to determine that yes my water did break. It was time to hook me up to my antibiotics. Since I was so swollen this took three tries and finally a senior nurse successfully inserted the IV. I still have scars from the attempts. At this point my blood pressure was quickly rising. I was barely a centimeter dilated. They decided to let me rest through the night and would induce me in the morning. This was great because Nick wouldn’t be on a flight till the next morning if at all. At 7am they started the induction medications. By lunch time I was 4.5 cm dilated and already in quite a bit of pain. I had an epidural and was told to try and sleep. By 1pm I was in so much pain. The epidural was not working. I was very weak. I told the nurse I was dying. I can’t explain without sound ridiculous but I could see the “bright lights”. I was begging anyone who’d listen for a C-section, the last thing I ever wanted. They instead gave me another epidural. My husband was on his way from Toronto. My poor friends I tell you, I don’t know what I would have done without them. I only wish they could have better advocated for me. Everyone just thought I was being a wimp. 6:28 pm and my blood pressure was 212 over 140 something. I had two epidurals, morphine, demurral, gas, with my husband and my Daddy by my side I started to seizure. My husband in his army greens went where he likely shouldn’t have been and found a doctor. A pic line was inserted into my artery and the Obstetrician said to my husband as they wheeled me away, “We will try and save your wife”. With no where for them to go but the waiting room and wait, Hannah was born at 649 pm perfectly healthy at 6lbs, 2 oz.  Around 8pm is when I started to come through. All I remember is my Daddy by my side and me saying to the doctor, I told you I needed a C-section. My blood pressure was still through the roof so I was on 24 hour monitored care and medication. Nick was not allowed to stay with me nor was Hannah. I couldn’t nurse her because they were not sure the effects of the medication and were waiting for a proper safety analysis to be done. At around 3 am I became very coherent so my wonderful nurse brought me my baby girl. I just held her and cried. Within half an hour I started to crash like a junkie so I had to be sedated. I was woken by Nick and Hannah the next morning. Since I was still considered in critical condition with very high blood pressure and temperature I remained under 24 hour supervised care without being able to eat and drink very little and have very limited visitation until Sunday morning. This day they transferred me to a semi private room with another woman and her baby. I still had a catheter so I was not allowed to be unsupervised with Hannah. Nick had to sign a waiver that he would not leave Hannah alone in my care without him or another family member present. On Saturday evening was I able to start breastfeeding so they were at least letting be a mom in some way, while Nick was there at least. Sunday night my baby went back to the nursery, my husband and family went home and I was left with a stranger and her baby who cried all night long. I joined him. By Monday afternoon they took my catheter out because I am allergic to latex and they didn’t know if it was latex free and they couldn’t find an explanation as to why I still had a high fever. I was excited. It was so nice to shower and be free. I could keep my baby in my room. That was the best night ever. Hannah and I were finally able to bond. I just watched her sleep and held her close. We had so many visitors coming and going I barely got to hold her unless I was nursing her. Tuesday morning came along and I begged Nick to get me out of there. I was tired of being poked and prodded. I was tired of being told how lucky I was and that I should be grateful for the beautiful baby girl I have. If my Obstetrician hadn’t have been on duty that night there’s no way I would have went home. Two young handsome residents had already told me no way until my fever went away and BP lowered more. Well my tears were stronger because I was released. I waved to them as I was leaving the hospital. Going home was no smooth sailing. My husband had till Sunday before had to return to Ontario. I was on strong medication to reduce my blood pressure and increase my iron. Hannah had jaundice so we had daily visits with the pediatrician and health nurse. But the important part, we were home as a family. During these last few days we decided that we would do everything we could to move Hannah and I to Ontario and I would take my one year Maternity leave. By middle of October, Hannah and I were on a plane to our new home.

At this point though I was happy to be with my husband, I was so homesick. I was suffering from Post partum depression. The trauma from the birth was the furthest from my mind. I overcame the PPD as well as two more moves across the country, a retirement from my career, and finally settling in Edmonton as a family. I got to enjoy another year home with my baby girl. And now I’ve got a great part time job that gives me extra spending money but also keeps me at home during the day. Life was good but then it hit. I recently started having anxiety, panic attacks. My husband was scheduled to go to Yellowknife for 8 weeks. Nothing new as he’s gone away before but this time we were going to be leaving Hannah with her new babysitter whom we’d only know for a few weeks. All this bringing up all those emotions I felt that time ago having my baby being cared for by strangers while I lie there unable to move and care for her. I couldn’t sleep. I cried all the time. I was a wreck. My husband has always asked me for more babies to which I’ve always replied no. The thought of not making it the next time around for Hannah makes me sick to my stomach. She’s everything to me. Finally I had a huge meltdown in front of him. He finally had seen what the birth of Hannah did to me. I had been so good at keeping it in. He got the ball rolling and we have now gone to 5 therapy sessions. He was able to stay home from the Yellowknife exercise and will not be going anywhere until the therapist says it’s ok. Right now I feel defeated. I hate to be that wife who doesn’t let their hubby go away. I hate to be that person who needs help. I’m stronger than this. I’ve been through worse in my life and came out fine. I still feel guilty and I feel like therapy is a waste of time and I’m not going to be cured after our 8 free sessions. I’m stilling waiting for the “ah ha” moment. But then I’m trying to sleep and I start to cry thinking of my tiny baby all alone in a big room with bright lights and other babies crying around her and I know that I can’t feel guilty. I can’t feel ashamed. I need help. I’m not strong right now and if I’m not cured in 8 free sessions then suck it up and pay till you are better. It’ll only benefit yourself and everyone around you.

Guest Blog by one of our great mamas!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

momstown is turning 5!

And everyone is invited!!!!!!!!!
 Mark it in your calendar!
Join Edmonton North and South on August 18th at Rundle Park from 10am-1pm. Sign up on our Facebook event page.

This year's birthday is going to be a huge bash. Not only do we have great national sponsors but we have great local sponsors. Our local sponsors are going to present each of our 6 program pillars: Literacy, Play & Social, Fitness & Adventure, Science& Discovery, Nutrition, Art & Music.

We are so excited to announce that we are going to have Clifford join us at our Birthday party!
If you didn't already know we have a fantastic media sponsor: Today's Parent! Look for momstown in the August Issue.

Thank you to our local sponsors!

We're planning a fun-filled day! Here's the activity schedule:
10:00 Welcome
10:20 Music For Young Children Demonstration
10:40 Simply for life - Nutrition Demo & Snack!
11:00 Crafters Barrel Crafts
11:20 Edmonton Public Library Story Time
11:40 Champions Gymnastics Demonstration
12:00 Parachute time with!
12:20 Cut Cake
12:40 Draw Prizes

11am-1pm - Curtis Scott Photography Free Family Mini-Sessions
10am-11am - Photo Opportunity with Clifford the Big Red Dog provided by Pawrifict photography

Bouncy castles provided by The Toy Hutch
Fisher Price Play Zone!
TinyLabs - Scientists in Training
Brookfield Homes Craft
Rest & Refresh Station- Sponsored by Investors Group - water and juice boxes by donation to the red cross and Electric Cherry Nailz coming to do mini mani's for the moms.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

momstown Edmonton North Luau games with Huggies!

I was so excited that May`s theme was luau! The first thing I did was go and find games so we could do luau games. Then came the exciting news that we would be able to sample the new limited addition Hawaiian Huggies diapers. Our luau theme came just in time for the weather to get nice so we could do it outside. However the day of our luau games it was crazy windy! An excess of 50 km winds! However our mama`s are rock stars and braved the wind and joined me for our games!!

We started off with a twist to musical chairs and did musical towels. In theory this is a great game, add a lot of wind and it doesn`t quite work. I am sure we spent more time chasing the towels down. I think we will try this game again but when we have less wind. We went old school and I brought my tape/CD player and the kids ran around with a gusto.

Next was our kiwi relay races, the kids absolutely loved this game. Who knew putting kiwis on spoons and getting the kids to run around our boxes of Huggies diapers would be so entertaining. They played until the kiwis were dropped and or exploded open.

Ever played duck, duck, goose? Make it luau and change it to shark, shark, fish! The kids were playing shy and didn't want to run around the circle, which meant us moms were picking the kids up and running for them! Oh man did it ever tire us out!

First I have to say I have hips to bear children, however I do not have hips to maneuver a  hula hoop. I was shown up by 4 year olds! It is a good thing that we had enough hula hoops for everyone because everyone participated in hula hoops.

To finish off our games we had coconut bowling. Again fun in theory but with wind we had a hard time keeping the pins up but that didn't deter the kids from trying to bowl with coconuts. To close off our game we had a pudding eating contest! It was nice to have the Huggies wipes on hand to clean up the mess especially since we were at a park. Always a good way to end a day!

Back to our rock star mamas, even though we had the kids all bundled up because of the wind they still wanted to try the diapers on children! The children were also rock star because they thought that it was great running around in the colourful diapers. Thank you everyone who made it out to our event, you all made it a great success.

momstown Edmonton North

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

momstown Edmonton North reads Giraffes Can't Dance partners with Scholastics Canada, and every month we get to read and then raffle off a book that goes with our monthly theme.  May's theme is Luau!! For this fun theme we got to read Giraffes Can't Dance by Andreae Giles. 

This month we combined our Play and Social and our Tales for Tots. The kids got to get all their energy out by running around and playing then afterwords they all sat down to read Giraffes Can't Dance. This is a fantastic book that lets kids know that it is okay to be different and dance to your own beat.

Also the illustrations in the book are colourful and alive. The dancing animals bring out cute little giggles from the kids. This is definitely a book that can be read time and time again!

 When we raffled off the book this month our winner was Riley!! Congratulations! 

momstown Edmonton North reads `I am Small` partners with Scholastics Canada, and every month we get to read and then raffle off a book that goes with our monthly theme. April`s theme was small animals and to go with that theme we read I am Small by Emma Dodd.

 When we all met for April`s Tales for Tots we brought our little stuffed animals to join us in reading I am Small. The book is visually striking and holds the attention of all the kids. While I was reading the book the kids noticed that I am small is repeated through out the book and they started saying it out loud with me while I was reading.

 This is such a sweet book, every time I read it I get choked up, and every time I read this book to my son I wish that we had our own small penguin!

                             A big congratulations to this months winner Brendan!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mommy Politics....How Low Will They Go?

A couple of weeks ago I  went on a local Facebook group for moms (not to be named) and they were discussing controversial parenting decisions. One of them was circumcision, so I thought I’d read on and see how that went over. 
Oh my! I’ve never seen such judgement, and distasteful arguments in my life. There was swearing, name calling,  judgmental comments like “I question your competence and ability to make educated choices for your children”.....really? It was like a high school cat fight.
What is it about our choices as mothers that make us so heated? Why can’t we all respect each other’s decisions and agree to disagree? I’m all for a debate, or an expression of your opinion, but there is a point when people have to stop and question whether they’re just sharing their views, or just criticizing others to be right. 
While there are some choices that I feel strongly about as a mother, such as my daughter growing up a Christian, it does NOT make me determined in any way to force anyone else to see my perspective, or push it down their throats. As long as my choices are respected, I will show respect to those who disagree.
I think what these moms who engage in mommy politics are missing is the bigger picture: THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO PARENT. No matter how many studies are conducted, or how many people tell you you’re right, there will always be someone who sees their role differently, or has a different perspective about how a child should be raised.
Honestly, whether you cloth diaper or use disposables, rear face until your child is 15 or switch them at a year (okay, that’s the law, not really a parenting choice), circumcise or not, etc. etc. etc. there are many moms who will do it differently, and their children will be fine just the same. The child will not remember whether they were cloth diapered, or bottle fed, or any of those things. What they will know (we hope), is that regardless of the choices we made for them, we made every choice in their best interest, because we love them and want the best for them. We do the best we can. And pushing an opinion on someone else isn’t going to correct a wrong, it’s going to cause hurt, and resentment. Why? As moms, especially those that are new moms, we should be supporting each other’s choices. We know how hard being a mom is. We take heat from every side - in laws, husbands, seniors who always seem to have done it better 50 years ago, our own now we’re turning on each other? We’re a team. We should support and respect each other. It’s tough to be a mom, and we do what we we feel is right, and what we can manage.
I went for a walk with one of our members the other day, and told her how disturbed I was over these cat fighting moms, and she pointed out that it’s hard for moms to find support like we have as momstown members. This is one of the many reasons I love momstown. Regardless of your choices, even if not everyone agrees with it, you’ll be respected, both on our message boards and in person. We all know that half the time, we’re just trying to SURVIVE. Who has time or energy to attack others? We know it’s hard. And the momstown mamas ARE a team, a support system. When our moms are having a hard time, we make them meals, offer our help, and encourage them. When everything is great, we celebrate and congratulate them. No attacks, or hate, no resentment or loneliness. Just love and support. Love it! 
And now for a little friendly reminder to the moms I witnessed cutting each other down on Facebook: 

Your momstown Edmonton North mama,