The Great Hair Debate

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I cut my daughters hair.

Yes, I know. This, for some people, is gasp-worthy. How could I cut off all my daughters hair into a short bob? What about braids? What about barrettes? What about ponytails? I have actually been told that she no longer looks like a little girl.

Really? Does hair really define femininity? And, why are we in such a hurry to place gender stereotypes on our children? My daughter was a fairly bald baby until she was about 1 and we were constantly asked, "How old is he?" even while she was wearing a bright pink dress. I kid you not. Does a child need hair to denote gender?

Some background: my daughter is very athletic and is very much a rough and tumble kind of kid. She does have a girly side though, and does enjoy dress up time where she can be a princess or a fairy. However, she cannot stand to have anything in her hair. The instant you put barrettes in, she'll yank them out. A ponytail will last only seconds. Braids? Don't even go there. She can't even sit still long enough for braids.

So, being practical (and also loving my own short hair), I thought it would be best to chop it all off. No muss, no fuss. No more knots to worry about either. Plus, my daughters hair is very fine so shorter is better. Or so I thought.

At first, it was wonderful. Easy to get ready, you barely even had to brush it and she's ready to go for the day. Plus, Amelia loved it too - she would tell everyone she saw, "look at my new haircut". I was delighted.

Then kids started to ask if she was a boy or a girl. Now, I am not placing blame on children - they just say what comes into their heads and there is no problem with that. The problem lies in that it started to affect my daughter, and that in turn made me feel like a bad mother. It doesn't matter what anyone else tells you, when your daughter looks at you and says, "They think I'm a boy, but I'm not a boy", your heart breaks. Can a hair cut really ostracize one child from another? 

Mama guilt set in. Every time a new child would ask me, "Is that kid a boy or girl?" the guilt would get worse. And, every time I corrected a child: "Amelia is a girl", and they would reply with, "Oh. I thought she was a boy", I wanted to take Amelia and run away. It happened more often than you would think.

So then I find myself debating another hair cut. Let it grow out, or keep it short? Then, I would feel silly for fretting over it at all. After all, it's only hair.

Or is it?

First Ultrasound

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hi everyone,

So, we had our first ultrasound of baby #2 on Monday afternoon. It was seriously difficult to drink the required amount of water (and keep it down) so that they could see the baby. I was even sipping water in the waiting room, very slowly. 

When my name was called, I went back to the examining room and was promptly told that I had not drank enough water. Ug. Okay. Let's chug back some more, why not? At that point, I was told that they would go with plan B if there wasn't enough water in my bladder. Plan B? It turns out that they can be an internal exam by going up the you -know-where. Not exactly family friendly (Amelia and Rob were waiting to come in after the initial exam). So, more water it was!

In five more minutes, it was time to go. It was quite a surreal experience. Up until that point, the only confirmation that I had that I was pregnant were the pee sticks (and a super late period..), so I think a part of me still didn't really believe that I was actually pregnant. Seeing the 9mm baby and their heart beat was truly amazing. Okay, so we're really going to have another baby. 

Another great thing: the midwife called yesterday and said that the blood work came back and all was normal. Whew! 7 weeks and counting.

Now, if I could only get rid of this constant nausea...

We're Pregnant!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yes, it's true - we're pregnant! I can't seem to write that without using an exclamation point so you can tell that we're pretty excited. And trepidatious...

You see, my first pregnancy had some complications. Mainly, an illness known as Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Here is a quick overview (and support page) for those who are interested: "Welcome to a resource for women and their families who experience Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP), or cholestasis of pregnancy, also referred to as Obstetric Cholestasis (OC). Often, the only symptom noticed is itching. The itching can vary from person to person on the palms of hands, arms, legs, soles of feet or all-over itching. ICP/OC carries an increased risk of spontaneous premature birth, fetal distress, maternal hemorrhaging, meconium staining and stillbirth (intrauterine fetal demise)."

Sounds fun, right? I had the most intense itching I have ever experienced. And the horrible thing was that the itching was INSIDE the skin - no relief no matter how much cream you put on your skin, no matter how much you itched.

Once this symptom showed up and the results of my blood test came back (not good), I was assigned a prenatal nurse who would visit my house every day until labour began. The first day she arrived, she took the fetal heart rate and promptly sent me to the hospital. She told me, "do not let them send you home, you need to have this baby soon". Scary. We had nothing packed and had just that morning set up the baby hammock. My last day of work was February 20th and I was in the hospital February 21st. My child's due date was March 17th.

That first day in the hospital was a long one. They didn't know if they would have to section me, so I couldn't eat anything for most of the day. Once they decided to induce instead, I was finally allowed to eat. The inductions happened over a few days and our daughter was born on February 24th. 

Now, I know that the symptoms of Cholestatis are usually just itching, but I also had blackouts and fainting spells. I lost my vision several times too. Have you ever had Cholestasis and experienced these symptoms too? Perhaps it was something else. 

Cholestasis is likely to reoccur with each subsequent pregnancy, so I'll be looking for ways to improve my liver functions (ways that are also safe for pregnant ladies). And, I'll be blogging my way through this journey. I hope you can join me too.

Although there are some risks, we are elated to be having another baby. 6 weeks pregnant so far!

A change of scenery, a change in myself

Sunday, June 03, 2012

So, for those that don't know, I moved to Nanaimo from Edmonton last summer. It was a big adjustment in many ways. First, I went from a pretty big city to quite a smaller one (Edmonton population = 800,000, Nanaimo = 80,000 approx.). Much of the shopping that I took for granted, ie: Ikea, Mec, is not nearly as available as it once was. Many of the entertainment options are different now too. Although, to be fair, my entertainment options dropped considerably when I had a child too. 

One thing that I did not expect, however, was a total identity shift.

Let's go back a few days. My good friend, Marliss, was visiting from Edmonton and I was so excited to see her. Marliss and I go waaaay back - back to my acting / directing days at the Walterdale Playhouse, many years before Amelia came along. Marliss is one of those "Woman about town" kind of women. I mean, she is stylish, beautiful, confident, and is super smart. Plus, she knows people from all over the city and can adapt to every kind of group. We knew lots of the same people and we were both city girls.

For me, my identity was very much wrapped up in being a part of the city. I loved Edmonton's local and diverse food scene, loved the indie boutiques, and I loved the arts community. Then, I became a mom and was introduced to the amazing mom entrepreneurs in e-town. My career path had changed but my fundamental identity was the same. I was still that same woman who preferred heels to runners, dresses to pants, and I never even owned a pair of shorts.

Moving to Nanaimo was a huge change. And it became much more evident when my friend, my past, came to visit.

Marliss and I went shopping. It was once my favorite activity. I was struck at how differently I viewed things now: I felt like I was past the "cutesy" stage (out with my adorable sack dresses), and I wasn't quite in the "mature woman" stage. Shopping used to be a place where I felt familiar, where I knew what I wanted and where I could get it. Now it was a whole new territory. Why didn't I want to try on those cute shoes? Well, I knew the answer to that - I was saving up for a pair of Vibram Five Fingers Running shoes.

Okay. Wait. Now I want running shoes? Hold on, when did that happen? 

It happened when I moved to the Island. I started walking more, taking hikes and actually enjoying them. I started going to Zumba class, I got back into ballet. Then, I signed up for a "learn to run" class. This changed everything. I am now fully addicted to running. All I want to do is run. I wake up every morning thinking, "when will I run today?". 

I own shorts now, and I even have a pair of capris. I wear my lululemons to work out now, not just for running errands around town. My barely used running shoes have gotten a lot more mileage within the last year, and my hoodie collection has grown too. 

My identity shift wasn't all about clothing, but it was the thing that struck me the most. A year ago I would have thought the Vibram Five Fingers shoes were the ugliest things ever. Now I don't care - I just want to go barefoot running in them. I actually think they are pretty cool looking. They get noticed, that is for sure. By no means is one identity better than the other. In fact, I still like to think of myself as a city gal. A city gal who loves both the hustle of the inner city, and who also loves the quiet places by the ocean.

I am so glad Marliss came to visit. It was so great to catch up and to show her all the things that I love about Nanaimo. I still love Edmonton too, and I am looking forward to visiting e-town this summer. It's funny how a change in scenery can really change a person.

I had to post a photo of my new shoes :-)

My Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport

 The bottom of the shoe

Testing..Testing..One..Two..Three...Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper Vs. Amelia

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Okay. I fully admit it. I am a cloth diaper geek. 
Other people get excited over test driving new cars, or checking out the latest tech gadgets. Me? I'm thrilled when I get to test out a new cloth diaper.
Well, not me exactly. It's more like my daughter, Amelia, does the actual testing. 
So, I was very happy to receive a new shipment of Charlie Banana diapers - especially the super cute ones that had "goodbye disposable, hello cloth" written on them.
And, since we have just moved and the web store was down for a little bit, we had plenty of time to get some use out of them.

Their one size works like most other one size diapers, and was very easy to put on the girl (even a crazy active girl like our Amelia who rarely sits still). We made sure to use these new diapers at least 3 times a week, and to include naps and overnights too - just to see how they would perform. Overnights are currently a big deal with us right now. Our DD usually wakes up with a super wet diaper, and we have certain diapers which we reserve for overnight use. 

I LOVE Charlie Banana! These diapers never leaked - never! They fit our girl (at 32 pounds) perfectly, and contained her overnight wetting like few other diapers can. We used these diapers on our girl when we took the ferry to Vancouver (it's not always easy to change a baby on the ferry so I always try to put a really good diaper on her before we leave), and we used them overnight when staying at our relatives homes. I find it very important to trust that Amelia's diaper will not leak overnight and hence, will not leak onto guest beds. 

For overnight use, I triple stuff her diapers (3 inserts), and for naps and daytime use, the 2 inserts worked wonderfully. 

Our la la ladybug family is very excited to be offering Charlie Banana diapers for your family. Another bonus is that Charlie Banana supports Operation Smile, a medical charity that helps children around the world.:

It's a Win-Win!

In celebration of our grand re-opening, we will be giving away a fabulous Charlie Banana "Goodbye Disposable, Hello Cloth" One Size Diaper. All you need to do is sign up for our newsletter at for the giveaway details.

Have a lovely day!

the la la ladybug family.

Yes - You CAN Love Cloth Diapering!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It's finally spring and it's the perfect time to try new things. Have you ever wanted to try cloth diapering but it seemed too overwhelming? Have you used them in the past with little success? 

At the last trade show I participated in, I heard many stories of people who really did want to use cloth diapers, but something came in the way. Some parents had bought diapers but after a few uses, they began to leak. 
I often hear that people use diaper rash creams with their cloth diapers - this can be one of the reasons why your diapers leak (all diaper rash creams are designed to repel wetness to clear up the rash. Repelling wetness is not good for your diapers -you want them to be as absorbent as possible).
Another culprit can be the detergents that are used when washing the diapers. Although a detergent may have a label that says it's "earth friendly", it doesn't mean that it is cloth diaper friendly. Take a look at the list of ingredients - if there is anything that says "coconut and/or kernel oil", it cannot be used to wash diapers. The oil in the detergent acts much like the rash cream - it will make your diapers repel wetness and hence, they will leak.
Not to fear though, all you need to do is strip those diapers to make them as good as new (you may need to strip them a few times to get them back to being absorbent. I found this out the hard way).
There are many ways to strip diapers that work. Check out this blog post and the responses from other cloth diapering parents who had some great ideas:,_I_need_your_help/

Do you have any other questions about cloth diapering? Have you ever wanted to try them out but weren't sure where to begin?
Drop me at an email at: ( - I would love to help you love cloth diapering your little one.

la la ladybug at Mommylicious!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Just a quick note to let you know that we will be at Mommylicous, and fan-tab-ulous trade show, on March 6th. We hope you can come out and see us!