Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina: Oh, how I miss you.

This past Sunday we got to Skype with my husband’s family who live in a village just outside of Čitluk in Bosnia i Herzegovina. Seeing them and hearing their voices made me miss them and the beauty of the country they call home. My husband’s father built a wonderful house there and now all I can think about is the time we spent there and how much I want to go back.

This is a view from one of the bridges in Mostar.

This is a view from one of the bridges in Mostar.

My father-in-law passed away in November of 2013, and his wishes were for his children to bring him home to be laid to rest in the family vault. Because of the timing of his passing my husband and his siblings thought it was best to wait until the summer to make the arrangements and travel to Europe to honour his request. So in July 2014 my husband and I with one of my sisters-in-law boarded a British Airways plane with WAY too much luggage and began our journey to Europe with a 1 year old…on my lap. It was a tough journey, but after 2 stopovers – one in London* which I will NEVER do again and the other in Finland – we finally touched down in Dubrovnik. From door to tarmac it was a 24 hour journey, but the moment I stepped off that plane it didn’t matter, I fell in love.

Even at the airport I knew I was in a breathtakingly beautiful place. I could smell the sea, and I was surrounded by mountains. The air was so clean, the sky so clear and blue and you could actually see the shadows of the fluffy white clouds as the passed over the mountains.

It was like I stepped into a world that I thought only existed in my head. Continue reading

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, why is this still a question?

injection_1917206bSometimes I want to leave the internet. No seriously. I see things and I am like “This is the world I am living in? This is the world I am raising my child in?” And it makes my head hurt. It makes me want to shut off my phone/tablet/computer pack my bags and find an island somewhere to raise my son.

I have always been opinionated, but I am also open-minded. I have been known to change my mind on things because I have been presented with new information or facts that support the other side of the argument.

Which is why I can’t wrap my head around the growing number of parents who are not vaccinating their children and saying “it’s a personal choice”.

Huh, what?

Choosing to let your child cry-it-out is a personal choice. It’s not going to affect you or your life if I choose to let my child cry and learn self-soothing techniques. Just like it’s a parent’s choice to feed their child all organic food is not going to affect you or me. It’s a choice. One they have every right to make. Not vaccinating your child is not a choice, that is irresponsible and it’s negligible and it doesn’t just affect your child it affects me and mine. It’s selfish. It says that your fears are more important than my child’s safety, his health, his life. It says that you would rather bring back and spread infectious and possibly fatal diseases than have a child with autism or to put “toxic substances” inside your child’s body. The list goes on. So I am going to try and break it down for you.

Continue reading

Backseat Parenting: advice/comments that cross the line

2015/01/img_6975.png

Have you ever been in a situation where someone began to parent your kid in front of you and their style of parenting was not in line with yours? Or what about people who are constantly telling you how to raise your child? Or telling you it’s time to transition your child from breast to bottle? How about informing you that it’s high time you began potty training or *gasp* cross the line and implement their “recommendations” after you have repeatedly and politely declined wanting to do “insert task/advise” at this time (or ever)? I think this has happened to many of us (if not all) and the bigger problem is: How do you handle it?

One of the many things I love about my daycare provider is that she asks what we are doing at home so we can all be on the same page – she works with us to maintain consistency in Henry’s life – which almost everyone can agree is what is best for any child. I know that while I am at work if Henry throws a toy at another person or breaks down the baby gate to implement his escape plan that starts with traversing the stairs (yes, that actually happened) he will get a time-out or the toy taken from him. That’s what we discussed and that’s how I would handle it at home. I can see that these efforts at both daycare and home are working because Henry is “getting it”. He knows that if he does something at home or daycare there is a warning (depending on the offense) and that warning is “If you do that again you will get a time-out. Do you want a time-out?” and when he’s home the answer is a very emphatic “No Mama. No time-out.”

But there have been times when I am with friends or family members who may have had children or not and they have taken it upon themselves to step in and start “parenting”. Henry will start to act up/throw a tantrum and I will begin to handle it in our parenting style, which is a cross between a lot of different methods. I am firm and let him know I am there but I don’t coddle him or give into him. I want him to understand that he can’t always have what he wants when he wants it and if he does want something that the way to get it (if it’s appropriate) is by using his words/actions positively not by throwing a fit. But I have friends/family members undermine me by giving him what he wants or baby talking/coddling him when I am trying to parent him. It’s frustrating, yes, but it’s not going to turn him into a serial killer. So instead of creating a bigger issue I let it go. Continue reading