Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vikings and Homeschooling

I've been feeling like I've been slacking a bit with homeschooling. Child-led learning is great, though sometimes the child does not seem to want to lead, or to stay on any particular path for longer than 15 minutes. So we've been playing lots of card games, computer reading games and doing Christmas crafts. Today, after Super Why on kids CBC, the show Are We There Yet? came on. They were visiting Iceland. They played on a longboat, went to a traditional thatched/sod home, ate traditional bread cooked over a fire the played games. So to get the kids excited I took them outside to play some of these games. One was arm wrestling. It's done standing on a plank of wood, you bow, grab opposite hands and try to force your opponent to step off the plank by arm wrestling them. Then the really fun one, place a pillow case over each child's head give them each a pillow. Heh, heh I love homeschooling! We also pretended to row a long boat across the North Atlantic from Norway to Iceland (of course we ran into mermaids on the way). Then we made this simple longboat craft:
We cut a rectangle in construction paper.

Folded it in half and cut it on angles on either side.

Taped the ends together.

Taped a sail to a mast made of a toothpick.

We placed play-doh in the boat to hold it open and hold up the mast. Then poked toothpicks through the side of the ship for oars.


Then we made a representation of Norway, the North Atlantic and Iceland for the kids to sail/row their longboats across. Then the play-doh was spotted and that lesson was over.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hard Times

So here it goes. Deep breath and just say it. I'm poor. Money has been an issue since I split with my husband. I did receive back-pay from CTB and I used it to buy Bunk beds so my kids didn't have to sleep on the floor on a mattress. I purchased toys (many of their toys stayed at their father's) and children's clothes. I also purchased teaching tools, a camera to film classes and births and a cheap laptop so that when I'm stuck in town after busing the kids in for a "daddy day" I can do some work. I paid to take some workshops to update my breastfeeding knowledge. Granted, I still have those things and they have been useful and have allowed me to make some money but class participation has been low and not just for me, the health unit's classes numbers have been dwindling as well. After doing my taxes for 2007 and 2008 I was told that I received a cheque for something I wasn't suppose to and now I owe it all back. So I've been putting off doing my taxes for 2009, knowing that I was going to owe more money once I did, because the government sent me money I never asked for. There is also an arrangement for child support that is 2/3's less than it should be in order to cover my end of signing my portion the house over to my ex's mother.

I quit my part-time job, to focus on teaching, doulaing and my kids. I figured with some investment of time, energy and education, I could make this work. Well I couldn't. There I said it, I'm failing. I think that's the hardest part. My partner and I have an agreement, he pays the bills, I pay for gas and food. Well, I have 2 more weeks of food to buy and only 1 weeks worth of money to do it before I get my next support cheque. To keep up my end, I'm going to have to go to the food bank. I've been there before. There was a time as a single mother that it was necessary. What's worse is that last week my partner made a negative comment about people putting bank's food into the backs of their new trucks. I explained that they could have thought their job was secure when they bought the vehicle only to be laid-off a couple of months later and now they couldn't possibly sell it for the amount that they owe. We have a fairly new car (purchased only months before his wife left) and now we are in the same boat. I've mentioned that I may have to go to the food bank this month, he just says "No, we'll be fine."

I'd like to say that I'm not too proud to go there, but there is a part of me that is ashamed. I don't know why, I don't look down on anyone who goes there. I guess I'm worried about my business and what it says about me as a doula if I have to go to the food bank to feed my family. I'm also worried about my partner, who I believe has a harder time with the idea of going to the food bank than I do.

I usually like to end my posts with something uplifting, or at least some way that I intend to fix things. I'll do my taxes and perhaps now, the amount the government owes me in CTB will equal to the amount that I owe them and I'll break even. Then come January I'll be able to receive my CTB on a regular basis and once again be able to feed my family without assistance.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Organizedwisdom: Is Your Profile A Boobytrap?

Yep, that's right. I get this very flattering email from a professional rep at telling me that I have been chosen as an "expert curator" in my doula field. I'm like ummmmm, I'm new, not an expert. So I sent them a nice email thanking them very much and telling them that in 2 years or 25 more births I would be happy to carry this label, but until then no thank you.

So I click on the links given to me in this email, to see what is offered to Expert Curators. Then I see my profile "Top Doula" and I'm gushing a little inside. Then I see what's above it. An Enfamil advertisement. FUCK. I hate that. I mean I've stopped following people on twitter who link breastfeeding info with formula ads. I always email "birth/breastfeeding experts" who's sites have formula advertising (these emails are not always very nice), and there it is right over my smiling twitter picture a great big neon sign HYPOCRITE. Granted I make no money from these ads, nor did I approve them or neglect to block them, but the thought of a mother seeing that ad and associating it with my name or even the title doula makes me feel sick inside.

So I re-emailed the professional rep. and let them know that I did not want to be associated with a site that promotes formula to pregnant mothers and to take my profile down. I checked 20 minutes later but my profile was still there. Yech. I wonder, is there anything I can really do about this? Short of hiring a lawyer that is?

Update: The email I sent was effective and was replied to the next day: has agreed to take the formula ad off of the profile pages. I cut and pasted the actual e-mail in my comments since for some reason it will not allow me to cut and paste it into my blog.