Thursday, 30 January 2014

All You Can Do Is Laugh

The strange, quirky, amusing behaviour of mums
You realize that you have truly morphed into a mum when..
The song you find yourself humming is not one of the top ten but Skinamarinky Dinky Dink Do, I Love You.
You need a pen; all you can find is a crayon, a broken pencil and a dried up magic eraser.
You hear a baby cry in the grocery store, then start to gently sway back and forth, back and forth.
The scene in Dumbo, when his mum is taken away makes tears come to your eyes and you break down during Bambi.
Your car is a mess, filled with face wipes, spare sets of clothes, toys, snacks, books and portable car games.
You are out for a romantic meal with your husband, enjoying some adult conversation, when you suddenly realize that you have reached over and started to cut up his steak.
It does not even phase you when a little person, urinates on you, vomits(even if it hit you in the face) and infant diarrhea stains your clothes.
A good day is when you can get in the shower, dress in real clothes and brush your teeth before noon.
You have memorized entire books of irritating rhyme by Dr. Seuss.
You find yourself looking for bugs whenever you go for a walk, even if you are alone.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Iggy The Bold Bunny

Iggy The Bold Bunny

The delightful tale of an extraordinary bunny!

Now most Rabbits are gentle and quiet kind and patient, very responsible and..

elegant and alert.

But Iggy was not an ordinary bunny .

When we first brought her home and let her out of her tiny mesh cage,  she was so happy that she ran laps around the entire house jumping and twisting in the air every few minutes.

 Iggy was delightful. 

She was full of character, keeping all of us, even my calm. dignified husband laughing for hours with her funny antics.

Iggy did not act like a normal rabbit

Supposedly rabbits hate to hop up and down stairs. Not Iggy. She did not want to be left behind or fenced in at all. If we closed bedroom doors to keep her off beds, she simply pushed the door open with her nose. She was aggressive and determined, not cowering or timid at all.

Iggy, not the cat or dog, was soon in charge of the household pets.

Kitty was so terrified of Iggy that she would come down the stairs silently and then cautiously peak around the staircase looking for Iggy. Then she would creep slowly down the long hall, stopping to look around, twitching her whiskers and ears. If Iggy caught a glimpse of Kitty, she would scramble, noisily, as fast as she could down the hallway and chase that poor cat right back upstairs. Afterwards that bold bunny would slowly hop back into the kitchen, happy with herself.

This rabbit chased the dog!

Not content to boss the cat around, Iggy was soon in charge of our huge do. If the dog started to chase Iggy, she would outrun him and was soon running behind Shadow as they ran their laps. Now the prey chased the predator.

Iggy wiggled past people when they opened the fridge so she looked right in

Iggy not only bossed our pets but was soon pushing around the humans as well. As soon as one of the family opened the fridge door, Iggy was there in a flash, standing up to get a better view of the veggies.

Iggy jumped on beds

If one of my children tried to sleep in, Iggy would hop on the bed, jumping right beside their head, until they woke up!

 Iggy was a bold Bunny

 Copyright 2014 Melanie Jean Juneau

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Thriving When Stress Reduces Life to The Basics

As every mother knows, a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bath, change clothes and change diapers. Then a mother must washall those diapers, clothes, receiving blankets, sheets and baby blankets as well as their clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.
The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days are when you can sneak in a nap or shower and dress before noon. Oh, those were the days when stress reduced life to the basics. Those basics were actually miraculous when I relaxed and allowed myself to live in the moment, enjoying my newborn rather than bemoaning all the important activities that I couldn’t seem to even start. The very fact that everything that my little one required to grow and thrive was inexpensive and near at hand was amazing. My baby didn’t need a lot of money spent on him, he simply needed arms to hold him, mother’s milk to drink and warm clothes and blankets. Accepting reality meant letting go of trying be everything and do everything I did before I had a lot of kids.
The pivotal point in my personal growth was realizing that, in fear, I  clung to control. I have let go of this control at least a thousand times already. A thousand times of choosing to surrender fear and lies and trusting. Each time I peel back a layer, another deeper level of fear pops up.
An image which described my struggle to surrender control, was a wagon wheel suspended over a deep chasm.
My large family of 10 stood on the rim of a wagon wheel,
while I crouched on the hub,
frantically turning this way and that,
grabbing all the broken spokes,
desperate to hold the crumbling structured together.
I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility and control but
I was afraid to stop,
afraid that one moment of inattention would cause my entire family to tumble down into the abyss.
I was trapped.
Yet, I realized that
my tension prevented natural, organic growth and healing.
My control acted like a wall, shutting out all divine intervention and grace.
My sincere concern and earnest self-sacrifice actually magnified everyone’s brokenness by
freezing everyone and everything.
Suddenly an arrow of light
pierced through my confusion.
It was as if a sharp pin burst a huge, black balloon of deception.
Suddenly the image was gone,
like a mountain done in by a mustard seed.
I had been wrestling with an illusion,
a phantom mountain.
There was no dilemma.
I laughed at myself.
With joy,
I finally surrendered control.
The broken spokes were instantly repaired.
The kids and my husband started smiling.
I was free.
We were free.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Articles From 10 Different Sources

The Circle of Life

Last friday our fourth grandchild was born, a big boy who looks EXACTLY like my son did when he was born. It is almost unnerving. To top it off my son looks just like my father. This new baby even has my son’s temperament because his heart rate remained remarkably low throughout the birth, just like my unflappable son.

My eldest was a contemplative sort even as a baby, as he examined and studied everything! We have a picture of him studiously playing checkers with my husband, head in his hands, studying every move made on that checker board. It looks like his son will be much the same. It is  the circle of life.

The Circle of Life from the Lion King is a thrilling song with a stirring melody and moving.There are many biblical lessons found in "The Lion King" if one is open enough to observe them. I know some people denounce the Lion King but I find that God can speak through anything and everything."The Lion King" is a coming of age story where Simba, a young lion cub, grows up and becomes king but not without struggles. How finally discovers his place in the circle of life. When we discover who we are and how we fit into life, then God can start using us.

The Circle of Life
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Woman Is Like A Teabag

A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is  until you put her in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I found this quote from at

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

In the Burn Zone.

Even though it is bitterly cold outside, my heart is burning with fervor and my thoughts are leaping for joy because at 58 years old, I am in the springtime of a new life. It doesn’t matter that it is freezing outside;  inside it is warm by the wood stove. I am coming back to life. For the first time in 33 years all my kids have basically moved out and I am free to write.

My body has not yet adjusted because the body remembers the tension and stress of running a household of eleven people.. My body has not quite caught up to this new reality because as the mother of nine, I was always on call. My ears are trained, listening for the sounds of my children playing, working and sleeping , always ready to soothe or help.
The result is that I am still tense, rushing to squeeze in some time to write when in fact, God has graciously handed me hours of the day where I am free. I am free to write, pray, even relax and enjoy the acres of land the surround our old house.
The subconscious too needs time to unwind long after the conscious mind has grappled with the past, let go of memories and forgiven. Then there are the pre-verbal, non-verbal parts of my soul that cannot be cajoled into coming out of their cave. Any sign of control or manipulation sends them scurrying back into hidingthey take the longest to warm up in the light and warmth of the truth.
Although I have not yet adjusted to solitude and free time, I  am thankful for this new freedom to start to write again. The walls of ice which imprisoned my writing skills are thawing out. It might be -28 C outside with almost 50 cm of snow but in the study, the wood-stove is burning.
Yep, my heart is burning with fervor and my thoughts are leaping for joy because I am in the burn zone.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Are We All Here? Anyone Missing?

A mother of 9 grown children reflects on dinnertime: the central hub that held all the spokes of her family’s activities together into one cohesive whole.
"Oh good, you’re done barn chores. Perfect timing; dinner is almost ready."
"Two more minutes, everybody!"
"Daniel I’ll help with that after we eat, okay?"
"Mary, please run up and open Claire’s door and shut off the music."
'Dinner is ready!"
"Lucy, I know you love that book sweetheart but, remember, no reading at the dinner table."
"Where’s Matthew?"
"Honey would you lift up David into the high chair?"
"Are we all here? Anyone missing?"
Ah, dinner time in a large family.
Dinner was the highlight of the day with everyone clambering to share their news or simply squeeze in comments or opinions into the cacophony of voices. It was a humorous symphony that sounded perfectly in tune and in harmony to my ears with high baby voices, loud, boisterous little boys, the quavering of a male voice changing, Dad’s reassuring bass tones and my calls for every one to listen to the toddler’s newest word. The highlight of this often unruly symphony was the spontaneous laughter that punctuated the entire meal.
Life around the dinner table was relaxed and happy because I allowed my children to behave in age appropriate ways. I did not demand adult perfection. The consequences of this decision were messy but well worth the time it took to mop up after meal time. It meant and not shoveling in neat, tidy mouthfuls of food into a toddler because we let little people feed themselves as soon as they reached for the spoon. It meant including three-year olds in meal prep, sending five and six-year olds running out to the garden for vegetables and letting go of pride by letting a ten-year old make the dessert. In other words we valued participation over a neat and tidy kitchen and orderly meal time.
Now I am reaping the rewards of decisions that sent my mother-in-law into a sputtering, spiral of incredulity as she eyed my kitchen and the faces of my little people after a meal. Yet even she looks now at my grown-up kids with admiration because they all love to cook and entertain, especially for each other. Just drop by for a quick hello and inevitably they will cajole you to stay for a meal. It is a simple fact that there is no better way to form deep relationships than conversation over a home-cooked meal. In fact there is no better way to encourage the development of a warm supportive family than with delicious food and relaxed conversation around the dinner table.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Humour Helps: Kids and Housework

  • First fact to accept as a new mother: Kids are messy. In fact mothering is messy so you might as well laugh about it. Getting frustrated  is a waste of energy. Getting angry over reality simply upsets everyone. So laugh. Trust me, it works.

 Accidents and mishaps are simply part of every day life when you live with kids, so plan on all your plans falling apart.- melanie

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.  ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, 1966




Positive attitudes

It’s all in the attitude – housework is exercise.  Slim your way to a clean home! ~Linda Solegato

A secret to housework- don’t over think, just do it, with the kids. One of my two-year old vacuumed the living room just with the hose. It took 3o minutes but it was clean when she was done!!

if you clean your entire house every day for 2 weeks, at the end of two weeks it will be clean

if you clean your house once a week for 2 weeks, at the end of two weeks it will be clean

if you clean your house at the end of the two week period,at the end of two weeks it will be clean

First and last rule concerning housework and kids..laugh. Laugh at yourself, the kids, the mess and enjoy the irony.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Historical Photos: The Indomitable Spirit of Little People

Come celebrate the indomitable spirit of little people. Facing poverty, war, personal tragedy, they rise above adversity, embracing the smallest delights in life.

 How could parents make sure that their children were getting sunlight and fresh air when living in apartment buildings?  The baby cage, ca. 1937

.Animals being used as a part of medical therapy in 1956       Artificial legs, United Kingdom , ca.                                                                                                                                               1890   

Operation Baby lift: Vietnamese orphans transported by                                              airplanes to America in 1975

Santa Claus in New York, ca. 1900

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Peanut Butter Paint

This run-about-baby's exploits are simply legendary.
The terrible twos.
Do those words send shivers down your spine like they do mine? Those two little words evoke many awful and amusing scenarios but the most dramatic usually involved my fourth child, David.
As a baby he was a delight, with sparkling blue eyes and a warm, loving personality. Physically he was plump and passive. He'd sit quietly, his head whipping from side to side, completely entertained by the activities of his older siblings. Who needs to bother learning to walk when you have three adoring servants to fetch toys for you? In fact, David was fifteen months before he bothered to walk but when he actually started to move, he didn't stop.
Suddenly this good baby mutated into a travelling disaster. There was no malicious intent behind David's activities, just sheer joy in discovery. However, this toddler's discoveries were most often messy. In fact, this run-about-baby's exploits are simply legendary.
One morning, while nursing David's younger sister in the living room, I realised that David was no longer in the room with me. I strained my ears to hear what he was up to but the house was oddly quiet, too quiet. The older kids were right outside, near the house but surely David hadn't opened the door to join them all by himself? Since David was rarely quiet, I quickly put Emily up on my shoulder to burp her and started to try to discover where he was and what he was up to.
I found him in the kitchen and I stopped in shock. My fridge was now covered in a thick layer of peanut butter. David had covered every inch within his reach including the door handle, hinges, rubber seal... simply everything.
He heard my loud gasp of shock, turned around, peanut butter jar in one hand, with the other hand dipping in the jar for another large scoop and he cheerfully greeted me,
"Hi, Mummy!"

Try to picture me scooping, scrapping, wiping and the same time smearing peanut butter with paper towels. I then attacked it with very hot, very sudsy water. Of course, I needed an old toothbrush to reach all those joints and creases. The next week the entire artistic attempt was executed with margarine! Soon after, I discovered the kitchen wall decorated with a crayon mural of scribbles. David was quick and very thorough when he was artistically inspired. That particular art job took a week of scrubbing when ever I passed by!
One of Michael's sisters once said to me,
"I am surprised that David turned out so well. I think it was because you didn't come down on him too hard."
Somehow, I think I was too exhausted to react. I walked around in a daze some days and just let disasters roll off me. My dog-eared child development book also helped me to stay calm in the face of calamity. I realised that I couldn't demand behaviour that my child was not equipped yet to mentally or emotionally produce unless it was out of sheer fear.
I guess I knew David wasn't bad, just a very messy run-about baby.