Saturday, September 21, 2013

Product Review: The Diva Cup

Okay, so this post is about periods and a product that women put in their vaginas every month.  If you’re grossed out by the natural function of a woman’s body:

1.       What is wrong with you?
2.       Don’t read this.
Now, back to reviewing the best product that has come into my life in recent years: The Diva Cup!  Just for the record, I’m not paid in any way to promote this product (I wish!) I just really love it and want to share my love of it with women everywhere.

I’ve been using the Diva Cup for about a year and a half now.  I had been curious about the cup for a while and then I read about how this blogger found a moldy tampon in her new box of Kotex and made the decision right there to never use tampons again. 
I’m so glad I did for so many reasons:  I’m not shoving bleached cotton tubes into myself every month, which makes me feel good about what I’m doing (or not doing!) to my body.  I love that I’m not creating all that waste every month and, on top of all that, I bought one cup for $40.99 eighteen months ago and haven’t had to spend another dollar on my period since. 

The Diva Cup is made of surgical grade silicone and is perfectly safe to be worn for up to 12 hours before emptying, washing and reinserting.  Seriously, this product has turned my period into a non-period.  I think about it twice a day a few days a month and that’s it.  I never have to worry about heavy days, light days, sorting myself out in a public washroom or leaks.  This product has made my life better. 
If you're in the Hamilton area, you can pick your Diva Cup up at Barefoot Babies on Ottawa Street (that's where I got mine!) and change your periods forever, too.

Have you used the Diva Cup?  Do you have any questions?  Let me know all about your experience and/or ask away in the comments below. 

Happy period indeed, ladies!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NEEDED: A Consistent and Predictable Routine

I definitely don’t claim to have everything under control as a parent but there have been a few tips and tricks that have made our lives a little easier.  Over the last year or so, it has become really apparent that our son needs a consistent, predictable routine (more so than the average kid).  Things have been a little better now that I’m working part-time and am able to walk him to school every day, because that means we’re cutting out daycare and therefore there is one less person “handling” him in the morning.  We’ve also implemented some visual aids around the house, and they have been super helpful.

Morning and evening routines are pretty much consistently smooth now that we have these visual aids.
 We post them in the bathroom and the kids know exactly where to look to see what comes next.  They make me feel good too – definitely less nagging coming from me, as the responsibility is now on them to complete all the steps.
This visual aid is posted by our front door. 
My husband works shifts so this weekly calendar helps the kids to know if daddy is working days or if he’s nocturnal.  They know that on the days that he’s not working, he picks them up from school, so they always look forward to those days.
Again, these visual aids definitely don’t make our lives perfect, but they have made our days happier.  Our son can predict exactly what is happening around him, which makes him feel more in control.  I think these aids would benefit any kid, but if you find that your little one is especially in need of knowing what comes next, you can create some for them in just a few quick steps.

A quick search of morning routine for kids, evening routine for kids and weekly routine for kids in Google Images will bring up any number of great examples, so just print one that works for you (or create your own!).  After a quick trip to Staples for laminating, some scissor-work and then attaching a little bit of velcro, you can have routine charts for you and your family.  Good luck and all the best as you move into a more consistent and predictable routine for your little one.

Thanks for reading.  xo

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Right Back Where We Started

If you’re a regular reader of Tales from the Red House, you know just how far we’ve come this year.  My son Rudie is a great kid.  A super kid!  With some hard work by all four members of our family this year, his behaviour at home has changed from hitting, swearing, spitting, and screaming back into the actions of the sweet, funny, smart and snuggly little guy that we knew was in there all along. 
Did you see the catch there?  His behaviour AT HOME has changed.  There were still issues whenever Rudie was with our daycare provider, and we were worried about what would happen once he was back in school, but we thought we were managing the day-to-day.  We were using all the things we had learned in the Incredible Years program, all the parenting tools we had put into place around the house, and all the meetings with doctors, social workers, and therapists all who had the same diagnosis of “there is no diagnosis”, and the advice that he would one day grow out of it.  But then one day last week we got a call that we did not see coming and our lives were turned upside down once again.  Our amazing and perfect-for-us daycare provider was having a really hard time with Rudie’s behaviour and would no longer be able to watch him.*  And there we were, just like that, without daycare for the third time in a year.
We were so sad and so worried and to be honest, it took everything we had to not be angry with Rudie. 
In just a few days, we’ve been able to sort out daycare.  It’s taken a lot of help from family to fill in the immediate gaps and an understanding workplace that is allowing me to work part-time hours to care for my kids before and after school.  That’s a huge load off our backs.  Then Rudie had his second day of Senior Kindergarten today.  While he was there, he spit on his friend’s snack, hit his teacher three times and all of a sudden, we’re here again.
We are now in the process of reopening our file with Children’s Mental Health and we have an appointment with our family doctor next week.  We’re taking all the same steps we’ve taken over the last twelve months but this time, we’re not taking no-answer for an answer.  Aggressive behaviour is one thing, but getting kicked out of three daycares is another thing entirely.  We need answers this time and we need them for our little boy.  We don’t talk specifics in front of him, but he knows exactly what’s happening.  He’s too bright not to. 
I’ll be sharing the tips, tricks and tools that have been working in our house over the next little while and will also post regular updates about our progress on this, our second lap.  In the meantime, I’m sending Rudie to school tomorrow with these in his backpack.  Laminated reminders of the family that love him every day.
*Our amazing and perfect-for-us daycare provider is still amazing and perfect-for-us but Rudie is a tough kid to provide care for, especially when you’re defending your own kids against his violent behaviour.