17 November 2009

hack hack, cough cough

See, I get frustrated when I make a goal, and then come NOWHERE near accomplishing that goal.  HMMMMMM... happens ALOT to me.  Like posting on my blog.  Like sorting through photos and getting them printed/up on facebook so the fam doesn't disown me. (kidding, kind of.)  Like reading more.  Like exercising.  Like scrapbooking more.  Oh wait, that one I'm ACTUALLY making headway on. :D  yes!

Then this cold.  Coughing for 8 days.  Realising that, wait a sec, I've had FOUR COLDS in the 3.5 months I've worked at my job.  HMMMMM....  Dr's office tomorrow.  Friends think it may be environmental.  How much would that truly suck?  Oh, just ALOT.  This job has been an unbelievable blessing.  My boss is so awesome, my hours are flexible (like, as in 24 hr/day flexible), and for what I do, I make good coin.  But, I've been sick alot.  And now with not being able to sleep due to the hacking up of my lungs at night... I feel like I'm even more behind the 8-ball.  I just want to have some time to get stuff done - like calling my youth parents to set up a meeting, like calling about rental units in the paper, like so many other things... but I talk for longer than 60 secs and I'm having a conniption fit.  I'm not even talking right now, and I'm coughing.

Please pray for my cold to go away.  I know it's silly, and dumb, but after this last 15 months... well, these silly and dumb straws are gettin' pretty heavy.


08 November 2009

Time certainly flies...

... the more you don't WANT it to!

This last year has gone so amazingly fast, my head spins just to think of it.  I was thinking about my blog the other day, thinking, hmmm, it's been awhile since I've done a post.  I come on here today, and realise, holy cripes, it's been over 2 months!

Not that we don't have reason for our time to fly - I've been working full time, we've all gotten the flu bug (not sure if it was H1N1 or not!), my dad was here visiting from Portugal, Thanksgiving holiday (visiting with mum, and bro and fam), kicking off our Student Ministry @ WLAC, working through the Changeways program (just me), starting up my Scrap club and doing my first cardworkshop (with Stampin' Up!)..... yeah, lots of stuff!  Some days I was lucky to even have the energy to check my email.  And let's not forget: a preschooler and a toddler are tough work, even at the end of a day of outside-the-home work!  They're sooooo much fun though, so it's totally worth it.  They just whittle away the time so fast.  I could spend hours tickling either of my boys - the sound of their laughter is addictive - it's my drug of choice. :)

I still have lots to do, enough to make myself feel overwhelmed yet, but I feel that things are heading toward some sort of organisation.  The key thing in our life is that we need to have a calendar with all of our events and commitments on it - that will make life IMMENSELY easier!  BUT.... to find the time to make one big enough to put all the deets on it......  ha!

I have finally posted some project photos to my group on facebook, took me long enough.  I've got the projects in there from September and October Scrap Clubs... and in time, I'll have the cards from my last card workshop, and the next one (it's on Tuesday).  Next Scrap Club is 21 November, so I'll have 2 more layouts and one card to show then.

We will be moving soon - although when, I'm not so sure.  We have to be out of Grama's house by the end of February, that's the deadline we've been given... so, to find a house cheap enough, yet suitable for life with 2 boys and a self-employed web designer (a 3 bedroom house will do the job), that'll be the deciding factor as to when/where.  The thought of moving in February is daunting, to say the least (hey, no one wants to move when it's 30 below), but that's what we've been dealt, so we gotta play the hand we've got.

Well, should go do some domestic duties... dishes done, and bedding in the washer, but have the HUGE task of sorting through boys' clothing to give to Sally Anne, keep and pack, etc.... should probably stop procrastinating and just do it!

Hugs to all!

01 September 2009

Technology... o_O

Computers... The world as we know it would collapse without them, and it's scary sometimes how close our lives have become to those in "The Matrix" (one of my ALL TIME favourite movies).

This evening I've spent about 3 hours with my newly reformatted pc, installing drivers, downloading programs and then installing them.... one would think, with an organised list of programs, and a method to your task, that it would be boring, but easy... right? WRONG! *grrrr*

AVG took THREE tries to install... I remembered that I have to install flash for both IE AND firefox (I try to stay off IE at all costs, however, one has to use it to get going when you have a reformatted 'puter!)... Open Office takes forever and a day to download, as it is 150MB! Similarly with iTunes (but it's only 74MB), and some other programs - my fried brain refuses to recall them at the moment.

WHY did I willingly put myself through this agony??? Because I LOVE MY 'PUTER. :) No, I'm not one of those wack-jobs who has love for inanimate objects... I just enjoy spending time on my pc. I love looking at our photos, playing on facebook, reading emails, playing in photoshop, listening to tunes... I just truly enjoy it. So... I've resolved to build a bridge, and get over it... and get on with enjoying my fresh pc. (that still has some bugs mind you!)

Anyhoo, bridge built, and over it already... hey, I'm posting on my blog, aren't I? ;)


27 August 2009

WL Stamp'N'Scrap!

Woohoo!!!! I sent off my forms and money order (by Xpresspost) to Stampin' Up! yesterday morning.... meaning this time next week I will officially be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator!

I'm soooooooo excited! I had a goal to meet - fill a stamp club of 10 ladies - before I could sign up. Well, there was a promo this month, where I'd get about $60 worth of extra stuff if I signed up before the end of August.... so I hit that goal hard, and here I am! I have one full stamp club, probably a full second club, and I'm already working hard to fill a 3rd. It's all very exciting, and I haven't slept much, as my brain just goes NUTZOID. Just won't shut off. :P

I will be posting my club projects and such up on here... along with the details to the club. Please comment if you're interested in a spot!

So yeah, like ages ago, I posted that there was much to tell... and there has been... Which is why I haven't been back on.

-> X went on his first sleepover away from us, to my aunt's in Quesnel. He was an AWESOME boy, and only asked for me ONCE!
-> X turned THREE on the 20th... oh. my. dog. It has just FLOWN.
-> T turned 33 today... happy birthday to my sexy man!
-> my mum got her own place! A little trailer in Fort Nelson, her OWN place! I'm so excited for her, proud of her, aaaaallll that stuff. Am hoping maybe we can venture up north for Thanksgiving, as I haven't been to FN since my first foray up there as a tree planter cook in 2001!
-> I have a scrap/puter space, that is ALMOST organised. It's getting there, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I go see it. It's in T's office, next to him, but in my own little cubby. (I'm on T's laptop in the living room at the moment, not in my space.)
-> I'm working full-time, outside the home. It was a HARD decision to make, but it is for the best right now. A few reasons: we'll be able to get a mortgage sooner, we'll be able to save for a downpayment faster, T won't be stressed about making sales if the bills are being paid, thus he can focus on his projects better. He's playing Mr. Mum right now, which has been an adjustment, but we'll get through this, because in the long run, we'll be where we want to get, sooner.

Anyway, it's YET ANOTHER LATE NIGHT, so I should go. Especially since my X is off to Quesnel again tomorrow, and I have to work tomorrow too.

Hugs! :)

17 August 2009

More BLOG candy @ A Scrapable Life

OOOOH, have to post about this! :)

Naoual, a gorgeous, talented young lady about to turn 25, is offering blog candy for the first time ever to celebrate her birthday.... go check it out here: http://scrapable.blogspot.com/ Check out the post, leave a comment, and you could win all this:

lots of bling in there.... yay!!! :)

Lots of progress for me lately in my scrapping life: I've wanted to become a Stampin' Up demonstrator for over 18 months, but I don't want to stress about parties, etc... so I've decided to do a stamp club. My agreement with T is that I won't sign up until I have all 9 ladies for my club (committed!), and everything organised for it..... 6 down, only 3 to go!!!! Yay! Looks like I'll be able to sign up this month, and get this AWESOME InColour freebie with my kit! :) Will DEFINITELY post about my club and projects soon!

And sorry no post this weekend... X-man went to Quesnel with the fam, T was away (as mentioned before), so it was just me and Shan all weekend... not much time spent on 'puter, organising, OR scrapping (as was planned). :P And, since we're back in the work week, T and I are FINALLY going out to celebrate our 4th anniversary (only a month later), aaaaand X's 3rd birthday is on thursday - yeah, no more posts (probably) until this coming weekend.

Love and hugs,

11 August 2009

Blog Candy @ All the things I love

Now that I've had SOME time lately to actually start being creative, I've started checking out some scrapping/crafting/cardmaking blogs.... and a blog that my DEAR FRIEND Shazza pointed me to is "all the things I love"... and she has a WONDERFUL prize on the offer... so here is my post for that draw!

This is what is on offer:


pretty awesome looking collection to add to one's stash, ain't it?????? :D *drool* *drool*

I will do a better post this weekend, as T is off with the men from church on a retreat - they're hoping to go fishing in Bella Coola... that is, if the fires are under control. If not, they're formulating a plan B. Regardless, it will be me and my two boys this weekend, even Grama is going out of town! I have so much to tell... a scrap/'puter space, a new job, my mum might have her own house.... ah, God is great!

06 June 2009

Yet another late night...

This night wasn't intentional. I was in bed by 11, asleep by 11.20ish... but awakened at 1.19am from heartburn, and 1.34am for a feed. (yes, he's one, and still waking up... :P)

I laid in bed for over a half hour before deciding this is SILLY, I'm going to get up and tire myself out so I can sleep. Now it's 3am, and I'm doing another silly late post... albeit short though. :)

Went to the dr's yesterday (since it's technically Saturday :P), and got the all clear for my Bell's Palsy. Dr reckons it's due to ear infection or HPV... funny, never had a cold sore, nor do I have an ear infection... but the 'roids helped my neck, and thus my face... :P I did my own reading, I reckon my assumption is a bit more correct, since my neck went out again half way thru the 'roids, and my face got worse again. Ah well, whatever, am getting better... should be 100% in about 3 to 6 weeks time.

Tomorrow is Shan's birthday party, and I'm excited. :) We have family coming, and friends too, it's gonna be fun! We had a couple of parties for X's first (family, mother's group, and then a giant bbq with friends for his and T's bdays), so only 2 for Shan (no mother's group here).... but it should be a good one.

THEN... off to Van for a trip to visit with the PETCOWS of Chilliwack (sorry, I think it's funny my friend mis-spells her own last name like that (Petkau)... and then picking up Jac from the Van International Airport on Weds... such a busy week! And then a busy month with Jaclyn here.... ah. Overwhelmed? Not really actually. Surprisingly. But oh so excited!!!

Okay, I'm actually feeling tired now, and since this may be my last post for a couple of weeks (busy busy!), I'm glad I got the opportunity to get on here... since this has been a standing goal for a while, to actually contribute on a semi-regular basis to my blog. :) (yay, I'm working on it!)

Off to bed,

02 June 2009

Tagged by Dinnae

And... after heading over to get my fix of Shazza's croppy self... I have been tagged by her at: shazza's craft connection, I have to fill out the answers to these questions then tag 8 other bloggers... so...

8 Things I Look Forward To
1. cuddles with my hubby and/or my boys
2. church
3. family visits
4. scrapbooking and sewing (when I get a chance)
5. crash coming to live with us
6. facebook (yeah, sad, I know)
7. the arrival of my monthly Melaleuca order (hey, I've been a customer for 10 years, because I looooove their stuff!)
8. coffee with friends

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1. got woken up far too many times (1.19am, 4am, 5.48am)
2. went swimming at the Nilsson's
3. had hot dogs for dinner
4. put laundry out on the line (I LOVE THIS SEASON!)
5. set up my boys' wading pool
6. visit with my Grama (whom I live with) and my Auntie C
7. went for a walk/jog
8. read my Bible and prayed

8 Things I wish I could Do
1. have my own scrap/sew/craft area
2. buy our own house
3. go visit mates in Melbourne
4. live closer to all my bestest friends (Van, Melb, EVERYWHERE!)
5. be organised, and not always feel like I'm behind the 8ball
6. go to a hawks footy match... I miss my team!
7. know what the future holds
8. have 36 hour days (I think that ties in with #5 tho)

8 Things Or Shows I've Watched Lately
1. Rules of Engagement
2. Big Bang Theory
3. Obssessed
6. Max & Ruby & ITNG
7. Pros vs Joes (T's pick)
8. Stanley Cup Finals

8 Blogs I am tagging....
1. Tanja W
2. Kate H
3. Jen N
4. Yvette O
5. Heidi B
6. Susan D
7. Marcy
8. Samantha


No more babies in my house....

For now. ;)

My baby Shan turned 1 on the 29th of May. OMG. He is ONE. X is not far off THREE... so, no more babies for me. Well, as I said, for now.

I have a strong desire to have two more. Not sure why, since I NEVER WANTED KIDS IN THE FIRST PLACE... but, I feel that we will have two more, and PROBABLY both boys. (I'd be more comfortable with boys anyway. LOL) But, T is of the frame of mind... well, let's say he's not too keen. I'm happy to wait and see.... and tbh, I wouldn't mind having my body back for awhile.

Speaking of which... I went for a 17 min walk/jog today. :D Granted, only about 10 min of that was jogging, most of it very slowly due to a very very weak core, but hey, I gotta start somewhere, eh? I felt good afterward, and actually did 7 min more than my goal. Let's see how I go tomoz.

Shan has started to truly wean I think. :'( A sign my baby is growing, but a scary thing for me. I shouldn't be surprised, as X self-weaned at 13 months... but still... it makes me a bit glum. He's different from X too, in that X NEEDED his night-time feed, and then after he was over the boob, he needed a bottle of milk (that kid STILL loves his milk, just like his mama). But Shan, well, not so much. Morning feed however? Whoa, get out of his way til he gets his boo-boo. And now, he's just not asking for it in the mornings or afternoons for a snack anymore... FAR more interested in stuff his big bro is eating. (Although, he did feed FOUR times one day last week... a sign to me he's teething again :P so maybe he'll keep feeding for awhile.)

Speaking of teeth... I think X's two front teeth have cavities. :( It took a long while to get him to let us brush his teeth (and Shan is even worse than X was), and although he's usually pretty good now... well, he's almost 3... and periodic brushing is prob not that great. Fingers crossed I'm just seeing stuff though.

And, have to post an update about the Bell's Palsy... I seem to be getting better. My neck had a relapse on Fri or Sat, so that sucked, but, except when I talk lots, my face seems about 90% better. Eating cereal is a chore, my shreddies went EVERYWHERE this morning... well, my milk anyway... but other than that, my smile is ALMOST there, my eye isn't bugging me as much, and my lips don't constantly feel itchy or sore. 5 more days of the "jungle juice" as T calls it (funny, they're tablets), and hopefully it will be resolved by then.

And to respond to Shazza-baz's comment... I've noticed you blogging like mad, and you're scrapping like crazy too... am VERY happy to know that I had a small part in developing a scrap-addict... LOL Bet H isn't my biggest fan, eh? ;) I'm gonna try and do some challenges with you Shaz... over the miles my dear! Go check out Shazza's work at http://shazzacraft.blogspot.com ... I'm off to do that right now. (Silly me, had a cuppa at about 2pm this arvo... now I can't sleep! I know better!)


27 May 2009

Lesson learnt...

Stress is bad. Stress is very bad.... very VERY bad. Duh.

I got diagnosed today with a mild case of Bell's Palsy on the right side of my face. Heard that word, and freaked out. Palsy. Ummmm, hello, cerebral palsy? Neurological, degenerative disease... lots of pain, loss of control, no cure. But, don't stress, it's no where's NEAR cerebral palsy... heck, I SINCERELY reckon that name should be CHANGED. Not fair to almost cause a heart attack in a 30 year old when they use that term.


I read through that, and felt, hokay, maybe it's not too bad. ALTHOUGH. I'm a TAD freaked out that Jean Chretien's case of Bell's Palsy in his youth never "got resolved." That's kinda scary. That means I could always feel like I just spent the morning at the dentist's... 'cause that's how my "mild case" is feeling. My tongue is a bit numb, my taste buds on that side not happy, eye dry and a bit sore, and, to be honest, my smile just doesn't look RIGHT at the moment. But, it SHOULD go away, and I SHOULD go back to normal... I'll let you know in 10 days after I finish my 'roids.

So how did this happen? Stress. I had a migraine on Friday night, put my neck out on Saturday night, and then Monday night (after an hour of crying and praying), realised my lip felt wierd... and the next morning, woke up looking like a "mild case" of Mary Jo Buttafuco after Amy Fisher went to town on her.

Anyway.... I need to reduce my stress levels. (again, DUH.) So, on Monday night, during my hour of crying and praying, and praying and crying, I felt called to pick up my Bible. But, my eyes hurt so much (I still had a headache, just no migraine), and I just couldn't convince myself to turn on the lights to read.... so Tuesday eve, after 2 boys in bed, I sat on the couch with an ice pack on my neck, and read my Bible.

I do that occassionally (not often enough, tbh), just open my Book randomly, and go where my eyes are drawn to see what I can apply to my life.

I opened it up to Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. I thought, "uh, RIGHT, I may not read my Bible alot, and I may not have read even HALF of it, but this one section I've read, more than a few times... what the heck NEW item will I get from it to apply to my life????"

HA. God laughs at my silliness, I guarantee you.

Now, I have to give you some background of the Bible I'm talking about. (I have a couple.) This one is a NLT, called the Life Recovery Bible. Basically, it's a Bible that has references throughout to the 12 steps of Life Recovery, directly based on the 12 steps of AA. Which, not only if you are an addict, but for many other reasons (depression, suicidal tendencies, abuse, etc), are GREAT guidelines for life.

Okay, so the first part I read is the Beatitudes. (starting at v.3)

..."God blesses those who realise their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
"God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."

"God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and LIED ABOUT because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too."
(Matthew 5:3, 4 & 8 - 12)

Funny FUNNY thing about this is: my hubby's been saying that for ages. "Sweetie, just grin and bear it. You can do it." But, ya know.... when it's coming from up THERE... just seems a bit more powerful. (Btw, Todd reckons he's the bee's knees 'cause he's been telling me all along the right thing. ;) )

Then, because I have this Life Recovery Bible, there is a side panel on the right page about FORGIVENESS, referencing to the Lord's Prayer. Now, I am not a bitter person. But, ya know how there's always this little bit of you, tiny bit, that is still miffed at perhaps, say, what was said back then, or what they did, etc? This really helped:

"Forgiving others is an important part of turning our will over to God. ... ... When we forgive others of the wrongs they have committed against us, we do not excuse what they have done. We simply recognise that we have been hurt unjustly and turn the matter over to God. This helps us face the truth about our own pain."

Lesson learnt Lord... thank You.

"Lord I thank you for the Book You gave us to guide us through these tough times that we have. Although I know I have it good compared to some, some days I feel that my strength is not enough to carry me through. And I KNOW it's not. But Your's is. Thank You for your guidance, your grace, your mercy and strength... I'm eternally grateful. Amen."

"oh, and ps. Lord? I promise I'll try to pick up that Book a bit more often."

03 May 2009

Meant to be ...

Life's events over the last two or three years have had me saying that phrase... A LOT.

"It was meant to be this way..."

"Everything happens for a reason..."

I've had a BUNCH of horrendously crappy stuff happen to me/my family.
- I almost lost all of our family belongings when our moving company declared bankruptcy
- said bankruptcy then cleared out our savings in order to NOT lose our family's possessions
- a friend from my IRL mum's group lost her battle to cancer
- my husband has had to deal with being estranged from not only his mother (long long time), but now also his father
And that's just in the last 9 months, and just the really MAJOR ones... these aren't including the littlies.

Keeping positive has kept me floating; some days, barely. But, since finding a home church, and coming back to God, I've started to realise that I'm not really being "positive" per se... but more, well, not immaturely laying blame... heck, I'm even BEING MATURE about our situations.

- our moving situation was meant to keep us on a certain path, that we had been HELL bent on deviating from
- estrangement from his father has helped my dh see that maybe while he'll NEVER be close to his family, maybe having a distant (not as in distance, km, but distant as in, not close) relationship with BOTH parents is better than none
- for WHATEVER reason, Dee was needed in heaven, probably to protect her awesome little boy, and be his guardian angel

Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about losing my mate to cancer, I sobbed for two days straight until she actually passed... and 2 months later, I still look at her photo on a regular basis, and shed a tear... but I feel happy knowing that her ds has his mummy protecting him from heaven.

And don't get me wrong, dh's fight with his dad was UUUUUGLY, and it will probably never be resolved, but hey, he learned that his dad will never change, and that in order to have a relationship, he's gotta deal with it, and just never take for granted the close relationships he DOES have... nor EVER let his relationships with our 2 ds be like that (not difficult to prevent, tbh). AS WELL, he's even mentioned contacting his mum... (but I'm not holding my breath for that just yet).

And our moving situation... ha! Again, don't get me wrong, because I honestly hope the people that took our money and our stuff, and knew FULL WELL that their insolvency application was to be granted in two weeks, well, I hope they rot in hell... but, in the big picture, we NEVER EVER would have thought to stay here in small town WL, BC (where I was born, and where I had refused to entertain the thought of staying here, btw)... but yet here we are, looking forward to getting some land, and building a house here. Through staying here, finding a church, and meeting new people (remember, we weren't going to stay here - this was TEMPORARY - we were gettin' out ASAP!), we've had opportunities present themselves that we would never have had, had we actually "gotten out." No, no monetary gain. YET. In two years? I get giddy thinking about the projects that we have bubbling atm. And yes, that's projectS.

Meant to be??? I honestly believe so. I honestly believe that in order to make sure these opportunities were available to us, God HAD to push us, because we just WERE NOT budging on our own.

We've come to the realisation that we NEED to be able to raise our boys *free range* as one of my new friends, A, puts it. I LOVE that thought. My boys, able to run around nuts, on 10 acres, with no worries.

We've decided to give home-schooling a go. I'd ALWAYS wanted to be home-schooled as a child.. now here's my chance to give that to my kids. We'll always give them the OPTION to go to a school, but they won't have to if they want to learn at home.

These are things that God has put in my heart... and all things that came as a RESULT of my prayer and soul-searching after/during our periods of adversity... Life is hard, but He's helping me through it.

06 January 2009

Make Melissa Pay Fundraiser

Let’s Eat Cake, an amazing fundraiser hosted by the equally amazing Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is coming up quick: Tuesday, February 17th at the Plaza Paramount Hotel! Let’s Eat Cake is a cake decorating competition with all proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Learn more about the fundraiser right here.

In an effort to make sure we get the word out to everyone (and raise money), we are starting this chain-blog (Ok, not sure if that is correct terminology. But it’s like a chain letter so let’s just go with it, shall we?)

Here’s what we need you to do…Repost this post (or create your own new version) on your blog and ask others to post it on their blogs. Melissa will donate one dollar to the fundraiser for EVERY BLOG that posts on Let’s Eat Cake this week! With the power of the blogosphere, that can QUICKLY add up! Let’s make Melissa Pay! Once you have reposted it, leave a comment the original blog post over at Coveiter letting them know that you posted it along with the url to your blog. It’s for a great cause and it will be fun to see how far it will go! So lets do it… Lets blog it forward and raise money for a great cause!!!

Facebook and their bullying ways...

This is just a short post from me... but a long letter from an awesome Canadian chick who is a natural birthing/midwifery/breastfeeding advocate, and an article from a Montreal newspaper too. Hey... that description of Emma sounds a lot like me... ;) Her account was deleted by Facebook amidst all the furor about the breastfeeding photos.... read more about it below.

Before I go however, I want to state that I am one person who participated in the "online protest" to Facebook, and had a photo of X-man feeding on my breast as my profile pic. My photo was not deleted, nor was I reported or warned... why? Not sure. The only reasons I can think of are 1) none of my friends are stupid enough or shallow enough to report an innocent picture of my beautiful bub having his snack and 2) my areola wasn't showing ... say what??? Yeah, because that dark edge of skin around my nipple wasn't showing, my photo was deemed LESS PORNOGRAPHIC.

WTF? Stupid, all of it. Any software developers out there who want to create a similar online social networking application???? You'd have A LOT of breastfeeding advocates jump ship in a heart beat! LOL Just kidding, there are others out there... maybe we all just have to find one we like. ;)

Anyway, here's Emma's letter that she got a friend to post to her group:



My name is Emma Kwasnica. I am a 30-year-old Canadian tandem-nursing mother living in Montréal, whose Facebook account has now been entirely disabled over the breastfeeding photos controversy (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1869128,00.html). The official petition group on Facebook is called Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene! (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2517126532). I am reaching out because I think you might be interested in the Facebook fiasco over breastfeeding images, and them being classified as "obscene, sexually explicit and pornographic". Yes, I said *breastfeeding*. The most loving, selfless act on Earth.

For the record, my entire Facebook account has now been deleted, with no explanation from the administrators of Facebook. While they have not confirmed the reason for disabling my account, I can only suspect it stems from the fact that, in the days leading up to the disabling of my account, I had photos of me breastfeeding my daughters deleted, and was given a "warning" for having had uploaded "obscene" content that renders Facebook "unsafe for children".

Given the amount of obscene, pornographic, and truly disturbing photos, applications and groups that proliferate across Facebook, I am stunned that this has happened to me. I am an aspiring midwife/Childbirth Educator/ Breastfeeding Counselor; I run a lively discussion group on Facebook called 'Informed Choice : Birth and Beyond' (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21515708855), and have been sharing all of my summarised research, studies, links regarding pregnancy, birth and motherhood with a group of nearly three hundred people, since July 2008. And now, everything that I ever wrote, all my photos, all of my midwifery-related research, has been deleted --right off the face of Facebook. Furthermore, this does not concern me alone, as many (over a hundred ?) other Facebook users had their posts deleted, too, since whole discussion threads were deleted into oblivion, if it was indeed me who began the thread (and 80% of the time, it *was* me who had started the threads, since this was my group, me sharing the most recent research relevant to the childbearing/-rearing woman).

Facebook has not responded to my e-mails politely enquiring why my account has been disabled. They remain faceless. Hence the reason why I am now reaching out and going public with my situation. I am desperate to get my words back, and most importantly, the general North American public needs to be made aware of Facebook's disgusting double standards regarding "decency". I am revolted to report that Facebook allows the likes of a group called "Dead Babies Make Me Laugh", and yet, someone such as myself, who wants nothing but to inspire and help women on their journey to birthing healthy, vibrant babies, has her whole account deleted.

I have now done radio station interviews (a Sakatoon one, as well as Montréal's 98.5 FM), and was interviewed for 'La Presse' newspaper here in Montréal, the article for which appeared in yesterday's edition of 'La Presse' (http://technaute.cyberpresse.ca/nouvelles/internet/200901/04/01-814622-des-meres-en-croisade-contre-facebook.php), the English translation for which you will find below. I may be doing another one-hour long segment on the same Saskatoon radio station at some point this week.

There is a Canadian slant to this whole Facebook fiasco, in that the tireless organisor of the original online protest (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436) is from Ottawa (Stephanie Muir), the TERA site that is currently the "safe haven" for breastfeeding photos which have been deleted by Facebook is a Canadian one (http://www.tera.ca/photos6.html), and is coordinated by Paul Rapoport of Hamilton, Ontario... and now, the only (known) person so far to have had their Facebook acount fully disabled over this issue --me, a Montreal mother.

Please help me by spreading the word of Facebook's appalling actions (such as by posting this to your blog), and consider this an official plea to get the word out ! For the sake of the next generation of babies, people everywhere need to understand that the larger issue of normalising breastfeeding is deeply important here. In 2009, it is unacceptable that women feel shamed, or are sexualised, while providing the most normal, the most physiologically appropriate food for their babies : breastmilk.

Sincerely yours,
-Emma Kwasnica, Montréal

PS Here you will find the full-page newspaper article/image from Le Journal de Montréal (http://picasaweb.google.ca/emma.kwasnica/20081011BreastfeedingChallenge#5261616556288520402), in which I am breastfeeding my daughters. This is particularly relevant as Facebook has said that no major newspaper in North America would publish the type of breastfeeding photos that they have deleted. This simply isn't true - this newspaper image (from October 2008) is living proof ! If Montreal, a city of over 3.5 million, can handle seeing this image in a daily newspaper, then why can't Facebook ?


Daphné Cameron, La Presse
January 04, 2009

"Cover up this breast that I do not want to see."

Even though it was written in the 17th century, Molière's famous refrain is still à la mode for those who run Facebook's networking site.

For several months now, photographs of mothers breastfeeding their children have been being deleted. The restriction has provoked anger in women all over the globe. In protest, 11,000 women replaced their profile picture with the image of a breastfeeding mother.

This online protest was organized for December 27th by Stephanie Muir, an Ottawa mother outraged by the website policy, that says that no "pornographic or sexually explicit" material may be uploaded to the site.

"It is unthinkable that in 2008, such a loving image, one of a mother breastfeeding her baby, can be perceived as sexual or offensive," she said. "It's because we stigmatise women in this way, that mothers make the choice not to breastfeed, or breastfeed for a shorter length of time."

In additon to the web protest, a few dozen women assembled in front of the Facebook headquarters in California, and nursed their babies there.

The response by Facebook administrators was immediate. According to Stephanie Muir, accounts of several protestors were disabled.

This is the case of Montrealer Emma Kwasnica, who no longer has access to her personal account, since January 1st.

"Facebook began deleting photos of me breastfeeding my daughters on December 28th", stated the 30-year-old who is studying to become a midwife. "A few days later, the administrators disabled my account with the only explanation being that I had uploaded obscene content. Breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing in the world. How does one automatically associate that with sex ?"

The protest organised by Stephanie Muir has provoked a media frenzy in the United States. Facebook reacted by publishing a press release that specified that only photos showing nipple or areola are banned.

Facebook reiterated that it is a private company which has the right to decide which content it hosts on its site.