Author Archives: RoxAnne Prystupa

Final Learning Project Post

The day has finally come to wrap up my ‘how to’ mom learning experience… maybe. Who knows if I will continue to share my journey from time to time? I will say that I’m amazed at just how many new experiences came my way in such a short amount of time. Being a first-time mom I had no idea what to expect. I anticipated sleep regression and some milk increases but I hadn’t expected to be feeding my 5-month-old full meals of solids, taking him swimming and him loving it, and him growing at such an incredible rate.


Kolt’s sleep has improved incredibly. He went from fussing and taking short periods of sleep or naps to whining for a few minutes when he’s tired, accepting his soother, and then sleeping for 6 hours at a time at night. I can’t say that I did anything special to change this. I just held him if he was fussing to calm him down and then placed him down to see if he would fall asleep on his own. If he couldn’t, we had an assisted sleep and if he did, GREAT! Unfortunately, I can’t refer to any sites at this time because in the thick of it all, I just went with my ‘mommy gut’ and responded to what I thought he needed at the moment.

When researching for tips and information about sleep patterns, sleep training, and sleep regression I found a lot of useful sites. For the most part, they seemed to align with one another. What varied were the beliefs about what is appropriate and what is outdated and should be avoided. Of course, this is going to be common on any topic depending on parenting styles and how people were raised. Narrowing my searches from “sleep regression” to entries like “4-month sleep regression AND tips” or “3.5-month baby sleep regression AND signs” yielded far better results, obviously, but at least then the results were more consistent. Most inconsistencies on the topic of sleep were due to a 3 am mom-brain while feeding Kolt or pumping.


We have ventured out to the local swimming pool once again and this time my husband got to come with us! Once again we started in the warm lazy river water and made our way out to the deeper water. He loves to be bounced in and out of the water and he was even more comfortable being laid back into the water. He still shrugged his shoulders and became slightly tense when we laid him back in the water but after repeated attempts, he became more confident each time.

After 35 minutes in the water, we moved to the shallow end (which has warmer water) where we sat and he could stand. He did some splashing and jumping but quickly became tired. My husband laid him in the water and slowly drifted him back and forth and we could see his eyes starting to close and he was nearly falling asleep. The swim adventure had not only tired him out but it made my heart happy to see how happy and relaxed he was in the water. My entire goal of taking him swimming so early is to build his confidence in the water, have him be happy and calm in it, and eventually become a strong swimmer.

When searching for information about taking babies swimming the information was fairly generic but easy to find. A lot of results focused on swimming lessons but with more refined searches like “baby AND swimming first time” I was able to find the information I was looking for. I often wonder how moms felt prior to the internet when they were deciding what to do with their babies when it came to topics such as this. I’m aware that they never had anything like the internet to compare it to but I can only imagine that some must have felt some angst or apprehension.

I feel comfortable bringing him to the pool on my own now and I know he will grow to love the water more and more over time. I plan to take him to the pool a few more times in the next few weeks. I am hoping that by the end of July, the lake water will be warm enough to take him for some shallow water swims on weekends.


We’ve come a long way since my last food post with Kolter. We went from pureed avocado to now eating apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears, carrots, peas, bananas, and peaches. I love prepping the food for him and feeding him has become an event. He’s such a good eater and loves his food. I’ve started calling him meatball because when he grabs his feet he is so round I could roll him!

I did look for some guidance from Pinterest to see how much food is recommended per feeding but I quickly realized that the information I was finding was inaccurate largely due to the fact that solids are uncommon under the age of 6 months.

This is something I found very common when searching online. If the topic or event I was searching for was uncommon or not “widely recommended” then the results were minimal, varied, or incredibly inaccurate. For example, this site that I found seemed very well written but when I took notes and asked for clarification from the local feeding specialist, Naida Hawkins, she said it seemed as though that was a personal preference and not at all what medical experts or specialists would recommend. In fact, the recommendation from both the feeding specialist and the pediatrician was to feed Kolt until he lost interest or stopped asking for more (holding his mouth open) because stopping early can cause an association in the brain that food is scarce. This connection between being fed and food possibly being scarce can cause babies to become gluttonous and anxious while eating. This can also trigger indigestion and reflux in a baby.

When I was searching for what to feed Kolt the information was very consistent. It seems that no matter what the information remains relatively the same - avocado, banana, sweet potato, and apple. These seem to be the most common starter foods and I was relieved that the information was consistent because, as a nutritionist, food is something we take seriously in our household and we love ALL food. I was happy to start Kolt early on foods so that his likeliness of food aversions could be reduced. My plan is to continue introducing new foods to Kolt each week and hopes that he shows no signs of sensitivity or allergies! So far we haven’t had any issues, luckily. We also ensure we take him grocery shopping so he becomes interested and involved in the process and will grow to want to help and be interested in trying new foods.


For the Future

In the future, I’m going to use refined searches from the get-go to raise my chances of desired results. I also have collected a few sites that I prefer in comparison to others.


These sites were frequent with results and tend to be in agreeance and up to date on information.

I also found Instagram to be incredibly useful and will likely continue to search there for like-minded accounts. Twitter sometimes yielded a few results but it was sparse. It scores high for education but lower in specific parenting searches. Pinterest will always remain high on my list as I am a very visual person and I love that I can easily organize my saved content to refer to later on.

I hope that you all found my posts entertaining, if not informative, and I think you for all the input you offered and your kind words. Thank you Katia for your wisdom and #teacherhacks. I cannot wait to continue using what I have learned and guide my students to do the same.

Happy Learning

Summary Of Learning

Well, here it is, a wrap-up of my favourite class thus far in my Grad Studies. I would say that I can’t even begin to describe what I’ve learned but this post is exactly that - what I’ve learned. Dr. Katia Hildebrandt has taken us from the beginnings of a blog to the free sharing of resources and embracing AI technology in just a few weeks. Her impactful lessons left me inspired and anxiously awaiting the next class. I hope you find this summary both engaging (physically- engage with the click icons) and informative.

OMG, My Baby is a Fish

No, I did not birth a fish. Calm down.

This blows my mind. Infants swimming. 

Fun Fact: babies have gill-like structures when in the womb. How do I know this or find out about it? I was born with a small bump on my neck and my mother informed me that the doctors found it to be filled with cartilage and occurred from one of my gill-like structures not properly closing and relocating during development. As a child, I was completely embarrassed by it but now I never even notice or remember I have it.

Babies do not have functioning gills in the womb, but they do briefly form the same structures in their throat as fish do. In fish, those structures become gills. In humans, they become the bones of the jaw and ears.

Anyway, two days ago a friend text me and asked if I’d like to come with her and her son swimming at the pool. She knew I had been wanting to take Kolter but wasn’t sure about going alone my first time. I checked my schedule and replied that if I finished enough schoolwork the following day that we would definitely go. Needless to say, I spent half the next day doing work and the other half figuring out how to be prepared to take my 4.5-month-old swimming for the first time.

Swimming With A Baby

The first time I took Kolter swimming he was 11 weeks old and it was in our bathtub. I put my bathing suit on, filled the tub with warm water a third of the way and in we went! (I’ll spare you the photos) This was the first time I had him in water without a baby tub.

The Prep

We learned the hard way that babies don’t like room-temp or lukewarm water and baths shouldn’t be done in a random room in the house. I couldn’t lean over the tub after my cesarean so my husband and I decided to try to bathe Kolt on the peninsula in our kitchen. Cue the screaming. The next day my mom came over and showed my husband what to do since I couldn’t do it.

To take Kolter swimming in the tub I took similar steps. I ran hot water in the shower to steam and heat up the bathroom air. Then I filled the tub a third of the way with very warm water. I lowered myself in and then had my husband pass me Kolt swaddled in his usual bathing swaddling cloth. I slowly lowered him inch-by-inch into the warm water starting with his bum. We spent some time just relaxing in the water and getting him adjusted. I slowly cradled him less and less until he was just floating with my hands underneath his head and bum. He was smiling, yawning, and purely relaxed. When I noticed his relaxation I slowly started to unravel his cloth starting with just his legs. He gently moved them and then smiled while giving some bigger kicks. Eventually, he was floating and kicking with no cloth and both my hands just under his head and shoulders. He loved the water.

Tubs & Pools Are Different

Our new reusable swim diaper fits!

How do you translate the warm, calm tub water to the cooler, wavy water of the swimming pool? You don’t. I just did everything I could ahead of time. I don’t want him to be afraid of the water and I want him to be a strong swimmer. But how do you prepare yourself and your baby for the pool? There is so much to consider.

A lot of sites recommend starting at 10-minute intervals in pools because they’re colder but there was no way I was paying a full entry fee to the pool just to be in the water for 10 minutes. This was the primary reason why I started at home. I started thinking of how I could help Kolter preserve his heat while in the water and, of course, swim jumpsuits were the best option. I have a pricey one from Honeysuckle that is SPF +50 but since we’re indoors I bought a regular one from Walmart for under $15. This way I didn’t much care if the chlorine destroyed it.

Then I started thinking about whether or not babies wear a diaper in the water. Wouldn’t it just fill up with water? It’s designed to absorb, right? I text a few friends and they said some people do that but they recommended a reusable swim diaper under the one-piece suit. Thankfully, I had one gifted to Kolter so we were all set in that department.

What to Bring

This site had a good list of what to bring to the pool with your baby. From this list I made sure to pack a bottle so I was ready to feed him afterwards and a toque for when we left the pool. Not that the other items weren’t useful but my mom and mom-friends had some experiential suggestions:

  • 2 towels because you’ll take one out to the pool with you to wrap him in when you get out and that one will be soaked by the time you get to a changing room. The second one you can use to lay him on and dry him with after you shower.

  • Baby soap. I used one of the family change rooms that are a full bathroom plus has baby waiting chairs, benches, and a shower. The only thing I wish it had was a laying changing table. I stripped Kolt down and we showered in the warm water. I washed him the best I could that way and it was a great way to warm him back up. I could already see that he was getting sleepy and relaxing from the warm water.

  • A pee pad, 2 diapers, a pack of wipes, and diaper cream. I was not lugging around 2 bags (diaper and swim) to the pool plus my baby. Instead of packing changing pads and full-sized items of everything I grabbed one of the hospital pee pads we cover his changing pads with and mini versions of Sudocrem and wipes.

  • A sleeper onesie - there was no way I was going to fight to get him into a full outfit so I packed a simple onesie for him to wear after swimming.

The baby seats in the family change rooms at our swimming facility. Bring extra, extra towels to dry them.

Time To Swim

My friend suggested we start in the lazy river since there was a warm current in that part of the pool and it was the warmest location in the pool. I slowly waded into the water and when it was time for Kolt to go in I just slowly got him adjusted. The process took about 3-4 minutes but I knew he was comfortable with the feeling of water. We did a few laps around the lazy river and by this point, he was kicking and giggling. I was so relieved that he was loving it.

The pool has baby floating seats so we tried that next and I don’t think he could have enjoyed it more. I made sure we had some splashing and that he encountered a bit of water on his head and face. He seemed to handle it just fine and there were no tears. The only thing I couldn’t get him to do was float on his back like he does in the tub. My sense is that he doesn’t like the cooler temperature of the water enough to do it yet. But practice will bring us closer to success!

Finally, I want to mention that rinsing or washing your baby off after swimming is very important. Their skin is still so sensitive and the chemicals can really dry it out. Even after using the showers (which still have stronger chemicals than your home water) you should rinse or bathe your baby at home later on.

Next Time

The next time we go swimming I will likely buy water shoes. I forgot how much I HATE wet swimming pool floors and how much they gross me out. My skin was crawling just thinking about it when I entered. I’m also going to look for a long sleeve and long-leg swimsuit for Kolt. He seemed to do fine but I noticed his arms and legs that weren’t covered were a bit purple-red in comparison to the rest of his body. He wasn’t shivering at all but it was clear to me the suit worked and he was warmer where it covered him.

Until Next Time,

Happy Swimming

We Trained Them to Copy

The consumer is not a creator
— Quote S

This quote from Larry Lessig’s TedTalk stood out to me and I replayed it over and over while letting my mind wander as I sat in its sound.

Why not? Why isn’t a consumer considered a creator? As Larry suggests, recreation IS creation. This is how our youth (and adults, too) communicate. All I could think was:

What if all original thought has already occurred and there’s nothing left to do but evolve?

Their Voice

Image from Vecteezy

I consistently preach the phrase “work smarter, not harder”, in fact, I have this phrase printed in 1-foot-high letters and taped to a wall in my classroom. But I’m realizing there are no actions behind my belief. Our youth are doing this but we’re just refusing their format.

Change is scary and I feel the backlash is likely from those at risk of losing profit from the already established norms. We want them to PARTICIPATE in society and have a voice. Well, their voices ARE using our content to evoke change. They’re…

Working smarter instead of harder.

So why are we upset about it? Why are there laws against it?

Image from Vecteezy

In Kirby’s video, Everything is a Remix, he discusses how every form of creation in the last century (or more) has been based on an original or recreation of an original. If a tune being whistled in Kill Bill is a copy of a previous film where the tune is also being whistled, why can a student not take that tune and use it as a background sound for a video they are creating? Did Quentin Tarantino have to pay to use that tune?

Where is the line between recreation and copying and why do we need one?

My First Revelation - Lead by Example

While watching Kirby’s video I started thinking, “Who are these people who have the time of day to sit and pick apart the creations of others?” Then I thought, me. I do this every day at my job. But we’ll get to that.

Secondly, I thought, “And who cares enough to file against the copiers?” This led me to think about my Teachers Pay Teachers account and the sales of my products. Am I any different? Needless to say, I then spent several hours creating groups on Open Education Resources, researching how to, and beginning to upload my created content on their site for free. If I want to advocate for Open Education I need to lead by example because I hated Kirby’s mention that:

We have no problem with copying as long as we’re the ones doing it

And I am far too stubborn to fall within a category that I protest. So here I am, uploading my thousands of hours of work onto the internet for free. Does this mean I will take my TpT store down? I’m not sure yet. But my content will be out there for the world to use for free if someone so chooses to do so.

The Betterment of Society

Image from Vecteezy

Next, why do I care if someone takes my creations? Isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? Or did someone who was a ‘copycat’ create that saying to justify their actions? As educators, we are there ‘for the kids’. What we do is ‘for the kids’. So if my content is so great that someone else finds it valuable enough to take or pay for it to use ‘for their kids’, why am I not sharing it for free? If sharing my content is what is best for the kids, why am I upset if someone else takes it without my benefitting from it? Am I that hungry for attention and credit that I need the world to know that something great that someone else is doing was originally mine? Am I money hungry? Do I NEED to be rewarded for my labour?

This is what I’ve been battling with this entire topic discussion, research, and blog. My content is not by any means ‘original’. It is based on the provincial outcomes, work I have read and done previously, and research I’ve done about others. Though created in my own mind and formed through unique combinations, the combinations still consist of previously created materials, ideas, and thoughts - like the invention of the automobile. Like other inventions, my content could help others and that’s why someone is wanting to use it.

This is the premise of Open Education - sharing all content for the betterment of society as a WHOLE.

Image from Vecteezy

If I believe that I do my job ‘for the kids’ then I need to participate in that belief. I began by starting to upload my content and then sent a few messages to staff members at my new school asking if they have a platform where educators share their content. The responses were not great and along the lines of, “That’s now how people work here,” but it inspired me to reply with, “Maybe we can change that”.

My Everyday Job - Picking Apart Copying

Image from Vecteezy

After watching and reading all the information Katia shared in the weekly schedule I’m left here thinking about why on Earth I care about copying. Students copying. Co-workers copying. The people who ride-your-coattails-and-drive-you-so-crazy-that-your-eye-twitches copying… again. Why do I spend hours and hours picking apart assignments to check for plagiarism and copyright infringements?

Because that’s what we’re trained and told to do.

From the moment we started to write paragraphs in school we are taught that everything needs to be our own. Is this why the world is viewing ‘remixing’ as ‘bad’?

We are taught that original thought is both essential and the goal. We need to do it ourselves but in exactly the way the teacher showed us. We can’t copy the work of others but it has to resemble exactly what we’re learning in class so that we can get the highest marks possible.

We can’t… but we have to.

We are trained that copying is bad but we have to make copies of what the teacher modeled in order to succeed. We have told them copying is bad but trained them to do it subconsciously.


Image from Vecteezy

We foster young minds to learn by leading with examples. We want them to take the information and ‘do it in their own way’. But aren’t ‘remixes’ a version of doing that? Why can we not get on board with evolution?

Change in the Classroom

My final thoughts are how can I take all of this information and apply it to my classroom. How can I preach and practice all of this on a daily basis? Where do I begin?

By starting small with an assignment.

Image from Vecteezy

I’ve decided that when I return from my maternity leave I will have created an assignment like none I’ve ever assigned before. I want to create an assignment (which I’m sure someone else has already created somewhere in the world) that encourages students to find previously created content and use it to promote their voices. Students can select a topic of their choosing (or from a list I provide as a way of prompting them) and collect content to promote or disapprove of that topic. It could even take the form of activism. Essentially, I want a remix.

Now, to comply with copyright laws we will have lessons on referencing, citation, linking, and so on, that way I will be promoting the legalities but we will discuss open education and the endless possibilities the world COULD have, should the laws change. I’m inspired by this lesson and what it could do for education but why fight evolution?

All of these thoughts boil down to me wondering why we’re fighting this. Instead of fighting change, how can I foster it?

Image from Vecteezy

YOU’RE FREE TO ALSO USE THIS ASSIGNMENT IDEA!!!! FREE FOR THE TAKING! Use this idea as a building block and add some of your own!

How are you going to foster evolution?

Spoiled Rotten

Can you spoil a baby? The jury’s out.

They napped like this almost daily for the first month

Multiple sites have been published to disprove the earlier beliefs that babies need to be cautiously cared for but not spoiled in order to prevent children from growing up to be coddled and spoiled rotten brats. Terms and practices like ‘cry it out’ have been in the process of being faded out due to research proving it can cause psychological issues of anxiety further down the road.

Parents and specialists are now turning to calming strategies and guided self-soothing to help develop skills in children from a young age. Instead of facing things alone we are coaching and guiding them to gain tools and strategies for self-regulation. Sound familiar teachers?

Old School

Traditional methods like Crying It Out (which was implemented with the idea of behaviourism as a method for childrearing versus using affection and love) are becoming increasingly unpopular due to their harsh approaches and lasting negative psychological effects on children and parents. The Cry it Out Method believes that children need to be taught to be independent but science and research have proven this to cause opposing effects of dependence and clinging to safety due to fear caused by anxiety and stress. Read Dr. Narvaez’s article for bullet-point facts on how and why the Cry it Out Method causes trauma.

Other methods receiving backlash are, but are not limited to, the Controlled Crying and Camping Out Methods because they involved little to no contact or affection.

Dr. Darcia F. Narvaez states in her article:

The 20th century was the time when “men of science” were assumed to know better than mothers, grandmothers, and families about how to raise a child. Too much kindness to a baby would result in a whiney, dependent, failed human being. Funny how “the experts” got away with this with no evidence to back it up!

New School


Due to the research stated above, parents are moving to soothing methods of regulation and sleep training. In fact, Websites and apps like Baby Center offer copious amounts of information and tips on how to gently care for your baby. Their website has over 10 reasons why your baby could be crying and HOW TO HOLD THEM for comfort and soothing. Their site even has a page on why others are choosing to move away from the Cry it Out Method and towards gentler techniques. They even list the techniques and pros and cons for each. I did not want to rely on one source of information for each technique so I will link the ones I preferred in addition to the original one I used as a springboard for the topic.

The techniques:

The Pick Up Put Down Method (similar to the Ferber Method)

The Chair Method

Scheduled Awakenings

He hates clothing anyway.

Besides app and website information, people are starting to follow sleep coaches like Little Winks Sleep, Sleep Baby Dr, and Taking Cara Babies on Instagram and Facebook for much-needed sleeping and regulation tips. All three of these women agree with modern research that YOU CAN’T HOLD YOUR BABY TOO MUCH and that the human touch is VITAL for development. In fact, the research is so clear that it is everywhere.

Why Do I Care?

I have been hearing everyone, left, right, and center tell me to “be careful” and not hold my baby too much or he’s going to be “hand spoiled” and never be able to do anything without me. My reply is usually something sarcastic like, “That’s my plan. I’m going to love him so much no woman will ever be good enough for him.” People roll their eyes and give up or try to give me ‘facts’ about spoiling him. This is where I unleash my FACTS and quote research. That typically ends the conversation OR they actually act like mature adults and either compliment the new information or ask more about it. The latter is minimal.

When you have a lash appointment but baby bear also wants to nap. No Problem! 

Maybe my response sounds immature and petty but I’m sick of being told “how to mom” when people spew outdated information or have no basis for their theories. I’ll admit that I am NOT the ‘book-reading’ mom and I’m winging it but when I encounter something new with Kolt or I have wonderings, I search for facts online. FACTS - not myths. Just because I didn’t read all of the parenting books doesn’t mean I don’t do the reading now. I’m a “take it as it comes” kinda lady and I don’t want preconceived notions about my kid due to what a book told me may or may not happen to or with my child. Humanity seemed to have survived, and multiplied, without the books before so I feel like we’re going to be okay.

What Method Do I Use?

Currently, I have no method.


My husband and I are using our instincts and communicating about childrearing on the fly! I know… risky move, right? When we first came home from the hospital we had Kolter sleeping in his own bassinet in his own room while we had the monitor on. We would rock him to sleep and he slept 3-4 hours on his own just fine. He’d wake, we’d change and feed him, rock him, and place him back in his bassinet to sleep. When he got his immunizations we moved his bassinet to our room in case he fussed and needed consoling. We did this to make it easier on us, not him. I didn’t want to run across the hall every time he might fuss if he was uncomfortable fromhis shots. Turns out he slept 8 hours straight so it wasn’t an issue.

He was so tiny.

During the day, he typically falls asleep wherever he is (floor, couch, nest). He plays on his own or with us until he’s tired, fusses a bit and falls asleep. I would say that 80% of the time he falls asleep on his own and the other 20% is in contact with one of us. If I want to hold my son and snuggle him while he’s sleeping, I’m going to. These days are going to last forever and before I know it I’ll be at work and I’ll be missing everything. I have NO IDEA how you women in the United States do it - we have a year off in Canada and it seems to fly by.

My husband and I try to keep a balance between holding him and letting him fall asleep on his own. After May long weekend we recognized that a lot of our friends had held him all weekend and that we should maybe do a little bit less holding so that he falls back into a routine. He was back into routine within 24 hours. Yes, we’re lucky and we know that not everyone experiences the same success but we do. We want to hold our baby. We’re going to hold our baby. If he wants us, we hold him. If we want him, we hold him. If he’s fussing and crying and whining, we hold him. We want him to know that we’re there for anything he needs but that if we’re not holding him we’re holding his hands, cradling his cheeks, and rubbing his back to show we’re not far away. Sometimes just holding my finger is all he needs to fall asleep- to know I'm there.

This is how we choose to parent our son- with support and comfort. If he turns out to be a total jerk then this post can stand as a ‘what not to do’ in future research on childrearing.

What’s Next?

We’re still navigating the balance between the late lake sleep schedule and the at-home sleep schedule. We did not set a schedule for him because babies tend to do it themselves. At the lake, there is more stimulation and he tends to fall asleep later and this has been a tough road to navigate for us sleepy parents. We think we have discovered a way to overcome it using the Fading Method. As I said, Kolt has a strong self-schedule set to his circadian rhythm and we’re a fan of it. Wake at 6 and feed, then again at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm and sleep. He typically wakes between 3 and 4 am for a feed but lately, that has been happening less and he’s sleeping from approximately 9:30 pm until 6 am. WOO! After a weekend at the lake this all back up about an hour to 90 minutes but the Fading methods typically brings it back within a day or so.

Happy Cuddles

Future Posts

Want to see how our first time swimming went? Stay tuned!

Tummy Time Take 2

Well here we are again - the dreaded tummy time.

Kolt has started to hate tummy time SLIGHTLY less. By slightly I mean by a fraction. We’re splitting hairs here. He has gained some strength after we used some of the techniques from our previous tummy time post and I’m excited to share it with you!

Where We Were

Last time Kolt was just spending occasional time on his tummy and we were encouraging him to lift his head. I had admitted to not spending enough time focusing on tummy time development. We did daily exercises to strengthen his abdominal shelf to try to reduce reflux and spit up and this led to a strong core and legs which led him to just wanting to stand up.

New Goals

I ended that week hoping to focus on Kolt increasing his tolerable tummy time duration and to start reaching for items with one of his hands. I also wanted to start helping him develop the ability to sit independently. I also realized that crawling was not a realistic goal yet. Jumpin’ the gun a bit.

What We Did - Day 1

I began the next week by just increasing the frequency we practiced tummy time. Within just 4 days Kolter had increased his tolerance by a minute thirty seconds. Imagine if we had been focusing on this all along! He was actually enjoying some of the interactive tummy time before whining for relief from his tummy position.

Days 5-8

By day five I started placing his soother and other toys by his face to gain his attention. I would slowly move them around and teach him to focus on them. By days 6 and 7, I was actively holding and moving the soother or toys while he tracked them and moved his head from side to side. It took a few days for this movement to gain fluidity and show strength development in his neck muscles. Eventually, he was able to do this so well that I could start tummy time with this movement and then place the soother or toy next to him for him to attempt to reach.

Days 8+

After he had some successful days attempting to reach for the items we also started incorporating more standing time and independent sitting with assistance. We are still doing his assisted sit-ups too. While I was searching for some videos I came across this WEBSITE that caught my eye. I recall my baba telling me that she would always practice “falling” with her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren (she’s 95 this year, lives on her own, and has a HUGE family).

We have started to add in ‘falling’ with Kolter. So far we help him with an assisted sit-up, stand-up, and sit back down and then we let him fall back. He giggles and smiles and we are relieved! We don’t want him to be afraid to fall so that it scares him and deters him from continuing to try. We have seen this happen with some of our friends’ children. I’m not saying we have all the answers but we’re doing what we can to be know-it-alls, ya know?

Finally, since he loves standing so much we are increasing that time too. He has gained quite a bit of stability in the last week and we’re seriously impressed. He reminds us of a gopher or a meerkat just constantly standing there and staring at everything around him with eyes wide.

What’s Next

Next, we are going to work on more independent sitting even though we are 6 weeks away from that even being an early milestone. I don’t care - he wants to sit so badly so we’re doing it. If you haven’t heard of Lovevery, they are a company that specializes in baby development and they also have a baby toy mailing system that sends you developmentally appropriate toys for your baby to increase their levels of growth in all areas. You may see their ads on Instagram or Facebook often. They’re great but as an educator, I know where to look that stuff up so I refuse to pay for it. Just being honest. I have friends who subscribe and swear by it but when we compare what we do with our babies we’re essentially doing the exact same things but they have to wait for the next toy to begin the next phase.

ANYWAY, they have some great information about stages of development and I loved this breakdown of the stages of sitting.

Kolter is currently on stage 3, which is about 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule so if he decides not to pick up on it quickly - who cares. We have time. If he falls behind. Who cares. We do not.

Stay Tuned

I’m so proud of our little guy but at the same time, he’s growing way too fast for my liking. I am soaking up all the cuddles and praying he doesn’t grow any faster than I’m prepared for. This brings me to my next post. I know I have previously discussed ‘hand-spoiling’ and mental health but this is still a learning process for me and that’s what this blog is about, right? I have become increasingly interested in the concept of what counts as ‘spoiling’ your baby and what is just appropriate consoling and affection. So get ready for THAT can of worms.

Happy sitting.

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly Sides of Digital Citizenship

Photo from Vecteezy

What does it mean to be digitally responsible? Using social media as an outlet or platform to speak openly and freely about specific points of view or justice issues can lead in multiple directions. How you choose to utilize the platform (and your words) depicts which direction it will go. Unfortunately, or fortunately, how others choose to do the same in response to your stance has just as much influence on the direction as well.

Photo from Vecteezy

Over the years there have been hundreds if not thousands, of campaigns that have taken place online via social media and for all those years educators have been encouraged to remain neutral and “out of the light”. In fact, in my first education class, our entire cohort was seated in the auditorium while our head Education professor led us through a slideshow of why it is best to just stay off of social media completely if possible. This has changed in recent years but some educators are still weary of the potential repercussions associated with having an active presence in the world of activism and social justice.

How do you navigate an opinionated online presence while maintaining a positive image? Is it even possible? Furthermore, how do we encourage and guide our students to do the same, safely? Katia Hildebrandt and colleagues discuss the same topic on the following site. The same site encourages educators to assist students in their online presence as justice-oriented citizens and to,

support them in doing good, productive, and meaningful things online.

Can the Ugly Turn Productive and Meaningful?

Recently, in my community, a class took a field trip to a local greenhouse where the owner observed one of the students walk on all four legs and be guided by her mother in a harness. This owner took to social media and posted a video about her thoughts on this young “furry” and made hateful comments about wanting to ‘kick the cat’ and such. After viewing and recording, this post a local educator, from the school that took the field trip, made a public Facebook post about the greenhouse owner and tagged nearly her entire friend list in it. She shamed the owner for dehumanizing the young girl and her mother and let the online world know that the young girl has reasons, that is nobody else’s business, to be in a harness. This educator took an active stance in stating that whether the child was a furry or not should not matter and that demoralizing the mother and dehumanizing the child is not appropriate and that she won’t stand for it. The post has since been removed from Facebook.

In response to the educator’s post, there are now a video from the owner of the greenhouse as well as a news article from Global News Canada. The video is difficult to watch as the owner becomes incredibly emotional but the news article brings promise. She names the educator publicly, as well as the school, and you can see her struggle to get through her explanation and apologies throughout the entire video. She second-guesses her word usage in the video and even has to get up and leave at one point. This video is an active display of what many online users go through posting anything online that may have a repercussion.

Titled, “Offensive comments in North Battleford, Sask. video lead to learning and forgiveness” sheds light on the direction the original post has now taken. The family of the young girl has reached out to the owner of the greenhouse in a way to educate her on their young family member in hopes that, in the future, the owner will think critically, or investigate further, her judgements before publicly expressing her opinions online.

I believe the incident is taking a natural and meaningful course but it is causing destruction on the way. I also believe all parties are learning a lot through this journey. If approached respectfully, as I think the family of the young girl has done, I think discussions on ‘hot topics’ can be meaningful in educating the public and productive in promoting awareness. The key word being “respectful”.

In this instance, it seems that the topics of ‘judgement’ and ‘freedom of speech’ are being addressed and resolved productively and meaningfully, as the Global News article proves, but I’m not sure that it isn’t springboarding to something more controversial; furries. Additionally, the educator seems to have removed all her participation on the subject and hasn’t surfaced in response yet. Is this an example of why educators retreat from activism? Or is this just an example of two people impulsively posting without informed stances?

The Bad Side of Social Media Activism - False Information

Click to watch the news report about the public being falsely informed about litterboxes in schools and how they are responding.

The above incident is far from over and has brought our community to the topic of furries, once again. This ‘issue’ has been a ‘hot topic’ for the last 3 years and I’m sure a lot of the controversy is stemming from FALSE social media activism.

Political leaders, influencers, and parents, among others, are raging over the rumours of litterboxes in schools. Where on Earth did this information come from? This is a prime example of how so much negativity and skepticism can surround a topic. All it takes is one person to begin an online thread and the topic can catch like wildfire, especially when the thread begins with false information to generate chatter - like the topic of litterboxes in schools. This isn’t the only media setting negatively-generated rumours ablaze. Furries have been targeted even before this. Sometimes I feel social media users just want attention or to raise their follower account - no press is bad press, right? Why would this TikTok-er post false information about teaching young students about furries? It did nothing but cause issues for the school board and what did the TikTok-er gain? Were they even real?

The Good

Photo from Vecteezy 

Without a doubt, there are numerous dangers, cases of false information, and users preying on the naive in the social media world but there are also pros to the use of social media for activism.

Minutes after the incident with George Floyd people all around the world were reporting the incident and news channels couldn’t fight the truth of the personally filmed videos from the public. The truth was out there for the world to see for themselves. The sharing of first-hand footage is one of many pros that typically fall in the realm of social media activism. While some people battle this activism with terms like ‘slacktivism’ and ‘clicktivism’ (as shared in this article) the negatives aren’t nearly as real as projected. Each “click” and share further produces awareness and conversation on the topic of interest. Sure there are those that share or post to jump on the ‘bandwagon’ but isn’t that what campaigns are hoping for? Word spreading like wildfire? I’m not saying they aren’t hoping for people to educate themselves on the issue being presented but, again, press is press.

Social Media and Educators

So where does this leave educators? How do we manage the world of social media and use it for good while navigating the bad? Can we? Millions do it every day but the harsh reality is that we can’t make everyone happy while also being ourselves. I’m sure many will remain neutral but perhaps we can start small. I’m feeling like I have the potential to create a positively active platform but how, I’m not sure yet. Will I? I don’t know. I’m still scared that my community is not yet ready for such participants - maybe that’s the platform I take? A need for public openness and acceptance.

Photo from Vecteezy

In my opinion, a safe place to start is sharing posts you agree with that are initially shared or posted by your local school, division, and union. This may safe-proof your stance should anyone from the public attempt to use it against you and your position in education. If your superiors also approve then how can they come down on you for also supporting it? Stemming from that shared post you could expand your search in relation to that topic and share articles you have personally found. Moving forward from this you can create an active profile and become a justice-oriented digital citizen. Where you choose to go from there is up to you.

Happy Sharing.

Day 20: S**t Just Got REAL

Notice the “friends of friends” option at the top. 

Ok, this is a short update as there isn’t much new content that I’ve learned about in the last 6 days. I also haven’t done any additional research online besides just coincidentally discovering a few app features over the last few days. However, not all is lost as the app unveiled a few of its features to me this week.

After I uploaded a post 2 days ago I realized the top of my main feed had changed. In fact, where there were previously options just for “friends” and “discover” (people I don’t know around the world) there was now an option that said “Friends of Friends”. Upon clicking on it I discovered posts from friends of MY friends who have made their posts public.

Don’t worry, if your posts aren’t public it will not randomly share them with friends of your friends. I don’t know the people under the Friends of Friends but it does add some additional content to the app and the more friends you have the more that appears within that section.


Additionally, I have found out how to view my friend’s posts without squinting. When you take a photo the app activates both your front and rear camera. When the images are posted one is smaller and inset within the larger photo. I was continuously squinting to see the smaller photo but turns out that if you tap the smaller image, it trades places with the larger one. You can then tap it again to reverse it. I have added an example of this in my gallery of images below. You can see that the inset images are the reverse of the image next to it. When my son wanted to play with my phone while I was holding it he accidentally tapped the small image with his tiny fingers. When the images swapped I’m sure my reaction was that of the dead-eyed, straight-faced emoji. :| deadpan.

This discovery has saved my eyes but not my pride. I felt like a 500-year-old lady discovering it on accident.

It was one of those… wow, I feel like a moron moments.

Finally, I figured out how to share my posts on other apps such as Twitter. On each of your posts, you can select either the 3 dots (also where your privacy settings are for each post) or the SHARE icon (depending on your device type) and choose which app you’d like to share the post to.

If you’d like to share one of your old posts in your MEMORIES files, the app sharing options will pop up on the bottom as that is the only thing you can do with old posts (besides deleting them).

Anyway, this is what I have discovered in the last few days on BeReal. I am somewhat enjoying the app for the same reasons I have listed in other posts. It doesn’t suck up all my time, it shows genuine, unfiltered content, and I feel that it is SO FAR well regulated. I think the more friends I acquire the more interesting it becomes because then there is actually content to look at for more than 2 seconds. I’m up to 12 friends now and we’ll see if more join.

Keep in Real!

Burps & Farts

Yup, I said it. Burps and farts. We all do it. Although when I taught grade one I liked to tell my students that I didn’t fart and that everything evaporated through my skin (then I proceeded to explain evaporation)… their reactions were hilarious. This is what we are currently working through with Kolter, burps and farts.

Whitkow Hotel and Bar

Kolt has always been a gassy baby so we have been working his legs and burping him extra since day one but things seemed to have increased since we started going to the lake. As I’ve mentioned before, we camp at Meeting Lake Regional Park and, unfortunately, there are no roads that are paved all the way to the lake. In fact, the highway (HWY 378) is one of the worst highways in the province and has since been turned up to be gravelled because the asphalt is impossible to upkeep. Despite it also being rated one of the most beautiful routes in the province, we don’t travel that way because of the horrid road conditions. The photos with the church and red elevator are from a town called Whitkow which my family established when they moved here from Ukraine in 1907. There are actually 11 residents left and all are my family. The bar and hotel they name was built by my great grandfather and was my mother’s house growing up and where I also spent my summers and school holidays.

Back to Kolter.

None of the roads leading to the lake are favourable so I leave earlier than usual and drive leisurely as if ‘driving Miss Daisy’. I don’t mind. Kolt sleeps the majority of the time and I love the scenery. It is my happy place and feels like home. What DOES bother me is the fussing and discomfort my son is in for nearly 24 hours after arriving at our destination, whether it be the lake or home after a weekend at the lake. Kolt is an incredibly happy baby and rarely fusses. The last two weekends we have done immense amounts of reading and consoling for his discomfort and have learned some things.

New Learnings

Upset tummy = lethargic baby

Not everything is “textbook”. In fact, there is no actual evidence that car rides can cause upset stomachs in babies, especially when the child seems fine throughout the ride - ruling out motion sickness. Kolter starts fussing the next time he eats after a long, bumpy car ride. He will fuss off and on for quite some time, sometimes for an entire day or two, until it just stops and he reverts back to his giggly, happy self. After the first weekend of camping, we thought, perhaps, Kolter had gotten sick and wasn’t feeling well but then it happened the next weekend. I discussed it with our public health nurse during his immunizations and she suggested it could be due to rough road conditions. We were going to the lake again in a few days and decided to monitor his behaviour. Sure enough, after the journey he was upset. Luckily, the nurse had given us some tips and tricks to soothe his tummy if this were the case:

I call Kolt my baby bear - seemed fitting
  • 1) When you arrive at your destination and he is fussy or not himself simply sit him on your lap and burp him. He likely has air pockets stirred up throughout his abdomen.

    • BOY did he burp! It seemed to cut down on his fussing time for sure and he was far happier.

  • 2) Give him some anti-colic fluids before or after the journey. We didn’t try this one because the burping worked so well but we have been using a fluid to help with his gassiness I will discuss this later in the post.

  • 3) Massage his tummy and work his legs to release gas. We have done many of these exercises since his birth but some were new.

    • bicycle legs - useful - we have used this since birth.

    • Knee to Belly - useful - we have used this since birth and every day just to quickly release gas.

    • “I Love You” massage - VERY useful - learned this more recently and LOVE it! It helps with both gas and constipation. You can feel the blockages and although it sometimes causes Kolt to be unhappy for a few seconds it almost instantly relieves him once we’re done. (It is important to note that there are many TikTok videos of this massage and doing it backwards or starting the “I” on the baby’s right side can have the opposite effect. Our bowels drain on our left side and you should first massage to remove the blockages at the end BEFORE pushing more blockages toward that area to prevent pain and a worse blockage).

  • 4) Finally, keep the baby upright for 20-30 minutes to help him pass his gas up or downward with ease. Laying him down will trap it.

Other Useful Information

I wanted to add a list of some other useful information I made note of during this time:

  • 1) There are a large number of anti-colic medications to help with gas, reflux (which Kolt has), hiccups, and spitting up. Try one or try them all but none are better than others and you will find what works best for you. We have 3 that we rotate through.

    • Ovol - this is a lifesaver but hard to find. Usually found at small-town convenience or grocery stores. This breaks up the gas bubbles so they aren’t as painful and can be more easily passed. This works best for Kolt and we put it right in his bottle or if he’s been crying and fussing longer than 30 minutes and it seems to be due to abdominal pain. It almost instantly makes him pass gas and feel better. It contains mint and soothes his tummy. Relatively inexpensive and lasts quite a while since you can use just small amounts.

    • Cocyntal - This. is. WONDERFUL because it is pre-portioned. THAT’S RIGHT! No measuring or spilling. Babies love the taste. it is dye free and it stops hiccups and upset tummies ASAP for Kolter. A friend gave me one for Kolter to try when we had a play date - CHANGED MA LIFE! They’re NOT cheap but we keep them on hand for traveling convenience. This brand also makes cold/flu and teething pre-portioned meds.

    • Kolik Gripe Water - the tried and true gripe water - beloved by all, hated by me… because it is SO STICKY AND HARD TO SERVE TO BABY! But it works. In a pinch, I will use this because it’s cheaper and it works but I loathe its messiness. I started using one of the extra syringes from a second bottle of Tylenol that we opened (I labelled it for Kolik) and that has helped but it is still VERY sticky.


So far we are having much success with the extra burping and massages/exercises but the Ovol has changed everything! We add a few drops into 2 of his daily feeds and it seems to help him keep his gas flowing without obstruction or discomfort.


We are still working on balancing the self-soothing and holding battle so stay tuned for more information we have gained and grown opinions on about that.

Kolter and I have also been working on developing his tummy time strength too and have practiced a few moves from our research in our post last week. More to come on that too!

Happy tooting!

Terrible Tummy Time

What is it that babies hate about tummy time? That it’s hard? Does it feel anything like when I try to do a situp or pull-ups because if that’s the case then I get it! I’m going to be honest, my husband and I have not been diligent on tummy time in recent weeks as he’s been seeding and I have been spending all my extra time working on schoolwork. My mom and dad have been watching our son 2-3 days a week since school started and both my mom and I have been sharing resources for how to help Kolter physically develop toward crawling. I mean, do I want him to be mobile so that I have more to worry about and watch for throughout the day? I have mixed feelings about it but I know it’s necessary.

Over the last few months we have spent some time placing Kolt on his tummy and would wait to see how he reponded. We immediately knew we were screwed and that our kid was way too smart for us. He’d attempt to lift his head, realize it was hard, and just lay down, close his eyes and sleep. Well played buddy, well played. As time progressed he became obsessed with seeing EVERYTHING and couldn’t tolerate it when he couldn’t. When we placed him on his tummy he would try to lift his head until he would yell at us out of frustration.

Again, if it feels anything like doing 10 burpees in a row WITH a full push-up at the bottom… I feel ya, bro. As time went on he became stronger and hated it a BIT less but I wouldn’t say he’s grown an admiration for it. He eventually learned to occasionally roll over onto his back again to avoid the tummy time. He still cannot do this consistently but if he’s cranky enough he figures it out. After this development, we decided to try to strengthen his abdominals and back to give him more support but that quickly advanced him to standing so now we’re searching for other ideas!

When Katia first mentioned this project I immediately thought of learning how to introduce solid foods to Kolter and how to teach him to crawl. Will he do it by the time I’m finished this course, unlikely, but it’s the journey that matters, here. This week, finding a bit more time now that I’ve gotten a few assignments out of the way, I started following new Instagram accounts and looking up new videos and blogs for tummy time advice and recommendations.

According to this site, Kolt needs some more tummy practice as he cannot yet push himself up onto his own elbow (probably due to my lack of tummy time scheduling). On the other hand, he has been pushing himself up to stand for an entire month (he’s 4 months plus 5 days). So I dug further to find specific milestones and found this page which has a plethora of milestones, how to train for them, and what to do next. I selected the How to Teach Your Baby to Crawl (obviously) aaannndd realized crawling doesn’t usually happen until 6-7 months but why not work our way there. Soooo, I retracted back to the original post I discovered and went from there.

In addition to a few points I’ve noted below from the original post I also started following Laney Soodsma on Instagram (website link here) and love her reels that demonstrate tips for both physical and feeding development. Talk about a win-win.

I noted a few important points from this article:

— start at 3 minutes a day and work up to 20 minutes.

— use sound and sight tools and techniques for sensory stimulation to get the baby’s attention.

— use tummy time toys for practicing reaching and head-turning.

Some things I’ve learned this week:

— babies do not crawl at 4-5 months, normally.

— my son is stronger than he should be in many ways.

— I’m afraid of how intelligent my child is and how he already gets out of what he doesn’t want to do.

— Small bits of practicing go a long way.

Happy Crawling!