Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hello all you mommies out is the latest column from The Weekender....

Happy Birthday Grace

My oldest daughter Grace (or Rapunzel Grace as she likes to be called) turned four recently.  Four!  I don’t even want to think about how fast the time has flown by or how faster it is going to pass me.  But I did take some time to think about how much my life has changed these last four years.  While it wasn’t all peachy keen, I would go back and do it again and again and again in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t change too much either.  I have learned a lot so far- about myself and the lack of patience I have, about how hard being a parent is, about how fun being a parent is, about regrets, about being blessed, about health and about how much I don’t know.
Grace is an awesome kid, I must admit.  I have told you how creative she is (which can also be a little much sometimes).  I have written about how inquisitive she is and if you have met her you would know how outgoing and far from shy she is.  I sometimes wonder why she is the way she is – mostly when it comes to the outgoing part because if you have met me you might get the feeling that I am a little shy and quiet.  I sometimes just sit back and have to watch Grace do her thing whether it’s making up a show for my husband, Leah and I, or watching her print letters or even just enjoying a television show and I am just amazed.  One of the biggest lessons I think Grace has taught me, which I am still trying to learn, is to just live in the moment.  To just be spontaneous and enjoy the world you have around you, whatever it may be.  To just have fun and sing and dance like no one is looking or to put more dazzle into it if someone is watching.  I think a lot of us wish to be kids again, to see the world and life in their eyes.  Watching my daughter, I often think about my own childhood and wish that I had enjoyed it more, that I didn’t wish to grow up so fast.  Having both Grace and Leah makes me want me to improve my life for both myself and as an example for them – the be healthier, to be more optimistic and calm, to be patient and kinder with myself and others and generally to live in the moment.
I often wonder what Grace is going to be like when she is eight, or 12 or 16 and older.  Will she still be creative and asking lots of questions?  Will she march to her own drum or fall in line behind another drummer?  Will she be a girly girl who doesn’t want to get her hair wet or will be the type of girl who does the biggest cannon ball off the dock into the water?  Some nights when I go in to check on Grace, a habit I have done since she started sleeping in her own bed, I tuck her back under the covers, kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear “I love you- don’t ever change.”  I hope for all the times she doesn’t listen to me, that is the one time she does.  Enjoy being Four Grace.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Tuesday!!!

Hello Mommies!
I was able to get to the computer for a little while today - thank you quiet time!  So I have posted some past columns for you to read and hopefully enjoy! 
Hope you all have a great day!!

A Hairy Situation

The time has come for a decision to be made, a serious decision, one that will not only affect me but my family as well.  The time has come for me to make a decision about what I should do about my hair.  I have fairly long hair which has taken about three years to grow to this length, but I am now starting to run into a few problems.
The first being quite painful, Leah has started to grab.  She doesn’t do it on purpose, but if my hair is down some of it always seem to make it into her tiny but strong hands, sometimes I find it wrapped around her fingers.  So, because of that I always have to put my hair up.  And since my hair is usually up out of my face, and I don’t want to admit this but I don’t always brush it, which if you have long hair you know I might have a few bird’s nests or large knots hiding in my messy bun.  Also because my hair is always pulled back, I am starting to notice some brittle broken pieces around my face as well, attractive I know.
So, I don’t know what to do.  Should I leave my hair long and just put up with the pain of having it pulled?  Or should I cut it all off?  Should be an easy decision however I made the mistake when I first had Grace and when she was around two or three months I made the bold choice to go and cut off my hair.  I figured short hair would be easy to take care of, I would just be able to wash and go and wouldn’t have to worry about Grace grabbing at my hair.  I had really short hair in high school and the start of college and I thought I could pull that look off again- wrong!  I had forgotten how much more time I spent doing my hair in the mornings when it was short.  True I could just wash my hair and go if I wanted to and if I wanted to go around with a giant fuzz ball on the top of my head but that wasn’t the look I wanted as a new mom.  I had some days were I felt haggard; I didn’t want to attract more attention to my lack of effort on those days.  After I cut all my hair off, I realized I had made a bad decision and spent the next few years going through the growing out phase where I needed to spend even more time dealing with my hair than I wanted to.  I couldn’t just put it into a pony tail and go, I needed to pin pretty much every piece back otherwise it would hang in my face or get into Grace’s hands.
I don’t know how some mom’s do it.  They can either really wear the short hair which looks great all the time or they have no problem with long hair.  How do you do it??
Another element that has added to my hair problem is Grace or “Rapunzel Grace” as she is now being know around the community, wants to grow her hair long just like Rapunzel’s or at least to her waist.  Grace, er I mean “Rapunzel Grace” has also instructed both “Rapunzel Mommy” (that’s me) and “Rapunzel Leah” to grow our hair long as well.  I guess the decision has been made, at least until Grace becomes another princess.

Artistic Dilemma

My oldest daughter Grace enjoys making crafts or art work like all kids do.  Because she enjoys being creative and drawing, colouring or painting so much, my house is full of arts and crafts.
When Grace was first able to hold a crayon and make a mark I was excited because I figured she would soon be able to draw me a picture or paint a landscape or create anything in her mind.  I knew at first they wouldn’t be gallery worthy but they would be art to me.  I started to save all the pieces of paper with ‘art’ on them.  I was impressed with how some of them did actually look like people, or animals or actual objects.  But now, it seems a little too much.  I have a large plastic container full of ‘art’ as well as piles around the house that I am starting to wonder if I have saved too much, especially now that Grace is almost four and the ‘art’ she produces now are, well lets be honest, a lot better than the scribbles she first started making.  I want to save as much from both Grace and Leah’s childhoods as possible but I don’t want to have to rent a storage shed to do it either.  So I am at odds over what to do.  I know I have to get rid of some items or pictures, I do already toss the ones that I know Grace didn’t spend any time on, the random pieces of paper that have scribbles on them.  But how do you judge your child’s art or crafts?  If I ask Grace to help me sort though her ‘art work’ she would want every piece saved, she already gets upset when I take pieces off the fridge in order to actually open and use the fridge.  I’ve heard of some ideas such as taking a picture of each piece of ‘art’ but then I would have thousands of photos of ‘art work’ and my house would be full of scrapbooks full of pictures of ‘art work’ and I still have to scrapbook the pictures from 2009 that I have been trying to do for weeks now.  Plus I like being able to save the actual craft or piece of ‘art’, to be able to hold it and look at it up close.  I’ve heard of the idea to just save the best ones and keep them in a large portfolio or plastic container, I like that idea but I just can’t decide what the best ones are.  How do decide between one scribble or craft and another when Grace was a year old.  How do you chose between one painting that looks like a person and another that Grace made when she was two?  Do you pick the first piece she made?  Do you pick your favourite? Do you pick the child’s favourite?  I don’t have any piece of art or any crafts from my childhood, something I wish I had.  I’m not sure if my in laws have saved any from my husband either.  I want my children to be able to look back at their own history and smile or laugh or groan with embarrassment (or at least when I show potential dates when they come over).  I just hope sometimes that Grace or Leah for that matter don’t get into big really large works of art or crafts, I just don’t have to storage space.

Sizing Things Up

One morning when I was getting Leah dressed, which is something I have started getting into the habit of because the first few months of my daughter’s life I didn’t see a need to change her out of her PJ’s if we weren’t going anywhere, or if the weather was cold because all she did all day was sleep so why change her clothes to sleep in?  Any way, back to the morning when I was actually changing my youngest out of her PJ’s and into some real clothes, I noticed she wasn’t fitting into the three month clothes anymore, and I had to pull out the six month pile which she actually fit into much better.  I should mention that Leah is not even four months old yet.  A lot of her clothes are hand me downs from Grace and even some of them are hand me downs from other people.  I was a bit excited when I first found out that Leah was a girl, not only because of her gender but because I thought that I wouldn’t have to buy many clothes - I was wrong.  Grace and Leah are opposite seasons with Leah being born in the winter and Grace being born in the spring so I had to buy a few new things at first but now I am thinking that with Leah being as big as she is, I might not have lucked out after all. 
When Grace was born, she was eight pounds even and she slowly gained weight.  At three months I switched from pumping breast milk to strictly formula feeding and then she started to gain more weight.  I look at pictures of when Grace was how old Leah is now and she looks so tiny, it could be the pictures are deceiving me a bit but I remember that Grace could still fit into three month old clothes until she was about five months.  Leah on the other hand was just over seven pounds when she was born and was on formula from the start.  It didn’t take her long to out grow her newborn sleepers and fit comfortable into her zero to three month sleepers.  She is a lot bigger than what her older sister was at this age, there are a lot more rolls on her legs, which I know will disappear when she gets older but sometimes I wonder if I am getting a glimpse into Leahs’ future- if she will have a weight problem when she gets older.  It’s ridiculous I know to start the size number obsession or even think about future weight problems with her being so young and I wonder if I had had boys if these weight thoughts would even enter my mind.  I am not over feeding her.  She doesn’t get ‘soothed’ with a bottle every single time she cries but for some reason she is just bigger than Grace was.  I am not losing sleep over it or fretting about it.  I am not searching out Guinness Book of Records for biggest baby, nor am I looking to be on some weird TLC show about chubby babies.  I just wonder.  I think Leah is a bit longer than Grace was as well, which is another reason I have pulled out the six month old clothes, well at least the pants.  The good thing is many of the clothes that Grace didn’t get a chance to wear when she was six months, Leah will hopefully put to good use.  And I get to do some more shopping which isn’t always a bad thing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Question Is.....

Hello Mommies!
Just to let you know I write a weekly column for a newspaper called The Weekender, have been doing it since my family moved out here.  I will upload the past columns one day but starting today, here is the latest one....hope you enjoy it!

When Grace was younger, I had heard from other parents to be on the lookout for when the “why” stage starts.  You know the stage, when your child continually asks questions that all start with “Why?”  Well, I waited and braced myself for that stage to hit and now I think I am in the middle of it.  I am not opposed to questions, I was that kind of kid – always asking questions, actually I still am, but I feel like I am constantly being interviewed with not just “why” questions but all different kinds and usually one right after another.  This of course doesn’t mean that my daughter has never asked questions before, actually one of Grace’s first words when she was just over a year old was “ah tha” which I took to mean “what’s that?” since when Grace said it she was usually pointing to something. 
When this whole question and answer period started I don’t think I actually clued in to what she was doing.  My oldest would just ask a simple question such as “where is Daddy going?”  And I would answer her, “he’s going to work”.  But I am starting to notice that my daughter sometimes just likes to ask questions- even when she knows the answer.  It took me a while to catch on to what she was doing but now it seems like I am the one asking all the questions and it sometimes quiets Grace a bit.
It happened one day out of frustration.  I think Grace had been asking questions non stop:
“why is my wand stick blue?”,
“why does Rapunzel leave the tower?”,
“who is that lady?”,
“what is her name?”,
“what is that song about?”,
“why is it snowing?”,
“what is another word for frog?” (I think you get the picture). 
For some of them I couldn’t just give ‘to the point’ answers – “because it is blue”, “it’s cold out that’s why it’s snowing”, “the song is about a boy and girl”.  For others I couldn’t say “I don’t know” because this of course would lead to more in-depth questioning.  For other questions I assumed that she already knew the answer – “Rapunzel leaves the tower to see the floating lanterns”, these type of questions were very frustrating because if felt like she was just asking me questions for the sake of asking questions. 
After being asked yet another question that I knew she already knew the answer to I snapped back at Grace” why do you think Rapunzel left the tower?” and Grace answered me.  And I figured out a loop hole – I would just ask Grace whenever she asked me a question “why do you think?” and it seemed to work, Grace would answer her own question and I was off the hook.  Some of the answers to her own questions are actually pretty funny – Q: How do you make the colour black?  A: You take white and brown and purple and mix them all together and then you get black. 
This gives a little insight into how Grace sees the world.  Of course this has also lead to another issue like when I ask Grace a question such as: “can you clean up your room?”  Grace turns around and answers with a question “Why?”

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Hello to those of you who are reading this....this is my first post on a mommy timeout blog!  This blog is a diary of a stay at home mom to two girls - a 4 year old and a 4 month old.  My family has just moved to a new town and well life at the moment is pretty crazy and on a daily basis I am in need of a time out!