Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Birthday letter to Leah

Happy Birthday Leah!
I can't believe you are two years old already, that was one fast year - maybe not for you but for both Daddy and I, it was.  Sometimes it even feels like we just brought you home from the hospital but then there are other days when I can't remember you not being a part of my life.
You have learned a lot this past year - you are now sleeping in a big girl bed, which you love.  You are learning and saying new words every day, sometimes every hour!  Ok maybe not that fast but it seems like it.  You can actually communicate with Daddy and I, most of the time and we can understand you!  Remember when you tried telling us what you wanted but you didn't know the words and we didn't know what you wanted and oh then everyone was in tears.  We don't have too many of those days anymore do we?  Yea!
We've started potty training.  Well, we've taken teeny, tiny steps towards potty training but that will be this year's goal.
There have been some challenges this year too haven't there?  Like when I tell you to stop climbing on the chairs when you try to reach whatever food is on the counter, or when you try to email your friends on my computer.  Yes, those aren't fun time and sorry to say there may be more of those too this new year but good job on your climbing and figuring out you need a chair to do that.
And I'm sorry about having to give you eye drops, you know there were because you caught pink eye from Grace and they were to help you not harm you as you tried to make it sound like I was doing to you.  Hopefully we won't have to go through that again.
You are an amazing big girl and so smart too.  Do you know that you teach me things all the time?  you teach me to take in the day, to look at things - to really look at them for what they may be and then to look at them in a different way.  I am trying to learn the lesson, your older sister is still trying to teach me, but I appreciate that you are both trying.  One day I will really get it.  You teach me to laugh at silly things like when you pretend your empty cup is a hat or your bowl.  I love that you like showing off what you know like every time I hold you, you point out my ears, nose, mouth and glasses.  You know you don't always have to touch my glasses right?
I love that you love books - just like Grace and I do.  Sometimes too much is a bad thing.  You know what I'm talking about.  That night I found you surrounded by pages of what use to be a library book but is now ours because someone, and I'm not pointing fingers (you) was looking at with sticky fingers and the pages got stuck together so we couldn't return it.  Remember that night when I found you?  You were sleeping on your floor and there were pages and little pieces of pages around you.  I'm not even going to assume what had happened but I suspect that you just love that book too much.
I love that you are curious and while it may get you into trouble, like the time you push the emergency button in the elevator at the doctor's office, please don't ever stop being curious.  Life gets boring when you stop wondering about it.
I hope that you had a good year.  I am very proud of you, even if it doesn't seem like it am.  I know you are learning about the world around you and trying to figure things out and yes that still means you only write on paper not the walls.
Could I ask one thing of you though please?  Can you please keep the tantrums this year on the more low key side?  I promise we will have a lot more fun if that happens.
Happy Birthday Leah!
Love Mommy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Big Girl Bed

Not sure why, but I thought last week was a good time to move Leah, who is almost 2, from her crib to a toddler bed, alright more like keeping her in her bed but removing one side of it.  I guess I figured since my youngest enjoyed hanging out on her big sister's bed and pretending to nap that she was ready for the next step - being able to get in and our of her own bed.
We waited until Saturday to remove the side and tried to make a big deal about it too but Leah didn't seem as excited as her sister was.  She was happy to be able to get into and out of her bed but that was pretty much it. - 'whoopee, I can get in and out of bed - big deal mommy'.
Then came nap time.  Well what was suppose to be nap time.  Did the usual thing, had lunch, cleaned up Leah and then told her "time for your nap in your big girl bed".  I think Leah might had forgotten what had happened in her room because she was totally cool until we got to her room.  I put her down in her bed, turned on her music and said 'I will see you after nap'.  I closed her door and started to walk down the hall and then it started - Leah opened her door again and then closed it.  Then opened it again.  Then closed it.  This little game continued for a few minutes until I guess my youngest realized she didn't have to be in bed really.  After a half and hour and the door game was long over and all was quiet, I went to check on her.  I opened the door expecting to see her sleeping somewhere in her room - hopefully in her bed - but instead found her sitting in her chair reading.  Ok, not a problem just as long as there is some sort of quiet time in our house.
I was feeling hopeful, this might actually happen and be easy.  
Then bedtime came. 
Bedtime, or what is also known as my favourite time of the day.  My girls are snuggled in their beds, all is quiet, a time to reflect on the day.  Then I had the brilliant idea to eliminate one side of Leah's bed, allowing her to leave her room when she is upset instead of just staying in her bed.  And that's exactly what happened.  Since she didn't have her nap, she was very tired and couldn't fall asleep right away.  So, she came out of her room.  Over and over and again.  For about 30 minutes or so, I pretty much just stood in front of her door and kept saying, 'back to bed please'. I was very happy about it as most parents who are tired can be.
Then she fell asleep and I really was happy about it.  Then Leah fell out of bed or almost fell out of bed and was scared and got upset again.  So I put her extra large stuffed dog and elephant and pillows on the floor beside the bed.  Then Leah fell asleep again (yippee!).  Then she started coughing - a lot.  I'll sum up my whole Saturday night/Sunday morning - not much sleep for either of us.  Grace on the other hand had a wonderful sleep and was full of energy the next day.
As the week went on, I wondered if I would be spending the first half an hour of naptime and bedtime sitting outside Leah's door.  I was pretty close to picking up some cushions or a chair so that I would be at least some what comfty while sitting on the floor continually telling my daughter  - 'sorry, can't come out.'  I was also thinking why I wanted to rush this step and how screwed up would it be if we put the side of the crib back on.
But then something happened.  Something special and magical.  I can't really explain it but either Leah got bored with her door opening game or actually understood this is how it's going to be and started staying in her bed.  She's not falling asleep right away which I don't really care about, but she's staying in her bed.  In her room.  Sure she's bringing all her toys to bed with her, or playing with her alphabet keyboard but, and I'll say it again - SHE'S STAYING IN HER ROOM!!!
I think she is enjoying this next phase, feeling like a big girl like her sister.
Next step - the dreaded potty training.....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lice Hunt

Fall in my house means a few things - eating more pasta, wearing sweaters and warm socks, washing our hands more, pumping up on Vitamin C and kicking up the lice search.  This is the second time I have been on the lice search, mainly because this is the second year my oldest daughter has been in school but I am more frighten  than last year.  There currently is an outbreak at my daughter's school and I don't think anything scares me more than the possibility of my daughter coming home with lice.  Well except maybe having to pay more taxes, or eating all the Halloween candy before Halloween, or maybe even having food in my teeth in public and no one telling me.
So, yes it's been a few weeks since this whole lice thing started and every day when Grace comes home from school, I quickly search through her head.  I do another scan later on and I am starting to feel like a monkey a bit with all this nit searching (actually if anyone does have a monkey for rent, could I borrow it?).  I honestly I really don't know what I am searching for.  Ok, I know what I am suppose to be looking for, but since I haven't seen them in the flesh before I'm blind to what I should be hunting.  I've only seen lice in pictures where they are magnified by 500 percent.
I have never had lice (knock on wood) but I remember scaring my mom when I was a kid.  I think I was in grade 1 or 2 and it was time for the annual lice check. Our class was called down to the office where some lady searched through our hair. I was pulled out because I believe she saw something in my white hair and so I had to be checked again.  A bug was found, but - but not a lice bug.  Now, I did have baths and I was suppose to wash my hair but come on, I was young and had too much too do than washing my hair all the time.  I had sand to play in, books to look at, crafts to do - not spend my time washing my hair.  Plus, it took forever for my hair to dry.  So that is my only near lice experience and hopefully my last one.
So until this whole thing is over my daughter will have dirty hair in braids unless I can send her to school with a shower cap on - or is that too over the top?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Has anyone seen my baby?

I was folding some laundry today and as I was folding some pj pants that Grace use to wear but now Leah wears and it hit me - my baby isn't a that much of a baby anymore.  I've gotten use to it, a bit, with Grace but it's new with Leah.  My youngest will be two in December but she doesn't look her age, she is much taller and since she's the baby she thinks she can do things that Grace does - and most of the time she can, with a little help from mommy.
Where did my baby go?  I'm going to try to not get too sappy, but some days it seems like she's still a newborn.  I mostly get these feelings when it's nap time or bed time.  But I do miss cuddling with her - now while she does still like to sit on my lap, Leah mostly like to sits on her own on the couch.
I think it's hitting me harder seeing her wearing Grace's hand me downs because when my five year old wore them the first time around, I knew that one day another child would also wear them.  But now, Leah might be the last one to wear them and it's kind of sad - even though they're just clothes.  I didn't feel like this when either of my girls out grew the newborn clothes but for some reason, the bigger the clothes are the harder it gets to pack them away once they outgrow them.  I guess since their personality has emerged more the older they get, it's almost like a packing up a piece of them and a part of that time in their life as well.
Are you crying yet?

Terrible Two's

For the past month or so I kept trying to post something new but then something else seemed more important and really for those of you who don't know, writing is like exercise...if you stop for any length of time it's hard to get started again.   But here I am, getting starting again.
The past month has been all about getting back - getting back to school, getting back into the routine of things, getting the house ready for winter, all that stuff.  Isn't it strange how more difficult and how much more time it takes to get back into a routine than it is to break one?
Since Grace is in school full time, I am now able to spend more time and attention on Leah who has started her terrible two's very early.  Everything is her's, she only wants to do what she wants to do and when she doesn't want to listen she really does plug her ears with her fingers.  I don't know what I am going to do with her, it's hard to not laugh sometimes because she is so determined and really thinks she can do whatever her older sister does.  My little tiny terror.  At least she hasn't started the whole scribbling on the walls, or ripping all the books, or flushing anything down the toilet stage yet.
So I have been trying to remember how to deal with a toddler again, which in another way is hard because Grace didn't go through the terrible two's, she went through the terrible three's.  More difficult in someways because you figure as a parent maybe you have by-passed having to go through the dreaded two stage, but then your kid turns three and all of a sudden it's melt down after melt down.  so I guess what I am trying to say is while I don't always enjoy trying to explain to a toddler why it's not a good idea to run around the house with a steak knife or why standing in the bathtub isn't a good idea or why we shouldn't drink the bathwater (all true stories by the way), I think I'd rather go through this terrible stage now than later on because hopefully once it's done it's done....until the teen years.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You can give a Toddler a cup but you can't always make them drink from it.

It's been a while since I've been on here, summer was just kind of well a glimpse wasn't it? Hot one week and then not so hot the other weeks.   I was busy like everyone else - trying to keep both girls entertained, but mostly Grace who seemed to ask for a play date pretty much everyday (I guess I'm not as fun as I thought I was).  But now that she's back in school I can get back to my writing. 
Today's post is about how I have stepped into a negotiator position with Leah.  Leah who is not even two years old yet, but has her toddler attitude down to perfection.  The whole whiny, ears only work when she wants something, being unreasonable and stubborn as a mule is how she acts most of the time.  She's like the Nursery Rhyme my mother used to say to me, 'There was a little girl." 
There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good but when she was bad she was horrid.  
Ok, now Leah isn't horrid but she isn't shy to tell you she's upset and she'll stand her ground, or at least try to to get her way.  When she doesn't want to go some place and you try to move her, she'll just raise her arms and try to slide out of your grasp or the classic just slump to the ground.  She enjoys screaming, much to our neighbours delight and telling you straight up, "no, not fair!" (which I believe she has heard from Grace.)  Most of the time it's not a big deal and I know one day she will make an excellent protester!  I can ignore her attempts at getting her way but it drives me up the wall when it comes to her finishing her drinks (either milk or water). 
Leah has been drinking from a cup for a while but she enjoys just taking the smallest sip - enough to just wet her mouth it seems.  We don't give her a lot to drink either because while like I said she has been drinking for a while, accidents still happen.  So maybe her cup has a quarter of what her sister gets and yet - IT STILL TAKES AN HOUR FOR HER TO DRINK IT! I'm not kidding.  This morning I was in a stand off waiting for her to finish her milk - it took an hour before my daughter finally gave in (yes I know where she gets her stubbornness from and the sooner she learns that I'm the master the better it will be for all of us.)  I feel like I am negotiating with the Taliban.  Not that I have ever negotiated with the Taliban but I did see the first 10 minutes of 'Zero Dark Thirty' and it looked a lot like what I go through to get Leah to drink all the milk or water from her cup.  There are tears and alternating being shouting and being really super duper nice.  There is pleading and some bribing and a lot of "no way".  Sometimes we just have to wait it out but other times we can trick her into thinking she has won by giving her a straw or a different cup.  In the end Mommy always wins, because in the end Leah usually finishes whatever is in her cup.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Look Who's Talking!

Ok, I really didn't mean for it to go this long without writing.  At the start of the summer my dream plan was to write every other day, I should be able to squeeze that in....(laughing) yea right!  So here I am over a week later posting.....this time it's all about Leah for a change.  Sweet little crazy Leah!  Hard to believe in a few days she will be 20 months!  She is your typical toddler, getting into everything and then hiding the evidence - one of her sandals mysteriously disappeared over the weekend at the family cottage as did my husband's cables for his slew of electronics and a marker and a lid have also mysterious disappeared - hopefully the lid is on the marker.  (This game of hide stuff will be discussed on another blog, hopefully in a few days and not next week) Leah is also talking.  Alright, she has been talking for a while, but back then it was sporatic now the words are coming from her mouth at a rapid pace - it's weird.  Weird hearing your child speak for the first time, I always wonder what their voice is going to sound like and I have come to the conclucsion that all little kids sound the same when they are first learning to talk.  Leah hasn't said any sentences yet, but she can sort of communicate although her first choice is always to scream.  So far this is what my youngest daughter can say: Mommy, Daddy, Gace, baby, hat, shoes, apple, cat, dog, hot, up, done, milk, water, fork, spoon, tu-tu, nap, blueberries, strawberries, eyes, nose, butt, bum, pee, poo, diaper, Grover, Elmo, Muppet, pig, boots, hi, bye bye and of course no! (gives you a little insight as to what is discussed in my house doesn't it?) 
Grace of course is finding this new side of her sister fun and tries to get her to say new words, it was because of her that Leah can say Muppet, pig, and butt.
So we have reached that level where I am thisclose to sort of but not really understanding my youngest daughter and what goes on in her head, ah who am I  kidding, I still don't understand my oldest and she's five!  I do enjoy this stage of learning, well except when all I hear from Leah is no, no, no!
My husband however is on the fence, now he is has to fight with three girls trying to talk before he can get a word in!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Too Freakin' HOT!!!

Come the middle of winter, when the snow banks are taller than I am and I or my husband have shoveled our driveway for the thousandth time I will be kicking myself for what I am about to say....but it's just too darn hot!!!  Too HOT!!!  That is my excuse for not writing anything since my last's too hot!  And also we have spent our hot, sticky days just playing - at the beach, at our family cottage, in the sprinkler - really anywhere that has water.
Since it's the middle of summer, I am wondering if I can let my daughters spend the rest of it just watching movies near a fan to stay cool?  Or is that just a waste of this warm beautiful weather?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Reading is Fun!

One of the hardest things I think so far of being a parent isn't the newborn stage or even the terrible two's but teaching your child to read - IT IS SO HARD!!!
I had this brilliant idea that this summer Grace would practice her reading every day.  I think I got it off of Pinterest and thought, "now that's a great idea.  I'm sure it's really easy to do too since it's on Pinterest, no one ever fails doing something they saw off of this site!"  Yea, not so much.  Grace is a good reader for her age and especially since she just started.  She enjoys reading and books but like many kids her age she suffers from 'if it's not easy I simply can't do it- itis', it's a horrible disease and as far as the research I have done with Google, there is no cure (I will gladly take donations for my wine supply).  So this reading every day thing has been going so smoothly (LOL).  I really did think that it would be simple, spend just about 20 minutes a day having Grace practice her reading.  I know, stupid right - like it would actually take 20 minutes!  Have you ever tried listening to a child learn to read? It's a painful, horrible, magical thing - like child birth - at first eh you deal with it, it's not too bad but then hours later you are thisclose to just ripping that kid out of you.  To me that's how it is hearing my sweet daughter read, or at least when she sounds out words.  She gets all the sounds right and then I tell her - 'put it together, just put those sounds together, just smush them together' and it's agony. She really just says the individual sounds faster and louder.  I have to bite my tongue to keep from shouting, " says, the word is SAYS!"
The sounding out isn't as bad as the whiny, "I can't remember" that is said pretty much any new word pops out, even before I can say, "sound it out!"  My speech has been the same since day one, 'we are going to practice reading every day all summer.  You are learning to read, you need to practice it and yes it's hard but the more you practice, the easier it will get." Rah, rah blah blah.  Then there is some huffing and some tears and asking, why are we doing this and then Grace starts getting all upset.  I sometimes hate the English language and how their words and the rules that come with the words don't make sense.
I do admit though that it is pretty amazing when I get to hear my daughter read a whole sentence and for that one second I go back to my original thought of spending a few minutes/hours every day this summer to practice reading is a good idea.  Maybe in a few years when it's Leah's turn to learn to read, I can be off the hook.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dining Dilemma

So it's been about a week since school has let out for the summer and (I could be shooting myself in the foot) things have been going ok - meaning Grace isn't bored yet.  I have forgotten how easy things can be when you don't have to be somewhere at a certain time.  But this post isn't about how summer is going - it's only been a week!
No, this post is all about my obsession with Leah and food, well together not as two different things, yes I am obsessed with my daughter and I love food, but that's something to talk about another day.
So, I really don't fully understand why us mom's get obsessed when it comes to our offspring eating.  Ok, I get that they need to eat, that it's our job to provide them with healthy things to eat and we should show them how to eat nicely and not like wild animals but why do I get so insane when Leah doesn't want to eat her toast in the morning. I know deep down inside my brain her not eating some toast in the morning doesn't mean she will starve or become unhealthy or turn to a life on crime or end up on the Jerry Springer show (if it's still on) but I kind of go a little bonkers when she has just one tiny, bite and then declares she is full.  Alright she doesn't announce that she is full she mostly pushes her plate away as far as her arms can reach and I swear she is always aiming at her cup of milk in the hope that is also gets knocked over.
It's weird right?  Leah does eat.  She isn't withering away to nothing, she isn't crying all day because she is hungry and to be honest she is still filling up diapers (that is another obsession us moms can't seem to shake) and yet I can't seem to allow my daughter to eat as much or as little as she wants.  I think a lot of this insanity comes from the mystery of toddlers - how can they not be hungry when all they do is run around?  How can a growing human being survive for long periods of time on only like five blueberries?  I guess a better question would be how long can that little person survive if they only eat a few cheerios, a swallow of milk, a couple of blueberries, a bite of cheese, a cracker, a bite of cucumber, just looking at some meat, pushing around some carrots and tossing rice on the floor.  I'm not that obsessed that I have actually taken notes on what Leah has eaten in a day, that last example was of course an example and not, I repeat, not taken from any notes that I may or may not have taken in the last week.  But how can a toddler last with that small amount of food (and still poop as much as she does!)?
Next time, I will write about a fascinating new game that Leah has invented called "Let's show mommy what's in my mouth every time I am suppose to be eating!" (Hint, it's really fun and totally not gross at all.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

School's Out!

This is it, the last day of school for my oldest daughter Grace.  No more lazy days with just my youngest Leah in the mornings, no more watching Real Housewives of some place when Leah has her nap, no more quiet afternoons before the evening rush.  Darn you school!  I'm sort of kidding, part of me will miss Grace being away most of the day - learning and being entertained by other kids but a bigger part of me is looking forward to getting to hang out with Grace more - I miss her and all the silliness that comes with her.
I'm sure all parents of school age children say the same thing, and since now I am one of them I get to say it - I can't believe my daughter is finished her first year of school!  That flew by, some days more than others but it does seem like I was just getting her ready for school and now she is finished JK.
My daughter was really excited this morning, we had been counting down to today - mostly to help her hurry up in the morning (only 3 more days of rushing in the morning, you can do it Grace, just get ready for school!)  Grace is looking forward to her summer break, although she did inform that summer has already started but she is excited to be going to the beach and being allowed to watch lots of tv...could I get away with having her spend her summer either at the beach or on the couch? Is that ok or would that make me a bad mommy?  The big thing she is excited about though is becoming a SK, that could be because I told her that after today - she will be a SK and I know the thought of her being older is big deal (it messes me up though since I treat her older and expect her to act older than the 5 years that she is).
I remember being her age and looking forward to what felt like endless days of fun, just being able to play or read or swim - pretty much whatever you wanted.  Summer fun I think is the big fun part of childhood and I am hoping to start those memories with Grace.  I have also started stock piling craft ideas that she can do after this weekend when I know the words "mommy, I'm bored " will come from her mouth.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Curious Leah

Sometimes I feel as if I have a new puppy or I guess an untrained dog living with us.  My youngest, Leah, is 18 months and she gets into EVERYTHING! I'm sure I've written about her abundance of curiosity before but over the last week or so, it seems to be in over drive.
Last week, as I was with my oldest, Grace, at her dance class, Leah who was suppose to be watched by her father, got into not just one of our indoor plants, but both of them.  I was told the story afterwards about how my husband found Leah playing in the dirt - he scolded her, cleaned up the mess, explained plants are not sandboxes and gave her something else to play with.  He left the room only to come back to find Leah taking the dirt from the other plant onto the floor and couch.  Either she thought that this houseplant was ok to play with or she might as well even things out.  But, she was scolded, the mess was cleaned up and again it was explained to her that she is not to touch the plants.
Fast forward to yesterday where I was checking something on my computer, in the same room with Leah.  I turned around to find our ottoman, which we use to try and keep her away from the plants was now a lovely shade of dirt brown.  I thought she was playing with one of the gazillion noise making toys since I heard it going but in fact she was covering the toy in dirt.  Leah was put in time out, the mess was cleaned up and she was reminded that she is not to play in the plants.  The whole thing reminded me of the time I found my dog when I was a kid, trying to hid her bone in an indoor tree that we had.  I walked around the around the corner to find the carpet covered with dirt and a bone sticking out of a hole that my dog had dug.
This morning as Grace was watching 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' before school can you guess what my youngest was doing instead?  That's right!  Playing in the plants!  At this point I know it's not her fault, it's mine for being stupid enough to think that a toddler would 1, actually listen to what her parents have to say.  2, that she would stop doing something she obviously enjoys doing.  And 3, think anything would change.  I know what some of you might be saying - why do you leave her alone? Because if I was with her all the time, nothing would get done in our life.  Or why don't you move the plants - well they are too big to really move.
Sometimes I am slow when it comes to remembering how kids behave - Leah is very different than Grace was at her age.  Grace, while not a perfect child, wasn't as curious about things as Leah is.  I know I am not suppose to compare, I am suppose to embrace their differences.  I am suppose to enjoy constantly walking behind my toddler telling her to stop banging on the windows, that no we are not going outside yet so put your shoes back,, please close the cupboard. I am suppose to love that my youngest loves splashing in the toliets, even though I remember to put the lid down and close the bathroom door.  I am suppose to giggle when that same child screams bloody murder as I try to wash her hands after her toliet playtime.  I am suppose to laugh when she throws her breakfast, lunch and dinner on the floor after I keep telling her to not throw food.  I am suppose to smile in delight as she pokes my eyes out in the early morning while screaming "EYES!".  I am suppose to think it's cute when my daughter throws a tantrum on the hallway floor because I asked her to put a block away.
In all honestly, the hard part of parenting a second born isn't really figuring out the differences but actually parenting - finding the patience to give each child the attention they want.  Leah is being a 18 month old and has sadly quickly discovered if she misbehaves she will get attention, not always smiling laughing attention but attention. These last few days, I have been able to spend one on one time with my youngest outdoors something she really loves and have noticed a difference.  She is more willing to listen, to please me, of course this change could also be because she has been able to get her digging in dirt need out of her system.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My weekend alone

There comes a time, about once a year, where I am fortunate enough to go away.  Away from my home, my family, my friends.  I get away from it all.  Where I get to do what I want, unwind, read, write, sleep in and if you believe it I get to experience every mom’s dream – I get to go to the bathroom – ALONE!  Yes, completely alone where there is no little person asking me a question, or putting their cold hands on my legs or where I get to have a shower without an audience, or reacting ‘Psycho”  or even just hearing “momma?”  Yes, for one weekend a year, I get to be alone…..and I love it!
I recently had my quiet time weekend.  It was the second time since becoming a mommy and I couldn’t wait for it.  I love my family, and when they aren’t around I do miss them but sometimes momma needs to be on her own.  Momma needs to be able to be quiet without having to talk all the time.  She needs to be able to take a walk without having to explain the world around her. Momma needs to be able to have dinner – hot.  She needs to be able to watch cheesy movies or ones with adult language.  Sometimes Momma needs to be able to go to the bathroom alone!
I use my alone weekend to recharge my mind, my heart and of course energy.  I use the weekend to think about me and be able to really miss my family so that I can appreciate them and all the crazy things they do again.
The first time I was able to get away, I was really nervous.  I trust my husband but he does things a little differently than I do when it comes to the girls.  I called home a lot to see how things were going and was a little sad how much fun they were having – with out me around. My girls didn’t even miss me!
This time, I still talked with those at home – but it was more my husband calling to see how I was, maybe I was a bit to eager to leave.  While my girls had a fun daddy weekend, I did hear that he was told how he was doing things wrong, not the way mommy does it, which I couldn’t help smiling over.
There is something about being alone that I need, that I think all moms need at some point during the day, week, or year.  I don’t think I could be alone for long periods of time but a weekend is good enough for me.  I need time with my girls, with my husband and with my friends and family.  But I have realized that I also need time on my own – especially before school lets out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I mentioned last post that next time I would tell you about some house guests that we had, well actually that Grace had.  I really need to thank my daughter’s teacher for this because it was her that introduced my daughter to her new friends – the Chipmunks. 
The trio just appeared one day, with no warning – one day Grace just started talking to Simon and asking who the female chipmunks were (The Chipettes).  I figured one of Grace’s friends were into the Chipmunks and was playing them on the playground, I had no idea that they watched the movie in the class during indoor recess.  I have no issue with my daughter watching the movie or with the trio singers, I watched the cartoon growing up so it was kinda nostalgic for me.
It got to the point where the Chipmunks and Chipettes were always around, in fact Grace became Jeanette (the one with glasses), I was Brittany and Leah was Eleanor.  My husband was Dave.  Grace, er I mean Jeanette, was always talking with Simon – I mean always, on the way to school, probably during school, when she played outside after school.  They brothers would have dinner with us.  And they would sleep with Jeanette at night, unless of course they were keeping her up and then I would have to tell them to either keep it down or leave (they would usually keep it down then.)  I played along, how could I not?  I downloaded Chipmunk songs, I found the same cartoons that I watched and showed them to Grace/Jeanette.  I embraced  this stage.  Maybe because I was a fan or maybe because I finally got the whole imaginary phase. 
Grace has sort of played this before- become someone else for a while.  There was the time she only wanted to play Mickey and Minnie, then there came the time when she asked to be called Cinderella, and then Rapunzel (which included a long scarf for her hair), then Miss Piggy (which included a lot of Moi’s)  and then Merida (from the movie Brave which also came with a bow and arrow).  At first I would be annoyed, I didn’t want to talk like Mickey all the time or play the evil Stepmother (who really does?).  But then I guess as Grace got older I started to miss the baby Grace and realized that one day she won’t want to play with me,  it might not be a game of her pretending to be someone she isn’t, and I started to encourage her pretend life – I would be the evil stepmother, I would call her whatever she wanted me to and I would sing the songs and act out the movie.  The Chipmunks of course were different, there was no movie to act out, Grace came up with her own stories.  I would sit back and watch her play with her new friends – if you haven’t seen a five year play pretend alone, you must it’s really interesting to see what they come up with and how they see the world.  Yes, I’m not a saint and there were times when I asked to speak to just Grace.  I told her that the Chipmunks weren’t allowed to go someplace and there was one weekend when Grace wasn’t listening that I told her the Chipmunks left (she informed me that they came back to visit her though).
Sadly, the Chipmunks have left us, for how long I’m not sure, Merida has returned with her bow fighting off bears as I try to speak in a Scottish accent.  I love that my daughter gives us all parts (my husband is the bear king and Leah plays all three of Merida’s brothers unbeknownst to her).  I know one day this won’t happen anymore and I will miss it but until then I will be whoever my daughter wants me to be in her imaginary world.  Who will she be next, I’m not sure but I know it will be a lot of fun – most of the time.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What has been going on.....

I have been meaning to write a new post, but life just seemed to get in the way.  So since my last post, much has happened in our loud household.  Leah has seemed to get over whatever was bothering her and keeping her up at night.  Although she now needs to sleep with many, many stuffed animals - including a large dog called 'big dog'.  I am crossing my fingers and toes that I haven't jinxed myself.

What else has happened.....ah yes, I am now officially a dance mom, and no I am not those crazy moms you see on that show called 'dance moms'.  I just mean that my oldest had her first dance recital- so now it's official.  The whole world of dance isn't new to me, I took lessons when I was a child - ballet, tap, jazz and if you believe it baton (what it was the 80's!)  I was in recitals and I enjoyed it.  I don't recall what it was like gearing up for a big show except for how it felt to be on stage with the lights, make up and hairspray!  It was weird to be standing on the other side of the stage.  I tried to explain to her what a recital was but I don't think she really understood it even though she had been working on her dance along with her friends for weeks. Then the big weekend came, yes they had to do 2 shows!  She didn't say it, but I know Grace was nervous.  Her and I arrived early for rehersal and it seemed to help her, so did putting on her costume and I'm sure the dousing of glitter didn't hurt either.  When the time came, I stood in the curtins as my daughter took the stage. I watched her skip and point and jump and smile.  I couldn't help but tear up a bit watching my Grace perform (she had mentioned to my husband that being on stage was her dream).  Since then I have been able to removed the multiple cans of hairspray and glitter used on Grace's hair and have watched her try to re-create the entire recital (including the tap dances and ones on pointe) and I believe there will be many more dance recitals (maybe other type of shows) in the future.
Grace has also started asking just how famous is she since her picture has appeared in two local newspapers.  I really hope I have not given birth a Kim Kardashian.

Next time I will write about the new house guests living with us.

Friday, May 24, 2013

She Screams, you scream, we all scream for.......sleep!

So Leah has decided to change up our usual nap/ bedtime routine.  What we have done in the past is either my husband or myself would lay Leah down in her crib, put a blanket over her and give her another one, kiss her forehead, turn off her light and turn on her sound machine to white noise (alright it's really just static on the radio but same thing).  Then our youngest would drift into slumberville for the night.  Yes, I loved it.  I would say thank you every night for two kids who loved sleep as much as I do and feel sorry for those parents who weren't as lucky as I was.  Joke's on me, I might become one of those parents. These days either my husband or myself lay Leah down in her crib while she screams.  We try to put a blanket on her as she kicks her feet saying "no!".  We try to give her another blanket while she yells "no!".  We try to kiss her on her forehead as she shakes her head back and forth.  We flick off her light and turn on her white noise and close the door as fast as we can before Leah stands up in her crib screaming.  Ok, it's not like that every night, sometimes we can read Goodnight Moon to her while she is calm before she stands up screaming.  It took me the longest time to figure out what my youngest daughter's problem was.  She wasn't teething. She couldn't have been hungry with the amount of food she normally eats.  She had already gone poop.  She had her friends in bed with her.  Sometimes, when I myself wasn't plugging my ears and hoping the neighbours weren't calling the cops on us, I would start to cry.  I didn't know what to do.  I was scared that if I constantly went into her room and calmed her from what ever was scaring her, I would then be starting a bad habit!!!  My daughter would never learn to sleep on her own.  She would always need me to help her fall asleep.  She would never be able to have a normal childhood, one full of sleepovers with friends or family members.  She would never leave home to go to college.  She would never get married, or if she did I would still have to help her fall asleep while her husband tried to sleep himself.  Forget that my husband and I would never be able to go away somewhere, alone, just the two of us.  No one would want to watch Leah if this was how she was before she fell asleep.  There was no way I could start this horrible habit that would never be broken, even though Leah is only 17 months old!
Well, I would go in and check on her, my heart just couldn't take it. And most times I would find her standing up screaming and once she saw me she would calm down.  And during the early, early, not even close to be morning times when she woke up and screamed, I would take her back to bed with me (gasp!) where she would fall asleep.  It was actually my husband, (I think he reads parenting books when I'm not looking because he is the voice of reason), who suggested that maybe Leah is going through some type of separation anxiety.  Impossible since I am with her all, well most of the time.  But she doesn't have all of my attention the time.  Well Dr. Spock (my husband) was on to sometimes since there is something called nighttime separation anxiety ( I will throw in naptime separation anxiety as well).  Sadly, I beleive Leah suffers from that which means I have to go to her pretty much anytime she screams to assure her that everything is ok.  Hopefully the books are correct when they say most kids outgrow this by 2 years....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day

So Mother's Day has come and gone.  A day when mother's all over the world, or maybe just in places that celebrate the day, are suppose to be pampered and spoiled.  A day when all children are suppose to shower their mother's with love, kisses, hugs, presents and be on their best behaviour. A day when the sky is blue, the weather is warm and it's just over all beautiful.  Well, it's suppose to be like that because that's how it is in the movies and movies are suppose to show what real life is always like right?  My mother's day started out well, Grace woke me up early to give me her card which I can tell she actually did spend some time on - her hands were the flowers in a flower pot (she had given me a gift already from school - a pansy in a pot).  She was very excited and proud of her self and I was too.  Then her and her daddy brought in my gift, something that Grace picked out on her own - a Magic Bullet.  So the day started out well, sure I didn't get to sleep in but eh not a big deal.  My husband made breakfast while my daughter's played in my room.  Then the plan was for Grace and I to go to Huntsville- do some shopping and have lunch.  The two of us did it last year and had some fun, I assumed that it would forever be repeated.
So my oldest daughter and I bundled up and headed to Huntsville.  I needed to pick up a swimsuit, and if you saw what I wore last year you would agree with me (no one told me I had been wearing a suit much, much too old for me.  I swear one time I think a 70 year old was wearing the same one as me.)
So after I found a suit that wasn't too old and actually fit me, Grace and I went to the kids section to pick out some shirts for Leah so of course Grace needed some clothes too.  I couldn't turn down my daughter and said ok she could pick out a shirt too.  Of course she picks a shirt on the regular priced table and started to pout when I said no, it costs too much, if you want a shirt it has to come from this table.  A little pouting and then she miraculously found a shirt.  Then she wanted a skirt to go with it and some leggings.  Skirts and leggings were turned down but she did mange to get a pair of shorts from me.  After shopping, we headed over for some lunch.  While we were waiting for our meals, another family came in and Grace started staring at them.  I quietly asked her to stop staring at them to which she replied she couldn't help it.  We switched seats and waited for our food.  When our waitress came over to see if we needed anything I told her, yes, our food please' and as she walked away she said, 'yea we are really busy today'.  Now, I worked in food service before and I know rule number one, the one thing that would soothe most customers over, even if it's not your fault, even if every person in town was in your restaurant eating is you apologize for having to wait.  I get that kitchens get busy but I don't understand servers not being sorry for it.  My mood started to change.  So there Grace and I were waiting for our meals and I started to feel like I was on a first date with my daughter , just making conversation.  When our food finally did arrive we quickly ate it and then started to leave but not before making one last stop in the ladies room where Grace kept touching the tiles even after I told her to stop.  Her ignoring me for the pleasure of touching nasty public tiles was beyond annoying.  We left the restaurant and was greeted, after a week or so of beautiful, hot weather with a snowstorm.  The drive home was nice, because Grace slept but once she awoke she was crabby, complaining about how her water bottle wasn't working right (what?).  Once we arrived home, I told my husband maybe next year I go out alone.
I know Mother's Day is one day and being able to spend it with Grace was the idea, sure it didn't go perfectly and maybe I set myself up for failure because last year was really nice.  I didn't expect a parade, although that would be nice - where us mother's can sit on top of floats and have chocolate and flowers thrown at us.  I guess I just expected my ordinarily behaved daughter to well, behave on that day.  I felt some what alone, especially after checking on Facebook at how many other moms out there were having the perfect mother's day - given they were spending it with adults but still.  It wasn't until I spoke with other moms who said their "special" day wasn't really that special.  Yes, I know I am whining but I like that there is one day where we show gratitude and appreciate to us moms (and next month dads) for all the crap we deal with, all the tantrums, all the poop we clean up. A day to just say thank you, even though it should be said every day but one day where you have to say it is nice too.  And the homemade cards aren't too shabby either.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It happened.....

So, it happened today - I think Leah secretly reads this blog when I'm not looking, but she is finally, finally walking on her own.  Yup, no assistance from mommy either.  Just Leah, putting one foot in front of the other.  It just happened too.  The two of us had come home from volunteering at Grace's school, something we do every Thursday and I lead my youngest into the house and well, she just kept walking.  That's all she did while I got lunch ready and that's all she's been doing since.  Just walking - into all the rooms of the house.  All over the backyard.  In her bare feet, in her sandels.  Wearing a hat, without a hat.  Without her diaper on.  Just walking.  She hasn't figured out how to get up on her own just yet, so there is some knee walking action but I think that won't be around for long.
I should also mention that Leah has also started to get comfortable climbing onto things - couches, picnic tables.
I am biting my tongue against saying, for the moment, I miss the non-walking you.  I'll let my daughter enjoy her new found freedom of walking....where she wants to - for now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Leah turned 17 months the other day, don't worry I will stop counting her age in months pretty soon - as soon as she reaches two years (or 24 months).  Anyway, Leah turned 17 months the other day and she is still walking on her knees!  Yes, my darling baby girl, who talks non stop, can pick up glitter from the floor with her chubby fingers, pretends to read and enjoys lineing toys up is still prefering to walk on her knees.  She doesn't crawl - she's moved past that and prefers to use her knees like they are her feet.  I've read the books, I know it's a confidence thing because she can actually walk on her feet, on her own, without holding onto my finger for dear life.  She teases me with it by walking a few steps on her own every now and then and then it's like she decides the joke is over and she returns to her knee walking.  When she does take her "baby" steps, I cheer her on like she was competing in an olypmic sport but she still choses to cut up her knees instead of using her feet.  I wonder if this is a sign that my daughter will always have a confidence problem, will I constantly have to be cheering her on the sidelines as she builds a tower, or eats on her own, or puts her shoes on, or wipes her bum - Way to go Leah! You wiped your own bum!! Rar rar!!  Oh, please I hope not!
I try not to carry her around and in fact she doens't always want to be carried either.  She's barefoot pretty much all the time now that the warm weather is here or she's in sandles outside because I wouldn't walk either if I had to walk barefoot on gravel.
Sometimes I think she is dragging this next step (no pun intended) on just to mess with me.  Other times I think she is being really nice by giving me a long rest before she starts running and climbing all over the place while yelling "I miss the days when you couldn't walk!!"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Late Night Follies

One of the best things about being a parent is watching your children sleep.  Not necessarily because they are down for the night and you hopefully have a few hours to yourself, or because they are quiet.  But really because of how cute they look.  Have you ever seen a sleeping kid and not have your heart melt a bit?
Well, I love watching my girls sleep, and while it may sound like I am a little crazy, I do check on them before I go to bed and really whenever I wake up during the night.  It calms me.  I make sure they are under their blankets or still on their beds.  I remove Leah's blanket from her face, I give them nighttime kisses.  I wonder what they are dreaming about. Are they re-living the day they just had or inventing a new one?  I especially love it when I just happen to check on them and they start talking or mumbling during their sleep.  Leah has done that a few times only it's not really words she is saying but pretending to have a conversation which leads to even more heart melting.  Sometimes Leah is actually awake and wants to have a conversation with me.
I love watching my girls sleep so you can imagine how much I loathe it when my kids don't sleep during the night.  Not only because I myself don't get any sleep but because if they aren't sleeping, I don't get to part take in my favourite past time- watching them.  This reminds me of the other night.  Leah is now hopefully at the end of teething (just awaiting those molars to poke through) and had a really bad night.  She was hot and just plain miserable.  If you don't remember, teething is a bitch - I hate it and I'm not even getting teeth in.  She just wasn't herself and being a pretty easy going toddler, when she is miserable I feel it's even worse because it's the opposite of who she really is.  So after a cool bath and a bottle, I put my youngest down for hopefully the night.  She was fine.  Gave her some tempra to help with her fever and tooth pain and crossed my fingers.  Right before I myself went to bed, I checked on both girls- sleeping like angels!  Then I myself go to sleep.   Maybe an hour after I passed out, Leah woke me up.  I went in to check on her, she was still a little warm but I changed her diaper anyway.  All seemed ok but an hour after that, Leah was up again.  I calmed her down and prayed that her fever would break soon.  I had left her window open a bit to help keep her cool but she was still upset.  An hour or so after my last visit I was up again, It's around 3am if you are keeping track and not to brag or anything but the days of me being up all night for fun or for feeding have been over for a while.  My body has gotten use to actually sleeping  all night and has been enjoying it.  At my 3AM visit, Leah was really upset.  So, I went in and took her out of her bed.  I offered her a frozen chew toy, which she promptly pushed away and said "no!"  I calmed her down and gave her another dose of tempra.  Once calm, I tell her it's time to sleep and Leah says "ok" (as if she actually understands me).  I crossed my fingers that this is it for the night and quickly calculated that if I went to sleep now, then I would have about four hours of sleep - I might be able to get through the day on four hours.  I checked on Grace who is passed out.  That kid can sleep through anything.
An hour later, Leah is up again.  I lie in bed wondering if I should let her cry or actually go in and see if she is ok.  My guilt kicked in and I went to check on her and find her completely fine once she saw me.  So I went back to bed, tossed the blankets back on me, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out again.  I lay still for a few minutes and hear my daughter start cry/talking, something that sounds like "Elvis is dead".  I wait a couple of minutes.  Now Leah sounds as if her beloved friend Grover is being butchered in front of her.  I go in, expecting to see my daughter sitting up or worse standing up, with her arms out for me, and tears pouring down her face.  No, I find my daughter right where I left her, on her back with a blanket on her.  Her face is dry and she actually feels cooler. I tell her, because I am starting to get delirious with the constant up and down, that this is the last time I am coming in here, "You are fine, it's time to go to sleep".  Leah says "ok".  I tell her I love her, she says something that sounds like I love you too. And I sort of close the door behind me.  I creep into bed because now I am afraid that Leah can sense when my body is actually relaxed before she starts to cry.  I exhale, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out.  I wait.  She gets louder. I tell myself, she is fine.  Her fever has broke (finally!) and she is fine.  She keeps crying.  I wait.  I wonder if I should just grab my pillow and a blanket and sleep on her floor.  She stops crying.  No wait, that was just her taking a breathe.  I wait.  She really stops this time.  I wonder if I should go and check on her.  She gives out a little cry.  No, she's fine.  I eventually pass out and so does Leah. 
The next night, Leah lets me watch her sleep.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Need to Clean

I am starting to get the spring cleaning itch, the one where I just want open space...the exact opposite from the fall feeling where I just want to cacoon.  Now, I want windows open, sunlight, the house clear of stuff - puffy coats, fuzzy hats, mitts, boots and other things.  But I have a feeling this year it might be a bit harder to remove items from the house because everything is Grace's favourite toy or it's a treasure to her.  She has toys in her room that I could donate or put downstairs for Leah to play with when she gets older but I'm sure Grace would notice and then try to go looking for it.  Same thing when it comes to art stuff.  My five year old brings home stacks of paper from school every week.  Some of I am amazed that what is on the paper came from my daughter's head and I quickly date the work and save it.  Other pieces, eh not so much.  These are the pieces of paper where it is clear she didn't spend as much time on it as compared to some of the other things she has brought home.  But when I ask if we should save it or if I don't hide my tracks of when I try to recycle these papers, Grace declares it needs to be saved, it's important!  She is correct, it is important - sort of.  But on a scale of one to 10, those papers with a scribble on it are not as important as say a worksheet where my oldest has written a sentence.  So, I 'save' it (in the recycling bin).
But it's not just papers and art pieces that are stacking up in the house. It's not toys either, it's regular stuff that Grace claims are important such as the broken pieces of sticks that have fallen off the piggy bank she made last summer.  Can't get rid of those.  Shrivelled up balloons from her birthday.  Those have to stay, even though they just sit in the corner of her room.  Pictures taken from magazines...gotta keep them for whatever reason.  Rocks collected from the roadway, need to keep.  Old candy boxes should be kept because you just never know when a heart shape box might be needed.
The funny thing is I completely understand Grace's reasoning with wanting to keep stuff.  I'm not a hoarder or anything like that but I do keep the occasional toilet paper roll or Popsicle stick for craft purposes. 
You can't recycle those, you never know when you'll need to do a toilet paper roll or Popsicle stick craft.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Flood

For almost a week, my town has been in a state of emergency due to flooding.  Some down town roads are underwater and a few of my friends who live near the river have had to leave their homes.  My family is fortunate that while we live close to the river, we are also on a hill.  I can't imagine what my friends or their children are going through - to have to leave your home, to not be able to check on it and not know when you will be able to go home or even know what you would be returning to must be beyond scary and upsetting and all I can do is hope this is over very soon.
Since this is affecting everyone in town, roads down town are closed, my daughter's school was closed for a few days for the safety of the students not because it was flooded, the talk of flooding has been a regular thing in our house.  I was nervous for a little bit, unsure like many others as to what was going to happen but I didn't realize how my thoughts were affecting Grace.  I have forgotten what it feels like to be a child when things go wrong.  As an adult and a parent I am use to being in control, to knowing what to do when life gets scary, but I have forgotten what it feels like from a child's point of view.  I grew up a worry wart, even though I didn't have many things to worry about.  I would worry about plane crashes, hurricanes - or any natural disaster, my house catching on fire....scary things.  My parents would just tell me "that won't happen, so don't worry about it." That advice didn't work with me because I knew that stuff happened, maybe not where I lived but in other parts of the world it did and I was scared.  What would happen if say a hurricane ever did come through my town or if my house caught on fire, what would happen?  As an adult I know now what would happen - we would head to our basement with a radio and our emergency kit and wait and see or would we leave the house.  I understand about insurance and all that other boring stuff that comes with being grown up and being a parent, Grace doesn't.  When I became a parent I promised myself that I wouldn't shrug off fears that my children may have.  I try to acknowledge their fears when it's obvious that they are scared.  That there are some scary things in the world, that we can only control so much in our lives (something that I still have trouble with) but in our family, we have plans in place and that's all we can do.  Sometimes though life does surprise you in not nice ways.  Even though I try I still dropped the ball on addressing Grace's flood fear.  I didn't notice how upsetting it was to her.  We had gone out for a walk and talked a bit about all the water we were seeing and at the time she seemed ok.  It wasn't until a few hours afterwards that her mood started to change but I didn't take too much notice, I figure she was getting tired. But then Grace started complaining her tummy hurt, again dunce mommy, didn't put it all together.  But when she mentioned something about the Early Years I finally clued in.  I thought she was calm with the flooding because both my husband and I explained to our oldest our house would be fine because we are on a hill.  That all the water will go soon, all we could do right now is wait and that we can do our part afterwards.  But all Grace was scared about was seeing the parking lot of the Early Years underwater, something that she had never seen before.  She became scared because she loves that place and seeing the water possible harm the centre I think hit home with her.  After explaining and seeing the water start to leave the Early Years, Grace was fine. 

On a side note, I am proud of my new community and how everyone has come together to help each other out.  If you want to make a donation to help those who are directly affected by the flood, please contact  Township of Minden Hills at

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Typical Mommy Bag

I was searching in my bag today for a piece of gum.  A simple piece of gum.  I don't carry a purse, I don't even know if I even own a purse and I mean a cute little fashionable thing that hold a small amount of items such as a wallet, a cell phone, and some make up if you wear it.  I carry with me an old ugly black bag - my winter bag, my summer bag is a striped thing but both are roughly the same size - large.  They have to be, I don't have the luxury of being able to carry just what I need, no being a mom means you need to also carry what everyone else needs or might need as well. 
So, there I was sitting in my car, searching my black hole for a piece of gum and I realized I really need to clean this thing out - I apparently have been carrying with me for who knows how long: wipes and 1 diaper in a ziplock bag (why 1 diaper I have no idea), 3 smushed granola bars, a lose piece of granola bar, 2 board books, a wind up duck, a couple pens, a small deck of cards, hand sanitizer, a lone elastic, a watch, a first aid case, 1 pink mitten, a tube of Vaseline, a magnetic picture frame, some Kleenex (still in the wrapper) and a folded piece of blank paper.  This list doesn't include the important things such as my wallet, my sunglasses and the small mountain of gum wrappers, used tissues and crumbs.  No gum was found.  I realized I should start carrying more gum around with me and maybe clean out my Mary Poppins bag more often - who really needs 3 granola bars??

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Survived My Kid's Birthday Party!

Grace's birthday extravaganza is now over - she had her first friend birthday party ever today and while I was at first a little nervous about how it would go, but I think everything turned out ok.
Thinking back, I really don't know what I was all that nervous about, my guess is because throwing a kids party was really new - I wasn't sure of the protocol - how many games should you plan, should you do a craft, should there even be a schedule?   Yes, I understand how this may sound, "relax Carolyn, it's a 5 year old kids party".  I guess I had been watching too many of those shows where the parents confuse planning their 5 year old's birthday party with a wedding, it has to be a party they will remember until next year, a party all the kids will have fun at at parents will hate because then they will have to plan something similar for this kids birthday (I really need to cut down on the amount of reality tv shows I watch).  I gave my head a shake and start thinking that I was just having a playdate - with 10 kids and gifts!  So pretty much how it went was, Grace and I decorated the house yesterday during her snow day from school - alright I decorated while Grace handed me the tape when she wasn't jumping around the house.  I borrowed some noise making toys and tunnels from our local Ontario Early Years Centre (yes, you can borrow toys from the centre - for FREE!).  I kept the menu simple - some snacks plus cupcakes.  I whipped up a pin the nose on Fozzie Bear game and picked up some kazoos, funky sunglasses, necklaces and mini hand clappers.  And then I braced myself at 9:59 this morning for what was going to occur over the next 2 hours - pure, fun, madness!  And that's pretty much what it was like - the girls enjoyed playing with Grace's toys, while Grace enjoyed having her friends over.  They played, they ate, they gave gifts and they went home.  It was awesome!
But what got to me was afterwards while I was cleaning up (and Grace was playing with her new toys) was how much mess 9 kids (one didn't make it) can make in like 2 hours.  I felt like I was cleaning up after some of the parties I had when I was younger - you know the ones where you have too much fun, (fun that lasted longer than 2 hours) and just leave the mess for the morning because you figure it won't take you too long to clean up.  But when you wake up in the morning you think you should have just clean up last night because now you have half cups of whatever, smushed whatever on the floor, half eaten whatever around the house, tiny bites of paper from who knows what all throughout the house, clothes left all over the house and the odd pair of someone's shoes left behind.  But it was well worth it and hopefully have the pictures to prove it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Grace!

Today my oldest daughter Grace turns 5!  She's been waiting for this for months, years almost and this morning stated, "I'm 5, finally!!"  I'm very proud of my daughter and the type of person she is turning into - this funny, outgoing, super creative, smart, beautiful girl.  I was looking at some baby pictures of her this morning realizing that she has in a way always been how she is now.  It's weird isn't it, when you look at baby pictures of your children, you might not see it right away, partially due to lack of sleep, but their personality and their older kid face is right there.  I use to wonder what kind of kid Grace would turn out to be like, what would she look like when she was a baby and now it's so obvious, I wonder if I was ever looking hard enough for it.  Short post today, I have some baking to do for a little birthday girl who makes me smile, laugh and cry all the time!  My wish for her is to never, ever change - since she's amazingly perfect just the way she is!

Next, I will write about surviving a 5 year old's birthday party!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why My Front Door is Always Locked.

So my husband always asks me why I lock the front door, even when I am home during the day, and today was an excellent example as to why I keep this habit.  I believe our front door has some sort of voodoo on it, it's possessed.  It sometimes opens on it's own, even if it's not that windy out.  My husband of course doesn't believe me but it's true.  I have seen or heard it happen several times.  Sometimes it opens if I have been using the door to our backyard (which is also always locked).  So, even though I didn't study physics I believe that there is some force field that is activated when the back door is opened which causes the front door to become jealous and open as well.  Crazy? I know!
Prime example: today, because it was so beautiful outside, Grace came home from school and immediately wanted to play outside in the melting snow.  Leah was up from her nap and of course wanted to join her sister, even though she can't walk yet and doesn't understand the whole muddy ice/water mixture that is happening in our backyard.  So Grace and my husband were out mucking it up in the backyard while Leah was watching them behind glass.  I was inside with my youngest, checking Facebook I believe.  Then I heard a car or truck, some sort of automobile drive by and thought, wow that's pretty loud to hear behind closed doors and went to check it out and found THE FRONT DOOR OPEN WITH LEAH OUTSIDE ON THE SECOND STEP!!!  Some how my ninja daughter opened the door, crawled down onto the landing and then down again onto our second landing (if you saw my house this would make complete sense but trust me, it was amazing that she didn't hurt herself).  Being the horrible mother that I am, I scooped my youngest up and brought her inside before any of the neighbours knew what had happened.  Once inside I locked the front door.  And that is why I lock my doors during the day, even when I am home.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birthday Party Stress

In a few weeks, my oldest daughter Grace will be 5.  FIVE YEARS OLD!!!  I am not even going to try to figure out where the years have gone, there is no point, because it was just a flash.  I've learned a lot of lessons, still learning lessons but I wouldn't change too much - I would laugh and breathe a bit more than I did when Grace was a baby and worry less about her hitting milestones, pretty much how I am with Leah.
I try to make birthdays a big deal because they are to me - it's the day the people I love the most were born, that's a pretty big deal.  The house is decorated the night before so that it's magical when the birthday girl wakes up. I have a tradition where I draw a poster (ok, copy and colour it in) for the birthday girl...last year it was Rapunzel, with her hair draped around Grace's room, this year is a surprise but each year has to do with whatever my daughter is obsessed with.  Other birthday goodies include a special dinner, gifts and of course cake!  But this year, since Grace is turning five, she is having her first birthday party with friends and I really don't know how to do one.  Of course I had birthday parties when I was a kid, but I didn't really plan them.
When it was decided, way back in February,  that Grace would have a party, she would come home from school with a new list of kids she wanted to invite.  I was fearful, since Grace hasn't been invited to other classmate parties yet, if those invited would attend.  I had a party once when I was a kid and no one showed up, (yes I am playing a tiny violin for myself) so you can understand why I would be scared of that happening to my daughter.  So in order to hopefully avoid that trauma, I convinced Grace that for this year she invite her friends, whose mommies are my friends, and maybe invite one friend from her class. 
So now I am in the middle of planning this party with some of Grace's help, who changes her mind every day.  Some days she wants a princess cake (something I have made for her in the past), then the next day she wants multi-coloured cupcakes, or an ice cream cake.  Same when it comes to games or other food (any one have a recipe for rainbow lemonade?).  I ask Grace what she would like and when she comes up with something a little difficult to achieve I simply say "would you like me to surprise you?" and I am glad when she says "yes".  I think sometimes the decisions are too much, they are too much for me too. I need to decide on decorations, what kind of plates, what colour of napkins, should we have hats, what about noise makers,what type of music should be played, and of course the menu.  Then I need to figure out games and if I give out loot bags and what if it rains and what time to have the party? Do I do it before, during or after Leah's nap.  I think my wedding was less stressful, at least I got to drink at it, is it odd to drink during a kid's party?.  It's silly for me to stressed out about all this too since not only is it only a five year olds birthday party with five guests, but also because I've hosted play dates before and in reality this party is just a heavily decorated play date- with gifts and cake.  What kind of cake yet, I have no idea.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Why I can't leave Leah alone in the bathroom

So in my last post I mention that next time I would write about why I hopefully have learned that I can't leave Leah alone in the bathroom.  It isn't because she locks the door behind her, or because she gets into the toilet paper ( I have accepted that) or even because she enjoys playing in the toilet (I have also accepted that).  No, it's because I don't know what she is going to do.  A few days ago, I was getting the girl's bath ready - warm water, lots of bubbles and I started a conversation with my husband - Grace was suppose to be getting ready for her bath and Leah was crawling bare bummed towards the bathroom.  I thought, this is the best time to talk with my husband!  The bath time routine in my house is that I do the baths while my husband cleans up the kitchen (I know I am very lucky, sometimes he cooks too!) and during bath time, I read a few books to my girls as they relax (aka try to swim and get as much water on the floor as possible) and on this night "Franklin Fibs" and "Franklin's New Friend" were waiting on a stool with the towels in the bathroom.  While talking with my husband, I could hear Leah opening and closing the toilet seat and putting toys into the water so I assumed that when I returned to the bathroom the tub would be filled with toys and Leah would be busy splashing in the toilet. But no, that's not what I found.  When I got back into the bathroom what I found was that Leah had pooped on the floor, was playing with it or trying to put it into the toilet and "Franklin Fibs" was floating in the tub.  It's was a little bit of a nice change since what happens more than I would like it too is that Leah poops in the tub and I guess what I found was nicer than Leah playing with the "Franklin Fibs" book in the toilet and her poop floating in the tub.
This isn't the first time, nor do I think it will be the last, that one of my children had tossed a book into the bath.  When Grace was around Leah's age she toss "Horton Hears A Who" into the tub while she was waiting to get in and I had stepped out to get a towel.  (I'm sure many of you are asking, why do you leave your kids alone in the bathroom, why not get everything ready before hand so that you never have to leave.  And my answer is if I got everything ready before hand, I would never get to eat dinner because I usually finished around the same time as Grace since I spend most of dinner trying to casually remind my oldest that while I am sure it really is the last thing she has to tell me, she more importantly needs to eat.  I also get the bath ready right after dinner because Leah enjoys watching the tub fill up and if I leave her in her highchair, even though my husband is cleaning the kitchen, she will start to scream because she wants to be wherever Grace and I are.  Plus, if I got the bath ready ahead of time, then what would I write about?)
So anyway, Grace tossed Horton (which was a library book too I should add) into the bath one time and I spent the next few days trying to get the pages flat again - my efforts didn't work and now we own a very wavy "Horton Hears a Who".  Thankfully "Franklin Fibs" was our own copy and I was starting to think it needed a little volume.
I think it's pretty interesting how my parenting has changed- when Grace tossed 'Horton' into her bath, I kind of freaked out a bit. I didn't know what was going to happen - would I be banned from the library, would I be forever known as the parent would didn't police her child while looking at library book, would Grace do this to all the books and grow up hating and abusing literature?  Of course I over reacted and none of that happened.  So when it was Leah's turn to find out what happens when you put a book into water, I calmly fished it out, rolled it into a towel, peeled the pages apart and put face clothes in between them and hoped for the best.  Same thing happens when my youngest poops in the tub, Grace scoops out the poop and bath is declared over, we wash our hands, I clean the tub and we head off the bed.  I kind of feel bad for Leah because she is missing out on the reaction that Grace got.  I feel bad for Grace a bit too because it might seem that Leah can do no harm, except when she starts to scream or is left alone in the bathroom.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What a puke-tastic day

Holy moly., has it been that long since I have written?  So my excuse is simple, it's March Break, the time changed, my basement has flooded (some dribbles, but still a headache), my husband was sick and then Grace got sick - like pukey sick.  So updating my blog wasn't high on the list unlike doing laundry.
But it's now Thursday and everything is back on track - basement dry, husband and Grace better and laundry is completed, until the end of the week that is.
So speaking of Grace throwing up- that was completely out of the blue.  The whole story is my husband had gone away for a few days but came home early since he had gotten sick so in the midst of dealing with my weeping basement, I also had to wash sleeping bags, sheets, etc.  Then I figured, as the day was winding down, well that was a bit of a hectic day but it's over.  But it was hardly over.  I had just finished brushing Grace's teeth and was getting her ready for bed when she said that her tummy felt weird.
"Weird how?" I asked
"I don't know," said Grace.
Puke was the day's conversation so I asked, "do you think you have to puke?"
"I don't know," was Grace's replied.
and then she puked in the hall outside her bedroom on the way to the bathroom.  Then she continued to get sick not in the toilet, but in the sink. Yup the sink which is right beside the toilet.  I can't blame her though because when I was pregnant with both my girls, I suffered through some nasty all day sickness(does anyone really get morning sickness, if so i hate you!)
Once Grace was cleaned up, she headed off to bed a bit shaken.  I have forgotten how scary throwing up can be.  I remember when I was sick as a kid and how i would be balling.  i should mention that this latest vomiting episode was maybe the third time she has gotten sick in her life, so of course she would be a bit more scared.  I tried to console her and thought she had gotten sick because I had brushed her tongue, Grace thought it was because I had brushed her puke tooth, but I thought it was a one time thing.
I was called into her room several times through out the evening, mostly to assure Grace that she was ok, or to remind her that at one point everyone pukes, to assure her that everything in her room is washable (to which she asked what if i ran out of soap or water).  At one point to help Grace get to sleep, I did what my mom did when I was sick, and put a bucket and a towel beside my bed.
Then Grace called me in again, in tears and i asked if she was ok to which she answered me by throwing up on the towel on her bed (thanks mom) and then into the bucket.  This bout was I believe brought on by Grace just simply being worried about throwing up again.
So that's where I have been, cleaning up puke and doing laundry.  Everyone is back to normal thankfully and next time i will tell you the story of why I can't leave Leah alone in the bathroom anymore.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Swim Little Fishies

Wow, it's been a while since I last's my excuse -for the past two months, every Saturday, my family would pack a lunch, some towels and our swimsuits and head out to Bracebridge for swimming lessons.  This would take a big chunk out of our day because there is no pool in our town - don't get me started on why we don't have a pool- in my opinion every town should have a pool  - it would get used!  Anyway, this past Saturday was our last swimming lesson or I guess graduation day - both my girls graduated their level and honestly I am not surprised.  I seem to have given birth to two little fish!
I am a swimmer, always have been.  Growing up, every summer I would live in the water and last summer, I tried to swim every day with some ladies - I find my patience and calmness in the water.   After a good swim, I was good for the rest of the day.  So it makes me so happy to know that both my girls enjoy the water as much as I do - I really don't know what I would do if my daughter's didn't enjoy the water - it would seem so foreign to me, that's for sure.
So back to our swimming lessons, Leah lesson meant that I had to get into the water as well. I got to witness first hand how comfortable my 15 month old is in the water, especially lying on her back wearing a PFD and how much water she can splash.  Grace on the other hand was in lessons on her own and every so often I would glance over to see what she was up to.  I saw her swim through hoops, and swim laps (alright one lap) in the deep pool wearing a float belt.  But what impressed me the most was when I saw her jump off the diving board.  Not the super high board, but not the regular board either, so I guess the medium height diving board. Grace climbed up the ladder, walked to the end and took a big leap right into the water- no hesitation, no scream (not that I could hear) - just a clean jump.
Watching my girl's enjoy something and learn to do something that I love doing is surreal in a way - like watching myself (helps that my daughter's look like me).  It helps me to see how they are like me as well and that helps me to be a better parent to them.  Plus, in a few years I will have two other ladies to swim with summer mornings.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Put One Foot in Front Of the Other

It seems sometimes in life like it's a series of never ending questions and no I'm not talking about when your kid reaches that "why" stage and it really is a series of never ending questions.  But once you reach a certain age the questions are like - "when are you going to move out?",  "when are you going to buy a house?", "when are you going to get married?", "when are you going to have kids?".  I understand for some these questions may be in a different order.  Once you have kids the questions continue - after the kid is about a week old, then you are asked when are you going to have more kids then the questions are asked to the kids- "when are you going to crawl?", "when are you going to walk?", "when are you going to talk?", "when are you going to stop talking?", "when are you going to move out?"  Well you get the picture.
I am asked a lot about when Leah is going to walk (as if I know) and to be honest, I really don't want Leah to learn to walk - I do but really not right now.  Leah is an expert crawler, almost almost like a drone - speedy, silent and deadly.  Ok, maybe not deadly but she does cause a lot of damage.  Can you imagine what my daughter would be like if she was walking? It would be a disaster!  You do realize what happens after your kid learns to walk right?  They learn to climb, then run which is followed by jumping!  JUMPING!  My oldest, Grace can't stop jumping.  She jumps off the couches or onto couches.  Grace jumps instead of walks - she can't even stand still!  Why would I want two kangaroo's in my house - jumping off the walls and causing destruction every where?  No, it's a good think Leah can't walk yet although she did take a few steps on her own today.  I'm not sure how I feel about that and who taught her to do that as well. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why Beginning Reader Books Irk Me

My oldest is starting to read - really read - and hearing her read a word or a sentence just amazes me.  I know a lot of it is memorized but it's still pretty cool - like hearing her speak for the first time.  My four year old also loves books - always has (I guess she takes after her momma) and I have been reading to her since before she was born.  Yes, I was one of those parents who read to her belly.  I would also play music to both my unborn children via headphones on my belly so Grace (and Leah too) could listen to something other than my heartbeat while hanging out in my womb but that's another story.  So my four year old is starting to actually read and it's very cool - except for the beginning reader books.  Listen, I am not a teacher but I understand how repition works as does practice but why do these books have to be so boring?  I get you have to learn to walk before running and all the other sayings out there but is it possible to maybe make these early reader books ummm I don't know a bit more interesting?  Every week, Grace comes home with her reader that includes two books that she is suppose to read to her father and I and it's painful (I know, I've been reading a lot longer than my daughter has and the books are written for me to enjoy but still). 
I often wonder how these readers are written who comes up with these stories?  I would love to hear the pitches for these books.  As if a writer bursts into his editors office declaring he has an great idea for a new early reading book.  The editor, who for some reason I imagine being the editor from the Spiderman comics, leans back in his chair and says with a cigar in his mouth, "tell it to me kid".  So the writer tries to contain his excitement, " so there are these kids and this clown and the clown hands each of the kids a different colour party hat.  But in the end, the clown puts on a rainbow party hat.  The end!" (Yes this was an actual book Grace read).
"Genius!  Brilliant, I tell you!  In the end, the clown puts on a rainbow coloured hat!  I love it!  Print it up right away!  We'll make millions kid!  Millions!"  Ok, I might be putting too much into this whole thing but still.
This weeks book is about a kid packing up his backpack.  It is a bit more exciting since, (spoiler alert!) he packs a toy spider to scare his teacher!  Oh man, I did not see that one coming!
As boring as they are for me, they are doing what they are suppose to do and teach my daughter how to read so I guess I will endure listening to them for a few more years until she moves on to reading about vampires, warewolves or wizards.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leah's late nights

Leah has been waking up in the middle of the night a lot this past week or so and I can't really figure out the reason why.  She will just start screaming, not fussing, but screaming out.  I've been trying to figure out this mystery but I'm stuck.  She can't be cold since she sleeps in a fleece sleeper (which I would love to get for myself) plus like a million other blankets.  She's not too warm since we keep the house pretty cool at night (thus another reason for many blankets).  She can't be lonely since she has her pals Grover and Elmo with her, or at least not too far from her in her bed, plus she has a blanket for her face as well.  It can't be too quiet for her either since Leah sleeps with white noise on.
These are things that we have been doing since Leah started sleeping in her own room.
My youngest isn't teething either- no runny nose or fever.
I try to let her cry, but after about five or 10 minutes I can't take it - I feel bad, even though she knows how to go back to sleep on her own.  So I go into her room and calm her down - say some Alligator Pie and rub her tummy.  I use to pick her up but that would only turn my sweet Leah into a demon child so, I just lean over her crib rail and try to do the best I can.  That sometimes works.  Sometimes.  Some night or early mornings a diaper change is needed which if it's the full reason for the visits I'm not sure what I am going to do since diapers only go up to size six and Leah wears a size five at night.
Then there are some nights/early mornings when it seems like Leah just wants me to visit her.  She'll cry out to get me running only to greet me with a smile or giggle instead of tears - which would be nice if I wasn't coming from a dream with one of the guys from One Direction or my sit down chat with Oprah.
Once Leah has calmed down  either because of a visit by me or on the rare occasion on her own accord, I lie awake in my bed either waiting to fall back to sleep or for Leah to wake up again.  Some nights if she has fallen back to sleep on her own, I wonder if she is actually ok and so I will go and check on her only to find her fast asleep which calms me down, until I go to shut her door and it decides to shout out that it needs oil, which of course wakes Leah up and then we are back to the first verse of Alligator Pie and some tummy rubbing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another step towards Indepence....

Thank you all for voting for me for the Circle of Moms top 25 funniest blogs....I didn't win, but I beat other blogs out there!
So on to other was the first day Leah did not have her morning bottle, yup my baby is totally growing up - she can now drink out of a sippy cup on her own - I don't have to hold it for her anymore!  I'm a little excited about that, it's kind of hard to eat your own dinner while trying to help your child drink (I am now use to eating semi-warm meals that when I do get something hot I don't know what to do!)  It always amazes me when I watch either Grace and now Leah eat, it's one of those things that sort of baffles me - even though it's instinct to eat I still wonder how did they learn to do that.  It use to be me telling them to drink or eat and now they do it all on their own.  Leah has gotten the lesson so well that she now enjoys getting into our cupboards and helping herself to snacks - crackers or cereal, the occasional onion.
Yes my youngest is growing up - not walking yet, but still getting into mischief.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ONE MORE DAY TO VOTE (yes I am yelling!)

There is only ONE more day to vote for the top funniest blog!!!  I NEED your votes like I NEED chocolate most days - VERY MUCH!!!!!

Here's the link:

I am allllllll the way at 214 (at last check) you'll be scrolling for a while...but I'm there!!!

Thanks for your vote!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm the boring one

My oldest daughter is growing up way to fast - she now wants to make her own breakfast in the morning and can actually do it, ok she can't use the toaster or stove on her own just yet but she does make one mean bowl of cereal.  She also wants to cut down on the amount of hugs and kisses she gets from me or my husband, the amount of time she wants to spend with us and she keeps insisting that she needs her own phone - in her own room.  The biggest thing, and the one I am not really enjoying is her being outspoken and completely honest, which alright can mean a lot of funny insights but it also means hurt feelings sometimes.  I was recently informed by my four year old that she does not like me because I am boring.  She likes her father because he is not boring.  My husband of course tells me not to worry about it, she doesn't mean it, it's not a competition- easy for him to say since he is liked by our daughter.  I'm not sure if I am hurt by being unliked or because I am boring.  I know I'm not the most outgoing person on the planet and compared to my husband I am not the most silliest either but I don't think I am that boring.  I like to do fun things. 
I'm happy that she comfortable enough and feels loved enough to be as honest as she is - pretty hard to tell someone that you don't like them and as hard it is to hear it, I would rather she be open like that then keep her feelings inside.  Maybe I am a little hurt because I feel a little unappreciated by her - besides the whole giving birth to her thing, most of the things my daughter enjoys or finds fun to do or watch is because of me (yes I am patting myself on my back).  I introduced her to all her favourite Disney Princess' because I watched them when I was a kid.  I introduced her some of her favourite books like Ramona Quimby because that was my favourite book to read when I was a kid.  I think of fun crafts to do or baking to do.  I hang fun stuff from her ceiling in her bedroom..  But I'm the boring one.  I'm sorry if I sound a little angry, it's hard for anyone when you think a lot about them, what they would enjoy to do and they tell you they don't like you because you are boring.  I know the time will come when she doesn't like her father because he is embarrassing or doesn't allow her to wear make-up or a certain outfit and I will be her favourite.  Then I can tell my husband, it doesn't matter - it's not a competition.