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.