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 admin@mindenhills.ca.

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.