Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ho Ho Ho~


Notice the coffee pot that is brewing ...

Doodle is ordering

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

wow!
I logged on and relized it's been a long time since I blogged. I don't know where the time goes!
It's been a wonderful and busy couple of weeks around here. Christmas was wonderful. It was a magical morning. Doodle was thrilled Santa had come, and the princess was dumbfounded by the presents and the wrapping paper and the excitement of the day.
The big gift that both kids received was a play kitchen. I hoped that they would share it and I wasn't disappointed. They loved it, and play in it constantly. Doodle makes "meals" for the Princess and she dances to the music on the jukebox. It's adorable.
Santa was pretty good to me too :)
We got a wii as a family gift. I surprised Phat Daddy by finding a wii fit a couple of days before Christmas.
He surprised me with a beautiful necklace, Rachael Ray Frying pans and a cookbook, and a bunch of Disney World stuff.
And - not to be outdone, my parents surprised my sister and I with something we had both always wanted. We each got a beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I have been baking and cooking up a storm. I LOVE that machine! So does Phat Daddy. We've been making all sorts of stuff and even competed over raisin bread.

But there's been more going on around here.

On Christmas Eve I really injured my finger. I'll spare you the pictures! But, really, I managed to get my finger stuck in the blender and there was blood everywhere. Somehow I managed to stay calm, and convince Doodle NOT to call 911 and instead called my parents to come and help out. It set us a little behind in all the stuff that I had planned for the day, but it really put stuff into perspective. It could have been far worse for me, or Doodle could have been helping me (which he often does). It's also made me really paranoid about appliances. What happened was that the blender was not on the base, and I was simply moving the base. But, my finger happened to be in the place where you rest the glass jar (the thing that spins that blade) and as I was moving I somehow pressed the ice crush button. The lesson in all of this is that I need to unplug equipment all the time. DUH.

The other excitement of the past few days is that our nanny has arrived in Canada. Her sister lives about 10 minutes away from us, so she is staying with her sister for the next couple of weeks to get used to the weather and the culture here before coming to live with us. On Boxing Day she arrived. We've now spoken on the phone (and I also got a phone call from Immigration Canada) and I'm feeling better about things. We still have a couple of weeks before she moves in and then a couple of weeks after that before I go to work.
I've been struggling with all sorts of emotions. I'm grateful to have a job to go to. And, I know I will be fine to go. But, I worry about my kids. And about me. I think knowing I'd be going back to work made me appreciate the time at home more than I would have had I been staying home. But, it also put me in the mindset that I have to appreciate the moments. And, now that I'm reaching the end of mat leave I feel like maybe I missed something or didn't appreciate it enough or SOMETHING.
It's a hard feeling to explain.
But, I'm grateful to be going somewhere I know. It's nice to know that some of the people who I consider to be close friends are the people who I will be working with when I go back, and who will totally get where I'm coming from when I'm having a hard time. But, that feeling of having to trust that things will work out. That's really hard for me!!!

Of course, our house is still in complete disarray thanks to redoing our basement. But, it's looking so good. I can finally see how our basement will look. We've chosen carpet which has seemed to be the biggest issue of all, and now we're just watching it all come together.

And that, in a nutshell, is what's going on around here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dreaming of a White Christmas

She's not quite sure what to make of all the snow!

But it's definitely warmer inside than out!


Meanwhile Doodle and I made a gingerbread house and then some gingerbread cookies.

I kind of like being snowed in!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Teeth

Toothbrush, photo taken in SwedenImage via WikipediaDoodle has a dentist appointment today.
It's been planned for months, but we don't have a choice about it.
Here's why. A few weeks ago at school they had a routine dental check at school. We got a letter home saying we could opt out if we returned the form, otherwise Doodle's teeth would be checked. I wasn't remotely concerned about this. He has been to the dentist. His teeth were fine in the summer. We brush regularly, and I do my parental duty of making sure all the teeth are brushed. I'm not saying I was cocky about the school check. I just didn't really think about it.
Until.
I got a letter from our health department saying that my child's teeth were in need of a check up. To say I was a little annoyed at the letter is an understatement. It was worded in such a way that it was implied I don't take care of my kid's teeth. And, it included check boxes to indicate the problems they found with my child's teeth.
Except they forgot to check the box.
So, given that I had received such a formal letter written in such an urgent way that I insisted I rush my child to a dentist I was a little nervous. Especially since they forgot to tell me what they'd see. (and they had told Doodle he had "twenty beautiful teeth" - wtf?)
I called my dentist's office. They said not to worry, to keep my regular appointment and call to let the health department know the date of the appointment in order to stop any further letters, and also to find out what box should have been checked off.
So, I did.
And, after dealing with several people and finally getting a phone call back a not-so-friendly woman let me know that they had seen tooth decay. And . AND. I HAD BETTER GO TO THE DENTIST SOON OR THEY WOULD BE IN TOUCH WITH CHILDREN'S AID.
What????
This has been bothering me a lot.
The more I think about it, the more it angers me.
I'm a good mom. Both of my children are up to date on their needles. My son has never missed school. I feed them organics, for goodness sakes. And, yet, because my son has tooth decay I could be reported to the Children's Aid? Seriously?
I hate that fact that because I let him have his teeth checked I could be on the radar of a child protective agency.
I know it's a small thing. I know that once I take him to the dentist today I'll get the form signed and sent back. In fact, I may even send it registered so I KNOW that it has gone back.
But really ...
Doesn't the health department have bigger things to worry about than the fact that my kid has tooth decay?
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Memories

This is what our Christmas memories are.

Spending time with Great Grandad (still going strong at 99, though I'm sure he'll outlive me) and then making sure we stay healthy with Doodle's first taste of street meat...


All before meeting up with my parents and my sister's family in an unplanned visit to the store windows at the Bay.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Have an O'Henry Christmas

My grandad is 99 years old.
He lives in a one bedroom apartment and his days are very routine. He gets up, he goes for his walk, he visits Tim Hortons, he has dinner.
His apartment is very tidy.
So, when I come and visit him with 2 kids in tow, it's a bit harried. Now that the baby is cruising, pulls herself up on everything and doesn't sit still and Doodle has discovered that nothing brings her more joy than him making her laugh ... it's a little overwhelming for a 99 year old.
So, I was a little nervous for our visit.
But, on Saturday morning we decided to drive up. We went before lunch and brought presents, Doodle's book of school poems, some baking and ourselves.
It was one of the nicest visits ever.
My grandad hasn't bought me a gift in years. What he usually does is give us a cheque for dinner out. It's much appreciated. And, there's no way that he would be able to go and get gifts for his kids and grandkids.
But, this year he knew going to visit him was out of the way with the kids. And, when we got there and gave him his present his face lit up and he said "oh! I have something for you too."
For Phat Daddy and I - a box of chocolates.
For Doodle - a bag of chocolate Christmas balls
For Princess - a king-sized O Henry Bar. Seriously!
I have to admit, the O Henry bar was the hit of the morning. The princess only saw a giant yellow bar thing she could chew. Doodle knew I wouldn't let her eat it and was thrilled that she may pass it on to him.
Phat Daddy and I were amused because my uncle was sitting in the room, and I thought he was going to have a heart attack when he saw it (he has 5 kids ... I'm sure he knows that she's a little young for a chocolate bar).
And, bless his heart. My grandad said to me "I wasn't sure what babies eat, so I thought she could gnaw on that to stay quiet."
And, that is the best parenting advice EVER.
We opted to instead feed her the organic pureed baby food I had brought with me, and leave the chocolate bar until she has a few more teeth.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back to the Naturopath

Today we went for another naturopath visit. We haven't been for awhile, and we had to review some hair analysis results, review the different supplements that Doodle is on, and I also wanted to have her take a look at the baby.
It was a pretty cool visit. My mom came with us which made life a lot easier. With the Princess moving constantly and Doodle talking constantly it can be difficult to discuss stuff. So, my mom read Doodle stories and the baby played with the toys and life was good.
I realized about halfway through or visit, though, how much of a difference this visit was from when we first started visiting.
The first time we saw our beloved "Dr.Jane" I was almost in tears from my frsutrations. I had a child who ate far too much sugar, who was out of control and I was a little overwhelmed by all the different things she spoke about - supplements, smoothies, minerals, etc.
Fast forward a few months.
This visit was so positive. The hair analysis we did for Doodles showed that his system is pretty balanced out. Our conversations over what food to feed him are fascinating to me, and better yet, I can bounce ideas off of her. We were laughing over some of my healthy cooking attempts, and I was thrilled to tell her that Doodle never takes junk to school.
And, then after, my mom, the kids and I went for lunch.
It hit me in the middle of lunch that we had gone to the store (fancy lunch at the Super Store - Doodle's choice), chosen our lunch, found seats, and eaten pretty much the entire lunch and he was CALM. There was no frantic running around. I was not disciplining, bribing or stressing out.
I have to admit, all of the work over the past few months has been worth it.

We also had an appointment for the baby. She is a pretty healthy little girl, but she seems to sometimes have some digestive problems, and I really want her to eat healthy foods. Plus, I'm really struggling with the transition to formula. I'm not about to pump when I go back to work, and she really doesn't seem to do well with any formula other than the organic formula. But, I think she may have a bit of a milk intolerance.
So, we came up with some ideas for the transition, and I may even be making my own organic rice milk formula. Seriously! I'm strangely excited about that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ahhhhh ... The Family Bed

The other day I had our princess sleeping in bed with me. Doodle woke up at some point and decided to join us.

I think that was the best few hours of sleep any of us has gotten in awhile (Phat Daddy, who was sleeping on the couch agreed!)
Doodle never gets up in the middle of the nights, but for some reason he did, and it was kind of nice. Especially when the cats decided to join us also.
My personal opinion on sleep is you do what you can. For us, Doodle went from crib to our bed to crib to big boy bed to race car bed to bunk bed.
But, I'll admit that every so often it's nice to have both of my kids snuggling with me. Time flies so quickly, I know these moments, the ones where you wake up and have 2 happy little ones curled up around you won't be here forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When You Turn Off the TV

All day, between our various errands Doodle kept sitting down and playing with his lego. My job was to keep the Princess away from his Lego.
Well, he did put up a lego-sized danger sign, but she tried to eat it. Yum Yum.


By the time we picked up Phat Daddy at work he had created this jet. He was really proud of it.

I was too!

Things are Coming Together

I'm so excited.
We've officially started re-doing our basement. We met with our contractor last night (recommended by the fabulous Kerry J) and agreed on the schedule.
I've started choosing carpeting.
And last night we cleared out our freezer and donated it to my dad's school.
I'm feeling good about all the changes going on.
Phat Daddy had planned on doing all the demo in the basement, but since our contractor had already tied that in the price, we get to skip that step instead focusing on emptying the rest of the basement and getting organized with what we have left down there.

In other news, Doodle continues to make us laugh constantly these days. My mom came over yesterday to bring him to school.

Doodle: Grandma, do you know what I like when I don't have food?
Grandma: Nope. What?
Doodle: SNOT!

Maybe you had to be there, but we were killing ourselves laughing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brought to you by the Letter Q

Doodle has weekly homework.
It's not a big deal. Every week they learn a poem and the letter they are learning is in it. The homework is usually to circle the letter in the poem and then read the poem to a certain number of people. Then, the child usually has to read the poem to something special.
This week our letter was Q (for quiet), and they are learning about owls at school, so Doodle was supposed to read to a bird.
Then, when the homework is complete the parent is supposed to sign a sheet at the beginning of the book where there is a place for comments.
This is the highlight of my week.
Really. I've taken this homework thing very seriously. Really. Since we've been learning about birds and bats and owls I found a fun craft in order to attract the birds (pinecones dipped in peanut butter and bird seed).
When we were learning about squirrels we ended up at an apple farm on a squirrel hike.
Oh, and then there was the week we had to read to the moon, but since it was so dark we couldn't find the moon, so we got out our window paints and painted a moon on the window.
And, each week I've been documenting a bit about our homework.
I thought this was normal.
Now, Doodle's teacher is incredible. And, she sends me back notes. I truly thought this is what most parents do.
And then she told me that she rarely gets stories of homework. Usually just a signature or a note if there is a problem.
Yep. Rookie mom here.
She particularly enjoyed it when I enclosed a picture of Doodle reading his turkey poem to his grandparents and great-grandparents while wearing the turkey poem he read at school. Seriously. She wrote me a not about it.
I'm not about to give up the habit of writing stories to her. But, I've decided that I'm going to share our homework stories here on my blog. Because really, I love the homework of the week. I also love what we are all learning.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holy Crap it's December 1

Our Christmas TreeImage by Randy Son Of Robert via FlickrReally.
December 1.
Where did the time go????
I love December and Christmas. And, I love that I have 2 kids to share it with. I love that this year Doodle is really into Christmas, and has a grasp of traditions and wants to do stuff.
So, I'm trying to do a Christmas thing every day.
Yesterday my mom and I brought the kids to a garden store full of Christmas Trees. Doodle was sooooo well behaved. We reminded him about 5000 times to look not touch, but he totally listened each time. And he walked with us and he was good. The baby was enthralled with the lights.
We've started hanging lights.
We've started decorating.
And yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. And, that meant Christmas carols.
I love Christmas.
And I'm ready for shortbread. Yum.
But, this year we are also reminding Doodle of not only Santa, but the Christmas Story. I want both to be a big part of the tradition.
Phat Daddy also wants to create a Christmas Eve tradition. His idea? Something involving fondue. I love it.
I'm still a little stressed about gifts. I went shopping with my nieces on the weekend, and we had a blast. (okay - we had a blast, but I ended up buying them a bunch of stuff I shouldn't have - but really, matching sweaters for them and my princess????)
We haven't got any clue what we're doing about the tree. We have a couple of little (fake) ones up, but we haven't yet figured out our big tree. Doodle loves trees, the Princess will love to attack it and eat it. We are thinking a small tree. We just don't know. Add on an upcoming basement reno, and we don't know where we will put it since we'll have a lot of added stuff upstairs. Who knows.
And, I still have a bunch of stuff to organize and buy.
The sweet thing? I let Doodle paint his own ornaments for people he loves, and he thought it was so much fun.
And ... my Christmas cards are done.
So we're getting somewhere.
My real goal this year is to sit back and enjoy the Christmas spirit, to show my kids that spirit and for all of us to pass it on.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Will Wonders Never Cease?

This morning we all slept-in until 8 am (Phat Daddy and the baby later). And, we all felt refreshed. The baby, who has been feverish and had had a virus all week woke up healthy and happy.
And, as if that wasn't enough, after cofee, Phat Daddy asked if I would like to go to the mall and Christmas shop.
Off we went to the mall. Our family of 4.
We spent 3 hours there, got everything that we were looking for .... on sale.
In 3 hours Phat Daddy and I didn't argue once
Doodle didn't have one temper tantrum (and we didn't buy him any toys).
Princess didn't even cry.
We even managed to stop at the Starbucks drive-thru on the way home. Pushing our luck maybe, but still no tears.

And now we're having a bit of a toss up around here. Phat Daddy is staying home alone with the baby, in hopes that she'll take a bottle from him.
Doodle is playing lego with his uncle, and I'm going Christmas shopping with my nieces.

I'm hoping it all works out!

Oh, and if anyone has any super weaning tips please send them my way. We've tried everything and the baby refuses a bottle. We're getting hard core around here because I need a break, and I need to know that she will take a bottle BEFORE we have the nanny start.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

American

I have a soft spot in my heart for American Thanksgiving.
My grandma grew up in Buffalo, and every year we would call her on her Thanksgiving and wish her a happy Thanksgiving.
So, when I turned on the tv and saw the Macy's parade preparations, I was excited. So, I told Doodle all about Great Grandma, and how this day was special to her.
I told him that Great Grandma was born in Buffalo. He looked at me with really wide eyes and said "Wow! My Great Grandma grew up in a Hotel and shopped at Target when she was 4???"
I could have told him about hardship and growing up back then. But, instead I just said "yep. her life was pretty exciting."

I'm sorry to not post more. I have about a zillion drafts saved, but really, there's not too much to say. My baby is teething again, I'm kind of dreading going back to work, and I'm stressing about Christmas. That makes for some fun posts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thank Goodness for Family

This weekend was a long one. A good one, but a long one.
In just a few short days, Phat Daddy has replaced our old kitchen with a new one. He spent hours working on replacing our old crappy cabinets, squaring up new ones, fixing plumbing, and installing a counter-top.
I'm so proud of him. And, I'm so in love with my new kitchen.
Mostly I love our double sink!
We still have a ways to go. The flooring has to be laid, and we have to paint. But, I'm so excited.

In addition to the kitchen we did a couple of other things.
Yesterday both of our kids were Baptized. That deserves a post all of its own. But, it was a beautiful day, and I couldn't have been prouder of my kids, especially Doodle. He stood so quietly and listened beautifully, and was totally calm when they did the water thing.
After we had a small luncheon. Thank goodness that my parents live nearby because we all went to their home for lunch.

The other fun part of our weekend was clearing out our basement. Because we're planning to start a basement reno soon, we need to empty our basement out. Fun times. Wisely, I rented a storage locker - unwisely I should have gotten one MUCH larger! My brother in law came on Saturday and spent a good 4 hours slugging boxes and crap over to the storage locker. Once he had cleared out a ton of stuff I went in and was able to sort through a ton more stuff, get more organized and clean a fair bit.

And the kids? Well, that's where my big sister came in. She helped on Saturday, she helped on Sunday. The cousins had lots of playtime. We had lots of work time. And I think I exhausted my entire family in the process.

But now ... we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, a nice kitchen, and an almost-empty basement. And as for next week? Hmmm ... I think some sleep is in order.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Renovation Fun

We're doing some work on our house, or trying to. And, part of the process is hiring a contractor.
There are some very specific things we need done, so we've been interviewing (is this even the word) different contractors.
I actually thought this would be an easy process. Not so much! It's really hard. I've been making lots of phone calls. Some people I've ruled out over the phone. (Rule 1, if you call me "Sweetie" then I will keep looking)
Others have stopped by.
Tonight's guy was Phat Daddy's and my favourite.
He came over for a "free quote". We showed him the basement, he talked, and then he told us he couldn't give us a quote because he needed to do some work first - at $50 an hour. Oookay. Moving on.
He then proceeded to talk to us about his experience and his ideas for the job.
I was still back at the whole paying for a quote. But, whatever.
He seemed okay. Phat Daddy seemed interested. I asked the next logical question:
"Do you have references?"
His answer? Classic.
"Yes. But, it's not like I'm going to give you anyone's names or phone numbers or anything. And they all live in a different province."
Really, I wasn't quite sure what to make of that comment. The fun continued when he said he does plumbing and electrical, but if there are any problems we'd have to call in the experts, and "who knows what they charge?"
At that point we knew we would have to keep looking.
Who knows, maybe I've set my standard too high!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bleh

I know I'm not posting a lot.
I have a miserable teething child who just wants her mommy all the time.
And, when Daddy comes home and gives me a break. Or Grandma comes over to give me a break I pay more attention to Doodle, who is trying his very best to be a kind big brother. So, we read, or play or do stuff.
Which is wonderful.
Except it leaves very little time, and more importantly mental energy, to blog.
but this time, screaming baby and all,I'm apreciating it, because too soon I'll be back at work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remember my Tiny Baby?

She's not so tiny!
And she's super-stubborn.


When she sees something she wants, she gets it!

Guess what we're doing this weekend? Yep. We're investing in MORE baby gates!!!

Words

The Pink Panther cartoon characterImage via WikipediaSometimes Doodle kills us with what he says. Because he's learning so much lately, some things don't exactly compute.
For instance, on the weekend we turned on some old cartoon station and the Pink Panther was on. Doodle was watching it, and really enjoyed it. A little later in the day he was humming the song and said to Phat Daddy and I, "I really liked that show you let me watch."
Absentmindedly I asked which show.
His response was "the cat show". So, I said "oh, you mean Tom and Jerry?"
Nope.
"No. Mommy. The Big Pamper. The Big Pamper made me laugh!"
Too funny.
The other thing that he's been doing lately is calling Phat Daddy "Father".
I have no idea why.
We asked him and he told us that it's because Phat Daddy is his father. True. But still.
He does it all the time. He talks about "father" not "daddy" and whenever he sees him says "Hi Father".
It cracks me up.
Phat Daddy does not find it funny. But, whatever.

And, in the not so funny words.
Yesterday I made Doodle his morning smoothie. He said he wanted to also have eggs and a cheese sandwich. Weird. But, I guess he was hungry. So I told him if he finished his smoothie he could have something else to eat.
So, as I was trying to calm down the Princess (who wanted to nurse) Doodle shouted for me. His question
"WHERE'S MY ORDER?"
What????
I calmly walked over to him and asked what he had just said. His response. "I ordered eggs and a cheese sandwich. HURRY UP WITH MY ORDER."
Nice.
I had no idea where he got that from. He was very quickly told that is not how we talk in this house. And, upon further questioning I learned that at the Krusty Krab (Spongebob) that is how they ask for their food.

Oh the joys of 4 year olds!
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

And it gets better ...

You may have thought that November was enough fun just trying to wean my sweet baby girl.
It gets better.
Last night I went to sleep feeling crappy. I had itchy eyes and could feel a cold coming on.
I woke up with one eye stuck shut. Weird, eh?
I got up, washed it, and went to church. I still felt crappy, and we decided to stop at the drug store to pick up some visine. Confused by the choices, I asked the pharmacist. He looked at me and said "you have an eye infection." and sent me to the doctor.
And oh, the walk-in clinic.
What a fun place! After an hour and a half surrounded by much sicker people I got a prescription for my eye, ear and sinus infection.
So yes.
Life here is good.
The baby is not really subscribing to the theory that if she's hungry she'll eat. She has taken a total of 3 ounces from a bottle over the past 2 days. She's quite happy to wait it out by screaming, sleeping and being miserable.
We're a happy bunch over here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Why November Sucks ...


Let me tell you how our month is starting.



Take one little Princess (see the teeth) whose mommy decided that November 1st was the day we start weaning in earnest, and who is demonstrating that she has lungs that are just as capable of screaming as her brother's!

Add in a scary 4 year old who is, for all intents and purposes, hung over from a day of candy, indulgence, lots of fun and little sleep.

Throw in 2 adults who decided that the way to cap off Halloween was to have a yummy bottle of wine - and are now nursing headaches to go along with seasonal colds. And the requisite amount of Mommy Guilt for letting my child scream in Daddy's ear while he tries to convince her to accept formula.

And that, my friends, is how we're starting off our month!

The good news is that we live very close to the liquor store, and since we're weaning, a glass of wine may just be the remedy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Halloween!!!!

The house is quiet ... and it's Halloween morning.
I think it's fair to say I'm FAR more excited about Halloween than the rest of my family combined. But, really? I love love love Halloween.
Last night we had a little party with my nieces and today we have a fun trick or treating event in the morning and then Halloween at night.
I literally can't wait for my kids to get up and for the day to get going.
Yesterday, Doodle had "black and orange" day at school. Dumb. But whatever. And, I made all sorts of yummy stuff like bleeding eye balls and jello jigglers.
And today I've been up since 5 - mostly because I can't sleep. Partly because I needed to do my hair so I can transform into a princess.
I love today!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This and That

I know it's been awhile since I last posted. It's not that there's nothing going on in life. A big part of it is that with Doodle we've been working hard, and seeing doctors about his behaviour. That's all I want to say about it. Not because there's something horribly wrong with him (most reports are that he's a great little boy who's very smart) but because I think this is HIS story.
As much as I've blogged about my kids, I need to figure out what part is mine to tell and which part belongs to my child. Do I talk about it? Of course, but to publish online - even if this blog is somewhat anonymous - seems unfair.
And, quite honestly all of that stuff is taking up a ton of time.
The good news? Last week. Our week of a million appointments, is OVER!
And this week is Halloween. I love Halloween.

So do my kids!
Isn't this a great picture of Doodle? (He's not allowed to wear that mask outside)
This is the baby's witch costume. I'm not revealing her other costume till Halloween! As for the hat ... she has mastered the art of pulling it off, so the costume is kind of a bust.

Even Phat Daddy got in on the halloween action! I love this season!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Schools

I should start by saying that we're happy with Doodle's school. I love his teacher and the school environment is a good one.
But, I worry about Doodle.
So, of course I started looking at private schools.
It's such a facet of my personality that it drives me insane. I always feel like what I'm doing or what I've chosen isn't the best option that I over-research. But, sometimes that's good. And sometimes it isn't.
Whatever.
In this case it was. I had myself convinced that we had gone the completely wrong route school wise and that we should be doing private education. Really, it makes sense that I would feel this way. I attended private school growing up and have very fond memories of it. It felt like home to me.
And, honestly, I've been on private school tours over the years. But, it's one thing to look at private schools when you have a 2 year old and school seems like something a long ways away. It's a whole different ball game when you have your child in school and it suddenly matters what their behaviour policy is, how many kids are in a class and how closely the curriculum follows provincinal guidelines.
Phat Daddy didn't really want to go to the open house today. But, I think he was a little worried that if he didn't go I'd convince myself that we should be going this route and pull Doodle out of school without much consultation.
I sometimes roll that way. Though I try not to.
Sooooo ... off we went as a happy family.
I didn't bother switching my every day purse to a designer purse. I didn't care that Doodle wasn't colour coordinated.
What happened today surprised me.
As we walked through the school and we saw the lovely classrooms, listened to the presentations on their learning style and met with teachers something dawned on me. We're happy.
It's been a rough transition to jk some days. It breaks my heart when Doodles has a rough day. But, I love his teacher. I love that I'm getting to know other parents. I love that when we go on an evening walk we walk past his school and he is so proud of it.
Leaving the school today I felt like we've made a great school decision and that this place is the right place for our child. I know there will be challenges. But, I'm learning that sometimes it's not about life being perfect, it's about rising to the challenge and trusting your gut.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oil, Lube, Filter and Lecture?

Using a funnel to refill the motor oil in an a...Image via WikipediaI don't mind going to get the oil changed on our van.
I don't know a ton about car maintenance, but what I do know is that getting regular oil changes is extremely important. I also know that right now I'm home with the kids, Doodle thinks going to get the oil changed is fun, and I don't think it's necessary for Phat Daddy to always have that responsibility.
So, when the oil light flashed on the van we talked about how we should get the oil changed. We let that light blink for about a week and since this afternoon was a quiet one I thought it would be a fun thing to do.
Holy crap.
The guy changing the oil felt the need to lecture me.
Apparently it had been about 9,000 km since our last oil change. Apparently that is bad. And, apparently our oil was black. Big deal. Really. When he started waving the oil stick around to demonstrate my bad car maintaining I rolled up my windows. I think he took it a little personally.
He also took it personally when I declined the free newspaper.
And then when I wasn't sure how to make my lights flash I thought he was going to lose it. Seriously. I had a screaming child and a reallly talkative 4 year old and he was trying to teach me to use my van lights. (they are on automatic).
It was a fiasco.
And then ... then he started to bring things for me to inspect. He was pulling things out of my van hood to look at. I drew the line at the dusty air filter.
He didn't really like it when I said that I'm allergic to dust so I didn't need to see it.
I finally just asked him to stop taking my van apart, just change the oil and I was good.
I am not sure who was more annoyed!
Finally we finished. He kindly gave me a list of all the things I need done on my van.
The funniest part of all. At the end he gave me this really nice gift. It was a tire gauge thingy. And, he said "I'm sure you don't know how to use this, but if you ever want to learn just let me know."
oookay.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seriously

When I came home yesterday from a morning out someone was parked in my parking spot. No biggie, but I was really curious as to what work they may be doing in our complex. (we're in a townhouse complex). The man told me that they were doing some work on walkways.
I was pretty excited about this.
I enjoy a nice walkway.
And then I got to my house, and this was my walkway ...

It was kind of cool. I felt really bad that there was a giant Kubota thing at our house, and Doodle was at school.
Apparently they are coming back today to re-pave it, so we may get to see a cement mixer. How cool will that be?
Mind you. Even though my walk way is nothing to look at, I'm feeling very Martha Stewart with my little pumpkin and cabbage display outside of my house. Appreciate it - I did it all by myself and it's really quite crafty for me!

And, in other unrelated news ... Doodle's teacher is a miracle worker. My child, who started school a month ago and had no interest in letters is now letter obsessed.
He's constantly pointing out letters and asking what letter words start with. He's so excited about it. Before school I'd been worrying that he had zero interest in writing and one of my friends told me to relax and let his jk teacher do her job. I have no idea what she's saying or doing, but amazingly he is excited by reading. I'm thrilled!
But, seriously. I gave my son a seven letter first name and 2 middle names. Do you know how many letters that is?????
If we ever have another child (not in the books) The name is going to be simple. Three letters.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Brrrr

There's nothing cuter than a baby bundled up for the cold.
Especially when it's my smiley princess!
I know - how do you resist the little Robeez booties? We needed them for the cold. And the pink vest? With bows? Thanks, Gymboree. And the little pink hat? Here's a secret. I have the same hat, but red, for Doodle. It's the only matching piece of clothing they have. Phat daddy rolled his eyes, but at least I didn't insist they get the same colour.
I tried to get Doodle to model his hat, but nooooo ....

And here she is, all ready for her walk to school. I know. I overdo the pink. But, you'll notice that I did get lilac Robeez, and I even dressed her in blue pants today!

\

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So excited!

It's no secret that Doodle can be a challenging child.

But, a little while ago someone recommended the most amazing book to me. It's called The Explosive Child. It's an incredible book, and it's a method of dealing with difficult children. There are two main themes in the book. The first is that children do well if they can. The second is that children are already motivated to behave, but some children (and teens) need help figuring out how to do that.

To quote the author:
“Instead of asking yourself, ‘What’s it going to take to motivate this kid to behave differently?’ ask ‘Why is this so hard for this child? What’s getting in his way? How can I help?’”
Dr. Ross Greene

For me, reading this book was an eye opener. We've been struggling with behaviour issues for awhile, and so often I've said, time outs aren't teaching Doodle anything. It's not that I'm not discipling him, but it's that I can't figure out why he's misbehaving. Forgive me if you don't agree with me, but I find it hard to believe that my child who has been having a great day, giving me high fives, playing with his sister and helping me cook dinner wants to have a meltdown because I said it's bath time (something he enjoys).
Well, according to the authors of this book there are reasons for this, and ways to prevent meltdowns.
The more we use this method, the more we start to understand Doodle, the easier our days are getting.

After reading the book I really wanted to meet the author. I had, and still have, a lot of questions. There are specifics I want to sort out. I started to do some research. I found out about a convention he's speaking at. But, it would be $250 to get in, and it is not really designed for parents (especially nursing mothers with 6 month old who are discovering mobility!). But yesterday Doodle's kindergarten teacher sent home a flyer. One of the co-authors of this incredible book is speaking NEAR MY HOUSE! AND IT'S FREE! I don't think I could be any happier right now.

I'm bringing my entire family (if I can get a babysitter - I'm working on that). And, I intend to arrive early, stay late, and ask my questions. I want everyone in my family to understand exactly what it is I'm trying to accomplish in my house. Of course they are on board, but I am so excited that they will also get to hear exactly how you do this.

The good news? In school, his jk teacher really believes in this method. And, as I'm working on it at home, she's working on it at school. And yesterday he got no time-outs at school all day. I'm thrilled.

So, we take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others, but at the end of the day it's really nice to see some positive things happening in Doodle's life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Harvest Festival/Price Gouging

Cider ApplesImage by scrumpyboy via FlickrYesterday the kids and I had an afternoon to ourselves since Phat Daddy was at a wedding.
I know we spend every day together, but despite that I find weekend days are always different than weekdays. We're not so scheduled and we tend to do different stuff than weekdays.
Doodle and I had talked about going to Ikea (to add to his train set) but we got talking about farms and he reminded me he wanted to go to an apple farm.
Sounded good to me.
We picked up a quick lunch and decided to drive to a local farm that we go to every so often. They have a big kids play area. I wasn't sure if they had apples, but it was a farm so we went.
I was shocked.
They had a "harvest festival" on, and they were now charging people to go into the play area.
It was ridiculous. All summer the area is free. But, for a limited time they added a puppet show and a second maze and were charging $8 admission per person over the age of 2.
This is in addition to the fact that they have a store to buy stuff at, extremely over-priced items to buy (like $32 pumpkins) and nowhere to pick your own anything.
I was a little miffed.
Of course Doodle was excited to be there. But, I explained the situation to him.
Simply put, I told him that it would cost us $16 to go in.
Even at the age of 4 he understood that was ridiculous. (or, in his words "dumb")
I mean, who upcharges that much for an attraction that is normally free?
I have no problem paying for a kids play area. But, if you want to make money, why not charge a nominal fee all year long (like $1 or $2 per kid) and deal with it?
I hate stuff like that.

So, we left.
And we found an apple farm. For the same amount of money we got a huge bag of apples and a huge jug of apple cider. Yum yum!
Instead of a kids play area they had apple trees that Doodle ran around in. And they had the sweetest dog who was happy to chase Doodle and play with him.
And, I think that Doodle got a sense what an apple farm is really about. I'm happy to support local farmers. In fact, I think it's a fantastic idea. Next weekend I'm going to take him to the apple farm we used to go to when I was growing up. I can't wait!!!
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Friday, September 26, 2008

flying fries

Last night we decided to go to Swiss Chalet.
I don't know what I was thinking. I had dinner stuff, but felt like going out. And so did Phat Daddy. Doodle only went on the lure of rootbeer. Seriously. we should have re-thought.
Anyway, so we got to Swiss Chalet and Doodle had a huge meltdown. Like complete and utter temper tantrum that we know it's easier to wait out than reason with. We eventually calmed him down (thanks to my beloved book "The Explosive Child") and found our table.
But, it was one of those dinners where you're on the brink. Doodle was off. The baby is teething so she was feeling off, and Phat Daddy and I were trying to keep both kids calm.
Of course, sitting at the table next to us was a friend and her mom who I hadn't seen in years. I looked like crap, the baby was covered in teething cookie and Doodle was bouncing off the ceiling.
Fun.
Our waitress found the whole situation kind of funny. I mean it was, because Doodle has quite the sense of humour and he knew he was charming her. And, every time he'd talk the baby would try to baby talk over him. It was kind of funny.
But, the funniest part of the night?
That was when a new couple came and sat in the booth behind us.
I'm not sure what came over Doodle. But for some reason he stood up (yes, stood up) on his seat, picked up a fry and yelled (yelled) "FLYING FRIES" and threw a fry over Phat Daddy's head directly on to the plate of the gentleman who had just sat down.
Bratty? Yes.
Bad? Yes.
Unexpected? Completely. He has never done that.
Phat Daddy almost lost it he was so angry (and there were consquences) but it struck me as hilarious. And, I was trying so hard to be the good parent but I couldn't stop giggling. Neither could the waitress. Or the recipient of the fry.
It was just one of those ridiculous moments where you can't predict it.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but impulsivity is one of the major problems we have with Doodle.
Of course Doodle knew I was cracking up and thought it would be hilarious to try it again. So, I calmly explained to him that no, sometimes something is funny once, but when you repeat it you just make people angry. He actually does understand that because we have a lot of moments that really, we don't want him to repeat.
We left the restaurant shortly thereafter.
Tonight we're having dinner in!

And ...
On a completely different topic, one of my favourite bloggers, Multi-Tasking Mommy is having a contest! So, go enter! And enter quickly - she's having a baby any day now :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ah Choo! I love Pesto

This summer I've been on a basil kick. I love basil. And, I love pesto.
For some reason store bought pesto gives me heart burn, so I decided to try experimenting with the homemade kind.
I'm pretty sure what's making me sick is the parmesan cheese in the store kind. So I make it cheese free and it's super yummy and lower in fat. Well, except that I sprinkle cheese on my pasta, so not so much. But whatever!
Anyway, I decided to try my hand at growing basil. I've got 2 huge pots of basil and I use it all the time. It grows profusely. And, is way cheaper than buying fresh basil at the store.
But, I've noticed that my leaves are turning yellow.

So, I brought the whole plant into the kitchen. And decided to take all the basil leaves off an make a giant thing of pesto.
One problem.
I could not stop sneezing. Seriously.
I'd pick a leaf and sneeze. Pick a leaf. Sneeze.
when the baby woke up from her nap I brought her to the kitchen. She was sneezing non-stop also. That's one powerful plant to have in your house!

And, want to know why we're not getting too much sleep around here?
Check out these teeth ...
There are those 2 you can see, but there are a couple more coming. Poor thing.
And, I know this is really late, but we've started the transition to her crib. Yep. At 6 months she's still right next to our bed in the bassinet.
In all honesty, because we had such a hard time with sleep and Doodle, we're a little afraid to mess with a sleeping baby. But, she's rolling and kind of crawling now, and I'm pretty sure if she tried she could climb right out of her bassinet.
So far so good. But, I miss her when she's in her own room!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Bad Guy

The title sequence of the {{w|Fleischer Studio...Image via WikipediaI know that parenting required you to be the "bad guy".
And, I've been doing a lot of reading on parenting lately, thanks to Doodle. (and this is good). One of the things I'm trying to do is figure out my reasons for saying yes and no to things. Like the other day he asked for gum and I said no, thought about it, and changed my mind.
I don't mind that.
But yesterday I went to the video store and picked up a couple of videos for us to watch with Doodle. The first was "Bee Movie" which was really good and we all enjoyed.
The second was one of the Superman movies.
Doodle is in a big superhero phase - as most 4 year old boys are. And, it's tough as a parent because some of the coolest superhero things being advertised are not for 4 year olds. For instance, Iron Man & The Incredible Hulk. We've found a middle ground and agreed that he can have stuff like t-shirts with the logos on them but he can't see the movies. He's been okay with this.
So, when I went to the video store yesterday on my own it was because I wanted to take the time to choose a movie that was age appropriate. And I found one! One of the Superman cartoons. I was pretty excited that we could watch it together. But, when we took it out of the case it was a different video. It was still Superman, but it was for older kids.
We decided to turn it on since we'd built it up with Doodle. We'd done make-your-own pizzas and it was a big deal to him.
But, for the first time ever, I turned a movie off while we were watching it as a family.
In the first 5 minutes Superman was in bed with his girlfriend, and Wonderwoman was attacked by some guy. And, it was a pretty brutal attack.
Another 5 minutes in Superman was a dad and he had to leave his son. When Doodle said "Daddy, I'd be sad if you ever left me" - I knew it was time to turn it off.
Surprisingly Phat Daddy was more annoyed at me than Doodle.
He felt it was okay because we were watching as a family. I didn't agree. I know we could have discussed it after the fact, but there were so many different themes to discuss I am not sure where we would have started.
But, Phat Daddy and I don't see eye-to-eye on movies all the time. Last night we rented The Bank Job (for us) and it was far too gory for me so I had to walk away. He said it wasn't that bad. Even our tv habits are very different. We pretty much only agree on House and the Amazing Race.
I wasn't surprised when I got the eye roll and huff when I decided to turn it off.
So tonight I was the bad guy. The bad guy supported, but not understood, by her husband.
I'm curious where other people draw the line.
As for me, maybe I'm a bit over-protective. And sometimes I try a little too hard to hold on to Doodle. But, at the end of the day he's only a kid once. And, I'll leave the super scary movies for when he's old enough to decide for himself what is too scary.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doodle

Today was Doodle's first full day of school. Graduated entry is over and now he's there full days Tues/Thurs and alternate Fridays (which is pretty much once a month).
Today didn't go so well. He got several time outs for hitting and biting. When I picked him up he was sad. He just wanted lots of hugs. It broke my heart.
We've worked with him a lot. We've tried changing his diet so he eats well. We've made sure there's consistency in his sleep routines. We've used time outs. We've been trying to channel his energy at karate classes. I've been doing a lot of reading.
I'm totally frustrated.
I wish there was some way to figure it out, some magic explanation so he stops this behaviour, some method that we knew would work.
As a mom it's so deflating. It's not that I'm embarrassed. I'm not. He's my kid and I love him immensly. But, I'm worried for him. I don't want to let him down. I'm so scared that this behaviour, this thing that we can't figure out and that I'm not fixing is going to cause him problems down the road.
I'm worried that if he's mean at the age of 4, he'll start getting picked on as he gets older.
And, I'm terrified because in a few months I won't be picking him up at school everyday and making sure he's okay. I want to protect him, and I'm scared that I'm not.
And, I don't really know what to do.
For now I'm at a loss. I know I have to be patient. I need to let him settle into school and into the routine and to get to know his teacher. But, I don't want to wait too long and let him down. I want everyone to see the wonderful, smart, kind child I see.

Monday, September 15, 2008

At Issue

I don't use my blog to talk about issues.
Generally speaking I don't bring up politics or religion. I guess it would make my blog more interesting, but I don't really want to open myself on those right now. I have opinions of tons of stuff in the news, and if you knew me in person you'd get an earful if you asked.
But, the one thing I'm passionate about is our rights. As a Canadian I value many of our rights, like the right to free speech, freedom of religion, etc etc.
I also value my right as a woman, and a nursing mother, to breastfeed in public.
Since my first child was born 4 and a half years ago and my baby was born 6 months ago, I've been one of the fortunate women who never questionned her right to feed my children wherever and whenever I chose.
Yes, there are times where I'm not about to nurse my kids. At church, at weddings, on the subway - those are all places that I'm not particularly comfortable. But, I know I can ... if I so choose.
And, yes, there have been times I've been made to feel uncomfortable. A couple times I've gotten a rude comment. I have gotten the odd dirty look. But, most of the time I enjoy the comfort of nursing wherever I want.
So, when I read the story of someone who was made to feel uncomfortable when she was nursing her baby it made me upset.
For what it's worth, I'm adding my voice to others who have said enough is enough. Nursing isn't sexual. When I'm feeding my baby I'm doing what I believe, and what many doctors will tell you, is the best thing you can do to help my baby grow up healthy. I am feeding her. If you have a problem with breasts - tough. Whether I'm at home, in the park, at the mall, in a restaurant or on a plane it's my right and my choice.
So please, if you see someone nursing respect her rights. And, if you're offended look the other way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Forms, Forms, Forms

A lunch sits on a blue tablecloth with a brown...Image via Wikipedia Yesterday was Doodle's second day of jk.
It was a half day and half the class was there. It would seem I missed the memo stating that this is the day you bring your kleenex and your camera. I was saving the drama for his first FULL day of school which is Tuesday. But, as I learned yesterday was the first real day in the minds of many parents. Oops!
So, needless to say I was totally fine and totally happy and quite comfortable sending Doodle off for a couple of hours of school.
When I picked him up he was really excited about his 2 hours. And he told me that he had a bunch of stuff in his bag.
Nope. My 4 year old didn't have homework ... I did!
He came home with a Zipoc bag filled with forms to fill out and cheques to write.
Gone are the days of the pizza lunch. Instead hot lunch at his school comes with multiple choices of gourmet foods. Choices. Does he want chicken nuggets or caesar salad or a burrito? How would I know? And, call me crazy but since when do school lunches cost $7???? It isn't a big deal for us because they do these lunches once per week and they alternate Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - so he ended up only ordering about 4 lunches on days he is there.
Then there was the Scholastic order. I'm still baffled by which catalogue to order from and what books he needs. I've put that aside for the day.
And also there was the whole milk thing. What days does he want milk and does he want chocolate or white milk?
I haven't done so much math homework since I was in school - and it's only day one!
The other thing I did, which made me feel very mom-like indeed was I pulled out my giant family organizer calendar and wrote down all the info they gave me. We now have the entire school year documented on a calendar for all to see. I'm hoping it gets us organized and ready to start the year.
I never realized just how much work was involved in being a parent of a school child. But, in some weird way I feel like I'm actually on top of all of this school stuff. At least for the first day.

Oh, and as for the ridiculously huge lunch I packed for Doodle? It was just that. A little ridiclous. He ate very little, but that's okay. I am pretty sure that I have at least an idea of what he'll like. And, I'm sure that as we continue in school mode it will get easier and easier.




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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lunch Time!

So, today marks Doodle's first day at school where I drop him off and he eats lunch there.
It's a half day, but at his school they have 2 lunch times called nutrition breaks. One is around 10:30 and the other is around 1:30. so they advise parents to pack 2 lunches.
wow.
As if one isn't enough work.
Today is the first time I'm packing a lunch.
There are some guidelines. Obviously the lunch has to be peanut and tree nut free. No biggie - I like that rule. My confusion here is whether it can be a snack made in a facilty that processes nut products or if it just can't contain the nuts. And, what about home-made stuff? We have peanut butter in our house. So, can I make him non-nut muffins knowing my house has peanuts? Don't get me wrong - I'm totally okay with that (especially since there is a severe nut allergy in his class). But, I'm just unclear.
The next is that there's no junk allowed in their lunches. As in no sugary snacks. But, what does this allow and not allow? I'm trying to not give Doodle tons of junk and sugar anyway, but what about a (peanut/nut-free) granola bar? Or bear paws? Help!!!!
So back to today.
We have the Super Friends Lunch Bag.
And since Doodle will be there in the afternoon I need to pack for the afternoon nutrition break. I have no idea if this is more the lunch side of things or the snack side of things. So, true to form I overpacked.
For the lunchy part I sent in cheese and meat in cubes (he loves this) with crackers. And of course a pickle since he loves pickles.

Then I added some fruit.
And some yogurt.
And a fruit snack.
And a bear paw.
And some raisins.
And a drink.
I had a lot more stuff to put in there, but I have no more room.
I actually had to pile stuff.
So, what's a mom to do?
I'm planning to already give him a pretty fulsome lunch in a few minutes.
I'm thinking maybe I need to go and get a second lunch bag and number them - lunch one and two.
Or maybe I need to pack less.
Phat Daddy just kind of rolled his eyes. Because much like anything else, as a rookie I feel the need to overdo it just a bit.
But, I can't help but worry that I may not give him enough. Or he may be hungry.
Truthfully, this is probably his normal days' worth of food. I remember in highschool getting through the day (8:15-3) on an apple and a nutrigrain bar. And I had about 90 pounds on him! So, I'm guessing he will survive.
Is there any wonder that my mom and sister have both called me today to make sure I'm okay?
Now, I have to admit I have a friend who is kind of an expert mommy in all things school so I think I may just call her and see just what she puts in her son's lunch ... (kerry, I'm talking about you!)
I'm not about cheating on all this mommy stuff :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One Day

Yesterday was quite a day!
We had Doodle's first visit at his school. It was interesting to say the least. He alternated between charming and explosive. It was interesting and tiring and I know for sure that he will not fall between the cracks and be the child whose name no one knows!
Then we got home.
Within about half an hour of getting home Princess was sick. Like projectile vomiting sick.
So, between my emotionally exhausted 4 year old, my sick baby and my new foudn goal of keeping the tv off all day, we spent the afternoon in a rather hellish state of playing cars, cleaning puke, doing laundry and Doodle telling me how gross puke is.
Nice.
Of course yesterday would be the day he has karate and I was determined we would go.
Mind you, about 10 minutes before we had to leave for karate my doctor's office called me back since I'd left a message about the Princess' illness. And our phone call lasted forever. (we had to go through all the signs of dehydration)
So, when I got off the phone I told Doodle we had to boot it to karate. And somewhere between explaining the definition of "boot it" and him washing his hands I managed to scrape his toe in the door.
No problem. I figured that I would throw my wounded, sobbing 4 year old in the stroller (a rare treat) and we'd make it to karate just in time.
But NO. I'd left the stroller in the van.
So instead I had to teach him the definition of the phrase "suck it up" (is that appropriate for a 4 year old) and have him walk to karate. Part of me felt that I should let him skip it, but we're committed and it's been tough lately, and I didn't think I could give in. After all, he was fine.
Ironically, this was the best class he has had in weeks. No screaming and crying. Nothing. Just a quick class where he did pretty well.
By the evening I was exhausted. And, thanks to the stress I was losing my voice.
Ahhh.
I could not have been happier when bed time came (after 90210, of course).
Mind you, just as I hopped into bed and curled up to feed Princess she puked all over me and this started a very long night - thank goodness Phat Daddy stepped up and helped a lot.
And now. I'm tired!
And this is what parenting is all about.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gymnastics

Today I had one of those moments where I was so proud of Doodle I almost cried.
Lately things have been a little tough in his world. His karate classes have been trying. He had a rough time at vacation Bible school. And with junior kindergarten starting (tomorrow!) I've been a bundle of nerves.
I want the best for Doodle, and I worry about him.
So, it was with a lot of trepidation that I brought him to gymnastics today.
Yes, we have high hopes for this gym. The time works for him and he was pretty excited, but still. As confident as I was, I was nervous.
We got there early and we went through our expectations. We reminded him of the rules and that he had to listen. And then off he went.
There were about 12 kids there ages 3-5, and it was split into 2 groups, basically 3 year olds and 4 & 5 year olds. For some reason the class consisted of all girls. I think for some kids the all girls thing would be a problem, but Doodle tends to respond to the activity level in the room. Without other boys it was a calmer place.
And the class went really really well.
I was so happy.
Doodle was so happy.
He's been talking about gymnastics for awhile, and he's been asking to take it, so I think that played into it. And also, it was a class that was full of activity. He was bouncing and swinging and jogging the entire time. The only part he had a hard time with was the time when he had to sit on a mat and wait for the teacher to come around. But, when they came around they were teaching the kids handstands and cartwheels, so it made the waiting manageable.
And, at the end of the class they had this neat zip line thing that the kids got to ride on.
Doodle left feeling excited and happy and proud of himself for doing so well. And tomorrow he's going to kindergarten (for a shortened day) knowing that he can handle it.
I knew he had it in him!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Long Weekend ...

I love surprises.
To me there is nothing more wonderful than a surprise. I love the shock and excitement. And I love the spontaneity (at least ont he part of the receiver). It's a blast.
So, since we've all been a little cranky in our house, Phat Daddy has had a busy week at work, Doodle has had a tough time in some of his programs (karate and vacation Bible camp) and I'm just plain worn out I decided to book a hotel in Buffalo and surprise the family with a mini vacation.
Surprise them I did!
I somehow managed to pack a bag and hide it in the van for a couple of days, speak to the hotel and get their 5 confirmation e-mails without letting Phat Daddy see them (we don't really read each other's e-mails, but I often leave mine open).
Saturday was Phat Daddy's grandparents 60th anniversary. So, we went there for dinner and then when we left I surprised him with a bottle of wine and some cards. Doodle was thrilled (he knew there was a surprise coming) because we were going to a "hometel!" with a "pool!" and it was in "Buffalo with toy stores!" All was good.
And it went pretty well.
Except ... it wasn't all that relaxing.
The first night Doodle was way too excited to sleep. He was up till midnight. The baby too. And, since we didn't have the right room I didn't sleep well at all.
No problem. I was in great spirits the next morning. I went to breakfast (in the lobby) with the kids while Phat Daddy got some extra sleep. Then I took Doodle swimming.
My next surprise for the boys was a trip to the Aquarium.
Did you know there is an aquarium in Buffalo/Niagara Falls? Well there is.
Phat Daddy loves aquariums.
The thing is, Doodle and I were ready to do a quick visit. Phat Daddy wanted to read every sign. The baby was mesmerized by the fish and the lights and the colours. So, all in all it was a nice but super-quick visit. I think Doodle and I spent more time in the gift shop than in the rest of the aquarium, but at least it gave Phat Daddy more time to look around. And, don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the fact that on the upper-level it is so dangerous and kids could easily fall from the 2nd level into the sea lion tank. I was having a nervous breakdown on that level.
We finally left, and then went to look at the falls (from a distance) because again I have a huge fear of bringing Doodle to Niagara Falls.
Anyway, we spent the afternoon having lunch and then relaxing at the hotel. By the end of the day I was feeling crappy. We were all cranky from the late night, and the pizza we ordered took more than an hour to arrive.
But, we did watch a lot of the Disney Channel and Phat Daddy and I were killing ourselves laughing while we watched "The Wizards of Waverly Place." Doodle couldn't figure out why we thought it was so funny, but he decided to laugh with us.
The thing was, as it was getting closer to bedtime I was feeling crappier and crappier. And then since we'd promised Doodle ice cream I pulled it out super late (like 9pm) which was just dumb because I should have known it would make him insanely hyper. Oops!
Anyway, by the next morning I was fully sick. My ear was hurting and I couldn't swallow. So, we went to breakfast as a family. One of the highlights of this hotel is that they have a really nice continental breakfast. And they have a waffle iron. Doodle really wanted to make a waffle which was fine. I told him not to touch. I reminded him not to touch. But, in his excitement he flung his hand and touched the burning hot waffle iron.
OMG! Did the child ever scream.
He burned his finger. Ouch. So, I rushed him over to get his finger in some ice water and he eventually calmed down once it helped him. Once he was calmer I went to get him some breakfast while Phat Daddy was sitting with him. As I'm calmly getting his food the lady who had come over to make sure he was okay was talking in the buffet area.
Her comment? "I hate it when parents don't supervise their children."
What??????
There are many areas I fall short as a parent. Supervision is not one. Doodle is the kind of child who needs constant supervision. It was an accident. He wasn't flipping the waffle himself. He was excited.
Normally I'd walk away but instead I said something. I mean, sure comment on bad parenting but don't do it in front of customers. Especially if said customer is the parent you are gossiping about.
Anyway, we finally checked out, went to Target and then drove home, all a little tired, and all ready to be home.
I'm not sure if it was the best weekend ever. But, the idea was nice, the family was surprised, and I think despite the bad points it was a pretty fun time.
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On a side note... I'm reading a book called "The Explosive Child". It was recommended to me to help Doodle. He's been struggling and I want to sort things out.
It's a pretty amazing book and has some great ideas.
I can't wait to get this into motion.

Step one is dealing with some issues we've been having at karate. Tonight is our test run. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Change of Plans

Today's post was going to be about my frustrations as a parent.
It was going to be about how, by the end of the day I was exhausted. It's been a long few days with Doodle. Some of our concerns about him have been magnified, and lately terms like ADD and Sensory Processing Disorders have been thrown around. And, though of course we're looking into it, dealing with it, being the parent of "that child", not knowing what the next steps should be - it's hard. And, there have been lots of tears. And lots of hearing Doodle tell us that his "heart doesn't want to be bad but sometimes I just am" that makes me think life is unfair.
And yesterday did me in. Because between him having problems at vacation Bible school followed by a bad karate class I was as upset as he was.
But then. But then there was last night.
We had movie night as a family. And then it was bedtime.
And, while Doodle was trying to get to sleep I was trying to console our princess whose teeth are breaking through. Nothing was helping. We'd tried Motrin and nursing and rocking and everything. And she cried. A lot.
So Doodle got out of bed. And he came and he comforted her. Within a minute she was fine. She was smiling and reaching for him. And he held her hand and he sat with her and he sang to her until she had calmed down. And what made her happy was just lying with him while he patiently held her hand and calmed her down.
And then I realized that what he needs is exactly that.
He doesn't need parents who are angry at the system. He doesn't need a mom whose heart breaks and who cries when it's been a tough day. He need someone to hold his hand and tell him it's okay and figure out a way to make things better.
So we're starting over. We're making doctors appointments. We're giving him healthy food. We're working together and we're going to figure out what makes Doodle tick (for the good and the bad).
But, I have to tell you. I'm getting really scared about junior kindergarten. I've heard good things about his teacher. I'm just hoping everything works out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Little Chub and a Few Tears

Yesterday was the baby's well-baby visit and more needles. She's almost 5 months, and I think these are the shots they do at 4 months. But, since she had an ear infection and then we had to wait a bit we're a little behind. No biggie.
Of course part of this visit is the usual height and weight check.
I'm not big on percentiles, but I do find them interesting - especially for comparison. Yesterday the baby was 15.5 lbs and 60 cm. According to my doctor that means she is in the 75th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for height.
A little crazy! She's sooo my child. At this point in Doodle's life he was in the 90th percentile for height and weight.
He's now 80th percentile for height and 50th for weight. So who knows. And, while we were there yesterday Doodle got weighed. He's gained 5 lbs this summer! He's getting so big. He also grew 2 shoe sizes. He's going to be the biggest kid in jk!
But, back to the baby.
We've seen a couple of milestones this past week. The first is that her tiny bottom tooth is breaking through. She's been off a lot lately, and I didn't know why. That would be why. It too me by surprise because Doodle broke his first tooth on his first birthday. (I know - late). So even though I thought she was teething I thought I was crazy. She also figured out how to roll over and put her body into crawling position. It's pretty amazing.
I know babies all roll over and figure out crawling. It hardly makes her a genius. But, watching it all over again reminds me how amazing it is to watch a baby develop. I sometimes think I was so sleep deprived and "off" with Doodle that I didn't really appreciate all of his milestones. With the baby it's a huge deal. And I'm loving it.
But, the other thing I'm doing with the baby is letting her cry just a bit when I put her down for naps. Here's another comparison thing. (I don't generally compare my kids, but today I am). Doodle never had a regular nap time. I tried. It didn't happen. With my princess I've noticed that she wants to sleep around 9 am and again at around 1 or 2. So, I'm trying the whole method where I feed her and then when she's clearly tired but not quite asleep I bring her to her crib and lay her down. She usually cries a bit. I rub her tummy, make sure she's calming down and then I leave. AND SHE FALLS ASLEEP!
I know. Amazing!
Doodle and I then use that time for us to play with toys or read or even watch tv together. It's taken us 5 months, but I think, my friends, I've established a routine!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I can hear

My maternal grandfather is almost completely deaf. (he's 99)
Before my maternal grandmother passed away she used a hearing aid and could hardly hear.
I've never really worried about my hearing, but it's always been at the back of my mind. The idea of losing one of your senses is scary, and watching my grandmother's frustration as she gradually lost her hearing was depressing. My grandad is also frustrated, but he has had hearing issues my whole life so I haven't really watched the progression.
So for me, the past couple of months have been a little stressful. Shortly after the baby was born I noticed I was asking people to repeat stuff a lot. It wasn't like I was deaf, I was just beginning to not hear quite as well.
I often drive past the store "Listen Up, Canada!" and wondered if I should go in for a hearing test. Seriously. I kind of debated asking my doctor about my hearing, but I didn't want to.
But, this past week my ear started to hurt and my ears got really stuffy. And, since my sinuses were also hurting I went in to see my doctor. I expected a prescription and I would be on my way. I did get a couple of prescriptions, but she also asked me to put some special oil in my ears and come back in 3 days to get them cleaned and checked.
I went back today and had a procedure done that I've never had before. I had my ears washed out. It was the strangest thing. Basically they rinse your ears out with warm water. You use oil for the days preceeding to loosen the oil and then the wash part literally washes out the wax.
So, the nurse was rinsing away and I didn't notice any difference. She kept saying she could see the wax but it was just not coming out.
Suddenly - WOOSH - it was out. (sorry I know this is gross).
But really, it was incredible. She took out this GIANT chunk of wax. It was the grossest thing I've seen. And it came from me! ewwww. But wow! When that came out I could hear. I could hear better than I have in a very long time. I was shocked. I must have said thank you about 10 times. I got to the van and I had to turn the radio down because I could hear! I came home later and we turned on the tv. Again, I could hear!
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Life can be so exciting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Much Olympics?

I'll confess, I'm glued to the Olympics. I tape it all and watch everything I enjoy. Thank goodness for the DVR!
My favourite event is gymnastics. I love it! I stay up till all hours watching it. The drama. The excitement. So exciting to me.
Doodle took gymnastics when he was 2. He did it every Saturday for about half a year. We struggled through it because he was in a really difficult stage and it was a parent/tot class. He had constant temper tantrums and I got annoyed. I finally quit early because it wasn't teaching him anything (though he perfected his sommersault) and I was spending my Saturday mornings angry at him instead of enjoying his company. It just wasn't working.
But, over the last year he has reminded me on numerous occassions that he liked gymnastics. (Weird - I don't remember it that way.) And he's bugged me for more classes.
The thing is, I didn't feel comfortable at the gym we were going to. it was a long drive and all the parents seemed to think they had the next gymnastics superstar on their hands. In all honesty I have weight issues and my husband is 6'3. I don't really think either of our kids have gymnastics in their blood so I was there for FUN. And also because Doodle falls a lot and I wanted him to learn to fall properly and to do things safely.
It just didn't work out.
But after watching countless hours of Olympics these days I decided to sign him up at a different gym. I'd heard great things about it so I called and went to see it. It was love at first sight. First of all the guy running it is Romanian (I think). He was so funny. He sounded just like Bella Karoli and he kept yelling out all sorts of gymnastics terms to his students while he was talking to me. It just cracked me up.
And his wife was totally sweet and funny. Doodle meanwhile was running around and all excited to see the gym, so the guy took him on a tour (including a bathroom break) and Doodle was sold. I love it.
So, the way it stands now Doodle will have 2 days a week of karate and 1 day a week of gymnastics. I'm not sure if that's too much activity, but I am thinking it's worth trying and seeing how he does. Part of me isn't sure how it will all work out, but the other part of me thinks that karate and gymnastics will be a great combo and will keep him challenged and athletic. We'll see.
Of course the baby (the Princess as she is referred to in our home) joined us for the visit to the gym. They were ready to sign her up too, until I pointed out that she can't yet sit up on her own. But, they did mention classes start at 18 months - start them young.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Ladies Man

Today I took Doodle to McDonald's for a special treat.
He's been asking for weeks to go, so I figured we'd go for lunch. It was the perfect day because there weren't tons of kids, and the kids who were there all played really well in the Play Place. It was one of those times where all the parents are kind of supervising and kind of chatting because everyone is just behaving.
After a long game of hide and seek Doodle started playing with a couple of little girls who were close to his age. I was watching for awhile trying to figure out what game they were playing that was so engrossing.
At one point Doodle came running out of one of the tube slides with the girls trailing behind him.
He turned to them and said "Come on Ladies! Let's have a dance party. I wanna ROCK OUT!"
Thanks, Hannah Montanna!
It may scare you to know that after McDonald's we went to WalMart to buy a back pack. I had a hard time convincing him that no, he could NOT buy a Tinkerbell back pack or a Hannah Montana backpack.