Monday, March 30, 2009

A Birthday Weekend

This weekend was Coco's 1st birthday. Specifically her birthday was on Saturday, but the celebrations started on Friday night when my sister hosted an amazing party!

I really wanted to do something special for Coco without tons and tons of people. And, since Coco and her uncle have birthdays that fall one day apart we celebrated both.

On Saturday we had some family time. we got ready for the open house first birthday and we spent some time at the garden store, which surprisingly both kids loved.
We ended up planting some flowers and getting our house looking spring like. We haven't started planting our garden yet, but we
did get our house in better shape, and I went a little crazy with Easter Eggs.

But, of course the important part was our birthday girl. Can you believe she is 1 already? I can't.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Birthday Girl is 1

My little girl turns one today. I can't believe that one year ago today she was born. This has been a quick, wonderful and overwhelming year.

Happy Birthday, Coco!

And ... she's on the move. She's now officially walking. I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by.

Happy Birthday, Little One!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Swimming Lessons ... the fun

Doodle has weekly swimming lessons.
To say they are the bane of my existence is an understatement. I hate them. I hate the other mothers there who are rude and whisper about him when I am sitting right there.
I hate that no matter how hard he tries Doodle can't behave in the class. It's just TOO EXCITING to be in the pool bouncing around with other kids and it's really hard for him to behave.
Is he bad? No. But he's not angelic. So, I sit on the pool deck, and if his behaviour gets out of control I step in and deal with it. It works for me. It works for Doodle. It works for the teacher. The other parents not so much.
I hate that other parents think it's okay for their kids to throw buckets of water at the teacher, but criticize my kid for spitting.
I hate that another mother called my son a brat, and implied I wasn't watching him, doing my job, when in fact I was. I do.
Part of me is angry because it's unfair that my son struggles with something (behaviour) that other parents feel they can critique when I would never do the same to their kid. It makes me sad that they are so busy seeing what's wrong with my kid that they don't notice he's being kind to their kid, and in fact their kid wants to play with mine.
So much of the time I appreciate the kind things people say and do.
The fact that there's someone at our church, many people in fact, but one in particular, whom Doodle loves and listens to is incredible.
The fact that the other moms at school welcome me to stay at their kids' birthday parties so that I can take over if he gets too excited.
The fact that Doodle's teacher, and school resource team, do their very best to make sure Doodle thrives and fits in overwhelms me.
The fact that Doodle's doctor, naturopath & psychologist all have figured out ways to treat him while keeping him entertained, is incredible.
And, most of the time that's what I dwell on. We're so incredibly lucky to have family, friends, doctors and teachers who see the best in Doodle, who remind me that he is an amazing kid, and assure me that when we figure out how to help with with a few things he'll be even more amazing.
Most of the time that's what I remember.
But then there are days when all that positivity is shot down, by a mom who thinks my kid is a brat, who thinks that her kid is superior because he what? can handle a swimming lesson?
Those moms? I hate them.
I am not about to go announcing the fact that my kid has ADHD. It shouldn't matter to other parents.
And, I'm not for one second going to apologize for my child.
If he hits someone or is mean, then yes, I expect that he apologizes. But, I'm not going to apologize because he needs more attention, struggles to behave or, god forbid, tries to get a turn ahead of your kid. Who cares if he is first in line to swim with the teacher?
Quite honestly, I'm glad he's like that. He knows what he wants and so does everyone. I could take a lesson from him on assertiveness.
But, before you tell me how to discipline my kid, teach your own kid that if he grabs something out of another kid's hands there may be a reaction.
Case in point, last night when a little girl asked for a toy from Doodle he handed it over. When a boy grabbed a toy out of Doodle's hand he grabbed it back.
Why should I be critiqued? And, also. This is childhood. Stand back and let them solve the problem. If there's no danger involved, who cares in the end which one gets the toy? I don't.
And, you know what? When my child has a temper tantrum because swimming lessons are over, dirty looks shot at me are not effective. He's 4. I'm doing my best. And whether or not there is a reason for these temper tantrums, they happen. Here's a secret. The best way to stop a tantrum is not to get angry and frustrated. It's to stay calm and deal with it. That's what I do. Or at least that's what I try to do. So, if I'm showing empathy to my kid who still wants to be swimming that's my business. Not yours.
Sometimes parenting sucks. Apparently for me it sucks the most at swimming lessons.
I am so dreading next Wednesday night.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's the Little Things

Lately I've been discovering that it's the little things that make life so much easier. Here's my most recent list.

1) A programmable coffee maker.
It sounds so simple, but really, who knew that setting everything up the night before and simply programming the coffee to brew at 5:45 would make my mornings so pleasant?
Why did I not figure this out till I was 30? Why?

2) Setting my clothes out ahead of time
I've always felt like putting my day's clothes out the night before was kind of pointless.
I had this idea that it would make me less spontaneous in the morning.
With 2 kids it seems that mornings are crazy and my routine of planning my outfits the night before has made for a lot less stress in the morning.
Unless, of course, I don't like how I look and then there is stress. But, whatever. Not as much stress.

3)Shopping at stores that have cup holders in the cart
Who knew such a wonderful invention existed?
The Longos near my house has a Starbucks in it, and also has these carts with cup holders.
And they have organics.
And a huge produce section.
And my kids like shopping there.
Bonus that Home Depot is practically next door.
I had no idea that grocery shopping could be relaxing if you have a tall soy latte and happy children.
And since we've been doing "full" grocery shops on a weekly basis (admittedly not always at Longos) we have been going out for dinner a lot less.

4) Baby Legs - They are these things that are like leg warmers.
My sister passed a pair down to me and I LOVE them (as does our nanny). They are super adorable on Chloe. She wears a ton of skirts and dresses, but tights are annoying because a)the feet are slippery and b) they are annoying for diaper changes. These are soooo easy. And cute. I must buy some more.

I could go on. There are the window markers that Doodle loves to use in the van. And, the hair product that straightens my hair. But, that's another post for another day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stupid Parenting

I try to be a good parent.
I'm not perfect, but I do try my best.
So, tonight when we decided to go to Bad Boy to look at appliances we made a big deal of it so that Doodle would be excited to go.
It went well for quite awhile.
He sat in comfy couches and watched the Matrix while Mike, Coco and I looked at washers and dryers.
For close to an hour we had a really easy visit.
And then it came time to figure out the financial stuff. I was fully involved in the negotiating process. And then we debated. And debated some more and made a decision.
Voila ...

Nice, eh?
Once we got through negotiation we had to figure out paying and delivery and about a million other things that should have take 5 minutes but took 45.
So, in my attempt to be a good parent, especially since it was approaching bedtime, I entertained my kids. Somehow that turned into playing hide and go seek with my 4 year old.
It was fun till I lost him.
He was hidden, thank God, in a bedroom set. I walked past the set 5 times, but did not see him.
It took Mike and I, 5 staff members and some freaking out to discover him.
What was I thinking? Seriously.
We were having fun. Until I lost my kid. And ran around the store panicking.
And that was my stupid parenting decision of the night.
Who found him? A sales associate who totally guessed where he would hide. Smart guy.
We left moments after and decided to watch a video in the van while Phat Daddy finished the transaction.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One Year

It's been one year since I went on mat leave. And, in 2 weeks our princess will turn one.
And, she has a nickname!
Somewhere between our nanny arriving and me going back to work, we started calling the baby CoCo.
Phat Daddy hates it.
I love it.
Even funnier is that it sometimes gets turned into "Coco Koala" (I don't know why) and "Coco Puff".
And, the best part is that people truly believe that is her name! I love it. In the past couple of weeks she's really changed. First she learned to dance. She's attempting to walk and is taking steps and stands on her own.
And she blows kisses. We made a movie last night and I will figure out how to post it. It's pretty cute.
And Doodle? He's moving right along.
I haven't talked much about his diagnosis. We needed some time to let the whole idea settle and to think about it and to talk to people about it.
Where we're at?
Of course we have spoken to our family doctor. She's referred us to a pediatrician who specialized in ADHD. I'm not sure I need a second opinion on the diagnosis, but I do want a more fulsome explanation of the medication.
And we also went to see our naturopath.
We decided to put Doodle on a stronger regimen of homeopathic remedies and see how does. So, we're trying it. We started on Saturday, and you generally need a couple of days for remedies to kick in.
It's hard to see if there has been a difference. It's good to start a regimen on a weekend because you can see if there are any adverse reactions. But, for me it's hard to see if there's a difference, really, in his activity level. Seriously, it was beautiful weather and my child who has been cooped up all winter was allowed to go crazy and play outside! How do you guage hyperactivity? I was going just as crazy as Doodle and even Coco was extra excited.
So, we'll wait and see.
This week is a funny week anyway. There are no evening activities because of March break, and since the weather is nice he'll get a lot more fresh air.
But, I'm remaining hopeful.

And, seriously ... i'm loving this weather!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poof Butt & Pricetag

My son has never had a comfort item.
Well, there's the soother. Don't get me started on that one.
But, he's never had a stuffed animal that he's truly attached to. He's had toys he loved, but no real object we can't live without.
I had Paddington bear.
My sister had her yellow blanket.
But Doodle, nothing.
Until we had our princess. And she got some stuffed animals.
Two of them were little stuffed dogs. And, a few months ago Doodle discovered them.
I asked him their names and he said "Poof Butt" and "Price tag" - I don't know why.
But, in the past few months he's become totally attached to these dogs. They go everywhere. He sleeps with them at night. He brings them to school for quiet time. When we go out he brings them up to the baby's crib and makes sure they are comfortable and sleeping.
But the names????
It kills me every.single.time he tells people their names.
"What? Poof what?"
I have no idea how long this obsession will last. But, I like it!