Friday, November 20, 2009

The Cure To Cabin Fever

Life in the city. I'm sure I've complained about it before but it's still such an adjustment for me. People talk about the rain (we live in a rainy city) as though it's toxic and children spend so much time indoors it makes me feel sick. But, like any life challenge, you can either cry a river over it or you can do some creative problem solving, a little goal-setting...and get the f*** out :)

The empty, cold, rainy parks were getting way too boring for me once the summer went away so here is what we've come up with to get our butts outside everyday:

Check out the local dog parks -- Cool pet owners, great conversation, dogs dogs everywhere dogs (we love dogs!), and Very Attractive Men.

Visit the duck pond -- We go 2-3 days per week. A nice stroll around the duck pond located in the middle of the city sends her into another world of excitement. As a bonus, I get to hear, "ducks! ducks! ducks! ducks!" all the way home.

Nature walk - actually we haven't gone on a nature walk just yet as I'm still trying to find some nature... However, it's great for children to out into the natural world on a regular basis. They benefit hugely from seeing the effects of the changing seasons on the world around them. It just creates a wonderful and never-ending cycle of questions-curiosity-exporation-discovery-and... more questions!

Geocaching - OK, so I haven't started this yet either but I've got a couple friends go... It's an extremely nerdy, hightech game of hide and seek. You use a GPS, log on to http://www.geocaching.com/, find the coordinates of a hidden cache, toss your toddler into your Ergo and head out to find it. The caches that are located throughout the ENTIRE WORLD!! Of course you can hide one yourselves.

Help out at the community garden - I just joined the neighbourhood community garden society. There are two new gardens being built before spring and since it doesn't snow here *sniff sniff* I can just wander up to the new site at anytime and get digging. Of course we'll make sure to bring her plastic shovel and bucket... She won't notice she's not at the beach :)
Looking at the "shug!" (Slug)

No, she didn't...

Garbage day...

Halloween nature walk (people say she looks a lot like me) ...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Single Mother In Da HOOD!

I've never had a doubt in my mind that I'd be a stay-at-home mom with lots and lots of kids (four to be exact). However, at some point on my journey through life, I became a single mamma -- and it's been really, really crappy. But, with a little creativity, a lot of stress, and a few doses of extreme poverty, I have still managed to balance work, school and being a stay-at-home mom to my now two year old.

Where I originally thought providing childcare from home was the obvious solution, I was wrong. It was isolating, my house was always messy, and let's face it -- childcare pays pennies. Not only was I too educated to be sleeping on an air mattress, but I had also turned into Angry Mamma and my days had become so stressful that I was going to soon end up as a headline in the news... The moment I realized this, I had decided on a new career, met with a top notch school, and gave my family notice -- all within a 48 hour period.

I am happy to say that I am now in my second quarter of a Graphics Design program -- something completely non-child related. I only attend three mornings per week and I enjoy my homework. It consists mostly of drawing, painting, and playing with Adobe Photoshop. As an added bonus, every Wednesday morning for the next three months I will be staring at nude models in my Life Drawing class...

Little One is in a home daycare with 3 other children. The woman is an Early Childhood Educator (as I wouldn't have it any other way) and has specialized in Infant/Toddler development AND has been in the field for 20 years. So what? Well, she knows her sh** and isn't afraid to tell me I need to start reading her books everyday (and no, "I don't have time" is not an excuse and yes, I'm guilty), that I need to add more protein to her lunch, and I should stop making the 'psssssssss' sounds whenever Little One is going pee on the potty.

For income, I was housecleaning but realized I am too frail for such physical work. I had to bite the bullet and apply to childcare jobs. However, I managed to nail an amazing, non-childcare job, with very-freakin'-decent pay. I work with families; it's very rewarding (so I hear, I haven't actually started yet), it's on-call, and mornings only!!

Little One has just turned two and I haven't had so much fun with her ever in her life! She's talkin' and copyin' everything...EVERYTHING I do. She has friends and a best friend; she is inseparable from her dolly (a Cabbage Patch doll that someone got her for her birthday) and has become very interested in babies; she has been falling asleep on her own without the booby (hehe) and builds towers out of blocks. We dance in the living room (still) after dinner; and she tells me what she wants for snack, "peeda budda on 'poon" and tells me to stop singing, "no mommy, moo-seek off" (music off).
I have been on my own for nearly a year and a half. I (think I) freakin' did it thank you very much. Now all I need is a social life.
I miss my puppies...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beware the Breastfeeding Doll

Are North Americans really this uptight? I came across this article and got a good chuckle -- then I realized these people were serious. It’s an article on a breastfeeding doll – a controversial breastfeeding doll (as anything to do with breastfeeding would be). Here is what some of the less-educated members of our society had to say about it:

“the idea of breast-feeding is too grown-up for young children -- and may even promote early pregnancy”;

This doll may “speed up maternal urges in the little girls who play it”;

It is “like introducing sex education in first grade instead of seventh or eighth grade.” And (my favorite), “it could inadvertently lead little girls to become traumatized. You never know the effects this could have until she’s older”.

Traumatized? I’ve had some ridiculous warnings throughout my two year parenting gig and I just have to wonder, where do people come up with these thoughts? We’re talking some serious imagination here; do these people realize they just blamed early pregnancy on a breastfeeding doll? ? ?? ??? How does that make any sense?? Please fill me in. Somebody?

For the record, I wouldn’t get my child Bebe Gloten because I’m cheap and she already nurses her dolls. While we're on the topic, here's some pictures. Enjoy! I hope they don't cause you trauma...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

22 Days To Go

My brain is like jello. I walk around feeling like a big pile of mush. A chapter of my life is coming to a close and a new one is about to begin. I am saying goodbye to childcare and jumping right in to an exciting and 'as far from childcare as you can possibly get' career -- Graphics Design. This will allow me to become the best mommy I can possibly be and perhaps one day give me the energy to work with kids again.

Here's some pictures from the wickedly, amazing summer she's been having;

Checking out the "bahk" (bikes) and "wawa" (water) with
Grammy

Grammy's initiation night. The girl can dance -- all night
long. She's the little one busting out the, 'I'm a little
teapot' move.
And when she gets tired from dancing she
approaches the first motherly figure and
asks, "up? Up?" She went to a few
different Grandma's arms that night!
Looking at the ocean while waiting for
fireworks to start

She's glowing because she's an angel :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Most Parents Put Them On Their Fridge, I Put Them On My Blog...

How about a little toddler art to feast your eyes on:

16 MONTHS


20 MONTHS (love the hand print!)


21 MONTHS

Friday, June 5, 2009

I Did It, I Did It, I Did It!!

Just a piece of mail I recieved today...

"Congratulations! The Admissions Committee is very pleased to offer you admission to The Art Institute of Vancouver. (Blah, blah, blah) ...We look forward to welcoming you to The Art Institue of Vancouver. Again, congratulations!"

Ahhh :)

Good news after an extra chaotic, poopy week. I think I she's eating a crayon. Gotta run!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Toys, Toys, Everywhere Toys!

Don't tell her yet but I bought her some new toys today. I came across a garage sale on the way to the grocery store and it was loaded, I mean LOADED with kids stuff. I happen to be purging all her outgrown toys and replacing them with stuff she's really into right now so this was such a happy coincidence! For $30 I scored oodles of never ending goodness...

I found a new horsie for her collection. She loves horses because her Daddy takes her to see real ones on the weekends. She feeds her toy horses pine cones and oats and then sits on them -- even the one that is 5 inches tall. Yup, she positions herself directly over the little plastic pony and then squats down onto it; I am impressed by her leg strength. The other day she sat on one of her large stuffed horses and began bouncing up and down, pretending to ride it. I don't know who taught her this but it was pretty hilarious to watch.

I bought her two Tonka trucks, a digger and a bulldozer. There's some construction going on at the end of our block. The three of us have taken walks down to there to watch the digger and let me tell you, the two toddlers were fascinated. Surely, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the toy version of that very same digger laying on the grass at the garage sale! And to add to the excitement? There were TWO!!!!!!!!! Two toddlers, two Tonka trucks!! The garage sale attendant (hehe) gave me a full run down on how cool the bulldozers were once you added the batteries. I sat there nodding my head and smiling all the while thinking, "...batteries? I'll just add a dose of toddler imagination, thank you".

However, I did get a remote control car (more for myself!). I can't wait to show it to the kids; it's going to scare the pants off them.

I also bought a toy BMW convertible. A good taste in cars needs to start at a young age... You're welcome Uncle Andy :)

And let's see what else... Oh yeah, I scored a toddler sized wheelbarrow. I'm sure that will be fun to load up with who-knows-what and push around the house.

I also bought her a new air mattress with a window to see what's under the water and, finally, (drum roll please) her very first beach ball, yay!

I can't wait until the morning to show her.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Toddler For Sale! Make Me An Offer!

She's hit a whole new milestone these past couple of weeks. Remember our perfect little angel? Here is a sample of some of the things she has been up to:

~ Climbed on top of the piano
~ " " " " the kitchen table
~ " " " " the arm chair, fell off...cried
~ Sticks her hand in toilet water
~ Hits A.
~ Hits me!!
~ Shakes her head no and squeals everytime I put her food on her tray
~ Shakes her head no to everything...EVERYTHING, even the things she wants
~ Runs out of the park so Mommy has to go get her.
~ And more!

Then there's the fireplace... This one really drives me nuts. The two of them open the door to it all the time. From across the room (because I'm always across the room when this happens) I tell them to close the door. Of course they don't so I go close the door and then redirect them to another activity. That's about as far as I've gone, discipline-wise, with the fireplace. I'm just too lazy -- and busy, to figure out a way to actually get them to stay out of there. Like oh, I don't know, perhaps I could set up some cool activities so they wouldn't be bored and have a need to dig in the fireplace. Finger painting would beat fireplace door opening any day. But, I prefer to sound like a broken, nagging record everytime they open it -- which is a lot, so they keep doing it,

The housecleaner had a brilliant idea and moved the couch in front of it -- we never use the fireplace anyway and the couch actually looked good there. Unfortunately, she moved the couch again (she likes to move my furniture, apparently I live in a dollhouse) and now the fireplace is back in the open. The little boy has since stopped going into the fireplace completely but the other day I turned to find Little One tossing ashes out onto the floor.

Do you know how much I hate mornings? A lot. There's a gazillion things to do...and then my toddler decides to dump handfuls of ashes on the floor. So what do I do? I stomp over there oh yes I do. STOMP STOMP STOMP. Standing at the fireplace, with charcoal hands, she's so excited she's shaking. In my firm, angry Mommy voice I spew, "I'm am so frustrated (blah blah blah) the floor is dirty and now I have to clean it up." I get the broom. and in between curious toddlers stepping in the pile of ashes, and her going for yet another handful, I manage to sweep it all up. She is still soo excited and can't get over how cool it is to make Mommy clean up charcoal, she goes to grab another handful. Firm Mommy: "I'm making breakfast and if you are going to keep putting that on the floor then I'm going to have to put you in your highchair." She's still going for the fireplace. Mean Mommy: "That is not OK, I'm putting you in your highchair so I can go make breakfast."

Now, this is the kicker... I scoop her up and stomp over to the highchair STOMP STOMP STOMP. I plunk her down, strap her in and... Silence. Not a peep from her. No tantrum, no screaming. I stand back and take a look at her; she's just sitting as calm as calm can be in her highchair. Now, I wasn't trying to punish her or scold her as I am a firm believer in natural consequences but I confess, I was hoping for a show. What a let down. She likes the highchair. How can I play mean mommy if my child likes the highchair? I was all fired up hoping to be like, "no, you chose to dump ashes all over the floor and now you have to sit in the highchair -- another Mommy would be giving you a spanking right now. Hmph." She totally stole my thunder. I walked away with my tail between my legs and continued with breakfast. A. was playing on the floor and Little One was sitting contentedly in the highchair enjoying the scenery outside the window. It was too peaceful.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BC Provincial Election, Tuesday May 12 !!!!!!

Tomorrow's Election Day!!
Remember this ??



This was after Gordon Campbell devastated families all over the province by making massive funding cuts to childcare, closing daycares and ending jobs, forcing childcare workers to lower their pay -- recently, many centres have had to increase parent fees as they can't pay their staff any lower (I have never made more than $14.36 per hour --Canadian -- in my five years of working in childcare). He closed public schools (and they keep closing), senior homes ... the list goes on.
Election day is tomorrow. Go vote for our families!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This Post May Make Some Readers Itchy and Uncomfortable...If So, Please Click the 'X' On the Top Right Corner Of The Screen

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, playgroups irritate me. Being a co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, organic-whole foods feeding mamma (wow, I do sound like a raging hippy), I just can't seem to connect with the other mamma's. But for the sake of having a post-baby social life, Little One and I attend them quite regularly. I've been in the city for a few months now and have found a variety of playgroups. Some fun, some so-so, and some we will never attend again.

On Saturday, we hooked up with a group of other mommies and tots for a clothes swap. We had never met this group before and I had already made the usual promise to myself to avoid any parenting conversations. Why? Because I don't need no judgements and it ain't none of yo' business that my baby don't sleep in a crib.
I pulled up to the correct address...
(it was in someone's house) and couldn't help but notice the huge provincial election signs in the yard. Upon seeing these, I began to reminisce about the time when I was saying goodbye to a group of mothers/grandmothers at storytime. It was provincial election day (another province -- yes, I've lived in two provinces plus one territory). I reminded them all, "it's election day, remember to go vote!" Everyone stared at me blankly until a voice piped up, "I never know who to vote for". Then another voice, "yeah, they're all the same, who cares." Laughter and agreement all around. If I weren't so shy I would have retorted with, "excuse me but aren't you paying $800 per month for childcare? ...IF you can find it!?" Needless to say, any mamma (or papa) who posts big, bright election signs in their yard automatically has my respect.
Inside, it was just a regular group of moms, having regular conversation, sipping on regular tea. As I got settled, I began to notice something unusual in the way they spoke:

"My son had this '(enter serious health condition here)'. We found a bunch of books and started doing research. Then (then!?), we went and asked our doctor. We figured out what is was and have completely changed his diet -- it's made a huge difference."
As opposed to, (and this is a true story) "I have to go to the pharmacist right now because my baby is sick." ~ What's wrong with her? "I don't know she's just not herself, I just have to go get some medicine."

OR

"My doctor said __________ and even though that doesn't sound right to me, he's/she's a doctor so I won't question it"

After some more chit-chat and digging through clothes, I broke my golden rule and dared to ask a parenting question. I was wondering something about cloth diapers. Well question answered! I got a full run down on all different types of diaper covers. A little girl Munchy's age was lucky enough to model her Bummi diaper cover for me. I'm heading out to buy some new diaper covers this week!

The moment of truth finally came when I accepted that I had, indeed, found my niche group of moms. This young, hip, mamma of four had just arrived and, while talking to her, she whipped down her tube top (it was a cool tube top, green, bright green...I love green) and started nursing her 20 month old right there. Holla!!!! Little One was pretty impressed as well as she gently walked over to them and began petting the nursing toddler's head. Too sweet. That's when I informed the group that, at 19 months, we still nursed as well. I asked around and it turns out that most of the mammas continued breastfeeding their children until they were at least two years old.

It's been 19 months and finally, FINALLY, I have found a group of like-minded parents who I can look forward to seeing on a regular basis and asking those parenting questions that we all have -- instead of keeping my mouth shut. I look forward to talking about food additives and wooden toys, felt food and schools that support the growth of 'The Whole Child' rather than just academics. And of course, making new friends :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Under the Cherry Blossom Trees

It's cherry blossom season. The whole entire city is blooming in pink flowers and it's absolutely amazing. I'll take the two toddlers in the massive double stroller and park them right under the trees. I tell them to look up and this is what they see:



I've lived in many places. From the middle-of-nowhere Kootenay's, to the freezing cold high Arctic, from redneck northern Alberta, and back to the smelly city.

No where is like home -- dumps of snow every winter, the most delicious smelling springs, the familiar faces like that of the guy who burns his outdoor woodstove 5 nights a week. Yes I said outdoor woodstove. It stands in his carport with no chimney attached just smoking away. You'll see him while driving over the mountain pass on your way to work/school/swim practise, cutting down a tree with his chain saw and loading it into his truck. All this so he can fire up his woodstove -- with no chimney. Oh I miss home and all the special people in it.

Everywhere I go I find the positive in it, even in redneck Alberta . It had amazing sunsets and very friendly people. It also had large, shiny trucks and way too much money...

Anyway, here in the city, it's the cherry blossom trees and you can see why:

Little One picking up petals in her
Easter dress...





Our street lined with cherry blossom trees,


Other people's driveways... They just suck those
toddlers in like vacuum cleaners,


Picking flowers with Daddy.

I have no camera. I broke mine. I do, however, have $75. So, if anyone knows where I can pick up a decent, used digital camera with minimum 5 mega pixels, let me know!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ugh, She Is So Boring

Everyday, when we go outside, she heads straight for the swing. As I'm always rarin' to go and excited that we finally got our butts out of the house, I want to get as far from it as possible. But noooooo. We can't. She has to go on the swing first. To be quite honest, the swing bores me -- to death. But she loves it... more than shoes.

Everyday, twice a day, it's the same thing. One step into the yard and she's already beelined across the yard for that darn swing. I tell her, "lets go to such and such and we'll swing when we get back" because I just want to leave. But I look over to see her clutching onto the swing with both hands. She doesn't make a peep instead just hangs on tight while facing me with the sweetest, most patient, "mommy I want to swing on the swing will you please put me on?" look you've ever seen. Of course I pretend not to notice her silent plea and say, "let's go for a walk and then we'll come back to the swing!" as thought it's the best idea in the world.

I go scoop her up (but I always tell her first cuz you can't pick up a child without letting them know, that's just rude). So, "1-2-3 up" She screams her head off and I still pretend not to notice. I continue with the, "ooh, maybe there will be other kids at the park this time, let's go see!" She keeps screaming and tries to wriggle free. She's not a screamer you see, so this just tells me how important this darn little swing is too her. I finally just suck it up and tell myself that if she needs to swing that bad then by golly, let the girl swing.

I put her on the swing and a huge grin covers her face. As she swings away, she goes into this calm state not really looking at anything. I wonder what she's thinking. Back and forth, back and forth. On warm, dry days I'll sit and write or read. On rainy days I just close my eyes and pretend I'm having lots of fun. Back and forth, back and forth. Rain actually makes it more boring. Yup. What's worse is that I can't even sit because my bum will get wet. After I give her a push I'll go stand on the cement path as the water squishes into my shoes if I stay on the grass.

I've learned over the past week to leave the house 20 minutes earlier so she can get in her swing time -- I can get in my bench sitting time. Won't it be nice when she's bored of the swing too?

** I have a confession to make. I started this post well over a month ago. The swing is old news as she's since moved on to the slide :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh Darn

I had a real long entry in the works cuz Grammy's friend Donna said she wishes I wrote longer posts. Then...my laptop battery died. Now it's all gone. And it's late.

So, I would just like to take this opportunity to tell everyone that she can blow bubbles out of a bubble wand and fall down at the end of "Ring Around the Rosy". She also climbs up onto the big boulders in the park and has an amazingly large bladder. So large that her diaper can't last all through the night anymore. I have to change her diaper in the middle of the night or else we wake up in a puddle...

We had a great weekend. I'll try re-writing about it tomorrow. Later dudes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Today is the day to appreciate our (once) beautiful planet and be a little more conscious of what pigs we really are!


Everyday is Earth Day at our house. Everyday we:


~ Use cloth diapers



~ Wash all laundry (excluding diapers) in cold water

~ Turn two washing machine loads into one dryer load -- or just scrap the dryer altogether and hang dry

~ Turn off all electricity that we aren't using and unplug electronics that don't need to be plugged in

~ Eat organic, whole foods as much as possible

~ Avoid plastic like the plague

~ Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever buy bottled water. Ever. Stupidest waste of money, resources, and good tap water that we already have. Ugh, don't get me started.

~ Don't eat that much meat -- do you know what they do to those poor animals? No thanks

~ Use public transit or walk, a lot

~ Recycle everything. Tip* Put your recycle bin under the sink and the garbage can out of the kitchen -- it's more convenient and guests are more likely to recycle too :)

~ I actually broke down and started using the dishwasher once per week

~ Shower every other day (it's better for your hair too)

~ Make our own cleaning products

~ Buy second hand -- cloths, toys, furniture... Underwear. Jokes, just jokes!!

So when Earth Day comes along, you know what we do? We dress Little One in her "I Love Earth" t-shirt and plant potatoes in the garden. Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Fun Trip To the Mall

Her and I had the whole weekend to ourselves -- minus four hours :) You see, I was looking forward to my weekend off all week but was reminded on Friday that her dad worked this weekend = no break for me. Although, I've been having so much fun with her lately that after pouting and feeling sorry for myself, I went straight to planning the best weekend ever.

Our plans for swimming fell through as I couldn't have been bothered with trying to dig out my bathing suit. We played outside a lot. It was sunny one day and wet the other. We went to the big giant sandbox, found puddles, and we hit the mall!

I love taking her shopping; she is so entertaining. Before we go out I get to dress her up in fun outfits and then actually take the time to do her hair. She's just so darn cute. People ooh and aah over her wherever we go.

At the mall, she would point out her shiny shoes to all of these ooh'ers and aah'ers. Being quite the little show off, she would then lean over and undo the velcro straps then stand back up and wait for the praise, "ooh look at you, you can undo your shoes". Of course, they are always in for a shock as she would suddenly lift her dress up high to show them her -- bellybutton! That's my girl! She insists on seeing their bellybuttons too. Of the 20+ targets, she managed to see one bellybutton.

She loves stores. Stores have isles and racks and mirrors, oh the mirrors! Now I'm sure it sounds as though I let my toddler run around tearing up the stores but that's not at all the case. I do, however, give her the space to roam around. I would never expect an 18 month old to stay by my side and I'm definitely not going to keep her in the stroller the entire time I'm shopping. In fact, I will only put her in the stroller if it's necessary -- like when we're actually going somewhere. I don't let her grab at things and when she is heading toward that colourful rack of clothes I intercept her like an NFL linebacker (or whatever they're called) and (politely) redirect her elsewhere.

You see, when I go out it's either for her or for me. If I actually want to shop, then I'll wait until I'm alone. But, this trip was for her so I just let her do her toddler thing and have a toddler good time. She was a lot of fun this weekend. Minus the teething moments, ugh. Yes, more teeth. My brain is blah. And I think I've only been updating this about once per week. Sorry 'bout that y'all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sneaky, Sneaky

How did my jar of olives make it to the front door? Did somebody drop off a jar of olives for me because there is a jar of olives sitting on the table just inside the doorway.

No, of course not; that was my toddler's doing. Any parents of toddlers know that it is impossible to open the refrigerator door without a toddler coming out of nowhere, shoving in front of you as though they're fighting for front row at a concert, and grabbing everything they can with their chubby little hands. In all the time it takes you to retrieve the one item you were looking for, remove little person (and chubby hand), and successfully shut the door, they've already snuck off with your jar of olives.

When objects do go missing from around the house (such as food from the refrigerator), I always check the play kitchen first. Those cupboard doors are so fun to open and shut, open and shut. Not only that, but cupboards are meant to store things -- teddy bears, half empty cups of milk, shoes.

If said missing object is not there, I go peak in the blender. Yes, the blender. It's kept in a cupboard that's low to the ground; I've found apples, wooden blocks, plastic cutlery and toys in there. If A.'s shoes have gone missing (the little boy I take care of during the day) I always check Stinker's feet. She's loves his shoes. They don't have blinky lights, they don't squeak and they don't have cartoon characters on them. They are fun to put on because they're the newest member on the shoe rack. If I'm missing anything remotely important such as my car keys, cell phone or Safeway Club Card, I'll check between the couch cushions or under the bed mattress. I've watched her as she has slid various items under the cushions. Very scrupulously, she pushes them just far enough back so as to make sure they don't poke out. She'll get down to eye level and check to make sure the item is not visible. When she's satisfied with the precision of her work, she'll jump up, spin around and get right back to playing as if she hadn't just caused a future, frantic, "where's, my bank card!?" crazy Mommy session.

And if her toothbrush goes missing? I just buy a new one. Where do the toothbrushes go anyway? We've been through four...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away...

Another rainy day on the coast. We love the rain. OK, maybe we don't love it -- I mean there are many things we love more than rain -- but when it arrives we suit up and head outside anyway. My neighbour is so cute, a little Italian woman who cares for her three grandchildren during the day. When she first saw us frolicking in the rain she was surprised and in her thick accent said, "oh but it's so cold out; you're little one will get sick!" Later on she got used to seeing us outside during a torrential downpour and would say, "wow, you're little one really loves the rain!" I don't think it phases her anymore as now she'll open the door, poke her head out and simply say, "you're crazy!"

Rainy days can be lonely but they have their perks. Little One gets all the puddles to herself. The slide is extra slippery on rainy days. I get to use my umbrella... Umbrellas make me think of Paddington Bear or Mary Poppins. There's something magical about them.


I have to tell you, getting kids ready to play outside on a rainy day is definitely a lot of effort. There's rain boots and rain jackets and rain pants and rain hats and waterproof mitts. A tip to all parents is to invest in a pair of Muddy Buddies They eliminate most of the steps in getting ready. You just throw them on over whatever your child is wearing and out the door you go. You can purchase them from any outdoor store such as Mountain Equipment Coop; I buy mine from Craigslist :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome To Mommy's Daycare!

I have just started providing childcare, fulltime, for another little toddler this past week. Little One has adjusted quite well to having another whipper-snapper in the house. I, on the other hand, am exhausted. I was originally going to take in two children (as that is how many I can take in without needing to licence my home). What was I thinking? One is enough!

In one week, she has already learned, and grown, so much!

First of all, she has begun to learn how to stand up for herself. This is a new concept for her as she's been around adults all her life. As far as I know, no adults in her life yank toys out of her hands or bonk her on her head with really hard toys. When something she's playing with does suddenly get taken from her, she'll often just stand there confused. She'll look at him, then at me, and back to him again. Sometimes she'll go after him and kind of "ask" for the toy (hold out her hand and say, "uh?") Other times she doesn't seem to care at all as she'll barely even look up and will just find something else to play with. Of course, there are those times when she'll get mad and squeal or worse, give him the beats. She can dish it out just as well. She has mastered the grab-him-by-his-scruff-and-throw-him-to-the-ground maneuver. Impressive.

Also, she has started letting me brush her teeth this week! The three of us have a teeth brushing party every afternoon before naptime. I don't know if it's peer pressure or perhaps it's just too much fun having another little one in the bathroom but she'll stand there with her mouth open and let me brush every single one of her pearly whites! Amazing!! Just like Raffi says, "ch ch ch ch"!!

She has learned that it is fun to run away from Mommy. Being an 18 month old who is learning so much about her capabilities she already knew this to some extent. For example, I'll turn to scoop her up for a diaper change only to see her scurrying away and hiding behind whatever she can - the corner, her giant stuffed horse, her beloved shoe rack. I do the Mommy-monster act ie; "I'm gonna get you" and she gets all kerfuffled. She laughs so hard and covers her eyes with her hands. Then she throws herself to the ground and tries to crawl away. I follow her around listening to her laughing and snorting and squealing away. Then it's diaper change time. That's just her... I'm sure you can imagine the fun when she has a buddy to gang up on me with! The two of them dart off in separate directions and you can tell by the way they're laughing and looking at me that they're getting such a kick out of it. Sometimes they'll end up cornering themselves together. Now that's a cute sight: two bouncing toddlers in the corner giggling away. Both will turn to run from me forgetting that there's a wall there. They'll try to push past each other to get free but get all mixed up instead. Once they get themselves sorted out, they giggle some more and then realize they're still cornered as all they've really done is switch places. Now who's laughing, ha!

It's fun having two around. A couple of weeks from now and I will be used to getting up way too early and have a lot more energy to have a lot more fun with them.

Does anybody have any ideas of what to put into a sensory table for toddlers? I have been using rice all week. I will use a water table this week. I want to use sand -- where do you get sand from anyway? You know, that good, smooth sand?

Monday, March 30, 2009

She Taught Herself To Pee On the TOILET!!

Oh my goodness, you are all so lucky...you have a Guest Blogger!!!

Aunty Shelby is on the scene tonight, having put Lindy in charge of sorting out my beads that got all mixed up...about a fifty hour job she'll do great.

It's been a couple of months since I've seen my niece and I was blown away by how smart she is for such a wee little person!

She knows how to unlock the tiny twisty locky piece on a doorknob when the doorknob is locked, she knows how to sign for 'more' when she wants more food, and now she's taught herself how to go pee on her little toilet!!!

After her bath tonight she was bolting around here in her birthday suit, doing laps around the kitchen table, hiding and giggling, then suddenly disappeared. My sister noticed she'd gone into the bathroom and was checking out her little toilet...then sitting on it...something totally new.

My sister brought it out into the middle of the livingroom to give Aunty Shelby a show and tell of her new skill. She would sit down, giggle, we'd cheer her on, then she'd bounce off do a lap and sit down again. She dragged it all over the livingroom, turned it around, looked at it...then sat down again. She did this a few times. My sister had a bright idea of actually checking to see if anything had been produced out of all this, and low and behold...there was pee in the toilet!

We both were as excited as five year olds on Christmas, cheering for that smart little nugget...we gave her a high five each then signed for 'more'....which she did...just not over the toilet;)

Maybe I'm a little biased but I've got the smartest little niece in the world!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Holistic Mommy's Ridiculous Toy Review #1 ~ Infant/Toddler Dance Tower

That's it I've had it. Just when I thought toys couldn't get any more ridiculous I come across this:

It is... a dance tower. Yes, a tower... for dancing. For your toddler...
It has three stages so your infant, all the way to toddler can enjoy it. It has piano keys that light up and a bear that sings. It has a microphone for baby to sing along and "keeps baby occupied" with "fun learning activities" !! Look closely, it even has places for them to put their feet. Look even more closely... Do you see it? The dancing? Neither do I.

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On the flip side, here are some great time-tested - and inexpensive - props to add to your toddler's daily dance session:
scarves,

shakers,


and bubbles!

Baby Loves To Dance

I know she loves music. What baby doesn't? We listen to music every single day; she gets such a big smile when I turn the music on. I didn't realize, though, how much she loves to dance.

We have a little boy starting childcare on Monday; he's been coming everyday this week for a couple of hours to get familiar. I've noticed a lot of differences in her just by having another child around. One of them is her love of dancing! She dances all the time but, today I put on Raffi and she just kept moving almost the full length of the cd. She would go play with toys and then out of nowhere would break into the classic toddler squat-bounce move. She would walk in circles and spin around and come back again. Her spins were as graceful as her heavy toddler head and disproportionate body would allow. She even added some music of her own by picking up the shakers and shaking away to the music. Toddler dancing is a real special thing. It was beautiful * tear

I picture her in her 20's, still loving to dance -- on top of the speakers at a club -- just like her mommy. Or ripping it up salsa style like Grammy. Or whatever that weird seizure move is that Aunty Shelby does, hahaha just kidding.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Felt Food

Turns out I don't know how to create a link but here is an example of what felt food looks like;


The Play Kitchen Needs Some Love

I've been racking my brain trying to think of what to put in her play kitchen. I know, I know, dishes and food, duh. But, you see, she's only 17 months old and if I put fake food in there she's not really going to understand what to do with it. I mean really, it won't be pretend food to her just fun toys to spread around the house -- not that there's anything wrong with that. When I do put food in there I'm going to make felt food. I'll be sure to take pictures (maybe I'll have a camera by then!). If any family or friends find themselves bored one day, feel free to whip up some felt food for Little One's play kitchen!

In her kitchen now are just the pots and pans that came with it. She loves her pots and will often go to her kitchen and start tinkering with them while I'm cooking. She'll grab one and bring it to me at the sink and grunt to say that she needs some water in it. It is pretty hard to cook without water isn't it? So, I put a little bit in the bottom and watch as she walks carefully back to her kitchen with it (my favorite part). I'll give her a wooden spoon which she uses to splash the water with. After a few minutes I'll hear a "glug, glug, glug" and will turn around to see her drinking the water. If she's not drinking it by this point it's because she's already dumped it on the floor below her. Sometimes I'll add rice as that's fun and safe for a toddler to cook with.

Her favorite thing to cook so far is pancakes -- real pancakes. I'll get out my smallest pan and put it on her stove. Then, I'll make her three mini pancakes and show her how to flip them. She'll try once or twice and then shove them all in her mouth... Too funny. Other times, I'll give her a measuring cup with batter in it. She'll pour it in the pan and mix it around with the wooden spoon.

So, as you can see, I'm having trouble thinking of something to put in her play kitchen. I think I'm just going to hit the thrift store and find mini versions of everything that my kitchen has -- dishes, cutting boards, etc. I'll fill her cupboards right up! In fact, today, I already some wooden bowls and spoons while I was at the grocery store; that's a start! I'll just keep adding dishes and for the food well, we'll just keep using food!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keeping Food Additives Out Of My Child

We figured out why she threw up all over me the other night. She is allergic to MSG and I am elated!


You know, there's a lot of crap that I don't want my child to eat. For me to say, "please don't feed that to her" requires a lot of balls -- which I don't always have. A simple request of, "please don't feed that to my child" is usually responded to with;
"oh come on, she can't have treats?"
"what's this going to do to her?"
"you can't protect her from everything"
or my favorite, "you give her all organic carrots now, but then one day she'll eat a non-organic carrot and then Bam! Her body won't be used to it" OK -- a carrot that makes my kid go Bam! shouldn't be consumed by any member of the human population and be immediately reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NOT that they would do anything about it...
So, I am elated that she is allergic to MSG. Because now I can say, "she can't have that she's allergic to MSG" which will be responded to with an "OK."
For the parents reading this who do have balls, how do you handle these people who insist that your child should eat food that, well, isn't even edible?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We're Sick *sniff sniff

We've been sick. She started it. Last week her dad and I took her to the emergency room in the middle of the night. We thought she had croup (is that how you speel it?). It wasn't croup, just a very bad cold. I was enjoying being a nurturing mamma and nursing her back to health all week. We went for stroller rides everyday and I wore her in the Ergo a lot. I was happy because after about three days I still was feeling great and wasn't catching her cold....

Then late one evening we were visiting a friend downtown...

I could feel the cold coming on. My nose was just a little too congested and I was sure it wasn't the pollution. I was feeling just a little too tired. In the morning, sure enough, I woke with a cold. Nurturing mamma was gone.

~ I just have to give a little history here ~

She has been sick, dad has been working a lot of overtime or had other things going on over the past couple of weeks and, as a result, I haven't been getting many breaks. I didn't mop my floor in three days and there was a mountain of scum underneath her highchair by the time I got to it. She projectile vomited the other night -- all over me and all over the bed. I cried like a baby while I blew up the air mattress in the middle of the night (thanks Charlie for leaving the air mattress behind!). Over an hour later we finally got back to sleep... But then she woke two hours later and by 6am I had only slept two hours. She slept in though, so I manged to get in another two hours. By the time I caught her cold, I was already feeling like, well, crap.

Long story short, I haven't been 'Holistic Mommy' at all. No, I've been 'Mean Mommy' -- Mean Mommy Who Snaps At Her Baby and Runs To the Other Side of the Room Hollering Noooooooo When Her Toddler Needs Her.

I always apologize after I'm mean to her and then thank her for being so understanding and tell her she's wonderful. Really though, I will snap at her and she just looks at me as if to say, "it's OK mommy, I know you're not really upset with me but it's OK for you to direct it at me. I don't take it personally, I know you're just having a hard time. Go on, vent away." No really, she really does communicate that... Although, if I don't get over it soon, I'm going to end up doing some permanent psychological damage to her. Today was my first time outside in 48 hours. The childcare licensing officer is coming on Wednesday to check my inspect my home. I need a vacation.

On the upside, she has learned to blow her nose, well...sort of. She pushes her lips together, makes a farting noise and then laughs -- definitely a Miller girl :)

I know this blog is all about her and I just whined about me the whole time. I just figure, even on a blog a mommy needs her "me" time :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Baby's Smart - S.M.R.T.

My baby is such a genius; I get told all the time. She can:

~ Climb onto the kitchen chair 12 times in a row -- new today!

~ Turn off my stereo while my rock music's playing, then toddle all the way into her bedroom
to turn on her stereo -- and her lullaby music.

~ Poor her milk or water on the floor when she's finished drinking.

~ Clean up her milk and water with a towel.

~ Retrieve the jar of raisins from the pantry every morning and tell me (grunt at me) that she
wants some -- you know, to tie her over until breakfast.

~ Help herself to anything in the fridge if I turn my back, even for a second.

~ Come to a dead stop as soon as she hears an airplane in the sky and then watch as it flies over.

~ Sign "more" when she wants, well, more ... even if it's the middle of the night and she's not
done nursing, she still manages to sign "more" with her eyes closed and in a half sleep state.

~ Put the coins in the coin slot for the photocopier and printer at the library.

~ Step onto the escalator at the mall with very little assistance (well, I help her on, but Daddy
lets her do it herself).

~ Play with Lego! She picks out all the single pieces and puts them together in a row!

Yeah, she's a genius.

PS - I have my internet back! I can start bloggin' regularly again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eating Is Fun :)

She loves my homemade applesauce. I make it almost every morning to go with our breakfast (gotta get in those fruits). She's always enjoyed eating whatever food I put in front of her. We have our routine:

First, we go wash our hands at the bathroom sink. I have to act fast as once she has soap on her hands it's straight into the mouth - uck. Once she's all clean, we head back to the kitchen and I plunk her in her highchair. Then, I put on her bib (all the while her hot food is cooling down in the freezer) and grab her basket full of cutlery. I say, "pick a spoon/fork" (depending on the meal) and she very thoughtfully holds her hand out and ... chooses ... a ... spoon ... ... not that one ... ... maybe ... this one. After standing there holding the basket for way too long, I count, "1 - 2 - 3" at which point she grabs a handful and I put the basket away. I bring out the food and she quickly narrows her cutlery choice down to two (one for each hand) and the others go on the floor. Then, I grab my food and we sit and enjoy :)

She eats pretty well and gets a good amount of food on her spoon/fork. If it's applesauce, she manages to turn her spoon into a shovel. She gets a huge mound on her spoon and opens her mouth three times wider than normal -- and downs it all.

Oh dear, look at the time. Gotta go to the bank... I can't wait to get my internet back at home!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Forgot the Title :) 29 Seconds...

OK here's a test. Let's see if I can type this blog entry in less than 6 minutes. I am at the library and am on the 'express' computer (all the one hour computers are taken).

She has discovered her belly-button. She'll lift up my shirt and try to poke mine but I never let her -- who likes getting their belly-button poked? Ugh. I was reading a book that Grammy got her before naptime yesterday caled, "Where's Baby's Belly-button?" Every page has a different body part to find. I don't ever "teach" children as they figure it all out on their own (and she does). We went through the book a half dozen times. Her favorite page was the 'hand' page -- 2 minutes.

At playgroup yesterday we got to do head and shoulders knees and toes... She nailed it!! Well sort of -- she liked touching her feet and her ears too. Hasn't quite got mouth yet.

55 seconds, gotta run. Later!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leaning Tower Of Pancakes

When I make pancakes, I really make pancakes -- like two dozen of them at a time. That way, I can eat until I'm full, store the rest, and have a yummy, easy breakfast all week!

Well, tonight she went shoe shopping with Aunty Amber and I stayed home and made pancakes. The pancakes were still sitting on the counter when she got home so naturally she had to check them out. She picked one up and took a bite out of it and put it in the empty pan that was sitting there. Then, she continued to pick up each pancake one at a time and stack it neatly on top of the previous one sneaking a bite every here and there. When she was done, it was a nicely stacked pancake tower -- minus some bites. From there, we went to brush her teeth and off to bed and she hasn't woken up since. I think we'll have pancakes every night for dinner because she has normally woken up once by now.

You should see her shoe shelf... It's been just over a week since my Shoesies post but her shoe collection has mysteriously quadrupled in size (thanks, again, to the aunties). She has squeaky shoes, blinky shoes and shiny, glittery shoes! Tonight, when she came in the door with Aunty, she looked at me and then pointed right down to the new shiny shoes on her feet; the smile on her face was so big I thought her head was going to pop off.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SQUEAK!

Aunty Darci has been sooooo excited because she sent Little One a brand new pair of squeaky shoes. Today they arrived in the mail!

Well, Little One was sooo ecstatic when I showed her shiny new shoes to her. When she's this excited she gets this twinkle in her eyes and can't even form a smile because her lips kind of curl in and her cheeks firm up and she does this deep, "heh" (like an almost laugh). She'll look right at you as if she's asking, "is this really happening to me!?" and that's when she'll break into a huge smile.

We got them on her feet and she was so eager to get up from sitting that she got her legs all crossed. I helped untangle her and she went to walk and -- squeak! She took another step and -- squeak! I started laughing but she didn't think it was so funny. She fussed a little then soon realized that she couldn't take a step without squeaking. She was stuck! That's right, two feet on the floor and couldn't go anywhere.

I went to the other side of the room and tried calling her to me but she just got more upset. Then, I handed her popper toy to her (you know, the one she pushes around that goes pop, pop, pop). Now, she was standing there with her popper in her hand with her feet stuck on the floor.

I took her hand and got her to take some more steps. When she started crying I figured it was time to take the shoes off. Later, when we were going outside, I told her to go get her shoes. She brought me her old shoes -- she didn't go near her new squeaker shoes that she was so excited about earlier!

Well, today was a different story. Today Daddy came to pick her up and I showed him the shoes. He put them on her and she smiled away as she went from one room to the other, "squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak". Then, she would stand in one spot and stomp her feet, "squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak!"

Tonight, I took her to the mall to play in the indoor playground; afterwards, I let her walk around. Imagine the cutest little toddler you've ever seen squeaking happily down the mall. Squeaky squeak squeak!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Sandbox!

We found a sandbox today! A really big sandbox! Well, I guess the beach is a really big sandbox... But anyway, this one is in the middle of a park, with imported sand, and shovels!

You should see the parks in the city. It's not even that warm yet and they're bumpin'! -- (full of kids). Stinker got sand thrown on her today; like three times in a row! She didn't mind, she's tough that way. And the kid's mom finally came and yelled at him.

She was so cute at the park the other day. There was an older toddler there who had a toy phone in his hand. Stinker, of course, beelined right for him but instead of going straight for it she reached out her little hand and in the daintiest little voice said, "ta?" Oh it was adorable. He just gave her an evil look and ran away.

I happened to put her in white pants today. I kind of liked the white pants because it made her dirt show up better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shoesies!!

She loves shoes. Every morning after breakfast she goes to get her shoes from the doorway and grunts away because she wants them on her feet. She then stomps proudly around the house laughing at the sound they make on the floor.

Often, she'll just walk around the house carrying her shoes in her hands. When we finally do get around to going somewhere there is one on her bedroom floor and another on the toy shelf. I tell her, "go get your shoes" and she will actually go find both of them.

Shoe-getting is just as exciting as shoe-wearing. I know that the first time she breaks into a run will be when she's shoe-getting. She moves so fast when I say, "go get your shoes" that she almost leaves a trail of smoke behind.

Tomorrow is going to be an extra special shoe day. You see, I just bought a shoe rack off of Craigslist (for those of you who don't know, Craigslist is an online classifieds website). I love Craigslist, I'm actually addicted to it. It's great for poor people like me -- I even got a free couch from it! Anyways, today we went downtown and picked up my new stackable shoe racks for ten dollars. I am happy to say that my shoes are no longer sitting in a cardboard box on the floor of my bedroom but lined up neatly on a shoe rack by the door that is FOUR SHELVES HIGH!

I can not wait for her to wake up in the morning, she'll be in shoe heaven! She'll take them all off the rack one by one. She'll try putting some on her feet and then come over to me and try to put them my feet. She'll pick a favorite pair and walk around the house with them in her hand (until she sees something more interesting and drops them on the spot). When I tell her, "go get your shoes" she'll have FOUR pairs to find -- what a challenge! Oh tomorrow is going to be such a fun day I have to go to bed right now so morning will come faster!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Bye!"

I figured because I made people wait a full week for a new post that I would make up for it by writing two nights in a row! If you're lucky maybe I'll do three...but that's as far as I'll go :)

You know what I love the most? I love that she can say good-bye and wave. But, not just to people leaving or when she, herself, leaves. No, I love that she waves good-bye to the bathtub water going down the drain, or to the toilet water as it's going down. I love that she turns around to wave good-bye to the park as we're leaving and to the bedroom as she walks out the door. I love that she waves good-bye to cars and bicyles. And, sometimes she'll catch herself and go back as she almost forgot to wave good-bye to the piano after she was done playing. It's still the high pitched, "bye!". So cute :)

Grammy's coming this weekend. It will be a happy reunion :) Grammy won't recognize her with all her new teeth!

Check out these German-made, wooden, non-toxic, eco-friendly toys I discovered -- my kind of toys! The company is Carl & Me and I must say I am impressed :) Check out those rocking horses! ...And that cool block and tackle! You know they're good toys when they're made in Germany. Those Germans... They must have good Early Childhood Education in that country because they produce some really great stuff - cars, toys, veinerschnitzel...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Double-Dog-Dare You To Leave A Comment :)

Hi! Me again!! It's been almost a week since I wrote last -- even after I promised to never, ever go that long again!!!!!!!! Well, we had to call the firefighters two nights in a row because our carbon monoxide detector went off. Sure enough there was CO in our house but not enough to kill us! ...Or to even make us sick for that matter. Our landlord is great. I called him late at night; he was at a party but still managed to get up bright and early to deal with the furnace. He had a furnace guy come in and it was fixed right up in less than a day. Now that's a good landlord.

We had to call the firefighters back that evening to test to make sure it wasn't pumping anymore gas out -- which it wasn't. So, we're all good again. But, it cut into my Holistic Mommy time. On the plus side, we (myself and the lady upstairs) had a dozen different firemen come into our home. Tall one's, manly ones, strong silent types -- Little One slept through it all. I felt kind of bad and thought I should wake her up but figured that at such a young age, she wouldn't have been to fully appreciate the situation anyway. Kind of like Disneyland...do you take them to Disneyland when they're too young to remember?

She has discovered climbing. She LOVES to climb. I'll turn around and there she'll be standing as tall as a tree (or as a fireman) on a chair, her little table, her stool in the bathroom. I take her to the playground to practise her climbing skills. I am excited to announce: SHE HAS MASTERED THE WOBBLY BRIDGE!! Today she marched right across it without even hanging on to the railing! Future Olympian she is! This is what she did at the park today:

-->Up the stairs-->across the wobbly bridge-->onto the flat landing-->got mad (I still don't know what that was about - maybe the sun was in her eyes? Maybe she wished the bridge was longer?)-->I lift her to the next landing where she walks to the top of the slide-->I sit her on my lap and she giggles as we scootch forward (have to say uh, uh, uh as we scootch)-->"weeeeee!" down the slide-->she tries to climb up the slide-->puts rocks on the slide-->toddles over to the bottom of the stairs and repeat-->7 times.

Today she said two new words. It was very exciting as I haven't heard a new word in a while! Dirty (which sounded more like "doit-doit") and bath (which was "bash"). I think she said slipper too which there aren't enough letters in the english alphabet to write what that sounded like.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1 + 1 Makes Fun!!

She's getting a playmate! A regular five days a week playmate! I am sooo excited not just for the simple fact that she has a buddy to hang out with or that "socializing" my toddler is so important to me but because she gets to interact with another toddler without any interruptions from well-meaning adults.

I have a little secret -- I can't stand playgroups. They irritate me more than Canadian politics and President bush -- OK so politics. Period. Being someone who has worked in a room with a dozen toddlers at once finds that it is like finger nails down a chalkboard when I take her into a group of other young children only to hear, "SHARE that!" "No hitting!" "Wait your turn!" or my recent favourite, a mother told her 3 year old son, "don't play at the dollhouse, it's not a boy toy." I love that he went to the play kitchen next, hehe :)

What I am so excited about is the constant and quality interaction she is going to have by having another little one at our house for possibly a very good portion of her childhood. The two of them will go about their day and run into the many challenges of toddlerhood such as, "he 'tole my toy" "mi-ine!" "me! me! me!" I'll step in and guide them along the way and set boundaries when needed. But, for the most part, they're just going to play, play, play (because that's how kids learn). Sharing and waiting and not beating each other will come up as the life lessons that they'll learn naturally when the time comes -- and not by being snapped at, grrr :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Should Have Used the Bean Dip

I've introduced her to finger painting! I was given some finger paints from a fellow mommy I met a couple of weeks back. Of course, Little One kept eating the paint and her poo was blue for the next two days. I tried again today and, of course, she still tried eating it. I was tempted to pack it up but I'm reading this really great book, "Young at Art" which tells you, "don't pack it up!" Instead, just use safe paint or something edible.

It was then that I remembered I made black bean dip this morning. Perfect! I washed her hands, gave her a fresh new piece of paper and put a spoonful of bean dip on her paper! She didn't eat it... Meany.

I've learned a lot from this book already -- I'm only on the intro. I always thought I was great at encouraging children's artistic talents but it turns out I was stifling the poor children. With drawing, I've learned;

~never ever write on the children's drawings (I'm guilty)
~save every piece of art ever made (oops)
~let them draw every single day
~to introduce scribbling (scribbling is positive, meaningful work -- I knew that) to a toddler, use one large piece of quality paper (oops) and one black crayon with the paper taken off.

I thought it was interesting to use one crayon rather than every colour in the rainbow. Now, every morning when we wake up I tape one large piece of flimsy paper (cuz that's all I've got) to the little table (that Grammy bought for her) and lay out one black crayon. When the mood strikes, she picks up the crayon and starts scribbling away. Every morning she spends more and more time working on her paper -- today she hit the one minute mark!

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So I'm working on getting some income. Childcare really doesn't pay enough. I decided to stop turning down families and just take the next one that contacts me. I put out some more ads and sure enough I have a mother who's interested. What's really great is that she only needs care until 2 in the afternoon!! Holla!! To supplement my pathetic childcare income I've become a Discovery Toys consultant! My kit arrives in 8 days. Who wants to throw a toy party!? I'm also learning different ways that I can make money through my blog. You wouldn't believe it but the blogging community (yes, there is a community) is quite dorky. I'll just give all you loyal Holistic Mommy readers a heads up -- if I suddenly sound like an infomercial, just disregard it, keep reading and remember... A mother's gotta do what a mother's gotta do!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Has Anybody Seen My Feet!?

MISSING: picture of baby's feet that were at the top of my blog page -- the picture was in black and white... If anybody knows where they went or how I could get them back please let me know!!!!!

Where are MY FEET!?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Know You're Raising Your Kid In the City When...

So the other day she came home from being with Daddy all day and went straight to having a nap -- a marathon nap. After two and a half hours, she finally woke up. I always take her outside in the afternoon after she wakes up but this time it was getting dark. I suited us both up as fast as I could and we high-tailed it to the park down the street. When we got there it was still light enough but there were these two dudes standing outside a white pervy van smoking something.

Now, anyone who grew up where I grew up wouldn't normally be bothered by this. You'd just think, "oh there's two dudes smoking something in the park" and then you'd proceed to plunk your child on the swing next to them and ask them how their day was going. But, here in the city it's different. You try that here and you'd probably end up on the 5 o'clock news -- I might be stereotyping a little and I'm OK with that... So, we strolled right on past.

I wanted her to be able to run around but the other park I knew of was too far and it was getting darker. So, we just strolled and strolled until we hit... Blockbuster Video!! Perfect! There was plenty of room for her to roam around, people to see, things to look at and I could just pretend I was looking for a movie! They don't need to know that I don't even own a TV...

I took her inside and we went to the back of the store to "look at movies". A nice young man came to ask if I was finding everything OK. I answered back, "I sure am!" Hehe :) Unfortunately, she wasn't in the mood for roaming around in Blockbuster. When we were in Edmonton with Uncle Garnet and Aunty Heather she loved it but with it being teething week, she wasn't in the mood. In fact, she got pretty freaked out with all the noise and the bright lights. So, we went outside. She climbed up and down the steps a couple of times and then we walked around the building. She stopped at all the doors to the businesses and made the people inside laugh and say, "oh look at the cute baby!" I couldn't hear them but I could read their lips. Then, we went to Starbucks where she pushed an empty chair over to the other side of the sidewalk. She finally decided she had enough; I put her back in the stroller and returned home.

All in all it was a nice outing :) It's nice to know that we always have somewhere for her to go and run around, even when it's dark and there's sketchy people smoking funny stuff in our park.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh No I Didn't!!

One of her newest words is, "HOT". Although, she leaves off the 'h' so it's "ot". I had been using the word around her for sometime and then one day when the oven was on, she went up to it, put her hand out and said, "ot". I love hearing new words come out of her mouth; she sounds so cute and it's always so exciting! Anyways, of course we got her to say it again and again.

She has begun to associate the word 'hot' with pretty much anything dangerous. She'll go up to electrical outlets, light bulbs, the toilet, hold out her hand and say, 'ot'. My favorite was the other day when I took her outside to play.

She was toddling up and down the sidewalk and decided to go check out the curb. I immediately told her, "not safe, too far" and took her little hand and led her back to the sidewalk. She went there a couple more times and I told her again, "not safe, too far". About the forth time (I'm very patient!), I stood back and watched to see what she would do. She toddled all the way up to the curb, held her hand out to the road, and said, "ot". Then, she turned around and came back! What a little smarty pants!

Yesterday, she was with her dad all day. I was all alone so I thought it would be nice to go enjoy my freedom at the mall. Well, actually I had to exchange a shirt, the whole mall experience really irritated me actually. On my way out, I thought it would be nice to grab a drink from the coffee shop. I ordered a caramel steamer and when I went to take my first sip, I nearly burnt my mouth. Worse than that, the word "ot" came flying out of my mouth -- out of nowhere! It just happened and not once, but twice, "ot, ot!" (For some reason, when you're talking to a baby, you say everything twice -- parents, have you ever noticed that!?)... Whatever.

Spell check doesn't believe that 'ot' is a word...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How To Get Through A Day With A Teething Toddler

Up until this point she has had only four teeth... She's 16 months old (almost) and I think most toddlers this age have a full set of teeth by now. Well, this past week I've noticed two eye teeth and two molars pop up. The poor thing is in such discomfort and me? Well, I'M GOING INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that we've settled into our new permanent home, we've finally managed to get a routine down. I pretty much run our days like a daycare complete with a sensory table, storytime, music and movement, and more! But, now that she's teething we've been leaving the home a lot because if we're home she just tugs on my pantlegs going "uh uh uh uh uh waaaahhhhhhhhhhh". If we don't leave home within a couple of hours after waking up I get really, really, cranky (I could use a better word but I've decided not to use cuss words on my blog). So, a typical day looks something like this:

~ Wake up and I set up some toys -- a cookie sheet w/ water or rice in it, dolls, trucks, scarves, paint in a ziplock bag (no-mess painting!), turn her toy basket into a tunnel -- and then I make breakfast. I cook the same thing everyday so I never have to wonder what to make: porridge with a whole apple chopped up with cream and cinnamon... Let it simmer until it's nice and creamy, mmm mmm good.

~ Eat. We don't have her high chair at the moment so she sits at her little table and I sit at the big one. When I'm done, I go help her. Depending on how hungry she is, she'll either be doing a fabulous job eating on her own or else she'll have dumped the bowl and is shovelling it across the table with her spoon -- and that's OK with me :) I put it back in the bowl and help her finish.

~ Change diaper, let her air dry, she pees on the floor, I towel it up and diaper goes back on.

~ Get dressed, pack diaper bag, she sees me put my boots on and brings me hers. She gets mad when I try to help her so I let her do it all by herself (but not really, I'm tricky that way) and we go to play outside in our new yard!

~ She starts to fuss, I plunk her in the carseat and we go find a play group -- we don't, under any circumstance, come home until naptime :)

~ She sleeps, I work on getting a job (kind of important!?)

~ She wakes up and we look at books and then play the piano.

~ Oh look Daddy's coming to get her soon, FREEPLAY - table toys (like puzzles and stacking things), bring out the wooden playhouse and hide a different object in each room, I let her add water to her little pot which she takes to her play kitchen to cook with (or should I say dump out onto the floor -- once again, OK with me). I pack the diaper bag.

~ Daddy arrives, FREEDOM!! OR... if Daddy's not coming cuz he's at work, back OUTSIDE we go! Once she starts to fuss I put her in my Ergo and we walk up town.

~ Bath

~ Diaper, PJ's, comb that hair, brush those teeth

~ Storytime, bedtime.

~ I sweep, mop (remember the pee?), tidy, and then FREEDOM!! Ahh, I've made it through another day :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reality

I've wanted to be a mommy since I could push my Carebear in the stroller when I was, oh I dunno, three or so. I knew for a fact that I was going to be the greatest mom on the planet; better than any other mom I knew. Motherhood was going to be so much fun; I could give my baby baths, nurture it whenever it cried and then cuddle it until it felt better, feed it lots and lots of baby food -- the kind in the jars, put it to bed in a crib when it was time to sleep (and of course it would sleep), and of course... Diaper changes. Oh how I loved diaper changes -- when I was three and performing them on a Cabbage Patch Kid.

I went through life -- school, jobs, travel, partied -- and finally, FINALLY, had a baby. My dream has become a reality and now have my own little baby to call my own. My own baby to squish and to squeeze and to love and to hug all over.

Well let me tell you....

A Carebear weighs about a pound and a half, my baby? She came out a whopping 7lbs1oz. I measured her on my friend's Wii Fit the other night, she's just over 22lbs now. Baths? I was so happy when I didn't have to support her in the tub anymore because now I can just sit my butt on the toilet seat and read a book while she splashes around in the tub. I turn the tap on every once in a while just for her to fill her cup up and dump it out 500 times; this buys myself some more time. As for the crying? No one tells you how interconnected a mother is with her baby. Whenever a baby cries it's mother gets this tight, anxious, sometimes nauseous feeling inside. Baby food? Eww, yuck. Do you know the nasty stuff food companies do to their products? I would never subject my baby that shite. She enjoys organic, grown in the ground, homemade, mom's cookin'. She probably eats better than a queen and for that I'm quite proud :) But, it's sure a lot more effort than taking a lid off a package and saying, "here you go". And bedtime... Well, we sold the crib when she was about 8 months old because it was just turning into unfolded laundry storage. She has slept in our bed since she was three weeks old. Up until that point we were completely against co-sleeping because, after all, we would roll onto her, smother her, she would fall off the bed, or some other tragedy might occur. But, out of desperation for sleep, we put her in our bed, got a good night's sleep, and then realized how foolish we had been. She's been in our bed ever since. And then there's diaper changes... Let's just say, I will be a better mother when diapers are over.

She's going to start nurturing her dolls and wishing that they were real babies soon. Do I tell her the truth? Or do I let her live in her fantasy world for twenty-odd years and let her get blind-sided, as I did, when reality strikes?

Well, I'm going to sleep now. I'm going to go lay down, close my eyes and dream that I'm three again. I'll pretend that Stinker weighs a pound and that diaper changes are fun; that baby food isn't genetically modified and that I am a good nurturing mom when she cries and, of course, that I'm not sleeping next to a little munchkin.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home -- Finally!

December 31, 2008 marked the last day of our transient life and on January 1 we moved into our cozy little basement suite where we are here to stay! We had been spending the last couple of weeks at Aunty Amber and Uncle Andy's house and let me tell you we are missing their cooking very much. But, now I have my very own kitchen, with my very own stove and can cook my very own meals!

It's been about a week and a half and Molly seems to really like the new place. I love it because it has everything on my list of criteria:

~open floor plan
~no stupid stairs
~a fenced yard
~a park nearby
~lots of storage
~a bathroom that's big enough to where I can stretch my arms out and spin without hitting the walls

As a bonus, the family upstairs has two children aged four and two AND the mother is a stay-at-home-mom. I'm sure we'll get to know each other quite well. They even have a dog, which means that maybe I can get a dog ;)

Molly can follow simple directions now such as, "take daddy the toilet paper". Normally she loves to rip apart the rolls of toilet paper, but this time, she took it in her little hand, toddled through the kitchen, down the hall, into the bathroom and passed it to him! We were the proudest parents that day.

She finally has become interested in books. She'll spend minutes, like 10 of them, turning all the pages in my magazines and novels. She'll go through her 'touch and feel' books feeling all the textures and playing with all the flaps. She even goes so far as to bring the book right to me so we can look at together. I've been trying to get storytime to be part of our nighttime routine for ages, so yay!

I've decided that I don't like Molly anymore (the name, not the kid). Now I'll refer to her as 'Stinker', 'Little One', 'Butthead' or whatever other nickname I'm using that day.

I still don't have pictures to post. It'll be sometime before I manage to get a computer, a digital camera cord, and a digital camera all in the same room at the same time. Instead, I've added some beautiful toddler art for your enjoyment. We will post samples of Stinker's art just as soon as she stops eating the crayons :)