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."


"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 :)