Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday meanderings

Pin It I'm having one of those days where my mind just feels a bit scattered. I had to get up far too early with my children this morning and I've felt exhausted ever since. I'm still very slowly recovering from this ridiculous illness of unknown name and origin that I have had this week. I can't wait to feel WELL again... someday... soon I hope.

We took the kids out for lunch at Dairy Queen today and they were surprisingly good! It was actually quite nice. I love it that it is getting easier to be out in public with all three of them these days :)

I got to see my beautiful nephew on Skype this evening... I just love modern technology!!

And I would just like to mention, once again, that I am so very proud to be Canadian!! We have more gold medals than any other country right now... YAHOO!! Tomorrow is the big hockey game Canada vs. USA... no offense to all of my American friends but I am seriously hoping our boys kick your boys' butts. Big time. :)

Are you all enjoying the Olympics? What has been your favourite moment so far??

Friday, February 26, 2010

Play-date

Pin It The boys had their friend Ben over after school yesterday and they had so much fun together... but Olivia kept trying to join in and kept getting frustrated that they didn't include her in their games! She asked me to take this picture of the four of them together and she chose the location (Owen's bottom bunk bed) and the line-up of who sat where. She also had to have her special stuffed animals with her. She even told everyone when to say 'cheese' and told me when to take the picture. It was pretty cute. But she sure can be a bossy little thing when she wants to be :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

so so so proud...

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I have some VERY exciting news... I have mentioned before that my sons were both very behind in their reading. When we moved here they were almost a full year behind. This school district is just way ahead of our last one... even though they all even out by grade 4 apparently. ANYWAY today we got the fabulous news that OWEN HAS CAUGHT UP!!!!!

YAHOO!!!

I am so proud of my boy!! He has managed to improve by 8 reading levels in 3 months!!! He is now right where he should be for the middle of grade one!

My kid rocks.

My Wall Decorations

Pin It I've mentioned before that we are renting our current home and are not allowed to change anything- no painting the walls, no permanent wall covering of any kind etc.. So my children have decided to help me decorate the wall above my desk...

Isn't it beautiful? :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Princesses and the sick people

Pin It Doug and I are both sick this week... neither of us got much sleep last night. Doug was busy coughing out a lung and I was busy feeling hideous. So today both of us were absolutely exhausted. My mom very graciously came over to play with Olivia so that we could both get some extra sleep. Doug stayed in bed until noon and then I went back to bed and stayed there for a few hours.

I hate being sick. Ugh.

But my mom and Olivia had fun playing together. 3 cheers for Grandma!

One of the games they played was Princesses and they both put on some old skirts of mine as princess dresses and I just had to take some pictures...

So cute :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sleeping beauty

Pin It I have mentioned before that we have had trouble getting Olivia onto a sleeping schedule that we could ALL be happy with. But over the last few weeks things have really turned around and I was starting to feel pretty excited about it. Olivia was going to bed at 8:00 pm and getting up at about 8:00 am... that is the perfect schedule. Granted she is still waking up in the night quite often but even that has really gone down over the last week or so.

But then last night Doug and I were at a meeting and Olivia stayed up with Grandma several hours past her bedtime. Which resulted in this happening this afternoon...

So here I am at almost 10:00 pm with a very awake daughter. I am really hoping we can get back on track tomorrow. I was really starting to enjoy a couple hours of kid-free time in the evening! But I can't be too frustrated with a face as sweet as this...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Olympics -ish

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Today Doug and I had the chance to volunteer at the boys' school for their outdoor play day where they had their own version of the Winter Olympics. It was a perfectly glorious day for outdoor activities. It was sunny and really warm, only -2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit ). We were outside for about 3 hours and the kids did all sorts of "Olympic" activities like the bobsled (aka sledding down the hill) and moguls (aka jumping into hoops and over mounds of snow) and figure skating (aka running around and making up dance moves in the snow). It was very cute to watch and I was so happy that I got to be a part of it.

Doug took a whole bunch of pictures for the school and these are two of the ones he took of Aiden and I walking from one event to another.

And yes, I realize my hat and mitts don't match but that is because I managed to lose one of my pink mitts in the snow... and you would think it would be easy to spot in all that white but it turned out to be surprisingly difficult... and I never did find it.

In our last school I got to volunteer a lot more in the boys' classrooms and I miss it. They don't allow that kind of volunteering here most of the time.

Anyway, I loved being able to hang out with Aiden and Owen today and Olivia had fun playing with Grandma. Perfect.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I no likey migraines

Pin It I have a migraine paired with a cold or flu or something that is just kicking my butt today. I thought I was getting better but then I just got progressively worse today. I am just not feeling well. Blech.

Today was a holiday here- family day - so there was no school. We took the kids swimming this morning and it was pretty fun. Olivia refused to swim for very long though. Other than that it has been a pretty mellow day. The boys went and hung out with grandma for awhile too which was a nice break for me. I sat around on the couch and tried to feel better.

I've been reading up on migraines and found a chapter on migraines in children and I think Aiden might have had a few of those and I just didn't recognize it. I didn't realize how different migraines are in kids than in adults. It makes me sad to think I have passed another faulty gene onto my poor son. He gets my asthma, he gets daddy's adhd, he gets Autism and then to top it all off he gets migraines!?? How is that fair?

I was also reading that asthma and thyroid issues are triggers for migraines and that people with migraines are more likely to have depression. Typical. It's like my body is ganging up on me. Booooo.

But emotionally I am doing just fine and that makes me happy. My body may feel like crap but at least I can still smile and enjoy my family :)

Hopefully this stupid pain will be gone in the morning and I will be able to dazzle you all with my  wit and charm... or at least post some nice pictures again. Be well everyone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Actual conversation 5 minutes ago...

Pin It Olivia: hey guys (normal voice)

Aiden and Owen: ignoring her completely

Olivia: hey guuuyyysss (a little louder this time)

Aiden and Owen: ignoring her completely

Olivia: HEY GUYYYSSSS!!!!!! (yelling)

Aiden and Owen: ignoring her completely

Mommy: Hey Aiden and Owen, are you capable of answering your sister? Because it would really make me happy if you would!! (insert huge sigh here)

Owen: WWHHHAAAAATTTTTT Owivia? (in his best impersonation of a VERY oppressed 6 year old) but continuing to ignore her completely.

Daddy: hahahahahahahaha

Mommy: sigh

Olivia: dowen! (hands on hips doing best impersonation of her exasperated mother, stomps off and sits in the corner doing her best impersonation of a truly dejected 3 year old)


but don't worry, she has a plan! She is going to turn them all into newts!

that'll teach 'em.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Aiden and Owen DO exist...

Pin It I have been posting a lot of pictures of Olivia lately... and not so many of Aiden and Owen.

There is a reason for this.

Olivia loves getting her picture taken.

The boys HATE getting their picture taken.

Apparently they feel I have exceeded the lifetime picture allowance for their lives.

So everytime I try and take pictures of the boys I get ones like this...

beautiful isn't it? Or how about this one...

I call it the "if I ignore her maybe she will go away" pose.

I call this next one the papparazzi move...
and my favourite Aiden pose of all: the "mooommmmm, stop taking my picture!!!" pose...

I almost got a couple half decent pictures when the boys were distracted by Sponge Bob...

but Owen noticed and hid behind a couch for awhile. So I pretended to put the camera away. He let his guard down...


he took a few minutes to notice the reappearance of the camera and I almost captured a smile...

Uh oh, he noticed the flash that time. I think the jig is up...

 Ah yes, there is that beautiful "moommm stop taking my picture!" pose of Owen's that I love.

Sigh.

Someday when they look back at the pictures on this blog I am sure they will wonder why I took so many pictures of their sister looking cute and smiling but only took pictures of them when they were mad. And I will point them to this post so they can know that I TRIED to take nice pictures of them... but they wouldn't let me!

So there. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Top 10 lessons of motherhood by Shelagh Cummins

Pin It I'd like to welcome fellow Canadian mom and all around fabulous lady Shelagh of PracticalMum.com to my blog today- thanks for being willing to guest post Shelagh!!

I'm staring down the barrel of yet another birthday. They happen WAY too often.

Here are the top 10 things I have learned since becoming a mom three short birthdays ago;

10. Throw modesty out the window. I could never go to the bathroom in public places. I would get stage fright. I remember running home from school as fast as I could with my back teeth floating I had to pee so badly. Forget having a BM in public. To this day, I would still rather have a gut ache than relieve myself in a public washroom. Then... enter kids. I now shower with an audience, dress with an audience, toilet with an audience and often with play by play commentary (for a good laugh see conversations with a 2.5 year old?) and generally talk very openly about bodies and their functions. This was not my comfort zone. 'Tis now.

9. There is more to cooking than heat and time. It is no secret that Betty Crocker or Rachel Ray, I am not. I have, until recently, cooked everything at 400F until that slightly sweet yet alarming aroma wafted forth and made its way to the smoke detector and I could 'smell' that it was done. That was cooking, a means to an end. As it turns out, following directions in a cookbook can really make a yummy meal. I am astounded. Who knew? Adding spices and taking the time to flavor the food makes it even more appealing. I am now learning to cook properly, following in the footsteps of my mum, my mum-in-law and my sister... I am not at their calibre by any stretch, but I can make a mean (and healthy) mac and cheese, and stand back... my salmon is actually edible. Recipes. They are a wonderful thing. Follow them.

8. Feed and exercise all critters regularly - Big and small. Kids need to run around and blow off steam at least once a day, if not twice. So do mummies. An exercised mummy is a happier mummy. We, too, need to blow off steam, it helps equilibrate my patience, my mood and my general sense of well being. Oh, and it's good for me too. So is a bottle/ glass of red wine by the way. Everything in moderation. And for crying out loud, feed yourself too. We deserve more than the scraps off our children's plates. Include mummy in all meals. Snacks too.

7. Get out of the house. Activities are important. It's EASIER to stay inside - oh the horror of getting the kids into their outdoor gear (see posts about the perils of snowsuits and trying to get out of the house). When I was working full-time, I cherished 'home days' when I could lounge in my PJs and not have to go anywhere. That was then. This is now. I'm learning: activities are good. They don't have to be grandiose or massive... ride the bus for one loop, take the subway a couple of stops, walk around the block, go to the library, play with the Thomas table at the toy store, get together with other kids, go to the park, anything to have a change of scenery. We've discovered memberships this year too. One to the zoo and one to the Science Center. The membership pays for itself within a couple of visits - and there is no pressure to have our outing be a whole day affair. We've gone to the zoo, ridden the Zoomobile around the whole zoo once, then come home. Never left the tram. Girlfriends, get out of the house. It's worth the extra work.

6. Trust your intuition. We don't need to be childcare experts - there are enough people out there pontificating from their soapboxes about how wonderful they are, and that their parenting technique is the only way to parent. Well, their way is the only way to parent THEIR child. Your child is YOURS and you need to find a cross-section of information to find the parenting technique that is right for you and your child. Read lots, reach out to other moms, and MAYBE even join a supportive network like Practicalmum.com. We're all in this together. Let's work together.

5. Personal Hygiene is more than a second coat of antiperspirant. Easier said than done. Girlfriends -we love to see you, we don't want to smell you. It is WAY too easy to sidestep the shower to ensure all little people are fed, clothed and ready for the day. I feel so much better when I'm clean, wearing fresh clothes and I've passed a comb through the hair. I am the first to bypass the shower in the morning- but there is a direct correlation between my happiness and my hygiene and interestingly, others are most apt to chat with me when I have brushed my teeth. Huh! Somedays, bathing is an accomplishment in itself to celebrate - but we always need a reason to celebrate, right? (*see red wine comment in #8*).

4. Wave the white flag. Other people are qualified to care for my children too. Know when to surrender and wave the white flag. Hang up the supermom cape. I'm not just saying that because I would look more like the Michelin Man than catwoman in a superhero costume. It is important for our children to learn that other people are just as loving and attentive as we are. There is nothing worse than the self-imposed pressure of not being able to leave the children, even for an hour. We need to escape, breathe some oxygen, and refill our tank. These is no shame in asking for help when I'm about to crack. Turns out I am not being judged as an incapable mother - in fact, quite the opposite. People thank me for reaching out and letting them help. People love to help, and we all need to learn to accept help more often.

3. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. I want my house clean and tidy, I want my laundry folded and put away, I want to see my kitchen counter top - but it's important to know when to give in and get down on the floor to play. Play blocks, fingerpaint, dress-up, dance... if the kids are acting up they are likely trying to get my attention. Why not just give it to them? Laundry will still be there tomorrow. But before I can blink, I know the kids will be starting full days at school and I'll wonder where the time went. Dusting? Vacuuming? I don't want pictures of those in my memory scrapbook.

2. My husband is not a moron. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary on some days, he is capable of caring for our children. On his own. He may not notice the mounds of laundry or the dirty dishes in the sink - but he can help and independently take care of the kids. It will just be done differently from the way I do things. And that is okay. SO a red towel turns an entire load of laundry pink. Not the end of the world. I pick my battles, bite my tongue, and appreciate the help my husband is giving me. With less critiquing of his methodology, often he surprises me by doing more.

And the #1 thing I have learned since becoming a mom... drumroll please...

(Thanks to The Doodle Girl for this image!)

1. I am a smart and capable woman. Even on those days when I think I can't change one more diaper, or deal with one more spit up, or sidestep one more tantrum... I can. Just get through the next 5 minutes. Then get through the next 5 minutes after that. We are great mums. Stop following the books, trust your intuition, give yourself a break, hang up your supermom suit, and just get through the next 5 minutes. Then come back and read #1 again.

Shelagh Cummins, M.Ed, is a full time mum and recovering full time teacher who is learning about herself and the wonderous world of parenthood. Shelagh finds parenting ideas and advice from a growing community of friendly, supportive mums through the practicalmum.com community. Read, laugh, share, cry and learn alongside Shelagh at www.practicalmum.com and The Minivan Chronicles: Navigating the winding and bumpy roads of parenthood one speed-bump at a time.
 
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