Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Proud Mommy Moments

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Today was the first day of school and I am so darn proud of my boys!

Owen started grade 2 and Aiden started grade 3 and they both did amazingly well. I knew that Owen would be fine because he knows and likes his teacher -he knew her last year and is friends with her kids. Plus he is just generally pretty easygoing.

But Aiden... first days can be pretty tough.

And last night? Aiden had the worst nights sleep... he was up a good 10 times between the time he went to bed at 8 pm and when he got up far too early at 6 am. He was just a bundle of nervous/ excited energy. It took him hours to fall asleep and when he finally did he woke up every hour and came and told me he couldn't sleep.

By the time this morning rolled around he was exhausted and so were Doug and I. Owen slept like a log. Of course.



Anyway, he was happy to go to school and that made the drop-off this morning go pretty smoothly. We went and found his teacher and his new classroom and he ran in and gave her a huge hug right away. She said "Aiden! I'm so happy you are here! I've been waiting all summer to see you."... it was in that moment that I knew she is the perfect teacher for Aiden this year. She chatted with him and then told him he could go play for awhile before the bell rang. Perfect. He was happy and felt at ease.

When we picked them up after school they both said they had a great day. Aiden's teacher told me that he did just fine and had a good day.

It makes my heart happy to hear that.

The school provides each kid with an agenda book and it is where the teacher can send notes home or where the kids write down homework etc.. Here is what Aiden's said today...

" I had a good day! My friends were good to me. We had music with Mr. Hayan"

The school did an excellent job picking Aiden's teacher and they even put his very favourite people in his class with him. I knew they were going to try to do that because the better kids know Aiden generally the nicer they are to him and the less he freaks out. But seriously, I think they absolutely surrounded him with the kids that are nicest to him. It makes me cry just to think about how much work our wonderful special ed director did last year- watching who he played with, talking to his teacher and finding out who he worked well with, asking me who he talked about... all so she could set him up for success.  He also told me he likes his new aide (although he can't remember her name yet) so that is encouraging too.

I know there will be a lot of stressful days for Aiden but I am so thankful that he had a good start and that he loves his teacher and he loves his class. Beautiful.



Owen is happy too- even though his best friend is in the other grade 2 class. It was actually pretty darn cute- they haven't seen each other all summer and when Owen first arrived on the playground they spotted each other immediately and ran, full speed, to each other and hugged. They were so darn excited to be together. They talked and laughed and had a great time. They had a little discussion about the fact that they weren't in the same class but promised to meet at recess to play.

After school Owen told me that he and his buddy played together at every single break and so it was ok that they weren't in the same class.

I love how adaptable Owen is. It is so refreshing.



And dear sweet Olivia... she so badly wanted to go to school today too but she doesn't start for a couple of weeks yet.

OH and best of all? She is almost 100% potty trained!!!!!! It was a stupid bladder infection causing all the trauma for the past however long!! She still has some accidents and often refuses to poop in the potty BUT she is able to wait longer and longer before needing to pee each time. If she keeps this up we may not even need to see the specialist!

It really makes me wonder how long she had that horrible infection for... poor little muffin.

Today we ventured all the way to the school and back with her in underwear and there was nary an accident.

I am one proud mama today!

Parenthood *review*

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Parenthood Season One on DVD
-information taken from the NBC Universal website

From executive producers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Jason Katims comes the refreshingly original hit series that critics hail as “hilarious and heartbreaking” (In Touch Weekly) and “in a class of its own” (Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times). Featuring an all-star ensemble cast, including Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), Dax Shepard (Baby Mama), and Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Parenthood follows four grown siblings of the far-from-perfect Braverman clan as they try to balance kids and careers, dreams and commitments, and romance or a total lack thereof. Join some of the best actors on television for a genuinely funny and heartwarming journey through the most challenging and rewarding role of a lifetime—being a parent.

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Peter Krause

MY REVIEW

I love, love, LOVE this show. I think Parenthood is absolutely fabulous. I was hooked from the very first show. It is currently my favourite TV show right now! I originally started watching it because of Lauren Graham- I adored her in Gilmore Girls and was just plain excited to see her in another TV show. I was not dissappointed.

I have read a few complaints that she is playing essentially the same character in Parenthood as she did in Gilmore Girls... and although I can definitely see the similarities (both Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman are single mothers) there are very strong differences. Sarah Braverman has a lot more "issues" and is significantly less optimistic. Also Sarah has two kids with huge issues as to the one rather perfect child Lorelai had in Gilmore Girls. The writing is completely different but I do think that Gilmore Girls fans would really enjoy Parenthood as well.

Lauren Graham is certainly not the only star in Parenthood and I find the whole cast fantastic. The inclusion of a storyline that involves an Autistic kid (Max Braverman played by Max Burkholder) hit me especially hard... I really can't  tell you all how much I can relate to Adam & Kristina Braverman (played by Peter Krause and Monica Potter). Their storyline has made me weep repeatedly and I love that Parenthood is giving more airtime to the effect Autism has on a family. Brilliant.

I could really go on and on about Parenthood- it has all the best elements of TV: drama, entertainment and humour! As I have said on this blog before I love watching TV shows on DVD because then I can watch them whenever I can fit them in- between parenting and work and cleaning and LIFE interrupting me constantly :). The bonus features on the DVD's are great too.

I happily recommend Parenthood- it is all around great entertainment!

Thanks so much to NBC Universal for sending me this amazing show to review.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Haircuts...

Pin It BEFORE:





AFTER:


On Your Mark, Get Set…Start School! *guest post*

Pin It It is back-to-school time where I live so here are some great tips from Betsy Brown Braun - child development and behavior specialist and author of two books – Just Tell Me What To Say and You’re Not The Boss Of Me. Her website is betsybrownbraun.com. You can read my review of You're Not The Boss of Me HERE.


Summer time, and the livin’ is easy… As much as we all cherish the carefree days of summer, by the time the September approaches, children are usually ready for the school year to begin. While summer brings a whole different kind of living—less pressure, fewer “have-to’s,” a more relaxed tone overall—many children actually thrive in the more consistent days of the school year (offset by a more relaxed weekend.) But getting back into the swing of things when school begins can be a challenge, for parents as well as for children.

A mindful transition from summer to the school year, done gradually and purposefully, will go a long way towards smoothing the start of school. But that transition starts before first day of school.

Here are some tips for starting the school year off smoothly:

* Mind your attitude. Not all children are excited about the start of school, but a positive attitude can be contagious. Instead of saying things like, “Your teacher won’t allow that kind of behavior in school” try being positive by saying, “I know your teacher will be so excited to hear all about our trip to the mountains.” And “Your friends will be so excited to see you again. Wait until they see how high you can climb now.”

* Introduce what will be your child’s school night bedtime before school starts. School age children need from 10 to 12 hours of sleep, and while they get that during the summer, it usually starts later than is good for a school night. Ten days before the start of school start bedtime 15 minutes earlier. Each night take it back a few more minutes, until you get to the desired bed time.

* Introduce your school night routine at the same time, ten days before the actual start of school. While you may have allowed TV or tech time before bed in the summer, it may not be a great way to get your child calm and ready for bed on a school night. Go back to your routine of bath, books, and tuck time. Get back to your low key rituals that include an intimate bed time chat.

* Adjust your morning routine. A week before school begins, introduce the school morning routine. A sure fire way to start the morning out right—without fights about clothing and the like—is to follow this schedule:

1. Snuggle time (reconnect after the night time separation)

2. Get dressed (Your child chose and laid out his clothes the night before)

3. Eat breakfast, but only after he is dressed. (If you are worried that he

will get his school clothes dirty, throw on one of your old tee shirts over his

clothes.)

4. Brush teeth.

5. Bonus time! (a quick game of Go Fish!)

When the school year begins…

* Do as much as you can do the night before. Help your child lay out his clothes; set the table for breakfast; make the lunches; put the grounds in the coffee maker; put trip slips, backpacks, and anything that needs to go to school by the exit door!

* Set your own alarm clock earlier. I know you’ll hate this one, and I am sorry. But hurrying is the enemy of children. Set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier than you think you need. If you are not rushed, you will be more relaxed with your child. You will be just that much more available to your child, and he won’t need to act out to get your attention.

* Over estimate your family’s prep time. However long you think it will take everyone to get ready for school…double it! If there is extra time, spend it doing something fun with your child. It will help to start his day off great. And it is much better than rushing your child.

* Eat breakfast together. Spending a little quality time at the breakfast table together (not reading the paper, not checking email, not focused on the food that is or isn’t being eaten!), goes a long way toward filling your child’s tank. His moments with you will stay with him throughout his whole day, reminding him that he belongs to a family who loves him.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aiden's Weighted Blanket

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Aiden has always loved piling blankets on top of him, the heavier the better. Kids with Autism often love that sort of thing- it helps Aiden calm down.

My sweet mother-in-law made Aiden the most amazing weighted blanket. Aiden adores it. It has a bunch of pockets where you put small bean bag type things which means you can adjust how heavy the blanket is.

Weighted blankets are only meant to be used for small periods of time (about 20 mins or so at a time)- it is not a blanket to sleep all night with or anything. Although Aiden would love to. But if he did that then his body would get too used to the weight and it would be useless.

Weighted Vests or Blankets: The concept of the weighted vest or blanket is based on the technique of deep pressure. Deep pressure is used to assist the child to self-calm and relax so that sensory stimulus can be processed. The use of a weighted vest or blanket is thought to provide the child with unconscious information from the muscles and joints. Children who are easily distracted, hyperactive and lacking in concentration are said to respond positively to the additional weight.
 - taken from the Autism Society of Canada website

Someday I should try and take a video of what a huge difference this blanket can make- Aiden can be stressed out and put the blanket over him and he calms right down. Aiden responds amazingly well to deep pressure techniques. We've known that for years but this is our first time using a weighted blanket.

Anyway, I just wanted to show you all his beautiful new blanket ... my mother-in-law is unbelievably good at all things sewing/quilting/etc.. Seriously. She makes us fabulous stuff on a really regular basis.

Thanks Ann for making this blanket for us! We love you :)



And on a completely unrelated note:
SCHOOL STARTS ON TUESDAY!!!!! YAHOOOOOO!!! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Princess at Play

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I love that Olivia loves to wear "princess" dresses to play. I just think it is so darn cute :).

Friday, August 27, 2010

More time? Or more energy?

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I know lots of people feel like they don't have enough time in their days to get everything done... but you know what? I think my problem is much less about the time (although that IS an issue) and MUCH more about the energy.

I just do NOT have enough energy to get everything done.


If I could just have a fraction of the energy my children have I would be a veritable super woman.

And I realize everyone says exercise is supposed to give you energy.... but you know what? It just makes me more tired. And yes, I am TOO doing it (almost) every day.

Not that it is doing anything. I'm more tired and I haven't lost a single pound. Go figure. (and yes, it is good for my health blah blah blah blah... that is so NOT why I am doing it. I'm fabulous like that.)

Anyway, the point is I wish I had more energy.

I bet if you looked at my house today YOU would wish I had more energy too. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If You Let Your Child Roam Around Unsupervised...

Pin It here are a few things you should teach them before letting them roam around in MY neighbourhood...

1. Don't go into other people's houses uninvited... beyond the fact that it is complete unsafe it is also very rude. If we wanted you in our house we would invite you in.


2. Don't tease the kid with Autism. That makes you an a** and it is completely unacceptable.

3. Don't underestimate the mom's ability to HEAR YOU trying to manipulate her three year old into bringing you food/toys/treats/etc. from inside their house to give you. Do not be naive enough to think she will allow this to happen. You are not sneaky, stop thinking you are. You may not want to choose "spy" as a profession.

4. Don't manipulate little kids or kids with special needs. That makes you a BULLY. And despite what you think it is NOT fun to watch another child sob.

5. Stop trying to break stuff that is NOT IN YOUR YARD.

6. Stop ringing the doorbell six hundred times and stop playing that stupid game where you knock on the door and then run away. You suck at it and we know who you are.

7. Remember that you do NOT know more than the adults. Stop being so snotty.

8. Do NOT torture your younger siblings in front of another mother. She will get angry with you and tell your mother. So there.

9. Stop stealing the three-year old children's snacks. You are not a pack of vultures so stop acting like one.

10. GO HOME before Aiden and Owen's mom looses her ever-loving mind.

This helpful message brought to you by the mom on the brink of insanity. Cheers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

um... ya... right...

Pin It My daughter got a letter in the mail today addressed to her and only her.

My 3 year old daughter.

It was from our local hospital telling her that she needed to get a test done. Which is fine. We knew she would need some tests done for her bladder issues.

The issue is with the instructions.

They want my THREE YEAR OLD daughter to fast for 12 hours prior to her appointment which is at noon, they want her to drink FOUR glasses of water and NOT PEE for a full hour before her appointment. Apparently her bladder MUST be full for the test.

Lets just review WHY my daughter is getting the testing done...

BECAUSE SHE CAN'T HOLD HER PEE!!!

How on earth do they expect me to keep her from peeing for a full hour before her appointment? Never mind that, how do they expect me to get her to drink four full glasses of water and then not pee. The whole reason for the appointment is that the doctor thinks my daughter's bladder is TOO SMALL for her age. What are the odds that she can hold 4 cups of pee? I'm thinking not very likely. And of course she will be starving since she won't be allowed to eat breakfast so she will be crying AND not allowed to pee.

Good luck with that.

I can only assume they had NO idea who they were sending the letter to... neither her dad or I were mentioned at all.  I guess she was supposed to read the letter and follow the instructions all on her own.

Sigh.

Oh, and the appointment is scheduled for noon on September 8 here in our town... unfortunately she has to be at her specialist appointment FOUR AND A HALF HOURS away at 1 pm on that same day.

I am thinking it is just not going to work.

Should be a super fun phone call for me tomorrow.

Double Sigh.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday...

Pin It Today has been one of THOSE days. You know, the kind that make you think it might have been better to just stay in bed.

It was stupid hot out with a ridiculous amount of humidity that makes me long for winter. And I hate winter.

I was helping the boys with their bath and Aiden accidentally head butted me and gave me a huge goose egg on my forehead. It made me cry. And yell. Apparently I get angry when I am in pain.

Good to know.

I also had to clean a ridiculous amount of bodily fluids up. 


Remember awhile ago when I told you all about my daughter and her potty training issues. No? huh. Apparently you all have lives. Odd. Well I talked about it HERE.

Anyway, the short story is that I took her to the doctor 3 different times, the last time being a couple weeks ago to see if there was something wrong and they tested for bladder infections etc.  and they said there was no infection and decided to send us to a specialist.

Which would have been all fine and dandy except that  I got a call the other day from the clinic nurse and she says "did anyone give you a prescription for Olivia's bladder infection yet?"

um... no, no they didn't.

I am so annoyed that it took them 2 weeks and 3 separate appointments to tell me that my daughter has a bladder infection. Poor little muffin has probably had it for months ... at least that is what the pharmacist thinks by the dosage of meds they are giving her to clear it up. Yikes. She has been complaining about pain for ages and I can't believe they didn't catch it before now. 

Today is day 3 of the prescription and I can't believe the improvement... she willingly pees on the potty... don't get me wrong, there are still huge issues and an insane amount of accidents... but at least there has been an improvement. 

(How much do you bet she is just going to LOVE that I blogged about this when she is about 13.)

Back to my crappy day... at one point I found Olivia sopping wet with rather disgustingly messy pants and honestly? I am really done cleaning up bodily fluids. Ick.

She also dumped her potty all over the floor. Super ick.

I'm certain other lame things happened today too... so I am currently watching Gilmore Girls to erase it from my memory.

This is the episode I am watching...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family Portrait Fail

Pin It  We attempted to take a couple family pictures while we were on our vacation and these are the best we could do.


You would think children with TWO parents who take pictures ALL THE TIME would know how to pose better. But no. Owen jumped on my shoulders for some unknown reason and Olivia and Aiden were having some sort of a moment and Doug only made it in to one shot.


We are awesome.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mercy: The Complete Series *review*

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Mercy: The Complete Series
- information taken from the website

From the co-executive producer of Friday Night Lights comes the intense and heartfelt drama Mercy. Nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan (Taylor Schilling, Dark Matter) has recently returned to her hospital job after a volatile tour in Iraq, and knows more about medicine than all of the residents combined. In order to navigate the domestic landmines of her personal and professional worlds, she’ll need the camaraderie of her fellow nurses Sonia Jimenez (Jaime Lee Kirchner, Rescue Me) and Chloe Payne (Michelle Trachtenberg, Gossip Girl).

This 5-disc set contains all 22 episodes presented uninterrupted in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and includes a stellar ensemble cast featuring James Tupper (Men in Trees), Diego Klattenhoff (Supernatural), Guillermo Diaz (Weeds), James Le Gros (Ally McBeal) and a guest appearance by James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek). Bold, realistic and instantly gripping, Mercy is unlike any depiction of the medical community you have seen before.

Starring: Taylor Schilling, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jamie Lee Kirchner
MY REVIEW

I had never seen Mercy before the series arrived at my home but I enjoyed it. It reminded me of Gray's Anatomy and ER a bit but since I liked those shows a lot I didn't mind. I actually think it is a bit of a shame it won't be carrying on for another season. I thought the acting was excellent and I especially enjoyed the Veronica character. Mercy was an all-around entertaining show.

I love watching TV shows on DVD because I never miss anything! Watching Mercy: the Complete Series was a great way to relax.

Thanks so much to NBC/Universal for sending me a review copy of this series.

Heroes: Season 4 *review*

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Heroes: Season 4
(information taken from the Universal Studios Home Entertainment website)

Experience all the intrigue and suspense of the last season of the hit show Heroes: Season 4, in this 5-disc set that includes all 18 gripping episodes from the fourth season’s volume, Redemption. As the Heroes mourn fallen friends and face dangerous new foes, prepare for a wild ride — filled with shocking twists and turns — through an ominous funhouse that culminates in a Brave New World. Then step right up and explore hours of exclusive, behind-the-curtain magic with the show’s writers, stars and artists. DVD extras include deleted scenes, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, alternate story: Slow Burn, the genetics of a scene, and Tim Sale’s Gallery of Screen Art. On Blu-ray, experience U-Control, My Scenes, Heroes Connection Network, and BD-Live functionality to get even more into the action.

 MY REVIEW

I did not watch Heroes on TV but everyone has said such great things about it that I wanted to see what the fuss was about! I read a whole bunch of summaries of the first 3 seasons since I was jumping in with season 4. Even with my prep work I found it very confusing jumping in late to the game (so to speak). I watched several of the episodes and then decided I would enjoy it more if I watched the first 3 season first!

I will say I enjoyed it enough that it made me want to actually go out and buy the first 3 seasons on DVD. I found the storylines and characters fascinating and the acting was excellent. I must prefer watching TV on DVD because I can watch it at my own pace- starting whenever I want and stopping whenever I want is perfect for those of us with kids!

I am certain that Heroes fans will love Heroes: Season 4 on DVD or Blu-ray. 

Thanks so much to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for sending me a review copy of Heroes: Season 4 on DVD.

The Joneses *review*

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Synopsis taken from TVA Films


THEY’RE NOT JUST LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM.
THEY’RE SELLING IT.
  
This August catch David Duchovny and Demi Moore
in the bitingly funny social satire, The Joneses, debuting on DVD
 Toronto, Ontario, July 2010- Two-time Golden Globe winner David Duchovny (Californication) and two-time Golden Globe nominee Demi Moore (Ghost) star as a seemingly perfect couple in the comedy The Joneses, arriving on DVD August 10th, 2010, from TVA Films. The DVD provides newly released deleted scenes from the comedy, including scene variations and deeper insight into David Duchovny’s character. Canadian actor Ben Hollingsworth (The Beautiful Life) also stars in the film, which follows the flawless and fashionable Joneses – the envy of their posh, suburban neighbourhood, filled with all the trappings of the upper middle class. They are the ultimate trendsetters with an endless supply of high-tech toys, designer clothes, fast cars and the latest gadgets. But as the neighbours try to keep up with the Joneses, none are prepared for the truth about this all too perfect family.  “Sharp, timely and very funny” (Karen Durbin, ELLE), The Joneses has been hailed as “a Zeitgeist film” (Time) that is “fresh, scintillating and downright terrific” (New York Observer). The directorial debut of writer/director Derrick Borte, The Joneses also stars Amber Heard (Pineapple Express), who, alongside Ben portray Duchovny and Moore’s equally perfect teenagers. The film also features Gary Cole (Office Space) and Glenne Headly (Mr. Holland’s Opus) as the Joneses’ curious and gullible neighbours. 
The DVD of The Joneses offers exclusive deleted scenes for even more satirical laughs. 

MY REVIEW

I thought The Joneses was a fascinating movie. In my opinion it made an excellent statement about our culture today! I will say that The Joneses is certainly not your typical blockbuster movie but certainly worth a watch. My mom watched it with her friends and she LOVED it. I thought the acting was fantastic. The actors made the characters incredibly believable. I am happy to recommend this film. 

Thanks so much to TVA Films for sending me a review copy of this DVD.

Trauma: Season 1 *review*

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Trauma: Season 1

Like an adrenaline shot to the heart, Trauma is the first medical drama series set exclusively where the real action takes place – in the field. Cliff Curtis (Push) and Derek Luke (Notorious) star as ambitious heroes dedicated to one of the most dangerous professions in the world: first responder paramedics. When emergencies occur, the trauma team from San Francisco City Hospital is first on the scene, traveling by land, sea or air to reach their victims in time. From the heights of the city's Transamerica Pyramid to the depths of the bay, they must face the most extreme conditions to save lives – and give meaning to their own existence in the process. Executive Producer Peter Berg (TV’s “Friday Night Lights”) brings you every Season One episode of the gritty and unique series that critics praise for its “thrills with a human touch” (Tom Shales, The Washington Post).


MY REVIEW

I had not seen Trauma on TV so I found it especially cool to watch on DVD! I love being able to watch the whole season at my own pace. Trauma is definitely action packed and held my interest right from the start. Just for fun I asked my mom and her friend (both seniors) to watch it and tell me what they thought...



"Trauma" is absolutely fabulous. Bill's comment was that they did a great job of making it seem real. He got totally caught up in it, as did I. It quickly draws you into getting to know each main character and getting interested in their lives. I was hooked after the first 10 minutes. Looking forward to watching the series on TV.

It isn't something I would let my kids watch but the grown-ups definitely enjoyed it.

Thanks so much to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for sending me a review copy of this series on DVD.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Olivia's First French Braid...

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She made me take it out after about 3 minutes though because she wanted a ponytail like Tinkerbell. Of course.
The ponytail only lasted about 5 minutes but I was just thrilled that she let me do something with her hair for once!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thermos FUNtainer

Pin It I almost always have a water bottle with me and I try and keep beverages readily available for my kids- especially during hot summer days. We've had a dreadful time finding decent beverage containers that work for the kids though. There is always something wrong with them- they leak, the straw doesn't work etc. etc. etc.. But we have found the solution to all of our container issues- seriously. I am completely in love with the Thermos FUNtainer straw bottles!!





Here is some information on the FUNtainers from ThermosBrand.ca :
  • TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention
  • Kid-proof design: unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior withstands daily wear and tear
  • Hygienic push button lid with pop-up straw
  • Perfect for keeping drinks cold and kids cool and refreshed!
  • Exterior stays condensation free.
  • Sweat-proof design won’t leave water rings.
  • Fun designs appeal to kids!
  • Non-slip, scratch-resistant base.




These bottles are brilliant. They claim to keep beverages cold for up to 12 hours and honestly I doubted it.... but not anymore! I have fully tested our FUNtainer straw bottles and I am truly amazed. In the morning I filled the containers with 2 ice cubes and a beverage then I left them sitting on the kitchen table. All day. At suppertime the beverages were gone but those two ice cubes were STILL FROZEN sitting in the bottom of the containers.



I found it hard to believe so I tried it again. And again. And again. And then I did the ultimate test- I put 2 ice cubes and milk into Olivia's FUNtainer and let her take it to bed with her. She kept the bottle wrapped in a blanket between her and the wall on a hot summer night for almost 12 full hours. When she got up in the morning she had consumed about half the milk and those ice cubes were STILL FROZEN. I am 100% serious. These bottles work.


I fully intend to send milk with the kids to school in these bottles every day instead of sending milk money with them from now on. The kids love the designs on the outside- Aiden has Bakugan, Owen has Spiderman, and Olivia has Disney Princesses. Perfect.


I really can't say enough good about the FUNtainers. They are the absolute perfect size for the kids. I admit I tried one myself for a day and it was a bit small for me but they do come in larger sizes for adults. I spent the day amazed at how cold my water stayed and not even a drop of condensation appeared on the outside of the bottle! YAY! I really hate condensation.




I will certainly be getting myself the grown-up version (like this pretty pink one ---->) as soon as I can find one... apparently my town either doesn't carry them or is entirely sold out already. I found a few of the kid ones but nothing larger. This is where living in a teeny tiny town sucks.





We did have one small problem with Olivia's FUNtainer... it started to leak a bit but only after Owen threw it across the room. Seriously, he threw it across the living room... I have no idea why. Personally I am impressed that it didn't break completely because it crashed hard. We were able to fix it easily in seconds and it works fine now. The bottle itself wasn't damaged in the least.

Thanks so much to Thermos Brand Canada for sending me these fabulous FUNtainers to try out!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That’s How SHE Blogs

Pin It Since I am going to Blissdom Canada *insert happy dance here* in Toronto the end of October I decided to join in on this "get to know who's going" quiz that I found via Lisa the Party Mummy on The Yummy Mummy Club.

BlissDom Canada


If you are going to Blissdom Canada be sure to put your blog link or twitter link (or both) on the Mr. Linky below!!

Here’s what to do:
a) Cut and paste the quiz onto your blog.
b) Delete my answers (after carefully studying and committing each to memory. What?).
c) Answer the questions (feel free to embellish and totally make stuff up. I do it all the time).
d) Tweet a few of the bloggers you’d love to get to know better and invite them to play along.
e) In the comment section below, leave a link to your blog where you've answered the quiz questions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1.    Did you attend Blogher10? 

No... I WISH!! I dream of attending Blogher11 though.

2.    Are you attending BlissdomCanada this fall?  

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!! (I'm just a little excited... can you tell?)


3.    When are you at your blogging best – a.m. or p.m.? 

PM for sure... but mostly anytime when I don't have my three kids hanging all over me!

  
4.    How many blogs do you have? (Include the links) 

1. this one ( http://tarasviewoftheworld.com)
2. a book review blog (http://tarasviewonbooks.blogspot.com)




5.    What technical skill would you like to learn to improve your blog?

 I would love to learn all that fabulous html stuff ... I am pretty challenged when it comes to all that.

 


6.    Do you prefer the sound of silence or does action abound while you blog? 

 Silence or quiet music. No yelling kids. No fighting kids. No doorbells or phones ringing. Ideally no annoying kid cartoons playing in the background. Although I almost enjoy having The Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo or other classics playing... odd.


 


7.    Do you include the names of your family in your blog?

 Yes I do.


8.    Do you post pictures or videos of your children?

 Pretty much daily.


9.    What’s the grossest thing you’ve spilled on your keyboard?

 I haven't spilled a thing... but my daughter spilled coke once and there is unknown crumb bits and other disgusting things hidden under the keys... the disadvantage of having a white Mac keyboard with see-through sides. Icky.





10.    Ever posted something you wrote while intoxicated?

 Nope... although I have posted while taking migraine medications which is probably fairly similar!




11.    Do you go back and edit old posts just because you can?

 Only if I find a spelling mistake or something that truly horrifies me. Barely ever though.

 

12.    Have you ever suspected somebody took something you wrote and pawned it off as their own? 

 Yes. I once found a contest post of mine posted EXACTLY as I had written it... same product, same giveaway, same entry methods including the phrase "send me a tweet @tarasview"... clearly the copier didn't proofread before they posted. I got dozens of @tarasview tweets that day and had no idea why!
 


13.    Does your spouse read your blog? What do they say about it?

Yes he does... he doesn't say much about it really but I think he finds it fascinating. He tells other people about it more than I do! You can find him HERE and HERE.




14.    What’s something cool/positive/unexpected for you, that has resulted directly from blogging?
 I GET TO GO TO BLISSDOM CANADA!! And I got a job... my boss found me though my blog :)
 

15.    Link to a post (or a few) which demonstrate your writing style:

16.  Name a blog(s) that makes you exclaim, "Damn! I wish I'd written that!" 



I could go on and on and on... but I won't. (you're welcome).


Are you playing along? Leave your link here!


Monday, August 16, 2010

JUMP!!

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You see that blur in the background?

That is my son Aiden.

Our town added a whole bunch of sand to the beach at our local lake and the kids discovered that you can leap off the edge of the grass into the pit of sand.

That's Owen starting to land in the sand.

They jumped over and over and over and over again.


Even Olivia jumped a little bit... that's her in the pink in the background.

Owen did an excellent non-painful fall at one point...



I never did manage to get a non-blurry picture of Aiden...

Their clothes and every visible patch of skin were absolutely covered with sand and they were having a great time until Owen did this jump...
He landed on his backbone and winded himself but good. There was a lot of tears but he recovered fairly quickly. I didn't take anymore pictures though :) . 

My kingdom to have even half of the energy my sons have. Seriously.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Girl And Her Unicorn...

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never one without the other!

Urine Off *review*

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I have a thing about bodily fluids... they gross me right out.

I have three children. Two sons who seem to have rather poor aim when it comes to peeing IN the toilet and a daughter who is currently potty training... poorly.

I see far too many bodily fluids on a regular basis.

When I was contacted and asked to review Urine Off I figured it certainly couldn't hurt to try!

Here is a bit of information that the sponsor sent me:



Bio-Pro Research’s bio friendly cleaner, Urine Off (featured on Jay Leno), uses enzymes and microorganisms (customized bacteria) to eat the uric acid crystals and removes the mess. Rather than temporarily masking stains, the product removes all traces of odor as well as the accident itself.

When the package arrived I was surprised to find a flashlight inside. But not just any flashlight... the Urine Off Mini LED Urine Finder!



The Urine Off Mini LED Urine Finder is the ideal tool to locate hard-to-find urine deposits. Most urine deposits are invisible to the naked eye until they collect soil making them easy to see. Unless you can find and remediate the urine, the smell will be a continuing problem.
This revolutionary ultraviolet LED light is ultra-bright and was custom engineered to easily fluoresce uric acid. The Urine Finder will save you time, money, and empower your own USI (Urine Scene Investigation) capability!
Works in your bathroom too!

Wow does that Urine Finder ever work well. I clean our bathrooms more than once a week... usually two or three times per week. I did not expect to see much when I used the light.  I was amazed and horrified and disgusted by what I learned using that thing.

For example I learned that there was pee dried on the wall behind our toilet.

EEEWWWWWWW YUCK!!

I don't know how it got there (seriously, who is peeing on my WALL?) but it's not there anymore. I used Urine Off all over our bathroom and then re-checked with the Urine Finder LED light and was relieved to see that it was actually gone.

It really did make the smell disappear as well.

I went nuts with the Urine Finder and looked all over our house and I found a few spots on the carpet that apparently got left behind after I shampooed it... which distressed me I must admit. But Urine Off did the job.

I am happy to recommend Urine Off to anyone with potty-training kids, pets, or men ( because you know women never pee on walls) in their houses. Get rid of the ick factor!

Thanks so much to Bio-Pro Research for sending me these products to try out free of charge.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm Going to Blissdom Canada!!

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BlissDom Canada

YAHOOOOO!!!

I am so very excited!!

My awesome boss ( & dear friend )  Shasher's Life bought me a ticket today!!

I can't wait!

Friday, August 13, 2010

huh?

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Owen's face in this picture sums up my feelings about today pretty accurately I think...

a mixture of confusion and disgust.

I've had a migraine all day today and despite the lovely meds I took it does not seem to be going away. Which makes being on the computer rather difficult.

It also makes parenting rather difficult but that is significantly less optional.

The children are all bathed and in bed though... finally... so I am going to go have a drink and rest ... maybe watch a Gilmore Girls rerun quietly and then go to bed. Hopefully I will wake up pain-free.

I hate migraines. 

Camptastic

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My dear friend Amanda wrote a wonderful post about our camping trip together... she summed it up better than I ever could so I really think you should go read the post HERE. Please. It is beautiful. It made me cry. Her post has inspired me to write about our trip too :)

 the whole group of us

Amanda and I went to college together ... along with our spouses who weren't our spouses then... 15 years ago. I have loved Amanda from the first time we met living a few rooms down from each other in the dorm.
Amanda and I looking camptastic

We didn't see each other for a whole bunch of years but reconnected a few years ago thanks to Facebook and the great wide world of blogging. Love it.

 Amanda's husband Brian and my husband Doug

Actually... Amanda's husband Brian and I went on a double date together once... he with his then girlfriend and me with a guy I never should have agreed to go on a date with. I had blocked forgotten the experience entirely but Brian has a mind like a steel trap and reminded me of it while we were camping! Ah the memories :)

 Amanda, myself & Colleen visiting

Other dear friends of ours from college met up with us and it was so fun to meet everyone's kids ... but it was a bit surreal to be sitting around ... similar to what we would have been doing 15 years ago... except with NINE kids hanging around. :) My how things have changed!!


Glen & Colleen

It was so wonderful to just BE with people who really know us and GET us ... there is something beautiful about being friends with people for 15 years. No fakeness required.
 the group of us looking very distinguished

We have a lot of similarities in our families too... Amanda & Brian's oldest son Will is a real-life genius who is being tested for Aspergers. Aiden isn't a genius but he is very smart and he definitely has Aspergers. Will and Aiden are only a few months apart in age...  they are very different from each other but they present some very similar challenges to their parents!
 Aiden & Will



They had a great time throwing stuff in the campfire ... which to genius Will was doing science experiments and to Aiden was burning stuff (insert wild laughter here).  Will is very serious and I swear he knows more about science than I will EVER know. Seriously. He cracked me up on a regular basis with his conversations. He is a great kid but he and Aiden certainly share some huge social challenges.


Both Amanda and I worry about our middle sons- her Nate and my Owen- because they tend to be our "easy" kids and it can be tough being the sibling of a special needs kid. You don't get as much of the attention and sometimes things just aren't fair.

Owen & Nate

The boys all had a great time playing together and it was unbelievably nice because it gave us time to just BE. 

 Will the Bubble Master



Aiden being goofy

Brian & Amanda had a camper (we were in tents) and they graciously let us hang around inside and warm up during the rain and cold weather! They also loaned us an extra tent and blankets after we spent the first night frozen like popsicles :).



 my boys watching TV zombie-like

Amanda and I both have 3 year old daughters - you can go read about Finleigh and her special needs on Amanda's blog. She is a beautiful little girl with a wonderful smile and hugs that will melt your heart.  She and Olivia definitely share a stubborn streak though!

 Finleigh & her daddy
 

 Finn was the only one who didn't mind the freezing cold lake water!
 Amanda took a picture of Doug taking this picture of me :)

I managed to burn my thumb... I tripped over my son and caught myself on the side of the camper... unfortunately my thumb landed on the insanely hot stove vent. It hurt. A lot.
 


What a souvenir :)

It was an all-around wonderful few days and I am so very sad that we live so very far away from each other.
Finleigh, Olivia, Aiden, Nate in the front and Owen & Will in the back

I love you Amanda and I love your family!
Don't we look pretty after not showering for days on end? Camptastic for certain.

There is just nothing better than being with true friends :).
 
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