Three more sleeps. That’s how long I have to wait until my husband and I leave for a week-long, kid-free vacation. Seven nights with just the two of us, while his parents stay at our house and look after our children. I keep thinking about that moment when I arrive at my gate at the airport, and I have made it through security and checked my luggage and found my gate … and then I’m done. I will pull my book out of my bag, and I will start to relax. I can’t wait.
But because I am a normal human mother, I of course feel a bit guilty. Continue reading
My husband’s parents are coming to look after my children for a week while I go on a much-needed, super exciting, delightfully relaxing vacation with my husband. I’m very confident in my in-laws’ abilities to care for my kids, and I know that my kids love their Oma and Opa, so I won’t really be too worried about my kids while I’m gone. However, over the last few weeks as I’ve been mentally preparing for this trip, I keep noticing things my younger children say and do that would be completely confusing to someone who isn’t with them all day long. Because toddlers make no sense. So this post can act as a translation guide for my in-laws. Thanks so much, you two! And … ummm … good luck? Continue reading
The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver were straight-up amazing, if you were living in the Vancouver area at the time. It was an unseasonably warm February. The weather was a problem for the people in charge of making sure that there would be snow at the winter Olympics, but it was a delight for those of us who just wanted to walk around downtown, enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is the Olympics in your own city.
I lived an hour from Vancouver at the time, and my husband and I love the Olympics and cool cultural events, so it was totally worth it to us to make the trek downtown as often as we could … except for one tiny detail. Continue reading
For Family Day this year, my husband and I decided that it was time for us to do a family mini-vacation. Last year at around the same time, we sent our two younger kids to Grandma’s house and took our big kids on “Big Kid Vacation,” which gave us a chance to really focus on having fun with our older children, away from the constant work and distraction that babies and toddlers provide. This year, we thought it was important to show the family that we can have fun as a family, even with the little ones along. Besides, they are a lot less “little” than they used to be, and we figured they were probably old enough to have fun, and not ruin everything the way babies ruin everything. So off we went, to spend a night with all six of us in one hotel room. Here’s what we learned. Continue reading
Pretty much everyone knows that eating dinner together as a family is a good thing to do. It provides an natural opportunity for families to spend time together, it shows kids that quality time with the people you love is a priority, it gives parents a chance to listen to their children talk about whatever’s on their minds, it models healthy eating … there are many great reasons to practice this daily habit as a family. So of course, I support it. You should definitely do your best to sit around the dinner table and eat a meal as a family as often as you can. I support it.
We just don’t do it. Continue reading
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Some people have a knack for buying gifts. They have an ability to understand your personal style, and the foresight to pay attention to what you need, and then they buy you the perfect item that even you didn’t know you needed. Sigh … If only everyone had that ability. But most people don’t. Instead we waste money on something that our loved one doesn’t need, all while we try to figure out what to do with all the stuff we’ve been given that we don’t need. What’s the acceptable amount of time you have to keep something before you can give it to a thrift store, anyway?
This is why we, Jac and Juli, were delighted when we heard of LifeExperiences.ca. This is a website that partners with local businesses so that people can give experiences as gifts, without having to do all the research themselves. There are so many great ideas here that the hardest part is picking between them. Luckily, if you can’t choose, you can buy a gift certificate to the whole darn site, and then the recipient of the gift gets to choose for themselves! These are actually eGift Certificates, so they get to the recipient quickly so there are no worries if you’ve procrastinated again. Continue reading
Some of you readers are thinking to yourselves, “Why wouldn’t you want your kid to sleep in the car?” Well, reader, if you are thinking that, you either have no children or you have the type of children who can have short naps and still go to bed on time. If this is you, you probably would want a post about how to encourage your children to fall asleep in the car, you lucky rat. But I am not qualified to write that post. You see, all of my children have been the type that are RUINED by a short nap in the car. My second child was the worst for this. Falling asleep in the car for 10 minutes would result in her being up two hours past her bedtime. To make matters worse, when she was little we lived at least half an hour away from most of our friends and family, and our workplaces and church, so we spent a lot of time in the car. During that time, and since, I have learned a few things about keeping your kids awake while you drive, and now I will impart that wisdom to you, whether you need it or not (and if not, you don’t know how lucky you are).
1. Give them candy. Continue reading
I remember the good old days. The ones four or five years ago, when my oldest daughter and I scheduled our morning routine around the CBC Kids morning lineup. She would play pretty well in the morning, knowing, even as a toddler, that her favourite show wasn’t on yet. She just waited, and when 10:05am arrived, I would call her and she would come sprinting into the living room with great excitement.
These days had their drawbacks, of course. For example, if we weren’t home at 10:05am, which happened frequently, she missed the show, and I’d have to hope that she’d be interested in whatever was on at 11:15 when I wanted her to sit still for a few minutes while I made lunch or put her baby sister down for a nap. So when we grown-ups decided to get a PVR (DVR for you Americans), we set it up to record shows for the kids.
Now it’s several years later, and this toddler is now a big kid, and her three little sisters don’t even know what it’s like to NOT have TV shows “On Demand.” It’s great to be able to pause their shows, and to start them when we want to, but the “demand” aspect of this set-up has gotten a bit too literal around here, with the PVR dominating our screen-time lives. Continue reading
I love Instagram because it’s easy and fun and really interactive. In order to share my most popular posts, I’ve taken screenshots of my computer. This will reveal that my version of “popular” is different than lots of other more popular bloggers, but I am FINE with that. I may only get 30 likes on my most popular posts, but they are 30 wonderful likes.
“It was a particularly beautiful five minutes. And then the rainbow disappeared and the kids started to look for more snacks again.”
The extended-family gathering is in full swing, and as usual, it is noisy. Everyone is laughing, talking, eating, mingling. My two-year-old is in full swing as well. As in, swinging from the kitchen cupboard doors. I’m trying to have a conversation with a cousin I haven’t seen in a while, but my toddler interrupts to ask for more candy, and then juice, and then more crackers, and then please more candy. She spills half the juice and leaves a very sticky chocolate on an upholstered kitchen chair, all while I try to continue to chat. Finally, she runs off to see what the other kids are up to, giving me three minutes to pretend I’ve been paying attention to what my cousin has been saying.
Then from the other room comes the indignant scream that almost certainly means my kid has stolen a toy from another kid. I sigh and grit my teeth and try to keep smiling Continue reading