Category Archives: Uncategorized

Top 10 Ways I’m Killing it This Summer

By Jac

With four whole weeks left to go before school starts around here, I’m pretty much doing awesome this summer. Here’s my Top Ten list.

10. Sometimes my kids eat cereal for breakfast and lunch on the same day.

9. Instead of counting the number of hours that the television is on every day, I count the hours it’s OFF. Because that really seems like a LOT, no matter how much Toopy and Binoo we watch. Continue reading

Moving with my boy

My son, who is seven (“and a HALF!” as he constantly reminds me), is hardly ever not moving. I notice this every morning when he comes upstairs to sunnily greet his groggy father and I. I am always struck at the contrast — here I am, exhausted and very unwilling to move even an inch toward getting out of bed and going downstairs, usually silently willing my husband to do it instead. And yet I watch as A remains in constant motion, walking around and around in a circle while he talks to me. Sometimes he’ll manoeuvre around to the other side of the bed to continue to circle and talk to his father, who resembles a hibernating bear in the morning, and will maybe manage a few grunts and a half-open eye. Neither of our reactions dissuade our energetic boy, he continues to circle, laugh, tell his story, get the acknowledgement from us that he was hoping for, and then disappear downstairs again to continue whatever he was doing. This need for movement, I have noticed, has nothing to do with his ability to focus. My boy is almost too good at focusing — he will sometimes have so much intense focus on what he’s doing that he literally can’t hear a word I say, even as I repeat my instructions three, four, five times. He gets this from his father. And he has never, not even as a toddler, been energetic to the point of destruction of toys, furniture, glassware, what have you. He has always just wanted to move. Continue reading

One Fun Meal Contest WINNERS

Well, we learned something this week, folks. We learned that there is a reason bloggers do rafflecopters and coupons, and things that can be sent in the mail when they want to do a giveaway for their readers. We did NOT have huge response for our contest.

But, see, it occurs to us, in hindsight, that when your readership is mostly made up of exhausted parents, a prize that involves finding childcare, getting dressed in human-clothes, driving to Vancouver, and eating dinner with people you don’t know, may not actually be an appealing prize. Whoops! Our bad! Live and learn. Or, in this case, blog and learn. Next time: a spa day, on a Saturday morning. We hear you. Continue reading

Even Kids Can Remember

I did not make this, and neither did my children. I found it on google, but if you're crafty, you can find it here!

I did not make this, and neither did my children. I found it by googling, but if you’re crafty, you can find it here!

Remembrance Day is a tricky one for the preschool/primary set, isn’t it? As parents, we think we should probably tell them about it, so we give a simple explanation, and then they are full of questions. About war, and death, and freedom, and poppy-covered graves. I’m pleased that my kids are full of questions, and usually I don’t have trouble telling them the truth, but in the case of Remembrance Day, I find the answers to be rather complicated.

Here are some of the reasons why:

– In Canada it always feels like we are so far from the fight, and that our freedom as a nation hasn’t really even been directly threatened.

– War is a terrible thing, involving lots and lots of death and pain and evil. It is difficult to convey the importance and significance of its existence, both in the past and in the present, without either minimizing it or scaring the heck out of my (thankfully) sheltered and safe kids.

– Kids have difficulty understanding nuance, and (possibly thanks to the majority of kids’ TV shows and books they enjoy) mine really want everything to be “good guys versus bad guys.” It can be intimating to explain that war, and PEOPLE, are a lot more complex than that.

– We tell them that violence is not the answer when they clock their sister on the head with a Barbie doll, but here we are, dedicating a whole day to those who were themselves required to be violent. This has the potential to be confusing, and as a parent it can seem like avoiding the whole topic is the easiest option.

But despite the fact that their questions are complicated, I think they are still absolutely worth asking, and I’ll keep trying my best to answer them for my kids. Because here’s what else I know:

– There are, right now, Canadian soldiers who are fighting for the freedom and safety of strangers, far from home. This may not have the same simplicity as “fighting for our freedom,” but isn’t it amazing and commendable? Even more so? What an example of selflessness and sacrifice for my kids to hear about and learn from.

– War is a terrible, awful thing. If we do not face it, learn about it, and talk about it to our children, they will not know the lengths to which they must go to avoid it when they are the leaders of our world and the shapers of our policies. There is a thin tightrope we parents must walk between telling the truth and scaring our kids, but we have to do our best. Parenting is hard, folks, but if we can do the late-night feedings and the potty training and the endless school permission slips, surely we can do this too.

– They want it to be “good guys versus bad guys” but it isn’t. I’m just going to tell them that. Life is complicated. War might be mostly “complex people versus complex people,” but there are some people who do evil things, and it is important to try to stop them.

– Violence isn’t the answer, and Remembrance Day may be a good opportunity to talk about how important it is to avoid. We take a day to commemorate those who have suffered because of violence, and the fact that they did so for the sake of others.

My little Canadians don't even know what they're remembering today.

My little Canadians don’t even know what they’re remembering today.

So it might be tricky to deal with Remembrance Day with our little kids, but we don’t need to ignore it. Take your day off and spend time together as a family, or watch a lot of Dora and wish they were in school, like I’m planning to do. However, I might actually encourage a moment of silence at 11:11am, in which only the babies are allowed to make noise. Then maybe I’ll even consider dragging my husband over to sing our country’s national anthem with us. I know that in my house, it’s time my kids learned that this is song is good to sing and to remember, and not just when we win another curling medal in the winter Olympics. We can sing it together, and be thankful for the Canadians who came before us, and who wear our flag as they fight and work on our behalf today.

God keep our land, glorious and free,
Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Indeed.

Five hundred Facebook likes! We have a winner …

If you follow us on Facebook, or if you read this post, you know that we promised a gift certificate of $30 to the cool online site, SavvyMamas.ca, when we reached 500 likes. Well, yesterday that happened! This evening we did the draw (using an online randomizer) and the winner is … wait for it … Sharon Vanderkodde! Congrats! We’ll contact you in a Facebook message about how to receive your prize.

So what’s next, you ask? Well, when we get to 1000 likes, we want to do something fun to celebrate! We will take a movie of whatever we decide to do, and post that movie on the blog. So what are we even doing? Well, that’s up to you! Go to our Facebook page and make suggestions! So far, all we have up there is “skydive naked,” and we’re DEFINITELY not going to do that, so we’re hoping you give us more ideas!

When a Baby Does the Gratitude Challenge

Hi. I’m Baby N. My Mommy was tagged by a friend to do the gratitude challenge* on Facebook, and she just kind of ignored it. She said that she’s “grateful” her friends won’t mind too much about that, but I think that she has a bad attitude about it, which is a little hypocritical considering how often she tells my big sisters they need “a check-up from the neck up.”

Considering that I have a good attitude about lots of things these days, except vegetables and people I don’t know and falling down, I decided that I would accept the gratitude challenge instead of Mommy.

You won't see balloons on this list. That is because they are SO AMAZING but then they pop and I am NOT grateful for that.

You won’t see balloons on this list. That is because they are SO AMAZING but then they pop and I am NOT grateful for that.

Really, I am grateful for all the things. I like biting them, and crawling after them, and climbing over them, and banging them together. But please enjoy a few of the best things that I like especially much.

1. Every morning my Mommy or Daddy gets me from my crib where I am standing in a poopy diaper yelling “Uh-Oh” over and over because that’s my only word, and they come and change me and say, “Why are you up already?” Then they bring me into their bed because they hope to keep sleeping while I play nicely with a toy. But, instead, I like to stand up by the windowsill and pull on the blind and hit it and yank it and shake it. So then they OPEN the blind and this brings me to what I am grateful for: because do you know what is out there behind the blind every single morning, and always surprises me? The OUTSIDE! Every day! You can stand there, and look out at it, and hit the window while you look out there, and if you stand on Daddy’s head you can see it from a bit higher up, which is so amazing. I love the outside.

2. I am also grateful for the STAIRS. I finally figured out how to go down them so I don’t get stuck at the top anymore, and now I can go up and down, and up and down, all day. Mommy likes to play this game with me where she picks me up and carries me far, far away from the stairs, and then I get to make my way back to the stairs. Sometimes I just book it right back to them because I love them, and sometimes I go slowly so I can stop to play in the toilet water or pull stuff out of the kitchen cupboards along the way. But I always win the game because I end up back at my favourite place, going up and down, and up and down.**

3. BUTTONS! All of the buttons do something! I push them and they click or they beep or they flash or they make the TV stop or they make Mommy say, “No! You’re going to call 911!” Then when she takes the buttons away, I get to angry-yell until someone brings me something else interesting (or yummy!) to make me stop yelling. It’s so much fun!

To summarize, being a baby is great. Now, where’s Mommy? I want to eat something with a spoon that I insist on holding myself so most of the food can go into my hair instead of my mouth. Or Mommy’s hair, which is even funnier. I’m pretty hilarious, if you couldn’t tell. My sisters think so, too, even if my Mommy doesn’t always. Silly Mommy. So bye-bye for now!

Mommy is in charge of the pictures, and she wants me to say that I'm grateful for her. And I really am. That's why I don't let anyone else give me a bottle! So she can't go anywhere, ever.

Mommy is in charge of the pictures, and she wants me to say that I’m grateful for her. And I really am. That’s why I don’t let anyone else give me a bottle! So she can’t go anywhere, ever.

*This is a thing where you post a Facebook status with three things you’re grateful for, every day for five days. My Mommy wrote zero things for zero days because she is a party pooper.
**My Mommy asked me to tell you that she knows about baby gates, but we have three floors and four children, and that is a lot of lifting small people over baby gates and she is doing the best she can, so you can just shut up about gates.

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