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Finding Socks That Fit

Our niece, who's petite, can wear her ten year old's shirts. A friend of mine has a twelve year old daughter who, at 5'7", towers over her and borrows her clothes. Being the Mom of a four and five year old, I'm still a few years away from this.

Or so I though ;-)

I was out of socks this morning, and starting digging in the clean hamper for whatever I could find. The last time I was at Zellers I bought J (my four year old son) some socks that are a bit too big (the next size down would have been too small). I was thinking at the time that he might get more wear out of the bigger ones.

Little did I know, so would I!!

They fit me better than they do hm. Now the only question remains is when he notices (and oh he will), what will his reaction be?


Healthy Tacos?

Hey!!! Who put wheat germ in there???

Seriously. I'm going to try it. Why not? Kids and Hubby never read my blogs, and with all the taco seasoning that goes into the meat, they'll never notice.

Wish me luck.

Now if only I could get them to east salsa, then I could puree some fresh tomatoes to add some lycopene (do you think they'd notice the tomatoes mixed in with the grated cheese instead? Yes?). sigh.

I'll let you know how the wheat germ works out...


Healthy Kid Lunches

I was scouring the net just now looking for some new ideas for my daughter's school lunches... it seems like I pack the same things for her day in and day out, and I want to add some new items.

Then it occurred to me that other Moms might be doing the same thing, so I thought I'd post my list in case it gives someone else some new ideas :-)

The following are some things I have packed for my daughter for school lunches:

  • Cheese sandwich on whole grain bread

  • Frozen juice box as an ice pack

  • Cheese string

  • Mini carrots

  • Banana

  • Granola bar

  • Apple sauce

  • Fish crackers

  • Cheerios

  • Fig Newtons

  • Green grapes

...see what I mean? It's all good stuff, but there's not a whole lot there. My daughter is pretty picky. I guess I'll just keep surfing and see what else I can come up with...


Chewing Hair

My daughter has hair down to her waist.

Kind of.

Now she has two mid-cheek length fringes on either side of her face. The layered look? Yup. A hair dresser? Nope. She chewed it that way herself.

That's right, she chewed her hair. Chow down, baby... and pass the ketchup.

It was cute for a couple of days - you know, kids and their weird and endearing habits - until I noticed that some of her hair has been significantly shortened.

Um... hang on.

So today after school when she put another big chunk in her mouth, I couldn't help myself - I threatened her with a real hair dresser appointment (as in, scissors - not teeth).

"If you're going to chew it off, I'm going to take you in and have it ALL cut off!"

I was then the recipient of a narrowed eyes dirty look.

"Well Mommy, I could still chew it!!"

(Um... EXCUSE ME??? You want to take on your MOTHER???)

She's got spunk, I'll give her that. But for all her tough kid comebacks, I haven't seen any hair in her mouth since...


How To Keep Kids Quiet While Others Are Sleeping

What? You think I know?

Hubby works shift work, and I think the poor man has given up on having a quiet house to sleep in.

The kids mean well (when they remember). Asking a four and five year old to remember something for longer than 30 seconds is like asking me to stick with a diet.

Anyway... at the moment my Dad is visiting and sleeping in our basement, the sleeping area of which is located directly below our living room. Anyone who's lived in the basement suite of a house built in the 70's knows how noisy the ceilings are when people walk overhead.

So my daughter very thoughtfully turns down the volume of her Bratz DVD player ("Grandpa is sleeping!"). They sing along to the Barney music in nice quiet voices, trying their best to be good.

The song "If You're Happy And You Know It" comes on, and they quietly demonstrate their happiness by... stomping their feet.


Pass the ice cream!!!


Saving Money On Birthday Presents

Here's a quick tip for saving money on all the birthday gift madness your kids inflict on you...

(I haven't learned the art of saying "I'm sorry but - insert child name - won't be able to make it, but thanks for the invite".)

This is what a friend of mine does. Her daughter is only ten months old, so she can get away with it, without being hounded by her own child. (Me? I'll have to wait until A & J are BOTH in school full time so they're not shopping with me, and there to wail, whine and wallow in the misery of Mean Mommy Aways Says No.)

Anyway, my thrifty friend has a "gift closet", and any time she sees something on sale, she buys it and hides it in the closet. She never, ever, ever (did I mention ever?) pays full price for kids' gifts.

This is definitely on my to-do list for the future...


Blog Book - The Self Publishing Option

Ohhhh!!!! Look what I found:

I've been toying with the idea of taking this blog and putting in paper format as a keepsake for my kids.

I used to scrapbook, but don't really have time anymore (blogging is faster and easier 'cause you don't have to have anything printed). Then it occurred to me that if Blogger ever shut down, and my PC (with all the post e-mails) crashed, I'd lose all my content.

Another neat thing about blogging is that quite often you record little moments and thoughts that you (or I, anyway!) might not scrapbook about. It's like a daily journal of your kids life.

I think I might do it... I just have to figure out where the cut off should be. Maybe a yearly book - we're getting close to the of 2008, so maybe in January of 2009 I could create a 2008 book?

I'll keep you posted on what I decide, and how it turns out...


Inspiration, GI Jane, and My Daughter

Demi Moore really kicked some serious, um, butt in the movie GI Jane. (I loved that show - I watched it about ten times.)

The training scenes were particularly impressive. The determination and relentlessness with which she pursued her goal of Navy Seals acceptance was inspiring. She was like a snarling dog with a bone - seemingly unable to release her obsessive grip.

Kind of like... like... oh let me see here... my 5 year old daughter and the monkey bars!!! Day in!! Day out!! Up, down, backwards, forwards.... flipping!! Hanging!! You name it - she'll try it and she won't quit until she's conquered it.

Why just as I was writing this (in a notebook to be blogged later) she tripped in the gravel while running from one play structure to the next. She fell palms open, slapping the sharp stones with all her 39 pounds behind her.

"Owwwwww!!!!" she cried.

I put down my notebook and went over to her, but by the time I'd crossed the 30 or so feet between us, she'd brushed the jagged rocks off her palms and said:

"It's OK Mommy - it doesn't hurt that much. Not enough to stop playing on the monkey bars!"

Which leads me to the realization that I don't need some high budget Hollywood creation for inspiration. My very own long haired, pint sized spitfire provides plenty of it.

Off To The Park

Ahhh!!! Another sunny sunny Sunday: a Pajama Day spoiled by perfect play outside weather!! Only this time, they're dragging me to the park...

What, the back yard that's big enough to fit a second house, complete with a Sunray play structure, Dora playhouse, and trampoline, isn't good enough for ya? Huh? Huh? Waddya mean the Sunray trapeze bar isn't big enough and you have to go to the school playground to use the monkey bars there? Aren't you at school five days a week already? (Oh, and could ya just sit still for five minutes??)


I guess I'm walking to the school yet again... (they're lucky I love them ;-)


Kids Are Good For Your Health

As I was writing this post on my Last Ten Pounds blog, I was reminded yet again how my kids have improved all aspects of my life, not just my health (in the case of that post, they help me out by being the "candy police" - if they weren't following me around watching everything I do, I'd be eating more of the Halloween candy ;-)

Having kids is almost like reliving your youth, with the added bonus that you can abstain from those parts of youth you were happy to leave behind.

Like for instance, because of my kids and their school skating trips, I'm forced to lace up and learn the sport myself, only without the self-conscious worry and peer related stress I would have had as a pre-teen. A friend of mine enjoys the same music as her twelve year old, but listens to the songs she likes, rather than the songs that tell other tweens that she's "cool". You get the idea.

LOL not to mention the fact that I could write an entire blog, never mind one line in one post, about the increased physical activity I've had since having kids. So although some days it feels like they've taken ten years off my life, in reality they've probably added ten years :-)


How Much Does The Tooth Fairy Pay?

Good question. I think it depends on zoning in their region (or something), or their local of the TFU (Tooth Fairy Union).

This was us (me and friends over visiting with their kids) backpedalling and scrambling for a story when our kids, two of whom each lost a tooth that day, started comparing payout rates.

(oh geeez!!!)

Visiting boy: "I get $2.25. So I've made $6.75 so far."

Visiting girl: "I've heard some people get ten bucks a tooth!!"

Me: lol "we can't afford that!"


Me: "Um, because, uh... then if our tooth fairy paid ten bucks a tooth then we'd have to buy bigger birthday presents. Not that we only spend ten bucks on birthdays, but uh... oh, you know. I think our tooth fairy, uh, invests the extra tooth money in tooth paste research."

(not sure how that went over)

My daughter: "Hey! I only get $2.00 per tooth!"

Me: "uh, honey don't forget the stickers you got, too, with the first tooth. That's like getting an extra $0.25. Then there were the hair clips with the second tooth! Don't forget about that."

There's no way to equalize tooth fairy payment amounts across the board, but it does pay to have some kind of story ready, for when the kids start comparing. (Oh yes, and never ever ever forget that it's the tooth fairy who pays ;-)


Ha! Listen To Your Mother - She's Usually Right

So there ;-)

I was right - it's raining today. Drizzly hazy stuff that not even an umbrella can protect against. Blech.

I'm trying not to gloat (about the being right thing) - it's wasted on a five and four year old anyway (better used with Hubby ;-)

Instead I tried to turn it into a lesson:

Me: "See? Aren't you glad I made you go outside yesterday in the sunshine? Look at it now! Yuck!"

Alyssa: "Yes but today we could use our umbrellas, Mummy!!"

It occurs to me now what my problem has been all along: I expect them to think like adults...

5 Things I Am Thankful For

I have the two most wonderful brats-oops-I-mean children in the universe, so limiting this list to five things will be hard. In no particular order, here are five things that popped into my head:

1) Lil J's sweet singing voice (he just finished singing "Gone Fishing" from Thomas The Tank Engine).

2) Barbie and Lightning McQueen laptops... now the three of us are at the table, each with our own laptop ;-)

3) Good manners and inside voices!!!

4) Glorious good health :-) :-)

5) Hugs xoxoxo

6) 6,342,874 other things at least...


Pajama Day

It's sunny though. Beautifully, glaringly, shade your eyes or lose your vision sunny. Is it wrong of me to force them to go in the back yard?

Winter is just around the corner, with rain rain rain and oh yeah, rain. So what if it's a pajama day, with no school, preschool, skating or swimming lessons? (Ya gotta have a pajama day now and then. You know, the days when you have no obligations or commitments, and they really can stay in their jammies all day, and then change into fresh ones for bedtime?) It's a rare treat in this nutty, over scheduled life that we lead.

But not today. I know that once they're out in the roomy, grassy expanse of the sun filled yard, the urge to run will take them over and they'll be happy that I made them get dressed. (I'm still waiting for that day when they'll figure out that Mommy is usually right about these things.)

What the heck... maybe I'll even join them and go work in the garden.


Nicer Version Of Rock-a-bye Baby

My daughter insists that "the bough will NOT break, Mommy. They wouldn't make a song about babies falling!"


Another Mom told me this version - not sure who wrote it (sorry - did a quick Google with no luck), but it's much nicer (it's now the one I use):

Rock-a-bye baby
Safe in your bed
Soft woolly sheep
You count in your head

Over the fence
They jump and they prance
Close your eyes now
And dream of their dance

Ahhhh.... that's more like it.


Adventures In Footwear

I'm fortunate because both my kids are pretty good at choosing things to wear. Alyssa, being a girl of almost six, is quite savvy at matching co-ordinates. Even lil' J is pretty good about picking pants and shirts that somewhat go together.

Lately he's been on this dress shoes kick. He has this adorable pair of black Tommy Hilfiger boys dress shoes, and he wants to wear them everywhere.

Today it was to M&M Meats, with his track pants on. He insisted, to the point where I didn't think we'd be able to leave the house unless he wore the shoes of his choice.

Oh yeah, they're a bit too big, and fall off his feet easily. Oh and he's a "trippy" guy to begin with, even with shoes that fit properly.

...clop clop clop scuff clop clop scuff scuff (mommy wincing) scuff clop

"Mommy! My shoe fell off!!"

clop clop scuff clop scuff clop shuffle shuffle (wet grass) clop (back on the sidewalk) clop scuff scuff (fyi, Tommy Hilfilger shoes are the same colour all the way through, so the scuffs are not as visible) clop clop

"Mommy! My shoe fell off!!"

clop clop THUD

"Mommy I'm ok!!! My shoe didn't fall off!!!"

...and on we go, to AND from the store.

We have to leave in about five minutes to pick up A from school, and I just sent him to get shoes on.

"Mommy I can't find my dress shoes!!"

(See? I can learn ;-)


The Upside To Freezing Your Children

OK not literally (back off, Child Services).

In my efforts to be a bit greener and keep the heat down, I've noticed another upside - The Boy is more willing to cuddle up under a quilt on the couch and watch Caillou, thereby giving me some time to get stuff done.

When he does come to see me, it's now more about hugs and cuddles (which I love :-) instead of asking to pick a Totlol vid on my laptop.

The down side, of course, is if I cuddle with him under the quilt and watch t.v., I won't get any blogging done ;-)


I Have Three Children


I get ahead of the game by buying Halloween candy early this year. I exercise restraint by purchasing less, because every year I end up with a bunch on my hips. I put the candy up high, out of reach. My son and daughter can see it, they know what it is, and they know they have to wait.

Then Daddy comes home.


Poor Lil' J...

...just had another bad dream.

I asked him if it was the giraffes (from a Baby Einstein vid!) or the pine cones (not sure where that one came from), and he said "No... it was the food. On the tracks."

Alrighty then! Not going to try and understand that one. Fixed it with a cuddle, and now he's back asleep...


Building A Bigger Brain (for ME ;-)

What the heck, might as well (since I'm multi-tasking anyway).

I was colouring with J, and he was on the right hand page of the book and I was on the left. We're both right handed, so this presented a lack of space issue for me.

Being the grown-up, I decided to switch hands rather than making him move. This would mean that my colouring might not be quite as superior to his, but this is one of the sacrifices we make as parents. Besides, I could always say Daddy did it.

As I clumsily slashed my Thomas The Tank Engine picture with an awkwardly held blue crayon, it occurred to me that this off handed work of mine might be stimulating an out of ordinary brain response (btw, I'm a nerd).

Turns out that activity such as colouring with your weak hand does indeed help to increase communication between the two brain hemispheres, thereby improving overall brain functionality.

Cooool!! Who knew...


This Is Me Venting


My hubby is the best dad - he really is. And we ALL have lapses in judgement.

However, the next time you see Spiderman, with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, ask yourself if it's suitable for a four year old. He (hubby) meant well, but thanks to his little detour from common sense, poor little J has had nightmares for the past two nights.

There's not much I can do, other than be there whenever he wakes up crying, and trying to make him feel as secure as possible. This too shall pass.

Hopefully so will hubby's denial that I am usually right about this stuff!!! (pffft... men.)

Talking About Speech

Joe is taking a turn on Alyssa's new Barbie laptop, and says: "I want it back to Ing-goo-wish!!!" (English... he'd accidentally switched it to French).

"Ing-goo-wish" How cute.

They both held off on speech until they were two. (Now I can't shut them up ;-) For A it was eerie silence - she'd look at you (through you!) but not make any sound. My doc thought she had hearing issues and sent her for a test, which she passed with flying colours. She just didn't want to talk. (so there).

In J's case, he grunted. He communicated verbally with nothing but grunts, until a few days before his second birthday. Then all of a sudden one morning he started picking up lettered blocks and naming them (oh my!!!). He had a name for all 26 - sometimes he called them by the letter names, and sometimes by the sounds they make. It was a happy day for Mommy.

A's venture into speech wasn't nearly as dramatic. My Doc sent us to a Hanen workshop, where we applied for a program. There were limited spaces and A was younger than most of the kids (as in, they needed help faster), so we didn't make the cut. Instead we got four private sessions with a speech pathologist for the Hanen It Takes Two To Talk program.

I was never really worried about A, 'cause I knew she could hear and I knew she was smart, but I was still tickled when after two weeks she'd gone from no words at all to about 30, and then two weeks after that she was starting to string words together into short sentences.

Now she's almost six and her brother is four, and our house is filled with the sweet sound of little yammering voices from dawn until dusk.

Yammering voices. Dawn until dusk. (sigh) lol

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