My Latest Tweet



When our little girl, a.k.a. The Hair Diva, announced that she wanted bangs "like everyone else in the family", DH and I were skeptical but agreed that at age 6 she could certainly decide something like that for herself. I made an appointment, and we chopped about 4 inches off the back (it was down past her waist, and yes it's been cut before! Hence the nickname), and cut bangs.

She has a beautiful forehead (no Mommy bias there ;) and looked exquisite without bangs, so I held my breath as the hairdressers scissors did their stuff.

OH MY. I thought she was cute before, but now, stand back, world!! Bangs really work for her. Even DH had to admit that it was a great idea.

(Sorry, no pictures... you'll just have to take my word for it ;) I wished now that I had taken a pic of the hair clippings pile on the floor, but I didn't think of it at the time. Such is life. Next time.

Next comes the bang trims. I almost put this post in my Saving Money blog, because my mind was engaged in the conflict between $$$ and vanity... Hmmm, longer bangs look cuter, but have to be trimmed more often. Shorter bangs are harder to pull off (although some lil' girls look adorable in them) but are lest costly to maintain.

We went with long. They come down juuuust past her eyebrows. AND ohhhh... her hazel eyes just JUMP right out. SO CUTE. (Btw, she has auburn hair, and the prettiest little nose, covered with a sprinkle of freckles :) No bias.

We got home, I showed her my scrabbooking scissors (very very very sharp), and explained to her the concept of Bang Trims by Mommy, while she leans over the bathroom sink.

Hmmm. We'll see. I'll let you know how that goes!
Return to Fine Grind



Why do I watch these shows about obese children? Why? I know what my reaction will be before the show even starts.

In this case it's the Oprah episode featuring the "Half Ton Teen" Billy and his Mom, who enabled his obesity by over spoiling him with unhealthy food. Now I understand that she lost her first son at a very young age, but wouldn't that make a mom more concerned about the health of her next son?

What really spiked my blood pressure is when she said (I paraphrase, but you get the idea):

"As a mom, you just give it to them when they ask. You just love them, so that's what you do."

I don't know about you, but to me part of loving your child is being able to say NO! This seems painfully obvious, and yet we see again and again kids who suffer because parents are unable to set boundaries.

I am not perfect, believe me. But when (for example) I was making my daughter her whole grain toast this morning at breakfast and she asked for white bread, I said:

"No! Of course not. White bread is not good for you."

She has learned from experience (and many many tireless attempts to argue with me) that I won't change my mind, so she just shrugged and walked away, and sure enough, ate the whole grains.

Rocket science? Hardly. Backbone? There ya go.
Return to Fine Grind


Introducing A Four-Year-Old To French Immersion

My daughter is thriving in Grade 1 French Immersion, so it's only fair, I think, to give her brother the same opportunity. I recently purchased a board book, "Mon Petit Livre Bilingue" with this in mind. Basically it's one of those little kid books with pictures of common items and their names, only this book has the names in English and French.(Hey! Helpful for me, too ;)

The first time I read it, his reaction was, um, not exactly what I was looking for:

"Mama why are you weading da Fwench? Stop weading da Fwench!"

Oh great. He's adverse to it already. Pffft. (sigh)

Ah, but Maternal creativity prevailed, as it usually does (Go Moms!). Every time I encountered a word that was spelled the same in both languages (like "table"), I'd say:

"HEY!!! That's an ENGLISH word!!! Wassup wid dat!!! Gee wizakers!!!!" which point he would dissolve into massive giggles and beg me to read more. (Ah ha ;)

Here's a list of some of the words we laughed over:


By the end of the book, he was near hysterics, and I had him convinced that they're almost the same language ;) He'll learn the differences later, obviously, but at the moment he thinks French is fun.

Good enough for now!

Return to Fine Grind


Sleeping In A Car Seat

I'm shaking my head after having just watched a segment on Canada AM about a Health Canada warning, urging parents to not let their infants sleep in car seats. Tragically a couple of babies have died this way.

I shake my head because while they refer to sleeping on their backs in cribs as being the safest, on the news segment they showed a sleeping infant with a head band on (strangulation) in a crib lined with thick soft bumper pads (suffocation).


While I agree that babies should not be unattended for any length of time in a car seat, in my opinion letting baby sleep in a car seat that's sitting at your feet while you have coffee with friends (so you can watch baby as you visit), is safer than putting an infant to bed for the night with a hair band on.

C'mon now.

Return to Fine Grind


Report Cards And Their Influence On Parenting

I never got bad grades so I never feared report card days, but I can see where it would cause stress for some kids. I say this because even with Alyssa's near perfect report card (on Friday the 13th ;) I still felt myself transform from Calm Mommy (ahhhhhh) to Type A Mommy.

Now in my own defense, I don't think it's a bad thing to examine your child's area of weakness (in her case "oral", as in: speaking French in class), and try to help her improve. However if it weren't for the report card, I more than likely would have left it alone and given her a chance to grow into more confidence.

Here's the dilemma: kids are individuals, with their own rates of progress in various subjects. There is a certain amount of benefit in catering to that, and letting a child grow into areas of aptitude (as in, they'll learn when they're ready). If they're ready on their own terms, learning is faster, more likely to stick, and a lot less stressful.

On the other hand, real life just isn't like that! There is equal value in gently nudging (shove! ;) a child out of his/her comfort zone and stretching their learning boundaries, so that they're better equipped to deal with the demands of reality once they leave the safety of the nest.

(Sigh! Reality at the age of 6? Sheesh)

In the end, I did the "shove" thing with Alyssa and her oral shortcomings. I pressured her and forced her (specifically: we did some reading out loud). I struggled with the question of am I helping her, or creating a bad experience? After her initial resistance, she gushed with excitement about how easy it is once you try, and how much better she felt.


What about you - how do you handle a teacher's critique of your child? This is such an open ended question because every scenario is slightly different, and no single response is appropriate all the time. It's a case by case judgement call, and as parents we simply do the best we can.
Return to Fine Grind


Friday The 13th

I'm not superstitious... well ok, maybe just a bit, but more in fun that anything (it is fun to be wary of a calendar date, right? just checking ;)

The amusing thing about this particular Friday the 13th is that my daughter brings home her report card today....
Return to Fine Grind


Cutting Myself Some Slack

I try not to judge other parents too harshly (like I did before I had kids, lol) but sometimes you see something that makes you feel a bit better about your own parenting.

I'm certainly flawed myself. I don't think I spend enough time playing with my kids, and I go through phases where I kind of give up fighting to get veggies in them (although the "give up" phases usually don't last too long, thank goodness). I raise my voice too often, and I don't listen enough. (This could be a post about parenting New Year's resolutions, ha ha.)

I was at a house party recently with a lot of kids. The average age I'd say was 7 or 8, but they ranged anywhere from 10 right down to little Angie (fake name, btw, to protect privacy), who was a year and a half. Her mom is a sweet lady - easy to talk to and lots of fun. She loves both her kids dearly (she has an older daughter as well who is 6). This goes without saying of course but I had to throw that in there in her defense.

At the party she wasn't watching Angie all that closely, and Angie was by far the youngest and smallest kid there. I have been called over protective many times (I'm a helicopter mom - I can admit it ;) but I think many moms would agree that letting an 18 month old crawl around underfoot with a bunch of rambunctious, running, falling and dog-piling big kids is a potentially risky situation.

Nothing happened of course, and Angie left safely in her mom's arms. Still, it made me realize that none of us are perfect parents, and close supervision in a busy social situation isn't something Angie's mom is good at, just like sitting on the floor doing a puzzle for the tenth time isn't something I'm good at.

So there! I hereby, if only for today, officially cut myself some slack :)
Return to Fine Grind


Learning About The F Word Part Two

More Wii, and shouting. This time the offender is Alyssa, but instead of the Big F Nasty, she is saying "darn" (or should I say shouting it with enough force to shatter our relatively new windows).

Lil J, not wanting anything his sister does to be swept under the rug, defiantly says:

"Maw-mee!!! Lyssa said the F word!!!!"

He hasn't said the word since his time out yesterday, and clearly he remembers our conversation about it. I'm just not sure if he remembers which word we were talking about...
Return to Fine Grind


Learning About The F Word

With Alyssa, it only happened once. As an innocent 3 year old she blurted out the F word in front of her Dad, Grandparents and me. My stunned response was:

"WHAT did you just say??!!", at the top of my lungs. I succeeded in embarrassing her beyond belief, and she hasn't said it since.

Lil' J is in time-out at the moment, for his second infraction. He said it a few moments ago while he and A were playing Wii, and I spoke to him about it. I told him that was his last warning, and if he ever said it again he'd end up in time-out.

Sure enough...

(And how do you explain it to them without actually using the word? If you call it "The F Word", how on earth do they know what word you're talking about?) Ah, such a fine line.

Hearing DH and I occasionally slip and use it is an easy one: "It's a grown up's word. Kids are NOT allowed to use it, but grown ups may." Period. No explanation necessary. Alyssa gets this, but J is a bit of um, a boundary pusher (risk taker, pot stirrer, sh*t disturber - that's my boy!).

We'll see if time-outs work. I might have to get the soap out ;)
Return to Fine Grind


Room Cleaning Chaos

I just cleaned my 6 year old's room, and am still recovering (never mind a "thanks, Mom!" - I deserve a two week vacation in the Bahamas for that).

There were some things I was able to get rid of, and some things I was able to move downstairs, but for the most part, I did a lot of rearranging. She has the larger of the two kids' rooms, and by FAR the most stuff.

I bought 2x2 cube organizers (see pic below) - one for each room. I got mine at Superstore and they came in colours - I used blue and green for Joseph's and red and yellow for Alyssa. The four cube space (plus the top, which is like another shelf) made a tremendous difference in J's room, but in A's? It just cleared enough floor space to get to her dresser.

Hey at least she can get to her pajamas now without complaining ;)

Return to Fine Grind


Gum In The Carpet

This is a drawback to vacuuming - you find these things. This one could have been much worse. At least it was white gum (on a grey carpet). I can even pretend I didn't see it for a day or two ;)

I know you "anti-gum" parents (and the pro-carpet ones, too ;) are probably shaking your heads at me. That's ok, I don't mind. I have a clear conscience because it wasn't me who started the whole gum thing - it was their Grandfather. What can I do? Now before you say "get him to clean your carpet", allow me to point out that he already cuts our grass and paints our house, to name a couple of the many many many ways he helps out. What's a little gum between grass cuttings.

Besides, it's sugarless, and it stops them from bugging me for sugary snacks. They get their flavour fix without spoiling dinner. (Fyi their last dental check ups were perfect - no cavities). Lil J has not repeated the gum in the hair episode, so I think we're safe there.

All I have to do now is get it out of the carpet...
Return to Fine Grind

More Posts!

Blog Upp