Tuesday, April 28, 2009

William and Jadzia

Today, as I was getting Jadzia ready for bed, William was doing his usual song and dance for attention. (Today this involved using a plastic log from his train set as a gun and shooting at me). Jadzia kept turning her head away from her bedtime booby meal to get a glimpse of the show. So I sat her up and faced her in William's direction. Immediately she began laughing like a maniac. William, happy to have someone appreciate his humour, smiled gleefully and began excitedly naming all the objects in the room for his sister's amusement. Bed! Book! Pillow! Clothes! Mommy! With every word Jadzia's laughed harder, and louder, and squealed, and got hiccups, and kept laughing.

This isn't the first time William's antics have put his sister into histerics. To Jadzia, her brother is the most hilarious person in the world, and William is happy to play comedian.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The spontaneous garage sale.

This morning my husband randomly decided that we should have a garage sale tomorrow and and that I should go through the crawlspace when I had time and look for stuff to get rid of. There are several problems with this plan, but two came to mind immediately. First, I would not have time at all, and second, I am such a pack rat that no one would pay for anything that I would part with. But good old Adam was keen, even printing off "Garage Sale" signs and price stickers at work.

Once the kids were in bed, I spent about three seconds helping Adam go through the crawlspace. During that time, I found some baby toys that Jadzia could play with, some sandals that I could totally wear in this weather, and an almost brand new pair of shorts that still fit. Sweet! Not much junky enough to sell though.

Bored and unmotivated, I came upstairs and looked up how to have a yard sale, which only fueled my niggling feeling that planning such an event, with less than twenty-four hours notice, was a bad idea.

I then went on facebook, with the intention of making an invite, but found that my friend is organizing a Mom 2 Mom sale on the same day. (Actually she's been talking about it for days and days, I just didn't clue in that it was this Saturday). Anyway, I felt guilty trying to steal her thunder, so I posted no invite.

I told Adam that I didn't want to have a garage sale (it goes against my lazy pack rat nature) and he told me that he would do all the work and that I don't have to worry. Now I feel both guilty and resentful for being made to feel guilty. I told him that nobody would buy anything. He bet me that someone would buy at least one thing.

So we'll make 25 cents.

I know, I should be supportive, but it goes both ways. Just the other day, my husband told me that I couldn't become an astronaut.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writer's Group

Last night I met with my writer friends in a kaffeeklatsch/mutual editing session known as a writer's group. I haven't gotten much writing done in the past few months, but it's nice to spend time with people who refer to me as "Jen" instead of "Mommy" and who don't demand that I produce peeled apples, large quantities of cheese, and yoghourts out of thin air. My friend Geoff actually brought grapes and shared them! In my house, grapes are only for the boss. If I ask William to share, he answers "No my grapes" (some things he shares, but grapes are way too valuable).

I read everyones work from the last few months back to back and I must say it was a delight. Reading several chapters back to back is like reading a real book, you get so much more of a feel for the story. Also because I wasn't really expected to read everything, I didn't feel like something I had to do. I was reading for pleasure.

It's enough to make me want to write again so today, if the boss lets me, I will totally finish the chapter I'm working on and go onto the next one. Right now he has me held hostage in the basement watching "Cars" but sooner or later I'll get onto my computer upstairs with all my files on it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gift of Discipline Workshop: Week 8

Today's class began with this video that I was able to find fairly easily on youtube. It starts out fairly innocently and ends up down right disturbing. The point here is that children mimic us. The best way to encourage proper behaviour is to model it ourselves (and vice versa).

Obviously I'm not showing William how to beat people or smoke cigarettes, but since I've had a cold this past week, William has started ripping off pieces of toilet paper, blowing into them, then crumpling them into a ball.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miracle Cure

I don't normally post on Jens blog but thought that i would this time

Ever since William got his new Car Bed and transitioned from the Crib its been tough keeping him asleep or tough getting him to sleep typically I had to either pretend to Sleep on his bed until he fell asleep and then i would carefully sneakaway.. this can sometimes take 30-45 minutes of waiting.

I transitioned to sitting in a chair in his room. to eventually sitting in the hall with his door opened slightly
but he always had to see me , or have me close by.. and would demand that "Daddy Sit chair"

he also tends to go 3-4 hours between waking up.. so.. Bed by 9, wake up 12:30, wake up 4, wake up 7
oh the fun and each time it took between 15 minutes and 45 minutes to get him to go back to sleep

one night when he was very cranky and stubborn and i was very tired and wanted to get back to bed.
i gave him the option of " do you want me to check on you later or close your door" and since he really doesnt like having his door closed. obviously choose the other option and.. well he stayed in bed.. and went to sleep.!!

so now our bedtime routine is..

Change Diaper
Maybe take a bath
Brush Teeth
Read 2 books (maybe up to 4)
hug and kiss
tuck under covers (also a new thing)
and see you later

trimming my bedtime routine from 1 hour to 15 minutes

also at night when he gets up.. its sometimes no more then just changing a wet diaper and putting tucking him back in.
sometimes.. less then 5 minutes

which is bloody amazing!

my Favorite Son :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gift of Discipline Workshop: Week 7

I was hoping today's topic was going to be sleep, but it was strategies. Then someone said "oh, we've already done sleep." I almost cried. But we haven't, I know, because I haven't missed a week and I've been waiting for the sleep topic. Just in case, I kept asking..."so...how would I use this strategy to get my son to sleep?"

Most of the things we talked about had been covered in other sessions: Time-in and time-out, the difference between punishment and discipline, etc. We were offered a concise list of strategies that I shall bestow upon you (examples are mine):

-Prevention. My entire purpose as a parent is often devoted to preventing meltdowns. Of course you're supposed to make sure your child isn't hungry, or over-tired (so it would be nice if they would ever get to the sleep topic).

-Redirection/distraction. When William is mad and lies down on the floor, I like to sing the sleeping bunnies song*. 80% of the time, when I get to "Wake up little bunnies" he will hop, hop, hop, as if that was the whole reason he was lying there.

-Natural consequences/logical consequences. Natural consequences are just what happens if you don't intervene (you get cold if you don't wear your coat), logical consequences make sense, but you still have to invent them. Like if he throws his food, he has to stay sitting in his high chair until I clean everything up.

-Time-in we talked about before.

- Either/or. Either you stop throwing those blocks, or I will take them away. I love giving my son choices, it totally works (sometimes). I'm all set to take his blocks away and suddenly he says "Oh, okay" and starts playing properly. Things do get through, somehow.

-Polite request. You're supposed to do this first, and it's amazing how easy it is to forget.

-Remove possession. I like to do this in combination with the either/or method.

-Do-over. Can't say I even did this, but the example they gave is if a kid won't hang their coat, you make them put their coat and boots back on, go out the door, and come in again. I just think that's brilliant. (I would need to use it on myself)

-When..Then. "After I change your diaper, then you can come back and play with your drum." It seems obvious, but somehow it works. I think my son still thinks that things disappear if he's away from them for five seconds.

-Tone of voice. Be calm...be nice.

-Eye contact. They say that boys in particular are bad at eye-contact and one shouldn't expect it from them at a young age. That may be true, but William is very good at using it as a persuasion technique. He does everything he can to get at my level, climbs on my chair, insists I pick him up. Then gets right in my face, noses touching, sticky toddler breath. "Mommy apple."

-Delay or deny privilege. I like to use this as one of my final resorts, as it may petentially cause a meltdown. (And I'm all about prevention, remember?)

-I-message. All this means is that you give a sentence about how you feel. "I feel frusterated when you won't go to sleep", "I feel happy when you help me pick up your toys". I do this, and it rarely works, but I'm told that it's good to teach children about feelings anyway.

*See the sleeping bunnies, sleep 'till nearly noon.
Shall we wake them with our merry tune?
Oh so still, are they ill?
Wake up, little bunnies and hop hop hop.
Hop hop hop!
Hop hop hop!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shameless shelf promotion

In order to win the Shameless self promotion award

I have spent the weekend working on a revised website for myself, to show off some photos I have taken
I would greatly appreciate it if you could have a look and let me know what you think of it. and more importantly let me know what should be changed or improved

website link is


Thanks! :)


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Our Easter celebrations:

Dyed and coloured eggs on Good Friday at my parents' house.

Went to my parents house this morning for breakfast. William immediately began chowing down on some Easter cookies that Auntie Eireann made for him. He also handed them out to everyone like a gentleman.

When Hunter arrived, Adam and I followed clues to William's basket, while Willliam followed Hunter around as he searched for his.

Then we had to wait while my Dad (Opa) "talked with the Easter Bunny" about where to hide the eggs we had coloured.

Found the eggs Opa and the Easter Bunny had hidden. Then had our traditional egg fight. Kevin, my sister's boyfriend, won. I think they actually brought their winning egg from home, which is dedication (or cheating, I can't decide which).

Then we all went outside to try out the 3D sidewalk chalk that the bunny brought us. No amount of putting 3D glasses in front of the camera would get the effect to appear on film. Basically all warm colours seemed to come towards you, while all cool colours seemed to recede. So really, only the red is 3D. Still cool though.

I wonder how my mother-in-law would feel about some hopscotch on her driveway when we go over there this evening. Maybe not a good idea.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jadzia's First Swim

Pictured above is my daughter's first time in a bathing suit (followed closely by her first time in a pool). We went to the YMCA (where I'm sure you will find many ways to have a good time). Jadzia did remarkably well for her first swim. She didn't cry or fuss, instead she spent the time laughing, cooing, and staring in wonder at all the kids, water, and pretty soccer balls.

Her brother, who hasn't been swimming in several months, was pleasantly terrified the entire time. He was shivering and clinging to either Adam or me, with a nervous smile plastered onto his face (the kind of expression one might see on a bungee jumper). He must have enjoyed himself though, because initiated freak-out mode when it was time to leave.

We left the pool at around 7pm, which is the time Jadzia usually wants to go to sleep. Yet, even though it was her fussy time, and we were in a super-overstimulating environment, Jadzia seemed totally comfortable in the water.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sexist Furnace Man

We're having our furnace serviced today. Nothing wrong with it but we have some sort of a plan that includes a yearly look-see. Anyway, he keeps telling me that I can "get my husband" to do stuff . I can get my husband to turn off the humidifier; I can get my husband to install a new filter.

For the humidifier, he even showed me where the switch was, then said to tell my husband to switch it to "winter" in winter and "summer" in summer. "Or I could just do it," said I. He just stared blankly, my point obviously not registering.

It's clear from the state of our filter that both myself and my husband are furnace novices, but I'm sure I could buy a filter and install it myself. I'm not that pink! (Of course, knowing that I can do it means I don't have to prove it to anyone, so I'll ask my husband to handle it).

Okay, so I am a little bit pink. But Furnace Man doesn't know me. I could be the most handy girl ever. I could fix Harleys in my spare time and go base-jumping with the boys. I had two kids. I'm probably tougher than he is!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Jadzia's first time in an exersaucer

I think you're supposed to wait until they're four months old, but her brother hung out in his exersaucer when he was three-months so today I gave it a try. The Early Years has one that is identical to the one we own. I might as well do a test, thought I, before I decide to take ours out of storage. She seemed fairly comfortable, but when I took a peak underneath, I saw that her feet just barely brush the ground:

This on the shortest setting. And people keep telling me how long she is.

Speaking of questionable parenting...I forgot Jadzia at the Early Years Centre today. I got to the car, buckled William into his carseat, and only then did I notice the empty spot next to him and realize why it had been unusually easy to carry everything. I was missing a child! Luckily I know everyone who works at there and she was in good hands (at least in no worse hands than her mother's). I felt like the worst scum of the Earth. What kind of person forgets her own daughter?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Gift of Discipline Workshop: Week 6

Today's topic was "discipline strategies". Odd, I thought this was always the topic. I'm beginning to realise that my method of trial and error, and letting most things slide, and doing everything within reason to avoid freak-outs, is actually not a bad "strategy".

I already know the difference between "discipline" and "punishment" (though they are listed as synonyms in some thesauruses). Discipline teaches, punishment does not. This, to me, means that I don't have to dream up big ominous consequences for any misbehaviours. If he has fun learning not to hit, throw, grab knives off the kitchen counter...that doesn't mean I'm not being strict enough. As long as he's learning.

We were handed a "Problem Solving Model", with steps to prepare us for any discipline issue that might arise: "1. What's happening? 2. Why is it happening? 3. What can you do? 4. What if it doesn't work?" All very well and good, except that you have to go through all this before hand. So not only do I have to predict every little insane thought that gets into William's toddler head, but I also have to plan ahead, something that goes against my nature even more than discipline does. Step 4 even has us thinking up a back-up plan. Gah!

As usual, I shall take all these strategies and only adopt the ones that make sense to me, throwing out all others (of course, I'll pass any literature that agrees with my philosophies on to my husband).

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Normally my daughter is the champion of puking, but today William challenged her title. He seemed fine in the morning, had lunch, went down for his nap at the normal time, woke up at the normal time. Then, as we were driving towards the Early Years Centre for a much needed outting, he vomited all over his carseat.

"I guess we're not going to the Early Years," said I, and whirled the car around.

For the rest of the afternoon, my son was an up-chuck machine. It was obvious when a bout of throw-up was coming, because he would stop what he was doing, scream "No! No! No!", cry, run around in a circle, and generally freak out in a toddler sort of way. Then cough, gag, puke.

After a few times, I became practiced enough to catch the puke in a bowl, a task requiring a tiny bit of muscle since my freaking toddler kept trying to push the bowl away. In any case the ordeal exhausted him, and he went to bed early, having eaten only a slice of bread since the pukefest began.

I couldn't figure out how to take the cover off the carseat to wash it, even after trying diligently for a full ten seconds. Luckily, Adam had done it before and was more than happy to handle vomit-coated straps. The cover says "Handwash only" on it, so I set the washing machine to "Handwash." Getting the thing back on is going to be interesting.

Hopefully my little man feels better tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day

I was going to write something foolish as a blog entry because it's April Fool's Day, but it's after one o'clock, and I was always taught that if you fool someone after noon then you'll be crowned the fool of all fools (or something like that). So now this marks the third year in a row that I've missed fooling anyone on April Fool's Day.

I couldn't find any April fool's day hoaxes to amuse myself, so perhaps the media also subscribes to the no fools in the afternoon thing. Instead here's a video from a news service that makes it April Fool's Day all year 'round:

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard
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