Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cool internet thingies

We're having a pretty slow day here in Super Happy Land, so I thought I'd take some time to show you some random, cool, internet thingies I've found.

First of all, yesterday was BoobQuake, a fun event started as a joke by fellow atheist blogger Jen McCreight (great name Jen).  After an Iranian Cleric linked immodestly dressed women to earthquakes, Jen urged everyone to wear their most revealing outfits on Monday, April 26 to see if there were any more earthquakes than usual.  200 000 people, including yours truly, wore our sexy shirts in support of this, and the story was picked up by CNN, CTV, and The Colbert Report, among others.  There was a pretty major Earthquake in Taiwan yesterday, but as Jen explains, it wasn't statistically significant.  Just to make sure though, there's talk of making this an annual event.  Oh, and Jen's selling BoobQuake T-shirts and giving all the proceeds to charity.  I'll buy one as soon as I figure out what size fits me...I hate buying clothes online.   Oh and just for the record...I read Jen's blog before she became internationally famous, so I can say I knew her when....Well only about a month before she became famous but still.

I was going to share more awesome internet stuff for you but my son is demanding "racing crashing toy videos"  So I shall leave you with this image:

I made this using IOGraphica, a program that tracks your mouse movements to make a pretty picture.  I first heard about it on my sister's blog, Design Chick's Blogaboo, which I've found to be another excellent source of random internet fun.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mall Fair 2010!

This time of year a fair randomly sprouts up in the mall parking lot and starts charging ridiculous prices for food, rides, and games.  But what is normally a useless money-vacuum, is a worthwhile and wonderful experience when children are involved (of course it helps to share a bulk pack of ride tickets).  All the kiddie rides are variations on the same thing; kids drive around in a circle in some sort of vehicle (car, boat, worm).  Watching them is hilarious.  Zoe concentrates as though she is taking a driver's test.  Aedan performs over-the-shoulder blindspot checks.  William, in full road rage mode, growls "Go faster!"

Speaking of looking silly while on a ride, my husband took a video of me riding the ferris wheel in an attempt to capture my fear of heights on film.  As you can see though, I was fairly calm and collected the whole time:

Friday, April 23, 2010

He looks so innocent

We were the first to arrive at the beach for our outdoor play date, despite having taken an hour preparing peanut butter and jam sandwiches, packing fruit and cookies, and washing off the sand toys that have been sitting in our sand box (aka mud and leaf box) all winter.  Most of my favourite Mommy friends came and the kids barely glanced at the playground equipment they were so excited to play in the sand.

Before anyone else arrived I had to remind William not to throw sand.  There have been times, while at the park near my house, that I've gone home for this after only one warning. But this park is a 15 minute drive, instead of a 5 minute walk, and my friends were coming.

In the next little while, it became clear to me that William was simply in a sand throwing mood.  Part of me understands.  The sand at the beach is so soft, so perfect, so throwable.  When he threw sand directly in his friend Aedan's face, I had a fun lecture-talk with him about what we could and couldn't do with sand.

"Can we throw sand in our friend's face?"
"Can we throw sand in our sister's face?"
"Can we dig a big hole in the sand?" 
"Can we dump sand on our friend's head?"
"Can we use the sifter to play in the sand?"
"But we don't throw sand, right?"
"I will not throw sand!"

Soon after, William threw sand AGAIN.  This time at his friend Annaliese.  He likely did it because he was pretty sure I wasn't watching, and he would be right.  But I had lots of other mommies and children being my eyes and ears.   I took William aside on a bench for a time out.  I showed William the time on my watch and told him what numbers it would change to when three minutes were up.  Then, having no more weapons in my dicipline arsennal, I gave him the ultimate threat :  we would go home if he threw sand again.

My friend was just congratulating me on my calm doling out of discipline, when he threw sand again! The final straw was a fairly innocent exchange between him and his friend Leyla.  I say innocent, because she threw sand too, though I'm pretty sure William started it.    I had no choice, I had made a promise.  I packed up our stuff, and we left. 

He cried all the way home, saying "I want to go to the beach!"  I honestly told him that I wanted to go to the beach too, but we couldn't because he was throwing sand. We were running out of children who had not had sand thrown in their faces and hair by my son.  I only hope he remembers this incident, so he doesn't become a schoolyard bully, or the class loner.

Now, hours later, William just calmly told me "I've very mad that you left the beach."  There's always next time, William.  It's going to be a long summer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One child less

Today my Mom whisked William off to Toronto for a media day.  They're going to ride on the GO Train, see the CN tower, have a special lunch, maybe see a play...or something.  Anyway the point is I only have Jadzia today!

Now should I go somewhere just for Jadzia, like the pet store or animal shelter or on a nature walk  OR should I go do something that would be tedious to do with William, like grocery shopping?  I was thinking of buying myself a timer to motivate myself to clean (and to make sure I never do more than 5 minutes of chores a day), so I'm thinking I'll go to the mall, get a timer, and visit the pet store with Jadzia.

But then it's Earth Day, so maybe I should go outdoors and not use a car?  I've walked to the mall before, but it was a long walk, and I got a ride back.  I could bike it too, but then I'd have to bring the gigantic 2-kid stroller, and there's still the problem of the entire way home being up hill.  Which is totally the Earth's fault.   I'm trying to be good here, Mother Earth, but you're not making it easy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Super Happy Family Search Story

Here's my version of a Google Search Story, w using their search story creator on youtube. What a fabulously sneaky way to spread your ad campaign. As if they need an ad campaign. I mean, who hasn't heard of/used Google? W

BTW: The W's in this post are not typos.  They were requested by William.  Now off to watch monster truck videos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How to get kids dirty

Step 1:  Make sure you pick a day that's kind of rainy in the morning, but not too much so there's still sunshine to enjoy.  Today, for example, was perfect.  The sky opened up as I was driving to the Royal Botanical Gardens to meet my friends for a playdate, but by the time I got there it said "Just kidding, cue the sun!"

Step 2: Bring lots of children. Especially three-year-olds, and a 16-month-old who thinks she's a three-year-old.  They will get each other nicely riled up.  They may even roll on the ground for you!

Step 3: Go on a hike in nature.  Since you picked the perfect weather, parts of the trail will be muddy.  Make sure you let the children walk through the mud without assistance.

Step 4: Pause for a while on a particularly muddy patch of trail.  While you're trying to identify what species of swimming larvae you're looking at, pay little or no attention to what your 16-month-old is doing.

Step 5:  Hot dogs and ice cream.  Nothing dirties a kid's face faster than a chocolate ice cream cone.

Step 6:  If they aren't dirty enough yet,  FINGER PAINT!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Biking with kids

Today I was desperate to get out of the house and do something in the gorgeous weather, so I decided to try biking with my giant chariot stroller hitched up to the back of my bicycle.  We've had the stroller since last year, but the rules say that you can only put a kid in there (while attached to a bike) if they are over one year old, so this is the first season that both offspring can ride.

Things to keep in mind:
  1. My children weigh 20 lbs and 37 lbs respectively.
  2. Despite the appearance of a trim physique, my body is actually hiding fat very well and I am extremely out-of-shape.
  3. I live in a deceptively hilly neighbourhood on the top of the Niagara escarpment.
  4. Jadzia hates her helmet and spends most of the trip trying to liberate herself from it.
  5. I hate excercise.  No, really.
My parents only live about a kilometre away, so I made that our destination.   My pipe dream when we bought the chariot was that I would bike everywhere, save a million dollars in gas, and become the fittest girl in the world.  As I began my journey I was thinking: this is easy...I'm always going to use my bike to go to Mom's house, and the library, and maybe some farther places too.  Then I hit my first hill.

I then noticed a design flaw in the road system.  Every stop sign and curb is followed immediately by a steep hill.  Once the bike gets going, I can pull 57 pounds of children plus 20 lbs of stroller fairly easily.  Getting going is the tough part.  Getting going up a hill is next to impossible.  The stroller does its darnedest to drag me backward while I huff and I puff and I creep up the hill at the break-neck speed of one inch an hour.  But exercise is the name of the game so I only gave up and walked the whole contaption up the hill twice, the rest of the time I charged ahead.  Super woman, was I.

By the end my legs were jello, my lungs were on fire, and my heart was threatening attack.  Luckily the ride back was slightly more downhill.  I was right about one thing; much more of this and I will definitely become the fittest girl in the world.  But is it worth it?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ottawa Weekend Gettaway

Adam's friend-since-elementary-school Chris and his beloved Lisa are getting married in September and this weekend was their Stag  & Doe.  So my parents watched the kids for the weekend and we high-tailed down to our nation's capital to enjoy the party (and more importantly to enjoy a kidless weekend).

About halfway throught the 6-hour drive, Chris called to tell us the Stag & Doe had been cancelled.  The Maid of Honour/sister of the Bride had gone into labour 27 weeks pregnant and Lisa had gone to Toronto to be with her.  We found out later that the baby, Liam, was born 2 lbs 10 ounces with lungs strong enough to cry (I'm no expert, but I think this means he's going to be okay.  The really horrid complications from premature birth are usually from lack of oxygen due to under-developed lungs.)

Anyway, while I missed the opportunity to dance with my hubby, we got a lot more hanging out with Chris time than we would have had the Stag & Doe gone on.  The cancelled event would have included lots of people we don't know, and I would have spent the evening convincing Adam to get on the dance floor, while explaining to random strangers that we really are good friends with Chris and Lisa even though we have lived in different cities for years and years. 

Instead, we played boardgames at Chris's apartment, went out to dinner, then saw the most horrible movie imaginable: Clash of the Titans.  We were expecting a plotless action flick with over-the-top special effects but what we got was a really really plotless action flick with worse writing than is usual for the genre, under-whelming special effects, and bad 3D.
If I can be allowed a brief digression, some ideas for improvement (warning spoilers):
  • Have someone who knows how to write go over the script, and remember show don't tell.  For example, the talk Perseus has with his father about how he really does love him even though he's adopted, could have been said with a look and a hug.  His father's speech about being angry with the Gods was just embarrassing.
  • Actually film the movie in 3D, instead of doing a bad convert of a 2D flick.
  • Make Olympus look more awesome and heavenly, instead of an over-exposed version of the counsel of the Jedi.
  • Eliminate the character of Perseus's mother's husband.  The back story is okay, but why have him come back for revenge?  Can't Hades summon giant scorpions by himself?
  • Only once should we be told that Zeus feeds on love but Hades feeds on hate.  After that, we get it.
  • The whole plot with princess Andromeda should be either scrapped or built up so that we actually care about her being sacrificed to the giant octopus thing.  Seems like a no-brainer to me that we should feed her to the Crachen to save the city, what took them so long?  Instead we killed off five guys and a tree-monster trying to get Medusa's head.  That's just not good economics.
  • The two hunters that join the team but don't actually do anything after that (beyond ride a scorpion) should be part of a subplot with Andromeda and we can have fun getting to know them.  In fact, all the characters should be developed better.
  • Perseus should die at the end.  The fates said he would, so he should.  He's a demi-God, so he can come back to life if they really want.
  • Longer fight scene with Hades at the end.  The guy is a GOD people!  Just because Perseus killed his pet monster doesn't mean he should suddenly be able to go down with one quick jab to the gut.  Even I could have lasted longer against Perseus (who is about as Godly as my pinky toe BTW). 
Anyway, we had a great time staying in a hotel without our children.  I mean, I love my kids, I really do, but they can be mood-killers.  In any case, the break was nice.  The next day we had a delicious breakfast at a restaurant Chris recommended and then saw the Aviation museum.  Lots of planes, but a distinct lack of fun interactive exhibits.  Not the most fabulous museum I've ever been in, but definitely more well-put-together than Clash of the Titans.  Perhaps I should see the original movie...it has to be better.

After the museum we drove home to Burlington.  Not only did our children not miss us, but William has been asking all day when we are going back to Omi's house.  My parents took the kids to the Science Centre and to High Park and they may have had more fun than we did.  They definitely did less driving.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My Genes at Work

Yesterday William yanked a handful of hair from his sister's head.  Today at the Early Years, he hit another boy in a fight over a toy and left a red mark on his face.  Those are some of the worst offences, but there have been many more instances of hitting, kicking, scratching and throwing.  He's getting more and more physical with other kids and with me.  I'm told he must be going through something: a growth spurt, illness, etc.  Or perhaps he's over-tired, but he has only himself to blame for that.  He fights sleep even more than he fights me.

When he's defiant, or physical, or both, I call him on it and his bubble bursts.  His bravado becomes tears.  He wants a hug.  He says "I love you Mommy"  and "I'm sorry I hurt you and Jadzia."  We talk about hitting and why it's not allowed.  We talk about how to get what we want with words.  We talk.  We talk. We talk.  And the next day, it starts all over again.

I was like this, I remember.  Oh, yes, this is all from my side.  It took me a long time to make any real friends in school, because when I met kids I couldn't bully the way I bullied my siblings, I didn't know what to do with myself.  First I acted crazy and noone wanted to be my friend, and then I became shy and everyone made fun of me.  I'm confident that my son will not become a murderer just because he hits at the age of three, but I would like him to have an easier time than I did in elementary school.

In the mean time I'll keep telling him I love him, trying to avoid love-testing experiments. What is a love-testing experiment, you ask?  It goes like this, do something that you observe your younger sibling getting away with (ie pulling hair).  When you get in trouble, think to yourself "HA! That proves that they love her more!" 

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A night time visitor

Last night I was in the kitchen getting a glass of water when I happened to glance into the playroom.  That's when I saw a large rabbit, about the size of a three-year-old child (a little taller if you count the ears).  He had fluffy white fur, a perfect pink nose, and he was wearing a green jacket.  He hopped around the playroom, carrying a basket full of eggs.

As he pulled each egg out of his basket, I saw that they were the same eggs we had coloured the Friday before at my in-law's house.  I quickly checked the fridge.  The carton was there, but it was empty.

The rabbit hopped right past me, down the stairs to the basement.  His basket didn't look like it would hold any more, but he reached deep inside it, farther even than it looked like the bottom would be.  I knew then that it was a magic basket.  He pulled out two Easter Baskets, one for each of my kids I presumed, and placed them on the coffee table.

When he was all done, a hole that looked like the entrance to a burrough appeared in the middle of the carpet.  The rabbit hopped inside, and the magic hole disappeared behind him.  I thought this was all a dream, until I woke up this morning to find all the coloured eggs hidden in the playroom just where I saw the rabbit hide them, and two baskets of Easter goodies sitting on the coffee table in the basement.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Meeting Violet

Today we took William and Jadzia back to the place they were born to meet the newest addition, my brand new neice Violet McNicoll:

Violet was born yesterday (April 2) at 7 lbs 15 ounces.  She's Craig and Eireann's very first baby! (They are my brother, and sister-in-law in case you don't know).  I was going to go to the hospital to see her yesterday, but there were a million relatives all mulling around the maternity ward, and noone wanted me around because I was sick.  Nothing serious, just a 24-hour bug, actually more like a 10-hour bug.   Anyway, I'm better now.

Eireann is a super hero.  She couldn't have an epidural, so she did the whole giving birth thing using only lame drugs that don't actually work.  Violet was only one day late (early in my mind as my kids were 11 days late, and 5 days late) but she took her time clawing her way out of there at the end. 

Check out how big my baby looks next to violet.  She's enormous!  Jadzia was actually a tiny bit smaller than Violet at birth (7 lbs 7) and now she clocks in at just over 20 lbs.  My babies are old now.  Good thing I have a new niece to cuddle!

I can't have a pic of Jadzia and the baby, without posting a pic of William with the baby too.  William used to be a baby.  But he's not anymore.  Eireann and Craig: in only 3 years, Violet will be gigantic like this (only a girl)!  It's mind-boggling really.

Anyway I'm looking forward to watching Violet grow up, and play with William and Jadzia, and be super good friends with them.   Congratulations, Craig and Eireann!  Welcome to planet Earth, Violet!

Oh, I almost forgot.  Daddies and daughters!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

This is not an april fools prank, this is my reality.

Last night William went to bed at 11 pm, after a two-hour stand-off during which he woke up his sister at least four times, culminating in Adam and I turning all the lights off in the house and going to bed without any adult time. Well at least he's going to sleep in, right?

This morning at 6am my son, who normally wakes up between 7:30 and 8am (all other parents, feel free to hate me now), got up screaming his head off, as if he had only just paused for a breath and was now resuming his tantrum.

The rest of the morning went neutrally. No stickers went up on his "good listening" chart, but I had no impulse to tear any off either. After lunch, I decided that we should take advantage of the nice weather and head outside. William thought this was a great idea, he just had to watch one more racing crashing car video on youtube first.

We ended up on our way to the park a block from my house. I didn't bring the stroller, so I was holding Jadzia by the hand while William ran ahead (he knows to stop at the corner and hold hands to cross the road). My 15-month-old has become a fairly good walker in recent months, but her legs are shorter than the rest of us and it took a long time to walk this way. William kept running ahead, then running back to us, then running ahead again. Immediately after we got there, he noticed that he forgot to bring hotwheels cars to drive down the slide and wanted to go home and get some. Just play without them, said I.

Not knowing what to do with himself, William went down the slide once, then lay down in the sand. Jadzia put about five handfuls of sand into her mouth, one after another, and cheerfully cooed "Noooo!" when I tried to stop her.

I remarked that William looked tired and he leapt up and started throwing sand (an obvious no-no). I told him we had to leave because neither of them were playing with the sand properly. I could've given more warnings, but then sometimes kids misbehave because they want to go home.

William burst into tears and started screaming. I know that people tend to use the term "screaming" when a kid is only crying. This is not what I mean. The sound that came out of William's mouth was an ear-piercing, high-pitched noise, somewhere between a rabid squirrel and a horror-movie heroine. I grabbed a squirming Jadzia by the waste, and held William's hand as gently as I could while he thrashed around trying to get away. With his free hand he hit and scratched me, and my left forearm now looks as if it has been mauled by a miniature wolverine. The school kids and teachers were out for recess, and observed the whole horrifying ordeal.

He calmed down soon after we got home and I lay down in bed with him. Of course as soon as he started to doze off he jumped out of bed and ran back to the computer. The only guaranteed way to get William down for a nap is to drive him to sleep. I mean literally drive him to sleep in a car.

I was completely honest with him. I told him that I thought he was tired enough for a nap and that he would probably fall asleep if we drove anywhere. I would drive towards Ikea. If I was right, and he fell asleep, we I would drive home and put him to sleep. If I was wrong, and he was still awake when we got to Ikea, then I would let him play in the ballroom. This was a win-win deal for me. Either I get a napping child, or someone else can deal with him for an hour. (Why don’t more stores have these ball-rooms?)

At first I wanted him to sleep, but as we got halfway there I started liking the idea of having a peaceful snack in the Ikea cafeteria. And then they both fell asleep and I drove home.

Quiet. Ahhhhhhh.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...