"The Tightrope Walker"

"The Tightrope Walker" by Jean-Louis Forain

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kids Say and Do the Darnedest Things.

In an effort to remember all the great moments I have with my kids I'm going to start posting some of the funny things that make me laugh and smile. Love to hear which ones are your favourite!

Oldest Daughter: Mom, do you want to play dinosaurs with me?

Me: Sure

Her: You can be these guys. Where do you think this should be?

Me: What do you mean?

Her: You know like the Jurassic Time Period.

Me: Yep, Jurassic is fine.

Her: Okay, I'll be the Time Period then.

Too funny! She has been watching a kid's program all about dinosaurs, but I guess some of the language and concepts are still a bit beyond her.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hump Day!

I have been holding off posting until I was feeling a little more like myself and a little less doom-and-gloom, as I'm sure you noticed in my last post. BUT, this has been one heck of a week and it is only Wednesday.

Yet again I'm trapped in the turmoil that ensues while my husband works the night shift. So far this week we have had a bloody nose, a burnt dinner, and I've got a sore throat that feels the way I think swallow razor blades might feel. Then comes today....

My girls have been playing nicely all day while I wallow in the misery of my sore throat, aching ears and pounding headache. Then the "witching hour" strikes. I never really understood what people meant when they said things about their kids getting worked up during the "witching hour" until I had children of my own. And, let me tell you the ghouls and goblins were out in full force at my house tonight!

I could tell when my oldest smashed the table with her fist and shrieked in anger because her eraser "wasn't working" properly that we were in for a bumpy, especially since it was only 3:30. From there it was all down hill. Running, voices getting louder, thunderstorm outside and all well I tried to get dinner started early. Next thing I know my youngest has bitten my oldest and even though I was already on my way to her rescue my oldest daughter decided that a little vigilante sibling retaliation was in order. Before I could scoop up the baby and direct her to a non-biting activity her sister hit her, and hit her hard, with a rubber-foam booster seat in the side of the head. Pure chaos followed while one cried in pain and the other (I'd like to think) in guilt.

So, what to do? Both were hurt by the other, both acted inappropriately, and now both are crying as loud as their lungs will allow. I obviously couldn't punish the little one because she is still too little to understand and I'm pretty sure the biting is due to an incoming molar. As for the oldest, I empathize because those baby teeth are sharp but she knows better than to hit. In the end I "faked" a time out for the little one while the older had a real time out, and then everyone kissed and hugged better. By the time everyone was feeling better I had left our homemade pizzas in the oven too long. Dinner was just a little burnt!

Here is where you should stop and note the time stamp on this post. That's right a little after 6pm. The youngest is in bed and the oldest is just finishing 30 minutes of TV time before bath and bed. With any luck my house will be quiet by 7pm and one more day will be done. Thank goodness for that!

Side note to my husband: If you happen to read this I hope you realize that you owe me at least one glass of wine, a quiet bubble bath all by myself, and at least one hour of silent reading, again all by myself. OR, a full weekend of Daddy-only diaper changes. Your choice! Love ya. ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

A new low, or is it a new high?

Well, you've probably noticed I haven't posted about my weight loss in a while. That's because there hasn't been any. I'm actually feeling rather embarrassed by my public declaration to loss 10 lbs by my birthday, which was followed by a rapid weight gain. Over the last while I went up and down in the same 5 lb range, but most recently I have sky rocketed to a new high. Its actually not a new high, I've been heavier than this but not in almost 10 years. So here I find myself feeling embarrassed by my own lack of motivation, drive and achievement, but also not surprised. And that's the problem. Why am I not surprised by my own failings? I think it is because I am acutely aware of my own weaknesses. I can rattle of with ease a long list of "things that are wrong with me", but why can't I make a list of "things that are right with me"? Where does my inability to offer positive self-talk come from? And, what do I do now? Is this just me? Can you change who you are? How? Still puzzling away at how to add a little more balance to my life and reach my goals. Well, really if I could just reach one goal, doesn't matter which one I think I would feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Or would I? (Feeling a little trapped in my own brain today. Can you tell as I write in circles???)

Happy Trails. (Part Three)

I could probably write a long paper or short novel about our first road trip with our girls, but I'll save you the agony of a long read and skip right to the important things we learned.

Packing light can be possible - all you need is a hotel with cribs and laundry. Yep, we left our play pen at home and opted for the hotel crib. I was hesitant to try a hotel crib with images of germs and cooties dancing in head, but with our own bedding in hand my worries were eased. All of the hotels we stayed at had a crib or play pen for us to use. They were all a little different and some obviously better than others, but all were clean and in good shape. I brought along a play pen fitted sheet, a crib fitted sheet, one large receiving blanket and a lovey blanket. The sheets were much smaller then the play pen obviously we used them all and I actually think they helped our daughter to get to sleep in all the new and strange places we stayed. A little bit of home to help her feel safe.

Now for that pesky second part - laundry. Yes, I did laundry while on our holiday. I know you're probably thinking I'm crazy, but with kids asleep by 8pm what are you going to do trapped in a hotel room. In Ottawa we stayed in a one bedroom suite that was more like a small apartment with a kitchen, laundry and separate living room. This was awesome! Our last night in Ottawa the girls fell asleep early and we stayed up watching TV and doing laundry - with a glass of wine of course! I was able to pack all our clean stuff into one suitcase and pack all the things we wanted for the next three days into the other. As we moved from one hotel to the next for the rest of the week we left most of luggage in the car, and the best part....when we got home after a WEEK away I only had two loads of laundry to do. This is a dream! Every holiday comes to a quick and screeching halt when you arrive home to mountains of laundry. The laundry was done and everything unpacked in short order. My husband and I actually had a relaxing evening when we got home.

The next lesson we learned is about that kitchen I mentioned at the suite hotel. This was a great idea. We were able to have breakfast in, keep snacks, milk for the baby, enjoy a glass of wine/beer, and save little money on eating out. Our kids are usually really good restaurants, but eating out every meal for a week can be very tedious. One night we ordered in pizza, rented a movie and snuggled up just like at home. Great way to re-energize and start the next day ready for an adventure!

Our last lesson - kids will play with anything. (Duh!) I was so worried about keeping our kids busy that I packed a big toy back for both of them. This was a waste of time and precious car space. Our youngest was happy to play with the remote controls, pillows, telephones and all the other interesting things in the hotel room. A ball and baby doll would have been enough for her. As for our oldest, she was so active all day that most of her evenings were easily filled with swimming and quiet TV time. Not to mention all the goodies she collected during our adventures! Her electronic gadgets were great for in the car and they would also have been enough for at the hotel. (A side note on all those electronic gadgets. What a great idea for traveling, but headphones are must!)

All that said, we learned a lot, had a blast and we are even thinking about a longer road trip for next summer! Next challenging...flying with kids...hmmmm?

Happy Trails. (Part Two)

Safely tucked into our hotel in downtown Ottawa the real adventure began. We had lots of plans and I wasn't exactly sure I was looking forward to the packed schedule ahead.

The itinerary:

Fri - arrive Ottawa, relax, swim, dinner, bed.
Sat - a.m. visit Parliament Hill, lunch and relax.
- p.m. family wedding (Weddings and kids is a whole other post in and of it self!)
Sun - Museum of Civilization
Mon - Museum of Nature and Experimental Farm
Tues - Upper Canada Village, start working our way home
Wed - the BEACH
Thur - who knows, but one last fun thing before home arriving home tonight.

So, that was our plan in all its glory. You'll notice I say "was our plan" because lesson number one when traveling with children is be flexible. When you read all the advice and info about travelling with kids everyone always say "don't over plan", but I disagree. I say plan to your hearts content, but be prepared to roll with the punches. Be prepared to run through a museum that should take three hours in an hour and half, plan to cut activities and add others, include swims, walks, TV time and all the "regular" activities you would do at home. For us traveling with our kids wasn't about not doing things, but doing things at their pace. An example - Sunday we had planned to have some quiet time at our hotel after the museum and then head out for some exploring of downtown Ottawa. Even after relaxing for a bit we were all zonked and pretty grouchy, but we set out for some exploring anyway. (We hadn't taken in to consideration how late we would be out the night before at the wedding.) This was a mistake! We weren't even half way to our final destination before our oldest daughter was whining, complaining and generally prepared to explode in misery. Quick look down a side street and we spotted a restaurant - it became our final destination. Exploring Ottawa scrapped for now, but with some food in our tummies, a bite of ice cream and short walk back to the hotel our spirits lifted and everyone managed to enjoy a relaxing swim before bed. Schedule re-shuffled and we were able to spend a whole morning later in the week exploring Parliament Hill and the Byward Market. We still did the things we wanted...we just did them when are kids had the energy.

So our plans changed, but that is how the whole week went. Traded one fun thing for another, and tried to enjoy it...even if it wasn't what we expected!

Happy Trails. (Part One)

It seems like a life time since I've had a chance to write. Time for some major catching up.

First new post - all about our road tripping adventure with kids in tow.

Since our oldest daughter was born 4 plus year ago we haven't really traveled to any great extent. Day trips to the beach and zoo, trips to the cottage, a few overnight trips in hotels, but nothing major. So, it was with trepidation, out right fear and a little "what are we thinking" that we planned a 7-day, 6-night road trip with our two daughters. As was the case with our camping trip, we packed and re-packed until we were bringing less but still we over-packed. I jammed everything in the car and set out on day one with my daughters and mother. (My husband joined us a day later via airplane - lucky devil.)

Lots of things went right and lots of things went, well, not wrong but more like sideways. I planned our departure to coincide with morning nap time, but in order to get off at just the right time I decided I had better pack the car the night before. Thank goodness for that decision because Friday morning we woke up to pouring rain. And I mean pouring!!! The rain followed us for almost the entire drive. This probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but approximately seven hours in a car listening to rain lash the windshield while the wipers squeak back and forth is rather tedious. The rain also put our picnic lunch plans to ruin which made for a squishy, messy and uncomfortable lunch in the car. I love my mom to death and although the tuna and egg salad sandwiches she made were delicious they didn't exactly make for easy baby food when trapped in the car. Can you picture the mess of a 13 month-old strapped in her carseat while I'm turned backwards in the drivers seat trying to feed her egg salad?

Regardless of the downpour we safely and pleasantly made it to Ottawa (in 7 hours including two stops totaling about an hour and fifteen minutes). The girls were both well behaved. Thankfully naps, movies, and today's modern gadgets for kids made for a mostly peaceful ride. (Plus the bribe of a new movie and game for the Leapster never hurts either!) With day one complete, and our longest drive over I figured spending the next few days working our way home would be a piece of cake! Little did I know....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Sigh.

This has been one of those long stretches with lots of unusual events keeping us extra busy. So busy that I haven't had a single non-mommy moment in ages, including blogging, or at least it feels that way. Camping, visits with friends, cottage trips, splash pads, hiding from the heat, shopping, packing for another trip and all the regular every day stuff too. Add to that two weeks of single parenthood because of the afternoon shift and I am feeling TIRED!

With all that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've carved out a little time for myself tomorrow after. No children, no hubby, iced coffee, manicure, pedicure and at least an hour and a half of pure indulgence. This is how I know life is too busy and the scales are tipping in favour of chaos - an hour and half of peace sounds like bliss! It is a sad state of affairs when spending a whole day curled up with a good book is just a fond memory. Big sigh. Maybe life will return to a more regular pace in a few weeks and I'll be able to crack the spine of good book and read it cover to cover in one interrupted session...or at least until a little person knocks on the door wanting some cuddles!