Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Do you feel tired? Over worked? Under appreciated? Alone? Don’t worry, your day is here – Mother’s day! It is one day a year to show your Mommy how much you appreciate them and everything they do. Usually its filed with flowers, cards, chocolates, a good breakfast and perhaps even sleeping in. If all of this or more sounds like the day you’ve had – consider yourself lucky!!

There are some unfortunate Mommies who aren’t as lucky as you and I. Nope. They have had a terrible day and even week leading up to this day. I swear….it’s true. Personally it makes me upset that not every Mommy feels special (even just for today). Could you imagine your significant other telling you that 

“You’re not MY mother, so why should I do something for you?” 

“I made plans with MY mother; you’ll have to figure out something else”

IMAGINE!! I would lose my freaking mind. Lose it.

For all those men out there that really do take the time to appreciate their child(ren)’s Mommy – Thank you. It is a day to show how much you appreciate her for all the things (big or little) she does for the family. For all the times the house “magically” was cleaned when you got home. Or the numerous amounts of times dinner was ready and hot at just the perfect time. How about all the times the child(ren) decided to draw up the walls in crayon while you napped? Yup. You’re welcome.

Mother’s day is for all the Daddies who may not have the time to stop and say thank you (of course they think it all the time!) or for those who do but want to do more for the Mother of their children. It’s hard work being a Mommy – the constant needing from a child with no breaks in sight until bed time. We like to be appreciated every day but today more than anything. Don’t forget to reach out to your wife and give her a hug and kiss. Tell her you love her. Say the actual words “Thank You” (it means so much to hear them!!) and then let her relax for the day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

(Late) Spring Cleaning Time

This year is off to a late start in regards to a lot of things. We were still getting snow in April for Christ sake! Regardless of how it happened - its now Spring Cleaning Month for my family. I have to start writing out my list instead of keeping it in my head all the time! The backyard is going to be the biggest project, I think. The amount of branches that have fallen from all the winter storms (thanks Mother Nature!) its absolutely disastrous back there. Throw in the size of it and we have our work cut out for us! Once the branches are gone then it will be easier - cut the grass, pick up the rest of the leaves, plant a garden, etc. Its still fairly cool outside which is better than doing all this work in the scorching heat!

I've been on the hunt for the perfect pool for Adriana. I'm still gun-ho on getting more than just a wading pool with 4inches of water but the boyfriend doesn't seen it as beneficial. Clearly we need to make more trips to Wal-Mart together! Adriana loves swimming and has a life jacket so if we did get a bigger one, she would get lots of use out of a bigger pool rather than a smaller one. Plus we could use it more too when its really hot out. A quick dip to cool us off. He fears the dog will put a hole in it.
Nothing crazy - this one is 12'x30" and has a cover you buy separately. This will help keep the leaves and sticks out when we're not using it. I think it will be worth every penny of the $170 price tag (plus cover). I have never had a pool (I've always lived near a public pool or had friends who had one) and I would like to keep encouraging Adriana to swim. She will start swimming lessons again in the Fall!

I cleaned out Adriana's room (2 garbage bags later) and now she has a decent size room again! Next tackle is her closet. I have to fish out what still fits her and what doesn't anymore so we can make room for some new stuff. She already has some shorts and t shirts to get her started. Thanks to her Gran she also has some sandals and water shoes too! Our storage was converted from a small third bedroom and I still don't have enough space to keep everything!! Time to make the trip to the Goodwill then or....hello friends?

I can't wait for the summer!! I have some sweet days planned for Adriana and I this year (and if Daddy can get the days off work too). As long as she has her naps - we're golden. I have a shopping trip planned, zoo trip, movie date, swimming and cottage trip so far. I enjoy traveling with her because shes a people watcher and enjoys being on the go. Typical toddler. I refuse to sit inside all summer, sometimes walking down to the park or feeding the ducks - those are good things for the Spring and Fall but not summer! I may even look into a camping trip....oh do I dare?

Adriana wants to learn how to fish but I'm not sure she has the patience to make it through a round of fishing! She would end up scaring all the fish away. The boyfriend wants to teach her and I say Good Luck to you sir! I love fishing, just never had much time to continue it when life happened. He can teach her while I do my own fishing. Pretty sure it was my dad who taught me how to fish - although I'm not very good at it lol

What plans do you have with your kids this summer?
Do you travel with them on road trips? To where?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to take the Pacifier away?

This is the long dreaded question for parents usually after they're toddler hits 2 years old. By this time they have been comfortably gnawing on a plasticy rubber pacifier for some time - whether just at nap and bed time or all day long. Its been your go-to during those tantrums, fevers, colic, etc. just to get them to settle down. Now you're thinking its time to take the next big-kid step of losing the suckie....nummie, paci, sook, baba - whatever you call it. Have no fear fellow parents - I have compiled a list of ideas to do it smoothly!!

Last (long) weekend we made the big step to start taking it away. Adriana was really attached to it, but only at nap and bed time. She was always really good about it otherwise. We knew we had to be clever about it, taking it away cold turkey wasn't going to go lightly with her. We had to out smart a toddler. I know....crazy? Trust me!

A few suggests I found for losing the pacifier was to reward them with a gift in place of it. I didn't like this for Adriana as it was merely just a distraction from the cold turkey method. Adriana has a fantastic memory and although the gift would be ok for a day or two - she would definitely remember it after the hype settled on the new toy.

Another idea I found was to send it off to the "Pacifier Fairies" who would bring it to a new baby who needs it. This is a sweet idea especially if there's another baby on the way! However, Adriana would simply call herself the baby and keep it for herself. Pacifier Fairy - fail.

So what was I left to do?
Snip it.

Yes - that's right. I snipped the tip of the pacifier just a little at first and a little more the next day. Eventually, Adriana didn't want it anymore and I was able to throw them all in the garbage! The first night she pulled it back out and knew something changed but took it anyways. The second night she repeatedly kept telling the boyfriend it was broken and to fix it, but went to sleep anyways. The next night she asked to hold it and the same the following night.

On Tuesday, the boyfriend worked late so Mommy didn't even offer the pacifier to her....and she didn't ask for it. I simply put her to bed with her blankie and that was it. The next night was the same thing - that's when I through them all in the garbage! She had been going to daycare and napping without one as well. Adriana is almost 28mths old now and has no pacifier anymore :)

Operation Goodbye Suckie.....SUCCESS!!

How do you plan to take the pacifier away when its time?
What age do you think it ideal for removing?
Did you use the "Pacifier Fairy" method? How did it work?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

Adriana is quite possibly the luckiest little girl!! She was spoiled for Easter. She got some clothes, sandals, new coat and matching rubber boots from her Gran and Gradad. Then she got a Dora the Explorer life jacket, which is amazing!! Now we have to plan a few weekends to go up to the cottage with her. Adriana was lucky enough to get something not every kid gets. She had some birthday money left over and Easter money - with the help of Mommy and Daddy - she picked out her very first power wheel! A red Mini Cooper convertible...great taste ;)

 cruising down the street!

We celebrated with some family time and a wonderful dinner. Traditionally we would have "jigs dinner" but went completely different this year with a huge spiral ham, gourmet scalloped potatoes, asparagus,  grilled mushrooms and 2 salads. Everything was delicious!!

Easter for me growing up was about family time and of course chocolate. Adriana is entirely interested in chocolate (whos child is this?!...I love chocolate) but she did spend lots of time with family. She is the most happiest little girl when shes around those who love her - even when she hadnt had a nap all day!

This long weekend also marked the start of Operation Goodbye Suckie for us. So far its not too bad considering how attached she was. No tantrums...although its not entirely gone. We snipped the tip so she (hopefully) wont have the desire for it anymore. She is at the "I want to just hold it" stage. I constantly check on her; suckie is in her hand or beside her. Far from her mouth. Success? I think we still need some time but its working so far!

Next up....potty training!!

What activities did you plan for your little ones?
Do you give gifts or just chocolate?
What great gift did the Easter Bunny bring your children?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring is in The Air

I really hope its here to stay - Spring like weather has sprung among us!! Time for walks, trips to the park, riding bike, feeding ducks, rubber boots and umbrellas.  I've already started some of those things in hopes the good weather will join me. Better late than never!

We have pulled out Adriana's bike (she got it for her birthday) and let her ride it around the house for a bit. She needs to work on her leg muscles now to get it moving. She understands how but its not easy. I'm sure by the end of the summer she'll be flying down the street in her 3-wheeled pink tricycle. Watch out!

She has already asked for her wagon. We need to clean it off first and then definitely go on some trips to town, the park, the ducks, etc. with her. She loves going for rides in it - she doesn't have to pull the thing! It will be great too for her friend to come along too. I hope he doesn't mind riding in a pink wagon! I can't wait to get her outside every weekend to the river for a picnic or just up to town for a snack.

We spend enough time inside during the winter, so when the weather is nice, I love getting outside doing things! First on the list....we need to clean up the backyard from the wick storms we had in December. I want to get her a small pool for those hot days - which reminds me....she needs a new bathing suit this year! I`d like to get a lounge chair to cuddle up for a nap or read a good book. Time to utilize the backyard more this year than the last. Cheers to more BBQs, patio lunches and fires :)

I have already started planning some fun activities for Adriana. We plan to take her to the zoo, waterpark, Bread & Honey, Waterfront, etc. Shes going to have so much fun! Now that shes older and able to walk more - we can do more things with her. She also hasn`t been in her stroller in a long long time. She really enjoys being independent - which includes walking by herself (only holding hands when we cross the road) or carrying her own bag. I don`t have to ask her most of the time.

What activities do you have planned for you little ones?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Reality of Parenting

Lately, I have been reading some really interesting post about view from different sides of Motherhood. To be honesty, its completely entertaining to me! These posts are women, Mommies, justifying their life choices to the "other side" of parenthood. I saw one from the Stay at Home Mom to the Working Mom (and vice versa) but my favourite is one from a working mom to Gwenyth Paltrow....

You have to read this fellow Mommies (and even Daddies!)I'm not here to bash Gwen (although i'm offended by her comments) I just feel that her reference should have been more comparable. I completely appluad MacKenzie for her sarcasm, her narsicistic comments about what being a Mommy is really about when you have an office job, not a movie star. I love her over the top references to mother groups, of drinking bellinis, babysitters, and leisurely lifestyle - i LOLed.

I dont think I have ever laughed so hard when reading Scary Mommy's post of her shot of reality in Motherhood. She blantly tells you about her breaking point as a mother. We all have them....yes more than one and for several years! I can relate to some degree. I dont have nearly as many children as she does!! However I do let things bottle up and the smallest thing will set me off. I understand that becoming a parent means you signed up for the unknown things too, not just the good stuff. Yes there are times when I feel less appreciated, less special, less loved. Those are the days I simply tell myself - We will try again tomorrow.

It's not always rainbows and butterflies - although Adriana really a good kid...sometimes she lets her toddler show. You know the times they refuse to let anything go right - at all. Mornings for us consist of the same thing Monday thru Friday. Same time, same tv shows, same routine - yet every so often, Adriana decides to switch it up and fall out of routine. Its frustrating to keep her focused on getting ready (no you may not bring the BIGGEST toy to daycare...*insert tantrum here*) Shes usually really good but those days that dont work out just make my day worst from the get go. Imagine if I had 3 kids?? ....sorry Mom lol

I mention it time and time again...your kids pick up on your feelings. Keep them in check, stay calm, and keep over reactions at bay - save them for closed doors. I'm not saying dont show emotion around your kids - just choose wisely. After dinner tonight, my head was pounding.I simply held my forehead in my hand while Adriana finished her crackers. She asked if I was okay and I told her yeah my head just hurts. All she said was "I kiss it better Mommy?" melted my heart.....she believes a kiss makes everything better and shes partially right. Later she did kiss my head and tellme all better. Headache gone.

Our children are more observant than we realize sometimes. Pay more attention to why they do certain things and be aware of your own actions at the same time. You will see what I'm talking about. You will start to see the change in behaviours on both side. Maybe you will be able to create some more patience too!

What things do you do as a parent to help an emotional toddler

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring is Just Around the Corner

There comes a time when we all must give up our toys. I shamefully admit I have kept pretty much ever toy Adriana has ever had - up until now. In my defence she never really played with many until after 6mths and even then time was spent outside instead. She will definitely hold on to her books...we are creating a collection for her. Some of her toys we will keep for the next baby - common first toys anyways.

A few things she doesn't really play with anymore - MegaBlocks(or legos), Some dolls, rattles, play yard mats, etc. She has them all in bins but never pulls them out! So its time to get rid of them and by that I mean give to my Mommy friends! I would hate to throw them out and they're still in really good condition.

With Spring (hopefully) around the corner, we can pull out some of her other toys - new bike and her wagon! I am really thinking about setting up a swing set out back. I know we have a park down the street but it would be even easier if there was one in our backyard. Wal-Mart has them on sale but would require some clean up of the backyard first and full essembly. I think we should do it!!

This year we are going to fully utilize our backyard. Adriana is getting a pool for here and her own chair to lounge in the sun. With me working closer to home, it would be nice to be able to do more here instead of running around everywhere. We have he BBQ and patio sets - just need a clean up and we have a fire pit too!

Its nice to live close to things if we need them but to be honest i'd rather stay home and have fun with the boyfriend and Adriana. It will be easier for us too since potty training time is coming again. Last bottle has been dropped from the far 1 night and shes done well. I really can't wait! She has started to show interest again but  of course we don't want to push it. She really has a good sense of when she has to go pee and LOVES "big girl" underwear. Time will tell ;)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mommy Fear, You are Not Alone

I am reminded this week of my early days (weeks and even months) as a new parent. The amount of questions going through my head would leave me with headaches at times, but I've made it this far! I can't say my headaches have gone away, but the amount of questions have become less frequent. 

What changed?

I started to believe more in myself, more in my ability to be the best darn mom I could be for Adriana. I realized that I needed to trust my intuition more often and curb my anxiety. I told myself " I got this!" several times and I believed it most of the time.
Of course there were tears along the way, they made me stronger. There were moments of anger, that made me strong too. Its all part of the process of learning to be a mom or dad for the first time. 

I had a few friends that were already Mommies (or Daddies) who I would reach out to for confirmation that I was doing it "right" <--the quotes are because there isn't really a right or a wrong way...everyone has their suggestions for raising kids. Everything from how to feed them to how to dress them. Hold your ground.

I am not like most Mommies - I am not one who constantly runs after her child like a maniac or yells.Yes you read that right - I don't yell. Whats the point? I am saving my breath for when she's older! Your child isn't the best listener to WHAT you say but rather HOW you say things. Adriana is a soft spoken child for the most part - we dont raise our voices to communicate. Even before she turned 2yrs old she knew what an inside voice was. Thats more than most adults!

I may take a more relaxed approached to parenting but Adriana is really good kid. Not that she doesn't have rules - she has plenty and she follows them. I step in when she doesnt but its nice when everyone around her is on the same page too. If she acts out and we're not around, we expect the adult to say something to her! There have been times she's acted out and someone else had to remind her about her behaviour. We don't play the game that if Mommy or Daddy isnt around she can do whatever she wants.

I have faith in Adriana's ability. I truly believe when she wants to something let her try first. If she can't then show her how andlet her practice. I think its important to be independent and most parents would think I'm crazy. I want her to learn....isn't that part of being a parent? Teaching her things when she wants to instead of forcing it later. Its really paying off considering she knows how to dress herself (although pulling the shirt over her head is a bit difficult still).

This post wasn't meant to suggest how toparent but rather teach you that everyone does it differently. Not everything has to be by the book. Do it your way -- you know your child best! You have to trust yourself and know that you're not alone. That second guessing will go away as time goes on. Trust yourself, you know how to care for someone because you took care of yourself for years.
When you're really stuck, don't be afraid to talkto someone. Try not to hold it all in because guaranteed someone else has been there already. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top 10: Comments or Questions You Get When You're Pregnant

I was reminiscing about when I was pregnant and how wonderful it was....when I didn't have someone making absurd comments or inappropriate questions. If you've been pregnant (or currently) you know what I'm talking about. Perhaps, at times, those individuals didn't realize WHAT they were saying or asking. Maybe it was the WAY they said it? Regardless, we have all been there. I have compiled a list of my favourite ones. Some you may be able to relate to and others may be a one off.

1. "You look like you're ready to POP!".....when you're only just starting your third trimester. These people really do mean well, although they don't show it by this comment. Its basically on the list of Tradition Things to Say to a Pregnant Woman.

2. "You and your husband must be so excited" Umm....don't jump to conclusions people - 2014 and not everyone gets married before having kids. I can't tell you how many times people would be surprised when I said boyfriend. Which usually lead to "Is he the father?" People kill me.

3. "Was it planned or an....err...oops?" This question really makes me laugh. I mean it happens to some people but most people do plan for these things. I can predict when this one is coming too.....its usually after they say #2.

4. "What about your dog?" People, just because there's a baby coming home doesn't mean we have to get rid of our pets. We got this question A LOT because of Tyson - people just couldn't understand how a 7yr old Rottweiler could ever learn to be around a baby. We spent a lot of time getting him used to the baby things and smell. We never every pushed him away! Basically his routine didn't change with us - that's how we did it. Read more about How to Introduce Your Dog to the Baby

5. "You are eating for two now" this is just a ridiculous one that we ALL hear! Its usually from Captain Obvious who also points out that you're belly is getting bigger. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you can't stuff your face with a giant greasy cheese burger. I did it several times! Of course its important to take your vitamins and eat your fruits and veggies - but if you want a cheeseburger...then eat a cheeseburger. Not because you're pregnant but because you WANT TO.

6. ANY comment about breastfeeding. Most people look at this as a "normal" thing to bring up - negative. This is no one's concern but the Mommy and Daddy. I had it asked a lot, of course I wanted to try to breastfeed Adriana but it doesn't always work out. No biggie. Apparently my relax attitude boggled people.

7. "How much weight have you gained?" This is simple no ones business but the Mommy and the Doctor. If she wishes to share then fine but never ever ever ask a pregnant woman how much weight she's gained. Try rephrasing the question "Is your baby growing?" or something along those lines.

8. "Pregnant Crazy" ok so this might actually be a real thing but you don't comment on it  unless your are able to back it up with very detailed facts....or you're my sister (thanks Kim!). Otherwise, shut it. We already know we're a little (lol) nuts but we don't need anyone to point it out anymore than we know. It happens to the best of us - some longer than others.

9. "Do you want a boy or a girl?" Seriously people, all a Mommy wants is a healthy baby and depending on how far along she is...she wants that healthy baby OUT! Otherwise there's not really a preference on whether it s a boy or girl.

10. "You must be having Twins....Triples....etc" How could you possibly know that unless you're my doctor. Since you're not.....shut it. I was told a hundred times that I was going to have twins because I am a twin (that is possible! but no) Given these comments were made in humour and at the very beginning of my pregnancy so it wasn't as bad. I found it very funny actually since I specifically as the ultrasound technician to check all the way over to my side and my doctor to feel for one sac. No twins. I win.

Share your crazy questions and comments below
How did you react?
Were they family, friend, coworker or stranger?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - 10 recipe ideas

Adriana has always had interest in the kitchen. When she was younger, I would slide her highchair into the kitchen with me while I made lunch and dinner every day. I would hand her a wooden spoon to keep her occupied while I cooked away. She loved it! I'm sure how much she actually paid attention to what I was doing but who cares - she spent time in the kitchen.

Now that shes older her interest to be in the kitchen with us is even more than before. Of course within reason, but we do let her help. Shes great at stirring the pasta and sauce, she even scopes the butter for the Macaroni and Cheese! We also enjoy making pudding and cookies. The best part - Adriana is only 2 years old.

Most parents shoo their kids away from the kitchen because of the hot stove, the oven, sharp tools, etc. Instead, why not try to teach them HOW to be in the kitchen. From the get go we explained the oven is hot; don't touch. Several times, we pick her up to see whats going on top of the stove. Shes curious because we never hid her from seeing us in the kitchen. She was always welcome to stick around and help but with caution. She knows what she can and cant do while there and her help is encouraging. Eventually when shes a little old - she will be making lunch or grabbing her own snacks. Can't wait!

Adriana has her own play kitchen in her room too. It has all the same things as Mommy's and Daddy's kitchen, including metal pots and pans. She loves making "breakfast" or "dinner" for us and we love pretending to eat it with her! She is even smart enough to serve it on a plate - always - and with a cup of tea! The pretend play is great for her to learn how things work. Must cook things on the stove and warm up things in the microwave. She even sets up the table with cutlery! Bless her heart

Adriana has peaked my interest to get her in the real kitchen more. So I did some research and found some great recipes that your little ones can get involved in the kitchen more often with

1. Homemade Pizza - Use Greek pita bread, pizza sauce and toppings. Each child can make their own pizza however they want!

2. Hot dog roll ups - use Crescent rolls, cheese and hot dog halves.

3. Smoothies - add all kinds of their favourite fruits, 1 cup of ice and blend. You may choose to use yogurt or fruit juice as well. Caution: blender may be a bit loud so try to  do it slowly so they don't get scared!

4. Meatballs - kids love getting their hands "dirty" and these are a great way to get them involved!

5. Rice Crispie Squares - what kid doesn't love this delicious treat?

6. Nachos - cook up some ground beef, add cheese, peppers, and serve with salsa.

7. Sliced Chicken Penne - slice up boneless/skinless chicken and fry, add cooked pasta and sauce.

8. Banana rolls - roll up a banana in a peanut butter covered wrap and slice.

9. Deviled Eggs - seems simple enough!

10. Cookies - the good ol' classic ones!

Don't shy your kid away from being in the kitchen. Instead teach them how to work in that area. When they're a little older - you'll be thankful for showing them their way around. It teaches them to be independent for themselves and thoughtful towards others. The more you hold back the less likely they will do things for themselves when the time comes. Teach them young and within reason. I don't expect Adriana to cook up a pot roast or anything but she can help with the more simple meals. She has an interest in the kitchen - we just add fuel to that and teach her how to be safe in the kitchen. Little by little she learns how to work the necessary things.

We are lucky to have an independent little girl. Don't hold them back from learning, even if society says they're too young. Eventually they will have to learn about it so teach them when there's interest and you won't have to force it when they're "old enough". Stop holding them back - stop letting them think they "can't" and start showing them HOW. That's what parenting is about - not making it harder on yourself by trying to control every little movement they do. Teach them to be the people you want by leading by example. I continue to talk about Monkey-see, as I say not as I do - how it really works on a child.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Man's Best Friend

Everyone has heard the saying before. It's nothing knew, but it does hold true feelings tonight. My dog is my best friend - hes our baby boy, a part of the family, and one if a kind. He is Tyson, the rottweiler. 

Those of you who have pets understand exactly what I mean. Even those who dont have pets can understand in some way. We all love someone (or something) as if it was one of our children. We snuggle with it, hold on tight to it. We care for it when it needs caring and take pictures to keep as memories.

A fantastic thing about a pets love is that its very similar to a parents true love. Its completely unconditional, at its truest form, pure. Our pets are one of a kind to us. They show you compassion at just the right times, even when you least expect it.

Tonight I took myself back to when I was pregnant with Adriana. At the time I found his behaviour odd but the next morning it all made sense. Not to say Tyson wasnt a very affectionate dog - sometimes a little TOO affectionate if thats possible - he showed more of a protective comforting attitude. He stayed by my side that entire night, not leaving for anything. With his back slipped just partially under the bed on the floor next to me, he stayed all night long. He was still there the next morning, right by my side, as I realized my water had broke....

Tyson knew it was going to happen. He knew before I had any clue that Adriana was on her way to this crazy world. He comforted me through my back pain while at home. He laid outside the bathroom door while I soothed my back with a hot shower. He sat next to me while I rocked away the stinging sharp pains that shot up my body. He offered reassurance that everything was going to be alright by just being there.

It was still early, six A.M., the boyfriend was still sleeping and I didnt want to wake him. It quite possibly was his last solid nights sleep for a few months. Plus we had plenty of time before we were going to officially be parents - 24.5hrs to be exact!

Tyson has taught me to be more assertive, more consistent in life. Dont be afraid to stand up for yourself and take what you deserve in this world. He has taught me to be a kid (err...puppy?) at heart no matter how old you get. He reminds me to keep smiling no matter whats going on around us. He was my constant reminder that people can change and learn to adapt at any age.

He has proven that it was never the breed but in fact the owner who makes a dog good or bad. Rottweilers come with some hard opinions from people. Tyson proved them wrong. We took our 7yr old rotti and trained him to be kid friendly. A dog who had never been around kids before, turned out to be the best kind for Adriana.  She sees him in the most perfect and unbiased way. He is our dog, Tyson. Not just another Rottweiler.

He gave us a scare tonight - again. With old age comes medical problems and we have this far very lucky his issues are manageable. A few years ago we sat on the living room floor with him paralyzed in the back legs, truly believing this was our last night with him. The next morning he got up and walked. The last few days he has had a lump on his ear and would whimper if anyone touched it. Again, we believed he would go to the vet for the last time. He came home with a prescription and doctor said it was at the early stages of a hematoma; the pills will help reduce the size and pain. In the clear again, my friend.

Just when you think its his last time, he comes back. This dog is honestly my super dog. Im not sure how else I would explain it to Adriana if he didnt come home. She knows hes old and hes sick but thats about it. Shes only 2 so I dont expext her to know much more!

How would/did you expalin losing a pet to your child?
Did you tell them right away or wait?
How long before you got another pet?
We're you skeptical on getting the exact same type of pet?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Milestones for your Child

Have you ever wondered how your child is developing? After 18mths those doctor visits are spread out even more. Where do you turn to know your child is on the right track? This is where parents start to compare their child to their friend's little one or kids at daycare or even strangers! It can get really ugly after awhile. So tame that inner urge to compare and just do some research. Here are some guidelines I've found that may help you set your mind at ease.

If you truly have concerns about your little ones development, ask you doctor. You should know that although some child excel in development - others take their time. That doesn't mean there's something wrong with your child; it just means they're growing at their own pace. By the time they're in kindergarten, they all learn at the same pace anyways.

To be honest, focus on enjoying your child instead of worrying about where they stand with other children. Your little one will develop just fine - if later down the road you're still concerned then talk to the doctor about having your child tested. I read a great article about certain things a mother wants to teach her daughter (i'm on a hunt for a son list). The writer makes a personal list of things that she plans on teaching her daughter and checks them off as their done. Its in no particular order but made me laugh out loud!

Cloudy, with a Chance of Wine is a hilarious mother writing about her life as a stay at home mom.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Slow Down, Mummy

At times we feel there's not enough time in the day to experience the things we want. Every parent, at one point, wished for more time to play with their kids or read them another book before bed or watch the rest of their favourite show with them. We rush around wanting more without considering Quality over Quantity. Its not about spending the ENTIRE day with your little one, its about what  you do with your time.

I realize even more that Adriana is older and playing in her room all day may only last for a few hours now. The trips to the mall only result in one super tired mommy and daddy. So what do we do? I've started to plan specific activities for the weekend (on a Saturday or Sunday). In the Fall, she was swimming once a week and loved it! Now that its a bit cold - that's not going to cut it. I am making a list of activities so we can get out and keep her active while this winter brutally sweeps through! Activities must be indoors (unless its sledding....then its okay!) and they must consist of other kids. This is not necessarily a social thing for us but more to keep her occupied  and consume some of her day. Here are a few ideas:

1. Fun Swim - some community centers still offer a fun swim on the weekends. Check your city for a listing of centers in your area

2. Tea Time - Depending on how well behaved your child is in public, you could take them for a cup of tea at the local coffee shop. The ladies at the one near us absolutely love Adriana! She enjoys the time out, the tea, and of course the free cookie!

3. Play centers - Ontario Early Years Centers are free and several within many area. Check the schedule before you go to ensure the program is age appropriate for your baby. They offer a great program called Mother Goose which is for 9mth-18mth old. Some locations are open on Saturdays as well as later during the week.

4. Micheal's Kids Krafts - Every weekend they offer great crafts for different age groups. The classes are about 45mins-1hr and get to take the craft home with them. Its a great way to explore their art abilities while working next to children around the same age.

5. Play Place - We have a few around our area (i.e. Might Jungle) which have a younger kids area for toddlers. You do have to supervise your own child but its a great way for your little one to blow off some energy!

6. Chuck E Cheese - seriously.......I was absolutely exhausted after 2hrs and the kids were not even playing for the whole time! It was worth every penny for Adriana's birthday just to see her have so much fun! Probably not something to do every weekend but definitely give it a try.

7. Live show - This one could be tricky if your child doesn't have much of an attention span. Spend the extra money and get them their own seat to watch. We are looking at taking Adriana to Mickeys Rockin Road Show thats coming up. She absolutely loves Disney characters so I know she'll love the whole show. Its not as cheap as a movie but definitely an experience we'd love to try with her soon!

I try to remind myself to forget the dishes.....forget the laundry....and just play with her for a little while. She appreciates that so much more than a clean kitchen. Even if that means I have to stay awake a little longer to get the clothes in the dryer before bed. She is totally worth it. If I'm having a rough day - I better get over it quickly so she doesn't see Mommy sad or mad. Its just not worth it at the end of the day. When I am sad - I ask Adriana for a hug. She's so affectionate and doesn't ask why - which can sometimes make it worst. A hug does wonders and if she throws in a face grabbing kiss...even better!!

To All my Mommy readers....I leave you with a poem that I read every so often just to remind myself of the truly important things in the life of a parent. Its easy to forget sometimes in the crazy world. We need to just stop, breathe and reset our priorities. Just Slow Down, Mummy....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Average Growth of a Toddler

I hit that point in Mommyhood - where the parent finally realizes HOW big their child has gotten. Seriously, Adriana has grown so much since the summer that I just had to buy her a SECOND winter coat. Not because of  any other reason besides she had completely out grew her first one. During our NFLD trip she was wearing 18-24mths clothes and on her feet she had size 5 (straight into size 6 when we got back). During the Christmas she fit into 3T and just last week we have to buy her a size 4T (second) winter coat!

I didn't get the memo that a toddler grows THAT fast in such a short time.

So I did some research to see how Adriana squares up to the average kid. Since she was always above the average size (weight and height) I assume that would continue. Correct.


 Adriana has a doctor's appointment on Saturday and I'm dying to find out where she stands on the charts!
 She goes for her 2yr needles and its been 6mths since her last set of needles - the last time she was measured and weighed too. I have never hid that she gets needles. I simply explain the doctor takes care of her and it only hurts for a minute. Shes really good about it - Thank you Doc McStuffins!!

We are going back to potty training as well. She dropped off the interest block for a bit but has started to climb back up! Yay for Mommy (and Daddy!). Adriana got some big girl underwear for her birthday - Disney Princess! She really wants to wear them so we pull them on over her diaper and VOLA! happy little girl. I explained that if she learns to peepee on the toilet she could wear them without the diaper on - this totally peaked her interest!! 

So ladies and gents, its on.....everyone is on board (including daycare). I can't wait to be done with changing diapers. She has worn some pull ups to practice the up and down movement and she's done well :) I will keep the interest going right through great encouragement. Also, having everyone on board to help guide her to the success of being toilet trained will make things easier because we're leading by example. Everyone uses a toilet - soon to include Adriana!

*Update: Adriana is 32lbs putting her in the 85th percentile and stands 90cm high which makes her in the 95th percentile. She has always been up in this area for weight and height - actually 85th percentile is her lowest percentile yet! According to the doctor she is a healthy little girl who is very smart and beautiful. We left with a prescription for a minor ear infection (slight redness in the canal) - her first one ever! She's been verbal about her ear bothering her for a week now. I checked every night to see if I could see anything, nothing, so I let the doctor check. Adriana did really well during her check up! She was quiet, she opened her mouth wide for the doctor, she stood on the big girl scale and even stood to watch the doctor prepare a flu shot for another patient! Adriana was absolutely fascinated by the doctors office - possibly a future in medicine?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Adriana!!

I can't believe it's here!! Adriana is finally two years old and its more than I had hoped for. All week I've been trying to explain its her birthday soon but all she kept saying was "Happy Holidays, Mommy!" As cute as that was, I really wanted to separate her birthday from Christmas as much as possible.

Adriana  had amazing Christmas, no doubt, but her birthday just put her over the top on the excitement scale. What kid doesn't love Chuck E Cheese? Yeah that's right....we went to the craziest place for kids!! I had to do something to keep her and a few kiddies entertained for a few hours without having to clean up the mess. That was key.

Each kid got pizza and juice plus we brought a cupcake-cake! It was much easier to hand out as cupcakes - chocolate cupcakes of course. They also each got a bunch of tokens to play all the games with. Adriana was all over this game where you move the basket to catch the balls randomly popping up. She road a mechanically horse, took a ride in a monster truck with her cousin and tried to take a picture with Mommy and Daddy.

Although it was a bit crazy with another 5 or 6 birthdays happening at the same time, I think the kids had fun! The people who did come to her birthday she absolutely loves seeing. Her cousins, Aunts and Uncles, Nana and of course Gran and Gradad - plus her few friends she does have. I'm sure when she goes to school in another few years there will be more kids than adults, but for now I appreciate the smaller costs!! It was worth every penny to just watch her blow out her candles.
Adriana is a very lucky girl in every single way. She has a great support system - surrounded by people who truly love her! Christmas was just a starter for her  - spoiled as usual - then a short 10days later she is spoiled again on her birthday party. She got tons of clothes (which she really needed because she grows like a weed!!) puzzles, books, dolls, and a tricycle!!

She may be a little young still for a tricycle but she has to learn somewhere! She reaches the peddles nicely but needs to work on her leg muscles in order to really push off. So far we've let her "ride" it around the living room and her bedroom. She clearly picked up her first passenger in the back basket - her new Aurora doll! She really wants to ride it and I'd like to start teaching her this Spring so we can go for bike rides together. Of course, I will have to get a bike as well once she's had a lot of practice! Until then we can ride down to the park and let her go along the path by herself.

I have to admit that all weekend I was a bit emotional. Seems fairly reasonable since my baby girl is ANOTHER year old now. Two years have gone by since we were first blessed on that cold Thursday morning. I never forget the range of emotions that filled me over the first few days....weeks.....months....and now years. Adriana is truly a unique child to me. I have babysat several kids of all ages and been around friends babies and cousins. I know that she is above average and perhaps she will plateau with other children's learning ability. Perhaps she will continue to surpass my expectations.

Its been an amazing adventure with Adriana! She is talking so much and clearer every day. She understands concepts and even reminds me of the ones we have mentioned before to her. She remembers a lot and is just a happy kid!

Today - her officially birthday - we went up to Starbucks for tea and a cookie. We continued down the street to the store and we saw a little boy walking towards us. I pointed out that he was another big kid like her because she's not a baby anymore. She corrected me and said he was a little boy and she was a little girl. How very true she was! Its moments like that which make me smiles - she gets it....she gets so much more than we realize!!

My Dear Adriana,
        Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!! You are a very special little girl who has absolutely changed our lives in every way. Your sweetness shines through your constant hugs and kisses. Your thank-yous, pleases, and I love yous totally make our day. Although you're high energy and girly squeals may give Mommy/Daddy a headache


Happy Birthday Adriana! To many more years of celebrating, many more hugs and kisses and never ending love!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

To My Readers:

           I wish you all the best in the New Year. This is a fresh start to truly make another year memorable. This is your time to shine, set new goals and achieve or even exceed those goals! Make your mark with no regrets.

I have made a point to set my goals a few months ago and work out the plan (in different scenarios) to achieve them. I am a well organized person but feel that there's always room for improvement. I want to make myself a reflection for my daughter by bettering my life and setting goals. She is my everything - two years ago I remember telling myself everything changes from now on. Slowly but surely it has.

2013 has brought some sad moments (I think of Leah all the time....) and more happy moments. I have grown as a person but even more as a mother. I realize the amount of love a child truly requires - even when Mommy is sick or exhausted or busy. Slow down, Mommy. My time with Adriana has been amazing. Most parents never want their child to grow up but I haven't missed a beat. It only gets better! I have some aspirations for her - not expectations. Adriana is a unique child who will clearly soar in life. She is full of energy and life (with a few toddler moments lol) I may have a biased opinion here...but she is one very smart child for her age. Her love for books, puzzles, and dolls makes her just like any other kid. But her ability to grasp concepts, words, things, etc is amazing. I hope Adriana continues on this path - we, as parents, will encourage her as much as we can.

It truly is a blessing to become a parent. There are women who are not able to have babies and end up having miracles - Georgie, I'm thinking of you. Its a beautiful and touching thing when you know that person always wanted the Mommy title; that person who would completely excel at being one too! I'm old fashioned when it comes to being a Mommy. I don't think its necessarily a duty but definitely something women should really consider. The modern world has made it more acceptable to women choosing to not have kids at all. I respect that - it must have taken a lot to make that decision and share it with your family or spouse. Essentially, its also the reason some relationships fail. Becoming a parent isn't the "norm" anymore - many couples are opting not to have children for various reasons.

I remember great words said to me a few times these past few month. Words that really opened my eyes to things and settled a piece of my mind. It was words that I probably had heard before but never meant anything. These words sit well with me and I think it should be 2014 's motto. I hope they carry great meaning with you and help you through the rough and the good that comes in a new year....
" I Wish You Enough " - LS