Archive for October, 2009

Some Cheese with that WHINE?

Some days with kids are easier than others. Yesterday was one of those “challenging” days. It started almost immediately with Nicholas whining. I HATE whining. Everything was “I can’t.” As in “I can’t get dressed” and “I can’t brush my teeth” and “I can’t put my shoes on.” You get the picture. I finally manage to get him dressed and out the door, and he starts whining again … “I can’t walk to school, you carry me” You’ve GOT to be kidding me! He is a very energetic kid who could easily walk to school and back multiple times, if he feels like it. But if he doesn’t, watch out! So I spent the entire walk shaking him off my leg and ignoring him. (Pass the bad mommy award, I WON I WON! ) We manage to make it to the school and back without any major incidents or tantrums, so off we went to preschool playshop. Nicholas made a beautiful bat hat and marble painted spider web in honour of Halloween. He also ran around the gym like a maniac.

The whining started up again in full force in the afternoon. It was horrible. I was almost tempted to borrow hubby’s earplugs – it was that bad!  Luckily ignoring him completely seems to do the trick, so he settled somewhat before we had to go to the school. We picked Natalie up from school and after an early dinner, off we went to a Halloween party. The kids had a ball! There were games and crafts and prizes. The best part was the kids got to wear their costumes, so at least Natalie will get 3 wears out of her $40 bee costume! (She’s wearing it to school today!)

I am so hoping that this whining stage that Nicholas seems to be going through does not last long. I’m not sure what I’ll look like once I’ve pulled all my hair out!

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There’s a Bee in the House!!

We went shopping for Natalie’s Halloween costume last night. Bad Mommy for leaving it this late, I know. She wanted to be the Grinch. I have been searching online for a while now, but was unable to find anything that wasn’t insanely expensive or cheesy. I did find a super cool homemade one, but lets face it: even being  the queen of procrastination there is no way short of pulling a few all niters that I could have a costume completed in time for her to wear to school tomorrow.

First we went to Walmart, no Grinch costume. I wasn’t surprised. The big problem was she didn’t want to wear a dress or skirt and she is now too big for the cutsey furry costumes. That left superheros, zombies or a doctor, none of which appealed to my darling daughter.We then went to the costume store, aka the “let’s rent a space and sell ridiculously overpriced costumes, store”. She did find a costume she liked though … a cute bumblebee costume which consisted of, wait for it, A DRESS, a headband, cheap wings and striped legwarmers. All for the bargain basement price of $35.98. Holy crap, next year remind me NOT to procrastinate.

I am thankful that I didn’t have to worry about a costume for Nicholas. He is dressing up as a cow. He is still too young to care what he dresses up as, all he cares about is the candy, so he’s wearing the cow costume I came across it in a box of hand me downs from my nephews. You’ve gotta love hand me downs!

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Computers … ARGHHHH

Okay, I am the first to admit that I like computers. I love the internet and some have said that I may have an addiction.  A few weeks ago Natalie said to me, Mommy, you are addicted to your computer. Sigh, my name is Tanya and I am an internetaholic.

I am having the roughest time trying to figure out a new site that I am working with to templatize my designs. In theory, the process sounds simple, but in reality I have spent the better part of the last 2 days fighting with this site. I think I am doing everything properly – notice how I say think, because if I truly was doing everything right I wouldn’t be typing this rant right now – and yet my templates will not work properly. Sometimes the fonts won’t show, sometimes the photos won’t upload properly. I think I am going to have to break down and have Louie take a peek at it tonight. Maybe all I need is a fresh set of eyes.

I’m off to pour myself a glass of wine and think about what to make for dinner. hm-mm, maybe I’ll skip dinner and just have the wine…

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Interesting Day

Nicholas discovered the “hole” in his undies. I caught him sitting cross legged on the floor hunched over carefully examining them. Then he stuck his hand in the front and out the little slot. He looked up at me and says  “Mom, what’s this Mom, why is there a hole in my underwear?” Now I’m in a pickle. I don’t really want to tell him. I am imagining him trying unsuccessfully to get his penis through the slot and up and over the toilet … not a pretty picture. So I lied. I don’t know why it’s there honey, now please take your hand out of your pants! Luckily  he moved onto something else and forgot about it! On a side note, Do men actually use the “slot” in the underwear. I don’t personally see fishing a penis through a little hole as a convenience. Wouldn’t it be easier to just flip it out over the top? (I am sooo glad I’m a woman!).

Natalie woke up at her usual time, but was pale, sneezing and stuffy, plus she was complaining of a pain in her side so I  decided to keep her home from school for the day. It meant missing my noontime Karate class, aka my “me” time, but such is life. Normally, I likely would have made her go, but in light of the H1N1 scare, I am perhaps a bit overly cautious. The morning went smoothly, she and Nicholas watched some TV, then did some colouring and drawing. Then she decided that she needed her alone time, so Nicholas and I sat on the floor and played puzzles. Please note that for Nicholas, playing puzzles entails him scattering the pieces all over the floor and Mommy patiently putting the pieces back together, repeat until Mommy gets mad. It’s my own fault really, the puzzle book he insists on using is full of puzzles that are far too challenging for him to complete, even with assistance.

Since Natalie was feeling better, and we were all suffering from cabin fever, I decided that I wasn’t going to miss my Karate class after all. I dragged the kids with me to watch. I had a fantastic class. After reviewing my 2 weapons katas, Sensei started teaching me a bo kata. How exciting! hopefully I’ll stop whacking myself in the legs with the bo soon! Of course Nicholas is fascinated and wants to play with the “big sticks” now.

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Incentives, a Powerful Parenting Tool

Everybody realizes that incentives are a great way to get results. How many of us would willingly hop out of bed and go to work every day were it not for the lure of the paycheck, or monetary incentive awaiting us at the end of the week.

We recently got a reminder of the importance of tangible incentives for our kids. Allow me to explain. Less than one month ago, I was fighting daily with Natalie about her reading. She wanted nothing to do with improving her reading or reading anything on a daily, or even weekly basis. She was fine to be read to though. She claimed that she already knew how to read, and didn’t need to improve at all. We struggled like this throughout most of the summer.

On October 1st, she came home from school with a “monthly reading log”. Each child in the class was instructed to record, in minutes that amount of time they had spent reading, or being read to. Each student who met their montly goal of 200 minutes was promised a gift certificate for a free pizza. Natalie was so excited she read for 64 minutes the first night! I was flabbergasted! It is now October 27th and Miss Natalie has just hit 500 minutes. 500 minutes! This from the child who balked reading even 5 minutes less than a month ago!

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The Prince and the Pillowcase

Nicholas is a “clothing optional” type of child. He will, whenever possible strip down to his birthday suit and parade around, not caring who can see him. We are trying to teach him that when we are out somewhere, or have guests over, it is not acceptable to be nude, he must wear clothes. We are meeting moderate success with implementing this rule.

Last week our neighbour popped over for a visit. Nicholas was upstairs naked as usual. Torn between knowing he needed to cover up and not wanting to take the time to grab some pants, he came up with a clever time saving solution: he quickly slipped into a pillowcase. Yes, you read that right, a pillowcase! He came sliding downstairs with a big goofy grin on his face! Problem was whenever he let go of the pillowcase it fell to the floor, leaving him exposed.

While I definitely give him credit for creativity, I had to add yet another rule to his growing list: pillowcases are not clothes and may not be substituted for pants (that is until he masters the belt!) But that is a post for another day!

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Natalie’s Karate Tournament

We are so proud of Natalie! Today she participated in her second Karate Tournament. Being a memorial tournament, this one was far larger than her last one in May, so she was understandably nervous. When we arrived, she observed the other athletes for a while before going to warm up and practice her katas. She was particularly nervous about her weapons kata, so she worked on it repeatedly!

First she competed in weapons, and placed 5th. She was quite nervous and zoomed thought her forms like it was a race. Luckily she had her nerved in check by the second event and performed her second kata wonderfully. One judge even approached her after the event and congratulated her on her fantastic stances. She just beamed!

Sparring was her final event of the day and she was psyched! Unfortunately both Natalie and another little boy did not know that they needed foot protection in order to spar, so the entire division was forced to wait. Luckily, 2 competitors form other clubs offered to lend their foot protection. Natalie fought very well, much more aggressive than at her last shia, and managed to come away with a silver medal. Way to go Natalie, Daddy and I are very proud of you!

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