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Sun safety, Starting school and Spending time!

19 Jul

I have been away for quite some time and I would like to apologize for the disappearance. A lack  of an internet connection is to blame. Well, I guess  I am to blame, as my lack of paying bills on time caused the lack of internet connection. Sorry, but that shizz was getting expensive. But alas here I am! This time with cheaper internet!!

First off I would like to start by saying that I am going to try my darnedest to blog regularly again, although I am not going to commit to a specific schedule just yet. This is because it is the summertime and I strongly feel that the words “summer” and “schedule” cannot coexist. I try to be outside as much as possible in the summer because for one it is too damn hot in my house, which results in cranky kids and an even crankier mommy. Second of all, summer is just too freakin’ short! You see, I am not fortunate enough to live somewhere that is hot year round. Way up North,  here in Canada, we have like eight months of stormy, slippery, freeze-your-b*lls-off winter and then only four or so measly months of actual “summer”, half of which is overcast and rainy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and I think it is beautiful, but if i ever win the jackpot the first thing i am doing is relocating to somewhere where it is never below plus 30 Celsius. I am 100% pure summer girl. No really! In September I am already counting down until NEXT summer. I can’t help it. I just love the the feel of the suns rays beating down on me, the balmy breeze in my hair, the clear blue skies and, probably most of all, the luxurious golden bronze hue that my skin obtains. Now wait! Before you start flooding my inbox with scary skin cancer statistics please note that my children and I ALWAYS wear sunscreen when outside and I do NOT lie out in the sun and bake myself to a crisp. It is just that I am outside a LOT during the sunny season and I also happen to tan very easily without doing anything at all. I know right! Please don’t hate. I used to frequent tanning beds regularly when I was in high school but after seeing women who have spent years tanning with faces that resemble cowhide leather and hands look like they belong on an eighty-something year old man, I have opted out. Not to mention the horrific skin cancer stories that are abundant in magazines these days. I won’t lie though (and I know I am not alone on this one), I really love how I look with a tan. My eyes look bluer, my skin looks clearer, I look more toned.  I feel way sexier and with a golden glow. There is just something about a suntan that makes you feel healthier and more confident. But these days I depend more on NYC bronzer than UV rays to emphasize it. So just for good measure I am going to take a moment to remind you all to practice safe sun:)

-Always apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 to all exposed areas of skin and reapply every two hours and after excessive sweating or swimming. And don’t forget the face! PS-Use more than you think you should as most people don’t use enough!

-Take breaks from the immediate sun and seek shade or go indoors whenever possible. This is especially important between 10am and 4pm, when the suns rays are at their strongest.

-Wear protective clothing like long sleeve shirts when possible. And don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (but make sure the sunglasses you choose actual protect against UV rays, it. Fedoras and floppy straw hats are all the rage this season. Find one you love and wear it!

-Check your body regularly for any spots that weren’t there before or that you are unsure of, or any existing spots or moles that look different in size, color or shape. See a doctor if you have any concerns. Better safe then sorry!

Anyways, back to the blog. In the next few weeks I plan to do a back-to-school blog mini-series, mainly for parents with children who are starting school for the first time. Obviously, being a parent of such a child, I will not really be speaking from experience, however, i have been scouring the internet and magazines for all things “first-day-of-school” in an effort to make my little guy Cody’s transition to kindergarten as painless and enjoyable a possible. And I have found so many awesome tips and tricks on the subject that i feel compelled to share them with other parents going through the same thing. Truthfully, I think I am more afraid then Cody is. I can’t believe my bouncing baby boy is already starting school! I do,  like every parent, have my fears and reservations. I worry about him being away from me because he has never been for more then a sleepover at Nana’s and even that was pushing it. I worry about him doing well academically because although he is incredibly smart, and has an incredible vocabulary and did great on his preschool assessment, the one thing he seems to have no interest in is learning his ABC’s. This causes me some worry because obviously a lot of kindergarten is focused on letter identification and sounds, etc. The alphabet is the foundation of reading and writing. However, as a mom said on an amazing parenting website “When a child is reading a book, you cannot tell whether they learned their alphabet at age two or grade two”. And this is true, all children learn at their own pace, and it is when we push too hard that they begin to resent learning, so although I still point out letters in everyday situations and still play ABC’S games and read books with him, I have forced myself to back off when it comes to the whole flashcards, worksheets, etc. Truthfully, i dont blame him for losing interest. I don’t enjoy those things either. And I especially don’t enjoy them in the middle of a beautiful day in the summertime. I do plan too start early with my daughter when it comes to the alphabet, numbers and such. She is 22 months old right now so I haven’t taken it much further than singing the ABC song and pointing out letters, but she can repeat the entire alphabet to me when I say a letter she repeats it and we go through the whole alphabet that way while pointing them out. The reason I want to start early with her is because I took a slack approach to teaching Cody the alphabet and never really took it seriously and I am seeing the results (or lack thereof) of that now with him having no interest and not being able to identify is letters yet.Now with Cody i have taken a more “learning-through-play” approach. And while I haven’t seem amazing results just yet, I am okay with that, because i know that he is having fun and I know i am helping to foster a love for learning. If I keep at it it is bound to sink in sooner or later.

Well I hate to cut this post short but I am about to do just that because I am heading to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep. So be sure to check back regularly over the next few days for my first back-to-school post. I am aiming to do at least one back-to-school post per week until school begins. And come September you can look forward to hearing all about Cody’s journey into kindergarten-dom. Hopefully with him in school from 8am to 1:30pm daily and only one ankle-biter around I will actually be able to post daily. But then again probably not.

And now I leave you with pictures from our family day at Centennial Park which is right by my house and best of all: FREE!:)

                                                                                                    Cody being a monkey!!

                                                                                                        Chanel striking a pose ❤

                                                                                                           Such a Daddy’s girl

                                                                                                      Sketchiest slide ever! No lie!

                                                                                                        Swinging with Daddy!

                                                                         They were LOVING the giant rocks

The Potty Training Chronicles…

17 Mar

If you would have told me when my son, Cody, was first born that he would still be wearing Pull’Ups at age four, I would have laughed and told you “Over my dead body.”

If that were the case, lets just say, I am lucky to be alive.

I also would have told you that I wanted just one child. Funny how things change! When my son reached about 2/12 years old I decided I was dang tired of changing diapers- not to mention spending money on them-so I decided it was time to start potty training him. I was a little worried about trying to potty train a little boy, as I had heard stories of it being notoriously difficult, but my theory was that if he wasn’t ready yet I would back off, I wouldn’t push him. After all, we still had lots of time…or at least it seemed like we did. That very next day I went out and bought him a cute little potty, some big boy Lightening McQueen underwear and a box of training pants. I even fashioned a rather delightful potty chart out of some computer paper and Crayola markers, if I do say so myself. I was determined to do this, and do to it as painlessly as possible. I promised myself I would not pressure him nor would I get disappointed if things didn’t move along a quickly as I would have like them too.


If you would have asked me two weeks into things if potty training an almost three-year-old boy was difficult, I would have said “No way! This is easy peasy!” Little did I know… Within a week of potty training 101, he was already a natural. He rarely even had any accidents during the day, I think it was because he just felt so independent and grown up peeing and pooping like a seasoned champ.  I thought I was the potty training queen, and would often “Pfft” at all those other mom’s that claimed it was so difficult. This was a cakewalk! All was well and dry for the next few weeks and I thought I was home free. I dreamed of the diaper-free days ahead. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

The day of reckoning started like any other day, Cody woke up, still dry to my pleasure, and I herded him off to the bathroom to take care of his morning business. As I was in the kitchen whipping up breakfast, I heard a wimper from the bathroom. Hmmm. As I cocked my head and listened a little more,  the whimpers quickly progressed to true tears. I rushed in the bathroom to see what the trouble was. There on the potty sat my little fella, red as a tomato with his veins bulging out of his little neck, crying and pushing with all his might. “M-m-mommmmyyyy, my p-p-p-poopy hurts my bum…WAAAA.”  Uh oh. After a good 20 minutes of pushing and encouraging and back rubbing and tears, my poor little guy finally ejected the biggest poop I had ever seen escape his little body, and it was as hard as a rock. (You know, the old wrap-your-finger-in-toilet-paper-and-poke-it-to-see-how-hard-it-is, trick) No wonder the kid was crying! This thing was colossal.


A few words of encouragement and one racecar sticker later, we were finally out of the bathroom, after a good half hour. The next day or two were uneventful, and he continued to pee like a big boy. He didn’t have another poop for the next few days, probably because the last one cleaned out every last bit. Later on in the evening as I was sitting on the couch I noticed Cody standing in the corner, three shades of red, looking rather tense. “Honey, do you need to poop?” I got up and went over to him, ready to usher him into the bathroom, thinking it was a little strange that he didn’t tell me he had to go, as he had been doing so well. When I was less then a foot from him he let out a shriek, “MOMMY, DON’T. TOUCH. ME! ” Whoa. “But you have to come sit on the potty,” I reasoned with him. He wasn’t having any of it. As soon as I attempted to uproot him from his spot, I realized it was a big mistake. He started screaming like a banshee, crying and trembling, the whole nine. What the H? What was wrong with my pro potty user? Then it clicked. The super poop from the other day. That HAD to be the reason for this behavior. I finally managed to get him into the bathroom, which was goo because there was no way I was cleaning poop off of the carpet. Except, when I tried to sit him on the potty, he would make his whole body go stiff, making it a near impossible feat. Clearly he wanted to be left alone (As if his screams of “Leave me ALONE!” were any indication.) So I told him that I would be close by if he needed me and to call me in once he finished pooping in his potty. I figured if I left him alone he would eventually go. Well, about ten minutes later he called out “Mommy, I’m done!) I trotted on into the bathroom to congratulate him and help him wipe. However, as I bent over to empty out the potty, I noticed something was missing…Huh? No poop? Crap! (No pun intended). Then I spotted it, smack dab in the middle of my bathroom floor. A perfectly formed piece of fecal latter.

Cody continued to pee in the potty with no problems, whatsoever. Number two was another story. Things continued in much the same way for quite a while. He had no qualms about peeing but when it came to pooping he would tense up, stand in the corner grunting and yelling and crying. I would always try to coax him onto the potty. It would always end up on my floor. I talked to his doctor, to public health nurses, and to other parents. They all assured me that it was quite normal for a child to do well and then backtrack. But this was not just him regressing. The small bout of constipation clearly traumatized him. And I have no clue how to reverse the damage. I thought the birth of my daughter might help. I hoped that him being a big brother would encourage him to be the big boy and show he how using the potty is done, but really he was just ticked off that sissy could wear diapers to poo and he couldn’t.

Cody has just recently turned four and I wish I could tell you that the phase has passed and he is back to peeing and pooping in the potty, but that would be lying. And truthfully, I am probably making things worse by resorting to him wearing Pull-Ups again, but I got sick and tired of finding poop on my floor. And every other surface. One time a piece of poop was even discovered in my fiancees work boots. I thought it was pretty funny. Unfortunately, at six in the morning getting ready to leave for work, he failed to see the humor in it. When later confronted, my son innocently told me that he put it there because he wanted Daddy to stay home. Aww, I guess it was a sweet gesture.

As the days and weeks keep passing by, I find my self getting more and more stressed over this potty training dilemma. I now feel that I am on a deadline as far as how soon I have to have Cody FULLY potty trained. You see, my son is set to begin Kindergarten in September. And do you honestly think I am going to send him to school in a diaper?

Over my dead body…

Little liars: Your preschooler and honesty

14 Mar

 

Have you caught your preschooler telling a lie?

 

Child misbehaving mother talking to child

 

Busted!

Yesterday morning I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup when I heard a distinct SMACK, immediately followed by a long wail from my 18 month old daughter. “MOMMMYYYY”, my four year old son yelled, “Sissy fell off the bed”. I ran in the room to find my daughter still, in fact,  on the bed with a bright red, perfectly formed, four year old’s hand print on her little back. ‘That little sh*t!’ was my first thought…Until that point I had never actually outright caught him in such a lie. Sure he would spin tall tails when recounting an event or telling me a story. But this was a deliberate lie, a lie made in an attempt to avoid something…in this case a timeout. After cuddling and soothing the little one I then turned my attention to my son. “Cody”, I said, “Why did you tell mommy that sissy fell off the bed when she didn’t?’ “Yes, she did” was his reply. “Well she was still on the bed when mommy came in, if she fell she would be on the floor, wouldn’t she?” “No, because she climbed back up really fast”..Uh huh, this is going no where. “Cody, tell mommy the truth please, sissy has a hand print on her back, someone hit her and you were the only one in the room”. He blinked up at me for a few seconds before dissolving into tears.”S-S-S-Sissy was bugging meeeee…WHAAAA *Sniff*” After quickly debating the best way to handle this situation, I proceeded to kneel in front of him and look him in the eyes, while explaining calmly that it is not nice to lie, and if you tell lies then people won’t always believe you when you are telling the truth. He told me that he lied because he didn’t want to get into trouble. Which, in all honesty, is totally understandable. I mean how many times have we, as adults, told a lie to avoid consequences to certain actions. I know I have before. I am not proud of it, but lying does happen. This is incident made me realize that I was, in fact, not quite sure exactly HOW I should handle a lying four year old. So, like I do when any great parenting dilemma has me stumped,  I stayed up until 3am pouring over every article and study I could find through  “Google.”  I only powered down my computer once I felt pretty confident that I was armed with the knowledge necessary handle the next incident. And now I am going to pass that knowledge on to you!

Parent scolding preschool aged child

The Tall Tale

When it comes to preschoolers there are two main types of lies that are told. Number one: Telling Tall tales-All mothers of young children are familiar with the concept. You know, the one where you ask them what they did at daycare and they proceed to tell you the teacher was  turned into a monkey by the evil magician because she wouldn’t let the children eat candy for lunch and so on and so on… These type of lies are not an attempt to deceive, they are simply a preschooler’s way of exercising their imagination. And truthfully, many preschoolers don’t yet have a firm grasp of where “real” ends and “fantasy” begins. These tall tails are usually just a way to express what they wish would have or will happen. When you find your child spouting off a tall tale you have two choices. You can either say “Is that so?” And leave it at that. Or you can help them elaborate by asking them questions and giving suggestions. Why not make a game out of it by taking turns adding to the story. This is a great way to help children exercise their imagination and practice pretending. It will also provide hours of great fun as children love spending time with mom and dad and they really love having control of the story and how it plays out. You will be amazed at how creative your little ones story can become.

The lie to avoid consequence

The second type of lie is the one that we, as parents, especially dread. It is the lie that is told to get what they want or avoid something that they don’t want. A common reason is obviously to avoid punishment, such as in my sons case. Depending on the age of your child there are important factors to consider when doling out consequences of lying and teaching children how to tell the truth. Preschool age children, around the ages of three to five, as I said earlier, do not necessarily understand the difference between a lie and the truth. When your child says that they “Didn’t hit sissy” when sissy clearly has a hand print on her back…ahem, I am familiar with this scenario, Your child could really mean that they wish that they didn’t hit sissy. They are not really mature enough to even realize that lying is wrong, which is why a child sees no problem in fibbing to get something that they want. We, as parents need to keep this in mind when reacting to our children lie. While it may be tempting to scold, discipline or even shout when we catch our child lying, cease and desist, because all that will do is reinforce the belief that they have to lie in order to avoid punishment. Instead make a promise to your child that, no matter what, if they tell the truth, you will not get angry. Also be sure to make it clear that even if they tell a lie or behave badly, that you still love them, you just do not like the behavior. Sometimes children feel that if they do something wrong they must lie because if mommy finds out “she won’t love me anymore.” And never, EVER, not matter how angry you are, EVER tell your child you hate them or that you don’t love them. These types of statements can cause the problem to worsen, because the child will feel the need to lie in order to gain your approval or “love.” At the preschool age the main things you can do are to letting your child know how happy it makes you when they tell the truth, make sure they know that if they tell the truth they will not get yelled at or punished and explain to them the basics of truth telling, and how not telling the truth makes it hard for people to trust you.

Child crossing fingers behind back

Practice what you preach

One last thing to keep in mind is that children are ALWAYS listening. You may have even encouraged you child to tell a “white lie,” such as telling them to tell grandma how yummy her not-so-yummy  brownies are. Children take everything very literally and do not understand what a “white lie” is. Even if you attempt to explain it, it will just confuse them more. To children, a lie is a lie, and if they see mommy not telling the truth, then why should they? So make a conscious effort to be honest, even if it  may be a little embarrassing. I know that this is going to be the hardest part for me, as I have told many a white lie. So often, in fact that it is almost a habit.  Oops! I guess it is for the best, though. All the lessons in the world about truth telling and honesty do not measure up to what your child will learn simply by observing you. Children learn by example, and it is our job to set a good one. And hey, maybe if grandma finally knows the truth, we can stop feeding her poor dog those brownies!

The Birdie’s and The Bees!

26 Jan

So I am sitting on the floor pinning my 16 month old daughter, Chanel’s, arms to the floor with my feet (it’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear!) in an attempt to change her diaper before she can smear feces all over the house and me. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Cody, my four year old, staring down at her from over my shoulder looking rather perplexed…”Mommy?” he says, “Yes, buddy?”..”Is that sissy’s birdie”? *”Ummm…Well, yes it is, sweetheart”…He stare blankly at me then confusion flickers across his cherubic little face.”But, Mommy?”… “Yes?”Then with all the seriousness that a four year old can muster he asks me. “How come she is missing a piece?” That was it for me…I

My crazy little fella!

 laughed so hard I dripped in my panties. Seriously. That made my day; No my week! Priceless! Cody got pretty PO’d at mommy, who by now is keeled over hugging my aching ribs, with tears streaming down my face, giggling

uncontrollably. All he wanted was a damn answer to his question. Friggin grownups, they make no damn sense. So after I slip on some dry skivvies, I find my son, who is now fully engaged in the latest shenanigans of Toopy and Binou (his all time favorite). I plop down beside him on the couch, gnawing on the inside of my cheek in an attempt to fully suppress any further hysterics. “Sweetie, I am sorry that I laughed when you asked me your question, I wasn’t laughing at you, I promise.”…”It’s OK Mommy”…”The reason sissy is ‘missing a piece’ is because boys and girls are different, and they don’t have the same parts, girls don’t need that piece, that’s all.” “But, why?”…*Shifts uncomfortably*. “Why don’t you ask daddy! I bet he would know!” He gets up and pitter-patters out of the room. “DADDDYYYYYYYY?” *Phew* Crisis averted…Hopefully, he won’t ask me anymore birdie’s and bee’s questions for a few more years…