Friday, November 19, 2010

Good News / Bad News

Can you ground a two year old...? Just wondering. In trying to think postive about the morning we had, here's what I've come up with.

The Good News: Gaby is comfortable climbing to the top of the massively tall, fits-kids-only play centre at gymnastics.

The Bad News: She figured it out after all the kids were told to leave the play centre for their warm down, resulting in Mom chasing her through the friggin' thing for about 10 minutes, which -- trust me -- is a very long time for someone who is scared of heights and who, frankly, does not fit into it.

The Good News: Gaby can run, fast.

The Bad News: She decided to illustrate this skill in a PARKING LOT today, after being told umpteen times that she is never to run in a parking lot. Honest to God, like a bat-out-of-hell she was off like a shot. I know, I know... welcome to the next 15 years...

The Good News: She didn't get hit by any 20-tonne semi's (which frequent said parking lot).

The Bad News: She face planted before any trucks could hit her when she turned around to see if I was chasing her. I consider this fair punishment.

The Good News: I think Gaby is starting to love Christmas as much as her Mom!

The Bad News: She made everyone at Michael's aware of this by:

(a) Running through all the aisles screaming, "Mommy, I'll meet you in this aisle..." over and over again. (See the "running fast" story for how this one ended).

(b) Pulling just about everything off the shelves. Aside: I never realized how many small things Michael's sells... it must take them days upon days to unput all the SKUs into their system. Anyway, at one point I was literally holding her by her jacket hood. First time I've ever considered getting a leash for my child.

The Good News: Daddy bought three bottles of wine earlier this week.

Full stop.

Have a great, stress-free weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Worth the three minutes... trust.

Another quicky post, courtesy of my sister-in-law... thanks Mon!

Give it a shot:

Magic Santa

It's worth the three minutes to input a couple pictures and your child's information. :)

This will definitely help with the "good girl" behaviour in the next month or so. Sweeeeeet!

I love myself!

Been awhile, but I have been writing. Check out my new post on Durham Region Kids! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is Santa's hat with Santa at the North Pool?

I'm more excited than usual about Christmas this year. In a bad year, I'm absolutely nuts about Christmas, so this is serious. Many more Christmas posts will follow, I'm sure, and don't be surprised if one is just Christmas carol lyrics. I'm that bad. (And for the record, I am done 95% Christmas shopping - my agenda this week is to start wrapping and get the Christmas cards done. God, I love being home.)

The concept of Santa is much more prevalent in our house this year than it was last year. I'm a little embarassed to admit it, but 'Santa' is really helping keep behaviour in check these days. Honestly, Gaby is good 95% of the time, but you better believe we're pulling out the "Santa only brings gifts to good boys and girls" the other 5% of the time.

At this stage, Gaby is aware of the basics: Santa makes the presents; he only brings presents to good kids. She knows he lives at the North Pool (yes, she calls it the North Pool and I don't have the heart to correct her because it's so darn cute). For some reason, though, she believes that his hat lives somewhere else. After she asks where Santa is, she always needs confirmation that his hat lives there, too. So odd.

The first time she said she wanted to see him, I failed miserably as a parent. I wanted to do this right and not confuse her, so I said:

We'll see Santa soon. Right now he's at his house in the North Pole making all the toys for Christmas, but soon he'll be doing his pre-Christmas tour (!!!!) and well be able to see him then.

Pre.Christmas.Tour. Like WTF?! She accepted it at face value so I didn't push it.

In hindsight, I think I should've said that he'll be around soon to ask you want you want for Christmas, but I kinda messed that up by telling her that he's already making presents. Like, why would he make presents before taking requests?? I'm sure I'm over-thinking it.

I just hope that if she gets up the courage to sit on his lap this year, she does't start asking him about his tour and where his hat lives. He'll think he's more drunk than he probably already is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kruisin' with the Kiddies...

I do most of the driving with the kids now that I'm home during the day. With something to do every day of the week, we spend plenty of time in the car.

In our household, there are three distinct steps to driving with kids...
(1) getting in the car
(2) driving
(3) getting out of the car

... and each bring their own adventures.

Getting in The Car
This could (and may) be a post on it's own. As Gaby gets older, there are things she wants to do for herself (i.e open the doors, climb into her carseat). This is all fine and I encourage it as much as possible, but given the three-act play in getting out of the house (see previous post re television), time really starts getting away from us.

What ends up happening is after 2-3 failed attempts at opening the car door, I help her with it. And after 2-3 failed attempts at climbing into her carseat, I pick her up and put her in. Had I left 45 minutes of leeway for her "car-entry development" we may be making more progress. Unfortunately, by the time we're out the door, we have about 45 seconds to spare before we're officially in danger of being late for our activity. Oh, and Colsen -- who's been patiently sitting in his carrier for a good 15 minutes -- is now screaming his head off (no doubt plotting how he's going to kill us both when he's old enough). 

Eventually, of course, we all make it into he car. At least one of the three of us crying at this point.

Once the tears have dried, driving is a fairly painless experience. Colsen tends to fall asleep quickly after the car starts moving so he doesn't yet have much screen time in our adventures. Gaby, on the other hand...

~ Music ~
She likes her music (just like her parents) and will tell you very quickly what she wants to hear (currently it's the Little People Christmas CD). I believe her collection has almost usurped mine on the iPod and that's no easy feat. It's taken me 20 some-odd years to accumulate my tunes, she's only been at it for two years. She's got some cool stuff on there... a couple of the Putayamo CDs and a phenomenal baby sign language song collection... and then some of the stuff that I grew up with -- Sharon, Lois & Bram, Raffi.

Old faithful would have to be the Annie soundtrack. Dear lord, I loved that movie and all the songs that went with it. "Maybe" (Andrea McArdle version) is her song right now and it literally brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. Not because of the lyrics, but because that kid's voice is so utterly pure.

Of course, if she doesn't like the station or song you've got on, she will let you know. We've had, "I don't like that TV". (Originally dismissed as mumbling but then realized that she was equating changing the TV channel with changing the radio station - brilliant). Or, she'll just ask for what she wants... "I'll have my Christmas CD now, please." That's my favourite for reasons my closest friends will totally understand.

~ Kicking ~
I'm short so I'm spared this experience. When my tall, unfortunate husband is driving, it is a constant battle to keep her from re-arranging his spine. We can barely make it the 5kms to swimming lessons without having a domestic dispute.

~ Food ~
Car staples: raisins, grapes, rice cakes, animal crackers and, once in awhile, Timbits! More often than not, these food stuffs tend to make it onto/into her carseat rather than into her mouth. So, cheddar cheese powder stains, grapes turn into mush and then into raisins, and raisins look like bugs. *shudder*  And make sure those non-spill sippy cups work properly - can't tell you how many times I thought her diaper was leaking and it turned out to be a shoddy sippy cup.

~ Toys / Distractions ~
We don't have a whole lot in the car in terms of toys. Aquadoodle (travel size), an array of mittens and hats, the odd stuffed animal, markers/paper (not recommended) and the mirror so she can make faces at herself. The aquadoodle is great in theory, but the pen dries out quickly so if you don't have water handy or the ability to basically thread a needle while driving, you're SOL. Truth be told, the things she's currently interested in are beating the Olympic record for boot/sock removal and then crying because her boots are off (?!), pulling down the jolly-jumper window visor and trying to open the door while the car is moving. Fun, fun!

~ Shoutouts ~
Every kid probably has a few things they like pointing out when driving. Here are just a few of Gaby's shout-outs when we're driving:

Fire trucks, school buses, Nana's bus (all Durham Region Transit and/or GO buses), cows, Papa's house, dance class, more cows, swimming lessons, choo-choo trains (aka Shiny Dinah's), Canadian flags, blue sky, clouds, moon, sun, rain, any and all construction workers/vehicles (aka Bob The Builders), shapes (she can identify the Canadian Tire triangle), doggies and stables (she surprised is with this one the other day -- we never mention stables and she saw one and called it).

Getting Out of The Car
This is a bittersweet moment. You're off the road and into the comfort of your own home, but your kids are no longer securely strapped in and you have to come up with stuff for them to do (again, see television post).

In the event they are both sleeping soundly when you're on your way home from wherever, I recommend you hit a Timmies for a warm beverage and keep on driving until they wake up or you run out of gas, whatever comes first. I've discovered more of north Oshawa farm country than I care to mention in trying to keep Gaby asleep in that car.

So, if you pull up beside a car that's blaring "Maybe far away..." and the driver is crying while trying to pour three-day-old green tea into the Aquadoodle pen, by all means give us a sympathetic nod. And then get out of the way.