Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mommy's Kisses Are Forever

The other day when I kissed my 4yr old he wiped his cheek and said 'Ha, I wiped it off!'  It didn't even take me a moment to respond with 'Nope, you can never wipe off Mommy kisses because Mommy kisses are forever.'

The idea is from a book called The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It was recommended to us when the kids started preschool as a way to ease any potential separation anxiety. It's about a little raccoon that is going off to school for the first time but is nervous. The mother raccoon kisses his hand so that if he gets lonely he can put his hand to his face and the kiss will still be there to remind him that he's safe and his mom loves him. Such a sweet little story that I really took to heart. It even comes with little heart stickers so the child can wear it to school as a reminder.

Who doesn't love the idea of their mom looking out for them always and forever? Those soft little kisses or slobbery raspberry kisses are all filled with love, laughter, comfort, security, and understanding. Best of all, they last a lifetime! So sorry my little Ham, no matter how hard you wipe those kisses are not coming off.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Travel Trips Part Deux

Over a year ago I wrote about about Traveling with Toddlers and since we just made another major trip with them I thought I'd add a few things that worked/didn't work for us.
Me & My Turkey on the boat

What Worked

1. We had lower expectations of everything we were going to do on the trip. We didn't book any major excursions, this year we decided to just do simple sight seeing very close to the hotel. It worked better as there wasn't any extended traveling to and from the destination and it kept the attention spans for younger kids. 

2. We picked a resort with a Kids Club, it was a blessing! It was located beside the pool so when you needed the kids to get out of the sun for a while or just slow down for a bit we would take them in there to do all sorts of crafts and games. The women that worked there were super sweet and actually seemed to love their jobs. The kids loved having that outlet to do more activities than just swim. Win!

3. Hubs and I took turns having a morning to ourselves. Having 7 nights and days without a break from the kids can be a bit overwhelming so we gave each other a break for a morning to do something for ourselves. It was a little bit of time to refresh and rejuvenate.

What Didn't Work

1. I think we should have talked to the kids about ear pressure on the plane. They've never had issues before as I always get them to drink water on assent and descent but this time was different. A few kind passengers offered them gum but they've never had it before so I knew they would just swallow it. I think if I'd practiced letting them chew it before we left it may of helped. I also forgot that my SIL said places plastic cups over their ears help, wish I'd remember that one!

2. Even with multiple applications of sunscreen both our kids had their first sunburns. It wasn't much but it was right under their eyes and it made me realize that they were rubbing off their sunscreen every time the chlorine bothered their eyes and they would rub them. We went back to the store and bought the strongest sunscreen we could find and used that on their face and it was better after that. Still, I felt back they had their first burn :(

3. Rules. We didn't have any way to enforce any rules while on vacation. At home we have several ways we deal with unruly behaviour but it was a lot harder to figure out on the fly. Hubs and I should have spoke about this before we left to make sure we were on the same page and consistent in our methods.
Mr. C "Driving" the boat

All in all it was a better trip than last time. With the kids being a little older we didn't have to worry about naps or fret as much while they were in the pool. Here's hoping it gets better and better each time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

To My Dearest Mother

To My Dearest Mother,

I am so sorry.

It has taken me over 30 years and two children of my own to be able to fully understand your importance in my life and I am so very sorry it has taken me this long to acknowledge you.

I am sorry for the times that I got mad at you because you put down your foot and told me 'No'. You were right, I was wrong. You knew what my boundaries should be. You knew what was appropriate for my age and you made me act accordingly. You took the hard job and was the 'bad cop' but I respect you all the more for it now. You grounded me and gave me lectures for the mistakes I made. You helped me to realize there were consequences to my actions. It's not an easy lesson to teach, so I appreciate that you took the time and loved me enough to teach me the lessons I needed later in life.

I am sorry that we never realized all the small and the big stuff you did for us on a daily basis. You fed us three times a day. You made sure we always had clean clothes to wear. You gave us hugs and kisses when things didn't go our way or we were hurt. You drove us to our lessons and sat on the sidelines and cheered us on. You taught us how to use the toilet, how to feed ourselves, and how to walk and talk. You were literally there every step of the way.

I am sorry for all the times I rolled my eyes and was short with you when I answered the phone. You are a person and never stopped caring for me or worrying about me even as an adult. You deserve to be treated with respect and love. I am sorry I was impatient with you and didn't value your efforts to keep our relationship strong

I am sorry for the times we fought and I said horrible things to you. I will say that I was young and didn't truly understand how much words can hurt or how long they can linger. You were the strong one and you made us work through it. But you also let me know how much my words hurt you and taught me yet more valuable lessons in kindness and forgiveness.

I am sorry for the times I thought of you as 'just a mom'. You were (and are) so much more than that. You stayed home with us when we were young, you worked when we were in school, you made time for your own friends and went on dates with Dad. You are everything I wish to teach my daughter: a loving wife, a compassionate mother, a valuable employee, a great friend and a confident woman.

Most of all I am sorry for it taking me so long to show you the respect you deserve. As I go through raising my own children I know how lonely it can be at times. So often you wish someone would acknowledge your work and efforts in raising your children. So I am sorry for it taking over 36 years for me to tell you all this but you mean the world to me and I thank you.

Your Loving Daughter,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bye-Bye Toddler Years

Today my youngest child turned 4 and our household officially said bye-bye to the toddler years. What's crazy is that he is in preschool and is even eligible to attend Kindergarten this September. How does a kid go from toddler to preschool to kindergartener in such a quick span?

After very quick deliberation we decided to not put our son forward a year. Instead we'll wait for him to enter kindergarten as a 5 year old instead of a 4 year old. I want him to have another year of being a preschooler before he becomes a kindergartener. It's not that I am afraid of my baby growing up but I just don't want him to rush through each age. So, I'm going to comfortably settle in and enjoy having only 1 preschooler and 1 kindergartener in the house.

Happy 4th Birthday Little Man!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Reviews - January

I've decided that this year I'm going to try a little harder to give a better description of the books I read each month. Hopefully it either spurns you on to pick up a new book or avoid others like the plague!

1. A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin: 

I have owned this book since July and have been ready to read it since then but knowing how long I'll potentially have to wait for book 6 I kept this book on the shelf as long as I possibly could. For anyone who has heard of the Game of Thrones series but haven't picked it up're missing out! The series is full of great writing, interesting characters, and some fantastic twists and turns! A Dance with Dragons doesn't veer from George's masterful path. I found it to be very much along the lines of the other books but left me itching for the next one. ITCHING! I won't say much about the storyline as if you haven't read the first 4 books it's pointless going into the plot!

2. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson:

This is one of our Bookies Book Club selections and I have to say it's very much in the same style of his more famous Treasure Island. It's about a young lad on a perilous adventure when his only living relative (his uncle) bribes a ship to kidnap him and sell him into slavery in America. You follow his journey when he escapes and pairs up with Jacobite who adds to his level of peril. It's fairly easy to like the main character and I feel that I enjoyed the small little jokes that Stevenson drops into the story. Worth the read to always pick up a classic author.

3. Water - Bapsi Sidhwa:

This is a book that was actually based on a movie. I've never seen the movie but I did enjoy the book enough that I would watch the movie. The book is about 1938 India and the plight of widows. In the Hindu tradition when husbands passed away the widows would become ostracised and generally sent to a widows ashram. This story follows a little 8 year old who becomes a widow and is sent away from her family. She must live in a widow ashram and beg to support herself. The story is about her journey and her budding friendship with the other occupants of the ashram. I had a feeling I knew where the story was going, and I was right, and yet I still enjoyed it all the same. Worth a read.

4. Moneyball - Michael Lewis: 

I'm not going to say much about this book because it's a movie and most people have heard about it. All I have to say is that it is the LONG, BORING version of the movie. I've never read about so many stats and formulas since I took statistics in college. Just a few words of advice...don't do it.

5. Poultry Collective - Susan Juby:

Wow. What a different book as compared to the previously mentioned book. This one is lively and fun! This is the story of many characters. You follow a short time in their lives when they all end up living on the same farm together on Vancouver Island. They are all so different as there's the crunchy young single woman, the ol' timer set in his ways, the screw-up 20-something, and the young pre-teen girl who is escaping her unpleasant home life.The writing is full of really fun expressions, I loved them and wanted to start a list of them to remember. At times I felt it was like sitting down with my grandpa or great uncles; the language is very colourful and expressive. I enjoyed this book enough that I wanted it to be the start of a series of books where we follow the characters even further. Pick it up!

It was a great start to the year...let the books flow!