Posted in Parenting

Crazy Morning

Most mornings are a varying degree of crazy.  Some a relatively sane.  Some are a balance of sane and crazy.  Some are like this morning.

Amélie is back in diapers since yesterday evening.  I decided I was tired (both literally and figuratively) of not sleeping on account of being worried about how much longer she’d hold in her pee.  So besides running after her to try to change her so-full-it-was-seeping diaper, after breakfast, I also had to run after her to get her dressed and then get her coat and shoes on.

Charles, on the other hand, was constantly changing between his “I’m a big boy” mode, his “I’m an insufferable tattletale” mode and his “I want to control everything” mode.  Whew!

Then, Elliot was starting to become tired (who wouldn’t be with all the screaming and running around that was happening) and started to communicate that fact to me (by crying, of course).

So here I was, standing in the entrance of the house.  Charles was telling me that his sister stunk.  I was realizing that she stunk.  She was yelling because her brother was saying that she was stinking.  Charles was telling me that Elliot was crying.  Amélie was insisting (very loudly) that there was no poop in her diaper.  Elliot was pursuing his attempts at communicating his annoyance at the fact that he was tired and strapped in his car seat and hot and still not sleeping.

Then the doorbell rings.

I answer and this dude from one of the cable companies around here is standing there talking on the phone.

Me: Hi

Him: [continuing his conversation]

Me (insisting): What can I do for you?

Him: [telling the other person on the phone to wait a bit] You called.

Me: Uh, nope, I didn’t (I know this for a fact because we don’t do business with this company on account of the fact that all of its employees seem to be blessed with the idiocy gene).

Him: But isn’t your address [leans back to see the door number] 126 street name?

Me: Yes, it is, but I didn’t call you.

Him: Oh!  There are a lot of kids here (guess he finally noticed the commotion behind me).

Me: There are three.

Him: Do you run a daycare?

Me: No, they’re all mine, BUT I was on my was to daycare.

Him: But you called.

Me: (Holy crap, is this guy dense?) No, I did not.  Perhaps you should recheck the door number or the street name.

Him: [taking the phone away from his ear to look at it] Oh.  I’m supposed to go to 116 street name.

Me: [slams the door in his face before turning around to take care of the kiddo’s diaper]

Posted in Parenting

Potty Training Woes: Why I Always Want What I Can’t Have

I swear, these kids are going to drive me insane.

When I started potty training Charles, things went as expected.  He had accidents.  For the first two weeks, I remember questioning my decision to potty train in the first place.  I just wanted to stop having to mop the floors and spray the couch and wash piles upon piles of urine-soaked clothing.  Eventually though, he got the hang of it (and stopped having those horrible regression days) and he was officially day-time potty trained.

Now he’s almost four and still wears a diaper at night, which he wets 95% of the time.  Recently, I’ve found myself wanting him to be completely potty trained and be able to ditch the diapers altogether, but it seems his body just isn’t ready yet.

As you know, I started potty training Amélie over the weekend.  The first two days went without a hitch (meaning, they were hit and miss, but getting progressively better overall). Unlike the first time we tried potty training, the little miss didn’t get upset when she had an accident.  She would just announce it, get cleaned up and proceed to resume playing.  She told us when she needed to go, sometimes she made it, sometimes she didn’t sometimes she started to pee on the floor and managed to hold in the rest long enough to finish on the potty.

Then, something weird happened.

This one is a special kind of stubborn.

She started holding her pee for longer and longer periods of time, telling me that she didn’t need to go.  She would wiggle, tell me she had to go, sit on the potty for a while, then get up telling me she had no pee.  On Tuesday morning, her diaper was dry.  She thankfully peed in the potty after I gave her the iPad to play with, but she had held it it for 13 hours.  Then, at daycare she had an accident in the morning and had a huge pee in the potty after her nap (the sitter told me she’d never seen the potty so full!).  After that, nada.  Even at home, in the evening, she didn’t pee.  She pooped after supper, but that was all.  I put a diaper on her and put her down for the night.  I went to bed convinced that I’d have to make a trip to the hospital this morning because the last time I checked her diaper, at 11pm, it was still dry.

Luckily, when she woke up this morning, her diaper was full.  The only problem is, I have no idea when it happened.  She didn’t pee before going to daycare this morning, this despite sitting her on the potty with the iPad, then with a story and bringing her in the shower with me.  Seriously, at this point, I’ll take a pee anywhere.  In the car, on the couch, on the floor.  I just want her to stop holding it in so long and pee more often.

I’m not sure what to do.  She is obviously able to control her bladder, she isn’t afraid to poop on the potty like her brother was.  She sits on the potty on her own accord, but she just doesn’t go!  I’m at the point where I’m wondering if I’m not better off just putting her back into diapers.

Insight, suggestions, advice?

Posted in Parenting

Potty Training: Take 2

Potty Training: it’s happening.

It’s happening this weekend in fact.

It’s a 3 day weekend so it’s now or never.

I’ve been down this path before.  Charles was about the same age when we embarked on the potty training journey.  And what a journey it way (see here, here, here and here).

I’ve already given it a tentative go about a month ago with Amélie.  We lasted two days.  She just wasn’t having it.  Oh, she’d gotten good at holding it in and on the first day, we hardly had any pee to mop up.  But on day 2 she had an accident, followed by a meltdown.  She became stressed about using the potty and back into the closet it went.

But now, it’s time to try again.  You know why?

fullsizerenderIt’s this one’s fault ^^

You see, Elliot is a big baby.   The last time he was weighed a few weeks ago, he was just shy of 19 lbs.  I reckon he’s over 20 lbs.  But that is not the point.  The point is that both he and his big sis are in washable diapers.


This is a problem because Elliot’s thighs don’t fit in his diapers anymore.  He needs a bigger size.  He needs the size his sister’s wearing.  And since there is just no way that I will remain sane if I have to wash diapers every day (which I will if they both share the same diapers), it’s time to potty train.

Now, I think that this time around we are set up for success for a few reasons:

  1. We’ve been counting down the days to the start of potty (and using the words “big girl” a lot).
  2. We’re going to turn it into a celebration (and I’ve got the balloons and stickers to prove it)

    (In case you haven’t noticed, my daughter is a little bit obsessed with pigs)

I’m still unafraid of using bribery.

I’m pretty sure we won’t need ALL of this candy to get the toddler potty trained.

So, there you have it.

Wish me luck!

Posted in Parenting, Projects

Stellar: Earflap Beanie

This is the new project I just finished.  Isn’t it cute?  I used the standard earflap beanie pattern that can be found here, on the Repeat Crafter Me blog.  This is my go to spot for the hat patterns because they work up quickly, the seams come together nicely and the sizing is always spot on.

Then I crocheted a star using the pattern here.  The star worked up super easily (I tried a few patterns and this one was definitely the winner).  I didn’t use the fabric stiffener, but I did block the piece overnight to give it a more pointy look as it looked like a flower once finished.

I finished off by using surface slip stitches to create the tail of the shooting star.  Here  is the tutorial I used when first using the technique a few months ago.

The yarn I used for the hat is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Navy and Gold for the star and accent colour.

Now it’s time for me to start a poncho for my son.  Cheers!

What projects do you have going on right now?

Posted in Parenting

Language Acquisition in the ESL Kiddo

We are a French-speaking family living in a French-speaking environment.  My kids go to a French daycare and will be attending a French school.  However, it is important to my husband and I that our kids be bilingual (French and English).  Though we know that they will have ESL lessons in school, we started exposing them to the English language very early on because we know that the earlier they are exposed to a language, the better the chance they’ll be able to learn it.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve exposed our kiddos to English in various ways: nursery rhymes, books, songs, Youtube videos and Netflix.  We’ve even chosen to register them in swimming lessons that happen in a predominantly English-speaking city close to where we live so that they can benefit from hearing English once per week.  (The instructors at the pool they go to are fantastic, they are all bilingual and speak to their French-speaking students in French and English to their English-speaking students.  Win-win!).

Now Charles knows quite a few words in English and he is conscious that it is a completely different language than the one he is used to using.  Sometimes, he plays and “speaks” in English.  I tell you, even though the vast majority of the “words” he uses aren’t real, the intonation is spot on.  It is absolutely adorable!  But even his use of actual English words can yield interesting results.

For instance, given that the “th” sound doesn’t exist in French, it is generally difficult to reproduce by people whose mother tongue is French.  For example, a French-speaking person will typically either drop the “h” or turn the “th” into an “f”.  The number “three” might become “free” or “tree”.  Factor in a toddler who still hasn’t mastered all of the sounds in his mother tongue and counting to ten for him sounds like this:

one, toop, freen, fow, five, six, seven, yate, nine, ten

For a while, he kept seeing “fucks” everywhere.  (You know, white fucks, black fucks, firefucks).

Today, it was his turn to pick the first song from his Spotify playlist on his way to daycare.  His choice?  Row, row, row your butt.

Sing it!

Are your children bilingual?  Are your toddlers still struggling with certain sounds?  What are some of the funny things you’ve heard from them?

Posted in Projects

Getting (Re)hooked

A couple of years ago, I started to learn crochet.  And once I got the “hook: of it (because, yes, there was a lot of cussing and starting over…and over…and over, at first), I loved it.  I mostly stuck with simple stuff like scarves, dishcloths and beanies, but I enjoyed it.

Then, last Christmas came along and  I spent an insane amount of time crocheting.  I was really happy with the way everything came out, but since I had gone crazy with it, by the time I was done, I was done.

But recently, I decided it was time to get my yarn and hooks out again.  Since it’s getting chilly (and I have a nice sample of different colours from past projects), I settled on a poncho for my 2 year old.  I found a graphic pattern here (which I had to learn to read, because I only knew how to read written patterns) and got to work.  It took a bit of finnicking before I could figure out how to join and start a new row correctly, but in the end, I managed.


What do you think?  Pretty cute, eh?

Since the blogger who posted the pattern didn’t give any indication as to which type of yarn she used, I had to play around with what I had (I used worsted weight yarn, by the way).  What I did know is that my initial chain had to be in multiples of 8 and I ended up going with a chain of 64.

I have to say, I am pretty pleased.  This thing worked up quickly (which is a good thing because the 3 month old has decided of late that naps weren’t his bag of tea…) and it gives an amazing result.


Because she’s two years old (and she knows it), Amélie showed me how absolutely thrilled she was at posing for me this morning.

I think it looks pretty darned good.  I really like the length, but I think the neck opening is a bit too large.  If I were to make another poncho for a two year old, I’d probably go with a chain of 56 (or even 48) instead of 64.  But hey, it’s no biggie.

Now, on to my next project.  Stay tuned!

Posted in Parenting

I’m Back! (I Think)

Woah!  I’ve been out of blogging for way too long.  Truth is, I didn’t feel the need to write anything in the last six months.  But now, I’m up to blogging again.

I’ll keep this one short.  Quite a bit has happened in the past months.  For one, my partner and I married on May 21st.  Plus, I gave birth to my third child on June 20th.  As for the littles, they’re getting bigger.

Charles is a couple of months away from being 4, Amélie just turned 2 a few weeks ago and Elliot is already nearly 3 months old!

So here’s the thing.  I’m thinking of changing the direction of the blog a bit.  I’m actually not sure yet, I’m playing around with a few ideas at the moment.  So, you may notice some funky stuff going on with the blog in the coming days (or weeks, who knows how long it’ll take me to get this thing organized and looking the way I want it to look).

Posted in Parenting

What’s Your Cleaning Routine?

Ask my mom how tidy my room was when I was growing up and she’d probably either give you an eyeroll or break out in some form of maniacal laughter.  (Actually, she’d probably tactfully say that it wasn’t one of my strengths but that I had plenty of other strengths) #gottaloveyourmama.

Ask my mom how tidy my house is now that I’m 31 with two and a half kids and she’d probably tactfully say that I’m a great mom and that it’s a good thing that I’m able to let go of the little things.

The truth is, I suck.  Like seriously suck.

I know how to clean, I know how to tidy up, I know it’s important.  I know the tricks.  But darn, I just can’t get my act together.

Problem #1: I am a serious procrastinator.

Last year, when I was still on maternity leave, I figured out a method that actually worked for me.  I started by decluttering (I used the 31 day decluttering guide I found on the Living Well Spending Less website).  Then, I scoured the Web and found a whole bunch of example cleaning schedules.  I mashed a few together, put them on paper and voilà, I had myself a cleaning schedule that worked for me.

Since I couldn’t just do everything in one day as I used to in my pre-kid life, I found that there were two general methods to go about keeping a house clean and tidy.  The first was to go at it room by room (as in, each day, you would tackle a different room).  The second was to go at it task by task.  I opted for the latter as I found it more logical to take care of all the laundry (or window/mirror cleaning, or mopping/vacuuming, or dusting) on the same day.

And it worked!  I was able to keep a clean and tidy house and not go totally nuts with the seemingly monumental-feeling task.

But then, life caught up to me.  I had to go back to work.

Problem #2: I work full-time and often have to bring work home.

Suddenly, I ended up going back to work full-time, juggling two toddlers and becoming pregnant.  (That’s when the procrastinator in me kicked in and determined that the kids, my sanity, some quality time with my partner and my sleep were more important than the tidiness of my house).

But boy oh boy.  Besides the fact that my house regularly looks like it was hit by a tornado, I find myself with horrors like this when I dare look under the couch in the living room.

This is the most recent stash that I found hiding under the couch.  Notice the can of baby corn to the right which is indicative of my daughter’s newfound passion for emptying the pantry.

Of course, I also find myself picking up toddler boxers all the time because, you know, why play with toys or the food in the pantry when you can just empty out your brother’s boxers and adorn yourself with them (yet another of my daughter’s passions).


Problem #3: I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old.

Luckily, I do have help.  My partner and brother and the ones responsible for doing the dishes.  We also pretty much split supper duty and my partner’s pretty good at sweeping the floors.

Honestly, I am able to live amongst clutter.  I am fine with seeing dust accumulate on my bookshelves.  I can relax on my couch and see toys littering the floor.  But I would like to become better at housekeeping.  I want to find a balance between being a good teacher, being a good mom and being a good housekeeper without going nuts or burning myself out because…

Problem #4: I’m a perfectionist.

And so, dear readers, I turn to you.

Do you have any suggestions?  What does your cleaning routine look like?  How do you juggle your different responsibilities?