Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 9th 2017

TTT

  1. I am so behind in my blog reading!  I really need to find some time to catch up.
  2. We’ve been dealing with the consequences of floods caused by the unrelenting rain around here.  At our house, we’re fine, but a few blocks away, roads are closed because of flooding.  One of the two bridges that lead to the island of Montreal is closed so traffic is horrendous.  Luckily, the road I take to drive the kids to daycare isn’t affected.
  3. Today is supposed to be the worst day and water levels are supposed to start receding starting tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe, though as this is what is forecasted for the next week.
  4. Despite the crappy weather, we managed to get some time outside when it was nice out (meaning just super cloudy).  The kids went to the park and had some fun.
  5. We had a really busy but super fun weekend.  On Friday, my husband and I managed to go to the restaurant just the two of us.  Then, on Saturday, we went to see our friends to celebrate their son’s birthday party.  Charles, Amélie and Elliot had a blast.    Finally, on Sunday, after going to the pool (Charles and Elliot) and gymnastics (Amélie) classes, we went to my parents’ house for a lovely family brunch.  Afterwards, I went to a ceramic cafe with my two friends for some girls-only time together and they all stayed for supper.
  6. The neon noodles I made last week turned out wonderfully!  My kids gobbled them up.  Well, except Elliot.  He wasn’t impressed and just threw them on the floor.  I just tossed them in garlic butter and served them with sweet and sour chicken and steamed broccoli.IMG_3278
  7. I’ve recently discovered a love for matcha tea.  I went to David’s tea about a week ago and bought some peach matcha.  It is so delicious!  It’s great as a hot latte, just plain hot and is amazing as iced tea (not that I’m drinking much iced tea these days).  I’ve yet to try it as an iced latte, but I’m certain it will be awesome.
  8. I recently read an article on the Dirty Dozen on the David Suzuki website.  I checked through my makeup and realized that everything I own (not that I own much) contains at least one ingredient from the dirty dozen.  Since I’ve been wanting to wear makeup more often, I started researching brands that don’t contain any of the offending ingredients, but I keep coming up short.  I think I’ll just give up and go back to my au naturel look.
  9. I haven’t gone out for a run, or a swim, or done any type of physical activity since last Thursday when I played some squash with my husband.  I am going totally nuts, but I’ve been feeling under the weather recently (thank you dear children and husband for kindly sharing your colds with me) and have been faced with rain and cold temps outside (did I mention that yesterday, it snowed!).
  10. Tonight, I’m planning on making some oven-baked crispy skinned chicken thighs with steamed green beans, pearled barley and an acorn squash puree.  It’s going to be yummy!  What are you eating tonight?

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 2nd 2017

TTT

  1. We have been having absolutely horrible weather (complete with flooding and the like) around here.  It’s cold and windy and rainy and grey.  Bleh… On the bright side, the grass is green.
  2. On Saturday, we made the most of the beautiful day (despite the 50km/h winds) and went to the park in the afternoon.  Then kids then decided that they wanted to take a walk and so Amélie and Charles took turns pulling the wagon while Elliot tried desperately to touch the turning wheel despite being securely strapped in.
  3. I decided to take a play from Elizabeth’s book and make some neon spaghetti noodles.  The plan was to eat them yesterday evening, but we ended up stuck in some horrible traffic because a streetlight was out of commission, so I ordered some pizza instead.  We are going to have it tonight instead.  Look at how awesome the noodles look though!

    IMG_3275
    The kids are going to go nuts once I plate this tonight.
  4. Sunday we had our movie night.  I made some brown sugar & sriracha chicken wings, homemade oven-baked fries and some popcorn shrimp.  We decided to watch Brave.  I found it entertaining, but it’s not the best (animation) movie I’ve seen.  The music was absolutely amazing though.
  5. Charles is getting really good at MarioKart Wii.  He races at 50cc, but he’s almost always placing top 5 now.
  6. I’m really happy because I’ve started playing the flute again.  I hadn’t realized how much I was missing it.  Oh boy, though, my mouth gets sore really quickly, I have to relearn to loosen up my lips and right hand a bit.
  7. I went swimming on Sunday and it went really well…except my butterfly lap.  It’s hard to believe that when I was a teen it was my favourite stroke!  Oh well, I definitely have something to work towards!
  8. I’ve finally finished the mesh for my crocheted scarf.  Now, I have to get working on the chains to weave through the mesh.  I’m planning on doing that while I watch my daily tv show with my husband as it’s not something that requires a lot of concentration.
  9. I recently discovered the joys of audiobooks!  I listened to The Chemist last month and it was pretty good.  I started listening to The Fifth Season recently and was wowed by the imagery.  The description and vocabulary used are really wonderful.  However, this book is definitely more complex that The Chemist and I’m having a lot of trouble following what is happening.  I might have to read it instead.
  10. INCOME TAX SEASON IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!  And I finally get my husband back *woot*woot*!

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in Parenting

Lovely Weekend

Over the weekend, we were lucky enough to have some very lovely weather.  On Saturday, we decided to make the most of the near 40cm (about a foot and a half) of snow we’d received during the week and went out to play in the yard after the kids’ nap.

Charles and Amélie jumped on the occasion to grab their sandbox toys and had a blast in the snow with them.

Elliot was thoroughly unimpressed with his predicament of being stuck in a snowsuit, but he was a good sport and hung out in the fort his dad was building.

I made a snowman with Amélie and wanted to get a family selfie with our snowy friend, but Amélie and Charles wanted nothing to do with it.  So I grabbed Elliot (because he couldn’t do anything about it hahaha!) and my husband and we took a selfie of the three of us.

The kids played a bit in the toy chest and Elliot started to smile as he got used to sitting in the snow.

Afterwards, we decided to bring the kids to Subway for supper.  Here they are, looking tired, and chillin’ while they wait for the dada to bring the sandwiches to the table.

We finished off our day with some ice cream at the shop next door.  Elliot had his first taste of ice cream and to say that he loved it would be an understatement.

How was your weekend?  Do you have any snow hanging around?

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Woot Woot!

You know how there are some days where you can’t seem to get anything done and there are others where everything seems to go your way?  Well today was one of those days.  Today, I felt like a superstar.

It all started at 6:30 with a run.  I ran for 30 minutes consecutively for the first time!  It was sooooo awesome.  I managed to get just over 4km in that time.  I’m really happy (in case you haven’t already noticed) because I had set the goal to run 30 consecutive minutes or run 5k by the end of July and I did it (with 13 days to spare!).

First 30 min run

When I got back, the kiddos were finishing up their breakfast with their dad and I sat down with them.  We played downstairs while I took care of some laundry until it was time for Amélie’s nap.  Once she was down, Charles helped me wash the windows in his room (he was quite proud and started washing everything else in sight in his room as I finished up).  Amélie woke up, we had a little snack and then we left for the grocery store to buy a few things that we were missing for lunch.

Waiting at the red light for our turn to cross.
Waiting at the red light for our turn to cross.

I realized that though these little wagons are super practical, they are also quite hard to pull with 50lbs of kids inside.  Oh well, second workout of the day LOL!.

When we got back, we got lunch going, they took their nap and then, we went to the water park.  It wasn’t super duper hot, but it was hot enough for a bit of water to be refreshing.  And since I can’t go in our pool with two kids at the same time, it was a great alternative.  Charles got wet…and then he got dirty.

He didn’t really care though and his sister was having a blast looking at her brother playing in the sand while she was in the swing.

Notice the feet inside the swing.  This is her preferred method.
Notice the feet inside the swing. This is her preferred method.

It was really great because I saw Charles interact with kids his own age.  This isn’t something that I’m accustomed to seeing because he is usually really shy.  I think that having something in common with his friend helped break the ice though.

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Can anyone spot the common theme?

Both kids were all smiles on our way home…

image…and ready to keep playing once we reached our destination.  Charles kept himself busy with a branch he found (seriously, what *is* it with boys and branches?).

And Amélie was her cute and silly self (when she realized that she wasn’t going to be able to grab my phone from me, she tried to remove her hat, but missed and pinched her cheek instead).

Charles decided to help me finish up my laundry by gathering all of our remaining clothespins in the same spot…

image

Posted in Parenting

The Magical Tent

IMG_0077We all know that we should limit screen time for our kids.  But with the amounts of screens that can be found in the typical North American house and the hectic lives that many of us have, it can sometimes be difficult.  We’ve fallen into the trap quite a few times of allowing Charles more time with the iPad than we should.  Each time, we’ve had to wean him off the screen using various methods.

This time ’round, I’m trying to get him to do other things than play with my iPad in the morning.  You see, I rather like to sleep a little later than 6:00 am whereas he is wide awake by that time.  Because he was tired of being sent back to his room when he would come wake us up in the morning (he has a Gro Clock and should stay in his room until 6:15) he figured that if he got up quietly and sat in the living room with my iPad without waking anyone up, he could get up when he wanted (such a smart little man!).

However, since I want to encourage him to do other things when he wakes up, I have decided to set up a “magical” tent.  Basically, when he goes to bed at night, I take 5-10 minutes to set up some of his toys in the tent: a big robot made out of Duplo blocks, his road carpet with some cars…when he wakes up, he just needs to open the tent to see what’s hiding inside.

Getting ready to set up his toys.
Getting ready to set up his toys.

We’ve been doing this for two mornings now and it has been great.  Both times, when I woke up, he was happily playing in his tent instead of sitting on the couch with the iPad.  He wakes up excited to see what will have turned up in his tent.  I’m hoping that in the long run, this will create new habits for him.  Whatever happens, though, I’m having fun with the idea of the magical tent right now and he is too.

IMG_0076
This is what he will be waking up to tomorrow morning.

How do you control screen time with your kids?

Posted in Parenting

Winter in Canada

Winter in Canada is a great time to…

1.  Bundle up

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What. Is. This? I can’t even move in this thing!

2.  Go skating

IMG_6205
That was fun, can we go around the rink one last time?

3.  Be silly

Who needs the beach when you can just use snow?
Who needs the beach when you can just use snow?

4.  Get creative

When it's too cold to play outside, just bring the white stuff inside!
When it’s too cold to play outside, just bring the white stuff inside!

5.  Relax

Ah, this is the life!
Ah, this is the life!  Is my supper ready soon?

6.  Learn to share

What *is* this thing , big brother?  Can I put it in my mouth?
What *is* this thing , big brother? Can I put it in my mouth?

7.  Take up a new hobby

Making a scarf takes a lot of concentration!
Making a scarf takes a lot of concentration!
Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Firsts

TTT1.  Last week, it would seem, was a week of firsts.

2.  After having received the green light by his allergist, Charles had his first taste of cheese on Saturday (which he loved, by the way).

3.  After nearly a week of red cheeks, awful sleep, bucketfuls of drool, constant nursing and chewing on everything she could get her mouth on, Amélie cut her first tooth on Sunday (closely followed by a second one the very next day).

4.  Little Dude spent his first week at daycare sans diaper.  And it went well!

5.  I went out with Charles to the rink (which is literally right across the street from our house) for his first skating experience on Saturday.  He had a blast.

All smiles despite falling once or twice.
All smiles despite falling once or twice.

6.  For the first time in years, the price of gas dropped to under a buck per liter around here.  Yay!

7.  Amélie took the train for the first time on Thursday.  She slept the whole way through, though, so she didn’t even notice :P.

8.  After almost completing my first crochet project (a scarf which I completely unwound because the perfectionist in me wasn’t happy with the result), I started my first project with a pattern.  It took a little getting used to, but I’m getting better at pattern-reading.

9.  Since Numb3rs isn’t available on Netflix Canada anymore 😦 , my partner and I started to watch the first season of House of Cards.  It’s fascinating to see all of the manipulation that can happen behind the scenes of political life.

10.  I’m looking forward to my first good night of sleep in a week and am crossing my fingers for it to happen tonight.  Wish me luck!

Have you had any “firsts” recently?

Posted in Parenting

Putting the “A” in E.A.S.Y. : Activity Ideas For Newborns (0 to 3 months)

I remember when I first read about EASY about the time when my son was 6 weeks old, I fell in love with the idea.  I am a creature of habit and do well in a routine so it just seemed natural to get my son into a routine.

I got that under the age of 4 months, we were aiming to feed about every 3 hours and that the awake time that the baby could handle (awake time = from the time they wake up to the time they are back asleep) became greater as the baby got older (for instance, a two week old baby can maybe handle 45 minutes of awake time whereas a 3 month old can stay awake for twice that amount of time).

The one thing I was rather uninspired about is what kind of activities I could do with my newborn.  I mean, they’re tiny and can’t do much.

It turns out, “A” time doesn’t have to be complicated.  (Side note: “A” time only happens during the day).

After burping and changing my baby’s diaper, here are a few of the activities that you can do with a newborn baby:

  • Get her down for some tummy time (try different techniques if your baby hates it – heck, try them even if your baby doesn’t hate it 😉 )
  • Stick out your tongue and make different sounds with your mouth (a “pop” with your lips, clicking your tongue…)
  • Put baby in his gym (like this cool piano gym)
  • Let baby look at herself in the mirror
  • Give him a bath (I do this during the lase “A” time before bed)
  • Sing songs with movements like “the itsy bitsy spider” and “this little piggy”
  • Show her some simple black and white patterns like these
  • Put him under a mobile
  • Give her a massage
  • “Bicycle” his legs
  • Use sensory toys on her like this vibrating dragon, these spiky balls or this musical turtle.
  • Attach a wrist rattle to his wrist
  • Hang a toy over her within reach and encourage her to reach and grab hold of some of the dangling toys (I use this cute elephant)
  • Just talk to him
  • Let her chill out on his/her back on a blanket on the floor or in a high chair/swing… as you take care of things in the house

What are some of the things you do with your 0-3 month old?

Posted in wordless wednesday

Wordless(ish) Wednesday: What Tummy Time Looks Like

I hated tummy time with Charles.  Probably not as much as him (he would always spend the whole time giving me a look of total loathing and screaming at me), but I still hated it.  Amélie is much more easygoing.  Perhaps she just likes being on her tummy, or perhaps the fact that she actually likes tummy time has to do with the fact that she started much earlier than Charles (I started doing tummy time with her as soon as her umbilical stump fell off – so at about 6 days whereas I started Charles off when he was a month old).

I did use different ways to get my son (and still use them with my daughter) to do tummy time though.

Here is what tummy time looks like around our house.

How did tummy time go with your littles?