Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Bleached House Edition

TTT

  1. I haven’t been very good at this blogging thing lately so I thought I’d ease back in with a Ten Thought Tuesday.
  2. I DO have a good reason for not writing much though.  Between my job, my two littles and the end of my first trimester (yup, we’re gonna have another little one!) I’ve been completely tired.
  3. Plus, we just got hit with a “lovely” bout of gastroenteritis.  Oh yeah… So today I’m working on disinfecting the house with my friends bleach and water.
  4. The good news is that Christmas is just around the corner.   Little Dude is pretty excited (and was wise enough to ask for something different to everyone who asked him what he wanted).
  5. No snow so far though :(.  Plus on Chirstmas Eve we’re set to hit temps of 15 Celcius.  Thank you El Nino…
  6. I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars.  I’ve heard that it is wonderful.  Anyone wanna babysit my littles?
  7. I’m also looking forward to some alone time with my partner (and soon-to-be hubby – we’re getting married in May!).  We’re off to a spa for three days after Christmas.
  8. Amélie finally got her surgery to remove the dermoid cyst that she had over her right eye about a month ago.  Everything went very smoothly and the staff at the Montreal Children’s Hospital was fabulous.
  9. Oh, and since we’re expecting another baby, we also decided to upgrade one of our vehicles.  Despite saying that I’d never have one, I am now the (pretty proud) owner of a minivan.  Never say never folks.
  10. My partner and I just discovered a new series on Netflix.  We are thoroughly enjoying Psych which gets us laughing every time.

How have you all been?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: December 9th 2014

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  1. Charles has finally finished taking his Biaxin.  We were finally able to give it to him by hiding it in his soy yogurt, coconut milk or applesauce.
  2. He’s been having nightmares for the past week tough, waking up screaming in the middle of the night.  I hope they end soon.
  3. My Christmas shopping is all done.  I only have a few things to finish up and I’ll be all set.
  4. I decided that during Christmas break, I’m going to do potty training with Charles.  I don’t know how ready he is but I most certainly am…especially given that his diapers have been overflowing more and more frequently despite the fact that we’ve doubled up on inserts.
  5. The little guy received a cool remote controlled car from his “third grandma” (the receptionist at the dada’s office) for his birthday.  He is absolutely in love with it.
  6. We ordered a lovey for Amélie for Christmas (don’t tell her 😉 ) as I’m planning on starting to wean her off the swaddle when she hits four months.  Since she is getting more mobile (not rolling over yet, but she can turn on from back to side quickly), it seems like the logical thing to do.
  7. We’ve decided that we were going to be making our own bread.  I made two wonderful multigrain loaves last Saturday and some Montreal-style bagels (yum!).  I’ve also got a sourdough starter going and I can’t wait to make a loaf of sourdough bread!
  8. The kiddos and the dada came to the Christmas concert the band I play in gave last Saturday.  I’m told that they were absolutely adorable the whole time.
  9. Of course, since the concert, I now have, as my sister would put it, a karaoke of Christmas songs playing nonstop in my head.  Grrrrrr…
  10. That’s it for today, my brain can’t muster anymore random thoughts.
Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Christmas Eve Edition

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1.  It’s Christmas Eve and we are definitely going to have a white Christmas which is awesome.  The last time we had so much snow, I was still living with my parents.

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Yup, snow there is!

2.  I’m almost finished with gift-wrapping.  I love doing this!

3.  The little guy has a new favourite activity: climbing onto our bed.  It’s actually quite impressive to see!

4.  Do you guys know about songza?  It’s a great resource with ready-made playlists with a whole bunch of different themes.  Of course, a Christmas themed playlist would be awesome at this time of the year.

5.  I actually received the Etsy gifts I had ordered.  So happy!

6.  It’ll be interesting to see Charles’ reaction when he’ll be given gifts to open this year.  I’ll be sure to snap some shots and take a couple of videos!

7.  I’ve been meaning to write something for the past three TTTs, but I keep forgetting what it is.  Maybe I should write it down the next time the idea pops into my head.

8.  OH!  I should tell you guys, I’m on Pinterest now (I should have created an account aaaaages ago).  You can find me here.  I haven’t got much going on yet because I’m only going once a week (you can seriously spend hours on there!).

9.  You know that song “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth?”.  Well, all I want for Christmas is for teething to stop momentarily.  The little guy’s first cuspid cut and the second one is on its way!

10.  Last but not least, I hope you all have a great Christmas.  Stay safe and have fun!  Take care, everyone!

11.  I saw this quote on my calendar and thought is was very appropriate:

Your children need your presence more than your presents.

Jessy Jackson

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday

TTT

1.  I wanted to post about it when it happened, but I passed the one year mark in blogging a little over a week ago.  I’m really happy because blogging has allowed me to connect with some really wonderful people.

2.  There’s a million thoughts coursing through my head these days and about as many drafts in my draft folder, however, I’m struggling with blogging these days.  Perhaps it’s because I’m tired and in need of my Christmas break.

3.  I just went shopping!  Actually took some time for myself and bought some clothing!  I guess starting a new job in January gave me the motivation to go (I’ve been meaning to buy a couple of new things for months now, but I hate shopping for clothes).

4.  We had quite the snow storm last weekend, it was awesome to wake up to 35cm of snow!

5.  It’s been freezing since the last snowfall though, around 35 (Celsius) below with windchill.  Brrrr.

6.  This week, we’re having pork tenderloin with a mandarin glaze and slow-cooked baby back ribs.  It is going to be YUMMY!

7.  I had a nice romantic dinner with my partner on Saturday evening.  We went out for fondue.

8.  I’ve finally sent out a package that’s been sitting around on my kitchen table to a friend.  It’s not going to get there in time for Christmas, but it’s ok because she’s not expecting to receive anything 😉

9.  Speaking of Christmas, I’ve got all my gifts ordered, but some of the things I got from Etsy haven’t arrived yet.  Probably stuck at the border…

10.  The little guy is really awesome at walking now.  He is getting more and more confident (and quicker lol) and rarely crawls now.  It’s crazy to think that just one year ago all he could do is cry, fill his diaper, nurse and sleep!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted in Parenting

You Shall Not Pass, Santa Claus

There will be no Santa Claus at our house.

I know, I know, we are horrible parents.  But it’s OK, I can still live with myself despite the fact that we won’t be pretending that an overweight old dude will be taking 1/1000th of a second to do his thing at each house he stops at.

“But what about the magic of Christmas?”

For me the so called “magic” of Christmas doesn’t need to include telling my child that a fat and seemingly immortal (the modern depiction of Santa with his sled-pulling reindeer has been around for nearly 200 years) grandfatherly-like man will be breaking into our house through the chimney to sneak around our home, consume some milk and cookies and leave some presents under a tree.

It is also not a competition to see who will buy the biggest s***load of presents for a child (or about simply buying an incredibly unreasonable amount of gifts for said child to put under the tree for that matter).  Nor is it about calculating the monetary value of the gift received by person “X” and making sure that the gift you will be giving to person “X” is of the exact same value the next year (yes, I know someone who does this and yes I was past flabbergasted when I heard about it).

For me, the magic of Christmas resides in spending quality-time with family and giving.  Notice I did not say “gifting”, but “giving”.  There is a world of difference between the two in my opinion.  One can give time (as in spend time with someone, help around the house…) and that simple act can be very much more appreciated than the most expensive present.

Our tradition over the past years has been to have some fun in the kitchen and cook up some food that we know our parents and friends will appreciate and will be able to use throughout the year.  I also enjoy crafting my gifts and though I do purchase some gifts, I will do so only if I see something that makes my brain say “WOW, person “X” would really love this!”.  I don’t like following lists and I certainly don’t count to make sure that I spent “enough” money on each person.  I want my son to have fun: to cook and bake with us, to craft with us.  I want him to learn that it’s not the actual present that counts, but the time taken to think about the person who will be receiving the present.  For me, that is the magic of Christmas.

“But, don’t you remember how disappointed you were when you learned that Santa didn’t exist?”

Both my parents and in-laws used this argument to try to convince us to get my son to believe in Santa Claus.  Maybe I’m just dense, but I fail to see how this is an argument in favour of Santa.  I mean, let me put it this way.  Perhaps, for the next 8 years or so, I should tell my son that for one of his upcoming birthdays, we will be going to Disney.  I’ll show him some pictures and videos, I’ll have him learn the names of the characters.  I’ll get him super excited.  SUPER excited.  As the years go by, he may start to doubt.  He may start to ask when exactly we’ll be going.  He may start to ask if we’re really going.  Of course, being awesome parents, we’ll convince him that we will indeed go.  We’ll give him some “proof”, show him some reservation tickets and the like…until one day where we’ll say: “Oh, you’re right Charles, we’re not really going to be going to Disney”.  “Awww, you’re disappointed?  It’s OK sweetie, but weren’t you just SOOOO excited for the past 8 years?”

Oh wait, so you don’t think that is a good idea?

“But what about the kids at school/daycare?  What will you do when they start talking about Santa?”

What do the kids do in multicultural areas?  What happens when Muslim, Jewish and Christian children are all in the same class?  They talk, they argue, they all go home and ask their parents and their parents give the explanation they want to give.  When my son will hear about Santa, he’ll ask us.  We’re not going to shield his eyes from the images and his ears from the name.  For us, Santa is going to be a fictional character that people like to talk about around Christmas time, just like Link, Harry Potter and Caillou are fictional characters (thank God, because Caillou is one annoying little kid!).  When his friends go home to their parents and tell them that Charles said Santa doesn’t exist, their parents will either keep up the story, decide to fess up or call us and complain that their child is now doubting the existence of Santa (oops!).

Of Christmas and Santa

Those who know me, know I hate Christmas.  Actually, I should specify that I hate what Christmas has become.  I hate that as soon as Halloween is done, we are almost immediately surrounded by all things Christmas.  ‘Buy this, buy that, your child will love you for it!’.  ‘Your girlfriend needs a diamond ring and ours are the best so spend your money here!’.  I hate the social pressure (fed by the multitude of ads) that says that you need to buy a whole bunch of presents.  I hate the stress associated with going to the mall at the very last minute to buy those last gifts you need.  I mean, come on people, since when has it become OK to be stressed out to give something.  Giving should make you feel good, not stressed out.

I also have a problem with Christmas music, but that is because I am a musician.  Why does that matter, you wonder?  It matters because when you play music, you inevitably are going to be doing a Christmas concert and since Christmas is in December and you actually need to practice the music you’ll be playing, you typically start playing Christmas music a couple of weeks before Halloween.  *Shudder*

There are also a few things I don’t like about the whole Santa story.

  1. As a parent, I want my son to learn about honesty.  So why would I lie to him for a number of years by pretending Santa exists?
  2. I also want my son to be/feel safe.  So why would I tell him that it’s OK for Santa to break into our house and sneak around while he’s sleeping.  And why would it be OK to accept a gift from him when it’s not OK to accept a gift from a stranger (I mean, he is a stranger after all as you can never meet him).
  3. I want my son to learn about justice and injustice.  So how can I justify that the bully in his class,  got all the presents he asked for even though he ought to have been on the naughty list and that the other child in his class who is always an angel but whose parents are so poor they have trouble putting food on the table got nothing?  I mean, if Santa really did exist, the bully would get a lump of coal and the angel would get everything he asked for, right?

Just to be clear, I’m not judging parents who continue the Santa tradition at home.  I’m only saying that it is something that we have chosen as a couple to veer away from.  Teaching about Santa, much like any other parenting decision should be up to the parents.  Ultimately, you do what works for you, right?

Will Santa be coming to your house this December?

Posted in Product Reviews

Baby Product Review #2: The Fisher Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym

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My kiddo LOVES this thing!

Santa delivered this to him on Christmas day and my son has been playing with it daily ever since we first assembled it on December 26th.  He has been playing with it daily since first discovering that he could create music by kicking his legs out and he can stay completely enthralled by the music he’s creating for nearly an hour before getting tired and needing a break.

Why I love this product so much?

For starters, it can be used from a very young age (my son was just over a month old when he first used it and had recently discovered that his legs were attached to his body).  Plus, it can grow with your child as it is a 3 in 1 toy.  The first stage – the one we use – allows the baby to be on his/her back to play.  Then, it can be transformed so that your kid can play whilst lying on his/her tummy.  Finally, once your little tyke can sit up, the toy can transform again so that the piano can now be played with hands rather than with feet.  An added plus?  It’s really easy to assemble!

Of course, I can’t ignore the fact that this is a great educational toy.  It aids in the development of gross motor skills and serves as an introduction to the world of cause and effect.  It is also a great sensory toy as it stimulates hearing, touch (feet on the piano keys and hands accidentally hitting the overhead toys) and sight (overhead mirror and lights lighting up when the music plays).  Speaking of the mirror, ours is angled so that our son sees his legs moving about, hitting the keys and making the lights turn on.  From the pictures of the product, I thought that the mirror would be parallel to the mat, thus allowing the baby to see him/herself.  However, I do frequently tilt the mirror so my son can see his face.  The results are instantaneous: he stops moving his legs and looks up at the “other baby” looking down on him with sheer astonishment.  Makes me laugh every time!

Oh my God!  There's that baby looking at me again!
Oh my God! There’s that baby looking at me again!

Of course, I can’t not talk about the music.  In all, there are eight melodies on two settings.  One setting allows for the actual individual notes on the keyboard to be played and if no keys are pressed within a few seconds one of four melodies will start to play.  On the other mode, the individual notes cannot be heard and the other four tunes play non stop for about a quarter hour.  The tunes are varied and quite pleasant as is the volume.  There are two volume settings and the loudest setting is no where near annoyingly loud.  The product requires 3 AA batteries which are included.