Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: February 7th 2017

TTT

  1. Today is a run day.  Yay!  I can’t wait to get out on the track this evening!
  2. My house is a mess…in every way possible.  Once I’m done this post, I really have to stop procrastinating.
  3. Tonight we’re either eating chicken fajitas or quesadillas, I’m not sure yet.
  4. After being away from the office for two weeks, leaving before the kids awaken and arriving once they’re in bed, my husband is finally back!  He’s really happy about it and the kids will be too.
  5. After learning to roll from back to front a couple of days ago, I think Elliot’s working on crawling.  It’s not easy though as we have wooden floors and he keeps slipping.
  6. I’ve been having so much trouble with Charles at bedtime.  He goes to bed fine, but has been keeping himself awake (sometimes until 9pm) for the past few weeks.  I’m fresh out of strategies!
  7. This coming weekend, my husband and I are going to a concert at Place-des-Arts.  The orchestra is going to be playing music from the Final Fantasy franchise. #geeksunite
  8. Are you a coffee or a tea person?  I just bought the most amazing cinnamon chai rooibos.  It’s a fragrant, a bit spicy and a tad sweet.  The best part?  Because it’s a rooibos, it’s caffeine free!
  9. My husband and I played Jenga with Charles a couple of weeks ago.  Funniest.  Thing.  Ever!  The first time the tower fell, it was because of Charles.  I swear he teleported himself to my lap and koala-hugged my neck because he was so surprised.
  10. Amélie has taken to starting a new roll of toilet paper every time she wipes herself.  We have a nice collection of rolls with different amounts of toilet paper on them in the cabinet beside the toilet.

What’s on your mind today?

Posted in Parenting

Finding Family Time

We live in a hectic world.  I’m lucky this year as I’m off work for maternity leave, but when I work we find ourselves with a family of two full-time working parents, one of which is also studying to gain another degree.

My days are pretty hectic.  Wake up, nurse Elliot, fix breakfast for the kids and myself, remind the kids a gazillion times that they have to brush their teeth and yada yada yada,  get all three kiddos in the van (this is especially fun during winter), drop off the kids at daycare and come back home (1 h round trip).  Usually, I’m back home around 10am and I spend the day caring for Elliot and the house (and myself when I get a nice nap out of him!).  By 4pm I’m back in the minivan to go pick up the kids.  Once home, I get supper running, my husband generally arrives once I’ve gotten everything going.  After that it’s bedtime preparations (which sometimes, sometimes not include a bath).  By 7:30pm, the kids are generally in bed.  Whew!  Then, there are weekends: groceries, laundry, gymnastics for Charles and swimming for Amélie.  It just.  Doesn’t. Stop.

I’m sure this is pretty indicative of the average family’s day.  Sometimes, I feel like a temporary parent.  I see my kids for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening.  It’s hard to balance family life, personal life and marital life.  Yet, it’s important to try to find a way.

So, in an effort to maximize our together time (beyond just meal times), we decided to try out the movie night concept.  On the last Saturday of every month, we’re going to have our supper downstairs and watch a movie of the kids’ choosing together.  We tried this last Saturday and, though I wasn’t too sure what to expect, it was great!

We made some nachos, spread a tablecloth on the floor in front of the tv and the five of us (yup, Elliot hung out with us too!) had a “picnic” whilst watching Kung Fu Panda.  I put Elliot to bed at around 7pm, the my husband, Charles, Amélie and I cuddled on the couch to watch the remainder of the movie.  The kids had a blast and it was fun to spend some real quality time all of us together.  We are definitely going to do this again next month.

It’s so easy to get caught up in life to neglect family time.  Between work, fatigue, the need for personal time and those darned screens (y’know, tablets and smartphones and all the jazz), it’s easy for everyone to be physically together in a room (or in the house), but not make the most of that time.

How do you spend family time?

Posted in Parenting, Sleep (and lack thereof)

Happy Blunder

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My merry band for the day.

Hiya folks!  Wow, I’ve away for longer than planned.  Sorry ’bout that, I’ve been pretty busy with crochet and not sleeping.

To say that Elliot hasn’t been sleeping well would be an understatement.  By the time he was 4 months old, he had been sleeping 12h per night 75% of the time from the age of 8 weeks.  I could put him down awake in his crib for naps and bedtime, let him fall asleep on his own without a fuss and come back to a happy baby once he’d awoken.

Then we were hit with a growth spurt, a wonder week, the cutting of a first and then a second tooth and, finally, a pretty bad cold (think nasal aspirator at every diaper change and needing to be held in an angled position to be able to sleep).  Needless to say, we created a monster.  By the time his cold was over, my husband and I were taking turns sleeping in the rocking chair with him because the only way he would fall asleep and stay asleep was in our arms.

Enter sleep deprivation.

Now, I’m not one to make blunders all the time, but when I do happen to mess up, it’s usually pretty epic.  And when I’m lacking precious hours of sleep, I’m more prone to blunders.

So this morning, I got the kids ready for daycare.  Their bag was filled with a change of clothes, their snowpants, mittens…everything they needed to tackle a normal Quebec winter day.

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Here’s what we woke up to yesterday morning!

Anyway, I got the kids in the minivan, removed the snow that had accumulated overnight and left.  About 15 minutes later (halfway to daycare), I realized I didn’t remember locking the front door before leaving, but I wasn’t about to turn around just for that.  So, I kept going.  I was just about to unbuckle the kids when I realized that I hadn’t brought the daycare bag…with their snowsuits…on a snow-covered day.  Yay me.  So, I drove back home.  Upon arriving home, I realized that not only had I forgotten to lock the front door, I had forgotten to close it altogether.  Yeah, that’s how sleep-deprived I am.

So, I decided it was a better idea to stay home with the kids than to risk driving another hour just to get the kids to daycare.

We made the most of the day.  The kids helped me pick up the toys that were littering the floor.  Then, my daughter washed the washroom sinks while Charles vacuumed the floors.  I entertained Elliot while I folded some laundry and helped the other two with their tasks.  Once the baby was down for his nap, we rocked some shortbread cookies and had some subs delivered for lunch.  While Amélie was down for her nap, I went to see Elliot to try to prolong his nap.  After 15 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to get him to fall back asleep, I walked in on the 4 year-old who decided to take it upon himself of doing some dishes to help me out.  I swear, that kid makes my heart melt just as much as induces headaches with his constant stream of “whys”.

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Hard at work mixing their ingredients.
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The little bugger surprising me with some dish washing. (And yes, he is wearing an apron lol).
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The fruits of their labor.  Amélie made the trees and Charles rocked out some snowflakes.

All in all, I really can’t complain.  My morning may have started off shaky, but the quality-time I got to spend with the kids was worth it.

What was one of your biggest blunders?

Posted in Parenting

My 4 Month Old Sucks at Tummy Time & Other “Confessions” from a Mom of 3

My eldest, Charles, is going to be 4 years old in about a week.  My daughter, Amélie, just turned 2 about a couple of months ago.  My littlest one, Elliot, is going to be 5 months old in a few days.  My days can get pretty darned hectic (or downright crazy), luckily, I’ve found ways to maintain my sanity.

    1. Elliot sucks at tummy time and I don’t care.  He’s going to be 5 months old in under a week and he still struggles to lift that big ol’ head of his off the ground.  Sure I try to get him to exercise his muscles at least once a day (most days I manage), but it’s usually propped up over his nursing pillow, or doing the airplane or some of the other methods I use.  But “pure” tummy-on-blanket-straight-on-the-floor tummy time is not one of his strengths.img_2152
    2. I don’t care what my toddlers look like when they get out of the house – as long as they are dressed in weather-appropriate clothing.  I want you to picture something in your heads.  Imagine an almost 4-year-old toddler with dark grey sweatpants (that are the wrong side around), a blue plaid button-up shirt, a yellow patterned bow tie and missmatching socks.  Now I want you to imagine this almost 4 year old putting on a red fleece coat with a blue poncho (with tassels) over top and completing the look with fingerless gloves, fireman rain boots and a bright orange earflap beanie.  That was Charles recently.  Unfortunately, he didn’t let me take a picture of him.

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      As you can see, Amélie also has an interesting sense of fashion.
    3. I don’t bathe my kids every day.  In fact, sometimes I skip a day or two or three and then bring them in the shower with me the next morning to give them a quick wash before bringing them to daycare.  And speaking of showers…
    4. I don’t shower every day.  I used to shower every day.  I used to love showers.  Then, I had kids.  Nowadays showers usually include one to three kiddos in the washroom with me.  These days, a shower is a luxury.  A shower where I can be completely alone is almost a Haley’s comet sighting type event.
    5. You never know what you’re going to walk into when you come through the door of my house.  Sometimes, it looks like it’s run by someone who has her sh*t together, sometimes it looks like freaking Tornado Alley.  I may not have a Pinterest Perfect house, but I’m okay with that, because what I have works for me.
    6. I sometimes bring Elliot in bed with me. Recently the little one went through a wonder week, a growth spurt and teething (yup, he cut his first pearly white a couple of weeks ago) and I had a supply drop due to the onset of my period.  These were not happy days (and horrible nights).  To save my sanity, I brought the kid in bed with me to nurse a couple of times so that I could get a bit of shut-eye.

So, there you have it.  These are six of the things that I have let go of to keep my sanity.  What kinds of concessions have you made since becoming a parent?

 

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, 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

Just Peachy

I was yapping with my partner, father-in-law and brother after lunch today when my son announced that his sister was eating a peach.  I turn around and sure enough she was stealthily eating devouring one of the (very juicy) Ontario peaches that was in the fruit basket that I’d placed on the floor prior to sitting down for lunch.  She ate the whole darned thing (well, minus the pit) in a matter of (dare I say it?) seconds.  She was, of course very proud of herself.  Note to self: next time, place the fruit basket on the counter…

Notice the peach behind her?  That is the one she sampled first.  I gave it to her brother.
Notice the peach behind her? That is the one she sampled first. I gave it to her brother.
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…

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Posted in Blogging

They Ate My Breakfast

When I get back from my morning runs, I am usually famished.  Recently, I’ve been enjoying a big bowl of fruit with some (canned) coconut milk and a spoonful of natural almond butter as my post-run breakfast of choice.  This morning, I fancied some raspberries in my fruit bowl, so I sent my superhero (aka Charles in one of his Batman pyjamas) out in the yard with a small plastic bowl to go and pick somefor me.  He was all too happy to oblige.

Working hard to find some yummy raspberries.
Working hard to find some yummy raspberries.

He stayed there for a good 5 minutes finding (and no doubt sampling) as many of the berries as he could.  When he came back inside, he didn’t come find me in the kitchen.  I finished cutting my peach and poked my head out of the kitchen to find this going on.

They couldn't resist some fresh-picked berries.
They couldn’t resist some fresh-picked berries.

I had two little birdies eating part of my breakfast (could you blame them, though?).  I ate my raspberry-less breakfast as I watched Charles make more trips out to fetch some more fruit for his sister and he to share.  Of course, his sister waited patiently for the next wave of berries to arrive between each trip.

Hum, I wonder if he's coming back soon.
Hum, I wonder if he’s coming back soon.

All in all, I had a pretty good breakfast.