Sunday, October 30, 2011

The making of a spider costume

My Mom rarely purchased us a costume-in-a-bag. They were really pricey when we were growing up and even if you factor in the $19.99 deals you can get now - multiplying that by the 6+ of us going out that night makes for a very expensive Halloween. What we did instead was created our costume using things from the dress-up box or my Mom actually sewed something together and sometimes purchased a mask or accessory to complete the look. Costumes were then passed down years and years. It put the fun into Halloween - piecing together the perfect outfit to play the part. I totally want to be that Mom helping my child put to together their vision for the perfect costume.

I always love going through our family photo albums.  It usually turns into a huge laugh-fest, especially our group Halloween shots.  Last year for Thanksgiving I went through all the Halloween pictures, pulled them out and put together an album.  It ranged from my oldest siblings in the 70's to the youngest group in the late 90's.  Man, did we laugh. Here are some that I'm in:

An old lady


A white cat
Minnie Mouse
A witch
For E's first two Halloween's I caved and bought a costume-in-a-bag. He was an elephant the first year and a horse last year.  This year we asked him what he wanted to be. First he decided on a lion, then a bat, then it was a pirate or maybe a hockey player...but he always came back to a SPIDER. So a spider it was.  I could TOTALLY make a spider.

I picked some supplies at Dollarama, Michael's Crafts and Value Village. A black toque ($1.00), eye balls ($1.99), 2 packages of black socks ($4.00), a red sleeveless shirt ($1.99), black hair elastic bands ($1.00), safety pins ($1.00 ) and a spider web cape ($1.00 ) which all came to under $12.00.

I hope I can get some better pictures tomorrow night, but these will do for now.


I'm pretty happy with how the costume turned out and well, you can see how thrilled E is to be a "spooky spider".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Leaves: Garland and Cookies

To play along with the “Leaves” theme this month with the Kids in the Capital craft carnival, E and I made some garland to hang in the house to celebrate Autumn.

We gathered some leaves from the park and I traced them onto construction paper. Then E coloured the pieces of paper with his crayons. I cut the leaves out and one-hole punched the top of each leaf.  Then, using his superb hand-eye coordination, E strung the leaves onto the twine (this was both fun and frustrating for him, but he was very proud of himself). When he finished we hung the garland on the wall in our dining room.

Leaf garland

I really love how it looks. I think we will need to change it with every season and celebration now.

We also made some leaf stamped peanut butter cookies this month. Instead of pressing the top of the cookies with a fork like we usually do, we used two different leaf shaped cut-outs that I used earlier in the month for my apple pie crusts. Rather than pushing the shapes all the way down like a cookie cutter, we simply imprinted the shape on the top of the cookies. E had fun rolling the balls of dough and flattening them out, too.  We made larger than normal cookies to fit the cut-outs - E loved the big cookies! It's always fun baking with a toddler. Measuring, mixing, rolling, cutting, watching through the oven window and taking that first bite - each step is that much more exciting!

Leaf cookies
Did you make any "Leaves" crafts this month or have you made any in the past with your children that you would like to share? There's still one day left to link-up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Footsteps

With their strides in sync, in unplanned matching outfits this is one of my favourite pictures.  It is proudly displayed on our living room wall, depicting their like father, like son similarities.  E points to it often and likes to relive the moment. "Remember when I went to the golf course? Remember when I hit the putter?"

When we had a guest over recently, E pointed it out to them, telling them how he and his Daddy play golf - so proud. 

This photograph tells a story about the the first time we took E to the driving range. It shows how E admires his Father. It reminds us to be mindful of our actions because a little one is not too far behind, following in our footsteps.




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I'm joining Capital Mom today by blogging about a moment from my life based on a theme she has provided. This week’s Monday Moment theme is Photograph.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy 1st Blogiversary to me!

All because this little 'ol blog...

I've met a great group of people both online and offline. I've gone to a couple great networking events. I've learned more and more about myself everyday. I've found new passions and have started following new dreams. I've become a better parent and wife. I've found my feet all over again. And that was only the first year! 

This marks a perfect time to reflect on some of my favourite posts and posts that have meant the most to me...and hand out some awards!

The Most Popular Post award goes to "Affection".  It was the first post I wrote for the Carnival of Natural Parenting with the Natural Parents Network.  I am so glad I decided to join this carnival. I have learned so much about my own parenting style and how I can be a more mindful parent.

The Most Helpful Post award goes to "Postpartum Gift Ideas" which was also a post written for the Carnival of Natural Parenting. It is also the most searched for post on my blog.  I am proud of this post and I'm happy to find that people find it useful.

My Favourite Post award goes to "So much fun together", which I wrote in part of Capital Mom's Monday Moments. It isn't my favourite because it is well written or popular. It's my favourite for the memory I have saved and can re-read again and again. It still brings tears to my eyes and still does every time he says this to me out of the blue.  The theme for that Monday Moment was Arms and boy, did I wrap my arms around and squeeze him that day!

And then there is all the posts I've written over the year that may not deserve an award, but that I love to reflect on.  I've written some posts about who I am, where I'm from and what life events have molded me - good and bad; about growing up on the farm in a family off 11 children and sharing these experiences with E.  I still have a lot more to say, including some input from my Mom that I'm excited to share.

I've chatted a lot about my views and choices on different natural parenting topics like circumcision, sleeping and nursing and letting your child "blossom" on their own. And also my views on birth and those who are trying to normalize it.

But most of all, I love to journal E's milestones and our little everyday experiences. 

Thanks for reading, even if my posts can be very sporadic and all over the map at times. This year has been all about finding my voice and following my instincts. I have some exciting posts coming up and look forward to another year of ME!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2.5 years old

Today, E turned 30 months. I just can't believe I have a 2.5 year old! I'm taking tonight to remember some of the really cute things he says and does at this age. 

Some words that he says so adorably that I never want him to learn the correct pronunciation:

Bana = Banana
Hang-ga-burr = Hamburger
Oat-ba-neal = Oatmeal
Lellow - Yellow
Zeum - Museum

What he's trying to say:

I'm sorry, Mommy. I didn't know you.  =  I'm sorry, Mommy. I didn't see you (when he bumps into me by mistake or is trying to pass by)
What you sayin’ to me? =  What do you mean? (when he doesn’t understand a word or phrase I say)

Things he says often that are too cute:

I so sorry! You want my to kiss it better? – when he knows that we are hurting
How about.... – when he’s thinking
Remember when... - when he's still thinking
Put my down! – when he wants to walk all by himself
Daddy said no to me! – when he is tattle-tailing
Phew! That was close - said usually when he is on adventure
Watch this little trick! - when he is showing me some kind of dangerous move or jump
Don't leave, I gonna miss you - whenever one of us leaves his side
What I my eat for my lunch? – a question he asks everyday when I’m making dinner
We have so much fun together, right? - when he wants to melt my heart
Eggs, bacon, sausage, chicken, noodles, pickles, hang-ga-burr and ketchup – his menu when asked what he wants to eat

He continues to amaze us and we often find ourselves looking at eachother dumbfounded thinking where the heck did he learn that or how the heck does he know that?! He remembers things better than I do and will bring up events from months ago. Like tonight while eating snack he says to me, "Remember when I see the dinosaurs at the zeum (museum) and I see the T-Rex? That was fun looking at it, right Mommy?" which is something we did MONTHS ago. Like I said, he just amazes me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pretend World

Zooming around the grocery aisles in our rocket ship,
Going on adventures with toy cars to rescue ocean animals from exploding volcanoes,
Climbing up Daddy’s mountains (legs) and driving along his bridges (arms) with rescue cars,
Using a flashlight under the blankets and camping in the “tent”,
Going to the “restaurant” and cooking up meals with play foods and play pots and pans,
Going for walks with the dog and having red-light, green-light races through the park,
Going shopping for leaves and rocks with the tiny plastic shopping cart down the street,
Playing road hockey and skating “really fast!” and shooting the puck” really hard!”,
A new and exciting pretend world = bliss.

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I'm joining Capital Mom today by blogging about a moment from my life based on a theme she has provided. This week’s Monday Moment theme is Bliss.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

His first best friend

E has a best friend at day care. In the morning to speed him up, promises of seeing his friend always makes him move faster.  He asks if he can bring one of his toys from home to share and play with him and as soon as I park the car at day care he asks me if I can see him. 

Mrs. X (his day care provider) tells me that they have really bonded the last few weeks.  They play lovely together and follow each other around, always looking out for each other and asking for one another when one isn’t around. It could possibly be the cutest thing ever when I see them together and it makes me so happy to see how much he enjoys his friend's company.  

His friend usually arrives at day care first and greets him at the door with squeals of excitement, but this morning I dropped E off and his best buddy was just entering the house too.  They took their shoes off together and then E stood up and pressed his nose to his friend's face and asked, “Do you wanna play downstairs wif me?” And off they ran. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our little hockey commentator

Yesterday, I posted a picture of my darling E soaking up his Daddy's hockey game.  It was the first game we had taken him to this season - a perfectly scheduled weekend afternoon game rather than the usual late night games that Hubby plays.

He sat and watched and pretty much stayed in the same position for almost the entire game (except maybe the last 10 minutes while he explored the stands in the arena). He's been to many games before as Hubby has always been an avid player. He also attends my ball hockey, softball and soccer games and has watched Hubby come in on the 18th hole many times on the golf course.  But it never ceases to amaze me how a child so young can be so consumed with what he is watching.  He pays such close attention and watches specific plays.  He with no doubt will be an athlete like his parents.

This particular game was very exciting for him. He is much older now and understands the game a lot more than last year. We got there early and picked out the perfect seats right against the glass. He watched the goalie's warm-up and commented on the really, really hard shots and the other players skating really, really fast. He pointed out the numbers on the jerseys (although everyone was number 64 according to him) and we talked about the colours of the jerseys.  We talked about the different sounds - like the loud whistles and the sound of the puck hitting the boards.  He could pick out his Daddy from across the ice and smiled every time he did. He loved watching the Zamboni come out and clean the ice.  Who says a hockey game isn't educational?

We enjoyed dinner with our friend's and headed home and to my surprise E fell asleep in the car. He must have been really worn out from the concentration he had on the game. So to bed early, he went.

Then 4am came and I heard my little man calling for me.

I'm awake, Mommy! I'm done sleeping!

We welcomed him into our bed and assured him it was still night time and to go back to sleep.  But he couldn't sleep. No, he had way to much on his mind! And so for the next hour until 5am...this is what we listened to:

Daddy skate really fast AND THEN he shoot the puck. It go BANG. It hit the boards. The Zamboni cleans the ice. Daddy number 64. He wears a jersey. Daddy's jersey blue and orange.  Daddy skate really fast AND THEN, AND THEN he shoot the puck AND THEN Mommy and (E) watch Daddy play hockey. He shoot the puck really, really hard. The goalie STOPPED the puck. I bring my hockey stick. I bring my puck. Daddy brings his hockey stick. What else, Mommy? What else Daddy bring? Daddy bring his puck too ANNNNDDD his equipment ANNNDDDD Daddy bring his helmet ANNNDDD bring his skates. Where's my hockey skates? I wanna wear MY hockey skates!

Hubby and I at times we gasping for air. We couldn't hide our laughter.  This child sounded possessed! The AND THEN's are what really got me.  He was barely taking a breathe between each play-by-play. It was as if we were at the game and he was commentating it.  He was so excited to tell us all about his experience and we didn't stop him.  It went on and on and on like this until he finally settled down and fell back asleep for another 5 hours (bless his little heart).

We learned two new important parenting lessons that night...
1 - Don't let E go to bed before talking about the eventful day to avoid the early morning wake-up aftermath and
2 - Take him to a hockey game if you really want to wear him out.

P.S. Remember that really funny clip from Dude, where's my car? with Aston Kutcher when the Chinese drive through lady keeps repeating And theeeeeennnn? It was kind of like that - hilarious but annoying at the same time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My take on the upcoming live birth

I've been following Nancy for a while now - even before she started getting international coverage.  I'm drawn to everything baby and especially natural birth and so I was especially interested in her natural birth videos and her experience as a birthing coach. And yes, I'm signed up to watch her give birth online to her third child (although I'm not sure it will be something I will lose sleep over).

I gave birth to my son naturally and I'm obviously a huge advocate of natural birth within my circle of friends and family.  It boggles my mind with how uneducated people are about birth and how they don't prepare themselves and let others take control of their experience. I'm trying to do my part in educating those around me. 

"Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act" - Albert Einstein.

I'm paying close attention to Nancy's story and I've been reading a lot of comments lately on all the articles about her plan to give birth and they are REALLY firing me up. The following seems to be the three most popular comments and areas of discussion - with my take.

1. "She's just doing this to become famous".

Perhaps there is a small part of her that is happy about the exposure her business as a birth coach is getting, but I believe that Nancy has set out to do this for the greater good.  We need more women to help normalize natural birth.  We need to stop believing what we see in movies and thinking that birth is really just like those shows on TLC. While I will not be setting up video camera's for my next birth I commend her for her decision and for what she is trying to accomplish.

2. "It should be an intimate moment with only your close family present."

Would you consider a delivery room at the hospital, intimate? Hardly.  Doctors, nurses, residents coming in and out.  All of them yelling for you to push! push! push! I had a natural birth in a hospital and I had these distractions and more. If you have watched the birth video of her second birth you will see that she hardly exposes herself at all and she is very calm and inspiring. She also doesn't smile and wave to the camera.  She is having an intimate birth  experience with her support team.  I can imagine it will be the same deal with this birth. 

3. Showing her third birth is an unfair presentation of natural birth since it will be easier and "the baby will practically fall out".

OK, this one actually made me laugh. Really, people? Really?  Yes, she will be mentally tougher having "been there, done that", but having previous children doesn't mean it will be physically easier on her.  Nor does it mean it will be quicker.  My Mother gave birth vaginally eleven times and she'll tell you how much easier it doesn't get.  If only it was that easy to predict!

There are many, many more disheartening comments out there.  People comparing it to disgusting bodily functions, comparing her to Octo-Mom looking for her 15 minutes of fame (15 minute birth - wouldn't that be nice?), and commenter's just being downright ignorant.  I'm just tired of reading SO MANY uneducated comments from these people. I'm tired of people saying that exposing birth and breastfeeding is disgusting - but sex and pornography are glorified.  If you don't want to see it - don't tune in.  But in my mind if you are feeling this way, you NEED to watch this birth.  Maybe it will just wake you up to reality a little bit!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jumping back into gymnastics

Can I go play now? He asks as we arrive and register. We take off our shoes and he wiggles free from my arms and takes off to watch the children during the previous class, itching to get out on the floor.

We haven't been here for three months because we took the summer off to enjoy more outdoor activities. He has been talking about going back for weeks.

When we are given the go-ahead he runs ragged, not looking back. Balance beams, hoola hoops, bean bags and bouncy balls. Swinging ropes and rings, climbing mats and ladders, mini-trampolines. He heads upstairs and quickly remembers the rules - only one jumper at a time. A few minutes of bouncing and silliness and then a break for another child's turn - I'm surprised with how cooperative he is.

He takes off running across the trampolines and through the crowd of parents and children. He tells me he wants to jump into the blocks. I smile, thinking he will probably stand at the edge and wait for me to lift him in - like he always has. I struggle to keep up and he disappears before my eyes - happily diving right into the pit of foam blocks without hesitation. Where has my timid toddler gone? Amazing - after months of being away that he can jump right back in where he left off...and some.

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I'm joining Capital Mom today by blogging about a moment from my life based on a theme she has provided. This week’s Monday Moment theme is Jumping.