Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Potty-training Part-2...Poop

Ok, so Noggin has been doing really well with the whole potty-training thing. We went out today, sans pull-up and he stayed dry.

Of course, I did put him on the potty every 15-20 minutes...which is no easy feat since he fell into a public toilet last month after his portable potty seat broke.

He completed a respectable #1 and spent about 1/2 an hour playing enthusiastically with Smooch, M & L when I lost sight of him for a few moments.

When I did finally catch sight of him, he was standing by a railing, shifting and looking somewhat conspicuous and uncomfortable.

"Oh CRAP"...I said to my friend, S, who was seated beside me, supervising her two completely potty-trained angels.

So Noggin and Mama began the long trip out to the car to retrieve clean clothing, then the bathroom where the pants he was wearing (thankfully old, worn-out sweatpants with a cuff that just kept holding on) found a new home in the garbage.

So, today I am grateful for several things;

1 - Extra clothes
2 - Paper Towel
3 - Foaming hand cleanser
4 - Good friends who are willing to watch (and discipline, if need be) other children when disaster strikes.
5 - (and really, most important), I am grateful for the close relationship I have with my kids, and that I know, just from a facial expression, everything that I need to.

Motherhood rocks...even when it gets crappy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The "Rules" for families

We are at a crossroads in the Urbane House.

Do we establish a formal set of rules for our home, complete with consequences for breaking said rules?

Do we try and "talk it out" every time an incident occurs??

A combination of both?

I think the lack of formal house rules leads to least in our home.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nature Table

The last few weeks we have been working on our nature table.

We hand-dyed some nice wooden candle-holders and went for a nature-walk or two...adding interesting things we found...

This week we encountered a friendly squirrel, under a large Spruce and Smooch had the presence of mind to toss him an unchewed spruce cone... We could almost see the look of surprise on his face as he glanced back and forth between the cone and Smooch...finally grabbing it and scampering up the tree to have a bite to eat.

We gathered spruce cones, a lonely dandilion and a few twigs, swatted mosquitoes, played in the park with a group of children and eventually made our way home for a snack and to sketch what we found.

The Big Cook

I come from a family of cooks.

My Dad is a Chef and has taught professional cooking for the past 20 years. He makes Gordon Ramsey look like Carrot Top, but he is a great cook. He has temporarily vacated the cookingarena in favour of browner pastures...he currently lives in Qatar and teaches marketing comm.

My Mum is an amazing cook and just has a knack for knowing what flavours go together and how much of something a person needs to make a dish taste just right.

I grew up making deviled eggs, piping chox pastry and washing A LOT of dishes...

One slight problem, however, is that I never learned to cook small...I just cook big. I think that's why the concept of "The Big Cook" appeals to me. Cook all your meals for a month in one day.

So this week I prepared for a big cook of my own. I purchased about $400 worth of groceries, a new stock pot and came up with my own recipes (ok, so I rarely use a recipe more than once when I am cooking).

Last night I made 100 Swedish Meatballs, cooked and frozen.

Today is Beef & Barley Soup, Split Pea & Ham Soup and A HUGE pot of Chili.

Tomorrow will be Turkey and Wild Rice Soup and one of my personal faves "Happy Go Leeky" soup from the "Crazy Plates" cookbook.

Of course, to get the beef for the beef/barley soup, I needed to cook a sirloin tip we'll be having THAT for dinner tonight...and a Turkey dinner tomorrow!

From the look of things today, I could write my own cookbook and call it "The Bigger Cook"...I think by the time we are finished, we will have approx. 2-3 months worth of meals in our deep freeze. Add a salad, or veggies, biscuits or buns and Voila...meals in minutes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kick 'em when they're down....

Why is it that some people insist on adding insult to injury?

A friend in crisis asked for help during a difficult and emotional time. Someone she did not know, who had never met her proceeded to go off on a lengthy tirade, criticising her choices, making judgements based on little to no information. She labelled her relationship with a close family member, blaming her for all the trouble she is experiencing.

Why are some women so incredibly eager to judge and give their opinions about things they don't understand?

Why do they compare, snub and kick each other when what we really need to do is pick each other up, dust each other off and understand that we're not all that different?


Said 'Negative Nellie' made amends by admitting she did not have the whole story and APOLOGISING!!

There is something very special about someone being humble enough to recognise when they have done something wrong, admit it and apologise. The healing begins....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Waldorf Education

The last few months have seen me agonizing over the issue of Smooch's fall school plans.

French immersion?



Charming Buddhist "Instilling Goodness" school adjacent to the monestary (we are not buddhists...but there is something so nice about

Half-day, full-day, 4-day, everyday....

The options were endless...but the choice seemed impossible...until...

I was reminded of an amazing preschool I attempted to register Smooch in but never quite made it.

We spent countless hours digging in their GIGANTIC sandbox...exploring their vegetable garden and flying a kite on their field...

It was our local Waldorf school.

As soon as I thought about Smooch attending this school I KNEW. Immediately I emailed the school...only to find out they'd just filled the last spot. I asked to be placed on the waiting list, took in the application and then arrived home to work some Manifestative Magic....

I wrote on a piece of paper "Smooch is a Waldorf Student".

I put the paper up in a prominent place in our home, where I saw it several times a day.

I gently harrassed the kind woman in charge of admitting and within two weeks we had an interview with Ms. Vivian...the lovely, soft-spoken teacher of the Senior kindergarten Class!

After the interview, she offered Smooch a spot in her class!!

I have been at peace about it ever since.

More on this fabulous pedagogy to come....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bad things happen in threes....

I have heard people say that bad things happen in threes.

I've always though it was some sort of old-world mumbo-jumbo. You know, something Great Aunt Moira whispered to your Mum at a distant relative's funeral.

Basically, crazy talk.

Smooch had his tonsils out the first week of May. He was FABULOUS!! He ate more popsicles than any post-tonsilectomy/adenoidectomy patient in the history of surgery.

The next morning he was up, leaping of the top bunk of the bunk beds, laughing hysterically and chasing Noggin all over the house.

I though that I was one of the special few parents who were spared the 10-14 day recovery period from said surgery.

I thought wrong.

Apparently the pain-killer/narcotics they administer in the hospital last about 48 hours...then all hell breaks loose. We had a week of constant crying and refusal to eat/drink anything.

The day I might have described as a turning-point in his healing process was actually the jumping-off point into mumbo-jumbo bad thing # two...

I hear Smooch playing quietly(!) on the top bunk in his room. I breathe a (premature) sigh of relief. Seconds later I hear a loud thud followed closely by a howl.

"I BROKE MY Aaaarrrrrmmmm!!!!!".

I hug him, reassuring him that his arm is, in fact, not broken. To help him feel better I tell him we are leaving for open play time at a local gym.

I sat for an hour, watching him play, all the while cradling a limp arm by his side. Four hours, a large helping of mom-Guilt and a trip to the ACH later and it is confirmed - Smooch's wrist is broken in two places.

The next day doesn't get much better (insert eerie music and mumbo-jumbo #three here) when he wakes up with an earache that is confirmed by our doc as an ear-infection.

After that, we leave on vacation. It turns out that the outdoor waterslide/pool at the resort we picked (just for that reason) is non-functional.

Mumbo-jumbo # Four?

Maybe Aunt Moira was onto something....