Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eat Your Peas, Please

I would just like to brag about the fact that I got both my kids to eat peas.

On Sunday morning I whipped up some muffins and smoothies before I ran off to brunch with a friend.

I was out of bananas so was trying to compensate for that in the smoothie planning process.

Guess what I did?  That's right.  I decided to throw in some frozen peas to thicken the smoothie up a bit.  The crazy thing is...they both liked it!  HA HA HA!

In the end, the concoction included:
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • mango
  • peas
  • soy milk
  • orange juice
Even my husband liked it.  Now that's saying something.  In fact, he said it was better than my "normal" smoothies.

I really want to explore more of this whole "sneaking" veggies in thing.  It is a common struggle for most Mamas, and I think there's something to be said for secretly getting them the nutrients they need.  What they don't know won't hurt them.  That said, I will keep putting real veggies in front of them so they slowly understand that I'm not giving up.

Feel free to share any sneaky tricks you have!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just For the Record

Since we're talking about monumental firsts, I just wanted to share that the babe almost mastered the art of tying shoe laces today and the little guy had his first poop on the potty.  And guess what?  These things were occurring simultaneously on different floors of our house this afternoon.  The babe and her Papa downstairs and the little guy and I upstairs.  How cool is that?

The babe and I got up early and hauled ourselves to the mall to go to a "shoe tying class."  I honestly thought this would teach both the babe and I some handy tips ( I had, after all, given up my coveted sleep in morning).  But it turns out those department store guys don't know much more than I do about teaching kids this tricky skill. 

What it did do is inspire the babe and help us take the training a few steps further at home.  As you may recall, the babe is easily frustrated and is not a fan of not "getting" things the first time she tries.  This means that we, her father and I, need to be insanely patient when tackling new projects with her.  And I am thrilled to announce that all the patience, and the tag team parental effort, brought us pretty darn close to solidifying this critical skill. I am sure a good nights sleep will help her internalize the magic of tying laces.

So while the babe and her Papa were working away in the living room, the little guy and I were just hanging out...and apparently he was busy having a big poop.  So I hauled him upstairs to change him.  Not to get too detailed, but before I slapped on the new diaper, I asked him if he was all done with his poops.  He said, "No.  Potty."  I didn't question his directions and carried him over to the potty. Within 30 seconds he had pushed out the last bit of remaining poop as if it was the most natural thing in the world.  Needless to say, I was pretty psyched.  I cleaned him up, we washed our hands and went back for that clean diaper.  The little guy was pretty thrilled to announce to his Papa what he had accomplished on his trip upstairs.  He kept hugging my husband and my heart melted.

Some days it seems like we're not really going anywhere or accomplishing anything.  Other days it seems like my munchkins' childhood is speeding by.  It's a good thing there's a bit of balance, though.  Because days like this make up for a lot of the crap.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Enter Reading

Last Friday I went to the babe's class to read with the kids.  The first time I did this last fall, I thought I'd be reading stories to the class.  But I had it the wrong way around.  The kids read stories to me. 

It is quite amazing to have these little people read to you.  Something I have taken for granted for so long is a huge challenge for my daughter and her classmates.  I can't really remember learning to read but sitting with kids who are reading for the first time is an amazing thing.  You can see their brains working overtime as they sound things out and put letters together.  

As the babe is in a Montessori school, kids learn at their own pace.  I highly support this approach, but I was a tad concerned after leaving the babe's class last Friday as she had not hit the phase in her education where the teachers thought she was ready to sit down with a beginner book.  We all know it's not good to compare your children to others, but I was left wondering what was wrong with the babe?  How come some of her classmates, who are the same age, are already "reading" at school and she isn't?

Timing is a funny thing.  On Tuesday I picked the babe up and guess what she excitedly announced?  "Mama! Miss. Faye rang the bell and announced to the whole class that I was ready to read my first book!  I got to sit with her and read Dot!"

Not only did she get to read Dot at school, she brought it home to read it to us as well.  It was a beautiful thing and I was so ridiculously proud.

The fun didn't end with Dot.  Yesterday the babe got to read Sam.  And yet again, she brought her new book home to read to us.  After working through the newly formed habit of relying heavily on pictures to read (more like remember) the words, the babe proved to us that she was able to get through the whole book without looking at any of the pictures.

So here we go on a brand new adventure.  My daughter, who was just a 4 month old baby only 4 years ago, is starting to read.  It's amazing what can happen in such a short time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting Involved

My parenting class has made me realize the importance of getting the babe involved in projects around the house.  At first I resisted this brilliant piece of advice due to the fact that getting the babe involved meant that projects took much, much longer.  The more I resisted letting her "help," the more I found that I was dealing with misbehavior and general trouble making by not giving her the opportunity to contribute.

I now realize I was making a HUGE mistake.  My desire to get things done quicker, was in fact hurting her self esteem and creating a situation where she would act out just to get attention.  By not getting her involved, I was sending her a message that she didn't have the skills required to contribute.  And what kind of lesson is that for a parent to teach to their kid?

So how does that connect to the picture of my bandaged finger?

On Friday afternoon I asked the babe if she'd like to help me prepare some eggplant for dinner.  I've been trying to introduce more vegetables to the kiddies and have read that if children are involved in the prep work, they are more likely to eat the end product.

So we got out the cutting board and moved her stool over to the counter after washing our hands.  She was pretty psyched to help out and I was curious to see if she'd end up digging this funky purple vegetable.  I was also in a bit of a rush as we had been at the park and I wanted to get the eggplant roasted in time for dinner.

The babe has a habit of setting up her stool in a location which kind of pushes me into the corner.  As I was conscious of the time, I didn't bother repositioning her.  Meanwhile the little guy, who isn't so much of a kitchen helper at this point, was just running around and repeatedly banging into us.  Things were moving along well until SLICE. 

Yes folks, I had sliced into the tip of my ring finger.  It was a good healthy slice which luckily stopped before the whole tip of the finger had been removed.  It was, however, a serious cut which proceeded to bleed profusely for at least half an hour.  I panicked and completely lost my marbles.  I was having a serious crying fit while trying to explain to the babe that I was, despite how I was acting, quite fine. 

After deciding against going to the ER in rush hour with 2 kids, I decided to buck up.  I taped on some paper towels and continued on with feeding the kids, drinking some wine, and cleaning up the kitchen (in that order).

So the moral of today's story is not to rush when getting your kids involved in projects.  As parents we want to teach our children the right way to handle things, and I'm afraid I didn't do such a good job of that on Friday!  And by the way, she didn't like the eggplant.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two Stories and Three Little Birds

One of today's stories is gross and made me smile.  The other story is sweet and made me smile.

I'll start with the gross one.

My husband has been working late a lot recently which has meant that I'm on bath/bed time duty solo.  I can usually handle it due to my nightly practice of working on regaining a positive attitude as I clean the kitchen after dinner chaos and the kids watch a little chill out TV. 

So last night was a solo night and I had the babe agree that she was going to be my "helper."  This usually means she will be less likely to compete with her brother for the title of most crazed and annoyingly behaved bath time kid.  As I was getting things ready, I realized that the little guy wasn't playing with his sister, as I had thought.  I went searching and quickly discovered that he was in our bedroom.  I ran in and found the bathroom door closed.  I opened it and found the toilet room door (or whatever people call it) closed.  I opened it.  Guess what I found?

My son standing proudly with the toilet cleaner brush up by his nose and mouth.  I don't want to know what this kid was doing with the toilet brush...I just want to pretend it didn't happen.  I dragged him to the sink and gave his hands and face a good wash while repeating to myself, "gross.....gross....gross."

I managed to get them both in the bath and things went fairly smoothly for about a minute until the little guy decided it was splashing time.  So I got them both washed up quickly and got the babe standing to do the big rinse off.  The little guy started whining and the babe looked at him and started singing, "Don't worry, about a thing."  Then I kicked in, "Cause every little thing, is gonna be alright."

She looked at me stunned.  As in, "how would my Mama know anything about this music?"  I asked her where she had heard the song.  "Miss Mary's room," she replied.  "Do you know that's Bob Marley, sweetie?" I asked.  She wasn't aware of the man who made this song famous, what he stood for, or what this song has meant to me in the past.  But I tell ya, I just thought it was so cool that my 4 year old daughter just whipped out some classic Bob Marley in an attempt to make her brother happy.

In honour of the wise man, and to put a spring in your step this Friday afternoon, I present Bob Marley's Three Little Birds:

Don't worry about a thing,

cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)

Singin: don't worry bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: don't worry (don't worry) bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, this is my message to you-ou-ou:

Singin: don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right. don't worry!
Singin: don't worry about a thing - I wont worry!
cause every little thing gonna be all right.

Singin: don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right - I wont worry!
Singin: don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: don't worry about a thing, oh no!
cause every little thing gonna be all right!