Thursday, June 28, 2007

Men, toddlers, routine and households

The purpose of this blog is not really to turn it into a bitch session about certain annoying habits other people exhibit.

But sometimes, when someone within the household does something that extracts annoyance in me, and I wait a day or so to digest and "get over it", I try to see a certain sense of humour in it.

Or at least, it helps me to reflect on things.

It's also funny in some ways when other people, like for example a certain neighbour, shares the almost identical experience with her own household member.

Then I came across this post which further inspires me to jot down some nutty notes about the following situation.

Heck, why not? This blog is my dairy and therefore, in some ways, my outlet, my sanity saver.

So here is what happened:

Mommy's scenario

  • Morning. Get up. Change diaper. Serve toddler bottle of milk, then breakfast.
  • Allow child to sit on potty, praise when peeing in potty, dress child.
  • Get out of house by at the latest 10 am so as to get the daily dose of exercise, mostly for toddler.
  • Get back sometime around lunch, offer lunch, and then wind down.
  • Start and inisist on quiet time to lead (hopefully) into naptime.
  • Enjoy naptime while it lasts. It does not happen every day and is considered precious time.
  • Exercise child after naptime in some way or another and make it back for suppertime in time to offer food.
  • Since it's summer, let child burn more energy after supper and metamorphose slowly, so as not to evoke temper tantrums, into bathtime and bedtime.
  • Bedtime.

Daddy's scenario

Daddy has this annoying habit of HAVING to read the paper during breakfast time. For some reason, certain sections of the paper cannot be read after breakfast. Like, say, during naptime.

He does remember to give child a bottle of milk.
Child will drink milk on couch or bed and then begin to play.
Daddy will pour milk on his cereal, make tea or coffee, and then immerse himself into the newspaper.

By 10 am I'm wondering why
a) child's diaper is dripping/smells/leaving streaks
b) child has not been fed breakfast
c) child is not dressed
d) daddy is nowhere near ready to get out of the house with child to exercise child
e) daddy is annoyed when mommy suggests that diaper needs changing since now his cereal is getting soggy.

By this time, mommy wonders how this delay will affect:
1) lunchtime
2) naptime
3) playtime
4) dinnertime
5) bath/bedtime

Let it be said that daddy is just as much a fan of naptime as mommy is.
Let it also be said that most of the time, daddy is not only willing, but capable of doing mommy's scenario according to the loosely indicated schedule.

Only trouble is that mommy has to turn into some form of a dictator in order to assure the smooth running of the household.

I do not want to be the dictator.

And I do know that if I'm, say, on vacation in the Bahamas by myself for a week, that the child and the daddy will not only manage to survive, they will have fun along the way.

But, for the purpose of mommy's sanity, mommy's scenario just keeps things running smoother than daddy's scenario. Especially because when toddler becomes overtired or over/understimulated, he whines and cries "mommy do it". Thereby leading daddy to (mistakingly) believe that he is now relieved of his duty.

It's not like mommy's scenario is a strict, clock-watching regiment. There is lots of room for flexibility.

If mommy has to pick up the pieces because of a daddy's scenario, the rest of the day is wasted, unpleasant and a pain in the ass.

And mommy gets resentful.

Mommy threatends to hide/burn/throw the newspaper away until naptime. Or cancel the subscription.

I think mommy is entitled to her opinion if only for the fact that she is almost 6 months pregnant.

Thank you.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fish can swim!

I think my toddler is on his way to becoming a fish!

I've been taking him to the pool since he was 6 months old, but mostly in the summer. Now he's just over two, and it's been about a year since he's been in a pool.

At first we walked in and used the shallow steps. We also walked up and down the ramp but the teenie lifeguard said that we can't do that anymore.

Didn't ask why.

I get irritated when young kids tell me what to do, or not to do, for so-called "safety" reasons. Safety issues have become a topic I shun because I happen to disagree with most, but that's another day's rant.

Yes, I realize they're qualified life guards but walking up the down the ramp with a toddler? What is unsafe about that?

Anyway. I'll rant about it another time.

Then we saw some boys we met at babyclub over a year ago, and they were jumping from the ledge into their mother's arms.

I kept waiting for some young lifeguard to say "can't do that" but they didn't, so I went over to say hi and Ben wanted to copy Aiden and Cooper. (sorry, ranted again)

He jumped and jumped and I was almost glad when the whistle went for everyone to get out and go home. Lugging pregnancy and toddler around is hard work!

But the's cool! He dropped his apprehension and trusted me completely to catch him.

No wings.
No life vest.
Water in the eyes.
And up his nose.

No crying. Only "more" and "again"!

We'll see what the rest of the summer brings. I definitely want him to be a swimmer, so it looks like we're on our way.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gifts and presents galore

It's like every special day throughout the school year (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's day, Easter) - everyone gives presents to everyone. I'm so not used to this...

Today was Benjamin's last day of daycare. Not only did people bring presents for the teachers, but Ben's cubbyhole was filled with treats and toys and things from his playmates!

I prepared a basket of fresh, Ontario-grown strawberries and a thank-you card for the teachers. But I didn't go out and get gifts for the kids...

I'm astonished. It's like the birthday parties...almost all the kids who turned 2 or 3 in his class throughout the school year had an organized party event for which the classmates were invited to.

I thought this stuff would start happening in grade school.

Guess I was wrong.

* * * * *
The Montessori school where Ben attended this past year did some special things for the kids during their last week.

Yesterday they had a jumping castle.

Today they're having a "funky hair day". We gelled and spritzed his hair into spikes at the kitchen table and loh and behold, he didn't mind!

Now summer if officially here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fresh ingredient supper

I used some of these...

...and all of these... some fresh oregano from the garden... end up with this!

Recipe and instructions available here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday morning ramblings

This morning we woke to the "beep, beep, beep" of a truck going backwards.

We heard it because the window was open to allow the cool night air to flood the house.

Luckily they didn't start till 7 am (on a Saturday!), but daddy was a little peeved and once tot and I got up, he slammed the door. I hate when he does that.

Seems the neighbours are asphalting their driveway on a Saturday...well, it IS free entertainment for the little guy! Show him any truck and he's captivated.

So while he's standing on a little chair gazing out to watch the various equipment doing their thing, I got to drink a cup and a half of coffee in peace.


The toilet training is still going strong. He pees in the potty regularly, and even occasionally on the toilet (at home or at school, albeit only with me present).

The pooping...well. It'll take a while. But he announces when it comes, or when he wants the bum changed.

My new thing now with the poops is this: if it's not sticky and messy but well contained, I carry the diaper to the toilet and we dump it into the toilet in front of Benjamin who then is allowed to flush it away.

Appropriate dialogue accompanies this little event.

Will it help? Will it progress? Only the potty gods know.

But it is summer and he does run around without pants or diapers on in the backyard occasionally. I take the potty out with us, and encourage him to use it when he feels the urge, but he prefers to pee how Rusty does it.

Made pipi in grass like Wusty!

Well, at least he announces it. We'll keep at it.


The plan is to go see a firetruck today.

The Kingsway up on Bloor is having a big Father's Day Sidewalk Sale and they're doing it like a little festival. Apparently a firetruck will be on display, and since the tot got gipped the last time I promised him a viewing of a firetruck, we figured today is as good as any day to come clean on that promise.

He LOVES firetrucks.

It starts at 11, so I hope to be back in time for naptime at 2-ish.

My belly is growing daily it seems, at 5 and a half months pregnant, so a few hours of uninterrupted rest has become a favorite acitivty of late.

Besides, daddy has a midterm to study for.

Should be a nice day. Weather promises to cooperate with sun and heat...summer is FINALLY here!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Experimenting with cooking and photography

I made two salads yesterday:

Quinoa salad

Potato salad with mustard vinaigrette

Recipes will be posted over at Quick Slow Food.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

School picnic

This is what my little two-year old looks like now! He is exactly 27 months old here.

We went to the end of year school picnic on a hot but breeze day, and had pizza and salads, fruit and cupcakes. There were older kids who sang songs in a choir, a puppet show, and the playground was open for business. It was fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Had a lovely night of twitching toddler in bed, and kicking baby in tummy.

Mommy will need a nap later (too much caffein in system now). Feel like shopping. May go do that now.

Or, I may go down to the cool basement and look for the lost bin with the summer dresses in it. WHERE IS IT?? It's a two-bedroom bungalow for god's sake. There isn't much space. WHERE could I have put it? AND WHY isn't it where the other bins are? Could I have mislabeled it with baby gear?

Shopping sounds more fun.

Here's a quick little recipe idea for a hot day.

Monday, June 11, 2007


It's a new day with prospects of summer, sunny weather, and other happy things.

Despite that some of my own family members think I look "sick" and "horrible", I feel fine and good and healthy.

So today I have a small list of things to accomplish in this nice, summery weather, with tot in tow, and the rest of the day will be spent thinking happy thoughts.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


To be alone is my sincerest wish.

I've been counting the hours, the minutes, until they would all leave.

They're still here.

I'm slowly moving from the simmering to the errupting phase...really have to keep it together till they go away.

Then maybe I'll have a shower. Or a nap.

* * * * *

All day I wondered if he'll remember to pack all the stuff a toddler needs.

Like diapers.
A toy or two. (Relatives don't keep toys at their house.)
Bottle. He likes his milk in a bottle when he's tired.
Sun hat.
Nuggi Bello.
Change of clothes in case these ones get wet. (It's hot today.)
Guitar books for niece.
Photos of Ben for extended family.
Birthday gift and card.

Of course, he asked me to prep the bag since he wanted to take a shower.

I knew he was going to ask me to do that. I figured however that if I didn't do that, maybe it'll take longer to get them


So I did it.

And just in the nick of time the child, who was wearing some shoes of mine, bumped his lip or teeth or mouth or something on the furniture and increased the volume of the whining to maximum.

REALLY had to make a big effort to keep it together.

What toddler needed was a nap.

Maybe he'll nap in the car.

But it's not my problem because



Friday, June 08, 2007


I'm currently in a food photo taking mood. Check out our salad from last night.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


And since I'm on a rampage about the clutter:

I never realized just how much time I would be spending in the kitchen once the child grew into an eating (as opposed to nursing) person.

Look, I always did a lot of cooking. We like good, wholesome, homecooked meals, and that means


food and then the inevitable cleaning up.

But with a small child who is growing like a weed mealtimes are not only important, they are never-ending it seems. Adults can open the fridge and grab something, and rinse the dish out themselves, but toddlers? They need their stuff cut up, placed on little plates, bladibla. After all, you want them to develop decent eating habits, not to mention some manners.

Perhaps a dishwasher would help my situation, perhaps not.

I just get tired sometimes. It seems that no matter what I do all day, each time I go through any part of the house, somthing food-related is bound to cross my path.

So...instead of sitting here bitching about the dishes, I should just go and do them, because in less than two hours the little cutie will want his snack, mommy will need her chocolate fix, and daddy will be starting his treck home for supper.

And since we made unofficial plans with the neighbours to have the kids burn energy together after naptime, I should be proactive NOW and not just do the breakfast and lunch dishes (including putting them away) but also get at least part of the supper prepared, maybe have the salad ready to go....perhaps I could have a casserole ready to shove in the oven...

Ok. Dishes. On my way.

Clutter Schmutter

I have come to the conclusion that a clean and clutter-free house is not going to be a part of my immediate future.

Well, clean maybe, but definitely not clutter-free.

The problem with cleaning, which is inevitable, is that I have to clear the clutter first. And it's not even the toys. There aren't that many toys that need to be picked up.

It's the books. The laptop. The newspapers. The note pads. The loose pieces of paper. The business magazines. The pilot luggage. The clothes. The unfolded blankets on the couch. The dishes. It doesn't seem to end.

But as a stay-at-home mom, I'm destined to either clean up daily or to accept the clutter as inevitable.

I have visions of the basement being finished (we're in the midst of planning a renovation) and having him use the side door and deposit most of his crap in the basement. But we'll see if that happens.

In the meantime, he's out of the house for the day giving me a chance to pick up a few things, and if the toddler naps today, maybe even do some sweeping. Then, hubby leaves for 2 days on some trip and hopefully I can reorganize a few things and maybe maintain what little sanity I have left in me.

Then we can start tackling the basement. Gosh, how

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

We're having a girl

I suspected it all along.

Now we have the zoomed-in, enlarged proof from the ultrasound.

I am going to be the mother of a daughter...

I have so many questions:

How will I mother a daughter? I'm used to mothering a son.
How will I keep the frilly, pastelly pink stuff from invading my house?
How long will the two siblings be able to room together?
Will we have to move so each can have their own room?
Will she be as easy and easy-going as my little boy?
Will she have better sleeping habits than Benjamin does?

She didn't cooperate fully during the ultrasound. We have to go back to re-do some of the spine shots. But the report so far says all is normal.

What is normal?

I am going to need some time to get used to this news...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Short-term homeschooling

Contrary to what many might believe, not only devoted Christians with multiple children living in rural environments in America's Bible Belt consider homeschooling.

I certainly am none of the above, but have done a lot of reading about homeschooling.

Today, I found an article with a completely fresh perspective about this topic of homeschooling in this blog. It discusses short-term homeschooling.

Who would have thought that was possible?

I know of someone who does part-time homeschooling, not because that's her primary wish, but because she is not left with any other choice. The country where she lives prohibits people from homeschooling their children, and has been known to even throw the parents in jail for keeping their kids at home during the obligatory school days. And no, this is not a middle eastern country, nor a communist one. It is Germany.

To emphasize, I have not considered homeschooling my child(ren) at this time. Partly because I only have one, and he's only 2, and partly because I currently do not believe that I have what it takes to do it full-time. But the above article emphasizes something important to me: if your child learns to hate learning, if your child is hiding in closets to avoid homework, if your child is so extremely emotionally stressed out for social, peer or even abusive reasons, then at least there are options here (in Canada, or the USA for that matter).

The article talks about middle school being the worst part of an American child's educational time spent in the public school system.

Only time will tell how my child(ren) will handle that, or any part, of the public school system here in hogtown.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Not napping. Again.

He's so tired.

He even managed to cuddle with me for a bit on his narrow single bed until he bumped his head against mine.

I now have a headache.

He now is wide awake.

So now I'm going to do what any other normal, pregnant, stay-at-home mom of a toddler would do:

EAT. I have some frozen organic ground beef, some spicy salsa, and some flax whole wheat wraps. Just add cheese...

Frankly, this is not-napping all fine and dandy NOW since I am

a) not sleep deprived
b) have no newborn to tend to

I'm REALLY looking forward to the next phase, when all that insanity will begin.

Especially since it'll also be cold and wintery. We'll all be stuck indoors.


I wanna hold your hand

I wanna hold your hand

I didn't know all the words to the Beatles song "I wanna hold your hand" except that sentence.

So when Benjamin wants to walk on elevated structures, he often asks me to "hold my hand".

Sometimes I sing the tune, the little bit I know, and then I enducate him that that's a Beatles' song.

Now, everytime he asks me to hold his hand, he says "mommy sing" and "it's Beatles".

This morning, I looked for the CD at the library (online) and put it on hold when I found it. Turns out, the Beatles are still very popular these days, as I am number 134 on the list. May be a while until I get a hold of that CD.

Which is where YouTube comes in.

Enjoy! I know Ben will!