Saturday, July 31, 2010

Voyeurism

Every now and then when I get bored I'll check out the 'Blogs of Note' and see what's out there. To be honest, it's not often I see something I like and am interested in following. Most of the blogs I do follow consistently either belong to friends of the 'in the flesh' persuasion and friends of the online persuasion.
And it's almost like a bit of voyeurism. Whether the blog is about what someone did over the weekend, what they ate for supper or what they dreamt about last night. They are giving you a peek into their lives. Ironically, those are the blogs I enjoy reading most. I'm sure someone out there likes a book "book review" blog or a a travel blog but I prefer the 'yesterday we went to the grocery store' blogs.
The other day I was perusing the blogs of note and came across Red Means Go and got hooked by the first post I read. It's not exactly a ' yesterday went to the grocery store blog' but it's a girl looking to become famous through her blog. She's funny, she's witty and she's a smart ass and she doesn't take herself too seriously. So, I'm hooked. I'd recommend it if you need a smile.

Anyway, step into my life and have a peek.

Last week I went to some summer institutes put on by the Ministry of Education for the staff of the new Early Learning Kindergarten Program. It was a three day deal and I might not have otherwise gone but I thought it would be a good opportunity to see what exactly the ministry expects from this program. And more importantly, I thought it would be great for networking.

I'm really branching out from my comfort zone these days. I drove to Mississauga, which for me is almost 80 km one way. I don't mind long drives but I do mind them during rush hour (rush hour in the three cities I had to drive through to get there no less) I had to go to this seminar alone. I didn't know a single solitary person there, at least not more than at a casual glance. And the idea is to meet, communicate and network.

I gotta say, I'm getting good at this. I managed to be the first person there - the first person of like 300 people (which for people who truly understand my issues with lateness will not be surprising) But it also gave me the opportunity to pick a seat and have people sit with me rather than me having to join an existing group. And it worked like a charm because I found myself at a table with 6 other ECE's who were as equally unsure of all of this as I was.

The seminar part, boring. I think I texted Sean at one point that I was ready to stab my eyes out to alleviate the boredom. I did learn a few things but I think this seminar was largely for the teachers and administrators as it was all about play based learning which is an ECE's bread and butter. The social part, amazing. I was able to meet and get to know some of the other ECE's and though I won't actually work with them, it's nice to know other people in the board.

The true prize of the three day event though was the chance to 'be in the know'. You see, we are without a union in an industry that is entirely unionized. There are some legal issues which prevented us from being swallowed by an existing collective agreement so we must start from the ground up and let me tell you, those unions knew it and were outside the doors of the banquet hall courting us. I felt like a star and they were my paparazzi. Everyone of them wanting us to know what they could offer us.

So, later next week we (as in the ECE's) have a meeting set up with the union I'm particularly drawn to to see what they can do for us. I'm hoping that there are not too many gun shy people because September is rolling around fast and I shudder to think about what it will be like to start this job without a union having my back (and ironically, all this comes from the person who helped to get the ball rolling in ousting the very same union from a job I had 8 years ago. I'm not usually pro union but I have to look at the bigger picture.

Connor went to visit his new daycare yesterday. We call it school. (it works since the name of his daycare starts with the word 'school'.) He had fun. He played in the sand outside. He played cars inside. He found a sewer in his class (a drain cap in the ground - insert eye roll here) But Mommy stayed with him.
Next Tuesday he'll be going for half a day by himself. We've already talked about how Connor will go to school and Mommy will go to work and then come back to get him. He doesn't seem distressed about it so we'll have to see how it goes.
I'll be sure to post 'first day of school' pics.

Hope you enjoyed your peek into my life. For those of you whose blogs I read, I'll be sure to peek into yours too. And for those of you whose blogs I don't read....why don't I read them? Probably don't have a link to it so please, by all means, post me the link in the comments section.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Farts, toilets and other bathroom tales

The other day I'm soaking in a nice hot bubble bath and I hear Sean and the girls laughing. In fact, Sean is laughing so hard he's crying. The last time I heard him laughing that hard was when he was watching the episode of Mythbusters when and Adam got slapped

So naturally I have to see what is so funny. And this is what I find. My husband, the wonderful, devoted, hard working, family man and my daughters, flesh of my flesh, gentle and dainty.....are watching fart videos on YouTube.

And now normally I would not subscribe to such silliness but I have to admit, there were a couple that were just plain hysterical. Like this dinosaur fart video or this dinosaur one
And then there was the Canadian Idol one.

I guess the laughing at farts thing isn't just for 4 year old boys.

Ironically, now that Connor is potty trained he gets a big kick out of farting and will happily announce when one is on it's way and the offer a recap when he's done. "That was a big one Mommy!!"

Connor loves the toilet. He likes to flush it. He gets pretty bent out of shape if anyone tries to flush it for him. The problem I have is that several months ago he flushed a toy of some sort and since then our toilet occasionally backs up. So I'd prefer he wasn't just in the bathroom flushing for fun. But my preferences don't meet with his so we have issues sometimes.
Yesterday Mary bought herself a Barbie house at a second hand store. It comes complete with a toilet and shower...and guess what.....yep, the toilet flushes. Now Connor is right in his glee flushing Barbie's toilet. When he woke up this morning the first thing he said to Mary was "I play flush??"
I'm just happy Barbie's toilet won't be backing up all over the playroom.

I mentioned Connor was toilet trained now. He now goes to the bathroom on his own without assistance. He can get his pants down, his potty seat onto the toilet and all that jazz but he was having a lot of trouble getting his pants back on. Last night while I was cooking supper I heard him go into the bathroom. He peed and washed and came out. Normally this is what he comes out with no pants on and I tell him to go get them and he asks for help. Well, not this time, he came out with his shorts on. Albeit, they were twisted all around sideways but they were on. All by himself!!

My boy is growing up. It won't be long before he's laughing at fart videos on YouTube with his Daddy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Waiting and Wondering

I'm not known for my patience. I mean I am in some regards, I can be as patient as the day is long when it comes to kids but with adults and with things that involve me, I'm not patient at all. And I most certainly don't like to not be in control.

So here's where I stand with this new job. I know I have one. I know what school I'm working in and I know how much I'm being paid. I know that (for this year at least) I will not be working school holidays.

And that's all I know.

Here's what I don't know.

I don't know what day I actually start work. (though I do know it's before labour day) I don't know which teacher I'll be working with. I don't know what hours I'll be working. I don't know which union I'll be represented by and therefore don't know my benefits.

I've been informed that there is something going on on the morning of September 2nd that I'm to attend but I'm to confirm with my principal. How you ask? Good question since school is done for the summer.

The Ministry of Education is offering a summer institute next week to train Early Learning Program staff on the new curriculum and because space is limited it was first come first serve. I put my name in to go and never heard back. So I assumed (correctly) that there was not enough room for me and I didn't get in. But then on Wednesday I got an email saying that there were a few more spaces and I had to confirm ASAP it I wanted to go. I said YES! I do want to go but please confirm with me that I've been registered so I can arrange for childcare.

I haven't heard a thing. And the summer institute is set for next week. And it's 2 hours away. And I still don't know if I'm even supposed to go.

I realize this is a slap together job by the board because everything was announced so late in the year but it's frustrating being on this end and not knowing anything. I don't want to become one of those annoying people who calls every other day to ask questions but this is getting ridiculous.

I'm not in control of things and I don't like it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A recipe for you

One of my friends gave me a recipe to try out. Now see the following disclaimer for my healthier mommy readers....

This isn't the healthiest of recipes as posted but I'm sure it could be easily adapted with homemade whole grain biscuit dough and ground turkey or no meat at all and chalk full of veggies. That's the genius of this recipe.

So, one can of biscuit dough (like Pillsbury)
1/2 lb ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
1/4 c of finely chopped peppers
1/4 cup of finely chopped celery
1/4 grated cheese

Cook the meat and add in the celery and peppers. At this point I also used a little bit of homemade BBQ sauce just to flavour the meat mixture a bit.

So, separate the biscuits into a muffin pan
Make a divot in the biscuits big enough to fill with 1 tbsp of meat mixture
Fill each biscuit divot with 1 tbsp of meat mixture
Sprinkle grated cheese over it and bake as directed on the biscuit dough package.

The kids LOVED it. I mean, ate all 10 of them and didn't leave me any. And the beauty of this is that they can be filled with anything, pepperoni, marinara and cheese to make pizza ones, assorted veggies, ground meats whatever you like.

I would have taken a picture of them for you but A: I think it's weird when people take pictures of food and B: I couldn't get the camera on them fast enough; the kids hogged them down.

Oh, and a little side note. As you can see my blog is almost back to how it was. My only problem is that the maps is so stinking big I have to adjust the sizing and then my header doesn't centre. But I don't want to get rid of my map, I like seeing where my random visitors are coming from. Maybe I'll look for a different gadget to do that. Any suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Music according to Connor

This is going to be a two post day. I can't save this one until tomorrow because I'll forget and it's just too cute to pass on.
Connor and I sing songs every night before bed. He's not much into books so this is our bonding/quiet time before he goes to sleep at night. Of course, we have our standard three, Lonely Little Robin, You Are My Sunshine and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but a few others get thrown in for good measure.

So here it is. Music according to Connor

Baa Baa Black Sheep
"Baa Baa black sheep
Have you very wool
Yes sure yes sure
three black school
One what's the matter
One for the dame
One for the little boy
who's lame
Baa baa black sheep
have you very wool
yes sure yes sure
three black school"


Are You Sleeping /Frere Jacques
"Are you sleeping?
Are you sleeping?
Are you Sean?
Are you Sean?
Sunny little tina
Sunny little tina
ding dong dong
ding dong dong"

The thing is I can't control my laughing when he comes out with these things and my son (aka future class clown) thrives on getting laughs. So now he modifies songs he knows all the words to.

Twinkle Twinkle little DOO DOO (doo doo is his paci with the tip cut off - yes we still have it - whole other store)
How I wonder what you DIAPER
Up above the world so LOVEY
Like a diamond in the NOSE
Twinkle twinkle little GLOWY
How I wonder what you FART!

Yeah, and he sings it just like that. Nicely and then shouts the last word that he's made up. And then he laughs like its the funniest thing he's ever heard.

I see a comedian in making. Let's hope he's more Jerry Seinfeld and less 'mildly funny guy at Yuk Yuk's on Tuesday night'

Wow - this blows

Notice the new layout of my blog? I don't like it.

I like my old layout. It was pretty. It was me. This is just plain yucky.

I could probably get on board if I could figure out how to use my own photos as a background on blogger but alas, I am not technically literate enough. Maybe at naptime I'll google it and see if I can figure it out.

In the meantime, I'm stuck with this tripe.

My old background was from The Cutest Blog on the Block and it was great but they had some issues with photobucket and have to switch hosts. And now their site is down and I can't get in to get a new code so I'm stuck with this ugliness courtesy of blogger. (okay, truth be known it's not really that ugly it's just that it wasn't what I had before and I really really liked what I had before)

Yes, I'm complaining. Perhaps I'll save my pennies and get my fabulous friend Amanda to design me my own background. I know she does great work (she did my daycare logo for me)
Then my blog will be awesome again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Robbed!!! Again!!!

For the third freakin' time. Someone stole the CD's out of my car. Shit.

I've been so good about locking the van at night just so this type of thing doesn't happen but alas, I must have forgotten and sometime between Thursday and yesterday someone stole my CD's.

I'm torn on whether or not I'm mad. See, most of them were burned CD's. I got most of my Zeppelin ones as well as Metallica and Collective Soul online. The downside is that only the Collective Soul was done through iTunes. The upside is that all the good music is on my iPod, the downside is that unless I get some sort of adapter (which I think Avon sells one) I can't listen to my iPod in the car. The upside is that several of my favorites were in the house so I could listen to them in the kitchen or in Sean's car, the downside is that Connor's favorite (Erick Traplin) was in the car and I'm not entirely sure how to get another copy since this is a local guy who plays in library auditoriums . He's not as big as Raffi after all.

So, I figure I have a couple of options. I'm going to have to see if Avon sells this adapter I'm thinking of. I can also try to replenish my collection via the used CD store across the street (ironic eh, chances are my CD's are being sold there even as we speak, though they 'claim' they will not sell CD's that aren't in the original jewel case and mine were all in a CD holder.) Or, I can ask my fantastic family to buy me iTunes cards for my birthday and I can start buying my music back in a place where it won't get stolen again.

Either way, I'm pissed. I'm tired of people stealing my music. I don't have anything good in there. I'm old. I listen to Great Big Sea and Elton John. The most current thing I listen to is Beyonce and even that CD is like 2 years old. I'm not cool so go steal cool shit from cool people and leave me and my kid's Disney CD alone!

Monday, July 19, 2010

On the outside looking in.

I spent most of my childhood that way. I had a few friends but I still felt like an outsider. I wasn't athletic or outgoing, I wasn't especially talented in any way, I was just shy, reserved kid. I got picked on a lot as a kid in school and I have one particularly strong memory of being in Grade 3 and crying at my desk and yelling at the kids in my class that I hated them all and was glad I was switching schools. I did switch schools in grade 4 until the end of grade 6 and it was there that I met my best friend for the next 7 years. It was also where I met Judy who remains my best friend today.

But in grade 7 I went back to that old school, where the kids made fun of me. Ironically I asked to go back there but it was because my best friend was switching schools. I was initially put into a grade 6/7 split class but then the second day of school I was moved into the 7/8 split class....with all the same kids who'd made fun of me back in grade 3. I was miserable and threw fit and ran away from school, called my mom and told her I wasn't going back. Obviously I went back. Funny thing though (not funny haha though) The teacher pulled me aside after this incident and said to me "Do you know what the class said when I told them you'd be joining us? They all groaned" I shit you not people, the teacher actually said that to a 12 yr old girl who was already clearly distressed about being in that class. Needless to say that teacher got about as much respect from me as a cockroach would. And the really fun part, I got to have him (and those same classmates) for grade 7 and 8! Lucky lucky me.

I'd like to say it got better but in actual fact it didn't. My elementary school career, save for half of grade 4, and grades 5 and 6 sucked....in a large way. I didn't fit in. I had a few friends but not many. I generally hated school.
(Though I must mention one side note incident, and it might seem petty but to this day I smile and think "HAHA BITCH!" when I think of it.) I had a boyfriend in grade 8. His name was Jody. He didn't go to our school and was a year or two older than me. He was so very cute. I met him through my best friend. Anyhow he used to umpire kids baseball and it so happened that one of the leading tormentors in my class played baseball and had (unbeknownst to me) a giant crush on him. So one day he came to my school at recess and we talked and held hands and probably gave each other a peck or two. Well this girl saw the whole thing and I'll tell ya, the green monster was alive and well in her. And all she could say was "Jody is YOUR boyfriend??!!" That's right sister....and he's a great kisser! (Actually I don't remember if he was a great kisser but whatever)

Anyhow, there is a reason I'm talking about all this and it's not about a woe is me I got picked on as a kid pity party. It's actually about Mary.

I notice more and more that Mary is on the outside looking in. Not so much at school just yet but it's starting at home. She's always marched to the beat of her own drummer and lately I've noticed that she and Em do not get along. This in itself is not shocking, they are sisters and I think it would be more shocking to have sisters who do get along but it's also with her own best friend. They argue more often. Her best friend is choosing to play with Emily more often. Mary is by herself, left out and though she's sometimes okay with it, a lot of times she is sad about it. The thing is, I don't know how to fix it.

I don't want to discourage her personality, that is what makes Mary Mary. It's the unique 'wearing striped leggings with a checkered shirt and flower socks with dress shoes. It's the silly faces, the over abundance of energy and the imagination. And while these are the things that set her apart....they are also the things that set her apart.

I don't want my baby to be on the outside looking in. I remember how much that hurt. But I also know that it's made me the person I am today. And sometimes it takes a little crappiness to build a great personality. It's just getting there that's the hard part.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Mommy Wars pt 2

I've made a startling realization the other day. I'm engaged in a Mommy War of monumental proportions. But it's not with another Mommy. It's with myself.

I've been a working mom, a stay (work) at home mom, a working mom, a stay (work) at home mom and I'm about to become a working mom again.

It could be said that I'm just not ever satisfied, that I can't seem to make up my mind or that I am clearly a flighty person. But in actual fact, I'm just trying to find the right balance of what's right for me, for Sean and for the kids.

When Emily was a baby and I still worked I loved it. I missed her, sure, but I still loved my job and didn't really have 'stay at home mom' aspirations. But I think, in large part, that was because I loved where I worked an the people I worked with. I was comfortable and had a lot of seniority. I also made pretty great money (comparitively speaking) and because at the time Sean was still working at Leon's, I was the primary breadwinner so me not working was not an option.

Then Mary Jo was born. Maternity leave was now a year. I wasn't feeling so secure at work - they were looking to eliminate the 'old' staff and it was only a matter of time in which they found a way to oust me. Sean was now working for the TTC (for my FF -that is not trying to conceive...heehee) and making good money. And paying daycare for two kids didn't make a whole heap of sense. So I quit my job and officially became a stay at home mom. (okay, a work at home mom - I opened the daycare when Mary was 7 months)

I had the daycare for 2 years when I discovered how miserable I was. Mary really needed some outside influence. I was tired, mostly of trying to sell myself to new clients. When I had a full house and consistant families it was okay but near the end I had one who was moving, one who was going on mat leave and Mary's partner in crime (who is still here today) and I just didn't have it in me to do another advertising blitz, interview parents, sign ones on that were a good fit, mold them (the kids and the parents) the way I wanted them.

So I closed my daycare and wqent back to work, this time in the very centre that Emily had gone to and that Mary would go to.
Here's the thing though. This was truly a case of the grass being greener on the other side. I knew from the very day I started work that I was going to hate it and would be miserable. But I didn't know how to tell Sean that. So I sucked it up for a year, Sean and I never saw each other, our marriage started to crumble and I fell into depression.

Then the miscarriage. I knew when I got pregnant that I had not intentions of returning to work at the centre after my mat leave ended. I would take my year mat leave and re open my home daycare, change my ways of doing things and raise the new baby. But apparently God had other plans. And when the director and I didn't see eye to eye on how I should 'manage' my miscarriage I quit. My priorities had changed and while I may have had a hard time at home I needed to be there. Clearly I made the right choice because it was the summer of 2006, the beginning of the year from hell. And had I been working still I never would have seen it and who knows where we'd be today.

So, I became a stay (work) at home mom again. And this time I embraced it and re thought my whole method and while I threw myself into it 110% I also stopped working when the last child left (something I hadn't done before) and I didn't let the stress of the job get to me (mostly) And for 4 more years I worked at home. I was blessed with Connor's birth and was able to be there for Mary's first day at school. I learned to cook and became a better housekeeper. I became a better Mom and a better wife.

But something was still lacking. I didn't want to be at home forever and decided to follow a new path, the idea of opening my own daycare centre one day. And I started school and went to some workshops and then Dalton McGuinty made his announcement and it was like one of those moments you see on tv when the clouds break, the sun shines and choirs sing "Aaaaaaaahhhhh"
So I threw myself into trying to get a job in the school board. My childhood dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher could come true.

And it did.

So in September I will become a working mom again. I'm not without my worries. I'm scared for how Connor will react to daycare. I'm scared for the year in which Emily and Mary need afterschool care. I'm scared for how this will affect my marriage and I'm scared for how I'll do in this new job. What if it's like the last time I went back to work and I hate it right from day one.
But what if I don't. What if this is my calling? I could well be.

So, I continue to fight the Mommy War. When am I a better mother? When I'm at home or at work. Maybe it's not about where I am, maybe it's just about how much I love what I'm doing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's picture time

I created a new blog a while back for my photos but I wasn't happy with the layout of it and got lazy with it. I ended up deleting it, I just didn't like it. So I guess I'm back to posting my pics here.
These aren't 'technically' the best photos but the photography gods have not been smiling on me lately. Besides, I figure my kids are pretty great to look at even in bad pictures! lol

So, here's a few recent ones.



















































Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Boooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeddddddddd

Bored is considered a swear word in my house. I don't like to hear "I'm bored!" anymore than I like to hear the "F" bomb being dropped - or Connor saying "God Damn It!" so casually at supper time when he spills his rice. (yeah, my fault - gotta work on curbing that)

I sound remarkably like my mother when Emily or Mary comes to me and says "I'm bored!"
"Really? You're bored? Well, you could do the dishes-fold the laundry-clean the bathroom-tidy your room-read a book"

What "I'm bored" really means is "I've played all the Wii, watched all the TV and played all the Farmville on Facebook that I feel like today and now I need you to find me something to do that isn't chores but entertains me as much as electronics do because this is the electronic age and my mind has become mush and I can't remember how to play without the aide of batteries or electricity and have forgotten what the world looks like outside of a 32 bit colour scheme."

It worries me a bit. But it also puts me in a strange position. I too am an electronics junkie. Look where I am right now. I blog for the purpose of journalling. I could write it by hand but there are two problems with that. The first being that I type a heck of a lot faster than I write and second my blog takes up virtual space...a journal takes up real space and I don't need more clutter in my life. Plus, I'm inclined to think that if I had to handwrite this I wouldn't do it for very long. Deep down I'm pretty lazy and like I said, I can blog this in 10 minutes, writing would take me an hour.
I went to the trouble of getting my 2 year old his own computer. (I mentioned it before) He's got a circa 2000 Toshiba laptop. The thing is stubby and fat and not at all slim and sleek like the netbooks and laptops nowadays. But it works and has enough memory to store his little games. And he's learned how to work it and navigate through the start menu to get his games running. I've had to reconfigure his mouse, he can seem to left click but he's a master at right clicking.

So while I worry that my older kids brains are turning to mush I actively encourage my son to learn how to use a computer. Why? It's the electronic age. Did you forget that part? Ah see, your mind is mush too.
But seriously, he's going to need to know how to use the computer and internet when he goes to school. Mary had to do research last year online. She and Emily have both learned how to use Wikipedia.

Which brings me to something else. Do kids know how to use encyclopedias anymore? Do they even print encyclopedias anymore? My Mom and Dad won a set of World Book Encyclopedias on a game show in the 80's. I loved those books. I learned so much. And I did a ton of homework with them. Do kids know how to look for books in the library? Do they have card catalogues anymore? I don't think so but I can't be sure. Let's face it. It's a heck of a lot easier to search online for the book but do they learn how to read the call number and then find it in the library?

There is a point to all of this. It's not a rant about technology. I have nothing against it. Truthfully, as sad as it may be that my kids will likely never have a set of encyclopedias in their hands I think they hold something much better than I ever had with the World Book. They have the World - brought to you by Google. Easy access to everything and everyone with an interent connection. Not too shabby.

So why the title? Well, I got a bit off track. I was going to talk about how bored I am. Yes, I'm bored. This is why I could never, ever be a stay at home mom. (yes I know technically a work at home mom is a stay at home mom but I was working and hence, not bored) My own kids are boring. They live here. They only need me when they need me. They don't want to 'do stuff' with me because they've been 'doing stuff' with me for their whole lives and that gets old. So we 'do stuff' for a few hours a day and then they do their thing and I do mine. But I'm not working now so 'my thing' is kind of up in the air. What is my thing?

Well, in the technology world my thing would be Fertility Friend. But my membership ran out today and I've got no desire to renew. It got old. I've got FB but there's only so many times you can look there and since I don't play facebook games.......
I've got the Pumpkin Patch. Apparently I'm the leading poster there which could mean many things....I have too much time on my hands...I have a big mouth.... I'm bored...... I just love it there so much and all the ladies there that I have to post incessantly...... But again, there is only so much I can post there.
I've got my blog. I can ramble with the best of them (as proven here) but eventually that gets old too. And sometimes I have nothing to say (I know, shocking eh?)

So now that leaves me with this. I'm bored. Don't tell the kids but I am really and truly bored. I've played all the Wii, updated my FB status, confirmed that I have in fact run out my membership on Fertility Friend, posted in the Pumpkin Patch, updated our map, done my homework, watched M*A*S*H* all that I want today and now I need someone to find me something to do that isn't chores but entertains me as much as electronics do because this is the electronic age and my mind has become mush and I can't remember how to play without the aide of batteries or electricity and have forgotten what the world looks like outside of a 32 bit colour scheme.

It's going to be a long summer. I can't wait to start work.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's officially official

I'm admittedly having a hard time letting go of my home daycare. I was enthusiastic about some things like downsizing the toys, removing the gates from my house, taking the hooks and signs down from the bathroom. I was eager to get rid of playpens, highchairs and bibs (okay, I kept a few for Captain Messy)

So today I was organizing some files on the computer. I am trying to get some homework done (yeah, I'm still in school but that's a different topic) and I couldn't find what I needed. So I came across my 'daycare forms' folder. This is where I kept all files and documents for the daycare; enrolment packages, parent handbooks, menus, lesson plans, communication forms...you name it, it was in there. It also had the super fabulous custom made logo that Amanda made for me.
I hummed and hawed about sending that file to the recycle bin.

See, in 2005 when I closed my daycare I kept all my forms. I just knew in the back of my mind that one day I'd need them again and sure enough 1 yr later I reopened. But I know this time there will be no going back. I'm done with home daycare for good and it's time to move on.

But sending that folder to the recycle bin was hard all the same. It represents 7 years of my life, of my hard work, of everything I was. And 'throwing it away' didn't seem right. I debated keeping it on a memory stick but then thought - why? I'm not going back. I thought about printing a copy of all my forms but thought - why? I'm not going back. But it was still hard.

So, I sent it to the recycle bin. I haven't gone as far as emptying that recycle bin yet and I know that even when I do some computer whiz could easily find it within the bowels of my computer but for now....having it not so visible is a big enough step for me.

It's officially official. I'm no longer a home daycare provider.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Camping Trip That Wasn't

Surprised to see me already? Yeah, I'm as equally surprised to be here typing. I'm also disappointed, upset, pissed off and frustrated. I'm sure I'll come up with more along the way.

So let's get the play by play.

We're suffering through a nasty heat wave right now. The temps are in the 30's with the humidex putting it into the 40's. It's hot and sticky and through in smog and you've got a shitty bit of summer day. But our campsite had late afternoon shade and it was also backed by a nice wooded area that wasn't brush and didn't have a lot of poison ivy so the kids had a great place to play while Sean and I got everything set up.

So we set up the dining tent (thanks Brian!) and while Sean got lunch cooked I set up our other tent. (and yes, thank you, I rock! I set up that big ass ten man tent all by myself!) and got our air mattresses blown up and beds made.

All the while Connor, Mary and Emily are playing in the woods, running around the site and....complaining about the heat. This is where it starts. Emily with her drama complaining about how hot she is, her head hurts, she doesn't feel good....(yeah, try setting up a 10 man tent in full sun girlie!)

So we eat, get changed and head to the beach. It was a lovely lovely day. The water was bath tub warm. Lake Simcoe is the best. It's shallow for quite a ways out so the kids can have a large area of swim and play without us worrying and they even go so far as to mark off swim areas with buoy lines. Love it.

So we get back to our campsite feeling refreshed. Sean starts supper, I take some pictures, we play a bit. After supper we walk down to the park, the kids play (and I met a kid, who I think was probably the politest little boy ever. He was about Mary's age and every time Mary came on to the climber he would stand back and say, "Ladies first!" He was also eager to help Connor on the big slide. I seriously wanted to go over to his mother and say "First off, BRAVO, on raising such a fine young man, and second, what's your secret??!!") We then went for ice cream and headed back to out site.

Now this is when all hell broke loose. On the way back Emily started crying. She wants to go home. Please can we go home. I just want to sleep in my own bed.
Back at the campsite, I get Connor sponged off and into some pj's. Now his meltdown begins. He is afraid of the air mattress. After some coaxing I manage to get him to lie down and I sing him some songs, rub his back and tell him I have to go get my pajama's on. He's laying in the tent, playing with his lovey and glow worm and is, while not asleep, content. Every now and then he'll call out to me that he's all done and wants to come out but going back in there settles him. It would have been a late night but he would have eventually fallen asleep.

Emily on the other hand is outside by the fire with Sean crying hysterically, begging and pleading to go home and hyperventilating. She went as far as throwing up in the woods.

So, at about 8:30 Sean and I weighed the options. We could make her stick it out. Connor would have fallen asleep by about 10. Mary and Emily would have gone to bed after that and Mary would have fallen right to sleep and Emily would have had more panic attack (as she's prone to do (think her past sleepover-itis and we would have heard an hour of her crying, I don't feel good, I can't sleep, my tummy hurts.....) so we opted to do what we really really didn't want to do. At 9:30 last night we packed up our tents, our air mattresses, our defective Coleman stove (more on that later) and we went home.

And now, I sit here stewing about how much my 12 hour visit to Sibbald Point Provincial Park cost me.
$30 new air mattress
$80 two nights campsite fee
$80 I didn't get paid for my one daycare child who is not here this week because I wasn't supposed to be here this week
$75 food for camping
$40 gas there and back
$20 treats and whatnot while we were there.
$8 bag of wood that we only used 1/4 for campfire....

And though sleeping on an air mattress in nature with bugs is not high on my list of loves, I LOVE camping overall and can tolerate the uncomfortable mattress and bugs so now....I'm really, really disappointed. And Sean is too. This is his first holiday in a year and he was so looking forward to this week.

So we've decided now that we'll go camping again, in late July or August, just Sean and I (and maybe Mary because she was truly upset (and in tears) when she heard we were leaving and we'll have fun.

We did have one milestone even though. Connor fell asleep in the stroller on the way back from the beach. He was without a diaper and when he woke he was upset and kept saying "pee tree" It took me a minute to figure out what he meant and I asked him "Do you need to pee in the tree?" (I had gone pee not long after we got there. We intentionally don't get a site near bathrooms (stink factor) and none of us has an issue with dropping trou and peeing in the woods.) He said yes so I took him over to our designated 'pee tree', pulled his pants down and my little boy peed in the tree (and I'm talking LOTS of pee, like he'd held it for a long time!) This is a milestone event. Never before has he peed standing up (he's tried at home but hasn't) and never has he been willing to pee anywhere but a toilet - (long story but I tried to get him to pee in the backyard once...I had a good reason and it's not as bad as it's sounds...honestly)

So, I guess I'll go look at some of my camping pictures, of when it was fun. And I can wish I was there, swimming in the bathtub warmth of Lake Simcoe and roasting marshmallows.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What was I thinking??

Sean has been on holiday for the past week and will be this week to. So we've been cramming in lots of fun stuff for the family to do.

We took everyone to Cedar Park on Wednesday. It's a water park/camp ground and the kids had a blast, despite it being unseasonably cool.
On Thursday we went to the Canada Day festival at the lake and again, froze our butts off. (we couldn't fit that Canadian cliche if we weren't freezing on the first of July right?)
On Friday we took all the kids to the zoo. It was warmer this time which was good since we rarely see any animals at the zoo in the summer months. We primarily go for the splash pad. They have a new carousel at the zoo too (the Conservation Carousel) 5 bucks a pop! What a racket. Of course the kids HAD to have a ride so our one trip that doesn't cost us anything ended up costing us $30 after the carousel and ice cream.

We have a lot of beaches around here. Each town/city that borders a lake has their own waterfront attractions. I debated taking the kids to Toronto to go Kew Beach but then one of my daycare kids has mentioned Cobourg Beach several times to me. She told me it had an amusement park, water park and of course the beach. And, she said, you can swim in the lake. (because let's face it, while technically you *could* swim anywhere in Lake Ontario, you probably *shouldn't* swim in most of it.)

So we headed out to Cobourg Beach yesterday.

Now, I have a bathing suit. It's only a year old. And I hate it. It gives the girls NO support, only squishes them up and it's cut in such a way that back fat runs amok. After seeing pics last year (and seeing a pic of a friend in an awesome swim suit!) I decided I was not wearing that thing anymore and went bathing suit hunting. But alas, I couldn't find anything that appealed to me so I ended up buying a spaghetti strap tank top and a pair of booty shorts. I figure I can use them to get into the water with the kids or lounge at the beach (I'll still use my bathing suit for swimming in a proper pool)

My typical summer wardrobe is shorts (usually about an inch or so above the knee) or capri's and a tank top and while I'm a sunscreen nazi for the kids I don't often wear it myself unless I'll be out all day and even then I never put it on my legs.

BIG MISTAKE.

I spent the day at the beach yesterday (and I have to add, I LOVED this beach - it was everything my daycare kid said it was and more!!) and I spent it wearing booty shorts and portions of my legs that haven't seen the light of day in a very very long time.

And now.....I am struggling to sit on the computer chair to blog today because it feels as though I'm sitting on a heavy grain sand paper. My bad. I'll remember to sunscreen the legs next time.

We're taking the kids camping tomorrow for two nights. Wish me luck. The girls are experts at this now but this will be Connor's first time. I'm nervous that sleeping in a tent won't go well for him. But I'll be back on Thursday with lost of pictures and hopefully some good stories about how great Connor did in the tent. We shall see!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

To celebrate Canada's 143 birthday I'm going to offer you, yet again, some interesting, possibly little known Canadian facts.

Fact #1.
Canada comes from the Huron-Iroquois word "Kanata" meaning village.

Fact #2.
The square headed screwdriver and screw (the Robertson) was invented in Canada by a Canadian, Peter Lymburner Robertson.

Fact #3.
Canada is the worlds largest source of fresh water with our land covered by nearly 800,000 sq. km of lakes and rivers.

Fact #4.
Canada has more automobiles per person than any other country - I vehicle for every 2 people.

Fact #5
Newfoundlanders (aka Newfies) have their own language. They do speak English but it's Newfinese. They also have their own dictionary to translate (it's a massive dictionary!). For example "squish" does not mean 'to squeeze something' to a Newfie. It means 'crooked' - as in "That picture you hung on the wall is squish" And crooked does not mean askew, it means contrary. "You're a crooked one today, aren't you" Your standard greeting is not "Hi, how are you?" It's "How ya gettin' on?" (there is a tasteless joke involving this greeting, a Newfie bus driver and a man in a wheel chair but I won't tell it. You're smart and can figure it out)

Fact #6
Canadians have their own language as well. I don't mean French. I mean things like eavestrough (gutters to my US friends) double double (coffee with two milk and two sugar) and raised bungalow (a bungalow in which the basement of the home is partially above ground)

Fact #7
Yes we say "Eh" and it can mean as much as 25 different things depending on the situation and inflection of your voice.

Fact #8
Some things only available in Canada....
Newfie Screech (rum - very strong...no one really likes it)
Butter tarts (really - my US friends...no butter tarts....oh you don't know what you're missing!!)
Smarties (like M&M's only better!)
Red Rose Tea (Tetley has nothing on Red Rose!)

Fact #9
Along with the Roberston screw driver some other fabulous Canadian inventions include:
the jolly jumper, duct tape, walkie talkies, roller skates, air conditioned vehicles, standard and daylight savings time and snowmobiles.

Fact #10
Canadians eat more macaroni and cheese than any other nation. But here we don't call it Kraft Dinner. It's KD. And you gotta load it up with ketchup (not catsup)
Gotta be KD!

Happy Canada Day! Now go get some poutine!