Tag Archives: kids

It’s Not Fair

Nothing sets me on edge more than hearing one of my children bellow, “It’s NOT FAIR!”  That one sentence can turn me foul even when in the midst of a sun-shiny-birds-singin’ kind of day.

Lily thought it would be a good idea to whine it’s not fair when I asked her to pick up some of the ten thousand blankets she’d used to build a fort in the family room.

Frustrated,  I jumped into my now-overused diatribe on ‘fair’.  I threw out a few examples, including “Is it fair that your brother is cleaning the guinea pig cage and you aren’t helping him?”

It was going well until I threw in, “Is it fair that you’ve been playing all day and were out  on the swings while I made lunch, brought your dishes in, cleaned and put everything away?”

Lily had been quick to answer all the other questions with a ‘No, that’s not fair’ but here she took pause and looked a little bit confused, “Yeah, that’s fair.  That’s what parents do. Kids are only supposed to play.  Parents have to do all the other stuff.”

I think I have to revisit our chore chart…

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Filed under kids, Life, motherhood

My Favourite Time of Year

“Mom, I have your Mother’s Day present in my backpack. I’m so excited.  I think I have to give it to you now.”  I knew it was pointless trying to talk him into waiting; he’s so much like his dad who bursts at the seams with excitement when he’s found, or made, the perfect gift.  It’s pretty fun to watch, and, I like getting presents so I didn’t mind.

Before I knew it, Jackson had placed a sweet painting and beaded necklace next to me on the front seat.  “Do you love it, mom?  Do you love it?” I did.

Lily who had been patiently holding onto her gift for days yelled ‘I’M GIVING YOU MINE WHEN WE GET HOME!!!”  She ran upstairs and pulled the pink tissue paper wrapped “Spoon Full of Kisses” card from under her bed where she had been hiding it.  I opened my arms thinking she was trying to give me a hug too but realized just in time that she was only trying to nab my chocolate kisses.

Mother’s Day beats out my birthday for favourite occasions that are all about me.  On Sunday, I might get to sleep in, I’ll definitely get breakfast made for me and we’ll all be together. We may not do anything much but on Sunday I’ll be spoiled with time, hugs and kisses.

Truthfully though, as much as I love seeing the kids excitement giving me their gifts, I don’t hold out much hope that they will actually be able to give me the one thing that I’ve asked for this year:  just one day of not having to referee their continual bickering.  That, I think, may be asking too much.

Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you get to enjoy a little pampering.

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Hugging Trees

I’ve been working on it for a long time now.  Searching.  Thinking.  Searching some more. Rethinking –  it’s been a long process.  But, I’ve done it; in a just a couple of weeks our new, more eco-friendly flash cards will be online!

Seven years ago, when I first started mocobabies, I offered a set of ten flash cards that were packaged in a clear cellophane envelope with a small homemade label across the bottom.  I still remember my first few sales, how exciting it was when someone said they’d love to carry them and more importantly when I got those first reorders.  My excitement quickly turned to rattling nerves as I  got to the point where I couldn’t keep up with my orders.  After some bumps and bruises trying to manufacture in North America, I eventually made the decision to have our expanded set of thirty-five cards made overseas.

However, when I recently sold out of our last shipment of cards, I decided I wanted to keep production closer to home; I wanted to reduce our footprint.  I’m happy to say that it’s been a much easier process than it was seven years ago.  There seems to have been a shift and small business is embraced rather than shooed away by local manufacturers and suppliers.  Years ago, I was repeatedly told that it wasn’t worth their time unless I was going to place a million dollar order.  This time around, companies have been helpful and more than willing to take the time to talk with me about my product.  It’s been wonderful to experience such a turnaround.

Long story short(ish), I’m really proud of our new cards and the path we’re forging for mocobabies.  Perhaps most importantly, I’m also working hard to buck the recent trend of skyrocketing prices; our cards will be greener, Canadian made and more affordable.  I’m pretty excited.

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Filed under Baby Signing, Being Green, Business

Dr. Seuss Reinforces Respect

I have always loved reading.  I still have copies of my favourite childhood books and enjoy nothing more than being immersed in a great story, the characters becoming friends as you turn the page and lose yourself in another world.

Reading with my kids was something I started to look forward to as soon as I knew we were expecting.

Jackson and I used to have book time where we would lie on his bedroom floor reading, signing and looking at the pictures. Unfortunately,  Lily and I didn’t have quite the same quality of one-on-one reading time because, well, she had a two-year old brother.

I remember looking forward to Lily growing into her big-girl bed, thinking that I would finally have my special book time with her.  I had dreams of us reading together, laughing and cuddling until her heavy eyes would finally give in to sleep.  But, dreams are made to be broken and my little girl, who went to sleep without a peep in her crib, became the Beast of the Big Bed.  The time we could have spent reading and solidifying our mother-daughter bond was spent in a stand-off of gnashing teeth and primeval grunting until one of us fell into a heap of sweating desperation.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad but it wasn’t the rainbows I’d hoped for.

It’s been a couple of years since our nighttime battles and I now have the story-time I’d dreamed of — most nights, anyway.

Last night I was reading Sneetches by Dr. Seuss to Lily and was shocked when Jackson asked me to read it to him as well.  Usually Jackson and I will sit together to quietly read our own books so I jumped at the chance to go back in time before anything other than a chapter book was too ‘baby’.

At the end of the story I looked at Jack and told him that Sneetches was one of my favourite Dr. Seuss books, “I think it’s a really important one too, especially right now.”  Without a second thought he replied, “Yeah, it doesn’t matter if we’re different from someone else, we should always show respect.  So what if one Sneetch has a star on their belly, right?  You should respect everyone.”

With that, I thanked Dr. Seuss for giving us stories like A Wocket In My Pocket to just have fun and be silly with while also offering books like The Sneetches and Horton Hears a Who that are still fun, but, should we decide to, can be used as a springboard for much bigger conversations.

It makes me happy to picture my kids, years down the road, looking at their own bookshelves, seeing The Sneetches sitting there with its spine torn and ragged from years of reading.

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Twenty-one hours

It seems to have become a bit of a new year tradition for us to pack the car and say goodbye to the snow as we drive to South Carolina.

Yes, that’s twenty-one hours in the car. With two kids. And, we’ve been doing it for the past four years.

This year, we loaded my phone with movies to help pass the time for the kids, but, to our surprise, they watched one movie in twenty-one hours.  To my horror, that left more than nineteen hours that I needed to fill.

It was a last-minute trip this year so I didn’t have time to do much planning.  We played car bingo which the kids had a love/hate relationship with (we’re still working on patience and delayed gratification).  The front-seaters got a little tired of the ‘when are we going to see a dooooog?? When are we gonna see an airplaaaane??’ whining from the back-seaters.  I found a fantastic website for mazes and games that kept the kids busy as well as introducing Jackson to the world of Sudoku.  Everyone’s favourite car activity though was a little something I threw together just before we were leaving.  I’m a big fan of imagination so I made a few pages with random shapes for the kids to turn into art.  They loved doing the same sheet over and over to come up with something new each time.  One of the sheets had a circle and stars at the top which I was sure would be turned into a moon but in the four versions they did, never once did those stars become part of a night sky.

We had a week away in a beautiful place where the weather was perfect.  We saw nature, ate well (honey almond ice-cream = going back next year ) and played, yet, some of our favourite memories are of the drive.  There’s something to be said for being stuck in a confined space together with no choice but to make the best of it.  Okay, to be honest, the drive home is never fun.  There’s nothing new and exciting to look forward to at the end so everyone’s nerves are a little more prickly (yes, by ‘everyone’ I mean ‘me’).  For the last five hours of every drive home my husband and I commit to flying next time…

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Filed under Baby Signing, kids, Life, Uncategorized

Poor Goofy

Last night we watched a commercial for a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse special featuring Minnie Mouse.  Jack, who hasn’t watched Clubhouse in years, exclaimed “That’s not fair! Minnie Mouse is taking over and it’s Mickey’s show!”

“I think it’s a special Valentine’s episode.”  Pointing back to the screen I say, “See, there’s Mickey – he’s still in it”

“Why would she be in the Valentine’s episode?”  A look of realization crosses his face, “Minnie isn’t his sister, is she?”

“Nope.  They love each other.”

“They’re boyfriend and girlfriend?”  he says as he mentally works out this new reality, “So then, Donald and Daisy? They’re not brother and sister either are they?”

“Nope.”

Jackson says with a sigh, “Well, that’s really sad, then. Goofy doesn’t have anybody.”

We decided poor Goofy seems happy enough, regardless.

 Valentine’s is coming quickly, I hope your day is filled with hugs and laughter. 

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All the Awesome

Sometimes it’s a video clip that inspires me, reminding me of the diversity and adventure that waits around every corner.  Sometimes, it’s just a silly commercial that makes me smile while emphasizing a life lesson to always be open-minded and nonjudgmental.  Regardless, it’s almost always something simple that reminds me of all the good – all of the awesome – that’s still alive and well in the world.

This week, it wasn’t a little thing that served as my reminder of how fantastic people really are:  it was a grand gesture of kindness from a person I follow on twitter.

A woman I have never met before, and only sporadically tweet with, spent over an hour with me on the phone talking about language development and reading in order to help Lily with ongoing letter recognition issues.  Diane Duff (@diane_duff on twitter) offered her time so generously and provided me with so much information that I’m still trying to process it all.

So much of this blog used to be about Lily’s adventure through sign language and her progress after being classified as having a severe speech delay.  Then, for some reason I stopped updating.  My last post about Lily’s progress was back in September of 2010 before she ventured into the world of junior kindergarten.

Diane has inspired me to get back to it.  As I create and make tools to help play letter games with Lily I will share them with you.  I will blog about our progress and touch on the information Diane has provided me.  I can’t repay her for all she did for me on Monday but I can put what I’ve learned out into the universe to possibly help someone else.   So, I hope you’ll check back for free downloads and some game ideas that will be great fun for any child.

Furthermore, building on my last post where I expounded on my love of snow and Christmas, for the next couple of weeks (and beyond?) I will be highlighting something nice that happens during my day.  It’s a small way I can do better by consciously recognizing all the awesome –  even the small, quiet awesome – instead of unintentionally letting myself get bogged down in all that is wrong with the world right now.

TODAY:  three men, early twenties, who were engaged in conversation and goofing around with one another still took the time to hold a door open for me – even offering smiles and a happy you’re welcome! (If you’ve been here before, holding the door or a thank you after having the door held open for you, is a pretty big deal to me)

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Filed under kids, Speech