Monday 19 July 2010

Cutest soccer players ever!!

Potty training: the sequel... Day Five

Success! Victory! Poopy party here we come!!

We had a 'poopy party' when Alexandria finally went on the potty. And today? Zachary had NO accidents at all AND went poop on the toilet!!

After we took the kids to get their soccer pictures, we went to McDonald's for a celebratory treat. Zach chose a strawberry sundae. :)

Potty training: the sequel... Day Four

Ok.. I've lost count of how many times the dude goes in the toilet. (We don't use the potty unless it's an absolute emergency.) He's really milking this gummy treat thing. It's kinda cute actually. I told him no snack right now, so he responds, "I have to pee!" Goes pee. Gets a gummy. Ten minutes later? "I have to pee!" Goes pee. Gets a gummy. :)

He had two or three little accidents yesterday. One on the carpet...

We told him to try and go poop on the potty today. We plunked it in front of the tv and told him just to sit and relax and try. He sat. And sat. And sat. Then came up to me, starting to cry and said, "I can't poop, Mommy. I just can't poop." It's ok little dude.

So, as far as the count goes? I have no idea.... Better though.. (except for the carpet...)

Sunday 18 July 2010

The conversation downstairs

I'm listening to Alex and Zach play.

Z: Where's the fire?! (As sirens are blaring from his toy firetruck.)
A: It's on Wallaby Way!
Z: What house number?!
A: 22
Z: Is this house 22?!
A: No. It's 23. Go back one.

I love my kids and their imaginations. :)

Party for one?

It was Grandma's (my mom) birthday. Grandpa, Grandma and Jeremy came to KW to catch a matinee of Jean-Paul's musical, Paradise Island. After the show was over they came to our house for a bit and then we headed off to the new Boston Pizza at Erb and Ira Needles (or whatever it's called at that point).

After our meal was over, I sneaked over to our server and told him it was my mom's birthday. I went back to the booth and Alex needed to go to the bathroom, so off we went. I passed the server and told him we needed to do a pit stop first. Alex and I were in the bathroom when we heard Grandma come in, too. So, all the girls were in the bathroom and the boys were out in the restaurant. Then, Zach decided he needed to go, too, so Grandpa took him to the little boys room. That left Jeremy by himself at the booth. He was sitting there watching the football game when he started to hear clapping from across the restaurant. He was wondering where they were headed, but didn't think much of it. Then the clapping got closer... Oh no... So the servers arrived the table happily clapping, dessert in hand, but... no one but poor Jeremy at the table. Oops! False start! :)

We had a good chuckle about it when we all got back to the booth and Grandma and the kids got her birthday surprise. Alexandria had fun clapping along while Zach was wondering what was going on. :)

Saturday 17 July 2010

Potty training: the sequel... Day Three

We're starting to run out of clean underwear. The dude only has six pair, so when you're going through three in a day, they go pretty fast...

He did really well at the beginning of the day. We suited up for soccer and all went out. I was a bit worried about soccer... Being out of the house for a couple hours... No accidents, though. Yay!

We got home and I headed out to the SuperStore to try and get some Joe undies for him, since the ones we have are pretty big on him. No luck. I'll try Zellers maybe tomorrow. Or Old Navy. While I was out hunting for underwear, he apparently peed on the floor, at least part of it. He then went to the bathroom. Not bad...

Jean-Paul then went to work. Zach had another floor incident. We were down to one pair of clean undies left. The others were soiled or in the laundry. And we still had plans to go out to dinner with Grandma, Grandpa and Jeremy to celebrate Grandma's 60th birthday. So, I just put a shirt on him and let him run around bottomless. This went fine for a bit. He went on the toilet (a lot.. he's milking this 'gummy for peeing' thing). Then I left the room to sweep up and he came to me, Kleenex in hand. I noticed there was something wrapped up in the Kleenex.... So, on the upside, he didn't poop in his underwear (for the third day in a row). The downside? He wasn't wearing underwear. Another upside? We have laminate. And he was standing on it at the time. Yay!

We took the turd to its final resting place. I cleaned him up. Took of the shirt - which he managed to nail with the poop. I set him free, completely naked this time. When Grandma, Grandpa and Jeremy arrived he was naked as a jay bird. (Where did that saying come from, anyway?!) He told he had pooped on the floor.

I got the boy dressed. We gave Grandma her book (a whole other post for that). Looked at said book for a bit then headed out to Boston Pizza for dinner. While we were there he used the facilities twice. He insisted on Grandpa taking him to the boys bathroom. :)

When we got home Zach used the bathroom again. A few minutes later he peed on the floor again... *sigh*

I put him in his "nighttime diaper", which he proceeded to soil...

Two steps forward, one step back....

9 (at least I think... lost count) pees in the toilet
3 pees on the floor (two while wearing underwear)
0 poops in the toilet
1 poop on the floor
1 poop in the diaper

Friday 16 July 2010

Potty training: the sequel... Day Two

Day two and we're not backing down!

Zach woke up today and had his morning pee and changed into underwear. I headed off to Twitterlicious (or Twitter for Business if you're writing it off for work and you need an easier name to justify to your boss) for the morning. When I got home I saw a pair of underwear drying on the side of the tub. D'oh! There was one pee accident in the morning and it was about 10 minutes after he'd just gone, so Jean-Paul thought all was well. Nope. Zach's a wily one. He'll lull you into a state of relaxation and you let your guard down. Bam!

Then in the afternoon, Jean-Paul headed out to do a bit of work and chat with his bossman. Zach's normal time of day for, um, the dirtier side of things is in the afternoon....

The kids were playing across the street when I saw Zach waddling his way back home, a little heavy in the back end. Great. Here we go again. I stripped him, dumped the doo in the toilet, rinsed the underwear and hung it over the side of the bathtub alongside the undies from earlier. Told Zach it was ok and we'd aim to cut to the middle man and get it right in the toilet tomorrow. I stood him up on his change table, spread eagle against the wall as if he was being strip-searched, and wiped the boy down. Put new underwear on (because we are NOT going back to diapers during the day!) and sent him back to play.

So, day two?

6 pees in the toilet (yay!)
1 pee in the underwear
0 poops in the toilet
1 poop in the underwear

Oh, and of the 10 pees in the toilet over the last couple days, Zach has initiated about 4 of them. Not bad!

Thursday 15 July 2010

Here we go! Potty training: the sequel... Day One

Cary (by getting Aidan in underwear) has inspired me to bite the bullet and not wait for Zach to come up to me and say, "Mommy. I'm ready to potty train."

I brought special yummy gummy bears back from Springridge Farm. Zach found them this morning and asked what they were. I told him they were special "peeing and pooping" gummies. (This is my life, people.) I explained every time he peed in the toilet he would get one special gummy and every time he pooped he would get two special gummies.

He excitedly went into the bathroom and peed in the toilet. Yay for bribery! We then went into his room to get him dressed for the day and I asked if he wanted to wear underwear now. "Yes!" We are now officially "doing" the potty training thing. Underwear only during the day. Diapers only at night.

Today's tally?

4 pees in the toilet!
0 pees in the underwear!!!!!
0 poops in the toilet....


1 poop in the underwear...

Oh well. That's pretty good for day one. However, as I recall with 'Potty training: the original", it's going to go downhill...

Buckle up baby, we're in for a bumpy ride!

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Does this bother you?

 No? What about this?

Not really? What about now? Does it feel weird at all?

And how about this?

Did any of those make you feel not-quite-right?

Why are we more ok with these?

In our society, for some reason, we are more comfortable with girls playing with trains, cars, machines and dinosaurs than we are with boys playing with dolls, ponies and princesses. I cannot for the life of me understand why. Do we seriously think a boy will "turn gay" if he enjoys playing with Betsy Wetsy or dressing up in frilly dresses and walking around in Mommy's heels? Really? I firmly believe what we are, who we are going to be attracted to, is something we are born with. Of course, life experiences and a dysfunctional upbringing can modify behaviours and our sense of self, but who we really are deep down in our core is already wired. As Dee (@CocktailDeeva) said in a comment, that echoes my feelings, from Jen's post: "I am of the belief that we are BORN knowing who we are going to hold hands with in life.."

I was in a parenting group where one mom asked how she could get her two-year-old to stop playing with his sister's dolls. She was seriously worried he was going to be "a deviant".

I'm also personally not a fan of piercing baby's ears (not judging, just my feeling). It especially makes me curious when the reason behind the piercing is simply so people will "know she's a girl." Really? Why does it matter SO much?

Today Zachary - who is VERY gender aware and not only shies away from, but screams and runs away from, "girl" things - wore hot pink flip flops. I was so proud. :) We're trying to get him out of his extremely stereotypical thinking. He almost didn't eat dessert the other night because it was on a Cinderella plate. When the choice came down to use the plate it's on or no dessert, he reluctantly chose to keep the plate. (All the "boy" ones were in the dishwasher.)

Why are people so concerned with gender? Why must everything fit into boxes we've created in our heads? It's too funny how completely apologetic people have gotten when they've referred to my kids as the incorrect gender. (That doesn't happen anymore... much.) We used to dress Alexandria in "unisex" (read: "boy") clothes, sometimes with a ballcap. We call her Alex. So, of course - as I would have, too - people said, "Oh! He's so cute!" or "How old is he?" They were sooooo sorry when I replied, "She's about 6 months." Or last year, when Zach was about 2, we took the kids to TriPride. Alexandria got a rainbow bracelet and of course, little brother had to get one, too. A couple booths down, a vendor made a comment about "how cute she was." I said, "Thanks. I think he's adorable, too." Even at a Pride celebration she was overly concerned she'd gotten the gender - of a toddler! - incorrect.

What do you think does more damage to a kid? Letting him play with dolls because that's he preference right now? Or telling him what he wants is not ok because he's a boy and somehow shouldn't want to do that? Doesn't that send a message that HE is somehow "wrong"?

I really appreciate not wanting to subject our children to any negative reactions, I really do. Every choice we make as parents is such a struggle. Do we let him go out with barrettes and pink fingernails? Maybe even wearing a tutu? What about when he gets to school age? Is it better to let our kids follow their hearts and support the choices they are making and be there to comfort them when there are reactions in public? Will there be reactions in public? Why are there reactions in public?

I want to point out a beautiful post by Chris @kitestring wrote a while back. Look especially at Rule 3. How different could that scenario had been if his teacher had ridiculed him for what he was doing? Or even just subconsciously made him feel as if it were somehow wrong by steering him in a different direction? I love what his teacher did.

So, why can't we be happy and supportive of the choices are children make?
Here is a great video from Free to Be You and Me, called William's Doll. And here is B.D. Wong doing his version of it.

Monday 12 July 2010


Yesterday had its ups and downs, as most days do, but for some reason I was very aware of the things that made me smile. And there were lots. I thought I'd share some of them.

1)  As I was driving, trying to find the KW Mompreneurs tradeshow in Breslau (It took me a half hour! In Breslau! Seriously poor signage and directions.. but anyway.. onto the smile...) my search took me through a new development. The first time I drove by there was a man carrying a little girl who looked to be about 4 or 5, and who I assume was his daughter. They were walking out of the house through a space that will become their front door. I smiled a little smile. :)

I drove back the other way (did I mention a half hour in Breslau?!...) and this time he was standing there on the front "lawn" (ok.. dirt pile), daughter snuggly on hip, pointing at this house and talking to his little girl. I imagine he was painting a picture of where her room will be or maybe they were imaging some of the good times they would have in their new home. They were staring at a shell of wood and holes where doors and windows will one day be, but you could just feel the dreams of these two as they stood there. Such an awesome moment to witness. :)

2)  Sharon and Racheal's posts. They both blogged about a mom's worth, or really, how we as mom's see our worth. They are both wonderful wordsmiths and their posts usually make me smile - or cry... actually, usually both. Racheal's post had actually inspired Sharon's post. Oh, and these two women are absolutely amazing people, too. I've had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the both of them on a few occasions. Always a good time. :)

3)  Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was gorgeous. Sunny. Warm. Not too humid. There was one, brief thunderstorm, but the rest of the day was a great, outdoor day. Jean-Paul and I sat on our chairs while Alexandria and Zachary had an absolute blast in the kiddie pool in the backyard. They wrestled together for a really long time! The pure bliss on their faces while they were in there together was another big smile moment for me. :)

4)  When Zachary woke this morning, he toddled into our room and snuggled into bed with us for about a half hour before he got too restless and got up. I love those mornings. :)

5)  When Alexandria finally woke up (she had a nice sleep-in) she came out in her morning fogginess and crawled up on the couch with me, snuggled right in and said, "I love you, Mommy" in that quiet, morning voice. So sweet. :)

6)  When I finally got the KW Mompreneurs show, I walked around the booths and chatted with some of the vendors. A couple of them were just starting out on Twitter and I shared with them my one, big tip for new businesses on there. I love helping out. :)

7)  Our dinner last night was fun. We made build-your-own mini pizzas using D'Italiano Thintini buns - they make a GREAT pizza crust - and every single one of us cleared our plates completely. That's very rare. (Zach still took FOREVER, but he ate it all.)  :)

8)  This video makes me smile a big smile every time. Also makes me tear up a bit, but always with a big smile. I still love flash mobs, and this one takes place at the Toronto Eaton Centre. It's the "I Believe She's Amazing" flash mob and the message behind it is just as awesome. Take a look at the video. My absolute favourite part, hands down, is the mom in the crowd bouncing with her clapping little girl (just after the 2:30 mark until about 2:46.) Awesome. :)

9)  And finally... We caught up on some Glee last night. I love this show. This episode was made for me! In this episode, Joss Whedon directs. Cool! Idina Menzel makes another appearance - and sings 'I Dreamed a Dream' with Lea Michele. Fantastic! (As soon as I saw Lea in episode one, I said they should cast Idina as her mom.) Dream a Little Dream was performed, as was Safety Dance (two other songs I love.) Yay! Dream On by Aerosmith was one the songs. Love it! ... Oh, and Neil Patrick Harris guest stars. Awesome! The duet with Matthew Morrison and NPH (performing Dream On) was fant-freakin-tastic! :)

10)  Almost forgot... Hey, Soul Sister by Train was the last song that played on the radio as I pulled onto my street yesterday on my way home. Talk about a smile-inducing song. :)

So, that was yesterday. Those are the moments I am especially grateful for. That's what life is really about, isn't it? It's not the car sitting in the driveway, or freaking out about how much money is sitting (or not sitting) in the bank, or letting that half hour I wasted searching for a tradeshow ruin my day, or having the most stuff of all our friends and neighbours. Life is about people and the moments you share with them. It's about being aware of those smiles and riding that awesome feeling that comes with really being in tune with those moments.

What were your big smile moments?

Friday 9 July 2010

More than a dream...

This is gonna sound as if it's coming completely from left field. I had a dream last night. Although I can't remember it in all its detail, it was very vivid; that I do remember. It was so vivid that I truly believe it was more than a dream. Not that I'm completely sold on this idea, but I really feel as if it was a piece of a past life. (Go ahead. I'll wait.)

So, are you back with me now? Alrighty. Yup, you read that right. I really think it was a glimpse into a past life of mine. I don't know why I feel that way, I just do. Now.. to the dream.

It was probably the late 1800s or early 1900s (I'm not a history buff... OK, I have a hard time even remembering what the dates of the World Wars were. Trust me. I keep trying to remember. It's a block I have in my brain. Seriously weird.) So my best non-history-knowledgy guess is that. I think I was in some sort of small hotel room or boarding house (more of a boarding house, actually, now that I'm really thinking about it.) I wasn't well-off. I was dressed in a very dowdy brown dress and the decor of the room matched. I had a baby. A boy. He was young. Young enough to be in a pram. I was very despondent. I don't know what the reason was. This is where my memory of the dream gets fuzzy. I don't know if my husband left or wasn't coming back or what happened, but I felt extremely alone. I was completely dejected. I was sitting on the bed in this boarding room, head in my hands and I was bawling; crying the unconsolable tears of someone who had completely given up. This is pretty much where I woke up.

As I was coming into the day's consciousness, I had another feeling - or I was carrying a memory with me - whatever you want to call it. I know how I died in that life. I hanged myself. As morbid as that sounds - and as crazy as this all sounds - this is something I'm pretty sure of. That fact also explains why I carry this unrational dislike, no... loathing, of anything or anyone touching my throat. Rub my neck at the back? Sure. Love it, in fact. Massage my shoulders? Awesome. Touch the front of my neck? I freak. Even as I'm typing this, my neck feels uncomfortable. I don't like turtlenecks. I don't like arms around my neck. Never have. I have to tell massage therapists not to let their fingers cross that line when I'm getting a massage. It completely ruins it for me and I tense up. The experience is ruined.

So.... all this is quite new for me, and like I said, weird.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Monday 5 July 2010

Toy Story 3 - Some scary parts, but Lots-O heart

We procrastinate just a wee bit in this family. We've had movie passes here for about 2 1/2 years, just sitting there stuck to the fridge, waiting to be used. We had TONS of time to use them. They weren't going to expire forever. Well, forever came on June 30, 2010. I decided to make use of the passes and took the kids to see Toy Story 3. (It said 'no passes' but the ticket chick let me use them. Thanks ticket chickie.)

First of all, the short before the movie was cute, but - for the most part - over the heads of my kids (3 and 5)... although, upon seeing this picture, Alex just said she loved these guys and now both kids want to watch the short again. It is cute.

I had heard Toy Story 3 was scary from a few Twitterers. (There's an incinerator...) There were also lots of others that said their kids did fine. We went for the 2D version since Alexandria is pretty sensitive when it comes to movies - and 3D freaks her out when it's scary. (And really, kids movies are pretty scary! Have you seen the unnecessarily scary seal in Happy Feet?! But... I digress...)

I was pretty sure I was going to end up with a little girl curled up on my lap at some point during the movie. And... I did. I looked over and she had her ears plugged and eyes covered. Her knees were pulled up to her chest. I brought her onto my lap and let her bury her head in my chest. Then she said, "Mommy! I want to leave!!" If we'd been on our own, we would have left. Zachary, however, was enjoying himself and wanted to stay. I assured her the scary parts would be over very shortly and things would be ok.

There are lots of new toys, which is really cool. Peas in a pod? Cute! Dolly? Sweet. Ken? FA-bulous! (Said with my best high finger snap.)

It is the scariest of the three Toy Stories. Remember the freaky toys in Sid's room in Toy Story? It's got nothing on Toy Story 3. It's always scary when toys get mean. Lots-O-Huggin' Bear is not a nice guy. Big and purple and fuzzy, but definitely NOT nice.

And Big Baby is pretty creepy looking.

The absolute scariest character, though is the Monkey Shines-esque toy monkey! I was freaked out! And man, did he ever shriek!! This is basically what the character looks like. Scary shit.

I wouldn't rank it quite as high as the first Toy Story, but it is definitely worth of the franchise. A very cute movie. Spanish Buzz is hilarious - and the moves! Oh my....

As with most Pixar movies, the credits are a treat. Woody's nerdy, white guy dance is worth staying for, for sure.

And, as a bonus, when we came out of the theatre the skies were filled with 'Toy Story' clouds... big fluffy, white ones with flat bottoms. Nice touch.

So, all in all, I would recommend this movie. But, you know your kids. Usually even after a 'scary' movie, such as Disney's The Princess and The Frog or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Alex wants to watch them immediately again. She wasn't so sure she'd want to watch this one right away again.