Tuesday 31 August 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

It is rare that I see something and think "I must share this with everyone I know right now." I mean, I see funny stuff and cool stuff and share it, but not much moves me to the point I need to shout it from the rooftops, via any medium I can get my hands on. I have shared this on Facebook, tweeted it (a couple times) and posted it on LinkedIn. I will be sending it to people via email, too. Why? Because this is spectacularly awesome.

When Alison put out the request for moms to answer the question, "What advice would you go back and tell yourself when you were pregnant with your first?" ... and then asked who could join her for a video shoot for this project. I jumped at both. My answer to her question?

"My advice to my pregnant self? Be brave. Don't worry so much about what people will think of you and go with how you want to parent your babies (yes, there will be more). Nursing in public is ok - and you don't always have to find a quiet spot designated for nursing (unless you want to). Get over your fears of carriers - experiment more and find one that works for you - and wrap that baby to you more. Those days are fleeting. Oh, and that time you're spending with a sleeping baby on you (because he just won't sleep anywhere else) is not wasted. It's precious and gone in a whisper. (Yes, I just said 'he'. You won't meet him for a little bit, though.)"

I also excitedly answered the request for moms to be a part of the video. I knew a project being undertaken by Alison and Scott could be nothing but awesome. I had to be part of it. But, part of those words to a new mom would be... "You can have all the grand plans in the world, but they will come to a screeching halt when your little one's sick." Yup. Alexandria had been sick the night before, so I made the call not to go to the shoot. Good call because she got sick again around noon and then again that night...

Now, upon seeing the video, my gut was right. It is an amazing project. So simple. So moving. So true. Very sad I didn't get to be part of the video. Happy to have been able to share some words. And now, though, the most important thing I can do is share it with you.

I watched it with Zachary's little hand in mine. So powerful and moving. There were tears and goosebumps. You did good, Alison and Scott. (You can read the blog post about the video project here.)

Monday 30 August 2010

Such a sweet boy

Quick back story. Zach and Alex were staying at Nana and Grandpa's place. They'd been there since Wednesday. I get a call on Saturday from Nana. Apparently they'd both had fevers since Wednesday! And now they had some spots. So, I went and picked them up Saturday night and we canceled Alexandria's sixth birthday party for the following day. :(  Poor baby. She was so disappointed, but what can you do?..

Anyhoo.. tonight (Monday night) Zach hopped in the bath and Alex wanted to shower so she was waiting. Zachary had his bath, played and had fun. While he was in the water, more rash appeared on his butt - which makes me think it might be chicken pox (even though they said no to measles and pox yesterday at emerg.) Because of that, I wanted Alex to have a bath, too, to see if the same thing happened to her.

I guess Zachary reached his fill of the bath and he pulled the plug. I said Alex was going to have a bath right after and asked why he pulled the plug to let the water out. His reply, "So Alex doesn't have to sit in my fart water."

Now that's sibling love. :)

Monday 23 August 2010

A review of 'Bolts and Blip' by Alex and Zach

I was approached to do a review of - actually, have the kids review - a new show on Teletoon called 'Bolts and Blip'. It's set in 2080 and robots are tasked with settling human disputes. There are no more wars, just 'robot games'. Although it technically has a violence-type theme, it's more of a game than war. The robots fight with water (because they rust) and really don't get harmed. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that it's centred around getting shot and blown up and squished, but older (6-10) kids might like the fact that it's more 'video gamey' that way.

There were a couple jokes in there for adults, too. One older model robot is just standing there instead of helping his team and says, "I've got an old processor. I need an order of operations!"

The target age is a bit above Zach, but here are the thoughts that Alexandria (now 6) and Zachary (3) had on the show's first episode.

Good. I love it. It has bad guys in it.
His name is Bolts. He has bolts in him.
I liked the whole one. The whole of the part.
I like when it explodes.
"What was your favourite part?" The mean guys, because they are mean and shoot people.

I didn't even like that part. First of all, I don't like machines and it was machines. And second of all, why did they get squished? And third of all, I didn't really say it was good because I didn't like it.
"Were there any parts you did like?" Only when they got squished.

(Then right after saying, "I hate this" Alexandria was laughing at Bolt being bounced around. Then she laughed at the end when the announcer rusts the other announcer, and again at the explosion at the end and when the coach blew up.)

I asked her, "What was your favourite part?" I like it when the coach gets so upset he keeps saying the same thing over and over again. It's so funny when he said, "you. you. you. you. you. you......" until he exploded and that's the end of him.

Sunday 15 August 2010

My interview with Tamara of WonderMoms

Here is my first of (I hope) many interviews with fabulous entrepreneurial women out there - in conjunction with Marketing4Moms. Going to be adding video interviews, too.


That's how SHE blogs... I'm gonna play, too

So, there's this thing going around - a little quiz or interview - for people that are going to Blissdom Canada. I was one of the lucky few to snag an early bird ticket and I am so excited about this great opportunity! There are so many amazing people going, it's gonna be great. :) I've seen a few people do this already, such as Lisa (who started this whole thing), Sharon, Caroline, Sara, and Nolie - among others (check out Lisa's original post for other links.)

If you'd like to do it, too, here's how to play:

a) Cut and paste the quiz onto your blog.
b) Delete my answers (after carefully studying and committing each to memory. What?).
c) Answer the questions (feel free to embellish and totally make stuff up. I do it all the time).
d) Tweet a few of the bloggers you’d love to get to know better and invite them to play along.
e) In the comment section at Lisa’s blog post, leave a link to your blog where you’ve answered the quiz questions. Though you can leave it here as well so that you make sure I see it and go check out your answers.

1.    Did you attend Blogher10? Nope. Sad panda. It looked like SO much fun. In New York City?! With all those amazing women - a couple men (@ThatEricAlper and @UnMarketing were there, too - and wore tutus... but that's another post.)
2.   Are you attending BlissdomCanada this fall? Yes and I am sooooo looking forward to it. I am excited from a business stand point. I'm excited from a personal stand point. And really, to me, those are one and the same anyway.
3.    When are you at your blogging best – a.m. or p.m.? I guess I blog mostly at night - after the kids have lost consciousness until the morning light.
4.    How many blogs do you have? (Include the links) Just the one you're reading now. Do you need the link? Really? Ok.. Here you go. www.ourworldfromatoz.ca Go ahead. Click it. I'll wait....  ....  Ok.. you're back? Good. Let's move on.
I do plan to have a blog as part of my business website and incorporate all the books I design into it.
5.  What technical skill would you like to learn to improve your blog? I'm hoping to get some ideas on how to make my business blog rock. I need to learn Wordpress and all the magic I can wield with it. As far as the blog you're reading? It's just my personal blog. The snippets of our lives kept so that we might look back on them one day and see what we were doing and remember the little things. So really, I'm good with how it's going. That other people even read it still blows me away.
6.    Do you prefer the sound of silence or does action abound while you blog? I don't mind tv or music going on the background, but can't do the actual human interaction thing while I'm blogging. Sometimes the conversations I overhear or participate in ARE the blog post.
7.    Do you include the names of your family in your blog? I do. It's our personal blog and was started really as a way to keep family and friends in the loop at THEIR on choosing, rather than having emails thrust upon them.
8.    Do you post pictures or videos of your children? Yes. Again, for reasons above. This blog is about us. And I've made our blog into books for us to cherish. So, it's us. Our pictures. And sometimes video that I want to share.
9.    What’s the grossest thing you’ve spilled on your keyboard? I try to not to consume too much near the computer. I'm careful and haven't spilled anything - except some deep, dark secrets. ;)
10.    Ever posted something you wrote while intoxicated? I don't thing I've BEEN intoxicated since I started this blog.... Sad, isn't it?
11.    Do you go back and edit old posts just because you can? Not until they're in the book. Then I go back and edit so I look as if I did at least graduate grade school. Sum of ma mistakes are purdy silly.
12.    Have you ever suspected somebody took something you wrote and pawned it off as their own? I don't think so.... What would they steal, really?
13.    Does your spouse read your blog? What do they say about it? Nope. He doesn't. Not usually. Neither do the in-laws. My great uncle-in-law does though. Hi! :)
14.    What’s something cool/positive/unexpected for you, that has resulted directly from blogging? Some cool things. I've been approached to be a part of roundtable discussions - got to meet Maple Leaf Foods president, Michael McCain at this one. I've been offered tickets to events I was already talking about anyway - and sometimes I get to share free tickets with some readers. Kathy Buckworth gave me a shout-out about my Julie and Julia thing I was doing with her book 'Shut Up and Eat' while she was being interviewed on the radio. I was also very flattered (read: blown away) that parenting guru extraordinaire Ann Douglas commented (on my facebook link) and shared my post 'What kind of mom...' - And I also LOVE that I know these fabulous women because of Twitter - again, that's for another post!
15.    Link to a post (or two) which demonstrate your writing style: I'm not sure I have a 'style'... It's really just stream-of-consciousness blogging. Sometimes it's two sentences. Sometimes much, MUCH more! Mostly it's about what's going on in our day-to-day lives, but sometimes it's my opinion that needs to be expressed.
16.  Name a blog(s) that makes you exclaim, “Damn! I wish I’d written that!”

There are so many great blog(ger)s out there, but I'll say, off the top of my head..
Sharon DeVellis is always awesome - and real - and isn't afraid to drop the f-bomb if needed.
CarlyJay has What the Beans?! and is always fabulous.
Always love Sarahcasm, too.

Will I see you at Blissdom!? I hope so!!

Wednesday 11 August 2010

New discoveries..

Zachary has discovered that his 'big boy underwear' has a peak hole in it. Needless to say, he's spent most of the day going around the house with his penis poking out.

He also decided to make like a Brussels Boy statue today. While sitting in the Winnie the Pooh chair, he decided to take advantage of said peek-hole and peed in a nice little arc onto the family room floor. I am so glad we have laminate...

Never a dull moment...

Zach came to the top of the stairs and said, "Do you want to guess what's in my pants?"

Jean-Paul replied, "I hate that game...."

I said (laughing), "What's in your pants, buddy?"

Zach's answer? "A rock."

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Sleepy boy...

Tuesdays are special around here. It's the night Wipeout is on... For some reason, Alexandria and Zachary really like this show (especially Alex). We made them a deal, that once a week they can stay up late to watch. Their usual bedtime routine starts at 7:15, so we're in bed with story before 7:30. On Tuesdays they get to stay up to watch Wipeout at 8pm - and it doesn't end until 9pm. Alexandria is on the ball. every. single. week.

She never lets us miss a Tuesday. :)

So, tonight at about 7:40 I had them start getting ready for bed. Nighttime pee, brush teeth, Zach in his 'nighttime diaper' and into PJs. Alex went about her business and got ready. Zach was fighting me every step of the way. I told him he was too tired and cranky to stay up, so it sounded as if he needed to go to bed. He assured me he was fine. Then I tried to finish brushing his teeth. Tantrum time. One more chance time. He was not having it. So, into bed he went - forcibly. He tried to get out of bed, so I started putting up his gate. "NO! NO Mommy!!" I told him he needed to stay in bed  and I wouldn't put the gate up. Fine. He was hysterically crying by this point. I gently told him to lay down and when he calmed down he could come down to watch Wipeout with Alex.

He laid his head on the pillow and I asked if he wanted to come down now. "No. Not yet. I'll just lie here a moment, Mommy." .. "Alright, Sweetie. Do you want your blanket over you?" ... "Uh huh." ... So, I pulled the blanket up, gave him Curious Cat to cuddle, gave him a kiss and told him he could come down when he was ready ... :)

I knew full-well that was going to be it for him. He's been out cold since 8pm - two hours ago.

... Oh crap. He's calling out now. How did he know I was writing about him? (Daddy just went up and I think Zach's back asleep already...)

Every single day they amaze me

Zach had a bit of a tumble outside today and has band-aids on his wrists and big toe. After this little incident, I put on Dora so the two of us could cuddle and watch a bit of tv. Dora needs 'our help' to tell Diego and Boots to jump over a rather large egg that is rolling down a hill toward them. We need to yell 'salta'. I said to Zach, "That sounds like Santa!" To which he replied, "No, Mommy. It's salta. Salt has an 'L'..."

How do they pick this stuff up? He just turned three in April and he's picking out sounds in the middle of words - and correcting Mommy's pronunciation. :)

Monday 9 August 2010

A construction site, the Children's Museum and Toys R Us...

That was Zach's wish list for his 'date day with Mommy'.

I asked him where he wanted to go on our date. His first response was, "to Monster Jam!" Then I explained it only comes once a year - and we had to stay in Kitchener for our date. :)

Then his list was:
A construction site
The Children's Museum
Toys R Us (or Toys R Ust, as he says... and he's adamant it ends in a 'T')

I saw on Twitter that there had been a water main break on King Street (explained my detour earlier in the day) and there was now a sinkhole. When I saw the picture of the sinkhole....

... I saw it was right outside The Museum. Perfect! We could knock two things off Zach's list in one visit.

So, we drove to The Museum and parked behind it, walked up to the door only to find it was closed... due to the water main break! Of course!! Duh!!...  It was all ok because I reminded Zach we were about to go around to see the construction. He was disappointed, of course, but that faded fast as we walked around front to see not one, but TWO diggers working on the scene. :) Plus a dump truck, then a water truck came along. "Mommy! A tanker truck!" He was very excited. We watched for about 45 minutes. A worker gave him a rock to take home. He was in heaven.

After we left downtown, we went to the Toys R Us plaza and went to, of course, Toys R Us, but we also discovered SugarLips - a candy store that has British imports and retro candy. Yay! We also visited the aquarium store and saw LOTS of fish, turtles, snakes, crabs and such.

A very, very fun 'date day' indeed!

Photo credit: http://twitpic.com/2bl41t (@RockstarGary)

Sounds from the basement...

Right now the kids are downstairs "cleaning up" the playroom. This usually entails Alexandria cleaning up and Zachary hindering her efforts while she yells at him to help.

Right now however, they are getting along quite well. I'm not convinced there is cleaning going on, but they're having too much fun for me to interrupt.

They were reciting 'rules' back and forth to each other:
"No bringing drinks down here."
"No throwing balls in the house."
"No throwing toys."
"No throwing THAT!"

And now there seems to be some sort of game that has spontaneously erupted. I hear, "Zach! Try to score on my net!... That's not a net!" and then, "Woo hoo!!"

Daddy just went down and interrupted to get things back on track. Daddy's not a happy camper right now. It's actually a bit refreshing that's he's being 'the bad guy' instead of me.

... And they're actually still in good moods and working together!

... Nevermind ... Not so much anymore ...

Sunday 1 August 2010

Blogging from 35,071 ft

I'm on my way home from San Francisco. In the air right now. Somewhere over Nevada. The interactive Google map tells me so. I can hit a button at any point to see where we are, which way we're pointing, how high we are, what speed we're going, how much farther it is to our destination and the temperature outside (which, by the way, is freakin' cold ... minus 49 Fahrenheit right now, to be exact.)

Why was I in San Francisco you might ask? I was offered a flight on Virgin America to either Los Angeles or San Francisco via a start-up called Klout. Virgin just started offering non-stop flights between Toronto, LA and San Fran and they wanted to do a promotion involving social media. Virgin offered a flight via Klout to some people that fell into a certain category - who Klout consider to be 'influencers' (a term I am not comfortable with - and don't think I am. I just tweet a lot, have fun engaging online, help out when I can and let people know what my experiences are.) I will not ever promote a company, event, etc that I don't believe in or enjoy myself. If companies want to give me free stuff because I talk about them, I'm cool with that. I was talking about them already anyway! Klout only asks that we disclose that I received a 'sample' and that I am "welcome to tell the world I love the product, I hate the product or say nothing at all."

So, what do I think of my Virgin Airline experience? I'm having a great time. (That could be because I'm on my own - just 'me' time. Actually I wish I'd brought my daughter. She would have had a blast.) Some cool things about Virgin:

Purple onboard lighting. (If everyone would close their windows, I could get a great pic. Don't think that's gonna happen, so this pic will have to do.)

Touch screen at every seat. This allows me to watch tv, listen to music, see the map and do other things including seat-to-seat chat (how cool is that?!) and in-seat ordering, which I can charge to my credit card by swiping it myself right under the screen. Coolio. And check out some of the stuff you can order.

Even the safety video was fun (at least on the flight from Toronto to San Francisco. Not sure what happened on this flight. One crew member narrated the safety points while another - non-smily - member demonstrated. Seriously, he looked very unhappy. I haven't seen him smile yet.) They even let you know to be gentle with your touch screen in a fun way. :)

The only negative thing on the first flight was completely out of Virgin's control. It was small. It was loud. It was bouncy. It was restless. It wanted to touch everything. It was sometimes sticky. Here it is...

But, this is what the crew did for me :)

They also made sure I had a headset. They crew on the flight from Toronto to San Francisco was awesome. They were happy and made it a very positive experience. They were what I expected from Virgin. This crew from San Fran to Toronto has, um, a different vibe. Not sure what's up.

They name their planes. Not sure which one I'm flying, but I saw these other ones on the runway.

And, oh ya! Inflight wifi via gogo. Which is why I can post this right now. And there's a power supply between each seat. (Didn't realize that on the way there... Oops.)

And how awesome would it be to fly Virgin Australia and be able to lay down and sleep? Tres cool!
So, that's my Virgin experience so far. I'm definitely liking and would fly it again.

And now, the end of this post, I'm over Wyoming :)