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Who is in Charge Here?

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You know all those warning labels attached to children’s toys and furniture?  The ones that tell you how the product should be used, then they give a blanket statement;  “Nothing takes the place of parental supervision.”   Well, I read those labels and still end up in parental messes.  It all started with the crib recall  3 months after my daughter was born.  It was only the biggest crib recall in recent history, crossing Canadian and US borders, affecting more than 2 million families.  The company was quick to come up with a solution to “fix” the crib and make it safer.  We waited a day on the phone to order our free kit that would take a few weeks to arrive.  It meant that we now had to find another place for baby girl to sleep in the mean time.  Nevermind that she had actually started to sleep through the night!  So we put her in a bassinet she was nearly too big for, bring her into our bedroom for supervision, and went back to having broken sleep for a few weeks.  The kit came and it permanently fixed the rails in the up position.  So we could never again put the rail down to actually help us transfer a sleeping baby into the crib.  I have to lean in as far as I can reach and let her plop the last 1/2 inch.  Real smooth huh?

Well last night, parental supervision once again failed me.  I was sitting at the dining room table, ‘supervising’ baby girl’s evening snack.  She was feeding herself yogurt in her highchair.  What could possibly go wrong?  She spontaneously grabbed the yogurt tub and squeezed it!  As if that wasn’t enough, in the 2 seconds it took me to reach her, she immediately rubbed the exploded

yogurt into her eyes, hair, nose, and ears.  She then began to scream and cry.  I’m sure cold yogurt feels terrible in your eyes huh kid!?  She stopped screaming long enough to say; “Bubbles?” Meaning she wanted another bath.  Very sneaky way to force the issue.  So inspite of it being 5 minutes to bedtime, we now had spontaneous bath time.  I managed to snap a few pictures before hosing down every yogurt covered surface.  I was trying hard not to laugh at her, she was upset.  Really in the grand scheme of everything that can go wrong, yogurt explosions are low on the danger scale. 

The longer this parenting gig runs, the more I realize that I am not in control.  Control is an illusion.  It can be quickly shattered by the impulses of your child, and the reality of living in a world where we have to adjust to the consequences of other people’s mistakes.

What’s For Dinner?

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The dreaded question that hangs over my head EVERYDAY…Whats for dinner?  This question is a pain in the rump!  

Lately, I have become more involved in connecting with other parents and visit a few online forums.  I had noticed an open chat about the importance of shared family mealtime and weighed in on how I felt about the issue.  Thanks to Everything Mom and Swiss Chalet I had the WFD question answered for me.  After participating in the online convo at Everything Mom, my name was picked to receive a $50 Swiss Chalet gift card.

I was thrilled to win, and even more thrilled that it would take a little pressure off me for at least one meal.  The gift card arrived in perfect timing.  Our busy life had become more chaotic when my husband’s grandmother entered hospital.  My hubby and I work opposite hours to avoid childcare fees, we each have volunteer commitments, and now added visiting sweet Nan to the crazy schedule.  One day before heading to work, I didn’t want to leave my WFD question until that afternoon.  I went on the Swiss Chalet website and discovered that I could pre-order our meal and get it delivered or choose the take-out/pick up option.  In a few clicks I had a Chicken and Rib Family Meal reserved for pick up at 6 pm.  It was a welcome treat after a crazy busy week.  Even better?  There was very little clean up.  We had enough food left for lunch the next day.  And we still have ‘money’ left on the gift card to fund another meal. 

Connecting with other parents on Everything Mom fed my need for social interaction.  Swiss Chalet fed our bellies and made a very happy mommy. 

*This blog is the authors genuine account of winning a contest and is not endorsed or sponsored by Everything Mom or Swiss Chalet.

 **photo is from Swiss Chalet  .ca

My Not-So-Secret Addiction

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Mabel's Labels Hoard

It all started with an order of Tag Mates and Skinny-Minis, but has quickly grown into something that can no longer be contained in my Buzzmama Welcome Kit box.  But I’m getting ahead of the story, let me rewind a bit…

Last year I was contemplating putting my daughter into childcare for my return to the full-time work force.  Being a preschool teacher for many years, I knew that personal items can go missing on a daily basis.  It was frustrating enough for us teachers, looking at ten pairs of Spiderman shoes in a size 7, and trying to figure out which child they belonged to.  Now I am a parent and really get the full spectrum of the cost of raising a child.  Of course you start out a school year with labeled clothing, shoes, and bottles, but labels made of masking tape and markers don’t last long.  So I had remembered in my adventures as a teacher, that Mabel’s Labels, made our lives a lot easier.  When I saw a parent arrive with their children’s items in those colourful, custom labels, I could breathe a sigh of relief.  In fact they could only make life easier if they changed diapers and wiped runny noses too.

So back to the beginning…I searched Mabel’s Labels on google, found them very easily, and within moments had placed an order for Skinny-Minis (custom sticky labels that are dishwasher safe) and Tag Mates (custom sticky labels for clothing that survive the washing machine).  I knew the Skinny-Minis would be small enough to put on my daughter’s soothers and the Tag Mates would fit even the smallest tag on her favourite sleep stuffie.  My order came in the mail, FREE of Shipping charges, later that same week.  I went on the site again and shopped around.  I soon found a link for something called the Buzzmama Program.  This peaked my interest.  So I applied and was chosen into this volunteer, word-of-mouth ‘club’ to receive perks for spreading the love of Mabel’s Labels

As you can see in the picture, I have amassed a small mountain of quality items from this Canadian company.  There are other items missing from the shot because they are in my purse or in use already.  Return Address Labels, Mama Cards, Shopping List pads are never out of reach.  The Buzzmama reusable canvas bag is folded and kept in my purse, which comes in handy very often.  I can’t seem to visit any friend without talking about it, and even have strangers stop and ask where I get those cute labels.  I had lost my daughters sippy cup in Zellers one day and didn’t know until my last name was announced over the store intercom…My husband thinks I have gone Mabel’s crazy, which reminds me.  I need to go check the mailbox before he gets home, I’ve got a Neat Freak Combo on the way…

In the 18th Month of Life My Sweet Girl Gave to Me…

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This speaks for itself...

As I reflect on life post-baby, I recognize that each month of her life has brought new changes.  Sometimes these changes are visible in her development, or personality.  Others are visible in me and my approach to parenthood.  I am often asked “What is your favourite stage?”.  I believe that every age and stage brings it’s own joys and challenges.  Sleep issues have been on the top of our challenge list from the beginning.  The nurses kept telling me her newborn sleep would come soon.  I’m still waiting… I have strived to consciously find the joys in this new challenge.  I fear that the terrible twos have crept into our home, 6 months too soon. 

*sung to the tune of  “12 Days of Christmas”*

In the 18 th month of li-fe my sweet girl gave to meeee.

 Head spinning tantrums, fly-ing fo-od, cab-in fe-ver, days with no shower,

5 slop-py kisses! 

Crayon on the walls, laundry to the ceiling, more general whining, and

bags from the la-ck of sleep.   

I’m not kidding; within four days of her 18 month ‘birthday’ this sweet child has flipped her lid!  And it happened very suddenly.  I put my sweet angel down for a nap as normal, with hugs and kisses offered to me, she snuggled up with her favourite stuffy, and was asleep within 10 minutes of her head laying on the mattress.  I went to work for a few hours while she was still sleeping.  I came home to a tantrum that would rival the head spinning scene in the Exorcist.  The whining, crying, kicking, and screaming continued on throughout the evening, and stretched to bedtime.  Now it was my turn for a tantrum, nothing is allowed to interfere with the precious and oh so fragile bedtime routine.  That routine has been shattered, along with her naptime as well.  As soon as there is even the faintest whiff of bedtime the wailing begins.  It took her an hour to fall asleep this afternoon!  By then it was supposed to be wake up time!  And she isn’t even easy going during the non-sleep routines anymore.  It is as though the extra hours of daylight are fueling her crusty attitude, making it extra crispy in it’s golden rays.

So I am certainly not looking forward to the time change this weekend.  Lose an hour of sleep? Can I opt out please?  I haven’t even set my watches to the correct time for the last three time changes.  I choose to live in my own alternate universe. One where my sweet girl returns to the sleeping angel that was.  And where I don’t need to have 3 cups of coffee to make it to noon.

What used to be