Monday, 7 January 2013

A stroll down memory lane...

I admit, having a baby girl sure has gotten me excited for all things 'girly'!! 

Although B is only 3 months old, I am so excited to share my favourite childhood toys with her someday! I pulled out some the other day and it started me on this trip down memory lane! For all you girls who grew up in the early 90's, I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do! I still have these toys!!! These were some of my favourite growing up...

PJ Sparkles

 Polly Pocket (The Original!) 
 Kitty Kitty Kittens
(click on image to view commercial)

Popples

Barbie
Barbie was by far my favourite growing up. Here are just a FEW that I still have!




  Quints
I now only have a couple of these dolls but I used to have all 5! 

Littlest Pet Shop (The Original)
None of this massive eye stuff like the ones these days haha
(click on image to see commercial)


  

Cherry Merry Muffin
  
 Pound Puppies


These are just SOME of the many toys I enjoyed growing up! What were some of your favourites? Comment and let me know!! 

It's gonna be fun reliving my childhood again through my kids! I wonder what kind of toys they are going to love! My husband already has E started on Lego!! That is a definite goodie! 

xoxo
Vent Machine

Friday, 16 November 2012

mmm coffee



Dear Drive Thru's,

You know what's awesome?....

Driving up to a McD's or Timmy's, saying "I'll have a medium regular coffee please", handing over my dollar fifty, and then instantly receiving that warm cozy yummy cup of coffee. awesome.

Drive thru's, you may be bad for our environment, but I love you very much.

Sincerely,
sleep deprived mommy

 


I know this sounds a little silly...maybe even pathetic. But seriously, in all honesty...I thoroughly enjoy using the drive thru. I thoroughly enjoy the instant gratification of ordering my coffee, and then enjoying it on the road, at the park, while shopping, wherever. Creator of the drive thru...you are a genius. Maybe it's because I have kids that I love you so much. My kids can stay in their car seats and mommy can get her coffee WITHOUT getting out of the car! yay.  I can't believe I'm even saying this.... I never even used to like coffee! But mmm.....I do now! And now... I also get to enjoy my coffee using my lovely Coffee Cozy from chubbycheeks! love it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy coffee at home too. (In fact, I'm drinking one right now. Well, I was 45min ago... but I've been interrupted approx. 4 times while writing this post so my coffee is long gone now. hahaha. That is the life of a mommy...it really is an accomplishment to get any project done without constant interruption! I say this as I'm typing with one hand and a baby in my lap! but alas, another story for another blog).

Back to coffee..... yay for drive thru's!!  Can I get an amen!?

(and don't give me any crap about saving my dollar a day and helping a child in Africa. I thoroughly support child sponsorship, my husband and I support two kids, but I still love my coffee!.)

That is all.
 xoxo
Vent Machine

p.s. It has been awhile since my last post. You may be curious about my new baby!!

well...I am happy to report that I gave birth - at home!- to a beautiful little baby girl at the end of September!! (who we will refer to as "B" on this blog) She is beautiful, and we are loving her very much. She did give us a 'run for our money' for the first 4 weeks as she had her days/nights completely mixed up...which means mommy and daddy were on the night shift ALL night and very tired. But, now after diligently working on keeping her awake during the day, and with prayer from our family and friends we are happy to report that she is sleeping better at night. A big blessing indeed! 

Here she is...


 isn't she cute! :) I think so.




Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Book Review

Over the last couple weeks I've been reading some 'baby' books as part of my 'nesting' phase in preparation for our new baby's arrival. This being my '2nd round' per say, I am very aware that there are many varying and differing opinions 'out there' on parenting techniques and philosophies. In all honesty, I wasn't that intrigued by these types of books last time around. I think that because I was a first time mom, I found them intimidating and sometimes 'scary' because I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. But things are much different this time. Maybe it's because I'm on to baby #2, or maybe it's because it feels like a 'reading' time of year, but over the past couple weeks I've really enjoyed getting ideas from differing angles and learning more about different parenting philosophies. 

Since becoming a mommy, I have learned that it is common for many people to share their opinions with you (whether it be blatantly or subtly) Sometimes these opinions are greatly appreciated and other times they can come across as if it is 'the right way' which sometimes left me feeling judged, intimidated, or overwhelmed. After reading and re-reading some books over the past couple weeks, I have been personally challenged to broaden my horizons and learn to accept and embrace varying parenting styles and techniques. Coming from a Mennonite background, I find that I often come across critical of others or judgmental. I shouldn't blame this solely on my background, but it is somewhat true. (I am aware that I do tend to have a negative attitude that surfaces quickly) If you grow up being taught that a particular way of thinking is the only 'right' way it can sometimes lead you to look down on others rather than accept and embrace them. (something that a lot of churches need work on if you ask me) This type of thinking makes it easy to judge others who do not think or act like mind idly. Anyway....I'm not here to debate religion or my faith but rather write a bit about what I've been learning over the past week.

I'd like to highlight two different books in this post today. They quite differ from one another, but I have really enjoyed them both and would recommend them both to new parents or parents with young children. Reading and re-reading these books this past week has made me eager to pick up more 'baby books' this time around and continue to learn about different philosophies and techniques! (of which I realize I will never 'master' but it's fun learning all the same)
 
The first book that I'd like to recommend is called "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo, M.A., and Robert Bucknam, M.D. I was recommended this book by a few different people when I was pregnant the first time, and I have found it to be a really easy read and one that I continued to reference and lend to my friends. I've now read it through for a 2nd time as I have been preparing for baby #2. I am aware that this book has sparked much controversy (apparently so much that they've actually removed it from the library at my Midwife Centre - this actually bugs me and baffles me a little...as I don't like the idea of books being removed from a library because someone 'disagrees' with what's in it - anyway....another rant for another day) I really do think that much of the controversies over this book are about the 'cry it out' method and the concern that you may not take your baby's health as the #1 importance when following the 'suggested' ideas in the book. I do agree that the author of this book comes across very judgmental to other parenting philosophies (including those of La Leche League and Attachment Parenting). But, after reading it a second time, I still stand firm that this book has your baby's health as #1 in mind over sleeping through the night and that there is much to learn and gain from reading the book. Many of the ideas in the book really resonated with me. I can understand how some would be offended by the author's 'tone' of voice as he does come across rather 'cocky' in his belief that all babies should and can be sleeping through the night by such and such an age. I have learned that this is NOT the case. You can follow his methods to a "t" and there is always an exception. Our little guy did not follow this book perfectly and was often up in the night. So take and leave what you like from the book...I still think its a good read. I really appreciated the books emphasis on full feedings and introducing and implementing an eat/wake/sleep cycle. I intend to use this book as a reference for our next baby. Some of it might work, some of it might not. But I appreciate much of what I read from it and a would encourage others to read it also. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion...but you can't have one until you read it yourself (the whole book...not just a review). 



The second book I'd like to recommend is a very new one on the market! I just picked it up from the library at our Midwife Centre and loved it so much that I read it in just 4 days! It is VERY different from previous book I just recommend. The book is called "Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way" by Mayim Bialik, PhD (2012). I would not call myself an 'attachment parent' by any means as there was a lot of philosophies in this book that I did not resonate with such as constant baby wearing, demand feeding or regular co-sleeping. BUT, what I did appreciate from this book was the authors non-judgmental way of writing and 'down to earth' REAL parent experiences. (by the way, she is the star from TV sitcom Blossom and The Big Bang Theory...kinda cool). She has written this book in a way that I can appreciate others who parent this way. I was greatly encouraged by reading her stories and I really appreciate her realistic examples and attitude when it comes to parenthood. This book has given me some great advice on expectations, relationships, and disciplining techniques that I really appreciate. I personally need to continue to work on making realistic expectations for myself and this book confirmed this again in an encouraging way. Becoming a parent is a huge stepping stone, and life will NEVER be the exact same as it was before. I really appreciate talking to others and reading from others who understand this and help to encourage parents in this new season of life. Another aspect of the book that I appreciate is it's endorsement of natural birth. I really support natural birth and home birth (when it is safe) so I appreciated her encouragement and information about this as well. I have left this book being more open and appreciative of other mother's who parent using the 'attachment parenting' methods. It is really well written and a very encouraging book. Even if you don't consider yourself and 'attachment parent', I really recommend reading this book! 

I'm going to leave it at that. I'm sure I could say more. I hope this was encouraging and informative...maybe it got you more interested in reading or more open to learning about others' opinions. This whole parenting thing is quite the adventure...no one is perfect at it! I've found that this lovely Fall weather has made me excited about sitting down with a warm drink and a good book with a breeze coming through the window! I just LOVE the Fall! (what a good time to have a baby! haha)

I'm off to bed...not that I'll get much sleep. I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant and very very eager for baby to arrive! I admit, I'm excited and nervous all the same. I'll keep you posted with our 'news'! 

Happy Fall Reading! 

xoxo
Vent Machine
 





Monday, 13 August 2012

Rainy Days

What a hot hot summer it has been! I must say that I've been very thankful for some cool rainy weather this past week...a breath of fresh air! 

Although the rainy days this past week have been refreshing, I've had to put my thinking cap on for how to occupy my toddler indoors all day instead of going out! So I thought I'd put together a little post of some of the things that we've been up to on these rainy days! 

Now I admit, although I am trained in teaching and working with children, I don't always consider myself a very 'creative' person around the home or with my own child. I've always admired my sister for her creativeness! She is very artistic and amazing at working with children and can come up with anything on the fly to entertain! (she just started a new blog called eLyCiA's InK! Check her out! 

Although I appreciate getting ideas from other mom's or even from my sister at times, being the teacher that I am...I'm a big fan of resource books! This past week I got a few new ideas from a book called "The Toddler's Busy Book." Someone passed this book on to me shortly after I had Emmett and although I'd had it in my possession for awhile now, I only just started going through it for the first time last week! I've now begun flagging ideas that I'd like to try. Some are a little far fetched, but some are very practical, and I really appreciate the ideas! 

E and I snuggled up watching some 'shows'
My toddler is a very busy boy. I'm aware that most toddlers are, but for some reason I feel like his attention can go from one thing to the next so quickly that I feel like I can never keep him occupied. Just the other day, he had gone from eating breakfast, to books, to toys, to colouring, and to blocks all in an hour leaving me 'idea-less' by 10:30am in the morning :( I was feeling stumped...not to mention extremely tired. 

So what did we do!?....we put on a show! I realize that some parents are not very fond of using TV to occupy their child's day...in fact, I often get this vibe that it is greatly frowned upon in the 'parenting community.' Although I would agree that lounging around all day and sitting in front of the tube for too much of the day is not healthy for anyone, I'm not one of those parents who judge or frown upon a bit of tv in a child's day! In fact, I quite depend on it for my sanity, and I appreciate a bit of down time for myself and for E once or twice a day! We don't currently have TV so we watch different kids DVD's that I've purchased or rented from our local library and toy library. E has even learned how to say and use sign language for the word 'table' from a show! I'm impressed! So even on a rainy day, watching a 'show' is a great way to occupy some time throughout the day! 


Colouring is another activity that my toddler quite enjoys. Like I said before, his attention doesn't last long, so he does best if I sit and do a bit of colouring with him. This usually keeps him at it a bit longer than on his own. If I leave him on his own I usually end up with a mess that looks like this! I guess as long as he's not colouring on the furniture or floor, this is okay with me! I'm glad he had fun! I just wish it was a lot easier to bend over right now and pick everything up! Being pregnant has made me dread that regular bending over and picking up of toys on a regular basis! I really should start singing that 'tidy up' song more regularly and start teaching E to get on his hands and knees and help mommy out!

Another favourite activity for a rainy day...or any day, is reading! I am very grateful that my son has taken a great interest in books at such an early age. Reading and looking at books is something that I can usually occupy him with a few times a day and on the occasion, I will find him doing it all by himself as well! Just last week I peeked into the living room and found him looking at books on his own...I just had to sneek a photo. I was a happy mommy :) Last week when it was raining, we spent a good 1-2 hours (not all at once) of our day looking at books and reading on the couch. I also took him to the library in town, and I enjoyed reading him some books on the special bench and cushions. I'm looking forward to more trips to the library as he gets older. I'm a sucker for picture books and am excited to share this past time with him! I'm always getting new books at the thrift store to add to our collection! 

My new venture this week that I pulled from the Toddler Busy Book was something they titled "Squishy Bag".  Its a solution made from water, cornstarch, and food colouring. I had to make it on the stove, and then let it cool. Once it cooled I put it into zip lock bags and taped it to a cookie sheet for E to experiment with. I thought was great! Unfortunately, this activity only occupied E for minutes. Before I knew it he was on to the next thing. He lost interest in my little 'project' very quickly. Still, I think it was a fun idea, and I'll keep it around for a bit...see if he'll try it out again :)

That same day, I turned around the corner in the kitchen and found E playing with a ball of yarn that I had left out from a previous project fail of trying to hang balloons from the ceiling to punch around. I thought this would be a fun idea from the book, but turns out that as soon as you punch the balloon, it falls! So that didn't work so well! But the string... now this occupied my boy for much longer! oh the mind of a toddler! Our cat's eyes were big and playful while E pulled around the yarn! a toy for everyone :) 

 Another idea I pulled from the Busy book this past week was having some fun with Jello. I made two different colours of jello and put it in front of E to play with, experiment with, and eat! He wasn't so sure at first and didn't really have an interest in eating it until I got some out for myself to enjoy too :) After some time passed with not much interest, I pulled out the whip cream and made a face with the jello and cream. And 'voila'! The added whip cream caught his interest much more! He finally started to try the jello! This was a fun afternoon snack and play idea that helped to occupy a bit more of my day :) 

Funny story about the jello.... This morning I told E that I was going to put some of daddy's gel in his hair. He then started saying, "jello?", "Jello?"... which made me giggle :) "No honey, I'm not going to put jello in your hair"..hehe. We'll keep that for eating :) 

And so...although I've enjoyed this cooler weather, staying indoors from the rain for too long can make myself and my toddler go a little 'coo-coo'! E was glad that I took him out one evening last week to splash in the puddles and water! My husband recently read an article about raising boys and apparently some good 'useless physical activity' is a good thing for little boys! I'll try to remember that as my son spins around the kitchen or runs back and foreth in the living room! 

busy busy busy! 

xoxo
Vent Machine