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 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! 

Vent Machine


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Welcome Home

 A week's worth of vacation is great... really great! I had a great time away with my family and friends making lots of memories!! But you wanna know something that is NOT great?! Coming home from a week of vacation to cat piss on the carpet! That's right, you heard me... cat piss. (pardon my language but the word 'pee' just doesn't cut it in this case) I smelt it shortly after arriving home... apparently I have a great sense of smell right now since I'm pregnant. Well I found it...that little stink!

While we were away, we had a great cat sitter take care of Chloe (she was well fed and cared for with spoiled visits twice a day!), but for some reason our little pet still decided to make a couple 'accidents' in the house. Or are they??!!

You see, she has done this before in our other house. I'm starting to wonder if it's out of anger. Is this even possible? Was she mad that we left? Was she mad that she wasn't aloud outside? Whatever its from...It's unacceptable!!! It's one thing to have to deal with human feces (which I'm now quite used to since having had a baby)...but dealing with cat feces is NOT for me!!

I should clarify... I DO NOT enjoy dealing with human feces...and what I really meant when I said "it's one thing to have to deal with human feces" was that I can tolerate dealing with a baby's feces! I would NOT be able to tolerate dealing with adult bottoms...that would probably go along with my affections for dealing with a cat. But props to those who are one of a kind! 

Okay, now that that's clear....back to the cat problem. So dealing with Chloe's so called 'accidents' around the house just ticks me off! Not to mention that I'm not supposed to even smell the stuff for fear that my unborn child might develop schizophrenia. (haha...wonder how true that bit of info actually is). Regardless, I do avoid the litter as best I can and this vent post is not about that but rather to express my frustration with pet 'accidents' around the house. You might say, 'then why do you have a pet?'. In response I say, "good question!".

We got Chloe 2 years ago before E was born. You could say that it was a purchase out of  'longing' to take care of something. We had been 'trying' for a baby at the time with no luck. Growing up I always loved cats. I had a cat collection on my shelf, cat calendars, and cat stuffed animals. I loved cats but never actually had one.Then I found out that I was having a cat was out of the question. After getting married the idea crossed my mind again, (knowing my husband grew up with cats and he might actually enjoy having one) and I started looking into 'hypoallergenic' cats and read about how many cat allergies are related to a cat's saliva on their skin. So....long story short, apparently 'long haired' cats are better for people with allergies as we are not as affected by the whole saliva on the skin thing. (don't quote me on this...this is just what I found in my own internet research)  And so, we got Chloe. (found her for FREE on Kijiji!!...go us!) And then, one month later...we found out I was pregnant!! yay

Now, 2 years later...there are definitely times where I consider getting rid of her. Not that I don't care for her...I just don't like to tolerate her when she is annoying. I just want her to be perfect, clean, and you know...I'm being an idealist. I don't think I'm what you'd call an official 'cat person' as my love for cats sort of ends as soon as they do anything gross or annoying. My husband has also been the one to take care of her messes and litter so that has been a blessing all along. I do like all the good things about her...she is very friendly, affectionate, and likes to be where you are. She will even run to the door when you get home! She definitely has some good qualities, and I do love that about her! And so...we are not 'rid' of her yet. But on days like today, I'm near the end of my rope!

With another baby on the way, we'll see how much longer I can 'tolerate' the madness! haha.

Choe, if you're reading this... you better behave!! 

Vent Machine