Hannah turns 5

6 Jul

Somehow, it seems like Hannah was born yesterday, but at the same time, it seems like I’ve known her my whole life. I vividly remember the day she was born, and having my very first skin to skin cuddle.

And now she’s 5. FIVE!!!!!! I can’t believe it. She has been planning her party for months. It was her idea to have a gymnastics party at the YMCA (where I go to the gym and she does gymnastics). It was her idea that it would be rainbow themed. Except we couldn’t find any rainbow invitations or cups or bowls or anything else really, so no one knew it was a rainbow party except Hannah. It looked more like a Punky Brewster, nothing matches sort of party. Not that kids these days have any idea who Punky Brewster is.

Hannah and two of her friends at the gymnastics party

Hannah and two of her friends at the gymnastics party

The paper cups didn’t match the bowls, or the napkins or the party bags. Some had chevron patterns, some different coloured polka dots, others stripes. But Hannah picked them all and she liked them, so who cares. Certainly not me and my mis-matched socks.

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She picked out the trinkets for the party bags (she wanted more lollies in there, but I would only let her put a few M&M’s and a lollypop in each), as well as the little toys for pass the parcel, because you know, she’s a big girl now.

There just happened to be a Day out with Thomas on her birthday, so we drove over an hour away in the morning, had a 50 minute ride on a steam train pulled by a character from Thomas (I think it was Duck), then drove back home, had a quick lunch, and then it was party time.

Hannah sitting on Thomas.  Daniel wanted to look at Thomas but was too scared of his large size to actually go near him (which is funny since Daniel's favourite thing ever is Thomas)

Hannah sitting on Thomas. Daniel wanted to look at Thomas but was too scared of his large size to actually go near him (which is funny since Daniel’s favourite thing ever is Thomas). This photo was accidentally taken before I had it framed properly, but she is looking down in the one that shows Thomas’ full funnel.

After the party, Hannah’s best friend Violet (and her mum) came over for a sleepover. We thought maybe after all the running around, the girls would be tired enough to actually go to sleep at bedtime, but we were mistaken. We put them to bed at Hannah and Daniel’s usual time of 6:30. Despite the girls being loud, Daniel was out by 6:35, but the girls carried on until nearly 9pm. It is the first time that they have actually reached the sleep stage during a sleep over without having to be separated though, so I guess that’s progress.

Hannah and her best friend Violet ready for bed

Hannah and her best friend Violet ready for bed

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Vacationing with your pooch

3 Jul

Now that we have a cheeky little dog, we have to seriously re think all of our future vacations.  Do we board her somewhere when we’re gone?  Get someone to feed her and let her destroy the side yard in boredom?  What if you could bring your dog with you on vacation?  Today’s guest post has lots of dog friendly vacation ideas:

The world’s most dog-friendly places: Vacationing with your pooch

One of the reasons we take on a dog, along with those dreams of having a loyal, trusty companion, is for the lifestyle change that goes with having a pet. Owning a dog means long, healthy walks, even in rainy weather. When it comes to vacation time though, often the only alternative is to leave our hounds with friends or family or to find boarding kennels for them. But, there are lots of places across the globe which are perfect for dog-comes-too trips. If you can visit out of season, even better, as it will be easier for your pooch to explore. Here are just some of the best places to go with your pet:

Oregan, USA

Portland Oregan

While opting for a city break with your dog may not be the most obvious choice, pooches are incredibly pampered in Portland, Oregan. Nicknamed the Rose City, Portland has more than 30 dog parks and it also has an incredible number of pet message therapists so your dog will come home feeling incredibly relaxed. There are lots of dog-friendly eateries too, so, while in some places you might have to eat in your holiday accommodation or outside a bar or restaurant, in Portland, you could try Dog Lovers’ Night at the Tin Shed Garden Café (details) where, if you buy a meal, they get one free.

 

The Cornish coast

Dizzy on front lawn of Mullion Cove

Most dogs love the beach just as much as children do, the sand underneath their paws, the waves to splash in, the wide open spaces. And, there are few better places to take your pooch than England’s south-western corner. Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula is the perfect choice because, while some beaches ban dogs from the sands all the time or during the summer, there are 13 beaches along the Lizard which your pet can explore year-round. Parkdean’s Mullion site makes an ideal central base as the caravan park itself has pet-friendly bungalows and a dedicated dog walking route (details) and Mullion’s gorgeous cove is one of the most dog-welcoming.

Brittany, France

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France is renowned as one of the most dog-friendly countries in the world. In most villages and towns, you’ll see dogs in pubs and restaurants and, if you’re ordering a meal, you’ll often find a bowl of water is brought out for Fido as you peruse the menu. The huge stretches of sand on Brittany’s Quiberon peninsula make it a good choice. Your dog can run across the flat, wide beaches to their heart’s content, something that is sure to tire out even the most exuberant of pooches. Most campsites in the area welcome dogs if you want to sleep under canvas with your pet.

Girona, Spain

Els Pirineus des de Rocacorba

Dog owners in Girona were recently told they must walk their pets for at least 20 minutes a day or face a fine of up to $500. The byelaw was brought in to cut down on the number of neighbourly disbutes arising from dogs left home alone to bark for hours. And, really, when you consider the beautiful countryside and coast that surrounds Girona, there’s really no excuse for not getting out and about to enjoy it with your dog. Many private villas offer dog-friendly accommodation and, for those looking for a strenuous workout, you can trek the Girona Pyrenees.

 

Lake Louise, Canada

lake louise

One of the dilemmas faced by dog owners in Canada is how to exercise their pet when temperatures plummet dangerously low. People are urged to walk small dogs for short amounts of time and to think about investing in dog boots to prevent paws becoming irritated by the salt put on sidewalks. But on a crisp, clean, sunny day, there can be few places in the world better to enjoy the Great Outdoors. There are more than 100 kilometers of dog-friendly trails at Lake Louise, so you never have to do the same walk twice on a break, and pet-friendly hotels including The Fairmont Chateau and the Lake Louise Inn.

They’re all breathtaking locations and, with so many places welcoming dogs, it just goes to show that you can appreciate the scenery together. There’s no need to leave Fido at home.

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Cariloha

28 Jun

I have a set of expensive Egyptian cotton sheets that we got on sale once.  They are silky and smooth, and pretty fantastic.  Or so I thought, until Cariloha sent me some of their bamboo sheet sets.  I was intrigued when they first contacted me to review them, as I’d never heard of bamboo sheets before.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.  I say plant because despite it’s tree-like appearance, bamboo is in the grass family.  It sends new shoots up every year, reaching maturity in 3-5 years.  Bamboo can be harvested continually without impacting the surrounding environment, making it a very sustainable alternative to cotton and also wood.  Needless to say, the thought of using bamboo for sheets and clothes is pretty exciting to a Sustainable Agriculture student such as myself.

Aaron and I put our new bamboo sheets on our queen sized bed, admiring their softness as we went.  When we were finished, we laid on them with the kids.  Our puppy Rosie wanted to check them out as well.  We had only had her for a week or so at the time and didn’t want her to miss out on our little family bed sheet snuggle.  Unfortunately, Rosie liked the sheets so much she didn’t want to get off of them.  Instead of going out to pee, she peed right there on the bed.  Luckily for us, we have a mattress protector under the sheets, but it was still pretty annoying.  I wanted to sleep on those sheets!!! Instead, we had to wash them and remake the bed with different, less soft and inviting sheets.  Humph.

Cariloha bamboo sheets

Cariloha bamboo sheets

I kept the pillow cases on though, and slept on them until time to change the sheets again because they are so soft, silky, and nice feeling on my skin.  I like them way better than my previous favourite egyptian cotton sheets.  I just wish the pillow cases had a little pocket for the end of the pillow to go in so they don’t come out, but I think that is just an American thing.  I don’t recall seeing any pillow cases in the U.S. like the ones we have over here in Australia.

Cariloha also sent me a lovely purple bamboo shirt.

This shirt is made out of bamboo

This shirt is made out of bamboo.

I like this shirt for so many reasons:  the colour is flattering on me (plus I love purple), the cut is flattering on me, it’s really soft, it wicks moisture away, which is important if you are a nervous sweater like me, it’s long enough to cover my butt crack when I bend over (because jeans these days always show the crack when bending!!), and best of all, the scoop neck is low enough to not look weird, but high enough that it doesn’t gape open and reveal my boobs when I bend over.  Mom’s do a lot of bending, so this is obviously very important, especially for someone like me whose nipples show (even if I’m wearing a bra)  when I bend over.

They also sent me a pair of bamboo pants.  I thought they would be perfect for travelling, comfortable, but also stylish.  I usually travel in workout pants or pyjama pants, so  these would be much more appropriate.

Bamboo linen pants.  They look so comfy.

Bamboo linen pants. They look so comfy.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t look at the sizing chart on Cariloha’s website and went for a size 4 instead of a size 2.  I usually wear a U.S. size 3, so I wanted to be on the safe side and go bigger rather than smaller.  The sizing chart is right there on the website, but I am unobservant and didn’t notice it and didn’t use it.  When I got the pants, I could put them on without unbuttoning them, even though I am pear shaped and usually have to pull and wiggle a bit to get pants over my hips.  I was swimming in them. I could tell that if they fit properly, they would be super comfortable though.  You would have to wear light coloured plain undies though, as they are a tad bit see-through.

I ended up giving the pants to a very excited friend who was already a fan of bamboo clothes.

I definitely recommend Cariloha’s products.  They are so soft, well made, comfortable, and sustainably produced.  To purchase Cariloha bamboo products, click here.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Click here for entry to win a Cariloha sheet set, a pair of bamboo pants, OR a bamboo shirt of your choice.   Entry only open to those with a U.S. or Canadian address, must be 18 or over to enter.  Competition closes 12am 5 July EST.  Rafflecopter will choose a winner at random.

*I was given sheets, a shirt, and pants to review and keep, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Safe exercise ideas for mums to be

26 Jun

When I was pregnant with Daniel, I exercised all the way until I was 37 weeks and my gym membership ran out. I spoke to my doctor first to make sure the things I was doing were safe for me and my unborn baby. There are definitely some exercises you shouldn’t do when pregnant, so today’s guest post contains some that most people can do when they have a bun in the oven. (it’s always important to speak to your doctor before embarking on an exercise journey whilst pregnant):

Exercise; for some people it’s a swear word, but for others it’s what gets them through life, and keeps them sane in a mad world. When it comes to pregnancy, exercise can be a good friend, because it can help to prevent complications such as pre-eclampsia. It is believed that it can also help with a shorter labour, which is every mother-to-be’s sweet dream. An active lifestyle during pregnancy can also assist with keeping the body in shape, and reducing back pain, constipation and fatigue. So when you think about it, exercising during pregnancy is really actually the only way to go, if you want to get the most out of the experience! Here are some safe exercise ideas for Mums-to-be.

Yoga

Yoga is probably the best exercise in the world, because it is so gentle, yet does so much for your body. Most yoga teachers have specific classes for people who are pregnant, where they will work specific muscles according to what the mother’s body needs at the time. Yoga truly is an amazing tool for keeping the body in optimal condition and there are poses for soothing any pain, or bodily concern – all you have to do is ask. Always communicate with the teacher about your concerns as they will be able to guide you. It is important to avoid laying on your back after 16 weeks as the weight of the baby presses on a main blood vessel. If the worry is about finding the right clothes to fit, check out this URL for some lovely maternity wear for Mums-to-be.

Walking

Walking is an excellent choice as it gets you out of the house, and out into the world. Often during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, the mother-to-be can experience bouts of depression, or other feelings and walking will help with getting a change of scene. Sitting in a house, worrying, and dwelling on the pregnancy and birth is not going to do anyone any favours so get out, get the blood moving and get some fresh air into your body.

Swimming

The great thing about swimming is that it is so low impact. Any exercise that you do in the water is supported, and it is the one place during pregnancy where you will be able to experience feeling weightless – which is a stark contrast to the heavy feeling of carrying the lump!

Me at 37 weeks pregnant with Hannah.  I used to do aqua aerobics during my first pregnancy.

Me at 37 weeks pregnant with Hannah. I used to do aqua aerobics during my first pregnancy.

Pilates

Pilates is awesome for strengthening and toning, but can be quite a lot of work if you are doing the regular class, so make sure you find a teacher who can tailor the class to your needs as a pregnant woman.

Exercise Bike

An indoor exercise bike will mean that you can still exercise will staying in the comfort of your home, which is definitely advantageous if you are getting to the later stages of the pregnancy.

It’s best to mix it up and vary the sorts of exercise that you do, as this will help to work all the different muscles. Half an hour of exercise a day is a decent amount for a pregnant woman, and this can be easily split into 3 ten minute sessions. Any activity counts, (even housework!) so it doesn’t have to be formal exercise to get the benefits of an active pregnancy.

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Daniel at the children’s hospital

22 Jun

1 week ago:

My eyes are slowly drifting open.  The sound of coughing, barking, or maybe some kind of machine failure fills my ears.  It takes me a little bit to wake up properly and realise scream crying and gaging noises are accompanying the strange noise.  Adrenaline rushes through me and I am wide awake with realisation that the noise is coming from Daniel.  As I get out of bed, I see that Aaron is not here.  He must be up with Daniel already. How long had I slept through his horrible sounding cough and crying?  I must have been in a deep sleep.  It’s only 10:30 and I’ve only been asleep for an hour.

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Daniel is coughing a so loudly and uncontrollably that he is gagging and throwing up a little.  It’s not a normal cough, but a strange sounding one, kind of like a dry bark.  His coughing is distressing him so much that he is also screaming and crying and Aaron is having a hard time comforting him.  He wants me to lay with him in his bed, but first I have to put his dinosaur sleeping bag in the wash, as there is mucous-y vomit all over it, making this only the second time in his entire life that he’s thrown up.

The crying stops when I lay down with him in his small junior sized bed.  Instead his every breath is audible and seems to be a struggle.

“I’m calling the doctor.” I tell Aaron.  The crying starts again as I exit the bed to get my phone.  I’m told there is a 5 hour wait for the after hours home doctor.

“You can call the medical advice line in the mean time.” The operator tells me.  I do it straight away.  I tell them about the horrible sounding cough, the laboured breathing, and the coughing so much he vomited.  I put my phone up to Daniel’s face, much to his displeasure, and let the doctor on the phone listen for herself.  He coughs while the phone is next to him.

“I suggest you take him to the emergency room, that sounds like a bad case of croup.”  She tells me.  I’ve called the medical advice line a few times before, and they’ve never told me to go to the hospital, so I know it’s not just a standard line they give everyone.

There is a general hospital about 3 minutes away, but there is also a children’s hospital about 25 minutes away.

“Ok Buddy, we’re going to take a little trip to the Children’s hospital.  I’ll get dressed and pack my iPad and stuff and then we’ll go.”

“Can I come too?” Hannah asks.

“No sweetie, it’s night time and you have school tomorrow, you need to sleep.”

“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!!”  Daniel is upset and crying again.

“It’s ok Daniel, the Children’s hospital is really fun!” I hear Hannah telling him while I get ready to go.  “There are toys there, and it’s only for kids!  There is a playground, and they are really nice, and it’s so much fun.  You’ll love it there.  Don’t be scared Daniel, it’s good there.  I wish I was going.”

Hannah’s kind words calm him down and his screaming is replaced by excitement.  I’m not sure why she loves it so much.  The only time she went she had pneumonia and pretty much laid in my lap the whole time.  She played on the playground for about 2 minutes, but that was it.  But I suppose that experience was much better than the time she went to the local general hospital when she was under 2, had a 40 degree (104) fever and refused to drink anything.  I took her to the doctor who told me to take her straight to the hospital.  She was admitted for the night as she was so feverish and dehydrated.  They tried at least 3 times to get a cannula in, but failed every time.  They never did end up getting one in so that she could get the fluids so so desperately needed.  They also needed to check her for a UTI, to see if that was the cause of infection, which entailed 3 doctors holding her down on a bed as she screamed the most horrible, heart breaking scream I’ve ever heard in my life while another doctor shoved a small catheter tube inside her.

Again, they failed.  While I held her hand and tried my best to avoid crying so that I didn’t upset her even more, they held her down and did the whole thing again, failing for second time.  They couldn’t get the cannula in, and they couldn’t get the catheter in, but despite not actually being able to do anything for us, they made us stay all night.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant at the time but Hannah was too terrified by that stage to sleep in the hospital bed all by herself, so both of us slept in her bed together.  She took ages to fall asleep after all her trauma and when she finally did, they shoved a thermometer under her arm, waking her up, as they did every hour.  Haven’t they ever heard of an ear thermometer that won’t wake sick kids up all the time?  It was horrible.  Needless to say, I now drive the extra 20 something minutes to the children’s hospital.

I bundle Daniel up and put him in his car seat after warming up the car so it’s not too cold inside.

Since the kids go to bed at 6:30pm, they don’t often get to ride in the car in the dark.  I thought Daniel might fall asleep on the way, but instead he is looking at all the lights, cars, buses, and trucks.  “Mommy, I see, a truck!!”  He tells me with excitement.  The car ride seems to be calming him down, but I can still hear his loud breathing.

“Look, there’s Wet ‘n’ Wild!”  I say as we pass the giant water slides.  For some reason, all the lights on the slides and stairs are on, even though it’s the off season and it hasn’t been open for two months, not to mention it’s now 11 something at night.  I wonder how much money they waste on electricity?

After parking at the hospital, a triage nurse greets us straight away to assess Daniel.  He hasn’t coughed much in the car, but he sneezes in front of her, which also has the trademark croupy bark noise.

“Yeah, that sounds like croup.”  She tells me.  She gives me a number with an A in front of it and tells me that I will be next because no one else in the waiting room has an A ticket.

Sure enough, he is seen about 20 seconds later.  Although croup is a caused by a viral infection, and antibiotics don’t help, oral steroids are given to open up his airways.  “We will check him again in one hour to make sure the medicine worked, and then, if he is doing well, you should be able to go home.”  She gives me a pamphlet about croup before we go to the waiting room for an hour.

Croup is more common at night, when it’s cold, and is often sudden, like it was with Daniel.  Hannah had croup a couple of months ago, but hers wasn’t nearly as bad as Daniel’s.

Daniel lays on me in a comfy plush chair (not like the chairs of our local ER) and tries to get comfortable for a nap.  There are too many other people around though, and he is distracted.  He really wants to lay down properly, but the chairs aren’t big enough.

I spot a long soft bench seat in the overflow part of the waiting room where the TV and wall toys are and carry him over.  No one else is in there.  He lays there for about 10 seconds before deciding that it’s play time, followed by iPad time.  Oh well, at least he’s happy, and I can keep myself awake watching the weird movie about a kid with leaves growing on his ankle that is playing on the TV attached to the wall.

After an hour, they call him again, check his vitals, and then tell us we can go home if we see our usual doctor tomorrow.  The steroids have done their job and there is no more laboured breathing or coughing.

When we get home, I sleep on the couch with him for the rest of the night, and I keep him home from daycare, since he has a virus and I expect him to be very tired and lethargic all day.

I am wrong.  He is not tired, and doesn’t seem sick at all.  Instead, he spends the day running around the house and jumping off the couch whilst I attempt to study for my chemistry final.  The doctor says he can go to daycare tomorrow and to expect a bad night again.

We put a heater in the kids’ room as cold air negatively affects croup, but we still expect some coughing and waking.  Luckily though, it never comes. They both sleep all night, and past their usual 6am wake up.

If your child has ever had croup. you know how scary it is.  That cough is like no cough you’ve ever heard before, and the laboured breathing is enough to send us parents running with our kids to the ER.  Although death from croup is rare, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.  And perhaps it’s rare because so many of us seek immediate medical attention for it.  I’m just glad that he is fine now.

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Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after lack of sleep caught up to him

Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after the lack of sleep caught up to him

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A little rest

21 Jun

I haven’t checked my emails in over a week. My dirty laundry pile is way above the top of the hamper. I just washed dishes for and hour and a half. My chemistry final was yesterday, so all of my spare time leading up to it was spent studying. Next semester doesn’t start until the end of July, so I get to have a little rest. If you can call hanging out with an almost 5 year old rest. She too has a break between semesters. This will be the first time she’s been home during a school break. During the last one, she had 3 weeks off and I had only one, during which there was an intensive 3 day chemistry workshop.  Needless to say, she went to holiday care at school.  Daniel goes to daycare 2 days a week year round (and loves it).

I’m soooooooooooooo glad chemistry is finished. Down Under, you only need 50% (in most subjects) to pass the class, and I had 49.2% before the exam (which is worth 50% of our final grade), so I know I passed and won’t have to redo the class, which is nice. Of course I’m hoping to do a fair bit better than 50%, but chemistry is hard, and I didn’t know some of the stuff on the test, so I don’t want to get my hopes up too high.

The Australian marking/grading system (some schools differ a little bit)

The Australian marking/grading system (some schools differ a little bit)

Hannah and I already have heaps of plans for the school holidays: baking, cooking, gardening, clothes shopping, shoe shopping (her feet have had a sudden growth spurt and she no longer fits into her shoes), a trip to Costco with Romana and Violet, play dates, riding the train to Daddy’s work and eating lunch with him, making Violet’s birthday present…. I think that’s it for now, but I’m sure the list will grow.

UrbMatinpost

I would suggest there will be more blog posts during the school break, but since I won’t be by myself, I highly doubt that.  Sorry.

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Early wake up

17 Jun

“I need my car vitamin,” I heard the other morning as I lifted my still half asleep eyes towards the bedside clock.

5:36am.  Argh.

“No vitamin yet Daniel, your clock hasn’t turned green.  You know you’re supposed to stay in your room until your clock turns green.  It’s not 6 yet.” I told him as my head settled back onto my warm, soft pillow.

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“NOOOOOOOOO I WANT TO GET UP!!!!!!!!”  He screamed as he threw himself backwards on the bed.

Despite my half asleep brain fog, I knew a change in tactics was needed.  I had to outsmart the 2 year old.

“Daniel, it’s still night; it’s still sleep time.  Lay down and go to sleep.”  So what if it was morning, Daniel didn’t need to know that.  I would have made him go back to his room, but I didn’t want him to wake Hannah up.

My quick thinking did the trick and Daniel’s whinging immediately stopped as he thought about my words.  He wriggled himself under the blankets and laid his head on edge of my pillow.

A few minutes later,  a whisper accompanied by a dim light moved around the house. “Daniel?  Daniel?”  Hannah was looking for him.  She tip toed to the bathroom, the dining room, and the living room, quietly calling Daniel’s name.  I thought she would come in Aaron’s and my bedroom, but after checking everywhere else, the still dark morning returned to silence.

I thought she’d gone back to bed until I heard her soft footsteps coming towards our room.

“Hannah.  Hannah.”  I whispered.

The footsteps stopped, but I received no answer.

“It’s ok, you can come in.”  I told her.  She quickly came to the bed and got under the covers.

“I was looking for Daniel,” she told me “he escaped from our room.”

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Friends

14 Jun

Hannah LOVES prep (like preschool, but it’s at school and they have to wear school uniforms (which is what we do down under, at all schools, public or private) just like the rest of the kids). She likes it so much that she can’t wait for kindergarten to start.  That might be mostly because she gets to wear a dress everyday though, rather than the school’s sports uniform she has to wear in prep.

Every time I pick her up, I ask her how her day was.  She is so incredibly shy that it took her a while to make some friends.  Probably because her response to people saying hi to her was to put her head down and stare at the floor instead of answering them.  I can’t imagine that many 4 year olds would know how to combat such shyness.

UrbMatinpost

Despite not having any little friends in the first few weeks, she was still having lots of fun and was excited every school day.  She soon started talking about a girl we’ll call Kid1.  “Mommy, Kid1 and I played together all the time today.”  She told me when I picked her up.

I know Kid1’s grandma from the gym and heard similar stories from her.  “Kid1 talks about Hannah all the time.  They are so cute.”  Her grandma told me.

It was like that for a couple of weeks, both girls raving about each other and playing together all day.

But then it started to change.  “Kid1 and Kid2 told me she didn’t want to be my friend anymore.” Hannah told me sadly. I asked her some questions about it and found that Kid2 befriended Kid1 which for some reason meant that they didn’t like Hannah anymore.  Of course we’re talking about the view of a 4 year old, so it could be very different to reality.

Every school day it was the same.  I picked Hannah up and she told me that Kid1 and Kid2 told her they didn’t want to be her friend.  She said they played games where Hannah was in jail and they would laugh at her or they would pretend she was dead.

“Did you tell them you don’t like playing those games?” I asked Hannah.  She is so shy though, so of course, she said no.  “When they are being mean to you, why don’t you go find some nicer kids to play with?  It’s important to be nice to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to play with people who are not being nice to you.  If they are always mean to you, it’s better to find some new friends who won’t be mean to you all the time.”  I told her.

My sweet little shy girl

My sweet little shy girl

“I really want to play with Kid1 and Kid2.”  Hannah told me.

Why does she want to play with girls who clearly don’t like her?  Why not find some friends who actually want to play with her?

I didn’t think I’d have to have to deal with such things at 4 years old.  Maybe she was making a mountain out of a mole hill.  I was only going off one side of the story.

I decided to speak to the teacher who told me that lots of the girls have been saying they don’t want to be friends with the other kids (but that Hannah hadn’t said it to anyone).  At least they weren’t singling Hannah out, but that doesn’t make it any better for anyone.  The teacher said she has been talking to them about it and telling them multiple times every day that they can’t say that but that they still do.  She asked them why they were saying it and found that they said it when they don’t want to play what the particular child they say it to is playing with at the time.

“Hannah is more advanced emotionally, so she seems understand the severity of their words better than the other kids.”  The teacher told me.

It’s true, Hannah emotionally advanced.  She is so sweet and compassionate, which is great, but can also mean she gets hurt more than the other kids.

The teacher said she’d keep an eye on it, and didn’t know that Hannah was upset by it (which is not surprising since she doesn’t say anything about it).  Apparently a lot of the kids had been taking turns being in jail and also playing dead.

“If they tell you they don’t want to be their friend anymore, tell them that’s not nice, and walk away.  Go find other kids to play with.  You can tell the teacher if they are mean to you.  You don’t have to, but you can.  And you don’t have to play things that you don’t want to play.”  I told Hannah.

She still tells me that Kid1 and Kid2 are mean to her.  I still don’t know why she wants to play with them.  “I’m not inviting them to my birthday party.” Hannah told me when we wrote out her party list.  She is only inviting 10 kids to her party (my limits, gymnastics parties are expensive), and only 5 from school.

“Kid2 played with me all day today because Kid1 wasn’t at school.” Hannah told me the other day.  I didn’t let my frustration show, but I find it so annoying that when Kid1 and Kid2 are together they are mean to Hannah, yet when one of them isn’t there, it’s Hannah they go to for a playmate.  “I want to invite Kid2 to my party.”

“Sorry, you can’t.  Remember, I said 1o kids only, and that once we got the invites out, we can’t add anyone.”

Judging by the fact that Kid2 handed out birthday invitations the same day as Hannah, and Hannah didn’t get one, I think they really do mean they don’t want to be Hannah’s friend when they say that, not that they just don’t want to play with her right then.

It’s heartbreaking to see my little girl not have any good friends at school, but I know that some of it is her own shyness.  We saw a different girl from school (who is nice to her and whom she invited to her birthday party) at playgroup the other day, and Hannah wouldn’t even say hi.  The other girl kept saying “Hi Hannah!!” all excitedly but was met with a downward head and eyes staring at the floor.  I’m not sure how I can help her, but I really hope she can overcome her shyness.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Fun and easy meals for the whole family

12 Jun

As I’m sure most of you are aware, getting Hannah to eat (a healthy variety of stuff that is) has been a huge battle. It’s hard enough getting fussy kids to eat, but thinking of things to cook just adds to the stress. Today’s guest post can help with meal ideas:
It can sometimes be a challenge to make meals that everyone in the family will love; one child may prefer vegetarian while another may think vegetables are the worst thing ever. Your partner may be fussy and you may be short on time. Luckily there are plenty of options to make meal times easy, fun and delicious experiences for everyone involved. Sites such as Ziegler and Brown can provide you with recipes AND the equipment to cook on – check out these tips to take the pain out of cooking.

Breakfast

Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages, tomatoes. Add or subtract ingredients as required. Vegetarian? Drop the meat or replace with vegetarian alternatives. Mega carnivore? Throw some quick cooking BBQ steak into the mix or go mad and have some chops. There are endless varieties to be had with the mix and match approach to the first and most important meal of the day.

Lunch

Whether it’s a long lazy lunch with some friends and a bottle of wine, or an indigestion inducing grab, eat and dash speed lunch, regardless of the time that’s available, you’ll want something tasty. If you’re time poor then perhaps opt for some pre-prepared salads, crusty bread and a variety of meats from the local deli but if you’ve got hours to spend, why not prepare a slow-cooked Osso Bucco? If you get it in the oven at the start of the day, by lunch time you’ll be feasting on a delicious meal of tender cooked meats – and once it’s in the oven, you’re free for the rest of the morning.

Dinner

Dinner is quite possibly one of the most traumatic meal-times because everyone’s tired from their busy days. Ease the pain with something simple: pizza. Everyone loves pizza and once the dough has been made and importantly, proofed, it’s the same basic process with only the toppings to vary according to taste. The variations are limitless and the cooking time is short so make your life easy- have a separate bowl for each topping and knock ‘em out.

Snacks

A little bit of deep-fried food never hurt anyone; as the saying goes, after all, everything in moderation. Some deliciously light crumbed calamari drizzled with lemon juice will certainly fill that empty stomach until the next meal comes around. Or maybe some churros are more to your liking? These delicious fried long doughnut-like delights are sure to satisfy cravings for sugary goodness. Remember to exercise restraint though.

calamari

Morning/Afternoon Tea

One could easily refer back to our snacks tip for an easy solution but perhaps a simple fruit platter or selection of vegetable crudities would be more up your alley? Get your fruit and/or vegetables, slice them up and serve. Easy. Simple. Healthy.

Are you tempted by any of these suggestions? Or are you outraged that saturated fats have made it on the tips list? What are your go-to meals when you’re short on time and energy? Comment below to share your opinions, ideas and personal experiences.

*This post was in cooperation with Ziegler and Brown.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Mouse in the house – Part 2

8 Jun

I was convinced it was just the one mouse (you can read part 1 here).  I knew when and where the little bugger entered the house.  I set a mouse trap baited with delicious peanut butter behind the washing machine before I went to bed the night we saw the mouse.  I had no idea where it was at the time, still under the couch, back behind the shelf, in the laundry room, maybe even in my bedroom, but I had to put the trap somewhere safe from kids and a dog.

Rosie’s  dog crate is in the laundry room, and she sleeps there at night, with the laundry room door shut.  Can a mouse fit under a door?  If the mouse was elsewhere in the house, would it be able to flatten itself sufficiently enough to get under a door and into the laundry room?  Would it even want to with a dog in there, despite the fact that the dog was in her crate?  Rosie was rather interested in the area behind the washing machine before I put the trap down though, so Aaron and I decided that perhaps the mouse was back there anyway, and that’s where the trap went.  Best case scenario we caught a mouse, worst case we didn’t.  It was worth a try.

UrbMatinpost

The next morning, I used Daniel’s light up Thomas toy to check behind the washing machine because I couldn’t find a flashlight and the light bulb in the laundry room needs to be changed. I wasn’t actually expecting to find anything so soon, but there it was, on the ground, head squished in a trap.  Good, that’s the end of that.

“What do you want for breakfast, kids?” I asked them after Aaron disposed of the mouse.

“RICE BUBBLES!”

I reached up towards the cereal cupboard near the stove and stopped dead in my tracks.

Standing there silent, I heard a light shuffling in the top of the oven, between the bottom of the burners and the top of the stove.  No way, I must be hearing things.  Or maybe it’s a cockroach….It can’t be….

With a wooden spoon, I pulled a burner up and prodded around under the top of the oven, half expecting to see a mouse darting around inside.  Nothing happened.  No noise, no rustling, no mouse or roach appearance.  Phew.

“Did I tell you there was a little mouse on the counter this morning?” Aaron told me when he got out of the shower.

So I wasn’t imagining it.  There was a mouse in the oven.

I pulled one of the burners up, used a towel to keep it up, and put a trap inside the top of the oven before shutting the blinds and closing all of the bedroom doors to make the house as dark as possible.  Do mice only move around when it’s dark? I don’t know, but it seemed more likely that I’d catch a mouse in the dark than in the light.  I left to drop Daniel off at daycare and Hannah off at school, hoping that in the hour I was gone, I would catch the mouse.

I did.  Except Aaron wasn’t home to dispose of it for me, so I had to do it myself.  I rebaited the trap with peanut butter and stuck it behind the bench top organics bin.  Surely there weren’t any more mice, but better safe than sorry.

The mouse I caught in the stove top

The mouse I caught in the stove top

I put one in the garage too, and the washing machine trap was still behind the washing machine.

The next day, another cheeky mouse was in the trap on the kitchen counter behind the organics bin, and another one was in the garage trap.  Ugh, where were they all coming from?

After putting the mice in the bin, I reset the traps and put them back out.  It’s been a few days now and so far so good.  No mice.  Hopefully that means we got them all.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

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