Archive - October 2011

1
Dragon Dictation APP
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Singing and Signing
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Critter Cam
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Linguini Facial
5
Kids and Poison Control Safety
6
Dealing With Difficult People
7
Did She Just Shush Me?

Dragon Dictation APP

  If I don’t jot down a blog idea or an important phone number or date immediately, it’s gone by the time I blink twice. Memory like a sieve.   This is why I love this cool free APP – Dragon Dictation. You simply dictate and it records and translates your voice into text. You can then email the note to yourself, post to Facebook or tweet it.   It’s not perfect. There are some epic autocorrects, so you’re best not to hit “send” until you make any corrections. However it’s great if you just want to send yourself a reminder or fire off an email handsfree (preferably to someone who won’t be offended by rudely unintentional *or so you claim* errors).   This app is also excellent for kiddos with speech/language/learning delays. It can be used effectively in a number of ways. For kids who have trouble writing, talk to text is a good option. For kids like mine who have significant speech delays, we use the app to practise speaking in slow, short and precise sentences.    Check it out and let me know how the app helps you. 

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Singing and Signing

  My daughter is not a fan of long car rides. Our saving grace is music. As they say, music soothes the savage beast. Not that Avery is at all beastly, but strap her into her car seat and drive for more than half an hour and she definitely becomes a little savage-esque.   Her favourite CD is Name Your Tune. She can (and has) listened to it a thousand times. Children are egocentric. They LOVE hearing their name in the context of the songs. Truth be told, if I heard a few “Lisas” thrown in, I’d dig it too.   My friend Erica (head mummy over at The Yummy Mummy Club) did a voice over for Five Little Monkeys – Avery’s most requested tune. It’s strange hearing Erica’s familiar voice serenading us in our mini-van. When she sings, “I can seeeeeee you,” Avery gasps and says, “She sees me??” Makes me smile every time. Later, when Erica says, “Be very careful,” Avery responds, in a whisper, “Very careful.”   Shout out to our friend Scott too! He’s the manly voice in the Monkey duet.    Thanks Candace for making such an amazing product. I’m putting “Name Your Tune2” on[…]

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Critter Cam

There are many reasons to have children. Cuddles and cuteness, pride in their accomplishments and love – pure heart swelling love. But, we all know the best part of being a parent is the laughs. Kids are a riot and as the saying goes, “Kids say the darndest things.” Darndest?   Driving to school this morning, we got caught in the mini-van line, waiting to enter the war zone, I mean, parking lot. I told my son he could probably get out and make his own way to class. He was old enough. He said, “Could you imagine if we let Avery out, on her own? I wonder where she’d go? The playground probably.”   Then he thought for a second and said, “Know what would be cool? To put one of those Critter Cams on her head and let her go. Then we could watch where she goes and see what she does in her natural habit.”   Bahahahaha! I LOVE that idea. I have added “Critter Cam” to my Christmas wish list.    By the way, I did not let my son exit the van early and venture to class on his own. Why? Because I’m a paranoid[…]

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Linguini Facial

I made a healthy, home-freaking-made-from-scratch meal and I was ready to impale myself on a dull spoon midway through dinner. My little girl eats like a bird. A baby humming bird.   Lately we’ve made great strides, both in food diversity and in weight gain. It’s a roller coaster—good days and bad. I’m okay with that. But, when your child refuses to eat something she normally loves, it’s irritating. For the love, who refuses linguini??   I tried everything. All of our usual tricks. Even our latest and greatest… paying off each bite with a butterscotch CHIPIT.   I can handle a little food refusal. What I can’t handle is when my child wrestles her dish (which was suction cupped to the table for stability) with such furry and determination that it launches suddenly upwards, flinging the entire meal like an aerial assault by an army of searing hot saucy snakes, into her mother’s face. I enjoy a facial, but I draw the line at a pesto prima vera treatment.    I threw in the towel, after wiping away the sauce with it, and retreated to my office, leaving daddy to deal with the pasta shrapnel. Tomorrow would be a[…]

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Kids and Poison Control Safety

In my youth, I would crank a wicked tune by metal band “Poison” and lose control. These days, my Bret Michaels poster* has been replaced by a fridge magnet with the phone number for Poison Control. Until yesterday, my calls have been for relatively minor inquiries like, “What should you do if your child should eat a handful of Hershey’s Kisses…with the foil on?“   Last night my daughter awoke with a fever. I immediately gave her a dose of children’s liquid acetaminophen. I put the bottle back in the latched chest on the top shelf in our locked hall closet. This is where we keep all medications—well out of reach. I left a bottle of ibuprofen on the bathroom counter ready for the morning. We alternate between Tylenol and Advil so we can safely overlap doses. I figured if I left the bottle out, there would be no hazy sleep-deprived confusion about which type to give her next. Smart right? Not really.   In the morning as usual, Avery got up and went to the bathroom. I was two minutes behind her. When I caught up with her, she was standing on her step stool, holding the OPEN medicine bottle, smacking her[…]

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Dealing With Difficult People

Some people are just plain disagreeable. You know the type. They ooze negativity and criticism. Mall parking lots and grocery line-ups are littered with them. Obviously, we don’t know what others might have going on in their lives. Perhaps they are usually pleasant, but happen to be temporarily bitter for a legitimate reason. I’m not counting them. I’m talking about the crotchety ones who are nasty on a daily basis. It’s futile to try to avoid these toxic humans. They’ll find you. And when they do, they can turn your happy smile into a painful grimace in an instant…if you let them. My mom emailed me an article about dealing with difficult people.  I’ve included excerpts below, with comments. What did you just say? Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz,  Hamilton Spectator   They are your sneering coworkers, your prying neighbours, your insulting in-laws. They are the nasty people who make environments toxic. But you can beat them without joining them. How to deal with nasty people: See it for what it is. Rather than internalize the criticism or dwell on what you might have done to deserve the attack, recognize that the nasty person has personal issues. Dwelling is a hard habit to[…]

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Did She Just Shush Me?

  Last week I took daughter with me on a “Mama is going out and doesn’t have a thing to wear” mission. We popped over to the Espirit outlet in hopes of finding a new shirt. Ever mindful of my…my…budget *shudder* I limited my quest to ONE item. Painful as it was, I sourced out a few tops to try on and headed to the change room…after I helped Avery pick up the pile of purple sweaters she had knocked onto the floor, put back the umbrella and two purses slung over her shoulder and removed the lavender tank top from around her neck. Shopping with a curious child is a challenge. However, how will she ever behave appropriately if she’s never given the opportunity to learn?   While I tried on the first shirt, Avery kept busy by yodeling. She found the echo of the empty change room area amusing. While I struggled out of the blouse (picture Houdini trying to escape from a straight jacket and chains), Avery began to hum.   Eventually her patience ran out and she attempted to escape under the door. I can’t really blame her. It was way more fun out there, unfolding[…]

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