Archive - October 2013

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Little People, Big Discoveries
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Special Needs — Learning the Lingo
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Is This Too Much Bubble Wrap?
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Merry Halloween — What To Do With Left Over Candy
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Fruit Flies and Chicken Thighs
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Prehistic Fun With Food
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She Has No Fear
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Fall Is For Falling
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Falling For the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls
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Car Seat Calendar

Little People, Big Discoveries

  The new phrase heard around our house twenty-seven times a day (No, not “Honey, pass the chips!”) is, “I do it myself!!” All of a sudden my daughter gets feisty when I try to do things for her. I don’t get it. I love it when people do things for me. If I had the choice I’d lay in my bed all day watching TV while people brought me things and rolled me over now and then to keep the circulation going. After years of having everything done for her from feeding to dressing to holding her hand every step of the way, my daughter finally has the physical and cognitive ability to do many things on her own. She wants to be independent and as difficult and nerve wracking as it is for us, we’re letting her flex her independent muscles. This includes letting her play on her own in her room without her parents or her big brother watching over her. Why on earth would we have to watch her playing in the safety of her own room you ask? Because of things like this… This kid is a climber and a risk taker. Left to her[…]

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Special Needs — Learning the Lingo

There are universal no-nos that need no explanation. Like the R-Word for instance. We don’t use it. Like, ever. And telling a parent that you’re so glad not to be in their shoes. Go there and you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich. This isn’t a lecture. Truly. Unless you’re living this life, how are you expected to know? So just in case you’re unaware, this is also this distinction… “Is your child Special Needs?” versus “Does your child have special needs?” There is a significant difference. It’s important to identify that our daughter has needs which require special attention since they pose safety risks. Also, by identifying her particular needs, we can focus on areas of her development which require special modifications. But is she Special Needs? No. She’s Avery. She is who she is. Her special needs obviously exist, but they don’t define her. My daughter loves her family and her friends, she adores animals, and she is friendly and affectionate. She doesn’t like soup, but she loves chili. She likes the colour pink and riding her scooter and climbing at the park. She’s simply an ordinary kid with an extraordinary set of DNA.

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Is This Too Much Bubble Wrap?

If you say you’re not at least partially panicked and freaked about your kids’ safety, then you’re a pants on fire liar. That, or you’re way more calm, cool and collected than I am. Can I please be you? If I could wrap my children in a protective layer of safety and security — like some kind of Teflon kiddie coating, but without the carcinogens, I’d totally do it. I’m at my happiest when my kids are wearing their helmets — not necessarily for biking, but just you know, around. Sebastian is clearly a big boy. He needs less and less protection from his smother, er mother. But this doesn’t mean I won’t stop reminding and nagging. Thankfully he’s a good sport about it. “Look at you mum. You’re growing as a person.” he’ll joke. And then I’ll make a remark about my big bum and we’ll laugh, oh how we’ll laugh (as I’m quietly sobbing and cursing the Frito Lay company in my head). I don’t think he feels suffocated and I really am trying to loosen the reins and trust that we’ve taught him well. But hot damn it’s hard. I partially blame having a serial child killer[…]

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Merry Halloween — What To Do With Left Over Candy

Halloween is terrifying. I’m not talking ghosts or ghouls or gore — I’m referring to the other G-Word — gluttony. Specifically mine. If there’s a Kit Kat or Coffee Crisp bar within a 500 foot radius, I will find it and I will put it in my mouth. So what are we “willpower challenged” to do at Halloween? Of course I buy treats that hold as little appeal to me as possible in case of left-overs. But then there’s the problem of the kids’ treats they bring home. Away at school all day, me at home…their candy calls to me seductively like a mythological siren. So in an attempt to limit my junk intake (because let’s get real… I AM  going to steal their treats) here are five ways to re-purpose candy for the next big holiday…Christmas!              If you think that keeping your paws of the candy for fifty-five days is a tad unrealistic (which for me, it probably is) then you might try one of these alternatives. 1. Host a “Build Your Own Sundae” party and set the candy out in bowls to use as toppings. 2. Add a little to trailmix or[…]

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Fruit Flies and Chicken Thighs

  This time of year, fruit flies come a callin’ and fruit bowls across the country play host to these uninvited guests. Where do they come from? These little PITAS have a nose for produce and can smell a ripe piece of fruit (or a glass of Pinot Grigio) from miles away. And, since these winged home invaders are so tiny they can easily find their way into our homes. They may also hitch a ride home on the fruits or vegetables we buy at the grocery store via eggs laid on the skin of ripe or fermenting fruit. Creeeeeeeepy. Fruit flies can develop from egg to adult in just 8 days. Kids—they just grow up so fast these days. And they are persistent little buggers. Even if you get rid of the produce on your counter, it may not help. They don’t actually need fruit to keep reproducing. They can breed in other mmmmoist surfaces like inside your plumbing, or on an old sponge or dish cloth. Well, that makes a lot of sense then. We put all our fruit away in the fridge. Including the bananas. The only thing I despise more than a banana, is a cold banana. I know—who hates[…]

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She Has No Fear

  As I child, I stuck close to my mother’s side and took forever to venture outside my comfort zone. To this day I have to push myself to take risks. My daughter is so drastically different. She is fearless. Literally fear-less. She’s not afraid of anything. Not one single thing. This is both a beautiful blessing and a soul crushing curse. My soul — the kid scares the beejesus out of me. Stranger danger is non-existent for her. Falling off a ledge or jumping from her moving bike? Not a worry. Separation anxiety? Ha. She’s been handed over to her grandparents or a friend and parted with an exuberant “See ya!” since she could wave. Roller coasters, spiders, snakes or wasps, spooky costumes, a needle wielding doctor or a dentist’s drill, or an unexpected “boo” from a sneaky sibling … none of these raise a dainty eyebrow. Avery comes by her “Bravery” nickname honestly – she’s a braveheart and dare I say, a bit of a nit wit. Seriously, who rides down a flight of stairs in a laundry basket, and opts for headfirst down the slide EVERY time, and rides her brother’s skateboard on her tummy backwards down[…]

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Fall Is For Falling

It seems my daughter’s inability to remain bipedal correlates with the season. It’s fall and boy has she fallen a lot this month. Off her bike onto the sidewalk, onto her head on the hardwood floor (probably didn’t help that she was sitting on an exercise ball on the couch at the time), in the grocery store, at the library, off the climber at the park and today, down the last four stairs face first onto the ceramic tile. Bruises, bumps and scrapes — nothing phases this tough kid. She falls and gets right back up. This temporary lapse in balance is likely the result of a growth spurt and her complete disregard for danger. I know it will pass — hopefully soon. In the meantime we struggle to keep her safe while still allowing her the freedom she so desperately craves. I’m tempted to put her in one of those inflatable sumo suits or wrap her from head-to-toe in protective bubble wrap. But that’s not the answer. Or is it? Would it be wrong to encase her in foam or follow behind her with a fluffy pillow or a giant catcher’s mitt? The best we can do is keep[…]

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Falling For the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls

Recently my husband and I spent a night away together. I can’t remember the last time we were without our two children. What a treat to stay overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls. I love this hotel so much I want to marriott. Get it? Oh you DO get it, but it’s just not that funny… We had stayed here over a decade ago and were interested in seeing the newly renovated digs. The entire hotel has been remodeled from top to bottom. Speaking of sprucing up, I was so happy about spending a night out with my spouse that I actually fussed with my hair and put on make-up— an occasion as rare hen’s teeth. We dropped the kids off with the grandparents and hit the road, albeit the wrong road. We turned around and got on the correct road and were off, for real this time. In just over an hour, we were checked in to our room where we sat, savouring the quiet. We sipped a glass of Niagara wine and chatted about adult things, uninterrupted. This alone was worth the trip. But there was more. Our package included a voucher towards dinner at the[…]

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Car Seat Calendar

Photo albums are awesome. Journals are a joy. Baby books? Brilliant (or so I’ve heard, since I’ve yet to make one). All of these milestone trackers are a wonderful vehicle for a trip down memory lane. Another way to witness the growth of your child is a car seat collage. What? It can be a thing, can’t it? Note: “Somebody” just graduated to a big girl booster seat and she couldn’t be more proud. 

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