Mish - Mash

Now for a little bit lighter post....

  • Laila is doing well with potty training.  I will be honest and say we have had a few setbacks mainly with regards to her pooping in her pants.  Pooping seems to be a whole other step in potty training.  I would be curious to know how others have gotten their little ones to actually poop on the potty.
  • We registered Laila for preschool on Wednesday.  We are sending her to the same little school that Hadyen attended.  We love the school, the program offered is amazing and the owners are wonderful.  She starts in September and is only going two mornings for the first year but I think it will be great for her.
  • Sophie is still just a delight !  She sleeps 12 hours most nights, eats pretty much anything and everything we offer and while she usually has the sweetest disposition has been showing her sister a little bit of authority when needed.  We have realized nobody is going to put this baby in a corner and I know it will serve her well in a few years when she starts school.
  • When I'm emotionally upset I usually turn to my kitchen for stress relief and do lots of experimenting. This last week has been no exception.   I will post a few of the recipes I have tried and were big hits with the family.
  • I finished two books last week....Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks and Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.  When sleep alludes me like it did this week it's nice to have something to pass the time with.  Both are great reads with wonderful stories of loss and love.  I just started The Help last night and can't wait to get into it.
  • As most know we subscribe to NetFlix and we have been watching the series Rescue Me for the last few weeks.  It's a great show and I would highly recommend it.  I have resisted the temptation to download Season 4 of Mad Men from iTunes but I miss Don Draper and I might have to sneak a peek at the new season.
  • Faruq and Hayden leave two weeks from today for California and while I'm happy for them to have this experience I'm also a little nervous letting them go.  I have already start making them lists of stuff they need to get ready and I secretly see them rolling their eyes at me every time I try to discuss it with them.   I get no respect :}
I hope everyone has a warm and cozy weekend especially if you are in Calgary as Mother Nature has blown in with another winter storm for us.

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Last Hayden Update

Honestly, I haven't had much to say lately so I have just avoided my blog.  I could have posted  a few new recipes I have tried or something funny the kids had done but I just didn't feel like it.  I have had a few rough weeks emotionally and I think I'm finally starting to come around.

I always feel a bit of a let down after the Christmas season but this year with what is going on with Hayden and schooling it has just added to the emotional roller coaster.   Faruq and I have discussed it until there is nothing left to say, we have sought out a professional opinion, visited the new school and honestly even Hayden has warmed to the whole idea of moving but I still feel like the biggest shit for moving him.

As I said to Faruq just last night I feel like I let Hayden down continuously with regards to education and I just really want to get it right for him.  We have explored the option of me homeschooling him and while he is keen for that I'm just not sure I want to take that role on.  I love the job of Mama and helper of homework but I'm just not sure we are ready for constant one-on-one interaction everyday all day.  Then there is the issue of me having two little ones had home already and while Laila is starting to learn some basics Sophie isn't even close to that stage.  I thinking I would be setting everyone up for failure so I have decided it just isn't an option right now.

We have to officially let his current school know on Monday that he will not be returning and I think once that is done I will feel a sense of relief  and closure.   All the paperwork has  been submitted to the new school and he only needs to go in May for "placement" testing to determine with class he will be placed in next year.  We are eager to see the results of these tests as it will give us a good starting base for next year.

While this whole process has been tough I just have to keep remembering we are doing this for Hayden's benefit and that in the long run he will come out ahead.

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Emotional Vampires

I watched The Talk the other day and they were discussing "Emotional Vampires" and if you had one in your life that was affecting you negatively.

There are five types of emovamps out there to guard against:

The Narcissist -Life revolves around him or her, at least in their mind. They expect compliments to earn their attention and approval. They can be charming until you don't go along with their plan; then they act cold as punishment. Never marry one, because they don't give you the love you deserve. Lower your expectations of them, and don't tack your self-worth to their opinion of you. The only way to get something from them is to show how doing so will meet their needs.

The Victim --These vampires wear you down with their poor-me attitude. They don't take responsibility for their actions, always feeling that the world is against them. Set limits for the victim vamp with an iron hand, but a velvet glove. Tell your friend that you only have a few minutes to talk about their love life, but say it in a tender, non-blaming tone.

The Controller--Somebody who tries to control you and dictate who you're supposed to be or what you're supposed to feel. They always claim to know what's best for you. They can dominate and suffocate. Pick your battles with them.

The Criticizer--These vamps always put themselves down and others, too. Address the criticism, but explain that it doesn't make you feel good when the person constantly points out your faults.

The Splitter--This emotion-sucker sees people in black and white. They either make you their nemesis or perfect friend. Unconsciously or not, they turn people against each other. Cross one on any front and expect a big fight. To know if you're in a relationship with one, ask yourself: "Do I censor my true feelings because I feel this person's anger? Do I go to great pains to keep the peace? Do I feel like I'm on an emotional roller-coaster with them?" If you're dealing with a splitter, discuss the situation with people he or she's trying to pit you against and resolve to make a united front.

Through the years I have had a few of these people in my life and I have found they haven't lasted very long.  It's funny when I was watching the show I kept thinking "Am I an emotional vampire to my friends".

Some side effects that you have been snipped by one of these vampires are...

  1. You could use a nap.
  2. Binge-eating suddenly seems like a good idea as a pick me up.
  3. Your mood takes a nosedive
  4. You feel sniped at or agitated.   Don't fight back but listen to your intuition when it senses danger and avoid confronting the person.  Don't react immediately but instead make a plan to deal with the situation.   Communicate your needs to them and ensure they know your limits.  Use a neutral tone when you share these limits with your attacker.

Interesting !

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Happy Saturday

I usually love the weekends but today this pretty much described my mood when I woke up ......

I have been so grumpy today and it doesn't appear to be getting any better as the day goes on.  It was just a crappy week with one thing after another so this was bound to happen and combined with some wicked PMS I'm surprised I even got out of bed.  I'm just patiently counting the hours until our little prisoners are banished to their beds for the night and I can have a few hours to myself.

I guess I should feel blessed that I'm only grumpy as it appears that a huge number of my friends on Facebook are plagued with illness so it could be worse.

Update on Potty Training 2011....Laila is doing so well on Day 4.  No accidents today and she is now telling us when she has to go to the bathroom.  She has lost total interest in the stickers and much prefers the cookie she gets when she goes.

We are registering her this week for preschool starting in September and I have to say I'm so excited for her.  Now that she is on the road to being potty trained it will make the process easier.  It amazes me how much she has grown in the last 6 months.  She is my "I will do it when I'm ready" girl.  There is no pushing Laila into anything but she totally grasps things very quickly when ready to do so.  I keep saying it will serve her well in life but it is darn frustrating right now for mama.

Faruq is taking Monday off to spend with us so we are going to enjoy an extra long weekend.

Hayden is busy studying this weekend for exams that he has to write this coming week so his activities have been limited to swimming last night and skating today.  I'm sure he will do fine but we want him spend timing reviewing his notes to just make sure.

Sophie was fully walking but has since reverted back to half walk/half crawl.   I'm not concerned as Laila did the same thing for a few months.  As well, I think she is getting ready to pop a few more big teeth as her sleep is slightly off, she is refusing food (which has never happened) and she is chewing on anything she can get her pudgy little hands on.

I have to say teething and potty training are not anywhere near my top 10 favorite things about kids.  But this to shall pass and before we know it she will be Hayden's age and we will wonder where the time has gone.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and the weather is warm and sunny wherever you are.  We are sitting somewhere around +4 today and it's nice to see the snow melting....darn I say spring is around the corner.

Happy Weekend Everyone !!

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You Decide ?

After we put Laila to bed tonight we came back downstairs and found her little shopping cart like this.....

"Neat Freak" or "Future Bag Lady"
Verdict is still out !!

Update on Potty Training:  Laila did so well today ! Only one accident and that was just beside the potty because she was waiting for me to get there.  I'm amazed at how quickly she is catching on to it all.

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Wordless Wednesday

~ What a difference a year can make ~
Sweet Sophie 

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Potty Training

Well I felt the time had come to start potty training little Miss Laila.  On the weekend I got everything ready to start on Monday morning.  Monday came but with Hayden and the school thing I just didn't feel prepared to do it so I waited until today.

I had also been told that girls were so much easier to train then boys and that they want to train earlier.  Well I can now say that is not the case with every girl.  Laila up until this point has shown absolutely no interest what so ever in giving up her comfy diapers.  I have left the potty seats in each bathroom and up until today she has managed to avoid them at great lengths.  But with preschool registration next week I was feeling slightly panic about not having her at least start the process.  We have until September so I felt sure we could master it by then.

Without going into the gory details Laila is a very regular child so approx. 30 minutes after she wakes up every morning she usually delivers her one and only poop of the day.  So after her deposit this morning I got her cleaned up but with one difference....No diaper.

Well you think I had just told her that world was going to end.  There were tears, sobs, screaming and a smallest temper tantrum but surprisingly within 15 minutes it all stopped.  For the first few hours I left her in her nightie with no undies and it worked okay.  I set the stove timer for 15 minute intervals and after the first trip to introduce the potty chair formally to Laila it was actually a pretty good first day for my little lady.

We had a few accidents {which is totally expected} but we had way more successes which were celebrated.  (In this case with special cupcakes with pink icing).  I made her a "Potty" Chart and we put the special "potty princess" sticker on it every time she successfully peed in the potty.  She had 6 stickers tonight when her daddy came home and she was so proud to show him.

I had purchased her fancy little princess underwear but she flatly refused to wear them.  I think they were a little tight and had this irritating ruffle around the legs (so I don't really blame her).  I never used training pants with Hayden so I didn't really know what I was going to use.  Then I remembered Hadyen did have some old boxers that I hadn't thrown out yet and they worked perfectly.  I put her in a t-shirt and the boxers (which I think she thought were shorts).

So all in all the first day was a total success !  I know we will probably have set backs but it's a start.

Update on the Hayden front:  Well tonight when he arrived home his first words to me were not "I HATE YOU" so we are making progress.  We go to the new school tomorrow and meet with the principal. I think once it is all organized and know it is going to happen we can continue to talk to him. Then help with the transition in September.

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The words you never want to hear your child ever say to you because it stings.  I know being 7 is tough and while I know what we are going to do is for the betterment of him it's still eating my heart out.

About 2 months ago (right around the first report card for this school year) we got a feeling that Hayden was not being challenged at school and possibly falling behind what is expected for grade 2.  It wasn't really one thing but many signs for us.  So we had him independently  tested last week and while super smart in some subjects is behind in a few core subjects.  Particularly ones that he does not like and has no interest in.

He has been in a small private school for the last two years but unfortunately this may not be the right setting for him after all.  While we have continued to ask them to push him academically it just doesn't appear to be happening.   My belief with private education is when there is a price tag attached it becomes a business for the owners and why would any owners want to piss off their customers or/clients.  I could be totally wrong with that statement but it is what I feel.

We are trying to respect Hayden but we also need do what is best for him.  For kindergarten he went to a program that falls under our public school system and we absolutely loved it.  He did well and learned an incredible amount.  But sadly for grade one we were informed due to space issues within the school they were going to be put 35 kids in one room with 2 teachers.  One of Hayden's weakness is he is easily distracted so we made the tough decision to remove him and place him at is current school.  He would be one of 10 in the class but sadly we are still getting reports that he can become distracted so did it really solve the problem.

Faruq contacted his old school yesterday as we had heard rumors that they had moved the grade 5 and 6's out of the school thus creating more room for K to 4 classes.  The new principal was lovely when he talked to Faruq and said they had in fact moved the students in the higher grade to another school which now enabled them to have 5 separate grade 2 classes with the average class number 20.  They would be more then willing to accept Hayden back for next year.   We have a meeting set up for Thursday to discuss it further.

There are a lot of perks to going back for Hayden now he gets up at 6 and leaves with Faruq at 7 but in the new school he won't have to get up until 7:30 and be there for 8:55.  Because of the physical location of the school I would be able to get him or he could take the bus home but either way he would be home by 4 not 6.  He already knows the kids so it's not like going to a completely new school.  The principal also explained that they have different levels within the grades so he would be tested in May to see where he would fall.  Hopefully, it's on the higher end where we expect it to be and then maybe he would be challenged more in the coming year.

So last night we sat Hayden down to have the conversation about moving back to Brentwood.  Well to say it didn't go well was an understatement.  He likes his school and the kids there.  He loves his teachers but we tried to explain they would all be changing next year and told him who he would be having that seemed to ease it a bit.  He said we were mean and didn't love him which broke my heart.  Little does he know we are only trying to do what is best for him.   His final statement before heading to bed was "I HATE YOU BOTH".  Somedays being a parent sucks and this would have to be one of them.

I found out last night that yesterday was called "Blue Monday" and is supposedly the worst most depressing day of the year.  Well it certainly felt that way in our house but today is a new day and I'm hoping for it to be better.

I spoke to Faruq this morning and he said Hayden is starting to be more accepting to the idea.

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Please take a moment and watch this video

~ You will need to stop my music at the bottom before watching the video ~

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Wordless Wednesday

She heard Target is finally coming to Canada so she is getting ready to Shop, Shop, Shop !!

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Cleaning and purging...with a lesson involved (I hope)

Today we are cleaning the toy room and I thought no better way for Faruq to actually see how much stuff these kids have then for him to help clean it out.  I don't blame him for this but he is part of the problem.  He works many many hours which usually include evenings and weekends.  There has been cancelled vacations a few times and he has always tried to compensate by letting the kids buy toys.

I have tried to explain that they don't expect it (yet) and really just spending time with them when he is here would be more then enough.  Well that hasn't really happened so we are left with more toys then 3 kids really need.  So every few months I purge the toy room and bedrooms myself then donate or toss toys that aren't played with any longer or broken.  But because he had to do it today I think reality has actually sunk in and I hope this will stop now.

We had agreed that Christmas was limited to a Santa gift and 3 smaller gifts from us and for the most part we stuck to that rule.  The Grands gave the kid gift cards and money for their bank accounts so they can use them throughout the year on things they want.   As well they gave gifted them a few things we told them to buy which was awesome.

We of course recognize the kid's birthdays with a gift and I try to give them a small treat at Valentine's Day and Easter but it's all the other days that are the problem.

My kids will never go without but I really feel there is a limit and it's tough when your spouse is not on the same page as you are.  I have a big pile of things to list  on Kijiji tomorrow probably for a fraction of what we paid for them with more stuff going to one of our local shelters.

I want my kids to appreciate that their dad works hard for what we have and that it shouldn't just be handed to them when asked for.  As well,  that there are families that don't have near what we have and that if we can share our things it would make others very happy.

I HATE clutter and honestly I sometimes get heart palpitations when I go into the toy room.  I know kids need toys I just need to figure out how many will make us all happy.  :}

Are you and your spouse on the same page when it comes to giving to the kids ?  How do you deal with clutter?

Happy Sunday !!

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Why do you read a blog ?

I was sitting this morning before the kids got up and reading through some of my current favorite blogs.  Some I laugh when reading and others I cry over.  I really appreciate people who write well and are a voice for a specific cause or organization.  I think if you ask most why they started their blogs you will get a variety of different answers.  Some from a tragedy in their life and others from joy (as is my reason).  You become somewhat invested in what goes on in their lives and many you can relate to in some way or another.

I have met wonderful people through the blogging world that I probably would not have other wise met.  I have discovered there is a good side and there is also a very nasty side to sharing ones life.  Someone once said that if you receive a "hateful" comment then you have made it.  Well I hope I never "make it" then.  I like documenting our lives and hope one day my kids can look back at it with interest.  I was a pretty serious scrapbooker at one time but don't have that time now so this is a very good alternative.

I started my blog over 4 years ago and have almost 500 posts now which is 499 more then I thought I would have. I'm not a great writer and honestly there are probably spelling and grammatical errors in every post but it's not about that to me.  I like sharing fun stuff about my kids, great recipes and good deals that I discover.

Do you have a favorite blog you like to visit ?  What makes you go back to a specific blog ?

Another question....Do you leave comments for other bloggers ?  That is something I'm going to actively start doing this year...I read often but don't comment a lot.  I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to leave encouraging words for me especially in trying times.

On a daily basis I learn something new from others and I'm not sure that would be the same if we didn't have the technology world we do today.  We all have life experiences that make us who we are and I say if someone can learn from mine it's makes us all better.

I regularly update the side bar of my blog with my current favorites and I encourage you to stop by some of these blogs.  I don't think you will be disappointed with what you will find. 

I'm curious to know what others think about this ?  Drop me a comment !!

Happy Saturday everyone !

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Do you have it yet ?  If not, I strongly suggest you look into it.

Canada just got Netflix not long ago but it's nothing new for the US.  It is an awesome deal at $8 a month for unlimited viewing.  While the programming choices aren't as vast as the US site they still have tons and tons of good movies and TV shows to watch.

Originally I was a bit on the fence about whether to subscribe but we went for the month's free trial period and have been hooked ever since. About 6 months ago I started to watch all the TV shows I want off the internet so very rarely ever watched our Satellite.  We rented movies almost every weekend and that would be close to $25 bucks a shot.  You watch them once and return them to the store and sometimes we never even got watch them which was a total waste.  Plus how many times did we rent a movie only to discover it wasn't to our liking but felt we had to watch it to get our monies worth.  My time is just more valuable then that.

But with Netflix you can watch movies when you want and as many times as you want.  The catalogue is vast with lots of older movies and they are adding new stuff everyday.  If you start a movie but don't like it just go back to the catalogue and pick something else.  There are tons of TV shows documentaries and Series streamed there with my current favorite being Mad Man.  I watched a great series called Mistresses during the holidays.  Next up is Damages and The Tudors when we are done with Mad Man.

There is amble kids programming that have kept my children occupied for months now.  Laila is watching Super Why, Dora and Blues Clues right now.  But they Veggies Tales, Thomas and lots of kids movies.

You will either need a gaming system (like a Wii) to stream it to your TV or you can access it through your computer.  You are allowed up to 6 connections in your house so we have two Wii's connected to our TV's plus all of our computers have access as well.

We have given up our Satellite TV and saved almost $80 a month.   But honestly we are still getting the TV programs we want via the internet and don't feel we are missing anything.

I have in no way be compensated by Netflix to write this post but  just wanted to let people know what an awesome deal it really is.  So take a look today and I don't think you will be disappointed.

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A little under the weather

I haven't been around much as my littlest is sick with her first head cold and it's a really bad one.  I think it all started when my mom got sick a week ago, then my dad came down with a cold so it was more then likely one of us would get sick as well.  I was only hoping it would be Faruq or I and not the kids.

It is so tough for the babies as they have no way of blowing the mucus out of their little noses so you just need to wait for it to drain out.  We have gotten little or no sleep the last two nights so it has been a tough go.  Faruq was at work until almost midnight last night so I'm sure today will be a very long day for him.  We are blessed that our kids are generally pretty healthy so these small bumps just reminds us how lucky we really are.

The Grands went home on Tuesday (lucky them to leave just before all this).  Life has returned to it's crazy busy pace but honestly it's good.  I like structure and routine actually perform better with it in my life.  We did have a wonderful Christmas break and it was delightful to have the grandparents here.  The kids loved it.  Faruq and I even managed to get out a few times to dinner and even squeezed a movie in.

I have some new recipes I tried over the holiday that were total successes and will post them in the coming weeks.

I'm knee deep in selling stuff on Kijiji and have a few people coming to look at things this weekend.  It's funny I have this stuff lying around for years and don't use it but when I listed it for sale and someone comes to look at it I actually start to reconsider selling it.  Does this happen to anyone else or am I just crazy ?

I'm going out this weekend (hopefully) to look at sewing machines.  Faruq was going to get me one for Christmas (I know super romantic but to be fair it's what I said I wanted) but had no idea what I actually wanted.  I'm glad I waited as I have money my mom and dad gave me so now I can get a bit better machine.  Anyone have suggestions for a good but not too expensive machine ?

As well, I ordered kits to cross stitch Christmas socks for all Faruq ,the kids and I.  This project will keep me busy for at least a few years.  I love cross stitching but haven't done it for awhile but I figured these would be great keepsakes for the kids when they get older.   As well, I couldn't find a nice sock for Sophie when I went looking this year so that prompted me to look into making them.

I have been in touch with my old personal trainer and he is on vacation until the end of January but come the first of February we are going to start to workout 3 times a week.  While I'm excited to start I'm a little nervous as well because I have done nothing for almost a year.  This guy is tough but that's what I need to see results and he doesn't listen to my lame excuses for why I don't want to work out.  I have started on my own with the treadmill and light weights but I'm sure I won't really see results or feel the pain until I start the proper workouts.

Anyone have a hotel they have used and liked down in Anaheim.  Faruq and Hayden are going in a month and I really should get moving on accommodations.  We wanted somewhere close to Disneyland but it does not need to be right in the park.

Well that's what's been happening in our little part of the world...Have a great weekend and stay warm if you are in Calgary as it's suppose to get colder on the weekend.

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