Posted in Designated Link Day, Idle Chatter

rain, rain, go away …

It’s Friday, and I didn’t even have to look out the window to know that
it would rain this morning. This is the fourth rainy Friday in a row,
which is unfortunate because it was only five weeks ago that Madeline’s
preschool class started their Friday morning outdoor water play
program. So, Madeline’s class has only had water play one time since
the beginning of the school year. I’ve dutifully packed her swim outfit
in her backpack every Thursday night, and I feel a little sad each time
I unpack it, dry, on Friday afternoons. I think that she really liked the
water play – after the first time, she told me that she played with
soapy sponges. Chris saw a photo of her class at her school’s open
house earlier this week – it was taken during water play and they were
trying to see how many three year-olds fit inside a single bathtub. It
sounds like Madeline and her classmates are missing some good stuff …

Speaking of good stuff, it’s been a really long time since I had my act together to organize my favourite links of the week … but lo and behold:

  • Z Recommends – this is one my new favourite blogs. I think that Madeline might be a little older than Z, but the posts at this site are for such interesting toys, products, and music!  I found the Sippy Cup Showdown post very informative (because the leak factor is oh-so-important to me), and I actually won something (a deck of Bright and Beyond activity cards) from reading this site. Cool, huh?
  • Monkey Bars are so Old School – I’d never contemplated the evolution of children’s playgroup equipment before, so I found this article interesting. I’m from the old-school era (loved merry-go-rounds), so it was helpful to have some of the new-fangled equipment on the playground explained to me 🙂
  • I’ve seen this kid-friendly bento box in a few blogs, but Ask Moxie has a good post about it (and plastics) here. I think they’re terrifically cute and useful in that the number of containers would motivate me to fill them all with veggies, but sadly, Madeline’s school will provide lunch when she attends for a full day. No whimsical bento box for her yet.
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Posted in Crafty Stuff, Designated Link Day

spin and fly

Tutu_2
I read something on the web the other day that I meant to bookmark so that I could blog about it, but I seem to have forgot to bookmark the article, and thus, I have no idea what to say here tonight! So … maybe I’ll post a photo of Madeline in her new tutu in an attempt to make the lack of insightful and witty writing less obvious. Is it working?

Julie and I made this tutu a couple of weekends ago, actually. I’d seen a similar one with a $28 price tag at one of those baby boutiques. I spent about $7 on this one, for three yards of tulle (I already had the elastic for the waistband in my sewing kit). I borrowed the super-easy technique from this post on the Baby Bargains board. I didn’t even have to set up my sewing machine!

I don’t want to think about how many Fridays have gone by without posting some nifty links. I have some today, though, from The Silent "I" – truly, a blog after my own heart. It’s all about traveling with young children. I haven’t gone back through all of the archives, but I do have to recommend the posts about navigating through airports with babies and toddlers, and then the inflight experience with babies and toddlers. The next flight I will be taking with Madeline is a doozy: Calgary to Bangkok. Something like 26 hours … the only thing I am exciting about is trying out her Gogokidz Travelmate wheels …

Posted in Designated Link Day

reading along

If I’m not working on a post, there is a good chance that I’m catching up on my reading;  there is a ridiculous number of parenting blogs that I try to follow.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned how I love A Readable Feast before.  I’ve put quite a few of the books that Anne-Marie discusses on my "to-read" list for Madeline. Recently, she had a post about Mouse Cookies & More (which Madeline doesn’t have as she has most of the books individually) that included a recipe for egg-free Moose-approved muffins, which I think would be fun to make with my toddler.

We’ve decided that before we make another big move, we’ll upgrade our digital camera, so I was delighted when Tracey starting posting about lighting, ISO, and even wrote a  series of posts on choosing lenses here, here, and here.  The posts on lenses were really insightful and demystifying!

Lately, I’ve been feeling like Madeline and I aren’t sharing a vibe quite like we used to. We’re bored with each other, and acting out a little. The playground where we used to go to run everything out of our systems is buried under six feet of snow, so instead we engage in power struggles over getting dressed, taking naps, going anywhere requiring wearing a coat or riding in the car, and a million other things. Thus, I’m  particularly intrigued and closely following Kristen’s 1-2-3 Magic book-a-along over at The Mom Trap. The book is already in my Amazon shopping cart, ready to be ordered …

Posted in Designated Link Day

random neat things

I didn’t have my act together on Friday to put together a post of cool stuff I’ve found on the internet at large lately, but I’m going to make for it today.

First, one of the writers over at Blogging Baby has started doing kid-friendly CD reviews. The second review, Here Come the ABCs by TMBG, was posted today. The first review was of a disc called Mommy Says No by the Asylum Street Spankers. Never heard of them, but they sound kind of funky.

Mabellabel There have been many more little kids at YMCA/YWCA lately, which means that it’s become more difficult to ascertain which empty snack container and drinking box is Madeline’s when I go to pick her up after my 10 am date with the treadmill. It’s often like going on a treasure hunt, One of the other parents there recommended that I try out Mabel’s Labels, and Madeline’s arrived in the mail today. Love them. Even if these sticky labels weren’t dishwasher-friendly, I’d still love them for the cute little graphics. I asked Madeline if she preferred the little fish, the little butterfly, or the little bird, and even she had trouble deciding (obviously, the fishy won out).  I wouldn’t say that they’re expensive, but they weren’t cheap. I think I’ll reserve my final judgement of their "value for the money" factor once I see just how long they last.

I am almost as excited about Mother Proof as I am about those labels showing up in the mail. It was featured on Cool Mom Picks the other day, and it’s a website that reviews vehicles to determine their worthiness for the monniker "family car". The current car-of-my-dreams is in there 🙂

Posted in Designated Link Day, Humour, Quotable Madeline

Quotable Madeline

Madeline has appointed herself the official phone-answerer for our household. It started on Wednesday – the phone would ring, and she'd race me to it. Of course, I'd have to slow down so as not to knock her little three-foot self over, so she'd get ahead of me and grab the receiver first. I'd stand off to the side, and whisper, "say hello!", hoping for the best.

Without missing a beat, Madeline does say, "Hello!". Sometimes it's "Hello! How's it going?", even. Anyone eavesdropping might hear her chatter about something that she's been occupied with, or else be treated to a stream of high-speed babbling, depending on the conversation. After a minute or two, I usually can make out, "okay, talk to mom!". She'll pass the phone to me and say, "it's for you!".

Also, Madeline finally started to say her own name about two weeks ago. Previously, if someone asked her what her name was, she'd chirp "I'm me!" or else just bury her head in my shoulder. For awhile I thought that it was our fault for giving her a three syllable name, but then I realized that many of Madeline's same-age or younger playmates were calling her by name. I concluded that Madeline was just unmotivated. Then, a few days before Christmas, one of Madeline's grandfather's friends asked her what her name was, and she replied, "I'm Ma-da-wen!" clear as a bell! Sadly, I was out of the room for this triumphant moment, but Chris's excitement over this development was contagious!

In other news, I wasn't online much this week and don't have much to offer in terms of nifty articles/do-dads/links, but I was delighted to see that the best-est nursing pillow ever (designed in Calgary, even) was featured on Cool Mom Picks two days ago! I ended up buying a Baby Buddy pillow after testing one out at the lactation consultant's office when Madeline was a few weeks old. It really made a huge difference in how comfortable I was breastfeeding!

Posted in Designated Link Day, Humour

The Vocabulary Sponge

About ten minutes ago, Madeline wandered over me as I was unloading clean dishes from the dishwasher, and asked, "Mom, where’s my milk to?"

Bad grammer? Only if you live somewhere in the country other than Newfoundland. Asking where any particular object is "to" quite acceptable in this province. Though I was hoping that Madeline would avoid picking up any Newfoundland-isms during our stay in here, I guess it really isn’t so bad – we’ve been here for ten months, and this is the first time she’s said anything like that.  We’ll be moving back to Calgary in about six weeks, so she has plenty of time to pick up words like "howdy" and "y’all" in time for the Stampede in July.

As for Friday links, I just have one: Babble, a new online parenting zine. Love it. It’s smart. It’s witty. I read every one of those essays, even if I disagreed with the point the authors were trying to make.

Posted in Designated Link Day, Parenting

Screaming for our supper

No one noticed the cute little girl who ran to the front of the dining section at The Keg on Wednesday night, let out a single piercing scream, and then laughed as she ran back to her booth, right? Right?

That’s what I thought.

Dining out with Madeline is usually a manageable endeavor. As long as she likes the food, and there are crayons or packets of sugar to investigate, she’s good (ie. happy to sit still) for at least forty minutes at a restaurant. That’s okay with me. I believe in respecting her attention span and ability to curb her urge to move, move, move; Madeline’s only two, for heaven’s sake. Right now Madeline is rejecting sitting in her booster here at home and highchairs at restaurants, so remaining seated through the meal is something that she’s still learning, and I actually have noticed improvement this week.  The was a post on Blogging Baby earlier this week (this one here) that asked what parents do to keep their kids amused when dining out, and Chris and I have had to adapt to Madeline’s level of development in this regard. For awhile, all we needed to bring was a container of Cheerios, because sticking Cheerios onto a skinny straw to make a "kebab" for her was the high of amusement when she was around a year old. We’ve done crayons and markers, and those little containers of playdough. My newest trick to bring out my iPod where I’ve downloaded several Pixar shorts, which helps to fill the time between when she’s done eating, but Chris and I are not. A few of the commenters in the BB article kind of go all Sanctimommy at the idea of toting objects of amusements into restaurants because they just "talk to their children", and it really bugged me at first, but I’ve come to the conclusion that their kids are more Thinkers than Movers. I could engage Madeline in dinner conversation for an hour straight, but she would still want to do something physical. So, we chat and see how high she can stalk containers of cream, draw shapes, etc.

We’re still allowing Madeline to learn the social rules of dining out, but we just have to go about it in a different way.

Fab "First of December" Friday Links …

  • Mitten clips! I couldn’t justify buying the Snug as Bug ones, so I bid on and won a pair from eBay earlier this week. They’re pretty cute, and a lot less spendy. The seller makes them herself and they’re also available on her etsy site here.
  • The iCrib! I’m not going to buy one, but I think it’s cool. Madeline is content with her Ocean Wonders Aquarium, though I must admit that her bedtime lullabies are the most played track on my iPod! Courtesy of Parent Hacks.
  • Coolest baby announcements ever: 5starbaby.