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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Sexy Pizza Costume

What did you wear for Halloween? I didn't see the Sexy Pizza costume first or I would've bought that online! I ended up wearing every kind of animal print in my closet - snow leopard velvet top, cougar pants, leopard print scarf and pink and black fake ponytail. Not necessarily sexy, perhaps a little bit too scary!
Image Source

On the topic of pizzas that men would love to eat (awh.... cheesy!), I think the Angry Bird Pizza would be a big hit. My sister in law found this on Pinterest and took the kids to shop for the pizza toppings. (See the original design on her iphone!)

Something fun to do with the kids and have dinner made by teeny tiny chefs in training at the same time!

What's Your Excuse?

Maria Kang image source
The "What's Your Excuse" hot mamma fitness instructor Maria Kang posted a recent Facebook profile picture that has riled up fat mamma's and skinny mamma's alike. Well my question is, why does she even have abs; wouldn't she and her husband be pregnant with number 4, 5, 6 and 80? Plus if she's a professional fitness trainer, than it would be her job to look and keep fit, nuff said.

As for me, my excuse for not having wash board abs is because, Number 1 - I have four kids age 6, 5, 3 and 10 months. O wait that's the whole of point of this discussion, that is not an excuse!

Number 2, It's my own fault that I eat bags of chips at night, chocolate cookies and cake at all hours of the day, and the odd protein shake and vitamins to make up for any nutrients I'm missing because I hate eating fruits and vegetables. My kids on the other hand have much better eating habits from the four food groups

Number 3, I don't exercise, other than running to pickup the kids from the bus stop or carrying loads of laundry up and down the stairs. I used to pull three kids in a wagon and carry one on my shoulder in a sling... but they're all walking now. My kids do more exercise than me, because I'm the one driving them to karate and swimming classes.

Number 4, I don't sleep. I choose to do all kinds of chores after 9pm when the kids are asleep.  Then I spend about an hour online just catching up, and another hour (or 5 minutes) to play piano. By the time I go through with my own night routine is half past midnight. But why bother going to sleep, the baby might wake up at 1am or 3am or the worst at 5am because then it's the morning, and nobody goes back to sleep!

But the bottom line, these are the choices I have made in my life. If you go to her facebook page, that's the underlying theme... it's all about choices. You choose to be happy, healthy, strong, busy, productive. I am not at all "annoyed" by Maria Kang's Facebook profile picture. People are mean to write some means things about her. They are probably just upset they don't see the same results in their own life, but that might be because of their own choices.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Natural Bombshell

Have you seen stars without makeup,  the photo mash ups of movie stars and celebrities will full makeup on the red carpet beside a paparazzi sniper shot of the same celebrity doing mundane errands at the grocery store, without makeup.  Sometimes they look stunning and great as a natural bombshell. Other times, well without the mascara and eyeliner you can't recognize who it is let alone distinguish the eyes from the bags under the eyes!
Image Source

One of the many differences between men and women, this article is making the rounds (again) this week. And why is it that a man will wake up and look just as good looking as they went to bed. However, women somehow deteriorate over night. Well the whole success of the skin care industry relies on this fact!

As for me, I cannot leave the house without a bit of eyeshadow or eyeliner. What is your must have item in your makeup kit? I'm not necessarily reviewing the deepest colours in eyeshadow or the best waterproof mascara, and I'm not qualified to give out makeup tips or eye makeup training. Click here for a consumer review of the Arbonne Pure Vibrance hair care and cosmetics lines. But here is an exclusive Christmas eye makeup collection that is vegan friendly and top of the line, from Arbonne! I hope you might enjoy for a natural look or the five minute face.

The glitter gold baked eyeshadow palette, the Majestic Colour Collection and the three luxury eye liners in glitter gold, silver and black. Here is the Majestic Colour Collection makeup Tutorial.

Just remember that the most important thing for anti-aging at any age is the spf in the day moisturizer to protect from the effects of the sun, and a targeted eye cream. The formulation of a proper eye cream will moisturize without attracting moisture (which causes puffiness). Does your skin care regimen reverse the signs of aging or does it make time stand still? Well I'm proud to say that mine will do both. Try a deep hydration mask. Great to see Arbonne in the news, again!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Beauty at Any Age

Wrinkle's? Anti-aging? Thinking of my grandma's and what it means to be ninety-eight and not even look it. I'm in my hometown for a last minute impromptu surprise visit with my new baby to see the great-grandmas.  They didn't even know I was planning to visit, well neither did I until about 18 hours before my flight!
Both my Grandmas.

Well the very cheerful palliative care nurse came to my grandma's room at the nursing home to have "the talk" with the grownups ie. my mom and her siblings.

I had just arrived from my flight with my baby. I knew the talk was coming up so I actually really wanted to leave the room. However I was settled in so snugly in grandma's extra comfy recliner chair with my baby strapped to me so I actually had to overcome great inertia to move. I had many questions and the nurse Kathy had all the answers.

This is my grandma who once lived with us and made breakfast for us, packed my lunch, brushed my hair into ponytails and walked me to the bus stop... and swept the floors a million times a day and made all kinds of traditional Chinese "bao go" while we were at school... and never stopped moving or working for one second; well now she's sitting quietly and relaxed finally... and holding my baby too!

The nurse took one look at my grandma and cheerfully declared, in my experience she does not look like her time is imminent, she is sitting up and talking to you, she is very nourished, glowing and she is breathing well, but you folks have described a list of what people tend to do when their bodies know the time is near. Of course, the best scenario is when it happens peacefully in the night, we all want that, but we won't know...

These words were so hard to hear yet she described them so matter of fact and cheerfully I didn't even feel sad. So they decided it was not appropriate to move her to palliative care (up until that point I didn't even know what that word meant) and just let her be happy where she is.

In fact, I even watched her change the battery for her one tiny hearing aid all by herself. I was too busy staring with my mouth half open in surprise to even offer to help. Such amazing dexterity!

FOUR signs when things are coming to an end, these signs exhibited.

1) The need to gather everyone.
Grandma was asking everyone to come immediately, call Kim (my sister, favorite granddaughter) call all the children. Obviously she didn't ask for me by name, but I realized  that I should come and see her.

2) Withdrawing from Life
Two weeks ago, grandma was playing bingo and croquet in the main games area, something I have never ever imagined she would like to do. Then after her fall (no broken bones) her mood changed, she didn't even go outside for meals or the big room for TV. Suddenly she became very attached and needy and always asked for mom to be at her side.

3) Anxious at night
It's dark, it's quiet, less activity, less distractions, trouble sleeping.

Think of a young child (like Lincoln age 2.5) looking for mommy right after school, first thing in the morning, even in the middle of the night or unable to fall asleep. The same thing, an old woman calling for her daughter.

4) Loss of appetite
I got the impression she was giving up on eating because she seriously thought she was dying so why bother eating. That or maybe she was just protesting the hospital food, lol.

I visited my other grandma too, about 11 years younger. I am still inspired daily by her love for Jesus and dedication to the faith, her strong and encouraging words. As well, she should be the official spokesperson for Pond's - the skincare of octogenarians!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Earth Day Recycle Space Craft

My daughter was born on Earth Day. This year she was very excited about the Earth Day/ Commander Chris Hadfield in Space contest on TVO kids, requesting kids to send in a photo of a space craft made from recycled materials. All week, they extracted materials from the blue box recycle bin and this is what they came up with! All I did to help was precut lots and lots of tape!

Blast off!

This might have really inspired AJ to consider a future career as an Astronaut. Remember that all along, he was very determined to be a Helicopter Pilot and nothing else. Well this week at school is "Je veux devenir" week with show and tell and career visits from moms and dads. AJ recently decided that he would like to be an Astronaut. Why?  "So I can see aliens and talk to them. I'm going to take a picture of the aliens and send them to you Maggie. And I'm going to come back home to see daddy after"

Quand je serai grand, je veux devenir astronaut!

Cute Things Kids Say

Overheard in our household...

Maggie: The people on TV have eyes but can they see me?
Maggie: AJ, you can't play on the ipod all day or your eyeballs are going to fall off
Maggie: Hypothesis, correct! Magnets stick to metal.

Kids: Mom, we're Scientis-ing
Lincoln: Can I bring the rein-dogs on the "obricot cot"? (He meant obstacle course, from the Barbie Christmas movie)

AJ: Mom this is the best best dinner ever in the whole universe! (meatloaf)
Maggie: After we're done "tsak-nga"-ing can we play? (tsak nga is Chinese for brushing teeth)
Lincoln: Mom, your bum is pretty (I was wearing patterned jeans)
Lincoln: Mom your bum is not pretty (I changed into regular blue jeans)
Maggie: Mom, you lay out really cute babies!
Lincoln to Mary: Goodnight Happy-face!
AJ: How come you never sleep? You're doing too much work after we are asleep. You have to sleep when we sleep so you won't be so tired and sleep too long in the morning and you make us miss church!

Lincoln: Po-nato. means tornado
He mixes up chicken and kitchen
Mary: bok bok (rooster)
Maggie: Is Palestine a city or a country? (we met a neighbor who's from there)

Lincoln: I'm gommabe make you a present
Lincoln: The orange is ate-en (means eaten)
Lincoln: For Christmas I'm gonmabe give you Arbonne for your present because you love Arbonne..
Maggie: I survey the room

Baby Handprint Crafts

It was my first visit to the new Stork Club baby group. I used to love going to mommy and baby groups with my first born, but when number two and three came along, it was such a big task to get there on time. Now with number four and on her own at home, it is so refreshing to experience that new baby time and mommy again.

This is a very neat sensory activity for spring time!
Baby Handprint Craft

Flower Petal handprint craft. According to the other resource teacher though, this craft is more appropriate a month from now (say 5 months plus) when they can choose to open the palm more readily (at this age, the reflex is to close the fist upon contact with any object, ie paint!)

Baby Foot Stomp

The flower petal craft should've been done with foot prints! Anyway this is Mary's first foot print. Baby wipes at the ready.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Money Cents

My son loves Math, he doesn't know that he loves it but he certainly does. I know he's only 4 years old and he's my son so I just think he's super smart because he can do "adding and minus-ing" as he calls it.  (Though my husband the over achiever said that in Hong Kong and most of Asia, children his age know the multiplication table by heart to 12x12). Anyways... he'll spend half an hour at his desk in his room, working on a  math worksheet, be it addition or subtraction, that comes with a colour by number activity.  Of course he could be motivated by earning the 20 minutes of ipod time on weekends only.

He's also very interested in money and identification of the currency. What a great and tangible way to encourage or reinforce so many math concepts - counting my fives, trading pennies for dimes and dimes for loonies (working with tens) etc.

I was able to teach him the "value" of money. For example
Penny - what can I penny buy these days?
Nickle - one plastic bag at the store or one jellybean
Quarter - one Timbit
Loonie - one coffee
Twonie - one hamburger
Five dollars - one Happy Meal
Ten dollars - a Pizza

Monday, March 25, 2013

What Did Mommy do Today?

Today was a day different than most school days because Maggie and AJ were home sick with coughs and sniffles; not a terrible kind of sick but enough to make AJ take a rest in bed for most of the morning and for Maggie to use up boxes of Kleenex's.
Easter Crafts - Dollar Store

AJ used to believe that a no-school day would be like a Saturday with access to the ipod, wii, unlimited movie and TV time (a mistake I might've made in the past). However I wanted this day to be a bit more structured and it turned out almost like a school day with me as the Teacher and these two trouble makers as knowledge seekers. To top it all off, I even had time for a short nap and to do some work too.

0630h Wakeup
0730h Breakfast done; Brush Teeth and Change Clothes
0745h Play time (usually that is the time to get into boots and Snow pants)
0805h Keep playing (usually that is the time to start walking to the bus stop)

0900h TV Time 45 min (I already asked them to wait till 9am for once! I fed the baby and took a little nap)
1000h House Chores with little helpers! I even changed the batteries on the smoke detectors and replaced some light bulbs that blew.
1100h Math and Games Time (Bee Hive Game - tens, counting by twos, quantities) and a Pizza in the oven!
1130h Crayon Art and Free Sketching
1145h Science Experiments - making a hypothesis, observations, and a conclusion. (This could be a whole new post, but Maggie was verifying that magnets only stick to metal surfaces and not anything else)

1200h Lunch
1300h more Crayon Art and Free Sketching
1330h Play time
1400h Movie Time 45 min (they watched a cartoon story about the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, while I fed the baby and prepped dinner, printing work sheets)
1500h Snack Time
(1530h School Bus arrives on a normal school day)
1600h Easter Crafts (Mary's classical music CD is playing)
1700h TV Time 30 min (gives me some time to cook and setup dinner)

1730h Dinner Time/ Snacks/ Fruit
1830h Play Time
1900h Bath Time/ Story Time
1930h Baby Sleeps
2000h Kids Sleep/ Fold Laundry/ Pack Kids Lunches

2100h Practise Piano 1 hour
2200h Night Routine/ Computer time
2300h Lights Out (until little people start waking up)

And that's a really good day without too much yelling, screaming, fighting or crying. We covered everything including a bit of Math, Science, Arts and Crafts, countless wholesome snacks, and even some Religion. Not sure if I could do that everyday and run a home school! I would've liked to fit in some music time and a French movie or book.

I feel like I need to rewrite the words to that poem, "What did you do Today?" since that's the same question my husband asked me today when he came back home from work.

0830h Piano practise for Mommy
0900h Piano Lesson for AJ and music writing
1000h Professional Development

Noon Lunch
1300h Kid Chefs! (AJ helps me make the meat loaf)
1400h Movie Time
1500h Reading
1530h Pickup Maggie from the Bus
1600h Snack Time/ Play Time
1700h TV Time

My goals that day were to fit in the piano lesson for AJ that we've missed for ages, and to really minimize the TV time. That used to be a problem for me but I realized that I just had to engage him to work on tasks together, such as cooking dinner and that really made the hour pass by so pleasantly!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Talk

The World According to Preschoolers (continued)

Some day it will inevitably come up that I will have to give the complete answer to my kids questions about where do babies come from. For now, they have bits and pieces of true and factual information but not quite the entire picture for obvious reasons because I choose to give age appropriate answers.

While parking our car in the packed church parking lot, we saw a family walking by with seven kids all under the age of 7 for sure. I blurted out in shock, "Wow that mom has seven kids!!" and my daughter heard me and she spoke out in shock as well, "What? Why did that mom eat so much food?"

I had to laugh because I realized that her understanding of human reproduction at this point was asexual, though incorrect.

Known Facts

Humans are mammals.  She's seen me pregnant three times already, and how I went to the hospital with a giant belly and returned home with a wee little baby.

I have a belly button because I was attached to my mommy with the umbilical cord.

The deal with the egg and sperm, joining up to make a zygote, embryo, fetus and baby etc.

The mom has the egg, the dad has the sperm.

Boys have penises, girls have vaginas, for peeing.

People usually have kids after they get married, so according to her I got married four times!

When you eat a lot of food, your tummy gets really big and fat. As well, when the mommy eats, the baby inside gets big and strong.

Therefore, the mom surely ate a lot of food to grow 7 children! Well no matter which way or how it happened, seven children sounds pretty scary to me!

Monday, March 11, 2013

What Did You Do Today

It's the first day of spring break and the kiddies were at Art Camp. I asked them, what did you do today. Answer: Crafts, mom! Well this is for all the other days when I asked the same question and I got a less informative answer.
Art for Everyone:
Imagination Factory


When children come home at the end of the day.
The question they're asked as they scurry to play is:
"Tell me what did you do at school today?"
And the answer they give makes you smile with dismay
"Nothing! I did nothing today!"

Perhaps nothing means that I played in the sand, or
Played with the teacher in our own band.
Maybe I painted a picture of red or blue
Or I heard a story about an elephant that flew.

Maybe I played with the play dough today
Or went outside to the playground to play.
Maybe today was the very first time
That my scissors followed a very straight line.

Maybe I led a song from beginning to end,
Or played with a special, brand new friend.
When you're only four and your heart has wings
"Nothing" can mean so many things.

Author Unknown

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pet Peeves and First World Drama

I call it my list of "first world" problems that I face everyday, for example, "When bad outfits happen to good people" or "When bad hair happens to good people".  Another issue that used to bother me alot for nearly half an hour every morning, but now which magically takes only 5 minutes... kids getting dressed for the winter with all the glory of snowpants, boots, jacket, and hat; scarf, backpack, mittens last.  On the other side of the coin, this is a small deal considering other people might be worried about owning a pair of proper boots or snowsuits, right?

But what are the underlying conditions that really make me mad? How can I simplify this into common denominators? I've finally been able to narrow it down to three things that make me really mad and explain to myself why it makes me mad, so that I can stop being mad.
Image Source

1) When people aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing.
When my husband is supposed to be tucking the baby in for a nap, he's holding her and watching football (soccer) or reading up on stock quotes, but I'm the one super busy doing the dishes, sweeping, and cleaning up after lunch or dinner while the other kids are running around pulling each other's hair. But wait, who is the one doing the more important work?

When they're supposed to be brushing their teeth and getting dressed for school, instead they've locked themselves in the bathroom, joking or laughing about toothpaste being squeezed onto the counter or drinking water from a toothpaste cap.

When dirty clothes should be going into the dirty laundry bin. It's not shooting basketball hoops, there's no reason to miss. You just have to open the hatch on the hamper and put it in. My kids know how to do that because I decided to train them from birth to avoid conflicts in their future marriage.

I should put up a sign, Please place dirty laundry into bin. However, I doubt anyone would bother reading it which ties in to my next one.

2) When people don't know what they're supposed to know
When my mother in law puts medicine and creams into the fridge that are supposed to be stored at room temperature, and/or keeps Parmesan cheese and other items that are "refrigerate after opening" at room temperature.

When my husband bought the "Jalapeno" Laughing Cow cheese my son grabbed, cuz he didn't "know" to read the label. He didn't realize that Laughing Cow cheese comes in different flavors besides, fat (dark blue) and low fat (light blue). But it has red packaging! Read the label! (I was mad for nearly two hours, possibly because I was post partum and extremely hormonal, they all thought I was crazy to be mad about cheese. But deep inside, I was mad about people not reading labels).

When we ran out of dishwasher detergent and my nanny poured dish soap into the compartment in the dishwasher. Let me tell you, there was a bubble bath on my kitchen floor. I suppose that was an honest mistake and there really isn't a label anywhere that says, Do not use dishsoap like dishwasher detergent. You have to learn that one the hard way. Bubbles were tricky to mop up but the kitchen got a good cleaning.

Another time, a certain adult was helping me with laundry, but she poured the liquid detergent into the fabric softener compartment. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure this was not the first time it happened but I only found out about it because I saw her tipping the last bit of detergent in the jug so it was taking longer than usual so I went to check in. doh!!!!!!!!

I suppose my pet peeve number one should actually be, When people don't read labels properly!!!!

3) When people don't eat what they're supposed to be eating
When I cook a reasonable dinner that is not gross, I promise next time I will take a photo to prove that I am a reasonable cook and the meal is nutritious, edible and beautifully presented, so there is no reason not to eat it.

For example, I made a hearty stew of red beans, tomato paste, leftover squash, chicken chunks and star pasta. My daughter loved it and asked me to make it again next time. So I did, almost the same way, but she didn't want the bean soup the second time and only picked at it. "I'm still hungry, can I have cheerios and milk".

I've figured that my kids don't like leftovers but they like fried rice, chicken fingers, fish sticks, edame beans, KFC or friend chicken but not shake and bake, pasta with tomato sauce, alphaghetti, hot dogs served with the bun but they won't eat the bun, mini hamburgers, carrot sticks and cucumber sticks (not slices), cheese or ham sandwiches but not both together, frozen corn or peas, corn on the cob and corn soup, baked frozen pizza from any brand but not the soft storemade kind from the deli.  And they also like any kind of Chinese stirfry dinner with plain rice. Cooking for them is actually pretty easy. I sometimes prefer that my husband is away or not coming back for dinner because I can just get away from cooking "kid food". Then I don't have to worry about cooking a descent meal of pot roast or ribs, potatoes, carrots or squash, or even baked ham and pineapple and then he comes home and announces that he's gonna make himself his own bowl of wonton soup. Yah whatever, my teenage babysitter ate with us one time and told her mom the food was really good, and I know the food is really good, so that's why I'm mad at people who are not eating what they are supposed to be eating.

Default dinner if you don't like the food - Cheerios and Milk (or make your own wonton soup).

How do I stop being mad.
Well for starters, my parents used to tell me as a child, tears are really precious almost priceless, so don't waste them. I guess Jesus said it best on the cross, Father forgive them because they know not what they are doing.
Image Source

I'm taking it out of context, I guess people just can't help being stupid or they can't help doing something they're not supposed to be doing. Well as long as safety is not compromised, which means it's actually ok for me to be mad about people not reading labels. However, kids need to be directed and told the right way.

However, my dad also told me that even in my greatest anger, I should try not to yell at my husband nor tell him that he is stupid (even if he really did something as stupid as the annoying things I described above) .It is kinda funny in a wierd way, and I sometimes laugh even when I'm angry. The reason is that the best comeback would be "Well I guess it was a stupid decision to marry you" Well maybe this is some kind of inside joke he has with my mom, but I hope my husband never sees this post.

As for the food, well maybe it is about preferences and balanced nutrition. If that is the case then I really don't need to make the effort to make anything fancy. I think my husband only likes to eat Chinese stir fry dinners with rice. Well if the kids like that too, and I'm the only one who likes "American" food, I suppose I'll have to be the one eating Cheerios and Milk and the daddy can cook.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forces Of Nature

A Man's Job

Shovelling the snow, mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage and taking out the garbage; all of these things are a man's job. Even as a strong woman, working outside the home doing "manly" work in a "man's world" until just recently because of my mat leave, I still do believe that shoveling the snow is a man's job. No shame in that. Yes I have the strength to push a snowblower (that I wish I owned); yes I have the strength to clear 30 cm of snow off my SUV and driveway though it might take an hour or two. But yes, I believe it is a job for my husband yet unfortunately he is miles away in a different climate zone and I miss him dearly for that.

Kids Snow Sculptures on a good day

My backyard, imagine the driveway!

For the record though, the next photo is one I borrowed from a friend. Her snow pile she had to shovel all by herself was 7 feet tall (in Ottawa). I really shouldn't be that mad about my snowbanks 3 feet high, but I was mad. Anyway I did not take a photograph of my driveway, but here is her photo for dramatic effect...
Her snowbanks 7 feet high!

A Mother's Help
This morning while I was out with my son at Art class, I suppose the friendly snowplow guy from the city cleared our long street and just decided to dump everything from the entire street at the end of my driveway. Arrrrggggggh!  In reality, I suppose it's because we live near the end of the cul-de-sac and just at the start of the curve tangent, which magically causes the long shovel to tip just enough to dump everything right at my driveway and at nobody else's on the whole street. I would like to believe that because there cannot be a person evil enough in the whole world to do that on purpose every snowfall.

Anywayz I could've drove right over it but I felt that I really need to remove the snow before I compacted it with my car and then it would likely turn to ice if I just went into the house to do my work in the kitchen and come out later.  I parked my car on my neighbor's driveway and my mom who was visiting me from out of town, jumped out of the car to help me move out the bales of snow together. We did not ask my dad to come out out because we figured he was happy with baby Mary (and he is a senior citizen officially and it is hard work for him though he won't admit it). It was hard work for my mom too, but I think it was awesome that she could help me with that. Very endearing.

Stick it to the Man
I was doing fine, until I suddenly got super mad at the city and I totally snapped cuz I was so mad about moving a thousand pounds of snow off the end of my driveway my dad and I already shovelled this morning. I started shouting into the street and instead of using my energy to lift bales of heavy snow higher onto the snowbanks of my driveway I just started dumping snow into the street and I even picked up giant snow boulders (and smaller snow balls) and just started throwing everything onto the street. I shouted really loud and I'm pretty sure everyone in the world heard me, "I pay my taxes! This is so wrong. I'm calling the city right now!!" Then I started jumping up and down on the piles of snow to make them smaller until I fell on my butt in the slush and my mom and to help me out and tell me to stop acting like a child.

Well I felt really good after I got that temper out of my system. Fortunately or unfortunately though, the neighbor across from my house was just driving home so he probably saw a crazy woman throwing snow back onto street. My other neighbor with the big shovel attached to his truck also drove up and just pushed everything away in about four hydraulic lifts. Wow I need to get me one of those trucks! I said thanks and waved and my mom and I calmly finished the rest of the driveway, but wow.... that was one hell of a morning. I can also say I know what it feels like to have a temper tantrum, like a three year old, it was the only natural reaction I could have to this scenario at that time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowflakes and Chocolate Covered Cupcakes

Lincoln's new favorite song to sing at bedtime is "Snowflakes and Chocolate Covered Cupcakes". I've been trying to make a recording of him singing but every time he knows I'm taping he'll ask to see the camera. I'll have to set up spy cam I think.
Hiding from Monster Cupcakes

Source Pinterest

He'll also cycle through the whole circle time routine, with the Good Morning Song and ending the song with, "And that's the way to start a brand new day" and he'll sound just like his teacher's intonation - "Good morning Wildcats!".

The words are very clear to me and the tune is quite accurate, but I don't know all the variations of these songs, plus I had trouble understanding there was an actual song about chocolate covered cupcakes and snowflakes, so I called the daycare and asked his teachers to send the lyrics home. This song is so cute! He was singing the exact words correctly!

Snowflake Song
Lyrics set to the tune "Allouette Gentil Allouete" French Canadian

If all the snowflakes were chocolate covered cupcakes
Oh what a snow that would be.
Standing outside with my mouth opened wide
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
If all the snowflakes were chocolate covered cupcakes
Oh what a snow that would be!

Good Morning Song
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you.
Good morning, good morning and how do you do
We're all in our places with sun shiny faces
Isn't that the way to start a brand new day.
(Good morning Wildcats!)

Row your Boat
Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a "crocodile"
Don't forget to scream ... ah!....

The other songs are I Love You (Barney song), Mr Sun, Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Mr Sun
Mr Sun, Sun
Mr Golden Sun
Please shine down on me.
Mr Sun, Sun
Mr Golden Sun
Hiding behind the tree
These little children are asking you,
To please com out
So we can play with you.
Oh Mr Sun, Sun
Mr Golden Sun
Please shine down on me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby's First Valentine

Just when I thought we had finished all the Halloween candy, the kids came home with bags of Valentine loot; mostly dollar store lollipops that their dad made me throw out. Each tiny Valentine carefully written out in the classmates' own writing (or at times the mom) but so cute the Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers, Batman, Sponge Bob and Cars; something to use in the scrapbook page for Valentine because these are all their favorite things right now.  Maggie's friend made this cutest monster valentine with the cutest saying: I've got my Eye on you!
Monster: I've got my eye on you
 Maggie was so happy to present the tulip heart valentine card, and AJ insisted that I  never ever eat the lollipop of the butterfly valentine card. Really cute of her to write Je t'aime mama et papa. (Of course I rescued the card from the recycle bin cuz dad just carelessly tossed it in there, heartless!)

Mary's friends at play group wrote out a few Valentines for her too. So cute,I'm definitely keeping those for her in the baby book. Here is a photo of Mary two months old in her Valentine dress. Actually this is one of the only dresses she's ever worn because she is usually in "pyjamas".

Dollar Store Decor
Back in mid January, I was so happy to see the Valentine decor on sale at Dollarama. I picked up the pink heart table cloth and napkins etc but I just didn't want to spend a dollar on heart garland. Here is my DIY heart garland made from a tri-folded scrap paper, chained together pink and white alternating, and taped to the window sill.  I didn't want to spend a dollar on a giant glittery heart so I used the ones the kids made at school.

DIY Valentine Heart Garland
Lincoln was so happy to see the dinner table decorated like that. "Hey mom, it's a Valentine party dinner!" It was so cute to hear him say "Happy Valentine! I love you Mommee!" This is a photo of him taken by AJ the buddy photographer.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Danse Masque

The Carnivale week at school for the 100 Days festivities will be packed with many activities including Pyjama Day, Crazy Hair Day, Masked Dance, and a school trip to the movies. I didn't know they would be making masks at school on Monday until I just read the schedule, but we made these masks at home last week..

Materials used: craft foam sheets, foam shape stickers, sequins, left over curl ribbon from gifts, and hot glue. The "Bob l'eponge" mask took the most time and effort. The kids mask templates were found online; I just traced them onto the foam and the back of cereal boxes. Actually I used the cardboard from a box of noodles so the back of the mask is gold. Reversible!

Sponge Bob Mask

Three Easy Steps
1) Trace and cut out the masks (front and back)
2) Use hot glue to attach the handle stick (or do this last)
3) Apply the embellishments.  Use hot glue for the big jobs like the ribbon on the side. White glue for the sequins, takes longer to dry. Do the feathers last after the white glue has dried.

Maggie insisted that we make one for Lincoln too. We worked on this purple one together. She asked me where did I get all these different "formes". That's cute because I know she meant to say shapes, but "formes" is the word for shapes en francais.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Monart Effect

Have you heard of the Mozart Effect - playing music CD's for your baby, namely Mozart and Bach so he grows up to be an amazing math genius. How about playing music for your kids while they paint and draw! Fun but that's not Monart.  I enrolled my kids in Monart Classes during Spring and Fall 2012. It is a teacher directed group class, developed by the author of the book Drawing with Children by Mona Brooke
First Class, AJ age 3.5

Maggie Age 5
AJ Age 3.5 

Maggie Age 5

AJ Age 3.5

Monart Sketching Excercises

Monart Sketching Excercise
Reverse Art
We moved away and there is no Monart class in this town, but we found a really amazing art studio called Art for Everyone. We signed up for a few drop in classes. I explained to the teacher about the Monart class they were in. I suppose she didn't like that I was over advertising how amazing these kids can draw, but I really liked her response.  "Here we don't judge the final product, it's about the process" (paraphrase)
Masking with Painters Tape

Monsters - Resist Method by masking

Monsters revealed!
Budget Art
The kids inspired me to get creative and try out this method of painting. The same day I rushed out to the dollar store to buy all kinds of painting supplies. Can you guess what I'm painting? Remember that the masked areas will remain white.  As soon as I actually start painting, I'll post my art, good or bad.



Other Ideas to Try Out:
Haven't joined Pinterest yet but I really like this mom's pin board for craft and art ideas!