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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!