Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brat's "Graduation"

My Brat graduated from Kindergarten today.

We pulled out her 'fancy' Easter dress last night, and laid it out for packaging today.

She sat ALMOST still while I braided her hair, and tucked the ends in nicely, smoothed the frizzies out and then she put on her makeup (just a sparkle paste that she smears all over her face for special occasions). She was so excited about her graduation ceremony.

I left for work, after packing her dress, and leaving specific instructions with Bugs to carry it for her on their way to school. Now, normally on Wed. when I leave for work, D is still awake and gets them out the door successfully on time. Today, because he had to be awake again so early for the graduation, he was in bed when the kids left.

So, off I went blithely going about my day. When I got to the church where they were having the ceremony, I saw Brat, coming down the aisle, tears streaming down her little face.

She was not wearing her fancy Easter dress. She was still wearing her school uniform. She came over to me as the kids passed by, and I asked, "Where's your dress baby?" She took one deep breath and screamed, "STUPID BUGS FORGOT IT!" and proceeded to wail and howl. So, I kissed her streaky face, told her she was beautiful no matter what she wore, and that I was so proud of her and that I loved her. She stopped crying, but she was clearly still furiously angry.

D went home as fast as he could and brought back her fancy dress. During a short song, Lilah did her quick change in the corner and went straight back into her spot and joyfully sung the rest of the songs.

All in all, it was an absolutely awesome time for us. Pictures to follow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blondie's Is A Good Day.

Today was a busy day.

First just being awake was traumatic. I fell asleep last night folding clean laundry. So, I went to bed at the unheard of time of 11pm (that is incredibly early for me). Monster woke up at 6 and I got up around 6:30 this morning.

Then I went with my cousin to donate blood (I usually go about every 8 weeks but while I was pregnant and nursing I didn't so, this was my first time in the last 2 years). My blood was flowing too slowly today (apparently drinking three coffees and two diet cokes was NOT what they meant by "hydrate yourself") so they only collected one unit instead of the usual volume.

Then I went for lunch. I was starving and I've been waiting patiently (tried a couple times but it was closed) to try Blondie's Restaurant Blondie's Restaurant on Urbanspoonfor years. My husband came home once with a 1 lb burger. He loved it so much because of the owner (we love going someplace honest and upfront).  He was so impressed and amazed by her and her establishment that he would love me to go to her and get a job with her, because he's dead sure I'd love working there. So, I've been wanting, and waiting to go for years now.

Until today. After donating blood, myself, my cousin and a friend went to Blondie's. We got there about 12(ish). There are 'Rules' on the wall. I read them carefully.

"Ordering a milkshake when it is busy will result in DEATH" and "If you have complaints about our food, prices, or service- McDonald's is right down the street" are my two favourites- but I liked (and agreed with) the rest of them just as much.

So, I went for it. I asked the waitress if it was too busy for me to have a 7 scoop of ice cream shake. She looked around, thought briefly and okayed it. I ordered the 1/4 lb burger and fries. My cousin had chicken fingers, and my friend ordered a tuna salad sandwich. The waitress looked up from her pad, "That's going to be a while, she's pretty busy with making burgers."

Friend said, "That's just fine." The waitress left and took our order in to "Blondie".

From the kitchen we hear, "That's going to take FOREVER!! FOREVER! A LONG TIME! FOREVER!" I loved it.

The sandwich was the first thing to arrive. And it looked good. Nice thick brown bread, looked super soft and fresh and the lettuce was nice and green and crisp. A good sandwich.

The burger and chicken and fries arrived, and they were all delicious. The bacon (standard on burgers) was thick cut and crisp and so tasty. Loved the burger, but couldn't finish because it was simply too big (the 1/4 lb is AFTER cooking).

Then my milkshake arrived. And here's where it got gooooooood. It was so thick the straw stood straight up. It was FULL of strawberries. REAL strawberries. The shake was so heavy with ice cream that I made my cohorts try it. It was simply the best shake I've ever had. I don't know how much I paid for it.

Frankly, I don't care how much she charged me for it. I would pay $15.00 for that shake on a regular basis.

All in all, a good day. And I will be going back to Blondie's again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What A Stupid Word. Floss.

I have a dentist appointment this morning.

I have to be there in 30 minutes. From right now. But I'm still not fully ready. And I am on here writing instead of getting up and moving towards the door.

And not because I hate the dentist, in fact, quite the opposite, I love my dentist. I love the office, I love the receptionist, and the dental hygienists are all very nice, and very friendly.

I'm still sitting here, procrastinating because I haven't been flossing for the last month. I keep forgetting- coupled with the fact that at some point about a month ago SOMEONE (Brat I believe) brought the floss out of the bathroom, and the baby played with it. I don't know where it is. And that's an excuse- a weak one at that.

I haven't flossed because I don't care. There! I said it!

I do not care if I floss.

If the floss is right there, I will use it. I know it's great for removing plaque, and aerating the space between teeth and blah blah blah. None of those is the reason I floss. I floss because I feel guilty going to the dentist if I haven't been flossing- I don't want to disappoint him.

He's nice about it. Makes a joke, "Well, I'll get more business when your teeth fall out I suppose! I'll just have to go into orthodontics as you age."

So, yes, I haven't flossed lately. And he'll notice, and he'll tease me. And I deserve it for not flossing or, more precisely, for not caring that I haven't been flossing.

So I have to remember to buy new dental floss on the way home.

But for now, I have to suck it up and go get my cleaning done. Dammit.

P.S. Now that I've written the post, and gone over it to double check it, the actual word "FLOSS" has lost all meaning to me. I keep seeing it, looking at it, now I'm thinking, "What a stupid word." I hate it when that happens.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Only Brat.

What's the best way to clean an oven?

Seriously, I need the most effective method for oven cleaning available.

The reason I need to know is simple. Brat exploded a cake in my oven yesterday.

Yes. Exploded is the word I meant to use. As in, forceful eruption of cake batter from the safety of the pan to every single interior surface of my oven. Top. Bottom. All four sides.

I don't know exactly HOW it happened. I was standing RIGHT there throughout her "baking". I watched her measure (mostly everything). I just don't understand what could possibly have happened. Maybe Brat slipped some extra baking soda, or baking powder into the batter. Maybe she short changed the flour. Or put extra butter. I don't know. None of those answers, chemically, equals explosion.

I do know that the carrot cake we tried to make is sitting on top of the stove, looking more like a shell than a cake- which makes perfect sense because the body of the cake is splattered about.

All in all, so glad we made a cake. But for Fathers Day, we're going to make a no bake cheesecake instead. And Brat can watch, but maybe I'll do the measuring myself.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What I Want To Say To You on Fathers Day.

Time for another OAR prompt: Someone else in the adoption constellation- what do you want to say to them on Fathers Day? Open Adoption Bloggers

Today it's for Fathers Day.

Well, I want to write to my dad. He's not a part of the 'open adoption' community per se, but he's mine.


You were not there when I was a child- mom didn't know you then, so that doesn't surprise me.

You were there when I was a preteen- and lacked all common sense.
You were there when I was a teenager- in other words a total shithead.
You were there the day I left for University.
You were there when I called from school whining because I was cold.
You were there the day I called home and said I wasn't going back to University.

And all of that surprised me then. It doesn't surprise me any more. I have learned to expect that you will be there.

You were there the day I told you I was moving to Winnipeg. You sat and listened while I cried and explained that I needed to go spend time with my biological father- needed to understand him. You didn't say anything. You didn't say I couldn't (or shouldn't) go. You didn't chastise me for being 'stupid' or leaving school a month before the school year ended.

You were there the day I called home and said I'd met 'the one'. The day I brought him and my son home.

You were there the day I got married.

You were there the night I called home to tell you and mom about my pregnancy with Brat, and then again with Monster.

You were there through it all.

You are the kind of father I needed. The kind of father I married in D. The kind of father I hope I am raising my son to be.

I love you very much, and all the times I was a shit as a teenager and pulled the "You're not my REAL dad- you can't tell me what to do!" bullshit still haunt me. But you don't want my apologies for those times- you say, "I wasn't a perfect father either sweetheart." But you were. Because you were there.

You love me, with all my faults, through all those trials you loved me anyways. And you were there. Thank you for always being there.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Letter From A Non- Parent.

This was 'shared' on my facebook wall earlier today, and it made my WHOLE day.

Love it. "An Open Letter To All Parents From A Non-Parent

I laughed out loud several times, and thought I'd share. Fantastic.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not As Safe As Is Possible

I was 'browsing' the web the other day, trying to find parents who seem to think like me.

Trying to find someone to validate what I feel is my own common (or uncommon as it seems) sense approach to being a mother.

I typed any number of things into Googles' search. Parenting, NON helicopter mom, natural consequence parenting. Seriously, but each site I got too was a bit too much in SOME way. One mom didn't ever use sunscreen. One mom didn't let her children walk to school unless there was at least 3 kids in the group. There were more, but I had no desire to read them.

Then I found this blog by  a "Free Range" mom.   Fantastic, YOU are who I've been looking for.

I read a couple of her older blog posts and quite enjoyed them.

Eventually, I ended up on YouTube and found a video documentary which backs up something I read a couple years ago about children and risky play.

Basically, the study said this:

When the adults of today were children, we took risks on the playground- we learned about natural consequences.

We used see saws (knowing full well that the person on the other side was going to jump off and make us thump our arses); we climbed ridiculously high, and sometimes we fell. We used swings to launch ourselves as high as possible into the stratosphere before plummeting downwards and trying to land.

Then, as we became adults, someone else remembered how many risks we took as children, and they made the playgrounds "safe". Swings that don't go so high; no more teeter totters; solid plastic instead of wood. Safe.

The consequence of that change is readily apparent in the young adults of today. The 15-23 year old age group, who grew up in the safety playgrounds. Well, they've admitted that they take about 7 times the risks we did when we were young.

And there is a reason for this. It's called "learning".

Children learn early, through taking calculated risks, to judge a situation by, and for, themselves ("These monkey bars are awfully high, and last time I jumped, I twisted my ankles- so I think I'll climb down a bit first"). They learn in small steps, incrementally, to apply natural consequences for themselves.

By making the playgrounds so safe, we've taken the chance to learn away from our children. In response, in order to mature, they must still learn about risk and how to manage risk. But by the time they have broken free of their overprotective parents (helicopter moms), the only risks left to take are life threatening ones. Drinking and driving. Having contact with strangers in the guise of 'trusted' drug dealers. Getting drunk and leaving a party with a stranger. They are testing the limits- learning (as they should have done as children). But they are using REAL life threatening situations to learn to judge risk.

Which they could have learned to do if their mothers had let them fall, even just once, off the monkey bars.

 I can't find the exact paper I read, I will continue to try to find it.  In the meanwhile, I am posting a video documentary from one of the authors of the paper. It's only 10 minutes long, but it's worth watching. Especially if you can't stop yourself from running to help every time your child starts to climb.

When I find the paper on the outcome of the safe playground, I will edit this to reflect that.

My favourite lines in this video are: "As safe as necessary- NOT as safe as is possible" and "Life is not risk free".

Striking a balance between preventing injury and accepting that accidents happen. Accidents cannot be prevented without bubble wrapping our children- and that takes something from them that I don't want to see my kids lose.

Just the other day, my cousins' 5 year old fell off a swing. She was hurt badly. She's been in the hospital since. And I've been worried- and praying that she's up and about soon. But that was a freak accident and completely unpreventable- my kids are still going to be swinging as high as they can.