Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Weekend In The Garden

Well, now that some nice weather is here, it was time to dig a new garden at home. 

During the wind storm a couple weeks ago, we lost the 2 old spruce trees at the side of the house and without them, the house looked bare and not as private. 

Eureka!  Let's put in a garden.  I think my husband secretly loathes me....I have the vision...he is forced to execute said vision AND deal with plenty of last minute revisions.  But, as super as he is...he doesn't grumble!

It started by making him trek through mosquito infested cedar trees for some old rail fence.  Then he had to unload them all and move them around the yard.

We had to wait until the kids went to bed to install the fence and he put up with a my one-sided conversation that went much like this:

" I want them to go there"
" Well, actually, perhaps they look better this way"
" No, put them back the way we had them first"
" Don't you think you should use a level?"
" Where is your measuring tape?"
" Is everything the same height?"
" How does that look to you?"

I tried to help move the rails and I think I only hit him in the head a couple times as I was swinging around this 8' rail.  But again, he was good at coping and just side-stepped my fumbling.

In the end, it all went up and I had to then decide the shape of the garden so he could remove all the grass.  I won't share the details of THAT one sided conversation, because it was pretty much the same.

It took us about 2 hours to dig up all the grass and then dispose of it.

I am hoping this weekend to go and get some plants for it.

Enjoy a couple pictures from the weekend!

This is how you garden when you have kids to help

Mom, Dad, Abby and I went to a few yard sales Saturday morning.  We got lots of good is a  picture of one of them and how I "dressed" it up.  Stay tuned for my other find, once I get it decked out

This is an old paper roller that I saw and envisioned with Hens & Chickens
The Hens & Chickens also came from a yard sale...SCORE!
For Mother's day, Hayden brought home a pansy in cup for me.  It was so sweet and had a couple blooms on it. I was waiting to plant it once the gardens were ready.   However, the cat must have decided that it had been there enough and within the last week, knocked it over at least 3 times, and finally I had to cut the blooms off because they were broken.  I handed it to Hayden and told him to pick a spot and daddy would help him plant it.  He insisted he could do it himself and this is what I got:

Yup, he didn't take it out of the cup, just piled the dirt around it
And yes
I know this is a horrible picture, looks like he is HEAVILY medicated
and not with anything good!

Afterwards, all he could talk about was how when this plant was ready, he was going to pick the carrots for Carrot Cake, despite how many times I told him it wasn't a carrot plant, but a pansy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Out Of Control

Ever have moments like that....where everything seems out of control.

The last month has been like that for me, and with no one to blame but myself.

Basically, I have been lazy!

This lack of control has affected all aspects of my life within the last month.  April was bad with 2 birthdays, and countless celebrations.  Not that I should allow that to be my excuse...but it is :-)

I made a menu plan for last month, but didn't follow it at all, didn't buy the ingredients I would need to  make any of the things.  Relied on the same ol' boring meals, and if that failed...TAKE OUT!

My goal of a healthy lifestyle change went down the "crapper" as well and the scales were proof of that.  I wasn't able to enjoy dessert just a couple times, instead figured I had already blew it, might as well keep at it.  I stopped tracking my food consumption and portion control. I let the weather stop me from walking....TISK TISK!

I found myself lacking energy to do anything.  Some nights I would even give Hayden a choice between watching a cartoon before bed or reading stories...knowing he will pick the TV show.

So, I have slapped myself on the hand and my goal is to be back on track for June 1.  So, feel free to remind me up until then and check in with me after then.

Just so this post isn't so boring and depressing...
This picture was in Tuesday's examiner....Hayden was asked to pose with a donation cheque while at Five Counties a couple weeks ago.  The photo turned out well....once I convinced him to loose the spiderman hat and glasses :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Pictures Tell The Story

First, look at the pictures and see if you can figure out the story of the events that took place in our house Wednesday morning.  Afterwards, I will fill the details and dialogue

Please note...I do not keep bread on the garage floor

While these events took place Wednesday morning, the story actually starts after dinner on Tuesday.  For dessert, Hayden had a fudgesicle and after it was finished, wanted a second one.  I told him no and Daddy said he could have 2 tomorrow.

6:30 am in comes the wake up call

" moooomy....Spiderman is on and I alllways wake daddy up to watch it with me"
"yes, well, mommy doesn't get up early like daddy, so away you go"

About 15 minutes later

"moooomy, daddy said I could have two ice creams today, can I have one now?"
"no, you can wait until mommy gets come and wake me up AFTER the first Inspector Gadget"

Another 15 minutes later

"moooomy, I have a deal for you.....I can have my ice cream now BEFORE Inspector Gadget!"
" How about this deal, now you don't get one at all"

He leaves the room, screaming and stomping about how he doesn't like me or the deal

This wakes Abby up and now she is crying, so I roll out of bed and get her...from the living room, I hear scurrying....and know that Hayden has opened the fudgesicle and is trying to hide from me.

I get Abby out and head out to the back to let the dog out, open the door to the garage and notice a loaf of bread on the floor.  I pass the dresser in the kitchen and notice his scissors and the fudgesicle wrapper.

The coffee table mysteriously has a blanket on it to act as a great hiding place...however, the pesky little sister can't be fooled.

Hayden is not a good hider, hence his still visible bum.

I remove the blanket and low and behold...a chocolate faced little boy.  It sure started my morning off with a laugh.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Wonderful Workshop

Today I attended a fabulous workshop titled "ABC and Beyond:  Building Emergent Literacy In Young Children"

It was put on by the Speech, Language & Hearing Association of Peterborough.  The guest speaker was Janice Greenberg, SLP, and program director from The Hanen Centre (

Now, I have no past familiarity with this centre and haven't taken the time to look over the website, but it sounds interesting and I am certainly going to explore it more closely for ideas.

Anyhoo, I signed up for this workshop, being completely unsure if it would be suitable in regards to Hayden.  As it turns out, it was perfect.  I felt it was speaking right to me and the goals we are now trying to achieve with Speech Therapy.  Originally, our goal was just getting him to talk, but now that he can talk sentences, we are working on getting him to realise things like, there is a difference between words and letters, how some words rhyme and that not all words have the same number of syllables.  Perhaps a little advanced for a 4 1/2 year old you might think....and I must admit, before today, I thought what we were trying to achieve was a bit beyond his level at this point.  But this workshop provided me with numerous "AH HA" moments.

It basically was pointing out that these important literacy skills should be introduced around age 3 - 5.  Vocabulary grows because of exposure to words. It also showed you ways to engage your children in conversation, which is also where we are at with Hayden.  It's all well and good that he can talk, but we have to try and encourage him to use longer sentences and more descriptive words.

I can't tell you all the details of this workshop, because for one, I would get it wrong, and two, this blog would be pages long.  But here is the synopsis of my "AH HA" moments:

  1. Every night we read stories before bed, I allot about 30 minutes and we can read about 5 - 6 books in that time.  I thought...the more books we read, the more exposure he will get and then his speech will get better....well, what I took away today was..just because he is listening to the story, doesn't mean he is "Getting It"  I left thinking...OK, from now on...story time is not going to be about QUANTITY, but about QUALITY.  Recently, while reading books, Hayden wants to point out things he has noticed in the pictures or ask questions, but after a couple, I move him on so we can finish and get to another story.  What I was missing by doing this was the opportunity to foster conversation.  What better way to engage him then to talk about the story, becuase he is clearly showing interest in it.
  2. Just because you think your child won't understand the word doesn't mean you shouldn't use it.   Use it and explain what it means and ways to use it.  They had an example of teaching children the word "Disgruntled"  Eventually, the children understood what this "big" word meant.  The teacher noticed one child was not quite themselves and ask him what was wrong, the child responded "I just have a lot of 'gruntles today."  Imagine your 4-year old understanding that word? And using is appropraitly?
  3. When you ask them questions, ask them "Open Ended" questions...not one that simply requires a yes or no answer.  Don't say something like "does that girl look scared?"  Instead, say "Why do you think she looks so nervous?" and then take the conversation from there..."what would you do if you were in that situation?"
I remember once having a client tell me that even as a young child, their grandfather would read them stories that we would typically assume are "adult" books, like Moby Dick.  That just because we don't think it's appropriate doesn't mean we shouldn't read it if the child finds it interesting.  I recall thinking what a cool point of view.  I tucked that away for future knowledge.  And I admit, I have used that tidbit..sort of.  I try and read in front of the kids so that they can see that reading is something to be enjoyed, not work forced on you by school or adults.  Especially with Hayden, because I know that as most boys get older, they tend to lose interest in reading.  Sometimes, he comes over when I am reading and points to the words and asks me "what does all this say"  and so long as it's not a sex scene (because I don't think I want to explain some of THOSE words), I read it to him.  Understandably, it doesn't keep his interest, but I don't treat him like he is not intelligent enough for the book...perhaps just not "refined" enough.

Some days I wonder if I am on the right track with my parenting and doing all I can for my children.  Then I go back and read something like this that I just wrote and say, "Hey, I am doing a pretty great job!" ( you just witnessed another AH HA moment) I AM doing a good job, the best I can do anyway, and in the end, when the kids are happy, healthy and tucked into bed....that's all you can ask for right?

P.S. If you have any further questions, please just ask away :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our New Puppy!

We just couldn't resist this little guy!  We didn't really need OR want another puppy in the house, however, one look at this one and who could say no? 

PLUS!! He is already pretty good at fetching the Frisbee!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May's Menu

Ok, so last month, I decided to take inspiration from one of the blogs I follow and plan out my dinner menus for the month.  Let me tell you, this took SO MUCH stress off of me.  I hate dinner time, especially during the week.  I get home and try and figure out what to eat while the kids are screaming and crying at my legs.  This allowed me to plan ahead as much as possible and even gave me a bit of time to tidy up the dishes before dinner.  So here goes for the month of May

May 1 - Pork Tenderloin, potatoes, corn and biscuits
May 2 - grilled cheese and soup (soccer night)
May 3 - Bacon, eggs and toast (TOPS night)
May 4 - Ham Steak, Potatoes and sidekicks
May 5 - Spaghetti and garlic bread OR shopping night
May 6 - Hamburgers

May 8 - Roast Chicken, potatoes and corn
May 9 - Hot Dogs (soccer night)
May 10 - Omelets and bacon (TOPS night)
May 11 - Ribs and fries
May 12 - Meatballs and rice
May 13 - Lasagna and garlic bread

May 15 - Shish kabobs, corn, potatoes, bread
May 16 - Cheese and bacon snacks (soccer night)
May 17 - Pizza (TOPS night)
May 18 - Clubhouse sandwiches and chips
May 19 - Macaroni and cheese OR shopping night
May 20 - Steak, potatoes, corn, mushrooms, bread
May 21 - Hamburgers, potato salad and macaroni salad (GARAGE SALE)

May 22 - Roast beef, potatoes, corn, gravy, Yorkshire pudding
May 23 - Grilled cheese (soccer night...I think?)
May 24 - Texas Tommies and tater tots (TOPS night)
May 25 - Chicken Alfredo
May 26 - Tacos
May 27 - Pork chops, sidekicks, potatoes

May 29 - Chicken stew, bread and biscuits
May 30 - Sandwiches and chips (soccer night)
May 31 - Chicken fingers and fries (TOPS night)

So, there you have it...anyone have suggestions for my new recipe nights?

Who Needs A Boy....

....When You Have A John Deere Girl?

We do love our boy too :-)