Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 23, 24 & 25

Day 23

Replace sarcasm with kindness.

This one is a toughie...only because anyone who knows me well, knows that sarcasm IS my personality and I come by it honestly from my father. I try not to be too sarcastic with Hayden during the week.  He is generally too tired to deal with it and it ends up just upsetting him.  Abby takes everything in stride.

Day 24

Do not interrupt your child when he/she is talking.

This challenge comes pretty naturally to me.  With all the speech issues we have dealt with over the years with Hayden has taught me this. We never rushed his speech or finished his sentences for him, but instead waited for him to "map" it out.  He still gets a bit delayed sometimes.  He he is very excited or passionate, he tends to "stutter" a bit.  For him though, it is more that his mouth needs to catch up with his mind and until that happens, he will repeat one word numerous times.  Abby is so much easier to understand and because of Hayden, I don't struggle nearly as much with her.

Day 25

Ask your child's opinion sometime today.

We are getting ready for a baby shower this weekend and I painted a "welcoming" picture on the front window.  I asked Hayden what he thought of it...did I do a good job?  Thumbs up from him! :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mom Challenge - Days 17 - 22

It's been a crazy week!  Here is the catch up on the mom challenge for those of you interested

Day 17

Laugh with your child today.

This one is almost impossible to not accomplish.  For anyone who has kids, you laugh everyday.  Whether it's peek-a-boo with Abby or knock-knock jokes with Hayden, things are pretty funny around here.

Day 18

Who is a mom you admire?  What quality of hers can you live out today?

This one is a tie I think between both my mother and my grandmother (MacDonald)  My mom was so sick when I was little and Gramma was a second mother to me.  I learned so much from both of them.  Love of cooking and good food, being patient and kind.  They have skills I can't master, like making a crying baby stop and sleep.  The quality of theirs that I am living out today, is to make it so that "there is no place like home"  I want my kids to breathe a sigh of relief each day when they step through the door, knowing they are coming to a place where they are loved no matter what.

Day 19

Teach your child one thing he/she can do on his/her own.

OK, I didn't do this.  I certainly encourage them everyday though to just try things they think are hard.

Day 20

Today's focus:  Patience.

I didn't do so well with this one either.  It was a rough day at work and I was stressed out.  It all translated back to home and my patience was VERY short with things I would normally just let slide.  I felt terrible for it later and wish it could be undone, but it can't.  That is just how it can't always be perfect.

Day 21

Forgive yourself when you mess up.

I am one of those parents that believes in apologizing to my kids when I am wrong.  That includes being grumpy.  I have been known on occasion to say to Hayden, "Mommy is grumpy today....sorry that I have yelled at you."  He's a great kid...forgives me every time.

Day 22

How do you want your child to remember you?  Be that mom today.

 I want to be remembered as a mom that loved them without strings attached.  I want to be remembered as a mom that was fun to be around.  Hayden knows that even though we might be angry with him or disappointed with him, that we will ALWAYS love him...nothing can change that!
As for being fun...think I won that one today.  We played a bit of hockey outside and then later after dinner...we played Toy Story and I was Bullseye....did you know that Bullseye has to crawl on the floor?  Nope, neither did I when I picked it...I thought I got to sit on the comfy couch and make horse noises.  NOPE!  Apparently, I had to give pony rides as well.  So, Hayden got on first.  I got half way around the coffee table when we were attached by a St. Bernard.  Once Bristol was out of the way, we went a bit further and let Abby have a turn.  We got attacked by the same St. Bernard again and then the ride was over!  Hope they don 't want to make it a regular thing, the floors were hard on my knees and my arms were aching after!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 1850 Mile Pinterest Challenge - April Edition

Well, it feels like that time again and I have been a very busy girl on Pinterest.  It gives you a bit of insight as to what my evenings involve.

Might I add, Pinterest is now my "go to" place for new ideas, whether they be books, crafts or recipies.

First off, I had my eyes on this little beauty for quite some time.  I went to Michael's and picked up the supplies...I won't bother to give you a price run-down, but let's just say, if I wanted to sell them, I would NEVER EVER EVER make my money back!  People would think I was a wacko for asking so much.  But I love it and that is what matters.  Sorry, it wouldn't let me link up to the source!

I also decided that my bike planter needed a spring update, this was my inspiration.

While I was at it, might as well update my Subway art to an easter print.

Speaking of easter, I made this lovely dessert on Good Friday when Brian's family came for a visit and these awesome brownies for the daycare staff on the Monday.

What else...hmm...

Oh yeah, I have been busy planning a baby shower for the newest addition to the MacDonald clan.  I got the idea for the invites here.  Are they not the cutest things ever?!?  I loved them when I was done, plus I got to make use of my Cricut machine!

Last but not least,

I showed you a sneak peek on this blog post about my Pinterest inspired idea for the bathroom.


Some cute artwork!  I already had the frames downstairs, they were a wedding gift.  They just needed some black paint and new pictures of my kiddos in the tub!  Can I tell you just how hard it is to get candid, cute photos?  At one point, I had to tell Hayden to stop looking like a dork in the pictures!

Might I add, I used this tip to hang some of my photos...worked like a charm!  Brian looked at me funny when I first suggested it.  It's my go-to method now!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 15 & 16

Day 15

Be firm when needed, but not harsh.

For me, this is a matter of not sweating the small stuff.  For example, Abby coloured in one of the storybooks the other day.  I took it away from her and told her we colour on paper, not books!  I wasn't mean about it though and didn't yell at her for it.

Not sweating the small stuff is something I try REALLY hard to accomplish.  So long as safety and well being is not in question, I tend to let them figure it out on their own.  My hope is it helps shape them into the people I want them to be.

Day 16

Picture what you want your child to be at 25, mother with that in mind today.

If my children become adults and have the following qualities, I will be content in knowing that I did the best job I could as a  mother:

  1. Confidence in themselves and their abilities
  2. Kindness to others
  3. Respectful of others and themselves
  4. Forgiving, particularly with family, because in the end, family is most important
  5. Polite
  6. All around nice citizens who think of others first
I am sure there are plenty more things, but these are some of the basics.  They are on their way to being there.  I have had a few proud moments with Hayden.  I have experienced a couple of times when he is ahead of me and someone else holds the door open for him.  He very politely says "thank you".  I also make sure that I tell him I am so proud that he used his manners without being reminded to.

I must say, without sounding like a bragging mother, I feel my children are NICE children.  Legitimately well behaved (within age-appropriate reason) and kind.  I have had others say the same to me about them.

I remember as a young adult, people commenting to my mother how I was such a nice girl.  It made me proud to be that kind of person AND proud to come from a family who taught me the importance of that.  It is my goal to pass on the same legacy.

P.S. - did anyone notice my spelling error from day 12?  I should have been prAying for my children, not prEying for them.  Although there are moments when I can understand parents that eat their young! :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 12, 13 & 14

Day 12

Prey for wisdom in mothering your child

I think every parent preys for the wisdom to know what to do with their children.  From the moment they let you leave the hospital with this tiny little thing that is TOTALLY dependent on you for survival.    "Good Lord, what do I do now!?!"  The second time around was a little easier, I mean, I SORT OF knew what to expect, however, no two kids are exactly the same.  By that it means, THEY ARE COMPLETE OPPOSITES!!

Wisdom for me now that my kids are older is trying to figure out a balance between protecting them, yet allowing them the independence to grow.  Abby wants to be very independent, but it's limited.  You can get her  clothes to wear, but she wants to put them on.  I need the "wisdom" to allow her to do this.

For Hayden, I wish there was a clear answer as to how much independence to allow him.  Am I doing something that other parents would berate me for?  For example, there have been a couple times that I allowed him to stay home by himself while I ran to the daycare to grab Abby.  Now, before you judge...I can see the daycare FROM MY HOUSE!  The rule is he must stay on the couch and watch TV.  I close the curtains and make sure the oven is not on.  He's alone for 10 minutes TOPS and to him, he feels so grown up.  Another thing I have allowed him to do once so far this year is walk to Grampa's by himself.  I can watch him walk all the way to the school and then Grampa meets him at the corner, so he is probably out of sight for about 100 steps.  I think this is important to his growth and development.  He needs to know the rules to follow and that it's expected he obey him.  But it's hard!  I question myself if I am doing the right thing a lot!  I think I am. I don't want him to be one of those "Bubble Wrapped Kids" that are scared of their own shadows.

Day 13

Do Not Criticize your child today.

Wow!  This was a tough one. It was just one of those days that I couldn't help but criticize the kids.  They were fighting and hitting and yelling and biting.  I don't think I was criticizing in a mean way, but in a corrective way.  We don't hit, its not OK to talk to a grown up like that, etc.  I would NEVER EVER EVER tell my kids that something they made or said was terrible or worthless.  That's not OK to me, but it IS my job to parent them and send them in the right direction and THAT does require me to criticize their behaviour from time to time.

Day 14

Remember that being a mother is a gift.

This is one of those things you forget in the moment.  You forget that their are couples out there struggling to have children and they would love to have even your worst day dealing with your kids!  I remember the frustration over trying to get pregnant with Hayden.  I had hoped it would happen right away, but it took about 9 months of trying before we saw that positive result.  While trying, I felt I was surrounded only by people who were pregnant.  All I saw on the streets were teen mothers or other people I judged to be unfit to be a parent.  Here I was, a married woman that was financially stable and the last piece of the puzzle was not falling into place.  I shared my frustration with my Aunt, who knew the struggle to get pregnant all too well.

I won't ever forget what she told me...she said part of the reason it's so frustrating is because it is the one aspect of our lives that we have NO control over.  That's true, you can choose when you get married, what colour your hair is, even HOW you give birth, but you can't MAKE your body get pregnant if it doesn't want to.

I feel for those poor women (couples) who struggle to make babies.  I feel for those poor women (couples) who never have the privilege of knowing the pure love you have for your children.  I consider myself blessed everyday for having 2 happy, healthy children.  But the saying, "you can't see the forest for the trees" is so true in parenthood I think.  You can get so wrapped up in the moment, you forget just how truly blessed you are to be a mom!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 11

Tell your child, "I am so glad you are my son/daughter."

So, I said this to Abby today and all I got was "Nooooo" and then she went on to play with her babies.

My response from Hayden wasn't much the back of my mind, I hoped for a gushing little boy who declared his love for me, instead...I got this:

Apparently he didn't get it.  Either that or Monster Trucks trump me..which is a real possibility!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 10

Today's mom focus: Joy

This one was a bit hard to interpret.  I took it to mean "MY" joy!  I suppose it goes without saying that my family is MY joy!  I love having a husband that loves me for who I am and loves me without judging me.  I honestly thought I might never get married.  I wasn't sure if I would ever meet someone who could see past the outer shell, but I did and I consider myself one lucky woman!

It's because of that man I love that the next 2 loves of my life were created!  The love I have for my children was instant the moment I laid eyes on them.  They were precious and fragile and mine to protect.  There is no greater joy than knowing that at the end of a rough day, they are there with hugs, kisses and "I love you's".

Abby is terrible for falling asleep.  But it's hard to get angry when you hear her shouting from her crib


Or Hayden and I often have a back and forth conversation that goes a little something like this

"hey mom, guess what?"

"what Hayden?"

"I love you!"

"Gee, thanks Buddy, I love you too!"

"Did you know I was going to say that?"

"I was sure hoping you would!"

My kids are awesome and they are MY JOY!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 8 & 9

Day 8

Calculate how many weekends are left until your child graduates from high school.

Hayden - 680
Abby - 714

At least it didn't make me calculate how many weekends until my kids no longer think I'm awesome!  The number would have been much smaller.

Day 9

Picture yourself at your child's age.  Try to remember how you felt.

This is Hayden now:

Age 5

This is me at about the same age:

This is Abby now:

Age 2

This is me at about the same age:

Can you see this one thing in common in each of these pictures?  Happy smiles!  I like to think my kids are pretty happy and for the most part, my childhood was pretty happy.  I knew I was growing up in a home that was full of love and support.  At Abby's age, I don't really remember feelings, I can with Hayden's age though.  I LOVED being at home, I never wanted to go to school from day 1.  I was much happier to just stay at home with my mom and play with my toys.  Granted, school pretty much sucked for me my entire life, but I wouldn't have known that then.  Home was safe...and that is what home should be to kids right?  

I do also remember being scared.  My mom was sick a lot and I was scared she was going to die.  It was scary to go and visit her in the hospital.  Luckily for me, I had a wonderful grandmother who treated me like gold and loved me just as much as my mom did.  She did a great job in making me feel secure without my mom.  

Not to say my father was absent or not supportive, but he did have to work.  He is just as responsible for making my childhood as happy as my mom!

I love my parents like my kids love me....but I am old enough now to once again think of them as awesome!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 6 & 7

Day 6

Bake, make or buy them their favorite food

Yesterday was a day for celebrating Easter with Brian's family.  Our company for the day was Brian's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew.

For dessert I made a Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake.  Both my kids and our nephew are not big fans of cheesecake, so I picked up a little something special for them.

Day 7

Leave a sweet note for them

Hayden is golfing with Grampa and Daddy today.  I thought I would leave him a little welcoming on his way back inside when he gets home.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 5

Tell yourself "He's/she's only 5/2 years old.  He's/she's still a child." Then treat him/her that way.

It can be easy to forget in the shuffle of things to remember that your kids are just!

They have no concept of time or the importance of getting tasks done. All they know is that the world is theirs to explore, Knock Knock jokes that they create and that make no sense to adults are HILARIOUS!,  ice cream is a suitable dinner and if you are lucky, that mom and dad make the world go round.

Brian and I really are blessed with our kids and we know it.  We KNOW we have good children.  They are fairly well behaved (don't picture my last post) or at least, behaved in an age appropriate manner.  They know they are loved and I know they love us.

Tonight, we had to go into town.  In the van, we listened to their stories and jokes, sang their song and answered their MANY questions.

If we go to a store with toys, I always do my best to give them time to look down the toy isle, because to a kid, that is HEAVEN!  On holidays and special occasions, I am fine if their meal for the day only consists of junk food, because I know they don't eat like that everyday and they are too wound up on excitement to want to try turkey or potatoes.  We play in the rain and the mud, because what's wrong with getting a little dirty?  It is through our kids that we once again get to act like kids and remember what pure bliss is all about.  It takes A LOT of work to slow things down and tell yourself to just enjoy the moment and let them be kids.   Because no matter what we may think, they are not grown ups in smaller clothes.  They should have no concept that bad people exist or that bad things happen.  Yes, those things need to be taught, but we should also relish in the innocence of their childhood.  This weekend is a great example...they are both so excited about the Easter Bunny.  Hayden is full of questions about where he lives, how he gets into the house, etc.  Best way to answer?  "how do you think?"  I have learned a number of new things, the main one being is that if you want to find the Easter Bunny, you must look for a giant rabbit hole.  So take a lead from Hayden, head out as a family this weekend and see if you can spot that giant rabbit hole!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 4

Kiss your child when they are asleep

This one is a 50/50 pass.  Actually I haven't completed it yet, but I will.  I check on Hayden every night before I crawl in to bed and give him a kiss. I love those peaceful, sleeping faces.

Abby is another story.  First off, she is still in a crib, so I can't reach her to give her one.  My main reason is though that she is a terrible sleeper and if I went in there to do that, she would wake up instantly!

On a side note....tried hard again to not yell at the kids or get too flustered with them.  I did pretty well.  Only caught myself yelling twice, one of them being when Abby was about to dump a bowl of dye for the Easter eggs.  I even survived her 20 minute break-down IN THE GROCERY STORE because I wouldn't let her sit in the basket of the cart.  I made her sit in the actual seat and buckle her in as I needed the room.  IT WAS A FIGHT!!!!  I had to cram her legs in, sit her down and buckle her in before she could pull herself out.  She then screamed at the top of her lungs, hanging over the back, legs out.  Then when I put my items in the cart where she wanted to sit (it was one of those 2-layer carts), she started throwing them out on the floor. This carried on for about 15 minutes...her screaming at the top of her lungs "NO", "ME SIT THERE", "MY SEAT', "NO PUSH ME" (meaning, don't push the cart mom!)  People kept looking, some smirking.  One man said, "boy, some one's not happy"  "Nope, she didn't get to sit where she wanted to today"

FINALLY, about the time we hit the milk, she stopped.  But only because an older gentleman said to her "if you don't' want to sit there, I will"  After that, she was all about the cookie I had picked up in the bakery department for her that was stashed in my pocket when she gave it the death stare!  After that was fine and she was happy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 3

Hug your child 3 times today.

OK, I think it would be more of a challenge to NOT hug my children 3 times each day.  Hayden is a hug-monster and school drop off required AT LEAST 4!

I suppose it is possible that some parents go the day without hugging their kids 3 times in a day.

Let me also take a moment to review this mom challenge.  When I first read it, it seemed tougher, but now that I am committed to it, it's going well, but heck, I'm only 3 days into it and I feel it broke me in gently.  I do think some of them will be eye opening and if nothing else, blogging about it each day will give me a way to look back and remember how precious these years are.

So, I will continue to blog each day...share it on Facebook and hope you read, but hey, if you only check in once a week or see how I did at the end of the month, I don't blame you!

Oh, and by the way?  I managed to not yell at the kids AGAIN today! :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 2

 Go the whole day without yelling at your children

Oh boy!  I was NOT looking forward to today's challenge.  I saw myself set up for failure before it even started.


It wasn't really a challenge for today.  I think it has to do with the fact that it was a work day and my time with the kids was basically limited to 3 hours at the most.

Had it been a Wednesday or a weekend, my results may not have been the same.

Now, there could have been a few times that I could have yelled.

Like when Abby just runs around the room, with Hayden's pajama's or clothes that she stole, and it now using to play keep away with.  She is laughing like crazy, Hayden is bawling his eyes out, getting more and more angry.

But I just refocused him into getting the rest of this stuff on and by telling Abby that the monsters were chasing her and Hayden needed to have his socks on to save her, because to's fun to be chased by monsters.


when they were fighting over who got to sit in the front of the tub tonight.

I know not to sweat the small stuff, but forget a lot of the time while "In The Moment"

I may come back and challenge myself with this one again on a day that will offer more of a challenge.

But for now, I'm chalking up another one on the win side!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mom Challenge - Day 1

Ask "what is one thing we can do together this month?"

This one was a no-brainer..meaning we often talk with the kids about things we can do in the near future.

Next week is Easter and we talked about going to the zoo.  Peterborough has a decent zoo that is free.  It gives you the opportunity to see a few animals and get lots of fresh air.

We also talked about upcoming birthdays for the month and how we could celebrate.

In retrospect, my favorite things we do involve just us, like going for a walk in the woods or sledding, etc.  Brian and I discussed just the other night to try and make it a goal for our family to spend more time like that.

Tomorrow's challenge may be a bit more tough for me.