Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Fun

Despite terrible weather (grey and rainy all weekend) we managed to have a fun Easter weekend. Saturday morning, we met up with our good friends who have a daughter A's age for the YMCA's breakfast with the Bunny.
A, who never wants to eat pancakes, gulped down at least two, then we were off to see the bunny, but SleepyPapa had to sit with him, because A was still a bit sceptical of that big rabbit.



This was followed by a nice egg hunt in the gym, which made it hard to leave, since A is obsessed with watching the men play basketball at the Y (he started basketball class at the Y this week, more on that later). That whole morning was followed by lunch at Five Guys... delicious!

Sunday, I had a great time hiding the eggs around the yard. I remember fondly having to look for chocolate eggs on my grand-parents' boat, so I want A to sense the same excitement. Our friends and their two sons came over for brunch. We started with the egg hunt because it started to rain, the kiddos had a blast.


 Every egg had a Lindt chocolate in it (as I've said before, I'm all for chocolate as long as it's GOOD chocolate.. no offense to my American readers, but that Hershey crap doesn't cut it for me). The kids ate a ton of chocolate while we enjoyed our brunch.
Now it's back to normal in our house, I put all the eggs away, and bought some more at half-price for next year. Did I mention I like egg hunts?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Challenging Myself

Most of my friends are simply amazing, they are smart, fun, and do really cool things. On top of working, and being great moms, many of them are also athletic. They run, enter races, half-marathons, and even triathlons! What do I do to challenge myself physically? I run after a two year old... and sometimes make it to my weekly Zumba class.
It's not that I feel bad about myself, I think I do a good job at what I do. But seeing pictures of my friends' accomplishments on Facebook, or reading on their blog about the satisfaction that finishing their race brings them (like my awesome friend Katy at www.katywidrick.com), makes me want to challenge myself too.
One thing I know for sure, is that I don't want to run. I have a pretty low tolerance for pain, so running is not for me. Swimming, however, is something I like to do.
A few weeks ago, as I was signing A up for a mini-basketball class at the Y, a flyer caught my eye. It was a registration sheet for an Open Water Swim in June.

(source)
I took the paper with me and started thinking about it. They have two races, 800 meter and 1,500 meter, in Oneida Lake, a little north of us. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to sign up. I know I can swim 800 m without a problem, but don't really know how I'll compare with everybody else.
I asked two of my good friends who do triathlons what they thought, and they both encouraged me to do it. I guess even if I'm the last one to finish, I'll have at least done it.
 So it's a done deal, I signed up this morning. Now I have to figure out how and when I am going to "train". The race is June 4th and I hope having that as a goal will motivate me and prevent me from coming up with other things I "have" to do. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Eggstravaganza Begins!

For a while now, I have been excited about introducing A to the joys of Easter.  I am not talking about Jesus and his resurrection -- I couldn't care less-- but about the real fun stuff: bunnies and Easter egg hunts!
To start the fun, I borrowed a couple of Easter egg hunt themed books at the library, and Biscuit has been a hit. After we got the egg hunt concept down, it was time to practice: Thursday, I brought out A's Easter basket...

...beautifully personalized by my mom, and we got a few practice rounds in, looking for his shaky eggs around the living room. He was so into it, I couldn't wait for the real deal!
Saturday morning was our village's annual Easter egg hunt in the park. They do a wonderful job and separate the hunts by age groups so that the 8 year old aren't taking all the eggs from the toddlers... The children under four's hunt started at 9am. We got our rain coat on, grabbed the basket and  were ready to go hunting for eggs!

The lady told us the kids were supposed to only pick up five or six eggs, but A didn't stop at that. I didn't stop him either, since there seemed to be plenty of eggs to go around.




it's important to count your eggs in the middle of the road
After we were done putting the eggs in the basket, it was time to meet the bunny!



A was interested in him, and in showing him his prize, but not so much in hugging him, as with most people, he kept his distance. That's OK with me, I'd rather he didn't run up to strangers and hug them, even if they look like nice bunnies...
just like bunnies, A likes to eat carrots!

The only little trouble we ran into was exchanging our eggs for a prize... A was a lot more interested in keeping all his eggs than in getting a prize (maybe because he knew Maman wouldn't let him eat that junky candy anyway ... I'm all for chocolate, as long as it's good chocolate, and that, it was not). One thing A kept from the day? The word "bunnies", in English.  (He has already has been saying "lapin" for a while).

In the afternoon, I bought some plastic eggs for next week, and A's been playing with them and his basket. Next week, we will be going to "Breakfast with the Bunny" at the YMCA on Saturday, and will have our own hunt at home on Sunday. After that, we may be egged-out, but I doubt it, there can never be too much fun. What's the next holiday to celebrate?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bed Update


First, I must tell you that my blogging is suffering due to my new obsession with Showtime's series "The Tudors". The good news is that I am almost done with season 2, that poor Anne Boleyn is about to get her head chopped off, and it doesn't look like Netflix has season 3 available on instant play, so I'll be back to blogging during naptime shortly.

Now, to the matter at hand. it has been just a bit over a week since A started sleeping in his toddler bed and the result is pretty positive. He seems to like it, and after we are done our bedtime routine, he is happy to stay in his room (sometimes in the bed, sometimes in his armchair) and read on his own until he falls asleep. Last night, he played alone for about an hour until I went up and told him he should go to sleep, to which he didn't object. So after two rocky evenings, bedtime has gotten back to a pleasant event.
The nighttime part is still rough, but that is not due to the bed change, it's just carried over. It seems like A either wants to check that we're still there, or wants to see if it's time to come in our bed. He wakes up and calls for us, but as soon as one of us shows up and tells him it's still time to sleep, he lays back down. You may wonder why we play the game and go see him when he calls, but as I have explained before, we have tried letting him cry and it only works for a few days, then he's back to waking up again, so we've given up on it altogether.
Our new hope will come in a box from Amazon in a few days.... it's the Toddler "Ok to Wake" Clock.

Source

 It's a clock that has a yellow night light, and once it's "ok to wake" it turns green. We'll see how that works...
SleepyPapa is getting pretty worn out from the lack of sleep, I'm fine and used to it by now, besides there's not much we can do about it, so I just suck it up and enjoy the days (and the Tudors!).

Have you tried such a clock? Has it worked for you?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bed Troubles

The beauty of little kids is that when you think you've got things figured out, they change the rules on you. As if the week long birthday celebration wasn't enough to keep us busy, A decided to literally throw himself out of his crib this past Thursday. I knew he wouldn't stay in the crib for ever, but he was still wearing a sleep sack, and I thought that would prevent him for jumping overboard... I was wrong. Since the crib was no longer safe, I decided to go in search of a toddler bed rail Friday, to no avail. Apparently you have to order it from your crib maker and I just can't wait that long for it to get here. Thankfully, A's babysitter's son recently decided he didn't want to sleep in his toddler bed anymore, so she offered to let us have it. Hallelujah!
I thought I had solved our problem, but that was only the beginning...For all of A's sleep problems, going to bed had never been one, until now!

The first night in the new bed, A got back up several times, eventually falling asleep while SleepyPapa sat next to him. When he woke up two hours later and didn't really fall back asleep right away, I decided to go sleep in his room with him, but he still woke up multiple times. We want him to like his new bed, so we don't want to make him cry, that's why on the second night, I tried to stay until he fell asleep. Several times, I could have sworn he was sleeping, but the minute I got up, he woke up. After an hour of this little game, I gave up and sent SleepyPapa up, but A played the same game with him. It was getting close to 9:30pm (waayyy past his bedtime) so I finally decided to put on my PJ's and sleep in the room from the start. A fell asleep pretty quickly after that, and stayed asleep until 3am. When I told him to sleep some more, he went back down for an hour, after which we both migrated back to my bed.
I'm hopeful that things will get better, since there's already been some improvement, but not quite sure how long I should keep sleeping there. Besides, what do you do to have them stay in the bed and sleep at bedtime?

How did your toddler deal with the bed transition? Do you have any tricks?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This is the best age!

"This is the best age" is something I have been saying since around the time A turned one. The truth is, I keep thinking that, but everything keeps getting even better.
In all honesty, I was not a big fan of the first year. I find newborns pretty boring, and you are dealing with the lack of sleep and the hormones... the worrying... Around four months, things are a bit better, because the baby smiles and laughs more, but it's still not totally awesome. It's hard to pinpoint when the 'totally awesome' starts, because things get better gradually, but I would say I truly started having a blast around the time A turned one. By that point he was walking well (he started at 9 months), and soon after, he was running after soccer balls, climbing on things and discovering the world! The second year is so full of incredible developments, it's simply amazing!
The best things about the past year:
  • A really walking, running, climbing
  • 
    and playing soccer...
    
  • learning to speak: in a year we went from "wawa" (dog) and "vroum" (car), to three or four clear words strung together
  • going on adventures together (zoo, grocery shopping, ice cream shop, anything really)
  • having "conversations"
  • his understanding of things and amazing memory (like him knowing and telling people that my mom , whom he hasn't seen since early December, knit his sweater!)
  • him running around with a dish towel for a cape, pretending to be Batman

    video
  • him pretending to be a lion and roaring at everybody and anybody (including the lady at the counter at Panera and the baby next to us at the library)
  • him singing in the car, but stopping to say "non, maman, non dance" if I start moving to his song
  • him being the loudest at swim lesson, both when he's mad and when he's happy
I know everybody talks about the terrible twos, but when it comes to tantrums, A started throwing himself on the floor and hitting his head in anger at about 9 months, and got over that a while back. I think he actually has fewer tantrums now than he used to, because he's able to communicate better. Of course, he' still a toddler, and is bound to throw a fit here and there, but I want to believe that two is really not going to be as bad as everybody makes it out to be.

 I'm excited for what's to come. The way I see it, the third year is going to be filled with even more adventures and discoveries for all of us to share! Happy second birthday A!