My Quest for Happiness…Day 2 #100DaysOfGratitude #YMCCommunity

This morning our daughter’s Kindergarten class had their first session of ice skating…

While we were waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, little miss had a meltdown. She kept saying that she couldn’t skate and didn’t want to go. I got her into her snow gear and all laced up while she protested the entire time. We walked to the ice, she stepped on, and began to cry. Right away, her teacher saw that she was upset, so she came to her aid.

Superstar Teacher

We want our daughter to learn independence and gain confidence in her own abilities, so we encourage her to try things out on her own first. She had taken prior skating lessons, so she wasn’t a stranger to what was involved. Just like riding a bike, it eventually came back to her. Even a couple of boys from her class came to her rescue and showed her how to skate. Chivalry is still alive and well in our world.

Chivalry

The little dude started to get restless, so I sat him in his stroller. He wasn’t too thrilled about this new arrangement. After a few minutes of his meltdown, Ms. Superstar Kindy teacher, comes and suggests that perhaps I’d like to go on the ice with Captain Get-me-out-of-my-stroller. I inquire at the Skate Shop, and sure enough, we are allowed to go on the ice with the stroller. We just needed helmets and I required a pair of ice cleats.

To our daughter’s surprise, me and Stroller King step onto the ice and join the Ice Princess in a family skate. By now her confidence has increased, Mr. Dude is being entertained and we are having a great time.

Mom & Dude

When our session is over, we head out to the Skate Shop and gear down. Little Miss is now bummed that it’s time to go, but I reassure her that it won’t be the last time we go skating and congratulate her on overcoming her initial fear and for doing such a fantastic job.

So today’s gratitude is:

1) I am grateful for our daughter’s Kindergarten teacher.

*she showed compassion and helped encourage our daughter to trust her abilities in herself. She also, helped me be a part of our daughter’s learning experience by suggesting getting on the ice with the stroller and our son.

2) I am grateful for ice cleats.

*I am a horrible skater, so these fantastic articles of footwear kept me upright instead of being a flailing mess that I’m certain, twenty Kindergarteners would get a kick out of.

3) I am grateful for umbrella strollers.

*this allowed me and our son to enjoy a family moment with our daughter! instead of having to watch from the bleachers.

 

Birthday Celebrations…in the style of Kindergarten. #YMCCommunity

Last week our daughter turned five! Whoa…five already!

Five

It was a school day as normal. We got up, fought over breakfast, dawdled getting dressed and, like every other day, she didn’t want to go to school.

It’s not that she doesn’t like it there, she just doesn’t want ME to be lonely. Once she’s dropped off, everything is fine and her two year old brother does a fantastic job of taking care of me throughout the day until I am reunited with my precious.

When I picked her up from school, she was bouncier than usual, so I assume her day went well.

The best thing…for me, was the fact that her pants were dry when I collected her. She’s been having some issues at the end if the day where she either forgets to “go” before getting geared up to go home OR, the washroom is being cleaned at the exact moment that she requires it. Anyhoo, she was dry and that was fantastic!

Birthday Book

When we got home, she showed me a Birthday Book that her classmates made for her. It was really sweet. Each kiddo drew a picture ( they all drew the exact same thing, just in their own style) and wrote her a Happy Birthday message on the back of it. There was one questionable picture though…not sure if he’s holding a sword at her or a REALLY big middle finger.

Questionable

I think this was a turning point for her in her Kindergarten journey…

She started the school year not knowing any kids in her class, but by them taking the time to make her feel special on her Birthday, she has discovered that she does have friends and that she is an important member of her class.

So far this week, the resistance has diminished and she’s actually been excited about going back each day.

School makes me a better Mum! #YMCCommunity

I love my kids, I truly do…

But having my Kindergartener home, instead of being in her first year of formal education, is wearing this Mum pretty thin.

This will not be a post discussing the ongoing dispute between the government of BC and the BC Teacher’s Union, it is about how I am filling the shoes of our daughter’s first Elementary School teacher and how I am dealing with it.

I am doing my best teaching her via curriculum books that we have purchased, but if I was supposed to be a teacher, I would have gone to school to be one.

Classmates come in all shapes and sizes.

Classmates come in all shapes and sizes.

I want her to be in a classroom with her peers, learning appropriate subjects, learning to read, learning to share, learning to take turns, play in a group as well as independently, getting in the allotted physical activities that she requires, discovering new things, using her imagination and learning to take instruction from her teacher.

I could do these things with her, but I find that my time, capabilities and patience are stretched thinly because she has a younger brother whose needs differ from hers.

In a nutshell, she is bored. She needs to be challenged and she needs to be encouraged outside of our home.

I look forward to making her first school lunch, getting her first school and class photos taken, attending her first school assembly, participating in her first fire drill, and bringing home her first batch of homework.

Let’s hope the school year begins soon…for our children’s sake.

And also for this Mum’s sanity.

Give me strength!

Give me strength!

Back to School…time to label EVERYTHING! {Giveaway}

Our daughter starts Kindergarten this Fall.

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We had the orientation back in June and they sent us home with the “shopping list” of all the gear that she’ll need once the school year begins.

There is a lot of stuff that we need to get and we are supposed to put her name on everything.

When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING!

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Her shoes (indoor & outdoor), her rain clothes, her lunchbag (and all the containers inside), her gym strip and bag, her back pack, and all of her supplies (including each and every crayon, marker, and pencil crayon).

When I was in school, my name didn’t appear on anything. But if it was required, the good ol’ trusty black permanent marker was pulled out and my name was printed clearly in bold, black letters so everyone knew that it was mine. But even then, my identity could be erased with a single stroke from another black marker to make it belong to someone else.

Anywhere Labels

 

Anywhere Labels from SafetyTat

Tired of losing kid’s stuff?

Safety Tat now offers the “Label That Brings Stuff Back!”

Uber-durable stickers and tags – customized with your name and an optional phone number – to make sure your important belongings are returned to you.

Great for toys, clothing and coat tags, school supplies, bags and totes, containers, water bottles, electronics, sports gear, and more!

Dishwasher and washing machine safe when applied to any clean, dry solid surface, or care tags on clothing and soft toys.

 

Just in time for back to school, Safety Tat has generously provided Raincity Parent a Camp Combo of Anywhere Labels to giveaway to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs from August 22nd-31st, 2014 and is open to residents of Canada & the US only. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Safety Tat

When it rains…it pours! And those puddles are AWESOME! #Kamik #YMCCommunity

To live in Vancouver, you really need to be OK with wet weather.

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And when it’s wet out, you better be prepared to get wet too.

Puddles turn into small lakes and kids can’t avoid them.  Even grown-ups can’t stay away sometimes.

The other day, we were treated to a spectacular event, brought to us courtesy of Mother Nature. There was thunder and lightening, but best of all…there was a torrential downpour! It rained so hard, that the sewer drains couldn’t ‘t keep up with the amount of water racing towards them. This made for some truly fantastic puddles and rivers to develop in our neighbourhood.

We donned our rain gear complete with our new favourite Kamik Raindrops rainboots.

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The rain was no match for these durable, yet comfy boots.

We splashed around until the thunder started to crash and then made a hasty retreat back to the safety of our home.

With the monsoon subsiding, our galoshes have been put aside until the next rain fall. They will definitely be going to Kindergarten this Fall. The kiddos will be learning and playing outside a lot, and we’ve been guaranteed that they will be getting wet and dirty. So our Kamik’s have been designated the “Official Sock Keeper Driers”.

The made in Canada, Kamik rainboots are not only waterproof, but they are 100% recyclable! When your boots have lived their life to the fullest, you can send them back to Kamik for recycling.

I love these rain boots for the kiddos! I don’t remember the last time that I actually owned a pair of rain boots for myself, so I think that I will definitely scoping out a pair for me too!

Kamik

Role reversal…Stay-At-Home-Daddy. #YMCCommunity

Four and a half years ago, I hung up my steel-toed boots to become a Stay-At-Home Mom, when our daughter was born.

Work boots

Prior to having kids, actually, prior to getting married, my husband and I decided that I would be the primary caregiver to our children and he was going to be the bread winner.

I was looking forward to staying home and raising our wee ones rather than paying someone else to do it while we both worked. My pay check would also have been completely been eaten up by child care anyways, so what’s the point in going back?

Almost three years later, we welcomed our Little Dude to the family. Now that the wee man is approaching 2 years old, and his big sister starts Kindy in September, days with these two can get pretty hairy.

Worn out Mom

With the fighting, bickering, yelling, stubbornness, throwing of things, and trying to prevent the boredom from taking over causing the maniacs to spin out of control and drive Mom batty, I savour the afternoon nap that our son still takes while our daughter gets the opportunity to do crafts without the “help” of her little brother.

I get to sit down, catch up on my emails, check my notifications on Facebook, and perhaps, blow out a blog post or two. Some days, I even manage to close my eyes as I lay back on the couch, while still being with our daughter. Never really having a nap because, “Mom, I need to pee! Mom, I need some water! Mom, I’m hungry! Mom, I want to watch something! Mom, can I play the game!”, tends to snap you back to reality pretty quickly.

I often pour a VERY large cup of tea in the afternoons to keep me going until my second wind comes.

Life as a SAHM, for me, can have some pretty stressful days that knock the wind right out of my sails causing me to seriously consider getting back into the workforce.

The other week, I had my eyes opened as to the stress my husband undergoes.

Stressed out Daddy

A few years ago, the economy and a business partnership that went down the toilet, caused hubby to have to find a new job. He is a born leader, takes his job very seriously and is a very hard worker. In fact, he goes above and beyond to prove his worth, only to not have it recognized in the appropriate monetary value. So the stress of providing enough of an income to support his family, babysitting grown men, and dealing with his former business woes, are weighing down on him pretty hard lately and I’ve decided that Daddy needs a break!

I’m ready to switch roles.

Switching roles

He can stay home with the kiddos now. It should be easier for him, as one will be in school full-time in the Fall, so he and the wee lad can have some Father-Son bonding time. I will look forward to having meals prepared instead of preparing them myself. Daddy used to be a really great cook and has gotten out of practice since I took over the role.

Stay At Home Daddy

A small part of me thinks, “Ha ha! Now you’ll understand what it’s like looking after small humans ALL DAY…EVERYDAY, come up with meal ideas and prepare them, keep up with the household duties, go grocery shopping, be a constant source of entertainment, be a referee, maintain a schedule with the kids and still have the energy to exercise or perhaps, have a little Mommy and Daddy Time!” (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Playing with the kids

So now, I’m searching…

Searching for THAT job. The job that will pay me what I need to support my family. The job that will allow us to buy a house, finally. The job that will afford us to get away for some much needed Family Vacations. The job I will love, succeed at and give Daddy the break that he needs.

THAT job.

Have you and your spouse decided that your circumstances weren’t working for you anymore and that a change was needed? Did you switch roles or perhaps relocate?