Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good Bye Old Friends . . . Hello New Friends!

Today we said good-bye to four of our toddlers as they graduated to our preschool program which is located in another building.

I have been working in daycare for 12 years (yikes, that makes me feel old!), so I've gotten used to kids coming and going.  Saying good bye is all a part of the territory, especially with infants and toddlers as they  aren't in the same program for more than a year.  However, I have been with this particular group of kids since they were infants, so I have developed a much stronger attachment to them.  Before my maternity leave, I worked in the infant program with all four of these kids.  Than, after my met leave, I found myself in the toddler program with them again.  Although I missed eight months with them, I feel like I've watched them grow and develop every day for the pst two years.

They all have a special place in my heart and I will remember them all fondly.

"A" was almost a year old when she joined us and has always been very grown up for her age.  On a regular basis, she blows me away with her knowledge and language skills.  She is already well on her way to becoming a teacher or a lawyer!  

"H" is our little Ladies Man!  He had a very difficult time when he first started daycare at 9 months.  I remember wondering if he would ever adjust, but he did.  And although he has had some difficult phases (including potty training!) he has grown into a happy, friendly, entertaining little boy.  I will miss his curiosity, asking me a dozen times a day, "Nicki, what doing?"

"M" was a pretty easy, go with the flow kind of baby.  As a toddler, she started off pretty quiet and suddenly, almost over night she became a little chatter box with a very vivid imagination!  I will always remember her as "Rhonda's girl" wanting to go to the office or to visit the babies!

And finally, there is "G", my little Peaches.  "G" and I bonded almost from day one, when she was a little tiny six month old baby.  For the first few days, maybe even longer, I was the only who could get her to eat or sleep.  She was a "Nicki's girl"until the day I felt for mat leave and stepped right back into that spot the day I returned to work.  And as much as she loves me, I think she loves my "Baby Liam" even more.  Along with all my other memories of Peaches, I will always remember her as Liam's first girl friend because he loves her too."

As much as I am sad to say good bye, I am very happy for them.  They are all more than ready to move on.  They will all have a wonderful time learning new things, making new friends and forming exciting relationships with their new teachers at Preschool.

And every time a child leaves our program, it makes room for a new one to start.  Friday is a day of new beginnings as one new toddler enrolls in our program and three babies move up to the toddler program, one of which is my Liam.  And in the coming weeks, we will see more friends leave us for preschool and move new friends join our fun little group!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things of the Past?


Work ethic?


Do these things still exist?  Or are they slowly fading from existence?  More and more I am beginning to think that they are going the way of the dinosaurs.  Was there some Big Boom that I missed that turned many people into apathetic drones?  

* why do people think that it is OK to show up late for work on a regular basis?
* why do people think that it is OK to demand respect but not give it?
* why do people think that everyone is going to give into their every request?
* why do people think that someone is always going to come along behind them and pick up everything they didn't finish?
* does anyone every go above and beyond the minimum anymore?
* why do people think that it is OK to commit to something and then not follow through?
* why do people just not care?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sippy Cups Unite!

It is war I tell you and the sippy cups are out to get me!  And I am out numbered five to one.

No matter when I go to the cupboard to get one out there are none there.  This is especially true if the child is screaming at my feet for something to drink.

Then comes my frantic search for one.  I don't care which one, anyone will do so that I can give the now frantic child something to drink.

In the toy box?  Under the couch?  In the diaper bag?  In the dishwasher?  In the fridge?

When I finally do find one, it is never the one that was filled with water, therefore just needing a quick clean before being refilled for the child who is now in complete hysterics because not only does he think that he is dying of thirst, but he has now see the sippy cup.  No, it is the one that is still half full of yesterday's milk and needs a thorough scrubbing before it can be used to calm the child.  

By the time said cup is cleaned and filled, the child has forgotten why he was screaming in the first place and is now just angry and wants nothing to do with his cup or anything other than his screaming which is now a temper tantrum of epic proportions.

And of course, then there are the times when the child happens to find a day old? two day old? three day old? god only knows how old but I didn't fill that sippy cup today old cup and starts to drink from it.  "No," I yell.  "Don't drink that," as I wrestle the cup away from him causing a world is coming to an end melt down.

If by chance do manage to capture any of the sippy cup soliders and  attempt to contain them in my prisonor of war camp (aka kitchen cupboard) they all jump out on my head simultaneously at every opportunity!

It really is a conspiracy against me.  Any bets on how long it will be before an army of five sippy cups drives me completely and utterly insane?

Sippy Cup Army . . . I think the blue one with the red lid on the right is in charge and the plain blue one on the left is the second in command.

What was that I was saying the other day about the need to reopen insane asylums?  I think that I am one step closer to needing one . . . 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


So, I was chatting with one of my co-workers as the toddlers slept at 1:41pm today when all of a sudden the building started to shake . . . the first thought through my head was that someone knocked over something large . . . but the shaking and noise continued . . . my second thought was "what the hell?  did something crash into the building?" . . . finally, about the time it was all over, my brain came back on and I said "I bet that was an earthquake".

The two other staff who were with me thought I was crazy . . . we don't get earthquakes!  Although I don't recall ever having felt a quake, I knew that they did occur around here.  Before we had really even figured out what had happened, the phone started ringing . . . parents calling to make sure that we were all OK . . . it wasn't until a few hours later that I realized that I am a horrible mother, in my flurry to check in with all the other staff and start answering the phone (my supervisor was out of the building at the time) I never even checked in on my own child!  Mostly, however, the kids didn't even react!  The toddlers were still on their beds, many still asleep and the babies were pretty much oblivious!

As new trickled in through the afternoon, we found out that it was a 5.5 magnitude (which was later reduced to 5.0) quake centered in Val du Bois, Quebec (about 56 km northeast of Ottawa).  It was the third largest quake that this area has experienced this century. 

Luckily, there wasn't much damage, no injuries and only a few minor power outages in Ottawa.  There was more damage experienced closer to the epicenter in Quebec, but again, no injuries have been reported.  Many government buildings were evacuated, but most of us had to go on with our day.

On newspaper article I read, told about a Senate Meeting that was in session at the time of the quake.  Everyone in the building was evacuated and the meeting had to be continued on the lawn of the Parliament Buildings as they needed to formally adjourn the meeting.  Earthquake Sends Senators Outside

Although many people that experienced the quake were frightened by the shaking and the mere thought that we could have a quake of this magnitude here, I wasn't bothered by it.  I actually thought that it was an interesting experience.  Don't get me wrong, I know that earthquakes can be serious business, but this one was not.  And I am not one to over react to things.  If there was wide spread damage or injuries, I am sure that I would feel differently.  But for now, I can say that I have experienced and earthquake and thought that it was kind of neat!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Hate Mornings

We've been back to work for over a week now after our holidays and I'm still not back into a good morning routine.  Well, the truth of it is, I have been back to work for ten months (since my maternity leave) and I've never developed a good morning routine.  I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON!

I go to bed far too late for someone who needs to get up at 5 AM for work every day.  Sometime I have things that I need to do in the evening, but many nights I just procrastinate about getting ready for bed.  I'm too lazy to get off my butt and get ready for bed, even when I am so exhausted I can hardly keep my eyes open.  So, naturally, mornings come far too early for my liking!

It is not a pretty sight in my houses most mornings.  Nobody wants to get out of bed.  Getting ready to leave for work is rushed and stressful.  Everyone is grumpy.  I hit snooze half a dozen times * before I finally drag myself out of bed with barely enough time to have a shower before waking Liam.  Liam hates being woken up.  He doesn't want to get dressed.  He doesn't want to drink his milk.  He just wants to complain.  Henry just plain and simply doesn't want to get up.

The dogs are the only ones who are eager to get up and start the day . . . but only because they know that they are going to get fed.  And because they are dogs and they get to sleep whenever they want all day long!

Seriously, who ever decided that people should have to get up at 5 AM?  I am sure that it was someone who doesn't have to get up at such and ungodly hour.  You know, one of those people who gets to sleep until 8 or 9 AM every day!  And for that matter, why is it that Liam gives me so much grief for waking him up during the week, yet on the weekends he is almost always up before 6 AM?

Somebody somewhere should start a protest against mornings that have to start before 8 AM.  There are protests against everything these days, so why not protest early mornings?  ** Alright, I admit it, I am being completely, utterly ridiculous.  But that's simply a result of my constant sleep deprived state!

Some days I really worry that if things don't change soon, I am going to morph from chronically sleep deprived to completely insane and eventually to stark raving mad!  So, when my posts start to become like those of a raving lunatic (assuming that they don't already) could someone please send help??

So, until someone decides to have me committed to an insane asylum . . .  do they still have those? because if not, someone may want to start re-opening them because I know of a few people who could really use their services . . .  as I was saying, until someone feels the need to have me committed, I will try to go to bed early and get more sleep to avoid being locked up in a newly opened insane asylum.

* I know that my repeated snooze button use probably makes me feel even more tired when I finally get out of bed, but at the time, I feel better about those extra 9 minutes.  

** If someone takes this protest idea and runs with it, I am totally taking credit for it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Henry, my husband and our little man's Daddy.  Liam adores his Daddy and is thrilled with every minute he gets to spend playing with him or just being around him.  Although I love watching the two of them together and am sometimes jealous of how much Liam always wants to be with is Daddy.  Yesterday, he was playing happily near me while I gardened until Daddy came out.  Then he wanted nothing to do with playing near me, he kept taking off to be follow Daddy around.  He is definitely a Daddy's boy!  In the years to come, I know they will have lots of fun fishing, building things and doing all the things that boys love to do together.


Liam made this painting for Daddy at daycare this week.  He gave it to Daddy on Friday when Daddy picked him.  It is hard to believe that our little boy is big enough to be making paintings and giving them to Daddy by himself!

You always clean the fingerprints
I leave upon the wall.
I seem to make a mess of things,
Because I am so small.
The years will pass so quickly
I'll soon be grown like you 
And all my little fingerprints
Will surely fade from view.
So, here's a special painting,
A memory that's true,
So you'll recall the very day
I made this just for you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Manic Monday Music Moment # 4

I am just getting worse and worse about doing these posts!

Today's however was inspired by the rainy weather.  I tend to feel a little down on rainy days . . . not to mention stressed, as it is hard not being able to take the children outside to run around and burn off some of their excess energy, but Luke Bryan has given me a new perspective on rain with his most recent single, Rain Is A Good Thing.  The fact that I am a whiskey drinker has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with my liking this song!  Nor does the fact that Luke Bryan is kind of a cutie!  That's just an added bonus!

Luke is still a fairly new face in the country music scene, but he's got a couple of other fun songs, "All My Friends Say" and "We Rode in Trucks" are two that instantly come to mind.  And just last week, he won Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT awards!  

My daddy spent his life lookin' up at the sky
He'd cuss, kick the dust, sayin' son it's way too dry
It clouds up in the city, the weather man complains
But where I come from, rain is a good thing

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky
Back roads are boggin' up, my buddies pile up in my truck
We hunt our honeys down, we take 'em into town
Start washin' all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing

Ain't nothin' like a kiss out back in the barn
Wringin' out our soakin' clothes, ridin' out a thunderstorm
When tin roof gets to talkin'; that's the best love we made
Yea where I come from, rain is a good thing

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky
Back roads are boggin' up, my buddies pile up in my truck
We hunt our honeys down, we take 'em into town
Start washin' all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing

Farmer Johnson does a little dance
Creeks on the rise, roll up your pants
Country girls, they wanna cuddle
Kids out playin' in a big mud puddle

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky
Back roads are boggin' up, my buddies pile up in my truck
We hunt our honeys down, we take 'em into town
Start washin' all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing

Rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Check out my Guest Blogger Post on Mommies Faves

Please check out my first Guest Blogger post on Mommies Faves.  I am very honored and excited to become a regular feature on Tree's blog.  I will be writing regular posts on daycare from the point of view of both a parent and a Registered Early Childhood Educator.  My first post focuses on the benefits of daycare.  Future posts will include answers to parents questions as well as my thoughts on daycare related issues.

No More Bottles!!!

We have been bottle free for a full week now!

Last Friday (June 4, 2010) morning, Liam has his bottle of milk in his high chair before daycare like he always did, completely unaware that this would be his last bottle!

I had already decided that this week of holidays would be a good time to wean him off his last two daily bottles, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.  He hasn't used a bottle during the day for a couple of weeks.  So, Friday night we had a sippy cup of milk before bed and we haven't looked back.

There have been a couple of little melt downs when I hand him a sippy cup instead of a bottle when he first gets up or at bedtime, but after a moment of two when nothing else appears, he's happy to take the cup.  And he settles to sleep just as easily as before.

Although it is a little sad that my baby is getting so grown up, I am thrilled to be done with bottles!

My Little Bear enjoying his last ever bottle of milk!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A great family day!

Yesterday we had a great family outing day!  It is nice that Liam is getting to an age were we can start to do things like this and he does more than just sit in the stroller and stare!

We started out day at Valleyview Little Animal Farm.  We had never been there before, but had heard good things about it, Liam LOVES animals and it was close, so we figured we couldn't go wrong!  First we went into the Little Animal Barn where we saw goats, sheep and a variety of chickens and other birds.

The goats were Liam's favorite.  He kept calling them dogs, but he enjoyed petting them and feeding them.  He even got head butted to the floor by a mommy with horns and wasn't deterred at all!

He liked the sheep too, but not quite as much as the goats.  I think that it is partly because the goats were more active.  

Once we got the munchkin away from the goats, we started to check out the outside animals.  There were rabbits, but those were boring, he can see rabbits any day!  We saw lots of other animals . . . numerous types of ducks, peacocks, alpacas, cows, pigs, deer, llamas and probably a few things that I am forgetting.

We took Liam's wagon for him, but he walked most of the time.  It is hard to believe how big and independent he has become!  Valleyview also has a huge playground area.  Liam got have his first experience with a slide.  We are still undecided on that.  It wasn't horrible, but he didn't seem to be overly excited by the experience either.

He was much happier to sit and play in the sand with a stick!

We had a great time at the farm and I totally recommend it to anyone with little ones in the Ottawa area!

When we were done at the farm, we headed to Richmond for a picnic lunch.  I wasn't sure how successful I picnic lunch after such a busy morning would be, but you don't know until you try!  Liam was dozing to sleep in the car as we looked for a park to picnic in, but got a second wind as soon as he got him out of the car!  We were a little disappointed in the park selection in Richmond, as we couldn't find anywhere with picnic table, but we made do with what we had.

Henry set up the little charcoal BBQ on the tailgate of the truck and Liam's seat went on the grass.  Liam wanted to help BBQ, but settled on having his peanut butter sandwich instead!

Surprisingly enough, Liam lasted for a trip to the hardware store to buy sand for his sandbox and the garden center for Mommy to buy some plants before he finally decided that he couldn't take anymore excitement and fell asleep in the car!  Once we got home, I took him out of the car seat, into the house, put him in bed and took off his shoes without him waking up!  He slept for three hours!!!  

I love days like this and wish that we had the time, money and energy to go on outings like this more often!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Liam's First Hair Cut

My baby boy got his first hair cut today.  It is hard to believe how grown up he has become.  Almost 18 months, walking, trying very hard to talk and now he even looks more grown up.  

At first, we tried to have hit sit in the chair beside where Daddy was getting his hair cut.  That did not go well!  He wouldn't even sit long enough to get the apron on.  I sat him back down, knelt beside him and tried to hold him on the chair while the hair dresser wet and combed his hair.  He was NOT impressed.  Finally, we gave up.  I picked him up and tried to console him.  He wanted nothing to do with me.  He wanted Daddy.  

He sat on Daddy's lap while Daddy got his hair cut.  And then the guy who cut Daddy's hair did Liam's.  

It wasn't so bad as long as he was on Daddy's lap and had a comb to hold on to.  As long as the hair dresser didn't use the spray bottle to wet his hair or use the clippers, it was all good!

We ended up with a very handsome little boy, who doesn't have hair hanging in his eyes!  And Mommy and Daddy both got much needed hair cuts as well!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Weekends around here are usually a rush of getting things done around the house and yard as well as getting groceries and whatever errands need to done.  But we both have this coming week off work, so I took a lazy Saturday.  I had a nap with Liam this morning and then we spent the afternoon playing outside.

First, we put together the wagon that my parents gave Liam for his birthday.  Liam was a huge help, I don't think I could have done it without him!

 Our first wagon ride was just around the yard.  Liam wasn't too sure about it when I put him in and did up the seat belt, but once we started moving, it was lots of fun, as long as we didn't stop!

Daddy cut the grass while we were building our wagon and playing.  Liam is afraid of the lawn tractor when it is running and close by, but when it's sitting still, it's lots of fun!

We spent some time checking out the flower beds.  Liam was quite surprised to find that they are filled with dirt!  He even found a little stone!  

And of course, we did lots of crawling around in the grass.  And walking too.  He is walking all over the place now.  He still looks a bit like a drunken zombie when he walks but each day it is getting better and better!

Aside from spending some quality time with my little bear, I didn't accomplish a single thing today, but I am sure that there will be lots of time this week to weed the gardens and do some other stuff around the house.  Although we don't have any really big plans for the week (a trip to the Museum of Nature, a trip to Valley View Little Animal Farm and hair cuts for everyone!) I am looking forward to having a week away from the stresses of work, without having to get up at 5am and only having to look after my own child!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Potty Training Hell - Part 2

For those of you who have been following my blog for a little while know that my days aren't spent in an office or at a desk, but that when I go to work, I am suddenly thrust into Potty Training Hell.  Well, I figured that it was about time to share an update on our progress . . . or lack there of.

First off - the parents . . . why is it that so many of them expect me to do all the work to potty train their child while they do NOTHING at home?  Potty training is all about consistency people!  Bouncing back and forth between diapers and underwear is confusing and counter productive.  

And at the very least, you would think that they could bring extra clothes for their child.  Seriously, how am I supposed to potty train a child without underwear and extra clothing?  And not only do they not bring extra clothes, but they complain when I put daycare clothing on their child.  Come on people, don't you DARE complain that your child is wearing daycare clothing when you can't be bothered to bring clothing for them.  It's not my fault that you don't bring what we ask for or that you don't have enough common sense to figure out that the clothes that go home dirty need to be replaced.

As for the actual potty training, my boys are still struggling with the process.  "H" wears underwear all day (including sleep) and mostly stays dry.  You would think that would be a good thing, and it is, BUT he hardly ever pees on the toilet/potty.  I don't know if he is just holding it or if he just doesn't pee much. Either way, he is the oldest child in the program and he's going to preschool in a month, so as much as I will miss him, I won't have to worry about him and the potty any more.

"J" is doing better - he's been peeing on the potty more often and in his pants less often, although he did poop in his pants today . . . poop in underwear is no fun at all, especially at snack time!  Kids have the best timing!  We still have a long way to go but there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel for "J".  I expect him to go to preschool completely toilet trained in September.

And then there is "K".  I think he is a lost cause!  There is nothing going on except sitting on an empty potty playing with himself and a whole lot of peeing in his pants.  I am still hoping to have success before he goes to preschool in the fall, but I am very doubtful.  I haven't given up yet!

So, that is my life at work, well, one aspect of it.  There are lots of other parts, some very enjoyable and much easier to deal with, others almost as aggravating and difficult!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brownie Camp

It's over!  And I survived!!!  Seriously, though, it was a lot of fun!

We had camp at Camp Opemikon for the North Gower Brownies, Girl Guides and Pathfinders this past weekend.  
Camp Opemikon is located on Christy Lake near Perth, Onatrio

It was a busy but fun filled weekend of crafts, games, campfires and hiking.  The weather was perfect.  Everyone went home happy and exhausted!  Especially the adults!
The cabin, Clements Lodge, that the Brownies stayed in.

I was VERY impressed with my Brownies.  This was their first time at camp and even though we slept in the cabin while the older girls slept in tents, they did amazingly well.  They all stayed the entire weekend and not one of them even asked to call home.  Despite a few "I miss my mommy" tears the second night, they all slept well.  Only once was I woken during the night for a trip to the outhouse!

The Girl Guide/Pathfinder tent area.

Brownie year end camp is always a little bitter sweet for me.  On one hand, it is a fun, exciting way to end the year and it is nice to look forward to having my Monday nights free for the next three months.  But at the same time it is sad and disappointing as at least half of my girls won't be back next year, as they are moving on to Girl Guides.  And of the ones that can come back for another year, there are always some that don't.  It really is amazing how attached you can get to these kids with just one evening a week!

Our huge campfire on Saturday night!

Right now, I am going to enjoy my summer break from Brownies, hopefully finding some time to do some planning and organizing for next year!  And I will look forward to a new year of fun, excitement, new friend and new challenges as Brown Owl of the 2nd North Gower Brownies.
Hiking Trail were we went for a hike Sunday morning.