Sunday, December 26, 2010

Liam and Santa

Part 1 - Terrified!

Christmas In the Gower: We looked at Santa from a distance.  Asked if he wanted to see Santa.  "Yes!" he said excitedly.  He happily sat and coloured while we waited for the crowd to thin.  We waited in line.  We were excited.  Liam was excited.  Finally it was our turn.  I walked to Santa with Liam in my arms.  The closer we got, the tighter he held on to me.  By the time we got to Santa, he was in full out death grip mode.  I started to put him on Santa's lap.  The tears started.  "No, no, no!" he yelled, tears running down his little cheeks.  Apparently, he didn't really want to see Santa after all!

The next morning, I asked, "What does Liam do when he sees Santa?"  His answer, "I cry!"

At least he enjoyed colouring while he waited!!

Part 2 - Reluctant

Daddy's Work Christmas Party:  It was a fun party.  Out first family bowl adventure.  We all had fun.  Liam even won!  (Yeah, mommy and daddy don't bowl very well!)  Then we went into the restaurant.  "Santa is going to come bring you a present," we told him.  His answer, "NO!" as he played with his hot dog and fries.  

Santa arrived.  Liam was concerned.  He watched as other kids got their gifts.  Then it was his turn.  He took a couple of steps towards Santa.  He stopped.  
Is that for me??

He was about to have a meltdown.  I could see it on his face.  Then he saw the present Santa had for him.  He let Santa pick him up.  He sat on Santa's lap but only to get that present!
Thanks, but can I go now?

After that, he talked about Santa constantly but still, when asked, "What does Liam do when he sees Santa?", the answers was "I cry."  And at the mall, when Daddy asked if he wanted to go see Santa, the answer was a definite "NO!"

Part 3 - Excited

Daycare Christmas Party:  He enjoyed the songs and listening to the music.  He was excited that Daddy was there, completely ignoring Mommy, which was kind of a good thing, because Mommy was still working.  We expected a melt down or that he would at least be clingy with one of us when Santa arrived.  He watched from a distance as the first few kids saw Santa and got their gifts.  And then, there he was, in front of Santa, ready for his turn, without waiting for his name to be called.  I moved him away, to wait for his turn and told him to listen for his name.  But he was having none of it!  So, instead of being near the end of the list, we moved him up.  "Liam?" Santa called.  he ran over eagerly and put his arms up to sit on Santa's lap for a picture.  
"Tank you Sasa!"

Now, instead of crying when he sees Santa, he talks about him CONSTANTLY!  

Who knows what next year will bring but this year, we had a little bit of everything on the Santa tolerance scale!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Potty Training Tuesday

You may have noticed the lack of a Potty Training Tuesday post last week.  I am taking a little bit of a break from potty training talk for the holidays!  I will be back with more potty training tips, tricks and stories in the new year!

Remember, potty training doesn't take holidays!  Try to be as consistent as possible with your potty training during the hustle and bustle of the holidays!

Happy Potty Training . . . I mean Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Christmas Tree Tells A Story . . . Does Yours?

There are a lot of ways to decorate a Christmas tree -  you can choose a theme or colour scheme, you can be organized and symmetrical or completely random.

Themes and colour schemes used to mean searching store after store to find enough matching decorations to fill a tree but now, you can just go into a store and pick of a tub of decorations in one of the years hottest Christmas colours!

If I were decorating a tree for an office or some other public place, I would probably be all over the organized, symmetrical, colour scheme trends.  But for us, at home, that's not what I'm looking for.

To many people, I am sure our tree looks mismatched and disorganized, but I think it is great with a lot of ornaments that actually mean something to us.

There are ornaments from a gift exchange that I did with my closest friend in 7th grade.
There are ornaments that my Grandma crocheted years ago, that until recently hung on her tree every year.
There ornaments that have been given to me by daycare kids over the years.
There is a bride and groom ornament that my mother in law gave us the year we got married.
There's Liam's First Christmas ornament and a ball with his name on it.

There are ornament's that Henry's had for years and years.
There's the first ornament that Liam ever made, at daycare last year.
There's a collection of Canada Post decorations that my mother in law (who works for Canada Post) has given us over the years.
There are ornaments that I made years ago.
There are lots of snowmen and snowflakes and other things that are there just because we like them.

And on top of the tree is an angel, made by my mother out of the same fabric that she used to make my wedding dress.

Sure, there are lots of generic balls and bells scattered around through out the branches.

But it is the other ornaments that tell the Christmas stories of our family.  And that will continue to tell our stories in the years to come.

(I've heard a rumour that an Elmo ornament will soon be joining our collection for our Elmo loving little man!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday the 13th is the new Friday the 13th!

At least it was for me this morning.  It started with being almost late for work.  And quickly went down hill from there.

The front gate lock at the daycare was frozen.  This shouldn't be a big deal.  I carry lock deicer in my purse for such occasions.  BUT, have you ever tried putting lock deicer in a padlock, on a chain while holding a squirming, impatient toddler, a purse AND a large reusable shopping bag full of stuff?  Well, let's just say it's pretty damn near impossible.

I tried putting the bags down and keeping the boy in my arms, but finally had to admit that there was no way I was getting that lock open without putting Liam down.  As I expected, he stood beside me for all of about 17 seconds before he decided to wander down the sidewalk.

Now, this is where it probably got really interesting for the neighbor across the street who was scraping the ice off their car, but I am pretty sure that she was just watching my comedy show.  

I grabbed Liam, just before he stepped out into the street (thankfully it is a very quiet street).  I wrangle him around so that he is between me and the gate and proceed to squat enough to use my knees to hold him against the fence so that he can't take off again.  

I repeatedly squirt lock deicer into the lock, shake it, wiggle the key, curse to myself and even resort to banging the lock against the fence all while trying to keep Liam from running away.  Honestly, I have to admit, that if I was the neighbor across the street, I would probably be watching and laughing too!  Or getting ready to call the police to say that a crazy woman was trying to break into the daycare with her kid.

Finally, I get the lock open.  And I got a slight confidence boost as Liam yelled "Yeah Mommy!" before I grabbed my purse and bag off the sidewalk, looped my arm around his waist and dragged everything through the gate and up the snow and ice covered front steps.  I put Liam down, to save dropping him at the top of the steps and frantically open the front door, knowing that the first children will be there any minute.  Of course, as I am ready to go in the door, Liam tries to run away again, causing me to almost set off the building alarm.

You would think that once I get us into the building, things would have calmed down and returned to normal.  NO!  It was a mad rush just to get the lights turned on and curtains opened before the first child arrived.  I had to get my co-worker to start her shift early to clean the snow and ice off the front steps.  

The phone was ringing nonstop.  I had one co-worker having major car issues and not sure if she was going to make it to work or not.  Another didn't want to come in because she was ill.  And the kids were coming faster than ever.  Parents probably thought I was crazy the way I was running around trying to organize and figure out the best way to do everything while short two staff.

Slowly, things started to work themselves out.  The flow of children into the building slowed considerable and a few had called to say they weren't coming in.  My sick co-worker was coming, but stuck in traffic.  And the co-worker with car problems expected to arrive by 9:30am.  

And I finally, after and hour and a half of chaos began to breath normally again.  And in a way, we were almost rewarded for the craziness we endured by a lower than usual number of children for the day.  But if that's what it takes to get a quiet day, I'll take the busy ones, thank you!

Over the years, I've come to realize that the only thing predictable about working in daycare is the unpredictability!  I've just got my fingers crossed that we got all the craziness of the week out of the way today!

And I'll be keeping my eyes out for the next Monday the 13th!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Car Play

Liam loves cars, trucks, buses, tractors, planes and trains - pretty much anything that goes!  Ever since he could crawl and push a truck, that's what he does - all the time!

He plays with them at home, at daycare and at grandma's house.  When we are out, he looks out window of the truck and watches them on the roads and in the parking lots.

This is just part of the parking lot that used to be our living room!

Every car or truck he owns is his favorite at some point.  

If they are big, he loads them up with smaller things.  If they are small, he loads them up onto bigger trucks.  

He tries to get the dogs to play cars with him.  He drives the small cars across the cat's back.  He shows them to the rabbits.

As far as Liam is concerned, life without toy cars wouldn't be worth living!
Sometimes we even have to have dinner with cars.

We gave in and despite the age recommendation of 3 plus, we bought him hot wheels cars.  
A portion of the ever growing collection!

His play is so advanced for his age as he loads small cars one at a one onto a bigger truck and pushes it across the room.  One by one, he unloads the cars and lines them up before pushing them across the floor (or table), one at a time.  

Even with these little cars, he knows to turn them facing forward before driving them anywhere.  And if they don't drive as well as he would like, he turns them upside down to check the wheels.

He would carry his cars with him everywhere if he could!  He says good bye to them when we leave the house.  He says good night to them at bedtime.  The first thing he does when we come home from daycare is look for his little cars.  

He always wants to play with ALL of them.  So far, he only has 10, but he always knows when one is missing and he will look for it and insist that we look for it until they are all found.

He loads them into anything he can to carry them around, his Frankenstein Halloween bag, a pail, his block wagon all make wonderful car carriers.  

The back of the couch becomes a highway and the arms turn into parking lots on a regular basis.  And he has discovered that he can pull the cushions off the couch and use it as a driving area.  That's great fun because it makes space for all the bigger vehicles!

Daddy and I are taking advantage of this love for little cars and using them to work on colours and counting skills.  So far, everything is yellow or green and his counting consists on "2, 3 go!" but everyone has to start somewhere.

I can't begin to imagine where car play is going to take us as Liam gets older and develops more language skills and starts to show more imagination!  But I am looking forward to seeing what roads my little boy's car obsession leads us down in the future.

And Santa, if you are reading this, Liam wants to stocking full of hot wheels cars in a good variety of colours!  He doesn't know it yet, but his cars are a good learning tool!

He is very particular about how his cars get parked.  I parked these ones after he pushed them across the floor to me and then he had to fix them because I didn't do it right!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Potty Training Tuesday # 7

Potty Training and Daycare

If your child is in full time daycare, chances are the majority of potty training will be done by your child's teacher or caregiver.  

Although consistency between home and daycare is an important factor in potty training, it is also important to remember that your child may do things differently when they are away from you.  Your child may eagerly sit on the the potty at daycare but not at home or vice versa.  This is not something to be concerned about.  Your child may sit on the potty at daycare because the other kids do it, but not at home because there aren't any other kids to watch.

If your child is showing an interest at daycare but not at home, work with your child's teacher to encourage your child to use the potty at daycare.  If they want to try your child in underwear, go with it.  Sometimes a child gets to the point where they are potty trained at daycare but not at home.  Again, not something to worry about, it is just a starting off point and in time they will become completely potty trained.  Do not force your child to sit on the potty at home if they are resisting.  Keep the potty available to them and always encourage them to use the potty at home, like at daycare.  With time, it will come!

The same things apply if your child uses the potty at home but not at daycare.  Although it is a little more difficult this way, as a child in full time care spends more awake time at daycare than at home during the week, but it can be done!  Make sure your child's teachers are fully aware of the progress being made at home so that they can encourage the child to do the same at daycare.

Communication between parents and teachers is a key element to potty train a child in daycare.  It is very difficult for either to be successful without the support of the other.  Share your successes and failures.  Discuss strategies.  Ask each other for help or advice.  If your child's teacher has been working with potty training aged kids for a long time, like I have, chances are she (or he) has lost of experience, stories, advice and support that they can offer.  Don't be afraid to ask if you aren't sure what to do or how to do it!  

Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and advice every Tuesday!  And please do share your own experiences!  I am always looking for ways to make potty training easier for myself, not only at work, but also at home as I will soon be jumping in head first to potty train Liam!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


To Do List
Christmas Gift List
Grocery List
Christmas Baking List
Christmas Card List
Brownie To Do List

The sheer number of lists I have on the go right now is almost as overwhelming as the amount of time it will take to accomplish everything on those lists.  

I live for lists.  I really truly cannot function without lists.  Grocery shopping is a complete and utter waste of time if I don't have a list, I forget more than I remember.  And when it comes to Christmas, well, let's just say that there would be no food, gifts or cards if it weren't for my lists.

The problem right now is how to keep my lists organized.  And how not to lose them!  I have the grocery list on a magnet pad on the side of the fridge.  The Christmas gift lists are on my iPhone.  The Christmas card list is on my craft table (I think!).  My to do list is in a note book beside my bed, because I always think of things that I need to do as I am trying to fall asleep.  And I can't find my Brownie to do list.

Even when I try to organize, I am an unorganized mess.  At least I can say that I tried!