Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Reasons Why I Suck at Being a SAHM



  1. My kids don’t take a bath every night.  I know it settles them down and makes a great bedtime routine yada yada yada but by the time supper is over, homework is done, we’re on to pajamas, brushing teeth and reading books.  I can’t imagine trying to squish in three baths on top of that. Not to mention the mess left behind.   I’m lucky if we do it once a week. 
  1. I recycle 95% of their artwork and 99.9% of their schoolwork usually on the same day they bring it home.  I ooh and awe over it and then it just sits on my counter.  Out of sight out of mind.  I used to keep it.  Now I have a bin full.  My fridge is still covered but I rotate and recycle regularly. 
  1. I was sitting on the toilet and realized I needed to vacuum my bedroom because of the black hair that was matting the carpet in the doorway.  I had to clean my room first from confiscated toys, outgrown clothes and toilet paper.  (In my defence we have two cats) 
  1. Those giant bags of toilet paper you buy at Cost-co?  They sit on the floor of my room until we use them all up.  They have no real home. 
  1. I’ve been going through my room for two days to figure out where that smell is coming from.  I’m still not sure. 
  1. I make my kids lunch first, put on a show and then make my own lunch and open up a book or log onto the computer. 
  1. I pretty much would rather read than clean and have to tear myself away just to get the basics done.  Same goes for playing cars, barbies or listening to “concerts”. 
  1. I buy my husband dark underwear so I don’t have to see his track marks when I do laundry and when my 6 year old had an accident,  I just tossed her panties.  Enough said. 
  1. If I lived in a place that was sunnier, I’d pretty much make my kids eat outside 365 days a year.  Right now, I’m restricted to our short summer.  It’s not so annoying when you find dried up bread crusts under the porch instead of the couch.  Plus we’re helping the wildlife. It’s a win-win. 
  1. I yell at my kids. I’m not proud of it and I’m trying to do better but there it is.  The one reason why I dread the summer and open windows.  
What's on your list? 

Zeemaid

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fighting Tough Stains

If you are anything like me, you loathe laundry.  Not only do you hate the lugging it up and down the stairs, the folding, the sorting, the putting it away but you hate stain hunting.  Still it's a job that's gotta be done or you'll be surprised by a nasty stain the next time you or your kids go to wear something.

Here are some stain fighting tips:

1.  Take care of the stains as soon as possible.  Fresh stains are always easier to get out than old ones.

2.  NEVER rub a fresh stain with bar soap.  It sets the stain.
 (I did not know this, did you?)

3.  Check before washing.  Try and get your kids to let you know when they have something stained.

4.  Pre-treat the stain.  It really helps if you can whip that shirt off as soon as the stain happens or at least catch it before it goes into the wash machine.  Once it gets into the dryer that stain can get baked on and it will be almost impossible to get rid of.

5.  Check your water temperature:  Hot water can set protein stains like milk, egg or blood.  They say cold water is best but I have found warm water to work really well for me.

6.  Check the stains before drying. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the stain has come out or not when the clothes are wet but it's good to check.  If you can still see the stain don't put it in the dryer. Pre-treat and try again.

7.  Launder heavily soiled items separately.  It seems like a no brainer but if my kids have been playing out in the mud, I do a separate load for just those clothes.  If you don't use enough detergent or water the dirt and soil can redeposit onto cleaner clothing, so why take that risk.

One of the best cleaners that I've found for pre-treating stains is OxiClean.  Which is why when I was asked to be part of the Oxi Clean Stain Busting Advisory Panel I said "Hell, yeah!"  Actually, I just said yes cause I'm not a dork at all ;)


My WOW moment with OxiClean was when I had accidentally spilled hair dye onto a white shirt. I was too lazy to change and figured the towel would protect it.  I was so wrong.  Anyways,  I thought that was it for the shirt and my husband was going to kill me because it was brand new.  I decided to try OxiClean anyways and was thrilled as I watched the dye literally vanish before my eyes. It was so cool. 


Since then I use OxiClean on everything and anything and have never once had a damage what I used it on. Because I do forget to pre-treat my kids clothes a lot (who has the time) I like to add an extra scoop of OxiClean to my wash and I find that it really helps get the clothes that extra bit cleaner.  


New & Improved:  Canada's #1 Trusted Stain Fight is now even better.  The maker of OxiClean launched a New & Improved Versatile Stain Remover with a better package and 40% oxygen power per school than the previous formula.  


Benefits:

  • OxiClean Versatile Powder Stain Remover contains a unique combination of stain fighters that break down tough stains including grass stains, grease and dirt
  • Coloursafe and 100% chlorine free
  • Tackles over 101 stains on multiple surfaces like carpet, upholstery, grout, kitchen and bath surfaces. 
  • Works outdoors on gutters, unfinished decks and patio furniture. 
For more information on fighting stains and other OxiClean products check out their website at www.oxiclean.ca

Zeemaid

*Disclosure, I received a tub of OxiClean in order to participate in this panel. However, the opinions stated in herein as always are my own and reflect my real experience with the product(s) mentioned.*

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Written Output Disorder

Sounds like something a computer might have, doesn't it.  Unfortunately, this term applies to my 8 year old daughter.  Unfortunate, because it's probably the one thing that's keeping her from really moving forward in her education.

She has come great strides with her reading and while she tires easily and sometimes will still balk at reading full pages of text, she can at least do it at almost her age level.

What do you do though when your child is full of stories and can't write them out.  She has tried writing countless books/magazines, taking great trouble to put them together and colour pictures to go along but she almost always gives up because she can't write it out and we don't always have the time or patience to sit down and write it out for her.  Of course, this was before we realized that it wasn't normal for her to not be able spell at her age.  We kept thinking eventually she will get it.


Writing Sample. I couldn't even tell you what it's supposed to say. 


I'm sorry, I may be getting ahead of myself.  You might not know what I'm even talking about. To put it simply:
Written Output Disorder - The inability to write legibly and coherently for one's age and is considered to be a learning disability.    
It's like something isn't clicking in her brain.  She can learn to memorize words and how to spell them enough to make pass most tests but when it comes to jotting down her thoughts and stories, she can't recall any but the easiest words to spell.  Even phonetically she can't sound them out.  Phonetics doesn't work at all for her.  Doesn't make sense to her.  It's like she hears the words differently.

What's more from what I have read about this disorder is that if a child hasn't mastered writing by mid grade three, they are unlikely to.  Although you should never give up trying, there is a good possibility it will never get any better.  That has to be the epitome of discouragement for a parent to read.

Especially when they suggest turning to technology to get around these issues and to help boost her performance in class.  That's all fine and dandy for parents with hefty checkbooks.  Not so fine for two parents who are struggling to keep their business afloat and three children housed, clothed and fed.  I thought of giving up my own precious laptop only the software we need to use is too new and too heavy for my 6 year old relic.   What's a mom to do?  With no real funding available until we get a firm diagnosis for the autism it's almost heartbreaking to think we are stuck here in this unending circle of need.

Then we don't even know if they will choose to assess her at the Autism Centre.  Apparently so many children are being diagnosed with some form of Autism on the chart that they only have the resources to assess those that are young (for early intervention) or have more extreme symptoms.  I am sure some of you can understand the frustration as a parent as every symptom of Aspergers simply screams your child only to know that there is no extra financial support in class or counselling etc until that diagnosis comes through.

Still God is good and I have to remember that.  Because there was another special needs child in her class this past year, who didn't need quite so much support, she was able to benefit from the presence of an EA. While sometimes it made her feel bad because she felt different getting the extra help, the class was able to continue on around her.  Her teacher, who also experienced troubles in her youth with learning difficulties, is incredibly caring and supportive and able to coach her through some of her greatest struggles. I don't think we could have made it through this school year without her.

Being a voracious reader, writer and story teller myself, I can't even imagine what it would be like to not have basic writing or spelling skills. I can't imagine the frustration she must feel as she tries to "draw" each letter instead of just writing them automatically. It's so heartbreaking to know she feels stupid and hates that her brain learns different from others.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to read, read and read some more of ways to help my child in practicing these important skills.    There is one blog out there called Written Output Disorder A Parent's Perspective that is worth reading even though she hasn't posted since 2010.  In it she shares some of what she's been doing for her child who is also a "spatial learner".

Do you or someone you know have Written Output Disorder?  If so, I'd love to hear your story, what you are doing or have done and whether you or someone you know were able to overcome this.

Zeemaid

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother of the Year Award


This year Walmart is launching the Mom of the Year Award to help celebrate and recognize the huge contribution moms make as role models and integral members of the family and community.  This award will become an annual program to celebrate all that Mom does and shine a light on what is important to her.
Nominations will be accepted Mother’s Day (May 13) through July 8, 2012 and can be submitted through www.momoftheyear.ca.

Eight finalists will be selected and notified in mid-August and will be treated to an award celebration weekend in September. The Mom of the Year Award recipient will receive $10,000 for personal use and $100,000 to their cause or charity of choice. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $10,000 for personal use and $10,000 to their cause or charity of choice.

Of course, with this announcements comes the question of who would I choose to nominate for Mother of the Year.  Obviously, I’d love to nominate my own mother as it’d be wonderful for her to see how much we really do appreciate her but no… I feel that this Award should go to someone who could really benefit from such a prize not just financially but also mentally.  Let’s face it mother’s all work hard but some of us need that extra little bit of encouragement to keep us going. After all, we are our own worse critics and tend to worry constantly whether we’re doing anything right at all.

So when I cast my mind among the moms I knew both in real life and in the bloggy world, it came down to just one.

Faemom, mother to three extremely active and imaginative little boys, inventor of the “penis rules”.   Recently separated from her husband, she’s had to adjust this past year to being a single parent to three small boys and all that doing it on your own entails.  She’s had to go to battle with a bout of skin cancer (on her forehead I might add) and rally around her mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Not only does she strive to nurture her three boys through some pretty tough adjustments, she also tries to take a step back and let her boys be boys and learn some lessons on their own.  She encourages them in their creativity from wearing blue-and-white-checkered, long-sleeve, button-up shirt and blue-orange-black plaid shorts to speaking their language in all things Star Wars.  Who else would have created the Death Star Sandwich or tried to use Jedi Mind  Tricks on their kids?

One of the many things that I love about Faemom is that she cares about other moms. She not only sees their frustrations but offers sympathy and understanding and lets them know they are not alone and it will get better.  I don’t know about you, but I would have appreciated if a mom had done that for me when my toddler had a meltdown on the school playground.  I may not know her in real life but I wish I did.  It's unfortunate that Faemom doesn't qualify to be nominated since she lives in the U.S. and isn't eligible for the award but she would be my choice.

Who would you nominate?

Zeemaid

Disclosure: I’m part of the Walmart program by Mom Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own. Mom of the Year Award: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY Internet access and valid email account required. Nominations open May 10, 2012 to July 8, 2012 for legal residents of Canada over the age of majority.  Entrants cannot nominate themselves. One (1) grand prize available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $100,000 donation by Wal-mart Canada Corp. to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Seven (7) runner-up prizes available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $10,000 donation to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000).  Charity/cause subject to verification and final approval by Wal-mart Canada Corp., at its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on how the judging panel evaluates each entry according to the criteria. For Official Contest Rules and to nominate an entrant, visit [www.momoftheyear.ca].

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothering is a Tough Job

Being a mother is incredibly hard.  I never knew just how hard a job it was until I had my own three children.  These days I find myself constantly filled with a new found appreciation for all that my mother did.  I’ve also discovered a new understanding of how she must have felt at times when we all thought she was just going crazy.  Oh I can so relate.

So when Faemom wrote a post this past weekend about 15 Things she learned from her mother,(read her post here) it made me pause and think about the things that my own mother has taught me.

1.  Surprise treats can be something as simple as a tray of hot cocoa and cookies and are guaranteed to get you named as the “cool mom” by your teens and their friends.

2.  Love means letting go even when you want to hold them close.  My mom let me go away for an entire year at the age of 16.  I learned a lot that year but mostly I learned how great my parents were.

3.  It’s okay to play hooky once in a while.  Especially when your science teacher is going to make you dissect a frog and let’s face it you have absolutely no desire to go anywhere in that area of expertise and so a day spent shopping at the mall with your mom instead is an unlooked for blessing. (She also let me skip the pig fetus dissection and the “talk” class in high school)

4. That I may start countless projects and never finish them but one day I will finish them one by one although probably not until my kids are grown.

5. Playing outdoors is the best form of entertainment for kids.  Give them a bag of nails and some wood and watch them build a fort on their own. 

6.  It’s okay to get dirty.

7.  Homemade birthday cakes taste the best. (they’re cheaper too)


8.  A home isn’t a home unless it’s full of children’s photos and knicknacks.

9. To honour one’s parents even though they may not have always done right by you.

10. To be independent and self reliant. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I have to settle for less.

AND of course,

11. Never leave home without clean underwear.



What have you learned from your mother?



Zeemaid

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What To Expect When You're Expecting | Pimp My Stroller App EXCLUSIVE


I think I'd have to search pretty far and wide to find someone who hasn't heard of the book What to Expect When You're Expecting. In fact, I owned not one but two copies because I found an updated version.  I read that book back to front and back again.  No matter how old the book is the information is still valuable and timeless.  

So it's great fun that the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting was conceived from the best-selling "bible of American pregnancy" and is due in theaters everywhere May 18th. 

Gearing up for the theatrical Debut, a new social app for What To Expect When You're Expecting is being launched today on Facebook.  Yes, exciting news ladies because you will have a chance to play PIMP MY STROLLER.  No Kidding. With this new Facebook App, PIMP MY STROLLER fans can “Pimp” their babies’ rides with everything from the latest rims to the hottest subwoofers.  They can also outfit the stroller with their baby’s likeness, personalize the license plate and add their creation to the Stroller Hall of Fame on the WHAT TO EXPECT Facebook page.

Best of all, fans can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a deluxe stroller prize package from Britax!



Oh and be sure to check out the trailer.  Until I watched this, I wasn't really sure I wanted to watch the movie (I thought it was going to be heavy) but it looks hilarious!




Please Share this on Twitter and Facebook!  Thanks!

Zeemaid

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Baby is Growing Up


It's hard to believe that my baby turned 5 years old last week.  It seems like only yesterday that I was bringing that fat, bruised looking 12 pound little baby boy home.  It can still bring tears to my eyes when I re-live that day when everything changed from normal to almost traumatic as I struggled to catch my breath to keep pushing this baby who was obviously stuck and I looked up to see tears pouring down my husband's and mother's face and my near panic when I finally saw his blue little face and utter silence and thought... well you can guess what went through my mind.  Thank God, he came through alright.  It ended up being more bruising than anything and apart from some shoulder dystosia (sp?) he made it just fine and I have this amazing, strong and handsome little lad.

Tears soon turned to laughter though as I looked at my pudgy little guy in the nursery, 3 x the size of all those other little mites in their incubators, he might have been purple and blue but he was anything but fragile.  It still makes me smile to remember the nurses frantically trying to hunt up bigger sleepers for him and how they still ended up looking fit to burst.  Too then me and my boy were something of a sensation as everyone wanted to pop in and see this 12 pound baby and the mother who delivered him naturally.


Of course he grew fast, much faster than my other two as he already had such a head start.  I came across a box of his baby clothes last week and while some outfits evoked sentimental tears in my eyes the others I confess I had no memory of.  It then dawned on me that he hadn't been in them for very long.  I had birthed the equivalent to a 3 month old and clothes went by fast.

Probably best of all my babies.  He was the most content, the easiest to feed, to sleep, to nap and ever so patient for my attention while I attended to his sisters. Not content to stay still for long he soon was dragging himself about on his forearms earning him the nickname commando baby.  Of course, when he started to walk it was a whole other experience.  I have many posts about my children's early years but this post pretty much sums up what a day in the life a boy could be like in We are Not So Screwed 

Still it's even harder to believe that my baby will be going to kindergarten in September. I am torn between elation at finally having all three in school full-time and sadness over my last baby growing up.  I swear every time I see a baby I get those pangs all over again and have to spend ages reminding myself all the reasons why this womb is closed.  The traumatic last labour and delivery being one of them.

Despite all that I've got my O now and I am so thankful I am getting to experience the joys of raising a boy. He's so different from the other two and yet he wants so much to be just like his big sisters.  When we went away the other weekend, they all were on their bikes racing around the campground.  O tired desperately to keep up with 8 year old sister failing to realize that not only were her legs longer but her bike was built to go faster.  She was oblivious to his plight and wanted only to continue on her way singing merrily as she enjoyed her sense of freedom of being allowed to roam around the campground.

I tried to console him and pointed out to him that she's older etc. but it didn't stop him from trying to follow her or keep up until one time he wiped out.  E, oblivious kept riding, leaving O figuratively in her dust.  He screeched her name as he got up and called out for her to wait for him but she didn't hear him.  He threw himself down on the ground and oh he howled.  My mama heart went out to him and as I walked over to comfort him it struck me how hard it was for him at that point to be 4 years old, the baby of the family and so desperately wanting to be big like E.  A little mama sympathy went a long way to comforting him but despite all that I could say or offer he was still clinging to the hope that when he turned 5, he'll be big like E and able to ride faster than her.

So he's turned five now and we haven't yet come to the test of him out riding her. I just hope when they next ride together somehow what I said about her always being four years older but that one day he would catch up to her in height and speed will sink in and help lessen his frustration.

In the meantime, I am going to try and enjoy these last few months I have him to myself because I know come September we will all be entering a new phase in our lives together.


I love you O!

Zeemaid