Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Horse Kottbullar

While reading this morning's news I came across this and was pretty horrified.
How could anyone want to eat horse meat?
I just find it so sad. (and gross)
Nothing against cows or chickens but for some reason that doesn't seem as bad as eating a dog or horse.
Every time I look at my sweet Chelsea I think- "How could they??"

I know, I know, many cultures eat all kinds of things that most North Americans deem unacceptable, but really?
Seabiscuit and Hidalgo?
Not to mention War Horse.
Lulu would be even more horrified than even I am.
She has a "Saddle Club" and her and her little friends are currently horse obsessed.

I'm a pretty adventurous eater, but that just makes me sad. It also kind of makes me want to become a vegetarian.
Anyhow, I'm so glad that last week while at Ikea, I decided to skip the hot dog and swedish "meat"balls and stick with the frozen yoghurt cone..

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Patience is a virtue

Recently I had the opportunity to hear Jennifer Kolari speak at our school.
I had never heard of her before, and to be honest, this was my first time hearing a motivational speaker or "parenting coach" talk.
I am so glad I did.
She was funny and informative and I left feeling so much better than I did before I got there.
Of late, my patience has been on thin ice.
Holy g-d it's been freaking cold out during the month of February! brrr
But I digress...

The past few weeks (okay months) I have not been the most patient parent on the planet.
Same goes for Big Daddy.
Neither one of us are candidates for parent of the month this month, that's for sure.
I'm pretty sure the primary reason being that we haven't had any time away from Lulu in ages.
Our last child-free date night was in December.
And as nice as Miami was, it was Lulu 24/7.
So romantic it was not.
To have an uninterrupted conversation has become almost impossible.
And when we fall into this pattern, Lulu tends to get more needy and clingy.
It's sweet that she loves spending so much time with us and wants to be a part of every single conversation, but it also becomes extremely frustrating.
She has even started hanging out beside me when I'm sending an email or text and reading them asking questions about who, what, where and when??...grrr
Which then equals a lack of patience over the smallest of things and the envitable explosion of temper ensues.

But after hearing what Jennifer had to say, I felt this big sigh of relief and a feeling of "Hey I'm not alone and it's normal to feel frustration as a parent. We all drop the ball from time to time and there are tools I can use to help me cope with life's obstacles and be a better more focused parent."
The timing couldn't have been better.
I needed to hear this advice more than I even thought I did.
It was like a two hour free therapy session.
Did I mention that our school's Home & School association funded this event?
So now even some of the doubts and questions I had last week about private vs. public school have been answered.
She was sold out of her books (that's usually a pretty good sign) but I'm picking up a copy the next time I'm at Chapters.
I can't remember the last time I read a parenting book actually, (maybe the baby whisperer 7 years ago??) but I'm thinking hers would be of great value and help me to become a more loving (if that's even possible) "connected" parent.

Speaking of being patient and learning techniques on how to be more calm and patient parent, Lulu finally lost her first tooth!
I can't lie and say that I haven't been a wee bit anxious about the fact that she is almost 8 and hadn't even lost a single tooth yet.
Especially when most of her classmates have mouths full of new teeth.
Plus her new teeth have started coming up behind her baby teeth.
Um hello orthodontics....I'll most definitely be needing an extra helping of patience when dealing with her braces down the road. *shudder*
But at last, one finally was pulled  popped out.
I remember all the fuss when that tiny tooth first appeared.
The drooling, fever, sleepless nights, tears, angst and overall misery that poor Lulu went through when she was teething.
Boy did I even need patience back then.
Wish I had heard of Jennifer 6 years ago!

Some kids are so lucky, getting and loosing teeth is no big deal.
My Lulu, not so much.
Poor thing.
Anyhow it's out now..whew... I may have actually been more relieved than she was.
Clearly I need to get a life. sigh.

The good news is that the tooth fairy came and went and hopefully is keeping it nice and safe.
And with a little patience there will be plenty more where that came from..

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

♥ Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence. – By Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

skool vs school

The current situation with the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) is so frustrating.
I know I know, one of my new year's resolutions was no not get involved in school politics, but how can I not when they directly affect my child?
The strike doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon, or at least that's the impression I'm getting.
Then again, who knows? as there's been such a lack of communication between the parents and the school during this whole dispute.
Currently there are no extra curricular activities (choir, sports, school plays), no pizza lunches (even though we already paid for the whole year) and now no more field trips.
Isn't going to places like the Science Centre, The AGO and The ROM part of the learning experience and done during school hours?
As a parent I feel so frustrated and helpless.
All of this has been extremely eye opening.

I've always considered us to be lucky that we live in a community where we have such a great school, but now I'm not feeling so sure.
Clearly over 60% of our teachers are on the side of the union, unlike some of our neighbouring schools who are still running programs like field trips and school musicals etc.
So that makes me really question which of the teachers are really there for the kids?
How can we as parents know who voted which way?
Earlier in the year I was completely in support of the teachers but now as the year is half over I'm just feeling confused and discouraged.

To make matters worse, Lulu came home last week and told me that she was told that they have to run the tap water for 20 seconds to get rid of the lead in the pipes before drinking out of them.
WTF?! Lead?
Isn't that like um POISON?
She also mentioned that 6 out of the 8 bathroom stalls were not usable last week.
As in floating fecal matter in every one.
OMG- and parents wonder why things like Pinworm are contracted at school.
SO So gross.
Our school is in desperate need of renovations and is close to 100 years old but I'm not holding my breath.
(unless of course I'm in the vicinity of any of the bathrooms)

So as a result of all this we have been investigating private schools for Lulu.
I went on a tour of a school last week and can I just say that I was completely blown away.
You really get what you pay for that's for sure.
It was so impressive.
The teachers all seemed so enthusiastic and professional.
The classes were organized, bright, clean and inviting.
The kids were all so attentive in every single class from JK all the way to grade 6.
So polite, so well groomed! I just love school uniforms..
The quality of the education is above and beyond what I would have even expected.
I know it's not the most important thing, but when Lulu comes home and expresses anxiety about having to use the bathroom at school, to me that's a problem.
Needless to say all the bathrooms were spotless.

So the big question is what to do?
Do we bite the bullet and make the switch?
The only thing holding us back is the hefty price tag.
When you add up the numbers it is very daunting that's for sure.
But maybe in the end it will be well worth it.

Then again, one of the main the reasons we moved to our neighbourhood in the first place was because of the schools' fantastic reputation.
It's one of the reasons families pay a premium to live here.
I love belonging to and being a part of a community and the great people we've met through our school.
I also really love that we can walk to school and as she gets older, Lulu can walk on her own or with a friend and gain a sense of independence.
If we were to stay in the public school the grade 3 & 4 teachers are amazing and I've been looking forward to having Lulu in their classes since we started there.
I know it's hit and miss with teachers in the public school, sometimes you win the lottery, some years not so much.
But for the most part I think we have a lot of really good teachers who DO care about the kids in our school.
And let's face it- it's FREE.

Ultimately I just want what's best for Lulu and because we only have one child it would be great if we could give her any advantage possible.
Private school would be completely out of the question if we had more than one child that's for sure.
It's such a huge decision and I feel like what ever choice we make now will have such a huge impact on her life down the road..
No pressure or anything. gulp.
Oh what to do...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

missin' the heat

Being Canadian you would think that I would be used to the winter by now.
That I would embrace and love it.
Get into the spirit of things and strap on the skis, lace up the skates and savour the crisp (aka frigid) air.
But for some reason this year I just can't get into it.
No matter how hard I try, I would rather just cozy up inside and wait until it's over.
And to be completely honest the weather hasn't even been that bad so far this year considering we experienced above record temperatures in January.
edited to add: should have kept my mouth shut- holy snow storm!!
So I'm not sure why I'm so anti-winter this year.
But then again, when I really think about it, I do tend to get like this every February.
So I suppose this isn't really anything new.

Having just spent last week in Miami, I can't help to wonder how much better life would be if you didn't have to bundle up every time you stepped outside.
Putting multiple layers on everyone (even on the dog) trying to figure out how to be somewhat fashionable and practical, yet still warm enough to feel the tips of your fingers and toes.
Doing your best not to brush up against salty car doors or step in wet salty puddles at the front door when taking off  big clunky boots.
And I'm sorry...I don't care how trendy they are, I still feel super unattractive when sporting winter clothes.
They really don't do it for me.

So I can't stop thinking that if I didn't live in a climate that was so extreme, would I feel happier and healthier?
Would I be a much more active and positive person?
Do people who live in warmer climates lead better lives?
Get less colds and not suffer from super dry skin (damn all that hand washing & germ fighting) not to mention indoor heating cranked to the max.

I'm probably just in a bit of a post holiday slump.
And kind of bummed that concept of retirement on the beaches of Florida are far away..

But maybe a weekend on the slopes or on the nearest skating rink sipping hot chocolate will make me feel better and help me to get into the glacially numbing spirit of things.

Or not.

Then again, maybe a weekend in front of the fire reading, watching movies and drinking wine would be much more fun.

Only six more weeks to go after all.