Thursday, 28 November 2013

Activity bag on the go

With 4 kids, we have a lot of extra curricular activities going on this fall. Basketball, swimming lessons, girl guides, dance class and the list goes on. Most of these activities happen in the evenings, when my husband is working, so I have to drag all the kids with me to each activity. I learned the hard way that entertaining all the kids, trying to watch my kid's activity and feeding them supper on time before we leave is impossible. So is trying to pack a bag of distractions and snacks every day as we are running out the door.

Solution = activity/snack bag left in the van.

I filled a bag with non-perishable snacks (goldfish, granola bars), drinks(juice packs, bottles of water) and activities(coloring books,stickers,cards) and left it in the trunk of the van. I know it will be there to whip out when we're at the pool, gym or dance hall and I need something to keep the other kids busy once they're sick of watching their sibling in action. I'll check it every few days to see what needs replenishing. It saves me a lot of extra planning and packing and even a little sanity :)

Monday, 25 November 2013

My crazy toddler is still crazy

Remember when I wrote honestly about my crazy toddler? I thought it would pass as he got older. It didn't, it got worse.
I was right about the gender differences, he is a complete opposite of his older sisters. They all went through the "Terrible 2's" but in a gentler way. Despite growing up with princess dresses and tea parties (which he thoroughly enjoys) he's a total boy through and through.
His pastimes still include throwing dinkies, but now he's graduated to larger and more destructive objects, like dollhouses, dump trucks and clementines (these might not be larger, but they definitely are messier).
His sleeping patterns have improved. He no longer wakes up at the crack of dawn, but he does have a new outlook on bedtime. As in, it doesn't exist. His new response to everything is "nebah ebah" (never ever).

Knocking on the door and throwing snowballs at me when I answer.

Noah has his own belief system of how our house should be run.

He believes if there is a pile of something (laundry, books, blankets) they should be thrown sporadically throughout the house.
He believes the toilet should be flushed every 3 minutes, over and over again.
He believes every light in the house should be turned on, then off, then on, then off.
He believes my walls look better with marker on it than paper does.


He easily goes from good (hugs, kisses,quiet voice) to bad (screaming, pushing, throwing dinkies) and sometimes a smile will accompany his face. I've noticed he gets enjoyment out of playfully bothering others and seeing their reaction. This trait is most definitely passed down from his father. When Noah gets older I shudder at the thought of the tag team that could aspire.

Throughout all this destruction, I must remember that he's still my one and only little boy who warms my heart with his smile, singing, and "I love yous". Somedays It's a big struggle to remember that. Somedays I'm more concerned about the state of my playroom, my walls and my power bill. Somedays I just want him to play quietly, leave my lights alone, and go to bed before 9pm.

And don't even get me started on potty training. "Nebah Ebah!!".

Monday, 18 November 2013

Almost Christmas Decorating

I like to take my time when it comes to Christmas decorations. Right now I bring out winter themed decor like snowmen, snowflakes, and white lights. It's my way of easing into the cold, winter season. But once December 1st hits, out come the Santas, elves and reindeer!
Here are a few cute and easy Winter decorations I wanted to share.

My aunt would make these snowflake cans every year. Unfortunately I have none left to show off, but the crafty people at Color Buzz did. Simply take an old tin can, nail in some holes and paint on some snowflakes. Toss in a tea light or battery operated votive and you've created a warm and festive light.

My no-hassle version of these cans this year is from the Scentsy collection. A gorgeous plug-in warmer that lights up and fills my house with delicious aromas.

My step-mother used to make Ice Candles for our holiday parties. They lined our walkway lighting the way for our guests and I always thought they looked so neat all lit up in the snow. It's basically a large ice cream container full of frozen water and a candle. You can find an easy tutorial here.

 How cute is this? Turn your closet door (or any door) into a friendly snowman. With a little felt and 2-sided tape my crafty friend added some seasonal cheer to her kitchen.

Every year I throw this together to create a snowy scene on our front step. I added some winter accents from Dollarama and glued on a festive bow.
Adding white battery operated lights really tops it off, and they came with timers so they turn on when it gets dark and turn off at bedtime. I didn't have to worry about remembering to plug them in, or go out in the cold to turn them off late at night. I like easy things.

Happy Winter !

Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Fun Snack - Mini Apple Crisps

I'm told I make pretty good apple crisp. I thought it'd be fun to whip up some kid sized crisps for this week's kid's snack. It was more than easy, fun and a huge hit with my family!

I made them using muffin pans so they were kid-sized and used the liners as little plates.

What you need

3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Oats
1/3 cup Butter

Apples (I used 4 for this batch)

How you make it

Mix topping ingredients
Line the muffin pan with liners
Cut up apples into small pieces and fill liners with them
Sprinkle Cinnamon/Nutmeg on top
Cover apples with topping

Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes and Enjoy!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Why my kids wear poppies

One day a year I stick little red flowers with pointy pins on my kids coats, bundle them up and stand outside for our town's Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony.This year it was dark and rainy, we were wet and cold and thankfully I had to only raise my voice once. Secretly I was kind of relieved when we left and I could take the kids home, but it's an event that I'll never miss, and that I'll always take my kids to.

Remembrance Day isn't just a holiday off from work or school, it's a day that we're given to take time to celebrate and remember. It's important to me that my kids know what this day is for. Whatever it takes for them to realize the significance of this day, I'll make them do it. If it means they have to stand outside in the cold listening to bagpipes, old people recite poems and constantly stab themselves in the shoulder with a poppy pin they will.
My grandfather fought proudly in the war along with many other of our family members. We have several relatives and friends who continue to serve our country and keep us safe. It's important that my kids recognize their sacrifices and learn some history about it. They're fortunate to belong to amazing schools who recognize Remembrance Day, teach the kids what it's about and host a ceremony for them each year.

Noah is only 2 and he has no idea why I've stuck this pretty flower on his coat, and why everyone was placing theirs on the monument, but he will someday. He knew it was important and that's what he was supposed to do and no doubt he'll remember to do that next year.

Happy Monday!
Enjoy this day with your family :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Fun Snack-Fun Pancakes

While driving my 9 year old to school this morning she asked me, "What's for Fun Friday Snack today?" S#@T! I had no snack planned for today. I had completely forgotten. After scanning my cupboards for a quick snack that would be fun and entertaining I found some leftover pancakes that I had tossed in the freezer for a quick snack. Genius. I had whipped cream and strawberries to go along with them and since we're already starting to get into the Christmas spirit...this is what we came up with.
Here's a great way to add some fun (and holiday cheer) to your everyday pancakes!

Who doesn't love a little Santa Clause?
Happy Weekend!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Why cereal for supper rocks

After an exhausting day of parenting, chauffeuring, cleaning, laundering and cooking, my kids whined "what's for supper". This is where my friend cereal comes into play.
My kids love cereal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedsnack.

There are days when Mike is working and I only need to feed myself and the kids, and on these days cereal makes a great meal choice. Why not? It's much healthier than ordering a pizza and mixing it with milk gives them their daily dose of calcium. Not to mention how easy it is to prepare.
Also, parental brownie points are awarded heavily when you break the news to your kids that you are allowing them to actually eat just cereal for supper !!

If you do choose to follow my exceptional parenting...

Here's some ways to step up plain boring cereal:

Mix it up. Who says you need to have just one kind of cereal at once?

Use a fancy bowl. It makes any meal look fabulous and fun.

Check out these cute animal bowls from Ebay

Be Crafty. Afterwards, use your empty cereal boxes to make super cool crafts.

How about this awesome village from Super Fun Kids Crafts

I actually came across a mom who threw her daughter a "cereal themed"  Birthday Party.

Happy Monday!!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Fun Snack - Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hope everyone's Halloween was a success! We dressed in our costumes, ran from door to door and collected bags full of goodies! Yesterday we made these cookies for Halloween but I still wanted to share them today. Aside from Halloween you can still make these any day. Maybe your kid has a thing for insects? ( thankfully mine do not) or simply as a fun way to spice up your kid's lunchbox.

What you need
I used my everyday Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I posted for a previous Friday Fun Snack.
Make sure to set a handful of chocolate chips aside to use later for the bug legs.

How you make them
After you mix up your dough and your cookies are baking, melt the chocolate chips you saved and put them in a frosting bag or a simple ziploc bag and cut a very small hole in the end corner.
While your cookies are still warm in the oven, take them out and place a chocolate chip upside down in the cookie (flat side up) this will be the "bug body". Bake the cookies for just a few more minutes.
Once the cookies are cool use your bag of melted chips to draw legs on the bugs.

So very simple!

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