Saturday, April 24, 2010

Heatlhy tips

This was one of the winning posts!

As the big 40 is less than a month away, I've been giving a lot of thought on how to be just a little bit healthier. Let's face it, the cards are stacked against me as it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, so these tips are very simple and hopefully easy to incorporate into your life. Notice I say nothing about drinking less wine ;-)

1. Walk instead of Drive.

Sounds simple but it isn't. I know. As a Mom we're so busy and always in a hurry to get from A to B then back to A and then C and on and on until we're at Z. But it can be done. Even if it's a matter of changing one day a week so you can run one errand or drop off by foot. You'll be better for it. And so will your relationship with your child. When you're in the car talking can be difficult, all to easy to tune one other out or fight with the neighbouring sibling. When you're on foot you can stop and talk, point interesting things out, even hold your child's hand. Much nicer than having your hands on the steering wheel.

2. Eat what's on your plate, not theirs.

Again, sounds simple, but it isn't. For starters, I hate throwing food out. Until my brother told me he lost 5 lbs just by stopping his grazing. If you're hungry when you're kids are eating, eat with them, but from your own plate.

3. Don't buy junk food.

I'm not saying never eat any, because sometimes you just gotta have that chocolate bar, ice cream, chips, whatever your weakness may be, and that's fine. Just don't make it easy. Don't keep it in the house. And if you do bring it in, after you've satiated the craving, throw out the rest. Better in the bin than on your thighs.

4. Hug.

Hug your kids and your spouse. A lot. Hugs bring out endorphins. Endorphins are good.

5. Try and include 30 minutes of rigorous exercise a week.

Seems like an impossible task. Then try for 10 minutes for a couple of weeks, then increase by 5 minutes every couple of weeks until you're at 30. Dust off the stationary bike you're using as a clothes rack and put it in front of the TV or in your kids playroom and sit on it...and pedal. Go to the gym you're paying a membership for. Join a running group. Have sex. Do something to get that heart rate pumping so the next time your little ones run in opposite directions at the park, you can catch them both.

6. Worry less.

I just bought the Little Miss Naughty worries Mr. Worry book and was embarrassed at how much I'm like Mr. Worry. Somehow I turned into my worry-wort Grandmother. It's no wonder I feel stressed. When you catch yourself worrying, acknowledge the thought then put it far away and replace it with something positive - like how you're going to fit in that extra 10 minutes of vigorous exercise today ;-)

7. Do less.

We are so caught up with keeping up with the Joneses, shuffling our kids from this activity to the other, working and shopping that we are constantly on the go and feel rushed and stressed. Un-enroll your child from an activity or schedule one less playdate. Slowing down can be hard to do, but once you do it feels really good. You'll feel better and you'll be surprised how the rest of the family will too.

8. Read more.

Where's the time to do that you ask? Turn the TV off and you'll be surprised at how you can find the time. Children who grow up around books are better poised to succeed. Not only do books open up whole new worlds and encourage independent thought and imagination, there's also very little (if any) direct advertising in books.

9. Play outside.

If it's raining, put on rain boots and a rain jacket, and jump in puddles. If it's hot, break out the hose, if it's snowing, make snow angels. You will enjoy the fresh air, as will your kids.

10. Laugh more.

You know when you're having one of those days...those really really bad days and to make it just that much worse, your 3 year old pitches a tantrum in the middle of the mall and has an accident in his pants (and being the 'bad' mother that you are, you don't have a change of clothes for him) and all you want to do is run away and hide (and scream). Try laughing instead. Really, just laugh. Because in all honesty, the moment is probably just as funny as it is frustrating. And laughing automatically changes your attitude from stressed to the max to almost manageable. People might think you're a bit loopy, but I'm sure there'll be at least one Mom or Dad out there that gets it. Who knows, maybe they'll start laughing along with you.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Trop50 Little Things for Happy, Healthy Living
1000 Little Things for Moms from Trop50

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nana's dead and other ways to make your 3 year old cry

So Little Mr. Man started pre-school yesterday. What a momentous day! I think he was a little nervous, but you never could tell, because as soon as he found the box of trains & train tracks he let go of my hand and was off. As I stood there watching him, trying to ingrain the moment in my mind (because of course I forgot my camera AND phone at home), I couldn't help but feel proud of him and sad. Sad for myself, him and his little sister.
You see, it was 6 years ago that my amazing mother passed away.

Of course, being a motherless mother, I romanticize the relationship I would have had with my mother and how wonderful it would have been to share my journey through motherhood with her. Of course, my relationship with my mother was by no means perfect when she was alive, but it had improved greatly over the years and really whose going to fault me for trying to eek out some 'good' after loosing my mom.

Ever since Little Mr. Man's birth I've talked about Nana (my Mom) and tried tell him at least once a week how she loves him, etc. At the beginning, I'd even 'buy' him presents from her, but you know that may just get weird as the kids get older! My goal though is to keep her memory alive as much as possible so the kids have the chance to 'get to know her'.

Anyhow, as I was lighting a memorial candle for my Mom this morning, LMM pipes up and asks what I was doing and of course WHY. I explained to him that I was lighting a candle in memory of Nana, my Mom. WHY? Because she no longer lives on the planet (we were just talking about planets before). WHY? Well, because she died. COMPLETE SILENCE followed by what I'm sure was a QUIVERING LIP. OMG....did I really just make my first born cry by telling him his Nana was dead?! And you wonder why I named this blog "maybe tomorrow I'll be a better mother"...better than "Maybe tomorrow I'll ruin my son's day by telling him his Nana's dead, there is no Santa Claus and the tooth fairy's a hoax"!!!

10 hours later, my husband walks in the house and the first things LMM says to him is "Nana's dead Dada". Oh dear, we're in for a long couple of days!

So tell me, how have you handled the issue of death with your little ones?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can't believe I was "that" mother today

At Little Man's activity this morning, I was "that" mother. New term, new location (closer to home), same company. As I walk up and see which group my darling son has been placed with, I am horrified...all the other kids in the group looked SO YOUNG. how will these children challenge my son and push him to do his best? It looks like they've only just learned to walk, let alone run, jump, hop on one foot and play t-ball!

Yes, I was that mother, thinking MY child may only have only just turned 3, but he is more suited to being with 3.5 year olds, there must be a mistake. He should NOT be with these children...they're, they're....well...just 3.

OK, so thankfully I was not that bad, but nearly. In fact, had the group leader not (rightfully) shut me down (in less than 3 seconds no less-methinks I was by no means the most formidable opponent she's faced in her years as Sports Leader) I may have taken the issue further. Thankfully she shut me down and I quickly snapped to reason, remembering this is an activity that is supposed to be fun for my son. It is nothing more.

I do hope I remember this little episode and can manage to remain humbled for all his and his sister's years of activities, school, work, friends...well, for all their lives. I don't like being "that" mom!

How do you strike the balance between advocating for your child, wanting to see them excel and be challenged and just letting them have fun and be 3 (or 5 or 10, or whatever age they may be)?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The plight of the toy filled home

i am slowly recovering from the Little Man's 3rd birthday. We had an awesome Dinosaur themed birthday party, complete with dinosaur cake, dino volcano toss and pin the horn on the triceratops. For goody bags, the kids were each given a space and bucket filled with sand with little dinosaur treasures buried for them to discover at home.

On his actual birthday we spent something like 8 hours at the Royal Easter Show! The highlight for me was when Ryan said his favorite part was the pony ride because I was with him. Aw, way to make Mommy's day!!

Now I just need to figure out where to put all the toys!!

How do you manage not to have your home overrun with toys?

Monday, April 5, 2010

knee deep in dinosaurs

Trying to avoid all things branded, a couple of months ago I planted the idea of a dinosaur themed party with my soon-to-be-three year old for his upcoming birthday party. I knew that if I didn't plant something soon we'd be having a Thomas the Tank Engine party and I'd be making a train cake...again. So, at the time, the dinosaur theme seemed like a good idea. As did the non-branded thing. Until now, a mere 5 days before his party and me at the ripe old age of (let's just say closer to 50 than 20) I am learning how to draw. I am making my own dinosaur bean bags. I will be making a volcano to toss said bean bags into. I will also be making a dinosaur cake.

So, you'll forgive me, if from where I'm sitting right now, an out-of-the-box-Thomas Party seems like a pretty fab idea!

And because of this, I am slowly eating my way through said son's Easter loot. Maybe tomorrow I'll replace what I've eaten. Mabye...