Tuesday, March 1, 2011

THOSE days

How do you get through a bad day? A day where you lack ambition, the kids bicker, it's too cold to go outside, you're grumpy or tired or both?  I have a new invention:  It's called Popcorn Night!

Let me just start off by saying that my kids don't watch a lot of TV.  In fact, our rule is no TV until after bath time - except for Sunday, which is during quiet time as a treat.  Quite often Silas is so pooped that by the time bath is done, he just ends up going straight to bed.  Hurray, another day screen free!  But SOME days, let me tell you!  We have a dozen movies and a season each of Muppets and Fraggle Rock on DVD that Silas watches.  I would love to just plug them in, one after another, for days on end.  How glorious!  He doesn't bug Oliver during movies (he just watches).  Oliver doesn't bug him (he just plays).  But, from experience, I've learned that to let Silas watch TV at any other time of the day than usual is to invite at least a week of TV demands at all times during the day, followed by some pretty dramatic arguments.

I've been having one of those days.  Actually, I think it's been one of those weeks!  I think it's the last batch of snow on the ground, the plummeting temperatures, the thought of yet another round of ice, then mud and puddles when it finally does get warmer.  I'm a firm believer in enjoying the season one is in - it does no good to wish for any other time, you just gotta wait.  Why not enjoy it?  But honestly, can't it be cold and stay cold, not warm up a half dozen separate times only to dash all my hopes in one cold, snowy night once again?  Anyhow, I digress.  I've been suffering a bit of cabin fever.  My husband has been working late to meet a looming deadline so I'm on from first cry from the crib till well after the last tooth-brushing, seven days a week.  I needed something to help me through one more day of winter!  What is it you ask?

Popcorn Night!  Here's how it works:  Serve simple food for supper, foods you KNOW they'll eat, even if it's not part of the original plan.  I fed the kids a couple of sausages with some steamed broccoli.  We just had sausages the other day, but it's not like Si and Ollie care how often they eat them!  I ate leftovers (Aloo Gobi!).  Whatever crams a few nutrients down their throats so you don't guilt out too much, making you crankier and more depressed.

Next, a quick bath.  Then, in pyjamas, make popcorn together (cause there'll be an EPIC tantrum if you don't wait for "help").  Finally, choose a movie that you can ALL watch (no Barney please!), snuggle up with sippies of water, blankets, and popcorn and totally veg out with your kids.

See that blanket on the end of the couch?  That's where I sit.  I NEVER sit to watch TV, so Silas was really excited about this.  To top it off, I changed into jammies and a housecoat while they were in the bath so I could really get into the mood.

The best part?  We ate supper at 430!  Ha!  Baths were done by shortly after five.  On to the movies and a bit of peace and relaxation, without breaking the "after bath" rule.  I'm feeling just smug enough that maybe by tomorrow I'll have pulled up my socks and get back into the swing of things.  Maybe I should make a list of truly great things about winter, rather than focus just on the negative?

What do you do to get through to bedtime on bad days?

Tot School

I'm a little behind with this post, but I do have all the pictures so I'd better get on it!  Saturday mornings seem to be the day Oliver and I have some time together.  While Silas visits his auntie I whip out a few little activities for us!

He seemed to especially love the macaroni I supplied with a scoop and measuring cup.  He used both his hands and his scoop to fill the cup, dump it out and start all over.  He also enjoyed swirling his hands around in the bowl, and of course, the odd snack!

Sorry, this photo is a little blurry but it's the best one I got of Oliver playing with the mini pompoms and the clear plastic bottle.  He really liked shaking the bottle upside down but didn't enjoy putting them back in nearly as much - but he would do a few just so he could shake them out!

This puzzle by Melissa and Doug has the animals noises in it and that was fascinating for Oliver.  He was good at matching the pieces to the right spot but was found it challenging to line them up right. Luckily the piece makes a noise as soon as it's in the right area, not necessarily fit right into its spot!

Loved this photo!  He plays piano at my mom's house often - quite nice playing actually, not the deafening crashes Silas comes up with when he's feeling silly.

We spent a fair bit of time at my cousin's house this past week and Oliver really enjoyed the stairs!  Here he's shouting my name through the banister.  Then he climbs up one step and shouts my name through the next banister, and so on all the way up the stairs.  And back down.  And back up . . . you get the idea!

Thought I'd share this funny photo.  I gave him a handful of cheerios on the coffee table for a snack.  He can reach them perfectly fine from the side, but it's Oh So Oliver to insist on standing on the far side so he has to reach so much his feet come off the ground!

And of course, no week is complete without at least one day of chores with dad.  Here's Oliver all bundled up in my coat.  For some reason his dad thinks this is better, easier, than a snowsuit.  If you were to lift the coat up, you'd find a thick pair of adult's wool socks pulled up over his pants too!  Boys.

Finally, here's another Oh So Oliver picture.  He loves to read books (this one's upside down!) and he especially seems to love having a dirty face.  Every trip to the library results in a bagful of books about trains, trucks, tractors, fish and snakes.  You can certainly tell I have boys!

Linking this post to 1+1+1=1.