Summer Travel – Toronto, Canada

Della finally got her passport so her dad and I decided a short trip to Toronto, Canada would be fun.  Della is great on planes and she loves flying. She doesn’t even get nervous when there’s turbulence. She says it feels like she’s on a roller coaster. Thank goodness because having a crying and nervous kid on a plane is no fun. We wanted to go somewhere quick and fun, so Canada was a great choice. We took a quick flight to Toronto and enjoyed four days of wonderful weather, food, and people.

The first day, we arrived, we went to Niagara Falls. Della loved it. If the kid could have jumped in the waterfall, she probably would have. I have to admit, I was impressed to. We both love the water so seeing the waterfall was so cool. Her dad is from Niagara Falls, NY, so he wasn’t fazed. Shoot, he could walk to the waterfalls from his childhood home.  I was amazed at the people who got in the little boat to go into the waterfall. Umm… no. Standing by the rail was good for us. Since Dad’s family lives right across the bridge, we decided to drive over and have a mini family reunion and visit the NY side of the falls. The NY side was quieter and calmer than the Canadian side but we still enjoyed it.

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Day two consisted of Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, trains, and boat watching. Animals and water made for one happy kid. What kid doesn’t love sharks, fish, and all the other crazy sea life. Dad and I had a great time ourselves. I must say we did fall in love with the pink jellyfish. They were so majestic and hypnotizing. We starting thinking we could have these at home but that thought quickly went away when I remember how I almost go stung by one at the beach. Some things are better admired from afar.

Next, we made our way of the maze of kids and parents in the aquarium gift shop to and exit to see the Rogers Centre and CN Tower. We didn’t get to catch the game but we got to take a peak from the glass floor in the CN Tower. The line for the tower tour was crazy but moved pretty quickly but not fast enough for a restless toddler. The excitement built as we took the elevator to the top and exited to see the beautiful skyline of the city. Della was so hyped. We decided to eat lunch in the restaurant and enjoy the boats and planes.  The food was pretty good and thankfully they had cheese pizza for my picky eater. Outside the tower, we quickly took in the train exhibit and called it a day.

Day three was all about the CNE.  The Canadian National Exhibition is a big festival/event  that takes place right before and into the Canadian Labour Day. There were games, rides, shows, and food. They had a building just for food places. Della enjoyed the farm animals and games. We didn’t ride anything but we walked around the all the gift stations and bought a couple of gifts. Since we had an early flight the next morning, we called it a day so we could rest and pack for the flight home.

Waterfalls, sea life, boats and family made the trip a huge success. Della didn’t want to leave and stills talks about the waterfalls today. Maybe, when it gets warmer, we can go back for the weekend.

Share your summer vacation and what fun things you did with your family. Also, share any recommendations for family friendly trips.

5 Things I’ve learned from My 3 Year Old

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost six months and I must say it has been interesting.  My daughter is three going on sixty.  I like to tell people she’s an old lady stuck in a toddler’s body.  Sometimes, I think she is my grandmother reincarnated. Being home with her 24 hrs a day, I have learned a great deal about how the her mind works. She is very cunning, sneaky, and calculating.  She is also sarcastic and very blunt. So, her is a list of things I’ve learned from her since we’ve been tied to the hip.

1)  What I ate and liked yesterday (or even the week before) is not what I like today. – Yeah, this chick’s appetite changes like the wind.  Sometimes from one day to another or even from one hour to another.  She went from eating spaghetti and peanut butter crackers regularly to hating them overnight.  I’m like really, you were just begging for peanut butter crackers last night and now it’s yuck. This really makes grocery shopping hell.

2)  Don’t let strangers ask her questions because 3yr olds are very blunt.  –  My daughter is very quiet and to herself and doesn’t really do people.  But, every time we go the store an unknowing target approaches and start asking questions and, as I said, my daughter is very blunt and sometimes the answers can come off as mean or hurtful. This can lead to awkward  moments and glares at me. So, I try to limit the questions people ask for their sake and mine.

3)  There is no such thing as privacy or alone time. – Who knew once you had kids you would no longer be able to use the bathroom alone or even go downstairs without being followed.  I didn’t  know I would have two shadows.  IT SUCKS.  Especially when you just want to pee or poop alone.  Like really kid, this is not the time for conversations. I’m trying to concentrate here.

4)  I will watch the same movie or cartoon over and over and over again, because it’s funny (umm no it’s not kid). – I’m all for a good movie or cartoon. Heck I miss Saturday morning cartoons, but these cartoons out now are just blah.  Like really the Bubble Guppies live underwater but light fires and carry umbrellas when it rains. WHY – YOU’RE UNDER WATER?  And if I watch the Minion movie one more time…. (deep breaths, deep breaths)

5)  Don’t ever tell a child you will do or buy something and don’t because they will never forget and will never let you forget. – Kid, sometimes I just agree to the things you say so you will stop asking. I don’t really expect you to remember that two weeks ago mommy said she would buy you a Doc McStuffins’ ambulance and ask did I buy it every time I come in the house.  I also wasn’t prepared for you to ask me  are we going to the beach a thousand times a day.  But as I look back, I know I set myself up for this.

Honestly, being a stay-at-home mom is great.  I get to spend so much time with my little one and travel with her.  We wake up together and go to bed together which makes it easy to keep her on a schedule.  But, there are times when it really tests my patience and I have to remember she is three and this stage will pass.  She’s growing so fast and each day it seems like there is something new.  I know I will look back on this time and wish these moments would have lasted forever (except the not using the bathroom alone).

Yes Della, Your Feelings do Matter

As a mother of a three year old, I know first hand  kids crying is not the most joyous sound to hear.  I know it can get on a person’s nerves and make them uncomfortable.  I know I just want it to stop as soon as possible.  I know I am making it about me and my comfort and not about comforting my daughter. I also know, I am wrong for doing this.

Today, as I listened to my daughter cry because she couldn’t have a piece of chocolate (she’d just had chocolate ice cream) and I told her to stop because I didn’t want to hear her cry, I realized I was not letting her acknowledge her feelings about her circumstances at the moment.  When she decided to go upstairs and cry by herself, I listened to my sister tell her to go back downstairs and cry because she didn’t want to hear it, I realized she was not letting my Della acknowledge her feelings.  When Della came back downstairs looking lost and defeated, I realized I had taken away her power to express her sadness and frustration. I and my sister were telling her, her feelings didn’t matter.

Della is three and three year olds cry.  Does she cry all day?  No. Does she throw temper tantrums? Rarely.  Does she gets sad and overwhelmed at times?  Yes.  But, she is a toddler and she is learning how to process her emotions.  She is learning how to express herself in a world of where it seems everyone can do what they want but her.  As a three year old, she cannot sit down and properly express to me how she’s feeling and control her emotions every day all day.  Usually, Della is pretty good as controlling her feelings.  If she’s upset and crying, she will go sit on the steps, cry, get herself together, and come talk to me afterwards, but, as she gets older, it’s getting harder for her to process and understand these new feelings.

As she looked up at me, with her big brown eyes, feeling defeated and emotionally drained, I realized I was letting my feelings and my emotions dictated how she should express herself.  It also made me look at myself and how I dealt with emotions and acknowledge the shadows of my past.  How I felt I needed to hide when I was feeling sad, when I cried, or was feeling frustrated because I knew my parents didn’t want to “hear that noise”.  I was reminded of how I felt my feelings and sadness didn’t matter and how I felt scared to show any emotion besides happiness for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.  It also reminded me of how alone I felt, as a child and teenage, because I didn’t have anyone to help me understand what I was feeling.  How alone I feel now.  How, as a society, the only emotion acceptable to show is happiness.

I refuse to let Della think the only time she can be around her family is when she is happy.  The only time we want her to show emotions is when she is entertaining us or other people.  The only time she is a good child is when she is happy.  I don’t want her to think she can’t be comfortable, expressing her sadness, in her own home.  I don’t want her to grow up with the belief that other’s feelings are more important than hers.  That she is not allowed to feel frustrated or sad. That she is only here to make other’s happy.

Does this mean I am going to let her throw temper tantrums all day?  No.  It means I am going to acknowledge her feels and her.  I am going to try to help her understand and process these feelings. Not because, I don’t want to hear her cry, but because I want her to understand she can cry and there is someone here to help and love her.  I want her to know and feel she has emotional support.  I want her to know my feelings are not more important than hers and she doesn’t have to hide her sadness. Della is not just my daughter, or a niece, or a granddaughter, she is her own person, who has feelings and insecurities just like everyone else.  As her mom, it’s my responsibility to help her become the best person she can be. Because, she’s too young to live in a world where no one cares.

 

 

 

 

 

When Kids Get Sick

The last two months have been the longest months of my  life.  Della has been sick for two months straight and I am not talking about a little sniffle.  We have fought two stomach viruses, croup, and pneumonia. She’s also been to the emergency room three times. You know you’ve visited the ER too much when the admin knows you on sight.  Thankfully, Della has a wonderful pediatrician and the ER doctors, nurses, and staff were amazing.

I understand kids get sick and it’s all part of growing up, but, honestly, it seems as if she has been sick the whole year.  It doesn’t help that she was a preemie and her immune system is still not quite up to par as term babies.  Also, it seems like every time I get her healthy, she goes back to daycare and gets sick again.  I know, as she gets older, her immune system will improve and she will get less illnesses.  I just hate to see her down and out, not laughing, playing, or eating. I miss her terrorizing her big cousins and leaving a trail of toys from one floor of the house to the other.  No parent wants to see their child ill or being stuck with needles in the ER. Every time she goes, I have flashbacks of her in NICU. So, hopefully, no more trips anytime soon.

As of today, my little one is finally healthy and back in daycare, playing with her friends.  She’s smiling, playing, and running around with more energy than ever. She’s giving cuddles and wiping kisses.  She’s being Della and I am loving every minute of it.

Sunday Style

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Shirt – Carters $6   Skirt – Target $12  Shoes – Marshall’s $12

From One Sleepy Parent to Another – PLEASE HELP!

My little angel has decided she doesn’t need to sleep through the night anymore.  WTH!  Ummm this was not part of the deal!  How can she just rewrite our contract like this?  Why didn’t I have a say?

For the past month Della has been waking up, multiple times, throughout the night, and that means I am up most of the night.  After about 30 minutes to a couple of hours she will fall soundly back to sleep.  Not me, nope not gonna happen.  I am that person, once awake,  will stay awake.  No matter how hard I try to go back to sleep, it just doesn’t happen.  But once the sleep gods do have mercy on me and I fall into a peaceful slumber – yep you guessed it- she’s right back up.

I know I am not the only parent who’s experienced this. Any ideas on how to get her to sleep through the night again?  From one sleepy parent to another, PLEASE HELP!

Just Keep Swimming

Della is back in swim class and I must say, she is doing great for not being in the pool the whole winter and spring.  Since it’s almost 100 degrees, in NC right now, it felt really good to spend some time in the water.  The local pool is closed, so unless we go to the beach, we won’t get in any swimming other than classes.

She’s grown so much between her last year swim pics (the last 3) and this year.