Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kid Update

Baby Boy is so frustrating in the morning!  We go through about 3 outfit changes every day before he finds one that he is willing to wear.  I can't tell what the criteria is - a shirt that makes him cry one day is the one he begs for the next....and I thought this only happened with girls!  I find myself wishing his school had a uniform.

Little Boy is a cutie.  He spends a lot of time around women.  Tonight after I gave him a bath he walked up and down the hall wearing a towel like a dress, sashaying his hips widely from side to side, and drawling "Y'all gonna read me a story Mama?"  He can turn the drawl on and off just like he could with the Scottish brogue.  Unfortunately he sounds like a 50-something Southern woman, not a little boy!

All 3 boys made Hallowe'en pumpkin.  Baby Boy and Little Boy give theirs a kiss every day when we walk past them.  Ewwwwww.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beauty Box Five and Ipsy

I decided to discontinue my Beauty Box Five subscription because I am now off the wait list for a subscription for Ipsy.  Ipsy didn't give much notice so this month I ended up with 2 subscriptions!

The Beauty Box Five one was pretty nice and full of useful things.  It contained:  a chapstick with sunblock - good timing as I just finished my sunblock lip gloss; a beauty tool for scooping the last bits out of containers - should be handy; a nailpolish in a colour I love; and a skin cream.  It also contained a lip gloss in a colour I don't like.

I liked the Ipsy bag better - it costs less and it contained:  a makeup bag; a face mask; an eyeliner; a face scrub; a hand cream; and a lip gloss.   I have tried everything but the mask and I like it all!  The hand cream scent is really nice.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Weekend

Another weekend has passed.  This one was a bit different than our usual weekend.

We started off the weekend with a frustrating doctor visit.  I had taken all 3 boys in to have flu vaccinations.  The first thing that happened was the receptionist informed me that my health insurance was discontinued.  After a bunch of texting, a phone call, and a lot of anger on my part, my husband figured out that we actually just had a new insurance plan number.  I guess no-one thought to inform us that we had a new number.  I was able to give it to the clinic and get the shots.

The incredibly disappointing part about that is that it's not the first time we've had a communication issue with our medical insurance.  It's not even the first time recently.  This spring they issued us a health spending card.  Of course the first time I tried to use it this summer (months later) the card wasn't yet linked to the account.  Nice.  And embarrassing.

The next issue happened at Costco optical where we learned that my husband was listed as having no dependents - because the health plan people hadn't signed up our family correctly.

The health plan system that we have been subjected to here in the U.S.A. is a farce.  We have been issued new and different plans for no reason and there has been a gap in our coverage.  We had similar issues in Dubai.  As an expat the only place I have felt comfortable in terms of health coverage was the U.K. - where it is through the government like Canada.  All of the other systems have failed at some point.

The doctors offices I have visited here in the U.S.A. (2 in total) have both been dirty and very slow paced.  The eye doctor I visited had a filthy washroom and there was loads of dust on his eyewear displays.  The paediatrician has bugs on the floor in the exam rooms and the receptionist warned me that they have an ant issue.  Both had long waits and unreasonable service times - for example it took over 2 hours for an eye exam and at least 1 hour each time I've taken the kids in for vaccinations.

Ewwwwwwww.  Give me Canadian public health care any day.  Serioiusly.   It's much better than what is available down here.

On Saturday we drove out to the Cypress Outlets to look for some school shoes.  The outlet is pretty nice and we found what we needed.  We wanted to go to a cute nearby cafe with amazing Yelp ratings but it was immediately obvious that the service was going to be too slow for us.  We left and went to McDonalds where it took ages (over 20 minutes) to get food....the restaurant was very busy so the clerk decided to just fill drive through orders not in-store ones until she caught up.

After that we went to Little Boy's soccer game and he had a blast!

On Sunday morning we took a family bike ride.  We spent the afternoon decorating pumpkins.  We allowed the boys to decorate them on their own this is the result!

Big Boy made "Captain Underpants".
Little Boy has the Spiderman on the right.
Baby Boy's pumpkin is in the middle.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Monster Pants

After I finished making Baby Boy the monster pillow case I had some monster fabric left over.  My husband suggested I make Baby Boy a pair of pants (trousers).  I did a bunch of research (actually I "googled" what to do) and figured out that I probably needed to line the pants and that the pattern would be fairly simple - just a pair of pull on pants with an elastic waistband.  

I was going to use a free pattern that I found online but then I found a cheap kids pattern at the store and decided it would be more reliable that my home printed pattern.  I was actually wrong!  There is an error in the pattern that I took me ages and some more "googling" to figure out that the problem was the pattern and not me!

Anyways...I made the trousers using the monster fabric and lined them with the fabric from an XL men's t-shirt that I bought for very little.  Here are some pictures of the process.  In case you are interested I interlock stitched all of the outer pieces to the lining pieces before sewing the pants together.

This is the pattern error - the pattern piece for the front of the
pants is nearly two inches longer than the back!

Cutting up the shirt.

Sewing the pieces together.

Nearly done!

I wanted a nice pictures of the trousers on my monster.

Unfortunately most of the pictures came out like this - he loves to move!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Worst Fortune Ever?

It's been a busy week....I will catch you up later, but for the time being - is this the worst fortune ever?

Monday, October 13, 2014


I skipped my nap today and sewed an important pillowcase (actually 2).  Yes....if you are wondering...there is such a thing as an "important" pillowcase.

A couple of weeks ago at bedtime Baby Boy was urgently trying to tell me something.  Sometimes it takes a lot of effort for him to communicate a message - he is just learning to talk and forming word chains can be difficult.  After a bunch of fussing around he said "hate pilolo".  "Pilolo" is what he calls pillows.

I asked him what he was talking about and he said "hate pilolo" over and over while pointing at his pillow.  Message received....he hates his pillow.  It's understandable.  His pillow is a flat pillow - it was meant as a first step toward a real pillow.  He is growing up and wants a fluffy and comfortable pillow.  I always want him to be happy and comfortable and in particular it is valuable if he is comfortable when he is sleeping....because it leads to more sleeping.  

So I decided to buy him a new pillow.  I just finished shopping around for a nap pillow for Little Boy for school and I knew that there was only one pillow that I wanted to buy - the "crib pillow" from Ikea. Unfortunately our Ikea does not sell a case for this pillow except in combination with a blanket.  The last thing we need in our household is another blanket, particularly one that is an odd size.  So decided to buy him the Ikea pillow and sew him a pillowcase.

This morning didn't go as planned - we had to cancel a playdate because Little Boy wasn't feeling well so I took the kids to do a couple of errands and we stopped off at the fabric store and Ikea.  Baby Boy picked fabric for his pillowcase and we bought the pillow.

When I put him down for his nap today he fussed and cried because he wanted the new pillow.  I didn't give in - I wanted to make the case first to protect the pillow.

As soon as I got him to sleep I crept off to sew the pillowcase.  I actually sewed 2 because he is prone to nosebleeds.  I think they are very cute - the design is completely simple.  The seams are reinforced and properly finished.  Hopefully these cases will do the job until he grows into a new pillow.

These important pillowcases will make Baby Boy feel special and understood.  Hopefully they will also make bedtime easier!!!

I love the fabric that my little monster picked!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Playground Etiquette

People do not know how to behave at a playground.  Maybe it's not as obvious as I think it is.  Here are some of my rules.  They are in no particular order.  I'd love to hear yours if you want to comment.

1.  Don't smoke.  It's against the law in parks (here) and it's gross.

2. Watch your own kids.  I shouldn't have to protect my kids from yours or discipline your kids.

3.  Slides are for sliding down, not climbing up.

4.  If your kid pounds on my kid say something to your little angel.  I'd yell at mine and I expect you to do the same.  If you don't say anything....I might.  Then you'd better not complain.

5.  Put your garbage in the bin.  Not next to it or hovering on the tip of it....actually inside the bin...even if it has one of those gross swingy lids.

6.  Playgrounds are for playing.  So dress your kids in play clothes.  Don't expect them to keep their church clothes/school clothes/good clothes/wedding clothes etc. clean at the playground.  It's not a fair expectation.

7.  If you are there without a kid and watching the kids I will feel uncomfortable and leave.  I will walk home using a route that would confuse you if you later tried to find my house.

8.  Playgrounds are for kids, in fact they often have signs indicating the ages that they are suitable for.  This doesn't include lovey dovey couples with no kids.  Yes....we can see you even if you are too into your partner to see the rest of the world.

9.  Kids that are too young for the age range of the playground should not be on the playground or should be closely supervised.  This can be achieved by yanking your eyes away from your smartphone.

10.  Don't bring your dog.  The playgrounds here (and every single place I've lived) all have "no dogs allowed" signs.  That means your dog isn't allowed.  Even though you told me it doesn't bite.  It's still not allowed.  I should not have to police this.

My kids are scared of dogs with good reason and I have no intention of letting your dog come onto the playground to convince them that dogs are not frightening.

Just a side note - a lady told me the other day (while she was with her dog in a "no dogs allowed area" and Baby Boy was crying about her dog) that her dog "doesn't bite, she only scratches".  Awesome!  Your dog will scratch my kid but not bite him.  You are a gem of a human being for exposing my terrified little boy to this.

11.  If you have just finished your run and need to stretch (and have no kids with you) and want to use the playground equipment to lean on or stand by, don't get annoyed if kids are playing on it while you stretch.  Use a bench.  Stretch elsewhere.  It's not their problem - it's yours.

12.  Try not to let your kid pee on the playground.  I know that accidents happen, but it's not an accident if you tell them to have a wee on the side of the climber because there is no washroom nearby. Find a tree.  Playground equipment should not be violated in that way.

13.  Watch out for scarves, necklaces, neckties, flouncy skirts, etc. on those roller slides.  They are brutal.

14.  Don't swear or have inappropriate conversations.  Everything said on the playground should be appropriate for young ears.  It's a place for kids not dirty gossip.

15.  Adults should be appropriately clothed.  I don't need to see your nether regions hanging out of your shorts and neither do my kids.  Have decency if not some modesty.

16.  Keep it clean.  Don't smear your food on the slide or drop your ice cream or whatever.  Accidents happen but don't be a slob.  Clean your kids hands off before they go on the equipment if they have eaten a goopy snack.

17.  Don't hog the equipment.  On our playground there is a swinging boat with benches.  It's for kids or people who want to sit on it and swing.  Not for parents to drink coffee and get annoyed if anyone dares to swing it.

18.  If you bring your expensive stuff to the playground (maybe a camera?) and leave it on the ground and some kid breaks it while they are playing it's not their fault.  Don't even try to blame them.  You should watch your stuff, particularly if it is valuable.

19.  Further on that note.....If your kid brings an expensive or precious toy, be prepared to be very diligent.  If your daughter bangs her American Girl dolly around on the playground it could get wrecked.  Watch it like a hawk or leave it at home.

20.  If you are having a conversation on your mobile phone at the playground, do not expect the kids to be quiet in the background.  They are kids at a playground.  They don't have to be quiet.  They don't care how important your call is.  Neither do I.

21.  Go ahead, take pictures of your kid playing.  But don't expect all of the other kids to co-operate and stay out of the way while you pose your cutie-pie.  And don't take pictures that are just of my kid or kids if you don't know me.  And don't ask me if you can.  That's weird and I will leave the playground just like in #7.

22.  If there is a parking lot near the playground, drive slowly and watch for kids.  Obviously.

23.  Playgrounds are for fun.  Relax, watch your kid, make a friend.....everything should be fine!