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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas is here!

I can’t believe Christmas is in less than a month!  I’m not a big fan of starting Christmas preparations early, but with a toddler, I need all the time I can get! This year we are making our own advent calendar.  It was actually quite simple.  I purchased 24 wedding favor boxes, I added numbers to them, and  then I hung them on a mini Christmas tree.  Each little box will contain either a chocolate or little gift. And I might even include little festive event ideas, for us to do!  Here are some other great ideas for Advent Calendars, with a free printable pdf of “event ideas” from www.thepetitcadeau.blogspot.ca  when you sign up for her newsletter.

I am also always looking for cool Christmas events to attend. Here is one I just heard about, The 3rd Annual Gingerbread House event.  It is on Dec 16th this year at the Parkinson Rec Center, and not only can you attend but you can also enter!  Check out all the beautiful Gingerbread Houses and help raise money for a good cause, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs Cool Moves Program .  Details are available at www.gingerbreadcompetition.ca.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

They will be what they will be!

As we venture into the terrible twos...we all know that they are so terrible, simply because they want to assert their independence. And the battles keep changing, so we have to learn to keep up! 

First, my son did not want to have his diaper changed. We discovered that if we put them lower within his reach, he could decide if he wanted to be changed or not.  

Then he decided he wanted to choose his own clothes...does it really matter if he wants to wear that sill hat with those rubber boots?

But now we are facing the - not wanting to sleep in his own bed challenge. And the only advice I have been given and that I can share is...consistency is key.  I'll let you know how that works for us!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four Gift Rule

I can't believe that we have only just packed up Halloween, and everyone is already thinking of Christmas.  I found this back in the spring, and have held onto it until the Christmas season to share with everyone.  I think the words are so wise, because gift giving can get really out of hand if we aren't careful.  Please feel free to share!

               Pinned Image


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apples...oh my!

Apple harvest is happening right now!  We are the fortunate owners of an apple tree...but not any old apple tree, one that has three varieties grafted onto one tree. 

So I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to decide what to do with these apples.  So far I’ve made apple sauce, dehydrated apples, frozen apples, apple leather, and apple juice.  Next on my list is apple chutney and apple butter...oh yeah, I can’t forget apple cobbler/apple pie.  If you have any suggestions for additional apple ideas, please let me know. It’s quite the ordeal to peel and core these suckers, luckily we invested in an apple corer the best darn invention ever!  And thank goodness for my helpers.  We also ended up with a bag of small apples, and when I was washing them, I was quickly reminded of how  we used to bob for apples at Halloween...does anyone do that anymore?

Apples are great for you. Remember “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  I recently read that apples help whiten teeth, but I also found out they are great for a whole slew of things such as protecting you from Parkinson’s to preventing cataracts. Who knew?  In Kelowna the 24th Annual Apple Fair is coming up Saturday, October 20th, 2012 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Laurel Packinghouse, a great place to take the family and learn more about apples http://www.kelownamuseums.ca/upcoming-events/the-24th-annual-apple-fair/.

The only thing I don’t like is my battle with the fruit flies.  Which lead me to look for a good Fruit Fly remedy, so I thought I would share this one with you all:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water
  1. Pour about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp of liquid dish soap in a jar. Mix it up with a spoon.
  2. Fill the jar with tap water until the bubbles reach the top.
  3. Place the jar where the fruit flies are causing you problems. They will be attracted to the sweet apple cider vinegar and get trapped in the bubbles.
Happy Apple Season!

This blog post can be seen on www.okanagan4kids.com.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Date Night in White!

Photo courtesy of Crystal Flaman www.inspiringsuccess.ca
Date nights with the hubby have been far and few between.  Now that our little one is 2 years old, we are getting out a little more often than we had in the past. Our latest date adventure was so exciting and so much fun, that I had to share!  Last week, my husband and I attended an event called the Okanagan White Dinner.  This is based on an existing event that is spreading around the world called “Le Diner en Blanc”, essentially a picnic dinner party.

It is a throwback to elegance and refinery. A time when we dressed up to go out, a time when even a picnic included fine china and glassware and a time when we honored our commitment to attend a dinner party.  This all started about 20 years ago when the founder encouraged guests at his annual dinner party to bring a friend, eventually they outgrew his home and had to move the event to a public place. Since the host didn’t know everyone who would be attending, he asked everyone to wear white in order to be easily recognized.

Photo courtesy of Crystal Flaman www.inspiringsuccess.ca
The rules are simple, you must wear all white. Your picnic dinner that you bring must consist of 3 courses and it must be served on white china with real wine glasses and real cutlery (no paper or plastic allowed!). And if you register, you must attend or risk being blackballed from the invite list for life. This inaugural  event was magical!  First we showed up at a location that was disclosed to us 2 days prior to the event, where we were to potentially meet shuttles to take us to the dinner site.  This year’s location was within walking distance of where we were to meet for our group, although there were shuttles coming in from communities in the north and the south.  We were greeted with lovely live jazz music and rows of tables draped in white linen table cloths.  We then proceeded to set up our “picnic” area. And then in true “Diner en Blanc” fashion, we showed approval of the venue by twirling our napkins in the air.  (hence the need for linen, not paper, napkins:) )  It was a wonderful evening, dining under the stars with beautiful music in the background and good friends in attendance, definitely a night to remember.  And, in appreciation of our host, we lit sparklers to signify the end of the event!

Not only was our evening spectacular, but it also came with a great story! Sunday night was the night of the Peachland Fire, where the highway from the south to Kelowna was closed.  So in true “Diner en Blanc” fashion, one of the participants of the Penticton group offered the use of his home where they all congregated with their picnic dinners to enjoy an impromptu dinner in white.  And from the pictures I saw of their napkin twirl, they definitely approved of the venue!

Thank you to four local foodie women in our community for bringing this great event to the Okanagan.  Jennifer Schell, Christina Ferraira, Claire Sears, and Alison Love. And since this was the first event of its kind in the Okanagan, this year was unofficial but from the turnout I am sure they will be on the official circuit next year!

To participate in this event, you must be registered to receive an official invite.  Invitations are limited, only 70 were sent out this year (each invitee gets to bring an additional 3 people).  But for next year, they have opened up the invitation list...so if you are interested in participating next year...get on the list now!  Shoot me an email to themellowmama@gmail.com and I’ll send you the link! :) Bon Appetite!

This blog post can be seen on www.okanagan4kids.com.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hands are not for hitting...

Being the mother of one boy, I’m not sure if it is “normal” to be faced with the challenge of your child hitting another. But that is what we are going through right now.  Not only is it devastating that your child is hurting another, but it is also very embarrassing!

Of course, I do what I always do, I start asking the question why!?  After discussions with our daycare and a little research, I have found out that small children are most aggressive from 20-27 months of age.  And that hitting isn’t always about hurting someone, but more often about getting attention or an object that they would like.

So how do you deal with hitting?  (Thank you to the Okanagan College Early Childhood Education students for  providing some of the following information at a Parent Talk session about hitting held at The Bridges Family Services. www.thebridgeservices.ca)

Try the 1-2-3 rule. 

  • Stop 
  • Talk
  • Re-Model

Stop Rule #1:
When the child hits, STOP what you are doing and get down to the child and:
·         STOP the child from hitting again
·         STOP yourself from reacting negatively and calm yourself down before you talk to the child

Talk Rule #2:
·         TALK in a calm but firm voice and tell the child it’s not okay to hit.
·         TALK to the child who has been hurt and make sure they are okay.
·         TALK to your child and give them words to use to express themselves (they often will lash out when they don’t have the words to use to say things like “please give me that” or “will you play with me”.

Re-Model Rule #3:
·         MODEL the behaviour you would like to see, and give them options to do instead.  Ie “Hands are not for hitting, hands are for...hugging gently, or petting the dog, or wiping the table.”
·         Continue to MODEL good behaviours over and over. (ie...don’t hit the child for hitting)

Some additional recommended reading to help deal with hitting...
”Hands are not for Hitting” by Martine Agassi
“No Fighting, No Biting” by Else Holmelund Minarik
“When I Feel Angry” by Cornelia Maude Spelman

I really hope these tips can help you! and me!  And if you have any other suggestions or books you have read, please let me know!

 This blog post can be seen on www.okanagan4kids.com.