Tag Archives: daughters

Toy Review – Brain Quest Flash Cards – Ages 3 & 4

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Brain Quest

Last year we were becoming worried about the Princess’ speech development.   We could understand her but many people outside of family and friends would looks to us to translate toddler.  My in-laws said they thought her speech was fine but there was this nagging feeling inside me that she wasn’t where she should be.  I asked her daycare teachers and again they said she was fine but if I was concerned, maybe I should invest in some learning tools.  There is a Chapter’s on the concourse level in the building where I work and on my lunch I went to look for speech developing books.  I found Brain Quest cards children aged 3 & 4.  They come in a box, with 2 decks and questions on both sides of each card.

The questions range from differentiating sizes and shapes, finding similarities and differences, letters, numbers, objects, mazes and much more.  They have the questions printed on the card, but parents are encouraged to make up their own as well.  If they ask for example “Which baby is sleeping?” after the Princess answers, I ask her to count how many babies are in the picture.  The cards allow the children to pick their own pace, develop language skills and have fun at the same time.  The creators also provide helpful suggestions on how to get the most out of these cards.

  1. Introduce Molly the Mouse.  She is the main character of the cards and appears in many of the questions.
  2. Help your child enjoy the Game.   Feel free to reword the questions or make up your own.  Help by giving clues and constant praise.
  3. Let your child’s responses guide the game.  If for example your child chooses the ‘bird’ as the answer, when it’s really ‘stork’ then allow that to be the answer.
  4. Relate the game to your child’s everyday life.  Pretty self-explanatory.
  5. Broaden your child’s interests.  If there is something in the cards your child isn’t familiar with, introduce it to their life such as a story, tale or nursery rhyme.

These cards we very inexpensive and do not require any batteries, special attachments or game pieces.  They aren’t a choking hazard and they are small enough that they can be carried in your purse on long trips or to dinners when you need them to be quiet.  The Princess’ speech has improved greatly and we are no longer concerned.  She loves these cards and asks us to play each night.  We only some a night so she doesn’t get bored of them too quickly.  She likes them and so do we.  Only downside is that with frequent use, the cardboard covers begins to wear where it is fastened to the rest of the deck.  4 out of 5 stars!

The Neverending “Why” Questions

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My Princess has officially hit the “Why” stage.  Every question is followed by yet another ‘why’ question until you are left answerless.  This was today’s ‘why’ series;

“Mommy, do you have a grandma and grandpa?”

“Yes but they are in heaven now.”

“Why?”

“Because they were old and sick and it was their time to go.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what happens when you are old.  You get called up to heaven.”

“Why?”

“Because when it’s your time, it’s your time.”

“Why?”

“Because there is a greater place for us when we are done on Earth.”

“Why?”

“Because Earth is a place for living people, heaven is for people who have passed on and they live another life there.”

“Why?”

“Because you can’t live on Earth forever.”

“Why?”

At this I have given up.  As much as I don’t want to admit it, I don’t think her 3 year old brain can handle an in depth existential conversation about the hereafter. One of my favourite comedian’s does a great bit on the ‘why’ questions of children.  It’s full of swear words but I think it really drives the point home.

How to Keep Cool this Summer

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We have been experiencing a heat wave in Toronto this summer and my Princess has been crazy being cooped up inside during the hottest parts of the day.  Since we live in an apartment building that doesn’t have a pool, I have had to come up with some ways to keep the Princess cool when we do go outside;

  1. Splash Pads.  One thing I am very fortunate for in Toronto is the long list of splash pads.  These playgrounds are great when its hot and you don’t have a pool of your own.  A little note though, these are not supervised and it is up to the parents or guardians to watch over their children.
  2. Water Balloons.  For a few dollars, you can get a huge container of balloons and it supplies kids with hours of fun.
  3. Local pools.  Alderwood Pool is my favourite and they have drop in programs for families where for $3.50, you can go swim for an hour.  There are also free pools all over Toronto.
  4. Sprinklers, water guns and slip & slides.  Available from almost every box store, all these items require is a water source and children, the rest is all in the imagination of the user.

Be sure in the extreme heat to stay hydrated and if it is really hot, be sure to stay inside or visit a local mall or indoor building where it is air-conditioned.

Did the Judge go too Far?

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I was on Yahoo today and saw an article about a 13-year-old girl who lured a 3-year-old at a McDonald’s in Utah and cut her hair.  Now the Judge in the case gave her 30 days in a detention centre and 276 hours of community service.  However, the Judge told the mother that if she cut her daughter’s hair in the courtroom, he would shave off 150 hours.  The mother did it and has now filed a complaint because she felt “intimidated” by him.  She’s also stating that her daughter was strip searched at the detention centre and now cannot sleep by herself and cries often.  The girl’s 11-year-old accomplice also had to have her hair cut, but she was allowed to go to the salon.  The 13-year-old, Kaytlen Lopan, claims that it was the accomplice, not her that cut the hair.  However, Miss Lopan is also in trouble due to some prank related grievances against another girl.

Now when I saw this article a few things came to mind.  Firstly, at 13, I would never have pulled a stunt like this.  Not only is it wrong to wrong a child, but the sheer fear of my parents was enough to keep my on the straight and narrow.   As my parents would so graciously say, “my butt would never see the light of day again.”  By the sounds of this case, this mother has very little control over her daughter’s behaviour as this is the SECOND time she’s been in trouble with the law, but the nerve of Miss Lopan.  Why would you cut a little girls’ hair?  What purpose would that serve?  I highly doubt the 3-year-old attacked and triggered the attack.

Secondly, as a mother, if my Princess ever, ever, everrr, lured a little girl away from her parents and cut her hair, not only would she be grounded until she died, she would have to apologize to this little girl and her parents, I would make her volunteer at a hair salon sweeping her hair, and finally I would shave her head.  Drastic, I know.  But so is cutting a little girl’s hair maliciously.

I have a few choice words for this mother.  I think by her filing this complaint against the judge sets a poor example for her daughter.  The mother agreed to cutting the hair.  Now, if you genuinely thought your daughter was innocent, would you really cut her hair?  People have choices.  She could have said no and made her daughter work the full amount of hours.  But she CHOSE to cut it to get her daughter to work less and now she’s complaining.  And as for the girl saying she was scared, I hope she was scared.  Those detention centres are not meant to be five-star hotels.  They are meant to teach lessons.  Lessons like cutting a little girls hair is not OK.  I think by the mother letting her go lightly is only teaching her daughter that it is ok to do this stuff, because in the end, her mom will try to get her off.  If it were my daughter, her hair would be cut and she would work and serve every minute she was sentenced to.  People make choices.  But there are consequences to those choices.  It’s a life lesson.

Excitement All Around

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In my post earlier, we had received the Princess’ Kindergarten package today.  She was already at daycare when we got them so I didn’t have the chance to tell her.  I called Hubby on my lunch and we decided that we were going to take her out to dinner and tell her then.  When we told her she was shouting at the top of her lungs.  She was telling the waitress and anyone who would listen.  But the one thing she could not let go of was her want and need of a backpack.  Nevermind the wealth of knowledge she would be acquiring or the friends she would play with, it was the backpack.  She was quite clear that she wants a pink princess one and she wants us to get it as soon as possible.  I am so glad that she is excited for school, it makes me feel better for putting her in.

A New Milestone

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My little Princess

Our family reached a new milestone today.  We received our Welcome Package to Junior Kindergarten this morning and as of September, Princess will be in full-day school.  While I am so proud and excited for her, I’m also sad.  My baby is growing up before my eyes and I just want to hold her and hug her and tell her how much I love her.  In the short 3 1/2 years since the day she was born,

I have been there for her first poop, step, word, doctor’s appointment, boo boo, vacation, laugh, sentence, and nightmare.  I birthed her from my body, nursed her at my breast, rocked her in my arms, wiped away her tears and now I will have to let go of her hand as she goes to school.

I am so very proud of the little girl she has grown into.  She is very much the light and joy in me and her father’s lives, and we are so thankful to have her.  After everything we have come through in the last 3 years, I don’t know if we could have done it without her smile, voice and presence.  She took 2 twenty-something’s and turned us into parents, adults, and better people.  While I am crying whilst writing this before leaving for work, they are not just tears of sadness, but tears of joy.  My baby is now a big girl.

My Big Girl

“Do you not like to support your community?”

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This is what I was asked by a young man on Bloor Street while I was trying to get home after work.  He was no older than 21, mohawked, pimpled and wearing superman shorts, he jogged up to me carrying a file folder.

“Just so you know, we’re going to talk,” he smiles.  Oh no, I really just want to get home, however because I worked as a telemarketer in my university days, I agree to at least listen.

“Okay.”

“Do you sponsor a child?” he asks nonchalantly.  I think to myself, does my own count?

“No I don’t.”

“Have you ever considered it?”

“Not overly.”

“Do you know someone who does?” I nod as I do.  I think at this point he is beginning to sense that this is a dead on, but he is optimistic.

“Did you know for only $1 a day, you can provide a child in Peru with housing, food and an education?  That is less than daily ATM fees.”  I argue with him that my hesitation to sponsor a child is from first hand accounts I’ve heard from people I know that work for these kind of companies that a large portion of the money goes to the business and not these kids in need.  His face grows stern and his pessimism grows.

“Do you not like to support your community?  I bet you don’t even donate to charity. It’s really not that expensive, you could afford it.”

I explain to him that yes, I do like to support my community, however, contrary to his belief, Peru is not my community.  Toronto and Canada are my communities.  I also contribute to charities.  I am a firm supporter of child literacy programs, local food banks and shelters.  This past weekend, I donated over 10 garbage sized bags of clothes and shoes to a local clothing drive in Toronto.  I had 42 diaper boxes of girl’s clothes that I had saved from when the Princess was born and of those 42, I kept a tote of clothes for any future children I may have and have 17 boxes left to give to friends and family that already have or are having girls.  The rest, on top of clothes that Hubby and I no longer wore, went to clothing my fellow Canadians and Torontonians.

“C’mon,” he argued.  “It’s not that expensive.”

I explain that I cannot consent to this right here and now as this concerns money, and I must consult with my Hubby.  I don’t need to ask his permission, but as this is a financial decision, it has to be a mutual one.  He had enough and walked away from me sighing, but then smiles quickly as he sees the next person walking down the street.

I don’t want to put out the impression that I do not care for the starving children in the world, because I do.  As a parent, it’s almost impossible for me not to.  However, I have a child that requires me to feed her, and clothe her, and house her, and provide for her.  My own government won’t assist my financially, let alone people from other countries.  She is my responsibility, those children are not.  It makes my heart ache to see them on the TV, with their bellies swollen from kwashiorkor, flies swarming around their mouths and the squalor they live in.  If I had the resources to feed all the children and provide for them, I really would.  But I cannot justify giving money to care for another child when I have my own to care for.  Some of you may be thinking, “It’s only a $1 a day.”  You are absolutely right, it’s only $352 a year.  But that is roughly 2 weeks of childcare, less than a month’s worth of groceries, 4 month’s worth of Hydro, and/or transportation costs for our family for a month.

I would also like to point out that there are children in Canada and the United States that do not get enough to eat, or have daily access to housing or running water.  Abuse and neglect are still rampant, drug abuse and violence are an everyday occurrence, and in some northern parts of Canada, the suicide rate is 11% higher than the national Canadian average.  To me, those are issues that are closer to my heart than those in other countries.   I cannot help everyone in the world, no matter how much I would love to, but I can help some people.  I just choose to help my community.  A motto I follow is “In order to help others, you must first help yourself.”  I once explained this to someone who didn’t quite understand my point of view.  I argued that in most life-threatening situations, they always tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you.  You can’t help someone if you are endangered yourself.  The same can be said in this situation.  So to the young man who approached me, let me say this;  Your selling techniques need work, and just because I didn’t sponsor a child, I’m not a bad person.

Teaching your Child the ABC’s

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In order to start kindergarten on the right foot, it is recommended that children should have a grasp on their ABC’s, numbers and their colours.  While I admit that Princess knows her numbers and colours, her knowledge of the alphabet is where she is struggling the most.  I have purchased flash cards and work books for her to do over the summer before she starts school in the fall.

Reusable Workbooks

I found these 2 books at a bookstore and they only cost $2.67 each.  I had bought books in the past that were not reusable and eventually the cost adds up.  These books are reusable so the one time cost is great.  All you need is a marker and the learning never stops!

 

 

 

 

Writing Placemat

Another great item that we have is a Melissa & Doug placemat.  This can be used to clean up after dinner and when waiting for dessert, your little one can use a pencil and learn how to trace their letters.  A simple wipe with a damp cloth removes the marks and you are already to go again.

 

 

 

JustMommies.com has come with a top 10 list of creative ways to help teach your young one their ABC’s.  Whether its singing the ABC song, playing the ABC game or many helpful toys and books, the knowledge of ABC’s will be sure to help your children once they start school

Thank you Daddy

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Thank You Daddy

Daddy and his Princess

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

You go off to work all day, When you get back home we play; You take me ridin’ in the car’ And you take me to the park.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

When we’re walkin’ all around, You pick me up off of the ground; You put me on your shoulders, That’s my favourite place to be.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

Just before I go to sleep, You read a story book to me; And we sing the songs we make up About most everything.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

Daddy I love you.

Daddy and his Princess

By Nancy Stewart