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May 31, 2004

Booster Seats Save Lives

Here are some disturbing statistics from an article in today's Globe and Mail:

One child between the ages of four and nine is hospitalized every day with serious injuries from a car crash....Another 35 die annually from their injuries.

According to the article, booster seats lower the risk of injury by 60%; indeed, regular seatbelts are designed for adult bodies, and not for the bodies of children. However, only 28% of Canadian families use them for kids between the ages of four and nine.

Safe Kids Canada is pushing for legislation that requires their use in all provinces and territories.

We have a Costco 3-in-1 that converts into a booster seat--a good option for those who don't have much space to store car seats that the kids have outgrown.

Posted by tomi at 06:18 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 28, 2004

Speaking of Doughnuts

I know a lot of people who have gone on the Atkin's diet, but I'm definitely not one of them. I enjoy carbs, in moderation, and I especially like a fresh doughnut for dessert. As a special treat. So I could never understand these people (insert go-Daddy-O) who often eat doughnuts as part of their morning diet. Who eats doughnuts for breakfast? Aren't they deep-fried and full of sugar? That can't be a healthy way to start your day!

Technically, if go-Daddy-O drives through a Tim Horton's on his way to an early morning golf game, he eats an apple or blueberry fritter. At least that kind of "doughnut" contains some fruit. And now that he no longer lives in Hamilton (a city that has the highest number of doughnut shops per capita in Canada), he's been eating bagels instead.

Ella is a huge fan of bagels, which is something that I can handle. Bagels may be high in carbs, but at least they are boiled. Plus, as far as I know, bagels aren't ever dipped in chocolate.

Suffice it to say, I was shocked to hear that just last week, Ella had been given Timbits as a snack at daycare. Timbits?! I guess I'm just going to have to live with the fact that doughnuts are now part of my life, and my child's life, whether I like it or not.

Posted by tomi at 10:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2004

Guilt Schmilt!

I think someone needs to look a little deeper into his guilt pocket!

If go-Daddy-O truly felt guilty about the excessive amounts of sleep he got, don't you think he could offer up a bit more than a DONUT?!

But then again, it is a Lee's donut...and they are awfully tasty!

Back to the point of my comment-turned-blog...

A truly guilty person should foresee that pointing out (in great detail, I might add) just how well his happy little energizer baby sleeps (and eats) is like waving an ice cream cone in front of a child and then dropping it into a mud puddle.

How about telling us an up-all-night-slept-on-the-couch-so-my-child-could-stay-upright-while-sleeping story. Or maybe, just once, tell us that his little angel, at 16 months of age, already has a temper equivalent to that of a two year old. The odd tale of a few missed meals because she was so miserable with her new teeth coming in wouldn't hurt either.

Does he really think that one blog about the guilt he feels makes up for the fact that his child still gets 4 to 6 hours more sleep than some others? And that he benefits directly from this and other parents don't?

I realize that I will have provoked a recanting of the donut offer but given the fact that I was typing this long into this early morning, after a long day at work and after an even longer previous evening (and forgot to publish it until just now), I believe go-Daddy-O will still have the heart to share more of his donuts and "just like the other sleep deprived parents" stories.

Posted by penny at 06:53 PM in Rants, Rants, Rants | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

Guilt of a Different Kind

You can probably tell from some of my posts that I have many guilt issues. One of my last posts, for instance, was about the parental guilt of letting Ella escape from the carseat. Maybe the guilt stems from my extremely "lapsed" Catholic status. I don't know what it is, but today I'm feeling a guilt of a different kind.

It's a Wednesday morning. The Milk Factory Moms are already at the office working hard. Me and Ella? Well, we rolled out of bed just before 10am and now just finished a very healthy breakfast of oatmeal, bananas, grapes, and waffles.

And there it is. The sleep guilt. So many of our friends are having trouble getting well-rested because their kids are having trouble teething or the kids just simply don't sleep as much. Ella? Well, she was always a very good sleeper from about 3 months onward. And now at 16 months she goes to bed at 7:30pm, is sound asleep by 7:33pm, and doesn't wake up again until about 7am-7:30am when she needs a change and wants a bottle. So there we would be at around 7am with Ella now brought into our bed where she drinks her bottle and then plays and reads books in between us. All of us happy as clams. She has become our little alarm clock that gets us started for the day. A beautiful way to wake up.

Until go-Daddy-O accidentally figured something out.

About a month ago I was not feeling particularly well one morning so, after Ella had finished her 7am bottle, I decided to plop her back in her crib so I could get another 15 minutes or so of sleep.

Two hours later I woke bolt upright in bed wondering where I was. Tomi was still asleep (and now late for work). And our dependable alarm clock? Well, she was snoring up a storm in the other room, still sound asleep.

Yes, Ella will gladly sleep 12-14 hours each night. On top of a 2-hr nap during the day. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a key ingredient of her truly sunny disposition. She's always laughing and smiling and full of energy so maybe the extra sleeping is needed to fuel those fully charged happy batteries during the day.

The most guilt-ridden part of it all? I haven't had to give up that beautiful morning wake-up. Even after the extra 2 hours sleep in the morning, Ella still wants to crawl into bed with me to read and play for awhile. Then I point at my mouth, she smiles and points at her mouth, and we know it's time to make breakfast together. Unfortunately, her Mom is probably on her third meeting of the day by this point.

Luckily, I know how to shake the guilt. Writing this blog entry is Step 1. Step 2 will be to pick up some Lee's Donuts at Granville Island this morning and deliver them to Mom at the office this afternoon in time for her coffee break. (We'll even save one for the very hardworking Penny).

Most importantly, I'll do whatever I can today to keep Ella the happy, wonderful child she is. It would be a shame to let her happy batteries go to waste. And after sleeping in until 10am again, even my batteries are recharged.

And what if the batteries do run down later today? Why, we'll just take a family nap, of course! Nothing like 2 hours of cuddling sleep in the middle of the afternoon.

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2004

Welcome

Welcome to Vancouver

A nuclear weapons free zone.

What kind of a welcome is this?!

This is what you see when you come off the #1 at Grandview Highway (outside the Roots Factory Outlet). It's a tiny little sign - white text on brown. But it's there. Welcoming all visitors.

I know I feel much better knowing that this sign is there, deterring visitors from bringing their nuclear weapons into our weapons free city...wouldn't you?!

What crazy signage have you seen in your city or other cities you visit?

Posted by penny at 10:56 PM in Social Activism | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

Jedi Mind Tricks

It's Tomi's 35th birthday today so instead of blogging she's relaxing on the couch, squeezing every last minute out of what's left of the day.

We had a great morning together with Ella. No rush. No commitments. Lounged in bed together with the baby until about 10am. Then, in the afternoon, we went strolling along 4th Avenue with Penny, Ken, and Ollie. Just a gorgeous, sunny Vancouver day.

Of course, we happened to pass by the store where I'd bought Tomi's birthday gift, so I had to tell her about the Jedi mind trick I'd fallen victim to.

After five years of marriage and ten years together, it seems to get harder and harder to buy an original gift. We don't usually get into the gift thing on Valentine's day or even our anniversary, but birthdays are always fun and I tend to go a little crazy at Xmas.

Anyway, at some point I felt my gift-giving was getting a bit too predictable. We both fell in love with a Japanese store on 4th Avenue called Kaya Kaya. They specialize in fine Japanese bowls, plates, and other dishes along with beautiful cast iron teapots. Before long, we had amassed quite the collection.

So then I decided it was time to disengage the autopilot. It's not that Tomi didn't love all the Japanese dishware, and it isn't even as though I wasn't putting any thought into her gift. I just wasn't having as much fun.

This past Christmas was the turning point. Tomi sings in a choir, sings back-up for an eco-pop band, and plays the guitar......so naturally I figured she needed a 4-string tenor banjo. She can't play it yet, but she really likes it. It's something I think Tomi and the kids will all grow into.

But I've gotten off track. Let's get to the Jedi mind trick.

Last week I was driving home after teaching a night class. As usual, I was listening to the talk radio station to hear the hockey post mortem from that evening's game. I was only half listening when the commercial came on. The voice sounded much like a sport's announcer:

Come on guys. Would you really drive around all summer in your winter tires? Of course not. So why on earth would you sleep in the same bedding in both the winter and summer months? Doesn't your wife or girlfriend deserve better? If you love her and you love your comfort, buy her a luxurious silk duvet. She'll thank you when the temperature skyrockets. Is she pregnant? Having hot flashes? Doesn't she deserve to be as comfortable as possible? Remember those winter tires men. You have a responsibility.

So there I was. Getting out of the car five minutes later convinced that we deserved--no we needed a luxurious duvet. Of course, after lounging with Ella in silky comfort this morning, Tomi agrees.

Damned Jedi marketing warriors!

How do you handle the challenge of birthday gifts after many years together?

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 11:34 PM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

Discontinued

saftig_plates

IKEA's colorful children's SAFTIG dish sets are soon to be discontinued. It looks like they're being replaced with a similiar product, KALAS; fewer pieces but at the same price. I must say, the new cutlery looks rather unsafe for younger children.

Could it be that IKEA is finally catching on to the "less for more" selling craze?

Posted by penny at 10:22 PM in Products We Love | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2004

Weekend Plans?

Vancouver International Children's Festival
May 17-24
Vanier Park

The tickets are $5.50 through Ticketmaster. I'm not absolutely certain, but I believe that kids up to 20 months old get free admission.

Granville Island Water Park
Open Victoria Day - Labour Day
Granville Island turns on the taps for this year’s waterpark season.
FREE

Just a couple of neighbourhood activities that we may attend, weather permitting. And since I was born on Queen Victoria's birthday, I get to be treated like royalty--hopefully for the entire long weekend. I'm petitioning for a morning to sleep in, and a more than 5-minute back massage.

What about you. Any plans for the weekend?

Posted by tomi at 11:52 PM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2004

Chomp! Chomp!

Oliver learned a very big lesson today...

DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER IN ANOTHER CHILD'S MOUTH! THAT CHILD WILL BITE DOWN AND WILL NOT LET GO!

No broken skin, just one big puffy finger!

I guess I should stop letting him tap his finger on my teeth...

Does anyone else teach their children harmless little things that end up causing them a little harm?

Posted by penny at 08:52 PM in All About Oliver | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

Stadium Seating

So with all the talk about skyrocketing gas prices, I've been seriously rethinking whether or not we went with the right vehicle a few years ago.

We reasoned that going with an SUV was the safer choice if we were going to have a baby. We went with the Nissan Xterra because it had shitloads of storage room, and it was high off the ground so you could very easily (and very safely) peer over the traffic ahead of you. Finally, we liked the Stadium Seating feature of the car. This type of seating means the passengers in the backseat sit well above the frontseat driver and passenger, giving them an unobstructed view. Everyone seems to enjoy it. And, unfortunately, I do mean everyone.

Pardon the pun as I now switch gears here in the blog. This entry isn't about cars or SUVs or the price of gas. Or even about stadium seating per se.

It's about Ella. And her new found love of stadium seating.

If you don't want a heart attack, stop reading here. Go back to your work. Your blog rolling. Your busy lives. If you want to find out how my morning has been going so far, read on.

As usual this morning, we all woke up a little later than we should have. Mom was getting ready for work while I fed Ella her breakfast of cheerios, oatmeal, organic strawberries, and yogurt. Blueberry yogurt to be precise. Yes, the devil is in the details, so bear with me.

Since Ella and I were heading out on errands this morning, we decided to drop Tomi off at work. As always, I loaded the crap into the back of the truck while Mom loaded the babe and climbed in back with her.

Everything was great. Nice sunny drive over the Cambie bridge into downtown Vancouver. Kisses and laughter when we dropped Mom off. Then about 10 minutes later.......the heart attack!

I'm driving along Cornwall so we're getting the ocean air when I reach back over my head to tap Ella on the noggin'. This usually makes her laugh, as she grabs my finger and holds it. Well, not only does she not grab my finger to hold it........I can't find her friggin' NOGGIN!. ANYWHERE!!!

As luck would have it today, my back is semi-out, so it's really stiff and turning to shoulder-check is a bugger. I do it anyway to catch her in my peripheral vision. Still NOTHING. At that point I suck in a deep breath, wince, and really turn my body around and..........sure enough..............there is my baby girl. My 16-month-old baby girl. Sitting on the backseat--the stadium seating--a huge smile on her face as she's looking out the window. No carseat. No lap belt. No safety restraints of any kind. Her Houdini-like escape from the carseat complete.

At that point, I carefully pulled out of traffic and on to a side street to pull over. And restart my heart.

Yes. We managed to put the baby in the carseat without strapping her in. I think this is the literal wake-up call about how fully sleep-deprived we actually are. Both Mom and I missed it completely. We always do safety as a team when we're together because we know how easy it is to screw-up with the carseats.

Generally, Mom puts her in (because of my back issues), straps her in, and then I re-tighten the carseat belt and double-check the straps. The Devil is in the details.

Talk about asleep at the wheel. And I was actually feeling very awake and very alert this morning.

I'm pretty sure we're not the only parents out there who've let the sleep deprivation get the better of them. Any sleep deprivation mistakes you can remember? Any kid-in-car-heart attack stories to share?

PLEASE share them. It will help alleviate some of the guilt.

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack