Parenting Pro Tips, Edition 2

Need some sage advice? You probably won’t want to look to this post then. Need some tongue-in-cheek humorous Pro Tips? Read on as I got your back, fellow parent!

PPT #1: Snacks are the best silencer
Nothing is more annoying that going grocery shopping with your kids and having them beg and plead for every damn thing they see in the aisles. No, child, you may not have whole wheat Kraft Dinner, (we’re KD purists in this household, yo, and it’s Original or bust, obvs.) and no, you may NOT have Fruit by the Foot. (Although I’m amazed that they still make those!) The best way to get them to not ask for ALL THE SNACKS is to give them a snack to eat while you shop. They’ll be too busy stuffing their faces that they won’t have time between bites to ask you to buy food.

PPT #2: Let them learn from their mistakes
I’m not saying to let them ride their bikes without a helmet to prove what head injuries feel like. I repeat, I am NOT saying that! But say it’s -30° outside and they REFUSE to wear their mittens. Nothing makes a kid more obsessed with mittens than experiencing freezing cold hands. Not too long ago it was super windy and cold and my youngest refused to keep her mittens on for longer than 30 seconds. Not too long after (I’m talking maybe 10-15 minutes, tops) she was sobbing because her hands were cold. I shoved her mittens back on and wrapped them in a blanket to warm them up, and ever since then she’s been OBSESSED with wearing her mittens outside. Success!

PPT #3: Travel at night
I’ve personally have never travelled for longer than 4 hours in a vehicle with my kids, but I’ve heard numerous times from several different families that when covering long distances, travelling at night is the way to do it. It totally makes sense too; it’s their natural “sleep” time, so if they don’t do so great sitting still for long periods of time, hate the carseat, get car sick, etc., why not drive at night when they’re most likely to sleep? Take shifts if you’re driving with someone else, and you should *hopefully* be able to get to where you’re going without having to hear “Are we there yet?” 50,000 times.

PPT #4: Be a veggie ninja
I’m lucky enough to have two kids who will eat pretty much any vegetable I put in front of them, however, there are some foods that I have to be a little more creative with. And by creative I mean deceitful. Cauliflower rice? Nah kid, that’s just “fancy” rice! Those onion bits in your homemade macaroni & cheese? That’s just a special noodle! Those greyish bits in your meatloaf? Those aren’t mushrooms, it’s just the way the ground beef looks. Get what I’m saying?

PPT #5: Mute the madness
Ever notice how children’s toys are the NOISIEST? I find that the cheaper the toy, the more annoying and loud it is, regardless of the volume control. (I swear, “Low” is actually 230dB.) The trick to making those toys quieter while still allowing your kids to properly play with them? Packing tape. If you can take the toy apart without wrecking it, stick a piece of clear packing tape over the speaker holes, and then put it back together. You kid will still be able to hear Mr. Robot to fire up the missiles, but you won’t want to stick those missiles up Mr. Robot’s output hole after he says it for the thousandth time. You can also stick the tape on the outside if you can’t safely open the toy up, but mine have always eventually peeled the tape off. (I now keep packing tape in stock at all times.)

So there you go. You’re basically a pro at parenting now too.



What I’m Reading: Into the Water

From the bookjacket:
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool …

My review:
This book had been on my “to-read” list for a while when I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift for Christmas! I was excited to jump into it as I heard a lot of great things about it and really loved Hawkins’ previous hit, The Girl on the Trainso my hopes were high for Into the Water.

While it was slightly predicable and somethings didn’t surprise me, I still quiet enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t put it down. I found myself drawn to the storyline, desperately wanting to know what exactly happened and what was going to happen to the characters in the book – even though there was a lot of them.

I wasn’t so keen on was the pure volume of characters and I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself of who was narrating. A few of the character’s storylines I found to be unnecessary, like Josh and Nickie, and they probably could have been omitted or absorbed into another storyline with ease and to save confusion. There were characters whose storylines I preferred to read over others as well; I felt that Lena and Jules’ characters were more interesting and developed than the rest, rightfully so really since the main subject of the story involves their mother/sister. I couldn’t help but want to know more about either of them.

I’m going to give Into the Water 4 stars out of 5. I’m not sure if it’s better than The Girl on the Train, but it wasn’t worse. I enjoyed more of the characters and if there was such thing  it would get another .25 stars. (Although this is my blog and I suppose I can install such a rating system if I please.) #winkyface

Have you read either of Hawkins’ books? Which did you prefer?

Monday Morning Coffee 

Good morning, and Happy Monday! I know I’ve been relatively absent from the blog over the holidays, so I thought I’d write this update post coffee break style.

If we were sitting down for coffee this morning, I would tell you that…

… We had a wonderful Christmas break with our family and friends! Kyle and I hosted Christmas dinner for all our family, and the girls had so much fun visiting with everyone. I thought for sure they would get “Christmassed out,” but they did so well.

… We’re now back to the regular grind of life. Isla goes back to school today and to dance on Wednesday, and I’m starting my next round of Administrative Assistant courses. The break from school was very welcome, but I’m happy to be getting back to a routine!

… I’m not big on making New Year’s resolutions, but I did make a goal of running at least three 5k races in 2018. The first one is happening in March, and providing I can get motivated enough in the morning to get some treadmill time in, I think I should be able to nail this goal no problem! 

… I’d also add that even if I am unable to do the 5k in March, I’ve already registered for the 5K Foam Fest in Sun Peaks that happens in June! A friend signed up with me, so we’ll be good motivators for one another! I’ve been eyeballing this race for a couple years now, so I’m super excited to finally be able to commit to it. 

… I tried online grocery shopping for the first time ever last week. I don’t know if it’s for me, but I definitely get the allure! Norah was actually quite upset that we were waiting in the truck and not going good into the store; I think she likes getting her free cookie whenever we go in. I’m contemplating writing a review of the service, so if you have any questions about it, ask away in the comments and I’ll address them in a future post!

… I’ve been finding the weather to be so wonky! We’ve gone from -17ºC to -4ºC in a matter of a couple days and my body is having a hard time adjusting. A few times now I’ve woken up sweating to death, and I’m sure my thermostat is confused by how often I keep changing it. Can we just skip to springtime already??

Well, I suppose that’s all for this morning. I hope everyone has a great Monday!!


How was your Christmas break?