Welcome to my Mayhem!

I hope to help other mamas by sharing my solutions and ideas, fantastic finds, tips and tricks, and awesome other websites that might help you in your quest to be the most awesome mama you can be.

And don't worry, I am far from perfect - you'll find this is also my outlet of family related ups and downs, stresses and issues, rants and discussions... so you won't feel at all upstaged by lil' ol' me - you'll fit right in, I promise!

Come on by, drop some comments, leave me some suggestions, or your own finds to share - everyone's welcome!

(P.S. If you have a "mom blog", drop me a line and I might add you to my list over there...)


Ups & downs...

I keep trying to figure out why my girls keep getting sick on and off lately.
The Dr. said there's apparently a lot of colds and flus and bugs going around and that they're not the only ones. I'm glad of that... but at the same time... wtf.
I've speculated with Bri's dad & stepmom about her bouts of stomach pain and general bitchiness (yes, I just called my 8 yearold bitchy)... I know at least one kid that got her monthly gift already at age 8. I'm hoping that our speculations are wrong and we're just grasping at straws. I don't think I could handle PMS on top of typical Bri moodswings. lol. It has been sortof monthly that she's had these stomach complaints... but I haven't kept track closely enough to say it's exactly monthly. At the same time she's also had 3 ear infections, and been puking at least a few times with the stomach pain - and then Nika puking within a week of either side of Bri, so I'm thinking it's just a bug.

I just got a call that Nika apparently ran into another kid's teeth. *blink*. Awesome.
So she'll have a bump on her head, evidently.

I'm still getting used to this new schedule from the custody b.s. --- As much as I like having my Thurs and Fri nights free, I still have to work those nights... and as much as I like getting to *actually* sleep in on Fri mornings (sorry, I'll try not to rub that one in)... I think I miss them more on weekdays when they're gone (and are at school *anyway* for most of the day)... than I do on the weekends. I think it has a lot to do with wanting to go get them from school, etc.

Thankfully I think the kids have adjusted and are quite happy with the new arrangements because they know what's going on. The whole... who's picking up who and when... crap... has been decided, and they don't have to ask questions as much. They're also falling a lot better into the routine of "mama's house" and "daddy's house" without as much of a hitch now, because when they're there, it's all-together, not spread out randomly. So not so much fighting at bedtime or in the morning after they've been at daddy's... and much happier children for the result. In fact, unless one of them has had a particularly bad sleep, I seem to have some pretty damned good kids in the mornings now. Between keeping to a schedule, and making them responsible for their own bedtime schedules with those checklists (below)... I think maybe I just had to let go a little and give them the guidelines, and let them take control. I have a few friends who'd have said "DUH, that's what I kept trying to tell you". Ok. Point taken.

Kidlets go back to gymnastics the week after March break... they're incredibly excited, and so am I... Bri is *amazing* in gymnastics, looks like she's been doing it all her life, when her last session this time last year was her first-ever session. She climbed the bloody rope to the ceiling in about 10 seconds flat, on her first try - no help... and was jumping across parallel bars, for crying out loud! Nika's pretty good at it too, but I think her interests may lie in dance, rather than gymnastics... time will tell. For now she's excited to go to gymnastics with her sister.


Round two... or three... or more...

Ok so I clearly need to get around to doing this again. It's probably good for my soul or something. I keep forgetting I have this blog and clearly, I posted 3 times, set it all up, and then forgot about it. Truth is, life happened. I split up with my girls' dad... moved out... got my own place, and started over.

My girls live with me and my amazingly awesome boyfriend, who I'm a wee bit crushing on (lol). They spend alternating weekends, and every Thurs-Fri at their dad's. They seem to have adapted really well, we had our moments of acting out but they seem to be subsiding.

An overview, this being March tomorrow... Bri just turned 8 and Nika just turned 6... they are crazy... and awesome... and well... growing up. Bri has had some behaviour issues but seems to be getting through them... Nika is just now starting to really show her wish for independence. She never used to assert herself with her sister, she never used to really fight against me, either. I knew the day would come and it's finally here. I'm actually glad of it, I'm really happy to see her not taking any crap from her sister... and as much as it upsets me to put her in timeout... the fact that she actually does *earn* timeouts now, when she never used to - NEVER... I see it as a good thing, as much as I am frustrated when it happens... at least I know she's not a pushover and she's starting to make her own decisions and mistakes.

Mornings are my biggest downfall, but I had a conversation with a children's counselor and she suggested the checklist thing, which I have successfully used from time to time - again, my downfall being "time to time"... my downfall has always been lack of consistency. But what she suggested was starting small. A morning routine with times set out for points... with their bathroom time swapped so they don't share space too much in the morning.

So... as it stands, I wake them gently at 7am and have an alarm set for 7:10am. They have til the alarm, to get up. (I thank SuperNanny for that idea, actually).... and then they have a checklist - and it's their own responsibilities to get through it. Up by 7:10 -check. Get dressed by myself by 7:15 -check (which is easy because I get them to pick their clothes at bedtime and put them out)... have my hair and teeth brushed by 7:25 -check. Be at the breakfast table by 7:30 -check. Finished breakfast by 7:45 -check. And the important one; EARN FREE TIME until 8:15 -check. And then, boots/coat/backpack on by 8:25 (when the "teacher bell" rings and we need to leave). I use Handipoints for this checklist, and at the counselor's suggestion, they'll have actual little "tokens" that they earn for each checkmark at the end of a week - and the last 3 mornings I've used the checklist for have been smoother than any morning I have ever had - and it places the responsibility on their own shoulders, to get their own selves ready. I'm lovin' it.

On another note, Bri's been sick all weekend apparently. Argh. She's off school today and still in bed. Poor ween.