Thursday, August 25, 2011


Until September 16th, 2011, Canada will MATCH every dollar donated by Canadians for the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for humanitarian assistance efforts that benefit the people affected by the drought. Read more...

Monday, August 22, 2011

So this is what happens to a little brother when... is busy in the kitchen and big sister get's her hands on you. Yes that's eye shadow, lip gloss, gritter, nail polish - the works.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Attachment, Behaviour, and Parenting Siblings

On attachment

So how do you know if you are doing everything possible to ensure a secure attachment with a new two-year-old family member? Good question! I have read many books and listen to many experts on the topic of securing attachment, but the bottom line, to me anyway, is that sometimes you just have to go with your gut and do whatever feels right.

Fortunately, Seth doesn't seem to be having any major attachment issues. In general, (we think) Seth is doing really well in terms of attaching. He is a very friendly boy and loves being around other people, but is always very clingy (with mommy) until he has been somewhere for a bit of time and is always looking for me when we are around other people.

We have only a couple requests when it comes to interacting with Seth – we have asked that friends and family limit themselves from picking him up (but it is certainly not off limits, just not all the time), we are the only ones to give him any food, and we are the first to respond to his if he hurts himself – otherwise, we pretty much let people do what they want.

There is no question that I often have moments of uncertainty and wonder if I’m missing something and really screwing the poor kid up. My “attachment radar” is always on, yet I try not to react and let it consume me. I often worry about how friendly he is with other people; giving hugs, waves, blowing kisses, high-fives and knuckles to everyone we come across, but at the same time he is ALWAYS looking to be sure I am close by and if he can’t see me he starts calling for me.

Seth has not had many (or any major) tantrums or meltdowns (thank goodness). And to be honest, I truly think most of (but certainly not all) the tantrums he has have more to do with being two-years-old than attachment. His attachment related (that I can tell at least) always seem to come right after his nap – he has a good cry for about 15 minutes and I just rock him in my arms until he’s done. Regardless of the kind of tantrum/meltdown he has, I usually sit with him on my lap in the teddy-bear hold (well, more like a wrestling position really), while he screams and kicks – he cries it out and then as quickly as it started, he stops and usually is smiling within minutes of it being over.

He follows me EVERYWHERE around the house. If I have to run downstairs for something, I talk to him the entire time as he stands at the top of the stairs waiting for me. I always let him know what I am doing or where I am going, which I think has helped him feel more in control. Thank goodness our family has always had open-door toilet time or else I would be in for some very surprising visits while in the bathroom – and he always waves “bye-bye pee-pee!!!"

Seth also LOVES his sling - I think it makes him feel safe - he carriers it to me and asks me to put him in it and I walk around the house with him many times a day.

On behaviour/personality

Seth is such a sweet boy. He is a loving and happy little guy. He is always smiling, giggling, and being silly – oh, he has THE best giggle, the kind you want to bottle up and save for a bad day.

He likes what he likes and lets us know when he doesn’t. We are trying to teach him about sharing and being nice/gentle – he can be very possessive of his things (as most 2-year-olds are). He has been known to hit or push when he doesn’t get something he wants – so we sit together in a “time-in” as he gives me a BIG bottom-lipped pout but he always finishes with a BIG hug.

He still LOVES cars. He loves everything about them – sitting in them, watching them, playing in them, playing with them, listening to them, touching them, etc. His number one request lately is “Mommy-yeh, beep-beep show...pees Mommy-yeh, beep-beep show” – Lightening McQueen is quite famous in our house. When I tell him we are going in the “beep-beep”, he jumps and runs and does a little happy dance by the front door. Then he races around to find his shoes and pulls at my purse on the kitchen chair. I learned the hard way (a few times) to get him, Sara, me, and everything we need ready before I tell him we are leaving the house...we have had a few meltdowns at the front door when we don’t leave NOW.

And thank goodness, we have never had an issue with getting him in his car seat – even from the first car seat ride from the airport - he helps us do up all the buckles and sometimes I even have to fight him to get him out of the car. He also has to close the car door each time he leaves the vehicle or he will stand by the car crying until we let him – cute and frustrating all at the same time.

He hates being dirty. As soon as he gets anything on his hands or feet (even water) he says “Mommy-yeh, cah-cah” and won’t move until I wipe his hands and feet.

If you need a door, fridge, cabinet, dishwasher, or toilet seat closed, I have just the little man for the job! We sometimes have to race to get things in and out of the fridge because Seth is always behind it pushing it closed – and he pushes and pushes until we let him close it. It takes me double the time to empty the dishwasher because every time I put a dish away, I have to open the dishwasher to get the next dish out. He’s such a BIG help!

On parenting siblings

“Sara, answer your brother.”
“Seth, give that back to Sara.”
“Sara, give that back to Seth.”
“Seth, don’t push Sara, be nice.”
“Sara, he’s just little, he doesn’t always understand.”
“Seth, don’t touch Sara, she wants her own space.”
“Sara, he is just trying to give you a love.”

Seth wants what Sara has - Sara wants what Seth has, but Sara gets mad when Seth copies her and Seth gets frustrated if he can’t do what Sara is doing. If Mommy is playing with Sara, Seth wants to play with Mommy – if Mommy is playing with Seth, Sara wants to play with Mommy. If Seth gets a snack, Sara wants a snack. If Sara cries, Seth cries. If Sara laughs, Seth laughs. If Sara runs, Seth runs. If Sara is on the computer, Seth wants to be on the computer. If Sara does a cartwheel...well, you get the point.

In the first few weeks of being home we had more challenges with Sara adjusting to all the changes of our new family than we did with Seth. We knew that she was going to have some difficult moments, but we weren’t expecting her to be so extreme in her behaviour – completely ignoring Seth for the most part and wanting nothing to do with anything he said or did...sometimes she would even taunt him a bit – we were definitely becoming a little concerned.

Thankfully, we have come a long way since the first few weeks. She has changed so much and has become quite the little mother (as we thought she would be). We are so proud of her and how far she has come. She certainly still has “moments”, but in general she is a really great helper and is always looking out for her baby brother. She helps us cheer when he eats his snap peas (even though she thinks it’s silly), she taught him to climb down the stairs backwards (so he wouldn’t fall), she sings “Paddy-cake” with him, she lets him watch the CARS movie (even though she would prefer to watch Wizards of Waverly Place), and the just last night she rubbed his back to help him fall asleep – so sweet. The other day Sara picked out all his clothes and got him dressed, with his diaper and all - Seth just did what she said (up, down, over, through, etc.) as she struggled to get everything on. I LOVE watching them together.

And WHY didn’t anyone tell me that adding one child will TRIPLE the work? Whoo, I just can’t believe how busy I am – and with Sara off all summer, I don’t even have time to breath most days. BUT, there is nowhere else I rather be and nothing else I rather be doing than being home with both my babies!!!!

On this and that

He HATES the sand at the beach. He screams and puts his feet by his head when we try to put him down. Thank goodness he’ll float in his tube in the water for hours.

Whenever we are around water, he is always cleaning himself – his face, his hands, his hair, his tummy – it’s the first thing he does when we go to a pool!

Anything with buttons is a telephone – he babbles and laughs to whomever he is “talking” to.

He smiles with his eyes and has the most expressive facial expressions of anyone I know. And you just wouldn’t believe how
many comments I have gotten about his great teeth (of all things).

He loves being naked, but he pooped on the deck the other day and peed in my lap, so the diaper stays on now.

He has great hair. He has locks of beautiful individual curls.

He likes doing “diaper-head” before we put his diaper on.

He loves to dance – disco style, with arm roles, his fingers up and head bopping, saying “dah-dah dah-dah dah eh!!!"

He walks with a Stevie Wonder head bob.