There’s a what in your bed???

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As I mentioned in my last post (here), something was up with Bean — my normally great eater was barely touching her food. By the time dinner was done, the poor kid was burning up. A quick check with the thermometer confirmed what I already knew: a big fever. A dose of meds and into bed!

The only time Bean wants to snuggle in the true sense of the word is when she’s sick. (Normally her version of “snuggling” is to lie close together without touching.) So I’m trying not to breathe in her germs while she snuggles right up to me and (eventually) falls asleep. I extract myself from beneath her head and slip out of the bedroom to come downstairs in time to hear late-night-dinner-praises from Hubby. As we’re discussing the finer art of trying to cook dinner when 2 little ones want my attention, we’re interrupted by calls of “Mummy!” from upstairs. It’s Bean.

I go into her room and she starts recounting (at full volume) how she woke up and was calling for me. I gently interrupt her (in a quiet voice, hoping she’ll follow suit and not wake up her sister) to ask her why she’s awake. “I want you to lie down with me Mummy.” Right. 20 questions it is.
– Did you have a bad dream?
– No.
– Do you have to pee?
– Yes!
Yessss! Got it on the second try!

After the bathroom, she snuggles up to me once again and falls back asleep (relatively quickly, phew!). A bit more chatting with Hubby, and then I go upstairs to get ready for bed. Just before I fall asleep there’s more calls of “Mummy!” coming from Bean’s room. Sigh. This is going to be a long night.

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Bean’s sitting up in her bed, a sure sign of a bad dream. I climb in beside her as she’s telling me there was a lion in her room. “It was just a bad dream sweetie. You’re safe now. Here, snuggle with Koala (a present from the Easter bunny and one of her new favourite bedtime buddies) and we’ll lie down and go back to sleep.” She starts scooting away from the stuffed animal, moaning about how there’s a lion climbing on Koala. A quick check revealed that Bean’s eyes were indeed open.
Umm… a lion? “I don’t see a lion.”
“Yes mummy, right there!”
I feel Bean’s forehead, and she’s burning up again. “Ok, I’m going to get some more médicaments for you.”
“I’m coming too!”
I start to protest but the fearful looks she keeps shooting at Koala persuade me otherwise. “Ok, come on then.”

As we’re heading down the stairs, Bean is walking funny. Like she has spent way too many hours riding a horse.
– Bean, what’s up? Why are you walking funny?
– Mummy, there’s a lion.
I must not have heard that right. It looks like she’s avoiding a crack in the sidewalk, except that it’s our carpeted stairs with no crack in sight.
– A line? Like a long straight line?
– No Mummy. A squiggly one with ears and a mouth that goes ROAR!
At this point, I have to press my lips together to keep from laughing at her. Part of me thinks this is hilarious. The other part of me thinks that she must be hallucinating from the fever and maybe I should actually do something about it. The practical part wins (although not, I admit, until after I’ve had a good (silent) laugh with my face turned away so that she can’t see…). I give her some more meds, a sip of water, and climb into bed with her and a cold, damp washcloth in an effort to reduce the fever. The poor kid curls up with me and falls asleep (as do I — waking up around 4am when El wants to feed).

My sleep-addled brain knows enough to think that tomorrow (or is it now today?) I’ll keep her home from school and it will be a slow day… a pyjama-wearing, movie-watching, snuggling-the-sick-kid-while-trying-not-to-catch-it kind of day. Here’s hoping it’s only a 24-hr bug.

Edited to add: It was indeed only a 24-hr fever, and by dinner-time the next day she was back to her usual self.

 

Pan fried or roasted? The art of trying to make dinner while minding the kids

via Daily Prompt: Fry

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I tried a new recipe last night for a tasty pasta primavera from one of my favourite cookbooks: Looneyspoons. I had to modify it a bit to suit the dietary restrictions of my family, but all-in-all it was great! Hubby came home late from work to find the kitchen rather a mess, but a tasty meal awaiting him. This is delicious! He said. But wouldn’t it have been easier to just fry up the veggies? Was it really worth the extra work of roasting them?

My husband is a great cook, so dinner compliments from him are always nice to hear. I also appreciate the advice to streamline the cooking process, however, with two small ones flitting about, that’s not always easy. Here’s how my dinner prep went yesterday:

While El was having her afternoon nap I decided to chop up all of the veggies in preparation for dinner. Point for me! However, while happily chopping veggies I suddenly noticed that it was almost time to go and pick up Bean from preschool. Right. The dishes will just have to wait. I covered the veggies and off we went for pick-up, meanwhile congratulating myself (albeit prematurely) on the advance dinner prep.

Once home, I instructed Bean, “Just let mummy put these veggies in the oven and then you can have a video while I breastfeed El.” I’m thinking 2 minutes, tops. All I had to do was chop some basil and garlic, toss them with the veggies and a little olive oil, and then voilà, time with the girls. Then I looked at the recipe. Oh dear, I’d forgotten to chop the tomatoes. And of course, the garlic and basil took a little longer than I would have liked. Points for the other team. (What other team??? Umm… maybe those mums who are a little more with it than me, haha.)

So I finally finish prepping the veggies, pop them in the oven and then sit down to feed El and watch Paw Patrol with Bean. Ok, this is why I wanted to roast the veggies — time with the girls while it was cooking. Except that I’m supposed to be cooking the pasta and washing up the prep dishes… Right. So after the veggies come out, the pasta goes on and Bean gets to watch more Paw Patrol while I finish organizing everything dinner-related; the dishes are going to have to wait.

Dinner’s finally ready, yes! It tastes great. Or at least, I think it does. I spend half the meal spoon-feeding El, the other half trying to coax food and fluids into Bean (something is up; this kid normally loves to eat), shoving a fork-full of my own dinner into my mouth every now and then. By the time dinner’s over, Bean’s really not doing so great, and it’s bedtime for El, so I corral the girls upstairs and leave the dishes be.

So yes, it might have been faster to fry the veggies, but then the dishes would most definitely NOT have been done. At least with roasting I had half a chance to do them… maybe next time I’ll plan it all out a little better. This momma might just yet be able to serve a nice home-cooked meal without the kitchen being a mess by the time I’m done. 😉 Here’s to all of you mommas who can cook dinner while managing kids and cleaning up the dishes as you go. You are my hero; please send advice!

Blindly we raise thee

via Daily Prompt: Blindly

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Parenting is a lot of things. Everything from a cup overflowing with love to an overly frequent test of your patience; from moments that just melt your heart to moments that make you want to scream and pull your hair out; from tears of joy to tears of frustration. It is one of those things in life that no matter how much you practice for it (if you can even practice), nothing will prepare you for the real thing. It’s not a job that has standardized tests (although maybe it should come with a required course in child-rearing), and it’s quite hard to get any pre-service training, even if you are willing to pay. (Yes, babysitting is great training for some aspects of parenting, such as changing a diaper or entertaining kids inside on a rainy day, but it doesn’t prepare you for the harder stuff, like what to do when your kid hits you.) Parenting is something that we enter into blindly, although hopefully willingly, and that crazy love we have for our kids is what keeps us going through the rough spots.

I doubt there are many (if any) parents out there who would claim to be a perfect parent. We all make mistakes. Heck, my parents even joke about all of the mistakes they made on me… but I still turned out OK, so they couldn’t have made that many mistakes. Parenting is less about trying to be perfect and more about loving your kids in the best way you know how; learning from your mistakes instead of trying to avoid them.

In my family (as in many others — including elephant herds!), it takes a village to raise a child. When my extended family gets together, we don’t hesitate to parent each other’s kids. It’s a nice break for me (and the other mommas) and means that I don’t have to have eyes on my kids ALL. OF. THE. TIME. which means I actually get to eat my breakfast while it’s still hot (Ah, livin’ the dream!).

This village style of parenting helps in much the same way as a GPS system might help you to drive. It offers you suggestions (“she has gas” instead of “turn left here”), but doesn’t get mad at you if you refuse to follow its advice. If you don’t turn left, the GPS will recalculate your route (although sometimes it does tell you to turn around… haha). My family also just rolls with it and will still love you no matter what you decide.

If you don’t have a village-family, you are welcome to join mine virtually. We’re in this together momma! Ask and I will try and answer. And if I don’t know the answer, chances are one of the other mommas in my village does. They are a wealth of resources and help to take away the blindness of what to do when X, Y, or Z happens with your kid. Sending you all lots of hugs and support today and every day!

We like to move it, move it

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I don’t need any excuses to bust out into a dance party, but I can tell you that it’s a great way for kids (and you!) to burn off some energy on a rainy day. I have been dancing as long as I can remember, and since Bean is a typical super-full-of-energy-preschooler, dancing around the living room is a regular occurrence at our house. Most of the time we’re just being silly, but we’re having so fun much, who cares what we look like!

Bean started doing zumba this year at preschool, and she absolutely loves it! Our dance parties at home started to incorporate zumba every now and then. Thanks to our “Smart TV”, we can put YouTube videos up on the big screen and then dance along with them. Some of our favourites are:
Gangnam style  (that kid!!! ❤ ), and
Gummy Bears — the teacher in this video is just awesome!

I recently came across a great post by Amanda over at Dirt & Boogers entitled “5 Reasons to Have a Dance Party With Your Kids“. Bean and I love to dance, and do so frequently, so of course I was intrigued by the title of the post. In it, Amanda mentions GoNoodle, a free collection of dance videos for kids. I was curious and wanted to try them. So yesterday after school Bean and I pushed the coffee table out of the way, sat El on the play mat surrounded by pillows and put on some GoNoodle videos. Most of them were a little hard for Bean, but I think that’s because they’re geared towards elementary-aged kids, not 3-year olds. However, we really enjoyed one song & dance: “Banana, banana, meatball.” A silly song about patterns, but the dance is easy enough for Bean to follow along with, and the music is something that I’m ok listening to (ie. not your typical annoying only-kids-can-stand-it stuff).

So the next time the weather’s not cooperating for outdoor play and your little ones need to burn off some energy, try having a dance party of your own! You don’t need to look great, you just need to have fun. (And if you need any more reasons to dance with your kids, check out Amanda’s post (here) for all the benefits of bustin’ a move!)