Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sweet dreams

Now that Frances happily drifts into slumber unassisted, (finally!!) I have more time and good energy for extracurricular activities. Two nights ago I knit this hat:

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the pattern is called Kiddie Cadet, found on Ravelry. A super easy little project knit in the round with a worsted weight yarn. I used a pretty pink wool/ alpaca blend found in my cache. I’ve also been plugging away on another knitting project which I am certain will make it to completion as it’s past the half way mark and I haven’t put it down yet.

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I firmly believe a good nights sleep is fundamental to a persons mental and physical well being. I also believe children need to learn the importance of good sleeping habits. Choosing an appropriate bed time, setting up a routine and keeping it consistent is a good place to start when your baby seems ready. I can’t remember how old Frances was when we started the seven o’clock¬† bath, book, bed routine, but it is a nice time of the day that we (the mom and dad) look forward to. Well that was until a few months ago. It was beginning to take at least an hour for her to settle and fall a sleep (that’s after a bath and a few books) and I was becoming a cranky mother. Josh started to share in the dreaded task and the two of us were becoming grumpy parents. Not a good thing! Something needed to change before I pulled all my hair out

Changing a child’s routine is not easy and I think, should never be approached in a drastic way. Baby steps are required and lots of self assurance that you will soon reach your goal. Nap time was my starting point. We would read a book, have a cuddle, then I made her comfortable in her bed with some favorite books and a stuffed friend. From another room I listened to her freely chat away until… all was quiet. That was easy! Let this settle in for a few weeks, then we shall start on night time. Not so easy. I’m sure her biggest fear was that we would leave her in bed alone all night. I just kept reassuring her that we would come when she needed us and that she could still get in bed with us later when we went to sleep. It’s so hard to understand when you are so little, but I knew that once we got her through the first few nights she would understand. I do not feel comfortable with crying it out, but I’d be lying if I said there were no tears. I think we worked through it in a sensitive way making everyone feel good about this transition.

I can’t tell you how much happier this adjustment has made us. Frances sleeps well and when I ask Josh if he would like to put her to bed he gladly obliges. Now I actually look forward to bedtime, where we have a nice snuggle and read some good books. I even feel better on a daily basis, more cheerful, which makes me feel like a better mother.

Salting slug shame.

I’m feeling a little guilty about those poor slugs. They were beginning to haunt me by making their way into the house and sliming along the upstairs carpet. (the cat dragged them in on his fur)

I pulled the old plants out and put the new ones in, then I placed some sandpaper around the base of each plant. Every evening I vigilantly went out with my salt shaker and did the dirty dead, I felt no remorse. That is until I observed many large black ants happily munching their way around the stems of my beautiful new tomato plants!! Now I was dealing with a whole new opponent. I quickly re-evaluated my plan of attack in an effort to save the few remaining plants. I set out traps with honey and borax and I think that may have done the trick, no sign of ants since yesterday.

I know all insects serve a purpose and it is terrible for me to kill them, but please, I just want to grow some vegetables!!

Ghastly gastropods

I like to consider myself a fairly passive person, there aren’t many people/things I do not like and I highly respect all earths creatures. However, there is something in our backyard that is turning me into a mortal enemy. With salt shaker in hand I will show no mercy for those cheeky buggers and with wicked pleasure I will watch them writhe in burning pain. The slug!

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These surly bastards are responsible for gnawing away at each and every stem base on our lovely tomato plants

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causing them to flop over and eventually shrivel up and die. A fate which those @#$% slugs now have coming!

With a determination to grow some beautiful tomatoes this summer, Frances and I made a trip up to the garden store this morning to purchase replacement plants. This time I will place some sandpaper discs around the base of each stem,¬† shake some Safer’s slug bait around in the garden and be more vigilant with my salt shaker. Maybe I can teach Frances to salt slugs the way my mother taught me!!

Happy Canada day eh!

In celebration of Canada day we left the city and went to the zoo. Well it’s really a wildlife park with no exotic species, but animals which are indigenous to our climate. Everyone had the day off and the weather forecast was looking rain free, so off we set with picnics packed. I have mixed feelings about zoos and parks with kept animals, as I’m sure many people do. On the one hand you see these beautiful wild creatures confined to very small spaces with humans gawking at them all day. What a sad existence for an animal who would normally roam free in nature with its companion or herd. (I find myself thinking about the lone wolf we saw today, knowing that wolves are pack animals, and how lonely it must feel). Then on the other hand, most of us will never have the opportunity to see many of these wonderful animals in their natural habitat. When I watched the excitement in Frances I was really happy for her to experience their presents. The animals in this particular park (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park) were clearly well taken care of and I’m sure many of them will outlive their wild relatives.

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We saw some deer,

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a family of woodchucks (groundhogs) sharing lunch,

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some molting caribou (reindeer),

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with beautiful antlers. They looked so soft, I wanted to touch them.

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Dall sheep, who also looked very soft,

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domestic rabbits,

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and peacocks. The peacocks were everywhere and quite noisy!

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Frances loved seeing the ducks, geese and swans.

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She kept saying “go see some more!”

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I thought she might be frightened of certain things like this very loud whooping crane, but she was totally digging it!

There were a few animals we missed. The moose, nowhere to bee seen, I guess he was loose! The beaver who I was looking forward to, being Canada day and all, was sound asleep in his lodge and the bears were a little far away for my liking. One was asleep, the other was giving himself a little wash and being lazy. We had a lovely picnic before heading back to the city. It was a great day and fun for Josh and I to visit a spot we hadn’t been for 25- 30 years (boy are we getting old!) Thanks Nanny and Grampy!!