Monday, April 30, 2012

Is Yelling the New Spanking?

I came across this article from the NY Times a few weeks ago and I've been thinking about it a lot.  The basic idea is that shouting at our kids has become the new, more accepted, way of dealing with our kids' misbehaviour.

I'm the first to admit, though shamefacedly, that I yell at my kids.  I NEVER thought I would be that type of parent.  I don't start off yelling; but, as I become more and more frustrated with their poor behaviour or choices, I blow my top.  I ALWAYS feel horrible afterward and have been known to lock myself in the bathroom afterward and have a good cry.
What's worse is that I know it doesn't work.  The kids just tune me out, which then makes me want to yell more.  I'm conscious of this character flaw and I do try to find other ways of dealing with said poor behaviour, like distraction and time-ins.  But when the other methods don't work, I just get so frustrated it comes out in a shouted mess.  It's a vicious circle and one I am desperately trying to stop.

Growing up, my parents yelled and spanked my brother and I.  We were never hit anywhere but on the bottom and it was never violently.  One swat, enough to shock us into behaving, was all it took; and those instances were often few and far between.
I have smacked my kids; but only in instances when they've been reaching for something dangerous and it was a gut reaction to smack their hand away.  It was never intended as a punishment or to hurt them.

I've always heard that you parent how your were parented.  I'd like to say that statement is not 100% correct.  While I have followed in my parents' footsteps by yelling at my kids; I don't spank them.

I'd love to hear your tips for coping with your kids.  Are you a shouter or have you figured out how to reign in that temper when they simply won't listen and/or behave?

How do you feel about the article?  Do you agree that we've become a society of shouting parents in place of spankers?


Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings

It seems like it has been quite a while since I've had musings for a Monday.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Our weekend was quite busy, yet fulfilling.  It started Friday at home.  Pickle and I hosted the Jr. Chef program for momstown Hamilton and had a house full of little munchkins excited to cook in the kitchen.  We made delicious ham & cheese croissants with veggie sticks on the side.  They were a hit and I'm definitely going to have to make these again.

While hosting Jr. Chef, I got to speaking with momstown Hamilton owner, Andrea, and learned she needed cupcakes for the following days Art & Play event.  We searched for a few ideas and I happily volunteered to help her out.  After running to get some groceries and ingredients to make these delicious treats, it was home to spend Friday night baking cupcakes.  I must say, they turned out pretty well and I'm fairly certain all the kids liked them!  They are supposed to be chicks and sheep since the theme was Baby Animals!
Of course, this leads us to Saturday morning when Mr. Twingle, the three kids and I went to the momstown event and had a great time.  I think the twins were even more excited by this than Pickle because they often miss out being in school all day.

After that, it was home for lunch before heading out for our monthly Stooge dinner.  We were in Brampton for this month's dinner and enjoyed a delicious meal of gluten-free lasagne, caesar salad and bread.  The kids love playing with each other, even Pickle and it was 11pm before we got home and the kids to bed.

Are you exhausted yet?

No? How about adding another visit on Sunday.  My parents came down as my Mom had some things for me to take to my Stampin' Up! fundraiser this coming weekend.  The kids adore my parents and always have a good time with them.  Mr. Twingle and I decided to have BBQ'd ribs for dinner; something we haven't had in quite some time.  I have got to say, they were SOOOO good.  The meat just fell off the bones it was so tender...a sure sign of a tasty meal.

Today, I spent most of the day babysitting for my BFF.  She had to run into the office to take care of some things despite being off on mat-leave.  Since I'm not far from her office, I got to spend the day with her little man.  I love this little guy, he's so happy and easy going.  Even though he's teething and undeniably in pain because of it, he rarely fussed at all and took a huge 2.5 hour nap!  I will gladly watch this little guy anytime!

But, I'm pooped.  Four busy days and I'm done.  I'm sure the gloomy weather today has something to do with that too; but, I'm ready to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a book.  How about you?




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding Time

Today has been fairly productive for me.  Our main floor has ceramic and wood floors and so they need to be swept and mopped at least once a week; if not more.  So somehow, I managed to get them done while Pickle danced around to the 'tunes I had blaring on the stereo.  Not an easy feat when the toddler wants to play or colour or whatever else tickles her fancy.  Usually, this is something that gets done on the weekends when the twins and Mr. Twingle are home to distract and entertain Pickle so we can get the job done.

I also got two loads of laundry done, though I do still have five loads to put away.  Have I mentioned, I HATE laundry?

So my question is, how do you find the time to get everything done in a day.  I'm just sitting down now to catch up on some Guiding things I needed to cross of my "to do" list; but, I feel like the list hasn't gotten any smaller today.

On top of my clean floors and windows, and the two loads of laundry; I did manage to also book the bus for the annual Guide/Scout parade in May and I booked camp for April 2013.  I've also managed to book a room to do a presentation to potential adult volunteers with Guiding in May; so really, it's a lot when you consider I do have a toddler to take care of, play with and feed in there.

I also feel guilty for thinking I haven't done "enough" today when there are many families where both parents work all week and don't get to the daily household chores until the weekend.  How do those families manage to get it all done and still have time for their kids and spouses?

I don't even know what the point of my post is now; maybe it's more of a rant or musing...I don't know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Green Works® Review & Giveaway Winner!

Last weekend, Mr. Twingle and I got our clean on. We were hosting Easter dinner on Saturday and the weather was perfect for that Spring clean.
It was a great opportunity for us to put Green Works® cleaners to the test.

I tackled bathrooms and windows while Mr. Twingle worked on floors and walls.

Usually when I do a bathroom I have to open the window and turn on the fan to air out the awful cleanser, chemical smell. So I was pleasantly surprised when I coated the toilet bowl with the Green Works® toilet bowl cleaner and my senses weren't assaulted by harsh chemical smells. In fact, the smell was pleasant and floral; and I liked it! It did a great job at cleaning up the toilet bowl without a huge amount of scrubbing.

I then went to work on the sink, counter and fixtures using the Green Works® Bathroom Cleaner. I was very pleased with how well it actually cleaned up the soap film and toothpaste globs from the kids' bathroom sink.

The Green Works® glass cleaner was fabulous! I loved the light, almost citrusy, smell. It left a streak-free clean on my mirrors and windows and actually left a beautiful shine on all the faucets...who knew?!

It's hard to describe how disgusting the kids' bathroom can get. But let me say a 7 year old boy standing to pee has little control over aim. Add to that the fact that they 'raspberry' their toothpaste all over the sink, counter, mirror and walls when brushing their teeth; cleaning their bathroom is no small job.

Green Works® products stood up to the test! It made cleaning seem like a breeze and I love these botanical-based cleaners. I think it's pretty safe to say that I will be making the switch to Green Works® for all my cleaning needs.

One lucky reader can also put Green Works® to the test in their home.  We've randomly selected a winner from our Green Works Giveaway using Random.org and the winner is:  Glogirl!  Congratulations.  We will be emailing you shortly.

Disclosure – I am participating in the Green Works program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of The Clorox Company of Canada Ltd.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fundraising for Switzerland

This post is a shameless request for your support and contributions.

My Pathfinder unit has planned a trip to Switzerland in 2015 to visit one of the four Guiding World Centres, Our Chalet.
We estimate that the trip will cost about $2500 per person. Our fundraising goal is $30,000!
Like any good Girl Guide unit, our primary fundraisers are cookie sales. We currently have the sandwich cookies for sale at $5.00/box.
However, we can't do it with cookies alone and so we have two other fundraisers on the go at the moment.

The first is with Bears n' Buddies Canada. Similar in nature to other build your own bear companies, Bears n' Buddies allows you to build your friend in the comfort of your own home. You can even host Bears n' Buddies parties! Just select the kits you want to order and they will send you everything you need! Our Pathfinders receive 25% from every purchase made through our specific link: mthopeswiss.bearsnbuddies.ca. This fundraiser is ongoing so please pass it along to all your friends and family.

Our second endeavor is a Stampin' Up! workshop on Sunday April 29th. You can purchase a ticket to join us from 1-3pm. Your $20 ticket will get you 3 handmade projects that you'll get to take home, a door prize ticket, light refreshments and a demo by Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, Stephanie Nash. 50% off the ticket price goes toward the trip. The girls will also 20% of all sales before and at the workshop. Purchases made will also earn participants additional door prize tickets.  See the attached flyer for details.

I hope you will all support my girls in their endeavour.  Thank you!
Su Fundraiser

Monday, April 2, 2012

Your Children and Green Living

Our children are the future. These are the generations that have to live on this planet in the years to come. They will be the ones that make the laws and shape their children's future. This is why it's important to teach the importance of green living.

Green living is living life in which the earth is taken care while being smart with what the earth provides and all manmade items. Teaching your children about this can be easy and fun.

How can it be fun? Here are few ideas for you and your family to learn more about green living and saving the future.
  • Start Small
Don't go into a life of green living thinking you need to change everything overnight. Anytime you make changes to your lifestyle you need to take it one step at a time to ensure success. Trying to do too much at one time will frustrate you and your children as well as exhaust all of you. Focus on one thing. When you have that going well, add another green living activity. It will all become second nature soon.
  • Conserve Energy
Look around your house and notice how many lights are on that are not needed. When a child leaves the room, they typically forget to turn the light off. They even turn the light on when there is no need to. Televisions are left on for hours at a time with no one watching it. So many electrical devices are plugged in and rarely used.

What can you do?
  1. Put tape over the light switches to stop incessant usage.
  2. Unplug all unused appliances or electronics such as the coffee maker, DVD player, etc.
  3. Have fun using candles or hurricane lamps at night with the children when bright light is not needed for activities such as cooking or reading.
  4. Use energy efficient light bulbs and nightlights.
  • Recycle
Recycling is huge. So much feels a landfill. Take your child to see what a landfill looks like and all the garbage that is placed there that could be reused. It can be fun finding new ways to use items that you once threw away.

What can you do?
  1. Stop before throwing something away and see who can come up with the best ways to reuse it.
  2. Start small and choose one item a week and follow through on it.
  3. Compost - recycle foods and other organic material by creating a compost heap.
  4. Take the compost further and create a worm farm. That can be so much fun and even part of a child's science project.
  • Shopping
Green living can be taught through your shopping trips. So much is wasted in the grocery stores that we don't even realize.

What can you do?
  1. Talk to your child about packaging and if it can be reused.
  2. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of buying in bulk.
  3. Talk about smart shopping.
  4. Go over how every purchase effects the environment.
  5. Give them a chance to choose the foods and make the decisions.
  6. Take your own bags to shop with. Maybe even make your own from recycled cloth.
  • Paper
We all use so much paper. Yet so much can be used again and again in various forms.

What can you do?
  1. Have a place where all paper can go and be reused.
  2. Use recycled paper for drawing and cutting for projects.
  3. Reuse paper as scratch paper.
  4. Use in compost or worm farm.
  5. Use as a bonfire starter or for campfires.
  • Grow Your Own Garden
Nothing says green living then growing your own vegetables. It can be fun and educational as your children work the ground and create meals for your family.

What can you do?
  1. Have each family member with their own garden plot.
  2. Let them choose their own seeds.
  3. Take pictures of the growth of the plants.
  4. Make a gardening scrapbook.
  5. Take extra fresh vegetables to a friend or neighbor.
  6. Have a special meal with all the produce from the garden.
  7. Compost garden waste.
  8. Use the worms in your worm farm to enhance the garden.
  • Other Ideas
These are just a few ideas you can take to use with your children and other family members to learn about green living. Here are just a few others that you can use and expand on:
  1. Walk to the places nearby instead of driving.
  2. Spend more time outside appreciating the results of green living.
  3. Share with family and friends.
  4. Catch rainwater for gardening or for small pools.
  5. Hand wash clothes.
  6. Hang laundry out to dry.
Take these ideas as starting points to have fun teaching your children about green living. Show them that they are creating a future for themselves and their own families.

Amy Brown currently runs Livesnet with her friends, a site on baby product reviews and parenting tips.