Friday 30 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

2011 is almost over. I can't believe it. I can't even begin to describe how incredible the past year has been. Miss S has changed more in the past year than I could ever imagine. She has achieved so much, grown so much, and amazed me so much...she has grown from an infant to a toddler. From 100% dependent on me, to wanting to become more independent. Last year she was wearing 3m clothing, now she is in 18m clothing. How is that even possible?? Last year she was rolling, today she is running, dancing, spinning...last year she was cooing, now she is talking.
Enough gushing for a moment, because what I really want to talk about is having a toddler at Christmas.
In many ways, it is SO MUCH FUN! Sure, she is TERRIFIED of Santa (though she likes looking at pictures of Santa and saying, "Ho ho ho!"), but BOY, does she love presents! All we have to do is tell her there is a present for her and she comes a running! She booked it downstairs and ran to the tree on Christmas Day, she didn't know where to start, but watching her was the entertainment for the day.
Sure, nap time was a bust, but she was in great spirits because of the food, presents and family around her giving her constant attention. She was a little social butterfly and the entertainment for the night.
However, it was also more that a little overwhelming. By bed time, she was DONE, like crying over everything DONE. It's basically been a week of visitors and general disruption to routine, including tomorrow, New Year's Eve. Luckily I have managed to get her into bed at a decent time the past two nights (7:30 and 7:45 ish), which is MUCH better than after 8, I only like the chocolates, not the bedtime. If Miss S goes to bed at 8:30, that means by the time I get settled, bathed and make a cup of tea myself (after cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry), it's close to, or after 10, which leaves very little time to read or watch TV, and isn't that what winter holidays are supposed to be all about? Thank GOD I still have a week off. I plan on doing NOTHING. Taking down the Christmas decorations will be the busiest day of my week.
All in all though, it has been a fabulous December. I am already thinking about how excited she will be on her birthday and next Christmas, she'll be even more aware of Santa, presents and gushing family spoiling her rotten. Plus, she will hopefully have a better understanding of what, "Leave the tree ALONE! Stop! No. Those are mommy's decorations...DANGER," means. I hope.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

On Motherhood

My baby is now 17 months old, that's almost a year and a half. She is getting so big. She understands so much. She knows so much. I can ask her to do something, like throw something in the garbage or bring someone a specific item, and she can do it (now, this doesn't always mean she DOES do it, but she CAN). We spend our days together completing small tasks, putting things away, throwing things out, carrying objects back and forth across in the house in the hopes of tiring her out, and each time she follows instructions, I am amazed at how much she has grown.
She isn't a baby anymore. Of course she is my baby, but really, she is a toddler, on her way to becoming a little girl. Before a year, people always thought she was younger because she was so slight, now, because of the hair and the height, they generally think she's older. It's so bittersweet.
Christmas is just around the corner, and holiday nostalgia prompted me to look back on last year's Christmas pictures. I cannot believe how much my little girl has changed in one year. It is unbelievable that last year she wasn't even sitting up on her own, wasn't eating solid foods, I could put her down on a blanket and know she'd still be there in 5 minutes (or ten, or 30 seconds). Now I have a toddler who never stops, who eats like it's her job, who is always on the go.
Last Christmas she sat in her Bumbo and watched us open presents. This year I have to hide her (and all) present because she is a professional present opener.
Last year I had baby. This year I have a toddler.
It has also made me more nostalgic to my own family traditions. My mom (aka GranO) was saying that she didn't think she was going to use the Christmas plates this year, that she was sick of them. I couldn't believe it, I can't imagine a Christmas without those plates! Now I can't wait to bring them home and have my own children use them; to start our own traditions.
Now we have a fancy tree upstairs, that is true, but we also have our family tree downstairs in the living room, with handmade decorations, and those handed down, that we can form new memories for.
I look back at old family pictures of myself as a child, see us all sitting around the tree with our dog, and see how much my new family resembles my former one. I see my mother and grandmother in myself, surrounded by family and by love. Children growing up may be bittersweet, but creating new memories and traditions is nothing but sweet.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Why My Front Loader is the DEVIL...

At first I was thrilled to get a front load washing and dryer. Think of the space! Think of the money I'll save! Think of all the good I'll be doing for the environment! HA.

Sure, the front loader is great for saving space. It's great for saving money on water usage and hydro, it's great that it uses less energy and water, and therefore helps reduce my carbon footprint. It is also a great pain in the azz.

The following are the reasons my front loader is the devil's plaything.

5) The size. Sure, it saves space, but the barrel is too small! I have to take my heavy duty washes to my mother's house. I can't fit the dog's bed in there! I can barely fit all of my bedding in there! The duvet MIGHT fit, but I've always washed it at my mom's. Troy's winter coat is a load in it's own!
Now, I know you can buy front loader with a larger drum, but it's not the same. They just don't soak your stuff the way a traditional washing machine does.

4) Heavy Duty Cycle my arse. Do you know the difference between the heavy duty and the delicate cycle on a front load washer? Me neither. Water usage? The speed at which clothes are gently tossed in the bare minimum amount of water to clean them? I think it's all a ploy on behalf of the washing machine companies to get us to buy two washing machines. A front loader for regular, or delicates, and a normal one for everything else. Clothes need a better beating to get clean!

3) Washing cloth diapers is a pain. They need more water and a better beating than any front loader could possibly provide. I hate it. My diapers never smell as clean as they did after a wash in my mom's washing machine. My diapers just lounge around, gently dancing in my machine, with barely enough water to penetrate. They need the heavy duty, full barrel of water, bashing around that my mother's machine gives them. Man I miss that.

2) Washing vomit. Miss S has been throwing up since around 2am. I have done A LOT of laundry in the past 16 hours or so. OK, score one for the front loader, because it didn't drain the well. HOWEVER, I can still smell the vomit in the "clean" clothes. Like the cloth diapers, vomit filled clothes need a super soak and a heavy duty beating. I washed on heavy duty on the largest load I could with as much soap as I could...they still stink. Gross.
It's not just vomit either. Mud, heavily soiled clothes (poop, food, dirt), none of it comes out as nicely, easily, or quickly. I have made good use of my laundry sink, that's for sure. I am forever soaking clothes in there before washing them. Pain.In.My.Azz.

1) The stupid rubber lip thing. This is the number one reason I hate my front loader. If my husband "forgets" to shake out the poops before throwing diapers in the wash, if a stray piece of food (or vomit) is left attached to clothes/bib, it ends up the rubber thing. GROSS. DISGUSTING. VOMIT INDUCING. Plus it STINKS if you leave the washer door closed. Which means it is open, and an apparently perfect spot for Miss S to put things or climb in.

So there you have it. Now, the worst part of all of this is that I designed my laundry room around the front loaders, so they are here to stay. HOWEVER, I am in the market for new ones, just a washer would do, one that has more cycle...maybe I could trick it into adding more water or a soak, because my current regime of standing at the washer and pouring extra water in the detergent slot is getting old.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I am off. I am praying that Miss S got the bug out of her system and gets a full night's sleep because I am teaching kindergarten tomorrow and going on a date night. A night with NO CHILDREN. Oh my GOD, I can't wait.