Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Emmett takes art classes at our local gallery on the weekend.  They have been going bonkers for Halloween this past month.  I came home to find this guy sitting beside my bed after class one day.  He has since been moved to the kitchen where his eyes are partially blocked by my African Violets.  That is one creepy stare this zombie has!
Emmett made the googly eye jack o'lantern at art class

This was the best picture I could get.

Tonight, the  kids went on their annual rounds of the neighbourhood and are now stuffing themselves as much as they can before we declare bath time.

I hope you had a safe and spooktacular Halloween in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween at my house.

Disclosure – I am participating in the Allan Candy Company program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation for my participation in this campaign.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Halloween is next week.  Do you have your costumes ready?
My kids love Halloween.  They plan out their costumes months in advance.  We are old-fashioned and let the kids trick or treat around our neighbourhood.  I love carving jack-o-lanterns, and even have the special little saws that let me do more intricate designs.  I so wish I had a digital camera the year I did the full haunted castle carving.  It was amazing and I was so proud of it I took it to the nursing home where I worked at the time and it decorated the main nursing station's desk for a few days.  (hint: rub petroleum jelly over the cut edges of your jack-o-lantern to make it last longer)
When Emmett was in Kindergarten his teacher asked me to bring a special snack for their party.  I gleefully set myself to the task of making Alien and Eyeball cake pops with gruesome red velvet cake as the filling.

This year I don't have to send treats to school, but thanks to Allen Candy I am very well prepared for the little ghosts and goblins (and Princesses and Storm Troopers) that will be ringing my doorbell next week.  I was happy to get a big box of an assortment of their candy line including Allan Intense Jubes & Jellies,  Allan Chewy Rascalz (including my favourite Big Foot, which is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year), and Allan Fruit Buddies.  If you choose Allen Candy to give to your trick or treaters you can rest assured knowing you are giving Canadian-made candy that is made in a peanut-free facility.  Every treat is individually wrapped to ensure freshness.  I opened a bag to sample and was taken right back to my own childhood when I popped a Big Food into my mouth (and then a Sour Big Foot, and a Green testing was very thorough.)

This year I will be sending a witch and pirate and something to be announced out in to the neighbourhood to trick or treat.

What do you do for Halloween?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How was your weekend?

My friend from high school, Tara, came down to my neck of the woods to run a trail race.  She asked me to come since she couldn't find the trail without me.  It is a favourite place for me to take the family hiking so I said I'd love to take her.  I have not been running since early this summer, but I have been walking more and more so on a whim I signed up to run the 5K while she did the 7.5.

When we got there I was really happy to find more friends to run with and ran/walked the 5K.  My time was not the fastest, but that was really not important to me today.  I was just happy to be enjoying the company of so many friends.  It took my mind off how chilly the wind was and how steep some of the hills were! 

We are running out of sunny warmish fall days around here, so it is best not to waste them.

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Fight Isn't Over

Click here to view the trailer for Miss Representation and then come on back and read more
(a small warning about this video:  there are images from media that show rather scantily clad ladies in various forms of submission to men.  You may want to wait for naptime to watch this movie if you have youngsters around.)

I make no bones about the fact that I am a feminist fighting hard to raise my girl to know she is more than a pretty face. I am trying hard to raise my boys to see women as more than pretty faces.

It is an uphill battle given how media portrays females.  This video (an extended trailer for a movie) is proof that the battle is far from over.

This video has been going viral on Facebook, but I really want to share it with you, my readers as well.  I realize that I am largely preaching to the choir, but this is very important to me, especially since I am raising a daughter.

This is why I am a member of Girl Guides.  I get to empower more than just my little girl.  I get to teach these young girls that they are smart, strong, and capable.

I am fighting against a Pink Tide at school.  Charlotte is deep into Barbie, Princesses and anything Pink and Sparkly.  I am using bedtime story time as a weapon in my arsenal against the stereotypical princess template.  Here is my Feminist Princess Bedtime Story list:

The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews  this book is about an everyday little girl with dirt under her nails and scabs on her knees and a crown on her head.  It teaches girls that Princesses accept and respect everyone and all have gifts to give.

The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch a classic storybook from my own childhood that has stood the test of time.  No Feminist Princess bookshelf is complete without it.

Not all Princesses Wear Pink a great book to show that Princesses come in all shapes, sizes, and skin colours.  They also can also play sports, use power tools and climb trees, all while wearing their crowns.  A great book for girls to show that Princesses can do anything they want.

--I have also been told I should check out Princess SmartyPants  and Cinder Edna by an Invsible Internet Friend. 

Have you empowered a girl today?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing with the Boys

This week's Taekwon-do class went much better than last week's.  Richard took Char this time and he reported back that she did very well.  She listened, paid attention and had fun practicing her punches.

My girl even turned some heads this week.  You see, for the previous few classes Charlotte has been changing into her uniform at home.  I was told last week by the school's owner that she needs to change there. The owner referred to Charlotte as "my boy" because of her short hair.  I gently corrected him and things were just fine.

This week, we found out that many of Charlotte's classmates had no idea she was a girl either--until she showed up before class wearing her eye-searingly pink corduroy pants with a pink shirt covered in sparkly hearts. 

I feel like my girl is growing up to be a very well-rounded, strong female who is not afraid to be pink and sparkly when she wants to and kick ass when she needs to.

That's my girl.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time Out

As many of you have figured out from reading about my family here, my Charlotte has a rather strong personality.  She has many opinions and she makes them very well known.  All.  The.  Time.  I work hard with Charlotte to teach her about how it is inappropriate to interrupt adults.

Last week at taekwon-do I found an ally.  Charlotte has been struggling with learning this new skill ever since she insisted that she was tired of dance and wanted to take martial arts instead.

There are a lot more rules in a martial arts class.  Respect and decorum are very important.  You must bow to your teacher and stand still and listen.  Charlotte decided she needed to talk over the teacher at her last lesson.  She then found herself sitting in the corner.   She never got a time out in dance class for fooling around and not paying attention.  I like this new teacher.  Charlotte is less than impressed and talks about how much she misses dance class.

I am trying very hard to encourage Charlotte and keep her motivated to come to this new class.  As with all new skills, she is on a learning curve and not to the point where she is having fun yet.  I need her to stick with this.  I need her to be in this class to learn some boundaries and manners.  I need her to see that I am not the only adult in her world that finds interruptions unacceptable.

I am hoping this new class can help channel her energy and fire and give it a productive place to grow.

Am I expecting too much?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Giving Back

It is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada.  This seemed like a great time to blow the dust off of my blog and tell you about something I got to do last week.

Remember a while back when I had that diaper giveaway sponsored by Seventh Generation?  Well, it isn't only lucky blog readers that are getting free diapers from Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation is aiming to reach their goal of giving away up to 240,000 diapers to 40 shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This means a donation of up to $160,000 in diaper value to a charitable cause that rarely sees corporate assistance.  I also got to be a part of their diaper donation program and was sent four packages of diapers that I was tasked with giving away to a worthy charity in my own community.

I called up our local women's shelter.  I told them that Seventh Generation gave me a case of diapers that I needed to give to a local charity.  They were more than happy to accept them.  Women's shelters are always in need of diapers.  When I told the shelter employee that they were fragrance, chlorine, and latex-free diapers that were unlikely to irritate sensitive skin, she was extra happy to accept them. 

Now, at this point in a blog post, you would usually see a happy picture of the actual charitable donation being made.  Women's shelters have to be very, very careful about security and confidentiality so I left my camera at home.  But, as Matthew as my witness, the diapers were delivered in a timely fashion. 

If you want to help, all you have to do is buy a package of Seventh Generation Diapers anywhere in Canada during the month of October and Seventh Generation will donate a package of diapers to a participating shelter.  Don't have a kid in diapers?  Buy a package anyway! You can toss it in the donation bin by the back door of your store and donate two packages for the price of one. 

If you join the Seventh Gen Nation you can get coupons and be notified of special offers, as well as learn more about the diaper donation program.  

I am very Thankful that I got to help out women and babies in need this holiday weekend.  I am also thankful that I have a loving family to spend Thanksgiving with in a warm, safe house and I don't have to worry about where my dinner is coming from tonight.  

What are you Thankful for?