Tuesday, July 29, 2008

time out for a time out

A couple of weekends ago, we went up to Pemberton area (the week before the Festival) to dog-sit my girlfriend's 2 dogs. Unfortunately, we forgot our camera and do not have any photos from our relaxing weekend away from home. "Dog-sitting" sounds like a job, but really, it was a fun weekend away at the "Bush ranch", as we like to call it. The 3 dogs ran around the acres of property and just enjoyed each other's company. Josh was so overwhelmed by the plethora of toys (Nicole runs a family daycare in her home), he was absolutely nutty! And we even managed to go into Whistler and wander around the village for a couple of hours. I am truly bummed that we have no photos of our weekend.

With all the excitement and new surroundings, Josh managed to get himself into a little bit of trouble. At home, he has been sufficiently scolded that he rarely plays with Nikita's food and water bowls. But at the Bush ranch, their water bowl for the dogs is about 5 times as big as ours and always full of water. It's like a wee kiddie pool! Josh would not stop splashing and throwing stuff in the water bowl. Finally, we threatened him with his first time out and when he wouldn't stop, I pulled him out of the situation and gave him a time out.

In my head, a time out seemed pretty straight forward. I mean, I've seen Nanny 911 put kids on the naughty mat many times! Should be easy, right? Wrong. There is actually a whole methodology and best practices for time out. And when you are in the heat of a time out moment, having that methodology really helps! Unfortunately, I did not know this the first time around and we muddled our way through a very unsuccessful time out!

Firstly, a time out should generally last as many minutes as the child's age in years (e.g. Josh is 1.5 years-old and should get a 1.5 minute time out). I would have just left Josh in the time out until he realized the error of his ways or just completely gave in to me (realizing, of course, that it would never happen that way!).

Secondly, the whole point of the time out is punishment by boredom! I did not know that! So, basically, you remove the child from the situation and place them somewhere quiet and isolating. You leave them alone so all they can do is sit there. I actually sat with Josh in his timeout and tried to get him to apologize to me for what he did. Wrong! I should have just left him there by himself. The time out is also a time out for the parent to cool off and you can't do that by constantly badgering your child for an apology!

Lastly, when the time out is over, it is over. There should be no threats of "if you do that again..." and no further consequence. Even hugging and making up can help too.

Having failed miserably at the first time out, Brian and I researched, re-grouped and came to an agreement how our time outs would work. Last week, Brian and Josh were at home and Josh decided he needed to put all his shoes in Nikita's water bowl. That was grounds for an immediate time out! Brian sat him in a corner facing a wall and Josh was so compliant that Brian was able to walk away and take a photo! He sat quietly for over 1.5 minutes (why stop a good thing?!) and when Brian told him he was done his time out, they hugged and Josh went on with playing.

Well, we thought we were time out experts now! We thought that we have our rock solid punishment that will help us to teach Josh his boundaries in our family! Ha. Josh had different ideas. He has since had 2 time outs and both were gong shows. Josh has discovered when he doesn't just sit there and tries to get away, we go after him and put him back in the corner. Hey look! It's a game! He finds it very funny, too. Ugh. So, we're back at square one again with time outs and trying to find ways to discipline our nutty child. Anyone have any ideas?!

Monday, July 28, 2008

the july that flew by

OMG...I can't believe that July is almost over! We've been SO busy (and SO caught up in our new favourite show - 24) that I haven't blogged in ages. I usually don't like to just post a bunch of photos without a theme, but I'm going to make the theme "July" and post a bunch of photos. This would normally be about 4 posts, but I'm afraid I'll just keep falling further behind if I keep waiting...

Our July started off right with a Canada Day picnic in the park. This is a video of Josh sporting his Canada Day duds and singing a song with his Mommy. Check here for more photos from our picnic.

The hot weather finally hit Vancouver and Josh and Nikita are cooling off in the pool!

Even Brian wants to cool off a bit

Sandbox wisdom: With much fun in sandbox comes much mess from sandbox

Nikita and Josh playing (or is that just standing?) in the yard

Josh and Opa learning french

Nikita's thinking, "That's the last time I chase a cat under a car!"

Grabbing a quick snack during a playdate with Keira and Elijah at Elijah's house

Josh eats and throws rocks with his cousins, Ciarra and Jaidyn, at the foot of Alouette Lake's Lower Falls

My boy with the big brown eyes

Susanne reads a book to Josh and his buddy, Nolan

Baby Talk reunion - my have our babies grown!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

will we EVER get a dslr?

Brian has wanted a DSLR for a long time now - probably as long as I've known him! I have trouble rationalizing the cost, since he rarely takes pictures anymore, but he wants what he wants! So, we've started a DSLR fund for him, in hopes that one day there will be enough money in it for him to buy one.

In the meantime, our 5-year-old point & shoot camera, the Canon A80, has gotten unbearably out-of-date. I've tried other people's P&S cameras and they are so much faster to turn on as well as refresh between pictures. Though our A80 has served us well for the past few years, it has recently made it impossible to catch those rare photos of Josh doing something for only a few seconds!

So, we finally decided that we need a new P&S camera. Unfortunately, we had to dig into the DSLR fund to do it (sorry, Bri!). We knew we would get a Canon again - brand loyalty says everything when you love a product. We hummed and hawed over getting today's version of our A80 or going for a segway into the DSLR market. As most indecisive people do, we decided in the end to go for a camera somewhere in the middle.

We've had the camera for a month and I've been really happy with it so far - can you really go wrong with any Canon digital P&S camera? I can't really do a summary of what I like about the camera since the only camera I can compare it to is 5 years-old (so, basically, I like EVERYTHING about the camera)! But I really like using it and I've been taking more photos since we bought it. I will try to use more of the features over the next little while.

Here are some photos I took the day we bought the camera. Now, at the rate that we will have to upgrade our P&S camera to keep up with technology, I don't know that Brian will ever get his DSLR!

The first photo ever with our new camera - Josh on a ride at the mall!

The second photo ever with the camera - we could only take about 2 more shots at the mall because the 15MB memory card that came with the camera was full!

Me knowing absolutely nothing about photography and playing with some of the manual settings. And the rest of the photos are testing out the super awesome 10x optical zoom with some close-ups...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

stuff i'm into, volume 1

I've decided to start this regular post for a couple of reasons:

1. I think it will be interesting to look back and see what I liked at the time and say, "what was I thinking?!".
2. I want to share things that I've found that I've been really excited about!

I don't want to clutter this with stuff that I've loved for years (e.g. Paris, sushi, etc.) or the obvious (e.g. Brian, Josh, Nikita, etc). I'm just going to post about stuff I've discovered or re-discovered in the past few months that I was really excited about. Since this is the first list, I may babble a bit, but here goes...

#1 Whittards cherry blossom tea - Liezel is my tea connoisseur and she introduced me to this tea. I love it. I take it with a lump of sugar and it's perfect. It's a white tea, and I'm not sure what the deal is with white. I usually drink pretty normal black teas like English Breakfast or Empress Afternoon and I usually add milk and sugar. I also drink green tea, to which I never add anything. This cherry blossom tea is a nice, refreshingly light tea that you can sip on it's own. I typically like to have tea with food, but I enjoy this one much more on it's own so I can enjoy it's fragrance. The drawback with this tea (for me) is that I think you have to go to the UK to buy it. I checked their Web-site and I can't seem to find a "cherry blossom" tea (this particular one is a teabag tea, not loose). Liezel is going back to London shortly and I've asked her to bring some back for me. Cross my fingers that they still have it!

#2 charm necklaces - We went to Seattle a couple of weeks ago for Brian's track day. Since we had a Brian-day on the track, Brian suggested we have an Yvette-day, which, obviously, consisted of shopping. I went into Urban Outfitters, which I usually don't because they are typically out of my price range, but I noticed their accessories and was intrigued. I saw many of these charm necklaces and I tried on a few and ended up buying one. The one shown here is not the one I bought, but it's one I'm contemplating buying. They are long necklaces that sit just below your chest (lower if your boobs are smaller!) but they look great as an added layer in the layered look or even to spice up a plain shirt. I haven't worn long necklaces since the late 80's/early 90's, but I guess they are coming back in style. I like this variation to the long necklace because the different sizes, shapes and colours add texture and depth to the necklace.

#3 shoes from Nordstrom - No shopping trip would be complete without spending the majority of time trying on shoes . And no shoe-shopping trip is complete without visiting shoe mecca - Nordstrom. I commented to my sis-in-law that Nordstrom always has an unbelieveable selection of shoes. Not only do they have the best styles, but they also have a varying range of price points. It truly is shoe mecca. Well, Caroline informed me that Nordstrom actually started out as a shoe store. I did not know that! That explains their uncanny sense of shoe style. So, I bought my first pair of orange-coloured shoes ever. They are fabulous. The colour is actually called "Sunflower Yellow", but they are indeed a summery shade of orange. They are made by a company called Chinese Laundry. Their shoes are more trendy than classic, but they are reasonably priced.

#4 MAC Lustre glass in Love Nectar - I don't really wear make-up. Occasionally, I "try" to apply foundation and mascara, but on a day-to-day basis, you'll usually see me wearing only lip stuff. I'm a MAC loyalist. I've used their lipsticks forever and I can always find a shade that suits me. These days, it's all about lip gloss for me. It is such a refreshing look and believe me, my look needs refreshing! I went to MAC to find a new summery colour of lip glass. The MAC girl suggested a lustre glass - aptly named because it's has more shimmer than the usual lip glass. She recommended Love Nectar. MAC describes the colour as "ultra-soft apricot with pearl". It's lovely - nice, light and summery. Ironically enough, I went back to MAC a few weeks later to get a birthday gift for my sister-in-law. I wanted to get her some lip glass, among other things. I showed the MAC girl a photo and then went on to tell her that I wanted something like Love Nectar for my sister-in-law, because I loved the colour. The MAC girl was actually bold enough to say that I could get Love Nectar for my blonde-haired, fair-skinned sister-in-law. It's a colour that looks good on anyone. If it didn't look good on you, then you likely need more help than just lip gloss. OMG, I can't believe she used her out-loud voice for that comment...

#5 Grey's Anatomy - I know I said that I was wasting away in tv-land, but I can't stop watching Grey's Anatomy! I was going to make the "thing I'm into" more generic - tv series' on DVD, but really, it's the Grey's that I'm into right now. I never watched it when it first aired and I recall that people said it was good. We started watching it religiously in Season 3 when they had the big ferry boat accident, so we're all caught up from there. I was told that the series started out better than it has been recently (especially since Isaiah Washington left), so we decided to watch it from scratch. I think that we've missed alot of the explosive drama because we're watching it knowing how it ends, but it's still good drama. I understand now why people are getting tired of Meredith and Derek's on-again-off-again relationship. And it will be interesting to see where they take Season 5, given that the last season finale was sort of a happy ending. Not like the end of Season 1 where Meredith and Derek are happily in love and Addison walks in for the first time! THAT was drama! I would have hated waiting until September if I watched when it first aired. So, the Grey's thing is almost over, but I've already had recommendations for our next TV series on DVD - Battlestar Galactica, Huff, Lost, Deadwood...

#6 Google Analytics - my co-workers hooked their blogs up to Google Analytics and I thought it was interesting so I tried it out. Well, I'm hooked. It's a bit freaky, actually. I'm trying to figure out who's checking out my blog in Kentucky! Were they one of the people that found my site in a search engine? And why were they searching for "mini zee" or "satc season 7" or "why does my dog stink?" or, most suspiciously, why were they searching for "motorcycle racer brian van"?! Google Analytics tells you all this. It tells me that my site has had 115 visits since I "hooked it up" on June 23rd and while the majority of visits are from Canadian locations (mostly Vancouver), I've had several visits from locations in the US, UK and Australia. Cool! It makes me nervous what I'm posting now that I have evidence that complete strangers are reading my blog!