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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Share your travel adventures - Join in on #TravellingMaple Tuesdays on Instagram!

Welcome to Travelling Maple Tuesdays! Each Tuesday we invite you to post a picture on Instagram and include the hastag ‪#‎TravellingMaple‬. (This happens EVERY Tuesday, I just post about it every few weeks on here as a reminder.)

Travelling Maple is a website meant to showcase Canadian travel content. Canadian writers are invited to submit their travel themed posts. It can be about worldwide travel, or travel that takes place here in Canada; around the world or down the block, we want to hear about it (Remember, what's local for you can be a tourist destination for someone else).

Each Tuesday we move the party over to Instagram, sharing our Canadian perspective on travel with the world. We invite our fellow Canadians to join in (you don't need to be a blogger to take part). Just post any sort of travel photo, tell us where it's from and be sure to tag it #TravellingMaple.

If you decide to take part we ask that you share the love. For each picture you post please comment on or like at least two pictures with the #TravellingMaple hashtag.

And please be sure to follow your hosts:

We can’t wait to connect with you and see your awesome travel photos!
Monday, November 30, 2015

Bending the Rules and Changing our Bedtime Routines, #5MoreMinutes with @Netflix_CA

When my kids are home sick from school it's often Netflix to the rescue. No news here, I've written many times about how sniffles and snuggly blankets on the couch go hand in hand. So when the latest batch of nasty germs started making it's way around our household plenty of children's shows on Netflix of course helped to pass the icky time.

The big kid was sick for a few days. I was sick for a few days. My husband and my youngest daughter on the other hand got hit hard. Hubby is still recuperating, while the little one missed nine days of school. As usual I played the Netflix card, and part of each day was spent snuggled up on the couch, while various Disney movies played and I made half-hearted attempts at working online (it is surprisingly hard to type while a miserable five year old is trying to wrap herself in your arms and crawl into your lap). I was excited to see a few Disney movies that had previously left Netflix were back; The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Aristocats, Lilo and Stitch, The Princess and the Frog.

For several days in a row our day looked something like this:
* get big kid to the bus
* try and coax sick five year old to eat something, anything
* say "Yes, we will watch Netflix just as soon as mommy is done doing x
* attempt to do household chores while increasingly cranky little one reads or colours
* give in and head to couch for movie snuggle time
* watch one Disney movie
* when it's done, child wants to watch another 1400 movies
* coerce child into heading upstairs for lunch
* attempt to get child to eat anything
* declare it is naptime
* spend upwards of half an hour convincing child it is nap time
* find perfect doll and perfect napping spot
* read a storybook (or four)
* attempt to get child to fall asleep (and quite possible fall asleep myself, whether I intended to or not)
* wake up in time to go get big sister from the bus
* doing all the usual after school stuff, snacks, homework, cleanup, etc
* do dinner type stuff
* get ready for bedtime

Interspersed with check temperature, assist in blowing nose, blow own nose, use washcloth to try and remove crusted boogies off of little face, make chicken broth, reheat untouched chicken broth, beg child to pick up her dirty tissues, etc, etc.

As we hit the bedtime routine part of the day I kept running into a snag. When coercing her into getting off the couch I had told my girl, "We are going to go and eat lunch and take a nap." While she kept weedling for more TV, "Just one more show, pleeeeeeeease." I would insist that we were going upstairs to eat. She would ask if we would come back and watch more TV later, and I would say "Maybe." Which wasn't quite a lie. I didn't know how long lunch plus naptime would run, and if we were done eating and resting and it wasn't bus pick up time, then sure, we would watch a bit more TV.

However nap time, and the cohersion dance leading up to it, always ended up taking up the entire afternoon. So now as bedtime rolls around, she is remembering that she had wanted to go and watch more TV, and that we never got around to it. She is getting upset and begging for TV instead of her usual bedtime story. Keep in mind this is a snotty, feverish, whiny, miserable kid. My five year old is stubborn and can be hard to negotiate with at the best of times, and this was most certainly not the best of times.

In the meantime Netflix had emailed me with their writing prompt for the month, letting me know about the new Five Minute Dinotrux episodes. They wanted me to write about bedtime battles, and about solving them with "just one more episode". I laughed at the idea. I thought, wow, that would never fly in my house. For one, the girls always want books, not TV, for bedtime. But more importantly they would never fall for a five minute TV show. Heck, I have to pry them off the couch with threats and bribes after a full twenty-some minute episode. They usually need to watch at least three full episodes, minimum, before I can even begin to convince them they've seen enough TV.

But here I was with this sick kid who was begging me for TV instead of a bedtime story... and it was worth a shot, right? So I grabbed my laptop. got the girl all snuggled into her bed said, "Okay here's the deal, we'll watch ONE show, but mom gets to pick it." We watched one five minute episode of Dinotrux, the kid said thank you, kissed me goodnight and went right to bed. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I thought, wow, poor kid, she must be really sick. Then the next night we did the exact same thing, except this time big sister was in on the act. I thought for sure the eight year old would complain that the episode was only five minutes long. But nope. Everything was smooth, all silence and smiles and cooperation.

For three nights in a row those darn five minute episodes saved the day, and then everyone was starting to feel better and we went back to our regular chapter book routine. I was shocked by how well those mini-episodes worked. I highly suspect a big part of why it worked so smoothly was that I brought the TV viewing right into the snuggly bed, as opposed to watching on the couch and then moving upstairs. Yay for streaming! Basically, I'd say if you are sick of the whole bedtime battle thing try it. Definitely in a pinch, try it. Oh and also, Dinotrux is a very cute show. Dinosaurs plus construction vehicles, really can't go wrong there. Well at least according to my five year old. 

How much do you bend the rules and routine when your little ones are sick?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, and as such I will be providing thoughts and suggestions about what's currently showing on Netflix. As always my words and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Great Canadian Giveaway Link-Up ~ Week of Nov.26th

Welcome to the The Great Canadian Giveaway Link-Up 
This is a weekly link-up, with a new linky published every Thursday (often up by Wednesday night).

Kid Art Rocks November Link-Up! Join in and share your children's artwork! #KidArtRocks

Well, technically this post should have been up this weekend, for the, um... weekend art link-up. However this week I'm declaring it's a Wednesday thing. Because it's my blog and I can, so nyah.  Or more realistically because everyone in my house has been sick (or still is sick with this horrible lingering strep thing of ick), and it's been a really long and crummy week (or two). Cute art cures all ills though, right? Bring it on!


This linky will remain open until the end of November. You don't need to have a blog to take part in this, anyone is welcome to link up. For the purpose of this giveaway let's define kid art as something created by someone who is 12 or younger. You can publish your child's art anywhere on line and then link to it, for example on Instagram or in a Flickr account. (It does need to be publicly viewable). Each time you submit a link to a piece of your kid's art that's an entry into the giveaway. This link up is being hosted at Maple Leaf Mommy, The Knit Wit by Shair and Multi-Testing Mommy. The hosts will be linking up art but are ineligible to win. Come December 1st we will randomly draw one lucky winner. We are just doing this for fun, there is no brand sponsor. The prize will be a set of art supplies with value of about $30. Anyone can link up, but to be eligible for the prize you need to be located in Canada.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chirp Sells Masterpieces... {Wordless Wednesday #KidArtRocks}

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Great Canadian Friendly Giveaway Link-Up ~ Week of Nov.18th

Welcome to the The Great Canadian Giveaway Link-Up 
This is a weekly link-up, with a new linky published every Thursday (often up by Wednesday night).

Coming out and declaring my secret love for Herbal Essences...

Here's a confession, I don't use baby shampoo on my kids hair. I've been to other people's houses with my girls on playdates and while I'm using the bathroom I've noticed the container of baby shampoo sitting on the side of the tub, or the primary coloured bottle of "kids" shampoo with the cartoon characters dancing across the label. Even when the girls would visit their grandmother and stay for a bath she would break out special bubble bath stuff and shampoos just for them. Meanwhile at home my girls have been using various scents of Herbal Essences for a couple of years now. It left me feeling like the fact that my 3 or 4 year old was actually using "grown-up shampoo" was one of my dirty little secrets.

So for the past few years I've kept quiet about my love of Herbal Essences, because to fess up about how much I love the scent of it in my daughter's hair would mean admitting I wasn't doing that thing that you are apparently supposed to do, ie. use baby shampoo on your kids until they are at least 6 or 7. 

So here's the truth, my admission, I use Herbal Essences shampoo on my daughters hair, and have been for a few years now. They love the fruity natural scents, and so do I. We've been alternating between using Long Term Relationship, which is supposed to help strengthen long hair against damage and breaks, and The Sleeker the Butter, which is meant for taming frizzy flyaway hair. Long Term Relationship smells like pomegranate and raspberries. According to the blurb on the bottle The Sleeker the Butter has the "soothing scent of cupuaçu butter", which I find to be nutty and mellow. 

My kids like hugging. Particularly the younger one, who is a first class snuggler. I figure if they are going to come up to me approximately three millions times a day and smoosh their heads up against my face,  I can at least enjoy the smell of nuts and berries when my nose ends up buried in their hair. 

Oh, but what about if they get shampoo in their eyes? Even baby shampoo stings if you get it right in your eyes, it does, I've tested it. For the most part I've mastered the trick to keeping shampoo and water out of the girls eyes while I'm helping to do their hair, but when wiggly mistakes do happen Herbal Essences seems to be mild enough that it doesn't irritate their eyes. A quick wipe with the washcloth and they're good.

The girls have healthy, long, sleek, hair which we get compliments on all the time. (Okay, so girl number two's hair is a bit on the short side after she took the craft scissors to it and we had to do emergency repairs). 

So there you have it, my guilty secret.

I almost hesitate to ask, what do you guys use on your kids hair? 

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About Me ~ Maple Leaf Mommy

Hi, I'm , a Canadian stay at home mom to two rambunctious little girls.
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