Monday, July 20, 2009 |

My Baby Einstein conversion

Sam loves Baby Einstein. I always thought that REAL kids don't really like those videos, and they were just a bit of a marketing gimmick (is it obvious that I can be a real skeptic?!). Boy, was I wrong. Apparently puppets, cheesy videos of other toddlers, classical music, and footage of animals and the outdoors is VERY alluring to a one year old. What do you think?

This came in VERY handy when we had an 8 hour drive (which took 11 hours) to BC. Sam would cry, we'd fire up the Baby Einstein on the laptop. Problem solved.

I've also discovered BE's usefulness in these other areas:
  • Cutting Sam's fingernails
  • Trimming Sam's hair
  • Taking a shower without having a ticked-off Sam hanging out in the bathroom with me
  • That last 15 minutes before Kris comes home, when the kitchen is a disaster, supper is almost done, Sam is hungry and therefore a bit needy, and I am about to turn into a complete madwoman
I'm sure I will discover even more as time goes on.

Baby Einstein saves us all a big headache, and the aforementioned situations go from total gong shows to completely reasonable, even enjoyable experiences for all of us. So I'm just going to embrace it. And be thankful for it.

And not only that, I think Sam is actually learning a bit from it. Every time they talk about cows, he moos, which he knew how to do before, but only when prompted by, "Sam, what sound does a cow make?!" Now he makes the connection between the photo of a cow, and that a cow says "moo". And this morning, while trimming his hair, he cock-a-doodle-dooed for the first time. Thanks, Baby Einstein. Haha... And everything in moderation, right? As long as he is not watching it all day, and just a bit here and there, I think it's just fine. It's funny, because I automatically feel like this is a bit of a "bad mom" confession. And then I realized, that I think the only person who makes me feel that way is... well... myself. Baby Einstein teaches Sam to make animal sounds, and teaches ME to lower my expectations for myself.

So I'll be honest - I love these freakin' videos. I have officially been converted.

Monday, July 13, 2009 |

How camping screwed me up...

Okay, so not really screwed up per se, but really made me yearn. Yearn for big cedar trees you can barely see the tops of, clean lakes with rocky, weedless bottoms, hills and mountains that take your breath away, amazing fruit you can eat off the tree in your backyard, waterfalls, caverns, oceans, warmth that doesn't bring droughts and tornados...

Things like this:

And this:

With campsites that look like this:

And lakes that look like this:

(Note how you can SEE the bottom!)

I think the longer I live in Alberta, the more I miss BC, and the more I appreciate when I go back for a visit. Kris and I are usually really content people, but since we've been back, we've been feeling like coming home is a bit of a let-down. It's just not like BC here. And sometimes we wonder why we choose to live here, when there are beautiful, stunning places that could be right in our backyard.

But then I look at some of these gorgeous places - cabins right on the shore of Shuswap Lake, yardsights that look like campgrounds, homes that make it available for families to walk a mere 3 minutes to spend an afternoon at the beach - and I think, I might get pretty lonely. Surrounded by the splendor of nature, but lonely. I guess part of what makes little ol' Camrose, AB so great, are the relationships we have made here. I may not have a lakefront property, but I have family close by. I may not have mountains and streams and waterfalls, but I have some really great friends. I guess we would eventually make relationships if we were to ever move somewhere else, but it sure is nice to have people around. To have strong relationships that have moved past the small talk, get-to-know-you phase. And that's really valuable. Probably more-so than a view.

So for now, here we are. And we'll be content here. Still dreaming a bit of a day when we can sea-doo up into our front yard, or have peaches growing in our back yard. Maybe that will happen, and maybe it won't. But my yearning has also made me appreciate what I DO have that other places might not. I like it here, mountains or not.

But it still makes me think... :)