Sunday, 16 October 2011

Horário de verão

Alternate title: How I get daylight savings to work for me.

We just "lost" an hour. Sometime in the middle of the night a lot of our clocks (and other devices with clocks) skipped an hour so we can switch one of our daylight hours to the other end of the day. A lot of people are complaining about losing that hour, having to get up earlier and the general confusion regarding daylight savings.

I, however, feel like I've gained an hour. Sounds crazy but let me enlighten you. Last year when North America went off daylight savings (ie turning the clocks back an hour), a cousin of mine remarked that when you have small kids you don't feel like you've gained an hour; in reality it feels like you are losing an hour. Your kids still wake up at the same time but you've convinced yourself it is actually an hour earlier - so you have one more hour to fill entertaining and caring for your darling little ones. Plus sometimes they can be a wreck with changing bedtimes etc. And if you try putting them to bed an hour later the night before, they will either get up at the same time as usual or earlier just to spite your efforts.

So, this morning (quite oblivious to the time change) when my kids both woke up 5:30 - I was despairing over my lost sleep and contemplating what I could do to get a little more rest. It didn't help that we were sleeping over at my in-laws in the living room. Lucas went straight to the kitchen asking for a snack (thereby waking up Elena) and that was the end of sleep for me. I decided to turn on the TV for them a bit so I could doze a little. Imagine my surprise when the show that I expected to be on was over an hour ago! Then it clicked - and somehow that hour of "lost" sleep seemed to me to have been gained! It's the perfect motivation to get going in the morning and the best excuse to get the kids to bed an hour earlier! So even though right now it is 8:20pm - I know it's really only 7:20pm, the kids went to bed without a fuss and I can enjoy feeling not quite as tired as usual.

At least until tomorrow when they really do wake up at 5:30am...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers

Ah, it's such a lovely sentiment, reminding one to take the time to notice the small beauties in our increasingly busy-paced and hectic lives. When walking with toddlers, however, it's not a suggestion, it's an imperative! You are forced to stop for many different kinds of "flowers"...

On our way to pick up Lucas from school, here's what Elena and I stopped for:

- pipes coming out of our building,
- a huge piece of rubber from a decimated tire,
- dried poo,
- cigarette butts,
- rocks and gravel (which went promptly to her mouth)
- discarded plastic packaging

It's quite amazing what children find interesting, and how long it can take to walk a short distance if we really let them stop and discover the world around them.

But soon enough they'll be running ahead of us and will have to wait for us to catch up. So for now I'm content to go slow, stop and smell the weeds and see the world through one-year-old eyes every once in a while.

After all, we were only two minutes late getting Lucas. ;)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Catalyst for a clean kitchen

It's very simple really, just let your two year old "wash the dishes" and he'll make a big enough mess that you'll have to clean the floors. This is how it all went down this afternoon...

Lucas loves to wash the dishes in our tiny galley-style kitchen. Basically you can stand in front of the sink and reach the stove, fridge, microwave and almost all the cupboards. So I set Lucas up on a stool and give him a bunch of plastic dishes (of which we have plenty) to "wash". He usually stands there and fills up cups, pours water into bowls and just generally drenches the sink area with water. We are fortunate to have a lip around the sink area which usually contains most of the damage. I usually remember to put away the glass dishes, remove the knives and other dangerous things and keep them out of reach.

Today, however, I neglected to put away a most dangerous item, the dish detergent. Sure enough, it was too quiet for a little too long and when I went to check on Lucas, the floor was covered in detergent..

And thus, I cleaned. The floor got a most-needed mop and Lucas was banished from the kitchen until another day...
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