Monday, December 30, 2013

The new

Because I am American, I read the occasional parenting book.  I am sorry that I ever came upon the "What You Need to Know" books or any of the books on playful parenting, and attachment parenting.  Oh yes, the tides are changing and I am going French...or "Old School".

Why do I let a 4 year old dictate everything to me?  Why do I have to feel bad if I have to say "No"?  Why is letting a child act like a moron OK because "he is just a child"?  NO MORE.  From now on I mean "NO" the first time and I mean it because "I am the Chief" God-damn it!

I will admit that all of this finally hit me while reading two parenting books on how the French raise children (French Children Don't Throw Food and Why French Children Don't Talk Back).  I was finally inspired by a parenting book, not filled with guilt and self doubt.

The easy way to explain the philosophy is good, old fashioned "I am the boss, you are the child.  I make the rules, you do not."  And that is pretty much it.

What is funny is, isn't this how you were raised?  I was.  There were no "buddies" about it.  I don't think I have ever heard my mom apologize for a punishment or any "no" she dealt out.

This isn't the first time I have received this advice, however, I remember hearing it as soon as I had the Sprout.  I remember hearing that I don't revolve around the child.  I remember hearing my dad ask me "why do you let him do that to you?" when the Sprout decided he wanted a different flavour of Oatmeal then the one I gave him and I gladly made a new one.

For some reason I have felt that I needed to negotiate everything with the Sprout.  Guess who always wins?  He does.  Why?  Because I am lazy.  However, what kind of a child am I giving to society if he doesn't treat adults with respect?  Don't I want a child who is respected by adults as well?  Of course.  So why am I raising him like a dictator?  Why am I negotiating with a terrorist?  That is very un-American and of course un-French.

Unfortunately, because he is 4, it is going to be harder than if I had been that way from the get go.  But oh it will be so worth it.  Right now I am dealing with smiles and laughter at my new found authority, but slowly he's getting it.  Just don't back down.  Oh, please don't back down.

"I am the CHIEF!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two pages

I have two pages finished.  I have hand stitched both pages, it is really fun and I never get around to using the sewing machine.  They just need to be polished off and put onto the page.  (Both pages were made using the diagrams and patterns from

 The post page was the first:

The toothbrush was the next:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reading quietly

All of a sudden I have become hooked on Quiet Books.

I have had a flash memory of a fabric, hand sewn book that had little activities in it that my grandmother had.

As I was researching little colouring pages of ducks for the "5 little ducks" song, I came across the world of Quiet Books.  I have become incredibly aware that I will have to keep the Sprout entertained for 10 hours on a plane and 3 hours in the airport in five months.  I have been researching travel kits for kids and the Quiet Book would be one perfect addition.

Awesome felt books that you sew together for your little one to play with and KEEP QUIET while learning!  There are some really cool ideas and the best part about felt is that there can be allot less seam sewing and fraying.  The down side is that good felt can be pricey...not as pricey as making a quilt though.

There are two sites that I love and one in particular that I have been salivating over.  The Quiet Book Blog is a really good resource but Imagine Our Life is really cool.  Pinterest is a really good place to find ideas for the Quiet Book pages.  The first page I am doing is a mail box.

I have it all cut out, I just have to sew it.  Isn't it cool?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy New Business Year

Yes, I am procrastinating.  I have one more assignment to do before my Kindermusik course is finished, it needs to be done by Sunday and it is the budget assignment.  It will be weird to complete as I have decided not to do Kindermuik at the moment, but they have provided me a good base for setting up a business and how to run a music and movement session, which has been helpful.

Starting up Little Sprout's Music Studio has proven really difficult.  I didn't think it was going to be easy, but I didn't realize how easily I take two steps back before going three steps forward.

There is so much free advertising, but the time it takes a huge amount of time to set it all up, and then, you are just one fish in a sea of millions.  Facebook, Twitter, Meet Up, Linked-In, google places,  etc., not to mention free websites such as Blogger and Wordpress.  And then the loads of sites you can pay for like Facebook, Google Adds and local sites.  I can see why people pay others to build sites and set up their social networks.

I have absolutely no money for my business and there is no way I can get a loan.  At first I was using my job at Costa to supplement some of the starting costs, but then I quit (yes, I finally quit), so I have left myself rather poor.

The ups and downs of starting a business has left me quite a mess.  One minute people are happy to help and talking of ways they can help and saying how great you are and then the next they don't really have the funding or have the funding but need to push you a head of what I am ready for pushing me to make decisions that I regret later.  I was not ready for the roller coaster.

I am still working on getting a space to do a Little Sprout's class.  I have found work with a group called Weeny Boppers at a nursery and I also do one at a children's play centre, but these are not Little Sprout's and so my business isn't getting out there.  I still do the library, but again, they don't really want me advertising paid classes.

I am still pushing on, and have bought some new instruments and other items that would allow me to do a class without having to borrow anything from anyone.  That feels pretty good.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


My little tiger.  The Sprout had his face painted at my work yesterday.  We were raising money for charity.  He sat very still, I was very impressed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Sprout's third birthday has come and gone.  It was really fun because he is finally old enough to realize that it is HIS birthday.  Family came over, we opened presents and had cake.  We also did the inevitable ..cut his hair.  Nanny lined up with the scissors and the curls fell to the ground.  I will let you know that the Sprout wanted his hair cut.  He kept telling me "Mommy, Nanny cut hair?"  So, I had to let it happen.  He looks like a little boy, and it is really hard to get used to.

He has grown so much this year that you really can't write it all down at once.  I will sum up what he is like now.

He talks, and asks "why?" with a Yorkshire accent.
He runs and jumps and hops.  He is good at kicking the soccer ball.
He sings.
He can be bossy and still throws tantrums.
He can sit still for short periods of time.
He understands a little too much.
He is almost fully potty trained, we still have some accidents.
He really likes cars, trains, and air planes and luckily he got all three for his birthday.
He has friends.

He is going into pre-school next week.  He has been slowly introduced the past week and he is very excited as all of his friends are there.

On Sunday, we are going to have a small birthday/Halloween party with pumpkin carving.  And yes, we have the famous Halloween tree.

This year I am going to take the Sprout Trick-or-Treating.  He is going to be a monkey.

That is about it.  Happy birthday Sprout.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Can you believe that I am thinking about going back to school?

I can't believe it myself, but this time it is directly related to job training.  I really hate my job.  I really LOVE my little nursery singing group, and after a short talk with my volunteer supervisor, it was realized that I would be really good at teaching music to nursery children.  He said that he would love to hire me, but the government doesn't want to fund me (the reason I have this volunteer position in the first place). Unfortunately, short of getting £6000 for a music franchise or passing out fliers, the best way of doing this would be to get some kind of Childhood Education Certification.  The certification takes about 2 years, and the tuition all depends on if you study on-line or at College (between £450-£6000).  In either situation, you also have to do around 400 hours of work in a childcare setting which is allot, but fair.  So far I have undertaken about 16 hours with my class, so I am on my way.

What I find so funny is that I have always wanted to do teaching.  I have always been good at music.  This would have made so much more sense to have done 15 years ago, but no.