Sunday, May 15, 2011

Can I See Your License Please?

In case you didn't know, I'm not a big fan of licensed children's products.  I'm okay with some clothing (especially clothing that reminds me of my childhood - things with Dr. Seuss characters, Sesame Street, etc.) but must everything a child owns have a cartoon character on it?

I see kids in the mall wearing Transformer sneakers, a Spiderman t-shirt with a Batman backpack.  I know little girls who have to have everything Dora.  O-ver-kill.

I think the problem I have with them is they are so fleeting.  Something becomes very popular and in an effort to be the best parents ever, mom & dad spend hundreds of dollars on plates, spoons, cups, sippy cups, t-shirts, jackets, bedding, toys and backpacks. 

Then, 6 months to a year later, the kid is either on to something else or the sequel comes out and a whole slew of new products comes along with it.  Vaughn has been in the Disney Store a grand total of one time and he was sleeping.  I'm totally okay if he doesn't even know that store exists.

Products that are licensed are more expensive because the company manufacturing them has to pay the company that owns the rights for the use of their character.  Then, if the goods are imported (which most of them are), the licensing fees are dutiable.  To top it all off, they are not always the most well made products.

I can just imagine what people are thinking - "just you wait".  Well, you know what?  I'm going to try and do for Vaughn what my parents did for me - I'll provide him the basics and if he wants to get something for himself, he can buy it with his own money.  And when he runs out of money, well, then he can't buy it. 

I'm not saying I haven't bought him licensed products, but I'm proud that my house hasn't turned into a Disney explosion.  There are plenty of small businesses and companies that manufacture unique products that I want to support.  Disney and other big companies do not need any help from me.

I grew up with Tonka trucks, Cabbage Patch dolls and Weebles.  I loved loved loved the Smurfs and I cherished the one stuffed Smurf that Santa bought for me.  If I would have had everything Smurf then it wouldn't have meant that much to me.  I had one Cabbage Patch doll that my mom sewed one outfit for.

I guess at the end of all this is that I don't see a problem with one or two things but I don't want all my money going to big companies that charge us to advertise for them.  It just feels wrong. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dance Dance

Goofy me.  I thought dance classes for me and Vaughn started today.  Nope.  I was really looking forward to seeing him shake his thang.  He's got a few dance moves down:

1) Head bob (think Butabi Brothers from Night At The Roxbury)

2) Spin until you fall over sideways and hit your head on your table and then cry

3) Stiff arm raises

4) Walk in a circle with one leg straight and one leg bent.  Straight leg must stomp when foot hits the ground.

5) Most recent - raise the roof with a whoo-whoo

I'm not exactly sure those are the skills they are looking to enhance but I love how Vaughn just feels the music and goes with it.

He appears to enjoy the more urban style of music, but I'm glad he also has an ear for the Dark Wave tunes that I love.  I have yet to introduce him to Erasure, I'm sure he'll go nuts for them like I do.

I'm also admiring my new diamond earrings today.  Tim bought them for me at Spence Diamonds for Christmas a year and a half ago.  Spence has a great deal that if you want to upgrade, you can return your current pair and as long as you are purchasing a new item worth one and a half times more you can just pay the difference.  No matter how long, the full value of the item you're returning is put towards your new shiny article.

Last Mother's Day, my son was generous enough to upgrade them for me and then this year, Tim convinced him to do it again.  But Vaughn had to wait for daddy to get paid so he could borrow the money.  I can't wait for him to start making me macaroni covered toilet paper tubes and cotton ball covered plates.  I will so cherish arts and crafts made by his chubby little fingers.  It will be so fabulous to see the excitement in his face when he hands me something that HE made and couldn't wait to show me. 

Even though the weekend didn't turn out exactly as planned, it got off to a great start.  I might take Vaughn to the circus today but if the wind dies down I'll take him to the tennis courts with his tricycle instead.  Tomorrow we're having friends over for brunch and then Jen and I are hitting the spa for massages and pedicures.  Yes, another pedicure.  I have horrible feet, but I'm also hoping because I had one last week they won't spend so much time on the pedicure as give me extra massage time.

Okay, back to laundry.  I knew I shouldn't have put it aside this week because now it is waaaayyy piled up and I have a lot of work ahead of me.  And if you get a chance, dance dance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Ha, I bet you thought this post would be about summertime (the season).  Nope, it's about my tap dance recital piece.  It's called "Summertime".

In September, my friend Karen and I took the plunge and started tap classes.  Neither one of us had even taken tap before but love to dance.  Our class was a pretty good size (about 16-18 people) and our instructor is this amazing young man named Kris.

Kris made everything so fun right from the beginning.  If we were having trouble, he would go back and work with us until we got it right.  He spent lots of one-on-one time and through these past 8 months made me feel like I belong in a tap class.

I love all the different people and personalities that are in our class.  There is a kindergarten teacher named Katie who is always bright and bubbly.  Then there is a glass artist named Ada who took a little while to come out of her shell but is a lovely person!  We have a high school student, a registered nurse, and then a gal named Amanda who does some shoe buying for Gravity Pope (my favourite shoe store in the whole world!).  It makes for a very interesting mix and we might never have met eachother otherwise.

I decided not to take tap through the spring and summer because I signed Vaughn up for Mom & Tot dance classes starting end of May and also bought 20 dancefit classes through a dealfind thingy for $20.00.  I've also decided to start training to do Roller Derby and that will take up some time over the summer as well (more on that later).

So... here is a video Kris took of us after an hour and a half long class last week.  I'm in the first minute and a half or so and don't expect you to watch the whole thing.  We'll be performing this piece at our recital tonight.

I think we look and sound pretty good for a group of people that have never had tap shoes on until a few months ago. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Mother of a Day

Mother's Day - a day for mothers to bask in the glory of our grand achievements. We are told that we should be pampered, get to sleep in, have a lazy day, and our kids will be perfect little angels. And then there's Mother's Day at my house. My darling son woke up at 7:00 (which for him is sleeping in) and Tim wouldn't get up with him. Excellent start to the day. Vaughn, however, was in good spirits and we had some excellent cuddle time in the big chair before I woke Tim up at 9:30 because I had to start getting ready to go.

At about 10:30 Tim decided he was going to start putting together Vaughn's new tricycle that my Mom and Dad got him for his 2nd birthday. It's an incredibly cool trike and I know Vaughn is going to have a lot of fun riding that bad boy around. However, it requires a lot of patience to do something like this and even more patience when you have a toddler trying to grab at all your tools. Not sure if Tim had that and I had to get going.

Leah and I decided to go out for brunch and pedicures which I thought was an awesome treat for Mother's Day. We had beer with breakfast and a lovely relaxing time at VJ's nail salon. The only thing I don't like about these "express" mani/pedi salons is how they don't even say hello to you when you come. Their greeting is "pick a colour", then "sit down here" and that's it - they get right to it and don't even really look up. But my feet are happy today because of it, so I'm not going to complain.

After that was done, I dropped Leah off and she was off to Costco - she was going to pick up Tim and take him with but when I got home he hadn't even showered yet. I decided to go along with her because I didn't want her to have gone out of her way for nothing and I did have to get a few things for our barbeque later in the afternoon. I bought Leah some flowers and she in turn bought me some flowers. At least my home would have a little brightness and a small reminder that Mother's Day did actually happen.

I got home from Costco to a red-face child who apparently had been screaming since I originally left. He didn't nap, wouldn't eat and Tim was at his wit's end. I got Vaughn a snack, sat him down and he gobbled it up. He was super happy and a cheerful earful. Huh. However, I wasn't really looking forward to taking him anywhere if he hadn't had a good sleep - we all know how a well-rested child is a happy child.

We made our way over to Leah & Steve's place and Vaughn was actually really good for the first half hour or so - we were playing Rock Band and he was sitting happily on the couch. That didn't last long and he wanted to get up and move around - he danced with Madison while I sang but then that got tedious and he decided that all the buttons on the stereo system looked really neat and the control for the game was fun and so on. Vaughn got himself banished from the family room and started to lose his little marbles.

We decided to start cooking the kids' food because we didn't think Vaughn would last very long and sent everyone outside to play. He had a great time, was having a ton of fun but of course, was testing the boundaries and touching things he wasn't supposed to. This is when Leah said to me "boy, he just goes renegade when you guys are around" which I heard "you have no control over your child". And this is where my day went completely downhill.

It's hard being a full time working mom - I don't get to see my child near as much as I would like. So maybe I am a little more relaxed with him. I certainly do not let him run wild and if he is causing problems, I have no qualms about putting him in the corner to chill out for a bit. We're at the house he comes to every day with the woman who gets far more of his time than I do and she's unintentionally making me feel like I'm the worst mother in the world. It's hard to be his mother around her because she steps in and disciplines him before I get a chance to. Her house, her rules, but when I'm there, shouldn't I get to be his mom?  It breaks my heart to hear my baby call someone else "mom" because he hears Leah's kids call her mom so isn't she mom too?  I know Leah corrects him but he still doesn't get it. 

And to top it all off, whenever Vaughn was having a mini-meltdown, Tim was trying to soothe him by offering him 20 different things to get him to calm down. What he needs to do is put him somewhere and ignore him. Toddlers don't always know what they want and the best thing for them is to not have a big deal made of their episodes and move along. The more attention you give them the more they will freak out. He was super tired and I'm sure a little confused being with both Leah and I and wondering who was the boss.

I was able to get Vaughn to sleep about 6:45 which was awesome and then we set to work on our dinner. We didn't eat until about 8 and then at 9 after the hockey game was done we headed home. Larry had puked on my bed earlier in the day and Tim took all the bedding downstairs and didn't replace it, so when I went up to bed at 9:30 there were no sheets on the bed and I had to make everything up before I could pass out.

It really truly was a Mother of a day.