Sometimes the easiest way isn’t always the right way
I have learned two invaluable lessons this month:
The easy way is not necessarily the right way.
I need to start trusting my gut.
My son started kindergarten this year so he had to leave our beloved daycare. The problem was that his school hadn’t switched to full-day learning yet, so we still needed to find somewhere for him to go before and after his morning in JK. The YMCA runs a before and after care program right in his school and that was the first option we looked into back in the spring. My daughter would then stay at our original daycare and our happy lives would carry on as usual.
This is where I first messed up and decided to take the easy route: Read more...
Robyn Knickle is sending her four-year-old off to school. Where did the time go?
So, remember last post when I was so excited that my kids were finally out of the baby stage?
I’ve changed my mind. My little man starts kindergarten this week and I’m not ready. He has a backpack, a snack bag and brand new sneakers all ready to go to his first day of school.
From the day I announced that I was pregnant, the world was full of advice. Eat this, don’t drink that, read this book, get on this schedule and on and on and on. Some I followed, some I ignored and some I laughed so hard at that I nearly fell over. Read more...
Robyn Knickle’s kids are shedding their babyish ways—and Robyn couldn’t be happier
The times, they are a-changin’!
My babies have become kids. Cribs have become beds, highchairs have become regular seats at the dinner table, and bottles have become cups. I welcome this change with open arms. I’ve been waiting for this for four years!
Truth be told, I’m not a fan of the baby stage. The first year is most definitely my least favourite—the feedings, the crying and the constant all-nighters are just about enough to send me over the edge. And don’t get me started on the crazy amount of stuff that comes with a newborn! The jolly jumper, the exersaucer, the activity mat —all were out the door and into new homes the second my daughter had outgrown them. We knew we weren’t having any more kids, so why keep the stuff? Clutter gives me anxiety; everything had to go. Read more...
Think food drives are just for Christmas and Thanksgiving? Think again
If you’re like me, your weekends are spent kicking back with a mojito as the kids run through the sprinkler and build castles in the sandbox. It’s so carefree – most of our time is spent outside, bedtimes are pushed back (thanks, late sunset!), and there is always something cooking on the barbecue.
Not that I want to be a downer here, but summer time also means that people in our community are hungrier than ever. For most families in need, one or two of their kid’s daily meals can be supplied through their school’s breakfast and snack programs. When the schools are closed for summer break however, these programs are no longer available and that’s when they may have to turn to the food bank. This is also why the food bank shelves are empty this time of year – the fact that there is extra need coupled with the idea that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times of year to organize a food drive. Read more...
No glamping here — the Knickle family is roughing it old-school
I have always loved camping. That being said, I’m not interested unless I can drive to my campsite and I really need access to running water and flushable toilets, (yep, I’m one of those people). I do, however, absolutely love sleeping in a tent, sitting around the campfire and just being outside.
The last time we camped was five years ago, when my husband and I stayed four nights in a tent just big enough for our double air mattress, (yep, I’m also going to need one of those if I’m going to camp). Our family has doubled in size since then so this time, we packed an 8-person tent, that same double air mattress and all the blankets we owned. Read more...
Robyn actually looks forward to going back to work on Mondays. Here’s why:
Dear Stay-at-Home Parent,
How do you do it?
How do you spend all day every day at home with your kids and still keep your sanity?
Here I sit, at the end of a fun-filled weekend with my kids and I’m exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally. We just didn’t stop from the time they woke up (5:30 am!!) until bed time. We played t-ball, made volcanoes in the sandbox, ran through the sprinkler, participated in a charity walk, went to
the park, had a picnic, chased the poor cat through the house, read a hundred books and tucked all the baby dolls into their beds a bazillion times.
Sure, it sounds like a great two days on paper, but it was also two days of listening to them crying, shouting, fighting and hearing myself say the same things over and over again before they bothered to listen. Read more...
Robyn shares the one thing you need for guaranteed potty training success
Here it is, my unsolicited mom advice: Don’t start toilet training your kids until they’re almost three years old.
If you’ve been keeping track of my posts, you’ve read all about our poopgate situation. My son (almost four) is finally fully toilet trained, after over two years of power struggles.
Why did it take two years? Because my husband and I started training him when we were ready, not when he was ready.
We weren’t going to make the same mistake twice, so we didn’t even attempt to train our daughter (2 years, 8 months old) until this past weekend. Taking advantage of a rainy Saturday indoors, we ditched the diaper for a bare bum and on Sunday, we started her in big girl undies. Read more...
Robyn’s house doesn’t include gender-roles or gender-specific toys. Does yours?
We had friends over recently, who looked at the dolls, the My Little Ponies, and the kitchen set in the playroom and claimed that “girl’s toys” were foreign to them, as both their kids are boys. What they failed to consider, however, was that some of the dolls were my son’s, some of the cars were my daughter’s and that the kitchen was bought for my son before my daughter was born.
There are no gender roles in our house and there are definitely no gender-specific toys. My husband and I both have full-time jobs outside the home, we both take equal part in the housekeeping, and our kids play with any toy they want to, not caring if it’s blue or pink. My son loves superheroes, dinosaurs and lions, but he also loves dressing-up as Tinkerbelle, pushing baby-dolls in the stroller and if you were to ask him what his favourite colour is, he would tell you it’s pink. He loves it! And we love that he loves it. We encourage him to love his favourite things without being self-conscious. Read more...
Robyn’s husband guest posts in a very sweet Tales from the Hammer
When I was a kid, I had a soft spot for gummy candies — fuzzy peaches, sour keys and those wonderful cola-flavoured pop bottles. Through the years, the need for such things had unfortunately faded away.
A couple of months ago, I was in the local 7-11 store when a small orange and yellow scorpion caught my eye. It was seated in a clear bin on top of a large pile of identical creatures. They were all covered in what appeared to be a fine layer of sugar….it turned out to be sour sugar (my favourite).
This certainly was an enticing pile of gummy scorpions.
I couldn’t resist. I bought a few and downed them. The taste was familiar….fuzzy peaches. They were trying to be tricky with the scorpion mold, but I was onto them. The next thing I knew, gummy creatures and the like were a regular item on my mental shopping list. Read more...
There are a lot of really great things about Hamilton. A great arts community, beautifully architectured buildings, and a ton of green space and hiking trails; the list could go on forever. Some of my favourite things here, however, are the parks. They are big, historic and so much fun for everyone, especially kids.
We’re within a 10 minute walk from Gage Park, which has two play areas, a splash pad, a band-shell, a baseball diamond, a squash court, a greenhouse and plenty of space for a picnic. You can normally find us there, but this weekend we wanted to shake things up, so we headed to our amazing waterfront for some some fun at Pier 4 Park. Read more...
My favourite conversation happened this week in the wee hours of the morning, when I rolled over in bed to find my 3-year old son, Rudie, next to me:
Rudie: Mommy, can I ask you something?
Me (very sleepily): Sure, buddy.
Rudie: Who made me?
Me: Mommy and Daddy did.
Me (now wide awake and totally unprepared for this conversation): We made you with love.
Rudie: Did you go to the store and buy my eyes, nose and lips?
Me: No, you made your own eyes, nose and lips while you were in mommy’s belly. You did a perfect job, too.
Rudie: I did?
Me: Yep, we couldn’t have bought cuter eyes, nose and lips if we tried.
Rudie: Okay, goodnight again.
Me: Goodnight again, sweet-boy.