Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Tattle tales: how to nip it in the bud

Increase the cost of telling tales

Give your preschooler some work to do when he tells tales. When he comes running to you with news of his sibling’s dastardly (but not dangerous) doings, for instance, you might tell him to draw a picture of the deed and leave it on the table, where you’ll look at it later. The chances are, he’ll decide that the time and effort this entails just isn’t worth it. If what he wants is your attention, tell him you’ll be happy to listen to anything he wants to tell you about himself but not about his friend or sibling – unless they’re in danger, of course.

via Tattle tales: how to nip it in the bud.

This is a pretty helpful little guide! Ally has been doing this a lot lately, I think I’m going to bookmark this page to reference. Perhaps daily…….


Colour Me Angry

Dearest Readers, Internet Friends, Parents:

How do you keep from being angry at your children?

In fact, if anyone so desires I would love to be emailed responses and be able to put up a smattering of guest posts in response to this question. Please email me your responses (with permission to use them as guest posts) to




Handprint Reindeer

I was inspired today! (Finally, I know)

I was browsing my emails, trying to catch up on some reading, when I came across Handprint Spiders at Mama.Papa.Bubba. Her craft was so adorable and awesome that I instantly wanted to do it too, the only problem? Halloween has passed and I didn’t want to make more Halloween decorations to litter my walls for the next eternity until the masking tape cheaps out and they finally fall off.


I decided to make Handprint Reindeer and Christmas Cards for a niiiiiiiice, coffeepowered, early start to Christmas.

First, assemble your materials! I picked a nice red background (because it’s Christmas) and white paint for snowflakes.

Cover your work space with extra paper to save your table from paint.

Paint tiny fingers with white paint and allow your kidlets to make fingerprint snowflakes alllllll over.

Wash tiny fingers.

Next, I chose a pink background – for no reason – and we proceeded to make blue reindeer. Why blue? I have no black or brown paint (this is the first time we’ve painted together…..ever…..unless you count those little fridge magnets a while back) so the reindeer colour options were: blue, green, purple, red or yellow. Ally picked blue.

Paint the palm, forefinger and pinky of your children’s hand.

Smush. Repeat.

We cut our red backgrounds into four even pieces to make cards,

and then cut green wavy construction paper (it is Christmas after all) in halves to make the outsides of the cards.

Each child glued one piece of their snowflake background onto one of the in-sides……I need more coffee…… Lay flat to dry.

Once the reindeer were dry we cut them out and drew two eyes, a mouth and antler sticks on our reindeer. If I were to do this again, I would probably instead paint one of their fingers and let them make their antler branches that way. You live, you learn.

We then painted red onto little thumbs and smushed thumbprint, red noses onto our reindeer.

I wrote our message, “Merry Christmas” on the front, “Love: Ally” on Ally’s snowflake background and “and Kira” on Kira’s snowflake background.

I then cut a wavy design around the outside of each card to soften up the harsh edges made by gluing two pieces of construction paper together.

We then glued our reindeer onto their respective snowflake background.

Add Christmas stickers and VOILA! Adorable card for each set of grandparents.


Group Decisions

Ally is whiny.

Like, omigod when did this happen to my kid she used to me so happy go luck and fun and well behaved and well spoken and now all she does is whine and cry type of whiny.

It’s her newest phase and I’ve been struggling with it for about a month now. It doesn’t help with the screaming.

NOW, I know that kids are whiny. They’re little, they can’t understand their emotions, they don’t have any other way to express their discomforts or disappointments, they’re people too and are allowed to get grumpy BUT ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This drives me nuts! She whines about stupid, useless things. Seriously. I don’t like to use the word stupid. I don’t want to belittle her feelings, or teach her that her opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t even want to teach her theword ‘stupid’, but as one adult to another – stupid.

She will whine when I ask her to go to the bathroom. She’ll whine on the toilet. She’ll whine after she gets OFF the toilet. She’ll refer back to the experience later, and whine about it.

She’ll whine if she can’t watch a movie. She’ll whine when it’s time to stop playing with toys to eat a meal. She will WHINE when she runs out of time to eat the darn meal because she spent so much time in the beginning whining.

She whines if food is too hot, then she turns right around and whines that it’s not hot enough. She’ll whine because she’s thirsty, then, not drink all of her drink – and whine about it when it comes time to dispose of it.

She whines every day when it is bedtime. Every day. I prepare her for ALL of these changes. I give time limits (5 more minutes until…; you have time for one more slide then we’re going home; 15 minutes until dinner) we have a clear and concisebedtime routine, but she still whines.

What is even more maddening then all of the above is when she whines about something I can’t change. Like, if she whines because it’s raining, and she didn’t want it to rain today. Or because there are no bananas in the house and she wanted a banana. Because the movie ended. (as if I’m supposed to magically make more movie appear) Because the sun is still out when it’s bedtime. Because the sun is too bright. Because the wind is too hard. Because the sand is sticking to her skin. Because. Because. Because.


The point? Oh right.

Well, I had considered selling her on the internet. Maybe giving her away as the prize for the winner of the next Photo Challenge. I thought about puncturing my ear drums and learning sign language. I had thought about removing her vocal chords. None of these seemed like viable options and I figured I would just have to ride it out. And drink.

One afternoon, after we had a blow out from her whining about…what was it? I think it was that she wanted to eat all of her dinner so she could have an Easter Egg but we had to leave for soccer just then, so she had to decide between soccer or staying home to try and finish her dinner for the chocolate egg…anyways… I regained my composure and went upstairs to her bedroom (where she had been sent) to talk to her. As I was looking into her big brown eyes I tried to explain my feelings.

I told her that it was really irritating when she whined so often, that I understood that she was whiny because she was sad or frustrated and that she didn’t know what else to do. I told her that WHEN she whined that it made me angry, especially when she whined about things that we couldn’t change – things that were just a part of life. I explained that whining would never gain her what she wanted, ever, and that it would only succeed in making me angry.

Then I asked her what she thought we should do about it. And I waited.

She said: “Maybe you can try saying ‘Can you stop whining please?’ instead.”

So I agreed. And then I added that if she doesn’t stop whining after I said that, that she would then have to go to her bedroom. It was a deal.

Nine times out of ten it actually works. Can you believe that?


Admission of Guilt

I need help. This I know. It’s easy to justify everything, blame the kids, blame my parents, blame society. But it’s me. And I need some motherly love from the interwebs.

I read this:

“Sometimes parenthood brings out terrible traits you never you knew had and never had to deal with in the past. I decided I was ready to share That Terrible Day in the hopes that other parents on the verge of yelling at their kids can find alternatives to doing so.”

– Sleeping Should Be Easy

And it’s me. Her post, titled “How to stay calm with your child” talks about alternatives that she uses in order to avoid yelling at her child.

I am a yeller.

I’m not talking about ‘raising my voice’, I’m talking about full on screaming out of frustration and anger. I don’t know how to deal with my anger. This is something that I’ve been working on, but I need e-hugs. Or something. My mom-pride hurts. My kids are great kids…most of the time. And when they’re not, then they’re just being kids, right? Right? It’s so hard to tell, some of their behaviours seem…intentional. That smirk, that smug, know-it-all, smirk. Argh!

What about repeat behaviours? Bad behaviours. How many times is opening the movie cases and taking out the DVDs just innocent child mistakes? Moving chairs to reach breakable or messy items? Colouring on the walls? Putting toys in your mouth? Hitting a sibling? Pulling the dog’s tail? Playing with the %^&*(%#(*& dog’s water dish for the billionth time and soaking your clothes and the floor?

I could understand once, twice, even five times. But over and over and over again? It just honestly seems like they’re not listening! I ENVY parents who seem to have unlimited patience with their children. I have a limit. A big ol’ limit that my kids know how to pass. And I don’t know what to do. Should I expect these behaviours and let them go with a ‘silly! Nononono. That’s not what we do. Hahaha’ because I don’t think I can do that. I can adapt. I’ve moved the DVDs up onto a shelf to remove temptation, searched for stealthily hidden crayons, even tried to agree on tactics and limits with the kids. I can’t do everything. Or, at least, it feels like I can’t. When they don’t listen, and their actions appear intentional, then it makes me feel like I’m failing at mothering. That failure angers me, because I want to be a good mother. Some days I feel like a good mother. How am I supposed to disperse this anger without screaming? I don’t want my kids to fear me. I feared my parents, it’s not nice.

Please be kind. I know I don’t deserve it, but I’m asking for input. Suggestions. Even: “Oh yeah coffeepoweredmom, my kids make me that angry too. You’re not alone. Here’s how I deal with it…” I want to improve myself. I want to be a great mother for my children. I need help.