Thursday, December 30, 2010

More pre-Christmas and the Eve

We had some friends over the Monday before Christmas. I think I mentioned it before...6 kids and 6 adults. Here's the 5 non-infants at the kids table.
We had brought out our old bouncy chair for the 6 week old. The girls thought it was very interesting and played with it the next day. Here they are pretending to watch over baby Jesus. I think Katie even said she was Mary and Sam might have been either Joseph or a wise-man, I didn't quite catch it.
We finally got around to putting some insulating plastic over the girls window. Whoops! See the ice that had built up between the black out blind? I knew it felt a little cold in there. I don't care if the plastic helps with the ice or makes it worse, but it does seem warmer in the room now.
We decorated more cookies on Christmas Eve...had to make sure we had enough for Santa, right? Used my mom's "Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie" recipe...much better than the other ones I made. Hopefully I remember that this is THE recipe when I go to make them next year.

The girls got a little dressed up for Christmas eve. (though I think before we headed out Sam had decided she didn't want the skirt anymore)I had made them Christmas barrettes the night before for our other family Christmas party. I think they are so cute!GG Lill brought out a gorgeous doll house to play with, that used to be Gram Cheryl's. Such a neat house...all metal and bungalow layout...I haven't seen one like this ever before!Gram was keen to show Katie and was having as much fun (or more?) than Katie!Sam had a lot of fun and ended up getting so hot running around that she insisted on taking of all her clothes. How's that for a special Christmas outfit? Here's a video we took of Sam. She was pretty excited!

Untitled from BabyLuch on Vimeo.

Here's a pic of the girls in their PJ's putting out the cookies for Santa. We also put out apple for Rudolph. The girls were excited and Katie even wrote the note.
Things are mostly improved health wise now. Most of us are feeling better...Katie got sick this week but is recovering quickly.

Have I mentioned that Katie is officially in her "WHY?" phase? Evidenced (obviously) by asking why about a lot of things, but also her general questioning. For example..."We're having friends over tomorrow" (1 second later) "Is it tomorrow?". Cute, but irritating after the millionth time. It's very neat though to hear her being curious about everything and I'm trying my best to give her clear answers appropriate for her age.

Sam's talking a ton...very much a "Mine" "Me Too!""I want some fruit too!" kind of place she's in.

I'm sure there's more to share but I'm getting tired from our WILD (leftovers for dinner, bath and books) New Years Eve. See you next year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Pre-Christmas

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas. Our girls had a lovely Christmas but Ben and I (technically) did not, with both of us getting some bad stomach bug on Christmas day. Luckily, we made it through the present opening and brunch, but we were in terrible shape the rest Christmas day and the next. Thankfully, Gram Cheryl was able to help and came over for a bit in the evening to give the girls dinner and help get them ready for bed. Gram and Papa took the girls for much of boxing day so we could rest and recover. Thank goodness for family!

Illness aside, things were wonderful. Here are some photos from pre-Christmas.

Katie getting excited about putting up our tree.
Sam wasn't as excited but did help hang some (unbreakable) ornaments.
The girls and I had time to spare one morning and went to Starbucks and Chapters.
As much as we have the time to do this, I think we've been busy with errands or playdates and school etc, so haven't actually had much recent relaxed "no where else to be soon" play time together. It was fun and silly.
Laundry doesn't stop for holidays does it? Funny how the mountains of laundry stay as large, but the girls are looking bigger in the pile then they used to.
Silly Sam, still little enough to fit in a basket. I do believe it was Katie who covered her up with clothes. I did quite a bit more baking this year than I usually do...I'm more of a year round baker than a Christmas baker. These were cookies made from Gram Mary's dough (luckily for her she couldn't find her cutters and had to send it home with us!), saving me time and energy. Katie enjoyed helping me decorate while Sam was out shopping with Ben. Decorating with Katie is easier than baking, because I just let her do whatever she wants and decorate the rest as fast as I can before we have too many inch thick iced cookies, or cookies drowning in a bottles worth of sprinkles. The girls helped the grandparents decorate their Christmas trees. (I only have a picture of them at Gram and Papa's but they did Gram and Grandpa's too). Papa was reading "Twas the night before Christmas"...Sam, not that interested in sitting still. Look, more baking! Peppermint Meringue Cookies, from Joy the Baker. I didn't have the proper piping tools, so I just used a ziplock bag with a snipped tip. They maybe had a bit too much food colouring...the first ones piped were a little red and bloody looking and the rest still left quite a pink tint in your mouth when eaten. Still, they were easy and had a nice whoosh of peppermint. One fine evening was spent having dinner at our friends Russ and Steph and baby W's house. We exchanged gifts for the kids with them...So Much Fun for the kiddos! All gifts given and received were lovely and sweet. Especially the slippers...Katie got a pair of snowman slippers and she has worn them to bed every night since and skates around the house in during the day. Happiness is...!
More Christmas to come...!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Season

The girls (especially her age, she's really starting to anticipate this year) are getting very excited about Christmas. We've had lots of fun Christmas activities to make us feel warm and fuzzy.

Sam eating a cookie we decorated at the breakfast/crafty fun morning with our friends Megan and Rob and their kids D and M.
Katie decorating.
Megan and family.
Katie had a Sharing Day at her preschool. Parents and Grandparents were invited (both Ben and I and Gram Cheryl came!). There was a craft component as well as a song/dance. (low pressure Christmas concert!) Katie had fun but did get a little shy during a dance and sat on my lap after that. It was neat to see her with her friends and teachers.
Here's a picture from our little graham cracker gingerbread house decorating party we had the other weekend. The kids were quick to decorate but even quicker to eat...I think all Sam did was lick icing. The houses were cute and we had fun eating pizza and veggies afterward. Jo-Anne and her girls G and C came...we'd invited others, but very last minute, and so we had fun with just the 4 girls.
There's been a lot of baking and Christmas prep this week. It's been nice having Ben home. We had dinner with our friends Megan and family and Katie's preschool friend N and her family. 6 adults and 6 kids (though one is only 6 wks old) was a bit chaotic at the kids table. There were times where we adults couldn't converse for all the loud giggling!

Unfortunately, Sam woke up in the night throwing up...It's either that she ate too much or the bug that's apparently going around. She was fine after that until yesterday morning when she threw up again. Though I admit I gave her a full normal breakfast thinking she was all better...and I was definitely wrong. She seems fine's hoping we're healthy for the rest of the next few days as we have 4 dinners out in a row starting tonight.

Merry Christmas! (in case I don't post again until after Saturday)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Kitties

This photo was the result of one of Sam's Un-Naps a few weeks ago. She took all the blankets etc and pulled them off the beds. And took her clothes off. She's a busy girl. These photos were taken at Ken's work Christmas Party. They had lots of great kids activities including face painting. I don't know if Katie started it, but after she got this kitty face I saw lots of other girls with kitty faces. Or maybe that's the only face the painters knew how to draw? (note Katie's Christmas dress from last was a bit big when I bought it and she refused to wear it more than the one time until a couple of months ago. Now we're wearing it once a week!)(Cute!)
Sam with the Christmas tree. I swear I saw her look at it... Think... Take a few steps closer...Then look around as if to think "See, they didn't even notice I moved closer!". I'm sure she's the one will worry about getting into our tree this year. Since we did decorate on Sunday afternoon, Sam has been taking off some ornaments here and there, but only the soft ones we put on the bottom, so it's not been too disastrous.
My friend M posted on her (private) blog recently and posted pictures about the trouble of getting family photos with too busy kids. I thought I'd post one of our attempts:
I was trying to get the girls in front of the trees. I had decided that kitty faces could be the new holiday "thing". The girls did not seem to agree.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thank you...

Sam is napping on me in the sling as I type this one handed. I've prepared myself to surrender the nap battle...we'd lost the last three days with no nap. Her behaviour's not intolerable though, so while I think she's a bit young, maybe she knows what's best. But I'll take a nap from her here and there when I, she was pointing and asking for something and as best as I can figure it was the sling and a blanket. Add my favorite calming CD (recent re-found!) Jewel Lullaby and she fell asleep. I'm sure my back will thank me later.

Besides Sleepy Sam, what I'm really thankful for is the mysterious extra camera cord I found! While digging through our tech/CD cupboard looking for Christmas CD's, out tumbled this little black camera cord. I swear I've never seen it before. Early Christmas miracle?

We tried letting the girls put decals up in their room (some time ago now...). There were two identical sticker sheets, so the got one each. The decals were stiffer than the ones we have in the basement which made it pretty easy for the girls to work with.

Of course, that also makes it easier for them to pull off too. This happened later on the same day we stuck them up.

Here's a long promised skating photo! Videos to come. Ben and Katie.
Friends Megan and M.Rob and D. The rink is at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park.Sam was not into skating, but enjoyed watching.It has been a busy weekend with Christmas parties...Hopefully I can do some marathon blogging and tell you all about it soon. =)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm definitely feeling more seasonal lately...It helped that we went to an AWESOME Christmas breakfast and craft event with my friend Megan and her family, held at their church, this past weekend. The food was great and the best part was seeing the kids ave so much fun! I'm so grateful that they thought to ask us to join them.

Today was Katie's sharing day at preschool. Parents and grandparents were invited to come and do some crafts with the kids as well as watch some song and dance...and participate! It was really neat to see what they do and see how the teachers interact with the kids. Katie did get a little overwhelmed and chose to sit out for a bit, but we understand it can be awkward, with all those strangers around watching. Ben and Gram Cheryl were able to come and Great Auntie Joan even popped by! Sam stayed home with Auntie Andrea and Uncle Sheldon.

Anyway! Now we've had lunch and since I'm napping Sam later now, I'm just getting used to having more time after lunch. What shall we do...Bake? We made dough for making gingerbread men. I bought a set on impulse because it had cutters for clothes and a santa hat and beard with it. Too cute! What's our favorite part of baking? Licking the beater/spoon or course!
(I'd almost forgotten I can take pictures with the laptop...yay!)

The dough has to cool in the fridge for a few hours so the girls are doing dishes. Yup, for real. I have limited their dishes to plastics or other unbreakables. The mess will be astronomical I think. And I am planning on rewashing the dishes later when they're not looking. I've never let Sam get involved before, but she has this very insistent way of getting involved. I swear, half the time I think about baking these days, I decide not too because of the way the girls start pushing chairs over as soon as they see me go near a kitchen counter.

It's maddening, but then, what else is new? =)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

About a Green Sheep

Today was a pretty good day!

With all the sick and the weather and who knows what else, I'll admit I've been feeling pretty tired and maybe stressed out. And THEN...Sam didn't nap for three straight days.

I was totally freaking out. She was even taking off her diaper and telling me she had to go potty (she asks usually after every diaper change...sits, does NOT pee/poop, pulls as much toilet paper as she can (before I remember to grab it) stuffs it in the toilet, AND reaches back and flushes it. And then smiles with glee!). The whole situation was bringing back flashbacks of when Katie was doing the same thing...which led to the end of napping and potty training at the same time!...Only she was 6 months older than Sam is now!

Goodness! I thought and thought and thought...chatted (whined) to my mom friends and strategized with Ben and finally called our pediatrician and the receptionist (is she a nurse too? I don't know?) suggested putting her down for her nap later, around 2 (I was aiming for our usual 12:30 or 1:30). I was also remnded while talking to her of something we did with Katie when she started sleeping on a bed instead of her crib...that is, putting her back to bed every time she gets up. Right now, we had gotten into a pattern of holding the door shut. I think that putting her straight back to bed (even every 30 seconds for 20 minutes while she's screaming) works better because it gives a consistent message of "It's nap time" and no "fighting" about it. It worked yesterday and again today in less time than yesterday. Phew. I feel like I've averted a major crises. And for some reason, I feel like my perspective has changed and I'm just more calm and happier anyway. Maybe the weight of being worried about them being sick and then Ben and I and then napping issues was really affecting me more than I realized.

Anyway...Other than napping, today we did a few things. Went and picked up a part for our dishwasher (yay, we can use rinse agent again!), went to the library and made soup for dinner.

At the library, Sam found a book that we've read before "Where is the Green Sheep?" by Mem Fox (we love her!). Sam insisted I read it to her while some other mom commented on her talking skills (so nice to hear!). Sam remembered that the book was about sheep, especially green sheep. Since we've had it home again, we've read it maybe 6 times. One repeated line in it is "Where is the green sheep?" I must have said something like "we don't know." once or twice at this point because now Sam reads this line and then puts up her hand and says "Don't Know!" in the cutest little voice. Another favorite page is where it says "Near sheep" and "Far sheep"...for "near" there is a close up drawn image of this sheep face and then for "far" a sheep drawn far away. I moved the book close to her face and then far away...she loved it, giggled and now we have to do it multiple time, every time. =) It's definitely one of those books we've developed a special relationship with. I love it!

Hope your days are looking up too. Still looking for the camera cord...and Sam's dolly...Santa?...are you reading this?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Feeling Blah and an Overdue Video

Good morning!

Um...still have not found the camera cord. Will find it soon or I'm sure the camera will explode.

The girls are both feeling better...did I mention the day after Katie was sick last week, Sam got a fever too? Yep. Katie didn't go to school at all last week, but did make it this week.

Ben was sick on the weekend. Not quite the same thing as the girls but sick enough to be on the couch for a day or two.

BAM...then I got it this week on Wednesday. That was a long day but the girls were pretty good. There was a lot of them playing by themselves, a little extra tv for Katie and...I don't even remember how I made it through the day. Ben was great and came home as early as he could from work. And arranged to have someone cover his morning class so he could take care of the girls yesterday morning. That helped a lot...being able to sit and not talk and just relax myself all better.

I'm feeling better throat's still sore but it doesn't feel like my whole neck is swollen.

Katie's illness affected our night potty training, and upon advice from the Pediatrician's office, we're having her wear Pull-Ups and waking her at around 10 or 11pm to go to the bathroom. Training her body to wake up at night too pee. So far so good.

Also, Christmas is suddenly right around the corner (how did that happen!?) and the girls have started their Advent calendars. We have one each with Playdough treats (cutters and tiny playdough filed ornaments etc., a thoughtful gift from my cousin Meghan and her daughter Lucie) and the one that Gram made Katie last year which we've filled with chocolates. Sorry Sam, you're too young this year to get a chocolate a day, next year for sure!

Not sure what we're up to today...hopefully we can arrange a playdate of some kind.

Since I have no photos, I dug around a bit and remembered I hadn't ever shown you our Halloween video! Are you alright watching a video that's over a month old? (you'd better be ok with it, because you have no choice!)

Untitled from BabyLuch on Vimeo.

Enjoy your weekend!
PS...has anyone seen Sam's little knit Dolly? It's her best sleep buddy and it's been missing for a week! Napping has been if-ier and I think she'd settle down more easily at night if we had it. Look around and if you find it, let us know! =)