Friday, December 23, 2011

It's all about timing...

Christmas is almost here...I can't believe how fast it has come this year. We had a warm fall and late snow which I think tricked me into thinking it was farther away. The girls had a My Little Pony advent calendar (as well as a chocolate one and one with pictures) that they love, and every morning, as the numbers got higher, my disbelief just increased. Crazy.

We did eventually get some snow, and the girls actually love shoveling it! They got these cute shovels from my parents neighbour who moved this fall.

We've been having quite a few nice playdates with our friend W and his new baby sister N (now our Goddaughter!). Colouring at southgate is lots of fun. And the moms get coffee. Yay!

We had a fun snow evening with one of our first real snows. The girls had a blast riding the sled and making snow angels and playing in the snow. The sled (which I was using to pull the girls across the field from where we park at school) has since gone missing. I don't know how that could happen but we really cannot find it.

I tried making caramel apple for the girls. They loved it, but I have decided that it's actually a lot of caramel for them to eat in one sitting and probably won't do it again for a few years.

We went sledding once right after Ben got home from work and it was just getting dark and chilly so we didn't stay long. The girls had fun and got nice and tired!

We have managed to do quite a few Christmas activities this year, so I really don't know how I didn't see it coming! We painted ornaments (a great little kit from Costco) with W. I have to tell you, when the box says "washable but may stain some clothing". That really means "if you scub for an hour the paint might wash off hands and probably won't ever come out of clothes or the dishes you use to wash the paintbrushes in between colours even though it wasn't really used to wash brushes but to make paint soup".

We went to the Festival of Trees which was so much fun...the girls were really excited and loved the trees, the fake presents, the hot chocolate, writing letters to Santa (we got the cutest replies last week! Personalized letters! Thank you Canada Post).

We went to grandpa Ken's staff family Christmas party. Super fun...there were Christmas crafts, a petting zoo, santa and a bouncy castle. This is the first year in a long time that we managed to get a Santa photo...the girls have been too scared previously. It was amazing how un-scared they were this year! I love it!

Katie had some fun with math. It says 1+1 2+2 etc...from a song by They Might Be Giants, the girls know, one plus one is two, two plus two is four etc... Cute. Excuse the terrible red eye.

We went to the museum with friends C and G (who's not quite a baby any more!) and the girls went fishing in a canoe. I got in earlier too and C said she was taking me to South Carolina. Interesting. :). We will be going back more since I bought a year pass. So cheap! 35$ for a whole year!

We decorated our Christmas tree and the girls were SOOOO excited.

One day I was trying to get some things done, probably baking or cleaning or dinner or something like that, so I built the girls a reading fort. The fitted sheet sure did the trick! And a lamp to light it up so they could read.

I'm going to try and finish up quickly since Sam and I have to pick Katie up from school in a few minutes.

About timing...Sam decided to start peeing in the potty and toilet recently. I'm not ally pleased about the timing but I'll admit I encouraged her by bringing out the little potty...I'd heard our younger friend D is trained and I got envious. Jealousy has brought it's karma on me though ( if that makes any sense) because we are now dealing with Christmas prep as well as tripling our laundry and cleaning pee off the floor. She's has some awesome success but still some not and I had somehow completely forgotten what a pain it is. I'm happy that we are getting the though and our new year will be great I think.

Hope this has gotten us mostly caught up. Look forward to seeing you more in the near future. Merry Christmas is I don't talk to you before then!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have I mentioned how much Sam is growing? She's talking up a storm (Katie can't even seem to get a word in edgewise!) and pretending as much as Jillian Jiggs.

Her colouring is improving too...Katie is exceptional and it appears that we have 2 artists in the family with strong fine motor skills. Sam coloured this page this evening...she does a great job of staying in the lines for her age (2.75 yrs to be accurate).

We also had a big moment yesterday when we weighed her and she's JUST enough of 40 pounds to make it into booster seat territory. Which makes things soo much easier with winter snow suits and everything.

Yay for big girls!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some super quick photos because I know I am behind in sharing with you!

At the playground, Sam in hat I knit. I've been a hat knitting monster this ever since I realized it was going to get cold. (and snowy, but only as of just yesterday!)

Katie and I at the playground. We rode our bikes as it was so nice and "warm".

The girls shaking their pigtails, us making chai tea, which we do a lot now, and some messy baking...the mess is one reason why I wasn't baking with the girls for a while. I'm taking a deep breath, letting go and we've been baking a bit more lately. Making two batches so that they each have a bowl to mix helps.

We bought letter cookie cutters for super fun cookies!

Pumpkin carving and princess dresses for Halloween! This is the best pic I got of the girls in costume. Princess with wings is apparently the costume "Du Jour" at preschool as all but maybe one girl was dressed as this. The girls went trick or treating with dad in Gram and Grandpa's neighborhood and had a lot of fun. I stayed home to hand out candy to the THREE kids that came to our house. Disappointing. Guess I should stop buying candy at Costco!

Sam and I went to a YMCA indoor playground (tis the season!) with friends Steph and W and new baby N. Sam thought she was super clever when she took off her pants and stuck them in the playhouse mailbox. She is so funny these days.

These two photos were taken at our nearby playground. We decided to go right before dinner one sunny afternoon. Beautiful day. Katie's wearing another new hat (though it is an exact replica of one I made her a couple of years ago). Sam is or course, wearing our favorite oldie but a goodie. The girls love playing on the teeter totter. Katie, being bigger, does make Sam bounce a bit at the top, so I stay close by, but they see, to have reached an age where Sam can handle a bounce and Katie has an idea of how hard to bounce her.

I'm not going back to edit this as the girls are bugging me for a snack. Just had to post something and I must be physically incapable or sharing just one photo or not commenting in depth or something. More to come, as I mentioned, we have finally had some snow and dad and the girls had a blast shoveling and making snow angels and sledding in the back yard and I have pictures to prove it. (though not good ones since it was dark).

Talk to you soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh Dolly!

Sam has a dolly that she loves to pieces. A few weeks ago, Dolly disappeared. We looked everywhere for her. We cleaned up like crazy looking for her but still no luck. I was resigned to the fact that we were just not going to have a doll.

Coincidentally or not, our sleeping issues were getting worse. Sam escaping from her room in the middle of the night trying to get food etc. We kept the gate closed at the top of the stairs so no worry about her going to far, but she was really getting into things. We borrowed the pressure gate from Gram and Grandpa's house to keep her in the bedroom at night. That worked, until she learned to pile up her blankets and use them to climb out (smart girl, figured it out within an hour). So we started a version of sleep training, where you close the door and hold it shut for a short period of time, to make the point that we need her to stay in the room. This definitely worked and we saw huge improvement in sleep from both girls within a few nights. I thought we were golden.

And then...I was reading in the living room after bedtime and found that Sam had climbed the gate again and was in the bathroom (not the good "learning to pee" kind of in the bathroom, but the bad "getting into things" kind). I go to her and tell her NO and she's not to be in there and she starts getting upset and yelling something I can't make out. I finally figured out she was saying "don't close the door!"...which of course, means that the door thing is working in that she does connect it with the negative behaviour, but also means that I have to follow through and do the door thing (which I had forgotten about). I put her in her room and closed the door and she was pretty upset. A short 2 minutes later I go in and she's got a blanket over her head and is crying...I gently tuck her in and she looks at me, and her voice, all wobbly from crying, says "maybe tomorrow, you can go shopping and buy me another dolly?". Aw...poor thing, still missing her dolly. I was kind of emotional at how upset she was and even as I headed to bed took another peek at places where the doll might behind our bed...places we've already looked. No luck.

So, after a little research and a few phone calls, we went to a store and bought a new dolly. Not exactly the same, but close enough I think. And of course, when Katie asked why she wasn't getting a new dolly, I didn't have a good answer, so I broke down and bought 2 dolls.

Sam's is the one with green hair and Katie chose the one with pink hair. When I told the girls to hug the dolls for the picture, they lifted them up high like that. Katie did it first and Sam followed, though clearly not sure why she had to do it.

What's great about these dolls is that they are so soft and the colours are so bright and beautiful. And we know from experience that the dolls wash well.

So far, the girls have been playing with the dolls quite a bit. I think it's a good age for dolls as they are playing with them in a very imaginative way.

We had a great weekend. Before buying the dolls on Friday we went and got our flu shots. We went for dinner with Gram and Grandpa at Famoso for pizza. We had a relaxing Saturday morning and then went to a birthday for friend M who is now 3.

Sunday we tidied up a bit and met friends C and little G and their parernts for a walk in the river valley. It was nice, but cool enough that my fingers got a bit chilly by the end. Still nice enough to get out and enjoy the warm sunshine though. After the walk we had them over to our house for dinner. The ham and scalloped potatoes were yummy and the salad that they brought was so good, not to mention the amazing wine they also brought. (they can come again any time!) It was such a cozy, fun and easy little dinner...a fantastic end to a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Gobble Gobble

Katie made a turkey today all on her own. Well...the only thing I did was cut out the feet. But I made her draw them first. She came up with the idea all on her own from concept to execution. She plans on giving it to her teacher and so wrote her name on the back of the paper that she eventually glued the turkey onto.

Today it smells like fall in our house. A friend recommended a new cookbook...Feeding The Whole Family. The focus is on whole foods and also getting kids (families) to eat healthier whole foods. I got the book out from the library to try it out. It's a very interesting read...sadly no photos, but a wealth of information and some very good looking recipes. Today I made Pumpkin Pecan Muffins. Yum...molasses, cardamom and pumpkin and a bunch of other fall flavors. They look fantastic though with dinner soon, I haven't tasted them yet (that took a great deal of restraint). While I don't think we do too badly with feeding whole, unprocessed foods to the girls, I do Iike the idea of improving and learning more options to increase variety in our meals. A food adventure!

This has been a busy weekend (and really these days, aren't they all?). Helped out Papa and Gram most of Saturday morning with their yard renovations...dirt and sod and what a transformation. The girls helped, especially with raking leaves on the front lawn...raking and jumping too of course! This tired the girls out and Sam fell asleep in the car which led to a 2 hour nap in her bed, which she never ever does.

We were hoping this would be good for her to catch up on sleep since lately things have not been so great in that department. Have I mentioned that Sam has been waking up in the middle of the night and getting food? Bananas, marshmallows and other things in the baking cupboard. Thankfully we hear her usually before she really gets eating, We've put a pressure gate on the girls door and that's helping. Though Sam quickly figured out how to pile up blankets and use them to climb up and over. Both girls did sleep well last night after their busy day and they went down SO fast tonight that I'm hoping we're getting back on track.

PS...I tried the muffins...they are excellent! Look and taste great and very satisfying. I wanted a second since it was so yummy but I also didn't since it was filling enough. A winner!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Look, I have two shoelaces!

Last week sometime the girls had taken the laces out of my shoes to play with (should I admit that I actually helped them?) and by the end of that afternoon, the laces had disappeared. I found one a day later but the second was unfindable. I cooked our thanksgiving turkey wearing one shoe without any laces. (these are my indoor "I must be getting old now that I have to wear orthotics all the time" shoes.).

Finally this morning while steph, W and new baby girl N (2.5 weeks old now and already 8 pounds 10 ounces!) were over I found the missing lace...tied up in a million knots to the steering wheel of the Bobby Car. Of course, why didn't I think of that? (do you hear my sarcasm?)

Before school this morning the girls made a bunch of castles/towers/buildings using their plastic cups and plates and cutlery. Why buy building blocks? (excuse the poor quality was early this morning)

And this afternoon, right before lunch (which was served late because they were having so much fun I didn't want to interrupt them) they used the same plastic bowls to go skating/roller skating. Not on the hardwood, don't worry!

Goodness, life is fun isn't it?

Monday, October 10, 2011


Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we sure had a lovely one. We decided this year to host babies are now girls and that makes it easier (theoretically) to find the time and energy to cook a turkey. And, since we are not the most experienced with the gigantic meal planning, we asked everyone to help out and bring a dish. Both sets of grandparents, GG Mary and GG Lill, Auntie Andrea and Uncle Sheldon, and G auntie Gail. 13 all included. We took care of the turkey and potatoes, though admittedly had help with the turkey from my mom who came by in the morning to remind me how to make the stuffing etc.

In the afternoon, before company came, Ben and Katie went out to find some decorations...for some reason, she had been very interested (obsessed?) with getting a centerpiece for our table. They came back with some plastic fall leaf arrangements perfect for the table. Later, Ben said how much fun it was to go shopping with just her and how thrilled and proud she was to choose the decorations.

While they were gone, I helped Sam work on decorating the place cards. This is a job I remember doing often as a kid. I started trying to get the girls working on them the day before but they weren't interested. As it was, I wrote the names on and Sam coloured the letters, just about obscuring some of the names. I brought out some fall themed stickers that we had too, thinking Sam would love to stick them on (she does really like stickers) but she didn't seem interested. So, I may have stuck all the stickers on myself, in a haphazard manner that made it look like the girls had done it. I don't think anyone noticed. :)

The girls had a good time...Sam ate a ton of cabbage rolls and turkey (she has been a picky eater lately so i was glad to hear she ate something) and Katie ate lots as well.

Dinner was delightful. Food and company were perfect and I really felt so thankful for all that we have. Health, food, home, love, friends and family...doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Best Bathtime EVER (and other stories)

Late last week, when we had all had a longish day, Ben became SuperDad and came up with a new game.

While the girls we in the bath he started telling them NOT to wash themselves in a fake angry voice. "Don't you grab that soap...Please don't wash those definitely not the other foot...". It sounds silly I'm sure, but the girls were beside themselves with laughter. And seriously, I've never seen them wash themselves so thoroughly.

It was nice to all be laughing and enjoying the big joke. Happy family tie for sure.

We had a nice weekend too...I met my friend Megan for a spin class (which as it turns out was full so we just did a workout instead). At the same time, our husbands took the kids to the indoor playground. Win-win I think! And again, good family time.

The photos below are from end of summer and September. I don't know how yet to get the text in between the photos.

Ben with the girls sitting on a little waterfall at the Leg grounds.
Katie and Sam on Katie's first day of preschool this year. Katie insisted on wearing the hello kitty dress which is WAY too short to be acceptable for school so I worked hard to convince her to wear a skirt underneath. I think I even hiked up the skirt I was wearing to show how short hers was and see if she thought I should go out with a skirt that short. Weird but it worked. :)
The girls taking the LRT to church one Sunday morning. They Loved it.
The girls and our friends C and baby G at our new favorite playground which is the biggest I've ever seen and has a great spray park. The girls are sitting in a manmade rock cave...nice and cool. We didn't really discover this park until the end up summer, but we were there more than once a week, especially in the warm early September weather we had. Lovely.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The great Mysteries of Motherhood

Why are there banana peels all over the house? (Sam has recently learned to get bananas off the counter and peel them and eat them whenever she wants. This has obviously resulted in some teaching about asking for food.)

How can a house get so messy so fast? (2 kids and a mom who loves to bake, cook, read, sew and knit.)

Why have there been so few blog posts? (see above)

Who loves school? (Katie! 3 days a week now with the same teacher but in a new location this year.)

What happened to summer? (The most fun things ever...spray parks, picnics, playmates, time with dad, ice cream, mom doing yoga almost every weekday in August, babies being born (baby A, big brother to our friends D and M), splashing in the water at the Leg grounds, staying overnight at our friends lake, trips to the farmers market, and on andonandonandon)

Who loves playing dress up? (Katie and Sam!)

Who can pump herself on the swings? (Katie!)

Who misses dad the most, him having gone back to work in September? (No one, we all miss him a whole lot!)

Who finally maybe figured out how to blog on the new iPad? (Me!) (but apparently still cannot figure out how to post pictures and will have to take some time to do it on the old laptop.)

Who loves that friends and family were so concerned about the lack of blogging but also polite enough not to say much about it? (Me! you guys!)

Why is my formatting not showing up? (I don't know!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

More from holidays...

A photo of our rental house in Penticton:
Gram reading to the girls in the outside seating area. Gram and Papa had brought books for the girls. Eating lunch at the house. Shopping at the legendary used bookstore in Penticton. We love this place. Look at all the books! We bought a few for the girls...a Richard Scarry Dictionary and a Disney/Mickey Mouse one too.
Sam sat in this cute little desk, (she was so warm...see those red cheeks?) wearing the dress she insisted on wearing almost every day of the holiday. (well, not quite, but it took some convincing!)The new water toy that managed to come home with us. Fun, but really, it'll be more fun when the kids are older and can swim.
We (Ben) made lots of sand chairs. This day on the beach, it was a little chillier than usual, so hardly anyone was there. The girls had a blast running up and down in the sand. And sitting in their sand chairs. And jumping in our home made (Ben-made) swimming pools. I honestly could not believe how long they had fun with this one. Crazy. =) I think that's one of the things that made this trip so good...they could have fun doing a number of things for HOURS and it didn't feel like we were so busy going from one thing to the next trying to keep everyone happy. More to come...!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back from Holidays!

We're back from holidays! (and have been for a week and a half.) Re-entry was a bit slow...partly due to Katie and I getting sick on our last night/morning home, but just because we've been busy doing lots of fun and nothing. Enjoying Ben being home with us. Enjoying the super rainy weather and monster mosquitoes. Yes, it's kind of dreadful here...We have had the odd nice day but hard to enjoy with those bugs. Ah well...shall I tell you about the holiday?

Other than it ending in illness (canceling our plans to go to the Calgary Zoo) we had our best holiday with the kids ever!

This is a stop we took because Katie said she HAD to go to the bathroom. Apparently not enough to use a pit toilet though! =) Anyway, it was a great stop. Good to get out of the car and throw rocks in the water.

We made it to Sicamous the first night with enough time to have ice cream at our favorite place...the D Dutchmen Dairy.
It was our only night camping. The mosquitoes were horrendous, such that Ben and I put up the tent while the girls were in the van and then threw them in quick before the bugs found us. We read books for(ever) a while and eventually all went to sleep. In the past we tried to get the girls down while Ben and I stayed up but that's just impossible and really a waste of time. Going to bed altogether worked well. I had an awful sleep and woke up freezing but overall we were good. Oh, and did I mention that while we were setting up the tent we found that one of our tent poles had a broken elastic...and was cracking. We made it work but it sure was a good thing that we weren't tenting more! Here's the girls in the tent.
After a quick take down we were off and found a super great little local place in Armstrong for breakfast(COFFEE). If I can dig up the card, I'll tell you what it was. Just down from the Home Hardware.
Driving was great. We had bought new sticker books, colouring books and blank paper and crayons (and markers for at the house) so the girls were well entertained. And new CD's from the library! I think the CD soundtrack to our holiday is by a band called Recess Monkey, their album called Field Trip. (favorite songs include Marshmallow Farm, Sack Lunch, Hot Chocolate etc) Definitely, if you're looking for kids tunes that are very adult friendly, I highly recommend!

Ben and the girls in Skaha Lake Penticton. The girls at Skaha.We were lucky that Gram and Papa were able to stop and visit us at our rental house for two nights on their way back from a wedding holiday in Vancouver. It was nice to have company. (They slept outside in their van.)After dinner, Ben made up a show for the girls. They did shows for him too. It was fun to watch.Little Sam and and bigger Dad by the big tree (at Skaha Lake Penticton).There are many more photos but that's it for now. This is only day 3 of the trip and we were away for a week and a half. I'll try and be selective about photos. So I'm not still posting them in Decenber. =)