Saturday, May 31, 2008



Q: What to do in a hotel room when you have 5 minutes to spare

A: Strip and then dance to Madonna.

Rebecca looks at the Rheas...

Rebecca thinks the flamingo is a rhea... and won't be told differently.

Diego - is there any problem you can't solve?

No - Diego can solve any problem, including miffed toddlers in the car. Until the sun sets - that is.

Rebecca at the Zoo

Touching a stingray feels like touching a mushroom - if you were wondering.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Playing with Dinosaurs

Happy in PJs!!!

At the Tulip Festival

Dare to compare - II

Lucy is on top. Rebecca is on bottom.

Dare to compare!

Lucy is on the top, Rebecca is on the bottom. Both are around 1 month of age.

Typical morning

Maybe you wonder what I'm thinking in this photo.
I'm not - I'm too tired. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sleeping breakthrough?

Lucy's been giving us trouble at night. Last night both Mom and I were pretty tired, and Lucy was fussing, so I decided to take her for a walk. I bundled her up (it was cool out) and put her in her car seat which clips into the giganti-stroller. She stopped fussing almost immediately.

I went for a walk, came home and brought her downstairs in the car seat, and she was fine. She slept for 3 hours straight. (I could have been sleeping too!)

Anyway, new hypothesis, she likes going to sleep cuddling because it's warm. Ergo, we haven't been keeping her warm enough. That being said, unlike a newborn Rebecca, she decidedly does NOT like being swaddled. So that just means more blankets and a little hat when we put her down to sleep in her Moses basket in our room at night.

Waking up once or twice in the night for a quick snack is a lot easier than giving her a snack and a cuddle every 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mimicry - good omen?

My Mom bought Rebecca a baby doll and doll stroller to help encourage a smooth adjustment when Lucy arrived.
At first, this gift was met with aversion and/or fear (it was a little hard to tell). Eventually, Rebecca began to push the doll around in its stroller. Earlier this week, she seemed to have named her baby, but since she tends not to talk to it - I can't be 100% sure. She told me the baby's name was Alicia. (If you are wondering why she chose this particular name, you need look no further than Diego). Anyhow, today I saw Rebecca try to feed her baby doll from her own milk sippy cup. Based on what I've been reading lately, this is a good indication that Rebecca is starting to adjust to having Lucy around. I hope this is true.

Budding paleontologist...

I have been encouraging Rebecca's interest in dinosaurs.
It's not that hard because I had a major dinosaur obsession through most of my childhood and I saved all my models and books. Every so often I drag up something new from some box in the basement to delight Rebecca with. If Greg doesn't get moving on airplane identification, biology might edge out technology in our household. :)
As it stands, Rebecca is now able to identify several dinosaurs using garbled versions of their names. She may not be accurate, but she is certainly precise.
We have:

Real name: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Rebecca version: T Rex (actually, this isn't a garbling, just a truncation)

Real name: Stegosaurus
Rebecca version: Gosaurus - this was the first one she managed, due no doubt to the distinct morphology

Real name: Triceratops
Rebecca version: Ceratops (but sometimes just Tops) - this one is her favourite

Becca classes all other dinosaurs by the following generic names:
"Flying dinos" and "Swimming dinos".

This morning, Rebecca was helping me in the garden (for some reason, when she talks about gardening it comes out like "gurney" we at first is disturbing). She noticed that some neighbourhood dog had left a bone at the edge of our lawn. Becca was very excited because she felt it must be a dino bone. Fortunately I was able to persuade her not to play with it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mystery Cuddlet!

We received a package from Denmark in the mail recently. Inside was a "cuddlet" - a cute little handmade bunny rabbit rattle. This package was addressed to Lucy, but contained no indication as to the sender. We don't know a soul in Denmark - and we would like to thank the person responsible for sending the gift. If you are the mystery person - please step up and identify yourself!

How can you not pay attention to a naked toddler who hasn't been toilet trained?!?!?

Rebecca is still having trouble adjusting to not being the centre of the universe. I am happy to say that she continues to be affectionate and sweet with Lucy though - no signs of an inclination to take her frustrations out on the baby. I have tried to involve her in Lucy's care - but Rebecca has absolutely no interest in helping. In fact, she seems to have lost her former interest in helping me with cooking, baking, or doing the laundry. She used to love helping with the laundry so much, that I never seemed to have enough loads to wash to keep her satisfied.
It isn't too bad when there is another adult around, but when I have Lucy and Rebecca to myself, Rebecca begins to behave in special ways.
In my defense, I do go out of my way to pay special attention to my Becca, however, there are times when I cannot do as she requests because I am tending to Lucy. It is at these times that she unleashes her best attention-getting techniques.
Lately, this means stripping naked and running through the house screaming at the top of her lungs, and slamming doors. It seems to make her happy, but I can assure you that gathering rabbit turds is not on my top ten list. Actually, picking up Rebecca's poo is better than cleaning up a really ill-placed puddle. Rabbit turds can (technically) wait, depending where they are - a bad puddle needs immediate attention. I have learned that Rebecca's stuffed Winnie the Pooh can endure the washing machine and the dryer to no ill effect.
This behaviour of Rebecca's most often occurs early in the morning when I am feeding Lucy. Rebecca will silently wake up, take off her pjs (no matter how complex they may be in terms of zippers, snaps and ties), remove her diaper and... let nature take its course. Sometimes I get a warning - I will hear a little voice saying "Uh oh - diaper!", as if it has accidentally jettisoned itself from her body. I hear a lot of this "uh oh [insert noun here]" after very deliberate actions. It is annoying. Also, the stripping is annoying because it happens multiple times in a row on the same day. When she seems amenable to being dressed again, I make sure to let her choose her own pants. This is why she is dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, the denim bloomers that go under a denim jumper, yellow rubber boots, and a blue Dora hat.
On a positive note, I have learned that her capacity to hold her pee is longer than it used to be. This is an excellent sign that she is physically ready for toilet training. As for mentally - well, we shall see whether she applies her natural defiance to this endeavour as well.
Why is she doing this? Obviously to get attention. Unfortunately, negative attention. I have to somehow figure out how to not turn this behaviour into an effective tool (i.e. I have to ignore it), while at the same time expressing some disapproval, encouraging potty use, and preserving our furniture and had wood floors. All the while, taking care of Lucy, and maintaining my sanity. The worst is when it's a beautiful sunny day and I want to take the girls outside, but one of them is unwilling to be clothed and prefers to make chalk drawings on her bedroom floor. Then, I feel as though my inability to help her cope with a new sibling usurper is actually causing her to miss out on positive experiences we could have.
My plan is threefold. First, to make greater efforts to give Rebecca special attention, and yet ensure that she understands that she can't always have attention on demand, and that Lucy needs attention too. There are many important lessons to be learned here by all parties. Second, to scale up the toilet training efforts (which until now I had left in the "preliminary" stages). I had planned to wait until the adjustment to Lucy was "finished" (if that ever really happens), and until I had heard Rebecca express herself a bit better with regards to a need to go pee or poo (to date, it doesn't ever seem to bother her when she has a wet or dirty diaper, even if I'm using training diapers that supposedly make wet diapers feel cold and uncomfy). Lastly, to be easier on myself and keep the big picture in mind. This too shall pass, and the truth is - 99% of the time, Rebecca is a happy, loving little girl, who just needs time to make sense of all of this. The same goes for me!