Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rebecca is a Candyland master

She's gone 3 for 3 today, crushing mom and dad each time.  Don't know how she does it.  Allegedly this is a game of chance, but the really, the odds of her winning three times in a row like that are 27:1 against.  Someone could have made good coin betting on her.

Also, she's not losing any teeth yet apparently.  False alarm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Speeding to maturity - someone make it stop

Rebecca is losing her first baby tooth. After lots of research, I have determined that this is unusual but not abnormal. Certainly, given that she started teething at two months, and got her first teeth at four months, it stands to reason that this could occur.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lucy's first trick-or-treat

This year was Lucy's first trick-or-treat experience, and Rebecca's third. The first time Rebecca went out at Hallowe'en, she was fearless. She was fascinated by every Hallowe'en display in the neighbourhood (there are always two or three houses that go all out). The second time, she had learned to fear, and her trip was short. This year, she was only afraid of the really crazy places, and was otherwise willing to go until she couldn't carry her own goody bag. Lucy is still young enough not to know to be very afraid. She loved being in costume, but only truly realized the purpose of the evening after the first three houses or so. After that, she started running down the street to the next location. By the time we retired her, she was so tired she could barely walk. She just seemed to want to sit on the curb and hunt for chocolate in her bag. Lucy was very charming with the people in the neighbourhood. She was probably the youngest trick-or-treater we saw, and while she couldn't manage to say "trick or treat", she always said Thank-you, Bye, and she also blew kisses and waved. Usually Greg does the rounds with my Dad and the girls, but this year I took a turn. Sadly, I was mostly relegated to the position of photojournalist (for which I am most unsuited), since the girls preferred to walk with Grandpapa.
I had an unexpectedly positive feeling about humanity as a result of taking the girls trick-or-treating. Perhaps it was encountering so many positive reactions to my children from the strangers (and the non-strangers) in my neighbourhood, or maybe it was just the fact that so many different people are willing to participate in this activity for the sake of children, with little benefit and possibly some inconvenience to themselves. It's a perspective on Hallowe'en that I haven't really had before (answering the door and dispensing of candy leftovers tends to give one a combination of mild irritation and guilt).



T-Rex says RAWR

Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 shots for the girls (and dad)

Three of us got our vaccines today.  The girls will have to go back in 3 weeks as they just got half-doses.

I got the shot because I have asthma.  I would have waited, but made the choice that they set up the priority groups for a reason, and I may as well follow their system.

We got to Tom Brown Arena at 1:30 with Lucy (Rebecca was at school) planning to get the shots for the two of us.  Madeleine was going to try to do Rebecca tomorrow.

There were what looked like a couple hundred people in line outside.  The lineup was to get a number (on a bracelet), which determined when you could go in to get your shots.

It took 1 hour to get through the line and get the number, and they told us to come back around 5pm.  Rebecca was going to be done school, so I got her a number too.

We got back there at 5pm, but they were running a little slower than expected all day, so they were behind by 150 people, doing around 100 vaccinations/hour.

We got called inside a bit after 6pm, and got registered for our shots at around 7pm.  Then another 15-20 minutes of waiting before we got our shots, then 15 minutes where you're supposed to hang around in case of a bad reaction.

We were back in our car by around 7:45.

The delays seemed to be caused by problems with the load on their computerized registration system.  I'm not sure I can really blame them, as this is the first time there's been a mass immunization happening like this in recent times.  It sounds like things are going more and more smoothly every day.

Both girls have woken up crying, but that's not too new.  We gave Lucy some Tempra, and that seems to have settled her.

My arm is *%^$# sore right now, but otherwise I feel fine.

Yes, it made for a long afternoon/evening.  But you know what?  I feel incredibly fortunate.  A mass vaccination like they're doing is no small undertaking.  People were complaining about waiting in line to get a bracelet.  Well, the bracelets were to try to stem people from gaming the system, getting in line multiple times to get numbers for friends and relatives.  They weren't exactly strict about it, though.  I think if they have those rules they should be a little less flexible, as the rules were to ensure that the most vulnerable get the vaccinations *first*.  I can't think of a more fair way to dole out the shots.

Otherwise, yes, there were delays.  That's understandable though.  It's not like they can pull 50% of the nursing staff out of the hospitals or anything.  They had limited resources, and were making the best of it.  It's also pretty unprecedented to do a mass vaccination this quickly, with this short a turnaround from when the vaccines start coming off the line.

Yes, I know, the vaccine *probably* won't be preventing any deaths in my household, but it's the principle.  I'd rather we go through the procedure this time with a pandemic that *won't* be killing hundreds of thousands of people, than with one that *will*.  Next time I'm sure things will run more smoothly, and I'm fairly confident that there's going to be a next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

She has a plastic one at home

Rebecca and I are going to form our very own megatherium club.

Rebecca and Gastornis/Diatryma

Prehistoric beasts make me happy too!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Madeleine may have taken the girls to the Museum of Natural History, but I got to take them to both the Air & Space Museum *and* and old-timey airshow at the Flying Circus Aerodrome (beware, website straight out of 1996)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In the prehistoric ward of the hospital...

Prehistoric mammals get injured.

Thank goodness 3 year olds can raid the locked bathroom medicine cabinet to find the bandaid supply.

In this picture we see:
Two sabre-tooth cats
One Andrewsaarchus
One macrochenia
One megatherium
And one uninjured apatosaurus who is apparently drinking out of a Sleeping Beauty tea cup.

I am convinced that this behaviour on the part of Rebecca, is connected to Lucy's trip to the hospital and her very obvious facial bandages. I am going to assume that this is a positive sign that she is dealing with the experience, rather than take a negative interpretation and think that she is fixating on it and is troubled.

Lucy's sunshine smile

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lucy's lunch

The smile is Lucy's signature very happy smile.

School bus

Update shots


So - this past weekend Lucy had her first trip to emerg. She fell and split her forehead open on a piece of furniture. There was lots of blood, tears, and drama. She was glued back together, and is still sporting bandages and crustiness. I could give more details, but the truth is - it was all very horrible and scary and I am having enough trouble banishing the images from my mind. I will never forget it! The last time Lucy made my heart stand still like that was when she was born. I suppose that given her adventurous nature, this sort of thing was bound to happen sooner or later, but that realization isn't at all comforting. I'm just happy she is o.k. Yesterday, Rebecca had me put a bandaid on her forehead because she wanted to be like Lucy. That at least, was pretty cute. Things roll on the way they do in the fall - at full speed. Every school day I try to wrestle details out of Rebecca, but I only get as much as she's willing to share - which is pretty minimal. Fortunately, I am clever enough to sometimes trick information out of her with innocent-seeming questions or assertions. As I learned from Sherlock Holmes, a very easy way to get information out of people is to say something that is probably blatantly false - thus giving them the opportunity to correct you (something most people jump at the opportunity to do!). Also, I can't help but catch the tunes of unknown songs that she'll randomly start to sing. We haven't posted pictures in a while because our gallery server was down. It's now up and our collection is slowly being restored. Soon - pictures will return. I will be posting some September ones that you haven't seen. We had to cut Rebecca's hair because she kept getting massive tangles. Had we been less reluctant to cut it when she was yonger, it probably wouldn't have gotten to that state, but - the new do suits her anyway. Enjoy the pics of Lucy's unblemished face - they are the last ones that will ever exist.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lucy's better?

Her appetite's back and she was acting normally this morning.

So far, no sign of illness in the rest of the family.  Fingers crossed, as we just put Rebecca on the bus for school a couple minutes ago.  If she gets sick at school I'll feel pretty guilty.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lucy's sick. :(

I was putting her to bed, and she seemed a little out of sorts.  As I was finishing up our cuddle and about to leave she threw up.  Got her cleaned up in the bath, had her wrapped in a towel, and she did it again.  She was a trooper, not much crying.  She was very, VERY tired though, so that probably helped.

Then two more times.  The last couple were pretty much just bile.  I *think* she's done.  She's down now, and we'll try to get some water into her if she wakes up tonight.

I anticipate I'll probably be getting sick too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh my god, we're in a whole new era

Whoops, almost a month since our last post!  :-/

So what's new?

Mainly, Rebecca's at school.

She's now successfully potty trained, and is currently in her third day of her educational career.

Assuming 2800 days of schooling before highschool graduation, she'll be a little over .1% done her schooling when I pick her up this afternoon.

She hops onto the bus full of smiles, talking with her schoolmates, and comes off the bus with random narrative snippets which we can't quite put together.  I'm not sure exactly what's happened to her at school, but I know she loves it.

It makes me happy to know she's loving it, but I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the same time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another successful day

Woohoo!  Another full accident free day.  Rebecca took herself to the bathroom to poop twice today.  Woohoo!

Of course, after the visit, she came streaking out of the bathroom looking for poop-presents.  We've gotta work on her follow through before September.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twenty four hours of success!

Yesterday Rebecca performed flawlessly.  She wore the same underwear all day long, going to the bathroom a whole bunch of times.  Most impressively, both times that she had to go poop, she took herself to the bathroom and called out that she pooped in the toilet after she was done!  Hooray!  Rewarded her with a Disney puzzle.  (Got 8 of them in a box for $15)  We'll wean her off the bribes soon, once we're getting consistent success.

Today also went well, not 100%, but I won't bore you with details.

Next up, wiping ourselves after poops.  Following that, it's trying to go through the night in underwear.

I'm starting to feel more confident about kindergarten next month.  :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Now it's straight hair

Also, unrelated to parenting.

This has nothing to do with parenting

Rebecca wins a potty incentive

She told me she is a potato doctor, and she "fixes" the potato lady.

Fancy hair for Becca too

Notice Lucy standing on a dining room chair (again!!!)

Never leave home without your T-Rex

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Success on the toilet front

So today Becca had a little accident on the sofa.  I was a little miffed.  I sent her to the bathroom as I cleaned the mess and told her to strip down and sit on the toilet.

After she had a pee she started to get up and in frustration I told her to sit on the toilet until she pooped as I didn't want her to put on underwear to just have another accident.

I asked her repeatedly to try to poop as I cleaned up.  I was a little more persistent than usual.  She pooped.

She then asked for help wiping up, and then wanted her 'present'.  She has several rewards up on the medicine cabinet above the toilet.  She chose a Tinker Bell story book over Mr. or Mrs. Potato head and a My Little Pony unicorn.

This evening when offered the poster from the Tinker Bell book, Rebecca asked that it be put up in the kitchen beside her potty success chart.  "For poops."

I'm crossing my fingers that this is the start of a trend.

It's really real

Sometimes when I read other Mommy blogs, I am amazed. These women sound so capable and on top of it all! Is it really real? Or, is it the face they want to present on their blogs? And why am I reading the maternal adventures of some stranger halfway around the globe anyway? I admit, there is some comfort in knowing someone else is sharing my experiences, even if I will never meet them. I think it is impossible to write for a blog without some awareness (however small) of your audience colouring your creative act. For my own part, I try to be conscious of my own acts of editing - but generally it is to avoid sharing those moments that are too boring to relate, or too fleeting to signify much. The point is - if this blog has ever been useful to someone else, it's not been in those moments where I am praising Rebecca's puzzle completion ability - but rather describing my efforts to curb her head-banging tendencies etc. I intend to try harder (when I have the opportunity to post), to be really real.
Lucy has become obsessed with a sequined blue hat. I don't know how it happened or why, but she insists on wearing the thing at all times - on the change table, at the dinner table, in bed. I know when she wants it on, because she grunts at me, points to the hat and says hat. She gets frustrated if, when she puts it on her own head, it is not properly oriented. So often, I must fix the hat for her. Every time I place it on her head, she makes a happy scrunchy face, followed by a grin of insane happiness.
While she may insist on covering her head, she certainly has no interest in any covering of her backside.
Every day for the last week and a half, Lucy strips in her crib. Her PJs - no matter how elaborate, no matter how many snaps and buttons - come off, and her diaper does too. She frequently tries to remove the diaper just after I've put it on her. I'm sure you can imagine the kind of problems this tendency has engendered. There is something that really gets you down about a baby with poo all over her feet, bouncing up and down in her bed. There is also something that really gets you down about having multiple rounds of "elimination laundry" during a day.
For some reason, despite being almost completely toilet trained, Rebecca has gone through a mini-regression in the last week. There have been accidents on the floor. She stands there with me, in front of the puddle, and still tells me that she didn't pee. It's annoying to be given a bald-faced lie, but I can only think it's because she is worried about the consequences of the truth. Our policy has always been that "accidents happen, and that's o.k.". We are trying to be good coaches and focus on the positive. But I suppose the difference between our exultant hurrahs for success and the neutral (and sometimes forced) "it's o.k.", is obvious all the same. I was on my hands and knees wiping up the mess with towels, when Lucy fetched a towel and joined me.
I had a peaceful evening with Rebecca. Before Lucy was born, on nights when Greg was working, Rebecca and I would have a lot of peaceful evenings of togetherness. We would do some puzzles, do some chores, read some books, have imagination play. Tonight, once Lucy was asleep, Rebecca and I had a lovely time together. At one point she looked at me and said "Mommy, where's your tea?". I said "I don't have a tea right now". And she said "I'm going to make you a tea". So she went and got her entire Princess tea set and served me "tea". Tea was cheerios in a Sleeping Beauty teacup, with a spoon in it. Best tea I ever had.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleeping Beauty Bicycle Fun

Happy Birthday Greg!

I gave Greg the ultimate gift for his birthday...
I let him sleep in and nap at will the whole day long.
And I took care of all dirty diapers, and accidents.
That and an iPOD makes for a happy man.
Naturally, the ladies also bestowed copious hugs, kisses, and cuddles.

Monday, July 27, 2009

She calls me "TinkerMom"

Guess who wants to be a fairy for Hallowe'en this year

Three generations of accessories.
My crown.
My Mom's shoes.
My grandmother's purse.

Lucy is a climber



If I'd let her, she would have ended up completely on the table.

She also can climb onto her change table in the time it takes you to say "she can climb onto her change table".

We need to buy her heavier shoes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lucy and her Daddy

Everyone in my house knows that Lucy has a very special attachment to her Daddy. Every single day she shows us how much he means to her.
This evening, while Greg was on a bike ride, I was reading a book with Lucy. Rebecca was merrily doing some solo imaginative play in her room, so Lucy had my full attention. We were reading Thumper counts to ten. Now, while Lucy has recently developed a very keen interest in books, she still can't sit through an entire book. Therefore, I was shocked when we actually reached number nine. On each page of the book, the numbers are represented by woodland creatures. Nine is quail. One big quail and a trail of eight baby quails. I told Lucy that these birds were called quail (although she still said "quack quack"), and look - it's a Mommy quail with her babies. At that point she pointed to the big quail (Lucy does a lot of pointing these days) and said "Daddy". It fascinated me that she interpreted the picture in this way. To me, it was a mommy and babies picture - I made the assumption, without even a nanosecond of thinking. Automatic processing. Probably accurate representation of what happens in nature. But to her, these parental scene does not just default to "Mommy". I don't want to overinterpret, but I would like to imagine that this might be a sign that by having Greg as the at-home parent, Lucy has the notion that a nurturing parent is not just limited to being a Mommy. As long as she doesn't think it's a role exclusive to Daddies, then I think it is a wonderful thing that might be happening in her brain.

Lucy and Rebecca mini-update

Lucy's language and cognitive abilities are advancing by leaps and bounds! It's crazy what she can learn in just one day! She adds new words to her vocabulary every day.
Lucy now uses some two-word sentences. Her favourite seems to be "Where's Daddy?" (not terribly surprising given the strength of her attachment). A new one I heard today was "go there" (declaring her intentions). Sadly, I must admit that another recent one was "single ladies". I think the blame for that one must lie squarely on Rebecca's shoulders, as it is no doubt her frequent rendition of Beyoncé hits, that put that phrase on Lucy's radar.
Lucy will now also execute simple commands. She will move objects as directed. The best application for this is that we can make her put her own diaper in the garbage. It is nice that she listens to what we say - if only it lasts!
Lucy was watching me sort laundry into piles. She brought me a sock from a laundry basket and I told her it was mine. So she tried to put it on my foot.
Rebecca is starting to make use of comparisons and similes on a regular basis. They are ones of her own devising, drawn from her own experiences or books she's had read to her. The other night, when she was reluctant to go to bed, she compared herself to the train from The Little Blue Engine that Could who repeats "I cannot".
Rebecca can't seem to tell the difference between the sound of me laughing and the sound of me crying. The girls are always doing humorous things, so I repeatedly have to assure Becca that I am o.k.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

As promised: Lucy's special spot

Mmm... right near the kitchen garbage!

Looks like Naan bread is on the menu.

Play time

Life is so much easier now that they play together!
Mostly easier...

Can't beat that smile

Bathtime hairstyles

Inside this sweet girl is a little bit of drama lama

It's hard to keep her still long enough for a good shot

Also, it doesn't help that I keep closing my eyes when the flash goes off.

Mega photo update

Hello out there to my out-of-town readers (you know who you are)! Miss you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucy and Becca update

Rebecca is on some sort of feeding binge. There must be a growth spurt in the offing because this girl is perpetually hungry and consuming more food than an adult could comfortably eat.
Lucy is getting faster and faster. She is going to grow up and become the road runner. Lemon-eating Lucy is working on her last premolar. The bottom two have been through for a while, and one of the top ones has all points (but not all centre) through the gums. This makes her suffer, but despite this she has a jolly disposition. Her ambition these days seems to be to climb me.

Parenting Personal Bests

Greg doing charity bike thing
Mommy's in charge
Lucy - morning nap
Rebecca - Can I watch Diego?
Me - perfect - I can have a quick shower and wash my hair.
As I exit - noises in Lucy's room
As I enter - pee on the hardwood - clean removed diaper - poops in the crib, poop on the clothes, poops on the face, hands, railings, poops in the damn cute but smelly baby butt cheeks

So bloody tired
Lucy hasn't napped all day
Greg desperately trying to finish getting the garden in
Manage to get Lucy down
Me - distracting Rebecca doing a princess puzzle mostly by myself while she eat cheerios
Rebecca - begging to be allowed to help Daddy garden
Me - getting the thumbs up from Greg and promising Rebecca she can go provided we put some sunscreen on her
Rebecca - nagging me, then wandering off to her room
Me - opportunistically lying down on the living room rug and falling asleep
Intermittent audio/visual Rebecca in the hallway saying something to me
Me - sudden alertness - Rebecca is holding something from my room
Watermelon and mint hand lotion
Rebecca - tired of waiting for mommy, has sunscreened herself with hand lotion
Me - decide to abandon sun screen plan - put Minnie Mouse hat on Rebecca instead

Thursday, June 18, 2009