Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where's Daddy sheep?

Lucy was playing with a small plastic Fisher Price sheep and a giant stuffed sheep. She was making voices for both sheep. The big sheep was the Mommy sheep and the little sheep was the baby sheep. Baby sheep said "Where is my Daddy?". Mommy sheep said "He's at Bushtukah".

Monday, September 20, 2010

First household infection of the year

By the end of her first week back at school, Rebecca had brought back a cold and shared it with Lucy and I.  Mom so far seems unaffected.

I called this morning to see if I should keep her home.  They said if she wasn't feverish or coughing badly to send her on in.  "If kids stayed home every time they were sniffly a few students would never come to school."  Seems practical enough.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Tricks

Trick #1:  "Look Daddy, I can have one eye open and one eye closed!"  "That's called winking honey."

Trick #2:  Maori tattoos for their baby dolls.  Rebecca and Lucy discovered a permanent marker hidden among some odds and ends on the dishwasher.  They decided that scribbling all over their dolls (one of which is Lucy's required bedtime companion) in black marker.  It was later determined that they were marked around the back of the neck to "protect them from predators".  They were also given "polish" on their feet.  Assorted scribbles on their heads and bodies remain unexplained.

We've done some internet research to see if it's possible to remove the markings.  We may be in the market for replacements.

Perhaps we'll take pictures first.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sisters help each other

Was taking care of dishes yesterday after dinner.  Rebecca and Lucy were playing well together for a little while, then I heard sounds of conflict.  Rebecca was opening and closing a door and Lucy was getting quite upset.  I told Rebecca to let Lucy in.

A couple minutes later Rebecca came up and said:
"Lucy's bum is all stinky and messy.  I tried to wipe it but I couldn't do it."

Uhoh.

Check the bathroom.  As I suspected, there was a poopy toddler, poopy potty seat, poopy pull up in the bath tub, a couple of errant poops on the floor and a little other assorted mess.

Obviously I couldn't be angry, as Lucy was just trying to be independent and Rebecca was just trying to help, but I had to try to explain that Lucy needs the help of an adult if she's going to be using the potty.

Monday, August 23, 2010

American Dagger Moth

The girls and I found the caterpillar of the American Dagger Moth crawling up the side of the house today.  Since our street is lined with linden trees - I guess this is not too surprising, but this was the first one I'd ever seen.  At any rate, I took some pictures (not my forté), which will be posted later.  When we came inside, we all sat down and tried to identify the caterpillar in our book of North American Insects and Spiders.  We had no luck - but the process was very nice, and ultimately the internet came to the rescue.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer update

Oh my gosh, only three weeks to go!  Yikes, where did all the time go?

I didn't get in all the camping I wanted, or have as many play dates, or teach Rebecca how to ride her bike without training wheels yet.  Time just seems to evaporate around the ultra compact nuclear energy source that is my two little girls.

Rather than being comprehensive about all the stuff I've neglected to post about in the last few months, I'll offer a picture of the last couple days.

Yesterday I biked the girls out in the early afternoon to Agincourt Park, which is right behind Becca's school.  It's got a little play structure and a wading pool.  We met up with Becca's classmate Rachel (one of Rebecca's favorite people), Rachel's little sister Rebecca, and their mom Elizabeth.

Let me tell you, the whole Rebecca/Rebecca thing was a little trying for Lucy.  I think we got her sorted, though, without thinking that her sister split in two.  ;)

We spent a couple hours playing in and out of the pool, and really blew through a chunk of Lucy's naptime.

I noticed that they were having a 'Park party' type event today, though, so we made plans to return.

I'd seen one of these parties at the park at the end of our street a couple weeks ago, but we weren't able to attend.  There was music playing, games aplenty, BBQ and ice cream and bouncy play castles.

I arranged to meet with Rowan and Luka (and mom Sarah) as well as mentioned my plans to Rachel's mom, who suggested she might show sometime around 1pm.

The morning consisted of dropping Mom off at work, and heading out for groceries.  By the time we got back there was time to make a few phone calls and then pack up and head out to the Park again.

I got there a little later than intended due to an apparent slow leak in my rear bike tire, but it held up and we made it ok by around 12:30.

The event was a little more low-key than the one I had witnessed previously.  They had music playing, and 'BBQ' hot dogs (ok, they were wieners done on a George Forman grill, but they were only $1) and a cotton candy machine.  Things were less elaborate, but the various lifeguards were all very enthusiastic, some playing games and live music, and making things fun for all the kids.

Rowan had already had a taste of the water by the time we arrived (Luka too, apparently accidentally) and had decided it was too cold.  She was back in her dry clothes.  Lucy and Becca would have none of that, though, and went right into the pool.

I had to drag Becca out for lunch, after which they went back in the water, joined by Rowan.  Shortly after that, Rachel showed up with her dad.  She got in the pool, and came out pretty quickly after that.  Rebecca must really have a thing for the water, though, because she stayed in all by her lonesome for a while, when the other kids were off doing other activities.

Timing of bathroom visits meant some running around, and being pulled in different directions by the kids meant no chance to sit down and relax and socialize with the parents.

The kids were well sun screened, but my plan of finding a place in the shade to watch over them didn't really pan out.  No burn for me, but it made for a very tiring afternoon.

Lucy had had enough by around 3 and we beat our retreat.  As I was trying to convince Rebecca that we needed to leave the play ground she wiped out on the slide and bit her tongue.  Some cuddles and teary goodbyes and we were on our way.

Lucy went down for a nap fairly easily, and Rebecca put herself to bed too (!).  But it was less than an hour until we had to get out the door to pick up Mom from work and go to swimming lessons.

The lessons started at 5pm, and today was 'parent day'.  Lucy is in a parent and tot class, but this is the one class in the session where we get to go in the water with Becca.  So Mom and I both swam, and traded off a couple times to spend time with each of the girls.

Both girls are coming along in their own ways.  Rebecca seems to have this class mastered, happily climbing out and jumping into the pool unassisted, floating with her face in the water holding a pool noodle, and swimming around the pool on her back and front with a noodle.  Next level will introduce swimming with no flotation aids.  I'm interested to see that.

Lucy is a champ at jumping in the pool, kicks much better than Rebecca did at this point in her swimming career, and most importantly seems to love the water like big sister.  What she can't abide by, though, is back float.  Don't know why, but she freaks out about it.

Anyway, we were back home at 6pm, and Mom took off for a dinner date with a friend.  The girls and I shared some leftovers, and we were into bedtime routine shortly thereafter.  It took FOR.... EVER.  As I tried to get one room tidied up, one or both of the girls would destroy the other one.  Finally, I just got everything done for Lucy, and put her to bed.

Rebecca was supposed to be cleaning her room, but was so tired that she had the attention span of a chipmunk.  I stubbornly had decided to dig in my heels and make her clean her room by herself.  I would ask her to pick up a toy, and she wouldn't even make it to the appropriate shelf without starting to make up a little story, talking in voices and such.

All told, bedtime routine took the better part of an hour and a half between the two girls.

Neither of them were being particularly bad or trying at any point today, but it sure took a lot out of me anyway.

I'm pretty certain that they both had an awesome time, though, so I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer is here post

The fact is... the busier and more complicated our lives become, the less likely we are to be able to set aside time to update the blog. And naturally the things that are going on and keeping us from writing are probably more worthy of entries. We have both girls enrolled in swimming classes at the same time on the same night of the week -which is fun for everyone. Unfortunately, Greg expelled me from the swimming area because I was distracting Lucy from her lesson (by my mere presence). Greg keeps the girls busy with play dates and museum trips, and I do the same on the weekends (usually with grandparent visits). We recently bought a little blow-up pool which is greatly appreciated. Combine that with watermelon and corn on the cob, and suddenly it's summer.

The works of Robert Munsch
Rebecca is extremely interested in the works of Robert Munsch these days. In her first year, we bought her The Paper Bag Princess (essential reading for all young girls - in my opinion), but she also has copies of Murmel, Murmel, Murmel, Angela's Airplane, We Share Everything (ha ha ha), Millicent and the Wind, Alligator Baby and most recently - Smelly Socks. Alligator Baby was a book my Mom gave to Rebecca when Lucy arrived and was very appropriate. It is likely her favourite, but I have also read Smelly Socks so many times lately, that I believe I might have the text memorized. Lucy has Ribbon Rescue, which I have read to her every night since I bought it. Anyhow, Rebecca acquired Smelly Socks for herself and Ribbon Rescue for Lucy by twisting my rubber arm during a recent trip to the local bookstore. The objective was for me to buy one specific book, but naturally I emerged with a total of four (2 for the girls, 2 for me). At any rate, Rebecca engaged me in a lively debate about whether Alligator Baby was fiction or non-fiction. She was adamant that it was nonfiction, and I tried to reason with her that she was mistaken. When you reach the point of trying to reason with the 4 year old, I think something has already gone terribly wrong. At any rate, the bottom line is that I am very happy that they take so much pleasure in books.
http://robertmunsch.com/

The accursed ice cream truck
There's an ice cream truck that patrols our neighbourhood. I don't mean a cart with outrageously priced multicoloured nasty popsicles, I mean a legitimate truck with music and enormous soft ice cream cones for next to nothing (but cash only ladies and gentlemen). There are only a few songs in its repertoire - one is Fur Elise, and it can also say "hello". These songs aren't blasting, but they can be heard from miles away. If you are bbqing in your backyard with your children, everyone hears it the moment it approaches the neighbourhood - a veritable siren song that engenders a kind of Pavlovian dog response in Rebecca and Lucy. I have partaken of the ice cream once - and I admit it was delicious. The girls have partaken more than once. I'll even admit that on one desperate occasion, I packed the girls into the car and drove down the street to catch the truck in my jewelled flip flops and a WonderWoman t-shirt that was never intended to grace society. That was the time (although not the last time), it stopped literally across the street from our house while I was trying to put Lucy to bed, and then I couldn't get scrounge up my change fast enough. There were tears and sotte voce curses, but ice cream was had in the end.

Potty training
We have embarked on Lucy's potty training journey. Hooray. Sigh. At the very beginning, potty training always feels like a giant pain, since in many ways, diapering was so much easier. I am hopeful that her attitude will allow for a quicker training time than Rebecca. Lucy is also lucky enough to benefit from the enthusiastic support of Rebecca who takes her job of cheering Lucy on very seriously. Lucy has had two successful pees on the potty so far, but is still missing her timing on most occasions. She is very good at communicating what has happened - after the fact, but tends to refer to everything as being "poopy". Rebecca and I made Lucy a very nice poster - on which we wrote Lucy's name, drew a big picture of Dora and a big picture of Miss Spider. Much as Rebecca did at that age, Lucy places all her stickers on those things she likes best - so Dora's whole face is covered in stickers, and Miss Spider's eyes are also highly decorated.

Rebecca's manual dexterity
Rebecca's drawing skills seem to have taken another leap forward. Her representations of people are suddenly far more recognizable, with very distinct features. Lucy adores colouring and drawing, but Rebecca is constantly reprimanding her for scribbling, which I gather was a big J-K no-no. I have to keep explaining that it's o.k. for Lucy to scribble since she is still little and learning.

Summer is here



Monday, July 5, 2010

Updates!

Rebecca finished her first year at school.  We're now settling into the summer routine.  She's quite excited about next year, her teacher is Madame Anne, and she has a class mascot, Patapouf, a teddy bear.

I'm sure she'll miss Miss Leslie, though.





We've got info from a few playmates, and just renewed our annual Museum of Nature membership, so we'll head down their fairly regularly.  Swimming classes for both girls start on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This is you

Lucy is a little girl who likes to play with dolls. She likes to dress them up. She likes to wheel them around in a stroller. She likes to tuck them into bed and give them kisses. It's all very sweet.
A recent birthday gift was a pair of magnetic dolls that can be dressed up in magnetic clothing much like paper dolls of yore. She loves this toy and makes daily use of it.
The other night I came home and I found one of the dolls heads. Just the head - in the living room. Lucy saw me holding it and said "this is you". Eventually, after a thorough excavation of the couch (where many treasures were uncovered), I found the body. When I showed her the body, again she said "This is you".
I'm sure there's a humorous interpretation out there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Evolution

Rebecca seems mostly better.  I offered her a grilled cheese for lunch, and she declined, preferring toast and fruit.

A little while later she came up with this gem:

Becca:  "One time when I was a baby I liked grilled cheese.  But now that I'm a little girl I don't like it anymore."

Dad:  "Why don't you like it anymore?"

Becca:  "I liked it when I was a baby.  I don't like it now.  Because of evolution."

Becca sees creatures that dislike grilled cheese as further along the evolutionary chain.  Interesting.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Becca's a poor sickie

So Rebecca's been sick the last few days.  She'll seem somewhat better for a while, have a good appetite, be in good spirits, then wham, either back to the bathroom to clean up after an accident or she throws up.

She finds it quite upsetting, but she seems to recover ok with cuddles afterwards.

I got home tonight late after work to find Mom looking kind of frazzled.  Rebecca had thrown up in bed, meaning a couple loads of things to clean up afterwards, and some serious consolation after cleaning her up.

Apparently it was at this point that Rebecca said:

"I'm sick.  I threw up four times.  I'm four years old.  I don't want to ever turn five years old."

I went in to check on her late tonight to find out she'd slept right through soiling her sheets, so I had to wake her up and take her to the washroom to clean her off in the tub.

Tonight she said that she doesn't like the bathroom because it's "where bad things happen".

It's amazing how helpless you can feel when your child is sick and you have no way to make them feel better.

She does give awesome cuddles though when she's feeling down in the dumps.

Monday, April 12, 2010

They like it when they match

They like to be dressed alike.

Lucy turned two today

This is a pretty recent picture.
I don't know how it is possible that she is already two!!!

Rosetta's bad day

This is Lucy's Rosetta fairy doll.
I can't tell you how often I find her like this (although most dolls in the house end up naked). The same thing happens to Becca's Tink doll. What does it mean? I don't know.
Lucy will also shove all of her bathing suits into the holes of her shape-sorter elephant.

Sibling Cuddles


It's all great until they find an object of mutual interest

Good times with hats from Great-Nanny

More Easter girls


Girls in their Easter dresses


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The trouble with the English language...

So, since Rebecca started reading she likes to try to identify all the letters (but mostly the consonants) in a word she hears.
As a result, she is quickly discovering that English is a big méli-mélo with lots of exceptions.
She gets very frustrated when her guesses are wrong, or if words don't conform to the rules she knows.
Problem words lately:
1 - Ocean (bad enough already that c can be soft or hard, but to make "sh" sound is unacceptable)
2 - Pteradactyl (the concept of a silent p annoys her)
3 - Lucy (the u that makes an "oo" instead of a "you" or "uh" sound, the soft c, and the y that is neither "yuh" nor "eye" sounding).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coochie coo does not fix an enraged toddler

During our visit to the hardware store I had the temerity to try to strap Lucy into the back of a shopping cart. She was not pleased.

She started squirming, moaning, yelling, crying, bawling and occasionally emitting animal like guttural noises.

I studiously ignored it, as I don't want her to get her way every time she pitches a fit. Especially when I need to strap her down to get something necessary accomplished.

I had three separate Rona employees try to cheer her up. The first one came up, waved at her, made various cooing noises and very helpfully suggested that 'all she needs is a little distraction'. I thanked her for the advice.

The second employee showed up about 30 seconds later, bearing paint chips for children's bedrooms which are shaped like a little smily face on a card. She offered one to Becca, who graciously took it. Lucy instead growled 'No' and whacked it out of the kind lady's hand onto the floor.

The third employee was about a minute later, and came along with balloons for the kids. Rebecca was overjoyed. Lucy tried to dramatically throw hers down at the ground. However it, being a balloon, did not smash to the floor breaking into a million pieces.

I gave it a couple more minutes, and as the fourth helpful employee approached, I released Lucy from the torture chair, and brought her up to my shoulder. She stopped crying immediately, looked around, and started giggling about something.

She won, and the degree of persistence and patience she showed frightens me.

Small booster seat update.

On day 2 of her booster seat usage, I was driving Rebecca home from Stomp.  About 2 km from home I hear 'click' and look in the rearview mirror to see Rebecca scooting across the rear seat.

"Rebecca!  NO!  You do NOT undo your seatbelt, now I have to stop the car because that is NOT safe!"

I pulled over, got her buckled back in, and I gave her a little lecture about how if she's not buckled in, and we have an accident, she could fly around the car and get hurt.  I told her how a seatbelt keeps her much safer in the car, and she should feel uncomfortable in a moving car without a seatbelt.

It must have been effective, because as soon as I was done the waterworks started.  She was pretty much done crying by the time we got home, but as I opened the front door to let her in the house she let out a big wail "MOOOMMMY" and ran up to mom and gave her a big sobby hug.

We ran a few errands in the car today, and she's still excited about her booster each time she gets to ride in the car, and there have been no more unbuckling incidents.  In fact she's been asking me if it's ok to undo it every time I shut off the car.

Chalk another success up to 'the stern voice'.

Girls in the closet


The girls play well together.

Nanny makes awesome nightgowns


Rebecca got Fifth disease

Also known as "slap cheek", it is yet another virus she caught at school. The rash actually spread over her entire body, and is still dissipating, even though it's been a few weeks since its initial appearance.

Way overdue post

Rather than try to post about the weeks that have already passed, I will post about today.
Rebecca is still talking about seeing Stomp. Stomp tickets were her big Christmas present and she went yesterday with Greg. She *loved* it and she also befriended a little girl sitting beside her. I don't know how I spawned such a sociable little lady, but there you have it. Lately, all Rebecca wants to eat is Dino eggs and watermelon. She used to have much broader food interests. I don't know what happened. Now she hates yogurt. It used to be a daily (and conveniently healthy) fixture. If I had any doubts about the yogurt loathing it was confirmed when I read her "All about me" book that came home in her backpack from school today. Under "foods I don't like/yuck yuck" was a picture of yogurt. There was also a picture of "ham" (actually salmon) and "chicken" (stir fry pork) which she claims to hate. The last time I bought a package of sliced ham, she ate 4 slices in a sitting. Of course, there are any number of untruths in "all about me". For example, Rebecca says her favourite colour is green, her favourite animal is a fox, and her favourite toy is a starfish. However, she did correctly identify and draw all the members of her immediate family, and did not include the neighbour's dog (we recently had a heated debate about whether Bailey the dog was our dog or not). Recently, Rebecca has been telling me that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up because then she could make me feel better when I'm sick. I thought that was really sweet. At the same time, she has been obsessing over bandaids and insists she needs one every time she so much as bumps up against something. This evening she tried to convince me that her knees (bumped two or three days ago) was bleeding. It was not. She also tried to call Nanny and Grandpa on a plastic toy phone because she misses them and wants them to come home. Rebecca is very enthusiastic about reading. Since she can now read simple sentences, she likes to take books off her shelf and pretend read them. Tonight she read Lucy a bedtime story. It was very cute and Lucy was thrilled to bits. I am impressed with how nicely (mostly) the girls have been playing together. They seem to have a lot of fun, and they trash both their rooms (yeah!). On the weekend we were having dinner with my brother-in-law and his family and Rebecca was playing with a big Bonhomme stick. She told me she was practicing her footwork with her bokken. It just goes to show that sometimes she listens and pays attention to me, even if often it seems like this is not the case. With Lucy, the lack of listening is very evident these days. We are definitely in the terrible twos (even if two is still a month away). I am rejoicing in the fact that Becca has finally achieved a weight sufficient to allow the elimination of her godforsaken car seat. We now have her in a booster and my back is grateful. Rebecca is over the moon with this development. Lucy is such a sweetheart but she has developed a preference for specific clothing items that often leads to frustration on her part. There are two shirts that she loves better than any others. One she call "colours" because it is a stripy shirt of different colours (and while she does have other multi-coloured stripey shirts, only this one is special to her). The other shirt she calls "castle". The reason for this title is more elusive - it is in fact a yellow t-shirt (which is now too small really) from Egypt that my parents gave to her in the fall. It has a picture of Horus and a Pharaoh on it. With pants she is somewhat less picky. There are two acceptable pjs. One is called "Kendo", and it is a pink nightgown with polka dots (this has no relation to my Kendo uniform at all). The other is called "Cake", and consists of a top with a cake on it, and pj bottoms with various sweets depicted on them. God forbid that all of these items be dirty at the same time. She will rifle through the hamper looking for them. You can, of course, dress her in other things, but at this point, if she doesn't want to wear something - off it comes. She also eats my grapefruit when I'm distracted.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lucy bonks her head again

Second verse, same as the first.  As happened back at the end of September, Lucy was walking on a bed, fell and hit her forehead on some furniture, cutting it and necessitating a visit to the hospital to get it glued shut.

Once again, she was a trooper, and stopped crying before we had finished wiping the blood off her face.
The wait at the hospital wasn't too bad, we were out in about 2.5 hrs.