Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year

It's been a busy couple of weeks here, and a while since I've written anything.  I guess I should squeeze one more post in before the new year.  I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

Our Christmas celebrations started on Christmas Eve.  We went to the evening service at church which started at 6:30.  It's a tradition that the last song (Silent Night) is sung by candle light.  Everyone gets a candle and the lights are turned off and the flame is passed from one person to another starting with the Christ candle.  We decided this year that the girls could each hold a candle.  Ginny did fine (surprisingly), but Jorja had a bit of a mishap.  She was getting into things and decided to hold the candle above her head.  The only problem with that was that she didn't keep it very level and dripped hot wax onto her head.  Ouch!  It wasn't a very silent night after that, but we made it through and combed some wax out of her hair when we got home. 

We then opened presents Christmas eve when we got home from church.  (Except for CeCe - she had had enough and was ready for bed)  The girls were pretty excited and had a lot of fun.  We got them a doll house this year.  It's funny, one doesn't realize the scale of a doll house when it is set up in Toys R Us.  It didn't look that big, but once it was home and set up, it is a real presence in the room.  Oh well, it will only be around for a few more years, and the shade of hot pink looks great in the family room.

Christmas toes

Jorja and Ginny in their new PJs opening presents

CeCe in front of the aftermath
Christmas day the weather was beautiful and I took the older two girls to the park to go sledding.  Jorja had mentioned once that a friend of hers brought a sled to school one day and they went sliding down the 'biggest hill ever'.  I've seen the playground and I wasn't exactly sure what she was talking about, but I thought we'd see.  Her 'hill' was basically a large trench through the park - pretty lame.  Across the field at the public school, there is a bit of an actual hill, so that's where we went.  We had a lot of fun.  The hill wasn't too big, and for the first few runs, I ended up being the chair lift and pulled the two of them in the sled up the hill.  I came to my senses and made them walk up.  Then we all piled in and went down a few times.  Here's the view heading down.
Not the biggest hill, but we had fun.

On boxing day, we set out for Julie's parent's place where we feasted that evening.  We had another Christmas and the girls had fun again.  CeCe wasn't too into the presents yet this year, but she did have fun with a bow for a while.  The weather there was nice, and we went sledding in some hills in the field.  This was considerably bigger than the school hill, and I think the adults had more fun than the kids.  The girls had fun playing with their aunt and uncle and Nanny and Poppa.  They also got to spend some time with both great-grannies, so that was nice. 

Jorja must have been hearing some politically correct greeting this year, because one afternoon out of the blue she said to me, "Seasons ingredients!"  I smiled and said "Seasons ingredients" back to her.  (Yes, I did correct her after a while.)  Another afternoon she was helping Poppa in his office punching some holes in some papers.  She proudly came up afterward and declared she was his 'secondtary'.  So close on both occasions.

We came home on the 29th, and now it seems like the crunch is really on.  Julie goes back to work on Monday, the girls start at the sitter full time and Jorja goes back to school.  I'm back at work too.  It seems like this January back-to-work date for Julie has just sort of been looming in the distance, but now it's here and there seems like there is so much to do.  We went on a big shopping excursion yesterday to buy all the supplies for the sitter - diapers, wipes, zinc cream.  Plus we needed all that stuff for ourselves.  Julie needed some new shoes and uniforms for work, so we got that taken care of as well.  It was rather draining by the time we were done - physically, mentally and financially.  But we're getting there.

Now we are having some friends over tonight, my parents tomorrow for one last Christmas and then it's back to reality.  Have a good New Year's and try to stay warm.  Later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sensory experts

There's a bit of sickness running through our house again - nothing like the last bout thank goodness.  This is just a cold.  Ginny and CeCe have had the worst of it.  I've heard a few different names for colds - chest colds, head colds, night-time achy fever runny-nose colds.  Now, thanks to Jorja, I've heard of another one.  This is apparently the cold that Ginny and CeCe have, and the description is actually quite fitting:  the snot cold.  Yes, according to Dr. Jorja, they are both suffering from the 'snot cold' which occurs when snot runs from your nose and touches your top lip.

A lot of the basic skills I use at work, I learned in school.  There is however one skill that they don't teach at SIAST and that is sensory training (some may call it tasting).  This had to be learned on the job.  Before you laugh, there was a lot of training that went into this.  It is a critical component in the Quality Assurance of the finished product.  You can do all the chemical analysis you want, but if the beer doesn't taste good, what do you have?  To make a long story short, you could call me a beer sensory expert.  Apparently this sensory gene can be passed down, and I think Jorja might have it.  A few days ago we were running low on milk, so I ran out in the evening.  All that were left were 2 litre cartons (no 4 litre plastic jugs).  Not thinking anything of it, I bought the 2 litre carton.  Well, you should have heard the outcry from Jorja when I put that on her cereal in the morning.  "I don't like this milk.  I only like milk from the jug."  I thought she was just being a diva and forced her to keep using the milk until it was gone.  Finally we reached the end one morning and I filled her glass up with the 2 litre carton and her cereal got the new 4 litre jug milk.  She asked if it was new milk and I told her that she should tell me.  She took a sip of her cup and turned up her nose.  Then she had some from her bowl and sighed in relief.  She could tell the difference.  Who knew?  I guess we have a milk sensory expert in the house.  Later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Potatoes

Growing up on a farm, potatoes were a staple.  They were served with almost every meal and they were good.  Everyone liked them.  Julie grew up pretty much the same way.  What's not to love - mashed, baked, boiled, roasted, fried, barbecued - the possibilities are endless.  I guess we just assumed that when we had kids, they would like potatoes.  Wrong.  With Jorja, it doesn't matter how they are done, she has never liked them.  Ginny has turned out to like the deep-fried variety (naturally) as well as the occasional hash brown.  The jury is still out on CeCe.  This is a fairly long preamble, but it is leading somewhere.  We had the kids at the new sitter two days this week.  After the second day, we asked them what they had for lunch.  They replied that they had potatoes.  A look of shock and awe crossed our faces.  "What kind of potatoes?" we asked.  Ginny said, "White ones."  That narrows it down anyway.  "Did you like them?"  Both girls said that yes, they did like them.  Again, shock and awe.  This was going to require a little more digging.  Julie called and asked what kind of miracle potato was served that the girls ate.  It turns out they were No-Name frozen hash browns done up with some dill and seasoning salt.  I guess Jorja looked at her plate and said that she didn't like potatoes.  The sitter said that she should at least try them, so she did.  Her response: "I like these.  They're better than the potatoes my Mom makes."  I guess that's what we get for trying the unprocessed variety of the food.  Later.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas concerts

It appears that at the ripe old age of five, our daughter is ready to become a snowbird.  Jorja has decided that she has had enough of winter.  The other day after piano lessons we were walking back to the car, and it was a bit windy and quite cold.  She said that this cold weather made it hard to walk and hard to breathe.  We made it all the way back to the car (less than a block) and she flopped down into her seat and exclaimed, "I'm exhausted!"  Life is rough.  She has now decided that she has had enough and we should move to Mexico.  Just wait until January.

We took the girls to the new sitter today for a test run.  Things went pretty good, considering it was the first time and they stayed there all day.  Jorja walked to school with the sitter's son who is in grade six (it's a good thing it wasn't too cold today) and that went well.  CeCe had a few issues, but nothing too serious.  Ginny seemed to do the best of all, surprisingly.  Except for the fact that we were barely home, and she asked if she could poop.  Apparently she didn't feel comfortable enough to let go at the sitter's house yet.  A bit of holiday lockdown.  I'm sure that will go away.  As it is now, Julie will have to deal with a day of 'cleansing' tomorrow.  Too bad I have to work.

It's the season of the Christmas concerts and recitals.  Sunday was a marathon session for us.  The girls both performed during church as part of their Sunday School program.  They sang some songs, jingled some bells and Jorja had some lines to say this year.  For as much of a performer Ginny is at home, she was pretty reserved in front of the church.  Jorja was at first too, but she made it through her lines.  She looked a bit like a deer in the headlights when she first spoke into the mic, but she did it.  We were barely home and had a bite to eat and we were back on the road for piano recitals.  The girls are far enough apart  in age that we had to attend two - Ginny's started at 1:00 and Jorja's at 2:30.  Ginny sang a couple of songs and Jorja played the piano.

'Love may come and tap you on the shoulder, some starless night...'

'Ring those bells and turn around...'


It was a long day, but one that made me feel pretty proud, not only because of their performances, but because of how well behaved they were all afternoon.  There was a lot to sit through, and they did awesome, listening to everyone and clapping enthusiastically right to the end.

On another note, we are officially back into the 'gate stage' at our house.  CeCe is going to be walking soon enough, I'm sure.  She pulls herself up on everything and is starting to scooch along holding on.  She has also decided that she can climb stairs.  I turned my back for a minute and she was up two step already.  That's not good for the blood pressure.


Tomorrow night we are off to the final concert - the school one.  Now it's time for bed.  Later.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tree Trimming

The tree has been up for a while now, but we finally emptied the camera.
Ginny smiling so naturally for the camera.

Always posing.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snoop and Dennis

As of late, we have come up with little nicknames or terms of endearment for our two eldest daughters.  Ginny is Dennis and Jorja is Snoop. 

Ginny is Dennis as in Dennis the Menace.  She does not seem happy unless she is into something.  She just can't seem to keep her hands from touching anything and everything.  She's not a huge fan of the name.  "Dennis, stop touching that!"  "I'm not Dennis!"  This exchange goes on for a while until we get her to stop doing whatever she was doing.  Then it happens again the next day.

Jorja is Snoop  because I'm not sure I have ever seen a nosier person.  She can't stand to not know what is going on.  Julie and I can not have any kind of conversation without her listening in and asking about it.  At the rate she is learning these days, we won't be able to spell things out to each other very much longer either.  She however, has come to take great pride in this new name.  Julie and I will be talking about something, thinking we're being rather quiet and nondescript when Jorja will come and ask a question that she only could have asked if she knew what we were talking about.  "You're not supposed to be listening to this Snoop."  "But I like to, I snooped it out."  That has become one of her favorite sayings lately, "I snooped it out."  She also likes to turn things around once in a while too.  A couple of days ago, she was muttering something under her breath as I was leaving the room.  No one else was there, so I assumed she was talking to me.  Guess again.  She said to me, "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to God.......Snoop!"  Touche.  Later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Feliz Navidad (or something like that)

I sit here this evening in silence, at least for the time being anyway.  Until someone wakes up and wants something - a soother, drink of water, to go pee.  Julie is out at our church Bible study group this evening which we both usually attend.  Today I am on poop patrol though.  Let me back up.  Wednesday evening as we were getting the girls ready for bed, Julie was feeding CeCe her bottle.  She was no sooner done than she threw up.  She has always had little milk spit-ups, but this was her first full blown puke.  So it was back to the tub with CeCe and Julie hit the shower.  The next morning (I was conveniently at work), the diarrhea started.  We had three solid days of that - a full outfit change with every diaper change, full bedding change if it happened there, Lysol the crib railings.  Oh yes, it has been fun.  If I had known about all this stuff before we had three kids, I would have bought stocks in stain remover and Lysol.  Anyway, we managed to keep it off the carpet this time although it was close.  There were two instances when I walked down the stairs to the family room to see some bubblin' crude coming over her pants and heading for the floor. 

So yes, here I sit.  We didn't think that any baby sitter would ever come back if we left her with the situation that was going on here this week.  So I took the older two to Sunday School this morning and Julie went out this evening.  I don't want to jinx the night, but I think CeCe may have started to turn the corner.  She kept the same outfit on all day and only had one semi-solid poop.  All right, enough about poop.

I was driving Jorja to piano lessons yesterday and I switched the radio station from the country one to the eighties one.  Steve Windwood's 'Valarie' was playing.  I've always liked Steve Windwood, but I digress.  Jorja asked me, "Dad, is this your station, the '80's on eight?"  I replied that yes it was.  "You know, your station isn't that bad," she replied.  Thanks Jorja, I'm glad you approve.

I had a couple of errands to run this afternoon and CeCe was napping and Julie was doing some Christmas baking (yes!!) so I took the girls along with me.  I was standing in line at the post office in Shoppers not really paying much attention to the conversation the girls were having.  All of a sudden, Ginny looks at the woman behind us and says, "Maybe she could be our mother."  This caught my attention.  Then Jorja said, "You think she's our mother?!"  and then the two of them laughed hysterically.  I had nothing.  What do you say to that?  I looked and the lady, and she was smirking, so that was all right.  What did she really think?  Were these two kids looking for a new wife/mother like something from Sleepless in Seattle?  I told them to stop being so goofy and wished the letter to the Philippine consulate in front of us would move along a little quicker.

Jorja likes to think that she is Ginny's teacher some days.  She especially likes to sound out words for Ginny when she hears something new.  She does it syllable by syllable to help her sound the new word out.  I forget what the word was now, but this was going on the other day.  Then Jorja said, "I know almost all the words, except Spanish, I only knew a few words in Spanish.  Like Natalise La Di Da.  That means Merry Christmas."  How does that go again I asked her.  "Nah - Tah - Lees - La - Dee  - Da" she says to me very clearly and slowly so that I too may learn this second language.  Thanks Jorja, but I think we'll have to play a bit more Bony M. this year.  Later.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

As close as Ginny would get.
With the exception of the Roughrider game, we had a great weekend.  Julie and I were able to attend my Christmas party and the new sitter did great.  Even though (surprise, surprise) our middle child pulled some fast stuff at bedtime and CeCe was a bit unsettled later on, we were still able to stay out until midnight.  The supper was great and the dessert table was to die for.  The entertainment was a game show and it was fun for a while, just went on a bit too long.  That was followed by a dance and Karaoke.  I sang 'Sweet Caroline' and was waiting for my Waylon song to come when the phone rang.  CeCe was awake and not settling.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.  We arrived home to find all quiet, the sitter rocking CeCe and trying to get her back to sleep.  Did I mention I was impressed with her?

I want a doll house...

I'll stare you down old man.

Sunday evening brought the kids' party.  The girls were beside themselves all day long.  We were barely home from church and they were asking if it was time yet.  It was held at the Fun Factory and the girls did have a blast.  There is this whole jungle gym set-up with slides, tunnels, ball pits.   Ginny turned out to be a bit short for a couple of spots.  There was this one spot where a slide came down into a ball pit and then there was this tunnel to crawl out of.  The only problem was that she couldn't get up into the tunnel.  So when I came to check on her, here she was stuck in this ball pit dead end.  Poor thing.  This meant that I had to go in though.  I managed to get through the tunnel and fish her out and gave her strict instructions not to head that way again.  "Why not?" was the response I got.  Good question.  We had supper and then Santa came.  Ginny was  having nothing to with him.  I'm proud to say we had the only child that freaked out and screamed when trying to be coerced into sitting on Santa's lap.  Even CeCe did good.  She tried to stare him down, didn't crack a smile, but there were no tears.  The gifts they got were awesome too.
  
The other day I was wearing a Tshirt with the Superman symbol on the front.  I have had the shirt for a long time, just hadn't worn it in forever.  I don't think Ginny had ever seen it.  (This is another one of those examples of how doomed I am, being the only guy in the house.)  I was trying to explain to Ginny what it was - the S for Superman.  She just didn't get it.  The next day she told me that she like my jewel shirt.  Need I say more.

Jorja has informed us that everything she knows she has learned 'from Kindergarten and commercials.'  The more time we spend in the toy aisles before Christmas the more I am inclined to believe her.  They always love to push all the buttons on everything and see what wondrous noises things make.  When something doesn't work, she says, "Batteries not included."  Later.


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas parties

This is the weekend of Christmas parties.  Tonight is my work party and Sunday is the kids' Christmas party put on by my employer.  Julie and I are pumped for tonight, and the girls are pumped for Sunday.  I guess when the organizers were putting this together, they didn't think Saskatchewan would be in the Grey Cup.  Now it turns out Santa is scheduled to arrive right at opening kick-off.  Oh well, we should be home by the time the first quarter is over.  We are trying a new sitter tonight, so hopefully we're not home by 7:00.  I broke the news to Jorja last night and she seemed all right with it, so we'll see.  It's also the first time we've had a sitter for all three, so here's hoping the new girl does all right.

Jorja and I were talking about Santa last night before bed.  I told her she was going to see him on Sunday and that I had been talking to him that afternoon.  I told her he came to visit me at work.  Little does she know, Santa has a day job.  Anyway, I asked her what she would tell him of he asked her what she wants for Christmas.  She said, "I want a doll house with a grey elevator."  It's good to be specific I guess.  There's no point dropping subtle hints (with men regarding presents), you may as just spell out what you want so that you're not disappointed.  Then I asked her what she would say if she had been a good girl.  She looked at me and sheepishly whispered, "What should I say Daddy?"  I told her she could probably say yes.

Ginny was awake at 6:300 this morning, and I managed to convince her that it wasn't morning yet.  By the time she was back asleep CeCe was awake and not going back.  So much for sleeping in.  Jorja is up now too, and Ginny is the only one sleeping.  How does that work?  Oh well, time to put the coffee on.  Later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Clean air

This going to work business is cutting in to my writing time.  Getting up at 5:30 makes the evening a little shorter too.  Not to mention the lack of inspiration and writing material when I'm not here all day.  Oh well, what can you do?

We all got over  our flu issues, so that is a relief.  It didn't last all that long, but we sure felt rough while we had it.  Speaking of health, we had our furnace ducts cleaned this week.  What a difference that makes.  We kept meaning to and kept meaning to and never got it done.  We've lived here three and a half years and never had it done.  The previous owners had dogs - they were dog breeders actually.  Yeah I know - gross.  Jorja's asthma had been good for so long, we hadn't had to use puffers in ages.  Then this fall she caught a cold and it just hung on and hung on and she would cough and cough and cough at night.  Then we went to Calgary for the weekend and no coughing.  So when we got home, I called, we had it done, and the past two nights, no coughing.  I feel like such a schmuck.  At least it's better now.

We are now in the process of looking for daycare.  It is really tough to find someone good in the area.  After an interesting experience, we found out it's easy to find someone not good.  Who needs references when there's facebook.  Later.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Runnin' back to Saskatoon

To be honest, I'm feeling a little bummed out today.  We were supposed to go to Tofield and visit my parents this weekend.  The added bonus to that was my brother and sister-in-law had a baby girl a couple of days ago and we would have been able to see them too.  Why are we still in Saskatoon then?  It started early Friday morning with some retching.  It appears Jorja has a stomach flu.  She threw up a bit Friday morning and didn't feel very good at all.  Given her history with throwing up, we weren't sure if it would just be the once and then she would feel fine, or if she was actually sick.  She had a nap (should have been our first clue she was sick) and then seemed a little perkier after that.  We decided we would still set out, a little later than planned.  We got to Borden and decided to turn around.  She was getting greener and greener and then she ended up with a fever last night and more throwing up during the night.  Not exactly what you want when travelling.  She seems a little better this morning - actually asked to eat something, so we'll see if that sits all right.

I wrote that first paragraph this morning, and it is now evening and since then Julie has succumbed to the same bug Jorja had.  I feel I may not be far behind either.  That's unfortunate.  I really hate throwing up.  Like really hate it.  Kids always seem so resilient - puke one minute, smile the next.  I don't know how they do it.  I guess the long and short of it is that it's a good thing we stayed home this weekend.

We had our first parent-teacher-student three way conference on Thursday.  I guess they don't just have parent-teacher interviews anymore.  It turns our our child is brilliant.  Well, maybe I'm bragging a bit, but she is doing great.  She showed us how to use the 'smart board' (apparently blackboards are out now to) and all the other stuff she can do.  There were several stations that we went through before we got to the teacher where she had little activities to do.  Pretty basic stuff - letters, numbers, shapes, colours.  Just the basic shapes and colours though - it's a wonder she doesn't get bored with some of that stuff.  She wasn't even three yet and she could tell you what a turquoise parallelogram was.  The teacher had no concerns with Jorja either, so that was good.  She was impressed by how much Jorja can read already.  Jorja loves her teacher too.  I think Kindergarten teachers are a special breed of people - how you can be that kind and loving and patient day after day is beyond me.  I had a great Kindergarten teacher and it looks like Jorja will have similar fond memories to look back onto.

I took the youngest two kids to Walmart this afternoon to get a few things.  What was I thinking on Saturday afternoon?  It was a zoo in there.  Ginny was remarkably well behaved though and we survived relatively unscathed.  I left Jorja home to look after Julie, a task which she took to heart.  Jorja was on the upswing this afternoon, so she felt confident in that role.  She is quite the little mother hen that one.  It breaks her heart when someone else in the family isn't feeling well.  She really mother Ginny when she doesn't feel well.

I guess we will be home for the Rider game tomorrow, instead of on the road like the last game.  I can get the girls to watch it on TV, but listening to it on the radio is a bit of a stretch.  Jorja and Ginny are taking quite the interest in the Roughriders this year, well as much interest as they can manage for something that isn't animated with catchy music.  At least they don't ask to turn it off.   

Work is going good, but I'm back to the day shift this week, so we'll see how everyone else fares.  Hopefully alright.  Later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 1

Well, we survived my first week back at work.  I think it was easiest on me.  Work itself was good, not too much had changed and it was good to see everyone again.  This week I am working the evening shift to give Julie a bit of a break.  This way I can still help getting Jorja to and from school and go to work after she gets home.  We'll see how that goes.

We were in Calgary this past weekend to celebrate Julie's Mom's birthday.  We left on Thursday and had supper with my sister and her family.  We had a nice visit there (the girls had fun playing with their cousins) and then went to Julie's brother and sister-in-law's place for the rest of the weekend.  We did some shopping on Friday and had a nice birthday supper for Julie's Mom.  Saturday was spent at the zoo which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.  Sunday was a looonnnggg day in the car.  We broke down this time and borrowed a DVD player from some friends for the car ride.  Why did we not do this sooner?  We were always 'we never had that as a kid, our kids don't need that'.  Who were we trying to fool?  It was awesome.  It was the best-behaved the girls had been for a long car ride.  And Calgary is a long car ride.

On the way home we stopped in Hanna for lunch.  We ended up finding a local restaurant that had a Sunday buffet, so we had that.  It was a nice change from the usual road trip fare.  After lunch, Jorja had to go to the bathroom, so I took her.  It was a small bathroom with one stall to sit and one urinal.  I sent her into the stall while I used the urinal.  I was standing there waiting for her to finish when another gentleman entered the bathroom and proceeded to wait for the stall.  It was at this point that Jorja yelled (loudly), "Dad!  You've got to see the size of my poop!"  The guy looked at me and smirked.  I told her to just finish wiping and come out.  "No Dad, you've got to see this.  It's massive!"  At this point I told her someone else was there waiting to use the bathroom, and that she should just hurry up.  I wonder what that guy told his dining party when he went back. 

Taking Jorja to school today, I was walking and holding Ginny's hand.  I guess I was squeezing a bit hard trying to keep her on the sidewalk and out of traffic.  She said to me, "Dad, don't squish my mitt.  If you do, I will be mad."  All right then.  Later.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This is it

Well, it's Friday evening now, so with just the weekend left, I guess you could say my parental leave is pretty much over.  I'd like to say this last week was a special, magical, memory-filled week, but truth be told, it was pretty much the same as any other.  The kids weren't little angels the entire time.  There were times they were each in trouble.  We didn't get to do anything super special to celebrate.  But that's okay.  It was a real week in our real lives, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Jorja had a dentist appointment this week.  This was the first one where they did more than just kind of look around.  She had her teeth cleaned, polished, had xrays taken and did awesome.  There were no issues at all.  I was so proud of her.  I guess if you've never had a filling or a tooth pulled or a root canal, there is less reason to be nervous going to the dentist.  The dentist did say that her bottom two front teeth are starting to get loose though, so maybe she'll start losing teeth this year.

Ginny continues to be Ginny.  So frustrating and stubborn and head-strong one minute, then so cute and funny and lovable the next.  We've all had colds here for what seems like forever, and we've pretty much got her trained to cough and sneeze into her arm.  Last night at supper, Julie sneezed and Ginny looked over and asked, "Did you sneeze into your elbow?"  Oh yes, she's watching.  We were eating a casserole that has crunchy chow mien noodles on the top of it.  Sometimes, I like to take a couple of noodles and tuck them under my upper lip and let them hang down so that they look like a walrus.  Yes, I'm kind of a dork.  Anyway, I did this yesterday and Ginny said that walruses bite.  Julie said, "Oh, did you read about that or was is on TV, or who said that?"  Ginny looked at her, paused and then matter-of-factly said, "I did."  As if to say, 'Hello, weren't you listening?'

CeCe is our easy going child.  She just sits back and takes it all in.  She is getting awfully mobile now though.  She still isn't quite crawling, but she can roll quicker than you would think possible.  She can sit back up when she gets to her destination with no problem.  I've found her sitting up in her crib quite a few times now, and today, she was trying to pull herself up on something.  It may be time to lower the crib already.  Yikes.  She's got a second tooth, and is becoming less interested in baby food.  We mashed up a real banana the other day and she loved it.  It was as if to say, 'What is that crap you've been feeding me?  This stuff has real flavour.'  The reception to the kiwi today wasn't quite as warm, but they may be an acquired taste.

Jorja brought home a note yesterday saying she was supposed to bring in a couple of little boxes of Smarties left over from Halloween because they were going to count them and graph the results.  First of all, it's a good thing none of my teachers ever wanted me to bring in candy a week after Halloween.  Second of all, graph?!  Really?  In Kindergarten?  Don't get me wrong, nothing gets me revved up like a good graph.  It's always amazing how a good graphical representation can really make some data come to life.  I wanted to show her Excel, and all the cool stuff we could do.  We could add a trend line, find the slope, intercepts...the possibilities are endless.  But I restrained, and kept my excitement bottled up on the inside.  I know she's really smart, but I didn't want to freak her out too soon.  I asked her today how the graphing went and she said, "The green won."  Maybe we'll wait with the Excel for a bit. (Yes, I know I'm a geek.)

So this is it.  Monday morning will see me out the door off to work for the first time in nine months.  It will definitely be a transition.  I'll keep you posted.  Later.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

Thursday was Julie's birthday, and it was a good day.  She enjoyed her presents and cake, and the girls had fun too.  We all wore our party hats for cake at lunch time, and then we went out for supper.  Jorja told Julie that she got to pick the restaurant because it was her birthday.  In reality it wasn't entirely Julie's decision because we have to go somewhere that serves either chicken fingers or pizza (that is all the girls will ever eat at a restaurant).  We went to Boston Pizza.

The girls in their party hats.

Just to prove I had a hat too.
Jorja was asking Julie something about her birthday, and Julie said that she wasn't going to have any more birthdays.  Jorja replied, "You have to keep having birthdays so that you can die.  Don't you want to go see that golden place?"  At least the thought doesn't frighten her I guess.

After church today we went to Jerry's for lunch (as we do most Sundays) and after we were done eating the girls were playing in the play area.  Jorja had to go to the bathroom and Ginny continued to play.  She introduced herself to another little girl and found out this girl's name was Isabel.  She knows another little girl who also has that name.  As I was buckling her into her carseat to go home, I asked her about her new friend.  She told me that 'she is one of the Isabels.'  Maybe there's a whole gang of them, I don't know.

Tonight we took the girls out trick or treating.  They had a blast and ended up with way too much candy.  Ginny was dressed as a kangaroo, and her costume had a little joey sewn into the pouch on the front.  She spent the entire evening with one hand on her baby and said at one point, "When Joey gets scared, I just cover his eyes."  The later she said to Julie, "Joey is doing awesome, isn't he?" 

It is obvious which one of them takes after their father with respect to eating Halloween candy.  Ginny.  We let them have a couple of things when they got in, and Jorja was taking her time, and Ginny was 'can I have one more? ...chomp chomp... I'm just gonna have one more... chomp chomp ... can I have another?'
The kangaroo.

The skunk.

The princess.

The haul.
This marks my last Sunday evening without having to wake up for work in the morning.  It's not like the girls ever sleep in anyway, but I'm not looking forward to that 5:20 am alarm clock.  I guess I better make the most of this week.  Later.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The making of a masterpiece

Well, as promised, here it is:  the making of Julie's birthday cake:

My contribution:  the 'crumb coat':
The future cake boss?
The concentration...
Just a little more magenta over here:
Almost done: 
The masterpiece:
 And CeCe, the trooper, forced to watch all the fun from the playpen:
Later.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is Julie's birthday, so today was spent in eager preparation.  I think Jorja may some day be an event planner.  I baked the cake yesterday, so today we decorated it (Jorja, Ginny and me).  There are several words I could use to describe decorating a cake with a two year old and a five year old, but I think I'll just go with interesting.  I would post pictures, but I'll have to wait until after the big day as to not ruin the surprise.  Like anything with Jorja is ever a surprise.  Anyway, the cake turned out pretty good, so then it was time to make party hats.  After all, what is a party without party hats?  I fashioned five little cones out of paper and Jorja busily decorated them.  Oh yes, it is going to be quite the party.  For the girls' last couple of birthdays, Julie has made big poster-sized banners saying happy birthday along with pictures of the theme of that year.  Jorja also had to make a banner which I have been told I am to hang up tonight while Julie is sleeping to it's a surprise when she wakes up.  Who does she think I am, Santa?  I think I'll just do it in the morning.  She also thinks there should be balloons, but I don't think we have any, so I hope there aren't too many tears over that.  Don't laugh, there may very well be - she takes these things very seriously.  You also have to imagine her talking 90 miles an hour throughout this whole process as to what I am supposed to be doing and why we're doing this and how that will turn out.  It's very exhausting.  On that note, I've got some gifts to wrap.  Later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CeCe

It is now exactly two weeks until I go back to work.  Technically, I'm back to work already, but I took two weeks of holidays first.  I figure I earned them.

CeCe seems really close to crawling these days.  She gets up on all fours, rocks back and forth, and can kind of push herself backwards.  Look out.  As it is, she rolls everywhere now.  She is less and less content in the exersaucer, which is too bad, because it was a good place to contain her for a few minutes if you needed to.  Now she just wants to be free.  I can't blame  her I guess.  We had to shut doors though, and I guess it won't be long until we are back in the 'baby gate' stage.  Today she was rolling around on the carpet here and got up against the wall.  The next thing I knew she had the plastic plug-in cover pulled out.  I thought those things were supposed to be child proof.  The whole point of them is to keep kids out of the plug-ins.  Even Ginny never pulled those out and she was crazy.  CeCe also opened the DVD player today.  Oh yes, the fun is beginning.  Last night I went into her room to when she woke up at midnight to eat and she was sitting up.  Holy cow, how did that happen?  Julie is going to have her hands full - unless of course this happens more often:


Later.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outside

The other day while Jorja was at school, Ginny and I were watching TV while she had her snack.  We had on the Playhouse Disney channel and 'Johnny and the Sprites' was on.  This show is pretty lame, even by kids' show standards.  The story this day was that Johnny had a new video game and was obsessed with playing it.  The sprites (some sort of little creatures that live in his garden) wanted him to come outside and play cloverball.  He wouldn't go and insisted on playing his game.  He played so long that he fell asleep.  In his dream he played his video game long enough to look like Santa when he woke up.  All his little sprite friends had moved away and he was devastated.  He woke up and was relieved to  find he was still young and then went outside to play.  Was the irony of this totally lost on the writers?  Is there really a difference between TV and video games?  I guess  so.

It is definitely starting to feel like fall here.  The girls went outside to play this morning before lunch (no evil video games or TV - I learned from Johnny) and they had cold hands and ears, so we dug out mitts and toques.  Jorja wanted to wear the toque and mitts to school this afternoon, and it was still cool, so I said sure.  So when I went to pick her up, she had the toque on, and didn't have the bottom rolled over like it should be.  It was sticking straight up way over her head kind of like Bob and Doug.  If that wasn't enough, she had the mitts stuffed into the pockets of her hoodie.  She didn't put the mitts on  for the walk home and about half way home, she looked down and just started to laugh.  Like really laugh.  She said to me, "Look at my mitts.  It looks like I have little tummy boobs."  Then she howled again.  I had nothing.  All I could do was laugh.  I guess they did kind of look that way.  Later.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Broccoli

I like potatoes.  I like cheese.  I like broccoli (really, I do).  I like cheese on broccoli.  So when I saw the baby food jar labeled 'Potato Broccoli and Cheese Casserole,' I thought it sounded like a good idea.  Let me start by saying that each of the girls had at least one flavour of baby food that made them gag.  For the older two, it was peas.  Once they were old enough to eat real peas, they loved them.  But the pureed variety - not so much.  CeCe has had a few flavours that she is not that fond of, but nothing that she absolutely couldn't stand.  Well, I found it.  I gave her a spoonful of the 'casserole' and she proceeded to gag and sputter.  Hmm.  I gave her a few spoonfuls of cereal and then I thought I'd try again.  Maybe she was just choking.  No.  Again the gagging and heaving.  Enough said.  I brought out some fruit and all was well.  I guess I was an adult before I liked broccoli, so we'll see.  Maybe once she is onto more solid food she will like it.  Maybe she'll be like her sisters and not like it.

Let me tell you about one of the first times I ate broccoli.  The year was 1999.  Julie and I had just started dating and she lived in LaRonge at the time.  I went up to see her for a weekend and she cooked for me.  Now my idea of vegetables at that time were peas and corn.  Well, she made a stir-fry with all sorts of things that scared me half to death - broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, zucchini.  What was I going to do?  Here was this girl that I really liked and wanted to impress, yet every fibre of my being told me I wasn't going to like this.  One rule my Dad had always impressed on me as a child was that when you are at someone else's house, you eat what's on the table.  So, sweaty palms and all, I bit the bullet.  And it was actually good.  I was shocked and impressed all at once.  Who knew?  To this day, that is one of my favourite things.  Later.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The meatball says no

This afternoon we had one of Jorja's friends from school over for a play date.  It's the first one we've ever had, and it went pretty good.  The excitement leading up to it was palpable.  It's been a long time since I've heard Jorja talk that fast for that long.  It's a good thing she didn't know first thing in the morning - she definitely would have peaked too soon.  Ginny had a lot of fun too, so that was good.  We discovered though that 2 hours should be the maximum time - 2.5 is just a bit too much for all parties involved.  They were playing with the toy food and kitchen at one point.  A long time ago, the girls had got 'talking meatballs' as the toys in their McDonald's happy meals.  I forget the movie it was for (maybe Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) but it is a variation of the magic eight ball.  It has three sayings:  'The answer is yes', 'Ask again later', and 'The meatball says no.'  As with most McDonald's toys, the novelty had long worn off, but with a fresh pair of eyes in the house, it came out.  Julie and I were upstairs when we heard Jorja's friend say, "Meatball, am I pretty?"  I guess when you don't have a magic mirror, you take what you can get.  She got lucky,  and the she got 'The answer is yes.'  When Jorja tried and got 'The meatball says no' she decided that she would keep pressing the button until it said yes.  I guess even the meatball will break down if you hound it long enough.  Later.

Friday, October 15, 2010

First tooth

I know it's a few days late, but I finally got the pictures off the camera, so here is a shot of our thanksgiving spread. Notice the ketchup bottle in the corner that I forgot to get out of the shot. Oh well, just in case I thought we were too classy, that brings me back to reality.

Here is a shot of CeCe and her first tooth (you have to look pretty close and you'll see a little bit of white on her gums.) I like the triumphant fist pump, as if to say 'that's right, I've got a chomper now!'








We had our first of many school picture days this week. I'm curious to see if Jorja 'posed' as much for a strange photographer as she does here whenever there is a camera out. The head gets cocked to the side, hair flings over the shoulder, the pose it struck all right.

I've got pretty much exactly three weeks left until I go back to work.  I have to admit that it is getting me down.  I'm trying to enjoy the rest of the time that I do have instead of looking ahead and worrying about going back to work and all that that will bring.  It's a lot easier said than done, but today was a better day.  Later. 
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chester bear

I'm not sure if it's a practise with a lot of schools, but Jorja's class has a bit of a mascot - Chester bear.  Maybe mascot is giving him a bit too much credit - he's just a black teddy bear, nothing special.  Chester spent the first month of school, but now he is taking turns going home with all the kids for a night.  He has a journal for you to write what he did and a change of clothes for night all neatly contained in his own backpack.  Jorja was 'lucky' enough to get Chester for the Thanksgiving long weekend - well, she thought she was lucky, I thought it was rather the opposite.  School is kind of a breeding ground for coughs, colds, flues.  Isn't it enough that we send our kids there and allow them back into the house to spread their new-found germs?  Do we really need to bring a little disease-spreader into our home?  I'm not saying we're innocent either.  Ginny and her snotty little nose had to kiss the thing goodbye.  The only upside to the situation is that Jorja was the second kid to bring it home.  Better that than the eighteenth.  Later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to everyone.  A lot has happened this year that I am truly grateful for.  Julie is doing much better, CeCe was born a beautiful and healthy little girl, Jorja and Ginny both continue to amaze me.

This year Julie cooked her first turkey.  We took the slightly more citified approach (as opposed to Jorja's method) and bought a turkey breast from Costco.  That way it was already dead, much less hassle than taping it's beak shut and cutting off it's wings.  Anyway, it turned out awesome.  She made stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey (obviously), carrots, cranberry sauce, cherry pie, banana cream pie (we don't do pumpkin pie).  The two older girls ate everything except the potatoes and gravy (they never have liked potatoes).  Somehow, they prefer ketchup on their turkey rather than gravy.  Crazy.  CeCe on the other hand, loved mashed potatoes and gravy, as well as the cranberries and banana cream pie (minus the crust - basically pudding I guess).  Maybe if we start her early, we will have one potato eater.  We picked up a bottle of sparkling fruit juice in a wine-looking bottle complete with a cork, and let the girls drink out of wine glasses.  They thought that was pretty cool.  We even got out the fine china which I think we'll need another setting of when CeCe gets a little bigger.

All in all, it was a great long weekend.  The weather was super - I heard on the radio that we had snow last thanksgiving.  Here's to a week filled with turkey sandwiches and farts.  Later.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's talk turkey

Yesterday when I picked Jorja up from Kindergarten, she was proudly holding a few popcorn kernels.  I asked what they were for and she replied that they were to feed to the ladybug.  What ladybug is that I asked.  She said that she and her friend found a ladybug at recess, and her friend put the ladybug in a bag to keep it safe until the next day.  That is when they would return with the popcorn and feed the ladybug.  I didn't have the heart to tell her how this was going to turn out.  So today, we set out, popcorn in pocket, ready to feed the ladybug at recess.  When I asked her if they fed the ladybug today, she said, "Nah, somebody stepped on it."  I guess at least that fate was quick.

The Kindergarten class has also been learning about Thanksgiving.  One of their projects was to tell the teacher how to cook a turkey.  Today, all the responses were transcribed and posted on the walls outside the classroom.  Let me tell you, there were some interesting ones.  One of the most popular places to get a turkey from is Walmart.  Quite a few started off that way.  One girl was just going to have the turkey as a guest and eat roast beef.  One said you didn't even have to cook it.  Here is what Jorja had to say:  "First you have to go down to the pond to see if you can find a turkey.  Then catch him with some sticky tape.  Tape his mouth shut so he doesn't gobble.  Then cook him on the BBQ for 69 hours.  Cut his wings off so that he doesn't fly away."  Kind of a sadistic little thing.  Later.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Catwalk

Saturday morning, Julie and the two older girls went to a princess party.  It was being put on by a local church.  They got all dressed up and had a blast.  They got their nails done, there was a fashion show where each girl got to do their little turn on the catwalk.  *I'm too sexy for for my cat, too sexy for my cat, what you think about that...on the catwalk, I shake my little tush on the catwalk*  Sorry about that, I was having a bad '90's flashback courtesy of the 'Right said Fred' song.  Anyway, they even asked the girls questions so they could read the answers out while they were walking.  'Here we have Jorja whose favourite food is grapes...and here is Ginny, whose favourite food in cheese buns.'  Yes, our girls have very high class tastes.

On Monday, after we dropped Jorja off at school, the rest of us went to Julie's office to drop something off.  Apparently Ginny took this opportunity to step out from her big sister's shadow and shine.  She talked and talked and talked.  She's still on her Kiersten kick too.  Someone asked her how she was doing and called her by her name.  She said, "Actually, sometimes I like to call myself Kiersten." 

CeCe is  growing and changing every day it seems.  She loves to roll around on the floor, and sometimes it looks like she wants to crawl.  Heaven help us.  Her little tooth is growing and is almost visible when she smiles now.  Last night, she slept through the whole night - from 7 to 7.  She usually has a  bottle  around midnight, but not last night.  It was awesome.  Now if only the other two would sleep past 6:30.  Later.

More pictures

The girls dressed up for a princess party.



















Jorja and I singing some karaoke.



















CeCe all smiles.

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Recent Pictures

The Joker?














Jorja giving CeCe piano lessons.



















CeCe enjoying some cantaloupe.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slow week

It seems to have been a slow week on the writing front here - not really sure why. I guess not a whole lot has happened this week.

Yesterday Ginny was eating a gummy worm and bit the head off. She proudly said, "Daddy, I bit his head off." Oh yeah, that's nice. Then she asked what would happen if someones head got bit off. "Like a person's head?" I responded. Yes, she said. Now I'm all for an inquisitive mind, but I was starting to wonder if I should be worried. I replied that the person would be dead. "Oh," she said quite nonchalantly. Yes, I guess I should be worried.

The girls have been playing school a lot lately, and Jorja is always the teacher. She calls herself her Kindergarten teacher's name, Mrs. B., we'll say. And Ginny follows her around, "Mrs. B., should we do this...Mrs. B., should we do that?" They were walking up the stairs, Ginny hot on Jorja's heels, when Jorja stumbled and bumped her shin on the stairs. Without missing a beat, Ginny piped up, "Are you all right Mrs. B.?" When she gets into character, she really sticks with it.

Today at school, Jorja's class went on a 'Fall walk.' From what I can tell, this constituted walking around with a sandwich bag and filling it up with leaves. It seemed like she really had a good time though. So much so, that she and Ginny had to have their own fall walk in the backyard when she got home. Then she thought she should bring all her treasures into the house. That's exactly what we need. I ended up finding her a box to house her new leaf collection, which she was thrilled with. She then proceeded to tell me that she was recycling the box. I thought that was pretty impressive.

The weather this week has been great here. I was able to get quite a bit of stuff done in the yard. I dug up three shrubs that we didn't really like (two spades and one yellow-jacket hive later), and got the whole area along with the garden rototilled. I also had to shovel a bunch of rock and rip up some landscape fabric that wasn't really doing a whole lot. It looks pretty good now - it sure makes the yard look bigger anyway. I guess that's it for now. Later.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freedom

This weekend we had a first since CeCe came - six hours totally kid-free. A good friend of ours offered to take our kids (all three!) for the afternoon. What a blessing. It was nice to just relax and go out for once as a couple again. We went and looked for new cell phones, got some new shoes and went for supper. It was strange not having to worry about any kids during supper. Then last night we had a sitter for the older two while we went to our small group meeting with friends from church. Such freedom.

I'm not sure if it's the transition of Jorja in Kindergarten, the impending return of me to work, or just her age, but Ginny has started acting out some of those terrible twos tantrums on a more regular basis. It's funny, because she seems older than two most of the time (with the exception of diapers). And we sort of thought she went through the terrible two stage when she was one. Not so lucky I guess. Oh well, there's plenty more changes coming to rock her little world yet in the coming months, so I'm sure it will get worse before it gets better. Let's hope there's still a bit of hair on my head by then.

Jorja is doing good at school - most days she comes home bubbling. You can tell on the days when something upsetting happened. Last week one day, three boys were getting in trouble and it seemed to bother her. Then today, another little girl was throwing sand at her on the playground at recess. And so it begins. I think she seemed to handle it fairly well. She said she asked the girl to stop, and when she wouldn't, she tried going and playing somewhere else. Maybe she'll get a bit of a tougher skin yet.

CeCe's first tooth finally broke through today. It has taken forever and given her constant grief. She actually napped well today for the first time in a while. I guess it's a little early to comment on the night yet, but here's hoping. Later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cantaloupe

This afternoon we dropped Jorja off at school and the rest of us went to Walmart. We needed a few groceries and it was a toss up between that and Superstore. Walmart has Dairyland yogurt, so we went there. We picked up some fruit too, including a cantaloupe. The clerk got to the cantaloupe and then proceeded to look up the code for that. They have this sort of roller at eye level with all their codes on it. I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here...They need to look up the code for a cantaloupe? When my sister was going to university, she worked as a cashier at Superstore. After she was hired, she came home with a big binder of produce codes that she had to memorize. She could recognize and tell me the code for vegetables that I didn't even know existed at that time - bok choy, leeks, okra - you name it, she knew the code. And she was fast. At Superstore, you were expected to ring through so many groceries per minute. I don't think Walmart has ever heard of this concept. Not only are there never enough tills open at Walmart, they are all slow. At least at Superstore, there are almost always enough tills open and the cashiers are fast. Anyway, enough of my rant. Back to today. I'm watching the cashier look up the code for cantaloupe, and she's not even looking under the C. What does she think this is? Then she rings it through as a honeydew melon. So I corrected her - cantaloupes were 50 cents cheaper (I'm still Mennonite). But this brings me to another question. Who in their 40's doesn't know what a cantaloupe is? It's not like this woman was a teenager. Oh well, we got the cantaloupe at the cantaloupe price, and all was well. Later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

True story

We're sitting at the breakfast table this morning and Jorja proceeds to tell a story about what happened in Kindergarten yesterday. Let me set the stage: every Wednesday, they have music class with another teacher in another room. They also have their own bathroom in the Kindergarten room. So yesterday Jorja had to go to the bathroom during music class. "I told Mrs. P. that I had to go to the bathroom, so she would know. Then I went back to the Kindergarten room to go pee and walked back to the music room... True story." Yes, she finished by saying true story. It's like she was telling the story of some crazy adventure that seemed unbelievable. Maybe in her mind it was, I don't know.

The weather is finally starting to get a little nicer. Yesterday afternoon I got out the hedge trimmer and carved down the cedars out front. I'd like to get rid of them completely, but we're not in a spot to do anything else with the area yet. The first two years we lived here, we kind of let them get out of control, but now they are all shorter than the house again. I had my trusty helper Ginny out there with me. She really wanted to climb the ladder with me - I could tell it was killing her. So between that and keeping her off the street, it kept me on my toes.

Jorja came home yesterday and said that fall was starting tonight at 9:00. I guess they're learning something.

The reality of the end of my parental leave is starting to set in. I've only got a bit over a month left now, and the end seems to be coming quickly. There have been days when I have been ready to go back, but now that it's happening, it's sad. This has been such a great experience and I am going to miss it. Later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quiet

Do you hear that? Quiet...ahh, it's a great sound. CeCe is napping and the two future Canadian Olympic Women's hockey stars are practising in the basement. They've been down there for a while now, and there hasn't been any tears, blood, screaming or fighting. Perhaps I shouldn't jinx myself.

Yesterday was Teddybear Olympics at Kindergarten. I guess the main focus in Kindergarten is fun - every teddybear came home with a gold medal.

I think the time of child-proofing the floor is upon us. CeCe likes to sit on the floor, and then after a few minutes she falls over and then rolls everywhere rather quickly. At least she's not crawling yet. Soon the gates will be back out.

Oh, I spoke too soon. There seems to be the need for a referee. Later.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday school

Today was the first day of Sunday School for the year. It was also Ginny's first time ever. We had her pretty psyched up about the whole thing - she knew her teacher's name before she went in and was all excited. She did really well too - dropping her off was no issue - no tears, no nothing. It must have been stressing her a little more than she had been letting on, though. After church we went to Fuddrucker's for lunch. The girls both wanted booster seats to sit in, so we went to get some. I tried to hold Ginny's hand and all of a sudden she just freaked out. I'm talking laying down on the floor, screaming. Where did that come from? I tried to pick her up and she did the whole going limp thing - I don't know where they learn that, but it works well. I finally got her to the booster seats, and she picked one up, carried it, and screamed the whole way back to the table. The strange thing is that I wasn't even really embarrassed by it. It's funny what I person gets used to - a couple of years ago I would have been mortified, now it was like 'eh, whatever.'

Julie's parents are down for the weekend. Originally just Julie's Mom was going to come (she has tickets to the Johnny Reid concert tonight) but with the weather being as crappy as it has been and no combining going on, her Dad came too. Last night we went out for supper to Chili's. This was our free meal for the last time we were there. It was much better this time - the food was good, the service was great. When it came time for dessert, Jorja decide she was going to share with Nanny and Poppa. Well, you would swear she hadn't eaten any supper the way she dove into that chocolate cake and ice cream. Now there is one thing you should know - Nanny loves chocolate - you don't mess with her chocolate. Up until this time, I didn't really think the grandkids could do much wrong in her eyes, but Jorja crossed the line. She's laughing about it today, but last night Jorja was getting the look normally reserved for Poppa when he comes home from an auction sale. That is not a good look.

In the girls dress up clothes, they have some pompoms. On Friday before the Rider game, Jorja was pretending to be a cheerleader. I asked her if she was cheering for the riders. She replied that yes she was, and then she picked up a magic wand and said, "And if they start to lose, I'll just use this to help them win." Where was she at last year's Grey Cup game?

While Jorja was in school on Friday, Ginny and I went out by ourselves. Canadian Tire had a car seat on sale, and we are going to need a new one pretty soon. I had also told Ginny she could have a treat, so she found some gummy worms. The clerk put them in a little bag for her, and she thought she was pretty hot stuff after that. There was no getting that bag out of her hand after that. I asked her if she wanted one in the car, and she said no, she was just going to hold the bag. I had to stop at M&M after that, so when we were getting out of the car, I asked her if she wanted to leave her bag in the car. Again, the answer was no. The bag was coming in with us. After I had bought some chicken, and the clerk put it in a bag, Ginny piped up (loudly), "Look Dad! Now we both have bags!" That was the first time I heard that. Later.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Goodbye 8 minutes

Jorja went back to the eye doctor yesterday and everything was good. No internal damage, the scratch is healed, it wasn't deep enough to scar - all good.

It appears that Jorja has discovered her clock is slow. This morning she was going back and forth between her room and ours looking at the clocks. "Look Dad, yours is faster. I wish my clock was fast like yours. Can we trade?" She hasn't quite figured out that you can set a clock yet, but she knows when it's off. I guess those extra 8 minutes in the morning are gone now. Good bye to waking up at 7:08, I guess it will be 7:00 now.

We had to go to the mall this morning for a bit, and Julie let the girls walk through Ardene. They were in heaven. "Look at this necklace. Look at these earrings. I like this one. Which one do you like? Yeah, I like that one too." I knew eventually my life would come to this, I just didn't think it would be this soon. I'm really going to have to look at getting the garage insulated and heated in the not so distant future. Later.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scratched cornea

Yesterday morning we were going to go outside and 'harvest' the garden. The weather is pretty miserable lately and the forecast is for frost this week, so we thought we would get the tomatoes in. There were a few more zucchini and cucumbers, but not much. For some reason, we didn't get any potatoes. I have now dug up all 2o plants, and there was not even enough there for two meals. Anyway, back to where the story had started going. Jorja and Ginny went out first while Julie and I were still getting organized. All of a sudden, the death wail was coming from the back yard. Jorja rounded the corner screaming and covering her eye. The long and short of it was that she found a bungee cord that held the pool cover on that I didn't clean up and got the end of it in her eye. After we got her calmed down and got her to open her eye, there was a visible scratch on her cornea. So Julie called the eye doctor and they were off. I didn't know eye doctors did emergencies. He confirmed the scratched cornea, but thought it would be all right in a couple of days. He gave her some eye drops and she has to go back tomorrow to get it checked. This time he is going to dilate her pupil though to see if anything was done inside. Poor thing. On the upside, she is looking cool wearing sunglasses to Kindergarten.

This afternoon I went outside to work at getting the rest of the garden ready for the rototiller. Ginny came to 'help' me while CeCe napped and Jorja was in school. We have some big, unruly shrubs the backyard that we don't like, and I ended up digging one out today. That was a lot of work. It's a good thing I had help. Well, in her mind anyway. About halfway through, she told me that she pooped. So she went in to get Julie to change her (I was way too muddy). She told Julie that she had to get back out there to work. She had fun though, talked non-stop for over an hour, worked on her slide, pretended the Nemo sprinkle was her baby brother ("SHH Dad, you have to be quiet. He's sleeping). Like I was the one making the noise. Then she was looking over the fence at our neighbour who was in his garden (he's probably 70-something). "I see a boy over there Dad. He's working in his garden too." I wonder how long it's been since he's been called a boy. When you're two, you don't really have that sense not to talk about people when they are right in front of you and listening. Oh well. Later.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Close, but not quite

This evening before bed, I was reading the girls their bible story. It was the one about a widow giving her offering of two small coins and Jesus saying that this was a greater gift than the rich people giving a lot. In the children's' bible we have, there are some questions after each story. One question was 'what did you learn from this story?' In an effort to relate it to their lives I used the analogy that they had lots of toys. I said what if you gave away a box full of toys and someone else who only had two toys gave them away. Jorja quickly replied, "They would have to buy more toys." Hmm...missed it by that much. Later

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kiersten

The girls like to play little role-playing games where they change their names and act out various scenarios. Most of the time up until lately, Jorja has picked names for both of them, but Ginny is starting to exert some Independence. For the past two days, she has been Kiersten. (She has an older cousin named Kiersten that she is pretty fond of). She has taken this game to a whole new level though - she never stops being Kiersten.
"Ginny, it's time for supper."
"Actually, I'm Kiersten."
"Ginny, time for bed."
"You can call me Kiersten."
"Ginny, clean up the toys."
"Actually, I'm still Kiersten."

Last night, she woke up at 4:00 am and wanted a drink of water. So I got her one, tucked her back in, and said, "Good night Ginny." "Actually I'm Kiersten." At 4:00 am?! Really? She's persistent anyway.

Julie went to a conference for work today in Regina, so I was flying solo. The day went pretty good, but it's nice to have this quiet time now. The girls wanted to go somewhere, so after lurch we went to the pet store. They wanted to see the sharks. Never mind the cute kittens and such, they are more interested in the lizards, tarantulas, snakes and fish. They had fun looking at everything, and then we came home so CeCe could have a nap. I got them all out of the car, locked the car, locked the garage, and then went to look for my house keys. I felt my pants pocket. Nothing. Jacket pockets. Nothing. Pants. Nothing. Jacket. Nothing. Okay, this is not good. I've got three little girls in the backyard and I'm locked out of the house and the garage. We always meant to hide a key somewhere outside, but never did. So I had to break in. I got in through a window, and then had to call upon my Backyardigan ninja training to get to the alarm without setting off the motion detector. I made it, opened the door, disarmed the alarm, and got the girls all in safe and sound. I put CeCe down for her snooze, the girls played some computer games, and then I had to break into the garage. After I did, I saw my keys sitting right there on the front seat of the car. At least they were there and not at Petland.

After all that, the girls wanted to make a craft. Puppets actually. I asked what this entailed, and it was just a piece of paper cut out glued to a popsicle stick. I guess I could handle that. So I asked them what kind of puppets they wanted to make. Jorja wanted to make a heart. Ginny wanted a triangle. I'm not sure what kind of puppets those are, so I made an octopus. Anyway, they had fun, but soon were wondering where to put on the puppet shows. Then I remembered the dishwasher box was still downstairs, so I cut out a hole on one side for a stage, made a door on the other side and voila, a puppet theatre. I even made a sign which the girls decorated. All in all a pretty good day. Later.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meatloaf

It's taken a few days, but Jorja finally seems to be relaxing and enjoying Kindergarten. She talked non-stop the whole way home today, stopping only long enough to give her little sister the hugs she wanted. Jorja seems to be coming out of her shell a bit more now too - she said goodbye to some girls in passing, they said goodbye to her - this was unheard of in preschool. Then it was like once you were out of the room, you didn't know anyone. She said she made two new friends (girls that she didn't go to preschool with) and generally had a good time I think.

Ginny had a nap today while Jorja was at Kindergarten. When she woke up, she came out to the garage to see me where I was doing some cleaning. When I was done, I had to move the car from the street back into the garage. I asked her if she wanted to come with me and sit in the front seat for the few feet that it was to drive. She was quite excited by this turn of events. Maybe Jorja being gone isn't such a bad thing after all. I buckled her in, rolled down her window, turned up some Meatloaf and she put on her shades. She looked at me through her tinted lenses and asked, "What do you call this look?" I don't know, I replied. "Rockstar!" she said. I cranked up 'Bat out of Hell' and we were off.

CeCe still isn't sleeping - the poor thing just can't shake this cold. She is so tired, but just can't sleep. We rock her for a while, till all the snuffling stops and you know that the snot has now drained to the one nostril. They we lay her down on that side, so that she has one clear nostril to breathe through. Then she's good for a while until she rolls over. Then everything plugs up and she is up again. It gets to be a long night. Later.

You know you're tired when...

I knew I was tired when Jorja said, "It's red Dad, just like the lines in your eyes." Later.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Long weekend

Our long weekend was filled with Kleenex, cough drops, Vicks, and a whole lot of snot. It all started Thursday night already. Now I was fully expecting rounds of sicknesses to come through the house after Kindergarten started, but not on the first day. I don't really think that it came from school that fast, but it is a pretty good coincidence. Poor CeCe has been doing the worst I think. It's so hard when they're that age, they lay there in bed and choke on their mucous, cough and sputter, and don't sleep well at all. She wants to suck on her soother, but then she can't breathe. It's a no win situation. She has spent a fair bit of time sleeping while being held just to keep her somewhat upright so she can breathe. Yes, it's been a restful long weekend. I think the girls are all on the upswing now (hopefully), but Julie and I are getting it now. Ah, the circle of life.

Jorja's second day of Kindergarten went better than the first. She still isn't super bubbly after, but you could tell that things went better. Hopefully she's not too sick and has to miss on the first whole week.

By Saturday afternoon, we were all getting sick of being sick and needed an outing. Jorja had a Toys 'R' Us gift certificate to use from her birthday, so we thought we would go there. Julie's brother and his wife have started doing that for the girls and they love it. It's such a thrill to go into the toy store with your own money and buy what you want. At one point, Jorja was looking at the princess dress-up dresses. They were all hanging on a circular rack, and she was standing there with one hand on her hip, head cocked to the side, and flipping through them. She could have been a teenager the way she looked. "Jorja, what are you doing?" "Just looking at dresses Dad." We are so doomed.

By the time we were done shopping, it was getting late, so we decided to go out for supper. We ended up at Boston Pizza, after a failed attempt to try Chili's. We went there, were seated, and then apparently forgotten about. Over 15 minutes we sat there without anyone coming by. So Julie wrote a note for the manger, gave it to the hostess on the way out and we went to BP's. (On a side note, the manager e-mailed, and said how sorry she was and that if we wanted to give them another try, let her know when, she would reserve a table and the meal would be on her. That was pretty cool.) So now we're at BP's, where we get drinks almost immediately. Sometimes now, we let the girls get pop for a treat, and we did on this occasion. Ginny got her drink, took a good pull on the straw, looked up with watery eyes and said, "Sprite makes me happy!" Then back for another drink.

There were several TVs visible from our table, all showing sports. There was a tennis match on one, which Jorja took an interest in. "I'm cheering for that boy," she says. Julie asks her why. "I like his outfit better." Have I mentioned yet that we are in trouble?

So yesterday and today have been pretty low-key days. We watched the Riders win yesterday (I made the girls endure it, and tried having a chat about some of the rules and player with Jorja, but to no avail. She does know who the Roughriders are though.) Here's hoping to getting some sleep tonight. Hope you all had a good weekend. Later.