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


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


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


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


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


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.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So today was the first official day of kindergarten. Jorja seemed pretty excited all morning right up until she went. Julie took her and then we all went to pick her up when she was done. The 'drop off' went well - everyone kept it together. Julie had a few tears when she got home, but all in all, pretty good.

We kind of thought Jorja would be beside herself when she was done, talking nonstop the whole way home, but she was surprisingly subdued. She was quiet and almost a bit sad it seemed. We got home and she and Julie had a chat. After much coaxing, Jorja said that she had been quite nervous and scared beforehand. We never would have guessed, she just seemed excited. She definitely is hard to read and a worrier sometimes. Here's hoping everything is better tomorrow.

Ginny was quite out of sorts for the afternoon. She wasn't quite sure what to do without her boss around. We played snakes and ladders, read some books, listened to some music, but she just seemed kind of sad too. Hopefully she comes to see this as some special time alone with Mom and Dad (CeCe sleeps during most of this time).

So all in all, not exactly the way we saw this day playing out, but at least we didn't peak too soon. Later.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Last night around 11:00, Julie and I were still downstairs when we heard a thunderous crash from upstairs. Jorja had fallen out of bed. I hurried upstairs as soon as I heard it, and saw her walking out of her room, holding her head and doing the 'silent scream.' I brought her into our bedroom to assess the damage, and then the screaming started. Much to my surprise, no one else woke up. I couldn't see any scrapes or feel any bumps, so after she was calmed down, I put her back to bed. This morning, she had a bit of a scrape and a bruise on her knee which 'made her leg stiff and hard to walk'. That is, whenever she thought about it. It didn't seem too stiff when she pedalled around the block this afternoon, but it was again at bath time.

Today turned out to be quite a nice day. I spent some time this afternoon in the backyard trying to tame the thistle patch beside the house. There's about a four foot wide section between the backside of the house and the fence that had had landscape fabric and crushed rock laid on it, but now the thistles are starting to grow. And it's in an area that you never really see, so when I looked the other day, it was like whoa! I've got to get a handle on that. So hopefully it is under control for now...until all the seeds grow.

Even though it has been fairly nice here, I have officially given up on getting back into the pool. I started draining it this afternoon. It will probably take a couple of days - I've got a hose strung out to the street so that I don't flood the neighbours out. It's kind of depressing because we never did get back into it after the algae incident got cleared up. I guess we'll see what next year brings.

Jorja is pretty excited to start Kindergarten tomorrow. We got the final thing she needed ready today. They are supposed to bring one of Mom or Dad's old T-shirts to wear for painting. So I found one today, and she and Julie wrote her name across the front in big block letters. She was pretty thrilled by the whole thing. When she was going to bed tonight, she gave me a big hug and said, "Thanks for the shirt. You're the best Dad." Almost made me a little teary. Later.