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.