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


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.