Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rrrroll Up The Rim to Win!

I've been waiting for months to do this with Kaitlyn. When Mady was little we got pictures of her with the famous roll up the rim cup (it's only appropriate seeing as how Tim's is so special in the lives of her parents). And now I have a matched set of Kate.

My little Baldy


Her rim rolling strategy is to use her teeth!
Ps- they upped the odds of winning this year from 1/9 to 1/6, yet I have still only won once on the first day. Boo!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kaitlyn's 8 month pictures

Hi Mom!
Well it took two photo sessions combined, to get enough good (enough) pictures to satisfy me. I think I have about 4x as many bad ones, but I think that's what happens when you have a wiggly 8 month old.

Kaitlyn has discovered and embraced all the freedom that being able to move grants her. And she is getting fast! Her favourite thing to go in search of is electrical cords. I have rearranged a few lamps in our living room as to hide the cords from her a bit better, but since she can see everything from floor level this makes it difficult. I have taken to blocking her path with cushions and such. But she's even thwarting that. Today she was climbing over a cushion and Mady's little adirondack chair to get to a cord that is under/behind a side table. Yeesh!

And if it's shiny or sparkles, it has no hope of not being discovered. I have a feeling this girl is going to be always adorned in bling.

I absolutely ADORE Kate's giggle. It's so fun! She loves to laugh at things around her, especially that big sister of hers. I will totally admit that I'm that mother that makes all the funny faces and noises in order to get her kid to laugh.

I'm looking forward to being outside now that it seems like spring is (maybe) on its way. I think Kate is going to like being outside. She sure has enjoyed not being bundled in ridiculous amounts of layers every time we go out!

She's obviously VERY musical already. Though she has yet to udder a real note (though she totally tries, I'm sure), she LOVES music. She can't hear any music (recorded to whistled) without dancing. It's so cute. I was watching the PBS Les Miserables the other day and she woke up from her nap. She was playing on the floor while it was on, but was behind the couch (that's where the play area is). She dragged herself all around the couch so she could see the TV and as soon as it was in sight, she stopped moving, watched and danced. So cute!

I moved her up to size 12month clothes this past week. I can't believe she's so big. It's really weird, because some of the clothes that she's wearing now Mady wore about 14 months ago. I'll be curious to see if she slows down and they stay farther apart in clothing sizes or if I will literally just move the clothes out of Mady's clothes right into Kate's or maybe even the other way around (I hope not)!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Coffee Picture

Those that know my husband know that he's more than slightly coffee obsessed. I'm sure the amounts of coffee he consumes in a day are more than a normal person should ingest in a week for good health. When Mady was 7 months old she discovered and was then fascinated with the whole idea of coffee drinking. Like so:

Fast forward two years and we have a repeat:

Now we just need a picture of Kate with the infamous Roll up the Rim cup. That will happen soon, I promise!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Girls Lately

So after our failed attempt at a photo shoot last weekend, I promised some better pictures. Somehow when I went through them and found all the bad ones I thought there were a lot more good ones in the batch. As I went back through them today, I'm not as convinced. But here are some anyway. Interspersed with some updates on the girls.

Madelyn: My oldest. Mark and I always joke that we'll know how much of her behaviour is from our parenting and how much is personality when Kate starts going through the same phases. We REALLY hope there is a lot that is parenting, because she really is a great kid. I know I sometimes complain about her attitude and such a lot and often forget to tell you about all the really good things about her. She is such a sweet kid (when she wants to be). The other day we went to the mall for ice cream as a treat with Auntie. When we got back into the car, I hear quietly from the backseat "Thank you for the mall." Aww! That just melts a Momma's heart! She is the most thoughtful kid I know. And as much as she'll gladly take toys from Kaitlyn if she wants them, she will go out of her way to find Kate one if she is too far from the toys. Or she'll race over to pick something up that you've dropped if she can see that it would inconvenience you to get it yourself. I really am grateful to have such a natural helper for a first born. I can send her on errands all over the house and most of the time she happily obliges.
Recently she has started to really work on improving her words and saying them properly. Here are some of her old words that she has fixed:

Nyolk = Milk
Micmic - Picpic - Picnic

Kate: I love my little chunky monkey! I won't say too much as I need to update her 8 month picture post and it will all be in there, but since turning 8 months on Saturday she finally sprouted her 3rd tooth (and her 4th is right behind).
She is into EVERYTHING! Mady is learning what sort of things she can't leave around on the floor. The other day I had to rescue a choking Kate when she found and promptly decided to eat a hair elastic. We had quite the discussion about making sure that we don't pull them out of our hair and leave them wherever.
I've noticed her cheeks starting to thin. Sigh. I guess it's from burning all those calories crawling around. Hehe!
Love my girls!

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

So, since I actually am Irish (at least part of me) I feel the need to post on this holiday that is celebration of my heritage. My thoughts are all over the place, so I present to you, my scattered St. Paddy's Day thoughts.

1. First of all, as much as this is a celebration of my heritage. It's also not. Since I'm not Catholic-Irish, I'm Protestant-Irish, my official colour would be Orange and actually we have our own day in July. But very few seem to know about it. And it also happens to be Kaitlyn's birthday. So I'll be busy celebrating other things and instead will celebrate my ancestry today.

2. As I mentioned yesterday on my Facebook status, I'm actually creeped out by things that are dyed green. I can't handle the green pancakes and especially the green chocolate chip cookies (gag!). They just put me over the top. It's been a tough week reading blogs. I can handle it a little better if the baker uses the gel or powdered dyes so that it's a bit more intense of a colour, but those ones that are just slightly tinted green give me the willies. I'm not against dying EVERYTHING, Mady and I will be making green milkshakes today. And I'm totally okay with green icing. It's just those batters and doughs.

3. Funny story: A few years ago, my sister-in-law posted the famous "Kiss me, I'm Irish" as her status on Facebook. I got after her that you can't actually claim that if you're not Irish. To which she replied that she was.  This did not make any sense to me as Mark and I had talked about our family origins and he was very clear that he was German and Russian. I should have known better than to trust him over Mel as, in all things, she has proven to be more accurate. Ya, so his family is German, Irish, some French (anything else, Mel?), and NO Russian. When I told him, Mark was excited to celebrate his first St. Patrick's Day as a real Irishman, but is still, to this day, sad there is no Russian. Ha! As a side note, since he and I are both 1/4 Irish, our girls are too. It's the only amount all of us share from any one country.

4. And adding onto that, being Irish is the only one of my make-up (English, Irish, Scottish and Dutch) that I totally feel is "me" (even though I'm technically more English). It's probably being so transparently white that makes a person embrace it. It probably also helps that my Grandpa was born in Ireland and I actually knew him, where as all the other full blood relatives either weren't born there or they died long before I would ever know them. But, truthfully, if you REALLY trace the roots, I'm one of those Irish people that is actually Scottish. Just don't tell my Grandpa.

5. I have never been to Ireland, but it is on my top 3 places to visit in my life. I totally want to kiss the Blarney Stone.

6. Is the luck of the Irish a true thing? Totally. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Formula for a Successful Photo Session

Everyone always says that in order to get good pictures you need good lighting.
And you need a good camera operator.
And you need cooperative subjects.

On Sunday afternoon I tried to get pictures of Kate for her 8 month photo shoot. Auntie was here and was trying to get pictures too. And then I had matching dresses on the girls (which is funny because they were both given to Mady for her baby shower but the smaller one she outgrew before the weather was warm enough last year and Kate is just moving into that size. The larger one, Mady will be out of that size in not too long, so I had to take advantage of the warm weather and put them in summery dresses in March). So, I was trying to get pictures of them together. It didn't quite work out.

Here is the dialogue:

"Mady, can you smile?"
"Look at Auntie."
"Put your hands down."
"Okay, stand still."
"No, don't lift up your dress, no one wants to see your bum."
"Oh, hang on Kate, don't crawl away."
"Mady, can you sit next to Kaitlyn?"
"Okay, smile!"
"Oh shoot, my flash was still on."
"Okay, let's try again!"
"Just one more smile."
"No, Mady, keep your hands out of your mouth."
"Do you need to go potty?"
"No, your PRETTY smile."

And on and on it went. 

Clearly I did not have a winning formula.

And that's why I have a whole camera full of these:

(the only one of them I got together in the dresses, and you can't even see the front.)

(Look! Braids!)

Sigh. This is why the grandparents don't get more pictures sent to them.

ps - I did get some good ones which I will try to post tomorrow. But I will need to redo the 8 month photo shoot. I forgot how wiggly they get when they're older.

pps - I have so learned that my fireplace is reflective and that I should not take pictures in front of it unless I want really awkward self portraits. Heh.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Typical Tuesday

My typical tuesday:

8:00 – I awake to Mady coming into my room needing help with her socks. The only time she will get up and immediately get dressed is if she wets the bed. Sigh.
I look at the clock and realize that Kate slept for 8 hours (yeah!). This also explains why I'm in pain and my shirt is soaked (Too much information? Well that's the reality of a breastfeeding mom).

8:05 - I get Mady some breakfast as she points out that my hair is all curly. No honey, Mommy's hair doesn't have a single curly strand. That's just bedhead.
I go wake Kate to feed her (I would have let her continue to sleep and got more things done if I wasn't NEEDING to feed her. Sigh). While I feed her I check e-mail, Facebook and start reading my blogs for the day. Except half of them are from yesterday because I'm usually behind.

8:30 – Kate is done eating and very awake so I know she won't be sleeping for a while (sometimes she'll eat in the morning and go right back to bed. I like those days). So that means I won't be showering for a while. I finish up some e-mails and then go clean up the kitchen. It isn't super messy, just a few leftover dishes that wouldn't fit in the dishwasher last night. I empty the dishwasher. Mady asks to colour. I go find paper and crayons (I think it's impossible to finish one task in one sitting when you have kids. Someone always needs something). I reload the dishwasher with the leftover dishes and hand wash the other dishes that can't go in.

9:15 – I remember that Mady wet her bed and I haven't dealt with it yet. I go in, strip down her bed and start the laundry. I have a theory that fresh sheets make her wet the bed because I always wash her bedding on Mondays and she always seems to wet the bed that night. Ha!

9:30 – I eat breakfast. It's amazing that I remembered.

9:45 – Kate is getting cranky so I put her down for a nap. This is the only time I get to shower, so I drop her off in her crib, inform Mady I'm taking a shower and go to do it quick. I really shouldn't inform Mady that I'm showering. If I do she comes in and talks at me the whole time. But at least I knew she wasn't getting into trouble! Today I got a play-by-play of her own bathroom excursions, if you know what I mean.  Someday I will get to shower alone. It will be lovely.

10:30 – I'm showered, dressed, hair and make-up done. I get Mady a snack (we have now enforced certain times that we eat because she likes to snack all day and skip meals). While she eats I go and wipe down the bathrooms (a trick a learned from the Flylady and is invaluable when you have a 2 year old who feels the need to soap the entire bathroom when washing her hands. Its even worse when her soap is green or purple).
I strip down our bed to wash our bedding (I do this every Tuesday) and take it down to switch the laundry around. On my way upstairs I stop by the freezer and pull out meat for supper.

10:45 – I sit down to jot down a few notes for this post because at some point earlier today I thought you might find my day interesting. Hopefully it is, but not TOO interesting if you know what I mean!

11:00 – cuddles on the couch with Mady. :)

11:05 – Since Kate is still sleeping I take advantage of the time to do a morning clean up of the toys with Mady. I try to do a quick tidy in the morning and again in the afternoon. This keeps things under control and I find she plays better with her toys as she can actually focus on what is in front of her instead of being overwhelmed by mess. While she cleans up the toys I go from room to room in the main part of the house and tidy up stray items. I do this every day. How is there ALWAYS stray items? I also pull out bananas from the freezer to make muffins later.

11:30 – I tackle the tupperware cupboard. It's the one cupboard that always needs help. I've decided this means I have too much in there and need to purge items. Halfway through pulling them all out Kate wakes up. Of course. I realize I didn't dress her this morning so I change and dress her and then sit down to feed her. Again this is when I work through some blogs. As soon as Mady sees the computer she asks to have a “dance party,” which basically means she wants to listen to music. She used to dance, but now she tends to sing along while running in circles. Her favourite song is The Hokey Pokey. We get a lot of our music from here.  Its set up sort of like iTunes in that you use credits to purchase the tracks or albums you want. She sings the songs at church so she loves them.  That works well for us. Lately she has been more interested in singing all the words. Lately I have been more interested in finding some new songs she likes so that I don't go crazy.

11:45 – I go switch the laundry and remake Mady's bed. While I'm in there I put away the girl's laundry that I had folded after they were in bed last night. I come out to find that Kate has figured out how to climb up the fireplace hearth. It's about 1/3 the height of a stair, but that means they are next. Ack! She gets into enough with her current access, she doesn't need more freedom!

Noon – I sit down to pump. Kate hasn't eaten off the middle of the night extra supply and I'm going out tonight so Daddy may need to feed her. Win/Win. I help Mady make her lego car tower more secure. Physics are lost on a two year old.

12:15 – I make Mady some lunch. Home made chicken nuggets (don't be impressed, when I say home made I mean from the freezer bag and not McDonald's, not that I took fresh chicken and covered it with my own crumb coating.) I keep them pre-cooked in the freezer so I just have to warm them up on busy days (I would die without the help of my freezer), and cucumber sticks and cheese. There isn't enough for me so I pop a freezer sandwich (something else I sometimes keep around if I think to make them) into the oven for me. But it will take longer than Mady's to heat. I give Kate a cucumber to work on and while they eat I finish the tupperware cupboard (this is a project best done when they're preoccupied). My lunch is still not ready so I use the time to do my 15 minutes of deeper cleaning in my kitchen. I work on one area of my house a week (something else I learned from Flylady) and I do 15 minutes every week day. That keeps everything under control. I wash the window (just the inside, still waiting for the world to thaw and then I'll do outside) and clean the microwave inside and out.

12:45 – Lunch is ready so I sit down and join the girls. Kate has done pretty good on the cucumber (for only having 2 teeth). I add some cheerios to her tray so she can work on her pincer grasp. She's getting it, but hasn't figured out how to chew the cheerios so it was more “put the cheerio in, spit the cheerio out. Good Kate” (My family will understand the book I'm referencing from Grandma's house).

1:00 – I clean up the lunch dishes and go switch the laundry for the last time of the day. I remake our bed. I hate putting quilts into duvet covers that are larger than twin size. But I love duvets for sleeping with so I'm stuck with this chore.

1:15 – I set the timer and let Mady know that in 15 minutes its time for a nap. She responds so much better when it's the timer telling her play time is up rather than me. I did it on the weekend in front of Mark and his eyes almost popped out of his head when the timer went off and Mady put herself down for a nap! Kate is starting to fuss to I decide to give her a head start with the nap. It's much easier if she falls asleep before Mady gets in there. I change her and put her down for her nap. While the timer ticks away I mix up the muffins.

1:30 – Nap time. The Mommy equivalent of a coffee break. I'm hoping to get some things done today. I put the muffins in the oven, clean up the kitchen. I realize I forgot to get Mady to pick up the toys before her nap so I do it because I don't want to trip on them all afternoon. Then go get the last load of laundry from the dryer. I put it all away. I do all this with punctuated reminders to Madelyn that it is nap time and that she needs to quit entertaining her sister and lie down.

2:00 – Mady has grown quiet so I'm hoping she's asleep. Kate is still fussing. I know she's tired so I don't go in right away. I would like to make a call to a possible day-home, but figure that crying kids in the background maybe isn't a good first impression, so I put it off for either later or another day and instead sit down to peruse some recipes. I have a meal plan, but sometimes I just don't feel like eating what is on the agenda. Ya know?

2:03 – Mady comes out (darn!) and informs me that she's not tired (I don't believe it). And that she wants a muffin. Uh ha! I knew there was a real reason she was still awake. I take her back to bed, resettle Kate and remind Mady to not talk to Kate (this is very hard for a chatter-box).
My muffin timer is beeping so I go check them. My oven runs hot and so I have to turn down the temp and bake things longer in order for them to turn out. It's annoying. The tops are done, the bottoms are not, so I cover them with foil and try another 5 minutes.

2:10 – Back to recipes. I find a new burger recipe to try for supper. I'm craving BBQ, but it may be too cold. The back up plan is the george foreman. If it can't be summer, I'm going to pretend.

2:15 – Muffins are finished. Conveniently Mady appears to go potty (I think she heard the timer). Back to bed she goes. I regret having started the muffins in front of her. I give up on the girls falling asleep together and bring Kate out and feed her. Hopefully the warm milk in her tummy will put her to sleep and Mady will go to sleep in the meantime without anyone to entertain. More blog reading while I feed Kate. I have no idea how I will ever do it when I'm no longer feeding a child and back to work. There will be no time. I will miss my bloggy friends, so I'll probably find a way. :)

2:45 – Kate has fallen asleep nursing so I take her back to bed. Mady is still up. I fear this will be one of those days she doesn't sleep. I read blogs and facebook.

3:15 – Mady comes out again. This time wearing only a shirt. I fear she has wet her bed, but go in to find that she just felt it necessary to try on her entire closet. I put the clothes back in the closet and lock it. If she's not asleep in the next 15 minutes it's probably not going to happen. Sigh. I pull out my choir music in case this is my only chance to look it over.

3:30 – They're asleep. Finally! I practice choir music, blog, build stuff on my Silhouette studio (it's addicting, I tell you!)

4:30 Kate wakes up to eat. I feed her and we play for a few minutes.

5:00 – I mix up the burgers. Mady wakes up. I cut up potatoes to make home made fries.

5:30 – Mark is home. He tells me the BBQ is too cold and snow covered so I have to settle for using the George Foreman. Mady sets the table (again don't be too impressed. It's the two year old version. Everything is on the table and pretty near the right person, but not set in the proper order or anything.)

6:00 – We eat supper.

6:30 – I give Kate a “top up” feed in hopes that she won't need a bottle while I'm gone. It's just easier that way. I get ready for choir (read: I change into a non-spit-up covered shirt. Ha!)

6:45 - I leave for choir. Alone in the car I turn up the radio and sing along. Loud.

7:00 – Choir starts. Have I mentioned this is my favourite part of my week? I love making music with this group. It's amazing! We're doing a concert the end of June that will be all music from movies. I was part of a concert like this in college. They're so much fun!

9:00 – Choir is over. I chat with some friends and my brother (he sings in the choir too).

9:30 - I stop off at the grocery store for milk and some fresh veggies that I'll need for supper tomorrow.
Then swing by the Library on the way home to return our books that are due tomorrow.

10:00 – I arrive home. Mark and I veg on the couch just chatting. Its nice to talk without the Littles interrupting. 

10:40 – We go watch Sarah 101 (yeah for PVR's). We love Sarah Richardson! While I watch I finish this blog post.

11:15 - I go to bed. Whew, I'm tired and hoping for another long night from Kate. Tomorrow I get to do it all again! Good night!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Conversations with Mady this week:

Me: How old are you going to be on your birthday?
Mady: Turn three
Me: What will you be able to do when you're 3 that you can't do when you're 2?
Mady: Turn four.
Me: How old will Mommy be on her birthday?
Mady: twenty-one

Me: What do we need from the grocery store?
Mady: Milk, pizza and fishy crackers.
An hour before she had asked for milk. We were out.
3 days before she had suggested pizza for supper, we didn't have any.
The previous morning she polished off the fishy crackers.
This kid's memory amazes me. When I came home from the grocery store she checked to make sure I got all of the above.

My girls share a room. Last night Kaitlyn started to cry so I went in to calm her down and put her back to sleep. As I was tucking her back in (all the while Kate is still fussing) I can hear Mady whispering to herself, "Have patience. Have patience. Have patience." Not sure if she was talking to herself or her sister.

Breakfast prayer:
Mady: Thank-you, Jesus, for Mini Wheats, Milk and E-mail. Amen.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hey Phil, we're through!

For the record...

Punxsutawney Phil and I are not friends.

okay, let's just look really closely at this picture of my computer screen. Not only is it -26 Celsius, but it feels like -36. WHAT?? That's ridiculous. Can I remind you how many times I've moved/help someone move in February? We have had beautiful weather. What is with March?? That whole "in like a lion" thing better be true. And can we check out what it says under the temp? Ice Crystals. Does that mean that they are just falling from the sky? Am I going to get impaled by a icicle if I leave my house? Again, I ask myself why I live here?? Anyone in some place warm have a job to offer my husband in television production?

I'm SO sick of this view from my front window:
I'm ready for beaches (you know, in my land-locked Province). And sunscreen and iced tea and oscillating fans. And GREEN (St. Patrick's day doesn't count). Is that too much to ask?

And before anyone mentions that Balzac Billy said 6 more weeks of winter, might I point out that that is only 2 weeks away? I'm not counting on this all being gone by then.

I want to go on a PICNIC!