Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jingle Bell Rock

 . . .  Leif and Laika and I are playing on the carpet and listening to Christmas carols.  Jingle Bell Rock comes on (Brenda Lee's version).  Leif and I start singing along and Laika does a bit of a little dance.

Then she sits down on my lap and says, "Why is this even called Jingle Bell Rock?  It's not really rockin' music."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Curse

The Chef at her preschool came down and made Gingerbread people with the children.  Laika worked so hard and so carefully and gave him pink and purple eyes and a white jellybean mouth.  When I picked her up her eyes were shining with excitement and she had to sort of bite her lips because she was smiling so hard.  I loved it.  We put her coat on, she picked up the gingerbread man and then he fell to the floor and smashed into fifty pieces.  She fell into my arms and cried so hard that she didn't make a sound.  We went back in to the preschool and her teacher gave me a sample gingerbread man that the chef had made.  But it wasn't the same.  It all felt so familiar.  As we left the preschool Laika reminded me that last year on Gingerbread day the exact same thing had happened.  It is a curse.  Luckily we got THREE more opportunities to make gingerbread people this Christmas.  So the ending is happy.  We've all eaten a lot of little gingerbread men with smartie buttons this year.

Now, here is a story from Laika.
It is called "The Princesses of Wonder"

Once upon a time there was a princess named Nina.  Nina was a very nice princess.  She lived in a pink beautiful golden castle.  She played and played with her bunnies and little stuffies.

Then once, there was a mean Queen.   The mean Queen had this potion that was delightful.  But if you pour it on your dress, you become a monster!  But the princess’s molecule thing makes her back into a princess.  She bought it from the toy store.

And then, once came another lady.  And she was very nice.  Then she started to marry her!  But she forgot!  She couldn’t marry her yet, she was too little!  She was just a baby!  She was only one!  So what could she do, she wanted to marry her now, but she couldn’t.

So then she was in a nice crib with her mommy.  And then there was another lady who wanted to marry her mommy!  Then another lady who wanted to marry her mommy.  Then her mommy did get married.

Then her daddy came out and said, “Wo ho ho!” and then he said, “Anita! Wouldn’t you like to go on a walk together?”

“The baby is asleep, so not right now.”

The End

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're Smurfing to a new Home!

Glamour Shots of this Old Place All Cleaned Up

That's my biggest excuse for taking so long in between posts. Trust me, I feel horrible about it, because so many things have happened.

Let's take yesterday for example. We had ice cream sandwiches for dessert. As Erik and I were relaxing in the living room Leif comes running in, yelling, "Mom! Dad! Emergency! Someone pooped on the bathroom light switch! Quick come see!" Faster than you can lower your eyebrows and say, "Eriiikk . . . . " Laika fessed up. "It's not poop! It was my sticky DQ fingers. It was all my thault!"

Anyway. In September we saw an open house in our beloved building, but this home has 3 levels, 3 outdoor spaces (solarium, balcony and patio) and 650 additional square feet. This is our dream come true. But we didn't want to act too quickly, so we took our time and considered other options for a few weeks. Well, long story short - we made an offer and got our house all spiffed up (thanks so much to Auntie K and my mom for all of their hard work! - oh and dad too!) we rented a storage unit and cleared out an obscene amount of toys along with three van loads of miscellaneous junk. All the work did pay off, and our place sold on Saturday after being listed for a week and a half. The little twist here is that the buyers are also the sellers. We couldn't bear the thought of leaving this wonderful area, and neither could the other vendors, who just needed to downsize and lose the stairs! So. We have a little while to dream and plan, as we don't actually move until the beginning of February.

Other news:
Tineke is practicing a lot of words now, and though I would not call this talking, it is that very sweet pre-talking where it's more of a chant. She waves and says "Hiiiii!" She calls Erik "DaaDeeDaaDee"or my favourite, "Daa Eee" and follows me around with the "Mammmammammammamamamama" that all mothers of toddlers are familiar with (I don't want to say it drones on and on - drone has a negative connotation, but it is used a great deal, and generally when I'm not living up to her expectations). She tries to say Laika's name, and though I can't translate it on the keyboard it is recognizable. Our favourite though is "Tickkle tickle tickle" She says this when she's getting tickled and oooh. It is cute.

Halloween Happened:
Leif continues to have issues regarding dressing up at school. It has always been a stress for him! Pajama Day at school! Weird! Who are all you hippies? Backwards day? No way. Halloween? Only on Halloween night, outside trick or treating. This year it was the PA announcement the day before during which the principal said something along the lines of "Looking forward to seeing you all dressed up tomorrow!" So Leif decided that he could not go to school. He WASN'T dressing up, and he also wasn't going to be the ONLY one who wasn't dressed up. This is a battle that I've fought before (and won by the way) but on that dark, rainy October morning I was fine with it (more PJ time for me). Leif stayed home. But that's the last time. On Halloween night we had a great time. The Vampire, Bo Peep,and their pet Dalmatian.

The Paw:
Oh, and Tineke now has a little paw for a right hand. She pulled a chair over and somehow the top of the chair hit her on one little finger nail. I think she is going to lose the nail. The important thing is to keep a bandaid and antibiotic on her sore fingertip. This is a tall order and requires bandaid, medical tape, baby sock up to wrist, girly sock up to shoulder and then shirt on top to hold it all together. It is cute how quickly she's become used to her paw. She picks things up with it, wipes her eyes with it, waves with it. So adaptable. Poor little tiny finger. That's enough updating for today! Goodnight.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Tineke (Oct 4)

Before you were born, Leif and Laika called you Baby Glitter. They didn't know that Glitter would actually describe you when you came out! But it does. Each and every day you delight us. You make us laugh when you do little dances, when you put shoes in the dishwasher, when you scream and clap your hands and walk backwards. We think you are a monkey when you climb onto the dining room chairs, throw a sock into the toilet or try to put underwear on your head. You are such a wonderful little friend for all of us. You are patient when we dress you up in costumes both normal and ab.
In one year you have gone from red-faced newborn to little blonde doll. You have learned to kiss, to hug, to laugh, to feed yourself and others. You can understand me when I say, "Tineke. Cough. Give me a cough." (sore throat) and you obediently try your best. When you hear the phone ring or a knock at the door you know what to do and run as fast as your little legs can carry you to the door. You get shy when you meet a stranger and hold very still with your head down, but if they are patient they will eventually be rewarded. You are so energetic and already a part of the team. You love to jump on your brother and sister and hug them, and you squeal happily when they carry you around the house. Like a little ant you grab the biggest thing you can find and try to carry it. Now you have a new game called Cirque Du Stroller. It's a little scary. You keep me on my toes!
Being one year old means walking around waving at people you don't know. It means squatting with your little bum one inch off the floor while you study a toy. It means talking in your gibberish language with a serious look on your face, and tucking a phone into the side of your neck while you wander around pretending to chat. It means you are completely innocent, you've never been unkind, and you've never told a lie.
Because you are our last baby everything seems to be going so quickly (too quickly). People don't need to tell me that I will look back fondly on these crazy days because somehow I already do. We appreciate each day of your babyhood and try our best to hold on to every moment. Thank you for making those moments so fun. You are a ray of sunshine.
We love you Tineke.
Happy Birthday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Well, school is in full swing! Leif had no anxiety about going into Grade 1 and the transition has been reasonably seamless. He loves being at school all day, eats his lunch and snack and comes home tired out! The shocking thing about this move into REAL SCHOOL is how much WE miss him at home. The second we walk in the door after dropping him off Laika is lonely for Leif and wondering what to do. She's never had to worry about playing by herself. Even if Leif wasn't playing with her at least he was in the vicinity! She's also learning that Tineke can be a playmate (sort of) instead of just a doll that you pick up and carry from room to room. I sort of had this image that one fewer child at home would mean a little bit more time for me to get things done, and it has turned out to be the opposite.

Leif's going off to school has coincided with Tineke's desire to be exploring the world at every single moment. She is a monkey. She wants to crawl into the toilet, she throws clothes into the bathtub, she empties drawers, she climbs whatever she can reach. You know those soft pads that you place on sharp corners? She pulls them off and throws them away. Doesn't she know I put them there for HER benefit? She pulls knobs right off of the stereo. She squeals with laughter when the kids carry her around, and then screams when she's had enough. She's happy most of the time, and exhausted by evening. Last year I was able to watch the kids in their swimming lessons, this year I will be popping in and out, because Tineke just wants to get into the pool too.

Last week we spent most of their swimming lessons out in the soccer field. Here she is exploring:
Last week another mother I know who is taking her Early Childhood Ed. was observing at Laika's preschool. They had a partially paralyzed man in volunteering and she said that Laika spent a long time playing with him. She said it was clear to her that Laika was aware of his limitations and was very gentle and sweet with him. Of course Laika never mentioned this, but as soon as I knew what to ask about she had a lot to say. As I've mentioned before, I couldn't be more happy with Laika's preschool and the breadth of experiences that she is having there. On a side note: With 80 kids cycling through there each week, there is also a breadth of microbes, and they do an amazing job keeping everything clean and orderly! But I'm trying to be prepared for the onslaught of colds and fevers that are sure to be coming.

I'm so proud of these three little kids, and although I am a little grouchy and exhausted, it makes me happy to realize that the reason this month has been tough is that they miss one another. So even if Tineke sticks her hands into the toilet, and Laika always puts her shoes on the wrong feet, and Leif yells at me when I make him blow his nose, I will try to treasure each day. What else is there?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Album

We had a wonderful summer, and have too many photos to include. We had a terrific time in Red Deer with our cousins, but have no pictures of that! So, if you are a grandpa or auntie with some great cousin pictures please email me some favourites so I can post them! Thank you!

Grandma and Auntie at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
Laika measures up!
Sprawling out at Banff Springs
Enjoying the good life
At the top of Sulphur Mountain

Riding Gondola in Banff

Trip to the farm, and looking capable of biting
Vancouver Aquarium
Paddle boating (pedal boating?) at Bower Ponds
This one enjoyed learning to walk this summer and turning into a goofy toddler
Also loved spending time with Auntie
Swatting flies in a most dramatic way
Seeing Grandma in Creston
Spending time in Beautiful BC!

Cuddling up in random hotels
Spending time with Grandma in Penticton
Goodbye Summer 2009!

Friday, September 4, 2009


On Leif's bday this year I noticed that one of his front teeth was 'bigger' than the other. It wasn't actually bigger, but lower, as the adult tooth had started pushing it out. For the past few weeks now we have been watching and worrying. Though we wiggled it, and he wiggled it, Erik tugged, and a friend tied a string around it 3 times the funny tooth wouldn't budge. And it did become funny. Leif started talking without fully closing his mouth. When he smiled the tooth would stick straight out at almost a 90 degree angle. He earned himself a few politically incorrect, Smoky Mountain type nicknames.

So yesterday at his dental cleaning, I asked the dentist to consider what we should do. She showed me his x-rays. Apparently the two adult teeth are coming down neck and neck and things are only going to get more crazy. She suggested that she give them both the yank. I asked if she would freeze them, and then agreed. I sat in the waiting room nervously trying to corral Tineke and keep Laika busy with coloring books. When Leif finally came out I was expecting a big toothless grin. Instead he emerged with a roll of (slightly pink) gauze poking out between his lips (I forgot about blood and gauze!). He came and crawled into my lap. I thought he was traumatized, but he was just quiet. Laika was firstly worried about why he wasn't talking, and then jealous that he had a loot bag. As we exited the building I realized that my knees were weak. We did it.

When we got him Leif let me take the gauze out. He loves his new look, and his new lisp! He started talking right away. He loves the dentist! He got a new toothbrush! She puts a little vacuum in his mouth called Mr. Thirsty! He wants to be a vampire for Halloween. He wants to shoot water out of his 'squirt hole'. He was anything but traumatized. Laika was so jealous that she spent an hour with a roll of gauze in her mouth.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Leif

You will be 6 years old tomorrow! What a wonderful year you've had.

You have learned to swim underwater, ride a bike, feed a baby and read simple books. You have made amazing diagrams, maps and lego creations. You are excited about learning French.

You have built dinosaurs, received report cards, lost teeth, and found library books.
You have ridden on the Big Rides at the fair!

You have charmed girls, fought with boys and lost many of your earlier fears . . .
but . . .
you still cry if you think you've hurt someone's feelings, or if you feel you've disappointed us. You still worry about people who are put into awkward situations, and you still love being at home with your sisters.

We are so lucky to have you in our lives and love to watch you grow into a sensitive, playful and caring boy. We take turns taking credit for your
wonderful qualities. You are observant and detail oriented like your father, and sensitive and careful like me.

You are the best big brother that your two little sisters could have and the light of our lives.

We love you birthday boy.