Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese After Supper

As we walked to London Drugs tonight to buy me a Krups Universal Grill (which I love) . . .
Leif said,  "I have to show you a really cool After Supper treat."   
I said, "Oh, you brought a treat for us to open after supper?"  
"No.  An After Supper thing."
"OK, so something to show after supper?"

"No.  Like Chinese After Supper."

"You mean Chinese New Year!?"

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Let's Have A Joint

The Scene: early Sunday morning, in our bed, Tineke in the middle, Laika on me and Leif climbing in . . . 

LO: Not Good Morning.  
LO: I said, "Not Good Morning."
ERT: Why not?
LO: I didn't even sleep last night.  I had too much cough.
AJN: That's too bad.  Climb in.
(Leif climbs in between us)
LO: Let's have a joint.  I have a joint.
AJN: What!?
LO: I am the joint and Tineke is the gear and Laika is a gear too.
AJN and ERT:  Oh.

The Scene:  Laika on the couch cuddling with Erik, but now he's talking to me and she's getting bored, and is trying to extricate herself from behind his legs.  He's not making it easy for her.

LJ: Oh man.  I gotta get out of this situation. 
(the best part is, she says it sort of under her breath - to herself)

The Scene: Sitting at the kitchen table eating Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.

LO: Mom.  What's your favourite thing in the world?
Me: You.  You and your sisters and dad.
LO: No, not your favourite people.  Your favourite thing.
Me: Snorkelling.
LO: No.  I mean.  What is your favourite thing!?  
Me: Umm.  Hmmmm . . .
LO: Come on! A rocket or a horse?

The Scene: Driving Laika and Tineke home from preschool.  Laika trying to talk to me from the backseat.

LJ: Mommy.  Did you bleepep auguuus a beee sooool?
Me:  Laika, I can't hear you.  Talk more loudly.
LJ:  Mommy.  Did you knoow that weee bleeeoooopp and a soooool and uuuuugg?
Me:  Laika, wait until we get home.  I really can't hear your question.
LJ:  MOMMY!  I SAID, "Did you know that Angela and Nargis don't actually sleep at Tiggy Winkle Preschool!"

Monday, January 19, 2009


Tineke is 3 and a half months old now!  The time has passed so quickly.
She is off the charts for her height and is close to the top for weight and head.  She is a jolly little baby.  The kids have no problem making her smile, and if you tickle her a little she will give a beginner's chuckle.  She tries to talk back to us if we wait, and is constantly trying to make eye contact with you so that she can smile and reel you in.  She is able to grab her little squeaky star and bring it to her mouth.  At this point she's about 50% nursed and 50% bottle fed.  She goes to bed for the night at 8 or 9 and sleeps for 12 hours with one or two brief wakings to be nursed.  She starts off the night in the cradle my dad built and wakes up between Erik and I.  During the day she naps whenever we get in the car and if we are at home, she is pretty easy to lay down and leave.  She enjoys the bath and the kids enjoy helping me wash her.   If you let her 'kiss' your cheek, she will start sucking on it.  The kids think this is hilarious (and it is - it tickles).  

Tineke is by far the most easy going of the three kids.  I remember Leif being easily startled at this age with the sound of crinkling plastic, and Laika was not easily left (to put it mildly). 

It is amazing how quickly and effortlessly this new little person came in and made her presence an integral part of our happiness.
Happy Quarter birthday little TinTin!

Bedtime Interview

I'm putting kids to bed, so I'm going to interview them before they fall asleep.

Favourite Mythical Beast
Laika - Twinkle Monster
Leif - El Chupacabra

Favourite Song
Laika -  Tortuga (Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack)
Leif - Popcorn (by Hot Butter)

Favourite Things to Dream About
Laika - Fairies flying around me
Leif - Clubhouse with robots in it

Favourite Teddy Bears
Laika - Rocky Raccoon, Baby Maxine, Saul the Bear, Posey the Dog
Leif - Trevor the Bear, Dixie the Dog, Tim Johnson the Dog

Favourite Movie
Laika - Happy Feet, Bee Movie
Leif - The Incredibles, Night at the Museum (he saw a bit on TV)

Favourite Place to Go
Laika - swimming lessons
Leif - Science World

Favourite Foods
Laika - apples (and my invisible pet dog likes raspberries)
Leif - bananas

Scariest Thing
Laika - a monster
Leif - a dragon

What do you like to Draw?
Laika - Agent Superthin
Leif - my favourite thing to draw is robots

OK, and now Erik is here to take over!
We'll do this again someday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Average Day

This may not be that exciting to read, but for future reference - Here's a little rundown of the average day.

Laika is always the first one up, at about 7:45.  She comes into our room, crawls in beside me and lays down for a few minutes.  When I start worrying about her falling off, I take her out to the living room and turn on Curious George.  Then I get Leif up.  The two of them watch CG while I empty the dishwasher and put away any old dishes or clothes that got stripped off in the living room the night before.  I also prepare breakfast at this time, and they will eat it when CG is over.

Usually Tineke is still asleep and in bed with Erik.  I prod him a few times before he gets into the shower leaving Tineke all tiny in the centre of the bed.  Her little fists straight out.

Eventually we all get washed and dressed.  Erik gets hugs and kisses and then the kids give him an 'arrow' (they stand in the hall and pretend to be traffic signs pointing to the elevator) and we say goodbye.

I make a pointed effort to remain calm as I try to get the kids out the door.  They try to get ready without standing up.

Today we took Laika to gymnastics.  We watch her do her thing and then we eat a packed lunch together on a mini picnic table in the viewing area.  

We take Leif to school and play outside for a few minutes while we wait for the teacher.

Today Laika skipped preschool so that she could come to the doctor with Tineke.  Tineke was measured and weighed and jabbed today (two shots).  Laika held her little head and kissed it while she was getting her shots.  She was really excellent.  I was so proud of her.  Afterward she told me that she didn't like seeing the needle, but that she wanted to help her sister.  She also said that when Tineke cried it made her lungs sad, and she placed her little hands on her chest when saying this.

After school we pick Leif up from Ben's house and come home.  If Tineke is asleep I will start supper (even if it's only 4 - which it was today).  I find it almost impossible to make supper when all 3 kids are awake.  I like to have them playing with toys or doing art or schoolwork while I cook, and these things take help, so it makes it easier if Tineke is asleep.

We eat supper either before or after Daddy gets home.  Then more playing, and a bath, or sometimes a movie.  Tonight they just played and played so well that I decided I'd give them a bath in the morning.  Often Erik puts L and L to bed (and falls asleep on the floor) while I take care of Tineke.  Tonight however he had a script to read, so I held Tineke and sat on their floor singing lullabies until all 3 fell asleep.  It was a lovely ending to a lovely day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Falling in Love

Laika is concerned that she is not allowed to marry Leif.  She has been talking about it all day.  "Who will I fall in love with?"  I tell her I don't know, and she doesn't need to worry about it yet.  "But I already love Leif, I want to marry Leif."  Then she tried it out on other things.  "I think I'm falling in love with my new goggles.  Can you fall in love with goggles?"  I said that you couldn't really.  But her goggles do smell like cherries and come with a cherry carrying case, so I can see why she might be wondering.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How the Weekend Starts

Tomorrow morning Leif and Erik will begin the second set of soccer lessons.  The first session was so educational for Leif as he had NO IDEA about how the game was played.  In the first lesson he was on the Blue team, so he was so confused about why the Red team was coming over onto his side, and they were trying to score on the Blue goalie!  In his mind it was the Blue Team vs. the Blue Goalie, and the Red Team vs. the Red Goalie.  This is a hilarious idea to me.  The poor goalies all alone.   In team sports you need to cooperate with your team mates and be aggressive toward the other team (inasmuch as taking the ball is aggressive).  Leif is not aggressive AT ALL, so he gives the ball a wide berth.  When he sees the throng of boys coming in his direction he hastily hops aside.  Luckily in this class the parents are encouraged to stay with their player to point them in the right direction.  Erik does a good job pointing Leif the right way, and Leif does a good job trying to look busy.  He pulls on his pinny and runs around.  On his last day in December he gave the Coach a hug goodbye and the coach offered us some reassuring words about how Leif is a 'thinker' and an 'observer' and that this often results in the best kind of player.  Maybe.  Although when you see the bloodlust in the eyes of some of the other kids it's hard to imagine that he's ever going to go for it in the same way.  Fortunately Erik and I don't care if he ever gets really into sports, we just want him to understand about what a 'goal' is and why the kids are wearing different colored pinnies.  And we like to go take the kids out to the coffee shop afterwards.

First Swimming Lesson Ever

Today Leif and Laika started their swimming lessons.  They are so lucky to be in the same class of only 4 kids (all classes have only 4 students).  Lessons start at 11:30, but were a few minutes late as one of the babies in the baby class had pooped in the pool.  So they had all sort of vacuums and skimmers out and were changing the filter etc.  Very educational for our first day.

Before they went in we bought goggles.  These were a big hit.  They make them feel invinsible.

So, the instructional objective in the Starfish level is to get them used to water.  This means making them get their heads under the water . . . lots and lots of times.  The instructor was wonderful, she kept everything moving so fast and kept them so happy that they didn't have time to dwell on the fact that she kept tricking them.  Her number one tactic is to give them a rubber toy of some sort, then they put it on her head or shoulder, and then she stands a few feet back and they have to jump to her to get it back.  The trick is that she always steps back, so they flop into the water and then she picks them out and gives them the toy and they keep on going.  In 25 minutes both children had been fully immersed more than they have been in their lives so far!   They have these things called 'magic islands' which are big metal stools with bars on them that 4 kids can sit on.  They push these islands into the deep part of the water, so that the instructor can be working in deepish water and the kids have this handy island to jump on and off of.  The instructor would ask the kids to give her 5 and then when they slap her hand she falls right back into the water.  This is hilarious to them.  Getting into the water is easy as they keep the pool at bathtub temperature.

Both kids were chatting nonstop when they got out of the pool.  Their adrenaline was pumping, "I was the deepest kid!  I went soooo deep!  I could see underwater.  Did you see me go underwater?  Did you see us sitting on the island?  Next time I'm going to go under and try looking around.  When do we go back?"


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas time was here.

We had a great time on our vacation.  Too much to write about so I will list it:

1 - Gifts had been 'hidden' in bathroom since October.  L and L knew, but didn't peek once!
2 - We sat on tarmac in airplane for 5 and a half HOURS before taking off for holiday.
3 - We were so excited to see cousin C and meet our newest family member.
4 - LO was very serious and well-behaved at Christmas Eve service.  LJ lip-synched to soloist.
5 - On Christmas Eve LJ decided she didn't want Santa coming down the chimney.  
6 - This year both big kids decided that sledding is actually fun.
7 - LO decided that he loves Lego 'one notch' more than Playmobil.
8 - LJ came up for new names for Nana N: Grammy Mixer, Grammy Caker, Grammy Breader.
9 - We went swimming twice and had a great time with the family.
10 - LO got a haircut (it looked like he had a wig on) and is a handsome little man.
11 - It was great fun visiting at the cousins' house.
12 - I got a nest of stainless steel mixing bowls!  I love them.
13 - We  also got two more wonderfully soft quilts from my aunt.  I love them too.
14 - There were all the cookies you could eat, and lots of feasts as well.
15 - We got to see my Mom and Dad just before Christmas during our Gingerbread decorating.
16 - Thanks to grandparents, we now have every kind of remotely operated vehicle you can own.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I said that something (I can't remember what) looked like Godzilla.  Then Leif said, "No mommy, Godzilla is a gorilla."  Then I said, "No, it's like a giant lizard."  Erik backed me up, and then offered to prove it by showing Leif some old Godzilla movie clips on YouTube.  You can guess how this might turn out.

Leif and Erik enjoyed the clips.  Laika did not.
Erik stopped the clip as soon as he sensed her tension, but the damage had been done.  She is now afraid of the giant fire-spewing lizard, and I'm just waiting for her to run to our bed in the night.  

We spent all evening talking about how Godzilla is actually a nice man named Jeff, who lives in Japan (but I thought that 'Jeff' sounded really non-threatening), has two kids and now works in a hot dog stand.  He doesn't even have that Godzilla costume anymore!  The buildings were made out of cardboard!  Then Leif sat down with a piece of paper and a felt.  He drew a picture of a tall building and a small man.  He said, "OK Laika, so this is how buildings REALLY are. But this is how they made the man in the Godzilla suit look big. . . " then he turned the paper over and drew a big man and a tiny building.  He said, "This building is made out of cardboard." Laika said, "I get it Leif!  I didn't know they were made out of cardboard."  So, she GETS that Godzilla isn't real, and really believes it, but is still worried that he might catch a plane to 'our village'.  This is part of being 3.

At least this fear is a little more understandable than Leif's big fear: 
the scary letters on the Curse of the Were-Rabbit poster.