Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scooters Rool

When I was a waddling pregnant lady I dreamed about the spring days when I would be able to walk for more than 5 minutes without complaining about: my need to pee, my sore feet, my aching back, my unhinged hip, my pelvis feeling like it was housing a small aquarium (it was).  Well, the time has arrived.  The grass is freshly cut, cherry blossoms are bursting all over the street, and tulips of every colour and stripe are popping out of the dirt.  Now every Mon and Wed at 2 I start packing up the stroller with snacks, sunscreen, rain coats (you never know) scooters, helmets and two little girls.  It takes us about 25 minutes to make the 2 km walk to the school.  We play at the playground after school for at least half an hour, eat a snack and then start the walk back home.  It is a little slower heading home, usually about 45 minutes.  The slower time is due to the fact that we are going downhill, crossing major roads and stopping carefully at every driveway and back alley to wait for each other.  Sometimes the kids get tired and don't have the energy to scoot all the way home.  When that happens we fold up the scooters and load the scooting kids into the double stroller.  Laika sits on Leif's lap and lays her head on his chest.  They hold hands, they feed Tineke a bottle and they watch the world go by.  I don't take a moment of this for granted.
P.S. Laika doesn't look all that comfy in this photo - she normally folds up her legs and snuggles right in.  Also, there is a often a blanket involved, but we hadn't taken it out yet.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that this picture doesn't thoroughly depict the coziness of the situation.  You're just going to have to trust me on this.  There can be some serious comfort.  For them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh Bumbo

Baby equipment always comes with warnings. Some which are helpful and others which just plant ideas in your head, like using an exersaucer as a toboggan. I've always been fond of the warning on powdered formula which reminds you to Add Water before feeding to baby.

On the Bumbo box it warns you to use on the floor, not on a table or chair. The Bumbo is a wonderful little baby seat and it has been great for Tineke. Before she could sit unassisted I would set her in it and she would be in the centre of the action with Leif and Laika. For some time now she's been able to use her legs like a clam uses its weird belly muscle, to squish out and push herself around the ocean floor, (living room) but the Bumbo has remained a safe place to put her when I need both arms. Well, all good things must come to an end. Yesterday as I removed a hot tray from the oven I heard a noggin-like thunk on the dining room floor. Tineke had unBumbo'd herself onto her little forehead (good thing I followed the warning on the box and she didn't fall three feet!). She was fine, but startled. See how she smiles through her tears? Now I've got one less option for keeping her confined. I've just got to deal with the fact that if she's not in the exersaucer of jolly jumper then she'll be rolling around the place dusting the floor with her sleeper and inspecting nooks and crannies for tiny choking hazards.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring in the City

At last Spring has arrived! The past few days have been beautiful. 

To get into the whole 'spring cleaning' mood Laika was using some handsoap and her toothbrush to clean some toys. To her credit she did this all on her own, without my knowledge. So when it came time to brush her teeth I had no idea that we had some soapy contamination going on. When she complained of the toothpaste being too spicy and hurting her throat I was confused. When she started crying and big bubbles started coming out of her mouth and the bubbles smelled a little like 'French Linen' I knew we were dealing with something a little out of the ordinary. So of course I made her hold still while I took a picture.
Here are Leif and Erik at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was so bright and beautiful. You can see the whole city. This is the park beside the building where Laika takes gymnastics. I think we'll be picnicing here for the rest of the year!
Tineke has learned that sand is a lot of fun, and has yet to eat some!
I love Vancouver in the spring. The cherry blossoms are the best, but these rhododendrons are so huge and bright that they can't be overlooked.
At the top of Queen Elizabeth Park there is a beautiful pond and fountain with benches all around. Beyond that you can see the dome. That is the Bloedel Conservatory. It is filled with tropical plants and birds and the smell of rainforest flowers.
One of our favourite Sunday afternoon destinations is Jericho beach. You can watch people learning to sail and collect shells. Often police officers drive by on little dune buggies and wave at you.
This photo of Erik and Tineke commemorates last Sunday, when she sat in a swing for the first time. She loved it! She laughed every time she started swinging forward. Auntie C commented that Tin looks like TinTin in this picture. I agree! We just need to get a little mousse in the front.
And lastly, here are Leif and Laika at Jericho hill park. They are in their PJs waiting for swimming lessons to begin. How fun it is to run in the grass in your pajamas, seeing how long your shadow has become. Soon it will be this bright after swimming lessons as well.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The kids are always trying to get me to give them band-aids.  They would love to start each day with a few fresh band-aids on each arm.  So they point to little invisible cuts and squeeze their fingers and put injured looks on their faces.  

Leif - Oh No.  I have a cut.  A real cut.  There's even blood.
Anita - Where?
Leif - Riiiiigght here.  See this little thing?  That's real blood and it's been REALLY hurting all morning.  I need a band-aid.  For real.
Anita - All I see is a tiny speck.  You are not bleeding and it isn't a cut.
Leif - Well, please can I just have a band-aid on it?
Anita - Nope.  I'm eating my lunch.  Why don't you go make a sign on your magnet board?
Leif - Fine.

Here is the sign he made (and the finger posed beside it).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

6 Months!

Tineke turned HalfaYear old yesterday.  Her development for the day was to start saying, "A Dadada, A Dadada"  over and over again.  This makes everyone so excited.  But don't get too excited in her face or she might start crying.  There is a stage in her crying where she starts blowing raspberries.  So at 6 months she's learning to say the same thing over and over again.  She also sits in her highchair and eats food with the family now.  She keeps her chubby little arms out like she's flying and peeks over either side of the highchair to see if someone is going to play peekaboo with her.

And Leif is learning a lot at school.  In his 'Ecriture' book he has drawn a house and labelled it 'mizo' (maison) and a castle is 'chatoe' and a bird is oiseau!  He has also learned that if you call mommy 'lame' everyone starts laughing, and then tells you not to let it happen again.

Laika has recently learned that if you pull an entire roll of toilet paper into the bath with you the water becomes full of 1000 swimming ghosties.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


There was a time when Laika was little that Leif felt left out, sleeping all alone in his bedroom.  So we set up the little igloo tent in our room and when he came to visit in the night he had a cosy place to go that didn't involve taking up the entire middle of our bed. 

Sleeping arrangements are constantly changing around here.  Though Leif and Laika are pretty great at going to bed there are still nightmares, nosebleeds, trips to the bathroom and (like this morning) taps on my shoulder, "I just barfed in my bed."  I remember before having Leif my friend telling me that since her daughter had been born 4 months earlier she hadn't had more than 4 hours straight sleep.  I could not believe it.  I mean, I believed her, but didn't want that to be true.  Well.  It is true.  Though Tineke has BEEN a good sleeper, she is going through a little 6 month growth spurt or something that has her waking frequently in the night and not going down as easily as before.  I'm pretty much guaranteed a waking at 2ish and then at 4:30 she's hungry and from then on she's waking quite a bit until about 7:30 or 8.  So there is that whole 4:00 5:00 6:00 blur when I'm just hoping she won't notice the sun starting to rise.

Erik and I are both quite tired.  He's working on a new film and this means longer hours as he takes meetings and travels around the city checking out all of the locations (tech scout).  By the time he comes home we are both exhausted, but we aren't out of the woods yet.  We still need to make sure everyone is full, bathed, played with, teeth-brushed and to bed.  By 9:30 the little ones are all sleeping soundly (usually).  If I were smart I would just go to bed right then, but it's nice to have 10 minutes or so to talk to Erik.  I don't know, just to see what's going on.  A few days ago I tried going through the day without coffee.  It didn't work.

I'm not worried, I know that these things all work themselves out.  This is probably the toughest sleep time of our lives, so things can only get better!  

As for the barfing - I had hoped it was just that he had swallowed too much water during swim lessons last night, but I don't think so.  Right now Leif is asleep on couch with what I'm hoping is just a touch of a flu and Tineke is napping peacefully.  Laika is out for a walk with Chaplin and his mom and dad.  I'm taking the opportunity to wash bedding and towels and disinfect doorknobs and keyboards and light switches.  Last April we had a horrible 3 day festival of puking.  Leif and Laika each threw up every 10 minutes (NO EXAGGERATION) and Erik threw up 11 times.  I was sick once, but I was pregnant, so who knows.  Anyway.  What I did learn is that I want everything in this place to be in order in case I come down with gastroenteritis.  So, I'm off to fold towels and remake beds.