Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


Our house is literally abuzz with excitement. See, months ago, we decided to take our little ones to the capital city of BC. We told them about this possible outing and told them it wouldn't be until almost summer - when the leaves on the walnut tree were big and thick. Well, sure enough, the leaves started to bud and our little people checked out the window every single day to see if it was yet time to go to "Big-toria". Then earlier this week we told our little people that if the weather was good - if it was sunshiny, we'd go this weekend. I've never seen then pray so earnestly about something before. And so far, it looks like it will be beautiful tomorrow!

Anyway, the place we wanted to take them in Victoria, closed about 5 years ago, just months after we'd been there. This means we can't visit the Crystal Gardens this time, but the kids are looking forward to the ferry ride, and riding the bus. They would love to ride on a double-decker bus like the one we told them we'd gone on when we last visited the city, but they'll be happy with any kind of bus since they've never been on one.
So, the plan is to get up, get dressed and head for the ferry grabbing some breakfast on the way to eat on the ship. Once we get to the island, we'll take the bus to the city and then we'll play it by ear. There's a Harbor Ferry that the kids might like, possibly a bug zoo if it doesn't look too boring, and maybe, perhaps, it might be possible that a horse-drawn carriage ride might be in our price range. I know the kids would love that, but all I could find online was either outrageous prices or tours that were longer than my kids' attention spans. We'll grab some lunch at a stand somewhere, splash in the Parliament building water fountain a little and just see what looks like the kids would find interesting.

Now to go pack up the backpack and diaperbag.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Too Good to be True? or Just Long Overdue?

My Second Potty Training Saga
Week 1... so far.

On Monday PC begged me to let him wear underwear instead of a diaper. I figured I could handle some extra laundry and put him in training underwear. There were no accidents and when nap time rolled around I put him in a diaper much to PC's disappointment. Then I forgot about it until after supper when he insisted he 'needed to go potty'. Of course his diaper was a bit wet from an earlier time, but he went anyway and since we were on our way out the door for a Bible reading with Chasm and HisLady, I just put PC back in a diaper and put him in pajamas.

Then Tuesday morning, PC begged me to let him wear underwear again. The day before had gone well enough, so I thought, "why not? after all, he is almost 3. I can't put it off forever." So he wore underwear. When it came time for naps, PC earnestly begged me not to put him in a diaper, and I figured he probably could go a couple hours asleep without any accidents at the rate he'd been at. And he did, but I forgot to remind him to go to the bathroom while I was busy getting supper on, he had an accident later that evening. He was very upset about it and I let him wear underwear again until bedtime.

Wednesday I had to do laundry which means I'm usually distracted being upstairs or downstairs and the kids get away with a lot more mischief when I'm not close enough to hear them or see what they're getting into. But I gave in to my little man and let him wear underwear a third day. After all, I was doing laundry, so a little extra would hardly be noticed. Sure enough, he had an accident before nap time came and realizing I couldn't keep up on the potty training at the same time as the laundry, I put PC back in a diaper. He was terribly disappointed and begged me again and again to let him wear underwear, but I was a mean mom and denied his pleas. Until after supper. Then I let him wear underwear again. We were going to the prayer/reading meeting that night and I figured it wouldn't hurt to get him used to wearing underwear at meeting and I wouldn't be distracted trying to juggle laundry and life. PC was delighted and there were no accidents the rest of that day.

Thursday there were no accidents and he didn't have a diaper during his nap. The milestone was establishing the going potty routine order. He eagerly waits my next prompt, "Ok, now what do you do?" "B-ush the Potty!!!" he exclaims as he does so complete with slamming the lid closed. "Great, now what comes next?" "I wash my hands!!!" as he pulls out the step stool and positions the ducky hand soap for easy access. Then he started dreaming up what kind of 'big boy' underwear he wants when he's trained enough to get something other than the training hand-me-downs. "Car underwear? No! Train underwear!, no, maybe a tow truck?! No, maybe just car underwear!?" either way it's very clear that he would like some kind of wheeled object on his very own 'big boy' underwear. I think I'll take him shopping with me when the time comes.

Today (Friday) there were no accidents. He even started going all by himself - insisting I not come in to help him. Then proudly coming out to tell me how he wiped himself and b-ushed the potty, and washed his hands with ducky soap and how he even pulled his underwear and pants up all by himself. I just love his shy/proud little grin/smile when I exclaim over his latest achievement. And tonight... well, I'm taking a chance and I let him wear his underwear to bed. We'll see how that went when I get up in the morning.

I'm so excited about how easy he's been. I'd been putting off for so many reasons. Occasionally I'd let him wear underwear for a day, but he'd always have an accident, or just never think he should actually tell me when he needed to go since I was sending him to the bathroom on the hour to avoid accidents. I think this latest change may have come from a conversation we had about his cousin DR (I think I'd read that as 'doctor' - after all, he's Doc and Bashful's third munchkin). DR is two months younger than PC, and started being potty trained back in March. I stressed how much DR. was a 'big boy' because he didn't need diapers anymore and I think PC finally caught on and didn't want to be left in the dust.

Maybe this is all too good to be true and tomorrow will be the beginning of the accidents that last for weeks. Or perhaps PC was just finally ready and I was finally up to the challenge at the same time. I guess time will tell.

I love those laughing eyes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fleeting Baby Days

"For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands."
Psalm 92:4

My baby is a little girl now. 18 months old already. Sniff. A little girl who talks in sentences, tries my will to the breaking point in many areas, takes the outside stairs with ease(Dolly was just slightly older, than Emma is, when she fell off the outside stairs), vaults over crib rails and baby gates (our baby gate happens to be blocking the inside stairs), bosses and terrorizes her siblings, can do very amazing things to a computer in under 10 seconds, can get to the top bunk three different ways - using the ladder, climbing up the back, or by pulling herself over the railing after hopping from the top of the rocking chair back, she loves to dance to nearly anything and sings almost all the words to many of the children's hymns.

There is so much more too. Emma has always been my snuggly one - thankfully, she hasn't grown out of that cuddly-ness. I would miss it dreadfully. She is my second lefty - so much for the 7 to 10% chance of left handedness when it comes to our family!, she learns her memory verse right along with the other kids and thankfully, she eats just about anything. Sometimes I get so tired of dinner-time battles. But there are other things too... like how Sir or I have to check on her every three minutes or less every time we put her to bed. Or how it's the thrill of strategizing and manipulating to get a certain spot on the couch, a chair or kitchen counter space. Emma is our calculator - she's littler than everyone else, so she has to figure out how to get them to do what she wants without them realizing it. But on the other hand, she can play by herself for long periods of time which is pretty nice.

I love these pictures of her. Just three days before her scheduled pictures, she tripped over a mattress and crashed into the corner of a dresser. The result was a vertical split and a massive egg on the right side of her forehead. If I'd had butterfly stitches handy that night, I would have used them, but we had to settle with a band-aid. We were not going to wait hours in an ER just to find out that the cut had been open too long for anything other than a band-aid anyway.

So, I had to figure out how to hide the band-aid in her pictures. In the end I settled for the hat - after all, she still doesn't have much hair, so it would add a little change to her appearance than the standard bald feel. Sir said she looks like a little French Paratrooper in the pictures. Below is the extra pose. You can see the band-aid peeking out under her hat.

And I need to go make lunch before my munchkins decide that I'm never going to and start raiding the refrigerator - you can just guess who'd be the mastermind behind the crime!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Being Nice

Scene 1

EMMA sitting on my bed hoping Daddy will let her watch something on his computer.
DOLLY enters and hops up onto the bed beside Emma.

EMMA (speaking sharply)
Dolly! No! GO A-WAY!!!

Emma, you be nice.

EMMA (in a much softer tone)
Pease?, GO A-way!

Let's just say, I don't think she's quite grasped the concept of BEING nice.

Friday, May 08, 2009

4 Years Old...

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
John 10:27-28

Of course I'm late again when it comes to getting pictures up here, but I guess late is better than never. Time is ever marching on, and it seems so unreal that Dolly is already on her way to 4½. It wasn't that long ago that she was just a helpless little thing - so different from the very independent and capable little girl that she's become.

5 days old

3½weeks old

Now Dolly is learning to read and write. She reads by sight over 50 words now, and with a little effort she can sound out a lot more. When she fills a line with painfully printed letters, the pride she beams while I pick 'the best one' is just priceless. Her memory is incredible whether it's memorizing long passages or just remembering what I said at a certain time about nearly any topic.

She is such a help to me in so many ways and I'm so thankful for her willingness. That said we do have days where the willingness is not so prominent, but she does obey even when she would rather not. Naptime is almost a thing of the past - we skip it about half the time in favor of 'doing schoolwork' or 'quiet time'.

More and more I find her picking her way across the piano keys and its so much fun to watch her begin to understand the instrument. I wish I could teach her how to play it properly. I love to hear her sing 'Jesus Loves Me' to the melody of a scale - do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-ti-la-so-fa-mi-re-do: Je-sus-loves-me-this-I-know-for-the-bi-ble-tells-me-so!

Dolly has always been the easiest kid to photograph - as in she's been the most cooperative, but much to my surprise this last session was the hardest picture we've done yet. I think that maybe she's finally becoming conscious of her smile and was just trying too hard. It was hard to get a smile that didn't look slightly forced. It's always hard when you're the mom and you know what a bubbly happy smile looks like on your kid and you have to choose one that may be 'nice' when you know she's capable of sparkling.

Anyway, below are the original professional pictures we had taken when Dolly turned 4. Sir edited the main package picture for me above - I could have paid an extra arm and leg to get the photo lab to do the same thing, but the package prices are getting bad enough as it is when it comes to the number of pictures and assortment of photo sizes available now.

The package shot.

The extra free pose our picture card wins us.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I should put this into my 'Little things they say' post that I've been working on for forever, but it would be a rather long section, and that post is getting long enough as it is.

Some of you may know that the Hockey Playoffs are going strong right now. Sir occasionally listens to the radio broadcasts for the games during the regular season, so our kids have slowly been introduced to the sport. But for the Playoffs, Sir spoils them and downloads actual video versions of the games and as a special Daddy/kidlet time, they watch the game or part of a game on his laptop.

That said, Dolly has really gotten into it. She has an incredible memory and quickly learns the names of the teams and who they've beaten or lost to. She's also learned the name, logo and colors of our local Vancouver team. It's very cute to watch. Until we're driving. Or unless she expects me to intelligently discuss whether the Penguins should have beat the Flyers or if I thought the Capitals or the Blackhawks or the Canucks or the Flames or the Sharks or the Ducks or whatever other team she has buzzing around in her head should win or lose this game or that.

Around here, if the Canucks win a game, people go crazy. They honk their car horns for hours after the game and one out of every five... or is it three? cars proudly flies a flag (or in some cases up to 6 flags) bearing one of the team's logos.

So, we're out driving and the Canucks had won some momentous? game and people are honking at every intersection. Dolly pipes up from the back seat as the kids and I make our way home from the grocery store, "Mommy, why is everybody honking?" "I guess the Canucks won a game today or something." I replied. She thought about that for a few minutes. "But why do they want to honk their horns?" she pressed. "Probably because they're happy that we won the game." I said. "Are we glad they won the game?" Dolly asked "I guess." I absentmindedly returned. "Maybe we should honk our horn. Don't you think so, Mommy?" I'm sure I disappointed her by insisting that there were probably enough people honking that we didn't need to join in.

Every single time we're in the car, Dolly will point out vehicles with a hockey flag or flags on them. "That means that person likes hockey!! doesn't it Mommy?" she said one day. "Um hmm," I helpfully reply. "That person must REALLY like hockey!" She points out as a car with four flags drives by us." "Probably." I respond. You'd think this would get old, but she exclaims in excitement every time she sees a flag, and we often repeat the interchange above multiple times during each car ride.

Tonight I was ignoring the kids and speeding through a good book when Dolly announced her presence with a loud huff as she plopped herself down on the chair opposite me. "Well. I guess we really don't like hockey, Mommy." She sadly? dramatically? dejectedly? all of the abovely? stated. "Why is that?" I asked more curious about her mannerisms than her words. "Well," she began with a wave of her hands that ended up plopping into her lap "we don't have a hockey flag on our car." she finished very matter-of-factly. I had to go tell Sir about this latest conclusion our daughter had come to. When I came back, I told Dolly that she should talk to Grandpa C. because I suspected he might show her the collection of lost car flags that he's gathered from the sides of the roads. And that seemed to brighten her mood.

But to be fair, I should clarify that it isn't just Dolly that is completely engrossed in our Canadian sport. PC and Emma are almost as bad - they just can't talk about it as much. Daily PC will ask me if there's 'a ock-ey game oo'night?' and Emma will often barge her way into Sir's office and politely stand at his knee and say, "Pease, wah ockey?!"

This evening all three of them were fighting over a Bubble Tape container in the middle of the living room when they heard Sir start playing the latest downloaded game of hockey in our room. You should have seen the shock and excitement on all three faces as they realized that there was HOCKEY TO WATCH!!! And the stampede over each other in the race to get the best spot to watch the game was hilarious as well. Dolly immediately released the gum container that she was trying to wrench from Emma's tightly gripping hands, Emma completely forgot the container, dropped it and ran, PC bending to pick up the container got run over by Dolly who by then was running to the bedroom and then he too, dropped the container and ran to join his sisters. It was priceless. Now I'm going to bed.