Sunday, December 21, 2008

At our house, a laundry basket is a TTV (Toy Transportation Vehicle)...

So, T is a cheap least when it comes to entertainment.

She loves all of her toys but also enjoys commandeering my laundry baskets to push her toys and little stuffed friends around the main floor of the house. She loves playing with plastic hangers she grunts for (sorry, requests me to pull down) from my closet and pinchs shoes from Mom's closet. Did I mention she loves to wear her toques around the house when she sees someone on TV wearing a hat? Or the former ice cream bucket turned T sized chair or step stool to cause Mom's blood pressure to spike when T is precariously perched somewhere she shouldn't be?

I swear why do I bother trying to buy her toys when she'd rather play with the plastic plates, bowls and cups I bought for when we have kids over for lunch at our weekly playdates? She's taken over my lazy susan where the plastic plates are kept and don't get me started on my dish towel drawers. The dish towels are pulled out and tossed on the floor, just to be put back into the drawer or place lovingly into the laundry baskets to be chauffeured around the house.

T has also taken a liking to the wrapping paper tubes (the wrapping paper was used to wrap Christmas gifts). She uncurls them and wings them around the house like light sabers. Even Phenix got into the fun on Friday night by batting at the unfurled roll, which made T laugh because Phenix was playing with her. T laughed so hard I thought she was going to fall off the couch.

Today, upon returning from a brief trip to the grocery store, T stole the canned goods I had just bought. She then proceeded to carry them around the house and stack them on the fireplace surround. Give the kid a pot and a spoon and she's occupied for hours.

What's that Mastercard commerical, something to the effect - 3 hours searching for the perfect toy, $20 to buy the toy and the hours spent playing in the box the toy came in...priceless.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One part snow, one part sled, all fun!

One of the best things about having small children around whether they be your own, friends' kids or relatives, you get to experience all those things you enjoyed as a child for the second time.

From the first time we put T on a swing set, she was in love. Now, she has another favourite past time. We have received about 3 inches of snow as of noon today. The first thing I thought of this morning when I got up was that we have to go outside today. The second thing was - We need a sled.

When I was little, one of my favourite things was to go tobogganing. There was no better way to spend an afternoon than to slide down a hill on a crazy carpet or a sled. Countless afternoons of my youth were spent this way.

Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of hills around here nor do we usually get a lot of snow like they do back home. So those few precious days that we do get decent amounts of snow are extra special.

After I ran a couple of errands this morning, T and I set off for Walmart to get a sled. There were only two kinds so I got the one designed with a bit of a back rest and headed to the cash.

I made the comment that they would likely be selling a lot of these today and the cashier lady said that this one was the first but that they had sold a lot of shovels. I guess the neighbour kid will be over to ask if he can shovel our driveway. At least he finally invested in a shovel..the first time he rang our bell, he only had a broom....amateur.

T can now say snow so she was extra excited when she discovered that she would be wearing her new one piece snow suit and new snow boots (a Christmas present that we had to break out early).

We did one tour around the block in the sled and she was all too unhappy when we stopped. We tried to go into the back yard but she can't walk too well in the snow yet, so we went inside. Before we went inside, T did a face plant, which resulted in a good ol'fashion face wash in the snow. Poor kid, she didn't know what to do.

When we went inside, let's just say that the snow wasn't the only thing having a meltdown when that happened.

Ah Mom, I can't breathe!

Sitting in the back yard, remembering on how much fun it was in the summer to play outside.

Post face plant...poor kid.

Okay, why aren't we going Mom?

Go faster!

One, two, three...down we go!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

World meet the newest master manipulator

So we've been teaching T her body pairs such as head, eyes, nose, hair etc. She has become quite proficient at them. T has also entered the toddler years full throttle and is suffering from lack of communication abilities which bring on temper tantrums and the like. All the books say, redirection, redirection and more redirection, so we employ this method when possible.

However, being human I too am fallible and there are days when I sit and wonder which one of us is the toddler after I throw a temper tantrum after having redirected countless times or have informed her royal toddlerness that we don't do such and such for the umpteenth time today.

My toddler-ese doesn't always make it through the toddler translator. Its blah blah blah, no play park or blah blah no Jack's Big Music Show blah blah when in reality I've said, "We don't throw things or there won't be any more Jack". Its like trying to herd cats some days but some key words do register, or so I like think.

When we are about to hit meltdown mode, we redirect T by asking her "Where's your head?", What does a cow say?" etc. It has been rather effective for us. Failing success with our redirection efforts, we ask T to show us what she wants because while I have become an expert at T-speak, there are some things that the mommy translator doesn't have an explanation for.

Of late, our redirection technique are being used against us, in a way that would make you smile, even when you are supposed to be mean ole mommy.

There are times we have to chastised T for being errant in her ways. When we tell T "No, we don't throw food on the floor." sternly, we are confronted with T telling us where her nose is. How can you keep a straight face when you have a precocious toddler, looking you straight in the eye with those blue eyes, saying "Nose" while pointing to her nose and smiles like only she can.

Gotcha Mommy!

World meet the newest master manipulator.

This picture is T looking at the ducks in OKC last weekend.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A few more photos of Hallowe'en 2008!

Just a reminder of Hallowe'en 2007 - how things have changed in a year!

This shot was taken in low light so not a clear picture but it was too cute not to include!

The whole gang (pre sugar rush)!

All ready!

Patiently waiting the excitement with her Elmo treat bucket!

Steph pulling the girls to our first stop, the cul dec sac across the street!

Steph getting Sophie ready!

Talia, pre hair intervention, looking rather like a pyscho kitty!

All in all, I think the night was a little too anti-climatic for Talia. She was still a little tired from her short nap in the afternoon. She finally got the hang of trick or treating by watching Sophie. She would go up to the door with Sophie, often forgeting her Elmo bucket - Mom followed close behind with it though, and stood there while people oo-ed and ah-ed at her cuteness. Maybe next year she will be more interested.
Forget the sugar high, she just wanted the Doritos and Cheetos we were giving out at home. She is a chip monster - she gets that from her dad.

So yesterday was Hallowe'en. While Steph and I remembered our childhood Hallowe'ens were we had to wear our snow suits under our costumes, our children didn't have that problem. While everyone back home was dealing with 15 centimetres of snow, we had a truly beautiful Indian summer day with temperatures well into the 20Cs. I even got to wear a t-shirt and sandles when we took the kids out trick or treating!

Steph and her brood came over for a quick bite to eat and then we got the kids ready to go out. Sandor, Sheldon and Lily manned the door while we got the gang ready.

Talia was a cat again (the same costume as last year). She was all serious about it and everything. No smiles, no giggles, all business. Sophie was Minnie Mouse and Lily was a penguin.

Talia patiently waited while we got the girls' transportation ready - Sophie's little red wagon. Talia decided that we weren't moving fast enough so she took things into her own hands, unfortunately it was when Sophie was trying to board the "Party Wagon."

I only wish I could have gotten better video but it was getting dark. Honestly the best part of Talia's costume was the tail. It waggled and swayed when she walked. It was the one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

This next video is when we were all loaded up. The girls were ready to go.

Monday, October 27, 2008

T & P - the friendship continues...

Apparently I'm a bad kitty mommy too. I know this because my cat is so desperate to be brushed she is willing to have my 18 month old child brush her. And T takes her job very seriously.

Now, I grabbed the camera a little late but the video below gives you the general jist. Phenix as always is a good sport. In the video, you hear T say "Me!" "Me!", that's T speak for "P!" "P!". I often refer to Phenix as Miss P (with that cat's attitude - yes she's a diva, you have to call her Miss).

T confuses her P's for her M's. Every time she sees or hears a plane when we are outside, she hollers "Mane!" "Mane!" and points. You have to give the kid credit, she's trying really hard to make her point known. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? Let's just say, she doesn't get that from her dad.

What you don't see is that shortly before I got the camera, Gryffin arrived on the scene, expecting to get brushed before Phenix as he thinks he is numero uno on the brushing roster. If only I could have captured the utter contempt in his eyes when he saw that T was doing the brushing. It was a "Ah, how could you let HER have the brush? The audacity!" It was truly priceless.

I have added this video as it is completely gratuitous but its funny. T has found her tent a new during play time and apparently so have the cats.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life is just snot fair sometimes...

Sometimes you can be ready to greet royalty...

And other times, you are just (s)not.

I'm not sure you can see this poor sick kid's face. She finally had a decent sleep yesterday afternoon and this is what I was greeted with when she decided to wake up. A bad hair day was the least of her fashion faux pas'. She has a sore nose from too many attempts at evacuating her nose and she had dried snot (for lack of a more descriptive word) all over her face. But as her father said, "At least she is smiling!"

That's my kid, the one who used to blow bubbles out her nose when she was sick, now grins like a crazy lady when she's is faced with a camera, even when she looks as bad as this. I have trained her well.

Someone once said that if you wake up with really bad bed head, you had a great sleep. I wonder what you have when you have snot too? All I know is that she is so going to hate me when she is older for sharing this photo.

For the record, we all seem to be on the mend from our transition to fall colds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I wear my sunglasses at I can, so I can....

OMG, my child is channeling her inner Corey Hart. Next she'll be doing her rendition of Twister Sister's "We're not going to take it!" Now, if only she'd have "Sweet Dreams" at night, haha - I hate the 80's.

I'm too cool for school. I get to kick back and drink my milk and eat my snacks all day.

I'm truly a softie at heart! Come over here and give me a hug, you big old Mommy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin patching at Cox Farms

Today we went to Cox Farms to look for a Hallowe'en pumpkin with a local moms group

T enjoyed herself but took her time trying to decide what pumpkin to pick.

The great salsa boo boo!

T has learned how to dip chips like a pro...if only she could learn how to balance a bowl on her knee! Oh well, accidents happen. Not to worry, the salsa rinsed out fairly well...

T's first hair cut!

So we finally caved and took T for her first haircut while Nan was visiting. T did really well and just sat in the shopping cart at Walmart. She was transfixed on another lady in the salon who was getting her hair put in pink rollers.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To know a person is to have walked a mile in their shoes...

so what does this say? Those are my shoes BTW. It has begun. T is the next Amelda Marcos!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My daughter, the washer woman...

This just proves my theory. There is a cleaning gene! And apparently its missed my generation but not T's. Last night during bath time, she started cleaning the bath tub and then she started washing her tummy. I thought it was just a fluky thing but she did it again tonight.

Now, I hear you saying she's just mimicking me washing the bath tub but she's never seen me washing the tub. Now, I do clean but she is usually with her dad downstairs playing xbox (okay she's watching him play xbox but she's not usually around.)

I swear its priceless, she even gets dust and cat hair (big surprise) off the edge of the tub. I don't know what caused this to start but if continues I'm thinking that I will have her start cleaning the kitty litter boxes!

T has also started to try to feed Gryffin and Phenix their kibble. They frankly could care less but she thinks its their treats so she goes running down the hall after the cats as they tear off to the bedroom to escape the toddling terror. We are also working on stacking things but we are getting more than a little frustrated.

On the Toulouse front, S dipped his toes in the Mediterranean over the weekend and found that it was cold. Go figure. They all also checked out a casino in Toulouse but the first attempt didn't succeed, they needed passports so they couldn't get in. The next attempt proved almost as disappointing; there were only slot machines, no poker tables. Poor guy, I somehow don't feel his pain.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Swinging single...literally!

Since we've been cooped up the last few days with the oh so pleasant weather, I promised Talia that today, come biblical floods or not, we would go outside.

Everytime we pass the local park in the car, she looks anxiously at the park and indicates as only Talia can that she wants to go to the park. She has discovered one of the true joys of youth. Swings.

These shots are from my phone's camera but you get the idea. The squealing in the video is vintage Talia.

Ah, Mom your finger is on the lens....

I'm going to spew!


Whee! (need I say more?)


Update from Toulouse:

S had his first day at work. His onsite group didn't pick he and his team up until 10am (how European!) so he had to stay late. The local group wasn't exactly prepared for them so there was a lot of finger twittling. That sounds like most people's first day at a new job site. At least they got their section set up.

There was a trip to the cafeteria, which I'm told is quite fun. Wine with lunch! We had McD's! Life's just not fair. There was also another trip to the local grocer, this time there was no bad experiences. It went much better.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

T&P's new trick and an update from Toulouse

T and I have been battling the sniffles, the latest round of teething and unseasonably cold, rainy weather (thank you Gustav) for the last couple of days so we have had to find innovative ways to entertain ourselves because going outside just is not an option. We've read books, played countless games of sneaky peaky, shopped, watched TV, done laundry, napped etc.

We've also tried to involve whatever feline is willing to give us the time of day. Since S left, both cats have been rather interested in getting any kind of attention as their "routines" (read: feeding schedules) are all out of whack. They don't like having to wait until Mommy gets up to be fed. They are so hard done by. They are ruled by two things, their naps and their stomachs. Phenix more than Grffyin.

Anyone who knows Phenix, also knows that when the treat can is shaking, Phenix comes a running. She's been known to push the treat can thru our old apartment, up three stairs, down the hall and up onto our bed, just for a treat. She is nothing if not determined.

The other day, I thought I'd see what happened if I gave a cat treat to T in Phenix's presence. T shocked dear old Mom by giving it to Phenix (she put it on the floor in front of Phenix who in turn wasn't taking any chances and gobbled it up immediately). I know for a fact in the past, T has sampled the cat treats, much to Phenix's distain. Phenix just stared at me like "But, but, that was my treat!"

Given our previous success, I thought we'd try it again but this time I had my camera ready. Now the film footage isn't super bright (sorry, I had all the lights in the house turned on but it was really cloudy out and even with the drapes open, there just wasn't a lot of light) but you can see what happened.

Yes, you don't have to adjust your computer screens. That is Phenix eating treats straight from T's fingers. Phenix has got to be the world's fussiest eater when food is handed to her by a human but apparently that rule doesn't pertain to treats.

Normally, Phenix must first smell it, perhaps give it a couple of licks and then she *might* take it from your fingers. If I look out the window tonight I wonder if we will are having a blue moon.

Now, if we can just get Gryffin to come get some treats...that's a million dollar photo op!


An update from the other side of the Atlantic. S arrived in Toulouse and is settling in. Apparently, Luftansa Airlines are now high on S's airlines to travel on. They give you free booze and the meals are pretty decent! This is in high contrast to Air Canada who are now removing life preservers and all but charging you to breathe the air during the flight. He still has some jet lag but hopefully he will be okay on Monday.

S's first trip to the grocery store set international relations back a few years I think. He wanted to buy some fruit and didn't realize how they price things. He went to pay for his items and the cashier kept asking how much were the apples. S ran back to the apple cart (he was careful not to upset it, ha ha) and returned and said they were 2.50€/kilo. The cashier then repeated the question, how much are the apples?

At this point, everyone was getting a little perturbed, in particular all those behind S in line. Finally he had to take everything back and use the weight system to get the price of the fruit he wanted to buy. They have weight stations that you key in a produce code and it gives you a sticker to put on each produce bag so the cashier only has to key in the actual amount.

On top of the fruit incident, he forgot his cloth shopping bag at the hotel. In France, they don't have plastic bags so you have to have cloth ones. S made a point of taking my big cloth bag with the giant Canadian flag with the government's website on it. Ton pis, mon cher, you also forgot Murphy's law.

A la prochain.


Monday, August 25, 2008

As the hair grows...

and well, its a shameless review of the last 16 months..

In the beginning (2 months)...

The great toothless wonder (6 months)

The future fashion plate (10 months)

I wonder if this will work..(14 months)

Playing with the big girl sippy cup (16 months)

And a completely gratituous shot (16 months)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Styling with a pink housecoat

Talia recently discovered a gift that was given to her when she was just a baby - a pink housecoat. Now normally, she should have grown out of this coat long before now but Talia is a slight kid who so far is pretty small. The housecoat is Carter's (so naturally its built bigger) 0-9 months size.

One night after her bath, we put it on her just to see if it would fit. It still did, so we left it on her. Now every night she sees it, she wants it on. In fact, S left it on her a couple of nights ago when she went to bed. She was still wearing it the next morning.

Here we have Talia rocking her housecoat with a shrug purse from the Found in and Removed from Mommy's Dresser collection. Talia uses her little red purse to carry the toddler essentials, small plastic farm animals, blocks and the like. She often elegantly carries it around her neck as to keep her hands free for reaching for things off of high shelves designed to keep her searching fingers at bay. Talia scoffs at such measures.

In this fun photo, Talia shows off her oh so chic straw sippy cup by Nuby. Its an excellent accessory to her pink PJs and house coat. Its BPA free and so hip.

Talia demonstrates just how much freedom one has with this housecoat. A toddler can continue with any mayhem and foolishness they desire while still maintaining a fashionable and stylish look. Here she pushes around the laundry basket, sans les vetements but containing toys. How 2008!

Apparently, someone forgot to tell Talia that we are going to Toulouse not Ireland as she dances a little jig.

After a long day of raising cain, Talia takes a chillackzing rest on the floor. Its tough being a toddler, no? The author thinks perhaps she should try being a mommy and see how she likes them apples.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Talia and Sophie's Excellent Adventure

This afternoon, Sophie popped by for a visit while little sis Lily had a dr.'s appt. Its been a while since Sophie was by so the girls had a chance to catch up on the gossip of the last few weeks.

They shared a few secrets of how to turn an ordinary living room into a toddler's paradise of mayhem and foolishness. If you look close you can see the look of absolute glee on Talia's face!
That child loves her accessories - shoes, purses, brushes, belts etc., if you wear it to add flair to your outfit, she wants it! A fashion diva in the making!

They read some books and taught each some French words by reading the bilingual book about bedtime. N'obliuez pas de se brosser ses dents!

Once Talia caught sight of Sophie's big girl sippy cup, we had to get her Monkey cup too, so she could be just like Sophie.

There were a few quiet moments too, but they where fleeting....Talia is teething so she was knawing on eveything...poor Bart (her stuffed dog) - he's not going to have any ears left after this week!

Then Steph and Lily arrived from the dr.s so we all got to hang out for a few. Lily has found her tongue, that or she was politely trying to let us know that she was hungry. Unfortunately, we couldn't catch the Gene Simmons moment on film so you will have to make do with these beauty shots.

If you'd like to check out all the photos from August to date, click here.