Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alvin? Simon? Theodore?

We were just heading out the door this afternoon when Monty came inside with something in his mouth. He ran into the kitchen and we realized it was a little woodland creature. He dropped it on the floor and I identified it as a chipmunk.

After a few horrified seconds I realized it was not dead. It looked like it was close though, it was just lying there any twitching a little. Ben took the girls out to the car and I stayed behind to deal with it. I was looking for something to scoop it up with when it stopped twitching and lay completely still. I watched it for a few seconds and really thought it was dead when suddenly it jumped up and started scampering around. It was under the kitchen table and after some failed attempts at cornering it, it hid under the dishwasher.


We spent the late afternoon and evening at Ben's parents house.
Fiona did some splashing in the lake and we had dinner together. It was a very enjoyable time, but we were concerned about one of two possibilities. One, it dies while we're gone and we have to deal with a decomposing chipmunk trapped under the dishwasher. Or two, it gets comfortable and becomes a permanent house guest.

On our return home it seemed that scenario 2 was more likely. There was chipmunk poo on the kitchen floor and he'd helped himself to a beer from the fridge. Worst house guest ever.

While I was in the kitchen I heard some thumping sounds and then a wail and found that Fiona has tripped coming down the stairs and landed at the bottom on her head. She only fell down the last few steps, and seemed fine, but was a little upset. After some cuddles and a cookie she was happy again.

Shortly after that she was lying on the couch while Ben changed her diaper and I heard a nasty choking coughing sound. Ben sat her up and started patting her on the back. I thought at first she'd thrown up and was choking on it, but whatever was going on her face was all red and my heart started pounding. I opened her mouth to see what was going on but then she started taking some big gasping breaths and was ok again. After a few seconds she was composed enough to say one word. "Penny".


Yep, she choked on, and then swallowed, a penny. So much for all the credit I gave her for being smart.

I half-noticed it lying on the floor a few minutes earlier and am kicking myself that I didn't just pick it up then. She's pretty good about not putting stuff in her mouth but since she knows that putting coins in her mouth is absolutely forbidden she likes to do it just to annoy me. Same with earplugs. If she gets her hands on them she'll put them in her mouth, then come over to me and show me what she's doing. It's infuriating but she thinks she's hilarious.

Dr. Google told me that she should go to the ER immediately in case it's stuck in her esophagus before it corrodes her insides, so I called the nurse line and she said that if she's breathing and drinking and can swallow a little bread she is most likely fine, and to look for it in her poo. And she seems totally fine, so I'm going to go with the nurse, but will be keeping a close eye on her. And her poo. The nurse's tip was to chop it up with a knife to look for the penny. I can't wait...

So that was our evening. There's still a chipmunk hiding in the house, Fiona may or may not have a corroded esophagus by the morning, Ben is sick and has a fever and it's 10.30 and Adele is making is pretty clear that she feels like partying tonight. Things have never been better :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fiona and her big brain

Fiona gets more clever every day. If she keeps learning at this rate I think she'll be ready for university by the time she's 8 or 9... She's developing all kinds of reasoning and deductive skills and makes connections and figures things out that surprise me all the time.

We were in the car last week and she told me she'd like to dance on the moon. Here's how that conversation went...

Fiona: Fiona want to dance on the moon
Me: You have to be an astronaut to dance on the moon. You need to work hard in school, go to university, study all kinds of physics, and get a job with NASA as an astronaut. Then you can dance on the moon.
F: Fiona dance on the moon Mummy!
M (sensing that my previous response was not adequate): The moon is too far away to dance on. It's up very high.
F: Plane goes up high in the sky! Fiona go on plane, dance on the moon!

I was very impressed with this! A moon-plane! Genius! She really could work for NASA!

She also learned how to ride a tricycle. She loves to look at bicycles and will count 'one, two wheels, handlebars, one, two pedals'. She really likes her tricycle and even gets excited to wear her helmet. Here's an adorable picture :-)

Another cute thing she does is want to sing happy birthday. She loves birthdays, and after people have birthdays she insists on singing happy birthday to them well past their actual birthday. We sing songs before she goes to sleep at night and she's adapted happy birthday to be kind of a review of what's particularly important or interesting to her at the moment. Here's an abbreviated rundown of the development of happy birthday, and some explanations...

(When we sing it, we sing it like "Happy Birthday to Fiona, Happy Birthday to Fiona, Happy Birthday dear Fiona, Happy Birthday to Fiona" since the name part is the most fun!)

We began with...
Happy Birthday to Fiona (she liked her own name, thought it was funny)
Happy Birthday to Audrey (her friend had a birthday party, she was very excited about "Audrey's Happy Day")
Happy Birthday to Daddy/Mummy/Dell/Brodie... etc. etc. (nice)
Happy Birthday to Thomas (really likes Thomas the Tank Engine)
Then more recently...
Happy Birthday to Monty's Big Owie (Monty had surgery and has a big owie)
Happy Birthday to Brodie's Poo (we're potty training and it's all about poo)
Happy Birthday to Emmy Catch a Fish (her cousin Emily was catching fish with her in the lake at Grandma and Grandpa's house)
Happy Birthday to Fish Bite You (Ben was bitten by the same fish)

(Here's a fish picture)

There have been others too, we sing something different almost every night, and it's always an entertaining window into what her little brain is thinking about at the moment :-)

However, she was unable to identify this week's Vegewhatable?! So it's up to it is!

Any ideas? Please don't tell me it's a cucumber!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


As I've mentioned, every 2 weeks I pick up our CSA share. First things first, the answers to the last Vegewhatable?! Were kohlrabi and... well, I gave the second thing to my sister in law, Cathy, and I'm not sure if they ate it or were too afraid. We got another one this week though, so eventually we'll know. We had two kohlrabi which I used roasted in curry and raw in a mixed veggie salad. It was good both ways, and does indeed taste like broccoli stems as wikipedia suggests, but luckily not in a disgusting way. Thanks to all of you who played along!

This week, featured on Vegewhatable?! We have this:

This is kind of a cheater vegewhatable?! because I already know what it is. I think. I thought it was some kind of squash, and I washed it and chopped it in half to chop up to throw into the sauce for the pasta for dinner. But I got a vege-bigsurprise-able...

Um, yeah. Not a squash. It's a cucumber. Seriously. I ate half of it, and it's definitely a cucumber. Luckily I like cucumbers! No prizes for guessing that one though, sorry. Not that there were prizes last time. It's an underfunded blog game show.

Still, as a bonus round, here's one for my brother David. I don't think he's seen one of these in this form before...

Oh, and because I know you eagle-eyed players will spot it, hanging out in the top left corner is indeed a rarely seen one of these...

Wow. Just... wow. I guess that's what happens when you're on an all-organic diet. Impressive. I bought Ben some organic bread for breakfast. You know, because it's healthy. *Ahem* Anyway.

So here's tonight's featured recipe experience. I'm still making new things from real ingredients. Last week I made a fantastic lasagne all from scratch. It took 2 days because the girls don't always cooperate with my culinary adventures. But often I at least try to add some real food into prepared food. Tonight's meal was Trader Joe's giant cheese raviolis with jar of organic *wink, wink* red sauce, vegetarian meatballs, and csa zucchini (courgette). It was good, and the added vegetable felt really healthy :-)

That's all for today. Tune in next time for 'more innuendo related to cucumbers'.

Monday, August 2, 2010

52 minutes of chaos

Tonight I made dinner, and put it in the oven. It takes an hour to cook, and after 8 minutes I thought it could be entertaining to document as much of the remaining hour as possible. Fiona kind of gets crazy around 5pm, so it was bound to be an experience... in addition to that, today I started toilet training...

52 minutes to go... Fiona puts shoes on the dog. He's fine with it.

51 Minutes to go... Fiona feels cold, wears dish towel as skirt. Which reminds me... I need to wash this, not just pick it up off the floor, shake it off and hang it back up...

For the next 4 minutes... Fiona covers Brodie with towels...

Then Ben comes home. Parks. Exits the garage. Then... nothing. After a few minutes I realize he's just hanging out outside, talking on the phone, having a conversation which is missing the addition of a 2 year old yelling in the background.

Soon he is home. Yay!! Now to give him a baby to hold and a "to-do" list...

Fiona sits on the potty. Nothing happens.

Fiona was very excited when I put new batteries in the swing today for Adele. She had a tantrum, got up, saw that her rotten sister was still in the swing, had another tantrum, checked on whether Adele was done, had another tantrum... After Adele was finally done, she was ready to have a turn...

40 minutes to go... Fiona requests "Nemo DVD". I told her she had watched enough TV already today, so she tries asking Daddy...

38 minutes to go. She refuses to take no for an answer, and takes matters into her own hands.

36 minutes to go. Fiona sits on the potty. Nothing happens.

33 minutes to go. Fiona plays peek a boo with Adele. With my shirt. Both of them think it is hilarious.

31 minutes to go. Fiona sits on the potty. Nothing happens.

28 minutes to go. I make Fiona a diagram to remind her of the potty rewards system. Ben is concerned that the first two pictures do not adequately indicate that these have to happen in the potty.

26 minutes to go. Fiona draws a kitty and a fish on the diagram.

17 minutes to go. Fiona sits on the potty. MAKES A WEE!! The diagram worked! I will go down in history as a potty training genius. Fiona is rewarded with a chocolate button but ate it before I could get a picture of her triumphant face.

11 minutes to go. Elmo has a big owie. He's wearing Monty's big collar from the vet.

7 minutes to go. Adele is happy. She's just finishing a smile.

5 minutes to go. Elmo is having fun in the swing!

4 minutes to go. Fiona wees on the floor. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How did you possibly need to go again only 10 minutes after the last time?! And how did you forget where you were meant to be doing it?! And why are you laughing and splashing in it? And is dinner really still not ready?

1 minute to go. Fiona has a time out for kicking/stomping on Brodie. Please, please let dinner be ready soon. Because after dinner comes bed time.

Dinner's ready!

Well, we all made it. And tomorrow we get to do it all over again!