Friday, December 31, 2010


It's a new year...

Here's what we've been up to in the last couple of weeks...

Fiona and I made a gingerbread house together. It was fun, but more work than I thought it would be! Fiona wanted to eat the house walls, and as much frosting as possible, but it turned out ok in the end.

We had a lovely Christmas with Ben's family. Christmas Eve was of course the traditional dinner and talent show at his parents' house. The talents this year were exceptional, including Fiona's "bottom dancing"...

We spent Christmas Day here, in our pyjamas. Ben's family came over and we opened presents together, and tried to polish off the Christmas cookies and desserts. We failed, but it was a good effort. Fiona quickly got into the spirit of opening presents, and found the whole thing very exciting!

She got some really great boxes!

Fiona was too excited and much too full of sugar to take an afternoon nap, and by the time everyone left (around 7pm) she was starting to get cranky. She was annoyed because I told her she could not watch a movie, and stomped off to her room, and turned off the light. I jokingly called out "goodnight, Fiona!' and finished saying goodbye to our guests. Once everyone was gone I went to check on her and she was curled up in bed fast asleep. A Christmas miracle!

We had a wonderful day and Ben surprised me with some lovely gifts, none of which required batteries, micro usb adaptors, or a network to function. Nice job sweetie :-)

So here we are - 2011. We took down the Christmas decorations today, and I think the girls will miss the dancing snowman. 2010 was a wonderful year filled with many happy memories. Here are some highlights...

- Adele came home from the hospital and we started life as a family of 4
- I FINALLY graduated with a Master's in General Experimental Psychology
- We visited Scotland for Adele's baptism
- We had a variety of fun visitors from far off lands
- Fiona learned how to wee in the potty!
- Adele grew bigger and stronger, and worked on learning how to do stuff.
- We got to know our "mommy group" friends better, and shared in some wonderful events, playdates, celebrations, and new baby joys with them.

Here are my goals for the new year... I had to include some that I hope are more achievable.

1. Take regular showers.
2. Fill in blanks in baby books for both girls.
3. Continue to try to cook more new and healthy foods.
4. Be more patient
5. Take more pictures. Get better at taking and editing them.
6. Crochet some stuff
7. Spend more time with people we did not see enough last year.
8. Get Fiona to poop in the potty
9. Go on some dates with the Ben
10. Eat twixes
11. Soak up every wonderful moment with my little girls.

Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Season of Giving

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable (and not too stressful) Holiday Season! If you were in that crazy traffic jam trying to get into the Mall of America today, my thoughts are with you!

This year I am feeling thankful. I am constantly reminded of last year when Adele was in hospital and we were stressed out and worried. I am so happy to have her home with us this year, even if she is yelling in her bedroom after only taking a 15 minute nap. I am grateful for her happy spirit, and beautiful smile.

I can not imagine not being able to share her smiles. For her, or Fiona to have been born with a facial deformity that makes it impossible for them to smile. Luckily, if that had happened, we live in a country with good healthcare, and we have excellent health insurance, and she would not have had to go through life unable to smile.

So this Christmas, I am grateful, not only that I have two beautiful, healthy, smiley girls, but also that Ben and I are able to donate to organizations that can help families who are not as lucky as us. One of my favorite blogs Cake Wrecks is in the middle of a "12 days of Christmas" charity drive - every day they feature a charity and ask each reader to donate a dollar to the charity. That's all. Just one dollar. If you give a dollar a day, that's $12 dollars. But if everyone gives a dollar a day, that's a lot of dollars. Today they featured the charity Operation Smile which provides free surgeries to correct facial deformities in children, and they do some incredible things for children who would otherwise have to go through life without showing off their beautiful smiles. So if you have a dollar to spare (or even 12), think about contributing. Go to Cake Wrecks, and follow the link to donate. Smiley babies all over the world will thank you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recent Happenings

This post will be in backwards chronological order, beginning today and going until it seems like I've rambled for long enough to send most of you into a comatose state...

Wow, December is speeding by! I can't believe it's the 14th already! The 14th was always an exciting day growing up, not so much because it's my Dad's birthday (sorry Dad! also, Happy Birthday!) but because it's the day we'd put up the Christmas tree, and once the tree is up, it's almost CHRISTMAS!!

Side note: because December is crazy I never manage to post even a card to my Dad, never mind a present, so as usual, this year, he got this...

And as a special treat this year he even got this!

Not initially included on Flickr, but now available as a bonus feature is this... the outtakes!

She's so cooperative!

Fiona loves all the Christmas decorations and lights on the houses, but doesn't seem to get the concept of asking Santa for presents yet. Or even who Santa is really. And to be fair, it's an odd concept. At bedtime tonight she was asking for a flashlight, and I told her she should ask Santa for one and she might get one for Christmas. She looked at me like I was nuts... Santa? Ok Mum, whatever...

I am almost completely done shopping, which is a minor miracle. I did almost all of it online, which was a lot of fun (more fun than battling the maniacs at the Mall) and now I have the added excitement of getting all kinds of mail. I still need to get something for the girls... I was going to get Fiona a trampoline, but we think it might take up too much space, so maybe I'll just get her a flashlight... and a lot of batteries.

On Sunday we went out to the Mall for a little while, just to get out of the house. If you're not there to shop, it's fun to visit :-) Fiona went on some rides and had fun seeing her cousins and eating ice cream. We got home, and it was bedtime, so I went to the basement to get their pyjamas from the dryer and smelled gas. Our hot water heater had not been working well, so we assumed that was the culprit and turned it off, then I called the gas company to see if we should do anything else. I was not prepared for her instructions... we had to leave the house immediately and wait in the car outside for the gas inspector to come and make sure there was not a leak and we were safe. So at almost 9pm we dragged our tired children out in 0 degree weather (that's -17C), loaded them in the car and sat outside for an hour, making occasional trips round the block to try to keep them asleep/entertained. I unearthed some toys in the bottom of the backpack, and Grrr and Fwroar had an exciting battle, but that only lasted so long...

Of course almost as soon as we're in the car Fiona starts crying that she needs to go potty. Luckily she had her night time diaper on so it was not an emergency but she did not want to go in the diaper, and was really upset. I told her I'd change her if she needed me to, and after a little while she insisted on having a new diaper. After some very awkward maneuvering I got her old diaper off, only to find that it was STILL DRY! You tricksy toddler, you!!

Luckily, Adele slept the whole time, so that helped.

Anyway, it turned out that the vents for the hot water heater were clogged with snow (more on that next) and once we cleared them off, it was back to business as usual.

Last weekend we had an epic snow storm, and although they did a great job of clearing the roads off, it's still kind of scary if you are one of those people who drives like an old lady, hunched over the steering wheel, sweating even though according to the car thermometer it's -15. Not that I am that kind of driver of course... Um. Anyway... there was so much snow that it even brought down the roof of the metrodome. Which is a big deal, I know, but come on people, it's not like it was a real roof! It was some kind of fabric tent and was held up by AIR!

Here's a picture of some snow, and Ben shoveling. We got almost 20 inches. And no, I did not even go outside to take pictures!

The last time it snowed Fiona loved playing outside, but it's been too cold recently. Here's a picture of her having fun back when it was warmer...

Those loose threads are... um... a style choice. Nothing to do with laziness at all...

I think this has dragged on long enough, so I'll leave you with a picture of the mug cosy I made for the playgroup secret santa. I have never made one before - it was fun! It's so cold here that even hot drinks need sweaters to keep them warm...

Monday, December 6, 2010

To Adele, on her first birthday...

Dear Adele,

I would have written this on your actual birthday, but you and your sister keep me pretty busy so I didn't get a chance to. On December 3rd you had your first birthday, and it was oh so exciting! A little over a year ago you gave us a big surprise when you decided you would like to be born more than two months early, and since that day you have surprised and amazed us over and over again.

When you were born it was pretty scary. We hoped everything would work out, but you were so very tiny and fragile. You amazed us at the moment of your birth by screaming very loudly, and we took comfort in that, but seeing you so small and weak with all your wires and monitors in your baby greenhouse was hard.

You weighed 3lbs, 2.8oz, and were teeny tiny. Grandma reminded me that I compared you to a butterfly, beautiful, but scary to handle in case I broke you.

Here you are at 8 days old. You already loved to look around and take everything in.

You did a great job while you were in the hospital - you learned to keep yourself warm and graduated from the greenhouse to your own little bed. You learned how to drink milk from a bottle, and you got better at remembering to breathe while sleeping, though we had a monitor for you for a while at home because you liked to test our reflexes from time to time. You came home on January 15th after exactly 6 weeks, you met your big sister, and got really, really good at breastfeeding. In fact, it became your favorite thing!

In the last year you have become a giggle monster - you love to be tickled, and for Fiona to blow raspberries for you. You roll from your tummy to your back, and have started to roll from your back to your tummy, but only when you absolutely have to. You love to read books and listen to music, and are  a big fan of toys that sing songs. You have started to sit up, and think jumping in the bouncer is very entertaining. You have 5 teeth, and make some very silly faces...

You love to be with me, and can be fussy with other people, but I don't mind. It's nice to have a little snugglepuss, and I know all too soon you'll be asking me to leave you alone  like your big sister does.

You have a smile that lights up the room and makes everyone else smile too. Your giggle could cheer up the Grinch, and you have a funny little sense of humor. You love your big sister very much, and she loves you too, even if she steals your toys.

Happy Birthday Adele, Dell-Roo, Tiny Love. We are so grateful for the joy and laughter you have brought to our family.

Now if you wanted to start sleeping at night, that would be cool. I might miss you at first at 10, 1, 3, and 5, but I think the time apart would be good for both of us.

Love you lots!!