Friday, November 2, 2012

Catch Up

A lot has happened since the summer, and my last entry, so I have some writing to do if I want to catch up.

The first thing worth mentioning is our trip to Arizona.  At the beginning of September, Ryan, Sophie and I took a vacation and went to Mesa again.  Janae, Ryan's sister, got a teaching job and has moved down there so our trip was not only to get away, but to visit with family as well.  While we were there, the average temperature was 40 degrees celcius so unfortunately we didn't get to spend a lot of time outdoors.  We did make sure that we got plenty of pool time in; we would visit the pool first thing in the morning and then again just before dinner which made the weather enjoyable as long as you didn't get out of the water.  When Sophie wasn't napping, we went shopping, visited the aquarium or hung out with Aunt Janae.  Sophie was great on the plane, both there and back.  She is a great little traveller.  To see pictures from our trip, click here.

I also started teaching a Saturday class in September at my old school for beginner students of French.  It is a two hour class but with driving and prep time, I am sometimes gone for up to four hours.  The first couple of times I left were hard, since I haven't really left Sophie for much more than an hour at a time, with just a few exceptions. She would cry as I was leaving, but quickly got over it after I was gone.  Now I tell her I have to work and after saying good bye, she tells me she loves me and to come back.  No more tears!  I think that both her and Ryan have enjoyed this father-daughter time and it has helped them form a closer bond.

Sophie had really blown us away with her language skills over the last few months.  She has learned to string 3 or 4 words together, making short sentences.  This has made it so much easier to communicate.  It has been so much fun, listening to her and understanding more what she is thinking.  It truly is amazing how quickly children pick up on things.  I don't spend nearly enough time speaking to Sophie in French.  We read books and listen to French cds, and she will repeat some of the french words she hears but I don't think she really understands them quite yet.

Our next big event was Thanksgiving.  Equipped with our new dvd player for the car, we finally made the trip to Medicine Hat with Sophie.  She managed to stay fairly entertained in the car which made the trip bearable.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at Nana and Papa's house with Uncle Warren, Aunt Ave, Ally and Grace.  Sophie enjoyed visiting with her cousins, as well as eating her first piece of pumpkin pie.  More Thanksgiving pictures are found here.

Halloween was a lot of fun this year.  Sophie dressed up as a strawberry and after her friend Emily came over in her super cute smurf costume, Sophie was excited to go trick or treating.  We only went to five of our neighbours' houses but that took at least a half hour.  While we were out, Sophie saw plenty of the neighbourhood kids dressed up in their costumes, which she quite enjoyed.  For more Halloween pics, click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dancing Queen

A few weeks ago, my parents came for a visit.  My Dad broke out the guitar and played some tunes for Sophie.  She loved it!  One of her favorites was "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I can't believe that it has taken me this long to blog about Squirt but it's been a little different this time around.  I am having such a hard time trying to keep up with my toddler, I barely have time to digest the fact that I am pretty much half way through my pregnancy.  Predicted due date is March 5 but I've learned my lesson with Sophie, it really is just a guess on their part.  Who knows when Squirt will actually choose to make an entrance.  So here is our little Squirt. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Places We Visited This Summer (not in any particular order)

10. Our Very Own Backyard - Sophie and I spent a great deal of time in our backyard this summer and it continues to be a popular destination. We even hosted a number of pool parties where everyone had a great time.
Chealsea, Emily and Sophie in our backyard
9. Riley Park - We met up with Candace and Clara a few times this summer at Riley Park. Sophie really enjoys pools and the water so this was right up her alley. It is a great wading pool for the little ones.  There is also a park nearby.  A perfect destination for any hot summer's day.
Sophie and Clara having a snack 
8. Red Deer - My Uncle Jack and Aunt Kathy from Vancouver were visiting my parents and grandparents in Red Deer at the beginning of August.  So despite the fact that Sophie is a terrible traveler in the car (doesn`t sleep and just cries 'Out!' while trying to escape her carseat), we headed to Red Deer for the night.  We had a wonderful dinner and Sophie refused to go to bed so I got to stay up late and enjoy dessert with everyone else.  Sophie loved Pepere's garden; there were deer, rabbits, cats, dogs and gnomes for her to look at and touch.  At one point she had half the garden creatures in a pile in the middle of the yard.  I am sure it took my Dad a while to put everything back where it needed to go.
I had to sit in the back of the car on the way there and back, singing songs and playing with Sophie so that she would remain relatively happy during the car ride.  After this trip, we went and bought a dvd player that attaches to the seat of the car.  Just one more thing we said we would never do as parents!
Pepere and Sophie taking a walk
7. Bow Valley Campground - This summer we spent two weekends at Bow Vally Campground.  Our first trip out for the year was with our good friends, Scott, Lori and their 2 and a half year old son, Nixon (Sophie calls him cute! ).  Sophie loved playing with Nixon.  The following weekend we headed back for my cousin's yearly group camping trip.  We had great weather and wonderful company for both weekends.
Sophie and Nixon having baths camping style
6. Calgary Zoo - We got season passes for the zoo and went three times over the summer. Every time we went, there were new animals to see or a new playground to discover. It is easy to spend a couple of hours there and not run out of things to do. And we still haven't had a chance to visit all the animals. Luckily, it is somewhere we can visit into the fall and winter as many exhibits are indoors.
Sophie and Clara at the zoo
5. Westward Ho - Nana and Papa were camping out at Westward Ho this summer so we all headed to Olds for breakfast with Warren, Ave, Ally, Grace, Nana and Papa, then after a brief nap, we spent the rest of the day at the campground.  There is a river that runs through the campground that is popular for floaters.  Hunter and Papa took the inflatable boat and floated down the river while the rest of us set up on the beach.  The water was warm enough for Sophie to want to go in.  Later, we went back to Nana and Papa's campsite for a family dinner before heading home.  Despite her brief nap and long day, Sophie refused to fall asleep in the car on the way home.  She did sleep fairly well that night though. 
Dinner at Nana and Papa`s campsite

4. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park - At the beginning of summer, Ryan, Sophie and I went on a short hike in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.  We brought the carrier along thinking there was no way Sophie would walk the whole 2 kms but she did.  It took us a LONG time to finish since there were many, many rocks we needed to stop for, observe and pick up.  We also looked at butterflies, flowers and anything else worth stopping for along the way.
Sophie and Mom hiking
3. Mount Kidd Campground - We did the Van Orman family reunion camping trip at Mount Kidd again this year.  What a great campground!  There are parks, tennis courts, open fields, an amphitheatre and a wading pool for the little ones.  The weather wasn`t as nice as we had hoped so we only spent a chilly half hour in the pool all weekend.  The rain came and went but we managed to keep entertained and we had a wonderful time visiting with family.  We did miss Jordan, Cyd, Gus and Janae.  Hopefully they will be able to join us next year.
Sophie and Dad at the pool
2. Old MacDonald Farm and Campground - Despite the rocky start to our weekend (had to turn around fifteen minutes into our 2 and a half our trip to get Nunu, couldn't find the campground, dead battery when we arrived, discovered a split tire on the trailer that Ryan had to replace), we ended up having a wonderful weekend.  We knew this was a great campground for kids with the petting zoo, neat three and four wheeled bikes for rent, the beach and the many, many parks at this campground.  They also have hay rides, a train, a farmer's market Saturday mornings and so much more.  Sophie loved that there were so many kids and dogs for her to meet, pet and hug (both the kids and the dogs).  She also enjoyed spending time with her Mamie and Pepere.
Such a good little hippie we are raising - Sophie hugging a tree

1. Butterfield Acres - Sophie's favourite place to visit this summer was Butterfield Acres.  This farm has rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, ponies, donkeys, ducks, emus, roosters, hens, chicks, and turkeys.  It beats the zoo because you can go into most pens and pet the animals.  Sophie loved the rabbits and goats but didn't really enjoy the pigs.  When we would visit that pen, she would gently push the pigs away with her feet.  We got a season pass for the two of us and we keep going back for more.
Sophie giving the goats some love or is it the other way around?
To see all our summer pictures, click here and here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer has begun

The nice weather has allowed us to do all sorts of activities we miss out on during the cold winter months.  Over the last month or so, Sophie and I have been keeping busy, as usual.  We meet friends from the south at Edworthy or North Glenmore Park and go for walks or play at the parks. 

While home, we take many, many walks around the block; sometimes we go three times around the block at once, the first trip is in the wagon, then the pushcar, and the final lap is in the stroller.  We stop and pick up rocks along the way, and we often make a stop at the park on our street. 

The park is most fun when we run into someone we know, either Jack, Danika, Chris, Sophia, Emily, Sannah, the other Danika or Austin.  The boys usually want to walk Baron around the park, with the exception of Chris who is usually already out walking Caramel, and the older girls think Sophie is so cute and try hard to get her to play with them or go down the slide with them.  Unfortunately for them, Sophie is mostly interested in picking up the rocks.  We bring a pail and a shovel and she can spend a significant amount of time just sitting and scooping.  Sophia and Emily are the same age as Sophie so they are usually happy sitting in the wagon together as I walk them in circles.  It can lead to a disaster if we run into them with the pushcar because only one child can sit in it at a time and it is hard to share at this age.  Sophie is getting better though.

A couple weeks ago we met Nat, Rob, Shay and Tova at the zoo.  Sophie enjoyed seeing all the amimals.  She had a hard time understanding why she couldn't give them all hugs.  She hugs her dog all the time and he loves it!  She also learned a new word while we were there - peacock.  She had trouble with the pronunciation and could only manage to get the last half of the word out.  I had a hard time not laughing since this lovely bird has free range of the zoo and seemed to show up where ever we were encouraging Sophie to yell out her new word.  Kids do say the darndest things! 

One thing Sophie loves is babies, real or pretend.  She now has a second baby doll, given to her by her other Mamie, who she carries with her all over the house.  When we visit friends, Sophie is more interested in watching the babies than playing with the older kids.  Is she trying to tell Ryan and I something?

Once a week Sophie and I go swimming.  At first Sophie didn't really seem to enjoy the pool but now she loves it.  When we get dressed or do the laundry and she comes across her swimsuit, she insists that I tie it around her neck and goes straight for her shoes.  When I tell her we are going to the pool, she calls it a bath.

It has been so much fun watching Sophie learn to talk over the last few months.  She is picking up new words daily and putting ideas together that amaze me.  It has made it easier for her to let me know what she wants and we enjoy listening to her think or play out loud. 

To see our pictures from the month of May, click here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

So Bad at Blogging

I have been terrible at keeping my blog up to date over the last few months and have missed writing about some pretty big events for Sophie.  I will do my best to catch you up on what has been going on. 

Sophie's birthday was February 18th and she was so spoiled this year that she was honored at three different birthday parties.  We had one with my family at the beginning of February to celebrate, not only Sophie's birthday, but also Mamie and Pepere's as well.  We went to my Mom and Dad's place in Red Deer and had lunch with the family.  Sophie was given her very first doll and loved it from the moment she laid eyes on it.  Baby is her doll's name and she is still a popular toy.

On the 19th of February, we celebrated Sophie's birthday at our place with some friends.  In all there were 10 kids under the age of 5 - Shay, Tova, Nixon, Gabby, Brinn, Daemon, Aiden, Caiden, Scarlett and Sophie.  Ryan found it a bit overwhelming but I think it was a lot of fun.  It is great to see so many kids running around, enjoying each other's company; I guess that is why I became a teacher.  Sophie is very fortunate to have such generous friends; she got all sorts of great gifts such as a turtle that shines the constellations on the ceiling of her room, a couple very cute backpacks, some new clothes and a few wonderful books.  You can never have too many books!  To view our February pictures, click here.

At the beginning of March, we went to Olds to have one last birthday party for Sophie and her two cousins, Ally and Grace.  Ally and Grace both have birthdays in March so it was a wonderful excuse for us to all get together.  Also, Nana and Papa were back from Arizona, where they had been hiding from the Alberta winter for a couple months, so it gave us a chance to catch up with everyone.  By this time, Sophie had had lots of practice opening presents, so much so, that she insisted on helping her cousins open theirs.  Averley made two birthday cakes and they were both delicious.  Ally also introduced Sophie to Buttons, the family pet.  Sophie thought he was the greatest thing ever.  To see pictures of Buttons and more, click here.

We had a pretty quiet Easter this year.  Sophie found her first Easter basket that morning with a duck and a book.  Later that afternoon, we went for a bike ride since it was so nice out.  We weren't quite up for travelling to Red Deer for dinner and the night, which had been our initial plan, because Sophie was cutting her top molars and was particularly unhappy.  Since we were unprepared for an Easter dinner at home, we were just going to heat up some leftovers.  I brought over some cookies to our neighbour, Cynthia, that afternoon and when she found out we were going to stay home for Easter, she insisted we come and join her family.  I'm not sure if she just felt sorry for us or really wanted our company, either way, we decided not to refuse.  She not only made the traditional turkey, potatoes, stuffing, homemade cranberries, etc.  but she also cooked a dish from Trinidad, where she is from, and a Ukrainian dish, which is Andy, her husband's heritage.  There were family and friends to share this wonderful meal with and we are grateful to have such kind and thoughtful neighbours.  Sophie also enjoyed the dinner, although she ate very little.  She spent most of her time chasing the four cats, Saxon, Tiger, Bow, and Pepper.  This was a real treat for her since she usually only gets to watch them through their front window.  She was able to forget about her teeth for a few hours and Ryan and I got to meet some really nice people.

Over the last few weeks, Sophie and I have spent as much time as possible outside.  She just loves the outdoors!  Every morning, Sophie goes to the front closet and points at the basket which contains Baron's leash and says "Walk!"  We will either take her wagon, her push car or she will walk herself to the park, which is only minutes from our house.  She isn't too interested in the park itself just yet but can spend a great deal of time just playing in the rocks.  When we aren't walking the dog or playing at the park, we can usually be found in the backyard.  We bought a water/sand table and a play structure, both of which are a big hit.    All of this makes me very excited to take her camping; I think she will really enjoy it.  If you would like to look at our pictures of Easter and us enjoying the beautiful weather, click here.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Top 10 Things About my One Year Old

Now that we are down to one nap a day, I am finding it hard to find time to blog.  And when Sophie is awake, she continues to grow so quickly and learn so much that I don't want to miss one minute with her.

There are so many more but I narrowed it down to the top ten things I love about Sophie this month.

10- Sophie is starting to say some words.  She works hard at repeating many words we say, even though she she doesn't always know what they mean.  These are the words that she uses all on her own and understands very well - "no" (her most frequently used word), "up" (a close second), "duck" (which was her first word - said on her first birthday!), "dog," "more," "apple" (which is used to refer to any fruit or vegetable with the exception of the banana, which is pronounced "nana"), "book," ball," "Nunu" and "Pepper" (names of two of her stuffies), and "hat" and "cat" (although they both are pronounced "dat").
9- When I tell her her daddy is home, she runs to the window, smiles and waves until he can see her and waves back.  Then she giggles and laughs with delight at her accomplishment.
8- She loves to read.  What teacher wouldn't love that!
7- Almost any music playing makes her dance.  I swear it is involuntary some times.
6- She understands so much that is said to her.  She absolutely understands the words "no" and "don't" - when she hears these words, she shakes her head and says "no, no, no" but doesn't always follow her own advise.
5- She adores being chased - what girl doesn't?  She also likes hiding when she is being chased.  When discovered, she squeals and runs away.
4- She loves hugs, so much so that while we were at the library the other day, another young little girl came up to Sophie and the two of them, for no particular reason, started hugging each other.  This hug lasted minutes and then they went their seperate ways.  It was adorable.
3- She is very social.  She smiles and waves at strangers when we are out and about.  Once, we were out for dinner and she wandered over to a table with a family of five.  They picked her up and passed her around the table as she dazzled them with her winning smile.  Must take after her mom!
2- We have so much fun together.  Every morning I wake up and I am excited to spend another day with my beautiful daughter.  I can't say I was that excited about going to work.
1- When I open my arms for a hug, she runs to me with a huge grin on her face.  We hug and then she gives me an extra tight squeeze at the end.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Sophie!

A year ago today, at 3:07 am, Sophie made quite an entrance.  She continues to keep us on our toes today and our lives are so much better because of it.  Happy first birthday Sophie!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Glee Auditions

After 20 minutes of trying unsuccessfully to get Sophie to sleep the other night, I decided to bring her downstairs and give it an hour before trying again.  Ryan and I put on an episode of Glee and thought we would keep Sophie calm and relaxed by cuddling with her on the couch until her new bedtime.  Sophie had something else in mind. 
Who doesn't love Micheal Jackson?  Exhausted from dancing up a storm, she did end up falling asleep right after.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

These boots were made for walking....

and that's just what they'll do.  Well, it happened one month after I predicted but we can finally say, Sophie is now officially walking on her own.  From one day to the next, she decided she could do it.  Yesterday, she took off about a dozen times all by herself.  And of course, when we are ready with the camera, she is busy doing something else and when the camera isn't around, away she goes.  We did manage to get a few videos of this major milestone.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Christmas in Calgary

Well, it has been a while since Christmas came and went. It's just been so hard to find the time to sit and blog. I am sure you all understand. Anyways, here is a brief look at what we were up to for our holidays.

We had decided that we didn't want to travel for Christmas this year so we hosted instead.  We had Nana, Papa and Aunt Janae come over Christmas Eve and stay until Boxing Day.  We had three days of great food, delicious treats and wonderful company.

Christmas day was a whirlwind of activity.  Surprisingly enough, scheduling the opening of gifts was a bit of a challenge.  After a delicious brunch, we anxiously waited for Hunter, who didn't arrive here until after noon. We were attending chuch at 1 pm so there just wasn't any time for presents at that point.  By the time we got home, Sophie was exhausted and needed a nap.  I think it was around 3 pm before we finally got around to opening the gifts.  Of course, it was well worth the wait and everyone was spoiled as usual. 

Sophie really enjoyed her first Christmas; she particularly liked the wrapping, ribbons and bows.  We briefly considered hiding some presents and rewrapping them for next year since there was only one gift she really seemed to notice.  But we thought she would eventually figure us out when she was older and looked back at the pictures.  The present she squealed for was a book with animal puzzle pieces that can be placed on the different pages.  It continues to be her favorite toy but has seen better days.  The front cover is standing on its last  leg.
She has thoroughly enjoyed it.

We had all the Van Ormans for dinner Boxing Day.  Ally came in a beautiful Christmas dress made mostly of sparkles.  This dress must have been magical because it left a trail of sparkles wherever she went.  She was sure to leave her magical trail in every room while she was here and to this day, our couches are still covered in sparkles!  We had our gift exchange before dinner, where each couple buys for another couple and the cousins exchange one gift as well.  We got a very cool pocket video cam from Jordan and Cyd.  I have tried to take some great videos but it is a bit hard when I have to hold Sophie's hand while recording.  The only shot I really seem to get is the back of her head.  Once she is on her own I will be able to take more.  Ryan and I made turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veggies and a salad for dinner.  Ryan's mom took care of dessert.  We had two choices, a pumpkin dessert or a cranberry cake; I think almost everyone had a tough time choosing and just sampled a bit of each just to be fair.

For New Year's, we went to my Mom and Dad's house in Red Deer.  We had a wonderful dinner together and Mom, Dad, Mamie, Pepere, Julien, Chantelle and Ryan spent the evening playing games.  Unfortunately, I had to sit out of the games portion of our evening.  Sophie was having a particularly bad night with her teeth.  I spent most of the evening rocking her and trying to get her to sleep.  We spent the night and headed home the next day.

The rest of our Christmas/December pictures are here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Adventures of Sophie

Ryan was away on business for a few days so I haven't had a lot of free time to blog about Christmas yet.  It is still on my list of things to do.  I did want to do a quick post about Sophie this week since what she loves to do most, changes so often. 

On the list for this week:

Playing a game of cat and mouse with Baron.  She will go up to him and get his attention, then run away in hopes of him chasing her.  If he doesn't come after her, she will turn around and go back to try and get his attention again.  If he does come after her, she runs around a corner and hides until her finds her.  Then she squeals with delight and runs away, looking for another corner to hide behind.

 Also, climbing up and down stairs has been a pick of the week.  We go up and down the stairs many times a day.  Of course this is all being done while holding mom's index finger in her left hand.  This is so her right hand is free to pick up anything she thinks is interesting along the way.

And finally, playing with the potatoes.  Sophie has a few cupboards that she knows she can play with whatever she finds inside.  Her new favorite cupboard has a bag of potatoes so she pulls out the bag, empties the potatoes on the floor, picks her favorite potato and chews away.  We are currently working on her second top tooth.  It has been a long and painful month with little sleep (her first top tooth came through December 24th) .  However, she is pleasant during the daytime and for that I am thankful.