Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wiggles' Biggest Fans

Last year, over the winter months, when we were stuck inside for days on end because of the cold, miserable weather, we discovered the Wiggles, an Australian musical group geared for kids.  While I had initially put this music dvd on for Sophie's entertainment, it quickly became Elise's most favourite thing to watch.  So much so, that every time she was fussy or cranky, we would throw on a Wiggle's dvd and she would be magically cured of the crankies.  She would get up to sing, dance, sway and follow along with the actions.  Our collection started with one accidental Wiggle dvd purchase, and now we have over a dozen movies.  We have spent so much time watching the Wiggles that Ryan, Sophie and I know most of the words to many, many songs, and Ryan and I have claimed the Wiggles as the sound track to our life.

When we found out that the Wiggles were coming to Calgary in October, we just had to buy tickets.  Ryan took the afternoon off and the four of us went to the Saddledome to enjoy the show.  The girls had a great time.  They were singing and dancing and of course, Mom spent way too much money on memorabilia.  But really, who knows if we will ever get the chance to see the Wiggles again!

There is one song in particular that Elise loves called "Rock-A-Bye Your Bear".  There are actions to this song that she has known since before she was a year old.  However, we always struggled to get a good video of her doing so.  As soon as the movie camera came out, her attention was on the camera instead of her performance.  Here is a video of Sophie and Elise doing the actions to "Rock-A-Bye Your Bear" at the Wiggles concert. A little hard to see since it was so dark.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sophie's First Day of Preschool

Sophie started preschool this year at Creative Beginnings.  Her first day was hard on both of us.  I tried leaving several times, which made us both cry.  Eventually, the teachers had to gently suggest to me that it was time to go.  I left and sat in my car and cried some more while listening to Elise say "Sissy" over and over, not quite understanding why she wasn't with us.  I finally got myself together and left, moving on with my day.  I felt so guilty leaving her with strangers.  Since we have no family in the city, we have spent every day for the last three and a half years together; she has never been dropped off anywhere ever. 

I thought it would only get easier, but it didn't.  For the first month, Sophie cried each time I dropped her off and I kept wondering if it was too soon.  But yet when I picked her up, she was always happy she stayed and said she enjoyed herself.  After the third day, when I picked her up, the first thing she said was, "When can I come back?" So I knew that in the end, this was the right move for her.

The last two times I have dropped her off, there have been no tears, something I was starting to think might not ever happen.  It was a huge relief to me.  She loves her school and is such a little social butterfly.  Now when I pick her up, she tells me about a new friend she has made that she would like to have over for a play date.  I just can't keep up with her! 

Her teacher is Ms. Bango and her friend, Alyssa, from down the street, and her cousin, Liam, are both in her class.  She goes Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 to 11:30 am.  They have music class one day and gym the other.  I look forward to hearing about the many friends she will meet and the many memories she will make at her new school this year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Top 10 Things I Love About My One Year-Old...

In no particular order.

10. Her hair - I don't know where they come from but I love her crazy, curly locks and hope her hair continues to grow in curls.  It is just one more thing that makes her unique.

9. Her adventurous personality - Elise will climb chairs, tables or pretty much anything that gets in her way.  When she goes places, she is running at full speed.  She has had more tumbles, falls, scrapes and cuts in her short one and a half-years than her sister ever has.
8. Her fishy-kiss face - When it is time to go to bed or when one of us is leaving the house, Elise will perk up her lips into a fishy face to give us a kiss goodbye.

7. Her love of music - As soon as she hears music, she will stop and start bouncing to the music and making up her own words to the song.

6. Her excellent communication skills - Elise is very good at letting us know her wants and needs.  She grunts and points and if that doesn't work, she will just start screaming.  She will also use a quieter way of communicating by simply bringing us our shoes to tell us she is ready to go somewhere or grabbing a finger and taking us to wherever it is she wants us to go.

5.  Her small, carefully chosen vocabulary -  Elise knows a few words and sentences that suit her adventurous personality, such as "Big jump!" which she says every time before jumping off a step or her bed.  Other words or phrases she uses: puppy, bird, please, thank you, happy, sissy (as in sister), stop it and give me are among my least favourite.

4. Her hugs - Once she gets her arms around your neck, she squeezes tight.  I love it and hope she never stops!

3.  Her adoration for her sister - Elise loves Sophie so much.  She watches, follows and copies her older sister all day long.  I love to see them laugh and play together.

2.  Her affectionate nature - Whether it is giving out hugs, kisses or just plain old cuddles, this girl loves to give love.  And she isn't picky about who she is snuggling with; Baron is often the target of her affection.

1.  Her smile - She has a beautiful, heart-warming smile that makes her Mom forget just how tired she really is.
If you would like to remember Sophie's Top 10 with me, click here

Saturday, July 19, 2014

More Growing Up

There were a couple of pretty special days for Sophie in June that shouldn't go unmentioned.  First, Sophie finished her first un-parented class, a move and movement class which she loved.  When it first started, I was so concerned that she wouldn't want to stay because it was the first thing she had ever done without me.  She was excited before the class even began and on the first day, she ran in without looking back.  Elise and I were left at the door, feeling lost without her.  Funny how things turn out.  Anyways, she loved the class and her teacher, and she can't wait until the fall to take another class.  She told me she wants to take ballet next!  We were allowed to attend her last class to take some pics.  We were so surprised at how well she listened to her teacher.  She was always the first to line up and follow instructions.  I wonder why she doesn't listen to her Mom like that...
Sophie also finished playschool at Early Discoveries this June.  We had been attending a parented class since September.  We went once a week to listen to stories, do crafts and sing songs.  Elise came with us as well and would sing and clap along.  Sophie's good friend, Emily, was also in this class.  Sophie received her very first diploma from her teacher, Mrs. Goodwyn.  Sophie will attend an un-parented preschool in the fall.  Such a big girl!
Our first camping trip of the year was also in June.  We went to Bow Valley with  our good friends, Scott, Lori, Nixon and Leland.  Despite a rough first night with little sleep, everyone had a great time. 
 To see more pics from the month of June, click here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Family Pictures 2014

Elise is almost 16 months old and we only just got around to getting some family pics that included her.  We had planned on getting some in the fall but every time we booked the photographer, it snowed that weekend.  After a couple tries, we just gave up and decided to try again in the spring or summer, when it was less likely to snow.
We found a photographer to take pictures of us at Confederation Park.  It started out poorly; Sophie refused to look at the photographer or smile.  She was having a bad day and she just has issues with male strangers.  After 20 minutes or so, she warmed up a little and we managed to get some great pictures.  The photographer said on an average shoot, he takes 150 pictures in an hour.  He took 400 for our family and felt unsure that there were going to be enough good ones.  Ha ha!  Poor guy!  Not sure if we will be able to get him to take our pics next year.

To see more family pics, click here.  Don't worry I sifted through the 400 and only picked my favourite ones.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Arizona 2014

We had a long, hard winter and what better way to forget all about it than taking a trip to a much warmer destination.  In May, we packed our bags and headed to Arizona for a week.  The girls were great on the plane ride there; Sophie played, worked in sticker books, coloured and watched TV on the ipad while Elise slept most of the way there and home. 

In Arizona, we rented a house with a pool and stayed with my brother and his family.  Sophie had a blast having her cousin, Madeleine to live and play with.  Sophie and Elise also quite enjoyed playing with baby Vincent the week we were there.  While in Arizona, we visited the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, where we got to feed the giraffes.  There was also a petting zoo, which Sophie had a hard time leaving.  The Phoenix Children's Museum was everyone's favourite place to visit.  After getting past the indoor playground/maze/treehouse, there were three floors of interactive fun.  There was a craft room with a castle the kids could paint, a room set up as a store with food, carts and registers, as well as a bin full of beans and weigh scales for the kids to play with.  There was a cactus maze outside, a giant racetrack for toy cars, large instuments and so much more.  We were there for hours and we still didn't get to every room.  We also went to the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium, a place we had visited the last time we were in Arizona and enjoyed.  Another day, we headed to Mesa to spend an afternoon with Aunt Janae.
It was a great trip, however, I think Ryan and I have decided to wait a few years before trying another vacation like that again.  Elise pushed out 2 molars and a front tooth while we were there so she was more than a little bit cranky and barely sleeping.  Yet our biggest challenge was actually Sophie.  The first few days were exciting and fun but after that, she started to get home-sick.  During the day, as long as we were out doing something, she was fine.  But at night, she would cry that she missed her room and her stuffies, despite the fact that we let her load her backpack with anything she thought she might miss while she was away.  Being away from home caused her some serious anxieties which presented itself in this sudden fear of bugs.  Poor girl would scream at the top of her lungs at the sight of anything that even resembled a bug, whether it was a leaf, twig or flower that had fallen from the tree in the backyard.  She refused to use the pool in the backyard and so if we were at the house, we spent most of our time indoors.  She quickly got over this fear of bugs once we got home.  Every once in while she will get nervous around a bug but nowhere near the panic she showed in Arizona.
Despite our challenges, we had a wonderful time.  I especially enjoyed getting to spend the week with my brother and his family.  Thanks Uncle Dan, Aunt Tina, Madeleine and Vincent for the great week!
To see more pics of our trip and the month of May, click here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Easter 2014

For Easter this year, we participated in the Legendary Easter Egg Hunt at Butterfield Acres with our good friends, Ryan, Sarrah and Scarlett.  Even though we headed for the farm all bundled up in tuques and gloves, the girls were excited about the Easter Egg Hunt.  After a story in the farm house, we headed outside to look for some very special, painted rocks that we were to send to the Easter Bunny's workshop.  He would then turn them into chocolate eggs to deliver Easter morning.  After the hunt, we planted oats in a pot to bring home and we visited the farm.  What a great day! 

After a rough night with Elise, who has been busy growing molars, Ryan thought he would be nice by letting me sleep in...on Easter morning!  I was not impressed!  I missed watching Sophie find all her Easter eggs, although I did make it in time to help her find her basket.  Silly Dad!
To see more pics from April, click here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Elise's First Birthday

Elise had her first birthday this past month and although we wanted to celebrate her day, it was difficult since we were all sick, Elise included.  It has been a rough month, first the flu, then a terrible cold circulated the house and left us all feeling under the weather.  The cold weather and being stuck inside for weeks at a time hasn't helped either.  And on top of that, Elise has started teething her one year molars, which has led to a number of miserable days with a non-stop runny nose.  We did have ice cream cupcakes from Dairy Queen and opened a few gifts on her actual birthday so that her very special day didn't go by unnoticed.  We had to postpone her actual celebration with friends and family to a later date so we didn't spread our germs to everyone.  We did eventually have her birthday near the end of the month.  Uncle Julien and Aunty Chantelle, Uncle Rob and Aunty Nat, Sarrah, Ryan and Scarlett, and Denny, Chelsea, Emily and Logan joined us to celebrate Elise's first birthday.

 Happy First Birthday Elise!  We love you so very much!
To see more pics from the month of March, click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Disney On Ice

At the beginning of March, my sister-in-law and I took Sophie and Madeleine to Disney On Ice.  Despite the fact that Sophie has not seen any Disney movies (she is quite sensitive when it comes to scary parts), but does know a few characters from books we have read, and that she was not feeling well (she had a bit of a fever that morning), she still desperately wanted to go see the show.  And of course, we had a great time.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Doc!

Sophie continues to enjoy everything that has to do with doctors.  So when I found a tv show on the Disney Junior website called Doc McStuffins, all about a little girl who is a doctor for broken toys, I knew she would love it.  After watching a few episodes, Sophie set up shop in the play structure downstairs claiming it as her clinic.  She played for days, pretending to fix all her stuffies, one by one, and then marking them with a happy face sticker when they were better and ready to go home.  She knows the name for all the doctor's tools and sometimes insists on being called Doc.
When it was time to start planning Sophie's birthday party, she was excited about having a Doc McStuffins party.  We celebrated her birthday this past weekend at the Vecova Centre. We rented the gym for an hour, letting the kids run around and burn off all their energy, and then headed to one of the party rooms for pizza, snacks and cake.  It seemed like a much better option than having a bunch of three year olds take over our house for an afternoon.  Plus, there was no clean-up. Yay for Mom and Dad! 
Her party was well attended; Doc Emily, Doc Caiden, Doc Clara, Doc Nixon and Nurse Leland, Doc Gabby and Nurse Brynn, Doc Camilla, Nurse Liam and Nurse Josh came to celebrate Sophie's third birthday with us.  Sophie got all sorts of great gifts including some of the main characters from Doc McStuffins in stuffie form, a pink dump truck, a Doc Play dough set, puppets, a giant stuffed puppy and Elefun.
Ryan and I got her a Doc McStuffins doctor kit and a dress-up doctor outfit, including scrubs and a lab coat, for her birthday.  The only sad part was when Sophie realized that the stethoscope does not actually turn her stuffies to real life, like Doc's stethoscope does on the show.  But her ability to play imaginary games has really taken off since we had that talk. 

Happy Third Birthday Doc! We love you so very much!
To see more pics of Sophie's birthday and the month of February, click here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Up, Up and Away!

There she goes!  My baby, Elise.  Her first few steps were just before Christmas, and then she took a break from walking.  Last week, she started practicing again.  One night, while she usually goes to bed at 8 pm, we could not get her to sleep.  She practiced walking back and forth between Ryan and I from 8-10 pm.  And she just keeps getting better and better every day.  Soon she will be chasing after her big sister!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Crazy Thing

So a crazy thing happened to me today...I finally got Elise down for a nap and immediately rushed Sophie to the craft table to make a birthday painting for her dad.  We got the basics of the craft done and when I suggested we add some fish to her painting, she said, "No.  I'm done.  I think I will go play now."  And away she went.
For the last few months, I have felt guilty about not spending enough one on one time with Sophie.  Elise has been busy teething, so fussy and wanting me to hold her constantly.  I have tried to make the most of her nap time by doing something fun with Sophie, like dressing up as king and queen, building castles with straws, playing outside (although on a few occasions, by the time we got all bundled up and outside, Elise would wake up and we would have to rush in), or doing crafts.  But when Elise is up, she has been dominating my time, wanting to be walked or held.  But in the end, it has helped Sophie to learn to play on her own.  She will sit and play Pet Shops/My Little Ponies/Little People/Minnie Mouse for up to an hour on her own.  These characters all live together in various Little People domains and visit the Pet Shop Vet Clinic often. 
I have folded my laundry, swept the floor and still have a minute to write a blog.  Wow!  What a crazy day!  Hope there are more.
I haven`t had a chance to write about our Christmas yet but here are some pics you can enjoy.  Click here.