Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Willow wasn't too sure about this cold, snowy weather when we took her for a little sled ride. The sun was shining, but she wasn't. It didn't last too long...in fact it probably took longer to get her dressed into the snowsuit. Oh well, there were a few grins and we all came inside rosy cheeked.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day



More pics in the picasa album...check out the link at the side.....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rest In Peace Opa

We miss you so much....but your Love will remain with us forever.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Willow Meets "Danta"!

Willow is officially 17 months old today. And her day was filled with the excitement of meeting 'Danta' and his 'Alf'. She was quite serious about the whole thing and looked a little worried. But she was happy to get her own candy cane and to finally see the magic man up close.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Willow Makes a Bird feeder

We became totally inspired when we saw cousins Artemis and Demeter making pine cone bird feeders. Willow already loves pine cones and we have a big box of them on our crafty shelf...and we have plenty of birdseed, too. It's always fun to do a little project on a wintery afternoon. Willow and I have both been feeling under the weather for the past couple days. A head cold coupled with her cutting three new teeth has made for a bit of home-moping. This was just the thing to make us forget about that for a while. And now we are having fun looking out the window at our pine cones, waiting for the bird to arrive.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Willow walks by the River

We are so lucky that this beautiful walking path is only one block away from our house....that would never happen in a big city. So even on a bot of a chilly day, we can head out and do a little fun exploring. THere is still no snow, so this trek by the river was really great. Willow was so gung ho, she was practically running!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Helping Grandma to Trim the Tree

Willow, the lucky girl, got to set up two Christmas trees this year...one at home and one at Grandma and Opa's. I think Grandma made sure to put all the precious decorations waaaay up high...but Willow had so much fun hanging up the candy canes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Playground Fun

It's still been warm enough to have a good play at the park. Willow must have had a growth spurt recently...she looks so tall! Her legs are so long all of her pants were looking like floods. I pulled out this pair of cords that I had tucked away...size two already!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grandma and Opa's

Always playing and having fun at Gramma and Opa's house....I call this picture "Angel Hair"...she sure it getting a lot of it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Danta! Danta!"

Tonight we took Willow downtown to see Santa at the City Hall. Now that it gets dark so early, it was nice to be out with all the lights and kids and families. The excitement mounted and she got to see Santa...he even waved at her and said "HO!HO!HO!" Now Willow seems to think that Santa is all about waving....she always waves excitedly whenever she sees Santa in a shop or Santa lights on a house. It is very sweet. Later, she had a great chance to run around the Esplanade and play with her little buddy Milah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mummy and Willow

Having some fun with the camera on Mummy's computer...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Willow is 16 Months Old!

Willow Willow Willow. She continues to be the light of my life and my biggest source of happiness, learning, challenge and complete and utter joy. I missed writing her 15 month update last month...these have been manic times. We made several trips out of town to see Baba in hospital and then to attend her funeral, and to visit Opa while he was doing radiation in Calgary. I know that Willow doesn't understand these life happenings but she is indeed a precious part of them. When we went to the hospital to visit Baba, she took a good long look, with her clear, wide blue eyes standing at the doorway to her room before exclaiming "Baba!" and running in towards her. It was pure magic and it was just her being. That is the gift of watching this little one grow in this world. At Baba's internment, everybody wanted to hold her for a little bit, her innocence and powerful life vigor offered comfort just through a squeeze or a cuddle. Of course I am pleased that she is so well loved from so many directions but it can be hard to let go of her and share her in those moments when I feel like I want to hold onto her. We spend every moment together throughout our days and weeks, I can feel almost naked when she isn't with me.....but at other times it is such a great relief to just feel like my 'old' self again....a relief to know that 'Nikki' is still inside me, underneath all these layers of Mama-love somewhere....
The changes that I have seen in Willow over the past two months have been nothing short of phenomenal. All of a sudden this little person is communicating to me and others in a whole new way. Up to 15 months she was using so many signs, both ones we had taught her and ones she had developed on her own and 'words' some of which maybe only the people closest to her could understand. Sure she had the basics, Mama and Dada and Ga-mo (grandma) and O-pa, hi, bye.....but she was now assigning sounds and syllables to most of the objects in her world. Some of them could be understood easily: moooooon (moon), a-bowl (apple), dose (nose), malf (mouth), iiiii (eye) some of them where more challenging to interpret: meow (cat) who-who (owl) ah-ah with chest pounding (monkey), uff-uff (dog) unger (yogurt) bum-bum (pumpkin). But as she learned that we could understand her, and this could actually lead to more communication she began to devour any information about language she could get her hands on, watching our lips carefully to see how we made our words and looking at piles of books. She loves to sit by herself or with Adam or me looking at the kind of word books that have a photograph of an object and the word for the object. If she is fussy or grouchy, this is actually the most soothing thing for her, sitting on our lap and learning words. This month it is incredible to see her whipping through these, repeating every word, or coming up with her own words. She is certainly becoming great at hearing the sounds and re-creating them. Her most recent ones have more than just one syllable: Dee-llow (Willow) and pee-llow (pillow)...once she got that 'L' sound, she just loves it. It is truly beautiful to see her look at herself in the mirror, point to herself and with a big smile say, "Dillow!" So the words now are too numerous to record and everyday there seems to be new ones. When handed the phone she will say in the sweetest voice "Hi". Now I have seen her putting two words together, to create a more complex concept such as "Mum Up" or yesterday I heard her saying "down up down up". I encourage her to use these when she is frustrated, instead of screeching. Like when she wants to get out of her highchair, if she is squealing, I say "mum down", she repeats it and bingo, she gets what she wants and needs. It is great. She has also been saying in a very cute, very definitive way,"Nooo" and I have been teaching her "yes" which she is also seeming to understand. But by far the most heart melting thing that she has been sing-songing lately is "mum-meeee". She will say it over and over again, "mum-meee, mum-mee, mum-meeee" and it really is like music to my ears. My beautiful little girl....More changes recently have been her shift into one nap per day. For the past 5 days she has been going down mid-day for about 2 hours or so. I like this as it is a lot easier to plan around than 2 naps and it gives me a bigger chunk of time to do Nikki things (such as update my Willow blog...wait, does that count as a nikki-thing???) She is still nursing on demand, day and night but a couple months ago ( I wish for record keeping purposes I had recorded exactly when this was..oh well...)I did move her bed into her own room which is working out well. She sleeps about half the night by herself, on a double mattress on the floor surrounded by pillows and when she cries out I go in there and nurse her and sleep there for the second half of the night. She nurses quite a bit in the mornings but still we manage to sleep in until at least 8 am or later, which makes me very happy. I am not a good early morning person. So, some people might say that this is the 'lazy mom' method, or she is controlling me, but I am happy to have half the night to myself with Adam and share the other half with her, if it means we all get some decent sleep and get to wake at a respectable hour. I suspect that she has graduated right into the toddler bed stage, completely skipping the crib, which suits us just fine. I am pleased that our breast feeding relationship has been going so well and I plan to continue it for as long as we can both hang in there. It is demanding work, but the rewards are great and to see how healthy, smart and happy she is is all the payback I need right now. Wee Willow, you aren't so wee anymore, but my love for you has grown a thousandfold since the day you were born.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Walking...

A Beautiful walk in the park together

Friday, October 31, 2008

Willow goes Trick or Treating

It was pretty amazing to see little Willow cross the thresh hold into true kidness as she experienced her first trick or treating Halloween. It didn't take long before her bag was so heavy that she was dragging it. She thanked every house for the candy saying 'dang-do'....she was simply adorable...and I am not the only one who said that so I know it is true! I let her eat one little bag of jelly fruit things but no chocolate...she was very excited about it...and now Dad and I have been eating the rest of it...it's a whole different world now that she knows how sweet sugar is!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Willow Makes a Jack-o-Lantern

Willow finally got to see what was to happen with the giant pumpkin from our garden. It has been living on our kitchen floor for the past month and she has done her fair share of playing on the 'bump-bum' as she calls it. She was pretty tired when we started but by the time I cut into the top she was getting right in there. She loved the results and when we put him out on the porch, she insisted that we go and look at him several times.

Willow Makes Cupcakes

Today Willow helped me make cupcakes...she loves it when I pull up a chair for her at the kitchen counter so she can see....and It's great for me, she it entertained and involved and I can get stuff done! I think she is learning lots about cooking and washing up, too! It's a whole new mysterious world unveiled at the kitchen counter!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Days...

With Willow's help, I managed to get another four bags of leaves raked...I think that makes a grand total of about 18....I think leaves are a lot nicer when they are on the trees...and they are more fun when they are on the ground, not in bags....We spent the better part of the week nursing our bad colds, now that the nasty germs were almost gone it was a beautiful day to get outside and do some enjoying.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Beautiful Girl...

She loves to swing at the park....and I love that it is right across the street and that it has been 20 C! What a gorgeous October!

E-I-E-I-O!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Willow Smells the Roses

We had some great visits with Kirsten, Kyran and Thom on our trip to Edmonton....I wasn't my ususal 'trigger happy gal with camera'...but I did get this one sweet vid of Willow taking some time to smell the roses...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Willow in the Fall Garden

We sat out on the swing and savored what might be one of the last warm fall evenings..nothing better than exhausted parents being entertained by their beautiful child....seeing her makes everything worth it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Sunday

We spent a nice afternoon at Grandma and Opa's celebrating the Fall feast with a wonderful dinner. I was thinking back to last year's Thanksgiving and Willow was just starting to sit up...what a difference a year makes. Now she is a toddler, exploring everything and busy busy busy. She is awesome and she reminds us that we have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Willow Loves her Books

It is so cool to see Willow's love of books really taking hold. We have a great little reading corner in the living room for her, with her own little chair and a shelf full of books. She is even moving past the board books, which we have a bunch of, and into reguIar picture books. We have a couple of really good thrift store heres, one of them sells kids books for 25 cents! Can you believe that? I mean, what can you get for 25 cents these days? It's a very affordable treat to bring home a little bag - o - books. Plus, we don't have a whole lot of free fun stuff to do here in our little town, so we go to the library....a lot...where we borrow tons of books and kids cd's. I guess not having TV is a great way to get kids to like books because on any given day she will sit and look at her books for the longest time of any of her toys. She can keep herself completely occupied and she is obviously not reading yet, she is just looking at them, and learning from the pictures. Adam and I read a least 20 books a day to her...literally....no joke. It very cute because she now does the sign for 'more' which would normally be used to say 'more food', but she uses it to say 'more stories'. So, anytime of day becomes a little break for a book. From the moment we wake up when I am still in bed, she is up an at 'em and I say, "Willow, go pick out a story" and she comes back with one, which I read to her lying down, just afford myself a few more minutes in bed....and then I send her off again two or three times...pretty funny but then I get an extra 15 or 20 minutes before I have to get up! Ok, now you know my secret and the real reason I am getting her hooked on books.....haha!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Willow Loves the Rocks...

Those little pebbles that they fill playgrounds with now instead of sand.....Willow loves those. She carries them around and piles them up on the slides and generally enjoys them more than anything else at the playground....except maybe the swings....but those pebbles run close second, I tell ya. We sure are lucky to have this stellar playground right across the street from our house. Many a fun afternoon are spent there with out the need to pack snacks or extra clothes or anything because it is literally a 30 second walk from home. It's nice living in a park-like-neighborhood

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October's Garden

This was one of our last days to enjoy the garden....the sunflowers blooming and the pumpkins growing....Irie had a fine time playing a game of 'chase stick' with Willow. These are gorgeous fall days and we just want to savour every moment!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Willow Having Some Hammock Fun

It seems like it has been a long time since we have had the chance to just visit and have fun at Grandma and Opa's place. The days of sitting on the porch and the hammock are almost gone...good thing Willow got one last chance to enjoy a good bounce! She is such a ball of energy and excitement...even when she is tired that doesn't slow her down. A little rest and she'd up and ready to go some more. We are so lucky to have such sunny warm weather in October!

Willow and Dad...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Willow Hanging out in Mom's Studio...

She's getting her hands into the mud....