Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kiddie Day at the MH Stampede

We endured the extreme heat to take Willow to her first 'carnie' experience for Kiddie Day at the Medicine Hat Rodeo. Adam took the Friday off in lieu of his three day work camping trip this week. We really missed him so it was great to spend the day together. But man-o-man, it was hot (like 35 C) and of course the fair grounds and everything are so far part, it was tons of walking. Willow loved seeing all the rides and games, the bad carnie food treats (she loved this sno-cone) and the general bling bling atmosphere. I , however, was the epitome of exhausted after two and half hours. I was basically seeking our shady benches everywhere...and they were kind of few and far between. We finally found an oasis in the last part of our excursion, a lush green park, lots of trees and little ponds where the petting 'zoo' and 'Pioneer Village' were. It was great, I spread out a blanket in the shade while Adam and Willow checked out the animals...that part was a huge hit with Willow. She came back with tales of being knocked over by a big sheep and seeing an animal that was 'cat-like, furry, with big eyes, drinking water' which I guess was a lemur. And of course a run to the explore the teepee was in order as well. I think both Willow and I had a big nap, in our air conditioned room after this dusty afternoon in the sun!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Willow's Garden Party

Like the birthday celebration at Grandma's house wasn't enough, Willow also had a backyard garden party with her buddies (and our buddies) to celebrate on the weekend. It was so fun to see her having a great time with her friends. It was a very hot summer day, good thing our backyard is well equipped with lots of shade....and a little kids pool and and a funky sprinkler to keep the rug rats cool. We kept it pretty simple, me in my pregnant state and all...and the day turned out perfectly. All the kids had alot of fun and I had a great time, too. There are plenty of pics to be seen in the picasa album in the left sidebar...check out the fun in the sun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthday Celebrations!

Starting with smoothies, balloons and presents at the breakfast table, a beautiful sunny day at the park, fun times playing at home and a grand slam dinner, cake and present party at Grandma's with Auntie Angie, this birthday was pure fun from start to finish! I finally got the pictures together which can be seen on the link at the side. She was spoiled with amazing gifts which included great new clothes (size three already!) an art easel from Grandma (and Opa!) and a stellar tricycle from Auntie Angie! Thank you so much for making her day so really means so much!

Two Years Old!

Willow is two years old! I simply cannot believe how the time has flown. She has grown and changed so much right before our very eyes....and along with her, I suppose it is a good time to reflect on the multitude of ways that our lives have been forever changed.
Willow's two year old-ness seems to be erupting with new and 'interesting' (aka somewhat annoying) behaviors all the time. I can understand it, tho', as I can literally see her 'trying things on' and then tossing them aside just as quickly. Screeching, screaming, whining and 'fake crying' are some of the things that I am consistently reminding her are ineffective. Words, use your words, I remind her...oh and she does! She is quite the amazing talker, especially for her age, as I am constantly being reminded by her Grandma and Grandma's friends. Everything from her "ummm, maybe not..." when asked to do something she is not into or "what flavour is that?" when she tastes something new to her "what's wrong, Mommy? Do you have a sore back? Here are some flowers to make you feel better." when I am lying down on the couch. Or her running monologue of airplane trips to Mexico and Toronto and jungle animals making crab cakes and lemonade smoothies on the beach as she plays with her sand table. She is always coming up with things that make me wonder 'Now where did she get that from?' Her memory is amazing. I think a lot of these ideas must come from the stories we read. She is super excited about her birthday and all of the fixin's that come with it. The presents ("surprises" she calls them) and cupcakes and candy and balloons are all a sources of excitement for her that come out in her play, which makes sense because she has been to quite a few birthday parties of her little buddies lately and I have been talking hers up for weeks now. Another game she loves to play lately is 'doctor' on me, which is not too surprising considering the increased amount of time I have been spending laying on the couch lately. That combined with the fact that she did have quite a sick spell in the month of June - her first real one yet. A nasty sinus infection complete with green snot and a round of antibiotics (her first 'medicine')and the 'baby measles' ( a red rash of sorts, not the 'real' rubella measles)which brought her into her pediatrician and walk in clinic twice. So this whole doctor experience was a new kind of scary world for her. The instruments held a lot of intrigue, the procedures.She likes to listen to my heartbeat, and baby's heartbeat, (with an imaginary 'microscope' she calls it) and take my temperature (usually and over sized crochet hook) and 'reads' it, "Ahhh, 96 Greaves."(I am sure that she heard me say 'degrees' once but she heard it as 'Greaves' - very cute)Or the other day she had a toilet paper roll on her wrist saying 'taking my blood pressure'. She also loves to give needles, put on bandages and 'cream' (mystery healing cream). So considering this game can keep her occupied for hours, I decided that I would get her a doctor's kit as a special present for after baby brother's arrival...when I am sure to be spending lots of time in bed and on the couch. I know she is going to really like it.
As far as all that truly 'interesting' stuff like eating and pooping and sleeping (I put that into quotation marks because, really, the only people who find that interesting are other moms of two year olds...)I believe she is right on track. I have sort of adopted an 'intuitive' style of mothering, opting less for books and internet research and more for her showing me what she can and can't do. Of course I look things up if I have questions, but lots of times I find answers that seem dumb, mean or too much work. I am glad to say that for about two or three weeks now Willow has been completely weaned off the boob...quite a relief considering that in a short time I will have another little muncher attached to me. I had weaned her down to just nursing her to go to sleep, for nappers or at night about 4 months ago...and now she doesn't 'need' it to fall asleep either...yay! What she does need to fall asleep, however, is her very stable routine (bath & stories either from Adam or me) and then for me to lay with her and my hair in her hands until she drifts off. Of course some people look at this and think it is too labor intensive to lay down with your kid until they fall asleep, and trust me, some nights it certainly is, but I have noticed that she is getting better and better at getting back to sleep on her own and I know that it is just a matter of time until she won't 'need' me for this either. In fact, I remind myself that one day she won't 'need' me for anything except my wallet and car, so I let myself enjoy this sweet, special time now. It is going to get trickier when little brother is born, at which time she is going to have to fall asleep with Daddy or by herself. I trust that it will evolve naturally, according to her needs. So sleeping is pretty good, she usually wakes once a night and crawls into our bed or before I was so preggers and tired, I would take her back to her bed and lay with her til she fell back to sleep. Again, I am not sure what will happen when baby arrives. I expect some disruption...but that is why we have opted for Adam to take 6 weeks off work....mostly to help us to help Willow with all the adjustments that she will be expected to make. I know she can do it...she just needs a lot of love and help from us, that's all. And the final exciting topic of poop and pee...the potty 'training' is going really well. We don't do a lot of 'training' per se. She is still in diapers, but likes to wear her panties too. Some days she will do 3 or 4 pees in the potty, some days she'll do a poo, some days she only does's really random. I have even seen her come in from the kiddie pool in the backyard to pee in her potty...all initiated by herself. So I just praise her lots, and remind her throughout the day to use it if she needs to and she seems to be getting better and better at it all the time. I didn't want to spend too much energy or get too aggressive about it before baby brother's arrival because I have heard that lots of kids go through a bit of regression when new baby's come. I figured, once she is settled into her new role as 'big sister' she will be that much more eager to embrace all of these grown up things like potties and panties. As for now, I think she is doing great without me interfering.
So as far as all the other milestones, Willow is, in my very objective opinion, doing fabulously. She can sing her ABC's along with dozens of other songs, she has so many of her books memorized that she sits and 'reads' them out loud, word for word. She loves other kids and loves to play and watch them play. She gets a little bossy and possessive at times, and observes and shares really well at other times. Daddy is her main source of physical play these days and she loves to run, chase, ride, climb, slide, swing and explore with him. They share walks to river and trips to the playground while Mom gratefully naps or baths. She is a loving, caring girl with an almost strangely sophisticated understanding of hers and other emotions already. She has great manners, saying 'please' and 'thank you' in her everyday interactions. She loves hugs, kisses and cuddles from Mom and Dad and tells us all the time "I Love You!" She is truly an amazing soul...I am so glad that she chose us to be her parents! I could never express enough how much we Love her and what a gift she is to us. We laugh, we smile, we roll our bleary eyes, sometimes we grit our teeth but we also shake our head in amazement and feel our hearts bursting with pure joy at the very sight of her...Willow, we love you more than we ever could have imagined! Two years ago today to arrived in our lives to make us a family...and that is the most precious gift we have ever known!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Daddy Love

Willow and Daddy share a soothing moment after some minor calamity at the playground during Manj's birthday picnic. It is wonderful and interesting for me to be watching from the sidelines so often as I rest my pregnant self. It is amazing to see WIllow and Adam bonding in so many new ways. It is really a beautiful thing to watch the two people that I love so much playing, learning and being together in the world. My system must be flooded with oxytocin, the love endorphin, because whenever I see them, that is how I feel, completely flooded with pure Love. It truly is the best feeling ever!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Looking so Grown up!

Strathcona Spray Park

Today we decided to swing by the Strathcona spray park...a little unprepared as we didn't come equipped with bathing suits...but it was really fun nonetheless. Willow was pretty tentative at first, only daring to jump and stomp in the big puddles. But as soon as she realized how much fun, and how refreshing the sprays were, there was nothing stopping her! It was awesome to watch her run and around, screaming and having so much fun. We also hit a super cool garage sale on the way that was a day home that was shutting many awesome toys. We spent $15 and picked up a bunch of cool stuff including a 10 book set and a mini shopping cart (which she loves). What great, spontaneous day together!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day!

Some of the highlights from our afternoon at Kin Coulee Park....