Thursday, June 17, 2010

So long since the last update

Wow, what a lot of time has passed since my last update. It seems like life is passing by in the blink of an eye!

I am back to work full time now. I think we have settled into a routine, but that is all about to change. Next month, Sara will start a new daycare, Danielle will start summer camp, and soon to follow Brendon will start a new job. Our commute will be much shorter and hopefully as a result the days will be less hectic.

So much has happened since my last post, I hardly know where to start. Just this past week has been a big one as far as changes go.

Sara started last week off practicing standing up without assistance. It is so funny to see her stick her little bottom up in the air and then slowly raise her self upright. Her arms are out to the sides and her little toes dig into the carpet as she balances herself. Sometimes she goes too fast and immediately plops down on her bottom and then starts the whole process again. Now that she has had a week to practice, however, she is getting faster and faster and falls down less and less. Just a few days later, she decided to walk on her own too. She is still slow and deliberate with each step and you can see her thinking about each movement. But I know that it will not be long and each step will be graceful and easy and she will no longer have to think about it - she will just be a busy little girl on the go!

Danielle has had a big week too! We discovered the first loose tooth. At first she was scared, but now she is quite proud that she will lose a tooth and get a present from the tooth fairy. And since most of her friends are losing their teeth too, she is happy to be part of the group!

Danielle also took another big leap last week - the last training wheel came off her bike. It only took her a few minutes to find her center of balance and now she rides her bike back and forth, around and around every chance she gets.

I am so thrilled for both of my girls. They are so confident and happy and we couldn't be prouder of them. It is so amazing to see them both bloom right before our eyes. Before we know it, they will be grown up women with families of their own. But for now, they are our precious little ones and we are happy to share these moments with them.

Credits: Timeless and Lucky Lucky Me by Inspired Designs by Crystal

Credits: Bloom and Grow by Inspired Designs by Crystal

Credits: Kindergarten Crafts by Miss Mint

Monday, March 15, 2010

March is in like a lamb!

Well, here we are, two weeks into March already and the weather couldn't be more spring-like. The temperature got up to +11c over the weekend. Danielle spent most of Saturday afternoon playing outside with the kids from the neighbourhood, all of them in t-shirts and no jackets. The only time they grabbed any mittens is when they had a snowball fight with Brendon on the front street.

After a hard afternoon of biking, scootering, and playing, Danielle came home and relaxed for a bit in front of the TV with Sara:

This past weekend also finished up the skating and swimming lessons for this term. Danielle was close to passing both, but still has some skills to work on. She will be re-registered for swim kids 1, but probably not skating. At least not until the fall/winter sessions start.

Sara is still growing like a little weed. She finally figured out how to pull herself up to stand. Go figure that it would be on a day that I was away. I had a personal development day for Norwex, so I was gone from 8am until 5pm and wouldn't you know that when I got home, she had learned how to stand up. Of all the days to miss!

Oh well, she has been furiously practicing ever since! She has even progressed to trying to straighten up on her own - and some times she does! Often she lets go of whatever she is holding on to and stands unaided. The length of time that she can do it is increasing rapidly day by day.

Hopefully this means she will walk soon and that I won't miss this milestone when I go back to work. Which is only 5 short weeks from today. Wow - where does the time go??!

As you can see, she is also starting to take interest in the contents of the kitchen cupboard:

She hasn't discovered the cereal cupboard yet, unlike her sister who LOVED to grab a snack every chance she got:

Now that we are mid way through March, it also means that Mom & Dad will be back from BC soon. We have missed them and will be happy to have them back closer to home!

Easter and Spring Break are also rapidly approaching. This year really is flying by in a hurry! Does anyone know how to make it slow down? If so, please let me know ASAP!

Well, that's all for today! Hope you are happy and healthy and enjoying our early Spring weather!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Go Canada Go!!

I started this blog hoping to keep a weekly update of what our family is up to, and it seems that I have fallen behind! I don't know where the time goes. This year is passing by in a blur! It's like a little snowball at the top of the mountain that rolls and rolls and rolls until it reaches mach 1 and just keeps going!!

Today Sara is 10 months old! It is both sad and proud. Sad that she is my last baby and that she is growing so much faster than I remember Danielle growing up. But proud, too, that in 10 short months she has gone from a helpless little bit of a thing to this funny little character that is more likely to laugh than cry. She is a constant source of amusement in our house and we are truly blessed to have her. She has completed our family and I have this sense of peace that we are all as we should be. The four of us - together and whole.

Sara was a tentative crawler in the beginning. She figured out how to move those little arms and legs but didn't often go anywhere. But now she is constantly on the move. She spends her time on the go from toy to toy, following the dog, and wandering up and down the hallway - either in pursuit of Danielle, or to sit patiently outside Danielle's bedroom door waiting for it to open and her sister to appear.

She is also starting to try to pull herself up to stand on anything and everything she can find. Sara has had more bumps and bruises than I can count, but it hasn't deterred her from trying. So far, I only know of once that she managed to get herself up on her own, but I know that it won't be much longer before she can do it regularly! She is cruising now. If you stand her up at the coffee table or couch, she will make her way along if she spots an item that she wants (usually Danielle's things!) What is very interesting is that she is multi-directional whereas Danielle would only go counter-clockwise for the first while. Sara will most often go clockwise, but she can travel in the other direction if properly motivated!

She is also transferring herself
back and forth from the chair to the stool or the table to my arm. The gaps between the items are getting farther apart too! Two nights ago at bath time, she was standing up at the tub while I was filling it. She picked up a rubber duckie off the edge and stood - unaided! - for about 5 seconds before plopping down on her bottom. And so it begins!

Danielle is growing like crazy, too! Next week is already "portfolio night" where she shows us what they have been doing in the second term of the school year. From the amount of work that she brings home, I am sure it is a lot! I love to see her progress in the art and writing that she does. Her writing is getting neater and her letters are more consistent. And her pictures are getting more detailed all the time. What really amazes me is her reading skills! She knows a lot of bigger words that I didn't think would ever be in the grade 1 reading level. So much for "See Spot run. Run Spot run!" Robert Munch is one of the favorites and those books are pretty detailed!

Danielle is also doing so well at both skating and swimming lessons. Her preference is swimming because the teacher is more engaging, but for a girl who had never set foot on the ice in skates until 6 weeks ago, she is doing fantastic! I just wish the instructor for skating was still the lady that we started with. She hurt her back, so one of the men took over. I think he mostly teaches older kids hockey because he just has them doing drills. I was quite proud of Danielle two weeks ago when she pointed out to him that the other groups on the ice were playing games and that she wanted to do something fun too. He then finished up the lessons with a game of tag (guess who was "it" first!) He did it again this past week, so I think he has a better idea of how to reach the younger groups now. Good for her!

Since she has taken to skating, it has renewed my desire to get back out on the ice. I dusted off my skates and hit the ice again after 20+ years. I am happy to report that there are no broken bones or bruised tooshies! Mostly because I had the stroller to hold on to until I got my "ice legs". But after a few minutes, I got my balance back and had a blast.

We've been watching the Olympics so much the last week and a half. It is great to see Canada doing so well and how proud we are as a nation. There are so many great cultures within our borders and it is fantastic to see them all being celebrated on this national stage! It was also a proud Canadian moment when Maelle Ricker won Canada's first at-home gold medal! What a fantastic milestone in Canadian sports history. And last night's gold medals for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were also monumental - the first Canadians/North Americans to win gold in pairs/dance since the 1960's. How great is that!

I must admit that I am disappointed in CTV's coverage of the games. Most of the time they are showing filler interviews and profiles instead of the actual sports. It wouldn't be so bad if the news personalities they chose had something intelligent to say, but when you have one of Canada's skating greats rating falls of skating pairs it is disrespectful to the athletes and their sport. Or having the celebrity stalker reporters encouraging one another to go to a party and hit on Michael Phelps - who cares?? Why are you people even on TV? If this is the best you have to show CTV, go back to running your regular programming in the early morning hours and save the Olympic broadcasts for later in the day. Then show the SPORTS and the broadcasters that know what they are talking about!!! That's my rant for today.

The rest of my time will be spent cheering Go Canada Go because we really are the best nation in the world! Just ask us. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New pictures and weekly update

Wow, another week came and almost gone already! The week has been quiet, but there are still a few events to report.

Sara is sprouting more teeth again this week. The top left front tooth is protruding from her gums and the right top front tooth has just broken through. This probably explains the restless nights of late. Hopefully the worst part is done and we can have a few nights of peace and quiet before the next set of teeth decide to make their appearance.

The presence of teeth are really starting to change her appearance. She is becoming more little girl and less baby with each passing day. I was able to capture a photo of her with the bottom two showing. Very cute, I thought!

Danielle is getting more and more homework in Grade 1. In addition to her home reading package and weekly spelling test, we now have a weekly book report to do. Fortunately the book report can be on the home reading books, so we can do two tasks at once! There was a bag of sight words to practice too, but they seem to have disappeared and the booklet that her tests were to be stored in has not been sent home since November. I am sure that it will make an appearance again soon too.

And I know that this is just the beginning! At least I can help her with these assignments. When she takes Grade 12 Calculus, she'll be on her own!

And in other news...I became a Norwex consultant on Monday. I have decided to try my hand at selling their great environmentally friendly products. I like the idea of cleaning without chemicals while still getting great results. Their microfiber cloths are antimicrobial and antibacterial and in my home tests so far they have been working great!

I met a lady on Tuesday who also just became a consultant in December. She works in a lab at a local school and she has a degree in ecology and microbiology. For her own home party, she did a culture test on the Norwex antibac cloth vs. a clean cotton cloth vs. a Lysol disinfectant wipe. She repeated that test for the consultant team meeting and the results surprised me! The Lysol wipe only grew 2-3 spots in the dish, the Norwex cloth didn't have any visible spots, and the cotton cloth had so many it was gross. And it was a freshly laundered cotton cloth. Yuck!

At any rate, the Norwex antibac cloth and plain old warm water worked just as good as the Lysol wipe, so why would you want to use all those harsh chemicals?

I am just getting into all of this, so there is lots of reading and prepping to do. I am having my first party on Jan 31 at my house, so hopefully it goes well. I will have friends and family over so that I can practice on people I know instead of strangers. And if I make a sale or two too, it will have been a good start!

I gotta get my invitations out and I am not sure how much longer Sara will be napping this morning, so I better go! Have a great week!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekend update!

Another Monday has come in a hurry and it appears that we are gearing up for another busy week! At least the temperature is rising, so with any luck, the deep freeze is over for a few weeks.

We had a great weekend here. Danielle's first "Swim Kids 1" lesson was this past Saturday morning. She did fantastic! They are practicing the same skills as she learned the first time around in "Sea Turtles", but she is much more confident, so she is participating more in class. When the instructor asked who would like to go next, she is almost always the first to put her hand up. What a difference a year makes!

She also had her first skating lesson on Sunday morning. She kept telling us that she didn't want to go, but once she got on the ice and through the lesson, she didn't want to leave and kept asking when she could go again. In that half hour, she learned how to get up off the ice, how to fall so that she doesn't hurt herself, and how to move forward. They even tried a bit of turning too. She did so well and we were so proud of her!

Sara is also busy learning new skills. She learned to crawl a few days ago, but has been rather hesitant and didn't move around a lot yet. She seems to be getting over that initial hurdle and now realizes that things are within her grasp if she wants them to be. The most interesting object of her desire appears to be Keisha. She makes a b-line directly for the dog and either pats her or tries to use her to pull herself up to stand. Thank goodness the dog is so easy going! I don't worry that she will bite Sara if I don't get there quick enough to intervene. And Keisha is still quicker than Sara, so when she sees her coming, she knows to get out of the way!

After I got Sara down for her nap this morning, I spent a few minutes playing with a feature I hadn't tried before in Photoshop Elements 7 - the group photomerge. We took some pictures of grandparents and grandkids at Christmas time, but as often happens, you take lots of pictures but one or more people have an odd expression or are not paying attention. I walked through the steps that were actually quite easy once I understood the directions and I am quite happy with the results.

Grandpa and Danielle look good in this one

Kyllie, Grandma, Sara & Justin look ok in this one
. Liam is looking away and Danielle is being a bit goofy

The end result

That's all for now! Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year already??!

Wow, where did December go? Where did 2009 go, for that matter??! It seems like the year passed in a blink of an eye! Lots has happened since my last blog update, so I will recap the events of Dec 2009.

I did get my Christmas cards from Costco and they were very nice. I was happy with the results and they came with really nice foil lined envelopes. I will definitely order from them again next year - providing I get a card made! :)

In the second week of December, we took Danielle and Sara to visit Santa Claus at the mall. Kildonan Place offered free pictures and videos, so we treked over to Transcona. The line wasn't nearly as long as I thought it would be (since we 'Peggers are notoriously cheap, I expected the line to be endless!!) Sara was actually good with the whole process. I expected her to get one look at him and wail uncontrollably, as she does with practically everyone these days since we are well into the "making strange" phase of development. She sat on his knee quite happily until the event was over. Then she saw me and started to cry. That's babies for you! With any luck, she will be willing to see him again next year. I am hoping that with the help of her brave big sister that I will not have to wait until she is 5 years old to get a second picture, like I did with Danielle.

The next week and a half was devoted to baking and cleaning in preparation for my brother Dan and his family to come stay with us over the holidays. All this, of course, squeezed in during naps and after the girls were in bed. Not much time for anything else!

Danielle's Christmas concert was on Dec 17th. Brendon's parents joined us at the concert that evening to cheer on our angel (same costume as last year, still just as sweet!) and hear her sing "Silent Night" and play the bells with her class mates. (She was the note D, so she was quite proud to be the same note as her name!) Brendon got a few photos and some video, but the camera batteries died half way through. He didn't bother changing them because it would have been over before he was finished. We'll get the video from the school again and then we will have the whole performance anyway!

The next day was a half day at school, so Danielle went in and had a party with her friends all morning. She came home hopped up on sugar and spent the next few hours bopping around the house. It is cute to see how excited she gets over Christmas vacation - reminds me of when we were kids! The next few days were spent in a frenzy of last minute shopping, more baking, and even more cleaning (because more people at home during the day = more mess. Go figure!)

Mom & Dad flew in from BC on Dec 22 and were picked up by James. They stayed at his house for a few days and got to visit with James, Lisa, and little Justin, who was only 2 years old for Christmas this year. Too young to fully understand what is going on, but old enough to be delighted by all the new toys. Probably the best age for Christmas!

Dan, Crystal, Liam, and Kyllie got to our house on the evening of Dec 23rd. I didn't tell Danielle that they were coming that night, in an effort to keep her calm so that she wouldn't get Sara wound up. It worked - I got Sara to bed no problem, then Danielle was bouncing off the ceiling when I told her that her cousins would be at our house in about 10 minutes. The kids played great until about 10:30pm, then Dan got them rounded up in their sleeping bags (Danielle too) and tucked them in. Danielle and Dan managed to fall asleep, but Liam and Kyllie were up for a few more hours yet! Then some time in the middle of the night, Danielle woke up and was scared because she was in the dark and her mind was playing tricks on her. She came back up to her own bed and fortunately went back to sleep shortly thereafter.

On Christmas Eve day, Crystal was supposed to have a doctor's appointment out of town. Fortunately she called ahead to see if their office was open and found out that it was not. Better to find that out before driving an hour and a half in the cold and blowing snow! She and Dan decided to do a bit of last minute shopping, so the kids stayed and played. Danielle and I had baked cookies the day before, so I got the kids to help decorate cookies to leave out for Santa. It was cute to observe the stages that each of them are at. Danielle strived for accuracy in her gingerbread man, Liam liked piling on the decorations, and Kyllie covered hers with an inch of pink frosting and then licked it clean!

On Christmas eve, the kids were all pretty tired, so they were herded off to bed shortly after dinner. Danielle put out cookies for Santa and then she too headed off to bed. The adults enjoyed a nice quiet evening of Wii games. :)

Christmas day started later than we had expected, with the first of the kids getting out of bed at 8:30am. They opened their stockings and the
n played for a bit. We had a small breakfast and then (im)patiently waited for Grandma, Grandpa, James, Lisa, Justin, and Uncle Ron to come from across town.

Once they arrived, the kids went into overdrive! There was paper everywhere as the kids tore into their gifts and checked out each others' presents. It was mayhem, but it was fantastic!

Then we had a huge brunch, cooked almost single handed, by Brendon. It was delicious! The kids played for a bit and then James, Lisa, and Justin headed back to their house to prepare dinner. Everyone else visited for a while longer then they too headed over to James' house.

We went to Allen & Heidy's house for Christmas dinner with Brendon's family. The dinner was fantastic and we so enjoyed their company. We waited for a Randy & Gail and family for a while, but it was clear that the girls needed to head home for some well deserved sleep, so we opened gifts and then came back home. Danielle went off to bed, but Sara decided that she got enough of a nap on the way home, so she stayed up with the adults for some more fun on the Wii.

We had a big turkey dinner at our house on Boxing Day. It was a late dinner since the turkey was slow to cook, but better a late dinner than sick dinner guests! It was another nice evening together with the whole Fawcett clan. Something that doesn't happen, so it is always special! We got some great pictures of all of the grand kids together. And all of them together with Grandma and Grandpa. I am sure they will be treasured for years to come!

Dan and Crystal stayed a few more days with us. Dan, Crystal, and Brendon took the kids sliding. Liam and Danielle had a blast, but Kyllie got cold quickly so she and Crystal came home for some hot chocolate. The guys decided to take the two remaining sledders to a bigger hill for more snow action. Apparently on one run, Danielle did a spectacular fly through the air and landed backwards. Fun was had by all!

After Dan & Crystal headed back to Swan River, Mom & Dad came to spend one night with us. Danielle and Grandma did lots of crafts and everyone had a great visit. Brendon took them to the airport the next day and they were off to Kelowna again. We look forward to their return in the spring! The rest of the week was fairly quiet. Brendon worked a few days, so Danielle and Sara and I took some time to play with their new toys and just relax.

Sara figured out how to crawl on Dec 30, so her world has expanded and Danielle's toys are no longer safe no matter how far Danielle tries to sit from her! And the fun begins!

We spent New Years' Eve with our friends. Surprisingly, the kids all made it to midnight, with Sara taking a short nap from 9-9:30 amid three kids playing "parade" with lots of marching and horn blowing! At 12:15am, we bundled everyone up and headed home.

Since New Years' Day fell on a Friday this year, we spent a few quiet days at home to recover from the excitement of the holidays. On Jan 3rd, we went to Brendon's parents' house to celebrate his mom's birthday. We had a nice dinner and visit with everyone there.

Danielle was back to school on Jan 4th, much to her disappointment (and my happiness!) The Christmas break was nice, but I needed a break from everyone elses' break! Now life is starting to settle back into our regular routine, though I suspect that is subject to change! 2010 looks like it will be busy - swimming and skating lessons both start this weekend and I am already feeling the pressure of returning to work in April. Daycare placements are hard to find, so I am praying that one of the centers close to our house will call soon and confirm that we have a spot. I loved Gramma Marie's for Danielle, but it is just so far out of our way that it will add an extra 30-45 minutes morning and night to our commutes home. That will not be good. :( But, that is a few months away so I will try not to dwell on it too much right now.

For now, I want to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year and all the best for 2010!