Monday, February 26, 2007

Science World

Last weekend we took Amanda to Science World (oops, sorry, Telus World of Science) for the first time. I'd heard that they had a good toddler section and we figured Amanda might enjoy it. The weather was lousy and it was also Chinese New Year, so the crowds were a little thinner than usual - perfect!!

She had a great time running around and keeping us on our toes! We could hardly keep up with her, especially in the Eureka! gallery (the one with the huge waterfall that you throw balls onto). She kept picking up balls and randomly hucking them around, then zipping over and sticking her arms in the water.

The toddler area was good, although I didn't think quite as good as the one at the Aquarium (or maybe Amanda just likes the Aquarium one better). Come to think of it, the biggest problem with it may have been the several obnoxious kids (some older than 6) who were running all over the place without a parent to be seen, stealing the balls from the younger kids and climbing all over the little ones on the way up the slide. Um, yeah, maybe that was the problem. (Insert rolling eyes here).

Anyway, we did have a great time and Amanda had a GREAT nap afterwards! Here are a few pictures (there are more in this Flickr set):

Outside the Geodesic Dome

Fun with trick mirrors:
Little Person Amanda

Mmmm...giant chocolates! (These were in the Purdy's Anniversary exhibition):
I Want Some!

A cool Year of the Pig craft we made there (two egg carton cups with pipe cleaners):
Year of the Pig

And this photo could have been taken anywhere - totally non-Science World-specific - but I just love it so I decided to share anyway. :)

Gone Fishin'

It's been awhile since we've's been crazy as always! I had to post about a cool idea Jeff came up with last weekend. Amanda has seemed very interested in fishing recently (her daycare must have some kind of fishing set)...she's always hanging off the back of the couch pretending to fish. Jeff looked at some fishing sets in the stores, but they weren't too great. So he figured out how to make our own!

He attached a ribbon with a magnet at the end to a fancy stick (actually a juggling stick) we had around the house. Then I found a couple dozen colourful pictures of fish and other sea creatures on the internet and printed them on card stock, and we attached washers with scotch tape (this was a good job for Amanda). And tada - her own fishing rod and fish!

For a 10 minute project that cost nothing, this has been an incredible source of endless amusement. Amanda catches each fish one at a time, then puts them in her Fisher Price Aquarium (her "fish bucket"). Once she's done, she dumps them all out and starts again. It's fun to watch how excited she gets - we have to stay close by because with every catch she yells it out and wants to show us ("Look Dad! I caught a shark! Wow!").

Check it out (more photos on Flickr):

Back of a fish, showing how the washer is attached:
The Secret...

Such a proud fisher!
Proud Fisher!

Such concentration:
Hard At Work

The day's catch:
A Great Catch!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good Day for a Swim

good day for a swim
Originally uploaded by dro!d.
Killer Jellyfish!!

Just a Few More...

Just because I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes laughing until I'm crying at the Stick Figures in Peril pool on Flickr...

I sure hope Diane & Richard don't encounter any of these signs on their Hawaiian trip...

Valentine's Fun

This was the first Valentine's Day that Amanda really seemed to "get"...they did a lot of special crafts and activities at daycare, and she was pretty excited by the time the big day finally arrived. Of course, the day before, she learned it was "only one more sleep"...when I got her up the next morning and said "Happy Valentine's Day", she told me it wasn't "Ballentine's Day" yet, that there was still one more sleep. So it's obvious she didn't QUITE get the whole time thing, but it was cute nonetheless.

The evening before, we made some heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats for her to take to her daycare friends. It was interesting...I used gel food colouring, which I haven't used much before, and I guess I used too much. I was anticipating a nice pretty pastel pink, but ended up with dayglo neon! Hopefully the other kids didn't have too much diaper fallout from all that food colouring!!

A few pictures of us making the treats:

I love how Jeff always takes kitchen pictures when the kitchen is a mess...
Whatcha Doin?

Getting Ready to Pat Down the Sticky Stuff

Jeff playing with the "macro" settings...looks kind of cool!
Red Krispies

32 Months

32 Months
Originally uploaded by JenJeff.
I can't believe I missed one, but I did! Somehow I completely neglected to take Amanda's 31 month picture. I didn't even forget - it just never seemed to happen. Every evening she'd be wearing something weird, or she'd spill all over herself at dinner and be covered in stains, or she'd be grouchy and not in the mood for photos. Ah well, just one more example of how I'm not perfect!! (Like that should surprise anyone). I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

We got some cute pics on this 32 month attempt...

I love this one:
Cutie Patootie

And although the focus was all weird on this one, it turned out kinda cute anyway...not sure exactly what she was doing when I snapped this:

Diane & Richard

We went to a beautiful wedding on Saturday - Diane, one of the members of our church choir, married Richard. They are such a lovely couple and it was a beautiful day. Since Diane & Richard are both dedicated choir members in their respective parishes, a joint choir from both churches came together to sing at the wedding. We managed to fit almost 40 people into our tiny "choir loft"! Everything went wonderfully and both the ceremony and reception were great.

A few photos (see more in the Flickr set):

Diane and Richard singing a song with the massed choir just after the ceremony:
View from Above

Jen & Jeff

Dancing in the bubbles (their first dance was to "Young At Heart" cute is that?):
Dancing in the Bubbles

The happy couple!
The Happy Couple!

Congratulations Diane & Richard...we hope you're enjoying your Hawaiian honeymoon!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shower Fun

The baby shower for Cristina & Tristan on Sunday went very well! We had more than a full house, but at least it was February so it didn't get too sweltering in the house! The food turned out well and everyone seemed to have a good time. Plus, Cristina got lots of lovely gifts to take home...that kid is going to be very well-dressed!

The cake:
Shower Cake

Amanda's face after eating the cake:
Cake Face

Just Call Me Tid

One of Amanda's new favourite games is "I'll be the mommy and you be the kid, OK?". Except that kid comes out like "tid". And then she proceeds to boss me around for the next many minutes, calling me nothing but tid. "Come over here, tid," she'll say. Or, "Hey tid, let's read a book". If I dare object, she says "No, I'M the mommy!". Geez, you'd her real mommy was some kind of tyrant or something, eh?

Jeff took this shot the other day - she rummaged through her hair stuff and found this Canada hairband, then added glasses to complete the look. Just the kind of crazy lady mom this tid needs!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

i got pwned by a 2 year old

i got pwned by a 2 year old
Originally uploaded by JenJeff.
Maybe a little bit of explaining is in order. "PWNED" is a gamer term that is pronounced "OWNED". It is derived from a common typo since the O and the P on the keyboard are located next to each other. Amanda has taken a liking to my Xbox 360 controller and likes to turn on my console by pushing the big button on the controller.

Amanda has become quite the tech savvy 2 year old. She knows that when we're in the car all of her songs are stored on our iPOD. (I'm just waiting for her to ask for one for herself). She knows how to put a DVD into the DVD player properly without jamming the tray. Fingerprints are still not high on her priority list.

I may try and store her videos on our media PC so she can access them with my original XBOX (modded of course). That way she doesn't have to fiddle with the original DVDs.

Maybe we'll start a podcast for two year olds and just have her rambling on about words that rhyme. (which seemed to be today's favourite topic). I'm not sure what she is thinking but apparently "DOG" and "POO" rhyme. Watch for the next episode of "Parents just don't understand - two year old "l33t speak". Hmm Mommy and Daddy just got PWNED!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Daddy Fixes Broken Hearts

When Amanda was a baby, we discovered a Canadian album called Lullaby Berceuse which was a lifesaver for us. Jeff thinks it's cheesy, and OK, yes it is. But the music is very soothing, and it really helped Amanda get to sleep in those first many months. It was the music we nursed to at night, and I think we listened to the first four songs every single night for about six or eight months. I can still sing those songs pretty much completely from memory...they are imprinted on my brain!

After Amanda stopped nursing we didn't really listen to the album anymore for whatever reason. But since Baby Tristan was born, Amanda has been fascinated by hearing things about herself as a baby. "Remember when I was a baby, and I couldn't talk?" she'll ask. Or, "Remember when I was a baby, and I was much, much smaller?". She loves to hear stories and look at pictures of herself as a tiny baby.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was tucking her in, she asked me to sing her a song "from when I a baby". The most easily singable one was one I remembered well, because it used to work like a charm to get her to sleep if she was resisting (like when riding in the car). It's very singsongy and repetitive. So I sang it to her. And it has now become her favourite bedtime song. The lyrics go like this:

Lullaby, lullaby
Baby fuss and baby cry
You'll be sleeping by and by
Sleepy little baby. (Repeat over and over)

Things go right, things go wrong
Hearts can break, but not for long
You will grow up big and strong
Sleepy little baby.

Lullaby, lullaby
Baby slowly close your eyes
You'll be sleeping by and by
Sleepy little baby.
The first time I sang it to her, Amanda stopped me at the refrain. "Hearts can't break, Mommy," she said. How to explain this to a 2 1/2 year old? I told her it meant that sometimes we might feel sad, so sad it feels like our heart is breaking. But that things always get better and it won't be long until we're happy again.

She thought about this for a moment, then said "Daddy can fix my heart".

Yes, sweetie, he can. Just like you fix our hearts every day!

Boys and Girls

We're having a baby shower for Cristina and Tristan on Sunday (not a surprise, so don't worry - I'm not giving anything away here!). I mentioned to Amanda the other day that we would be going to a special party on Sunday for Cristina and Baby Tristan, and that it was a funny party because only girls would be there. "No boys?!?" she asked incredulously. We then had to go through a whole succession of people she knows - "Grandma will be there because she's a girl"..."Grandpa's a boy, so he can't come"..."Mommy will be there because she's a girl", etc.

Then a furrow appeared across her brow. "But Baby Tristan is a BOY!!". Hmm, yes, I hadn't thought of that with my "girls only" statement. Despite the fact I've explained that he can come because he's just a baby, and the party is for him, every time we talk about the shower she says "But Tristan is a BOY!!".

And yes, Amanda also thinks it's hilarious that the party is called a shower. I'm not sure exactly what she's expecting...let's see if she asks to wear her bathing suit! (She refuses to shower at home, insisting that she wants to "SIT in the bath, not STAND in the shower") but loves to stand under the shower at the swimming pool.)