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February 6, 2010

With apologies to Eric Carle.


In the light of the chandelier a little girl played with her food.


On Monday and Tuesday her mommy and daddy wondered if she was eating enough.  So they started to write it all down.


On Wednesday she ate nine tablespoons of fruit, cereal, rice and bread. But she was still hungry and mommy had to feed her six times.


On Thursday she ate fourteen tablespoons of fruit, cereal, rice, cheese, chicken and vegetables. But she was still hungry and mommy had to feed her eight times.


On Friday she ate fifteen tablespoons of fruit, cereal, rice, cheese, lemon and a cookie. But she was still hungry and mommy had to feed her nine times.


On Saturday she ate 3 peach slices, 1 piece of cauliflower, 2 pieces of broccoli, 2 slices of cheese, 2 handfuls of cheerios, 3/4 cup of rice pasta and tomato sauce, a handful of blue berries, a tiny bit of vegetable root soup, 40 mL of blueberry, carrot and blackberry juice (diluted with water) and a small piece of cherry chocolate cake.  Altogether that was twenty-three tablespoons worth!


That night she gave mommy a break.


February 5, 2010

My niece Erika loves our "Cooking with Mama" wii game, so we helped her "crack" eggs, "stir" pots and "make" hamburger patties for an hour or so this afternoon.  Then I got hungry and we went and made some real food for supper.  Video game cooking with a nearly four year old is much tidier (we had a little accident with the sugar), but I'm impressed by how careful she is and a little frightened to realize that 'her' apron actually fits her now.   Erika was able to make Grandpa J some Rice Krispie squares almost all by herself.  She even stirred the pot on the stove all by herself though you can be sure I kept a close eye on her.


Elizabeth spent the afternoon alternating walking and push-crawling her push mower, which is suddenly a very popular toy.  Her steering abilities are not very good (our poor paint!), but with some parental guidance the collision rate dropped dramatically.  Erika was quite impressed to see her "walking" and even more impressed when Elizabeth accidentally tipped over backwards.  Elizabeth's daddy swooped in just in time and caught Elizabeth before she cracked her head.  "Uncle Brendan SAVED her!" she told me in an awed tone of voice.


February 4, 2010

Guest Post!


Auntie Janice here... Today I had a study day, which in teacher's college means "a day where you can actually schedule a doctor's or dentist's appointment without missing classes or practicum". I wasn't organized enough to actually get around to scheduling such an appointment, so instead I decided to abduct my niece (with permission) and take her on our first ever field trip together.

The plan was to take Elizabeth to the Museum of Nature, scout out the exhibits before going with my Brownie Unit next month, and give Mom a bit of an afternoon break... so I bundled munchkin up (no easy feat since she's graduated into a new, fuzzier snowsuit that is bigger and harder to put on) and wedged her into the stroller.

And then I realized that there were stairs between the house and the sidewalk, an added complication that I hadn't anticipated. Once I'd gone very slowly down the stairs (with munchkin giggling at my efforts), it went pretty well, although I was surprised at how difficult it is to roll a stroller in light snow. It was a nice walk, and despite getting a bit mixed up as to the exact location of the museum, we did eventually get there.

Once there, I was impressed at the updates they'd made since last time. There was a very nice little cloak area right by reception, and tons of lockers for valuables. The staff were friendly, and had no trouble finding the right codes to admit me under the reciprocal agreement (I work at the Aviation Museum, so I am allowed to visit other museums to learn from them and get ideas). They even gave me a members collector's card, which is pretty cool. Elizabeth was quite happy to get out of the stroller, but a bit frightened by the feel and sound of the elevator.

We started on the 4th floor (Birds), which is my favourite exhibit because of the Northern Pygmy Owl (my favourite type of owl). They even have computers that plays the bird call of every bird in the exhibits. Elizabeth liked the touch screen a little too much, and it was rather loud because the exhibit was mostly empty of other visitors. I'm not sure what made touching the mallard wing SO scary for Elizabeth- I thought it was cool but she got very clingy all of a sudden... maybe it was the hawks and falcons that made her nervous.

Heading into the mammal exhibit they've put up a large iceberg, which is cool, but Elizabeth decided she would much rather just cuddle her face into my shoulder instead of face the scary polar bear. The polar bear fur was also far too scary to touch, especially after the mallard wing experience... But she did warm up to the "urban mammal" hallway, maybe she felt more at home hearing the familiar raccoon sounds instead of looking up at the bison and wolf diorama... She calmed down enough to play a bit of "let's chase the aunt" in the hallway, which made the Security Guard laugh at her unique crawling style. After the fun we tried on the costumes- and Elizabeth tried to pull them off :)

Our last stop was the dinosaur exhibit on the first floor, which has expanded to include a part up some stairs. Once again, Elizabeth was terrified of touching the manipulatives, but she calmed down once I let her play with one of the cool touch-screen computers. She also liked the security guard on that level the best: he played peek-a-boo with her, and said it was probably a good thing that she wasn't likely to touch the exhibits.

I'm excited to see what other exhibits will open up in May, but as it is I still love the Museum of Nature- we spent 2.5 hours there without really trying very hard. It has lots of things to touch and move around, and the big slow-moving elevator is perfect when there's more than one stroller in it. There are washrooms all over the place, which is good because the ones across from the elevator were being cleaned when I tried to use them. All I had to do was go around the corner into the lunchroom and use the family washroom, which was perfect- it had a nice changing table and enough space to maneuvre a stroller one-handed.

My only wish is that the museum's doors would become accessible- it was hard enough to open all doors with a stroller in one hand and a baby in the other, but I can't imagine how difficult it would be for someone in a wheelchair to try to open a door and go through it simultaneously. There are lots of ramps and accessible washrooms, but if you can't get into the building, the lunchroom, or any of the exhibits... it's not an accessible building.

I can't think of anything else to report, so I suppose I'll turn the blog (and the baby) back over to my beloved sister. Love ya sis! Janice out.


February 2, 2010

I was feeling completely cooped up Tuesday afternoon.  A planned visit by my nieces fell through and my backup plan did too (the parent resource centre was closed by the time I got my act together between naps).


So I bundled Elizabeth into the car and headed to Cosmic Adventures, our biggest local indoor playground.  We'd been to here once before with Erika but Elizabeth spent the time hanging out with Auntie Yukiko.  This time Elizabeth was actually going to get to play!  She still gets in free so I figured I should take advantage of this.


After a quick washroom break in their highly perfumed bathroom, we headed upstairs to the toddler area.  Elizabeth was VERY uncertain.  She's seen wall-to-wall carpet before, but seemed intimidated by the large expanse and didn't want to crawl around, explore or do anything except cling to mommy. I spent the first ten minutes wondering if this had been a mistake.  Eventually she loosened up a bit and I took her over to the main play structure to play on the stairs.  (She loves climbing our stairs, so I figured this would be familiar)  She cried when she thought I might be leaving her alone.  Then she realized I was still within two feet and stopped, sniffed and started climbing, whimpering at each step.  It was so sad, but we hung out at the top of the playstructure for a while and she started to play with a couple of balls from the ball pit.  Another little girl was playing nearby and her grandmother went past Elizabeth and said hello.  "WAAAH" said Elizabeth, outraged that a stranger would acknowledge her existence.  The poor lady was very apologetic.  After getting her calmed down, I decided it might be best to get out of the playstructure and took Elizabeth down a slide into the ball pit.  "WAAAH" said Elizabeth.


So we went out of the ball pit.  Just as I was considering whether to give up, she suddenly decided it was okay to play here and happily went zooming around playing with various toys.  Even the numerous larger toddlers coming up to her to try to give her balls (aw), take away her balls or pick her birthmarks off her head didn't seem to phase her.  By the time we left she'd plunged into the ball pit on her own and was happily swimming around in it among the feet of three other moms and their kids while we all fished around trying to create space between the kids and prevent grievous bodily harm.


We were there for an hour and a half (two thirds of which she enjoyed!), and I was considering whether this might be an activity to do a bit more regularly.  And then a kid who was clearly under the weather showed up and climbed up into the playstructure, coughing louder and louder until he vomited all over.  Six other moms spontaneously decided that playtime was over, including myself.


February 1, 2010

Our family used to get together for Sunday dinner every week and although my parents aren't here anymore to host we're still managing to get together most weeks.


This weekend Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen invited us for Sunday dinner.  Grandma and Grandpa H stayed up late in Portugal and we all chatted via Skype.  Elizabeth was very busy trying to eat the various laptops but waved "bye bye" very nicely.  I'm sure I don't get nearly as much affirmation when I wave though...


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