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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Serious Teething

Artemis has been anything but herself these past three days (or maybe it's a vision of things to come). We're pretty sure that it can all be attributed to teething (her three molars are just about to poke through). She has been exhibiting almost all the classic signs; decreased appetite, waking at night, chewing on her hand, totally ill tempered (I'm being REALLY nice here, Ed thought that "possessed" would be a good word to describe her and I wanted to send her back but that would not be nice and this here is a "nice family blog").

Max has three molars that have broken the skin but he is acting normal (more even tempered than usual!?).

Thankfully, we only have another 12 months of this...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Obligatory Update

Ed My conscience informed me that I am once again negligent in my duty to my loyal followers. My duty being boring telling you about everything that is going on here. It's just that I'm so busy reading and commenting on everyone elses blogs cooking and cleaning that there just isn't enough time in the day.

On Tuesday afternoon we went to playgroup. We hadn't been in weeks (due to visitors). Max and Artemis drew, painted (something that is not allowed in this house, Ed and I don't like THAT kind of dirty) and sat down for five minutes during storytime (that's five minutes longer than they normally sit for).

It's crazy all that they understand. Really, how did they learn all of this?

They know many parts of their body; belly, hand, foot, nose, and ear. We're working on "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes".

The kids vocabulary is growing by the day. Max has perfected "talking" and has started to use words (accompanied by gestures) that are actually recognizable. Meanwhile Artemis has been "talking" up a storm for several weeks. Here’s what one or both of them can say; Dada, Mama, Cat, Dog, Baby, Uh-Oh, Wuz Dat (What’s That), Ma (more), Ca-ca (cookie), Ba (boo), Max likes to hide behind a wall or furniture and jump out and scare us, Buh-buh (bye-bye), Max always includes a wave,

They understand and know how to sign "Sit". Today Artemis signed "Thank you". They regularly clap their hands together as if they’re catching (killing) mosquitos.

They have started to parallel play and will often (briefly) play with each other. Artemis likes to feed Max that favourite cereal snack of his (the one that I don’t want to write out in case the spiders find us again...).

We have discovered some "can't live without" children toys and the "Igloo" is one of them. The kids LOVE it. They flip it upside down, sideways, they even get underneath it. The fabric walls let in just enough light so that anything touching it (cat's tail, my hand, a toy, their own reflection) casts a shadow. They have tons of fun trying to "catch" the shadow (especially when it's the cat).

Today was Marcella's 25th Birthday. Happy Birthday MID! Actually yesterday was her birthday (for her), because she is still in South Korea and they are 13 hours ahead of us. Luckily, we'll be able to give her her present in person because she will be coming home for good (from Korea anyways) on July 1. One week from today. We are SO excited. She'll hang around for 8 (long) weeks (if you're a 25 year old) and then be leaving for Spain for one year to teach English.

Here are some random pictures of the kids.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Your Assignment from 1925

I'm currently reading the book "The One-Room School in Canada". I'm not a big history buff but this book has a lot of pictures (no, I don't only like picture books, although I have been reading a lot lately...). One of the chapters discusses the emergence of the standardized "Reader" and includes some examples.

I was having fun trying to figure out the answers that an 8 year old would know reading the lessons when a few stumped me.

Can you correctly answer these questions from a 4th, 5th or 6th Reader (it doesn't say) from 1925? Note that this is "British (Canadian) English" so may differ from "American English".

1. He was (very, very much) dissatisfied?
2. I have never driven (so, that) far in my life.
3. He is (awful, very) sick.
4. We had a (real, really, very) exciting game.
5. I was (very, very much) pleased to receive your letter.
6. The prisoners (who, which) escaped have all been caught.
7. Do not drop matches (in, into) this waste-basket.
8. It will go a long (way, ways) towards solving the problem.
9. Which do you think should go, John or (I, me)? Note to Mom, I laughed when I saw this.
10. I (will, shall) fail in my examinations, I am sure.
11. There were (less, fewer) than a hundred people present.

So, how did you do?

Max’s two bottom molars (“S” and “L”) have poked through the surface (they both have “B” coming in). He spent today chewing on his hand and attempting to bite things to make the pain go away. I’ve tried frozen teething rings and everything else, however, he prefers his hand. Poor kid.

For the past couple of days, the kids have shown an interest in feeding themselves (with a fork or spoon). Today, seeing as they were already naked (it’s been really warm here), I decided to let Max have a go at it with some yogurt. It was pretty successful. For dinner, Artemis showed us her stuff by using a fork to eat her macaroni and cheese.

Happy Father's Day!

Today, all of us went to the First Annual Kemptville Ribfest. It had something for everyone; ribs, cornbread (Ed's favourite), horse rides, face painting, beer garden, live bands, arm wrestling competition, games and so much more.

I searched through all of my pictures and could only find this one of my Dad. I guess he took a lot of the pictures. In this picture, I'm getting ready to go to the UCC Formal (Ian J. was my "date", we were just friends). If you want to hear a funny story, ask my mother about the morning after. But this post isn't about me.

I'm glad to hear that you had a great day Dad. Here's to many more.

Happy Father's Day to all Father's even if your children aren't physically with you.

Now, who can I burn has a birthday next...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

This Public Service Announcement (PSA) is to officially notify you that "People Other than Your Family can Find Your Blog (on the Internet) Even when you Haven’t Given them the URL".

So how do I know this?

Well, as part of their generic template, Blogger provides a tracking tool (you can also download other more detailed tools) that tells the Blog Owner (that would be me) what countr(ies), internet browsers and IP Addresses, accessed which of my posts on what days and at what time. Bet you didn't know that I was spying on YOU!?

Anyways, two Google searches caught my eye and I thought that I would do further research (yet another way that I am providing you with a service, I should get paid for this, in addition, did you know that Word 2000 doesn’t recognize "Google", I guess that makes sense, I digress).

The first was "chainsaw and lawnmower birthday party". I won’t got into "why" someone (who knows who) chose to search this string of words (we’d be here all day, besides, it sounds kind of "shady" and this IS a family blog...) however, I was prepared to tell you that I reviewed each of the 654,000 results that Google provided and none linked to The Zoo. Seriously, there are that many results. However, if I said that, I would be lying (and there isn’t any lying going on around here). Sure enough, the 7th (read that, 7th) link that came up was Uncle Eric's Birthday Party. Probably not what they were looking for but who knows, Uncle Eric is a handsome fellow.

The second one was "naked birthday pic". Once again, I was not disappointed with 75,100,000 results (that’s a lot of results). Only this time, we were the 5th link, WHAT HORROR!

Apparently, the post Being (Almost) Naked and Other Birthday Pictures caught their eye.

Can someone please educate me into believing that for some reason, these results were listed higher up because the search engine is looking for cookies (no, I'm not talking about Oreo's) on my computer.

Speaking of Oreo's, this week I got an email from a Marketing representative for a popular cereal that begins with a "C" has "heer" in the middle and ends in "ios". She thought that my post T.I.H.L.A... Said Company was really cute and wanted to post it on "Said Companies" Facebook page for their 500,000 followers to see (no, I've not mistakenly added a zero or 2 or 3).

As an aside, I always wondered why people put d.ots in.between s.ome wo.rds on their bl.og. Now I understand, they don't want spiders (not real spiders but the electronic kind) to find them.

So, back to "That Company", Ed and I decided that we didn't want to "Go Viral" (no, I don’t mean catch a bug) just yet so we declined. In case you're wondering why I didn’t put ...'s in the word "Oreo" it's because I'm (kind of) running an experiment to see if they too find me. Hey, maybe they’ll even offer us some free grub (again, not a bug).

On second thought, I might have to rethink this whole "we're a family blog" thing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Nanna (2011)!

Happy Birthday Nanna! Thanks for all your help and support.

Here are some (old) pictures that I found (sorry if the quality isn't great, I had to take a picture of a picture as our scanner isn't hooked up yet). In case you can't tell, I'm the little girl in all the pictures.

Here's to many more birthdays Nanna (hopefully for me too after Nanna sees these pictures...).

Artemis was so proud that she'd dressed herself (in her new tutu)...

Here's a picture of the kids "igloo". Thought I was kidding huh? Seriously, it's an igloo.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Week In Review, Visit from Nanna

Sorry for not posting but we've been really busy (as this post will show). Here is the Week in Review.

Nanna arrived on Wednesday afternoon.

When Max woke up from his afternoon nap (3:30pm) he had a fever of 37.3 to 38.5. Although he felt way hotter (almost too hot to hold). I called TeleHealth and they said it’s a virus and to keep him comfortable (cold cloths, tepid bath water, tempra). At 11pm, we thought that he might go to bed so I gave him 1 ml of Tempra (he was allowed up to 2 ml based on his weight). The second it touched his lips, he puked all over me and the carpet and the couch and himself (you get the idea). At this point, I just thought that he might have a stomach flu, be allergic to Tempra or not like cherry flavour (he has yet to eat a fresh cherry). After everything/one was cleaned up, we tried to put him to bed in our room (I wanted to keep an eye on him) but by 3am he (read: we) were still up. Over the course of the evening, I’d been trying to get him to drink and eat but he wasn’t really into it. By 3am I had a not so brilliant idea. I would give him some raspberries and hide the tempra inside them. The second he tasted the Tempra he puked up everything he’d eaten/drank since 11pm. Did I mention that at the time, he was in our bed and so were we?

Needless to say, after everyone got cleaned up (again), I put him to bed (in his crib) and he went right to sleep. I should have known better as neither of them sleep well with Ed and I (a blessing!?).

On Thursday, Ed and I took Reina to Ogdensburg to have her staples taken out. It was a 5-minute visit and she's doing great. Now we "just" have to keep her semi-active for the next 6 weeks (ya right).

On Friday night, Ed and I went to Finnerty’s and Nanna babysat the kids. Laurie and Gary showed up (Eric's Daughter and her husband) and we had a grand ole time.

On Saturday, the kids turned 18 months old.

Artemis is now wearing size 4 diapers (same as Max). Size 3’s still fit her (around the waist) but her body is really long. She’s still wearing size 6-month pants! Max is wearing 12-18 month pants (we have to roll up the legs).

Artemis really started to talk up a storm two weeks ago. Max has added “buh buh” to his list of words (he even waves while saying it). He randomly comes out with words (usually ones that you’ve just said). Today I asked him “who he was calling” (he was talking on his phone) and he answered back “call” clear as day. His favourite word(s) by far are “Wuz Dat” which we hear 6,793 times a day. He even talks in sentences and uses inflection (we don’t know what he’s saying but we know that it’s a question).

Artemis is able to drink from a normal glass with much success. Max is successful most of the time.

On Sunday morning we went to the Five Star for breakfast. The kids were well behaved (as usual). Thanks Nanna.

This morning, we woke up to a house that was 17 Celsius (63 Fahrenheit). We considered turning on the furnace (it’s the middle of June, crazy!) but opted instead to put another layer on them (the kids).

Today, Ed and I went into the city. It was my first visit since November 2010. We jam packed our day; Old Navy, Ikea (bought the kids an igloo, easel with paper, cactus for Karen), caviar and treats at the European deli, TD Bank (to drop off the plant to Karen), Swiss Chalet and Toys R'Us (we used Ingrid’s gift certificate to buy the kids a “Water Table”, pictures to come, Thanks again Ingrid!).

In the evening we went over to Eric's to watch the (potential) final game of the Stanley Cup but ended up leaving in the first period (after Boston was up 4 to 0).

On Wednesday morning (today), Nanna left.

The kids spent some time drawing. Max tasted inspected every crayon and Artemis really got into it. Check out her paper, she did everything besides the four suns.

Thankfully, the weather has taken a turn (for the better) and we’re able to put on “summery” clothes and play in our new water table.

The kids spend most of their day trying to kill (invisible) mosquitos (Thanks Nanna). Funny thing is that as I was writing this, they’d found a real one and were trying to kill it. Nanna has trained them well. Thankfully, the “Mosquito Invasion” is almost over.

The garden is coming along nicely; beets, radishes, spinach and green beans are out. Just waiting on lettuce and peppers. One cucumber plant (out of 16) has come up. I think that I’ll plant zucchini instead.

A few months ago, the kids dropped their afternoon (second) nap. Two weeks ago they added it back. I think that teething (getting in their molars) has made them more tired. Other than that, life is pretty “normal”.

The kids LOVE music. Their CD player broke a few weeks ago so Nanna bought them a new one. Let the dancing continue.

Gypsy Girl and Mommy

This is what I look like with Hair

What Max said (with the most serious face): La ret ma blee goy hir blah, blah, blah.
What Max meant: (Who Knows)

Just hanging out (literally)

Max loves his new toy

Monkey takes a canoe ride on the carpet

Modeling her new (faux) fur vest in blue (of course)

I know that I look silly but Mommy refuses to cut my hair

Breakfast at the Five Star (afterwards, past naptime)

Who is that cool fox in her "blue suede shoes hat"?

Playing with Pinwheels

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Much is a Picture Worth?

Remember, clicking on the picture enlarges it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Garden is Growing!

Note that I posted pictures from this week (look at the previous post).

Today, I went to water the garden (the weather people been calling for rain for days and days, I'm not complaining, I'm just saying) and half of the radish seeds have sprouted. Ed just thinks that they're weeds, that are identical, that grow in a line, that look like radish leaves. Note that radishes only take 30 days to mature.

We only planted the garden on Thursday evening (after 6pm) and less than four days later, things are growing. I am so excited!

Many pictures to come.

Poppa's Visit, New Teeth, Blood Donation and More

Sorry for the lack of posting. It hasn't been due to the lack of content (as you're about to see) but because I’ve been busy and the internet has been down. Also, I haven’t taken a picture in (almost) a week. Thankfully, Poppa took tons (all the pictures on this post are his, or me taking them with his camera).

Poppa arrived on Wednesday.

You know the saying; buy a child a toy, throw out the toy and let them play with the box. We’ve done one better; buy yourself a toy, keep said toy and let them play with the box. For Poppa's entire visit, the kids played with the box from his new 46" plasma flat screen tv.

On Thursday, I was scheduled to give blood as part of my In Alexander's Honour post. My appointment was for 1:50pm so I arrived 15 minutes early (I could have sworn that they told me to arrive early…). First mistake (read: virgin blood donor). While I was signing in (I had an appointment), people who had appointments at 1:10pm were just arriving. They gave me a "First Time Donor" sticker to wear (read: who knew that giving blood was so confusing) and had me sit at the "I'm here too early and there's nowhere to put me" table and offered me food and drink (I read a book that I brought). When it was my turn, I went to the next stage. The woman there entered me into the system and took some blood (a pin prick) to ensure that I was not anemic (my reading was 146, it needed to be 125 or higher). She gave me a questionnaire and booklet and told me to go to the "polling booth" (okay, not really but it looked exactly like one) and complete my paperwork. The next step required me to meet with a nurse. At this stage, she took my blood pressure. My reading was 95/52. For those of you who don't know, that’s really low (which is normal for me). It needs to be 90/50 so she asked me a ton of questions; Had I eaten two meals, Drank a lot? She insisted that I go back to the recuperation table for a snack and drink before donating but not before we reviewed the "standard" questionnaire. One of the questions was “Have you been outside of Canada or the US for less than 6 months in the past year. To which I answered "Yes". As you all know, we returned from Mexico at the end of March after a 3.5 month stay. Then, as she’s flipping through her handy, dandy flip chart, she asked me "exactly" where we’d been. Had I been to "Chiapa de Corzo"? Well, I'd driven “through” this city as it is 30 minutes from San Cristobal de las Casas (it’s at the bottom of the mountain right beside Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of the State of Chiapas). However, I answered "No, that's not where I've been". She then informed me that I was ineligible to donate due to risk of Malaria. What? There isn’t any malaria in SCLC (World Malaria Risk Chart. Trust me, if there was, the Travel Clinic that we go to would have notified us, we would have taken pills, not have taken the kids, or not have gone at all... I was disappointed (to say the least). Now, I must contact Red Cross and convince them that I am not at risk of Malaria.

In the evening, Poppa and I managed to plant the garden (before the mosquitos counted as an unofficial blood donation). We planted; beets, radishes, lettuce, spinach, green beans, peppers and cucumbers. I’m so excited.

On Friday, Artemis got her first molar (“B”). “N” and “Q” are almost in. That makes nine teeth for her. It kind of makes sense because she’s had a few "situations" this week. One (okay it’s happened more than once) of those "situations" involves the use of said teeth. Yes, she's been biting Max and I... daily. Whenever either of us does something she doesn’t like, she bites. She hasn’t really sunk her teeth into me (I'm watching for it) but poor Max... I'll need to research our plan of action but I would appreciate any thoughts.

On Sunday, Max’s teeth ("N", "Q" and molar "C") all popped through the skin. Poor kid. We knew that it was coming as he’s been chewing on his hand for a few days. Considering he’s had three teeth coming in at once, he’s been in great spirits.

In the evening, Poppa babysat the kids and Ed and I went to Finnerty’s. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay but had fun “tearing up the streets of Kemptville”. Okay, not really but I can’t admit that we were home by 7:30pm…

On Saturday, Poppa babysat the kids (are you sensing a trend?) and Ed and I went out to a Cooper auction. The auctioneer didn’t have any helpers so Ed offered to hold up items. We bought a ton of junk (for $6) but had a great time.

Ed got the kids a little convertible complete with horn and useable trunk. It runs on “ped-power” (like the Flintstones). It is only intended for ONE person. Try to tell them that.

Poppa read to them every night (as well as during the day, they love books).

Poppa left today after the kids went down for their morning nap (this week they added a short afternoon nap, probably because they’re teething). The kids loved having him here (evidenced by the fact that when we came back from the auction sale yesterday, they didn’t even notice that we were there) and Ed and I really appreciate all his help (he even found time to walk the dogs!).

In the afternoon, The Sheriff and Ed dismantled an internet tower (the owners gave it to us for free) and reassembled it at our place. I didn’t get any pictures of our two neighbours helping stand it up (because I couldn’t find the camera). Hopefully, our internet provider will be over tomorrow to re-set our antennae. We’ve barely had phone service since a week this past Friday. We had Eric over for dinner.

The kids have been eating two flats of fruit a day (in addition to their morning banana and afternoon orange). Thankfully, we haven’t had any “poo problems” (because I’m sure that you were wondering).

Today, the kids decided that they wanted to go outside (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). They asked for their hats (read: pointed at the bookcase and grunted), put them on and then waited at the front door. Too cute.

Tonight, the kids had their first taste of ice cream, including a cone (I know, they’re so impoverished) and I couldn’t find the camera (note that I have since found it). They haven’t really figured out how to “lick” yet so it was pretty funny to watch (and thankfully not too dirty).

Update on Reina. Reina’s knee is doing great, better than expected. We are having a hard time keeping her from acting like a normal dog. We have to separate her and Phoenix because all they want to do is play. We also have to leash Reina because she wants to run. She is scheduled to have her staples taken out on Thursday. Hopefully after that, she can go about life as usual.

Update on Haiku contest. Ed has reviewed all the (one) submissions and Amy has won the prize. Seriously, she is going to receive a prize and all my other followers (Hi Mom and Dad) have missed out on said prize.

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