Monday, July 26, 2010

Summery Goodness

It has been a jam-packed week or so at the Raine Drop. Auntie Ka-ka, Uncle C, J & R have been visiting from about 20 hours away. We hadn't seen them since J was 4 (he's now 7) and R was 18 months old (she's now 4), and Auntie Ka-ka had never met our babes, so we were so glad to spend this week with them.

They came in early in the week to K-town and stayed at Grandma & Grandpa's for a few days, then the whole crowd came up here to do a few things like the Zoo, Children's Museum, play in the pool, etc.

We got off to a great start the moment they first arrived - R walked right in, gave me a big hug, and screeched "I remember all of you!!!!!" She's quite the character! She took Talia under her wing right away, corrected us whenever we called her Tal or Tally ("Her name is TALIA!") and didn't stop talking the entire time. I just love her.

J has turned into a fun little daredevil. He's such a neat kid. I love the little man he's become. His birthday was just before they got here, so while we were in K-town Uncle Chris took him to the mall and turned him loose in the electronics department - I think he had as much fun picking his new game as he did playing it! We had lots of cannonball competitions in the pool and the river, and when he came in from tubing the first day he had a grin a mile wide and said "This was the bestest day EVER!"

We had so much fun! The kids (mostly) adored Declan, although when he was gassy on Saturday night R did ask "Auntie, can you please put that baby back to bed?" (I'm trying, sweets, I'm trying.)

It was awesome to see Talia hanging out with her older cousins. It's a totally different dynamic than she has with her only other cousin, who is just 6 weeks younger than she is.

We were a little apprehensive about how our bad dog (Ernie) would react to their good dog (Skye.) When they first arrived Ernie was so excited he found a way out of the fence and came tearing over for a good sniff. Skye is huge, and pretty much the best dog ever, so when Ernie rudely barked in her face Skye just ignored him. That's all it took, Ernie settled right down and it was no big deal - I sort of can't believe it. (We were so worried about how the dogs would get along that we considered boarding the boys while our company was here - but since all the seizure business has started, they haven't received their full vaccines, so no kennel would take them.) The boys followed Skye around like little shadows the whole time they were together.

I wish they lived closer so we could have more family time like this. Better start making more frequent trips to the Liquor Mart to bump up the old Airmiles account!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who Needs Pants?

Once upon a time I was freshly out of U of M with my Commerce degree clutched in my hot little hand. I had a job that I hated and m'boyfriend (now husband!) had gone back to K-Town for the summer, to work at the mill and make the big bucks.

I came home from working at my crappy job (it paid the bills, was in my field, but it. just. sucked.), put on a big old t-shirt, and curled up on the couch with a cozy blanky while deciding what I would do about supper. About 2 hours later The Bro came by with his girlfriend (now my sister-in-law!), walked into my (apparently unlocked) apartment, woke me up and said "Let's go for supper!" I groggily looked up at him through my sleep-filled eyes and said "I'm not wearing any pants."

The Bro thinks this is the funniest damn story EVER and likes to repeat it at family functions several times a year. He will be so pleased when he sees this picture of his favourite niece:

Pants are SO overrated.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is There a Duckta in the House?

This morning we headed off to the big city for m'big girl's 2 year appointment with our awesome doctor, who we refer to in this house as "MY Duckta."

Things started off like they always do, we came in, Talia screeched "Robot!!!" and dug to the bottom of the toybox in search of her favourite duckta's office toy. The receptionist/nurses made a big fuss over T's curly, curly rat's nest, and Declan voiced his displeasure re: having to wait for 30 seconds in his miserable car seat until Mama got him out to nurse.

Talia was measured against the wall chart for the first time - only babies lay down on the table to be measured, you know. She's a towering almost 31 inches tall, which makes her almost as tall as the Duckta herself, and the average height of a 1 year old. She's also about 28 lbs, which doesn't seem like all that much for a 2 year old, but let's remember that she's as tall as a 1 year old. (Nice and sturdy, that's how we grow 'em here at the Raine Drop.)

Then it was our turn to see MY Duckta. MY Duckta talks a mile a minute and zips around the room like her hair is on fire. Did I mention she is awesome? She was very impressed to see Talia was not wearing a diaper, and therefore potty trained, and heaped much praise and many high-fives on Tal. Talia did her best to return this praise by commenting "Baby (lady) wun!" (as MY Duckta was getting the vaccination ready) and "Baby (lady) talk fasssssss!" (whenever MY Duckta spoke to her.) This may or may not have amused MY Duckta, who responded to these compliments with high-fives and a shot. Yaaaaaay.... OUCH!!!!! MY Duckta gave her a sucker, which seemed to only make things worse, as Tal took about 3 licks and then handed it over in favour of her boring, dry Cheerios. What an odd child.

We were in, out, and buckled back into carseats in about 20 minutes - just the way I like it. Tal has no more shots until kindergarten and doesn't need to go back until she's 3. Of course, I'm sure I'll be dragging her along as we repeat this entire process in 3 weeks for Declan. Good thing we like MY Duckta, sometimes it seems like we see her more than we see our friends!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two Much Fun

Today m'baby is officially two, but it seems anti-climatic after the week of celebrations we've been having.

We had a really fun week, full of lots of visits, treats, presents, friends & family. We topped it off yesterday with a rockin' party in the backyard.
We decided to keep it really small this year, only family and the close friends that are Talia's local honorary aunties. Even so, it was quite a crowd. Tons of burgers, hotdogs, pasta salads, the broccoli salad I've been talking about all week, cake, cupcakes & ice cream were on the menu. The kids played outside in the kiddie pool, the big pool, and with all the new outdoor toys. We are lucky to have such good friends and family who came to celebrate with us.

And of course, we took the Bear picture. What a difference 2 years makes:

It's going way too fast. I love what an independent, grown-up, diaperless little girl she has become, but I was secretly happy to briefly get a glimpse of my baby again tonight when she had her big, cloth night-time diaper and Spiderman jammies on!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Scream, I Scream.....

My friend Jac is a fun Mom. For 2 years now, I have loved that she made one of my favourite childhood treats - the ice cream cone cupcake - for her oldest little Mouse to take to school to share with her friends for her birthday. For 2 years, I have been telling her to make them in the microwave. For 2 years, she has ignored my ever-so-helpful tip (that she did not ask for, by the way.) Actually, I think a more accurate description might be 1 year of ignoring, 1 year of trying my unsolicited advice only to create a small disaster in the microwave. (Sorry about that, Jac!)

Anyway, for 2 years I've been waiting anxiously to be a similarly fun Mom and make ice cream cone cupcakes for Talia to share with her little friends. The time is now. Behold, the Ice Cream Cone Cupcake:

Too bad that since this picture was taken, the cones have softened and they have all fallen in on top of themselves, before Talia could take them to daycare tomorrow. Sigh. (And I didn't even make them in the microwave!!!) At least we still had these adorable little mini cupcakes to share with Playgroup this morning:

Too bad our 2 year old friend Olivia "helped" us by tossing them down the stairs, resulting in the cupcakes turning into one cupcake-icing-sprinkles ball in the corner of a tupperware dish. Double sigh.

Birthday Week is not exactly off to a roaring start, baking-wise. Dear Baby Jesus, please let the Elmo cake turn out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hello, Summer!

Well, we welcomed summer in fine form this past weekend in K-town.

Rainer grew up just outside of Kenora, in Keewatin. Let me translate that for anyone not from there: Rainer grew up in Kenora. (Seriously, everyone who lives there is so adamant that there is a huge difference in the 2, yet NOT ONE OF THEM can tell me where exactly Keewatin ends and Kenora begins. It's ridiculous already.)

Anyway, since July 1 fell mid-week this year, Kenora decided to postpone their celebrations until the weekend (BOOOOOOOOOO! Super lame, Kenora!!!) but Keewatin stepped up and saved the day by putting on a great celebration complete with an artisan market, live musical entertainment in the park all day, a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy houses, soap box derby, and a fun parade where the Circus Kids rode their unicycles and walked on stilts up and down all those hills. Amazing!! Tally liked the playground, petting zoo, and following the ponies around. We all liked the parade and the chip truck chips. I did my patriotic duty and refrained from rolling my eyes when people compared the day to Kenora's usual festivities to the new "small town" celebration. (It's all the same place, people. Seriously.)

We also played in the water a lot, and watched fire works from Grandma and Grandpa's deck. We ended up staying 2 extra days (1 day for fun, 1 day to avoid being on the highway in the middle of the tornado warning) and had a great visit. And whether you call it Kenora or Keewatin, it's a beautiful place.

Now we're back to real life, which is also awesome. Talia and I played in the pool for 2 hours this morning while Declan napped. Ah, summer. Hello, my old friend. So kind of you to reappear just in time for Talia's birthday bash this Saturday.