Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Updates

How can I live with this family of jokesters and have no good material for a blog post? Oh well. Here's what's new at the Raine Drop:

Talia is as crazy as her curls. She is getting to be such a big girl. We are getting ready for her to start Nursery School next week. She loves being outside, climbing, swinging, etc. but still does a bit of the Drunken Sailor while running around like a wild woman - just enough for me to get a glimpse of my baby girl every now and then. Today she spent the entire day with our friends and I missed her like crazy. I'm so lucky that I've had 2 extra mat leaves since she was born, I've gotten to spend so much time watching her grow up to this point.

Deckie Boy finally started walking last week! He's so cute toddling around all over the place. We call him "Dirty Shirt" because he hangs around everything Talia does. He loves his big sister and his little sister. I sometimes feel Ruby's life is in danger when Declan tries to "play" with her but he really is gentle and loving with her - as gentle and loving as an 18 month old daredevil can be, I suppose. He chatters away and loves to tell me "Noooooooooooooo!" in the sweetest, sassiest little voice you can imagine. He likes to team up with Talia to be a stinker - we are in all kinds of trouble when these kids are teenagers.

Ruby is trying her hardest to get moving! She can pull herself short distances in this weird little army crawl, and also gets up on her knees. A baby that wants to move! Amazing. She seems to be more and more sensitive to dairy and soy, instead of growing out of it, which basically sucks. But we still have hope she'll grow out of it, and if not, hopefully she won't have an anaphylactic reaction to either. As more time passes since I last ingested dairy or soy, she is getting to be happier and happier. She is a really easy baby, loves to eat as much as her brother and sister did, and is already a couch potato.

Rainer is super busy at work. You know what? July year-ends ruin your summer. Poor guy. But he is working hard for all of us and he is such an amazing Daddy and husband. We just wish we got to spend more time with him in July and August. He's hardly had time to have any fun in the pool he maintains or to play with the kids on the monstrosity of a playstructure that he built for them.

I am really tired these days! We are so busy during the weekdays, trying to soak up every last bit of summer. I like to have the kids out and about - going to programs, playing outside, etc. It makes our days go fast and while it's taking its toll on me at this time of year, I keep pushing through because I know the -40 weather is coming!!! I'm still on my restricted diet for Ruby (the plus side to that is the positive impact it has on my waistline) and have started running to be ready for the Niverville 5k at the end of September. It will be my first race in a few years, and I'm pretty excited about it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Out

Declan got his first time-out this week. First of many, I'm sure, because this boy is a bit of a buggar. He has the most mischievous twinkle in his eye and a huge laugh when he's being a buggar, too, it's all I can do to keep a straight face.

Class Dismissed

Talia is finally starting to show some interest in the alphabet, besides just making the Leap Frog letter toy be super annoying all. day. long. So, in an effort to nurture this new interest in letters, I've been trying to get her ready for nursery school this fall by having some "school time" everyday when Declan has a sleep. It's a good way to have some quality time with m'girl. She has a pretty good grasp on what the letters are and what sounds most of them make, so we're moving on.

Although Talia has had little interest in letters until recently, she has a pretty good vocabulary. So good that I fear my lousy artistic talent is no match for her. Here's what we worked on today:

Answer I was looking for "A is for ant."

Talia: "A is for insect!"

Answer I was looking for: "C is for cat."

Talia: "C is for Kitty!" (okay, that one was close.)

Answer I was looking for: "H is for happy face/ H is for hand."

Talia: "H is for glove!"

Answer I was looking for: "S is for snake."

Talia: "S is for anaconda!"

I give up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em....

This morning Talia refused to get dressed. After asking her a couple of times to get dressed so we could get on with our day, I finally gave her a time-out for not doing as she was asked. At the end of her time-out, she would not tell me she was sorry or get dressed, so I told her she had to stay in time-out until she was ready. After 24 minutes (that's 8 consecutive time-outs) I finally told her that jammies are for sleeping, and if she wasn't going to get dressed she needed to get back in her bed. She did, and promptly fell asleep.

Good old Monkey-See-Monkey-Do Declan couldn't bear to not be part of his big sister's terrible punishment - he promptly got his monkey & blanky and fell asleep on the floor beside Talia's bed.

After I checked on the 2 of them, I put Ruby down on my bed while I ran to the washroom, when I came out she had fallen asleep, too. At that point I decided to go with the majority and have a little nap as well. These kids are wise, a nice nap was just what we all needed.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Backyard Camping

Once upon a time, many moons ago, a Girl Guide got together with a guy from Kenora. Being a Girl Guide, and then a Girl Guide leader, she was used to camping in tents with many little people, having an exhausting but fun time. Plus, she had grown up in a camping family, and had spent all summer at the lake when she lived at home. Being from Kenora, her boyfriend was inherently "outdoorsy" - but also had a belief that you should be outdoorsy in your backyard (which includes rocks, lakes, rivers, bush, etc.) and then go home to your nice comfy bed to sleep.

So one year when this young couple had so many holiday days saved up they didn't know what to do with them all, the Girl Guide decided to make it her personal challenge to make that Kenora boy embrace camping. They got a great deal on a huge tent, booked a campsite in the Whiteshell, and headed off for a week of fantastic fun. So what if Kenora Boy literally ran into a bear cub while on his bike, provoking said bear to stalk them the remaining half of the Trans-Canada Trail that runs between West Hawk and Falcon Lake? So what if Girl Guide got the worst chest infection of her life and thought she was going to die on an air mattress in the woods? SO WHAT if they packed it in and spent the last half of their vacation in Kenora Boy's parents' house, being outdoorsy during the day and sleeping indoors like civilized people at night????? Tenting can still be fun, right? RIGHT?!?

So our experiment in tenting never inspired a love of camping within Rainer. Meh. We actually still used our tent for several summers - meeting up with my family in Clear Lake, etc. We even took it to Prince Edward Island one summer for a 2 week vacation, in which we had good weather, lots of fun, and an all-around great tenting experience. But we certainly don't plan our holidays around tenting excursions anymore. And it seems like a lot of work to go camping on a regular 2 day weekend, when there are so few free weekends in the summer and we have that pool calling our names and all. So we haven't had the tent out since Talia was born.

But lately I've been getting the camping itch - partly due to lots of friends buying campers, partly due to my parents selling their camper and not going to the lake for the first time I can remember. So I've been suggesting doing a little backyard camping all summer, and since Rainer is just such a good sport, he agreed.

Last night we set up the tent in the backyard:

Ruby was so impressed with our mad tent skillz:

We had a wienie roast complete with s'mores:

We let the kids stay up late, playing outside in their jammies as it grew darker and darker:

We put them to bed in the tent. Hard to believe our ginormous tent is almost too small even for backyard camping:

We woke up this morning to find Declan had embraced his first night of freedom from a crib or playpen - he'd started out beside one sister and ended up with the other:

And of course, everyone piled into Mom & Dad's nice warm bed when the morning chill had woken them all up:

It was so much fun!!