Some Elspeth news

Okay, first I just want to reassure that our tree is up and looks “pwettie” (to quote Elspeth).  Now for the real reason for this post – Elspeth.

Two days ago our Early Interventionist came for another home visit.  She gave us some great ideas for forcing Elspeth to talk.  For instance, we have now put the puzzle pieces for each puzzle into its own glad screw top container.  That way she has to talk in order to get at the pieces.  Then when she puts it in have her repeat the name of the picture on the piece.  Simple but effective.  She comes back in about two weeks to conduct a more through assessment.

Then yesterday she reached 100 individual words(yes, I am that anal which should be no real surprise).  It is interesting to note that car, plane and tractor were among her first 100 words.  If you remember our post about her cousin Charles’ birthday in September you might recall an extremely satisfied little girl sitting proudly on his new mini ATV.  I am getting a feeling that we may not have too much of a girly girl on our hands.  Although, she does like to put things in her hair and play with stuffed animals.  Hmmm.

You all know that we spend a lot of time outside in the winter skating.  Well, in two weeks the free outdoor skating trail near our house should be open and we will be going…ALL of us.  Yes that’s right, Elspeth actually skated today.  Not far, not with finesse, nor with any speed worth mentioning.  No she can not yet stand up when she falls but she does try to get up.  So cute with her helmet down on the ice, her skates on the ice and her bum up in the air making a little triangle that she can’t get out of without help.  A friend of ours is trying to find an old pair of single blade skates that should be just a bit big for Elspeth so we might try those out in December but really, I don’t care because now that she can move, our family skating outings are safe.  Enjoy our newest little skating piglet.  🙂

Happy Santa Claus Parade Day!!

In our house, today is a special day – Santa Claus Parade Day.  It marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season because it is not only the day that Santa comes to town but also the day that our tree goes up.  Unfortunately, although the tree did go up it did not get decorated.  You see, we actually went downtown to the parade today instead of just watching it on tv.  As a result, Elspeth did not take a nap and almost fell asleep at the dinner table.  Plus, Katrine had to go to bed earlier tonight because she has early morning ice tomorrow.  Glenn did put the tree up but it won’t actually be decorated until tomorrow because it is more fun to decorate with the girls than without them.  As for the parade, it is an awesome experience to actually see the size of the floats and to hear the bands live.  That said, we didn’t get there early enough to get a seat so man am I sore from holding Elspeth (even though Glenn held her more).  Both girls were fascinated.  A highlight for Katrine was seeing one of her China sisters on a float and for Elspeth it was waving to Santa.

Even though we were all tired and hungry after the parade we decided to walk over to the Eaton Center to see the displays.  I remember doing this as a kid with my parents.  I also remember going down about 19 years ago when Glenn and I first started going out (it was alot easier to navigate the crowds when there were just two of us and no stroller).  Both girls were impressed with the two storey tall lighted reindeer and I think Katrine thought that was it…then we got to the four windows outside of the Bay.  Magic!  Neither of them wanted to leave.  In fact, Elspeth was repeating “More, more, more” as we were walking away.  The displays were just as magical as I remember them from childhood.  We are all happily exhausted and the tree didn’t get decorated but the girls got to see a little bit of Christmas magic and I thought that I would share it with you in case you don’t have a chance to head down (just remember that each one is animated).

Loading Santa's sleigh.
The elves are busy at work in Santa's workshop.
A scene like from a Christmas carol.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring.....
..not even a mouse. (This was my favourite part. So cute.)
Katrine loved this one: "CANDY!!! CAKE!!! COOKIES!!! I wish I was at that table."

First Skating Competition of the Season

So this afternoon (after skating class this morning mind you), we all piled into the car and drove up to Georgina for the KIS Invitational skating competition.  Before I go further I have to tell you that it was really well organized and ran very smoothly.  They also had a nice lobby attached to the rink where Katrine was skating which helped to corral Elspeth while we waited for Katrine’s turn.  They also had the cutest wall of kisses leading to the awards area.  The kisses were organized by club with one kiss for each skater.  You got to write little messages on any of the kisses.  What a creative way to boost club spirit.  At the end, the girls got to take them home.  Katrine’s is already hanging up on her wall.

This time Katrine was doing “big girl” elements.  This is basic moves like the past two years but instead of a group of girls being on the ice together and doing each move in turn, the girls did a sort of mini program with the moves strung together but without music.  Katrine’s group was pretty darn good and there were some cute skaters (one little girl was dressed up as Dorothy completed with ruby slipper boot covers!)  Anyways, Katrine surprised us all and took first in her group.

And how do you celebrate winning first at skating?  Go skating.  Yes, this evening saw Katrine and some friends skating at a local PJ Skate dressed up in comfy pjs.  She had a blast.  I however did not fair so well having fallen quite hard on my hip when a girl wiped out in front of me.  I think that I will be very sore decorating the tree tomorrow.

Then to finish off, a few fall photos for you to enjoy.

Wall of kisses
Cute in pjs.

Cold morning at the marsh lands near our house.

And so begins winter…

A bitter wind was blowing as we stepped out of the house to head for the bus today.  Along with it came light snow flurries.  Walking along in it I had a few thoughts: yeah, winter is coming. Die mold die!  This was quickly followed by; this is the first snow that Elspeth has ever seen.  What is she thinking?  Katrine practically ran off the bus to tell me that it was snowing and to excitedly point out the flakes to her sister.

To me the snow marks the beginning of the Christmas season, even though it doesn’t officially begin until the last Sunday of November (which is the first Sunday in Advent).  I have already got some simple decorations up in an attempt to gently introduce Elspeth to the concept of Christmas.  However, on Sunday it will really begin with the parade, tree, lights.  Her first Christmas.  I have already taken her to visit Santa once.  She was terrified and wouldn’t let go of my top so I got stuck in the photo to.  She did enjoy the candy cane and has been looking for “hohoho” in books ever since.  Maybe she will end up liking Christmas as much as Katrine and I.

Bass Pro Shop starts their Santa early and raises money to rehabiliate fish in Lake Simcoe. I have a feeling we will be seeing alot of this Santa while Elspeth learning Santa is not evil. Maybe on our next visit he will pass the highfive test.


A Katrine Post

Okay, I have put up so many Elspeth updates that I felt it was time for a Katrine update.  What’s new with her?  Well, she has her first skating competition on the same weekend as the Toronto Santa Claus Parade so I am hoping that they are not at the same time because it would be horrible if my tree didn’t go up then (just to me that is).  She is doing a new style of basic moves competition but it is a sort of pre-cursor to her getting a solo.  It is also her first competition as a StarSkater, which just means that she has moved up a level.  She is excited because she is going to get to wear more make-up and glitter.  Another big skating change is that Katrine will be skating twice more a week until at least Christmas.  The plan is to have her continue after the break if she can still focus at school, get all of her work done and doesn’t whine too much at getting up at 6:15 to be on the ice for 7.  Before you ask, yes this is something that she desperately wants to do so we are giving it a try.  The place where she will be skating is where she went to camp this summer.  It is pretty hard core but she loved camp and is pumped about going back.

Enough about skating.  I thought that you would get a kick out of seeing her newest creation.  She has taken over the book room (the room with the fireplace) and turned it into a school for Elspeth and her doll Jessie/Jessy.  I must say that Jessy seems to get in a lot less trouble than Elspeth given how often I hear their names called.  I guess that is why two year olds don’t go to school yet.

There is a cafeteria where they can buy lunch.
Here is Jessy at recess. It seems at this school you can read, walk a dog or watch TV at recess. Interesting mix.
Jessy certainly keeps her desk neat for one so young.
Jessy even has an agenda with a section for each month and a pocket at the back for notes from home.
Apparently one of the topics they are currently studying is the water cycle.

Skinny Pants

Usually I use this blog to give you all updates about how the kids are doing with the occasional news about the rest of us.  Here is the traditional portion of the update:  Katrine’s mini solo for the competition in two weeks is looking pretty good…if she could just figure out what to do with her hands on her one foot spin it would be looking great.  Elspeth has 51 words and is now able to walk down the stairs unaided.  Glenn still enjoys football and is going to see Penn and Teller tomorrow.  I am already counting down the days until I can put my Christmas decorations up.  Okay, now that is done and I won’t feel guilty about the rest of the post.

Help!  Elspeth is doing great growing, gaining weight and there in lies the problem.  She has grown enough that the size 12 to 18 month pants are too short.  Let her wear 18 to 24 month ones then.  What’s the problem?  She isn’t fat enough.  As you can see in the photos, our wee one has put on weight since we killed off the parasite.  She might even be in the 2.8th percentile now.  I mean, that is up from like the 0.5th percentile so we are happy.  At the same time, she is in the 2.8th percentile meaning that she is a stick.  A cute, huggable stick who now has a bit of pudge on her frame but for the purpose of buying clothes – a stick.

This morning: nope, too wide.  Nope, too wide.  Nope, too wide.  Hey! A friend of mine suggested using a diaper pin the take in the material.  Let’s give it a try.  So taking a pair of leggings in goes the pin until the equivalent of one whole leg has been gathered at the back…oh well, on they go and off we went to the mall.  Now I should explain that there are alot of dresses hanging in little miss’ closet and she is still super cranky in a dress (unless being bribed with presents and candy ala birthday time).  They get in her way on ride on toys. Let in the wind in the stroller.  They mean she has to wear her super cute fleece suit in the morning.  None of these are big selling points for dresses and I am not feeling up to re-altering all of the pants that were originally altered for Katrine so off we went shopping.

One store had toddler pants with adjustable waists.  The ones available for this season were selling for $45.00 a pair.  Yep, that is more than most of my pants cost and these are pants that will be grown out of quickly.  That goodness I managed to find two pairs on the clearance rake at $15.oo each.  They may not be this season’s style but she’s two.  Seriously though, Elspeth is going to need to start liking dresses or I am going to have to do a lot more shopping (ugh).  Maybe we can just fatten her up on all of the Halloween candy so that her clothes fit.  Sigh.