Time for some random cuteness

Now we are getting somewhere. She no longer hates the snow. What a sweetie.
No longer self-concious about her teeth so we have her beautiful smile back.
What a silly girl.
Secret Agent Katrine will be reporting to her Club Competition's Extreme events in her retro gear this weekend. Only cost $6 so we figured that she could wear it for the three events: longest waltz jump, most revolutions in a spin and longest spiral. I think that this really is a pretty extreme look.

Winter Glitters

Katrine successfully completed her first solo in competition today.  She got all of the way through and didn’t fall down.  The quality of the skating was not her usually but she was really nervous this morning.  She was the best dressed though.  Came in 6th though and got a pink ribbon so she was content.  Things went better for her during the team elements.  She and her partner placed second.  The day, well night by this time, ended with the best Dutch Waltz I have ever seen her do.  Ended up in 9th but was super proud of herself (rightly so).  Congratulations to all of our fellow RHFSC members who competed today.  What a great group of kids.

Glittery Annie girl

Some photos for you

Ahh, the quiet.
Love photos of kids with that gap in their teeth. So cute. Not fun? Being the parent who took her to get them pulled. Fingers crossed that the next one just falls out.
Finally, some snow
A coach went fishing for "skater-fish" on Monday night at Katrine's club. Hmm....
...looks like he caught himself a 'Katrine-fish'. (Supposedly this contraption is helping her with her jumps. Don't know about that but she looked darn cute.)
Elspeth loves books now and is beginning to pretend to read them.
Funny girl

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! xin nian kuai le

This new year feels especially sweet as it is the first that we have shared as a family of four.  We actually started the celebration yesterday at my parents when they gave the girls hong bao.  Grandparents know their grandchildren so well.  Katrine got her money in toonies while Elspeth got her’s in nickels and dimes because she absolutely loves to put money into her piggie bank.  Then when we got home we finished putting up the decorations with 3M squares because the tape was just not cutting it.  Katrine donated her two stuffed dragons/dinosaurs to the cause and they are proudly sitting underneath our flower vase in the livingroom.













Usually on New Year’s day I cook a big meal, even making the dumplings from scratch.  With a new two year old I was not sure how abundant food preparation would go so we simplified things by buying pre-made dumplings (Mama’s still taste better and I have been instructed that I need to make them again next year) and wonton soup.  We also cut out the noodles (horror – guess we might be short on long life this year) and the fish.  Even with the cuts there was still a lot of yummy food and the house smells of chinese food.  I did get creative with dessert.  We had some of the traditional candied vegetables (acquired taste but boy do the girls love the coconut) and cookies arranged to look like a dragon.  We also got dressed up for dinner which thrilled Katrine.  Elspeth could’ve cared less what she was wearing, she just wanted to colour the new year’s pictures.  The celebration ended with more hong bao and piggie bank feeding.  Then Elspeth went to bed and Katrine to the arena.  Our new year’s festivities will not be over until our annual FCC chapter banquet in two weeks.  Katrine can hardly contain her excitement at being able to share a meal with some of her China sisters.

The most creative part of our meal.

Katrine fit into this dress on her first new years...she was not yet 2.











To all of our family and friends, we wish you prosperity and happiness in the coming year.

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Actually, it is a bit early as his birthday is not until Wednesday but we celebrated yesterday so I am typing this up tonight.  We did our usual thing and drove up to my parents house so that we could all go the party at the Midland Legion.  Katrine was so excited about going to dance and hear the pipes that she even had me put a bun in her doll Lily’s hair (anyone know how to get bobby pins to stick into fake hair? Mine kept falling out).  Elspeth was a bit over whelmed and spent most of the night in someone’s arms clutching her penguin Meme and her sheep Aleigh.  That said, she looked super cute in tartan, bounced along when the pipes played (vs crying), waved enthusiastically when Katrine and I danced AND not only tried haggis but gobbled up a large serving.  Guess we will make a Scots out of her yet!  She also learned a new word which will come in immensely handy this summer but little else…piper.  Our other girl?  Glowed from all of the praise about her dancing.  I think that she particularly enjoyed hearing from the lady who told her, “I remember the very first time you danced and jumped side to side.  Now look at how big you are and you were wonderful.”  By about 9:00 poor Elspeth was hanging on to wakefullness by sheer will power so we started to pack her up.  Well, Katrine would have none of that because the pipe band had yet to play.  So, I drove Elspeth back to my parents house and ended up with a whole hour to myself…happy sigh.

This morning we enjoyed the snow.  Elspeth got to go sledding for the first time sitting on my lap.  It was only a wee hill but she was clapping at the bottom.  She was also much more willing to actually walk in the snow and touch it.  After tobogganing she pulled the sled around and when she got tired she put Glenn to work pulling her all around the yard until a dog barked, scared her and she insisted on going inside.  Katrine has fun trying to coax Elspeth into walking on the snow but lost interest after tobogganing for a bit.  Then the neighbour kids came out and she was off.  More sledding followed as well as using riding on their ATV.  I thought that she would find it scary but not her, “Awesome” was her description.  Her only disappointment about the visit was that the ice was too thin to go ice fishing with Grandpa and we weren’t staying long enough to go skiing.  Guess we will simply have to head back up soon.

As the Year of the Rabbit draws to a close, I will finish off with one of Burns’ graces (kindof symbollic of the melding of cultures in our family – Burns one day, New Years the next):

SOME hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it ;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit. 


Bringin in the haggis
Not a bad job on the buns aye?
"Haggi(s). Mo(re)"

Gonna use this in our 6 month update for China

"Must not fall asleep. Might miss something."

Elspeth hits the ice

We have shared a lot of video of Katrine skating and thought that it was about time for you to see our Elspeth in action.  Here she is, making her single blade skating debut…..Little Sister!!

Cute photos

I had a great birthday this year.  I usually hate having to bake my own “free of everything” cake but this year was different.  With two helpers the work gets done slower but is more fun.  Didn’t look half bad and tasted awesome.  As you can see, I also had plenty of help blowing out the candles.  Elspeth’s wish for me was a ” Ha B D Mama”.  Happy sigh.























Of course, I had to paint my nails in honour of the occasion.  Any suggestions for Robbie Burns or Chinese New Year?  I was thinking that maybe I should do the right hand for one holiday and the left for the other.  Maybe red nails for the new year and then spell out haggis or Burns on the other hand.   I have a few weeks to reach a decision on that one.  After that they will need to go pink or hearty for Valentines before turning purple, or gold for Mardis Gras.  Don’t you just love holidays?  They give us something to look forward to and help to break up the daily grind.  Plus, they give me an excuse to decorate the house.

Maybe should have used black instead of silver for the numbers.











These last photos just begged to be shared.  The first is from Elspeth’s doctors appointment on Monday.  She has gone up another pound and centimeter since her last visit.  After her weigh in she decided that enough was enough and after failing to put on her pants she thought that this look might still be effective in sending the message that she was done and wanted no more of what was to come (she has been getting shots regularly at the doctor since we got home in order for her to catch up with Canadian born peers).  The other is from tonight.  She thought the bows were hats but then decided that they could be stuck elsewhere…silly little bunny.

Katrine’s Ice Show

As you may guess, much of this school vacation (aside from actual Christmas festivities) was spent on the ice.  Partially that was because we went skating as a family on the local trail (good way to work off all of those goodies); and partly because Katrine was preparing for an ice show at the center where she skates mornings.  The first week wasn’t so bad as Glenn was off as well so we were able to divide and conquer.  Plus, who ever got the privelege of sitting in the cold also got the precious gift of an hour to themself!! This week was a different story.  Try keeping a two year old entertained for an hour and a half, at an arena for four days running.  At times it was good and at times…painful.  No matter though as all of Katrine’s hard work, Elspeth’s ability to find interesting things in the mundane and my willingness to go crazy pointing out the mundane resulted in a wonderful evening spent with the grandparents.

The show itself was really well put together and ran almost exactly according to plan.  All of the skaters knew what they were doing and ended up looking great on the ice (not surprising really as only dedicated skaters are on the ice five mornings a week before school and over their holidays).  The parent volunteers (sadly, to my shame, I was not one of them as I figured I had already put in my time keeping the wee one from tearing everything apart all week) put together a lovely gallery with bios of each skater, a professional looking program and great costumes.  The older skaters did the younger girls hair and make up.  As a parent, you got to see all of these great up and coming skaters looking their best and skating their hearts out and there is your child, among them.  It made us proud.

Elspeth lasted until just after Katrine skated her first time before she was done with seats, floors, candy, activities and grandparents (which is saying a lot as they are among her favourite people).  She was also suffering from mommy-itis (yeah attachment) so I had to miss the end of the show to bring her home to bed.  When he got home, Glenn told me that all of the kids in the dressing room were laughing and smiling when he went down to pick up Katrine at the end of the show.  They were all so excited at having been part of it all.  This morning Katrine told me that she loved doing the show with all of the stars (decorations), lights and clapping.  “It was so awesome.  I love, love, loved it.”  Guess that says it all.

Oh ya, sorry about the photos but with them skating so fast, all I got were some blurs.

Happy New Year!!

My the new year bring good things your way!  Happy Hogmanay!!  Hope that you started the new year off with a bang.