Katrine’s Fun Fair


Do anyone of you remember school fun fairs from your public school days?  I remember running up and down the halls of the school while my parents helped to set up various activities in the gym for the next day.  Bean bag toss, ring toss, haunted house.  That kind of thing.

Each year, Katrine’s school has a Fun Fair for the kids in May.  Have I mentioned that I love the Parent Council at her school?  They rock.  Their fun fair was a bit more high tech than that of my youth.  Instead of the simple games there were jumping castles, hockey games and a DJ dance party.  There was however still the piles of junk food which the girls consumed in large quantities – popcorn, bake sale, cotton candy….MMMMMM!  The fact that it was a perfect day, being neither too hot nor too cold while still being cheerfully sunny, made it all the more fun.  Both girls fell asleep very quickly tonight inspite of all of the sugar.

Katrine’s favourite part was socializing with all of her friends and the giant dance party.

Elspeth however, loved the visiting fire truck the most which is not surprising as she has currently been putting on the dress up firehat and carting around her Fis*er Price firetruck.  She also eventually got in to the dancing.  Looks like she is break dancing doesn’t she?

Oh, our garden?  Started to grow!! Very excited.


Adventures in Potty Training: Part 2

I have a few sites that I follow and on one of them, the author was discussing preparing to toilet train their daughter.  She mentioned a book which talked about toilet training your child in three days and mentioned a few of the points.  No, I did not rush out and buy the book (although if we ever adopt a third who is not trained I just might do it).  Anyways, one of the highlights was to let your child run around the house without pants.  If they didn’t listen to their bodies cues then they would be covered in pee which you then had them help clean up.

SO, we entered a new phase of training – the pantless phase.  One accident inside the house and she was good when inside because there were no bottoms to contend with.  Outside was a bit harder for her because there is no way that we were letting her run around the neighbourhood, or even our backyard, without pants.  She would do things like announce that she had to pee and then take the long route to the house or, more commonly, just stand and pee then go on playing.

Needing a solution, a potty was carried everywhere we went when outside for a week.  Yes, to the park, the yard, down the street to the neighbour’s a pink, plastic kiddie toilet was carried along with a bottle of water for rinsing.  Felt a bit like an idiot at times but it seems to have paid off.  We are so proud of her that we gave her an award (she has been eyeing Katrine’s awards and fingering them lovingly so we figured that it would kill two birds with one stone – celebrate and divert attention).

Apparently I don't rinse well enough because Elspeth was constantly redoing my job. At least this phase seems to be over and I am not carrying the pinkness around anymore.



Long Weekend

And what a long weekend it was!

We had a wonderful time at Katrine’s China family reunion and then finished it off by working on the garden.  Throw in the great weather and who could ask for more….well, maybe a working bbq (but that is another post).

I love reunion weekend almost as much as Katrine.  She says that it is one of her favourite holidays.  Who can blame her?  A weekend with your China sisters and brothers (we missed a few this year. 😥   ) Throw in candy, games, a ton of swimming, giggles, teasing and even loot bags and what kid wouldn’t like it.  For us adults it is about reconnecting and seeing how everyone is doing.  These are some amazing kids I have to tell you.  Even Elspeth had a great time.  She tried hard to keep up with the big kids (who were really good with her) and was quite the ham around the adults.  Can’t wait for our next reunion with Elspeth’s China family in July!

Our garden is looking good.  Glenn and I have been talking about digging in a border for years and this year he did it.  It looks great and might even help to keep the grass at bay.  This year we are growing, well trying to, sunflowers (hoping to dry the seeds this year…unlike last year), pumpkins, white patipan squash, banana potatoes, shallots, beets, radishes, cucumbers and two types of heirloom tomatoes (too bad that I am still reacting to tomatoes or else I could make a killer salsa).  Katrine also brought home a strawberry plant last year and then we bought a few more.  They all survived the winter and a few even have some berries starting to grow.

As you know, Katrine is a big fan of gardening.  She enjoys it so much that she was thrilled when the Easter bunny brought her gardening gloves to replace her Dora pair.  This was Elspeth’s first experience in gardening.  She seemed pretty interested and helped to throw the seed potatoes into the holes, dig random holes and then move all of our row markers about.  And she did it all with a smile.  Next spring will certainly be easier when it comes to planting but nothing beats that first time spent introducing her to a new experience.

Let me finish with a request that anyone with suggestions on how to dry sunflower seeds or grow large pumpkins post them.  Those are two things that Katrine is hoping will happen with our garden this year are both are currently beyond our area of expertise.

We also have ducklings at the marsh near our house!


Dance exams a success!

Katrine did what might be her last set of Highland Dance exams on Friday.  She managed to pass both her Nationals and Highland exams with the highest possible award.  Very proud of her.  Now if she can apply the same amount of focus to practicing for her competitions this summer it should be interesting.

A Mother’s Day Christening

When we were in Nanchang, one of the things that we did was arranged to have articles of clothing sewn specifically for the christening.  Katrine got to chose the material for each item with the one stipulation that it all had to be red (the colour of celebration and good luck).  She did a bang up job and we ended up looking quite smashing for the christening.  So eye catching that a little girl in the pew infront of us turned around, eyed us all and ernestly asked “Are you Chinese?” Hmmmm, well let’s see two of us are blonde.  Hmmm, she must be thinking that we had to be Chinese to wear those clothes.  She is about 7, how to answer, how to answer. Katrine pipes up, “Only me and my sister are.” Little girl nods as if that has cleared the matter up and then turns back around.  Almost as funny as the time that my mom and I picked Katrine up at Chinese class and the kids looked at the pair of us in confusion before turning to her and asking if her grandmother spoke Chinese.  “Nope, just Scottish.”  Isn’t it interesting how they try to make sense of their world?

Anyways, back to the christening.  We usually sit upstairs at our church where there are less people but yesterday that was out and we sat right up at the front.  Man did Elspeth’s eyes get big like saucers when she looked over her shoulder at the rows of people.  You could tell that she was already getting a bit stressed.

When we met with the minister in April, we had warned her that Elspeth doesn’t really like getting water put on her head and she should be prepared for some noise.  Well, up we go to the front with Karen, Glenn’s sister aka Godmother, and Scott, my brother aka Godfather (thanks guys).  Katrine is super excited that she can pour the water into the baptismal font.  We repeat our promises to guide Elspeth in the path of Christ and approach the minister who takes Elspeth and begins the placing the water on her head.  HOWL!!!! TEARS!!!  Okay, return said child to mom as soon as possible.  I think the passion of Elspeth’s howls surprised the minister.  She was really protesting.

Once back in my arms she wimpered and then went into shut down which lasted until we could escape the sanctuary and go into the nursery which is her normal routine.  Poor baby.  At least once she was okay, she was okay.  She was happy to pose for photos once the service was complete. Thrilled to eat the cupcakes made by Auntie Heather (thank you) and open all of her gifts.  It was actually a nice way to spend a Mother’s Day morning….aside from the howling and shut down portions.

Our girls before the service:

The prayer shawl that was given to Elspeth in honour of her christening:

The scrumptious looking cupcakes:


Doesn’t Elspeth look even more angelic now?

Adventures in Potty Training

We are right in the thick of learning that no two children potty train the same.  Katrine was a schedule girl.  Figure out her schedule and wham – mostly trained.  Wore padded training pants for a few months as assurance but that was it.

Elspeth is a different kettle of fish entirely.  Firstly, she has no schedule. Spent two weeks tracking roughly when she wet herself only to discover that there was no pattern.  Sigh.  That is no help.  However, we did notice the pattern that she would occassionally run to the toilet on time and occassionally run there after the fact.  Thought, okay maybe she just isn’t ready for toilet training.  So we back off for a few months.   Then two weeks ago she refused to put on a pull-up.  Okay, time for round two but with a different approach.

No pull ups.  Instead, training pants.  They will be more uncomfortable and that will motivate her more to go to the toilet in advance.  This lead to our second discovery.  For her the sheer act of wearing any form of underwear (regular or padded) seems to be an invitation to wet herself.  Sigh.  Now what.  I mean she wants to and is digging in her heels about the pull ups.  Guess we need a new plan.

Okay, pantless at home.  Well don’t you know, accident free in the house for the past three days.  One minor complication though.  She seems to think that when she puts pants on to go outside it is an invitation to just let it go.  At least we seem to be making some progress.

No two kids are a like!

Oh, a happy birthday to Glenn.  His first birthday hug from Elspeth.  A priceless gift.