Just some photos

Random cuteness:

Looking cute after having their animals checked out at the zoo yesterday.

Ever wondered how small Elspeth is?  Fits into a bankers box along with a shoe box, play food and two stuffies with room to spare.  This is her “choo-choo”.  I love watching little kids play in boxes.

Finally built up enough courage to let go of the railing when she jumps down.  Let the games begin.

Just a cute photo.

Toddler Gymnastics Time

After those last few posts about Katrine’s dance, felt that it was time to bring you up to date on some Elspeth activities.  For the last two months we have been going to parent and tot gymnastics in Markham.  She has really been enjoying it.  Especially anything that involves hanging (but none of those pictures turned out).  Today was her last day.  I expect that we will be (or maybe even she will be….on her own??) back at it in the fall.

Don't ya just love how she is thinking so hard that she is sticking out her tongue while she walks?
Baby got some air finally.
"Sorry mom, just taking a wee rest. So, shhhhh!"
Small child, BIG climbing apparatus.


Wild Toy Animal Clinic

Before the rain began this morning, we were able to squeeze in a trip to the zoo.  Today was their animal clinic day.

Katrine really enjoys it and gets into it playing the role of concerned mother hen.  We were not sure how Elspeth would react to it but took a chance that she would at the very least not cry there.  Luck was on our side and she seemed to enjoy it also.  Especially chosing the colour of vaccine that her Aleigh (a rare flat sheep) should be given and happily selecting bandages for her “boo boo leg”.  This year Katrine chose to take Chimpy.  Chimpy is also a rare breed – a chimp with a tail.  Think that there may have been some interbreeding there.

First you have to check in and explain why the animal is there today. In our case, a sheep with a sore leg and a chimp with a sprained wrist.
Next it is off to the initial exam. Katrine got to check out the chimps eyes with a real magnifier before he had his ears cleaned out with the huge swab.
After vaccines, micro chipping, a weigh in and xrays, it was off to have heart rate and blood pressure checked. The vet actually let Elspeth try it out when she looked interested.
Cap it all off with bandages and a visit with a ferret. Definetely a good adventure.

Just thought that I would add one photo of the zoo’s newest project.  This is right beside the gorillas at the African pavillion.  It is going to be a rope course and I think that I will need to give it a pass. (I have a thing about falling from heights.  Don’t mind the heights themselves only the potential of falling from them.)




We went, she danced, she trophied!

Another weekend, another dance competition.  LOVE them!  The sun, the pipes, the dancing and this time even sheep (much to Elspeth’s delight).  Then throw in some dance friends and a picnic lunch and it makes for an enjoyable day.

Katrine danced well today.  As a result, she took home a first, second, third and the trophy for her group.  If you look closely at the photo of her with her trophy you will notice that it looks like she is in tears.  Well, she is.  If we go to another comptetion this summer, it will likely be her last as a Beginner.  The next time she will have moved up to the next level and the thought of moving scares her.  Why? Because she is scared that she is not good enough to win a trophy there.  Made for an interesting heart to heart talk tonight at bed time about how winning is not the be-all end-all but merely the icing on the cake.  The real prize is in trying your best and doing a good job.  Did it sink in?  Who knows, it is not like this is the first version of this conversation that we have had.  We were proud of her though because she actually danced well today.

Elspeth?  Well, as you can see she made a new friend and they played iphone together.  Later she broke out the stickers. 🙂

And now what you have all been dying to see…my hair.  It did not turn out as pink as I had hoped but here it is in it’s new pinkness.  I know, out of character for me but it is only semi-permanent and I just wanted to do something fun that was only for me.




Into the Big, Big Girl Bed…sort of

When we originally got our referral for Elspeth we thought that we would just put her right into a bed with bed rail as she was a toddler.  Then we met her and saw just how small she really was.  Enter change of plans.  Glenn phones his mom, she and his sister zip off to Ikea and bring home a crib/toddler bed combo and when we arrive home her room is home to two different sizes of bed.

This has actually worked well.  Katrine has slept in the room with her, my mom has slept there when they have been down to visit and we have slept on it when she insists on waking us up at some ungodly hour.  It has also been useful for just plan snuggling with a good book.

Monday though marked a change in the established sleeping protocol.  Elspeth insisted on the big big girl bed.  Pull out the rail.  Switch over the pillow case and top blanket because she has to have her Dora and we were off….until she woke up crying at 3 am when she moved to the little bed and then back to the big bed.  Yesterday she started out in the big bed but ended up switching to the little bed where she fell asleep crying.  Today it was back to the big, big bed but the tears appeared when we first tried to tuck her in to the little bed.  Sigh, she is truly an ox like her mom….either that or she shares some genes with my side of the family. (It happens because Katrine seems to have gotten my sleeping genes in that she rarely keeps the blankets on or sleeps in a normal position).

A fabu-tropious day at Georgina!

What a way to start our summer competitive season.  I will let the photos tell the story but it was a great day.  Sunny and warm but with ample shade and a slight breeze to make it comfortable.  A wonderful group from Katrine’s dance school as well as my parents.  Then an ice cold Iron Bru to round out the day (gotta have at least one over the course of the summer to bring back the memories of Scotland).

If you look closely you can see my dad's new moustache. In 38 years I have never seen him with one. Kinda cute.


The girls put Grandma to work. That is what they are for isn't it?

How did Elspeth like it all?  She seemed to enjoy watching Katrine dance but I think that her favourite part was watching the mass bands during the opening ceremonies.  Could we have another Scot at heart on our hands?  Must be the effect of celtic name.

This is one way that Elspeth filled her time today.


Oh ya, there was also some dancing done….

which resulted in 3 firsts and a third as well as Katrine’s first overall trophy for the Beginner’s 9 and under group.  She is pretty proud that all of her hard work paid off and she finally won a coveted trophy.  The fact that it is taller than any of the overall trophies (of which there is a grand total of 5 from 30ish years of dancing) that mommy won was icing on the cake.


The rest of the week

Got some good news this week.  First our speech pathologist told us that if we brought Elspeth in today she would not be picked up.  Yes, she would be classified as normal!! From 12-18 month delayed to on target in 5 1/2 months.  Way to go Elspeth.  They will call us around her third birthday to double check her articulation and sound production but unless something shows up there we are d-o-n-e! I have enjoyed the playgroup but welcome having another free day.

This morning our new Early Interventionist came to the house and did a brief developmental survey on Elspeth.  In January she was borderlined delayed.  Well, not anymore.  Not in any area.  In fine motor and problem solving she ranked near the higher end of things too.  In two weeks she will be back to complete a sensory profile to make sure that we have not missed any sensory processing disorders.  I am hoping that we will have more good news and some of miss E’s quirks will be the result of lack of exposure as opposed to sensory issues.  😮

And now for some photos that show despite being woken up at between 5:30 and 6:00 each day this week (likely will disappear now that Glenn is back from his conference), we have managed to squeeze in some fun.

Hanging around while my sister skates.
The pony house is back and today Elspeth was introduced to it. This year it has a bath tub.
Crazy growing garden...with the exception of the beets and radishes that is.


Rainy Tuesday

We have a very happy garden again today.  I am looking forward to great things from it.  Particularly roasted potatoes with butter and chives.

Because of the rain, the girls insisted that they needed their umbrellas to walk to the bus.  It worked fine in the morning as it was a light mist.  Our trip post nap was not met with such enthusiasm by Elspeth once the rain began to pick up – didn’t even try to splash in the puddles.  Poor baby.  I think that some more walking in the rain is in order to help desensitize her.

This morning was Elspeth’s last play group.  She has really enjoyed them, as have I.  I can’t say that she has made any actual friends there but she is sharing and more aware that there are other kids around.  She has also learned to turn to stand up for herself a bit by turning to me for help when another kid does something she doesn’t like.  In honour of the last day, there was a sundae party at the end of class.  We are on a break now until the fall.

Of course Katrine had an extra curricular today (free time…who needs it?) in the form of a dance class in Markham.  Each time we go we drive past a restaurant advertising that they sell only noodles.  Ever since noticing it, Katrine has been bothering me to stop at “her restaurant”.  Boy does she love her noodles.  Today I decided to surprise them by stopping.  Even I got to eat.  Someone was thinking when they opened the place.  They carry rice noodles and clearly advertise in their menu that they can accomodate gluten free requests.  A nice and unexpected surprise (I was planning on eating when we got home).

Elspeth had some apple juice with her dinner (another treat).  I think that was the highlight of the meal for her.  I should have known better.  We get home, chat with Baba and then go upstairs to get ready for bed.  Standing in the middle of the bathroom she pees all over the floor. So in exchange for my dinner of pasta and lack of dishes to be washed coupled with my ill advised choice to allow Elspeth to have juice, I had to wash the floor and do a load of laundry.  Sigh.  I really should have known not to give her juice. 😆


Monday Fun

Yeah for less homework.  I am liking June.  Since Katrine didn’t have much homework we cracked open the science kit that she got for her birthday and she began excavating her dinosaur.  Think that might take a while.  As Katrine chiselled away, Elspeth started to colour in a bag that her Grammy brought her.  Me?  I continued to stitch away at Katrine’s next skating outfit.

After a quick dinner (love the new bbq) it was off to Katrine’s dance class and the park for Elspeth.  On the way back from the park, Elspeth decided that she needed to jump.  Guess all of the work at her gymnastics class is starting to pay off because she got some air.

Garden?  Well it is loving all of the sun and rain.  Everything is up with the exception of our sunflowers and beets.  We had a few radishes but I think that the local wild life has been nibbling.  Even some of my roses are out so I have been teaching Elspeth about the importance of avoiding thorns.

Down on the farm

Decided that today was the perfect day an outing to the farm. It was awesome!

We started out at the upick section in the midst of a strawberry patch.  I was expecting to be nagging the girls to pick and not eat the berries but that was not the case.  Instead, each of the girls was totally in to picking.  Katrine actually filled one of our baskets all by herself.  She walked up and down the rows searching for “the biggest, juicest berries for my lunches”.  Elspeth tried to pick a few of the berries.  They were big but most were more of a white colour than red so she got put on hide and seek duty.  “Okay sweetie can you find the big, red berry?  It has to be hiding in this plant.”  Who knew that her new found interest in hide and seek could come in handy in the middle of a field?  We have a few small berry plants in our garden and the berries are small but pretty darn sweet.  However, they are sour in comparison to how sweet and juicy the ones we picked this morning are.  Delicious.

The farm that we were at had a stay and play section as well so once we had our fill of berry picking we headed there.  What a play yard!  They had this bounce pillow.  I had never seen one before today but it was awesome. (It alone might warrant the drive back to Mount Albert sometime this summer)  It is like a roof less and side less bouncy castle whose base is buried in the ground.  You scamper up and then jump.  It was funny being able to climb on and jump right along with the girls.  Katrine got some serious air while Elspeth was happy to hold my hand and run from one end to the other until someone bounced her off her feet.

Then there were the animals to visit and haystacks to jump from.  Crazy horse swings that moved in every direction.  I know because I literally spun Katrine around in a circle.  😀   We also had to visit the playhouse, slides and spray zone before taking a ride on their train (actually a converted tractor).  The ride started out well enough but I thought that it was only going to be a quick spin but it turned out to be an actual tour of their farm.  Sounds interesting right?  Not when you can feel your youngest begin to break down halfway through the ride.  As we got off the train, I carried the screaming kicking toddler directly to the cool farm market for a slushy.  Between the slushy, some fries and a sing-song show of animatronic chickens a la Muppets, peace was restored to her world.  Elspeth’s ability to over heat is pretty amazing considering the daily temperatures that we encountered in Jiangxi last summer.  She must take after me. 😆

We capped the day off by heading to our local splashpad to cool off.  Katrine ran right in and was happily soaked in seconds.  Elspeth is still puzzling the attraction of jets shooting water into the air while buckets dump it on the ground.  I did manage to talk her into splashing in a puddle for about 5 minutes before she, miss “the water in my bath, while only tepid, is tooooo hot! Please add more cold.”, declared it cold.  What a girl.  She also refused a cooling wrap (that is the thing that looks like a balloon wrapped around my head – heavenly).  She did seem to appreciate my huge hat whether it was because of the shade it offered or the fact that she could hide underneath it I don’t know. Fun.