The penguin twins

In August 2007 a movie about surfing penguins came out.  At the same time, Katrine was enamored with Pablo the penguin from the Backyardigans television show; particularly the episode where he surfs.  So, we took her to see the movie.  Glenn, being the kind of dad that he is, decided to make something special for Katrine’s Halloween costume.  His plan?  I was to create a simple penguin costume using craft foam, a black sweatshirt and some iron on bonding tape while he created a surf board.  As you can see, not only was she adorable but also loved it.

Fast forward five years and we have another three year old in the house (just much smaller).  Said daughter already loves penguins (not so much the surfing).  She has a penguin blanket for her bed, had me build her a shoebox house for a pair of stuffed penguins and has a penguin puppet who she named Meme (it was actually the first stuffed animal that she named).  Last week Elspeth discovered the penguin costume in our dress up box and fell in love.  The day she found it she wore it around the house, to Katrine’s school and the whole time that we were playing around in the arena while Katrine skated.  Of course, her penguin family accompanied her the whole time.

Waubaushene Santa Claus Parade (aka the parade Grandpa missed)

Okay, it is Grey Cup weekend.  What is the wife of a man with Grey Cup tickets to do on Grey Cup weekend?  Drive up north for a Santa Claus parade of course!

The girls and I set off to my parents house right after Elspeth’s swimming class on Saturday morning.  We stopped in Brechin and the Orillia for short but wonderful playdates with a group 204/5 and a group 268 China sisters.  Seeing my girls reconnect with family is always a nice experience.  The fact that I too get a chance to chat with other moms is the cherry on the cake.

We ended up at my parents in time for dinner to hear that my dad is simply too ill to ride on his intended float.  The girls were disappointed they wouldn’t get to see him on the float but more concerned about his health.(He is getting better but still looks and sounds horrible.) After a short drive to admire the various neighbourhood lights and a bath it was off to bed.


The highlight of today was the parade itself which was made even more special by the presence of fresh snow on the ground.  Snow which begged to be played in and thrown.  Katrine actually managed to make a pretty good snowball which hit me soundly in the side of the head – guess all of the catch we played this past summer did some good.  Her aim is improving.  Elspeth showed none of her reluctance from the start of winter last year.  Nope, much more curious this go round.  Will have to discuss with her the importance of not eating snow off of ones boot.  Apparently it is “yum, yum, good.”

Okay, we saw the floats at the top of the hill and knew that it was show time.  Bundled the girls into their chairs and they were happy as pie – even more happy once the candy canes began to arrive.

Now as I mentioned earlier, my dad was suppose to be riding on a float but had to bow out at the last minute due to health.  He did however do a lot of work to help create said float and I think that they did a great job.  It was one of the best in the parade (I may be a bit biased being a daddy’s girl and all).

He is a member of the Loyal Order of the Pumpkin which is a fancy sounding name for a group of fun loving people who get together to celebrate pumpkins.  In the spring they have a party and pass out seeds.(The pumpkin which we grew and subsequently carved at Halloween came from this year’s batch of seeds.)  The various order members plant and tend the seeds hoping to grow the biggest pumpkin.  While waiting for said seeds to grow they participate in the area Canada Day parade.  Then come October, the pumpkins are harvested and the biggest wins a prize.  The celebrations are completed with the order’s participation in the local Santa Claus parade.  Such a simple way to have tons of fun.  The order created a brand new float this year honouring the cartoon classic – Charlie Brown’s Christmas.


The little wagon at the very back was the girls’ favourite part.  I think it was pretty ingenious myself.

Shortly after we saw the big guy arrive.

They we went just down the street to the local fire hall where the festivities continued (we don’t have anything like this round where we live but it was lovely to see the community coming together).  There was hot chocolate and timbits for the kids.  Balloon animals and face painting.  There was also the big man himself sitting in the corner ready to listen to the holiday wishes of all the waiting children.  Katrine was raring to go whereas Elspeth is still not sure of the whole Santa-as-a-real-guy thing.  I would suggest that you enjoy the group photo with Santa as it may be the only time that I can get Elspeth near him all season.

I must add that an old family friend played Santa and did an exceptional job.  When Elspeth was too busy clinging to me to say what she wanted, he thought to ask her big sister for help.  Katrine left him with a huge smile on her face  feeling extra important…and that was before she learned that this Santa gave out real gifts!!!  As you can see from Katrine’s face she was thrilled.  Elspeth refused to look at the camera, being super tired by this point, so you will have to be satisfied with this side view.


Christmas arrives!!

I absolutely love Santa Claus parade weekend.  To me it spells the start of Christmas as it provides the perfect excuse to begin setting up the tree and all of my decorations.  I love how festive the house feels once everything is in place.  Makes me smile thinking about what memories we will build with family and friends over the next few weeks.  Plus to be perfectly honest it also marks the lead up to my birthday and you know how I love my birthday.

Here are the girls Christmas letters.  My favourite part of Katrine’s is where she tells Santa that it is okay if he only brings her 3 or 4 things (way to compromise).  Now our eldest is smart.  She has it all figured out.  Apparently she plans on visiting a number of different Santas over the next few weeks and only aksing for one thing from her list.  That way she will not seem greedy but will still get to ask for everything.  Gotta love her plan.  Wonder how it will work out for her?  Elspeth’s list is simple.  Candy for her Om Nom.  I can almost guarantee that wish will come true seeing as how in all of my living recollection I have never received a stocking totally devoid of candy.  Unfortunately, Elspeth is still only in love with the concept of Santa so I will have to work hard to get my coveted photo of the girls.

I also managed to get matching dresses for them.  Of course, once the mandatory Christmas card photo was done, Elspeth had to put back on her fairy princess wings. 🙂

PS My thumb is much better.  It still hurts like crazy when I hit or bump it (which being me is far too often) but at least it is no longer throbbing!

So proud

Here she was at her first competition:

This past weekend:

Katrine made us super proud this past weekend.  As you can see she brought home a fourth place ribbon; not bad for a kiddo who only started back working on jumps five days before the competition.  She was simply thrilled to be able to skate and to have skated clean.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that she continues to heal from the concussion and will be able to skate full force come January.

Adventures in cooking class

I have been able to take Elspeth to cooking class the last two weeks because they have not  made anything gluteny.  It is nice to see her learning by doing and then enjoying the fruits of her labour.  She has a great time; can’t you tell?

She made cheesy apple melts and fruity coleslaw last week.  The highlight of which was getting to cut and cut and cut until everything was practically diced.  Great week!

This week apple mock-tinis, apple cookie pizza and stuffed apples were on the menu.  She had fun.  The class started off well…

Looks yummy doesn’t it?  All of the chocolate-apple-cinnamoness topped with caramel sauce simply had to taste great as did her mock-tini.  Elspeth finished the class enjoying her apple stuffed with cheese, sunflower seeds and raisins.  Yippee!

Didn’t need lunch because she ate it all (not exactly balanced but oh well).  There was however, an unfortunate mishap on route to the creation of this edible delight.  It involved an apple and a corer.  Oh, and  my thumb as well as a trip to emerg.  Luckily I didn ‘t need stitches (lucky me, I had pretty much sliced the skin clean off so there wasn’t anything to stitch) but I do have a pretty inpressive bandage right now.

Now no need to worry.  Katrine had her skating competition simulation tonight and even with the bandage I was able to do reasonably good hair.  Thank you to Ashley (her coach) for tieing her skates. 🙂   Another special thank you to my hero of the day – my wonderful mother-in-law.  She came right away when I called.  Went to the ER and kept Elspeth entertained for almost two hours while I was being taken care of.  Helped fasten and unfasten car seats, containers, bobby pins and snaps.  Mom, you rock. 🙂


Skate tape

I didn’t discover this product until Katrine had sliced and cut up her first pair of new skates quite a bit.  Now I love it.  It doesn’t prevent all damage to the leather but it certainly helps to keep them looking nicer, and when you spend as much on them as we do you want them to look nice as long as possible.

New tape: Doesn’t it look nice and shiny and smooth?

Old tape:  One word – UGH (Particularly like the toe of the skate.  Notice how it is all torn up.  Even with the tape, Missy Katrine managed to slice out a small chunk and we only got these skates in August.)

It is so easy to put on too.  You simply unroll it onto the skate and then smooth down.  Simple but effective.  It even peels off easily when you need to put on new tape or polish up the boots for a competition.

Another skating dress

Bet you were thinking that this would be another dress for Katrine.  Well…wrong.  Our little Elspeth will be doing her first skating competition in January and so needed an outfit.  Katrine’s first one being too big that is.  Here it is.

Added these details to the skirt just for some fun.

Cute isn’t it?


Wow, am I ever behind.  Okay Halloween.  Lets see…we will start with the pumpkins.  Both girls had fun working on the pumpkins.  I think that it helped that our pumpkins’ guts were more solid than stringy so the girls were willing to touch them.  We grew the pumpkins large enough this year that we did not have to buy pumpkins but were able to use our homegrown ones instead.  After cutting it open we actually scooped out large chunks of flesh with these giant seeds imbedded in it.  The seeds were so nice and plump and large that we rinsed, salted and roasted them.  Man are they good.  Seeing as how we had two, each girl got to design and carve their own pumpkin which made it much more enjoyable for Glenn and I (no bickering).

The night before Halloween Elspeth had her skating lesson and they were allowed to come in costume.  She was so excited to have yet another excuse to wear her EB sheep costume.  Halloween morning saw her baking up a storm with my mom at a local cooking class.  They made spider buns and black cat(chocolate) cookie pops which were half the size of her head.  After nap, she was off to her nursery school for their Halloween party which she enjoyed until an older boy came in with a mask and she hid, quaking, under a table.  This week she is still nervous to go back to nursery in case he walks through the door again.  I am looking at the positive.  She will likely never be a fan of scary movies.  Yippee!

Katrine missed out on a lot of the Halloween activities in her school due to concussion related issues; which seem to have resolved themselves (thank goodness).  She spent a large chunk of Halloween afternoon at home with her grandparents and I playing board games infront of the fire. I think that basking in a sea of undivided attention helped to take the sting out of missing out.

After a quick dinner, my mom, Glenn and I took them out in the drizzle trick or treating.  The girls had fun and came home with too much candy which is slowly being eaten.