Monday, December 17, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas

Its been a whirlwind the last few weeks. Been busy getting ready for Christmas and working on some last minute projects. Here are some pictures below of what we've been upto lately.

We went to the Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade...and we'll probably never go again. It was awful, a few marching bands (which was the highlight) and then just tons of advertisers and local businesses walking the parade....finally an hour or so later, Santa shows up, gives a wave and is gone. The worst part was that it was freezing that day and Lauren's nose was running a marathon. At least we were some what shielded from the wind as we sat watching from the back of my car.



We went to storytime with Santa at the Eaton Centre last weekend. The girls loved it and Lauren actually paid attention when Santa was reading the book. Kayla insisted on wearing pink shoes (i wanted her to wear black shoes). Now looking at the picture, she probably does have better fashion sense than me!


This past weekend, the girls made gingerbread cookies and cake pops. Lauren helped with cookie cutting and rolling and of course sampling. Kayla enjoyed eating the leftover sprinkles.







On a crafty note, I found a great way of reusing old Christmas cards from the realtors, financial advisors, dentists who use Christmas as a way to "keep in touch". I've converted them into gift tags!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Photo Shoot @ Home

A decorated tree, matching outfits, sticker earrings, a nice array of natural sunlight, and a lot of patience, singing and bribery (raisins for Lauren), I quickly snapped a few pictures of Kayla and Lauren this past Sunday in a 45 minute photo shoot. It was definitely a challenge to keep Lauren's attention and to get her to crack a smile in front of the camera but thank goodness for the continuous shooting mode, she's bound to flash her pearly whites sooner or later, especially when you bribe her with raisins.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Random Rambling

Lauren is continuing to increase her vocalizations daily and is becoming more communicative with her family. She is finally doing some nice shared joint attention and is showing better understanding and comprehension of following simple directions. I'm reducing my direct points (e.g. I will often point to her shoes when I say "Lauren put on your shoes") and I am noticing she is still able to successfully carry out the action.  PECs is continuing to go well. We are still on phase 3 with single pictures but the school has now fully incorporated PECs into her class and she is using pictures to request not only snacks, but activities as well. The next step will be to start bringing the PEC binder outside of the house and having Lauren work with other adults and children, i.e. exchanging cards. . Its such a drag, lugging around a binder full of cards - but it must be done! I also think it would be nice for other kids to see and understand that there are different ways of communicating and that verbal speech is only one method. Maybe we'll start with the cousins...

November has been busy. The girls are exhausted with late nights and early mornings - birthday parties, housewarming parties, play dates and some shopping. We look forward to this weekend where we don't have much on our schedule.

Kayla and Lauren are enjoying their swimming lessons on Tuesday nights. Kayla is learning to do back and front floats and is now extremely comfortable in the water on her own. Lauren is in Parent and Tot with Steve and is also becoming more comfortable in the water . She loves to kick and splash and and is finally more willing to lie on her back in the water.

I've been busy "crafting" these days. A good friend lent me a sewing machine and I sewed my first project - ballerina dolls, with tutu and ballet slippers. Having not used a sewing machine since grade 7, I endlessly watched youtube videos of how to thread the machine and bobbin. For the dolls, I downloaded the pattern from Dolls & Daydreams, bought the suggested material, and started sewing away. It was a learning curve trying to control the foot pedal and trying not to loose control of the sewing machine. The first doll took me a few weeks working on and off each night, but once I got the hang of it, the next 2 dolls were much faster to complete.

My house is a mess so in effort to organize some of the crap, I've turned to mason jars. A few yards of twine (dollar store), cardstock tags (Michaels), mason jars (Canadian Tire) and Kayla and I created jars for hers to organize all her arts and craft items. I also created similar jars for my own room for pens and coins.

My kids have not grown since last winter. Lauren and Kayla are both able to wear the exact same jacket as last winter - this is actually a good thing given Lauren's jacket cost me a small fortune. Mostly everything from last winter still fits now, including pjs and socks. Lauren is still in size 2 and Kayla is in 4 going on  5 for some items. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Growing Up Kayla

My baby girl Kayla is growing up. This is her usual sleeping pose below, thumb in mouth, blankie in hand. The blankie, a sleep sack, has been with Kayla since she was about 9 months old. She has never missed a sleep without this blanket at her side. Kayla is now 5.5 years old.

Up until quite recently, Kayla couldn't sleep without either soothers. Last year we tried having Santa send her a "magic" glove that she could wear at night to remind her not to suck her thumb, accompanied by a letter that said she was getting to be a big girl and shouldn't be sucking on her thumb - and of course that didn't work. Kayla wanted to stop sucking her thumb, she even told me she wanted to, but she said she just couldn't stop. Kayla told me how it would take her a lot longer to fall asleep at night because all she would do was think about how much she wanted to suck her thumb. Since I couldn't bare to have her lose sleep over it (she is only just 5),  I reluctantly told her to go back to her thumb sucking for now and we'd figure something out together later on. How do you help a lifelong thumb sucker stop?

So I googled around and found physical contraptions for the thumb, pj's with nubbed sleeves, and repellant spray for the thumb. None looked promising.

Last month, Steve took Kayla to the dentist who commented that Kayla was getting an overbite and would need braces because her front teeth were starting to protrude due to the thumb sucking. The dentist told Kayla she should stop sucking her thumb.... And so she did. We aren't sure what happened, but the dentist told her to stop and Kayla just stopped on her own. I think maybe having a third party tell her to stop sucking her thumb struck a chord with her. Later on Kayla told me her secret is to put her hand underneath her pillow while she sleeps such that she can't suck her thumb. Now why didn't I think of that?

Coincidentally around the same time, Kayla's blankie went missing for almost a week. We searched the entire house looking for her blankie and because it was nowhere to be found, she ended up having to go to sleep without it. One night turned into two nights turned into a week. Finally when we found it during the weekly folding of the laundry (it had gotten tangled inside a bed sheet), Kayla was happy to see it and the thumb sucking returned. Obviously the blankie and the thumb sucking were self perpetuating each other at night.

A few days later we "lost" the blankie again. Surprisingly, Kayla only asked for the blankie the first night and has since seemed to have forgotten about it. And the thumb sucking has stopped.

Its now been about 2 weeks. The blankie is hidden in my closet and every day I tell her I am so proud that she no longer sucks her thumb. I know its such a hard habit to break as I sucked my thumb for a very long time as well. I feel bad that I've hidden her blankie from her as its been with her for so long, but she doesn't seem to really need it anymore - she's growing up......maybe I'll start sleeping with it as it reminds me of my Kayla as a baby.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Weekend At Wonderland

Making full use of our Canada's Wonderland season's pass, we took the girls this past weekend for their last visit to the park. It was a bit wet, but they had fun going on the Halloween treasure hunt, going though the haunted house and just splashing around in the puddles. The park was very empty and Steve managed to hop on some roller coaster rides with no wait and the girls jumped ride to ride, even staying on their favourite rides for an extra turn. Steve has become a carnival game junkie and took his first attempt at climbing the rope ladder....and would you believe it, on his first try, he was a WINNER! Thank goodness they gave him a choice of a huge stuffed animal or a MP3 player.

Kayla learned the poem at school and wanted to share it with us. We all think the poem is hilarious and her depiction of the poem is cute.

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