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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog

.Thanks, everyonereding following my blog!  Happy new year!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Busy day out with the kids. Decided to take a chance and drive out to Hamilton. Breakfast at McDonalds was great and off we went. Roads were a little slushy and slippery so the drive took a little longer. V fell asleep and napped for an hour while Z played on the iTouch with his headphones. The Hamilton Children’s Museum was small but cute. I guess I was expecting something bigger. It was quiet and there were not a lot of kids there but Z and V had fun.

Lunch was at Zum Linzer – an Austrian German restaurant. The food was good though the kids didn’t eat much. The apple strudel was delish! Oh and Z had to use the potty for #2 and thank goodness M packed the portable foldable potty seat. Just before that M had to change V’s diaper on top of a chest freezer – not baby-friendly.

The drive back was much better and this time, both kids fell a sleep, even though it was a short one. We had about 45 min of quiet in the car. Just the noise of the car and the kids snoring – well, Z was.


Do you find that despite the abundance in toys that your toddler still wants to just play with technology? Yesterday, we stayed home all day and had a playdate. So I encouraged Z to play with his PlayDoh set and he did. His favorite thing is to cut pieces up like he is a chef and toss them into a bowl. See all the prep bowls he has laid out? He learned that from watching Jamie Oliver podcasts.

Our little girl is a very headstrong and determined little person. Ever since she has made the connection that she can do some things herself, she’s been protesting vocally if we try to do it for her. Feeding. Brushing her teeth. Putting on her pants.

Speaking of putting on her pants, she must have spent a good 5 minutes trying to put on the pants by herself. She’d get one leg in, take it off, and start all over again. Anytime M’s hands went near her to try and help, she’d wave them off with a look of frustration on her face, as if she was irritated.


Today was the first day we had a lot of snow – over 10 cm. We woke up to a thick white blanket of fluffy snow. I normally do not enjoy winter as I do not look forward to putting on layers of clothing. But for the sake of going outside and playing in the snow, I will do it. And that’s exactly what we did with the kids – we took them out to toboggan. One each in tow. It was a great workout. The kids had a blast and they were rosy-cheeked by the time we brought them back inside.



Today was the first day we had a lot of snow – over 10 cm.  We woke up to a thick white blanket of fluffy snow.  I normally do not enjoy winter as I do not look forward to putting on layers of clothing.  But for the sake of going outside and playing in the snow, I will do it.  And that’s exactly what we did with the kids – we took them out to toboggan.  One each in tow.  It was a great workout.  The kids had a blast and they were rosy-cheeked by the time we brought them back inside.


Apple to Orange

People say that once you have your second child, you will inevitably start to compare them.  It is true.  People also say  that the second-born is usually quieter and more patient.  In this case, not true.

When Z was the same age as V is now, he was a lot calmer and not as fully-developed in his gross and fine motor skills.  He was signing more but V understands way more than he did.  Z used to be a terrible sleeper and in fact, he had poorer sleep habits than V does.  At least V will let you know, if you ask her, if she is ready for bed.  And she usually is accurate. At 15 months of age, she drinks liquids from a cup without spilling, feeds herself with a fork and spoon, and tries to dress herself.

It is truly amazing what having an older sibling does to a younger one.  They observe and learn so much from them – even the not so good things, unfortunately.

In the sleep department, V is a much better sleeper than Z was.  It may  have to do with the fact that we sleep-trained her earlier (before 12 months) and it is sticking better.  Naps and bedtimes are never a struggle because she is almost always ready to go to sleep.  We stick to the same schedule as much as possible – 9am nap, 1pm nap, 7pm bedtime.  Works like magic!

Here is the funniest thing about V and her mimicking her older brother – she will stand in front of a potty, stick her belly and groin out as if to pee.  The best part is she lifts her shirt up just like she does.  I wish I had a picture to show you.


I thought I’d never venture out to a shopping mall, especially on Boxing Day. Never mind going with two kids in tow.

Our day started out late as V had some difficulty falling asleep for her nap. It was 10 minutes to 11am by the time we left the house. I was prepared with a packed lunch of chicken fingers, fish fingers, peas and corn, and clementines.

It has been a good while since we went to the Ontario Science Centre. Both kids had fun there – although they were each at separate stations most of the time. Z had the most fun at the water area of the kids park. He really enjoyed himself and it reminded me of the days when he was little and loved to play with water.

V was mesmerized by the me whimsical me handicap exhibition by . She just kept wanting to look at them and study them intently. I have to admit they are amazing works of art and great to just stare at.

After lunch we went to look at another section and our visit was ended by an accident. In the Galen Weston wing, where they have the projected snowflakes on the floor, a kid bumped into Z and hit him hard on the nose and just walked away. He was so upset that he told us, “next time when we come back, I don’t want to come to the snowflakes because someone bumped me.”. I don’t blame him. He does not forget.

On the way to the car, I had the sudden urge to drive out somewhere while the kids napped in the car – to go shopping. So we did. Except, neither one of them fell asleep in the car AND the mall parking lot was so busy AND the weather was frigid. Sadly, I stared to regret going there. (I was also stressing about their lack of sleep – which is never a good thing to do.)

M wore V in the Ergo baby carrier while Z sat in the stroller. After about 15 minutes she wanted to come to me so I took her and wore her in the carrier. (Secretly, I missed wearing her.) while at The Bay, she was asking to nurse so I lowered her in the carrier and secretly nursed her. Within a few minutes she fell asleep.

Not kidding at all, I was relieved. So relieved. At least of the kids was going to end up napping.

We found some deals, but the best one, by far, was a pair of Marvel shoes for Z. He was so happy about them. We got him size 8 so he could grow into them (and also because there wasn’t a smaller size.).

As for V, she slept for about 45 min while latching on the entire time I the carrier. It’s amazing because no one could tell she was nursing! I love it.

Around 4:15pm, we started heading out of the mall and during the drive back, Z was starting to get whiny (as I predicted from the lack of nap) and so I let him watch Diego on Netflix from my phone. We stopped by Swiss Chalet to grab dinner and ate it at home.

Needless to say, we have two exhausted kids who weren’t that hungry because they were more tired. V was happy to go to sleep at the regular time while Z was overtired and cranky. He wanted an apple with his books but M wasnt able to find one so he lost it. M ran out to a store to buy some and while he was gone, Z went hysterical about the fact that he wanted daddy to not leave. And that he “just wants strawberries” instead.

About 12-15 minutes later, M comes back and guess what, I checked the fruit drawer in the fridge and there was that green apple I pictured in my head – exactly the way it looked and where it was inside the drawer.

Oh well…


The problem with having a girl is the abundance of clothing. As I was going through V’s drawers and closet, I found a blouse from H&M that I’d purchased about 6 months ago. It was a peasant top with purple and pink print. I dressed her in that and a violet stirrup pant. So cute. She was trying to put on Chapstick.

We went over to my brother, Ken’s, for dinner. Winnie, Ed and the kids were visiting for a while. I’m actually very happy we came because it turned very well for Zander. He loved playing with Natalie because they were able to communicate at the same level – even though they are 2 yrs and 6 months apart. He was so enamoured by her that he didn’t want to leave at all. It was so nice to see him make a friend and play well with her.




Homemade Sarmale

Sometime in he summer, after our return from Amsterdam, I was inspired to make our own sauerkraut. It turned out a little too salty but after a quick rinse, it tastes great! Tonight, we are using it all up to make Sarmale, a Romanian-style cabbage roll dish.

M mixed the ground pork with his hand and is just rolling them into the cabbage leaves.

Here they are, snuggling tight in the crock pot. Perhaps that’s what we’ll have for Christmas morning.


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