January 28, 2011


Coming from someone so sick of snow storms that I have refused to pick up another shovel and have hibernated (so I don't have to keep driving in blizzards without snow tires).

How are we supposed to ENJOY the snow if we cannot drive to the ski slopes . . . or even drive to the grocery store for more hot chocolate??

January 18, 2011

Ten Months

This was the month that Livvie really came alive. She refuses to sleep on the go (making church so much fun for mom), loves to play with everything (including the dog's water bowl and vent covers), she finds endless "food" hidden in carpets . . . and sometimes attached to Guillermo's behind. (Sick!! I fear we have a Jackson, Jr in female form.)

Liv also figured out that her 27-point turns were really inefficient and exhausting. In fact, I think she discovered that rolling was kind of inefficient too since she is a bit bottom heavy. I often wondered how she got from one side of the house to the other so quickly when one day I saw her new trick.

Our house is mostly tile and wood, so she has figured out that if she takes her socks off and lays on her back she can lift her bum up slightly and push herself across. (It's way less effort than rolling, and apparently so much more fun!) Her little springing action reminded me of the water bugs I used to study on our streams as a child. She would sit there for a few minutes and then, BAM, she would glide off. Sit for a minute, and then BAM, again.

This month she gave me a blissful 11 hours of sleep a night. Perhaps it was teething that kept her up all those other weeks. (But the 11 hours didn't last too long, another set of teeth came in. Boo.)

She has obviously been watching mom because she will grab hair brushes, bananas, cell phones and hold them up to her ear and start babbling.

Liv had her first taste of cake at Uncle Drew's birthday. Brownie caramel cheesecake. Boy did she ever go WILD. Her crazy canary-Celine Dion-on-crack screaming came out of the wood work until she got her fill. (I think we know which kind of birthday cake she will be expecting come February.)

Overall, she is still a delight and such a fun little ball of smiles . . . and laughs. I just can't help squeezing and kissing her.

Beat the Clock

Meal times are notoriously frustrating with Jackson.

He is just SO picky. Truly, I can totally sympathize with him since I remember sitting at the kitchen table for hours and hours, trying to outlast the siege that my mom inflicted over me not eating my potato pancakes. (It was something about the texture of the shredded potato that made me want to vomit every time it touched my tongue . . . and yet now, I willingly order hash browns or shredded potato dishes.)

However, lately it has gotten really out of hand. He will not eat anything, not even dishes he asked me to make.

So, last Sunday (after days of fighting over stew) I got fed up. He had requested spagetti, and since the long noodles are so hard for them to eat, I made gnochi (they taste the exact same as pasta) with tomato sauce. He didn't even taste it. Yet he refused to eat it.

I tried threatening him that he would stay home when everyone else went to Grandma's.

He said it was fine, just call the babysitter for him.

I told him that if he didn't eat it now it would be presented before him any time he was hungry until he ate it. Even if it was three days from now.

He said, "Fine."

And then a light bulb went off. Instead of force feeding him, I set the oven timer for 10 minutes. He needed to eat everything on his plate before the buzzer went off. Because, if the buzzer went off and there was still food left, he would get another two gnochi. I termed the game, "Beat the Clock" and even made a cheer for him.

The buzzer did go off. And there were about six gnochi left, so two more joined them. I set the clock again, for five minutes this time and warned him that if his plate wasn't empty he'd get another three. (There was some serious motivation to down all those dumplings! I even told him that if he was chewing one, he might as well be chewing three.)

However, eating them by the teensiest, tiniest mouse bites, brought him to three left when the buzzer went off. So three more went on, and the timer was set for 5 minutes. Jayden and Avery got in on the cheering. And, all things considered, Jackson was actually beginning to eat like a human . . . even one who maybe didn't mind his food.

I was patting myself on the back for such an ingeneous idea, all while folding laundry and tending to three other kids simultaneously. And the buzzer was about to go off when . . .


The clock back fired.

On me since I was the one who had to peel vomit soaked jeans off my five year old and scrub the floors.

I haven't played "Beat the Clock" since, but the kids have often talked about it. (Avery calls it, "Eat the Clock.") If nothing else, at least Jackson has horrible memories of the game and has been eating a bit better ever since.

Early Childhood Education

We take it seriously.

Very seriously.

And our mantra is, "It's never too early to start learning."

All kidding aside, this is Avery's favourite book. She carries it around with her everywhere. And, last night I found her asleep, after what seemed like a hefty cramming session.