Monday, March 30, 2009

Chinese Wedding Adventure

This weekend Darryl and I were invited to his friend, Corin's wedding. Darryl, Corin and his new wife Jessie all play volleyball together. So we were happy to attend their wedding. And I love an adventure. The day started at 11 with a church cermony. It was beautiful and I didn't think I would cry, but I did. I must be getting soft in my old age. Then their was a Chinese tea ceremony (which the non asian guest were not invited to) and then the reception. The reception was a a 12 course meal. I was super excited and had a great "eat till youwant to throw up" dress.

But it wasn't that kind of meal. No chicken balls, no beef and brocolli, no ginger beef. It was all more traditional Chinese food.

The menu

The first meat platter. Ham, beef and some squishy noodles.

This picture at the end was of everyone eating it: Scallops with walnuts and snow peas.
The famous crab balls. See the little "beak" sticking out, that is surrounded by crab seafood and then deep fried.

Chicken Shark Fin Soup. Took us some time to figure this out; was it chicken? shark? A small, scaredy shark?
The abalone (large sea snail) on top of large dense mushrooms and bok choy.
Lobster in a cream sauce (not enough butter)
The whole fish. That they de-headed and deboned at the table.

The rice, the only carbohydrated dish of the meal...

There was no dancing at the wedding (which made me sad, I love the dancing), but there was lots of different games. Here is a picture of one of them. The "non" asian men of the wedding party had to take a bunch of gross things like anchovies and mini crab and move them from a plate into a bowl. The key was they only had 10 seconds and could only use chops sticks.

Jessie in her red dress and Corin.


To have the bride and groom kiss you had to act it out and they would copy you or sing a snow, by yourself or as a group and they would kiss. If i knew them better I would be all over this (note to Alexis for when she gets married), but I don't so I left it. But one of his brothers got up and him and his daugther and wife sang "the more we get together". It was so cute. But Corin and Jessie asked how they were suppose to kiss, they needed something to copy. So the brother picks up his little 2 year old and gives her a big raspberry on the belly. Everyone laughed like crazy waiting for Corin to give Jessie a big raspberry on her belly - which he didn't.

It was a fun adventure.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn


Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Capture: Week 5

Quite a few of the blogs I read are participating in Beth's weekly photo challenge. I also love taking pictures so decided to participate this week as well. This week the theme was reflection. Here's a picture of Nathan looking at the picture of my Grandma.



Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last Days of Winter (hopefully)

WInter in Calgary is never ending. It always seems to take forever for it to leave. We often have snow in April or May. Don't feel too bad for us though. We also have lots of warm days in the middle of the winter.

But here are some shots of the boys and Emma enjoying the last of the snow.
The kids playing on the toboggan hill. Darryl just went down it.


Lucas and Torin watching the kids outside.

Darryl may enjoy it all the most.

Lucas and Auntie Karen blowing bubbles.


Emma in the snow.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sleeping Baby... or not

Nathan does not have the best sleep habits. Lucas had excellent sleeping habits. I'm sure it all has to do with the different ways I"m parenting. With Lucas we were much more by the book. We were consistent with letting him cry it out. I read the Ferber books, followed what he said and Lucas turned out to be a great sleeper.

With Nathan we rock him to sleep all the time. If he crys at night we go to him. Can he sleep through the night - yep. He's done it maybe 10 times. But usually he wakes up. Naps he goes down great. I lay him down he rolls over and goes to sleep, but in the night, it doesn't work that way.

So now that I've gone back to work, it may be necessary to let him cry more. I've been trying to enjoy rocking him to sleep in my arms because I know when I blink he will be 2 and won't fall asleep in my arms. I'm just not sure when I'm going to draw that line....

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Monday, March 23, 2009

Working Girl

The problem with working is how little I get to see my kids. The weirdest part of today was that I only saw Lucas and Nathan for 2 hours. They were so tired at bed time, they fell asleep so quickly. If got to keep thinking quality not quantity.

Work was good a little frazzled, I need some more time to get my work hat back on again.

But my time with them went my so fast.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Self Confidence

One of the things I am looking forward to with going back to work is gaining some of my self confidence again. Being a full time mother has some really wonderful parts but I find it takes a hit to my self confidence. There are so many mothers around and everyone is doing something different and .... better. No eating things off the floor, no making a mess and keeping a house spick and span. And although there are great times with the kids, there can be really difficult times. Being a mother is the hardest job. It's hard to know what the correct thing is to do as they grow, or don't sleep at night.

Where at work, I am really good at what I do. If things are going wrong with 1 student there are 30 more who are doing well. Besides very few people do what I do so even if I'm doing it wrong, there are not thousands of others who are doing it different and making me question what I am doing.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be feeling like I am really good at something again.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

But

Did that title make you laugh? I bet it would make Lucas laugh.

One of the thing I forgot to mention in Lucas's last monthly newsletter is his favorite word: but. When he is feeling in a silly mood "but" is the but of every joke. (ha ha)

Knock, Knock
Who's There
But
But Who
I'm going to get your but.

Or stories are about buts.

Once upon a time there was a airplane and a helicopter.
They went to a store and saw a bare but.

Sometimes there is just gibberish that includes but

Spinky the spinky but
Torin has a furry but.

Ahh it will be nice to have some adult conversation tomorrow but.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I Love the Barenaked Ladies Reason.... 147 & 148

Free Music... they are giving away their latest concert for free. Click here for the link to it.


And Ed's Up. With caving to buy TSN to watch curling the Outdoor Life Network was included, so we've been watching Ed's show. He is so funny.

Yeah for the BNL

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last Days

This is the last week of my maternity leave and the weather is just turning to be beautiful. We have been quite busy with guests this week, but we have been spending lots of time outside. Today we played hopscotch and blew bubbles with our big bubble wand. Yesterday we dressed in green and made made St. Patricks day cupcakes. Every morning we've been up around 8am, relaxing and playing. It has been lovely. Almost makes me think I could be a stay at home mom. I think I'm feeling more calm about going back to work then last time. But still trying to enjoy the last week of our year.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monthly Newsletter - Month Forty Three

Dear Lucas,

Well this month went from things being horrible to things being really good. It started off with some hard times where we didn't know when we were going to get through them, but it seems to be getting a better.

Earlier this month you had some trouble controlling your emotions. You would get so upset and we wouldn't be able to reason with you. We've been lucky that we haven't have any episodes like that in a couple of weeks. It seems to be that if you are starting to get to upset, we can reason with you and get you to see that gettin upset is not the answer. Not that you are perfect with dealing with your emotions, but it seems to be that you are able to control them better.



You don't like it when I take your picture, so everypicture this month seems to be with you on the run.



You have started "reading" books to either me or Nathan. Your favortie are the kind that teach "words". I am amazed at how much you know. Every month I discover more about what you know. Whter it's that you can count into the 20's or can identify words that start with almost every letter. You are doing really well. Mommy is so proud of you.




Another blip we had with you this month was your sleeping. We have trained you to be a pretty good sleeper. Ever since you were a baby we have followed the book with your sleeping, and you have always been such a good sleeper. But this month there the time change and it seems to have made a challenge for all of us and our sleep. For about a week you would fall asleep in the weirdest places. One night as Dad and I went upstairs and I went in to check on you, Dad followed me in and we both tried to find where you had fallen asleep. It ended up being beside your bookcase, but it took us a while to find you. One week at about 5:30 in the morning, you would come in and snuggle with me. I loved it. It's over now, but for the week it was a highlight.




You have become quite fond of the animals again. For the last couple of years you have been kind of impartial to them or annoyed with them when they bothered you. But in the last month, Tigger seems have taken quite a liking to you. I think when you were falling asleep on the floor she would snuggle in with you and you kept her warm. So you are in her good books forever. =)



I have also noticed you growing into a boy this month. Most of the time when we play it's still neighboors or we are going in a car somewhere. It is very fun and innocent. But the more time you spend with other boys, the more you become interested in "boy" stuff. Grammie asked you to paint a picture for her fridge. So later that week we got out the messy paints and went to it. When we were done and I asked you what you had painted you said it was a bullet. I asked you what a bullet was and you talked about how it goes around and around. You don't understand what all this "bad guy" stuff is, but you are exploring.

Luckily you have also been hanging out with your dad. He has been doing lots of work in the basement and you have been helping. He bought you your own hammer and you are perfecting your hammering skills.



It has been amonth of ups and downs, there were times this month when we thought of abandoning you at a c-train station when you threw a hissy fit and there are other times when I've wanted to quit my job becuase I can't imagine leaving you to go to work. Where you give me hugs and kisses and tell me you really really really really love me

and Lucas I really really really really love you too

love mommy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

You Know You Are PMS'ing when

Tonight Lucas and I are laying in bed talking about our favorite, least favorite and last favorite parts of the day.

I gave mine: playing hopscotch with Lucas and Shaun, Nathan crying and what a good boy he was this evening.

Lucas's favorite part of the day was when I wasn't mad. I didn't think it was that bad of the day, but guess I was wrong. His least favorite part was jumping on one foot during hopscotch and his last favorite part was saying our favorite parts.

One a postive note someone else perfect some of his concert going skills.
video

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Love This Place

Today we were lucky enough to have nice weather (although you'll see by the pictures, not that nice) and it was Fun Day Friday so we were off to the zoo. We haven't been there since the baby elephant had died and I forgot how much I love that place.

We Here are some picture highlights.


How often can you get your son, a hippo and a giraffe all in the same picture.


The baby giraffe


Close up, with zoom lens


A beautiful elephant. Thanks Darryl for the zoom lens


Lucas, Nathan and a tiger.


A pig - oops we didn't see that at the zoo. =)


Parrots showing some love.... or hate, not sure which


A cool shot of the hippo.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trust

I had a conversation with a friend of mine tonight about training your dog. When we got Emma, Darryl and I took classes to train our dog, because we had no idea. We didn't know about kenneling your dog or giving them treats right away. We learned so much. Although it has taken lots of work we really trust that dog... here's an example.

Last night we had stew for dinner and Nathan had a peice of the steak in his hand. We were trying to teach him how to give it to Emma. So he put his hand down beside his highchair and Emma licked his fingers which made him laugh. Then he opened his fingers and Emma took the meat from his hand. So yeah we trust our dog.


Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Too Harsh?

Lucas has a love/not love relationship with his brother. (we don't really use the word hate in this house- it may sound stupid, but I don't really like that word, think it's too harsh, although that's not the point of the title of this post.. anyway) He love to make him laugh, he loves to play peek a boo. He loves to go in after his nap and bounce in his bed with him. But the more and more Nathan is mobile the harder it is for Lucas to share all of his toys with Nathan. It was getting ridiculous. Every toy Nathan was playing with Lucas would grab out of his hands. This would make Nathan scream and cry. I would console Nathan and get Lucas to give back the toy. Two minutes later this would happen again and we would be doing it all again. We tried to talk to him about trading toys with Nathan, because Nathan is not that picky. But he would grab the toy from Nathan and then when Nathan would cry, he'd throw some random toy at him.

So on Monday I was so frustrated with Lucas's lack of patience and respect. That I warned him the next time he took a toy from Nathan that toy was going in the garbage. And of course it happened. So there was one of his monster trucks going in the garbage. He cried and cried. He went down stairs and talked to Darryl. Before going to bed he named it as his least favorite thing of the day.

So was it too harsh?

It certainly was effective. I haven't had to throw out and more toys.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recommends

Darryl and I have run into some great things lately and I thought I would share them with you.

First our friends recommend a movie to us. We don't usually watch movies as I find we have so many shows on our PVR, but these friends watch lots of movies and highly recommeneded Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I had heard about it because Penelope Cruz won an oscar for it. But didn't really know anything about it. Basically it's a movie about two women Vicky and Cristina who go to Barcelona for a summer. Moreso I think it's a movie about love and what you want in life. Darryl and I talked about it for quite a while after. And it made us want to travel to Spain. So if you are a movie lover or even if you like a movie that makes you think, give this one a try.
The same friends made me nachos that night and used Multigrain Tostitos. We had bought them once before and I love them. They are much more flavorful then regular Tositios. I looked into it and they are not that much more healthier, but they taste so much better.
And last but not least, Darryl and I are fans of Thai food. We love the Thai Sa-on. I don't really like their spicy food, but enjoy the variety of flavors. Green curry, coconut rice. As going out is not always easy we have tried to find a good green curry and this week we did. This week we tried Green Curry Sauce from Presidents Choice. and it was excellent. I'm hoping to have it again in a day or two. The other "cool" thing we did was the way to make our coconut rice. We like to cheat and make minute rice. So rather then adding water to it we added coconut milk and a bit of lime juice. It was delicious!

I hope you enjoy some of these things as much as we do.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Maybe.... It'll All Be Okay



I really like Jim's vocals in Steve's part.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Monday, March 09, 2009

Nathan's Monthly Newsletter: Month Eleven

Dear Nathan,

Welcome to the last month before you are a year old. Welcome to the last couple of weeks of mommy being home with you full time. Really these are such great months. You are interactive you can move. But you still sleep and you have a good schedule. You still sleep through the night (most of the time) and we can go out and do fun things everyday. You like to be mobile, so when I am picking where to go, I try to incorporate you moving. For example I don't really plan long visits to the mall, where you have to sit in the stroller.


For months your favorite face has been the "O" face. Everytime you see something new or cool you make the O face. I'm sure you learned it from us, as I notice myself doing a similar thing.



You are learning how to drink from a sippy cup. Sometimes it's upside down and you are drinking air, but you are starting to get the hang of it. You are also getting better at holiding the bottle up yourself. Eating is also going well. You are getting better at getting things in your mouth but you still love to play with your food and make a huge mess.



Your nap schedule has been great that month (although not today). You are good about going down for 2 naps a day. Nightimes are still a little bit sketchy. But it's getting much better.


Along with the dancing that has continued from last month, you have done lots of talking and screaming. you love music, especially rock. You like to ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, to get our attention. Sometimes you are loud and sometimes you are not.




You smile and laugh ALOT. It's easy to make you happy. Which means you have been a little jipped this year of life when you have nothing to say. I think you've had two new toys this whole year, where Lucas got about a hundred his first year. The good thing is all his old toys are like new toys to you.
video

While downstairs "helping" Daddy this weekend you found Lucas's old red car. So we brought it up for you and here you are enjoying it.

I love you baby. Your smile makes my day. At these times you convince me I should have one more baby. I love the smiles and the laughs and the interaction. I love kissing your big cheeks and big raspberries on your belly to make you laugh.

love mommy.