Monday, March 31, 2008

No More Soccer Mom

Darcy had her final soccer class this past weekend. As with ballet the parents got to sit in on the class and watch everything the kids learned. She really seemed to have a blast with the soccer.

This was an hour long class and she seemed to be really losing interest by the end of the hour. I asked her about it later (because the teachers always told us she did well in class) and she said she was just excited to have us there. She kept pointing Wesley out to the teachers and her friends or stopping to wave at us. They did a few little soccer skills games and then played a game of soccer (with really no rules and no positions, just a bunch of kids running after the ball). During the skills games she did great but during the soccer game she preferred to hold hands with another girl and run around usually in the opposite direction from the ball. At one point she was involved in a game of ring around the rosy.

Her next swimming lessons are at the same time as the next soccer session so she's taking a bit of a break from soccer. Only ballet and swimming now.

Wesley now has two teeth and that still seems to be affecting his sleep. One night over the weekend he had me up three times (twice before Nick even got home from work!). He's such a happy little guy during the day whether he sleeps well or not, but I'm not and neither is Darcy. His wakefulness is keeping her up and that's making her pretty cranky some days.

Nick worked from 3 -12 last night so the kids and I were on our own for dinner. Something had spilled over in my oven the other day and when I was making supper last night it started to smoke and set off the smoke alarm. Wesley doesn't like loud noises and this started him crying and I had a hard time settling him down. When I was cleaning up after supper he was still crying in his high chair and Darcy told me she had to use the bathroom. I sent her downstairs while I finished up in the kitchen. She had barely gotten down there when I heard her screaming for me. I went running downstairs and found that she had fallen in the toilet. She forgot to put her potty seat down and fell right in. It was hard not to laugh. I got her cleaned up and meanwhile Wesley is still crying in his high chair. I finally got them both settled down and in bed. Fun times!

Friday, March 28, 2008

They Match!

A lot of people have told me in recent days how much Wesley looks like Darcy. I wasn't convinced, I just see them as two different babies. Here are pictures that seem to show that everyone is right. Each was taken about 7 months. Darcy is eating peas and Wesley is eating carrots. What do you think?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ballet Videos

I seem to be having better luck with the videos today. In some of them you can hear some of Nick's commentary, accompanied by my chuckles. In the last one, notice first the fact that Darcy is completely facing the wrong direction when her turn starts. The she "skips" across the floor. Her friend Alisa then takes her turn and you see something much closer to skipping. Then the whole class does it together and you see Darcy clearly in her own little world. In the second one you can see that one of these things is not like the others. Darcy is completely doing her own thing. I hope you can also see how much fun she's having!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ballerina Girl

Darcy's first session of ballet ended last night. On the last night the parents are invited to sit in the classroom and watch what the kids learned. Only one word can really describe our experience there last night: hilarious!.

The city of Windsor offers four sessions of programs throughout the year and this past winter session we had Darcy enrolled in 3 things, swimming, ballet and soccer. We found three things to be a bit much so we decided that for the spring session we would only do two things. The next level of swimming classes is at the same time as the soccer class she had been in so we got rid of soccer. She's doing ballet with her best friend, Alisa, too so that was another reason why we wanted to keep up the ballet. After seeing last night's show we think we should have stuck with soccer!

We know that Darcy isn't the most graceful girl around and that was proven to us last night. Maybe she's been too exposed to Nick's running but she seemed to feel everything was a race last night. Whenever the teacher asked the girls to do one movement or another from one wall to the other Darcy was usually the first one across but she wasn't necessarily doing anything close to what the teacher had asked. I think she may have been a little distracted having us there but it was still pretty clear that she's not going to be the next Karen Kain. All that being said, it looked like she was having a ball and she had no idea that she wasn't doing things exactly right. She felt like she's the best ballerina in the world and I guess that's what matters. She also seemed to be the chattiest girl in the class (no surprise there, Sue Junior) and interrupted a couple of times with some tidbits of wisdom for the teacher. The teacher turned on some music from "Aladdin" and Darcy had to let everyone know she had watched "Aladdin" that day. Then when they were doing some turning she asked, "Miss Laura have you ever seen a spin like this?" Probably not because it wasn't even close to what Miss Laura had asked them to do! Funny, funny stuff.

I've been trying all afternoon to add some videos but it's not working. I'll try to get them added at some point.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Weekend Update

Thanks for all your comments (and the several emails) about the home renovation job. To those of you who have suggested painting the panelling, that's not really a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, it is textured and wouldn't paint well. Secondly it wasn't put up well and there are some gaps that aren't that noticeable with the panelling but would be really noticeable if it was painted.

We had a wonderful Easter weekend and I hope you did too. Nick's parents arrived from Montreal on Friday afternoon and stayed until Monday morning. Wesley was a little shy around them at first, but warmed up quickly. Darcy couldn't wait until they walked up the door. They called to say they were about half an hour away and Darcy wanted to wait by the door until they got to the house. We had a nice dinner out on Friday night, did a lot of shopping on Saturday, then church and a turkey dinner on Sunday. There was even some curly bread involved. Delicious.

I didn't take very many pictures over the weekend and I'm really disappointed I didn't get one of Darcy in her Easter dress. I'll have to get her to wear it again soon (there won't be any argument from her) so I can post it here. So cute. I bought the dress at Winners and the brand name was "Cinderella". I think that was Darcy's favourite part of the dress. She was disappointed on Sunday morning that I had cut off the big cardboard tag with the picture of Cinderella's carriage on it.

There were a few tears yesterday when Grandmaman and Papa drove away. She thinks we need to go visit all of her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another

Oh the joys of home ownership!

When we bought our house we really liked almost everything about it. We liked the neighbourhood, the street, the house itself, that sort of thing. One thing we didn't like was this terrible panelling someone had thought to put up all over the house at some point. It's terrible stuff. I won't even post a picture I despise it so much.

We got rid of it in the dining room in the first year we were here (I say "we" although I was in Dallas when the work was done) but the panelling remains in the foyer, up the stairs and in the upstairs hallway.

My thought for a nice little pick-me up spring project this year was that we could take down the panelling and paint those areas. I thought the biggest problem would be chosing a paint colour. Then I discussed it with Nick and he saw things a bit differently, probably a bit more clearly. There is a lot of wood trip on top of the panelling that would need to come off. No problem. What I didn't realize is that going up the stairs the carpet has been attached to the baseboard so the carpet would need to come off the stairs and out of the upstairs hallway in order to get the panelling off. That means the hardwood under the carpet would need to be refinished as well. If you're going to refinish the hardwood on the stairs, then you've really got to do it all over the main floor too. If you're going to refinish the floors under the carpet in the upstairs hallway then what about the bedroom floors too? And how do you do messy hardwood refinishing with a baby in the house? We'd need to move out for a week.

So my thoughts of a little project have developed into a major job that probably isn't going to happen. I guess we get to look at the panelling for a little while longer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where Did It Go?

Wesley's tooth has disappeared. It was there last week and now it's gone. I have no idea when it will be back. In the meantime he is giving us a bit of trouble about sleeping. He used to be able to settle himself to sleep but now he freaks out whenever he's in his crib. We have to rock him to sleep. He's also not napping. At all. That's pretty frustrating. A little boy needs to nap for more than 10 minutes a day (in two 5 minute segments).

Darcy's first word was "da-da". I was determined that Wesley's first word would be "ma-ma". No luck. He's "da-da-da"-ing all over the place. Nick called from work this morning and Wesley sat in his chair saying, "da-da-da-da" the whole time I was on the phone. Punk.

Darcy is doing great. She finished her swimming lessons yesterday and did great again. She'll be starting the next level in April. She's really excited about Grandmaman and Papa coming to visit this weekend for Easter but was disappointed to find out that Auntie Stef wouldn't be joining them. She is really anxious to be outside playing but the weather has been too wet and miserable for that. We took a short walk the other day but she got cold pretty quickly and wanted to go back home.

The crocuses are starting to poke through in my front yard so I know spring can't be far away!

Friday, March 14, 2008

If it Wasn't For the Dental Plan I Wouldn't Have Old Chopper Here

I got a surprise while feeding Wesley his lunch today. His first tooth has poked through! He hasn't been settling down to sleep very well this week so maybe that's why. I'm not overly thrilled at the prospect because I'm still nursing him. Not cool.

It's incredible how our two kids can be so different in some ways but so alike in other ways. Darcy's first tooth came 3 days before her 7 month birthday. This is 7 days before Wesley's 7 month birthday. Pretty much identical.

Now he's just woken up early from his nap. Maybe his tooth hurts!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Customer Service

Several months ago my cousin Krista introduced me to the Green Beaver company, a Canadian company making all-natural personal care items. Their products can be hard to find but I tried their grapefruit and aloe facial cleanser and loved it. I got my first tube while we were in Cambridge in the fall and it has lasted me since then.

While looking for the products in Windsor I was told by my local Nutrition House store that they don't carry the products in the store but that they could order them for me. So when I was getting near the end of my cleanser I went in and asked if they could order it. There was a young girl working by herself. She said she didn't know how to do that but she took my information and said she'd check with the manager and call me back the next day. No call came. I was back at the mall a week later so I went to see what was going on. Nothing had been done with my original request so they told me they'd look after it right away. Two weeks go by and I go back to the store again. This time the assistant manager was there and she was pretty rude to me saying that no one had called head office yet to see if the product could even be ordered but that she'd do it right away. I asked why I should believe that when I'd already been told that twice and nothing had happened. Her response was, "I don't know what to tell you." I left the store.

I emailed the head office of the chain and let them know what had happened. A week went by and I heard nothing in response to my email. Needless to say I was pretty disgusted with Nutrition House. Two days ago I got a parcel in the mail. It was from Nutrition House. It contained a hand-written letter of apology, an explanation of how their special order system has been revised because of problems like this, 2 tubes of Green Beaver facial cleanser ($15 each) as well as $20 in gift certificates for my next purchase in the store.

I was impressed. No one tried to pass the buck, they took responsibility for their crummy service and showed that they want my business. My only thought would be that someone at the head office should have at least responded to my email to let me know they were acting on my concerns. So I will give them another try. In the meantime I've got $30 in free cleanser to use, plus $20 more stuff to buy. Sweet!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Haircut

I finally got Nick to agree to getting Wesley's haircut. I've been wanting to do it for months but Nick took some convincing. I was getting frustrated after a few weeks of trying to get cereal and vegetables out of his hair. The final straw for Nick was the other night when Wesley wouldn't go to sleep and was lying in his bed screaming, seemingly in pain. Nick went in to check on him and he had a big handful of hair that he was pulling really hard. There's a place here in Windsor that specializes in babies' first haircuts. They have cute little chairs for the kids to sit in, or a motorcycle for big boys and a horse-drawn carriage for bigger girls (Darcy wasn't going to get her haircut today but ended up getting a little trim while sitting in the carriage). Wesley is still young enough that he didn't sit in any of the chairs but ended up sitting on my lap. He was perfect through the whole thing and barely moved at all. She even used clippers at the end to even out the edges and he didn't flinch. Darcy had a bigger problem when we first walked in the door and she saw the little kitten they let run around the store. I guess most kids like that. Darcy screamed. The poor little kitten was terrified and so was Darcy. Lucky got to spend the rest of our visit in his cage. Not so lucky after all.

Anyway, here are the before and after pictures.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toy Story Trauma

I've talked here before about Darcy's passion for Disney movies recently. Her favourites are "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin". She'd watch them several time a day if we'd let her. I'm trying to mix things up a bit so over the weekend I suggested that she try "Toy Story". I got out the Toy Story DVD I've had for years and when I opened the case the DVD was cracked. So, no "Toy Story". Darcy was pretty pumped about seeing a toy movie so we tried "Toy Story 2". She was sucked in right from the beginning.

There was one part I forgot about though. The character, Jessie, sings a song about how she had been owned by a little girl named Emily. At first Emily loved Jessie and played with her all the time, but then Emily grew up and stopped playing with Jessie. The song ends with Emily putting Jessie in a donation box, leaving it at the side of the road and then driving away. As soon as that happened, Darcy turned to me with her eyes filled with tears. "Why is she driving away? What about Jessie?" It quickly escalated to all-out wailing. She said she was scared but I think she just didn't know how to express what she was really feeling.

She ended up watching the rest of the movie on my lap. I told her we could turn it off, but she wanted to keep watching. At the end she promised her toys that she would always love them and take care of them.

She's asked to watch the movie again but I think I'm going to hide that one away for a while.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Public Service Announcements

It's been a while since I've had a public service announcement, but here is my new one...

If you own a restaurant that is geared toward families, here's a tip. You need diaper change tables in BOTH the mens' and ladies' bathrooms. What is up with only putting them in the ladies' bathroom? That's ridiculous.

There are countless single fathers or shared-custody fathers who take their children out on their own. What are they supposed to do if they need to change a diaper? Change it on their table?

And what about when I'd like to eat my dinner and Wesley repeatedly fills his diaper? Why do I have to make several trips to the bathroom while my food gets cold while Nick sits at the table with an empty plate.

Can anyone explain this to me?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Still Not Much

It's been nearly a week since my last post, so there's obviously still not much going on around here.

Wesley was doing a lot better with his sleeping but now has had two terrible nights in a row. We're getting more good nights in between the bad nights so I have to believe we're winning the sleep battle little by little. Nick has been on midnights for two weeks, it was supposed to be three but he was offered a switch to days for next week so tonight is my last night on my own. Woo hoo!

Even when he doesn't sleep he is the sweetest, happiest boy around. We were at the Early Years Centre last week and he started to cry. All the other moms were shocked because he never cries. He's got the cutest little giggle which tends to come out the most when Darcy is around. He follows her every movement and laughs at everything she does which she loves, of course.

Darcy is doing great, as usual. She's still trying to watch "Beauty and the Beast" as much as we will let her (thanks to Sue-Ann for the new VHS copy that her boys didn't want) but she'll settle for "Aladdin" if I can't take any more "B & B". She's just about finished her first series of ballet classes and we're also coming to the end of soccer and swimming too. She'll do ballet and swimming again. We found three things to be a little much for her at one time. She really enjoyed the soccer though and we found she had better physical skills than we thought. We couldn't have been more shocked when the teacher told Nick after one class that Darcy was really doing great, that she had great ball control and she was really getting the concept of the game. Darcy is skilled in a lot of areas but we've never thought sports would be one of them. She's too much like her mother in that way. We were pleased she was doing so well with the soccer but we just don't want her doing too much.

Here's a Darcy-ism from this morning. We don't eat fast food much. We usually only get it if we're at the mall and need to eat quickly. We rarely do a drive through. We were out this morning and Darcy had been having a great morning so I thought we'd drive through Tim Hortons to get some Timbits as a treat. After I placed the order and was driving up to the window Darcy asked, "Mommy, why was the sign talking to us?" I didn't see that the worker had opened the window as I was explaining to her that the sign wasn't talking to us it was a woman inside the store taking our order. The worker heard my explanation and cracked up and had to tell all the other workers that the little girl had thought the sign was talking to her. Very cute!