Monthly Archives: February 2012

Grae’s Day

Just a regular day with Miss Grae today…

IMG 6627Early morning antics.

IMG 6630Laundry “helper”.

IMG 6632Little swimmer.

IMG 6635Post-nap routine.  Milk, snack, blanket, and quiet time.

IMG 6714Single pony.

IMG 6703Play dough play.

IMG 6716Before dinner walk.

IMG 6723Crackers and cheese at the park.

IMG 6753Frozen blueberries for dessert.

IMG 6770Emergency sink bath.

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Play Dough Day

Today I had barely finished mentioning making play dough and my little Lulu  had already retrieved her apron.

Now, I have always been a fan of the 2:1:1 recipe (2 parts flour to 1 part salt and 1 part water).  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it really only requires having two ingredients on hand.  I’ve used it through many, many years of babysitting, nannying, and teaching without even considering giving another recipe a try.  That is, until I decided to give this “fussy” recipe a go this Christmas. Yes, it requires both oil and cream of tartar – not to mention cooking – but if you’ve got the ingredients, extra time, and patience to let it cool, it’s totally worth it.  It’s soft, super pliable, and lasts for a ridiculously long time.  Plus, it’s really not that hard.

IMG 6643Here’s what you need:  Some flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, water, food colouring, and a cute little sous chef to help you along the way.

IMG 6646First things first, pour your water in a large pot.

IMG 6656Next, add your salt.  Preferably into the pot.  But hey, whatever works.

IMG 6659Then, add your cream of tartar.

IMG 6670And your food colouring.  (Of course for this little one, purple was the colour of choice.) Give everything a little stir.

IMG 6675Then, over medium heat, warm the mixture until hot, but not boiling.

IMG 6680When hot, add your oil and your flour, cup by cup.

IMG 6681Don’t worry if it looks all chunky and gross.  We’ve used this recipe several times and we’ve always experienced this stage. It’ll all work out in the end.

IMG 6684When you’ve added all of the flour, give the dough one final stir and plop it out onto a well-floured counter.  Sprinkle some extra flour on top if the dough appears sticky.  Be careful – it’ll be very hot still.

IMG 6689Once it’s cooled, kneed the dough well, incorporating all of the extra flour.

IMG 6698Then give your munchkin a chunk and let her go to town.

IMG 6707Fun for hours!

Here’s our slightly tweaked version of the recipe if you want to give it a try:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 cups of salt
  • 3 TBSP of cream of tartar
  • 5 TBSP of vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • 5 1/2 cups of flour

Mix water, salt, cream of tartar, oil, and food colouring in a large pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring regularly until mixture is hot.

Add oil, then stir in flour a cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. Mix until playdough pulls away from pot and is no longer sticky.

Dump dough on a well-floured counter, let cool a bit, then knead.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for several weeks.


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18 Month Check Up

IMG 6593This afternoon we had Miss G’s 18 month wellness check up.  Although I love knowing that she’s growing, gaining weight, and reaching her milestones as expected, I absolutely dread the vaccination part.  I’ve always disliked it (especially in Kuwait at those terrifying government clinics), but now that she’s older, it’s worse. Afterwards, she looks up at me with these big tear-filled eyes with a ‘Mama, you knew that was going to happen’ expression.  Break my mama heart.  The good news is that this time around it was only one shot compared to the four she had to get at twelve months.  And getting to choose an animal sticker and play with toys afterwards seemed to pretty much make up for the poke.

The other good news is that our nurse was really happy with all of her measurements, skills, and progress. This months measurements may be a little off because it was the first time she was weighed with clothes and shoes on, and it was the first time she was standing when her height was measured, but close enough.  Here are her 18 month stats:

  • Weight – 25 pounds (up from 21 pounds at her 12 month visit, jumping her up from the 50th percentile to the 65th)
  • Height – 80 centimetres (up from 76 centimetres at her 12 month visit, moving her way down from the 95th percentile to the 45th!)
  • Head Circumference – 48 centimetres (up a half centimetre from her 12 month visit, moving her just a tiny bit from the 90th percentile down to the 87th)

IMG 6620When we originally pulled up to the clinic, my unsuspecting little lady saw the playground at the school across the street and started bouncing with excitement.  Of course, little did she know, we weren’t there to play.  I told her that we were going to visit the nurses, and afterwards, we’d go to a park.  So that’s exactly what we did.

IMG 6602It was freezing cold and we were the only ones there, but she was pleased none the less.

IMG 6604We played, ran, slid, and hid and then headed home to have dinner and a warm bath!

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Baby Love

IMG 6586Gracen absolutely loves our friends’ little man to bits.  To the point where it’s an obsession.  Today Steph and Tate came over for lunch and a visit, and she literally could not leave his side.  The poor little guy just wanted some peace and quiet to slumber in the sunshine, and Grae was all up in his business the entire time.  And imagine her dismay when it was nap time!  She was utterly insulted by the fact that I would even consider making her sleep while there was a baby in our house.  She fell asleep crying “Buubba…  Buuuuubba…” (baby) and woke up 30 minutes later pointing out her door and calling “Bubba!  Bubba!” in desperation.  I guess we have to make sure we see Tate more often!



IMG 6583This afternoon, as I tidied up the kitchen, Miss G sat at her little table happily colouring and drawing.  That is, until she came into the kitchen with narrowed eyes, a furrowed brow, and a serious, “Mama?”  She held her pudgy little hand out to me and looked at the floor.

IMG 6578In my most serious mama voice, I said, “Gracen, what is this?”  After a short pause, she looked up at me with bright eyes and upturned lips and proudly announced, “Star!”

How can you be upset with that?  🙂


iPhoneography // Out

IMG 2588A Superstore ritual.

IMG 2599Serious in Starbucks.


Let it Snow

IMG 6545This afternoon, for a brief time, little dancing snowflakes filled the sky.  Gracen sat on a cushion in front of the window, sipped her milk, and took it all in.  ♥



Oh, how I love Sundays…  And today’s was just as they were meant to be.  Bradley had the day off and we were able to spend the day together, just the three of us, for the first time in what felt like a long while.  Our  day was filled with a morning at the beach, a leisurely walk for tea lattes, a lazy lunch, produce shopping at our favourite market, and fresh vietnamese spring rolls for dinner. Of course, the beach was the highlight…  I know it seems like we’ve been a little obsessed with Kits Beach lately {we have!}, but it’s just so beautiful down there.  There’s a little bit of everything – a seawall to walk along, one of the best playgrounds we’ve visited in the city, and a giant beach to explore.  Not to mention, there’s a Starbucks across the street (this makes Mama very happy) and you can’t walk 3 steps without seeing a dog or a bird (this makes Gracen very happy). Overall, it’s a win-win!  Plus, it’s only 15 minutes from our house and Papa had not been since well before our overseas adventure…  So basically, we HAD to go {and take 150 photos while we were at it}.  Here are some of my favourites:

IMG 6446Little Miss Animal Lover on her way to offer the seagull her muffin.

IMG 6447Carefully selecting a few new items for our ocean discovery box.

IMG 6450Smitten with blankets.

IMG 6460Almond-filled pockets.

IMG 6463Sittin’ with the seagulls.

IMG 6472Deep in conversation.

IMG 6473“Papa, you’re sooooo funny!”

IMG 6480Showing off her shell.

IMG 6483Impromtu beach snuggles for Mama. ♥

IMG 6500Giggles.

IMG 6521Stealth snack style by Papa.

IMG 6530Little admirer.

IMG 6532Serious about boots.

IMG 6534Log walking.

IMG 6537Papa & his little lady.

IMG 6541Dismount.

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“Manmaw” Charlotte Visits

IMG 6440Grandma Charlotte was in town this weekend doing some professional development and visiting a friend, so we got to spend afternoon with her today.  Gracen kept her busy with colouring projects and countless storybook requests.  Grandmas don’t need rest, do they?

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Happy Half Birthday, Grae!

My baby girl turned 18 months old today.  Officially one and a half.  As in… Tomorrow she’ll be closer to two years old than to one.  Goodness gracious…

One thing I’ve noticed since becoming a mommy is that I now have an overwhelming urge to create traditions, make the holidays more special than ever, and create memories that our little lady will keep with her always.  So today, we continued a little tradition we started last year.  We celebrated Gracen’s half birthday. Nothing fancy.  Just a day focused on Grae with a few special little things mixed in here and there.

Our day included a trip to Science World with friends, a Mama and munchkin date for hot drinks, picking up helium balloons on a whim, and a “cupcake” (a healthy banana nut muffin topped with fresh whipped cream) with a candle after dinner.

Here’s what our little lady has been up to this month…

IMG 6376

Gracen loves:

  • Having dance parties in her crib
  • Wearing sunglasses (and actually keeps them on!)
  • All animals (she often chooses to read non-fiction animal books over story books)
  • Having painted toes (although Papa’s put the kibosh on that)
  • Playing hide-and-seek
  • Splashing in puddles
  • The “Papa Song”, a.k.a. ‘Howling for You’ by The Black Keys (and requests it multiple times a day)
  • Doing jobs (she actively seeks them out and sticks with them until they’re done)
  • Greek food (tzatziki especially)
  • The colour purple (she points out purple things everywhere we go and is in LOVE with her purple shoes, purple crayons, and purple clothes)
  • Cooking and baking

IMG 6378

She doesn’t like:

  • Having things taken away from her if she’s enjoying them
  • Potatoes (still)

IMG 6380

She thinks it’s hilarious when:

  • She’s laying on the floor and you lightly put your foot on her belly and wiggle it around
  • She sits on your belly and bounces up and down
  • She grasps on to the back of your shirt and follows you around like a little shadow

IMG 6386

Grae’s new foods include:

  • Mexican lasagna
  • Fruit salsa
  • Quiche
  • Mustard
  • Larabars
  • Stovetop-popped popcorn
  • Mango popsicle (not that it’s a new food that she regularly eats, but she did get one when she was getting over last month’s sickness and had a dry cough and sore throat)
  • Also, my brother and sister-in-law will be very pleased to know that although Grae doesn’t get junk food (and won’t for a while!), she has had honey, pure maple syrup, and organic cane sugar (in tiny amounts) when they’ve been baked into things like homemade muffins or granola

IMG 6390

The new words she regularly uses include:

  • “star”
  • “bedroom”
  • “dot”
  • “peep” (like a chick)
  • “blue”
  • “heart”
  • “bump!”
  • “G”
  • “Chay Chay” (her cousin’s name is Chayton and we often call him Chay or Chay Chay)
  • “straw”

IMG 6392

The new signs she’s using regularly include:

  • Cry / sad
  • Hurt
  • Water

IMG 6401

She now:

  • Mimics the emotions she sees characters displaying in books
  • Is very into shapes and can consistently point out circles, hearts, and stars
  • Can point out most basic colours
  • Points and calls out “purple!” and “blue!” when she sees objects of those colours
  • Has an amazing memory (sometimes I truly cannot believe the things she remembers)
  • Is great with locations and directions and can find her way to favourite places in stores we visit regularly (like to the fish tanks in the back corner of Superstore)
  • Points out the capital letter ‘G’ in books and in the environment (she finds them on posters tacked on power poles, on store signs, and in newspaper headlines)
  • Is great at cleaning up and has no issue with tidying one thing before you help her get something else out
  • Helps with laundry and is totally insulted if you try to do it without her
  • Remembers who bought things for her and regularly pats the items while announcing the name of the person who purchased them for her (we always hear about “manmaw” {Sue} when she puts on her raincoat, “manmaw” {Charlotte} when she wears her cream sweater, and Papa when she sits in her carseat)
  • Has 16 teeth! (all 8 front ones, four molars, and four canines)
  • Walks upright up and down stairs when she has a hand or railing for support
  • Does a funny gallop / skip sort of walk
  • Is experimenting with jumping

IMG 6405

Funny / Cute things she’s been up to lately:

  • I’ve walked into her room twice recently and found her “nursing” her baby (just picture this – Grae sitting in her reading corner with her shirt off,  her baby in cradle position near her chest, while making suckling noises… too cute!)
  • She dances in the car pretty much the entire time she’s in there
  • Regularly requests ‘Chay Chay videos’ (videos of her cousins) by saying ‘Chay Chay’ while holding my phone in one hand and putting her other palm up to the sky
  • She requests the “Papa song” (Jennifer Gasoi’s ‘Monsieur Glouton’) and “Mama song” (Jennifer Gasoi’s ‘The Pizza Man’) over and over again while in the car
  • She says “nomanomaneigh” if she accidentally bites you (she can get a little aggressive while giving kisses)

IMG 6420

Big things that have happened this month:

  • She spent her first day away from Mama / spent her first full day with Papa
  • She met her new little friend, Baby Tate when he was less than 24 hours old

IMG 6435Well, another month and what feels like a hundred new little things learned by our doodlebug…  Before we know it, it will be time to start planning her second birthday party.  (Okay, who am I kidding?  I’ve already given it some serious thought.)

If you want to see the difference 12 short months makes, you can see her last half birthday update here.

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