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June Bugs

Last week Grandma was visiting and we had a full, busy week with a class field trip to the Children’s Festival on Granville Island, a day off, a couple of shopping expeditions, a ton of baking, sewing a dress, and a parade followed by a picnic at Confederation park.

Farfalle

Farfalle- Italian for "butterflies"; also the name of the show she watched.

The Children’s Festival was fun for the kids, but not a place I’d willingly choose to go to on my own. Paying five dollars each when not all of us participated in the activities seems like a rip off and there are lines everywhere. The girls’ favourite station was face painting, which Bee talked about before the field trip and afterwards. Thankfully it only rained for an hour or so while Bee enjoyed a show about butterflies. Mom, TT, May-May and I holed up at the Kids’ Market since we weren’t prepared for rain (read t-shirts and sweaters with no umbrellas). We enjoyed window shopping at a toddler’s pace, particularly at the shop with puppets.

The day's theme was "butterflies".

On Bee’s day off, we took it easy for the morning since the girls were tired from their field trip the previous day. In the afternoon, we took the girls swimming, one of their favourite activities. We were enjoying ourselves until the power went out due to a bit of a thunderstorm.  The lights took 20 minutes to come back on, so we had to wait at the side of the swimming pool in our bathing suits (my theory is that bathing suits belong in the water and mad dashes are required when out of the water! 😉 ).

After wolfing down a bit of lunch, the girls ran off to play... until dessert came out!Burnaby’s Hat’s Off Day parade went well.  If you want a critique of the parade, my only complaint is that there were some awfully large gaps between groups (over a block long in one case), causing the parade to take longer than it needed to last.  The girls’ booty bag was filled with reusable water bottles, candy, balloons, helium balloons, and tons of pamphlets.  They added to their bag after walking up Hastings Street.  We picked up a Vancity reusable bag, wasted 10 minutes in a line-up to see if our “key” (received during the parade) opened the door to prizes, and the girls got RCMP kids’ packages (three tattoos, two big stickers and a colouring book in a little bag).  We then headed to Confederation Park for a picnic of egg sandwiches, 6-layer dip, veggies and cupcakes for dessert.  The girls enjoyed the waterpark (a bit cold, they told me) and then the playground before heading home.

May-may didn't mind the cold as much as the other two did.Love this picture of May-may!Love this picture of May-may!Love this picture of May-may!

Lately, with the un-rainy weather (I say that because I’m not a huge fan of hot weather), we’ve enjoyed time outside in the “front yard”.  The girls play with sidewalk chalk, pick stuff for salads (fallen flowers, sticks, leaves, pinecones, etc.), play with balls, “bikes”, or skipping ropes.  Bee and I enjoy playing “soccer” with each other; she’s turning out to be pretty good at it when she’s not goofing off.  The funny thing is, there’s a boy from Bee’s class who lives above and beside us, and a lot of the time he’ll come to his window or patio and talk (loudly!) to us.  “What are you doing?  I’m washing my toy house.  Want to see my cat?”  He’s a cute little guy. 

Love this picture of May-may!

Bee wanted in on the “matching sisters” photos. 🙂

Matching outfits, one purchased used. Taking a picture break.

Bee’s quite the little “teacher”/”mother” or some such thing.  She’s always helping the other kids with work or to find something or to keep organized.  Today she helped a classmate’s older brother find his mom.  Can you tell that she has a mother who needs a lot of help? 🙂  I’m only slightly scatter-brained when I’m sleep deprived. 

The rest of June is filling up quickly as well.  Bee’s class has plans for sports day and a school picnic that they want parents to be involved in, and we have two little June Bugs with birthdays eleven calendar days apart. I’d like to make their birthdays special, but June is already going by so quickly that I’m afraid those days will come before I’m ready for them. 

P.s.  I just realized that I never took a picture of TT’s dress, so you’ll just have to wait, Steph.

Overnight on Saltspring

Girlies

En Route to Salt Spring Island.

Our first camping trip of the season is now a distant memory, but it definitely whet our appetite for more . . . perhaps without any rain.  Or if the rain must come, it would be nice to have a tarp or two.  We’ve planned our summer camping trip tentatively for Quadra Island with our canoe, so we have something to look foward to enjoying as soon as John’s manager approves the request for time off.

We started our trip with the buffet aboard the Spirit of Vancouver Island en route to Swartz Bay, where we just managed to catch the ferry to Salt Spring.  The sun was beating down on us, and I would have pulled out the sunscreen if the ferry ride was longer.  Upon disembarking, we headed to Ruckle Park amidst the “Are we almost there?” and “How much further?”s.  (Did I really do that as a child?  How annoying!)  I could understand the excitement, however, and tried to be patient with my impatient children. 

Site Number One.

Site number one, all set up and ready for use.

After a few minutes of contemplation, we chose spot number one, tucked away in the forest for privacy’s sake.  Site number 1 boasted a raised wooden platform to set our tent up on.  Unfortunately, TT managed to fall and scrape her thigh on said raised wooden platform.  The scrapes must have hurt because she had a good cry, and it looked quite painful; however, in typical childish manner, she forgot all about it 5 minutes later.

We spent most of the day relaxing and walking along the coast, made up of bluffs and

TT, deer scarer, insect killer.

slabs of rock with pockets of tidal pools.  There were tons of sea anenome and starfish.  We also saw some deer along the trails, who didn’t seem to mind humans too much until TT started singing “I’m the king of the castle, you’re the silly rascals!”  For some reason, that scared them away rather quickly.  We ended the day with a post-supper, pre-bedtime walk to enjoy the sunshine. 

It took awhile for the girls to settle down because they were excited, but once they were asleep, they slept through the night except for a

potty break for TT (We totally forgot to grab her little potty that we meant to bring).  The disturbance woke up May-May of course (Little Monkey’s latest nickname, and her name for herself), who crawled up between our mattresses and fell asleep again. 

It's not bedtime yet!

Notice I said the girls slept through the night?  Around 4am, the rain started and didn’t really stop.  We ate our breakfast in the tent before taking it down because, as I eluded to earlier, we had no tarps and we almost didn’t put the fly over the tent.

Before heading to my folks’ house, we enjoyed an hour or so at Piper’s Lagoon in Nanaimo.  We walked along the beach, to the top of the hill and across to the other side of the lagoon.  The girls were good little hikers and May-May was the only one who needed a lift back to the car.

Breakfast in the tent.

p.s.  Let me know if you’re visiting the park and I’ll give you an overview of the

outhouses since TT had potty issues and I’m quite sure we saw the inside of the outhouses 25 times during the course of less than 24 hours.  Bee can tell you an exciting story that she remembers best about camping.  We definitely need to go on another trip! 😉

Girls at Piper's Lagoon

Early this morning, I awoke to the sound of rain.  Living in the Greater Vancouver area, this happens more often than not; however, after a moment, I realized the sound of rain was coming from inside our apartment suite, not outside!  Now, at 1:00am, I’m not very lucid, but the sight of water pouring out of the light fixture in our suite’s hallway was enough to instantly wake me up.  Apparently, it was enough to wake up John as well since I didn’t have to kick him like I usually would. 😉 

I rounded up as many pails as I could find and started mopping up the small flood in the kitchen.  Knowing the manager would be coming to see our problem, we proceded to tidy up the living room and kitchen.  After checking the girls’ room, John cleared off their floor as water was coming up through the carpet and the girls are notorious for leaving books on the floor, including library books. 

Drips

Poor lighting conditions as most of the lights were off due to wetness.

After two hours of cleaning and emptying buckets of water, the plumber came to the apartment and fixed the burst pipe upstairs.  Gradually the water slowed down and we were able to get back to bed.  The adrenaline, unfortunately, kept us awake for quite a while.  Just after drowsing off, TT’s crying woke me up.  Ironically, the girls slept through the entire ordeal, but a bad dream woke them up. 

The carpets are still soggy, but clean (thanks to the manager and her husband).  We’re still tired, but nothing a little sleep won’t cure.  Now I’m hoping for a good long sleep tonight.  Since weaning, Little M has been sleeping so much better at night, but now that I’ve broadcast that information, I’m sure she’ll stop just to laugh at me! 🙂

Lost Things Found

I’m certainly glad I can add the last word onto the title–“Found.”  Is it the same for every parent: looking for “lost” things multiple

Sweet picture of Daddy and Bee

Sweet picture of Daddy and Bee

times per day, or am I just disorganized?  “Where’s your teddy?”  “Where’s your soother?”  “Where’s your backpack?”  “What time is it?”  “We’re going to be late!” 

While there are the normal, everyday searches for lost items, there are also the thoroughly missing items as well.  In the last week, Bee lost her coat (at the mall), Little M lost my keys (in the house), her sippy cup (in the car) and the garage door opener (twice).  I had given up hope of getting Bee’s coat back, since it wasn’t found for five days, so I was thoroughly surprised–and happy– when the mall customer service called to let me know it was found!  Dear Husband found my keys after a couple days of searching.  Our place was nicely cleaned up, although you can barely tell now.  (Remember learning in science class that everything tends toward disorder?  Well, children certainly are a catalyst in that area.)  DH also found the garage door opener (affectionately known as The Clicker) twice, since Ms got ahold of it a second time.  Finally, I found the sippy cup six days later under the front passenger seat of the car, having unsuccessfully searched there from the backseat the day it disappeared. 

Ms

Little M with a stolen (from her sister) teddy and a flower

Did you all watch the royal wedding?  DH put up some video clips of the wedding for the girls to watch after he left for work.  Bee navigated through them and the girls ended up watching a couple hour’s worth of footage.  Yes, they even watched the whole carriage ride, post ceremony, although, Bee did mention that it was somewhat boring (the 20 minutes of carriage ride, not the ceremony, which was pronounced weird and funny).  For the past week, I’ve watched numerous wedding reenactments by Bee and TT, which inevitably start with a fight over who gets the veil and who gets to be Kate (or Cake, as TT says).  Their vows range from bizarre to humourous and  Bee even remembers how many kisses to copy on the balcony. 

TT with the storm clouds

TT with the storm clouds at Deer Lake Park.

The weather didn’t really cooperate today for any special outings, but we did fit a walk in at Deer Lake Park between hail storms.  The girls were disappointed that there were no ducks to feed, but did enjoy seeing some geese with their goslings and going through a big puddle in the car.  Some disappointment was expressed over missing an even bigger puddle, but there was some concern over its depth. 

We also picked up some Chinese food so that I won’t have to prepare a meal on Mother’s Day.  I won’t complain about all the dishes I’ll have to do, because that would be pushing it. 😉  Mmm, I’m already looking forward to the lettuce wraps tomorrow!  Bee can hardly wait for Mother’s Day.  She’s been asking me every day if she can give me my card yet.  She already gave me a geranium in a clay pot she made at school.  Hopefully it survives for awhile, as I’m somewhat forgetful about watering and such like.

Now I’m off to go look for some missing bandaids!  What else is new?? 🙂

When I search for WordPress in my Swagbucks toolbar, the link comes up unvisited, and I had to try two passwords before I logged in today.  Yes, it’s been awhile, and I didn’t even check the date of my last post.  Collectively, we’ve been sick for most of March and Little M’s eyeteeth are just about through, which means I’ve had little energy and little free time recently.  Did I mention TT had an ear infection as well?

Our spring break was a bit of a let-down, but we did manage to go shopping downtown, make a trip to the library, go out to Cockney King’s for my brother’s 30th birthday, head to Eileen Dailly Pool for a swim, and enjoy a visit at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.  Bee was sick the earliest, so I think she could have handled more excitement than I could handle.  Not the greatest first spring break ever, I’m sure!

Susie girl

So excited!

The girls loved the zoo, although TT didn’t want to walk anywhere.  Grandma was around, and that means “I want up!” was a favourite refrain, which was indulged almost every time.  Little M loved the giraffes, and still gets excited by pictures of them.  Bee, apparently, liked the donkey the best.  I’m not sure about TT, as she was still kind of miserable from her ear infection.  Maybe the train ride was her favourite because she didn’t have to walk!  My least favourite part was the rudest encounter I’ve had with a stranger.  Let’s just say, someone eavesdropped on a conversation between my sister and me and assumed it was about herself and proceeded to insult me.

Waiting for the train.

TT waiting for the train.

Bee and the Donkey

Bee and her friend.

Giraffe

Giraffe.

In the tunnel.

TT in the tunnel.

The last week has been a little bit hard after so long off of our routine, but we weren’t late for school any day.  Today we spent some time at Barnet Marine Park.  It was the first time we’ve explored the place, and I think we’ll enjoy coming back when the weather is better.  It was sprinkling on and off, so the girls couldn’t dig too deeply into the sand, but they certainly enjoyed some tunnel ruins and walking along the shore.

Bee, TT and I also enjoyed a shopping excursion to Michael’s today and spent a little too much money (oops!).  The girls are always asking to do crafts, so I bought some paints, clay, etc. for them.  Of course, it was all on sale, but it adds up so quickly.  I think Bee and TT would enjoy having a mailbox for the numerous letters and cards they like to make, so when I have the patience and time, we’ll be making one out of paper mache.  I have a design in my head for it already.  Also in the crafting bin, I’d like to make a few flower clips with flowers I bought today at Michael’s.  My sister-in-law gave the girls some for Christmas, and they’re super-cute and always get comments from people, so I decided to make some more of different colours.  The sewing I wanted to get done during spring break obviously didn’t happen, so that’s still in the “to do” pile as well.

Little M is getting so big!

Little M is getting so big! She loved running around and exploring.

I can’t wait for some nice spring weather, which, so far, has only made a few short appearances and for the spring coats and warm sunshine to go with the blossoms and blooms that have already come out.  I tend to take more pictures when the weather is nicer, and have a lot of favourite pictures of the girls from the spring in previous years. 

So, hopefully my next post won’t be so long in coming, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a photo of a finished craft, or some pictures of the girls in the sunshine in spring outfits!

Bee

Bee at the ruins.

Accidents happen…

Still smiling

I think she forgot all about falling two minutes after the fact.

… a little too often for Monkey.  Last summer she fell off the top of the slide on our porch and still has the scar and discoloured skin to prove it.  Today she decided to head butt a rock wall on the way to school.  You know the moment you figure out exactly what’s about to happen and your stomach tightens and your heart sinks?  Well, that’s how I felt, but by then it was too late to stop Little M from hitting the rocks.  A lot of crying ensued and I had the privilege of carrying her the rest of the way to school and most of the way home.  (No wonder my back’s a bit sore right now.  Or that could possibly be from my perpetual slouching??)  Unfortunately, M’s miserable right now without the added pain.  She’s on the couch beside me, her snores intermittently interrupted by a coughing fit.  Add that to three molars still clawing their ways through her gums and I have one happy little baby!

Navigator, Captain and a couple tourists.

Navigator, Captain and a couple of tourists.

Last Saturday, we headed out to False Creek to the Vancouver Maritime Museum.  In order to save the parking fee ($3.00 per hour and we were there for about 2 hours), we parked a little ways away.  Of course, the second we stepped out of the car, the heavens opened up and we were somewhat drenched by the time we arrived at the museum.  I noticed there are coupons on their site for admission, but we purchased a pass for the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Vancouver and the HR MacMillan Space Centre for a reduced fee.  We had just talked about how we’d like to go to the two places sometime, and the passes don’t expire.

Fisherman

Fisherman TT.

Ready to bail!

Monkey's ready to bail!

Red gown.

Bee all dressed up.

 

 The kids loved it so much!  Bee didn’t want to leave, even though it was past 12:30 and past time for lunch.  They loved going on the RCMP St. Roch and all the kids’ exhibits at the far end.  The end room is full of activities, dress-up, puzzles, and drawers filled with interesting stuff.  One drawer had some paper doll sheets for the girls to colour and cut out (at home).  Another highlight of the museum was a replica bridge from a Seaspan tugboat (I believe!), which Bee loved, and TT and M enjoyed too.   Of course, J’s happy with anything to do with boats, so he enjoyed himself as well.

Today was so beautiful that I grabbed the camera and we left 15 minutes early to walk to school, and I let Little M and TT walk.  The girls posed for some nice pictures and, of course, M had her little fall. 

Three girls in the sunshine.

Three girls in the sunshine.

heart

Crochet heart.

Right now I’m trying to crochet some hearts to make into hair clips for the girls for Valentine’s Day.  My first one turned out a little lopsided, so I’ll have to be more careful next time to match up how many stitches I do on the sides.  I’m using this pattern (a pdf file), and I’ll glue the heart onto an alligator clip with a bit of felt on the other side.

Sleepy Sunday

I didn’t want to wake her up by trying to turn her to face the camera, but here’s Monkey fallen asleep on the floor around 11:00pm after a long day out!  And no soother needed here… what a change from when her tooth was coming through!  Hopefully last week’s troubles are over.  Her molar’s through now and her digestive tract issues are over, to put it delicately. 😉  I’m feeling so much more energetic and back to normal and Bee and TT are both feeling better too.  Pro-d Day on Friday, so a short week as far as school’s concerned.  My optimism is high at the start of this new week!  If I stay up too late though, that won’t be the case, so I’ll keep this nice and short.

Subcoming to Sleep
Subcoming to Sleep

 

Is it too early to start thinking about spring?  In the last week I’ve started thinking about how soon spring will start.  Perhaps I can blame my husband because he always tells me that spring starts in February or March around here.  I bought some fabric last year that I’d like to make circle skirts with for the girls, so we’ll see if I can get that done by the time spring truly rolls around.  And I have dress patterns for different fabric for the summer, so those are my sewing goals for the coming months.  Unfortunately, I have to clean our apartment up before I can sew, otherwise there’s no room to lay out fabric and set up the sewing machine.