Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Happy Dance

I forgot to add this to Thomas's birthday post. I peeked into the living room when I was in the middle of washing dishes after snack one day, and caught him dancing up a storm!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thomas Turns 2

We had a big bash for Thomas the day before he turned 2. The rest of the kids (minus Leila) and I had made a chocolate cake for him the day before. He approved. I know this because he goes to his happy place whenever he's really enjoying his food, and this time I couldn't even get a smile from him for a picture because he was completely in his 'zone'. :)

His gift was just slightly over the top, but my assistant and I had gone in on it together, and it just seemed like the perfect thing for him. He didn't really know what to do with it at first...

So, we brought in our team to help him out!

Once uncovered, he could see it was a basket-ball and net. (adjustable to different heights, so it should last him a while).

I was so thankful that my assistant was there, because there is no way I could have put it together without some help managing the kids and cleaning up after the cake! The kids, though desperately wanting to help, were kept safely away from the hammer, and we quickly got it up and running!

Of course the box is also fun.....

Perhaps more fun....

It was great for Thomas when the other kids started playing in the cardboard box. Finally he had his new present to himself! (He was actually getting little time with his own gift before this.)

He's a star for sure! Happy birthday, Thomas! We all LOVE your sweet little soul!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Savouring Summer (featuring Special Guest Star - Aidas!)

We have been living in Lithuania Park for most of the summer now. I've got to say, my job is extra fun in the summer, and especially with the helper I have to help keep the kids extra safe on our outings. This past week, we were lucky enough to have Aidas back at the daycare for two full days!

Aidas was the first child to come to the daycare. He was 10 months old when he started (and Noah is only 2 months older than him), and only left the daycare at the end of last summer, when he was almost 4 years old. He's like family! And it really felt, for those two days, as if he had never left the daycare!

The boys started their own informal soccer game in the big field.

And at home the 3 of them (Noah, B. and Aidas) were giggling like BFF's. It was very funny - when we were getting the kids up from their naps in the afternoon, Aidas said to me, shocked, "Charla! Someone is sleeping in my bed! It's Thomas!" I'm glad he still sees my place as his place, even after a year away!

One afternoon we were going to go to the library, but Noah had a "terrible 4's", so we stayed put at the top area of Lithuania Park. B. practised his Spidey skills by scaling the fence. Thomas really is watching every athletic thing B. does, and emulating him. Actually, Thomas is very agile, so it's great for him to have a strong example in his life. Still, there are certain stunts that B. is forbidden to do in Thomas's presence, because Thomas doesn't always realize he is 2 years younger than B.

And here are still more pictures of a fun-filled day at Lithuania Park. Below are all 5 kidlets on the swings!

Riley likes to get under-doggies and swing hugs. Noah and B. love the "Hello-Goodbye Game", where I say good-bye as I push them, and then pretend I'm angry when they swing back. They NEVER tire of this!

Later on, instead of playing at the wading pool, the kids were busy making this canal. It was AWESOME!!

Riley did some digging, but then moved onto jumping over the canal. Isn't this a great shot of her in mid-flight? After I showed her the picture, she kept asking me, "Can you take another picture of me jumping, Charla?"

B. did most of the digging, while Noah diligently returned again and again to the wading pool, to fill his bucket with water. It was real teamwork!

Leila's job was to sit at one end of the canal and look cute. She more than fulfilled this role.

And here's the muscle man! (Thomas, by the way, had his own agenda, as he often does, and was playing in the park with my assistant.)

Today we brought the tents outside and played out back of our building. We had a shorter period of time for outdoor play, since my helper had an appointment. And here's a funny little incident: A lady who lives in one of the apartment buildings came out to tell me that the kids were too noisy, and that I should take them to the park. I said that normally I would be willing to compromise to some degree, but that we are only out back for about one or two hours a week (if at all, since we normally do go to the park). She still complained and threatened to go to her manager. I politely advised her to buy some earplugs, and then refocused my attention on the kids. After visiting the manager's office, she quietly returned to her building. I presume the complaint did not go so well. 

Really? You are complaining about small children playing outside...on a summer's noon. Really? People can really be so strange!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

City Fishing

I forgot to add these to the last post. Kids have such great imaginations, don't they?

Saturday, August 10, 2013


One of our new favourite activities is peeking through the window at the construction site, at Pacific and Bloor. We push the wagon up to the wall, and hold it steady, while the kids climb up and get an amazing view of trucks at work.

I have to admit (whether it's right or wrong to put a condo up there), watching the early stages of construction up close is pretty amazing! Leila is the only one who doesn't appreciate the work. She's still at an age where she's frightened by loud noises. (She's just now getting used to me using my Dustbuster at home - thank goodness!)

One day B. rode his scooter to the daycare. I immediately put it away for the day, since the little kids aren't quite ready for that yet (even the Radio Flyer scooter Noah got a few birthdays ago is a little bit of a hazard for kids like Thomas). I did not, however, put the helmet away, and Thomas was all over it like white on rice! He would put on the helmet, grab the tricycle, and proclaim that he was riding his motorcycle. There was a lot of getting off and then back onto this "motorcycle", and a full commentary of his actions each time. It was the cutest! I felt like a real heel when I had to put both the trike and helmet away in hopes that he would finally come to dinner. He forgives quickly though!

A lot of the meals I serve at the daycare I make on the weekends. I usually make as large an amount as I can, and then divide the meal into portions large enough for one dinner for our group. Then I place each portion in a freezer bag and store them until needed. This way, we have a variety of home-made meals, and I can spend less time in the kitchen and more with the kids (though sometimes it still feels like I live in the kitchen!).

Pizza is a meal that they have fun helping me make, so I included them as fellow chefs for this batch! B. and Thomas helped me with the initial stages of mixing the yeast, water, sugar and flour. When Riley woke up, she joined in. 

I was surprised and yet delighted that Leila demanded to help! Okay, she probably thought it was dinner time, but she didn't complain when I gave her a little dusting of flour to play with! I gave her nearly empty bowls to play with as well. It kept her busy. She stuck it out with the others until it was time to put the shredded mozzarella on: and there was the reward.

Riley had to leave early, and Noah was being showered with attention at his Oma's for the whole week, so Thomas and B. worked extra hard to help me get the job done. I quickly made one extra pizza as well, since one won't go very far!

I don't usually like to take the kids to the High Park playground (the smaller one, not the castle one) in the summer, because I find there is little shade for them to find relief, if they need to. But we figured we'd brave it, just for a change.

Here are the girls hanging out together. Leila gives all the kids hugs these days, but Riley is the only one who consistently appreciates it, and hugs back.

This was Leila's first time trying raisins, and Riley was giving her one or two at a time to work on. (At 16 months, Leila still has only 2 teeth, so we have to be a little extra careful!)

We put the numbers on the number line. I think it was Riley's first time with this activity, so Noah showed her how to match the numbers to the amounts.

I was impressed with Riley's and Thomas's counting skills. They are really coming along! Little ones always need encouragement with one-to-one correspondence. They often will count up two numbers while pointing at only one object. I think we will try to do this activity more regularly, since the kids were really into it.

Riley came to the daycare this week looking like a beautiful little fashionista, in her frilly tutu! I had one of those moments, (as I have with all the kids at different times), where I just looked at her, shook my head and said "Really? Are you kidding me? Are you THAT cute?"

Really?! Really. AND, she is starting a new fashion trend that I don't think has EVER been done before: mismatched shoes. How priceless is she?! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that if she's sporting this look, it MUST be cool!

Here the kids are, having Jello popsicles, yet again. Now and then, if Noah is finished his meal or snack, and I leave my chair (where I read to the kids), he takes my chair, and takes over the job of teacher, and reads to them. I absolutely love this! He is such a good little reader.

In the photo below, he is causing trouble, and I'll tell you how. The kids all constantly want to read a catchy little book by Spike Lee titled "Please, Baby, Please." There is one page in which the baby is pictured throwing a bowl of Cheerios over her head, and it reads "Not on your head, baby, baby, baby, please." Well, Leila's favourite topic of conversation is her head. She always touches her head and very cutely says "head". Sometimes one of the kids will talk to her about something else, and she will revert back to this, looking innocently at them, and proclaiming "head". She will do this throughout the day, and each time with the same degree of wonder and awe, that that is indeed her head. Anyway, every time Noah reads this page about the baby throwing food on her head, Leila is reminded of how much she loves to talk about this. She hears the word "head", and like clockwork, she touches her head and says, "head". Except at snack time, her hands are covered with food (she is also the messiest baby ever), and each time she touches her head, she rubs more food into her nice long hair. So, in the picture below, Noah is being ever so helpful and reading this one page, over, and over, and over. Leila does not tire of it, and Noah thinks it's hilarious! Little rascal!

We went on an adventure yesterday. First, we hit Runnymede Library. Noah is reading me out of house and home and I cannot keep up with him! We took out 30 books for him (mostly level 3) and loaded them in the wagon. He actually finished them all as of last night! What the heck? And yes, I did check for comprehension. I am astonished. And I am bragging. It is my right. And my blog. :) (This blog is really by way to brag about all the kids. They are so awesome.)

After the library, as we were heading over to Chapters book store in Bloor West Village, we came across a fire truck parked by the side of the road. The firefighters were so nice (they always are) and gave the kids all "Junior Firefighter" stickers.

Thomas even got to sit on the truck! I thought he'd be more enthused, but he just sat quietly, eating his rice cake. This photo just makes me smile.

Next stop was the book store. The kids played with the Thomas the Tank Engine train table, and looked at the toys and games. Thomas, for the most part, did this:

Isn't that impressive? He's not yet 2! He seems compelled to practise jumping and climbing skills at the playground every day too.

We finished off our adventure with Happy Meals from McDonald's, because they're fun (not because they're healthy). Special treat! Have a great weekend, everyone!