Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You are my Sunshines

Let's start off with a random picture of Marcus enjoying the wading pool.....and then move on to painting!

Here is Riley's masterpiece.

She added a foot print and a hand print, for good measure. ;) I love that she can write, or paint, her own name now!

Maryam had fun with the painting activity too! She didn't try a taste test until the very end. Now that is good impulse control!

And here's Leila's beautiful work.

As you can see from this picture, Marcus tried the taste test a little early, but was promptly persuaded to put the paint on the paper. I'm so glad both babies produced work, so that they could be represented on our front door! Noah opted not to paint, but instead made a 19-page sticker book, which we have hung on the front door to show off.

Leila was just such a doll in her fancy dress on this day. :)

Leila shared her Frozen umbrella with her friends on our way to and from the library a few weeks ago. As I tried to snap a picture of Amadea, she kept coming closer to me, wanting to share her shelter with me. So sweet! I actually to prefer to walk in the rain with no cover on two conditions: the weather is warm, and there is no thunder. ;) To me, it's the greatest! Of course, I couldn't do this if I were on my way to something in which I had to look presentable! But the kids are pretty accepting of me, even when I look like a drenched rat. I also have the luxury of walking around dirty from sand or mud, and/or with stains on my shirts from paint, and various food sources. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Anyway, my point is, I love to encourage the kids to enjoy the nice summer rain, whether it be listening to the pitter patter on their umbrellas, or dancing around in it.

Play dough! This activity went on for the entire afternoon one day! Great to see the kids so focused.

We have been spending roughly 2-3 days per week at the big pool.

In this photo, Noah is continuing the activity I was running with the 3 girls. They used to do it in Noah's swim class. When you say "Green light" they have to kick their legs fast. When you say "Yellow light" they have to kick slowly, and when you say "Red light", they stop.

I was doing this activity in particular because it is very difficult to convince my daughter to stay in the pool for more than a few seconds. She is in swimming classes now, which is really helping to get her more comfortable with water, but in the meantime, she wishes to stay on deck, and eat. And, since we are no longer allowed to snack on deck, this can make for a very unhappy, unruly, Leila. 

More on that in a minute, but first, here is the Apres Swim crowd. ;)

This is often the time when I can take the majority of the pics at the pool, because otherwise I am in the pool with the kids. It would be cool to get an underwater camera though! Hmmmm....

Noah's the only one who's allowed in the pool without me. He's become quite a competent little swimmer!

Dea swam the whole width of the pool today with her back floaties when it was time to get out. When she began swimming last summer, she started with 4 float boards attached to her back. When she's with her mom and dad, she's down to two now. With me (because of the other kids I also need to manage) she's at 2.5. She really works hard to keep herself afloat, kicking and paddling. She is a fantastic swimmer. And not even 3 years old yet!

She was saying "cheese" here, but squinting into the sun.

Riley is also a great swimmer. She has just started swimming lessons, but is already very good. She wears floaties, but not for long, I predict. She jumps in all the time (and now she's getting fancy, doing half turn jumps, side jumps, backward jumps, etc.) and she also loves to go under water repeatedly. This is a great sign of how comfortable she is in the water.

Also, she keeps either seeing old friends, or meeting new friends at the pool. It is the most adorable thing. Here she is drying off with a new friend. They became friends so quickly though, and jumped in together over and over.

Marcus LOVES the water too. Lately, because of Leila's aversion to the pool, I've been getting my helper to take her and one of the babies to the wading pool instead. Today, Marcus did back floats with his life jacket on, in the pool! I was holding him, of course, but I was just so surprised that he wanted to do it again and again. Most kids I know are terrified to do that at first. I just had to block the sun from his eyes each time, but other than that, he loves it!

We had Thomas this week, too! And wow, has he ever come a long way in regards to swimming! Last year he clutched onto me. He was terrified to let go. Now, he swims on his own (with his life jacket on). She also does fancy moves like spinning in circles! It makes me howl every time. :)

When we do go to the pool, we are usually there by about 11am. They are closed from 12-1 for lunch. So, we usually get about 45 minutes of swimming in, and then dry off, lounge, and then get dressed for the last 10-15 minutes. I gotta say though, the morning at the daycare is a little low on programming in the morning these days. It's ALL about sunscreen. There are always about 5-6 kids to meticulously lather up. I've never had a kid burn on my watch, and I want to keep it that way! They get more sun when we are at the big pool, I would say, but at least on these days we are only out for an hour or so before we head in for lunch.

Guess who tried a Jello Popsicle today? Maryam tried on the other day too, and liked it. Ahhh...they grow up so fast! Next thing you know, they'll be moving on to the booster seats!

I think this is a good time for one of my random videos. In the beginning of the video, you'll notice that Maryam has Leila's (clean) underwear (sorta) on. She does this with various items of Leila's clothing. She'll pull a shirt, or some shorts, up to her knees (and although this is as far as she gets, I'm impressed that with shorts she will actually get each leg in a hole) and then walk around the place walking like a penguin, but with a face that says, "This is completely comfortable". She is also very interested in using the potty. Now if she could just inspire my daughter....Until next time!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kids of Summer

Just a couple of videos taken in the past week and a half. Enjoy!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Starting Summer

Here are the Father's Day gifts we made last month: Popsicle stick picture frames. Happy belated Father's Day to all the awesome dads!

Wading pool season - yeah! Maryam borrowed Leila's bikini one day, and it was unbelievably adorable. Beach blanket baby. :)

We have also been to the big pool a few times. Everyone is LOVING it, but as you can imagine, it is crazy busy with me and my helper ensuring the safety of all (even though there are lifeguards as well), so alas, there are no swimming pictures. I hope to get one or two one of these days, but safety is obviously my prime concern. The closest I got was a shot of these two beauties on deck, after we had finished swimming and gotten the kids changed back into their clothes. The pool is great though, because it is fairly shallow and small for an in ground pool, and it is as warm as bath water. I know this doesn't sound very refreshing on a hot day, but it is perfect for little kiddies who get cold easily; they last so much longer in the water this way!

Meet our lion, zombie, and bat-girl. Yup, we've been into the face paints again!

Now this is HUGE news that should have been reported weeks ago, but it kind of coincided with my trip to Italy. Anyway, Amadea is officially a big sister! Little Marcellus was born June 12, healthy and beautiful as can be! Here he is, with doting admirers!

Congratulations to the family! I cannot wait to hold this little guy!

Aaaaand....back to the wading pool.

 B.'s mother and I had a great water fight with Noah and B. I got soaked!

Noah enjoyed a play date with two of his buddies. It was a great day for it, since Riley was away (the only non-napping kid besides Noah.)

We made a hopscotch and practised hopping. The babies practised jumping. Marcus almost got off the ground! Adorable. :) As an aside, I have to mention that Marcus is CRAZY for light switches. He gets so excited, just looking at a light, and anticipating that you might let him turn it on or off. I think this fascination with lights is really facilitating his language development, since I hear the most intense, earnest baby-talk from him when he's talking about the lights. And in this baby-talk, I swear I'm hearing some real words, like "turn on lights", but it's always rolled into much more complicated language. I love seeing these guys grow and develop!

Little Maryam is now able to climb up onto the big chairs. She actually brought a book with her this time, too! Although these things are always a little nerve-wracking, she has proven she is able to get safely down on her own. She's also very proud to have mastered climbing on the big couch. Go, Maryam!

She also loves pushing her "babies" around in this stroller. Here, she has put Leila's hat on. Oh my goodness - I just can barely contain my glee when they are super cute like this. The only way I can deal with this cuteness overload is to take a picture, and share it.

We had a couple of days last week that were a tad too chilly for our usual wading pool activity. The kids had fun building sand castles, and drawing with chalk. I'm noticing how interested Maryam is becoming with drawing or colouring. She even gravitates toward the magnetic drawing books I have at home. Time to get more colouring materials out for her! She and Marcus have kind of passed the "I'll try to eat anything that will fit in my mouth stage", so I'm a bit more comfortable getting out the crayons. They still need to be watched closely, but also seem to be a little wiser in this area - you know, at the ripe old age of almost 18 months. :)

I leave you with this photo shoot. I took a picture of Riley running toward me, and soon enough, that was the activity: them running towards me while I took a picture. They thought it was great fun! Look how much Riley has grown! She is a beautiful, confident girl. Have I said already how happy I am that she's gracing us with her presence this summer? She's lovely, always.

Dea!!! Sweetheart!

Well hello Leila!

Hams in foreground, photobomber in back.

Marcus, the cutest photobomber. :)


Til next time!