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June 30, 2004

All that Jazz


Granville Island is going to be hopping tomorrow. To celebrate Canada Day, there is FREE jazz from noon to midnight at various venues around the market.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival--singing (and dancing!) with my choir as backup for the Tracey Classen band. I guess it's a bit late for a plug, but Tracey is a very talented musician and teacher. If anyone out there is an aspiring singer who wants voice lessons, let me know, and I'll hook you up.

Posted by tomi at 06:28 PM in The Sound of Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2004

Garden Party

Tonight we went to a pre-wedding party for a couple we've never met. That usually means that I won't know anyone else and will spend most of the evening wondering what time it is... So not a problem when you have a young child with you. Oliver was, once again, the hit of the party. Before I knew it, it was almost 10:00 and he was still going. Perhaps the 3 gingersnaps he ate had something to do with it...

It was the perfect night for a garden party. Not to mention that it was the perfect garden! I so wish it didn't take a green thumb to grow a beautiful garden. I can't keep anything alive in the house, nevermind outside. It was decorated with big, colorful paper lanterns of different shapes and sizes. The tables had layers of organza tablecloths to match and were covered with treats and snacks of the gourmet variety. I would just love to have a garden like this to entertain in!

They had a little jazz trio called "Catfish Willie" playing in one corner. Oliver couldn't get enough of the band. He watched every move they made, danced and clapped. Then he'd sign for more after each song was sung! The band got a kick out of it, especially when Oliver insisted on shaking hands with each one of them before we left.

These guys were great - I can't find much about them on the net, although I thought someone said they're playing at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. But, I can't seem to find them on the list. Has anyone else heard them play?

Posted by penny at 12:18 AM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 26, 2004

Where Have You Been?

Both Penny and I have been sick.

This time, however, I don't think that the Ella-bola virus is to blame. Apparently, Hand-Foot-Mouth disease has been running rampant through Lower Mainland daycares. And apparently, this virus is quite common amongst kids--under the age of 10. Ahem...did I not just turn 35 this year?!

Ken was sick, then Oliver was sick, and then Ella was sick (she had a fever and rash, so I'm pretty sure she had H-F-M disease). Penny had aching bones and a fever and a rash. I, on the other hand, am the "lucky" one who got all of the classic symptoms: blisters on my hands and feet, and sores in my mouth.

The treatment: "pain relief and plenty of fluids." So I've been drinking a lot of smoothies, jonesing for the Tylenol, and feeling very, very sorry for myself!

Posted by tomi at 06:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 21, 2004

Sunscreen for kids

Now that Ella's been playing outside, in the sun, almost every day, my mom has been voicing her concerns. Is she wearing a hat? Are you covering up her arms and her legs? Is she drinking enough water? Strangely enough, one of her biggest worries was that we were putting suncreen on Ella's face. "Just don't put on the waterproof kind," she warned us. "You don't know what kind of chemicals they put in there."

And perhaps her worries are warranted. We've been using a kids' sunscreen made by KINeSYS, and it's expensive, but I think it's good. Go-Daddy-O picked it from a shelf full of other products because of the ingredients it didn't contain:

· Oil-free / Alcohol-free / PABA-free
· Hypoallergenic / Non-comedogenic
· Fragrance-free

We had bought another sunscreen, with a higher SPF, which contained titanium dioxide. I looked up this ingredient on the Environmental Working Group site, and it was listed as a having the following two health concerns:

-Thought to possibly cause cancer in humans, based on limited data
-Not yet assessed for safety by the cosmetic industry's Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

You can look up the ingredients in personal care products here.

Are there possible human carcinogens in your child's sunscreen?

Posted by tomi at 10:31 PM in Products We Love | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 20, 2004

Happy Father's Day!

Sun Oliver gave the gift of all Father's Day gifts to his father this morning...much needed sleep. Ok, so he had a little help getting out of the house and down the street to the park. And he may have had a little help making the card that he placed on Daddy before he left. When we got back from the park, he definately had some help climbing onto the bed to give Daddy a big slobbery hug. By 9 o'clock this morning, Mommy needed a break!

This heat is TOO much! Luckily, we've been able to keep the house a degree or two cooler than outside. The warm weather prompted a lengthy family nap, with Oliver smack in the middle, me on the edge and poor Ken across the foot! Anything to stay away from the sweaty little monkey that likes to cling in his sleep...

I'm so grateful for daycare in heat like this...I can't imagine what we'll do with Oliver next Saturday when the mercury is supposed to hit 34! What do you do to keep cool with your kids?

Posted by penny at 11:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 16, 2004

Beach Bum


Last week, we bought Ella a some UV protective beach wear made by SurfDuk (40% off at the Kids Market on Granville Island) and then headed to Jericho beach. The tide was low, so we kept walking. And playing. Enough said.


Posted by tomi at 09:18 PM in Products We Love | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 14, 2004

Green Means Stop, Red Means Go

Peas. Green. NO!
Corn. Yellow. Too close to green. NO!
Tomatos. Red. GO!
Carrots. Orange. Not red enough. NO!

The almighty white carbohydrate...bring it on!

Oh, the joys of feeding a toddler! I feel like I've given it a really good shot but he out smarts me everytime. God forbid I sneak a pea in his tomato sauce - how he manages to keep everything in his mouth while spitting out the pea is beyond me!

So, besides going to bed hungry, as was the case tonight, I'm out of tricks. How do you get your toddlers to eat food they think they don't like?

Posted by penny at 08:05 PM in All About Oliver | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 11, 2004

Toddlers and Shark Attacks!!


Piecing the story together afterwards was quite difficult, as everyone still seemed a little rattled by the entire incident. There had been four toddlers involved altogether and--miraculously--none of them were seriously injured in the attack. The emotional scars might take longer to heal. Even the witnesses to the event were still talking about it hours after the waters had calmed. Hadn't seen it happen like that before. There'd been close calls in previous years, but never three bites in such close proximity. Quite literally all together at once.

The three 3-year olds were playing as toddlers do. They were pretty much oblivious to everyone and everything that was going on around them.

I'll bet they never even saw it coming their way. I know the adults watching over them were just as shocked.

They were playing in the far corner of the room, thrashing about rather excitedly in the playhouse when it happened. Ella had been circling around the house, periodically peeking in the windows and letting out her usual sweet, high-pitched "Hi" to the older kids inside.

She wanted in, but they were having none of it.

Then it happened. A frustrated Ella stopped circling and surfaced, her dorsal fin just breaking the wave. When the victims were least expecting it, she pushed her way into the house, quite literally teeth-first and prompty gnawed on her elders. All of them.

Yes. She bit three kids. All at once.

The kids were shocked (and rather wisely tried to flee from the playhouse as quickly as possible). The caregivers were shocked. And go-Daddy-O was certainly shocked when he came to pick her up and got the story.

Ella has been known to bite on occasion before. But never anything on this scale. To our relief, none of the kids were seriously hurt. I spoke with the caregivers at the end of the day about strategies to dissuade her from this kind of behaviour, and it seems we are actually doing all the right things.

I had no idea that there were so many different motives behind the bites of toddlers. Luckily there are just as many strategies for dealing with bites and useful expert advice to follow.

We have to be patient but consistent with her and hope that she'll grow through this as quickly as possible. We're pretty sure that she's biting out of frustration because she can't express her desires as clearly through language as she'd like. At 16 months, she's just starting to string 2 or 3 words together on occasion. She seems to babble and talk more each day, so hopefully this acquisition of language will give her a safer, more socially appropriate channel to express her feelings.

God only knows I, myself, would like to turn to frustration biting some days after very long hours of trying to teach university students to write.

Any proven methods out there in the blogging community for dealing with biters? And no, a shark cage at the daycare simply won't do.

Any other odd behaviour with your toddler that has required your intervention?

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 11:07 PM in All About Ella | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 09, 2004

Mind Over Matter

I've been home sick for the last couple of days, and as well as getting some much needed sleep, I've been gaining some first-hand experience of Ella and go-Daddy-O's daily routine: playtime in bed, breakfast, Sesame Street, a walk to Granville Island, snacktime, naptime, and more playtime. They were supposed to go to the aquarium yesterday, but instead they stayed home with me.

I have to admit that I've had the best couple of sick days, ever. Unfortunately, seeing the way that the day normally unfolds makes it so hard to go back to work. And it really doesn't help matters when go-Daddy-O plops the grinning child into bed with me in the morning and says, with a completely straight face, "You look terrible, really. You should stay home with us."

Posted by tomi at 10:50 PM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 07, 2004

A Blog for Barney


I guess at some point in our lives we all have, or know someone that has, lost a pet for one reason or another.

Late this afternoon, my sister's cat was chased and attacked by a neighborhood dog. The dog, Ginger, is very friendly and playful with the kids and other dogs on the block. Barney, was a gorgeous and tough but skittish feline, that spent most of her time hiding somewhere...in the forest...in the closet...in the bed sheets.

What makes me the most sad is that my 5 year old nephew watched the whole thing happen. Although it wasn't a gory scene, Keenen knew that Barney was in trouble and that Ginger had hurt her. I realize that kids are much more resilient that we often give them credit for but you can't help but think they think the worst. You want to protect them from the pain but at the same time help them understand that what happened is reality.

My sister and her husband are faced with a bunch of questions they hadn't given much thought to before. Should the dog be put down? The neighbors are seriously considering this option. Was there anything that anyone could have done to stop the attack? Hind sight is 20-20. What do you say to Keenen? Will it be the right thing or make it harder for him to understand? Will his 20 month old brother miss the cat? How do you answer their questions? How will Keenen respond to this dog and other dogs? Do you decide to never have another pet?

Have you been through this with your young children? Do you have any words of wisdom to offer?

We'll miss you Barney...

Posted by penny at 10:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack