Tuesday, April 30, 2013

'The Little Couple' Adopt from China

It's late notice but if you have an opportunity to watch 'The Little Couple' on TLC tonight I believe it is the beginning of their trip to China to adopt their son!

We'll be watching!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Swimming Lessons

Hannah continues to be my little fish!  We occasionally swim during the winter but I tend to save swimming lessons for the spring session.  Hannah is taking the same level that she did last spring and I see huge differences in her skills!   She may or may not pass this time but really it doesn’t matter to me at all, it’s all about her improving her swimming skills and gaining confidence and I see this happening with every single lesson.  Hannah has always been pretty confident in the water and now her skills are improving due to her willingness to try new things and persevere as she learns them.  One thing my sweetie hears on a daily basis from any number of people is ‘Slow down’ and this is something that will help her swimming too but I do see her starting to slow down a bit and really concentrate on the details.  Way to go Hannah!!DSC_1143

You are doing so well Hannah!  Mommy is so proud of you!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Bike Ride

Hannah has waited patiently since her birthday in February to finally ride her new bike outside and today was that day!  We’ve had a crazy long winter and spring has been dragging it’s feet but I think it’s finally here.  Yay!

This is the first time she’s ridden a ‘big girl’ bike and I was impressed with how well she did!  I guess all those practice rides in Walmart were helpful.

Go Hannah go!IMG_0907

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a lot of this side of Hannah this summer!IMG_0912

Friday, April 26, 2013

Decision Made: bloglovin'

I'll admit that I haven't taken much time to find a new program that will replace Google Reader so I was looking to others for their suggestions.

Wednesday I was reading a blog I enjoy and she mentioned moving to 'bloglovin' so I took a look and was immediately happy with what I saw! 

It took mere minutes to open an account and it easily copied over my feeds. 


So far, I'm very happy! 

I like the way it:
  • displays new posts for all blogs I follow with the most recent posts at the top
  • displays the first picture from a post which grabs my attention and makes it 'pretty' :)  After all, isn't blog reading about the pictures almost as much as the words?
  • only displays those blogs in my list with recent updates (although with a click of the mouse I can see all feeds I follow)
  • I also like that my feeds do not automatically move to a 'read' status as soon as I scroll through them.  If often pick and choose one or two and save others for posts that will require more time to read and appreciate.
I also like that each day I receive an email summary of all blogs I follow and their updates.  No more finding out about important blog posts 3 days after they went up because I didn't have time to check.

So, there you have it.  My choice for a program to replace Google Reader is bloglovin'.  I've added a 'follow me' link in the sidebar if you'd like to follow Catherine's Chatter that way.  It looks like others have chosen bloglovin' too as I found I already had 36 followers when I opened my account. 

I hope you find a program you're happy too and if you're still looking, you might want to give this one a try!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First Flu :o(

I must say that we’ve been blessed that Hannah has survived the first 4 years of her life without having the flu.But, that changed on the weekend.  It’s going around our area and hit the daycare last week so it wasn’t a complete surprise when Hannah got it too.  Sickness and kids just go together although she’s a pretty healthy kiddo except for the odd cold and ear infection.

Saturday I was out with my niece for the day and Hannah enjoyed a fun-filled day with my parents.  She was great when we first said goodbye to them but by supper time she was running a fever, was a little sluggish and said her tummy was feeling sick.  We passed on supper and enjoyed a quiet evening together playing games, reading stories and watching parts of Toy Story.  (Hannah is still quite reserved when it comes to what she’ll watch and I fully support that.  We fast-forwarded through large portions of the movie and I think in total we watched it ‘all’ in about 30 mins.  Heh!  That works for her so it works perfectly for mommy too!)

Saturday night I was putting her to bed and holding her while we said our bedtime prayers when she ‘erupted!’ Oye!!  She handled this new experience really well and laughed when I popped her back in the tub when she’d only been out for a few minutes.  I quickly cleaned us both up, remade the bed, added her Nemo bucket to the friends on our bed (there was room since her favourite friend Sparkles hadn’t fared so well earlier!) and put her down again.  Understandably it took her a bit to settle but once she did she slept peacefully all night.  I stayed up with her for quite a while and then kept the monitor on when I was downstairs but that was it.  One set of explosions and my kiddo was done with that.  Phew!  I kept the bucket close and jumped each time she coughed but all in all it was a quiet night.  Thank you Lord!

Sunday morning after checking and finding out that she still had a temp, I quickly decided that we’d stay home for the day.  I called the church to cancel my nursery duty and also let Papa know that we wouldn’t be at their place for lunch.  Hannah was feeling much better but I didn’t want to risk her suddenly being sick again or giving this bug to anyone else.  There were tears from my sweetie when she found out we weren’t going to Nana and Papa’s but it was one of those times when Mommy had to do what she believed was right.

Once the meds kicked in and her fever began to go down Hannah was ready for some quiet fun.  We declared it a pj day for both of us  and I purposely kept food bland for both of us.  I didn’t want to risk giving her something that might upset her stomach nor did I want to cook anything that would smell up the house.  Food smells with the flu just don’t jive!

I’ll say we watched more Disney Jr. than this mommy cares to ever watch again in one sitting!  Thankfully most of the shows aren’t too annoying to watch and if they helped Hannah, that was all I wanted.  We spent a few hours with her cuddled up in my lap which was a nice side-effect to her sickness.   When she was feeling better she moved over to her craft area. IMG_0831

I laughed when she asked me to cut something out for her (her scissors are still in timeout until May) and she showed up like this:IMG_0834

LOL!  She was making sure she didn’t touch the scissors.

The picture and video below still make me laugh and I’m glad I finally remembered to capture this game!

Hannah can:

  • count to 29
  • recognize the entire alphabet and write most of the letters from memory
  • logically explain how to get around our resort at Disney
  • remember details about events that happened more then 2 years ago but…

she still thinks she’s ‘hiding’ and I can’t find her in this picture.  HEH!!!IMG_0836

I lost track of the number of times we played this game.

Oh how I love my kiddo!!!

The final tip to me that she was still not 100% came about 2:00 in the afternoon.  She was once again snuggled in my lap when she looked up at me and asked to go to bed!  That spoke volumes and within minutes of her head hitting the pillow she was fast asleep.  We kept Nemo close to be safe but thankfully her bout of throwing up Saturday evening was the only time it happened.  So thankful for that!IMG_0835

Hannah handled this so well and was a trooper through it.  Today she was pretty much back to normal although still has a fever and a number of times this evening complained that her ear was hurting. 

Tomorrow’s adventure – another trip to the doctor?  *sigh!*  Time will tell.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hannah’s Artzooka Aquarium

We recently found a new TV show called Artzooka and my craft loving girl is trying new things after watching each episode!

Recently they showed how to make an aquarium using a plastic veggie container and since we’d had salad for supper that night we were all set.   (Unfortunately I can’t find a link to the instructions but will do my best to describe the steps she took.)IMG_0777

We picked up a few colours of tissue paper, watered down some white glue and were ready to go.  IMG_0764

Using tiny squares of the hot pink and navy blue tissue paper they were glued mosaic style into the bottom third of the dish.  She did the by dipping her paint brush into the watered down glue, then into the squares, then she painted them onto the tray that already had a layer of glue where she wanted the base to go.  Like modge podge, extra glue was painted on top of the tissue paper.IMG_0770

Next Hannah tore 3 colours of blue tissue paper into strips.  Glue was painted into the remainder of the tray and working from dark up to light while crisscrossing and twisting strips, she created the water.  I helped a little but was pleasantly surprised at how well Hannah did this task herself!IMG_0771

Next she added seaweed created using 2 colours of green tissue paper.IMG_0772

Green seaweed was also added to the front of the container which would create a 3D effect.IMG_0773

The fish was made out of a plastic water bottle.  The top and bottom were cut off to create a tube.  The tube was pushed down to create a flatter shape and a 'V’ was cut at one end to create the tail shape.IMG_0827

The other end was folded and secured with tape to create the head.IMG_0829

Hannah then covered this with red tissue paper although you could also use any combinations of orange/yellow/other that you want.IMG_0775

The following day when all was dry she added a googly eye and a piece of dental floss to suspend the fish in the aquarium.

Ta da!  Hannah and her aquarium featuring her fish – Goldie!IMG_0778

Hannah is into fish right now after she received her first pet for her birthday this year! (Thanks Makenna!)  Her first fish was a beautiful red Beta fish that she named ‘Goldie’ :o) and lived ummm…8 days!  Whoops!  I think it was getting too cold at night as we turn down our heat and have a ceiling fan on.

Hannah handled the loss of Goldie really well and was excited the next day when we went to a local Fish Store to purchase a new fish.  This time she chose a beautiful blue Beta fish whom she named….Goldie!  LOL!  I’m sensing a trend!  We now cover the top of her container to hopefully keep the water warmer.

Well, Goldie II has been with us for almost 2 months and happily swims around her little container and has been a nice addition to the family.  Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a pet person so I’m guessing fish and possibly small animals like hamsters will be the extent of pets in our home.  (Uh oh – wonder if I’ll be eating those words some day?) 

Hannah and her beloved Goldie!IMG_0833

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yikes!! She Didn’t!!

Yup…she did!IMG_0744

While Mommy had the audacity to use the bathroom, Hannah cut her own hair!  I didn’t notice when I spoke with her but then walked into the kitchen and saw this on the floorIMG_0743

and then this in the garbage.IMG_0746

I’ll admit that I had joked on other blogs in the past that I was sure it was only a matter of time before Hannah cut her own hair but still – I was shocked and she quickly found herself in timeout. (see pic above)  Mommy needed time to  breathe and calm down.  It wasn’t so much to the fact that her hair was cut but the disappointment that she had done this when each time she’d had her hair cut we’d talked about only Mommy and Miss Ruth Anne cutting her hair.  I also found myself smiling (not when she could see) as really, it was only a matter of time!  It’s almost a right of passage for little girls as so many of them do this!  My niece cut her bangs super short the week before kindergarten.

The funny part (I can laugh about it now) is that earlier that day she had offered to make breakfast for us.   A few minutes after she went downstairs I heard, ‘Mommy!  HELP!!’  at which point I raced down the stairs.   I was met by my adorable little girl surrounded by a milk flood.  The milk bag (I know, crazy eh?!  See this link for more about our milk that is purchased in bags) needed to be replaced which meant it also needed to be opened.IMG_0737

Normally we put the bag into the container pictured above and then open the corner of the bag using scissors.  At the time she said, ‘I know I’m not allowed to touch the scissors.’ so she got creative!  (Wish she’d remembered about not touching the scissors 5 hours later!!)  I asked her out of curiosity what she’d used to open the milk.  Why – a chopstick of course!!  LOL!  I wasn’t in the room but I’m pretty sure the first hole she impaled into the bag that was laying on the counter was okay but then the second stab turned the first one into a small milk fountain!!  Oye!!  Thankfully she called me quickly as the flood was heading to my new computer that was only hours old and wasn’t even out of the box yet!IMG_0738

So….at 8am she remembered she wasn’t supposed to touch the scissors.  At 1pm – not so much.

Needless to say, ‘quiet time’ went out the window and instead we made our way to a children’s hair salon since Miss Ruth Ann was on vacation.  I sometimes trim her bangs but wasn’t sure about this cut as we attempted to blend in the short bit without cutting it all as short as her personal trim job. 

I think she looks absolutely adorable in her new slightly shorter cut!IMG_0761

And so, scissors are in timeout for the month of April which is tough for my crafty girl. 

But, if I were being totally honest the big question would be, ‘How long will it be until I’m posting another “Yikes!  She Didn’t”’ post!  I’m hoping never but with my spunky kiddo, who knows?  After all, school picture day is just a few weeks away and kiddos seem to be infamous for cutting their own hair right before picture day. 

Shhhh….I’m not telling Hannah that.  She’s more focused on counting down the days until it’s May and her beloved scissors are back!  I know she’s learned her lesson and was immediately sorry for what she’d done.

Did you do this as a kiddo?  I’ll have to ask my Mom!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easter Sunday – Such a Wonderful, Life-Changing Day! Jesus in her Heart!

Easter is a special day each year (2010, 2011 and 2012) and it clearly shows the changes in my sweet little girl.  This year was extra special and it will be our best Easter ever!  More about that part later.
Almost the moment Hannah opened her eyes she remembered that it was Easter and she hopped out of bed as I scrambled for the camera and ran after her.  Her bed head just made her all the more adorable!
The start of her hunt.  Could she be any sweeter?

Finding the dollhouse stashIMG_0691
Spotting her Easter treats

‘Fwip Fwops’ are new to Hannah and she makes me giggle as she sits down and does this with her toes to get them on.  LOL!IMG_0707
It’s fun to see how she organized her treats.IMG_0710
This video made me giggle.  Shhh…the eggs are hatching under the pink hay!

Happy Easter my sweet bunny Hannah XiaoFen!  You are the most precious little girl and mommy loves you SO much!IMG_0725
And now for the VERY BEST PART of our Easter!
After the hunt we went to church where Hannah has begun to sit with me in ‘big church’ during the first part of the service and then I take her to Sunday School part way through.  This day as expected focused on the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  She was paying close attention and had many questions.  We whispered back and forth a bit during church and then talked later.  I also read her the book, ‘The Easter Story’ by Patricia Pingry that we’d found the week before.  It talks about the real reason we celebrate Easter.  The death and resurrection of  Jesus. 
Hannah had been asking lots of questions over the past couple of weeks and I was doing my very best to answer them in ways that a 4yo could understand.  Later that day as I was in another room I could hear her chattering while she coloured.  This is oh so normal for her but this time it was really neat to hear her telling the Easter story!  She was saying things like, ‘Jesus died on the cross but He didn’t stay there.  Mary went to find him but the stone was moved and He wasn’t there!  He was alive!’  It overwhelmed me to hear my sweet baby girl recounting the Easter story with such passion in her words.
I pulled her into my lap and we talked about what she’d been learning and I asked her if she wanted to invite Jesus to live in her heart.  My sweet little girl said, ‘Yes.’  Mommy did her best to stay calm and not cry when I said, ‘Honey, let’s pray together.  I’ll say something and then you pray it after me.’ 
What happened next showed me that in her 4yo way, my little love knew exactly what she was doing.  I prayed, ‘Dear God.’  (Expecting her to pray the same.)  And yet her sweet words were ‘I’m sorry for the wrong things I do.’  Yes, she understood.  We finished the prayer together and Hannah now has Jesus living in her heart forever!  We called Grandma immediately and shared the exciting news with she and Grandpa and then told Nana the following morning.  Over the past couple of weeks she has told people, ‘I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart’ while she’s with me and she has also told me she as shared with others like her Preschool teacher. 
She is 4 and may not understand as an adult understands but she understands with a child’s heart….a child’s heart with Jesus living in it!
Yippee Jesus!!!IMG_0695
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

An Easter Trip to the Safety Village

This year I was keeping my eyes open for a new Easter activity and was happy when Norma mentioned something was happening at the safety village.  There was no gymnastics due to Easter so Hannah and I were able to share a rare relaxed Saturday morning together and then make our way to the village.

There were some cute little games like toss the beanbag at the bunny tail plus a few others.  The day really is designed for toddler – age 8 and it was such fun for Hannah!IMG_0640

An egg hunt is always a treat.IMG_0643

Hannah is a gal who enjoys getting her face painted so it’s a treat she enjoys every opportunity she gets.  This time she was a cute (and serious) little bunny.IMG_0646

Riding the jeep was a treat for sure!IMG_0652

Watch out Mommy!  (Yikes!  A peek into my future 12 years from now?)

We had a fun morning together and it was nice to find something new to do at Easter.   The other thing I appreciated was that because it was at the safety village there were lots of opportunities to learn too.  There was information from Neighbourhood Watch, the firefighters and we also found out later that there was a good bike helmet demo that we missed.  |Norma said all 4 of her grandchildren went home and immediately adjusted their bank helmets based on that they’d learned.  We’ll look for that next time for sure!

When we left the safety village we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s to enjoy our family Easter dinner.  First up was the egg hunt. IMG_0669

At Grandma’s house the kiddos go out based on age.  Hannah is the youngest so was first out and I love how this video demonstrates her thought to leave some of the eggs for cousins who were coming behind her.

It was quite funny since there was still snow on the ground due to our long delayed Spring yet it was a little warmer so my niece was wearing shorts.  Ah – teens!IMG_0672

The girls enjoying their candies.  This Easter we were happy to have a couple of Rebecca’s friends join us for the afternoon.  I love that my niece and her friends are still young enough to enjoy this fun tradition even though they will be going to high school next year.IMG_0678

When we got back home that evening we continued a cute tradition that we started last year.   (These pics also showed me how far behind our spring is this year even though it was only one week later last year).

Step 1:  Plant jelly beansIMG_0682 IMG_0683 

And the next morning… IMG_0731


More Easter fun to come.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sugar Bush Adventure

I’ll start with saying Hannah has a memory that baffles, impresses me and puts me to shame!    I have always struggled to memorize things and so far this gift seems to come naturally to Hannah.  It could be that due to her age she doesn’t have a lot to clutter up her little memory but still – she amazes me!   I pray it has nothing to do with her age and that it is a gift she will always have.

On the way to gymnastics a few weeks back I told Hannah we were going to go to the sugar bush later that day with her cousin.  She was super excited and bouncing around in her car seat!  What she said next is what baffled me.  She said, ‘Mommy, we went there with K & G but then last year it was raining so we couldn’t go with Ben.’  And yes – she was right!   I’m baffled because the time we went to the sugar bush with K & G she was 25 months old!  Yes, 2 years and 1 month old and that was 2 years ago but she remembered the details correctly!  And that our sugar bush adventure with her friend Ben had been rained out last year.  Oh how I hope this gift of remembering things remains with her!

So, after gymnastics we picked up Hannah’s cousin Makenna and headed out for an afternoon of fun.  Posing on this beautiful sunny day with an old style sap bucket. 


Both girls said their favourite part of our trip to the maple sugar bush was the wagon ride.  Check out those smiles!



The girls were also able to try out a replica of how sap was carried from the trees in the past and how they reduced it to syrup over an open fire.IMG_0589


The girls also had an opportunity to hand dip candles.  Lots of fun little activities packed into an hour’s visit.IMG_0596

When we left the sugar bush we headed up the street to a store that I knew had baby chicks the girls could hold.  These little cuties were only 2 days old!  I love the look of simple joy on Hannah’s face!IMG_0600

Check out that smile!IMG_0605

The friendship our girls share is precious and I’m so thankful they have one another!IMG_0607


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