Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Penguin Plunge

The day before we headed back to SK for spring break we hit up the zoo to take the penguin plunge.  
It was really cold waiting in line to get into the exhibit.  We waited for about 42 minutes which isn’t bad as the wait has been as long as 4 hours on nice days.  But it was -2 and it was a cold, windy, snowy minus 2.
Finley was really good while waiting

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Grotto Canyon

On a recent Saturday we headed out to the kananaskis area to hike Grotto Canyon.  Several years ago I took a work course and was told that this hike was one of the geological wonders of Alberta.  And he was not far off.
Greg and the girls slowly hiking behind me :)  Greg forgot his jacket but thankfully Penelope kept him warm.
It was a great hike once you got past the mineral factory.  It was very loud and really took away from the serenity of the hike
We got to the canyon – PURE Ice!!!
Greg putting on his ice picks – you definitely need them if you are doing this hike in the winter
Penelope hanging out while we put on the picks
They were so uncomfortable.  I hated them but definitely glad I had them.  If we decide to do more serious hiking like this then I will definitely invest in some better ones from MEC
It was all ice from here on out….
And even more ice – it was crazy slippery in some spots
The frozen waterfall – super cool to see so close
Time for a quick snack before we turned around and headed back
Ice Climbers.  I wanted to ask if he had any interest in hiking Mt Everest.  If he replied yes I was then going to ask if he had read “Into Thin Air” (fantastic book) because that could certainly change anyone’s mind.  It was pretty windy so rock was blowing off of the canyon so we stayed back.
This is what makes it a geographical wonder – there are pictographs along the canyon.  Although this one is clearly fake.  Seriously who defaces national park stuff?????  I don’t get it!!
This one is a real pictograph –  you can only see faint pictures
This one has some red in it.
I absolutely loved this hike and highly recommend it – even with kids.  It only took about 2 hours back and forth and it was just so cool.  I cannot wait to do it in the spring/summer with rubber boots on!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Happy Birthday Greg!

Back on March 2nd we celebrated Greg’s birthday.  We went for supper at Seoul Korean Barbeque on Macleod Trail at Greg’s request.  We had been there once before for his birthday but that was pre-kids.  I don’t know why we waited so long to go back because it was delicious!!!
After supper we  headed home where we had a cake  baked by moi.  I made a maple cake and frosted it with maple buttercream frosting – both made from scratch!!  After frosting it, I decorated the entire cake with kit kats and reese pieces
Here is a photo of Greg pretending to blow out the candle.  We had nothing to light it with
Penelope enjoying her first ever kit kat bar
Finley also enjoying her first kit kat
Greg giving the cake a try
It was a pretty good cake although WAY to sweet.  I ended up throwing most of it out because it was just too much to eat.  It looked good though :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Telus Spark

Last month Finley went to the science center with her preschool class so Penelope + I tagged along for the trip.
Our first stop was the Creative Kids Museum.  It was super cool with SO much for the kids to do!
This one was really cool – you controlled the sounds that were made by turning the tap and water coming out of the top there and hitting the bottom.  The kids loved this one
Penelope getting a kick out of something
This one made sound from the telescope like thing hitting the metal things on the walls.  Finley really enjoyed this one too.
Playing with voltage. 
The next 2 photos are of the pipeline building.  Finley loved this and she probably spent the most time at this one then any other one with exception of the creative kids museum.  This made greg especially happy since designing pipelines is what he does (at least that is what I think he does)
After going through the science center, we headed back to the Creative Kids Musuem
It was a fantastic time!  I really recommend you check it out if you haven’t been to it yet.  I can’t wait until Penelope is a bit older and can enjoy herself more.  I also think strollers are a pain in the butt here and would definitely put Penelope in the ergo next time we go. 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Finley Speech Update

I have noticed some tremendous growth in Finley recently and thought I would share it with you.  We have another visit at the school on Friday afternoon so I should have another one in a week or more (i have been slacking so you never know ;) ).
We have the magnetic girl dress up dolls from Melissa and Doug that Finley loves.  So I went and bought a boy version. As I have said previoiusly, she has trouble with she/he, his/hers, him/her.  I was having difficulty trying to come up with an at home activity for us to work on it with her.  We have only girl dolls and girl barbies.  Well we have a boy cabbage patch kid but I couldn’t do what I wanted with him ( sounds dirty i know but it’s not meant to be).  What we do is give Finley her girl dolls and the boy one and then hand her an article of clothing and ask her:
     1) Does this go on him or  her?
    2) Is this his or hers?
    3) Does she wear this or does he?
She knows where it goes but I still can’t get her to use the pronoun in a sentance although yesterday we were driving in the car and I asked her if Penelope was sleeping (she is still rearfacing so I can’t see her) and she replied “No she is awake” so that was great to hear! 
She has also progressed from Gickey + Gilk to Nickey and Nilk.  This is great progress because she is starting to move towards the correct sound of ‘M’
She is using more and more sentances.  Here are some that have stood out:
“Why won’t quincy eat it”
“That’s not your’s, that’s mine”
“daddy your shirt is missing”
“Mommy that’s funny”
“what’s that sound?”
“that’s too loud”
“my pants are falling down”
“those are too big Penelope”
She is starting to use “can’t” and “don’t” more – I can’t do this, I don’t like this which is really good.
Also starting to use s if it’s plural and ing when appropriate
She still struggles with recognizing differences between things.  We have downloaded a bunch of ipad apps that are geared towards helping with this.  I work on this with her every day but I get so frustrated.  Part of it is that she doesn’t know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable so if she sees bananas, strawberries, pineapple and a carrot they all look like food to her.  So I am kinda stuck with this.  Greg is much better at this part then I am because I have no patience and lots of times she just doesn’t even try which even further frustrates me. 
We have made progress with “not”
At school the other day, her aide said to Finley “it’s raining outside” and Finely said “it’s not raining” and then proceeded to laugh her little belly off because she thought it was so funny.
Last night I asked her if it is bedtime yet and she replied that it’s not bedtime now
It’s not  your’s, it’s mine
This morning I told her it was snowing outside and she said it’s not snowing it’s windy (she is obsessed with the wind)
Her ability to express herself has improved and is better able to tell me what she did at school.  She also is starting to remember things we tell her at the beginning of the day.  For example,  if her Aunty Leslie is going to be babysitting her that night, we will say to her in the morning that she is going to see Aunty Leslie and throughout the day we ask where she is going and she will say “Aunty leslie’s” and sometimes will tell me that “cameron downstairs”.  Or if I tell her that we are going to see her friends, she remembers that and asks for them by name. 
She also knows that F is for Finley and P is for Penelope and M is for Mommy and sometimes she knows that D is for Daddy but she usually says E and I am not too sure why.  She can recognize all the letters in the alphabet, recognize up to the #10 but can consistently count to 20, she knows most shapes and colours. 
She loves to sing twinkle twinkle little star although she doesn’t know most of the words. She sings the ABC song and is fairly accurate most of the time.
She has picked up a tonne of sign language and uses it while she talks.  I was worried that if she picked up sign then it would delay her further but it doesn’t seem to.  I have learned a few things too and I find it quite interesting.
So I am very happy with the amount of progress she has made in the last few weeks especially.  She hadn’t seen her Uncle Neil in a very long time and he was so impressed with how much she could speak.  She can even say “Uncle Neil” now which made his day!
I will let you know how our center visit goes next week!