Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First xmas as a family of three

Well I hope everybody is having a great holiday season. Ours has been pretty low key. As we don't have any family nearby it was just the three of us (6 if you include the cats and dog). We kept our gift purchasing for Van to a minimum because we knew he has really no clue what all the fuss is about and also the family had sent a sizable haul. There are a couple of simple traditions we have for the holidays that we decided to introduce him to. One of them is that Pat makes raisin bread using his mom's traditional recipe. It is made from scratch on xmas eve.

Then it is toasted and enjoyed xmas morning. Van seemed to like this tradition.

Another tradition for us (and for most Canadians) is to watch the World Junior Hockey Championships which officially starts on Boxing Day and run into the New Year. We decided a family pic with us in our Canadian sweaters (jerseys) was in order. Sadly we don't have any that would fit the cats. Besides, I challenge anyone to attempt to dress two cats and then pose with them ;) We tried the multiple picture setting on our camera and hoped for the best. 20 pictures later and this is probably the best one.

Another example in the funny but no so good pile.

Finally it was xmas present time. We decided to leave the presents from Santa unwrapped (another tradition acquired from Pat's family). Van did notice that there were new toys. Actually new is a bit generous on the parking garage one. We had bought that before we even went to Vietnam. We had it out for Van in the summer but he showed no interest so into the basement it went until Santa brought it out for xmas. Sadly he is still not into it (mainly just tries to climb it) so it has once again been relegated to the basement for another future attempt. Here he is checking out some of his loot.

He needed a bit of help figuring out the stocking.

Some afternoon fun on his new sleigh.

Out of the sleigh and into the fun of playing in the snow.

Some after nap fun. Chicken puppet is coming to get you...

Num num num...

I hope everybody has a great New Year and 2011 is auspicious for one and all :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

17 months old

V-man is 17 months old today. Wow! He says bye all the time now (at the appropriate moments too). He also says "ohohoh" when you ask him what santa says. Other new, and cute I might add, developments are that he will kiss on demand (particularly pictures or his own reflection), he claps in the traditional way now and also bounces up and down when he is dancing. His daycare provider says that he knows the names of his daycare friends and has a few other words that of course we never hear at home, sigh. His personality is growing everyday and he is such a delight (ok, maybe not at mealtimes lol).

This past Sunday we hosted a xmas cookie exchange. Four other families from the adoption community came over along with a friend from the neighbourhood. As always it is great to get the children together and I think everybody had a nice time. We have about a hundred cookies we have to consume over the next few weeks though! Yikes!

Here are some pics:

The table laid out with all the wonderful cookies. Some people went to great lenghs to create the most delicious and attractive cookies. Mine left a little to be desired but I have been told they were tasty....hmmm, I think people are just being nice.

Fun in the ball tent:

Looking pensive:

Tickle time:

By the way, here is a video of Van "dancing". Unfortunately it uploaded sideways and we can't figure out how to rotate it. Argg!

Bustin' a Move from Patrick Lewis on Vimeo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

6 Months home

Yesterday was my birthday but it was also cause for another celebration. It's been 6 months since we have been back in Canada with little V-man. It's hard to believe that it has been 6 months already. Time sure does go by fast! Van has adjusted pretty well to life with his Canadian family. Everyday brings us closer together as a family and I cannot imagine life without him. It has been a fun, amazing, stressful, exacerbating, overwhelming, emotional journey so far. I look forward to the journey ahead. Here are some pictures from the weekend:


Fun outside:

Entranced with The Wiggles:

Here's to the next 6 months little man. We love you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Keeping the V-man entertained

Now I know why parents are constantly talking about being exhausted. It really is exhausting trying to keep a 16 month old busy and entertained. We always try and plan our weekends in advance so we have things to do with him. This past weekend we thought we'd take him to the arboretum at the experimental farm. We'd taken him to the animal barns two weekends in a row so this time we figured he would enjoy just running around the park. It is true he did enjoy it but it involved a lot of falling due to being trussed up in his winter clothing and still getting his toddler legs underneath him. So for us it involved pulling him up endlessly (winter clothes=difficulty getting up on one's own). So, fun for him not so fun for us lol. He was none to happy when we decided it was time to go, but to be fair to us he was spending more time lying on the cold ground than actually walking. Life can be tough for a 16 month old. Here is a picture montage of his time walking, running and of course falling:

After his afternoon nap we decided to check out a small craft fair and then take a walk around Chinatown. It was a beautiful late afternoon with the sun setting and fresh, fat snow flakes falling. Van sat back in his stroller and enjoyed a fortune cookie he received from the owner of one of our favourite Asian fusion restaurants where we popped in for an order of spring rolls for dinner:

The new arch also looked amazing. It just seemed magical:

A new development in Van's life is that he has suddenly developed an interest in children DVD's. We had been hoping that he would eventually show interest. Not that we are looking for a "babysitter" in the form of a t.v., but you have to understand how "active" our little man is. We had tried a few different varieties such as "The Big Comfy Couch" and "Bob the Builder". No luck. He really did not find it interesting at all. So we did a bit of research and discovered "The Wiggles". It seemed to get rave reviews from kids and parents alike (well, parents liked the content for the kids but of course the songs do become mind numbingly ingrained in your brain! I have woken up many times recently with a few of the songs running through my head). Well, he loves them! As soon as dinner is done he runs into the living room and looks at the t.v. doing his "uh uh uh" demanding noises. I think we may have created a monster! We wanted him to like a watchable program but didn't want him to be obsessed! He does continue to play and interact with us which is good but he is definitely enamored with this DVD. We have bought a Wiggles xmas special for xmas just to add variety to the songs we are being forced to listen to over and over. I have to say though that as far as kid's "acts" go "The Wiggles" are pretty good. The songs are fun and the corresponding dances are quite intricate and encourage kids to be active. I was even thinking they would make good fitness DVD's for adults lol. One really positive thing that has come out of this recent interest of his is that it calms him down before bed. You wouldn't think that would be the case but it really does. Before he used to be bouncing off the walls before bed mainly due to being tired. This would carry through to his before bed story time where he would often be too hyped up to relax and allow us to read to him. Since introducing "The Wiggles" he has really calmed down and bedtime has become quite relaxing. I think it is because he concentrates on the DVD and it helps him unwind. Anyway, now we just have to find a balance between having the DVD on and not having it on.....Here he is watching his favourite "fab four":