Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a Weekend!

This weekend was full of various learning opportunities for Jaymi, along with lots of excitement.

We started Saturday morning off with her weekly ballet lesson, and then off to Michael's for a very cool science craft - making a molecule (Jaymi chose a water molecule). So, Jaymi learned what a molecule is, and that a water molecule is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom.

Then, after a quick snack, we were off to a birthday party at our local gymnastics academy.

Next, was a fantastic grocery errand run. I gave Jaymi a bit of freedom at the grocery store, by providing her with a list of 5 things to find in the store, and her own rolling basket. She had to find the correct items and put them in the cart. She also had to find the items with the best prices. She did awesome. Although, I had to correct her when she put about 15 green apples in her cart, instead of what my list said - "a bag of red apples". So, she had to return all of the apples, one by one, and get a bag of red apples.

After that, a playdate with a friend - which always means lots of hide-and-seek and pretend play.

And for dinner that evening...what we call a scavenger hunt dinner. That is, whatever we can find to eat, as long as it's a balance dinner.

Today (Sunday), we started off our morning with a Thinking Day 'parade' and mass at a local church, with a group of Guiding girls and Scouts too. Jaymi was chosen to wear a 'heritage uniform' from 1940. It was so cute!

After that, we were at home for a bit, and Jaymi got involved in her own ideas - making one of her fairy books come alive. "Emily the Emerald Fairy" is a favourite fairy book of hers, and she reinacted the story, complete with paper goblins that she made, a paper Jack Frost, a paper emerald that she had to 'find', and she even wore all green, so that she could 'be' Emily.

Then, she decided to put this sign and bowl outside, and kept checking it, hoping to 'earn' some money for her wonderful design of the hanging goblins, etc..
It says, "Whoever likes this, please put a quarter in this box".
Sadly, she didn't get any quarters.

While Jaymi was doing that, I was making a new batch of applesauce in the crockpot.

I also taught Jaymi how to clean her toilet. I have recently made a new rule, in resonse to her toilet rarely being flushed. She is pretty forgetful about that lately. So, I told her that if she forgets to flush it, she will clean the toilet and the sink by herself. It went well today - she forget yesterday, so I told her that today she would be cleaning it. I talked her through it and she did fantastic.

We spent a few hours watching the awesome Olympic hockey game between the U.S. and Canada today. It was so great, watching it with her.
We discussed so many things, like how a hockey game works, penalties, power plays, overtime, how the medal ceremony works, anthems, sportsmanship, etc..
It was so exciting watching the game, and especially watching Jaymi get so excited about it. She was cheering so hard for Canada!
And it was a nice surprise to hear her sing Oh Canada word for word, by memory, during the medal ceremony. I didn't realize that she knew the whole song that well.

It was Mark's birthday today, so after the game, we took him to Dairy Queen to pick out his favourite kind of birthday cake - an ice-cream cake.
Jaymi chose the colour of icing for the writing - pink, of course. ;)

We ended our night by watching some more Olympics - the Closing Ceremonies.
We were all so proud to be Canadian in these past two weeks, and watching those ceremonies was fantastic! I especially loved all of the humour in the presentations.
My favourite parts were:
- laughing at ourselves about the malfunction with the hydraulics (at Opening Ceremonies) and having that final torch finally lit properly
-the wonderful comedic speeches near the end, by William Shatner, Michael J. Fox, and Katherine ... oh, I can't remember her last name - oops.
-the 'iconic images of Canada' - they were great - Mounties, hockey players, table hockey, maple leaves, the beaver & moose, etc.
-Michael J. Fox saying "our country is our home and now it is your home too" - something you wouldn't hear other countries say, would you?
-the song "The Maple Leaf Forever"
-Michael Buble - he was excellent.
-and of course, the rankings. Wow! Gold in men's hockey AND women's hockey, the most gold medals in ANY Winter Games, and the most gold medals for a host country ever to get!

I am so proud to be Canadian today!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Learning, Walking, Pretending, Playing...

The weather out here has been so beautiful lately - up to 17 degrees Celsius and bright and sunny! June weather in February!
I took advantage of it while Jaymi was in ballet, and went for a walk. Her ballet class is right by the ocean and a castle, so it was a fantastic, scenic walk.

Thinking Day Celebrations for all Girl Guides were this week, so one of the things they did was to raise money for Haiti. This was a great opportunity to teach so many things, like selflessness, community, counting money, disaster relief & preparedness, etc.

Also, Jaymi's unit earned a few badges in the past 2 weeks. She also earned two badges herself (the My Room badge and a Recycling badge).

We put together our world map puzzle and have been referring to it during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In school, her classmates have each been assigned a country. Hers is Germany. They keep track of the medals won by each country, and we have been watching bits and pieces of various sports. Her favourite so far, is the figure skating. Of course, in typical Jaymi fashion, she has been putting on 'shows' for us, complete with announcers, a skating show, sometimes a fall (and a bounce right back up), waiting for the results, and presentation of a medal. :)

It was interesting, however, watching the big hockey game the other night, between Canada and Germany. If Canada had lost that game (which they didn't), they would have been out. So of course, we were cheering for Canada. Jaymi, on the other hand, was cheering for Germany because that is 'her country' right now, and was disappointed when Germany kept getting scored against.

We baked yummy Lemon Chocolate Chip Loaf yesterday, and ate it for dinner! It was extremely sweet, though. We couldn't eat too much of it in one sitting.
So much fun to make.

We have a rule that if you help to bake something, you get to taste test everything. Jaymi insisted on that rule, and wanted to try a taste of shortening, a taste of flour, and a taste of sugar.

Here is the recipe:

Lemon Chocolate Chip Loaf
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
melted chocolate (optional)

1. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to shortening mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and zest.
3. Spoon batter into prepared greased baking pans of some kind. (We used small, heart and circle pans.)
4. Bake at 400 degrees F until toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean. I think it took our loaves about 25-35 minutes.
5. Mix together lemon juice and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Pour glaze over loaf. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate.

We also made crockpot applesauce last week, that was soooooooo good!

5 medium Gala apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
5 medium Golden Yellow Delicious apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon - we put more in - yum!
¼ cup apple juice

Place all of the apple pieces in a large bowl and stir in sugar and ground cinnamon. Pour apple juice into the bottom of a large crockpot (slow cooker) and add the apple mixture. Cover, turn the crockpot setting to Low, and cook for about 8 hours (or on High for 5 hours), stirring occasionally and breaking up the apple slices with a wooden spoon as they soften.
Serve warm or room temperature.

We have been doing an Art Study this week, and it has been so much fun. Jaymi loves to draw so much, and it was the perfect theme for her.

A friend introduced us to Zentangles. We have spent many evenings sitting at the coffee table, doodling away, and getting inspired by each other's Zentangles.

Here are a few of mine:


And Jaymi's:

Yesterday, Jaymi learned about various drawing techniques like shading, creating textures, perspective, light and dark tones, using pencil crayons, and trying to make a drawing look 3-D and realistic.

We also borrowed these art videos from the library, and watched them.

Jaymi's best friend has introduced her to the Powerpuff Girls. Apparently there was a library book in school about them, and ever since reading it, she has been heavily involved in pretending that she is a Powerpuff girl. Of course, she has to dress like one of them.

Also, the words of the week seem to be "fashionable" and "stylish". Jaymi is constantly heading up to her room saying, "I have to find a fashionable outfit", or "That's very stylish".

Belts are a big hit right now as well.

Powerpuff pose ;)

On Valentine's Day Jaymi got all dressed up and Mark did her hair for her (hair-sprayed and everything) to go for lunch at Gramma's house.
Before we left, we put a trail of little red plastic hearts around the house for her to follow, with different things inside, like marshmallows, chocolate chips, a note, and heart magnets for her wall. At the end of the trail, was this stuffed ladybug that we call a "love bug".

Jaymi has discovered that the library has Magic Treehouse books and Rainbow Fairy books. I set a limit of 10 per visit, and she went through 18 books in 3 days!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today was Jaymi's appointment for an E.E.G..
The doctor wants to check to see if she has been having seizures at nighttime - that look like sleepwalking. I guess they would be related to her tumour?
Anyway, she was very nervous, but did amazing. Especially considering that we had to sleep-deprive her for the test. We had to let her stay up until 12 midnight, then wake her up before 6am, and keep her awake. She loved staying up late, until she got to about 10:30 or so, and then wasn't thrilled when we wouldn't let her go to sleep. Waking her up wasn't fun either. She soooo badly wanted to stay asleep.
She went to school in the morning, and that was a great distraction for her.
I picked her up at 10:30, took her to the library to get some new books for her to read later, and then we had to wash her hair. It had to be freshly washed, dried, and brushed for the test.
Then, after a quick snack, we were off to the appointment.

They started by drawing on her head with a crayon.

Then, one by one, they stuck a bunch of wires to her head, face, and shoulders, with this really sticky conducting stuff. The wires were connect to this panel, and the result were on a screen.

I got to be in the bed with her, along with her favourite stuffie and Lovey (her blanket).
They also gave her some medicine to help her get even drowsier than she already was. The whole point was to measure her brain waves while she was falling asleep, sound asleep, and waking up.

They had a DVD playing (Horton Hears a Who) while she was getting set up, because it took quite a while.
Then they made her blow over and over into a pinwheel (making it spin) for 3 minutes. Do you know how long 3 minutes is when you're doing that? And she was fighting sleep at the same time. She kept blowing and then she would fade away for a second, then they made her keep blowing...etc..

This was her attempt at a smile.

Then they turned the DVD off, turned down the lights and I scratched her back while she fell asleep. They measured her brain waves for 30 minutes and then as she woke up as well.

She did so well.

The funny part, was her hair when they finished taking everything off.
Here is the before and after! ;)


...and After....

(a little messy and groggy)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lots of Cuteness :D

A friend of Jaymi's asked us if we wanted to try Skype with Jaymi, and let her do a video 'phone call' with one of her best friends. So they finally had the chance to try it today. They loved it! They actually did their spelling homework together, through Skype and then they decided to do a craft together. It was so cute, seeing them chat on Skype, make faces at each other, etc..


Jaymi has made a few sets of these mouse ears in the past week. She makes them out of paper and tapes them to a hairband. She is going through a new phase - pretending to be a mouse.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

Today was an at-home day, mostly. Sundays are our day to get the bedrooms (especially Jaymi's) clean, make a batch of yogurt/bread/whatever I need to make for the week, get everything ready for school on Monday, and it is also our day to do a bunch of family stuff together.

Today was Super Bowl day, so Mark was gone for most of the day, at his friends' Super Bowl party. Jaymi and I made a list of things to do, and alternated between chores and fun stuff.

So, here is what we accomplished:

In the morning, Mark and Jaymi went to the fish store to get a new fish (the brand new one that Jaymi just picked out, died less than 12 hours after we brought it home - she discovered it just before walking out to go to school on Friday - reeeeeallly bad time to discover that her favourite fish was belly-up). The owner said that we need to adjust our PH level, so they're going back on Wednesday to get a new fish, after the levels are corrected.

I made a batch of yogurt for the week, and the artichoke dip that I always make for Mark's party.
Here is the recipe (courtesy of my mother-in-law - that's where I got the original recipe from):

Hot Artichoke Dip:
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (not light)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 pickled sliced jalapenos (no seeds), chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Mix all, and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
Garnish with green onions and chunks of tomato.
This year, I added some garnish of minced garlic as well, and fresh shaved parmesan.
I also usually double the recipe, and it fits perfectly in an oval casserole dish.

I cleaned my bedroom, Jaymi cleaned hers, I cleaned the kitchen, did a load of dishes, scrubbed the stove top, and did 3 loads of laundry.

This morning, Jaymi played pretend 'fair' with Mark and I, which involved going on a roller coaster, riding a ferris wheel, going to the snack vendor (which was eating breakfast), and going on the 'Mustang ride" (when they went to the fish store).
This afternoon, Jaymi brought me to her room after she had cleaned it, and showed me a pretend show, with her dancing to "La Vida Loca" . I joined in on the dancing for a few rounds as well.

We played Pictionary Junior.

Jaymi and I made mice out of Shredded Wheat and peanut butter, then ate some of them and packed some for her lunch tomorrow.

Here is the recipe:

In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter and 1 tbsp liquid honey. Stir in 1 crumbled shredded wheat cereal biscuit (1/2 cup), 2 tbsp skim-milk powder and 1 tbsp sesame seeds. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of the mixture into mouse shapes (the original recipe was for bumblees). Press sliced almonds into sides of each bee for wings. Cut currants/raisins/dried blueberries in half, stick on mouse faces for eyes. We also used a fruit squiggle for a tail, although it didn't work very well.

We made invisible ink from lemon juice, and wrote message to each other (to look at later, when they dried, by holding them up to a light). That didn't work very well though. The lemon juice doesn't really disappear enough.

And Jaymi enjoyed some wonderful cuddle time with Cookie, while we were playing Pictionary.

One of the most fun parts of today, was the decision to have a really fun dinner. We decided to have chocolate chip pancakes for dinner!
Well, we had what have named poffles (pancake/waffle mix made with the ridged section of our panini maker - kind of a mix between waffles and pancakes). Yum!