Friday, September 29, 2006

Woot Contest #92

Create an ad to sell the Vector Jump Start System to people who don't own cars.
Let's hear it for the boys...yet again!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Independence Day

For several months now, Sylvie and I had been attending a local infant/parent playgroup coordinated with her Early Intervention therapy. Once a week, we'd ride the bus to meet with other parents and their babies and a "teacher" for an hour and a half. We'd sing songs and play little games during "circle time" and then the children would have lots of free time with toys, instruments, books and play equipment. A child attended this group up until 18months and the progressed to the toddler group which they attend sans parent. So today we put our darling girl on the bus to her toddler playgroup...ALONE. We were both excited and quite scared the whole time she was gone; afraid she'd act up/get hurt/get know, the usual concerns of parents learning to let go.

All went well apparently as we never received a call demanding we remove her from the premises with strong urges to seek an exorcist immediately and when the bus driver dropped her off, she claimed that Sylvie had chatted happily both there and back. Parents? She don't need no steenkin' parents to go with her to playgroup!

I did attend her very first toddler group last week so as to be familiar with what Sylvie would be doing while there. It was very similar to the infant group but with more structure and more 'mature' (in a toddler sense of course) activities, like coloring. There is even a computer in the room with toddler appropriate games...which probably means that soon we'll have THREE people jockeying to use the computer at home. They do free play, then circle time, followed by gross motor skills play (in the same room where we had our infant group) and finally a snack of juice and kix/goldfish/ritz crackers. There are three teacher/therapists in the group of 8 children and at the end of the day a list of the days activities is sent home with each child so us parents can get an idea of what they did that day. And once she's done some, we'll also be getting Sylvie's art pieces! Pretty neat, huh?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Woot Contest #91

Take a famous painting, drawing, or photograph and make it "wide-screen" by adding more imagery to the left and right of the original work.
All three of us received nods again this time..though clearly we deserved more. Anybody wanna share my grapes? They're only a bit sour...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Coast to coast boast

Is it overly boastful to say that my sister and I have the cutest kids of the west and east coast respectively? Yes it is...but to us at least it's true! Sylvie and I had a fabulous time visiting with the Gentrys and we're very much looking forward to seeing them again at Xmas in Toronto. I think mom and dad will go into coniptions of glee at having both grandkids together at the same time. (Meanwhile us daughters and son-in-laws might as well be chopped liver. Imagined future conversation: "Who are you again? Oh that's right..uh,Paige is it?...can you move to the left a bit? You're blocking my view of my darling grandchildren.")

Just Ducky
While in Seattle, Sylvie learned a few new skills:
quacking like a duck
This happened when we went to pick up Travis from his now ex-job (more on that later). There was a duck pond in the office park so we'd bring some old bread and the ducks, who were quite tame, would eat right out of your hand. Sylvie loved this and giggled whenever a duck came up close. The birds were making soft quacking noises almost non-stop and we adults were quacking back at them. Up 'til this moment, Sylvie hadn't really made any animals sounds other than 'baa' and an occasional 'moo' but once she made the connection that, 'hey! ducks QUACK!', she started doing it too and for a little while there we were concerned that she'd forgotten how to make any other sound.


Theron and I have been encouraging Sylvie to give us kisses for months now without success. However, upon being urged to give her baby cousin a kiss, she readily complied, puckering up, making a 'mmm' noise and planting her lips on his head! She did it repeatedly while we were visiting, sometimes without any prompting at all. Sadly, once we returned home there's been nary a kiss from her. Guess for now she's just a kissin' cousin.

Something Fishy

We spent the majority of one day of our trip hanging out at the Seattle Aquarium. Sylvie got a huge kick out of the otters and would have dearly loved to jump into the tank with them. Travis took some excellent photos of her rapt expression reflected in the glass which I'll hopefully have up soon. We also saw seals, human divers, lots o fish of course, some jellies, octopus, cuttlefish etc etc. Pretty neat place and I suggest a visit if ever you are in that neck of the woods.

Bad luck, worse timing
As most of you know already, Travis got the news that the company he'd worked for for only a few short months was shutting down and leaving all the employees high and dry...and the day he got the news happened to be on Manda's birthday! (Poor Manda is beginning to think there may be a jinx on her birthday now considering other events that have a occured on Sept. 11th.) We still managed to have a pretty good time out at Manda's bday dinner that evening, where we consumed mass quantities of food and got some fun pictures of Manda in a celebratory sombrero.

In the end the layoff has turned out for the best. Travis managed to get an all around better job just down the street from his old one, plus he got a nice little 2 week vacation to spend time with his wife and son. Not to mention he won the Woot contest 2 weeks in a row. If this is Travis with bad luck...then I'm gonna make sure I buy some lottery tickets for him to scratch off next time I see him!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Woot Contest #90

Alter an existing television show to reflect one or more qualities of the RCA Lyra 20GB MP3 Video Jukebox (smaller, lower-budget, more mobile, refurbished, etc.)
Looks like Travis pulled a Theron; scoring a money prize and the CCC. Not to mention that he won 1st prize two weeks in a row! (Too bad only a handful of people know he was also 75% of sackattack.) I think Theron's versions of a Lyra-ized BBC's The Office and Les Headroom were vastly superior to the entry that garnered him an HM nod, but there's just no telling how the judges think sometimes.

Nothing for me though...sob! Enh, none of my entries were worth more than an HM anyway.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

18 months and counting

Has it REALLY been 18 months already?
Sylvie had her 18 month appointment earlier ths week and her currents stats are as follows:

weight 18lbs
length 30"
teeth 4

She's still a wee thing, (no surprise there), but she's following the growth curve and developmentally she's ahead of her age group in everything but gross motor skills. She has finally started to take a step or two every now and then though, so hopefully she'll catch up in the regard soon.

5 and a half hours with a toddler on one's lap is no easy thing

So Sylvie and I are currently hanging out with Auntie Manda, Uncle Travis and cousin Jack in sunny Seattle, WA. Yes, I said sunny. (Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't actually rain every day here, ya know.) We flew in late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning and boy, were my arms tired. It is not a picnic trying to contain a bouncing ball of toddlerness in one's lap for several hours and then when she finally zonked out, it was almost impossible for me to get into a comfortable position wihtout disturbing her. I spent almost the entire flight assuming various pretzel-like contortions at sloth-like speed, hoping in vain to find a position that wasn't going to give me back spasms. At loooooooong last, we finally made it back to terra firma without any whiny child induced air rage or permanent damage to me.

The Chubaliciousness of baby Jack

Let me just say right now that baby Jack is the cutest boy in the whole wide world. All big eyes and chubalicious thighs. It's funny how while he isn't really a chubby baby per se, he has Michelin Man-like thighs. His thighs are pure squishtastic, chewy, nummy goodness!

Sylvie just loves her cousin Jack and we've already gotten some adorable photos of the two of them together. Look for tehm when I post September's photos!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Woot contest #89

Design a series of currency for the Republic of Woot, with each bill or coin honoring a different Woot product, past or present.


I'll be siting this one out as I can't make heads or tales out of Photoshop on a PC...but keep an eye out for entries by twallis and tgentry!

UPDATE: I didn't exactly sit this one out after all...Travis and I formed the 'superduo' known as sackattack (no perverted meaning there btw, it's a combo of our kids names) and our entry took first place! Theron also did quite well, receiving a doublenod with 3rd place and the CCC award. Check it all out here: