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Day in a Life with Two

When Obiwan was 3 mo

0700 – nurse Obiwan, put him down for nap
0800 – wake and get Nessness washed up and changed
0900 – feed Nessness breakfast
1000 – nurse Obiwan, put him down for nap
1100 – do breakfast dishes, prep lunch
1200 – feed Nessness lunch
1300 – nurse Obiwan, put him down for nap
1400 – put Nessness down for nap, wash lunch dishes
1500 – sweep, laundry, shower…or try to nap
1600 – nurse Obiwan, prep snack for Nessness when she wakes
1700 – read/play with Nessness briefly, prep dinner
1800 – prep dinner and feed Nessness dinner
1900 – nurse Obiwan while trying to eat my own dinner
2000 – bathe kids, get Nessness ready for bed, tuck her in
2100 – pack leftovers, do dinner dishes, remember to put clothes in dryer
2200 – play with Obiwan
2300 – nurse Obiwan, try to put him to bed
2400 – sleep
0200 or 0500 – nurse Obiwan, sleep after

Now when Obiwan is 8 mo

0800 – get the already awake Nessness changed and washed up, nurse Obiwan after
0900 – make and feed Nessness and Obiwan breakfast, do breakfast dishes
1000 – get out of the house (Strong Start program, library, grocery run, mall, etc)
1130 – prep lunch
1200 – feed Nessness and Obiwan lunch
1300 – nurse Obiwan
1400 – put Nessness and Obiwan down for nap, wash lunch dishes
1500 – sweep, laundry, shower…or try to nap
1600 – nurse Obiwan and put him on the jolly jumper
1630 – prep snack for Nessness when she wakes
1700 – read/play with Nessness briefly, prep dinner
1800 – prep dinner and feed Nessness and Obiwan dinner
1900 – still eating dinner
2000 – bathe kids, get Nessness ready for bed, tuck her in
– meanwhile Daddy is bottle feeding Obiwan and getting him to bed
2100 – pack leftovers, do dinner dishes, remember to put clothes in dryer
2200 – Netflix, icecream, wine (if it’s been a rough evening)
2300 – Netflix or other time wasters
2400 – pump milk for tomorrow
0100 – sleep and kick myself for staying up so late

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From the Mouth of Babes

32 months old, Nessness

Toddlers are so literal…it’s awesome:

N: GungGung PohPoh live in Calgary. YehYeh MahMah lives in Edmonton.
Me: Where do you live Nessness?
N: At home.

N: (pointing at CD) We can put it into the ABCD player and listen to music.
Me: You mean the CD player.
N: The ABCD player!
(This was a few months ago…she’s got it down now.)

N: There is hair on your floor Mommy. It’s dirty. You need to clean.
Me: (IknowIknowIknow)

N: Where is Baba?
Me: He’s at work?
N: What does he do?
Me: He’s a physiotherapist. He helps people feel better.
N: Baba helps people feel better by putting on a bandage and giving them hugs.
Me: um…kinda.

My Aunt: Your noodles look yummy, how about you share some with your brother?
N: We can’t! He has no teeth!! (This sounds way cuter in Cantonese)

Me: Do you like the bike GungGung (maternal grandfather) gave you?
N: Yes!
Me: Ok let’s try riding it later.
N: No! It’s nap time and I have to go nap!
Me: Right. That’s why I said “later”
N: No! It’s nap time!
Me: Ok…it’s nap time.

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Learn it. Do it right. Do it faster.

I’m an INTJ. Competency and efficiency are KPI’s for everything in my life. Did I do it the best way possible given the circumstances and resources available? And can I do it better and/or faster next time?

I’ve brought those concepts into teaching Nessness (2.75 yrs old) life skills…like how to feed herself (with spoon, fork or chopsticks). How to clean up her dropped/spilled food. How to clean up her toys and books. How to put on her boots/runners and take them off. How to floss and brush her teeth. How to go potty by herself (the wiping is sketch but she can do it.) How to sort clean cutlery from the dishwasher. She’s mostly at the “do it right and faster” stage.

The next learning items we’re working in the “learn it, do it right” stages on are dressing/undressing herself, dustbusting around the house, wiping her table, putting dirty clothes in hamper and making her bed.

Sometimes, okay most times, it’d be a lot faster if I just did it, but that robs her the opportunity to get hands on learning and to build confidence when she does it. That said, I need to work on not getting frustrated with her when she decides to get silly and totally not do it properly. I tell myself she’s not even three. But I’ve seen when she does it really well so I know she’s capable. And so I push.

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I Love…

32 months old, Nessness

  • how she kisses Mommy’s owies no matter where. Once I stubbed my toe and she got down and kissed it.
  • watching her watch sports with Daddy. She mimics Daddy and says things like, “Let’s go! Hurry up, faster! Woohoo!”
  • the songs she makes up to tunes she already knows.
  • watching her watch Animal Planet/Blue Planet….the awe and amazement over the Creatures of this planet. “Look Mommy a penguin! Splash! Penguins swim! It’s catching fish!!”
  • how she’s so proud of learning to floss and brush her own teeth. She also takes extra care when putting face cream on too.
  • how she loves asking Mommy or Daddy to chase her. She loves getting caught even more…usually within two seconds of the chase. She also loves chasing us around the kitchen island…for at least 10 minutes nonstop.
  • watching her try to mimic me while doing the 7 minute workout.
  • how she can take her responsibilities seriously…she’s responsible for sorting cutlery into the appropriate slots in the kitchen drawer and gets really upset if I do it for her. She’s also responsible for using the dustbuster (a.k.a. baby vacuum) to clear hallway dust and hair. I plan to milk this as long as I can.
  • that she asks me to cradle and rock her while singing Braham’s Lullaby before she naps. I hope to do this as long as she and my back will let me.
  • that she likes kale salad, brussel sprouts, grape tomatoes, olives, fish, century egg and all types of noodles. She’s her mother’s daughter.
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A Story as told by Nessness

32 months old, Nessness

This is what I understand of her continually evolving story thus far. She likes to tell it at meal times. With actions and much excitement.

The chicken is in the barn. And a shark in the barn.

The octopus eat the chicken. Nom!

The dog went to the golden sun and the elephant eat a spider. Scary!

And then the squirrel went flying…wheee! And then the fox went home.

So then the chicken in the barn. And the shark eat the octopus. gulp gulp gulp. Oh no!

The spider is this big! Scary.

And then Big Bird pooed in the sink and peed in the toilet. Oh no.

And then the dinosaur said “roooaarrr!!” The dinosaur lives in the mall with the giraffe and elephant and hippo and tiger. It went to sleep. I don’t have to be scared.

So and then the squirrel is on the roof and fall down. boom. The roof fall down.

I’ll add more to her story as it gets clearer. It’s pretty cute to see where she gets some references from and to hear what she’s imagined and put together herself.

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Terrible Twos

31 months, Ness Ness

It’s real: Terrible Twos

They have big BIG emotions and not-yet-developed emo-muscles to deal. And have a short fuse. And become OCD over weird things. They try to exert their sovereignty over everything…pushing and testing parental boundaries/resolve.

My goal though this phase is to not lose ground from what good habits we’ve built in the first two years of her life. This includes:

  • Healthy meals and eating whatever is served. She’s pickier now but she MUST at least try something a couple times before saying she doesn’t want anymore. She can’t get any seconds of what she does like until she finishes her vegetables.
  • No snacking except at snack time or rare treat
  • Cleaning up after herself. If she can pull it off a shelf or throw something on the ground, she can pick it up and put it back. We’re working on her cleaning up without needing me to stand there watching her slowly do it.
  • Daily nap time. There was a period where she wasn’t napping so I made her stay on her bed to “rest”. We just call nap time “rest time” now but thankfully she’s returned to napping. Phew! Without that nap she gets whiny and dramatic at dinner.
  • Reasonable bed time. It’s supposed to be 8:30pm….but lately with the napping, she might not fall asleep until 9, 9:30pm. At least she stays in bed and is relatively quiet.
  • Obedience to Mommy and Daddy….75% of the time? I’m expecting more obedience as she gets older and understands more. I asked her if sometimes she just doesn’t want to obey and she said “yeah”. I told her I understand but some things require obedience for her safety. She said “okay”…though I don’t know how much she understood.

Needless to say, it’s hard to just hang onto what we’ve established. There’s a lot of “Do this or else…” in the house. I’m mindful that whatever I threaten I must be able to carry through. So if it’s “or else we’re not going out“, then we really aren’t going to go out. If it’s “or else I’m going to throw/give the toy that you won’t clean up away“, then I really do it. Sometimes I’ll put the toy away for a couple weeks before quietly slipping it back into her toy box. Always trying to find the motivator. Sometimes it’s a toy or activity. Sometimes is me. “Finish your dinner or Mommy isn’t going to sit with you anymore, it’s dish washing time.”

With all the testing however, she’s also becoming more independent. “Nessness can do it!!” and shoves Mommy/Daddy out of the way. And she’s surprising us with what she can do! Flossing for example. She actually enjoys it! Hopefully that means no cavities in the future. She also likes to help Mommy/Daddy bring things up or downstairs. Particularly if it’s not her things. The extra pair of hands developing for help around the house is nice!! I need to cultivate this further while she thinks it’s fun. 😉

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How do I say that?

31 months, Nessness

We’re trying to speak to Nessness in Cantonese all the time. The hubs and I are both born to immigrant parents in Canada. While I needed a couple years of ESL in my early school years, it’s safe to say Cantonese is our second language now as we both think in English. My guess is that I can speak Cantonese at a grade 2 level compared to someone from Hong Kong. (Pardon moi, mais mon francais est terrible…pretty much wasted unfortunately.)

This past year we’ve had an English speaking nanny so Nessness hears English spoken to her most of the day, she hears Cantonese spoken to her by us, and she hears English spoken around her since that’s the language hubs and I speak. It’s a bit of a confusing blend so it’s amazing to see how she develops her language. She understands both and can interpret short phrases depending on the language the listener speaks to her in.

While we can speak Cantonese for the functional day to day activities, we’re starting to falter in conversations that are more emotions based. I don’t have the vocabulary for conversations about appropriate or inappropriate expressions of emotion…particularly as the Terrible Two Tantrums seem to be making a regular occurrence. Or vocabulary that speaks to her character, like “That was very kind/thoughtful/generous/etc of you.”

Nessness is also starting to share her preference for one language over another. When reading stories, she’ll specifically ask for some to be read in English, and others in Cantonese. She likes to pretend babble in “English” but when directly communicating with us she uses mostly Cantonese still. I hear once she enters preschool it’ll be really hard to retain the Cantonese. How are other dual language families handling this? Any tips or suggestions? TIA!