Sunday, May 12, 2013

She's On The Move!

Still reeling from her new-found ability to sit unassisted for longer than a few seconds, Ophelia has been perfecting a new skill...


I can hardly believe baby guurl is on the move!

She had been getting around in circles pretty well for the past few weeks but I noticed this week that rather than crying when she couldn't reach something she wanted, she seemed to be moving herself around to get things! I have been watching with fascination as she's been figuring out this crawling thing.

I started placing things she liked just a little bit out of her reach and watching her inch forward to get them. A few days ago, I put her down and went to another room briefly. When I came back, she was on the other side of the living room!

 She's working on a pseudo commando crawl, pulling herself with her arms, while at the same time, pushing with her toes. It's pretty awesome to watch. I haven't taken any pictures yet but will hopefully get on it soon.

I can tell she is rapidly gaining strength. Seems like it won't be long until she's pulling herself up on things and walking around them.Yikes! Baby guuurl is growing up so quickly.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our Family In Krakow

Last month was had the opportunity to spend a week in Krakow, Poland, with Darren's parents. It was a beautiful city with a tragic history. 

We ate lots of typical food and learned about the culture and history through doing walking tours and daytrips to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines. One of our favourite things to do, though, was to spend time in the main square. Sebby found "Goliath's head" and had a ball playing in it! We didn't see even one playground in the city but it didn't matter. He would probably have happily played there all day every day if we'd have been up for it! 

Ophelia missed sleeping in her cot but still enjoyed her time in Poland as well. She found being in the carrier all day a bit challenging but her smiles brightened people's days wherever we went!

Here's a picture of all four of us taken near "Goliath's head"!
When we go back to Canada, we'll miss being able to hop on a plane for another European adventure at every opportunity (holiday!).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Our Imaginative Two Year Old

 Sebby is growing up so fast. We can't believe he's already almost two and a half.

He's becoming so imaginative and has a great time making up new games to play. I left out an empty box this afternoon and he put it on his head and said he was a robot. He pretends that he's swimming in the sea under the covers in his bed. He sits under the table and pretends it's a boat. But his favourite things to imagine these days are giants and dragons!

A few months ago, a friend posted a chart that shared some hints on how to discipline less by understanding your children's behaviour. For Sebby's personality type, it suggested making sure he had physical outlets, fun and adventure in his life. 

When we were on holiday in France over Easter, Darren had the idea that Sebby would enjoy our vacation more if we made each day into an imaginary adventure. 

It worked! 
(Thank you Child Whisperer!)

We started listening for bells (because that means that the giants are waking up) and looking for clock towers (because that is where giants live). It was a great strategy that kept Sebby excited and happy while at the same time allowed us to see the things that we wanted to see (churches, Roman ruins...all places where giants could be hanging out!).

In Krakow, we found Goliath's head!!!

Now that we're home, he still loves looking for dragons, giants, trolls and other imaginary creatures! He runs down the street shouting, "Goliath, are you in there?" and he looks for swords (sticks) that he can fight giants with. He would rather run than go on his scooter now because that way he can have a sword in hand.
He's gotten his face painted twice now and finds the whole process very amusing. He can't stop looking at himself in the mirror! 

Most recently he was a tiger. So cute!

He still loves to read.

The Jesus Storybook Bible (especially David and Goliath!) and 
The Land Long Ago (about a dragon!) are his current favourites. He and Daddy can spend a whole hour in his room reading books.

Daddy taught him a rhyme about tying shoelaces and he's eager to learn, although he still needs help. He can put his wellies on by himself, though!

Lately, every day has been filled with fun and imagination. I love standing in the doorway of his room and watching him play. Sometimes he sings to himself, which is more talk singing at this point but it is pretty adorable. 

Of course, sometimes there are tears, like when he trips because he's running so fast or when he's having a hard time sharing toys with a friend, but he's generally a very pleasant little guy. 

Having a two year old sure is a lot of fun!

Baby Guuurl

It’s been fun to watch Ophelia grow as she begins interacting more and more with the world around her. At 7 months, she loves putting things into her mouth and is growing in her accuracy in doing so. She grabs at whatever is in sight and definitely recognizes the sight of food, which she is always excited about. She kicks her feet and makes noise when she really wants of likes something. For example, when she sees me filling up the bathtub or holding food or in church when the music starts playing.

Lately, she's been enjoying spending more time with Daddy. She even enjoys when he lifts her in the air long as he doesn't toss her up! 

She is a great eater and it’s been fun having her join us for meals. I often give her food off my plate unless it’s too hard (she only has two bottom teeth) or too spicy. Some of her favourite things to eat are pears, apples, mangoes, avocados, carrots, grapes and courgette.

She is quite vocal and often chats happily in conversation with us. She perks up when she hears music and loves when anyone is singing.


She does well playing by herself on the floor, reaching for things and rolling over to get them. She isn’t crawling yet, just shouting or crying for help when a toy gets pushed out of her reach.

She also has a keen interest in whatever her big brother is doing, she finds him pretty interesting! She wants to read (or eat!) all the books he reads, play with all the toys he plays with an check out all the clothes he wears (her fave is his starry rain coat!). She also likes when his friends come over to play because they also give her hugs and kisses.

Sebby calls her “baby guurl” or “pretty girl” or sometimes by her name, “Ophelia” and he likes interpreting for us what she’s saying. He will yell “it’s OK baby guuurl” from the other room when he hears her crying and is usually happy to help pass toys to her when I’m busy. He likes to help change her nappies and help pick her up after her naps. His job is turning off the white noise maker and he gets upset if I do it before makes it into the room.
They sometimes play together on the floor while I'm cooking or getting ready in the mornings.

He is a typical older brother though, too. Now that Ophelia is old enough to touch his things, he doesn't like it. He sometimes quickly snatches them away from her. Or if he sees her doing something that “isn’t allowed”, he’s very quick to tell her no. 


But he’s protective of her when others are around and rushes in to give her more hugs the minute someone else wants a little cuddle from her. 

 We love our baby guurl!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Progress On The Potty Front

Since my last post about Sebby using the potty, he has continued to make great progress. 

When we are at home he tells me when he is about to poo almost every time! If we rush to the potty quickly enough, it all gets into the potty. If we've forgotten to bring the potty into the room with us or he's wearing a diaper or underwear, only some of the poo tends to make it into the potty. However, this is a huge improvement and we are thrilled!

I have learned a few tricks that seem to work for Sebby:

1. Going bottomless!
A totally bottomless Sebby gets more pee & poo in the potty.

2. Potty in sight at all times
Bringing the potty into the room where he can see it helps him get to it in time. (He now tells me as he is about to pee or poo, which is far better than after he has done it or as he is doing it.)

3. Momma in sight at all times
Obviously this isn't realistic, especially because I need to get things done around the flat and can't be watching him constantly. However, sometimes when I leave him alone, he sometimes pees on the floor. He sometimes tells me when I come back in the room or if I ask him about the puddle.

4. Potty time
If I ask if he has to use the potty he will almost always so no. So if it's been awhile since he's gone, I just tell him that it's time to sit on the potty. He sometimes resists but usually will pee, even if it's just a little. I know that if he leaves it too long in between and I'm in and out of the room he's playing in, he'll miss getting there on time.


I'm really encouraged by Sebby's progress and he is proud of himself too. He now dumps the potty into the toilet himself every time and says "bye pee, bye poo" as he puts it into the toilet. 

The plan was to keep on practicing in the house till he's getting to the potty almost every time then  venture out sans diaper. However, today when we were at the botanics, he said he wanted to pee. So I sat him on the toilet. He didn't pee. We left and walked towards home and then he said he needed to pee again. So we returned to the botanics and I set him on the toilet again. Again, he didn't pee. I didn't put his diaper back on and told him to let me know if he needed to pee. We arrived home an hour and a half later with dry trousers. Probably just lucky...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Love this girl and her chat.

It's non-stop these days!

Proud Parent Moments

Sunday we had a day of milestones for the Lung children. I wanted to blog about it that night but alas, I was tired and went to sleep soon after cleaning up after my sleeping children so I didn't get around to it.

Let's begin with Ophela...
 It all started late last week when Ophelia learned to stick out her tongue. By Sunday morning, she realized that she could also spit. She thought it was hilarious and did it off and on throughout the church service and the rest of the day. We thought it was cute too until at naptime when she spit and cooed for about a half hour before settling to sleep. At bedtime, she was even more fascinated by her abilities, staying awake hours past bedtime spitting and chatting. Finally, I fed her again then left her in bed spitting and eventually she fell asleep.

Unfortunately, over the past few days, these newfound abilities have really messed up Ophelia's sleep as she no longer wants to leave the soother in her mouth at naptime. She would much rather spit and make noises so this makes her incredibly motivated to pick the soother out of her mouth. She feels torn, though, because the minute she pulls the soother out, she gets upset and wishes she had it back in. Then once I help her put it back in, her hand is on it like a magnet, pulling it back out again.

I'm a bit at a loss about how I'm going to get her to nap in bed if she keeps this up. She's exhausted and has been mostly nursing to sleep while we've been out and about. This afternoon she was up about 5 hours...WAY too long for a 4 month old! I tried putting her down for a nap but after an hour in the room with her spitting the soother out and returning it to her mouth, I gave up and brought her back out to the living room.

I'm hoping the novelty of this new trick wears off soon or I'm going to have to find a new naptime strategy.

Now on to Sebby...
Over the past few weeks, I've been letting Sebby go without a diaper in the house so that he could practice using the potty more often. I'm not sure if he had more hits or misses but I do see progress. He almost always tells me when he is in the process of doing a poo or right after he finishes. He also really wants to wear underwear instead of diapers, last night he even wanted to wear them to bed! I told him that he can stop wearing diapers at night once he wakes up with dry diapers in the mornings.

Sunday afternoon he was playing in his room while I cooked dinner. He'd been quiet for awhile so I went to check on him and make sure he hadn't peed on the carpet in his room. Just then he ran to his potty and sat down. I asked him if he had to pee and he didn't say anything. A few minutes later he stood up and said, "WOW Momma. Poo!"

I was sooo excited! Not only did I not mention the potty but that was the first time that he has ever done a full poo in the potty!

He kept looking at it in the potty and marveling.

I even took pictures. Ha ha! 
Darren says no one would want to see it.

Comment if you want me to post a picture.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bedtime with Two

Darren was away at a work conference last weekend and I had my first full weekend of solo parenting since Ophelia was born. We had a great weekend, a balance of relaxing at home and getting out to have meals and fun with friends.

Sebby got his face painted for the first time!
 He had fun looking at his doggy face in the mirror. 
Right after having it done he fell asleep in the carrier on my back so it was a bit smudged but he still thought it was awesome.

Sebby practiced wearing underwear & using the potty while we were at home.
He decided it was important to teach giraffe about the potty too. 
Wish I got a picture of giraffe in his underwear!

I learned a few things over the weekend but most importantly, I gained confidence at handling bedtime on my own with a toddler and a baby.

I'd had to do bedtime with the two of them a few times in the past but it was usually stressful, often involving both kids crying and waking each other up. Last weekend gave me a chance to have three consecutive nights to work out a strategy for tackling bedtimes solo just in time for Darren's busiest month at work (he'll be out many evenings at bedtime).

As I chatted with my friend about it the other day, we agreed that starting early and with  plenty of time is probably the most important principle when it comes to solo parenting bedtimes. 

Last Friday I did baths at 3pm. After the kids were dressed in pjs we chatted on skype my sister in law then around 5pm we ate a meal I'd previously prepared. It was great! We had time to read books and play and clean up before bed. No one was stressed or rushed or crying. Sebby got to bed by 7pm and Ophelia shortly after. 

Since then, I've noted that bedtime almost always goes smoothly if there is lots of time to spare.

Since it sometimes takes awhile to get Ophelia settled in bed, I find it works best if I get both kids completely ready for bed at the same time then nurse Ophelia while I pray and sing with Sebby. That way she doesn't get overtired and once Sebby is asleep, I can focus on putting her down and not worry about what Sebby is up to or leaving him playing on the iPad for 40 minutes. 

After having done it a few times, I no longer worry about handling bedtime on my own. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

She's A Roller

While Daddy was away at work last weekend, Ophelia was busy learning to roll onto her stomach from her back. It's been about a week and she hasn't looked back.

"Got Sophie!" 
Taken just after she rolled for the first time back to belly.

Now, every time I put her down to change her diaper, over she flips onto her belly. She is so motivated to get those clothes, toys and blankets into her mouth.

This afternoon I put her in bed for a nap on her back and she started teetering on her side but in the end decided to roll back onto her back before going to sleep. Wonder if she'll take  to start sleeping on her belly? She likes it to be as dark as possible before going to sleep (she pulls blankets, her hat or her clothes over her eyes) so I think she may enjoy burying her face in the sheets while she falls asleep.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ophelia Meets Sophie!

Lately Ophelia has been grabbing for things, usually my food, shirt or earrings, and chewing on everything so we decided it was time to introduce her to Sophie.

They really hit it off!

They are great friends so far.

Ophelia is very motivated to reach for Sophie. When she drops her, she lunges forward, crunching her abs to try to reach her. If she doesn't succeed in getting her back, she lets me know it.

Even Sebby knows how much she loves Sophie. He often gets Sophie for her when she drops. Tonight while lying in bed with his giraffe, he asked if Obia had her giraffe. He probably finds it fun that both he and Ophelia have giraffes now.

And We Scoot...

A little update on our "leaving the house earlier" strategy so that Sebby can walk ....


If I leave early and allow Sebby time to walk until he is tired, he happily asks to get into the stroller and arrives a happy camper! On the way home, he asks to get in the stroller a lot sooner (within 5 minutes of leaving usually) and often falls asleep for a half hour nap.

I'm so thankful to have a happier traveler.

So far I have managed to always leave early enough to let him walk when we're going to need to take the stroller. After someone commented on my previous post, I realized that I neglected to explain that we walk far and we walk a lot. We don't have a car so we walk or take transit everywhere.

That strategy was specific to outings that are "far" for Sebby, a half hour walk or more one way. 

For shorter outings, Sebby does great walking or taking his scooter. He always wants to take his scooter when we go out and has gotten really good on it. He hardly falls over and is happy to scoot or get pulled along when he's tired. He can do fifteen to twenty minutes each way on the scooter without a problem.

Yesterday he really wanted to take the scooter to church. I knew that was probably "too far" because it is a half hour walk each way but I agreed to let him try. We made it over half way then he started crying and asking for me to pick him up. 

I didn't pick him up because carrying Sebby and Ophelia both is just too heavy for me so I told him he could either walk or stand on the scooter. He alternated between the two and I was happy that we made it to church in plenty of time for my Mums Bible Group although there were a few tears and quite a bit of whining. I was very thankful that a friend was able to drive us on the way back because it would have been a long, slow walk home.

Next week we'll take the stroller. He's making excellent progress on his scooter but the church is still too far away.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fun In The Sun!

We went to Spain for a work conference. 

It was such a refreshing time! We got to enjoy the sun, hang out with old friends and learn from great speakers and teaching sessions.

It wasn't quite warm enough to swim but really enjoyed hanging out by the pool...

...and on the beach

We also enjoyed strolling along the the ocean front sidewalks in the afternoons.

Since it was low season, the conference got an AMAZING deal on beachfront apartments for the families.

Sebby & Darren SO happy to be hanging out on our beachfront patio.

Ophelia liked it too!

Feeling refreshed now that we're back in Glasgow and the days are already seeming much longer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We Walked...

Today was day one of trailing a new strategy for outings with Sebby. I left very early (an hour and a half early!) in order to allow Sebby to walk all the way there.

I know leaving that early won't always be realistic but I wanted to give it a try. As I wrote about in my last post about Sebby, over the past two weeks, putting him in the stroller has become increasingly difficult. He really likes walking a lot of the time and so if I make him get in, he gets very upset. I don't mind him crying a bit but he cries, tries to get out and it takes him up to a half an hour after being let out upon arrival at our destination. 

I felt like I didn't want to continuing forcing the issue with the stroller if he would continue to be so upset about it, especially when being upset so long after arriving somewhere really put a damper on how much fun any of us were having.

I asked a friend who has a similar lifestyle to ours and a little boy around Sebby's age. They rarely use their stroller and her three year old walks, bikes or scoots to school and back every day, about a half hour walk from home. She said when he was smaller, as much as possible, she tried to allow her little guy to walk if he wanted to and brought the stroller along in case he got tired. She suggested we try leaving earlier.

Here's what we did today...

 We got up an hour earlier and left the house (messy!) an hour and a half before my Bible Read Through began. I had told Sebby that he could walk and we would take the stroller in case he got tried. It was a beautiful, crisp morning and Sebby was excited to be free to walk. He held my hand and only stopped a few times to watch construction sites, big trucks and very interesting pieces of litter.  He made it over half way there before stopping and asking to get into the stroller. 
I was amazed! He didn't whine or scream, he just happily got in himself and happily snacked on some crackers for the rest of the walk. We arrived early (yay! the past few weeks we were quite late) and we were all in a pleasant mood.

On the way home, I asked Sebby if he wanted to walk or get into the stroller. He asked to get into the stroller.


I was so surprised until I realized five minutes later that he was asleep. He must have been tired! We don't generally have Sebby nap anymore but I do let him have short naps in the stroller if he is falling asleep on our way home. I tried to wake him up when we got home but he was so tired that he wasn't waking up easily. I stood outside our door for ten minutes or so until he woke up on his own. Ophelia was sleeping in the carrier too. She slept for three hours, she was tired too!

We went inside and Sebby was pleasant and revived after his little nap. He played by himself pleasantly for an hour or so while I tidied up the flat.

I know that even if I continue this strategy of leaving earlier when ever possible and allowing Sebby to choose walking or the stroller, it won't always go so smoothly. However, I do want to try to be intentional to get up and leave the house earlier if possible.

Jumping in the puddles on Queen Margaret Drive

Running in the Botanics

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby Feet

Baby Feet are so adorable...

especially in these wee leggings! 

* Thanks to our amazingly talented and stylish friend, Andrea, for gifting them to us. 

PS: She designed these. 

PPS: She designs other great stuff for Toto Knits

Ophelia's favourie hat is another one of hers...

Our Two Year Old

Sebby is growing up to be such a big guy. He's talking more and more and every day he surprises us by coming out with new sentences and expressions. This week he's been talking about going to ride on a train in Spain. (He knows we're going to a conference there next week).

He's very observant and has a great memory. He can quote lines in many of his favourite books and points out interesting details in the pictures. His favourite thing to do is read books!

He is getting more creative in his play. 

For Christmas he got a tool set and he enjoys climbing the big ladder and working with his tools. He cooks in his kitchen, usually making eggs for us. He likes to sit on his wooden digger and scoot around the flat. Last week he was riding around saying he was going to visit our friends Amber and Aunty Joyce. He often pretends to go to the beach or to work. He fills a backpack with treasure then heads out but not without coming over to kiss Ophelia and I goodbye before leaving. 

Cooking Chinese food in "Bebby's kitchen".

Wearing sunglasses.

He's definitely TWO now!

We noticed a big change in him about a month before his second birthday. My mom was visiting and one day when she asked him to do something, he responded with a loud "no, no no!" It seemed totally out of the blue but I knew he was entering "the twos" and that this type of response might become typical for awhile. Indeed, he says "no" a lot now, even when he wants something.

Sitting with attitude at the Botanics.

It has been interesting to watch Sebby enter this stage. He is beginning to develop boundaries and a more defined sense of self. He has even stronger opinions about what he wants to do and acts more determined and confident to do things himself. "Sebby do it" is something he says multiple times a day now, wanting to pour his own milk, carry his own bowl to the table or put on his shoes.

Roaring like a lion at the Botanics.

When we're out he wants to walk or be carried, he does not like the stroller one bit unless he is exhausted or needs a snack. Unfortunately, he is getting too heavy for me to carry on my back while Ophelia is on my front so he is learning to walk or scoot. He is still getting used to the scooter, though, so he gets tired out pretty quickly. Thankfully we bought a pull cord so we can drag him along behind us. Sometimes I bring the stroller if we're going more than a 20 minute walk away from home or I have a lot of things to carry. I feel bad because putting him in the stroller often results in a lot of screaming. I'm going to try to make an effort to leave earlier so he can have more time to walk.

Scooting makes him warm!

Sometimes his emotions get out of control.

At least once daily he can't decide what he wants and goes back and forth 50 times or even more before making a decision. For example, he'll ask for water then push it away and say no. Then as soon as I take it away, he'll start whining and asking for it back. Then as soon as I give it to him, he pushes it away, not wanting it. Over and over again he'll say, " water..." Sometimes he finally decides to take a drink of water but other times he just moves on to something else.

Cheeky smiles.

Sometimes he has big tantrums.

They are usually over something small and it's often hard to see them coming. Lat week he got realy upset because a friend who was over playing tried to touch his scooter. 45 minutes later he was still crying and screaming, swatting and generally upset. It wasn't until Darren came home that he calmed down.

VERY upset about something.

We love Sebby!

 He's tons of fun and makes us smile and laugh countless times a day. He's smart and has a soft, empathetic heart. A few weeks ago, Ophelia got her immunizations and when she started crying, he started crying too. He is interested in what she is doing and always points it out, "Obia talking. Obia smile. Obia eyes open...."

"Obia hold hands."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Three Month Old

There were two new babies born last week at church and all of a sudden our three month old Ophelia is looking like a big girl. It's hard to believe how quickly they grow! 

Another significant difference I notice between Ophelia and the new babies is in terms of sleep. She is no longer in that tiny newborn stage where they can usually fall asleep easily and sleep almost all day even if you're out and about.

Although she is still a great little traveler, she does have more difficulty falling asleep when we are in noisy or new places because she is so curious and interested in seeing what is happening. 

Trying to stay awake to see the sights on our walk in Glenariff (Northern Ireland).

When we're at home, Ophelia's routine usually consists of 40 minute naps following one hour awake times throughout the day. She can stay up a bit longer if she has napped for 90 minutes, which is rare. She has gotten the hang of sucking her thumb while going to sleep and as soon as she pops it in her mouth, she calms right down and goes to sleep. 

She has been going to bed just after Sebby, at around 8:30pm most nights, and has been settling down really well. In fact, two nights ago she slept 12 hours!!! I'm amazed at what a good sleeper she has been and I hope she keeps it up.

And she's out! The fresh air and a Momma who is walking make sleep too difficult to resist.

Some of the things I love about this older, more aware stage are her chattiness and her big smiles for Momma, Daddy and Sebby.

 Smiles on Christmas Day.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sebby's Second Birthday Party!

A few weeks ago, we invited a few friends over to eat pizza and decorate Christmas cookies for Sebby's birthday party.

We decided to have the party ten days before his actual birthday (December 18th) since Ah Man and Ye Ye were visiting. 

I made him a big chocolate cake but he was most excited about the fire truck & helicopter I put on top to decorate it with!

Happy Birthday to our little two year old!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Grammies Meets Ophelia

My mom was able to get away for two weeks in November for a visit and we were so lucky to have her!

It was great to introduce he to Ophelia

...and give her lots of time to hang out with Sebby.

As a bonus, with her help we were able to get out of the house lots. She came to several play groups and immunisation appointments and helped us with grocery shopping while Darren was at work. In the evenings she helped clean and sew and decorate for Christmas. 

We also took her on a day trip to Edinburgh.

We had such fun and at the same time got so much done while she was here. It was sad saying goodbye.