Monday, October 24, 2016

Lauren's first steps

When Lauren and I traveled to BC this summer to visit my parents, Jonathan really hoped Lauren wouldn't start walking until we returned home. She had been pulling up on furniture and walking herself along it for a few weeks by then, and we imagined she might start standing soon and then walking not too long after.

But Lauren seems to be a girl who does things her own way in her own time. She took her time starting to roll, army crawl, and crawl on all fours, and she seemed to feel the same way about walking. She's really enjoyed this phase of pulling up to stand using furniture, walls, cabinets, and legs, and walking along holding on to objects, and didn't seem to be too interested in exploring further transportation methods. I've been trying to follow the RIE approach in regards to physical development, and have given Lauren opportunities to practice her gross motor skills but let her take the lead in what she's comfortable doing. It's been really beautiful to watch her grow and progress on her own terms. I haven't minded at all that she hasn't been an early or even an on-time walker. I know that life will change drastically with a walking baby and I was more than happy to postpone that new stage for several extra months.

A few weeks ago, Lauren started to let go of objects and stand alone for a few short seconds. Slowly, she's built up her balance to stand for longer amounts of time and has become much steadier on her feet. Soon she was standing alone in the bathtub (because of course she needs both of her hands to rub shampoo into her hair) and on the soft surface of our bed, which takes some skill.

For the past week or so, I've been periodically setting Lauren out in front of me as I knelt on the floor and asking her if she could walk to me. Until today, she's always fallen to her knees and crawled on over, crawling being the obviously faster method. But today, when I decided to try it again, she stood steadily for a few seconds and then took several steps over to me and fell into my arms. Even though I knew it was really close to happening, I was still quite surprised. Then I realized that I should document it and ran to grab my camera so I could show Jonathan in case Lauren didn't feel up to replicating her efforts in the evening once he was home from work. When I asked her to walk to me again, with the camera recording her efforts, she happily obliged and then did so several more times throughout the afternoon. And thankfully, Lauren was happy to show Dada her new skill this evening!

We can say with certainty that our girl is truly a toddler now!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pumpkin farm visit

On Sunday afternoon, we went to a nearby pumpkin farm as a day-early Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. Before leaving, I was sure I had Lauren's shoes along but I couldn't find them once we got there so she looked a little unkempt, but it didn't seem to faze her much. She definitely made the most of our visit and thoroughly enjoyed herself! She especially loved watching (and trying to pet) the animals, waving to the hayride- and train-goers, and playing in the dirt. :)

Lauren really wanted to play in the dirt
rather than get her picture taken with the sunflowers.
Lauren gets a wagon ride.
Heading to the car with our pumpkins.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mini stories: Toilet play

This afternoon I needed to finish up some work in the office, so I told Lauren she could play with the toys she has in the office or she could play in the living room or her bedroom. She played in the office for a few minutes before crawling off to check out her bedroom. Not too long later, I heard her crawling in the hallway, but didn't think much about it. A few minutes later, she showed back up in the office and said a few baby words to me. I turned around look at her and respond and saw that her shirt was quite wet. I suddenly realized what had been keeping her occupied during her time away. Before she was done her nap, I had tossed a toilet fizzy cleaner into the toilet in the ensuite bathroom. I had been planning to scrub the toilet once the fizzy had disolved and Lauren had woken up (the water lines to the toilet are on the same wall as her bedroom and when we flush the toilet, it sounds like a waterfall in her bedroom). Of course, I'd forgotten all about that once she woke up and a little someone had found the toilet lid up and decided to play...

The evidence
The culprit
The aftermath

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mini stories: Here's a book, Mama!

Lauren is happily playing in her room so I head to the bathroom. Of course, she mysteriously knows what's going on and crawls at her fastest speed to join me. (Again with the lack of baby-proofing, we need to get our priorities straight here!) Once in the bathroom, she heads straight for her baby bathtub, reaches in and grabs the bath book that I gave her to look at while she was on the toilet just a little while before, and hands it to me. Thanks for looking out for me, kid! I'm not sure what I would have done to amuse myself while sitting here without this book. It's pretty clear that she's my child! 😆

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mini stories: Puddle x2

Lauren and I had a shower this morning. (Our house isn't totally baby-proofed, so I can't lock her out of the bathroom, but if she's in the bathroom, she just pulls back the curtain to get at the water or tries to climb in, so putting her in the shower with me is just easiest.) After we were done, I decided to let her crawl around the bathroom and bedroom diaper-less for a few minutes while I got dressed and combed my hair. She has a really slight rash, so I figured a little naked time would be beneficial. Once I was dressed and my hair was decent, I picked her up to go outside to our drying rack on the back deck and grab a freshly dried cloth diaper. Came back inside and while heading to the changing pad, stepped in a puddle. Ugh, she had peed on the bedroom floor (thank goodness it's hardwood!). So I put her down in the bathroom, grabbed a couple cloth wipes, and mopped it up. Come back in the bathroom to get her so I can put that diaper on her butt only to find that she had just peed on the bath mat. Double ugh. Clean that up as best as I could (then tossed it in the laundry hamper), pick up baby, get that diaper on her, and then breathe a sigh of relief and laugh at myself for imaging that she'd be safe for a few minutes without peeing. 😆

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Our Flooring Saga

Hey all,

This is a long delayed post - the floor was finished in June - but it might still be interesting to see the differences in the floor from when we closed on our house to when we moved in a month later.

When we bought the house, we had no idea what was hiding under the carpet. We intended to simply tear it all out and replace it, as it looked terrible. First, some pictures of what the house looked like before anything was done to it:

Living Room
Family Room
Kitchen, from Dining Room
Entry and Hallway
Main Bathroom
Back Bedroom (Lauren's room)
Front Bedroom (Office)

Family Room (again)
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom 2
Master Bathroom

The first full day we had access, I started pulling out the carpet. I started in the living room, and found plywood underneath, as I expected. However, when I started pulling the carpet up in the family room, I was very surprised to find oak hardwood underneath! Here are some pictures from after all the flooring was removed.

Plywood in Living Room
Oak in Family Room!
Dining Room/Kitchen (complete with asbestos tile remnants in dining room)
Dining Room after asbestos removal
Entry (complete with asbestos tile)
Entry after asbestos removal
Front Bedroom (Office)
Front Bedroom 2 (closet floor is almost completely white from baseboard being spray painted)
Back Bedroom (Lauren's Room)
Master Bedroom (apparently the closet area was an addition as there is not original hardwood in that area)
Master Bedroom 2

Of course we decided to keep the wood floor and restore it rather than slapping some carpet over top of it! Next step: refinishing hardwood floors in (most of) an entire house!

The first task was to pull out staples. In every room that had carpet, there were staples from the carpet pad around the edges and across the middle wherever a joint was in the pad. Ali very kindly did most of the rooms that had been carpeted. The dining room, however, was far worse - there had apparently been some other floor put in at some point with very large staples covering the entire floor. After more than 12 hours of work, here is what I ended up with. I pulled out approximately half of the staples, the others had been sanded off and I had to set them into the floor.

Prodigious staple pile (my poor knees)

Finally after all the staples were pulled I was ready to sand the floor. I started with a drum sander.

The "big machine" as the pros call it
Sandpaper for days
Family room and dining room done

I switched to a planetary orbital sander after the first pass.

Orbital sander

Finally, after a couple days of sanding and very careful vacuuming, I started applying the polyurethane.

First coat!

Three coats later, here are the finished results!

Living Room (not much different yet, we'll be putting oak in here as well, eventually)
Dining Room
Dining Room and Family Room (That patch by the patio door will be replaced with tile eventually)
Front Bedroom (Office)
Back Bedroom (Lauren's room)
Master Bedroom

All in all, this took way longer than I anticipated, and I think next time, I'll probably leave it to the professionals, but I was sure happy to see the floor when it was done!