Sunday, September 20, 2015

What M&M Said

Gina: Actually Venice is a very special city in Italy
Magnus: Why?
Gina: Because the streets are made of water.  That means they don't use cars to get around...
Magnus: Yeah, they use submarines.

Magnus: Mommy, J*** is not being a good support!  He's rolling again to get a better number!
Gina: "Not being a good sport"

Maya: <sits awkwardly, then stands up on her booster chair and points all around the room>  You are ALL CHEATING!  You all gave me a wedgie!!

Popo: <in Chinese> Does Max need to change his diaper?
Max: <grabs diaper area>

Maya: Auntie Goldie you are constracting me!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

What M&M are saying

Regarding French Summer Camp
Magnus: But Mommy I want to speak English all the time, every day... until my life ends!
Gina: You mean, "for the rest of my life"

Driving through Burlington
Magnus: Hey!  This looks like residential (from Minion Rush)

Looking at the insert for Snakes and Ladders:
Maya: Let's look at the construction

Incurring Maya's wrath
Maya: Po-PO!!!!  Next time, don't pour my water out!!  Neeeext time, don't pour my water out.  Next time....

It's really impossible to convey all of Maya's theatrics.  She finds the bush in front of my parents' house a little spooky, but every day she plays a damsel in distress because, "I'm afraid of the big big bush!"   She doesn't like it when I make her sleep alone, so after a few minutes if she thinks I'm not coming back, she begins a well-practiced sob with a slow and measured crescendo.  Then again, when she is in a good mood, everybody is her best friend, and she is beyond charming.

She's just being a three-nager, according to Auntie Margaret.

An Important Friend

It's been over a year since I last blogged, and since then our MagnusAndFriends team has grown by one.  Our new friend is a zippy little toddler now; universally liked for his affinity for food and his happy-go-lucky ways.  Introducing, Max They-Never-Feed-Me-Enough-So-Can-I-Have-Some-Of-That????:

Max says a few words - Gong gong, Ah-choo, Aya (for Maya), and Grandma.  He also says clock - or something vaguely similar - every time he hears the chiming of his Gong gong's living room clock.   He's known to be a very able thief - his latest acquisition being two dried mushrooms from a tray Popo placed out of sight by the window.

He started training as a ninja early on.  Ever since he learned how to crawl, he's been doing karate kicks with his brother.  Now we just have to yell, "Hi-YA" and he gets down on the ground and does a back kick.  It's his most consistent party trick to date, although he also likes to spin and pretend-jump for his audience.

Magnus adores his baby brother, and often tells us that he loves Max a certain percentage.  The number varies, but it always over 100%.   Not a day goes by where Magnus doesn't pounce on his brother to give him a hug or a kiss, with the same funny greeting, "MAXIE!  Muah, muah!!"

Maya often pets Max and says, "ooooh you're so cute".  But the family knows that when asked if she liked Max or the neighbour's cat better, she said, "Tigs" with zero hesitation.

Despite this, I have no doubt the day will come when Maya will tell us herself how much Max brightens our world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just the two of us...

I really love this video of Magnus and Maya interacting.  It shows how Magnus can be very patient and gentle despite his frustration with his sister, and it shows how interested Maya is in spending time with her big brother.

Kendrick and I can't even fathom what it will be like when the third one arrives.  We should start, I suppose, by picking a name.  Magnus has supplied us with two nicknames.  The first nickname was "Mr. Rabbit", named after a character in one of his books - an absentminded gentleman who gets firmly stuck in cement.  The second nickname was coined just one week ago: "Nitro" - inspired by his favourite racing game on the iPad.

Lately I've been reading a lot of my past entries on this blog - and I realized that if I had not written so many stories down, I would have forgotten so many of them.  There are probably dozens and dozens of sweet stories of Magnus and Maya that have already faded from my crowded memory banks.  I sat down tonight to write a few, and I couldn't think of anything until I starting reviewing my youtube videos.  Thank goodness for those videos!!

There is one story that is not captured on video, and for good reason: Maya's ongoing potty training.  My mother and decided on April 11 to start Maya potty training, here in Toronto.  Magnus would be at school in the mornings, and I did not have to go to work, so it seemed like a good time to try.  I had brought seven pairs of cute little panties with me (courtesy of Grandma) and we did away with the diapers and explained to her what she was supposed to do.  She understood us.  She could even tell us what she was expected to do.  However, she didn't do any of it.  And she still, to this date (which is 1.5 months later), has willfully NOT done anything she's been instructed to do.  Which is, of course, to tell us when she needs the potty.  Most kids don't like being wet or dirty.  Maya doesn't seem to mind at all.  She likes to tell us that she wet herself or dirtied herself - AFTER the fact.  We have tried every trick in the book (and trust me, my mom has potty trained dozens of kids so she has a really good playbook) but nothing has worked.  The only silver lining is that Maya consents to sit on the toilet if we put her there and do her business if it happens to be the right time - for her.  So we've pretty much surrendered for now, put her back on pull-up diapers, and just try to get her on the toilet regularly to save some diapers.

Some other moments that are not captured on youtube are our evening storytimes.  Every evening, since arriving in Toronto in April, I let Magnus and Maya choose a story for me to read.  (Every evening, Maya complains loudly until it's her turn.)  As much as possible, I encourage Magnus to read some or all of his stories to me - and it is such a thrill to hear him working on his reading.  He improves gradually, but steadily, but the best part for me is to see how much he feeds off my encouragement.  Maya on the other hand is now enjoying her stories because she is starting to understand them - and she has now has the ability to memorize stories by rote.  She simply insists that I read the story she likes to her over and over again, night after night, and as I read to her, she commits the words to memory.  At some point she knows the story well enough and she loves to read stories back to me, just like in the video below:

In addition to the book in the video (Eat Your Peas), she has mastered:
- Goodnight Moon - by Margaret Wise Brown
- Ollie - by Oliver Dunrea

The last two books were library books from the local Toronto library branch, so we have to leave those behind when we go back to Dubai next week!  Luckily, I already know which book she is going to master next - Aunt Lisa and Uncle Michael came for a visit this past weekend and brought a copy of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" for Maya and she is already fascinated by the story.

She has a couple of songbooks memorized too:
- Over in the Meadow - by Louis Voce
- Journey Home From Grandpa's
- Wheels on the Bus

I should also mention that she's memorized many dialogs from her favourite show - Max & Ruby.   Sometimes she will sit at her table drawing some pictures and recite a few lines from an episode she watched the other day.  She also likes to incorporate some of that dialog into her conversations with us, often without us realizing it until much much later.  Here are some examples:

"It's me again, <Mommy/Popo/Gonggong>"
"How about... harshmallows?"
"Ladieeeees and Gentlemeeeeen!"

Sometimes she just takes a dialog snippet out of context and has fun confusing the heck out of us:
"Please Po po, tell me you found my greeting card for Aunt Clare and Uncle Nate!" (except it was much more garbled when she told us the first time - so we had to resort to asking Magnus to translate for us!)

That's all the time I have for now for this blog entry.  Nitro is schedule to arrive the first week of July, and if he lives up to his nickname, I predict some havoc in our little family's future.  :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring, Toronto, and the Mind of a 4-year-old

As most of you already know, we are expecting our third baby, a boy, in July.  This put a big crimp on our regular plan to visit Canada during the summer.  So instead, Kendrick and I decided that I would bring the kids to Toronto for the months of April and May, and spend the <gulp> summer in Dubai.

The trip has been a real treat for Magnus and Maya, who have now experienced snow, rain, and the threat of tornadoes (which fizzled into a normal rainstorm).  They have also reconnected with friends and family, and feasted on the best food prepared lovingly by their grandparents.  

Youtube is filled with little videos cataloguing M&M's day by day antics, but I thought I would mention a few more things that I have really enjoyed talking to Magnus about as his little four year old mind develops in interesting ways every day.

He's interested in geography.  He wants to know how long it takes to fly to places, particularly places he's seen in his favourite movies (Cars 2 and Planes) and his favourite video game (Asphalt 8).  He wants to know if we can fly to Nevada, or the Great Wall of China, and how long it would take.  He likes looking at the globe we have in the basement and looking at Iceland, and Nevada, Canada, and Dubai.

He's intrigued by the concept of cardinal directions.  He doesn't quite understand the difference between NESW and left and right, but he wants to learn.  

He very much dislikes "the statue of the person sitting down" on the Great Wall of China.  When he finally showed me the picture, I discovered it was a statue of the Buddha.  His father and I took some time to try to explain who the Buddha was and why there is a statue of him that looks like that.  He really wants the statue to be changed so that the Buddha is smiling so that it will not be so scary anymore.

He told me a few months back that he wishes we could just go through the iPad screen during Skype and visit people right away, instead of flying for hours and hours on an airplane.

He told me yesterday to look at the cloud above his head.  He was trying to show me what his bad dream looked like.  He said it was there, just like George does it.  I explained that Curious George does it that way because he's a cartoon and we can just draw a cloud to explain what he is thinking, but that it doesn't work that way in real life.  Magnus took this in stride.  

He told me that Tai chi is from China from a looong time ago, so it's a fossil.

He asked me how the baby was going to get out of my tummy.  (I told him he's coming out a hole called the cervix - after a good brainstorm with Clem)

He told me that "Jesus" is not just something you say when things go wrong, but it is also the name of Ms. Sylvia's friend.  I told him that when I use the word "Jesus" in that way, it is not appropriate, and I promised to try to stop.

He thinks dress shoes without shoelaces are for girls, and has promised to learn how to tie his own shoelaces if I buy him shoes with shoelaces.  Today was our first lesson.  I learned that he likes to learn step by step, rather than to see the big picture.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  I'm glad I had this chance to write this down and I'll try to do the same when Maya turns 4!

What M&M said (over Christmas 2013)

This is a very long overdue post!  I dug some of these gems out of my old notes, enjoy!

Magnus: Mommy, why are all the teachers at my school girl-teachers?

Magnus: Mommy, it looks like you have 1-2-3-4 eyes!

Magnus: Mommy, do you have a parachute in your tummy?  (He really thought parachutes were stored in the tummy area)

Gina: Magnus, remember what we said, when Mommy calls you to take a shower, you have to go right away!
Magnus: Mommy, when you were in the other room, I couldn't hear you, but when you were in this room, I could hear you.  
Gina: Magnus, how do you know I was calling you from the other room if you couldn't hear me?
Magnus: I don't know!

While playing video games:
Kendrick: Elimination!
Magnus: No daddy, it got an eliminated!
Maya: Lemonade!

Gina: Maya, put mommy's shoes away!  (Repeat x 10)
Magnus: Maya, you're a moron

Gina: Magnus if you don't think of a good name for Mr. Rabbit (Magnus's nickname for the baby) we'll have to name him <censored>
Magnus: Ok ok, two Magnuses!!!

Maya: Moooommy, it's me again!!

Maya: Cupcakes!  Cupcakes!!
Gina: No cupcakes, Maya
Maya: How about... harshmallows?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Autumn in Dubai Comes to a Close

We've had a wonderful autumn in Dubai.

Maya started daycare for the first time.  She was really not happy about it at first, but she settled normally and yesterday morning she ran into her classroom without even looking back at me!  Magnus and Maya enjoyed reuniting with all their Dubai friends and we all enjoyed the company of Popo for 2 months.  Magnus had his fourth birthday with a small party in his class as well as a tiny party at home with a pinata and an egg and spoon race.

Now the Christmas season is starting to wind up.  Magnus and Maya are excitedly awaiting the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa this weekend, and they will spend the holidays with us.  Magnus successfully petitioned his father to take him along to the airport to go get them.  His aunt and uncle will join us later in December!!

I won't promise to blog any more this year, just wanted to post some conversations I overheard in the past few months....

Gina: Let's see who's coming out of that car…
Magnus: Mommy it's a man, just like me!!

Magnus: A roundabout is a legal U-turn
Magnus: That's what grandpa says.

Magnus: Popo is a treat girl
Magnus: And daddy is a treat boy

Maya: Water!  Water!
Maya: Say please, Maya
Maya: Please!
Maya: Please who?
Maya: Please who!

Maya: Kokur!  Kokur!  Kokur!  (Yogurt)
Popo: Maya have some macaroni
Maya: PO PO!!!!!  <screaming, fists clenched, eyes flashing>

Kendrick: Maya say gold digger
Maya: Go bigga
Kendrick: Yeah!!!

Magnus: I want everybody to stop dancing
Gina: You can't stop the funk
Magnus: I want to stop the funk
Magnus: <pause>
Magnus: Ok, I'll dance.

Magnus: Oh I ate too much, but I didn't eat enough
Gina: Do you need to poo?
Magnus: No but I need some bacon so that I can make my poo go even faster

Gina: Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Maya: No singing!!!

Popo: Dian cong cong, cong cong…
Maya: No singing dian cong cong fei!!!

Magnus: What colour do you want to be, Daddy?
Kendrick: Green!!!
Magnus: Are you kidding, Daddy?
Kendrick: No, I want greeeeeeen
Magnus: No Daddy, you can't have green, I had green first!

Grandma: What's 10 plus 0?
Magnus: But if you hold your hands like this, it will make two circles, and you can look through them, see?

Magnus: It's full!
Gina: What's full?
Magnus: My weewee!
Gina: Do you have to go potty?  Or is it just hard?
Magnus: It's hard!
Gina: That's right, sometimes your weewee is hard, and sometimes..
Magnus: You wanna touch it??
Gina: Nooooo thank you

Magnus: Mommy, I was having a great day until the doctor used the stick <tongue depressor>

Kendrick: Maya, you want me to sing you a song?
Maya: Yeah!
Kendrick: Twinkle twinkle little star?
Maya: No
Kendrick: Up, up, up?
Maya: No
Maya: I wanna Daddy sing Ho-ho
Kendrick: <pause> <sings a few verses of Just Breathe>  Is that what you want?
Maya: Yeah!!!

Magnus: <pointing to crabs> I'm allergic to that!
Gina: Yes, you are
Magnus: <pointing to sauce> I'm also allergic to that!
Gina: No, that's just soy sauce, garlic, and some vinegar
Magnus: Vinegar?
Gina: Yes, vinegar
Magnus: Are you supposed to put that in your mouth?