Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sisters (Quotable Bits #7)

“A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”
~ Marion C. Garretty

When I was pregnant with my first baby it was no secret that I wanted a girl.  I would watch A Baby Story and if they had a boy I was always sad for them.

Not to take anything away from little boys…they are just as lovely. I have a nephew and a cousin that were born when I was a teenager and I adored them. Still do in fact.

I just wanted a daughter. Wanted to plan her wedding with her and see her become a mother one day.  I wanted to have the kind of relationship with her that I have with my mum.

And so when our oldest was born I was ecstatic.  First time trying and I got my little girl. Phew.

When I got pregnant the second time I told everyone (including myself) that this time I didn’t care what I had. All I wanted was a happy and healthy baby.  Except…I kept thinking…wouldn’t it be great to have a girl so M could have a sister?

A sister to grow up sharing a room with. To share clothes and secrets and laughs with. I could already picture them playing together, reading together and growing up as best friends.

Luckily I got my wish.  And so far it really has been everything I hoped it would be.

Right from the beginning you could see their bond and it has only grown stronger. Sure they fight…and sometimes they REALLY fight. But more often there is laughter and smiles and hugs. 

I can’t wait to see this bond grow as they get older. To see if their relationship will be all that I have always hoped it will be.

So far…so good.

All linked up with the lovely BitsofBee for this post.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekend in Pictures #1

As I get sucked deeper and deeper into the blogosphere I find myself looking at life through a new lens. The "what is the best way to record this moment in time on my blog" lens.

And so far the best way seems to be through my iPhone camera, Instagram filters and a few carefully selected words.

Here is just a taste of our weekend...through that lens.

Saturday morning art projects:

The Art table is ready.

How many layers of paint can one picture frame take? Answer - 7.
Focused.  it's a gift for her kindergarten teacher so must be perfect.

Finished frames. I like mine the boring.

Saturday Night Homemade Pizzas:

Very carefully adding the toppings...

Roasted corn, ham and mushrooms.  Yum!

Sunday mornings at our little yellow park:

Making a road for her scooter.

Captured mid-slide.

and Sunday evenings at the aptly named "Circle" Park:

The famous "circle"

Remember when you use to swing like this?

Does it get any better than this?

After a weekend like this and a 4 day weekend coming up...I am pretty much ready to take on anything that comes my way.

Bring it Monday...I'm ready!

Friday, June 22, 2012

High Five for Friday #1

Project Positivity took a bit of a hit these past couple of weeks. I have been through some serious emotional ups and downs and struggling mightily to balance work and life. So any opportunity to celebrate the positives is welcome.

Enter "High Five for Friday".

I found out about High Five through the lovely Bella Lime and I loved the idea of celebrating at least 5 wonderful things each week.

This week I am thankful for:

1. Spontaneous hand holding. When will that stop?  I hope its not soon...

2. Looking in my rear view mirror to see that lovely little face smiling back at me.  It makes the morning commute so much more bearable.

3. Weekly dinners with my mum and grandmother (or Nana and Nanny to my girls).  Having the 4 generations together every week is a true blessing.

4. The fact that hubby is an amazing father who would do anything for his girls.  Including load them both onto his back rather than picking one over the other.

5. Kindergarten graduation. Just the first of many very important milestones.

It's hard to be gloomy when faced with so much happiness.

Mission accomplished.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shopping Spree (Monday Listicles #4)

Remember when $1,000 was a lot of money?  With our 4 person household I can’t believe how quickly our paycheques are eaten up. 

Daycare fees, mortgage payments, gas bills, car payments, dance classes, new shoes,etc.  The dollar really does stretch that far anymore.

So my first thought when I saw the topic for Stasha’s Monday Listicles was “How to spend $1,000 in 10 Steps” was to be practical.  To look at the things we need (like a new dishwasher) and figure out a logical plan on how to stretch the $1,000 to cover it all.

Then I thought nah…screw it…let’s have some fun!  Here's how I would spend my $1,000 in a completely irresponsible but super fun way:

Step 1:
Surprise the kids with a day off school and head out for breakfast as a family. Order whatever we want. The kids don't have to share.

Step 2:
Take the girls to Toys R Us and let them pick 3 things each. Don’t look at price tags. Soak in their big smiles.  Hope this won't turn them into spoiled's just one day right?

Step 3:
Sushi lunch with the kids.  They love sushi and can eat a ton of it…so it’s not a cheap option anymore.  This time…they can order to their hearts content.

Step 4:
Drop kids off at in-laws and head downtown to a fancy-schmancy hotel.  Check in…put on the robe…revel in the quiet.

Step 5:
A luxurious, 90 minute hot stone couples massage.  In the room…ultimate laziness.

Step 6:
Dinner at Hy’s. Steak. Cheese Bread. Enough said.

Head back to the hotel knowing that we can sleep as late as we want and I won't open my eyes to see my 3 year old staring at me from 2 inches away at 6am.

Step 7:
Lazy morning...breakfast in bed and then off for a shopping spree downtown.Clothes for hubby – maybe some electronics too. Shoes, purses and jewelry for me (because they always fit!)

Step 8:
Head to Chapters. I love books…but they have gotten so expensive I usually go to the local library instead.  Not this day.  They won’t know what hit them. We will get a Starbucks here as well. Naturally.

Step 9:
Afternoon high tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.  Seriously…it’s awesome.  Maple Maple tea. Scones with clotted cream and jam. Finger sandwiches. Stuffed.

Step 10:
Pick up the kids…head to a movie.  And buy something for all of us at the concession…including the overpriced candy.  That should take care of any leftover money.

Hmmm…looking over my list it’s clear that what I would so with this money is pretty much eat it all.  Can you tell I don’t like to cook?

Didn’t take us long to blow through that $1,000 but it sure was fun. Who needs a new dishwasher anyways?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If you give a mom a muffin...

My girls love the "If you give a..." series of books.  They are read repeatedly at bedtime.  We have given cookies to a mouse, pancakes to a pig and muffins to a moose.

Now...someone much cleverer than I has made up a version just for us mothers.


If You Give Mom a Muffin
Author: Beth Brubaker
If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Paris is Always a Good Idea (Quotable Bits #6)

“Paris is always a good idea.”
~ Audrey  Hepburn

I came across this saying in a little shop in Whistler a few weeks ago and loved it so much I almost shelled out $40 for an 8x8 canvas print.

Almost.  Instead I took a picture…

But I do love the saying. It’s just oh so true.  There is never a time where Paris wouldn’t be a good idea.  Never a time where strolling the banks of the Siene, sipping a café au lait at a patisserie on the Champs Elysee or standing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower would be a bad idea.

Hubby and I have been lucky enough to visit the city of lights twice. First in 2005 as a last hurrah trip before having kids:

And then again in 2008 before our second daughter came along:

Both times we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Both times I was pregnant. And while Paris is never a bad idea…it’s not necessarily a good idea when you are pregnant.

No cheese (unpasteurized milk), no wine and no strong coffee. Sigh…

Despite all I could not indulge in I fell in love with the city.  People told me that I would either love it or hate it.  But personally I think it’s all about how you approach your trip.

Yes Parisians can come across as abrupt and even rude.  But we found that usually only happened when tourists made the mistake of assuming that everyone spoke English.  Hubby and I always started our conversations with all locals in our limited, high-school French. And as we made the effort most of them usually let us off the hook and responded in English.

Paris is a magical city.  Full of life and vigour.  And love.

On our first trip we arrived in Paris after a long flight from Vancouver to London followed by a trip on the Eurostar and we were exhausted. It was nighttime...clearly time for bed.  But we had a mission. We dumped our bags at the hotel and walked straight towards the Eiffel Tower.

We could only see the tip from above the apartment buildings and then suddenly we came through two buildings and there it was…it was magnificent.

And we visited again and again during our time in the city.

The 2nd time we went we decided to rent an apartment rather than stay in a hotel.  It was amazing.  We went through a little gate, into a courtyard and up a very old, very squeaky flight of stairs. I loved it. It really felt like we were living in the city.

We bought fruits and vegetables from the local market along with still warm baguettes from the patisserie. A-may-zing.

We even became regulars at the little cafe down the block.

so yummy....
I can’t wait until our girls are older and we can take them to Paris and show them all the sights.

Notre Dame at night - the little cafe to the left made incredible crepes.

Inside the Louvre.  I'm pretty sure my husband took pictures of every single item in there.

The gardens outside the Louvre.

If this is "art" I am in the wrong business.
Moon over Paris
I will end with one more quote…“La vie ne vaut d'être vécue sans amour.”

Translation: "Life is not worth being lived without love."
So true. And I am so blessed to have much love in my life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekend Perspective

This was a very rough week.  The kind of week that had me literally sighing with relief when 5pm on Friday came around.

As much as I try to keep my professional life separate from my personal I have yet to master the art of leaving my work at work.  At not bringing my stress home with me at the end of the day. And that was never more true than this week.

When quitting time finally arrived I was desperate for a distraction…and more importantly for some perspective.  A reminder about what life is really about.  That the quote is true -- we really should work to live and not live to work.

Luckily for me…I found perspective in spades over the past 2 days.

Friday night sushi picnic at the park with good friends:

Where we took of our shoes and walked barefoot in the wet grass:

My oldest realized she could do some things all on her own now:

While my youngest showed she still likes to be with her mummy and daddy sometimes:

Saturday was gray and wet - typical of this June-uary weather we have had lately.  So the morning was spent at home and - when the need to escape became clear - I took the girls to Costco…on a Saturday…in the rain. It could have been a complete disaster.

But it wasn’t. Yes we got soaked as we ran for the entrance…yes it was a madhouse inside…yes people abandoned their carts in the middle of the aisle in an effort to secure a free sample. But it didn’t matter…we had fun.

Youngest oversaw everything from her perch in the cart...while oldest insisted on getting all the items and (not-so) carefully putting them in the cart.

And when the shopping was done we treated ourselves to hot dogs and fries.

That night I left the family at home and headed off to see Bryan Adams.  I love him…his music is like the soundtrack of high school for me.  And some of his songs have significant meaning for hubby and I.

The concert was amazing…except for the fact that back began aching half way through.  By the time I drove home I was in complete agony. And I was already feeling guilty knowing that the pain was unlikely to remember it was Father’s Day and that it should bugger off so I could give hubby the kind of day he deserves.

Sure enough I woke up and almost couldn’t move. Hubby had to get his own breakfast…he really didn’t get much of a break at all.  I tried to suck it up.  Took some advil and smiled through the pain.

The girls had been begging to walk up to the blue park (they have named all the parks in our town by colour or landmark) all that's what we did.

How long will they still automatically reach for my hand?

Where the girls enjoyed some good old fashioned hill rolling:

When it was time to go they both begged for a piggy back ride. I was obviously out as an option so it was up to daddy to choose.  And because he is the best daddy he couldn’t pick one over the other.

So he put them both on his back and we were off:

Home for dinner…more park time…and then a trip to Dairy Queen to finish off the night.

Now…as I sit here on Sunday night…I am full of perspective. Fully aware of what truly matters. And I am ready to face whatever might come at me next week.

Ready because I know that no matter what happens in my 9-5 I have this waiting for me at the end of the day.

What else could I ever ask for?