Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Far from Perfect

"I don't have all the answers, but I have good instincts 
and I love my kids something fierce."
~ Kelle Hampton

I am a big fan of Kelle Hampton and her blog "enjoying the small things".  And I often love to steal her little gems of advice because I love how she words things. This quote is no exception. Kelle never claims to be a perfect parent with perfect kids in a perfect house in a perfect life. She has piles of laundry on her couch, kids that act up and moments of frustration. As we all do. But despite all that she knows that in the end what really matters is how much you love your kids...not worrying about being a perfect parent.

Because really...what is perfection? More specifically...what makes someone a perfect parent?

I would argue that the term is actually an oxymoron because there simply is no such thing.  If I ever meet another parent that tells me they never get frustrated with their kids and raise their voice I am certain they are lying.  And I never understand why they do that.

I constantly struggle with parenting and - as a result am also constantly looking for reassurance that I am not alone.  Why hide my parenting struggles when I commiserate with others who feel the same way? 

And I am definitely finding that as my kids get older the harder it gets.

When they were babies my job was to take care of all their physiological needs. Feeding, changing, sleeping, bathing, etc. It was the hardest thing I had ever done - sleep deprived and intellectually under stimulated - I always felt I was barely getting by.

Now - that I'm older and wiser - I can see that the baby phase is actually the easy part.  Because as my kids have gotten older the challenges have become much more psychological and emotional.  And there isn't a clear answer to every problem.

Hungry baby?  Feed her.  Sleepy baby?  Rock her to sleep.  Dirty diaper?  Change it.

"Mummy I cried all day because no one wanted to play with me and one boy said I was a stupid head and now i don't want dinner I just want to cry some more." Ummmm...I have no idea.

The truth is that every parent is going to deal with these new emotional challenges in a different way. And who is to say who is right or wrong?

because in the end its just like Kelle says - its about loving your kids something fierce.  When you do that then all of your words of wisdom and advice and support is bound to come from the right place.  Your heart.

And you know are really freakin' smart. Most of the time they know the right way to deal with a situation...they just need a little reassurance (and sometimes a nudge in the right direction) from us to help them along their way.

Monday, January 28, 2013

When I grow up I wanna be...

After missing way too many weeks of my favourite linkup I'm back and loving this week’s topic.

Wendy from Twisted Domestic Goddess set the challenge – 10 THINGS YOU THOUGHT AS A CHILD YOU WOULD DO/BE.

Oh man...does this really have to be a list of just 10? Because I remember my life's ambition changing at the drop of the hat (usually tied in with whatever book I happened to be reading at the time.)

It was so wonderful to be young and carefree with my future was yet to be determined and everything was still a possibility. I see this now in my oldest daughter who tells us daily of her new ambitions – ballerina, rock star, writer, chef, inventor, scientist.

I love the look on her face as she talks about it. I remember that look…all about potential.

To that end - here is my list of “potential" careers that never came to be:

1. Teacher - this wins the award for most recurring wannabe career.

2. Singermore specifically I wanted to be Jem and be truly, truly, truly outrageous.

What girl didn't want to be her?
3. Baker/Chef – thank you Easy Bake Oven for making it seem well…easy.

4. Detective - all Nancy Drew's fault.

5. Gymnast – always my favorite sport in the summer Olympics.  But I always knew that my chest size was never going to let this dream become a reality.

6. Swimmer – my 2nd favourite Olympic sport.  See above.

7. Astronaut – a fleeting aspiration centered around the freeze-dried ice cream my aunt brought me from NASA.  I quickly decided I liked the non-freeze dried kind much better plus I was scared of heights.

doesn't it look delicious?

8. Actress – in grade 4 I tried out for Lucy in the school play “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”.  I didn’t get it.  It still hurts.

9. Race Car Driver – I grew up at the race track so this one is no surprise. The only part of this aspiration I still have is my lead foot and insistence on having a stick shift in my car

10. Sports Journalist – it was this dream that propelled me in to journalism school.  The reality that faced me upon graduation was moving to a small town (probably in Saskatchewan) and working on a paper there to earn my bones.  So I went into marketing instead…

And the rest as they say…is history.  I’m not unhappy with where I am today…but making this list has really made me wish I had stuck with just one of these dreams to see if I could have made it happen.

Thanks Stasha for another great list…

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Photo Friday - "Because I Don't Care"

Today I've decided to revive an old feature - welcome back to

A little twist for today's entry though...going video rather than photo.

I have been cleaning pictures off my iPhone the past few days because I was getting close to 2,000 pictures and videos and it was seriously slowing down the camera function.

During that clean out I came across this gem of a video.  Taken back in May of 2012 - it's my youngest darling daughter at her best.

It makes no sense...and I love every second of it.

because i don't care from Kelly Duran on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Car Wash Fun

I love taking my kids to the car wash with me.  They are always equal parts thrilled and terrified...and it absolutely cracks me up.

They only part they love every time is the tricoloured foam. Not sure why.  Actually...who am I kidding...that is by far the coolest part.

For me watching my kids extraordinary reaction to an everyday thing is one of the perks of being a parent.  It's an opportunity to view the world in a different way.

Sometimes it really is the little things in life that make it all worth while.

Car Wash from Kelly Duran on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rainy Sunday in Steveston

On a recent Sunday morning - hubby and I made a last minute decision to pass on breakfast making duties and take ourselves out instead.

We headed down the street for a delicious breakfast at the Steveston Hotel.  They have the fluffiest and biggest pancakes in town.  And this is what it looks like when you eat too many:

It was very clear that we needed some exercise after packing away as many pancakes as we did.  When we left the restaurant it was raining...but like the true Vancouverites that we are...we didn't let that stop us from exploring.

someone got photobombed!
We all got soaked...but nobody really cared.  All in all a pretty perfect way to spend a cold and rainy Sunday morning.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Coming up for air

I’ve learned many things over the past two weeks and one of them is that all work and no play makes for a really boring blog.

I’ve wanted to write…so many times I sat down to start writing but exhaustion always won out.  I was simply too drained to compose a thought and always opted for bed instead.

It has been a marathon 14 days.  From the moment the NHL announced a deal had been struck…until the puck finally dropped on Saturday night…my colleagues and I have been working until late into the night to get ready.  And that meant missing dinner time and bed time and quality time with my family.

To their credit…they were awesome about it.  I told my girls that mummy would have to be working a lot for the next 2 weeks and they “understood”.  Hubby was great too…even cutting me slack when I forgot I had told him I’d be home in time for him to get to soccer practice.

Fast forward to day 9 of my marathon. I decided – after a particularly stressful and very late night – that I would go in a little later and take my oldest daughter to school.  That meant we got to have breakfast together – my first meal with them in several days.

As we sat eating pancakes and cereal and toast (why do they never want to eat the same thing?) my oldest daughter turned to me and – very seriously – said:

“okay Mummy…it’s time you came home for dinner again.”

Guilt immediately flooded through me and I stammered something like “I know sweetie…I really want to be here…but I’m very busy…and people are relying on me…and it’s only a few more days…”

Lame I know...and she was having none of it.

She held up her hand in a stop gesture and said “That’s enough mummy…that’s enough.”

Ah from the mouths of babes comes the sweetest truth and perspective.

And so I promised her that I would be home for dinner that night. And by god I had all intentions of doing so.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

In the end I managed to keep my promise in a roundabout, sneaky way by asking hubby to bring them to the office for a visit and we had dinner nearby. It was the best I could do.

So here I sit…in my living room next to the box of Christmas ornaments that is practically screaming at me to put it all away…staring a blog that hasn’t been updated in way too long…and finally starting to feel that life is getting back to normal.

I’ve spent 2 full days with my girls and have been reminded how awesome they are, how much I love them…and my god…how much energy they have!  It’s been non stop – and that’s with little one currently fighting off her 3rd ear infection in a month!

Looking forward to a return to normal 9-5 workdays and enjoying the best of both my worlds…

Weekend in Pictures - January edition

Another busy weekend is in the was back too...but that took a back seat to family life.

Friday night was rough - with little one up several times complaining that her ear hurt again.  So we were up early and headed to the clinic to get it checked out.

this is starting to look way too familiar
Sure enough - it was another ear infection.  Her third one in a month. We left the clinic with a prescription for more antibiotics and headed over to Chapters for some book therapy and hot chocolate at Starbucks:

how cute are they?
The rough night soon caught up with little T and she fell asleep in my lap at lunch:

So we headed home where she could sleep a little more comfortably.

Sunday was a much better day.  We had breakfast together as a family before hubby had to head off for soccer. 

my awesome Secret Santa gift was a hit..bear shaped pancakes? yes please!

It was way too cold to stick around at the soccer we hit up the pet store for a little browsing and met a new reptilian friend.

They thought he was pretty darn cool.  But never asked if we could bring him home. Smart kids...

So all in all, ear infection was another pretty good weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2013


After a very long workday I got home just in time to tuck my girls into bed. Possibly sensing how tired I really was my dear oldest daughter told me she would read the story tonight.

"You can just listen Mummy...okay?"

Watching my girls snuggled together and listening to her work her way through the tough heart was full of love and gratitude.

2013 is only 7 days old and already feeling pretty darn good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Adios 2012

There are no words adequate enough to express how happy I am that 2012 is over. So bitter am I that I actually do hope the door hits 2012 on the ass on the way out.

Save for one glorious week in February...spent at the happiest place on earth...there have been very few high points this year.  When I look back on the year I think about stress and anxiety and constant challenges.

That said - we wanted to say good bye to the year in appropriate fashion. And we felt that spending the night with our kids was the best way to do it.  And so we all headed over to our good friends house for the evening - where the kids could all play together while us grown ups munched on appies and drank.

And it was the perfect way to celebrate.
all the kids - watching the Grinch - to start the night.
obligatory selfie of me and my oldest.
we moved the kids upstairs to watch a movie so they would stop shushing us.
me and hubby (with youngest pretending to sleep between us)

can i get in trouble for posting this? oh was only one sip.

they made it to midnight!
and not much longer after that...
This short video is my favourite little reminder of the night.  With my girls and their friends watching the ball drop at midnight for the first time...their excitement...and the anticlimactic champagne cork.

The kids were finally tucked into bed around 1am and we hoped for a nice late sleep in.  Alas...youngest was up at 8:30.  After several days of being stuck indoors by the bad weather we took advantage of the sun and took the kids - along with some friends to the playground - to let them get their "googies" out.

carefully crossing the street...
mountain climber in the making
"look what I can do mummy!"
my little card shark.

This little bit of fresh air kept us sane...

So here's to 2013...may it be infinitely better than it's predecessor.  And bring positivity, love, health and happiness to my little family and everyone I love.