Friday, February 22, 2013

Flashback Photo - Four Generations

This picture is very special to me.  It was taken on my 2nd Mother's Day and was the first time we got a picture of the four generations of women. 


When I look at it now I am shocked at how much my grandmother has aged in the years since. I am so grateful that she is still here and able to come over every week for dinner with us.

Oh...and I also can't believe how blond my hair is, how little my daughter is and how much my mum hasn't changed.

Time keeps on flying by...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Somebody's sleeping in my bed...

Last night I came home from work to find the house oddly quiet.  Hubby was in the kitchen starting dinner but my normally rambunctious girls were no where to be seen (or heard).

I found them in my bedroom watching a movie and it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen:

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Evolution of Valentines Day

So I already confessed that I'm not a big fan of Halloween...and truth be told Valentine's Day is another holiday that really doesn't do anything for me.

Now...I'm all for love and for showing the love of your life that they are - in fact - the love of your life. What I don't get is why we need a specific date to tell  us to do that?  It feels wrong to me...

When hubby and I were young and newly in love we honoured Valentine's Day with all of the traditions.  Sappy cards, roses, expensive dinners at crowded restaurants, etc. etc.

As the years went by we started going to cheaper restaurants and the rose delivery stopped. The allure of the day was fading...understandably so.

I still remember vividly when we both decided that Valentines Day was just another day.  It was 2007 - our first daughter was 10 months old - and hubby and I realized that we had both forgotten to buy Valentine's Day cards for each other.  So we walked up to the local drug store to buy cards.  I told him to wait in a separate aisle while I picked his...and I did the same while he chose mine.

So there we were...standing feet apart in a drugstore with these $7 cards in our hands. And in that instant we both knew that buying the cards was a foolish waste of money.  Instead - I handed him his card, he read it, told me he loved me, and gave me a kiss. Then I read his, told him I loved him too and gave him a kiss.

Then we spent the $14 on magazines instead.

Now before you feel sad for me and think the spark has gone out of my marriage...don't worry it hasn't.  We just don't need a specific day to say I Love You.

I put love notes in hubby's lunch box, he sends me a text message on a random Tuesday that simply says "I Love You" and we make sure to have date nights as often as possible.  So we're all good...

And on this - our 17th (!) Valentine's Day together - I am happy to report that we did indeed go out for dinner.

To Swiss Chalet. With the kids.  And it was awesome:

I couldn't ask for better dates...

Of course, now that I am a parent there is a lot more work to do to prepare for this day.  Last year I was astounded at the number of treats that my oldest came home with from Kindergarten.  I mean was incredible...chocolates, rice krispie treats shaped like hearts, home-made cookies, lollipops...the list goes on and on.

And as much as I may not like what this holiday has become I was pretty horrified that my daughter was one of the few kids that just gave a paper Valentine. I was clearly shown up by the other parents that day.

Not so much this year...I was bound and determined to make sure that my daughter's gave out something good. And so I did what every other modern mother would do - I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

and once again felt completely inadequate...sigh...

There are some seriously talented parents out there that have way too much time on their hands. I was overwhelmed by my choices...which idea should I copy?

I knew I didn't want to give out any sugary treats - lollipops are the only candy not allowed in our house - so I tried to just look at the better crafty ideas.  And I found one that I immediately loved:

Credit: Bits of Everything Blog

I needed to make 43 to have enough for both daughter's classmates. Luckily I found all the supplies at the dollar store so it cost me less than $10. They were so simple to make and we had a blast making them.

Required materials:
- foam hearts
- pencils (Cars/Spiderman for the boys, pink & purple hearts for the girls)
- sheet of labels with space for girls to sign their names
- x-acto knife (to cut the slits for the pencils)

I cut the slits in the hearts for the pencil to go in while the girls diligently signed their names on their own sheets of labels.
Littlest actually managed to sign 3 of her labels with her full name before I took over.  I was pretty impressed...
...and she was very proud!
Oldest loved putting them all together. Red hearts were for the boys and pink for the girls.
Voila...the finished product.

Not too shabby.  I wonder what Pinterest will have us make next year?

Oh...and I almost forgot the best Valentine's Day gift of all:

She was our Valentine this year...her note to us read:

Yes my love...I will be yours...always.

Hmmm...maybe this day does still mean something after all...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Day at the Aquarium

We have a fantastic Aquarium in our city.  The girls love it and we love it. 

Unfortunately the ticket prices are steep and as a result we don't get to go nearly as often as we'd like.

So I was pretty excited when I recived a special ticket offer from BC Hydro as a thank you for being part of their Power Smart program.  Apparently we were one of their few customers that managed to reduce our energy use by more than 15% last year.  And the prize for doing that is half price tickets to the Aquarium along with early entry. 

Cha-ching...I was all over that offer like a cheap suit.

Of course - Murphy's Law struck again - and we were up most of the night before our early morning visit dealing with little T's 4th ear infection in 2 months. Poor peachie...

But we were determined not to let a sleepless night deter us from our goal.  So we were up and in the car by 8:15.  One stop at Tim Horton's for some badly needed caffeine and breakfast sandwiches and we were on our way downtown.

We had to park a little further away than usual due to roadwork and of course it started to rain as we were walking over and of course we had no umbrellas.  But what's a little rain to a Vancouverite right?

who needs an umbrella when you have a hood?

Being the Aquarium so early before the crowds was totally worth all the hassle of getting there. It was almost as though we had the whole place to ourselves...

Wearing nice bright colours so we can see them from anywhere!

Hello?  Girls?  I want to take a picture...

And clearly the octopus is an early bird.  I was so excited because this was the most active I had ever seen him (her?).  I took about 20 pictures.  I wish I was exaggerating about that...


The girls were not nearly as impressed by him (her?) as I was...they moved on pretty quickly to check out the sharks and caymans.



After checking the awesome 4D movie...(you need a little attitude to pull off this look): was on to the main attractions - the belugas and the penguins:


Before heading home we stopped at the gift shop to pick out some friends to bring home.  After much agonizing...M chose a penguin named Steveston and T picked a Sea Otter named Cutie. Welcome to the family guys...

All in all we had a fabulous time...enough to make me think about buying an annual pass. Just wish it came with the early entry as well...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Flashback Photo - Yellow Pants & Pigtails

There are some pictures that I take not realizing their true awesomeness until I download them.  This is one of those pictures.

I knew she looked cute when I took the picture. But the combination of the bright yellow pants, bright pink sandals and wispy little pigtails makes me smile every time I look at it.

and awwwww...she was just so little!

it all just goes by so fast...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hawaiian Girls

My cousin got back from Hawaii and now we have two little hula girls at our house.

Cuteness overload...

Now they want to go to Hawaii for real.  I said maybe next year. Thinking a 15 year anniversary vow renewal on the beach sounds pretty good.

that thought makes me very happy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Look into my purse. I dare you!

This weeks Listicle suggested by the hilarious Ducky from Batcrap Crazy at is a bit of a pandora’s box…I mean telling people what’s in my purse is kind of like baring my soul.  It’s private…and just plain ridiculous at the same time.

it really is way too big...

I used to carry an itty-bitty purse.  Then every store started offering member cards and I had to get a bigger wallet…ergo…a bigger purse.

Then I had kids and the giant wallet – now filled with coupons for diapers, formula and cheerios – was carelessly thrown into the diaper bag.  No more purse for me.

Then my kids grew out of bottles and diapers and baby food jars and snacks and wipes and toys…and I got to carry a purse again.  The urge to fill it with crap however never went away…

So – without further adieu – let the soul-baring begin…

Wallet – okay, I got rid of the monstrosity when I realized that (most of) the member cards were useless.  I bought this awesome Matt & Nat wristlet (I love that word) on one of my girls weekends up in Whistler.  It’s perfect.  Fits all my cards, a lipstick and my phone (when needed).

i love it..
Makeup Bag – this is probably the heaviest thing I carry in my bag and I never, ever use it. Not that I don’t need make up…trust me I do.  I just never think to reapply it. Everything in here is either brand new or so old it’s turned toxic.

Coupon Keeper – okay…this is one of those things that I was so excited to find in the buck fifty bin at Michael’s. I was sure it was going to revolutionize my life. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Now my coupons are all wonderfully organized…but I completely forget to check in the damn thing and as a result…they are all expired. Sigh…

Lip Balm – well…to be exact…there are 5 of them. I’m addicted.  It happens…

Comb – obviously.

Hand Sanitizer – this one is watermelon scented and encased in a hideous tie-dyed rubber case that my youngest insisted I buy at Bath & Body Works. The things we do for our kids.

Business Cards – huh…what are those doing in there?

Kleenex – some of it in a travel pack, some loose and some McDonald’s napkins.  Because…you never know.

Empty Tupperware container – I’m sure this contained a snack for one of my kids at some point. Not sure how long ago or what it had in it though.  Sometimes its better not to ask these questions.  The important thing is that it’s not leaking anything.

Sleeves – not the kind off a t-shirt – but the coffee cup kind.  One Starbucks and one Tim Horton’s. I have no brand loyalty.

There you have it.  I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t anything more shameful or embarrassing. My soul is actually pretty boring…

Oh well…it’s always good to have a goal! Ask me again in a few weeks…I’m working on the shame-factor.

Thanks again Stasha…let’s do this all again next week. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Flashback Photo Friday - Disneyland

One year ago today we were boarding a plane bound for Disneyland on our first real family vacation.  It was a magical really is the Happiest Place on Earth and we cant wait to go back.

For now we must be satisfied with our memories. And let me tell you picking just 5 photos out of the more than 1,000 that we took was no easy task.

This is my favourite photo of the entire trip. Love how excited they are.
Hubby always said he wanted a dog...maybe this one is too big.
Our little princesses...
Riding the train around the happy to be here.

On our last day...the obligatory shot in front of the castle.

Hope to see you soon Disneyland...I have a plan in the works that might have us back next year. Fingers crossed.