Things That Made Me Happy Today

Sometimes the days are hard. Like, really hard. Just can’t wait for bedtime hard. But thankfully, not all of them. Some days there are fewer tantrums and less whining and generally more joy. I won’t say this day was without its tantrums (why is it my 4 year old is worse than my 2 year old?), but there were moments in my day that remind me of why I love my life.

An early morning pillow fight…

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Seeing both of my sons challenge themselves and overcome some fears. Doing a hard playground structure for the first time is such an achievement…

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When the little one asked for help, I challenged him to see what he could do on his own… and he did…

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Spending time with friends… 

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Skipping snack to toss around water balloons for an hour instead…

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Making a favourite dinner with less crying and fussing from the kids than normal…

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Seeing the apron of my childhood worn by my own child…

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In the midst of the bickering and the sibling rivalry, the screaming and the whining, the never ending stream of bandaids and cuddles, sometimes it’s good to focus on these little moments. 

A REAL Real Housewife of Vancouver

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview over email with Melissa of the thirties grind, to be a part of her “REAL Real Housewives of Vancouver” series. The interview features the actual questions from the Real Housewives of Vancouver series but completed by, well, REAL women representing Vancouver! If you check out her archives, you’ll see a great cross-section of REAL women who make up this wonderful city. 

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So, check it out. Let me know what you think. And how would YOU answer the first question? What are the characteristics of a Vancouver housewife, and do you fit them?? 

To My Damien on his 2nd Birthday

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Dear Damien,

Happy birthday my wonderful, giggly, amazing boy! It feels like today you go from being my baby to being a little boy, though to me you will always remain my special little man. 

Just as last year we celebrated your birthday with parachutes and balloons, again this year we celebrate all you are with a lollipop party full of colour and vibrancy and enthusiasm, all words I would use to describe you.

Damien, your love for life is infectious; you end each day in fits of giggles and smiles, grinning from ear to ear as you stare lovingly into my face. You shower all those around you with your cheery personality, ready to run at the world and see what it has to offer you. Nothing is holding you back now, my Damien, and I hope you continue to rush at life with such passion – as long as you let me hold your hand, sometimes. 

Music fills your soul, and it brings me such joy to watch you hum, sing, dance and tap out the rhythms of your life. You sing because it’s a part of you. You see the world as your giant drum or stage, taking your songs with you as you go. Toys don’t hold much sway for you yet, you’re more than happy to spend a few moments here or there, exploring and thinking and smiling. Sometimes you invite me into your world, sharing some recipe you’ve created or bringing me some toy or game you want to explore together. 

My Damien, you have taught me so much this year about how to see the world. About how to be filled with joy and excitement. About how to love with your whole self, the way you love all of us, especially your brother Aiden. 

Damien, may the music in you always find a way to come out and shine on those around you. I will always be here, listening and admiring and supporting, as you write the score of your life. Happy Birthday my boy!

All my love,

Spreading the Sunshine

T11227134364 087bffde06he lovely Heather recently tagged me in a meme based on the Sunshine Awards, allowing bloggers to recognize people who have “charmed, supported, enlightened, and inspired the awarder in recent months.” Basically, it’s a FBBB (for bloggers, by bloggers) award bestowed upon writers who inspire you, creating a lovely and positive link among bloggers. 

First off, thank you to Heather for the tag! I’ve had the privilege to get to know Heather through our “family” at Gymboree, where we’ve been going regularly since Aiden was 6 months old – that’s 4 years of classes under our belts. It’s always been a favourite place for myself and my boys and getting to know Heather and the other teachers has made Gymboree such a warm place for us. If you don’t know Heather, she’s an amazingly positive person who brings light to Gymboree and is an amazing Mommy to her two outgoing little girls.

To answer Heather’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite piece of technology as a blogger? As a mommy?
    My iPhone! For both, it’s essential to take photos, engage on social media, even to write posts! I would never capture half the memories of my kids without my phone always handy. 
  2. What’s the craziest fad diet/workout routine you’ve ever attempted?
    I did the 30 Day Shred… for a bit. About 2 weeks? I didn’t hate it, but it was really hard to fit in the Shred and my running 3x a week and work and kids, and, well, life.  
  3. Automatic or manual transmission?
    Automatic. Hills. Enough said. 
  4. What is your ideal number of kids?
    2. I would have maybe said 3 before, but they are considerably more work than I expected. Plus, I am not a happy pregnant lady. 
  5. Have you ever broken any bones?
    I’m more apt to sprain and tear (thanks hyper mobility!), but I have broken a finger and a rib and fractured (does that count?) my arm. 
  6. What is the best old school way of writing? Pen & paper, typewriter, tablet & chisel?
    I love notebooks. I still meal plan on a pad / paper and always have a notebook by my desk. 
  7. What is the most unusual entry on your list of baby names?
    Dyson. It was Ianiv’s name and it’s the only one that stuck with me as odd. Um, not naming my kid a vacuum, even if it is a nice name. 
  8. What is the craziest thing you did as a child that you’d never let your own kids do?
    Hmm, hard one. I wasn’t a super crazy child. I have a feeling my kids will outdo me in this department. I’d have to say catching snakes was probably not a wise idea. Most of them were garter snakes… I think. 

I nominate the following 8 people who’ve inspired me lately: Amber, Harriet, Tod (congrats on the wedding!), Rebecca, Gus, Steffani, Tamara and Margarita

And I’ve come up with the following 8 new questions:

  1. Sum up an average day in 3 words.
  2. What’s your favourite thing about Vancouver?
  3. The best thing to happen to me this year has been _______
  4. What are your top 3 favourite books from when you were a kid?
  5. Best show on tv right now? (And I hope you say Downton Abbey)
  6. TV show that should never have been cancelled
  7. Your favourite place to go for dinner in Vancouver
  8. The place you’d most like to take a vacation to

I Need a Post-Holiday Holiday

I love Christmas. I spend the whole year thinking about neat things to buy for people, keeping my ideas in a Christmas shopping app, and tracking all the little stocking stuffers I pick up. Come December, I’m usually mostly done shopping, although I’ve always had one major shopping trip to tie up the rest. This year, I did all of the “rest” online, so I only visited one store in the mall to buy a Christmas present, and made an extra trip to the brewery. Very neat and tidy. Neater than the 6 store visits it took me to find the materials for the snow globes below:

I treasure every moment of Christmas. All the outings, the lights, and picking just the right tree. I love looking at my tree all lit up and wrapping the gifts with care. In past years, I was known to make my own cards and wrapping paper. As a busy mom, I content myself with a beautiful photo card and the care and attention of meticulous wrapping with special attention to ribbons or special ornaments tied on in lieu of bows. 

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Although I’m close with my mom, we don’t have a large family here that celebrates Christmas. It makes me sad that we don’t have more get togethers with friends or with family at this time of year, because to me that is the essence of Christmas. To replace that, I try hard to include family when we do special outings. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes it’s quite a headache to organize, but it’s worth it. 

After the busy month preparing for Christmas, and the hectic day of presents, brunch with family, nap, then dinner with family, plus all the rush and tension and drama that always unfolds, it’s easy to feel worn out by Boxing Day. This year, my slump hit the day after Boxing Day. Granted, a little 19-month-old woke me 3 times last night, but I’m feeling tired today. 

My nose has been congested for about 6 weeks and I really really need a massage. The two combined is leaving me in agony from the shoulders up. So. MUCH. pressure. My ears feel ready to burst with it. My body was not ready for the emotional aftermath of Christmas and I’m feeling like I’d just like to take a day to just sleep and be lazy and appreciate some space (an ongoing issue for me). 

So, are you feeling like you need a post-holiday holiday too?