To My Aiden on his 6th Birthday

Dear Aiden,

You’re 6 now! How is it that at 6 years old it feels like you’ve become such a grown up boy? I feel like moving into Grade 1 is such a momentous occasion, even more so than Kindergarten. It has a number associated with it. It is about more than just playing. Suddenly, you are on a path that will propel you all-too-quickly forward to Grade 12. 

You can see how much you’ve changed since you were five, my boy, and how much you have learned and how much you have pushed yourself! 

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You have tackled some major fears and anxieties and overcome them, so proud of your own bravery at challenging those fears. Not only did you learn how to swim, but it became one of your most favourite activities. You learned to love our boat and to love swimming from the dock on Keats. Even as those times have challenged us, I have watched you become aware of your own self in these moments and feel that knowing yourself, at your age, is such a gift!

You skate, you play (and now love) soccer, you are part of a swim club. You learned how to ride trails (and bike ramps) with no fear. You love Lego and Star Wars and Pokemon (you really love Pokemon). You can turn any building material into a ship, particularly MagnaTiles. You learned to read (more than just a few words here and there) and now devour chapter books in a handful of days and constantly need to be reminded to stop reading and go to sleep!

You have lots of friends to greet and be greeted by, and have your solid best friends that will always be by your side. You always have a compliment for others. You are the first one to notice something nice about someone else and always make a note to say so. It’s a beautiful trait of yours that, whether it shines my way or not, makes me so proud of you. 

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Your smile can light up a room. Your excitement infects those around you. Your courage inspires me. And each and every day, I’m thankful as you walk groggily to my side for your cuddles, together starting our day with love and ending it each night with a song, a kiss and an ‘I love you.’ 

Be courageous, my love. Be open. Continue to notice the little things in the world that are beautiful. And tell us about them. Devour as many books as you want. Love the world and all it has to offer. Learn about it. Explore it. And know, wherever life takes you, I’ll be by your side. 

Love, 
Mommy 

Vancity Box Launches to Celebrate Vancouver

This month, we were excited to be among the first recipients of the Vancity Box, a curated box of BC-made goods that celebrates local companies. Available as a subscription service, each box contains an assortment of BC goods from clothing and snacks to art and fun gadgets. Each month, the products will change, highlighting more of what makes Vancouver such an amazing place. This is especially great for those of us who love to buy hyperlocal goods and support local businesses!

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In their debut box, featured products include a beautiful jar of vanilla cotton candy from Petite Puf, which was the first item to be snagged by our very excited children. You can just see Damien’s nose in the photo below as he eagerly awaits the unboxing! My husband then snagged Billy Bob’s Jerky, which went to his office for snacks (my husband loves jerky). As the only blueberry-eater in our house, I got to enjoy all of the Living Lotus blueberry macaroons (that worked out nicely!). We we are extremely excited to try the Infusion Kit supplied by Graveley & Sons, we just need to go out and get the right rum. Perfect for Fall!

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It’s not often we would go out and get treats like these, so having them arrive at the door made it such a nice surprise. I think the box could function as a great showcase for products and companies you may otherwise have no exposure to, which is great for both vendor and consumer. A solid first box!

Disclosure: The Vancity Box was supplied for review, all reviews expressed are my own.

Mabel’s Labels Review

Aiden, who is currently obsessed with seeing his own name in print, is tickled by the new Mabel’s Labels on some of his belongings. We bought a Basic Kit with a variety of tags and stickers to put on items that may go with Aiden to preschool. The labels are fantastic!

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We have run the Skinny Mini labels through the dishwasher without any fading or peeling. Can’t wait to get more of these – particularly around Christmas!

Nala’s Big Surgery

On Wednesday my beautiful feline friend Nala went in for a major surgery. It was not an easy decision to make, but I’m glad we made it. Before we went to Hawaii, the veterinarian found a mass internally during her routine wellness examination. At the time, she thought it was quite large and Nala was also losing weight, so it was worrisome.

We did an ultrasound, which pinpointed the lump on her liver, and a biopsy, which was inconclusive. We had a hard decision to make – do surgery, or not? Well, we modified her thyroid medication (which she’s been on for many years) and she started to re-gain weight, so that was a great sign. After we returned from Hawaii, I met with the surgeon, and he thought we had a great case.

The surgeon believed that the mass was located in just one lobe of Nala’s liver, and all her tests showed that her liver wasn’t compromised in any way… yet. No way of knowing if it would become so, if we left it. Given her age – 16 in August! – and her small size, we were worried about the risks of doing a major surgery. Talking with the surgeon helped a great deal, and he believed the mass was not very large, hopefully easy to remove, and that it didn’t “look” cancerous. The risk of not doing surgery would be the mass growing to an inoperable size, and her increase in age.

We opted to do the surgery, and I’m glad we did. The surgeon said it was far easier than he expected (translate: a little cheaper too) and that she did fantastic. The mass came out easily and continued to “look” benign – perhaps a cyst she’d always had that suddenly grew. We won’t know for sure until the pathology next week. But so far so good – all the extra tests we paid for, including chest x-ray, did not show additional masses.

Nala is home now, as of last night, and doing ok. She seems uncomfortable and quite restless, but is eating ok. The incision doesn’t look as scary as I expected, though still quite nasty. She’s had a few stomach issues from the medications, which have been fun to clean up, but is walking ok and jumping a little. She’ll lie down, but it took her a few hours last night to decide to do so. Today has been a bit better. Cats recover quite quickly from surgeries, so we should see her acting like herself within a week.

Have you ever had to make a major decision about your pet’s health?

Aiden and Yucky

This is ‘Yucky’ (Lucky), a friendly cat who lives in out strata. He’s more outgoing than our Nala and more toddler-friendly than our Guinness. So, of course, Aiden loves him. If the neighbors are not around to play with, he asks to go look for Yucky.

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