Thursday, 31 May 2012


I decided late last night that today was going to start in a very special way.  You see, Sydney has really been embracing being two these days.  Her favourite word is 'no', she is fiercely independent and generally uncooperative when it come to most things that Mom wants her to do.  I take some comfort in the fact that, developmentally speaking, she is right on target with her behaviour but it doesn't make it any less painful.  Most days I find us knocking heads at some point or wanting to pull my hair out in frustration.  I lie in bed at night watching her sleep like a little angel and wonder where in the world my sweet, helpless baby went and who is this firey, independent little girl in her place?

Late last night I was reading one of my favourite Mommy blogs, Enjoying the Small Things.  Kelle, the blog's author, wrote a poignant entry about celebrating each day and making even an ordinary day extraordinary.  I took her words to heart and snuck down to the kitchen to dig out my waffle maker, determined to create a special memory today.  I set the kitchen table with fancy dishes and wee glass tea cups and saucers and decided that first thing this morning Sydney and I were going to make waffles together and have a very special breakfast.

It was a lovely way to start our day.  Sydney was thrilled to see all the pretty dishes set up at the table and helped me pour the ingredients into the bowl and stir things up and then stood guard over the waffle iron watching until there was no more steam, the sure sign that they were ready to eat. 

When hers was done, I broke it into quarters and asked her what she wanted on it.  "Peanut butter and Nutella with bananas" she confidently declared.  Kind of a funny topping, but to each her own!

We had a special time together over breakfast and I savoured every moment of it as I knew the day was likely to bring me more guff later on....

Sydney had school this morning.  When we arrived at class the teacher handed me the most precious tile with Sydney's hand print, a copy of one that will hang forever on the Wall of Friendship at the school because of a donation that we made.  It is so precious and is going to have a special spot in my new upstairs office that is fast taking shape!

The school cafeteria was selling whole pies today so I decided to treat Paul to a strawberry rhubarb pie for our dessert tonight.  It was yummy!  I don't bake pie very often, so it was  real treat to have a homemade one!

Today's very last photo a day for the month of May is meant to be 'something beautiful':

Sydney is so into painting her own toes with paint lately ever since I painted her nails with polish a few weeks ago!  She really thought this was a beautiful job!

It has been so fun doing the photo a day for the month of May!  I have found new inspiration to keep up with the daily blogging and have found such fun and wonderful things to capture pictures of!  Great fun!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A Year

Today marks exactly one year since my very first blog entry on 'My Life as a Mom'.  It has been an amazing year and I am so grateful to have shared all of my memories, both big and small, right here with you!  Thank you for reading!  It means so much to me to know that there are people out there that care enough about us that they'd want to know all the little, mundane details of our everyday lives!

I have spent some time over the past while looking back and reading past entries.  Some stand out to me, not because they were big events, but because they captured the little things that make this time of my life, at home with Sydney, so amazing.  There were all those tea parties together, and the time that Sydney accidentally locked herself in the house all alone.  There were dozens of playdates at our house or other's and countless shopping trips.  These memories, along with the bigger ones, birthdays, Hannukah, our annual trip to Maui have weaved together a tapestry that I will forever hold dear.

I look forward to many more years of sharing our lives here and being able to look back and reflect on what a wonderful life it truly is.  I feel so grateful to be Sydney's Mom, she is the best gift I have ever gotten!  I love her more than words could ever possibly express and I know that years from now, I will wistfully look back on this time with her and wish I could have hit the pause button at this moment in time, it is, in a word, magical!

The photo for today is 'my personality':

That's me, big giant teeth, smiling most of the time.  I have a pretty easy and cheerful personality, I've been told!

Here's to my first year as a Mommy Blogger!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summer Bucket List

I woke up this morning to Sydney's sweet voice at 5am.  It wasn't exactly when I had envisioned getting out of bed today, especially after being out far later than usual for dinner with the girls last night!  I was feeling a little foggy to say the least!

Sydney had preschool this morning and it was my day to volunteer in the classroom.  I have to be honest and say that I wasn't completely in the mood to volunteer today.  I was tired and a bit weary from dealing with this challenging stage that Sydney seems to be going through right now. I really could have used my hour and a half wandering through the mall!

It had been a couple of months since my last volunteer day and I was so amazed to see how much the kids had grown and developed in that short period of time.  It was gratifying to see that Sydney isn't the only one testing her limits right now, there must have been half a dozen scuffles over toys, or pushing and yelling or bouts of tears in class today!  I'm so glad to know that I am not alone in dealing with the challenges of a spirited toddler!

The kids made a special craft at school today, little baskets for Shavuot.  They even got to go on their own mini "harvest" around the classroom and fill their baskets up, it was adorable!

After school, Sydney and I had lunch with her friend Naomi and mom Lissa upstairs in the cafeteria.  Naomi is Lissa's third child and I always love talking to her as a seasoned Mom to glean some advice and see what strategies have worked for her in the past. 

Sydney was so excited today to see that the cucumber seeds we had planted had magically sprouted overnight!  To this day, I still find it amazing that you can just toss some seeds into a bowl of dirt and with a little water and sunlight, magic happens!

Today is my nephew Zach's 14th birthday.  I called and left him a voice mail this morning to wish him a happy birthday and he called me back this evening to thank me for calling and for the gift I had sent him.  I couldn't get over the sound of his deep voice on the phone and was left wondering where in the world this young man came from?  I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday, that sweet, sweet baby boy is no longer.  In his place is a clever, handsome young man.  Happy Birthday Zach!  We are looking forward to celebrating together with you in a few weeks!

I've spent that past couple of weeks coming up with a bucket list of things that I want to do with Sydney over the summer when all of our activities are on break and we have long and leisurely days.  I keep thinking of new things to add to it and am so excited to start scratching things off our list!!

Am looking forward to getting out to see some of our favourite places and seeing some new ones too!  I have the feeling it's going to be a great summer!!

The photo a day for today is 'a number':

The number 7 is how many nights I had bribed Sydney to sleep in her own bed, months ago, to get her much coveted Elmo puppet.  Here I thought I was being so clever in making a motivational poster for the fridge and having her stick a sticker on it every morning when she woke up in her own bed.  It worked beautifully for six nights, then on night seven she woke up sick and barfed all over her duvet so I hauled her back into bed with us, not wanting to do laundry in the middle of the night, and she's been there ever since.

The poster still hangs on my fridge almost mocking me, reminding me that sometimes just when we think we've figured the perfect strategy, it all goes to pot.  Parenthood is a humbling experience!

Monday, 28 May 2012

An Evening Out

This morning and my week got off to such a nice start!  My friend Christina sent me a text early this morning to see if Sydney and I wanted to come over for coffee at their place before we both headed off to gymnastics.  Syd and I had had a bit of a sleep in, but we quickly finished up our breakfast, got dressed and welcomed the chance for an impromptu visit with our friends.

I don't know if if was something about being in Christina's cozy kitchen on a rainy Monday morning, drinking warm coffee and fresh blueberry muffins, but something about this morning made us get into a deep and meaningful conversation very quickly.  She and I understand each other in a very deep sense, we have an affinity with each other and I love it. 

We both headed off to gymnastics class with the kids and after a quick stop at my esthetician's for a little waxing, headed off to Kokopelli for lunch.  We managed to squeeze in a little visit to the dollar store in Kerrisdale so that Syd could stock up on a few essentials: colouring books, stickers and scissors.  She could have easily filled her basket with goodies she "needed"! 

I had resolved that today I was going to focus on Sydney a lot.  She has been really challenging me a lot lately, testing the boundaries and asserting her independence in ways that makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.  Yesterday was particularly challenging with her, so I thought that I would make a greater effort to focus on her today, giving her tons of attention and listening more closely to her cues.  As a result, today was a much easier day with her, it was a good reminder that sometimes my attitude can make all the difference!

We went to another yoga class this afternoon, Sydney is starting to participate more and more now, it's very cool to see her learn the drill in class.  I love it too, it's fast becoming one of our favourite activities.

This evening my friend Sarah coordinated a Moms night out and a group of us went for dinner at Glowbal restaurant downtown.  What a lovely time we had!  Great service, great food and good company!  Sydney slept like an angel the whole time I was gone, first time ever!  I'm almost afraid to say it but maybe we've rounded a corner with my being able to go out in the evenings....we'll have to wait and see!  I had the most amazing paella risotto along with Kobe meatballs for an appetizer and a lovely red wine to boot.  A fantastic evening with the Moms! 

The photo for the day is 'the weather today':

Sadly, this is what the weather looked like today, such a change from yesterday!

What a wonderful day to start off my week!

Sunday, 27 May 2012


I woke up this morning to the smell of campfire still lingering both in my hair and somehow the entire airspace in our bedroom!  Remnants of last night's extraordinary campfire in the backyard.  It was awesome!

I love Sunday mornings.  I love waking up to a perfectly free day knowing that we'll be spending it together as a family having fun.  We usually go somewhere special on Sundays and make a memory or two along the way.  Some of the best times that we've had as a family together, since Syd's been born, have been on Sunday mornings.

This morning we headed to Granville Island, like so many weeks before, to have a coffee and sit outside enjoying the weather and the view while Syd fed the birds.  Sydney is getting bolder and bolder every week both with the birds and with how far she'll venture without looking back to see where Mom and Dad are.  She is very much Little Miss Independent these days, it's wonderful and frustrating all in the same moment!

It was a super way to start our day, basking in the sun and listening to the musicians play in the background.

This afternoon my friend Lori brought her son Weston over to play with Sydney for a few hours so that she and her husband could get a bit of sleep with their very new wee baby.  I was so happy to be able to give them a short break, especially because I vividly remember those early days with Syd and how numb and exhausted I felt!

Weston and Syd had a great time playing together.  I really noticed Syd trying to direct the play so much more than she ever had before today, she was downright bossy sometimes!  I had to gently remind her several times to share her toys and to just let Weston be, she didn't need to boss him around and tell him what to do.  Interesting....I'm wondering if this is a personality trait or a stage that she's going through?

The kids enjoyed the backyard and the new sand and water table and hanging out in the playroom together.  It was a fun afternoon!

Lori brought over a very special gift for us today to thank us for being their "on call" people for when the baby came.  It is a beautiful heart tea set, complete with heart shaped saucers!  The inside of the teacups are hollowed out like hearts too, so when you fill them with tea, all you can see is a heart, it's adorable!  I can hardly wait for Syd and I to have a very special tea party with this tea set that will always remind us of little Gwendolyn's arrival!


The photo a day today is 'something sweet'.  During our weekly visit with Paul's Mom today, we got a gorgeous carrot cake frosted with the most delicious cream cheese icing to take home.  It was perfect and oh so fitting given today's theme.  I love carrot cake with cream cheese icing so much....what a treat!

Hope you had a lovely Sunday today too!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Perfect Day

Today was as near a perfect day as anyone could ever ask for.  We woke up to an amazing blue sky, a warm summer day.  Everyone was happy and contented and we were all out in the backyard in our pajamas before 8:00am ever hit.

We ran our usual Saturday morning errands but added a few fun things today too!  Stopped at Toys R Us to pick up a new toy for the backyard for Sydney this summer, her new sand and water table.

She loves it!  It is the perfect combination of sandbox meets swimming pool and the umbrella provides as much entertainment as the table itself.  She quickly learned how to open and close it and twirl it around.  I have the feeling that she is going to spend many a fun hour at this table this summer!

We spent a few hours wandering Main Street today, exploring a new neighborhood and checking out some cute shops and restaurants.  It is such a neat, up and coming area of Vancouver, we really enjoyed seeing all that's changed there recently.  We stopped and had a coffee at our favourite coffee shop there, JJ Bean and went for a quick visit at Paul's barber's new shoppe.  It was a fun way to spend part of our day!

It was a hot, hot day today.  Felt like the mid to high 20's outside!  It was one of the few times I was actually grateful to have Saturday afternoon swimming lessons with Sydney for a refreshing dip in the pool this afternoon.  Our lesson was sadly cut a bit short when one of the kids in her class barfed in the pool and everyone had to evacuate the water so that it could be disinfected for an hour.  Poor Sydney never did get her ride down the slide, she was a bit disappointed!

We stopped on the way home and grabbed some steaks for dinner and, for the second time this week, grilled up some fabulous steaks on our new barbecue!  I made baked potatoes and corn too, perfect summer fare!  We ate our first dinner of the season outside on our patio table, it was pure perfection.

While dinner was grilling, Sydney decided she'd like to paint a canvas painting as a birthday gift for her brother Zach's girlfriend Miriam.  I think it turned out pretty well!  Another great masterpiece from my little artiste!

The photo for today is dubbed '12 o'clock'.  This was sort of twelve o'clock, more like 2:30pm but you get the drift.  Grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone along with a few favourite sides!

Just when I thought the bouquet of flowers that my Mom got for me while she was here couldn't get any more beautiful, the tiger lilies in it decided to bloom today, gorgeous!

Our evening ended off with Paul and I brewing a hot cup of tea and lighting our first fire ever in our outdoor fireplace.  We bought it last year and never did get around to using it with the incredibly anticlimactic summer!  It was an absolutely magical time!  The sound of the roaring fire, crackling and burning and a beautiful star-filled sky above us.  It felt like we were on a mini vacation!  It was so fun sitting around a fire and drinking a hot cup of tea together after Sydney went to bed for the night!

It really was a perfect day with my Big and Little Loves.  May we have many more days like this ahead of us!

Friday, 25 May 2012


Wow, did this week sure fly by!  It has been a full and fun week.  This morning Syd and I had a few quiet hours to ourselves before we headed off to her music class.  It was nice to spend some time straightening up a few things around the house and playing together in her playroom.  Here is my little artist at work this morning creating her latest masterpiece which she called 'big green dinosaur':

I took some time this morning to hang up the vintage kid's LP records that my Mom had brought me from home, in Sydney's playroom.  I love how they look!  It really completes the room!

This afternoon Syd and I hauled up at the spa for an hour and I had a lovely, relaxing pedicure.  My toes look so bright and happy now and so ready for the summer.  I am excited to crack out all of my most favourite sandals now that my feet are summer ready!

The word for the photo for the day today is 'unusual'.  I wandered around the house today, thinking that it had been a perfectly ordinary day today, nothing very unusual at all.  Then I walked into Sydney's room and realized that it was meticulously clean.  That, my friends, is unusual in my life!

Sydney is really into her clothes right now, loves choosing her own outfits, right down to the socks, shoes and outerwear.  She also loves pulling almost everything out of her closet and dresser when she is picking something to wear, so most days her room has a mountain of clothes lying all over the floor from her exhaustive wardrobe selection.  This morning I enlisted her help to get everything back in it's rightful place and lo and behold if the room didn't stay clean for pretty much the rest of the day!  I'll enjoy it while I can, because goodness knows, it won't last!

We took a mid-afternoon jaunt to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and french fries, Sydney's treat for being such a good girl at the spa while I was getting my toes done.  My girl loves herself a good cone and fries!  She insists upon sitting in the baby highchair when we're there, it's quite funny actually!

We had a couple of things planned for this afternoon, both of which cancelled on us, so Sydney graciously had a long sleep while I basked in the sunshine in the backyard with a glass of wine...can't think of a better way to end the week!