Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Beach Time

This morning Sydney and I met up at Spanish Banks East with the Dunbar Moms for a little beach time together!  It was so nice to take the kids to the beach to play for a while in the sun.  The tide was way out when we arrived and the kids had such fun beach combing and getting wet and sandy.

It was great fun visiting with everyone.  I love how we all spread out blankets into a giant square and collectively set our snacks in the middle.  The kids dug in the sand, ran and played with each other and ate snacks together.  It was pure summer fun!

After the beach, Sydney and I went for a quick sushi lunch and then off to day number two of our pottery camp.  We made a piggy bank today, ours was a little ladybug, it was super cute!

Half way through our second project, Sydney melted down completely.  She was tired and so not in the mood to be doing anything structured, so we decided to call it a day early and came home so that she could have a nap.  It was just what she needed and gave me a bit of time to relax in the afternoon.

She woke up in the nick of time for us to make it to our 4 Cats art class, was fun to see some of our friends from the beach this morning again and to continue to work on a few of the projects that we have been creating this summer.  We had a very artistic day today!

This afternoon while Syd was asleep, my friend Lori stopped by with a special treat for us, a huge bag filled with frozen salmon that her husband caught on a trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands!  We got filets of both Chinook and Spring salmon, enough for a dozen or more meals!  Am excited to find some great recipes to use it up!

I always feel like the dirtier Sydney is at the end of the day, the better day we had together.  Today when I dropped her in her bath she was absolutely filthy, covered in sand, clay and paint.  It was fantastic and made me feel like we'd had such a fun day together!  July has been such a great month filled with fantastic summer memories and we are looking forward to August arriving tomorrow to fill our calendar with even more!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Pottery Camp

This morning started off with homemade waffles and giant poster paper painting.  A thouroughly therapeutic way to start the week!

Painting is a daily activity in our house.  It is, hands down, Sydney's favourite thing to do.  I keep her paint trays and giant bottles of washable paint in the kitchen at all times and at least once a day she drags her splash mat out of her art basket and asks me to paint, often first thing in the morning and in her pajamas.

In trying to keep it interesting for her, I've resorted to letting her paint different things, cards, wood, cardboard, poster paper.  It seems to make it all the more interesting if she can paint something new!

Sydney has recently developed a new love for my Ergo baby carrier, and often asks to be carried around in "Mommy's backpack", even when we're at home!  I thought I'd take advantage of this and see if I couldn't get her to sit in the Ergo while I did a bit of shopping today.  It worked brilliantly, we spent over an hour at the mall running errands and she sat happily strapped to the front of me, looking around and playing with my hair.  It reminded me of how easy errands were when she was a baby, before she knew how to move on her own!

This afternoon was the first day of our week-long Mom and PeeWee Pottery Camp at the Dunbar Community Center.  It was a fun class, we made coil bowls, one heart shaped and one in a circle and a little animal that was supposed to be a mouse, but ended up looking like something rather prehistoric!  Syd had fun playing with the clay and rolling snakes and balls for the first hour of class and then was clearly bored for the last half hour!  It might be a little long for her liking!  Luckily, the instructor is very easy going and said we could leave whenever our projects were done, so we headed to the park to play for a while.  I can't wait to see what everything looks like once it's fired, painted and glazed!

I decided to whip up a batch of homemade raspberry jam this afternoon while the local raspberries are still available.  I used the same recipe as last year, and many years before, and got seven jars of jam.  Can't wait to taste it!

It was a good start to the week!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Lazy Summer Weekend

We are just wrapping up a lazy summer weekend around here.  The weather was amazing, we had little to nothing planned, and Sydney is still getting over a miserable summer cold, so we decided to lay low this weekend and do a whole lot of nothing!

We ran some errands, went for some walks, played at the park, drank a few glasses of wine, had a quick visit with Zach, and played in the back yard.  It's nice to just be sometimes.  I have such a tendency to want to be super busy all the time that I forget how nice it is to truly slow down and really just savour the moment.

This week marks the third week of Sydney being officially diaper free!  I disassembled her diaper change station this weekend, won't be needing that change pad or smelly Diaper Genie any more!

Sydney is really digging being able to make collages out of all that fun stuff that we got at the art store the other day.  She made another one this weekend:

Auntie Elaine gave Syd a very special present to congratulate her on successfully using the potty now, a package of very cool new panties!  Syd was most excited to get these and asked if she could change into a fresh pair of panties as soon as she got them!

We went for lunch and a coffee at a little cafe around the corner from Zach's house, the Wicked Cafe, this afternoon.  This great little hole-in-the-wall serves up awesome coffee and sandwiches, along with a variety of other treats.  It's definitely worth trying out!

We are soaking up these last few days of July before we hit the official half way mark of the summer.  Hope you had a great weekend wherever you are!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Canada Cookies and Mel's Birthday

Happy Friday!  What a fun, long day we had today!  I am blissfully exhausted as I sit at the computer gathering my thoughts, trying to remember what moments I want to capture from today.

Today was a very special day for our friends Michelle and Iain.  They officially became Canadian citizens today with their formal citizenship ceremony this morning.  To mark this very special occasion, Lori, Sally, Christina and I got together this morning and baked and decorated sugar cookies shaped like maple leaves and Canadian flags.

It was such fun working together to make the cookies!  I hit up Dollarama earlier this week and got a bag of Canadian tourist stuff to include with the cookies and we dropped off the goodies on their front porch while they were gone so they had a lovely surprise when they got home. 

This afternoon Sydney and I drove up to Squamish to see our cousins Melanie, Carmen and Sharlene and my Aunt Trish and her husband Cliff.  It was Melanie's 33rd birthday today and we used the day as an excuse to get the entire family together for a barbecue at Auntie Trish's.  It was such a fun time!  Sydney loved playing with their dog Coco and at the playground!

She also had fun playing with her cousin Kaylee, such a little sweetie sporting one of Sydney's dresses from when she was a babe.

Melanie barbecued up the most delicious chicken and steak which we so enjoyed with Cliff's famous potato salad along with some very fancy drinks.  Here's my green apple sour, sans booze!

After dinner we went for a stroll down to the Mamquam river, it was absolutely beautiful.  Sydney was delighted to be able to walk Coco herself, proudly holding the leash the whole way there!

Melanie made herself the cutest cake too, a little summer scene!

My sister and her family came up too, it was such fun having everyone together for the first time in well over a year!  Liane brought me some fresh lettuce from her garden, what a nice treat!

Auntie Trish stashed a little something in my purse for Sydney on the way home, a stack of stickers and a sticker album, the perfect surprise for Syd!

What a great family time it was, so glad to enjoy a wonderful summer evening with everyone!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Granville Island & Colton's Bris

This morning Sydney and I met up with our friends Sarah and Emma at Granville Island water park so the kids could splash and play in the water for a while in the heat!  Sarah and Emma have been away for three weeks for Sarah and Mike's wedding in Niagara on the Lake and honeymooning in Paris.  We missed them so much while they were gone!  It was so nice to see them today and catch up on their trip and what's been happening this summer!

Sydney has been so funny at the water parks this summer.  She doesn't really love the spraying water a lot, is quite hesitant to get wet at all to be honest, and today she was particularly being a monkey, running away from me, taking her swimsuit off and having a really hard time listening....she eventually played for a while with the fire hydrant and hose which kept her mostly entertained!

After the kids had had enough of the water, we headed over to the patio at Whet and had a lovely lunch together.  Both Sydney and Emma have just finished potty training in the last couple of weeks and it was so funny to see them both using the little potty that I'd brought along with me.  What big girls we have now!

We enjoyed a lovely meal and a glass or two of wine in the sun followed by a quick visit to the Kids Market and gelato with the girls.  What a fantastic Vancouver day in the sun!  A perfect summer memory!

This evening we got together with a group of family and friends to celebrate a very special event, the Brit Milah, of Sydney's newest cousin, Colton.  It was such a fantastic ceremony and so nice to meet the new baby!

After the bris, we decided to head to the University Golf Club for dinner on the patio with Elaine and Harry.  It was a super warm day and so nice to relax in the cool evening and have some dinner together.

What a full and fun day!  

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Lunch at Melissa's


This morning I decided to make Sydney a special treat, chocolate chip pancakes.  As I was getting breakfast organized, Sydney suggested that we eat outside.  It was a great idea, it was a beautiful day and so lovely and fresh outside, so we carried our plates outside and enjoyed the early morning hours together over tea and the newspaper.

Sydney's garden is growing like crazy!  She has a ton of blossoms on her pumpkin plant, I am so excited to see what begins to grow over the next short while!

After breakfast,  Sydney and I drove out to sunny Tsawwassen to have lunch with my friend Melissa and her girls Ella, Madeline and Ruby.  Melissa was my boss when I worked at Mackenzie and she and I quickly developed a friendship, especially when we were pregnant at the same time, Ruby and Sydney were born just a couple of weeks apart.

Melissa has a lovely home in Tsawwassen with a beautiful big back yard that the kids enjoyed playing in.  Sydney loved the adventure playground complete with swings and a slide.  She stripped down to go for a little dip in the kiddie pool too!

Another colleague, Sarah, and her kids Carlie and Liam, came out for lunch and a visit too.  It was so good to get together and catch up on what we've all been up to and hear the latest about what's been happening at the office.  We have all known each other for many, many years and in many respects these girls feel more like family than work colleagues.  We've spent countless numbers of hours together and have made so many memories on work trips away.  It's neat to have such a history with these gals and to also share motherhood with them and still stay in touch even though we no longer work together!

It was a fantastic way to spend the day enjoying the sun and some great company!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Day at the Farm

This morning Sydney and I met up with her preschool classmate Addison and her mom Amanda and sister Sienna at Maplewood Farms in North Vancouver.  This awesome kids farm has been around for as long as I've been alive and is such a great place to take kids to see all the farm favourite animals!

Sydney loves feeding birds so much.  There are no shortage of birds at this farm, from the exotic peacocks, budgies and parrots to ducks, geese and chickens.  She had used her entire bag of bird seed by the time we were twenty five feet into the farm!

The highlight of the visit to the farm is always the giant white bunnies which the kids can pet and feed.  They always remind me of a beloved stuffed rabbit that my sister had when she was a little girl named Rosabelle.  I forgot to bring some special treats for the rabbits today, but luckily there was some leftover lettuce there for the kids to feed to them.

The goat petting area is always a fun spot.  The goats are a bit jumpy, so if the kids startle them or they get a bit skiddish they start jumping about and it totally freaks the kids out.  While we were on our way out today, we accidentally let one of the goats out of the pen...whoops!

Syd seemed to enjoy spending some time with Addison and especially loved the hand washing station and hand sanitizer all around the facility!  She must have washed her hands a thousand times.  Amanda and I were joking that we could have entertained the kids for the entire morning with just a sink and some hand sanitizer, never mind the animals!

It was fun to spend some time with Addison outside of school.  We are so excited that she is going to be in Sydney's class this fall, I'm sure they will come to be very good friends in the years ahead.

Today also happens to be my Mom's birthday.  Happy, happy birthday Grandma!  We love you!  Thank you for all of your love and for being such an incredible Mom and Grandma to us all!  Love this shot of she and Syd when she was just a babe on the ferry on our way to our holiday at Point no Point resort on Vancouver Island!