Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Clean House

Since having Sydney, a clean house has become my nemesis.  I barely seem to find enough time in the day to keep things neat and tidy and stay on top of the laundry.  I never seem to get around to rolling my sleeves up and actually cleaning anything.

I conceded defeat shortly after Sydney was born, and decided to hire a housekeeper.  Since then I have had some great, some not so great and a lot of in between.  Just when I seem to find someone who does a great job and seems like a keeper, she decides to go back to school or find a full time job or move away!

I've learned during those weeks between housekeepers, when the house was getting progressively messier and dirtier,  to value each and every time that someone comes to clean.  This morning, my new housekeeper came to clean for the first time in a couple of weeks.  I savoured every moment of her being here and so love the feeling when she's done of walking into a freshly cleaned bathroom with fresh, fluffy towels and smelling all lovely and clean.

Sydney loves this new lady, follows her around like a little puppy and laughs and chats with her the whole time she's here.  It's really cute to see how quickly she took to her.  I kept having to peel her away from where the cleaning was happening so that the poor lady could get her work done!

While my house was being cleaned, Sydney and I were catching up on a few things around the house, watering the plants, making some phone calls, setting up some playdates.  We found a home for our sand dollars and shells that we brought home from Parksville with us, in a beautiful wooden bowl in the bathroom just off of Sydney's playroom.

Sydney is loving the new playdough that her friend Alexis gave her at her Bye Bye Diapers party on Sunday.  We played with it for a long time this morning, made some very cute little crabs together!

Early this afternoon, we jumped in the car and did a quick drive to Point Roberts to pick up some parcels, one of which had some birthday party favours for Sydney's loot bags for her party coming up in November.  We are doing a cupcake theme so I had some custom made cupcake shaped crayons made with a little label thanking everyone for coming to Sydney's party.  I am excited for the next couple of months of planning for her party!

The days are definitely getting shorter and shorter.  Early this evening, while I was driving home from the gym, it was already starting to get dark out and it was only 7:30pm!  I'm going to miss those nice long, hot summer days!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mail Day

I have always loved getting mail.  Nothing brightens an ordinary day more than getting a hand written note, or card, or parcel in the mail.  One of the things I miss the most, with today's electronic age, is getting hand written mail instead of e-mails.

Today the mailman once again rang the doorbell bright and early with a parcel and a letter for Syd.

Sydney got another package of stickers in the mail from the sticker club, some very cute doggy stickers from Iris.  I can't believe how excited Syd is to legitimately get mail for herself to open!  Everyday when we get the mail she asks if there's anything for her and I give her all of the junk mail, telling her that it's for her.  It's often not that exciting though, and certainly isn't an envelope with a treat inside to open so it's been so awesome getting a couple of packages of stickers in the mail the past few days!

The parcel that arrived was stuffed full of Sydney's school clothes that I had ordered a couple of weeks ago.  We got everything from footwear and outerwear to sweaters and dresses!  It was a wardrobe in a box and we had such fun unpacking everything, trying things on and then finding spots for them in Syd's closet.  My girl really does love a new batch of clothes, just like her Momma!

We spent the morning playing at Westside Family Place with several other Moms and kids that we know.  It was so fun having the kids play outside, but to also participate in the organized activities in the playroom and to sit through circle time.  I wish we'd spent more time here in the past!  We will certainly be going again.

Sydney loved the painting and sand table, but spent the most time at the playdough table, playing on her own for ten or fifteen minutes before she even looked up to see if I was around.  When she finally looked up to see me, she asked: "Mommy went grocery shopping?"  Apparently she thought I'd left her there and gone shopping!  It was too funny!

We had our last art class of the summer this afternoon at 4 Cats.  It has been such fun doing this class with Sydney's buddies Jack and Kaitlyn.  We finished up all of our projects and will pick them up later this week once all the paint has dried!

The weather has taken a turn in the last couple of days, it's been rainy and cooler for sure, I've even had to put a jacket or sweater on Syd the last couple of days when we've gone out!  It's feeling more and more like fall everyday, although we are still going to squeeze as much summer out of August as we can!!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Mellow Monday

This morning as I stepped out onto the back porch to say goodbye to Paul, as he headed to the office, it felt like fall.  The air was cool and crisp and had that 'back to school' smell about it with just a tinge of a chill.  It definitively feels like overnight, summer is over, and that autumn is fast on it's way!

After an action packed weekend, Sydney and I decided to spend a mellow day at home today.  We cleaned up the last bits from yesterday's party, sorted through all of the gifts Sydney had received and found a home for her twenty-six new pairs of panties.

Sydney was so thrilled with all the new panties, she proudly laid them all out on the carpet looking at all of the different designs and patterns before deciding on which pair she was going to wear today: the ladybug pair of course, from her buddy Leo!

Sydney spent the day playing with all of her new toys, taking some time to really enjoy each one.  She played for the longest time with her new playdough and stamping set before moving on to her magnetic dress up doll, tic tac toe and marbles.  It was so neat to see her really enjoying the new things today and recognizing who she got them from and why!  I love that she is connecting the dots so much these days!

While we were still in our PJ's this morning the mailman rang the doorbell and delivered a few fun packages for us!

We finally got the set of Thomas trains that I had ordered for Syd a few weeks ago!  She carefully unpacked each train and then opened each package before taking them downstairs to find a home on her train table!  So nice to have them at long last!

We also got a package of stickers in the mail addressed to Sydney from the sticker club.  I had gotten a sticker club chain letter a few weeks back and had sent copies off to six of her friends as I was meant to.  I mindfully didn't tell Syd anything about it, in case we didn't get any stickers at all, but was so excited when a package with stickers from her buddy Kaitlyn arrived for her this morning!

I also got a lovely package for myself filled with some new jewellery from Regina Pierallini, one of my favourite jewellery designers from New York!  Love the stacking rings and bangles along with two new pairs of gold earrings!  So fun to have a few new things in gold for my jewellery box!

Sydney and I had a little picnic together at her wee table late this morning with the leftovers from the party yesterday:

Sometime around noon Sydney and I decided to head up to Dunbar for a walk, played at the park, lunch at Kokopelli and off to the toy store for a while.  It was quiet and mellow and exactly what we needed today!

Got a little surprise on our doorstep late today, my friend Christina left us a tin of homemade blueberry muffins!  What a lovely treat!

I am loving savouring these last few days of summer before we jump back into our routine over the next couple of weeks!  Here's hoping this week goes by slow and easy!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Bye Bye Diapers Party

Have you ever had one of those days when you're so happy you feel as though your heart is going to explode?  Today was one of those days for me. This afternoon we had Sydney's long-anticipated Bye Bye Diapers party.

We invited literally every kid we knew to come and celebrate with us as we took a moment to recognize Sydney's achievements in being fully potty trained and being such a big girl!  A ton of our friends were away on holidays and couldn't join us, but we still had about sixteen kids come to play, it was fantastic!

We rented the Westside Family Place which has an amazing outdoor yard where the kids are safe and free to play, which means the parents can have a great visit together without having to worry about keeping too close an eye on the kids!

I tried to keep the food really simple, fruit and veggie trays, chips and hummus and pita and cookies and, of course, a fabulous cake for dessert!

Sydney and I went downtown to order her cake earlier this week and there were so many cute patterns that we could choose from, but she was hellbent on having a ladybug cake!  She absolutely loved it, it was so worth it for the joy that it clearly brought to her!

The kids had a fabulous time playing, the weather held out, even though they were calling for rain, and Sydney was happy and smiling and so content.  It warmed my heart!

Sydney was such a fabulous hostess too, proudly handing each of her friends a kite as a lovely takeaway from today's party.  She had been practicing saying: "Thanks for coming to my party, here's a kite for you to take home" all week, it was adorable!

I was blown away at the thoughtfulness and generosity of our friends, all of whom brought gifts for Sydney!  It was like having her birthday a couple of months early!

After we had gotten home from the party, unpacked our party supplies, settled in, and had some dinner, Sydney set about opening her presents, slowly at first and then picking up the pace and madly ripping them open by the end!

Syd got some amazing things!

My friend Michelle and her son William gave her a whopping fifteen pairs of the cutest little panties ever from M&S in the UK and each pair was individually wrapped in tissue paper and a ribbon like a little parcel.  Michelle also made the most amazing handmade card for her, I was blown away by how beautiful it was!  She also gave Sydney a package of ladybug stickers, always a hit!

My sister and her family gave Sydney a Thomas tic-tac-toe card game and a Potty Time book with a button that makes a flushing sound every time you push it!  Sydney would not get in her car seat to go home until I let her hold the present from Auntie Liane, she peeked inside and saw something Thomas earlier in the party, and simply could not wait to get it home to open it!

Here she is playing with it in one of her new pairs of panties!

Alexis gave her a new set of playdough and a stamping set, both of which will get plenty of use around our house!

Alexa gave Sydney three bundles of very cool marbles.  Sydney has had her eye on these marbles at Splash Toy store for quite some time, so Alexa officially started our collection today!  Alexa made the most beautiful handmade card too, complete with fresh leaves!  Gorgeous!

Leo gave Syd some new panties too, one pair that was covered in ladybugs.  Sydney's love for ladybugs is known far and wide amongst her friends!

Kaitlyn gave Sydney a beautiful new book, The Very Fairy Princess, sure to become one of our favourites!

Zach and Miriam got Sydney a gorgeous new hooded towel and hard covered Olivia book from Pottery Barn Kids.  The towel will be perfect for Syd's new round of swimming lessons starting this fall and we love the Olivia book too!

More Panties!  Emma gave Sydney a package of owl panties and made the cutest homemade card complete with a toilet stamp on the front!  Loved it!

And Ollie got her another package of the owl ones and a package of apple panties too:

Sasha got Sydney a magnetic dress up doll, Sydney loves these!  It's going to be a huge hit!

Ariella got her a couple more packages of panties, one package that is Hello Kitty, along with a Hello Kitty hairband, so cute!

Sydney's friend Faith made her the most adorable panty banner card.  Sydney insisted that we hang it up in her doorway this evening, so we rigged it up, it looks absolutely adorable!

Sydney was giddy with all the new panties today, she must have tried on at least twenty different pairs after she was finished opening all her gifts!  I swear we won't have to buy any panties for her between now and when she starts Kindergarten!

It felt like Christmas in the middle of summer today!  Sydney was so thrilled to spend the afternoon playing with her friends, have some treats and be showered with gifts!  I couldn't have asked for a better day or reaction from her, it was totally worth all the effort!

I feel so blessed to have such an amazing circle of family and friends who will show up to celebrate a seemingly trivial event in Sydney's life and make it into a huge celebration for her!  My heart is literally overflowing tonight with gratitude to everyone who shared today with us and made it such a special time for my little girl.

Today is one day that won't soon be forgotten!