Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Getting Organized

I have been pitiful at updating my blog this month, mostly because I find January such a lackluster month and our days have been quiet and ordinary.  I felt uninspired and a bit like hibernating.  I took it as a compliment when my Mom e-mailed me tonight to see if everything was okay, as I hadn't updated my blog in a few days.  Apparently I haven't been as bad as updating this space as I thought I had!

I took great pleasure in wandering through the house today and flipping all our calendars to February a day or so early!

I love that the pictures for the month of February are brighter and involve no snowy, wintery scenes!

The past few days have been filled with lots of time at Paul's office as I am getting things organized for a new staff member who is joining us next week to cover for his receptionist while she is away on maternity leave having twin girls.  It's exciting and nerve wracking all in the same moment having someone new starting.  This morning I spent an hour at his office and then decided that I needed a little time to myself, so I headed down the street to Homesense. 

I found myself quickly swept up in the organization aisle and ended up piling my cart high with a new toy box for Sydney, new laundry hamper and clothes basket, waste paper basket and drawer organizers.  Just buying all that stuff instantly made me feel more organized!

I couldn't wait to get home and get everything settled into it's new containers!  I especially love this wicker toy box that I got for our TV room that will replace a giant, overflowing mess of a basket of toys that has been annoying me for months.  I let out a huge contented sigh when I saw how neat and clean it looked!  Syd loves it too, is thrilled to have a lid to open and close and loves putting all of her toys and treasures inside the box, it's quite cute!



Sydney's class has been focusing on a few themes this month, one of which is Eric Carle's beloved children's book 'The Hungry Caterpillar.'  They had the great fortune of seeing a kabuki puppet show based on Eric Carle's books and have done numerous art and reading projects around puppets.

I thought in keeping with this theme that I would do a little craft with Sydney today and we painted a single row of egg carton as the hungry caterpillar.  I love how it turned out!

Sydney's class has also been celebrating Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees.  They have had such fun in class.  They each made a beautiful centerpiece from silk flowers to take home:

Then lined them all up for their special Tu B'Shevat Seder where they enjoyed all of the fruits and vegetables that trees give us:

We went for a playdate this week to visit one of Sydney's preschool buddies, Julia.  We decided to make a batch of homemade Gingersnaps to take with us, Sydney loved helping me make them, especially the part where she rolled the balls in the sugar!

After we were done baking she insisted on washing up all the dishes by herself!  Gotta love it!

Julia sent us home with a very special picture that she had made for Sydney that was covered in ladybugs!  So sweet and Syd loved it so much.  It's proudly hanging in her bedroom as we speak!

I am so happy to be at the end of January and am looking forward to many fun things that we already have planned in February!  

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ask Me A Question

At the beginning of this year I bought a journal called "Question and Answer a Day for Kids" that I had read about online.  This brilliant journal prompts you each day with a question to ask your child and then you are meant to write down their response in the journal.  It is good for three years, you ask the same question on the same day exactly a year apart and can have so much fun seeing the difference in their answers year over year.

Sydney and I have so been enjoying this journal.  In fact, almost every day at some point throughout the day Sydney completely stops what she's doing and yells out "Oh Mom!  You forgot to ask me a question!"  She especially loves it when I read her answers back to her.  Some of them are so hillarious that it is hard to keep a straight face while I'm writing them!  Often, after Sydney's gone to bed for the night, I'll bring the journal downstairs and read her daily answer to Paul and we'll be gutting ourselves laughing at her response.

Like this one last night, for example:

Q - What are you worried about?
A - Pigeons.  Because they scare me.  Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't

Of all the things to worry about in the world, my sweet girl is worried about harmless urban birds.  Remember when life was that simple?  If only our worries were that of a three year old...

Here's a few more of my favourite answers:

Q - What would you like to do but can't do yet?
A - I'm going to be a doctor when I'm a bigger girl.  I'm going to work at one of the places.

Q - What are you especially good at?
A - Painting.  I painted Monet's bridge in art class.  I'm very good at doing colouring and playing with my toys and babies.

Q - Has anyone ever called you a name?  Tell me about it.
A - Yes, Sydney! 

Q - What is a silly thing that you did lately?
A - Naked running with no pants on

Q - What have you done lately that you're proud of?
A - Doing diapers for my babies.

Q - Why do you make a good friend?
A - Because I'm a down dog.  My friends like me because I hug myself in the morning.

I love that last one!  Such a hysterical response with a much deeper meaning.  My girl, boy do I love having conversations with her!

This journal has prompted some great teaching opportunities as well.  Some of the questions are a bit advanced for three year olds, I have to admit.  The other day the question asked if she believed in aliens.  She, of course, had no idea what aliens were, so we had a great discussion about outer space and the planets, something that I wouldn't have thought to teach her at such a young age!

I will periodically share her daily answers with you in this space because I just love hearing what she is thinking about and how she answers questions and hope you do too.  This age is sheer magic when it comes to conversation!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Special Delivery

Yesterday morning while Sydney was at school I met up with my friend Mandy for coffee at Thomas Haas.  Thomas is Vancouver's most famous chocolatier, so it didn't feel quite right just having an ordinary cup of joe there, so I opted for the most decadent hot chocolate I have ever had in my life!  It was like drinking a chocolate delicious!

Mandy is very sweet and always brings a little something for Sydney whenever we get together.  This time she brought a belated Christmas present for her.  Syd was so thrilled to have a gift to open when she got home from school!

Mandy gave her some new colouring books, a fresh box of crayons and a hairband making kit which Syd was most excited about!

She and I put the hairbands together right away and she sported that flowery wonder for the rest of the day, it was great!

Then we decided to check the mailbox and found the most lovely surprise inside, a parcel from Grandma addressed directly to Sydney!

I have written before about Sydney's love of getting mail.  Every day when we get home from school she literally sprints to the mailbox at the front of the house to check and see what we got for mail that day.  She was so thrilled to be getting so many cards and pictures around Christmas time from everyone and I have to admit that for the past few weeks the mailbox has been filled with mostly junk mail, bills and the odd parcel of clothing from my January online shop-a-thon!

So you can imagine how thrilled she was to get her very own parcel in the mail!  Inside my Mom sent the most beautiful hand made yellow sun dress, doll blanket and fabric library bag for Sydney along with a puzzle book and a little notepad.

Almost everything in the parcel was kitten themed, Syd thought it was so great!

She worked on the puzzles that came with the book all afternoon and with a little help from Mommy, got them all together!

I can't wait to see her in that sweet sundress!

It really made our day to have a couple of surprise gifts to unpack.  What a wonderful way to brighten a cold and rainy January day!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Imaginary Friend

Over the past couple of weeks Sydney has found herself an imaginary friend.  It is so cute to hear her talk about her buddy with such confidence and assurance that he exists!  Her friend's name is Michael and she tells me that he lives in Kitsilano on West 4th Avenue.  She met him while she was working at Mackenzie, where I worked before she was born, and his birthday is coming up in April.

She mentions him at least once every day at random times and often asks for my iphone during the day so that she can send a text to Michael or his Mommy about one thing or another.

I love how her imagination is developing so rapidly right now.  I've often heard that imagination is more powerful than intellect and it's no more true than in the mind of a preschooler!

Today was a mellow day.  Sydney woke up with quite a snotty cold but insisted upon going to school anyways, so off we went.  While she was at school I ran a bunch of errands that had been on my 'to do' list for far too long, dropped off some clothes to the tailor, got a purse repaired, dropped off something to a friend.  It felt good to get some things done that weren't pressing, but nevertheless needed to be accomplished.

While I was out I picked myself up a beautiful bright bouquet of tulips, just to brighten our kitchen a bit.  It has started raining again after a few dry and frosty weeks and it felt a little too wintery today, so it was nice to have something bright and beautiful to look at!

We decided to skip swimming lessons this afternoon with Sydney's stuffy nose and all, so instead Syd spent some time playing playdough.  She made herself four loaves of Challah, braided with a little help from Mommy!  She was quite proud of herself!

We decided to paint a few of the blank Valentine's Day cards that we picked up at Target on Monday as well.  Sydney had great fun painting them and then covering them in gold glitter!

It was a good afternoon to spend in the kitchen, so I made a pot of Baked Yam soup as we are having friends over for lunch after school tomorrow.

Sydney emptied out her art file at school today as well.  I love the bright colours in this painting and the fact that the bottom is covered in letter "S's" where she tried to sign it!

This one is great too, on the bottom the teacher wrote: "This is a dot, a ladybug and a smiling face."

Sydney decided to whip up one of her famous concoctions for dinner tonight, this one had an interesting mix of celery, strawberries, soda crackers, chicken broth and numerous spices.  When I asked her what she was making she told me it was a 'spicy pizza.'

It was a nice afternoon together.  Paul had to work super late tonight, so I cracked a bottle of wine and sat and had dinner with Syd in the living room before she headed off to bed early to try and sleep off this cold!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Yesterday was a Pro-D day for Sydney so I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that we had a free day and invite one of her preschool buddies over for lunch and a play date.  We were so looking forward to having a fun day with friends, so you can imagine our disappointment when my friend Amanda sent me a text late Sunday night to let me know that her daughter was sick with the flu and that they couldn't make it.

When Syd woke up on Monday morning I told her that her friend couldn't make it over and she looked sincerely disappointed.  I was frantically thinking how I was going to make it up to her and turn the day around and suddenly it dawned on me, a little road trip to Bellingham!  That was a sure fire way to cheer her up!

So we got dressed and jumped in the car and headed off to Bellis Fair Mall.  We had the most fun wandering up and down the aisles at Target, filling our cart with fun things.

We stocked up on some fun Valentine's Day loot and made up some very sweet bags that we will deliver to her friends on February 14th.

We raided the dollar section and got a few fun Dora things for Syd too.

And of course the most sparkly pair of Hello Kitty shoes that we had ever seen!  We simply could not come home without them!

It was such a great way to spend a free day together!  Syd loves to shop and is getting so much better about staying close by me.  She loves looking around and finding things she loves and showing them to me so that we can gush over them together.  I love it!  It is one of the great pleasures of having a daughter and I can't wait for a million more shopping trips together in the future!

Yesterday evening my friend Sarah and I went out for a girl's night out and had a lovely dinner at Fable restaurant.  The food was great, well executed and fabulous flavour!  We even had the chance to meet the celebrity chef and owner, Trevor Bird.  It happened to be his birthday yesterday and his staff made him a very special dessert and delivered it to him with a candle in it!  We ended up chatting with him for the better part of a half hour, it was very neat!

What a fine note yesterday was to start our week off! 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Little Firefighters

Leo, Sydney's buddy from preschool, turned four this past Friday.  Leo loves firemen and so his Mom decided that as a special treat for him she would arrange a visit to the local fire hall for a few of his friends from school.

Sydney, Henry, Leo and his little sister Tessa, all trekked up to the fire station at Oak and 59th to find a crew of fun and friendly firemen who took the kids on a tour of the station.

The kids got to hold the big hose.

And ride in the driver's seat of the truck.

And try on the big hats.

One of the firemen dressed up in full gear for us.

And another one slid down the pole at the station!

It was such fun, the kids loved it and left with a bunch of loot, their own little red fireman hats, stickers, tattoos, colouring books and a little cardboard fire engine.

Sydney had great fun playing with everything afterwards!

Leo's Mom, Marcy, continued on in the theme the next day and threw him a fireman birthday party.

Check out the great cake she made:

The kids had a blast playing in the gym at the Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre and then enjoyed a magic show by Leo's Grandma, it was fantastic!

Sydney brought home a special something this week from school, a mini daffodils that they planted themselves in terracotta pots.  It is bright and cheerful on our kitchen counter!

This afternoon I went to a bridal shower for our friend Lauren who is getting married next month.  Her mother in law to be, Lynne, hosted a lovely shower for her and we had such a good time visiting with everyone!

Each of the guests got a lovely little pink box of chocolates to take home with them, I loved them!

I spent some time interviewing a few candidates for Paul's office this weekend as well.  Snapped this picture of the most amazing beautiful pink sky as the sun was setting from the window of his office.  We have had such a lovely run of dry weather lately and with it has come the most amazing sunsets!

I have so been in the mood for comfort food lately, so I made a batch of Herb and Cheese Cannelloni for dinner tonight.  They were so yummy and just perfect with a hearty loaf of bread for mopping up the extra sauce!

Sydney has a Pro-D day tomorrow from school so we have an entire day to spend together!  What a nice treat it will be, am looking forward to some good time with my girl!