Thursday, 28 February 2013

Kelly Kits

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis it comes as no surprise that Sydney loves art.  She is so artistic that sometimes Paul and I, both of whom don't have an artistic bone in our bodies, don't quite know what to do with it.  Often in the morning when she wakes up, before she's even had the chance to eat her breakfast or go pee, she is at her easel getting her paints out and making a new masterpiece.  My little artist.

I am always looking for new and interesting art supplies and craft projects to do with Syd.  I've spent many an hour wandering through Michaels, Dollarama and Urban Source thinking up things that we can make together.

Then I discovered that there are companies that actually ship a parcel of art supplies once a month to your home!  Not only does Sydney love art, but she loves getting mail.  I was disappointed to find out that most of these companies won't deliver to Canada, but was thrilled to find Kelly Kits recently and signed up for a three month trial.

Three months in a row a puffy white envelope laden with art supplies and instructions to go along, arrived in our mailbox.  And for three months they sat on my desk unopened.  Life is busy with school and activities and playdates and trying to squeeze in some precious down time.  We just never seemed to get around to tackling those crafts.

Until this week.  Somehow, we found the time to crack all three out this week and see what beautiful creations we could make.  One was a Frosty Painting, a watercolour which you sprinkled with salt afterwards, one was oragami and one was make your own foam stamps.  Very cool!

Sydney loved them and happily worked away at each one getting it just the way she wanted it.  What a neat way to introduce new crafts!

You can find Kelly Kits here if you'd like to try them out for yourself!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Painting Playdate

This afternoon Sydney and I had yet another fantastic playdate at her friend Kaitlyn's house.  It has been so fun reconnecting with a few friends this week that we haven't had the chance to visit with in a while.

Both Kaitlyn and Sydney were so keen to paint today, so my friend Liz set up a table for them with a paint tray, covered the entire table top with paper and let the girls go crazy.  They had such fun painting together!

I love this shot of Kaitlyn all smiles, little artists at work!

Liz and I decided that we should use the final result as wrapping paper, it was so gorgeous!

Kaitlyn sent Sydney home with a belated Christmas present, two beloved Gruffalo books.  Kaitlyn loves Gruffalo so much that her Mom, along with our friend William are having a joint Gruffalo birthday party this spring.  Will be such fun!

It was a fantastic afternoon together, we so love hanging out with these girls!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Preschool Playdate

One of the things that I really do love about my experience with Sydney's preschool are all of the wonderful families that I have come in contact with.  There are several Moms in Sydney's class that I have become close friends with and sincerely enjoy their company beyond the common ground of our children being in the same preschool.

When the new year began I started thinking about the fact that I really hadn't initiated any play dates with the kids in Sydney's class.  I guess because they see each other every day, I made it a priority to see our other friends who aren't in school with Syd.  So lately I've been trying to book some time to have a few of Sydney's school buddies over for a visit.

Today after school Sydney's friend Julia and her Mom Jennifer came over for lunch.  Jennifer is the sweetest, most sincere person ever.  She is such a pleasure to be around and I really do enjoy her company!

We had a lovely visit.  Sydney and Julia played so nicely together.  Julia even painted a beautiful masterpiece!

Jennifer brought Sydney a very special treat, a giant reusable sticker book.  The girls had great fun playing with it!

She also brought me the most beautiful croissants from Faubourg, my favourite French bakery in Kerrisdale!

I love connecting with families from preschool outside of the classroom and am looking forward to spending time with more of them over the next few months before the school year is over!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Happy Purim!

Today is Purim,  one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination and is celebrated with fun festivals, celebrations and the giving of mishloach manot, baskets which are filled with treats to share with family and friends.  It is by far one of my favourite Jewish holidays!  I laughed when I read online today that Purim is often referred to as the Jewish Mardi Gras by Americans! 

Early this morning Sydney and I discovered a little treat on our front doorstep from her cousins Issy and Nathan to celebrate the day.

It was a box filled with all sorts of treats, we loved it, especially Sydney who proceeded to eat almost half of the contents!

We headed to the Purim Carnival at the Jewish Community Centre this morning.  What a fun filled time it was with games, bouncy castles, food, crafts and prizes.

Sydney had a great time making a crown with Daddy.

And a cape which she decorated all herself!

Sydney insisted upon having her face painted before we left, it was very cute!

Late this afternoon Auntie Elaine popped by for a visit and brought a very special present for Sydney, a brand new hand knit sweater and hat that she had just finished making!  It is light yellow, a very fine knit and fits Syd to a tee, it looks so beautiful on her!

I kept trying to get a shot of Syd wearing it to send to Auntie Elaine but the little monkey kept pulling the hat over her face!

Elaine also brought Sydney a package of the cutest socks with little characters on them, Syd loved them!

It was such a fun filled day together!  Happy Purim everyone!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Party and a Playdate

Today we had the pleasure of sharing in the 3rd birthday celebration for Sydney's friend Beatrice.  Bea's party was held at the Westside Family Place, which has an excellent outdoor play area.  Being the end of February and all, we all assumed that the kids would have to play indoors, but wouldn't you know it, today the sun came out in full force and the kids thoroughly enjoyed playing outside together.

We had such fun visiting with all of the Dunbar families.  We don't get the chance to see each other as often as we'd like with the busyness of having our kids in preschool and scheduled activities these days, but it truly does make us treasure the time that we have together all the more!

Bea sent us home with a loot bag with a few craft supplies, a paper punch and rubber stamp.  She knows Sydney well, we always put art supplies to good use!  

We were so happy to share this day with Bea!

My friend Christina and I have decided to swap babysitting services once a month so that both she and her husband and Paul and I can have a night out together, just the two of us, once a month.  Tonight was our first kick at the can and Jack came over to play with Sydney for a few hours while Christina and Ryan went out.

The kids had so much fun, they played playdough, hung out in the play room and had dinner together before deciding that Sesame Street and reading books simultaneously seemed like a good way to end the evening!

It was nice to have some company for Syd and we are so looking forward to our evening out together next week!

It was a great day and way to start our weekend!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Purim Party

Today was a very special day in Sydney's classroom.  Her class celebrated Purim together by having a Purim party.

All of the kids were meant to dress up today in costume.  Sydney decided she wanted to be a butterfly princess. 

In keeping with the royal theme that the costumes are meant to have around Purim, I decided to make her a crown late last night and surprise her with it this morning.  She loved it, especially the "jewels" that I had hot glue gunned all around it!

When we got to school we found the classroom had been decorated and both of her teachers were dressed up as princesses as well, it was fantastic!

The kids enjoyed going on a Purim parade, having a royal feast together and giving out mishloach manot baskets to the children in the other preschool classrooms and daycare.

They even had a special magic show put on by Leo's Bubbie, it was amazing!

Each of the children made their own basket earlier in the week and got to take it home today filled with all sorts of goodies including the hamantashen that they had made in class earlier this week.

What a fun day of celebration it was! 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Picture Day

Yesterday Sydney and I enjoyed a second day off of school together.  First thing in the morning I dropped Sydney off at her buddy Leo's house to play while I met up with her teachers for our parent teacher conference.

Prior to our meeting, Jen and Carmen gave us a pedagogical narration that they had prepared with a glimpse of a typical day of learning at preschool.  It was so delightful to read and I loved the pictures that came along with it!

The meeting with the teachers was amazing.  They had so many wonderful things to share with me about Sydney and it was so nice to formally hear what I already knew, she is thriving in school and so incredibly happy.  I couldn't wish for anything more!

While Syd was playing at Leo's, they made a very special card to mail to Grandma and Grandpa.  Love it!

Today was picture day at school.  A few days ago when I told Syd that it was going to be picture day today she asked me if she could look through her dresses and choose one to wear.  She picked this dress that she calls 'Auntie Janice's dress' because my friend Janice and her husband Brent gave it to her last summer lovingly brought home from their holiday in Australia.

She looked oh so sweet in it!

I got a very special gift today as well from Sydney's preschool teacher to thank me for helping out in class, a beautiful set of dessert plates.  They will be put to good use for sure when I have Moms for tea!

We have had a wonderful time the past couple of days celebrating birthdays with two people that we love very much!  My brother turned 35 yesterday.  Sydney and I went downtown and met up with him for lunch and a visit.  It was so nice to get a bit of time with him on his birthday!

Today is my friend Brandie's birthday.  I called her this morning and we chatted and caught up, it felt so, so good to hear her voice!  The other day Syd was digging through some of my old photo albums and came downstairs carrying this:

My very crafty friend Brandie made this beautiful album for me for my high school graduation and inside it is filled with pictures of the year I graduated including this shot of Brandie at the tender age of 18:

I also found an envelope tucked in the back with these pictures:

Shows you how long I have known Brandie, she's five and six years old in those pictures!

Here's a newspaper clipping of she and I cleaning shammies together during our lunch break in 1986!  (At risk of dating myself, for those of you who don't know, a shammy is a cloth used to wipe the chalk off of a chalkboard...and yes, I am that old!)

Amazing to have a lifelong friend like her!

Yesterday Syd and I stopped by one of her favourite stores, Wild Birds Unlimited to pick up some bird seed.  They have a resident cat there, Tabby, and Syd was thrilled to have a little visit with her:

Sydney's friend Addi brought her a little gift at school today, a loot bag from her birthday party which we had to miss this past weekend.  Syd had the best time colouring her own custom bag when we got home from school!

We also took a little time to paint our pasta craft today, looked pretty cool!

The week is fast slipping away on me with a slightly different schedule this week having Monday and Tuesday off of school.  We sure had a fun time together though!

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Day Off of School

Sydney had no preschool today as the teachers are conducting parent-teacher conferences for the next two days.  We ended up having the most fabulous day together!  It was so nice to wake up and not have to rush off anywhere!  We did some of our favourite things together and just so enjoyed having the time to hang out, just the two of us.  What a gift today was!

Here's a snapshot of our day.


First thing this morning we came downstairs to find that the last bud on our orchid had bloomed overnight.  It is looking stunning with all of the blossoms in full bloom!

Brown Bear

Sydney has been so into books lately, often asks me to read to her at any given point during the day.  She brought me Eric Carle's Brown Bear book this morning over breakfast and then proceeded to "read" the entire book to me by rote.  It was awesome!

Pasta Craft

While we were still in our pajamas we decided to pull out some dried pasta and make a little craft this morning.  Syd had so much fun gluing all of the different shapes of pasta onto the paper and making interesting patterns.  Tomorrow when it's dry we are going to paint it.

Easy Bake Oven

My parents sent Sydney a cheque for her birthday back in November.  I had a blast wheeling through the aisles of Toys R Us choosing things I knew Syd would love and have been slowly rationing out the new toys since then.  The last thing that I had tucked away, that Sydney was dying to break out of the box, was this new Easy Bake Oven.  I thought today was the perfect day to try it out and we whipped up the teeniest batch of chocolate chip cookies ever today, it was very sweet!  Syd loved it, looked like an old pro after all of the baking she and I have done together since she's been born!

Sushi Time

Sydney and I headed out to run some errands today and decided to go out for lunch together.  I let Syd choose the place and she chose Wild Sushi, one of her favourite haunts.  We had a great lunch together and spent some time wandering Dunbar, it was lovely and relaxing!


We decided to hit up our favourite art supply store, Urban Source today.  Syd happily filled a bag with goodies and got some great supplies to make the coolest looking collage when we got home.

Tea Cup

While we were out wandering on Dunbar today we stopped by a little antique shop that we often pop into.  The owner had a box of china teacups sitting outside on sale for $1 each!  I just had to get one for Sydney and decided on this one that reminded me so much of one of my Mom's china patterns, Victorian Violets.  I love it!

Tricycle Ride

It rained for most of the day today, but we did have a dry spell this afternoon so Syd and I both popped on our rain boots and headed outside for a tricycle ride!

We just loved looking at all of the spring flowers starting to bloom in our neighbor's gardens.

Popcorn Time

Sydney has developed a ritual on days at home where she wants to watch Sesame Street on TV and eat a bowl of popcorn.  She decided to don the popcorn box as a hat today, it was pretty funny!

Baking Time

We finished off our afternoon by making a banana chocolate chip loaf, Sydney's favourite!

What a great day together.  I love days like today with Syd, sheer perfection!