Friday, 31 May 2013

Welcome Baby Henry!

Tonight I had the pleasure of joining the Dunbar Moms in a special celebration to welcome my friend Erin's new baby Henry to the world!

We all gathered at Christina's house at dinner time with appys and wine in hand and sat outside enjoying the beautiful evening on the deck while we visited and enjoyed the most delicious treats together.

Little Henry took turns sleeping like a lamb in everyone's arms.  Heavenly!

It was such a treat to connect with the Moms and to have a very special reason to celebrate together tonight!  The start of round #2 of babies in our Moms group, so awesome!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


I have just spent the last few minutes thumbing through my daytimer looking at the next five or six weeks.  I'm tired just reading about everything that is coming up!  I don't know what it is about this time of year, but there are just so many things going on between school and activities wrapping up, birthday parties, social events and trying to connect with friends and family that I haven't seen in too long!

I feel as though it will be a sprint from now until the beginning of July when Sydney and I can finally sit in the backyard, exhale for the first time in weeks and enjoy a summer full of leisure!

I have had a lot on my mind lately, pondering a return to work in the fall, interviewing nannies for the summer, sussing out Kindergartens for Sydney, trying to book our annual vacation and diligently working trying to simultaneously arrange three different home improvement projects that we'd like to have done this year.

It's a lot to think about all at once and doesn't leave for a lot of down time.

So this morning I took a little time out and went and had a pedicure.  I figure if I'm going to be sprinting my toes may as well look pretty doing it!

I am resolving that I am going to enjoy the crazy busy ride that these next few weeks will bring and will have an entire summer to take some time to soak up all the fun that we've had!

As a side note a very Happy Birthday to my awesome nephew Zach today, 15 years old....I remember that hot sunny May 29th when he was born like it was yesterday!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Happy Birthday Gwen!

What a relaxed and fun Sunday we had today!  We spent the morning huddled at home, straightening things up, folding laundry, sorting through clothes that Sydney has outgrown.  All those things that you always mean to do but never seem to find the time for.  It was nice!

Early this afternoon we walked up the street to our friend Lori and Marcus' to celebrate their daughter Gwen's first birthday.  Well, let me clarify, Paul and I walked up and Sydney pedaled herself with her own steam (and a little push from Daddy!) on her new bike.  Man, is she loving it!

Sydney was so excited to go to Gwen's party today, even chose a brand new dress to wear.

Gwen's party was fantastic.  Lori did such an amazing job of every detail.  We so enjoyed visiting with the Dunbar families and playing in the backyard enjoying the first, of what I'm sure will be many, summer barbecues.

I still can't believe this sweet girl is one!  I vividly remember the day she was born last year and sneaking to the hospital to visit her and her Momma just hours after she arrived.  A!

Syd loved the little loot bag that we came home with too, all very special treats especially the handmade sugar cookie made by Lori in the shape of a tulip!

Sydney kept herself busy this afternoon with a new batch of playdough that we whipped up.

I got this very cool neon food colouring and we decided to give it a try, the playdough didn't quite turn out neon but we did get a very lovely purple lavender, either way, Syd was thrilled!

It was a nice way to wrap up our weekend, I am feeling relaxed and at ease and ready to see what this week brings our way!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

All in a Week

Where has this week gone?  Not sure how so many days slipped away on me without taking a few minutes to upload my photos and share a few thoughts here!  It was a good week filled with some interesting things:  a Kindergarten tour, two dinners out with friends, finding some great finds shopping, a play date with Sally and Ollie and having so much fun trying out my new digital SLR camera, the most thoughtful gift from Paul for Mother's Day.

Here's a few of our favourite moments this week:

I forgot to bring an elastic band with me to tie Syd's hair back this week at swimming lessons so we had to borrow a bright pink swimming cap from the front desk.  Syd loved it!  She looked so sweet, like a real swimmer all set to jump in the pool unassisted.  Her friend Emma insisted upon having one just like Syd.  They looked like two little strawberries in the pool together!

It was safety week, the kids had to wear life jackets for most of the lesson, it was pretty cute watching them all bob around in the pool!

Sydney came home from preschool this week with her own ceramic hand print tile.  She insisted upon having a rainbow hand print this year, I think it turned out pretty well!  A exact copy of this tile is hanging on the wall of friendship at the school to commemorate this year, we will remember it forever!

Found some great finds shopping this week!  Syd and I popped into our favourite consignment store, Macgillycuddy's, and got some super cute things including these ladybug Crocs.  Can't tell you how happy I was that they were in her size!

This morning after piano lessons Sydney and I took a stroll over to Blenheim Street for their annual street-long garage sale.  Dozens of families had things laid out in their front yards to sell and Sydney spotted this bike...she hopped on it and instantly started riding up and down the sidewalk with such ease....I just couldn't leave without it!  She is so thrilled to have it and to be able to cycle herself around on a big girl bike!

There's a few snippets from our week, hope you had a fabulous one!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New Pet Fish

Sydney and I took a little trip to the pet store today to find her a new fish to replace her beloved Cookie who met his maker a couple of weeks ago.

We took our time checking out all of the colourful Betta fish available in the store in all shapes and sizes, they really are so beautiful!

In the end, Sydney settled on this beautiful yellow fish and we brought her home to love.

In the car on the way home Sydney was trying to decide what to name her new fish, she quickly said 'Dorothy' just like Elmo's fish, then wanted to call it Susan after me (I know, so sweet!) and then once she got it home and in it's bowl, she proudly announced that her name was going to be Lilac.

A fitting name after a few weeks of relishing in the beauty of our beloved lilac bush in the garden.

Welcome Lilac, we hope you're with us for a very long time!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Loooooong Weekend

When I first started writing this blog a few years back my motivation behind writing was two fold.  Firstly, I wanted to keep an e-journal of sorts to remember these sweet days together with Syd while she was little to share with family and friends who lived far away so they felt like they were a part of our daily life.  Secondly, I needed an excuse to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.  You see, I grossly underestimated what a huge transition it would be for me to go from being in a career that I loved, to at home all day, every day, with a baby.  It wasn't always fun, and there were many, many days that I felt as though the mundane ritual of changing diapers, making food, doing forty loads of laundry and picking up every last item in our house off of the floor was making me slowly lose my mind.

So I started this blog to really look at my life through a different lens and capture those extraordinary, perfectly simple moments in what would otherwise look like an ordinary day.  And boy did it work!  In fact, I often felt inspired to do something or create a memory with Syd simply so that we would have something fun to blog about at the end of the day.  It has changed the way I live my life as a Mom and I love it.

One thing I haven't been great about is sharing on the days when I feel as though I could literally rip my hair out.  Today, well actually this entire long weekend, falls into this category.  I am not sure what got into Sydney but her behaviour was literally the worst I think I have ever had to deal with.

By all accounts the weekend was shaping up to be awesome.  We were headed off to Whistler to enjoy a few days together as a family, the rainy weather was clearing up, we were free and easy to enjoy May long.

Literally the moment we got in the car our dreams of a peaceful weekend away together started to evaporate.  Sydney cried and whined and winged the entire drive up and her behaviour literally went from bad to worse.  By Sunday night I was sitting on the couch next to Paul, sobbing in sheer frustration, not knowing what in the world was wrong with her or how to handle her.

We tried to salvage what we could out of the weekend.  Went for a few walks, played at the playground and spent a ton of time in the swimming pool.  There were bright moments amongst the misery.

The drive home was no better, by the time we arrived at our house both Paul and I felt like limp, wrung out rags.  She had defeated us both, hands down.

Then, five minutes after we got in the door she was back to her old self, happy, laughing, playing and joking around as though nothing had happened.  Apparently she just didn't feel like going away this weekend and just couldn't quite articulate it any other way.

So I am grateful to be back home, where my girl is clearly most comfortable and happy.  Tonight while I was lying in bed with her as she was falling asleep I was thinking of how grateful I am to have a perfectly healthy, albeit spirited, child.  She may give us a run for our money but she is an awesome, intelligent, funny and social little girl and is going to be the most amazing grown-up!  I have been given the gift of being her Mom and though I may not do a perfect job all of the time, I will try like crazy to do my best and hope that it all comes out in the wash.

Hope your long weekend was a little shorter than mine...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Shopping Trip

Today Sydney had a day off of school for Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  Ever since Sydney has started preschool a whole day off together has become such a precious thing to me.  I love the feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing that we can just hang out together in our pajamas and do whatever we'd like with our day.  I always try and think of something special that we can share.

I love seeing what Sydney does with her time when she's not being rushed to get ready in the morning!

Today we decided that we'd take a little trip across the line and do some long overdue shopping in Bellingham.

We headed to Target first, Sydney absolutely loves it there.  I always let her choose her own box of bandaids and a special hand soap or body wash for her bathroom, she talks about it for days before we go, it's quite cute.

We had such fun wandering up and down the aisles looking at all of the fun summer stock that Target has right now.  We ended up getting some very cute things for Sydney for this summer, shirts, shorts, a dress and the cutest pair of sandals ever along with, what else, but a Hello Kitty bathing suit!

Sydney was so hillarious in the clothing section, thumbing through rack after rack looking for things that were in her size and then exclaiming "Oh Mom, this is SO cute!"  She literally pulled off a dozen boxes of shoes to try on too before deciding on the silver sandals that we eventually bought.

I even got myself a couple of things, a very cool beach tote and a bright orange sun dress.  Love it!

After all that shopping at Target we had worked up quite the appetite so we decided to stop for a little lunch at Olive Garden.

I love this restaurant.  I can honestly say in all the times that I have eaten there in the past I have never even entertained getting an appetizer as their portions are so huge and between that and the bottomless breadsticks and salad or soup....So today I thought I'd try something a bit different and ordered two super yummy appetizers as my lunch.

I had some amazing risotto balls in marinara sauce and a mozarella bruschetta which was so so delicious!

(Photo courtesy of Sydney, man does this girl take great shots, check out her own blog here)

We had a lovely time together over lunch and left refreshed and ready for round two of shopping at Trader Joe's.

We left with heaping bags of things, mostly our old favourites but always a new thing or two to try.

Before we left for home we stopped and picked up takeaway from Panda Express for dinner, it's always a nice treat to not have to cook when I get home from a day on the road.

It was a very fun shopping day together with my girl, I love that she loves to shop with me and so look forward to keeping up this tradition with her for years to come!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Why I Love Being a Mom

In the days leading up to Mother's Day I have been spending some time thinking about how much my life has changed over the past four years or so since I first found out that I was going to be a Mom.  I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that I love being a Mom so much.  I was destined to be a Momma, ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of having a baby of my own and there are days I still can't believe that I have her!

Being a Mom has taught me so many things and enriched my life in ways that are hard to express.  When I think of all of the things in my life that bring me the most joy, nearly all of them stem from Sydney.  I am so blessed to have so many amazing friends in my life, all Moms with kids the same age as mine.  It seems strange to think that if I hadn't become a Mom at the exact point that I did that none of these incredible people would be in my life.

For as many challenges as the days with a young child can present, there are so many things that I love about being a Mom.  I love waking up in the morning to Sydney's sweet voice, the way she snuggles into me for a cuddle, the sweet conversations we have throughout the day about things both trivial and important.  I love working together with her to complete projects or get a task done.  I love being in the kitchen together and seeing how happy it makes her to legitimately help me get dinner together.  I love how much she loves me.  I know that sounds funny, but in all the world there is not one other person that loves me with such raw, pure intensity as Sydney does.  Except my own Mom, of course.

And speaking of which, what would Mother's Day be without a tribute to the woman who I call Mom, my very own sweet mother.  I am blessed to have such a loving, strong, loyal and hardworking Mom who loves us beyond measure.  I can only hope that I can be as good a Mom to Syd as she was to me.  Thank you Mom for your unfailing love, for every little thankless thing that you did for me when I was a little girl and for always being there for us with a listening ear and a tender heart!  We love you!

We had a full and fun day today!  Our friends Mike and Sarah came over to share a very special Mother's Day brunch with us this morning.  Sarah and I have so bonded over our similar experience with motherhood so it felt very fitting to spend the day with her!

We drank mimosas, ate scones and fruit and a lovely crustless quiche, chatted and had a great visit.  It was fantastic!

Sarah brought me a beautiful french linen apron today along with a homemade card from Emma, love it!

After brunch we headed over to Bubbie's house to spend some time with her.  It is our Mother's Day tradition to bring her a huge bouquet of lilacs, one of her favourite flowers.  This year we managed to find the most fragrant white and lavender lilacs.  She loved them!

Paul pulled out Zachary's old Tonka firetruck for Syd today, she absolutely loved it! 

We topped the day off with a fantastic steak dinner at home with Zach tonight.  It was a great day and I was so glad to be able to spend the entire day with my girl just enjoying being her Momma!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Settling into our Weekend

We are a comfortable half way through our weekend and already it feels as though we have made so  many nice memories.  I love this time of year, the weather is getting to be great, flowers are blooming, everyone's spirits are lifted and our social calendar is full.  Life is good!

Here's a few snapshots of our weekend:

Busy Girl

Sydney has been so enjoying her crafts lately.  We have pulled her splash mat out several times over the past couple of days so that she can play with playdough and glitter or do some painting.

Along with her love for art, Sydney is so into her baby dolls right now.  This morning I heard her singing and cooing to her baby in it's stroller and found it like this:

I love how she swaddled the baby and put it's own teeny-tiny teddy bear beside it.  She told me later in the morning that she no longer wanted to call this baby Emma but Mikaela instead.  When I asked her where she heard that name before she told me that one of the little girls in music class is named Mikaela and that she likes the name.  Too sweet!

Syd has also been busy snapping shots for her blog.  A regular chip off the old block, she and I just can't get enough of those lilac bushes these days.  Here she is getting some amazing shots of it and one of my faves that she took on her own:

And Speaking of Lilacs....

Paul came home from an early morning bike ride this morning with a bouquet of the most beautiful, fragrant white and lavender lilacs for me.  I just adore them!

I am loving my lilac bush too and take such great pleasure in knowing that it's exactly as old as Sydney is.  Paul and I planted it the year that she was born and as I've said before, like Sydney it gets bigger and more beautiful every year!

Mother's Day Surprise

Sydney's preschool class had a little Mother's Day surprise that they had been preparing for all week.  All of the children lined up for the Moms and sang songs.

Then they gave each of the Moms a very special present:  The kids made tie-dyed scarves for us, they are so beautiful!

I love the card that Sydney gave me too.  Jen and Carmen asked her what she loved doing with me before they typed it out:

I was fully in tears when the children sang the song from the famous "Love you Forever" book:

'I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be'

Dinner Out

Last night Sydney headed off to her buddy Jack's house and Paul and I had an evening to ourselves.  What a special treat!  The weather was amazing and sunny so we found a patio down on English Bay at the beautiful, funky Cactus Club there and drank wine and had dinner and so enjoyed an evening together.

When we got back to Jack's house to pick Sydney up his Mom, my dear friend Christina, had made a homemade strawberry rhubarb crisp for us for dessert and we all sat out on the patio and enjoyed some time visiting together.

What a lovely night!


Early this morning I got a phone call from Sydney's piano teacher saying that she was at the emergency room at the hospital with a suspected heart problem and that, understandably, she wouldn't be able to see Sydney for her lesson this morning.  We love Maureen so much and hope that she is feeling better and while we missed our time with her this morning we sure enjoyed having some extra time at home to get a few things done around the house and just relax!

This afternoon Paul, Sydney and I had the pleasure of sharing in the third birthday celebration of Sydney's buddy Weston.

Our friend Michelle made the most amazing cake to go along with the car and truck theme of the party.

We had such fun visiting with our friends and playing with the kids and sharing in Weston's special day.

Goodbye Cookie

When we got home from the party we discovered that Sydney's beloved fish Cookie had gone to heaven while we were out.  He hadn't been doing so well the past few weeks and I knew it was just a matter of time until he went so I had been chatting with Syd about it trying to make it easier for her.

She seemed a bit sad when she saw the poor guy face down at the bottom of his bowl today.  She told me that she thought he had gone to heaven to be with the angels and swim with the other fishes and then asked me if we could buy a new fish and pick out some different coloured rocks for the bowl this time.

I think she recovered pretty well.

Goodbye Cookie, we loved you!

Looking forward to sharing a wonderful Mother's Day with my Paul and Sydney tomorrow!