Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Back in the Saddle

It has been so comforting settling back into the routine of things this week, preschool, activities, reconnecting with friends and life as we know it after two weeks off of our usual schedule.

Sydney was so happy to return to school this week, I am trying to prepare both her heart and mine for the inevitable heartbreak that is coming in eight short weeks when we have to say goodbye to her beloved preschool classmates and teachers.  I still can't even think about it without choking up.

The preschool class enjoyed a wonderful field trip to De Dutch Paneokoek house this morning for breakfast, what a fun and memorable time!

We had a wonderful riding lesson this week, Sydney rode an old favourite pony, Becca Bear for a lovely road walk in the sun.  We had a great visit with Emma and her friend Emily afterwards enjoying this early bout of summer weather.

It was great to get back to art class this week as well, Sydney continues to build on her canvas in the style of Salvador Dali and made a huge pendant necklace out of Sculpy today too!

On either side of our trip to Disneyland we had some very special celebrations that I so want to remember in this space.

My friend Lori hosted an Easter brunch at her home on Easter Monday for the Dunbar families.  We enjoyed a fabulous meal followed by an egg hunt and photo session in their backyard with the kids.

Then Sydney had the chance to dye eggs for the first time ever!  Boy did she love it!

I so love that we are establishing traditions around all of the major holidays with our Dunbar families!

We also had the pleasure of celebrating Paul's great nephew Nathan's Bar Mitzvah the day after we returned from holidays.

It was such a special event and we were thrilled to share in the day and weekend of celebrations!

Sunday, 27 April 2014


I often take a bit time to read back on past entries in this blog and marvel at how many magical times Sydney and I have had together over the past few years.  Magical moments often happen when I'm least expecting them and the fact that they are often unexpected is what makes them seem even more amazing.

Sometimes I go out of my way to try and create special and magical times with Sydney.  I was determined this year that I was going to have the most amazing trip with her to Disneyland, somewhere she has been asking to go for over a year and where I knew her dream of seeing the princesses up close and personal would be fulfilled.

So I planned the trip months ago, choosing the second week that she had off of school to go away.  I even invited Grandma to come along with us, could it get any better?

Well as it turns out sometimes life has a funny way of reminding us that magic doesn't always come along with the best laid plans.  At 2:00am the night before we flew out to LA, Sydney woke up in the night with a fever and really not feeling well.

We pressed on, hopeful that it was just a short lived little bug that was bothering her and that she would be feeling herself after a good night's rest the following night.

Sadly, poor Syd got progressively worse and worse until finally, on Thursday morning, we rushed off to the Children's Hospital of Orange County with her spiking a fever of over 105 degrees!

After much testing and waiting the doctor told us that she must have picked up a virus of some sort and that we would just have to wait for it to run it's course, trying our best to keep her fever down and as well hydrated as possible.  We rested up as much as we could before returning home the next day.

The good news is, we had one good day in Disneyland, the day before our hospital visit, where Sydney had the opportunity to meet the princesses that she had come so far to see, Cinderella, Aurora, Merida and her absolute favourite, Ariel.

We even had the good fortune of seeing Elsa and Anna from Frozen as they slipped through our restaurant as we were having lunch.

Sydney proudly got each princess to sign her autograph book, her most prized souvenir.

She loved riding the carousel the best and just being able to see the castle up close was so thrilling for us both.

I have to say that I was never so grateful to have my Mom with us, she is the first person that I want when things aren't right with the world and her presence meant the world to me as I was far away from home dealing with a very sick little girl.

One of my favourite memories of the trip was one night when the three of us snuggled up in bed together and watched an episode of Sydney's favourite TV show, '19 Kids and Counting'.

We tried our best to salvage as much of the trip as possible but are so looking forward to heading back under better circumstances another time.

I'm sure that the magic will be waiting for us when we get there......

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Riding Her Bike

So a few weeks back I dug a frilly pink bicycle out of our garage that someone had passed along to me way back when Syd was a baby.  I knew that it would come in handy some day when Syd was ready to learn to ride her bike without training wheels.

Syd was anxious to get on the bike and try it, but after just a few minutes of not being able to successfully balance on it burst into tears, too upset to continue.  So I put the bike away and secretly thought to myself that I would enroll Sydney in Pedalheads, a bike camp, this summer and have someone else go through the grueling process of pulling the plug on her training wheels.

Paul however, was determined that he could teach her to ride on his own so this afternoon he took her out front of our house on the sidewalk to try again.

I stayed inside the house smugly thinking I would just mop up the mess that was going to ensue when another unsuccessful attempt was made at riding on her own.  I heard the phone ring about twenty minutes later.  It was Paul calling from his cell beckoning me to come out to the front of the house to witness this:

She was riding all on her own, a huge smile plastered across her face all the while.  And all after twenty minutes of fine coaching from her father.

What a day!  I told her that we would never forget Easter Sunday this year because it was the day she learned to ride her bike!

To celebrate we went to the brand new Menchie's that has opened in Kitsilano for ice cream.

We also popped by our friend Kaitlyn's house as it was her birthday today and her Mom had invited us over for cake.

The kids took such delight in helping Kaitlyn decorate her birthday cake!

What a great day, I am so proud of Syd and amazed at how quickly she learned a new skill today!  Ride on Syd!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Good Friday Photoshoot

For the third year running we had a lovely sunny Good Friday and I walked Sydney next door to our neighbour's garden for her annual photo shoot.

The flowers were blooming and she happily posed for several shots for me before deciding that she'd had enough and wanted to play in the back yard.

In the end I got some great shots and was happy for even a few moments of co-operation.

This week has brought me new founded respect for working Moms.  I spent the week covering for Paul's receptionist who was away on vacation.  The timing was a bit ill as Sydney also had the week off of school, so I had to drop her off at a different friend's house every day this week as my Mom friends graciously offered to watch her while I had to work.

Sydney was such a rock star all week!  She did so well at each home that she spent time with and all of the Moms, Amanda, Lori and Christina, had glowing reports of what a good girl she was and what a pleasure it was to have her over.  I couldn't have been prouder!  My little girl rose to the change and had a great week playing with friends in the end.

By the time Thursday night rolled around I was pooped and ready for some rest!  It was a busy week that didn't leave much time for blog entries or anything else!  This week also brought the start of Passover, we so enjoyed another wonderful Seder shared with friends and family at our friend Lynne and Rodney's home.  Sydney was very cute this year, loudly singing 'Dayenu' and asking to help light the candles to start the Seder!

My Mom arrived in town on Thursday evening and will be accompanying Sydney and I to Disneyland next week!  We are so excited for this very fun trip with Grandma!

We have had a much needed quiet couple of days at home to start the long weekend off, catching up on things around the house, running errands and getting ourselves organized.

We took a little trip to Walmart this afternoon to pick up some new storage drawer towers for Sydney's "office" which is set up in our kitchen.  It was looking more like a junk heap than an actual work space so Sydney methodically went through all of her supplies today, deciding what she wanted to keep and get rid of and organized it all into drawers.

The final result was so lovely, everything neatly put away in it's space and tucked into drawers.  Made me so happy and Syd was thrilled too!

It felt nice to do some sorting and organizing today, something that's been on my list for quite some time!

Looking forward to another two full days together this long weekend, hope you're having a lovely Easter weekend too!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Oliver's 4th

This afternoon on a bright and sunny Sunday that felt like summer, we met at Dunbar Park with Sydney's friend Ollie and the gang to celebrate his 4th birthday.

Ollie's parents had planned a wonderful birthday lunch celebration at their home for this afternoon.  Sadly, yesterday they both came down with the flu and had to cancel the party, but Ollie's grandparents jumped in to pinch hit and gathered his closest friends at the park to play and celebrate.

The kids had a great time playing in the playground.

Then we had snacks and Ollie opened his gifts, almost all of which were Octonaut toys, his absolute favourite thing right now!

Then we had cake and a visit before heading home.  In the end it was a wonderful celebration and the kids were so happy and content to be outside playing and with each other.

Happy 4th Ollie!