Sunday, 30 November 2014

Snowy Weekend

Late Friday night after everyone had gone to sleep it began to snow.  Here's what we woke up to on Saturday morning:

Sydney was so excited when she woke up and saw snow covering everything.  She ran from window to window giving us a play by play of everything she saw that was covered in snow.  It was so sweet.

So even before I got out of my PJ's she and I went into the backyard bundled in our warmest coats to play.  Syd loved shovelling the snow the best and took great pride in telling me that this is what Grandma has to do all winter long!

Syd has been battling a nasty cold for the past week so I took the snow and her sniffles as an excuse to have lots of quiet indoor time at home together.  Syd decided to crack out a few of the birthday presents that she got from her class party this past weekend.

Her friend Olivia gave her a 'Make Your Own Bath Fizzies' kit.  Syd had great fun trying her hand at making them, a fun and easy project!

She also had the best time working on the Hama beads that her friend Grace gave her and completed all three shapes in the set!

A few days back Sydney's class had another special lunch together where they made dishes from the fruit and vegetables that they harvested from the school garden.  The kids were so thrilled to have chocolate zucchini cake so I promised Syd that we would make some too so we took some time to whip one up.

We also got a few more Hanukkah decorations out, our house is looking so festive!

I always feel so wistful when my Christmas cactus blooms at this time of year.  My sister brought this little plant to me when I was in the hospital right after I'd had Syd and every year it blooms sometime between Syd's birthday and Christmas.  It's well on it's way this year, gorgeous!

Syd has been asking me for the past several weeks if she could move her "office", her little table and chairs along with various office supplies, to her bedroom.  We took a little time this weekend to rearrange a few things in her bedroom to make this possible.  She couldn't be happier!

Moving Syd's little table out of my upstairs office gave me a little more room to expand my ever growing Santa's Workshop as it becomes at this time of year!

Sydney's buddy Weston gave her the game Zingo for her birthday a few weeks back.  Sydney loves this game so much and plays it literally every single day with me before bedtime.  The other day I found her playing it by herself, lining all the cards up in pairs.  It was so cute!

We made it to a frosty horseback riding lesson on Saturday afternoon.

The farm was a little magical all covered in snow!

Followed by a time together taking in Disney on Ice.  What a great show!  We loved it!

It was a nice weekend, the slow pace seemed to be exactly what we all needed at the moment!

Friday, 28 November 2014

It's Been a While

Where has November gone?  I can't remember a time in life where I have felt so incredibly busy and pressed for time as I have in the past few weeks, working full time at Paul's office covering for two staff members that are away, planning two birthday parties for Sydney's long awaited 5th, booking our annual vacation and keeping up with my duties as both class parent and a Mom to Syd.  It has been overwhelming to say the least.

I've learned much over the past few weeks about priorities, efficiency, boundaries and where my limits as a woman truly are.  It's been an interesting time that has left me feeling rather depleted and in need of a little reflection, renewal and recharging of the battery.

There were a million times over the past weeks when moments, both big and small, happened that I longed to share here but just simply couldn't find the time to carve out to sit down and share them.  They will slowly emerge in the weeks to come as I sift through my photos and remember the stories attached to them.

The highlights, of course, were the continued celebrations of Sydney's birthday.  A precious private celebration with our dear friends Michelle and William who were away on vacation for Syd's party and a party with her entire class from school at Yogabuttons.  What a day to remember!

The month ahead is going to be filled with many more wonderful memories as the holidays approach.  The timing couldn't be any more perfect as my heart is so in need of a little joy and cheer!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day

Today was an exceptional day in Vancouver, sunny and bright with a perfectly blue sky.  It was crisp and cool outside and blustery, the perfect fall day and enjoyed all the more as it was a stat holiday.

Sydney and I spent the morning at the Circle Craft market downtown, an annual tradition and one so worth keeping.  We wandered the aisles together looking at all of the amazing handmade things that over 300 artisans had made, it was amazing!

We bought just a few things with the promise that we will head back in the next few days while the market's still on to get a few more beauties.

At exactly 11:00 this morning the bagpipes sounded at the market and the entire room went still as we observed two minutes of silence to remember.  It was moving.

Sydney's fall activities are starting to wind down for the season.  She has just one more art class at her 4 Cats Artist of the Month class, they have been learning about Beatrix Potter the past few weeks and Syd created the cutest little mouse inspired by one of her paintings from polymer clay the other day.

We've celebrated a couple of friend's birthdays this past weekend too.  Sydney's friend Alexis turned 5 on Sunday and she had some of her closest friends to SweetSalt Bakery for a fabulous baking party to celebrate.

The kids got to make animal shaped buns and decorate their own sugar cookies before having cake and a play time together.

Alexis also loves Frozen, just loved her cake complete with the Frozen coloured lollipops.

Syd was thrilled to bring home a Frozen themed loot bag including a handmade snowflake wand and gorgeous snowflake bracelet.  Amazing!

We also celebrated Sydney's friend from school Berkeley's 5th birthday with a fun party at Phoenix Gymnastics on Sunday.  Syd had a blast playing with all of her buddies from school in the gym!

Syd has so been enjoying each and every one of her birthday gifts.  She and I took some time to assemble the Lego Friends kit from Auntie Liane and Uncle Eli the other day.

And she has been playing with the Frozen cell phone from Emma non-stop since she got it too!

She loves the special sparkly gel crayons that Kaitlyn gave her as well, has been busy creating some masterpieces with them lately!

We got a very special parcel in the mail the other day from Grandma, a handmade art smock lovingly crafted by Grandma and two gorgeous crocheted berets to go with it! 

Syd was thrilled to get a package and these new very special gifts!

It feels strange that tomorrow is Wednesday already after having a day off midweek.  It was a nice break.  Back to the grind we go!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Post Birthday Fun

I always love the first few days after Sydney's birthday while we're all coming down off the high of her party and celebrations.  Sydney loves getting gifts more than almost anyone I know.  It is so meaningful to her when someone gives her something, she will remember forever who gave her what and talk with me about it in the weeks and months to come.

Syd especially loves the birthday cards that she receives every year.  She got so many beautiful handmade cards from her friends this year and she decided that she would make a display in the living room with them all at the base of the helium balloon bouquet left over from her party.

She even tucked her new Anna and Elsa dolls in there with the cards in keeping with her theme this year.  So cute!

Tonight Auntie Elaine stopped by with a very special gift for Sydney, a beautifully hand knit strawberry hat!

She also brought Syd a necklace craft kit which couldn't have come at a more perfect time, Sydney is the VIP in class tomorrow at school which means she gets to help out with special things all day and also is meant to bring something that she's made to school with her to share with the class.

So we made a necklace from the kit Auntie Elaine got her tonight and she is proudly toting it to school with her in the morning.

Syd has been enjoying several of the craft kits that she was given as gifts.  We started making the Cupcake Shrinky Dinks that Leo and Tessa gave her.

And she has beautifully painted the tea set from Addison.

Sydney brought home a special gift from school the other day, a beautifully framed princess that she made at 4 Cats while at her classmate Leah's birthday party.  Love it!

Speaking of birthdays, I got a beautiful belated birthday gift from my brother Paul and his girlfriend Stephanie on the weekend, a lovely bottle of wine, some coffee, a new cookbook and the coolest 3D animal cookie cutters.  All things I love, they know me well!

I also got a very special gift in the mail this past week, this beautiful hand made wooden salad bowl from Etsy using the gift certificate that my precious Dunbar Mommas gave me for my birthday.  I can't bring myself to put it away in the cupboard, it's so beautiful I just want to stare at it all day!

My sister brought me a special gift the other day too, a gorgeous box of silverware from her husband's late aunt.  I have always wanted a set of silver and am so thrilled to have this gorgeous set!

We also got something very special this week, some beautiful teacups from Sydney's Bubbie's home.  We will treasure these forever, some of them are almost a hundred years old!

We are enjoying the post birthday fun around here. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Number 5

Today my baby turned five years old.  Five years, it feels like such a significant milestone.  She is no longer a baby at home with me, she's a school girl with her own thoughts, ideas and life.  She is an amazing girl and I feel so privileged to be her Mom.

We had such a lovely day together as a family for Sydney's birthday today.  We spent a quiet morning at home hanging out together and getting things prepared for Sydney's party this afternoon.

We were thrilled to chat with Grandma on the phone when she called to wish Syd a happy birthday this morning.  I love how Syd is getting better and better at carrying on phone conversations all on her own!

The day started out with a special breakfast for Sydney, I set up all of her favourite Frozen things in keeping with the day's theme and set out a couple of gifts for Syd to start the day off with.

It was very sweet watching her unwrap her presents and to see how excited she was to get each one.

Early in the afternoon we headed to UBC Gymnastics for Sydney's birthday party.  We invited twenty of her friends to join us for the celebration.  It was so special to see friends from preschool and before that we haven't seen in a few months since school started.

We carried the Frozen theme well into the party today.  I even managed to pull off making a themed cake for her!

The party room looked great all decked out for our guests.

The kids had such fun playing in the gym before we headed upstairs for snacks and cake.

Syd has one special request for the day, she wanted a pinata, so we obliged and the kids had a great time trying to smash it open before Uncle Paul had to rip it open with his bare hands!

We came home with a mountain of presents that Syd had such fun opening!  I am always so amazed at how blessed we are by our friends and family who are so generous towards Sydney at this time of year!

What a beautiful day it was.  Happy 5th Birthday Sydney, Mommy's Best Girl.