Perfect Imperfection

22 Apr

It is no shock or surprise that I am grossly dissatisfied with my house.  While I love the location, and truth be told it does fit my family nicely, it is old and in constant need of aesthetic repair.  I dream of a new(er) and bigger house, preferably on an acreage.

What I dont want is an increased mortgage.  We are at a point in our lives where we have unstable long term income (due to me not having a permanent position, something that is very difficult to come by in pediatrics). I never want to be house poor, so I sit and sulk in my affordably mortgaged house.

Perspective really is a beautiful thing though, isn’t it?  Because of this unstable income, I was able to let my girls sleep in until almost 9 and then take them for a little breakfast date

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I let Abby get a muffin for a treat. She ate about two bites, told me it wasn't a healthy breakfast and threw it out. Seriously, this child....

Following a quick stop to the grocery store, we played outside.  Our backyard isn’t anything special to look at, but I love it.  It is a great size with a concrete pad perfect for biking and chalking on and lots of grass to run and play with the dog. The kids have a trampoline, a slide and sand and water table, a playhouse and their bikes to play with.  I sat back with my coffee and my study material, and I just got itThis is what matters.  This is what makes me happy.

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I know, no helmet. We make an exception for the backyard.

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Her ladybug actually survived the night, so she named her Fritz and carted her around the backyard while tending to her needs, such as shade and fresh grass.

 
I got to watch my girls run and play, giggle and conspire, help each other and work out disagreements peacefully.  I had the privilege to study for a course under the sunshine while taking in the smell of fresh cut grass and sunscreened babies.  I put Gracelyn to bed after lunch and then went back out with Abby for another few hours.

These are the things in life that matter to me.  Being present with my girls is a privilege somewhat unique to my profession, and I am so grateful for it.  I need a little nudge from the universe some times to refocus on what in my life actually makes me happy.  Sitting in a big new house thinking about all the time I miss with my girls working to afford it would probably take away some of the sweetness.  I need to remember that I am absolutely, positively blessed to live in a house that has so much love in it.  I am so fortunate to have two amazing little souls that I am lucky to call mine, and an amazing, supportive and loving husband who I fall more deeply in love with daily.

Life is sweet and I am happy.  What could be better?

I am blessed for what I have, and what I have can’t be bought for any amount of money. 

Easter Wrap Up

21 Apr

This Easter was busy but fun!  We started off the holiday weekend by heading off to Medicine Hat to stay with my sister in law.  I worked nights  the night before, and after going to Abby’s preschool party we hit the road.

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Sweet girl ready for her party

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Hunting for eggs!

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Sassy faces hitting the road

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The girls and I dozed for the majority of the trip.  I am so thankful to have such great car travellers.  A snack trap, a few books and a water bottle and they are happy ladies!

We relaxed and hit the hot tub at Amanda’s house for the next few days and visited. Abby would likely live in water if given the option.

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Making foot prints

The next day the girls dyed some eggs.  Abby kept referring to the activity as “killing” eggs (interchanging dying with dyeing, obviously!) and that cracked us up, no pun intended.  Afterwards, the Easter Bunny left a hunt!  Gracelyn slept through it so went on her own after.

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Later that day we headed off to our cousin’s farm for an egg hunt and Easter dinner.  They had organized an amazing egg hunt in their farm machinery “grave yard” and it was fantastic.  The girls had a blast with their second cousins.

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The girls also had a blast playing on the gator!

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Abby drives like a wild woman, slamming it into reverse without notice, and Gracelyn loved it of course, screeching with laughter the entire time.  I adore watching my girls having such organic fun together.  They are playing independently together all the time, and I love watching their relationship develop.

After a delicious dinner we once again hit the road to head back to Lethbridge!  The Easter bunny hadn’t gone to the store yet so made a Wal Mart stop at 9:30pm and had to get a little creative, because everything was picked over

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I felt like their baskets were a little bare, but they had received a ton of candy from preschool and the two egg hunts, and still had more to go so we opted for only a few suckers and of course the trail of eggs from their rooms to their baskets (a throw back to my own childhood).

The girls slept late the next morning, and I actually had to wake Abby up after Gracelyn discovered the trail.  She knew exactly what to do and cracked them open and scarfed the treats as fast as she could!  They loved their baskets and basically ignored the sand and water table they received as a joint gift.

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Grscelyn is still in her onesie after a late arrival home!

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Hot on the trail

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We had a big breakfast as a family, and it was in pulling out our Easter plates I remembered that other than hanging wreaths on the girl’s bedroom doors, we forgot to decorate for Easter!  Other than Christmas, I have majorly dropped the ball on decorating this year, and I blame night shift!  Oh well, next year!

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Abby and I made a cake for my mother in law’s birthday and then I got called into work for a few hours. The girls went to my inlaws for gifts and Easter egg hunt numero 4 and to give Terri her birthday gifts . Ty was sweet enough to make the dish I was suppose to bring for supper and bath the girls while I was gone.  I threw some cinammon buns together, decorated the cake and we were off to my Mom’s for dinner.

My mom absolutely spoiled the girls with gifts and we feasted on a delicious dinner with my mom, brother, brother’s girlfriend and my inlaws.  After dinner we had dessert and birthday cake for Terri

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My health seemed to deteriorate as the weekend went on and I woke up this morning feeling really rotten.  After a lazy start to the day and a pity party, the girls and I went outside to play while Tyler did yard work.

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Testing out their Easter gifts

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We rode bikes, jumped on the trampoline (peds nurses everywhere just cringed, I know!), chalked, hula hooped, played with lady bugs (Abby even called my entomologist father for advice on how to house and care for them.  They are currently living in a Tupperware container in her playhouse) and helped Ty with some taking.  Before we knew it, it was way past lunch and nap so we ate quickly and put them down for naps.  Both had to be woken at 5:30!

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We capped off our night with me reading The Velveteen Rabbit to Gracelyn as she sleepily stroked her sleepy bunny’s worn ears.  It was a very poignant moment reading about a bunny so loved that he became “real” as my little held her special bunny so close. 

Our Easter was really wonderful, full of family and love, and of course too much candy. I hope yours was too!

Weekend in Review

13 Apr

I am currently in a rotation at work that had me working two weekends in a row of day shifts.  The other two weekends off are invariably busy, so I was thrilled to actually have this weekend off with my family!

Yesterday was the Lethbridge Road Race (recap HERE) and following that Ty and I took the girls to Children’s Fest.  To our surprise, Abby was not really that into it.  She didn’t want to see any of the characters, get her face painted or get a sparkle tattoo applied.    She and Gracie both loved the petting zoo (the baby goats are so cute!) and Gracelyn was all gung ho on petting the sheep until one bleated quite loudly in her face.  After that she wanted to be carried! 

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Loved the "hop hops"

We hit up the bouncy house at the end and the lines actually weren’t atrocious so Abby went through twice.  It is amazing how easily she navigated the obstacle course…a big change from last year!

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We picked up some supplies for a wiener roast and Ty started a fire for Abby in our ghetto fire pit.  It looks bad, but works so good!  Abby loves camping and has been dying to go, so hopefully this helped to scratch that itch a bit!

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We had a late fire that night but it got cold so we ended up wrapping up pretty early!

Today was a lazy sleep in day.  We made a big breakfast, went to the park and then the mall.  The girls and I had naps when we got home and Ty watched the Masters, then we went to my Mom’s for a delicious turkey dinner.  We knew it was time to go when Gracelyn made a pillow out of a dish cloth and put herself to bed on the kitchen floor.

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Now I am heading to sleep with a scratchy throat and prayers that I am not getting sick!

Lethbridge Road Race Recap

12 Apr

This morning was the Lethbridge Road Race.  I had originally, and confidently signed up for the 10 mile, but due to my continued falling off the treadmill back issues, along with the damage I did to myself in New York, it wasnt happening.

I got cleared to do the 4 mile and was REALLY disappointed that I had to drop down.  It felt like quitting and was a little depressing.  I was a little excited to do a shorter race, and not have to worry about fueling, or carb loading.

This morning it was cold, a little windy and snowy.  In April.  Brutes.  I wasn’t feeling so hot and was running a little bit late, and ate in the car and forgot my iPod.  Double brutes.

With the weather and how I was feeling, I was super pumped suddenly to only be doing 4 miles.  I met up with Leighann (pushing 2.5 year old Amelia and 6.5 months pregnant).  We waited inside until go time, and Danielle and I naturally snapped a picture :-)

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The race started and Leighann and I paced together for close to the first two miles.  I felt pukey and had a big stitch in my ribs, so eventually dropped back and even had to walk twice because I was sure I was going to throw up.  Thankfully I didn’t and ended up finishing the race in 40:36.  I wasn’t too upset by that, and was surprised that I would have had such a great time had I been feeling better.  It was a teeny bit embarassing that they announced that I had just finished the NYC 1/2 Marathon as I huffed and puffed across the finish line!

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Ty had planned on bringing the girls but thanks to the dawdle queen, Abrielle Sophia, they got there a few minutes after I crossed the finish line.  Abby was really upset that she didn’t get to cheer for me and started to cry when she realized that I had already run the race.  She perked up with some refreshments!

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Afterwards, we headed to Tim Horton’s for some breakfast. I felt a little better after some peppermint tea and a bagel, and the girls had fun chowing down.

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Abby went to run some errands with Ty and I took a ridiculously tired Gracelyn home and relaxed for a bit.  When Abby got home, we had a bit of snuggles before she requested some wrestling (her new fave pass time).  Now, once little Grace Face wakes up we are headed to the Children’s Fest!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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The Give and Take

8 Apr

Working part time is such a blessing.  I love having days off with my girls and that I get to be present for so much of their lives.  I know that the day will come when I have no excuse not to work full time, so I take full advantage and give thanks for these times.

There are times when it is tough.  For example, absolutely every single one of Abby’s preschool functions has fallen after a night shift, so I stay up and attend them dog tired.  Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be there than sleeping but it is tough some times!  Also, there are two weekends of every month that I miss.

Still,I wouldn’t trade it.  The weather is getting nice (yay!) and the girls and I are taking full advantage.   We started yesterday with a park date with Leighann and her little Amelia.  It mostly turned into a “benture” (adventure) walk, and ended in a bloody knee, a fit, and lots of tears but it was still nice!   Following that, we headed outside after naps for some more “benture” walks, complete with the discovery of “pinecorns” and some sidewalk chalking.  Even though we were absolutely filthy following, it was so fun!

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Inspired by Kelle Hampton

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We tried out a new frozen yogurt spot before bed as well.

Today was Grace’s 18 month immunization appointment, and she is now up to 21.6lbs!  She is also 31.5 inches and more than on track with her developmental milestones.  The nurse couldn’t help but laugh at her antics, such as trying to open the door to escape, and when that failed, covering her eyes to hide.  Cheeky little monkey.  As predicted, my little drama queen screamed after getting her shots but settled very quickly after receiving a sticker!

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Little stinky was asleep minutes after we left!

After picking Abrielle up from school, we met Tawnya at the mall where basically my kids stole her lunch and then Gracelyn threw a fit when I made her sit back in her stroller to leave.  Never a dull moment, lol!  It is nice to be with a like minded Mama when melt downs happen, she was completely unruffled.
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After naps, Abby and I made some cookies

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That Gracelyn later enjoyed when she woke up

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And then did some manicures.  Abby pretends to call me, makes an appointment, and then pretend drives to my salon where she asks for a macchiato and tells me about her tough day as a sick baby nurse. 

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I love these days, where nothing at all special happens but everything is extraordinary in it’s own way.  I love being a Mama to these girls, and am thankful for every little moment with them.

Gracelyn at 18 Months

2 Apr

Gracie Face,

How is it possible that you are now closer to two than you are to one.  I look at you and within a one hour span you go from looking like a teeny baby to having almost no baby left at all.  You are growing, my dear little one.

Gracelyn Ella, you are amazing.  You are such a spirited little girl and you start out your days at a running leap.  You go from one minute being so sleepy and heavy eyed in your crib to lunging out of my arms and taking off after the dog or your sister in the next.  You love to run around and chatter all day long.

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You are completely and totally a little girl, and love to brush your hair, put clips and headbands in, and pretend to do makeup.  You grin from ear to ear when I dramatically exclaim how lovely you look and peer to see yourself in the mirror.  Thank you for sitting still exaclty long enough, and not a moment more, for me to do your hair.

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You are so mischievious and all of your naughty things are done only if you have a rapt audience.  Your devilish little smile gives you away every time, and although you generally think we are egging you on if we tell you “no”, you will cease and desist if we ask you to clean up what you are doing.  Cheekiness for days.  Your favourite naughty currently is throwing your change table mattress on the ground and dumping out my purse and wallet. 

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We caught you "helping" with dinner after you discovered this stool

I would be lying if I said you didn’t have a temper, because you totally do.  You will now even cross your arms and stomp off in a huff if you are displeased by a situation.  Thankfully, you are completely and quickly redirectable and generally are laughing just as quickly as you were screaming …and the scream could make glass shatter little one!  Some proof of your tempermental nature ..

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Seriously, you are so dramatic.

Darling, you are so cute.  You still only have two teeth on the bottom (although number 3 is making it’s appearance) and you show them off the same way people bat their eye lashes.  It is so adorable the way you grin and giggle.  You copy pretty much everything Abby does, and still are convinced that she hung the moon.

You love Bubble Guppies and the Bubble Puppy that I brought you back from New York is a huge hit.  You also are obsessed with Olaf from Frozen and shriek and laugh excitedly whenever you see him.  You also love Minnie Mouse and the little figurines are one of your favourite things to play with.  You love books and drag them out to read all day, and cuddle so nicely before naps and bed to share them.

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I would list your favourite food as “all” or “whatever Mama is eating”.  You out eat your sister at pretty much every meal, and are loving date rolls and bananas for snacks currently.  Unless you are at Grandma’s house, and then you want Ritz Crackers.

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You also love zippers and shocking people with your naked self.  Before every bath you run out into the kitchen naked and scream, then giggle all the way back.  You also love stripping.

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Sweet baby, I love you so much.  You are a whirlwind of fun and I can’t love you more.

Love, Mama

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Abrielle at 3.5

1 Apr

Abrielle Sophia,

My biggest girl, you officially are 3.5 years old. It was right around this time, 4 years ago that we excitedly announced our pregnancy and time has flown since then.

My clever girl, you are a wonder. Your imagination is limitless and you constantly are engaged in imaginative games that I can’t even follow. You often play multiple rolls and they more often that not involve being locked in a castle by a bad guy, only to be rescued to join our family. 

You indulge us in lots of snuggles and kisses, and my favourite game to play with you at bed time is the “too many kisses”.  In this, I cover you with kisses and you tell me “that’s too many kisses!”.  When I respond “there’s never too many kisses” you cry out “oh that’s it!” and cover me in kisses, at which point we change places in the script.  You will one day be very embarrassed about this I am sure, so for now I take full advantage!

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You love to dance and sing, and make a song up about any topic at any given time.  You singsong and prance through your day, and I have no doubt that to you, the world is a stage.  You often pretend to host a dance class and Gracelyn is more than happy to join you.

You are getting great at letter recognition and have been able to write your name from memory for quite a while now.  You can count to ten in spanish and French and even higher in English.  You do math all the time with every day situations, like easy subtraction and addition.

Your favourite foods are sushi, date rolls, eggs, peanut butter celery and hummus.  You remain very concerned as to what is a healthy snack and what is a treat.  Your favourite treat is Starbucks steamed milk with a pump of caramel.

An interview with Abby

How old are you? 3
What is your favourite food? Eggies
What is your favourite colour? Pink and purple
Who is your best friend? Wyatt
What is your favourite book? Zookeeper Goofy
What is your favourite thing to do?  Dance
What is your favourite song? Defying gravity
What do you want to be when you grow up? Grader operator, same as Daddy
What makes you happy? Laughing

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You love books and to read and will read to yourself in your bed of you can’t sleep.  You also read to Gracie in her rocking chair.  You really do dote on her, and she loves how you include her in your games and activities.  You melt my heart when you say “come’re baby…come with sissy!”

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You really are a sweet child and love to make people happy.  You love to bring people little gifts (generally Starbucks!) and trinkets as a surprise.  You are all about equality and ensure Gracelyn receives the same things you do.  You are a very kind and sensitive child and thrive on following The Golden Rule.

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You are very verbal and are very clear with your feelings.  You are known for saying things like:
-that frustrates me
-we are having a misunderstanding
-that made me disappointed
-I feel like you arent listening to me
This alleviates a lot of tantrums and you truly are an easy child.

You are a great sleeper and still nap most days for a few hours.  You are also very helpful around the house, helping to tidy messes that you make.

You remain princess obsessed and Frozen might be edging out Tangled.  You pretend to make snow magic throughout the day and love to imitate Elsa’s motions in the Let it Go sequence.  You must have a thing for Idina Mendel because you also request Wicked’s Defying Gravity as a bedtime song every night!

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Abrielle Sophia, my big, strong, smart, clever, sweet and beautiful girl, I adore you. I am so thankful to have such an amazing daughter in you, and my love grows for you more and more each day.  You made me a Mama, and I am forever grateful for you.  I love you my bumblebee!

Love,

Mama

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