Week in Review Photo Dump

5 Jul

Maaaaayyyybe time to update the old blog, hey?

We went camping again at Dutch Creek last weekend, and once again the weather was out of this world.  We had just a small group this time, but got the same spot and had a blast. 

image

image

All the butterflies emerged at once and there were hundreds upon hundreds everywhere!

image

image

Tuesday night, Ty headed out to our friends cabin in Saskatchewan and due to me mixing up the dates we were suppose to go, I stayed home.  It was my week of day shift, and we already had childcare arranged so I told Ty to go without me.

Work has been increasingly busy throughout the week, and to be honest I have been pooped.  I try my hardest to do things that are fun when Ty is away, but pretty much would have liked to mail it in.

On Canada Day, there were lots of festivities happening in the park and around town.  After work I offered the girls the choice of checking those out, or going to see Inside Out after dinner.  Thankfully, after a day at the lake with my girlfriend (who watched them during the day), they opted for the movie. 

image

Can you tell how tired she is?

image

And this one woke up in my arms after being carried into the theater lobby.

I am glad the girls made the decision instead of me, because I felt like a terrible Mom for not wanting to navigate the crowds and stand in line.

The next day we invited my mom to go for dinner with us because we hadn’t seen her in about a week (too long in my opinion).  She then watched them for about an hour while I grabbed a few groceries.  I dont remember the last time I got groceries solo…it was a weird experience!

Friday we went over to my girlfriend’s house to watch her almost 6 month old while she and her hubby went to a movie.  This little man is SO smiley, and the girls love him so much (even Abby, who claims she doesn’t care much for babies).

image

image

Saturday we checked out the Coaldale Candy Parade for the first time.  The girls loved it, and it was the perfect length of time, and not crowded.  Other than a lot of sidewalk smokers (major pet peeve: I know we are outside but it is an event geared towards kids) it was a great experience.  We will definitely check it out again next year!

image

image

image

We did a little shopping and had lunch at the mall, and then as the girls rested I prepped a salad.  The girls and I got ready and head out for the Faust’s Gender Reveal.

image

image

The girls both wanted fishtail braids, but Gracelyn's hair is too fine and too layered. If she asks you, this was a fishtail braid.

The party was a great get together, and I am thrilled for this expanding family.  They are announcing the gender in person to a few people, so I won’t spill the beans yet!

image

A sudden thunderstorm hit, and the rain was absolutely dumping.  The girls decided that was the moment they wanted to leave, and we got drenched in two seconds flat.  We were seriously soaked, through our clothes and even the car seats had puddles in them just from having the doors open.  A little water never hurt anyone, right?

image

Ironically, I had a rain coat in my car the whole time

We changed into warm jammies, popped some popcorn and had a movie night in the basement before settling into my bed for a sleep over.  Tyler and I are always pretty adamant that our bed is just for us, but when he is away I bend the rules a bit!

image

We probably fell asleep 3 seconds after this was taken, no joke

So that was our week!  Nothing too wild or crazy, but we got through our time without Daddy with lots of smiles and laughs :-)

Dutch Creek Photo Recap

25 May

Oh man, I love camping.  I never feel more relaxed than I do in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful scenery and great friends.  This weekend was no exception.

We went to a slightly different spot this time and I loved it.  We were right on a creek bed, and there were no other campers to be seen.  We were even able to make a fire pit far enough away from our trailers that we didn’t come home with absolutely everything reeking of smoke!

We did…

A lot of creek sitting

image

image

image

image

image

A lot of playing in the sand and mud

image

image

Some pretend fishing

image

image

image

Some quading (please note that helmets were worn outside of the campsite.  I literally tooled around at about 2 km an hour within the campsite when they were on).

image

image

image

Some arts and crafts

image

image

Some not so healthy eating

image

Freezie time

image

Banana boat

Some late night block rocking

image

image

Sad but true, these girls went to bed at 11 pm

Some bubble blowing

image

Amber bought the best bubble blowers ever and pinwheels for the kids. Such a sweet friend!

image

And some overall relaxing.  We had a slight hiccup when Molly (the dog) took a 6 hour field trip, but luckily she was found safe and sound.  We seriously have such good friends that they all took off to look for her at multiple times during the day. We had people out on quads, on foot and in trucks looking all over Dutch Creek!

One of the things that I like best about camping is how much my kids are just kids. They were so happy just running around, digging in the mud, and playing.
Sometimes I worry that I let my kids have too much time on the tablet, but being away and seeing how easily they can keep themselves amused with nothing more than a stick in the mud reassures me that they are still able to let their imaginations take the lead.

It is always bittersweet coming home, but we kicked off this week with a bang by heading out on a few playdates at a picnic. I hope this nice weather holds out so we can keep enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

Life is….

15 May

Life right now is as it will never be again.  Gone are the days of my cuddling sweet newborn, or planning my outings around nursing sessions.  Although I loved those days, I can’t wish myself backwards one bit, because every day just gets sweeter.

Right now, life is:

-The clickclack of princess shoes across the floor.
-The words “I’m hungry” being uttered 35 times a day.
-Impromptu flying hugs
-The world’s worst knock knock jokes on repeat
-Disney Sing Along channel on Songza
-Listening to peals of laughter across the house and shrieks of joy.
-Sharing a smile, a muffled laugh or a headshake over the latest thing to come out of the girls’ mouths with my husband.
-Endless rounds of the puppy game, or the baby game
-Buckling and unbuckling car seats
-Sleepy snuggles on the couch
-Songs sung with a sweet little voice joining in.
-Earnest prayers of thanks for things such as stuffed animals and purple walls
-Repeating the words “be kind to your sister”
-Smiling over sweet moments shared between sisters.
-Counting down days to special events on calendars.
-Negotiating outfits and hairstyles
-Trying to explain life’s mysteries, like why a fox is called a Fox
-Knowing the names of every Monster High character
– Knowing every word to books like Time for a Hug, and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.
-Feeling so content in the way things are right now, and being thankful for it.

People are keen to remind Tyler and I that we will have two teenagers in the house before we know it.  While I am not ignorant to that, and the challenges it might present, I hope to always remember these days.  I am so, so lucky to have this little family.

Mother’s Day Weekend and a Trip to Whitefish

12 May

When we decided not to do Disney this summer, Ty and I made a pact to do a few smaller getaways with the kids, sticking closer to home. When I saw a Facebook ad for an exhibition about dinosaurs (Abby’s current obsession in her quest to become a scientist), we decided to take a trip to Whitefish and check it out.

Normally when we go, we stay in Meadow Lake, in a neighboring town.  We have always had our eye on a KAO campground, so after checking it out online we booked in to a cabin.  Our trailer is old and we weren’t too thrilled with the idea of taking it across the border, so we thought a rustic cabin would be the next best thing.

My wonderful coworkers let me leave a bit early on Friday, so after grabbing some cupcakes for Tyler’s birthday (it was on Friday), I raced home, changed, and we hit the road.  The girls were so excited! 

image

Sister made herself comfy for the ride down

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am so thankful that our girls travel well.  Both usually sleep, read books or daydream out the window.  Less than 4 hours later, we checked in to our cozy little cabin.

image

image

image

The cabin was perfectly tiny, and to my surprise had an electric outlet, space heater and a light!  Although it consisted of nothing more than a bed, bunk bed, shelf seat and small desk, you might have thought we had rented a penthouse suite.  The girls were thrilled with the accomodations, and it made my heart pretty happy that a barren cabin could bring forth such a reaction.

We quickly headed out to Famous Dave’s so Tyler could get a birthday meal of ribs.  It was after 9 when we ate, but the girls held up well and were happy to be there.  When we arrived, Abby declared “this is a fancy restaurant…We should have dressed up!”.  I nearly peed myself laughing.  Girl has low standards!

image

image

image

Ready to dig in!

We put the girls to bed and capped off the night with beers and a fire. 

The next morning we did a little shopping after breakfast and then set out for Jurassic Quest.  It did not disappoint!  There were probably 35-45 huge, animatronic dinosaurs that were very realistic (some were even bleeding fake blood after a simulated attack!).  The girls rode dinosaurs, went on bouncy houses, dug for fossils, made their own fossils, met and pet baby dinos and got their faces painted.  They had a great time and Ty and I thought it was pretty cool as well!

image

image

image

image

image

image

After we had seen all there was to see, we grabbed some dinner supplies and headed back to the cabin.  To our delight, the girls made quick friends with a few little girls and they spent most of their free time playing hide and go seek and making mud pies together.

We were having such a good time that we decided to stay just one more night.
Mother’s day started with breakfast for me at the cabin, and a day of relaxing.  We played mini golf, tried to bikes, played basketball and investigated the petting zoo, all at the KAO.  We also went to the girls and my favourite place to eat, HuHot (I am so fancy). Ty then cooked me dinner back at the cabin, and we enjoyed a fire and the mountain air for the rest of the night.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s day.  I like getting to sit back during potty duty and not cook, but I want to spend my day with my family.  Doing it up in the mountains, reading while my kids played with a cold beer beside me was just the cherry on top!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

This has to be the best feeling in the world, leaning back, staring at the sky and feeling like you are flying

image

Such a monkey

image

image

image

The girls capped off their evening by examining a dead bird (and scrubbing the sh%t out of their hands after admiting to “trying to wake it up” by touching it), catching bugs and relaxing in their lawn chairs. Ty and I had another fire that night and the weather was perfect .

image

We sadly packed up today and arrived home in the late afternoon.  It was a great little mini vacation!

Happy mother’s day to all the Mamas out there, whether your babes were born from your womb or from you heart.  An extra special wish for the one I call my own :-). I feel so blessed to have been given the honor of mothering my two little ones, and can’t imagine a greater pleasure in this world.

A Day In the Life

3 May

I haven’t done a day in the life recap in a few years, so here we go!  I like to have these posts as little snap shots for my ladies to look back at when they get older.

Our days look different depending on work and if it is a school day, but here is a fairly typical Friday!

image

Wake up to one or both of these little monkeys climbing into my bed.  It is usually Abby who is up first and comes for a snuggle, and Gracie joins us soon after.  We read, play, I get used as a jungle gym and inevitably we end up doing tickle fights.

image

Tickle Fight!

Once we finally get up, I get us breakfast.  This morning Gracie wanted to bake blueberry muffins, so we did that while Abby elected to have cereal and fruit (she was “too starving”).

image

image

We usually listen to the Disney Sing Along station on Songza when we are indoors.

I cleaned the kitchen while the girls played

image

…and then after getting them potties, teeth brushed, hair done and dressed (no small task!) they played outside and caught lady bugs while I got dressed.

image

We then headed out to take back the recycling, and despite the wind, the girls were actually a big help!

image

They had some money burning a hole in their pocket, so they packed up $5 each and we went to the dollar store for a little shopping trip.  I love how they come to the decisions that they do.  Abby is so like me, in that she weighs all of her options so that she can maximize her money.  Gracelyn, like her father, goes for the bigger ticket item and is fine with just that.  Both girls were thrilled with their decisions, and felt so grown up paying for their own purchases.

image

Their little purses kill me

Home for some more outdoor play.  We rarely eat inside during the day if it is nice, so my go-to is to load a platter with choices and let them pick away as they play.

image

image

Gracelyn then had to go down for her nap, but insisted her bed “wasn’t comfortable”. I whipped up a two second tent for her, and she slept like a log until it was time for me to wake her up.

image

We met Jana, her kids, and our friends’ little guys at their church because the wind was just too brutal to play at the park.  The kids were a sweaty mess after running and climbing, and had a blast.  I always love catching up with one of my best girls over coffee too, and some baby snuggles with sweet Lucia didn’t hurt either!

image

image

Poor Abby got her fingers slammed in the car door by the vicious wind, but thankfully was only bruised.  We iced them on the way home with a frozen lemonade, and she seemed to recover quickly 😋.  We then went out for sushi with my sister in law, her boyfriend and my gorgeous baby niece. 

Dinner was surprisingly a little disappointing service wise, but we left stuffed.  We put the girls to bed and Ty and I capped off the night with a few drinks and some Netflix movies. 

And that is that!  A pretty laid back day, but full of all of my favourite things :-)

Body Talk

30 Apr

The same theme has been rolling around casual conversation with my girlfriends lately.  I am not sure if it is because our kids are getting older, but lately the talk has centered heavily on body positivity.

The responsibility is great, as parents, to model body pride to our little ones.  Both boys and girls need to be exposed to this, but as my experience is just with girls, this is what I will touch on.

My girls are little bohemians.  They love to run around bare foot with hair swinging in their eyes.  Both girls get a serious case of the wiggles once their clothes come off, and run around shrieking and laughing, doing their “naked dance”.  They swirl their hips, hands high in the air and shake their little naked booties and could not look any happier doing it. 

While they are both fully aware that their private parts are their own property, and shouldn’t be touched or shown off to others, they also know that they aren’t taboo.  They are comfortable talking about all parts of their body, and as such, it is kind of not a big deal.

I feel like the days that they feel so good, so free and so beautiful in their own skin are sadly numbered, so I encourage them to do what makes them feel good.  It is beyond frustrating to have to take a 2.5 and 4.5 year old who picked their own clothing, punctuated with a bazillion accessories, out in public, but that frustration melts when I see how tall they walk, or catch them stealing a glance at a mirror and smiling. 

I sadly don’t remember the last time I felt at home in my own skin.  It is very rare that I look in the mirror and like what I see looking back at me.  I don’t feel good in a lot of clothes, and am generally hyper aware of my body in space. I am constantly thinking about how my body looks to others.

My daughters don’t feel that way.  They wake up each morning feeling perfect, and furthermore, they tell me I look beautiful too.  They exclaim over the freckles on my nose, and take pleasure lying on my soft tummy.  Abby raves about the curls I straighten out of my hair each day, and Gracelyn feels safe in my less than toned arms.

So, every day I do my best to swallow down the negative feelings, and combat them with positive talk.  We talk about wearing what makes you feel good (not about rejecting things that make me look fat).  We discuss that make up is a tool to make the features on my face I like best stand out (not to blur or disguise the ones I don’t).  We focus on what makes us the best (not what we need to improve).

I am fully aware that I cannot protect my daughters fully from the stark reality that most girls face.  That said, I can definitely try my hardest to give them the greatest number of weapons to combat it in the future. 

And, hopefully, I will take a few cues from them and start loving the skin I am in, even a little bit at a time.

image

Please note the number of accessories Abby is wearing!

Spring has Sprung

13 Apr

Today was set up to be a bit of a stinker.  I got a 2 am text from my day home provider that her son was sick, meaning that I couldn’t go to a course that I was really looking forward to.  On top of that, for the first time since graduating from overnight diapers about a month ago, Gracelyn peed her bed…and then later peed ours.  Brutal.

But, after an early morning nap on the couch while my mattress dried, the girls and I woke up to the sun shining.  We decided to make the most out of the beautiful day.

We opened all the windows, and whipped up some fresh berry oatmeal muffins.  Mixed with some hot coffee (for me…and maybe a bit for Gracelyn…judge me not, she loves it), it was a great start to the day.

image

image

image

While I tidied up the kitchen, the girls cleaned the living room (seriously, the $5/week each for allowence is the best money I could spend). I got dressed as the girls raced around the backyard chasing the dog with a brush, squealing and errupting into peals of laughter.  Music to my ears.  We rounded up the recycling and the dog and head out.

We recycled a million boxes and washed the dog and rewarded ourselves with some frozen yogurt. The girls kindly shared theirs with Ellie.

image

image

image

After lunch, the girls napped while I did a bit of tidying.  It was actually refreshing with the sun shining in and the wind ruffling the curtains.  After lunch, we met up with my mom.  She wanted to buy the girls their birthday presents now so that they could use them all summer.  Abrielle was thrilled to get a new bike and rode it to the till and out of the store :-)

image

Gracelyn got a new go-kart, but unfortunately after it was almost all assembled Ty realized it was defective and is back getting a new one now.  The girls soaked up the sun biking, scooting and going for walks.  Abby even asked Ty to take her training wheels off, but lost her nerve after a few wobbles.  I grabbed my cruiser, but I have a flat, and wasn’t keen on riding my road bike.  Another day!

image

image

For a day that I didn’t have high hopes for, it turned out to be pretty perfect!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 495 other followers