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.

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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.

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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 :-)

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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!

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

The River Bottom Mamahood

11 Apr

I am beyond fortunate to have many different circles of friends.  I have old school friends, nursing school friends, running friends, work friends, past work friends, and everything in between.  Some of us have kids, are having kids,  don’t want kids, or are in a season of our lives where that is a future goal.  Some of us work, some of us stay home, some of us travel the world. 

Some circles intersect, some never meet.  What they all have in common is that they are amazing people who support and lift me up at different times of need in my life.  One group doesn’t trump the other, they just float in and out at the best times it seems.

The group I didn’t know I was needing last night was my River Bottom Mamahood.  It all starts with a group “who is up for it?” message, generally with very little notice, and the wheels are put into motion, always to the same place.  Vans, trucks, cars and bikes are loaded up.  Mamas and Daddies arrive with kiddos in tow, some running, some toddling, some crawling, some in carriers, others still in utero.  All hands pitch in to tie shoes, push swings, set out food and wipe dirty hands. 

Everyone parents, no one polices.  What’s mine is yours.  We all keep them safe, we all let them be kids.  You feed the child that tells you they are hungry.  You roast an extra hotdog or marshmallow, because someone is going to eat it.  No one judges the parent who’s child is on round 3 of cheesies and cookies.  It is just one night. 

We talk about our struggles, we talk about our summer plans.  We share funny stories, and stories of things that should have never happened.  We marvel how teensie a new babe is, and how big others have gotten in the blink of an eye. 

We pass babies, we pass baby wipes, we pass the chips.  We pass on judging choices that our different than ours, because we know what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.  We pass on social filters.

We pack up leftovers, round up empty juice boxes and put out the fire.  We hug goodbye, just as we hugged hello, and make loose future plans.  We give the kids one last swing, one last slide and then buckle carseats as the sun goes down over the coulees.  One more hug, one more goodbye, even though we might see each other tomorrow.

I leave feeling tired, but uplifted and energized by these beautiful souls I am lucky enough to count as friends. And await the next “who’s up for it?” message.

Easter Catchup

9 Apr

Our little family had a busy and fantastic Easter holiday.  I was fortunate that the holiday fell along my week off, but unfortunately Ty was on call for a few days.

The girls and I headed down to Tyler’s cousin’s farm with my mother in law for an egg hunt and dinner.  The Waechter’s always have such a fun hunt among the old equipment on their acreage, and the girls had so much fun running around, finding all the spots the Bunny had visited .

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Afterwards we warmed up with a delicious Easter dinner, and after some visiting we headed back to Lethbridge and over to my brother’s house.  The girls left a hasty note for the Easter bunny to let him know about the location change and the grown ups had a “few” drinks and a hot tub. 

The next morning the girls woke up to their trail of eggs leading to their Easter baskets and were thrilled with their new Monster High dolls and toys. 

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We joined my mom and family later that night for another Easter dinner, and then it was home to meet up with friends for a little bit before I headed off to bed (I was finshing up my week off and heading into my dreaded week of days).

Some other random updates:

– I love my work family.  It has been nuts for over a month now and there are lots of shifts I work that I feel like if it werent for the strength of our teamwork, we wouldn’t have made it. I am so fortunate to work with such amazing people!

-Abby has recently “learned” how to chew gum and will let anyone and everyone know it.  She is constantly asking “can we chew gum?  Let’s chew gum!  Did you know I can chew gum and I don’t even swallow it?!?!?

– The girls started their new day home this week and they love it.  It seems like a great fit, and it is such a good feeling to have picked a spot for them that they are excited to head to…even at 6:20 in the morning.

-Gracelyn only made it one day this week so far before coming down with strep throat.  Thankfully now that she is on antibiotics and on the mend she is in great spirits and also feeling good again!  She should be off quarantine tomorrow, barring any fevers!

-There is a fresh crop of little babies due to arrive any day now and I cant wait to snuggle them!

– Tyler and I actually are on somewhat complimentary schedules now, and have been able to spend so much more time together.  I missed my hubby!  We even got out for a much needed, no friends no kids allowed date night the other night.  It was great to have a few drinks and plan our summer, and then snuggle up at a movie. 

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-I took my littles and my sister’s 2 youngest out to Nanton to visit the miniture train museum.  Despite the false advertising that the train ride was up and running (pretty much our reason for going), the kids had fun and there turned out to be a great park right across the street.  We ended it off with ice cream cones the size of their heads.

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That is about it from our neck of the woods!  I am still adjusting to working more hours, but being off of nights is nice.  Looking forward to some warm weather this weekend!

Growing Older is Still Growing

16 Mar

If you know me, you know how often I refer to myself as old.  I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I have a lot of friends who are significantly younger than myself (5-6 years), and also, due to the fact that my body feels like that of an 80 year old most days.

Truthfully, I feel like the fine grip I had on youthfulness passed through my fingers and faded off into the distance when I turned 30.  Now that I am 31, and firmly ensconced “in my thirties”, I have accepted it.

At a BBQ on Saturday night, the group of us who remained at 1 am talked about gray hairs, vasectomy appointments, tax returns and retirement savings.  We also talked about a lot of other things, but I couldn’t help but reflect that life is shifting.  For the 4 of us that stayed up until 5 am (a horrible habit that we can’t seem to shake, no matter how old we get!) the talk was a little more light hearted following :-)

I am not upset or remiss that I am in my thirties, because just as everyone said, it was absolutely and continues to be a period of self discovery.  I feel 100% more confident in my self worth and beliefs than I ever did in my twenties.  I am still struck some mornings that I wake up next to the man I have been married to for almost 8 years, love on the children I have been mothering for 4.5 years, and go to work in my career.  It seems a little surreal some days.

Most of all, the biggest gift I have given myself as I have grown older is that of grace.  It is so easy to be hard on myself, but not so easy to show kindness and forgiveness.  I am never, ever going to be perfect at anything, and that is not a failure.  The failure, I have learned, is in not taking lessons from mistakes or not showing myself the same amount of grace that I would to others in the same scenario.

Life is going to keep rolling forward, and time will keep passing.  Keeping score with myself or stacking my failures into an unmoveable wall won’t ever help me to move forward, be happy, or accomplish goals. 

Growing older means that I am growing, and isn’t that what life is all about?

Whirlwind Weekend

22 Feb

We had a fun but busy weekend around these parts!  So much fun that I barely *gasp* took any pictures!

Friday morning I met a good friend for coffee at the McDonald’s play place.  The girls had a blast running around and I had a great time chatting.  Afterwards we went home and picked up Tyler and took the girls mini golfing. Naturally, we had to stop at the attached Fro Yo place! 

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After a round of naps…

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…and sushi dinner out with friends, it was time to go watch Tyler’s team play provincials.  Some friends joined us and helped cheer them on.  They lost in OT and the girls were up waaaaayyyy too late (as in, almost midnight).

Saturday, we all slept in and then the girls and I met my mom at Chapter’s were she treated them to some new books and then out to lunch at The Penny Coffee House.  I love eating there because they always have vegan options, and the girls are crazy for their pasta salad.  We finished up chatting over coffee, cookies and a few dozen games of memory before heading home for nap.

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Then, off to Taber for more hockey!  It was such an exciting game that they won(!!!).  My girls are professional rink rats now, and I don’t mind hanging out chatting with friends!

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Ty was away for the night so we watched a movie and had a sleepover in my bed

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Abby must have been tossing and turning to pull all the sheets off!

This morning was very relaxed with a lazy breakfast and then some nude painting at the table.  The girls had a crazy long bath afterwards and I folded a tonne of laundry while they played.

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Painting their allowance jars. Abrielle is saving for a trip to Madagascar when she is a "grown-up" so she needs something other than her piggy bank for her spending money!

Once we were all cleaned up we headed out to a matinee after crossing our wires on a few other plans.  There were two movies for kids playing around the same time, and although they decided on Penguins of Madagascar at home, they instantly changed their mind to Big Hero Six once we arrived.  Abby loved it and sat in her seat the entire time.  Gracelyn liked it too, but about halfway through announced she was tired, gave her popcorn away to Abby and climbed on my lap and promptly fell asleep!

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They both loved Baymax!

Dinner at my mom’s, followed by a quick visit with my in laws and now the girls are tucked away in bed and I am not far behind!  It was such a great weekend filled with friends and good quality family time. 

Checking In

15 Feb

It has been quite a while since I updated my little space of the internet.  Currently:

-Ty brought me home the first coffee I have had in over 2 weeks today, a true act of love because he hates ordering at Starbucks.  I love the Vday cups

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– I have been trying to drink 4 litres of water a day and have significantly reduced my diet coke and coffee consumption (down to almost nothing).    My skin is so thankful and has never been more hydrated.

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My little niece is due to arrive in under two weeks, so I finally sorted through my baby clothes to give to my sister in law.  If my estimates are correct, she will be able to wear almost 2 outfits and a pair of pjs every day with no repeats until she is six months old.  My kids had a ton of clothes when they were babies!  It was so nostalgic sorting through them all, especially the preemie and newborn clothes.  So teensy!

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Turns out my kids have absolutely no fear when it comes to sledding, as discovered when we went out on a whim after dinner one night.  We now have Abby convinced to try waterslides again, because it is basically the same thing only less cold.

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Abby had her Valentine’s preschool party and as always, it was so adorable.  They always make us a cute gift and sing songs before the potluck.  She was so cute twirling around in her dress.

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Gracelyn picks her hairstyle based on the character she would like to be that day.  Anna braids were a real hit last week, but thankfully she is all about the Tinkerbell bun this week.

-I got a new position at work and that means no more nights! It does mean working a little more (13 shifts a month instead of 9) and that the girls will need to be in childcare now, but overall I think it will be a positive change.

-We planned a 60th birthday surprise party for my Mom and pulled it off on Friday without a hitch.  She had friends come from BC, Ontaria and Calgary and of course lots who were local.  My brother from Dartmouth unfortunately had to cancel his flight because of the weather, but I know she still had a great time.  We had appies, cake, wine and yellowbirds (her favourite mixed drink) and safe to say everyone had a great time. 

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-As of a few weeks ago, Gracelyn is officially 100% accident free and potty trained, except for overnight.  She went through a long streak where she would hold off pooping until she had a diaper on and then instantly fill said diaper.  Turns out all we needed to do was tell her that the princesses wouldn’t let her into Disneyland if she pooped her diaper, and we haven’t looked back now.  It is so nice to be out of that stage!

-I am trying to get back to running and keep myself injury free.  I am slowing way down, cutting my distance down, and really focusing on form.  So far, so good!

Passing the Time

26 Jan

With Ty’s crazy hockey and work schedule, he is gone more than he is home for the most part.  Being a part time single parent means that I need to fill in the gaps with fun for my ladies.  I may be a part time SAHM, but I don’t much like actually staying at home.

We have been blessed with some amazingly warm temperatures for January, and we are running with them.  On Saturday we dug out the wheels and the helmets and rolled down the the park for some fun.

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I was shocked to see that the handlebar to Abrielle’s scooter is now 3 inches too short (she was just using it in October!!  This child will be 6 foot tall on her next birthday, I swear).  Also, Gracelyn has figured out how to pedal her trike (but not steer at the same time).  The blue skies and warm temperatures were bliss, and the girls napped for 4 hours following!

Sunday we searched far and wide for something to do with the girls before Ty had to leave for a tournament.  The wind was gusting at 60km/hr, so outside wasn’t an option.  Turns out, the only thing to do in Lethbridge on Sunday before noon is go to church, or the McDonald’s play place.  So much for quality family time, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

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That night the girls and I finally decorated some Olaf sugar cookies we baked ages ago, and then of course we had to watch Frozen with a side of popcorn and hot chocolate.  It is a rule, I am pretty sure.

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We have been doing a lot of tea parties at home lately, so when I saw that a girlfriend had taken her little miss to The Jasmine Tea Room, I knew my girls would love it.  My girlfriend Tawnya and I met there today and had the most lovely experience.

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Tawnya is such a talented photographer and was kind enough to snap a few of my littles!

The shop is charming, and they have cute mini cups for the little girls.  They all picked a tea and munched on scones with Devonshire cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd and fruit cups.  They were so cute stirring (too much) sugar in their little cups, and Abby insisted on getting dressed up for the occassion.  She also informed us several times that we needed to have good table manners, including keeping our hands folded 😂

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We found out with a reservation you can do a princess theme high tea, so we will for sure be back for that!

For dinner we met friends down at the river bottom for a picnic dinner and used up every last ray of sunlight!  The kids were more interested in playing than eating, so my girls were starving on the way home and ate the rest in the car!

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The train passing over is always a huge hit!

I am absolutely thankful to have days off during the beautiful weather, and I hope it continues!

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