Saturday, December 24, 2011

unplug fail

This was too funny, so I HAD to post it.

Today, we were listening to Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M. Yeah, yeah, I know - but it’s a classic and I grew up listening to Boney M every Christmas, so don’t judge me.

The tune must have caught on because later on in the morning, I heard Josh singing it. He sang, “Mary’s boy child, Jesus Price…”

Friday, December 23, 2011

camouflage and christmas

In the car ride this morning, Aves said she wanted to take off her toque. She took it off her head and tossed it in the back seat. This is the conversation that ensued between Josh and Aves:

J: Your toque is camouflaged in the back seat with Nikita. Do you know what camouflage means, Aves?
A: No.
J: It means that some thing blends in (pause) so the one thing looks like the other thing.

The thing and the thing in the thing…hahaha. Even with all the “things”, still a pretty accurate definition - but I wonder how much of that Aves absorbed!

It was my Friday off today and I wanted to do something Christmas-y with the kids. So, we spent the morning being Mrs. Santa and her 2 elves. First, we headed to Bri’s work and brought donuts for the guys. Josh hasn’t been to a job site in awhile and he quite enjoys traipsing through the houses, so it was a nice treat. Even Nikita got a chance to run around and I think she really misses going to work with Bri.

Then, we headed into my “old” work to hand out candy canes. I wasn’t sure if the kids would be ok going up to people and handing out candy canes, but they seemed to get a kick out of it - very responsive and not too shy. They even got to peel some candies off the gingerbread house in the kitchen (I think that was the highlight for them!).

When we were back in the car, Josh said, “Mommy, was that your old work?”. I said yes and he went on to say that he wanted to go to my “new” work. I hadn’t planned on going downtown, but I thought it might be a good opportunity for us to go to the Gingerbread Lane display that I saw at the Hyatt. It all still fit with the Christmas-y theme.

I really got a kick out of watching the kids go up to people, hand them a candy cane and say, “Merry Christmas”. In it’s own little way, I hope it’s teaching the kids about giving at Christmastime. They especially liked giving at my “new” work because some of my co-workers returned the gift with gifts of their own. Between the donuts (from the morning) and the candies and chocolates from my co-workers, I think the kids were sufficiently hopped up on sugar by the time we left to see the gingerbread houses.

We spent the next couple of hours looking at the gingerbread houses at the Hyatt and then wandering around downtown, taking in Christmas sights, before heading home. Both kids passed out in the car. It was a fun morning of candy cane giving and Christmas sightseeing for all of us.
Bri and I decided at the start of this season that we were paring Christmas down this year. We wanted to focus on what was important to us and not get caught up in the stress that the season can bring. I think it’s been a really good reality check for us and it has definitely made me enjoy this Christmas season much more.

I recently read this blog post from Crappy Pictures and it struck a chord with me. Being present for my kids is the best present I can give them. I love it. So, this is me unplugging for the holiday season. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I’ll talk to you again in the New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


At 5 years-old, I don’t think I’d quite call it engineering but maybe I’m wrong.

Josh wanted to build a bunk bed for Aves’ dolls. He took 2 chairs, put them upside-down and leaned them against each other. I told him he had a serious design flaw and needed some support for the middle. In true engineering fashion, he argued that his design was fine. Until this happened:
Josh agreed that we needed some support in the middle. So, I started searching around the room looking for a box or toy to shove under the middle. I looked up when Josh said, “Here Mommy, I built this to put in the middle.”. I didn't help Josh with this at all.  Remember, I was busy searching the room!  This is what Josh imagineered:

Friday, December 9, 2011

fricking pool

I almost forgot about this, so I’m posting in retrospect.

While we were in Florida, Josh was obsessed with swimming at the pool. We went everyday on Marco. When we were at the beach, Josh would eventually ask to go to the pool.

We arrived in Orlando in the early evening and, to get the kids to stretch their legs after a 4-hour car ride, we took a tour of the hotel pool (with a water slide!). Big mistake. After that, Josh’s one-track mind kept asking to go to the pool. Even while we were at the Magic Kingdom the next day, Josh continually obsessed about the pool.

Finally, I was SO exasperated by being asked to go to the pool, that I said to Josh, “We will go to the pool after dinner, Josh. Please stop asking me." and then I muttered under my breath,  "I shouldn’t have taken you to see the fricking pool last night!”. Of course, that didn’t really stop him from asking. And I was so glad when we finally went to the pool after dinner and I was spared the question for the remainder of the night.

The next morning, when Josh woke up, he came up to me and asked, “Mommy, can we go to the fricking pool today?”.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

getting schooled

Josh wanted to play "school" tonight after dinner.  So, Bri and I (and Aves) obliged.  Josh was the teacher, so he sat on the bench.  Bri, Aves and I were the students so we sat on the floor.

At one point, I contemplated "acting up", but I didn't have the heart to turn his game into a lesson when he started to really get into the teacher part.

The first thing Josh did was to greet the class with a song.  This is how the greeting song started:

good morning, good morning
from me, to you

And then, this is where we REALLY got schooled.  These were the next lyrics that Josh sang:

bonjour, bonjour
mes amis
ça va, ça va
ça va

Wow.  Who taught my kid french?!  Not only that, but he was signing the words as he sang them!  And then Bri went on to say "Did that make sense?"  Hahaha...

I was so impressed that I didn't want to ruin it by asking him if he knew what it meant.  I'll save that for another time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

j & a

I was originally going to make this the follow-up blog post to Josh’s birthday post about his past year. But then I realized that I was suppose to do a follow-up post to Aves’s birthday post in April and I never did! So now, I’m going to make this a post about both Josh & Aves and how amazing they are these days. I’m feeling bad because I have so many “wow” moments with the kids and I neglect to write them down. I know I will eventually forget them, so I’m trying to make an honest effort of recording them as they happen.

First, Aves. I can’t believe that I’ve already had one child pass the 2.5 year mark and it is still possible for me to be in awe by another one. I still recall (because I have blog posts to remind me!) that Josh was a very active 2.5-year-old. Movement and activity were an integral part of his day. With Aves, it’s all about communication. She LOVES people (wonder who she got that from?!). Not a day goes by where I don’t hear the words, “Mama, what you doing?” (I should also add that not a day goes by where I don’t hear the words “Mommy, I love you.” from BOTH Josh and Aves. Completely unsolicited. I wouldn’t trade that in! Ever.).
Whenever I leave a room, a few minutes later, I can count on Aves' cute, musical chant, “Mom-my, where are you?” repeated over and over as she searches high and low for me. A handful of times, I’ve almost tripped over her because I’m doing something and I turn around and don’t see her there under my feet as I take a step. It can be hard when I’m trying to get things done because she wants to be right there, helping me. But if I start to get impatient with her need to be attached to my hip, I take a deep breath and remind myself that she won’t be starved for this connection with me forever. I better soak it all in while I can!  And truthfully, I really do love it.
Back in July, Aves shocked us by singing her ABC’s. Nowadays, she is singing much more as well as counting to 12. Not only can she count the numbers, but when I ask her how many there is of something, she can easily count and reply. I am surprised everyday at her level of understanding, especially when her pronounciation is often incomprehensible (i.e. like a 2.5-year-old!). I guess understanding is part and parcel of being such an effective communicator! Just as an example of her level of comprehension, she struck up this conversation with me the other night at dinner:

A: Knock, knock.
Y: Who’s there?
A: Avery
Y: Avery who?
A: Avery me.

Totally NOT funny. But I was surprised that she understood the delivery of a knock, knock joke! And fwiw, she got a good laugh out of me, Bri AND Josh!

Aves is our cautious child. She seems to be afraid of everything and has not problem saying, “Mama, I’m scared.” (part of that communication thing!). I was surprised over the summer when we went to the miniature railway at Confederation Park. She was adament that she did not want to go on the train again after we went on one ride together and she hugged me the entire time with her kung-fu grip. I can’t understand the scary part of a miniature train! We are planning to go on the Stanley Park Christmas Train before Christmas this year. I wonder how that will go...

While we were at Disney World in October, my cousin, Brian, escorted us through Hollywood Studios (where he works) and organized a meet and greet for us with all the characters. It was quite surreal, actually. If you’ve been to Disney World lately, you will know how difficult it is to get a photo with one character, much less a whole crew! Josh and I were thrilled and quite overwhelmed. Aves, on the other hand, never missed a beat; she kept a close eye on all characters at all times. Check it those suspicious eyes:
Aves’ favourite things to do right now are puzzles, sticker books, drawing and dancing. Such a girl! She also loves to do anything I’m doing. So, when I’m brushing my teeth, she will bring her toothbrush, toothpaste and stool into our bathroom. When I’m washing my face and applying cream, she wants to do the same. Unfortunately, she doesn’t mimic me when I sit on the toilet and go pee (damn it!) but she will stay in the bathroom with me and strike up a conversation! She also loves to help me cook and bake. This is a new level of patience for me. I’m definitely not used to cooking and baking on someone else’s schedule. Especially with her “Aves do.” attitude! So, I try to remind myself of the joy in the “process” of doing chores with Aves. Priceless.
At 5, Josh is such work and such joy. He shocks me everyday with what he thinks and says. He learns so much at school that I just can’t believe that his young mind can absorb so much detail. As most of our friends and family know, Josh was suppose to start kindergarten in September this year. We decided to hold him back because I didn’t think that socially, Josh was ready for it. It was a tough decision we made and I think I will continue to question the decision throughout Josh’s scholastic career. But Josh is thriving in the current Montessori pre-school/kindergarten that he is attending. He seems to tell me new things everyday. Often, out of the blue, he will say things like, “Mommy, 3 plus 2 is 5.” Pretty cool.
Josh is HUGE into Lego these days. For his birthday, he got 3 different Lego sets. After he opened his presents, for the next couple of hours, he opened all the sets and assembled them all by himself, following the paper instructions. He slays any of the Lego sets for ages 5-12. And he loves it. Today, he actually said that he didn’t want to go to the Santa Claus Parade because he wanted to play with his Lego (that he had already been playing with all morning!) He can play Lego for hours on his own, building vehicles and structures, setting up a scene and then playing out the scene. It’s fascinating to watch.
And he doesn’t just make the stuff from the sets. Once he takes the sets apart, he will use his imagination and build other stuff on his own. He will even come up with his own names for the things he builds. Josh’s imagination is truly magic. He loves to draw and he will typically draw everyday vehicles and things, but then he throws in a twist somewhere that makes me think, “what on earth is that child thinking?!”. He is definitely a right brain thinker, which is foreign to me. One evening, we were all drawing around the table and I watched Josh draw on his paper. He never moved the orientation of the paper, but when I looked at what he was drawing, I saw buildings drawn right-side up and then a firetruck, truck and trailer drawn sideways. How does one draw sideways?!

Physically, we never worry about Josh thriving. While we were in Florida, he took swimming to new lengths (and heights!). I think he enjoyed the idea of swimming when there were no lessons and in bath-temperature water, too! But strangely enough, when we came home from vacation, he said he wanted to take swimming lessons again. So now, he is currently working on gliding on his back and rolling to his front and vice versa. I’m relieved that he enjoys swimming so much.
For the next set in January, he tells us he wants to do swimming AND skating. I’m tempted to appease him since he has asked to do it and seems to like both. Though today he just said to me, “Mommy, I don’t think I need skating lessons because I already know how to skate.” How does one respond?!

I think his biggest passion is still riding his bike and/or scooter. On a clear day, in the midst of this wintery weather we are having, he will still ask to go ride his bike to the skate park or the bmx park. Even on a rainy day, he will ask if we can go to the skate/bmx park if it stops raining. He wants to take every opportunity to be riding. It’s fun (and slightly heart-stopping) to watch.
Bri and I both notice that when we each have Josh or Aves on our own, they are so wonderful to be with. But when they are together, it’s a completely different story! For whatever reason, we can agree that it is more than twice the work when they are together. I guess not only do we have to deal with each child on their own, but we also have to deal with their interactions with one another. When they are good, it is lovely to watch. I can’t say that they actually play together. It’s more like they interact with each other as they are each playing with their things: Josh will help Aves if she’s having trouble with a toy; they share with each other; Aves constantly talks to Josh for reassurance that he is still there.

But. When they are bad, Mommy wants to tear her hair out. Josh can torment Aves and the sound of Aves’ whining is like nails on a chalkboard. That doesn’t mean that Aves is an angel, though. She seems to know just what to do or say to get Josh into trouble if she really wants. And then, if one of them is doing something bad, the other will laugh and egg the bad one on and it typically snowballs out of control. That is what infuriates me and nudges me over the edge!
We are finding, though, that as they get older, they seem to get along more and more each day. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have nails-on-a-chalkboard fights anymore. It just means that they spend less of their day fighting.

When we came back from Florida, we decided to move Aves into Josh’s room, so they now share a bedroom. We’ve seen good and bad sides to this. Some nights, we seem to get less sleep because they wake each other up and then both end up in our bed. But some nights we check on the kids before we go to bed and Josh has moved into Aves bed (because she has the double futon) and Bri and I wake up in the morning after a full night of sleep and no kids in our bed! Either way, I’m hoping that by sharing a room, Josh and Aves are continuing to build a bond with each other. Fingers crossed.
Lastly, the highlight of my interactions with Josh and Aves these days is the music. My kids love music and we have a blast with it.

I can’t believe how many different songs for which Aves knows the words. She will often start singing on her own as she is playing. I try to chime in sometimes and she says, “Mommy, stop it.”. Ha. Crazy kid.

Since Josh started going to school, he often comes home singing songs I don’t even recognize. When I recognize the song and he has trouble with it, I will try to help him with the words. Sometimes he accepts my help and other times he will tell me, “Mommy, those aren’t the lyrics.”. Why is a five-year-old using the word “lyrics”?!

Right now, I can tell that they are practicing for a Christmas concert because Josh comes home singing Christmas carols. His favourite is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and he especially likes the parts where they chime in with “ a light buib...” or “ baseball...”.

We always listen to music and sing along in the car. I made a CD of regular pop music with Black-Eyed Peas, Rihanna, J-Lo, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, etc., and we’ve listened to it so many times that Josh can actually sing through the transitions from one song to the next. Many evenings after dinner we’ll also put on the music and dance around the house. Pure joy, I tell you.

Aves’ current repertoire of favourite songs:
- Baby Beluga
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Rock-a-bye Baby
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- The Barney Song (I love you, you love me...)
- You are my Sunshine
- Old McDonald Had a Farm
- B-I-N-G-O
- I Got a Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)
- Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
- Marry You (Bruno Mars)

Josh tells me his favourite songs are:
- I Got a Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)
- Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
- Marry You (Bruno Mars)

But on any given day, I catch him also singing these songs that I know:
- B-I-N-G-O
- Oh Canada
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Rainbow Connection
- You are my Sunshine

So, I guess I should apologize for what is likely my longest post yet. I guess I had alot to say! Most friends and family who have seen me in the past few weeks know that I have been going through a very rough time. Indeed, it has affected our family immensely. And then, I started to notice this past week that Josh and Aves have me feeling again. I am feeling a new-found sense of joy and enthrallment when I’m with them. Whatever it is, I can’t stop smiling when I experience the amazing things that they do or say. My kids are helping me to heal. As such, they have brought out this blog post in me. I’m learning to love my life again. This is largely due to Josh and Aves, and, of course, Bri. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for showing me unwavering and unconditional love. Ma t’aime.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

hip hop

I can safely say that I’m the worst hip hop dancer that I’ve ever seen.  I had my first dance lesson tonight. What a blast. Seriously. 

Because I joined mid-way through the season, there wasn’t much in the way of introduction. We just went straight into learning the dance moves. There were 3 of us in the class - perfect size for learning.  The song our instructor, Stu, chose for tonight’s lesson was slower, and I think that was suppose to benefit me. But not being able to move my body in a certain way to a slower song just means that it’s more noticeable that I can’t move my body in that way!

In the warm-up it was clear that I was going to struggle. I’m too...straight and stiff. Give me a break! I’m a figure skater. We’re all about good posture and square shoulders. This is totally opposite to the core of hip hop dancing.

The warm-up started with moving our head and neck, followed by shoulders and body and, finally, feet. I could not get the neck movement. How does one isolate their neck like that? Stu moves his neck like he doesn't have a head or shoulders! I can’t move my neck without moving my head or shoulders first! Definitely need alot of work in that area.

In total, I think we learned moves for about 5 counts of 8. Not much at all - but SO much work! Stu said there are 3 core things to learn when learning to dance: 1. timing, 2. choreography, and 3. style. I can do 1 and 2, but 3 is a bitch. At one point, I thought that I was doing all the same “steps” as Stu, but his version looked SO different than mine! That was all in the style. He moves like a hip hop dancer. I move like a figure skater trying to do hip hop! It ends up looking quite disastrous.

But man, did I ever have fun. By the end of the lesson, I could do the steps just by listening to the music. I was feeling it. That was awesome. With more lessons and a whole lot of practice, I hope to eventually get the style. Just don’t be surprised if you see me walking around trying to move my neck as if it's a completely separate entity from the rest of my body!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

first snow

I love the thrill and excitement that the first snowfall of the season brings. In Vancouver, it's usually not this early, but it's exciting nonetheless (even if it comes right before bedtime!).


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It's hard for me to believe he's 5 already. Happy 5th Birthday, Joshie! We love, love, love you. Stay tuned for more photos and words after his party...

Monday, November 14, 2011

what the doc ordered

Thanks Shabana, Brent & Jinja.  I love you guys.  Words cannot describe...

apple in the big apple(click apple to see more photos)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

wicked... wicked.  It is the best Broadway musical I've seen since Les Miz.  It was FABULOUS!

DD and I decided to see if we could get tix yesterday.  We headed to the Gershwin Theatre at Broadway and 51st Street around noontime.  The host, Gregory, told us to come back at 4:30pm to line up for cancellation tix for the 8pm show.  Little did we know that we would be lining up from 4:30pm right until 8pm!  3 and a 1/2 hours!

When we arrived at 4:30, we settled into the line up amongst 2 ladies who were in the Air Force and 4 college girls who were in the Navy (probably due to Veteran's Day weekend).  Our plan was to get our tix, go back to Shab's, drop off our shopping loot, go have dinner and then watch the show!  Little did we know, right?!

After about half an hour, I decided it was pointless for both of us to go back to Brooklyn and then back to the city (especially since I JUST lost my Metro card.  Ugh.), so I said I would drop off all our shopping loot and then come back.  DD agreed.  Luckily, when I went back, I grabbed a couple of apples for us!

When I got back after 6pm, DD was STILL in line.  We were about 10th in line at that point - and there were about 6 people that had already gotten tix.  For the next 2 hours, we stood there waiting for the box office to open and for them to call us over.  At 7:40, they opened the box office for the second time since we got in line at 4:30 (reminder: the show started at 8).  They called people over sporadically.

At 7:50, it looked bleak.  The 4 college girls just got their tix and the 2 Air Force ladies were still ahead of us.  Finally, at 7:55, they called over the Air Force ladies, then us right after.  OMG - we got in!  And the couple behind us in line got the LAST 2 TIX!  I'm not kidding when I say we took our seats, the couple in line behind us took the seats beside us and as we all set our butts down, the curtain went up!  It was THAT close.

Our seats were in row G.  Literally, 7 rows back from the stage.  It was amazing!  And the show was much more fantastic than I ever imagined.  It was such a wonderfully creative story and the music and singing was phenomenal!  I now only wish I could have seen the original Broadway production with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth.  Very well done.  I'm so glad that we went.  We ended up eating dinner last night at 11pm (lucky we had those apples!).  But it was worth the wait.  And it was worth it to get to go with my sis, too.  That was the icing on the cake.  Thanks, DD!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

me, here

True, I'm lost these days. But somehow, I know I'm still here...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

apple care

I am always impressed when I have to go to the Apple Store to have something fixed under warranty (i.e. I don't have to spend moola!).

My earbud busted this morning. I went to the Apple Store to get it fixed. This is the second time I've gone because of a busted earbud. This is the second time that I had someone look at it in under 10 minutes, ask me what was wrong and hand me a new pair of earbuds.

No hassles. So impressed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

i'm not scared

This was Josh's mantra as we headed out trick or treating tonight.  Each time we headed up the steps of a house that appeared remotely scary, he would start repeating it.  It was great!

I was impressed.  I held down the fort last year while Bri took the kids trick or treating with friends.  So, I haven't seem Josh in his trick or treating finest for a couple of years.  He seemed to have the drill down pat and quite enjoyed himself, practically running from house to house.

There was only one house that was eerily transformed, complete with music and fireworks, that Josh refused to go to. Afterwards, he started asking questions about why the house was so scary and why Hallowe'en is suppose to be scary.  I couldn't really come up with the quick answer!

I also noticed that Josh was taking in all the sights as we walked from house to house, often commenting on other costumes he saw ("Mommy, did you see that banana?!").  That was the "treat" for me.

Aves was a treat to watch, too.  It seems to be much different for the second child.  I recall Josh at Aves' age was still figuring out the trick or treat thing with his cousins.  But Aves was right into it, as long as Bri carried her to the door!  She kept saying she was scared as we approached each house, but once Bri put her on the doorstep beside Josh, she had no problems holding out her treat basket and saying trick or treat!  Very cute.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

pumpkin patch and mud pies

For whatever reason, we never seem to make it to the pumpkin patch each fall.  But this year, Josh's school organized an outing to the pumpkin patch and today was the day.  Unfortunately, Josh has had a bit of a fever and Aves is coming down with a cold, but that didn't stop then from wanting to go!

As far as first outings go, the day was a moderate success.  It was overcast and drizzly, after a couple of days of sun (sigh!), but we dressed appropriately and went on our way.  There was a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch - Aves said she was scared, but we managed to coax her on.

Josh was quite excited to see all the pumpkins.  He asked tons of questions about why it was so muddy and where was the grass and why were there broken pumpkins and where was the corn and why couldn't we eat the corn.  I honestly love all the questions these days!

But when it came down to picking pumpkins, Josh and Aves just pointed.  That's right, pointed.  Because, apparently, the pumpkins were too muddy to touch!  Sigh again.  In the end, J&A pointed at one big pumpkin for me and Bri, and 3 little pumpkins for Josh, Aves and Miss Tess.  Not bad pointing.

After pointing at pumpkins, we took a wagon ride back to the main area and when we came off the wagon, we were able to help ourselves to some of the apples that, I assume, came from their orchard.  I assume this because they were the most delicious, crisp, fresh apples.  Yum!

All and all, it was a fun trip to the pumpkin patch.  Despite the mud, cold and drizzle, Josh and Aves said they had fun.  Though, I will definitely make a mental note that we have to make mud pies with the kids sometime in the near future!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Oh to be young and full of crazy...


We just came back from our Florida vacation at the beginning of October.  I have a plethora of photos to sort through.  As I go through all the photos and (hopefully) stick a bunch online somewhere in the near future, I wanted to post a photo of Marco Island as we saw it every day from our balcony.

Everytime I go back, I'm reminded of the contrast of high rises with natural dunes and serene beaches.  Something about it soothes me...


In the world of parenting, it can be quite a controversial issue whether to let our children sleep in our bed with us or not.  I'm not talking about co-sleeping with a newborn.  I'm talking about the 2 1/2 year old or the 5 year old that crawls into bed with us.

I think, ideally, we envision that our kids will sleep in their own beds.  If we "train" them as babies to sleep independently, they will continue to sleep independently as they grow up.  As many parents know, that is not often the case.

Josh started coming back in our bed when he moved from his crib into a "regular" bed.  It took about a month for him to realize that he could come out of the bed on his own, but once he figured it out, he started coming down into our bed in the middle of the night.  Almost 2 years later, he still comes into our bed most nights.

It was a controversial issue with us because we were still stuck on the ideality.  But my reality was that I loved that Josh came into our bed.  I loved that he snuggled with me.  Some mornings, I would wake up and his leg would be draped over my leg.  Sometimes, he would be holding my hand.  I loved that he wanted to make that physical contact to be close to me.  And ultimately, I know it won't last forever, so I want to embrace it.  We even upgraded from a queen bed to a king bed so we could accommodate him!

Lately, Aves has been hard to get to bed.  She cries and cries.  More recently, she starts crying as soon as we start the bedtime routine!  She just does not want to go to bed.  She is still in a crib, so once she's in it, she's stuck.  A few weeks ago, she started saying, "Aves sleep Mommy's bed".  It broke my heart.  Kids just seem to know that they need that closeness to their parents.

Since we've come back from vacation, Aves has been impossible to get to bed.  So last night, partially because I caved to her needs and partially because I caved to my needs, I let Aves sleep in our bed.  She didn't even need anyone there when she fell asleep.  I think just the idea that we would be there later was good enough for her.

Shortly after midnight, Josh came crying downstairs (probably nightmare-induced?).  When he crawled into bed, I told him that Aves was there too and he said, "Hi Aves", seeming genuinely happy that she was there, too.  The 4 of us slept in that one bed last night for the first time and for me, it was glorious.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

red is my favourite colour

On our drive today:

Y: Look at all the trees!  They're so red!
J: Red is my favourite colour.
Y (knowing her fav colour is red as well): I love that your favourite colour is red.
J: Actually, I love all the colours of the trees.  They are so bee-yoo-tee-full!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

40 (how long...)

…oopsy - everytime I think of 40, I think of U2.  But that's not what this post is about!

If I could sum up my 40th year in one word, it would be: wow.  I never, in a million years, would have guessed it would turn out like this.

It's been one heck of a ride up until now. Partly, I'm referring to the past 40 years, but mostly, I'm referring to the last year.  It has definitely been an emotional, soul-searching year for me.

Physically, I'm feeling fabulous.  I made a decision a little over a year ago that it was time for me to stop living in the shadow of post-pregnancy and motherhood and start getting myself back to the physical health that I was craving.  It's taken a year, but I'm finally seeing fragments of my former self.  I even mustered up the courage to sport a bikini again on our recent trip to Florida.

I'm also enjoying physical activity again and have made efforts to watch what and how much I eat.  As a result, I am enjoying food again, too.  I am feeling healthy, energetic and quelque joie de vivre.  It's been good.

Spiritually, I don't think I have changed all that much.  Though I have had many occasions to contemplate spirituality this past year, I don't think my spiritual beliefs have been affected.  Having said that, my current belief may be that I'm unsure about my spirituality.  But I'm as unsure now as I have been anytime in the past, so that's okay by me! 

The biggest change I've seen in my spirituality is that death has caused me to contemplate mortality many times this past year.  However, the pangs that I have suffered from this contemplation has manifested itself more emotionally than spiritually.

So, I guess I could say I have struggled the most emotionally this past year leading up to my 40th birthday.  If I can sum up my emotional turmoil in one paragraph, it would be this:

I have a pretty fucking fabulous life.  I have 2 wonderful children whom I absolutely adore.  Josh and Aves bring constant joy and love to my life daily.  I have a husband who is second to none.  Bri loves me and supports me in every way.  Sure, our family has it's ups and downs.  Our kids are 2 1/2 and 5.  It's a crazy, insane time in our lives.  But I think as far as family units go, I'm pretty damn lucky to have this one.  We are great together.  So.  How can it possibly be that I am so selfish and ungrateful that I could even contemplate not being happy in my life?!

There.  I said it.  I have spent the months leading up to my 40th birthday struggling with whether I am happy in this life I have carved for myself.  It's an honesty that I've had much trouble admitting to myself, much less blogging about it.  But I guess nothing is true until you read it on Facebook, right?!

People I have shared this with have thrown out the term 'mid-life crisis' at me.  I don't necessarily disagree with them.  I've often wondered if I went out and bought a fast, brightly-coloured car, whether I'd feel happier.  Haha.

Joking aside, this is the reality for me as I turn 40.  I am constantly questioning every decision I make and whether it leads to happiness.  I have had many personal and professional ups and downs this year because of it.  I swear people think I'm crazy.  Sometimes I feel like I am indeed going crazy.

An old friend of mine paraphrased from a book he read - the author said, like me, she had questioned whether she was living the "right" life.  What she discovered was that when she finally stopped questioning whether it was the "right" life and just accepted that this was her life and that she should just live it because it was the life she was meant to have, only then did things fall into place.  I get it, but it is a difficult concept to put to practice.  How do I stay true to myself and those around me if I don't question things?  Being true to oneself can be a difficult and painful process. 

So, in these days and weeks surrounding my 40th birthday, I am still working to find that balance that keeps me and those around me sane.  The concept of "me time" has eluded me up to now and I'm working on "me time" that rejuvenates my soul.  Our Vegas trip was a perfect example of quality "me time".  Now I have to work that into my day to day life in a meaningful way.

I am still learning to listening to my gut instead of questioning everything.  Which can be good and bad.  Lately, I can safely assume there has been more bad than good, but I'm hoping in my heart that this can be the start of something better.

It's ironic that the turbulence I've felt this past year can best be summed up by a quote that I read on a friend's blog after a recent passing.  The quote is from the brilliant Steve Jobs.  Read it.  And then read it again:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."

Yes, it's been THAT kind of year.  40.  Wow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

no nap

Every parent knows that a child's naptime is glorious downtime.  So, when I wake up in the morning and I am already exhausted, I know that I just have to make it to naptime.  I typically use naptime to either get stuff done or recharge my batteries.

Today was the first day both our kids did not have a nap.  Needless to say, I am exhausted.  Aves is pretty exhausted too.  She is giddy and bumping into stuff.  It's pretty cute, actually.

Aves has been saying "no nap" for the last couple of weeks but we've still been able to get her down.  Today, she absolutely refused.  I lay in her room with her for 1.5 hours but to no avail.  How is it that a 2.5-year-old does not nap?!  Josh JUST stopped napping about a month ago.  He's almost 5!  And even then, he still passes out from exhaustion occasionally.

I know that kids don't nap forever, but they have been insofar as my parenting lifetime.  And it seems like 2.5 years is so young to not nap!  I know Aves will likely still have naps here and there, but since she's been fighting it for the past couple of weeks, I feel like this is the beginning of the end.  So, we will try to gracefully transition into the next chapter in this book of parenting - adapting to life with no naps.  Sigh...

P.S.  The silver lining in all of this, of course, is that Aves did not complain at all when it was FINALLY bedtime!