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.