Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Simple Things - May 29th

Love that you two are such good friends. Mason, you are so kind and loving to your sister... Madelyn, you couldn't have done any better than having Mason for a big brother.

Linking up with Rebecca Coopers Simple Things - for information please follow link below.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Did it Really Happen?

Something very unusual happened here at dinner tonight.

Tonight I made chicken souvlaki pitas. [They were delish] They are not something that I commonly make either. You know how you tend to have the same meals over and over and over... It's not bad. It's just a little bit predictable. And let's face it, when there are meal plans and kids involved, I tend to go with what I know. Well, this past weekend, I was browsing through flyers [I'm the one person who LOVES to get my stack of flyers in the mail... I will actually call Flyer Force, when they don't turn up] I saw an ad and picture for Chicken Souvlaki. So it was no surprise that this weeks meal plan included Chicken Souvlaki. Barry barbecued the chicken [which came pre-marinated] I cut up cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and romaine lettuce. I cut pita's in half, and had tzatziki sauce. I then called the kids to the table, this is where it got a bit unusual.

Instead of Madelyn having her usual pre-dinner tantrum. She came to the table and sat down. [Like, she did what she was told here, people] Then, a series of unusual things happened... First off, she didn't come to the table and say "That looks weird", about any of the food she saw. [A common, if not daily, occurrence] Then, she told me she wanted to try a tomato, which she took a bite out of and exclaimed "This is good!" She then reached for a pita, and began to fill it with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes... [Can you see how I was feeling a bit apprehensive and out of my element with all this?] She then said she thought she needed some 'sauce'. So, she was given a bit of tzatziki on her plate. She dipped and tasted and made some 'eating actions' [much like I suspect someone with an eating disorder would] Not that I think Madelyn has an eating disorder.... yet. [I suspect that someone with an unhealthy relationship with food, talks a lot about food, oohs and ahhs over things on their plate, but moves the food around a lot, puts it down, picks it up, brings it to their mouth, possibly deciding at the very last minute, wait, I think I'm thirsty. Only to put the food back down and take a drink.] But what do I know? I certainly do NOT have an unhealthy relationship with food, if I see it, I eat it.

I guess what was rather Twilight Zone-ish about tonight, was Miss Maddy took food she wasn't familiar with [pitas] and made no comment what so ever about them. She then filled them with 2 foods she's not normally drawn to, romaine lettuce and tomatoes. She tried both of them within the pita AND a new sauce to boot... She took a few nibbles. She took a few licks. Did she eat it? Of course not. But this is a huge step for our household.

If we could get her to come to the table without a fuss. If I could get her to sit at her spot, without her blurting out "This smells disgusting". If I could get her to taste something she doesn't normally eat [even just licking something] every single meal... Our whole world would change...

This is one small step for Madelyn, and one giant leap for her Mother...

Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lucky Long Weekend

Talk about lucky... I know, right? Us! Lucky on the long weekend! The original forecast called for our Victoria day long weekend was rain, all weekend long. But Friday was nice, Saturday was nice, even Sunday, though a bit cloudy, was nice. The rain started to fall gently yesterday [and rumor has it, it's going to stick around for the rest of the week] But we had a great long weekend! And suddenly everywhere you look the grass is green, leaves are emerging, flowers [tulips and daffodils] are beginning to bloom. Guess what else is in full bloom... You guessed it, these little gems:

I just hate dandelions... I mean they're lovely and yellow, and cheery... But to drive anywhere in our city, and see them growing out of control, is kind of... Well, for lack of a better word, white-trash-ish. You know what I'm saying? And then when they go to seed, it's even worse. I have to say, they're out of control around here and it makes me kind of sad. But my kids have always brought me these little bouquets, and they're so pleased with themselves at doing so. As soon as they bloom, I am guaranteed to get a bouquet every few days. [I'm entering this picture in this weeks Texture Tuesday. The texture used in this photo is yesteryear, check out the link below]


Because our spring is so late this year, our fruit flowering trees [crab apples and ornamental trees] haven't bloomed yet. Our neighboring yard has a Mayday tree, which will hopefully bloom soon. I'm already imagining the intoxicating smell it will bring. I can't wait! I just love spring. Now with a gentle rain falling, and everything getting the water it needs, we just need a little bit of sun, and the city will be in full bloom. It's so pretty, that we can almost forget winter....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Windy...Oh so Windy

Spring has arrived, I think. I'm not kidding. After enduring our winter, month after month of snow and cold, we're all too happy to see it arrive. The reason I say I think it's arrived, is because of one thing. The wind. We had 2 days last week, two glorious sunny, wind-free days, that had us all smiling at one another, saying things like "at last", "it's about time" and "finally." Last week, as I stood on the golf course, around the 14th hole the wind started to blow. And by blow, I don't mean a nice gentle breeze. No, I mean the wind began to howl. Every living thing took cover. Flags are ripp'in in the wind. Dust is flying in the wind. Debris is everywhere. We have shingles from our roof in our backyard. [As well as a piece of fascia.... Believe me, that's not something you're too pleased to find]

I am SICK AND TIRED of my wind chimes, that usually leave me with such peaceful feeling. [I imagine my neighbors too, are tired of my wind chimes] It's been windy in the morning. It's been windy all day. It's been windy all night. Oh. My. Word. The wind... In the winter, they give us a temperature, for example, -17° and then they say, "with the windchill, that makes it -25° outside, so bundle up..." But now, with these dreadful winds, not a single word about windchill... [And if it was a wind from the Caribbean, perhaps it would be nice, but no... It feels like it's right out of the arctic]

Last week, we took a walk up to Nose Hill. [Bundle up, we did indeed] This year, our spring is late. While I was driving up 14th Street last week, I spied them. Crocuses... One of the first flowers of spring. They're so lovely, and so fleeting. They don't last very long, so I knew if I wanted to capture them, we'd have to bite the bullet and go. Here's a few pictures of them, and believe it or not, even with the wind, I got a few decent shots.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

11 on the 11th of May 2011...[with a twist]

Remember there was some talk awhile back, about 2011 being the year of me? I can't remember if I blogged about that or not, but it seems to me I did. One of the things I wanted to do this year for me, was join a ladies golf league. Well guess what, mission accomplished. Last night was my first night out and I didn't even embarrass myself [well not too much any way] That being said, today I'm exhausted... It was a bit overwhelming to jump right into 18 holes of golf AND walk the course... Today I'm feeling it. Every muscle on me is tender, even pouring coffee this morning hurt a little tiny bit. A little out of shape? Well that's a given, consider I do next to NOTHING in the way of exercise [Have I mentioned how grateful I am to live in a 2 story house? That's my form of exercise people] So today, I am tired. When I realized it was the 11th of May, I just knew I didn't have it in me to do my usual 11 on the 11th. So I changed it up. This month, in honour of Madelyn's 6th birthday, I asked her 11 questions, and here were her responses:

1. If you could have any Super power, what would it be? Flying
2. What's your favourite song? Dynamite -by Taio Cruz
3. How do you get to school? the car
4. What your favourite lunch? Muffin Tin Lunch
5. Where do you want to go on vacation? Arizona
6. What's your favourite fruit? Watermelon and strawberries
7. What's your favourite TV show? Toopy and Binoo
8. What's your favourite day of the week? Monday
9. Name two things you can't live without: Giraffee and my new dancing dog
10. What's the best age to be and why? 6. You can do different stuff and you can do more big kids stuff, because you're getting older.
11. What do you and your brother fight about? Playing on the Wii

Monday, May 9, 2011

Favourite April Photos

I got this collage ready, and then forgot to post it. Here are my favourite April photos:

1. Madelyn and her Chip 'n Dale Silly Bandz. 2. Ladybug Mason, always so quick to smile for Mum. 3. Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake, Mmmmmm..... 4. Happy Birthday to me, my new Jo Totes camera bag. 5. The middle of April... When is enough, enough? 6. Earth Day cookies. 7. Reading together at Grandma's. 8. Mason's Easter Egg. 9. A walk to the park together. 10. Trying out her new Silly Straw. 11. Bunting for birthday cake. 12. Reading on the couch.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Thoughts

A Few Random Things I've Learned about Being a Mother

1. Once you have children, it feels as though the earth suddenly begins to spin faster. Days, weeks and months melt into one another, and all of a sudden, you're looking at your kids baby pictures in tears.

2. In the middle of the night, you hear your child cough, that cough, [the one they do RIGHT BEFORE THEY BARF] and a chill goes up and down your spine, because you KNOW you won't make it to their room on time.

3. A silent house, really is bliss. [And you apologize to your own mother for umpteen years of eye rolls when she came home from work and turned the stereo off]

4. All you want to do, is make everything okay. Forever. You don't ever want your kids to get their feelings hurt, or hearts broken. [And again, you realize how much your Mother loved you through those 'heart break' years]

5. When you first had kids, you assumed it would be easy... You watched others with kids, and you were judgmental. Now with a number of years as a Mum under my belt, I can't believe how hard this job is, and I will often resort to anything that will help me out, including bribery.

6. ALWAYS expect the worst case scenario. [And if they don't puke on the plane, it's a bonus] But always assume they will. [Mason rarely disappoints us in this aspect, no matter how much Gravol he's had, or how close to landing we are...]

7. Kids have this amazing ability to forget the argument we had as we left the house, and come home with open arms and kisses. It's important for me to not hold a grudge. When I asked Madelyn this weekend what she'd change about me if she could, she looked up at me honestly and said "Nothing Mummy"

8. I think it's really important to say positive things, and point out great qualities in my kids when I'm talking about them, but not to them. I know they can hear me, and I hope they know that I totally think they rock. [I admit I fall a bit short on this with Miss Maddy... She could use a bit more encouragement I'm sure]

9. Getting pictures and notes that say I Love You, never gets old.

10. The best times we have, are in the ordinary moments of day to day. Most of the time we're too busy thinking ahead about the groceries we need, or laundry that needs to be done. An over due trip to Costco, or next weeks meal plan. We keep waiting for 'the right moment' when the right moment is right now. Being a Mum has made me realize that my kids love spending time with me, doing nothing. Or playing a game, or reading a book. [I don't get down on the floor and play with toys] But baking cookies, or teaching Mason how to peel carrots, those are the special ordinary times that I think mean a lot to us, without even realizing that they do. How magical is that?

Those are my thoughts on Motherhood. To my Mum, thank you for being the best Mum to me and Chris. For teaching me, how to be a good Mum to my kids, by example.

We had a fun photo shoot tonight. I've never taken pictures specifically on Mother's Day before. We used the remote and had fun. On the right hand side, Madelyn got a hold of the remote, and started snapping pictures like crazy. It was fun. These are the silly times where memories are made.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Birthday for a Six Year Old

I had Madelyn's birthday party this week. Last year I had her party at the local art centre. It was great, and my first experience [with her] of having a party out of the house. The end result? LOVED IT. So this year, I was prepared to have an out of the house party once again. We had planned to have her birthday at the Gymnastic Club. Or should I say I planned on having her birthday at the gymnastic club. Apparently she wanted her birthday at home. So... after much deliberation, and lots of internet party surfing, we settled on a Pancakes and Pajama's Birthday theme. [The reasoning was simple she loves pancakes and pajama's!]

Here is the invite:

I love the color scheme. Since there was a few boys attending, I had to add a splash of 'boy color' So orange, pink and turquoise were the winners.

And yes, it was a lot of work. I worked on some of this stuff for at least a month before hand, but the end result... It looked amazing. I was very happy with the outcome. Did Madelyn notice? Of course not. But one day, in a galaxy far, far away.... Just kidding. One day she'll look back at these pictures and know just exactly how much she is loved. [Like maybe when she's 16, or is that wishful thinking?]

And thank goodness for the good ole dollar store, where oh-so many things were purchased. Tissue paper, table clothes, crepe paper, disposable plates, cutlery and napkins.

I set up a station where the kids could make their own fruit loop necklaces. It was a huge hit, and it kept the kids attention for longer than I expected. I made my own banners, which are all the rage right now. My sewing machine and I seem to be on friendly terms lately. As long as I'm doing the zig zag stitch, that is. Love the little mini banner on the cake!
The pancakes were a huge success. For toppings there were blueberries, strawberries and chocolate chips. And for ANYONE that knows my daughter, she was the last one to leave the table after several helpings. It was one of those, you have to see it, to believe it things...
We decorated sleep shirts with fabric paints. I think the kids all really enjoyed doing that, though it took a little longer than I'd anticipated. We played Pin the Butter on the Pancakes.

We had birthday cake and quickly busted open the pinata [I made it and forgot to get a proper picture of it, darn it] And tore through presents. We actually ran out of time! I had 2 more games to play and a book to read! Oh well, I'll save those ideas for next year.

I was thrilled to do nothing but sit on the couch last night, grateful that it was over. I had once thought party planning would be kind of neat business to get into. But after my own party is over [where I like the people I'm planning the party for] I can't imagine stressing myself out over other people's parties... The thought of having someone come in and set up... Wouldn't that be awesome? Oh... Who am I kidding. I could never give up control like that... ;-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Texture Tuesday - May 3rd

I SO look forward to my cup of coffee in the morning. I've tried to give it up on a number of occasions, and I just can't. That being said, the only thing that's better than the aroma and the first steaming hot cup of joe, is setting up a photo shoot with it... A super fun challenge this week.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Birthday Girl

This little girl turned 6 today.

It seems impossible. Yet it's true. The years just fly by... I know everyone says it. I just can't believe how true it is. One minute they're a little baby, and the next they're nearly finished Kindergarten...

She got her hair done fancy [at her request] and wanted to wear a new dress. Things went smoothly until I picked her up from Kindergarten.

Me: "Hi Birthday girl! How was your day?"
Her: "For a happy birthday, there wasn't anything happy about it..." [Yes. She can be a bit of a diva] I don't know what happened for sure, but I think there was a little too much attention paid to her in class.

We tried our best, to shake that mood off and in the end, by the time we got to gymnastics, the snit was over. [thank goodness] Her coach told her that in the fall, she was old enough to come to the evening gymnastic class and that she could start earning badges, adding the deal sealer she'd be with the 'big girls'. As we left the gym, she said "Maybe my birthday won't turn out so bad after all".

This evening, we took the kids for dinner. The restaurant was her choice, since she was the birthday girl. Barry and I tried to give some suggestions, and suddenly Mason blurted out from the back seat "Don't listen to them Madelyn, or we'll end up going somewhere Mum & Dad want to go..." Which might have been a teeny tiny bit true. We were just trying to gently use the power of suggestion a bit. Didn't work. We had birthday dinner at Denny's, and the kids were as happy as happy could be.

Happy 6th Birthday sweet little girl. You keep me on my toes, and have me wondering what each day will bring. I love you to the moon and back, a million and a million, and a million...