Monday, 11 May 2015

The Big, Bad Wolf and his Strider Bike.

Auntie Steph and Uncle Sean sent Jack an awesome bike in the mail. It's called a Strider Sport balance bike, and we couldn't be more excited. Up until now, Jacks "bike rides" consisted of him leisurely resting on a tricycle and being pushed around. And occasionally peddling. Now this guy is getting geared up for a really fun ride. 

The concept of these bikes is pretty interesting. It promotes learning to balance on two wheels, before working on the peddling part. They begin by being seated and walking along with their feet, then as they gain confidence they do little pushes and glide with two feet held up or rested on the foot bars. From there, anything is possible! 

This morning we played in the driveway and just focused on a pretend play that involved his bike. Every kid learns differently, and this boy is like his Momma in a lot of ways. Easily frustrated. But motivated! Just ask Scott who taught me how to drive standard. 23 year old me pounded the steering wheel, cried many times and once actually got out of the car slamming the door behind me to pout. But I persevered, and with a patient teacher I rocked that car for 6 years loving every gear-shifting moment.  

Like me and the Fit, Jack tried it for two minutes the day it arrived and determined it was ridiculous for any more efforts on his part. Whomp-whomp. Despite my best intentions, he refused even further when I tried to sell him on the idea to keep trying.  However, we've returned to it in several short practice sessions. We also watched YouTube videos of other kids riding it in little organized races Strider puts on in the USA, and kids at skate parks. Encouraged, he dawned his Wolf outfit and we recreated the Big Bad Wolf story with one improvement - Wolf has got a sweet ride. Instead of chasing the pigs, he hopped on his bike! Distracted by the thrill of chasing Mommy (aka dramatic screaming and slow running pig) and he's already comfortable getting on and off, and mastered the steering to follow our chalk road. 

Scott and I have spent the last week doing lots of spring cleanup jobs, one being a backyard cleanup. Turns Out that under all those leaves was a perfect dirt bike park!

Stay tuned as our Big Bad Wolf works on his riding!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Oaklawn Farm Zoo Opening Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we have had! We partied in the city yesterday at the Pitmans, then today we got to make Jacks dream come true and finally go back to the zoo! 

We have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the snow to melt, and he tells anyone who will listen that he would be going to the zoo soon. Or he was sad that the zoo wasn't open. Or when he went to the zoo he would see ____________. Telling him this morning we were finally heading to the zoo it was a magical moment. 

Of course all of us are battling colds, but getting outside in the fresh air was amazingly good. 

And of course the zoo never disappoints! There were all our favourite friends we have been reading about in our zoo book. Jack was over the moon excited to see them, then ready to move onto the next animals right away. 

He also was able to cash in a sticker chart reward from almost a month ago and picked out a white stuffed tiger. Oh joy oh bliss, he named it Chance after the American bulldog in Homeward Bound. 

Phoebe was mildly interested in the cages as we passed by, but definitely enjoyed the ride over bumpy grass. She perked up at the sight of the deer and really enjoyed watching Jack feed them. 

We also tried something new - a pony ride! Jack was very brave and silently rode along on his pony holding on to the saddle. He loved the idea of being a cowboy, and the ride didn't disappoint. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Miners Marsh Spring Walk

Well it was a quick walk. But beautiful!

Earlier in the week we came by hopeful for a clear path, but ten feet from the parking lot it was all snow covered. Today we thought it would obviously be free from snow - and in a way it totally was. Beautiful warm sunshine, but a lot of water haha!

Luckily the kids weren't disapointed at all. Throwing rocks and sticks off the bridge is kind of the main attraction for Jack, and Phoebe loved getting out of the stroller to watch the river and explore nature at her finger tips!

We excitedly watched a couple "icebergs" the size of a sofa really zip by quickly! 

I cannot stress just how ready we are for spring to arrive here and say goodbye to the snow. Scott and I are eagerly planning some small home renos, garden projects and cannot wait to jump on them. Browsing Pinterest and making plans is only so fun, we're ready to take action! 

Such a busy afternoon, first we all need a little rest!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Spring has Sprung. Ish.

Honestly even as I write, I cringe because I believe somewhere around the corner could be another snowstorm. But for the moment in going to just enjoy the weather and be pleased we all left the house today without coats (of course we hoped to find a non-snow covered trail - no such luck!) and it was a beautiful thing not wresting these two into mittens hats coats and boots. 

With everyone in the family also just getting over colds, it's been so wonderful to have the windows open, airing out the house. Smells like spring and I love it!
Jack and I played all morning outside while Phoebe had a fabulous nap. She has been anything but predictable, so a morning of just Jack while she napped was so fun for me and him. 

I'm so desperate for Spring I actually shovelled off our garden yesterday (wearing a tshirt - so odd!) to help melt the snow bank. My efforts were not in vain and I was handsomely rewarded today!

The bulbs Jack and I planted in the gallate sprouting, and we even were graced with a blossom! The burst of sunshine was exactly what they needed - I completely know how they feel!

Jack and I have made a long list of spring activities we cannot wait to get to. Also so fun ideas for the back yard. Of course... Still about a foot a snow to go until it's fit for playing! Yikes!

Thursday, 12 March 2015


I have to be honest with you - my lack of understanding about the human anatomy is appalling. Gallbladder? It's a.... A thing that... Has to do with my bladder?! That was my exact thought in the doctors office when it came up. (To be fair, when I tell people I have gallbladder problems it's a 50/50 split of reactions. They either know someone who has had theirs out OR they have no idea what a gallbladder is, so I feel a little less bad about it.) After months of diagnosing, this is what we had landed on. My doctor sketching me a small and strange diagram or what a gallbladder does using a collection of small sticky notes.  It had taken a pretty serious trip to the ER with me gasping for air, bawling my eyes out and clawing at my rib age like something was eating me alive. Of course this wasn't the first time I had experienced this pain, but after almost 9 hours of writhing around it hadn't stopped. Yeash. I wish we had gotten to gallbladder sooner than that. 

I should back up and say that this all came about when I was pregnant with Phoebe. I remember very clearly telling my previous family doctor about a pain I was experiencing and his exact words were "that's pregnancy" which he repeated each time to me I brought up this pain. He had me doubting myself, especially since I had already had a very easy pregnancy with Jack. Ladies, I assure you pregnancy doesn't include radiating pain that is in your upper right abdomen. By the end of my pregnancy the pain would come on so strong I was convinced (twice) it was either labour or serious complications. That's just how it goes, pregnancy is a wonderful and mysterious condition and it is easy for other things to go amiss. I can't blame anyone because multiple nurses and doctors heard my account of what it felt like and no one once mentioned gallbladder. As I said "that's pregnancy" was generally the conclusion.  Even after having her, "that's postpartum" was the diagnosis. 

Anyway, a miserable 8 months after Phoebe was born my gallbladder finally has gotten the boot. Amazingly I lucked into a last minute surgery spot and we pulled together quick to have everything as ready as possible for Mommy to be out of commission. 

My little happy visitor!

It's a funny thing being a Mom. In many ways, I began to believe I was invincible.  Surviving on minutes of sleep, meals that were half eaten as I scrambled to do a million other things and juggling errands, appointments and schedules like I was a PA for some high power executive. Even as my health seriously dipped and I was struggling to get "safe" food into me, most of the time I felt pretty good overall. Kids that are happy, husband who loves me and bent over backwards to do everything for us. Surviving two pregnancies and births, I felt like a "minor surgery" would be a cake walk. I even piled some things in my dresser to "keep busy" while I was recovering. That's how delusional I was about how this would go down. 

This is not a cake walk. I would also like to have them revise the term "minor surgery" to something less misleading. Minor to the medical community - yes! Day surgery they say, and in reality two hours after I was awake I was heading home. So yes, it is minor. Except to the person who had it done and their family lol. Ugh, I am a busybody. I suppose in a way I am a control freak, because I find it very hard to step back and not do my mom job. But more than anything, stopping my life to recover is hard. And it's only been 5 days. The progress I have made in 5 days is huge - I can get up, walk around, eat, and smile. I am so thankful. 

Snuggle friend. Pets are the best 😊

But it really is a fast reminder to cherish my health - because we are so fragile. As I sit awake since 4am in complete silence (the absence of fussing kids at night is odd. I am only ever awake to the sound of distress lol) waiting for the discomfort to pass enough so I can sleep again, I think about how hard it must be for so many people who struggle with pain and poor health every moment of every day. You people are just amazing. Your ability to smile when you feel this way, to carry on like the rest, just shocks me. I do not possess that kind of grace. You. Are. Awesome. 

I am so thankful for the great fortune to be able to have surgery. My health, finances, and family situation all came out unscathed. I waited yes, but not nearly as long as other people. It cost us nothing. The medical community even came up with a better way to do the surgery than slicing me entirely open, so my recovery is shorter and there are less risks of complications. And I have been able to rest and recuperate without the stress of caring for my kids or worrying about getting back to a job. I am certainly blessed. 

Kids are loving their extra time with grandparents and Daddy. 

As the memory of sitting awake at night or having Scott rub my back while I whimper because I'm hurting fade away, and my collections of seemingly arbitrary incisions disappear I will work very hard to remind myself just how great things are. It is so easy to feel the struggles, and see them as the worst. thing. ever. Lines, waits, tantrums, cancellations, mistakes. I do feel all too often I get wrapped up in latest parenting challenge and wonder if it will ever get better. I will certainly try to focus now on just how great it already is. 

Also, focusing on the fact that I will be getting my butt back to The Falcourt Inn and eating a huge slice of their homemade cheesecake is a huge beacon of hope. That cheesecake has haunted me since I had to give up what feels like EVERY food. Combo of ulcer/gallbladder diet is the saddest thing. I just keep mumbling - cheesecake. Cheesecake. Cheesecake. Yum 😊! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Jumping on the treadmill bandwagon!

Okay so it just happens that we end up buying a treadmill in January. And in someway I feel like one of those crazy New Year's resolution people who buy all this awesome workout equipment and then it becomes a laundry hanger for the rest of the year. However, I think with the right motives, goals and ideas about fitness even someone who buys a treadmill in Janurary can bypass the stigma. 
Seriously, it's the best car ever. It always fits in the Fit. 

But I think that after struggling with weight and my health it is a miracle to be able to do anything physical, when I recall days where I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed or I was so medicated I wouldn't have even known what to do with a treadmill. 

Two kids later, my body has done amazing things I wouldn't have believed possible. Not because pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding are frightening and overwhelming at times - but because it's a miracle. And I'm just in awe when I see our two kids play together that I grew them. Yes yes, Scotty contributed (thanks babe!) but my body grew, birthed and fed them. Miracle!

(In case you forgot - OMG πŸ˜… 2 days before Phoebe was born! Huge Miracle!)

 But my body has been through the wringer - both emotionally and physically! Being pregnant (especially hugely so) puts your body and shape on the public scope. (Mommas out there can I get an Amen!?) Some little comments stay in your mind and haunt you long after the fact. Well - no more! 

And because of that, I now owe it to my body to get it back in shape. And I owe it to myself to treat my body like a temple (I hear that phrase and all I can think of is Louis Litt - a little gem ^^ for Suits fans everywhere). 

Also - big thanks and shout out to all my FitBit friends encouraging, Cheering and challenging me along the way. You ladies are sometimes the only thing getting me up off my butt! 

So here's my big rant defending my choice, or rather to celebrating my choice to buy a treadmill in January. (Actually, to be fair Scotty went out and bought it for me as a surprise on Saturday morning. He's just the dreamiest 😘)

ClichΓ© or not, here's to a healthier me in 2015. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

So. Many. Crafts.

The ultimate parent-guilt delemna - what do we do with all those crafts? 

I love crafts. (No big surprises there haha) I love how special Jacks crafts are to me - especially now as they have become recognizable as crafts (not squiggly garbage he makes 1000s of in ten minutes) and I see him developing so many skills. He's working on tracing, gluing, cutting, writing his name, drawing shapes, stickering (it's a skill!) and colouring. Each day he comes home with a new little craft and it makes my heart burst with pride that he actually made it. And settled down long enough at a table to create it - and followed instructions. Miracle!

But... (You knew that was coming!) I question the sanity of stockpiling all these glue gunned, pipe cleaner, button creations once they've had their rotation on the "Wall of Fame" in Jacks room. Surely he's not going to remember them, (I don't remember my preschool crafts) nor will he have a need for them in the future. But as I hold them in my hands over the recycling bin (God I hope these are recyclable. Our system in the Valley of recycling is intense, and they monitor your bags!)  I worry. Not about the "rejection" sticker they're likely going to earn us with Valley Waste, but that I'm doing something horribly wrong. Even though we praise him, celebrate his achievements, pummel him with questions about its creation, I feel a teeny bit terrible. This is what it is to be a parent I suppose! I know out there somewhere there is a supermom making some kind of shrine to their child out of their crafts to be ever-preserved in an organized time capsule that is blasted off into space on a hand painted rocket. Okay - maybe not. But it's THAT kind of madness that forcing this internal battle of "Treasure Every Blessed Thing" vs. "Throw Out Useless Crap that means way more to you than your kid". 

So I consulted Pinterest to ease my mind. Now there are the wacko Super-Pinterest Mom "time capsule" ideas, but also a camp of posts of ideas I call "Smart Ideas for Real Parents".  With one quick search I found a brilliant idea - take pics in your phone and then upload for a later photobook. Then the little crafts are preserved forever and I don't feel like such a criminal for not keeping every little tiny thing he makes. 

Of course, we kept some favourites! But I won't need to look into renting storage space to accommodate the bins filled with crafts haha. 


Friday, 16 January 2015

Whoa - the lost months!

Just another byproduct of having two kids - much less time for things like blogging. But Phoebe is 6 months old -  we survived the hardest months just fine and now life can go back to normal. Well, new normal. New manageable hectic haha. 

(if you picture me sitting down in the computer just to write this, you would be wrong. I'm sitting with a very wiggly little baby in between my legs enjoying Bubble Guppies and chewing on everything she can get her hands on while I use the dictation feature on my iPhone to blog. I apologize in advance if the iPhone misinterprets my voice!)

We have so many fun things going on in the next few months - 2015 is very exciting!! 

I've been battling a failing gallbladder since Phoebes been born and really now it's just a few weeks away from my consult with the surgeon. To accommodate my health issues and complications, in these last few months we've really changed the way we eat for the better. I go through bouts of feeling perfectly normal which is such an improvement. Hopefully the surgeon has good news for me and I can kiss this gallbladder goodbye - the source of much pain, stress and trouble in 2014. 

Then next month Scott has LASIK surgery to kiss his glasses goodbye. As someone who doesn't wear glasses except for the odd time while I'm knitting I can't get over how much of a pain in the butt there. If you wear glasses obviously I don't need to tell you this. But watching him go through daily life pretty much blind without his glasses has given me a look into how crappy it can be. Not nearly excited as Scott is haha. 

Then we planned a trip away overnight to go see The Hip in concert in Halifax. Another byproduct of having two kids is very few date nights and absolutely no nights away from the kids. But like I said we're through the hardest six months and Phoebe is letting us sleep (more or less.) Between Scott running a demanding business and me chasing two busy kids all day it's sometimes hard to remember that we're not even 30 yet and still need nights out to party! 

Once I have my gallbladder surgery I am also looking forward to training for a 5K that I signed up for year ago. My fit bit keeps me motivated to get my steps and every day but I haven't gotten to do much running or training since I've been unwell. I hesitate to call it a New Year's resolution because I find them irritating and usually a load of crap but disappears by March. Instead I will call it pursuing a dream 😊. 

In the spring, Scott hopes to start hockey again. It's not something we can really work around in the winter between the weather, needy wife (lol I'm useless after a gallbladder attack), and the winter clinic schedule. But the hockey people who ran his fall session send out some pretty cool stuff through email about what they have planned.

I really do miss blogging and I look back fondly on older blogs often to see what we're up to this time in previous years. I suppose I mostly blog for myself so I can have a record of what we did for birthdays, vacations, recipes and watch the kids grow in photos. But I do like to share because I know how much I enjoy reading other peoples blogs too!  

Happy 2015 everyone!