Saturday, December 4, 2010

Four Christmases

Last night my hubby was working late and the kids were in bed... so I took the opportunity to watch my first Christmas movie of the season.  I hadn't seen this one before and thought it was pretty funny, albeit guiltily so at times!

The film is about a couple who usually ditch their families over the Christmas holidays and head off to amazing destinations like Fiji, etc.  all the while telling their families that they are doing charity work... Well this year they get caught on camera in the airport and are forced to visit all four sets of parents.... all in the same day.

There were some good laughs and some good messages in the end. All in all, a good entertaining film.  Plus, I love Reese!

Friday, December 3, 2010

My favourite Christmas movies: a list

Here are some of my absolute favourite Christmas films.  We will certainly try to watch all these and more in the countdown to Christmas:

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - a classic holiday must-see
  2. The Sound of Music - maybe not necessarily a "Christmas film", yet I watch it each and every year during the holidays.
  3. A Christmas Story (my brother in law has an appearance in this film!)
  4. The Holiday
  5. Love Actually (I own this dvd and watch it throughout the year) - Hugh Grant as the British Prime Minister is so wonderful!  Such an awesome cast.
  6. The Polar Express
  7. A Miracle on 34th Street (the remake)

A list for Nana

As I mentioned before, my mom a.k.a. Nana will be arriving here in just over a week!  My little guy is so excited and asks about Nana every day.  He says, "Nana coming, Santa Claus coming".  {It seems Nana and Santa are having a romantic affair and are coming out west together...! } 

The other day we were stuck in traffic, something that just doesn't normally happen to us in our small town.  But we were in Vancouver and stuck we were for a good hour.  How did we pass the time, my two year old and I?  By making a mental list of all the things we want to do with Nana while she is visiting us over the holidays!  Here is what I can remember:

  • bake cookies (cookie cutters and cookie sprinkles are waiting patiently on the kitchen counter)
  • visit Santa Clause at the mall (annual photo - matching sweaters required)
  • go to the Aquarium to see Scuba-Claus
  • ride the mini-rail train in Stanley Park
  • go swimming
  • go skating
  • go to little sneakers
  • make snow angels
  • drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • build a snowman
  • go sledding with our new toboggan 
  • decorate our Christmas Tree
  • sing Christmas Carols
  • watch Christmas movies
  • go to the "choo-choo train store" (local toy store)
That's all I can think of for now.... but it sounds like a good list and we can't wait for her to get here so we can get started on all the fun!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


This year has had me in such a state of flux.  I've been up, so very up, with the birth of my second son.  He is the light in my days right now.  And I have been so very, very low - probably from lack of sleep?  There has been so much tension and stress building around here, (or maybe its just me?) compounded by the fact that my mom has been undergoing cancer treatments on the other side of the country.  I really wanted to be there for her during all of this and it just wasn't possible.

Ah, December.

Now that it is the final month of the year I can see a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  My mom is finishing treatments next week and will be arriving here in about ten days from now.  Bring on the holidays!  I'm so ready for celebrating - so ready for baking cookies, decorating the tree and the house.  I am looking forward to overloading on Christmas carols, cheesy Christmas movies and eating way too many holiday treats.  I am ready for all the stress and bad times from this year to just go away and I'm ready to spend time with my family and have a perfectly "un-perfect" Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Books I loved as a child (and can't wait to read to my boys!)

Okay, here they are in no particular order:
  1. Charlotte's Web, by E. B. White
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis  (particularly The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)
  3. The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupery
  4. Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling (these are waiting patiently on the bookshelves for the boys to grow up a bit... as they are 2 and 7 months respectively)  As an aside, I didn't read these as a child (obviously) but cannot wait to read these with the boys.
  5. James and the Giant Peach, by Raold Dahl
  6. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  7. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak  (we do actually have this one already - it had a serious run for a few weeks in our house where we read it about 10 times a day... I'm including it on the list because it was seriously one of my favourites)
  8. The Velveteen Rabit
  9. Alice in Wonderland

I found these books to be so magical - and they were no doubt responsible for kick starting a life-long love of reading (particularly fantasy and sci-fi genres).

I am really looking forward to re-reading these books and rediscovering the magic with my boys!

Any other suggestions?  What were your favourites as a child?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Insatiable (book #2)

Book #2 is Insatiable by Meg Cabot.  I love this book!  I confess, I love all things vampire and always have.  I used to stay up late into the night devouring the Anne Rice Vampire series and I read the Twilight series twice while I was pregnant last year.

Yes, this is a vampire book - but if you have read any Meg Cabot before (Queen of Babble?) and you enjoyed the light, breezy comedic style give it a try!  Garlic rosary optional...

A Vintage Affair

Book #3 was A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff.

I absolutely loved this book.  It has just the right amount of romance, history and  a hint of mystery.  It left me wanting to run right out and scour vintage clothing stores for that one of a kind fabulous dress.  Would certainly recommend this one to a friend - read it!  read it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

mom uniform

This has been my "mom-uniform" of late:
top left:  TNA sweater
top right:  my old worn-in gap jeans
bottom left:  striped shirt (gap)
bottom right:  a pair of rubber boots (mine were purchased a few years back at good-ole walmart for about $10)
underneath I usually am wearing a nursing tank...  we're not going for super-sexy here folks, just comfort!  

Do you have a "mom-uniform"?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Still Missing (book #1 on my 100 in 5 list)

#59 on my life list is to read 100 books in 5 years - something that I used to do no problem, but now that we have our two boys will be a challenge.  Well I finally read my first book:

Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens
I don't know if I would recommend this book - not because it was a bad book.  In fact, I enjoyed it - it was a real page-turner.  But it was so creepy!  The narrator has been abducted by the creepiest freakiest man and is held hostage for over a year.  Check it out - but lock your doors!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October pleasures

As I mentioned before, I love October.  There are so many wonderful things to experience this month.  Here are a few more I'd love to do before the month is through:
- eat sausage and sauerkraut soup (the pot is on the stove right now!) in honour of Oktoberfest
- drink a nice cold beer
- carve a pumpkin
- toast pumpkin seeds
- put together Halloween gift bags for the trick-or-treaters
- dress up the kiddies for Halloween night
- make a big pot of mulled apple cider (one of our Halloween traditions)
- take the kiddies trick or treating
- pull out all my scarves
- buy some mittens for the boys
- treat myself to a new warm autumn/winter sweater
- (maybe) go ride the Halloween ghost train at the railway heritage park

What are your favourite October/autumn pleasures?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I love October

This weekend has been so wonderful:
- crisp cool air
- extra blankets on the bed
- seeing my breath outside
- a hot pumpkin spice latte 
- biting into crisp apples
- visiting the pumpkin patch 
- moving our bedroom downstairs
- a sea of Lego towers and back-hoes made by my son
- a quiet, relaxing visit to the library without my son
- taking my oldest to the salon for his first "real" haircut

I'm feeling so much love for October!  I'm looking forward to seeing what else it has in store.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

24 weeks

Our little man turns 24 weeks old today. He is such a joy! This week he started making "ma-ma-ma" noises and our toddler is trying to teach him "da-da-da" to be fair to his Daddy. He loves being tickled and getting kisses, which make him laugh this wonderfully contagious laugh - he's a real joker! I think he is going through a rough patch the past couple of days - maybe teething? Who knows. He's been a bit sensitive and not really himself.

He still doesn't sleep well - ever... which of course means I don't sleep well - ever! Although he sleeps like an angel in his car seat through the grocery store which is a gift in itself. He wants to be held 24/7... and mostly held by mum... I know I'm not the only one going through this, but it is very hard to get anything accomplished in a day especially with a 2 year old thrown into the mix. 

He is the most wonderful baby. He is just moving into the 12-18 month size in clothes. He has these delicious rolls and wrinkles all over - most notable are the wrist rolls and the double chin. He still doesn't have very much hair - more like a soft baby duck down. He is in the beginning stages of sitting up all by himself. He loves to eat his feet and chew on board books. He loves being naked and enjoys his leisurely baths in the kitchen sink. He thinks our dogs are hilarious and he puts up with his older brother jumping all over him quite well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October one

I just sold my first stroller to a lovely couple with an adorable baby boy!  I'm super happy that I sold it, however, I'm feeling a bit sad to see it go..  How silly am I?!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

just too quiet

The other day I took my oldest son to the dentist - it was a hit.  He had so much fun trying out the water squirter and the air sprayer and watching television on the ceiling.  In fact he is still asking about Dr. Nancy, which is great... who wouldn't want their child to hold a healthy enthusiasm for the dentist?

After we got home we had lunch and he asked to go downstairs to watch tv.  I agreed since he was such a gem at his appointment.  After a few minutes it seemed just way too quiet down there.  I crept down the stairs and this is what I found:

kitchen sink

kitchen sink bathing

Look at all his gorgeous rolls!  I just can't get enough of my little man!

Things have been busy here - I feel like it's time to revisit my life list to get back on track.  We are currently working on #28 moving our bedroom.  It is taking a long time as it does with a baby & a toddler in the house!  We finally have one coat of paint on all the walls, so there is definitely some progress being made.  I absolutely love the colours we have chosen and I can't wait to see it finished.

We are also doing #25 later this week - having our family photos taken by Emily and I am so excited!  I have been looking forward to this for quite some time!

Monday, August 30, 2010

august thirtieth

new haircut

weekend loves:

  • shopping at the farmer's market with my family - heirloom tomatoes, rosemary olive bread, balsamic reduction.... yum, yum, yum.
  • monkeying around on the monkey bars at the playground with two of my favourite monkeys
  • catching up with our long-distance family
  • starting our minor home renovation project of shuffling around 3 bedrooms
  • picking out paint swatches
  • going for walks and picking blackberries along the way
  • finding a few minutes to start a small knitting project
  • managing to get out for a haircut - 2 hours of time for me!
It was a really.  good.  weekend.

two of my monkeys

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

august seventeen

This year we treated ourselves to a membership at the Vancouver Aquarium.  So far we have been three times and love it each time we visit.  Our little guy is so thrilled with the marine life and talks about the fish and dolphins constantly - we also have a small aquarium of goldfish at home that we adopted from a neighbour who was moving to the other side of the country a few months back.

One of my favourite exhibits at the Vancouver Aquarium are these jelly fish - I think they are so beautiful and always seem to photograph well.  My absolute favourite though is the underwater dolphin tank.  I seem to gravitate to it when it is time to breastfeed my littlest man!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

august twelve

A few things I'm loving right now:

  • Fiestaware dishes in aqua and pale yellow
  • Kitchenaid stand mixer in either ice or majestic yellow (do you see a theme developing here?)
  • Socks the fox Blabla doll for my youngest son - my oldest has Andiamo the dog
  • play-dates with friends
  • walks to the park in the sunshine
  • these Bravado nursing tanks
  • these mini meatloaves we had for dinner last night - kid tested and approved!
  • awesome baby giggles and smiles:
but who wouldn't love that smile?

  • listening to our windchimes 
  • newborn baby photos from our friends in Ontario
  • checking out some other august break bloggers and discovering some amazing photos and women
  • watching the boys discover the world around them a little more each day
  • the smell of his baby wash - pure heaven!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

august eleven

I'm so excited for the finale of So you think you can dance this week!  Who am I rooting for?  Here is a hint for all you fans:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

august ten

Add caption
This photo makes me laugh every time I see it - I love how he wants to be such a big boy and his obsession with tools and things that go "bbrrrooom" (including his Papa's lawnmower).  He turned two just over two weeks ago and I find myself wondering where the time has gone.

Other wonderful things about our little man that make the "terrible twos" so worth it:
  • he loves to dance - whether or not he hears music.  My favourite dance is what I call the "yum-yum dance", which is especially reserved for when he is eating something particularly delicious.
  • he is such a cuddly, loving boy.  He loves giving hugs and kisses to everyone.  He even blows kisses goodbye to the grocery store check-out lady.  Of course he saves his most loving hugs and kisses for his baby brother.
  • he has bead-head every morning without fail!  
  • love how he takes people by the hand and leads them to where he wants to go - doesn't matter if he's known them forever or if he has just met them.
  • his enthusiasm for everything he attempts and how he can see the humour in every situation.  (definitely something I can learn from)
  • his fat little feet and his kissable toes, his very long eyelashes and his dimples when he smiles.
  • he is incredibly observant - a trait he most certainly inherited from his dad.
  • he is very persistent in getting what he wants, though I'm sure this has something to do with those "terrible twos".  It is still an admirable trait.
  • his insatiable hunger for reading story books.  (something he got from his mom ;-)
  • how he came into our lives and changed everything for the better - and continues to do so on a daily basis.

Monday, August 9, 2010

august break - day nine

I'm really missing the cottage already and we've only been home a few days.  We'd love to go back soon, but we live about 5,000 miles away...  unfortunately we only make it to the cottage once a year at best.  That leaves the rest of the year for going over photos and dreaming of the next visit!

One of the things I love to do at the cottage is putter around in the boat with the family and look at all the lovely boat houses (old and new).  I could literally hang out on the boat all day if given the chance.  Here are a few photos from the trip:

original boat house - Indian River, Muskoka (love the colour)

newer style boat house, Muskoka

love the unusual shape of this one - Lake Rosseau, Muskoka

For cottage design/decorating I love, love, love Sarah Richardson!  Check out Sarah's Cottage portfolio - so beautiful and dreamy!  I believe her cottage is on Georgian Bay not too far from our family's cottage which is in Port Carling, Ontario.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

august break - days one through seven

We have just returned home from our two week summer vacation - wonderful spending time with family and old friends.  We were sad to leave all the Grandparents behind, however it is always nice to be home and to re-establish routines and a sense of normalcy for the kids.

As we were away for the first week of the August Break, I thought I'd share seven photos from early on in our vacation to catch up - enjoy!

the boys on the plane

and just like that - he's two

first swimming lesson

arriving at the boat launch

first canoe ride of the year

While we were away, I crossed a few items off my life list (which if you remember started off as a "summer list"):
1.  go canoeing
3.  BBQ kebobs
6.  swim in a lake (which we did daily!)
8.  eat fresh Ontario peaches 
10.  have a campfire
11.  sit on a dock in the sunshine
12.  go to the cottage
14.  see M & V
18.  have a lobster dinner
27.  do yoga on the dock at the cottage

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

#19 - take B to the water park in Stanley Park

We had another stunning day in the lower mainland last Sunday and we took the opportunity to visit some of our favourite spots in Stanley Park:  the Aquarium, Beaver Lake and the kiddie water park.  It was B's first visit and he loved it (although we did have an incident where he got sprayed in the ear which he wasn't so thrilled with).  The water was freezing, but we like to call it "refreshing" on such a hot day!

If you're looking for a fun, free activity with small kids I would definitely recommend this one (though you'll need to pay for parking).  The location is great - beautiful views of the North Shore mountains and close to oodles of lush green lawn space to have a rest or a family picnic.  I'm sure we'll return again.

Life List

I've been thinking a lot lately of what I want to do in life and where I want to be. I find it so easy to get lost in the every day details; dishes, laundry, diapers etc. So, I've decided to make a sort of bucket list (or what have you) as a way to motivate myself to greatness and hold myself accountable.

I started the list a couple weeks ago, and it began as a list of things I wanted to accomplish this summer ( the first 20 items).  Now it has evolved to more of a "things I want to accomplish period" list.  Here is the first draft (as I'm sure it will be a work in progress):

life list
  1. go canoeing
  2. climb the chief with the family
  3. BBQ kebobs - completed July 30th for mom's birthday
  4. ride my bike  - completed June 2011.  
  5. relax in a hammockcompleted July 20th with B
  6. swim in a lake
  7. go sailing
  8. eat fresh Ontario peaches
  9. sleep in a tent/go camping - june 2011
  10. have a campfire
  11. sit on a dock in the sunshine
  12. go to the cottage - completed July 27th through August 4th
  13. go back to yoga class
  14. see M & V
  15. go watch the kite boarders
  16. visit Lost Lake in Whistler - completed July 11th
  17. drink lemonade
  18. have a lobster dinner - completed July 24th
  19. take B to the free water park in Stanley Park - completed July 18th
  20. walk along the seawall
  21. create a beautiful home for our family
  22. paint our living area (we've chosen the colour... now we just need to get started)
  23. meditate and clear my mind for 5 minutes
  24. go canoeing at dawn
  25. have our family portraits taken by Emily
  26. cat nap in the sun completed
  27. do yoga on the dock at the cottage 
  28. move our bedroom downstairs/paint bedroom - create a soothing, romantic sanctuary
  29. buy really cute girly shoes
  30. take an acoustic guitar lesson
  31. take time to listen to my inner voice
  32. have a potluck picnic with friends in a park
  33. go back to the beach where we were married
  34. buy a deep-freezer 
  35. bake cookies for our neighbours at Christmastime
  36. bake bread from scratch
  37. go to the movies by myself - completed: went to see Eclipse
  38. make a new friend
  39. go skiing with B
  40. swim in the ocean
  41. teach someone how to crochet or knit
  42. roadtrip/camping trip along the Oregon Coast
  43. hug a tree in Redwood National Park, California
  44. Visit Forks, Washington
  45. get a Kitchenaid stand mixer
  46. make homemade pasta
  47. clean out my wardrobe and donate any clothes I don't love
  48. go on a bicycle tour in France
  49. shop at an Anthropologie store and buy a cute flirty dress completed
  50. wear aforementioned dress out to dinner with hubby
  51. remodel our kitchen
  52. live in the country
  53. take a bath in a claw foot tub
  54. visit the Vancouver Art Gallery
  55. learn to say "I love you" in 10 languages
  56. ride a roller coaster
  57. go see the Cirque du Soleil
  58. spend a night in a castle
  59. read 100 books over the next 5 years (started July 21st, 2010)
  60. bake a pie from scratch
  61. eat a croissant in a french cafe
  62. teach the boys to speak french
  63. pretend we've had a power outage for an evening
  64. go a whole day without speaking
  65. own waterfront property
  66. kayak in the ocean
  67. compete in a race event (running or biking)
  68. live debt free
  69. attend a weekend yoga retreat
  70. go to Saltspring Island
  71. finish the quilt I've started
  72. spend an entire day in bed
  73. make photo books of the boys childhood
  74. bury someone in the sand
  75. start a blog and update at least 4 times a month for a year (started July 21st, 2010)
  76. learn to take better photographs
  77. start our own business  - opened my own at-home daycare
  78. take an accounting/bookkeeping course
  79. take a dance class
  80. own a boat (preferably a sailboat)
  81. write a book
  82. get my book published
  83. volunteer in my community
  84. go hiking/walking in Scotland
  85. resurrect the vegetable garden spring/summer 2011
  86. try rock climbing
  87. visit the tiny French Village our family comes from
  88. visit and soak in a hot spring
  89. take the boys to Hawaii
  90. build a playhouse in the backyard
  91. read all the Harry Potter books to the boys (when they're old enough to enjoy them)
  92. learn how to successfully build a fire in our wood stove
  93. attend a taping of the Martha Stewart show with my Mom
  94. try one new recipe every week for a year
  95. take a Spanish language course
  96. swim 10 consecutive lengths of the pool
  97. take B to his first Vancouver Canucks game