Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday

These two are the best of friends.  When I asked Jade what she wanted for her birthday, she really didn't know.  So when I suggested that we go out for lunch and shopping, she thought it was a great idea.  She requested that Grandson come too, and she wanted to go back to the store that we all went to in January.  Seriously.  She remembered going to the Lego store and the Disney store with us 7 months ago.  So that is where we went.

They both had so much fun, just looking.  In the end, she picked Mulan and Li Shang dolls from the Disney store, and a bride and groom, and Ariel from the Lego store. 

We ate at the food fair, where they both chose Subway sandwiches.....which was so cute, because whatever Grandson chose, she chose the exact same. The only difference was she added lettuce and mayonnaise to hers.  She absolutely loves him.  He loves her too, but she idolizes him.

They came back to our house and he taught her how to read her instructions.  They had a lot of fun putting her Lego together, and he ended up with a free motorcycle to put together.  If you spent a certain amount of money at the Lego store, you got a free Chima toy and we got two.  Let's just say that the advent calendars were in stock and they are safely put away until December. Talk about shopping early!

After Jade left, Hubby decided he wanted to find something in our shed, and he ended up doing a clean out.  Literally.  Just about every box in there belonged to our adult children who don't live with us any more.  So he and Grandson worked for almost 3 hours, and accomplished a lot.  Most of these boxes belonged to #2 and #4, and they both came and took the majority of them to their homes.  We still have ten or twelve boxes to disperse, but I would call this Labour Day Sunday a great success!

Grandson was such a great helper.  And he was so cute every time he found something that was his Mom's from her childhood. His favourite was an exercise book that she had wrote a story in.  It was a Halloween story that she had written and illustrated in Grade 2, and we read it over and over again. I think he took it home and I am sure it will be read again and again and again.  He was so impressed!

Smile

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Precious Baby!

Taken today, she is almost 8 weeks old and getting way too big way too fast!  I love her to the moon and back again!

Happy Birthday, Auntie!

My oldest auntie is 84 today!  Doesn't she look lovely?  She lives in Churchill and my cousin is making sure that she is having a very happy day.  Thank-you Deb, for always making sure that she is so well taken care of!!!


Self-care

I have always thought that I could teach a class called Caring for the Caregiver.  Not so much in my twenty's and thirty's, but when I turned forty, I changed.  I learned.  And because I have been a caregiver all of my life, I learned more.  It was important for my self-preservation.  I also went to a lot of classes.  I never did attend a Caring for the Caregiver class, but I read a lot of self-help books and talked to a lot of counsellors.  One of my favourite conversations that I had was with a friend who is a grief counsellor.  I was lucky enough to be employed by her from 2003-2007, and we still connect with one another twice or three times a year.  She sent me an email a few weeks ago to tell me that she is opening up her own practice in Maple Ridge and I am so excited and happy for her.  Anyone need a good counsellor? I have a number for you if you do!

One of the things that Sandi taught me was that we all need time for self-care.  If we are caring for people 24/7, then it is so important to take time to take care of ourselves. Because I was a wife and a mother, I thought that I had to take care of everyone else, and then whatever time was left over, then I would have time for me.  Wrong!  It is actually the other way around.  I need to take care if me, and then I am better equipped to take care of everyone else.  

As I have gotten older, my needs and wants have changed.  I do love to take care of people.  It is what I do for a living, and I truly do love my job.  I am human and I don't love every minute of my job, but I truly do love the children.  Because I give care to tiny humans all day...and sometimes even at night and overnight......I have learned what my limits are.  Right now, I haven't had a whole lot of limits.  I just go, go and go more.  I have most of my evenings and weekends to get my chores done, so it works.  Decompression time.  It is my time and I value it.  Me time.  I really am not even very good at it.....me by myself is like an awkward blind date.....but I know that it is important and valuable.  Hubby cares for me.  Every weekend, he really does devote his entire two days off to take caring of me.  We spend all weekend together as a couple, and we get chores done, and we usually go out to a restaurant for at least one meal. Sometimes, depending on how well I need to be taken care of, we go out for every meal.  Sometimes, like lately, I haven't really felt the need to go out, and I cook.  It changes all the time.  Just like me.  My needs and wants change like a chameleon. Because you know, I wouldn't want to get too comfortable.

I received a gift certificate from #2 and his family for Mother's Day.  It was for a manicure/pedicure and I used it last month, just before I went to Calgary.  And because I paid $15 more for shellac on my fingers, I went back last night to have it removed.  Of course, I also paid for another manicure, just because I wanted to experience nail art.  The picture above is from a month ago, and the one below is from last night.  I love both of them!  It is so fun to be pampered, and I am already anticipating the next time I go.  Just because it is so fun......and important for my self-care.  

Mmmmm

I think I need to make this today.  Doesn't it sound delicious?

Beauty

I find it ironic that my friend and I were just talking about this.  Just this week. I am surrounded by beautiful people.....another friend and I discussed this a while ago.  But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And it is way more important that we are beautiful on the inside than on the outside.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Something to think about

Great news!

I am so happy!  After a year of searching for a new pastor, Todd Gallahar has accepted my church's call to worship. He and his family are moving from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I have heard him speak and I loved listening to him, so I am just thrilled that he has accepted the position of Teaching Pastor. Praise God!  I look forward to welcoming him and his family to Maple Ridge, as he will begin his job in the middle of September. Just in time for Fall Kick-Off!

The little ones

We had a good day yesterday.  It was action-packed, with lots of little ones.  Every single drop-in came yesterday, and they are all 2 and under.  Interesting dynamics.  We were busy, and the best part about the 2 and unders is that they all have naps.  The unfortunate part about it is that they all don't sleep at the same time.  Sigh.

But you know, it was a lot of fun having the littles.  Yes, there is always a mouth to feed or a diaper to change, but they are so easily entertained.  My day flew away on me...it just went by so fast.  My 3 year olds play so well together, and the 2 year olds are extremely independent.  I actually find the 4 and 5 year olds more needy, just because they want me to always play with them or take them somewhere.  That being said, my brand new 5 year old was extremely independent yesterday and just wanted to play with and direct the little ones.  And they all love it when an older one takes the time to play, and so it was a win-win for all.  Jade is supposed to start kindergarten next week and I am really going to miss her.  I know that the teachers are still on strike and it may or may not happen, but she has been such a huge part of my life for the past 4 and a half years.  So bittersweet. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A day in the life

Today was really no different than any other Wednesday in the last few weeks.  We started out at the park. Lots of fun was had by all except my two year old boy's listening ears need working on.  Good thing that they are cute.....they weren't naughty the entire time we were there, but we only stayed for just under an hour as I needed to get them home to feed them.  Or something.  Just needed them contained in my home rather than running amok at the park.
 
Pretty Girl had her hair cut today.  So she was good enough to take a few seconds out of her playtime with friends to pose for the camera.  Tutu included in picture. This is one four year old girl who just loves to dress up!  

Sweet Pea stayed with me for just over an hour while her mommy and sister went for haircuts.  At just over 5 months old she weighs 16 pounds 8 ounces and is 25 and 3/4 inches long.  She is looking longer and leaner these days and is still a happy little baby.  Teething like crazy, but still hasn't anything to show for any of her sleepless nights.  DIL said that she was up every hour last night, but her happy disposition would never let you believe that.  Isn't she precious?

Today was Pretty Girl's last skating lesson for the Summer. She passed Pre-school 1 and will go into the next session in September. She loves skating and it was lots of fun to go and watch her during the last few weeks. 

Grandson also took skating lessons this Summer and he passed into the next level as well.  We had lots of fun watching him too, (their lessons were in the same rink, 40 minutes apart) and he is off to Hockey 2 in September. So hard to believe that Fall is approaching so quickly.  I for one, am very happy to be going into hockey season.  It really is my favourite sport to watch!

Information

Okay.  Here I go.  Just my opinion.  You don't have to agree with me, but here is some information that I believe is worth reading. The ALS bucket challenge has been given a lot of media time in the last few weeks.  My sister nominated me on Sunday afternoon to participate.  In all honesty, I was out all day and I didn't even receive her challenge until Sunday night at 10:00.  She told me that I had 24 hours to do it.  I didn't.  And I still haven't decided if I will.  No matter what I do decide to do, here is the reason that I am so undecided.  I do not want to undervalue ALS.  But there are just so many other causes that I would rather donate to.  COPD, diabetes and breast cancer are so much nearer and dearer to my heart.  As a matter of fact, I know so many people who have  been affected with the diseases that are listed on this chart.  Except for ALS.  I personally know of one person with ALS.  And I don't even know him.....I know his family.  His wife, children, and his granddaughter attend my church; and I read an article today that challenges me to give money directly to his family.  Which is what I am going to do.  I will donate my $$$ to Mike Sands and his family.  And I may make a statement telling people that this is what I am going to do.  Or not.  I am not a people pleaser.  I do things the way that I want, in the way that I want.  As much as I used to want recognition for the important things that I do, donating money to a cause is not the way that I want to be remembered.  Pouring a bucket of ice water over my hypo-thyroid body scares me to death. I want to throw up just thinking about it.  I still may do it.  Or not.  If I do decide to actually do it, it won't be made public.  But I will donate money.  That I do know.  

For all my mommy friends

I find this kind of stuff interesting.  I believe in breast feeding, but I also understand that it is every woman's choice.  I breastfed four babies, and each one for a different amount of time.  With all the information that is out there, I just ask people to make an informed choice.  And don't knock it until you have tried it.  And for those of you who don't or can't, don't let anyone ever make you feel guilty.  It isn't about what other people believe, it is what you know is right for you and your baby!


Pom poms

Sweetheart has been sporting a new hairdo this week.  She calls her little buns on the sides of her head pom poms. But she tells me, "I call them pom poms, but my Mommy calls them bums."  Sorry, but I was too busy laughing to correct her.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A pool and a princess!

Wow!  What a great day!  My friend came to visit with coffee and breakfast at 7:30 am, and it just got better and better as the day progressed.  We took a picnic lunch to another friend's back yard, and the children went swimming for a couple of hours. So fun!

This is my friend's pool.  The children had the most wonderful time!  And so did I!

Just a couple of fun 'kid shots.'  I had mostly big kids today....2 nine year olds, an eight year old and a four year old.  Of course, we added a couple of blessings who are six and three.  As soon as Grandson knew who was coming to my house today, there was no way he was going to miss out on the fun.  They all would have been perfectly happy just playing here, but it was a bonus to get invited to go swimming.  Two hours flew by.  It always amazes me how happy a pool makes children.

After our pool fun, we went to Jade's fifth birthday party.  I knew that Elsa was coming and I don't know who was more awestruck, me or the children.  It was like meeting a movie star!  It was so fun to enjoy the children's reactions, and she had the most beautiful singing voice.  

After the party, we went over for barbecued turkey burgers that SIL cooked for us.....thank-you so much to my favourite son-in-law for preparing a feast for us while we were at Jade's party.  He made burgers, salad, with fresh pineapple and watermelon for dessert.  So delicious!  It was a dine and dash though, as Grandson went back to Jade's house for a swim in her hot tub, and we headed home as I needed to go to yoga.  And it was probably one of the best classes that I have gone to all summer.  Boy, did I ever sweat!  And I feel so great now!  Deep Stretch and Relax was a perfect way to end a perfect day!

Do the best you can

Monday, August 25, 2014

A day at the Fair

I have a friend who has a job that gives her free tickets to events.  So when she invited me to join her and her children at the PNE on Sunday, I jumped at the opportunity.  Usually I go with #3 and her children, but we knew this year was going to be a bit tricky with her having a wee baby.  So we left Mommy and Baby at home this year!  

There is a whole building devoted to animation.  It was our first stop, and we all had some fun.  There was a lot to see, but we decided to come back later as the children were all anxious to get to the rides.

We spent three hours in the hot sun watching the children go on rides!  It was really good, because Grandson and Lauren were our brave ones who even went on the pirate ship, and Sweetheart and Davis liked the calmer ones.  Actually, if Sweetheart was taller, she would have been just as brave as her brother.  She was just limited by her size. 

We parted ways at the barn, as our friends had to go out for dinner......so the blessings and I busied ourselves with the Discovery Farms tour.

We went to see the Superdogs and had dinner, and then we went back to the Animation displays before going on some more rides.

Everyone had a wonderful day, and I know that Grandson really wanted to close down the park, but we left at 9:30 and made it back to Maple Ridge in record time...we were at their house at 9:56 as we didn't encounter any traffic, and we hit every green light.  I seriously did not go over the speed limit once!  We sure had an awesome day!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friends

We went to a barbecue last night.  Our friends have the best backyard, and we had a reunion of cub leaders from the 90's.  We always get together in February but someone suggested that we have a barbecue in the Summer, so Petra made it happen. 

We spent a lot if time together when our boys were young, and I often tell people that being a cub leader was one of the best times in my life.  I learned a lot.  And for me as a mom, it was probably the best bonding that I could have had with my sons.  I know that #3 would have been a great cub as well, as she didn't like Brownies at all.  She was born about 10 years too soon as girls can be cubs now, and have been able to for 15 years or more.  But it wasn't allowed in the early 90's.  Not in Maple Ridge, anyway.  

We all had so much fun reminiscing.  We talked and laughed all night long.  It is funny when you think about it, that we had so much in common way back 20 years ago and we still do.  Most of us are grandparents now, and yet none of our grandchildren have gone into Scouting.  Not very many are even old enough, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the next ten years.  It was unanimous when all the people there said that they would volunteer again if their grandchildren participated.  They were great years and we sure made some great memories for our children!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Exercise

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just another day!

I take care of the most awesome kids!  When #3 went downstairs to check on our older two, this is what they were doing.  Pretty good, hey?  They must have very strong muscles and amazing abs to be able to climb walls like this!  I know that it looks like they are in the doorframe, but they are actually in the hallway!  I was very impressed!

So I actually asked them to pose like this.  I think that they are part monkey!  And I have no idea why I took such crooked pictures.....

Just some really cute pictures of really cute kids!  Yes, I know that I am just a little bit biased.

And if she wasn't wearing pink, then you would swear that these pictures were taken six years ago.  Wow!  Does she ever look like her brother?!!

Sleeping

I just cannot resist this precious girl.  She and her brother invited themselves for dinner last night.  Even though I had made hamburger soup, I knew it was MS Day at A&W, so that is what Hubby and his grandchildren had while I ate soup and salad.  It really was my preference.  I ended up eating Grandson's fries too, so i didn't eat as healthy as it sounds....lol.  After dinner, Hubby went to his eye appointment while the blessings played outside on bikes until it was almost dark.  We went and called on Jade and Tai, and they all had fun in the cul-de-sac.

I often tease that Sweetheart would move in if she was allowed, and she stayed overnight while her brother headed home.  As usual, I took the token sleeping picture just before I headed to bed, and this time she moved right after the flash brightened the room.  So I got two pictures, one just as precious as the other.  She went to sleep just after nine last night and she is still sound asleep.  I am expecting my first drop-off at 8:30 and my guess is that she will sleep until she hears noise.  Being a Grandma is just the best job I have ever had!