Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day of Surprises and Fun!

So my daughter celebrated her 10th Birthday this week (have I mentioned I have a daughter in double's sort of freaking me out!).  If I'm being honest, I had no idea what to get her this year as a birthday gift.  When you ask her what she wants, her responses are generally either that she wants something cool or that whatever we get her will be just fine.  Great answers, but completely not helpful when I'm standing in the toy store.

It finally came to me as I was reading through Twitter posts.  Someone mentioned travelling on ViaRail - what a perfect gift this would be for my adventure seeking little girl!  Yes...I was gonna be the cool parent when she got this one (I don't get to be the cool one very often; usually that is reserved for my husband!)

So today was the day.  We woke up bright and early, and headed to the train station.  Best part - we hadn't told her what we were doing.  The look on her face (and subsequent squeals of delight) was the best reaction I could have asked for.

We took the train to Montreal for the day.  We hit the Biodome (one of my new favourite places), rode the Metro, and walked until we could walk no more.  Hubby and youngest daughter drove and met us for lunch...the fact that we got to spend some time as a family this afternoon was the icing on the cake.

It truly was an amazing day - getting to spend time solo with each of my girls is so precious to me.  We talk like no one is listening, giggle like schoolgirls and skip instead of walk.  All the things I hope we continue to do as they get older - maybe minus the skipping part cause my knees might give out!!

What amazing days have you all had recently?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Monkey!

All my life the only thing I ever knew for sure was that I wanted to be a mom.  My dream came true ten years ago when my beautiful daughter was born.  Up to that moment, I knew what love was.  I had an amazing family, I had married my Prince Charming and I had a circle of friends who I adored.  Even with all that, nothing - and I mean nothing - in this world even comes close to how big my heart swelled when I laid eyes on that perfect little face for the first time.

Don't get me wrong...for 38 hours leading up to her arrival I wasn't the happiest camper on earth.  And I'm sure my husband got more than an earful from me.  In discussing it today, he said "we should remember it as a time when we had a mutual understanding of what we needed to accomplish and leave it at that."  Well said my love!  And, as any new mom would tell you, there were moments when I was sure my sanity would be the price of being a mom.  They would also tell you that they would not trade being a mom for anything in the world...and they would be right.

Marianna, the day you were born I knew what it meant to have my heart beat outside of my body.  I knew true joy; I knew real fear.  I truly understood what the term "mama bear" meant.  You have brought so much joy into our lives my munchkin and we love you more than we will ever be able to express in words.  I know you are excited to be in double digits, but try not to grow up too fast.  And remember no matter how big you get, you will always be my baby girl.  We love you sweet pea - Happy 10th Birthday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lessons Abound

So those of you know my daughter know that she is pretty quirky.  She reacts strongly to things - both good and bad - and takes everything to heart.  We have been working with her on how to handle when bad stuff happens to her, and have talked alot over the past few months about appropriate reactions. 

Her experience this year seems to be better.  She is remembering to take deep breaths, and trying really hard to keep things in perspective.  Alot to ask from a 10 year old...there are adults I know that could use that lesson (and there are occasions when I include myself in that bucket).  While we were going through these life lessons, we were also talking about the importance of not getting pushed around ,and the need to let her emotions out.  I wanted to make sure that she knew it was ok to blow a gasket once in awhile, especially if she was feeling threatened or picked on.

I'm thinking we are rock star parents - lessons abound at our house!  Uh huh right.  Tonight I found out there is a bit of a conundrum in our package of lessons.  When someone pushes you out of the way and you get up and push them back, is that sticking up for yourself or being aggressive?  And when someone takes something that is yours and you chase them and grab for it back?  Where does that one lie on the spectrum? Man I hate it when the hard questions get pulled out around the dinner table.

So whats the answer?  I wish I had some enlightening response but I was a little dumbfounded.  While I don't want the solution to be to bottle everything up (been there, done that and the results were not good!), or to report every little incident, I also want to give her an easy way to figure out when its ok to stand her ground.  So we push on and deal with situations as they come up.  We remember to treat people as we want to be treated, and we remember to think before we act.  You know...easy stuff.

For me, I continue to teach those lessons (even when I have to muddle through them) and I keep passing out the hugs as long as she'll take them.  All I can do, right?  If anyone has any words of wisdom, bring them on please!

Monday, October 8, 2012


There is one weekend put aside every year for us to make a list of everything we are thankful for.  For Canadians, that was this weekend - and although I do make a conscious effort to count my blessings often, making that list can become a good reference point for those times when we feel overwhelmed or are having multiple bad days in a row.

So here goes...

I am thankful for the continued health of both myself and my family - without health does anything else really matter?
I am thankful that I have more happy days in my life than days that get the better of me.
I am thankful for the smiles I get every morning from two awesome little girls (admittedly, there are days the smiles are harder to come by, but they come out eventually!).
I am thankful for the fantastic group of ladies that I consider my good friends (and their husbands who accept that sometimes we just need our porch nights!).
I am thankful for my craft room - the place I go when things get a little crazy and my ladies are not available for porch night. 
I am thankful, on occasion, for white wine and chocolate.
I am thankful that I work with people who understand that the most important things in my life are my family and friends - and that work will always take a back seat.
I am thankful that this year my sisters both had dreams come true - one got to experience the amazingness of motherhood for the first time, the other married her prince charming.
I am thankful for my prince charming - the man who always knows what I need to hear, who is my rock when I feel like things are out of control and who supports me unconditionally (even when I come up with hair-brained ideas).  He also provides IT support which, in my life, is a big deal - I get impatient with IT and he just makes it work for me.  Love you hon!

As I detail out all that I'm thankful for, I am realizing that the list could get quite long.  And this is a good thing.  I am truly blessed in my life - I know this.  Doesn't mean I don't have days when it feels like the world has turned on its head, or days when I just want to crawl under the covers and watch the Twilight Series.  But it does mean that when all is said and done, and I get myself centered again, the life I've got is pretty full of things that make me grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - and don't forget to make your lists!!