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Try to be kind to yourself

Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for all that I do.  Not that I’m sitting here thinking I deserve more praise! That’s not what I mean.  I just tend to downplay my accomplishments and always think I should or could be doing so much more, or doing things differently, better, and I sort of beat myself up.
There is always room for improvement, and I’m at a point in my life where I’m asking myself what’s next and how am I going to get there, because I’m sort of in a transitionary period.  For 10 years I was a stay at home mom with small kids that were with me pretty much 24/7 without many breaks to speak of. I was in the throws of mothering and in the process, lost some of myself along the way.  
Ten years is a long time, perhaps not in the super grand scheme of things, but really, even if you live to be 100, that’s 10% of your life.  It was a whirlwind of a 10 years, but also some of the best, most memorable years of my life, because they were the years when my kids were the sm…

Post Winter Break: Reminiscing on Andrew's 10th Birthday

I can’t believe it’s already January 7th, of a whole new year, and the kids are back to school after Winter Break.  What a whirlwind it has been this past several weeks! It feels like it flew by way too fast.

It’s been a whirlwind longer than two weeks, given all the craziness of the lead up to Christmas, as well as getting ready for Andrew’s birthday.  But it all came together nicely, and there’s a sense of relief that it’s all over and done with and was successful.

We ended up having Andrew’s birthday party on the first day of Winter Break, the 22nd of December.  I was worried at first that no one was going to be able to make it, since we got the vibe from several parents that it was an inconvenient time for a party with family visits and only 3 days left till Christmas.  I guess it worked better last year doing his party the first day of Break because they got out earlier so it wasn’t quite as close to the holiday. It all worked out in the end, though, because he ended up with 8 ki…

I can't believe this is happening...

(Trigger warning: this post is depressing).
A little over a year ago, a friend of mine found out she had cancer.  Not just any cancer, but a very rare form, almost unheard of in someone in their mid thirties.  One that doesn’t show symptoms until it’s in the later stages. She had the most positive mindset a person could have, and was determined to beat it.  She did absolutely everything she possibly could to put up a fight. Unfortunately, the cancer was aggressive, and despite that she was able to reduce some of it, she wasn’t able to have surgery to remove it, and it spread.  For this past year she has been doing treatment after treatment, and her life became about trying to beat this stupid disease.

A few days ago we found out that she is in palliative care, and she doesn’t have much longer.  This particular cancer is also one that quite suddenly causes a downhill spiral at the end. From everything I’ve read about it, she has gone through everything just as the statistics show, e…

Summer = Lots of Pool Time

It’s amazing the difference a year makes.  Last summer I wasn’t fully comfortable with taking all 3 kids to the pool at the same time.  The girls were still so little, had only just started swim lessons, and I wasn’t confident that I could watch them properly at the same time.  I wasn’t as worried about Andrew since he was able to swim, but he wasn’t nearly as comfortable in the water as he is this year. He recently completed Swim Kids 3, swims underwater with ease, can hold his breath for an impressive length of time, loves to jump in and do cannonballs.  Obviously I keep an eye on him, but he’s not really as much of a concern to me as his sisters. Still, they’re all strong enough in the water now that I’m happy to take all 3 to the pool by myself, which is a pretty big milestone for us, and means we can spend a lot more time in the water than we ever could before.

Margaret and Emily were enrolled in another set as Sea Otters at swim lessons, which is considered the first set.  Emil…

Emily's fall

A few months ago James and I planned out when he would be taking vacation time this summer, and we booked a couple of camping trips.  Instead of just taking a day or two here and there throughout the summer like he’s done in the past, this time he booked a week off in July and a week off in August.  That way we can enjoy some camping trips while also having some time to do fun activities closer to home, and not feel completely rushed.
At the time I was feeling generous and told James he could plan a weekend to go to Victoria to stay with his dad for a few nights on his own.  Of course, he jumped at the chance! It became apparent that this weekend was really the only time that was going to work, and would seem a little ‘easier’ for me because this next week is when the kids are going to a summer camp and I’ll have a few hours of free time each day throughout the week.  
So on Friday he left for work, and wouldn’t be home till Sunday night.  On Friday morning we went and picked my mom up…

A kid with a cold and a broken dryer

Yesterday Andrew skipped his dance class due to having a headache and a stuffy nose.  I couldn’t argue with him not feeling up to doing acrobatics with a headache! I figured the day of rest would be enough to get him feeling better in time for school on Monday.
This morning the girls came charging up the stairs at the sound of me getting up, as they generally do.  Margaret informed me that Andrew was sick and I inquired as to what kind of sick. He called up from the couch in a pathetic voice that he had a stomach ache, headache, his ears were hurting, and he wasn’t well enough to go to school.
This would not be Andrew’s first attempt at milking a common cold for all that it’s worth.  He has been known to stay home over a hangnail in the past! He plays up whatever small symptom he has and makes it seem as though he may not make it through the day.  I was concerned this was one of those times where he’d just rather stay home and play video games and watch movies and be waited on hand a…

Looking forward to summer!

Yesterday I went out and bought a bunch of pretty flowers to plant in the garden, but the weather isn’t nice enough to be out doing that.  I’m hoping tomorrow it will start getting nicer again. Last week we were spoiled with a sudden bout of really warm weather. It went from being so cold and wintery to more like summer than spring, and now we’re back to the typical dreary grey of Vancouver.  Not that we have any right to complain given that other people in Canada still have snow on the ground!
I look forward to getting flowers planted and enjoying all the colour in our yard.  I have my fingers and toes crossed that the rodent issue isn’t so severe this year, as I really want us to be be able to get out and enjoy our yards as much as possible.  I did buy several peppermint plants as well, which are meant to deter rodents, so we’ll see how well they work.
We have several plans already made for the summer and I feel excited knowing we have some fun adventures to look forward to.  It loo…