May long weekend fun

It’s the May long weekend, and what a difference it makes having James home for an extra day AND having such amazing weather.  We haven’t had much nice weather in general for MONTHS and the weekends have tended to be particularly drab, so it’s nice that the weather gods finally got this one right.  I think we may actually be getting a stretch of warm weather, and well-deserved!

On Saturday we met up with some friends at Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver.  When we were asked on Friday if we’d like to join them, I looked up a coupon I’d bought through Social Shopper (similar to Groupon) because I was sure I’d bought one for the farm near the end of last summer, and then we’d never gotten there again.  It turned out that Saturday was the very last day for me to redeem the coupon without losing the added savings, so it was like we were destined to go there!  The kids of course had a blast.  I personally find it way too expensive to go there as a family of 5 without some sort of coupon so I was pleased as punch that we were able to go at a fair price!  It was also the first really hot and sunny day and the start of a long weekend so it felt extra special somehow.  After the farm we let the kids play on the playground at the school across the street for a little while, and then we hit up McDonald’s for some ice cream.  

I was really nervous to eat the ice cream because my sore throat had gone from bad to worse.  I even went back to the doctor on Friday because the pain had been so severe Thursday night I literally started to feel like I was dying (not exaggerating, it was that bad).  He said there was nothing more he could do until I finished the pills and to see if I was better in a few more days, although he was concerned that the pills hadn’t started helping yet.  I was still in a lot of pain with it on Saturday and would have enjoyed our outing more if I’d felt healthier, but it turned out the ice cream did wonders for my throat!  I was actually able to swallow it without too much pain, and it froze my throat enough that I got a few minutes of relief before it went back to hurting.  

I had wanted to have my parents over during the long weekend to have a visit/smorgasboard of yummy food as per our usual tradition on the 24th of May long weekend.  But I told James on Saturday night that even though I’d gotten food in for the occasion, I didn’t think I felt up to hosting anything because my throat was ruining everything.  I took a Gravol that night to help me sleep because I’ve been sleeping HORRIBLY with being in so much pain, and also waking up coughing every night still, and that seemed to help and I got a lot more sleep than usual.  I woke up on Sunday and could swallow with less than half the pain I’d been having, which felt like an absolute miracle.  I ended up feeling so much better that I got a bunch of cleaning done, and made a potato salad and decided I was well enough so we invited my parents over for dinner that evening.  

In the afternoon, after Andrew’s dance class, we went to Canadian Tire and bought a camp stove, some more bark mulch for the yard (that I’d bought some of on Friday but needed more) and a few other odds and ends for camping.  When we came home we filled up the pool in the backyard and the kids played out there for a while, and we just hung around and then I got everything ready for dinner.  I made artichoke dip, and mac n’ cheese, tomato and bocconcini salad with basil from our herb garden, and we had some hor d'oeuvres, the potato salad, and some veggies.  It ended up being a yummy array of foods, and Andrew even said it was his favourite meal ever and he even liked it better than tacos (and tacos are by far his favourite food!)  My parents brought a delicious maple cheesecake and a to-die-for caramel ice cream cake for dessert.  I was just amazed, and so relieved, that I was able to enjoy everything, too.  Lately I’ve only eaten a tiny amount and only when my stomach got so empty that I felt like I had to eat just to survive, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to actually enjoy food.  I realized it in the afternoon when we tested out the new camp stove in the backyard and made some Jiffy Pop, I was actually able to eat some without thinking, and that made it dawn on me that there was no pain!  

It was a nice visit with my parents, who we haven’t seen very much of lately even though we live so close, because one or more of us has always had some sort of virus preventing us from seeing each other.  Fingers crossed we’re heading into a healthier season.

After I got the kids to bed and cleaned up last night, I sat outside till it was dark out and it was so peaceful to be outside enjoying the fresh air for so long.  And this morning James and I enjoyed our morning coffee together sitting in the backyard, for the first time this year.  Around lunch time we packed up the kids after getting them into their swim gear and slathered with sunscreen, and we went to a splash pad and park for them to run around.  They all had a great time, and we all got some sun.  We’d filled the pool up in the backyard before heading out so it was warmed up by the time we got home.  The kids still had their suits on so they went straight out into the yard to go down the slide and splash into the pool, and I got a bit of gardening done while James went for a short bike ride.  So nice to have our living room extended out to the backyard again!


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