Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

In the midst of payroll and groceries and costumes and playdates and early dinners and chocolate highs and chocolate comas I wanted to stop by to wish you a great Halloween.
We are trying to keep it simple this year with 2 recycled costumes and minimal decor.
Fiona managed to talk me into these ghosts and some spider web. 
{Does that stuff drive anyone else crazy?}.
We also weren't able to schedule pumpkin carving with Daddy and it just didn't feel right to go ahead without him.
Enter the pumpkin decorating kit.
It's like Mr. Potato Head for your pumpkin.
Aside: I do realize that the condition of my stairs is the scariest thing about this picture.

Fiona got these as a gift from her Aunt last year and they saved the day. 
The kids thought they were hilarious and it was a no-mess affair.
I must admit though that I missed the feeling of pumpkin guts squishing through my fingers.
Maybe we'll still have a post-Halloween carving session on the weekend. 
Have a safe one!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Playschool For Two

I have avoided the topic of school starting even though it's been a pretty big deal in this house.
It just hasn't felt settled so I didn't know what to say.
My feelings and experiences change on a weekly basis.

Fiona returned to her same school but is now in the "big kid room" aka preschool room.
She was so happy to return and her first day of school went like a dream.
She immediately started bringing home artwork and we resumed our routine of talking about our days.
Admittedly she chatters on about hers for much longer than I could hold her attention with my pharmacy tales.

Starting Cedric was a whole new ball game.
When we started Fiona last year she was almost 2 1/2, potty trained and had much more experience being away from me.
We love this program so I was excited to start Cedric in the toddler room at 19 months this October.
Even though it felt a little young.
Being the second child, much of his socialization has been with Fiona's friends.
I loved the idea of him spending time with kids of his own age.
Not to mention out of the shadow of his big sis.
Of course I knew that there would be an adjustment period and was prepared for it.
I anticipated some teary mornings, clingy evenings and possibly even disturbed sleep.
What I wasn't prepared for was the seemingly emotionless first morning.
This little stinker was ready to go before the rest of us and yelling "go" at the front door.
I was so focused on Cedric that I overlooked the fact that this is also a transition for Fiona.
She was now sharing her school with her little bro.
And we all know how much 3 year olds love to share right?
All of a sudden this wasn't her special place anymore. 
Her easy drop off immediately became difficult.
I was in the middle of a very different scenario than expected.
As Fiona was crying Cedric was stone faced.
I left him happily playing with the "sand" table and even when I said goodbye he didn't flinch.
As I said, I certainly wasn't expecting that and fought away the tears while driving away.
 I was proud and happy but cautious with something in the back of my mind.
I remembered the program director speaking about the "honeymoon period" at the AGM.
Some kids are initially happy to spend time in a new environment with new toys and friends but a couple weeks in something switches.
It's like they finally realize that this is a permanent thing.
"Seriously Mom, we're here again? Been there, done that, let's go back to normal ok?"
Well, that happened this week.

Week 3: Double Meltdown.
Fiona was again pretty clingy and didn't want me to leave.
Cedric. Lost. His. Mind.
For all of you with kids, remember when they had their first vaccines and you heard the pain cry for the first time?
That's what this felt like. 
Cedric whipped out a whole new cry in a never before achieved octave.
This was much more heartbreaking than the lack of emotion.
I'd take old stone-face again any day.

So I guess we're still adjusting.
I would love any advice you can offer to make Fiona's drop off easy again.
As for Cedric I know this is one of those give-it-time situations.
In the meantime I'm trying to take it as a compliment.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cedric's Green Backpack

 We have dozens of bags, totes, purses, backpacks and briefcases.
I have attended many a conference and come back with another bag of some sort.
Sometimes they're great like the one below.
When someone in our house is in need of a bag I refuse to purchase one.
Now I'm not above sending my kids to school with a "corporate" backpack but I knew that I could easily make it better.
 I started with the backpack {naturally} and a grown out of T with a cute logo.
I cut out a piece of paper to the correct size then folded it in half twice and rounded the edge to get a uniform shape.
Next I traced this shape on the shirt with a fabric pencil {chalk would do the trick}.
I cut the shape out of the T and pinned it to the bag.
If I'd had some, I would have cut the same shape out of iron-on interfacing {then ironed it on, of course} which would make it more like a true patch and much easier to sew on.
Lastly I sewed around the edge with a zigzag stitch.
 Just to keep it real, this is what happens to the office/sewing room/playroom/storage/attic when I'm focusing on a project.
And, let's be honest, this was over a month ago and it still looks like a variation of the same.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving {& We May Have a Problem}

We are absolutely that family that is one step away from over-commitment.
Sometimes I long to have more free time.
To lounge around for the weekend.
Enjoy the farmers market after Fiona's dance class.
Take a leisurely drive to cabin and stop at the vegetable stands.
Instead we jam-pack every day full of events, visits, dinners etc.

You know what though?
I actually love it.

My name is Cheryl and I'm a multi-task-aholic.
I am much more productive if I have no time to spare.
I get annoyed if my poor husband moves from one room to the next without tidying on the way.
{I mean, are you really going to make that trip to the kitchen without that dirty dish?}
I have to force myself to go to the bank with only one cheque to deposit.
It borders on a problem folks.

This weekend was a classic multi-task weekend.
Who needs more than one long weekend to replace Jeff's wardrobe, go to dance class, record an album, attend a baby shower 3 hours away, two thanksgiving dinners, one sleepover, one birthday party, bring back a log splitter, take the dock out at the lake and do payroll anyways?
Not us.

Now I know I can't be alone here.

I leave you with these super hot photos of the dock removal process.
Jeff looking so impressed that I'm recording the moment.
If you look closely you can see his thoughts. 
"Seriously? You're going to blog THIS?"

Hope you had a great {slightly less scheduled} Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

He Just Keeps Rollin' Along

Edmonton has a beautiful river running through.

The poor old North Saskatchewan can have it rough.
It has been called dirty.
It's banks have been cursed for crumbling under houses.
If you have to cross it at rush hour you likely wish it away daily.

If, however, you make use of it or the surrounding valley you may sing a different tune.
Edmonton's river valley makes up "the largest urban park in Canada".
The trails are far reaching and well maintained.
I think most in the city have made use of this space but I would guess that much fewer have actually made it onto the river itself.
We certainly hadn't, until Sunday that is.
Edmonton Queen
 Our kids both have much love for boats but nowhere near the magnitude of our bud Charlie.
I mean look at that face, he's in heaven right here.
Edmonton Queen
 I think after the obligatory "Mama" and "Dada", "Bowww" was Cedric's first word so his love is obvious.
Edmonton Queen
 Our friends Kerry and Stacey invited us to the Sunday afternoon family cruise aboard the Edmonton Queen.
I'm so glad they did.
This is such a great little outing and one that we never think to do despite being minutes from our house.
Edmonton Queen
 They had snacks and drinks for purchase and the prep for the dinner cruise smelled amazing.
That's on the date night list for sure.
Edmonton Queen
Edmonton Queen
 We tried to get a family photo but Fiona gave us the seriously-you-guys?-look so we got this.
I thought I had at least 8 years until this started happening, no?

Edmonton Queen
Edmonton Queen
 If you're in Edmonton and haven't river boated, get on it.
If you live in a river city and have access to it but haven't, get on it.
We saw so many canoes and even a couple of motor boats and were completely inspired.
Being on the water felt like an escape for us adults but I'm sure for the kids as well.
We literally had a hard time tearing them away.
Edmonton Queen

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Melissa's 2013

Another fabulous run in the mountains this year.
We added a few to our group, including Jeff! 
{Were you all aware that hell froze over?}
Well, frozen we were since the temperature had dropped significantly compared to last year.
I had a Mama guilt moment as I watched children in snowsuits walk by my two dressed as shown below.
They're hearty though and, thanks to Gram and our friend Steve, took a trip to McDonald's to warm up during the run.
After cheering us on a little first and snapping this shot, that is.
{Thanks for the photos Mom.}
 There really isn't a better road race than Melissa's.
You start the run down the main street of the gorgeous mountain town of Banff.
 And what would a mountain run be without a mountain right?
We certainly got one, from about kilometers 2 to 4.5 actually.
The consolation being that after this you get a whole lot of downhill.

I was so glad to run with my Dad this year and hope to make it a tradition.
Has the pain of the mountain worn off enough to commit Dad?
 I was ecstatic with my time as I beat my personal goal by a whole minute.
As proud as I was of myself, it paled in comparison to my pride in this guy.
The husband ran 10 kilometres and lived to tell about it.
What seemed like an impossibility just a couple months ago was accomplished.
His stubbornness determination floored me but I really shouldn't be surprised.
Jeff can do anything he sets his mind to.
He has completely transformed himself physically in the last 7 months.
In doing so he has also vastly improved the life of our family.
His energy, capabilities and confidence have skyrocketed.
I think the main difference is that, though we've always known how great he is, he's actually starting to believe it.


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