Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ice on Whyte: Birthday Style

In the midst of last minute preparations for our trip I wanted to share our Saturday at Ice on Whyte.
Our friend Tessa chose this venue for her 5th birthday and we were thrilled to be invited.
It was a beautiful above-freezing day which was nice for being outside but not so nice for the ice.
The carvings were looking a little sad so I didn't photograph them since I knew I wouldn't do them justice.
 Luckily the slide was as amazing as ever and the kids were so excited to give it a try.
 Fiona loved it though you'd never know it by her face coming down.
Everyone was so proud of her as the youngest "big kid" and she may have been a little overwhelmed by her fan club at the bottom.
After she got off the slide though, she whispered to me that she wanted to go again.
 I love that Edmonton is embracing it's beautiful winter.
I mean we have a lot of it, let's make the best of it.
 The kids zone was great with some smaller slides for the little ones.
We lined up the for the face-painting for approximately 35 seconds until Fiona started to melt down.
Luckily there were blocks of ice and ice picks for her to get her frustrations out with.
Even though they may look disinterested in this photo, this station was a huge hit.
 After leaving the festival we were treated to birthday cupcakes at Flirt Cupcakes.
 Yes they were as delicious as they look.
And yes, we were all as beat as we looked.
 This calm didn't last long.
The minute those kids were pumped full of sugar they terrorized that tiny shop.
The staff was so tolerant and sweet though, which made a customer-for-life out of me.
It will be a couple of weeks before I post again.
I can't wait to share what promises to be a wonderful vacation.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Countdown Is On

This week has been full of errands and bookkeeping.
Not exciting at all.
You know how you question whether all the hard work to prepare for a vacation is worth it?
Well, that is not at all the case here.
I am so excited for this trip to Germany and any amount of prep work is more than worth it.
I haven't seen Charmian and Jon since I was 12 weeks pregnant with Fiona and have not met their beautiful daughter.
In preparation for this trip we have done absolutely no activity planning.
Honestly, just seeing the above mentioned is more than enough for me.
Of course, we're hanging with some amazingly seasoned travellers who call Germany their home so I'm anticipating wonderful things.
I actually love travelling with no expectations and feel no stress to "fit it all in". 
In my experience this can prevent you from really taking anything "in".

So because I have no exciting events to share from the week I am sharing some pictures of our drive just out of town last week for a fun visit.
It has been beautiful here which makes for great outdoor days but also means that Edmonton and surrounding areas are coated in ice.
These kids seemed to make the best of it though with some extra fast sledding and rock solid tunnels.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Vaccinations and Vacations

Vaccines are a hot topic right now.
Correction, vaccines are a hot topic, always.
I have no interest in getting into heated discussions as to why I think vaccines are important.
The fact that certain diseases were virtually eradicated in some countries speaks for itself.
{I say "were" since it seems as if that is no longer true.}
I try {really REALLY hard} not to judge others choices for their families.
I actually hate that humans tend to justify their own decisions by bad-mouthing those of others.

The bottom line is that we are all just nervous parents.
We're nervous that we want only the best for our kids but aren't quite sure how to give it to them.
Of course we want to protect them from any illness possible but can end up questioning whether we're sure the vaccine is safe.
We trust those with the skills and knowledge to develop these life saving shots since we aren't equipped to do so.
It's the same trust we have in experts to fly our planes or construct safe highrises.

I wasn't present for the development and manufacturing of the vaccines my children received.
I am, however, choosing to trust in our experts, our government and most importantly our society.
I am choosing to trust that we all have a desire to do good.
To do the best for ourselves, our families and our communities {however you define that}.
Does that make me a sucker?
I sure hope not.
I thought we needed some comic relief and chose to provide it with the above pic, you're welcome.

Where did this come from, right?
Cut to the chase, right?

Obviously, as a pharmacist who has been providing the flu vaccine I have been hyperaware of this debate.
I was shocked by how few healthcare workers chose not to vaccinate themselves.
Their choice, however, is not my business.

It just so happens that Cedric was overdue for his 18 month shots.
I had been beating myself up for forgetting to book them for months even though I knew he was due.
And guess what, my procrastination turned out to be a life saver.
{Yes I just congratulated my own forgetfulness, what's it to you?}
We had the most amazing nurse at the health clinic who asked us if we were travelling any time soon.
I told her yes we were going to Germany in the next month.
{Oh right, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, we're going to Germany!}
In that case, she said, we should do both kids' MMR-Var boosters to protect them from measles.
Sure, I thought, let's just spring an injection on my 3 year old, that will go over really well.
Of course I agreed and prepared for the meltdown...that never came.
Fiona was a champ, albeit a little nervous, and showed her brother how it was done.
I can't even tell you how proud I was.
In conclusion, today's take away messages are as follows.
You might say I'm "gullible" but I prefer "trusting".
Fiona is a rockstar.
We're going to Germany.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Today confirmed that an IT tech I am not.

Well, I was planning to post something a little more interesting than this today.
That's what you get with a blog though right?
Whatever is either fabulous or not-so-fabulous for the writer that day.
Today I fall on the not-so-fabulous side.

I sat down to get a little work done this morning and was met with 8 emails from Google warning me that my site was infected with malicious malware.
Not this one, you're safe to be reading this.
Our shop site, the one I haven't updated in months and has been nagging in the back of my mind.
It has now blown up in my face.

Thankfully Google is warning all it's visitors not to open the page so hopefully few have been negatively affected by it.
I, however, was immediately put into a panic.
I don't know how to fix this.
The extent of my coding is changing links in the codes others have already written.
I know, I seem so qualified to run our site right?
We had the site built and since then I have flubbed my way through making small changes.
I have added pictures, videos, links, etc. and that's about the extent of it.
I have actually been meaning to build a new site with the help of an online builder that is dumbed down to my level a little more user friendly.
I guess this gave me just the kick in the pants I needed.
Any free time {read: time in which my children weren't screaming/crying/fighting/peeing} I had today was spent building a site with the help from my new best friend Go Daddy.

Shield Autobody Website

It's far from finished and is still flagged as dangerous while I wait for a review but I think {and hope} I'm on the right track.
Anyone out there have site management tips?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Conversation with Fiona

Every school day when we sit down to dinner we ask Fiona what she did that day.
We usually get a couple of tidbits about the day but also often get a "nuffin".
I have been told by her teachers that she is quite vocal and I know she tells them all about us.
I also watch her carry on intense exchanges with her buddies.
I have yet to really see this side of her though, I'm always the observer as evidenced above.
We talk a lot but rarely have a lengthy conversation.

Then today at lunch, she informed me that she is a Mommy and has a "girl" named Cassandra.
I said that I am also a Mommy and have a daughter named Fiona.
She told me with a laugh how silly Cassandra is sometimes to make her little brother giggle.
I heard all about Cassandra's friends at school.
We talked about how brave our daughters are when they have to get vaccines.
{Surprise vaccine for her today, more about that later.}
We shared stories of the types of wishes they made the last time they threw a coin into a fountain.
Both about Fairies, imagine that.
When Cedric needed my attention, she turned to him and said politely "I'm just talking right now Cedric."
We spoke about how both of our daughters like pink and purple.
At times I could have sworn I was talking to an adult and you know, it made me a little sad.
Then in the midst of our colour talk, like she knew I needed it, she told me she thought Charlie likes "lellow".
Whew, still a toddler.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 2014 {And a Pseudo 2013 Review}

I'm watching the reflection posts fly up on my blog feed and am not feeling ready to wrap up the season.
The truth is that 2013 has left me conflicted.
We have two beautiful healthy children so obviously I feel like this year has been good to me.

 We did, however, say goodbye to my Grandad in 2013 and saw my Gram's health deteriorate.
On the other hand, Jeff has made some huge life changes that have improved his health and our quality of life.

I have watched a few very important people to me lose their babies.
I have also celebrated the births and pregnancies of some dear friends.
To top it off, we found out that our kids will meet their first cousin in a couple of months.

Cedric took his first step, said his first word and started preschool this year.
Fiona took her first dance lesson, joined her first soccer team and found a new level of confidence.

The year has been peppered with great times at the lake and great successes at the shop.
Not to mention all the charity runs, a new job for me {and retirement for my Dad} and our fifth wedding anniversary.
We can't say enough how fortunate we feel to be living the lives we do.

Instead of pictures of last year I wanted to share our New Year celebrations.
We kept our own personal celebrations going for three days.
Doesn't everyone?
First a kid-friendly party with the Lairds and Easbys.
Waiting for the "ball to drop".
 I have major toddler hair envy.
So healthy.
Day two saw us head out for some fun with some of our dearest friends at their lake.

 They had a fabulous lake-side bonfire set up.
 Complete with a snow pile for this little king and queen of the castle.
The only picture I have of the fire master, thanks Stace.
 Also, thank you for getting me on the other side of the lens with my BFF.
 Day three also happens to be my dear Dad's birthday.
The kids had a blast with the leftover New Years swag.
Happy Birthday Dad, love you.
I think I've mentioned before that I'm not one for resolutions so you won't find any here.
 I hope 2014 has been great to you all so far.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Our 12th Day of Christmas

On our twelfth day of Christmas the big day was all done.
We headed to the lake for resting and fun.

I can't decide if I love the lead up, the actual day or the aftermath of Christmas more.
It was all fabulous but our time at the cabin was the perfect way to decompress after the bustle.
Our gift to each of the littles was a pair of skates.
 We braved the -20C weather and laced up as soon as possible.
 I was impressed with both the kids but especially Fiona.
After 5 minutes of help from Daddy, she insisted that she could "do myself".
She has actually been blowing me away lately with her courage and determination.
I was, and continue to be, immensely proud.
 We came in to warm up by the fire with hot chocolate {a smidgen of Baileys for Mama} and a game of Crazy Eights.
 We always manage to forget something and are forced to head down to the general store.

 I'm so glad we did since I would have hated to miss their sweet decor.
Our days ended with forts...
 ...and on our last night some extra excitement.

This was the only picture I was able to capture of all the kids during the Lairds' visit.
It was non-stop shenanigans and laughs.
Just the way we like it.


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