Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Holidays

To me, Christmas really is the best time of the year. It's full of silly traditions, when I reflect on it. Getting a tree, decorating it and leaving it in the house for over a month seems a bit ridiculous when it gets broken down like that. But, we do it, year in and year out. Humans are starved for tradition and for reminders of the past. I love Christmas because it fills my heart and soul with memories from a simpler time. A time when Rudi (Sr) would take us out to the bush in his work truck and we would hunt for two trees. One tree was for our household and the other would be for Grandma and Grandpa. Mom and Rudi would swear and argue about getting the tree into the house and then into that damn, difficult tree stand we always used and never replaced. We never decorated the first night, but mom would always put the lights up without help and she took forever and did a bang up job, every year. So each year, as an adult we hold onto old traditions and create new ones. The one tradition I carry with me is to make a nauseating amount of crab dip throughout the whole Christmas season. I started on Friday, December 21st and plan on making my last batch today. I love Christmas so much, that I actually get sad on Christmas Eve because I know that Christmas and all the lead up will be over by Christmas evening. I am already sad that Christmas will be over, before it has even truly begun.

 I always find that December 27th is the toughest day. The 26th still feels like a holiday, because a lot of places are still closed. The malls are filled with people searching for deals and the overall feeling is still festive. But December 27th is the day after Boxing Day and two after the Big Day. I still feel like I'm in lazy mode but know I should be at the grocery store stocking the fridge with healthy choices again. I know I should be buying more milk because I'm nearly out again. I know all of this, yet I can't get my festive, slightly bummed ass off of the couch and away from Netflix. Rob and I discovered a new show called "You" and we can't stop watching it. Thank goodness, because I really need an excuse to stay in my pajamas and to have those left over cabbage rolls from Christmas, for our lunch again today. The overall feeling I get from today is morose, but I do cheer up at the thought that I still have a lot of time off this year. That, I could never write negatively about. Time off is amazing and a true gift after how busy we've been since returning to work in September. I imagine I'll continue to be lazy, drink too early and eat poorly until New Years, although I know I shouldn't. Once we ring in the new year; I'll have to get off of this couch during the day and start my workout regime once again. I'll have to start getting back into the idea of work and planning up new circle time ideas and fun crafts for the little ones. But, until then... I think I'll continue to put Bailey's in my coffee and I'll eat chips before noon.. Until then, I'll embrace this lovely, lazy, excuse to not adult we all know and love as 'the holidays'.. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2018


 My timing is a bit awful, getting back into writing. Today is Wednesday and it is the middle of my very last week on maternity leave. I have been so busy with life, that I have completely failed to keep up with my blog. But the best party about having this blog for the last thirteen years, is that it is always here when I'm ready to return. 

 For the last ten years I have been working in pharmacy. I first left my cafe job to work for quite a cruel man with a baaaaad reputation. He gave me alot of money to start but in return I owed him my soul. I swear he made me so nervous, I burned a hole in my stomach from the stress. After bravely leaving him, I turned to a man who was quite the opposite. He managed a local pharmacy in town and he was willing to put in a good word for me with the owner. I ended up getting a job with The Medicine Shoppe and have been working for that company for the last nine years. I was married, had my first and second children while working for the husband and wife duo. But, it was apparent that my time was coming to an end there too. It was time for me to break up and move on...
 Of course I knew this leaving on maternity leave last September, but I didn't know when or what I was going to do next. 

 Let's go back to 2004; the year I graduated from high school. I finished school and started dating someone from my grad class. We convinced my parents to let him move in with us. We played house for a bit and convinced ourselves that we were 'grown up'.. or something like that. He worked in construction and I was a maid at a Best Western hotel. On graduation day, the teacher will read aloud what each student plans on doing for his education when he's called up to receive his diploma. I didn't have any plans, other than to continue to live with my boyfriend, in my parent's house, while being a maid. (I know; very ambitious....) But to avoid sounding as pathetic as I was, I said I was going to Grande Prairie to begin my studies to become an ECE. Early Childhood Educator. I bring this up, because it has taken me thirteen years to realize, that I always wanted to become an ECE. 

 My daughter has been enrolled at a local daycare in town since she was two and a half. We fell in love with the structure of this daycare and the people that ran it. Over the years, we've formed friendships with the ladies. Sometime this summer, the subject of my wanting to get into the same field as them came up. The rest is history and I was offered a position at the daycare! I made the decision to quit my nine years at the pharmacy and instead of returning to work there, I start working at the daycare next week! Talk about changes!

 Back to the subject of changes... September has brought on major changes for everyone in our family. Our girl Alina, started kindergarten the first week of September. We were all quite excited and a little nervous but mostly excited for this change. I, of course was feeling sappy at the end of August knowing that our days together, lounging around painting and watching Netflix were coming to an end! But, she's transitioned nicely and seems to be enjoying herself. Rudi turned one this month and this week he has been going to his new daycare. This one has been a bit harder on him and I. I feel so sad knowing that he cried for the first two, half days. But today, his report was better. He didn't cry as much and when I came to pick him up, he was eating quite happily.

  I am so looking forward to getting started at the daycare. It did occur to me that I am going to be a total rookie, having never worked at one before. But, challenge accepted! I'm very much looking forward to working with little ones. I love making a difference and I can't wait to start making a difference, even if it's just making someone feel a little bit more comfortable.. or getting a smile from a grumpy not-so morning person. I'm excited that I don't have to endure another flu season filled with impatient customers piling in for their shots. I'm ecstatic about the idea of playing, colouring, teaching, reading and singing and being silly with a bunch of little kiddos. I imagine I'm going to be exhausted physically and mentally for a while, while my body and mind gets used to days spent with children. I'm hopeful that I am like my daughter and my transition will go smoothly.
I've been practicing my 'play' skills in preparation for my new career...
 I so appreciate the chance I was given in pharmacy. I value the friendships I made working alongside some pretty hilarious, ridiculous and entertaining individuals. I will always cherish those friendships going forward and will remember what I have learned from all of you...



Friday, April 27, 2018

Alina's Corner- Belle's Fate

 I just started Alina's Corner just a little while ago. The first Alina's Corner post can be found HERE
Since then I've been making sure to record anything funny or cute that she's said. One of my favourite things about Alina is that she is a colourful kid. She is extremely compassionate towards children, or animals or her family and friends. She has a lot of love to give and she's not afraid to give it. She's silly, so she does or says ridiculous things that make Rob and I laugh out loud at the best and unexpected times. She's also a little sick... As in, she's a bit morbid. I'm not sure how normal this behaviour is. She likes being scared and takes an interest in death and has a lot of questions about it. But I feel like most people are a bit odd deep down.. Or maybe I just am...? She has a very articulate way of describing how she feels and I find that refreshing and intriguing. She makes me want to jot down a lot of her explanations for things. She's insightful at five and I admire that. Oh man! I'm sorry- I try to make a rule not to go on and on about my own kid because I find it to be obnoxious! I'll let her quotes speak for herself instead of me..!
- Gloating, Obnoxiously Proud Mother

Alina talking to her baby brother (usually through gritted teeth because she can't stand how cute he is!)
"I love you buddy. Even when you scratch me and pull my hair. Even when you kick me in the throat. I love you when I pour water on you in the bath and you pee like a fountain."

Well I'm glad she doesn't mind taking the abuse... for now. I'll have to teach her that that shit isn't acceptable in a relationship......... 

I asked Alina on her birthday in March how she felt about turning five:

 "Well I kind of felt like five once because when I went on my tippy toes for a second. Then when I went on my 'down' toes I felt four again." 

Ah yes, I hate being on my down toes- it always makes me feel like my actual age. I would much prefer to live life on my tippies.

Alina had her little friend Tom over to hang out this week. I could hear them discussing things in the basement. My ears perked when I heard them talking about Rob. Tom started by asking her if the scary masks he politely asked me to put away were Rob's. She said yes, that he just purchased them at a garage sale over the weekend. 
T: Rob is so weird. 
A: Yes, Rob is weird. He always throws pillows at me. He's always trying to scare people. He drags me all over the house and he throws Rudi up in the air twenty-thirty-seventy times.
T: Laughs and agrees. 

 Well I don't blame them for calling Rob weird. He IS. And he's crazy fun and I think that's why they both got giggly when he stopped by from work to grab some lunch. Tom told him that Alina said he farts a lot and Rob replied with a departing fart before returning to work.... I also love that she referred to her own dad as 'Rob'.

Another discussion between Alina and Tom happened shortly after Rob's departing fart. They were drawing pictures and Tom insisted that I draw him a heart so he could colour it. 

T: I'm not good at drawing hearts. 
A: YES you are. 
T: NO I'm NOT! (He got a little upset that she insisted he was good.)
Me: Okay Alina. If Tom doesn't think he's good at drawing hearts just leave it at that. (Me not wanting to upset the little guy.)
A: I think you're better than you think you are. (She says quietly to him.)

Um... yes! Why didn't I- THE adult think to say that?! That was a moment I was proud of.

 Alina is surrounded by lovely woman at her daycare. They not only are good at their jobs, as people that care for children but they genuinely love Alina. There's nothing better than being a full time working mom and being able to confidently and happily drop your prized possession off with people that are good for her and love her. SO! It was Valentine's Day and one of the lovelies that take care of her gave us a Valentine's gift. She's always giving such thoughtful gifts and this one had a great message. It was a book that was all about a young girl asking animals what they love about themselves. For example one says they love their legs because they get a kick out of her! Or a giraffe loves his long neck because they can reach the stars together, etc. So I asked Alina what she loves about herself. She replied she loved her brother and I said that was nice but she needed to say what she loved about herself. I didn't give her any examples because I wanted her to come up with something and I was curious to hear what she would say... 

A: I love my ... chest ... because my heart is in it. I love my heart... because my heart loves my brother and my family. 

Wow... deep. I mean, really! I was going to say- your eyes, or your smile or your pretty hair. Talk about an awesome answer. She answered slowly so when she said her chest I thought she was going to end it with - I love my chest because I'm going to have boobies one day. Of course I go there and I wonder why she can be odd.

So I decided to introduce the silly and sweet things Alina said over the last few months first. I wanted to butter up the readers before I exposed them to another side of Alina. One that maybe some parents don't want to share with the world wide web. But me, I think it's especially hilarious- so brace yourselves...

   Alina was in the bath for some time before I came in to wash her hair. She had that cup sitting on the edge of the tub, so I moved it and realized that Belle was inside floating. I gently moved it to the counter and asked Alina what was going on with Belle.

 A: Oh, the mermaids drowned her.

 Those effing mermaids. You can't trust em! Especially in Alina's little, twisted mind. I just love how it wasn't good enough to put a cover over the cup, she also put a weight on top of the cover just in case Belle got clever and found a way to push the cover off........... Proud moment? Hmmm.

  Well, that's my girl! She is full of all kinds of interesting anecdotes or recollections and opinions. It's fun to share her little quirks because I hope to publish this blog one day into books that I can keep forever. I'm sure Alina will appreciate these when she's older....


Friday, April 20, 2018

The gOLDen Years

 I am going to be 33 in July. It's not a big deal. I'm not freaking out about it or anything. I'm still in my early 30's. I'm the youngest of three and the other two are nearing their 40's. I feel alright. But it doesn't take away from the fact that sometimes I just feel... old. Outdated. Irrelevant. Uncool. Old.
 I know, a lot of people are older than me and I know that saying I feel old at 32 is grounds for a collective eye roll. But- it doesn't change the fact that I feel it sometimes.
 It starts slow. I make a mental note of something and then later on I make another mental note until all of a sudden I have serious proof that I am in fact getting old!

Original Photo Via

 1. I can't sit with my legs crossed for very long or I can't sit on a hard floor without getting up and making a bunch of grunting, groaning sounds. I used to be able to sit 'criss cross apple sauce' (that's what Alina calls it) for hours and just jump up after like no big deal. I was so limber and flexible.. Now, not so much the case......

2. I find myself complaining about the artists on Saturday Night Live. The other night I was all critical saying that the band playing better get their act together because they sucked. Rob looked at me in disgust and said it was "Arcade On Fire." Which most people know is a pretty successful, well known band. (Insert smack to old lady forehead here.) Or I will be watching the Grammy's and exclaim that bands now a days aren't talented. They just dress up all ridiculous, with their boobs and asses out and sing along to some pre-recorded nonsense.

** Side Note: I left my mistake in because it just proves how 'not cool' I am. The band isn't Arcade ON Fire. It's Arcade Fire. (Insert another smack to old lady forehead here....) **

3.  I have mentioned in numerous blogs that I live in a retirement community. (Which makes this post all the more hilarious.) I am surrounded by many, many senior citizens. The town I live in could be compared to Pleasantville it is so pleasant and beautiful and not full of any sort of vandalism or
thug-ery. (I made that word up because I'm an old lady and we do what we want.. ) So when I go to our neighbouring town it's like I'm going to NYC for the first time at night, alone. I went to get Rob his coffee from this grocery store around 8:00 pm. I got into my car and locked the doors immediately because I am a paranoid ninny. (Or Nanny- since I'm a grandma now. Get it!?) Rob was trying to Facetime me but we were getting disconnected. I was leaving the store and walking to the car. My 'street smarts' kicked in and I was looking all around me in case I was 'jumped'. I actually thought to myself, I have a brand new cell phone, the criminals around here would definitely attack me for it. So I made sure to stay alert, lock the door once I got into the car and then focus my attention on my phone. Ridiculous!

4.  I think I'm over this now, but it took some time for me to be.. The movie "13 Going On 30" is a good example of my mind set. The 13 year old girl inside her 30 year old body acts 13, is attracted to boys instead of men because she is still 13 in her mind. Now I'm not attracted to teenagers. But I remember it took me awhile to not care what teenagers thought of me. I would pass a group of teens and wonder if I was considered 'cool' still. Or if I was thought of as older, but possibly a good looking older chick? How ridiculous- I know! But it's that young mentality that is difficult to shake. I remember feeling that way constantly when I was in my teens or early twenties. Now, I don't feel that way so much. But like I said, it took me awhile to shake that paranoid feeling or curiosity.

5.  The first time I saw pictures of kids I used to babysit on Facebook with their own Facebook Accounts. This one certainly made me feel incredibly old. Our neighbours in Hinton had three kids. I used to babysit the older two. The girl was a baby when I watched her. I remember the one thing that made her so happy was swinging in her swing. So when I saw her graduation/prom photos on Facebook I couldn't believe my eyes! Graduated? I remember traits about her when she was a baby!!! Old. Old. Old.

6.  Technology is getting away from me. I am okay with social media. I have my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts that are fairly active. I feel like I get those okay. But it's music. If it wasn't for Rob subscribing to Spotify I would have no way of finding and listening to music on any sort of media. I have no idea how to have music now. We used to burn cd's or buy cd's. Obviously I don't do that anymore. ( I wouldn't even know how to burn a cd today.) This world is progressing so quickly I'm really beginning to feel outdated and left behind...

7.  I have this strange desire to tease or embarrass Alina. It's such a parent thing! She gets all giddy and silly about a boy at daycare. She kind of likes him. So she told me casually that she held his hand on their walk. I could have been mature and left it at that. But no, I was all like.. "Here that Daddy? Alina held Ethan's hand on her walk today.. Ooooooooh." Which makes her blush and jokingly scold me. So there it is. I can't help be uncool because I'm a parent. Being someone's parent automatically makes you OLD and immediately 'less cool'...

8.  I remember when a pack of cigarettes cost $5.00. Enough said.

**Side note: The fact that I uttered/typed those words makes me old. "I remember when ____ cost..."**

9.  We have younger friends and older friends. We are acquaintances and friends with a young lady that is 19. We're also friends with people that could be our parents. Now that we're older it doesn't matter how old people are. In high school hanging out with people two or three years older was a huge deal. I remember my brother was in grade 12 when I entered high school. Just being related to him instantly gave me credit. I knew and had connections with someone older and cool. Was I allowed to hang out with him and his friends? Not really. But now, it wouldn't even matter if I did or didn't. What makes me feel old is when I find out a friend is a lot younger than me. It happened the other night. I was like, "I know you're young. But what year were you born?" 1992..! I was in school already crushing on my first crush.

10.  Wrinkles! I don't mind wrinkles one bit. I think they give a person personality. I remember referring to my dad Rudi's wrinkles as his 'smile lines' or 'laugh lines'. I have noticed in the last little while that I have them! I have 'smile lines' but I totally accept them. Still makes me feel old though...

 There it is folks! I feel an immense amount of pressure has been lifted off of my shoulders. (Which is a good thing because my shoulders can't handle that much weight.. I am 32 after all!)  I feel like having dug up all of the reasons (and I'm sure there are plenty more) that I feel old has given me some unspoken permission to go on and on about feeling old whenever I like, or something like that...

Does anyone else out there agree with me? Do you feel old and what makes YOU feel like an old Grannie OR Gr-pa!?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Support For Make A Wish

 My sister in law Erin is an adventurous type. She's always challenging herself in all sorts of creative ways. Lucky for me, she asked if I wanted to join her in the 5K Foam Fest coming in June. Basically you run 5K with foam, mud and fun and exciting obstacles. I was in for sure! I have never participated and thought it would be great for me to get out and do something both exciting and challenging. I contacted some friends and another of mine is joining us as well!

 We came up with a clever name, LunaChicks and we were all registered and set to have some fun come June. I received an email back in February informing me that Make A Wish Foundation was the official event charity partner with the Foam Fest this year. I instantly contacted my team members and they agreed that we should register our team to be able to receive donations from supportive friends and family.

 Make A Wish Foundation Canada's mission is to restore a child's innocence, sense of fun and adventure if only for a day. With medical procedures and permanent hospital stays, the lives of sick children become intensely chaotic, scary and repetitive. Make A Wish can make dreams come true and in donating money to their cause can assist in creating life changing opportunities.

 The goal we set for our team is $300. We figure that is an attainable number for the three of us to raise. I have personally never done anything charitable and I'm excited to be part of something like this. I don't like asking for money but I think this is for a good cause. The beautiful thing about social media is that I don't have to put people on the spot by asking one on one for money. If you wish to donate please do and if not, that's okay too!

 We appreciate any donations and are excited to do our adventurous, foamy and muddy run come June!

 Please visit our LunaChicks Fundraising Page HERE to support the cause!


Thursday, April 12, 2018


Humboldt Broncos
 A great tragedy occurred last Friday around dinner time just 30 km north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. There were 29 people riding on a charter bus to Nipawin where the Humboldt Broncos hockey team were to play Game 5 of their semifinal series with the Nipawin Hawks. A semi truck crashed into the front part of the bus killing 16 and injuring 13. Among the 16 killed were the coach, the assistant coach, the team's athletic therapist, 2 employees from Humboldt's FM radio station and the bus driver. The other 10 were from the Homboldt Bronco's hockey team. Their ages ranged from 16 to 29. (A full article about the victims and a little information about each of them can be found HERE.)
 The country seems exceptionally shaken up over this accident. We certainly were. We hear of shootings, terrorist attacks and natural disasters all over the world claiming multiple lives and it is all truly awful. But for some reason the Humboldt Bronco tragedy is staying with us. I think it's because it was a hockey team involved and we have experienced hockey in some way or another.
 My boyfriend and my friend's brother were on the same hockey team for a couple of years. I remember riding the bus to tournaments alongside her and being part of the excitement of a hockey team. A lot of my girlfriends growing up played hockey as well. Humboldt is a town of nearly 6000 which is smaller than my hometown. So I know that small town mentality. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone goes to those hockey games because that is what is going on on a Friday or Saturday night. Hockey guys are a different breed entirely. In my experience, they're cocky but lots of fun. They're sure of themselves but they all share a deep bond with one another. I also have a little nephew that lives and breathes hockey. It hits home..
 Rob, my husband was a goalie in Thunder Bay, Ontario growing up. He was on a AAA team and rode the bus to and from tournaments. He grew up with a lot of guys that went on to the NHL that played on teams like the Broncos before making it big. These players lived with billets in different towns all over the country for their chance at the show. He is also in our local fire department. It hit him on two levels.
 Each night since the accident we found ourselves discussing the Broncos. We shared stories we heard on social media of the young men, we've talked in length about the Nipawin Fire Department that answered that life changing call. We were supportive of each other in putting up green lights in our daughter's room and leaving the porch light on for days. We silently supported the other because it matters to us.
 So it was the other night that I read an article that Thursday, April 12 would be Jersey Day. People were encouraged to wear a jersey of any kind to show love and support for those that were left behind and those that have passed on. As soon as I read about it I knew I wanted to take part in it. Being on maternity leave has left me with the time to go on Facebook and Instagram often and I started to see family and friends posting their pictures of them wearing jerseys. I was touched. I love the unity of it all.  It warms my heart to see what an impact these young men have had on so many lives. It's inspiring and devastating, encouraging yet heartbreaking all at once. That's why it is so special.
 While I was getting ready I had this whole daydream that I was being interviewed by the news while walking downtown with the kids in our jerseys. I wanted to explain why it was so important to us to participate... (This is my little speech I had for my fake interview..)

My daughter asked me this morning why we had to wear our jerseys today. I explained to her that a lot of people, a lot of young men were hurt in this accident. People always want to help in tragedies but they don't know how to. Today is about unity and showing support. By wearing the jersey we are telling the people and families involved that we are here for them. That they are not alone. And not just the families and friends of those hurt or killed. The Nipawin Fire Department that helped rescue and remove people from the bus is comprised of everyday people. Our fire department is made up of people in a rainbow of professions. We have a hair dresser, a stay at home mom, a bus driver, an electrician, a paramedic, a young man fresh out of high school,etc. Those were the kinds of people that heard a page and went to a call that changed their lives forever. So I want to say that we appreciate and honour those individuals that put their own lives on hold to help, assist and rescue those in need. If anything, I hope people find comfort in the thousands of pictures of porch lights left on, with hockey sticks left out front or of smiling faces wearing jerseys being posted. I know I have.

Thank you to those of you that participated in Jersey Day and for giving me permission to post your pictures to my blog.

Vancouver Island, B.C.
Sturgeon County West Wing
Edson, Alberta
Killam, Alberta
Miramichi, New Brunswick
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Vancouver Island, B.C.
Edson, Alberta
Bon Accord, Alberta
Vancouver Island, B.C.
My boys- Vancouver Island

At swimming- Vancouver Island
#JerseysForHumboldt #HumboldtStrong #HumboldtBronchos #NipawinFireDepartment #YouAreNotAlone

#HumboldtBroncos #NipawinFireDepartment


Thursday, March 01, 2018

Traveling With A Babe

 I feel like my trip went by in a blur... I know that Rudi and I were all packed up and ready to go Thursday and before I knew it it was another Thursday and I was unpacking...

 Traveling with a five month old alone is not easy.  There are a lot of things to potentially drop or forget.  I discovered that there always seemed to be a neverending abundance of considerate, kind and helpful strangers around to aid me when I needed it. There was the young man that was sitting right beside me on my last flight to Halifax that asked to move to an empty seat so "she can have more room for her baby." There was a gentleman that seemed uncomfortable with me having to breastfeed (covered and always discreet) a few feet from him yet he asked if I wanted him to grab my bags from the overhead storage. People constantly helped me pick up dropped items and offered to help me carry items (because I had so much with me!!)

Rudi luring strangers over to say hello to him. It worked! He lured three to come over and talk to him!
  West Jet.  A-mazing. On my first flight the flight attendant said she would hold Rudi if I needed to go to the washroom. She said I was one button away from her help and I took her up on that offer. I would never normally have asked anyone to do that but because she offered, I did. Once I was off of the plane she insisted on carrying my diaper bag and pillow to my next gate. She even stopped to help a couple from our flight find assistance getting a wheel chair. I believe her name was Brooke, she was from Calgary. She had dirty blonde hair and chunky white or lavender coloured glasses. She was a model West Jet employee. I adored her.
 On my way home, my flight from Toronto to Vancouver was five hours long. When we landed I had to head straight to my next gate because it was ready to board when I arrived. We hurried and made it with time to spare. While Rudi and I sat in our seat waiting for the flight to load our flight attendant approached us. She had Rudi's white bunny blanket from when Alina was a baby, Alina named it Bunny Wunny. Apparently the attendant from my five hour flight saw that we had left it and tracked us down. We were boarding, the flight was a small plane so we had to take an elevator to these indoor/outdoor gates way the hell out of the way. It took some serious effort for that West Jet attendant to track us and physically return Bunny Wunny to Rudi. I mean seriously. Best.Airline.Ever.
 I have nothing but great things to say about West Jet and their staff. Thank goodness we invested in a West Jet Mastercard because we will be guaranteed to fly West Jet from now on. (No, this isn't a promo blog to promote West Jet Mastercard. I am just that impressed!)
 People always go out of their way to slam an airline for doing them wrong. I totally get it, there are some serious horror stories out there. But my experience was super positive and I felt like it needed to be shared. There is just so much hate and negativity in the world these days. Internet trolls sitting on top of their soap boxes bitching and blaming and saying negative shit about anything and everything seem to be taking over the comment field of everything I read these days. Sometimes it's just refreshing reading about something going right every once in awhile...
  Rob upgraded us to first class for my long flight on my way to Halifax and he upgraded us on both of our long flights on the way home. First class is certainly roomier with a baby and there's a constant stream of drinks, free snacks and a meal on each flight. I was grateful to Rob for his consideration of the upgrades. I had very little time in between each flight to change Rudi's diaper and use the bathroom never mind find food. Rob made a good point that yes, it does cost a bit more money for each upgrade but, how often do I plan on traveling alone with a baby ever? It was certainly worth every penny.

  There seems to be a certain level of magic surrounding a pregnant woman or a woman and a baby. People are genuinely kinder, more considerate and patient. I didn't experience a single negative look or feel like I was being criticized or judged for having (at times) a crying baby in a small space. It was an enlightening experience. I shared my thoughts with a friend and she made a good point. She said, "People should be kind. He's a person too and he has every right to travel." Touche'.

Flying is so easy for a baby... 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mr Mom

 As I've mentioned before I am going on a trip to visit my sister and her family in Nova Scotia tomorrow. I'm bringing my little sidekick, five month old Rudi Tootie. Alina is staying behind with her dad. So she is going to be in daycare full time for the week I am away. Which means; daddio has to step up his game.

  As a mom we just do a long of things without much thought or that aren't really noticed by dads. We make mental notes of items we see around the house. So when Alina asks where her 'credit card' is I can easily reply; 'in your owl purse on your peg in your room where you keep your house coat.' I know where everything is because I make tiny mental notes whenever I see her with items. 'Credit card' is going into the owl purse. She had the purse out for a day where she left it on the floor by the couch and then when I told her to put it away I noticed it hanging on the peg where she usually keeps it. It's kind of insane how many of those little scenarios are going on in my brain. Dads have their own qualities, like being insanely fun in any occasion, even stressful ones. But, they don't know how to answer those 'where is my....' type questions.

 Alina is used to me and how I parent. So she'll have to crack a whip when it comes to getting her dad ready for her in the morning. She already ran him through what needs to go in her lunch bag yesterday at dinner time. The mornings will take them a day or two to get into a nice groove but I have no doubt that they will accomplish it.
 I imagine Rob will do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. No unloading the dishwasher in the morning (because he will forget to turn it on in the evening..), no feeding the fish (because he won't remember the fish exists until that evening when he's tucking her into bed.) or closing all the doors so that our Rumba "Gary" can clean the floors. It will be all he can take to have all of her things organized, packed and her dressed, hair done and teeth brushed in time for daycare and work. I guarantee Mr Mom will be able to pull off having her ready each day by doing the very bare minimum. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not writing this post to slam him by any means. It's just human nature of men and women. Moms and Dads are just very different kinds of people. The best part is that most families are designed to have one of each so that there is a nice balance to the parenting.

 I imagine the kitchen will be left in disarray and he may forget a few items of his own before he gets a good routine that works. Dads! They always pack A LOT of food in kid's lunches and the chunks of food are almost always cut really big. **Side Note: Does anyone else's husband or partner ever go to share a piece of steak or a scoop of food and it's always huge pieces or scoops?! I always have to get him to give me much, much less..!**
 But I do think Robert will do just fine without me. I know he's going to have a new found appreciation for what I do, which is always healthy for the relationship. We are rarely ever apart. I'm trying to think of the longest we've been away from the other and I can't see it being for more than a week. Rob is an exceptional husband and a complete treasure of a dad. He had Alina brainstorm ideas of what they were going to get into while Rudi and I are away. I looked at the list and it is impressive.
- Go swimming
- Go shopping and shop for a new bathing suit for her swimming lessons starting next week.
- Have a fire in the front yard and make s'mores.
- Ride her bike at the beach.
- Go to the movies of her choosing.
- Have a sleep over in our bed. This includes a fort that hangs from the ceiling and hovers over them like a canopy. He's already told me how he's going to do such a thing.
- Tubing at Mount Washington followed by clam chowder (Alina's favourite) and hot chocolates.
- Go out for wings on Wing Night Wednesdays.
- Go to the library. (I left her the library card and she has it in a safe place "so daddy won't lose it." Good idea Alina!)
- Watch hockey and eat pizza in the basement. (Her idea. She loves watching hockey with her dad during supper because that means she can eat in the living room.)
- Go to the park.
- Go out for brunch on the weekend.
- Go skating.

 He mentioned that he wants to do everything on the list because he wants to keep Alina happy and busy while I'm away. He also said that I do such a great job of keeping her entertained when he gets home from work that he's usually off the hook to watch hockey or complete projects or fix things around the house. He wants to make sure she's entertained and content. I like that. 
 Which means these two are going to busy. Alina keeps bragging to me that she's going to have so much fun and what am I even going to do in "Ova Scotia" while they're having such a good time. I assured her I would manage... somehow.

 To assist Mr Mom I'm putting together a guide to help him get ready with Alina in the mornings. I am going to switch to pure wife mode and write to Robert directly. (Feel free to skip over, this is really for his own personal use.)

 You have breakfast figured out just fine. Just keep on her about eating in a timely fashion because that girl can take foooorever to eat some days. 
 For her main lunch I always pack her left over supper. However, this could be challenging with all of the dining you plan on doing. SO! If you go out for wings - try to bring a few home and then throw together some cucumbers and snap peas or peppers chopped up along with it. If all else fails you could always whip up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a peanut butter pinwheel. (Click HERE to see what a pinwheel is and how to make it!) For her morning snack at daycare she has fruit. I usually cut up two to three different kinds of fruit and put in a container. (We have nectarines and plums that should be ripe by Thursday..!) In the bottom of her lunch bag she gets a yogurt tube or cheese stick. (Depending on her breakfast. If she gets yogurt for breakfast give her cheese.) I usually pack her a bar (granola or fig) but she's getting pretty sick of the fig bars. I pack something savoury/crunchy in a ziplock like a rice cake and seaweed or crackers and almonds. I bought yogurt covered raisins to pack as a little extra treat. Pack her a water bottle but don't fill it with water because it leaks when it's tipped over. In the front pouch of her bag there are extra socks and panties as well as a toque and mittens. (If they're not there then check her cube in your closet for spares.) If she's wearing short sleeves make sure she has a hoody or sweater packed. Her muddy buddy is sometimes left at daycare because she never uses it on the weekends. And Sheepy..! Try to remember to bag him as soon as you think of it. Alina usually reminds me about Sheepy as we're pulling out of the driveway so I imagine she'll do that to you and cause you to be late!!

 Once she's at daycare I always put her shoes on with her. Those are hanging from the back of the door going towards the bathrooms. Put her bag and coat on her hook. She has to put her name up and wash her hands before she gets to play. And yes, there is a sign up sheet that I sign her in and sign her out each day. They don't care that much if you forget (obviously since this is new to you, hehe.) She will be so excited to have you do all this for her at daycare. It should be cute. 

 In all honesty, Rob doesn't need such an in depth explanation but I figure I have the time to write it out, I might as well. I think the lunch making guide with pictures would be informative and kind of humorous. Rob is a total Super Dad and he'll have his own system figured out in no time.

 I am beyond excited to go but I'm also especially content knowing that Rob and his Mini-Me will be busy having a blast doing all the things on their list. And my Mini-Me and I will be having an equally fun time whooping it up on our adventure to 'Ova Scotia'...!!

And Rudi is all ready to fly his first plane..


Friday, February 09, 2018

Building On That Sister'ship

It will be two years in April since I last saw my best buddy, my big sis Kyli. Now for normal sister relationship that sounds fine. But our sister'ship is much stronger, much more intense than any average sister-sister relationship. I recently asked Kyli if we were kind of sick because we love each other so much. She said we must have been soul mates in a past life. She's probably right if such a thing exists.

 The last time we reunited Kyli came to me all by herself! So she got one on one Alina/Kyli time which was incredibly special. Plus I took off the entire week she was here and we just enjoyed the hell out of each other. I was still blogging back then - so the lead up to her visit can be read HERE.

 For Christmas this year my sneaky, AMAZING husband got me a plane ticket to Nova Scotia to see my sister and her entire family ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! It was THE best present I have ever received by far.  To prove that it is by far THE best present I have ever received I have a list of valid reasons;

 Let's go back to the time when I saw Ky's entire crew.  It was waaay back in August of 2013 and that visit can be read about HERE. It was also the first time ever that I met my niece Sophie Shea who has my middle name. So basically my little namesake has only met her super cool, fun and best friend to her mom once. (Insert unsatisfied/unimpressed emoji face here.) She was only a year and five months old. I haven't seen her since and she is five turning six next month! It is time! Quinn, my nephew was born in Victoria and we had a strong bond with him from day one. He was our first baby. Rob and I slept at Ky and Joe's place the night they had him and I remember driving home all the next day and for days to follow we would say, "Remember Quinn!!?" Then we would both smile and say, yeah.. So it is time to see that grown up Mr as well!

Our girls

Us with Quinn

 Ummm.. I've NEVER been to the East Coast. I've always wanted to go for obvious reasons. (It's beautiful! It's on the other side of the country- so that's cool!! Halifax has a crazy good music scene AND the people are fantastic! To name a few...) Plus this will be my first big girl trip all on my lonesome. (With the exception of Master Rudi, my plane and trip companion. What can I say? He needs me!)

 The people! Kyli and Joe lived in Victoria originally. They moved to Joe's old stomping grounds in July of 2010. Joe's entire family lives there. I was lucky enough to have met most of his relatives when Kyli and Joe were married in our town in 2008. We hosted their engagement party and our house was like the central hub for their friends and family to meet up at. It was a total blast and I can't wait to reconnect with Joe's people after nearly ten years!

Ky and Joe's wedding

 Joe and the kids! I've known Joe since I was sixteen years old. He was living in Jasper and we lived in Hinton. Joe and Kyli met and shortly after they moved to Victoria. Joe and I have always had this little sis- big brother teasing kind of relationship. I did things to annoy him and he would make fun of me. It was our schtick, our act, our thing. But I'm not sixteen or in my early twenties anymore. I look forward to talking with him again, from an adult level. The kids! My niece and nephew. I get to see one of Quinn's hockey games while I'm visiting. I hear he's really, really good. I also get to see one of Sophie's dance classes which is also very exciting. I live for that kind of family stuff! I want to rekindle or recreate a better relationship with those kids. I'm a sucky auntie because of the distance but I can do better. Once I get a bond with those two I'm holding onto it and I'm never letting it go again. Ky and I did that the last time she was here. We both vowed to be relevant in the other's life. So I text her before I go to bed every week night and she returns that text every morning. It's a great way to stay connected in busy lives with a four hour time difference!

Joe abuse

The kids

 Kyli- duh!! She is taking the entire time off for me. She has an itinerary of fun things for us to do while I'm there. I get to be a tourist, a foody at all the great food places. I get to meet friends I have yet to meet but know are awesome. (Cough, cough, Jennifer!) I get to see friends I met here that moved back there. (Cough, cough Lisa!) Kyli has a good ol' East Coast Kitchen Party planned for me with Joe and his dad's band performing. (Check them out on Facebook HERE.) It's going to be a big East Coast sing song and I can hardly wait. I am beyond excited for this entire trip. It is going to be... something to be remembered.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Introducing- Alina's Corner

 Alina has been the star of my blog for several years now. I thought it would only be appropriate for her to have her own featured post called; Alina's Corner. I found this questionnaire through Facebook. I made a mental note to try the questions out on Alina to see how she would answer. There isn't filter on these answers. So what I write is exactly what she said. (Her answers are in bold and I have comments in italics afterward.)

Set the Scene: Alina, Rudi and I were sitting in the Acura waiting for Rob to come out of the hardware store in December. On most occasions we wait in the car for him because it is such a hassle bringing us all along for such a seemingly simple chore. Most questions were asked in the car and the last few were asked in a nearby bathroom. Kids!

1/  What is something I always say?
A:  No you can't. Alina can you stop doing that.

Hey- at least I'm direct and somewhat polite...

2/  What makes you happy?
A:  This is a secret... I like Rudi and I like when he smiles really nice. And I like when you buy me toys. 

Oh that's my girl! Right when you think she's the sweetest little thing, you drop your guard and BOOM- she reminds me that she's a greedy, little turd!

3/  What makes you sad?
A:  When you give me a time out. Really sad. And when I hurt myself. Or if one of my friends dies or Nonna and Papa have to get out of town. 

 I hope the order in which she answered isn't the order of what makes her the most sad...

4/  How do I make you laugh?
A:  When you say funny words. 

 I always go for 'monkey butt' to make her smile when she's getting her picture taken. She just informed me recently that 'banana pants' is the funniest. Hmm.. monkey butt vs. banana pants. I think it's obvious which is more hilarious. 

5/  What was I like as a child?
A:  Probably sad when Baba took away all of your toys. 

 Oh this story is forever going to haunt my mother. Once upon a time there was a little girl that didn't clean her room properly. Her mother threatened that if she didn't clean it good enough one day she would come home to a room without toys. Well one day that little girl came home to just that. That's right. My mom threw all of my toys away and I was horrified.  I forever shame my mom by sharing that story and scare Alina with it. I say- time out isn't so bad when you consider I lost all of my toys.

6/  How old am I?
A:  I have no idea. 43?

 That's okay. This is the same person that says she has so much money, "five-eleventy-seventy dollars." 

7/ How tall am I?
A:  I don't know. How you say... 45?

 Again, numbers. 

8/  What is your favourite thing to do?
A:  Have fun. 

 This is clearly the point in which sh begins to lose interest in my little question game. 

9/  What do I do when you're not around?
A:  Have fun and make wreaths. 

 There was a point back in December when I was getting out of the house as much as I could. I signed up for a sign making class, a wreath making class. I even made up a night called, Hot Tub Tuesdays and invited my girlfriends over to hot tub with me after the kids went to bed. All of these things made Alina quite jealous and a little resentful of my time away. (Even though every other waking moment was spent with her, serving her, loving her, paying all of my attention to her.) 

10/  What am I really good at?
A:  Painting and making wreaths. 

  Well at least she didn't say having fun for the third time!

11/  What's something I'm not good at?
A:  You're pretty much good at everything. Except what daddy does like fixing lights and putting up Christmas trees. 

 Hmm.. her dad pretty much does everything so technically she's saying I'm not good at anything...

12/  What do I do for work?
A: You sell cookies and medicine.

 Well I sell medicine but the cookies are there to lure people into the pharmacy...

13/  What is my favourite food?
A:  Chai lattes are your favourite drink. Is it cheese and potatoes?

  I think what she really meant was cheese and wine. I believe the cheese and potatoes were chosen because she hates potatoes and really only likes cheese sticks. Such a funny child! I may have tried to convince her on a few occasions that she's really missing out. Hence those being my apparent fav foods.

 Alina is constantly saying crazy things. Or she has very interesting ideas. She currently aspires to be a hair cutter and a mom or a grocery girl and a mom. Either way, the girl is convinced she's going to be a mom! She loves her little brother almost too much. I have to peel her off of him, she smothers him with wet kisses and loves 'booping' his nose. The kid sure has turned into someone I'm pretty fond of- imagine that! We have our moments where we're arguing over something and I have to remind myself that she's four and I don't have to argue my point. She's good at trying to strike deals or find ways to compromise and it's a little scary coming from such a young kid. I imagine I'll have to be strong for her teenage years... 


Friday, February 02, 2018

Head First

How do I jump back in?

How do I return from taking what feels like years off from blogging?

 I feel like I have betrayed that little girl inside of me. The dreamer that always imagined that she would become a successful, full time writer.

 I was talking to my hairdresser the other day and I explained that one day I would do it. I would write that story, that novel that has been brewing within. I feel like I am fortunate because anytime in my life that I've been asked, What do you want to be when you grow up, my answer has always been and will always be the same. I want to become a writer.


 It's been over a year since my last post. So much life has happened! But it occurred to me that what I need the most in my life right now, is to get back to some form of writing. I reflect on what has kept me from what I love to do and it is simply the people I love. Even as I write this, after putting the baby down for his nap, my oldest wakes from her sleep. I am reminded that moments to myself to write are very few and far between. It's not like it is difficult to open the computer or take pen to paper and write. It is the time and quiet thinking that is hard to come by.

 As anyone that writes knows, it is crucial to be able to let the ideas flow when they are there. Being interrupted instantly puts an end to that beautiful symphony of thought. I think that is the biggest reason I don't write. The fear; or wariness of starting and always being stopped, left only to feel frustrated and discouraged. Besides this isn't the time for me to shine as a writer. But it's my moment to excel at being a mom.

 I mentioned a baby. He is four months old and his name is Rudi. It was difficult to imagine loving a second child as much as the first. Rudi certainly put an end to any tiny voices of doubt the very moment he took his first breath. He's a gift, a treasure, a perfectly sweet namesake to my late dad. But that is for another post.

Photo Credit to Time and Tide Photography
  I plan on writing more frequently in my blog. I want to introduce some ideas I have for future posts. It's a way to entice any followers that still may be out there to continue reading. But it's mostly a way for me to return and be accountable for what I say I am going to write.

 My almost five year old Alina has grown into quite the character. I'd like to interview her from time to time without filter, for her to both entertain and likely embarrass me all at once.

Photo Credit to Time and Tide Photography
  In the past I have featured my husband Rob. The post was titled Crazy Shit Rob Does. Believe me when I say with all the time that has passed, the number of stupid, crazy things he's done has certainly piled up.
 Another common post I have done was to do with my fitness. After having Rudi I didn't bounce back to my pre pregnancy weight as quickly as I would have liked.  I just started watching what I eat and running regularly again. I will post my progress, more for me as motivation to continue to keep up with the hard work. Take a look at my last MHB post. (And forgive me, I don't remember what the MHB stands for!)
 I am a Pinterest recipe making fanatic. I love making new recipes every week and when they come out exceptionally well I pin each recipe to my Household Menu Board. I will start to record my experiences with the good recipes and create posts to share on my blog.
 Rudi is relatively new around here, so I'd like to write about him. I'd like to write updates on how he's developing and share funny stories. I would also like to write about my experiences being a mom to a baby again and about the changes that our household faces with a little one going into kindergarten in the fall, to name one.
 I also enjoy being relevant with what happens to be going on. I wouldn't mind highlighting the Oscars or the Winter Olympics this month, if something should spark my interest.
 I am a huge fan of Netflix and have seen SO many television shows. I'll have to weigh in on some of my favourites and see if my readers share my opinions. I really enjoy discussing characters that I love and hate and see how others feel about them. Here are a few series that I've watched on Netflix; Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Shameless, The Fosters, The Good Place, Nashville, Switched At Birth, Grace and Frankie, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, The Crown (currently watching) and more.

 There's much to look forward to and I'm feeling inspired to get started.