July 29, 2012

duck duck GOOSE!!!

I hope you're having a great weekend so far! We went to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary yesterday which I highly recommend if you feel like a beautiful walk surrounded by gorgeous scenery and birds. I have to admit, I have a little fear of birds (because I've had two land on my head before - perhaps mistaking my coarse locks for their nest). On our visit to Reifel, we were actually stalked by an aggressive goose who literally sprinted down the path after us. I was terrified and laughing my ass off at the same time. Just like something out of a horror movie, we threw bird seed in one direction and ran as fast as we could in the other direction, hoping to create some sort of diversion. While we were running,  my frigging sunglasses flew off and as I stopped to pick them up, I glanced back over my shoulder and saw him flying after us at full speed. I felt like one of those people who sees the killer coming and can't start their car. I felt paralyzed on the path. I'm pretty sure I screamed. In fact, I know I screamed. I stopped to turn and face him with a white towel in hand, in part to wave him off and in part to surrender. Even as another family walked by clearly holding a bag of birdseed, which I tried my hardest to point out to him, he didn't stop pursuing us. It wasn't until we entered a section of the park where people were feeding birds en masse that we were able to lose him. And we're pretty sure we heard someone scream. I wouldn't be surprised if he just ran into the crowd and bit the first person he made eye contact with. He was CRAZY. Here is a glimpse of my nemesis lurking in the shadows.

July 26, 2012

sweet links

Hi lovely friends! I hope you are doing amazingly awesome. I've seen some fun things around the web lately that I'd love to share:

Did you see Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do this History of Rap? Check it. So awesome.
How much fun does this run look?
Underwater photography with your iphone. There really is nothing like taking a shark Instagram.
a great summer party idea
this is the life for me
how daring are you?
beautiful wedding photography
pop up dinner party
I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far! xo

July 23, 2012

Random images

After missing for a few days, she made her triumphant return home. I probably lost five pounds of water weight from crying so much. I thought she was long gone.

My parents: Celebrating 48 years together. Can you imagine? Maybe the secret is in those glasses :)

Catching up with my beautiful friend Lisa, who I hadn't seen in 10 years. Hearing her called mom made me so happy because it's something I know she's always wanted. Her boys are awesome. 

Celebrating Mitch's (39th?) birthday at the beach. This crew is damn funny.
That's all folks!

I hope you had an amazing weekend! 

July 20, 2012

Happy Friday!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend lined up! I had lovely afternoon catching up with friends today. The three of us haven't been together in 10 years! Of course as soon as we were together, it felt like we just had seen each other yesterday. Isn't it amazing when you can just pick right up where you left off? Tomorrow we're celebrating a friend's birthday over a delicious Indian meal(my absolutely favourite!). The way to my heart (and hips apparently) is naan.  What's your favourite kind of cuisine?
My little bean turned 7 months this week. I've never known time to fly by so quickly. I wish I could slow it down (except for when she's teething - sweet mother!). Each month I take a photo of her in the same chair to capture her rapid changes. Click here to see months 1-5 and here for 6.
Have a great weekend lovelies!

July 16, 2012

Images from the weekend

First signs of curls coming in
I couldn't find patio lanterns, so I decorated our porch in Christmas lights for our bbq friday night. Happy Festivus!
Had a great morning having a (much needed) pedicure and coffee with a dear friend 
A wonderful date night - Five Doors Down at White Rock Beach - I highly recommend it!
White Rock Pier
playtime with her adorable pal elle
Elle turns 9 months old tomorrow, exactly two months older than Stella
(just like the age gap between their moms ;)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for stopping in! xo

July 12, 2012

the first six months- life as a new parent

Hi lovelies! It's another gorgeous summer day here. I just thought since I've reached the half year mark with little miss that I'd write about what life is like so far as a new mom. This is only my perspective, so others might recognize a few similarities or have completely different experiences altogether. The first thing to know is that for most women, your baby's birth probably won't go according to plan. You really just have to roll with things. (Here's Stella's birth story) In the end, all that matters most is that a healthy baby is placed in your arms. Even though I spent my pregnancy planning and thinking about this baby coming into our lives, when the doctor hoisted her in the air I was absolutely blown away. I thought, this is the single most incredible moment of my life and had that wonderful feeling of smiling through tears. Then, immediately after, I thought how the $&@ do you take care of a baby?!? Why didn't I read more of those books!?! Luckily, the amazing team of maternity nurses were there to help us with the transition. We felt so comfortable in our hospital room, with the nurses a mere button push away, that we were nervous to leave. I was admitted on a Saturday and went home on a Wednesday, so by the end, I think we had clearly pushed all of the nurses buttons.
The first stretch is tough. No matter what kind of delivery you had, your body is healing, you're getting used to breast feeding, you're trying to read your baby's cues, and you're waking every few hours to feed them. Exhausted much? I remember on top of the C section healing,  having the blood vessels burst in my eyes from pushing for so long during labour, my nipples were cracked and bleeding from breastfeeding, my feet were swollen to my hubby's size 12 men's shoes from the IV drips, not to mention the unexpected visit from aunt hemmy and uncle roid. Physically, it felt like my Everest. My breastmilk never amounted to much. I tried taking Fenugreek and Domperidone, which at first I was happy about because it sounded a lot like Don Perignon, but wasn't nearly as exciting. The doctors said the combination of my birth experience and my age (29?) were most likely the contributing factors for the low milk supply. Eventually, after pumping all day and only getting an ounce, I had to eventually let go of the dream of breastfeeding. On the upside, my hubby was able to help with the feeds, which meant more sleep. More sleep = happy momma.
If there's one thing I can tell any new parent - it keeps getting better. Each little thing you do together, whether it's taking the baby out on a walk, grocery shopping, to a class, to the park, to a restaurant - it all will add to your confidence. Everything is a little scary at first, not only are you trying to time things with their schedule, you're also trying to figure out their cues and all of the friggen equipment they travel with. But honestly, the more you do together, the less daunting things become. I still remember my first big walk with her along White Rock beach. She was about a month old.  I grabbed a coffee, brought along her completely overstuffed diaper bag and we walked for two hours. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt like I had finally gotten to where I wanted to be - enjoying one of my favourite spots with my little girl.
At six months, I'm happy to say, we've since had five weekend getaways and she's been legendary as a travel mate. We've had late dinners out with her asleep beside us, we've kept up visits with friends and have gotten her routine figured out.
Some of the bigger adjustments that I have found have been not being able to accomplish as much as I used to in a day (everything takes advanced planning, spontaneity takes a hike), not having as late of a social life as we used to (the baby is up at 6am  and doesn't care if we were out partying until 2 - in fact, I am pretty sure she finds it downright amusing), and trying to lose the baby weight. Doesn't it sound cute? Baby weight. Aw, so cuddly. If you like the portly build of the Pillsbury dough boy, you might not have a hard time adjusting. I know it's a miracle, and I celebrate what my body has been through, I truly do. But you'd think carrying a new 20 pound sidekick everywhere that I'd have arms of steel. Sad truth is that I think her pipes are more defined. And her arms are made out of soft butter.
But, all of this being said, it is, without a doubt, the greatest adventure of my life. I have never felt such contentment and bliss. It makes you see the world again through new eyes, everything is fresh and exciting - first time they go on a swing, first time you take them swimming, first time you forget to put a diaper on them - it's all very endearing. Whenever I pack up more of her outfits that she's outgrown, I get sentimental because it really does fly by. I will definitely be the sobbing heap that everyone is stepping over in the aisle at her wedding. I used to worry about being an older mom, but she was well worth the wait and weight.

July 9, 2012

Images from the weekend (part deux)

Harrison Hot Springs
Hang time with friends in Harrison Hot Springs. Craig and our friend Art rode 120 km in the Rotary Club Bike A Thon for the deaf and hard of hearing from Burnaby to Harrison Hot Springs. They said it was one of the best organized events and highly recommend it to any cyclists. 
Harrison Festival of the Arts was on during our visit (on through July 15th).  Artisans lined the waterfront and live music played throughout the festival. It was the perfect setting. We grabbed delicious sushi to go, set up a blanket by the water and soaked it all in. 
playing outside the cottage
Harrison Hot Spring Cottages - This time around, we stayed at cottages on the Harrison Hot Springs resort property. I definitely will stay in these cottages going forward. There is so much green space for picnics/playing with the kids. Dogs are allowed for free (If you stay in the hotel, dogs are charged $100). The bedroom and living area are separate in the cottage, so you can hang out while the kids are asleep in the other room. Each cabin is separate, so it is really quiet. They are also close to the pools. Awesomeness.

I hope you had an amazing weekend! 

Images from the weekend

Met sweet baby Blake
Met little lovely Arya
Park time with Aunty Kitty!
Family BBQ - Bocce madness
My sweet nephew getting his Bocce viewing spot ready
The in-laws - I won the lottery with this crew

July 6, 2012

Happy Friday!

Hi lovely people! I hope you have a great weekend! What are you up to? Do you like to keep your weekends open so you can just spend the day doing whatever you spontaneously feel like? Or do you like to plan ahead so your weekends are lined up? Personally, I prefer to have the nights booked and the days wide open.
This weekend we have a big bbq bash with 25 relatives and then Sunday my hubby is biking 120 km for a charity ride and we're going to meet him with friends at the finish line for a dip. I can't wait to celebrate his physical feat whilst sitting in the hot springs. My only hope is that the bubbles in the water burn a few calories. Seriously. This mommy weight thing is for the birds. Big bird.
Here's a little something funny for the weekend. Have you seen this clever Wes Anderson American Express Commercial? I've loved him ever since I saw Bottle Rocket  many moons ago. And I'm pretty sure that one day Stella and I are going to rock matching tracksuits like the Royal Tenenbaums. I smell a Halloween costume idea :).
ps - this peacock photo from my trip to Victoria has absolutely nothing to do with this post. He just looks like he's got the party started, which I thought was apropos for a Friday.
Have a great weekend!

July 5, 2012

changing our expectations

One of the biggest life lessons I learned from a friend who recently passed away is to try and live without expectations, that way you aren't disappointed. He truly was one of the happiest people I knew and I think his outlook played a large part in that. Don't you find that after you go to an event, you either loved it or hated it because it exceeded or fell short of your expectations? Why do we have preconceived notions of how things should be? I definitely expect others to make the same efforts for me that I make for them and often am let down. It isn't anyone's fault but my own for having expectations of how things should be. Living without expectations isn't to say we shouldn't have boundaries, goals and dreams for ourselves, but to realize that things don't always go according to plan. In fact, life rarely goes according to plan. Think back to when you were 18, is your life now how you thought it would be? Probably not. I thought I would be a writer for a wildly successful and hilarious sitcom and have children when I was in my late 20s. Fast forward 20 years, and the only writing I do is on this blog and I had my baby at 39, not exactly the age of a spring chicken. More like a wiser, older chicken with very few eggs popping out.    
The older I get (and believe me, I seem to be aging by leaps and bounds lately!) the more I realize it is resilience, adaptability and a sense of humour that are key components to success in life. People lose jobs, they get divorced, friendships change, loved ones die. All of these incidents force us to let go of our expectations for how life is supposed to be. The key is not to get stuck in a moment, caught in a failure or sadness and have it define you forever. Life is too short for that. If there's one thing I'm learning through being a parent is that you have to live in the moment.  Expectations and babies don't mix. I start each day with a to do list. (Are you a list maker? My god, I love writing lists. They include everything from chores like 'get groceries', to obvious gimmes like 'have a shower'.)  Sometimes I breeze through the day's list and sometimes I might get one thing done depending on how my daughter's day goes. It used to frustrate me that some days go by with little accomplished, but I've learned to let go of expectations and take each day as they come. Try to toss out your expectations with your next event, your next movie, your next meal, your next day - just experience it without any preconceived notions and see how it goes. xo

July 3, 2012

images from the weekend

Hi friends! I hope you had a fantastic Canada Day! We spent it on Pender Island. It was such a great getaway. Some highlights from the weekend were:
  • Walking to the marina with my hubby and daughter on July 1st at 6 am and seeing four orcas swim by, slapping their tales on the water - an amazing way to start Canada Day
  • playing a game of pick up baseball and having some locals join in (including an 88 year old ex-prison guard who loves a good riot)
  • spa time with the girls (steam cave = bliss)
  • seeing deer on every walk we did
  • being one of the last cars allowed on each ferry connection, so lucky. At one point we made it just because the car in front of us wouldn't start.
  • barbecued salmon dinner with homemade kale chips - sweet mother of god it was yummy
  • watching the kids play with stella 
  • tater tots  -first time having them. Where have they been all my life?
  • quality time with friends
Did you celebrate Canada Day?