Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Seven

How did the week go by already? Spent half of it up the coast with the kids. We had a mix of sun with rainy days, but they stayed behind for a few days while I've come home for a little mama time. So without further ado, my Sunday seven:

1. The Grandparents:  Eternally there to love our children, give me a break and spoil them beautifully. The kids love spending time with them and everyone wins. I grew up with a lovely grandma that spent a lot of time with me and had me over for sleepovers almost weekly and would play for hours. I have very fond memories of her and I'm so happy that my children are having a chance to build the same memories with their grandparents.

2. Music:  I've been spending quite a bit of time exploring music the past week. Checking out some of the chart toppers and reconnecting with old favorites. I love having music play in our house as I get some things done around here. I downloaded a great mix of Adele, Lady Antebellum, Paul Brandt, Lady Gaga and more and enjoyed the drive to and from Powell River with it cranked. Nothing like music to pull you out of a mood or at least create a good one.

3. The Sun: it finally showed up this weekend. I'm refreshing the Fijian tan and lovin' laying around it, reading my book and relaxing.

4. Tatiana and Alexander:  I'm on the final book of Paullina Simons trilogy that begins with the Bronze Horseman. I love escaping into this book. The characters are real, there is so much loss and hope and it's been a great way to spend my summer.

5.  Laughs with Girlfriends:  I wanted to get out of the house yesterday afternoon and Doug wanted to stay in. Perfect time to connect with a girlfriend and I knew exactly who to call. SUE! So for one hour we laid out on her front lawn, gabbed and laughed as we picked weeds out of her lawn. We don't get together enough, but when we do, we pick up right where we were last time and laugh as always.

6. Ego Boosts:  Who knew the ferry and front lawns could be such rewarding experiences. On Thursday, I had the benefit of two men sharing their interests with me on the ferry. Amazing what comes when a women is kid free and completely relaxed. And then while lounging on the lawn at a friends yesterday, the men driving by were happy to extend their glances and smiles our way again. Nothing like a few lingering glances, whistles and mhmmms to put a smile on a women's face.

7.  Freshly mowed lawn:  Doug mowed the back yard yesterday and it just brings the beauty of our back yard all together. It's why I wanted this house.

And there we have this week's list of blessings and gratitudes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday's Seven

I belong to a book club and I didn't even bother getting last months book to read. It was The Book of Awesome.

It's loaded with the little things in life that are, well, awesome. Things like being the first dip into a new jar of peanut butter, or when it's raining and sunny at the same time. Both are awesome and I'm sure there is lots in there that I'd agree with, but I think life is pretty awesome already. I look around every day and see the awesomeness around me. There is a blog that you can check out if you are in need of a little reminding.

But here's my Sunday Seven:

1. Day Camps - the kids had a great time this week at their camps. They made some new friends, learned how to do some cool things, played new games and we all got some time away from each other so our time together was that much sweeter.

2. Chats with old Friends - I keep being reminded how happy I am that I went to my reunion last weekend. So many people had remained friends since they met 25 or more years ago and are still in each others lives. I still have my bff from high school and we've had a great friendship for 25 years.  Facebook has really helped me to reconnect with others too and catch up even further with each other. It's been a tremendous gift.

3. Fabulous Finds - I love thrift store shopping. I find so many fabulous things for my home, clothes for the kids, and I just look at everything and imagine the story of it's life. Like how many batches of cookies a woman made in a simple glass mixing bowl. I'm nostalgic like that.

4. Music - I've gotten back to having music playing in my home a lot more. I find it soothes my soul, calms or lifts my spirit (depending on what is needed), or sends me singing and dancing around my house.

5. Speech Therapy Successes - I've spent a lot of hours working with my kids on speech. Don't know the causes, but both have had speech difficulties. Talking to Morgan, you'd never know that he dropped sounds out of words until he was about 4 yrs old. Tess speaks only with front sounds, so it's been difficult to understand her too, but after so many months of hard work, this week, we're finally hearing the proper sounds in so many of her words. It makes my heart smile and I can tell she's so proud too.

6. Oprah Re-runs - I used to watch Oprah regularly, then I became a mom and the content wasn't always appropriate or Rolie Polie Olie trumped her, so I stopped watching. I had regretted not making an effort to PVR and watch her 25th and final season, but the episodes are re-airing and I'm loving watching them when I have some time to. So many ah-ha moments and reminders of living my best life. Thank you Oprah.

7. Simple Summer Meals - nothing better than a piece of grilled chicken over a yummy salad of mixed greens, goat cheese, berries and spiced pecans.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where better to find the sun ...

than the Sunshine Coast. Seeing that summer if failing to show up in the Lower Mainland this year, we decided to spend the Canada Day long weekend up the coast at our home away from home. This year our friends Jacq, Steve and their son Bailey joined us. The first few days were cool, but at least not wet, but the sun really came out on Sunday (too be our guests had to leave that day).

There's always lots of time spent out on the beach and this time of year the tide goes really low, so we did some beach combing in the sinking sand.

Doug did some pondering out on the rocks.

And Tess caught up on some work in her Lang Bay office.

Once the sun started to shine, Tess and Daddy got the kite up flying (love the wind at the beach).

And Morgan got the feel for his new skimboard.

While I shot some photos of some of the birds that visit us up there ... fabulous hummingbird and eagles.

Another successful get-away and I get to go back in just a few days with the kids.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday's Seven - Reinstated

A chance to reflect on the week and emphasize the positives.

1. 20th Grad Reunion - After my last post, I stand corrected. What a great night I had on Friday with so many of my classmates. Lots of laughs, lots of stories and very little sleep. Can't believe how good everyone looks too. There's a rumor going that we won't wait 10 years next time because we had so much darn fun.

2. Clean car - Thanks mom.

3. Visit with Kathie - just 24 hours long, but wonderful. Great food, good coffee and lovely chats as always.

4. A new stylist - love that I have finally found a fabulous hair stylist and right in Port Moody. Thanks Courtney for hiding all the grey again.

5. Skills Development - Morgan was chosen for a summer skills development camp for baseball this summer and after only one season in the league. He thinks it's totally boring, but will go again if it means he gets to bat.

6. Time with Friends - Had so much fun with the Ewonus family last weekend in Powell River. Truly some of the best people I know.

7. Blowing off Birthdays - I'm so happy that Morgan decided his Saturday afternoon was better spent with Nana and playing with his close friends than going to a birthday party of a kid he barely likes. It was just an hour before the party and he said, " I don't really want to go". Sweet darling, do what makes you happy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

High School Reunions

What exactly is the fascination with our pasts? And I don't mean the fascination with our ancestry, I mean the interest in reminiscing with people from high school. How did it come about that every 10 years we feel it's necessary to get together with people we survived our teen years with? Those are some of the hardest years in our lives, seriously, anyone want to sign up to do their teens again? Not me. Do we really need to all come together to remember the time so and so back stabbed so and so, or the drama of teenaged angst? I'm sure we're all past all the drama, but those weren't my happiest years and life does just keep getting better and better. Is that the point of the reunions? To show everyone who we've become? Share our accomplishments, parade photos of our cute kids about? Why bother, do these people really matter? Do I really care what they think about my kids, my husband, where I live now and what I'm doing with my life? No. But yet, I'm going ... again.

Ten years ago I went to my first high school reunion. It wasn't what I'd call a great event, but I heard the pub night the night before was better (I missed out seeing the cool kids I guess). So here I sit, just two days away from my 20th high school reunion which I've been convinced to go to and I'm wondering why I said yes. At least this time I'm going to the pub night, but really, it's not exciting me all that much.

With Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, most of the people I have any desire to stay in touch with I've already added to my friends lists and even then, we never arrange to get together. I have two high school friends that are truly still friends. We went to each other's weddings (we were even a part of the ceremony), we celebrated the births of our babies, and we get together somewhat regularly. If I truly cared about the other people I graduated with, wouldn't I be trying harder to stay in touch instead of just commentating on their latest photo from holidays and where they are eating lunch? 

But I'm never one to shy away from something that could go either way, and my bff and I have decided that if it's lame, we'll go make some fun elsewhere. Here's to high school friends 20 years later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Insect DEFEND Patch

Last summer we had a ball at the beach on the Sunshine Coast, but we learned in the process that Tess is incredibly attractive to mosquitoes (she gets bit more than 4x what I get) and she reacts to the bites with monstrous and incredibly itchy welts. I spent last summer trying a number of different options for defending her from the pesky bugs... various bug sprays and wipes that washed off the minute she went swimming and had to be reapplied often, homeopathic options to prevent biting and also treat the reaction, as well as nightly doses of Benadryl to stop the itching so she wouldn't wake up bleeding. 

A few weeks ago, I was looking through the weekly flyers and saw an ad for the Insect DEFEND Patch.

It's advertised as an all-natural patch that is DEET free (a must for most people) and safe for children age 1 and older. I figured I'd try it as nothing had proved to work well yet. The patch is waterproof, lasts up to 36 hours and is effective about 2 hours after applying it. It contains 75mg Thiamine (vitamin B1).I did do a little research about Thiamine and learned that it is found mainly in fortified breads and cereals, whole grains, pasta, lean meats, fish, dried beans, peas and soybeans. So if you have a low carb diet or don't eat fish and lean meats, chances are you are missing this crucial vitamin. Also good to know is that most supplements contain 50 - 100 mg of thiamine and because it is water soluble it is unlikely to reach toxic levels (we just pee out what we don't need). 

We just got back home after four nights away and the mosquitoes were about the same as they usually are (well Doug says there seemed to be less, but they were bigger than usual). We used two patches on Tess over the weekend, the first we put in between her shoulder blades and after a couple of days, we changed it and put the next one lower on her back. The second choice wasn't so good as the edges lifted up and sand got under the edges of the patch. But Tess has less bites than the rest of us (she may have four or five bites) which I think is because we didn't put the patch on before we got up there allowing for the two hours pre-exposure, and she slept without the patch on one night after her bath. The bites she did get are normal sized too and not as intensely itchy as they were last year.

At the price of $6.99 (at Canadian Tire) for 5 patches, they are a bit pricey, but worth every penny.

Here is a link for the company.

Monday, June 13, 2011

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