Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Delights



So many good things happening this month....finally it has really begun to feel summery out there.  
We kicked off the month with the Spectrum Festival where Willow and Silas got their fill of mini tractor rides, bouncy castles and watching soap box car races.  That fun was followed by fort building and tons of other backyard fun.  June also found us celebrating Willow's graduation from kindergarden.  She had a special ceremony at her school where we watched her walk across the stage to collect her diploma...and perform some wonderfully special songs with her classmates.  It was pretty surreal  for me to watch this ceremony, seeing how far she has come and almost seeing the future that is yet to be.  It was great and I think that she thought so too.  Adam got his thesis in, which is a big step towards his degree being completed.  We celebrated with some family togetherness and a day trip to Elkwater.  It was a great change of scenery for us.  The day was so quiet, there were literally no other people there.  The kids loved it and by the end of the afternoon we could feel how much more relaxed were were.  June also brought a sweet visit from my old friend Karen and her kids.  They were visiting Alberta from New Hampshire.  It is always really special for us when someone actually makes the long journey south to little 'ole Medicine Hat.  Emma and Willow really hit it off and had a memorable sleepover.  It really has been a fun filled month with many moments spent in our yard and fiddling in the garden. We got a huge bale of hay for our garden which served as the perfect bench for this photo.  The biggest drama of the month was. of course, the flooding of 2013, which thankfully left our house untouched.  Although we did have the excitement of being evacuated from our neighbourhood for five days.  We made the best of it by staying with friends, Aaron and Liz...the kids thought they had hit the jackpot and it was more like summer camp than a state of disaster.

Friday, May 31, 2013

May Flowers...


Ahh, this month was a lovely journey into warmth and exploration of our green springy world.  I have been on the full blown single parenting journey (so to speak) while Adam envelopes himself even more deeply in the final months of his MSW.  I try not to think about it too much. This month found Willow passing her next level of swim lessons and becoming a Sunfish...Bravo Willow!  The weather cooperated a bit and we did have our first dinners outside...something that I yearn for in the deep dark of winter.  I just love brushing the crumbs on the ground while the kids run off their last few kilojoules of energy in the yard.  It has also been the only time that the kids have spent any time messing around with Dad so I do savour the moments of break time...no matter how fleeting they are.  Along with hanging around outside, this month has also seen Rowan crawling around like a maniac, quickly scurrying over to where he wants to be, so there is no better place than the back yard for that.  We planted our garden, with my two helpers that went smoothly.  We celebrated our buddy Elise's 2nd birthday with more backyard fun.  To round off the month, Silas celebrated his completion of his first year of pre-school with a big end of year party.  Wow!  He has grown up so much this year...Does this mean that summer is almost upon us?  I say bring it on!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Amusing April


Ok, so I don't have much time these days and I am way behind so here it is, the month summarized in a single Haiku:
My whirlwind birthday month
so much fun and love
the sun finally appears


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marvelous March


Well, she certainly did come in like a lion this year...which made the lamb part that much more appreciated, I suppose.  The early part of the month was riddled with snowstorms and at home-boredom-buster days.  Truthfully, the month kind of just raced by.  Adam was crazy busy, as per usual, which left me to fend for myself in singled handedly entertaining the brood.  Easter left us quite filled with the buzz of chocolate and egg hunts and time with family, so that was one of the highlights.  I was glad that the sun came out and we were able to enjoy time out in the yard, raking and cleaning up from the neglect of last fall's pregnancy apathy.  And when the Easter weekend rolled around we were able to bask in the glow of the ultimate springy celebration.  According to Willow, 'This was the BEST Easter egg hunt EVER!' and i think that for Silas this was really the first one that he will set to memory so that was good.  (Chalk up another swell childhood memory to Mama-Nikki.)  Gotta say, though, onward and upward...I am looking forward to April and more of that big, yellow round thing in the sky.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February


We immersed ourselves in swimming, school and many at home days this busy month.  I swear, I have never seen so many different Lego structures in my entire life.  We crafted it up with many Valentine activities...valentine class parties and a birthday party as well.  Adam was off to Lethbridge for a weekend and upon his return we celebrated with Family Day - one whole day spent all together, the five of us...a rare event indeed.  This is a picture from our walk at Police Point Park...obviously the beavers have become a bit of a problem there.  February also brought us 'Family Week' which basically means all school and scheduled activities are cancelled...in the middle of February....when Moms need them the most.  Ahh, well, we filled out time with fun and playdates and general nonsense.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January Imaginary...


January has been a month filled with sub zero temperatures, wicked flu bugs and darkness....kind of what January is always like.  But, as usual, we always make the best of things, enjoying our at home days, playing with all our new toys and activities, making lots of soups and cozy dinners.  Even though it may be dark, and our days feel somewhat repetitive...there is nothing like the vivid imaginings of two energetic kids to keep our world expanding.  We did have a couple good thaws as well, so when that happens we run outside and take advantage of those sunbeams while we can. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December Dreams....


Well, I just can't believe that Christmas has come and gone already.  I guess that it is a good thing that we started a little earlier this year (in the last few days of November) because we really lost a week or so in the middle of the month when everyone came down with the flu.  Honestly, that is one of the worst bouts of it I can remember.  But we all made it through and healed up in time to enjoy some Christmas-y stuff.  We enjoyed a cold night out at the Old Tyme Christmas fair where we enjoyed a horse drawn sleigh ride, a big Bonn fire with hot chocolate and a visit with Santa.   The kids both had Christmas performances for their school.  Willow's evening consisted of a wonderfully animated performance of Frosty the Snowman, partially in French partially in English. Silas's consisted of an afternoon party/performance with Silas front and centre, dancing and singing up a storm, little ball of energy that he is.  I will try to post videos of both performances in the winter Picasa Album to the right, so try to check that out.  Also, Willow had her junior choir performance of "The Living Christmas Tree" which she played the role of an elf.  She said her line perfectly and sang her songs to perfection.  Our only complaint twas that she was positioned behind two older, taller, gilts and for much of the show we hardly got a glimpse of her.  I didn't want to be 'that mom' and complain at the performance, but I will speak to the instructor and I tell ya, she better be front and center for the spring show!  LOL!  She, of course, didn't really notice or mind so that performance was also a big success!  Another fun activity that we did was to take in one of the most decorated houses in Medicine Hat.  It's massive light show comes complete with it's own radio station to tune into hence we named it the "tune in house".  It is right down the block from us so we visited it several times.  One evening Santa was there so we all trekked out in snow pants to see the big man.  It was fun and festive and the kids really enjoyed it.  Of course we also did the mandatory visit with Santa at the mall, which is always a perfect time to try to get some nice pictures.  It is amazing to look back and see how they have grown throughout the year....one of the big tell tale signs is Willow long legs! She is such a regular kid now!  And Silas is a baby no more.  Rowan had his first sit on Santa's knee and we even got a few smiles out of him.  At home, it was a packed month filled with snowman crafts, salt dough ornaments, mitten lacing cards, stockings, sugar cookies and home made snow globes.  I love filling our time at home with fun stuff but this year I felt more challenged than ever, with new little Rowan and didn't really get as much baking done as I had hoped.  Also, I will remember this year as the year filled with Christmas tree fiascoes...one day the whole decorated tree fell over with me underneath it, trying to water it.  It turned out to be the most spindly, driest tree I have ever had...we did emergency surgery on the trunk, cutting off a  few inches of the base, again fully decorated, to try to get it to drink water, which was unsuccessful.  By Christmas day the thing was shedding about 3 pounds of needles per day...No one seemed to notice but me and I knew that the tree looked perfect in the kids eyes.  I am totally ok with embracing the beautiful imperfections of our cozy little life in the Hat.  Do you know what the most beautiful thing about Christmas was? It came, it was fabulous, my Mom and Judea cooked the most amazing Christmas meal in the history of meals, the kids got a million new things to keep them occupied on those chilly winter days and we have had more time together as a family than in the last three months. Pretty great!   Whew!  Today, as Rowan sleeps and Dad has taken the kids out for a very cold outdoor romp, I am cozy inside and I really loving Boxing Day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

November-ness


November has swept past us in a blur.  Long days and even longer nights.  It has proven to be quite a challenging month.  But here we are having some wacky snowman fun...in the front yard.  Willow insisted that we make hi in the front so everyone could see him.  It'll be a couple months before Rowan fits into that snowsuit!  All in all it has been a month of adjustments and business as usual.  We actually started to get into the Holiday spirit a little early this year and this year I let a little bit of the Yule enter our house in the last week of November in form of books, music and our now highly coveted weekend ritual of 'popcorn movie night'.  Also worth noting as I made the November photo album is that I seem to be the reverse of the stereotypical parent who gets to child number three and realizes that they haven't taken any pictures of them.  Rather I have been trying so hard to get some pictures of Rowan's changing baby-ness that I have basically neglected to take any photos of Silas and Willow!  How's that for me just not wanting to be a typical Mom.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Autumn Chills and Thrills


We really got our pumpkin on this month, of course.  Here is a picture of the kidlets at the corn maze in Lethbridge...which is also where we like to get our pumpkins for Halloween.  Unfortunately the weather turned really cold this weekend and literally as we stepped out of the car it began to hail and rain and snow on us.  So, we didn't do the corn maze this year, but we did have a fun little hang out on the farm.  It was a busy month that whizzed by super fast.  We had a visit from Judea and Michael, Uncle Chris and Auntie Angie.  Everyone wanted to come to town to meet Mr. Rowan.  It was nice to see everyone but it is no wonder that the end of the month found me completely exhausted.  It is one thing to have a busy social schedule with two kids, but a throw a new born into the mix and this all night nursing Mama was totally spent!  On top of that, the kids were both busy at school with pumpkin carving evenings, field trips and halloween parties.  Not to mention swim lessons, choir and little picassos art classes.  And, of course, Adam remains insanely busy with school.  Our quick trip to Lethbridge proved to be more challenging than relaxing to this Mama.  Suffice to say I was glad that it was short and close to home.  Yup, what can I say of October other than 'Whew...I made it!'...and hopefully everyone had a bunch of fun as well.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Littlest Tree...



Well, this month brought us many new and exciting things.  The start of a new school year which brought full day kindergarden for Willow twice a week. (That means she gets to eat lunch at school - fun!) Along with Au chapeau preschool two mornings a week for Silas.  Both of them are excited and thrilled with their new routines.  Willow can now been seen on school mornings getting dressed in her pick of clothes and making her own lunch.  Silas runs up the stairs to his classroom, bursting in and starting to play with toys or playdoh without even looking back to say 'bye' to Mom.  Adam started a new job at the Medicine Hat College as the counsellor.  And of course, by far the most exciting event was the arrival of our newest family member Rowan.  I took only a short time for us to all find our new groove....life for me seems so much easier now that I am not pregnant!  Willow and Silas are becoming amazing 'big' siblings to our new little guy - each of them pitching in and helping in their own way.  Silas seems particularly enchanted with his little brother, always touching, kissing and entertaining him, even when I ask him to let him be and let him sleep.  It may be a big change but it has taken no time at all for us to fall in love with our 'new family'.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summertime Rolls


A very hot day in Dinosaur Provincial Park

Well, August has flown by in a blur.  We started off the first of the month celebrating Grandma's 65 birthday with a lovely little tea in Miss Jeanette's garden.  Willow entered her Sea Otter swim lessons full swing for the first two weeks of the month.  It was really great to see her so enthused and confident in the water.  She passed with flying colors which I know gave her a lot of encouragement after struggling a bit with the last level.  She is gung-ho to continue swim lessons so that is some that we will plan for the fall.  For a little bit of excitement we booked a night of 'camping' at Dinosaur Provincial Park, which I had never been to .  It is where they have done many of the digs for the Tyrrell Museum and it is pretty close to us.  They had a nice interpretive center but we did happen to travel to the Badlands on one of the hottest weekends ever - the temperature topped 37 C and there is really no shade out there.  The campground was great, though.  We booked what was called their 'comfort camping' - perfect for a pregnant mama.  A wooden floored canvass tent with a queen sized bed, a pullout bed, electricity (a fan and mini fridge) and a BBQ and fire pit.  We had a fun time cooking out, making s'mores (which the kids didn't really like) and staying up super late, cuddled up by the fire watching the sparks and stargazing.  The kids loved it and Willow ended up falling asleep by the fire with Dad...It was a fun little overnight in our corner of Alberta.  When we got back home my sights turned to getting all the fixin's together for another BIG birthday - Mr. Silas 's 3rd!  It seemed really big this year just because this was the first ear that he really knew that his birthday was coming up.  He requested the pirate theme back in July when we were planning Willow's party.  He was excited that he finally had some little boy friends of his own to invite. He was just so thrilled to be turning THREE!  So, I paced myself well, and did all the crafty little bits that I love to do to get ready; cupcakes, treasure hunt, pinata (no, not homemade this time) treat bags etc.  It turned out wonderfully.  Adam acted as the head pirate, taking them on treasure hunting adventures and getting thoroughly attacked by the end.  It was a great party and wow, you could not imagine the immense sense of relief I felt after that was over!  The last major event I would have to  pull off while in this preggers energy state. (Yes, Adam's birthday was still to come, but I had already informed him that a party was out of the question this year)  That brings up to halfway through August.  Because Adam needed to be in Lethbridge to do some course work for his MSW, I knew that this month would hold the huge challenge of living without him for 10 days so I tried to get the kids into some scheduled stuff to keep them and me happy and busy...passing the time until his return.  Truthfully I was dreading it a little, this is the longest we would ever be apart from each other and being in this very pregnant state did not help one bit.  But we made it through...with a lot of help from our friends and family and with my own Mom determination and some good luck as well.  Willow participated in her first week long summer day camp.  With a theme of Rainforest Adventures they did all kinds of neat activities like making binoculars, a rain stick, cracking open a coconut, going on 'safaris'.  Each day at noon we would pick her up happy and bubbling over with stories from the morning's adventures.  That week Silas had his Sea Otter swim lessons,  the first un-parented class he has had.  He loved it and was like a super happy, hyper little fish bouncing around in the water.  He loved his instructor, Craig and would eagerly do every activity without hesitation.  This kid has no fear for getting his face wet, getting water up his nose or in his eyes.    He would talk at lengths about all the fun stuff he was doing in his class and of course, passed with flying colors.  Each afternoon we would get a visit from friends or Grandma and usually some yummy dinner as well.  It was great!  On the weekend Judea and Michael came from Calgary for an overnight visit which was fantastic.  Michael played with the kids non-stop the whole time - which they really needed.  Racing through playgrounds and rough play have not been in my repertoire for quite some time now so they were definitely passed due.  By the 30th of the month, Adam was home we were all together again as a family and all seemed right in our world.  And now...Willow's kindergarden meet the teacher day, SIias's preschool orientation...gearing up for school (Huh?  How did THAT happen?)) and oh yes, a new baby.  August flew by in a blink, but I think September will be even more exciting still.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heat Waves




Well, this summer erupted into one full blown heat wave after another here on the prairie.  So, we have been trying to stay cool in as many inventive ways as we can come up with.  Hitting the numerous spray parks in town and tons of sprinkler time in our own back yard.  Yup, it's the days of juice pops and sunscreen, watermelon and sun hats.  I of course have my own limitations as a hugely pregnant mama of two very energetic little people, so I came up with my own daily routine to make us all happy (or try to at least).  We wake up early, get out of the house to a park for a play date or Parentlink while it is still cool out and try to get back to home by lunch time to get out of the heat and the UV while getting some down time.  I had a bunch of library shifts in the evenings this month which made it necessary for me to have a nap in the afternoons on many days.  So that, along with the fact that our only air conditioned room is our bedroom combined with my aching body=logical consequence.  Of course the kids didn't mind at all because that is when Mom would cave and let them watch cartoons on the computer    It was a busy month, too, not all filled with loafing and sprinker jumping.  We celebrated Canada day at the Sandfly Festival (as you can see the kids sported their very Canadian mountie T-shirts from Uncle Chris)  Adam took a couple of extra days off that  week and we took a wee trip up to Drumheller to visit the Tyrrell Museum and to Calgary to visit with Judea and Michael.  We also celebrated a milestone birthday...Miss Willow turned five this month.  yes, she has officially joined the ranks of 'kid-ness'  She seems so grown up, long brown limbs going off in all directions.  Strong willed and inventive with her energetic play...always acting as the leader in all games with her little brother.  She need for personal, alone time is a testament to her introverted nature (that she shares with Dad) and she spends hours each day working on her 'home work books' (practicing her alphabet and numbers) or doing crafts (mosaics, beading, 'eye of god' weaving, cutting, taping assembling) at the kitchen table or on her bunk bed, which has become her private sanctuary and true little girl mecca of treasures, toys and activities.  Silas continues to be happily occupied and intrigued by almost anything around him - he is game fo just about anything.  He and Willow spend endless hours together playing super heros, dress up, musicians, farmer, builder-men and a plethora of other imagination games that I am not privy to.  He  love dinosaurs and pirates and has lately taken to saying that things are 'beau-ti-fool'.  As in, 'oh, look at the blue sky isn't it  beautifool?'  It is impossible not to be charmed by him.  So what else did July have in store for us?  The Medicine Hat Stampede and some big 'firsts' on the rides, pancake breakfasts and parade.  This summer is definitely going to be one to remember!  Check out the July album on the right for more photos.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summertime, here we come!


Spectrum Festival - The Sunshine Festival, is the kick off to our summer here in the Hat.  Although it feels like it has been a very slow start this year with lots of rain, thunder showers and cooler than normal weather.  The kids were thrilled to get out on this day and enjoy some fun.  Adam has been crazy busy with school and research and writing these past weeks, so it was perfect luck that Judea and Michael came to visit on this weekend.  I sure appreciated the extra sets of eyes and hands chasing these two excited people around a park filled with bouncy castles and kids performers, in my getting-very-big, pregnant state.  With preschool over and most of the programs that they are usually in finished or winding down, the challenge here is to keep them un-bored and having fun without wearing myself too ragged.  Each day we try to hit a park and I also have at my fingertips several websites with kids summer crafts and activity ideas.  like I say, it had been pretty rainy so those things come in incredibly handy on long afternoons spent indoors.  I take heart in knowing that soon Adam will be finishing up these courses and will have a couple months in which his main workload will be reading and hopefully he can do some of that while hanging with us in the backyard.  In the meantime, Willow Silas and I are finding our summer groove and enjoying every minute that we can! (Check out the Picasa album Summer's Comin' on the sidebar)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sibs


 A little update for May....of course there are so many moments that I wish I could share..I try to do a little of that with pictures.  But the truth of the matter is that life is so busy and little people don't really seem to like it when Mom is on the computer, or the phone or trying to do 'Mom' things that are of no interest to them.  So, I do a lot less of that stuff.  And by the evening time, I am usually too pooped to blog or talk on the phone or whatever.  So enough about me...these two shiny faces - my Sun and Moon.  And they have been getting along famously, for the most part, with some minor sibling frictions in between.   All in all they really do act like best buddies as you may see in this pic!  Willow's big shiner happened one evening when she bonked the top of her cheek on her bunk bed ladder.  I don't really know how she did it but she didn't cry until she heard me say "OMGosh!  What HAPPENED to your EYE?!" It started off at a purple goose egg and had developed into a very nice, dark purple-black, full crescent shiner by morning....and just in time for her year end dance recital!  Silas, my sunshine. has been working on his sense of humor and he has both many moments of hilarity and of 'Um that's not very funny, Silas.' which he can't really distinguish between.  When you hear the joke 'knock knock'....'who's there?'....'stinky, pinky underwear!!!' forty five times in a row you know it is a very clever two and a half year you are dealing with!  He is struggling more and more to do everything for himself and he is doing great..I am super pleased with his growing independence.  Our home world has opened up into the backyard oasis.  Our living space has expanded ten fold and I am reminded again and again at how sweet these times in our lives really are.

Monday, April 23, 2012


CHECK OUT THE PICS FROM OUR ALMOST SPRING ALBUM ON THE SIDE....IT'S A LITTLE DATED (FEB/MARCH/APRIL) BUT STILL WORTH  A PEEK!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ok, April Mud


That March mud pic didn't really do it...this one does. Mud Monkeys...yup. They had fun and occupied themselves for a VERY long time with this one....and what are they playing with: a broken bucket and some sticks...now that is awesome! Yes a highly recommended kid activity...well worth the time spent in the clean up after...in fact I think getting scrubbed down from head to toe was fun too!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snowman!

Well, the sun was shining and the snow was all melty into that perfect snowman making snow. After a day at the mall, visiting Santa and shopping the only thing left to do was build a frosty friend. I am so glad that Adam has some time from school where it is not back to back assignments....we have our Daddy back! Everyone seems super happy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November....

November was a busy month. I was busy getting ready for the first of my craft sales while Adam plugged away at numerous assignments and papers for school. The kids stayed busy with all of their activities: swimming lessons, ballet, gymnastics and preschool. Here is a picture from late November at the kick off to Christmas, the downtown art walk and midnight madness.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Strathcona Park

It's been such a gorgeous autumn this year...so much sunshine! Get all caught up with our Autumn fun in the new album I just posted in the sidebar....

Friday, August 26, 2011

We spent several days in Lethbridge while Adam was at the University we hung around and enjoyed the sights of a different little city. It was fun! This place, Henderson Lake was a real gem...it had a cool, huge playground, a big lake to walk around and the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens...such an Oasis. More pictures in the album on the right.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Calgary Zoo

We did a whirlwind overnight trip to Calgary and hit the Zoo and Ikea. It was such a hot, sunny, beautiful day...the kids loved it.. The butterfly pavilion was definitely one of the highlights. We were able to rent this handy wagon to tote around our precious cargo...so fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

CANADA DAY!

One of the highlights of our Canada Day celebration is the free cake! Our stroll through the festival at Kin Coulee Park just wouldn't be the same with out that sugar blast!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beehive Kiln

Medalta and pottery really became household words this month as Willow and Silas did much hanging out and visiting while Mom was doing her residency at Medalta this summer. It was a little tough at times, but overall they did amazing with the babysitters and with friends while Mom was working hard in the studio. It's cool to know that these guys are no strangers to clay and that 'beehive kiln' will forever be a part of their vocabulary - which is where this picture was taken.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

Well, the Easter Bunny made it to our house this year which was, of course, pretty thrilling for Willow and Silas. It was still a bit chilly in the morning for the egg hunt, but nothing could stop the enthusiasm of these two as they searched for candy spiked eggs. The day turned out to be so lovely...Grandma brought over some yummy brunch and Adam whipped up his famous waffles. the sun came out and later on we presented the kids with the best outdoor fun stuff including bikes! Willow was off like lightening on her new two wheeler (with training wheels, of course) and Silas was super excited about his new helmet and tricycle (although his feet don't quite touch the pedals yet) It was such a fun day for all of us...but then again how can a day go wrong when it starts off with chocolate? .For all the pic check out the picasa album on the side.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gearing up for Easter


Oh, Spring feels like a long time coming this year. With so many stops and starts to the weather, indoor days are still inevitable. Good thing these two are masters at keeping each other occupied. As you can imagine, Willow is the game maker, endlessly communicating the rules, regulations and required actions in any play situation. Silas, is usually game for just about anything...as long as it involves a little mischief.