Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I succumbed... the pressure of a 4 year old. As we left the house this morning he glanced around the neighbourhood and then at our house and in a sad little voice he asked me why our house was not scary like the other homes. I said the most important thing was that we have fun on hallowe'en, not the decorations. He looked at me with his sweet face and said...but can't we have both?
SO, instead of working on my essay, I spent the morning carving pumpkins, hanging ghosts and bats from the porch and covering the front of the house with cobwebbing. And I have to admit, despite the knot in my stomach knowing my deadline is looming, the house looks great and I feel good about getting it done. I know Owen will be so thrilled when he walks up the least he better be.

Grandpa Bud & Pumpkins

On another note, my Grandpa Bud used to buy all of us grandkids a pumpkin every year and I am so pleased that my dad has continued on with this tradition. He brought over a pumpkin for Owen and Isabelle. I love traditions and love it when they get passed on through generations. Thanks Dad...thanks for keeping this alive!

Halloween Costumes

We are getting ready for Halloween around here. We have a very sad little house this year...a few pumpkins on the front steps, not carved, just whole pumpkins sitting there, no ghosts hanging from the porch, no bales of hay...we do have costumes though.

Keeping focused on what is important (costumes) and not feeling guilty about the extras (carved pumpkins) right now.
~mama to scooby-doo and little ladybug~

Creativity Slump

I find that lately I have been in a creative slump. Whether it is due to the stress and fear of re-entering the work force after a year, the sheer amount of reading and assignments I do for school, being mom 24/7, or the time spent researching and gearing up for our business...I do not know. What I do know is that I really miss being creative, I miss scrapbooking, I miss editing my photos...and when it comes down to it, I think I miss the "me time" that I get when doing these activities.

I tend to be a giver not a taker when it comes to my time and myself. I rarely make time for me and the things I want to do. Countless times in my life I have set out to change start down a new path where I set myself as important as the others in my start to demand and take personal time. And for a few days I am good, really good. Then inevitably somthing will happen; a new business prospect, a friend in need...and all my intentions go down the drain and I get caught up in giving of myself again.

Now, do not get me wrong, I do not see this as a character flaw and in no way do I intend to stop. I like that I am a giver, I like that my friends and family can count on me to be there for them when they need me. I love that I get excited and jump feet first into new things. These things are what make I just know that for me to remain me...I need to set aside some time to be creative.

I have recently discovered Flickr and I am really enjoying getting lost ib there. Looking at all the cool images people have created. I stumbled across an area where people post pictures of their inspiration boards and just love the idea of it. Putting up images and words on display as a reminder of what is important or inspiring to me. Here are a few that I really loved, and no surprises really...this one with all its straight lines and rows, this one with a red background and cool geometric patterns, and this one for the sheer vastness of it...inspiring! an effort to get some creativity back into my life, I am going to create my own inspiration board and post a picture on here...just as soon as I get my essay for school done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Boys...

I love my boys...

This was taken recently on a walk in the woods. The conservation area near us is just wonderful and we try to go as often as we can. This photo was taken on the weekend.

Nana & Papa

Nana and Papa are currently en route to Florida for a month. They stopped in here on Sunday for a visit and we went to Lynde Creek for a lovely walk in the forest. They both got to experience the wonder of the birds:

We had a great day enjoying nature and trudging around in the leaves.

Friday, October 26, 2007


If you have a child 4 years old or older, I am certain you have heard of Webkinz . Owen received a Webkinz lion for his birthday from Grandma and just loves it. For those of you who do not know, they are stuffed animals that come with an access code to the website. With the access code you can log on and play games, earn Webkinz money and then shop with it to buy food and clothing for the online version of your toy. Similar to the Cabbage Patch dolls of the 80s, the Webkinz toys get adopted by their owner, but you get to name your own pet. Owen came up with the name BINGHEE. He loves this lion and takes it everywhere with him…to school…in the car strapped into his carseat with him…to bed with him dressed in slippers.

I was a little reluctant to start but after looking at the site I am hooked. It is really educational; teaching children about money management, keyboarding skills and quizzes in all areas (math, spelling, culture…).

I have to admit that most nights after doing my own computer work I log onto the Webkinz site and play a few games…totally addicting.
~closet webkinz addict~

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Justin turns 6

Happy Birthday Justin!

My nephew Justin turned 6 today. I cannot believe how grown up he is, time just goes too fast. Owen called him on the phone and sang Happy was very sweet.

We love you!
Auntie Jen
Uncle Adrian
Owen & Isabelle

Tuesday, October 23, 2007



This past weekend I was well and truly spoiled by Barb. A little while ago she and I were talking on the phone and I am sure during our 20 minute conversation I had to “put her on hold” no less than 10 times to deal with one problem or another with the kids. I have been a little stressed, a lot tired, and completely overwhelmed lately. Between part time school, going back to work full time after a year off, taking care of the kids, trying to eat well and get some exercise in, doing my homework and reading…it seems that I am unable to carve any time out for myself. The kids are very young; Owen just turned 4 and Isabelle is almost 1 and our lives are just super busy right now. ANYWAY, Barb called back again a few days later and told me to pack my bags and get childcare coverage for Friday afternoon and night…she was whisking me away for an afternoon (and overnight stay) of relaxation and pampering.

Getting away these days is no easy feat, but thanks to my knights in shining armour, I was able to leave without a worry. Leslie helped me in the morning as I was getting ready to leave and still had a million things to do to get ready for Owie’s party…thanks Les!!! And Mom is great for always being there when I need her…thank you Mom…love you! And my dear husband Adrian was so thrilled for me to be getting away and did a great job with the kids overnight on his own…thanks honey! xoxo

Friday arrived and after a truly pleasant drive, I arrived at High Fields Country Inn and Spa.
The lobby area was full of movie posters signed by the stars that had visited; Jim Carrey, Julia Stiles, Geena Davis, Sigourney Weaver...and so many more.

Our room was incredible with a private patio overlooking the pool and the most amazing view of the Oak Ridges Moraine . We had a wood burning fireplace (which we used…Dad, you would have been proud of our fire), a very comfy king sized bed, a soaker tub (which we did not use :( ) and a couch and TV where we watched You’ve Got Mail…a classic Meg Ryan chick flick.

Our spa treatments began shortly after our arrival and were just amazing. After getting into our cozy spa robes and having a short tour of the converted farm house we were led to an amazing treatment room. It had everything you would expect from a spa and more…dimmed lights, soothing music, wonderful smells AND 3 treatment beds in each room. So after one treatment I just had to scooch over to the next bed for the next thing…so wonderful! We started with an aromatherapy facial that felt like a massage on my face, I typically do not love facials…they hurt and leave my face all blotchy…but this was completely different. Next was the massage and it was like heaven. It was mostly a traditional massage, but she did a little hot stone massage relaxing. She customized the aromatherapy to my scent preference; adding lavender, vanilla and leaving out chamomile…I have never experienced such personalized service before.

Then Barb and I met back in the room and had a few hours to kill before dinner. Although the spa treatments were wonderful, this was probably the best part for me. My dad and Barb have moved up north to the cottage and between their busy lives and our busy lives we have not had much time to really sit and talk lately. So Barb and I had a few beers (and cockatils too) sitting out on lounge chairs by the pool and looked out over the changing leaves on the trees. We talked about a million things; family, friends, work, stress…just got caught up on each other’s lives.

The food was amazing! Dinner was a set menu with choices of soup/salad and main course and breakfast was yogurt with granola and then a hot buffet. The chef has been there since June and she also served the meals to us and it was nice to be able to compliment her in person.

I cannot say enough how wonderful this little getaway was for me. I came home feeling rejuvenated and revitalized and much better able to cope with life. Barb, thank you so much for whisking me away and Dad, thank you for lending me your wife for a night. I love you both!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A week ago yesterday...

...was Isabelle's first day of school.

Isabelle started at Montessori last Monday, one week ago yesterday, I cannot believe that my wee baby is not a wee baby any more. In a few short weeks she will be turning one and I will be heading back to work.
The first morning went great. She took the teacher’s hand and walked into the classroom without a backwards glance at me. “Good, I thought, no tears”…and then “why isn’t she crying, isn’t she going to miss me?” I know, I am neurotic, as only a mother can be. But through my own misty eyes, I really was pleased that she was happy! However pickup time was not as smooth. As soon as she saw me she started to howl and kept crying and whimpering for about an hour…poor baby!!! It did not help either of us that she had just bumped her head into the cement wall of the school and there was blood and a huge scrape on her perfect little face.

Now, she still cries when I drop her off, but only for a few minutes because I hide in the hallway and peek in the window spying on her so I know she is happy and OK as soon as I am out of sight. When I pick her up I do the same thing, crouch down and peer in the window and watch her play for a while before letting them know I am there…and yes, I do see the disturbed visual I have provided here…I just want to see her in that environment without her seeing me.

She is in the Pre-Toddler program which introduces them gradually to the Montessori materials and activities. They have outside play time every day…circle time where they sing songs…little beds they use for naps and little tables and chairs for snack and lunch. The teacher’s are wonderful and so patient. It really is a great environment and I know Isabelle is well cared for.

I still cannot believe that my little girl is growing up!


Yesterday was Owen’s birthday party. 25 kids; friends, neighbours, classmates…5 one year old babies…many helpful parents…and 90 minutes in an amazing gymnastics area...what could be better than that???

The place is called Planet Gymnastics and has a 40 foot long trampoline for the kids to run and bounce down, a 3 story climbing frame with many slides and tunnels, a ball pit, 3 balance beams…and oh so much more. The staff were seriously wonderful, taking the kids through a warm up first with jumping jacks and stretching and then monitoring them on the trampoline, helping them on the bars…it really was AMAZING!
Isabelle started off with the cutest dress, but it was very hot in the gym so off it came and she ran around in her tights and shirt...too cute!
After the hour and a half of playtime we moved into the party room. There was pizza, juice and a few healthy choices (carrot sticks, fruit, yogurt) for everyone. The theme of the birthday was Spiderman and Owen really wanted everyone to have a spider on their piece of cake. When we were looking at the pre-made grocery store cakes, none of them fit the bill. So I embarked on the ambitious task of doing cupcakes for everyone. The idea was to then draw a spider web with piped icing and put a plastic spider on each one. But that idea got thrown out in favour of candy. Once we started talking about cupcakes, Owen was keen on the idea of everyone decorating their own. Much easier than drawing 30 spider webs and worrying about children choking on little plastic spiders…so mom was all for it! I baked them on Friday morning while he was at school and then on Saturday, a few hours before the party, he and I iced them together. They were a hit!
Owen got well and truly spoiled in the present department; lots of Hot Wheels, Spider Man and board games. The present opening was a little chaotic, too many kids crowding Owen as he tried to open, I am not sure if he even knew what he was opening before the next package was thrust into his face. We will have to do some brainstorming and come up with a better system for next year’s party…at least we have plenty of time to work on it. I was a little overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and told a friend that I was a little embarrassed and she said the nicest thing to me “Don’t be, this is a reflection of how people think of Owen, he is a good friend to people and that is what is reflected here.” Thanks Donna! I never tire of hearing wonderful things about my kids.

I was curious to see how the party would play out with school friends, neighbourhood friends and other friends all thrown in together. I wondered how Owen would split his time; would he play only with the kids he sees every day or favour the ones we only see occasionally? Well I didn’t need to waste any time worrying about that…it was fantastic. Every time I caught a glimpse of him (running from one area of the gym to another) he was surrounded by different kids. He played with everyone and all the kids played with each separation of groups, no favourties...just lots of great fun. We adults could learn a lot from these 4 year olds.

At home both kids went to bed pretty easily and no wonder with all that running around. Owen literally crashed...sweet dreams my 4 year old.
Lastly I need to thank some very special people who helped make this party perfect. From helping serve the pizza and cake, to packing up the presents and loading them in our van, to changing Owen’s pants when he had a pee-pee accident…to grabbing my camera and snapping shots so I would not miss anything. The party went off without a hitch and I could not have done it without them. THANK YOU Leslie S…Leslie T…Jen…Andrea…Jarka…Donna…Sharon. From the bottom of my heart…thank you!

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Owen turns 4

I cannot believe that 4 years have passed already, time really does go so quickly when you are having fun.

We have had a few small "parties" already, but his BIG KID party with friends is yet to happen. Due to my weekend classes and a few other things we have had to make the boy wait until the 20th for the official party.

Owen was a gracious gift receiver, it is so wonderful to see in action the values and manners we work so hard to instill in him. His grandparents have spoiled him rotten and he was genuinely excited and thankful for each and every gift.

The night before his birthday, Adrian and I decorated the family room and the look on his face when he saw it in the morning was worth the effort. There was an obscene pile of prezzies from mommy and daddy and even with all the excess, Owen took his time opening each one...thanking us...playing with it or trying it on (clothing) before moving on to the next one.

I was just so proud of him and his grown up self!

Love you buddy!