First day of Preschool!

Up until her first day of preschool, my baby girl had never been watched by anyone outside of the family for an extended amount of time! The longest I had been away from her was when I was in the hospital with her younger sister (and Daddy was frequently going back home to spend time with her and Grampy)… and let’s face it, I was in and out of the hospital and actually shopping in less than 48 hours after I had given birth! So really, my little Sweetie-Belle’s first day of preschool was a huge shock to us all!
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We had discussed preschool with her prior to her first day, but I don’t really think she understood exactly what it was going to be like. Honestly, I had no idea what it was going to be like! We got her dressed, packed a bag, brought her lots of changes of clothes since she was still having some potty accidents at the time and brought her in.

Immediately I felt so different! Thankfully, so so thankfully, as soon as we got there, Stelle ran directly into the preschool room and lit right up! She was finally in a room filled with children her own age who she would get to interact with. The greeting we got upon arrival was outstanding. I was so blessed to have found such a great preschool for my daughter. It really helped to put my mind at ease. The only disappointing thing? She ran into the room so quickly, I never got to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye :(. I beat myself up over that for most of the morning, but eventually I told myself I would snuggle with her as soon as she got home to make up for it!

It was SUCH a slow day! I ended up coming home and cleaning, just to try and keep my mind busy on other things. I watched Cake Boss on Netflix afterwards until 10:30, when her sister finally woke up. I had no idea she would sleep in so long on days when her sister wasn’t around. So the rest of my day was filled with a ton of things that I just never really felt like I had had time to get done when I had both children home with me alone during the day. I took the little one grocery shopping, I really spent time just focused on her… hey, it was a new experience for her too! She’s always had a big sister around and I believe that she appreciates the time off to just be alone with her parent(s). The only thing I didn’t have time for was going for a walk with my little one in the stroller.

I would say that after the first few hours or so, the day seemed to go by a little faster… until Amara went for her nap! I kept myself busy working out, cleaning again, organizing! Either way, eventually it ended up being time to pick her up and boys oh boys, I was nervous and SO anxious! I had really considered picking her up early but was advised not to by my friends :). So I went to pick her up, and… you know what? She didn’t want to come home! So had had such a great time, I was so glad to hear that she had had such a great first day.

Now that a couple of weeks have passed (she’s only in two days a week), I think we’ve kind of got this down pat. She really enjoys being there, but she truly loves to come home with us too. I never know truly what to expect as there were a couple of times that she didn’t want to go, but as soon as she was through the doors, she was perfectly okay. I’ve noticed some pretty big improvements in certain areas as well. Since she’s been in preschool she’s totally finished daytime potty training, her speech has improved (not drastically, but.. it has still improved for sure! Which was the whole reason she got into daycare in the first place), and it’s really become a good routine for us now.

Thankfully, it’s only 2 days a week :),
So what do you guys do to occupy yourselves while your little ones are in preschool/daycare?
-Barb

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Cherish The Moments (Family Time)

Recently, there have been a string of premature deaths in my area. I can easily come up with 10 people in their 20s who have recently passed away, and this has been affecting me, even if it’s not really manifesting itself in grief. It’s just come to show me how valuable life itself really is.

Three years after becoming a mother for the first time, I can honestly say that I truly love the special family moments we’ve been working on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with staying at home and making some homemade playdough, but I really enjoy the outings we’ve been having as a family lately. Aldric and I bring the kids out for a walk on a trail, or around in an area they’ve never been before. It gives the kids some time to explore as we let them run a few steps ahead of us. I know it sounds crazy, but these times together have really made me understand just how much my children have grown! Also, it has begun to put my mind at ease about having both children out in public, haha. It’s taught me that they listen way more than I ever thought they would, it’s shown me how much they love being outdoors, and it really allows me to see the vivid reactions on their faces when we explore a new area. Sometimes we keep it more low-key, and have a campfire before bed with the kiddos. The way the kids light up when we bring out the marshmallow roasting sticks is simply adorable.

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I want my children to have memories, not only day to day average activities. I want them to really have fun times that they can look back on, filled with love and devoted attention. Not only that, but it really brings Aldric and I closer together as well. It’s nice to actually see him actively parenting the children and interacting with them. I strongly believe that a strong bond between father and child is special. It’s one thing that I missed out on when I was younger, which I realize is probably why I find myself making sure that Aldric is a really actively-involved parent. It’s one thing for a parent to be around, it’s another thing entirely for a parent to be actively-involved (and no, I’m not referring to helicopter-parenting).

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I think it would be unrealistic for me to believe that every moment of every day is special. So much of it is filled with the mundane, cleaning, organizing, getting ready, working, and all that jazz. As soon as I made it clear to myself that this was what I wanted in our lives, and that this was important to me, I was able to find the time for it. I’ve changed my attitude to take one solid day a week, not just an hour once in a while, to put aside any major projects, I just do light cleaning, and we just “make a day of it”. We do whatever we would like, but we do it together. It’s really our own, personalized version of stopping to smell the roses.To cherish the time we have together, because I do realize that before I know it my children won’t be babies anymore. True family time is something that Aldric and I missed out on when we were growing up, and instead of bringing up another generation like we were, we decided to put an emphasis on memories, telling our children (and each other) “I love you”, and really solidifying the bond that holds us all together as a family.

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I totally understand that sometimes due to scheduling, or where you’re at in your own journey can make devoting an entire day somewhat tough. Up until the past few months, I would’ve thought that this was nearly impossible! So make sure you’re really cherishing the moments that you DO have together. Tell your children, and those around you that you LOVE them. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on your child’s level. Play with them, colour with them, converse with them. In time, if it’s truly important to you, you’ll find more and more time to spend with your loved ones.

I feel like I could go on all day about this topic, and I’m not going to. You know your own personal scheduling, I’m just hoping that maybe this post will sway you to spend a little more time as quality time… you never know how much you have left.

Until next time,
Barb

You know… sometimes, life happens

Wow, I would love to be able to tell you all about how busy I’ve been, and how awesome my house, weight loss and personal lives are coming along. Although I can’t brag about my non-existent sparkling clean kitchen, or my non-existent organized cupboards, I can tell you about the small steps I’ve taken which are slowly pulling me closer to a more organized chaos. This post may be a little all over the place, mostly just updates and some previews about what’s going to be coming up, so if you’re only looking for a post that contains one subject, skip along. If not, stay for the update after my impromptu-vacation from blogging.

I might as well start by telling you guys that I was going to blog, I’ve been over at my computer every night recently. Especially at the crazy hours like this (big mistake), however, when I was cleaning up my desk area (yup, finally got around to it! I CAN ACTUALLY USE MY DESKTOP AGAIN!) I found an old copy of a book I had began writing and instead decided to work on that instead. I feel a little guilty, because, you see… I had so many ideas about what to blog about, but some of them were fueled by the emotion I felt as these things were ongoing, and therefore I’ve lost the ability to write about them as passionately and focused on my book instead. I guess I was hiding from my blog while working on my book. That’s going to change, when I become more organized since I’ll have to include weekly dates for both tasks. However, this time, I AM going to FINISH this book. It’s about time that I finally finished at least one of the damn things I started… and this is really an idea that has stuck in my head throughout the years. Although I gave up on it last time due to a lack of ideas, amazingly enough, after picking it back up again my head is filling with all sorts of new ideas and turns for my story to take… but enough about that, I’ll let you guys know if I ever manage to finish it!

Secondly, I went up to the city and we went to the large Chapters store up there. All I can say is, wow! I’m not usually a bookworm, and I tend to stay away. Recently, however, I’ve found myself in them all the time. Ours is quite small, and I’m sad that I’m going to have to start ordering in online but they really don’t have much in the way of organization or decorating. I actually added a book to my cart a couple of weeks ago and decided to put it on hold until I was 100% sure about the purchase… and then found it at this place! I was so excited! The book is called, “Organize Now!” (the updated & expanded version) and it’s written by Jennifer Ford Berry. It’s a good handy tool to use for self-motivation, although not a really detailed book and I find it lacks slightly in ideas about how to accomplish everything on your weekly list. That being said, the only thing I actually have a problem with about this book is the fact that she recommends that 80% of your weekly groceries be pantry items, while only 20% be fresh. I cannot even begin to tell you how much that drives me crazy! I believe that an organized life, should be a healthier life. 80% pantry items does not a healthier life make /endrant. Really though, if you’re looking for a way to figure out everything you need to do, and a timeline on how to get it done, go have a look at the book at least. I’ll be making weekly posts about my progress from the book, or how I’ve changed things around.

So I was looking online at those books, right? And came across the most beautiful planner I think I’ve ever seen! It’s got a shiny peacock pattern on it, and it’s slightly larger than my usual planners. It began in July 2013, so I took that as a sign that I just needed to have it in my life! Currently everyone is colour-coded, yeah… I know that will never last! Still worth a shot though, makes it look prettier… which, in turn is actually helping me to use it a little more. The only problem I seem to be having is the fact that I’m too shy to make the phone calls I write down that I need to make… for no reason other than the fact that I usually sound like a total idiot whenever I get on the phone. I really believe this little planner will help me with the kids this upcoming year now that they’re old enough to get into activities and the like. My oldest daughter will be starting preschool and dance lessons for sure, as well as speech therapy if her preschool teacher refers her. Not too much going on with the little one, there’s still a little over a year left before she’s old enough to join these programs.

In other news, I hate grocery shopping… like, really. This is probably the biggest reason I’m not eating a healthier diet. I think the prep work for the grocery trip is probably the biggest factor keeping me away from the store, although I will fully admit that I’ve skipped on it for a day or two when I had the list in my hand. This is something new… it’s been a fair amount of weeks since I actually went to the grocery store and picked up enough food to last my family for the week. I try telling myself that if I could work it down to just having to go bi-weekly, I would make time for it. But personally, I know that’s still a lie I tell to comfort myself. As soon as I get one child into preschool, I’m going to start going every Thursday. This way, even if my boyfriend is at work, it’s not a big deal for me to take the little one with me.

On that note, it brings me around to my second weekly update which will be going in effect starting now. Every Thursday I’m going to be doing a weekly weigh-in… or at least a make-shift one. I am fat, fact. So fat, that I am not comfortable posting my weight online right now. So I’m going to be weighing myself once a week, letting you guys know how I’m doing, but it’s going to be in a +2 lbs or -2 lbs format until I hit a personal goal. Then I’ll convert to actually telling you guys how much I weigh.

Anyway, since it’s almost two in the morning, even though I didn’t manage to write everything… I’m going to bed now. Goodnight!

P.S. Happy birthday to me!

Thanks for reading,
Much love to you all!

Barb

Wine – the beginning

Okay, not the TRUE beginning of wine, because that would be out in a field of grapes… and we’re still using kits. But it is the beginning of a kit.

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We began making wine in october of last year and it was a success. We loved it, but it turns out that we loved it so much we ran out! So we went back to the wine store and picked up a couple of new gadgets as well as a couple of kits.
We are currently making a red wine called “Vieux Chateau du Roi”, which my father instead translated to “The King’s Old Castle” since he can remember it that way.
It was so much easier this time, add a little warm water, a little packet, dump in the grape juice, sprinkle in the oak and sprinkle the yeast on top… wait.
My daughters are at the age where they love helping in the kitchen, so we encourage it as often as possible a.k.a. whenever it’s safe to let them. So grampy helped them both and they each had a turn helping us get this started. It’s just a shame they won’t be able to drink what they’ve helped create this time! Oh well, I’m sure they will some day. At least this way, if we can maintain their interest throughoit the years, they’ll be well more than capable of making their own wine.

Anyway, I’ll let you guys know how this batch is going as we move on to the next step!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Barb

Estelle’s room

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Currently cleaning up my oldest daughter’s room to make space for her “big girl” bed. Have to go through everything too since she’s turning three shortly and doesn’t have many toys for her age. Also, going to put a bit more organization into it so that she can help clean up from now on. Stay tuned and follow along for the updates on today’s project!