June 12, 2011

Our Epic Adventure at the Zoo

Toka, Thika and Iringa, the three female elephants that remain at the Toronto Zoo, will be sent somewhere more comfortable to retire and we wanted to say farewell!
Bonne journée

June 7, 2011

Milestones


JDs first birthday is coming up and I can’t help but feel nostalgic about the whole thing.  Every little thing he does is a poignant reminder that I need to savour the experience because it’s gone so soon.  With Brie, I greeted every milestone with anticipation.  I couldn’t wait for her first wobbly step, her first word, the first time she fed herself, and the first time she recognized her name.  If the ‘What to Expect’ books came in a pocket size, I would have walked around with them constantly.  As it happened, I still perused those books relentlessly and combed through baby websites with a fine tooth comb. 

Milestones for me were practically an opportunity to break out the baby sized cap and gown so I could have a ceremony, document the auspicious occasion and party afterwards with my mommy friends, “Guess what Brie did this week…”  However, now that I’m experiencing the same milestones with JD, there has been less intense fist bumping and hi-fiving when he’s conquered a new phase.  It’s not because I love him less, it’s because my heart is filled with love for him as much as it is for Brie and every time he hits a new plateau, it’s a bitter sweet reminder that this is my last time experiencing that ‘first’ as a mom.  Two weeks later, he won’t fit under the kitchen table while standing.  A month after that, his first steps that I lovingly call his ‘drunken master kung fu gait’ will have steadied out.  A year from now, he’ll be able to feed himself independently and all of my marvellous photo opportunities to catch him with food all over his face and hair will have dissipated.  And five years from now, my little guy who nuzzles in and cuddles with me like it’s the only thing he wants to do in the world, is going to say, “Mom, stop hugging me!” 

So, I am going to relish and appreciate every single milestone that my kids go through.  I’ll be super eager, excited and thrilled the very first time Brie does something new.  But I can’t help but wistfully delight in and soak up all of JDs milestones, since it’s the last time I’ll be experiencing them as a mother!

June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Our Epic Family
Hanging out at the Childrens Circus on the Holiday Weekend

May 27, 2011

Family is where the heart is


I love my family so much!

Two great things you can give your children: one is roots, the other is wings.
by: Hodding Carter

My dream for my kids is that they will be grounded in the Lord and have a strong sense of who they are.  My dream is for them to become visionaries; for them to dream of a better world and have the desire, strength and inner resources necessary to work towards achieving that goal.  I want them to be resilient and learn to sway when they are buffeted by life’s winds and storms.  And when they fly away from my nest, I want them to be shining beacons of light and hope.  I want them to exercise what we have taught them.  I want to be proud of the people they choose to be.  So as a parent I now choose to give my kids both roots and wings, so one day they will be grounded yet soar!

May 19, 2011

Ode to the terrific twos

Ode to the terrific twos! Actually, let’s be honest, odes are difficult to write so instead here’s a haiku.

My toddler explodes
In a public place again
I am mortified

The terrific twos are wonderfully exhilarating yet they can also be downright terrible. I know there are some parents who natter on and on about how amazing their toddler is all the time. But let me be completely honest with you, we are not one of those families. I believe in telling it like it is and so I put it out there with the hope that someone else is going through the same thing I am and we can commiserate, laugh and support each other through it.

My toddler is bright, interesting, curious, intelligent, helpful, loyal and funny. And I love when people see those awesome traits in her. But it seems that at the most inopportune times, she embodies the stereotype of her age and melts down in the most public of places. For example, last week we went to the library. On the way there, we had a great time singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes, practising the alphabet and counting as we walked along. We even met another mom and baby on their way to the library and she was awesome as we got to know a new friend. Well, all that changed once we arrived at our destination. We greeted the other parents who were in the kids section, I got her out of her stroller and I have no clue what happened; my well behaved child decided that she wanted to pull books from the shelf, bump into another kid instead of saying excuse me to get around them and whine about wanting to go home ‘NOW’. If you are the parent of a regular toddler (not a super toddler like I mentioned above), you know that feeling of shame that comes over you when your little angel practically sprouts horns before your very eyes. And it doesn’t help when other parents glance at you with that, “can’t you get your kid under control” look. So, what did I do? The same thing I would have done if we were home. I gave her a warning and let her know that if she didn’t behave herself, I would put her in time out. And I would have done it too…right there in the library with all those looks of horror, outrage and pity. I would have put her in a time out because that’s how she’s getting real life training on how to conduct herself in public. We can practice it theoretically every day at home but the true test of how well she is learning that lesson is demonstrated in how she conducts herself when we are out in public.

So, if you see us at the grocery store or at the library and I am trying to manage my toddler’s meltdown, please don’t give us an audience; just keep on moving and go about your business as usual. After all, I am trying to raise a person and there are bound to be bumps in the road. I realize this is a significantly noisy bump but hopefully one day you will encounter a pretty awesome young person and think, “wow, they are so well mannered; their parents did an awesome job with them” and hopefully that youth will be an older version of my terrific toddler.