Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We don't hit people we love...or scream!

Yesterday I just had to laugh when my sister in law put as her facebook status update that "Ross and Taya Black are helping their 3 year old have a "happy heart". SO FUNNY RIGHT?!? I found myself quite amused thinking about raising children and how they can just really struggle to be kind, gentle, have a good attitude, all the things they really need to learn at home. You will all get a kick out of what we were dealing with for the rest of the evening. You will want to pause my music playlist near the bottom of the page on the right hand side.

Things to note in the video clip:

1. I never got a chance while camera was rolling to tell her she was doing wrong.
2. The other "full time parent" (her father) is laying on the couch never looking up from the tv.
3. We laugh at her naughtiness because this is the first time she has exhibited this behavior...we were kind of shocked.
4. She wasn't disciplined on camera, leaving the audience to wonder just how well behaved this child will be at 2 years old.

Things to know:

1. She continued to do this 6 more times.
2. Daddy did get up and she got her first time out...cried very hard.
3. She gave sister big loves and did "sorry" many times.
4. Next time I will not laugh at my poor sister in law...I am busy parenting!


video

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Give it Away!

This is my most favorite "forward" on facebook thus far. I have been waiting to do a giveaway on my blog. I knew I wouldn't be able to wait for my one year blog-anniversary to do it. At first, I thought I would do it somewhere around the 1,000th viewing, then that came and went. Then I came upon this idea and decided it was perfect. I was fortunate enough to be one of the 1st five to respond to my friend Christine's note on facebook and I am so excited. Even more than that I am excited to tweak it a little.

The rules of the facebook note are that the first 5 people to respond will receive a handmade/homemade gift sometime in the next year(2009). And here comes the part I love. The condition to accepting this gift is that you must "pay it forward" to five more who would respond to your note. I love conscious, thoughtful giving as much as I love spontaneous and unannounced giving. This is going to be so much fun!!

Here is where the tweaking comes in. Due to the fact that I live away from most of my blog followers, there is a possibility that not all of my gifts will be homemade. Some may be purchased...but I promise it will be with you in mind and heartfelt. I am totally confident I will be having to mail most, if not all. Please leave a comment about the blog, things you like or don't like. What you would like to see me talk more or less about. If you want less talk more photos (although this could be an issue since I really feel like I am trying really hard to take more pics these days because of the blog. And I am driving my family nuts with all the pictures!) I am totally thrilled to hear any and all feedback! And to know that you are following and/or stalking the blog...let me know you are out there! Also, to be fair this will not be based on the first 5 people to respond, not all of us are stay at home moms that can blog stalk everyday in between rounds of bejeweled blitz. All who respond will be entered into a drawing and 5 names will be drawn at the end of a week.

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa


Like the facebook note the same rules apply...you must pay it forward! So, please enter with that in mind!

Home...



After a wonderful spring break trip to Lynden...we are home! We were gone eight days. Eight very busy, jam packed, running around, crazy, wild days! We stayed at my parents house. We love staying there. This time was strange because they weren't there. They are off being "snowbirds". My time was full of appointments, working at Dutch Mother's, friends, shopping and shuttling the girls from place to place.

Brielle, devoted all of her time to Larissa and opted out of seeing anyone else since Larissa is her best friend and the only one that really matters. She felt her time was well spent. I think she is wise. She is loyal. She had a wonderful week and wouldn't have changed a thing! I called home a couple of days before we were coming back to tell Erik how excited I was. Brielle told me she was excited to go home...to Calgary!! We both had concerns that going back would be difficult for her, which ultimately means difficult for us. I had envisioned a flight home where all I heard about was how she didn't want to come back, is making plans to ultimately live with Nana...but NO, she missed home, missed daddy, missed her friends here and that made us feel so great. We haven't wrecked her life. She is happy.

Taya had a totally different Lynden vacation than all of us and I probably only saw her for a total of 2 hours the entire time we were there. She saw ALL her friends. She had sleepovers with 4 different families. She had multiple playdates with her "besties" Emily Gish and Abby Miller and Mara Gimse. Christine (Emily's mom) was, as always, "supermom". She held a party for 7 girls, they iced cupcakes and made crafts, and basically made Taya feel like royalty! On the plane ride home she informed me that Demi has grown since we went there and she is so happy she has 27 close friends. Half in Lynden and half in Calgary. God knew she would be the middle child. She is "go with the flow". She is easy going. She has 27 "best" friends across North America. I love that girl!

Demi, had playdates with Kestin and Ethan. Kestin is her best girlfriend and she really wants to hold her by herself and smother her with kisses. She calls her "Kiki" and thinks she is perfect. She loved playing at Aunty Stef's and had her first sleep over away from mama. She loves to do anything that Ethan does, he has fun toys, they played hide and seek and had so much fun and Ethan likes to hug and kiss her as much as she wants to hug and kiss him. She sat like a "little lady" in the shopping carts on multiple shopping trips while mommy bought all the things we can't get in Canada. She missed daddy so very much and has not let anyone else help her or hold her since we have been home.

The highlights of my trip were being with Kim and Kestin. I always cry when I arrive and see them and I cry again when I leave. Kestin is beautiful. She is growing and smiling and cooing. I can't even imagine our "girl group" without her. I wish it wouldn't have been so busy. I could've spent the whole eight days just holding her and being with Kim. I loved all the girl time Stef and Kim and I had at night once the kids were off to bed. We had a fun afternoon with Tiff and kids, sharing chicken strips and Naniamo bars from Dutch Mothers and watching the children play. Olivia "wowed" us with 12 different outfits and then settled in on a tinkerbell tutu she continued to wear for days after our visit. That kid is such a hoot! Stef and I had a blast on more than one shopping trip and Thai food. One of my best moments was finally connecting with Traci Likkel for a quick lunch. She is one of those people I haven't gotten nearly as much time with over the years as I would have liked to and yet we are an easy fit. Kindred spirits, people who could at any moment evolve into bestest friends if given any amount of time. Conversation flows easy and lots of laughs...thanks Trac! As always, I love to see the Dutch Mothers crew...they are like family. Some of them have been in our lives for 15 plus years. I had a wonderful time subbing for my mom's bunko group. It was so much fun catching up with all of them. AHHHH...such a good trip!

When it was time to leave I was so ready. Our hearts were full and we all agreed that it had been a wonderful visit. I have heard that is the sign of a great vacation...when you are ready to go home...and we were. I missed Erik so much. We could have been heading back to Antarctica and I would have been estactic. Because wherever he is...is where home is.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's almost Tuesday....

O.k. so I am NOT a fan of Mondays. I have been known to say that "Monday feels like the middle of the night to me". It's like my subconscious seems to know it's going down like this every week...that I'm basically just gearing myself up for Tuesday. Today should have been an extremely productive day because I should be getting us ready to head to Lynden on Wednesday. I need to pack for 4 girls, that is enough of a job all by itself. I have laundry to do. I have a TON of paperwork that I should be gathering and getting organized...but no. Not this day, cuz this day is Monday. I'm not sure why I am not just puttering away at it...I think I am just waiting until I feel overwhelmed and then I run around like a mad woman. I must thrive under pressure.

It's not that I didn't do anything today. I baked cookies for Erik's lunches for the week we are gone. I played with the baby and gave her a bath. Did 2 loads of laundry. Made dinner (so nummy, my Auntie Pen's recipe...it's Brielle's favorite dinner). I looked at old photos and marveled at how fast time is going, looked through recent pics and pondered where in the city I would like to go exploring the next time Erik and I have a date, I thought about how big the girls are getting, how much they have changed, contemplated an exercise program and did a lot of positive self talk about just how much I am going to use the treadmill once my husband moves it upstairs, since he has been avoiding moving it. Apparently they are REALLY heavy. So, once it's up there it best be used! I decided I'm not asking him to do it this week.

On the other hand, I could made better use of my time. I may need a intervention in regards to the game "Bejeweled". It's only one minute per round...I probably didn't need to play 67 rounds before I got off facebook, and I probably could have done without the following 43. I probably could have looked for the tax information instead of watching Young and the Restless. And, I probably didn't need to blog about what I am trying to avoid doing.

But, the way I figure it is: Everything I am enjoying doing today I won't have time to do tomorrow, because tomorrow is "Time to get it together Tuesday".

Here are some of the pictures I was looking at while I lost half of the day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Stef in the City"



My girlfriend Stefanie was the first of my friends to come from Lynden to the "big city" for a visit. She arrived on Thursday night and we started her vacation off by staying up until 3:30 gabbing like we only had the one day and like one of us didn't have to get up to get kids off to school! Her time here included all our favorites. Eating, chatting, dancing, eating, shopping, eating, getting coffee from second cup, sightseeing, more shopping, a winning trip to the casino, going to the market,(barely...we got there as they were closing in true Cher fashion...yet in true Stef fashion she was still able to make purchases!) more coffee...some with Bailey's, a fabulous dinner prepared by Stef, and more shopping!

We also had a big night out at the Ranchman with Jason and Lanie where we danced our little hearts out. An ok thing to do on a semi-regular basis...something to rethink if the end result is a 33 year old complaining of knees and hips becoming brutally out of line! Stefanie is up for anything and extremely competitive, that combination left us certain that before the night was up she would be "wowing" us on the mechanical bull, which she did! She went all 3 rounds and was so impressive! Erik, awed with her skills decided to take the ride too...I'm not that stupid! I know full well I will ride it at some point...probably my 40th birthday or some other significant milestone that encourages people to make show-offy decisions they will regret the next day/week. They both proudly wore their battle scars of bruises down their inner thighs and continued to puff each other up about how awesome they had both been! ROCKSTARS!!

We had so much fun that the next day we even tried on cowgirl gear at the mall...just so we can really fit in the next time!

As always all good times must come to and end. Tuesday night we took a very excited mommy to her flight (she was itching for her babies) and I loved that I didn't have to cry, because she had already booked her trip out for next month. It was a truly wonderful time...we just didn't get to the pedicures we had planned!

Thanks so much for such a great time Stef...you are an awesome house guest, so much fun and a really wonderful friend. We love you!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Burnt Muffin

I know they say they will only do it once, in fact that's what I told Erik when she did it. There is just nothing quite as sad as when our children are hurt. As a mom there is this part of me that feels a physical ache for them. I would take their pain if I could.

Demi aka. "muffin baby" touched the fireplace and burnt her little hands. It happened so quickly and for the first few minutes I wasn't even positive that she had actually touched it. They didn't blister right away. We weren't sure if it was one hand or both. She cried for a very long time. Kept trying to hug mommy to make the pain go away but it didn't seem to soothe it. It was awful! I wouldn't say I am the best in high stress situations anyway, especially when my babies are hurt.

The next morning, the blisters appeared, on both hands. But she was back to her delightful self. The only difference was she was picking up her toys with her wrists...so sad!


I will say this, the quickest way to have 5 Kingsboroughs crying is 1 hurt baby. I didn't know who to comfort. Thank goodness we knew we were picking up Auntie Stef in less than an hour. The person you want with you in crisis situations and just so happens to be a nurse!

My day had been good up until the evening. I was preparing for Stef's arrival and was cleaning up a storm, baking, and counting down the minutes until my "mommy time" began and it just felt like everything unraveled. We were trying to deal with some "teenage attitude adjustments, taya's undone school projects which weren't really bothering her nearly as much as it was bothering us, and it seemed like I was watching my great day go up in smoke (no pun intended, lol). On the way to the airport I said to Erik, "this is when I wish my mom was here...she would say the right thing...calm everyone down. When you're the mom you have to, and that's what I have to do but now I'm stressed to the max. I can feel a physical reaction, this tightness in my back like I am just going to lose it. I just want my mom! She would make me feel better." He took my hand, looked at me and said, "What would she say?" I just looked at him and and realized I was fine, he had just made it all better.

We walked into the airport tears in my eyes still, and I said quietly, "it's days like today when I'm glad we are doing it together."


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nana...



Once again, our visit with my mom was wonderful and went way too fast! The girls got to watch movies, get Tim Horton's donuts, went on a walk to Walmart, Nan bought new clothes for them, prepared yummy food, gave a ton of snuggles. They were overjoyed! Demi was thrilled to add another to her audience and performed all her tricks and gave Nana many kisses and big hugs. Erik loves having her here because he always has a full belly and basically has another person to take care of him!

It's so awesome that it's such a quick flight, less than an hour. So sweet of dad to facilitate visits so often (we are currently running an every 4 week routine). It may seem obnoxious to some, but my mom is one of my closest friends and I have always lived by her...talk to her every day. So, the distance from her has been a bit of an adjustment.

She arrived and emptied her suitcase that was full of gifts and left with our "love banks" filled to the brim as only she can do. Thanks for another really special time, mom. We love you!

PS. I'll add more pics once I get a copy of hers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sweet Things



I really have to say, I don't enjoy cooking. I don't really care for heavy foods. To my hubby's dismay I don't love "meat and potatoes". I would be thrilled if we could all come into agreement that cereal is sufficient 3 nights a week, cold sandwiches as a close second, and that tomato soup and grilled cheese make you feel like you just had the best meal ever! In fact, I really have to keep my attitude in line about making dinner. BUT...I love to bake! I love the way it makes my house smell...especially when it's all clean. I love the way it makes my family feel. I love to give it away. I love to have it in my house for if I get visitors. I laugh when my family walk in the door and say, "Mom did you bake us something or is that just a candle?" to which I reply, "nope, I baked for you sugar!"

I have really tried to be supportive of Erik and our budget by always having baking done for lunches. Currently, I have been baking every Sunday evening and then at least once more during the week. Besides being cost effective, and much better for my family, I find it very relaxing and I love the "warmth" it brings to our home. It's one of those things that seems to go by the wayside when our lives get so busy or when I have worked. So for me, in a way it's just another perk of being a stay at home mom.

One of my favorite things to bake is loaves, lovingly referred to as "candy bread" since Brielle was about 3 years old. We love to share "candy bread" with our friends and subsequently get asked for it by that endearing term by all the kids she grew up with. I don't have a clue now what I will be giving Matthew Vrieling for his birthday this year!

Besides recipes that have been passed along to me, my all time favorite recipe book for the last 5 years has been the "Ebenezer Family Favorites". So worth searching Lynden garage sales, or "Second Chance" or your mom's kitchen for. I would even call the school and pay full price for it...it's that good! Everything I have made from there has been fantastic. There are some really great dishes from Lynden moms. I often make the pumpkin loaf recipe. I like this particular one, because although it doesn't call for a lot of pumpkin it's a really moist loaf. And, I often have oil in my cupboard but have run out of butter. A few of you asked for me to pass it along so here it is.


3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup nuts
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda


Cream sugar, eggs and pumpkin. Add rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Makes 2 loaves or 8 mini loaves...which are so super cute. They freeze awesome!

It was some time in the last year that my dear friend Tiffiny blogged about being faithful about making dinner. The importance of honoring our husbands by doing that. It definitely convicted me. I have a nice life staying at home. He freezes his but off all day. I am doing better. I still hate it a lot of the time. But, I see the importance so I do it...I'd still rather bake.