Monday, August 27, 2012

Birthday Girl

 On Lexi's birthday we went to the only beach we hadn't been to this year.  The last time we were here we didn't have bathing suits.  This time we were better prepared.

It turned out to be a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon.  And even though my thoughts have shifted towards fall time and school and things to come, summer is still happening all around us.  The girls had beach cupcakes and did a beach dance to celebrate Lexi turning three.

And one of the best things about small town living is meeting up with our cousins at the beach, just by chance.  Family, friends, cupcakes, beach, sun, park...what more could a three year old ask for on her birthday?

Well if she's anything like her mama, she would like a well planned party with excessive attention paid to the details.  And that is definitely in the works as we await the return of many important party-goers from their summer vay-cays. Until then, a couple of store bought cupcakes and three candles will have to do.

A sneak-peek at what's to come...


Friday, August 24, 2012


Three years ago, at the dawn of the day, Jon and I made our way to the hospital anxious to meet our newest family member.  We did not know if you would be a little brother or a little sister for Callie but I can say now that I was hoping for you.  Since your birth was scheduled we had known for some time that today would be your birthday.  And I can't possibly think of a better way to end every summer from here on in than celebrating you.

On being three... you love to climb.  You climb so high it scares mom.  You climb and swing on anything within reach.  Our very own little monkey.

You try your best to keep up to your big sister.  You race her hoping you'll be first.  You can get your shoes on at lightning speed so that she won't leave without you.  You drink all your chocolate milk as soon as you get it at the restaurant... and then Callie shares her's with you.  

You are friendly, outgoing and you're always asking questions like "what's that mean?"  or "Why you doing that?"  You like dresses and painted finger nails.  You can color and cut and glue like it's nobody's business.  You like amimals, puzzles, and whatever Callie has in her hand.  You prefer one hair pony, but mom likes two, so you say, "okay mom."

Our rendez-vous continues but it can occur at anytime during the night..  We can hear your little feet pitter-pattering their way from your room to ours.  Sometimes I barely  reach consciousness as you climb over me to secure your place between me and your dad.  You love to snuggle and your hugs and kisses are generous.  Especially for your mom.

Your favorite book right now is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  You can take or leave TV. You let big sister choose the show because you are indifferent at this point.  You like to play almost anything... babies, dollies, Strawberry Shortcake, blocks, Playmobil, dress-up... whatever bin happens to be in the living room.  

You make us smile and laugh.  You call "watch me, watch me, take picture meeee!"  You are smart and inquisitive, beautiful and endearing, loveable and huggable.  You are three.  Happy Birthday Baby.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Final Days of Summer

With our summer holidays quickly coming to an end we had better revisit our summer to-do list just to make sure that we didn't miss anything.  We've been to the beach, we've been camping and to the park, we've had late nights and lazy jammie mornings, we've been to the library, we've read books, we've made art, we've had campfire s'mores and hotdogs, road trips and visits with friends and family...what could there possibly be left do do?

1. Quiet at home days in the back yard.  Check.

In between all our doings, we had many days to just be at home.  I love how all the toys get a good work out when we are at home.  Listening to the girls get totally absorbed in their world of play  makes me happy.  Some of their favorite games these days include going on a long trip  and baby...which is something like playing house.  Big sister is always in charge of these games, which is just the way it's supposed to be I think.  But little sister is no push over these days.  And as I watch their relationship grow as sisters I see they are the best of friends.  They are constantly looking for one another when one is out of sight and either can stand it if the other is sleeping and all they want to do is wake them up.

 But we also must keep it real,  they drive each other crazy on a regular basis.  Callie will say something like, "you don't get an ice cream" which in turn sends Lexi running to me crying, "Mom, Callie say I no get an ice cream."  They always race to be the first... and Callie always wins and no matter what one is playing with, the other wants it.  But the times that they are playing and laughing together, making their sister memories, trumps all their petty disagreements.

2. A visit to the trains.  Check.

We drive by these trains many times a day.  They are on the route to our house and everytime we pass them Callie asks when we can go there?  So we did.  And on this visit we decided to stop in at our local museum which actually looks a bit like an antique shop.  So many cool things LOOK at... aka don't touch.  That is a very hard thing to do.

3. Swimming lessons.  Check.

Callie has grown so much.  Very little encouragement is needed these days to get her in the water.  And her new trick... she jumps off the diving board like it's nobody's business.  After several years of gentle encouragement and watching the other kids take the plunge she just walked up there and jumped like she'd been doing it her whole life.  And I don't have a picture because I was caught off guard and wasn't expecting it.  And maybe because I was busy clapping and cheering and giving her a dorky thumbs up from the pool deck... doing anything I could to show how proud I was of her.

These are Lexi's first lessons... in anything.  And I was completely prepared with my supportive words of encouragement like I have used on her sister whenever she tries something new.  But as it turns out, these words were not necessary.  Maybe its the three years of watching her big sister or maybe she's just cut from a different cloth.. but little sister walked right up and jumped in the pool and never looked back.

4. Fishing.  check.

The girls picked out their very own fishing rods at the Wal-Mart store.  Diego for Callie and Buzz Lightyear for Lexi.  If you're wondering how a dad becomes such a great dad its because he has one too.  Fishing is a patient activity and even more so with two little girls.  Between twisted fishing lines, snacks all over the boat, and a little rain we managed to catch enough fish for supper.  Lexi caught her first fish on her new Buzz fishing rod. No picture though...because if you've ever taken kids fishing, you know that you really need to have arms like and octopus!

There are still a few things left on our endless list.  There are supplies to be bought to put in that new back pack.  New shoes and clothes to be picked out.  And we can't forget... someone's having a birthday soon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August Tid-Bits

When we flipped the calendar to August, mother nature flipped the temperature switch too.  And just like that, we start to notice all the signs of fall slowing creeping up on us.  The evening sun is no longer hanging around until midnight, the early mornings are darker and cooler, the trees are speckled with yellow leaves.  And with the flip of that switch we start to gear down, mentally preparing for the things to come.  

On the one nice day last week, there was an all friends available text sent out summoning all peeps to meet at the spray pool.   Beaches, parks, pools... they are way more fun with friends.  We have great friends!

There hasn't been a real beach worthy day for a couple of weeks.  The kind where we pack for the day and need to be in the water for relief from the sun. And it doesn't look like there will be one anytime soon.  I hope August can produce at least one more as I'm not yet ready to say goodbye to the sand and the water.

Just because there hasn't been any real beach weather, that doesn't mean we haven't been... it just means it has a different feel.

The other day I was browsing on the Land's End website, checking out their back to school collection.  I called Callie over to the computer and said, "Do you want to pick out a back pack for school?"  I always admire her decisiveness.  We scrolled through the back packs once, she pointed to the one she wanted and that was it.  I held back at saying, "are you sure that's the one you want?"  Because it is me who needs to look things over, think about it for a while and reassure myself that I'm making the right choice, not her.  I want to nurture and respect her decisions, especially after I just asked her to make one.  And good Lord, its a back pack.  It's not like she's choosing a college!

The back pack arrived in the mail the other day and a slow, tight lipped smile came across Callie's face when I showed it too her.  She wore it all night, impressed with all its bells and whistles like a place for her iPod (that she doesn't have) and a pouch for her water bottle which I'm sure she will be toting all full to the top.  This prompted the question, "how many days till I start school, mom?"  We counted on the calendar and as of today, she has twenty-two sleeps.

Twenty-two days is still a big chunk of summer.  Come on sunshine.  It's time to rally.  The race has only just begun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My girls are bound to grow into true farm girls.  On the weekend I took them to the country yet again but this time there were no horses or canola fields.  Just white fence posts, barbed wire fences, a friendly farm dog named Stanley and family... a lot more family.

And my girls had more late nights, running and playing with cousins.  Kids are awesome.  They have this level playing field where the only goal is to have fun and it doesn't matter that they have never met before and can't remember each others names.  They have no history and are not worried about the next time they will meet.  They live completely in the present.

I too met up with some cousins I haven't seen in a long while.  And between games of Bingo and Bocce Ball, campfires and gourmet meals, auctions and Olympics,  we caught up on each others happenings.

Another great weekend for the family history books.

Side Note:  I'm very tired.  Camping, country air, six hour road trip... none of this is the making for a post that can do a family reunion justice.  Sigh.  Just know I had fun.  I was so glad to see everyone.  And more inspired than my words are allowing for tonight.  Good Night.