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Rainbow Loom Lunacy

I’m guessing if you are a parent and have a daughter between the ages of 5-10 your house has been taken over by small colourful elastics and a weird knobby plastic contraption known as the “The Rainbow Loom”.

Personally, I held off for as long as I could.  I was vaguely familiar with the toy around Christmas time but I had already painstakingly tracked down and purchased my daughter her “I MUST have a Flutterbye Fairy (which she LOVED, by the way, but has not played with it since Christmas day), so there was no way I was going to go all over town (or the internet) trying to find another “top toy of 2013”).  Her birthday was a mere 10 days after Christmas but we promised her she could get her ears pierced when she turned 7 (and who knew that would be so expensive!). So no Rainbow Loom in my house. It was only until about a month ago I really became aware of them taking over the world. When Katie started going to Rainbow Loom birthdays and all her friends were coming to school with bracelets they had made.  Then the talk started. “Mommy can I pleeeeeeeeeease have a Rainbow Loom’ Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease???”

I stood strong for a good month. Insisting she had enough new toys from Christmas and her birthday.  But in the end I agreed to let her spend a certificate left over from her birthday and buy the treasured Rainbow Loom. It’s been a week or so and my house is being slowly taken over by colourful bracelets. And truth be told…she’s only made about 4 of them. I’ve made the rest. How did this happened?????

It was supposed to be a toy for her. Originally she could have cared less about the “loom” itself. She told me a friend had taught her how to make bracelets using two fingers so she grabbed some elastics and off she went. Wait, what? You mean I only needed to spend $4 and buy some elastics?  We didn’t actually need the whole “loom”? So next thing you know I hear myself saying “well you spent your money on this, we have to at least figure out how it works”.  Several YouTube videos, hours and days later and I have made a lot of bracelets. And I’m not that good at it. I’ll place all those elastics on the loom, painstakingly hook them all the way the 8-year-old in the video shows me. Think I’m done and then BAM! It all falls apart.  My daughter actually said to me one day “Mommy, you aren’t very good at this. Maybe you should get Joelle’s Mom to show you. She’s really good”.  And  meanwhile, my daughter is still good at making them on her two fingers.

Until I write again…

x Shay

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30 to 40

30 to 40

Thirty days until I turn 40, how crazy is that? 40 always seemed so old. But I don’t feel old. I mean other than the abundance of grey hairs that have recently taken up residence on my head. But nothing a little trip to the hairdresser can’t fix.

I remember talking with my girlfriends about turning 40. It always seemed so far away. We would chat about taking a big trip celebrate us all turning 40. Yet as it approaches I’m looking forward to a quiet party at home with my nearest and dearest. And I’m wondering if I’ll be able to stay awake until midnight. Lol. Oh, how times have changed.

It seems not long ago I was turning 30. It was such a crazy and exciting time. 10 years ago, I was telling my loved ones that my boyfriend, of less than a year, had been offered a job and we were moving to a new city.  I left everything I knew: family, friends and a career I loved; all for the unknown. I had no idea what my 30s would bring but I knew it would be an adventure. Everything in my 30s was new a new beginning: marriage, friends, 2 kids, 3 houses, 4 cars, 2 new cities, countless road trips and several career changes.

Now as I leave my 30s and enter my 40s I feel more settled into my life. I’m still excited about what the future holds but also happy to be living a quieter and more predictable life.  I’m looking forward to not moving and instead exploring more of this beautiful west coast. To watching kids my grow up and into the people they are meant to be. To finding more “me” time to write and get out with friends. To figuring out (in a couple of years) how I’m going to spend my days once my kids are both in school.

The one thing I learned in my 30s is that life rarely turns out how you planned. I’ve always enjoyed the journey and am looking forward to seeing the adventures life bring in my 40s.

Until I write again..

x Shay

“Getting There” is just as much fun as “Getting There”

I LOVE road trips. It’s one of my favourite ways to travel.

When I was a child, we drove out to the coast to see my Grandparents every summer. The best part of the trip was always getting there. I couldn’t wait to see my cousins and go swimming in the lake. The ride home was never as much fun. It seemed longer and I was always sad to leave.

I still feel that way, but now I enjoy the journey as well. I love unscheduled stops, beautiful scenery and reminiscing as we go by places we traveled as a kid: my Dad’s joke whenever we drove by a Deer crossing sign “hey did you guys see the deer on the side of the road?”; trying to remember how many tunnels we go through; the place our station wagon broke down one summer; and so on.

Even more fun is sharing these experiences with my husband. He’s one of the reasons I love road trips so much.  One of our first trips was very early on in our relationship.  We did a 10 day road trip around Eastern Canada.  Everyone thought we were nuts. 10 days in a mini-van with someone I had just begun dating. They thought we would fight the whole time and come home broken up. Instead we had a crazy adventure. Driving around with no plans. Stopping at every weird and wonderful thing we could find. Talking for hours about anything and everything – religions, kids, pets, you name it.  My favourite was a conversation that I still joke about today: “so let me get this straight, you’re name translates to ‘Steve Steve’, so you’re like …Steve squared? And you have brothers named Steve. So you’re like Steve the 4th and the 5th?” LOL, good times!!

10 years later and we are still having a blast. Although these days our conversations often revolve what’s going on in our current lives – our kids, upcoming work trips, how we think the Walking Dead season finale is going to end, etc.  In addition to our conversations, we enjoy listening to our satellite radio (a gift for my husband years ago, which he still refers to as “the gift that keeps on giving”).  While he is overjoyed with all the available song selections, I am continually vetoing his choices –  seriously, Steve “Rush Rush” by Paula Abdul??? But I did love that he did knew every word to a Backstreet Boys song and sang it loud and proud. We both showed off our car dancing moves to some Bel Biv Devoe. And don’t get me started on how many times we heard Pompeii or Timber. But by far, my favourite musical memory of our trip, was listening to my 7-year old belt out “Let it Go”  from Frozen, at the top of her lungs.

I love these trips and I love the memories we are creating for our kids. I love how special it is for my children to count-down the days to Grandma’s house. Or listen to my son ask “are we almost there yet?” 20 minutes into our 2 day drive.

As an adult, I’ve realized that getting there, is just as much fun as the place you end up.

Until I write again…

x Shay

Letting them Go

At what point do our kids go from being an adorable little 4-year old who barely have a care in the world and say whatever is on their mind:

“Mommy, something in here smells stinky…and I’m pretty sure it’s you”

To a self conscious 7-year old, who worries what their peers think of them:

“Mommy, I can’t wear my Dora winter boots anymore because Johnny laughed at me and said only babies like Dora”

My goal as a mother has always been to raise my kids to be independent confident people who will grow up strong, fierce, kind and caring individuals; who leave home and go out into the big scary world ready to face it without me.

It’s so much easier when kids are little.  If we are at the playground and some kid starts throwing rocks at my 2 year old, I’m going to be right there to step in.  But as they get older it gets tricky. We need to prepare out children to deal with these matters themselves.

As my daughter started elementary school last year, I’ve had to watch her face bullies and other challenges. Part of me just wants to hold her tight and protect her from those mean kids and hurt feelings. I want to solve her problems and shelter her from pain and rejection. But I know that’s not my job. My job is to empower her to be strong. To teach her to be heard. To get her to find her voice and speak up when she is afraid, scared or upset.  It’s a struggle to find the balance. To protect your kids when they need you, all the while letting them go to figure out the world themselves and let them fall. My hope is that when they do fall, they know I will be here to catch them. And no matter where life takes, them, I will be in their corner whenever they need me.

Until I write again…

x Shay

Kangaroo Mating

That’s right folks, I am here to discuss Kangaroo mating. Why?  Because that was the subject of a recent conversation with my 7-year old daughter. Say what??

So Katie has suddenly discovered the non-fiction section of the library. She typically brings home books about cats and then goes on and on about how she wishes we could get a cat (her brother is allergic). Yesterday she brought home a book about the life cycle of a kangaroo. So there we are, both reading our respective books, when she says “Mommy, what does ‘mating’ mean?”

I quickly discover why she is asking:

image

Now I’m all for answering your kids questions in a truthful manner. She’s asked before about babies and I’ve told her as much as I deemed truthful yet age appropriate. So after a thoughtful pause I replied “what do you think it means” she read the page over again and decided it meant that two boy kangaroos both liked the girl kangaroo. And I decided I would just leave it at that for the day. She was pretty excited because the next page went on about the two kangaroos stood on their tails and kicked each other. Well there you have it then.

I sent this picture to my brother. His response “I had the same problem in high school”

Until I write again…

x Shay

Little Conversations

Working for a Living

How fun is it to simply listen to conversations your children have with each other and their peers? I’ve especially enjoyed this now that my son is older (4) and can carry on a conversation on his own.  Sometimes I find the kids and their friends will whisper, assuming I cannot hear them.  But I’m usually within ear shot (like sitting next to them at the table) and can hear every word (which seriously makes me chuckle – especially when it’s something like “after lunch, let’s hide behind the couch from your Mom”).

This morning’s breakfast conversation was a particular humours one. My 7 and 4-year-old were discussing where they were planning on working in the future.  The consensus seemed to be that they would both be employed at Chapters and Toys R Us. What really made me laugh was when they were discussing their shifts and if they would over-lap.  My son seemed to think he would be working around the clock, to which his older sister reminded him about the importance of making time for his future family.

Play-time

One of my favourite times of the day is when I get to put my daughter to bed (my husband usually does this, so it’s a treat for me when he is away for the night).  We will lay in bed and talk about whatever is on her mind.  Sometimes the conversations are serious, while other times they are just plain goofy.

Here is some of the commentary she’s shared with me lately:

Me: Who did you play with at school today?
Katie: Lots of people.
Me: Like who?
Katie: Small people. Medium people. Large People.

Katie: At centre time, we played house today. We pretended it was my birthday and I got an iPad. Then I just played on the iPad for the rest of centre time. (Oh how times have changed)

Katie: Today at recess we played family.  I was the baby. We pretended the bicycle rack was the jail.
Me: Someone in the family was in jail?
Katie: And then a tornado hit. Some people didn’t make it. But I was ok.

Until I write again…

x Shay

About a boy

When I envisioned what my life would be like as a mother, I always knew I wanted a daughter and had many insights as to what I hoped our relationship would be like. And although I was never against having a boy, I also had no vision of what that would mean.

The day my son was born I remember asking the doctor “what did I have?” and when he said “a boy”, I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness. Wow a boy!

In the days that followed I knew I loved him more than I knew how to express and I all I wanted was to cuddle with him. As the weeks came and went I learned quickly what differences having a boy can mean. One little appendage was whole new world of surprise to me. Why did no one warn me that you had better keep his appendage pointed down or he’d end up peeing upwards and out if his diaper? And speaking of diaper changes, you’d better make sure that things covered up or your gonna get sprayed in the face. Good grief was I ever enlightened those first few weeks.

In my mind I always pictured boys as being loud. And that’s exactly how my son started out. Unlike his sister, he HATED the car seat. Screamed bloody murder whenever we strapped him in. To the point where we nick-named him ptero-Jack-tyl.

But more than anything what I never knew or expected was what an adorable, funny and charming little boy he would grow into. How he has yet to outgrow his loudness – in fact at preschool he was told he could only roar outside. And yet I find that when he is being, what I consider, a typical loud boy, he is also this amazingly goofy kid. A kid who has a natural born talent for making people laugh. We often hear my daughter say “mommy he’s just so funny I can’t help but laugh”.

But what I find most endearing about my son is how affectionate he can be. I never dreamed that I would have a son who loved to cuddle. Who would randomly come up to me throughout the day and give me kisses and hugs and tell me how much he loves me. Who would do and say so many things that simply melt my heart. I especially love to hear him singing himself to sleep at night.

He is such a gift to this world and he is only four. I am truly thankful that I was blessed with a son. And look forward to the days and discoveries that await us as we watch him grow.

Until I write again…

x Shay

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