Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our (Royal) Wedding

On the "eve" of what will be the biggest wedding I've seen it gets me to thinking about our wedding.  Unlike the Royal Wedding ours was very low key and intimate. 

Danny and I were married at Kaloya Park in Oyama, a beautiful park on Kalamalka Lake, in front of 34 of our family and friends. 

Looking back it seems like the whole day went by in a blink of an eye.  The one memory that sticks out in my mind was just before I walked down the aisle. We had decided to use our laptop and some speakers for our ceremony music, but the laptop wasn't properly turned off and we had enough battery life for 1 song so Danny decided it would be used for my song to walk down the aisle ("At Last" by Etta James ).   My sister's boyfriend was in charge of playing the song, easy right?  So, my sister, who was my bridesmaid, and my bridesdude had walked down the aisle and I started to get teary eyed in anticipation.  Well.....  Danny had forgotten to enter his password on the computer and so my sister's boyfriend was stuck at the Welcome screen.  He eventually said there was a password needed (he was afraid to ask for the password) so Danny had to go and unlock the laptop, open Itunes and find the song.  By then "the moment" has passed and I was ready to go.  I was later told that was the most nerve racking moment in my sister's boyfriend's life and will NEVER be in charge of music at anyone else's wedding, ha ha. 

It was a great day and I love that I get to spend my life with Danny as his wife. 

if it looks like Danny's laughing it's because he was they made us sit kissing for 5 minutes

our centerpieces 

I love this shot of Lynden 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bucket List Update!

So, we get to the Bug Zoo and we're wandering around and BAM!  There's a tarantula

And I QUICKLY walk away from it. 

Eventually I'm able to walk by and check it out.  We're trying to figure out what's going on in this case - is there a dead one in there?  What's going on??

Then my step dad starts to giggle and says look at the sign above it

 A BIRDEATER????????  I'm NOT holding this thing!  No way in hell! 

Our tour eventually makes its way over to Pinky the Bird Eater.  Turns out she's not a bird eater in the sense the name gives off.  If a small bird (ie. hummingbird) is on the ground she'll eat it.  Also turns out Pinky has just outgrown her skin and has shed it, making her Very sensitive.  She barely moves and won't eat for about 2 weeks.  We're not allowed to hold her.... PHEW

We wander around some more, learning about bugs.  And we come to Spider Corner.  I can't do it, I just can't.  So, Barb says "if I do it will you do it?"  and I say "ok"

Barb holding it

They make you open your eyes

Shoot!  Barb did I, so I do too...

There!  I did it! 

I won't be doing it again

Have you done anything on your Bucket List yet?  Tell me about it

Out and About: Vancouver Island

Lynden, Alyssa and I ventured over to the Island for Easter Weekend (sadly Danny couldn't make it between work and a flu).  We had a great time.  Lynden was so pumped for the "big big boat sail across sea" and seemed to enjoy it even though he had a terrible cough that made him throw up a few time. 

Our first full day there was the most interesting day.  Thankfully Lynden's cough cleared up over night so he wasn't a total crank pot at The Victoria Bug Zoo.  There were some COOL bugs there - we all really liked the leaf bugs.  Lynden even held a few bugs (he asked if he could hold some of them) while he wasn't other occupied lining up all their stool to use as a jumping platform.  We had a Great tour guide, which really made it enjoyable.  And I must say - ants are cool!!  The ant display was incredible.  Highly recommend this to anyone and everyone.   (I know you're all anxiously waiting to hear about the spider - look forward to my next blog)

We finished the day off with my step dad's Infamous Fried Chicken - yummmmmmmmmmm

a blurry shot of me holding a cockroach
holding a stick bug grasshopper thing
praying mantis
stick bug grasshopper
Lynden holding a leaf bug
 Lynden holding a millipede
Lynden holding the stick bug grasshopper

  The second day there we went back to the Petting Zoo at Beacon Hill Park.  We went last year and fell in love with the baby goats.  This year the goats were fewer and smaller - still darned cute tho'.  We got to see the baby sheep and pigs this year.  Lynden spent the time kicking and playing in the sawdust (I think he was tired).  We wandered on over to the park, where Lynden refused to do anything.  So, off to the pier to feed the seals - this was the highlight of Lynden's trip. 

Lynden & Grandpa petting a baby goat
New baby goats
this is a cool tree
hello seal

Lynden feeding the seal

Our final full day was my favourite.  We started with a visit from the Easter Bunny

Lynden checking out his loot
Alyssa's goodies
painting eggs

The Shaw Discovery Centre was incredible.  The entrance was cool and the displays of fish were something else.  Every time you went back to one you saw 4 new things in it.  At the end of it there are hand pools were you can pet the sea life.  It was too bad that Lynden was done and a total crank pot that day but I still had a good time.  This is another attraction I highly recommend.  And if you live on the Island the Annual Pass is worth it!

me in a bubble
Lynden & grandpa watching the salmon

this eel was so cool looking
Lynden checking out the display
starfish growing back an arm

Alyssa getting in on the fun
proud mommy moment - Lynden peed on the side of the road

Then back on the "big big boat sail across sea" to see daddy.  It was a great trip and can't wait for our next visit.

Funny side story:  At the bug zoo a couple with their kids joined our tour group.  The next day we ran into them at the petting zoo and then again at the Shaw Discovery Centre.  We spent Sunday night laughing about our "stalkers" and joked about seeing them on the ferry.  Guess what... they were on our ferry home!  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things That Go Bump In The Night

We've managed to survive the "no" phase (granted, I don't think it will ever truly end) and the "mine" stage.  But, the fear stage is something new to us. 

With "no" Lynden didn't truly get a say, he just though he did.  With "mine" we can explain "no, that's sister's, but she's sharing" or "yes that is yours but so-and-so is playing with it now".  How do you justify a fear to a 2 1/2 year old? 

At first it was just noises.  Constantly we get asked "what's that noise?" but we can easily explain most noises.  It's the people upstairs or it's a car or it's the heat.  And in some cases we can show him - like when the heat comes on we take him to the vent and get him to hold his hand up to it.  If we know it's a noise he knows we simply say "I don't know" and 99% of the time he'll tell us what the noise is.  Like most kids loud noises don't go over well.  If the dryer buzzes we get tears, if daddy cheers to loud at a Canucks goal we get tears, if Uncle screeches the tires on his truck we get hysterics (and rightfully so, I was standing right there and it was too loud for me). Yesterday he started with "monsters".  When the dryer buzzed he said there was a monster in the dryer, so I lifted him up and opened the dryer to show him there were only clothes in the dryer.  Thankfully, Bino (of Toopy and Bino) learns how to deal with monsters by ptttf-ing them, so we tell Lynden to do the same since it works great for Bino (I don't know if that's the right way to deal with it).  It's easy to get mad at Lynden for some of them, but we must remember it's just a phase and to work with him on it.

But, the dark!  Oh, I don't know how to deal with this one.  There was a time that Lynden went to bed great, but lately (I'd say the last month or so) it's a fight. And now he's willing to get out of bed (he used to just sit there and call for us), so it's a lot of taking him back to bed at night, which starts the crying.  And since Danny and I have very different ideas about how to handle the situation, so Lynden's not getting any consistency.  And I don't know that I truly can complain about Danny's method since I have to deal with Alyssa during the night (benefits of having her feeding apparatus attached to me), but I prefer the method of letting him fall back asleep on his own (even if it means crying - the crying it out method works for me - I'll blog about this another time).  If he gets out of bed, I'll walk him back into his room, tuck him in and ask what's wrong and, eventually, leave.  The most common answer to "what's wrong?" is "I want daddy" - and the reason?  Because daddy is a big ol softy, all Lynden has to say is "daddy lie down" and daddy lies down and falls asleep, which is what Lynden wants and he knows mommy won't.  Oh how I remember when Lynden would sleep in his own bed, alone, most of the night - I prefer him to sleep in his own bed and if he needs to come to bed it be for the last bit (around 5am and on).  I'm greedy and like my sleep, and with Alyssa I don't always get a restful night of sleep (we're trying to sleep train her to sleep in her own bed... it's not going well).  And our bed is NOT big enough to have all 4 of us in it comfortably, even less so since it's not uncommon for Lynden to spread his legs and arms as far as they'll go or to find him sleeping sideways on a bed. 

But I digress.  The fear of the dark.  We've got a nightlight in his room and leave a light in the kitchen on for him, but it doesn't seem to help at all.  He doesn't like going into rooms he's been in a million times (bathroom, our room) if it's dark, he's quick to say "dark in there" and ask for a light.  Which is fine. But how do you get him to be comfortable with it enough that he's not afraid at bedtime?  And you add in a noise and it's a recipe for hysterics every time.  And since Danny's the one dealing with it most nights I don't know that Lynden is learning how to deal with it.  I want Lynden to know we'll be there for him when he's scared but I also want him to learn  how to deal with any fears he has.  Can I have my cake and eat it too?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Be Or Not To Be... Vaccinated?

Alyssa had her 2 month shots done this week and it made me think more and more about all the controversy over vaccines.  When it was time for Lynden's vaccines we talked to our family doctor about it - and yes, doctors are going to say they need to be vaccinated, but she did have a large influence over our decision (I'll explain more in a bit). 

I can't speak for my husband on this, but I know I looked online about the various pros and cons on the subject.  And it seems like for every article that says 'faxtor x' is good there's another to say it's bad.  It's hard to take it all in.  When you type in "should I vaccinate my baby in Canada" into Google you get 460,000 results.  Who has the time to read 460,000 results??  And how do you filter out fact from fiction?

There isn't a simple yes or no, and as a parent I don't know that I have made the right decision.  But with the information I had (and still have) I made a decision that at the time felt right for us.  We decided to vaccinate our children.  And the biggest decision (as discussed with our doctor) was herding vaccination.  Yes, viruses like Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Whooping Cough are rarely seen anymore -0 due to the fact that vaccines are available.  But with fewer children getting vaccinated we may see these viruses coming back, and if they do I want to ensure that my children are protected from them. 

I know vaccine ingredients have changed from when I was vaccinated as a child, and we don't Really know what is in those needles, but I have to trust that "they" wouldn't put ingredients and chemicals in there that are harmful (yes, watered down isn't good for us, but in the bigger picture sometimes you have to chose the lesser of two evils).  And you have to think about how much our environment has changed in the last 20+ years. 

However, Lynden was vaccinated for Chicken Pox even though I wanted to delay it (we did not agree on giving him the shot but Danny wanted to so we went ahead with it, only to have him change his mind after the shot was given).  I felt there was not enough information about the effectiveness of it (would a booster be needed later?  Would it prevent him from getting Shingles later or is that another vaccine or would he not need to worry about it?) and even when I asked our doctor and the health nurse they were not able to give me an answer I was content with.  I would have preferred to try to expose him to Chicken Pox before he was 5 and if we weren't able to then we would get him vaccinated.  We'll be delaying Alyssa's.

And then there's the MMR-Autism debate.  Every time there's something published saying one thing there's another new article disproving the first.  I think it will be a long time before we ever get a definitive answer one way or another. (And that's all I'm going to say about that)

I am not saying there is a right or a wrong answer to this never ending question.  Every parent has the right to make the decision they feel is right for them and no one should judge them for that decision. 

What are your thoughts?  Did/would you vaccinate your kids, why or why not?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Out and About: Bear Creek Park

Today we wanted to head to Bear Creek Park to see what the park looked like (in preparation of our photo shoot with Paper Heart Photography next month) and to take Lynden on the train they have there.

I remember when we could get out of the house in 10-15 minutes (that's with Lynden).... long gone are those days.  Now it's get 2 kids dressed, us dressed, make sure we have what we need in the diaper bag:
Diapers... Check...Wipes... Check... Spare Outfit for Alyssa... Check... Receiving Blankets... Check... Spare Pants for Lynden... Check... Spare Underwear for Lynden... Check... Snacks...  Check... Drink... Check... Camera... Check... 
Next, kids need jackets, Alyssa needs to get into her carseat, Wait!  Where's her hat?  Look all over the house, can't find it, look for another hat that will fit her (will this fit, nope? ok, what about this one? nope... sigh), stroller up the stairs and into the trunk, shoes on... wait! Lynden needs to use the potty before we go... Bathroom trip. Ok!  Everyone ready? Ok, let's go.  Get kids into the car and go... assuming we haven't misplaced the keys in the process of getting the kids into the car. 

I must say Bear Creek Park is a very cool park for families.  The water park in the summer will be a blast!  There's 2 parks, 1 for older kids and the other for younger kids.  Lynden had a great time on the slides.  Then off to the train (potty trip too).  $10 for us to take a train ride.  I don't think he fully got it at first but once we got going he had a good time.  The tunnel of Easter theme displays was neat, although the highlight, of course, was the bridge - Lynden Loves going over "bridge up high".  At the end of the ride the "conductor" let Lynden blow the train whistle. 

After the train ride, back to the park we went for more slides.  Sadly, Lynden had an accident and back to the bathrooms we went.  (He was pretty upset about it and wanted to talk to Aunty Barbara after we got him cleaned up).  We then decided to go walk through the garden so we could get a look at potential photo spots, not that we saw much.  We were distracted by more bridges and some ducks.  Lynden then announced he wanted to go home, so we decided to leave. 

It was a lot of fun and we'll definitely be going back - for the slides and the train!

us on the train
Daddy & Lynden
blowing the train whistle
Lynden & Mommy
talking to Aunty
tree climbing
looking at ducks

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Touching Story

In today's Vancouver Province there was a story that touched my heart.  Check out the story: Province Story

This is an amazing story.  My heart swells knowing there are such amazing and kind mothers out there who are able and willing to help Camara provide breast milk for her daughter, Anaya.  You never know what kind of response you are going to get when you put your story out there and for Camara to have gotten such a strong response from her "sisters from another mom", those who have helped with setting up websites and even Purolator (who has offered free shipping for moms who are sending them breast milk) warms my heart. 

I cannot imagine what they are going through.   I thank the universe every day that I have beautiful and healthy children.  I admire the strength of Anaya's parents as well as all the other parents out there dealing with health concerns of their children. 

I emailed Camara tonight with the offer to send her breast milk if and when she needs it. 

Healing Anaya  Check out Camara's webiste & blog for more info. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

Today Lynden took part in his second Easter Egg Hunt, not that last year's should count since I did the hunting.  There were 3 other cousins around Lynden's age that also participated and it was quite fun to see how they approached it compared to Lynden, especially since he was the only boy. 

Before the hunt started Lynden, overwhelmed by the crowd of cousins there to participate and watch, was asking to go home, although he had been had been asking all morning to go.  Once I reminded him that we were going to go hunt for eggs and showed him the yard, which was covered in eggs, he was raring to go.  So, we grabbed his basket and off we went.  I think he had basket mostly full before the other cousins had grabbed one.

Around and around the yard we went, collecting eggs and tossing stand alone chocolates back into the yard (I don't think he thought he was suppose to grab them).  Sadly, the weather didn't quite hold out for us and the rain started to come down.  So, I showed Lynden where the Easter Bunny had left a basket of goodies just for him, picked it up and headed inside before we got too wet.

Once inside he was quick to pull out one of his plastic eggs and rip it open and inhale the chocolaty goodies inside.

It was so enjoyable for me to be able to see him enjoy himself so much hunting for eggs with his cousins.  I can't wait for next year to see how much more he enjoys it (now that he knows what he's doing) and to watch Alyssa participate in her first egg hunt.

Round 2 of Easter starts Thursday when we head to the Island to do it all again :-)

I didn't get too many pictures, the moment I turned the camera on it started flashing low battery

finding eggs

Lynden finding his special basket