Friday, April 29, 2011

31 cents to make a Memory

Last night we ate dessert first. It was ice-cream and it was really good. And it only cost us 31 cents a scoop. We made a really special memory. And that is priceless.

It all started with doing a little online research to find coupons in our area. I stumbled across a promotion that Baskin Robbins was doing to raise money for firefighters. A worthy cause and one that I can totally support. 

Supper was in the slow cooker, a hearty soup that wasn't quite hot enough, slow cookers are great but only if you start them soon enough. So instead of waiting on the slow cooker and then going for ice-cream, we decided to go get ice-cream and then come back to hot soup. 

We drove to the nearest Baskin Robbins which wasn't so near us after all but it gave our little girl a pre-dinner nap and gave us time to talk together. We're gearing up for a big concert that Jared is playing on Sunday which means a lot of late nights spent practicing. We take the moments that we have to  connect and make the most of them. 

Kilmeny and I checked out a bookstore while Jared stood in line for the ice-cream. We joined him in line after Kilmeny started gleefully taking the books off the shelves rather then sitting and looking at the books quietly. 

We got our ice-cream and sat enjoying the creamy treat, sharing licks with Kilmeny. Smiling at each other. Loving being us. Together.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

something new from something old

"I wonder what Piglet is doing," thought Pooh. 
"I wish I were there to be doing it, too." 
 - Winnie the Pooh

Writing about home craft ideas has never really been my style nor is it the purpose of this blog but I was so pleased with how a recent project turned out that I wanted to share it with you. 
For a long time I knew I wanted to decorate Kilmeny's room with classic Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter. I love the simple watercolours of these stories as well as the stories themselves. Kilmeny already has quite a collection of books by A.A. Milne as well as a few by Beatrix Potter. I have a complete collection of Beatrix Potter's stories stored away for her when she's a little older. 

The walls of her new room are according to our landlord, 'honey yellow'. In other words, almost an orange but a very nice orange. White is the accent color because it goes with everything and tones down the orange walls. We were also given a crib that is white, so we've started a trend already.
I saw a brilliant idea on a decorating blog awhile ago and decided to try it out for Kilmeny's room. In the process of unpacking and sorting through all our stuff, I came across a lot of random picture frames of various sizes and colors. I knew I wouldn't use them as they were but they would be perfect with a little change. 

Voila! Matching white frames after a trip for some spray paint and a few hours in the sun. Kilmeny loved puttering around the yard while I sprayed the frames and we both enjoyed the sunshine. 

The illustrations are from one of the books. The whole project cost a few dollars, a few hours of time and turned out exactly how I wanted it too. They're now sitting on a bookcase while I decide if I want to keep them there or hang them on the wall.

"Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when 
I'm a hundred." 
Pooh though for a little. "How old shall I be then?"
Pooh nodded. "I promise," he said.
- Christopher Robin & Pooh Bear

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

gifts from the weekend

long weekends spent with family 
music that makes me cry
hot bowls of soup at 11 pm 
talking with my Mom
leisurely brunch on a Friday morning 
my brother's coffee 
walking through trees and through touristy towns as one big family, all 15 of us!

crowding a chocolate shop and sharing our purchases
dark chocolate, cashews and caramel 
free Starbucks because it was Earth Day
window shopping with my sister

my Dad's barbecued burgers 
watching my brothers interact with my daughter and how they all love it
discussions on everything with everyone's opinions being voiced
late night outing to our favorite Mexican place 
hot baths and clean sheets 
fresh, crisp mountain air
being all together as a family and how that is all that really matters 
watching my younger brothers grow up and become men 
coming home to our own little hobbit hole


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Days like today....

....are perfect for spending with friends who greet you with warm hellos and ' I'm so glad to see you'
  for impromptu picnics on the kitchen floor and making silly faces
 for making homemade pitas to go with homemade hummus 

 for snuggles on the couch while the mamas visit over coffee
for sharing the latest discoveries on a food journey and knowing you're not the only 'weird' one
for colorful bead bracelets made just for you
for little people playing and giggling together

 for the quiet of naptime and conversation over lunch
for sunshine and green grass 
for playgrounds to explore
for things that are a little overwhelming and others that are safe and known 

for encouragement and a kindred spirit
for tangible gifts
for friendship

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, it will be spring again."
“This is no ordinary thaw. This is Spring. This is Aslan's doing!"
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Counting My Gifts

weekends off for family time
milestone birthdays and the whole family celebrates 
bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds 
shrieks of delights and enthusiastic hugs 
 cousins and how they play together
little girl's delight in shoes
chocolate chip and walnut cookies
late night games and teasing
Saturday morning snuggles 
heaps of buttered toast and omelets to make a birthday breakfast
spontaneous Starbucks date with time to talk 
preparing a Mexican feast all together 
sharing the wonder of capturing moments with my nephew
yummy food 
late night visit with my brother
a new-to-us stroller complete with accessories 
mid-afternoon feast with more family 
happy news
more late night visiting 
our hobbit hole full of family
tea lights flickering in the windowsill 
fresh, clean laundry 

Friday, April 15, 2011

a bit of girl time

I ignored them all. The piles of clothes waiting for a dresser, the bins of just stuff that we've collected and need to go through, the nagging thoughts and worry.
My little girl was restless. I was restless and she took her cue from me. So we did something together. Something we've been doing since she was five months old. 
We had a little girl time.

I cut her toenails, pausing often to tickle the little baby feet while she held the nail polish. She got a huge grin on her face as the first streak of pink went across her toes. 

"Pretty, pretty." 

I spread pink across her ten little toes. And then she watched while I painted my own toes, ever eager to hold the brush herself. 

Our toes were pink and pretty. We read Pooh Bear stories while they dried in the sunlight. And it brought splashes of color to a spring snowstorm.

How to Settle into a New Place with a Toddler

I have moved a lot. I have helped others move. And each move is different from the one before. This is the first time that I have moved and started the house to home transformation with a toddler. 

Anyone who has little ones can attest to the fact that life moves at a different pace and there are all sorts of interruptions and distractions. And that's just normal life. Moving, unpacking, and settling in is a whole other issue. 

I like to include Kilmeny in whatever I am doing around the house, keeping her close to me so I can be aware of what she is doing and also so that I can explain the different processes and reasons for what I am doing. She picks up so much just by watching me and likes to imitate whatever I am doing. 

Here is what works for me. 

  • Enjoy each moment. Kilmeny and I high five when I empty a box, one of her new skills, and she loves being able to get in on the excitement.
  • Take lots of breaks to read stories, play blocks, have a snack, go for a walk and snuggle on the couch. At the end of the day we're both happy and some boxes got dealt with. 
  • Set boundaries. I can't be constantly holding Kilmeny and hoisting boxes around the storage room. She needs to play by herself some of the time. 
  • Let little ones be little ones. Sometimes they just need that extra attention and focus to know that everything is okay. They don't understand all the transitions in the same way we do. And, I'll be honest, sometimes I feel like breaking down and crying too. 
  • Maintain normal life as much as possible. For your own sanity and for the sake of your little one. 
  • Let them empty boxes and play with kitchen utensils if it keeps them occupied. You just might want to wash everything again before using for food usage. =)
  • Enjoy the moments. The progress, the giggles, the frustrations, the curiosity. Soon the house will be a home and everything will feel like it's always been that way.


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