WITL 2017: FRIDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

6:30 AM Feeling well rested after playing volleyball last night. This morning I awake as Aaron gets ready to go to the gym. He takes out Charlie and packs Rowan’s lunch in her backpack. Normally, I don’t work Fridays but given that Monday was a holiday here, I am going into the office. I quickly hop out of bed and get into the shower. Mid way through my morning routine, Sammy joins me. He patiently waits while I finish brushing my teeth and putting on my makeup.

7:57 AM Letting the kids watch Peppa Pig on the iPad as I run around the house, parenting solo / getting the kids ready for school. Today I will drop Sam off first and then Rowan second. It’s a treat to watch a show in the morning and at the table. For me it is a perfect distraction to help me get organized.

8:47 AM Catching up with school crowd and I instantly miss my mom friends. When I went back to work, I don’t know how I would handle not knowing how school was going for Rowan. Turns out, I have lots to keep my mind occupied. Now there are large chunks of my day that I have no idea what Ro is up to. Fridays are one way I can get a sense of what is happening.

8:59 AM Buying gas for the black car which comes to $46.00 for regular. Next I buy breakfast which includes coffee and a bacon gouda breakfast sandwhich which comes to $10.40. Normally I try not to buy anything through the week, saving coffee as a treat for the weekend. Sometimes life you go against your self imposed rules.

9:21 AM Seeing this en route, every morning on my way to work. Fun fact, I live to take the backroads / scenic route to the suburbs. Things have changed in the decade that I have started working at the hospital, scenery included. Listening to podcasts in the car during my commute has stayed the same.

3:31 PM Snapping a work elevator selfie. As a social worker and memory keeper, I have a uniquely keen interest in other people’s stories. As always, I am honoured with the fact that clients share their stories with me which include: the good, the bad, the ugly and the inspiring and everything in between. It is a priveledge that I do not take lightly.

5:11 PM Listening to the latest Fresh Air interview in the car. It is sunny but cold and my whole feeling towards the week has changed. Feel much more relaxed!

5:59 PM Arriving home; Aaron and Sam are first, while Rowan and I arrive second. Charlie is excited and starts to dig a huge whole.

6:15 PM Drinking Sommersby Pear Cider which is now available to buy at the grocery story! Love the cool sweet crisp taste.

Eating this tonight for dinner. It’s a Toronto favourite: Mad Mexican corn chips, guacamole and salsa. Such a treat! Yum!

6:42 PM Decompressing after the week that was. Sam is eating the chips and guacamole while Ro is watching Teen Titians. Aaron is reading Reddit and making pasta for the kids. Charlie is up to no good, waiting for us to drop something.

9:57 PM Relaxing with Aaron in bed. While he reads “Blind Sight” a science fiction novel, I am uploading and editing photos. The iPad is in the middle of us, streaming the latest Louis CK stand up special. We are what those crazy kids say: “netflixing and chilling”…or something like that. Bring on the weekend.

Friday Reflections

I am focused in the morning and relaxed in the afternoon. Maybe I realize its the weekend or it could be the fact that we are almost done this WITL project. Either way, I feel good about work, home and scrapbooking. No big revelations today, just feeling good.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for the end of the work week
  2. I am grateful for yummy snacks and not following a routine at the end of the day
  3. I am grateful for time to reconnect with my family

Favourite Conversation From the Day:

When Aaron tells me that I am getting a refund on my taxes this year. I forgot exactly what he said, but I am excited. Good times!

2017 Week In The Life Intention: To showcase the small things (stresses and all)

WITL 2017: THURSDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

7:15 AM She is the last to wake up. Normally she is full of energy but today is different. Today she walks half way down the stairs and then sits. She is not impatient, but seems tired. Sammy says “Ro-ro” on repeat and points to her incessantly. After opening the gate she lays down on the couch and says she has a headache. She never does this. She is warm to the touch so we opt for Tylenol and rest. Today is a sick day.

9:01 AM It’s clear that Rowan is not herself, so I call blank school & speak with the secretary. We don’t own a home phone so I call on my cell. It’s so weird how technology changes. Ten years ago I would have called from a landline. While on the phone the secretary tells me a cute story about Rowan practicing for her school concert. The gist of our conversation is that Rowan gave the secretary a hug and asked her to stay to watch. Today is for finding out new stories about my girl.

10:17 AM I take a break from work emails and start to load the dishwasher. Fun times here at the Forster Hunter household. Today is for work and housework.

11:14 AM I decide that Rowan has had enough show for the morning. I pull out white paper and her markers. She “completes” a journaling page, drawing pictures of thermometers and butterflies. Today is for going with the flow.

1:02 PM Working from home / working from bed! While  Ro naps in her room, I work on advocacy letters and chat with coworkers and clients by phone. Today is about making it work.

2:15 PM We eat a late lunch after my work call. On today’s menu: chicken noodle soup. She’s got the twinkle back in her eye and wants to play a game of “guess what I ate?” She and her brother love being silly. I can’t get over how she lights up when she is playing. Today is for connecting.

4:19 PM Hop in the car with Ro to pick up Sam from daycare. It’s raining and althought its suppose to be 11 C today it feels like winter. I put my cold weather gear away over the Easter long weekend thinking it couldn’t possibly get colder. Well it has. My apologies to all for jinzing the nice weather. Today is for complaining about the weather.

5:45 PM Today is for quick and easy meals. The kids have eggs with fruit and veggies and I have Vegetarian Bi Bim Bap with tofu.

6:35 PM Today is for splitting the evening routine. I feed and bathe the kids while Aaron will come home and put them to bed. Thursdays are the nights I play volleyball and I am excited to get onto the court.

8:00 PM Today is for sweating.  Tonight we are a player down which means I have to be more alert than normal as we play for two straight hours. I always feel better after exercising and today is no different. Of note, I had the best sleep!

Thursday Reflections

For me, what has become increasing obvious over the course of my day is that I need more one on one time with my girl. I know it’s a cliché to say, but I am so busy concerned about the deadlines and drop offs that I am not always mindful about the relationships that need nurturing. It is clear that I need to carve out more time with Rowan and we need to cultivate our connection. I can see some mama-daughter dates on our horizon.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for the flexibility to work from home & coworkers to help me find information I need when I can’t access it in the office.
  2. I am grateful for some time with my girl and recognizing that we both need time together without “the boys”
  3. I am grateful for physical activity, team sports and the opportunity to move and sweat.

Thursday Present Participle List

Eating all the leftover Easter candy by the handfuls. Luckily mini eggs are only on the market for a short time.

Buying wet food for Charlie as he has only had kibble for one week.

Thinking that both the kids and I need a haircut ASAP.

Wearing my work clothes while I am at home because I am too lazy to change.

Listening to the nineties at nine on the radio as I drive home from volleyball. Seriously I am reliving my youth. Ha!

Favourite Conversation From the Day:

Overheard at Rowan’s bedtime:

Rowan: “Daddy, can you bring me Princess Poppy?”

Aaron: “Yes! I am so glad you like her, Rowan. You will have to tell Nanny that she is your favourite gift.”

Rowan (referring to the earlier Facetime call with Nanny): “We already talked to your mother!”

AND

Overheard at Sam’s bedtime (Or what I think he said):

Sam (speaks like he has marbles in his mouth” “Where’s towel*”

Me: “There is a blankie in your drawer Sammy”

Sam (speaking like he has marbles in his mouth & grabbing two blankets from his dresser): “I get towel for Ro-ro”

Me: “Oh, that’s nice Sammy. Let’s show Rowan your blankie’s”

Sam (speaking like he has marble in his & carrying two blankets)  : “I take towel to Ro-ro”

Me: “Okay! Let’s show her!”

Sam (speaking like he has marble in his & carrying two blankets, goes to Rowan who is still in the bathtub and proceeds to throw one blanket in the water, then the other) “Uh-oh”

2017 Week In The Life Intention: To showcase the small things (stresses and all)

WITL 2017: WEDNESDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

6:29 AM Most days I wear makeup even if it’s a work day or not. I am not going to lie, I feel naked going out in public without foundation and a little mascara. Even on maternity leave, I kept up wearing it. Silly or not, it is apart of my self care routine.

6:41 AM Most days I tidy up spaces that I leave, which includes the bathroom. I don’t know if I feel pressure to do this but I feel off if something is left on the floor. I notice that the laundry bin is getting full. Make a mental note to wash the towels when I get home from work this evening.

7:01 AM As Aaron makes Rowan’s lunch I set out the kids clothes and bags. Today it is raining and so I set out their rainboots. Most days I wonder if I dressed the kids appropriately and if they are warm enough.

7:03 AM Some days Sammy sits at the counter and plays with the tap. Today, he found a box of Dori gummies in the cupboard and is playing / talking to them. Everyday we are keeping a close watch of him and telling him to sit on his bum.

7:12 AM Most days she shares with him; sometimes she protests.

7:37 PM Most days I feel like we are running late and today is no different. I read a quote on Facebook that said something like when you are working parent you feel like to have parent your kids like you don’t have a job and work like you have no kids. I am trying to balance each of the aspects of my life. Tonight I work late which mean I am going to miss evening routine. I am happy to feel productive but I miss my kiddos on nights like these.

These days I feel like the “good” weather is right around the corner.

8:11 AM Most days I drive the black car, but today I drive the blue one which is my husbands. I notice when we get in that the car is almost empty. I fill up the it with $43.33 dollars worth of gas. Extra bonus: there is a Starbucks close by.

Most days I make my own coffee but today I buy one.

1:51 PM Once rounds are finished, I head back to my desk with a purpose. I have items to check off my to do list and clients booked with appointments at 4 pm and 5 pm. After finishing three key items, I feel a little squirrely and need to get out of our small office.

3:31 PM Most days, I power through behind my desk but today I go for a walk to get some fresh air. My head immediately feels better. I think about running and if I could fit training for a 10 km race into my schedule. Jury is still out on that idea but clearly just walking would help. Need to build more of this in to my self care.

6:01 PM Most days, I race to pick up the kids. Although I am eager to get home, I am able to enjoy the weather outside as I walk to the parking lot.

8:01 PM Most days he is asleep by 7:30 pm. As I walk up the stairs he calls out from his room. Aaron tells me that he has called out for me, so I can’t resist a snuggle or two.

8:15 PM Most days Aaron reads Rowan bedtime stories. Today I get to spend some time one on one time with my girlie at the end of the day. We read Pinkalicious and the Pink Planet, a book the Easter bunny brought here.

8:21 PM Most days she asks us to shut of the light and close the door when it is time for bed. Tonight she falls asleep as I read to her.

Wednesday Reflections

After a long day at work, I am so happy to be at home with my kids. However my day isn’t finished when they go to bed. I clean the kitchen, put dishes in the dishwasher and start on laundry. Oh yeah, I am also trying to document WITL. I know the value of this project which is why I keep pushing through. There are less photos today vs yesterday and that’s okay. Just keep swimming!

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for a husband who actively parents our kiddos and has fun doing it
  2. I am grateful for strong coffee as usual
  3. I am grateful for this WITL project as it is helping me to see what matters most in my life and what is deserving of my time & attention

Wednesday Present Participle List

Attempting to drink more water after realizing I only drank one cup of coffee yesterday …. thank you intense week long documentary project!?!

Listening to “throw back hits” on the radio during my commute and thinking to myself,  those songs aren’t that old!

Thinking about my fitness goals and how to regularly schedule in running time into my routine…why oh why is it so hard !?!

Checking my smart phone incessantly for WITL updates and inspiration! Thanks for all the encouragement this week!

Watching Neil Brennan’s 3 Mic’s comedy special on Netflix for the fourth time as I write this blog post on Wednesday evening

Favourite Conversation From the Day:

Overheard when Sam wakes up:

Aaron: “Morning Sammy!”

Sam (speaks like he has marbles in his mouth): “Daddy, Where’s Ro-ro?”

AND

During Rowan’s bedtime stories:

Rowan: “Mommy, read it again!”

2017 Week In The Life Intention: To showcase the small things (stresses and all)

WITL 2017: TUESDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

5:55 AM Tuesday are work days which means I wake up earlier than Aaron and the kids to get myself ready. “I am a morning person” which is mostly true and also my pep talk to get me out of bed. I shower and get dressed in my office clothes. My watch and wedding ring are generally the last items I I put on before I head out the door.

Most days I put her hair in a ponytail.

Tuesdays are garbage days around here. When I leave the house, I have tunnel vision – I need to drop Rowan off at before and after school care and then drive 50 ish minutes to work. My hope for today is that I don’t get caught behind a garbage truck.

1:59 PM Clinic is done and I rush to a meeting that I almost forgot about! Thanks Google calendar for the reminder and keeping me organize. After an extra long weekend with the kiddos my brain feels like mush. This is not like me and I am somewhat frustrated. As I run to my meeting, I enjoy the sunshine in the foyer at work and notice wall art that I have never seen before. Love opening my eyes during this project to see what is really around!

4:36 PM After two back to back afternoon meetings, I leave work. I wonder if there is enough time to run to the grocery store after work to buy some essentials like milk, bananas and strawberries before picking up Rowan. The sun is shining and I keep the windows open the whole way home to get a cool breeze. I desperately want to put my sandals on, but can’t. My drive takes almost an hour so my grocery store plans are foiled. I wonder if I will have enough energy to venture out  after the kids go to bed. Spoiler alert: the answer is no. We have enough I tell myself, we will have to make due for one more day.

5:30 PM Rowan is helping to clean up when I stop in at blank school. Specifically she is sorting the dinosaurs and sea creatures into two separate bins.  Her after school teacher says she had a good day and was a good listener. Rowan is excited to tell me this herself. She runs down the stairs, asks if we are going straight home and if she can watch some shows. I say yes to both things.

5:53 PM Ten minutes after we get home, so do Aaron and Sam. Charlie is excited see everyone as am I.

6:00 PM She asks a few times what is for dinner and if she can have a snack. I offer her cheese, crackers and grapes. She only chooses the crackers to eat. Right now, she loves to watch Sid the Science Kid. Tonight she watches an episode about the digestive system and asks me if she has a long intestine in her body while I make dinner. Ha! Never a dull moment in our household.

6:01 PM Sammy is excited for cheese when I bring out the snack. Right now, he loves to be in the learning tower helping me cook as he loves to be where the action is.

6:07 PM I boil some water for the pasta and start making a lemon, turkey and pea sauce.

6:08 PM Aaron takes off his suit jacket and grabs the mail. After flipping through mostly flyers, he goes up stairs to change. It is so nice to have him at home for dinner. I know that this won’t always be the case. In fact, today he texted me to say that his business trip next week has been confirmed. I will fly solo next week Monday to Thursday.

6:24 PM Dinner! Tonight she wants her pasta with cheese and only the peas from the sauce. It’s true, she is picky eater but she has come a long way. In addition to encouraging her to eat a variety of foods, we are also directing her to use her utensils. She uses her fork and I secretly do a happy dance in my seat. It’s an ebb and flow / fine balance of continually cheering her on and at times, she doesn’t always like my praise.

6:25 PM Love my goof balls.

6:42 PM He loves to follow what his sister does. Like Ro, Sam puts his cup and plate in the sink after getting down from his high chair. I like the help cleaning up.

Yeah, this dishes wont get done tonight. Dishwasher is packed, so they will have to wait for tomorrow.

7:11 PM Tonight is bath night. The kids race up stair and Aaron starts running the water in the bath tub. Rowan and Sam have a love/hate relationship when they play in the water. Usually, someone protests that the other has taken their toy unjustly. Tonight it is all about the love as the combine their efforts in splashing Daddy. We again employ man on man parenting. I take Sam out and chase him in the hallways until I wrangle him to put on his diaper and pjs. Aaron creates a story with Rowan and takes her downstairs for a bed time snack. After doing some stetches, I run the dishwasher and go to bed around 9:45. I am exhausted.

Tuesday Reflections

Although I was excited to go to work to have some adult alone time, I realize that there are actually tangible tasks that I need to complete! Ha / Blergh! It is good to see my coworkers and clients and catch up on how there Easter celebrations were but my head is foggy which is totally not like me. I am semi frustrated for my lack of clarity. I push through, because what else can I do, but “just keep swimming”. I am relieved to see my kiddos at home and to have a little down time in the evening. It’s crazy the difference that one day makes.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for coffee, coffee, coffee!
  2. I am grateful for podcasts and the chance to learn something new on my commute everyday
  3. I am grateful for the simplicity of pasta night dinners

Tuesday Present Participle List

Listening to the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast on my way to work

Buying coffee & tea for my coworkers at Tim Hortons – mama needs an extra pep in her step!

Attempting to speak in sentences at work; however, the extra long weekend has affected my word recognition…what the, the what?

Doing some stretching / deep knee bends after the kids go to bed as my piriformis muscle is sore

Wishing there were more hours in the day to do everything I need / want to do like going for a run along the beach.

Favourite Conversation From the Day:

As told by Aaron as he picks Sam up from daycare:

Aaron: “Hi Sammy!”

Sam (speaks like he has marbles in his mouth): “Daddy, I build big tower!”

Or so we think he said! Ha!

AND

Overheard during bathtime when Rowan was chatting with Aaron about what she wanted to be when she is an adult:

Rowan: “When I grow up I want to be a Grandma! Yes, a Grandma Forster!:

Aaron: “You can have kids if that’s want you want, Rowan!”

Rowan (directing her comment at me); “Jess, you can be the mommy, I will be the Grandma!”

2017 Week In The Life Intention: To showcase the small things (stresses and all)

WITL 2017: MONDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

7:01 AM After watching Elmo in bed, the kids and I head downstairs for breakfast. Aaron has a headache so he sleeps in. I fly solo with the kids, just hanging out playing.

9:02 AM My little buddy helping me do laundry. Sam loves to take the clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer. Today he tries to dry his owl and the play potty along with the white towels. If left to his own devices, he would throw books in there too and press all the buttons, 8261 times.

9:36 AM Dressing children and making funny faces in no particular order, since 2011. Love these self timer moments and capturing life through door ways.

10:11 AM Holiday Mondays are for playing with stuffed animals that Nanny and the Easter bunny brought.

11:26 AM Before leaving the house for our walk this morning Charlie followed us around to make sure we were leaving all together. We go to Starbucks for our usual “weekend treat” – that’s a grande flat white for me; a black tea lemonade for him;  croissants for the kiddos. When we get to the dog park we lose Charlie’s ball and the kids want to explore the rocks. I’m not going to lie, having a dog complicates things with two young children. Charlie barks incessantly for us to throw something, anything! It is like he is shouting at us, thinking that we are somehow holding out on him. Balancing Charlie’s demands with normal child rearing makes me a little squirrelly at times, today included. At least he gets to swim and splash.

12:05 PM As Rowan plays soccer outside with the neighbours, Sam and I make lunch. Sam “helps” and I only have to clean up minimal liquid off the counter and floor. On today’s menu: scrambled eggs with salsa and gucamole for me while it is scrambled eggs with strawberries and cucmbers for the kids.

1:06 PM I lie down for an hour; only to get back up to do chores. Holiday weekends are much different with kids. There is no break from housework. No binge watching anything today unless “binge watching” means unloading the dishwasher. Ha! I’m so tired….

2:15 PM Someone draws Princess Poppy as I tidy up. Her penmanship is improving and I love to see her get crafty. I also love the fact that she wants to give this picture to baby A after she learns that we are having an afternoon playdate.

Most days, this one rests during quiet time too.

3:09 PM Generally he is happy EXCEPT after he gets up. Thank goodness he slept because he skipped 3/4 naps this weekend. No wonder he is cranky. Also: his fine motor skills are so good, he takes his own sleep sack off! Ha!

3:10 PM Daddy is home from the gym. Both kids are eager to tell them about their afternoons.

3:20 PM Put on my comfy clothes & bandana as we are going to play soccer and blow bubbles in the park. It’s not a workout per say, but I do get in my steps.

4:15 PM He is confident in climbing the stairs and going down the slide. I follow him and remind him to watch the steps and sit on his bum. I’m sure, I look like a crazy person but I don’t care.

4:31 PM Before we racing out of the playground to the closest Starbucks to use the bathroom, Aaron and I “switch”. We employ a man on man strategy when it comes to watching out kids at the park. He is often with her, I am often with him. I savour these moments with my big kiddo more than I did before. I am not sure why. The warm hearted moment ends when she gives me sass and I switch back to toddler mode.

6:00 PM Aaron makes chicken fajitas for dinner. I am thrilled but I am counting down the moments until I can have some time to myself. This mama is tired. Sam goes to down around 7:30 pm while Ro is in bed by 8 pm. I hop on the computer and start blogging. Hooray for Monday!

Monday Reflections

This morning I am relaxed but by late afternoon and I am eager to get back to my regular work routine. I love having a long weekend off with my kiddos but I am a creature of habit. I need some adult alone time. I like the fact that I didn’t have to drive anywhere in the car today but oddly look forward tomorrow’s commute and the opportunity to listen to a podcast or two.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for sunny days and crisp spring air
  2. I am grateful for slower paced days that are spent walking in our hood
  3. I am grateful for impromptu play dates with friends

Monday Present Participle List

Craving chocolate for breakfast but opting for lemon water and oatmeal.

Listening to Rowan sing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana and I am impressed with all the words she knows.

Reading & re-reading truck books to Sammy and marveling at how much he enjoys the “beep-beeps” (aka his word for trucks).

Watching the latest episode of SNL on my Ipad after the kids go to bed & loving Jimmy Fallon and all the guest appearances.

Snapping lots of pictures and saying Ali’s words over and over in my head: “show me your life, right now…”

Favourite Conversation From the Day:

Overheard downstairs between Aaron & Rowan:

Rowan (in a robot voice): “Give me some food, I am hungry!”

Aaron: “Can you ask me nicely?”

Rowan (still in a robot voice):  “Robots don’t know any manners!”

AND

Discussing how I arrived at school when I was a kid with Rowan, outside of Starbucks

Rowan: “Mom, did you go to Blank School when you were my age?”

Me: “No honey

Rowan: “Whaaaaat? You rode a bus?”

Favourite Moment:

When Rowan drew a picture for W our next door neighbour, to say thank you teaching her how to play soccer.

2017 Week In The Life Intention: To showcase the small things (stresses and all)

XO Layout

Happy Heart Day Eve!

When it comes to memory keeping, make a lot of pages about my kiddos. With Valentine’s Day happening tomorrow, I was in the mood to scrapbook about the relationship between Aaron and I. I paired our wedding photo and wrote about what is real for us right now / our happily ever after. Spoiler alert: its not grand gestures or fancy trips, it’s the little things! Like when he tells me a joke, or texts me out of the blue for no reason or bringing me home mini eggs without even asking me. A package of mini eggs get me every single time!

Every once and I while I like to bust out of the pocket pages and create a traditional layout in an unconventional 6×8 size…...yes! I really love the smaller canvas. Super easy to create something meaningful. As you can tell from the full size layout, I am trying to channel my inner Cathy Zielske. Ha!  Supplies include: Bazzill Cardstock -White & Cotton Candy Plaid; Maggie Holmes Gather Pattern Paper; XO Digital Element, Ali Edwards February 2017 Digital kit; Simple Stories Enamel Dots; Studio Calico Heart Wood Veneers; Archer Font.

What little things mean the most to you?

A Love Layout

The many faces of Ro

In the latest roundtable episode of the Pocket Talk podcast, I mentioned that I am creating for Ali Edwards Design this year and I am pretty pumped to be included in that fabulous team of ladies. Here is a layout that I created over the weekend using Ali’s February Digital kit. Lots of great love themed journaling cards. And so, when your almost 5 year old decides to show you her many expressions, you make a page!

This 6 x 8 page came together quickly. I included my 4 favorite photos of Rowan in 6 x 8 canvas in photoshop elements. Any parents of girls will totally understand that moods can change quickly at this age. Heaven help me when she gets older…Ha! I created a simple 3×4 journaling card using the pink heart seen up top and mimicked the ombre colours in a 4×6 journaling card on the bottom. Journaling includes Rowan current loves. Fonts include: georgia & remington noiseless.

What love themed pages have you created lately?

Happy Monday!

WITL 2016: Saturday

SaturdaySign

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7:03 AM Today is cold and wet. Blergh. I have to turn on the heat and put on my socks. I refuse to put my winter jacket on. Winter I am so done with you.

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7:49 AM After breakfast, we have time to play. I love that we don’t have to rush out the door or get Sam dressed. Fun fact, I like to keep Sam in in his Pj’s until after his morning nap. This just makes life that much easier.

Saturdaydress

11:01 AM As Sam naps, I take maternity photos for friends who come over to the house. Out of privacy for them, I am not sharing a picture. I am excited and honoured that they let me photograph this special time in their lives. I also feel the pressure to take “good pictures”. I contemplate having a side photography business.  I may or may not explore this option in the future.

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11:31 AM Love that Aaron cooks lunch for us. Today, like most Saturdays we have fried eggs. Clearly both Sam and Charlie are happy.

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12:35 PM It’s a quick turn around from gymnastics, to lunch to dance class. We load up everyone, including Sam in the stroller and Charlie on leash and walk to the community centre which is two blocks from our house. Have I mentioned how much I love living in the city and being able to walk everywhere? Rowan poses with her pink dress on. She has being doing ballet for 1 year and it has helped her gross motor skills. She loves “dance class” and I like the family outing.

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1:03 PM As Rowan dances, we throw the green squeaky ball for Charlie. This guy will only chase balls if the make a sound. Funny eh? I can remember a time that it would just be the two of us at the school yard. Those days are long gone. However, it is nice to have a moment with just Sam and Charlie. Sam giggles as Charlie runs.

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1:34 PM We take a different route home. Everyone, including girlie, are enjoying the cherry blossoms.

SaturdayJessClean

2:42 PM As Sam naps and Aaron and Rowan watch the movie Tangled, I clean the kitchen. We have babysitters booked and I am pretty excited to have some adult along time together. I am helping to prep dinner so that the transition will be easy. There is nothing I love more than a clean kitchen.

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5:01 PM Fancied up, baby free and feeling relaxed!

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5:01 PM We arrive at Boxcar Social, a hipster independent coffee shop / bars that keep popping up over the city. I feel kind old but immediately don’t care….it’s date night! As I age, I realize I don’t take myself too serious – which is a good thing!

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6:02 PM He drinks a pint of Stella.

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While I work on my computer and drink an almond milk latte. I am trying to be diary free. I struggle with adult acne and I giving this as well as being gluten free / wheat free / sugar free a try. Three weeks in, my skin hasn’t had any crazy reactions and I feel pretty good. Also, my pants are kinda lose!

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7:42 PM We finish off the evening having dinner at our friends new home. We are excited to see their new house and talk parenthood / US election / summer plans / living in the east end of TO.  The night includes a delicious cheese tray, quiche and strawberry salad with rhubarb dressing from their new garden. I love having adult conversation and laughing. It feel so good to reconnect with M + K. This is exactly what the doctor ordered in order to hep me recharge my batteries.

Saturday Reflections

After a busy week, I am happy to have a slower paced day. Although Rowan has gymnastics and dance class scheduled in the day, it is nice to have Aaron at home to help out. Over the years, our routine has changed and instead of focusing on Rowan’s nap schedule we are know focused on Sam’s sleep and her activities. We still take Charlie for a long walk and play but these days it is between activities.

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful for a slower paced day
  2. I am thankful for a night out with Aaron
  3. I am thankful for time to reconnect with old friends

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: Enjoy coffee at Boxcar social as Aaron drank a beer.

WITL 2016: Thursday

ThursdaySign

ThursdayBreakfast

6:15 AM We are up and at it early today.

ThursdayBook

7:59 AM I remember that it’s library day at school. I feel like I am going to win mother of the year! Let’s be honest, I totally forgot about library day, most weeks. I put this book in Rowan’s back pack as soon as I remember and pat myself on the back.

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8:41 AM As we leave the house, Girlie asks if she can take “And then it is spring” book for show & tell. She is excited as the JK class is learning about spring & the seasons. In the evening, Rowan tells Aaron that teacher read the book to the class. She was so excited! I hope she always has a passion for stories & books.

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9:54 AM Oh hi! Feeling kinda like a rockstar. Sam plays in his stroller as Moni aka Ufirstwellness pushes on my feet to work my core / abs. It’s a beautiful day by the beach and I am feeling at ease mentally if my body isn’t. Ha! This was just another reminder to stay focused and present. Although I don’t have abs of steel yet, I am getting there!

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10:03 AM Cherry blossoms. They are a rare sighting in Toronto this year, given our long winter. I could take so many pictures of these trees…..

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10:15 AM …And I do take lots of photos! So gorgeous against the blue sky. There is something magical about springtime and being outside with the flowers. I feel so alive.

ThursdayLunch

12:02 PM Sam and I play until lunch. We have eggs again. I spice mine up with some “Mad Mexican” salsa, my favourite brand.

ThursdaySamNap

12:43 PM Our nap routine goes as follows: We read a few stories and sing a few songs. Today we read “Each Peach Pair Plum” & “Zingy”. After I sing “Twinkle, Twinkle”. Sam smiles and rubs his eyes. Although Tuesday and Wednesdays are busy with both kiddos, I appreciate the one on one time with my main little man today. Sam loves to sleep on his tummy. Although he looks like he’s having a meltdown in the crib, he is getting some much needed sleep.

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3:15 PM. School Pick up. I stand in the kindy yard, chatting / laughing / joking with other moms. I have met an incredible group of mama friends since September 2015. It is through these interactions that I am able to feel sane. It kinda awesome to hangout with your friends, 5 days a week!

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3:47 PM Rowan shows me her “rock collection”. Thanks to the Little Mermaid, we have learned about the concept of “collection”. Most days, Rowan loves run and a dig in the dirt. Her nose always has a little proof that she’s been outside. A real nature lover that one. Also – we are trying to teach her the difference between left and right. Here she is sporting “banana feet” as Auntie Megan likes to call it 🙂

ThursdayBubbles

5:30 PM After dinner we head outside to blow bubbles. I am relaxed know that I have the night off and appointment to have a facial. Hooray for Mother’s Day gifts! I may or may not be counting the minutes until Aaron gets home! Girlie plays in the yard while Charlie chews a stick. Sam and I hang out on the porch.

ThursdayRowanPlay

ThursdayStick

ThursdaySamPlay

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7:37 PM More lovely flowers to in the neighbourhood to admire as I walk around, enjoying my baby free alone time. It’s the little things, right people?

ThursdayAaronRead

8:41 PM When I arrive home, this is what I see. The books change often, but one thing is for sure, this man loves to read. I bring home take out for dinner. He has a chicken burrito and I have a southwestern quinoa salad. We chat about the day and plans for the weekend. Afterwards I go upstairs to blog and he sits at the kitchen table to work.

Thursday Reflections

Today felt like someone hit the refresh button. From the extra help in the morning with the kids, to working out after drop off to having a facial in the evening – I feel at ease. This is a stark contrast from Tuesday. Somedays I am able to go with flow, others not so much. Overall, I would like to be a more patient person. Sometimes I have a hard time balancing my kiddos wants and needs, with my own. What can I say, I am human. If I could, I would blog and scrapbook all day long – but that friends is a dream and not a reality. In the meantime, I am shooting for somewhere in between. I am just hoping to be “good enough” parent / wife / daughter / friend/ social worker / crafter /  human.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for fresh air and playing outside after dinner.
  2. I am grateful for reminders to stay present & mantras to keep me focused.
  3.  I am grateful a little “me” time in the evening.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: Feeling generally well physically and emotionally.

Week in the Life Intention 2016:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.

WITL 2016: Wednesday

WednesdaySign

WednesdayBreakfast

4:30 AM My alarm goes off early. Last night, I was too tired to finish writing yesterday’s blog entry, so up and at it, I get. I wasn’t joking about being a morning person!

WednesdayCharlieBreakfast

6:00 AM Sam starts to stir in his crib and the pup is eager to go outside. I take both boys downstairs and start morning routine. After giving Sam a bottle, I let him crawl around as I prepare breakfast. Somedays we have hide Charlie’s dishes so that Sam doesn’t knock them over.

WednesdaySamFeet

7:21 AM Gah – I love baby onseies with cute feet! Sam has recently gone through a growth spurt. Currently wearing 12 – 18  month clothing. I picked this pair up on a luxurious trip to the grocery store by myself.

WednesdayRo&Mama

7:32 AM She wants to be picked up and cuddled more these days. This morning, after I picked her up, she told me that she loved me. It wasn’t until recently that girlie spontaneously told us that for the first time. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have been as stressed.  She is coming out of her shell.

WednesdaySchool

8:41 AM …And we are out the door! On our walk to school, Rowan chooses to ride on the piggyback board that’s attached to Sam’s stroller this morning. “The board” has been the best baby gift we have received. So happy to have my maternity leave to walk Rowan to and from school.

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WednesdaySamPlay

10:30 AM After coffee and a quick trip to the grocery store, this little man and I are back home playing. Right now, he loves anythings with wheels on it.

WednesdayToys

11:41 AM  I hear Rowan playing with her Cinderella figurines. It follows the typical story except for one small detail.

WednesdayLunch

12:02 PM Lunch. More scrambled eggs.

Wednesdaynap

12:44 PM Beth arrives and read to Sam before nap time. Let’s do this kid!

WednesdaySmoothie copy

2:48 PM I lye down when Sam goes to bed. I wake up with a start. Clearly this mama needed the rest. Before Sam wakes up and Rowan is done, I start to prep snack. I make a peach coconut milk smoothie for myself.

WednesdayRoBeth

3:03 PM Rowan is finished and Beth reports the activities of the session. Beth is positive and comments that she has seen improvements in Rowan’s speech over the past three weeks.

WednesdayCollection

3:03 PM Rowan shows me her drawing and collection of items from her scavenger hunt.

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4:37 PM I take the kids out to get their passport photos taken. With our trip to Iceland booked we are running out of time to get everything in order. Afterwards we visit the toy store and head to the park. We run into Ro’s friend O. We chat with O’s family and make plans for a playdate in the weeks to come. I put Sammy in the swing and he immediately starts clapping.

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5:13 PM Rowan has noticed that I have taken lots of pictures lately and when I go to snap a picture of Kew Gardens, she run past and says, “Look at me Mommy! Take my picture!” This is every scrapbookers dream! Ha! Fly, girlie, fly!

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5:23 PM Walking along Queen St, I am excited/relieved that Aaron will be arriving home soon. The kids are fascinated by all the traffic in the Beach.

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5:37 PM We arrive home later than expected. We arrive home later than expected. This guy is feeling better and is ready to play.

WednesdayAaronHome

6:52 PM And he is home. With gifts, no less! Aaron puts Rowan to bed, reading her stories. Afterwards we order sushi and talk about his trip.

Wednesday’s reflections

It’s the middle of the week and I am feeling like I am hitting a grove with my documentation. Given that it is my 6th time participating in this week long photo project, I know that if I don’t get my thoughts down somewhere, I will likely forget the specifics of the day, hence getting up early to write. They told me at the hospital, that they would FED ex my memory back to me after giving birth, but I am guessing it is lost in transit? Of interest, I am still fighting the gremlins in my head about needing more photos, or “good” photos. Down time makes all the difference to me. Sam had a 2.5 hour nap and I was able to rest too.  As such, I am patient with the kids and which is reflected how I parent them.

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful for sunny days & planes that arrive on time.
  2. I am thankful for playgrounds in walking distance of our house.
  3. I am thankful for afternoon naps.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: In addition to Aaron coming home, feeling at ease that I had “successfully” solo parented two kids and the dog by myself for three and a half days.

Rowan: “Daddy, came home! He’s here!”

Sam: “Gah Wa?…”

Week In the Life Intention 2016:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.