Santa Claus Parade and Maddie turns 2

Last weekend was really busy but really lovely.  Saturday morning Z and I drove to Orangeville to meet up with Melissa and her son Richard for a brunch. It was lovely to get together and Z was quite enamored with “Baby Richard” We headed home for nap time (which was an epic fail) and then got ready for a special girl’s 2nd birthday.  The party was a success…all the kids got along and really enjoyed the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes


We tried very hard to stage a pic of our girls, but this was the best we could come up with….could barely get them to sit still for a second. Too many toys to play with and stairs to climb!

We headed out from the party to hit up the Santa Claus parade not really paying attention to time. Everyone was SO excited but we clearly need to be more punctual next year as we showed up for three floats then Santa.  The girls LOVED it anyway but it would have been nice to see more.  Kevin came down to join us, lost our crew in the crowd, and when Garret went to look for him that was when Santa came by.


Thankfully Uncle Regan had free hands so he lifted Zo up to see Santa and his reindeer. She was completely enthralled and hasn’t stopped talking about Santa since.  She does a hearty “Ho ho Ho” when asked what the big man says. Too cute. Last year we only made the first 10 minute of the parade as it was freezing so we headed home, this year we caught the tail end.  I have high hopes for us to see the middle in 2016

As we were walking back to the house, the girls spotted a Christmas display on the neighbour’s lawn.


We have since gone back every night to say good night to the snowman.  Much to Z’s delight, on Monday they added two penguins to their line up…(according to her a mummy one and a wheezy one)  So we get bundled up each night, she puts on her backpack (not sure why) then makes me carry her down the street to stare at these lights.  This is really encouraging me to get my life together and get our house decorated this weekend. Someone remind me in the New Year to look for a sale on those light up outdoor ornaments for next year!

Halloween 2015

Halloween was on a Saturday this year which was fun.  It coincided with Daylight Savings and Garret and I had a good laugh attempting to recall the days where an extra hour at the bar would have been so appealing to us.  Needless to say, this Saturday Halloween was much tamer than years ago.

Garret worked on the house during the day, and I took Z to the nursing home to visit her GG and practice some trick or treating.  She was very popular at the nursing home and everyone loved her costume. I couldn’t get her to keep her hood up though…the best part of the whole outfit.

20151031_152841 20151031_153228 20151031_153425I brought in some candies for Nanny to give to Zo…it worked well, and they shared some goldfish and smarties together after the mini Trick or Treat.imagejpeg_4Zo halloween

20151031_182835 20151031_195613After the visit we went home, picked up G and headed to the Elyea’s for dinner. Had some phenomenal chili, and then just as we went to head outside it started to rain.  Definitely thankful I picked a costume based on how warm it looked. I thought that we would only make it to a few homes, but once she realized that people were giving her candy…she was all over it.  This is the first year that I am finding traditions like this to be so much fun with a little one. Two year olds finally start to get it..and it is such a delight to watch. She went up to the first few houses and said “Happy Birthday” then “oooh you’re welcome” once prompted to say thank you for the candy.  She caught on to the right phrase and then milked it for all it was worth.

We rallied against the rain and stayed out until about 830, home to put our sugar buzzed ladybug into bed. We robbed her loot bag for our fave chocolates then crashed shortly after…such party animals we have become. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween.

Dear Zoë at TWO

Dear Zoë,
Two years ago you came into the world upside down, and turned our lives the same way. Never could I have known what joy you would bring to our lives. This past year you have become a wonder to behold….you love making us laugh, you shout I LOVE YOU and are fast to hand out the most lovely hugs and kisses. Your fashion sense is unparalleled, and you are definitely cooler than your Mama. I can’t even put into words what you mean to me little girl. If I could go back and make you from scratch, I wouldn’t change a thing. Like Mary Poppins, you are practically perfect in every way.
Love always my girl,
Mama (who just has a little something in her eye right now)

Sunday Words and Photos (WITL 2015)

This was another morning that started so freaking early I thought I was dead.  4:30 Zo was up with night terrors, Garret tried to settle her, wasn’t working so she came into bed with us.  She dozed and cried and kicked about until 6:34 when she was completely awake “WAFFLES MAMA PLEASE”  who can say no to that….downstairs we went.  I was so tired I felt hungover so we played on the couch for a bit and I let her watch YouTube on my phone while I struggled to stay awake.  We also took some early morning selfies: 20150823_081729 20150823_081730 20150823_081735 20150823_093231At 8:15 we went upstairs.  Me to G “If you don’t get up right now I am going to divorce you”

Him “I’m up I’m up”  He told me to have a nap for a bit and he would play with Z.  It was a life changing nap.  I came down about an hour later to fresh coffee and played with my WITL journaling a bit. 20150823_10200310:20 dressed and brushing our teeth. We head to the nursing home to visit with GG.  She was sleeping, so we just had a quick visit then back home.  Garret and Kevin were doing reno work on the back room and Z wanted to watch “Let it gooooo” (she sings that part now and it is SO cute) 20150823_113245Put Frozen on for her and began the first of 50 loads of laundry.  We go away for only  4 days but some how return and everything we own is dirty? I do not understand the science behind this. 20150823_122706We had grilled cheese and hot dogs for lunch.  Go budget family dining!  Nap time was an ordeal and a half…I crept up at 12:40 as it was silent thinking I could get a pic of her asleep. Wrong. She was sitting up playing with her bunny “Oh HI MAMA” I was busted. Took another 20 mins to get her to settle for a nap.  3:05 I hear her stirring so I go to pick her up. 20150823_152916Greeted by this totally grumpy girl…Did not want to get up. So I went back downstairs and I could hear her singing to herself and playing.  Fifteen mins later she called me to come get her and we came downstairs happy as could be. 20150823_152937 The bedtime/nap time crew.20150823_170851 20150823_170858Came downstairs and we checked out what Daddy and Papa were up to in the back yard, kissed Daddy through the window and did more tidying. IMG_1451Kevin took us out to the Burger station for dinner, then home and a relatively early night (compared to lately) for Z.  Finally remembered to get a pic of my favourite part of bedtime routine.  Family Hug. We all go in for a big squeeze right before we head up to bed.IMG_1458Been a lovely long week…Kind of ready to get back to work next week and get back into our routine.  Early to bed for Garret and I (9:30pm)

Friday Words and Pictures (WITL 2015)

The story of this Friday morning was waking up mad early as per usual (thanks kid)  Packed up, wished Ashley a happy birthday and headed home…stopping at Timmies because come on people look at my face below. Coffee need is obvious.20150821_085428

We dropped Z off at daycare and did our daily selfie. Drop off was so hard.  I can see why it is the least favourite part of Garret’s day.  The girls at the daycare are so great and at least I know they take good care of my little ham.


Hustled back to the house, got prepared for our trip south of the border. This included turning the back of our mini van into a camper.  What to do when you are trying to travel on a budget?  Sleep in your vehicle like a hippie! One of the things I am thankful for in my marriage is that we always can laugh as we try to problem solve.  Below I am modelling all our couch cushions covered in quilts.  Sweet overnight accommodations.

IMG_1324 IMG_1327We head to the border. Garret is driving, he always drives.  Coffee stop, and we are off, traffic is smooth until we get to Lewiston crossing where we wait in line and people watch for a good 35 mins. IMG_1334IMG_1336Arrival at Darien Lake.  The trek down took us a bit longer than we thought as we had to make a few stops on the way….finding US cash, hitting a bathroom, and lunch.  We were surprised to find that the park was smaller than Wonderland (we expected epic theme park scale)  We went to the water park and had an absolute blast.  The story of today is to remember that we need to take time just the two of us.  It was really nice to relax and giggle and be together. Hand holding on waterslides for the win

IMG_1344Got  back to the van to change out of bathing suits and had a brief power down then ventured back into the park to grab a bite to eat before the concert. IMG_1361

Home run for this hunk in the batting cagesIMG_1375 IMG_1376We stopped for a beer and then really enjoyed the scenery walking over to the concert venue. IMG_1380 IMG_1382

We were both surprised by the size of “tall boys” in the States. Everything IS bigger down here. Also noticed all the smokers….things you don’t see in Ontario as much these days since you can’t smoke anywhere.IMG_1395 IMG_1403 IMG_1413We sang, danced, jived and had an all around amazing time.  Very good call on a birthday present Garret!  Darius Rucker put on a phenomenal show, Garret drank a few of those tall boys so I drove us off site to find somewhere to sleep. IMG_1427

Checking out the scenery while G pumps gas.  We found an EconoLodge on the way out of town so we pulled into the parking lot, parked towards the back and crawled into the back.  Taking a selfie under the covers.  We really are cool aren’t we?IMG_1429

Saturday Words and Pictures (WITL)

This particular Saturday was about waking up early in the back of our van in a hotel parking lot.  Dying to pee we ran over to Denny’s and had a relatively flavourless breakfast while planning out our day.  A google to show us where a Target was on the way back to Canada and we were set to go.  This Saturday was about remembering that even tho Target no longer exists in Canada it will always remain in my heart.  A good exercise in needs vs wants we did a perusal and just bought necessities…Comfy socks for Garret and rainbow themed birthday supplies for Zo cause yeah that is a need for sure.  We did some brief looking and then headed for the border.


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IMG_1432 IMG_1437 Me navigating “what are we looking for next?” (meaning a turn off/highway/whatever) him “Canada….we are looking for Canada Jules” After what seemed to take forever, including a fast food lunch and us swearing to eat healthier this coming week, we made it home around 2:30. Z was still asleeping at Mum’s so I went over to relieve Amelia of duty and wait for her to wake up.


A pillow fort on the couch. on a pile of clean laundry.  giggles giggles and giggles.20150822_171550

Cat in the Hat. Again.  We have to fast forward through the beginning until the Cat shows up, then we watch for about 20mins and then we are done.20150822_182711 20150822_183625 20150822_184656 20150822_184750Gorgeous afternoon so we went outside, ran around the back yard and played. G and I were exhausted. As much fun as sleeping in a van (down by the river) was, we were both pretty pooped from the drive.  Hoping to tire Z out.  She didn’t go down until about 8:30–this week has totally thrown her off her sleep schedule.  Didn’t want to get in her crib, wanted to cuddle in the glider for a bit. I was happy to oblige.  Garret, Kevin and I watched Paul Blart 2 on the TV and then in bed for 10:01.

Thursday Words and Pictures (WITL 2015)

The story of Thursday is getting slightly more sleep. WIN!  Mum got up with Z again and I slept til 7…lovely!

20150820_082243Jacob comes out “I am up because I could hear Zoë in my ear and I want to play”

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I wanted to make a special breakfast for Ashley’s birthday so we did it a day early before we lost more members of the cottage crew.  Zoë was still pretty clingy so we Macgyvered her into a side carrying position with the Ergo and some French Toast was made.20150820_121559 20150820_121901One thing Garret can be counted on to do in the kitchen: make coffee!

yes please

yes please

The story of today was rain rain rain.  Mum left around 10 and we were trapped in the cottage with two kids and lots of rain.  Z was still feeling quite snugly so we put on a movie. Cat in the Hat (again) and 8 Below.

Z napped on me and it was amazing, that rarely happens anymore

20150820_113221After a brief nap and some lunch we played for a while then Jacob (the super napper) went down.

IMG_1272We were getting a bit stir crazy in the cottage and with Jacob napping it was hard to keep Zoë quiet, so we went for a drive and ended up at Lay-Z Acres Trailer shop.  We had a blast checking out the trailers and EVERY ONE we went into was determined to be “MY Trailer” by Z.  We are thankful for the small trailer we have, but shopping always seems to give me the ‘gimmies’, wanting something more and something better.  We can’t afford an upgrade just yet.  A lesson in being thankful for what you HAVE.

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We got back to the cabin around 5 and played some more. Painted nails, ran around with pool toys on heads, got some minion tattoos, and ate some freezies. The sun was still out so we dragged the kids outside for some more running around.  G and Zo and I finally got to have a paddle boat adventure.  Jacob/Donnie Downer informed Garret while we were leaving “if you take the boat out there, you might die”  Kid takes his water safety to heart!  Kids had a bath and we thought that bedtime would be a snap after a busy day.IMG-20150820-WA0050 IMG-20150820-WA005120150820_210659Bedtime was NOT easy.  After 40mins of horsing around I brought Z down to the couch. Ashley and I had a glass of wine while the kids yelled back and forth at each other and demanded more “Kitty one”.  Feet were put down as there is only so much Cat in the Hat this mama can take!   9:45pm was finally bed time with me following around 10:30.  Goodnight!