Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
"Summer afternoon --- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."- Henry James
If only every day were filled with the same fun as a summer afternoon. Nothing is more beautiful, more memorable, and more bonding that a summer afternoon with friends and family.
Now it's your turn! Pick a quote, add a photo or write a post, and link up your Quotable Bits! Don't forget to tell your friends!
Now it's your turn! Pick a quote, add a photo or write a post, and link up your Quotable Bits! Don't forget to tell your friends!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I'm so happy to be joining in on the fabulous Monday Listicles meme once again after a short hiatus. The Listmaster has tasked us with listing "10 sounds that drive you bonkers". While I'd love to write "the sound of my children whining" 10 times, I thought I'd be a little more creative.
10 things that make my ears ache:
10 things that make my ears ache:
1) The radio ads for Ikea. I'm sure he's a very lovely person, but these ads are played so often, and the voice just doesn't please the ears. They say that some people have the face for radio. I'd like to add that some people have the voice for print.
2) The sound of someone blowing their nose. It forces upon me a visual of all of the snot projecting into the napkin, and makes me dry heave a little bit.
3) Whining. I'm sure I won't be the only one with this on my list, but I couldn't create a list of sounds that drive me bonkers without this doozy of a sound.
4) The sound of heavy metal bands like this one doing a soundcheck while I'm at the office. It shakes my desk, and the throaty screeching voice freaks me out!
5) Nails on a chalkboard. Another obvious one, but my list wouldn't be complete without it.
6) The radio ads for The Bay. Another person who I'm sure is very lovely, but with a voice best suited for print.
7) The sound of someone clipping their nails. Each snip snip makes me shudder.
8) The sound of a metal fork dragging along a plate. Cringe city!
9) While my dog is very lovely, the sound of her bark drives me nuts! Nothing makes my head spin like the repetitive barking of my dog, especially when it's for no good reason, and when it wakes up the children.
10) My own voice. Hearing it on an answering machine or in any form of recorded playback nauseates me. I think I sound like a man. Or maybe even like her.
What are some noises that really drive you bonkers? Make a list and join in on the listicles fun!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
"Good morning, Mrs. Bits. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the survival of your morning routine. This will involve the waking, dressing, and feeding of your toddler, without the onset of a temper tantrum. Simultaneously, you will also need to do the same with your eldest child, while also successfully brushing through her tangled hair without tears. You have forty-five minutes in which to do so. This message will self-destruct in five seconds."
Mission? Completely unsuccessful. Every morning I awake with the goal of keeping a happy face, a calm voice and a strict and timely routine. And every morning, I quickly lose all restraint and "mommy voice" my way through it. My vocabulary doesn't extend beyond the "take another bite please", "stop teasing your sister", and "time out!" variety.
And combined with the treacherous evening preceding the said morning routine, is grounds for complete loss of sanity.
My single friends and childless coworkers frequently say, "I don't know how you do it, I can barely get to work on time on my own!". And you know what? While for the most part us career moms (and dads) are superstars, there are many times when we don't successfully "do it". We show up at the office with tangled hair thrown into a bun because we didn't have time to brush it. We wear flats because we had to carry our kicking toddlers into daycare against their will. And we may even continue to wear our long maternity tops to hide the tears in our pants, because we haven't had time to mend them.
We really are superheroes - we can survive and function with very little (to no) sleep, we can multitask like no other, and we have superhuman strength (exhibit A: our ability to wedge a thrashing toddler with an iron-clad arched back into a car seat), but there are some missions that are simply impossible. And keeping a toddler tirade in check for long enough to get out the door in the morning, is a mission I have yet to complete this week.
Posted by Bits of Bee at 1:04 PM
Monday, July 23, 2012
"We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way."
- Gloria Gaither
This weekend was another adventurous weekend away with the family, and while it was busy - packed with lots of family fun with cousins, aunts, uncles and gramma - we took the time to quietly enjoy a beautiful double rainbow. And this moment was a big reminder for me - to never lose sight of the reason for the journey. We must always remember to take time to smell the roses. And this weekend, smell the roses I did.
I hope you've all had the chance to enjoy a rainbow as well this weekend! Come share your quotes and link up your quotable bits! Linky will be live all week. Don't forget to tell your friends to join in on the fun!
Friday, July 20, 2012
Returning to work wasn't an option for me. Not only for the financial gain that comes with having a full time career, but for my own personal satisfaction. I had put in my time studying and obtaining a University degree, I had explored various career paths, and I knew that I would become a career mommy when the time came to start a family.
What I didn't know was that the struggle to find child care would be such a challenge. How do you choose someone to take care of your children while you're away? Someone to help shape the people they will become during the most important years of development, and someone to give them love when you aren't around?
A lot of time went into considering my options. I considered hiring a nanny. I thought it would be nice for my children to spend their time in our home with one caregiver, but how do you find that perfect someone who will teach them new skills, take them on adventurous jaunts, and love them as a member of your family? It seemed like the selection process would be much more tedious, and I had insecurities about having another person in my home who would become a better "mom" to my little ones than myself. I know many people who have nannies, and who are so thankful for the decision they've made - happy with their child care choice. But for me, this option just didn't fit for me.
I was raised by a parent who had devoted her life to running a daycare, and I had worked in daycares in my earlier days, so I was more familiar with this option. But I was also familiar with the difficulties of finding a suitable centre that not only provided professional, trained child care workers, but teachers who were loving and affectionate with the children, as well as skilled in shaping the behaviors and skills of young developing minds.
I was fortunate enough to find a daycare that met all of my needs, and I am so truly thankful for the teachers who spend so many hours a day with my beloved littles. I know many parents out there are faced with the same challenges as I once was in selecting the right child care option, so I thought I would share a list of reasons why I am happy with my decision to send my children to daycare.
1) The variety of teachers with different skills and backgrounds. It has taught my children to develop trusting relationships with multiple people, which I think is important.
2) The socialization. My children have developed so many strong friendships with children of a diverse range of backgrounds. They have learned to relate to other children in their age group, and to respect each other equally, regardless of age, gender, race, family dynamics, etc.
3) The learning and development of new skills. The daycare offers French, Art and Swimming classes for my children. In preparation for Kindergarten, my daughter has been taught how to write letters, and how to properly hold a pen. She has learned how to listen to others, and how to help her peers when needed. She has learned how to share, and how to do many things for herself - skills that will be valuable for the next step.
4) The network. My children are surrounded by friends who have parents who are unable to spend their days with them. But what is also a benefit is the network of parents who come from similar perspectives, who are able to work together to ensure that their children are being cared for in a safe, healthy and happy environment.
It's a tough choice, and I know from talking to many of my friends, that no matter which child care option you choose, you will always question yourself, you will always have moments of second guessing yourself, and you will always miss the time you miss out on with your kids. The most important thing is to do what feels best for you and your family.
|My big girl, all ready for the daycare luau party|
Posted by Bits of Bee at 2:23 PM
Monday, July 16, 2012
"All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."- L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
As I type this post, I'm sitting at a table in my hotel room, enjoying this fabulous view:
We're taking a little time out of our busy lives, to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. But instead of a romantic getaway for two, we've opted for a mini family getaway with the kids, and so far, we've been having a blast.
We arrived in a torrential downpour of rain. Nervous that the sunny weather we had wished for wouldn't come to life, we bundled up and headed out for a family walk along the beach.
We went for a swim in the bath-warm outdoor pool while ice cold raindrops tickled our noses. Then we dressed up and went for some dinner and dancing.
After some family dancing, and steak and lobster, we went up to our hotel room, pulled on our comfy jammies, snuggled up, and watched The Lorax (which was simply adorable, and possibly a repeat!).
The next morning we woke up to the most beautiful blue sky and couldn't wait to get outside. We ordered french toast and belgian waffles, suited up in our bathing suits, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, and headed out for some summer fun.
We cruised the lake on our boat, and came across a private spot with a path that lead to this little piece of heaven:
Unfortunately, the spray from the falls was ice cold, so we checked them out, turned and ran out of there! We picnicked on the water, and then headed back for some fun on the sandy beaches.
Only half way through our little getaway, and so far so good! I hope that you've all had a chance to enjoy the summer weather and all of the special family memories that come with this fabulous season!
Now it's your turn! Pick a quote, add a picture or write a post, and link it up!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Browsing through some old posts, I came across one that I had written about my crazy life as a career mommy of two. In my post, I describe the happy chaos that comes with juggling between "mama B" and "worker B" and how I live through the dichotomy of both on a daily basis. At the time that I wrote that post, I didn't think there was room for anything else in my life, I thought that I had maxed out every waking moment with obligations at home and at work. But since then, I've found time for more.
I've recently made a goal for myself: to not just move through the monotony of my everyday chaos, but to make every chaotic moment count - to find time for the little things that make it all worthwhile. I've developed some new hobbies, some to improve my health and personal wellness, and some, like my obsession with Instagram, to keep my creative juices flowing.
|Snapshots from my week - for more, follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee|
I've also made more of an effort to help my kidlets develop new hobbies:
I've even made the glorious discovery of a little thing I now like to call taking a ME Day.
People are always asking me how I'm able to find the time to blog, and now to take exercise classes as well. The truth is, I carve the time out of my busy schedule to make these things happen.
I'm less stringent about my house cleaning routine, because I've realized that having a few dishes in the sink, or dust on the shelves, isn't going to hurt anyone, but making the time for things that make me feel good about myself makes me happy, and in turn, makes my family happy as well.
I watch less TV. While I love spending the few minutes of down time I have in front of the TV, I've made an effort to be more selective about the shows I watch. This has freed up some time for me to get off my ass, so I can work on getting those jiggly bits off my ass as well.
As mamas, we're all busy, it's part of the job. But if we don't make the time to do the things that we love, outside of the happy chaos that comes with everyday life, then what are we really working so hard to achieve?
Next on my bucket list? Mommy and me cooking classes, more writing, and a whole lot more time outside with my little loves.
Posted by Bits of Bee at 9:16 PM
Monday, July 9, 2012
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
Our dog Keyla has been a part of our family for just over 10 years now, and while we've always considered her as one of us, it wasn't until recently that I realized just how much she means to us. It's no secret that she's getting old, and while she still has a youthful glow and bounces and plays like a little pup, she will not be with us forever.
Before we had children, she was our baby, and has been patient and understanding as the kidlets have taken some of the attention and time that used to belong to her. I'm sure she is sometimes a little resentful, but she lives to please.
Our daughter has always loved our pup, but it wasn't until recently, when I've noticed the love and affection that our toddler has for his doggy, that I've realized just how wonderful it is to have a family dog in our lives. She's gentle when he tugs, quiet when he sleeps, and protective when strangers pass him by, barking with authority to protect her boy. My boy chases his dog around the house, and showers her with kisses, hugs and snuggles, and it melts my heart.
I'm so thankful to have such a great dog in my life, and will do my best to cherish our final years with her.
Friday, July 6, 2012
My first pregnancy was life-changing. The feeling of a life growing and developing inside my body was so beautiful, so natural. I researched, I followed development charts, I perused name books, posed for regular bump photos, and loved each blissful step closer to the welcoming of a new life into the world.
The first year with my new baby girl was quite possibly the best year of my life. I had discovered a love I had never experienced before - watching my heart walk around, growing, learning her first words and taking her first steps - and I was convinced that it was not possible to love another child as much as I loved her. For a short while, I had even convinced myself that I didn't want to have anymore children, simply because I thought my heart was completely full of all the love I had to give.
I had always wanted to have 2 children, but I was afraid that it wouldn't be the same the second time around. When my girl began to ask for a baby brother or sister, I started to realize that the decision to have another wasn't just about me and what I wanted, but about giving my girl - my heart, something that she really wanted as well.
Hesitantly, I got pregnant again, and I must admit, the pregnancy was much different the second time around. I was still excited about the flutters in my belly, about the growth of another little person in my body, but I had done it before, it wasn't life-changing, it was familiar.
I spent many nights laying awake, worrying about what life would be like with a second child. I worried about the time it would take away from my little girl. I worried that I wouldn't love this child as much as the first, wouldn't feel that same maternal bond as I had felt the first time I laid eyes on the one who had made me a mama. When I found out I was having a boy, my mind was flooded with even more worrisome thoughts. What do I do with the boy bits!?
|He looks as scared in this pic as I did when I was about to have a second child!|
I have a lot of friends who are thinking about baby #2, or who are pregnant with their second child, and they are having the same worries as I did. The truth is, the second pregnancy will not be as thrilling - but nothing is as exciting as the exhileration that comes with trying a new adventure for the very first time.
But when that second baby looks into your eyes as they take their very first breath of life, you will melt. Your heart will open up and your love for that second baby will match (if not rival) the first. Now that I have two children, each different, unique, but both loved equally, I laugh at the worries that once plagued my mind. How silly of me to think that my heart couldn't handle all this love!
While I am so thankful, and so blessed to have two beautiful children, there are some things that I discovered through the process, things that no one had told me.
1) My first born, my little baby who made me a mama, looked like a GIANT when I saw her for the first time after the birth of my boy. I was jolted into seeing her as a big girl - as if my "baby goggles" had been ripped off my face, and replaced with brand new "big girl spectacles".
2) I found two to be three times harder than one. I thought I would be a pro, that I would know how to do everything because I had done it all once before. But it's not the same. Every child is different, and my second was much more difficult in ways that my first had never been (exhibit A: the Terrible Twos - this time around is the first for me when it comes to temper tantrums).
3) Being a career mommy with two, is much more difficult, and more expensive, than having one. Getting two children ready and out the door in the morning is a a grind, and daycare is more than twice as expensive!
But despite those eye openers, and the trials and tribulations I've faced in the daily grind of my life as a career mommy of two, there is nothing that compares to my love for my kidlets, and the love that they have developed for each other.
My heart is full, and my life is complete. For those of you who are worried about the changes to come with a new baby on board, I promise you, it is totally worth it.
Monday, July 2, 2012
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
- Langston Hughes
- Langston Hughes
While most of you are basking in the warm summer sun, those of us in Vancouver are suffering through the coldest, wettest June/July we have seen in history. Instead of shorts and flip flops, we are wearing sweaters and rain boots, and it's bumming us out.
Our city is known for its rain. In fact, if you Google "rain", one of the top search results will reference "Climate of Vancouver". We embrace it, and many of us who were born here will walk under its chilly drops without an umbrella, because it's part of who we are. We will walk proudly in the rain, without a complaint, and without cover. Heads held high, raindrops dripping off the tips of our noses, we will own the rain that defines our beautiful city.
But it's July. Usually one of the only two months when we know we will see the sunshine in our city. When we will expose our toes, and our sun-kissed shoulders. We will wear sunglasses, eat outdoors, and dip our toes in the ocean from our picturesque sandy beaches.
This weekend, on the first weekend of July, most of our time was spent indoors, listening to the rain pitter patter on our windows. But on July 1st, it was time to head outside to celebrate Canada Day. The clouds parted and we were able to enjoy a full day outdoors:
With the ground still damp from the weekend's rainfall, we bundled up and headed outdoors. We puddle-jumped, watched a Canada Day parade, and enjoyed hot dogs and live music at a local festival. We went out for dinner, and afterwards went for a nice long stroll at our favourite beach. The air was cool like an October morning, and the dark clouds hovered over our heads threatening to release more rain, but we embraced the day and enjoyed it to the fullest.
Today it is raining once more, but the weather promises bright yellow circles in the near future. Like true Vancouverites, we will slip into our colourful rainboots, zip up our raincoats, and head outdoors. We will lift our heads towards the fluffy grey clouds, and catch raindrops on our tongues. And when the sky darkens and we tuck into our beds, we will let the rain sing us to sleep.
Now it's your turn! Pick a quote, write a post or add a picture, and link up your quotable bit! Don't forget to tell your friends, the more the merrier!