The latest Christmas craft! I wanted us to have name ornaments and finally got around to making some. I picked a few blue shades of glitter (love that Martha Stewart multi-pack!) and then painted our names on the front. Happy with the results, yay!
Last night I didn't feel so good... in fact I felt my body starting to give way to illness, something I don't tend to do easily. My dinner tasted weird and I could't eat all of it, so I went to bed early. By morning both Ken and I were throwing up, so we must have gotten what Ariel had. Of course she was happy and well today, sigh.
The MAJOR bummer was that on Friday Ken came home to say he had to fill in for a co worker in Victoria at a school conference and give a speech. The fun part was that it was at the Empress Hotel and part of the deal was a room there! I was so excited and then this happens. What sucks for Ken is that he still had to go, sick or not because they didn't have anyone else to fill in for him. So we both slept most of the day away, Xander napped too while Ariel watched some tv, played and even got her own apple snack - can I say how much my daughter rocks being so independent when we were not feeling well.
So Ken left at dinner time to catch the boat over to the island leaving me bummed out that we aren't with him. I am sure tomorrow I would be much better but there is something about being in your own bed when you don't feel well, not to mention I don't want this to come back full force from me not taking care of myself. Sigh....
I am thinking maybe Ken and I can go stay at the Empress for our 10th anniversary this summer.... I keep telling myself that, haha. Sigh, being sick sucks!
...and I am home with a sick kid! Wah, so we had our own little Advent moment with our 'kid friendly wreath and candle'. Hoping not to miss anymore... Christmas is my season!
On Thursday morning as I laid in bed I heard Ariel calling me from downstairs. I pulled myself from the warmth and trudged downstairs to her gleeful face pressed against the window... it snowed Mommy! Lots and lots of snow!!!!! She wasn't kidding, I went to bed and woke up to a winter wonderland. Sadly however, it meant no swimming lessons for princess as I didn't want to drive. Our roads over where we live needless to say were not plowed at all... including our parking lot! Well, they finally showed up at noon to do the parking lot but the snow filled it all back up, blah!
So I declared a snow day in our home! We eventually went out on foot to get a dvd from the video store for Ariel (a little treat because she had to miss swimming). We stopped at the hardware store to get a baby sled for Xander. Oh man did that make getting around with him so much easier. Ariel can walk herself but I had to carry him and that wasn't working. So we hit the grocery store and had a quick play before we dashed inside to warm up.
Ariel discovered her love for snow angels.
Xander loved the sled, not sure about the snow part though.
I got my hair done for the holidays this week. I love my stylist and totally trust her when it comes to my hair. I never go in with an idea and just say 'eh do something you think would be cool'. Sooooooo, I got the most awesome violet tones and cedar reds, ooh. Happy me!
The trees around the house are all up, and I will do a post on all of those this week on the 1st of December! Yay! Right now I am caring for a little girl who seems to have a bit of a bug! It sort of started on Friday when I went to the school to pick her up. She had been fine and apparently right before the end of class threw up! Nothing worse than the 'walk of shame' as I call it, when you have to go past the other parents and the looks of 'oh you sent your kid to school sick, way to go!' To my thankfulness the teacher did say loud enough she was surprised too since she wasn't at all showing signs of illness and wonders if she ran around too much.
I brought my princess home and she was fine, ate some toast for lunch, watched some tv but then fell asleep at 4pm! I had book club that night and Ken wasn't home because of a graduation at the school so Stella was babysitting. She said Ariel got up once and was ok, just looking for her mermaid doll. Next morning she was perky and happy and so we went to the birthday party in the afternoon for her friend. Ken was the 'entertainment' and the kids had a great time. Ariel didn't show any signs of feeling sick, she played and laughed, even ate a slice of pizza. Came home, early bedtime and nothing... till early morning.
She had a fever, ugh! So drugged her up and back to bed. As we got ready for church, Ken and I were discussing if I should stay home with her and then 'barf'! The girl puked in the hallway by the bathroom so I grabbed her and got her to the toilet where she threw up a few more times. That sealed the deal and I quickly got Ken ready for the various things I was to be doing at church that I couldn't do anymore, sigh! We could have traded places but Ariel was insisting I stay with her, sometimes you just need Mommy.
I then had to call and cancel all the fun stuff we had planned for today, much to Ariel's dismay. Had a lunch date with friends and a dinner one too. Ariel keeps saying she feels good and can go out now, haha, not so fast sweetie. Well, hoping this goes fast, as we got a huge surprise from Ken on Friday that would be happening this week. I am not gonna say what it is because I don't want to be disappointed if it can't happen now, so pray for healing! Please!!!!!!!!
One of the things we have been thinking about and finally got the chance to do was 'birthday parties'! One of Ariel's classmates was having a Mickey party and the mom talked to me about hiring Ken to do an animation thing with the kid. So he did some drawings with the kids, played a black and white Mickey cartoon on his 16mm projector and taught them to do mini flip books! He had a great time, so if you are looking for something fun for your next party, talk to us. Haha. This is the drawing he did the birthday girl, she was pretty tickled pink about it, yay!
Our world got shut down on Thursday when we awoke to the sky filled with snow flakes. The roads were filled with the crazy white stuff and anyone who doesn't need to be out in it shouldn't be... that being said, we missed swimming and stayed inside most of the day. We did venture out once and bought a 'baby sled' to pull Xander around, which both kids loved, thus leading to my picture of the day.
Today was Ariel's ballet viewing and last class before the Christmas break. I loved this shot of all the little feet waiting to dance, hee.
So we are living in winter... and its cold... very cold! I found myself wearing 2 pairs of socks around the house and then getting out another quilt for our bed in addition to our fuzzy sheets. Brrrr. I haven't been able to walk Ariel to school since its just too cold for the kids, or Ariel who is not a fan of cold at all! We pulled out the winter coats and I am so excited they are getting lots of use, haha. At school this week Ariel is learning about bears and how they sleep during the winter... I think that sounds pretty darn good these days.
The weekend was filled with activity, starting with adjusting to the white stuff outside. We needed new snow tires this year for our car and after much thought we decided to pass on getting 4 new ones since we are really hoping to get a newer car in a year or so. Just seemed like too much money to throw down at this stage of the game. So instead I went to the hardware store and got a shovel and tub of salt to keep on hand. The village has been really on the ball with keeping the streets cleared so I am not worried at this point... ask me when its 7 feet deep... really hoping that isn't going to happen though.
Saturday Ken and I both had signed up at church for selling Christmas cds outside the liquor store raising money for Delta Hospice Society. I went first so he could stay with the kids and then we switched, but not before Ariel and Xander got to help out for a half hour. Ariel managed to sell 3 herself, quite a determined sales girl too I might add. She was going up to people saying, 'buy this cd, put your money in that jar!' It was too cute and of course it worked a few times, haha. It was great to have them involved and learning to give back to their community.
While Ken did his shift of selling, I took the kids into town for a quick annual visit with St Nick! We always go in late November when he first arrives because a) I don't like waiting in long lines and b) I don't want to be anywhere near a mall in December! I have talked before how we like to celebrate St Nicolas Day in early December, not sure what our family service project will be yet, but will let you know as soon as we do. I think its a great way to talk about where Santa comes from in a positive way that doesn't take away from Christ at Christmas, especially we both grew up with memories of Santa.
We arrived at the mall and both kids were eager to see Santa. We got a lovely picture and as a Mom I was shocked to compare it to last year's. I can't believe how much they have grown... wow.
Sunday morning was creative service hour at church, and Ken and I were back at making ornaments with 18 families for their Jesse Trees. Its been so much fun and its exciting to see so many who signed up for this activity! During the service the kids are now leaving really early to go practice for the concert coming up next month. Ariel is practicing her song at home and is excited to learn that she gets to be one of the angles for the live nativity scene... which means Mommy needs to get a little costume together for her. Woohoo!
Following church we zipped home to get everything for the shower and made our way over. It was an awesome party and I think everyone had fun. Henry slept through most of it, but did manage to help cut his cake, hee.
This was Ariel's favorite part, the Christmas tree decorated with Oh Henry bars, yum!
We played a few games that were fun for both guys and girls. First off a little girls against boys action of naming songs that have 'baby' in the title. Guys won that one proudly! Then we did a 'match the tv parents with the tv show' game. Some serious concentration with that one, haha. We had 2 get perfect and 2 come in second and so all 4 went on to the big finale, 'Price is Right, baby edition!' The players had to guess prices from everything from a baby book, sleeper, glow worm and finally diaper sushi I had made up (see photo from Sunday blog). Henry was the big winner, getting all the prizes in the end, and our players getting candy from the Oh Henry tree.
Everyone left and we ended up hanging out late watching the American Music Awards on tv with them and getting home late... thus causing Mommy to sleep in Monday morning. Gack! Thank heavens Ariel got up 10 minutes before we had to leave, and we got out on time, yay!
That brings us to now and Ariel's busy day of dancing and swimming. We all came to watch her show us what she has learned and wow she really has come a long way.
Her teacher has been telling me how pleased she is with her skill and ability, but for me to finally see it in person was great. Ken was able to come and film her so here are some of her exercises...
Ariel had made an ornament for her teacher for a gift. They are her thumb prints and I added some detail to make them look like dance shoes. She then wrote in the card herself this time. I wrote it out on a separate piece of paper for her to copy, and I am proud of how well she is doing with her letters - as was she!
We then had to dash out to get to swimming lessons, not going to miss rushing now that ballet is over. My little sea turtle is doing great and is loving her class.
Dad, Rita and Auntie Marg were along for the ride to both events and we all went for lunch at Triple O for lunch, yum! Nothing beats a warm burger when its cold outside. Ariel gobbled down her hamburger and Xander munched on fries, even though his lip is sore. He fell while we were picking up Ariel the previous day and split his lip... pretty gross.
Finally... after much waiting for Thanksgiving this week, I caved and put the tree up. I realized its the first Sunday of advent this weekend, and frankly things get busy fast in December and so while Xander napped yesterday I pulled everything out. Will post pictures as things come together... right now I still have several boxes filling my hallway, blah! However, the tree is up and I am happy, whee!
Ah to sit and have a cup of tea. This is Ariel's tea set she got when Nana and I took her to the tea house for her first time. It has become a very special treasure in her room and she takes care of it so gently... and loves to tell people it was a gift from my Nana. Aw....
Ack, I am a lazy blogger... don't get me wrong, I am not lazy elsewhere, life is HOPPING! Jaybird Creations is starting to have a life of its own that I never expected. At times its scary, especially since I haven't done much freelance work since Ariel was a baby. Sure I would take on the occasional project here and there, but this is almost getting to be where I have constant work weekly.
My Facebook page for my business has people joining that I don't personally know, which is very cool. I am trying to stay on top of everything, including my responsibilities to my kids... so between their schedules and my stuff its getting full. I have made myself promise to only take on one 'assignment' per week, otherwise its too much at this point. One day when the kids are both in school it will be different, but for now as I grow its a good balance.
I should call December Pixar cake month. I have 2 large orders in the first 2 weeks, both involving characters from Cars and Toy Story. I have been sketching and planning out what I want to do and I am actually eager to get at it. Nothing like a new challenge eh? Also, I am officially booked for my first wedding this summer! I will be meeting with the couple after Christmas to do an engagement session and I have a 1st birthday session around then as well. I feel blessed that things are coming together, and I ask for prayer as I go into this new phase of life. Thanks!
Now I haven't talked about the kids in FOREVER! I have, but not in great detail and so I want to do that now. First up, my little prince Xander. Well, the moment this guy figured out how to walk its been full speed ahead! He is now climbing up anything and everything! We have to keep the chairs tucked in to avoid 'incident'.
Xander might not always have the words to say what is on his mind, but boy is he observant. Yesterday he watched me in the kitchen only to go get the oven mitt, put it on and try and open the oven (don't worry it was off, but we may need an oven lock now). The words he does have are funny ones, like pop for popcorn. He goes bananas if you make it and whines until you share. He is saying Ariel's name more and more, although it sounds like a mash of vowel sounds but I totally hear it. Gook for book, which is a popular one, he loves books! He still primarily uses his language of jargon, which at times sounds like things but we aren't always too sure, but we go with it in conversation. Oh, and his number one word... YEAH!!!!!!!!! Everything is yeah yeah yeah! Its really funny and the way his face lights up is just priceless.
I got my boy finally signed up for a swimming class for the new year. Xander loves the water so I am eager to get back to the pool with him. Xander loves dropping Ariel off at school, mainly because he loves to carry her bags. Yes, she has a little servant, haha. He loves to carry them around and screams when I have to take them away so we can go home.... so he goes and grabs another kids bags and takes off with them. What a turkey!
Ariel is continuing to grow into such an amazing girl in front of our eyes. She is loving school and her new friends. I am noticing more a 'girl' favoring these days, which I knew was going to come in the next few years. Her play is far more 'creative' lately as well, lots of dress up, tea parties, dancing and babies. She always has her ballet shoes on with a tutu and wings when we are at home. Her wanting to practice her dance is paying off with her skill. Her teacher noticed and told me she is coming into her own and I am excited to see her class viewing next week!
I have been excited to see Ariel back in swimming lessons. After 2 only classes I am thrilled to see her still doing everything she learned back in the summer, and with a new found confidence. She is always excited to go and I think it will help fill the void of dance class until Christmas holidays.
Ariel is also drawing so much more, mainly because Ken is working on another freelance project for our friend Galen's animation studio. I can't say much about the project, but it involves a cute children's book again and Ariel loves to be in the office with Ken while he works. They listen to Chipmunk records and draw, one day soon I will do a blog on her drawings and the stories behind them.
A funny story from this week was they are learning about seeds at school and on her calendar it showed they would be making bird feeders. Well the clip art showed a bird feeder like a house, so I think Ariel had that vision in her head. So when I picked her up, she handed me her pine cone bird-feeder which was ever so cute. I gushed over it but she looked at me with a sarcastic smirk and said, its just a PINE CONE Mom. So much for simplicity, haha.
Gosh, these little ones are growing up too fast! But I love the relationship that is forming between them. They love to play together and giggle. I am so excited for Christmas this year, maybe not the idea that Xander will probably want to climb the tree, but Ariel is starting to grasp the meaning of it all. She will be in her first church concert this year, singing Away in a Manger, and oh how she practices in her room melts my heart!
Well, in the course of writing this blog I booked another cake order for December. I think that I will close up shop for December now, since I want the week of Christmas off as Ken will be home and frankly its my favorite time of year and I want to celebrate it properly with my full heart prepared and ready. Ah but first one more Thanksgiving next week then bring on Christmas!!!
I got a box of stuff from my Dad today which was filled with things from my Mom's hope chest. Everything from some old baby clothes, stuff from Brownies and toys. This piece of cloth is very special though, and I am sure I have shared this pattern before but if not this is my family's tartan. This is the Thomson colors, and I remember my mom having a kilt made from this pattern as well. I think that might be one of the only places I would really like to go one day is Scotland.
So today I finally got to cash in my birthday gift from my hubby, a 3 hour one on one session with one of the photo instructors from the photography program at the school where he works. It was fantastic to finally learn all the inner workings of my camera better, as well as tips on using a flash in some particular situations I had questions in. Unfortunately the rain didn't help our during our shooting time, but I did get a few shots with my favorite model. Most of the pictures I took are on Christa's camera, since it was better equipped for shooting in the rain, but I had this one to share from my camera. (Will share the others when I get them on Monday).
I look forward to playing with what I learned in the weeks to come. I was also very encouraged as she was very impressed with my work and what I have done and that I have a great visual and artistic eye. Yay me! Since I am super critical of my work, its nice to get some feedback from someone in her position.
Our new project during the Creative Service Hour at church is going to be making 'Jesse Trees'. Basically its an advent tree that represents the family tree of Jesus. Starting with creation, going through the Old Testament to his birth. Brenda's sister made her one for a gift one year and after showing us, we decided we had to do this! So Ken and I will be teaching the Fimo ornament making part and another church member will be doing the wooden tree part with the class. So I think as we count down to Christmas I will post an ornament each day and share the meaning behind it. So stay tuned for that.
This morning we read Ariel a book I had gotten a few years back about Remembrance Day. It seemed to really make her take notice of the events of the day more, as much as it can at 4 years old. One day I will share the stories of the members of our family who served. Until then we remember and pray for peace.
Another day another cake! Today I finished up a baby shower cake, with a princess theme. So instead of Cinderella's glass slipper its a baby shoe... hee.
Ok, long time no blog, I know! The past few days have been crazy cake production days, as well as preparing for the baby shower for Mike and Jo. The shower is still another week and a half away, but I like to get started early. Its a guys and girls one, so a bit more planning than the usual girly affair! Should be fun, got some ideas brewin'.
On the weekend we attended the first Christmas bazaar, the one also I use to attend yearly with both my Mom and Nana. Ken was able to come along with me with the kids, and although its not the same, its still fun. We had our tea and sandwiches, Ariel played a game and I got some new dishrags - so all in all it was a successful morning.
That evening we joined Mike, Jo and Henry out for dinner at White Spot, only for me to forget my camera to capture my cute nephew but as well his first 'white spot experience'. Haha. It was fun being out with our 'kids' and I look forward to many years of outings out and about. A true blessing that we live so close to each other. Yay.
The weather has turned cold... very COLD! I pulled out the cute sock monkey hat we gave Xander last Christmas and its still a tad big but oh so cute!
Ken's family just got a new dog this week and we have been having lots of fun going on Skype seeing him. He is super cute and we all wish we could reach through the screen to pet and play with him.
I have 2 large cake orders for December already and get this - I am in talks with a gal about a wedding cake and doing her wedding photos this summer! She is having a smaller wedding and was looking at my work and asked if I would consider it. Wow, very exciting and quite an honor! Also I have to get together with Kara and Chris soon to help get their wedding invitations together. Sooooooo, life is busy, but good!
My son is in LOVE with Ariel's ukulele... as in he carries it everywhere, he cries when anyone tries to take it from him and basically just plays it while smiling like he has the most precious treasure. A rock star in the making? Perhaps!
Ariel's Sunday School class is learning about David at the moment. The kids had to draw on rocks, a tie in of course to David's battle with Goliath, but I am still unsure how Ariel's picture of a dinosaur eating grass fits... oh well.
As I took Ariel to school to this morning she commented how the trees were going to be naked soon. Then it will be winter... whoa.
I can't believe its mid-week already. It was going to be a quiet week but got a tad more crazy when both kids and myself decided to develop runny noses. I have had a sore throat go along with that as well, making me hit the hay early most nights. Thus losing valuable working time for various projects. Thankfully I got things tied up today with things from some logos I am doing for a daycare, invitation for Jo and Mike's baby shower and website stuff for Rita's organization. Next week I have a large cake order to be picked up on the Remembrance Day, so thankful Ken is home that day to keep the kids from getting into it. Haha.
In recap from the past several days, we had lots going on from Henry's birth to Halloween! Ken had been hoping for a Halloween baby, so it was close but no cigar so to speak. After doing the 'baby pool' Ariel had gotten confused thinking we were 'picking' what the baby would be, not guessing. So Saturday morning upon telling her the news she cried saying that wasn't what she picked. Haha. It was hard not to laugh at her, but we talked about it and she quickly was on board with another boy in the family.
We went out in the afternoon to the hospital to meet our new nephew. It was strange being back at that hospital for baby reasons, and not being one of our own. Kinda cool! When we arrived the room was already filled with Chris, Julie and their kids. Big party, woo hoo! Chris handed me Henry and I was lost in that wondrous moment of baby! You forget how small they are, even though the little guy was over 9 pounds!
Xander was taken with the new friend. Won't be long till these 2 are running around together growing up as best friends as well as cousins.
Ariel was studying little Henry closely and enjoyed tickling his tummy. She will be a good big cousin I think.
Ken was excited to finally be an Uncle too! He said it was nice to snuggle a baby again.
We had been praying hard for this little one's safe arrival into the world. We are thankful he is here and are looking forward to the next visit we get with the little man.
Then came Halloween! We were invited to our church friend's regular event of trick or treating and party following. Before joining them we stopped over at Dad and Rita's to do the houses by them. We then joined the party and had a great time visiting and walking through the nice night collecting treats. I am so thankful it didn't rain. We came back for appetizers, I made meatballs, so good! Didn't get home till nearly 10pm, party animals on a school night, haha.
Thus leading into our weekly routine! Ariel is studying leaves this week at school and had a good ballet class. We are nearly at her performance for this 'term' which is exciting! They are doing 'under the sea' for their performance. Very excited and of course I will post a video! Today Ken left early to go do presentations on Salt Spring Island. He nearly didn't get on the boat as he came home to leave me the stroller to forgot to take out when he left. I felt bad since he should have just kept going and I could have used our one seat stroller, but being the sweetheart that he is, he had to come back. Thankfully he made it on to a very full 7am boat and made he connection in Swartz Bay perfectly.
Well its time to get dinner ready for the troops, good night!