Thursday, January 22, 2015

Parent Vacations

 

It is amazing how these 14 things do give you that undeniable “vacation” feeling!  I  feel myself being able to breath deeper and actually think for myself during these moments – it’s fantastic!  Never really thought to consider them my daily “vacations!”…. I like it!

 

14 “Vacations” Parents Take Every Day

Going to the supermarket without your kids feels like a week in Jamaica.

1. When you’re the first person in your family to wake up.

When you're the first person in your family to wake up.

 

Those eight minutes before your kids come barreling into the kitchen asking for breakfast are yours and yours alone!

2. Pumping gas.

Pumping gas.

 

The 90 seconds when your kids are inside the car and you’re outside of it offer a wonderful chance to unwind. Take a deep breath (but not too deep because, you know, gas) and let your troubles fade away.

3. Being on hold with the bank.

Being on hold with the bank.

 

Your kids generally know to leave you alone when you’re on the phone, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the feedback-y version of “Waterfalls.”

4. Waiting in line without your kids.

Waiting in line without your kids.

 

That long line at the pharmacy is a welcome respite from the world if your kids are at home with someone else. Enjoy the piped-in ’90s soft rock as it drowns out the persistent cough of the guy behind you!

5. When your kid thinks they’re in trouble.

When your kid thinks they're in trouble.

 

Your chaotic home will be transformed into a center of relaxation as your suddenly quiet kid tip-toes around you!

6. Nap time.

Nap time.

 

The moment your baby falls asleep feels as freeing as dipping your feet into the water at Waikiki Beach. Just don’t get trapped under your baby or your entire mini-vacation will happen in the same place!

7. The six minutes after your kid opens a new toy.

The six minutes after your kid opens a new toy.

 

Those precious moments before your kid tosses the toy aside and demands your attention are yours to enjoy any way you wish! Get creative!

8. When a new episode of your kids’ favorite show is on.

When a new episode of your kids' favorite show is on.

 

For the next half hour you’ll feel as if you’re in a Parisian cafe as you drink coffee and surf the web. You might even try to read a few pages of a book!

9. Going to the bathroom.

Going to the bathroom.

 

Granted, most trips to the bathroom are punctuated by visits from your kids asking for a snack, but in those rare occurrences you’re left alone this is 100% “me time!”

10. When your kid goes to to the bathroom.

When your kid goes to to the bathroom.

 

This is a glorious opportunity to take care of yourself, but be forewarned: The mini-vacation can end abruptly when your kid yells, “Mommy/Daddy! I need help!”

11. A trip to the supermarket without your kids.

A trip to the supermarket without your kids.

 

Casually strolling the aisles without once having to yell, “PUT THAT BACK!” is nearly as relaxing as a spa day in Napa Valley. Treat yourself to a free sample!

12. When your kid thinks they’re getting away with something.

When your kid thinks they're getting away with something.

 

You know they’re playing on your iPad after you said it was off-limits, but they’re doing it so quietly that you don’t care. Enjoy the tranquility!

13. Getting the mail.

Getting the mail.

 

Once the front door closes behind you you’ve got 15 child-free steps to the mailbox to enjoy! And then — bonus — 15 more steps back inside!

14. After your kids have gone to sleep.

After your kids have gone to sleep.

 

Assuming you don’t have to spend this time doing all the stuff you couldn’t get done during the day because your kids were all up in your business, you can kick back like you’re riding a gondola through the Venice canals! Rejoice!

REFERENCE:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/14-vacations-parents-take-every-day

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elena

Today is the day of extra warm thoughts and love for my mother-in-law – 11 years ago today was the day James lost her.

Still, always wishing I could have known her, I am always reminded of her in very subtle ways every day of the year.   I see her through our girls, through James’ expressions and little shoves of direction when I’m having a difficult day.

We don’t celebrate just her elegances – we celebrate her entirety – the goods, the not-so-goods - her love, our connection and the lessons that she has left with us ♥

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Two Months Old!

Happy Two-Months to our handsome Levi today!  The little man has been home from the NICU since December 31 (a perfect  New Year’s Gift!).  He’s been growing and staying healthy, and weights over 6 pounds now!  He’s been keeping his mommy on her toes at night… poor Jenn is a little bit sleep-deprived (…. or actually, a lot..)

Annika and Selena have been so excited about their new cousin.  This weekend Annika was excited to hold Levi!  She’s going to be a great mommy one day – she’s already asked me when she’s allowed to have a baby…..

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Saturday morning at nana and papa’s

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She’s got such a genuinely caring and nurturing heart ♥

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Selena… a little perturbed that sister was  holding Levi for the picture Smile with tongue out

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…and then there’s Timmie – who will not let any man go near Levi without freaking out and giving the stare-down.  David went to give Levi a kiss and this was Timmie’s reaction haha!

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xox

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And then to David and Jenn’s on Sunday!  Annika made Levi some presents and was showing him the art she drew him – so adorable!

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She sat with him like this for over an hour

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‘Just chillin in my muslin wrap’

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year’s Marriage!

For all of us married folk… found this blog entry rather cute Smile

How to Have a Happier Marriage -- Without Changing a Thing

HAPPY COUPLE

January 1st. The day of fresh starts and new beginnings. The day we vow to eat more green vegetables, actually use our gym membership, and try, once again, to lose those hard to lose pounds.

As we look to the new year, we often focus on ways to be "better" -- resolving to do more of what's good for us and less of what's not. To (at least most of the time) come from our best.

For a good many of us, finding ways to have a more satisfying marriage is high on our list.

But in our rush for improvement, we overlook this key fact: Much of what makes marriage challenging is the stuff that's not easily changed. The stuff that's more about who we are and what we value. The stuff that can, unfortunately, drive us totally nuts.

Such as a spouse's need for order or solitude, or another's call to adventure. A tendency to dawdle or multi-task, a penchant for losing one's keys.

This year, rather than list out your goals for change, why not commit to change nothing at all?

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No, I'm not suggesting you live under miserable conditions with a spouse who's mean, or ignores you, or makes you sleep on the couch. And I'm not saying you can't also lay plans to, say, leave work by 6:30, or learn how to forgive.

I'm suggesting that you vow to make peace with your spouse just as he or she is.

Including her messiness, grumpiness, pickiness. His shoes left underfoot. His procrastination. His terrible jokes.

Think it's impossible?

I promise, it isn't.

If you're up for the challenge, I suggest you start here:

1. Take stock of what's good.

There's a boatload of research documenting the value of gratitude. The same goes for paying attention to the aspects of life that are satisfying and good. If you have any hope of coming to peace with what is, it's crucial to focus on what you appreciate, what makes you smile, what makes you glad you chose the person you did.

2. Right-size your complaints.

You'll get no argument from me if you say your spouse is annoying. Each of us, in our own way, can be as annoying as hell.

Still, the things we swear we can't live with -- mail strewn on the counter, cracker crumbs in the bed; or worse, a spouse who will never apologize or insists she's always right -- these are things we've quite likely lived with for years.

Think that they're deal breakers?

Probably not.

Unless you're planning to make 2015 the year you divorce, you're better off not working yourself into a twist.

3. Come down to earth.

Much unhappiness is derived from our "grass is greener" fantasies -- from our idealization of the perfect spouse or the perfect marriage we assume others possess.

Think there's some flawless person out there waiting for you? Think he or she will graciously overlook whatever foibles you have?

There's a lot to be said for loving and being loved, warts and all.

4. Venture into new worlds.

The sooner you learn to tolerate and accept that you and your partner are not one and the same, the happier you'll be.

Think your way is the only way? I guarantee that it not.

We all have our preferred way of doing things. Stepping out of your comfort zone will make you more flexible (and a lot less self-centered) -- both of which are good things!

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5. Take a walk on the wild side.

Much of what happens in life is beyond our control. Politics, weather -- and how our partner behaves.

Learning to accept that is no easy task.

While we have choices about what we ourselves do, we have zero ability to change or control anyone else.

I find it challenging enough to change the things I need to change in myself, never mind wasting my energy trying to change someone else.

We can fuss and freak out, or we can let go.

6. Laugh.

Given the alternative -- tearing your hair out -- this one's a no brainier, if you can wholeheartedly pull it off.

Laughing about the things that won't change creates needed space and perspective. It acknowledges the absurdity inherent in marriage.

It is, I believe, the ultimate act of acceptance.

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7. Open your arms.

When it comes to marital happiness, generosity beats stinginess, hands down.

Learning to love and accept the person you married, as he or she is, will go better when you focus on being as kind and giving as you can be.

When we withhold love and affection, we shortchange our spouse and our marriage -- and, consequently, ourselves.

Generosity says, I know you're imperfect and I love you anyway. It's says, I'm willing to forgive your shortcomings, even though I find them challenging.

Though there's no guarantee, in a climate of generosity, chances are we'll be forgiven our shortcomings as well.

reference:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/winifred-m-reilly/how-to-have-a-happier-mar_b_6399062.html?ir=Parents&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bird’s-Eye View of Facebook…

…The reason why I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook.  Although it’s great to be in touch with many people who I’d otherwise not be if it wasn’t for Facebook, and it gives great exposure to small businesses who would otherwise not be able to afford marketing…. the delusional perspective it gives to people’s lives has always bothered me.  This little article and video perfectly portrays what I’ve always seen in Facebook.  I rarely scroll down my feed anymore and I’m not one to post many things anymore.  I don’t want people thinking I live a life that’s not accurately displayed, and, do people really need to know what I do on a daily basis??  Could Facebook be the cause of the rising cases of depression??… maybe… just maybe..

“Everyone on Facebook looks like they're having a great time. Fun adventures, deep romances, amazing jobs. It's enough to make you feel inadequate, but it's also a lie. Nobody is really as happy as their Facebook wall claims, as this piercing short from HigtonBrothers confirms.

So the next time you're driven to jealousy by a Facebook friend's humblebragging about his or her awesome life, don't forget: They're probably embellishing it for social media, even if it's unconsciously.

Ultimately, Facebook is a narcissistic playground where the best, the funniest, the most charming aspects of our lives are publicized and the shitty stuff, the boring stuff, the beige that is most of our daily grind almost never gets posted. All those walls are edited at some level and that makes them, at best, a deformed mirror image of real life or, at worst, nothing more than a fictional movie of how we want people to see us.

The solution? Just go live your life, focus on your present reality, and ignore the circus of social media. Trust me, you'll be a lot happier.”

reference: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-take-peoples-lives-in-facebook-1595563358

Happy New Year!

We rung in the new year in style with friends!  Meaghan and Karsten came for a tame night and lots of  laughs over “Cards Against Humanity!” and a great cheers at the stroke of midnight!  Our second bash (belated two days) included our very first visit with baby Ava!  Miro and Coleen brought Ava Tot into the world eight weeks early, on October 18 (the same day that James proposed to me seven years ago).  Ava had a 38-day NICU stay at Grand River (the same hospital baby Levi was eventually transferred to).  Ava is doing fantastic, it was so nice to finally meet her ♥  All these tiny babies are giving me baby-fever! (but… no… we’re not having another one…) Winking smile

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The girls! (just missing Ava) – Selena, Annika, Gwyneth and Emma.  What a concidence that two of James’ close friends (Miro and rob) have all had girls!

James and I, as always, celebrated another year together (our original anniversary was New Year’s Eve)!

Can’t wait to see what this new year brings!  I never overdue my resolutions, and by the end of the last few years, I’ve been really happy with what I’ve/we’ve accomplished.

Cheers to a happy, healthy and Tranquil New Year!