Filed under: family fun, kids, life, travel | Tags: family adventures, family fun, fire drill, Hawaii, Kauai, travel
After our successful family trip to Belize last year, my husband went ahead and booked our family for two weeks in Hawaii. I must admit, two weeks away was a daunting idea … I love to travel and enjoy new adventures, but the thought of being cooped up with the boys in a small condo without any friends to play with (for the kids or us!) was a little less than appealing. But everyone assured me that we would have a great time and I figured I could squeeze in a little running and swimming, maybe some tennis and hopefully find some time to do some watercolour painting. Plus, I have only been to Hawaii once so why not?
I packed our bags (too many bags) and we departed for Kauai late Saturday afternoon. (Thanks Bubby, for giving us a lift). Our direct flight was on time and, in spite of the airline’s wifi system being out of commission, the boys were entertained with books, a downloaded movie, snacks and a little bit of video game time.
I even managed to read a magazine, but as I pulled out my laptop to sort through my photos, the little guy complained that he felt dizzy. “No, no, you’re just tired because it’s past bedtime,” I assure him. He tried to get comfortable and I hoped he would nap, but then he sat up and coughed. Quickly, I grabbed the little white, waxy bag in the seat back pocket in front of me; desperately hoping he wasn’t going to puke.
And he did.
Thank you to my husband for clearing the aisle so we could get to the bathroom for the second round. And thank you to the mom of two teenage boys in the row ahead of us for passing me another bag for the third round at our seats. Once the excitement passed, my little guy finally fell asleep with his head in my hand. Who knew that a 7 year old boy’s head could weigh so much?
(Not to be outdone by his brother, my older son got in on the action and complained profusely that his legs hurt and he couldn’t get comfortable. Thankfully his discomfort was short-lived.) We finally arrived at our destination in Lihue on the island of Kauai, collected our luggage, shuttled to the rental car, drove to our accommodations and settled down to sleep sometime after midnight.
The real excitement began at 5:30am when my husband woke me up and told me to get the kids dressed because there was a fire outside our condo! Flames were reaching high enough to see from our second floor bedroom and the toxic stench of burning plastic and metal wafted through our open windows.
All of those school fire drills paid off; the boys were all business. They got dressed, grabbed their stuffies and calmly walked outside. We hopped in our rental car and drove a short distance away from the fire that was burning below their bedroom window! The local fire department showed up and doused the flames of what was once a golf cart.
You can see from the photos how much damage this small vehicle fire caused; singed foliage, burned and cracked pavement. We were thankful that it wasn’t our rental car damaged by the fire. Unfortunately, the rush of adrenaline prevented us from going back to sleep so our first day started off very early!
Stay tuned for photos taken while exploring our neighbourhood…
Filed under: family, kids, organized | Tags: babies, organized, sign language, teaching
My great friend had me laughing out loud this morning – enjoy!
I woke up this morning realizing that exactly 10 years ago today, I had taught my first baby sign language class at Cambie Community Centre. My daughter was just a year old and I had been creating a curriculum to teach my own baby sign language classes, which would allow me to make my own schedule instead of returning to my previous full-time job designing & teaching kids’ recreation programs.
You should know that I am one of those people who likes to plan, prepare, and practice when I teach. I have shelves full of binders and folders of my teaching notes. For this new venture I had written up everything I was going to say, every sign I was going to teach, every song I was going to sing during the hour-long class, and even some anecdotes to share. I had 11 pages of notes and 10 flashcards. I…
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Filed under: family, kids, nature, photography, travel | Tags: beachcombing, beaches, city kids, exploring nature, family, kids, Nature, photography, travel
I was inspired by todays daily prompt: The Natural World.
It was easy to find photos I had taken that show nature in its various forms: beaches, trees, sunrise and sunset, but I was most excited to see so many photos that include my boys exploring nature.
Although they are “city kids”, we do plenty of beach combing, hiking, and paddling to discover treasures. My favorite excursions are the pajama walks we take early in the morning while on vacation.
Where are your favorite places to explore nature?
Filed under: challenge, food, kids, life, photography | Tags: challenge, food, from above, kids, life, Photograph, photography, postaday, weekly photo challenge
My take on the WordPress weekly photo challenge: From Above
I hadn’t realized that I take so many pictures from above, but I love the view from up here. Family. Food. Feet.
Which one is your favorite?
Filed under: family, goals, gratitude, ideas, kids, life, resolutions, Uncategorized | Tags: family, goals, Is the glass half empty or half full?, kids, life, lifestyle, mental-health, Parenting, Pinterest, postaday, resolutions
The age-old question of the glass being half full or half empty is sometimes used as an indicator of your views on life. Are you an optimist? A pessimist?
Or perhaps you don’t care either way and are just happy to have the glass.
Since I became a mom, I found another glass metaphor – the one that measures my energy level. I remember talking to a friend about parenting young kids and how demanding they are with constant questions, needs, and wants. She replied ” your kids will drain you all day long; they suck the life out of you, so you have to make sure that you start each day with a full glass” (no, not of wine). And then she forwarded me a link to a blog post about nurturing yourself while nurturing your child.
After reading this article I realized that, at times, I was too impatient with my kids and frustrated by the lack of time for myself. I chose to leave my career in finance to stay home full-time with my kids, but I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be. So this year, as I approach 40, I have made an effort to put myself back on the never-ending to-do list. I decided that I needed to take some time every day to do something that is just for me. Something that makes me happy.
I exercise. I make a cup of tea (and try to drink it before it gets cold). I treat myself to a great pedicure. I read. I savour a square of sea salt Lindt dark chocolate.
If I had more time, I would sew, paint, make jewelry, garden, but until my youngest is in school all day, I will keep pinning great ideas on my Pinterest boards for future reference; even this makes me happy!
What do you do to fill your cup?
Filed under: baking, family, food, kids, parties, recipes | Tags: baking, Birds nest, cadbury mini eggs, Chocolate, Chow mein, chow mein noodles, Easter, family, kids, Mini Eggs, muffin tins, nut-free, parties, recipe
Spring is in the air. The flowers are blooming and the frost has taken a backseat to the rain, but the sun is still only making occasional appearances. What better time to have a spring party!?
My 4-year-old’s preschool had a class party yesterday for family to attend and parents were asked to contribute treats, snacks, drinks and decor. What fun to see the variety of delicious treats on the table; home-baked iced cookies, rice krispie treats, cupcakes, even some delicious candied-popcorn (I asked for that recipe!).
This year we made bird’s nests! They were quick, easy, child-friendly and delicious. Our class has a number of allergies including nuts, eggs, and kiwi so these were allergy-friendly, too. They are also super-cute and were popular among the kids and parents.
We first attempted this treat for dessert on Easter weekend, but they didn’t turn out. Apparently when you run over to the closest corner store and purchase the only chow mein noodles they have, it doesn’t mean your nests will be edible. Cute, but not edible. So we tried again – successfully!
The ingredient list is short:
chow mein noodles
Ready? Melt your chocolate, mix in the noodles and spoon them into some lightly sprayed muffin tins. I didn’t exactly measure but found that melting the chocolate then stirring in noodles a bit at a time until they were completely covered but not too “wet” worked well.
Once they’re in the tins, use your fingers to make the shape nest-like so there’s a place to put the eggs. Then add 3 Cadbury mini-eggs (you could use other types like jelly beans or something, but these look so cute and taste great!).
My 4 year old happily helped with the mixing, spooning, and placing the eggs, then licked the spoon clean, of course! It’s a bit of a sticky process, but they come together quickly and look and taste great.
Filed under: family, friendship, kids, life | Tags: Adolescence, Parent, relationships
I’ve written about my boys before, but never my teenage daughter and I think she deserves a mention.
I love her.
Over the years we have traveled together to places like San Francisco, New York, and Paris. We’ve shopped, we’ve dined, and we’ve laughed a lot. We’ve laughed so hard in places that are meant to be quiet that our seats shook and tears streamed down our cheeks!
But we also drive each other crazy.
I’m sure she’s just like other teenagers – she stays up into the wee hours of the morning, she sleeps in and wastes away half the daylight hours, she doesn’t answer her phone when I call her, she even forgets when we’ve made plans or what time we’re supposed to meet. I figure this is payback for my own terrible teen years. Thankfully, she willingly babysits my boys who adore her; she feeds them junkfood and is sometimes late, but I’m not paying her so I try not to argue too much.
We don’t really see eye-to-eye on life and somehow are polar opposites in many ways despite our blood connection. This sometimes causes tension and arguments, we often disagree, but underneath it, we both know that we’re not going to convince the other to come to our point of view. She seems to respect my opinion and asks me questions, expects me to know things that she doesn’t and is surprised when I don’t have all the answers. Unfortunately, I’m often too short-tempered, too impatient, and too tired to give her what she’s looking for, but I think she understands.
Oh, did I mention? She’s 65 and my mother!