went away|came back

First of all, thank you everyone for the incredible response to the Sara M Lyons + Unicorn Parade banners that Sara and I released last week! I sold out of the Whatever Forever banner in about fifteen minutes, and Sara has just one left in her shop. We both have some Out of this World and Best Buds banners still available so please visit shop.unicornpara.de or shop.saramlyons.com to get one of your very own.

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Gwen’s flamingo swimsuit is from Old Navy

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I actually have a degree in taking pictures of scenery through the window of a moving car.

For the long weekend Taylor and I packed up Gwen and the little dogs and headed up to his moms’ place in Kelowna. Since both of us were off work Friday (I’d booked it as a vacation day but as it turned out I had no kids coming, what a waste!) we planned to leave early in the day and avoid traffic, but due to certain circumstances we didn’t actually leave the house until about 1pm. It took us two and a half hours just to get out of the city and across the Fraser Valley, ugh. After a quick visit to Hope to buy snacks and to enact a complicated standing-up diaper-changing maneuver on a screaming toddler in a truck-stop bathroom we made good time the rest of the way and arrived at dinnertime.

Saturday was beautiful and sunny and Gwen was up bright and early at 6am and ready to hit the backyard. She spent some quality time with the water table and then after breakfast we headed out to go hiking in Bear Creek Park. Back at the house Gwen had a very short nap (she’d fallen asleep in the car briefly and non-nap time sleeps always mess up her nap). She spent most of the rest of Saturday playing with water in the backyard and watching her fave shows with her grandmas while Taylor and I ran some errands.

At bedtime we started to have some problems. She’d gone down easily on Friday night but Saturday night it was a HUGE struggle to get her to sleep in her bed. In fact, I never did. At her grandmas’ she sleeps in a crib in a spare room but since she can climb out of cribs it only took about five seconds after we closed the door before she turned on the light and started knocking to be let out. Taylor had some work to do so I tried myself for an hour to get her to bed in her room, but it just wasn’t happening and I was so tired and stressed out that I was starting to get mad, so in the end I let her come lay down with me in the other bedroom. Of course, she still didn’t go to sleep- she stayed up goofing around for at least another hour before settling down to what would be a long, nearly-sleepless night for Taylor and I.

Sunday morning Taylor’s sister came over with her three kids for a little visit, and after they left we tried giving Gwen lunch and putting her down for a nap again but it was just more of the same as the night before, she wouldn’t stay in bed. We tried both the crib AND the actual bed in the room but there was no way. Taylor and I had already decided that if she wouldn’t nap we’d have to leave early because all of us were pretty much at the end of our ropes, emotionally. It sucked because leaving early meant missing out on more time with Taylor’s family and a barbecue I was really looking forward to, but the alternative was a toddler on the brink of a constant meltdown and two even more exhausted adults making the drive back the next day. So we quickly packed up all our stuff (forgetting only Taylor’s tablet and notebook) and headed out.

As soon as we put Gwen into her carseat she got MAJOR sleepy-eyes, and I think she fell asleep before we’d driven 50 feet. She slept all the way to Merritt, two hours away. After she woke up she was mostly good the rest of the way, only making a serious fuss when she needed her diaper changed, again in Hope and again a complicated standing-up endeavour, this time in the back seat because it was raining and I didn’t want to get out of the car. We drove through rain- and thunderstorms until we reached the sun in Metro Vancouver, again arriving just in time for dinner. We were a little worried that Gwen would be difficult to get to bed again but she went straight to sleep without a problem and didn’t wake until 7am.

Since we still had the rental car for another day we made a quick trip to Ikea this morning to snag a couple items we forgot on our last trip, a pair of waterproof mattress protectors and a second duvet for Gwen’s toddler bed. as well as a new sheepskin for her room. We had to chuck out her old one because SOMEONE’S little dog peed on it, and we ended up getting a fake (ie WASHABLE) one this time. Since we were saving money on the sheepskin ($15 vs $40) we also picked up a cute rack for Taylor’s hats, a frame for a poster he ordered last month and some 600lm LED lightbulbs for our bedroom. I’m OBSESSED with these bulbs; they last for basically ever and make CFLs look like the literal worthless trash bulbs they are. I buy a few every time I go to Ikea and plan on eventually replacing every CFL bulb in my house with them.

tip top

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Last week I had a lot of work to do so of course I thought it’d be smart to spend an entire day dismantling my desk. It needed to be cleaned off anyway and I was really sick to death of the yellow. I’ve been planning on repainting it for a while, but I figured I could enact a quick change by swapping out the old desktop of a couple spare white Ikea desk tops I had. They had previously been on top of the kitchen island (from before we got a real dining room table) so they aren’t in great condition, but then again, neither was the yellow top and did I mention I was sick of it? SO SICK.

Of course what I thought would be an easy breezy simple swap turned out to be anything but. After removing the old top I realized there was only one small board holding the two halves of the desk together, and that the seam between the two new desktops would fall over open space and bee all wobbly so I needed to first attach them to some sort of stabilizing piece. Luckily I had a big heavy piece of wood stashed behind my bed that worked perfectly, and after only a brief struggle I was able to get my new desk top on place. It’s much longer so I have space on it for the printer now without feeling crowded and even though it’s a little scratched up it still looks much cleaner than the yellow one. Eventually I’d like to replace the two cobbled-together 1 meter-long desktops with one 2-meter long desktop, but baby steps. I also still need to paint the base of the desk, which is still bright yellow. Did I mention I was sick of the yellow? I’m thinking of doing it either a black-brown or a dark grey.

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When I was screwing the new desktop into place from underneath I needed something to weigh it down so the screws would go in properly, and I made the mistake of sitting Gwen on it as my weight. It worked perfectly, and she was pretty thrilled with the experience. So thrilled that she’s added climbing onto my desk to her repertoire of things she knows she’s not supposed to do but does anyway. With the new desktop she can no longer get into my drawer full of pens and markers and scissors so I guess it’s kind of a trade off? Her climbing up on my desk was an inevitability anyway as she has great enthusiasm for climbing things.

mole hill lives!

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that lil red spec is Gwen

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watching seaplanes take off is a favourite activity

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Amazing news: Last night after work went out to run a quick errand and on my way home the executive director for Mole Hill CHASED me down to tell me the best thing. So remember when I told you about the developers who want to put up a big, ugly monstrosity right next to my apartment? Well, that wasn’t the ONLY place in the block where people were looking to build something- at the west end of my block there is an apartment building with a little bungalow next door- the bungalow used to be the caretaker’s home but now it is rented to a family. Behind the buildings is a little open area and those owners wanted to put up a huge monstrosity as well. They were actually further along in the process, had put in their development proposal and were supposed to have their public hearing (and the city’s vote) in June. WELL, their plan was such a mess (too big and ugly, no concept of following by-laws, where is ur fire lane, etc) that the city DESCHEDULED it and told them to start from scratch and come back with a new plan for a building no more than two storeys high.

So what does this mean for the developers next door? Well, seeing as how their idea is just as big and ugly, in all likelihood if they try to make this proposal to the city they are gonna get the same result: go away and come back when you’ve got a plan for a TEENY TINY HOUSE FOR ANTS. Basically they bought this property with the idea of putting in a big ol’ condo building they could make a huge profit from, but instead they got a 2.1 million dollar development lemon. They’ll probably keep trying (or maybe they’ll just sell it, WHO KNOWS) but I think the result from this other building shows that when it comes to developments in Mole Hill the city is on the right side.

five in the morning

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On Saturday we made the trek to Ikea and bought Gwen her big-girl bed. After setting it up I’m really glad we went with a toddler bed (in spite of my previous reservations about them) as there is literally NO WAY a twin would have fit in her room. Hopefully she will fit the toddler bed until we move to a place with a bigger bedroom for her, or Symphony moves out in like five years. It’s okay for a 7-year-old to be in a toddler bed, right?

Anyway. So far the transition is going pretty smoothly. She has been going to bed well at nap- and bedtime, and although sometimes she gets up for silly reasons (for example to shove 500 books into her lil friend’s crib) other times it’s to let us know she needs a diaper change, which is good. Once the problem has been resolved she will generally go back to bed without a fuss.

The part that is going less well is the mornings. I’m REALLY not a morning person, and having to get up at 7 or 7:30 for work is pretty much the earliest I can do and remain functional & conscious for the entire day. Gwen was also waking up at 7 or 7:30, OR SO WE THOUGHT. But since moving to her big girl bed she’s been getting up earlier and earlier every day: 6:45, 6 and in a grand coup this morning, FIVE AM. Has she been waking up this early all along and just hanging out quietly in her crib? Or is this a new, special, big-girl-bed-only wake up time?

When she wakes up she gets out of bed, turns on the light and knocks on her door while yelling (not angrily/sadly, just LOUDLY) to be set free since she can’t open her door yet THANK GOODNESS. This morning after I changed her diaper and her jammies and her bedsheets (it was a very wet diaper) and read her a story and played “this little piggy,” I tried putting her back to bed. I could hear her playing quietly until about 5:50 and then it was knock knock, who’s there? A yelling toddler, so you better wake up. RIGHT NOW.

big girl bed | coal harbour

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I hung up a disco ball in the living room window, the sun hits it between 11am & 1pm, aka PRIME DISCO HOURS.

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Gwen’s new sandals, she is O B S E S S E D with them (from Zara)

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The li’lest blackheart

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On Wednesday afternoon I went to go wake Gwen up from her nap and she greeted me at the door to her room. She’d never (to our knowledge) even attempted to climb out of her crib before so this was surprising, to say the least! In my experience, once kids realize they can climb out of their crib they want to do it all the time so I knew it was time to convert her crib to a toddler bed. She was horrified while I was taking the crib apart but pleased with the results. I was a little apprehensive about making the switch to a non-crib sleeping arrangement in the middle of the week (I have to get up early for work) but so far it’s been fine. She’s always been a good sleeper (KNOCK ON WOOD) so hopefully we won’t have any problems.

Obviously she is fine with the converted crib buuuuuuuut I reallyyyyyyyyyyyyy want to get her this adorable mini canopy toddler bed. Actual toddler beds are kind of ridic but like… her room isn’t really big enough for a twin bed (I have to have a second crib for her lil friend in there is why) so maybe I can justify it? It’s not on the Ikea Canada website anymore but it is available in stores (I confirmed with them via tweet) so maybeeeeeeeeeeee I can get it for her? I mean I DO have a new baby starting daycare next week and if Gwen is in a new bed, her lil friend can have her old crib and the new baby can use the mini crib. See, look? It’s practically a business expense!

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A few pics from a walk along the Coal Harbour Seawall. Gwen wants to get out and walk all the time now so it takes five-ever to get anywhere but she has fun. We all have fun, really.

shipwrecked | sneaky sneaky

I realized the other day that my last three posts (THREE!) have all been super whiny & complainy. Ew, no one needs that. So this post has zero whining in it, except just a quick note that since my last post I’ve had terrible cramps AND I smashed my toenail into oblivion, it’s split right in half and bled everywhere. lol, who cursed me?

Sym’s dad told us there were some sailboats shipwrecked on Sunset Beach yesterday morning so after breakfast & coffee the lil ones and I headed down there to check it out. Gwen and her buddy had a lot of fun chucking rocks into the water, drawing in the sand with sticks, running around on the beach and basically just covering themselves with sand. It was mostly sunny but SUPER windy and cold! Once we’d all had enough of freezing our buns off I bundled them into the stroller with cozy blankets and walked around the Yaletown stretch of Seawall in the sun to warm up before heading back home (with one quick stop for cookies along the way).

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she literally could not be cooler

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all washed up

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her lil friend was like “Chuck it in the ocean, Gwennie! Go for it!”

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things found on PNW beaches

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don’t let the knit cap, sweater, jacket, boots and wool socks fool you, it’s very tropical here

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five seconds before the meltdown to end all meltdowns

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After Gwen figured out she could open up the corner cupboard in the kitchen (where most of the food was stored) it was GAME OVER, MAN. We had to rearrange the kitchen and moved the food into the kitchen island which was more secure. Sort of. She can’t completely open it but she can get it open just enough to be able to sneak things out if we’ve stupidly left small items too close to the middle of the cupboard. Basically we’ve been spending a lot of time vacuuming up granola and rice off her bedroom floor and the food cupboard is now DOUBLE childlocked.

She’s started saying a few new words, including cheese and toast. She actually says the whole of these words, NOT just the first sound (chee, toh) so that’s pretty cool. She had a follow-up appointment with the speech pathologist scheduled for this morning but I decided last week to cancel it so a child with a more serious speech problem could get in sooner. They’re going to follow up with us again in the summer to see how she’s doing, hopefully she’ll have made even more progress by then.

She’s obsessed with playing “This Little Piggy.” She hated it when she was a baby but now she would happily sit for hours playing piggies over and over on alternating feet. When she has a bath she likes me to sit on the edge of the tub with my feet in the water and the other night she was pinching my toes and the ran her finger up to my knee, saying “eeeeeeeeeee;” she was playing piggies on my foot!

One day last week she got ahold of a plastic cup of water- I think I left it on the kitchen counter. She carried it around for a while before spilling a little on the floor, and after that, all bets were off and she just dumped it out, shrieking with laughter. Since then she will take any receptacle she can find (containers from the recycling bin, dirty dishes from the kitchen sink, clean dishes from the dishwasher) and fill them up in the bathroom sink before gleefully pouring them out. On the one hand I don’t necessarily want to mop up pools of water all the time, but on the other it’s kind of an easy-breezy way to clean the linoleum. She did drop a mug and break it yesterday but like… we have too many mugs anyway.

PS don’t forget to check out my printables page for this month’s calendar! I’m going to try to do them every month (and have already done May’s as well, oops).