We got a trampoline. Why did we wait so long?

On a very rainy Saturday in late April my girls waited expectantly at our front window watching for one specific vehicle to arrive.

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And when that Springfree Trampoline van finally turned the corner they both whooped with joy and excitement and ran down to greet them.

For nearly a year – since we attended a blogger party at the Springfree Trampoline store last June – they have been asking to get a trampoline. Begging really. Offering to forego allowances and birthday presents. Making lists of the games they would play on it and how it would be fun and healthy exercise at the same time.

And as parents we waffled back and forth. For good reason…

Before our visit to Springfree I would never have even thought about getting one. I remembered all too well the injuries my friends and me had suffered on the old style trampolines. From gashes on our legs when we fell through the springs to bumps and bruises when we fell off the thing completely to burns from the blisteringly hot jumping surface in the sun.

But when I saw a Springfree Trampoline first hand and asked a ton of questions I realized that I had nothing to worry about. That with all the improvements the company had made to the design and engineering – none of those old-school injuries was going to happen on a Springfree. Pretty cool right?

So safety issues dealt with, our other concern was the fact that we rent so we needed to not only get our landlords approval – but also feel confident that we were going to stay put in this house with a yard for a good amount of time.

The landlord thankfully said yes and because we realized that second part is a pure fairy tale that we could never rely on…we decided to go for it it.

And all we have been thinking since the day it arrived was why didn’t we do this sooner?!?

First of all, there was the girls reaction when we told them. M burst into tears and little T couldn’t stop beaming. It was a total mom fail that I didn’t record the reveal. But I do have this awesome little snippet from delivery day:

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The girls have been on it nearly every day since we got it and the only reason I say “nearly” is because I said no to jumping when it was a monsoon outside. That didn’t go over well.

They spend hours on it at a time. Jumping, making up games, using their imagination. And I’ve lost track at the number of neighbourhood kids who have come to play.

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When we have company over the kids always immediately head to the trampoline. Even the littlest ones have loved it.

This little guy played countless rounds of Ring Around the Rosy on it and also kindly safety tested the netting all around the trampoline by running directly at it and bouncing off. He didn’t miss an inch.

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And even when they are too tired to bounce anymore they still find a way to use it…

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I honestly can’t recommend it enough. If you have kids you need a trampoline. And Springfree has two events coming up that will give you a chance to win one!

Springfree 2nd Birthday Bash & Win a Trampoline & a Backyard BBQ with Rosie McLennan

So obviously you should enter the contests because winning a Springfree Trampoline would be amazing. But take my word for it…if you aren’t the big winner…don’t rule one out. Go to the store and check one out yourself. You won’t regret it.

Special note: If you have kids and work from home you REALLY need one. Our is going to keep the kids occupied all summer long and I can see them from my desk. Win-win!

 

 

Eleven…and all that comes with it

Eleven years ago I became a mama. It was a crazy time – a total whirlwind that felt like a blur at the time and even more of one looking back on it now.

I had always wanted kids – dreamed of being a mother – and in all of those dreams I had a little girl. So when my first little girl arrived in her dramatic and unexpected way – I was so relieved. This was my literal dream come true.

And having one little girl (and then two!) has been a joy. It has lived up in so many ways to my lofty ideals. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses of course…but for the goods have far, FAR outweighed the bad.

Now that little girl of mine – the one that first made me a mother – is officially a tween and well on her way to full teenager-hood. And I find myself unprepared.

Not so much for the fact that puberty is on the horizon but for the fact that she is no longer a child. It feels like it happened in an instant.

She gets things now that she didn’t use to. She understands nuances and subtleties in conversation that oh so recently went right over her lovely little blonde head.

Our conversations are much more profound and complex. Her friendships are evolving and changing and emotions are running high.

Boys factor in.

She feels things so deeply and wounds so easily. Her ego is growing faster than I am able to try to temper it.

She is making decisions now that could affect the rest of her life. She is making choices that have much longer reaching implications.

I remember turning eleven. I can remember my school and my house and my friends and my interests. What I don’t remember is feeling any more mature or grown up. I don’t think I even realized that it was a time of great change and evolution for me.

But it was of course. Just like it is for my girl.

And while I am loving the woman that I can see her becoming and feel great pride in the fact that I have helped to mold and shape her…I can’t help but feel like stopping time.

To go back to when she was just a little girl, climbing into my lap with a book, snuggling into me with her lamby and blankie in hand and saying “read to me mummy.”

For now I will just enjoy the fact that she still holds my hand out in public and says “I Love You” in front of her friends at school.

Lake Life – 7 Days of Bliss

Way back in 2005 – before we even had one kid let alone 2! – hubby and I started a tradition of renting a lakefront house in nearby Cultus Lake with my extended family.

For several summers in a row we came to the cottage – and introduced both our girls to the joys of lake life.  And then the house we usually rented was sold to new owners and we lost our “in”.

This summer – for the first time since 2010 – we went back. The 4 of us along with my mum, aunt, cousin and 93 year old Nanny! The minute I drink in this view for the first time…

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….it’s as though my body exhales and I am at peace. It’s a truly amazing feeling.

The weather this time around wasn’t great for the first few days but it came around and gave us 2 spectacularly sunny days at the end.

And one of the biggest perks this year was access to a canoe! What a great way to explore the lake…

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There were too many memories to write about so I will let the pictures tell the story:

What a wonderful week we had. So sad it had to end. But end it did…with the traditional family photo on the deck:

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Do we really have to wait another whole year before we go back. Sniff…

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Fireworks & Flashbacks…

Every year when the Celebration of Light dates are released we say – “let’s take the girls right downtown this year and really experience them up close.” And it sounds like a great plan until we remember that means getting there 5 hours early to secure a spot and fighting crowds of thousands.

Suddenly the great idea doesn’t sound so great and we usually decide to watch from the other side of the water in stead.

This year that all changed thanks to a very kind offer I received at work for 4 tickets to sit in the reserved grandstand seats at English Bay.  We could arrive at 9:55pm if we wanted and still have some of the best seats in the house.

It was Disney putting on the show on Saturday and the crowd was expected to be record breaking – we found out later that it was so big they had to close down access to English Bay!

We decided to take the Canada Line downtown and then walk down Robson to fully experience the evening. We stopped for ice cream along the way….

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We were in no rush – reserved seats remember? – so it was a lovely little Saturday night stroll…just us and 125,000 of our closest friends.

We got to Denman – which was closed to cars – and walked down the middle of the road pointing out the restaurants we used to frequent when we lived in the area.

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Then we detoured down an alley to show them the building where we lived way back before we were even married.

It was very odd walking down that alley where hubby and I had walked so many times before – just the two of us – now each of us holding the hand of one of our daughters.

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The view was so familiar and at the same time the memory so distant. We finally made it to the little building with its private courtyard and pointed out the window of the 400 sq. ft bachelor that first daddy lived in and then we both did.

The girls were kind enough to pretend to be really interested when all they wanted was to get to the fireworks already. And so we headed down towards the beach and the huge crowd.

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I have to say – walking along that road – so many happy people around us my thoughts turned to the recent events in Nice and how horrific that must have been. I hate that is even something we need to think about but I was on high alert as we walked through the crowd and was definitely holding on a little too tight to my little ones hand.

Finally…we made it to our seats in the YVR observation deck and – oh my god! – the view was amazing!

 

It was 9:35 so we watched the crowds for a bit, hit up the washroom (no lines!) and then it was show time…

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The show was really amazing and it was so much fun to sing along to the Disney songs. Of course, it was over all too quickly and then it was time to face the crowds again and make our way to the Canada Line station to come home. The line at the station was huge – and the girls were exhausted at this point…

Luckily it moved quickly (and very efficiently considering it was transit!) and we were soon on the train coming home. A very enjoyable night behind us and a promise finally fulfilled.

Let’s (maybe) do it again next year…

 

 

Did somebody say jump?

Most of my life I have lived in apartments and/or townhouses with postage stamp sized backyards. And so it is no big surprise that I never had a trampoline.

I know I jumped on trampolines as a child – so don’t feel too sorry for me – but I can’t remember who these wonderful contraptions even belonged to.  What I do remember is that every time someone got hurt. Usually by falling through the springs or bouncing right off the edge.

Battle scars from a trampoline were common. Worn with pride. Really because we had no other choice. Trampolines were dangerous but like with so many other situations at that time we children simply faced the dangers while our parents were forced to take a somewhat blind eye.

My own experiences with trampoline mishaps could very well be the reason I had never thought about getting one for my own girls. Not seriously at least.  Until we moved in this house from our apartment. And finally had a yard.

I remember thinking that a trampoline would be a nice addition in a few years when the girls were older. Well…it’s been 3 years since we moved in and I just started thinking that now would be the perfect time to seriously start the search.

The name Springfree had been on my mind because of their sponsorship of last years Leading Mom events. I was seriously impressed by their design and the fact that it eliminated the need for a trampoline injury rite of passage.  Also – they looked cool.

When the girls and I were invited to attend a private Springfree event with a group of Vancouver Mommy bloggers it was the perfect opportunity for us to try them out in person.

The event was great. Lots of wonderful people. Lots of delicious food. And lots of bouncing.  We had a great time – as you can see from these photos:

Springfree has introduced an awesome new interactive, digital gaming system called tgoma that you can use on the trampoline. The girls loved it and I loved the idea of screen time that was also active time.

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And I also learned a lot about Springfree, tgoma and trampolines in general.

I could also tell you how much fun the girls had but I thought I’d give them the chance to do that temselves:


Reflections from a 10 year old:

Me and my sister went to the Springfree trampoline event. I had so much fun. There were so many kids there. My favourite trampolines were the basketball hoop trampolines and the normal one. I also liked the tgoma trampolines too. My favourite game was Fruitants. I liked the kids corner.

I took these pictures when we were there:

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I told my mummy I really want us to get a trampoline because we could stay outside and have so much fun for the whole day.”

M.



Reflections from a 7 year old:

T: “Mummy what should I write about?”

Me: “Whatever you want but really I want to know what you liked best about the trampolines.”

T: “Okay. I’m going to tell you 10 favourite things then.”

Me: “Great…go for it.”

  1. The trampolines – because they were so bouncy & fun.
  2. That there were no springs on the trampolines because I have fallen through the springs before at my friends house and it hurt my leg. I didn’t get hurt this time and that was very good.
  3. Video games (tgoma) – because they were fun. My favourite was the food one.
  4. The food – because it was delicious.
  5. The Outside Trampoline – because it was fun to bounce in the rain.
  6. The Basketball Hoop Trampoline – because I like throwing balls.
  7. I “super super loved” the face painting – because they are really good artists that did the face painting and I’m glad I got the flowers and the butterfly. IMG_6096
  8. The Building Where all the Trampolines were – because it was big enough to hold so many trampolines for every one to jump on.
  9. I’m “super super super happy” for the people that work there – because they are nice and they made sure we were safe on the bouncy trampolines. IMG_6097
  10. Hmmm…maybe it should just be a top 9 list.

And so it is…


The trampolines are pretty much all they can talk about since the event. They are both desperate to get one and make their feelings known on a regular basis.

Time to bring hubby back to the store with us next time. Once he’s had a ‘bounce’ I think we will be all sold on the idea and can finally make it happen.

See you soon Springfree!

 

 

A fancy bridal tea

Today the girls and I got all dressed up in our Sunday best – hats included – and attended a lovely afternoon bridal tea shower for my lovely cousin who is getting hitched in July.

I love bridal showers, I love afternoon tea…and it turns out…I love fancy hats too. So this was a perfect afternoon.

I was in charge of the games.  And I have been to enough showers to know what games NOT to play. So I googled “bridal shower games that don’t suck” and came up with a few  that I loved.

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Advice for the bride & groom…

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How many kisses in the bowl? (answer: 121)

We had 9 kids at the shower so I wanted a game just for them. They loved “Put a Ring on It” where you had to put a chopstick in your mouth and pick peach rings out of a bowl. (Note to all adults: don’t eat the peach rings after. When kids laugh & they have something in their mouths they tend to blow out of their noses. Ugh…)

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Let the littlest ones use their hands…

We also had a who knows the bride best game – that was the most fun. No matter how well you know someone it’s hard to answer questions like: dreamer or realist? creamy or crunchy? diamonds or pearls?

The afternoon tea spread was delicious…

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It was an absolutely lovely way to celebrate an absolutely lovely lady.  I can’t wait to see her married to her forever love.

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Double Digits

My oldest child turned 10 last week.

Double digits. A big milestone in her young life. One that I had been fixated on for several weeks considering the momentous nature of the transition from single digits to doubles. Something you only do once in a lifetime and she had now done it.

I thought about when I turned 10 and what it meant to me. It meant freedom and responsibility as I finally got my own key and could come home from school on my own.

My daughter didn’t get a house key for her birthday. I’m not quite ready for that yet. Well…more precisely I’m not sure she’s quite ready for that. We both have some work to do there.

But as the morning of her birthday arrived and I woke her up as I usually do – this time with the addition of a “happy birthday” kiss – I realized something.

The 10 year old girl looking up at me sleepy eyed and smiling was no different than the 9 year old girl that I had tucked in the night before.

And all the stress and pressure of the big transition to double digits melted away and I understood that I had worked myself up over nothing.

Yes she was – technically – now one year older than she had been the day before. That was something that was going to happen every year no matter how hard I tried to stop it.

But age – as they say – really is just a number. No matter what her age she is going to be the person she was destined to be with a little help from us along to the way to keep her on the right path.

And right now she is a sweet, sensitive, often stubborn, always kind, book loving 10 year old. Next year I know that number will change to 11 – that is a certainty. But the bigger question is what words will be used to define HER one year from now.

I can’t wait to find out…

Happy Birthday to my firstborn. The girl that made me a mother.  My preemie daughter that showed so much strength and will from her first breath and still shows that every day.

I love you.