My Life According to Instagram – April 2017 Edition

Another month down…how can it be that we only have a two more months before summer vacation?!

April is always a crazy month – hello double birthdays! – and this one was no different. Thank god for Instagram:

8th birthdays are tough.

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This birthday girl is in chocolate heaven! Toasting marshmallows at the table….what?!?!!

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Never again! Because that is the worst thing EVER… πŸ™„#ihatemakinglunches

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Good morning Whistler!

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Why yes…yes it finally is. #friday #wineoclock #mamafinallyhaswine

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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.Β  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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A Day at Wesbrook Village

One of the bestΒ things about living in Vancouver is there is no shortage of places to go and things to do with the kids.Β You can hike up in the mountains, spend the day at a waterpark, head to the Aquarium or Zoo, or explore one of the many nature or animal sanctuaries.

So many options but…not so many that are close by to where we live. They are all – for the most part – a 45-60 minute drive away.Β  And when your kids are asking “are we there yet?” every 5 minutes it feels like a lot longer.

That’s why it’s such a score to find a kid-friendly area with lots of activity & food options that is within a 30 minute drive.Β  You find that and you go back…again and again.Β  And that’s what we found at Wesbrook Village. This new(ish) community development is located near UBC at the edge of Pacific Spirit Park and has so much for families to do when they are there.

I like to think of us as early adopters of Wesbrook because we discovered it around 3 years ago – when it had newly opened. My girls were begging for frozen yogurt and google told me the closest Menchie’s was located in Wesbrook Village – about 25mins away.

Our drive there was quick and scenic – most of it along South West Marine Drive. When we arrived I was so pleased to find free parking (!) and we set out to explore. What we discovered was an area that had much more to offer than just frozen yogurt.

I took this picture that day – post Menchies – the girls spent a good 40 minutes running around this fountain. Who needs an awesome playground when you have this?

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Since that day we have been back many times – most recently for their Kids Day eventΒ in April. It was my youngest daughter’s birthday so she was pretty pumped about all the fun activities and special deals they had planned.

We had a great time and got to discover many new additions to the area that we hadn’t already experienced.

Like taking a walk on the trails through Pacific Spirit Park. We were lucky on Kids Day to have a guide to teach the kids about what they see and experience in the park…but even without a guide its a lovely place to spend some time.

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Then there wasΒ Biercraft. I never would have guessed that this restaurant was kid friendly but it was. My kids loved their meals off the kids menu and hubby was pretty happy to be able to get a nice flight of craft beers to go along with his…

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One part of the Village that we are already very familiar with is all of there amazing outdoor spaces. There are 4 playgrounds at Wesbrook Village so lots of options. My girls always lean towards Nobel Park (at the south end) because of the big climbing jungle and the river that they can jump over and splash in.

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seriously…how pretty is that?

So next time you’re looking for somewhere to hangout with the kids that close to the city I highly recommend checking out Wesbrook Village.

Maybe we will see you there…

So You Think You Can Dance Tour – Kid Date Night

Last Christmas I gave my oldest daughter tickets to see the So You Think You Can Dance tour. She was 8 and sooo excited to go.

I considered buying a ticket for my youngest daughter too but at age 5 I thought she was a little too young to sit through the whole thing and I didn’t want her fidgeting to ruin the experience for her sister. Also – she just wasn’t as into the show as her sister was.

So I told her you had to be at least 6 to attend the show. She bought the little white lie and all was good. M and I had a blast at the show.

This summer we all watched SYTYCD together and my youngest daughter was much more into it. So when the tour announced a stop in Vancouver I thought it would be a great mother-daughters night out. Christmas shopping complete.

oh this look of awe and wonder…

yup…not quite a lover of live shows yet

“it’s the robot dance!”

team stage…all the way…

Verdict: it was a great night but I still think my youngest is either still too young for a 2 hour show or she’s just not the sit still and watch a show type.She fidgeted her way through the whole thing and nearly fell asleep halfway through the 2nd half.

Rant: Why would you start a show that is aimed at kids at 8pm on a Friday night? So ridiculous. 7pm would have been much more appropriate. My kid wasn’t the only one having a hard time keeping her eyes open.

Back to the show. It was fantastic, a great representation of the TV show and energy filled from start to finish.Β  But next year…I’m leaving the littlest one at home.

Sorry sweetie…

Road Trip 2015

Last year we took a trip down to Portland to visit family for American Thanksgiving.Β  We had a great time and decided this year to do it all again.

Road trips are just awesome – unless you are travelling on the day before a major holiday and then they are slow and looooonnnngggg.Β  We got caught up in a bunch of traffic accident delays including one just as we got on the highway…

Β But once we arrived in Portland it was all worth it…

Thanksgiving Feast. Oh my…so good…

First stop the next day – the Portland Children’s Museum. The girls love it!

Then it was downtown to my favourite store in the city. If only I had unlimited time and no children with me to experience the amazing Powell’s Books on my own:

We checked out the Portland Farmer’s Market..

Then checked out the Forestry Centre…

And the Portland Zoo…

such wonderful actors…

ZooLights was running again and we loved checking out all the amazing light displays. Β 

M didn’t want to say good by to her new best friend Hungry but it was time to head back north for a night and day in Seattle.

And these brake lights signaled our return to the Emerald City and the ridiculous traffic.

The next day our first stop was Seattle Center and the very very tall Space Needle.

I have a serious fear of heights but my goal is always to show my girls that you can’t be ruled by your fears.

So I put on a brave face and rode up to the top in a glass elevator (gulp) and then had to endure having my youngest on her daddy’s shoulders. That proved a little too much and I had to ask her to come down but otherwise I actually enjoyed the experience.

Loved this sign…so true…

don’t worry…it’s root beer.

riding the monorail…Starbucks in hand.

carefully considering her next move.

Victory is hers!

We had to wait out the Seattle rush hour traffic before heading home so the girls got cozy…

See you again next year…family traditions are a beautiful thing. πŸ™‚

One on One Time: Sushi & Baseball

Tonight I got to spend some quality one-on-one time with my oldest daughter.

I love one-on-one time. And I know that as she gets older it’s going to become more and more important to set this kind of quality time aside.

Last year we went to a couple of Vancouver Canadians baseball games and at each one M expressed an interest in attending one without her little sister…the queen of distractions.

And so that’s what we did – with a little sushi and conversation to start us of.

We talked her excitement and fear about starting grade 4 and getting letter grades. We talked about boys and ear piercing. And we talked about her feelings about our family…and the separation.

That was tough. Because she was looking for reassurance from me. Confirmation that now that Daddy was home it meant he would never leave again.

And I had to do the dance. Because I don’t want to lie but I also don’t want her to live in fear or worry. it’s a fine line to navigate because she’s a smart kid.

Real talk over it was time to watch some baseball…

and to eat:

It was a beautiful night for a ballgame.

And I had a great time with my beautiful first born.

Reunited

As sad as I was when my contract as an event planner for a week came to an end there was definite light at the end of the tunnel.Β  I would get to be with my girls again.

For a week I had been absent from their lives. Staying downtown at a swanky hotel while they stayed at home.

And when I’m away from them I try not to think about them too much. It makes me sad to think of the moments I am missing so I think of myself as single and childless. It’s a self preservation thing.

But as soon as the Closing Ceremony ended and I finally got to unplug from my radio and take off my suit jacket I was literally pining to see my littles.

My in-laws dropped them off to me at the Convention Centre and they literally bowled me over on the sidewalk with their hugs.Β  After gathering all of their assorted belonging from the car I took them on a tour of where I had been working for the past week.

Vancouver was beautiful that night. And I loved getting to see it through my girls eyes.

And getting to hold their little hands in mine after feeling them conspicuously absent for a week.