Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Natasha and Ty
Natasha -those eyes!!
With the girls out of school the week before Toymania, and Conrad still at work, I decided to load the ladies up and head down to Portland for a long stay.
Day 1: Bianca, Natasha, Bronwen, Ava, Cate and I went to my old boss's (from when I was in high school!) house for her annual Christmas party. She had no idea we were coming, and the look on her face was priceless! It felt so good to see her and some other familiar faces on such a fun occasion. To give you an idea of how much people love this lady, there was pretty much standing room only; the place was that packed! Bronwen and Ava were busy gathering all of her dancing stuffed animals, Cate was sleeping on me, and Natasha and Bianca were keeping us well fed. What I loved the most about the party was how much joy there was when she saw us. The comment of the night was, "Those Shedd genes sure do dominate!"
Day 2: Birthday party for my mom's boyfriend, Tom. Tash and I were busy making a fantabulous chicken enchilada dinner while Bianca made a cute black and white cake. My mom came up with a cute idea for a banner for his name. Tom looked very happy with his gifts.
Day 3: Engagement photos of my beautiful sister Bianca and her sweet fiance, Kevin. I swear, literally every picture of them was DARLING! Of course I was on cloud nine after this. :-D Then, my wonderful dad came over with the most delicious and mouth-watering homemade chicken wings and scalloped potatoes. They were perfect for holding us over for the Portland Zoo's Zoo Light Festival.
Bianca, Natasha and her charming boyfriend, Ty, and I took the girls to meet my sweet friend and her three daughters at the zoo. The displays were amazing! We got to ride a train that circled the park, then walked for about an hour looking at some animals. Bronwen's favorite display was one of an eagle swooping out of a tree to catch a salmon, then landing on another tree. Ava's was one of a crocodile that would open and close his mouth. I loved one where an elephant dipped his trunk into the water then sprayed himself. All the kids were squealing, laughing and running in delight, and let me say it, thank God for my sisters and Ty. They were a huge help in keeping the kids corralled! In all, the night had a very magical feel to it.
Day 4: Breakfast with my dad and his lovely girlfriend, Holly (Holly, I love you!!). This has become a tradition now, and the girls love it so much. I think they will always be fond of Shari's. Forever.
That afternoon I also got to meet up with one of my dear girlfriends and catch up.
Day 5: Load up and go home.
The girls love Portland so much that they never want to leave. I am also sad when we have to go. Every time I visit, it's like I get a breath of fresh air into my life. Besides getting awesome fashion advice (Bianca, I will buy that damn purple hat LOL!), I love the feeling of closeness with family. I know it's a bit personal, but one night when Tash was home and we were sharing the bed, I felt so happy and cozy in my heart. Almost like a little girl. I hope so much Bronwen, Ava and Cate feel as much love for each other as I do for my sisters.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Bianca was radiating with happiness with her handsome fiance at her side! If you're wondering, her ring is gorgeous! I've got to take a pic next time!
I was trying to take a picture of Bianca's perspective of her party, but when she saw how close I was to her while she was eating, she made me stop hahaha!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Our week started off like this:
On Monday, which was an early release day anyway for parent-teacher conferences, the snowflakes came tumbling down. It looked like we were in a real-life snow globe!
On Tuesday, after a few hours of sledding, this is what I saw at our front door. Ava (who was wearing gloves), "My hands are frozen, mom."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Over the last few months people have been asking me for parenting advice. Whether it's about babies or handling multiple children, I feel like I have some good tricks since I have three girls. In the spirit of helping other moms, I've come up with my favorite hints for survival.
1) Grow up! I know it sounds condescending, but I've seen many mothers and fathers fall into the trap of throwing pity parties for themselves. You chose to have a baby, your life changed, so now it's time to focus on how AMAZING it is that you get to raise a family. I know it's hard, and it sucks sometimes (like when your sleep, routine, "veg-out" time and basically everything is dictated by someone else), but working through it and laughing at the challenging moments really is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Sometimes I hum the theme from Rocky and it instantly puts me in a can-do mood ("Aha, you want to box with me little one? I'll show you!") versus falling apart.
2) Be supportive of your partner. Moms and dads are usually on the same team and probably have the same wants and needs. I know for me, I feel great when I think Conrad needs a break and I say, "Let me take Cate for you," or "Why don't you go and work out." etc.. It feels much better to try and anticipate each other's needs and give little gifts (of time to relax, doing a diaper change), versus getting into an argument on whose turn it is to do "X", or who does more. Focus on how good of a job your partner does.
3) Take children to the doctor. You are your only child's advocate. I get so mad when I hear someone say, "Well, he/she was crying for several days, and I just found out he/she has an ear infection." If your child isn't acting like his/her normal self, don't wait around like a dummy to get them checked out. How would you feel if you needed antibiotics for three days and no one took you?!
4) Clean your children. Diaper rashes happen, yes, I know. But, there is a correlation to cleanliness. I can say this because Cate has never had a rash. It's not because she's less susceptible to them, it's because I change her diaper frequently and I wash her after she poops. Imagine pooping all over yourself and wiping it up with a wipey. For those who do that, I challenge you to smell your baby's butt afterward and see if you don't gag. It is not okay not to bathe children.
5) Try to be in tune with your baby. If you're hungry, tired or cold, your baby probably is too. Who hasn't seen the parent in a coat and pants and the poor baby in a diaper and top. Are they crazy?!
6) Keep doing your core activities that define you as a person. Do you run? Have a recurring Thursday night out with friends? Work? Doing the things you like to do the most in life liberates you (expand your interests!) and helps get rid of the martyr syndrome. It also makes you more interesting.
7) Never be too busy for your family. Time is not static, and I firmly believe that you reap what you sow regarding relationships. If you're too busy for your kids now, they'll be too busy for you when you're old. Spending time with your family allows you all to grow together and become comfortable with one another.
8) Do the best you can. You know when you're making the right choices -go with that.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
When I picked Ava up from school a few weeks ago one of her teachers stopped me to tell me something. She said, "Ava was the only one who knew the difference between fresh water and ocean water [they're learning about salmon lifecycles]. I asked, 'Does anyone know the difference between fresh water and ocean water?' Ava raised her hand and said, 'The difference is that the ocean has salt in it, and fresh water does not.'" Ms. C further commented, "Yes, Ava sounded like a scientist." I supressed my chuckle and thought to myself that I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Bronwen and Ava were invited to a birthday party held in a Tae Kwon Do studio (awesome!). Part of the package was that the children got about a 30 minute general lesson with the instructor. During the lesson he had each child kick a hand pad. Unfortunately for him he was holding it too close to his face when he was leaning over for Bronwen's turn, so when she kicked it, it hit him in the face. So much for his Tae Kwon Do catlike reflexes. "Hee-yah," my karate kid!
I started my photography class last Thursday, and Ava told me, "Ooh mom, I wish it were show-and-tell in your class. Then you could bring us." I love that little kid!
Why do I think it's so cute when that little baby yawns, stretches and farts in my bed? She is 100% love to me.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Our other big girl in the house began "Pre-K, mom, not preschool" this month! :-) I think she is excited about the fact that her program has a new, more grown-up title more than anything else.