Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekends are Wonderful!

Now that I've had a number of weeks of full time work under my belt, I've realized how very precious my weekends are to me! It's not all the big planned ones that I look forward to the most, (in fact sometimes those can be the ones that induce stress ... but that's a whole other story!) ... it's the everyday simple pleasures in life that I've been waiting for ...
Like making pancakes with my daughter:

And practising for Halloween:

Or reading stories and giggling over a cute kid's show. Maybe it's watching Cadence strut around in a pair of my shoes (or her dad's!). Sometimes it's heading to the grocery store and getting that cookie from the bakery. There are a million and one simple pleasures in life that I now get to experience as a mom ... I couldn't be happier!

Also this weekend, while I was on the phone with a friend and multi tasking, as usual ... I got down on my hands and knees to empty the skimmer. I'm sure the neighbours heard my 'cry' as I discovered two bulging eyes staring back at me! Here's who's been enjoying the pool lately:

And finally, to end our lovely weekend, Sean, Cadence and I enjoyed our final swim of the season ... the weather was cool but the pool was toasty. Until May ...:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Perfect 10 ...

... according to mommy anyway!
Seriously, Cadence was almost a model student gymnast yesterday! She was totally excited to be there the entire time. It was a joy to watch ... and a perfect day for daddy to hang out with the other spectators.
Here's Cadence following her teacher. I don't know if you can tell, but both her feet are off the ground. She was literally bouncing through the place:

Ring around the Rosie:
Check out the height of her bounce!

And for a groundbreaking shot ... this is Cadence's first time jumping into the pit ... you go girl!

The infamous pencil jump ...

And now for some stretches ...

AND then ... the camera battery died!!!! No shots of the beams or bars or bubbles. Daddy insists he will come back again to take more pictures another day. This smart guy of ours plans to bring the video camera too ... now why didn't I think of that?

Psst ... Just between you and me ... I'm looking forward to daddy doing the circuit and mommy taking the pictures ... shhh!!!

Little Miss Independent!

Cadence is continuing to exert her independence in every way imaginable! She says, 'NO, nope, uh uh' to anything I suggest or ask her to do. Example: In the mornings I ask her, as I've always done, if she wants a diaper change. She's always been up for it ... without argument. Well, not so, lately. Now when I ask her, repeatedly, she says, 'No diaper change!'. Once I've relented she waits about 3 minutes, climbs off the bed, heads to the door and says, 'Diaper change mom!' Everything on HER terms!!! Pat says she's just like her mother ... really????? I don't think so!
Here is a photo example of one of our mornings this past week.
These are the shoes Cadence was supposed to wear ... the ones I picked out ... the ones that match her dress:

Here are the shoes Cadence put on:

She also put her own jacket on ... 'My do it!":

So off to daycare we went ... really ... the shoes weren't that bad!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In the 'Jeans'...

This weekend I began the dreaded wardrobe changeover with the intention of really purging! The OCD side of me packed the fall/winter stuff away last year in tubs ... 2 of those tubs had notes inside: "If these don't fit in the fall of '08 ... TOSS!" Well ...
I did it! I tossed 2 full yard waste bags worth of clothing! It was definitely time to let go: let go of old stuff and, more importantly, stuff that I wasn't going to squeeze into! Heck, if I manage to shed a few pounds this season I'll celebrate with a shopping spree! Most noticeably in my closet was a very high, very heavy pile of jeans. I LOVE jeans!! I love plain jeans, embellished jeans, worn out looking jeans, dark jeans, light jeans, flared jeans ... they are my wardrobe staple. I managed to pare down my pile of 16 pairs to SIX!!! I'd say 1/3 just plain didn't even come close to fitting, another 1/6th are CLOSE (so they are in a bin with another of my 'notes') and the rest still need to be hemmed...have I ever mentioned I'm also a procrastinator?!
It is no wonder then that as I was putting Cadence's clothes away I happened to 'discover' she too has many, many pairs of jeans ... 15 to be exact! And I am not counting the ones that I've got packed away in the size 2 Fall/Winter box. A casual wardrobe, an obsession, a shopaholic disease ... whatever the root of the issue, us girls will never be without our denim!


"Ba bye clothes!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

'Nastics Practise at Home

This was Cadence doing her 3rd set of nastic warm ups. The
SECOND I grab the camera ... she's done ... figures! This was the best I could do with my 'hidden' camera!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Venting ... Unrelated!

I am sooooooo bloody frustrated right at this very moment and I need to vent! I have been trying to acquire a specific gift for a friend. The chain said they had ONE ... yipee! Well, turns out they can't find it! So I go to their website to order it ... no problem ... it's in stock. I place the order, go through the check out and attempt to use some funds from a gift card. Well, instead of my purchase total being $10 less, it is $10 more ... WTF???? So I go back and try to redo things .... Long and short of it: my account balance is now the cost of the item, PLUS the $10, my gift card is now empty AND ... get ready for this ... my order status is ... I haven't ordered ANYTHING!!!! That's right, I'm out almost $40 for buying NOTHING!!! And of course there is no phone number to call to try to straighten things out!!!! Yes, I've emailed the help desk ... twice. What do you think the chances are of them getting back to me ASAP? Do I take the risk and reorder the item? It was a great little gift for a certain someone and now I have nothing ... not even a back up idea. Any suggestions out there ...............................????? I've already poured a glass of the red stuff ... any thing else?????????

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Words, Words, Words

Cadence's vocabulary has been exploding to a point where I just can't keep track of the number of words she has in her bank. Her longest word to date is probably pepperoni ... not bad for under 2! On top of that she is stringing words together and using phrases all the time ... best one to date ... "Dadda pick up poopoo". Yes, it is an appropriate sentence to relate to what Sean's role is during their walks with Winston (and in regards to what has been 'discovered' in the backyard!). Mostly Cadence's phrases are commands: "Mamma, open it", "Sit here", "Move please", "Turn it up" or assertive types of statements: "My _____________", or "My do it". I believe I heard her tell me to 'Go away' today ... the kid has some nerve! It is amazing to be able to have a little conversation with my daughter at this stage. Not all parents get that opportunity ... ever ... I feel for those parents ... it must be heartwrenching!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Much ...

Nothing new to share really. Cadence has had a bit of a cold over the past 4 or 5 days. She seems to be improving ... sleeping better the last two nights for sure. This provides some relief ... it is often a hard call as to whether I should visit a clinic or not.
It still remains to be seen as to whether I made the right choice ...

Fall is certainly in the air ... the mornings and evenings are cool, but the days are quite pleasant. Despite that, this will be the last week we have the pool open ... I simply can't justify heating it any longer. The aesthetic appeal is not worth the electric bills!

Congratulations to my friend and colleague, Louise and her partner Frank, who tied the knot over the weekend! It was a lovely affair ... too bad I forgot my camera!

And finally a couple of measley photos ... cause I know that's all you come here for!

Doing what my mother tells me not to ... again!

Mommy asked if she could have a crayon ... of course the answer is clear in this shot.

Ready for fall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bon Voyage!!!!

Okay ... I confess ... it's wishful thinking! But ... if we were so inclined to jet away we are all set! Look what arrived today:

That. is. IT!!! The very last bit of paperwork in this crazy journey of ours! Cadence is ours, she's Canada's and now she is free and clear to go wherever she wants ... and may she go far!!! I want her to see the world, experience life and follow her heart ... maybe someday it will lead her back to the place where it all began! I hope I get to experience some of that with her ....

On a side note, my poor little sweetheart was forced to head to another sitter's today as our regular one is on holiday for a couple of days ... argh! I am happy to report that our little socialite adjusted VERY well and the new girl wants to keep her! Hmmm, given all the holidays Sandy's taking ... who knows ... she just might get her ... if she's not careful! Cadence came home literally bursting with excitement to show me her painting today. Obviously ... it's brilliant!

The Birthday Dinner

The cake ... before:

The cake ... after:

The clean up:

The cool down:

A Serious Player

Playing Around

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Year on Canadian Soil

This time last year, we arrived back home from our journey of a lifetime, bringing back more than a t-shirt ... so, so, very much more!

It sure has been quite a year ...
Overall, we have all adjusted really well to family life. Yes, there are moments that are tough and border on unbearable, but those are few and far between ... the laughter and joy Cadence brings us each day is immeasurable to say the least!
AND how she has grown!!! My god, I can hardly believe it myself. Good thing I have these thousands of photos to capture the remarkable changes and growth over the past year huh?!
Speaking of ... here are fresh, up to date pics of our little girl!

The artist:

The mail carrier:

Miss Independent, who put on Sean's shorts ... EVERY pair of his shorts!:

She really is a funny little thing!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Allie!!!!

Cadence's cousin Olivia turned ONE today!!!!
Happy Birthday baby Allie!!!!

Love Auntie Deb, Uncle Sean and Cadence (oh, Winston too!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love ...

this face:

And this one:

I love this sassy little peanut:

I even love this independent, don't help me, I can do everything, all by myself toddler:

Sure, there are moments I want to take a deep breath and leave the room for a minute. I mean, honestly ... is it such a big deal that I handed you the pudding with the spoon already in it? I didn't mean to insult your independence and ability to do things on your own. Did you really need to push it away, throw the spoon and the mat? Let's try to compromise here. I know you are growing up ... trying to be your own person ... doing things your way! I'm good with that ... but ... can you give ME a break once in a while?
Oh, and darling, can you explain why at 1:00 in the morning I found your pyjamas on the floor beside your crib? What is that all about?
I love this girl ... all of her ... but sometimes, she makes me nuts!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

ABCs ... except, not A!

"Stuff" ... Lots of It

Okay ... I can't help it, I have a lot to share ... it's 'stuff' I don't want to forget.
I'll break it down into categories so you can choose, what, if anything, you'd care to read!


It seems that everything is going well (other than the nap thing). Cadence hasn't shown any signs of not wanting to go yet ... which surprises me. I expected once she figured out this all day, every day thing was 'routine' that she'd start to throw a fit ... so far so good ... I know, there's still time! Sandy tells me that Cadence is very strong willed ... uh, ya think I don't know that?!
Not sure if Sandy sees that as positive or not ... but ... I do!

Home Time

I just love picking Cadence up and hearing her squeal with delight when she realizes I've arrived! It is undoubtedly the best part of my day! And oh, is she highly demanding of our attention when we get home ... I think she gets those 4000 'moms' in afterall! Honestly, she reminds me of those kids who get home from school and don't stop talking! She goes on and on and on ... she won't even let Sean and I have a word with each other ... everything has to be focused on Cadence. She will even physically turn my face toward her. We are in such trouble! I think my 'queendom' has come to an end ... there's a new successor in town!

Bed Time

Well ... the new pace of the week has had one positive outcome! Cadence is not taking very long to fall asleep these days. In fact yesterday, before Night Garden was even over, Cadence picked up her blanket and said, "Night, night Mom!". It was off to bed and asleep within 20 minutes. I'm good with that!

Fierce Independence

Most of Cadence's 'meltdowns' are a result of ANY attempts to help her with anything. It is getting a little problematic! I can handle the shoes on backwards, the jacket on wrong and such, but when it comes to pouring her own milk or juice or trying to
move the dog's water bowl ... I have to draw the line ... I am running out of paper towel (and patience!). My interference is not going over well .... what can I say?

Confessions of a Morning Mom

Well, I kinda lost it this morning. We were 30 seconds away from heading downstairs to put our shoes on and get out the door. My Cadence finds a bowl with some chip crumbs in it and turns it over on the micro suede ottoman in the bedroom, then starts rubbing them in for good measure. What can I say? I raised my voice ... kinda loud. She just stopped and stood there frozen with her little hands on the ottoman ... god how I wish I could have captured the look on her face at that moment ... and after about 15 seconds she came over and ... hit me! Can't say I blame her! It was a totally appropriate thing to do and I got what I deserved! I'll be working on some breathing exercises ... no CAS calls required here!

Most Memorable Moment

I forgot to mention the moment my heart absolutely exploded this week. On Tuesday Cadence and I were playing with the Night Garden guys after school. We had probably only been home about 20 minutes. In the middle of our play she leaned over and threw her arms around me and put her head on my shoulder ... it was magic. THIS is what the wait was all for!

Just a few pics:



Putting on her own jacket

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Much thanks to everyone who sent lovely messages, whether here, to my hotmail, first class mail or in person! AND a very special thank you to my sweet, sometimes romantic husband who sent flowers to my school on behalf of our daughter ... it was just what I needed!
The day actually went fairly smoothly ... we got out in time ... I even managed a Tim's run and then I got my head back in the game. It all seems a little overwhelming at the moment, but I'm confident once I get into a groove things will settle. Cadence did very well on her first full day too ... except for nap time ... but that was to be expected ... she's gotten a little spoiled in that respect ... that too will settle ... in time! I do worry that as she begins to realize this 'play time' gig is an all day, every day thing, she'll start to put up a big fight ... we'll see!
Time sure FLIES once we are home. Between dinner, cleanup, and bathtime, there is little time for play ... poor little Cadence! Is it the weekend yet?
Well ... here are a couple more BEFORE and AFTER shots:
Bath Time
First bath in the hotel one year ago:

Tonight's bath shots:

Lounging around in Beijing:

A little chill time before mom and dad head to work:

I'm a big girl now!

Bittersweet ...

Bitter ... today I am back at work after a year off to enjoy time with our new daughter ... who joined our family one year ago TODAY ... sweet!

Here are a couple of THEN and NOW shots:
Dinner out:


THEN ... Chocolate:

NOW ... Ice cream!

I am in absolute AWE of the vast change in this very short year. Cadence really was a baby ... it sometimes feels so long ago and sometimes like yesterday! I am so very, very, very grateful to China ... it has given us a most precious and wondrous gift ... there will never be words to express our thanks. We hope her birthparents take comfort every day in knowing she is loved beyond measure and happy and healthy. You are in our hearts .....

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Sun Has Set ...

Summer is officially over :( . I've done the laundry, made the lunches and I'm about as ready as I can be! Of course, things aren't as smooth as they should be ... I've just finished having a mild meltdown as a matter of fact! Ya know, I like to think I am organized and typically over prepared ... and for the most part, I am! But tonight I had 2 things to wrap up off my list ( a bill to pay and an address to find) ... do you think I could find either of these items????? NOOOOOOOO!!!! What should have taken a total of no more than one minute, transpired into 20 minutes of frantic searching ... to no avail. Had Cadence not been asleep, I'd have surely slammed a few doors. It bugs the hell out of me! I have a place for everything and yet ... there are times I can't find ANYTHING ... what is up with that? Moving on ... 'cause I can feel my blood pressure rising ...

We went out for a final casual dinner to end the holiday. We had a wonderful waitress who was absolutely taken with Cadence ... she WAS in her best form ... ordering up, using her manners and being a lovely little girl (we can no longer guarrantee this!), so I couldn't blame her. The restaurant has a very nice little touch where they write up a card to their patrons ... here's the script from ours:
Thanks for coming in this evening. I enjoyed serving you and your very smart little girl. Best of luck in the future with her maybe becoming a scientist.
Okay, so the grammar is not up to par, but ... a scientist???? Who knows? Anyway, we thought it was sweet and ate it up! Oh yeah, there was a fairly nice tip for her too!

So ... tomorrow ... back to work ... full time daycare! I can't complain, I've had an amazing year off! BUT, I am going to miss the heck out of my little pumpkin! Top 3 things I'll miss:
*hearing, mom, momma, mommy 400 times a day
*having our afternoon tea parties and beauty treatments (aka: nail polish)
*our after nap snuggle time (my heart will break for Cadence tomorrow when she awakes from her nap ... that is, IF she naps!)
I know she will be fine ... I will be fine ... it will all be fine ... but ... I'm still going to miss her!

Here are a few shots from the past 2 days:

The OTHER shoe girl in the house:

Cadence and her two puppies:

The girl can already multi task:

P, B and J:

And now ... time to get my game face on............