Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Introvert Parent

Today I take a break from showcasing my outer world, to share a bit of my inner world with you.


Friday, 12 August 2016

Stay-cation Part II

Our stay-cation has come and gone, and we are back to the reality of work and life.  Yes, summer is still here and we are embracing it, but amidst the hustle of work and life tasks and preparation for the fall.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Stay-cation Part I

Happy summer vacation everyone!

We are enjoying our first ever stay-cation this year.  We had some plans to go away, but the timing fell through so we decided to make the most of it and enjoy the beautiful area we live in.  Seriously, I cannot describe how incredible summer is on the west coast.  If you don't like heat, you don't have to worry because the ocean keeps everything breezy and beautiful.  If you haven't been, you just have to check it out sometime.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

July + Garden

Hello!  

It has been a while.  I just can't believe how the days are flying by.  Summer sure is a busy time in our neck of the woods.  As soon as the sun hits, people just can't wait to get outside and enjoy this beautiful land, without the rain!  The past month has been especially busy for us.  After my husband came back from Peru, I took off on a trip to Minnesota to visit my brother and nieces and nephews.  Since I've come back, we've been tending to our garden, working, weekend camping, getting ready to say farewell to our exchange students who leave back to Korea, and just keeping up with daily life.  We have an official holiday coming up soon and it will be so nice to slow things down a bit and really take part in the beauty this land has to offer.

Our summer has been interesting because we had a long hot spell earlier in May/June, and now July has cooled down quite a bit.  It's nice not to have so many long hot days when stuck at home with little ones, but I am hoping for some nice beach days soon.  I'm not sure if the weather has really affected our garden, but I have noticed that a lot of other plants are blooming much earlier than previous years (our apples are almost ready for picking and blackberries are ripening on the bush). 

We are harvesting from our garden, though this year has really taught me a lot about what to do differently next time.  I must learn to plant in succession next year.  Plants like our spinach came up fast and have already gone to seed.  I'm hoping to get a fall variety planted soon again.  

Anyways, while I was out there today I just snapped a few pics on my phone to show you the progress.  Enjoy! 



We have been enjoying lots of this delicious butter lettuce from the garden.  It makes the perfect summer salad!


The tomatoes are nearly ripened and the zuchinni squash is starting to form.  I underestimated the size of my tomatoes and didn't use cages... a mistake I plan to fix next year for sure.





The kale is out of control.  I think I let it get too big and the leaves are starting to taste bitter.  Any ideas on recipes to use it up?  


Our snap peas were doing so well and then we had a few days of wind and the trellis started to fall over.  It doesn't look very pretty anymore, but the harvest is still plentiful. 



 Yum!  My boys love to snack on these.


The potatoes are starting to flower.  Should only be a few weeks till we can harvest the first planting.



The pole beans are the only thing growing unusually slow this year.  I have no idea why, but they are starting to blossom so hopefully the growing process speeds up soon.


I couldn't resist testing a carrot, onion and beet to see where they are at.  



They made a great addition to tonight's garden salad.  Yum!


We are not the only ones enjoying the fruit of our harvest.  This young buck didn't want to leave the apple he was chomping on in my front yard, even when I was only a few feet away from him.  


So there you have it.  Hope you are enjoying your summer, especially the great abundance that local gardens have to offer.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Currently reading


When I have spare time (what's that you ask???), one of my favorite pasttimes is reading.  It is hard to pick up a book and read and read and read like I used to, with little ones around, though I am carving out bits and pieces of time more and more lately.  I used to cozy up in a comfy place with a snack and a cup of tea and read for hours.  Now, I sneak in moments here and there reading articles I come across online, or tuck into bed with a book before closing my eyes to sleep.  Some are funny and give me a chuckle to get through the day, some are topics I scour the internet for advice on, and some are touching and moving in the throes of the difficult times of motherhood.  Most of them are centered on parenting/motherhood, because that is what I do with 100% of my time these days.  Feel free to skip on over if you're not interested.

If you are in a scrolling along, reading kind of mood, here are a few places online I have been reading lately.

1. Excuse me while I lather my child in this toxic death cream
This is not actually about sunscreen, but rather how overwhelming it can be to be a mother in this day and age

2. Toddlers Are Dictators
Just as it sounds

3. How to teach the non-conforming child
A nice read on changing the teaching style to fit the kid, when necessary

4. Managing your toddler: Tantrums
Because.... yes

5. Parenting the highly sensitive boy
A great read for anyone who spends time with kids in general

I have also picked up a few books in the last few months and was surprised that I was actually able to finish reading them... something that hasn't happened in a long time.  So if you're looking for something bigger to read, here are the books I have enjoyed:

1. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
A great, easy read, on allowing grace to enter your life, rather than comparison and rules and rigidity in this day and age.  (It's a Christian book, as a head's up)

2. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
A delightful little love story

3. The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby
A funny (laugh out loud) story about a New York girl trying to make her way on a farm in Vancouver Island

4. Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
I haven't read this yet, but am waiting on it to come in for a fresh perspective on bringing the Gospel into motherhood.

So there you have it!  Anything good on your summer reading bucket list?  

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Mid-Week Blues


How are ya'll doing today?  Happy middle of the week!

It's Wednesday and I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed that we are halfway through the week already. We were away last weekend, and my house still hasn't been cleaned, I have 3 baskets full of laundry that have sat on my couch for the past two days waiting to be folded and put away, my kids are whiny and clingy, and now it's raining.  Plus, we have company coming and a house full of 10 people coming this weekend.  Some days, being a grown up is just hard work!  

Our boys are growing up.  They are learning to use the potty and wear underpants, talking a mile a minute and, most recently, learning to climb out of their cribs... The last point led me to do a little rearranging in their room to remove the convenient dresser in between their beds, which was a perfect little bridge from one bed to the other.

I just had to share a few pics of how cute it turned out once the rearranging was done.  Our little twin foxes sure do have an adorable little den!  








What's your week been like?  What do you do when the mid-week blues set in?  Anyone have fun plans for the weekend ahead?




Thursday, 26 May 2016

2 1/2 Year-Old Twins' Schedule

Following my last post on keeping toddlers busy, I wanted to share what our current schedule looks like on a typical day.  We set a general schedule once they were close to a year old and we really haven't wavered much since then.  It is so true that little people thrive on routine and I have found that is one of our saving graces.  When we shift from our schedule, we better be prepared for the challenges that will follow!

7:00 Wake-up time!  This is the time I have our Gro-Clock set to tell the boys it's okay to get up, but they are often usually awake between 6:30/6:45.  This gives me a few minutes to slip into a shower before the chaos.

7:00 Cup of milk and maybe a snack if they are just starving ;)

7:30 Breakfast

8:00 Free play.  I usually set out imaginative toys for the morning as I find they tend to play quite well on their own first thing.  During this time, I clean up breakfast dishes and finish getting myself ready

8:30 Get dressed/Ready for the day, while playing, and going potty, and cleaning up spilled ___(you fill in the blank), and jumping on dad in bed...

9:00 TV Show (usually Paw Patrol) to allow me the last few minutes to scrounge up whatever we need in order to head out for the morning

9:30 Outside!  This almost always involves a park stop at some point (or the beach, or a trail) as well as any scheduled classes we have planned (music class, baby gymnastics, Strong Start), or any errands that I need to get done

11:30 Home and free play, while I prepare lunch.  I still can't believe how obsessed our little boys are with cars and trucks and garbage trucks and fire trucks.

12:00 Lunchtime

12:30 Quiet time, Stories and snuggles

1:00 Naptime: My favorite time of day!  I use this time to clean up the house, do any dinner prep that is above and beyond what I can get done later on, do chores, bake muffins, and do my workout.  Oh, and occasionally I take a nap too!  This is my most precious time of the day... all alone!

2:30/3:00 Wake up and snack

3:30 Playtime - Sometimes I will have a specific activity set out for learning, or we will go out to the backyard to play outside and tend the garden, or we will even head out with the dog for a walk and stop at a park again

4:30 Home/Inside to make supper.  If hubby is home, he will often keep them entertained or I may throw on another show or music to keep them occupied while I cook

5/5:30 Suppertime

6:00 Crazy hour begins!  It's like they sense that bedtime is coming and they make a mad dash to get out all the residual energy that is left.  This means: running up and down the hallways, using their giant moose as a crash pad to jump off the stool onto, wrestling with dad, or heading down to the jam space to bang the drums and piano to their heart's content.

6:30 Bath, PJ's, milk and books

7:00 Bedtime (though currently when they have a good nap, they don't fall asleep until 8/8:30... but it still is nice to banish them to beds haha)

I finish up the cleanup, and any last chores that didn't get done, and usually crash with a cup of tea and my computer by 8/8:30.  Or, if I have any energy I'll get out for an evening walk.

And there you have it.  My day in a nutshell!  I didn't mention in the meltdowns/tantrums/sharing wars/extra hugs/kisses on owies/snuggles that go along with taking care of 2 two-year-olds... but you can imagine what that is like.

Anyone have any tips/thoughts/suggestions to share?  What is your schedule like with little ones at home?