Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Dreamin' ... Campin' ... Wishin'

For many, many, many years the start of summer meant packing a huge duffle bag (a hockey bag to be exact and probably because I am a Canadian girl with a hockey player dad!) and heading off into the wilderness that is summer camp.

I started going to camp when I was quite young. It all started with Girl Guide camp, Summer Outdoors day camp, horse camp, church camp, tennis camp, french camp, Jewish camp....whew, that's a lot of camp. I loved pretty much every minute of everyday I have every spent at camp. I bet to a lot of people that know me know this would be a huge surprise because I don't really give off the aura of an outdoorsy girl. But when you really think about it there is so much more to summer camp.

Summer camp is many things to many people, but to me it's...

- learning how to be away from home

- learning how to live in one room, cabin, tent with more people than you've ever lived with

- it's eating food your mom didn't cook

- it's waiting everyday for a letter to come from home

- it's sleeping through thunderstorms

- it's trying things that terrify you

- it's swimming in ponds and lakes with way too much seaweed

- it's doing lap after lap after lap in the attempt to earn that summer's swim badge

- it's shovelling 59 horses' worht of poop and actually having fun

- it's getting up at 6 am for early morning feed, or polar bear dip, or to run the camp road

- it's more face paint and apache fire challenges than most people ever encounter in their lifetime

- it's fun

- it's portaging a canoe in the dead heat of summer

- it's meeting your lifelong friends and maybe even your soulmate

- it's smiles, and giggles, and laughs, and crying, and everything in between

- it's campfires and singsong

- it's made me who I am today.

At the very young age of 15 I became a camp counselor and didn't stop until I was 25 and I still miss it every summer. My best friend, who I met at camp, asked me earlier this summer if I would send Avery to camp and my answer in absolutely....if she wants to go.

Now the summers are without summer camp..why don't they have summer camp for moms? What a great idea! But the summers do have the cottage and that's where my family and I are headed tomorrow for two glorious weeks of relaxing, beaching, shopping, eating and resting.

It's not summer camp, but I'll take it. See you when I get back!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Best of 2 Worlds

Oh my goodness!! Two of my favourite YA books have been combined in a Glee style mash-up to create on amazing game called "The Potter Games". It's a choose your own adventure style where the characters from Harry Potter are thrown into the arena of The Hunger Games. I think I will be spending way too much time on this site!

Check it out: The Potter Games

Friday, July 15, 2011

One and half months...

That's it. That's all I have left of my maternity leave and being home everyday with my beautiful baby girl. I can't believe how fast the time is flying by. I am very excited, and a little ready, to go back to work in September but I know I will miss, miss, miss my baby everyday. Man, am I going to live for Saturdays and Sundays. I also know that I am very lucky to live in Canada where we get a year off for maternity leave and that it is my choice to go back to work after only 8 months. Believe me, I know how lucky this is. It's hard to think that is some places in the world women are back to work after a mere 6 or 8 weeks. Those poor mommas and their poor babies. I would have hated to miss this early time in my baby's life, but I also understand that for many people staying home isn't an option because after all, their family needs to eat too.

One and a half much of that time is already filled up with places to go and people to see. It's going to be over before I know it. I feel like Avery has already grown up so much. She is way bigger than when she was born, way stronger, does a lot more interesting things. Sometimes I feel like her babyhood is slipping away too fast. I also suppose that all moms feel like this.

As much as I want to go back to work and am looking forward to it I wonder if I will actually be ready for it when the time gets here? I wonder.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sick baby

My baby is sick for the first time and my heart hurts. A lot.

The doctor says it is the July. I hope it goes away soon and never comes back. I am not built to handle this and I have to admit it's not even that bad. She still smiles. She still giggles and plays. It's just me and my mommy heart that are struggling.

Oh dear.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where has the time gone...

Dear Avery,

My little baby is 6 months old today. Six months! When did that happen? It seems as though you have always been a part of our life and I find it hard to believe that I ever lived without you. In just six short months you have become so important in my life.

For a long time I didn't think I wanted to have kids. I thought that maybe teaching them everyday was enough. I now know how wrong I was.

7 1/2 months pregnant

Little baby in a little belly.

Last pregnancy photo...on our way to get induced.

The best part about these past six months has been seeing you grow and change.

You were born so little and perfect. January 9th, 2011.

However, you were not quite as excited as we were!

And pretty soon you were just tired.

 You have developed so much already. I must say that you are probably the happiest baby I have ever met. Right from the start you snuggled into our little family and everyone you met.

We couldn't stop looking at you or taking pictures of you. Believe me, there have been more pictures taken of you in six months of life than probably all my 32 years! 

Gram fell hard and fast! She came to stay with us for the first week you were home and then again during the third week when I wasn't really sure I could do it alone yet. She has been supportive, helpful and loving. Not to mention she'll hold you, feed you, change you, burp you...anything as long as it involves you!

This is Aunt Jenni and Uncle Michael. Aunt Jenni was there when you were born and I've never seen a bigger smile. I'm pretty sure you could get her to do whatever you want.

Oh, and Papa! He drove every weekend to drop Gram off and then pick Gram up when we asked her to come. Plus he had to work up here so that was a few more weekends of driving. And while he was here he might as well spend some time with you. Did I mention that it's 3.5 hours one way and he did every weekend for 5 weeks. That's love. Big time.

Kahne wasn't too sure about you in the beginning but he has since developed a big love for you, especially since we have started solid food. Coincidence? Maybe.

February. Such a beautiful little face.

And your personality started to come out to play. Inquisitive. Curious. Funny.

Look how strong you were! Two months and hold your head up like a champ. And those eyes! They just grabbed my heart and have held on ever since.
March. First smiles.

You have a smile for everyone (only making strange on a few occasions and for just a short period of time). 

Sometimes serious and your whole face changes. Gorgeous.

Little sleeping beauty. You have always been a sleeping champ...straight through the night since 11 weeks. We are so lucky!

April. Kahne might be a little jealous now and then but you get your fair share of kisses too.

What a face! Your daddy is going to be in trouble when you are older.

May. Tummy time with Mom and Dad...getting ready to start rolling over!

You love when we sing "Patty Cake" and "Round the Garden", you giggle every time we play "surprise peekaboo" and just adore when your Daddy arrives home from work. 

You already show a strong liking for TV, just like your Daddy, you play with your toys like a champ and don't mind entertaining yourself. 

You can roll over both ways, sits by yourself and drink from a sippy cup. You have yet to refuse any of the solid foods we have tried and you will fight to keep your frozen grapes in a mesh treat. You burp like a sailor.

June. This is the face of love.

You know your Gram's voice on the phone and you pay attention to her image when we skype. You loves Kahne and take every opportunity you can to pet him when he walks by and then giggle like a maniac when he runs around.

Yummy cereal.

Bath time is a great time.

July 1st, 2011- Canada Day

You have become the center of our whole world. The first thing we think of in the morning and the last thing we think about at night. In my whole life, having you was the best decision I have ever made.

You are the sunshine in all my days.

Six months. Wow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How many have you read?

My friend Brian posted about the BBC's top 200 book list (I think I have seen this on Facebook before) and he highlighted all the books he has read....and I thought, great idea! Me too!!

1. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
18. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
20. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
25. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
26. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
28. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
29. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
31. The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion by Jane Austen
39. Dune by Frank Herbert
40. Emma by Jane Austen
41. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
42. Watership Down by Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm by George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
48. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
53. The Stand by Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56. The BFG by Roald Dahl
57. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
60. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
61. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
63. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
65. Mort by Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
67. The Magus by John Fowles
68. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
69. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Perfume by Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda by Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
77. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses by James Joyce
79. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
80. Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits by Roald Dahl
82. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
83. Holes by Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
85. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
89. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
90. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
92. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
93. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
95. Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
96. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
97. Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson
98. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
99. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
100. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
101. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
102. The Beach by Alex Garland
103. Dracula by Bram Stoker
104. Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz
105. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
106. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
107. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
108. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
109. The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
110. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
111. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
112. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
113. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
114. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
115. The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson
116. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
117. Shōgun by James Clavell
118. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
119. Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson
120. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
121. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
122. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
123. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
124. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
125. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
126. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
127. Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt
128. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
129. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
130. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
131. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
132. George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
133. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
134. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
135. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
136. The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan
137. Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson
138. Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson
139. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
140. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
141. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
142. It by Stephen King
143. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
144. The Green Mile by Stephen King
145. Papillon by Henri Charrière
146. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
147. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
148. Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
149. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
150. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
151. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
152. Atonement by Ian McEwan
153. Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson
154. The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
155. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
156. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
157. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
158. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
159. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
160. River God by Wilbur Smith
161. Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
162. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
163. The World According to Garp by John Irving
164. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
165. Girls Out Late by Jacqueline Wilson
166. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye
167. The Witches by Roald Dahl
168. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
169. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
170. They Used to Play on Grass by Terry Venables/ Gordon Williams
171. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
172. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
173. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
174. Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson
175. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
176. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
177. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
178. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

179. The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
180. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
181. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
182. Silas Marner by George Eliot
183. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
184. Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
185. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
186. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
187. Heidi by Johanna Spyri

188. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
189. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
190. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
191. The Truth by Terry Pratchett
192. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
193. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

194. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
195. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
196. The Once and Future King by T. H. White
197. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
198. Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews

Not too shabby!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quietly Quiet

I feel like I have gone back in time 6 months. My house is very quiet right now. The baby is sleeping (thank goodness) after a number of days in a row out and about as a little social butterfly. But of course, that's not why I feel like I have gone back in time. Nope, my husband is also asleep on the couch after a hard weekend of enjoying himself at a concert on Friday night and at a BBQ last night to watch the Daytona NASCAR race.

Yep, the good old days. Too bad I am awake and fluttering around getting things done. Such is the life of a mom I suppose!

Happy Sunday.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe