3 Things Thursday

What a week. 

To start, our family was brought down with what we thought was a simple cold that just wouldn’t end. My husband had several early morning meetings, which kickstarted our days earlier than usual. I had two social engagements this week (yay!) but as they were back to back, by the second night I was dragging my feet.

When I am feeling worn down, my emotions tend to run high and at times irrationally.

But it’s now technically the beginning of Easter weekend, and I am so happy and excited to have three days with my family, AND my sister is coming to visit for the week.

 

1. 150 Calories

I made it to the gym today for the first time since moving to Vancouver. I have been avoiding it, deciding that yoga and walking or running was more my thing, but realistically with the weather the way it is, it’s good to have another back up. So I am grateful for those 150 calories that I burned on the elliptical machine today, and all those post gym endorphins.

2. Being a Jennifer 

I went out last night to a wonderful event called Thriving Moms, put on by the lovely Kate Muker. It was an evening of sharing, caring and thriving together, and I am so happy I went. I almost bailed 10 times before I got my courage up and headed over to network with other moms without any familiar faces, and it was so worth it. And I won a prize from Stella and Dot. Three Jennifers won door prizes last night, and I was one of them!

3. Bed

Thanks to the lovely folks at Bed on West Broadway, we are the proud owners of a new duvet cover and sheets. Since I was buying all the linens at once, we were able to get them all from the same dye lot, so the colour is uniform and just the perfect blue. And I picked up a couple of cushions in the “crashed computer” pattern that was an early Easter gift for my husband. He was tickled, so mission accomplished!

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Girl Time

My husband recently was away on business, and this was the first trip he has taken since we moved into our house. Back in Montreal, whenever he was away, I would be so busy with friends and family that the days would fly by. I was also working in an office, doing the daycare-work-daycare dash every day that I was happy to have a quiet evening on my own once in a while.

This was an entirely different experience for me. He left on a Sunday and came back on a Saturday, so that was six days on my own. At first, it didn’t seem like a big deal. I love being with my little one, and Lila and I have a busy schedule, with pre school two mornings a week, kids yoga, music and multi-sport classes at the community centre I figured time would go by quickly. I have been doing a bit of freelance work from home, and during those hours I have a wonderful babysitter that helps me out and all that keeps me pretty busy.

By night number 4, i was dying for someone to talk to. My babysitter took two days off, and for two days the only human being I spoke to in person was my 2.5 half year old, who mainly wanted to talk about how many times she could watch Finding Nemo. It was the silence that was hard after she went to bed, the house was so quiet.

We hit the park when we could, to get some fresh air and leave the house. Lila showed some pretty big strides in her independence by scaling the jungle gym on her own for the first time, it was amazing to see.

Finally, I made plans on the 5th night and had some work meetings on the 6th day, so it broke up the routine. I also tried my hand at baking bread – it’s what I do when I have nervous energy, I cook or bake. (Bread is actually really easy, but time consuming. This was the recipe I used)

I couldn’t stop thinking about the mothers out there who do this on their own all the time, whether they are single parents, or have partners that travel or work shift work or extended hours. With the week closing out with International Women’s Day, I am in awe of all that women do for their families.

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Paying the Price

It started with “no kitty shirt mommy!”

Today my two and half year old had an epic meltdown to end all meltdowns.

We were due to leave the house for our weekly yoga art class. I take it for granted that my daughter is so easy, and today I paid the price.

We started pre school this week, and had our first play date. School went well, play date, not so well. So when I tried to get her ready this morning, Lila was having none of it.

No shirt. No jacket. No shoes. No hair brush. Screaming and crying, lying on the floor bawling. It was too much.

So despite being on deadline, despite having to do a million errands, despite everything that needs to be done, now we cuddle.

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Fun in February

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and it was a lovely day in Vancouver. The rain held off and the sun came out to warm our hearts.

In the morning we headed off to the Winter Market which is one of my favorite places in Vancouver. This was followed by swimming at the Hillcrest Aquatic Center, where they dyed the pool pink just for the day!

After a solid nap for my daughter and two hours of catching up on Scandal for us, we headed to the beach down the street (I love saying that!) to explore.

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In the evening, Lila went to a special Valentine’s evening at Yoga Buttons and I enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal made by my husband.

I would say it was a pretty much near perfect day for our family!

Home sweet home

It’s been almost a month since my last post, I have no idea how that happened. When I first arrived in Vancouver 3 1/2 months ago, I had so much free time on my hands. Well, not “free,” since that time was spent as a full time entertainer/cook/driver for my toddler, but I was able to post almost every week.

Since we left the temp house on January 10th and moved into our house in Kits, I feel like so much has happened!

We love our little house so much. Once we got over the fact that we had no storage and felt like our entire neighborhood could see into our house, we got to work. First up, obligatory storage locker in Richmond, check. Call a donation service and give away six bags of clothes, toys and household items, check. Donate baby furniture to a worthy cause, check and check!

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Add some blinds, a brand new hedge and some closet organizers, and we are finally feeling officially settled!

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So now what?

Blink blink

The last two weeks have gone by in a blink of an eye. We came back to Vancouver from our New Years trip to California, and three days later moved into our new house!

It was time. The temp apartment we were in was ok, but it never felt like home. The minute we started to see our belongings unloaded was huge relief.

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This is when I also realized that we had way too much stuff for our little house. While we have about the same footprint as Montreal, we do not have a basement or a garage anymore. So during the move we had to say goodbye to our large couch and china cabinet. It was literally during the move, as one of our movers took both prices home. I felt bummed about it for a few hours, wishing that I could have left the furniture back home with friends or family, but truth be told I had no idea where we would be living when our house was packed. I am glad I was able to give our things away to a super nice guy. I hope he enjoys both pieces for many years to come!

It took us about a week to unpack, and during that time it was clear we had way more stuff than we needed. Clothes, toys, small household items that we rarely used.. They needed a second life. I found two great organizations that took piles of stuff off our hands and will be distributing it to people in need. We hate to throw things away, so I am extremely grateful to the Developmental Disabilities Association and Baby Go Round for accepting all these items.

So now we are settled! We love our new house and neighborhood, and while we continue to miss home, we are looking forward to several visitors over the next couple of months. The last six months have been so hectic and stressful, we are hoping for calm waters ahead..

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Year in Review

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind, which was a fitting way to wrap up our 2014. This year has been so extraordinary, with so many adventures and changes for our little family. It’s been such a big year in our lives that I didn’t do a Facebook “Year in Review” because I didn’t feel like it covered enough!

Selling our house, quitting my job, traveling to Europe, moving across the country, exploring a new city, buying a house, with all the details in between and with a toddler in tow.. Whew!

Having my mom with us the last two weeks was wonderful. Not only did she fall in love with Vancouver, she also fell in love with our new neighborhood of Kitsilano. I feel like I have her full blessing on our new life here, even more than I did before. Mom was there when we closed on the house on Christmas Eve, ten years to the day that she and I bought the duplex on Melrose. Incredible coincidence, and I like to think of it as a happy one. Melrose was such a wonderful home, I have high hopes Kits will be as well.

Since we are on the west coast now, we are celebrating New Years with friends just a short flight from home. I hope everyone has a happy New Year, I know I am looking forward to settling down a little in 2015!

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Life as a Vacation

We have been in Vancouver for almost seven weeks, and during this time we have been staying in temp housing. While we have a few friends here, most of the time it’s Me+Lila and on weekends it’s the three of us. Since we spend so much time together, we are always on the go, exploring.

I was speaking to an old friend today and she said “Looking at your Facebook it seems like you are permanently on vacation.” It made me stop and think for a second. Of course, since I am not working right now, a lot of my energy goes to planning fun things for my family. We also have very few obligations or responsibilities here. We don’t have a home of our own yet, Lila isn’t in school and I am not working. So why not enjoy and explore?

My mom arrived earlier this week for the holidays, and we have been busy showing her around our soon-to-be new neighborhood, doing final Christmas shopping and of course, more sightseeing! January will bring us all the responsibility we have been missing, and more, since we will be moving into our new home mid month. Until then, I am staying on vacation.

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The Van Dusen “Festival of Lights” is gorgeous.

Follow me on Instagram for more of our west coast adventures!

BC = Bring Cash

Someone told this week that BC stands for “bring cash.” I laughed at the joke, and then dealt with two huge milestones this week. We insured our car, and our offer was accepted on a house.

Where can I get some more of this “cash” to bring here?!

First the car. Ugh, this should have been easy, and I am not proud how things played out. But first, indulge me with a photo is the end result, it makes me happy.

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Ok, so here’s our tale of the car saga…

When we divided up the responsibilities of moving in the summer, I took on the indentification and move details. So drivers licenses were on my to-do list, as was shipping the car. Since M dealt with insurance back in Quebec (since the car lease is in his name and he insured my engagement ring) he was in charge of talking to the car company and dealing with insurance. So I ordered copies of our driving records and he confirmed we could move the car.

Neither of us thought of the car registration, and after the car left I put it with our birth certificates and other important documents that ended up accidentally being packed. Uh oh.

Last week we realized we were running out of time and went to get our licenses. Didn’t need the driving records, since the info was actually on our Quebec licenses. But with our birth certificates in storage, we could only get temp licenses because the names on our passports were different than the names on our licenses. (Middles names.. Argh!)

It was then we realized we couldn’t insure the car or complete the provincial inspection because our copy of the registration was in storage, not to mention driving without it was illegal. Uh oh again. And in order to save money on this cost of insurance, I needed to go back 8 years with two different insurance companies and provide my records, plus provide a copy of our lease agreement (storage again) and proof of permission to move the car from Toyota. This was all info I needed, and I had a week to do it. After a dozen faxes and phone calls, a temporarily misplaced fedex package from the Quebec automobile association and three visits to the dealer, we finally were able to be properly insured and plated here. This should have been a lot easier than it was, we really goofed on this one. We got the maximum discount possible on insurance, but it’s still double what it was in Quebec.

Luckily, the house purchase is going well. It’s just so much money for such little house! CTV recently did a report on the cost of getting into the market here, and it’s pretty accurate from what we have seen so far.

But we found a place that fits our needs so well, and we think we chose the right neighborhood for our little family. We hope to close soon on a lower duplex in Kitsilano. It’s small but perfect for us! Now all we have to do is rent a storage locker for half of our furniture and we will finally be settled!

3 Things Thursday

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One of my favorite blogs, The Write Balance, inspired me to share my version of #3ThingsThursday.

I love the idea of sharing my three standout memories of the last week, although narrowing it down to just three was actually harder than I thought. Incidentally, we celebrated our one month anniversary of living in Vancouver this week, since we moved on November 1st. I can’t decide if it feels like we have been here forever or if it fees like we just arrived yesterday.

1. Yoga Buttons Parents Night Out
Yoga Buttons has been my go-to toddler activity destination since we arrived here last month. Owner Carolyn offers daily one hour yoga classes for 2-5 set, with a two hour yoga art class on Thursdays. These classes are drop-off, which allows busy moms the chance to do groceries, exercise, write, have a quiet coffee, get a manicure (ok this is what I have done during the classes Lila attends, I can’t speak for everyone) while their little ones participate in an hour or two of socializing, playing, creating and practicing yoga. Every two weeks Carolyn offers a Parents Night Out, where you can drop off your child(ren) and go out for a grown up dinner. With no family babysitters here, this has been great for my husband and I to share some rare alone time.

2. Winter Market
I love our new weekly routine of shopping at the nearby Winter Farmers Market. Every week I pick up fish, eggs, some meat and a bag of seasonal vegetables. Nothing inspires me to cook more than buying food directly from the people that make, bake or grow what they sell. It gives me a whole new respect for food.

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3. Bright Nights
And finally, I have to include the absolute highlight of our week, the Bright Nights Event in Stanley Park, and the Bright Nights Train. It was spectacular, and to see Lila’s eyes light up when the train started moving and the music started playing started was pure magic.

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Thank you for the inspiration to do this, it was very healthy to focus on the best of last week instead of what didn’t go so well!