I want my kids to know every nook and cranny of Vancouver. If we are going to make sacrifices to live in the city then we had better live! Every outing is an opportunity for adventure and now that we’re cruising around on our cargo bike, the city feel way more accessible. We don’t have to worry about traffic or parking and there’s always something to distract the kids if they’re getting antsy.
If you’ve seen us around town, you may have noticed our no-tears streak on the cargo bike has ended. The only time the cargo bike becomes a challenge for me is when it’s stopped on an incline and I feel the full weight of it. Let’s just say that twice I’ve gently dropped the bike while at a stand still. No one was harmed! I did however scare my kids (and myself) and so we’ve been pushing through some fears, mine included. It would be easy to give-up but with Ben’s encouragement we’ve gone for several straight rides without incident. Ben had a good talk with the boys about encouraging me rather than screaming in terror (Ha ha. I’m just being honest folks). Now when we ride Ezra shouts from behind, “You can do it mommy!” It’s so cute. And encouraging.
We took the boys to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden for the first time today to let them experience a different culture’s architectural style; buildings and landscapes. They admired the curved rooftops, bamboo shrouded walkways and ancient Bonsai trees. Levi did some plein air sketching of the buildings while Jet and Ezra monkeyed around.
As a homeschooling parent one of my favourite subjects to teach is history and cultural studies. Levi has been initiating conversations with really deep questions pertaining to colonialism and how one country/culture advances on another. He’s caught me off guard with his observations and I’ve been scrambling ever since to figure out how to to convey the harsher side of human history in an age appropriate way. Susan Wise Bauer in The Story of the World Volumes does an amazing job covering ancient history to the modern world. With the introduction of First Nations studies into the primary grades I’m also hoping to find kid-friendly books to teach First Nations history to my boys. I’m sure this will bring up many hard questions as well but I’m so thankful we can tackle them together.
I just covered a lot of territory in one post! But the jest of it; I’m thankful. So very thankful for this life I’ve been given and the people who inhabit it with me.
There’s such a thing as too much self-deprecation and I think a lot of moms, myself included, are guilty of it. It’s easy in a group of commiserating moms to portray our households as zoos and how the heck would we ever find time to cook, clean, exercise and do the other basic things of life. All these struggles have an element of truth but the more I look into my own habits and those of the moms around me; I’ve realized most of us have our shiz together! We’ve figured out how to manage our households well (Not during the newborn stage and other sleep-deprived stages of parenting are exempt too. If you’re there; just let it go, let it go).
This weekend I had the privilege of taking my two oldest boys out on separate dates. It was much needed one-to-one time. There’s been a lot of sibling rivalry lately and my parenting style has been frazzled as a result. Isn’t that an officially researched parenting style? I kind of lost it at one point, which I hate to admit. I wish I never yelled or said any thing I regretted but sometimes I do and then it’s time to apologize and move forward.
There are two ways you can go on vacation as far as health and fitness are concerned, and I’ve done both this summer. It’s easy to treat vacation as a break from habits, including healthy eating and exercise. When I was in Harrison Hot Springs I was just recovering from a horrible stomach bug and finally was starting to eat again. Cheezies? Sure! But not just one snack bag, two. I went gluten crazy, partly cause I couldn’t stomach greens yet but also because bread tastes so good. I had an amazing time in Harrison with my family and I wouldn’t trade all that chaos for the world but I did arrive home feeling bloated and lethargic.
Do you remember your first job? Of course! You were probably a teenager just like me who wanted to earn some extra spending money for Starbucks and shopping at the Gap.
Ironically my first regular employment was in one of the few clothing stores at the time that grown men would shop in with a little swagger to their step. I was a scrawny 15-year-old girl trying to sell either steel-toed boots to big, scruffy men or front-pleated pants to clean-cut, male office workers. At the time the store was called Mark’s Work Wearhouse (now just Marks) but don’t let the masculine name deceive you; they also sell a selection of female apparel.
We’re going car-free! I’ve been trying to convince Ben for a few years that I could manage without a vehicle since we live right in the city and public transit is readily available. We found an even greater alternative in our new cargo bike. I could go on and on about how amazing it has been to have the whole family on a bike ride.
We live in a world of lifestyle blogs, TV programs and cookbooks that are constantly raising the bar. Wherever we look we’re bombarded with images of perfection. In the new film “Let’s Relax”, IKEA wants to start a conversation about the expectations that make our lives unnecessarily demanding. IKEA wants to help people say “goodbye” to stress and “hello” to the joy of cooking, eating and being together. Through the month of August, using the hashtag #letsrelax, Ikea is inviting us to share on social media what we’re doing to enjoy the art of living again.
I mentioned in my previous post how effective Dream Water is at providing a restful night’s sleep. It’s a non-prescription sleep aid that really works without leaving that groggy, day after feeling that prescription sleep aids can cause.
Elasticpantcity is excited to be giving away a package of Dream Water for a lucky winner to try. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be contacted on August 3rd via email.
Every year for many years I’ve written a blog post about our family vacation in Malaspina. I’m a creature of habit and I love the familiarity of returning to the same place each summer. The boys are old enough to eagerly anticipate our time at the cabin for at least 351 days of the year. Our days are spent playing in the ocean, walking the beach, colouring and collecting rocks and sticks. I even manage to read a little and work on crossword puzzles which, hello, thrilling.