Friday, September 27, 2013

Anthony's 6th Birthday

 Ava loves holding her comfort friend, Ellie. When she was a baby, we only gave it to her to help her sleep. She would rub her tail and sooth herself to sleep. Now she is very attached to Ellie, and she goes almost everywhere with her.
 Anthony turned 6 a couple weeks before school ended. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon to have a party in our back yard. He invited 6 friends from school and two neighbour boys. They had fun and settled down once Ed got some games going. But, at first they were all way too excited and loud, it was crazy.
 He was excited to get lots of nice gifts. The kids loved the treasure hunt I planned. I was too busy to take any pictures of it.
 The Big Birthday Boy turns SIX!!!!
This was in the spring, he starting biking with his training wheels. He had his bike for a while, but he never got a lot of practice, because we lived on a busy street. Now, we go out almost each day, and he is getting good. Around the end of July we took off his training wheels. I should try to get that on video.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Summer time fun

 The first weekend of summer holidays we went to Storybook Gardens with Corey and Emma. We had a fun time in the splash pad and going on some kiddie rides.
 We can't leave without getting a picture of Humpty Dumpty and the kids.
 Ava and Emma after lunch. Emma got her face painted with her fave princess Ariel,
 We ended the day by going for a train ride.
 I love when they a playing and getting along :)
 Anthony's first year playing on a soccer team. He really enjoyed it, and improved a lot.
Great team and we couldn't have asked for better coaches. They played everyone and made it fun. Everyone received a trophy for their effort and no scores were kept at this age (5 & 6 yrs).

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Grade One here he comes!

 The first day of school! I worked early, but Ed read my note to take a couple pictures. Anthony was very excited to start Grade 1. He had a good first day, and loves having a desk. He only knows one other boy from last year, but I'm sure he'll make new friends. I met his teacher at pick up time. She seems nice and has an organized classroom. I think he will have a fun year.
Ava is going to the preschool beside Anthony's school. I can't believe she only has one more year until her first day of big kid school.

Learning and Growing

 This was in the spring when Ava turned 3, we gave her a new bike and helmet for her birthday (I found a "princess" bike on kijiji, for half the cost). The mom said her daughter outgrew it quickly and barely rode it. Ava took a few days to get the hang of it. She loves trying to keep up to her big brother. The other night she fell off, and didn't cry, she had a small scrap, but she is tough (like her mom).
 My 6 year-old lost his first tooth just before his swimming lesson on July 8, 2013.  He wasn't very photogenic this day. He was proud to get "100" monies. $1 =100 pennies). Since Anthony is becoming more interested in money, I took him to the bank to set up his first account. He was so proud to go in with a bag full of rolled pennies. My dad had rolled around $20 worth after they retired them. I kept a few of the years we were born. He saved up some allowance and Christmas money and extra tooth fairy money from grandparents. He was proud to shake the Bank Managers hand. They gave him a debit card that is blocked until he is older. When he left he told the teller that he is rich. LOL. $57.50
 Ed loved the shirt the kids made for him for Father's day. They traced their hands and smeared it a bit, so you can tell they helped make it.
We took a trip to Greenview Aviaries. It was a fun day. Anthony enjoyed the playful 1 year old tiger the most.

New York City Trip

 We flew from Detroit to New York City early Friday morning before May long weekend. My Mom treated my sisters and I to a Mother & Daughter weekend. There were 22 women in total. We had a great time. It was my first time there and my first time away from the kids for more than 1 night. I took many pics, but only posted a few. It only took me the first afternoon to find my bearings. Everything is a grid pattern, so figuring out the number of city blocks was easy. We stayed at a smaller hotel called "The Hotel at Times Square" on 46th st, between 5th & 6th. It was only a block and half from Times Square.
 This was our first night. Some of us went to the top of Rockefeller Centre. It was a nice evening, and very peaceful overlooking the big city. On our way out we ran into an SNL actor, Bill Hader.

 Me and Lady Liberty.
 My sister, Corey & I
It was great sharing a hotel with my mom and sisters. We had some laughs and relaxed with some wine in our room, and we had lots of girl talk. One night we got tickets to see the play Annie. The theatre was beautiful. Jane Lynch from Glee, and the movie, 40 year old virgin played Miss Hannigan. All the children were very talented with dancing, gymnastics and singing . Some of the ladies saw Cinderella. They enjoyed that a lot too.
 Leaving John's Pizzeria, Mom and my sisters
New York Public Library.

I don't have any pics of Central Park, it was too rainy when we booked our bike tour. We were a bit disappointed, but another reason to make a return visit sometime.

Monday, August 12, 2013

December 2012

 Relaxing on the couch
Brother and sisterly love
 Anthony 5.5 and Ava 2.5.
 Anthony showing his Aunts and Uncles the gingerbread house he made.
 Ava cuddling with her new dog Buster. She loves dogs and since we don't have one...this works.
My lego loving little boy. Anthony was excited to get more lego for his collection.

Life is busy!

I apologize for anyone who reads my blog, for not getting on it and updating it. I'm not sure why I didn't. I think partly from the stress of looking for a house, then moving and just being busy, working and chasing around two young kids. I hadn't even been online as often. I know I like to write here, not just for others but to keep a bit of a scrapbook of my life. One thing, I was told from another mom was to keep a notebook beside my bed and when the kids say something cute or funny write in it. I've done that, and I know as they get older we can look back on it together. I don't trust my memory for all the details. I will try really hard to post at least once a month. Life is busy, but life is good and I know this is something that I enjoy doing. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do.

Our New House

We bought our first house in November 2012, in Northridge. It took longer than we expected, but in the end it was worth the wait. We took possession just before Christmas on Dec.20th. It was pretty stressful, having three other offers and an "as-is" condition, meaning that we couldn't get a home inspection (against my better judgement). We saw the place on Sunday, and they took all offers on the Tuesday. We found out that same night. It is 48 years old, on a crescent, a decent size back yard and 4 bedrooms (one is Ed's music room or Daddy's office lol), finished basement, open kitchen area and decent size bedrooms. It needs a few updates (nothing we can't live with for now), but all in all, it just needed a good cleaning and lots of paint. The big things were all around 5 years ago, gas furnace, a/c, and roof. The previous owner was suffering from depression after his wife died a few years ago, so he hadn't done any cleaning. He moved into a nursing home.

We had to give two months notice at the apartment, so we lost a month's rent. Oh well, it gave us time to clean and paint. I know I'm lucky to have good parents. Thankfully, my dad is retired and quite handy, so he did most of the painting, and updating some of the electrical outlets. Ed and I helped out when we could during some of our Christmas holidays. All the closets needed a fresh coat of paint and Ava's closet needed an overhaul. The weekend we got the keys, my mom showed up with a box of cleaning supplies and was ready to help out. It came with all five working appliances. But they hadn't been cleaned in a long time. We went through 2 boxes of 18 sos pads to clean the stove and cupboards out. As we were busy scrubbing away, my mom said "I'm pretty sure they have a sale at bad boys for a new stove." I said, let's keep cleaning, we just bought a house. We knew we needed to get a couple new windows, including the big bay one and a patio. So, we didn't want to spend anymore money. Our move in date was January 20, 2013. Two months from the offer day, and one month from the first day we got the house.

Now that we've lived here for over six months now, we feel right at home. We love the neighbourhood. It is quite, but friendly and there are enough families near us, that play dates don't need to be planned. Anthony made quick friends with two brothers, age 8 and 5 that live right down the street. The first meeting in the late winter they were comparing and counting each others bruises on their legs.

We are within walking distance to the school and later on the high school. We found some walking trails along the river, and a nice bike path close by. We don't have a play set in the yard, but the playground is just around the corner and the kids love going there. In the winter time, we took them tobogganing on the hill at the school. In July, Anthony took swimming lessons at the Northridge pool (it was freezing cold) so maybe not next year. We like the wading pool on warmer days. It is about 5 mins drive from Masonville mall. About 10mins from downtown- depending on traffic.

Owning our own house feels like our money is going to an investment, unlike renting and watching the rent increase almost each year. I think this is a great place to raise our family.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ava's 2nd Birthday

 Ava and Emma getting to be friends. Ava's birthday was on Easter this year. We had dinner at my parents.
 Like most little ones, Ava loves Elmo. This one talks and has blocks that teach letters.
 Grandma and Ava with her Cabbage Patch Kid "Charlie".
 Our birthday girl sure loves her cupcake!
and the balloons and pretty dress

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March brings SPRING!!

Hurray! Spring is here. Well, last week felt more like summer. We had a 7-day record of high temperatures. One day it went up to 28. It felt like July! For some reason, I have been more sick than usual this year. I'm blaming the mild winter, for not being cold enough to kill all the virus's. I was happy Ava had gone without any sickness from September when she started daycare, until the last week in January ( 5 months). February was a rough month for all of us. We all had bad colds and coughs. Ava was fevered, then the next day I got called to come and pick Anthony up from school. I missed a week of work to be home with them. Then, that bad cold I had seemed to almost leave me, and suddenly got worse. I ended up with bronchitis (for the first time in my life). My back ached from coughing so much. It was nasty. Then just last week, I had the norwalk for a few days :( That God the kids were fine.

The week before March Break the weather was beautiful, so we headed to pick up our maple syrup that Ed bought on wagjag from McLachlan farms. We decided to stay and enjoy the pancake brunch and horse drawn wagon ride. We all enjoyed it! Little Ava, was eating so much and saying "yummy" after each bite. She is definately going through a growth spurt with the amount she has been eating. I love seeing it, especially since her big brother has always been a fussy eater. Anthony loved it too, and even asked for more pancakes at dinner time. It was a great family outing!

Sunday was a nice Girls day. My niece Emma turned 3 in January, and I had bought her a Build-a-Bear. We took it to get stuffed and picked out an outfit for it. She named her bear "Emily". I love seeing Emma and Ava interacting more and more. Ava was so excited to she her older cousin. Ed and his brother David took Anthony to a Car show at the Western fair. He liked seeing the batmobile the best.

Ava's birthday falls on Easter Sunday this year. She is growing so much, and saying more and more. I love this age. She is getting more stubborn about what she wears though. She say's "mo", (meaning no) if I put a shirt on that she doesn't like. I never understood this, when my friends that had girls would say that.  Anthony never cared what I put him in. Now, I get it!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Man, does time fly! 2012 already! It's been too long since my last post. Most evenings after work I was too tired to go online much. Two hours of getting dinner ready, bath, stories, practice letters and piano, and I'm whopped. So I hope I will make up for it now. Lots has happened since September. First the good news, Ed got a new job in November at John Bellone's Music Store. He is the guitar guy. He was getting so tired of his Building manager job, it was pretty thankless, and there was way too many on-call shifts. He seems much happier with his new job. His goal was always to make all his money from music. So at least selling musical instruments in a guaranteed pay cheque for when the good paying gigs aren't always there. All the people that work there are professional musicians. The owner is very flexible with the hours, if Ed has a gig or tribute show then he will give him time off. The only downfall was that we lost his medical benefits. We stocked up for now and since I just got a raise at work, I will be setting aside the extra money each pay into a "diabetes supplies" account. We might look into paying for our own plan through CAA (manulife or Sunlife).

We hope to buy a home in the next year, once his new employment is more stable. I hate the thought of paying regular rent for our apartment, it's $1220/mth. Even though Ed worked here for 5 yrs and we lived in another Old Oak building as tenants before for 4 years, the company would not give us a break. We are paying what a regular tenant would pay just moving in. Lots to think about.

Christmas morning was my favourite part of the season this year. It's so much fun having little ones this time of year. Anthony was the most excited he's every been to see what Santa gave him. His favourite gift is the Spiderman web shooter. He's into the superhero stuff this year. I wish I had the video camera on to capture Ava's excitement. She's not even two yet, so I was thinking that she wouldn't be too excited. I guess she saw her older brother's reaction. She got a "Baby Alive" doll, and as soon as she spotted it, she was screaming baby, baby, moving her arms up and down and running on the spot. It was priceless.

Ed's mom had a medical issue and had to go to the hospital a few days before Christmas. Her Alzheimer's is getting worse, and his sister and brother decided that she is best in a long term care facility. She wasn't taking her pills and forgetting to eat some days. Her usual routines were gone. She couldn't remember how to phone people or do her hair and make-up. It is quite sad to see. She knows her children, but doesn't remember their names anymore. She knows Ed is the baby, that's all. She is close by, and the place is really nice. She seems to be adjusting okay, but still asking when she goes home. I guess that will never end, from what I remember from my grandparents. She likes the meals they serve and some of the ladies she has met. She is a very social person, so I think this will benefit her a lot.

Some picture from Christmas 2011:

 Big brother hugging his sister. This doesn't happen very often. This is nice to see.

 Christmas morning, Daddy helping get the web ready for Spidey aka Anthony
 Mommy and Ava, 20 months old
 At Aunt Joyce's with her new doll and stroller.

Ava and "Granpapa"

All seven cousins together, ranging in age 20mths- 21 years old