Thursday, June 30, 2011

California Here We Come!!

Hannah has been learning a new song and it’s so cute to hear her singing it around the house!  (Or at the store which is where we captured this video)

We’re off to spend time with the amazing Salsa family and I’m super excited to see M3, TubaDad and their adorable daughters Ro and Ree!  Next week we’re also meeting Kayce and Cricket for a day of fun at the beach!

I’ll be blogging our adventures while we’re away so you’re welcome to follow here and on M3’s blog too.

Ahhhh….summer fun with precious friends is the best!!! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Day in the City

Last week Hannah and I had an appointment in Toronto so I took the day off and we ventured into the city together.  Before we stepped out of the house I decided that I wanted it to be a fun, slow day of adventure where we took time to enjoy whatever areas she wanted to discover.  It was a great day from start to end!!

Rather than popping her into the car for a drive into the city we drove to the train station and took a ‘choo choo train’ into the city.  Oh yes!  We were off to a great start!IMG_0503



While in the train Hannah wanted to take a picture of Mommy.  I think she did a good job.  It’s funny to look at myself from her perspective!IMG_0508

The train was a HUGE hit and as soon as we got off she jumped up and down and said, ‘Train fun Mommy!  Again!!’  I can see more train rides in our future for sure!

After we oooed and ahhhhed over the tall buildings all around us we began to walk through the city.  It truly is beautiful and Hannah taught me to see so many of the things that I would have missed without her. 

This fountain was a fun place to splash on a warm summer day.IMG_0509

As we were walking through the city we saw a place that I’ve heard of often but hadn’t been in years.  The world renown Hospital for Sick Children (aka Sick Kids).   IMG_0510Just after we walked past the hospital there was a loud thumping sound and I immediately knew what was happening.  As we stood on the sidewalk and looked above, a helicopter known as ‘Band-aid’  flew just a few hundred feet above our heads and landed on top of the hospital.  I was holding Hannah in my arms at the time and after watching the helicopter land on the hospital we stopped and prayed for the child in the helicopter, for their parents, for the doctors and nurses and all who would care for that child.  I held my baby girl close as I thanked God that Hannah and I are outside that hospital and we prayed for all those inside.  I continue to cherish the opportunities to teach Hannah that prayer is the air we breathe and we have many opportunities daily to pray for those around us.

(On a side note, Baby Tatiana is still in Sick Kids.  She’s growing stronger and doing well.  Thank you for your continued prayers!  At the beginning of June when this picture was taken she’s was up to 2 lbs 14 oz.  Way to grow Tati!!)Unnamed

By now it was close to noon and my sweet girl was tuckered out.  She asked to go into her stroller and quickly fell asleep.  Rather than rush home I found a table at a restaurant with an outdoor patio and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the fresh air while watching my baby girl sleep peacefully.  She woke part way through lunch so we shared the rest.IMG_0515


After taking the train back home the day was still young so we went down to a park at the lake and played in the playground, the splash park

and then threw stones into the lake.IMG_0519

A perfect day from start to finish!!  Oh how I love you Hannah XiaoFen!  I’m so glad we had this wonderful day together just enjoying what we found around us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Knew? The Makings of a Daycare Bag

The other day I was looking in Hannah’s daycare bag trying to find a pair of her sunglasses.  It suddenly struck me as funny at the sheer amount of things I carry back and forth for her each day.  Things she uses on a daily/weekly basis both at daycare and at home so back and forth they go.

This is what is in her bag as of right now.  (Well…since I took the pic.  If I was being honest I’d tell you that I found a scarf and pair of mitts in the bottom of the bag even though it is mid June.  Oops….guess I should clean it out more often!)


The items in her spring/ summer daycare bag are:

  • sandals
  • rubber boots for puddle jumping
  • running shoes and socks
  • water shoes for fun at local splash pads
  • bathing suit for splash pads and sprinkler fun
  • 2 hats – a girl must have options!
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses: Tinkerbelle and ‘Hollywood’s’ – more options required
  • a jacket for cool days
  • splash pants to go with the puddle jumping
  • Aveeno lotion for my itchy baby girl.  She has such sensitive skin, especially during the dry winter months

So this is it….for now.  Fall and winter bring a whole new assortment of goodies.  I’ll have to capture that later this year.  I know someday I’ll forget these moments so am thankful to be capturing them now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Long Anticipated First–Strawberry Picking With My Girl!

There are so many things that I long dreamed of doing with Hannah.  Even though we’ve been a family for almost 20 months now there are still things that we’re experiencing together for the very first time.  Today’s adventure was strawberry picking!  It was a tight squeeze to find the time in our busy weekend but we did it and I’m so glad we did! 

We went back to the farm where we’d met the Easter Bunny with our friends and from the moment we arrived the fun began.  I’d decided not to take Hannah home to change her out of her Sunday dress and she chose to wear the infamous kitty cat boots with her dress.  I love how being a Mommy has changed me!  Wearing a fancy dress to pick and eat strawberries and matching that with rubber boots is not how I thought I would be but sure am glad that’s the way it’s turned out!  (That being said, I’m happy to report that a soak in cold water when we got home and then a wash with a combo of Tide and Amaze has Hannah’s dress looking as good as new!)

After a quick jump in the jumping castle Hannah was excited to get her face painted.  A strawberry seemed like the perfect choice for today!IMG_0579

Just as my little strawberry was done having her face painted the tractor arrived pulling the wagon so it was time to head to the strawberry fields.IMG_0582

It didn’t take long for Hannah to figure out which berries were okay for picking and our basket began to fill up.  IMG_0583She picked most of the berries that went into our basket as Mommy was busy taking pictures of her little sweetie.




Can you taste the sweetness with your eyes?  Mmm!IMG_0601



The funny thing is that it took quite a bit of encouragement from Mommy for Hannah to eat any of the berries.  I guess our conversations in the grocery store about not eating the fruit until we pay for it have hit home with her.  I ‘needed’ that pic ;o) so I was glad when she changed her mind even though that very first bite led to a river of strawberry juice running down her dress.IMG_0609


At first she started to wipe her hands on her dress so Mommy quickly volunteered her leg which she thought was lots of fun!





Another family tradition has been born!!  (Oh how I love that word….FAMILY!!!)IMG_0622

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gymnastics Graduation! June 15, 2011

Hannah and I have been attending a Parent & Tot gymnastics class since the beginning of February.  Saturday was graduation day and I was one proud Mommy to see how much she’d learned and how she’d improved in 4 1/2 short months!  I’m still in awe considering she’s only 27 months old!

Each Saturday when we’d wake up I’d mention that today was ‘nastics’ and she’d get so excited!  It was something she really enjoyed and we’ll be signing up again for sure.  Originally I was going to wait until next winter’s session but I may sign her up in the fall.  We’ll see.

Since it was the last week of lessons we were invited to take pictures and videos which is something I’ve wanted to do since the very first lesson (and maybe did a little undercover early in our lessons).  Mom and Dad also came to cheer Hannah on as well as help capture the moment.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

I’m so proud of all that Hannah has learned and how she’s matured!  The first number of weeks she didn’t want to stay with the class and I sometimes ended up chasing her around the gym.  Now, most times (but not all as you can see by this pic of her Saturday laying under the beam rather than walking on it)DSC_8421

she enjoyed staying with the class even though she sometimes did her own thing.  The class was a great combination of doing things together with understanding that toddler’s attention span is sometimes only fractions of a second long! 

Here she’s doing what Coach Emily asked and showing us her beam skills.  Walking sideways was new this day and I was so excited that she’d achieved this new goal!  Only 2 weeks before I was still holding her hands when she walked forwards and here she showed us she could walk sideways by herself!  Way to go Shaoey!!DSC_8424

I love how her little arms go out at her side for balance just like she was taught.

Now it’s time to try a somersault

One of Hannah’s favourite activities (and that of many of the kiddos) is the Tumble Trak.  At first she would just run from one end to the other (and try to tackle the child in front of her.  Yah…we had to work on that one!) but as time moved on, she learned to do more and more on the Tumble Trak.  Check out these awesome star jumps!

Another jumping event at class was the trampoline.  My busy, jumping, running, hopping, skipping little girl loved all the events that allowed her to use up some of her endless energy!

Waiting her turn with Coach Emily.DSC_8426

The seat drop makes me laugh as you hear everyone’s reaction.  Hannah loves to jump and it’s not unusual for her to do similar jumps like this on our bed or from the back of the couch.  I’ve quickly learned that rather than stop her from all her daring moves I need to teach her how to do them safely and also when they’re not appropriate.  Most times they are though and she loves it!

DSC_8434The final stop of the day was the cheese pit.  In the beginning she didn’t care for the pit but now she can’t wait to get there!



After we’d visited all of the events for the day (we didn’t do floor or bars on graduation day) it was time for the actual graduation ceremony.  I didn’t know what to expect and I was very impressed with how they had each child go up on a graduation block, do their ‘present’ and then were given a certificate!  Once again I was surprised and proud at how well Hannah did!DSC_8446


I love to watch her little face in this video.  You can see how excited she was and how pleased she was with herself too!  Great job Hannah!!!

Hannah’s first gymnastics experience was a huge success and I know we’ll be signing up again!  Thanks Coach Emily!

When Emily was away we had another coach named Cathy and Hannah loved her and flourished under her teaching.  Cathy and I chatted after graduation and she feels Hannah will be ready for Kindergym in the fall which Cathy leads with another coach.  This is exciting as this class is *GULP!* without Mommy!!  Normally kids are 3 when they enter this class but Cathy feels she’ll be ready at 2 1/2 so we’ll see how it goes.  I have a feeling she’s going to do great!!

Hannah and her proud Mommy….in case you didn’t get that from reading this post! ;o)DSC_8439

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!!

Hannah and I want to wish these amazing men a very Happy Father’s Day!!





Uncle DaveImported Photos 00056

Uncle Ken (man….I need to get some updated pics of Hannah with her uncles!)Imported Photos 00053

We love all of you and hope you have an amazing Father’s Day!!!


Mommy loves herself some ribs so last weekend Hannah and I went to a local small town and enjoyed their Ribfest…twice!  Mmm, mmm! 

Friday night we met our wonderful friends Auntie K, Uncle J, Chick and PeaIMG_0395Hannah and I both love to hang with these very special peeps so as soon as she knew we were on our way to see them she said their names over and over…and over again.  She’s at the parroting age and when she likes the sound of something she says – watch out!  She’ll repeat it over and over again.  Sometimes it’s helpful as it helps me figure out what she’s saying and other times, oh my!

The weather threatened rain but we didn’t let that dampen our fun and we had a great time!  The kiddos were our top priority so we made sure they were happily munching away first.  We bought corn-on-the-cob and French fries for the kiddos.


Once the kiddos were taken care of it was time for Uncle J and I to enjoy some good ole BBQ ribs!  (Auntie K prefers veggies over meat but she did humour us and at least hold a rib. ;o)

We introduced the kids to the wonderful world of funnel cakes for dessert and they enjoyed every sugary morsel that came their way! 



I treated myself to a deep fried Snickers bar and it was a decadent treat! 

After supper we wandered the grounds enjoying a variety of fun activities!

Walking the pretend balance beam while enjoying the live music.IMG_0397

On oh yes….the dancing!

This picture makes me giggle.  Hannah and Pea were mesmerized by this line of boxes that people kept walking in and out of.  Heh!IMG_0399

Hannah couldn’t get to the local pizza mascot fast enough.  Based on this pic I think she’ll do just fine when we go to Disney in August.IMG_0398

Our final stop of the evening was a fun time at the park.

Thanks for the super fun time at Ribfest Auntie K and family!  We think this would be a great event to make an annual tradition!

Saturday night Hannah and I returned to Ribfest, this time with my parents and niece Bec Bec.  IMG_0440There were many different vendors selling their ribs so it was great to be able to try a different one.  Friday’s were ok but Saturdays were mmm…mmm good and we also enjoyed sides of creamy coleslaw and baked beans.

After supper there was more balance beam walking IMG_0442

plus Hannah’s first roller coaster ride!IMG_0455

My adrenaline loving little girl had a blast on the roller coaster and as soon as the ride came to an end she was asking to ride again!  It was fun that it was a Chinese Dragon coaster.

Life is a whole new world of wonderful adventures with Hannah by my side!!  I can’t wait to see what we do next!

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