Summer Lovin’

9 pictures. 9 words.

Adventure.
Love.
Relaxation.
Meditation.
Reflection.
Innocence.
Whimsical.
Companionship.
Satisfaction.

20 days in, and I’m wholeheartedly lovin’ on Summer.
Never. Going. Inside.

Linking up with the lovely Mama Kat – favourite Summer view (so far)

The Day I Met Princess Diana

It was May 2, 1986. Prince Charles and Lady Di were in Vancouver to open the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation & Communication – known more famously as Expo ’86. As part of their tour of our beautiful city, the royal couple paid a visit to my beloved Granville Island – the place where I grew up.

Source
Granville Island, May 1986

I was only 8 years old, and was doing a nightly dance performance at Expo ’86. My dance school was located in the heart of Granville Island, and our dance company was asked to do a short performance for the royal couple to commemorate their visit.

As soon as my number was over, I remember running with my friends, and standing in a line facing the beautiful princess Diana. She walked along the line of excited children, taking the time to greet each of us one-on-one. I remember thinking – she doesn’t look like a princess, she’s not wearing a big sparkly dress and a tiara like Cinderella. My excitement grew as she approached my spot in the line. I couldn’t believe I was finally going to meet a real princess!

When it was my turn, she bent down and leaned in close so that she was at my eye level. She smiled at me and said in a soft voice, “That was lovely!” She then handed me a long-stemmed red rose, flashed a sincere grin, and moved on to the next child in line.

It was a memorable moment for me, one that I will never forget. I don’t have a picture – heck, I don’t even have the rose anymore! But I will always remember how she took the time to speak to each and every one of us – just a group kids from a little dance school in Granville Island. A small reminder of the beautiful person she was.

Life Is A Battlefield

My mom always says to ‘pick your battles’. Especially in a marriage, and with your kids.
At first I didn’t take her advice. I got riled up by every high-pitched scream, every spilled drink, and every unfinished bite of dinner.
But I’m starting to realize that the more battles I pick, the less I win. My mad mommy voice was becoming funny, and my kids were not taking me seriously.
Tonight, I caught my 5 year old girl piling a life-sized stuffed tiger onto the head of her little brother. He screamed and begged her to stop, and she laughed and kept bopping him on the head.
I spoke to her in a firm voice and put her on a time out.
When some time had elapsed, I called her to me and asked why she had been put on a time out.
“There’s no way it hurt him MOM. It’s made entirely out of FLUFF!” she snapped.
She may have been right, but that doesn’t mean her actions were right.
By the sound of her sass, I had picked the right battle.
My kids may have run around screaming, left food on their dinner plates, and splashed bath water all over the entire bathroom floor tonight, but I have to deal with the challenges one battle at a time, and I’ve already picked my battle for today.

Linking up for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. The prompt: write about an argument you’ve recently had in 15 lines or less.

When I Grow Up

When I grow up, I want to be like my 5 year old daughter.
I want to have her imagination, the ability to dream up magical worlds full of sweets, princesses and talking animals. High tea with imaginary friends, dance parties with Polly Pockets, and outfits consisting of sparkly fairy wings and bright pink crinolines.
I want to be lost in the innocence of naivety – seeing sunshine and lollipops through rose-coloured glasses. Dreaming of a future as an animal rescuer, princess, mom and doctor, and believing that I’m capable of doing it all and more.
I want to be a complete goofball like my little girl. To giggle until my belly aches and I fall to the ground, pink-cheeked and grinning. I want to make everyone laugh every time I say something, and to be able to tell intriguing stories that never end.
When I grow up, I want to have my daughter’s youthful glow, her shiny virgin hair and silky porcelin skin. I want to have her limitless energy, able to run in circles until I can no longer catch my breath. Her fearless motivation to climb trees (right to the top) and to try new foods that may not look appealing to the eye at first glance.
I want to have her enquiring mind, her curiosity to know more and to be all-consumed when someone explains something new to me. I want to have her sense of inspiration when something new and exciting crosses her path.
I want to have her compassion, her selfless desire to help others and to take care of those who are younger than herself. Her acceptance and patience when constantly antagonized by her little brother. And most of all, I want to enjoy her all-consuming, unconditional love for her parents. Her unwavering knowledge that family is number one.
I may be older, and by the book I may be wiser, but when I grow up, I want to be just like my daughter, because although she is only five, there is already so much I could learn from her.

Let's BEE FriendsBlog BashMama’s Losin’ It
Linking up with my favourite Friday linky, #LetsBEEFriends

Adding this post  to the 1st Blogoversary Blog Bash in celebration of the fabulous bloggers Alison and Ado

And also linking up with Mama Kat who provided me with this fun writing prompt through her World Famous Writer’s Workshop

Four Parts of Four

My baby girl is four going on fourteen. She doesn’t giggle about boys, or cover her face in make up, or spend all night talking on the phone like a fourteen year old does – but she definitely has the four different personality extremes that come with the teen years.
One Part Spicy Sass:
Girlfriend may only be four, but she knows how to sass it up like a teen. She’s developed a mean stare-down face that comes out when she’s being told no. She stomps her feet as hard as she can and slams her door when she has been sent to her room for disobeying. She talks back, ie: when told to clean her room, she has responded with, “maybe YOU should clean up YOUR room first.” These actions don’t happen without consequences, let that be known.
One Part Goofy Monkey:
She can sit quietly and play by herself for long periods of time, but when she gets riled up, girlfriend goes OFF. Non-stop nonsensicle chatter. Loud bursts of screams and odd noises. She’ll pick a silly word, and will run circles around the house repeating that word a million times and giggling at herself each time she repeats it. She hops and skips and dances around like her pants are full of ants. I have no idea where the energy comes from, and I can never decide if I’m annoyed, envious, or entertained. Maybe all of the above.
One Part Risky Rebel:
She used to be a bit of a follower – doing whatever her friends prompted her to do for the attention that came with her actions. But lately, she has become the rebel of the group. Today while enjoying a brisk walk through the forest with her daycare class, my girl stumbled upon a small plastic pellet (like one would use to load a pellet gun). Not knowing what it was, she decided it would be funny to stick it into her ear. Apparenly her friends had told her not to do it, but she did, and we had to take her to the doctor to have it removed from deep down in her ear canal.
One Part Sweetie Pie:
The other day my daughter had to stay home with daddy due to the onset of a sudden ear infection. I had to work late so I didn’t get a chance to see her before bedtime, but her daddy filled me in on the day’s events. Apparently that morning, when her daddy had offered to make her breakfast, my little girl asked him if he had made his bed. When he replied no, she said, “Ok, you go make breakfast, and I’ll make the bed, cause you KNOW mommy will be mad if your bed’s not made.” She made the bed (quite well might I add), and decided that she should also leave a flower on my bedside table. “Daddy, I need a yellow flower and a vase please.” Luckily we had a bouquet of flowers on the table to pick from. She placed them beside my side of the bed in a little vase, and said, “daddy, I’m leaving mommy a flower to show that I feel bad for waking her up in the night last night.”
My girl is definitely made up of sugar and spice and everything nice. I’m learning how to deal with the four sides of my four year old, but I’m dreading what is to come when she becomes a teen. Will I survive?
Mama’s Losin’ It

Bee: The Interrupter

Inspired by Mama Kat‘s writing prompt this week: “The one place in my life that I know better, but haven’t been able to do better is…” I’m writing about a serious problem that I have, in hopes that you, my dear readers, can offer some advice…
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I like to think of it as “finishing off my husband’s sentences”, or “so enthusiastic that I have to get my thoughts out”, or “so full of creative ideas that I need to talk it out”, but some people just don’t seem to look at it in the same way. I know that it’s a problem, and I know that I need to change my ways, to listen more and talk less, but I just can’t control myself. My confession: I’m an interrupter.
I’m starting to learn that it’s not cute. Noone likes to be interrupted, and noone thinks of it as anything else but rude. While I’m aware of my problem, I can’t seem to fix it. I don’t do it consciously, and that’s an important point to note. I’m not intentionally cutting people off, I just can’t stop my lips from opening when words are trying to push their way out!
I’m not making up excuses, but it seems to be general knowledge that Sagittarians (yes, I’m a Sag) tend to suffer from a little problem called “mouth before brain”. I do talk before I think, and therefore talk before I think about waiting until others are finished. I’m not big into astrology, but found this to be interesting. Being married to a Sag, this problem can become quite a challenge! I hate that I interrupt, but I hate it even more when my husband interrupts me! Imagine two chatty, stubborn Sags – both with an interruption problem, trying to have a civilized conversation. It can be madness!
So my question to you is: how can I make it stop? How can I force myself to think before I speak, to let others finish their sentences, and to listen wholeheartedly?


Career Mommy I’ll Bee

I’d like to say that it was purely a financial decision. That I only returned to work because it would have been financially impossible for us to live on one income. But truthfully, we could have managed. Money would have been really tight, but it wouldn’t have been impossible.
I’d also like to say that it has been unbearable. That I have to pry my desperately clasped hands from my children as I drop them off at daycare each morning, and that I cry quietly to myself as I drive to the office each day. But I don’t. On some days it is tough to say goodbye, but they love their daycare, and they know I’ll come back and squeeze them with all that mama love that they’ve missed all day.
Yes there are days when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision.
Yes I miss my children every moment that we’re apart. But my career is part of who I am, and working (outside of the home) is something I have to do. Not just for the money, but for me.
I have a theory (and a big emphasis on “theory” here) – that many women who were raised by stay at home moms, choose to do the same when they become mothers. The same seems to apply to women who were raised by career moms – they seem to grow to become career moms themselves.  
It’s a crazy busy life being a career mommy of two. It’s a crazy busy life being a stay at home mommy too! In Canada, we’re lucky enough to enjoy a full year of maternity leave, so I’ve experienced both sides, and I can truly say that they are both equally as challenging.
When it comes down to the decision to return to the office, or to stay at home full time, it’s purely a personal decision, and for me, a career mommy was the right fit for me.
How about you? How did you make the decision? Did you follow in your mother’s footsteps?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Suggestions For Santa

Dear Santa,

We’ve been in this business partnership now for almost 4 years, and while I’d like to thank you for your help with my children over the holidays, I’d also like to review some aspects of our partnership to ensure a better working relationship for the future.
To start, I’d like to make some suggestions on your gift-giving assessments. It’s lovely that you take the time to speak with the children to find out what they’d like, but please Santa, throw this mama a bone. I have a budget to work with afterall. If they ask for a new bike, or a trip to Disneyland, perhaps you could mention that Santa is sold out of that item, and that they might be interested in some new jeans or a nice new book instead.
About your lists, I’d like to suggest a better tracking system, to ensure that your naughty and nice lists are updated and accurate throughout the year. Some kind of monthly report would do just fine. Perhaps in the form of a video as my children are still too young to read. You could remind them of the things they’ve did wrong so far, and that you are watching and taking notes to determine if they will be receiving gifts or a lump of coal at the end of the year.
You might even want to consider an extra trip in the summer, to revisit the children and remind them that they must listen to their parents in order to receive gifts on Christmas Day. It would be a work-related trip so I’m sure you could write it off as a business expense.
I’m also concerned about your “story”. There are so many versions of what you do, how you do it, and who helps you, that it is sometimes hard for us moms to keep the story straight. For example, I had explained to my children that you were in town for a visit at the mall to make sure your list was correct before you starting packing up your sleigh for deliveries later in the month. Another mom, in front of my children, explained that you hadn’t come to town, but in fact had hired some look-alike helpers to scope out the children on your behalf. A summary of your story would be greatly appreciated so that we could all work from the same page.
Thank you again for helping my children to believe in the Christmas spirit,  for keeping their imaginations alive and for making the holidays the best time of the year for them. I will continue to give you credit for the gifts you bring, but please Santa, try not to steal my thunder. You can have your stocking stuffers and special gifts from the North Pole, but let me have credit for that one big ticket item. While you work for one, maybe two days a year, I’m doing a similar job 365 days a year. I think I deserve the credit, don’t you?
Sincerely,
Bits of Bee

Do These Spots Make My Ass Look Fat?

Check me out, livin the life – pre-babies

They call me Keyla (short for Tequilla), and I’m a Dalmatian (duh, obviously). I know I’m cute, but after 9 years with my parents, looks don’t seem to matter anymore. The honeymoon’s over for this dog. I’m no longer the baby, and I frickin’ hate it.

I used to live a charmed life. Doggy treats, extended walks, human-bed cuddles. The whole sha-bang. Hungry for a treat? All I’d have to do was batt my eyes, wag my tail, maybe throw in a little “sit”, and BOOM. Treat in my mouth. I didn’t care about strange noises or stranger danger. Why would I? I wasn’t a guard dog, I was a freakin’ pet. I was livin’ the life, my friends. Little did I know, it would all come to a screaching halt.

My mom started to get really fat. I didn’t know what was going on, and I wasn’t going to judge, cause hey, I didn’t want to sound like an ungrateful bitch. She just got fatter and fatter, until one day she came home with this freaky looking mini-human. Suddenly it was “shhhh no bark!” and “you take her for a walk, I’m nursing the baby”. WTF. Who was this mini-person taking over my family?

The thing got bigger, and I have to admit, she kinda grew on me. Lots of snuggles and kisses, and she seemed to like me despite my resentment. OK I thought, I can share my parents with her. For now.

Then my mommy got fat again. This time I was no dummy, I knew what was coming. BOOM. 9 months later, yep, another mini-human freak baby. In. My. House. Another one? I knew I was going to be chopped liver. Third on the list.

The boy’s starting to grow on me too, and I have to admit, I get a tinge of satisfaction when he grabs my ear and gets reprimanded by the parental unit. Better him than me right?

I’m adjusting, taking it day by day. I know they still love me but things will never be like they were in the beginning. I still live a happy life, but I have to work for the attention I used to have all to myself. It’s a dog’s life.

And those kids? I love them, but how would you feel if people dressed their kids up like you for Halloween?

Totally. Humiliating.

Label Me This

Growing up, I went through many phases, but the labels didn’t really come into fruition until my high school years. In grade 8, I was labeled as an “immature geek”, dressing in matching outfits with my bestie at the time, wearing braces, coveralls, hair scrunchies and lacy ankle socks. Instead of chasing boys and stealing kisses, I was having sleepovers, watching girly movies, and sleeping with stuffies.

Grades 9 and 10 were my rebellious years. I would say I was labeled as a “trouble maker”, dressing in oversized torn jeans, short tight tops, wearing dark lipstick (I still remember the name of the colour I wore, it was “Toasted New York”). I wore steel-toed army boots and hung out in the parking lot with the skaters and the skids. I smoked, I swore, and I challenged authority.
In grades 11 and 12 I toned it down a bit, and my label shifted to “class clown”, cracking jokes, gabbing, giggling and passing silly notes in class. Talking loudly, studying seldomly, trying to get a rise out of my teachers and an applause out of my peers.
When I think about the phases I went through in my teen years, I realize that although I was the same person all the way through, I allowed my insecurities to control me, I became a follower because I wanted to be “accepted”.
I’m a confident woman now, I’m happy with the person I am perceived to be, and I am even happier with the person I actually am on the inside. My insecurities have disolved, and have been replaced with confidence. Confidence in who I am, and confidence in the way others perceive me to be.
My children are still a bit young to be defined by labels. I hope that I can teach them how to love who they are, to be themselves, and not to follow the lead of others who want to influence them negatively.
It is the ignorant people who choose to label, to judge people on how they dress or act. Through the years, I have worn a variety of labels, but I was and always will be the same person on the inside.
“You see us as you want to see us…  In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain… …and an athlete……and a basket case……a princess……and a criminal…Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”
What was your label in high school?