Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eagle Lake Weekend

Downtown Haliburton: Notice snowmobiles
 This past weekend Geoff, Mira and I loaded up the van and headed north. My Dad is renting a place in Eagle Lake, 15 minutes outside of Haliburton. He is renting it for work while he still owns his house in Ancaster. It's the perfect little setting for my father who is an avid skier, snow shoe-er, cross country skier and hiker. He loves the outdoors and so having a cozy little cottage in the middle of the forest is perfect for him.

Geoff and I decided that a weekend away to let Mira do some skiing would be perfect and it was perfect, despite a few little hiccups.

We left Thursday night after Mira's soccer game and it's a good 3 1/2 hour trip up there. About halfway through the drive, Mira started complaining of a sore stomach. I figured it was all the timbits that she had on the way up there. Sure enough, however, as soon as we opened up the van doors on my Dad's driveway, all of those timbits made another visit. She was sick. The night was spent up with Mira as she threw up and threw up and threw up. The stomach bug had officially hit our family.
Mira taking in some new skills on the slope
 By morning, Mira was in much better spirits, although still tired. I spent Friday snuggled in our cozy cabin watching movies while Geoff went off to work with my Dad.
Friday night we went into Haliburton to see the sights. The snow had fallen and now it appeared to be easier to get around on a snowmobile than in car. Especially in our minivan, which we were hoping to not have to buy winter tires for this season!

We visited the McKeck's restaurant, which was cool for hockey fanatic Geoff.

Saturday morning we got up and dropped Mira off at the Sir Sams ski hill so she could do some private ski lessons. She was so excited to ski since her first time doing it last year at Blue Mountain. Despite still being lethargic (she hadn't eaten a whole lot either since Thursday night) thanks to her stomach flu, she put on a brave face and smiled the whole lesson.

Saturday night we had a nice night in, enjoying movies and the fireplace. I then went to bed, to be attacked by the stomach bug that had plagued Mira on Thursday night. I was up all night. The poor little guy in my tummy was not impressed with Mommy barfing I'm sure.
M enjoying hot chocolate at the Sir Sams chalet

Dad's ceaser/appetizer/salad. Ha ha.

We spent lots of time catching up on family stuff, touring the area looking at potential investment properties, dreaming of the day when I can ski again (next winter), soaking up the sun in the Sir Sams chalet, enjoying hot chocolate and the Muskoka Brewery cream ale (Geoff mainly) and walking Austin in the chest deep snow. What a fantastic weekend! Although both Mira and I had our dealings with the flu, it certainly didn't damper our family weekend away! The plans are already in the works for another trip!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day

Today is Family day. For everyone else, it's a statutory holiday. For Geoff and I, it's a regular day at work. Our employer doesn't observe this holiday. So, I took the day off to spend it with Mira. I don't know why they couldn't choose to have the holiday during the nice part of the year (ie, summer) but it is nice to have a holiday when you need it most. Mid-winter is a time of year when people tend to fall into a funk and need a day off work to spend some time with their spouse and children.

Mira and I have a big trip planned today.....to the local McDonald's. I am not a fan of McDonald's (except their coffee) overall. I do, however, have a love of their indoor playground. Mira shares this love of course.

I have never been a big fan of their food to begin with. Up until recently, they didn't seem to care too much about the quality of food that they were serving. They are starting to offer some healthier options which is much appreciated. The other thing that I don't like is Mira's seeming obsession with it. Every time we drive by the golden arches, she's talking about McDonald's. I know this is because her father takes her there quite often. She really does go on and on about this place. We, unfortunately, have a McDonald's on a corner near our house and we have to pass it if we are going anywhere. For a place I'm not a fan of (again, except their amazing coffee in the morning!) she really is a McDonald's pusher. It has caused some arguments here and there and a few timeouts. That's why I don't like it. Period.

So, today, for the 2nd in time in about 5 years, I have agreed to take Mira to this seemingly magical place that puts magic spells on 5 year olds. She has been excited about this trip since Friday and the only thing I"m looking forward to is a) enjoying their coffe and b) having Mira burn off some steam in there while I get to catch up with a buddy of mine. Should be a pretty good afternoon!

So, wherever you spend your Family Day, have a good one!! The sun is shining and Mira is in an excellent mood. The golden arches are calling...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Geoff's 40th in Boston

 For Geoff's 40th birthday, I wanted to do something pretty cool and I really wanted his 40th to include his closest friends and family. I had a few thoughts come to mind, including a weekend in Boston.

Nothing makes a birthday party more awesome than a) having friends and family there and b) making it a surprise. Starting in August, the planning started.

I was grateful that all of Geoff's closest friends and family were more than willing to travel to Boston via every mode of transportation (train, plane, automobile) to be with Geoff for this weekend.

The weekend started with Jay, Brenna, Geoff and I flying down to Boston together via jetBlue on Friday morning. Jay and Brenna were Geoff's first surprise! We got into Boston for 9:20am, leaving us with most of the day to enjoy as a foursome until the big surprise dinner at Cheers pub on Beacon Hill. All of 23 of us Canadians surprised Geoff with our own little party in the back room of Cheers. Having our own private bar was a huge asset to this crowd! Geoff's brother and sister-in-law Graham and Shanna even made the drive from Nova Scotia to join in the fun!

Saturday we all went to the TD Garden to take in a Boston Bruins hockey game. Bruins beat the Nashville Predators in overtime and a shootout which made it that much more fun for us! It was pretty cool seeing a Bruins game, especially since I've been such a big Bruins fan for so many years and had yet to see a game. 
Saturday night, we all hit up the Union Oyster House, where we again got our own private room. We took in traditional Bostonian fare of lobster and a variety of other types of seafood. Downstairs in the restaurant was a fun little bar that we took over after our dinner.

It was the final night of fun for most as all but 8 of us were leaving Sunday morning to return home. Geoff, Sue, Chris, Jay, Brenna, Shanna, Graham and myself all stayed until Monday.

The Sunday we took in Fenway Park. It figured that this was the day where we experienced extreme cold and wind. It was brutal. Maneuvering a city like Boston in this cold is torture at times. The wind seems to travel in every single direction. No matter which direction you walked, your face was blasted with frigid air. This was a day where we appreciated cabs.  Sunday night, our remaining 8 enjoyed dinner at Bertucci's, which is a pizza/pasta place near Quincy market. It was a low key night following the 2 nights prior. 
 Fenway Park was awesome for Geoff as he is a Boston Red Sox fan. We got some Red Sox gear for our little boy as I'm sure Geoff will be making him a fan as well ;)

Monday, we hit up a cute little breakfast place called The Paramount. This little breakfast nook served delicious food in a cafeteria style. I fell in love with their cinnamon-cranberry oatmeal. It was also located in the middle of the Beacon Hill district which is just beautiful. Old cobblestone streets and little shops just made it so quaint and beautiful.
We loved strolling the streets and shopping in all the little boutiques. There were the neatest little chocolate shops and kids stores. On Monday we also did Macy's, the Boston Harbour and we also did Quincy Market again.

There is still so much to do in Boston, which we'll save for warmer weather. Geoff and I are just so grateful that our friends and family were so willing to sacrifice time (and money) to come and share this weekend with us in such a neat city. It isn't so much about where you travel to, but who you travel with, and that was proven this weekend. Fun was had by all and Geoff, a person who truly deserves a special weekend, was touched by the support and love of his friends and family.
 The weekend ended with Jay, Brenna, Geoff and I having to kill almost 3 hours in the Boston airport. Our flight was delayed on the way home due to some mechanical problem on ANOTHER aircraft (they made this part very clear) and we ended up in Buffalo at nearly 10pm and home well after that.

It was a tiring weekend but one that was spent with a great group of people. The stress of having to keep the weekend a secret is over and we have a ton of good memories :) Thanks to everyone who was part of this weekend.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seeing the Positive

I was reading through an old blog entry of my friend Maryanne. This blog entry was from almost exactly a year ago. Funnily enough, it was the last blog entry that she had written. She is the type of girl who likes to take the occasional hiatus from interneting. Yes, the word "interneting" is likely made up but I find it quite appropriate. Those of you who use the internet as a source of entertainment know what I'm talking about. Just like "googling" something with the Google search engine.

Back to my friend. In her last post, she wrote about her relationship with her husband and all of the things that she is constantly working on to keep her long marriage with her husband strong and mutually supportive and fun. It's hard work! Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that every day that relationship needs attention, nuturing and maintenance. You leave it too long and it may not be there when you get back.

Whenever I read these insightful and admirable blog entries, I always think of Geoff and I and where are our strengths lie. Yes, there are always things to improve on and ways we can each get better, but why not focus on the positive instead? Realizing the positives just give you more incentive to improve and work harder. At least that's my philosophy.

Geoff and I know how to spend 24/7 together. Literally. We work together (10 hours a day), we commute together (another 2 hours), we live together. We often play together but we do have our quality time with our own friends and our own interests, which helps to keep us strong individuals.

We have battled some pretty tough times, but we always know how to support one another when the times get tough. Determining the success of a relationship doesn't happen during the good times, it happens when you encounter the worst of times.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Little Girl Going to Be a Big Sister

Mira's drawing of my body. Baby brother top right.
 I love my daughter to pieces. I would hope that most parents would say that about their child(ren). I love my daughter more than I had ever imagined that I could love someone.

The one difficult thing for me to grasp during this pregnancy has been the concept of loving another baby as much as I love Mira. I have known my little Mira for over 5 years and I love every little thing about her.

I love that she's considerate and expresses how she is feeling without hesitation. It's the beauty of kids. Raw. Honest. Transparent.

Mira is loving. She wants to marry me. She wants to marry Geoff. She wants to marry her little unborn brother. I have explained that family members can't marry one another time and time again and although that concept has been lost to my 5 year old lovebug, she does understand the concept of loving someone so much that you choose to marry them. Devote your life to them. Pretty strong stuff.

I have been worried about my darling Mira and how she will adapt to being a big sister. Finding out we were having a little boy was a bit of a shock to her as it appears she had visions of sharing her childhood with another little girl. The first couple of days after finding out we were going to have a son, we were comforting a Mira who was suddenly uncertain about this whole big sister gig. She was suddenly very clingy and needy. My independent child was suddenly dependent. She wanted to sleep with us at night (for the first time in years) and even cried about it.

As much as I wanted to panic and protect her, I chose to involve her and give her some space from baby. Now, talking about the baby will only happen on her terms. And funny enough, it worked. I'm not sure if it was her feeling her little brother kick for the first time that did it, but she decided that being a big sister was very cool. She donated almost 1/4 of her books to her brother.

She drew a picture of me while at school (pictured above). In it is my body. Inside my body, there is the food I ate (circles), the water I drank (squiggly line), my heart (the red heart) and her baby brother. All the way up there in the top right with spikey hair and he appears to have one giant eye or is wearing a pair of fetal sunglasses. I love my daughter. I love her for embracing this new role instead of shying away from it. I love my daughter for the massive size of her heart and her capacity to adapt and love everyone in her family unconditionally.