Lost and Found

Years ago, when I worked in downtown Toronto for a large financial institution, I used to commute. Before I got married, that commute was about an hour by train, and after I got married and moved just north of the city, that commute was about cut in half. No matter how long I was on that GO Train, my saving grace was my iPod.

I could drown out the sounds of people talking; the sniffling and other gross bodily noises that I didn’t want to hear, and it helped me to relax. I put it away after having the Little Bird, as I certainly didn’t need an iPod on my maternity leave. And then we moved from my in-law’s house to our own, and well, I haven’t seen it since.

I lost my job as my first mat leave was coming to an end, and then found a job much closer to home, so I haven’t taken public transportation ever since.

Yesterday, I was going through a drawer in my hall credenza and guess what I found!?

My beloved iPod!

It made me so happy. After I charged it, I tried connecting it to my computer, but sadly, I had to restore it, which meant I would lose all my old music.

I decided to see if there was another way save the music, so I called iTunes support. I laughed when hearing the automated options and realized that my iPod wasn’t one of them. I spoke to a nice lady who needed my serial number in order to even know what device I was trying to call about. And then she told me that my device’s AppleCare warranty had expired some two-thousand-plus-days ago!

I laughed and told her I didn’t need repair, I just needed help to sync it. So she walked me through it, confirming I would probably lose my old stuff, since I didn’t have that account anymore. So sadly, I synced it, said goodbye to the collection I once had.

iPod

My new collection (if that’s what you want to call it) looked sad with six songs, so thought I’d buy a couple things that I know the kids liked, and maybe we could play it in the car. So I downloaded Omi’s Cheerleader, Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again and last week’s Music Monday song from Major Lazer. I also found a couple of full albums, including British boy band The Vamps (a band they play on Family Channel all the time, that the girls seem to like) and Taylor Swift’s 1989.

The only tunes for me so far, are a few of Ricky Martin’s newer English songs that weren’t on his latest album. But I’ll continue working on my collection, and get it back to what it once was.

Until then, happy Monday! Here’s Bad Blood, one of the latest songs the kids like to belt out from the back seat!

Welcome back to my life, iPod. It’s good to have you back.

Music Monday: Lean On

Summer is meant for rolling the car windows down, and pumping the tunes. My kids love it when we put the music up and drive, wind flowing through their hair. It’s cute to watch.

The Little Bird loves when a “mix” is on the radio, when the DJ does a set of songs that blend into each other, or are mixed together. I’ll admit, I love a good mix and mash-up, but the Little Mouse gets frustrated if she can’t hear the whole song.

Especially if it’s a song that she likes.

Lately, they all have an opinion of what they like, what we should like and what song gets the coveted “put it louder” request.

Lately, from the moment this is the song we’re all humming. Even the Little Mouse knows the words to Major Lazer & DJ Snake’s Lean On (Feat. MØ), and with its catchy beat and colourful video, it gets the “put it louder” treatment in my car.

Happy Monday!

Life’s speed track

Life has thrown a few curve balls in the last little while, and as I am trying to find my footing and navigate my way through it, I feel the need to apologize for not being present on my own blog.

I’ll spare you the details, but I have come to realize that I can’t do it all. Something has to give, and unfortunately, it’s this little space of mine that lost the battle of prioritization. Life’s speed track is a lot faster than I anticipated.

But I’m back and hopefully will be able to fit it all in. Have patience with me, followers. I have not forgotten about you, and there is always a story nagging my brain to get out.

What’s been going on with me?

A lot.

My journey to a health me

I’m down 23.4 pounds! I’m happy about that. I have officially changed my lifestyle, and stopped snacking after dinner. Now, we’re on operation find the time to workout more. Which is easier said, than done.

Grade 1 and Orange Belts

[insert tears here]

The Little Bird has come such a long way and I’m so proud of her. As grade 1 comes to an end, she has learned to problem solve and express herself in a calm and clear way and is blossoming into a young lady. I’m not ready for it, but it’s happening.

She makes faces on the ‘little kid rides’ at Canada’s Wonderland, preferring to go on the Ghoster Coaster, or The Rage (the big boat). But she has to keep her little sister company sometimes, so she goes on and her only way to protest it is to keep a straight face. No screaming, no laughing and no hands up in the air!

I think it’s adorable.

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Showing off her new orange belt!

She also worked really hard in karate and has recently earned her orange belt! She is pretty proud of herself, as she should be, and is expressing a renewed interest in going to the classes. With this new rank, she is able to participate in the sparring classes, complete with full gear, and she loved her first class, taking on a boy a little bigger than herself, she punched and even took him down. (In the regulated and safe way the students learn to do.

I love seeing the smile on her face when she knows she nailed the move correctly!

Keep it up!

The Little Bird graduated daycare.

[insert more tears here]

She shared her life dreams of becoming a teacher, expressed how she’ll miss her friends and teachers and is ready to have a real summer vacation like her sister. She was adorable singing her songs with her friends, and getting her diploma.

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The beautiful backdrop and stage all set for the daycare’s class of 2015

The time is ticking by and she’ll be headed into JK come September. I know she’s very excited and looking forward to it. I’m happy that she’ll have a friend that she’ll know, as it will make things easier with a familiar face.

She is smart and sassy and definitely a kid who knows what she wants, so I’m curious to see how she’ll transition.

Way to go!

Pass the tissues

I’m a crier. And not the town kind. The sniffling, sobbing, wailing and mascara-running kind.

Those who know me are shaking their head, as this is not a revelation of any kind. But it’s something that I’ve now accepted.

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Two sisters, hanging out and talking in the backyard

I know I’m going to cry when I see my Little Bird stand up in front of the whole school and do her reading during an assembly, because I’m so proud of her. I’m going to cry when I watch a slide show of pictures of the silly kids at play at daycare, seeing the Little Mouse in action. I even tear up sometimes when I watch them playing together in the backyard!

I cry.

A lot.

I remember growing up and making light of the tears my grandmother shed when she hugged us goodbye after a visit. I mean, we would be back the following week, so why was she crying.

But she did.

And now I do the exact same thing.

And I’m no longer apologizing for it. I just wipe my face, and smile away at my beautiful kids, who inspire, surprise and keep me on my toes every day.

Don’t Laugh at Me

During the Little Mouse’s graduation, the kids sang a few songs about kindergarten and You’ve got a friend in me from the Toy Story soundtrack. One of her teachers said that they had focused on bullying a while ago and read a book called Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin. This anti-bullying book taught tolerance and explains that everyone is different, but nobody deserves to be laughed at.

The kids sang it and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

I am compelled to share this video with you, and hope you share it with the kids in your life. It’s beautiful and a message that we still need to teach, even in today’s day and age.

So get your tissues ready…especially if you are a crier like me.

You’ve been warned.

Cheerleader: Music Monday

It’s a balmy 11°C in the GTA today, and I’m wearing a long sleeves and a sweater.

And it’s June 1st.

So I’m thinking warm thoughts and thought I’d play what I think will be the song of the summer, OMI’s Cheerleader.

It’s one of the songs that everyone loves when it comes on the radio lately, and it’s pretty catchy. Now if only we can actually get to the warm weather in Southern Ontario, the kind of warm weather that stays put, I think we’d all be in a better mood!

Happy Monday!

Lifetime friend

What do you get when you cross two young girls, who have opposite tastes in everything from boys to music, but who find common ground in their wacky sense of humour, love of nail polish, note passing and all things sparkly? A friendship like no other!

Shar is one of my best friends and has been for the past twenty-eight years. Sure, we’ve had our bumps in the road, but in the end, I know she’s always there for me, and I hope she knows the same of me.

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Random pics from grade 8 & high school

We met in grade 8, when she was new to the school I just started two years earlier. She dressed different than I did, mostly in black, but loved to read and write and we quickly connected. We banked endless hours hanging out at each other’s houses, listening to music, talking about boys and laughing.

In high school, not much changed. She introduced me to Doc Martins, and I introduced her to Debbie Gibson! There were many times where we ventured downtown, to go shopping on Queen Street and I loved the adventures! She was definitely braver than I was, although I was happy to go along for the ride.

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Random pics from high school and prom.

After high school, as she went to master dental hygiene, I went off to Humber College. The weekends were made for the clubs and we had many adventures and memorable nights, including the time she bought lemon gin, proceeded to lose all my ID and get us kicked out of a club, which resulted in me having to call my parents to pick us up! I’m sure she only remembers what I’ve said about that night, but I can laugh about it now.

It wasn’t so funny at the time.

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Random pics of nights out with the girls, on our way to the clubs and in Montreal for New Year’s Eve.

There was a period of time (four years, I think) where we didn’t speak and ended up missing out on a lot of each other’s life. But then one day my mom called to say I got a wedding invitation in the mail. She was getting married!

I called her and was happy to reconnect. While we fell quickly into our old routine, I hated myself a bit for not being around for so long. She understood why and we’ve put that behind us.

She’s a letter writer from way back, so I’m grateful that she thought of our friendship enough to reach out to me, to invite me to her wedding and to move forward. I still have many of the letters she’s sent me over the years and cherish each one.

I have been there for the struggles and the laughs, for the birth of her two beautiful kids and for her amicable divorce. She is so strong and brave, never backing down and always standing up for what she believes in.

Shar is a survivor! When she told us the news that she had thyroid cancer, she didn’t bat an eyelash when she said she would beat it. I remember talking to her after her radiation treatment, as she was “sweating it out” while walking around downtown Toronto.

She doesn’t take anything for granted, and lives each moment to the fullest. Always wanting the best for everyone, I am so happy that she could be a part of my wedding day! It meant so much to have her there.

She’s been there for all of the big moments in my life; including the birth of my two kids and she always has words of encouragement and good advice to share.

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Pics from our thirties, including girls nights out and my Shar and my bridesmaids.

We used to joke when we were younger that she was a true Gemini, hot and cold with her moods, sometimes shifting with the wind, often it depended on the personalities that were clashing with her patience. But as I write that, it’s one of the quirks that make me love her more.

We’ve club hopped, danced on tables, cruised the Mediterranean sea and survived New Year’s Eve in Montreal together. We’ve supported each other through high school crushes, friendships gone bad and bad fashion choices. I remember being in a change room beside her, trying on clothes and both of us would leave empty handed, because neither of us could find our size (where were on opposite ends of the scale).

A generous spirit, she’s always doing little things to show her love, whether it’s a note, a lip gloss or favourite dessert, she has this knack of knowing what you like and surprising you with it. She does the same thing to my kids, and surprises them, which is no wonder why they love her.

She’s a wonderful mother, and that is reflected in her kids, both of who are polite and patient and a role model for my kids. My kids love them too, and often ask to go over to play with them, even though they are quite older.

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Shar, Shar & DK

She’s been through a lot, and I can honestly say that I’m so proud of her. While I may always be weary of anyone new in her life, I’m happy to see that she is in a good place. She’s met an amazing man, who makes her million dollar smile shine and fills her heart. She deserves no less than that every single day.

Shar is truly are one-of-a-kind. Her friendship means the world to me, as does her generous heart and wacked sense of humour. I am grateful we are where we are today both in our lives and in our friendship. There are too many memories to speak of, and know that I am so happy that we didn’t grow up in the age of cell phones and Facebook, so those memories will remain just that! While we didn’t always have a camera to capture the good times, know that I cherish the annual Christmas sleepovers, our trips to the Reference Library, prom, LA Hollywood and Paparazzi, London (Ontario), Montreal, and Portugal. I am grateful she knows me the way that she does, calls me on my bullsh!t, and loves me despite my imperfections.

She’s the type of friend that is already in the battle, with her dukes up. Even if she doesn’t know what the battle is about, she’s there to support me. I hope she knows that I would do the same, no matter what.

I wish you a wonderful birthday and hope all your dreams come true!

Love you lots, my friend.

Guilty as Sin: Music Monday

I love this track!

There is a clean and regular (read: dirty) version to this song, and today I’ve chosen to share the clean edit.

And while it’s not a tune to listen to with kids around, it is Victoria Day here in Canada, so whatever celebrations you have planned today, enjoy!

Is there a new artist you think I should listen to? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Happy Monday!

Getting closer

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We’re getting closer.

Closer to the day when we take the Little Mouse out of daycare for the last time and say goodbye to the teachers and friends she’s been surrounded by since she was a year old. Closer to the day when we buy her a new uniform, a new lunchbox and she starts Junior Kindergarten.

Excuse me while I am conflicted between joy and sorrow!

Joy as she’s growing up, starting a new journey in her life.

Joy as mommy and daddy only have one drop off and pick up location!

Joy as the kids will be together in one place. While the Little Mouse will be in a separate playground until she’s in grade 1, it gives me comfort knowing that the Little Bird will be close by.

Joy because before and after care for two kids won’t cost as much as daycare for one kid.

{sigh}

And then there’s the sorrow part. You know, that part where my eyes well-up with tears knowing that she’s not a baby anymore. She’s going to “big school” and will become more independent.

Last week we attended the JK information night at the school and while the numbers are down, there will be a full class and a small class. I don’t know if our family will get lucky twice in a row, but I’m secretly hoping for the small class again.

The Little Bird did well with fewer numbers. She was heard and seen and while there will be a teacher and an ECE teacher in the bigger class, I loved the 15-1 ratio.

Whatever happens, happens. She already goes in at a bit of an advantage, as she is familiar with some of the staff at the Before and After School program. They all know and like her and already do their best to include her in snack and activities when she tags along for pick-up – and she doesn’t even go there yet! She also has a few friends, one from daycare and a couple other she has met that are siblings of the Little Bird’s friends. So there will be some friendly faces.

We went in completely blind with the Little Bird.

It doesn’t mean I won’t cry. Because we all know that’ll happen for sure. But it does mean that I’m more comfortable this time around.

She’s going to be great.

I just can’t believe the time is almost here!