Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Post Valentine's

I meant to get this up a lot sooner, but we've been bogged down with the "Boyd Family Winter Cold 2013".  We've been pretty lucky considering, barely a cough all season, but what started out as a Tuesday afternoon sniffle, ended up as a full blown head cold by the weekend and because my boy is practicing his sharing skills the cold quickly got passed on.

We are over the worst of it for the most part, but the Valentine post suffered as a consequence.  I am writing one up anyway regardless of the fact that nearly a week has passed, because by God this is my second favorite holiday of the year and I am going to write about it come hell or head cold!

That, and we had a really great Valentine's Day so it deserves a post.

There was heart shaped toast and bacon for breakfast.

Heart shaped cake and chocolate dipped strawberries at dessert.

Mr. Boyd got a hunk out of it before I could get a picture!

An impromptu sugar cookie decorating party in between, which I decided to do again at the last minute because it was so much fun to do it last year. Then I regretted it briefly when I remembered what happens when you put out bowls of colourful candies in front of three year old's, only to be glad to have endured the sugar highs because the end result was so beautiful and colorful.

Husband and I offered Jake dinner early and put him to bed before whipping up an easy meal to enjoy privately after wards. Sometimes eating alone together at our own kitchen table is just as romantic as going out for dinner. There was wine and candle light and chocolate cake for dessert, then it was off to the living room with a plate of chocolate covered strawberry's and an episode of Homeland, season one.
A very romantic evening if I do say so myself.


On a side note, Jake's Valentine's for his friends this year consisted of cardboard cut our hearts he decorated and colored by himself that I glued to paper doilies and attached to string to hang as Valentine ornaments. As well as a few rocks he gathered at our local beach and painted himself. I wrote Valentine's notes on them when they dried, and voila - Valentine Rocks. I stole the idea from my sister, of course. It was an idea she had a few years back for her then 3 year old. Her idea this year was beyond me unfortunately.

Anyway, there it is. Our Valentine's day which was followed by a few straight days of being sick. But it wasn't all bad, we did after all manage to get out for our first ever double decker bus ride so who can really complain.

I hope you all had a great day celebrating love last week.

Love, Valentina

Monday, 11 February 2013

Meet Alby

The newest member of the Boyd family entered our lives at about 11:45 this morning. He might just be a little Betta fish to you, but he is a big deal to this family since he is our very first family pet. There was a great deal of research and time and annoying the guy at the pet store with my million and one questions before we finally decided that yes, we could manage a fish and provide him with a happy home while introducing Jake to the wonderful world of pet ownership. So far, Jake is doing an exemplary job in his new role as Alby's care taker. Just this evening alone he came out of his room about a dozen times to "say good night to Alby", he reminded me at the dinner table that the man at the pet store said Alby needs water so he can hide in it, he stood guard over his bowl most of the afternoon, and announced that Alby was his best friend.

My husband and I both grew up with pets, mostly cats, but there were a few fish, hamsters, guinea pigs and an iguana thrown in there over the years (okay the iguana belonged to Uncle Jon, but a family pet is a family pet). Despite the extra work and cost a pet brings into a family there is so many more vastly positive aspects to having an animal in the home. Firstly, it teaches love. Love, love, love, and move love. Of course children love their parents, siblings (sort of), and grandparents, but it is so different from the over whelming, all consuming love for a pet. I swear I have cried harder over the loss of my cats than I have over a great many other things in my life. There were back yard burials, and black dress codes, memorials. Pets become such an integral part of childhood once you have one. The confidant who never talks back, never annoys you, depends on you, loves you unconditionally, some one to love who doesn't judge, hurt or betray you. My cats brought me much joy over the course of my childhood, and I have fond memories of smuggling them into my bed at night, sobbing into their fur when I was sad about something, petting them until we were both lulled into a happy and comfortable trance on the couch. Same goes for my husband, and over all we are fairly sure that a cat will be introduced into Jake's life and into our home one day down the road.


But for now there is Alby, and while there will be no smuggling the fish into bed (although I am sure Jake would try) there is already a bond forming. It warms my heart when I see my boy tiptoe over to the fish bowl and whisper secrets to his new pal, he sticks his face so close to the bowl the heat from his breath fogs it as he says so softly in his sweet-little-boy voice "good night Alby". My boy is learning more about love, how to take care of something, something uniquely his that depends on him for care and for life. It's a good lesson, and important relationship, and while I might regret this day once I have cleaned Alby's bowl out for the hundredth time with no help from my three year old, I still believe that pets and all that go with them are an exceptional part of childhood.

So welcome Alby, we are so happy you are here.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Sisterhood of the Purple Pants

My sister and her family came to stay with us over the holidays.  It felt so good to be close to her again. Since moving to our new Island home the thing I have probably missed most is being able to walk across a lane to get to my sister and her kids, and it's been the most conflicting feeling I've had since moving to our new home. I love it here, and it feels so right and natural to live here now.  I walk around our new neighbourhood, into the shops, to the parks, the rec centres, in and out of neighbouring cul-de-sacs, and feel so incredibly grateful to finally call this home. It was the right move for me and my family, I know that. But those feelings of rightness and contentment don't exempt me from missing my family, and in particular my sister and her kids. As much as I know that the living arrangement we had couldn't last, I have happy memories of the short time it did. I also know that it is harder for her with her two kids and husband to make the trek over to see us, so I was supremely grateful and happy when they arrived, kids, SUV, suitcases and all, at our front door last Christmas. 

The great thing about siblings, or at least my siblings, is that we fall into our easy familiar way of being together instantly and seamlessly. For three short days it was like nothing ever changed. Comfortable and comforting - what family should be.

Needless to say having my sister here reminded me once again how pathetic my current wardrobe is, and when she walked out of her room one morning wearing super stylish bright purple skinny jeans like she was born in them all I could think to say was "I want some of those." That very afternoon, bless her, she walked through the front door carrying a bag with an identical pair of bright purple skinny jeans just for me!

"They fit tight so I got you a size bigger." she warned.

Well, "fit tight" was the understatement of the year, and I soon found myself lying down on my bed pulling purple jeans up over my legs and hips with a force that caused a light sweat to break out on my brow. Nothing to make you feel like you shouldn't have had that second helping of Christmas turkey like a size too big pair of jeans that you can't get on.

I am not exactly sure when the skinny jean/leggings fad re-entered our lives, but it did. And now I am hard pressed to find any other kind of pant to wear. I have to admit, they look good once you squeeze yourself into them. Add a cute suede ankle boot or over priced leather riding boots and you can set the town on fire. Still, I can just see Jake looking at photos of his mama twenty years from now with vague disgust, making some nearly rude comment about how we could have ever been caught dead in such clothes. Butt tight, bright purple, skinny jeans? come on Mom!

I hate to think of what fashion statement is coming to replace the skinny jean and jegging, but sure as I know that there are three pairs of skinny jeans in my closet right now do I also know something even more challenging will be right behind it - and without doubt my sister will be convincing me that I'll need a pair. 

"You'll break them in" she told me confidently that afternoon as I came shuffling stiffly out of my bedroom in my new jeans. Well, sista' these hips don't lie, and over a month later I still do the little breathe deep and hop around dance to get those puppies on. But on they get, several times a week in fact, and despite it all I love love love my purple jeans, especially because wearing them reminds me of my sister, across the big open ocean that separates us, who just might be wearing her purple jeans too.

Post script: no photo to attach to this post as every single one I took of myself wearing the aforementioned pants looked completely ridiculous and staged - I'm still perfecting the whole hold-out-camera-in-front-of-mirror-and-snap self portrait idea, but I promise, purple skinny jean photo will appear one day soon.