Time is Flying By!

Mar 24, 2015

I've really been slacking on updating this blog since our return from Florida last month.  Between taking care of a busy toddler, being 7 months pregnant, and my husband working out of town I've found it hard to find the energy to put together real sentences and to communicate like an adult.  Aaralee's bed time used to be the time in which I'd accomplish things, but these days I find myself watching the clock in anticipation for an hour that is acceptably late enough to go to sleep myself.
It's been a busy month around here! A couple of weekends ago, Ryan and I planned a trip to the mountains for the weekend.  I was so excited… until he informed me that he'd likely be working through the weekend.  Not wanting to sacrifice my weekend away, I invited my friend Carley to take Ryan's place.  We booked a hotel and planned for a girl's weekend away!  As luck would have it, Ryan ended up being free for the weekend after all, so we dropped off Aaralee at Grandma and Grandma's house and the 3 of us headed out for a grown up weekend away! Carley rarely visits the mountains, so we took her out and about to some of our favourite spots, stopping for frequent meal breaks. The weather was perfect, and so was the fact that we didn't have to stick to a toddler's schedule!  We still ended up in bed early each night, because let's face it… we aren't 18 anymore!  It was a quick but much appreciated little getaway.

On March 10, our little bitty baby turned one and a half, forcing me to accept the fact that she is most definitely a toddler.  I say this about every stage… but this age is so, so much fun!  She has become such a little person with a real personality.  She prefers to get everywhere by running as fast as she possibly can, and she is finally starting to chatter using real words. My personal favourite is "da-dew", meaning "thank you".  She is so polite (and confused) that she'll even thank you when she's the one giving YOU something. She is a whopping 21 pounds and not surprisingly, she still ranks somewhere around 10th percentile for height. Sorry about your genes, Shorty. Lately her favourite toy is her baby doll. She hauls her around the house and gives her kisses, leading me to delusional thoughts of how great of a big sister she will soon be.  I'm certain that's just my wishful thinking, but it's adorable nonetheless.

As far as Aaralee's baby sibling, he or she is brewing along nicely.  I'm 29 weeks pregnant and sporting a nice big beach ball!  Where is the time going?!  I'm excited and terrified as June draws near. I've been fortunate in that I haven't had to slow down too much yet, because I think that I'd go stir crazy just sitting around the house. I'm holding out for flip flop season to make my life much easier, as bending down to put my boots on isn't my favourite task these days.
Another big event happened this week… Ryan's birthday! Not just any birthday, but his 30th! I'm married to an old man.  In celebration of the big milestone, we got Grandma to babysit as we headed out for dinner and drinks with some of his friends and coworkers.  On his actual birthday, we indulged in KFC and cake with his family. He's been trying to convince me to order KFC for the entire course of our relationship, and it took me 6 years to finally agree.
In honour of such an important birthday, I took it upon myself to bake Ryan an amazing birthday cake. I failed to first take note of two things:  The first being that I am a terrible baker, and the second being my history of epic plans gone wrong.  I was confident that I could pull it off. Confident, and oh so wrong.  I attempted to make Ryan a cake that resembled his beloved green junker of a car.  My version of his Subaru looked as though our 18 month old daughter had hand crafted it, and I was embarrassed to share it with his family that evening.  Fortunately, my husband came home and told me that it was "just fine"… the proportions were just a bit off and it was a bit too wide.  "Easy fix", he promised me, taking a knife to the cake.  What resulted was an even more disastrous cake, complete with a slice removed from the middle and the passenger side crumbling.  In my pregnant, hormonal and completely irrational state, I did what seemed most logical… I burst into tears as I devoured the destroyed cake and ordered Ryan to go to Dairy Queen to buy a replacement.  With a delicious ice cream cake in the freezer, the birthday was saved and I vowed to never make a cake for my husband again.
With all of the happenings over the last few weeks life has been cruising by… yet going so slowly at the same time as I eagerly await the end of Lent. Like I've done in previous years, I've given up chocolate this Lent.  I know that I'm pregnant and typically a chocoholic and this all seems insane, but a  sacrifice is a sacrifice. I've watched my husband devour chocolate bars and I've been the only one turning down birthday cake at parties, but the end is near!  Aaralee is getting a fully stocked Easter basket that Mommy will conveniently help her consume.
That's about all that's new around these parts! As the days get longer and warmer I'm hopeful that we can enjoy the outdoor world with Aaralee a bit more before her little sibling arrives.  Bring on Spring!

Fun in Florida!

Mar 2, 2015

We are fresh back from vacation and I know what you are thinking... "ANOTHER trip?!" Well, yes. In case you don't remember, I once travelled the world for a living. Unlike sleep and sanity, longing for a nomadic lifestyle isn't something that just disappears when you become a mother.  In this family, we sacrifice fancy cars or nice clothing for the ability to explore this world. Besides, my doctor prescribed a vacation. Maybe not in those words exactly, but he did say without me making any mention of travel that "It's not too late to go somewhere!" Those words, combined with a stash of airline reward miles and a husband with downtime at work prompted us to book a last minute departure to Orlando.
Our goal was to fly to a warmer climate as far as our reward miles would take us. After much contemplation, Florida was the winning destination. It just so happened that Ryan's parents would also be there for those dates!
We left Saturday morning bright and early... Too early. These days it's hard to imagine that I used to wake up at such hours of day to go to work. At the airport, we tried to get as much energy out of our crazy toddler before our 4 hour flight to Houston. It worked, and she fell asleep from take off until about an hour and a half into the flight. The remainder of the flight went much as you'd expect things to go when traveling with a bored baby who wants to run but is confined to your lap. Needless to say, we were more than ready to land and let her run wild through the airport for a couple of hours. 

The flight to Orlando was better. Aaralee cuddled her daddy until she was fast asleep and stayed that way until it was time to get off of the plane. We'd finally arrived in Florida! It was off to our hotel where our baby was promptly scooped up by Grandma as we settled in.
Our first two days in Florida were spent where any sunny day should be spent... At the beach.
Ryan's parents had tickets to the Daytona 500 on Monday so while they headed to the race we followed suit and drove to Daytona Beach. We drove around the stadium as the race started, just in time to watch the fly over and for my husband to be able to say that he'd heard the cars. After that, it was onwards to the beach! The great thing about Daytona Beach is that you can drive your car right on the sand. We parked the car to dip our toes in the water, not expecting that our daughter would want much to do with it given our previous experiences. We were wrong. Despite the cold water and being fully dressed, she absolutely loved the water, the waves and the sand. She ran along the beach and splashed in all of her glory.

That was the deciding factor for the next day's itinerary.
We loaded up the car early in the day and drove to beautiful Cocoa Beach. We found a nice beach park where we played until Aaralee was good and tired, at which time Ryan and I put her into her stroller for a nap as we enjoyed some oceanfront dining in peace. After a bit more beach time and a stop at the famous "Ron Jon" surf shop we headed back to Orlando and straight to bed.

The first two days had been a whirlwind, so we opted to relax by the hotel pool the next day.  We got in a bit of swimming before getting rained out, at which point we headed for some outlet mall shopping. We left with bags full of children's clothing, both thankful and upset that we don't yet know the sex of our second child.  We finished the day off with Krispy Kreme donuts, a treat that I've longed for since I last had them in Maui 2 years ago. 

Wednesday was the greatest day of our trip. We went to Disneyworld! I won't say much else as I feel like it deserves a blog post of its very own... so stay tuned.

Thursday was our last full day in Florida. I put on a summer dress with the knowledge that it will be quite some time before I can do the same back home. Ryan's parents had just returned from a quick trip to Key West, so we dropped off Aaralee for some swimming pool time with them while we went out to enjoy a few baby-free hours to ourselves. We ventured to the Pinterest addict's paradise of Hobby Lobby, where I strolled down every aisle and left with a few fun purchases. Taking advantage of our lack of screaming child, we went for lunch at a nice sit down restaurant and slowly savoured every bite of food.  After a quick stop at Costco, we returned to the hotel to reunite with our baby and prepare for our last evening out.  I convinced Ryan that we should have dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, so we headed off to Downtown Disney Marketplace where we placed our name on the ridiculously long wait list.  Fortunately there was plenty to do while we waited, so we visited the shops and let Aaralee run and dance before it was finally time to eat.  We got back to the hotel late, packed our bags, and prepared for the long journey home the next day. 
Home day arrived and we made our way to the airport. Our original itinerary routed us through Cleveland and Chicago before our final flight home to Edmonton. It was not ideal, but such is life when traveling on reward miles.  After a discussion with the lady at the check in counters we managed to get on a direct flight to Chicago!  Aaralee slept most of the way there, and all in life was wonderful. We had 5 hours to kill before our flight home, but if you are going to be stuck in an airport all day, Chicago O'Hare is the place to be stuck. We had plenty of dining options, Chicago mix popcorn,  and an enclosed play area for Aaralee to run off some energy.

 We kept her up until it was time to board our flight, and things were looking promising. It was bed time and we were hopeful that she'd sleep the entire flight.  Everything went as planned, and she fell asleep during take off. Ryan held her across his lap and we felt like the luckiest parents in the world... and then,  an hour into the flight (thanks to her daddy's lingering cough) she woke up.  She wasn't screaming, but she wasn't happy unless I stood in the aisle holding her, so that's what I did. For 3 hours, I rocked her back and forth and walked up and down the aisle of the small aircraft.  I was exhausted, she was exhausted, and it was the longest 4 hour flight I've ever experienced.  I'd never been so relieved to land in cold, snowy, Edmonton.   Our days of flying with her on our laps were glorious and free, but I think that I'm ready to have her seated in her very own spot.  
Overall, it was a great trip and I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to go on one last getaway before we become a family of 4!