Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family Vacation: Dominican Republic Style

Punta Cana
Lyndsey, Mark, Abigail & Oliver
We had the fun excuse of my sister LeeAnna's wedding in Punta Cana to have a family vacation. Four tickets, four passports, three suitcases, three carry-ons, two carseats, two children, two adults and one layover away from sandy white beaches, warm Caribbean ocean waters, unlimited pina coloda's and hot sunny weather.

After a short overnight layover in Hamilton, Ontario. We left Canada and headed south to the Dominican Republic. Thanks to West Jet we were happily reunited with Abi's blanket & carry-on containing all her forms of entertainment prior to take off (we accidentally left on the previous plane). 

Abi and Oliver travelled so well. Abi watched movies on the iPad and Oliver sat happily in my lap. Thank you Buzz lightyear, Nemo and Sully. And while we thought they might sleep during the flights (so we could nap) luck would not have it. 


 We arrived in Punta Cana Sunday afternoon. The airport was a large grass hut beside a long runway. Stepping off the plane was like walking into a sauna. The heat and humidity hit us like a brick. Unfortunately we learned the hard way to carry small bills. After we cleared customs, we were waiting by the baggage claim and a man grabbed our luggage and helped us to the shuttle. After loading it on to the bus, he held out his hand and stated "$10." Mark handed him a twenty and asked for change. The man disappeared never to return. A short bus ride later and we arrived at the Majestic Elegance Resort. 

We had a great time swimming in the pools, playing in the ocean waves, building sand castles, making mermaids, drinking Majestics, going for walks, napping, eating french fries and chocolate cake, hanging with friends and family, picking flowers, scuba diving and searching for lizards all on island time.  

On Thursday Nov 10, 2011 my sister LeeAnna Steedman was married to Dave Hough. We were so happy to celebrate your special day and see you start your journey as husband and wife. LeeAnna you were a stunning bride and Dave a very handsome groom. Abi was an adorable flower girl and did a great job walking down the isle and entertaining us all during the reception. We laughed, we cried, we ate, we danced we made new friends & grew our family. Congratulations Dave & LeeAnna! 
(Pictures of the wedding to come)

Sad to leave, but ready to go we headed home the following Saturday. As they called us to board the plane Mark lifted Oliver off my lap only to discover he had a huge blow out in my lap. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, we we able to board our plane in the nick of time. Oliver wearing clean pajamas and me cloaked in a airport gift shop blanket. Oh the adventures of travelling with kids. We safely landed in Montreal and had the best layover. Airport Sheraton you we amazing. I'm not sure if it was the hot steamy shower, crisp clean sheets, comfy bed and pillows, room service panini & arugula salad or the the fact that we just came from a 3rd world country, but Oh Canada how we missed you!  

Majestic Elegance Lobby Bar

Punta Cana you were good for us. You gave us a fun family vacation, memories, a new member of our family (Welcome Dave) and most importantly an appreciation for all that we have and where we live. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quilt Project!

Every time I sew a project, my love for sewing is renewed. 
And this little blanket was no exception. 
I had fun fabric shopping, creating, cutting, clipping, learning new and better techniques, sewing, seam-ripping, sewing and more sewing.

Dear Baby Boy,
 I hope you enjoy snuggling in this quilt as much as I enjoyed sewing it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 

Why did the chicken cross the road? To go trick-or-treating of course! 
Well this happy little chicken didn't actually cross the street, he stayed nice and warm inside and helped his mommy hand out treats to all the ghouls and goblins.

And this is the sweetest little cupcake this side of the boarder. 
She had a blast running from house to house with Hunter and Marshall across the street, around the cul-de-sac and back home again, jig-gity-jig! 

 I think her favourite part was staying up late,
 eating a handful of goodies and handing out candy! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things I've learned from being a Mom

1. How to love selflessly
2. Sleep is over-rated (or so I tell myself)
3. The amount of laundry doubles exponentially with each new family member
4. Sunlight Laundry Bars are like magic erasers for baby poop (and almost any other child-related stain)
5. My children's laughter is like instant sunshine
6. Lunch ideas are the hardest to come up with
7. Eating while your dinner is still hot is a small miracle
8. Kids thrive on routine
9. Baby Tylenol and Advil are my friends
10. Long, hot, un-interupted showers are a luxury
11. Six pretzels will fit into a DVD player
12. A googley eye up the nose translates into a ER visit for extraction
13. My kids feelings are worth more than a broken plate or vase
14. Being a mom is a privilege
15. Marshmallows and fishy crackers are like crack for children
16. Your toddler will repeat everything you say, especially the things you don't want them too
17. Nap time is a small piece of heaven
18. My Toddler knows how to use the iPad better than me (and sometimes has to help me).
19. I hurt when they hurt
20. Only buy noisy toys with off switches
21. Motherhood requires patiences, patiences and more patiences
22. It's important to take time for myself
23. Finger prints on the fridge don't bother me anymore
24. My best accomplishments are the births of my sweet babies
25. Mom's don't get sick days.
26. Some of the most exciting events include learning the ABC's and counting to ten
27. My house only stays clean while the children (and husband) are sleeping
28. My kids want my time, not a million toys to collect dust
29. Having your toddler "help" takes three times as long but teaches them to work
30. I'm not above bribery
31. Sometimes I have to be brave for my kids when really I'm super scared
32. They grow up way too fast
33. You have to pick and choose your battles
34. It's okay to feed your kids breakfast for all 3 meals of the day
35. The sharpest, pokiest toys always end up on the stairs
36. My favourite word in the world is "mommy"
37. I laugh every day
38. Being organized is the key to successful outings, and even then, it's still a gamble
39. I miss being around my kids the instant I put them to sleep
40. Only buy washable crayons, because you will inevitably be washing it off the walls
41. Kids are more clever than you think
42. Baby-proofing your house is an ongoing endeavour
43. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my kids
44. The best way to get playdough out of the carpet is time and a vacuum
45. Mommy hugs & kisses fix everything
46. 9-1-1 seems to be an easy number for a toddler to dial
47. No matter how hard I try to keep track of the sippy cup of the day, finding one full of soured chunky milk seems to be a weekly occurrence
48. My kids help me see the magic, wonder and beauty in the world every day
49. Little smiles and giggles make my heart melt
50. Apparently cows go moo, puppies go ruff-ruff and mommy goes "ROAR"
51. Forgiveness is unconditional and permanent
52. Sometimes you need a bandaid even when you're not bleeding
53. Leaving a lidless 10 kg container full of flour on the floor for "just a minute" is an instant recipe for disaster
54. Singing the snowman song, in july, in the middle of ikea, is perfectly acceptable
55. It's okay to cry
56. Socks and shoes are optional, clothes are not.
57. Prayers are always heard and answered. Even if its just a prayer said by a little girl to find "sammy" in the dark.
58. It can be hard to let go
59. What might work this time, probably won't work the next time
60. Never skip bath-time or brushing your teeth
61. Your kids will always behave better for others
62. You say "when I'm a parent I'll never..." AND then you become a parent and do
63. Stickers are the bee's knees
64. Picking your nose is innate
65. It's okay to color outside of the lines
66. A picture only really captures a fraction of how cute your kids are
67. I didn't really know what unconditional love was till I became a mommy

Abi and Oliver you are a true joy. I love you to pieces!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oliver's Blessing

On Sunday September 25, 2011 we blessed Oliver West Leary at the Cranston Chapel surrounded by friends and family. Mark had the opportunity to bless Oliver surrounded by Grandpa George Leary, Grandpa Dewayne Steedman, Uncle Timothy Steedman, Jared Murray and Carter Bishop. 

Following Sacrament Meeting we had a lovely family brunch with all of Oliver's Grandparents, Cousins, Uncles and Aunts (who live in Calgary) at Grandma and Grandpa Leary's! Thank you to all who made our handsome little man Oliver's day so special.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh Abi!

Oh Abi, how you keep me on my toes and this past week has been no exception. I left Abi unattended for 3 minutes while I went to the bathroom. She was playing with crayons, stickers and a piece of paper. I returned just in time to hear her say "mommy, sticker eye, nose," which translated to an emergency room visit and the ER doctor extracting a googly eye out of her right nare. She was so sad and worried that it was "stuck" and burst into tears on and off all the way to the hospital. I explained to her that the doctor would get it out and that everything would be okay. She sat so perfectly still while the doctor stuck the forceps up her little nose. And she was so happy to finally have the googly eye out.

This isn't the first time that Abi has stuck something up her nose. Just a few short weeks ago we were driving home and Abi said to Mark "daddy pony" while pointing to her nose. We thought nothing of it and assumed she had seen an animal and was calling it a pony. She sneezed multiple times and then fell asleep. When we got home we transferred her to her bed for a nap. Shortly after she woke up from a nap she burst into tears, pointed to her nose and said "pony." And then it clicked. We call elastics for her hair "ponies." Sure enough when I looked up her nose there it was a "pony." With a little luck and a pair of tweezers we got the "pony."

Today I was changing Oliver's diaper when Abi discovered the pantry door had been left open. As I finished I heard a tiny little voice say "Mommy, Abi stuck." And boy was she ever! I found Abi sitting on the top shelf of the pantry 6 ft up in the junk food basket looking for a treat.

This is just a glimpse into a day in the life of my little Leary, Abigail. Abi you sure keep me hopping, but oh how I love you!

Monday, September 5, 2011

All about me...

I started this blog months ago (maybe a year) and this is my first post. I thought a blog would be a good way to journal all of life's little moments and perhaps a few big moments. But first I'd like to tell you a bit about us, just a little leary...

Mark is my handsome husband and best friend. We've known each other since we were 13 and have been happily married since 2003. Mark is a kind person and a genuine soul. He loves life and does thoughtful things for others. He sees the best in people and always gives others the benefit of the doubt. He's patient and calm/mellow (two qualities that I lack and it seems to balance "us" out). He plays hard, works hard and laughs hard. He's handy, he knows how to build all sorts of things and has the ability to fix things (and does it happily while I say "are you sure you know how to do that?"). We work well together, we compliment each other. But best of all he loves me and our beautiful children. He is a loving father who loves to laugh and play (in other words he's just a big kid). He's my knight in shining armour without a white horse. I love you.

Abigail is a happy little girl who's just a little adventurous. She's so happy & curious and is rarely found without a smile. There is little she isn't willing to try (with the exception of food) or little she isn't willing to climb or jump off. Some days I ask her if she's crazy, she scrunches her nose, turns her head to the side and says "no" with a huge mischievous smile.  I often hear her say "run mommy" or "roar mommy" which means chase me around the kitchen island, or "two, three, two, three" followed by a thunderous THUMP! Only to look up and see she's jumped off the top of the couch and belly flopped on the ground. She thinks everything is hot and must touch it with her finger to ensure your telling the truth that her carrot sticks or grapes are indeed NOT hot. She's brave, she's vibrant, she's happy, she's smart, she's beautiful, she's kind and I'm lucky to be her momma. I love you bug.

Oliver is the newest little person to join our family. And although he's only weeks old I already see a little personality. He loves to be held and loves to cuddle (something Abi won't hold still for). Part of this may be due to the fact that when he is put down and I turn my head he's attacked by an over loving sister with bear hugs and piranha kisses. He always seems to have a furrowed brow and be deep in thought pondering the deep mysteries of the universe. I think he's an old soul. I feel like I've known him my whole life and can't imagine life without him. Prince Oliver I love you.

At last theres me... Lyndsey. What do you say about yourself? .....

This is now Mark. I stole the computer from Lyndsey, I can't let you go with out really knowing about her. With out going into to much detail Lyndsey is one of the most wonderful person you will ever meet. I am incredibly lucky to have her in my life. I couldn't ask for a better wife, and Abi and Oliver couldn't ask for a better mother. She is beautiful, smart, and giving. Full of random facts, that somehow always end up being incredibly useful. She has an impeccable attention to detail (or in other words she's OCD, but I love that about her). She's talented in ways she doesn't even realize. She makes our house a home. She has an amazing spirit that will comfort you in your darkest hour. I love her with all of my heart, and I would be a wreck without her.