The Rest of the Summer (So Far)

Bella and Pearl – summer beach buddies

As August quickly approaches its end, we’ve started to look ahead to the fall in our household. Peter’s work schedule changes to its more regular hours in a couple weeks and so the rhythm of our days will revert back to its more ordinary flow. In the meantime, we are enjoying our last days of summer. It’s been a good one.

Beach Pearl

We’ve spent as much time as we can at the beach, whether it’s the one near our house or slightly further afield. We’re fortunate to live in a land of beaches, though most of them tend to be pretty rocky. This summer we’ve definitely had our favourites and have tried to take advantage of low tides where hidden sand bars are revealed. Pearl is not much for ocean swimming yet (she’ll wade) but she’s enjoyed splashing around, building castles, and searching for crabs.

Some dear friends of ours came to visit and we loved being able to host them. These are friends we’ve had since before Peter and I were married and we’ve watched each other get engaged, celebrated weddings together, and welcomed each others children. Pearl falls right in between their two boys age-wise and in previous visits, the kids haven’t interacted much. This time, they quickly became friends and it was wonderful to watch our friendship continue into the next generation.

Klein Lake

After our friends left, we headed up to Pender Harbour for a short camping stint. One night is a good amount of time for us at this stage of our lives so we opted to try out Klein Lake, a place neither of us had visited before. It was the perfect spot for camping with a two year old – quiet and right by the lake. We brought up our rowboat and Pearl loved “rowing”. If you ask her about camping now she’ll tell you that she slept in a tent, ate noodles, and that mum fell on the dock. All true.

Pearl’s first Pirate Pak

We made a quick trip to Vancouver to visit with family (fun!) and go to Ikea (less fun!). The older Pearl gets the more fun she has with her older cousins. She works hard to keep up with them. She also got to enjoy her first ever Pirate Pak. For those not from BC, this is a childhood classic. Basically, the kids menu at a restaurant chain here comes in these pirate boats and you can only order them until you’re ten. We’ve just begun needing to order Pearl her own meal at restaurants so our days of dining out as a family are limited.

Courtesy of her older cousins, Pearl came home with this balance bike. She loves it and is so good at racing around on it already. I love it because it’s turned out to be a great way to get her to the park and back at a decent pace. (We’ve only had to abandon it halfway in the midst of a temper tantrum once so far!)

Seven years!

Peter and I recently celebrated seven years of marriage and we were able to take a night away, just the two of us. (Thank the Lord for grandparents!) This was actually the first time we’ve both been away together since Pearl was born. We didn’t go far – a night at the Ruby Lake Resort in Pender Harbour – but it was so good to get away, just the two of us. We also had an amazing meal at the Italian restaurant there and spent time the next day swimming and canoeing on the lake. I’m so thankful that after seven years of marriage (and ten years together total) we still really like spending time together.

Canoe on Ruby Lake

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Canada Day 2017

This year Canada celebrated 150 years of existing as Canada. We are obviously a young country and we would do well to remember that culture existed and people lived on this land for many, many years before European settlers arrived. In 150 years, we as a nation have made a great many mistakes and we are still working to fix and atone many of them. At the same time, I think we live in a nation worth celebrating. In all the upheaval of our world, there are a lot of things that Canada is doing right and I’m proud to be a Canadian and feel privileged to live in a land like ours.

Canada Day is a big deal in our little town and we love going to the parade each year. (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012) This was Pearl’s third Canada Day experience and her most enjoyable. She was really engaged with what was happening and has been talking about some of the sights she saw ever since.

The parade always starts with kids on bikes that they’ve decorated themselves. I kept telling Peter that next year he’d be there, running alongside Pearl!

Then come the classic cars. We have a lot of retired folk in our community and that seems to translate into a lot of classic cars. As soon as the weather gets good, they all come out for the summer.

Then the veterans, pipers, cadets, and others in uniform. (Mounties too, of course!)

Pearl waved her flags and cried, “Yay Canada!”

This “tiny horse” with a flag on it was a big hit.

As was this bear that wore pants and a hat but no shirt. (Pearl and I recently encountered a bear in our neighbourhood so we’ve had a lot of conversations recently about the two bears that she’s seen.)

Of course there were lumberjacks.

Happy Canada Day! (Or whatever other national holiday you may be celebrating this month!)

Life in June

June is coming to a hectic end and we are heading full force into July without a break in sight. But the sun is shining and Peter’s work schedule will (eventually) slow down so June is also getting really good. We spent a good portion of this past weekend at the beach, including a Saturday dinner picnic. Pearl loved playing in the sand and the creek and trying to find tiny crabs. Here are a few pictures from our life lately:

Our hikes (or “forest walks”, as Pearl calls them) often look like this when we have Bella around. Bella runs ahead and off the trail, Pearl runs after her, yelling, “Bewwa! Come!” Bella does not often listen.

The tricycle we found at a thrift store in Washington is a big hit. Pearl is now tall enough so that her feet can reach the pedals. Bike riding is limited to the carport/driveway currently but we have big plans to one day bike to the park.

“Pearl help!” is something I hear a lot. And while it would definitely be faster for me to empty the dishwasher myself (and the cutlery would get into the correct spots), I remind myself that we are (hopefully) instilling good habits. Plus, she’s such a cheerful and eager helper!

We are currently spending a lot of time in our backyard and in this little pool.

No one can say Pearl doesn’t know how to relax.

I decided to let go of keeping the play dough colours separate. It still makes me cringe when she mashes them all into one giant ball, but it also means I can let her play by herself and get something else done and that’s worth it to me in the long run.

We are currently making our lists of goals and dreams and projects for the summer. No big plans but lots of fun and friends and sunshine ahead, I hope.

Summer 2016…and some other news

Now that we’re well on our way into September and heading steadily towards autumn, I think I can just squeak in a bit of a summer re-cap.

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It was a perfectly normal, low-key, Coastal summer for us. The Sunshine Coast is one of the best places on Earth to spend the summer. It’s what we all tell ourselves as we live through the rainy, grey days of fall, winter, and (let’s be honest) most of spring.

Peter and I were both fortunate enough to be able to work part-time for the summer and so we did our best to balance work and family time, trading off to take care of Pearl while spending time all together too.

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There were lots of hikes and lots of beach time. We went camping with Pearl for the first time at the end of June. (You can read about that fun here.)

It went well enough that we tried it again in August, this time with two other families. These friends of ours also have little girls younger than Pearl. The older Pearl gets the more thankful I am to have friends in this stage of life. There have been many shared walks and talks in recent months and we had a blast camping together. (And no judgement about going to bed early!)

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On that camping trip, Pearl got to experience a canoe for the first time. For the first ten minutes she screamed about the unnatural horror of floating on water and then settled down and enjoyed herself. Peter also took her out on a paddle board for the first time.

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I opted for a more solo paddle-boarding experience.

On August 21st, Peter and I celebrated six years of marriage with a ferry ride and a fancy dinner out, just the two of us.

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And we topped our summer off with a visit from family where Pearl got seriously loved on from her big cousins. As she grows, it’s so fun to watch her interactions with these guys.

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Pearl is now 18 months. She has strong opinions and strong affections. She doesn’t say much yet but she can run and climb like nobody’s business. This summer we’ve really seen her imagination develop. She pretends with her stuffed animal friends and often seems to be making up her own little games.

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Like putting Big Bear in her high chair and feeding him crackers. She’s also excellent at sharing imaginary soups and making her stuffed animals give each other bunny kisses. She understands a lot of what we say and even if she doesn’t verbally respond yet, she makes her desires known and is getting pretty good at obeying simple instructions.

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But what’s really kept me busy this summer….

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That little rascal in the bottom left corner…

…and the little one who has made its presence known through fatigue and nausea all summer! (The real world, physical arrival will take place some time around March 10th in the new year and we couldn’t be more excited to see our family grow!)

Canada Day 2016

Some photo evidence of our excellent long weekend and Canada Day celebrations.

We, of course, attended the annual Sechelt Canada Day Parade. It's the social event of the year.

We, of course, attended the annual Sechelt Canada Day Parade. It’s the social event of the year.

A raccoon seemed like the most Canadian of Pearl's stuffed animals.

A raccoon seemed like the most Canadian of Pearl’s stuffed animals.

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It's not a Canadian parade without red serge.

It’s not a Canadian parade without red serge.

...and pipers.

…and pipers.

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The fly-over.

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A little Top Gun tribute – volleyball in jeans.

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Parades always end with emergency vehicles

Pearl looking patriotic. (She loved waving her flag.)

Pearl looking patriotic. (She loved waving her flag.)

Pearl tried to climb into the petting zoo enclosure. She really wanted to grab that pig.

Pearl tried to climb into the petting zoo enclosure. She really wanted to grab that pig.

She also loves swings.

She also loves swings.

Friday evening - Canada Day ended with dinner and drinks on the beach with friends

Friday evening – Canada Day ended with dinner and drinks on the beach with friends

Saturday at Tuwanek

Saturday at Tuwanek

Things That Happened Without the Internet

We moved! And it turned out that our new house had never had internet hooked up before. So we waited two weeks. They sent a guy. He needed a truck. We waited a week. Another guy showed up. And twenty days later we have internet.

Yet just as it did in the nineties, life exists without internet. Here are some of the things we did:

    • We moved! We’re now in our new house!
    • We enjoyed one last sunset in the boathouse.

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    • We finished renos on the new house! (Depending on how you look at it, we may or may not have finished said renos before we moved in. But they’re done now. Mostly.)
    • I cleaned a house. Then I moved and cleaned another house.
    • Pearl and I went on many long walks to explore our new neighbourhood.
    • Some of those walks were simply so she could nap away from renovations.
    • We also had some good backyard times.

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  • We found the quickest route to the corner store. Important.
  • We explored the local beaches and found the best spots for swimming. While we’re no longer right on the water, there are a couple of really nice beaches just five minutes away.
  • Peter took a week off work so that he could actually enjoy some of his summer.
  • We waited four hours at the ferry terminal! Pearl didn’t seem to mind too much.

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    • We spent a lake day with friends. Pearl did awesome, even taking a nap in our friends’ trailer. We took her swimming in the lake and she liked it a lot better than the ocean. After a gradual entrance, she was eventually clinging to a pool noodle and kicking her legs. (While one of us held her.)
    • We got burgers from our favourite joint and had a picnic at another lake.

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    • I fit into all of my pre-pregnancy pants! (There was one last pair that was holding out on me but they finally gave in.)
    • We went to Vancouver and visited family and got to introduce Pearl to some family for the first time.
    • I bought non-maternity clothing for the first time in over a year.
    • Pearl slept in her own room for the first time!
    • Pearl slept in her crib (not her bassinet) for the first time!
    • Pearl’s going through some sleep transitions so there were a couple of days that looked like this:

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  • (But things are getting better!)

Basically, we are having a terrific summer.

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