Thursday, May 17, 2018

This Thursday

What does a day off for this working mom look like? It starts off with swimming lessons.

Three weeks in and Josie went through the whole class smiling and Thomas only cried for the first ten minutes. It's amazing how far these kids have come in only a few weeks.

After swimming Mark dropped me and the kids off and I spent an hour preparing lunch, emptying the dishwasher, doing my makeup, and getting Gatsby ready for his vet appointment.

Then it was vet time! Poor Gatsby hasn't been himself the past week so we thought we should get him checked out.

"Everything's gonna be okay Gatsby"

Fortunately the vet clinic was very kid friendly and Josie and Thomas kept busy while Gatsby was seen by the doctor. Turns out he has a fever and the vet suspects an infection. He received an anti-inflammatory injection, and we were sent home with a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drops, a deworming treatment, and a couple cans of calorie-dense recovery food.

We finished just in time to take Gatsby home and try giving him his first dose of antibiotic. And then it was time for Josie's long-anticipated kindergarten classroom tour and bus ride!

Comfortable with the idea of school you think?
When the children were invited to go down the hallway to see the classroom, Josie was out the door without even saying goodbye. While some other kids cried and hung onto their parents. 

Baby brother offering support
(a teacher offered him a nametag)

You can see Josie thought her classroom was GREAT

Bus time! We were debriefed on some safety rules before boarding.

Thomas was thrilled that he was invited on the bus too!

We enjoyed a 20 minute bus ride all over town. Highlights included going down a really steep hill, bumping over railroad tracks, and Josie's squeals and giggles making a dozen people laugh themselves. 

Big steps, little girl

We're so proud of you Josie!

Josie's words: "but I don't want to go home. I want to go back to school and learn math"
Our daughter.

After the orientation we had snacks and Thomas went down for his nap while I did a solid hour of dishes (yup, we were behind on that) and then Josie and I worked on a craft. We ate dinner, then played chalk outside with the neighbours before taking an evening stroll to get Gatsby some treats to facilitate medication giving (success!).

That was this Thursday! Good night!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Josie at Three and a Half

Three and a half. 

the hashtag says it all #genius

In the six months since turning three our toddler has blossomed into a capable and imaginative preschooler. I wasn't sure what to expect in this "threenager" phase, but I'm pretty sure Mark and I won the lottery with our firstborn. Now we can't say if this luck will continue for the second half of three, or better yet thirteen, but we're basking in it for now (when we're not immediately occupied by her two-year-old brother who is throwing a temper tantrum because we won't let him wear his dirty Blue Jays bib). 

I'm sleeping upside down like this bat!
That's actually my little stuffed bat Stellaluna that I got from a Scholastic book order back in the 90s. I must've held onto it knowing I would have a wonderful daughter to pass it on to. 

Morning routines

Josie begins each day eager to pick out an outfit and dress herself. Her jeans may have been on backwards yesterday, but overall she's getting pretty good at it. She uses the potty (no potty seat anymore because "I'm a big girl") and brushes her teeth all by herself. We sometimes do a check and make sure she's brushed every tooth twice.

Josie-isms at Three and a Half

I have an Idea!
Whenever any sort of sharing of food is involved (donut, sandwich): I want the biggest piece. Is this the biggest piece?
I'm a big girl now. I don't need to take a nap. I will stay downstairs with you.
After running up to me and hugging my leg: I love hugging you.
Tell me about tomorrow. Our bedtime ritual after a story of laying close to each other and discussing the day ahead.

School bound

Our girl is getting ready to start Kindergarten in the fall and is in love with the idea of school. She's attended two our of her three orientation sessions in complete awe, and talks about going to school on a daily basis. We've gotten her a lunchbox and I've showed her pinterest pages of lunch packing ideas (mind. blown.).

Best Big Sister

Josie loves her two year old brother and is ever so patient with him. She doesn't even get discouraged when she acts generous to him and he turns her down.

Generous and Thoughtful of Others

When we were getting ready to visit my parents in Mississauga, Josie ran up the stairs and came down holding a red shirt and red tights because "Babcia's favourite colour is red so I'm going to wear red to see Babcia today."
When we were out for Thomas's birthday and my mom was trying to get Thomas's attention for a photo, she said "Thomas, can I have some ice cream?"
Next thing we hear is Josie saying "you can have some of my ice cream Babcia!"

I need to hit publish already as this post has been pending for weeks and this girl keeps doing wonderful things! Three and a half looks good on you little girl.

And that's a portrait of our three and a half year old!

A Place to Build Our Future

Earlier this year marked five years since we moved to this small town. Well, five years since I started my job and got an apartment while Mark was still finishing school in Toronto.

Five years: before kids and before this blog even started!

Having lived in Toronto for three years leading up to our move here, we were accustomed to city life which had a ton of lovely aspects (I'd love to summarize those in another post!) but it was crowded, hectic at times, and not always personable. Mark and I had never lived in a small town so moving here was a completely new experience for our (then) family of two.

First day in our first place
(we were still paying rent for our place in Toronto for three months while Mark finished school so a carload of necessities would have to do before we got a moving truck)

 My bedroom, complete with a blow-up mattress

Keys to our apartment!

The first time Mark and I ever visited this town was when we were viewing our potential townhouse rental. We drove past the town sign displaying its very small population (less than 20 000), and stopped at a grocery store to grab some sandwiches. In line the cashier cheerfully rang our items through and welcomed us, adding "you're new here, right?" She guessed we were from the city because we "looked like we were in a rush." She added that she and her husband had moved here from the city five years prior and it was the best decision they made. A nice welcome!

Another nice welcome on my first day of work!

This time of year makes my heart sing: fresh asparagus and eggs, farmed right in our area

The furthest from city life. 

When we got our first newspaper, I was amazed to see the front page of the paper to feature a firefighter's visit to a grade one classroom, and page five to feature a story about a raccoon on school grounds. Ah, small town life! It wasn't long before we became so integrated in this wonderful community that we would recognize friends at every town event, fair, and shop we visited. 

from a fun photoshoot back in 2013

Our town is friendly and just lovely for raising our small family. Where we live is so accessible that we prefer to walk to get to 75% of our daily shopping, errand running, playgrounds, and even a water park. And if we have to drive, anywhere in town is five minutes away. Kids' programs are accessible and family life just feels accepted and supported. We've made so many friends here and are making even more within our parent network as Josie heads off to start school in the fall.

We love our small town. It's a place where a police roadblock is most likely to let a family of geese cross the road. It's a place where I've witnessed our delivery man getting out of his truck to bring in recycle bins from the curb to drop in a neighbour's amazon treasures. It's a place where our family goes for a walk only to randomly hear the Mayor call out "well it wouldn't be Family Day without the Dicksons!"

We're extremely thankful for this small town and how it's given us a place to build our future!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Five on Friday


Spring is finally here! Today was a day of putting away winter clothes, taking out the sunscreen, and tidying the yard. The days are fast becoming vibrant and we are LOVING it!


It's hard to believe that mere hours after that first picture was taken, the view from our backyard was this:

Yes, that's a trampoline that was once in a different neighbour's yard across the street from our house. It was blown out of their yard, across a road, and clear over another neighbour's garage before landing in their backyard. Fortunately everyone was safely indoors during the high winds this afternoon and nothing else was damaged including our car parked on the road. But wow! We talked to our neighbours and there's not even a way for them to get the trampoline out without disassembling it.


Turns out my first time baking cookies with both kids wasn't a total disaster! We made some coconut chocolate chip cookies (recipe given to me by my coworker) that turned out delicious.


I don't cook as often as I'd like, but when I do I always have company in the kitchen.


When you want to nap, and your preschooler needs to nap, and the only way to accomplish both is to play sleepover in her trundle bed. 

Have a sunny weekend!

Swimming, Swimming, in the Swimming Pool pt 2

Do you remember when Josie started Guppy swimming lessons? Well fast forward one and a half years and it's Thomas's turn!

Thomas had lots of fun in his parent and tot swim sessions. The above photo is from our last class together!

Dickson Family Swim Team 2018

The drop off went exactly as we expected... as well as the first two thirds of the class

Poor Josie wasn't too keen about having a new teacher!

 Twenty minutes of crying later and they were happy as little fish!

 We got so lucky that Guppy and Preschool 3 are at the same time!

Yes Thomas, your shirt says it all: when's lunch?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Thomas's Second Birthday Party

Thomas had a rockin' Paw Patrol birthday party last weekend. Without further ado, here are the pictures.

Thank you to all who came out to celebrate with us!