Thursday, January 03, 2008

Here we go....

My new site is up and running. There are a few little things to update here and there, so don't be surprised if you see a few things change slowly. I have copied the last few posts over, so your comments will remain here for those ones but the posts are there.

Before you head over, I would like to thank Christina over at Red Dirt Road. She was so kind to assist me, ok, set the whole thing up for me. I cannot thank her enough. Although I can get the hang of things computer-wise after a bit, the thought of moving my blog to an entirely new format was a little daunting. My biggest fear of course being that I would lose everything I had ever written. Be sure to drop by and let her know what an awesome job she did.

So without further ado, I would like to introduce the all new "Life is Good... At the Beach". Hope to see you all at the new beach.


Monday, December 31, 2007

"Another Year Over...

...and a New One Just Begun." (John Lennon - can't think of the name of the song).

As I sit here on New Years Eve, trying to catch up on my blogging. I look back on this past year and realize it was a pretty great one.

After two years of dreaming of another baby, Apple made her appearance and has been a joy for pretty much ever minute she has been here (I can't totally erase her screaming in the car that is pretty much over at this point).

J has grown up and started school. Which he loves and can't wait to get back to. He learned to skate and swim this past year and has also started gymnastics. He is a regular athlete and I hope we can continue to encourage him.

Hubby continues to be a great Husband and surprises and amazes me often. He is talented and gifted and I don't talk of him often enough but, he is the rock in our family and to him I am grateful and love him more everyday.

My family was together again for the holidays. Every year with each additional child, it truly amazes me that we can still get together. Next year won't be much different as my eldest Sister is adding another baby this May (not sure if I mentioned this, as natural pregnancies amongst my Sisters still hurts, but alas it is true another boy will be added to the clan). And Opa was here for Christmas which has been wonderful in itself. Poor J will be shocked in a few days when it is just Apple and I at his disposal.

My youngest Sister headed back Stateside yesterday and not without adventure. Her connection in Chicago was cancelled, so she was put up for the night and given some meal vouchers. Only to arrive for her flight this morning which was overbooked. Being single and not in a rush she accepted the 'first class' tickets home tonight as well as a round trip 'first class' voucher anywhere in the continental US. And additional meal vouchers. Essentially she got three flights for the price of one as she received a voucher on her way here when her flight was delayed and missed her connection and now on her way home. I tell you, you don't get that kind of service from Canadian Airlines.

My eldest Sister heads home tomorrow to Regina. We had a wonderful visit which included our first ever real sleepover here. It was a total blast and J can't wait to have more of them in the future.

And Opa is here until Thursday. Which will round up the visiting and leave our house very quiet. I have about a months worth of cleaning, sorting and organizing so January won't be too boring.

Gah! My quick New Years post turned into a novel. Not the first time that has happened so let me wrap this up.

Wishing all my wonderful readers a fabulous New Year. I look forward to the excitement 2008 brings as much as I look forward to getting back to my regular blog reading. It has been hard for me not to pick up my computer at every spare moment, but I just have had too much on the go.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A BeachMama Christmas

A Belated Very Merry Christmas to all my readers. The holidays have been very hectic here chez Beachmama, but I assure you the New Year will bring us back to our regularly scheduled programming. In addition to getting back to posting I look forward to the long awaited release of my new site. It is this close (see finger pinching) to launch I was just too busy to finish up the last few things I have to do before going live.

Santa was a huge hit here. He ate all the cookies, took the carrots for the reindeer and left a lovely letter for J who listened intently when it was read to him. He had a few questions like, "the elves didn't make the Lego did they, they just bought them at the store?" My quick response was that toy factories had elves working there to help Santa out.

Having Opa here with us was wonderful. We don't get the opportunity often enough to share holidays with him, so it was truly a wonderful Christmas morning.

Onward to the evening. I just had to share some of my favourites from the evening of my first ever Christmas dinner. I decided last minute to let everyone serve themselves as I did not leave room on the table for the dishes and the meat platter alone is 10lbs. Although making the dinner was a tad stressful due to a long breakfast in the morning, I will definitely offer again next year as the lack of stress on my Mom's face was worth it. The line up for food warmed my heart as there was no shortage in willing eaters here.
Here is a photo of my Sister's and my Mom. The two on the right (black and red dresses) are the ones in Regina and Charlotte, the one beside me lives here. Can you tell we are Sisters??
Here is my Christmas table, which I had to make longer with an additional table and the way our family is growing I will want to invest in a larger table at some point. This one is my Grandmother's from many moons ago. It folds up into a little side table if your space is small. Which was my dilema until we moved here. I do pull out the good china, I love using it and decorating the table. Opa and Dad are chatting it up down at the head of the table. They get along so well and we are very pleased about that as it makes holidays together much easier.And last of all little Apple. She did very well all through dinner swinging away in her Retro swing and fancy party dress. Even when it was time to go to bed she would hear Opa playing with her two littlest cousins and her eyes would pop open, but she was truly tired and finally gave up the ghost and fell asleep and went right on through until 2:30am, almost six hours two nights in a row, it was awesome for me.

I hope to post a little this week but fear that the chaos will still reign in BeachMama's house. I may just have to request a little alone time with me and my computer. Another week to go with a full house, could be a little tricky.

Thank you all for stopping by my little place by the beach. I have really enjoyed getting to know a few new readers this year and I am thankful for all of you that stop and leave notes to me. You all have truly helped to keep me sane this past year waiting for Apple to arrive and getting through the first little bit of school.

I look forward to what lays ahead in 2008!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Aftermath

Our streets have been cleared since I took this photo on Monday, but it is snowing again and well, I am not hopeful that the plow will come again. I am so thankful our truck is AWD. I never in my life thought I would need it or the snow tires, but even if it is only for this winter, it is so worth it.
The one good thing about the snow not ending is that there is not enough time for the snow to get dirty. Everything is beautiful, clean and white. But, man oh man it is cold today.
Opa arrived last night and the fun has yet to stop. J is happy as a clam and Apple has been giving him lots of smiles. We are thrilled to have him and if it weren't for the snow and cold we might have been able to convince him to stay longer. Note: they are playing in the new room!!! See my treadmill. How I love my treadmill :).

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snowed in Again.

Take note of the left swing...
The snow started around 6am this morning, but didn't get into high gear until the afternoon. I kept watching the swing in the back yard as it slowly got buried.

Note: buried swing...
My Sister and her family, thankfully, made it in Saturday night, they were delayed by two hours as the storm had already hit Toronto. But, with the storm today, we didn't get to see them. That and the fact that J has been fighting a fever for two days.
He had a break in his fever and we decided he should get some fresh air. He only lasted about five minutes but it was good for him to get out. I really hope that he is his old self tomorrow morning as he will be sad to miss gymnastics and his cousins again tomorrow.

And little Apple spent the day laughing at us all. I think she is the only one that wasn't affected by the snow storm. Being in lockdown here definately wasn't good for us big people, so much to do at this time of year. I think I used the time wisely, I got a few dozen cookies baked for Hubby's employees, finished J's hat that I was knitting and remembered to take photos all day of the snow.

I posted a few more photos on Flickr. Our tree decorating and the ornaments I received from Beanish. They are beautiful and look fabulous on the tree. I am having trouble getting a good photo of the tree as my flash is too bright and without it everything is jiggly, even with the broken tripod.

If it snows anymore we won't have anywhere to throw the snow from the laneway.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bullets to tie you over

So much going on and I have only had one hand free for what feels like two days.

Here is a brief bulleted list of how much fun we have been having. Photos will follow in a day or two:
  • Room number two is ready in the basement and after a summer of construction and a month of drywall dust we moved into it on Sunday. It is supposed to be the workout room, but will temporarily be the family room. Can I say how much I love having a finished room in the basement for J to play? He loves it too!
  • My ornament from the Ornament Exchange over at An Island Life arrived and it is oh so gorgeous. I say it but I should say they. I took a photo of them on the table but they really should be shown off on the tree, which will be here in minutes and decorated tomorrow night, so stay tuned.
  • Cookies are feverishly being baked.
  • Knitting needles are being worked at every odd moment.
  • And the sewing machine is still in use.
  • Wrapping needs to start as J is starting to open odd closets and asking questions about bags.
  • Big Sis and her kidlets arrive on Saturday and Opa arrives on Tuesday. The holidays are upon us!


Friday, December 07, 2007

Yes, BeachMama, there is a Santa Clause

This morning I am thinking of Virginia O'Hanlon and her letter to Santa.

Yesterday, we had our visit with Santa and it was great. J really truly believes this year and it may just be the only year. We waited our turn and by the time we got to Santa J was so nervous he started saying "I don't think this is such a good idea". So I told him we just needed a photo for Opa and that he didn't even have to talk to Santa. He wanted Apple to go with him and thankfully she woke up for it. You can see the results of the photo below. Not the best one, but alas we still have a photo for the book.
This particular Santa was fantastic. So much so, that I want to go back and Thank him again for being so great. After the photo was done, he took some time to talk to J and make him feel comfortable. Despite the line up behind us. When I expressed my concern over waiting people he just said, " That's ok, that is part of getting to see me, waiting in line". By the time we left, J was so happy that Santa took the time to talk to him, he practically danced his way through the mall for the rest of our shopping trip. I love Santa.

Growing up my parents made it very clear from an early age that there was no Santa. I don't even know for sure if we ever sat on Santa's lap. It was part of being a Christian for my parents, either you believed in Jesus or Santa and that was it. But, my older Sister and I secretly hoped and believed that Santa was real. We would still leave cookies out, we would still wait up in hopes of seeing him. We believed in the spirit of Santa.

Today, I still believe.

Yes folks, I BeachMama, still believe in Santa.

There I said it. I know that a real person does not come down my gas fireplace chimney and leave gifts made by elves. I know that because I do all the work. But, I still believe in the spirit of Santa. I believe that there is a little Santa in all of us and when I tell J the story of Baby Jesus and that we are celebrating his birthday, I also tell him the story of St. Nicolas and how he left gifts for children who didn't have anything. I tell him that Santa will leave a few gifts and that other family members will leave some too, just like the Wise Men brought gifts for the new Baby. I want my son to love the idea of Santa and to look back and remember that he did believe even if it was for just a few years.

We are going to my younger Sister's house today and her son, J2, does not believe. And goes around telling other children that Santa does not exist. I had to have a discussion with J today about this and let him know that we all have different beliefs. Hubby says that if they argue about it I should just leave. But, I told J not to talk about Santa to J2. I feel sad for my little nephew because he will not have the same joy that a lot of other children have about Santa. I only hope that the kids in his class don't go home crying because he keeps telling them that there is no Santa.

Do you believe?