{Toddler Activity} Mess Free Dot Letters

While Marcus has his morning nap I usually use that time to do a little school work on some days with Lucas, and sometimes we craft.  I try to keep it as unstructured as possible for now since he's still so young and technically he's already doing the preschool work of a three year old.  Sometimes I'm feeling brave and we get messy, but since Marcus only sleeps for about 45 mins in the morning I don't want to deal with a big clean up before I have the two of them again running around and needing attention.

Lucas already knows his alphabet, both lower and upper case.  The next step is learning to write them out, and many of the preschool websites I use for work sheets and reference suggest doing dot letters to ease into writing.  Although we have dot markers, on days when I'm looking for a mess free learning activity I decided to use stickers instead.
I found this pack of garage labels at the dollar store so its super inexpensive.  Also they come in three different colours so it be used for a lesson in patterns as well.
I would call this a success and I will be doing this often with Lucas who loves stickers anyway.

This is really good fine motor skill practice as well.

I would love to hear of other mess free ideas for learning and teaching preschoolers. 



What's Up Wednesday

Joining Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for a new monthly Wednesday link up where we all catch up on some randoms going on in our crazy mommy lives.

What are we eating this week:

I'm not going to lie, the Hubby makes dinner a lot of evenings after he comes home from work.  Not because I don't like to cook, its the opposite actually, but because the hubby LOVES to cook.  Often I try to get dinner prepped during nap and then he cooks it when he gets home, or we cook together.  If its fish then its all me since he hates cooking that.  Some dishes I just like to cook on my own and the hubby won't touch cause he doesn't want to mess with my recipe.  This week I'm making my famous meatballs.  I use toast bread dipped in milk instead of bread crumbs which make them super moist,

What I'm reminiscing about:

With Mother's Day coming and us now being a family of four I've been thinking back to last year when I celebrated with just Lucas and how much life has changed in the last year already.

Look at that face.  That baby face.  I look at Lucas now and he's just seemed so grown up since becoming a big brother.  He communicates more.  He's helpful.  He is rambunctious.  He has the kindest soul. and he's everything I could have asked for in a son.  He originally gave me this amazing job in motherhood, and he will always be my first baby.

What I'm loving:
I don't know why but this was actually kind of hard to answer.  But the one big thing I guess that I'm absolutely loving is that Marcus started sleeping better.  I have a post scheduled for some of my woes in this department, but this week he seems to have turned a corner and well when baby sleeps better, mommy sleeps better and everyone is just a little happier. 

What we've been up to:

The weather has been honestly temperamental at best.  We actually had some sprinkling of snow last week.  So the last few days have been much milder, sunny but cool which is the best kind of weather for walks and trips to the park.  I try to get out as much as I can or else I fall into a rut of staying home too easily, so the nicer weather has really kicked my butt in gear; and Lucas especially loves to be outdoors. 

What I'm dreading:

Potty Training! Boo!  I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with diapers.  Changing two boys in diapers can get a little daunting at times but sometimes the ease of not having to deal with public restrooms and a toddler who has to touch everything (all the germs, oh the horror) is kind of appealing.  That being said I know its time to buckle down and get it done.  We've already for the last few months started introducing the idea of potty time but its not really sticking so I'm thinking the 3 day rule is going to take effect soon in this household.  I've blocked Victoria weekend to do it cause the hubby will be home for 3 days and can help with the baby while I deal with the pee and poop situation that will be the toddler.  I'm hoping some cool undies will entice him this time better than last did.

I mean look at that cute derriere in undies! 

What I'm working on:

I've been spring cleaning for the last few weeks.  Things had gotten a little out of hand with the state of cupboards and closets, so I've been slowly tacking them and purging a ton.  I'm kind of in love with the upstairs closet right now and it makes me happy opening the doors and seeing all the craft supplies organized and everything in neat boxes.

What I'm excited about:
We just found that my sister who is expecting this September is having another girl!  When we were younger and dreaming of being moms I always wanted girls and my sister wanted boys; well I guess God had other plans!  I can't wait to dote on another niece, I already love my sweet Emily to bits.

What I'm watching/reading:

Hi my name is Sylvie and I like trashy reality T.V.  I am a glutton for anything reality.  Real Housewives.  The Bachelor.  Big Brother.  I usually binge watch them during nap time and the craziness sucks me in every time.  That being said my current fave is Married at First Sight.  The premise: three couples have been matched by experts and first meet at the altar and marry instantly.  Crazy! 

I'm also a huge history fan (I have a bachelors degree in History and English), so my DVR is currently full of the first season and current episodes of Outlander.  I've been hearing rave reviews of the series and can't wait to find time to binge watch them...which will probably happen sometime between naps and never sleeping again.

My night stand always has at least three books that I am currently reading.  There is always a historical/political book, an easy chick book and then a more serious book.  Here's a look st what's sitting there now.  I actually haven't started The Husband's Secret yet.  I picked it up this weekend after everyone is blog land has been raving about it.

What I'm listening to:

Does the theme song to Team Umizoomi count? Honestly it's kind of hard to listen to music on a regular basis and when we have dance parties in the evening it's usually a mix of country and current top 40s.

What I'm wearing:

Nothing exciting here.  Just your basic mom uniform of sweats and sneakers.  I scored these sneakers for $20 at Walmart and they are seriously the most comfortable shoes I own right now.  Although I'm looking forward to flip flop weather.   I live in those over the summer . 

What I'm doing this weekend:

We are planning a play date dinner with the hubby's best friend and his family.  They also had a baby around the same time Marcus was born and its been a few weeks since we've all seen each other.

Also we are planning on taking Marcus to the Community pool for the first time.  I'm super excited about this one.  We started taking Lucas to the pool quite young as well and he's never been afraid of the water.  Marcus already enjoys sitting in the big tub with his brother so I'm thinking we may have another water baby on our hands.  This is a picture from the first time we took Lucas swimming, its blurry but check out those baby swim trunks!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

I'm really looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day as a family of 4!  The hubby has already told me that he has plans for that Sunday, which is kind of a surprise and I can't wait to be pampered by my three men.

Also my little sister is in her first school production of Beauty and the Beast and I can't wait to have a girls night with my mom and sister to go see the play.  The littlest of the family is true to youngest child syndrome, she's dramatic and loves to be center of attention.  This adorable picture I found of her on my computer this week is her to a tee.

I can't believe this picture was taken 8 years ago!

What else is new:

I mentioned in my life update that Marcus is already crawling.  He started at exactly his seven month birthday, the same time his big brother did.  Well in the last two weeks he's gone from gingerly getting around on all fours to just tearing up the floor.  He moves around with incredible speed, and I swear I put him sitting in the living room and head to the kitchen to make my coffee and I turn around and he's practically at my feet already. 

With his new found speed has come this need to see the world around him with more ease, which means that he's been pulling himself up to standing on anything that he's gets a firm hold on, and just standing everywhere.  We've already had a few mishaps of losing his balance and me not getting to him soon enough, but he's undeterred and loving being closer to his brother's height.  I'm predicting that he will be walking by his nine month birthday like his brother which should make for a very exhausting summer.

What I'm getting my mom for Mother's Day/What do I want:

We don't always see my mom on Mother's Day but in the last few years I've given her flowers or new framed pictures of the boys with a gift certificate. 

I'm pretty sure I'm with a lot of you moms out there, especially those with babies, that would just love a morning to sleep in.  I want a morning where I can I sleep until 8 (at least) and then lounge in bed with my coffee and a book completely uninterrupted.  Even better if the hubby took the kids out in the morning so I could do this in peace and not feel compelled to head downstairs and care to crying baby and tantrum prone toddler.  I wouldn't mind a craft from said toddler loving made with the husband for me as well.

But materialistically I've been eying a new more professional camera.  Ever since becoming a mom I've taken thousands of pictures, and often for holidays like Mother's Day I set up mini photo shoots with the littles, and I would love a better camera to do so.  I would even love to start dabbling in some amateur photo sessions with family members to practise.



A Split Second

Last Thursday I had been running around all morning doing errands with the boys, then got home and quickly got busy making lunches and tidying up the house.  During all this I didn't realize my phone had been on silent and I had missed 6 consecutive calls from the husband.  I quickly called him but it would automatically go to voice mail.   I didn't think too much of it cause I know that he has bad reception at his current job site.  Five minutes later we finally got a hold of each other and I hear it in his voice, something had happened.   There had been an accident at his site but he wanted to make sure I knew he was ok and that it wasn't him before I turned on the tv and saw the news.

I switched from panic, to relief, to sadness in the space of a few minutes.  I panicked when I could hear in his voice that he wasn't just calling to check in and say hi.  I had this huge sense of relief when he told me that he was ok and not the one involved in the accident.  Then I had this overwhelming sense of sadness come over me for the wife that wouldn't be getting this same call; but one that no spouse wants to get.

Gianni is an industrial electrician and he mainly works on high rise buildings that are under construction.  Sometimes I chose to not even think about the risks that his job entails because if not I would live in perpetual anxiety over it.  He likes to tell me that the risks are minimal compared to other trades that he works with but it doesn't do much for my worries.  This particular building that he's working on right now is being built from the ground up, and the accident involved a concrete former who had poorly tied himself to the safety constraints and fell five floors.  It was a decision that unfortunately cost him his life, leaving behind a  grieving widow and an eleven year old daughter without her father.  There are always risks on construction sites in general, so it really is essential and important for the people to adhere to all safety rules and think of any and all consequences.

I am constantly reminding Gianni that he has people who are dependent on him and who need him. That he has a family, should always be at the back of his mind in any decisions he makes at work. Thankfully I make these reminders for my own peace of mind since he is known for harassing his own crew to take the extra steps to ensure a safe work environment. 

I spent the rest of the day rattled, lost in the thought that it took one spilt second for someone's life to change forever.  I mourned for the man who carelessly took a risk that wasn't worth taking.  But I mourned more for his wife and daughter.  For those who stayed behind having to live without him.  For that call that sent that poor family's life spiralling. 

When Gianni walked in the door that evening, he went to the kids first per usual and gave them his daily post work cuddles.  The I grabbed him and held him a little tighter than usual.  Held him.  Kissed him.  Held him some more.  And I thanked all the Gods that he came home to me safely tonight.



Weekend Recap

We had a pretty busy weekend around here but also found time to just relax a bit too which is always nice.  

We started things off great with a much needed hair cut for the biggest of the boys.  I love his curls and how they tend to droop over his face, it somehow makes him still look like my baby.  But the bangs in front of his eyes were getting a bit much, and little dude was sweating up a storm with all the extra hair.  He does look like such a big boy with his newly shorn head. 

I love this picture of the boys.  Marcus is on the move and he literally always wants to be right where his brother is.  Here he's playing with Lucas' toes and the look on big brother's face clearly shows he's non too impressed with this. 

Something about a baby in just a diaper always puts a smile on my face.

We gave Marcus his first baby approved pasta bolognese and he was clearly a fan.  Kid really likes food!

I love this impromptu moment between the boys after dinner.

Saturday afternoon my in laws came over to watch the boys while the hubby and I went out to celebrate our anniversary.  We didn't do anything too spectacular, ran a few errands and went to ikea which is always a treat for me cause ikea with a toddler that wants to touch everything is exhausting!  Afterwards we went to an early dinner at our fave sushi place where it was so nice to eat my food hot for a change and to indulge in a cocktail.

After dinner we went to chapters for a bit cause I can't honestly remember the last time I browsed for books all on my lonesome.  And that right there in my hand is a bag full of books that I got to peruse before purchasing!

As dates go it was low key but since this was the first time I left Marcus for an extended period of time it was just what I needed.  

Sunday morning we spent extra time snuggling in bed with the babies and kept it pretty low key.  When we don't have any plans we like to make big breakfasts and hang out.  While Marcus has his morning nap we either snuggle on the couch with Lucas or maybe work on a craft. 

We recently relocated this ottoman  in our living room and this is Lucas' new favourite way to watch his morning cartoons.

Sunday afternoon we had my cousins communion and it was nice seeing my family.  We don't get together as often as we would all like cause we are busy with work and kids.

Me and my baby.  Just love the after nap cheeks he's got going on here.

I've said it before and it won't be the last time, Lucas is obsessed with his cousin Emily.  He literally spent most of the evening chasing her around and hugging her whenever she let him.  She's kind of partial to him too.

This picture of the cousins just does wonderful things to my heart! I love that even though the boys aren't looking at the camera they are lovingly looking at each other.  Best brothers!

Pretty much the only decent family picture we got.  The struggle is real with a baby and toddler for family pics.

I love my mom!

I love my dad too.  Can you tell we are related?

And finally the girl of the hour!

The hall where my aunt and uncle held the dinner was a mere 10 minutes from my house so we got home before the baby fell asleep so we could do story time and bottle before bed.  

The hubby and I finished off the night with an episode of big brother Canada and passed out shortly after the kids.  It's a glamorous life around here.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend. 



Five on Friday - Anniversary Edition

Today is my five year wedding anniversary!  A lot has happened in the last half decade, we moved into our first home, we had two children, we changed jobs, we made a few renos to our home, we lived and loved.

I thought today I would pick one thing or picture from each year that we've been married that kind of encompasses what that year of marriage was for me.


I guess the biggest thing that we did our first year of marriage was move into our home.  I'm from a fairly traditional family and I myself uphold very traditional values so there was no way that I would move in with the hubby before the wedding.  The house we purchased was only going to be ready the month after the wedding so it all worked out for the best anyway.  I look at these first photos of the house when we moved in and see all the hand me downs that friends and family gave us that helped so much after paying for a wedding ourselves.  Also all the little changes that we've made throughout the years that have made this a home and not just a house.  More nostalgic is looking at a picture of the two empty rooms that we used as office spaces and now are filled with sleeping babies at night.


Our second year of marriage was consumed with babies on the brain.  Shortly before our first anniversary my sister had our niece, and until that point we had been trying without really trying, but  decided to kick things into gear.  We very soon realized that something was wrong.  I had not been having regular periods for years now and we realized that it was obviously affecting our success in conceiving.  We spent the year back and forth with our fertility doctor and finally conceived a few months before our second anniversary.  I know that some infertility journeys take much longer but trust me when I say that every month that goes by feels like an eternity when you desperately want to see those two bright lines.  This picture from our maternity shoot really shows the happiness of impending parenthood.


Oh year three you were good to us.  We welcomed our wonderful son Lucas in September and our lives just got a little sweeter.  We adjusted to being new parents and that was not without its trials, but I found a new appreciation for my husband.  He excelled at being a father, he would cuddle, feed and change that little man like it was his job (it sort of is lol) and everyday I fell a little harder for him.  There are so many pictures that could encompass that year like this one after our son was born.

I also love this one of the two us from a Christmas photo shoot we did that year.

But this candid shot from Christmas is one of my favourites from that year.  Our new family of three.  The many of what we affectionately dubbed our silly family selfies.  The tired eyes of new parents.  Still holding each other like it was yesterday.


Year four was kind of busy.  We spent that first summer as parents just filled with fun activities as parents.  We celebrated our little man's first birthday.  We made the final decision that I would be a stay at home mom.  We celebrated holidays.  Oh and we got pregnant again hehe.  Yup just before our anniversary we found out we were expecting another boy.  It wasn't really a surprise we had been trying again shortly after Lucas' birthday, we just weren't expecting to conceive so soon.  There are so many amazing memories from that year I just can't pick one picture.


Another stellar year really.  We spent the summer really soaking in everything with Lucas knowing that come September he would have to start sharing our attention.  Then we welcomed his little brother and life was never the same.  Its really wonderful this feeling of explosion that happens in your heart for your spouse whenever you see them with your children, and know that he is your partner in every way.  We have loved so far the adjustment of being a family of four, which really occurred a lot easier than I think we were expecting.  Its not without its moments of frustration and extra guilt but so far I think we have been making it work.  I admit that it sometimes puts a strain on how much patience we have for one another, since we put our stresses on each other, and we have yet to have a date night out, which we are rectifying this weekend.  I do believe though we have tried to make more of an effort to connect in other ways.  Having talks at the end of the day when the kids are in bed.  Making sure to say hello and kiss one another when the hubby gets home from work (you would be surprised how this little gesture is important), and making time for ourselves when we can.

Its been five years of highs and lows, but incredible highs and lows that we faced together.  There's no one else I would rather do life with than you.

Here's to many more my love.