Since I took approximately 1,000 photos in Vancouver (and I'm not even exaggerating), I'll share only a few each day this week so as not to overwhelm you. I'm always thinking of you. Today is brought to you by Instagram, one of my favourite obsessions (you can follow me @mostdaysiwin). Here is a glimpse at our week, like this first photo of my sister, Sydney, collapsing in disappointment at a Snakes and Ladders roll that didn't go her way.
Shira and Alyce experienced many firsts over the week. Shira enjoyed her first big kid swing, an accomplishment she's still going on about. She also fell in love with my dad's chocolate lab, so now that makes two of us. Abby, or Abigail von Labrador as she is sometimes known, put up with a lot of unwanted attention from our dear Shira. For an old dog she showed incredible patience. Or, maybe she was just too tired to protest. Either way.
Alyce learned how much fun it is to have a best friend her size, who was (usually) willing to share all of her clothes. I loved sharing clothes with my friends so I understood why she was over the moon with excitement about the whole thing. In ninety-percent of my photos she is wearing Sydney's dresses. Poor Syd, she had no idea that Alyce descending on her house for a week meant that her closet was up for grabs. But it made Alyce feel like a princess, so I hope that helped to cushion the blow a bit.
Shira coped with all the change by nursing all the time. When I mean all the time, I mean dawn, morning, noon, dusk, evening, and overnight. I will be sharing some of these details with you later (you're welcome) and will be looking for some suggestions as to how I can gently suggest to my littlest one that she need not nurse every twenty minutes. Because I think I'm the only mother of an almost two-year old who needed to buy more nipple cream last week.
And there was painting. Lots of painting! I don't have much to say about that, except to say that there was also a lot of colouring. Markers, crayons, you name it. Alyce even painted a picture with her mouth, because why not.
While the weather was cold most of the week, Spring had definitely arrived in Vancouver. We enjoyed the new flowers, grass, and colonies of mushrooms in my dad's backyard with our mittens on. We even braved the cold to visit Granville Island, one of my absolute favourite places in the world. It's an enormous market filled with good food, musicians, magicians, pottery stores (my weakness), and flowers everywhere. It also reminds me of my first visits to Vancouver when my dad moved there eighteen years ago. In those early years he and Kate lived in English Bay right across from the Island. I would take a teeny tiny ferry across the way and spend the entire day at the market. I hadn't really experienced anything like that in Ontario and I'm sure my days spent at Granville Island influenced my later obsession with markets. It was also just glorious to spend the days by myself, wandering around for hours and only stopping because I needed to eat more. This trip I was surrounded by Alyce, Shira, and Noah (Sydney was at daycare that day), and though it was a much different experience, it was just as good. They chased birds for hours and Alyce graced the island with an impromptu dance while a busker sang "All you need is love." A crowd gathered around her and she danced her heart out. And then I grinned because I knew that I was the one who got to take her home with me.
Some days we needed to do a lot of driving to get to the places we were going, but it was always worth it. The ocean is always worth it. When my dad asked Alyce if she was enjoying her afternoon at the beach, she replied, "there is no better place to be!" I'll second that. The afternoon was glorious, with warm sun to fight against the cold temperatures. I was having a bit of a rough time at the end of our trip, but the wind coming off the ocean made me feel human again.
Back tomorrow with more!
P.S. Who else is with me? Vancouver might just be the greatest.