Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gymnastics GOLD!

This weekend marks the beginning of the competition season for gymnastics, which means that this is the weekend that Reagan has been waiting on for the past few months!

I checked her out of school an hour early yesterday so that we would have time to get her dressed and ready before leaving for Coquitlam.  Reagan's cousin Riley and his girlfriend Lindsay had recently moved down to the Coast from Vernon, and they were excited to be here to go with us to the Friday evening competition to cheer for Reagan.  I have to admit, I think Reagan tried even harder because she was showing off for her special guests!

All of the gym girls were anxious to get started once we arrived, but I was able to convince them to pose for a few pictures before it was time for them to make their team entrance.
Thank you Christy for this awesome picture of the girls!
During the Friday night portion of the weekend competition, the girls were being judged on their "Physical Abilities".  A few examples of the things that Physical Abilities include are rope climb, leg lifts, chin ups, bar hangs, bar swings, bar casts, long jump, sprinting, splits, etc.

We wrapped up the first evening of competition with... a SILVER medal! Reagan had received bronze at her first competition of the season last year, so we were all very excited over her improvement!

We were up bright and early this morning for Day 2 of competition, "Skills" testing.  The Skills portion of her competition resembles a more traditional gymnastics competition in that each of the girls are judged on a combination of skills performed on each of the gymnastic apparatuses.... Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor.

At this same competition last year, Reagan received bronze on bars and silver on the remaining three events.  But, this year was a different story...  REAGAN RECEIVED HER FIRST GOLD!   Gold on Bars, Silver on Vault, Floor, and Beam, and Silver All-Around!  

Reagan was so excited and so very proud of herself for receiving her first ever gold.  I have to admit... I was pretty excited and proud of her myself!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

14 Month Update for Myers

Myers is turning into a little man and growing up WAY too fast!

He has developed quite the personality, and he loves to play games with us now.  One of his favourites is a combination of hide-n-seek with peek-a-boo. He will run over to hide behind the curtains, and wait for us to start asking, "Where did Myers go?"  Once he hears those magic words, he will pop out from behind the curtains with a super huge grin on his face and expect us to say, "There he is!  Peek-a-boo!"

During the Christmas holidays, he discovered his love for chocolate as he would get to eat a tiny piece of chocolate each morning from the Advent calendar.   The only problem is that Christmas is over, and he still expects his piece of chocolate every morning!

He has also discovered a love for Starbucks.  Hmmm...  can you say, "Just like Mommy"?

He is walking all over the place now, and he has even tried to start running a couple of times while playing with Reagan.  The only problem is that his little legs seem to be going faster than the rest of his body, and he has a tendency to lose control and just fall down from all of his momentum.  This has led to a very bloody and deeply busted lip on three occasions now.  The first time, I nearly had a melt down from all of the blood.  The second time, it was Ryan who had a little freak-out.  By the third mishap, both Ryan and I were seasoned pros at the sight of blood and teeth marks in his lip!

Speaking of teeth, FOUR more have come through in the last month, giving him a total of 14!  I don't remember Reagan getting all her teeth this quickly, but there is a good possibility that it could also be the case for her.  I've just been too lazy to flip through her baby book or take a walk down memory lane on the blog to find out!

Myers decided that he was done using the big high chair and that he wants to sit at the dining room table with the rest of us when we eat dinner now. Thankfully, we had purchased a travel high chair to use with Reagan whenever we went camping, and I was able to strap it down to one of our dining room chairs for Myers to use.  He thinks he is such a big boy now!  

Sitting at the big table has prompted him to also start to use a fork and spoon by himself now when he eats.  This is still not always the most mess-free way of letting him eat, and I've come to terms with the fact that I will be sweeping and vacuuming the dining room floor every day for the next little while!

And finally, I have to tell you that Myers is a LOVER!  This little boy loves to snuggle and to give big, tight squeezing hugs and open mouth kisses.  Don't you wish you could just reach inside your screen to get some of that loving for yourself from this adorable little man?!?!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Frozen North

We certainly enjoyed the break from our normal busy schedule during the Christmas holidays, and it took us all a couple of weeks to get out of our post-holiday funk.  But now, we are back in the swing of things around here in what has become the VERY frozen North!

Fifteen years ago, you would never have been able to convince this Carolina Girl that I would one day be living in Canada, and that I would walk my daughter to school while pushing my son in a stroller over drifts of swirling snow greater than a foot deep with almost zero visibility and temperatures that register at -10 with a wind chill of -23.

I would have told you that you were completely off-your-rocker, all kinds of crazy if you had told me that would one day happen.  Well, guess what?  That day has come.

It's flipping' freezing here!  Literally!

We've been having buckets of snow coming down every day for almost a week now.  


I can't believe it myself, but I am finding that I actually enjoy the subzero temperatures.  How is that even possible?  Because when it gets as cold as it has lately been here, IT CAN'T RAIN!  Let's face it, I'm as sunshine girl, even when it's freezing!  I've come to understand that as long as it is not raining, I'm a happy.

It has been a very dry snow that's been coming down, and that has made it very difficult to build the perfect snowman.  But we managed to get it done.  I mentioned above that it is flippin' freezing... well, it seemed only fitting that we have a flippin' snowman!  Reagan and I are known around our neighbourhood for our original snowy creations, and we worked very hard this year to create our newest masterpiece... a cartwheeling snowman!

Once Reagan was back inside the toasty warm house, our snowman decided to show the true reason that he is hanging out upside down in our front yard.  It appears that he had a nip or two too many!

Myers has enjoyed discovering the snow this year while playing outside with Reagan.

Reagan has done such an awesome job of teaching him all of the fun things that Winter has to offer... building snowmen, making snow angels, and having big sissy pull you across the yard!

We took a walk up the street to Reagan's school to play in the snow in the wide open fields yesterday afternoon, and we had a blast for hours on end.  At first, Myers was more concerned about watching Daddy pull Reagan around on the sled, but then he decided that it was more fun to just eat the snow!

We eventually loaded up both of the kids onto the sled.  I held my breath and begged Reagan to hold on tightly to her brother as Ryan ran across the fields, pulling them behind him.  The smiles on their faces and the squeals of laughter told me that they were having a fabulous time!

It was a super fun day, and both kids devoured a huge mug of hot chocolate as soon as we got back home.  And then, as soon as they were done, they were both begging to go back outside again!  I would say I've definitely got two snow babies on my hands...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year With New Changes

I have been approached numerous times in the past regarding placing advertisements on my blog.  It is something that I have seriously considered for quite some time, but I just never took the time to make a decision one way or the other.

In all of our thinking about the possible move back to South Carolina, I began to think more and more about the possibility of placing ads on this blog.

No, I'm not expecting to make enough money to support our family, thus resolving the issue of us not having employment in the States!  But it would be nice to be able to make some extra money, however small it may be, to help supplement any future immigration costs or moving costs.  And if we don't decide to make the move, then it would still be nice to make a little extra money to help support by Starbucks addiction!!!

Or, it would be nice to use it to help pay for my own website.

That was the real reason that I started doing all of my research.  I would LOVE to have my own domain name instead of using the blogger platform as I have always done.  But owning a domain name comes with a monthly fee, where as blogger is free.  So I'm having a hard time justifying the decision to purchase a website.

I did a lot of research, and I ulitmately decided to go with Google's AdSense for this blog.  And, so far, I have been very impressed.  Once my blog had been approved, I was then able to limit what types of ads I would or would not allow to appear on my page.  I could then also chose where I wanted the ads to be placed.  They currently are located at the very top and very bottom of my right hand side bar (above "About Me" and below "Buttons") and also at the end of the most current post in this main body.

Many of the ads that have appeared thus far have caught my eye, and I've been tempted to click to see what they are all about.  But, to follow the rules established for me by Google, I can't do the clicking!  That would be unfair, because then I would be tempted to just sit at my computer all day long, clicking on my own ads and making money for doing so.

However, that rule does not apply to you my readers!  If any of the ads that you will now be seeing on this blog should catch YOUR eye, please feel free to give them a click to check them out for yourself!  By doing so, you will be learn about whatever cool new product or service that caught your attention to begin with, as well as you will be helping put a few extra pennies in my pocket.

Just in case you are wondering, I can let you know that the ads don't pay much!  So far, I have yet to make enough money to pay for my signature $7.00 Starbucks drink... my Quad Venti Caramel Macchiato!

I must also make a side note here.  I am sure that there are a few of my readers that love me and my family very much that would love to help us as much as possible and are currently reading this and thinking of ways to click and click for us to watch those pennies add up.  Please don't do that!  Google will get very upset and no longer allow me to have ads of any kind if they even suspect that something fishy is going on.  So, really, please only click on the ads that you are interested in!

In the process of deciding to advertise, I also decided to add a few features to this blog to make it easier for you all to keep up with any changes or new posts.

You can now subscribe to receive my posts in your specific reader of choice... Yahoo, Atom, NewsGator, Bloglines, Netvibes, Google, FeedDemon, etc.

You can also subscribe to receive an alert to your email address notifying you of whenever a new post has been published.

The link for either of these choices is located in my right side bar, under the section for "Followers".

One last note of instruction, and then I'll wrap it all up with this post.  I have started linking back to previous posts within my current posts more often now. So, if as you are reading, you should suddenly come across a few words in pink it is not because I like to colour coordinate my posts!  That simply means that you can click on the pink words to go back to the exact post of whatever I am referring to.  For example, there has been one other time that this blog had some major changes to occur, and that was back when I decided to stop letting it be a blog about Reagan and more or less let it be a blog about any and everything in our lives.  So, Paging Doctor Mommy was created.  And if you want to read all about how that came about, then just click on the words in pink right above and it will take you directly to that link!

I'm hoping that all of the changes and additions will make it a little easier for you to follow along!  And I'm hoping that I won't lose any of my current readers by making any of these changes!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Let's Go Gamecocks

Earlier today, Myers and Reagan were both proudly sporting the new South Carolina Gamecock gear that they got for Christmas.

And today was the perfect day for them to be wearing their garnet and black, as the Gamecocks faced the Cornhuskers of Nebraska in the Capitol One Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

The Gamecocks must have been able to hear our cheers all the way from Canada, as South Carolina went on to win 30–13!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

There is no better way to shake off the post-holiday blues than by spending a fun evening with some fantastic friends!

We loaded up and made the 3-minute drive over to Reagan's boyfriend's house for a New Year's Eve sleepover bash.  Little did we know then that there was going to be some REAL bashing to take place!

The highlight of the evening for the children, other than being allowed to stay up super late to watch the ball drop (thank heavens we could watch it on an East Coast feed, so they were actually up only a little past 9PM our time!) was when Matthew's dad brought out the hammer for the children to bash apart the monster gingerbread house that their family had made for Christmas.  I'm not sure which part was more fun... the bashing, or the eating!

Myers and Anna (Matthew's little sister, Anna, not my little sister, Anna) went to bed without much fuss at all.  For Reagan and Matthew, however, it was a bit of a different story.  We had placed a baby monitor in Matthew's room so that we could hear all of their anti-bedtime shenanigans, and we were definitely entertained by what we heard.  Lots of giggles, a few squeals, some quiet story telling, and finally, sleeping children.  Of course, we had to go upstairs a couple of times to provide a bit of encouragement for sleeping.  The deal was that Matthew was supposed to sleep in his bed, and Reagan was to sleep on the air mattress beside his bed.  But that didn't happen!  We went upstairs to discover both of them in Matthew's bed.  The explanation that was given by Matthew was just too sweet and genuine for us to argue, so we let them fall asleep that way.  I mean, how could we say no to, "But's it's just too cold for Reagan to have to sleep on the floor.  It's way more cozy and warm in my bed."  Ahhh, the innocence of young children.  Something tells me that we won't be able to allow those sleeping arrangements for much longer!

Once the kids were all tucked in for the night, it was time for the grown-ups to play some Rock Band on the Wii.  Acting out your inner diva on the microphone is much easier after a few of these...

Let's just say that I had enough Blue Moon to make me feel like I was ready for the big stage.  All four of us were feeling confident enough about our performances that we decided we needed a band name... THE KNOPPICKELLS!  We only stopped rocking out long enough to make a toast as we watched the ball drop at midnight our time to welcome in 2012, and then we went right back to our music.  I think it was somewhere around 3am before we finally all decided that it was time to go to bed since our children would all be up bright and early in just a few more hours!

I can't tell you how happy I am that we have become such good friends with this family.  Thank goodness that Reagan decided that Matthew is the one for her just over a year ago!  Since then, the kids have grown closer, and the parents have developed a fabulous friendship as well.  In an effort to keep us living here in BC, Matthew's parents have already agreed that yes, Matthew and Reagan will most definitely be getting married one day.  To sweeten the pot, they have also agreed to betroth their Anna to marry Myers as well.  Our families will be forever intertwined!  And, Myers and Anna will have plenty of time to get to know one another better this coming year, as Anna will be coming to our house for day care 3 days a week starting in the Fall.

We came home today in time for Myers to have his morning nap, and then we decided to venture out for some family fun.  Two years ago on New Year's Day, we took Reagan to see her first ever movie at the theatre, "The Chipmunks Squeakquel".

It seemed only fitting today that we go as a family for Myers to see his first ever movie at the theatre, "The Chipmunks Chipwrecked"!

To only be 13 months old, Myers did a pretty good job at the movie.  Reagan, of course as a seasoned pro, loved every minute of it and is already asking what movie we can go see next!

I have to say, when you consider all of the fun things that we have already packed into the first few hours of the year 2012, we are most certainly off to a great start!  I think it's going to be a great year!