Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Years


Memories. One of my most valued possessions.


I woke up this morning and kept my eyes closed. I was brought back to this day, five years ago.
I was in my old house in Bonnie Doon. My last night as a single woman was spent trying to stay up late and re-watch Love Actually for the 473rd time with my maid of honor, Becky, and fight off the excitement of the next day to come.

One more heavy eyed blink, and just like that, it was here.

'It's the day! It's the day!' Becky and I yelled to each other before excitedly hopping out of bed and discussing the first thing on our day's agenda - the coffee run.



I remember the champagne that sprayed all over the kitchen - and some that landed in our orange juice glasses.
I remember my roommate Nick being there. He helped with the coffee run, he helped calm our nerves.. just being silly Nick.
I remember the hairspray. SO. MUCH. Hairspray (we had our hair and makeup done in my living room.. was so nice!)
I remember putting the dress on, and feeling so fancy with my winter white wrap, and oh so high heels.



Sheldon and I had decided that a small, intimate ceremony is what we had envisioned for ourselves. We chose a quaint restaurant downtown Edmonton to get married in - il Portico. The ceremony was by candlelight in the wine cellar and the reception took place immediately after, upstairs in the restaurant.
We were lucky enough to have Sheldon's mom help us with the decor.. it didn't need too much.

Just him and me, and 52 of our closest friends and family.


Stephane sang and Aaron played Hallelujah as I walked down the aisle.
I had to walk on my tip toes to see Sheldon over his dad's head..
The room was in tears as Sheldon read his hand-written vows to me.

In those moments, I felt so loved. I still do.





And then, well, we're not sure what happened.
After the ceremony we headed across the street to the newly opened Matrix Hotel for our photos. We were gone for just about an hour while our guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers. When we returned.. they were tipsy. All of them. It wasn't quite yet 7pm.

There was laughing, there were tears, there was dancing.. all before the music, speeches and dinner had even began.

To be honest, there wasn't a more perfect way to start off the party.



I've been thinking about our wedding all day. It's hard to believe it's been five years. They happened, just like that.

And at the same time, so much has happened in those five years.. Two moves, two children, lots of vacays, a lot of opportunities to get to know each other even better. So many more valuable memories created that I hold so close.

Sheldon has always been 'the one' for me. I've been wrapped around his finger pretty much since the night I met him at a bar when I was 19.
It took another 4 years before we actually started dating seriously.



Deep down I knew that if I didn't marry Sheldon Pietrzykowski, he'd most likely always be somewhere in the back of my mind.

His best friend, who introduced us, tells me Sheldon said I was the girl he was going to marry that same night we first met.




We are a great match. He knows how to calm my crazy. He thinks I'm beautiful (even if he doesn't always think I'm stylish). He somehow has the ability to be balance being ambitious and driven all while keeping his family first priority. He teaches me things, daily. He knows I'm funny.. We motivate each other. We eat crappy food together.. and most recently, we've learned how to tackle tough times together.

We're still learning to talk more and create moments for each other in our busy lives. We're remembering the importance of holding hands, and hugging. I'm learning to have patience while I wait for him to find the perfect shoes/hat/coat for our Starbucks run. Although, I can't blame him really, his attention to detail and understanding of the value of first impressions shines though in everything he does. (and yes, he has better hair than at least half of my girlfriends.. just ask them)

Have I mentioned he is an amazing father? The. Best. Dad.



Having an anniversary right after Christmas is hard. We're sick of eating, we're fat. We've spent the pennies in our bank accounts, we've exhausted our family time and babysitters.. Both of us are sitting on the couch together as I type this. Me in my red housecoat, him with his latte in hand, surfing the net. There's football on the TV and the boys are upstairs in their bed.

A typical night in the Pietrzykowski household. No fancy dress, no fancy heels, rarely a party atmosphere..

He looks at me and genuinely says, 'It's crazy to think that life is just going to get better from here. How could it get better than this?'

I honestly don't think I can answer that.*










Happy fifth anniversary honey.. let us be blessed with many more memory making years together.. xoxoxo

-Jenny

* I mean it. Cherish each day as it is.. and not how you think it could be better. A lesson we've learned this month..
** Wedding photos taken by Andrea at www.pinksugarphotography.com














Sunday, November 25, 2012

We Have a Three Year Old!!!



Wow. Just wow. Pavel is officially 3 years old.

He's only been asking us if it's his birthday for about the last nine months. So finally, the big day rolled around - or should I say big weekend. We had one excited kid on our hands! This year's birthday party was at our good friend's P&E's house. E, with the help of Nicky, made Pavel's birthday cake for the third year in a row. 

Amazing job ladies, I really have no clue how talent like this even exists.
If you're wondering, I was in charge of the hockey stick. Wasn't allowed to touch anything else!
The reason our player turned into a Bruin, was because our icing choices ended up being blue, yellow, purple and black. Not too many team choices there!




Of course it was a hockey themed party. Poor girls, wearing our jerseys. Just lots of friends and some family over to enjoy one giant play date!




Cousin Malcolm 











As it was Pavel's birthday, I was invited to spend circle time with him at school. This was very exciting for me as I haven't had the chance to see what actually happens at school! He got to lead the continents song, and wear a special cape as the kids sang 'The earth goes round the sun' 3 times for Pavel's third birthday! It was hilarious listening to all the little ones chatting to the teachers. When it was Pavel's turn to contribute something, he said in his deep manly voice and very quietly 'I just really wonder when the Oilers are going to start playing again.' LOL it was hilarious. To me. 



Pavel at Age 3

Our chatty boy loves his little brother so much. Often I'll come in the room and see Pavel on the bed with him telling him stories, or showing him the iPad. It's really quite adorable. Of course, any toy that Sasha has (which is like 2 out of the 1000 things here), Pavel instantly has to have. Should be interesting when Sasha gets a little older and wants to do more than just drool and grab the odd toy!


Sasha likes to grab Pavel, he can't help it really.. but it's a fun game we laugh at Pavel and I


Pavel is getting really good at colouring. He amazes me how well he tries to stay in the lines, and just how well he is actually managing to do it! Every day he comes home from school with a painting or a craft. At school he's allowed to pick what he wants to do every day.. and it's always art. I especially love these two: Tiger Woods and Hockey. He's naturally gifted like his father, no?


We have ourselves a little back talker. This is not fun.

I especially love when Pavel and I have alone time. Either a trip to the grocery store, a stop for some fries, going to watch some hockey - he is amazing when it's just the two of us. Such a good boy.
Keeping fit in the winter - Indoor Tennis! 

A picture we sent to dad to remind him to pick up his socks!!!!


Always on the hunt for some random ball.. This was 'UNLCE JEREMY'S GOLF BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!''


Tonight for the first time since at least a month before Sasha was born, Pavel decided he wanted to stay at Nana and Jaja's house! Alone, without us! Nana and Jaja were so excited. They went and bought him new jammies, and a sweater to wear under his coat to help hang Christmas lights outside. I guess Jimmy said how great it was to have him over and how it was such a nice break for Nana and Jaja to play with Pavel all day. Pavel responded:

'Yup, a nice break for mom and dad too.'
Pavel missed the toilet while peeing at Nana and Jaja's.. Top Dressed! 

And it was, but you know, I missed him! I did. And he eventually called and wanted to come home. Was there almost all day though.. not a bad start!

It's an interesting age. He sleeps in a big boy bed, is potty trained, talks like an adult.. in many ways, he's like and adult - but he isn't. And we forget that when we're talking to him. We get frustrated because we forget he's still just a little boy!


A little boy who would never be caught dead being called a little boy. Big boy only! A little boy who reminds me to brush his teeth if I do forget (I'm the tooth brushing sergeant in the house!) My little boy who still loves to read stories and snuggle mommy more than he ever has in his whole life. My little boy who likes to play the guitar, and play trains.. and to use mommy as a target for all his different sports training. (Why did I teach him how to play tennis in the house off the bedroom wall again??) My little boy who insists on knowing everyone's address and which type of store everything was bought from: Where did my jammies come from? What kind of store? What about the flashlight? What kind of store?


Actual Birth Day with Mommy and Daddy


Now that we have Sasha, I'm reminded of what it was like when Pavel was a baby. I can't believe how much I've forgotten already. My little sweetheart.

Birthday gift from Mom, Dad Nana and Jaja.. 


Happy Birthday Pavel James! We love you so so so so much!

xoxo

Mom.







Saturday, November 24, 2012

Words of Wisdom Today



'Life seems tough right now because you have two children who are dependant almost completely on you, one who actually is - in reality, this is one of life's greatest gifts.'

Start thinking big picture. This isn't forever.. it's such a short period in our lives. Embrace the frustation. Bite your tongue. More hugs, more kisses. Just breathe. There is no perfection of motherhood. We all struggle. It's our job to love, to provide a life for our children that exceeds ours.. don't let our shortcomings become generational. Just breathe.

_________________________________________________________________

We're all doing a great job mamas. We aren't supposed to be perfect or never get frustrated. It's normal to feel lost, to get down, to be tired... (Hey, it's Saturday.. STOP Cleaning! It's your day off too!!)

These little stinkers love us so much and it's crazy how much we love them... that's what matters.

Give yourself a hug today. xx

** On repeat on my iTunes today: Ave Maria, Beyonce.**

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Feeling Sad



I feel sad. The last few weeks have been some crazy good ups.. and also some normal lows.

Tonight I stumbled upon the blog of a lady who lost her four year old son.

Why read it you ask? Why put yourself through emotional turmoil and not just glaze over and pretend that life is all pretty, and sweet and rainbows and happiness?

I don't know. Because life isn't?

It's scary as you get older and you love more people.

I have a great life. I'm very blessed. Perfect little boys, a hubby who adores my quirks. A lot of opportunity, a lot of hard work, healthy family.. mostly healthy friends, excitement, gratification..

But am I the only one who thinks that it can't stay this good? Something's got to give?

There have been some great hardships and sorrow in friend's lives lately. As you accumulate more love, it leaves you more vulnerable to life's unfair challenges.

No one will ever know why our paths have been chosen for us. Tomorrow, it could all change - for better.. for worse.

I make sure I am thankful every day. I am thankful for my angel. He watches over me and my family. Keeps me safe. Gives me comfort.


Keeps us safe, gives us comfort.

Night.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Motherly Interference


Ya.. I'm that mom.

I'm that mom for a number of good reasons really..

I insist that my children have a story read to them every night.
I spent my Monday night talking to our MLA about proposed schools in the neighbourhood so that the boys don't have to get bused away, only to get home at 445 from school every day.
We eat fruit and veggies with every meal.

I don't know.. basic stuff, that any mom would do because she loves her children...


Remember when you put Vaporub in your hair?
So you'd look like a hockey player??
and I'd like to think that this was one of them.

So Pavel started school in September. For me, it was really stressful. Between potty training and a new schedule and a new baby.. and worrying that people would be mean to Pavel, I was at a near meltdown point.

(in fact, the first full day of school, I was so worried that Pavel would pee his pants, I left school and drove straight to Original Joe's and had a beer. At lunch. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you're that mom who picks up her child at 3pm from play school with beer on her breath. Way to make a good first impression Mommy!)



Besties





So plans change and the boy that was to be Pavel's bestie (and his mom mine! I miss you R!!), decided to change to a different school. Which was great for our friend.. the only problem being that now they both missed each other so much - and Pavel now had the task of starting fresh on the friend making scale.

Stress.








Pavel happily goes to school every day. And every day he talks about his best friend at school, M. And how much he likes M. And wonders if M will be at school that day. That he asked M over for dinner but M was having Chinese and couldn't come.

Problem being.. I'm really not sure that little M, who is an older boy in the class, really had noticed Pavel!

We'd go to the park every day after school and Pavel would run after all the other kids.. mainly M.

Hey M! Hey! I'm here M!

And M would be busy being a boy, playing, talking to his friends that he already knew and having fun.
Not being mean by any chance, just being the cute little sweet boy he is.. just not with Pavel!

Seriously, picture this: So the boys are playing together at the park and Pavel is chasing them around. When they stop, Pav kind of does this little slow motion jog around them, with one elbow bent and kind swinging.. as he says:

Hey guys! Hey!.. what are you doing guys?! Have a good weekend guys!

And they ignore him. Bahhhhhh! I could cry writing this!

So because this is breaking my heart, I maaaaaayyyyyy have emailed the teacher about it.

Yup. That's me. The teacher emailer.

Not to complain, but just to check in on Pavel. To see if he was making any friends without his little buddy who had moved schools. I may have mentioned Pavel's affinity toward M and how it didn't seem like he was being included in the park after school.

Our correspondence:
.....

On another note, just want to check in on Pavel. He seems to really like going to school and I can tell he is learning. He loves to come home and sing and tell us stories. 
I feel so sad because he really seems to like one boy M in his class and after school at the park, M and the other older boys ignore him. It's so heart breaking! I'm sure it's normal and that it happens to a lot of kids, I just hate seeing him trying to join in with the kids and talk to them and have them run away. (Of course it's nothing M is doing, he is just busy playing with his friends and being a boy! :)
Does Pavel have friends in class? I just want him to have fun and feel good.

Thanks so much,

Jenny


Here is the response I received:


Hi Jenny,

Thanks a lot Jenny and thank you for bringing up the park problem. I will talk to M's Mom – she is wonderful and pretty strict about social behavior with her kids. M is in his second year at school and is one of the big boys. He is very sweet and I guess gets swept off in the boy’s crowd. But I will address this with his mom – she will for sure talk to M.

Pavel is doing really well. Considering that he is not even 3, he is doing great and is really suited to our environment – he is very keen to learn and he participates in everything in his quiet way. He has started on an individualized curriculum He has not yet made a best friend but it is very early days and he is liked by everyone. He is very much part of the group and is very integrated within the whole group.  I’m sure he will find his comfort level and make a good friend very soon. Now that you have brought this up, I will pair him up with one of the  lads in class and I will get M to be his mentor.

Thanks again and take care
Surabhi


I instantly wrote back to ensure that she knew nothing mean was happening.. there was no real problem, just that Pav was trying hard to make friends with no avail.

Thing is, he didn't seem to notice or mind. But I'm sure he would have soon, no? The line '.. he has not yet made a best friend...' kind of got me. I just have images of him doing his little jig in the park, no music playing, no one listening..
Little bro looks up to Pav already!

Since that email, M has become Pavel's mentor and he sure is one happy kid. He spends a lot of time with M and insists that M is his best school friend.

I mean, I do believe it.. I believe that from Pavel's point of view, he has made a friend who likes him very much.

There have been really sweet moments.. like when M waits for Pavel in the parking lot, so they can go in the class together, or when he rolls down the window as he drives away and says 'bye Pavel!'

Pavel was sick and missed a class. When he came back to school the next day, M was there and asked him where he was.. Pavel said ' Hey M! I'm back! Guess what.. I'm back!'

LOL it's quite cute. M is a really sweet, sweet boy.

So, ya. I'm that mom who emailed the teacher.. and helped get her child a friend. A friend he wanted, or believed he had already anyway. I don't know, was that a wrong move? I'm sure this won't be the first time, right? I just want my little guy to be happy.. and I don't know if I can butt out. (Shocker!)

I just couldn't stomach Pavel going to school and not having any friends. Perhaps that's my issue and not his???


It's going to be a long 15 years ahead of us.. :)

Jenny

Ps. I just have to say how refreshing and how relieved I felt when after school one day we went and had a play date with Pavel's core group of friends - Gaby, Josh, Livy and Dylan. They LOVE him. They LOVE each other. Have so much fun. They are his true friends, without even trying. My boy's a lucky one and a good friend to them.

Pps. When will I EVER learn to go to bed early. I am SO TIRED. Still.

'Baby Sasha - Go To Sleep!' - Pavel and Mommy


Happy Halloween!


My happy boy!



My gf Erin and I rocking our Mos for Movember! Time to get those prostates checked gentlemen!