Friday, January 29, 2010

Evan's Gentle Ways

make me happy.


In case you haven't been able to tell from my previous posts, my nephew Evan is one of the happiest little guys around. He's also very loving, free and generous with his hugs and kisses, overall a softhearted little man.

What you may not know is that little twinkle in The Byrd's eye... is not always that of an angel!


Look at the way she man-handles him!?!


Too much! Too much!

Oh Byrdie - we've got some serious work to do on learning the ways of the genteel.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preparedness

makes me happy.



Byrdie and I spent a lovely couple hours this afternoon enjoying tea, homemade scones, (mommy milk) and the company of two charming women and one delightful 4 month old.

At one point in time the other mommy there and I began discussing how we walk the babies in the winter - sling, carrier, or stroller and how many articles of clothing and/or blankets are required for each option. Hey, not all the conversation was this exciting, our first hour was all spent on b-jays and bummy sex. Just kidding. No I'm not. Yes I am.

Anyhoo, our host, the mommy-to-be of the group, chimes in and says, "I honestly don't know how you actually get out there in the winter?! It's just sooo coooold."

Before the words could pass my lips I heard my comrade exclaim, 'Appropriate gear!'

It's just that simple. Canadian winters cease to suck when you learn to wear your wool sweaters, long johns, fuzzy scarves, panda toques, and down jackets every time the mercury drops below zero.

And to think it only took Kevyn and I until our late twenties to learn the new cool is actually being warm.

Huh.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fun With Hats

makes me happy.


My fingers are still sore from all that typing yesterday.

So today, blah, blah, blah - it's fun to put adult hats on babies!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How I Make The Dollar Bills

makes me happy.



Part II - Q&A

And how did you decide on careers that gel with your beliefs?

Bottom line, I'm thinking if you haven't chosen a career that gels with your personal beliefs well, then... I think you're missing out.

I once heard Martha Stewart say that she never goes out to work in her garden rather she goes out and plays in it. For whatever reason that always suck with me and I felt compelled to apply that outlook to everything I chose to do.

As a young adult I chose to go to university to study kinesiology - plans of being a professional coach or phys ed teacher lead me in that direction. While I enjoyed my studies, I enjoyed running on the track & field team (yup - that's me up there) and spending my weekends working my first bartending job more. I had only picked up the gig to make some extra coin while at school but definitely felt an immediate affinity toward it.

Upon graduation, dreams of acting surfaced and off to LA I went. Lots of fun and a few interesting jobs later my student visa expired I returned to Toronto. Back home I continued to audition and picked up another bar job.

This bar job would prove to be an exceptionally extraordinary one for me. Not only did I make a slew of friendships that have turned into some of my most treasured blessings, six months into it I met my future husband working the bar next door to mine.

I've always found the actual job of bartending to be an enjoyable one, and whenever it ceases to be it's usually a sign I've out grown the establishment not the job. While slinging a few thousand dollars worth of drinks over the wood between 10pm and 2am, in a hormone charged night club used be my thing, these days I find more enjoyment working in fine dining where the pace is a little slower but the attention to detail is much greater. Fine dining also provides me with the opportunity to be constantly educated on the finer points of food, wine and service and least I forget the consummate professionals I work with.

Above and beyond the enjoyment of the actual job itself, there is the quality of life I'm afforded while not at the bar. I like the unconventional hours, I like working at the bar only 30 or so hours a week, and I like nurturing my entrepreneurial spirit during those extra available hours ever week. I like walking my dog for an hour in the morning, I like spending the better part of everyday with my husband and daughter, and I like taking photographs, doing yoga, learning to cook, writing blogs, and salvaging old furniture.

No, bartending will never make me a millionaire, but I don't need it to. I have been blessed with a natural appreciation for the simpler things in life which, more often then not - as we all know, are usually free (or at least on the more inexpensive side of life).

Interestingly enough though, I do believe money will continue to flow easily and frequently to us - more then likely as a result of something we start during our down time. Because, while we may not have dreams of buying things, we do have dreams of experiencing things (countries, restaurants, concerts, and oceans), and money would certainly help bring that specific dream to fruition.

Phew - that was a mouthful!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Photo Booth... Again

makes me happy.


Tonight, at approximately 6:47 pm, Stacy's computer died.

While the computer may be Stacy's... the problem solution is all mine.

There is an unwritten rule in our home that, if it plugs in... I'm in charge (insert bizzt noise here).

Once my appointment was made with Genius Bar @ the Apple Store for tomorrow morning there was little left to do tonight except have fun with the photobooth and... give Stacy my computer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Twice As Nice

makes me happy.



While having two daughters obviously rocks, having two blogs doesn't suck either. Have you checked out our other blog?

Well please do!

The Salvage Gardeners

Happy, happy Friday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Q & A's

make me happy.

We've recently received some very kind comments and emails from readers who wanted to let us know they appreciate what we're doing over here and that our words speak to them.

Thank you. I don't say thank you enough to our dear readers. This blog is a labour of love, I would continue to write it even if I was the only one reading it. Still, there's no denying how great it feels to learn that our words and photos may have been a bright spot in someone's day.

I also want you to know I do a lot of my email, comment, and blog reading at night, in the dark, while I'm feeding The Byrd. So please forgive me that I haven't been connecting back to you as quickly or as often as I should. Rest assurde, I'm always out there, reading and appreciating.


As I always, anytime someone drops me a line with a question in it, I try to answer it here, on the main page, just in case anyone else was wondering, and while the lights are on.

So yesterday, Anonymous left a comment wondering... How is it that you came to embrace your "life philosophy" (i.e. happiness is a choice)? And how did you decide on careers that gel with your beliefs?

Well, funny enough, my journey upon the Happy Rail actually began with a stop in at Complain-y Station. Sometime in my late twenties I grew really, really tired of listening to other people complain. Seriously, it used to drive me up the wall. It got so bad that Kevyn began to call me the Complainer of The Complainers.

Around the same time I grew to learn that it's impossible, really IMPOSSIBLE, to change anyone else... and there is a lot of energy wasted when we try.

Nevertheless, my desire to change the way I felt around complainers remained. And that's when I began to understand that the only place any, and all, change will come from is within.

If I wanted to change the way a felt about a situation, I had to change the way I thought about a situation. Say what you will but, the moment I changed the way I felt, and handled, being around complainers was the same moment the complainers disappeared from my life.

And that was all the proof I needed, to know, that all the power we need to live our very own best lives resides within ourselves. I am 100% responsible for my own happiness.


Okay, I'll have to get back to you with the second part of the question 'cause, I've got a lot to say about that but, someone wants to play tummy time now.

Best

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just Hangin Out

makes me happy.


With Stacy back to work, The Byrd and I have been spending more one on one time together.


The other day while we surfing the net together, I shopping the itunes store - she wanting to stalkbook mommy, we stumbled course the photobooth app.

Beeps, snaps and more beeps?!?


Oh we was entertained for at least 97 seconds!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting Out of Nature's Way

makes me happy.



Today, while grocery shopping, instead of listening to some tunes on my iphone, I chose to listen to the audio book my father in-law gave me for Christmas, The Seven Spiritual Laws For Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment by Deepak Chopra.

Within the first five minutes of listening these words lovingly sang to me...

Many People mistakenly believe that success is material. That it can be measured in money, prestige, or in an abundance of possessions. The success we want our children to achieve has many non material facets as well. It includes the ability to love and have compassion, to feel joy and spread it to others, knowing that your life serves a purpose, and finally a sense of connection to the creative power of the universe. If the meaning of your life unfolds to you everyday, in simplicity, wonder, and surprise, you have achieved success. Every child's ability to feel wonder, in the face of everyday existence is the surest proof we have that nature wants us to be successful. It is in our own nature to respond to life with joy.

That's what I'm saying!!

I think I'm going to like this book... a lot.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Top Shelf Mimosa's

make me happy.


In celebration of Laura's birthday we invited her and James over for brunch.

Back in the day, pre-pregnancy and pre-Byrdie, chances are we would have gone out and about somewhere fabulous for such a celebratory type of brunch.

Not so much anymore.

Now we stay in, invite people over, hang with The Byrd,


and serve Veuve with the orange juice and eggs. Basically we try to make our guests feel like the rock stars they are.

I think she was into it, yeah?


Oh, yeah!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Increments We Use To Measure

make me happy.


Any chance you think happiness is a good way to measure success?

Yeah, me too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fairy Dust

makes me happy.


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

- Denis Waitly


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Whatever Humps Your Camel

makes me happy.


When I got to the point of yesterday's post it got me thinking about a subject I've written about here a few times before.

The statement, "It's whatever works for you." certainly need not only apply to how one raises their children. In my opinion it could be the mantra for living one's life with peace and confidence.

At the end of the day, NOBODY could possibly be privy to all the nuances of your life that point you in the direction of the choices you make.

While opinions from others are sometimes asked for, and rarely appreciated, by this stage in the game we all know the our decisions are our own - as are the end results.

Hey, I want to make my bed if I'm going to be the one lying in it! Because really, only I know what kind of sheets I like, how much I can afford to spend on them, who I want to sleep on these sheets with, what time I want to get in and out of the sheets, which city, country, or continent I want the bed to be that I'm going to put these sheets on, and finally what I plan on doing with my life when I'm not chillin' on these sheets. Get it?

To be honest, I'm always a little wary of those who are overly opinionated about the way anyone else chooses to live their life.

Aren't we all just trying to do the very best we can with the knowledge and wherewithal we have?

And for fun, if I were to imagine Cashius and Byrdie were discussing this topic is the photo above, this is how I think it might go...

Byrdie - "How is it you spend your day Cash?"

Cashius - "Well, I like to wake up, walk, poop, eat, sleep, repeat."

Byrdie - "Das cool, das cool. Me, I'm all about the eat, poop, walk, sleep, eat, poop, walk, sleep routine."

Cashius - "Right on Byrd. Whatever sizzles your bacon baby. Whatever sizzles your bacon."

The End.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working Our Plan

makes me happy.


As you know I went back to work last week.

When Kev and I found out I was pregnant we worked really hard to save up enough money so I could stay home with The Byrd until January, focusing solely on her and not what was in our bank account. Come January the plan was always for me to go back to work part-time, 2 or 3 nights a week.

While it seemed like a smart, well thought out plan, when I had the baby, second thoughts seemed to creep up on me.

"There is no way I can leave this helpless little bundle of love - how could Kevyn possibly deal with her constant needs and how could I possibly pump enough milk to meet her demands?!?" Were the thoughts that kept coming to mind... frequently.

But I'm nothing if I'm not a believer and I believed I could figure out a way to make it work.

So, we began, from day 1, having the baby sleep in her crib. While I love the idea of the family bed, I knew this wasn't an option for us. After all, if I was going to rely on anyone else to come over and take care of her the last thing I wanted was for them to have to crawl into my bed to get her to sleep.

Then around 6 weeks we began establishing a bedtime routine - 6:30 bath, 6:45 eat, 7:15 sleep. Once in bed for the night there have only been a handful of times that the baby has left the nursery before she wakes in the morning (usually around 7am). That meant a lot of soothing, diaper changing and nursing in the complete dark BUT, it worked. While Byrdie can now sleep from 7:15pm until 3am, nurse, and go right back to sleep until 7am, even if she does wake for an extra feeding or because of bad tooth pain (she got her first tooth last week!) we can still back in her crib and asleep fairly quickly once her needs are met.

The other thing Byrdie and I worked on during these past few months was spreading her feedings out so she could easily go 3 1/2 to 4 hours between feeds. This was important to me because it would mean I could time everything so I would only miss one feeding while at work, which in essence would mean less pumping while still maintaining my milk production.

And with all that said, being back at work ROCKS! I'm telling you, slinging champagne again part-time has got to be one of the most perfect mommy jobs. Not only is my time away from Byrdie while she's awake very minimal, when we're together the next morning I've got so much more to talk to her about.

Now we're talking Bordeauxs instead of bottles, I'm telling her about the kind and funny people I get to work with, and all about interesting and insightful regulars whom I serve.

Which brings me to the point of this post. While chatting with one of my most favourite guests at the bar on Saturday night, she asked me how everything was going as a new mom and happy to share with me her tips, experiences and stories of what life was like for her when raised her babies. The thing that stuck with me the most about our conversation was how she was quick to point out and emphasize the point, "It's whatever works for you."

I couldn't have said it better. While I'm happy to share with you here what we've been up to these last 5 months, I in no way, shape or form, believe it's the ONLY way to raise a child, it's just simply what works for us.

Happy parents, happy, healthy babies - it's all that really matters!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Avocado & Tzatziki On Toast

makes me happy.



This simple, delicious and healthy meal is currently my favourite thing to have for lunch.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon all saw enjoying this easy, breezy fare.

That's right - I got my repeat on again and proud of it!

In other news... go visit me here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Collection

makes me happy.


I know I'm very lucky in the fact that Kevyn's jobs allow him to spend a lot of time at home with Cashius, Byrdie and I.

I'm also lucky in that my parents live next door and that my sister, Sandy and Evan like to have stay over visits, be it at our place or theirs.

And lucky am I to have friends who often stop for visits and are happy when we pop by their place.

While there are many lessons and tips I'd like tell Byrdie about as she grows, one of the first ones will surely be about the joy found in collecting moments in time with the people you love.

An invaluable collection indeed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Conclusive Communication

makes me happy.


Kev and I have come to learn that 99% of all mis-communications we have between one another boils down to a misinterpretation of the other's tone.

I find it amazing how the slightest variation in pitch or intonation can cause our minds to misconstrue the simplest of sentences into the severest of criticisms.

Which got me thinking that, if I'm ever unsure of the meaning behind Kevyn's tone - I'm going to make the most positive of assumptions about it rather then the most negative.

And with that decision came the one to apply this skill to everyone and everything this year.

Assume the best and attract the best. I'm telling ya - 2010 is going to be a good one!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Repeat

makes me happy.


Santa left this toque under the tree for me this year - how very Canadiana of him.


As you can tell by these multiple photos of me wearing it...


I dig it.

The same thing happened to me with a song today. Kev has turned me onto listening to my iphone while grocery shopping. I'm pretty sure everyone at our local store thinks I'm nuts. I know I dance down the aisles during a good tune and I'm pretty sure I'm singing aloud at times (which may be a little scary as there are a lot of things I am but a singer I am not).

So today I'm listening to the awesome mixed tape playlist that Byrdie's cousin Victoria made for her for Christmas and this song came on.



My mom is a total 50's and 60's rock 'n' roll junky so it brought back a nice feeling of listening to it with her and that playful beat put a bounce in my step and a smile on my face.

I listened to it about 11 times.

My name is Stacy Foley and I am a Repeater.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avatar

makes me happy.



It goes without saying that Avatar is a boat load of eye candy - James Cameron certainly has raised the bar in terms of what is visually possible in movie making.

But I gotta tell you, the story didn't suck either. I always appreciate story tellers version of the future and how our alien counter-parts think and behave.

Of course the Navi (the alien culture the humans are fighting) get it. They understand we are all connected, to each other and the planet, and with this clarity are able to see things that we humans are too cluttered up to - including love.

What surprised me though was how power and money hungry the humans are portrayed one hundred and fifty years into the future.

"Really?!?" I asked myself upon leaving the theater. "Are we still going to be killing and torturing ourselves and others over false power and money in one hundred and fifty years?"

I for one am hoping this is the single spot where Mr. Cameron missed the mark.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My First 5 Star of 2010

makes me happy.



I can not tell a lie - I've got a thing for out of focus photos. My mom always tells me I see the world through rose coloured glasses, I might argue that I see the world through some twenty one year olds' pair of beer goggles - life is happy, slightly blurry and of course everyone I meet is super sexy.

Anyhoo - this is the first photo I've taken in 2010 that received a 5 star rating in my iphoto. And on that note, I'm feeling this is going to be a year of many, many, many 5 stars.

Five star photos, five star relationships, five star earnings, five star physique and health, five experiences and moments, and most importantly five star abilities in the the arena of giving and receiving love.

And while I try not to give much energy to time and dates, if we're going to keep track, let the record show - every year of my life has been better then the last and, by the way the high vibrations are flowing around here, 2010 is going to be no exception.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hugs

make me happy.



And...



Byrdie too.