Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What happened to 'family' entertainment?

I feel slightly apprehensive about what I am writing, so I am going to start by saying this in hopes that I dont offend anyone.
This is not targeted at anybody. Its something I personally struggle with and these thoughts have been bouncing around in my head for the last little while and I wanted to share them.

I really enjoy movies and TV shows. I enjoy having a good laugh, being moved to tears and just turning my brain off for a while to be entertained. But is it just me or are things going more and more down hill all the time as far as morals??

Yes, I am a Christian and with that comes certain beliefs. There are things that God has said through his word (the Bible) that I (speaking for myself here) should be avoiding. And just because I am a Christian in no way means that its an easy thing to do! Far from it!

But I am also thinking of this from another perspective, and that's as a parent. Even If I wasn't a Christian I would hope that I would be careful of what my children are being exposed to. As a mom, I am responsible to bring my children up in a safe and healthy environment. I have to lead by example. If they see me doing, saying or watching something then in reality, they will think its okay for them to do. And would I be okay if my children watched media or spoke the way I do?

When I was a kid, shows like Saved by the Bell were considered borderline inappropriate. And that was only because the girls would show off their belly buttons from time to time. Back when my parents were kids, you wouldn't see a husband and wife in the same bed on a TV show. 15-20 years ago, things like cursing, nudity and gory violence were a rare thing. You could find them if you really wanted to, but they weren't in regular programming. Now they are everywhere!
Families use to watch shows like Little House on the Prairie, Americas Funniest Home Videos and Full House. I hope many still do.
But here is where my annoyance comes in with the media. Why is there such a lack of family friendly entertainment being made? Yes, there are the 'kids' stations with clean cartoons and programming and every now and then a films comes out that is awesome and clean. But I am talking about your average television shows and movies. If you look at the local theatre listings, on average you will see one film at a time that is meant for families. And it still usually has a PG rating. How often do we see G rated movies? Is it because our children have become so desensitised that a G film isn't entertaining enough anymore? That's a huge problem! How do we fix that?

I can honestly say that I don't know what the answer is. I said it before and Ill say it again, I enjoy my TV and movies. And I am not about to pull the plug on my cable or vow to see G rated films only for the rest of my life. Because I know it wont happen. I wouldnt be watching anything anymore. And there is some good clean entertainment still out there to be seen.

But maybe I do need to raise my standards and listen to my conscience more when something (or should I say someone) is telling me that this is junk and I need to shut it off. Because I know I have chosen to ignore that. There are some shows I watch now that I probably need to just let go of.
Not just because I am a Christian. But because I am also a parent.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Mommy moments

It's not very often that I get to be in pictures with Noah, because I am always the one behind the camera. It literally takes me shoving the camera in my husbands hands and saying, 'click away please!' or else actually getting someone to do a 'photoshoot' of sorts in order to get some shots.

My husband got some pretty good ones over the weekend. Sadly, a few are a bit blurry, but its better then nothing!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sunny day fun

The Bechards had a GREAT day today.

It started out very well (at least for me.) I was treated to a bit of extra time lounging in bed while my husband got up with Noah, fed him and prepared me breakfast. Felt like Mothers Day all over again. But nope, my husband is just that awesome.

But Noah had an extra great day. He experienced several firsts due to the beautiful hot weather we had.

His first Popsicle! Daddy was kind enough to share his with him. After one lick, Noah was hooked.

We had Noah outside playing on our deck and decided to let him check out his new splash pool. There isn't much Noah loves more then splashing water all over the place. And bonus, the pool cost us $2.00!

It didn't take long before Noah decided that simply splashing wasn't enough. So we stripped him down and in he went for a good half an hour. He had a blast!

At the end of the day, Daddy and Noah did some playing under a blanket tent. He wasn't totally sure what to think about it - but his musical toys sure lit up brightly under there!

Another first? Hes got a new word. Yesterday after reading a book that had a picture of Winnie the Pooh eating honey and saying 'Yum Yum' Noah started saying 'Um um um' when he eats something he likes. What a cutie pie!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The great Facebook purge

I'm not the only one who does this right?

Every now and then I go through my facebook friends list and do some 'purging' if you will. I'm not trying to be mean, honest. In fact the only reason I have so many people on there in the first place is because I am trying to be nice and not exclude someone who adds me.

But every now and then I think to myself - would I actually talk to this person if I ran into them somewhere? Or would it be one of the super awkward situations where you both know you see each other but intentionally don't make contact because of the super awkward conversation you would probably have.

And then there are the people that I do know and probably would talk to if I ran into them, but I just don't like the junk they post or the language that I am forced to see on my news feed every time I sign on. That's not the kind of stuff I want circulating in my brain all day long.

So I am really sorry if you are one of the 45 people I just deleted... Its nothing personal... its just that I don't 'know' you anymore.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Transition to table foods?

I have a question for other mommies out there. I cant seem to find a real concrete answer on when is a good time to start giving your child table foods. My doctor suggests to waiting until almost a year - but I am not exactly sure what his definition of 'almost' is.

Noah is over 9 months now and I'm wondering if I should be giving him something other then strained foods and formula. I know formula/breast milk should be his main source of nourishment still, but shouldn't he be practising how to pick up foods and feed himself at this point? I guess I have a fear of my child being behind just because I as a mommy screwed up haha. I am also terrified of him choking! Oh, and he does have 6 teeth at this point if that factors in at all.

Its just hard because I have read a million different things. No table foods til actively crawling. No table foods til teeth. Table foods at 6 months. Table foods at a year.

HELP! What did you do/are you doing? What kind of foods did you start with? What has your experience been at 9 months of age?

... I just really want Noah to be able to dive into his birthday cupcake in 3 months...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Musical Noah

I have mentioned before that Noah loves music. Even when he was in my belly he would respond to music with kicks and jabs.

Now he just loves to get his hands on something to make noise. It started with my salad bowl being used as a drum, but now he also loves to bang on the piano, clap his hands and sings.

We managed to catch a bit of evidence so I thought I would share :)

And... video footage!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hello, 9 month old

My little sweetheart is officially 9 months old now (as of yesterday.) I have noticed huge changes in him over the past week. Not physically, I never seem to notice those ones likes everybody else because I see him everyday, but his personality is just becoming more and more obvious to me.

He is great at independent play. I can actually leave him on the carpet with a bunch of toys and he will be quite happy for a good half an hour, sometimes more.

He does not like goodbyes. When certain people go to leave him now he will start crying and hold his arms out for them. Its sweet but heartbreaking at the same time.

He loves to be the centre of attention. Nothing makes him happier then having a whole group of people focused on him while he demonstrates his 'patty cake' skills, points out different things in the room or blows raspberries in their faces.

He does not like to have a dirty diaper. He can be in the middle of drinking his bottle or eating his food, but if he poops it is all over. He will not eat another bite until he has been changed. I am hoping this means he will be an easy one to potty train!

His favorite things are music, Mickey Mouse, kicking a ball, hitting his 'drum' with blocks and splashing in the bath.
In just three short months my baby boy will be a year old. I get misty eyed just thinking about it!
Why do they have to grow up so fast!?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I'm working on something...

I've decided to start another blog. Not to worry, this personal blog is staying put and I plan to keep up with it. But I decided to start a second blog about all things Disney. I get asked alot of questions from people about my travels to the magical land and I very much enjoy talking about the topic in general. So, I decided I'd do some blogging about it. Itll be a good outlet for me and hopefully offer up some advice for others.

If you are interested, there is a link on the right side of this page. Ive called it Pixie Dust Memories.
Or, you can simply follow this link here.

PS - If there is anyone else who has been on a Disney trip (be it any of the parks or a cruise) and would be willing to share a story, highlight, review or photo from their trip, please let me know. Would love love love to add some guest blog entries. Thanks!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Heavenly thoughts

Matt and I had the pleasure of attending a Third Day concert Friday night and we had an absolutely wonderful time! It's always great being surrounded by a bunch of Christians praising God.

At one point the whole auditorium was singing, 'Holy Holy Holy... Lord God Almighty..." without any instruments. It was just hundreds if voices lifted up in worship to God. It was pretty moving and it made me think,"Wow. We think this sounds incredible? How much more incredible will it be when we are in Heaven and there are thousands upon thousands of voices doing this?"
I can't even imagine. But I'm sure eager to hear it!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My beautiful friend

Recently I had the opportunity to do some catching up with one of my dearest friends. Her and her husband are missionary's in Nicaragua so I only get to see her once or twice a year. She is one of those friends that no matter how often we talk (and believe me... its not as often as we would like) we easily fall back into the exact same kind of friendship we had before. It is like nothings changed with us, even though everything around us has.
But we love to reminisce about the olden days. The emotional and intense 1am phone calls, our bizarre snacking habits, our crazy book character conversations and our quirky 'birthday' traditions (that so wouldn't go over with our husbands now by the way...)

When she visits it reminds me how much I miss having her a part of my daily life. Especially as a mother. But its okay, because for now I know that she is exactly where God wants her to be. And where else could be better then in His will?

I am beyond excited that she is soon to be a mommy! She is hands down one of the most gorgeous pregnant woman I have ever seen.
Wouldn't you agree?

Noah was totally absorbed in her belly. I guess he hasn't been around any pregnant woman recently so it was the first time he has seen anything like it. He kept looking back and forth from her face to her belly and touching it. It was pretty cute!

Heart to Heart. Love you Al!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Stay at home mommy

My maternity leave is officially ending this month. Wow. You think that a year is a long time but its really not. With that comes a decision... Matt and I have decided that I will not be returning to work and will be staying home with Noah full time.

I love being a mommy. Its what I always dreamt of doing one day. Stay home, raise my children and take care of my house. Not very woman's lib I know, but its what I love to do. I feel very fortunate to be in a position where that is an actual financial possibility for us. I  know its not for many.

Stay at home mommies get flack sometimes because people think its an excuse to be lazy (people who haven't done it Id imagine...) But I think anyone who actually takes care of a child and a house fulltime knows that there is not alot of sitting around watching TV time. Its busy and exhausting, and sometimes lonely. It would be easier for me to go to work and spend a day socialising with people my own age. But I feel called to concentrate on my own family for the next several years. I want to put all my energy into raising my children how we want them raised. And for that I need to be at home.

Its hard because I really did love my job. I worked with the most wonderful people everyday. I also found it to be an incredibly rewarding job.
I am not totally saying goodbye. I do plan to go on the sub list for the three schools I have worked at. It'll be good to get out of the usual routine now and then, be challenged in a different way and it doesn't hurt the bank account either. But for now, this is our plan.

To all of you whom I have had the joy of working with at the Christian school the past several years, both staff, parents and students- you have all made an impact on my life and it has been a joy being around you each day. I will miss you!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Noah meets some fishies

Today Matt and I decided to have a 'family day' and took Noah on his first trip to the Aquarium; just the three of us. It was alot of fun but man were we exhausted afterwards! Funny, I don't remember being tired like this in Disneyland. It must have been the small walking areas and teeny tiny bathrooms that made it feel more claustrophobic. They could really use a bit of renovations for such a popular Vancouver attractions.

We took Noah to the Dolphin show first, stupidly thinking it would be a great introduction. We had a great viewing spot; right in front of where they would jump! Our bad. They were way too close for Noah's comfort and we ended up leaving the area in about 10 minutes. Dolphins are just too fast and too unpredictable for a 9 month old!

We decided to opt for something a little more slow moving and took him down to see the Belugas. Definitely more his style. He loved sitting and watching them swim while Daddy & Mommy ate some lunch.

We then set off to enjoy all the other tanks and exhibits the Aquarium had to offer. Noah loved leaning in close to get a good look at everything.

By the way... he did end up enjoying his second viewing of the Dolphin show... from the underground viewing area. Better luck next time.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Reflections... Our Wedding Day pt 4

*in case you missed it... you can find part 3 here *

... the wedding was perfect! I couldn't have imagined it being any better. Is that crazy or what? How is it possible that our wedding day turned out to be better then we could ever have imagined and we didn't even know whether it would happen only a week before.

The ceremony was beautiful. Matt and I said 'I do' amongst tropical flowers, palm trees and the ocean behind us. We had loved ones around us; supporting us, encouraging us and just 'being there' for us. It was a very hot day, around 32 degrees, but I barely noticed.

Our wedding party - too bad all our guests weren't in this picture too!

We enjoyed an incredibly unique reception with traditional Hawaiian music and fantastic food, right on the ocean. We had a private table just for our group. Such a blast and totally unforgetable!

We couldn't have planned anything more perfect. God had a better plan for us that we had for ourselves. And seriously... what a story!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Reflections... our crazy wedding story pt 3

... So we were all booked to go to Hawaii along with a group of friends.
*you can read part 2 here *
*or part 1 here *

Matt and I looked up local photographers and found one for a good price that we liked. We called him up and he said he only had one date of availability; the following Thursday. We looked at each other and said, "Okay, guess we'll get married next Thursday!"

We knew we wouldn't be able to plan a full reception last minute. My family and I had been to a Luau a few years back run by the Christian group YWAM and wondered if that would make a good dinner reception. After all, it was entertainment and great food! We called them up and sure enough they were more then happy to accommodate our whole group for the Thursday evening show.

The next day we drove down to Arlington and stayed over night with some very dear friends of ours. The following morning we all met up at the airport (at least all of those from BC and Washington state. There was also a group of family coming from Toronto) and took off to Hawaii.

Once there we started to plan out little details. There was a beautiful garden at the resort and we decided that we should hold the ceremony there. My dad talked with the resort and planned out chairs and a hoopa. My mother and Aunt drove up the street to the florist and planned out the flowers. Our friend Ashley started practising some music for during the ceremony. And I attempted to relax.

Once that was all arranged; we vacationed. We hit up the beaches, the local dining and enjoyed everyones company around the pool. This was why we had decided on a destination wedding in the first place. We wanted to spend quality time with loved ones in a beautiful location. It was wonderful.

There were a few hiccoughs along the way - if you can even call them that. I had no place to get my hair, nails or makeup done. But no big deal, I did them myself. My maid of Honor ended up with some kind of eye trouble. No problem, we got some antibiotics from a local doctors office. I passed out in a Subway restaurant the afternoon before the wedding; not exactly what you envision for the day before you wedding, but I sat through my rehearsal ceremony and was in bed by 7pm.

I woke up the morning of May 7th, sat on my giant lanai with my best girlfriend Ally soaking up the beautiful scenery and feeling 100% calm. Finally, after a year and a half engagement, a cancelled wedding and alot of stress, I was going to marry Matt. be continued... (the final part...)