Happy birthday to my mum!

Today is my mum’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is, but she’s older than me! 🙂

Flora wasn’t able to catch her to say happy birthday over the phone (working on her birthday – silly mummy), so I made a little video for my mum to watch later.

There is a two year-old running around my house!

Flora turned two on Saturday. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years. Sometimes the time goes quickly and sometimes it feels like the boring, lather-rinse-repeat parts will go on forever. (For the record, the boring, lather-rinse-repeat parts aren’t so much family-related as they are maintenance and logistics-related.)

The last few weeks leading up to Flora’s birthday have brought small, but noticeable shifts and progression in who this kid really is. She’s been talking quite well for a while now, but she’s really starting to talk in full sentences and answer questions clearly and in ways that make sense.

She has her own little jokes and remembers things someone said to her and repeats them when they talk to her next. An example: Sean’s mum was giving Flora some orange pieces for breakfast. Grandma started teasing her that they were peaches. Flora said “No, oranges” and the conversation quickly turned into giggly shouts of “Oranges!” and “Peaches!” at each other. (At least we know where Sean gets his sense of humour from.) Every time Flora talked to her grandma, the argument could be started again just by grandma saying “peaches”. Sean and I could also get her going ourselves if we started the conversation.

(Click on the pictures to view larger versions)

Princess dress and Bills hatThe birthday girl in her new princess dress and Daddy’s hat.

The imagination switch has also been turned on. It is so much fun to watch her play with her toys now. She’s talking to them and bossing them around. We did some helium balloons for the party and she (and our other young party guest) couldn’t get enough of them, even when they flew away to the ceiling.

Balloons are cool

Balloons are coolFlora and Thomas get a big kick out of the balloons

I know that this stuff is perfectly ordinary and that all kids go through it. It’s still amazing to watch your own kid go through it for themselves. The changes are so big when they are so little.

Here are some more pictures from the party:

Birthday girlThe birthday girl in the party dress that Grandma made. The winter boot accessorizing was all Flora’s idea.

Presents!Grandma really liked that present

TricycleThe tricycle Sean picked out for her. It was a hit.

TricycleThomas gets a turn on the tricycle

Birthday cakeFlora wasn’t sure about what to do with the candles, but she had some helpers to show her what to do.

Everyone has their own laptop nowFlora now has her own (toy) laptop. No one is allowed to press her buttons (since she’s not allowed to press ours).

TricycleTricycling with Grandma the next morning.

Flora and GrandmaI don’t think they were arguing about oranges and peaches here, but you never know.

I used to be with it

“I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you.

Grampa Simpson, ‘Homerpalooza‘ episode of The Simpsons (Episode 3F21, original airdate: May 1996)

I didn’t believe Grampa Simpson at the time, but in the 14 years since this episode originally aired, I find this statement applies more and more to my life.

I’ve paid attention to music since I was a little kid. I remember rocking out with my parents when my mum and dad would put their records on and turn it up. I also remember when they’d turn up the music when they were having parties and my sister and I were supposed to be sleeping. Not sure how we were supposed to sleep through “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” played at top volume, but it helped when I knew what that song was when they played it at high school dances. (I clearly remember saying “Oh my *gawd*, my *parents* used to listen to this song!”)

I used to read a lot of music magazines. I didn’t always pick up the albums the critics recommended, but I liked knowing about them, and being able to know something about who was singing the song on the radio or on TV. Now, I rarely buy new music. I may pick up the odd album that a favourite band or artist has put out, but I find I’m even doing that less and less. Good thing I didn’t end up becoming a music critic as I dreamed of being when I was in high school.

I’ve recently started tuning into the pop stations when I’m driving by myself for errands and whatnot. I’m a rocker so this feels weird to me, but it gets me out of my head for a few minutes, even if I think some of the songs on today’s playlists are dirty dirty. (Another example of me no longer being with it – where did my cane go so I can shake it at the kids while I tell them to get off my lawn?) I’ve even been known to drive around a little longer just to hear the end of a song – something I haven’t done since I was a teenager.

While I’ve been writing this I’ve been trying out Grooveshark. I was happy to find some of my old favourites, but I got a huge kick out of the Lady Gaga/Beyonce/Metallica mashup “Enter Telephone”. Maybe I will catch up with today’s music yet. Or maybe not  – Sean just bought us concert tickets to see KISS – a band that made it big before either of us were even born. We’re crazy excited about it – we’ve never seen them before, and the show should be high on spectacle. Should be good value for my buck.

Because the biggest thing I’ve discovered about music since becoming an adult is that I’m a lot choosier about what I spend my money on.

Are you still up on the music of your youth? Do you pay attention to the music the kids are listening to? Does music sound as good as it did when you were a teenager? Let me know in the comments.

Best of: my favourite posts on hellomelissa.net

If you are new to hellomelissa.net, this page will lead you to some of my favourite posts on the site. There’s over fifteen years of writing here, and this page will save you from digging through the archives. Although if you really want to dig through the archives, go nuts.

Adventures and Misadventures

Adventures and misadventures make for the best stories.

Young Love

Stories from a marriage.

Motherhood, Parenting and Family Life

My take on modern motherhood.

Meta: Life Online

IRL is for sissies.


I don’t know where to file these ones.

  • Dimes – where I get thinking about a superstition my mother told me about a few years ago.


Because we all can use a new recipe once in a while.

Back Seat Driver

Flora and I were out and about yesterday. I needed to pick up my Maple Leaf prize pack from Emma (thanks again!), and since I met up with Emma in front of a grocery store, I decided to pick up a few things. (Full disclosure: I put the prize pack in the car, then went into the grocery store to do my shopping. I forgot that there were coupons in it – whatta bonehead!)

On the way there, I discovered that Flora is definitely listening to her father during their car rides together. On the way to the store, I was stopped at a light. The light must have taken its time to change, because I suddenly hear Flora say “MOOOVE!” in a surprisingly firm voice for a non-driving toddler. She sounded just like her father, who can get a little….impatient when he drives.

Fortunately, the light changed, and were able to continue on our trip without further incident or commentary from the peanut gallery in my back seat.

When the time comes for Flora to drive, I’m not sure which one of us should take her out. Sean and I have very different driving styles. It took me years of living here to get the courage up to drive in Toronto, and I still don’t do the 401 past the exit to our house when we’re traveling back from seeing the family in Prince Edward County. Sean on the other hand, was driving into the city (a two-and-a-half hour trip at the time) almost as soon as he could drive on his own and his mother would let him. (Buddy had concerts to see!) So needless to say, he’s a little braver than me, and does most of our driving when we are traveling as a family.

I think back to when I learned to drive. After a few bad outings with my mum where we both ended up crying thanks to nerves on both ends, we decided that she would not be my main experienced driver. So I went out with her friends and my soon-to-be-stepda and everyone’s nerves calmed down. I still drove with my mum, but not as much. It was a big moment for us when I was driving to the mall and she started cleaning out her purse.

Now my mum is just relieved that she doesn’t have to do all the city driving when she comes up to visit.

Being home on mat leave was what really got me driving in this city. It was either get brave and drive or be stuck at home. Yes, there’s public transit in Toronto and we used it too, but strollers in subways don’t always mix and doing errands is much easier with a car, especially with a young baby.

I can’t predict what kind of driver Flora will be at this age, but I do hope she takes the best habits from both of us, and we’ll do our best to teach her the rest (with the help of a capable driving instructor).

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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