Tag Archives: holidays

Our Winter

Today is the last day of winter! To celebrate, I have a little (or kinda long) winter recap of what we’ve been up to. Thanks to El Niño, it was short and sweet, requiring not too many walk-shoveling days.

It’ll take it all the way back to Christmas, I suppose. It was spent in BC with family, as per usual. First we headed to Nanaimo for Christmas with Tim’s family, which was an adventure with 10 adults, 3 kids, and a dog in a house undergoing an extensive kitchen renovation. blog 1 Then it was back to the mainland for time with my own family! A little less crazy, but just as fun!blog 2 While we were in BC, Tim and I (along with my personal tag-along) were able to get away for a couple nights to Squamish. We spent a couple hours in Whistler, and did the Peak 2 Peak gondola. As expected, it was so beautiful! And then it was back home. I’m finding every time we do the drive between Edmonton and the Coast, the boys require less and less to make them happy. It’s great! blog 3 When we arrived home, one of my Christmas presents was waiting for me…Michelle and Mark had painted our living room! It was quite a great gift. You can see a little before and after below. Other household changes in January were that we got Calvin a twin bed and moved him into his own room! The first week was a rough go for him, but the change was no sweat off Victor’s brow. Honestly, I was very surprised. Victor is our child who has to have things a specific way, and doesn’t take too kindly to change. But, he IS the introvert, so having Calvin away from him probably brought him great joy. Calvin, the extrovert, thought differently. This change also meant that Patrick could move out of our room and now sleeps in the crib in Victor’s room. It’s nice having our entire room back for ourselves. It feels so much less cluttered.blog 4This winter, there was an ice castle here in Edmonton. We went with our friends and it was really neat! A bit crowded, but Calvin had lots of fun roaming and finding little holes in the walls and such.
blog 5 Of course we spend a fair amount of time inside during the winter. This is what it looks like:blog 6 In February, I made a quick trip back to BC to celebrate the marriage of a close friend! This was Patrick’s first flight and he did great! A little sad at takeoff, because it was past his bedtime, but he soon fell fast asleep once we were cruising. It was nice to have a weekend away with just one son. A little break from the demands of the older two. And Tim had a good time with them at home! The wedding (or reception really, because they had already been married in Africa) was beautiful, and I’m so glad I could be there to support them. blog 7 And then it was back to winter once again.blog 8But spring came quick! And the kids are definitely not strangers to mud these days. I think our patio is going to have to have a good power-washing one day soon. Oh, and just because we may still be in our jammies, doesn’t mean we haven’t left the house. I love warm winter days!
blog 9 In the past few weeks, we’ve enjoyed the company of three different parties. First Tim’s parents came through, then my friend Anna and her son Parker (who is just a couple months older that Patrick), and finally Jordan and Amy. We love having company, and are happy they all took the time to come visit.blog 10These days Calvin is as energetic as ever, never stopping until he is 100% asleep. We have him signed up for soccer this spring, and I think he will enjoy is a lot. It’s going to be so great for him, being around other kids doing team sports. That’s kind of what makes his world go around. He is also testing our patience these days, with bouts of anger and attitude. It’s so hard to know how to handle their emotions that they don’t even completely understand.

Victor is still mostly his sweet, cute self. His mannerisms are so endearing and often have us smiling or laughing. He loves playing Star Wars, and if he gets you with his light sabre or “pewer”, you must “fall gown on yo back!” He’s also a good sport at falling down himself, when you get him. He plays fair! He’s also still awesome at playing on his own, which is especially great these days because he is not guaranteed to nap every day. I think he actually naps less than Calvin, who also is no longer a regular. But on days that they don’t nap, if we go somewhere in the evening (like 2 hours before bedtime), they can be out in 3 minutes. They still need to nap! I’m trying to have a better attitude about this. Please pray for me.

Patrick is growing and learning, like all 7-month-olds do. He is able to sit on his own (since 5 months), and experiences what I call “accidental mobility”; the kind that has him falling off couches (yeah…I know…) and falling on his belly from a sitting position while reaching for something. He has recently displaced Calvin in the Costco buggy which has made shopping a different kind of experience. Calvin can either be happy or mad about not being in the buggy. It’s a gamble. Patrick has started eating food, as he’s a super star! Well, he doesn’t know how to open his mouth for food, but he keeps everything in, which is amazing! You have to remember my last child detested everything, and still does. So I’m happy with this little guy! I just have to work super hard at getting his mouth open. Making him smile usually does the trick, but it takes a fair amount of effort. Same with laughing. You have to prepared to expend a lot of energy trying to get him to laugh, and then all you’re rewarded with is some sort of grunt or throat spasm, like he is trying to hold his laugh in. He’s a happy boy, but keeps his emotions on the DL. His second tooth has broken ground, and I’m going to miss his lone one he had on the bottom. It was so cute!

blog 12 A two last photos, because they were looking so cute for church one morning. :)blog 13You get seven points for reading to the end!

Life Lately

I just put a bunch of photos from my phone and camera onto the computer and realized there have been a number of things lately that could do with some documentation!

To start, I am going to jump all the way back to mid-June, when my brother and sister-in-law were here with their girls. You may recall my brother built my desk, but we did other stuff too! We went to the zoo, enjoyed the park and hung around the house while it rained. Thiessen Visit Thiessen Visit 2 Thiessen Visit 3In later June, the weather got pretty hot and sticky, so we enjoyed lots of popsicles, sprinkler times, and dinners in the shady evenings. And I’ll just quickly gloss over the fact that this weather made me a tad too cranky. LifeThen came July, and with it, the arrival of our van! New VanThe first time pushing the “start” button was to drive it home. The second time was to drive it out of province! We went to visit our good friends out in Regina so we could meet their new baby boy! I have to say there was almost too much cute in their house that weekend.
Morton Visit 1 Morton Visit 2A few days after we arrived back at home, Tim’s mom came out for a little visit. I suppose our guest bed had been cold for too long! She spent lots of time with the boys, which was great for me! We visited K-Days for the first time ever, which was fun. Hot and busy, but fun! And she and Michelle came to our church picnic.Mom Visit 1 Mom Visit 2Also, this past week I hit the 38-week mark in my pregnancy which means I am full term! Because of that, I decided it was time to get the “nursery” ready. 38 weeksTa da! Haha! I got the pack and play up, the newborn clothes washed and folded into their little drawers, and newborn diapers purchased. The car seat is just awaiting the insert to be washed (which I realized I had never done by machine, after being used for 2 babies already – yikes!) and my backpack is ready to be packed. Those things should be done this week, and then we will be 100% ready!

So that’s our summer this far. I feel like we haven’t done all that much, but putting all the photos and memories together in one post actually make it feel quite full! And the rest of the summer will be baby baby baby!

A Far Too Late Christmas Post

Remember Christmas? Yeah, I hardly do either. But I remember enough to know that I have not yet done any sort of post about it. So here I am. We were back in BC for almost 3 weeks, split between my family and Tim’s family. I didn’t take all that many photos, but here is a little sample of what I did take.  Christmas 1Christmas 2

Not a super interesting post, but this is mainly to help me not forget that Christmas 2014 actually did happen.

I’m Back!

I’ve actually been back for almost a week now. Back to normal life with no big trips planned for any time soon. Unless Christmas is soon! Our time in BC was wonderful! The boys and I spent the whole time on the mainland at my parents’ house. There were a couple weddings we attended and also Thanksgiving. The whole time was well spent with family, friends, and good times. Here is a quick glimpse of what we got up to.

My boys, the splendid travelers. Though not perfect, they did quite well on the short flight.

My boys, the splendid travelers. Though not perfect, they did quite well on the short flight.

We spent time in the backyard, at the park and hanging out inside.

We spent time in the backyard, at the park and hanging out inside.

We also got to spend some good time with my siblings, nieces and nephew. I love that Calvin is now old enough to remember his cousins and have tons of fun with them!

We also got to spend some good time with my siblings, nieces and nephew. I love that Calvin is now old enough to remember his cousins and have tons of fun with them!

I also hung out with some old friends, who come with new friends for my boys!

I also hung out with some old friends, who come with new friends for my boys!

We had a couple outings, like going to the States and treating the boys to some Edaleen Dairy ice cream.

We had a couple outings, like going to the States and treating the boys to some Edaleen Dairy ice cream.

Since we didn't go to the island this trip, I was glad we were able to spend some time with Tim's family when they came to Abbotsford for a wedding.

Since we didn’t go to the island this trip, I was glad we were able to spend some time with Tim’s family when they came to Abbotsford for a wedding.

We had our extended family Thanksgiving dinner at the cabin. It's always wonderful to catch up with my own cousins and see how their babies are growing.

We had our extended family Thanksgiving dinner at the cabin. It’s always wonderful to catch up with my own cousins and see how their babies are growing.

Stay tuned for a couple more posts I need to catch up on!

Alaskan Cruise (Part 4)

Read part 3.

Nothing particular interesting happened in the last handful of days. Just a stop in Ketchikan where we did a little more walking around. We only docked in the late morning though, so there wasn’t much time before naps had to be taken. The weather continued to be beautiful and there was more deck time.

Oh, and our ship, the Zaandam? Yeah, it was christened by none other than the Olson Twins, back in 2000. That was a fun discovery!alaska part 4 (1)alaska part 4 (2)
Cruising in Conclusion

Being my first cruise, I didn’t know what to expect. Over all, I had a great time and cruising is a wonderful way to vacation when you don’t want to have to take care of your own meals or laundry. There were a couple things that felt a little strange to me:
I felt like such an intruder on these tiny Alaskan towns. Here we are, coming in on our floating resort that is pretty much as long as their main street, crowding their sidewalks and stealing their WiFi. We come in the day and leave the place deserted at night. Can’t we leave the locals in peace and let them have a balanced life? Victoria is a cruise port, but it is more of a destination for people to stay in hotels, so I never felt like the cruise ship passengers were intruding on our city. Plus, Victoria is much bigger than the ports we stopped in. As an aside, at the hotel I worked at, we could tell who was going to go on a cruise or who came off of one, just judging by their luggage! They always had the biggest, heaviest bags.
The other thing is just the feeling of…something…with the staff. They are all so friendly and great at what they do, but at the end of the day, you know they go down just a floor or two below you, and sleep in rooms more crowded than yours, not seeing their family for months on end, while we are all partying with our families, having them wait on us and serve us all this food that their families could probably only dream about. I kind of felt bad for them and wished they could experience the ship the way we did. But that is the nature of a cruise ship I suppose. The crew can’t go home at the end of the day. We all have to share the same toilet water. Maybe this is coming across different than how I feel? In any case, I loved the staff. A handful of them made it a point to remember the boys’ names and make them smile and ask where they were if they weren’t with us at the moment. They recongnized all our faces, and were always “on”.

A couple quick notes about cruising with kids:
I can only speak for Holland America line, but children who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pools or the kids club. The case may be different on say, the Disney line, where they cater to kids. Well, maybe not the pools still because water on a ship is precious. But even on a line that usually is more adult oriented, I never felt like the boys were snubbed or not thought of. If we were to go again with just our family, I would look for a line that has more amenities that my kids could take advantage of. I didn’t bring anything along for Calvin, besides some books, but there was no shortage of stuff for him to do between tennis, basketball, ping pong, and just plain running around. The boy loves his sports activities! If your child isn’t into that kind of stuff, I don’t know what you would do.

And that’s all!

Alaskan Cruise (Part 3)

Read part 2.

Our fifth day at sea was our scenic cruising day. We woke up to a gorgeous view outside our window. I guess that made the fact that the boys woke up while the first digit on the clock was still “4” a little bit okay. Seriously, they were kind of backwards with the time. We set our clocks back one hour on the second day or something, but they kept waking up earlier and earlier. So we killed a few hours with a bath for the boys and a first breakfast before meeting everybody in the dining room for a fancy breakfast later.alaska part 3 (1)Then we all headed outside to get a full view of our scenic day. Our ship was taking us up Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier. At one point I saw a bunch of people on one side of the ship taking photos of something. I thought it was a whale, but when I went to look, it was the tiniest piece of ice floating by. It was hilarious! Kind of akin to tourists stopping on the highway in Jasper or Banff to take a photo of a common deer.
5 (40)alaska part 3 (2) After an hour or two (I really have no clue…who keeps time on a holiday, except in the morning hours when you are trying to entertain kids before the buffet opens), the end point, the Sawyer Glacier, came into view. The bow was open all day long for optimum viewing points.5 (50)The ship staff served yummy pea soup while we gazed about. Seems kind of random, especially for mid-morning, but it’s a Dutch thing? Poor Victor missed it all. But it was really funny how many random people came up to take a photo of him, because he looked so cute in his moose (or caribou some people called it) hat.alaska part 3 (3) 5 (66) For size perspective, the little dark dots are seals. alaska part 3 (4)We stood out on the bow for a good couple hours. They ship sat there for a couple hours, and turned around halfway through to allow the other side a good view as well. We were almost the last ones standing out there, once it was time to head back out. Such a beautiful place!alaska part 3 (5)5 (82)Back inside, Victor had yet another nap, Calvin impersonated the turn down towel art of the day, and then mom and dad took the boys so Tim and I could have a dinner all to ourselves. What a lovely day!alaska part 3 (6)

Alaskan Cruise (Part 2)

Read part 1.

The morning of day three found us in a little more scenic waters. We could actually see land! Alaska part 2 (1) Day three was also our first port of call. Juneau! It also happened to be the hottest day of the trip. Too bad I didn’t realize that before we left the ship! We were kind of sweltering. And the locals were complaining.

The thing about these cities/town in Alaska that you stop in is that they are tiny and the shops are there entirely for the tourists. It gets super crowded and you have to leave the main strips in order for walking on the sidewalk to be comfortable. When we did that, we came across a cute antique store! Unfortunately it was Sunday so it was closed. Fortunately, Tim found some free WiFi while standing outside the door.

Juneau is built on hills and the homes are all colourfully painted. It really is a cute place. And it would be an excellent shopping town if all you wanted was jewelry and furs. I think Alaskan cruises are more about the excursions than the actual towns you stop in. We didn’t do any excursions, and I am also terrible at being a tourist, so ports of call weren’t all that exciting for us. Mainly just a chance to get off the ship.
alaska part 2 (2) alaska part 2 (3) After a couple hours we were back on board. The following photos are a good picture of what Calvin did a lot of: walking, sitting for a moment when somebody wanted to sit for longer, and playing ping pong, or “tennis” and Calvin calls it.alaska part 2 (4)On day 4 we stopped in Skagway. It was our one real rainy day. Again, Skayway is full of tourist shops selling jewelry and trinkets. We wandered around, found a library with free WiFi, because that is super important. We spent a couple hours of the morning out there, then made our way back to the ship for lunch and naps. alaska part 2 (5) alaska part 2 (6)Read part 3.