Friday, February 23, 2018

This Or That

I'm blatantly borrowing this blog post idea from Bekah. You all know how much I love reading these sorts of things so please let me know if you play along too!

Cake or Cookies
I'd much rather eat cookies than cake. Give me some Oreos or the chocolate chip cookies our local grocery store bakes and I'm happy.

Call or Text
Call. I'm still fairly bad at texting but use it mostly to arrange play dates with all the kids' school friends.

Coke or Pepsi

Do you even have to ask?!?!

Dogs or Cats

 Ummm... neither :) I'm really not an animal person, which is why my excitement over the animals on our safari last summer really surprised me.

Eggs or Pancakes

Again, neither. These are two quick suppers that Dave makes for himself and the kids. And I eat salad. Ha!

Facebook or Twitter
Facebook, although I have really lost my love for it lately. It just drives me a bit nuts. I'm rarely on Facebook these days which is why you should really check me out on...

Instagram or Pinterest
all the way!!! Although I really do love Pinterest for finding fun ideas for the kids' birthdays or Valentine's Day cards or fun experiments to do in the summer.

Marvel or DC

Ugh... I am so not a comic person.

Paperback or E-book

Paperbacks all the way! I don't know that I'll ever get into the e-book trend.
Give me all the physical books!

Summer or Winter

For the season, Summer. How long until I can wear shorts and t-shirts again? For the Olympics -- Winter! Whoo hoo!!! I'm a little Winter Olympics obsessed :)

Sweet or Spicy

Sweet. I cannot handle spice. Sam puts Tabasco sauce on his eggs and let's just say, he did NOT get that from me :)

Tattoos or Piercings

At one point in my life I did think about getting a tattoo. I have since changed my mind :) However, each of my ears are pierced twice, I have my nose pierced (and it felt like a really empowering thing to do), and my belly button was pierced for about a year. And now I'm done.

Tea or Coffee

Ummm... do I really have to choose?!?!?! Coffee (with hot chocolate) in the mornings, tea in the afternoons and evenings. Remember my mug cupboard?!?!

Yoga Pants or Jeans

It depends on the day. I'd say I generally prefer jeans unless I'm hanging around the house the whole day. Or if I'm really tired, but then I'd rather just keep my pjs on!

Zoo or Aquarium
Aquarium. I've never been a big zoo person and, honestly, our safari ruined zoos for me forever.
We really need to go visit the aquarium again...

I hope you enjoyed reading this and, as I said above, let me know if you decide to answer these questions.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Disney Cruise: Princesses Everywhere You Look

I want to devote a separate post to the scheduled princess meet and greets from our cruise. These were the only two events (Princesses and Frozen) which we had to reserve free tickets for and we had them on two different days. Again, I was so impressed with how much time each character gave to Rachel.
We only brought one princess dress for Rachel to wear but we could have probably bought another one. She loved walking down the stairs "like a princess" -- her interpretation!
At our first gathering we met four princesses. The first one was Cinderella. When Cinderella first greeted Rachel she twirled her, and since I wasn't expecting it, I wasn't ready to get a picture, so I asked if she could do it again. I'm so happy she did. Rachel was so excited to get to dance with Cinderella :)
Next up was Belle who was dressed for the ball.
I love how Rachel is telling her something and Belle is listening intently. I just loved how engaged they all were with Rachel.
We didn't know much about Princess Tiana but she became one of our favourite princesses. 
Rachel got to dance with Princess Tiana too :)
Last up was Rapunzel. Sam was along for all of this but just wanted the autographs of the princesses. He didn't want pictures taken with them. He even wore his pjs for the meeting (ha!).
The next day we had our Frozen Meet and Greet.
Again, I just loved watching the interaction between Rachel, Elsa, and Anna.

As we were leaving the Frozen Meet and Greet we randomly ran into Princess Tiana in the art gallery. Rachel was excited to show Tiana some of her favourite pictures and I was so impressed that Tiana took the time to interact with Rachel -- especially since she was probably supposed to be somewhere else.
There's a part of me that rebels at all things "princess" and we don't tend to make a big deal of them normally. But I have to say, there was a small part of me that wished I was Rachel's age and could be as unreservedly excited about meeting real princesses as Rachel was. I know that these will be unforgettable moments for Rachel.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Photo Of The Day - February 9 - 17, 2018

For the first time since about mid- December, we had a fairly normal week this past week. (Read: We've slept at home for two weeks in a row which is a record.) However, I did complain to Dave at one point that it was too much to have "Valentine's Day, the Olympics, and spelling tests all in the same week." Although I've heard that Valentine's Day requires less work all around after about Grade 6. Phew.

February 9, 2018 -- I think my tulips needed some water. Ha!

February 10, 2018 -- We had to shovel snow every day and were running out of places to put it. This was just one of our three big snow piles.

February 11, 2018 -- For some reason, Winter decided we needed freezing rain on top of all our snow. Rachel independently started chipping ice for us.
February 12, 2018 -- Dave knows I am much happier if I buy my own flowers. Here are the pink tulips I picked out for Valentine's Day.

February 13, 2018 -- Eating breakfast, watching the Olympics -- daily life around here these days.

February 14, 2018 -- Rachel reminded me the night before that we hadn't decorated for Valentine's Day. When I went to get our festive tablecloth out of the holiday box, it wasn't there. I must have decided it was too wrecked to keep last year. We made do with a pretty tablecloth from Dave's grandma, red and pink Fiestaware plates, and lots of pink and red tulips.

February 15, 2018 -- I have been so excited to get back to normal with walking after a couple of months of travel, illness, and being out of routine. However, my ankle complained this day. (I was born with club feet and wore casts for the first year of my life to fix them. Every once in a while my ankles get "unhappy" and I wear a tensor bandage for a few days until they feel better.)

February 16, 2018 -- We celebrated Willem's birthday a few days early and he let me make my Olympic rings fruit pizza for dessert.
As a little bonus, here's my photo of the day from February 7, 2014 -- four years and ten days before this:
Everyone's so little/young...

February 17, 2018 -- When Sam was about six months old I joined the local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Edmonton. One morning we were presented with a menu planning pad where we could plan a week at a time. I used it all up and the next year, when they couldn't find the same pad, the organizers handed us the one below. Since then (about eight years), I have been menu planning for a month at a time. It helps make life so much more sane. I am so sad that this month is the last sheet. I have bought another one but it isn't as awesome :(

Also, just because I have all the meals planned out for each day doesn't mean that a) meals don't get switched around or b) meal ideas don't get tossed out the window if I'm sick/don't feel like cooking/we randomly decide to go out. However, I would say about 90% of the meals go off as planned which I think is pretty good.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Disney Cruise: From KW to KW

Hey look at me -- this is my third blog post this week :) I'm still talking about the cruise but hopefully this post will be shorter than yesterday's.
On our first full day of the cruise we docked at Key West and had the option to explore a little bit. After a great breakfast, and after Sam watched a bit of the Cars movie on the Funnelvision, we headed out for the morning. When we booked the cruise I looked at the ports of call and then did some research as to what we might want to check out. We didn't book any port adventures because they are really expensive and we'd rather save our money to do other traveling - ha!
When we got to Key West we landed on a naval base and there were mini trains to take us into downtown Key West. We visited the closest Starbucks and then walked straight down the street for about half an hour and arrived at the Southernmost Point in the Continental US.
We had to wait in a line which was about twenty minutes long (I'd heard it could be up to an hour wait) to take a picture. I loved watching the kids watch the ocean.
We also met the "Southernmost Artist" as he called himself. Key West is known for its random rambling chickens and roosters, so we bought a piece of rooster art from him to hang on our travel wall.
After we saw the Southernmost Point, we found a rooster just hanging out.
While we were walking, Dave kept noticing all these signs, magnets, etc with "KW" on them. We're from a twin city called, "KW" for short, and it took us about an hour and a half to realize that "KW" stood for "Key West." We're quick that way :)
We had all day in port but rather than buying lunch on the shore, since we were done sightseeing, we caught a free trolley back to where we needed to catch the train to the ship. And then we had lunch on board. There was a restaurant called "Cabanas" which basically had a continuous buffet set up for breakfast, lunch, and, supposedly, supper as well. The food was really good and the selection was almost overwhelming.
This is a really bad picture of me taken by Rachel but it shows the personalized cup I got as one of my Fish Extender gifts.

That afternoon we put the kids in the kids' club because they had been begging to go. That wasn't our original plan but they really wanted this. Another reason I would love more "at sea" days on our next cruise is because the kids loved the kids' clubs and really wanted to spend more time there.
One of Rachel's school friends had done a Disney cruise and came back with her hair braided. This was the main thing Rachel wanted to do on our cruise so I'm glad we could take advantage of it. She got two braids which she kept in for a week and a half.
It was only the second night but our kids were already experienced cruisers. Ha!
Our restaurant on the second night was called Carioca's and it was South American inspired food. I think I was still recovering from the flu in terms of my appetite because I didn't really enjoy this meal. Sam however loved his lemon and another Mickey ice cream bar!
The highlight of Carioca's was when they made napkin hats or bows for everyone in the restaurant. That was hysterical! Some of the hats were amazing!
Our musical that night was Tangled, based on the Rapunzel story. I think it was probably my favourite show of all the ones we saw. And now I really want to see the movie.

PS. While I was looking for something else, I found this article which talks about how Carioca's will be renovated into Rapunzel's Royal Table starting in March of this year. I would have loved that, especially since Carioca's was my least favourite restaurant.

Before we went to bed, we ran into Goofy.
And every night our stateroom host would leave towel animals and chocolate for each of us :) I loved how he incorporated Sam's stuffed animals into the montage this night.