Monday, August 31, 2015

Tales From New York City

Yesterday Dave's cousin got married on Long Island. We drove to New York for the wedding. On Saturday we got to spend the whole day in the city, and did we have fun! So grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy this whirlwind tour of our day. We took a train to Grand Central Station and then walked all over town. Well, okay, not really, but it sure felt like it :)
Since Sam just finished reading James And The Giant Peach last week, and the peach lands on the Empire State Building, we first walked there. We decided not to go up it this time, so we just walked to it. The kids were a little underwhelmed!

Then we walked to the library and spent some time in the children's section. They had a Mary Poppins' display so we got to see a familiar umbrella.
After one last picture with the lions, and a snack, we walked towards Times Square.
Rachel LOVED Times Square because there were all these people dressed up like Disney characters who kept wanting to shake her hand. Thankfully she didn't notice that they only pushed their character heads down over their faces as they walked up to her, or that there were two Olafs and numerous Mickey and Minnie Mouses. She called Minnie Mouse "the ladybug" and kept exclaiming, "This is SO COOL! I didn't know Anna, Elsa, and Olaf were going to be here. This is SO COOL!"
And no, the"Love" sculpture isn't in Times Square but it was on our walk towards Central Park.
We ate lunch at the "Hard Rock Cafe," as Dave dubbed it. Or you know, we picked up deli sandwiches and ate on a rock. Ha!
Rachel was too distracted by the "beautiful horses" to eat much...
...and Dave and Sam went for a jog!
Rachel's good day got even better when we rode on the Central Park Carousel. She wanted about fifteen more rides!

As we were leaving the park, we ran into a bubble maker, who invited Rachel to help out. He invited Sam to help too, but Sam prefers to watch at a distance. Rachel was thrilled!
Then, because we're really fancy, we went pee at The Plaza Hotel. The kids wanted to get their shoes shined but we said no :)
And since this post is already fairly long, I'll save the next part of our adventure until tomorrow. I have to say, I am not a big city person, but I absolutely love New York City. I could go there over and over again and never get sick of it. I love introducing the kids to it a piece (or two) at a time. And I'm glad they seem to enjoy it too.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer 2015: Week 9

This past week has been rather quiet. After our exciting weekend, the kids spent three days in childcare, I spent three days at work, and in the evenings, we were trying to get things done -- things like baths and errands -- you know, super thrilling stuff like that.

Even though it's been a "quiet week" it has, however, not been a "relaxing week" so, truthfully, I'm kind of tired. However, as you're reading this, we're on our way to New York to celebrate Dave's cousin's wedding, and to spend some time in the city. And I'm going to go to Target! Whoo hoo!!! Trust me, this is exciting :)

(And when I looked at the pictures for this week, it shows that the kids spent a lot of time in the Chariot. Fun?!?)
Last Friday we took a trip to the library after I got home from work. The kids each got out a bunch of books. In fact, I think our current library book total (for all four of us) is 63 books.
We needed to buy some bananas and get air in the Chariot's tires so we stopped at Tim's for Timbits. Sam was so enthusiastic about me taking a picture, that when he flung his arms out, he threw his Timbit. So we had to buy him another one.
I discovered that one way to get some exercise, on the days when I worked, was to walk the kids to childcare. Above left is the morning ride when they were excited for the day. Above right is the afternoon ride where Rachel feel asleep because she was exhausted from the day.
Since Dave's grandpa's birthday is in September, we thought we would make some cards to take to him this weekend. I love seeing how Sam's colouring has changed.

And because we're gone, Sam's floor is being redone. So we had to pack everything up. Let me just say that packing up one room is a whole heck of a lot simpler than packing up five rooms. Whew.
And in terms of unpacking, I finally finished putting everything from the last round of floor refinishing back in its spot. My office was the last to get unpacked and I sure am glad to have it in order again.

And in a surprise move, we FINALLY (!!!) got rid of the last potty in our house. It was kind of smelly so it got kicked to the curb as opposed to us finding a good home for it. Rachel's enthusiasm does not even come close to matching mine! Whooooo hooooo!!!
And that was our Week 9 of summer. Next week will be the last week of summer and it's a full one of coming back from New York, doing childcare for my friends', and trying to fit some working time in there somewhere. Yeeks.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 10: The Weather

This week the writing challenge is to talk about the weather, so this will be really exciting :) Actually one of the things I like most about where we live is that we truly get to experience all four seasons in their entirety.

Right now we're just coming out of a cool summer week. It's been highs of 20C (68F) and lows around 12C (53F). It's been sunny but a little cool, which has been such a blessed relief after the heat of last week. "Heat" for us is defined as around 30C (86F), which I know for most of you sounds positively glorious. Next week we'll be back to highs in the high 20s and low 30sC (80sF). I love it because it's not (usually) too hot to be outside and enjoy the weather.
Fall is one of my favourite times of the year. We get a nice, long, beautiful fall here with moderate temperatures (highs of 10-20C (50-70F)) and the leaves change glorious colours. In fact, some of the trees are starting to showcase their fall beauty already.
Sam and I in October 2013.

Winter is the one season I'm not crazy about here. Lately we've been getting some pretty cold temperatures (-30C (-22F)) and a ton of snow. And it sometimes starts as early as mid-November and doesn't really end until mid-March -- that's about a month too long in my opinion. These past few winters have been hard with young kids, especially taking Sam to school and back twice a day. That's been about an hour and a half of being outside every day for Miss Rachel and me. I'm excited that this year I'll get to drop her off too! Walking home by myself will be a treat -- even if it is freezing out!
And I honestly can't decide if Spring or Fall is my favourite season. I think Spring wins by a slight margin because it comes after the long, cold, winter, and my birthday is in Spring. And I get sooooo excited about working in our yard and going outside in a light jacket and shoes after bundling up all winter. To truly experience my excitement about Spring, go and read this post. I still smile remembering how very happy I was that day :)
So that's the weather around these parts. What's your favourite weather? Have I tempted you to move here at all?! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: August Edition


I wasn't actually planning on writing a blog post for today but then I remembered it's "What's Up Wednesday" with all the people listed above, and it's a fun way to check in. So here goes...

What we're eating this week... Kale Chips!!! I devoured almost an entire head of kale made into chips while I wrote this blog post. I'm telling myself that at least they're healthy :)
What I'm reminiscing about... My TimeHop has been reminding me that two years ago this month, after a four and a half month closing, we moved into our house. In some ways our life has been eerily similar this past month as we've packed and unpacked many of the rooms in our house as a result of getting our floors redone. Sam's room gets done this weekend and then we're done! Yay!

What I'm loving... My flower share. It's seriously been so much fun. I especially love that, after I commented on Stephanie's Instagram about how beautiful the bouquets were that she made for a wedding this past weekend, she duplicated a few for the flower share this week and made sure to save me one. How's that for personal service?!
What we've been up to... Packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking, repeat... But it's almost done. And it's been so worth it. And besides all the floor chaos, we've also packed and unpacked for two out of province trips this month.

What I'm dreading... Our very long travel day this coming Monday. We normally try to split the twelve hour trip over two days, but we're attending a wedding on Sunday on Long Island and need to be home for work on Tuesday. Fun times.

What I'm working on... Learning how to do all the things I need to do at work, on my own. It's taking me about three times as long as it should to do everything. Thankfully, it will only go up from here, right?!?!?

What I'm excited about... Marshall's in our city carries big bows!!! I bought a package for Rachel tonight and she promptly declared the purple star bow her "nighttime bow" and was super-excited about it.
What I'm watching/reading... I've been reading mostly non-fiction lately, which is really odd. Currently, I'm working on "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo, and while I don't know that I agree with everything she says, I am looking forward to going through our house in a couple of weekends and getting rid of things.

What I'm listening to... The Blue Jays playing the Texas Rangers on the radio. Since we don't have a TV, we've been listening to a lot of Blue Jays baseball this summer.  And the Blue Jays are currently tied for first in the standings with the Yankees. Whooo hoooo!!!!!

What I'm wearing... Work clothes have been a lot more fun than I anticipated. It's been nice to switch up the pjs and yoga pants. Ha ha ha! I've been specializing in t-shirts, skirts, necklaces, and flip flops. In the summer you can often find my sunglasses on top of my head and my toes painted a bright colour.
Dave calls the pose on the right the "I was an ancient Egyptian in a former life" pose.
He's so funny :)
What I'm doing this weekend... We're heading to New York for Dave's cousin's wedding. We might even being taking in a little baseball, although it's not our beloved Jays :)
 image from here

What I'm looking forward to next month... Getting back into a routine. Working, watching my friends' kids, traveling -- it's been a busy August. As much as I'm dreading the early mornings where we all have to get out the door, it will be good to have a predictable schedule again.

What else is new... Not much. I think I've pretty much covered it all :)

The bonus question this month is: What's your favourite back to school tradition? Honestly, we don't have a back to school tradition. I'll do the First Day Of School picture, and probably the interview, which I did for the first time last year, as well. You can see Sam's from last year here and Rachel's here.

And that's what's up with me this Wednesday. What's up with you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 6: Someone Who Doesn't Live In My Country

Having lived in a number of countries, there are many people I could write about for the Week Six writing challenge. However, I am going to write about someone whom I love dearly, but who doesn't often get mentioned on the blog, my Auntie Jean! I think she reads here somewhat regularly so, if you're reading this, "Hi Auntie Jean! I can't wait to see you again."

Auntie Jean is my dad's only sister, and she lives in Kansas. I am named after her (my middle name is Jean), so we've always had a special relationship. I have fond memories of going to visit her over spring break, with my grandparents, in their motor home, the year I was in Grade 9.
This is us at my aunt and uncle's 25 wedding anniversary (left) and on her front stoop when I flew to Kansas to attend a friend's wedding and got to stay with her.

The year I lived in The Netherlands, Auntie Jean flew to Germany with my grandma and grandpa to visit my great aunts and a cousin. I got to meet up with them in Germany and we had so much fun together. If you're reading this Auntie Jean, do you remember laughing with Louise and Elizabeth? And the shopping trip? And watching Prince George get spoiled by his sisters?! It was such a fun couple of days. And yes, this is awesome early 90s style here!
Auntie Jean is funny, loving, and really goes the extra mile for her nieces and nephews. I am so thrilled that she flew to Ontario to support Dave and I on our wedding day. (I looked through all nine million of our wedding pictures, and couldn't find a good one of her. She is always in the background, cracking up!)

And she loves her great-nieces and -nephews too! Here she is with Sam in Edmonton in 2010, and with Rachel, at my cousin's wedding, in 2011. Like I said, she reads the blog and this week I'm going to be doing a project with the kids which she sent me by e-mail because she knows I like doing interesting things with the kids. Like I said, even from far away, she knows what's going on in our lives.

Dave and I have already started dreaming about another US road trip, potentially through the Mid-West out to California, and a stop in Kansas to visit Auntie Jean is definitely on that itinerary. Hopefully our paths will cross before that though.