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And I think it`s gonna be a long, long time

We`re just back from Road Trip 2013 which took us to the Okanagan, Washington and Oregon for two amazing weeks. I`ve got a ton (ie about 400) of pictures to sort through and organize into posts but I`ll start with this one…………

We had planned to go to this amazing indoor water park in McMinnville, Oregon that is in an airplane hangar and has a decommissioned 747 on the roof. You climb all these stairs to get into the plane where the emergency exits are water slides!!! Genius! So fun. So, so fun. But when I say planned, I mean that we decided we would go there, an hours drive from Portland. We didn`t actually plan anything which left us having to stop at Wal-Mart to buy towels and then, finally, we pulled into the parking lot of the water park. The completely empty parking lot. Worst. It is the worst telling your 3-year-old that the water park that you`ve been psyching him up for for weeks, is closed. Brutal. I`m not sure who was more disappointed, him or us. It was an equal bummer all around. But since we were there, we decided to part with $60 and tour the aviation and space museums (oh, we skipped the Firearms and Ammunition Hall wherein one must pass underneath a giant sign that has a long, ridiculous quote from Charlton Heston. Gag.). The museums were actually pretty rad (note: if my parents had brought me to this kind of thing on a family trip I would NOT have thought it was rad. I would have complained at every step and sulked, and stomped and told them they were the lamest, etc, etc. We decided that we can not deprive Thomas a childhood without these moments.) and we spent a great deal of time ferociously competing  playing on flight simulators where you had to try and dock your space craft to the docking station. Some people crashed and burned (Thomas and Andrew), while others were told that they did an excellent job and were subsequently asked to submit their resumes to NASA. For days afterward, Thomas asked me to sing Rocket Man over and over again (sorry to all those passersby who had to be subject to that). Then, today, I played it for him and in probably one of his top 5 cutest moments, he grabbed my hand with his cute little chubby toddler hand and said, “Mum, do you want to dance wiv me?”. You can`t invent this stuff – little kids are the best.

Why not listen to the song and imagine the cuteness while looking at some pictures of our day? Just press play on the vid and then scroll down….. (I don`t think this works if you view on your phone)

He may have failed the height requirement part of NASA`s tests but he would otherwise have totally been asked to be an astronaut

He may have failed the height requirement part of NASA`s tests but he would otherwise have totally been asked to be an astronaut (note Andrew`s thumb to the right), as per usual)

Competitive space craft docking

Competitive space craft docking

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The Spruce Goose (google it). Pretty cool. I have included a pre-schooler in the picture so that you get a sense of the scale. Its a billion times larger than a pre-schooler.

The Spruce Goose (google it). Pretty cool. I have included a pre-schooler in the picture (look closely) so that you get a sense of the scale. It’s a billion times larger than a pre-schooler.

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(Not Responding)……….

Oh my word. How long has it been? It`s been ages. AGES. My lack of posting has not been due to a lack of things to write about or pictures to show, it has been the result of an epic battle with my ailing computer. If I never see the phrase (not responding) one more time, it will be too soon. Oh, I`ve tried posting, believe me, I`ve tried. I try to upload photos from my good camera, and 45 minutes later, maybe 1 of 20 photos has actually made it onto the computer, then it freezes, then it shuts down on its own and then it laughs maniacally at me, I swear it does.

This morning it has decided to play nice so I have managed to get some pictures uploaded from my iphone.

We`ve been loving the exceptionally sunny days here in VanCity and have spent countless hours at the beach and outside pools. T has been doing a lot of al fresco beach play, stating “I like the feeling of the sand on my bum.” Not the air on his bum, the sand. It seems like every couple of days he picks up a new word that he has to try out until he gets it right – a few of my faves:

Barely

Thomas (looking wistfully out the car window): When we were in Ontario, Hank barely even said a word to me.*

*note, Hank is our friends`pre-verbal baby. I pointed out that Hank didn`t know how to talk yet, so not to take it personally, but he was barely listening.

Situation

Many, many sentences of late have begun with Guys, this is the situation……… The “situation” often involves needing some sort of rare treat (ice cream, a new toy, a kinder surprise egg, etc) but I think that he feels that by turning it into a “situation” there is more gravity to the request. It rarely works, unless I want ice cream too and then the situation is that we head to Granville Island for gelato.

Awfully

This one is taking some work because he uses it in place of actually and also. I am awfully a Transformer Rescue Bot, not a little kid mom. I would awfully like to have some ice cream with these vegetables. (Thomas, I am awfully sorry, but those vegetables will have to be eaten first).

There have been many more, but before this computer turns on me, I will get this posted…………….


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To infinity, and beyond!

I`ve got the post Christmas blues. Some people love that the stress and chaos of Christmas is behind us for another year, but not me. I love the chaos and the constant Christmas carols on the radio (okay, I don`t LOVE the carols, there are some that make me want to scratch my eyes out, such as that new version of Baby It`s Cold Outside done by a father and his little girl – it makes me crazy for some reason, but anyway…), the stores covered in decorations that you have to literally pull your toddler off of and spend great lengths of time on every shopping trip explaining to said toddler that they can`t have a treat today because Santa will be coming soon with plenty of treats, etc, etc. Wait, I`m making it sound like I don`t actually like all this, I do though, I love it and I get really mopey when it`s all done for another year. What`s a girl to do? Waking up early and making a big mug of coffee and sitting in a quiet house with the just the Christmas tree lights on and looking through pictures of the month certainly helps. We did so much this December: went to see the reindeer on Grouse  mountain, built a snowman during a very brief snow day in Vancouver, countless walks to see the Christmas lights and the Vancouver Star, lots of trips to the library to restock our Christmas book stash, watched old Christmas movies (and forgot how creepy the abominable snowman is in Rudolph until Thomas came running into the kitchen crying – oops!) and visited with lots of friends. Christmas day was quiet, peaceful,  just what we hoped for.  The appearance of Buzz Lightyear and six, yes SIX, various rescue vehicles that light up and wail (thank you grandpa Jim, we will be sure to get you back somehow) made for a raging Christmas afternoon headache, nothing a little Tylenol with your eggnog won`t cure. Thomas started to get a nasty cough and a fever by dinnertime and spent all afternoon saying “Guys! I`m frazzled. What does frazzled mean again?”. We told him frazzled meant stressed out to which he replied “yeah, yeah, I`m frazzled”. So I guess I am speaking for Andrew and myself when I say that Christmas was perfect. Thomas, by all accounts, found it very stressful (but he certainly seemed to enjoy himself).

Hope you all had a great holiday and are looking forward to a new year!

xo


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Crafting on a deadline

As the end of 2012 gets ever closer, so too does the start of full time classes and the end of my crafting time as I know it. It`s a grim prospect for me. Maybe not so much for Andrew who probably fears that he is living with a 95 year old woman of late. Example? Last night, at 8pm, I was sitting in bed with a mug of hot chocolate (I guess cocoa or even warm milk would have been even worse), watching Little Women and crocheting masses of tiny little leaves for something I am making. I may or may not have also had a hot water bottle with me, I`m not saying. It`s bad, I know. What I`m even going to do with all the “%*& I make is anyone`s guess – maybe I`ll just have a booth at a church bazaar like a real old lady. I will obviously carry my crafts to the bazaar in one of those trolley things that old people pull behind them, everywhere, even when they are only going to pick up tea bags and some marmelade.

I did give some of it away as Christmas presents and if anyone is really nice to me in the next little while, you may just receive a little something in the mail from me (don`t hold your breath though, I am the WORST at mailing things. I`m so lazy).

Anyway, without further adieu, I present to you a number of things that are presently piling up in a closet in the living room……

I actually did mail this to my sister for Christmas.

I actually did mail this to my sister for Christmas.

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And I gave these to my niece – packaged in that little crochet purse thing in the background

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Try not to focus on the dirty window frame in the background. Just try.

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I made the earrings. I did not, however, paint that reindeer scene.

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Close up!

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These were meant to look like roses. That they don`t in any way is not lost on me.

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Bronze and pearl earrings (in case you don`t know your metals and precious rocks).

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A bracelet. A silver and pink glass bracelet.

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And now in turquoise.

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Why not with pearls, while we`re at it.

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Not to scale. These earrings are not the length of a grown woman. They are the length of a cartoon woman on a cool glass my sister got me.

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Here`s where I started to combine crocheting and making jewellery because I sensed the looming deadline of school fast approaching and realized I was going to have to start combo-crafting to quell my addiction.

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This is just plain cute. A little pendant on a silver chain. Adorbs.

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Yes. I know that that is not an oak leaf with that acorn. I know, alright! Have you ever tried crocheting a teeny little oak leaf? It is infuriating.

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Again, the scale makes this look like this little nest is gigantic. Consider this though, that reindeer isn`t real, it`s a very small picture.

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Also looking huge. It`s the size of a loonie though, so just relax.

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I went felted-bead crazy just before christmas and now have a whole pile of little felted balls awaiting their turn to be crafted. Your time will come little beads, rest assured.

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I also felted other shapes.

So there you have it. Some (not nearly all, sadly) of the things I have been furiously making as though being chased (by some sort of animal that compels you to craft).

And yes, I will take some photography lessons in the future, thank you for asking.

xo


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And to all, a good night

As I write, I have one ear on alert to the sound of little shuffling feet, sneaking out of his room to see if Santa has been yet. This has actually been going on for a few nights now as he hasn`t quite got the calendar thing down yet and has believed it to be christmas day for the last 72 hours. He`s done the classics “I need to go pee,” “I need some water,” “I thought I heard something” etc. Last night he threw in a few originals, the best of which was “Guys! I can hear a weird smell in my room!” Its cute and all but it`s really messing up the placing of presents under the tree. We have been in a heated debate for the last hour about when “Santa” should come. Andrew`s all for doing it now. I think he is a crazy person because if we do it now and Thomas wakes up in the next few hours, we will NEVER get him back to bed and will end up celebrating Christmas at 1am. We are failing Christmas! Why is this so confusing? I have a serious fear that we will fall asleep debating Santa-timing and be woken up on the couch at 5am by a sobbing toddler who thinks Santa didn`t come.

This is all pretty exciting though. This is the first year that he has really gotten into the Santa thing and it does make it all so fun. For the past couple of weeks, our evening walks have included a visit to “The Vancouver Star” which is a story I made up for him about a Christmas light display at a great old brick building on West Broadway.

The Vancouver Star

The Vancouver Star

When we first saw it, Thomas was literally jumping up and down and yelling “Did Santa get magicked up there? Is that the one what was magic?”. I told him yes, that was the one what was magic and that the magic star was what guided Santa to Vancouver. He has talked about that star everyday since. It is awesome.

It`s been an hour since he`s sneaked out of him room and we are both hoping that he`s in there dreaming away about Santa flying over and looking for his star.

Before bed, we drank hot chocolate and watched our favourite Christmas story……

Hope you are all cosied up somewhere with the people you love. Happy Holidays!


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Sail away with me, to another world

While the majority of my Christmas TO DO list remains largely untouched, I can safely check off GET TREE and DECORATE TREE (I like to separate things out so that I feel more industrious when I check off two things at one time).

Last weekend, we gave Thomas  some cash and sent him on his way to the tree lot. For a not-quite three year old, he did a fine job.

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Pull! Pull! Pull!

The past couple of years I tried to be all fancy and have an all red and white tree, huge and filled out and just covered with tiny white lights, you know the kind.  Something like this…

Given our budget and my limited ability to really commit to anything that takes a lot of planning and effort, the result was a tree that looked like it should have been near one of the check outs at Ikea, so this year I said “Martha Stewart be damned!” (I thought it anyway) and bought a string of multicoloured lights and handmade a bunch of mismatched decorations and was done with it. The result is way better than that tired little sapling above.

We took the requisite soft lit photo of our child gingerly hanging his hand-made ornament on the tree.

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awwwwwwww

Then Thomas and I lay underneath the tree singing the parts of Christmas carols that he knows (mostly, Jingle Bells: Batman Smells edition). I told him we were singing a duet and then had to explain a duet to him. I took on his challenge to sing “more and more duets!” and taught him the words to Islands in the Stream and Ebony and Ivory. There is something entirely hilarious about a three year old singing “sail away with me, to another world, where we`ll rely on each other. Uh-huh”.

A lone island in the stream

A lone island in the stream

I have the best memories of laying underneath the Christmas tree at home when I was little. It makes me really happy to help create these memories for Thomas too.

Only 7 more sleeps until Santa comes!


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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

yup, snow globes

yup, snow globes

Let the Christmas crafting begin! Actually, I`ve been Christmas crafting for weeks now its just that now I can do it guilt free because I`m done school for a month! Whooo hoooo! So my crafty friend and I decided to try snow globes because everyone else on Pinterest is doing it so why not us?

We headed off to grab supplies on a busy friday night in the city. It was mildly off-putting to be walking past groups of people our age all dressed up to go to the bar while I was trying desperately to make sure that my bag of glitter and plastic animals was hidden underneath my arm. I just had to keep reminding myself that these people would be waking up with hangovers while I would be waking up with a mason jar full of glitter and fake snow and a plastic deer. I win, sort of?

We both got a little overwhelmed and giddy in Micheals (its okay if you are muttering “nerds!” to yourselves, we were doing the same throughout) and when they announced that the store would be closing in 5 minutes, I went into full on panic mode (which is why I ended up with this random 99 cent glittery robin and pine cone number that will forever make its home in a Micheals bag at the back of the hall closet).

We headed back to Karli`s and set out the necessary supplies.

This wasn`t part of Martha`s list.

This wasn`t part of Martha`s list.

This is actually just a picture of the TV playing the DVD of The Log. Excellent choice Karli.

This is actually just a picture of the TV playing the DVD of The Log. Excellent choice Karli.

And then we set to work. There was a great deal of trial and error. “How much glitter do we add? What does Martha say? How much is a DASH?! Too much glitter you think? Maybe more glycerine? Is your glitter sticking to your owl? Your tree is floating! Should we use hot water? Mine`s leaking!” Maybe we should have skipped the wine. But after a lot of second guessing and re-dos, we ended up some pretty sa-weeet little globes. Check it out…..

Snowy owl! Well, glittery owl, but close enough.

Snowy owl! Well, glittery owl, but close enough.

Lone albino pine tree.

Lone albino pine tree.

Adorbs!

Adorbs!

I WANT TO BE IN A GLOBE!!!!!!

I WANT TO BE IN A GLOBE!!!!!!

This was my fave one that I made. I love that deer.

This was my fave one that I made. I love that deer.

This little guy didn`t make the cut because he was too small to see over the rim of the jar. Sniff, sniff.

This little guy didn`t make the cut because he was too small to see over the rim of the jar. Sniff, sniff.

All in all a total success! I love these things. I want a hundred more of them and I never want to put them away with the rest of the christmas stuff.

(I posted a tutorial on how we made them because we ended up with a ton of questions that we hadn`t anticipated and figured out through trial and error.)

Hope you’re enjoying the lead up to Christmas!