Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I'm So Surprised You All Look So Nice...

These were my Mom's sentiments when seeing us at my Grandad's service.
Ummm, thanks?
We did look pretty nice if I do say so myself.
And she insists the surprise was not due to our regular appearance.
Rather, our lack of luggage.
Carry on with kids
Yep, let's go with that.

If you've travelled with either of us you know that Jeff and I hate to check a bag.
We did a week in Paris carry-on and never looked back.
I'll admit it got slightly more challenging with children.
When they're too young to carry their own you have to be extra picky with what you bring.
Now that Fiona has a seat though she carried all of her own clothes.
{She also insisted on pulling mine half the time and I put up no argument.}
I was so proud.
We often get shocked reactions like my Mom's above.
It's because of this that I'm sharing my packing with you today.

First up: Fiona
Carry on with kids
 I may have mentioned before that Fiona will only wear dresses right now.
It would have been a battle if I had packed anything else so she was pretty easy.
She's finally to the age where she can keep clothes clean so one pair of shorts and leggings was enough.
One of my main rules {let's call it #1} is that you can only bring one extra pair of shoes.
Wear your casuals and pack your dressier.
Summer is great because you can get away with one sweater and of course the clothes are smaller.

Next up: Mama
Carry on with kids
Ok, I broke the one extra pair of shoes rule so that I could run, sue me.
Rule #2 is bring basics in basic colours.
Fortunately this is all I own really.
Rule #3 is stay at a place with an iron {or wear wrinkly clothes, I won't judge}.
Sometimes you just have to roll up your clothes and stuff them in some shoes you know.
If possible, do this with pjs and underwear.

Last allowed piece of carry-on: Daddy
Carry on with kids
I actually don't even think Jeff wore everything here.
Am I right?
He probably could have packed only socks and underwear and been happy.
{I didn't included any of our skivvies in the pics, you're welcome.}
We also opted for a vest instead of jacket for the formal outfit, much smaller.

Last but not least: Cedric {aka the smuggler}
Carry on with kids
Since this guy was flying free he had no luggage allowance.
His stuff went mostly in my suitcase, a little in Jeff's and a couple of items in Fiona's.
He pretty much requires a new outfit every day but luckily his stuff is tiny.
I did end up washing one pair of pants in the sink which was not a big deal at all.
I would actually wash my own clothes in the sink to get a second use if we were gone longer.
Rule #4 remember that you can usually buy stuff at your destination.
For example, with the babes, bring only enough diapers for a day or two and buy the rest when you get there.

Car seats and strollers often come up as an issue, don't you have to check those?
Nope, they'll check them at the gate.
Plus, if you have a stroller you often get to go through the express line at security.
But I need to bring a bottle/sippy for my little and can't take that much liquid.
Maybe you can't but the baby can, they'll make an exception.

Don't forget that you can also bring a personal item.
I bring my massive Mama purse and Jeff his backpack.
We always have tons of room left in these, even after we pack the ipad, books and snacks.

But why? you may be asking.
Checking isn't a big deal and I would usually agree.
However, I always know without a doubt where my luggage is.
I also know that it won't get banged up. 
{The scuffs on mine are from the one time I was over the weight limit for carry on and had to check.}
Most importantly I don't have to wait around desperately trying to convince my kids that the baggage carousel does not look like a super fun ride.

And I must admit I really do love when others are shocked that we did it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ontario Post #1 {aka: Why I Haven't Blogged For Over a Week}

Thank goodness for travel points.
Our last 5 trips to Ontario have been made possible by these wonderful rewards.
Every time we're there we can't wait to accumulate enough points to go back.
It's not the landscape, the history or the bustling cities that draw us.
{Though we love all of the above.}
It's our heart.
As in our family's collective heart.
A part of it lives there with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles and cousins {of all varieties}.
The first stop on this particular trip was a city that's quickly becoming one of my favourites.
Our nation's capital, Ottawa.
We had one and a half short days but were able to get in some great visits.
He surprised us with a little ukelele demo.
So amazing that he plays right?
You want to know something more amazing? 
He doesn't.
Nope he's just picking it up now, at 95 {give or take a couple years}.
Cedric was impressed but not as impressed as he was with the bed.
I could almost hear his thoughts.
"Papa, where'd you get this sweet bed?  Mom, Mom did you see this thing?  It moves, no seriously you just push this button and the top raises.  This thing is genius.   Why didn't I think of this?  Is it a toy? Is it a bed? Nobody knows.  Dad, we gotta get one of these.  Can we please? Pleeeeeease?"
{Or something like that.}
After prying him away we picked up some groceries, to keep costs low, at the cutest grocery chain ever.
Then I sold the chicken and salads to the kids as a hotel picnic which was a huge success.
{Don't you just love the patterns on cheap hotel blankets?}
On day 2 we busted Papa out and went for lunch.
On the menu: some good male-bonding time.
It was a rainy Ottawa day so we settled for a driving tour with Papa as our guide.
In preparation for our flight we needed to expel some kiddo energy.
Our first choice of swimming was quashed since we just missed the public swim hours.
The park just outside did the trick though.
Next up, travelling...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting There

As I've mentioned in the past, we are on a mission to be better "lake people".
We love going to the lake and have fond childhood memories of lake life.
But neither of us have ever been enlisted to do the nitty gritty hard work of owning a lake property.
We've learnt the hard way that pallets aren't the best-free-wood-ever{!}.
And that ice bends metal when the latter is left in the former over the winter.
We're are also painfully aware of the value of winterizing your boat.

With this knowledge we have now embarked on a new chapter of our cabin life.
{It only took us 8 years.}
We now have an operational boat.
We promise to love {ie cover} and cherish {ie winterize} said boat for as long as it lives.
{Fiona loves it too, I promise.}

We have even done a little swimming off the boat.
{Pre Alberta blue-green algae season that is.}

We also now have a dock.
One on which you can walk from dry land to boat.
Which I realize may not sound like a big deal to some of you but that just means you haven't waded through our bird sanctuary of a bay.
We promise to honour it {ie bring it in for winter} year, after year, after year.
Lastly, with a little calling around and a lot of hard work we have secured some good firewood within our small budget.
Jeff borrowed a truck and loaded {I mean loaded} it with un-split birch himself.
1 electric log splitter and 8 hours later we have years worth of non-toxic, appropriately sized firewood.
As an additional bonus, Jeff has a jump on brainwashing teaching Cedric to obsess over love wood as much as he does.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Not Just "Another" Album

So apparently this is brag-about-your-amazing-friends week on You Auto Know.
I just had to share our new favourite album {by a great Edmonton artist} with you today.
Christy Carignan: Another Day
Ever since our friend Christy gave us her debut album we've had it playing in the car.
I haven't even added it to my iTunes playlist yet because it literally hasn't left the car stereo until today.
Every time a song ends the kids yell "again!".
We love this album so much and I'm confident in saying that this is not just because we love the artist.
{Or because Daddy's drumming makes an appearance, as does his name on the cover.}
I still remember the first time I heard Christy sing {and realized how good she was} at a Denver karaoke bar in 2001.
I was shocked.
I had always known she was a great musician and percussionist but her voice was just not a part of the repertoire.
Now it's front and centre, though her vast musical knowledge comes through in her writing.
Jeff commented immediately how her lyrics often took on a percussive quality.
I've added a couple of our favourites below but you should also just go check out the rest on her site.
We're so proud of you Christy.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Worth the 5:30am Wake Up Call

There are so many reasons I love the community I live in.
They all keep coming back to one main thread though.
Quality of life.
Our community values and promotes a great quality of life.
Yet another example of this is the new Community Bootcamp.
 I am fortunate to call one of the founders, Michelle, a friend.
She exudes good quality of life and is now sharing it with her neighbours.
I have taken her fitness classes in the past but this is something special.
The class is in the beautiful Mill Creek.
It's held first thing in the morning so we often enjoyed the sunrise during our stretches.
Even before then though Michelle's personality brightens what could otherwise easily be a grumpy group.
{As demonstrated by this blurry photo, still need to get that DSLR.}
 If you call Edmonton home it's worth checking out.
{Link again below.}
There is another session starting in the fall, hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Taming the Princess

How did this happen?
When did the princess take over?
I think it started creeping in through books.
Then Fiona started noticing other little girls with princess clothes and longed for her own.
At Christmas she received the first outfit by Melissa & Doug.
That's when we lost her.
My little Elmo loving, car racing, craft extraordinaire now wanted one thing more than any other.
We've now gone over the deep end with puzzles, movies, literature {a bit of a stretch I know} and of course multiple {byoot-ful} outfits.
I don't know why I thought I could steer her otherwise but at one point I did.
I also don't really know why I felt so strongly about doing so.
I do not believe that because she loves to make believe that she's a princess Fiona will be weak or have a negative self image.
As my friend Julie {mother to 2 girls} has wisely remarked, "they just think it's pretty".
And she's right, the mass of tulle, sparkles and silver plastic rhinestones just are pretty to them.
They don't have to represent anything more.
Also, I do feel a smidge hypocritical if I tell Fiona not to love princesses when her own Mama does.
That's right, I said it.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning one April 2011 day to watch a "Princess" wedding.
{And may or may not have spent the rest of that day watching the reruns.}
I read voraciously about Kate and her new baby George.
I am a grown, intelligent {if I do say so myself} woman and I'm still into princess.

That said, I'm letting the princess happen.
I, however, am no longer letting it happen all over ma house.
A couple of months ago I went searching in the basement {I was not spending any money on this} for supplies to create a "dressing area" of sorts.
I needed something to hang the outfits, an accessories holder and a shoes {you guessed it, heels} container.
I found a curtain rod and brackets, a small bucket and a large bucket {from Jenna, thanks girl}.
Hung it all in the little nook behind her door and voila.
Princess contained.
I had also been waiting to find the perfect spot for this sweet cross-stitch made by yesterday's birthday girl.
It could have been made just for this spot.
The hanging bucket is chock full of bracelets, necklaces, wands, crowns and even a bouquet.
It was essential since these little pieces are the ones that drive me crazy the most.
The curtain rod wouldn't have been my first choice if I had gone out to buy supplies but turned out to be a great system.
Fiona still has a hard time hooking things, especially slippery satin-like fabric.
Stuffing them over the top of this rod however, no problem.
Last touch was a little footstool so she can slip those baby heels on and go.
As a real princess would of course.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Lips are Sealed

Just needed to pop in to wish a truly wonderful woman a Happy Birthday.
I won't tell you how old she is so as to stay in her good books.
It's a biggie though, that's all I'm saying.
It might almost rhyme with pixely {which is what this picture is, sorry about that} but really you'll never get it out of me.
I love this picture by the way, so beautiful.
The entire shot was great and I almost shared it all with you but figured having one person mad at me for broadcasting an old photo is enough.

Also just wanted to randomly throw in this vintage car for any auto lovers out there.
Oh! What. A. Coincidence.
 Heather was also "entirely new" that year.
Ok, I may have said too much.

Seriously though, my Mother-in-Law is one of the most selfless people I know.
She is beautiful, warm and sincere.
Our babes adore "Gwama".
 {Or "Daddy's Mom" as Fiona tries to figure out her family unit.}
Have a beautiful day, we love you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...