Saturday, November 29, 2008

*My* little princess

Current weather: 45F, Rainy and foggy

It amuses me to no end that Natalie has become obsessed with princesses. I couldn't wait for this phase to arrive, and now that it's here it provides me with daily entertainment. She and I took a trip to Canadian Tire this morning to pick up a Disney Princess Christmas tree for her bedroom since a friend tipped me off that they had them a couple of days ago (thanks, Jenn!). It's little and purple and has ornaments with pictures of all the Disney Princesses on it. Natalie was so excited! As I sit here and type she's sitting in her bedroom just admiring her Princess tree.

Last night we were all sitting around the living room--Shaun was giving Brandon his last bottle before bed, Kyle was playing with the Wii, I was on the computer, and Natalie was sitting on the floor playing with a couple of princess figurines. She was playing with Cinderella Dressed for the Ball, Cinderella Dressed for her Wedding, and Fairy Godmother. Cinderella Dressed for the ball turns to Cinderella Dressed for her Wedding and said, "So, what're we gonna do?" And Cinderella Dressed for her Wedding replied, "I know! Let's go to college!" The two Cinderellas then grabbed each other's hands and waltzed off to college, leaving Fairy Godmother sitting there. Shaun and I just looked at each other, and Shaun said, "Did she just say the Cinderellas should go to college?" And I said, "I think she did." We had to laugh. That's my girl. Or, I guess I should say, that's my little princess.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful

Current weather: 38F, Overcast

I am thankful...

...that I've been given the priviledge to mother three beautiful, healthy, and amazing kids.
...for a husband who loves us all enough to take us with him to the ends of the Earth.
...for sons who look like their Daddy and a daughter who makes me remember myself as a little girl.
...for parents who have forever made me feel like I will always have a home with them--no matter how old I get or how many children I may bring with me.
...for grandparents who share stories, wisdom and card games.
...for siblings that have grown up to become friends.
...for friends, old and new, near and far, who make me lose track of time because I'm having so much fun.
...for babysitters--enough said.
...for extended families that are big and loud and happy to see me no matter how long it's been.
...for the opportunity to travel the world and live in new places.
...for fleece, snowsuits, boots, hats, and all the other accessories that make life in the Great White North comfortable.
...for DVR, wireless internet, and cell phones, because they all make it easier to feel more at home when I'm very far from home.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is that what I think it is?

Current weather: 50F, Sunny

Is that what I think it is? Is that the sun I see? I had almost forgotten what it looked like. I know that it seems like the only two things I post about are Brandon's movement and the weather, but if you lived here you'd realize those really are the two most exciting things to talk about. Poor Natalie was asking yesterday if we were ever going to go outside again. We told her that if it warmed up and it stopped raining we'd go outside. She said, "If it gets warm AND it stops raining?!" The poor child already realizes the chance of both happening at the same time is pretty slim until about June. In general, if the sun is out it's also incredibly cold and windy out, and when it's a little bit warmer outside it's also raining cats and dogs. But I may just have to send the kids out into the backyard this afternoon to take advantage of what looks like a possibly gorgeous day for November!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is why...

Current weather: 46F, Sunny

Why do we deal with nine months of mood swings, backaches, weight gain and indigestion? Why do we put up with days, weeks, and sometimes months of irregular sleep? Why do we suffer through the never-ending anxiety that comes with motherhood? And why do we do it more than once? This is why...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bring on winter

Current weather: 53F, Foggy, Drizzle

I think I mentioned a couple of posts ago how unpredictable the weather is here. I was all set for the snow to start (despite not having snow tires yet--but that's being remedied on Friday), and after that first little teaser of a snowfall we haven't seen any more snow! One day it'll be warmish and rainy (like today), the next might be frigid and blustery. I've been warned several times already that this has been a very mild fall compared to most. But I'm a little disappointed. Now that the Christmas decorations are out and everyone's shopping for gifts and there's Christmas music playing every time I'm at the grocery store (I'm not kidding--EVERY time) I am ready! I'm going to be a little annoyed if we don't have a white christmas. Santa's bringing sleds, and the kids are going to want to use them! The poor snowsuits that we rushed to buy in October are suffocating away in the hall closet. I'm ready for the first real snow to just happen so that I can get on with dealing with it rather than anticipating it! I know that I will be tired of all the snow by the end of the winter, but for now I just can't wait to see my kids playing in the snow and enjoying it the way Brian and I did as kids. I know I'm going to regret this post when I wake up tomorrow and I've managed to jinx us all, and I should be knocking on wood, but I'm not going to. Bring it on! I'm ready! ...Or rather, I will be after Friday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Superdad

I have to give my wonderful husband some public praise for letting me run away to Houston for the weekend while he watched the kids for four days. I left during breakfast Friday morning, and I got home very late last night. I had an amazing time visiting with my friends and doing a little bit of gambling at L'Auberge in Lake Charles. It was an awesome break! While I was gone Shaun took a few vacation days and managed to take Kyle to school (while remembering to pack him a snack and return his Discovery Bag), take all the kids to the library so they could check out some new books (even remembering to take their library cards with him), and even take the older two to see Franklin's Family Christmas Concert (remembering tickets, directions, and providing a brand new babysitter with complete instructions for Brandon). I have to admit that I was impressed. My kids didn't even know I was gone. Naps, meals, bath and bedtime were all on schedule. When I walked into the house last night the dishes were all clean, the dishwasher was empty, and even all the laundry was done. Shaun made the whole thing seem easy. I'm thinking he was glad to see me, though... he looked a little tired... ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Forward motion

Current weather: 56F, Sunset, Clear skies

Brandon has officially begun crawling! Time to break out the baby gates! I also have to stary worrying about these stupid electric heating units! Fortunately, Brandon's not very fast yet, but the boy can move when he wants to. I can't leave him alone in one spot in the living room anymore and expect him to be there when I get back. It's the most adorable thing in the world watching a baby learn to crawl, and it really puts the entire process of balance and motion into perspective. It's a wonder that any of us manage to figure it out!

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The weather is gorgeous in St. John's today, and Natalie and Brandon and I took advantage of the sun when we hit the local toddler playground this morning with a friend and her children. I'm trying to get all of the kids out of the house as much as possible this week since they'll be spending a lot of the coming weekend in the house with Daddy--Mommy's going to Houston for a girls' weekend! I'm taking a break between holidays and business trips, and my wonderful husband is taking full-time kid duty for a few days. I can't wait! And Shaun's going to have his work cut out for him with a crawling Brandon on his hands!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

How much for milk?!

Current weather: 42F, Overcast skies, Drizzle

Some of you may be curious what prices are like around here. It's really unpredictable, but below is a list of a few things I've bought recently.

A few items (prices are in CAN$):
Bananas: $1.96/kg
Red seedless grapes: $6.59/kg
Loaf of Wonder Bread: $2.39
Skim milk: $3.77/2 litres
Baby food (4.5 oz. jar): $0.69
Diet Coke (12 cans): $5.99

Translation (converted to US$ using an exchange rate of US$1=CAN$1.18):
Bananas: $0.75/lb
Grapes: $2.54/lb
Bread: $2.02
Milk: $6.05/gal
Baby food: $0.58
Diet Coke: $5.08

Some things cost the same as in the U.S., but watch out on produce, dairy products and meat! I've also found that the prices of things like electronics, appliances, toys and clothing tend to be quite higher here. Even taking the exchange rate into account. And the exchange rate has varied considerably just in the few months we've been here. I never know exactly what something is going to cost us until it shows up on the credit card in US$. At least it's easier than dealing in rubles! And, hey, the healthcare is free--not a bad deal with three little kids!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I love my weather station

Current weather: 58F, Sunny

I just cannot keep up with the weather here. Monday it snowed. Today it's warm (well, relatively warm) and sunny. Shaun got a little weather station a couple of years ago, and we never really used it because the weather in Sugar Land was pretty predictable from day-to-day, but I finally dug it out of a box this past weekend. I can't tell you how useful it's been just this week alone. It's so much easier to decide which of the five different weights of outdoor gear to layer the kids in now that I can check the temperature before heading out the door. Just in case you're curious, the five weights of outdoor gear are (1) Sweatshirt, (2) Rain-repellant and fleece-lined jacket and rain boots, (3) Early winter jacket, (4) Heavy winter jacket and gloves, and (5) I don't really know why we bought that because if it's that cold Mommy is not leaving the house (also known as Snowsuit and snow boots). This isn't an exact classification, and believe it or not, there are some days that just don't align properly with one of the five categories. And some days one category of outdoor gear is required at 8:30 when we take Kyle to school and an entirely different category is required when we return to pick him up at noon. Hence, the weather station. Take that, weather!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just do it!

Current weather: 37F, Partly cloudy

My littlest man is learning to crawl. His new favorite activity is getting up on his hands and knees and trying to figure out exactly how to move them. So far there's a lot of bunny-like hopping going on. Check it out--not bad for a not-quite-7-month-old!

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Our first bit of accumulation

Current Weather: 30F, Partly Cloudy

Imagine our surprise as we walked down the stairs this morning and spotted a layer of white, fluffy stuff covering the lawn and vehicles. As I sit here looking out my office window I'd guess there's about a 1/2-inch of snow out there. Not enough to totally cover the grass and not enough to stick to the streets, but enough to count as our first bit of accumulation. Now the kids are impressed! They don't entirely understand why we can't go outside RIGHT NOW and build a snowman. I'm sure they'll be experts by the end of the winter, but as of now they don't realize there's not nearly enough snow out there for a snowman. And I don't think they realize how COLD it is out there, either. But I think I'm going to let them wear their snow boots when we take Kyle to school in a little while. That should satisfy them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm not ready for Christmas!

Well, the kids had an awesome Halloween! Kyle got to wear his Tigger costume to school on Friday, and they had a party, and he came home with enough candy for all of us! Shaun took Kyle and Natalie out trick-or-treating right after dinner on Friday night while I stayed at the house with Brandon to pass out candy. Kyle and Nat didn't go to too many houses before their buckets were full and they were tired, but they had a blast. And I was amazed by the number of trick-or-treaters that came by the house! I didn't realize our neighborhood would have so many kids, so we ran out of candy pretty early, but that was fine since the kids needed to go to bed and the doorbell would have been waking them up anyway.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store first thing in the morning, and then we loaded everyone up for a trip to the mall. Kyle has entirely outgrown all the 3T clothing I bought a couple of months ago, so we went to stock up on 4's. My baby's in big-boy sizes now! Well, we walked into the mall, and there were people everywhere! There were Christmas decorations up! Christmas displays! Christmas ornaments! Newfies seem to love their holidays, and I guess once Halloween is over they move right on to Christmas. I am so not ready for Christmas yet! But I guess I better get ready for Christmas or there's not going to be anything left in the stores by the time I get around to it...