Friday, August 31, 2007

Long weekend o' fun!

Yay, I get three whole days of family time, and I can't wait! Expect many fun family pics of our adventures!

This morning I met my Dad for breakfast with Ariel. It was really nice and yummy. Afterwards, I drove to the mall yet again for picking up pictures from Sears... ARGH! I am really beginning to dislike these people. I get there and no one is there, its 1030am and I stand waiting... and waiting. Finally, another woman comes in with her son and sits down to wait. We know are both waiting.... and waiting. Then 2 gals come in, one who completely ignores me and takes the waiting lady and her son to the back for pictures. The other girl, asks if I had been helped. Um, no... there was no one here. Duh.

She begins looking for my pictures. After what seems to be another 10 minutes, she finds them and I sigh from relief that they were in fact in... then I see them. Three of them are perfect, but the final print had a large crease down it. I break down, I think I am totally in PMS land, buts that's beside the point. I point out the issue and she responds, we will order another set. At least they offer that sheet for me for now. This time, I speak up, and calmly through tears explain my frustration. This is the part that makes me mad... I am crying, she laughs when saying 'well I am sorry.' At least she has the guts to say sorry unlike the other dork, but the laughing during it makes it very shallow in my opinion.

Seriously, am I being totally sensitive? I then ask if they can mail me the print so I don't have to drive out AGAIN! She says no, they don't do that. Good grief, why not! I left and cried in the toy department. I called Nana to vent, then Ken. He was ready to call the people himself. He doesn't like to hear me cry. Sniff. Needless to say, I left another message for the head photo department via phone today. I leave good complaint messages... ask BC Transit.

Other than another emotional breakdown over stupid pictures, I took Ariel to the park. It was one of those occasions where we encountered other children who wanted to meet us. I always find it rather funny, getting so much info on some random stranger. Today we met Tessa and in less that 5 minutes I knew both her parents names, where they worked, where she lived and that she liked BBQ chips. Here is a sample of our talk:

Tessa: Whats your daughters name?
Me: Ariel
T: Does she have a Dad?
M: Yes
T: whats his name?
M: Ken
T: does he work at Ikea?
M: no
T: Oh, there is a Ken at Ikea, I thought it might have been him. My dad works at Ikea, he is the manager.
M: that's nice
T: you should go to Ikea.
M: sounds fun
T: yeah, say hi to my dad when you do.
M: ok
T: do you know Sharon
M: no
T: she has a baby that is Ariel's age.
M: that's nice
T: yeah, but her baby isn't nice, he cries.
M: hey Tessa
T: yeah?
M you know anyone that works at Sears?
T: no
M: too bad

This goes on for a good 45 minutes. During this time, Tessa and her sister take Ariel on various toys to play. Good thing Ariel likes attention and is easy going. They have a good time and I get a bit of a break. We leave and Ariel is practically passed out in the stroller. What a day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Long road to Langley...

It was the funeral today for Gwen's mom, Cathy. Ken went in early to work so he could take the afternoon off and come with me, which I appreciated. Kara also came to babysit the princess, which was a big help, thanks! We took the long road out to Langley, its been awhile since we have gone out that way... I think the last time was our 3D ultrasound. Crazy.

We were stuck behind a slow truck half the way there, ugh. Then got around it only to move slowly again through the oodies of construction along the way. Blah. However, we got there with time to spare, which was good because I hate being late. Saw Cindy and Dennis and went to sit down. It was a fairly small little funeral home, but it was nice. Lots of people came, so the room was full.

After the Reverend spoke, her friend Kim (who I had met the other night when Gwen came over) read a lovely letter, and then Gwen shared as well. I am really proud of her, it was a hard thing she had to do, and something I was never able to do at the time. They had a little slide show then once things had concluded, refreshments were served. Got to talk to Vicki, who was Cathy's sister. She was a good friend of my mom's. It was one of those funny connections when I met Gwen in high school, and found out that Vicki was her Aunt. Small world. Also talked to Mrs Moir and Shawna Rogers, who I hadn't seen in 10 years.

They had some of Cathy's knitting out and wedding pictures. Its those little things that are special to see. I gave Gwen a big hug, and didn't say too much to her. I think my hug spoke volumes... we had something sadly in common, and she knew it too. She even mentioned how our moms are sitting together and watching us. I smiled and nodded. One thing I did say to her was to remember to eat... typical, practical me. Usually its the last thing you think of, and usually the first thing you need on such an emotional day. She told me how she only had a sprite for breakfast... sounds familiar. We decided we should do coffee soon, and I gave her another hug. I still can't believe it... I don't think I will for a while.

In the end as we left, I stopped and looked at the family portrait they had up at the front with the flowers. Quietly I said a goodbye, and we walked out of the funeral home. I pray we don't have to go to another funeral for a long time... this is the part of growing up that's the hardest and it never gets easier. Sigh.

This morning, Ariel and I went and spent the morning with Nana and Papa. Ariel was excited to go picking beans with Papa and spend time with Nana, who is healing well. She is resting a lot, which is good. I got some nice pictures of them with princess, here are some of my favs.

Tomorrow, I head to Sears to pick up the remainder of my pictures, that they finally got in. I am hoping I get a sorry when I go in, after I complained to the head office, but I am not holding my breath.

Also, we are having breakfast with Dad tomorrow morning. Yay. Nice way to start the long weekend, and Ken is off all three days!!! Usually he teaches on Saturdays, so it never feels really like a long weekend, but his classes don't start up again till September. Whee! We are also getting our new computer this weekend. Huzzah, I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh how time flies!

Lets take a look back to last December, and our first baby days with Ariel, Carter and Issac. Awe, look how small they were....

Look at them in the little car seats. Awe....

Its amazing what a year will do! Yes, on Tuesday we had our baby days 'fun to be one' party. Its hard to believe Ariel and Issac are already the big one and Carter is coming close to his big day too. We had a fun time and came home for a nice long nap!

Today was Nana's day surgery. It went well and she is home resting. Ariel and I stopped by to visit and check in with everything. She has some people bringing food for the next few days so that's a big help.

Tomorrow is the funeral for Gwen's mom. Ken stayed late tonight so he could take time off in the afternoon to come with me, which I appreciate greatly. Plus, Kara is available to babysit, so now we don't have to drag princess off during her nap time, which is a huge help! Kinda not looking forward to the service, as it will be tough no doubt... sigh. Prayers are appreciated.

We just got home from a walk around town... it was really nice out. I needed that... I think we both did. Ice cream was involved too... hee. That was Ariel's idea.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Day in the Life of Jay

On the mommy message board I am a part of, we were all taking turns posting pictures of a day in the life of us, to share our routines etc. Anyhoo, it was finally my turn this week and here is my day. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Peaks and Valleys

Today was one of both highs and lows. I find it hard at the moment to even want to share the highs as my heart is broken. I keep writing things and erasing them, not sure what to say, and yet I feel I must.

We started out this morning really early in fact. We had gotten up with time to spare before church. Arriving early enough to visit and show off Ariel's improving walking abilities, when she wasn't hiding behind my skirt.

After church we had a quick lunch and headed into Vancouver to visit Bonita, a animation friend from L.A. She has been friends with Ken for many years through the school and I got to know her while I was there too. She has been waiting to see Ariel since last year, so we finally made it out while she was in town.

We went down to English Bay for a walk and Ariel's first time experiencing the beach. She loved it! I can't describe the moments watching her discover the water, the feeling of the sand, it was all new and so breathtaking. Although, Bonita has been struggling with illness, she is still full of life to me and so kind. It was wonderful to see her. I think she was honoured to be witness to one of Ariel's big firsts. Here are some of those moments.

As we drove home, the radio was playing great songs and we felt so alive. I didn't say it out loud, because I know Ken most likely knew what I would say... it felt like the day we took the drive together to unwind... the one that became known as the day my mom died. Sadly, this day was about to take a very similar turn.

We got home and in a whim of spontaneous nature, we went to the last 20 minutes of the market. Got a cute bird made from rock and some little donuts for Ken. We walked home, soaking up the last of the weekend sun, and got in the house. As I unloaded Ariel's things, I noticed the phone message... it was from my friend Cindy, and I could tell something wasn't right.

I called and sure enough, my fears were confirmed. Our friend Gwen's mom had been killed in a car accident over the weekend. I just slumped into a chair with my head in my hands. Everything gets blurry in a moment like this. Its too familiar... its shocking... and its not fair. She was a wonderful and kind woman, and wonderful wife to Gwen's dad and mother to Gwen, her brother Brad and sister Jill. As with my mom, she is gone too soon and although I have travelled this road before, it doesn't make it any easier. I pray for them and the extended family. To Gwen, I love you and I am here for you. I am sorry... so sorry.

I wrapped Ariel in a special blanket as I sat, and had a moment before coming here to type... it was made by Gwen's mom. A precious gift made with her hands, heart and time. I will treasure this gift to my daughter forever. Thank you.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I love technology...

...well, not all the time, but when its going good, why not. We decided not to go to the PNE today since the weatherman called for rain (never really did rain that hard) and headed to Mike and Jo's place for a visit, and then have our new compy ordered! Mike was taking us to a place where you pick the parts and they build it, so that's very cool. Our new computer will put this one to shame. The only thing I am trying to decide on is the monitor... hmmm. (Note, this isn't our computer in the pic, but the store one that Ariel was having fun playing with, she is tech savvy already) Anyhoo, its ready next Saturday so looks like we are booked for another day with computer fun.

We when to Ricky's for a late breakfast aka lunch... it was noon. Hee. We treated them for their 1st anniversary which is tomorrow. I also remembered to give them the anniversary card I bought 2 weeks after their wedding because it was so perfect and I knew I wouldn't find anything better. Ken was convinced I may lose it or forget, but my brain power won out this time! Yay. Also gave them one of our newly obtained pictures of Ariel from her day at Sears... oh there is a story to this, trust me. Its never an easy road with anything I do. Ha.

So Friday I wake up and I feel kinda off. I figure I am hungry so I try and eat, no such luck. I still continue to get ready and leave for the mall with Ariel. We get out there and I figure to pick up our pictures first. I am glad I did, because we had issues... again... like last time!

So I get there and they find my pictures and start laying them out and I soon realize a sheet of them are missing. Sigh. Mr photographer comes over, looks at the order and says, 'I made a mistake, I will order that one and will call you in 14 days so you can pick it up.' Ok, a sorry would have been nice... but then he goes on... 'so we have these extra sheets printed that you can purchase today.' Um, no I just spend a nice amount on the pictures I DID ORDER that you didn't get. That's what I was thinking... I ended up saying, I really can't even consider this at the moment, trying to show how upset this whole experience had been.

Seriously, if he had maybe said, I am so sorry but let me try and make better. I will get a rush on this and as a sorry we messed up, take one of these extra prints we made up. Is that asking too much? I use to work in a customer service job, I know how it works... maybe he didn't. While I tried to keep my cool, he then asked if I needed any frames!!!!! Good grief, why on earth would I want to buy anything else from you at this moment!!!! I walked away and called Nana to vent. My stomach was hurting at that moment and I wrote it off as anger.

Ariel and I hit the mall and tried to forget the pictures. We found some new jeans for princess, fall is coming - FAST. When did that happen? All of a sudden its getting cooler and the leaves are turning. Kinda sad but I love fall so its all good. We also found a few cute shirts, long sleeved. We stopped for lunch of a slice of pizza that we shared. It was a good thing we shared because again I could barely eat. This was weird. Afterwards I was hoping to look for a dress for me and my upcoming 10 year reunion next month, but Ariel was getting sleepy so we headed home.

Upon coming in the door my tummy was in serious pain and I could barely hold my head up. I didn't feel like I was going to be sick, but I knew I wasn't well. I got Ariel in bed and collapsed on the couch, figuring I could sleep it off. I spent that time looking up the customer service phone number for sears and giving them a call. After talking to a very nice lady who planned on rushing my photos out asap and extended her deepest sorry, I felt a bit better. However it was short lived... that's when the shakes started.

I was freezing and sore. My whole body was pins and needles. Yuck. I got in the shower to try and heat up and Ariel woke up. I got her back to sleep and tried again to sleep myself. I kept shaking and tossing in my bed. Ariel then was up for good and I called Ken to see if he could leave work early to come home. He was going to try, and ended up calling Nana to come over in the meantime. She showed up while I was in the shower again while Ariel was standing there playing peek a boo with the shower curtain. She stayed long enough to give me a chance to relax without having to worry about princess.

Ken was able to get home early and took over. He got Ariel out to her last swimming class (she passed - yay) and made a nice dinner of pancakes for us all. I finally was able to eat, but was really weak. I feel better after I had a really deep sleep, but my tummy is still a bit sore. So, not sure if it was a bug or flu... but we were so busy it could be it all catching up with me... and no I am not pregnant, in case you were thinking that as a possible cause.

That leads us back to now. After leaving Mike and Jo, we went back to the mall for pants for Ken and a dress for me. Success on both! We went to the Gap and Ken got a great pair of dark wash jeans and killer dress pants. While looking around the store waiting for Ken to try them on, I found a rack of dresses. In a moment of sheer guts, I took 3 to try on. I haven't been able to fit most of the clothes there since before my pregnancy. To my surprise and utter amazement, they all fit! When did I lose enough weight? I was taking those classes at the gym, I guess they worked. Yay. Anyhoo, the first 2 dresses were a little plunging for my liking, but the third was perfect! I walked out of the dressing room smiling. I SO haven't done that in ages.

We shopped a bit more at old navy where I got some cozy sweats for those fall walks with Ariel, not to mention they were super cute, off the shoulder 80's style, woot. We left the mall as Ariel slept in the car and came home. She slept for an hour or so until the phone woke her up and we had dinner together. All in all, a nice family day. We love having daddy home for a few weekends until his classes start again. Its awesome.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Dance and a Kick in the Pants!

Well tonight we had a real treat. Mike came over to look at our computer and with some magic brought back our thought to be dead D-Drive. This has given us the chance to back up things we didn't get to when we thought the burner was dead, ie Ken's film, all our music and my backups for work. However, its still a kick in the pants for me as I spent a few nights doing extra work again because I had to give it to the client. I couldn't get any discs to read because of them not working... so really it was a happy moment but I was like... dang. I guess that's the world of computers. We are still planning on building a new one, and we will place the order this Saturday morning with Mikey before we go to the PNE. I will be happy to have a new computer again... this one has seen better days... Mikey said he was gonna shoot it. We will miss you Bender... only thing that remains... what will the new computer be named? Ideas?

Today Ariel didn't get a great nap, due to 2 packages arriving and ringing the buzzer. She got a Pixar storybook from her Yaya (Great Grandma on Ken's side) and some money for her education fund from her other Grandpa (Ken's Dad). So instead of sleeping, something I had been looking forward to myself, we played.

She is having a great time with her new fridge magnet set from Grammy. Actually, she discovered that they stick to things other than the fridge, namely the garbage can. Hahaha. She would also do a funny dance when the song played. This gal is footloose. Hee.

The other new game is stealing the kitchen towels. Not sure why its so exciting, maybe its a distraction so that she can get my cel phone. She got it today and I didn't clue in until she walked around the couch to show me, as if to say, 'so you missing anything mommy?' Talk about bold! I got up to grab it and she ran! Little stinker. She was laughing, so apparently its funny. I'll start deducting that education fund to pay for any calls she places to Australia, thank you very much.

So as I head off to watch the Daily Show with my hubby, I leave you with a happy dance!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The past few days have been much quieter, but not less busy. Makes it hard to recover from such an amazing but draining week of fun, fun, fun! I fell asleep on the couch today while Ariel was napping. It was wonderful, but there is much to catch up on.

Sunday was a sleep in day. We missed church, doh, but got the extra rest we needed. Ariel slept in too, so it was nice for us all. We then headed over to Dad and Rita's to pick up all the stuff we left the night before. We got to install the new car seat for princess

Here is before in the baby seat, facing backwards....

Now facing forward in a big girl seat!

We had leftovers while there, even a bit of birthday cake. Yum. Ariel and Daddy played some guitar together, she is such a musical girl. Forget Raffi, this girl is playing Clapton already... ok, not quite. Hehe.

We got all her presents packed up into boxes to go in the car. I still can't believe we made it all fit. I spent most of yesterday taking things out of the packaging. That's a long job... and difficult too. These are kids toys, and they are practically bolted down. Sheesh.

Afterwards, we went to the Quilt walk and Car show that was down in the village. Saw some cute cars (so not into them, but oh well) and beautiful quilts. Ariel helped Stella do some sewing.

Ariel's birthday quilt was in one of the windows, so we had to get a picture of her with it.

Its not a Ladner event without the big sea gull. Hehehe.

Lots of cute cars.

Ariel crashed during our walk, which gave me a chance to try out some of the sewing machines. I so would love to get a new one, as mine is on its last leg. The one I love is half price, but it would be my Christmas, birthday and anniversary present... which I wouldn't mind at all. We shall see...

We had dinner at Pete and Sue's place. When we pulled in, we heard Chole yell, 'Ariel's here!' Its so not about us anymore. Hahaha! Unfortunately, Sue was called away for most of the evening as a member of our church family died that evening. Its sad to think the night before we were celebrating life... then the next day is this. We will be praying for his family...

Although, there was this overhanging sadness, we still had a wonderful evening with their family. Ariel loved playing with the kids. They both want to babysit her down the road... I may take them up on that.

Other than the catching up of things to do and swimming lessons this week, we have been dealing with stuff breaking. Argh. The computer is really on its last leg. The D Drive totally died, as well as the dvd burner and cd drive. Making my job at home a bit harder, since I had to redo some stuff. Poo. Then last night the vacuum didn't work. I had to take it in this morning, and thankfully its an easy plug problem, so yay.

I am picking up Ariel's birthday pics this Friday, and then will start the task of thank you cards. Also I need to start the slide show for my 10 year reunion. I can't believe its coming up so fast... what am I gonna wear... that's the most important thing right? Hahaha.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Party of the Year!

Yes, we had the most amazing time!!! It was great, everything went sooo well. The weather even worked out... was a little worried about the 'rain' that was predicted. We had only a few droplets, and no one even noticed. We had balloons and fairies in the trees and a bubble machine that was very popular most of the night.

We welcomed everyone and the kids got to play fishpond. Its something that was always at me and Mike's birthday parties, so we had to do it. Kara and Chris did a great job running it for us. Thanks guys.

Lots of snacks and goodies to munch on as people mingled. We rented a punch fountain too, very cute. Ariel loved visiting with her guests and eating their food. The personalized M&Ms were a hit!

Then we read the story we wrote for Ariel. We used to get it made into a book for her. I am glad we got it all on video, because the reaction was priceless!

Then came dinner of chicken, burgers, hot dogs and salads! There wasn't much left, so it must have been good. My Dad is the BBQ king.

As people finished their dinner, we started the video montage we made. (I posted it on Aug 14th if you missed it) The kids loved seeing pictures of themselves with Ariel, I made sure to include one of each of the kids coming to the party. I managed not to cry this time, but it was close.

Bring on the cake! Ariel started with hers. You should have seen the wall of cameras, move over Britney Spears! The kids cheered and everyone laughed as the cake was destroyed. Yummy.

Then we got our cake, the mountain of pink! The bottom layer was vanilla and the top was chocolate, so everyone got a piece (or both) of their favorite flavor. In the end, there really wasn't much left of it either.

Some more visiting, Ariel was requested by her guests to open some gifts. Since she really isn't into it, we had some help. In the end it was a huge paper fight. Haha. She got some lovely gifts! Some new toys, some clothes and money for the education fund. Today we will install her new car seat, and she will be facing forward, yay! Jack even made her (almost finished) a rocking horse like Colin's that she plays with at their house. What a blessed little girl she is.

After we say goodbye to all our friends, we cleaned up and packed up one very tired princess back into the car. She slept all night... hope you had fun Ariel. We love you.

Well, since I had so many pictures, I put them together into a quick video. Of course I had to pick one of Ariel's favorite songs. So enjoy, and feel like you were there too!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is there really a bog monster?

We never did find out... hehe. Today was Burns Bog day, and its was really beautiful. I totally suggest going if you haven't been. Its really amazing. We walked along the boardwalk through the trees.

Ariel played Girl Guide and studied the pine cones.

When she wasn't just enjoying being pushed around while she rested.

There really isn't much more I can say, you have to see it to get the scope of it all.

Dinner was an awesome fish feast at Sharkies! Yum. I heart seafood!

Early that morning, we had a birthday breakfast for Papa. Ross and his girlfriend Jamie and the 3 kids, Dad, Rita, Dud, Marg, Bill and Penny were there. A long table of 15 happy people. We were laughing and talking and then this elderly lady came up and commented that she was enjoying sitting next to such a happy family. She had to come tell us how wonderful it was. That's a very special in my books.

In the end we took some pics of the new cousins together. I am sure its just as difficult as it was for them to organize all of us back then. Hehe.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Burnaby or Bust

Today was a trip to the Burnaby Village Museum. I haven't been there since I was a kid, and its just as cute as I remember. I must say after going to Greenfield village in Michigan, that this one is very small in comparison, but still a hoot. Ariel enjoyed playing with the old fashioned toys.

Ken looked into a possible lazy liver...

Ariel got her picture taken, old school style, hee. She even got a handmade stocking hook at the blacksmith shop. How special!

We even took a ride on the carousel! I wasn't ready for how fast it was going to go, kinda felt a bit dizzy and sick... unlike the 3 little girls who kept riding over and over. Ugh. No thanks. Ariel loved it, and I think may not have gotten her mom's tender tummy. Lucky girl.

Afterwards we went to Granville Island for a bit. Ariel and Grammy had some frap, yum.

Dan went on a brewery tour and tasting.

Daddy played with some puppets.

After swimming class, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner... and boy it wasn't the usual good experience. First off, they only had one waitress working the whole place, I felt bad for her. Then we were confused, we wanted to order 2 larges and they didn't have any large pans tonight. Um what? That I didn't get, but rather than complain we ordered 2 mediums and enjoyed our dinner. We asked for crayons for Ariel, and she brought them, with no paper... I think a letter may be in order. Just for the record though, this was the night we were treating for dinner, so of course we get the strange things. Haha. In the end it was yummy and Ariel was left asking, why no leftovers?

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