It's no secret that I am not great with computers and social media. I have had a computer crash in the past, but a few weeks ago, my laptop crashed and took a ton of pictures with it. So sad!! And now I can't even figure out how to download an app to store my photos in because I forget my apple ID, and the website that recovers it forces you into a vicious cycle where you are expected to either start a new life with a brand new email address, or you have to remember the details you used when you first set up your apple ID 12+ years ago. It makes we want to go back to disposable cameras where you got them developed and they came with their own cheap photo album to store them in.
Losing all those photos reminded me that I love having an online journal about our life, so I definitely want to blog more, but I will have to buy a new computer and figure out the cloud before I can blog comfortably again. I'll be back in the new year for sure.
Thursday, 29 December 2016
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Now that we live four minutes from my parents, we are able to babysit the family dog, Lucy, while they are away. We love it! A few weeks ago they went away for four nights, and we had Lou. Cohen loves it so much, and is in charge of feeding her and giving her treats.
(Chilling with Lou on the couch)
(About to take Lou out. Cohen was surprisingly good about taking Lou out with me every few hours)
(He basically did not leave her alone at all the entire time she was here.)
(Walking Lou around the block)
We had Lucy here while the guys were working on the kitchen. While they were here, Cohen insisted that Lucy stay on a leash even while inside, and Cohen never let go of the leash. I was worried she would escape while the guys were in and out getting stuff from their truck. So while Cohen was sitting at the table having a snack, he was holding Lou's leash, and she just sat obediently at his feet. One of the guys commented that Cohen sure loved his dog. I was like, actually, it's not our dog, we are just dog-sitting. The plumber dude was shocked. He was like, you need to get that kid a dog! We will, for sure. Maybe just not for a while.
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
The guys just finished our kitchen renovation this morning, and I am so happy! We went the entire week last week not being able to use our kitchen at all, so I am pretty happy to be able to make meals again. We are super happy with how it turned out.
Finished! We are really happy with it. The biggest thing is that it feels like we have more counter space, even though we don't. And the kitchen just feels so much better and brighter. Though I do kind of feel like now it would be nice to get a new fridge and new flooring, BUT that is not going to happen for a long time. We have a huge list of things we want to do in this house, and the next thing is probably the master bathroom. Also on our list: powder room, laundry room, and then we just need a ton of furniture. We will be taking things really slow as our finances permit.
Saturday, 12 November 2016
We are baking all the time these days, and I totally think it's because we have more kitchen. And our kitchen renos start on Monday. I am so pumped to have a dishwasher with a third rack (oh wow, what is happening when you are excited about a new dishwasher?) and cabinets that are not covered in bubbles.
This little angel is doing so good. He has started writing his name (well, he can only do the O and the H right now, but I am still impressed), and is OBSESSED with puzzles. He does maybe 5 puzzles a day. He is into the 50 pieces ones these days.
These two cousins make me so happy. They could not be more different. We went on a worm hunt after a rainfall, and one cousin could not collect enough worms with her bare hands. Cohen would not even consider touching them.
They love doing activities at my parent's house.
They had a halloween party at Cohen's preschool that I was able to go to. So cool to see Cohen doing his thing at school. The kids were supposed to make a jackolantern out of the stuff on the plate. Cohen made just a huge pile. The teacher said she liked his individuality. I really think preschool is helping him be a little more outgoing. He will now talk to people when we are out and about. Or maybe it's just that he is getting older.
Sunday, 6 November 2016
This weekend we have just been hanging out around our town and relaxing. It has been so needed since we just had a really busy couple weeks. Jon and I had a really busy trip to Toronto for four days, then Cohen got a really bad cold, then I did, and work, etc. The usual.
Anyway, this morning we went for a little walk to the little market that is a 3 minute walk from our house. So nice!! We are loving fall in NB.
(Cohen watching Jon tie his shoe)
Cohen wore his spiderman mittens for most of the day and held them up to strangers like he was "spinning a web." Everyone acted like they were caught in a spiderweb when he did it. So cute.
Later this afternoon we had tickets for Jon and Cohen to go to Sesame Street Live. The tickets were kind of expensive, but we figured it was worth is and Cohen would love it since he loves all the Sesame street characters. We were dead wrong! He flipped out and refused to watch. He said they were loud and scary and he was super scared. Haha. Jon came and got me at the mall where I was about to enjoy a coffee all by myself, and we went back so I could try bringing Cohen in to the show. NOPE! He physically would not go to his seat. He pretty much ran back to the exit screaming. He said he was SO scared of the characters. It was honestly pretty funny, and Jon and I were having such a hard time stifling our laughter, but Cohen was taking it really seriously. He was so upset. So no more live shows until Cohen is maybe 6? And I am thinking we will delay Disney until then too. Lesson learned.
Sunday, 16 October 2016
We've been settling into our new routines in our new town. Even though I did high school here, it might as well be a brand new town to me. I guess it's the difference between being a teenager in a small town that feels tiny and being a mom in a town that feels like the perfect size.
(We went to our first movie at the theater. Finding Dory. We didn't love it.)
(We have been to the frozen yogurt place a bunch of times. I love that we can get Cohen a tiny amount, and I love the marshmallow fluff for me. )
(We are obsessed with the super smooth bike lanes. You can basically get around the whole town from our house on these and never have to actually go on the road. We have been biking every other day at least.)
(At the field trip to the apple orchard with his class. He got to choose and pick five apples.)
(This is the green space behind our house. This town is seriously covered in green spaces that are maintained by the town. Lots of sweet places to throw a frisbee or have a picnic. We also love getting to be my parent's new dog sitters)
(Doing a bit of work to get our new license plates on.)
(Loving all the pumpkin patches around here.)
(Family date right after work.)
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
When we bought this house, we looked at it twice in an hour with our realtor for about 5 minutes each time. We LOVED it. Still do. But it wasn't until we moved in that we noticed that the surfaces of the cabinets were peeling off and bubbling. You can actually see it in these pictures, but we thought it was just shadows.
The first thing we did when we bought the house is have the second extra white fridge removed and also the cabinets that surrounded it because we knew for sure we did not want two fridges. The second thing we did was replace the two-level countertop on the island for a giant chunk of granite. Oh, and we painted. That's how it is right now, and it is totally fine, but those bubbly cabinets are driving me nuts.
So we looked into replacing all the doors on the cabinets, but then we kinda figured we should just go all out and change everything we are not into at the same time. So we are officially doing it, and I am so excited. We told the contractor that we don't like a ton of decisions, so when it came time to choose finishes and stuff, he gave a few choices in some cases, and no choices in others. Love it.
What we are doing:
- new lighting including island light, centre light, and two new sconces above open shelving that will be on the sink wall.
- new quartz countertops that will be totally different than our granite but look cool
- new stainless steel dishwasher.
- goodbye to the appliance garage on the corner cabinet
- hello to new open shelving, new cabinet doors, and new drawer pulls, new sink and fancy faucet.
- new subway tile backsplash
More updates to come...
Monday, 3 October 2016
We have been here for almost two months, and really, we are loving it. Sooo much is different compared to our last community and life*. For the first few weeks we lived here, Cohen kept saying that he didn't like our new house, and he just wanted to be back to his old house. But now sometimes he says he likes his new house now.
(Sometimes juice wins over smoothies)
(All three of us got our eyes checked. Cohen has perfect vision, I am so close it's scary, and Jon's eyes haven't gotten any worst.)
(We are so into our weekly market dates. Orange juice first)
(So many new parks.)
(First day of preschool. Drop offs can be hard, but Cohen does so well once he is there.)
*How is our new life different from our old one? Let me make a list:
- The weather!!! The temperature is always about 10 degrees warmer here compared to Clarenville. I still listen to the radio from NL, so I hear about their weather warnings all the time while we are having a perfectly warm fall. Love it for being able to spend more time outside comfortably.
- Our work hours. Jon is home from work by 4, and I am home by 4:45. We used to both get home around 5:15. That is a huge difference! It means we are able to make a decent supper most nights and also go for a little walk or bike ride. We go to work a little earlier, but since we have a toddler, we are always up early anyways.
- Nan and gramps. Having my parents around is huge. Jon and I have been on multiple date nights since we have been back, and we have two overnights planned. In Clarenville, we used to go on a date once a year. Also, Cohen is thriving having the attention of his grandparents. They have special chocolate milk dates with him, and just give him so much attention.
- Our kitchen. Our old kitchen was totally fine, but this new one is so much bigger. I find myself trying more recipes and starting multiple kitchen projects at once because there is so much room, and cleanup feels easier since there are a million cupboards to put things.
- Bike paths. This town has a ton of bike paths. I don't remember them from when I grew up here, but now, you can get almost anywhere without actually biking on the actual street. We bike almost every day because of it. In Clarenville, biking was a little dicey, and there was basically only one small loop you could do. The roads were too narrow and steep to safely bike. Here, we bike to the park or to get frozen yogurt or coffee or a beer or even groceries.
Ok, this is just a short list of the first few things that have popped into my head. There are so many more. I'll be honest, there are things we really miss about our old life. I really miss my coworkers and the family-like vibe that we were starting to develop more recently. We miss our babysitter, Paula, like crazy. Cohen still mentions her every day. I miss working with Jon. We have completely different jobs/clinics now, and talking about your day in the evening is not the same as experiencing work together. We are getting used to it. I weirdly miss our small house. This one is so much bigger/more work to clean (3 bathrooms!!)/more money to furnish.
Moving "home" was such a good move for us. Tonight we biked to my old elementary school to play at the playground. I told Cohen and Jon about some memories I have from that time, and it felt so good.
Monday, 19 September 2016
When we planned our move home to NB, we knew that our annual family trip to Cavendish would fall right in the middle of the move, so we decided to embrace it and just drive straight to our vacation before we went to our new home. When we got off the ferry, we drove to Moncton to stay the night with my parents and my sister's family, who come with us to Cavendish every year. This was our third year, and each year we get better at the whole thing.
In Moncton, we stayed in a hotel close to my sister's house so the kiddies could enjoy the pool a bit and get in as much family time as possible. We find that with four adults (Kryssy, Chad, Jon, me) and three kids, it is so much easier to make food at home as opposed to restaurants, so my sister whipped up the meals as we prepared for our Cavendish trip.
Next year might be different since we live on the mainland now, but for the past three years my sister has exclusively been in charge of planning the meals and buying all the food for the 5 days. It's such a big job, and takes two huge coolers and another two huge plastic containers filled with pantry items. I love the food part of the trip. Everything tastes a little better when you are staying in a cottage with a limited kitchen.
The baby, Gage, was a wild card in terms of sleeping, but these two slept well and got up pretty consistently around 6 am, ready for breakfast number one. Jon and I would get up with these guys and get coffee on the go, and the baby, Kryssy and Chad would get up 45 minutes later. It's funny how quickly you get into routines, even when you are only vacationing for 5 days.
Although Cohen has been done with naps for a while, we found that he really needed one while we were vacationing. I blame it on being outside for hours at a time. These two would nap for at least an hour every afternoon. We liked keeping them inside for the hottest couple hours of the day anyways. They loved cozying up together. So sweet.
We have stayed at the same cottage property all three years, but keep upgrading the particular cottage we stay in. This time we had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, which felt pretty luxurious to us. I think we will stay at this one from now on.
For whatever reason, going to the beach sounded good in theory, but each day we would opt to instead just walk across the field to the pool. The beach felt sort of daunting since we would need to bring lots of snacks, water, sunscreen, toys, changes of clothes, towels, blankets, etc. On the last day, Jon and I stopped with Cohen and Jon's brother at the beach on a whim. We didn't have bathing suits or much of anything. Cohen went around in his spiderman underwear, and I stripped to my (luckily all black and full-bum) underwear and tank top and we had an awesome time. Note to future self: go to the beach!! It is not as much work as you are thinking.
This year I think we rented five cottages total, with about 20 family members, plus lots more stopping by for the day or a meal. For some reason, staying together for 5 days straight at the exact same place year after year seems to foster a closeness that I love so much. I end up having deeper more meaningful conversations with close and not-so-close relatives that we don't have anywhere else.
I think it was in this story that David Sedaris talks about having to put in the time to end up with those sweet meaningful conversations that you want to have with your family members. For me that is the gold of our annual Cavendish trip. This year my sister-in-laws unknowingly convinced me to change my name legally back to my maiden name, the name that I never stopped using professionally. All while treading water in the deep end of the pool. I talked to relatives about careers (good ones, stable ones, less-than-ideal ones, lucrative ones), exes (the kind that you have to talk to every single day of your life for the next 15 years and the kind that just left a mark on you), true loves (romantic and other), money (having enough, how much is enough, how to get a bit more while still parenting), kids (step, adopted, biological), etc. Such a great vacation. I can't wait for next year.
Thursday, 1 September 2016
I realize that I haven't blogged since we moved, and I know exactly why. Because I am busy now. A good busy. Now I spend my free time checking out things to do in our town, or shopping for stuff for our new house, or hanging out with friends or family. So I probably won't blog nearly so much, except for when the mood strikes. I still love looking at old posts from the past few years, so I'll try to keep things updated a bit.
These are pics from our boat ride when we left Newfoundland. The boat left from Argentia, which is only an hour and a half from our old house. The boat ride is 14 hours long, plus a few hours before to get in line, park, etc.
You have to park your car in the line a few hours early, so we went in to the building to play and run around a bit. There is not much more snacks, so definitely bring your own.
We got dude a tiny boat at the gift shop. He had been excited about this boat ride for months.
Chilling in the ferry terminal. We were so impressed with how organized the whole thing was. You are not supposed to bring plants from NL to the mainland, but we explained to the lady that our little bonsai tree was given to Jon by me when we first started dating and it was super important to us, and she let it go since the plant had never touched the ground in NL.
Once we got on the boat we went straight to our cabin, which had two sets of bunk beds. Cohen and I each took a bottom one, and Jon slept on a top bunk. The beds were comfy and clean, and the washroom was tiny. We all slept great, though the constant rocking back and forth took a little getting used to.
For supper that night we went to the kinda fancy restaurant on board, where we had awesome meals. Jon had halibut that the waiter said was freshly caught that day. The service was great. Cohen was so tired that he was falling asleep at the table.
We let him watch a few shows while laying in bed since it was still so light out at bedtime around 8. We then all had to go to sleep because of the close quarters.
The morning breakfast situation was a little weird. We found these tiny boxes of cereal and also yogurt, and then later a huge buffet opened with all kinds of breakfast food. All together things were really good on the boat. There was also an arcade and lots of areas to play cards or color.
We had such a great time on the boat!! I would highly recommend taking the longer ferry to anyone with smaller kids who will sleep in a twin bed.