Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why I've Been AWOL

Sorry I've been MIA these past few days.  This weekend was my company's annual Edge Show Weekend; a BBQ and trade show. 

It was two longs days, espeically since I worked before each event, hence the lack of posts.

It was my first time going to the event in my eight years with the comapny and it was pretty awesome.

It was wonderful to see, and finally meet, all the amazing people I've gotten to know so well in my time with HOK.  There are no words to describe the hospitality and greatness of these people.  I was greeted with hugs and kind words.  I was told how much I was missed and how happy everyone is to have me back. 

One of the many reasons I was looking forward to the BBQ was to catch up with my mananger from the Okanagan.  It was so much fun chatting with him; even after 18 months of not working together it was like old times right away. 

I also had the chance to finally put faces to the names at the end of emails and the voices on the other end of the phone.  People who I have "known" for years but have never actually met.  Again, I was greeted with hugs, kind words, and teased about leaving the Fringe for the Mainland (Fringe stores are the ones not in the Mainland)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Dark Tower: Review

Back in December I had finished reading some books I was given for Christmas and was looking for a new book to start (in all my free time).  Danny decided he would choose the next book for me and I knew he was going for Gunslinger. 

What a terrible book. 

It was boring and hard to read.  I really didn't care what happened to Roland, the last gunslinger, or the Man in Black.  But I agreed to read it so I did... somewhat.  I actually skimmed through the book, reading a paragraph here and there.  I really didn't like the book, but I agreed to read it (in exchange for Danny to read Head Hunter, which he gave up on too soon).

About a month later Danny was on my case to read The Drawing of Three.  Not having anything else to read I agreed. 

This week I finished the series (I'm not including the book just released in the series).  I must admit, I really enjoyed it.  I fell in love with the characters, cheered their ka-tet on through each and every battle (and there's a lot of them), my heart broke for each loss (and there's a few of them), and held my breath as the pages neared the end of the final book. 

For those of you who don't know what the Dark Tower is about I'll give you the basics.  It's a (long) story about Roland, the last gunslinger, and his ka-tet's (group) to save the Dark Tower, which is what holds the worlds (yes, more than one) together.  (If the Dark Tower falls the worlds end).  That's the basic premise.  Of course there are many other stories within the main story, but that's when you get to truly know the characters. 

One of the main reasons Danny started the series is because we are Lost fans and Lost was greatly influenced by The Dark Tower.  While reading it I was amazed to see how many TV shows, movies, and books seem to have been inspired by this story. 

I'm not going to lie, there were a few times where the story really dragged and I thought about just giving in but I'm really glad I didn't.  More so since I finished the story.  Now, I am not going to give away anything about the ending but to say I love, and hate, how it came full circle (like the wheel of ka). 

I loved the ending because, as Stephen King says in the afterword, it was the only ending.  It also reminded me a lot of 100 Years of Solitude's ending (and since it's my favourite book of all time that's a good thing).

I hated the ending because of everything the characters go through to try to reach the Dark Tower and to see it end the way it did leaves you to wonder So many things, much like Lost.  I won't tell you what my questions were in case you want to read the series, which I highly recommend. 

It's a series I will read again because I am sure I will see more than I did the first time.  Although I think I'm going to go back and re-read Gunslinger sooner rather than later because I missed so much the first time. 

Have you read the series?  What did you think?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekly Highlights - June 22

This week was a little slower for us, I don't really know why.  There were still some highlights

- At work we made our monthly budget 14 days early!!!  This means we have 13 days of gravy, which means bigger bonuses for the staff.  Yay!!

- The kids and I met with a new doctor this week and I like her.  Yes, I was able to find a female doctor.  The one we chose when we moved was, really, not a good choice.
I had a Fantastic doctor in the Okanagan and got used to her style, so I was a little put off when this doctor forgot to measure and weigh Alyssa at her 6 month check up (he had a training doctor with him who reminded him).  I stopped taking the kids after that. 

- Danny, who is home!, received his new supervisor's pay starting last week, which means this week we see the financial benefit of the new position. 

- Wednesday marked the first day of summer, and mother nature rewarded us with SUN!!!  A rarity here in June for some reason. 

- Thursday morning Lynden woke up with his second consecutive dry pull up (something he's been doing for months but went to hell in a hand basket when we learned Danny was leaving for 2 weeks).  We rewarded it with a bike ride to Mc Donalds for ice cream.  On the way I remembered it was Thursday, which meant A&W, which is across the street from Mc Donalds, was having their weekly classic car show.  Lynden was thrilled to see all the cars, even though he wasn't allowed to touch them. 

- Alyssa seems to be trying to say some words, which fills me with joy beyond belief (you can read why here).  We have her a cookie and said "coooookieeeeeeeeee" (if you're a parent you totally read that the way it was meant) a few times, she laughed, walked away, and said "ooookee".  Danny and I both smiled. 
Then, Thursday at Mc Donalds she grabbed a napkin and I said "paaaaaaaaaper" then "naaaaaaapkin" and she answered me with "aper". 
She's trying and that relieves a lot of my worry. 

- She's also thinking about her signing more.  She's thinking about what she wants when I ask her "more or all done?" and signs accordingly.  She's also taken to signing "eat", which is almost as helpful as her running to the fridge when I open it and grabbing what she wants before I close it. 
She's also nodding, which she wasn't doing before.  You'd ask her something and she'd just shake her head and sign for more.  Now if the answer is yes she nods. 

- Even though it hasn't happened yet I am Really looking forward to my company BBQ on Sunday.  I'm excited to see people I haven't seen in ages and finally putting faces to names signed at the end of emails (I know these people since I've talked and emailed them countless times in my 7 years with HOK but I've met only a handful). 

That's my week in a nutshell.  I'll leave you with a few of my favourite pictures from last week's Zoo visit

not a great one of me but I adore his laughing face

Love that smile

posing at the hippo sign

my new Fav Lynden picture

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Out And About: The Zoo

{Sorry folks, LOTS of pictures... Lots!}

My mom treated Lynden (and me too) to the zoo last week and did we ever luck out weather wise.  It was one of the few nice days we've had in weeks (and we're a little weather shy about going to the zoo on iffy days - read about our last trip to the zoo here). 

Lynden was pretty excited to go.  Which made the migraine I got that morning even harder on me.  Thankfully my grandma, who was already taking Alyssa for the afternoon AND letting me borrow her car to get to the zoo AND pick Danny up that night at the airport, was able to come over and watch the kids while I power napped through the worst of it. 

Once I woke up we were off to the zoo. 

When we arrived we had time for a quick bite before we headed off to see the lions and tiger be fed. 

Lynden saying "zoo"

lion eating

her paws were huge

After that we wandered around until the hippo feeding at 3 and our train ride at 4. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Beauty

After moving him so he wouldn't fall off the bed, he fell off his bed.

Who Needs A Puppy?

We've talked a few times about how we would like to get a dog for the kids, even though I'd do 98% of the work.  We like the "idea" of teaching the kids about responsibility and love the thought of them growing up with a family pet. 

The more I think about getting a dog I start to realize I don't need one.  Alyssa has a lot of the same characteristics:
  • She comes when you call her
  • She pees on the carpet (why must kids pee when you let them run around bare bummed?)
  • She loves walks.  The moment you tell her to get her shoes she's ready to go.  If you take too long she pulls on you, screeches to get your attention, runs from you to the stairs to you to the stairs.   
  • She eats off the floor. 
    Now, please don't think I never sweep the floor and it's a disgusting mess.  She can find the smallest scrap of food and it's instantly in her mouth.  You'd think we never feed her how she reacts to finding food.
  • She's so happy to see you if you've been behind a closed door for 30 seconds. 
  • She plays fetch
    Don't judge, we've all done it!
  • She follows you everywhere
  • She responds to treats; no we don't make her sit and wait while we place it on her nose.  She'd never stay still that long ;o)
  • She carries toys around in her mouth
    We don't encourage it; we take the toys out of her mouth and tell her no
  • She runs in circles
  • She mooches food every chance she gets
    We DO feed her, I promise!
  • She has a short attention span.  "Ooh, a ball.... look a car.... mommy!... oooh, a ball..."
  • She chews things
    Again, a teething thing, and if it's not a toy of hers that is meant to used for teething we tell her no, and take it out of her mouth. 
  • She gives wet kisses that sometimes consists of licking
  • We have to tell her to "get out of the garbage"
    I swear, I watch my kids.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Favourite Weekly Reads - Jun 18

Every day I read some really fantastically great blogs and I thought it was time I start sharing some of the posts I enjoy each week. 

Kate at Life as I Know It wrote a great post to the parents she judged.  It's something we have all done; judged parents on what their kids are doing, what they're wearing, how the react, what they're being fed, etc.  Really, we have no right to judge anyone.  We all make decisions that are best for our family and that's all we can do. 

Kate's pre and post baby was hilarious and honest.  My favourite was "Pre-children: Only organic, healthy, homemade food.  Post-children: My kids love Wendy's.  "

Lianne at A Content Housewife did her version of "You Know You're a Mom When".  We've all been there and think "wow, I never thought I'd think this way".  I only wish the list was longer.  (You can check out my list here)

Lena, Mom2MemphisandRuby, does a great job hosting Tuesday 10 each week.  This week was a blast from the past; favourite 90's things.  It was so much fun checking out everyone's lists, each list had another "oh my gosh, I forgot about those" moment. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Sadly, I have to work on Father's Day, so we don't have any big plans for Father's Day.  But I do want to wish my wonderful husband a happy Father's Day.  He is the most amazing dad!

one of Lynden & daddy's first photos

totally in love with his son

one of our favourite pictures of all time

at the aquarium

checkin' out the beach

going for a walk

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekly Highlights

This week's highlights:

- Lynden has decided to say "rock on" when anything good happens.  It's pretty damn cute!

- Alyssa is a master of climbing onto the couch; it's her favourite place to sit.  It's pretty cute to see her sitting up there all by herself reading a book.

- I'm the featured blog on the TGIF Blog Hop.  I don't know how the featured blog is picked but it's pretty exciting for me.

- Alyssa did her first finger painting-thing this week.  It wasn't real finger painting because she likes to rub things in her hair and I didn't want to have to wash paint out of it.  I did something similar to this (although I'm going to alter it a bit next time because she had a hard time with the Ziploc)

Pinned Image
mess-less finger painting
trying to figure it out

TGIF Blog Hop!

This week I'm the featured blogger over at the TGIF Blog Hop (a big and sweet Thank you to Funny Postpartum Lady, Overworked Supermom, and You Know It Happens At Your House Too!) 

Make sure you sign up and give some love!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

While The Hubby's Away...

I mentioned last week that Danny was shipped to Montreal for work.  His work was "nice" enough to give us 3 days notice; thankfully my work and those watching our kids were able to accommodate the rearranging of schedules.

Since I've gone back to work I've had a bit of a hard time adjusting to being away from the kids, even though I know it's good for them (and me).  It's been really nice to be back with them for consecutive days, even though the weather has SUCKED (welcome to Junuary) and we've been stuck indoors.

I hate to admit it but it was easier than I thought it would be being single-mama for 2 weeks (don't get me wrong I want my hubby home and the kids miss their daddy terribly).  Somehow knowing that I have to cook all the meal, I have to clean up, I have to bathe the kids, I have to put them to bed, and I have to do all the errands made it easy.  There's no expectation of Danny helping out, I know I have to do it. 

Ideally if I thought like this all the time I'd get more done... but we're going to pretend I didn't say that, ok?

However, some things weren't a walk in the park.  Finding time to shower, which normally isn't an issue but with Alyssa climbing anything and everything I'm leery to leave her in Lynden's supervision for the 10-15 minutes it takes me to shower. 

Pintersting Recipes Part 2

I thought I would share my thoughts on some more recipes I've tried from Pinterest.  You can check out my last review here.

It was good, but my poor beans never stood a chance (it came out looking Nothing like the picture).  If you're not a big lemon fan don't eat this (or modify it so you don't toss everything in the lemon sauce).  I think next time I'll marinate the chicken in the lemon sauce (by the way, make twice as much as the lemon marinade than it calls for), and toss the potatoes but not the beans; it was a lot of lemon.  But, we liked it and will make it again. 
Pinned ImageI figured Lynden likes cookies and jello so these would be a hit.  I was sort of right.  He loved making them but, like all sweet stuff I make, he wasn't as keen on eating them.  Granted, the first day I found them to be a little doughy, to me they even smelled like playdoh.  The next day they were better.  Like a cross between a shortbread and a sugar cookie with a bit of flavour to them.  I will try it again but will use a stronger jello flavour (we used orange pineapple) like lime or raspberry. 

Pinned ImageItalian Herb & Lemon Zest Chicken Wings

Don't these look amazing?!?!?  They were tasty but they need to be cooked on the grill (we did them in the oven).  We let them marinade over night and it was worth it, but next time we will be grilling them instead of baking them. 
Pinned Image

This is a slow cooker meal but I just made it on the stove.  I wasn't really sure what to expect from it but it was quite tasty.   Alyssa ate quite a bit of it (while attempting to use a fork) and Lynden decided to skip dinner (and I wasn't in the mood to fight him so I told him if he was hungry later he was having dinner).  I enjoyed it and that's mainly what counts... right?  Next time I think I'll add more seasoning and some extra vegetables. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday 10 - I'm A Child Of The 90's

Today's Tuesday 10 is favourite things from the 90's.

1. Fresh Prince of Bel Air - I think this is on EVERYONE's list.  Who didn't love Will?

the fresh prince of Bel Air - the-fresh-prince-of-bel-air photo

2. The VJ's at Much Music - they knew their stuff and actually played videos

3. Z95.3 - This was the radio station of choice for anyone on the West Coast in BC. 

4. Pogs - I remember them being banned from school because of the fighting going on with trading.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Got Some Awards

A week and a bit ago I was given THREE awards by Jessica at Green PB&Js.

There are a few questions that accompany these awards and also a few guidelines for passing them on. After answering the questions, nominate a few blogs you think are deserving or that you'd like to encourage!


Favorite Color -  Green.  It doesn't seem to matter what I do I'm drawn to green.  Recently I participated in a Secret Blogger Swap and received a pair of green earring that I adore!

Favorite Animal -  When I was a kid it was Panda Bears but as I've gotten older I find I don't have a "favourite" anymore.  Although, I really want seahorses.  It's super expensive to set up the aquarium and they're temperamental - you can't not feed them each day, which means we can't go anywhere or else I have to ask someone to feed my seahorses. 

Favorite Number -  7

Favorite Drink - Ice tea; I love the stuff.  For "adult" beverages it's a mojito.

Facebook or Twitter - Facebook.  I don't have a twitter account

My Passion - my kids. 

Giving or Getting Presents - giving

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Stair Game - Invented By Lynden & Brody

My grandparents were nice enough to invite the kids and I over for dinner and I happily accepted - one night of no cooking, I'm there! 

While there Lynden wanted to play "The Stair Game", which I remember hearing about a few months ago but did not actually see the game played.  Lynden and his older cousin Brody came up with the game earlier this spring and they both enjoyed it, which is quite the feat since Lynden's 7 years younger. 

After playing the game on Friday I think it's kinda brilliant (then again, my son is kinda brilliant).

What you'll need:

2 Dice
Children - if they can count on their own even better then the parents don't actually have to do anything.

How to play:

1. The kids sit at the top of the stairs, they choose 2 numbers between 1 and 6, and rolls the dice (for added fun have someone at the bottom of the stairs and the kids can roll the dice down the stairs)
2. If one of their numbers come up they get to move down that number of stairs; their turn is over.  If both numbers come up they move down the highest number of stairs.
3. If their none of their numbers come up they stay where they are; their turn is over.
4. If one of their numbers is rolled as doubles they get another turn. 
5. The next child goes (follow steps 1-4).
6. The first child to the bottom of the stairs wins.
7. Play again!

It's a great way to practice counting and taking turns while having fun.  Lynden can play it for hours if we didn't get bored of it.

I love the educational games that don't feel like learning. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Highlights Of My Week

This has been an interesting week for us.  Danny was shipped to Montreal, unexpectedly, at the start of this week so I had to rearrange my work schedule so I could be home a bit more.  Thankfully the kids have done really well with daddy being away and mommy being home. 

But this week seems to have some good "blog fodder" moments.

* Lynden pretends he's Spiderman and shoots webs, which Alyssa has decided to mimic.  On Sunday Danny was feeding her lunch and he did something with her food (he doesn't remember what he did) and she was not happy.  She gave him the frowns of all frowns and then shot webs at him (stuck her arm out and made her web shooting noise). 

* Anyone who knows me knows I like my lists.  I don't go to the grocery store without one, I don't pack to go anywhere without one, I will write out a to do list when I have a busy day, I function better with a list.  While Danny was packing his suitcase to go to Montreal he couldn't figure out what he needed.  He turned to me and said "I should have made a list".  I threw my arms up, cheered, and gave him a kiss.  As my sister said, "I fell in love with my husband all over again".

* Our downstairs neighbour is a really nice guy, especially since he puts up with the stomping of tiny feet.  Earlier this week he was doing his grocery shopping and spotted some toys he thought Lynden would like so he bought them (he was very apologetic for not being able to find anything for Alyssa).  Lynden saw him the next day and, without prompting, thanked him for his new toys. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

18 Month Woes

As Alyssa nears her 18 month mark I'm finding myself worried about all the milestones she's due to be hitting.  I remember having some of these concerns with Lynden and I keep telling myself he's exactly where he's suppose to be so I need to stop worrying.

If only that worked.

The big concern I have is her words.  I know 95% of the parents out there are concerned about their toddlers speech and I know that I really shouldn't be worked up over it.

But I am.

I feel like she should be making more sounds than she is.  She says "ba", "ma", and "da".  No "oo" sounds, no "g" sounds, no "p" sounds.  Everything is "dadadada", "bababababa", or "mamamama".  Occasionally I'll get s quick "mo" sound meaning more, but she signs it so she doesn't need to say it. 

And she's singing, a song we know, which is something Lynden didn't do at this stage.  (She sings our alphabet song; well just the "baby, baby, ba, ba, ba").

I find she's finding it easier to copy tones and pitches than actual words.  She can mimic "thank you" with her "ba" sounds by using the same pitch I use, same when she says things like "grandpa" and "bubbles".  I just wish she was using more sounds than she is. 

I remember Lynden didn't say much at this point and by 18 months was saying his 15-18 words, so I keep telling myself that I'll wait it out for the next month and worry then.

Wordless Wednesday: 1 Year Later


I think we've started a tradition: Pitt Meadows Day. Last year it was all about Lynden and his LOVE for parades, this year it was about spending time as a family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday 10: Books

My top 10 books - this was a hard one.
  1. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    This is my all time favourite book.  I read this book in grade 12 and since then I've read it, at least, 6 times.  I don't know why I like so much but I do. 
  2. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
    Easily my second favourite book, which I've read 4 or more times and every time I cry.  But it looks like I lent it out so I think I need to buy a new copy.  I love Odd and Stormy (characters).  I've read all the Odd Thomas books but the 1st is my favourite. 
  3. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
    One of the first Stephen King books I read and I've read it twice now, although a third reading is probably in order.  It's also the first book-movie combo I've enjoyed, even though they completely changed the ending. 
  4. Head Hunter by Michael Slade
    If you live in Vancouver you should read this book!  I am really good at figuring out whodunits but this one had me guessing to the end (you won't guess the killer).  I've read it (and most of the Special X series) at least twice.  I tried to get Danny to read it (in exchange for reading the Dark Tower series) but he didn't make it far.  I recommend to anyone and eveyone, although it's a good idea to have a twisted curiosity into the mind of serial killers and a bit of a strong stomach (I haven't read past Swastika because I found it the hardest of the books to read, although I want to catch up to the series)

Grow.Swap.Share: Jessica's DIY Puzzles

Today, I'm participating in the Grow.Swap.Share. I'm posting over at The Thriftiness Miss about Egg Fritattas. I'd like to welcome Jessica from The Thriftiness Miss

Hey there everyone! I'm Jessica and I blog over at The Thriftiness Miss. I'm so excited to be here guest posting at Life, Experience Needed and to share with you one of my new favorite craft projects for the kids.... DIY Puzzles!

Being my thrifty self I came up with 4 different ways to make your own puzzles out of a $1.00 pack of gift boxes from any dollar store.

Let's face it, toys get lost and broken and sometimes just don't last very long. With this cheap trick you can make tons of your own puzzles for your children at pennies on the dollar, and they can even be included in the puzzle making fun!

To make these, go get yourself a cheap pack of gift boxes from the dollar store and unfold the corners to make them lay flat.

Then cut all the edges off so you are left with the flat pieces of cardboard.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Resolution Update - May

First: I started growing some stuff.  Vague isn't it? 

I have planted the stem of celery, the top of a pineapple (apparently can take up to 18 months to have a pineapple), and some potatoes. 

The celery has started to sprout.  The pineapple, which I don't have high hopes for, has rooted.  And the potatoes needed to be recovered once, so something is happening. 

I've seen a way to grow potted carrots so that might be my next attempt. 
As for food waste:  I set a goal to waste no more than $10. 

Food wasted:
4 Panini Buns = $1.50 (missed my opening to freeze them)
50g Smoked Montreal = $1.75 (don't look at me, I don't eat it)
bowl of rice = $0.46 (somehow got missed and should have been frozen)
3 bagels = $.99
Chicken = $2.12 (this was suppose to be eaten as lunch but somehow it completely missed in the giant slow cooker insert sitting in the fridge - this one irked me)
Grapes = $.64
head of lettuce = $.99
3 potatoes = $.75


Friday, June 1, 2012

5QF - It's June!!

Another week is done and somehow June has started. 

1. What were you scared of as a kid?

I was (and still am) scared of spiders, swimming where I can't see the bottom (which is making learning to Scuba Dive interesting), and sleeping with the closet door open. 

2. Do you sleep well in a hotel?

Yes.  I've only been in a hotel a handful of times but I've never had an issue sleeping.... ok, only once but that was when we were in Disney Land and I was in the same room as my grandparents.  My grandpa snores like no one else.  At their old place the neighbours would complain about how loud it was when they slept with the windows open. 

me with Darkwing Duck in Disney Land
(look at those Short shorts)

3. If you could meet any celebrity, dead or alive, who and why?