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    Month 3 Letter


    2013 - 04.15

    Dear Nadia,
    Today is your 3 montheversary and we’re visiting Edmonton so you can meet some of your Oma’s family. Unfortunately I haven’t written a full letter to you for today because I don’t have a computer and my phone isn’t behaving itself properly. Also, it seems that your 3 month growth spurt is happening right on schedule, so the only time you weren’t nursing (nearly 4 hours today already!) or being a Screamy McScreamerson was when we were visiting family and friends…which means nobody except Oma and I believe that you could be such a grumpy pants.

    Currently you’re asleep in the playpen, but I desperately need to join you (in sleep, not the playpen. I’m pretty sure I exceed its weight rating.) so I’m afraid your proper letter will be a bit late.

    Love you lots, even when you’re fussy,
    Mum

    Edmonton 2013: Day 2 & 3


    2013 - 04.15

    Thursday April 11: Day 2

    Nadia and I slept in a bit, then visited with Oma and Mom upstairs. My Auntie B and cousins I and Z came over and we all visited for a while. I had seen all of them at thanksgiving when David and I went out to visit in October, and we all get along really well, so that was exciting. I and Z follow me on Twitter now, and we’ve been Facebook friends since October. Good thing they already don’t think of me as a good influence, haha. They played with Nadia and she gave them lots of smiles. :)

    Mom, Oma and I had KFC for dinner, and after dinner I got to see M, one of David and my close friends who had moved to Edmonton a few years back. She and her boyfriend D came over and we hung out for a while catching up on all things near and far.

    Nadia was asleep by 10 ish although she woke up for a couple feeds through the night. Surprising nobody, I didn’t sleep well that night, so it was almost as if she slept through the night, since I was awake anyway. Boo, yet again. :p

    Friday April 12: Day 3

    Super busy day. During the morning and afternoon, we mostly visited with Oma, although we also went grocery shopping I think. Mom and I show Nadia off shamelessly, as we almost always take the long route through the hallways so that Nadia can be admired and cooed over by as many residents as we can find. It’s a good thing she doesn’t understand all the compliments she’s getting or else she would be extremely conceited. :) She absolutely loves people and always gives out lots of smiles to everyone.

    Auntie B, and cousins I and Z came over again, as did my Uncle P and Auntie A, and my Uncle R and Auntie L plus cousin G. It was the first time in MANY years that all my Mom’s siblings were together, plus a ton of cousins, from four different cities (I’m counting Mom and I as from Vancouver, even though that’s not totally accurate). All twelve of us were in Oma’s apartment chatting until we all went out for dinner at Ric’s Grill. By the name, it sounds like it should be a greasy spoon or a burger joint but it’s a very VERY nice restaurant.  We were joined by my cousin Z and her husband and 2 year old daughter.

    Nadia is a very calm and happy baby. Even when she cries, it’s usually fairly quiet and brief, and ALWAYS has a reason, which is usually quickly remedied, which makes the next bit extremely bizarre. At two points in the evening at the restaurant, Nadia went from a full sleep to a terrified shriek for absolutely no reason that I could tell, which then dissolved into hysterical sobbing. :( My best guess is that she was hungry, hot, had a gas pain, had a nightmare or some combination of those. Both times, I scooted out of the restaurant as quickly as I could, hoping that I could walk her out of her discomfort by getting her into fresh air. I mouthed apologies as I walked between tables to get to the door…I was pretty sure some of the people there had gotten babysitters in order to get away from crying children and I felt badly that they were being interrupted.

    There was a lovely man at one of the tables near us who came up to me at the hostess station and told me there was no need to apologize for Nadia because that’s just what babies do. He said she was “cute as a button” and had done very well for a long while. I was so happy to hear that…I really needed it, and I almost cried. So, thank you, lovely Edmonton man. :)

    All 15 of us went back to Oma’s again for dessert and socializing, (after a quick return to the restaurant to collect my purse which I’d forgotten in the attempts to calm Nadia) then Oma, Mom and I collapsed when everyone left. Luckily Nadia was tired too, crashing around midnight and sleeping until 0930 with a quick breakfast around 0600.

    Of course, I didn’t sleep that night…except I did!!!! Yayyyyyyy!!!!

    Kal Tire: True Service


    2012 - 10.26

    This story is several weeks old now, but it’s worth telling regardless.

    Karin and I were headed up to Whistler to walk around the village and to go to the BCDSS AGM.  We left in the late morning, stopped in Squamish for lunch and gas, and then 3 kms later we heard a noise, turned out it was a flat tire.  We pulled off the highway and called BCAA.  The local towing company arrived and helped us change the tire.  We decided to carry on and visit Whistler.

    It wasn’t until several days later that I had a chance to go and see someone about the tire.  Sadly it’s not the first time I’ve had a flat tire.  The last time I had a flat, I was told that I needed to replace all 4 tires (which is sometimes the danger when you have an all wheel drive vehicle).  So I had 3 identical spare tires, so I was hoping that one of those would be a suitable replacement.

    Based on a recommendation from my dad I went to Kal Tire, just dropped in, no appointment.  Waited a couple of minutes and one of the employees (Dwayne if I’m not mistaken) came out to take a look at my flat, which was not salvageable.  He then opened up one of the extra tires I had, and determined that it was suitable.  He told me that if I left the flat (on the rim) and the replacement tire there for a couple of hours (1.5 actually) that he’d get it mounted for me, and they could just put it on when I came back later in the afternoon.

    So I left the stuff behind and did some shopping, then went back.  It only took about 15 minutes or so after I was back for them to put the new tire on.  They also cleaned all my existing tires (made them look like new).

    So after all that, they charged me the outrageous fee of NOTHING!  That’s right, they did it for free.

    Now what makes that exceptional, is that I was totally prepared and expecting to pay for the service.  Additionally, the tires on my car were not purchased at Kal Tire, nor were the extra three that I had.  In fact they don’t even sell the tire or brand that I have.  So it was very much appreciated, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you consider Kal Tire for your next tire needs or service appointment.

    Good First Day in Edmonton


    2012 - 10.05

    So we’ve had a good first day in Edmonton with pretty much everything going smoothly, and managing to check a lot off of our to do list.  Hopefully the rest of the trip goes as well.

    Going to Edmonton


    2012 - 09.30

    We’re going to be spending some time in Edmonton in October.  Karin has spent a small amount of time there previously, and if I’ve been it was long enough ago that I have minimal memory of it.

    Regardless, anyone got any recommendations for:

    • things to do?
    • places to see?
    • places to eat?
    • places to stay?

    Anyone got special requests for things they want brought back from Edmonton?

    The World Illuminated Through a Windshield


    2011 - 11.17

    Regrettably today consisted largely of replacing bulbs, which was way more difficult that in needed to be in my opinion.  Replacing the taillight it was really simple to get it out, more difficult to put back in than it should have been.  Simple four petal design that you turn counterclockwise to remove and turn clockwise to lock back in place.  What they neglect to mention in the manual is that there is one specific petal which needs to match up with one particular gap.  Seems needlessly complex, but is easy enough to deal with once you’re aware that you need to line things up.

    Replacing the two headlights was a much more difficult ordeal, they really leave less than the minimum required amount of space to replace the bulb.  Probably took half an hour to replace both bulbs.  Hopefully it would be faster in the future, but much of it is fiddly rather than “difficult”.  The first main problem was that the manual didn’t actually explain how to release the metal bulb holding clip.  For the record: when you’re facing the car, push on the left hand side of the clip, push towards the front of the vehicle and then down to release the clip.  I don’t know if that’s unique to my car (2003 Pontiac Vibe AWD) or to the bulb type (9003).  With the amount of space available and the lack of visibility into what you’re actually doing, it was way more difficult to do than it felt like it should be, but in the end I was able to do it, despite bouts of doubt and frustration.

    Despite all of that, it wasn’t all bad.  I bought my dual pack of GE 9003 Nighthawk Platinum bulbs at Lordco where they were on sale for $38.99 (seems that regular there is $67.97 according to the invoice; regular price at Canadian Tire is $59.99).  In addition to being on sale, there’s also a $10 mail in rebate on them (at Lordco only) until the end of January, which means I’ll have got them for less than half their regular Canadian Tire price… so pretty pleased with that.  Canadian Tire however was about $4.25 cheaper for the taillight, so that’s where I got those, and installed all the bulbs in their parkade.

    We went out to the mall later to return some clothes and have dinner.  While we were there there was some kind of incident which involved someone being handcuffed.  It happened in the main atrium area while we were eating, Karin took a look.  When we went past later I saw that it was an older guy (rather than a young punk like I assumed it would be).

    Leaving the mall we went to the library to pick up the next half dozen books Karin needs to read in the 100 Book Challenge, some of which are even short.  I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s first book: Elantris.

    Leaving the library we decided to go for a bit of a drive up SFU to test out the new headlights… it’s kind of hard to tell how good the headlights are when you’re driving on streets with headlights.  It was snowing a little bit, but not enough to concern us at all.  Got up to the main intersection and there were some cars essentially blocking the straight through route that takes you to UniverCity that I’d planned to take, so we turned left and headed towards the main campus.  After the first turn we saw a traffic jam which involved a bunch of cars and a couple of buses, none of which were moving forward.  It wasn’t clear what the actual problem (aside from snow) was, so we turned around and headed back the way we came.  Snow 1; Headlight Testing 0.  On the bright side, the all wheel drive and all seasons are still really effective in the snow.

    Road Trip: Days 7-end


    2011 - 08.13

    The last few days were a bit of a blur. I didn’t do a lot of posting for different reasons…my wrists were tired from typing on my phone, loads of stuff was happening, and I was extremely ashamed of the amount of napping that occured. But, as two different people pointed out, that’s what holidays are for! :)

    Mom and I went to the river and took a bunch of photos (will post soon…still going through the 1760 pictures we took over the ten or so days), much bread and deli meat were consumed, I went out for dinner with a good friend of Dave and I who moved to Edmonton about a year ago, I watched a lightning storm and recorded some of it on my Mom’s Flip (will post soon…haven’t even put it on my computer yet), FINALLY made it to Red Lobster (there aren’t ANY in BC, and every time there’s a commercial, I’m grumpy because it looks delicious. Mmmm…seafood…), scanned a bunch of Oma’s recipes (I’m especially excited about the recipe for plum dumplings…oh man…*hops in excitement*), Mom and I snuck out like naughty teenagers at 11 at night to pick up flowers to surprise Oma with on the night before we left (Oma ALWAYS has fresh flowers in the house…one of the many things that I’d like to follow her example in. :D Although I probably won’t have flowers all the time, they make me happy to see them.)

    There were loads of other things, but I can’t remember them all right now.  I’ll ask Mom, and look through photos and hopefully come across some other things. I learned a lot, and I’ve learned a lot about where I come from and who I am.  It was pretty awesome having three generations of women under one roof for that length of time.

    The drive home was nice.  We were chasing sunlight the whole way…literally every time we stopped, it would start pouring within a few minutes and when we were on our way again, we found ourselves in the sun again. Bizarre. We went through Jasper, down to Kamloops and stayed in Kamloops for the night.  I was pretty keen to keep going and push it home that night, but when we stopped in a hotel parking lot, I suddenly realized I didn’t trust myself to drive the two blocks to a different hotel.  Hokay…time to stop.  We might have accidentally sold our souls to get our hotel room.  The first place we stopped at wanted $130, no pool, no breakfast (Snottily: “We have a Denny’s right next door, so we don’t DO that.”  Hooooookay then.) and it was ten steps to get to the lobby and the elevator…lifting all our stuff up? No thanks.  The next place we went to charged $90, had a saltwater pool, hot tub, free breakfast (“Do you have a continental breakfast?”  “No, but we have a free hot breakfast in the diner!”  “…???!!!!”) and it was literally twenty feet from where we parked the car.  Excellent, sign us up!

    The final leg was long, and we kept thinking how horrible it would have been at night…we made a very good choice to stay over in Kamloops.  There had been some talk about heading to the Okanogan Okonagan Okanagon Kelowna so that I could buy fruit to can, but we did the math and realized it would be an extra five hours or so, and we just couldn’t face it, so we headed home, pulling into my Mom and Dad’s place around 2, and I got home around 3.

    It was a great trip, wouldn’t have missed it, but next time I think we’re gonna fly. :D

    Road Trip: Days 5 & 6


    2011 - 08.07

    A couple of busy days, so a single post for both. :)

    Yesterday, Mom and I went to West Edmonton Mall…mostly to sightsee and gape at the skating rink and swimming pool. We got some pictures and bought a few things, mostly clothes for me and lunch. Mainly we just got walking exercise, which was good too. :) I did almost buy a sparkly purple ukulele from a very nice clerk in the music store. He and I chatted about probably ten different subjects in the 2 minutes I was in there…it was like getting hit with a tornado of awesome.

    When we got home, we visited with my aunt, uncle and cousin who had come up from Red Deer. They’re VERY into science fiction/fantasy so it was great to exchange book, TV and movie recommendations with like-minded individuals. :) I worked on my Muk Muk hat while we were all visiting and got most of it finished, then got the last bits finished today.

    Today was also busy! When I would visit my Oma in Kelowna, she would always make jelly rolls…cake rolled around flavoured whipped cream, usually chocolate or raspberry. It was one of my favourite treats and I only got it when I visited. Today, I learned to make it AND got the recipe. Woo hoo!! Since we already had some chocolate roll in the freezer and we had no raspberry jelly, we made mocha…coffee/chocolate and it was fantastic! I’m very excited about this. :) I was surprised by how easy it actually was…I always imagined it being far more involved. I might have to make it for a family gathering. :)

    This afternoon I went to the Jubilee theater on the University of Alberta campus and watched Wicked. It was stunning. I think I’ve become a musical junkie…just phenomenal. I’d read the book a few years ago but now I want to reread it and see the differences.

    While I was out, Mom made a pork roast, potatoes and a blueberry apple crumble, which were all fantastic. I’m stuffed to my Muk Muk hat but I’m contemplating heading for the kitchen for another round of that crumble… Two more of my cousins came for dinner and we all hung out chatting for a while. I have a lot of cousins…not nearly as many as my Cowbel counterpart, but a decent amount: nine on my Mom’s side and six on my Dad’s with ten great grandkids (second cousins once removed, I believe) on Mom’s side and two on Dad’s. This trip, I’ve managed to see 6/9 cousins and 9/10 second cousins. Not bad, especially with them living in four cities and two countries!

    Tomorrow is probably errands, hanging out with a friend who moved here, and nomming of vast quantities of left over desserts. :D And probably starting a new knitting project since I’ve finished one. :)

    Road Trip: Day 4


    2011 - 08.05

    I did not sleep well. The air conditioning died sometime in the evening and it was hovering around 25 degrees by three am, reaching 30 by nine or so. Maintenance came three times to check it, finally bringing a portable a/c unit around six this evening. It’s currently blowing cold air right at me…not sure how I won the “get-the-air-conditioner-at-your-bedside” lottery but I’m sure not complaining.

    Mom and Oma did a bunch of cooking this morning and I was sent to the blessedly air conditioned grocery store to pick up a few things, then came back to help out. After lunch, Mom and I went did some shopping, including picking me up a tank top since I was running out of shirts. *

    A couple of times today, Mom and I would be hanging out…one of us reading or knitting and the other texting or playing iPhone games in a perfect reverse of the standard stereotype. I suggested that she get a GameBoy to complete the switch. :) Hmmm…Christmas present??? ;)

    I had a really horrible headache today, probably heat related or dehydration. I’m trying to drink a bunch of water but I don’t really like water and it’s awfully dry here, which makes things harder. Yes, I’m a spoilt princess. :p

    There are something like 10 of my friends out here right now…most of them just visiting. Crazy! Tomorrow I’m going to try and contact them. I’ve been either too busy or feeling too lousy to hang out, so plans will be made tomorrow.

    It looks like we will be leaving here Tuesday or Wednesday, thus arriving home Thursday or Friday. We aren’t planning on doing the drive in one mad dash (and unlike the drive here, we mean it this time!!)

    * I’m really not sure how I managed this. I’m the Queen of Overpacking. My overpacking is the stuff of legends. Bards and minstrels sing of over flowing suitcases and heavily laden mules, and yet I always run out of shirts. Ooh. Or pants. Once I went to horse riding camp with 15 pairs of socks, one pair of shorts and one pair of jeans. Those jeans could stand up by themselves by the end of the week. I belatedly apologize to my bunkmates in Spider’s Web in 1994. Ahem.

    Road Trip: Day 3


    2011 - 08.04

    Today was pretty calm. I slept well even when other people were up (my bed is in the living room). Breakfast, then errands, lunch and a nap for everyone from age 31 to 91, grocery shopping, dinner and visiting with each other at home. Early bedtime for some, others were mostly just chillin’ and relaxing in the evening.

    There is a less-than-zero chance that I’ve finally recovered from two days of driving.

    Throughout the day I also started working on a crewel embroidery kit (you’ll have to look it up unless Dave links wikipedia or something…I haven’t figured out links on my mobile wordpress) and have a bunch of it done. I also managed to get bitten by a mosquito…through my jeans. Jerk. I also went to my favourite store, Dollar Giant!! I managed to leave after spending less than ten bucks…pretty much totally unheard of for me. Heh.

    Tomorrow I’ll be trying to make plans with people out here, doing a bunch of cooking with Mom, maybe going to W.E.M. (no sales tax…WHEEE!!)