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    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!!!!

    Edmonton 2013: Days 0 & 1

    2013 - 04.14

    so this might be kind of boring to anyone who isn’t me, or David, or family members. :)


    Day 0: Tuesday, April 9

    David and I spent the day together while Nadia was at Grandma and Grandpa’s (David’s parents) so I could pack and do any last minute supply runs if needed without being distracted by the cuteness of the infant and they could get a baby fix before we left. :) We all had dinner over there as well, then David drove Nadia, me and our epic pile of luggage to my parents’ house so she and I could spend the night, thus eliminating a twenty minute morning drive before our flight.


    Nadia had been reverting back to her previous 4 am bedtimes for the week prior, so I had no idea how she would do with A) an early bedtime and B) a strange crib (although with the same kind of mattress). I was super impressed though! She was asleep by around 1215 and stayed completely out until we woke her up around 730. I didn’t sleep very well… Had some problems getting asleep and then staying asleep. Boo.


    Day 1: Wednesday, April 10

    The adults were up around 700 to start getting ready. I woke Nadia up around 0730 so she could be changed and fed before we went to the airport. She wasn’t super pleased by that plan, as normally we feed and change her, then cuddle while she sleeps another couple hours. Being stuffed into her car seat instead was a Grievous Outrage and she let us know with some fussing. Once we were in the car and moving, she was fine. I rode in the back with her so I got to watch her watching the scenery go by. She was fascinated by the cars and actually stayed awake for twenty minutes of the ride to the airport. I’d always just assumed she fell asleep pretty much instantly when the car started moving.


    The actual flight was really easy once we got all of our luggage (including a stroller and carseat) checked in. We just hung around the waiting areas, watching as school tour groups came around. We had a massive amount of carry on luggage too: two carry ons, a diaper bag, my purse and Nadia, which made going through security a bit of a juggling act.


    Just in case Nadia was a fussy-pants, Mom had bought 20 individually sealed packs of ear plugs for our fellow passengers, with a smiley face sticker on each of them. :) Luckily, they weren’t at all necessary. Nadia was happy for pretty much the whole flight, looking out the window and sleeping in my arms. The only time she cried a bit was on the descent. I had to hold her up and looking over my shoulder for safety reasons, which isn’t her favourite position, she’d spat out her soother, so her ears were probably bothering her and it was super warm in the cabin. A trifecta of unhappiness. :(


    We picked up our rental car and came to my Oma’s residence. A few years ago, she decided that she wanted to move into a slightly more assisted living home and she and her children picked it out together. I’ve been here three times now and have been incredibly impressed each time. It’s a gorgeous facility with loads of social space and feels very welcoming. It really feels like an upscale condo development rather than an old folks home. Even better, Oma has friends from years ago who live here too.


    Mom is staying with Oma in the den of her apartment while Nadia and I stay in one of the two guest suites. Again, it’s a beautiful room with a few kitchen appliances (toaster, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle, coffee maker). Nadia is sleeping in a play yard we borrowed from my Auntie Barb and I’ve got a queen sized bed with about a dozen decorative pillows that have all landed on the floor and remained there for the last few days.


    We stopped in at the suite before going to see Oma so that I could change and feed Nadia, and also put her into a new outfit. The sleeper she was in for the flight had a tiny hole in the toe in Vancouver, but it was nearly big enough for her entire foot to escape by the time we landed in Edmonton. :/


    Oma and some of the ladies on her floor like to visit outside the elevators before lunch, and we managed to time it perfectly so that she was there when the doors opened. I got Mom to take a video of Nadia’s first meeting with her Urli (ur-grosmutter aka great grandmother) and it’s really beautiful. :)  I’ve been taking tons of video (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) so hopefully we won’t run out of space before we come back.


    Except for a quick trip to the grocery store, the four of us visited for the whole afternoon and Mom cooked dinner (basa with orange? I can’t remember now…). Nadia was incredibly charming (of course) and I really enjoyed being with my Oma again. She’s got such great stories and I love chatting with her.


    That night Nadia was asleep by midnight and slept through until 0700, had breakfast and slept again until around 1030. I didn’t sleep well (again! Boo!)


    I’ll try to write another two days tomorrow so I’m caught up by the time I get home, haha.


    Love to everyone in BC.

    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?

    George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

    2012 - 07.15

    I was thinking that Karin and I might head out to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary at some point.  Has anyone been before?  Would you recommend it?  Figured it might be a good opportunity to get in some exercise while at the same time dusting off our cameras and getting some good shots.

    It’s only open from 9am-4pm, so it would definitely be a day activity… but if someone is keen to go as well let us know and perhaps we can coordinate.

    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.

    Busy day

    2011 - 09.21

    Went to Bellingham today to pick up a shipment from UPS, the trip was uneventful, and although I didn’t spend much time in traffic, I still managed to spend about 6 hours round trip.  Karin on the other hand, spent the day working and then went off to investigate participation in a Geek Choir.  It’s a little odd for us to both be away from home that long, and to both be in totally different places.  When we’re better rested we may have more to say.

    Shipping to the US instead

    2011 - 09.11

    I think this time around for the Ace Race players packages that I’ll have them shipped to Blaine and then go and pick them up myself.  It’s already saving me about 30% on shipping costs, and it hopefully I’ll also save on duty/taxes, but we’ll see.  I’ll wait until after I’ve actually successfully done it before I talk about how I’m going to do it, as I wouldn’t want to plug a methodology that in future I might not actually recommend.

    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. :)

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