Monday, November 23, 2015


I worked a fundraising function at work on Saturday night and one of the perks was that we got to take home nearly full bottles of wine that had been opened but not eaten. I found a really good recipe for Coq au Vin Blanc that called for a whole bottle of wine.  It was a little bit of work but nothing compared to the Ragu. And so tasty. Although, I did get a grease bubble splatter, hit my neck and burn me quite badly. The same bubble got grease on the stove element and had a quick flare up. So it was an exciting meal. Dinner and a show really.  I've also decided that I need a Dutch oven pot if I'm going to keep cooking these fancy dinners. I'm going to be scouring Black Friday online sales because they are spendy. 

In a fitting follow up to yesterday's post. Alice chose to drink orange juice out of a small sand pail at dinner.  Looks like I can put the savings on hold for now. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Andrew and I went out tonight to dinner and a movie. We saw "Room" and it was really good. I loved the book too. 

When we got home, we were chatting with our babysitter about how the kids were. Apparently Sacha was hyper all evening, which is pretty standard. And Alice was good until it was time for her to go to bed. Ella had told Alice it was time for bed. 

Alice: Is Sacha going to bed?
Ella: Well, not quite yet, in a few minutes?
Alice: I'm 5 now. Everyone says I'm a big kid. Am I a big girl? 
Ella: yes you are...
Alice: Are you a big girl too?
Ella: Yes. I am too.
Alice: Are you going to bed?
Ella: No. Not yet
Alice: I don't need to go to bed yet because I'm a big kid like you. 
Ella: uhm... I don't know how to come back from that. 

I think we are going to have to start saving up for law school. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Five Years

Alice is 5 years old today! She had a really fun birthday party yesterday. We went back to Laughing Stock Stables, where we had Sacha's 6th birthday. The kids got to ride ponies, bounce on castles and cuddle puppies. Alice has come so far in a year. she is thriving in kindergarten, making lots of new friends, learning to read and learning to speak French. They pack so much into each day that she comes home pretty tired every night. Her favourite animal is a fox.  

November 15, 2015 
5 Years Old

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 - 5 - 6 – 7 – 8 - 910 – 11 – 12 – 18 – 2 – 2.5 – 3 - 4

Every other year, I've done a theme birthday party for her the townhouse clubhouse. So this year, even though it was at a stable, she didn't want a horse theme. She wanted a peacock theme. So she got peacock cookies as a take home goodie and an adapted turkey cake because the lady at Safeway was really accommodating.  As we were getting ready to head to the party, she told me that she was going to be a sneaky peacock and dress like a fox. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Camper Cub

Sacha is camping with the Cubs this weekend.  They are in tents. It's been raining for 30 solid hours. Pick up tomorrow will be interesting. But he was really excited to go, they are doing a knife test and fire building test. He was so excited to go that I gave him the option of either going camping or going to Alice's birthday party and he chose camping. It was a tough choice though. 

That was another reason we were down at Granville island last weekend, or in Vancouver anyway, we went to MEC to pick up thermal wear. There's a MEC closer to us but Cloverdale isn't quite the same as Granville island for spending a couple hours out of the house. I got two base layer poly-pro shirts and a pair of long underwear type pants. Oh. And a balaclava to wear to bed. I was thinking he'd be more stoked about it, he LOVES hoodies and the balaclava is like a hoodie with out the shirt attached. He can turn whatever he's wearing into a hoodie. 

My plan is to take him to Starbucks when I pick him up tomorrow and then put him in a hot bath. I am fully prepared to take the brunt of all the pent up anxiety and stress of discomfort that he's held I all weekend. Because it could be quite a meltdown and Alice wants to go to Red Robin for dinner because they sing to you. And because you can only order a milkshake when it's your birthday. In a way, I'm kind of looking forward to the day she figures out that that might not be 100% true. I hope it's one of those things that you only clue into when you are embarrassingly old.  Like when I figured out that the lane divider bumps in the road and not for blind driver, so they know which lane they are in.  Or like 6 months ago when I figured out what the term "Loose Cannon" actually meant. Or at least the origin of it. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Yesterday, we marched in the Remebrance Day Parade with the Scouts. Sacha had paraded last year while we watched from the side lines. This year both Alice and I joined in. It's hard work keeping Beavers in formation. At some point, Alice's row got passed by the row that was supposed to be behind her. 

The older scouts went to a church service in between the parade and the wreath ceremony. Half of the Cubs went, but I pulled Sacha out to join the activities for Beavers, Brownies and Sparks.  They did some colouring, crafts and singing. Singing seems to be the big difference between girl guides and scouts. 

The kids were pretty good during the moment of silence and wreath laying. They got to sit down after singing the anthem and silence and I think that helped. There were a lot of wreaths. 

The weirdest part of having Wednesday off work is that it feels like Sunday and then Thursday feels like Monday.  My internal clock is all messed up and I'm still not feeling well. One of these days I will rest.  Sunday maybe? Alice's birthday party is on Saturday.  


Even though I feel like I have updated my blog recently, I have been reassured that I have not, and that I need to get on it.  Pronto.  And as I stare at this page, trying to remember what we have been doing lately, I have figured out why I haven’t updated.  

We’ve actually been doing a lot.  Even though I’ve been feeling sick for the past 2 weeks, we needed to get out of the house on Saturday, so we took the kids to Granville Island and had a nice lunch on a rainy day and window shopped.  The kids broke through my frugal armour and we ended up picking up two little things at Kids Only Market – plastic practise foils for Sacha and a Fox Costume (ears and tail) for Alice – despite my firm, “we will just be looking” stance in agreement to even going in there.   The glass blowers were also working and it was fun to watch them. 

On Saturday night, Andrew and I binge watched Master of None on Netflix (loved it) and that inspired me to try to cook something amazing.  So I chose Beef Ragu with Tagliatelle, Sacha helped me with the shopping and while we were out some friends called and asked if we wanted to go to Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  Part of me was thinking that I should take the time to rest without the kids around but then, I also haven’t been to Reifel in months! So I ended up going, probably prolonging this cold for another 10 days.   With 4 kids and a baby in tow, I didn’t think there was any point to bringing my camera, so I didn’t and of course we saw a barred owl on a low branch about 15 feet away from the path, in full view.  I never win when it comes to my camera.  Whichever lens I bring, I need the opposite, if I bring it, I see nothing, if I leave it, I see something cool … every time.  The kids were begging for a double playdate so their buddies came back to our house and I cooked while the kids played.   The Ragu turned out amazing, it did take 4 hours to make though and we ended up eating at 7:45pm, which is usually when the kids go to bed.  Alice liked it, Sacha hated it. 

One of the things I’ve been inspired to try from that show, is to make homemade pasta.  Turns out, homemade pasta makers are really expensive.  I found one that attaches to the kitchenaide for $120 at Walmart and that only had one attachment.  You can get all different shape cutters and that set goes for about $300.  In my grand planning, I was counting that a pasta maker would cost about $50.   So I’ve been scanning Craigslist trying to see if one pops up.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Alice had a Dream

Alice is in a IB World programme at school and over the course of each year they cover 5 transdisciplinary themes. They have just wrapped up their "Peaceful World" theme which led to one of the best conversations that I've had with Alice.  After the Terry Fox Run, Alice went through a worried week of what happens to you when you die.  I told her that some people think you go to heaven, some people think you come back to earth as something new and some people think this is it and nothing happens after we die. She has now run with this and is certain that when you die, you go to heaven and you get to turn into whatever you want to be there, she wants to be a dog with purple fur in heaven. 

That conversation was about 6 weeks ago, but it led to the one this week when she started talking about how Martin is in heaven, Not Martin from daycare, but tall dark Martin. This was totally out of the blue. It had actually just come from talking about where Todd Parr lives and that Martin was shot and now lives in heaven. Considering we know no one named Martin (who is not in daycare), I was really confused so I started asking questions, where did you know Martin from? "Duh, the smartboard" I always get abut defensive when I hear that other people start teaching about possibly religious things, but knowing Alice's clear vision of the after life, that was probably her leap, not someone else's lesson. And where did you learn about it "in my class, 
silly". For about 5 more minutes, I just left it, thinking what crazy message having they been giving the kids and then I clued in and remembered the theme, Me: "was dark Martin's name Martin Luther King?" Alice: "Yes, duh Mum" (get with the program) "the angry light brown people shot him, he was trying to protect the dark brown people". Pretty much. 

They have now moved on to "Healthy Living" and had a field trip to a dairy barn on Tuesday. Alice got to milk a cow and feed a calf and eat ice cream. 

I didn't go but the school uses a great app called Vidigami and photos of all the fun events are uploaded so we get to see what they do. 

Today, we are shopping for long underwear for Sacha because he's going camping with Cubs next weekend. In tents. The forecast calls for solid rain.  I can say, it's not an exciting prospect for me to get my Cubs wood badge, in order to be a cub leader too. I'll stick with good old fairweather beavers. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Halloween 2015

I've decided that Tuesday nights are the best day of the week for Halloween. If it's on Sunday, you feel Silly dressing up for school on Friday. If it's on Friday you don't have a close weekend to finish making costumes and having costumes lying around for a whole week is fraught with arguments over not wearing it until the night. Thursday is too close to the weekend and you end up staying out all night and then Friday is a gong show at work. On Saturday, like this year, we had such a lead up to Halloween that it felt like a week long party, but they were all just kids' parties. It was tough getting the kids' costumes through a scouts' Halloween party, dress up day at school on Friday and then all day to wait to go out on Saturday night. Alice's was especially delicate but mainly because she's so boisterous.  There's no real problem with Monday's or Wednesday's either, but Tuesday Halloween allows for parents to have a weekend Halloween event, work on the costumes, maybe a night to do Halloween train but then it's wrapped up. 

This year, Alice was a peacock. I made her costume with a blue gymnastics leotard and yellow tights. I cut up two boas and attached them to a belt that I made out of tulle. I cut out peacock eyes out of felt and attached them to the
belt as well. I had grand plans to glue real peacock feathers to a fan and then attach that too so it could open up like a real tail, but that didn't happen and I just attached some extra feathers to the tail.  

The tail lasted through the scout party and dress up day at school but was looking a little worse for wear on Halloween. Luckily, the morning rain stopped and we had clear skies for trick or treating. I was worried she'd be dragging around what looked like a blue dead animal. 

Sacha went as a WWII fighter pilot. Kind of. The bomber jacket I found has authentic patches but not from WWII. He had aviator goggles but they went missing before Halloween. He did have the aviator cap and scarf. He was not too happy posing for pics either. He was nervous to go trick or treating, knocking on doors, etc. While we were in our townhouse complex, he made Alice go first up to knock on doors. 

He chose the door decorations. After we walked around our complex, we headed over closer to the school and met up with some friends. Sacha's personality changed almost immediately. He became the leader of the gang and lead the charge up to each house. It was lots of fun. One group was walking around with a stereo in a red wagon. When "Thriller" came on, a zombie dance broke out in the middle of the street. 

At work and on the street, I love seeing all the costumes. I think it is the cutest thing ever. The junior kids parade through the senior school and we all oooo and ahhh at them. Alice had a distinctive peacock strut that I heard she kept up through the whole school. I also noticed that she was the only one in her grade that had a home made costume.