Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bright Nights

Most years we make the trek into Stanley Park to enjoy the Bright Nights displays. We didn't go last year as it was bitterly cold and Kaylum was a bit young. So this year we were all excited to go. Of course Kaylum was extra excited because it involved a train and he kept jumping up and down saying YEAH!! Train ride! Train ride!

We made a stop for dinner at a very yummy restaurant that is a favorite of Sean and mine, Shabusen. Its an all you can eat sushi and Korean BBQ house. Soo awesome and good. If you ever get a chance to go, do it! The kids had never been before so we were excited to take them. But they didn't seem that excited to be there. In fact they barely ate. Kylie was not feeling so great and Keira was more interested in drawing with the wee pencil they gave us to make our food selections. Wait, we took Kaylum, he ate enough for the 3 of them, never mind.

This is out front of St Paul's Hospital. It was amazing and so beautiful.

There was a bit of traffic we had to wait through. While we were waiting at long lights, Kylie suggested we just go around and Kaylum suggested, to go faster Daddy, go faster! We finally got into the park with about an hour til our train time. We buy our tickets in advance so we are guaranteed a ride. We learned this the hard way one year. Thankfully it was when Kylie was a baby so there was only adult disappointment that night. We took the kids into the petting zoo and Kaylum just gave us the best look, it sort of said, hey what the hell? This isn't the train ride!! But he enjoyed looking at all the animals and birds. The girls we so excited to see everything and took over my camera for awhile. I guess the lights inspired them!

This is my favourite tree in the park. Its huge and well wrapped with lights.

Kylie took this one. She likes the motion in it.

A kind stranger took this one for us. See, if you take pics of others, one day someone will take one of you!

The wait for the train was 45 minutes. It wasn't too bad as it was continually moving, but we didn't wait that long for a ride in Disneyland! Maybe there should be a Bright Nights Fast Pass system :o)

BC Hydro display


I took my point and shoot so, quality suffers but its about memories! And we had a great night and the kids had fun. I am glad it wasn't any colder than it was!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Visit with Santa.

Last year my friend Marci and Kevin set up a little Santa visit photo session in their house. What a great idea! No mall, no rush and NO LINE UPS!! It went so well, they did it again this year. So off we went today to visit with Santa.

Kaylum and I had a little practice run earlier this week with board-mall-Santa. He wasn't getting anywhere near Santa or letting me put him down. But he did talk to him and learned a very big life lesson, Santa=Candy Canes!! Just wait until he learns Santa=Presents!

Today was no different with photo-session-Santa. Kaylum clung to Sean and didn't want down. He talked to Santa and the girls were happy to get up on Santa's lap. Keira wants a Hannah Montana Barbie and a Ballerina Lamb and Kylie wants a microscope and a Polly Pocket hospital. Kaylum told Santa he wanted a puzzle. I love that, because he remembered from last week when we were in Wal Mart and he saw a puzzle with Buzz and Woody (his current favs) on it and he wanted it. I told him to ask Santa for it and he did!

Here are a couple images from the session. I really like this idea. No stress and no tears.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Did I just blog 3 times? Oh wait. Now its 4! LOL!

Child Labour

I was playing with my flash and thought I would capture this lovely moment between father and son: replacing the weather stripping. I'm not gonna lie, it was damn cute!

Spider Man!

Turns out Spiderman really loves blueberries and making muffins! Who knew!
He also likes to go to school to pick up his sisters.


On Thanksgiving Monday we took the kids to Confederation Park in Burnaby to ride the miniature trains. Being that Kaylum L-O-V-E-S trains, he hated the whole adventure. Kidding. It was the last weekend for the train rides and its was a beautiful sunny day, so we figured we better take advantage. It was $2.50 each to ride, Kaylum was free and the ride lasted about 15 minutes. It was great! There were all sorts of different engines to be seen and the best part was no line-up. We took a picnic of left-over turkey sandwiches and ate lunch at the picnic tables there.

After the train we headed over to Rocky Point in Port Moody. I had never been there before and I have been missing out! What a beautiful spot at the end of Burrard Inlet. I can see why Grandmama is there almost every day! We even saw a seal! I have been told, sometimes you can see jellyfish too! There's a great playground and waterpark there as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He's 2!

We all say it: time flies, they grow so fast, where does the time go? And now I say it all that again because today we celebrate Kaylum's 2nd Birthday! WOW!

He told me today he was a "big boy" when I asked if he was my baby. "No baby, Big Boy!" *sigh* and that he is. He's is such a little man who is just so awesome. He's busy as any little boy is. He gets into things his sisters never did and keep us on out toes at all times. He loves his naps and often asks to go for one, which I am always happy to oblige him on. He speaks so well and can string about 4 words together. His vocabulary is amazing and he says the best things. He can say both the girl's names but not his own. He knows the way to Papa and Marmie's house and loves spending time there building trains with them. Trains are his favorite, along with airplanes and big trucks. Machinery fascinates him but he will still play Barbies, Polly Pockets and dress up with his sisters. The best thing about Kaylum is when he throws his arms around my neck and gives me the biggest, hardest hug ever. And it lasts for a long time. What a precious little guy.

Kaylum was very excited about his birthday, even though I know he didn't understand what it meant. He said this morning, MY BIRTHDAY! And when you ask how many, he holds 2 fingers up and says TWO. I put some balloons up and he loved that. The girls have been talking about it with him for so long, he can even sing the Birthday song! Tonight we had Meet the Teacher night at school, so we popped over to do that. I picked up some cupcakes today to have after dinner as the real party is on Sunday. So we did that when we got back and had a small gift opening as well. As you can see the cupcakes, well the icing, was a big hit. Most of the cake part was left after he was done.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Back to School

What's this? A new blog post?? It seems I took the summer off from my personal blog.
The summer was busy for us, lots of adventures and lots of photography for me, so this baby got a little neglected.

This week was back to school. Grade 2 and Kindergarten. WOW! The girls were really looking forward to going back to school and seeing their friends.
Keira will be in full-day K but not for a couple weeks. They have a gradual entry, and its a little too gradual if you ask me. She only went for a hour all week. I think its a little silly myself seeing that she was going for 3 hours to pre-school.

Kylie is in Grade 2 and is getting use to having new friends in her class and old friends in others. She seems to have found her old friends on the play ground, so she's happy about that. She has 2 teachers this year who job share. I haven't experienced this before, so we shall see. This week was spent in review and re-arranging classes so come Monday it will be down to work. I tell you, its sure a different experience than when we were in school. None of this limbo stuff for the first week while numbers and class sizes are sorted out.

So I had to post all these pictures. Look how much they have grown in 3 years!

Keira 2 1/2

First Day of Pre School

First day of 4 yr old Pre School

First day of Kindergarten

First Day of Pre School

First day of 4 yr Pre School

First day of Grade 1

First day of Grade 2

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

These last 2 days have been record breaking heat in the Lower Mainland. Its been hot! Way toooo hot. Yesterday Abbotsford was 38 degrees! That's right! Hotter than Mexico. Our house has gotten up to 31 and our games room over the garage is registering close to 40! We don't go in there. I am writing this from the backyard, where I have been getting eaten alive all week in the evening because its the only place I can stand to be.

The girls were in dance camp this week for their Highland and enjoyed it, thankfully it was over before the really hot part of the day. The rest of the day has been spent very lazily. The heat has just zapped us. We have been having little outings in the evening to cool off. Mostly an excuse it go in the air conditioned van. We were at the mall tonight, yesterday it was the indoor pool, the night before a slurpee run and a drive. I hope there is a break from this heat soon.

On a brighter note, I am managing to keep my garden somewhat alive in this heat and have actually produced some cherry tomatoes out of a pot container. The tricky part is not having Kaylum eat them before they are ready. I took this image tonight just after I watered. The flower is supposed to attract butterflies, I am still waiting.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not so Super of a Store

You've seen the commercials, the one where one of the richest men in Canada happily tries to sell us rice and ice cream and make us think that his store is reason to switch supermarkets for. Makes us think he's a regular guy, just like you and me. But I wonder, has he ever shopped in one of his stores? Has he ever had to stand through a long and pointless price check while his children want to leave? Has he ever experienced the "service" his front end staff provide to customers? I think no. Or perhaps yes and he is a heartless bastard who doesn't give a crap about service, as long as the money keeps rolling in and those commercial spots have us all fooled.

I don't generally frequent this store anymore. Lately its because Wal Martin hasn't had any stock of the diapers I like. So on Wednesday I packed up the 3 and off we went. I don't generally grocery shop with all 3 any more, there are advantages to school apart from learning stuff.
There were some bumps in the trip, hands on other people's bodies, hair pulling, cookie and snack requesting. The usual stuff. So by the time we were done the gather of the groceries, they kids were done. Well I always forget to budget in for time the check out. It was rather busy that day and there was a good 4 people deep in each line up. Great. The cashier I choose was mid-price check when I got in line. Didn't think this would be a problem, but it took 10 minutes. The lady who was buying it turned and apologized and I shrugged. Its not her fault, but I was secretly hoping she would just say leave it so we could get the show on the road.
The price check system is so flawed there. They shouldn't have to come to a grinding halt to get a price.
So on we go to the person in front of me. I am starting to hear things about the debit machine. Bad things. Like debit is down. But the lady in front of me paid no problem. Well I pulled the short straw that day because debit did not work for me, nor did credit. Now I am unhappy. "Would you like to go to the bank machine?" "Well I guess I don't have a choice" So gather up my children and truck over to the machine. Luckily there is no wait, because everyone behind me has to wait til I get back with the cash for the transaction to be finished before the line moves again. I hand over the cash, put Kaylum back into the cart (the last place he wants to be) find a snack in my purse to occupy him and finish packing my groceries.
This annoying beeping starts to come from the girl's till, the till is jammed and won't open for her to get my change. WHAT!? I just want to pay and go. I am beyond mad now. The girl is just standing there stunned. I said, "Can you call someone?" She says, "They won't come." I said, "How do you know, you haven't called them!!!"

Then I started getting lipped off by a lady in the line up. "Its not her fault!" She says. "Yes I know, but standing there isn't going to solve the problem." We went back and forth a few times before she finally tells me she's done with me.

So now we are standing there, my groceries packed, my son climbing out of the cart and this stunned cashier holding $220 in one hand and her other hand on her head. So call someone!!! Paige someone!!!! She doesn't.

Why I just didn't leave then, I don't know. She had my money, albeit $12 more than the bill, but I could have just left. I paid, right. Well I didn't. I went over to get the front end supervisor to open her til. "Oh I can't. If the till is jammed, I can't do anything." She told me to wait until she was done checking an customer and we can see what she can do. No. Now I am so mad and frustrated I am shaking. The kids were angels through all this. That was awesome. I walked back to the cart and proceeded to dump out my groceries on the lane and asked for my money back. The people behind me, started packing up their cart to move lanes. Kylie was rather confused why I did this.

So after getting cash, paying $1.50 sevice charge at their ATM for the cash I couldn't use, I walked over to customer service for my $1.50 back and to talk with the store manager. By now the store is in chaos. The whole debit/credit system is down and there is a giant line at the ATM. The supervisors are making lovely announcements about this debit not working, but its no good to those already stuck at a till. Customers are pissed and just walking away from lanes and their groceries.

I am thinking to myself, I have already invested an hour and a half into this trip and now I have to go and do it all again!?! UGH! The manger came down and I explained what happened to him, he asked where my groceries were. Over there on the lane. "Oh no, no. That's no good! Don't leave," he tells me. He calls someone to come over and gather my groceries and to check me out at the customer service till. Well clearly she has a comprehension problem (I'm being facetious). "Where are your groceries?" She asks while looking at my cart and very confused. AAAHHH!! Now I am done, so mad that the tears are about to come out, but I won't let them because its just stupid groceries. The manager slowly went over his instructions again to her and assured me that the original cashier would be dealt with later. All the while I am getting dirty looks from that cashier and her front end supervisor, probably because she knows she's gonna get dealt with too.

So this lady that has been assigned to help starts loading the groceries in my cart. The EMPTY shopping bags were on the bottom level, so she felt in necessary to cram everything on the top level. UGH! She checks me out and I re-pack everything, all the while thinking, I've already DONE THIS! The store manager comes over again to apologize, reassure me there will be a reprimand and sent another nice lady over to help me to the car. I refused, its easy sailing now. But he insisted, "Take care of your kids." She was really nice and even loaded the groceries into the van for me. Total time from entering the line to getting in the van, 1 HOUR!! That's right. 2 pm! Way past lunch time and way past nap time. Good thing I have good kids. They were really patient through that while extra 45-50 minutes it took to check out. Thank goodness!! Otherwise I probably would have cried.

So, this real Canadian StupidStore can stick it! I am never shopping there again. And while I appreciate what the manager did, in the end, its not going to change anything. He's been managing well over 10 years, I know, he was my store manager when I worked there. And unless there is some massive policy overhaul, they will not change the way their service towards customers is.

So I ask Mr Weston, are you proud of how your company runs? Do you care, something must be right if you are one of the richest men in Canada? Should we care that we get no service but your prices are good? Is this Karma coming back to me for my lack of service some 10 years ago?

Pretty Nails

Someone was a little grumpy after his nap today and while painting his sister's nail, he got quite upset that he wasn't included in this. So.....

Daddy was a witness, albeit he was on the phone. Here's pretty prince enjoying some dessert tonight.