Monday, December 31, 2012

Vacation time

We are off tomorrow morning (very early) for some fun in the sun!  We can't wait.
Aside from my total fear of flying (made slightly better with the use of Ativan) I am really, really excited.  We are gone for two weeks and my folks are joining us for one week - mom, if you read this, you are welcome to stay longer!!  The pull out couch is big and Lolo doesn't take up too much room :)

Will post pics when we get home.  I am going to try my best to keep my fear of flying from Loic and will keep my panic on the inside when possible.  Wish me luck!  Oh and I am also hoping that my newly able to crawl baby will be ok sitting still on the plane.


Friday, December 28, 2012

A very merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas.

We hosted dinner here on the 23rd for 15 people, had brunch on the 24th with Rob's brother and family, opened gifts at my parent's house Christmas morning and had dinner at our good friend's house on the 25th.  It was just the right amount of busy.

Loic really loved all of the parties and, of course, his gifts.  He was spoiled by everyone and got a lot of new play mobile, some lovely pj's and a very nice dinosaur hoodie.  He also got some kinex - which he loves - and of course, Santa came through and brought him his Hungry, hungry Hippo game.  Some classic Loic lines from the past few weeks:

When opening a box of lego from us he said, with enthusiasm "Wow!  I knew I wanted this!!"

When we went to see Rob's new job site: "I am so pleased!"

He said one day to Rob and I at dinner: "I have a really busy life, and I have good energy"

He cracks us up all the time that boy!

Maelle enjoyed trying to eat wrapping paper, trying to eat cardboard and her new riding zebra toy from Grandma and Grandpa.  She has a fever today and we went to the Dr to rule out an ear infection before our flight next week.  He seems to think she will be fine by then, fingers crossed.

I will put up some pics soon.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Arborist Exam Results...

...are in, and I passed!  I am now a Certified Arborist, which is great.  I was pretty sure that I did not pass one section but it looks like I am all good.  Phew!  I studied a lot for this exam.  You need a 72% overall to pass but you also need at least that in each section, so you can't do well in one and not another.  I am pretty happy to be an Arborist now, I have to wait for my actual percentages but for now I am happy to have passed and to have my professional certification.

Now, don't ask me to actually climb a tree any time soon, but, I can write you a great arborist report.  I might try for the tree risk assessor designation next but am going to take a "break" next year to focus on my RPBio designation - I have one year to write my paper, but, I now have the necessary data, my topic and a mentor (thanks again Dave, I really appreciate it).

We went to see Santa this week and Loic loved it!  Maelle, predictably, stared at him and then burst into tears when I put her on his lap.  Very cute none the less - I will put up a pic soon.

Tomorrow we are having a big dinner here for family and friends, it will be a lot of fun!  I am doing a Ukrainian dinner with the help of the people coming.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Loic no longer goes to preschool.  I am pleased with how they reacted to the situation after the fact, but the day of the event, I was horrified.  I did get my post dated cheques back and my deposit, as well as an apology, so we will now move forward.

Next up - we need a daycare for Loic for 4 days a week starting mid-March.  Back to the daycare drawing board!

This morning we woke up to snow, which was super exciting for Loic, so we decided to walk down to the coffee shop to get a coffee and a hot chocolate.  I put the baby in the Ergo and got Loic suited up in his snow suit and off we went!  We had a great time, it took us an hour and 20 min to do the short walk to and from the coffee shop because Loic was having such a good time playing in the snow :)  He also sat and drank his hot chocolate in the coffee shop like a good boy.

Tonight: gift wrapping extravaganza at our house after the kids go to bed!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Cupboard crock pot chili

I didn't have anything planned for dinner tonight - my meal plan for last week ended last night - so I looked in my 'pantry' (aka a small modified Tyler-proof closet) to see what I could make for dinner.  I had a few things so I decided to make some crock pot chili.  I am not a chili fan, but Rob is, so I gave it a shot.

Into the crock pot I put:

- one can of diced tomatoes, with the liquid
- a large handful of whole cherry tomatoes
- one can of Hot Rotel (I am now all out!  A trip to target is in order)
- one onion, diced
- one clove of garlic, diced
- one can of rinsed white kidney beans (rinse well to get the gummy stuff off)
- one package of ground beef which I browned in a frying pan first
- salt and pepper
- chili powder ( a tablespoon or 2 maybe)
- a teaspoon or so of brown sugar
- oregano
*I would have put in some other diced veggies but was out*

I think that was all I put in there.  I turned it on high for 6 hours and it was good.  Very spicy, they don't lie when they call a can of rotel hot!!

I served this with apple slices and cheese 'toast' (made on thin pizza shells) to help dull the spice!  Loic didn't like it, I don't blame him it was spicy, so he had some cheese toast, apples and left over tortellini.

Tomorrow - an update on the preschool drama.  Hopefully a good update involving the return of my money and some closure.  I got the apology today which was nice.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fun in the Snow

I was going to do a post about how I got all mom-angry and pulled Loic out of preschool last week, during the Christmas concert no less, but decided to do a fun post about the day we had today!  I sent the preschool an email and will update next week when I am hoping to get my post dated cheques back and my deposit.  We shall see.  No one puts my kid in danger and should expect not to hear about it.

Today we started out by decorating the tree and the mantel, both of which look lovely.  We then decided to take the kids and the dogs up to Hollyburn for a hike in the snow.  Loic, Tyler and Toby had a blast in the snow.  Maelle had fun too, although she was in the Ergo so other than looking at the snow didn't do too much of anything else :)  We hiked for an hour and Loic fell asleep briefly in the car on the way home - it is a lot of work to walk in the snow when you are 3.  The dogs ran and ran and ran and are now asleep on the couch.  They are so funny on this hike - they run ahead and back and ahead and then dart into the deep snow chasing squirrels (real and imaginary).

Here are some pictures of the fun we had today.  We are planning another trip back soon; if it isn't rainy we might go up there again on Christmas Eve with some hot chocolate or something.  We are debating spending the $80 to go up Grouse Mountain but might wait a year, we just can't decide.  Loic loved the snow today and it was free :)

We put both kids in a snow drift for some pictures but couldn't get them to sit together at the same time
Snow baby!!

Snow Loic!  Rob threw him into the snow bank and Loic thought it was quite funny

Snow black lab!  And a snow terrier in the background
We have been taking the dogs on this trail every year to enjoy the snow

Loic smiling for the camera.  Kind of.

Oh and yesterday we made a Gingerbread House!  Well, we bought a kit and put it together then decorated it.  Rob made a back deck, a hot tub and a front path while Loic and I decorated the house (Maelle watched from the safety of her high chair).  Pretty sure we wouldn't win any awards with our house, we had Loic eating every second candy as we went along :)  He also asks every few minutes if he can eat the house yet. 

The other side of the house says LOIC

We are getting ready for the big party we are hosting on the 23rd and since Loic is no longer going to preschool I am now going to have to find him daycare starting in mid-march.  He was going to be staying at the same place he was at for preschool but that isn't going to happen now.  Oh well, I will work on it next week and if I don't have any luck, will have to really get moving on it once we get home from Hawaii.

(Barb maybe you can just move to Vancouver until Loic is in kindergarten?  We will pay you!! :)  Or Jody, we can pay you too!! )


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crock pot chicken tacos!

I made this for dinner tonight and it was so very, very good (and so very, very easy!)

In your handy crock pot put:

- one onion (sliced thinly)
- about 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- one can of Rotel mixed with one package of taco seasoning

Turn on high for a few hours and then voila - seasoned chicken perfect for tacos!

I served the above chicken mixture with:

-soft tortillas
-shredded lettuce
-sour cream
-jalapeno monterey jack cheese
-yellow pepper, sliced

So, so so good!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our kids are adorable (really adorable)

The following are some pictures from my iphone - I say it every single day, our kids are so cute!

Eating homemade pancakes for the first time!  This kid likes to eat!!

Also enjoying pancakes in his pj's - he looks so grown up all of a sudden

Smiling reindeer :)

Cheeky monkey at the BHA open house on Dec 2nd

Baby in the car, waiting to go for a hike in the rain last Thursday
Look at her little teeth!  Ack, so cute

Loic and his new Play Mobile guys 'helped' me bake cookies yesterday
(Loic likes two parts to baking cookies: dumping flour in the bowl and eating chocolate chips.  Oh, and eating the warm cookies)

In other news, baby can now almost always sit up on her own and rarely falls over anymore.  She can also go from lying down to sitting up on her own and she is *so very close* to crawling.  

Tyler is still naughty although the microwave stayed on the counter today (we need to figure out how to secure it to the counter).  Toby is doing well.  He is still super quirky and still hates the rain/great outdoors but he does enjoy our hikes when it isn't raining.  And Arthur, oh Arthur, is fine.  He is still on a lot of heart medication and still pees in the house.

We are looking forward to Christmas!  We still have to decorate the tree, mantle and hang some decorations in the kitchen.  I have one more item to can for gifts this year (so crafty) and one more thing to sew.  I need to start earlier next year - I would like to make more gifts next year for friends and family.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Dog shaming pics

We like looking at the funny dog shaming pics from the pet shaming website so thought we would take some of our own!!  Tyler gives us a lot to work with...

Toby is pretty well behaved except we just noticed that he sometimes decides that he just doesn't have to go outside in the rain...

So funny!!!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Naughty Black Dog (again) and cute Reindeer

We adopted Tyler over 9 years ago and during those 9 years we have had one safe place to keep things away from him in the kitchen, our microwave.  Well, we also have the fridge but for over 9 years have used the microwave for all baked goods, fruit (he has an interest in apples and kiwi fruit) and other odds and ends that normal people can keep out on their counters.  I don't even remember what it is like to leave something on the counter!!  Tyler will never change so we just learned that if we wanted it kept safe and not eaten, food had to be kept in the fridge or microwave.

I learned last month that food is not safe in the big drawer unit we have either (remember the birthday carrot cake that got eaten out of a heavy, closed drawer?  Thanks Tyler).  I also learned that cupboards are not safe - he once at one Liter of salmon oil that he got out of a closed cupboard at our old house - so food is not kept in out kitchen cupboards either; we use a big closet that is set up like a pantry.

Back to today.  We had dinner at my parent's house and when we got home we found our microwave, which has been in the exact same place since we moved in 2.5 years ago, on the kitchen floor.  Uh oh.  Microwaves tend to not like being thrown on the floor by black labs.  Now, while part of me would have loved to have seen him actually push the microwave onto the floor, I am also annoyed that we have now lost the only place to keep stuff!!  He didn't succeed in his goal tonight though, the microwave wasn't open and there was nothing in there tonight anyways.

Now I guess we will have to use the fridge for all foodstuffs - no counter, microwave, drawers, cupboards.  We talked about using the stove but it looks relatively easy to open to us.  I am thinking we should get a lock for the fridge now before he figures that one out.  If he does, we are in a lot of trouble.  He does keep life interesting that naughty black lab!

Onto the Reindeer portion of this post.  I took about a dozen or so pictures of these two today but this is the best I could do.  Maelle was either trying to eat her antlers or his and Loic was too excited to sit still AND look at me at the same time:

Two giggly little Reindeer 

We got our tree today too - we have it on the deck right now but it will come in soon to be decorated.  Loic is pretty darn excited about Santa this year which is really neat to watch.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Delicious recipe and Sew Crafty

I think that I have posted a recipe for Turkey burgers before, however, the ones I made tonight were very tasty and I want to remember what I put in them.  I also baked them instead of frying them and they turned out really, really well.


- 1 small package of ground turkey (I bought the leanest available)
- 1 small onion, diced
- salt and pepper
- a few tablespoons of peanut sauce (I think it was a satay sauce)
- a few teaspoons of Soy sauce
- a few teaspoons of Thai seasoning (I just use a spice blend I bought at the grocery store)
- about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
- one egg

Mix the above together in a bowl, form into patties (1 made 4) and place on a greased baking sheet.  I baked them at 375 for about 20 minutes and they were so good - moist and tasty.  I served them on brown buns with some mozzarella cheese, cucumber, lettuce and spicy mustard.

Now onto the crafty phase of this post!  My mom and Aunt are really, really good sewers.  Like, really good.  My mom showed me the basics this summer and while I am a bit of a slow learner, I am getting it.    I need a lot more help with patterns but I am getting the sewing basics at least.  Jody has loaned me her sewing machine (thanks Jody!) which is awesome.

I made a little baby girl dress this summer (I made two, my first attempt was a form) and cut out another one to make for a friend and tonight I finished it!  I found the pattern online for free and once my mom made one and showed me how to make it, I was set :)

Here it is:

(Never mind that it took my mom less than an hour and it took me over two, on my third is still cute)

Oh and I also made a neat baby gift for you Erin!  Sorry, no picture!  But it would REALLY help if you would just find out what you are having.  Thanks.

Next craft: canning.  Sabrina taught me how to can this summer, we made two kinds of jam and salsa, and I am going to can some neat stuff for Christmas gifts.  We shall see how I do on my own!  I am quite confident in the kitchen so I am thinking that canning is going to be something I really enjoy doing.  Soon I need Rob to build me a giant pantry like my Aunts - hers is a thing of beauty.  And if the world ever ends, we are heading to Campbell River because I am pretty sure they have enough meat, fish and canned goods to last us for about 10 years.