Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drumroll please....

Erin, as requested, here you go!
(I cannot WAIT to show this at Loic's wedding, poor kid)

video

So.So.So Awesome.

-E

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dance sensations

Today Jody produced, started in and edited a music video featuring herself, Loic and Maelle.  I was the camera person and it was pretty much totally a riot.  We need to get Loic into a dance class!  Jody, maybe they would let you and I join in too?!

I will let her post it if she wants to but thought I would share one picture - sorry Jody!!!  :)


They are being a scary Monkey and a scary Giraffe/cheetah/?

Loic said so many funny things today - that kid is a riot.  He also pointed to the mouth of a toy whale and said "Is that the baleen?" and he was totally right.  Smart boy!

He also just went to bed wearing underwear.  Oh my gosh, he has been wearing a diaper to bed because he is hit or miss on not peeing at night.  We shall see what happens tonight!

My car is now back at the dealer.  To their credit, they were nice to us today.  I have a feeling the only reason they were nice is because I caved and brought Rob with me.  I was basically ignored - even thought it is my car and I paid the bill - but I can let that go if they actually fix the leak.  

-E

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shopping South of the Border

Today, Jody, Maelle and I took a trip to the states to do some shopping.
Back in my pre-kid days this might have meant clothes but not now, now I shop for food :)

We started out at REI where I bought some "if I have to go back to work I need new black flat fancy boots" boots.  They are so comfy and lovely and I love them.  The only other thing I am going to buy is a lunch kit for myself.

We then went to the kids consignment store next door to Trader Joe's where we bought Maelle some new to her pants and two dresses - that store is awesome.  The clothes are all from 0.99 cents to $5 and they have a huge selection.  Next up was Trader Joe's - a usual stop for us.  I only got some quinoa there (and maybe some gummy candy and a chocolate bar).

Then we were off to Target where I got a lot of staples for our pantry and found these:

Oh my gosh.  Jody and I almost got into a fight in the fridge section at Target over these; thank god they had enough!  We both bought the chocolate-coffee ones and the raspberry-chocolate ones.  After dinner Rob and I each had one and these are seriously good.  Why can we not buy Chobani in Canada?!  Why?!  At 100 calories these are totally amazing and I am quite picky when it comes to yoghurt (meaning I hate most yoghurts) but I could eat a lot of these every day.  I told Rob I was rationing these out between us and the bad news is that baby also loves them :)

We then split lunch at Olive Garden - seriously, we were both totally full plus baby had some and we split one meal!

All in all a fun day.  Maelle was so, so well behaved.  She napped on the way down and on the way home and while we shopped she chatted away to us and anyone who would look at her.  While we were out Rob took Loic on a bus, sea bus, sky train adventure to Science World!  Then, he had a play date at our house for 4 dads and 5 kids - brave man that Rob is, very brave :)

Tomorrow - we head down to the Honda Dealer....ugh.

-E

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My garden! and a dino dig and dogs and cookies

Rob moved a lot of soil today to make this:


So awesome!!  It was a nice day outside today too.

Loic and I 'helped' him for a while this afternoon while Maelle napped.  I did manage to get two of the three blueberry plants in - I mulched them with fir shavings and used some peat I had to to dig them in, they are in front of the beds themselves.  I just need to dig out the sod in front of the middle garden bed and put in the third blueberry.  Oh and I will send off my soil for testing this week, don't worry Ryan :)

Yesterday it poured with rain so Loic, Maelle, Jody and I went to the Ecology centre.  We had a good time and we bought Loic a paleontologist hat!  Once we got home, Jody came up with the idea to do a dinosaur dig in the kitchen.  She suggested we bury toy dino's in FLOUR but I figured dried beans was a much cleaner option!  What a great idea she had!  Loic wore his hat and insisted that he needed a paleontologist vest so a vest he wore.  He also had a tent, a horse and digging tools - oh and he had a field notebook too.  (Can you tell Jody and I are a bit nerdy?)  He loved it.


Jody played assistant and helped Loic trace out his findings, it was pretty darn cute

Since it was so rainy out yesterday I didn't get the dogs out until after dinner.  We have Duncan staying with us and while I am sure he was not impressed to wait until after we ate dinner, we did have a nice walk after dinner because it finally stopped raining.  I just took the two big boys and listened to my ipod while I walked and it was quite nice.  These two have been buddies since they were puppies.  While they don't play as much as they did, they do still play a mean game of tug every once in a while.


These two are good buddies, hard to believe they are over 10 years old now!

Jody had a bad day yesterday so my helper and I made a treat for her this morning.  We made chocolate chip salted caramel bars; they are sinfully good.  


He did a very, very good job unwrapping the caramels!  
We talked about how if he finished his task he could have two or if he wanted one right away he could have one but he waited and picked two (because he is a smart kid :))

Loic had soccer this morning and while he liked it, he wasn't a big fan of the mini game the kids had - he didn't want to get into the middle of the pushing to get the ball.  I think the other kids have done a few classes already, we will get a ball and help him get the hang of it.  He likes the rest of the games they play and loves to kick the ball around.

-E

Friday, February 22, 2013

*Shakes fist at Pacific Honda*

My car is still leaking.
On my receipt (that was way too much $ to begin with) it clearly states that they repaired and then TESTED my car to ensure it was not leaking.  Now, one week later, the tire well in the trunk is slowly filling with water.
We are off to the Honda dealer tomorrow.  Wish us (and them) luck!

-E

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh dogs

This morning, Loic, Maelle, Tyler and I met up with Jody, Lucy and Ryan for a (wet) dog walk.  We went to Ambleside and the dogs had a really good time.  Loic did too and it was a bit of a fight to get him to leave the beach and walk back to the car because he was too busy throwing rocks into the ocean!  Toby stayed home because his back seems to be bugging him today.


Blurry pic showing Loic in his rain gear - we sure get a lot of use out of that muddy buddy!

After our walk, I took Tyler home and the kids and I went to the grocery store.  When we got home from the store, it looked like someone had been murdered in our house.  Blood everywhere - all over the floor and the walls; Tyler has cut his tail again.  This was by far the worst that I have seen - it took me 3.5 hours of cleaning to clean the walls and floor.  When I looked at his tail, I found a tiny cut.  His tail is now wrapped up and will stay like that for a long time I am afraid, it takes forever to heal and we have been down this road many times before.  It is times like this that I start to think that docking tails is a good idea!!


Really hard to appreciate the damage done today - this is a small shot of the blood sprayed on the walls....he gets so happy every single time we come home that the tail sprays blood everywhere

Yesterday, Jody and I went outside to the backyard with: Loic, Tyler, Toby, Lucy, Abby and Ryan.  While it was sunny, it was also cold out!  The dogs had a good time chasing each other and destroying toys (Tyler) and Loic made fart sounds with a water toy for 25 minutes straight while laughing hysterically.  Ahhh boys.  Toby and Lucy ran around like crazy dogs until Abby decided that she did not want Toby to play with her Lucy :)  I cannot wait for the sun to really come out so that we can sit in the yard again!


"Naughty Terriers in the Sun"

-E



Sunday, February 17, 2013

96 square feet

Rob built three raised beds for me today for the front garden!  We are finally turing that lawn into something productive.  He didn't actually have a helper, I took him and the dogs out for two hours and Maelle napped while he worked.


I am going to plant three of my blueberry plants at the foot of each of the beds; the last blueberry can stay in the back garden near the apple trees I have out there.   I need to find an apple tree for the front yard and maybe next year we will do another raised bed for a cut flower garden and then the front space will be well used.

Next weekend we will go to the transfer station to buy a few yards of soil (just under 4 I think) to fill the beds and we will then do a soil test (thanks Ryan) to see what we need to add to the garden beds.  THEN I can start planting!  I have ordered seeds and I am raring to go.  I will move the three blueberry plants next weekend though, that will satisfy my need to plant something.  Oh and we need to add some cardboard to the base of those raised beds ASAP, we can do that one night this week.

Fun times!!  In the back garden we have 1/3 planted with garlic, two apple trees, a red currant tree that has so far gotten large but hasn't produced a single thing, one baby ground cherry plant and my compost bins.  This year I will do another 1/3 with potatoes and the other 1/3 is up in the air right now. I know the 4th blueberry will be in there so between the ground cherry, blueberry, currant and apples there won't be a lot of room.  Maybe I will do a square of corn?  Not sure yet.

Other than my new veggie boxes, I am going to see what my perennial garden looks like this year (it runs the length of the driveway) and the back perennial garden should look nice and filled in this year.  My hosta garden is awesome and we will have to see if the apple tree we planted in the lawn is alive this spring!  It wasn't exactly dug up with a lot of roots.... :)

Next weekend: move blueberries, add soil, send off soil test.

-E


Pacific Honda service department

I am not pleased.  I bought my car from them, new, and thought they would offer slightly better service.

We discovered my car was leaking, badly, last week when I realized the carpet below the rear seats was soaked and that the tire well in the truck was full of water.  The water was coming in the trunk somewhere and once the spare tire well was full, the water spilled out and soaked the carpet under the rear seats.  Good times.

A phone call to Honda and a visit to my mechanic lead to me bringing the car in last wednesday to Pacific Honda.  I was quoted to have the leak found, the leak fixed and the car dried out.  I was told the car would have to stay for three days.  Ok, fine, I wanted the leak fixed and the car dry.  After less than a day, I received a phone call from Honda saying the leak was fixed and if I wanted the car dry, I would need to pay an extra $350.  Oh and we went over the estimate, sorry.  Never mind I asked to be called if it went over the high estimate.  I was furious.  When I complained on the phone I was told that I had not understood what they said they would do (I am not dumb) and that because I have a Fit, they needed to actually take out the seats to dry it.  I am pretty sure it was a Fit when I brought it in in the first place and that they knew what kind of car it was!

We went to get the car Wednesday evening and after paying, begrudgingly, we went to take a look at the car.  We had been told it was mostly dry and that we could use a fan and space heater to finish the job.  To Honda, mostly dry means "soaking wet and not dry at all".  I was furious and complained inside to the poor front counter woman.  I wanted someone to come and look at the shape my car was in so a sales manager came out and was actually sympathetic.  He told me to leave the car there so they could see what would be done the next day.  He was the one nice person we spoke with.

Thursday morning I argued, again, with the service manager.  He was rude and awful.  He called back after our initial conversation and agreed to spend the day drying out the car.  At the end of the day, the first person we originally dealt with in the service department called and said "come get your car" then hung up.  We did and it is much better but we have had it at Rob's shop to keep drying it out this weekend because it was still not dry.

Moral of the story?  If you don't argue, forcefully, Pacific Honda will take your money and will not do what they say they will do.  I hate to say it, but I feel that if I had been a man, this might not have happened.  I hope I am wrong on this though.

Another moral?  We are thinking of buying a new car and will not be buying one at Pacific Honda; they lost a customer last week.

-E

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Soccer! And a garden update

Today Loic had his first soccer practice!  I signed him up for an intro course at the rec centre and oh my gosh did he love it.  It is a class for 3-4 year olds and was very entertaining.  It is only 30 minutes and today the did big kicks, dribbling, stopping the ball and a few goals were scored.  He had a total blast - and he listened so, so well to the teachers - at one point Rob and I looked at each other with a "who is that kid who is listening intently?!" look on our faces :)  I am happy he had so much fun and some of the other parents were really nice and seemed to share Rob and my sense of humor.

Garden update - we bought lumber to make the front garden veggie beds!  We have been talking about this for a very, very long time.  We have talked about it a lot and have decided to start with three beds, each 8x4 feet plus we will plant a new apple tree and my 4 blueberry plants in the front at the same time.  We have long term plans for an arbor and to remove the ugly red bricks but for now this is a good start.


Front garden before pic - although we did put in those raspberry plants and the dwarf blueberries in front of them
(The 3 new beds are going to take up the space between the lumber and the berries)


My poor car has been in Rob's shop drying out since Friday night...we are going to go get it tomorrow, I hope it is not so wet now.  Pacific Honda rant coming up soon.


"Dog and Baby Begging for crackers"
:)


My garlic is growing!  Yipee!!

My mom and I took the dogs on a nice walk today, I am sure happy it is getting to be spring time again!

-E

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Random pics and meal plan for this week



My silly black lab fast asleep in the sun resting on "his" giraffe 


Loic and I played outside during nap time today and he rediscovered his summer toys!
Not quite sure what to make of this look - he is wearing his swim goggles


Batman-firefighter to the rescue!

Here is what we are eating this week:

Tuesday (last night) - pasta w/ two sauces (beef tomato and pesto) plus a salad.  Jody ruined my dinner by bringing over crackers, brie and salami :)

Wednesday - Vegetarian sweet potato chili in the crock pot for Rob and I (too spicy for the kids)

Thursday - Out at Dave and Linda's for dinner

Friday - Beef patties with peas and mashed potatoes (tasty dish, I think from the Province a long time ago?)

Saturday - Roast chicken with roast parsnips, yams and potatoes plus a salad

Sunday - pasta with left over chicken, veggies in a cream cheese sauce

Monday - Barley casserole (calls for mushrooms but I think I will use other veggies instead, maybe yams or peppers or a combo) with left overs 

Tuesday - new dinner schedule starts today

Car update - I am angry with Honda, will see what happens and will update later....for the first time in my adult life I had Rob call them; I am good at fighting my own battles but this one has me beat!   And totally pissed off.  Next car I buy will sadly probably not be a Honda.
-E

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My car is trying to be a boat

Well.  I bought my 2007 Honda Fit new.  It has been an *awesome* car for our family.  That car took me to and from UBC, commuted with me from Maple Ridge to South Surrey for work, has gone on countless road trips, I have slept in it with the dogs at trials, it has carried many (many!) dogs to and from different events and hikes and my kids and dogs can all fit in it together.  Imagine my dismay when I noticed the floor carpeting in the back was totally soaked and a bit moldy this morning.  THEN imagine my horror when I looked into the back where the spare tire is kept and I saw that the tire was surrounded by a lot of water.

It appears that my car would rather be a boat.  A bad boat non the less, but a boat.  Honda will charge me $250 to diagnose and dry it out and hopefully fix whatever seal they fine broken (the actual fix is $20 but the finding of the problem is costly).  Rob and I sat outside this evening with a sprinkler running on top of the car and we can finally see where the water is coming in.  We think it is coming into the trunk, filling the spare tire space and then the water sloshes up and into the rear seats, soaking the carpet.  Awesome.  A quick google search of "Honda Fit leaking water in spare tire space" yielding a huge number of hits...awesome again.

I am going to start out tomorrow by visiting my mechanic, who I really trust but who says water issues are "terrible and hard to find" so I will probably then take it to Honda where they will keep it for 3 days to dry, fix, soak and test to see if they fixed it.....

Wish my little Honda well and please, please hope they find the leak quickly!!!!!  We have been toying with selling it for something slightly bigger and once fixed this might just push us into finding another car.  I don't want to sell it 'as is' and pass along the issue and Honda assured me that once they find the issue, it can be fixed.  Finding it is the big problem apparently.

-E

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pics of the kids


A bad picture but we can now put bows in her hair!!!


We went to the farm last week, Loic liked the goats a lot :)


Maelle ate a fig-filled granola bar with a lot of enthusiasm!!


Loic "helping" me make pancakes :)


Maelle picking out the peas to eat first - maybe she will love veggies like her big brother?!  I sure hope so.  She is eating peas and oatmeal pancakes here.

I took Loic on a walk today with Jody and Jess and the dogs while the baby napped (Rob was home, don't worry).  It was nice being out with just him. 

-E

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fun Day for Dogs, people and babies

Today Jody and I took Maelle, Tyler, Ryan and Abby to visit our agility friend's new dog boarding/training/grooming facility out at Zero Ave.  She has a fully fenced, grass agility field and we took turns running Tyler, Abby and Ryan through the course.  They had a blast!  I will say though that running Tyler while wearing Maelle in the Ergo is not easy.  She loved it but he decided that me wearing a baby meant he should maybe just not listen.  After passing the baby off to Aunty Jody he returned to listening (in his own way of course).

After some agility, the dogs ran and ran and ran - both on the course and in an adjacent field and pond area.  Tyler and Ryan even got the zoomies like puppies.  It is a lovely spot and if Tyler wasn't a giant spaz about being contained in any and all ways, it would be a nice place to board the dogs when we went away.

The baby loved watching the dogs and she also tried, in vain, to smile at some dog people but we have realized that most dog people don't pay any attention to babies.  Puppies yes, babies no.  I find it funny, she is such a social baby and dog events are the only place that no one pays any attention to her at all!  People are funny.

When we got home I made lasagnas (one for friends with a new baby, one for dinner and one for the freezer).  Rob and Loic delivered the lasagna and had dinner and a play date but Maelle and I stayed home because she has a cold and I didn't want to pass the cold along to the new baby or her family.  I will say that one kid at home is a breeze!  We went shopping with my mom, played, I fed her dinner and then when she went to bed I had lasagna on my own while reading the paper....quite relaxing.  I did miss Loic's chatter and hilarious comments though!

Tomorrow is our first Family Day here in BC.  We don't have anything special planned but the weather is so lovely here that we will spend time outside.  I have a few things I need to do in the garden, plus we will walk the dogs.

No pics, sorry, between the dogs and baby Jody and I both left our phones in the car.

-E

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Meal plan for this week

Here you go Jess!  A few days late but oh well.

Tuesday - Perogies with a big plate of fresh veggies (Loic has NEVER liked perogies but decided that he loved them and ate a lot of them, go figure)

Wednesday - (I went out for dinner) Rob had a twice baked potato, Loic ate: a banana, a huge plate of cucumber with hummus, and all three had bow tie pasta w/ pesto; it was a slightly random meal

Thursday - Hoisin marinated pork chops (new recipe) w/ quinoa and steamed broccoli

Friday - Dinner at my folks!

Saturday - Homemade chicken strips (I bake them after breading them in panko crumbs, spices and parmesan cheese) served with pasta and a fresh veggie sauce (I sautee veggies in a bit of butter, spices and some white wine)

Sunday - I am making lasagna - one to freeze, one to bring to our friends who just had a baby (we will have dinner with them at their house)

Monday - Probably steaks and a veggie stir fry served w/ brown rice

Tuesday - last day of the plan so left overs or something from the freezer or ?

-E

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salad Composée!

I wanted to make a special 'Welcome Home' dinner for Jody last night so I asked Rob what I should make.  Rob listed a few things and then it hit me, I had to make a Salad Composée.

I found this description for Salad Composée at CookThink.com and I think it sums it up nicely:

"A successful composed salad should have a balance of colours, flavours and textures, and may contain crudités such as tomatoes, greens or carrots; cold chicken, tuna, anchovies or eggs; a bit of cheese; and potatoes, pasta, rice or beans with an olive oil-based vinaigrette.  The possibilities are really endless."

I make this salad as a main dinner salad and whenever I make it, we enjoy it very much.  Whenever I made it and Jody was eating dinner with us, Rob and Jody argued over every bite :)  When I was a kid this was one of my favorite meals.  I make it with a lot of different things but it is always really, really tasty.

Here is the one I made last night:


I used:

-carrots
-cucumber
-celery
-lettuce
-red pepper
-red cabbage
-radishes
-brie cheese
-turkey
-salami

I served it with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, a dish of lemon hummus and a loaf of sourdough bread.  So so so tasty!  And if you go easy on the cheese, meat and bread (we ate many more veggies than meat and cheese) it is healthy.  If tomatoes were not so expensive and tasted so badly at this time of the year I would have used them too; I basically use as many fresh veggies as I can find.  Sometimes I steam green beans to go with it and often use olives as well.

I have made this salad with leftover steak, chicken and all sorts of cold cuts; I have also used fresh mozzarella and other cheeses.  Whatever the combo, it is a hit.  The key is really to use a lot of colours and textures and to serve it with a tasty vinaigrette.  Make this one night, you will be surprised at how popular this is as a main dinner!

-E

Random updates

We had a lovely day today.  Jody is home from her travels and we spent the day catching up.  We took the dogs and kids to Cates park, we went to Honey's for lunch, we made pancakes and we talked (a lot).

We got home last night from our weekend away and we had a great time.  Tyler pulled the two boys in a sled for quite a ways (he was on leash, I wasn't going to let him pull the kids on his own!) and he had an awesome time playing in the snow.  He also fell through the ice and I had to drag him out...it was very scary for a few minutes there.  For a smart dog he has some pretty dumb moments!  I am glad we brought him with us, he is so awesome that dog :)  I cannot believe he is now 10 (!) years old.  He had better live for at least another 10 years.

Loic played a lot with his friend Ben who is his own age and Maelle had a great time crawling around with the other baby there.  I am glad we left Toby and Arthur at home, there were too many kids and it was far too cold out for them!  I don't trust them at all around little people.


Mama and baby in the snow.  
Loic and his friend loved playing in the pirate ship in the background!

We have a lot of play dates set up for this week which should be fun.

Meal plan to be posted tomorrow!  I managed to modify our last week's plan to fit the weekend away and tonight's dinner (homemade veggie soup, very tasty).

-E


Friday, February 1, 2013

Off for some fun in the snow!

We were invited to our friend's cabin this weekend for some fun in the snow!
We are bringing the kids (obviously) and Tyler; my mom has Arthur for us and Jess has Toby.  The small dogs are not thrilled about the snow or small kids (there will be 4 kids in the cabin).

I hope Tyler doesn't drive us nuts on the 4 hour drive!!

A big thanks to Mom and Jess for watching the Chihuahuas for us!

-E