Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Big Changes

Where to begin!

I will start with the pets.
We are now the proud (terrified?) owners of an Emperor Scorpion named 'Pinchy'.  Pinchy came to us after we tragically lost Dot (our praying mantis); Dot became impaled on a cactus....darwin award for sure.  Anyways, Loic was crushed and when one of his teacher asked if we wanted a scorpion I said yes because we had the tank and Loic *loves* scorpions.  He draws them very well and knows everything about them.  When asked, he will tell you all sorts of scorpion facts.

Say 'Hi' to Pinchy:

He isn't poisonous, and apparently hasn't every stung anyone but did pinch his old owners ex-boyfriend.  Maybe he is a good judge of character?  We have never and will never hold or handle him; I used a soup spoon to move him into his new house 

We sadly lost one of our bunnies in July, Thumper.  I was upset because she didn't seem ill but every rabbit person we asked said that they just die sometimes.  I didn't want Pancake to be lonely, he and Thumper were siblings, so off to the shelter we went and we found Waffles!  She is from the same shelter where we adopted Tyler 11 years ago.

Say 'Hi' to Waffles Wyldestyle:

Much more cuddly than Pinchy!
It took a few weeks, but now Waffles and Pancake are best friends. 
Waffles is funny, she likes to run laps of our deck and she LOVES her treats!

Speaking of dogs, all 3 are doing well.  Tyler has started to move better, 10 months after his accident. It is really neat to see.  He is almost back to normal and is only getting a massage once a month.  He can run of leash and the only big difference is that we don't do agility any more.  I am also super careful with how he gets onto and off of the couches.  He isn't but I try to make him do it slowly!  He isn't in any pain, and is happy as can be.  We adopted him 11 years ago and I cannot believe how time flies.  11 years!!

Taz continues to be a fun addition to the family.  He is a funny, sweet little chihuahua.  He loves stuffed toys, and still loves Loic.  I can usually find him sleeping on Loic's bed at night, it is very cute.

Toby is also well, although he has a sore paw this week.  I think he hurt it while jumping over the baby gate to get to our bed one day; now we just let him in and shut the gate behind him :)

Now for the children!  Both are doing so well.  Maelle continues to amaze us with her vocabulary and her, ahem, strong willed character.  She is a funny little thing!  Also, she loves her baby - she is always cuddling, feeding and talking to her baby.  The baby's name?  Baby Erika.  Maelle will be 2.5 in a month of so - and as she likes to tell you she is "Not a baby!" but a big girl.

Loic is now 5.  5!  He was supposed to start kindergarten this week, however, due to the strike, that is on hold.  It was a bit of a struggle, but we are keeping him in his daycare until the strike ends.  He loves it there and his buddy Holden will be with him.   He is one smart kid that one!  Nothing gets past him and he has such a sweet nature.  Loic now rides his two wheeled bike like a champ - thanks to a week at bike camp - and is back in Triathlon club starting this month.  

The garden was a big success this year.  From tomatoes, to cucumbers, to blueberries and kale (so much kale....) we eat something out of the garden daily.  I became sick of green beans at one point and am now putting zucchini in many dishes :)  I started an asparagus patch and look forward to eating some in a few years.  I finally succeeded with parsnips and grew the hottest chill peppers ever (sorry Rob!!).  So much fun.

I start school today.  Well, my first day of class is tomorrow.  It is very exciting!  I am doing a masters program at UBC and started my one year leave of absence from work today.  Feels like a big big change, that is for sure.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Garden 2014 & a fun weekend all around

I had a lieu day Friday, so after dropping the kids off at daycare (terrible parent, I know) I did all of my chores in time to pick Loic up for lunch!  It was lovely having lunch with just him and he said he wanted sushi, so off we went.

For a kid who isn't into food, he sure can stuff himself with cucumber rolls!!

After lunch we grabbed the three dogs and headed out to Burnaby lake for a hike with a friend.  We had a nice walk and we saw some frogs - Loic also picked up many, many slugs along the way.....

Friday evening Rob and I took the kids to the night market near Lonsdale Quay.  We went with some friends of ours who have a kid in Lolo's daycare - a great time was had by all.  My folks came by and the kids danced the evening away.  There was a great band playing and every single food truck I have ever heard of was there.  I am a big food truck fan.  The fancy grilled cheese and poutine were very tasty.

Saturday Rob took the kids to the Lynn Valley parade while I went to a Beekeeping 101 class - moral of the story, no bees for us anytime soon, way too much work.  I certainly respect people who keep bees though!

On Saturday night we had our friends from Maple Ridge over for dinner with their kids - the kids again had a blast.  I roasted one of Jody's very tasty chickens.   Oh, and made some super easy and super tasty thai noodle salad with veggies.

Today I met up with my friend Michelle and her daughter for a bike ride around Deer Lake.  Well, we walked, I pushed Maelle in the stroller and Loic and Morgan rode their bikes.  Loic is still on his run bike but we now have to insist he learns how to ride his peddle bike....he is too big for his run bike and he is the only kid in tri club still on a run bike.

We then headed to the barn to watch Teepee and Jeff get loaded up on the trailer to go on their holiday; Maelle said "horses going to Hawaii!!" she is so cute that one.  And her speech is so clear!!

The three kids loaded up in the horse trailer :) 

Saying good bye to TeePee - Loic loves the pony and while she loves to talk about ponies, she is a bit wary still

Now.  Garden update.  A few hiccups this year - peas planted too early, f**ing caterpillars eating my kale, dead plum tree - but - many more successes!  I figure I spend about 2 hours/week on the garden.  A nice, manageable amount.  Loic is getting more helpful with his watering skills while Maelle is still a bit of a train wreck while 'helping me' :)

Malle in front of some super impressive parsnips.  I planted them in the fall and they are now over 4 feet tall, however, they are not so impressive underground.....maybe I will give them some more time??  I am just not sure what to do

Peas in the back half, baby beans planted by seed one week apart and lovely red leaf lettuce.  I direct sowed them all from seed.

I learned my lesson and planted 1/4 of the peas that I planted last year.  I also planted ones that grow much shorter as to avoid the giant wall of peas I planted last year.  We have had some lovely salads already this year.  The beans are bush beans and are growing where radishes started out the season.

Tomatoes (started with care by my friend Christy), baby cucumbers (from seed) and carrots (from seed).  While carrots are super slow, the kids love them and I planted purple ones this year!

Garlic!  Planted in October, 2013 and ready for harvest this August.
You can see it being shaded by the giant parsnips.....

Easter egg radishes from a few weeks ago - they were a success this year.

The kids and my hand at Spanish Banks last weekend looking at a caterpillar.  He is lucky he isn't on my kale or he would get squished.

Kale, green onions, baby raspberries, peppers and basil.  Quite a mixed bed!

Overall, I am quite pleased with the garden this year.  I started my asparagus patch this year and while it is super unimpressive (only a few scraggly spears have showed up thus far) I am anticipating a lovely harvest in 3 years.  My dad also replaced my dead plum tree so we are going to try again.  The blueberry plants - all 8 in the front yard alone - are loaded with fruit.  The potatoes in the back yard are looking great, same with the apple trees.  

The dogs are doing well, it is as if Taz has always been here.  Most nights I can't find him and when I do he is asleep on Loic's bed.  He loves going to work with Rob and is great to hike off leash; totally ignores other dogs and sticks right by me.  Such a nice little chihuahua.  I will say he is quick to bark, but, he is a chihuahua so that goes without saying!!  Tyler is doing well too - we do about half his hikes off leash and half on, but only because I worry.  He is great though - back to getting on the couch when we are home and sleeping on the bed.  He can also go down and up stairs now so that has made everyone happy.  It wasn't that he couldn't do it but we wanted to wait until after the 6 month mark to reduce his risk of re-injury.  I will always worry, but, he is back to his happy, running self, albeit with a slightly funny gait.  I don't mind and he is certainly happy!


Monday, April 21, 2014

And then there were 3 (dogs, not kids)

Rob told me a few weeks ago that he wanted another site dog, specifically, another chihuahua.
I was toying with the idea of getting another dog to do agility with, but, when I got into my masters program, I decided that another agility dog would have to wait.

So, we heard from a friend that there was a lovely little chihuahua at a local shelter.  Off we went on Friday to JUST LOOK.  We even had a pact to wait 24 hours after meeting him to decide.  Well, those of you who know us, know that this wasn't going to fly.

We went to the shelter, met him, walked him and yes, we did get back into the car.  Where we proceeded to drive for 10 minutes before we turned around and adopted him :)

Introducing Taz, the newest member of our family:

He was a stray so we don't know anything about him.  However, he LOVES kids.  As in, goes up to Loic and paws to be pet then curls up in his lap.  Loic totally adores him.  We think he is a young adult and he was neutered last week at the shelter.  He likes Tyler and Toby, but when he gets excited, he tries to 'have relations' with them....which doesn't go over too well.  However, he is learning that that isn't tolerated well here.  He also seems to be house trained (bonus!!).

While many people think we are nuts, we are used to having 3 dogs (we lived with Arthur for 5 years!) and Rob is happy to have a site dog again.   He fits in like we have always had him.

And yes, we named him, he didn't know his shelter name and we wanted another T name.  I voted for T. rex but was shot down -  although I agree, Taz is a good name for him.  Oh, he also ignores the rabbits but I would too if I were him, they are much bigger than he is.

Welcome to our crazy little family Taz!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Random pictures and some school news

First, a picture of the bunnies in a carrier, because it makes me smile:

Don't panic, they are only in it to go from inside to outside - never more than one minute at a time!  We get them outside every day for a few hours; either in their x pen on the deck or on the lawn.  I think they really like it (and no, they don't seem to like being in the soft crate but it means one less trip - these are not little bunnies!!)

The kids and I have been to the farm a few times in the past couple of weeks.

Adorable!!  I have about 10 pictures of him smiling at the camera and her doing everything but

A dog update now.  Tyler is doing really well, he can now do off leash time and he loves going swimming.  We are letting him do stairs on his own again and when we are home, are letting him get up and off the couch on his own (slowly).  We are still taking away the cushions when we aren't home because we worry about him launching off the couch and over the coffee table if anyone comes to the door....silly dog.  We are at the 6 month post injury mark and I am impressed with how far he has come, and more importantly, he is pain free.  His gate is still 'off' but, I think you have to know what to look for to be able to tell.

So handsome.  That is our 'Tyler anti-slip flooring' solution.  Classy looking!!  It works so well to help dogs with back issues on slippery flooring.  We are now looking for alternatives now that is is feeling more stable, maybe some industrial mats?

And now for some school news!  In September, Loic starts Kindergarten.  Where does the time go??
Also in September, I start Grad school.  Yes, I am heading off to get my Masters degree and am very (VERY) excited.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy Birthday to the Pinch!!

Happy Birthday sweet baby girl!!

From this:

 5 minutes old....makes me feel like crying looking at this!!

Less than a day old, so so perfect

To this:

Learning how to love Nutella!

Here she is with her absolute favourite person, her dada, or as she yells "DADA!!!"

Our little girl is so well loved, she is so so so funny, and we cannot imagine life without her.  My heart melts whenever I watch her and Loic playing together.  I also love listening to her constant chatter - she talks non stop!!

Happy Birthday Maelle, we love so so very much.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Garden, dog, kids, and a cake, oh my

Rob spent the day building my 4th and final raised bed in the front yard!  Thanks Rob!  After this pic was taken he also filled it with soil.  Well, Loic 'helped' him by throwing soil around and using his dump truck to move it around.

New bed is on the far right, and he fixed the blueberry bed by the brick fence so that I can plant all the way along now - I will put in another blueberry I think (the kids love them)

Last night I baked a cake!  This recipe is right from the Pioneer Woman's site and it turned out quite well:

Chocolate Nutella Strawberry cake with whipped cream.  Yes, it is very tasty.

Tyler is doing well!  We are doing long leash walks and some off leash time too.  We have been swimming a few times at Aquapaws, which he loves.  That is what we are doing for therapy now because he is ready for the next level.   He is also back to teaching with my on Thursday nights!

We also have two new family members:

Pancake and Thumper!

They are nice, nice bunnies from a co-worker.  They live in a cage in our bathroom, but, they spend as much time outside as possible - I think it is good for them.  We use the x-pen in the yard if we are gardening or on the deck if we are not in the garden.  They are only outside if we are home though.  Loic adores them and Toby ignores them but Tyler, oh Tyler, might want to eat them.  I let them out in the living room too after the kids go to bed.  They hop around for a bit then lounge in front of the TV :)

The kids and I had dinner with my folks tonight while Rob went to the hockey game.  We had a great time - Maelle did NOT want to get out of the wheelbarrow!  She kept saying "Again! Again!" while laughing hysterically.

This little miss is almost 2.   I can't quite believe it.  She got her hair cut last week and while she initially lost her mind, she recovered well:

We are all so glad that the weather is improving and that we can head to the park after work again!!
Yipee!  I am also glad to be able to start gardening after work a little bit after work again, with my bunny friends and the kids and the dogs :)

Coming up....a post about school!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

So much to say

Wow, I haven't posted in a while.

First it was Christmas, which was lovely.  We hosted a big dinner here at our house again, which was nice, and then we visited with Rob's brother and his family.  The kids had a great time, Loic is starting to really understand what Santa is all about.  Maelle is still highly suspicious (meaning won't go near) Santa yet.

Then, we went to Hawaii for two weeks (I highly recommend it!).  We were there with my folks and my aunt and uncle.

The kids swam, laughed, played in the waves and ate chips and hot dogs for two weeks.  Oh, and drank enough POG (Pineapple-Orange-Guava) to meet their yearly sugar intake.  They don't drink juice at all at home (except for at Grandma and Grandpa's house) but drank juice every single day in Hawaii.  Ahhhh holidays.  Maelle would RUN full speed into the ocean while screaming with laughter; it was adorable.  Loic played so nicely with his surf board in the waves.  The whole group went whale watching - except for Maelle and me since I get so sea sick - and they had a great time watching the humpback whales.  

Then we came back home to rain/snow/cold.  Good times North Vancouver, good times.

A Tyler update: he is allowed to walk on-leash as much as we want AND he is now doing short stints off leash!  We still do massage and rehab appointments, but, he has come so far.  He still has an odd gait, but, is in no pain at all and is strong and muscled again.  Good, good dog.  We are going to start swimming next.

These two are still best friends.  I am not sure how they fit into that bed though!!

Last week, we ventured to Toronto to visit with Rob's mom and to see Rob's grandpa who suffered a bad fall just before Christmas.  The day before we left, Maelle was exposed to the stomach flu.  We debated going but decided to risk it.  We had a lovely first day in Toronto, visited with Rob's grandpa, then ventured out to visit Rob's aunt.  Promptly after dinner, Maelle vomited allllllll over Rob.  F*ck.  
She was only really ill for 12 hours, then woke up and demanded some oatmeal.  

The one plus was the time we got to spend with Rob's mom, which was just lovely.  I was a bit militant about hand washing/bleach/laundry in hot water but I was so worried Loic would get this bug while we were on the plane on our way home.  He didn't, but both Loic and myself got sick once we got home.  At least it wasn't on the plane!!  I cannot imagine a vomiting 4 year old on a plane...

While we were in Toronto, Loic and I spent a morning at the Royal Ontario Museum.  Hands down, one of the best times I have had with Loic.  We only looked at the animal and dinosaur exhibits - he was in his element!!  He impressed some of the staff with his knowledge - what other 4 year old knows about the tarantula hawk wasp and what they do??  It is an amazing place and I am so glad we got to see it.

We also had a lovely visit with Rob's aunt (a few days after the vomiting episode).   Come visit us in Vancouver next summer Aunt Tiny!

Loic and a T rex.  Enough said!

Loic chatting with Rob's 95 year old grandpa

Now we are home, and it is starting to snow again.  What is up with this weather?  Pretty sure I was planting peas around this time last year....

I will leave with another photo from Hawaii.  At night, after a full day in the sun and ocean, the kids basically put themselves to bed.  In this photo they had taken pillows of the couch and made a bed for themselves :)

I know it will change as they get older, but they sure do love each other a heck of a lot right now.
She adores him, and he thinks she is hilarious.