Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yep, it's snowing

October 30th is the official first snowstorm of the year for us here.  I can't say it was the first snow because we did have a few flakes a few days ago.  Needless to say my boys are thrilled and are begging for us to get their sleds out of the shed (not yet, but if it keeps up, I will).

This was not something I ever experienced until I moved east.  You see for most of my life I lived on the West Coast of Canada.  And yes, I'm one of those people who love the rain.  Snow for us was a rariety, usually seen for about a week a year and that's it (unless you drove up to the mountains for skiing).  Every few years we'd get a big dump of it and everyone would panic, but usually rain was the winter norm.
Living on the East Coast is completely different.  It's not that unusual for it to snow this time of year.  And it will continue to do so until April probably.  The area where I live experiences great jumps in temperature pretty fast (my boys were wearing tank tops a week ago) so we'll get this and then it will melt and be warm and then freeze again, until about February when it's really just an ice cube for most of the month.  (Nothing like early morning school bus duty in February!).  I'm not a huge fan of it.  It's pretty and fun for a while.  And you do get a lot of cozy days spent inside with your family.  But it's also why I usually don't get out of town visits from my parents during the winter.  But the fact remains that it's all part of living in Canada.  Yep, it's cold - not much I can do about that.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Toddler speak

My dear girl is an absolute ball of cuteness lately (I love this age for kids). She's talking a lot and more and more her words are speaking in short phrases. Some recents include:
Go, go, go!
Hockey brudder!
Oh Man! (thank you Dora)
Thank you! (love that one!)
No Mama! (don't love that one as much)
She's also quite comical, and will on purpose answer "Meow" when asked what does a doggie say - usually with a cheeky grin.  She'll also say, "bye, bye" in response to "I love you" and call me "Daddy" and Jonathan "Mama" - still with a cheeky grin attached.
I love watching her play as more and more of the pretend play comes out.  Her favorite things to do include pushing her dolly stroller around and around and around, wearing one mitten (mittet) ever so stylishly around the house and driving her little people bus around.

My girl, complete with cheeky grin, wearing my shoes!

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Returning Stuff

Today I went to "Unnamed Large Department Store" to return 4 pairs of pants I had bought for my 4 year old. Do you know why I had to return 4 pairs of pants? Because they shrank in the wash. Not just a little bit - a lot! Like from a size 5 (which he needs) to about a size 3 (which he hasn't worn in a year and a half). I was seriously disappointed because it took me forever to find pants for him that were reasonable and kid friendly (check one point for large city living, down one for the small town). Fortunately, he had only worn 3 of these pants so the 4th pair was unwashed and you could see the difference. I'm talking 4 inches of fabric difference. When he tried them on at the store, they were too long for him. The first time he wore them, I folded over the waist to make them fit him better. When he put them on after washing they were halfway between his ankles and knees. Crazy. Of course I didn't have the receipt. It took me forever to find pants that fit that he liked. I've been buying little boy pants for over 7 years now and I've never seen this happen. No problem (or so I thought). The store policy says, "Items returned without a receipt will be given and in store credit for the lowest most recent price". Totally fine by me. I paid clearance price anyway. Very politely, I brought the pants up to the children's department counter. I explained that I would like to return these pants because they shrank too much. The clerk barks at me, "Did you follow the washing instructions correctly?" "Yes, I did" (laundry I can do) I unfolded the pants to show her the size difference. "Well these are different pants from each other" she says "No, they are the same brand, same size" "Oh, well, do you have a receipt?" "No, I don't have it anymore, I've never had this happen before and wasn't planning on returning them" "Well, you NEED a receipt you know" Okay would someone please explain to me why the attitude? I have no problem with her. I am returning pants from her store. I'm not rejecting her, just the pants. But I bite my tongue and restrain myself from taking the return policy sign that is right there on her counter and hitting her over the head with it, and she storms away to another sales counter. I wait. She returns and starts typing numbers into her computer. "Well, I can only give you $4.99 a pair for them and only on store credit" She looks at me, almost daring to object. "That's fine" I smile back at her. After I left, I kept thinking about this. I remember when I was younger, I was so nervous returning things to a store. And this is why, I'm sure of it. There have been others who work in sales who give you such a hard time about returning things. I remember returning one pair of jeans I bought when I was in University and the sales lady there said, "Well, I don't know if I could put these back on the rack now and sell them." (These were jeans with the tags and I had the receipt, so I really don't know what her problem was). Maybe dealing with returns is frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. Many stores have these great "no hassle" return policies and they should. You shouldn't be barked at, or talked down to because you need to return something. Today, I made a reasonable request. I needed to return something because the merchandise was faulty. Had these pants been normal pants I wouldn't have returned them. If your goal is to keep your customers happy so they will continue to be your customers, then please, treat them like people!

The traffic line up - a picture for my mom

Here it is. My mom and I were chatting and she didn't quite get the concept of a 2 km line up of traffic before a construction zone - so I took this picture of it the other morning. This is the last stretch before the bridge.

Friday, October 7, 2011

City Life vs. Country Life - Police Work

I've been living in the country for just over 2 months now and I've been through 2 roadside checks - one for seatbelts and one for up to date car inspection stickers. My husband has also seen them policing a certain stop sign, ensuring that people make a full and complete stop there. We've seen several speed traps as well. I would venture to say that we are more than adequately policed for traffic safety. I'm also guessing that there isn't much else to police around here. Sure, there's your once in a while domestic dispute but for the most part, I think it's safe to say we're pretty safe out here. In our 2 years in the big bad city, I remember one road side check (looking for drunk drivers on a long weekend). But let's face it, the police out there are too busy with gun shots, drug busts and general ruckus to worry about making sure everyone makes a full and complete stop at a stop sign.

Smock, Smock, Smock - A Little Calvin and Hobbes just for Jill

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All My Squares

I finished cutting out my 30's quilt top this weekend and last night laid out all the squares to get a sense of randomness of the pattern. I had no idea that this quilt was going to be this big! It's so big! It's 15 x 15 with each square being 5 inches square. I know that it will shrink a little once it's all sewn together, but I really was surprised. Here's the randomness: I couldn't fit it all in the picture from either angle:
*please excuse the lack of light in the photo - these were taken last night at about 10pm.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

City Life vs. Country Life - one more about the commute

This is the last post about my commute for a while. I know, I think about it too much, but I'm driving in it 3 days a week. So I was telling you all about the bizarre big line in the morning that stretches for 2 or 3 kms before you have to merge, leaving a big empty highway lane beside it. What I have discovered is the line up police are in stronger force than originally perceived. And they are dangerous. They see someone barreling down that empty lane and they just pull out, no signal, not caring that that car may in fact hit them and almost causing an accident, which would make them later than they wanted to be in the first place. So I decided to try waiting in this bizarre line this week, just to see how much of a difference it would make on my day. It's not bad. It does make it a little slower, but it does ease my frustration at these line up police guys. I really just don't want to get into a car accident in the morning. As I've been in this line, I have noticed that I'm not the only one wishing to buck the trend and take the empty highway lane. There's quite a few of them really. And I silently cheer them on! Good for you! Go for it! One morning this week I got behind a line up police and it was so frustrating. Because here's the thing. Here you are in the line up lane and here they are, half in the line up lane and half in the free lane. And really as they edge closer and closer to the free lane (still going line up speed) it becomes confusing because there actually is enough room for you to pull ahead and knock them out completely, but you really don't know how they will handle it. I mean this isn't the LA Expressway. There isn't that level of road rage here, but these guys are unpredictable. Will they knick your car, trying to reclaim their spot? Because that's a hassle I don't want to have either. And that's frustrating. Here they are, these line up police who are driving totally righteously and totally dangerously controlling everything. I don't like it.
Amber at Crappy Pictures Blog posted how she tortures her child with sunscreen application yesterday (you can read it here), which got me thinking about all the various tortures my children are under. The ongoing daily torture (which thankfully seems to be going away) is brushing teeth. "TEETH?!" is the big disbelieving cry that I hear after asking if they've brushed theirs that morning. You'd honestly think I'd asked if they could chop off a finger or something. Teeth, however, has nothing on TRIMMING NAILS! Especially if toenails are involved. It's a regular screaming, crying fun fest around here when that happens. For some reason, fingernails seem to be somewhat manageable, but maybe they have different sensors in their feet because toes are torturous! The latest and most frustrating is changing my daughter. Not diaper changes, but clothing. She loves her pajamas and gets so screaming mad when I dress her in the morning. Once she's dressed she's fine, but getting her there has become a real fight. And isn't that the most bizarre thing of all, the hugest protest in the world one minute which changes to complete happy singing child the next?

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.