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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seattle Getaway

Greg's parents took Marley and Paige for 5 days of "Granny Camp" in Victoria so Greg and I quickly escaped with Christine for two days in Seattle. It was our 7th Anniversary this past Sunday so we looked at this trip as a celebration. It was so nice to only have one child to worry about again the whole 5 days of Granny Camp were a celebration!!

The border lineup on Monday morning was pretty long so Christine and I got out and wandered around Peace Arch Park. She wasn't all that happy to be stuck in her car seat while the car was stationary!!

After crossing the border we took the scenic route to Seattle. Greg had done a lot of research prior to our trip (what a surprise!) and had read about the Chuckanut Drive. This is a scenic, winding, two lane road that follows the coast from Fairhaven to Burlington. Unfortunately, it was too windy for Greg to really appreciate the views! We then made our way to Whidbey Island. This next picture was taken on the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo. It was only a 15 minute ferry ride but Christine appreciated being released from her car seat again!!

We safely made it to Seattle, found our hotel - $82/night on Hotwire apparantly comes with a water view! Who knew?! After letting Christine stretch her legs for a bit on the hotel room floor, we went off to a Mariners game. Now, I'm not the biggest baseball fan (okay, I HATE baseball) but it was an experience I'm glad I had. Not that I feel the need to do it again mind you! I'll let Greg take the older girls next time while I hang out in the hotel room and read a good book! Christine did really well. She loved the sights and the kids in the row in front! By the beginning of the 6th inning she was showing signs of "being done" so I took her away to nurse and get into a sleeper then Greg met up with us and we wandered around the stadium checking out the sights. Safeco Field is a pretty impressive building. There are a lot more interesting things to look at than the game!! Christine even got to meet the Mariner's Moose! She is like Marley - fearless when it comes to mascots!

Having been awake for longer than I think she's ever been awake in her whole 5 months of life, LC slept like ... well, a baby! Which was good because we had another busy day planned for Tuesday. We had breakfast at Lowells in Pike Place Market, explored the market and then took the Monorail to the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project. The EMP was pretty neat and after a caffeine & sugar pick-me-up we went next door to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. That was also pretty cool. I'm really a sci-fi geek at heart!! Sad but true!
Finally it was time to head up the Space Needle.

It was Greg's first time up and the weather cooperated beautifully. We got some excellent views of Seattle and surrounds. Christine was more impressed with her toy though!!

After a nap for Christine and myself, we went back to the Market area to have dinner and then called it a night.
Wednesday meant it was time to head home and become a family of five again. So alcohol was needed!! We went home via a couple wineries in Woodenville. Greg was driving so yours truly did most of the tasting. Shucks, darn! We really only had time to hit two wineries which was probably good both for our wallets and for me!
Well, we're home now and back to normal. Sigh! I think I need another vacation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day Trip to Whistler - Aug 15th 2009

The Days went on a Day Trip - ha, ha, ha!! Fun with names!

Greg thought it might be fun to go up to Whistler for the day and since we'd really not done too much this summer with the girls I went along with the idea. We knew it was likely to be busy as Crankworx - a mountain biking festival - was going on, but we knew we wouldn't get another opportunity to see the mountain and all the new Olympic venues before the Olympics. Plus we figured the girls would like watching the crazy mountain bikers race down Whistler. WHY do people do that?! For fun?!?!

The last time we went to Whistler was to celebrate our 4th Anniversary - Paige was about the same age as Christine is now. Wow, time really flies!!

Our first stop was at Shannon Falls just outside of Squamish. It was a quick get out of the van, walk to the Falls (5 minutes), takes some pictures and load back into the van. I was reminded of road trips with my parents when I was a kid. Dad always stopped at EVERY "Point of Interest" sign to see what it was all about and to take pictures. Sigh! I've finally turned into my parents!!

This picture was taken at the falls viewing area. Two things of note: Marley is in her typical modelesque pose and Paige is doing something goofy. This is how things are at the moment. Paige either refuses to have her picture taken and tries to hide, OR she's only too happy to oblige as long as she can make a funny face or pull a funny pose! Marley on the other hand LOVES to have her picture taken and will strike a pose (usually this one above) as soon as she sees a camera! Too many episodes of America's Next Top Model I guess!!

This shot of Greg and Marley was taken after a series of attempts to get both the older girls with Greg but ... Paige being Paige ... we had to abandon that. All was not lost though as this is a great picture of the two of them!

Whistler was even busier than we'd anticipated so, rather than park WAY up Blackcomb and have to rely on a shuttle bus to get to the village, I coughed up big money for underground parking in the village. Considering how tired the girls and I were by the end of the day, it was worth every penny to know the van was close by! Our first stop was lunch and then we let the girls play on this playstructure in the village. Since Paige won't pose and smile nicely, we've adopted a "sneak attack" method of photographing her. Thank goodness for digital!! This cute one was snapped with this method! The one of Marley shows her living up to her nickname of Monkey!!

When we'd arrived at Whistler the clouds were lowish on the mountain top so we weren't sure if we'd be able to take the gondola up or not. We hoped so as we wanted to ride the new Peak to Peak gondola over to Blackcomb! As luck would have it, by the time we extricated the girls from the play area, the clouds had lifted enough that we figured we'd go up. Paige can be a bit timid on fair rides so we weren't sure how she'd react to the gondolas but she did great! They ALL did!!
Christine was just happy to be let out of the stroller I think, but she managed to charm our Peak to Peak gondola mates!

That Peak to Peak is something else!! A very smooth ride and you feel quite safe but holy moly you are up high!! It's hard to think that the only thing keeping you from crashing down into the trees are a few cables suspended over a valley! Great views though. I highly recommend it!
After we returned down Whistler, we walked over to Blackcomb (we couldn't go DOWN Blackcomb with the stroller - chair lifts not gondolas) so the girls could play at the Adventure Zone. Greg and Marley went on the Toboggan run and Paige bounced to her hearts content in the Bouncy Castle. That pretty much wore them out so we headed back to the van and Ladner.
It was a really fun day and the girls travelled pretty well. Christine complained about how much time she spent in a stroller or car seat in a way only she can. Lot's of loud screaching!! But all in all, a good time was had by all.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My first ever BLOG!!!

Wow! My own Blog! What the heck am I going to write about?
Duh! My crazy life, of course!!!
We are the Day5 - Greg, Alison, Marley, Paige and Little Christine (as opposed to Big Christine aka Auntie Christine!) The picture above is, sadly, the only picture of the 5 of us so far... that I could find... aAnd it's not that great! Sigh! Life is so busy these days. It was taken at the wedding of a friend of Greg's in the middle of the biggest heat wave the Lower Mainland has EVER seen. The reception venue was NOT air conditioned so we spent a lot of time out on the deck trying to get the river breezes!!
Marley is 5, entering Kindergarten in September and a bright, talented little girl. She loves to be active so we put her into everything we can think of and afford! Last week she took Tennis lessons for the first time and loved it. She was also very good - I thought!! She's also our Drama Queen. If even the tiniest thing doesn't go according to her plan, she bursts into tears and runs crying out the room. I really hope she doesn't try that at school!!
Paige is 3, super cute (and knows it!) and stubborn as all get out! We have been battling with her for months now to potty train but so far she is NOT cooperating. We did the whole reward chart with stickers to earn a Barbie which she quite diligently did. She was very excited to get her very own Barbie as Marley has 3 or 4 now but she has none. After depositing the requisite number of poops and pees into the potty and receiving her Barbie (not one, but two along with a car no less!!) she promptly stopped going in the potty all together. Smart girl! Hopefully!! Otherwise we have WAY bigger problems than refusing to pee in the toilet! Needless to say, the Barbie is now living in our bedroom until such time as she decides to use the toilet again.
Little Christine (LC) is 4 1/2 months old and a real joy. Unless she screams then it's everyone for themselves!! She can shatter ear drums. For the most part though she is a happy baby and the best sleeper out of the three girls. Thank God!! So far she is showing signs that she will be both tall and active. She's outgrown her 6 month sleepers already and is wearing 9 month size!! Yikes!! She loves to be entertained by her big sisters. Marley can get her to belly laugh which is so cute to watch!
Life with 3 kids - sometimes 4 - is completely and totally nuts! I pretty much doubt my sanity on a daily basis. We are currently 4 months into Greg's 5 month Paternity Leave (hence my 4 kids comment) and I am really looking forward to September. Don't get me wrong, having Greg around to help out is (usually) fantastic and most new moms would kill for it ... I'm just, well, how do I put this diplomatically? ... not one of them? It's been fun but now we all need to get into a routine. School, work, kids, etc. I'm ready to tackle the brood on my own! Really!! Okay, I know I tried to hibernate today (unsuccessfully I may add) but I'm starting to go stir crazy and I don't think it's all because of the kids.

Anyway, I hear LC so I'll sign off by saying that I hope this will be a good way to keep in touch with the British Rellies (those who aren't on Facebook!) Keep tuning in to see new pics and more sound bytes from the life of the Crazy Days!!