Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Planes, kennels and birthdays

We made it out of Cape Dorset and the flight went well. Oliver seemed to enjoy himself as you can see.

Tonight we are staying at the Nova in Iqaluit. I was surprised when we got here that they didn't have a portable crib or playpen to off their littlest customers. I kind of thought every hotel had those types of things. I guess I was wrong, or maybe I'm just in Iqaluit. Either way, the idea of Nick, myself, Oliver AND Tank all sleeping in the same double bed was a nightmare. Then I remembered
Jen's strategy when she was traveling with Ezri last time. Sometimes having a dog pays off in the strangest ways.

Since it's close to midnight as I write this I'll send out a HUGE and loving HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful husband. Happy 31st on the 31st baby.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More changes

So I lied... I said that my next post would be from the south and It's not. I'm not, nor will I be tomorrow night as planned. Oh, travel in the north is always interesting. After getting the news that we had to leave Friday instead of Monday I got everything organized and was ready to go. Then tonight at supper time we find out that our flight out tomorrow morning is cancelled! That means we are now staying the night in Iqauit then going the whole rest of the way on Saturday. Instead of a leisurely overnight in Ottawa and a afternoon flight to the east coast, I and a very sleepy Oliver won't arrive till midnight. AND I'll miss the trick or treating. I think my annoyance is mostly about the trick or treating.

Oh well, as an ex-Air Canada employee I've been traveling on standby passes for years and am used to things changing and having to replan a routing or flight times at the last minute. As someone living in the north, I'm well aware that this can happen, and does often so I'm pretty easy going about it all. I would imagine that the hotels in Ottawa and Nova Scotia think I'm crazy since I've booked and rebooked 3 times now. And the dog. Tank was originally going with Nick, then going with me and is now going with Nick again so AC Cargo must think we're losing it too. I think we are ready to go again so we'll see if there are any more surprises for us tomorrow. I sure hope not.

Once again I sign off but I'm not sure where the next post will be from. Iqaluit, New Brunswick.... the way things are going the last couple of days who really knows.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shifting it into high gear

Nick called from work today and advised me that he now has to fly out of Cape Dorset on Friday instead of Monday as planned. (Has to because the first week of his 'vacation' is actually work related so he goes when told) Overall this isn't a huge deal for me, getting to take Oliver trick or treating with his cousin is great news. The problem is my carefully planned packing schedule has gone out the window. But hey, I can roll with the punches so I've been spending my day madly running around getting things into suitcases and changing the required reservations.

The only real negative is that Nick's birthday is Saturday too and he'll be in Nova Scotia instead of with us in New Brunswick. Oh well, I'm sure he'll enjoy partying with buddies from his last posting. We'll celebrate when he comes home.

Sorry Aida, I guess our meeting isn't going to happen on Monday. That's disappointing! Maybe it'll work out some other time.

Next post from the hopefully sunny and not so snowy south. Ciao!!

Packing and water issues

6 more sleeps!!!

My packing is well under way by now but my efforts have been severely hampered by the ongoing water shortage. Cape Dorset has, strike that, HAD three water trucks and are now down to one. We lost the first one due to fire and recently the second one broke down. As you can imagine, the local mechanics can't just run down to the local parts department to get what they need so it can take a while to get a vehicle back on the road. So for over a week now we have tried to be careful about what we use so our tank doesn't run dry. We were not successful and did run out yesterday but have since been given half a tank to make do. I really need to do laundry to keep my packing mojo going. I heard the other truck should have been fixed and back on the road today so we'll see if it comes by soon. We are expecting a new truck on sealift next week too.

In the meantime I'm trying to tie up loose ends before we go. I've made all our reservations for hotels and cars, booked our dentist and eye doctor appointments... etc, etc. I'm a little stressed about traveling with O. It's certainly not the first time we've travelled with him but last time he was still breastfeeding so how to feed him along the way was easy. Now I'm trying to decide what is easiest and and how much to bring. (Oh, he's eating again by the way, thanks for the advice on that everyone) Then there is what to do about keeping him occupied on the plane. He's very busy right now so sitting quietly isn't going to happen. Luckily, I have a friend called Gravol who will make things easier. Go ahead and judge me but I'm sure the other passengers will appreciate a sleeping child over one who is screeching because he wants to get on the floor. Screeching is his new thing, it's loud and high pitched. Not something you want to hear on a plane.

Anyway, that's all I have for you today. They all can't be gems! I will leave you with one thought. If you get married in paradise, where do you go for your honeymoon? Congrats to Joc and Lucas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Babies and pumpkins

So I guess I'm predictable....

Yes, I planned to take pictures of O in the pumpkin. We ordered it on foodmail (for those who asked) and I can just imagine what it ended up costing us. The picture in the flyer showed a small pumpkin for $2.99 so I thought why not? What arrived was a huge one that took up the whole box. I'm sure it weighs over 20lbs cause it's heavier that Oliver is. I chose not to look at the receipt when it came so I'm not sure how much I paid for shipping, I think ignorance is bliss on this subject.

I decided to invite the girls over to share in the use of the pumpkin. Turns out Meaghan had a couple of her own so a scene was born. The only thing missing was Ezri and Jen. It's just not the same without you ladies! Not to mention your photography skills far outweigh mine... I just couldn't get the lighting right, but please ignore that. The pics are still cute.

Baby Emma is the newest addition to our group. She's only 7 weeks old so she needed a little help from her mom.

Now that the pictures are done I'm going to carve a proper face on him so he can fulfill his Halloween destiny. I'm looking forward to Saturday and passing out candy to the masses. I'll also be glad to get the candy out of my house. I think there is a box or two less now than there was when I bought it. I may have to restock.

Monday, October 26, 2009

O's first pumpkin

Oliver and I carved our Halloween pumpkin today. I was kind of thinking that he might really get into it so I stripped him down before we began. No such luck. That's why you're getting this picture rather than the one of him covered from head to toe in orange goo. It never happened, he just banged the spoon while I scraped the inside.

You may notice the pumpkin's unusual cut as it's larger than you usually see. There is a reason for that which will be revealed in time. Can you stand the suspense? Don't get too excited but come back tomorrow to check it out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A whopper of a Whopper

In the news yesterday...

To commemorate the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7, Burger King in Japan is offering a Whopper with 7 patties. The thought of it leaves me at a loss for words. To put it in perspective, the single Whopper here in north america has 670 calories and 40 grams of fat. This monstrosity has 2120 calories. Three times the single version! Can I assume that means it has 3 times the amount of fat too? I can't seem to find the number on the fat content but it I don't need to see it in black and white to know that it's a heart attack waiting to happen. If you saw the news reports on this you saw that people can't even get their mouths around it. It's over 5 inches high...

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE fast food but even I have to say that this is just too much. But I guess if I was in Japan.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Silence isn't always golden

I read on Northland Adventures that with kids, quiet isn't always a good thing. I'm really coming to learn that those words could not be more true. The other day I was watching TV and Oliver was roaming around the living room as he loves to do and I suddenly realised #1-I couldn't see him and #2-I couldn't hear him. This is what I found.

Now this is nothing compared to what Lindsay found when she turned her back but O's only 10 months old. He's got time to work up to her girl's level. Please, if you are looking for a good laugh check click on Linday's name above and check out the post. If you don't smile, you must dead inside.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hot tip

I have been doing alot of on-line shopping lately. Nick's birthday is next week, Christmas is coming soon, Baby Steals has had some good stuff and I've ordered a Christmas tree. I couldn't bare the thought of the holiday without a tree. It's bad enough that I can't have a real tree, but no tree at all just wouldn't do. If you are in the same boat, Costco- Free shipping!

Anyway, my point of this post is to bring a website to your attention that I'm finding pretty helpful. It's Retailmenot and it's full of 'coupon codes' from tonnes of different online stores. You know, before you put in your credit card they always ask if you have a promo or coupon code. This site gives you the code and the percentage of times that it was successful for others. You can also post a code if you know one and share the savings. Since finding it I've found it to be hit and miss for the places I shop. Many times the coupons are specific to a certain product rather than an amount off a total purchase. However, I've saved as much as 25% on other purchases so it's well worth the couple of seconds it takes to search before I confirm my transaction. With the holidays coming up, everyone can use to save a few bucks so check it out.

Oh! and can you believe I got my Chapters order in 5 days?? 5 DAYS! And with free shipping, No coupon code required. I'm just so shocked.... I had to share.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scatterbrained and bored

It's been a pretty boring weekend so far so I don't have much to blog about. The weather today was horrible with snow and some super strong wind. Even Tank didn't want to be out any longer than he had to be. I spent my day sewing and playing with Oliver which wasn't all that much fun because he was in a bad mood. And now... now I sit here involuntarily watching baseball which is one of my least favorite things to do. It's the lead up to the world series so I won't make too much of a fuss. It's almost over. Nick just said Game 7 of the World Series is scheduled for November 7th. I can last that long I think.

On a totally unrelated note.....There was some very disturbing stories on the news about children lately. There was that 6 year old who was in the hot air balloon that got loose and flew 50 miles. They are saying now that it was a hoax but I was still very upset for that family when heard it. Then there is the horrible story of a mother who lost her baby stroller on a train platform. The 6 month old baby ended up run over by the train and was dragged for several meters and it was all caught on security video. Luckily the 6 month old was fine except a bump on it's head (a miracle) but the video was enough to make me sick to my stomach. At the risk of of sounding like Brian on that episode of 'Family Guy', now that I'm a mom things like that really affect me in a way they never did before. I feel literal panic when I think of O being in the same situations. Kids really do change your life.

Again unrelated.... Have you heard that ABC is bringing back the series 'V'? I'm so excited. I loved it when I was a kid (miniseries 1983 and 84 and the show 1984-85) and I'm looking forward to watching the remake. I don't think it will live up to my memory of it but I'm hoping for the best. It premiers November 3rd if you're interested.

So this ends an extremely incoherent and scattered post. Thanks for sticking with me and I hope that I'm back up to par in the next one. I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why buy toys?

I've been looking online for ideas for Oliver's Christmas toys. I don't know why I bother because these are his favorite things to play with. From what I hear, this is pretty normal with kids. Maybe 'Toys R Us' should have a Glad-ware section.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I hate change

I titled this 'I hate change' which isn't really true at all. I love moving to a new place and meeting new people. I love trying new food or a new activity. In almost all things, I actually embrace change. The exception, I hate it when I know and like a piece of technology and they change it. My most recent complaint is The Hair Styler website. I discovered this jem a few years ago when I decided to make a big change and chop my long curly hair that I'd had for years. This site allows you to upload your picture and you can 'try on' thousands of styles to see what you're looking for. I used it then and loved it and was very happy with my cut in the end.

As I mentioned before I am heading south in a few weeks and I'm desperate for a hair cut. I haven't had it cut since last November so I'm way overdue. Originally, I had decided I was going to let it grow out and do the mom ponytail thing but I just can't live with it. I'm not exactly sure what I want to do and I remembered The Hair Styler. It seems they updated the site in August AND IT SUCKS! There isn't near as many options to try on and its very hard to make them look right. The old site's hair was much less realistic, almost drawings than pictures but they actually looked better when you tried them. The new one's pictures are real pictures from celebs and they just don't work. Maybe I'll have to try a different picture of myself. Maybe a little make-up and a nicer shirt would help too :)

Anyway, I haven't found anything that I would remotely take to a salon but I have tried a few funky things in case I decide to go a little crazy. I really wish they would have just left well enough alone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving weekend and I got thinking of what I should say if we play the 'go around the table and tell us what you are thankful for' game. Instead of the usual I have my health and family stuff, I came up with a few others.

I am thankful...
...that baseball season is almost over. I'm even more thankful Nick doesn't really watch winter sports like hockey or football.
...that has free shipping. I always forget something so it's nice to be able to do another order anytime.
...that McSteamy often takes of his shirt on Grey's. The shower scene 2 weeks ago is still keeping me going.
...that I'm celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and don't have to wait for November for turkey like the americans do.
...that we are leaving in 3 weeks because I am desperate for a haircut, a shopping spree and a Big Mac combo
...for chocolate. Need I say more?
...for free time. I need it and I appreciate it so much more now that I have less of it.
...for soup and grilled cheese. That's Nick's go to when I'm too lazy to cook for him.

On a more serious note, I'm of course very thankful that I have a beautiful, healthy family. My husband is the best and I couldn't ask for an easier, happier baby. Life is good and I'm grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Please get my boy to eat

Ok all you parents out there, I need some advice. I'm having problems getting Oliver to eat.

This is the deal. In the last week or so O has been slowly but surely rejecting his food. He loves to feed himself off the tray of his highchair but he doesn't remotely eat enough to make a meal that way. As of today the only thing he'll eat from a spoon is cereal. I've been able to sneak some minced chicken into it without him noticing but no veggies at all. Up to now he's been eating meat, vegetables and fruit at every meal so it's strange to me that he's doing this. I even tried changing up his food by adding spaghetti or cheese sauce to give him new flavor but he'll take one bite and won't touch it again.

I of course went the net and the general consensus is that this is normal. He's expressing his independence and I shouldn't worry because he's getting all the nutrition he needs from his formula. Hmmmm. #1. I don't know if I believe that. #2. Even if it is true he's not drinking a whole lot... maybe 18 ounces a day I would say. As I type this I thought maybe I should give him formula in his sippy cup at meals to try and get more in. Up to now I've been giving him water. Anyway, I'm not worried about him starving since he is getting the cereal but I want to make sure he's getting everything he needs to stay healthy.

Can you tell me if your kids went through this and what you did about it. Can I expect him to go back to his old eating habits or should I scrap the old plan and feed him cereal till he can feed himself a full meal?

Thank you in advance and I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ready for winter

This is Oliver's new parka. I'm very pleased with it for the most part but I'm still learning.The sleeves are a little shorter than I'd like and I'm not sure how that happened. I measured it and I tried it on him... but yet, there are his wrists. I don't know how these things happen. I'm still new at making things that are not rectangle (curtains, duvet covers) and figuring out how to adapt a pattern to the right size is a process for me. Maybe next time I won't have to cut out 3 versions before I get it right. I guess I'll have to find him extra long mittens to close the gap.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bank accounts and comb overs

It was monumental day here in the Steeves household. This morning Nick paid off the last of our line of credit and I can now say we are officially DEBT FREE!!!! I never thought I'd see the day yet here we are with money in the bank... with nobody asking for it. It's ours! I give complete credit to my husband for this achievement because, well, not only does he make the money he is the one who has aggressively tackled our money issues head on. I'll be the first to admit budgeting is not my strong suit.

So now the saving begins. Nick is busy devising different ways to invest and save to maximize the money rather than having it sitting in a bank account getting a pathetic amount of interest. The goal is to save enough for a car and a decent down payment on a house when we move back down south. It's feels good to be heading towards something rather than dealing with the past.

On a totally unrelated note... Oliver got his first hair cut today! He was getting unruly as you can see. Meaghan cut up around his ears and cut the remains of the really long comb over he's had since birth. Yes, I kept the hair. Yes, he's in a turkey roaster in the his picture. And yes, that's a HUGE tooth he's sporting. I hope his head grows into the tooth soon because it just looks weird. I call it his 'Cletus' tooth. He looks like a cast member from the movie Deliverance. Thankfully, the other top tooth has started to grow in beside it to balance it out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lists, lists and more lists

It's been 3 days since I've blogged and I thought I'd better post something before I completely fall out of the habit. I've been busy. I've been spending alot of time indulging my other hobbies and tend to get so caught up that I don't do anything else.

The other problem and reason why I haven't blogged... I'm not sure I have anything to say. Last week was so exciting with the whale and the polar bear, it's only going to be downhill from there. Putting those thoughts aside here we go.

The countdown is on for our trip south. We leave 4 weeks from today and I've already started packing. Well, not literally but I'm packing on paper you could say. I've started making list. The first one, what clothes to bring. That one is actually 3 lists because there is one for me, one for Oliver and of course one for my organizationally challenged husband. If I left it up to him he'd show up it 2 pairs of underwear and a t-shirt I'm sure. Then there is the list of all the things I need to bring home with me like Christmas gifts I've accumulated and dvd sets I've borrowed and have to return. The one for the things I need to get while I'm in the land of retail. The one for the appointments we have to keep, and the one for the itineraries and reservation confirmations for car rentals, hotels and flights I have to print.... phew.... So much to think about.

The highlight of our vacation is going to be the week in Hawaii, Sans Oliver. O will stay with his Oma and will be well taken care of so Nick and I can concentrate on having a romantic, relaxing adult get away. But a trip to a warm climate means yet another list for summer clothes. Maybe I should make a list of what lists I need to make. Ok, that's getting out of hand. But you know what? Even with all these list, I'm still going to forget something, most likely 2 or 3 things. It happens every time.

I really, really love a list.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More excitement for me

I've been getting lots of comments about the whale pictures and many have included warnings about polar bears. Probably good advice because guess what I saw the other night?? My first Polar bear! Nick and I have tried many times to see bears that we heard were in town but every time they are gone by the time we get there. No surprise. Usually half the town is already chasing it and it's long gone. Well, last night the sighting was at about 230 am so nobody had the chance to chase him away before we got a look. He was only about 200 feet away but unfortunately I didn't get pictures. It was too dark for my 'auto' setting to focus so I was out of luck. I'm still thrilled that I got to see one and have fulfilled one of my northern goals. And it was big! The sad news on this excitement is that because this was the same bear that has been seen in town a few times in the last couple of weeks he was declared fair game. He was shot yesterday morning out by the whale. So I guess I'll get so see him again on a rack outside of someone's house. I'm sad about it but that's the way it is. Safety first and I get that.

Whales, bears... It's been a really cool week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Standing on the tail of a whale

Just after I published my post last night we got the call. Off we went into the cold night to see the whale. I unfortunately didn't reach my goal to see him all in one piece because by the time we heard they had already started the butchering. I'm disappointed that we were not there when the hunters arrived to the beach. I hear that the celebration was very loud with people cheering and they had fireworks and a huge bonfire. There was still lots going on when we arrived and it was an amazing atmosphere. I went down again this afternoon to get a few pictures in the daylight. Here we go.....

The tail was HUGE!!!The whale was almost 52 feet long and approximately 52 tonnes. The feel of the skin is very much like a squishy tire. Very rubbery. I could still smell the fishy smell on my fingers after touching it last night.

Strips of blubber being cut from the carcass

You can see in the red rectangle the part that's actually used. The dark grey (the skin) along with the thin strip of white on top of it is called the muktuk. The thick pink stuff on top of it is the fat. I'm not sure if the fat is used for anything now but in the old days it was used for fuel among other things. The muktuk is eaten raw usually but can be fried or boiled as well. Meaghan, Sonja, Dale and I took a piece of it to share but haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know if I have the guts to actually go through with it.

Teevee, the Fisheries guy cut out the eye to be sent in for sampling. That will also tell us how old Mr. Whale is.

Kids playing in the baleen. The bowhead use the baleen to filter the water to catch food.

Another view of the cutting.

I love this picture. It really shows the size of the whale when you compare the little people to the size of him. On the left you can see the 2o or so people pulling the rope attached to the fin while the cutters up top slice. It's amazing how heavy these pieces are. I saw 2 men really struggling to drag a relatively small(maybe 2 feet long) piece of blubber with a huge rope.

The view from the front. You can see his huge grey tongue inside his month.

This is about 16 hours after the cutting began and they haven't even started on the meat inside. Butchering is going to take several days.

In this shot you get to see how big his mouth is. The part on the sand is the top of his head.

Um.... let's just say it's a BOY!

This was such a fantastic experience. I was so excited when I got home that I couldn't sleep thinking about it. I think I'll head down tomorrow and get a small piece of meat to try. I've been looking up recipes in the last couple of days. I'm a little bit more open to trying the meat over the muktuk.