Sunday, January 31, 2010

12 days till the big O




Get your mind out of the gutter... I mean the Olympics! I'm on the count down along with many others for something I've been looking forward to for so long. I remember the day that they made the big announcement that Vancouver was getting the games. I was living in Edmonton at the time, I lived alone and I sat on my bed bed watching and I cried in happiness.

You may remember the post telling you how I got to see the torch go through my home town in November. That was a dream come true and I thought it was so exciting to be part of the Olympics even in that tiny way. And yup, I cried just a little. Yesterday, they announced that Clara Hughes would carry our flag for the opening ceremonies. I watched the press conference and again, tears.

I don't know what it is. I've always been a big Olympic fan. It's something I've learned from my mom who will also be sitting there for those 2 weeks, watching every moment she can. I think I may have got the tears from her too. I think more so I'm extremely proud and excited that Canada is getting to host such a great event. I can't explain the pride I feel when I see the maple leaf coming out of the tunnel as the Canadians enter the stadium at the opening ceremony. And to think this time our flag will have the honor of entering last. And when I hear the anthem played at a medal ceremony, well, I think you got it by now.

I know not everyone feels the same and probably think I'm crazy. My husband would fall under that category. Then there are the people who are hugely anti-Olympics. I understand much of their protests and feel they may have some good points but I choose to think about the positives that the games bring. Among those positives are my tears.



Friday, January 29, 2010

The Works





I think all northern residents would agree that one of the best things about a trip south is getting to eat at restaurants. This past weekend I of course had McDonalds which is always my favorite but I did try a new place that I have to recommend. It's called 'The Works' and they call themselves a 'Gourmet Burger Bistro'.  

If I counted correctly they have a whopping 71 burgers on their menu. You start by deciding what type of meat you want and can choose from beef, chicken, turkey, veggie or a portobello mushroom cap. If you want to get really exotic you can have domestic elk. Then they have 67 different toppings to choose from. Think of the possibilities! The toppings range from the usual to the increasingly unusual but there really is something for everyone. Here are just a few that I found interesting....

Big Ben Plus- Montreal smoked meat, sauerkraut and swiss.
Fine Erb Herb- Gently spiced with basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, garlic and swiss.
Johnny Be Goat-  Goat cheese, warm leaf spinach and roasted red peppers.
Kamikaze- Jalapeno, chipotle and banana peppers, cheddar cheese and hotter than hell sauce.
Crappy Tire- Pineapple ring, sweet and spicy sauce and brie cheese.
The Sweet Ride- Caramelized onions, half a ripe pear and brie cheese.

Then there are a couple that I just can't imagine anyone ordering...

San Francisco Treat- Real Kraft dinner and cheddar
Hold The Phone- Peanut butter, cream cheese and jack cheese
SK8R Boy- Peanut butter, jack cheese and strip bacon.

Along with a crazy good selection of sides this place serves up a great meal. For the record, I suggest the tower of rings to start. They come with a choice of great dipping sauces but they are big so you'll want to share! Check them out at worksburger.com



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Reunion





I've returned from the Cape Dorset Mommies Reunion Weekend and am happy to say it was a great success. After some touch and go flights we made it on Friday as planned and were met at the airport by Jen and Ezri. We spent the weekend enjoying each others company and letting the kids play. It was great for Meaghan, Jen and I to get caught up and compare notes on the babies just like we used to before Jen left us. Ezri is still by far the biggest one and is still the most vocal. She's just too cute. You can tell she is going to be quite the character. Oliver spent the weekend being beat up on my Mercedes who I'm sure is just expressing her adoration for my little man. She just kept crawling all over him and pulling him down. It was really quite funny and he really didn't seem to mind. They may be destined to be together!



There was of course a good amount of shopping done although I think I kept it to a respectable level. I did buy myself a little Dell 10 inch web book but that doesn't count does it? It was on sale! It'll be great for travelling so it's more of an investment right? I mostly bought things that we needed for the house and a few things for Oliver that he needed to complete his wardrobe. I haven't recieved any divorce threats so I guess I didn't go overboard.

The thing that I found most remarkable for this trip was how good all the kids were in restaurants. On Saturday night we went out for dinner and we were 6 adults and 4 babies. (I'm sure they loved seeing us come through the door) The kids were so well behaved that we had a nice time with great conversation and a yummy meal. I would imagine that the staff was impressed with the behavior until we left and they saw the mess that we left under the table. Like most kids their age, they dropped as much as they put in their mouths. Don't worry, we apologized and left a big tip so hopefully it wasn't so bad in the end.




Meaghan and I want to thank Nathan for taking the days off to drive a very pregnant Jen up to Ottawa so we could spend the weekend with her. It was great to see you again as well. Next time I promise Nick will come too so it'll be a bit more fun for you.



PS: For those who don't know... Jen, Meaghan and I were all due within 2 weeks of each other. Ezri was born December 24th, Oliver December 25th and Mercedes January 20th.




Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ottawa





If you're reading this post then Oliver and I are in Ottawa! I didn't want to talk about it before we left because I thought I'd take Townie's advice and not talk about the weather and end up jinxing it. So obviously the weather gods must have smiled on our little adventure and we're there. And you're reading a scheduled post so I'm not out of touch for too long.

The reason for our trip is a good one. We've come, along with Meaghan and her daughter Mercedes, to meet up with Jen and Ezri for the weekend and have a little reunion. We have lots planned including many hours of mall time. I'm sure Nick will be watching the credit card statement like a hawk.

Anyway, that's an update on our whereabouts and I'll post pictures and details of the weekend when we get back. Talk soon!





Friday, January 22, 2010

Concession speech




The losers at the Oscars say it's a honor just to be nominated. And you know what? They're right! The final results of  for the Nunies are in and while Babies and Bulldogs did really well in all three categories, it didn't win. That's ok though. I told Nick right from the beginning that I hoped people thought enough of my little blog to nominate it but I didn't really care if it won. Saying I didn't care is a little white lie because hey, who wouldn't want to win. But I considered being nominated a victory and that's enough for me.

The winner of Best Blog is Townie Bastard. I nominated him in this category too so obviously I agree. Townie is a great writer and talks about a wide variety of topics so it's always an interesting read. 

The winner of Best New Blog is The Arctic Post. This one is also one of my favorites and hits close to home since Carly and Etienne are also part of the RCMP family. She writes about their adventures in Chesterfield Inlet and it's always entertaining.

And finally, the winner for Best Post is First Boating Trip by Newbie in the North.Sarah tells the story of a great day out on the water and exploring an old whaling station. In the post she shows off (among other things) some amazing photos of an iceberg and a whale.  

These and all the finalists are well worth reading. They and many others are updated regularly on my sidebar so please take some time to check them out if you haven't already. So congratulations to all the winners and also to the blogs who didn't. And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Babies and Bulldogs. I really appreciate it and hope you keep reading.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Last chance





Just a reminder that there is just over 24 hours left to vote for your favorite Nunavut Blog. The Nunies voting ends tomorrow, Thursday at 5pm eastern so if you haven't voted yet, head on over there and do so. There are lots of great blogs to chose from so please check them out before the deadline.

This is the link: http://kiggavik.typepad.com/the_house_other_arctic_mu/2010/01/raising-the-poll.html






Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moving on





Well, the paperwork is in so I guess it's official. We're moving.... to Pang! The move is happening a little earlier than we figured in the grand scheme of our planned northern tour. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Going earlier than planned does open the door to the possibility of a third community before we head back down south. That's an exciting thought but one that's way off our radar at the moment.

We don't know yet when it's going to happen other than it'll be less than 90 days from yesterday. I'm thinking mid to late March sometime. The people replacing us need to sell their house and the people in Pang we're replacing need to buy one so we'll staying put at least until that happens. In the meantime, I'm working on going through our stuff trying to decide what to get rid of and plan to have a huge yard sale. The house in Pang is substantially smaller than the one we have here so it's a good reason to purge. Most of it is stuff we never should have moved up here in the first place.

So I guess another Cape Dorset blogger bites the dust. Babies and Bulldogs will live on from my new location so I hope you'll stick around as we continue our northern adventure I'll keep you posted on the details as we get closer to moving day.

Quick Stats:
Name: Pangnirtung (pronounced by most- Pan-ger-tung)
Population: approx 1300 (stat is from 2003 so I'm not sure how accurate it still is)
Location: The east side of Baffin Island just under the Arctic circle (Approx 50km's I think. someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that)
Policing: 3 man detachment. Pretty much just as busy as Cape Dorset.
Exciting stuff: They have a Pizza Hut and a KFC in the Quick Stop!









Cheese please






O is going through another eating, or should I say not eating faze. It seems the only thing he'll ingest is Kraft Dinner and cheese sandwiches. I'll be awfully happy when he gets over this one. Every meal I make him something to try and we always end up with cheese sandwiches just so he get's something in his belly. The KD he only gets when I make it for myself. Which is only once in a blue moon MOM.... yeah right.



Sunday, January 17, 2010

Girls Nights





It's always surprising when you learn something profound about yourself, especially when it's something that is the polar opposite of what you believed even an hour before. That was how I felt when I found out that I'm an introvert. Really? I've always had lots of friends, I consider myself outgoing... how could this be? I never realised that being an introvert doesn't mean that you're shy, or that you're socially inept. An introvert is someone that is most energized when alone, someone who finds it exhausting to be with other people and needs lots of time to recharge afterwards. This describes me to a T. It takes alot for me to pull myself together for a night out or to get together with people, even when it's with people I really like and enjoy spending time with. And the idea of being social more than once or twice makes me feel like I've got way too much on my plate.

This long soul searching declaration does bring me to a point... One of the activities that I find easiest to gear up for is Girls Night. Everywhere I've lived in my adult life I've been lucky enough to meet a few ladies that I really enjoy spending time with and always have really good laughs. They are people I can be myself with and just shoot the shit. Last night was one of those nights. When we first moved here we had a really good group of girls that I loved to hang out with. Many of those girls have moved on from Cape Dorset over the last year and our group has got smaller and smaller. There is a new crop of ladies (Including Ashley from The Arctic Adventures of an American in Nunavut) who have set up shop here over the last few months and it's seems we're all a pretty good fit. Thanks very much Meaghan for having us over last night and welcome to all you new comers. I had a great time and I'm really looking forward to doing it again soon.










Saturday, January 16, 2010

My future home





I've been dreaming alot lately about moving back down south and buying a home of our own again. The house we're in is great, especially considering it's government housing but it's not the same as having one one I can renovate, revamp and redecorate. I watch alot of TLC shows like Moving Up and Property Ladder where I get so many ideas for what I can do. I'm itching to get out to Home Depot and create my dream home.

In my dreams I have a 2 story modern farm house style home with a gorgeous wrap around porch on the front. It has huge windows in every room so it's really bright and cheery and has 4 large, beautifully decorated bedrooms. The master is huge, with a sitting area and his and hers walk in closets. The ensuite of course has a jacuzzi tub and a large glass stand up shower with a dozen shower heads.

I dream of a large kitchen with a breakfast area, stainless steel appliances, an island with a butcher block and one of those cool ceiling racks that you hang pots and pans from. The kitchen opens up to a family room with a big tv and lots of room for toys. The laundry room is off the kitchen with a laundry shoot from the top floor. I've always wanted a laundry shoot.

For entertaining there is a spacious dining room with a heavy wood table set that seats at least 10. After dinner we move to an 'adult' living room that looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens with dark wood furniture and comfy overstuffed couches. And there isn't any clutter in there.... did I mention it's a dream?

In the basement is Nick's 'lair' with a beer fridge, a full bar and theatre style seating. I never have to watch a Jay's game or a see his Playstation again! Somewhere in the house I have an office/sewing room where I leave my sewing projects out till I can get back to them and know they won't be touched by little hands. It has a wall to wall  storage bins and drawers so I could store all my stuff and of course everything is labeled. Oh, I get excited just thinking about that.

And then there is the back yard. It's large and fenced in so Oliver and Tank can play without my worrying. There is one of those huge log play structure with swings and slides. We also have an outdoor living room set up on the deck with a fireplace and a hot tub. And it would of course be kept beautifully manicured by Hottie, the gardener. Oh and I should mention that Yummy, Hottie's twin brother comes twice a week to clean my amazing house.

So I don't ask for much do I? I know I'll never get that house but I do hope to have some of those things someday. I'll settle for the fenced in yard, even if it's small and the decent sized kitchen. But I won't be leaving the north for a long while so I have years yet to dream. And the more home decor shows I watch the more ideas I have and the more rooms I add. Maybe we'll win the lottery. And if not, maybe Hottie and Yummy will work for free.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

The polls are open, cast your vote.




You like me! You really like me!! Sorry, channeling my inner Sally Field. Just writing that made me feel annoying but the joy is real.

The nominations for the Nunies have been announced and Babies and Bulldogs has been nominated in both the Best Blog and Best New Blog categories. Wow! I'm thrilled and honored. Thanks very much to everyone who put me on their lists. I am however up against some really great competition and I hope you check them out. I follow them all and had actually nominated more than a few of them myslelf.

There is also the Best Post category. These posts were chosen by the authors themselves to reflect their best work. I entered my post about the whale that the community got back in September. Again, the other posts are great too so please check 'em out.

So, now it's time for blatant campaigning. I'D LOVE TO HAVE YOUR VOTE! You can do that HERE. Voting is open till next Thursday the 21st.

Monday, January 11, 2010

From 4 legs to 2



As of yesterday afternoon Oliver is no longer a quadruped.

He took his first steps a few days before Christmas. Then he would walk between Nick and I but not without real encouragement and prodding. Yesterday we were watching him in the living room and Nick said something to the effect of you should really just walk already! Well, strangely enough he did. I'm not kidding. O just looked at his dad almost to say, "fine, I will" and walked over to his activity table like it was nothing. If I hadn't seen it myself I wouldn't have believed it.

He's been walking all over the house since then and doing pretty well. He's still pretty wobbly and I'll say it's still not his primary mode of transportation but we're claiming that he's officially a walker. Here is a really short video for the family.

video



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oliver Proofing





What's that saying about necessity being the mother of invention? We have many, many of the usual baby proofing items around the house but because of the design of our kitchen, they just don't work. So, I go with what works even if it isn't pretty.


The bottom two are O approved.










Friday, January 8, 2010

Networked Blogs




Townie wrote the other day about his traffic and among other things, how many of his followers read on Facebook Notes. These views don't register with Statcounter so you never really have an accurate log of your numbers. A while ago I started using an app called Networked Blogs to display posts on my FB home page. When you post something, it shows the title and a 'teaser' along with a thumbnail of your blog page. When people click on it to read the full article, they are redirected to your blog rather than a notes page. That way it registers as a page load. 

Setting it up is easy. Once you go through the registration steps they give you some code that you need to add, just like you do for any other gadget for your blog. (There are detailed instructions for Blogger installs as well as other blog formats.) I will admit that for some reason the set up didn't work for me right away and I ended up having to email them. They asked for my blog address and within a few hours it was on there and has worked great ever since.

Once you're set up, the program will pull from your URL every so often and it shows up on your FB page. The number of times it pulls depends on how many followers you have although it does it at least once a day for everyone. If you prefer you can always go in and pull manually any time you want. 

So, if you want to know how much traffic you really get this could work for you. I'm glad I added it. My numbers went up substantially which I assume means I had those readers all along. Now I just know about them.





Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Uniquely Northern




Today at work I was hanging out in the office waiting for the flight to arrive. It was late and everyone was checked in so there was nothing to do but wait. At one point I had to get something from the front counter and saw that there was a group of women and kids sitting on the floor over by the baggage ramp . Upon closer inspection I realised they were gathered around a piece of cardboard eating 'country food' . For those who don't know, country food is... well, I couldn't say the exact definition. Food taken from the land? In this case it was raw caribou, fish and something else that they told me but I'd never heard of and now forget. It's unexpected experiences like this that make living here so interesting. I love getting glimpses of uniquely northern life when I least expect it. There's no Tim's in our airport so what else are going to do for lunch while you wait?

 
On a completely unrelated note... Today marks the first day of nominations for the Nunies: Nunavut blogging's answer to the People's Choice awards. The first two categories are 'Best Blog' and 'Best NEW blog' (hint hint). You are able to nominate one or up to five blogs in each category and the five that get the most votes will be finalists. There is also Best Post but the nominations for this one are made by the blog authors themselves. And you don't have to a northern resident to nominate, just someone who enjoys northern blogs. Click here if you want more info.

 So, if you feel my work is in the top five, feel free to nominate me. I hope that isn't too forward but hey, I noticed I'm not the only one mentioning it. :-)   Send a note to nunavutblogs AT yahoo DOT ca to have your say. Nominations end on Monday the 11th.





Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mom, baby and a tripod




O's first play in the snow. And he's wearing the new parka I made him.



Mom? What are you doing?? The 5 second timer wasn't quite long enough to get there.



I made it!





Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Years Eve




New Years Eve was pretty uneventful for us. Oliver was of course in bed so Nick and I sat home and watched some of season one of the X-files. At midnight I grabbed my tripod and headed out to watch the town come to life. I couldn't believe the number of vehicles that participated in the parade. I've seen a few here in the last 18 months and there has never been that many. Just an FYI for you southerners, a parade here doesn't have floats or anything, just lots of vehicles (mostly snow machines) following each other around town. 

They started down by the Co-op and headed out towards Valley. The parade is the bright line of light by the houses in the distance.



Then down the hill from the GN. The Hill of Doom as Ashley has named it.



And back from the airport turning the corner towards RC.



After I took that last one I had to run back over to the house to warm up. Note to self: Next time you go out to take photos in January, especially at night when it's -20, put on something more than pyjama pants and rubber boots with no socks. Even though I had my Canada Goose on I was FREEZING! I put on my long johns (Helly Hensen rocks) and headed back out just in time to see the machines head onto the ice.



After the wide arc they did lots of twist and turns then all lined up. They shot off 2 fireworks and I was lucky to get shots of both.



Truth be told, I think they were flares.




Happy New Year!


PS: I just switched to the new version of Blogger. Love the extra large pics!



PPS: I just realised the extra large pics cut off one side. Oh well, back to just large.

Photo credit




Just want to give credit to Jen for her part in this new header. She was the one who took the picture of Tank while we were out for a walk last spring. For that matter, she also built the inukshuk.

I wanted to get a picture of O and Tank together of course but that isn't always easy. Instead I gave up and enjoyed Oliver's first play in the snow. 

I planned to post some great pics I took last night but I ran out of time and have to head to bed. I'll have to do it tomorrow instead. Stay tuned!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!




I've seen a few posts saying goodbye to 2009 so I thought I'd go another way and welcome the new year instead. 2010 will bring some changes for my family as we are up for a transfer. We don't know when and we haven't confirmed where because nothing is for sure in the RCMP world till you have the paperwork in hand. Until we do, I'll refrain from talking to much about that. The only thing written in stone is that we're staying in Nunavut.

I don't make resolutions because I think I'm just setting myself up to fail. Instead I'll use 'The Secret' way of doing things and I'll just put my hopes out there in the universe so maybe they'll come true. I hope some new and interesting people come into our lives. I'd like
to try and live my life a little healthier. Nick and I are both hoping that 2010 brings another member to our family. And finally, I want to learn something new. I'm not sure what yet but I'm looking for something fun to try. I like the look of skijoring thanks to Cindy but don't think Tank would be up for it.

Most of all, I hope that this new year will be even better than the last. I wish that for all of you too. Happy New Year everyone!