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Tomorrow is the last day of my sister's visit. It's been a bitter-sweet week for us here. Have done fun things with my sister, but Jason and I are also going through some sucky personal stuff right now that is dampening the mood. (in case anyone is wondering it's stuff happening *to us* not bad juju between us, and no, I'm not up to talking about it yet and might not ever be)

I feel a bit guilty about not posting at all here about G's birthday. We hung around the house most of the day. Took her to a splash pad when she woke up from her afternoon nap (and had it all to ourselves because it was dinner-time, which was awesome).
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Had take-out Chinese for dinner, which she seemed to enjoy. Presents and Cake happened after dark and baby went to bed very late after staying up playing with new toys for hours.
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Other things we have done during sister-visit this week...
Monday - stand up paddling at the Quarries - yay for free fun in Austin
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Gotta love the yellow bubble-butt flotation device I wound up with, but again, it was free so no complaints.
Wednesday - Lauren came with me to derby practice
Thursday - long bike ride on trails in the next subdivision
Today - tax-free shopping weekend (it's a state back-to-school thing) at the outlet mall so no tax on shoes, clothes or school bags (I got a lunch bag for baby snacks). Was surprisingly well-behaved and did not over-spend.

Not sure what we will get up to tomorrow, her last day here. I do know that I will miss her when she leaves as always. Options for the day include bat fest, taking Georgia to her first movie (which might end in someone hanging out with G in the lobby while the other two watch the movie), returning to the splash pad or coming up with something entirely different.

Better get to sleep if I plan to be awake for any of tomorrow.
norsegirl: (Default)
I'm sitting on the couch with Georgia when she lets out this tremendous raspberry of a fart. It sounded unusually loud, so I ran my fingers over her gowned bottom to see what was up. Imagine my surprise to learn that she wasn't wearing a diaper. It was down around her ankles somewhere. Not sure if Jason didn't do up the fastenings right or if she has now learned how to squirm out of it. Wonderful. *sigh*

Here's a strange tale from twilight-zone coincidence-land. My Nana has a sister who lives in Australia with her family. I had intended to maybe visit them when I was living there but never got around to it. Not sure if it was because I didn't have the time, travel budget or their contact info. Knowing my family it was probably the latter. Nana called her up to wish her a happy new year and catch up on the last year. As it turns out, they both became great grandparents this year, Nana in August (of course) and her sister in September. But here's where it gets odd... they named their daughter Georgina, after a dead grandfather. *creepy* Maybe well go visit them when Jason has his sabbatical.
norsegirl: (Default)
Happy New Year everyone!

My family just left an hour ago and things are slowly and quietly returning to normal. The house looks no better or worse than when they arrived, just some extra sheets and towels to wash and otherwise you'd never know anyone had been here. My parents are planning on coming back in the spring, my sister is undecided for what to do over her break if she gets one, and we're going to be heading back to Ontario in July (just to give everyone the heads-up).

As always, their visit was action-packed. Within hours of them walking in the door I was off to Ikea to get Lauren's bed. We now have two guest rooms furnished enough to be useful. Lauren's could still use some de-cluttering and decorating, but it serves its purpose right now, however unattractively. We went out shopping to both the indoor mall and the outlet mall. We took a day-trip to San Antonio to see the River Walk lit up with Christmas lights where we ate at a terrible restaurant that lured us in by having a snow man made out of margarita machine "snow" outside. Kinda cool that Georgia got to see a snowman at her first Christmas despite living in Texas. Super cool that I didn't have to do it myself to make that happen. Despite the poor meal, the lights were beautiful and completely made the trip worthwhile. My mother of course complained about how cold it was, despite the fact that it was well above freezing. It's just not holiday lights with my mother without a complaint about the cold - lol. I also saw the most breathtaking chandelier made entirely out of artisanal glass. I wish I'd had my camera, but then again it was nice to not have to carry it. We did part of the day with Georgia in her stroller and then she got to ride facing out on the Moby for the evening and that seemed to please her greatly. The first week my father took Lauren to a college basketball game (UT vs Michigan) and the second week everyone but Jason got to see them rout some team from a school none of us had heard of. It was a fun night, but in future I must remember that an entire bag of cotton candy is not a meal substitute (sooo nauseous after that). That was the first night Georgia made her thoughts on the bottle known, so Jason had a miserable evening on his own. More on that later.

My parents also did a bunch of day-trips off to state parks and other local attractions that I was just too tired to tag along for. While they were out we amused ourselves around the house. Lauren played her way through Brutal Legend. Lauren and I also made a gingerbread house (assembled a pre-made kit that I picked up cheap on boxing day) and I managed to knit myself a pair of mittens and string a black pearl necklace for Nana while they were here. I promised I'd make her one for Christmas back before Georgia was born, so of course I was finishing it up this morning as my parents were packing the car. As the old Douglas Adams quotation goes: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Right now I've got a holiday hat on the needles as I'd still like to have one for myself to match the little one I made for Georgia. It sure won't get done in time for this holiday season, but I'll have it for next year. It's not like my head is still growing so there's no rush. I wonder if Georgia's will still fit next year? I have no real concept for how quickly they grow at this stage, but the hat is a bit large on her and it does have a fair bit of stretch. We'll just have to wait and see I guess. I've definitely decided bamboo are the needles of choice for me, and though I won't get rid of any of the metal or acrylic ones I picked up (you never know) from now on I think I'll always be buying bamboo. Why do I always like the most expensive tools?

During the visit we all had a go at Mario Cart for the Wii, everyone but Lauren and Jason sucked completely, and even they didn't do well consistently. Ravin Rabids made a brief appearance as did Boom Blox and some game about a blob that Lauren brought down. The Wii really is a good party system. Rock Band was well-represented, especially on Christmas Day as Lauren and Kristie gave Jason some X-Box points to spend. Last night there was a session of Scattergories, but other than that the board and card games didn't get out. Funny enough, everyone was too tired from the day's activities to stay awake for board games.

Last night we finished off the visit with a dinner composed entirely of appetizers, which is always fun. We played Scattergories while Lauren and I made regular trips out to the garage to experiment with the glass fusing microwave kiln thing I bought myself. We rung in the New Year on EST so Georgia and my parents could stay up for it, then Jason and Lauren and I celebrated up to the local New Year by ourselves. The major networks cut-off the ball-drop show around 11pm EST and delayed it an hour, but CNN carries it live, so I might use that trick in future with small children so they don't actually have to stay up until midnight. Georgia liked the singing from the TV and how everyone was all smiley and excited at New Year's and grinned and cooed her way into the new year. Total party girl.

Georgia has started developing some opinions. She's a definite party girl, thriving when there are a lot of people around to babble to. In the last few days she has decided that the bottle is an inadequate way to be fed and refuses to suck on it. Twice this week I left her with Jason as I went out for 4-6 hours and both times she chose to be hungry rather than accept even a drop from the bottle. I'm glad that I didn't buy an expensive pump and that I don't intend to try to go back to work. However, this pretty much puts the final nails in the coffin of the idea that we might ever go out for an evening alone. *shrug* it's not like there are any movies out that I'm dying to see anyway.

She's also developed some opinions on her favorite toys. The pacifier is still #1 if that counts as a toy. My sister bought her an Eeyore that she absolutely adores (the ears are great to suck on) and she seems to like the sound of the word "Eeyore" too. The hat I knit her seems to be a close second on the plush toys list, it's very nom nom. If neither Eeyore or hat are available it seems that the Ikea mice are acceptable. The various rattles are seeing some small amount of play time, and she's getting good at grasping them with both hands and passing them from hand to hand. We got her "lots of links" for Christmas and those are okay. Baby gym is still a hit and the baby gym that goes over her swing is a definite success. She's taken a real shine to the TV showing a strong preference for anything with music. So You Think You Can Dance was an early favourite and certain Disney movies are playing to high reviews as well. Little Mermaid was excellent and Enchanted was also good. The Pixar films lack music and she doesn't seem very interested in them as a result, despite the bold shapes and bright colours.

Also, in an update of sorts from the last e-mail... my mother did not in fact have my keys. I found them in the pocket of a pair of pants I wore to take Georgia on a walk a few weeks ago. I gave her an apology and the extra set of keys I had cut, so this time she really does have a set and I still have another for non-family guests.

Not sure what the plan is for today. Started writing this at 9:30 and 5 hours have slipped by without me accomplishing anything other than lunch.
norsegirl: (Default)
My Mum was very sad to leave this morning. I thought the fact that the weather has taken a turn for the worse would make it easier, but she disagreed saying driving in rain is crappy. I kind of like driving in a light rain, it's less hot in the car without the sun beating in on you. When they left it was just a drizzle. It is now a total downpour. It's actually raining so hard that my neighbour's houses are just blurry blobs through my sodden windows.

I was kept extremely busy throughout my parents' visit. Probably I'll run off and have a nap as soon as I finish this entry. Just wanted to write about some of the things we did before I forgot.

Busy week behind the cut )

This afternoon I may tackle the downstairs curtains. The ones for the family room are pre-fab, but need to be shortened to the right length. For the dining room I'm making my own, but I've got the fabric all pre-washed, so that shouldn't take a long time. The place is starting to look like we've moved in, but there's still lots around here to keep me busy.

On hold

Apr. 13th, 2009 12:40 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
I'm on hold with the IRS waiting for help. Have been on hold for about half an hour. My fault for leaving it until the last minute. Though that said, ultimately it is Jason's fault for failing to provide me with any of the information I needed. For next year I've told him he needs to print it as he receives it and file it in the "tax" folder (which I do for all my stuff), rather than leaving in his e-mail inbox of enormousness and hoping that he can remember to look for it months later without me asking specific, probing questions. I swear, for every document I've gotten from him I've had to ask 5 times over several weeks before suddenly his memory jogs. I figure it would be easier for him to just hit "print" and not even read it and let me figure out what to do with it and if it's even needed at the end. Despite my instructions (and pleading) I suspect we'll be at the exact same spot next year. This shit is so much easier when I'm the "gatekeeper" for the information. He's like having a disorganized client back in my accounting days. I know his type. Frankly, it's most clients. If I ask for the same stuff every year... how is it that every year you fail to anticipate this request?

In other news, the baby is moving ALL THE TIME. It feels a little like the tightening I get in my stomach when my car spins out or fishtails. Yes, I used to own a big, old, boat of a car, so I am VERY familiar with that feeling. While I am familiar and accustomed to the feeling, I generally didn't try to sleep or eat while it was happening, and I'm finding the kicks and bumps during meals and bedtime to be rather disturbing.

My parents arrived late Saturday night and I had the house mostly put together by the time they got here. Enough that most rooms were presentable at least. Still not done any curtains for my room or theirs, and my room is still a messy disaster, but all the main floor (not counting the craft room which no one goes into but me) looked presentable. Upstairs the guest bedroom and bathroom were immaculate, so even if the rest was a disaster that's all that counts.

Okay, after an hour of hold time and an hour and a half of research on the phone with the IRS guy I've come to the conclusion that I know more about their tax laws than they do, at least on the subject of resident and non-resident status. I then went away and crunched numbers for a few hours to determine the best way to handle this. Now I just have to go and get my passport notarized and get Jason to sign the return and it's all ready to go - at last! Then on to the Canadian one - weee! Won't even start on that until my parents leave. Felt kind of guilty today that they had to amuse themselves all day while I did paperwork.

Time to have a shower so at least I'm dressed and ready to prepare dinner.
norsegirl: (Default)
We didn't actually do a whole lot. She threw out her back for a few days and I was exhausted all the time. Isn't being pregnant fun? There were a few notable days/evenings though.

She arrived late Saturday night, we didn't do a whole lot that night because it was late.

Sunday morning we took the doggies off to the kennel and headed to San Antonio. We got on the road late and stopped at the massive outlet mall in San Marcos and then got tangled up in this massive highway closure traffic-jam, so by the time we got to San Antonio most of the attractions were almost closing. We did get to see the Alamo on the anniversary of the battle there (no we didn't plan it that way). The grounds were beautiful, the weather was perfect and the site was cool. We then did the river walk and had ate at a fabulous Mexican restaurant on the river for dinner.

Later in the week we picked up a fire pit from Wal-Mart and had a cookout on the back patio. That was really fun and something I haven't been able to do for ages. After we put the fire out we played Rock Band and board games, so that was about the perfect evening.

Other than that we spent a few afternoons doing beads, went shopping once and took the hounds to the dog park. Not the most eventful or action-packed trip ever, but nice, relaxing, and I really enjoyed having company.

The next guests on the schedule are my parents at Easter, so back to cleaning and being bored until then.
norsegirl: (Default)
Put Lauren on the plane to go home this morning and cried my way out of the airport again. I'm such a sap. It was another good visit and we did some really different stuff this time.

The first week we mostly hung around, played board games and lots of Rock Band (X-Box) and Boom Blox (Wii). We also went to a concert/tailgate party and football game the first week she was here which was a lot of fun. The Esks won in a very exciting last 5 minutes of play, or so I was told, we left early to avoid the traffic. As it was City Employee appreciation night we were able to find out how much longer it would have taken if we'd stayed to the end. We were home by 11:30, the others made it home by 12:30 or 1:00. I'm thinking leaving five minutes before the end was certainly worth avoiding the frustration of an hour trying to get out of there.

Jason and Lauren came downtown once for Indian buffet and we had bubble tea a few times. Also ate Vietnamese food once. Last night we hit Red Lobster, so it's been a pretty decadent week. Must put myself back on some kind of diet now that she's gone. Time to go back to reality and get out of vacation mode.

Speaking of vacation, I did manage to take a few days off while Lauren was here between my old job and my new one. We decided to spend it seeing the Stampede and camping in Banff. We managed to leave so late that we completely missed the rodeo, which I had bought tickets to so that kinda sucked, but it's in the past. The band we were there to see that night (Finger Eleven) wasn't great. The venue was terrible so the acoustics were bad, we could hardly see and there were a lot of smokers. We gave up on the concert after about 5 songs. We did get to see a cutting horse competition, which was cool,
and we wandered through the agricultural arena and petted lots of critters. Also ate some junk food but avoided waiting in line for any of the rides as it just didn't seem worth it. Report on the food: corn dogs were good, the elephant ears were pretty bad (not stretched thin enough), the jello shooters were fun, and I like blue candy apples best. All in all, Stampede was okay I guess, but it kinda struck me as just another county fair. Maybe I'd feel differently if we'd actually made it to the rodeo.

The next day we met up with an old childhood friend, Janine, and "floated". We bought a bunch of booze, dragged a few rafts out to the Elbow river and floated down the river under the sun and a perfect breeze with all the people in one boat and all the booze in a cooler in another boat tied to the first. We managed to capsize the people boat, but the booze had a safe trip the whole way. It was a lot of fun and I think I'll have to go back to Calgary for another float in a few weeks.

After dinner we left for Banff, arriving at midnight. We set up camp for the first night at Two Jack Lake's Main campground. Most of the sites were empty as it was cool and rainy and the middle of the week. Lauren slept in the car as we intended to move sites in the morning. I made crepes in a wonderful dining shelter and then we packed camp and headed for Two Jack Lake's lakeside camping. We ended up in space 32, which the girl at the entrance had nicknamed the "honeymoon suite". It was right by the lake and the most isolated from the other sites. Though all the other sites were in view, they were not surrounding us, so that was rather nice. It was however cold and rainy all day.

We went in to town, saw the Banff Springs hotel, shopped, visited the hot springs and had my cell phone either stolen or lost, which sucked. I did buy a nice pair of shoes though. We spent our evening huddled by a fire in a dining shelter eating pizza sandwiches.

Banff day two was crepes for breakfast again and then an exciting caving adventure. We crawled through tiny spaces, rappelled, slid head first down the "laundry chute" and saw cave rats at the Ratsnest Cave. We didn't take any pictures as I was too afraid to mess up the camera while climbing.

Day three was mostly spent hanging around the lake in a hammock and trying to start a fire that just refused to stay lit (the wood was damp inside but dry on the surface). That evening we headed back into Banff to search for my lost phone, to no avail, and then enjoyed a wonderful meal at Grizzly House. Grizzly House is a fondue restaurant with a pretty hefty price tag, so we came kinda dressed up (as dressy as you can get when you get dressed at a camp site). I was rather surprised both by the tacky decor and the large number of families with children, but the food certainly made it worthwhile. Very yum and I'd highly recommend it as a memorable and interesting restaurant, but I don't think I'd go there on a regular basis even if I lived in the area. We spent the evening playing card games in the dining shelter by a warm fire which was pretty nice.

The next morning we packed up and were out of the park at a reasonable hour, but we dawdled through breakfast and didn't make it to Calgary until 1:30 or so. We got to spend a few hours with Janine and Carol (her mum who was visiting and who is my mum's best friend) walking around the more charming areas of Calgary's downtown and then headed back to Edmonton
around 4:20. We were delayed in Red Deer by both weather and a detour (accident maybe?). And picked up our doggies pretty late.

Monday morning was my first day at the new job, and of course I forgot to set my alarm and slept in. I still made it in only half an hour late, but I really wanted to be on time. Ah well, this is also in the past now. I was on time today. Day one in the new job was a bit of a blur, mostly spent meeting people (and immediately forgetting their names) and playing with Visio. Today looks like it will be more of the same. Interestingly, because he was unable to meet my salary demand, my new boss came up with the brilliant compromise of making me perm-term, so I get three weeks of vacation and after three months I also get benefits! That's great news for me and I think I'll stop the job search for a few months unless something really sensational comes up.

Big shake-ups at the old office in the week I was gone too. One of the interns left for greener pastures (I think they were only there a month or two) and Candice is on leave because her Uncle passed away, so poor Una is utterly swamped. I wish the timing of my departure had been a little better. I haven't heard from the girl in my old, old job yet to know if evil-harpy-boss granted her permanent status or is holding her in probation. I think her three months was up yesterday so it may take a few more weeks for that to shake down.

In other employment news, Jason got the interview in Austin and they have graciously agreed to buy a plane ticket and fly me out too! Poor doggies have to go back to the kennel for a few days, but I get a mini-break on someone else's dime! Woot! I'm really, really excited about the opportunity of trying out a new city with a warmer climate and maybe owning a house so I hope they make an offer good enough to allow us to move down there.

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norsegirl

September 2010

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