movie night

Elliot and I just had our first official movie night. Greg was supposed to join us as well, but he had a last minute trip to the mainland.

After bath we got into our pajamas, made popcorn and settled in. We watched Bob the Builder – Born to be Wild. It was good, but I look forward to graduating to some Pixar movies. They are too long still for Elliot, and he scares VERY easily, so we’ll wait a while yet.

We plan to make this a fairly regular thing in our household.

killing two birds with one stone

I gotta write this letter, and I gotta do a blog post. So here you go. And yes, I will actually be mailing this letter. Although not sure it’ll go out exactly as is…just wanted to get a rough draft done.

To The People Responsible For Making Customers Happy At Yakima:

My husband and I bought a Yakima SkyBox in June of 2006. We paid over $700 for it, which was a lot more than we would have paid if we went to a warehouse store and bought one of their no-name brands, but we were willing to pay for a quality product. In addition, the lifetime warranty was very important to us.

We have only used the SkyBox about ten times over the past three years, as we don’t often need the extra storage. When we went to use it this past summer, my husband noticed a crack in the underside of it as he was putting it on our car. Upon further investigation, we found that the crack ran down the entire belly of the pod. Which obviously affects the integrity of the pod and it’s ability to keep things dry.

Knowing the pod has a lifetime warranty, we took it to the dealer we bought it from, an authorized Yakima dealer, and they contacted their Yakima distributor. They were told that the crack was not a defect, but that the pod must have been dropped. They refused to honour the warranty.

We have not dropped this pod. We have not dropped anything on it, and it has not fallen down. We are very disappointed with Yakima’s reaction, and unless this situation is rectified, we will not be buying Yakima products in the future. We have already had the need to purchase a bike rack, and given the customer service we’ve received so far from Yakima, we decided to get a Thule instead.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Customers Who Are Not Happy

second choice is just fine

When it came time for Amy to go to daycare and Elliot to switch daycares, there were two that I was hoping would have openings at the right time. Both were recommended to me by friends. One of them was at the top of my list for two reasons: location (close to my office) and they provided food (less work for us). We didn’t get into that one.

Turns out neither have been an issue. In fact, it’s been the opposite. Their daycare is less than 10 minutes from my office, and it’s on a beautiful piece of land, as opposed to next to a parking garage downtown. And I actually like making their lunches. I like having control over what they eat. And now that I’ve been doing it for a few months, I don’t really have to think about it anymore.

Not to mention that both kids are pretty darn happy there. I’m very thankful.

no service change

Yoga night tonight. My regular instructor wasn’t there and the instructor subbing for her was just okay. She talked a lot, and it was…different. Which I suppose shouldn’t be surprising since they are different people. But she lost me when she told us we should melt our shoulders like warm icing going down our backs.

However, it did get me to thinking of the other “service providers” in my life, and how few changes I’ve made. I’ve had the same hairdresser for almost twenty years. Same dentist for about the same time. And I’d still have the same dental hygienist, but she left the office so I got a new one. I’ve received about 150 massages over the past eight years and all but one of them have been from the same RMT. I had the same doctor for ten years and only switched because I got pregnant.

Is this normal? I suppose it probably is. Why switch when you’re happy with the service you are receiving?

how we saved our marriage

Greg and I menu plan. We started before we had kids, to prevent the conversations we’d have in the car on the way home from work, tired and hungry:

Greg: What’s for dinner tonight?
Me: I dunno, why is it up to me?

(To be fair, he often worded it differently, like “Any thoughts on dinner?”. But no matter how it was asked, it always got me riled up.)

For the longest time we just did it a week at a time. But last year I changed it to a two-week plan. Partly because I was sick of doing it every week and partly because we started ordering some of our food from spud and that required me to be a bit more organized.

So now, every second Monday or Tuesday night, we put together a two week menu plan. And we’re darn good at sticking to it. We do change the days up depending on what we forget to take out of the freezer, but for the most part we don’t change the meals. And it’s actually mostly me who does the planning. This is because I’m terrible at multi-tasking, and if Greg is doing it with me, he often suggests an idea while I’m in the middle of writing down ingredients for another meal. And then I lose my train of thought and end up forgetting to write some key ingredient down.

Our eventual plan is to get a bunch of the recipes we use often digitized so we can quickly search for ideas instead of flipping through recipe books for every meal. (I am very much a follow-the-recipe kind of cook.) That is still on our to-do list, though.

There are a couple of other advantages to doing the plan, aside from keeping our marriage intact. One is we do way fewer trips to the grocery store. And the other is we eat better. Before when we’d just go to the grocery store to grab something for dinner, it often was something unhealthy.

Some people have told me they couldn’t do a plan because they wouldn’t know what they felt like eating on a particular night. There is the odd time that I’ve felt that, but generally the meals on the plan are ones we really enjoy eating, and it hasn’t come up very often.

I have no suitable closing comment for this post so I’m just going to end it right there.

carry me

Today after Amy’s nap we decided to make a family trip down to the library to get some books out for the kids (and their dad). Elliot initially said he wanted to come, but as we were getting ready he changed his mind. I didn’t feel like staying home, so I convinced him to come. I told him we wouldn’t be long, and that I’d carry him for a bit if he was tired. There were some minor tears, but he came somewhat willingly. He waited on the front steps for me while I finished getting ready, and as soon as I was out the door he asked me to pick him up. I did, but I told him I couldn’t carry him the whole way. We literally had gone two steps when he said “down, down!”. And off he went. He pretty much ran the whole way to the library, and never once asked to be picked up.

This has been the trend lately, and it has made life a lot easier when we’re out. He was definitely a stroller/carry me kind of toddler, and he hadn’t grown out of that when Amy was born. We didn’t get a double stroller, so we’ve had many a battle over who should be going in the stroller. We were making headway before we went to New Zealand in February, but once there he seemed perpetually tired, and he got carried a lot. Throughout the summer there was still a lot of carrying happening. But over the last couple of months things have changed, and I love to see him skipping, splashing through puddles, and doing his funny runs.

But now I have to figure out how to get my arm workouts in. Although Amy’s over 27 pounds so that might do the trick.

if i stare at the screen long enough will an idea come to me?

I’m having a tough time coming up with ideas for posts…and we’re only half way there. When something of note happens throughout the day it makes it a lot easier. I guess that means I had a boring day? But I didn’t.

I slept in. Read some books with the kids. Had some breakfast. Went to a craft fair while the kids and Greg played at the park. Joined them in the park. Went grocery shopping with the whole family. Had a yummy lunch at home. Put a very tired girl down for her nap. Checked my email. Retrieved a still-very-tired girl from a 30-minute nap and convinced her to go to sleep again. Worked. Made dinner. Played with the kids. Ate dinner. Played with the kids. Put the kids to bed. Entered into a bad mood. Worked. Blogged (albeit pathetically).

That’s all you’re gonna get for today.

i bit my tongue

Amy does not like getting dressed in the morning. This past week I tried a new tactic. Twice she was VERY displeased with a shirt I was trying to put on her, so I suggested she go get another one from her drawer. She did this willingly, and getting the shirt of her choice on her was easier. I wouldn’t say it was straightforward, but at least she wasn’t screaming bloody murder and pulling it in every direction but on.

Before I go further, let me say that I enjoy getting both my kids dressed, or more accurately I enjoy the end result. They both have some really nice clothes, thanks to hand-me-downs from generous friends, and I will fully admit that it pleases me to see them looking nice.

This morning I picked out an outfit for Amy and put her shirt on. It was a bit of a fight, but we got it on. Then I stopped and gave her a break before tackling the pants. The shirt was a nice red long-sleeved onesie and the pants were jeans with some pretty red flowers embroidered on them.

I got sidetracked by some other getting-ready task, and it ended up being Greg who was in charge of pants. Amy put her foot down and refused to wear the jeans, and instead picked another pair of pants she’d been carrying around with her all morning. A pair of navy blue cotton ones with pink, turquoise and white dragonflies. Really cute pants that definitely DID not go with her red shirt. And I don’t fault Greg for the result…Amy can be pretty darn stubborn.

I knew that trying to get her into pants that matched was a stupid battle, and I didn’t fight it. But it did bother me. I am reasonable enough to tell myself that it shouldn’t, but it did. But I’m proud of the fact that she left the house dressed in what she wanted to wear.

And I’m even prouder of the fact that when I grabbed socks for her, I purposely picked socks that didn’t match her shirt or her pants.

losin’ my religion

The daycare that Elliot and Amy go to has a mission statement, and it says, in part, The mission of the Children’s Programs is to manifest the love of Jesus Christ by providing for each child’s spiritual development. There is more to it but it’s your standard childcare stuff — providing children with a safe environment, providing developmentally appropriate challenges, etc.

So yes…our children are going to a Christian-based daycare. Most, if not all, of the caregivers are Christian, and they say Grace before lunch and learn about God, Jesus and a lot of stuff that Greg and I are embarrassingly ignorant (and, let’s be honest here, skeptical) about .

A few days ago Elliot was telling me about how bones came from dust, and I’m pretty sure he was referring to God and his creation of Adam and Eve. And tonight at dinner, after he said Grace, he asked us if we knew that God lived in the sky. And then after dinner, he started singing a song that had “Jesus” and “king” as part of the lyrics.

Our kids are only going to be at this daycare until they are five, and I could just let this all roll off my back and smile and nod my head when Elliot (and soon Amy) come home with religious tidbits like these. But part of me wants to take this opportunity to teach them a bit about awareness and acceptance of different beliefs, while at the same time ensuring they don’t march into daycare one day and announce that God doesn’t exist.

I thought I’d look around for some children’s books about religion and see if there’s something out there that will help us figure out how to talk to our kids about religion. I’m sure there is, and it’s probably called “The Berenstain Bears Find Religion”. (Okay, I was joking, but I just did a quick google search, and apparently they have multiple books about religion.)

But I want to find something that talks about more than just Christianity. Because if I’m going to do this, it seems logical that I should include the other prevalent religions around the world. And it’ll be a learning experience for Greg and I as well.

short and sweet

Taking an idea from yesterday’s post, here are 10 things I no longer do. The actual blog post idea was 10 things I can no longer do, but I’ve altered it a bit to broaden the range. Because really, I could do one or two of them still. I just choose not to.

1. Have a nap every weekend.
2. Touch my toes.
3. Calculus.
4. Talk to my grandparents.
5. Eat Cheez Whiz.
6. Listen to The Q.
7. Hug the first and only puppy I raised as an adult.
8. A cartwheel.
9. Read trashy romance novels.
10. Sleep with socks on.