November 21, 2004
We took Oliver downtown to see the Santa Claus Parade this morning. Admittedly, we left a little late, but it was definitely a smart choice to take the SkyTrain. Oliver LOVED the train and I loved that it only took a few minutes each way. The stations accommodate strollers and wheelchairs, just not more than one or two at a time. The Burrard Station was very disappointing.
We rolled up a few blocks to try see some resemblance of a parade...nothing but bodies. We decided it wasn't worth hanging around for the crowd to leave so we booted it down to Waterfront to beat the crowds...very good move. We were told they were expecting 170,000 people just through the SkyTrain system alone. It seems that we would have had a better view of the parade from our sofa!
It was nice to be out in the crisp cool air...gave me a chance to bundle Oliver up in some snazzy Milk Factory products and his new space age snow boots that make him walk like a robot!
November 11, 2004
Too Much Fun
Today was a special day for the Circle of Friends. The group of five, now toddlers, met up at the Vancouver Aquarium, for an afternoon of fun. This was the first time in many, many months that the kids have all been together. One would think that at least one of the five Moms would have had a camera on hand!
There was an extended visit at the shark tank, a hunt for the notorious Nemo, Beluga watching, making of "jellyfish" (paper plates, pipe cleaners and shredded paper - again, no camera), an obnoxious barking walrus, Beluga watching, spilled macaroni and veggie burgers, and of course, Goldfish snacks at, where else, the Beluga pool. Not to mention that one of the staff feeding the Belugas took a very unexpected dip in the pool - again, no camera.
Much fun was had by all...so much so, that one little boy didn't make it out of the parking lot before nodding off to sleep.
November 07, 2004
Here's a great place to bring a toddler on a rainy day: http://www.lonsdalequay.com/
Wide aisles, lots of tables, food galore, a ball room (for kids ages 3+), an outdoor fountain with a view of the city...and FREE parking on the weekend (in the ICBC parkade). Can't get much better than that!
October 25, 2004
Canada Child Tax Benefit
It's been a little crazy here at the Milk Factory. What's going on besides the launch of our business?
For starters, Penny is pregnant. Number #2 will be coming along just after Oliver turns two. Yes, she has quite a bit on her plate these days.
Go-Daddy-O is overworked and sleep-deprived. Being the primary breadwinner and the primary caregiver is definitely taking its toll on him. Most days, he doesn't even have time to have his afternoon cup of tea and read the newspaper.
Being an even-tempered tea-drinking man, go-Daddy-O is not prone to raising a fuss over things, especially when it comes to money. However, something arrived in the mail today that filled him with outrage.
Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice
"When a child lives with a man and a woman who are spouses or comon-law partners, legislation deems the woman to be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child."
Go-Daddy-O had applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit a few weeks ago, and he received a rejection letter. Admittedly, I'm the one who is primarly responsible for giving the child her bath (go-Daddy-O has a bad back) and picking out the child's clothes (he can never figure out those little buttons), but since I currently have no income, I'm not the one who is paying the rent or buying the winter jacket and boots.
Somebody from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency did call earlier to say that our request for getting the Child Tax Benefit put in Go-Daddy-O's name would be rejected, but that she would manually override that rejection. So if we qualify for the tax benefit, a cheque will be made out to go-Daddy-O--eventually.
Still, doesn't it seem ridiculous that the Child Tax Benefit form has a spot for specifying the primary caregiver, but if you fill in the father's name, the tax benefit still automatically goes to the mother? Just my 2 cents...seeing as though that's all I have these days!
August 22, 2004
Rainy day blues? Kids driving you nuts, begging to go outside and play? Check out Go Bananas at Capilano Mall in North Vancouver.
Go Bananas Playcentres offer a fun, safe, and affordable indoor play facility for children 10 and under. The multi-level jungle playgrounds feature ropes, trolleys, cargo climbs and tube slides. There are 4 locations in the Lower Mainland (North Vancouver, 604-982-0576; Richmond, 604-204-0576; Surrey, 604-588-7529; Langley, 604-514-7529).
If you're really lucky, you'll get a 2 hour nap post-play!
August 02, 2004
Change is Good
It's funny how, when you make a big change in your life, it can take a little time for the reality of it all to set in.
Leaving home for the first time - ok, maybe a bad example, since it only took until the first meal I cooked for myself to remember that even Mr. Noodles aren't the same unless Mom made them.
The first real job interview, the one you got on your merit - it would be so much easier if someone would just hand over a job, ANY job.
Finding your one true love...the marriage proposal - it was so worth waiting for...pinch me!
Buying your first house - you ask yourself daily, "are we really negative half millionaires?"
And the whole pregnant-and-having-a-baby thing still has me baffled - and it's been 16 months since Oliver was born.
This latest change, quitting my job of 8 years, has me more than a little stunned. Given the passion that is driving our new venture, the amazing support we have from our husbands, family, friends and future customers, I know our business will do very well. And yet, I have this nagging feeling that I can't quite describe. I get this "fear of unknown" combined with an adrenaline rush feeling everytime I think about what tomorrow might bring. Hurry up, tomorrow, you can't come soon enough!
July 11, 2004
Have You Ever Wondered?
Why it is that the friendly neighborhood ice cream truck is a piece of crap driven by a grubby looking man in his late 50's?
How is it that an ice cream truck gets so beaten up? I have yet to see suspicious looking parents with rocks behind their backs....
June 28, 2004
Tonight we went to a pre-wedding party for a couple we've never met. That usually means that I won't know anyone else and will spend most of the evening wondering what time it is... So not a problem when you have a young child with you. Oliver was, once again, the hit of the party. Before I knew it, it was almost 10:00 and he was still going. Perhaps the 3 gingersnaps he ate had something to do with it...
It was the perfect night for a garden party. Not to mention that it was the perfect garden! I so wish it didn't take a green thumb to grow a beautiful garden. I can't keep anything alive in the house, nevermind outside. It was decorated with big, colorful paper lanterns of different shapes and sizes. The tables had layers of organza tablecloths to match and were covered with treats and snacks of the gourmet variety. I would just love to have a garden like this to entertain in!
They had a little jazz trio called "Catfish Willie" playing in one corner. Oliver couldn't get enough of the band. He watched every move they made, danced and clapped. Then he'd sign for more after each song was sung! The band got a kick out of it, especially when Oliver insisted on shaking hands with each one of them before we left.
These guys were great - I can't find much about them on the net, although I thought someone said they're playing at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. But, I can't seem to find them on the list. Has anyone else heard them play?
June 09, 2004
Mind Over Matter
I've been home sick for the last couple of days, and as well as getting some much needed sleep, I've been gaining some first-hand experience of Ella and go-Daddy-O's daily routine: playtime in bed, breakfast, Sesame Street, a walk to Granville Island, snacktime, naptime, and more playtime. They were supposed to go to the aquarium yesterday, but instead they stayed home with me.
I have to admit that I've had the best couple of sick days, ever. Unfortunately, seeing the way that the day normally unfolds makes it so hard to go back to work. And it really doesn't help matters when go-Daddy-O plops the grinning child into bed with me in the morning and says, with a completely straight face, "You look terrible, really. You should stay home with us."
June 04, 2004
Today there was a BBQ at Ella's new daycare center, so go-Daddy-O picked me up from work at 4:00, and we headed up to SFU. I was pretty excited--this was my very first visit to the center, and this was my first BBQ of the year.
The theme: Hawaiian. Sounds simple enough, but since my wardrobe consists mostly of jeans and t-shirts, I found myself seriously lacking in the appropriate attire. I went through my checklist: no floral shirts, and no grass skirts. And definitely no coconut bras. Luckily, after digging around in some boxes, I found a plastic lei. Perfect.
The food: potluck. Go-Daddy-O assembled a salad, and baked some brownies. While he was doing this, he mentioned that everyone else who had signed up for the BBQ was bringing a salad or dessert of some kind.
Hmmmm. An all-salad, all-dessert BBQ! This should have raised some red flags, but I figured that the daycare must be providing us with hotdogs or burgers to throw onto the grill.
Well, you can probably guess what happened next. We arrive at the daycare, and indeed, there was an assortment of mouth-watering morsels on the barbeque. Skewers of chicken, beef patties, Bavarian smokies...all heaped onto separate plates at a table near the back.
I approach the table. Now, while I am a carnivore, I can go without meat for long periods of time--no problem. But since we've never owned anything besides a George Foreman grill (one of the old ones that is a bitch to clean), and since most of our friends either live in apartments or are vegetarians, going to a BBQ and eating meat is a real treat.
As I reach out to take a chicken skewer, one of the parents turns her head and gives me one of those looks. You know the one--the "I've been slaving over these flames in order to feed my family and DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH MY MEAT" look. Uh-oh.
It turns out that this was a Bring-Your-Own-Meat BBQ, and somehow, somebody missed the memo. Of course, go-Daddy-O swears that there was no memo, and that nothing was written on the sign-up sheet. "I can't be expected to read between the lines," he says.