Bitter Divorce and Remembering What Was

I’ve never been divorced.  My parents were happily married, until death did they part.  My in-laws are still married.  I’ve never had any direct experience with a bitter divorce.  I’ve only seen it from the outside as I watch former classmates decide that it’s time to part ways after fifteen or more years.

Sometimes, I see that my friends have had what’s far from a bitter divorce.  Some have joked that their divorces have been better than their marriages.  But others?  I look at them and wonder if they remember what was.

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Eudora’s First Jello – Wordless Wednesday

Everyone loves Jello, right?  Here’s Eudora’s first time having the fruit flavored concoction.

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jello-2

Train Track Tuesday

Train Track Tuesday (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

This week’s train track was fun to build!  Norton and Eudora both had a lot of fun playing with it.

Elements used include: Chuggington Wooden Railway Double-Decker Roundhouse, Chuggington Wooden Railway Koko & Hodge’s Clock Tower Set, Imaginarium Wooden Switching and Crossing Track Pack, Thomas And Friends Wooden Railway – Water Tower Figure 8 Set

Comedy of Errors Makes an Angry Mother

There are some things in the world that can make me an angry mother.  I readily admit that I have a bit of a temper, and things can bother me.  However, one area that seldom brings out the angry mother within is retail staff.

You see, I worked in a grocery store through high school and college.  I know that customers can suck.  As such, I usually cut retail and wait staff a lot of slack.  Usually.  Today, it was a cashier that brought out the angry mother. [Read more…]

Train Track Tuesday #7

train-track-tuesday-7This train layout is what happens when the husband and I build together.  I like big, sprawling layouts.  He favors, small, tight, complex layouts with a lot of symmetry.  (Or: I like my layouts to be like Sodor and he likes them to be like Vancouver’s industrial district.)

Elements used: Chuggington Wooden Railway Double Decker Roundhouse, Toby the Tram Engine, James with tender, Old Puffer Pete, Koko

Beautiful British Columbia – Wordful Wednesday

Last weekend, we went to a family reunion in Clearwater, BC.  Clearwater is a small town: it’s so small that it’s not even a town, but a “district municipality” about an hour and a half outside of Kamloops.  What Clearwater lacks in size, it makes up for with beauty.  It’s close to Wells Grey Provincial Park, which is just…  Oh, wow.  There are some places that show why our license plates say “Beautiful British Columbia” on them.  Wells Grey Provincial Park is one of them.

When it was determined that our reunion was going to be in Clearwater, the first thing I did was look to see where it was.  It was a six hour trip, which didn’t thrill me.  The next thing I did was start looking for suitable accomodations.  Then I started poking around to see what was in the area.  (My mother-in-law’s side of the family is filled with golfers.  I do not play golf.  Ever.  So when the family is doing their golf game, the husband and I try to find something else to be doing.)  Whenever we go to a reunion that requires a trip, I try to find something that takes advantage of the scenery of Beautiful British Columbia.  My husband is not exactly an avid outdoorsman, and the only shot I have of getting him to do something with me is if it’s something we won’t see at home.

I found out about Helmcken Falls.  It’s the fourth highest falls in Canada, and it’s located in Wells Grey Park.  Now that’s the kind of thing that defines Beautiful British Columbia.  Since we were expecting a hike (and I wasn’t particularly interested in babywearing in that heat), we left the kids with the in-laws.  (They had skipped golfing.)

The road was long and winding.  It was actually around 40 clicks (25 miles) to the trail for the falls, and we weren’t sure how much of a hike it would be.  Maybe a little over an hour if I’d read properly.  Along the way, we crossed several bridges over canyons and the river that winds through the park.  This spot was so lovely that several cars pulled over to the side to take pictures.

Beautiful British Columbia - Cloth Diaper Addicts

We stood around for a bit, feeling the mist of the water, listening to the roar of the rushing water, and just drinking in the beauty.  I was so happy that I told the husband that if he really wanted to, we could skip the falls.  I could be happy with this bit of beautiful British Columbia that he’d captured on his phone.

He said that we could press on.  We finally got to the trailhead for Helmcken Falls and found that it was actually not a trail so much as an “interpretive tour.”  (That’s what they call it when there are permanent signs giving information about the area.)  It turned out that we’d gone to the viewing area, and it was only a short walk to the viewpoint.

This panorama is what we saw:

helmcken-falls-1

Helmcken Falls was just beautiful.  The sound of the water roaring down the falls was best described as pure bliss.  Here’s a better shot of just the waterfall:

Helmcken Falls, Wells Grey Park, British Columbia

I could have stayed and basked in the scenery of Beautiful British Columbia forever.  If our reunion is in Clearwater again next year, I’d like to spend more time at Wells Grey and enjoy the hiking.  And I’ll bring my camera instead of relying on an iPhone.

Have you ever seen any natural beauty that just overwhelmed you?

A Day with Thomas – Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum (Not So Wordless Wednesday)

Here in Prince George, we’re pretty lucky.  Sure, the shopping is rotten, but it’s an outdoor wonderland of things to do.  One of the cool things that we don’t do often enough with Norton is take a trip to the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum.  When I found out that the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum was having A Day with Thomas, I decided that we had to take Norton.  Besides, he just plain loves trains anyway (as demonstrated by our Train Track Tuesday posts).

The husband and I weren’t sure what to expect with A Day with Thomas.  The Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum has a ton of old trains from various periods in railway history.  Considering that Prince George is a railroad and forestry town, there’s a lot of history for us to appreciate.  Some of the trains are from around the same period as the Really Useful Engines of Sodor.  We found a variety of cuteness.  The trains (and farming and forestry equipment) were labeled and had “faces” put on them.

A Day with Thomas - Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum (Not So Wordless Wednesday) - Cloth Diaper Addicts #WordlessWednesday #Thomas

Norton is saying hello to Thomas and Annie while a very large and useful truck looks on.

While there were some smaller models of Thomas floating around, I think Norton was pretty impressed by the very large Thomas.  (And the husband was also impressed by what they managed to do with a tarp and some red duct tape.)

A Day with Thomas - Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum (Not So Wordless Wednesday) - Cloth Diaper Addicts #WordlessWednesday #Thomas

Not only is Thomas (now retired and) happy in this picture, but he’s still a Really Useful Engine! Norton was impressed by that big and happy face!

We also saw some other characters from Thomas and Friends.  A pair of antique passenger cars were named Annie and Clarabel.  Eudora and I sat down in the dusty and worn leather and tweed seats of Clarabel’s passenger compartment.

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Eudora wasn’t too sure about this whole sitting thing. She really wanted to run up and down Clarabel’s narrow passenger aisle in the middle of the car!

By the end of our tour of the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum, Norton was getting pretty uncooperative.  He was enjoying running in and out of the various cars, in spite of the heat.  He was getting tired and uncooperative.  I also knew that he would really enjoy taking a ride on the mini train through the museum.  I tried to tempt Norton with taking a ride, and he was interested.  He decided that he just knew where we would board the train and decided to lead the way… in the total wrong direction.  When I finally caught up with him, I ended up having to throw a kicking and screaming three year old over my shoulder.  He was crying “Ride train!” over and over again… and continued screaming right up until we sat down on the little train.  Then, of course, he understood what I was trying to do (which was, of course, exactly what he wanted to do in the first place) and was all smiles.  He was delighted when the little train made its way over bridges and through tunnels.  He was just amazed by the vintage firetrucks that were housed at the back of the property.

Yay, train!

Yay, train!

The only downside to the train ride was that Norton had such a good time that he didn’t want to get off.  He was slightly mollified when the conductor let him honk the train horn.  Still, though, like many other parents before us, when it was time to leave, Norton was kicking and screaming.  A bit of ice cream took care of that and made his day.  All in all, it was a worthwhile trip.

What kinds of museums does your family like to visit?

Train Track Tuesday #5

train-track-tuesday

Today’s Train Track Tuesday needed to be photographed from standing on top of Norton’s bed.  It was the only way to get it all in one frame. 🙂  This track lasted a few days.  On more than one occasion, Norton stayed up past his bedtime and played trains quietly in his room.

We’re okay with that. 🙂

Thoughts for Christmas – iPad Mini or iPad 4?

iPad mini

Will the iPad Mini be under your Christmas tree this year?

We love our Apple technology in this house.  While I’m not running on a Mac right now (but that’s definitely my laptop dream and something to consider for my next laptop), we’ve got more than our fair share of Apple devices in our household.  We’ve had every single gen of the iPod touch.  (My husband’s first gen was stolen along with our passports a few years ago.  Norton slobbered into the port on my 2nd gen touch.  Norton is using my husband’s old 3rd gen after our 911 incident and my husband has a new 4th gen.)  And my husband loves his second gen iPad.

When rumors of the iPad Mini started floating around, I was intrigued.  I really, really liked the idea of a smaller, cheaper iPad.  It’s something that would be useful for me for blogging, cooking, and basically an in-bed internet source.  It’s something that would be useful for Norton because Apple is amazing for educational toddler apps.  Plus, there’s that lower price point.

Then there was the launch.  It was definitely more than I’d hoped that it would be.  Honestly, the price point difference between the iPad Mini and the iPad 4 (okay, with Retina Display) isn’t that significant when you’re talking about the amount that you’d be spending.  The iPad Mini is essentially an iPad 2 in a smaller case with some iPad 4 bells and whistles.

In spite of that, though, I was leaning towards getting the Mini.  I figured that since it’s something that I’d be sharing with my two year old, it really didn’t need to be the latest and greatest Apple device.  I would really use it mainly as an eReader.  (I have a Kobo and love it for reading books from the Kobo site, but it sucks for .pdf files.)  So, with that in mind, the Mini just made the most sense.

At least, I thought it did.  My husband, however, has a different idea in mind.  He’s leaning towards buying the iPad 4 so that he can have the upgraded version and pass his iPad 2 on to Norton and me.

What will we actually do?  I’m not sure yet.  I guess I’ll find out when I find a box under the tree.

Are you thinking of getting a new iPad?  Will you get the iPad Mini or the iPad 4?

Organized Mom Getting Back on the FlyLady Bandwagon

Sink Reflections by FlyLady Marla Cilley

I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been a fairly organized mom.  The catch is, I’m at my organized mom best when I’m FLYing (or using the FlyLady system).  I haven’t been FLYing in some time.  I’ve made token efforts here and there, but I didn’t make the changes to reduce my load so that I have time to actually do things.  I’ve said I’m going to start FLYing again, but I’ve never done more than shine my sink.

My taking a hiatus from other projects happened to coincide with spotting a FlyLady “back on the bandwagon” email.  It was what I needed.  And the timing was awesome. [Read more…]