Sunday, April 26, 2009

To Omak & Back

This weekend we've been happy to have Amy and Curtis visiting from Edmonton. Yesterday after Greg and Curtis were done golfing we all packed into our minivan and headed Stateside to Omak, Washington for some Mexican food at Rancho Chico's. Our first obstacle came at the border. Curtis is flagged in the system because of an error occurring back in his student days in Iowa. So all 6 of us piled out of the van and waited inside customs while they sorted it out. Curtis had forgotten his passport at the hotel in Kelowna and only had his license and Alberta Health Care card for id. You are supposed to have 2 pieces of id, not including a health card but customs was very kind and let him through...this time.

We made it to Omak, and a little bit further as I drove right through town before Greg told me Omak was behind us and we were on the highway again. After turning around and making it to Ranch Chico's it was after 7pm and the kids and adults were very hungry.

When we were seated we were brought the complimentary nachos and immediately dove in. Poor Baron was very upset that he couldn't have any. This was Baron's first time going out for dinner. He hasn't even been to a fast food restaurant so the experience was very new and exciting for him.

We polished down 4, yes, 4 baskets of nachos and were working on 5 and 6 when our entrees finally came. We all finished our meals but were very full. No one was more full than Curtis who looked ill, but with a bit of encouragement was able to finish his 3 burritos, and some of Layla's quesidilla. He looked as if he didn't feel so well. He had turned red but said he hadn't broken a sweat yet. He thought he was done when the waiter brought us our complimentary desert. A cinnamon nacho chip with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and strawberry on top. We ate them, enjoyed them but couldn't eat another bite...or could we? The waiter then for some reason brought us MORE desert! I think Curtis ate about 6 of the deserts before we finally left. He said the desert had the opposite effect of the entree and acutally made him less full. I hadn't heard of this type of desert but, hey, whatever works!

Layla got a real kick out of it and cheered him on.

By the time we left it was about 9pm and dark outside. We staggered out to the van and headed down Omak main street where a police cruiser turned out behind me. I had no idea what the speed limit was so I was going about 20-25 mph. Then I saw a sign that said 35mph so I sped up. When I did the cop puts his lights on and pulled me over. Layla was freaked, "Mama, are they gonna take you to danger?" . Danger is Layla's word for prison. So after 10-15 minutes of waiting there with Baron screaming in the back he let me go without a ticket. He had pulled me over because of a burnt out tail light. Turns out he likes to play pickup hockey in Red Deer, AB from time to time, a little love for the Canadians perhaps.

Despite everything we all had a great time and made it back safely in one piece with no tickets, arrests, or strip searches.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Creepy Crawlies

Layla is a princess. She loves make-up, dresses, shoes, jewelry, talking on the phone, and anything that sparkles.

But lately I am coming to see that my little princess has a fascination with creepy crawly critters. Yesterday she found a hole in our yard that she was sure was from a snake and screeched with joy and excitement and yelled "Wahoo!!!! We have snakes in our world!!" and continued to hoot and holler with excitement, handing out high fives. I couldn't break it to her that they were probably from the field mice, but she probably would have been just as excited.

Yesterday morning she pointed at a wasp on the ground so I stepped on it and killed it. Good job mom. So later in the day when she pointed at a big black beetle...I stepped on it and killed it. Well I still haven't heard the end of it. It's remains still lie at the gate to our yard and I am reminded how cruel I was to kill "Beetie" every time we pass through. She continued to tell me about her good friend, Beetie, is home, his friends, his family, his hobbies, as if they were long time friends. Next time I'll ask first before killing anything.

As seen in previous posts she also has her friend, Wormy and his relatives. Yesterday while we were planting seeds she accidentally turned Wormy into Wormy and Wormy 2 if you know what I mean.

This is Layla with Rollie Ollie. She found him in our rock bed that we are dismantling. I had to decline all offers of holding this one. Gross.

When Layla sees birds or butterflies in our yard she sings as though her life depended on it, and sticks her 2 fingers out as high as she can. She still can't figure out why they don't come sit on her arm like they do in all the disney princess movies. She is quite bothered by this. Can one bird just please land on my daughter so she doesn't have to feel as though she is an inadequate princess?!

There are a few things she still can't tolerate. That includes bees, and mosquitoes. Well, in all fairness they do bite (or sting) so at least it's justified.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Part 2

After our trip to the park and beach we headed home for Baron's nap. As soon as he awoke we were out the door with the dog to go for a walk. Because it was already getting late we stayed close to home and just went to the path at the end of our street.

The spring run-off hasn't hit the river yet so we were able to walk along the rocks. Within a month or so the river a deep fast moving monster of a thing with debris galore from the mountains. That doesn't last too long though and then it levels out and we can jump in for a swim or tube ride.

There were fish bones everywhere from the onslaught of sock-eye salmon last summer. The eggs should be hatching soon but we didn't see any little baby fish yet.

We stepped on rocks to get onto small islands, Layla and I ended up with wet feet but no one fell in.

Here is the sign indicating our road, so if you're ever coming to visit it's Tuc Ul Nuit Road, also spelled Tuc El Nuit. The lake across from our house is Tuc El Nuit Lake.
Here is an apricot tree with it's spring blossoms.

It was a nice walk but nothing compared to our hike through the mountains on Sunday, which I have no pictures of.

We went up to White Lake but went a route we hadn't tried before. It was the most gorgeous scenery I have ever seen. It was a challenging hike with steep inclines and declines. We saw old bones of some large animal, a few small "white lakes" and all sorts of unique desert habitat. After about 90 minutes we realized we hadn't looped back yet and with both kids in tow (Baron in the sling held by Greg and Layla being carried by me much of the time) we decided it best we turn around. Layla was anxious to get that ice cream she had been promised. It was a gruelling hike but we made it. I am a bit sunburned and Baron is a tad rosy. We checked the map online when we got back and it said that trail was mainly for horses. It recommended not attempting this one on foot unless prepared for a full day hike. Alright, next time we'll check maps first. Baron loved the hike, he gibber-jabbered and kicked his legs the whole time. I don't regret it, it was the highlight of my last year here, Baron's birth aside. I can't describe the beauty and serenity of where we were. I am hoping to drag Curtis and Amy there while they are here later this week, but they don't know that yet.

Saturday Part 1

Saturday afternoon Layla asked to go to the park so we decided to go to the one at the Oliver beach. The beach hasn't been cleaned of it's winter debris yet but that didn't seem to bother Layla. It was only 20 degrees but of course Layla had her shoes off and was in the lake within minutes of us getting there. "Can we pleeeease go home and get my swimsuit?! Pleeeeeeease!" Not likely. She played in the water nearly the whole time we were there and didn't once complain about chilly waters or anything. It reminded me that now that spring is here I need to carry an extra change of clothes, a couple towels, a swimsuit, sunscreen and beach accessories in the van at all times.

Baron also had fun at the park. It was his first time in the baby swings. He loved it!

Baron looked on with curious envy as his sister ran around in the lake. Soon Baron, soon. That's one more thing to add to the van...a very large beach blanket...big enough to deter babies from eating sand. Oh yeah, and a beach umbrella for sensitive baby skin.

This is just some interesting bark I've seen on trees around. I don't know if it's diseased or not but it looks really cool.

Oh, I love thee.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Before Greg and I headed to bed on Saturday we hid all of the eggs throughout our living room, dining room and backyard. We then placed on of Layla's big stuffed bunnies beside her on her pillow, holding an Easter egg. Just after 10pm we heard Layla in her room making grumblings and such so we went in to see if she noticed the egg. She was sitting up but incoherent. It took her a few minutes to wake up but when she noticed the egg she was super excited and wanted to check out the rest of the house. We figured Baron wouldn't mind if Layla got a head start so off we went! She found her Easter basket and when she realized there wasn't one for Greg or I she said it must be because we're too bossy. Must be. She found some eggs indoors but was anxious to check if the bunny had left any in the backyard. She grabbed a little flashlight from the drawer and scurried out back. She gathered what she could with limited light and came back inside to check it all out. We allowed her to eat a couple eggs before putting her back to bed. I re-hid some of the eggs later in the night so she would still have lots to find.
By 6am we were at it all over again, this time with Baron in tow. As much as he wanted to sample those treats there was no way he was going to get his hands on chocolate, oh no, not yet.
For Easter dinner I made a turkey. I think Chester ate more than anyone. He deserves to get rewarded once in awhile.
Here is Chester waiting patiently for his dinner. Yes, that is a slobber string from his mouth to the table cloth. You get used to it.
Here is Layla chowing down on her drumstick, which was then given to the dog to polish off.