Tag Archives: YVR

iPhoneography // Moving On…

IMG 2714Only 5 days to pack and a ton to do.

IMG 2650A going away gift. We have the very sweetest friends.

IMG 2639Progress…

IMG 2638All of the toys, books, games, and puzzles Gracen will have in Kuwait are in these two bins.

IMG 27282 a.m. and finally feeling good enough about the progress made to go to sleep before picking up the moving truck the next morning.

IMG 2733Loading day.

IMG 2739Nearly finished.

IMG 2738A sad final dinner in her 2nd home… A towel as a picnic blanket, a bento box for a plate, a spoon borrowed from the downstairs tenants, not a vegetable in sight.

PhotoFarewell, little house.

IMG 2756Halfway through the 6 hour drive back to the Okanagan.

IMG 2761An hour away from our destination and dinner is served…  In a car seat.  Sardined between bins.

 

Whew!  What a week it’s been.  I’ve got to say that moving is probably one of my least favourite things to do ever.  Several Christmases ago, my brother and I sat down with a pen and paper and listed off all of the houses we’ve lived in in our lifetimes and if I’m correct, this move will be my 52nd.  Oy.  I must say, it does get easier…  Moving frequently has caused me to really think about what I hang onto and in most cases, if I haven’t used something within the last few months, I’ll happily give it away, recycle it, or get rid of it rather than moving it just so it can collect dust somewhere new.  That being said, moving with a toddler {and only 5 days to pack an entire house} is not, in any way, easy.  Gracen was wonderful through it all, but it was definitely tough.  Between trying to be an engaged parent, keeping up with making healthy, homemade meals, attending final play dates and outings, and packing everything into boxes while a curious little somebody wants to take everything out, I felt spread thin to  say the least.  Sleep was even less plentiful than normal, which means patience was too. Buuuuuut, thanks to a lot of help from Brad’s parents in the final two days, we did it.  We packed everything up into a moving truck {and two vehicles}, scrubbed down the house, handed over our keys, and said goodbye to the little old house that has been our home for the last two years {since we arrived home from our first stint in Kuwait}.  Now we’re in the Okanagan for the next few weeks until our big, BIG move and I’m happy to report that we should be able to get the bulk of our stuff sorted/stored/put away this morning.  Here’s to a little bit of downtime before our next adventure begins!

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So Long…

Screen Shot 2013 07 31 at 9 26 20 PM

Today we finished packing and cleaning and said goodbye to our home in Vancouver.  I’d been so focused on accomplishing all of the tasks on my to do list that I hadn’t taken the time to think about about how much I’ll miss our little old house – the one in which our baby girl learned to walk, where she learned to talk, where she said so long to diapers, where she graduated to a big girl bed, and so many other important things…  It all hit me when she walked into her empty bedroom for the final time, called out, “Goodbye, room!”, and then leaned into the wall with big open arms and gave it a kiss.  Ugh. Tears.

They snuck up on me again as I took this final photo of her on our front porch, ringing the doorbell as she always does, just one last time.

So long, little house in East Vancouver.  Big changes are ahead…

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iPhoneography // Passport Picture Success!

PhotoPhotoThe last time we got a passport for Miss G, she was just a couple of weeks old and so sleepy that our biggest challenge was waking her up in order to get a photo with her eyes open.  We literally tried waking her for 45 minutes before the photographer suggested the {somewhat cruel} method of gently wiping her face with a cool, wet cloth.  It worked, and with some seriously stealthy propping and holding, we got the photo we needed.  

This time around, I worried that we’d have the opposite problem.  With all of the restrictions on Canadian passport photos (serious expression! closed mouth!  centred face! no shine! no hair touching eyebrows!) and a little lady who very much prefers being on the go rather than staying still, I thought we could be in for a challenging visit.  

But here’s the thing. By now,  I should really know better than to ever doubt this little lady.  We chatted about what we’d be doing and how it would work beforehand, arrived at the photography store, she stood perfectly still where the photographer asked, and kept a closed-mouth serious expression on her little face.  He quickly snapped 3 photos, told us she had done better than most adults do, and sent us on our way 2 minutes after arriving.

The best part is that we submitted the passport application just before closing yesterday afternoon, and Gracen’s shiny new passport will be ready for pick-up come Monday.  I love how easy things are in Canada!

♥ 

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A Local Favourite: Maple Grove Pool

IMG 9694IMG 9685IMG 9690Today we took our little fish to one of our very favourite summer spots in the city… Maple Grove Outdoor Pool.  Gracen seriously loves this place.  The pool’s fairly shallow, so there are lots of areas where she can easily wade around without assistance, there’s a little slide which she zooms down on repeat, and there’s a island in the middle of the deeper end for her to jump off of.  We also love the fact that it’s surrounded by grassy areas and big trees and there’s a playground just outside of the gates.  It’s the perfect spot to escape to when our house is 32 degrees and we need to cool down, asap.  I’m guessing  we’ll be visiting a lot during the month of July.

Maple Grove Pool is open from 10:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. daily, with the closing time being an hour earlier after August 21st.  Admission is as follows: munckins 2 and under are free, children 3 to 18 years are $1.50, and adults are $2.50. Concession items are available and the facility operates on a cash only basis.

♥ 

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Strawberry Fields {A Visit to Krause Berry Farms}

Today we did something I’ve been wanting to do with Miss G for a long while…  We went strawberry picking!  After asking local parents for their favourite strawberry farm recommendations, we decided to head out to Langley to visit Krause Berry Farms.  Promises of giant fields filled with berries, a gorgeous market selling fresh produce and baked goods, playground fun for kiddos, wine tasting for adults, and a farm animal petting area sounded too good to pass up.

IMG 9547IMG 9548IMG 9556We arrived early and the farm was already bustling with visitors.  We got our buckets weighed, put down our loonie deposit for a wagon, and headed out to the furthest corner of the strawberry patch.  

IMG 9561IMG 9559IMG 9565The berries were plentiful and our buckets filled quickly, though strawberry picking isn’t easy work.  It was hot (really hot) out and by the time we were about halfway through our hour and a half long picking session, Grae and I gave up on crouching and full-on sat down in the strawberry field (slightly less glamourous, but oh so much more comfy!)

IMG 9568While my little helper was interested in berry picking and very patient about it all, she didn’t so much want to pick the strawberries herself.  She did pick a few here and there, but sitting beside you while you filled her bucket for her was much more her style.  That and sneaking a semi-clean strawberry into her mouth every once and a while…

IMG 9580IMG 9583With two extra-large sand pails full of ripe strawberries, we decided to have them weighed, pay for them, and check out the rest of the farm.

IMG 9584IMG 9585IMG 9587First stop – the playground.  Grae loved the tractor-shaped play apparatus, and even though it was cooking by this time, it did provide some shady spots to play in.

IMG 9593Next up, we visited the market.  Oh my goodness, this may just be my favourite part of the farm.  Not only can you purchase all kinds of local produce both from the farm and from other local farmers, but the bakery is stocked full of delicious breads, shortcakes, cookies, and cakes too.  Plus there’s a fudgery stocked with over 40 different kinds of fudge and all sorts of canned goods and fun kitchen gadgets too!

IMG 9604After a quick stop to see the animals out back (there weren’t that many and the enclosures didn’t really allow for easy petting, but G enjoyed it anyways), we stopped to take a couple of photos along the raspberry bushes.  By this time, we were all hot, sweaty, and tired, and Gracen was feeling straight up silly.  For one reason or another, she decided that the only way she’d have her photo taken was if her tongue was out, and by that time, I really didn’t blame her. Sometimes joining the crazy is just more fun.  ☺

It was a lovely day and I’m already trying to figure out if we’ll have time to make another trip out when Krause’s u-pick blueberries are ready in mid-July… Though next time we’d do things a little differently as by the time we got home, most of our berries were already pretty mushy.  

Notes to self:  

1) Stacking fresh, ripe strawberries in big, tall buckets leads to severe strawberry smushing – bring big, shallow containers next time instead.  

2)  Locking your berries in a hot vehicle on a 30 degree day doesn’t help the situation – next time, play first, pick last.

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Second Beach Outdoor Pool

IMG 9512Gracen has been very anxiously awaiting this day since we first visited the Second Beach playground back in February.  From the opposite side of the park, she immediately spotted the seal-shaped water slide in the outdoor pool enclosure and has asked when we’d be able to visit ever since.  Sadly, when it opened at the end of May, we had a long bout of rainy, dreary weather, so that prolonged our visit even further…  But when we woke up to a gorgeous, sunny day this morning and asked the little lady what she wanted to do, the first thing out of her mouth was “Go to the pool with the seal slide – WOOHOO!”  Her fist shot into the air in celebration and our adventure for the day was set.

IMG 9518IMG 9514IMG 9520IMG 9517

IMG 9523Surprisingly, the much talked about seal slide was not the hit of the day today…  Instead, she was all about this much larger, much faster turtle slide over in the deeper end of the pool. The truth of the matter is that she loved this slide so much that very little swimming actually took place – it was simply slide after slide after slide for pretty much our entire visit, which was totally fine with me.  Watching the anticipation as she climbed the steps and the absolute joy as she sped down and splashed into the water melted my heart and filled me with pride.  I’m so, so glad our little lady loves water as much as she does.

IMG 9542IMG 9543IMG 9528The only slight downside to our morning was that it was chilly.  Very chilly, in fact.  Despite the fact that the pool is heated and it truly was a beautiful day, the wind off of the ocean sucked away the warmth and made you shiver the moment your shoulders left the water. And while Grae didn’t seem bothered in the least by it, at a certain point we knew it was time to get out, dry off, and warm up.

IMG 9530But that won’t stop us from returning very soon – Miss G’s already asking when that’ll be!

Second Beach {Outdoor} Pool is located on the west side of Stanley Park.  For more information, including schedules and rates, click here.

♥ 

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“Pickle Village”

This morning we woke to a chilly, grey day and decided to get outside and enjoy the change in temperature.  Miss G happily took the opportunity to wear her favourite {giant} purple toque and we headed down to Olympic Village (a.k.a. “Pickle Village”) to explore.  We definitely don’t spend as much time in the village as we should considering how lovely it is.  With interesting art pieces, a boardwalk lining False Creek, a gorgeous view of downtown, and one of the best natural playgrounds I’ve seen, it’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city.  Here are a few snapshots of our morning…

IMG 8502“That’s a really, REALLY big birdie, Mama!”

IMG 8504Enjoying a bread treat and the view.

IMG 8515A kid-operated water feature – a playground favourite!

IMG 8520“Mama, I’m following the water!”

IMG 8517Searching for fish.

♥ 

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Kerrisdale Play Palace is Back!

IMG 9843IMG 9844IMG 9845IMG 9858IMG 9861IMG 9854One of our very favourite rainy day spots, the Kerrisdale Play Palace, recently opened for another spring/summer season.  It seems to be a bit of a hidden gem because although it does get busy, it never seems busy enough for what it is – a very reasonably priced GIANT indoor play space filled with fun inflatables.  Miss G and I went this morning for the first time this season and whoa – did she ever have a blast.  While she absolutely loved it last year, this year was even better.  A little bit braver and a little bit bigger, she is now able to make her way to the top of all of the inflatables and down all of the slides – even the huge ones.  She ran, climbed, and jumped the morning away until her hair was literally wet with sweat and it was time to go home for lunch and a nap.  It was a good morning.

The Kerrisdale Play Palace is located at the corner of 41st Avenue and East Boulevard, in the arena directly behind the McDonald’s. When visiting, keep in mind that both you and your little one(s) will need socks and that weekday admission is divided by age groups.  For the 2013 schedule and admission fees, click here.

♥ 

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Kid-Friendly Lunch at Corduroy

IMG 9660There’s no doubt that I’m a huge fan of kid-friendly cafés and restaurants.  And though a great kid’s menu is a good start, in my opinion, a kid’s play corner of some sort sets a restaurant apart from the rest when it comes to family-friendliness.   Needless to say, when I heard that Corduroy, a well-known adult-centred lounge in Kits, had opened its doors for lunch and included a kid’s play area in its weekday plans, I was pretty excited.

Gracen and I headed down to check it out with some friends this morning, and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed.  Firstly, the location is absolutely perfect.  Just down the street from Kits Beach, a place we frequent often, it makes for a great lunch spot after a morning of sand and sunshine. 

IMG 9642The next thing I noticed was the kid’s menu.  Grae and I normally share a dish when we’re out for a meal (partly because one dish is plenty of food for both of us, and partly because usual kid’s menus are filled with deep-fried junk and processed white carbs), but with a menu that includes meals made with wholewheat, organic, and locally-sourced ingredients, I was more than happy to let Miss G order something of her own.  She picked the margarita pizza on a wholewheat honey rosemary crust, then was off to play.  

IMG 9646The play area, which is right in front of the big open window at the front of the restaurant, was well stocked with a play kitchen and pretend food, a workshop filled with plastic tools, wooden toys and puzzles, board books, mega blocks, and art supplies.  The best part, however, is that it’s fully enclosed.  No escaping kids here.

IMG 9654IMG 9655Gracen’s food arrived in no time at all, and she dove in immediately.  After polishing off her third piece, she paused for a moment and I assumed she’d had her fill. When I went to wipe off her hands and face, she looked at me confused and said, “But Mama, I still have more!”  The girl ate six pieces.  SIX.  

IMG 9656My food was just as good.  I ordered the red wine braised organic chicken panini and it was delish.  And the green salad?  It included dried blueberries, pine nuts, and wild rice.  Yum.

IMG 9650IMG 9661After lunch, the kiddos got back to playing while us mamas finished our meals and got to visit a little bit (not easily done when out to lunch with a bunch of toddlers at a normal restaurant).  

The entire visit was lovely – the atmosphere, the food, the play area, and the company included!  Corduroy is definitely added to our list of go-to kid-friendly restaurants… Now to plan our next visit!

Corduroy is located at 1943 Cornwall Avenue and is open for {kid-friendly} lunch on weekdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

♥ 

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ANOTHER Beach Day

IMG 9470IMG 9461IMG 9451IMG 9475IMG 9463IMG 9501IMG 9493IMG 9491Another day at the beach.  Because it’s too gorgeous to be anywhere else.  

We’re soaking up every bit of this sunshine while we can.

♥ 

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