SO much to say and so little time. i had disappeared there for a while due to computer issues. these were resolved as soon as sascha had time to plug a cable back in - sad really - but we all know i'm completely hopeless when it comes to hardware issues. the trouble is, i've always had my dad or sasch or niknak the admin man to fix these issues for me so i have no independence.
oct 1st is my birthday and since i'm away from work for the next few days to pack and move house, they surprised me with a birthday doo today. rice buns with a candle in [the closest thing to a birthday cake i'm likely to get with my issues with wheat, eggs and dairy!] then a personality test for all staff members in my honour [because they all know i love that sort of thing]. we are comprised of 2 analysts and 5 touchy-feely types [which of course we already knew]. my touchy-feely rating was impressively low!
so the CBC strike continues much to the glee of my rent-a-nerd guy [the guy we hire to fix any techy issues at work] who LOVES coronation street as much as me [we're getting a double dose 5 nights a week at the moment]. the only thing is, we're not allowed to discuss it too much because he only watches the weekend 4.5hr omnibus so is a week behind. it's almost as frustrating as the heated discussion my dentist and his assistant had over how superior english soaps are to american soaps because they're just 'so real' and 'always full of ugly people'. the assistant strongly disagreed - 'i think you'll find they're not actually real' was her main point. all of this when my mouth was pried open and i couldn't say a word.
oh - hold on, i have to go and kiss a leg suffering from growing pains.....
ok, i'm back. i'm sure it's just another delaying tactic from toby. we've already had 'it's too dark', 'i need a drink', 'i need another drink', 'i'm hot', 'i'm too tired', 'you didn't say bless you when i sneezed', 'i'm too bored' [i'd never have guessed] and 'i'm too lonely'. i don't know what's up with him at the moment - he's taking so long to go to sleep but is so tired in the mornings. at least neither of the children ever really leaves their room when they're supposed to be going to sleep [touch wood].
school's going well. work's going well. sascha's work is a nightmare but should calm down any second now [although i feel like we've been saying that for weeks].
we move house thursday which is exactly the day when the weather is scheduled to change from beautifully sunny to pouring with rain. oh well. at least it shouldn't be snowing which it was when we moved here. we've also managed not to plan a moving date around a major public holiday this time which is miraculous for us. some of our more clever choices included new year moving here and 4th july in america [where the roads to our house were barricaded because that's where they were having the main fireworks display].
things got a little stressful on friday when the insurance company suddenly didn't like something about our mortgage and refused to insure us. half a dozen phone calls later between me, the finance guy, the finance guy's lawyers, the insurance company rep., my lawyer and the insurance company underwriters and everything almost looks like it is sorted. we went in to sign the paperwork on monday morning but it was only after we'd signed that i realised nothing had been done about the tenant's rent or security deposit. the current suite resident has a month left on his lease so we had to take on that lease, which also means we have to pay him back the security deposit he paid to the previous owners. it should have been in the paperwork but wasn't so i've been nagging my realtor to sort this out with the seller's realtor. as sascha pointed out - when you're buying a house you can never get the realtor off the phone then when you've signed the paperwork, they're suddenly nowhere to be found. anyway, i guess we'll see what happens. i just keep remembering to tell myself that these things never go smoothly but always work out in the end.
i don't feel very ready to move at all. the trouble is our garage was already completely full of boxes so every time i pack a box here it just sits getting in the way which makes me not want to bother at all. i've also been incredibly bad about labelling anything. it's as though the fact we're only moving down the street makes me think i'll remember what's in every single box.
anyway, enough waffling and complaining! i should go and wrap some wine glasses or something and i have to go and talk to toby because apparently his 'tummy's hot' and 'another drink of water might help'. i'm not sure when we'll be online again. rumour has it the high-speed cable is already connected but who knows.
sorry about the lack of updates - partly thanks to a connectivity issue and partly due to me having a cold and just wanting to flob on the sofa all day. i'm actually feeling much better now. in a way it was good to finally discover that it was actually a cold, because for a few days i was putting the headache and breathing problems down to a huge bog-fire nearby which had blanketed the community [and much of vancouver] in thick smoke. who knew bogs could catch fire? it came as a shock to me. apparently, they don't just catch fire, but they're a nightmare to try and extinguish since they burn happily in the methane underground and just keep spreading. delightful!
this week's highlights included a trip to the sharing farm so that aly could see what had grown from the seeds they had planted and watered [no sooner had we planted them, than i got a job and we had to stop going every week]. we picked about a million carrots, several turnips, some beets, blackberries and some edible flowers whose name i am destined to never remember - but they were very very peppery. much to my surprise aly liked the turnip raw as well as mashed with carrots [this from the girl who won't even let a cooked carrot pass her lips usually] and toby has been munching away on beets. who knew!
so we've been planning a december trip to disneyworld with my parents and kellie for quite some time now and today sascha asked why we hadn't told the children yet. 'told the children what?' pipes up toby - whose hearing is extremely selective. 'because they'll nag and nag about when is it time for disney?' i said; but i also said i didn't mind telling them. so we did. they were suitable excited [as we all are] and then toby spent the rest of the day asking when was it time to go to disney. what day were we going to disney. when is december? etc. etc. etc. which was quite amusing for the first part of the day when i could smugly defer him to sascha [who was still getting questions despite having clearly marked 'd day' on toby's car calendar!] but then he disappeared off to work to leave me with the barrage of questions. oh well, i suppose it makes a change from toby talking nonsense and making up new rude words all day long which is his usual hobby.
before sascha left for work we managed to fit in some family bowling - something the children have suddenly taken a liking to which is very handy because we have a bowling alley in the very small strip mall around the corner from our house. toby sulked a little because he didn't get any spurs today [he's a little competitive since he takes after both of us]. aly on the other hand just likes to spin the balls, flop on people, dance around the place etc. and although she likes to throw the balls down the lanes, she rarely has the patience to watch where they go! i seriously don't think the 2 kids could be more opposite if they tried. maybe that's why they get on so well. i'm hoping the news of us going to disney will renew their passion for quietly[ish] disappearing into aly's room for hours on end with disney maps and fake tickets and playing disneyland.
so 6 rounds of mini-golf and a trip to the driving range later, toby seems to have enjoyed his birthday [as long as we play some golf next weekend of course]. we met up with him in victoria on friday night where, it seems, he'd been having a lovely time. apparently on the way to bed on the first night he turned around and asked nikki - 'have i been a good boy?' - he'd been well primed! rumour has it he HAD been a good boy. he'd been spending lots of time on the putting green in the garden and riding his tractor around the barn. seemingly he was outraged when nikki didn't want to play golf with him because she doesn't like golf. i don't think it had ever occurred to him that someone might not like golf.
saturday we went to an amazing local corn maze - by far the biggest i'd ever seen. it included a ghost town and huge sphinx which you could go inside to visit the tombs. v. cool. photos to follow.
sunday aly, colin and nikki headed off to the saanich fair to watch horsey stuff and dig for potatoes?! toby opted to celebrate his birthday at the mini-golf - surprise surprise - so that's where we headed after picking up sascha from the ferry. [i was about to write 'collecting sascha from the ferry' but i have been informed that apparently 'collecting' is only something you do to packages in canada]. golf was good fun and was followed by lunch at mcdonalds/playplace, a visit to the golf store, then back to colin and nikki's place for cake and pressies. presents which included a very cute golf bag from my mum and dad which i'm very pleased about because it's small enough that he can carry it himself without having muggins here act as his golf caddy all the time!
monday was a public holiday [no - not bank holiday - another one i'm still having trouble converting to]. sascha was working and the kids and i just hung out at home preparing for 3 new schools the following day and throwing in a bit of house-packing just for fun.
toby's birthday on tuesday was the first day of school [poor boy]. the new schools seemed to go very well. neither of them are giving much away but there are subtle hints that it's going well such as not wanting to come home with me :-) aly seems to have really hit it off with her kindergarten teacher which is good. i'm just looking forward to friday when she actually does her full 2.5 hrs there instead of just 30 mins or 1 hour which has been playing havoc with my work schedule and is annoying aly.
i'm still getting to grips with montessori. it's quite different from their previous schools and all that having to shake hands with the teachers every time we arrive or leave is quite time consuming! [the children have to shake hands not me]. besides all the forms to fill in, there is also a huge list of earthquake supplies [3L of water per child, 3 dried fruit/granola bars per child, letter of comfort including photos per child] and school supply donations to be gathered up and given to each of the montessori schools [school supply donations such as a ream of paper, tissues, soap etc.]. i won't complain though because it's actually a really good price for a montessori school. both children seem to really like the toys there and both schools have very cool classrooms.
toby's quote of the week [while i was cleaning up an entire cup of chocolate milk he'd split after i'd just told him to be careful]:
"mommy, are you the boss?"
"well i'm the one scrubbing the floor toby so what does that make me?"
"erm.. does that make you the mad boss?"
aaah.. you've got to laugh :-)
so toby's almost 4 [his birthday is on the 6th]. it always seems weird that no sooner has aly stopped being a particular age, toby is right there! speaking of toby, i made his preschool teacher cry yesterday when i had to break the news to her that he wouldn't be able to come to the same preschool next year. it's been a very long couple of weeks - both trying to sort out daycare day to day [this week they have been with 4 different people] and daycare for september which was starting to get more tricky by the day. in the end they are both going to go to a montessori school very near to our house [which will make mornings easy]. the montessori director will let them stay a bit longer to eat lunch then take aly to the local kindergarten and continue on to their other montessori school in the next village where toby will do the afternoon session. the same director will then collect aly from school at 2.30pm and take her back to the after school daycare at the same montessori. [incidentally this montessori is called 'merseyside montessori' and has a big banner across the hall saying 'you'll never walk alone'. maybe it was meant to be!] [merseyside is where i'm from in the uk for those who haven't picked up on my scousish accent]. seems like a lot of work for them and much less for me. HOOOORAY!!!! i'm very happy and extremely relived. it seems like an excellent school. this solution is also a lot cheaper than the other possibilities which all involved at least 3 childcare providers.
we're off to victoria for the labour day long weekend this weekend and will celebrate toby's birthday there - no doubt with a large dose of golf and/or pitch and putt and/or mini golf. i took toby on the ferry last night so he will get a couple of days head start on the celebrations without us. he's never been away by himself before so it will be interesting to see how it goes. it would help if he'd ride aly's pony but he'll only ride a boy horse apparently!
the national tv station - the cbc - is on strike in canada at the moment which is working out well for me. bbc news every night and some very entertaining badly edited commerical breaks in the middle of coronation street where they suddenly go to commercials partway through a scene or accidently play the closing credits music by mistake.