Sunday, September 16, 2012

Orange-belted Willow

Willow TWD Orange Belt

Willow has moved up to the next level in her Taekwondo classes! This one has been a long time in coming, not necessarily because it was more difficult, but because there were so many weekends in the summer where there were no classes or she had a conflicting birthday party to attend or we were in another country... Willow says that what she likes best about Taekwondo is that Taekwondo gives her the means to control herself when she gets angry or aggravated by other people.

Onto the green belt!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chicago Trip: The Good and the Bad

I know I don't talk much about my job here - other to say how much I love it - but earlier last week I had the chance to travel to Chicago and not only participate in a large industry conference, but present at it as well. This was the first time I had been able to present, and I was very excited about it. Here was the view of my hotel room on the 36th floor:


Pretty nice, right? I loved coming back to the room - I would pull the curtains open every time so I could see the water.

Here was the view from the window near the elevators on my floor - I can't get over the color of the water here - it looks so tropical:


Here is a close up and you can see the Navy Pier with ferris wheel from same elevator window:


Are you catching the theme here?

Yeah, I didn't leave the hotel for three days. 

Don't get me wrong - I didn't have my nose to the grindstone the entire time - I did attend many sessions and learned so much about how things are changing in my industry, as well as met many of my counterparts with other companies and government agencies.  The thing is, I got really sick... as in worship the porcelain god sick - the night before my presentation.  I wasn't sure at first if it was food poisoning or nerves, but it was horrible.  The next morning, I checked my text messages, and there was a note from Andrew saying the girls had been sick all night... Poor Daddy.  This was my first trip away from Piper, and I was so worried about how she would take it - I hadn't anticipated at all that a stomach bug would take us all down.  I love my husband for being here with the girls and taking it all in stride.

So - the good?  I stayed in a nice hotel with a beautiful view, learned some interesting stuff, and gave a kick ass presentation.  Despite the unpleasantness of the night before, I felt much better by the time 4:30pm rolled around.  I really wasn't nervous at all (you know me - I love to talk and teach people stuff!)

The bad?  This was my second trip to Chicago (the first being 2 years ago when I was 6 months pregnant with Piper to the same conference), and I still haven't seen much of the city.  It looks like a really cool place and I do hope I get the chance to come back and explore it one day.   And maybe eat some of its famous food?  I teased my boss and told her I was saving the company money because I only managed to eat 3 meals in the 3 days I was away.  You would think that would have me losing weight, but no such luck!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Piper Picasso

Piper the Artist

Before Piper was born, my friend Tracy gave me this Crayola Color Me A Song easel. Her son had received two for his birthday, and he didn't need two. I took it home, put it the baby-to-be's closet... and promptly forgot about it until this past weekend. I popped in new batteries, gave Piper her Crayola Twistables Crayons (the only ones she will use without eating), and she went to town!  It's a cool toy - the faster you draw or colour, the faster the music goes, and you can choose one or more instruments to play as you draw.  I've even caught Willow playing with it, trying to see just how fast she can make the music come out.

So, it's been nearly two years - but thank you, Tracy!  Piper loves it!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

39 Years, 10 Months, 22 Days


Yep, that is how old I am today. And that is how long I lasted before having to dye my hair to cover the white. I used to pull the white hair out (the ones I could find, anyway), but they were coming in too fast for me to keep up with. And to make matters strange, my white hair is stick straight, in direct contrast to my naturally curly hair. Someone up there is just messing with me.

It won't be straight tomorrow - and to be honest, I am surprised it is as straight as it is right now considering the extreme humidity and flash heavy rainstorms we have been having all day.  I'm really happy with the colour - I went into the salon with something more red in mind, but the stylist convinced me that this would be a better colour for my skin tone.

Here is a less smiley picture - but shows how the cut is angled toward the front:


Okay... someone remind me about upkeep in 6-8 weeks?  That's the part I always struggle with - remembering to keep it looking pretty.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Arden Fair 2012

Piper, Willow, and I went to the 105th Annual Arden Fair yesterday, and it was a beautiful day for it. Andrew wasn't able to come with us because he had to help his Dad with a project, and I was a bit apprehensive on how I was going to manage Piper and all her gear. Willow is a great help, but you have to park at Hanby Camp and catch a school bus to the Arden Fair - which means lugging the monster stroller, diaper bag, and Piper up and down the bus stairs, maneuvering over people...


I'm happy to say that there were some really nice people on the bus. One lady in particular - she came out of the bus, got the stroller for me, carried it on, and kept it beside her on the bus at the front so I wouldn't have to carry it to the back. When we arrived at the fair, she was the first one off the bus, and she set up the stroller and waited for us to get off so we could get Piper in it. Thank you for the kindness of strangers!

We arrived at the Fair right when it opened, and the first thing I did was buy my large bag of Kettle Corn. It's delicious, and they make it there for you! Normally I get the Kettle corn on the way out, but then you always have to wait in line with all the other people who are thinking the same thing.

We walked around a bit and checked out the different vendors (everything from food to tie-dyed clothing to herbal stuff to art to dolls - there is even an antiques section) and then went to the midway to go on some rides. Now, the truth be told, Willow is getting too big to go on these rides, but being the best big sister in the world, she folded herself into small places went on these rides with Piper.

They went on the Thomas the Tank Engine ride:

Piper and Willow Arden Fair 1

The Rocket Ship ride:

Piper and Willow Arden Fair 2

And then, since it wasn't crowded yet, Piper and Willow went on the swings. I wasn't sure what to expect - Willow at this age was terrified of swings, but Piper is apparently a speed demon.

Piper at Arden Fair

Excuse the quality of the above photos - I forgot my snazzy cameras when we went to the fair, so I was limited to my cell phone.

We also bought some stuff from the vendors - here is our loot:


Piper bought a fleece skirt, Willow bought a pretty hairband, and (no surprise!), I bought yarn. Now I just need to find something I can knit with 150 yards of DK weight handspun. We left the fair just before noon, and so probably missed most of the crowds, and that was fine by me. I wouldn't want to do this again without another adult around, but I'm glad that with some help of some strangers we were able to manage the bus situation with all the toddler equipment.


My Dad has been hassling me about not updating the blog frequently. I know I haven't done my vacation recap yet, either - but that one is taking some thinking through since I have 100+ photos to choose from. But the truth is blogging hasn't been terribly rewarding of late. In my last 8 blogposts, I have had 5 comments. Total. I get much more of a reaction from people when I post my content on Facebook. I honestly don't know if people just don't read blogs much anymore - or whether it is just my former steady stream of readers, like me, have grown up in the last 8 years or so and blogging doesn't have a place in their lives anymore. I don't know what the solution is... but I think in the meantime my Dad needs to set himself up with a Facebook account so he can see the almost daily pics I post of the girls.