Monday, August 30, 2010

Big news X 2 !!!

Our family has had some exciting things happen, well, 2 major things anyway.

First of all, I had mentioned a couple weeks ago that we put a bid on a house and it turns out that we got it! We own a house in White Rock! Well, it's more of a dump of a house than anything, so we have been getting very little sleep the last 2 weeks as we try to design the renovation plans, get quotes for the work from subcontractors and secure financing that would cover the renovations. Anyway, we have a significant project ahead of us and September is going to be really crazy as we prepare for it: we have to finish/fix several things in our condo, hold an open house for our condo to rent it out, find temporary housing in White Rock while we gut our house, buy a second vehicle (since living in White Rock won't be quite as pedestrian as my life downtown),
commute to White Rock twice a week for Callum's Preschool, pack up the condo and then move! Fun and exciting, eh?

To give you an idea of how serious our renovation project will be, here are a few pics of the current state of our "beautiful new home":

Now, the second (and far more exciting) thing that happened just this weekend involves Callum, my not-so little baby! After a total of about 20 minutes of practicing, over 2 days, Callum can ride a pedal bike!! He tried a few times on Saturday and got pretty frustrated, but then I tried again yesterday and he is a Superstar!! No kidding, he is riding alone, starting up himself and mastering the pedal brakes - I am so proud of him (and he is so proud of himself too)!!

And of course, now that Callum just wants to ride his Lightning Mcqueen pedal bike, Max has free access to the run bike, which he is very, very happy about. I think his little legs need to get just a little bit longer before he"ll be keeping up with Callum, no problem.

And last week we were able to go down the street to watch the PNE parade, which was actually quite impressive, though Max wasn't sure he liked the giant balloons.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Skinners in Alberta (Part 2)

(If you didn't catch "Part 1", see previous post).

As I said, after Waterton, we headed to my brother Todd's in Calgary, where Callum played with his cousins, (who happened to have a way better selection of toys than he ever will, including some seriously awesome costumes!).
We were able to visit friends from our time in Halifax, Evan and his wife Arundel, who now live in Calgary with their 2 daughters.

We planned on doing a day trip to Drumheller, but another day of driving seemed far less appealing than originally thought, so we opted for the dinosaurs at the Calgary Zoo instead. Callum seemed satisfied.

We booked a shmancy condo in Canmore to share with Jeff's parents for the following week, so we could hang out and be lazy or venture to the surrounding mountains for more rock throwing. There was also a pool that Callum asked to make use of on a daily basis.

One of the days, I was able meet up with some friends that I went to school with in Victoria, Stephanie and Emma, and later in the week my friend Mike, (that I knew from Edmonton since I was 12), came for a hike too, so I was so happy to be able to reconnect with people throughout our trip, even if it was only briefly.

So, that was our trip. Phewph. It takes a long time to make these blog posts.

I said I would mention the house hunt, so I will say that we put a bid on a house and we are in the middle of negotiations. I'm not feeling too optimistic, though, so we shall see...

Skinners in Alberta (Part 1)

(Like the new blog look? I think I might switch things up every once in a while now. I should also warn you that I've been thinking of privatizing the blog, so wierdos can't copy pictures of my family, but I'll let you all know...)

Ah yes. A road trip with 3-1/2 and 1-1/2 year old boys - Wohoo! No really, we did have a good 2-week trip to Alberta with the plan to meet up with Jeff's parents from Ontario and with my Calgary siblings.

We left July 25th at 2:30am so the boys could sleep a few hours in the car and I have to say that they were pretty darn good - until we hit construction between Golden and Canmore. Oh well. We spent a night with my sister Krista and then the next day we headed to Waterton where Jeff's parents would meet us. The next few days were spent in awe of such a gorgeous place.

On the drive to Waterton:

The town is over-run with deer, as you can see here in front of our motel:

Picturesque Prince of Wales Hotel:

The whole Skinner clan at the hotel:

We explored a lot of areas with rocks and water, like Red Rock Canyon area - let the rock-throwing begin!

It was a funny surprise to meet up with a friend of ours from Vancouver who now lives in Ontario, Julianne Cunningham and her 3 boys, as her extensive extended family owns a few cabins in Waterton. Callum and Max were in toy and bike heaven!

Our last day in Waterton, we hiked the Bears Hump (kind of a mini Grouse Grind), which Callum did all by himself.

Then we drove back to Calgary to spend 3 nights at my brother Todd's place before heading to Canmore for a week... but I'll have to finish later! Tune in next post for the excitement of: the Calgary Zoo, hikes in Canmore, swimming at the hotel pool, and since we've been back home, some interesting developments in the White Rock House-hunt...