Sunday, January 24, 2016

An honest to goodness Escape from real life.

Jeff and I agreed that, when we sold our White Rock house, we would use some of the money for a family holiday.  And not one of those holidays where I am still cooking and cleaning and packing and planning and organizing each day.  A real holiday. For 2 weeks.

And that, I can now confidently say, is what Club Med in Ixtapa Mexico can put out!  (And no, I am not getting paid for advertising the resort on my blog!)... 

I won't go into detail, but let some pictures give a taste of our wonderful trip.

We did miss our connection in Los Angeles and had to stay the night in a not-so-great airport hotel, so we got to Club Med a day later than planned.  A small snag in an otherwise uneventful trip there.  The boys got their "wings" and visited the cockpit.

Our first taste of many beautiful sunsets.

The restaurant was quite satisfying and, well, let's just say that nobody went hungry.

Callum was the only one interested in boogie boarding.  Relatively speaking, we didn't spend a lot of time at the beach - Jeff and I would sometimes read our books down there while the boys were at Kids Club, but otherwise we were doing yoga or a cross-training workout, paddle boarding, playing tennis, and a lot of time playing at the pools.  Simon LOVED playing at the pool, and he significantly improved his skills while there!

The Kids Club was super great - A typical day would be archery followed by tennis followed by trapeze, then a swim in the pool before lunch, then some games in the fitness palapa, then ping pong and playing at the beach until some activity like donkey races, a pirate treasure hunt, a piƱata party or a 'Super Mario' dance show.  Even Simon tried the trapeze twice, although I never got a picture of him doing it! Doh!

We took a boat over the the nearby island for a few hours of snorkelling.

We were super lucky to be there one evening to witness over 100 turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea - too cute.

And, of course, we had to do the most touristy swimming with the dolphins (though Simon wanted no part of it!).

Since we were there for 2 weeks, the boys got 2 chances to perform in the Super Mario show, where Simon was Mario, Max was Luigi and Callum was Donkey  Kong.  It was hilarious!

Good times, good times!  Wonderful, really.  Oh ya, and Jeff will laugh when he sees that I put this one on the blog:

Then it was a bit weird to come home, actually.  Not because we wanted to stay in Mexico forever - no, Jeff and I felt good about getting back to real-life - but because our "home" doesn't quite feel like home yet.  We've only been living in the house for about 3 weeks, the boys and I haven't made any friends in the neighbourhood or school yet, and I still can't even figure out where to find a decent grocery store around here.  So, here's to a new year and to what feels like a true new start for our family.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Christmas Break 2015

There actually wasn't too much holiday-prep activities for Callum and Max at their school, other than to announce that they are leaving Cleveland to attend a different school after the break.  Simon's preschool had a little Christmas sing-song time with a Santa visit, so Simon shyly asked for a remote control motorcycle, then was hugely disappointed when the gift Santa gave him (from his school teacher) was just a book!

Otherwise I was able to focus on packing up and moving on January 20th. We made another Ikea trip (for a temporary front closet), which is always a hoot! 

We decided we might as well pick up a Christmas tree at Ikea while we were there, so we took it to the new house so actually had our tree and Christmas decorations up in our new house before moving in.

Christmas Day came quickly and went quickly.  I suppose I felt a bit distracted by the house hunt and the move and everything, so luckily I had actually done most of the shopping early and ordered online.  The boys were happy.  

The unintentional theme this year was outdoor toys, since Max got a new bike and caster board, Simon got another 4x4 R/C truck and Callum got a scooter, which they spent a while trying out during Christmas day, until heading to my parents place for dinner.   

We biked/scootered to the closest skate park another day, but it was a bit too frosty for any confidence to try new tricks.

Ironically, since I was actually really pessimistic about snow this season, Jeff and I were hearing about amazing ski conditions on all the mountains but were tormented by our schedule that wouldn't allow for any ski days.  So, our first chance to go was after church one Sunday which disappointedly ended up as a big fail since they closed to road to Mt.Seymour due to too much snow!!  We tried again the next day, only to find everyone else was eager to get up the hill too and got stuck in a huge line that would have taken us hours to finally arrive at the chairlifts.  Jeff needed to ski so bad that, even after getting stuck in traffic and not leaving until 11:30am, he took Callum and Max across the border to Mt.Baker, where they enjoyed a good 2.5hrs of great snow and sunshine, plus some lovely views of Mt. Shuksan.

A few days later, Kami watched our boys so Jeff and I could go up for the rare treat of a ski-day together.

At the end of Christmas break, Callum decided to celebrate his 9th birthday a couple days early with a few of his new friends from Cleveland.  On January 2nd, he started his day with the most healthy breakfast a little boy would ask for: chocolate chip waffles with syrup, whipped cream and sprinkles.  Ug.  We all went swimming before his friends Luca, Murray and Cruz came with us to A&W for an early dinner, then Jeff took them (with Max) to play a few games of Laser tag while Simon and I were busy icing the cake at home.  Callum was rather indecisive about his cake design this year, so I quickly cut it up into another Minecraft-themed cake.  The birthday boy brought his friends home for cake and video-game playing.  I think he was satisfied with his day.  Man, I have a 9-year old!  I've been a Mom for over 9 years! Wow. (I suppose I will probably expressing that same shock every year)

It was back to school on Monday for Callum and Max, but at their new school.  If they were very nervous, they didn't show it.  Since it was Callum's actual birthday, I made cupcakes for him to bring, hoping it might also endear him to his new classmates.  Max lasted his first day, but when I picked him up, he was in tears with a terrible fever, so he didn't have a great introduction to any potential friends.  Well, they only had to endure a week at the new school anyway, since, way back in August, I had booked us a trip to Mexico between January 10th-23rd.  I can't tell you how excited we all were.