Sunday, December 02, 2007


As predicted, a snowstorm hit Vancouver last night and we woke up to a couple of centimetres of snow on the ground. Of course Amanda was extremely excited...on the monitor the first thing I heard out of her was "Huh? What's going on?" and then thump thump thump thump down the hall, followed by her jumping into bed with us and saying "Did you see the snow?!". Um, yes, pretty excited.

After breakfast we got bundled up and headed out for a walk in the neighbourhood. It was really quite beautiful (I may not still be saying that tomorrow morning when I will have to drive in the stuff). It was slow going as Amanda stopped every 3 steps to pick up snow and bunch it up in her mittens. Then she figured out she could throw "snowballs" (really just handfuls of snow) at her Dad...I managed to stay safe since I was carrying the camera and that couldn't possibly get wet!! She was having a great time "sneaking up" on Daddy...i.e., telling him to come back (yeah, that's really stealthy Amanda), then stomping up behind him in her boots, giggling, before throwing a handful of snow at his rear end. Quite funny to watch...especially for me, since I wasn't on the receiving end! :)

Whole Flickr set here; a few pics:
Hand in Hand
End of Walk

By the way, we are once again doing the 24 days of Christmas in our household. I managed to actually get organized in time and we started today! Amanda was quite excited to see the trusty mailbox out this morning. Will post pics soon.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Santa Claus Parade

Last weekend we headed downtown to once again brave the crowds at the Santa Claus Parade. (Here is last year's post about the parade.)

The biggest difference between this year and last was that it was FREEZING!! Jeff really felt he needed to be at church (why oh why does the parade always have to be on Christ the King Sunday?!?) so Amanda and I headed out a bit early and took the skytrain downtown. It was quite the adventure since Amanda hadn't been on skytrain before (well, maybe once long ago, but she definitely didn't remember). We got there a bit later than I'd hoped, but still more than 90 minutes before the scheduled start time...and of course, it takes quite a while for the parade to make its way to Burrard & Georgia, where we were camped out. We found some pretty decent spots right down on the curb and settled in to wait. Wow, did I mention how cold it was?!? Jeff joined us as soon as he got away from church.

The most frustrating thing was that at the last minute a bunch of people showed up and plunked themselves down right on the road. They weren't directly in front of us, but they were to the right of us, which was the direction from which the parade was coming. We figured they would get booted, because last year the police came by at the last minute and made everyone get off the road. But this year that didn't happen, so huge groups of people were blocking our view. It was really irritating, but it's tough to figure out whether it's worth kicking up a stink and ruining everyone's good time. However, it kills me that those kids are learning it's OK to do stuff like this. Their parents should be ashamed!

Anyway, the parade was good, but not as good as I remember it being last year. Maybe we were all just so frozen that we couldn't enjoy it as much (or maybe it was the rude people colouring the experience for us). We did have a good time though and will probably go again next year.

A few photos (whole set here):
Ready for the Parade!
Ready With My Pompom!

Disney Princesses on Ice!

Although I've tried my best to stay away from the deluge of Disney Princess merchandise available for preschoolers, Amanda is completely obsessed with them, especially Ariel. She loves to play Ariel (to the point that the other girls at the daycare now often refuse to play it with her because they're sick of it!) and at home she's always telling us that she's Ariel and we can be Ariel's mom and dad, or whatever.

When I saw Disney on Ice advertised I took a big breath and decided to buy some tickets for Amanda, me, and my Mom. I was prepared to splurge on better seats, but they were already all gone! So we ended up in the blues, which surprisingly were still pretty good. I didn't tell Amanda about it until the evening before, and I don't think she really got it. Even when we got there, she seemed a bit confused by the whole idea. She asked if it was a "concert", so I think she was equating it with Jeff's band concerts (not that there's anything wrong with them, but they're pretty old hat to her by this point). Once the show started she understood better what it was, and she enjoyed it very much! The show itself was pretty incredible (I hadn't been to one before)...great music and great skating, although Belle did fall on her rear end at one point. :) The Disney Princess paraphernalia available at the show was truly beyond anything I have seen before...$10 for cotton candy?! $12 for a snowcone in a flounder cup?! A light-up Ariel wand for $20!?!? (OK, so we might now own one of those...ahem.)

I think it would be more fun in another year, especially now that she'd know what she was looking forward to. It would be fun to make this an annual event.

Again, more photos on Flickr, but here are a few:

Hanging out with Grandma before the show started:
Hanging Out with Grandma

Amanda's photo with Ariel. Even though it was $15 (!!), she is so crazy about Ariel that I couldn't resist. However, you'd think for that kind of money they could have at least made the photo in focus?
Amanda and Ariel

My little princess down by the ice at the end of the show:
Big Smiles After the Show!

A Day at Como Lake

A few weeks ago, Jeff had to be somewhere on Saturday so Amanda and I headed out to Como Lake for a couple of hours. It was a gorgeous fall day and the colours were amazing! We had fun playing in the playground and taking a walk around the lake. There were several great photos from this day (complete set on Flickr) but here are a few favourites:
Climbing in the Playground
Birdhouse and Blue Sky
Beautiful Autumn Smile