Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Never Coming Home

Dear Hubby's Employer, Daycare Families, New Friends in the City of Cranbrook and Family,

We the Whittingham Family, regretfully would like to inform you that we will not be returning from our wondrous holiday adventure. It was a difficult decision after seconds of deliberation, particularly when facing the reality that we will have to leave this invigorating sunshine that has just arrived to welcoming mounds of snow and cold, arctic air.

We are off tomorrow to see if we can find employment with a certain wealthy individual named Mickey. It was my son's idea of such thinking that this world could use another Princess and another boy to fight along side of Peter Pan. And with Daddy being follicly challenged, my son figured that Captain Hook could always make do with another pirate. As for me, well apparently we need to assess the situation in Mouseland tomorrow to find me a good fit within.

We are truly sorry for any inconveniences this may have caused you, but we just can't bring ourselves to accepting that we will have to give up this glorious sunshine and the ability to worship it on a daily basis.

We wish you all the best in the New Year.


The Whittinghams

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Only 2 Days Until Mouse Mania

Finally we had some sunshine yesterday and we hit a high of +20C! Needless to say, the excitement was in the air for the kids and we hit the pool for a good portion of the afternoon. While the breeze still made us cold, we took advantage of our good fortune and played in the pool until our bodies could no longer take the chill. One would think that +20C was warm, which it is, but I guess it isn't warm enough to spend a significant amount of time in a pool.

Already this morning, the sunshine is streaming into our little apartment and the rays feel blissfully promising. The exciting part is that Mommy gets to have 3 whole hours of time all to herself today so I am planning to sneak off to the other pool in the complex that no one uses, to relax and get some good reading and sunning in. Tomorrow will be organizing day so come Thursday, we can get up and jump in the truck and whisk off to Mouseland. Now that the time has finally come, the kids are getting giddy with excitement with the prospect of seeing Peter Pan, "real" princesses, Mickey Mouse and friends. Yesterday we met a family that had just spent 2 days with their children there, so the kids eagerly shared their stories with Kaelen and got him all excited.

So, I am off to finish my coffee and shovel food into my children's bellies as it is 8:30am and they have been whining for breakfast. And, being the stellar Mom that I am, I told them that they would have to wait for a moment or two while Mommy took advantage of this lucky break of receiving an internet signal again.
Until tomorrow, I will leave you with a few pictures taken on our trip so far:

Yes, that is me entertaining my husband by kissing a lizard. Because that is the kind of person that I am, I will do pretty much anything to provide laughter for people.

Kaelen petting a goat in the petting portion of the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Springs.

The kids on Christmas morning. Masyn with her "say cheese" face and Kaelen patiently waiting to be given the go ahead to rip into the presents that miraculously appeared in our apartment.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Greetings From Palm Springs

Finally we have a connection! Internet and cellular service has been limited at best so despite it being a fabulous holiday so far, I am feeling a little lost here without access. So, being not too sure how long this connection will last, I will have to make this short and sweet.

The drive down here was great. We made it in three days and the kids travelled great. We couldn't have asked for them to be any better. We made the travel days limited to an 8 hour maximum so that really helped a lot I am sure. Christmas was great and the kids got spoiled rotten despite the agreement of no gift exchanges this year. Sadly, there are presents under our tree back at home awaiting us .....

We have four more days left here in Palm Springs and then it is off to Disneyland. The weather has been chilly but it is a heck of a lot better than being at home with all of that snow and arctic chill.

So my friends, I am off and will try to post again although I won't hold my hopes up. On one last ending note, a very happy birthday to my blogging friend Sheryl. Despite her short term hiatus from the blogging world, if you have a moment, please stop by her site to wish her a very happy 30th birthday today.

Hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas and are continuing to enjoy this festive holiday season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Countdown is Done

The time has come and we are gone. Okay, well will be gone at 4:00am in the morning tomorrow. It is with ambitious hopes that we will have the Trailblazer packed and ready to go, throw the still sleepy kids in the truck and drive away. All at 4:00am with it snowing like crazy and the cold just as chilling. Paul and I are used to crazy winter trips like this, but this is our first with the kids and we are finding ourselves over analyzing everything. We are addicted to the road reports, finding alternate routes, various places to stop and stay if needed and even packing an extra suitcase stuffed with winter apparel if needed.

The drive is calculated to be 22 hours - without stopping. And, it is snowing as far south as Las Vegas so that means we will likely be encountering winter conditions 3/4 of the drive. We have graciously accepted defeat early and have conceded to making this drive in three days as opposed to our more aggressive decision of two days.

Any hoo, must run as there is a ton left to be done; okay, who am I to lie, there is nothing left to be done because I am an over achiever. The house is spotless to the point that all of the linens are fresh, towels are fresh, floors are washed and not a speck of dust can be found. But .... the kids are running around in excitement because today is the last day of daycare for them and one of my daycare kids is also leaving on a trip tomorrow. So, to shamelessly take advantage of all of this extra energy the kids are giving off, I am going to dress them up and take them outside to do a bit of shovelling because it was my husband's bright idea to buy a house with a three car wide driveway. And don't worry about them, yes it is -18C out, but moving around will keep the critters warm. Sadly though, all of this snow that is continuing to fall is not good Frosty snow, so we will have to fill our yard with snow angels instead.

Will be blogging through the holidays so will wish you all a festive seasons greetings closer to the big day. Ciao for now!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reason 1,456,237 Why I Love My Son

He is on a roll folks. And, I swear this isn't scripted.

Last night in while tucking Kaelen into bed, after our usual conversation about how his day went and all of the things that he learned, he rolls over and says:

Kaelen: "Mom. My have something to tell you"

Mom: "Okay sweetheart, what is it?"

Kaelen: "Well, it is a secret. My know that my not supposed to tell secrets but this is a good one - I even told Santa"

Mom: "Really. That must be a really good secret sweetie. Now tell me!" (Insert big whisper and not so subtle urgency into tone. I just know that this is going to be a goodie.)

Kaelen: "Weellllll ....... you wanna know what my told Santa what my wanted for Christmas?"

Mom: "Um let me guess .... a Transformer?"

Kaelen: "Weeellll .... yeessss (in an impatient, like duh sigh) but my also told him something else."

Mom: "A Power Ranger?"

Kaelen: "Weeelll .... my want that too but that isn't what my talking about"

Mom: "Okay Kaelen. Mommy doesn't know. What else did you tell Santa?"

Kaelen: "My told him that my have the best Mommy in the world and my the luckiest boy in the world and you have been the best Mommy and to bring you a new pair of slippers because yours stink!"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Reason 1,456,236 Why I Love My Son

Last night while shopping at Walmart (yes, that is the ONLY place that one can shop in good ol Cranbrook, BC) ......

Kaelen: "Mom. Look at all of these cool toys!"

Mom: "I know! Just look at all of them. You have to remember though that we are here to shop for the daycare kids; not you and Masyn."

Kaelen: "My know Mom."

Five minutes later .....

Kaelen: "Mom! Mom! Look at these Transformers! They are the coolest! Can we get one?"

Mom: "No honey. I already told you that we aren't buying anything for you. And besides, you already have more than enough toys at home."

Kaelen: "Mooommmmmm...... My know that (a teen tone in a 4 year old body). What my meant is that we should buy one, no, two of these for a boy that might not get any presents this year. And .... while we are at it, we should buy him some groceries too and something for his Mom and Dad. Everybody should know that they are loved."

Say Cheese

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wish Me Luck

I haven't written about it because well, I kind of forget to think about it. I leave today for two nights in an attempt to win a berth to the Scott Provincials for ladies curling.

I was approached about four weeks ago to see if I would be interested in joining this team and after a day or two deliberation and encouragement from my husband, I did. It has been time consuming with curling at least 3 hours everyday sometimes more and it has been a little straining on the money tree, but as my husband said, I need to do something for me that I enjoy outside of family time. What better way to be physically active (okay, down right panting from exhaustion 90% of the time) and spend some quality girl time. I am the youngest player on my team, not that it is a big deal, but it has been a great learning experience tapping into the Mommy knowledge and talk from the three other women whose children are all grown and moving onto grandchildren.

We leave today for Trail, BC and have to win 3 games to win our berth. After that, we would be heading to Parksville, BC mid January to win the privilege of representing our province at the Scotts Tournament of Hearts.

So, theoretically speaking, there is 12 - 15 games a head of me to win in order to fulfill a dream of competing in a world renowned sporting event. Those odds are much better than me winning the lottery so when you look at it like that, my competitive tunnel vision has set in.

Until Monday ........

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In The Eyes Of A Child

Dear Parade Organizers and Participants,

This past Friday, you put on a great parade to officially kick off the festive holiday season. I have to admit that being an adult and from a large city, the appeal for a parade, especially in a smaller town, is somewhat critical and at times cynical. As adults most of us have the tendency to forget the appeal in "the boring ticket items" and standing on a curb side trying to pacify impatient or tired children gets tedious and frustrating only to have the parade over within minutes or non eye catching. However, this year, the wait was well worth it.

To the police force, ambulance crew and firefighters, the shrill of your siren, flash of lights and wave of your hand had my children jumping up and down with excitement. Your acknowledgement of my son's zealous cries by the short, quick toot of your horn only reinforced his desire to become one of you when he grows up.

To the snowplow decorated in festive Christmas lights, your enormous size alone had my children in awe and they marvelled at the importance of your winter duties.

To the mini tractor who moved his shovel up and down to mimic a wave - as my son said, "that was so cool".

To the semi truck who acknowledged my son's pumping of his fist up and down with a loud, boisterous draw on the horn, thank you for making him feel so proud of himself. And, thank you for scaring the shit out of my daughter causing her to become permanently attached to me. How did you know that I was starting to freeze my ass off and needed some extra body heat?

To Mr. Shivers, the mascot for the Kootenay Ice hockey team, it is amazing at how much excitement a Yeti can cause. My son literally worships you and wants you to be the mascot of the NHL hockey team that he will play on in the future.

To the rapping Santa - thank you for making me laugh. While the kids didn't understand the lyrics and your attempts to be ghetto, the adults did and all got a good chuckle out of it. And thank you for dressing a little different from the true Santa so the kids understood that you were just part of the show.

To the high school Graduates of 2009, what a good idea to partake in the parade to honour your accomplishment. The added kudos goes out to your efforts of wrapping your pick up truck like a big present. All of the kids couldn't stop talking about that.

To the all girl marching band, we thoroughly enjoyed your practices in the field over the summer and I can see that your hard work has paid off. You were all entertaining and had both children and adults dancing in the streets with your festive holiday tunes and showmanship.

To all of the other participants of the parade driving pick up trucks decked out in lights and the walkers handing out candy canes and information pamphlets promoting your cause, every time my children received something, they were there with their thank yous and would eagerly run over to me to show me what they got.

Last but not least, to Santa. Thank you for taking time on Friday to attend our parade especially given that this is the busiest time of year for you. To see the excited joy displayed on all of the children's faces as you arrived and rode your sleigh by them was the best part of the parade. And how are you able to acknowledge each child? My son swears that you winked at him when he told you that he loved you. You are a very special man indeed.

And, to cap off the night, we headed over to the nearby community park that you decked out with Christmas lights, displays and music. Despite the chill of the night setting in, we walked on over and enjoyed the sights, activities and laughter. And the best part of the night? It was the fact that we spent a quality evening together as a family wrapped in holiday excitement and overwhelming love for one another. And, it didn't even cost us a penny to do so.

Thank you for giving us such a splendid evening.

In Holiday Love,

The Whittinghams