Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day 28 - ETM

Dale's oldest nephew got married today. Somehow I don't have one photo of the nephew, but I have this one of his wife with Chloe, Neve, and the two Miami cousins. It was a very fun, laid back, yet elegant wedding and we all had a great time.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 27 - ETM

A long-awaited event ... Fuller House is on Netflix!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day 26 - ETM

I did a short post from my phone yesterday but apparently it didn't publish. That's too bad since a) it was Neve's birthday and b) now I'm behind yet another daily post.

Neve is now two lines old, according to the icing on the star-shaped Rice Krispie treats she brought to school yesterday. I wrote "11" on each of them with red icing but it just looked like two random parallel lines. Which is what 11 is, but I pictured it better in my head.

The celebrating began on Sunday with family coming over for birthday cake. Her choice for the second year in a row was chocolate trifle with berries.

One of Neve's birthday gifts from Bob & Jan straight from Germany - a game we love called "6 Nimmt"

Yesterday, her actual birthday, was a pretty great day. Neve woke up bright and early, put on the new pants she got from Jim & Sabrina, and popped in to Starbucks for her free birthday frappucino on her way to school. In the evening we went to Boston Pizza for dinner. We had to go early since Chloe had cheer practice at 6:00 and no one was very hungry, especially Neve. After her Bugs & Cheese, she was so full that she asked if she could have her free birthday brownie to go. Normally, the serving staff all comes and sings happy birthday when they bring the brownie, but since Neve asked for it to go, the server just brought it over in a box with no fanfare. Well. The birthday song is the main reason Neve chose BP. So we asked the server if the staff still sings for birthdays and she said "well, I messed up and wasn't supposed to give you the brownie to go. We're supposed to serve it here. My bad." ("My bad" is one of my top ten least favourite expressions.)  That didn't really answer the question but I said, "Oh, then can you serve it to her instead?" Again she avoided the question and just said, "Oh it's okay, my manager just signed off on it so it's all good." Actually it wasn't all good but Neve was satisfied that we'd tried so we moved on. I guess I can't really blame them for not wanting to sing.

Then the most exciting part of the day: we went to the Apple store and Neve bought a brand new iPad mini. Ironically, it wasn't even a birthday gift. She's been saving up for a long time and chose her birthday as the day to make the purchase. She'd been using Dale's old iPhone 3G as her iPod, but this is the first device of her own and she was so excited. We started the setup process at the store, but I thought I could figure it out at home. That was a mistake because it was super frustrating and I made a mess of things and Neve was disappointed she couldn't FaceTime her friends last night. But I called Apple support this morning and straightened things out so she'll be happy when she gets home from school.

There's nothing like a brand new i product!

Then we watched Amazing Race, ate ice cream cupcakes from Marble Slab and opened up presents (she opened a couple earlier in the day too - she got clothes, books, and a full-length mirror for her room). She got lots of messages and cards and calls and felt very special all day. It's fun to see how much she enjoys her birthday. Chloe is more reserved about it and Spencer thinks birthdays are too big of a deal, so thank goodness we still have one kid who is not too cool to be ridiculously excited about it. Our house would be pretty dull without Neve's spark and enthusiasm. We're pretty crazy about her.

Yeah, the candle size is disproportionate to the cupcake

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 25 - ETM

It's birthday eve! Celebrated with family and chocolate trifle. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Day 24 - ETM

Someone left his homework until the end of the evening...

We have a family wedding next weekend and I tried everything to convince Spencer to cut his hair. I even sent our hairdresser photos of his wild head to get her on my side. It didn't work. She said she liked it like that. She must be busy.

So I gave up. But I've learned to make the most of giving up. I negotiated a deal in which I have control over his hair on the day of the wedding and he has to stand still for me to brush it. Plus he has to happily answer five questions over the next month (he hates to be asked any questions about school). He whispered to Dale that he got off easy but just wait until he hears the questions I'm going to ask. I'll be lying awake at night thinking about what to ask. I may be exhausted in the mornings but I'll have the last laugh.


It's a good thing I enjoyed the relative peace and quiet in January because February has had a lot going on: cheer and gymnastics competitions, Valentine’s Day, lots of photo shoots at Chamber businesses (for an upcoming event), and coordinating a gymnastics fundraiser. As everyone who has recently come into contact with Neve knows, her birthday is right around the corner so there are multiple celebration preparations to be made. We also have the aforementioned wedding coming up; I haven’t been involved with the planning, but getting five people dressed appropriately for a wedding is a full time job. It would be nice if all my other nieces and nephews and friends and relatives who are contemplating marriage would move quickly while our new fancy clothes are still in style and still fit.

And I’m still trying to Enjoy The Moment.
Actually it’s not that hard. It’s all fun stuff that I enjoy. Everything is put in perspective when I think of my friend Jenn whose 13-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer a couple of weeks ago. Their family was about to leave for Florida with the cheer team (their daughters are on Chloe’s team) when their whole life was stopped in its tracks. The prognosis is very encouraging but there are many months of hospital stays and treatments ahead. Jenn and her family are probably the most positive people in the history of ever and they constantly amaze me with how they always notice and appreciate and are thankful for the good things even in these tough days.

Suddenly an unruly head of hair isn't such a big deal.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 23 - ETM

Dale, Chloe and I went to an open house at the U of W tonight. It's so weird to think I'll have a kid in university in fall. It's all good but I can't quite wrap my head around it.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Day 22 - ETM

Happy Kornelsentines Day! It was another successful celebration of cousins and treats and chocolate cake. Bella and Lexie came for night and Tia (who had knee surgery just two days ago) and the foreign student who lives with them joined us in the morning. My niece Bailey is out of town for a few months so we had to settle with face-timing her. 
I wish Valentines Day always fell on a weekend. We had a nice leisurely morning of overeating, games and puzzling. In the afternoon I went for a run to counteract all the chocolate and then the girls and I went shopping. The kids went to their grandma's for dinner and Dale and I went to Confusion Corner Bar & Grill. I'd never been there before and wasn't expecting much. You may wonder why we'd go somewhere we didn't think would be that great. I don't have a good answer for that but we were pleasantly surprised. Then we came home and I worked on the puzzle and then we all watched the Amazing Race, followed by several Office episodes. It was the best day I've had since Christmas holidays.
Playing Scattergories
Chloe had another cheer competition yesterday right on the heels of her Florida trip. This is the last competition of her high school career that I'll see (she has one more in April, but I can't make it that day). They did a modified version of the routine they did in Florida, so it was fun seeing it in real life.
Chloe's in the centre on the ground

Oh, I think that I've found myself a cheerleader ... (the one  holding the V)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Day 21 - ETM

The boy is on the couch again. This time he's (mildly) sick and home from school. In middle school, he stayed home from school a lot; sometimes once a week. In high school there's more work to catch up on, so he rarely misses a day. We're having a nice cozy afternoon on a cold day: he's reading The First Men in the Moon and I'm on the other couch with my laptop. I'm trying to do some writing, but am mostly doing work stuff and answering emails. But that's okay - I'm fully Enjoying The Moment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day 20 - ETM

Usually we don't leave this so late, but here's our little assembly line after school today, pumping out Neve's valentines (while eating cream puffs). I like finding valentine ideas online ... this isn't the most clever thing ever but it was much easier than this or this. I thought tic tacs were 77 cents at  the dollar store, but it turns out they're $1.49 at Superstore (they were $1.25 at Dollar Tree but Darla got there first and cleaned them out). By the time I realized how much they cost, I had already ordered the cards from Costco and it was too late to think of something else. There are 24 kids in Neve's class so with printing costs, etc. it was like $40. Those kids better LOVE those tic tacs.
Today I thought of an even better valentine we could have done. You know the song "Like I'm gonna lose you"? I could have used a picture like this and put "I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose it."
Wouldn't that have been awesome? No? Neve probably wouldn't think so either. But if your kid still has valentines to make, feel free to use that idea.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Day 19 - ETM

I promise I will stop writing about Chloe's cheer team soon. There will be other things to write about in the near future: Valentines Day is around the corner, followed closely by Neve's birthday. But for now, this is all that's going on.
Here we are at the airport waiting for the team to make their appearance. In a fun coincidence, Siobhan and Derrick were heading back to Vancouver around the same time that Chloe's flight arrived. They were already through security but we could see them upstairs through the glass as they hung out at Starbucks before boarding their flight. We waved at each other and texted. They were there when the cheer team got off the plane so Siobhan texted me to tell me the team was stopping at the bathroom first and then again when they were on their way down. It was pretty great. I was all proud to be "in the know" telling other parents what was going on.

Here they come! Plus an extra guy.

Talking to the media:

It's nice to have Chloe home again. She had a great time and is full of stories of all her adventures. I'd like her to write a guest post but I know she probably never will.

If you still haven't see enough, here are links to the CTV News video and an article in the Winnipeg Sun.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Day 18 - ETM

This is actually yesterday's post. Pretend it's still Sunday.

I wanted to get a picture of Spencer playing his drums but he stopped playing and jumped up whenever I came near. Luckily I was able to snap this awesome shot, which I've ordered as a 16 x 20 canvas. I'll probably also get it put on a blanket and a mouse pad. That kid.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Day 17 - ETM

I didn't take any photos today but I did videotape Chloe's cheer performance. It was being live-streamed (for a fee) on the internet so I couldn't/didn't know how to PVR it. I went old-school and set up my camera to videotape the computer screen when the team was performing. Just ignore our reflections and throat-clearing and talking. Other than that it worked pretty well. I might start videoing new movies at the theatre. That's where the big bucks are.

The girls did really well and it was pretty cool to see them perform live. There were a couple of falls, but we watched a lot of other teams and none of them were perfect either. Chloe said the atmosphere was insane. So many teams and people and music but it's all run on a very tight, organized schedule.

The icing on the cake was that my parents went to watch the team perform (they spend their winters nearby). At first they weren't going to go because we'd been told they'd have to buy a Disney park pass just to watch Chloe for a few minutes and it all seemed complicated. That didn't end up being the case and I was so happy it all worked out. I wasn't sure if they'd find each other afterward in all that chaos, but they did! 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Day 16 - ETM

Neve had a gymnastics competition today. Three hours of sitting in a hot crowded gym = approx. 3 minutes of seeing your own kid perform. But she loves it and did really well; it's impressive to see her get stronger and better each time she competes.

Chloe's been living it up in Disneyworld. We've been texting and she sends photos. She spent the day at Magic Kingdom yesterday and went to Hollywood Studios today. Sounds like she's having a lot of fun. Her cheer team competes tomorrow and Sunday.

So it's a competition kind of weekend. Not for me though. The only thing I'm competing in is how long I can sleep in tomorrow. I was up at 5:30 this morning for a 6 a.m. hot yoga class. Ever since I started my one-month yoga membership, I told myself I was going to make it to the early class at least once. My membership ends this weekend so I just squeaked it in.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Day 15 - ETM

Let's see what Spencer's doing for a change. Oh look ... he's reading on the couch! Whaaat?!

He's pretty happy about finishing his exams today. He prefers not to display his emotions outwardly. Unless of course those emotions are annoyance or impatience. Okay, he also laughs a lot when watching The Office.

I was trying to convince him to come downtown with me and Neve tomorrow (there's no school) but he was dead set against it and refused to budge in his decision. I eventually grew frustrated and made a remark about him being a stereotypical sullen teenager. Shortly afterward, he came to me and said, "I've decided to come with you tomorrow."

If there's anything he hates, it's being a predictable stereotype. I use that to my fullest advantage. I guess I'm still smarter than a ninth-grader.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Day 14 - ETM

This is not exactly an everyday kind of moment that I was aiming for at the start of this series. But how could I not document Chloe leaving for Florida? The team flew out this afternoon and Chloe just texted that they've arrived in Orlando. It's nice and hot there right now; stepping out of the airport into heat in the middle of winter is one of the top ten experiences of all time. Go, Clippers!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Day 13 - ETM

Chloe is buying US money at the Bank of Dad. The exchange rate is much better there than at other banks.
Chloe wrote her last exam today (except for one that she'll write after her trip) and is off to Florida tomorrow for a week. Fun fact: this will be her third trip to Florida without us, and we've taken her three times (not counting once in-utero). Nice life she's got.
This trip is with her high school cheer team. They're competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disneyworld. You can read more about it here. The team practices and competes for a couple of days and will spend the remainder of those days and a couple of others to hang out at the Disney parks. She's pretty excited.

On an unrelated note, here is Reason #9,589 to hate birds. Seriously? That guy was just skiing along, minding his own business. Why you gotta be like that, great horned owl?

Monday, February 01, 2016

Day 12 - ETM

Two girls ... one ready for bed and one just home from cheer practice. 

That's all for today.