Easter '11

Here's a few pictures from our Easter morning....

Basketful of treats before they were hidden.

Goodies for E-Bunny !!

Easter Pancakes

Sophie with her new friend.

Dying some eggs - Always fun but messy !

Egg Hunt !

Sophie loved looking for the  eggs ...

and she scored her share for sure !

Laila enjoying a few treats.

We had a great weekend !

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Wordless Wednesday (April 27th)

Someone wants to be like her big sister !
I found almost the same dress the boys brought Laila back from Disneyland and Sophie loves it !

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Checking in !!!

We had a great Easter weekend and with no real plans it was nice and relaxed.  I will post some pictures when I can find my camera cord.  :}

The Easter bunny made an appearance at our place and the kids got a few things but we asked him to cut back this year.  In end that was a good thing as our lovely neighbors dropped off a huge bag of chocolate for the kids.  We had our specially colored pancakes, sausages and scones for breakfast.  Then everyone just chilled out and relaxed for the rest of the day with each other.

Faruq and I have hired a personal trainer to come 3 times a week to help us get back on the "healthy lifestyle" bandwagon.  We have also gone back to whole food eating and have cut out all "white" foods so bye bye beloved pasta (sorry I just don't like the whole wheat options).  As well, I have cut out sugar and have to say for the last 3 days I have had a really bad headache but on the positive note I don't feel like I need a nap at 3 in the afternoon.

As I write this tonight I'm praying that all my dear friends in Alabama are safe and have escaped the horrible tornadoes that hit their state today.

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"The Help" Trailer

The trailer is here...What do you think ? I enjoyed the book and I'm still looking forward to the movie.

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Wordless Wednesday (April 20th)

"Our Sweet Sophie"
March '10
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Mama's Weekly Wrap-up (April 17th)

We had a great week at home considering both girls were fighting head colds.  At one point I thought about starting a drinking game and every time I told someone to wipe or blow their nose I could have a shot.  It's tough because neither little monsters can actually blow their noses so we have to wait for the sneezing to occur or they just start to run.

  • I had a really successful week purging out stuff.  I managed to finish Hayden's closet, the girls clothes, more baby stuff and my office.  It feels so freeing to get things out.  I still have to tackle the toy room one more time before summer but it's more just sorting, cleaning and reorganizing that room.  I still feel like my kids have too many toys.
  • I did manage to sell a few things this week on Kijiji but honestly it just sucks the life out of me doing it.  I have gotten wise on how to write my ads so people don't try to barter with me but there are some that of course still try.  My biggest pet peeve though is when people arrange a time to come look at something and don't bother showing up.  I guess it's all part of the process but it just pisses me off.
  • "Homework" wars are back on with Hayden.  Faruq and I agree he needs to learn a life lesson from this so he is going to school tomorrow without an assignment done.  We asked him for three days to sit and we would help him but nope he wasn't interested.  So he will explain to his English teacher who just happens to be the principal (double score for us) why he chose not to do it.  I have already emailed her with what is happening and I told her to let him have it.  Of course, she is way to sweet for that but he does respect her and I know will feel bad disappointing her.  I'm at a bit of a lose with this so please share any tips you might have.
  • We have our new cable boxes installed and they are very pretty !!!  Every button on each remote actually works and honestly it's really very similar to what we have had.  The tech called us 90 minutes early today to see if he could come then so we didn't spent the afternoon waiting for him. It is amazing how far technology has come since we bought our old receivers. 
  • Still wasting  spending time on Twitter !  Hubby thinks he may join that worries me.  Okay not really but I figure he would be bored after a week.
We have a busy week ahead with a few appointments that have been cancelled previously, supper with friends and the boys are off on Friday for an extra long weekend !  

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We were robbed....

Oh wait it was just two little girls "playing" while mommy locked herself in the bathroom talking to our bank for maybe 5 minutes.   They managed to unroll both a roll of  toilet paper and paper towel.  My girls obviously have great determination and focus sadly just not on the right things.

These children are going to drive me insane.

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Playlist is blocked for Canadians....

At least for now.  I know music on blogs annoy some but I always like to listen to it.  Sadly, Playlist is now blocking access to the music for us in Canada.  They say they are working on restoring it to  the United States  first and will try to resolve the other countries but I'm not holding out hope.

Now I'm looking for a new player...Anyone use one here in Canada ?

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Favorite iPhone Applications

When my cell phone contract came up for renewal last year my provider sent me a letter with an offer for an iPhone if I was interested.   Up until then I had been pretty proud of myself for resisting the temptation to venture into these fancy phones.   I mean really did I need that kind of technology.......Well after having one for almost a year now I can definitely say "YESIDONTHANKYOUVERYMUCH".  Even my hubby who is has been a Blackberry user since they first came out is now leaning more and more towards his next phone being an iPhone.

The iPhone is so much more then a phone.  I probably use the actual phone about 2% of the time and the rest of the time is spend playing with all the different applications that you can download from iTunes. I have have downloaded a ton so far and they vary in price with some being free while others can cost anywhere from 99 cents to 5 dollars.  I love looking through the freed apps first to see if there is anything that is worth downloading and there usually is a few but most cost me around a buck.

It has been a lifesaver when the kids and I get stuck waiting for longer periods of time say at the doctors or stores.  With the last 3 kids movies we purchased they included a digital copy that can be transfered to a phone so I have the current favorites at my finger tips.  As well, I have downloaded a few copies of the two shows the girls watch.

A few of the girls favorites are ..

  • Learn to Talk
  • Bubble Explode
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Super Why
  • Toddler Teasers Quizzing
  • Peakaboo Barn
  • Alphabet Fun
  • Toy Story 3 Memory
Hayden's favorites :
  • LEGO Creationary
  • UNO
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Angry Birds 
  • Transformers
  • Scrabble
  • Boggle
Next post I will talk about a few of the apps that are my favorites !  Do you have an app that you like? I would love to hear about it.  :}

Chow !!

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Customer Loyalty

Do you think companies reward long time customers for their loyalty or are they more interest in gaining new ones ?

I remember growing up my parents always shopped at the same grocery store, got our meat from the same butcher, gassed up their car at the same station, banked at the same bank, had the same doctor and dentist and on and on and on.  They always said it was good to show loyalty to a business and in return they would provide good service to you.  Relationship were important to them.  So through the years I have always tried to do the same thing.

While living in Fort McMurray for close to 20 years we established and maintained good relations with different business that we frequent. Unfortunately,  those seem to be the smaller family run businesses not the big corporations.  We have one particular company that when we look at it hasn't really done anything to maintain us but we have stayed with them because we like the service they offered.  We have been Bell Canada Satellite subscribers for close to 15 years and as of next week that relationship will come to an end.

We have never really had any issues with Bell and have found their general customer service/help desk to be average.  I do remember having one run- in while in Fort McMurray and Faruq was so angry he cancelled the service.  But when we moved to Calgary I convinced him to go back to them.  I have always loved the "time shifting" feature they offer.  We made the decision a few months ago to put the cable "on-hold" to see if we really needed it.  I originally felt we didn't but we have since decided to get at least basic cable back.

Because we have been with Bell for so long all of our receivers really needed to be update with maybe the exception of one. Faruq called Bell to see what if any kind of deal they would make him on 3 new receivers and he was told "NO DEAL OF ANY KIND" period end of story.  To be clear he was not asking for anything free but possibility some kind of discount to show that they did appreciate their long time customers. So Faruq told them to cancel our service and we would being shopping the other cable providers. They really don't have a clue though because before the conversation ended the guy actually asked Faruq why we were leaving Bell....Seriously !

We have our phone/Internet service through Shaw and we continually get calls from their sales people trying to get our cable as well.  But in this case I'm the "new customer "at least in regards to the cable portion so they are making very enticing offers to get our business.  In our relationship I have always been the "Fluff" person so if it is new and shiny I like it but Faruq is the "Nuts and Bolts" guy so he has to analyze everything to death to see if it's a good deal.  All I was seeing was lovely new HD PVR's and I was game.  :}

In the end  Faruq concluded we are getting a great deal from Shaw so they arrive next Monday to switch us over to their service.  Maybe I shouldn't be so hung on this but I feel like I'm breaking up with a trusted and loyal friend.   Faruq just laughs when I say that and says when the new PVR's are installed I will become fast BBF's with them.

But in all seriousness ....Do you think business are more committed to gaining new or retaining old customers ?  I feel a good company should have a balance between the two but clearly that doesn't appear to be happening with some big corporations (at least IMO) !

Bye Bell Canada it's been fun for the last 15 years !!

ETA : I asked Faruq if he was interested in trying Telus and I quote "Even if they offered it for free I would not take it" so I guess that's a no.  We had really terrible customer service (at a pretty high level) with them when we were moving from Fort McMurray so that's how we ended up with the Shaw Digital phone.  It really does make sense for it all to be in one spot and we are saving quite a bit a month while getting all new receivers.

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Mama's Weekly Wrap-up (April 11th)

  • Faruq flew out Saturday to get Hayden in Vancouver.  I think his trip was a success and he enjoyed the time out there.  Who wouldn't enjoy the undivided attention that he received.   He shared the Grands with no one while he needs to share us with his sisters.  If all goes as planned he will probably spent a month out there this summer.
  • We are back to a regular routine this morning as Hayden has returned to school.  Just 2.5 months then we are summer holidays.  I'm not sure where the year has gone but know they seems to be getting shorter with each passing one.
  • I'm so enjoying the Twitter world. I have met some really nice people since re-joining and have spent way too much time twittering.  
  • The girls are still battling head colds and although better we are in the "snout running out of the nose" phase.  It's so tough on wee ones because they can't blow their noses.  I \should be a majority shareholder in Kleenex by now.  
  • I finished watching Season 4 of Mad Men this weekend and all I can say is they really need to do a Season 5.  I hear it is happening but not until sometime in 2012.  Now what to watch on Netflix?
  • We went to see Hop on the weekend and while I really wanted to love the movie because they did an awesome job on the previews I have to say I was a little disappointed in the end.  It could have been the theatre we went to as I found it extremely loud and we had to sit fairly close to the front.  It was funny in parts and seemed to hold Hayden attention but all in all I was let down a bit.  I'm sure we will get it when it comes out on DVD as Laila will enjoy it.
  •  I need to get my menu planning done for the next month.  We took the last two weeks off but now it's time to get back to it.  I actually like meal planning because it's so much easier to grocery shop and prepare supper when you have the schedule.  If I don't know what we are having we usually end up with fast food which isn't healthy for anyone.
  • My big plan this week is to purge more in the house and list a ton of stuff on Kijiji for sale.  I think spring has finally sprung here in Calgary so I have the urge to declutter again.
Have a great week !!  I hope it's sunny and warm where you are at ! 

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Wordless Wednesday (April 6th)

We miss you Oscar !!
Our beautiful kitty for over 15 years
It's hard to believe we said goodbye to you 7 years ago this week.

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Birth Order - What's it mean ?

I'm a true believer in "birth Order" and that every kids has a defined role within our family.  Faruq and I talk often about each child and the characteristics that they are displaying.  Then I read this article today and it just reconfirmed what I was thinking.

Hayden (our "first born") fits the description exactly.  He is a total "Type A" personality and has always had a hard time accepting anything less then perfection with whatever he does.  This has been noted on his progress reports from school and we are really trying to help him understand that he must try things even if he is unsure of the outcome.  When he was the baby I would spend hours with him and he progressed very quickly with all levels of development.  But now he seems to be crippled with fear when it comes to trying new adventures or learning new things.  He is making progress on accepting failures and when he recently didn't pass his current swimming level I was secretly pleased as it taught him that even though he did his very best he wasn't quite ready to progress.

Laila (our "middle child") again fits her description perfectly.  She is definitely the most easy going kid that I know but is very strong willed and will negotiate with you on things that are important to her.   She makes friends very easy and loves the interactions with other children.  While she is still to young for sleep-overs and making friends independently of me I predict that as the kids get older she will likely have the most friends out of our the three kids.  While Hayden is painfully shy and we have never had issues with behavioral things at school I'm expecting reports to say Laila is sometimes hard to settle and is maybe too social.  Both Faruq and I have made a conscious effort to try to take her out on her own a little more then the other two kids right now.  I'm also looking at starting her in a dance class in the fall so it will be an outing for just her.

Sophie (our "Youngest") This is the only profile in the article that I disagreed with slightly.  They stated that generally they aren't the strongest or smartest in the room.  But Sophie is demonstrating both of those characteristics and I believed it is in fact because she is the youngest.  She wants to so badly keep up with her older siblings that she tries much harder to do what they do.  She watches their every move and emulates them.  She is very adventuress which can be tough to parent.  What worked for discipline with Hayden or Laila just doesn't work with her.  While I recognize the fact that she is the youngest I try not to coddle her too much.  I have noticed lately when she and Laila are playing she will pull out the "crying" card to seek attention from me so I'm trying to navigate through those waters of being the "fair" parent.  Honestly, with her being so young she may change but for now she is fitting most of the profile.

A few closing thoughts.... each of my children are most definitely individuals and should be treated as such.  What works for one doesn't always work for all of them and we as parents have to recognize this fact. I find myself at almost 8 years into this journey of parenting a much more relaxed and confident parent who doesn't second guess my decisions.   I do definitely believe there is something to "birth order"and will always try to do what's best for each of my children.

I would love to hear others parents thoughts on this and if it applies to your family !!

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What to do on a Winter's afternoon...

But wait it's actually spring !  Unfortunately Calgary can't seem to get out of the previous season just yet.  So Laila and I (Okay mainly me but I invited her to help) made this lovely little Easter craft this afternoon.

I happened upon them a few weeks ago in Michaels for the great price of $5.99.  It was super easy to put together (although maybe not quite for a 3 year old) and turned out really cute.

I knew when Laila tried to glue the bunny to the roof we might have a few "working together" issues.  She was actually quite happy to just take the extra pieces and glue them to a piece of paper.  So it was a "win-win" for both of us.

All in all it was a great way to spend a few hours with her and she was super excited to show daddy "her" Eater project.

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Mama's Weekly Wrap-up (April 1st)

  • We spent the afternoon at IKEA yesterday.  I always feel the need to be super organized when I shop there.  I only bought two things for the kids this time for the toy room.  Faruq is of course super excited to ensemble them this weekend.
  • Snow has returned to Calgary and it's a big storm.  Enough already we want summer !  I have totally given up on a nice spring but would like a few weeks of warm weather so we might go outside to play.
  • Faruq bought the movie Tangled for the girls.  So far we have watched it 3 times but still is not a favorite like "Despicable Me" for Sophie.  It's a cute movie and I'm sure it will be watched many many times.
  • It has been extremely quiet here without Hayden.  I have talked to him a few times since he went to his Grands in Vancouver.  He is having a great time and I'm glad we made the decision to just send him.  He has another week there and hopefully the snow will be gone by the time he returns next Saturday.
  • Laila decided it was time to give herself a trim and cut a bit of her out.  Faruq is now calling her "Edwina Scissorhands".  It could have been far worse and you actually can't even notice it.
  • Sophie is now table dancing whenever she can.  We have removed all the chairs/stools that she can climb onto but I have found her in a bind a few times.  How long does this stage last ?
  • Watching Dexter this weekend and trying to avoid going outside until the sun shines again.
Have a great weekend everyone !!

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I'm sorry for tricking you all.  We are sadly not having another little one but for once I wish it was true.
I hope you all have had a fun April Fool's day !!

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We have news....

But at least one member of the family was not thrilled !!

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