Earlier this year I traveled into the wilds by myself with our three wild kids through Saskatchewan, through Alberta, to halfway through British Columbia. To Prince George, in fact. The place, not the child. As they say, it was an adventure.
This is now the second time I’ve driven this long-Yellowhead-Highway trek with them, which is an impressive 1256 km long. One major difference made us all much happier this time around – we overnighted at Jasper Provincial Park. It was my Mum’s idea, and she met us there with all sorts of camping gear set up for us to overnight. Turned out so much better than the long drive from Edmonton to Prince George did last year! An 8 hour drive with littles easily turns into a 10-or-more hour drive with their needs, so Jasper, at 4 hours past Edmonton, was a perfect place to break.
Camping with three 5-and-under kids is quite an adventure, but we survived and even enjoyed it. It’s always more fun for the kids than the adults, right? We had great neighbours to our campsite on one side – they had 2 kids, one the same age as Spencer. So of course they hit it off right away and played the whole time together. Super helpful. To the adults. And I love that he just got right out exploring, as it should be for a 5-year-old. Cassia tagged along as much as she could. Unfortunately she may have been the brunt of a couple ‘hide from Cassia’ games that she wasn’t overly fond of, but she enjoyed most of the playing.
The next day my mum took the two older kids in her car (HEAVEN!) and we headed in the direction of Prince George. We stopped in McBride for lunch, and just in case you ever drive through looking for a place to stop, they have a FABULOUS kids playground if you turn left at the only major intersection on the highway with the town. Head to the end of the road. Stop, kick the kids out, enjoy a little peace. You’re welcome. Oh, and don’t forget to fill-up your vehicle – the next stop with gas is Prince George, a mere 209km (about 2.5 hours) west.
They have a boardwalk that runs through this ancient forest of cedar trees – it’s an authentic inland rainforest, how cool is that? Taking the stroller on the boardwalk was a breeze, and the kids were relatively confined to the boardwalk as long as they didn’t run too far ahead. It was A-MAZ-ING.
don’t mind the creepy half-body Cassia – that’s what happens with a panorama photo shot and they don’t stay still…
Very much worth checking out if you have 30-45 minutes. There is a longer loop trail that does not have a boardwalk that leads to a waterfall, I would have loved to have done that, but just not really possible with the 3 littles unless it was boardwalked. Maybe when they get bigger. So much fun, great place to stop! They have outhouses if you need the loo.
And with that, we made it into Prince George. We’ve been here for over a week now and have had more adventures, more stories to come. Andy is holding the fort back home, complaining to me all-the-time about how hot it is (for the record, it’s not that hot here) and enjoying being kid-free for awhile. We’re keeping good touch, though!
Have you done long distance traveling with your kids? By yourself?
As you may guess from the picture, we’re expecting a baby in early March! I’m currently just over 12 weeks along in the pregnancy, and overall, things have seemed fairly typical. I started having ‘morning’ sickness about the 5th week, which was really horrible. I could mostly manage to eat crackers, grapes, and water. We found a family doctor about a week later, and she prescribed me with Diclectin, which is an anti-nausea prescription, made of an anti-histamine and vitamin B6. I have to say, I am very very happy that she did. Although I was still turned off by many many foods, I could actually manage to eat again. And apparently it’s only available in Canada. Again, I’m very glad I moved back, though obviously not for that reason at the time :).
As of last week, the morning sickness started to subside, which I’m very thankful for. I think Andy is too, as he’s been making all the meals. And I’m not complaining to him as much :).
I had an ultrasound at the end of July. The puny little thing had a heartbeat going, while it’s total length did not exceed 1.27cm. That was really neat. And one thing I learned from that trip – one does NOT need to drink the total amount of water that they tell you to drink before an ultrasound. I was waddling (with Andy’s help) from the reception room to the ultrasound room when the ultrasonographer told me that I didn’t need to be that uncomfortable. I was very thankful for that. And now I know.
We’re going to be going with a midwife for the pregnancy, which, unlike most of the other provinces, has had provincial coverage (like doctors) since about 1994. It’s a very official thing here. I think Alberta has only just started a midwifery college in the south.
Aaaand just yesterday I found out that I have gestational diabetes. Our midwife is setting me up with an appointment with a nurtitionalist from the Canadian Diabetes Association, which will be a great help. It’s just unfortunate :(.
So that is our big news. In other news, we just had a wonderful visit from Heather, Andy’s sister. We went camping in Algonquin Park, which was wonderful. We had nearly no bugs (YAY!), a fire every night (though we had the worst luck this trip starting them – I think it’s because all the park wood was mostly damp, and they weren’t allowing any outside wood in the park), went swimming nearly everyday, and were sooooo lazy, it was wonderful. The only down side was that we were relatively near the vaulted toilets, and the smell nearly drove me to vomiting every time I had to use them. We didn’t get the smell in our campsite, thank goodness, but I hated using those things. We saw a meteor shower on the 12th, which was absolutely amazing. We just decided to lie on our picnic table to watch the stars when we saw a lot of meteors flying through the sky. They were the biggest I’ve ever seen before in my life; with a few of them, you could definitely make out a round shape of something flying through the sky, and a number of them were green in colour. It was the craziest I’ve ever seen. And they weren’t just flashes of light, they were big streaks across the sky. SOOOO amazing. That was a wonderful surprise. It was Perseid meteor shower, which has been viewed by people on earth for about 2000 years.
Other than that, we’re not doing too much. Andy’s back to work officially in September, and orientation week for my school is the week of Sept. 8th. We’re going to be starting a baby pool in September to guess the specifics of the kid, so keep an eye out for that. Otherwise, we’d like to hear how everyone else is doing!
It’s been awhile since we updated, so I figured I’ve give a brief one right now.
There has mostly been a lot of nothing going on right now. I’ve been working, Andy’s been…well…relaxing, I suppose. We had a good Canada Day, and that’s been our excitement. Mostly. Heather, Andy’s sister, is coming to visit us next week. Well, we’re picking her up in Waterloo, then we’re going camping in Algonquin Park (note to self: bug repellent and citronella candles) for a few days before heading back here. I’m super excited for that! yay! I love camping.
We’ve painted a small bookshelf for my theology books; well, all except the bottom. We’ll have to finish that today. I’m very excited to be able to unpack those books. I believe that the items in the computer room are the last for us to unpack, and books are one of the biggest. We just went out this morning to Ikea to get some more bookshelves, and now we’ve got 4 total, 3 from Ikea. Though 2 of them might just be for holding things rather than books, as we seem to have equal amounts of things and books in that room.
Other than that, there isn’t much. We’ve finally got some nice weather, and we’re hoping it’ll hold up for our camping trip. Yay!
Hope you’re all doing well!
We’ve been doing a lot of biking this week, which has been very enjoyable. We’ve very close to the trails that run in the greenbelt, which expand throughout the city and into parks. Yesterday, though, we decided to bike to Canadian Tire to look at some potting options for my plants, and also to get to the CAA and change our address with them. I had just bought a new bike helmet (after giving up the one I had had for 13 or so years), and guess what – it has a visor! So exciting. Well, it floats my boat anyway. And I needed a bell for the bike.
Along the way we stopped at a garage sale, and lo and behold! We found some dusty end tables that match and will work great in the living room. Yay! $10 for the both of them, or, pour le deux, as they told us. We continued on after they assured us that they’d hold them until we came back with the car.
We arrived at Can Tire, found the right pots, and headed to the bike section. They do not have many choices when it comes to bells. There’s a mini bell, hardly the size of my palm, there’s a regular bell, which is about the size of my palm, and then there’s a horn, which sounds like a goose. Well, I for one am super excited to let everyone know that I now can make a loud, boisterous goose sound to everyone we’re about to pass on the trails. It rivals the loudness of a car horn. And there’s no ‘quiet’ way about it. If I try to honk it slowly and quietly, it just doesn’t make any noise.
Anyway, we biked and then we came home. It was very sunny yesterday, and about 24 degrees. Beautiful day to be outside. However, we failed to realise that it is actually sunblock weather. We soon realised that I burn quicker than Andy does. Apart from that, I inherited a very interesting tan line from the sun yesterday. I’ll leave it to the pictures to explain.
This weekend Blackburn Hamlet (the area we’re living in) is hosting a fair. We walked by on Friday to see what it was like, and it’s definitely small and cheesy. It has a ferris wheel, 4 spinny rides, and 3 children’s rides, as well as your typical stands where you shoot things to get a prize. So we left after walking through it. They did advertise, however, that Saturday night at dark they would be doing a fireworks display. It was much longer than I anticipated it would be. Being on the 8th floor, and facing the general direction of the fair, we got a great view of the fireworks. They lasted 10 minutes, which is close to what St. Albert can put out (just joking, St. Albert is longer, we think). It was surprising that for such a small fair that they could afford 10 minutes of fireworks. It was nice to watch.
And that’s mostly been our exitement. We had visitors last weekend from Winnipeg: Jean & Janelle LaFrance. They were here for an ordination of a friend of theirs, and stayed with us Friday, Monday and Tuesday nights. We had a great time with them! They brought along their little 8 month old son, who is so very cute, even when he’s crying his little eyes out, and very friendly.
We have Miss Kate O’Gorman coming to visit us this coming Thursday, which I’m uber excited about! We’re set to explore Ottawa together. And the following week my mom will be visiting us as well, having just finished a conference somewhere in Ontario.
So we’re set with our quota of Westerners for June, though we’re always open to more. In August Andy’s sister Heather is coming for a visit, and we’ll be heading to Algonquin Park for 4 days of camping with her. Then it’ll be close to Andy and I starting both our first full years of school here. So soon!
Oh, and we bought a Wii Fit yesterday, as it was 25% off. After we tried it out, we realised it was 25% off for a reason (faulty board), but it is covered under Nintendo’s warranty, so we’ll be looking into that today.
That’s about it for my update. Pretty lengthy, but I hope you were able to bear through it. Enjoy the pictures!
[img_assist|nid=167|title=The new honker|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=640|height=481]
[img_assist|nid=170|title=The LaFrances visiting us!|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=481|height=640]
[img_assist|nid=164|title=Excitement at the complex|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=640|height=481]
There was an alarm pulled in the building next to us, which drew 5 fire trucks, 2 ambulances, and many many police cars.
[img_assist|nid=163|title=Fire truck for the building next door|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=640|height=481]
[img_assist|nid=162|title=Andy on the trail by the Ottawa River|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=481|height=640]
[img_assist|nid=161|title=Sun setting over the Ottawa River|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=640|height=481]