June 29, 2008

My son has a favorite blanket. I know, that's completely normal for someone his age. But still, it's incredible to me how one so little can be so attached to something. This is the blanket that my dear sister-in-law made for him. It's really cute, but best of all it's really soft. After hours of trying to keep him from dragging the blanket around (he was just too little to really pull it behind him) I finally called my sister-in-law up and asked her to make a mini version. Thankfully she did. He no longer tried to drag the larger one around.
So this past weekend as I was washing the laundry and the puked on favorite blanket (which he hadn't seen for two days) was in the pile. My son caught site of it and immediately was trying to get to it. I got it away quickly and popped it up on the counter. He threw a tantrum and then finally calmed down. I thought he was over it. Needless to say, as I was loading the laundry into the washer, he was behind me, climbing another pile to get to his blanket. No kidding! I turned around when I heard him grunting, straining to reach that blanket at the back of the counter. And he got it! I gave in and let him drag it about for a while. (By the way - the puke was rinsed off.) He finally left it and I managed to get it into the next load. Over? No! As I was moving the blanket from the washer to the dryer he caught sight of it again. No kidding! And it was about all I could do to get it in the dryer. Temper Tantrum again. Finally, I found the mini blanket and calmed him down with that.
So later, as he walked past the dry pile and saw his blanket once again - that was it. He had it down and was snuggle up to it in a flash. That night he was so content to have it back in the crib.
So to those of you wondering... it truly is the most cuddly, wonderful blanket. It's knitted so it just drapes over and wraps up the baby wonderfully. That's probably what makes it a favorite.

June 27, 2008

June 20th my husband packed up the car and I ran through last minute details for our group camp. I must confess - this was the first ever camp I'd planned. But I must say, none of this was all my own. I had input on locations, plans, meals, and even my husband pitched in and did last minute calls and things. (Plus he did all of the shopping for our camp supplies - HE ROCKS!)
This all began months ago when the Simply Doing Something group I run decided we should all go camping together with our husbands. I thought it was a great idea - and it was. The hardest part was finding a location that wasn't booked. Boy am I glad all the State parks no longer had group sites available. That is why we ended up at Zion's Camp! It is a wonderful LDS camp. It's a huge property right on a lake. It had so many things to do - trails to hike, boats and all sorts of stuff for sports to rent. Playground areas and all sorts of cool things to discover and explore.
11 couples in total showed up. It was way more of a turn-out then I expected. It had been raining all week and finally that Friday - out peaked the sun and we had the most wonderful weather. It was just perfect for camping!
With all the stress of packing, a semi-sick son and all going on I'll admit I was on edge - but once we arrived it was like all that stress melted away and I was able to just relax and enjoy the weekend.
Friday night we had a BBQ and then once it was dark we had a fire and roasted marshmallows for Smores. A couple of our friends also brought Starbursts for roasting - have you tried that? Delicious! (Thanks girls!)
Saturday morning we were up early with the little tike and we enjoyed a small fire at our site, a pancake breakfast with a bunch of our friends. And we got a little time in at the lake before heading home. It was so much fun. A lot of the couples plan to go back - and I'll confess the same. We will be back out there sometime soon.
I want to especially thank the husbands for building the fires and cooking our food!

June 25, 2008

This month I had the privilege of having my oldest nephew visit from Canada. It was so much fun to have him here, even for a few days. I feel bad that while he was here my son and I were both a little sick. But we had a ton of fun with him. One of my friends Kali spent a few hours with him talking about photography and helping him learn the more artistic side. He knows so much about the technical side and understands it so well. Anyhow, he had a fabulous time learning from her. I'm more than certain he's already trying to figure out just how to get a version of Photoshop so he can learn to use it better.

After some time at Kali's we went on to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. It was so cool. It was really fun to see them making glass pieces in the Hot Shop and then go into the gallery and browse and admire all the cool pieces. My favorite piece of all (which we weren't allowed to take pictures of) was a very large butterfly made up of tiny little tubes of glass fused together. It was so intricately detailed and so pretty.

After viewing the gallery we walked through the gift shop, which had some really cool pieces as well. There my nephew took a ton of pictures. Lastly we walked up on the roof. It not only has some cool art up there, but it also has an awesome view of Tacoma. So much fun! My favorite picture is the one he took of my dear son!

We really miss my wonderful nephew and do look forward to seeing him again soon! And to all his jealous siblings - you'll get your turn to come visit soon!

June 13, 2008

OK - so when I first heard someone say "Conditional Permanent Residency" I seriously thought they were joking. I mean, who thinks up these names? Since we got married in 2005 I have been muddling my way through the immigration process. You wouldn't think that a Canadian, who grew up visiting the U.S. every other weekend, would have so much work to do just to live here legally. Alright, I know, they are different countries and all - but hey, we're neighbors, friendly lovable ones. I guess that explains why, despite all the money and paperwork, immigrating to the U.S. wasn't too difficult for me. Did I really just say that? What I mean is, in comparison to other friends, family and stories I've heard it wasn't that bad.

After our first application was sent in it seemed like forever waiting for news. I checked online every other day (alright daily) just to see where in line my application might be. I applied for permission to travel out of country early and an early work permit. Those I received within two months, just after having my picture and prints were taken. Did you know that all people filing for Residency can not leave the country unless they have paperwork stating they have permission? Yup. Guess what that's called? Never mind, you wouldn't think of it unless you've been in prison recently. It's "Early Parole"! My husband still teases me about my parolee days.

Anyhow, about a month after I received Early Parole and permission to work we had our interview. Let me tell you I was so nervous. I mean - I married for love, not to immigrate, but how do you prove that to someone in just a few minutes? I had everything under the sun showing we lived together, I had changed my last name everywhere possible, and finished our wedding Scrapbook. After a 15 minute interview they looked briefly through the papers and pictures and stamped the form saying I was approved for "Conditional Permanent Residency". (Permanent based on the condition of your marriage.) That was it. A few weeks later my Green Card came in the mail.

So at the beginning of this year I had to apply for the "Conditional" status of my Residency to be removed. Another dump into our savings and another pile of paperwork about did me in. I finally sent the application in and prayed it would all be over soon. Last month I had another stint with Biometrics getting photographed and fingerprinted. I wasn't sure what to expect but I assumed another interview at least. Maybe a visit to our house? Honestly, though, unlike last time it was the furthest thing from my mind. I'd almost forgotten about it, and then it came up in conversation on Monday night. I figured it had been a few months and I should see where I was in line. Hence, my utter surprise when I received my new Green Card in the mail the very next day!

Let's just say we are so happy to say it is finally over! I am a Permanent Resident! Thank-you to everyone who aided me in the process. Mom for gathering paperwork back in Canada, all those who wrote letters for us, and especially my dear husband.

As for whether or not I will be getting citizenship - don't ask me for a while. I'm so sick of paperwork.

June 9, 2008

I must admit I've begun to wonder if Washington was told that April has showers NOT June. No - this is not me complaining about the rain, I'm just observing the fact that we've had a lot of rain recently. I love the rain. OK not entirely, but I really am thankful to live in such a rainy place. I love to sit on the couch, bundled up and stare outside. I watch people go by and wonder what they are up to. I think about the other people staying inside and consider what they might be doing on their rainy day. Perhaps baking (what a wonderful aroma) or maybe playing games. Whatever it is I always hope they are enjoying it. I have to admit that one of the best things about rain is the sound. The pitter patter on the roof (and especially on our skylight) is such a soothing sound to me.
I suppose that I can understand all those people running about outside, getting soaked, cursing the rain for making their pants wet for half a day, but when you have a few brief moments to sit and enjoy the rain I don't know how truly hate it. The rain is what keeps this area so green and vibrant. I'll take that over a dried out lawn any day. It is also really fun to bundle up and play in the rain. Seriously - have you ever had a bad time playing in the rain?
I must confess I think my favorite rainy day activity (and this of course is not in a downpour, but a light sprinkling) is to be soaking in a hot tub! Someday, I am going to have one on my back patio. But until then, I will just curl up with a good book near the window and enjoy the rain.

June 7, 2008

I suppose I should begin with an explanation of my love for red meat. I must say I enjoyed good quality beef during my youth but at a restaurant given the choice of steak or a burger I chose the burger. I'll admit, I still sometimes do. But a year and a half spent living in Argentina taught me a lot about how wonderfully delectable juicy meats can be. Just thinking about an Argentine Asado makes my mouth start to water.

Since my mission in Argentina the closest thing I have had to an Argentine asado has been Tucanos. It's a wonderful Brazilian restaurant in Provo. I craved the meat, and especially, during my pregnancy, I craved the grilled Pineapple. (Not Argentine, but truly delicious.) I was so sad to leave that restaurant behind. But I discovered another Brazilian grill in Seattle. I only hoped it would compare.

Step back to Mother's Day where one my gifts was lunch at Ipanema. We've been wanting to go for a while but dinner is $30/person. Ouch. So instead, we went for lunch. I'll admit, I was rather hesitant, I really didn't want to be disappointed. And I wasn't!

The food was terrific. The buffet was excellent and the meat was better than it was at Tucanos. (Although the garlic steak needed more garlic!) We went with our friends, the Campbells and we all had a blast. Unfortunately, they did not have grilled pineapple. I so miss the pineapple. If anyone knows where I can get it in the Seattle area - please let me know.