Ok, I lied

I forgot that we do have a costume. (How do I forget?) We've had it for a while, that's how. Mommy brain. So out came the camera.




Toy Traders

The snowman in the banner up top, I know. Christmas. I'm getting excited.
It's halloween today, and I'm sorry to say that I don't have a cute (new) costume on our boy to show you. But what we do have is a costume from last year that doesn't really fit. His head is so big, it's ridiculous.
And a hat and scarf combo that is not a costume but makes him look kinda cute. That's an adult size hat, by the way. Huge head. Not kidding ya.
So we've covered it, costume and cuteness.

This boy is learning how to walk. His physiotherapist was very happy with his progress on our last visit with her, and suggested that we get a push toy walker to help him learn. He had a blast pushing around the one she had. My first thought was, *sigh* please, please please, I don't want any more big clunky toys in our small apartment. The thigh bands were more than manageable, but a walker? Well... if it's going to help... so I gave in. How can I deny my own child of walking? Or help that is.

Toy Traders was where we found a second hand walker. He loves it.
It was less than a third of the price of a new one. Therefore we love it too.
Toy Traders is a VERY fun place. Trains, Playmobil, comic books, toys new and sorta new. The sorta new ones are a good bargain.
 It's like Craigslist or Kijiji, but in a physical store. You can bring toys in to trade.
 Hum... Legos.
 The guy who owns it also displays his big boy toy collection. It goes on and on and on.
Some for sale, and some are not.
I don't think those are for sale.
There are dioramas and battle scenes galore above the display cases. It's like a museum. I can just picture Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj going crazy in here.
Seriously, their heads will explode. This is one of Andrew's favourite stores, of all time. I love that it's an independent, local, non-corporate, non-big box toy store. It's very much worth a pilgrimage if you live around here.

Lights

So I went to the happiest place on earth to buy a drawer organizer and found myself lost in the seasonal section. 
This was only the small Ikea, can't imagine what they've got displayed at the big one. Cute folksy ornaments hanging from a branch, just the way I want for over the dining table. But it was the lights that really got me.
Snowflakes, globes, stars, and these things...
Haloes big and small, the tiny LED didn't give off much light, but I really liked the look of them.
These starts would work well in kids rooms, Christmas or no Christmas.
And I love these, reminds me of my fiberoptic wand toy from the 80s, but only much better.
And can't leave the place without sneaking a peak at what they've got in the fabric isle. I'm not ashamed to say that our home is 90% Ikea. It's good stuff. Where else can you get fun colourful funky fabric for $3.99 a meter?

More Requests

Sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies.
 Plus David and Goliath, in Lego Minifigs.
I already have some ideas for Christmas for our chalkboard wall. I can't wait for Christmas. Andrew is giving me permission to start decorating as soon as Halloween is over. Since we don't really celebrate Halloween at this house, as in decorating the whole nine yards, I think it should start now. 

My beef with kids menus

Kids menus. Am I the only person that dislikes them? Now that Castle is more advanced in his solid food intake, I like to order him something when we eat out instead of bring food for him. Every restaurant we go to has been the same, the kids menu is full of deep-fried non-goodness, no matter how fancy a restaurant.

Kids menus staples: grilled cheese with fries, chicken fingers with fries, spaghetti, cheese pizza, hamburger, hotdog, mac & cheese... enough with the carb loading beige food! I know that it is what kids like to eat. Who wouldn't like deep fried beige food? And I agree that it's nice to have a treat once in a while, but come on.
Grilled cheese & fries off the kids menu at the Teahouse in Stanley Park. Mommy, this bread is weird. Yes honey, they tried to make it fancy with fancy bread.
How am I supposed to teach my kid to eat good-for-you food when I can't even pick one thing on the kids menu that's good for him. Restaurants serve real food to adults, why not to kids? All I want is what I'm having, but in a smaller portion. For example, a piece of chicken or fish with some veggies. It's going to be a battle training my child to eat properly and to choose wisely. But it's impossible to teach him if the choice isn't even there.

Dining Out: Blue Canoe

Over the weekend Castle gained a cousin, his first. Little baby Cooper. Unfortunately he lives far away but we celebrated anyway. It just so happened that Grandma and Grandpa were visiting for the weekend.
We went to Blue Canoe for dinner.
A seafood restaurant over the water in Steveston Village, where you can buy seafood right off the fishing boats.
Halibut, kale in beurre blanc sauce, savoury scone.
It's a very busy place in the summer with the boardwalk all lined with people eating fish and chips.
Ling cod, roasted spinach, kale and zucchini lasagne, sun dried tomato puttanesca
The place also has a good view of the sunset.
Our food was good, but next time we will try out the other places. The company and the surroundings were fantastic. Welcome to the family Cooper.

Requests

New things on the wall.
It all started with the camera that my Dad requested over Facebook.
Then it was my Mom in law, with her and Dad in their peddle boat, Dad catching the big fish.
After that came Heather, my good friend who is in med school. She requested an anatomically correct heart. There are a few more requests that have not made it to the wall yet. And everyone who has visited has, of course, doodled on it. This thing is evolving into a sorta semi public art wall, right in our own home.

Dining Out: Tableau

We used to live down the street from this place, Tableau, yet never managed to get there before we moved. We blame Castle. No, not really, but I want to. It just seems logical to blame our baby for prohibiting us to dine at a chic french bistro located inside a tiny trendy boutique hotel. 
Steak Frites (Frites came separately, which I liked, so they do get soggy in the sauce.)
We do it when we travel, so why not on our own turf? They better have a high chair, I thought to myself when we walked in.
Ling cod special, with leaks and potatoes
Have a high chair, yes they did. So they do expect kids to dine here, even if it's few and far between. This place is known for after work drinks, we used to come here after work, although it used to be a different restaurant. From the looks of it the same still holds. We now eat out at 5:30pm, and there were men in suits at the bar, having after work drinks.
Green beans and piping hot Frites
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at what was presented in front of us. My favourite was... ... everything. The black current cheesecake was the best surprise of all. We've never had black currents like this, on top of a soft creamy cheesecake, they were succulent and juicy.
Black current cheesecake
Is it weird that I only post about good dining experiences? Actually I did have a not so good dining experience a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't take any photos to show you. It was dark and I forgot. 
Banana Cream Pie
But I will tell you about it. All I can say is, don't bother going to Fray Cafe. Their concept is neighbourhood hangout diner serving local and organic. Great concept, not so good on the food execution. Since we don't really drink, cheap alcohol, which they have, will not wheel us in. The portobello fries were so disappointing, skimpy little plate of tiny tasteless mushroom slivers. All the other plates were just 'meh', and didn't match the price point at all. 

One of our very own

The wall before.
Ugly and boring, right? The wall and the photo. We started taping and replaced the while light switch and power outlet to black. Then on went two coats of paint.
That white baseboard stuck out like a sore thumb. (Ahem, I truly know that that means, see yesterday's post.) If it was a room with four walls and the walls all touched each other then the white baseboard can stay, but this is not the case, and I wanted modern, not suburbia. The paint took three days to cure before we could do this:
Draw on it!!! Yay, a chalk board wall of our very own! Man I've been waiting for this moment for so long. Good thing my hurt thumb is on my left hand, I would have been so disappointed if I couldn't use my drawing hand. Best $30 on home improvement we've ever spent. I know what you are thinking, dust, right? Yeah well I would rather brake out the Dyson mini vac everyday over not having this. We love this wall.

One of those days

I should have know it was going to be one of those days. I got into the shower and conditioned my hair twice before I shampooed. I grabbed the wrong bottle the first time, AND the second time. At breakfast I chipped one of our new plates. Already? So it is a good thing we didn't buy the $110 ones. Then the big wowzers came, I was peeling squash to make Castle some lunch, and managed to take a small chunk of left thumb off on my first peel. YIKES! It hurt but not as much as the local anesthetic needle the doc gave me in the ER.  Dang. 
I told him we should have ordered take out, he laughed. We are now back at zero on our count up for days since last hospital visits. We had a good few months there. At least this time it wasn't for Castle. If you look closely on Castle's hands and feet, you can still see little white dots of scar marks from all the IVs he's gotten. Tomorrow will be a better day. 

And I'll remember

What else is better on a sunny afternoon than to stay home? I guess many things can and should be better, but on this particular Sunday afternoon, lounging lazily about was the best thing to do.
Our home becomes a mini oven when the sun is out thanks to our south facing floor to ceiling windows. It also makes for great light to document the things that I love and the things that I want to remember.
Such as this face, the way he bites his upper lip.
Or how his hair in the back grows faster than his hair in the front.
Just enough so that a few curls are forever hugging his ear.
Doesn't that tickle?
And how much fun it is to get 'giggy wit it' with Daddy.
Words can not describe how much I love a good stripe shirt on my boys.  I hope they never go out of style.

AADD

I saw this pattern book on the weekend and I immediately wanted to make one.

(Photos from here.) 

Knit and crochet sock monkeys. How cute are those!  I wanted to buy all the supplies and get started.  I was picturing myself, sitting on the couch on a nice Fall day, surrounded by yarn balls, sipping a hot cup of tea, my baby playing softly in the background, not getting himself into trouble, while I knit knit crochet crochet away.  Yeah right.  I have never knit or crochet in my life and this seemed like a very ambitious project to break in new sewing needles with.  I eventually did come back to reality, and avoided the large Visa bill of starting a new hobby.  You know, when you start a new hobby, you want to buy everything!
I have many hobbies. And most of the time, I get tired of them after a while and move on to the next.  Some people stick with one thing, like quilting, or knitting, or painting. Me, I have many many many things, and none of them I concentrate on very seriously.  
I usually go through this process: Ooooooh, that looks so cool/pretty/fun/neat! I wonder how they make that.  I want to learn how to make that.  Where do I go learn how to make that? Then, I go learn to make it. I make one thing. Now that I can make that one thing, theoretically I can apply the same skills to make more things if I really wanted to, and therefore I don't need to try to make any more things. Next!
I have AADD.  Artistic Attention Deficit Disorder. I'm like a moth to a flame when it comes to art and crafting, only that there are 100 flames in a room and I can't decide which one to stick with.  Ooooh, shiny, what? that one is shiny too, so is that one, and that one... ... I have never stuck to any of my hobbies, and none have ever grown into a life long passion.  
When I'm doing them I feel very serious, but after the novelty has worn off I get bored. I think this is just who I am. My name is Hazel and I have AADD.
I have made sock monkeys, with socks. I bet these are much faster to make than the knitting method.

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