Day 71-85/365 {Catching up}

In the blink of an eye, spring break is over, and I am beyond behind on my 365 post.

We spent the entire first week of spring break in Whistler. The snow this year has just be amazing. The kids both made great progress in a short time. Savanna can now tackle the entire beginner hill on her own without assistance. Josh is leading me down tree runs that scare the crap out of me.

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Savanna hid herself under a pile of pillows. All I can think of is she looks like she’s peeking out from a giant vagina.

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Savanna made a good point to me about she is the only one in the family who doesn’t have a camera, so I bought her one. It’s a small Canon point-and-shoot. She brought it with her to Whistler. We took photos of each other. She was very happy to capture me.

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It snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And snowed some more. So awesome.

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Josh and I went for a walk in the village to spend some time together. He said, “Mommy, that was good that just you and me went, so we had lots of time to spend with just each other.” Josh, you melt my heart like nobody else can.

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My favorite bakery in Whistler is Pure Bread. Going there for a baked treat and coffee is one of the highlights of going to Whistler for me. I prefer their original location–quiet, out of the way, small, quaint, and cozy. There is no fancy coffee here except the dripped coffee cones hanging over the shop owner’s homemade rack from pipes.

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Josh loves the trampoline park in Whistler. In particular, he loves the ball pit. I find the ball pit really gross and smelly, but he would jump into it over and over and over.

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After we came back from a week of awesome skiing in Whistler, I went for a long bike ride. Stopping here is a part of my long ride ritual.

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Vancouver welcomed us home with rain.

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When I got back to work, I found this little sticky note on my computer monitor. It was nice to know someone at work gives a rat’s ass about me.

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Last year during spring break, I bought Josh a challenging set of Lego to build. It took him some time, but he completed it without much trouble. He was 5 at the time, and the set was aimed at age 8 and up. This year, I got him a set of Lego Technics. It’s supposed to be quite challenging with gears and clogs. Again, he completed it with some effort and time. It was a proud mama moment for me.

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Jewels came with her name. We didn’t bother changing it. My guess is that her first family named her Jewels because of her gorgeous green eyes.

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My nephew’s birthday was this past weekend. I really wanted to make a special cake for him. When my nephew was born, he was 6 weeks early. I visited him in the NICU. When I held him, I looked at his little face with the feeding tube up his nose, and wish I could do something for him. Now he is a healthy and grown 6-year-old, and I get to feed him junk food. I made a “gravity-defying Oreo cake” because he wanted Oreo in his cake. My brother said my nephew would have been happy with just a normal cake, and my efforts were not going to bring any incremental enjoyment. I don’t really care. Nothing but the coolest cake for my special nephew!

Day 85 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

When I stayed at an AirBnB last year, the host had a big container garden with a ton of over-growing kale. She sent me home with a huge bag of it. I was so jealous of her garden. We have no space for multiple containers, but we have space for one. So since early this winter, I’ve been planning a container garden for our tiny little balcony. We finally waited till the time is right, and planted our little container garden. This planting tool tells us exactly how far to space out the seeds. It was fun getting the kids involved in the planting. We are hoping for some good home-grown vegetables this summer!

Sherry

Sherry in Morocco-1I just know that Sherry is going to be horrified that I’m writing a blog post about her. She’s got this weird allergy to attention. (Don’t worry, Sher, I won’t post any incriminating photos.)

Why a post about this woman? Because she came to Morocco with Savanna and I, AND we are still friends. That means she is a superwoman. I have serious respect for her.

I knew Sherry is easy going and fun and all, but I was still a little worried before the trip. As a parent, I don’t expect anyone without kids to understand the absolute shit that kids put you through–the temper tantrums when you put the sock on their left foot first instead of the right foot, or the tears when you give them the fork that isn’t the right color, or the demand to watch Ice Age 3 for the thirty-seventh time on a trip, or taking up most of the space in a big bed with their tiny little bodies. Parents, you know what I’m sayin, right?

I was bracing myself for the risk of turning Sherry off of kids for the rest of her life. That would really be a shame.

It was magical to watch Savanna fall in love with Sherry. Even before our flight took off, Sherry had let Savanna put vegetable stickers all over her arms. Those two played pretending to eat soup for hours in Marrakech. When we were sitting in a warm train compartment, Sherry fanned Savanna to keep her cool. She played hide and seek with Savanna, did her make-up, braided her hair, and held her when she was tired. She did all this without me asking her to. Savanna loved walking down the street holding Sherry’s hand, and slept like a baby squeezed right up against Sherry. Before our flight home, Savanna said to me, “Sherry is my new sister.”

I was ok with doing less and seeing less on this trip because of Savanna. I chose to take her on the trip and I was willing. I didn’t expect Sherry to. But through the 10 days we spent together, she was never once upset about skipping a beat; not even a hint of impatience when I was slow or when Savanna needed some time to deal with her feelings. Because of her calm demeanor, she even prevented me from chewing someone’s head off when I was hangry.

As a parent, I am so grateful for her love for my child. As a friend, I am so grateful for her steadfast, upbeat, and adventurous attitude. The trip definitely would not have been the same without her.

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Camels are indeed super cool

Sherry, Savanna and I came home from Morocco last night. We can tell you that camels are indeed super cool.

Below are some photos from our camel ride, and having mint tea after the ride. We were all covered with cheich, but I think Savanna wins the cuteness contest in hers.

Of course, the trip was so much more than the camel ride. I’ll need some time to go through my 1,614 photos, and let my thoughts come together on how to tell you about the trip.

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Because camels are super cool

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(drawn by the super talented dude I married)

10 years ago, when I turned 30, I wanted to do something big to celebrate a new decade. I rode my motorcycle solo from Vancouver to Halifax, camping along the way and eating meals out of my camping stove.

10 years later, things look dramatically different at home. Josh is 5 1/2 and Savanna is 3 1/2. I can’t justify taking off for 2 weeks by myself. The truth is, I don’t think I would do that ride again. I was dog tired last time after 6,200 km, and I was a lot younger then.

My craving for interesting travel never stopped. I feel like this is the right time now to start doing some more interesting things again, involving the kids. Unfortunately, Cliff has to work, and Josh has school. That leaves Savanna and I to plan a girls’ trip on our own.

Savanna and I have agreed that riding on a camel in Morocco would be pretty interesting. We also convinced Sherry that camels are super cool, so she’s coming too to check things out.

I’ll report back in two weeks and let you know if camels are in fact super cool.

Death Valley hiking trip

I have always loved deserts after my Joshua Tree trip years ago. I find the stark beauty of it amazing. To start off the year right, a hiking trip to Death Valley is just the ticket! Death Valley in California has the highest recorded temperature on earth (62 Celsius) in the summertime. It is dry, hot, desolate, and beautiful. The starry sky at night is unbeatable here, with the milky way clearly visible.

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Road trip to Kelowna

I had to go to Kelowna for work earlier this week, so we decided to take the whole family on a road trip to Kelowna. The last time I hung out in Kelowna was over 10 years ago. This time it was so much fun to bring the kids. We took the kids peach and plum picking, visited the kangaroo farm, and played at the beach.

Josh getting ready to pick peaches.

Josh getting ready to pick peaches.

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Savanna getting ready to pick fruit.

Savanna getting ready to pick fruit.

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She ate more plums than her body weight.

She ate more plums than her body weight.

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Do you see the arm of the little joey hanging out of the wallaby's pouch?

Do you see the arm of the little joey hanging out of the wallaby’s pouch?

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Hanging out with a kangaroo

Hanging out with a kangaroo

Feeding goats

Feeding goats

My favorite place

If I have to name my favorite places in the world, Cannon Beach would be one of the top 3. Cliff and I used to go there at least once a year to relax, and my mind is filled with memories of Sammy running up and down the level beach and sniffing everything. The last time we went was our babymoon, while I was 35 weeks pregnant with Joshua.

It is quite a long drive from Vancouver, which prevented us from taking that trip again while Josh and Savanna were little. This year, we feel that it’s about time to take them on a road trip, and see how they do with all the travel training they’ve had so far. As it turns out, they did so much better than I expected, and I am ecstatic (and planning more trips)!

We rented a little cottage a block away from the beach. Every morning we would go to the beach after breakfast. We would make sand castles, dip our toes in the cold ocean, fly kites, and throw our beach balls around. We would then go back to the cottage for lunch, or walk to the town for pizza, then back to the beach again to tire ourselves out.

We had a little farewell ceremony for Sammy, because I think that Cannon Beach is probably his favorite place as well. Cliff and I had a good cry. We just miss our pup so much.

I can’t wait to go back.

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