Friday, July 24, 2009

we're going, going, going... Canada's Wonderland! I don't know if anyone remembers that theme song, but that is probably what they were advertising the last time I went to Canada's Wonderland! Well, the day before we left Toronto, all the Liem cousins went to Wonderland.

It was a much different experience than the last time I went. I actually never spent any time in the kiddie villages before and, this time, we spent most of our time in Hanna-Barbera Land and KidZVille. The 3 moms took the 4 little kids (and baby), while the 3 big kids, along with their Sugi cousin, went on all the..."fun" rides.

There were many new rides since the last time I went to Wonderland - some I would have liked to try, but others, I could definitely do without. It may sound strange, but I find since I've had kids, I can't go on any spinning rides anymore. I can't say definitively what it is, but I know a ride that I can't stomach when I see it!

The moms actually made an attempt to ride the Behemoth before the park closed (yes, the 3 moms, 8 kids and a baby actually stayed until the park closed at 10pm!), but we got there too late. I guess my roller coaster days are over until my kids are a bit bigger.

All the kids had a BLAST. I can't believe that Josh actually lasted from noon (when we finally got in the park) until 10pm! He wasn't afraid of any of the rides and he LOVED the water park. Many firsts for him that day including a water slide, a roller coaster and a candy apple! Here are some photos and videos of the day's fun. Unfortunately, the baby that sleeps in the stroller or on mommy doesn't get any face time - sorry, Avypie!

Our caravan of strollers (yes, Josh is in a pink stroller - don't ask!)

Sugi cousin, J, and L on a "big kid" ride that spins them around and upside down (don't they all?!)

DB and N on the same ride

Josh, Big H and C on the "little kid" version of the same ride! (Little H was napping.)

It's fun being up high!

Hi, Mommy! I'm on the Jumpin' Jet!

It went up high, but it was slow and I kinda think the kids were bored!

The hot air balloon ride (Little H still sleeps...)

Josh's beloved water slide.


I think Josh enjoyed the warm pool at the end of the slide just as much as the slide!

Big H did a few slides, but it was FREEZING!

Little H had just woke up from her nap. She did one slide and decided it was WAY too cold!

C, like Josh, didn't seem to be affected by the cold!

Together, they closed down the water park!

C and Big H could not get enough of the roller coaster! They must of went on it at least half a dozen times!

Look Ma, no hands!

Even Josh and Little H braved the roller coaster...and loved it! Unfortunately, it was the only coaster that the moms got to go on!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I seem to have alot of posts these days with numbers in the title. I wonder why this is. Anyone have any ideas?

We recently had an energy audit done on our house. I'm not sure if they do this anywhere else, but you can have an energy audit done on your home here in Canada to assess how much energy your house consumes.

The process involves an energy auditor coming to your home and performing various tests and measurements to determine the energy efficiency of your home. Then, they give you a list of recommendations to make your home more energy efficient. The government provides incentives to implement these changes in the form of rebates.

We know that our home is NOT energy efficient. It was built in the 1940's with no really major reno's done to it. That's why we loved it. And that's why we haven't done an audit in the past five years. But we want to replace our furnace that's older than the both of us, so we want to take advantage of the rebates. Maybe we'll also implement some of the other recommendations, depending on what they are.

Anyway, the auditor assessed our home and gave us an energy efficiency rating on a scale of 1 to 100 (100 being the most efficient). Guess what our house was rated?! Needless to say, there were many more recommendations given to us than just replacing our furnace and I'm sure we'll be able to do a few more!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

just hanging out

So, we've been in Toronto for a month now. We will be heading back to Vancouver next week. It's been a really interesting time here. There's still no doubt that my parent's help has been invaluable. Thanks, Mom and Dad! But we've had some roadblocks here that kind of took me by surprise. Ironically, they all focus on Josh! Like I said, Avery is a DOLL. She has been SO easy (knock on wood!).

I never actually thought that taking Josh out of his "routine" would affect him that much. But I think that being here has been an adjustment for him and it manifests itself in naughty behaviour that I'm having trouble dealing with! Josh hasn't actually said that he misses home, but he constantly asks to go home and to go to Nana's house and L's house (his cousin in Pitt Meadows). It makes me quite sad to see it.

Missing home, coupled with the fact that we don't go out much (so Josh gets bored), is a perfect recipe for naughtiness! Don't get me wrong, there is lots to do here! My parent's have lots of toys and a toy room. There is 2 acres of property here and a playground down the street. But we haven't actually been going out and doing lots of activities. I'd like to take Josh to Ontario Place, the Science Centre, the Zoo, the CN Tower, African Lion Safari, etc., but it just hasn't happened. The weather also hasn't been great here. I'm not sure what has happened to summer in Toronto!

But we've had lots of fun doing the stuff that we've done! Josh has experienced lots of new things and he's had a blast. We went to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins and it was sensory overload! There was so much going on that Josh didn't know where to start! We also went to the Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Centre and that was great! The kids are only 2.5, 3 and 5, so the Fantasy Fair was perfect for them! All 3 kids could go on all the rides, so there were no tears or anger. They loved the carousel, the bumper boats and the planes. I don't have those photos here, so I'll have to post them later.

We also went to Ribfest at the Markham Fairgrounds and that was yummy! There was good food for the adults and Josh got to go on a wagon ride and some other rides in the midway. I must say that the options of festivals and shows for the family in the summer is MUCH better here in Toronto. I'm wondering why we don't have any Ribfests in Vancouver?! On any given weekend, there are a plethora of activities to choose from here! (We just haven't been going to them!) It'll be great to spend some time here when the kids are a bit older and can really enjoy (and remember!) the fun!

As for me, I hoped to do more visiting with friends than I actually did. Sorry, guys! It's hard to make plans when you live 50km out of the city, don't have regular access to a car and have to tote around 2 kids! I'm glad that we got to spend time with the friends that we did see and I hope everyone enjoyed meeting the kids and catching up.

I'm also happy that I got a chance to spend some time with my family. In addition to Mom and Dad, we got to spend alot of time with Larry, Sandra and the kids and Lenny and Tini. Since Larry and Lenny are so much younger than the rest of my siblings (6 years younger than me), I never spent much time with them after I left home for university. It's been nice spending time with them and getting a chance to really talk with Sandra and Tini (and watch Bachelorette! Hahaha...).

The best part about going home - I'm sure you guessed! - is that I miss Brian and Nikita like CRAZY. Bri and I talk every night, but it's not the same. He came out here for a long weekend at the end of June (the day after Josh got his stitches) and it was a wonderful but short visit. He's been working on "projects" at home and wants to surprise us, so I can't wait to see it! I'm looking forward to settling in back home and being a family again!

So, with a week left, we are looking forward to my sister's family joining us here in Toronto. All the Liem cousins will be together again! We are planning to go to Canada's Wonderland if the weather is good to us. We also have a couple of visits with friends, so we seem to have a busy week ahead!

Next time I write, it will likely be from Vancouver. In the meantime, here are some photos of our visit here in Toronto:

Mom and Dad's place

Little H and Sandra spending time with Avery

Larry reads to the kids

Playing in Grammy's pool in the backyard

Big H is a sweetie...

...and Little H is a cutie pie

Josh and Little H during one of their "good" playing moments

Joshie is working the "restaurant" at the playground. That's my coffee he's holding in his hands!

Joshie loves to climb

The girls!

Who's the baby again?!

Grammy takes a well-deserved rest!

Oma Poeny and Opa George come for a visit

Look at the horses, Mommy!

Those horses are BIG, Uncle Lenny! THESE are ribs...Flinstone-style!

Tina and Tini with Josh and N - those boys are a handful!


Sometimes it still surprises me what you can use to keep kids occupied and having a blast...
Uncle Lenny gives the kids a ride

Josh gives the girls a ride (or at least tries!)

Ummm...I think this is getting out of hand

Yeah, this is definitely getting out of hand and someone's gonna get hurt!

3 months

Yes, it does feel sometimes like the second child is the neglected child. Avery will sleep for hours and we forget she's even there until she's screaming for someone to get her! Josh is such an active toddler that we seem to focus alot of our attentions on him. I'm cherishing the moments when Josh is down for a nap or bedtime and I can spend quality time with Avery.

And Avery's milestones are not going unnoticed! She is such a DOLL. At 3 months, she can hold her head up for a little bit when she's on her stomach. Her smiles are priceless and she loves to talk when you are talking to her. She's a very interactive little baby!

When we first got to Toronto, we had a week of hot weather. Avery got a heat rash on her face and down her neck and shoulders. Poor thing - there was nothing that I could put on it. But it's been pretty cool the last few weeks here (I think Vancouver and Toronto traded weather!) and the rash has slowly subsided. I never had to deal with heat rash with Josh, so I'm hoping that this was an isolated incident and she won't continually be getting it.

Her are some shots of her last month here in Toronto:

Joshie loves being around Avery and he tries his best to be gentle!

Pretty serious at just over 2 months

Avery is strong enough to hold her head so Kong is actually carrying her now!

More baby yoga from my kids!

Auntie Tini is sure going to miss Avery when we go back home!

Avery wears her first dress! Before this, it was mostly sleepers and onesies.

Cousin Little H can't get enough of Avery

The cousins are bonding

Miles of smiles

Already has an attitude at such a young age!