Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shopping Across the River

Travelled to that foreign country on the other side of the Detroit River today to do some shopping. The exchange rate is about 17% meaning that every US$100 costs CDN$117 - not bad when compared to an exchange rate of 35% not that long ago.

Headed to the US via the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and got into a slow lane. What can you do but wait? Of course, once we got to the inspections booth, it took us all but 30 seconds to be cleared.

About 30 minutes later we arrived at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills. This is a behemoth of a shopping centre. It has a huge Bass Pro Shops, a Bed, Bath and Beyond, a 24 screen movie theatre and numerous other anchors and stores.

We started with cookies from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Mmm mmm good. Tina spent just over US$100 on clothes for the kids at the Oshkosh B'Gosh outlet store. She got 12 items and after exchange it worked to just over CDN$10 per item. An excellent deal on good quality clothes.

We got some cheap food from the Great Steak & Potato Company. After two hours at the mall, we headed out to Target.

One of the reasons we went shopping in the States was so that Adam could get some jeans at a reasonable price. Sears Canada wanted CDN$79 plus tax for the jeans he currently wears. Ouch. At Target, Adam was able to get three pairs of jeans for just over US$50 ($62 in Canadian money).

Tina picked up some rubber boots for the boys and we bought Corbin another video game - The Incredibles - for the PS2. We filled the van with some of that cheap American gas and headed home. Adam declared the items at the Canadian border, but the nice border agent waived us through.

It was nice to get out the house and find some good deals.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Karate

We enrolled Corbin in a Karate class at a local community centre. He has been to three classes and, so far, he is exceeding our expectations. Each class is one hour long. Tina has never seen Corbin so focused and so attentive. His tics are non-existent. At the end of each lesson, Corbin is very proud of his achievements. Excellent job Corbin.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weather Rollercoaster

We have had it all in the past four days. Sun, rain, snow, warm and cool. Monday was a sunny day hitting about 10 degrees C. Tuesday was nothing but rain - all day. The rain turned into snow by the time Wednesday rolled around. It became cold. Thursday began with snow on the ground and cold temperatures, but ended with no snow on the ground and warm temperatures. Today, it feels like spring. Adam actually thought of doing some yardwork today. The forecast for the next five days calls for the temperature to be on the plus side. Winter boots, running shoes, winter coats, spring jackets - who knows what to wear at any given minute?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

That Damn IKEA Wrench

After arriving in Windsor, Adam discovered that Tina had stepped out and that Corbin's worker was watching him. So he brought in everything but Jeremy's bed (which was too bulky for one person to carry. After getting supper ready for Jeremy, Adam started to put the bench together. Tina did not know that Adam purchased the bench, so he was going to surprise her with it.

The box was opened and the pieces laid out.© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. About 20 or so minutes later the bench was finished. Assembly had gone smoothly. Adam is amazed at how well everything fits - and yes he used the IKEA wrench to tighten some bolts. The bench has 8 compartments for shoes, so it does double duty. It sits where the shoe trays used to be. Tina was surprised to see a bench when she returned home.


Later in the day, Tina helped Adam
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. bring the bed in and Adam began assembling it. Lots of different screws, bolts and pieces for this thing. About 40 or so minutes later, Jeremy had a new bed. Adam placed the slats and the mattress in and, voila, a bed. The bed comes with a movable guard rail. One side of the bed has a "wall" that includes two mesh nets to store toys and whatever else Jeremy thinks belongs in them. It's a wonderful bed, that Jeremy should get at least two or three years use out of.

A Trip to Brantford

Jeremy and Adam spent the past weekend in Brantford. Adam's mom left behind some Christmas gifts (such as a DVD/VCR combo) that her and Alex could not take on the train, so he decided this was a good time to deliver the presents, setup the DVD/VCR and allow Babcia some quality time with Jeremy. Tina and Corbin will unable to make the trip because Corbin had his first karate lesson on Saturday (more on that in another post).

So we headed out just before 1:00 pm. Jeremy was tired and fell asleep not too long after we got on the 401. It was pure pleasure for Adam. He was able to listen to his music for the entire trip with no interruptions. Heaven. About 2 hours and 20 minutes later, we were in Brantford. Babcia had some presents for Jeremy - talk about spoiling her grandsons. After supper - homemade chicken soup and potato pancakes - Babcia and Jeremy played and played and played. Adam was able to relax. Around 8:30 pm Jeremy went to sleep in Babcia's bed with no problems.

On Saturday, after having an excellent breakfast, Babcia, Jeremy and Adam headed to IKEA in Burlington. The drive was quick and we arrived just as the westerly half of the parking lot was starting to fill up. Adam forgot to bring the knapsack with diapers and assorted other items, but there was an emergency diaper in the glove compartment. Two and a half hours later, Adam managed to buy a new bed for Jeremy, a bench for the front entry and other smaller items. Babcia bought a bunch of stuff too. Jeremy had a great time at IKEA. He loved the Kid's area and tried out every chair and toy. Fortunately, everything fit in the van. We headed back to Brantford where Babcia and Jeremy played some more. Adam's mom and Alex were amazed with Jeremy's energy. Adam didn't mind and browsed the internet on his cellphone.

Sunday morning was laid back and relaxing. We had another great breakfast and Babcia and Jeremy got even more together time. Adam packed up everything and packed up the van. It was a sunny day, so the drive back to Windsor was pleasant. Jeremy feel asleep again, for another uneventful drive home. A very relaxing and pleasant weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No More Crib

Tuesday night, as we watched Startgate: Atlantis in the basement, we heard a bang but no crying in the boys rooms. A few minutes later we could hear some footsteps and talking. I went upstairs to check on the commotion, only to find Jeremy out his crib and standing in the corner of the room, dazed and confused. I asked Corbin if he helped Jeremy out of the crib and Corbin stated "no" and that Jeremy put his legs over the rail and then landed on his feet and hands (like a cat).

Seems that Jeremy
decided that he had enough sleeping in his crib and climbed out. That was the end of the crib. I pulled the mattress out of the crib, put it on the floor, got Jeremy's pillows, stuffed animals and sheets ready and put Jeremy on the mattress. The next morning, Tina heard Jeremy banging on the wall - one of his favorite pastimes. She went into the room and found Jeremy sleeping under the crib.

Wednesday night, I took apart the crib and stored in the kid's closet until we find a more permanent solution (such as bunk beds). In the meantime, I put the mattress into the corner where the crib was, put two old pillows between it and the wall and put the sheets, pillows and stuffed animals on the bed. At bedtime, Jeremy did not seem bothered by his temporary bed and went to sleep.

A few hours later Jeremy was laying across the side of the bed with is face on the floor and feet on the mattress. I put Jeremy back onto the mattress and took one of Corbin's pillows and propped up against the bed.

At some point during the night, Jeremy got up and fashioned his own bed in the middle of the room using Corbin's pillow as a mattress. Jeremy even moved his stuffed animals, covers and pillows to his new bed. It was a hilarious sight to see when I opened the door this morning. There is Jeremy in the middle of the room, all cuddled up with his bear and bedding.

Posted by Adam

Friday, January 6, 2006

Here Comes The Sun - For Real

Yes, it, being the sun, finally came out today. We experienced a real sunrise and a real sunset. A full day of sun. It was cold, but the sun was appreciated. At work, Adam's cubicle is on the south wall of the building. By 11:30 am, the cubicle was flooded with an overwhelming brightness and warmth not felt for days. Adam almost closed the blinds, but given the rarity of day, he decided that squinting was in order. At home, Tina was able to read a book in the living room without having to turn on any lights. We have large windows in our living room and dining room, so the room was flooded with warm soothing light. It was uplifting to see and feel the sun.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Sun Update

I spoke to soon on Sunday. The sun did come out, however, it was for a mere 30 or so minutes. That is the total amount of sun this region has had in the past 12 days. Depressing. The forecast as of this morning? Rather cloudy, considerable cloudiness and plenty of clouds. There is some hope on Friday as the forecast calls for variable cloudiness. But Saturday calls for mostly cloudy. Who knew that there are so many different types of cloudy conditions. When the sun hasn't shined for more than 30 minutes in almost two weeks, it's all cloudy to me.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Here Comes the Sun - Not!

It has been at least 9 days since we last basked in the glow of the sun here in Windsor. Each day, the weather forecast teases us with the promise of "partly cloudy" or "more sun than clouds". Sadly, those predictions have failed to come true. It's quite depressing to have to turn on lights around the house in the early afternoon, like around 2:00 pm. The forecast for the next five days is not promising. I'll take some cold weather if it means we get to see the sun for at least 3 or 4 hours.

Happy New Year

We wish that 2006 will be a prosperous, healthy and fun year. Just remember that when you get stressed out, to sit back, take a few deep breaths and relax. And don't forget your family and friends. Call, email, write or visit them when you get a chance.