So Karen over at Pediascribe (who you really should be reading if you aren’t already, because her blog is always amusing!) posted this today and since I am attempting to post more frequently but am decidedly lacking in the idea department, I am “borrowing” it.  Much nicer than “stealing”, don’t you think?  It’s supposed to be 44 Odd Things About Me:

1. Do you like blue cheese? Love it!  the stinkier the better.  My host Mom, Elke, in Germany had this crazy stuff that would stink up the entire house within moment of the package being opened.  Man was it good!

2. Have you ever smoked? Nope!  At the ripe old age of 5 I promised my babysitter Anna that I never would.  She didn’t really believe me, but I have never so much as tried it to this day!

3. Do you own a gun? Definitely not.  Btu I am trained how to shoot a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle.  I’m not very good – but don’t tell the enemy, ok?

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? I honestly can’t remember.  Did they have an orange flavour?  I like orange drinks.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Sometimes.  Depends why I’m there.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Roasted over a fire I can’t resist and sometime on the BBQ they lure me in as well!  I try not to think what they are made of!

7. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life.  I have watched it every Christmas Eve without fail since I was in highschool.  Love it!

8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning? It changes.  Lately coffee.  Definitely coffee.  But I used relish my morning Chai….actually I miss my daily Chai from Never Bean Better in Comox.  Sigh.

9. Can you do push ups? Yes.  But I hate to.  I have to for my military PT tests and it freaks me out every time.  Push ups just suck!

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Aside from my wedding band and engagement ring, which I obviously adore, I love my pearl earrings that I wear every day.

11. Favorite hobby? Scrapbooking, duh!  Need you even ask??

12. Do you have A.D.D? I don’t think so…

13. What’s one trait you hate about yourself? I have a very short temper.  I don’t think I have always had one..it seemed to appear in adulthood.  Or maybe I just didn’t recognize it until then!

14. Middle name? Margaret, the name of my Dad’s mom who passed away a few weeks before I was born.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
1) I wish Dale hadn’t turned the dishwasher on.

2) Can’t believe my legs are still cold from our walk – I need long johns!

3) When did Nate get tall enough to reach the top of the kitchen table??

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, water, milk

17. Current worry? Money.  It’s probably just all the additional moving expenses…but I have been uber stressing about finances lately.

18. Current hate right now? The stupid grocery stores in this town where you can NEVER get everything on your fairly simple list in one stop.  It drives me up the wall!

19. Favorite place to be? Somewhere hot and sunny.

20. How did you bring in the new year? I’m pretty sure Dale and I went to bed on the pull out in his parents basement shortly after Nate did…so around 9pm.

21. Where would you like to go? Comox is high on my list…but I’m actually trying to convince Dale to go on a trip south in February.

22. Name three people who might complete this: Laurel, Rae-Lynn, Eva.

23. Do you own slippers? Blue ones.

24. What shirt are you wearing? a teal tank top and my lime green MEC fleece over top.  Pretty standard Sunday attire!

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I never have but I doubt it.  I like to feel cozy in bed…not be sliding all over the place.

26. Can you whistle? No and I actually really hate whistling.  Just ask my sister how much!

27. Favorite color? It’s always a toss up between red and yellow.  When I was little it was definitely red – I always wanted the red cup at dinner.  In highschool it shifted to yellow…and now I don’t really now.  I think I like them both equally for different things!

28. Would you be a pirate? I wouldn’t make a very good one I don’t think.

29. What songs do you sing in the AM? I rarely sing…but I hum a lot!

30. Favorite Girl’s Name: Hmmm…I’m not sure.  We were going to name a baby girl MacKenzie…does that count?

31. Favorite boy’s name: I’m pretty sure there isn’t one.  Deciding on a name for a baby boy was a real struggle.  It even took my weeks, if not months, to decide I really liked Nate’s name.

32. What’s in your pocket right now? A handkerchief from grassrootsstore.com, have I told you how much I love them?  The organic cotton is sooooo soft on your nose and it only gets better with washing!

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Nate climbing all over is on the couch trying to get us to tickle him.  It was some fabulous after-dinner family bonding.  We all laughed till our bellies hurt!

34. What vehicle do you drive? Honda Element and Honda Civic

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Hmmm… haven’t had too many serious injuries.  The one that bugged me the most though has been my knee.  Hasn’t bothered me in a while though…knock on wood!

36. Do you love where you live? I think we all know the answer to that question.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?  Two, but neither are hooked up to cable.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Probably Rae-Lynn.  Although Jaclyn (who I have recently gotten to know again after a long time out of touch) was always pretty loud when we were growing up.

39. Do you have any pets? Of course!  Turner the labradoodle!

40. Does someone have a crush on you? I like to think so.

41. Your favorite book(s): Oooh, oooh!  I’m re-reading one of my all-time favourites – a historical romance called Wild Swan by Celeste De Blasis.  It’s the first in a trilogy.  Love it!

42. Do you collect anything? Not really.  I never was much of a collector.

43. Favorite Sports Team? The Cleveland Browns.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? I have never thought about that one.  And I don’t really want to, so I’ll take a pass.

Well.  Those didn’t seem very odd at all.  Other than the stinky cheese fetish of course.  But you’ll forgive me for that one won’t you?

Hello! How are you all?  I have missed you.  I know, I know.  I am the one who hasn’t been around much lately, but I’ve missed you nonetheless!  However this week I just had to post after Megan (who is also returning from a move-related hiatus – which I am very happy about – the return, not the hiatus…right, back to the blog)…so Megan told me her readers that this is International Babywearing Week and challenged all her readers to some good ol’ fashioned advocacy.  And although I am not usually a very strong advocate, I am all about promoting babywearing to other moms (and Dads too!) – especially of the “new” variety!  So even if you’re a parental type reading this, but already past the babywearing stage, make sure you pass on the info or link to friends and family who might find it useful.

img_6885Anyway, I’m sure there are going to be a million posts out there about how babywearing was a godsend for someone with a collicky/fussy/high needs baby and I don’t dispute those facts one iota.  I know that being able to wear your baby in those cases must be not only comforting for baby but I lifesaving skill for mama.  But to be brutally honest, I rarely had to wear Nate because he was fussy.  Ok – there were few times. But mostly I wore him because it was convenient for me.

That’s right.  It was less about him, and more about me.

img_6634So I want to show people another perspective on babywearing.  The active side of babywearing. Not the babywearing that keeps your hands free to clean your house and do your laundry.  But the babywearing that keeps your hands free to control your giant dog and throw his ball.  The babywearing that lets you walk on trails that are not even jogging-stroller friendly.  The babywearing that meant I didn’t have to lug a stroller through airports but still had my hands free for luggage and documents.  The babywearing that means you don’t have to lug around a cumbersome infant carseat that wrenches your back and the babywearing that means you don’t have to balance a toddler awkwardly on your hip while you pick up a parcel or some milk on the way home from work.  That’s the kind of babywearing I am thankful for.

img_6628Even now, when I wear Nate less frequently than when I was on maternity leave, it is odd for more than a day or two to go by when I don’t strap him to me at some point so that I can do something that would be more of a pain if I had to carry him in arms or lug a stroller with me.  And Dale is the same.  He has worn Nate right from the get go, and hasn’t stopped since despite.  He even managed to navigate the learning curve of back carries without assistance!

So if you think babywearing is only for people with fussy babies, think again.  Babywearing is also for active people with perfectly happy babies.  Like Eva and Jackie.  The only other advice I would impart is this:  if you want your baby to be comfortable in a carrier you need to use the carrier regularly.  I find whenever I have gone for an extended period without wearing Nate, it takes a few carries for him to get used to being on my back again.  So we take it slowly, limit the length of carries till he decides it’s comfy again, and voila!  As Megan said, happy mama, happy baby toddler!  Seriously – how do they grow up so fast???img_0773

As well, and post by me on babywearing wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my favourite babywearing accessory.  If you’re really in to being active while babywearing this is a must really, really nice-to-have item – a babywearing jacket from Suses Kinder.  I love, love, love my red and white version.  You can read more about it here, and rest assured I am just as much in love with it now as I was right after I bought it.  In fact Nate and I were out and about it our jacket during the first Cold Lake snowfall of the season just the other day.  We were both toasty warm and completely dry and very, very content.  And the new deluxe version by Suses Kinder even allows for a hip carry (in addition to the front and back carries!) in the jacket – which would be awesome for those quick trips into a store or down to the mail box!

Anyway you look at it – fussy baby or not.  Babywearing is great.  Google “benefits + babywearing” and you’ll surely come up with a million pages listing all the health and wellness that inevitably comes from mama (or Daddy) and baby being close.  And they are all true.  But there is also just the sheer joy of having your adorable baby/toddler peeking out over your shoulder or resting their head on your chest while you carry on with things that made you happy even before the arrival of your new tag-along!

So – did I advocate enough?  If not, here are a few more pics to prove how much all three four of us, love babywearing!

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A final note on the carriers pictured above:

-the wrap we used when Nate was a baby (the pictures where you can’t even see him!) is a Cuddly Wrap borrowed from my pal Kelly;

– the other green wrap in the hip cary pic is a 5M Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze;

– the carrier in the pic of Dale in the snow and by the river is a borrowed Kelty Kids carrier, which we didn’t love and didn’t use for long before we replaced it with the BECO baby carrier which is the bluish carrier you see in most of the pics;

– the brown pouch is a peanut shell which Nate didn’t love, so I sold;

– and finally, our hiking carrier is a Deuter which is fabulous for long hikes thanks to the vantage point and extra storage space.

I think I was meant to see this today:  “Pisces: You may not think so, but life is exactly as it should be.  Stop complaining and start seeing all of the good things you have going.”

So here is the list I conjured up while attempting to avoid any real work today 🙂

1.  I have a kick ass new house (which I promise I will post pics of soon!)

2.  Said house has a lovely fireplace in the basement which makes everything seem very cosy.

3.  I live in a place where there is a spectacular sunrise and sunset almost every day.  

4.  Someone invented Skype, so even though they are far away I can still see my family whenever I want!

5.  My BFF is also in the military so I can call her for free from work to wish her happy birthday and because we talked about the WCF thingy it totally counts as a work-related call!

6.  My sister also works on a base, and despite the lack of a WCF thingy in her job I can call her sometimes too!

7.  Someone invented Facebook and Blogger so I get to see what all my pals are up too all. the. time.

8.  Even though Dale is away and the nights get really cold here, I have a giant beast of a dog who keeps the other side of the bed warm for me.

9.  My adorable kid will pretty much eat any mediocre meal I put in front of him…even a bowl of peas.

10.  He also goes to sleep without the least bit of fuss at night and wakes up full of smiles and giggles in the morning.  Usually at an acceptable hour.

11.  He doesn’t mind diaper changes, tubbies, getting dressed, being put into his carseatstroller/baby carrier/highchair.  In fact he usually like it.  How lucky am I???

12.  I have my own office at work and get to look out my window at super fast jets every day.  Very cool!

13.  I also have my own parking spot right up by the building.  It may not seem so special now, but I’m betting I’ll be more appreciative when it’s minus 40!  Brrrr.

14.  The CBC Edmonton station has a hilarious show called radioactive that I get to listen to on the way home from work every day.  Always makes me laugh.

15.  Everywhere I go people tell me how cute my kid is.  Then he proves it by flashing them huge grins and giggling.

17.  My fabulous hubby sent me a little sumpin’ sumpin’ in the mail for when he gets home next week.  Nothing like a little anticipation to to make up leaving me to fend for myself shortly after moving me to the end of the earth 😉

18.  Timmies is now on the way to work and at 7:15 there is a lull in the drive thru line-up just in time for me to arrive!

19.  My family and friends are safe and healthy.

20.  We have eachother – despite the ups and downs that may come.

As Corey always says: Life is good! (Even in Alberta!)

So…the big question is:   What in the world have I been doing if I haven’t been religiously updating my blog??

That’s a very good question.  I feel like I have been running around in circles like a chicken with my head cut off.  But in reality I think I have just been doing very normal, borderline boring, everyday things.  Going to work, coming home, playing with Nate, walking the dog, doing laundry, Skyping with the fam in Ontario and in BC, washing dishes, reading stories, changing diapers, packing lunches, buying groceries, talking on the phone with Dale, etc, etc, etc.

You woudn’t think that all of those things would take in excess of 16 hours a day, but apparently they do.  I know, I know.  It surprised me too!  But once you factor in 8-10 hours out of the house for work…the other 6-8 hours seem to fly by.

My good friend Barb pointed out the other day when we were chatting that my Facebook posts sounded like I was unhappy.  I don’t know about unhappy…because how can you really be unhapy when you live in a lovely home with your wonderful family, with plenty of fod to eat (not to mention lots of Timmies coffee) and when you are safe and sheltered and loved?  So am I unhappy – no, no really.  But I am definitely still adjusting to this new place and to the new routines.

I most certainly am still really missing Comox – mostly for the people, not the place (although I would kill for a trip to Starbucks and walk on the beach!)  I am so thankful for the fact that technology allows us to feel much closer than we really are.  Twice now I have scrapbooked with Gill (once with Laurel) over Skype.  It’s just way too cool to be able to chat and even see eachother across such a distance…for free even!  If you haven’t tried Skype with your distant loved ones, you need to soon!

I am starting to meet people here, too.  In fact I was out for dinner with Nate at a friend’s house last night and it was lovely!  Good food, great company, lots of conversation and thankfully, baby-friendly!  I a m having another acquaintance over for dinner on Tuesday night in hopes of making another friend.

But the time it takes to really settle in is no where near past.  I’m sure I have at least another few months of feeling like I don’t quite belong before this place will begin to really feel like home.  Before it will feel effortless to hangout with people here as opposed to feeling borderline awkward as you get to know them.

And in case you’re wondering why there is so much  “I” and not much “We” in this post, that would be because Dale has hardly been here since we moved between an 11 day trip to Quebec for a course and now an exercise in Central Alberta for 2 1/2 weeks.  He is feeling terrible about being gone so much, so I am trying to downplay my loneliness, but I’m not a very good actor!  I can’t wait until he is home and we can spend some time as a family here, to get involved in the community  little bit.

Thankfully Nate is thriving and seems blissfully unaware of the the angst around him.  He loves his new sitter Kim and all the kids there.  He loves the space in the new house.  He is still changing almost daily.  Some of the latest developments include:

– he loves to sit with his books and flip through the pages

– before bed he is happy to sit through 2-3 books while we snuggle on the couch

– he knows where his shoes/socks/slippers go and like to hold his feet out for you

– he has learned that he needs to sit on his bum in order to get his after-nap snack and as soon as he sees the sippy cup and cheerio box immediately plops himself down on the ground!

– he likes to help me feed Turner and gets really excited when I give Turner the “OK” to eat

– he knows how to go down the stairs backwards really well

– he is drinking cows milk from a sippy cup – no more bottle!

– he likes to groove and dance along with me when I play music on the iPod

– he has learned how to play peek-a-boo by putting his hands over his face, and laughs hysterically every time

– and I think he is finally saying something approximating “mom” (it sounds like “umm” – but I’ll take it!)

See – just typing all those things makes me insanely happy.  So I can’t say I’m unhappy.  Perhaps just still feeling a little unsettled.  Missing my friends, feeling confined to this house (no babysitter here yet!) and definitely not lovin’ the oil-driven economy of “stuff” here that is so vastly different from my beloved, environmentally conscious and people friendly Island.  Yes, that’s it:  happily unsettled in Cold Lake, Alberta.

Hives.

Which compared to chicken pox, or worse – measles – sounds pretty good.  But believe me – hives are not a good thing in a 1 year old.  He cried so hard when I applied the cortisone cream that I cried too.  It just breaks my heart to see him hurting and unhappy.

The better news is that the benadryl and steroids make him sleepy and he is out like a light. Hopefully he can sleep comfortably and will feel better in the morning once the medicine really kicks in.

Warning to those with feeble stomachs or soft hearts…the following pictures are graphic.  But I feel a desperate need so share, especially since I’m parenting on my own and have no friends to speak of in Cold Lake to share with!  So please forgive me, and skip the pics if you wish!

And specially for those of you who weathered the awful pictures, here is a happier Nate earlier in the day (before the hives got really, really bad, and just after a nap and bottle!)  This should cheer you up – Nate chillin’ at his new Ikea table and adorable red chairs!

Apparently I am not meant to go to work this week.  Instead I am destined to stay home with a sick child.  

Monday and Tuesday Nate was home from day care with a bad cold, diarrhea and a wicked diaper rash.  Wednesday I managed to go to work (although I had to leave early to take him to the doctor for his one year check up) and then last night at bath time I discovered a bunch of bumps on him that I was praying were bug bites.

But by this morning (after being up with my-usually-sound-sleeper 3 times through the night) the spots had multiplied and are all over his arms, legs, neck and torso.  Fun.

I’m thinking possibly chicken pox, although they haven’t started to blister yet so I can’t be sure.  He also had strawberries yesterday at the sitters, and although he has had them there before without a problem they could be the culprit.

In any case the little man is rather miserable.  He went back down for a morning nap just before 8, which is very early for him.  I am still holding out hope that this is not Chicken Pox and he will be back at day care tomorrow.  But I’m not holding my breath either!

Dear Nate,

How is it even possible that you are one year old???  In my rational mind I realize that time marches on and tiny babies grow into little boys and eventually into independent adults.  But at the moment I find it difficult to comprehend some days how quickly the past year has flown by.  In so many ways you are obviously the same baby that I gave birth to but in other ways you have changed immeasurably, and although those are both very good (and natural!) things, it’s hard for a mama to cope with at times!

So what has made 12 months so special you ask?  Well, your 12th month has seen a lot of family change.  A lot!  We have completed our move to Cold Lake, Alberta, leaving behind your beautiful birthplace – Comox.  I think the change has been far more difficult for your Mommy and Daddy than it has been for you though.  You were a wonderful traveler during our six day road trip and you have adjusted to our new house without a hitch.  In fact I think you are rather enjoying all the extra play space that our new house has to offer you!

For our first 10 days in Cold Lake, your Grandma Campbell stayed with us, looking after you while Mommy and Daddy worked hard at unpacking and getting moved in.  She adored your time together and I think the feeling was mutual.  Some days I wasn’t sure how she managed to keep up with you for hours on end…but she seemed quite content crawling around on the floor and chasing you all over the house.  We were extremely lucky to have her around!

Of course, coming to Cold Lake meant saying goodbye to everyone in Comox.  Again, I’m pretty sure it was much harder on your Mommy than it was on you.  And perhaps it was most difficult for your Auntie Gill.  She misses you more than you can imagine right now and I can’t wait for her to visit over Thanksgiving so that she can see you again. In the meantime she asks about you constantly and harasses your Mommy for photos of you almost daily!

Perhaps the most exciting news of your 12th month is that you are truly and totally a “walker” now.  No more crawling for Nate!  It didn’t take you too long to go from stuttering steps to full out strutting your stuff.  In fact I think you are almost running these days!  You can crawl up  – and down! – the stairs.  You can get up onto the futon in your play room.  You love to stand and look out the front window and watch the silly robins eating the berries from the tree in our front yard.  You can’t get enough of rocking on your new rock’n’roll trike (a birthday present from Nana) and we constantly find you leafing through your book collection.  The Dog and Alphabet books are definitely two of your personal favourites.  You also seem to like the pictures in your very special book from Auntie Gill…even if you’re not quite patient enough to always listen to the words yet!

You are still a superstar eater.  In fact, I can hardly believe how much food you can pack into your tiny little body!  At every meal you are constantly signing for more and most of the time we can’t get the food on your plate fast enough!  And speaking of plates…you have graduated to eating from a plate, and holding onto your own fork or spoon (even if you’re not sure what to do with them yet!)

You are still napping twice a day and sleep like a rock at night.  I am thankful every day that you are such a wonderful sleeper and that you go to bed contentedly in your crib every night – waking most mornings with a smile on your face and ready to greet the day refreshed and full of renewed energy and enthusiasm.  Of course when it’s time to sleep, your stuffed Puppy is never far from your side.  He is an almost constant companion these days…so much so that I can barely steal him away to wash!

You still start and finish your days by nursing.  I wasn’t sure if we’d still be on the same page about nursing by this point, but everything seems to be going well.  It makes me so happy that despite the fact that I am going off to work everyday, we still get quality Mommy and Nate time at the beginning and end of every day.  There have been a couple times when I thought you might be done with nursing, but then you seem to go back it to it as strong as ever.  I’m not sure where we’ll go from here, but I know that as long as we do it together…we’ll both be fine.

When I think back over the past year I am overwhelmed with emotion, Nate.  My sweet little helpless baby has become an active toddler quickly learning to assert his independence.  You want to everything we do! I’m not totally sure how it happened.  Time has gone so quickly, and as much as I have attempted to document the milestones your first year, I feel like important moments have still managed to slip under my radar.

I think mostly, I want to thank you Nate for all that you have given me and taught me in the past 12 months.  I simply cannot imagine my life without you in it.  Everyday you fill my heart with joy and love and laughter.  I also know that your Daddy feels the same.  We both find it equally difficult to leave you every morning to go to work and are both ecstatic to come home to you at the end of every too-long day.

I hope that someday you will read back over these letters from me to you – perhaps when you’re ready to have children of your own – and know without a doubt how much I love you.  Know unequivocally how much I treasure our time together and how I live in awe of the fact that you came from me and have become such an amazing person.  In only 12 short months.  Imagine what the rest of a lifetime can bring.

I hope you read them and know I love you.  Pure. and. Simple.

With all my heart,

Mommy

Today is somewhat bittersweet.  I am so happy to be celebrating Nate’s 1st Birthday but I am still somewhat shell shocked that my baby is no longer a baby…although I now understand why once a mother’s baby, always a mothers baby.

I only wish that we weren’t quite so busy with the crazy things life thows at us, so that we could have some time to really celebrate!  The painting is (finally!) finished and the unpackers are arriving in an hour, so today will be rather hectic.  But all day long I will be thinking, in the back of my mind, that one year ago today my life changed forever.   One year ago today I finally met the person I had been waiting for for 9 long months.  One year ago today, I became a mom.

Happy Birthday Little Man!

The last two days of our road trip to Cold Lake were good…but very busy!  We are here now and although I am happy to have finally reached our destination and be finished with long days in the car, I am still not quite sure about how I feel to be living here.  I’m sure it’ll get easier with each passing day as the sights and sounds of Northern Alberta become more familiar.

To update you all on the last to days though, here are some pics!

The Calgary Zoo is a great zoo!  We had a tone of fun checking out all the animals with Josie, Trevor and their little boy Ben.  It was an absolutely perfect zoo day – early September, warm and sunny and at 9:30 it seemed like we were the only people there!  It was actually kind of cool in the morning and so all the animals (like this Red Panda) were moving about and even playing!  It was one of my best zoo experiences ever.

Seeing this Gorilla baby was definitely one of the highlights of the day.  Her motions in sleep looked so much like Nate’s it was unreal and totally adorable.  She looked to only be about 8-10 lbs, but was completely content curled up in the straw all by herself and I couldn’t resist taking about a million pictures.

The Snow Leopard was just chillin’ in her hammock.

Josie, Ben and Trevor were awesome zoo-visiting companions!  They just moved to Calgary a week ago and so totally understand the ups and downs of moving across the country with an infant!  I met Josie online through her Dad and her sister and we started communicating when she began reading my blog, we’ve kept in touch for months now and I’m super excited that we finally got to spend a day together and meet eachother’s significant others and little ones.  Thanks Josie!

After the zoo we were invited over to my cousin Heather’s house for dinner with her family and my cousin Wendy’s family.  It was our first time meeting Heather’s little girl Keira, and Wendy’s youngest boy David and their first time meeting Nate.  Dinner was great (we were so thankful not to be eating in a restaurant!!) and the kiddos all had fun stealing eachothers’ toys and playing in the playhouse and on the slide!  I’m sure you all know how challenging it can be to get a picture of 4 busy little bodies…so you’ll forgive the photo quality here!

Our 6th and final day on the road was a long one.  We left Calgary just before 7am and headed North to Edmonton to pick up Grandma Campbell (Dale’s Mom) at the Airport.  She is staying with us in Cold Lake for 10 days to help with Nate and the unpacking – for which we are exceptionally thankful!  After a quick stop for lunch in Fort Saskatchewan we pushed on Northeast towards Cold Lake.  The only other stop we made was to capture this photo-of-the-day overlooking the beautiful North Saskatchewan River:

The bright fall colours and lush view of the river valley were a welcome break from the seemingly unending fields of wheat and straight stretched of highway.

And now here we are in Cold Lake, anxiously awaiting a call from our Realtor telling us that we finally have possession of our house and the keys are ready to be picked up.  Unfortunately, even though our furniture and boxes will be delivered today, they are not coming to unpack us until Monday, so we still have 3 more days to wait things out in a hotel, which I could certainly do without.  On the bright side, we should have some time to paint the bedrooms this weekend and get at least that stinky chore out of the way.

So this concludes my road trip updates, but look for 1st Birthday post coming your way very soon…and new-house pics as soon as I can take some!

* Yet again the hotel internet wouldn’t work long enough last night to post this…grrr…so here it is today!

So this is the extent of my pictures from a very rainy and dreary day #4 of our move to Cold Lake.  Thought this one showed off rather well though how much crap accompanies a baby on a 6 day road trip!  I must give huge kudos to my husband for lugging it in and out of all the hotel rooms every morning and night!

Unfortunately a much anticipated gondola ride never happened today seeing as the mountains in Banff were socked in by clouds by the time Nate awoke from his morning nap.  Instead we wandered the streets of Banff in the (at times pouring) rain, then piles our wet selves back into the car for the trip to Calgary.

Luckily once we were settled in the hotel we were able to find a great coffee/playplace in the Northwest section of the city where Nate got to romp and climb and slide for over an hour before dinner.  After dinner we managed to squeeze in a quick visit with Dale’s cousin Sarah-Jane and her hubby Andrew before Nate needed to go to bed.

Tomorrow is a truly deserved day-off from driving.  Instead we are staying in Calgary for a trip to the zoo with a bloggy friend, Josie and her son Ben and then meeting up with my cousins for dinner – both of which I am really looking forward to!  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will have lots more photos to share, although depending on how the day progresses they may not get posted tomorrow.

Despite my super star traveller and the good times we’ve been having I am getting rather anxious for this road trip to be over because it means we’ll finally be in our new house in Cold Lake and that much closer to feeling at “home” in our new province.  Friday can’t come soon enough!