Sunday, May 29, 2011

What we do all day

Since graduating and having a lot more homework-free time, people keep asking me, "so, are you bored yet?!?" Maybe the novelty still hasn't worn off but I feel like every day I still don't have enough time to get everything done. I thought this feeling would go away when I just got to play mommy. To give you a little idea, this is what our week looked like:

Monday: Victoria Day! Our very first official holiday in Canada. I wondered what the significance was. I mean, I was pretty sure it had something to do with Queen Victoria but I wondered why it merited a day off of work/school/the like. Apparently, it's just Queen Victoria's birthday...not really anything more exciting to it. But, it was our first holiday! We actually didn't do a ton because Mommy got a nasty ear infection (seriously, I don't think I've had a true-blue ear infection since I was about 6 years old. Those things hurt like crazy!) We sat around most of the day, cleaned, read up on how to get rid of ear infections (which, by the way, NEVER try to give your ears a hot water flush with a syringe. OUCH!!!!), and mostly lazed about.

Tuesday: Went to the clinic down the street. Paid a $200 out-of-country fee to have the doctor look in my ear, say "yes, it's infected," and prescribe a $46 bottle of ear drops. Lovely.

Wednesday: I decide I want to give us some extra sleeping space. Since Hyrum has moved into our bed (glad we sprang for the three bedroom apartment and all), and I didn't want to get rid of our memory foam pad, I arranged his crib to be sidecar with our bed. Well, he decided in the night that he was going to have none of that! So, he just ended up sleeping on our bed anyway.

Thursday: Tear his crib down and moved it back into his room. Put our bedroom back the way it was.

Friday: Removed the memory foam from our bed, take our mattress and box springs off of the bed frame and put it on the floor so it's safer for Hyrum.

Saturday: The great grocery shopping without-a-car trip! To accomplish this, we decided to put Hyrum in the Moby wrap and use his stroller as a pack mule. Worked out pretty well! We also went for our first family poutine dinner at none other than KFC. Not bad.



Sunday: Went on the longest family walk ever! You can read the details on Mommy's personal blog but here's the reduced version: get to bus stop after church, no bus, wait for a long time, ward member offers to give us ride home, don't have car seat, decline, wait longer, give up and walk the 30-or-so blocks back to our house. At least it was an adventure!

And there was the week! We all manage to stay pretty busy. Brennan is getting a better hang of things at his job and it seems like his co-workers are lots of fun. He leaves the house to catch the bus at about 8am and gets home sometime around 6 or 6:30pm. Not bad for an accountant! But, we're not to busy season so I guess the real state of the accountant widow hasn't been realized yet. We're also excited to get our very first big-kid pay check this next week! Basically the entire thing will be used to pay for our move but SOMEDAY we'll be rich enough to buy cheese and milk again!

And, on to pictures and videos...the only reason that grandmas even care about this blog :)

Hyrum, Mommy, and Daddy all laid down to take a nap yesterday. When Mommy tried to move to get the camera, she woke everyone up but got a few cute pictures anyway.






On Tuesday morning I was a little occupied with trying to figure everything out with our international insurance. Hyrum was getting a little bored so I gave him a nearby bag of chips to play with while I was on the phone. I figured he couldn't do much damage. But, one minute everything was fine and the next I look down to find that he certainly WAS able to get the chips out.



Did you know that Hyrum has the most fantastic eyelashes? Seriously, they're gorgeous! I tried to get a picture of them the other day but instead just ended up with some strange shots.




But, when we're not off doing crazy things, we're just playing and having fun!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adventures in Calgary

Okay, it's been forever since we posted and SO much has happened! Here are a few things that have happened over the last month or so:

Brennan and Amy both graduated from BYU with their Masters degrees. Brennan completed his Masters of Accountancy and Amy completed her Masters of Music in Performance. Brennan graduated summa cum laude and with high distinctions. Maybe Amy got something cool because she got 4.0 in her grad program but we'll have to see when she officially graduates in August. Either way, it is done! It is finished! Hallelujah!



We moved! From our apartment in Provo, to staying with Brennan's family, to Brennan flying out to Calgary, Amy and Hyrum out to Seattle to be with her family, and finally all were reunited in Calgary about a week ago. So many airplane rides!

Here's a picture of the city we took while walking on one of the bike trails around Calgary.



Amy transitioned from student-mom to a stay-at-home mom. Hyrum seems to be loving all of the extra fun and attention.





So, that's it for all of the BIG news. Since moving here to Calgary, we've learned a few things.

1) Driving is crazy. You can check out Amy's personal blog if you're interested in all of the crazy antics that one has to endure here.

2) Brennan and I noticed that some people here pronounce the name of the city CAL-ga-ry and others say cal-GA-ry. I asked a lady at church today why the difference and she explained that Calgarians are lazy and say CAL-ga-ry and Canadians from outside of Calgary say cal-GA-ry. Just a little tidbit of information.

3) Grocery shopping here is remarkably expensive. We're talking $5 for a gallon of milk and $7.50 for a pound of chicken breast. We splurged the other day and bought chicken breast on sale for $4.50 a pound. Ouch! But, it seems like that's the best it will get. As for milk, we even looked into powdered milk but even it is almost expensive (the dollar or so we would save on the equivalent of 4 gallons didn't really seem like it was worth it for the chalky taste).

4) Speaking of grocery shopping, most places make you pay for your bags here. So, not wanting to pay for them, we bought our groceries, loaded up the cart, and hauled them back out to the car that way.


We also MAYBE gave Hyrum the bag of French bread to keep him occupied. He seemed more interested in the bag than its contents.



5) Environmentalist is not a bad word here. In fact, one sister even talked about caring about the environment as one of her defining characteristics in Relief Society last week. Wahoo! Related to that, we arrived at our apartment to discover that there are only two VERY small garbage cans (we're talking the old metal ones that Oscar the Grouch lived in) for both the upstairs and the downstairs, but one very large recycling container. Considering the fact that both of our families have babies, one can see where diapers were going to become a problem. Diapers alone could fill one of those things! As such, we've decided to move over to cloth diapers and wipes. In the long run, we save lots of money, help the environment, and provide a place to throw away our kitchen garbage :)

6) Our credit means nothing here. This wouldn't pose a problem except for two things: the bank account and the car. As far as the bank is concerned, there are only 5 banks in all of Canada. As such, they don't really have to compete to get customers and therefore free checking (chequing) doesn't really exist. The bank account we chose has a monthly fee if we don't keep a minimum balance of $2000 in it and we can only have 30 transactions a month. Since 30 transactions has the possibility of adding up quickly, most people get a credit card and use it for all of their transactions and then pay off the credit card monthly. Only problem is we have no credit here so we're still waiting to hear back if we even have that option. We even had to pay a $200 deposit for Brennan's cell phone for work. (on a side note, our new most-commonly-heard-phrase is, "there will be a fee of $_____ for that, please. Boo on having to start everything anew!)

Now on to the car...so, same deal. No credit = worse than no credit at all. Also, since Canada considers the first three months of a job to be a probationary period, Brennan's employment also is not considered. So, no credit, no income consideration, and little money to pay outright for a car = no car for the Cartwrights at the present time. Though it sounds kind of icky, we really don't go very many places. We live within walking distance of a grocery store, Brennan was already riding the bus to work, we can get to church by bus, a branch of the library is close by, and other than that, we don't really have very many places to go.

Today we took the bus to church. It was Hyrum's first bus ride!

video

Here's a picture of a big stairway that we walk up to get to the road the church is on. Hello flower-power!



The good things about taking the bus instead of having a car for now are: more walking = Brennan and Amy getting into better shape, Hyrum doesn't have to go in his car seat as much these days, we save money, AND we can claim it's all in the name of environmentalism. So really, it's all fine! But, come winter, we're definitely going to want that car, brrr!

Other than that, it's mostly just life as usual. Here are a few more pictures, just for fun!

Hyrum and Mommy try to go for a walk every day to get some exercise and fresh air.



Hyrum got his very own library card! Apparently they give them to babies here for free. He seemed to like it pretty well.




We've also been going on a lot of pleasure walks as a family. As I mentioned before, there are some lovely bike trails around. We went for an extended walk this week. Mommy decided it would be fun to head back home one the walking path rather than the bike path. Big mistake! Stairs everywhere! But, we made it, even with the stroller. That thing off-roads pretty darn well! Hyrum seemed a little confused by the whole experience.



Well, that's all for now folks. Sorry it was so long. Now that I'm home a lot more, hopefully the updates will be more regular. We have lots of videos that we've taken on our new video camera but we haven't been able to get the software onto a computer yet to upload them. But, all things in time.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!!!

Amy and I tend to not have the best luck when it comes to celebrating Mothers' day. The holiday when engaged and the first one married were spent with Amy being on choir tour with BYU Singers. (Please note the lack of snarky comment here... I've almost got my singers disdain under control). The year after that, we had recently found out we were pregnant which would seem to be the perfect time to celebrate motherhood; however, Amy's body did a lot of strange things during pregnancy, so on Mothers' day last year, we were pretty sure that Amy was miscarrying and ain't nobody was happy. This year we're spending it apart again with me alone in Calgary and Amy and Hyrum back in Utah with my family. Next year, we hope to really enjoy this holiday with maybe some craft made out of macaroni, we'll see.

Anyways... the point of this post is to be a Mothers' day tribute to Amy since I am not with her to give her one in person. From the beginning of our time together, I always thought it a shame that our masculine/feminine roles weren't switched as I was sure that I would be a much better homemaker/stay-at-home-mom than her. Now that we've had a few years under our belt and a few months of parenthood, I've learned that the only place where this is true is in the kitchen. Everywhere else (all the places that actually matter), Amy wins hands down. She is so good with Hyrum (so much better than either of us expected her to be--and that is a high compliment not a put down I promise). I have about a 2 1/2 hour window in which I can be okay watching Hyrum by myself before I'm pretty bored/frustrated (don't worry kid, I really like you.... but so much screaming is hard for me), yet Amy has done it almost consistently throughout his short life. She loves him so much and never seems to tire of him. Once we get him to sleep, I'm always ready to move onto activities that don't involve Hyrum (that used to be homework.... we'll have to see what it will be at this point). Yet, even after wrestling with him all day, I'll find Amy watching the short home movies we have taken of the kid with great delight. That's how much she likes him.

She spends so much time thinking about parenthood and how to raise him best. And even though I know this is hard for mothers to do, she works very hard to include me in parenting and doesn't boss me around too much when I'm with him. She's been very good to me throughout these few months of parenthood. She's very nice and usually lets me sleep on through the night. She has always let me put my schoolwork first even though getting tipity top grades isn't all that important to anyone except for me (my self esteem is way to wound up with grades--I'm not sure how I'll find ways to feel like a valuable person now that there will be no more report cards).

Amy has also always been a very good 'mother' for me. She has often let me be emotional when needs be and always expressed love for me no matter how stupid my actions may have been. Part of me thinks that being married to me has been good practice for her for raising teenagers. She's very kind, concerned, and loving for all of us. She fights my battles with me even when the battle is one that I should've never got us into to begin with.

Anyways... I'm a bad writer--that's why I studied accounting. So I'll stop the blabbering of this post and just say, "Amy, I love you and appreciate all you do for our family! Happy Mothers' Day!" Hyrum obviously agrees.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Canadia, here we come!

Well, as you all know, we're moving to Canada! The great migration began today with Brennan's flight into Calgary. From what I've been able to ascertain, getting into the country and getting a work visa went fairly smoothly. Wahoo! It looks like things are working out.

So, here's the skinny on the move. Let's talk about COM.PLI.CA.TED! Because we're moving across the border, doing a Uhaul-type of service wasn't going to work--can't use them to cross the border. After some researching and minor freak-out sessions, we decided to go with a U-pack company, ABF. Only issue there was the enormous trailer that we had to find a place to park in our apartment complex. Thankfully that all went well. We packed, we DI-ed everything that we didn't want to declare on our customs form/immigrate to a foreign country, and cleaned like mad. Thanks to the help of fabulous ward members and Brennan's dad, we were all done on Wednesday night. Hallelujah!

Next complication: Getting Hyrum a passport. Am I the only one who figured a birth certificate would be fine for a baby?? The immigration lawyer that Brennan's company hired for us asked for Brennan's and my passport, but only asked for a birth certificate for Hyrum. So we just figured that was all that we needed. Mistake! Hyrum needs a passport to fly across the border. We applied for one about a week and a half ago and supposedly it will only take 2-3 weeks for it to be processed. But, since Brennan has to start work this coming Monday and Hyrum can't get into Canada, we had to split up for a little bit.

Brennan flew out today and now that he has his work visa, I can hand it off to the movers on Monday (they have to have a copy of the visa before they can drive our stuff into the country. So, lucky Brennan gets to spend the next week sleeping on a couch with the contents of his suitcase for company). Then Hyrum and I will fly to Washington on Tuesday to stay with my family until the passport comes.

In the meantime, we're staying with family. Next fun coincidence--they're ALSO in the middle of moving. Talk about timing! But, it's all worked out and happiness abounds in the land of the movers.

Next complication: My dad works for an airline and in order to get the discounted ticket price for my ticket, he is going to fly with Hyrum and I to Calgary. Only catch is that he has to go on one of his days off. Hopefully Hyrum's passport decides to make an appearance sooner than later so we can all be together again rather than coming on my dad's day off and having to wait another 4 days...

And there's our little adventure. Hopefully it will all end in happiness and joy and hopefully Brennan, Hyrum, and I can all be together again soon. We miss you Daddy!