make it thru march

Before we moved, I did a lot of research online to try to find mom and baby groups, storytimes and playgroups. Since we don’t know anyone in Calgary, I was counting on these kinds of things to meet new people and get out of the house. Back home, I had a group that I went to every week on Mondays, and I went to see my mom every Wednesday. Other than that, I would meet friends for playdates. In Calgary, I had to start getting out right away to meet people, otherwise I would go crazy. To my disappointment, it seemed like all of the programs in Calgary were pre-registration only – no drop ins! Plus, to make things worse, all of the programs were either already in progress by the time we were going to move and therefore full, or they didn’t start until April. So, I knew I had several weeks to fill somehow, with something… anything. In my head, I had the mantra M.I.T.M. “Make It Thru March”

The very start of the month was not bad at all, since my mom was in town to help us get settled in. However, once she went home, I was on my own. Murray was at work, and since he needs to learn his new building, new staff and new operation, it requires him to work long days, usually not getting home till 5:30 or 6PM. I found one drop-in program that ran on Tuesdays, and through that I met a mom that I got along with well, and also found out about another website for mom and baby meetups. When Madison had her 6  month immunization shots, the nurse also passed along some other resources for drop-in programs. From these, I’ve pretty much filled up my calendar with something to go to every day except for Fridays. I’m so glad that it didn’t turn out to be too difficult to find things to do! To my surprise, March has actually gone by extremely quickly.

For weeks, I had 10AM this morning marked off in my calendar as a priority appointment. I had been waiting for March 28th since before we moved – it’s registration day for the Mother Goose program. They have these in Vancouver as well, and they are supposed to be fantastic. Moms rave about them, and since they are so highly thought of (and free…) they fill up extremelyquickly. I was told by several people that you need to be at your computer at 10AM sharp otherwise you would miss out.

I did my prep last night. I had the program page for the library up on the screen, ready to hit F5 for a refresh at 10AM sharp. I also added it to my Favorites just in case something went wonky. I had typed in my library card number and Madison’s library card into an email draft so I could quickly copy/paste it into the registration field instead of having to type it in manually and possibly make a mistake. I kept the cards next to my laptop just in case something happened to that email draft, too, of course. Lastly, I had written down a list of library locations, from my first choice down to my sixth.

At 9:55 this morning, I had eaten my breakfast and had Madison playing in her playpen. I was ready. Finger ready on the mouse. At 9:59, I tried refreshing the page just in case. Nope. 10AM rolled around and I hit F5 again…. Boom. The page changed from “Registration begins at Mar 28 10AM” to “Register”. My prepwork paid off and by 10:03 I had the prize: Registration Complete. I got the third of fifteen spots, and by 10:07, all of the spots at the Country Hills library were gone. I felt like I had won the lottery!

We’ll repeat this process again tomorrow morning, for Baby Storytime. Wish me luck.

Once we’re registered for that, we’ll have programs to go to every Wednesday and Thursday in April and May, and various drop-ins and meetups for most every other day of the week. Looks like I made it through March!

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canucks fan in cowtown

All of stuff arriving at our new house

It’s been about 3 weeks since we made our big move. We’re getting more settled in now, and I finally have some time to write. Murray has taken the munchkin to have some baby and daddy time – I think they’re going to Rona or Home Depot. Our house is coming together really well. We worked like crazy to get unpacked and settled as quickly as possible. Within just a few days, we were mostly set up, with pictures hung and all the rooms we use on a regular basis were all set. Our basement is the only thing that still looks like we just moved in. Having Mom stay with us for a few days so soon after we moved was a major help, and we could not have possibly accomplished as much as we did without her.

Last Huskies game

Moving day ended up being “moving days” since it was actually a Friday to Monday process. On Friday, Feb 25, the packers came in and packed up our entire house. That night we played our last hockey game with the Huskies and then moved in to Murray’s Dad’s house for the weekend. On Saturday, the movers came in and packed up everything, including our cars, into a huge trailer. I felt bad for the animals since they didn’t know what was going on. It was a bit upsetting for them to see people taking all of furniture away. On Sunday, Murray’s mom and big Mur picked us up from Dad’s and took us to the airport. It was harder than I thought it would be to say goodbye to Maureen, but she’s been so good to us since Maddy was born and I feel closer than I ever had to her. Being at the airport was pretty crazy… It wasn’t us just going on a trip this time – it was us really leaving. I called my mom from the airport for a tearful goodbye, and of course more tears again saying goodbye to Mum and Mur. I think I was a bit numb, I couldn’t believe we were really leaving our family and friends. I took a picture from our seats on the plane as our last view of BC. (At least our last one for awhile…) We moved into our house on Monday – which happened to be the coldest day EVER. It was -23, but felt like -35 with the wind chill. And yes, there were definitely a few thoughts of: what have we done!?

Fortunately, the weather improved quickly, and I experienced my first “Chinook headache”. Chinook winds come in to Calgary every couple of weeks during the winter and bring up the temperature drastically and suddenly. It can go from -20 to 0 in a day, and the sudden change of high pressure can cause headaches. Once that subsided, the weather returned to typical March weather, just below 0 degrees and sunny. What’s funny about the weather here is that it can be -2 and feel warmer than it does in Vancouver at +8. It’s because it’s gorgeous blue sky and sun, and the cold is brisk and dry, while it can be grey and rainy in Van City. I won’t miss that.

We miss our Canucks a lot. Even though we subscribed to Sportsnet Pacific, they black out the Canucks games!! It’s brutal to see all these crappy Flames games that we don’t care about. And of course, the Canucks haven’t been on TSN or CBC since we moved. Luckily, we scored some tickets to the game when the Canucks were in town last weekend. We proudly donned our Canucks jerseys and kissed Maddy goodbye as we left her with our new friend Tara. She’s our real estate agent’s wife and one VERY brave woman to look after miss Mads. I gotta say – the Saddledome sucks. Yeah, we had crappy seats waaaaay up top, so high up, in fact, that we couldn’t see the fans across from us because of the dip in the middle of the saddle. We are spoiled with Rogers Arena being such a new building. Murray teased a Flames fan and very good sport sitting next to us, asking if the city was thinking of building a new arena once they got an NHL team. It was a tough start since the Nucks went down 2-0 within the first few minutes, but it was sweet to cheer loud and proud when our boys came back to beat the Flames. The ride home on the C-train was pretty amusing since there were many fellow Canucks fans on board, and some poor Flames fan actually got booed when he got on wearing the home team’s jersey.

Hello kitty

As for me, my big priority has been to meet people. It’s a bit different for Murray since he’s got his new job and has met a ton of new people. I think his depot has over 400 staff, so he has gotten tons of interactions with new people. After mom left, I have pretty much been on my own, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in malls just to get out of the house. I gotta say, though, the malls here rock. Cross Iron Mills is HUGE and amazing, and Market Mills is also really nice.  Unlike home, where programs seem to be ongoing drop-ins, here I’ve had to wait and try to register for stuff. I have Mar 28 and 29 highlighted in my calendar to be on the computer at 10AM sharp so I can get one of 15 highly coveted spots in some baby storytime programs. This week I finally found a drop in program that I could check out on Tuesday. I met a really nice mom who invited me to a playdate at Coffee and Scream on Thursday, where I met another mom that I got along with. I also found out about a website called Meetup.com from another mom at the Tuesday drop-in, and through that I’ve found a lot of other mom groups.

So, I guess things are starting to feel more like home now, and it’s a lot better knowing that I have places to go and not just stuck at home. Maddy has adjusted like a champ and is doing really well. She has been getting so strong and can now stand up for several seconds while holding herself up on a footstool. She is also eating plenty of solids now and has tried banana, avocado, pears, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, oats and rice. Next up is some meats like chicken and beef! It’s definitely messy, but we have our Canucks bibs to keep her looking good 🙂

Maddy standing on her own

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