Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nine Years Later

Subtitle: Anniversary weekend in Cardston, Alberta.

Nine years ago this week we stood on this same spot for wedding photos. Strangely enough, there was no snow on the ground that day either -- a miracle. While the weather appears the same, we certainly look different than in our wedding video that we watched again (an anniversary tradition). R's hair is darker and curlier. She also has a prego belly. My differences are harder to pinpoint. I've got about the same haircut, but I look older. It seems like I have moved a little further along the continuum which has younger me on one end and my dad on the other end.

We spent the weekend childless, leaving our progeny in the capable hands of his aunt J and his uncle L, where he reportedly put all his energy into playing with hotwheels cars on a track. On the way out of town, we hit an opening day showing of "New Moon". The movie was actually better than I expected -- the special effects were leaps and bounds ahead of the previous film. I guess that's what you get with a bigger budget.

The absolute best part of the whole thing was the audience -- hearing the collective gasping and swooning when the male lead characters first appeared, and then the mania when Jacob pulled his shirt off. You can't duplicate that part of the experience at home, and I'm glad I was there to witness it.

I'm also glad that I didn't have to wait in line. We were able to walk right in for the afternoon show, but we saw throngs of fans lined up outside the theatre for the later shows when we came out.

Another stop on our way south was the Pizzaberger Cafe in Okotoks, which offers a gluten-free crust in addition to its wheat-flour mainstay. While we were waiting for our order, we saw quite a stream of customers coming in and out, including a couple who often drives the 40 minutes down from Calgary to get their pizza fix, as well as an Okotoker who says he gets the 2 for 1 takeout special every Friday. We had no idea this little spot in an otherwise sleepy strip mall was such a local gem. We understood the passion once R dug into her hawaiian feast.

You see, people can deal with a certain amount of change in their lives over 9 tenths of a decade -- hairstlyes, pregnancy, children -- but pizza is pretty tough to give up cold turkey.

Thank goodness for Pizzaberger.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Spiderman Does When Crime is Slow

He helps Daddy fix stuff around the house. Of course, the superhero has a powerdrill and poor Dad has to get by with a plain old screwdriver.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Our Little Coven

R comes from a family filled with superheroes and supervillians, as you can see from this recent family photograph:

That is the extended family. Our own little coven comes from two literary vampire hotspots: Transylvania (as expected), and Forks, Washington.

Ever since Scotty's sharp widow's peak hairline grew in, I have thought he was perfectly suited to be Count Dracula for Halloween. All he needed was a cape and some pale makeup to complete the ensemble.

Our sister-in-law N had a fantastic red collar to start us off, and R just had to sew on an altered black skirt from the second-hand store. Then we added a medallion from the craft store hanging on some Christmas ribbon and the Count was ready to stalk candy amongst the living.

He didn't much enjoy sitting in the stylist's chair for hair and makeup, but he loved the way that his cape flapped in the wind when he would run across the lawn or go for a swing.

When asked about his costume, he knew the he was "a vampire", but he really had no idea what that was. It was probably even more confusing for him that we also said we were dressed as vampires, since we weren't dressed anything like him.

I was Edward Cullen, everyone's favourite fictional resident of Forks, Washington. My makeup was a mixture of "porcelain" foundation and body glitter. You see, in some stories, vampires sparkle in the sun. Unfortunately, a camera flash doesn't do the sparking justice.

You will notice that I've made my own baseball jersey -- for those occasional thunderstorms.

R was dressed up as Bella Swan -- Edward's true love. If you are familiar with the Twilight literary series, you will understand where in the chronology R's costume fits. Notice the "little nudger" she has there in her tummy.

We thought it might be a fun touch for her to be carrying a cup full of red fruit punch with a straw, but we never followed through on that one.

Although vampires are believed to be nocturnal hunters, our little Count Dracula had great success during a mid-afternoon hunt for candy at Northland Mall with his cousins Spider, the Green Goblin and Venom.

He quite enjoyed watching the loot drop into his little bag. However, once he had a few items in his bag, he wasn't satisfied collecting any more until he could get at least a bit of it into his mouth. He called a timeout until he could get a good sugar fix and then he continued his stalking.

The evening trick-or-treat session was much the same. He was happy running from door to door for a while, but eventually he hit a wall when the bag got heavy, the sun grew dim and he thirsted for something sweet to suck on -- something like a lemon-flavoured lollipop.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lions Don't Have Wheels

I was putting Scotty to bed the other night and he noticed his stuffed lion sitting on the top shelf in his closet. Here is the conversation that took place between us:

S: I don't want my lion to come out and bite me.

D: The lion won't bite you. He's just a toy. Toys can't move.

S: Yeah, he's just a toy. He can't move. [pause] Some toy cars can move.

D: That's right. Cars can move, but that's because... they have wheels.

S: Uh-huh. Lions don't have wheels, so they can't move. The lion can't come bite me.

D: Uhh, right. You have nothing to worry about. Good night.

S: Good night, daddy.

If that logic works for him. That's great. Of course, if toy lions could figure out how to drive toy cars, then he could be in trouble. Fortunately, Simba and Lightning McQueen rarely move in the same social circles.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Blast-Off Birthday

November is a magical month for birthdays. My nephew H has his birthday just a few days after mine, so for those few short days I am 30 years older than him. He and I often get to share a birthday cake after Sunday dinner with the whole clan.

However, we usually get our own birthday cakes on our respective birthdays, and this is his. We enjoyed this beauty together at the Science Center as part of a "blast-off" birthday theme.

The kids got to roll up their sleeves for some hands-on exhibits, including this one about water and sailing. I don't know how much of the science they were able to take in, but they sure soaked up a lot of water.

I think some of them could have stayed at this same spot for hours.

Scott was captivated by this lever for nearly as long as the boats. This machine is operated by a series of cranks and levers, which power several belts and augers to convey little white bits in a circuit. Scott was quite satisfied to take sole control of this small lever and was ready to bawl out anyone who strayed too close. H was a little more adventurous.

Not all the displays were for kids, however. Luke and I got a chance to break 4gs on a gravity bike. It wasn't too bad until the very end when they put on the brakes.

Happy Birthday H! (and me!)