Saturday, February 25, 2012

Holiday Napping

This may look like a roar, but it's actually a yawn.

Katie had just finished her afternoon nap. We spent the morning on Family Day swimming at the pool in Airdrie with all the Calgary fam, and then Katie napped it hard -- so hard that she had trouble waking up.

She spent some time snuggled on the couch with Mom, who had herself been napping.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Car Battles

Scott's obsession with Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 has reached a new high.

We canceled our TV service when we moved into the new house and now we rely entirely on the internet to watch our shows. As it turns out, every episode of Battle Force 5 is available for free online, so he was able to go back and watch them all in order (on TV it seemed like they only showed half of them, so we never got the whole season).

He has been so excited about it that he pulled out all of his toy cars (and he has a lot of them) and started lining them up on the kitchen floor for large-scale "battles".That wide-open hardwood floor is perfect for zooming cars around -- except that I often have to fish cars out from under the stove for him.

Usually, there are about 30 "good guy" cars and about 5 "bad guy" cars, and each side takes turns sending a car out to crash into the other side's line. Any cars that get flipped over are eliminated. In longer battles, each car starts with 5 lives, and Scott keeps a mental account of the lives for each car, finally removing a car when it reaches zero (unless it's one of his favourites, which never quite reach zero).

In keeping with the Battle Force 5 theme, he often "fuses" different cars together, putting one on top of the other to make it more powerful for battle. I believe he has also fused cars with such things as a rubber spider or a plastic dinosaur -- awesome combinations.

I got to be the bad-guy team on a sunny Saturday morning. My team of 4 misfit vehicles included a little toy dustbuster. It looked silly, but it was pretty deadly. In the face of overwhelming numbers, I still lost.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Hold Your Markers

When R and Scott started with their afternoon "school" sessions, they spent considerable effort at the outset teaching Scott how to hold his pen properly. Now Katie has tried to imitate his form, coming up with an interesting variation.

Don't try to correct her, though. She is not interested in your opinion at present.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


There is really only one show that both our kids love well enough that neither gets bored and wanders off. That show is Toopy and Binoo. This odd program is described on Wikipedia as follows:

The series centers on an anthropomorphic rat named Toopy and his best friend, a silent plush cat named Binoo. Each episode follows their playful, nonsensical adventures created out of their imaginations. Toopy is the only character that speaks, and for the most part provides enthusiastic descriptions of their adventures. Individual segments are approximately five minutes in length, but are frequently grouped together as one thirty minute episode.

The program is absolutely wacky, and I suppose that is what they like best about it. Every few minutes the characters are off in a some new imaginary adventure. Katie just calls it "Binoo", and it is always her first choice when asked. Scott's favourite show is still Battle Force 5 (which Katie abbreviates to just "Five"), but he is always down to watch Binoo. They snuggle into the Thomas couch together and hardly move -- a miracle, since they usually last only seconds without a conflict on that couch in any other circumstance.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Leaving It Behind

[From Feb 5, 2012]

When the day finally came for us to say good-bye to our old house, I wanted to be sure I had a picture of Katie in the bathtub where she was born. The fact that she was literally born IN this house means it will probably have a little more significance for her down the road, and she would perhaps like a photo of the spot. Maybe she won't. In that case, this photo is for my benefit.

Before we left the keys on the counter and locked the doors behind us, we went through and said good-bye to each of the rooms. We thought seeing the place completely empty would help the kids (especially Katie) to understand and accept the big change. They mostly just wanted to run around in the big empty space and wrestle each other, so our plan either worked perfectly or they didn't much care -- it's hard to tell which.

There are a lot of memories and emotions tied to a place. While I am very excited to be moving on to a newer, nicer house, I can't help but feel like I'm closing a chapter by leaving the house where my kids were babies. For R the feeling is a little different. A few of the years in this house were especially tough for her, and I think she is really happy to turn the a new page with this move. The fact that the new house is pretty awesome makes it a lot easier for everyone, I think. Scott is pretty excited to have a basketball hoop on our driveway.

Good-bye house.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Moving Day

[From Feb 5, 2012]

We had so many people come and help us with our move. We are so grateful to our friends here in Ranchlands and Hawkwood and our family. It made everything so much easier. The record-setting temperatures and complete absence of snow were pretty helpful too.

We moved all the furniture on the Friday evening and all the rest of it on Saturday morning. Everything went pretty smoothly except for the one part where the truck battery died. I had tried to turn on the lights in the cargo area but they were burnt out. However, I did leave the interior lights switched on for 45 minutes while we loaded and found the truck dead when I tried to drive away. Fortunately, Koondor came to the rescue in his monster truck. Thanks Koondor.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Possession Day

[From Feb 2, 2012)

We got the keys to the new house on a Wednesday, although we weren't planning to move there until Friday. On the Thursday evening we had Scott box up a few of his things to help stake out his new room. Sadly, Katie didn't have a box (just a few pictures on the wall), so we eventually had to pacify her with a life jacket from Scott's closet and a snack.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Poem(s)

Does a haiku count?
Is it romantic enough
For Valentine's Day?

I love you madly!
I would shout from the rooftops,
But it'd wake the kids.

(shhh!) Be my Valentine?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Raising Ramoni

[From Jan 12, 2012]

The LDS church is constructing a temple in NW Calgary in the community where R's parents live. In fact, the temple is almost right behind their house, so we have been able to observe the progress on a weekly basis from their living room window. The groundbreaking was in May 2010, and now things have progressed to the point that the top of the spire was lifted in place with a crane. The spire is topped with a golden statue of an angel blowing a trumpet, similar to the one atop the temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. The angel is named Moroni -- an ancient figure from the Book of Mormon -- and his east-facing trumpet symbolizes the worldwide preaching of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In the 40-year construction of the Salt Lake Temple, the statue was part of the capstone, the placement of which marked the completion of the exterior construction. In this case, the statue helps give the temple its final shape, but does not mark the end of the construction phase. Still, seeing the statue go up still seems like a special event -- perhaps because it is such a visible and distinctive symbol.

R and the kids watched the proceedings from the relative comfort of her parents' enclosed deck on a frigid Thursday morning:

Scott provided me with a play-by-play summary of the events of the day. I noticed that he pronounced "Moroni" as "Ramoni", which makes me suspect he just tacked an "I" on the end of the more familiar name of Ramone from the Disney/Pixar film "Cars."

Scott will eventually sort it out, I'm sure, as he and Moroni will be neighbours. The view from his bedroom in our new house includes a view of the spire, rising above the rooftops. We still hadn't moved in when the statue was put in place, but this was the view from his room when we finally took possession.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Big Hair For Everyone

[From Jan 27, 2012]

Friday was haircut day here at the house. Both kids got a trim.

Afterwards, Katie was watching R curling her own hair and asked, "What you doing?" R explained in toddler terms and asked if Katie wanted a turn. The results were quite dramatic, and make me think of the original Charlie's Angels TV series (which was on when I was about 4 years old). Long after her styling session was over, she kept pointing at her curls and saying "hot." Hot is maybe an overstatement, but perhaps she was just referring to the hot curling iron.

I think these kids are cute.