Friday, March 30, 2012


When he wakes up in the morning he goes downstairs in his superhero pajamas and plays silly kids games on the computer. I am concerned that he is becoming addicted to the computer. All he ever wants me to do is come watch him play or help him beat a difficult level. I would prefer not to do this. Instead, I drilled a hole through a tennis ball and hung it on a rope under our deck so that he can stand on the downstairs patio and hit it with a baseball bat. He can totally crank it, but he overestimates his abilities. He thinks he is way stronger and faster than me because I let him beat me at things sometimes. He has a pair of Buzz Lightyear sandal-shoe things that he thinks make him run faster than cars. Seriously. That's what he says. I think he has forgotten how badly he got destroyed by his older cousins in a foot race a year ago. Now that it is officially spring he wants to only wear short-sleeved shirts. He considers it his right. He has started wearing his Superman pajamas, which only contributes to his belief that he is faster than a speeding bullet.

When she wears a skirt she announces that she is a princess. Only R and I can recognize that she is saying the word "princess" but it is cute all the same. She likes to run around flapping her hands saying "I birdie" or do a little leapfrog move saying "roobit, roobit." She likes to say "owie, owie, owie" with a impish grin on her face, sometimes pretending to smack herself on the forehead. She is clearly imitating Scott. She also shamelessly copies his trademark dance move -- the one where he stands on a chair, holds onto the back and alternates poking his bum out to either side. She is seriously the cutest little girl ever, but she has her devious side. If anyone lies down on the floor she takes advantage of the opportunity to dog pile that person. I can handle it pretty well, but she sometimes steps on Scott's face and makes him cry. She has impeccable manners and will always say sorry, thank you and you're welcome. She also likes to say "'Scuse me I tooted" (which she learned from Scott). She is quick to say no or give her little disappointed "awww" sound, but she will often relent only 5 seconds later. She is very willing to take turns and share, but she will push away anyone who is crowding too close behind her at the top of the slide, so don't mess with her. She likes to make funny faces by pursing her lips and rolling her eyes up high and it cracks me up every time.

Two little bundles of personality.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday at Grandma & Grandpa's

We spend every Sunday evening there, so it seems appropriate that we should have some pictures.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Memorial Park Library

Recently someone had told me about the Memorial Park Library, a grand sandstone edifice erected in 1908-1912 as Calgary's first purpose-built library. Apparently, Andrew Carnegie put up 80% of the funds, as he did with 124 other libraries in Canada between 1903 and 1922.

As a historic building, it is quite impressive -- high ceilings, fireplaces, ornate finishings and beautiful grounds. As a library, it is smallish, but very usable. We found we were the only ones in the kids section, so we had the kiddie computer all to ourselves.

I got busted for taking photos inside, so most of the shots are from outside, where Katie managed to step in some mud -- which both fascinated and distressed her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Haultain Park

For a Thursday-evening adventure I took the kids to explore the Memorial Park Library just south of downtown Calgary. Before going inside, we first explored the brand-new playground across the street at the newly-restored Haultain Elementary School -- Calgary's oldest surviving school (built in 1884). It was a beautiful evening to be outside, and I took full advantage to take some pictures.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Snow Angels

With the snow quickly receding, R let the kids go out and mess around in the back yard one afternoon. Katie was enjoying it so much that she never wanted to come back inside.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sunday Photos

Everyone had a recent haircut and we were all decked out for church, so why shouldn't we snap a few photos?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Biddy Ball

On Friday evenings, when I put Scotty to bed, I lay out his clothes for the next day: socks, black sweat pants, and gray basketball shirt. I set my alarm for 7:20 am, and when I come into his room I often find him in his bed with his basketball clothes on.

He knows that Saturday morning is Biddy Ball.

Biddy Ball is a basketball activity for kids aged 5-12 that runs for about an hour every Saturday morning at the church from January through March. Technically, Scott is only 4, but he will be 5 soon so we squeeze him in there. He loves it. They have the gym divided into three court areas with shorter hoops and they rotate through drills for passing, dribbling and shooting. They get to scrimmage a bit and then they finish off with some sort of tag game and some snacks.

Despite being only 4, Scott does really well in the drills, and I think he'll be ready for community basketball in the fall.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gluten Free Rice Krispies

When R was diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance, she had to abandon her beloved Shreddies and Mini-Wheats in favour of cereals made from corn or rice -- grains that contain no gluten. Armed with this information, we immediately set our sights on Corn Flakes, Corn Pops or Rice Krispies from the cereal aisle. But alas, every one of these mainstream "corn" or "rice" cereals contained a wheat ingredient.

Instead of buying from the big companies, we ended up buying our all our cereal from Nature's Path, which only puts corn in corn cereals and rice in rice cereals. However, a recent trip to the grocery yielded a box of this new offering from Kellog's: Gluten-Free Rice Krispies.

Snap, Crackle & Pop -- you are now welcome in our home again.

We tried the new cereal in bowls with milk and in squares with marshmallows and found it is essentially identical to the offending gluten-laden versions in every way except the colour of the box. So why did it take so long to figure out what Nature's Path has been doing for years?

Friday, March 09, 2012

The P90X Challenge Begins

Along with 4 other guys at work, I have started the P90X fitness training program. In order to increase our motivation to finish the program, we constructed a bit of a contest.


To complete the most Workouts during the 91-day period, starting Monday February 27, 2012, through and including Sunday May 27, 2012 (ie. perfect score = 91 Workouts). Missing workouts results in money being paid into the prize pool.

1st Place - 80% of Prize Pool
2nd Place - 20% of Prize Pool
Last Place - Buys lunch for all participants. Can only order himself a salad. Must wear muscle shirt and 'diet' badge.

Tie break procedure:
- ties for any place (ie. 1st, 2nd,... , and last) to be settled by a tie break contest: (push ups) + 3 x (pull-ups) = score

Substitute / Make-up Workouts: Two workouts can be done in a day to make up for missed workouts. Make-up workouts can only apply to the current week. There is a short list of "approved" exercise activities that can be used in place of Kenpo, Plyometrics & Yoga.


Bought a pull-up bar that fits in the doorway downstairs. Tried to see how many pull-ups I could still do. On the fourth one something exploded in the right side of my neck.

Tried out the Ab-Ripper X workout the week before the official start date. My hip flexors were so sore that I couldn't stand up straight for two days, and after that I still got a sick feeling in my gut when I tried to stand up.

It was cute to see Scott in the basement trying out my push-up stands. In the spirit of things, R got out one of her exercise videos one day and Scott followed along with some 3-pound weights. Katie used the push-up stands as dumbbells.

Week 1
Started on Monday Feb 27

Day 1 was chest and back. I got up at 5:30 am and worked out in the basement before going to work. I took the instructor's advice and had some water. I was in the office so that I could watch the videos on the computer monitor, but then the furnace came on and the air got too stuffy, so suddenly I found myself fighting to keep my water down. I managed to get to the bathroom before I lost the water. I have a history of throwing up during morning workouts, so don't worry about me.

The rest of the week I was sore everywhere... except my hip flexors. Some of it was good-sore, but not all of it. I tweaked my neck again when I did the Kenpo (punching & kicking) workout at the end of the week. I found I could keep from getting ill if I worked out in the main room in the basement where the air is cooler. I also stopped drinking water during the workouts.

Week 2

Feeling a lot better this week. Only real soreness was from Yoga X. My wrist kind of hurts, and I think it was mostly because of that Crane pose. Traded Kenpo out in favour of basketball and the neck is feeling fine.

Finally bought some more dumbbells. 10 lbs wasn't going to cut it in week 3.

I haven't been following the meal plan, but I read it over for some basic tips about the kinds of things to eat. I have cut out most of the junk and the late-night snacking.

Weighed in on Friday Mar 9
Weight was down 6 lbs since the start

So far, none of the participants have missed a workout. 11 more weeks to go.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sunday Dress

I just loved Katie's hair on Sunday. The only photo I got came after a nap and a long stint in the nursery during Sunday School classes at church, so it had lost a lot of its original greatness. Still, she's such a cutie.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Booty Shake

Each of our kids had their own personal dance moves when they were really little, but everyone has eventually converged on one classic move: The Booty Shake.

R says they are just copying me. I don't think I ever did this move until the kids came along, so I think it's a collaborative effort.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Birthday Wish List

Scott's birthday is still 2 months off, but his campaign is already in full swing. He has made a wish list (R dictated the spelling to him and he wrote it out):

Jump Rope

He has wanted a jump rope and one of the Cranium games for a long time. The other items are all vehicles from the Battle Force 5 series. He asked for only 4 of the vehicles, because our research showed that the 5th vehicle was super-expensive. Apparently, they only made these toys for a little while, so you can only get them from re-sellers on ebay and -- and the yellow motorcycle is the rarest and most expensive.

Scott understands that he may not get all of these toys for his birthday, so he is also working hard to earn enough money to buy at least one himself. He has been doing chores (loading/unloading the dishwasher, carrying laundry baskets, cleaning up the house, shoveling snow) and recycling bottles at the bottle depot. I think he is already up to $8, which is about 1/3 of a vehicle. I think he will make it.