Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To the Cottage!

Instead the backroad, country drive we opted for major highways going 402, 401, 407, 400. To keep Reiko busy, we charged her with the duty of writing down the names of the cities and towns we drove through.

We stopped at an outlet mall where Shelley and I bought some shoes. Thanks to my short, wide, flat, pronating feet, I got an extra 25% off an already discounted pair of "premier running" shoes, paying $98 less than original price.

Upon arrival at the cottage, (turns out the highways did reduce our driving time substantially), it was to the beach. In trying to extricate a lovely pink- and black-speckled rock from the lakebed, I tried building a little dam to drain the area and allow for more digging room. It didn't work. But it kept me occupied for the afternoon.

In the evening, I pulled some lucky letters during Scrabble allowing me to play "jerk", "reflex", "gizmo" and the coup de grace "monetary".

So ... with a good bargain on my feet, 300+ points in Scrabble on the board, cold drinks in the fridge and some more quality family time in the offing, I can safely say vacation time is here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Turnaround List

Kai woke up at 6:45 a.m. today. That's 13-hours of sleep for him. Maybe it's the start of a growth spurt.

We left the farm after lunch, did a couple errands around town before heading home. Next was the checklist: unload the car, start laundry, mow the lawn, get ready for Reiko's soccer game, go the Y for some Total Body Conditioning, talk with the neighbours, pack for a few days at Shelley's parents' cottage, watch some Colbert and Letterman. Head to my own bed for a night and we'll be off again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Early to Bed

After a full morning of helping Grandma with some sewing and gardening, an afternoon in Mitchell's Lions Park and mini-zoo (where Kai discovered he could communicate with donkeys), and a visit with our neighbour Aunt Myrtle, it was an unexpectedly early bedtime for Kai.

He picked away at his supper, cranky and irritable, I invited him to leave the table for a little lie-down. Checking on him five minutes later, I found him fast asleep on the half-reclined La-Z-Boy. Attempts to rouse him were unsuccessful so I put him in bed at 5:45 p.m. So far, he's woken once briefly to take of his daytime clothes; we'll see how long this lasts.

Silent Spring

It was a busy season of work (developing a Confirmation Class curriculum and schedule with a neighbouring church and working with a couple church visioning processes along the way) and free time was used at the YMCA, starting and finishing the Nintendo adventures of Zelda: Windwaker, and some reading (recreational - The Book of Negroes, and work - With or without God).

Now that we're well into summer and proper holidays are upon me, I'll re-attempt the catching up of things here. Mostly, I imagine it will be posting and captioning pictures of the kids. Maybe a story or two too. I better get at it; these things don't write themselves.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Depreciated Portrait

Now that we live in a world where a 3.0 megapixel digital camera no longer costs $600, the answer to the question "Daddy, can I use the camera?" results in a self-portrait.
R self portrait

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness (blogging ketchup)

Well, so much for that momentum I mentioned about a month ago...

I'll at least recount the week that was March Break 2009 and see what else I might extract from the memory banks.

Potty Party!

After many false starts and half-hearted attempts (and numerous unclaimed "potty presents" that Shelley bought at the dollar store eons ago), Kai spent the afternoon in Spiderman underwear and peed in the potty!

It was not the attentive parental moment that we had hoped it might be. Shelley was shopping in the States with her sister and I was upstairs getting supper ready. Still, when I happened upon the scene, there was much rejoicing and celebration.

His potty present turned out to be a volcanosaur. Just add water and the volcano "erupts" and dissolves in foamy tectonic fury leaving behind a dinosaur that will increase in size after 72 further hours in water.

There was one other accident this evening, there was another successful potty event as well. Here's hoping this time, we've turned the corner and diaperless days are in sight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Learning from the Past

Last year when returning from Princeton, the company I was with got rather lost and disoriented when we got off the QEW highway before Hamilton in order to have some supper.

This year when returning from Niagara Falls, the family I was with made the same error. I had the sense that we should stop for lunch before getting to Hamilton because of the trouble I'd had before. Instead, I managed to direct us to taking the same exit and following the same path as a year ago.

My sense of déja vu guided us to some fast food (sharing the same parking lot as the Subway francise of last May) and I got us back to the highway afterwards in short order. I saw the parking lot of the Food Basics where I asked for directions last time. As well, my lane selection indicated that I had been there before.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kai's First Trip to the Falls

The last time we went to Niagara Falls, Shelley was pregnant with Kai, and we wanted to have one little holiday with Reiko before the family expansion. We used some AirMiles for a hotel near downtown and stopped at IKEA en route getting some cushions, bedding and kitchen gadgetry.

Last time, Rei had a fit of temper when at the Falls proper (granted she was not even 2-years old). This time, her tummy troubles revisited her and we had a little snack before heading back to the hotel. It was also around this time I discovered the new batteries I put into the camera were not so new ... or maybe the camera itself was nearing the end of its functionality. So we don't have any pictures of the snowy misty falls or resultant rainbow.

Supper was surprisingly good. We patronized the hotel restaurant, not wanting to venture too far from Reiko's bed, and were treated to some flavourful dishes: a tasty salmon for Shelley and a yummy chicken and shrimp pasta in a curry sauce for me. Well done, Apollo Grille. Don't be lulled by the Internet's lacklustre sample menu.

This being Kai's first trip to the Falls, he enjoyed rolling around on the hotel bed and driving through "that funny place" Clifton Hill (Tourist Area). Some day the kids might want to learn about what Ripley would have them believe, or not, the amazing things that Guinness recorded in the world, and the marvel of wax museums. For now, they're happy with a pool and being able to watch TV from bed!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Madness (basketball bracketing)

Today, everyone's Irish and with Guinness and Smithwick's in hand, I undertook the real work of my holidays: prognosticating the NCAA basketball tournament. While it was with a heavy heart, grieving Kentucky's absence, I suspect I might be more objective (and accurate) in my selections without having a sentimental favourite in the mix.

Although I did go with Louisville (also in Kentucky) and coached by former UK coach Slick Rick Pitino to win over Oklahoma in the final. Connecticut and Villanova complete my Final Four. And I did pick Western Kentucky as my 12 vs 5 upset recalling that former UK point guard Travis Ford was their coach ... or is it Eastern Kentucky? (Wikipedia tells me it was Eastern ... but he's now with Oklahoma State. I have OSU losing to Pitt in the 2nd round).

Does this really matter? Could I not have used all this brain power to solve world hunger or bring peace to the Middle East? No more or less so that President Obama, I imagine.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just Another Monday

With Reiko still not feeling well, March Break roared off to a low-key start. The kids were plugged into some shows in the morning while I cleaned and organized the 4th bedroom/home office.

I got some propane for the barbeque and look forward the new season of outdoor cuisine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

As Expected

As expected, Kai stayed home from daycare today. We had a semi-eventful morning, registering for Junior Kindergarten, going to the library and not eating much lunch.

There was a brief playtime outside, taking advantage of the springlike weather, when he biked for a few metres before tiring out and insisting that his dad carry him and his bike home.

His visit to the doctor diagnosed a virus. My visit to the Presbytery meeting resulted in me being roped into offering the courtesies to the caterers and then being talked at for 2+ hours.

Monday, February 16, 2009

On a Blog Roll

At the risk of jinxing myself, I've recaptured some blogging momentum and clearing out some old entries. So you may see things pop up out of chronological order and you may have to scroll past some already published posts to find out what's been happening since October 2008.

Unless it doesn't matter to you; but I'm just doing this for my own benefit. And for the grandparents, too. And uncles. And aunts. OK, there may be more of you that care than I thought ...

Senior Status

My dad will soon join the ranks of Canadian pensioners. Naturally, his perception of the "old age" threshold has been adjusted accordingly.

My parents came over for supper tonight; we treated them to a night out at Crabby Joe's. Our initial plan was to sample the work of the new chef at Johnny Bucks, but they were closed for the Famil-iday. After a soy sauce-less meal, we returned home for candle-lit cupcakes, tea and a Happy Birthday song.

Kai's developed a temperature and was fading quickly. He didn't eat much (at all) tonight and fell asleep during the 5-minute car ride home. I'm guessing it's a sick day tomorrow.

Snow, Sand and Surf

With fluffy fat snowflakes softly falling on this Family Day holiday, we celebrated with an indoor beach party. Lunch was a seaside picnic featuring lemonade and ice cream (Kai was feeling well enough for the ice cream, at least).

Starfish pose:
kitchen beach

After a safe interval, the kids went swimming:
swim party

After an hour in the "pool" they emerged with hair washed and pruney fingers and toes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Boys Are Illin'

Happy Valentine's Day. If you consider upset stomach and lack of appetite romantic, I'm your guy. So is Kai, he's got tummy issues as well.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend Warrior

Reiko's weekend calendar is busier than ours. Yesterday was a birthday party for her BFF. While I was meeting with a family about a baptism, Shelley was running back and forth to Grand Bend with the party grrl.

Today while I was at a church Annual Congregational Meeting, Reiko was at a schoolfriend's house for a playdate. Shelley and Kai went for an ice cream sundae.

Maybe Rei's weekend calendar isn't busier than mine, but it sure is less work-related.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Not Quite Kimonos

Some months ago, my parents gave us some matching Japanese "housecoats" (in ignorance of the proper word) that I and my siblings wore. They've hung in Kai's closet until now, rejected and unworn.

Today, for an unknown reason, the kids decided they wanted to try them on. Captured digitally, for posterity's sake:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here and Now

OK, so my weekend project didn't really meet its objective. I'll keep plugging away and those few of you that want to look back (over the last 3 months!) as they're posted (in non-chronological order) can do so.

As for what's happening now, I'm getting ready to go to London for a few days' as chaplain for a conference on (youth) ministry. Shelley spent the weekend working on an assignment for her college course that wasn't due for another week. Reiko's excited about her BFF's upcoming birthday party. Kai is finishing a cold and continues to resist clothing despite the freezing temperatures - although he will deign to wear soft, comfy clothes, i.e. fleece.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Journey through Time

Hey everyone ... assuming people check here once in a while to see if anything's changed ...

My weekend project is to finish the numerous blogposts that are half-finished (half-started?) and get back up-to-date. A benefit of maintaining a blog was the elimination of a Christmas letter (although we're well beyond that festive season - even for the Orthodox Church). So the events and insights of the past three months will appear in the next three days; so watch this cyberspace for new old developments.