Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CO Comes To AB

Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim made their last journey from Denver to Edmonton to visit Blondie and Co before our big move back to the States. We had a wonderful long weekend with them. Alberta spring weather cooperated and we had our nicest weekend of 2012 thus far. What luck we had!

We started the weekend and spring off right by having a picnic and flying Cora's kite. After 5 years of living in Edmonton, we are still learning about the rules of the roads...I mean rules of the parks. It turns out that Reggie isn't allowed in parks with or without a leash. The warning didn't seem to affect our fun. Watching Lee talk to a Peace Officer because of his dog might have actually been one of the highlights of the picnic. Lee also got some casting in, which probably was the highlight of his day. Cora ran and ran and ran. Open fields on a nice day is good for her little soul.

Chasing the kite to help get it back in the sky.

The Edmonton skyline. Not a bad looking city.

Lee getting busted by local law enforcement.

The culprit. He certainly looks like a ornery dog. 

Casting Lessons. Cora preferred chasing the fly like a cat.

The picnic is over and it is time to head home. Cora loves being responsible for Reggie.

Cora, always the performer and center of attention lover, performed many dance marathons for Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim. She got a new skirt (same one in above pictures) from her grandpas and didn't take it off for close to two weeks. Her dancing is very entertaining. She is really learning how to shake those hips.

 This has to be one of my favorite photos ever.

We finally visited the Royal Alberta Museum here in Edmonton. I opted to not tote my camera around in the museum and instead enjoy as much of it as I could. Cora was on an animal high as soon as we walked into the exhibit showcasing all the animals of Alberta. Cora was sprinting from exhibit to exhibit. She was incredibly excited and yelling things like,  "Ohhhh, Look at this!!!" or  "Ohhhh, wolf babies are soooooo cute!!" and  "Look Mommy! The bird flies!!" I'm not kidding when I say that we were had been in the museum for nearly an hour and she hadn't made it past the first few exhibits. Just as we got her to finally decide to move on, she spotted the Young Explorers area. I figured she'd get bored in there pretty darn quick because it looked to be mostly jars of dead stuff and computers. What I didn't notice were these really great microscopes that she could easily operate. I showed her how to use the microscope and we looked at bird feathers, snake skin, seeds, bark, etc. She was fascinated and had to get Daddy to show him all the stuff. After Lee sees everything under the microscope, we pick up our coats to leave this exhibit (still in the first one). The only problem is Cora has her butt firmly planted in the stool and will not move. As we're coaxing her out, she notices another microscope. This one was a dissecting microscope hooked to a computer screen. Here we go again. There were spiders, all the life stages of bees, plants, and lots of other stuff to explore with this microscope. It was really cool, and it was neat seeing Cora so excited about viewing spiders close up. Eventually we got her to move along to the second exhibit.

I was thinking that she would have used up a good stash of her energy by this point, but I guess that kid keeps a lot on backup reserves. The next gallery was full of stones and gems. I could spend hours looking at this stuff, but Cora was less than interested. I was OK with this because there were still more galleries to get through. Then we both heard a strange noise coming from the back. Cora stopped in her tracks and her eyes were the size of dinner plates. She wanted to know what the noise was. I didn't know because I hadn't been there, so we went back to check it out. It was a whole room of dinosaur skeletons. Dear God, please help me now. Cora loves dinosaurs. There was no way, on this green Earth, that I was ever going to get her to leave. Lee was able to check out what was still ahead. Lucky for us, it was a bunch of living bugs and spiders. I knew that would get her out. We finally persuaded her to come with us to check out the bug cages. As we were leaving the dinosaur exhibit she turned around said, "Sit Dinosaurs! Stay. I be right back!!" Yep, we weren't leaving any time soon. Sure enough, she checked out the bugs and spiders and then sprinted back to the dinosaurs. We finally dragged her out kicking and screaming. She and I had a long talk about her behavior. Seriously, the talk lasted a good 20 minutes due to sobbing and then needing to pee. I was exhausted, but we made a deal to look at the bugs one more time with Daddy and then we would make our way to the entrance. Meanwhile, Lee, Bob and Jim had peeked in the other exhibits. I was able to look through a great gallery of close up photos of moths which was incredible. I couldn't believe how much fun Cora had, and how much time she spent in so few rooms. We could spend an entire day at this museum and her little heart would be content. It was a ton of fun, but a lot of work for a pregnant lady who was 35 weeks along at the time.

We also spent a lot of time eating great food like sushi, Edmonton's best eggs benedict, Famoso pizza, and Lee's amazing steaks. Because we were being snoopy, we lucked out and got a private tour of a Sikh Temple along with a quick cultural education about Sikhism. Did you know that only Sikh men, who are East Indian, wear turbans all the time for religious and cultural reasons? Talk about wrong stereotypes! I have to say, I felt quite ashamed for not having a clue about Sikhs. In Edmonton, there is quite a large community of Sikhs. I just always assumed they were Muslim, but I am incredibly wrong and feel quite "white bred" after learning what we did that day.

Before sending Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim on their way, we made Easter crafts that Grandpa Bob had picked up for Cora. They were bunny die cuts that she helped decorate. After they dried, we hung them on some ribbon Grandpa brought making a lovely Easter garland. Cora had so much fun with all the sparkles. I am pretty sure we will all find glitter on something for the next few months.

 The beginning of Arts&Crafts. It had been a long time since Grandpa Bob used glitter and glue. Good thing Grandpa Jim was there to lead the way.

 Uhhhh, Grandpa. That is all wrong. Cora's look of disgust cracks me up every time I see this photo.

 One bunny done! It looks GREAT!

Bunny Garland. Mission accomplished and the perfect Easter decorations.

We had many laughs over the weekend. It was wonderful having Bob and Jim visit for one last time before we make the haul back to the USofA. We're all looking forward to many more wonderful weekends in the future with Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting Ready for The Boy

 Lee and I have decided to not set up a nursery of any sort for Baby Beau. We'll be moving back to the States when he is merely 2 months old. While I had pictures of Cora's nursery, there will be none for The Boy. At least not for the first few months. I decided to take some pictures of his clothes and bassinet to at least remind myself of what we did get ready for him.

Since we rarely dressed Cora in anything other than footed PJ's until she was 6 months old, I imagine we'll prefer the same for Beau. So, I've been shopping for lots of footed PJ's and cozy little clothes. So FUN! We are doing cloth diapers again, but this time we've chosen to go down the diaper service route. I found with Cora that cloth diapering is a lot easier when you have an awesome washing machine, which we did not. I really don't want to spend my time standing over the stove boiling diapers again. To prepare, I had to buy some diaper covers that are a bit more masculine than what I had for Cora. Aww shucks. The last thing we purchased for Beau was a Moses Basket and a rocker. Since Cora is still sleeping with us, we can't safely co-sleep with a newborn baby. We got the basket so he can be right next to my bed. It will also be incredibly useful for camping this summer.

 The crab PJ's will more than likely be his going home outfit from the hospital. It is Lee's favorite.

 Newborn diaper covers

 Small diaper covers.

 This is my favorite outfit. It is just a long-sleeved kimono style onesie. I am a total glutton for kimono onesies and gowns. 

The end is near for Beau to enter this world. Lee and I have both been nesting. Weird, I know. We waited way longer with Cora. I know that we are near the end because we have finally settled on a name. A full name.

Beau Bridger

I honestly thought we would never decide on a full name. From a previous entry, you would know why we chose Beau. The whole Medicine Bow National Forest thing. Bridger is after the Bridger-Tetons. Lee and my first backpacking trip (my first trip ever) was to the Bridger-Tetons to hike along the Green River Lakes to Square Top Mountain. It was an amazing trip. Lee took me there shortly after my cousin passed away 10 years ago for me to clear my head. I remember the whole trip like it was yesterday. The drive there, the hike, the drive back to Laramie. All of it. We saw tons of wildlife from a beaver to a glimpse of a wolverine. I, not surprisingly, did not drink enough water and ended up getting altitude sickness pretty badly. Lee, being the pack horse he is, strapped my back pack to his and hiked my pack for a good portion of a day. He is a brute. I dragged close to a quarter mile behind carrying only a map. Thank goodness for my strapping boyfriend. I think I'll regularly remind Beau that his father can be a brute of a man so as to not cross him. I'll also be reminding Cora about the caveman like tendencies of her father, so she thinks twice before she "falls in love" and bring a boy home. We'll keep it a secret that we would move a mountain for either of them until they are grown and well-adjusted adults.

The Green River Lakes behind us. Behind us standing tall in the middle of the valley is Square Top Mountain. Because I got sick, we weren't able to summit Square Top. We'll be visiting the area again soon to show the kids, and I am sure we'll backpack it soon enough with Cora and Beau. We have a lot planned for them. :)

I have some blog entries coming up. Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim came to visit last weekend. The Easter Bunny visited Cora yesterday. And, I think I forgot to post Lee and Cora's ice fishing trip! Unless Beau comes in the next two weeks, there will be at least three more entries before his imminent arrival.