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In many ways, I wish that I could be a kid all over again. (The most obvious reason, of course, is that I wouldn't be 45 years old & I'd have much longer to live. It would mean, however, that I'd have to go through puberty for a second time. Hmmm. Maybe I need to rethink this whole 'kid again' thing!)
Just look at all the cool toys that there are these days! Here's one that caught my interest - "Topobo" would have been one in which I would have had a keen interest. A 3-D construction toy with kinetic memory ... kinda like an animated Erector Set! Cool. (It was developed at M.I.T., so it's based in science and just bristling with educational benefits!)
This isn't the only cool toy out there, just one that hit the radar screen this morning. Unfortunately, it's not available in stores (yet). But, I bet by the time Alex is old enough, it will be!!
That has got to be one of the BIG pluses of being a parent - re-living one's youth. If I play my cards right, maybe I can convince Rachel that Alex needs a learning tool like "Topobo"? (And Dad can play with it before Christmas and after the Oop goes to bed!) Hee hee ... a plan!
I know I'm on the mark here, because when I was a kid, my parents bought me an electric, slot-car race-set for Christmas. (I usually got one Christmas gift from "Santa", which was always unwrapped and laid out, while I was asleep, on Christmas eve. On that particular year, it was the slot-car set.) My parents had invited some friends over for after-dinner drinks & they got all involved in setting up MY Christmas present. Well, one thing led to another and there was Don & Dad playing with the slot-cars, making a racket & having a ball My Mom, however, was annoyed and saying things like, "Shhhh, keep it down or you're gonna wake Scott," and, "Stop playing with Scott's present or you're gonna end up breaking it!"
Not that I'm wishing Alex would grow up any faster, because Lord knows, it's happening quickly enough, but I can't WAIT for Alex to grow out of teddy bears & blocks, because there's a LOT of really cool toys that I can't wait to give myself, ahem, her! An X-box (or some newer, improved version), for one. I know she's a girl, but don't you think that she'd really like a remote controlled car (or better, a truck)? I know I would! "Topobo" will be one I'll have to add to the list!
Rachel, bless her heart, knowing that I'm a kid at heart, bought a really cool boom-a-rang helicopter for me for Christmas this year (it was only a buck). Of course, with all the ice and snow in Edmonton, I can't really get out and try the thing ... though, as impatient as a 10-year-old, I tried it in the house! It REALLY flies great! (Though the blades chipped off a bunch of that ceiling texturing and made a mess all over the carpet. Oops. Good thing we live in a rental house Alex howled with delight on it's inaugural, ceiling-scraping flight.) Dad's hopeful that Alex will have a similar taste in toys. She can keep the dolls, but she'll have to share her other ones with you-know-who.
Here's to being a kid all over again! Yahoo.
We're still settling into our new home & Scott has been dying to get the garage organized. (It's been a junk pile ever since we have arrived, boxes strewn everywhere & hardly any room to walk around). Now that the Honda is in Edmonton, we're planning on storing it in the garage & it's become a priority to free up some space. So Scott has been working on designing and building a set of shelving units that we can break down, move and use in ANY living situation (we're finally getting wise to the ways of moving, having made six moves in the last two years!) As weather permits, he's been out measuring, cutting, hammering & applying polyurethane to the six 4-foot, stackable shelving units. One day last week, shelves completed, we moved EVERYTHING out of the garage & onto the lawn, installed the shelves and moved EVERYTHING back in. WHEW ... what a day! He's since added florescent lights, but there is more work to be done - organizing, insulating, installing electrical outlets ... BUT he's really glad to have a place to work & play 'tool man'!
Grandpa and Grandma Pilley came out for the better part of a week, with their tent-trailer and Sasha, their dog, in tow. (Well, I guess Sasha got to ride in the back seat, but you get the idea). They had a great visit with their #2 grandchild, Alexandra, who was delighted with all of the extra attention. It's the second Edmonton visit for Gran Pilley, but the first for Grandpa and he got the nickel tour of our new home, shortly after he arrived.
Outings for the week included a trip to Fort Saskatchewan and we all took a brief ride east to see some Plains Bison at Elk Island National Park. It was a nice visit and we're extra thankful, because they sewed and installed a Roman blind in our bathroom. They also gave us two curtain rods for the two remaining curtainless windows (when we moved in there were NO window coverings in the house). THANKS!
Scott was absent for part of their visit, because he had to fly down to California to pick up our Honda Accord, which we've been storing at his parent's ranch. Wouldn't you know, they sold the ranch and are moving into a rental house, temporarily, until they can locate a permanent place.
The cows, sheep, chickens, pasture, orchard, garden, yard, watering and general caretaking has become onerous and down-sizing will allow them more travel time. After all, they're supposed to be retired! Anyway, with the sale of the ranch, the storage option for the Honda evaporated and Scott had to make a trip down to bring it up north. It was a long drive, but he enjoyed visiting with his folks for a few days, as well as stopping by to see an colleague from his oil-company days, now retired and living in Logan, Utah. Visiting was nice, but he missed Alex and Rachel and was happy to be home, after a week of traveling.
Two years after we hiked 2,560-miles from Mexico to Canada along the PCT, Scott finalized the online slide show. We have added LOTS of new photos and they've all been modified to show at a higher resolution. Click HERE to see pictures and information about our 5-month long wilderness adventure. It was the experience of a lifetime!
(Scott has been motivated by Tom & Sheila, who've almost finished hiking the length of California. They're headed to Seiad Valley this week). We've been reading their online journal, which brings back memories of our 5-month-long hike. Just the motivation to get that slide show finished!
We can't say that the "Oop" had a great time on our trip to Edmonton, but she did survive. It's tough to ride in a car-seat for 1,159 kilometers, but (as usual) she was a trooper.
She had a difficult time adjusting to the tent-trailer that we borrowed from Rachel's parents, however. The first night, we tried to put her to sleep, by herself, on one side of the trailer. But she just howled! She ended up sleeping with Mom, which helped settle her down and dad ended up sleeping on the other side.
At home, Alex is now consuming more and more solid food. She's drinking from her sippy cup (but not by herself yet, because she keeps insisting that the bottom tasts better than the top (which dumps the liquid out of the sippy cup all over everything).
She is just starting to learn to crawl, getting her knees up under herself in a very unsteady fashion. She's knows what "kittycat" means, and looks for one of two cats every time we say the word. She absolutely SQUEALS with delight when the cats come near, as she loves to pull their tails (they don't come near very often, either one!) It doesn't seem to dampen her enthusiasm for cats, however.
Rachel spotted a used bike trailer in one of the local 'bargain classified ads' that come to the door. We drove out to have a look and it seemed to be in pretty good condition and fairly well constructed, so we bought it. Of course, we had to test it out, so we took it out for an inagural ride around the seawall at Stanley park. It's a two-seater and Alex is still pretty small, so we ended up having to prop her up with blakets and pillows, so she would stay upright. In true "Oop" form, she slept most of the ride away. She did have fun at the park, where we stopped for a bit, had a snack and let her play in a field full of daisies. It was a gorgeous day.
In unrelated news, Scott has been working at a handyman painting job, left over from the tail end of the last "painting season". He is eager to be finished, as he says, "The only thing less exciting than painting is watching the paint dry!" It's been raining some lately (which is why you're able to read this journal entry). Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and he can finish prior to June 17th, our move date.