Amy and I are heading off to a wedding for the afternoon and evening, so in the mean time (and in between time), here are a few pics of the many I shot last weekend when the boys and I were out playing in the yard.
Friday evening was a busy one for the Fraser household.
I had to bail early on a company meeting at a local hotel (though I did manage to score two free beers before high-tailing it) in order to get home in time to help get the boys fed and ready to run out the door. We had a birthday party at 6 p.m. and Amy had a girlfriend's baby shower at 7, just a few blocks away from the birthday party, thankfully.
So there we were at our friends' house in north Edmonton, mingling amiably on the balcony while Lance (the birthday boy's dad) and Bernie (random friend #2) hauled the barbeque down to the back patio. (They have a walk-out basement that slopes down to the man-made lake, so the balcony is just off the main floor.) I was chatting with my lovely wife and another wifely person on the balcony, both of whom were wearing summer skirts of one sort or another. (My wife in denim, the other a breezy, flowery thing in subtle, seasonal hues... not that it really matters.)
The barbeque secured on the patio beneath the balcony, Lance looked up with the mischievous glint in his eye that marks so much of what he does and barked, "Hey ladies, nice skirts! How come your carpet doesn't match the curtains?"
Both ladies looked down at Lance, their collective eyebrows raised in that way that married women have, and then at each other, also in that way that only married women have. Unfortunately for Lance, Amy decided to retort. "Sorry Lance, no carpet."
He walked away to attend to important matters of cooking, mumbling something incoherent, flushing slightly. Amy turned to me, then, "Well, that shut him up, didn't it?"
I just smiled and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
Two items of note today, and I'm not entirely sure which has greater significance.
First, I am pleased to report that, for the past several weeks, the Fraser household has been completely diaper-free. We have exchanged Tavish's Pampers Cruisers™ for Pull-Ups at night and Curious George undies during the day. It seems the younger boy went and potty-trained himself. Mostly. One thing about having an older brother in the house is that the younger one wants to emulate him ALL THE TIME. While frustrating and annoying when the older guy is misbehaving and the wee lad just exacerbates a situation simply fraught (FRAUGHT, I tell you!) with angsty teeth-clenching and restrained violence, the good times are way better too, and Toddler Behavioural Modification Training (ToBMoT) is very nearly a perpetual motion machine. (We break so many things in our house, why not the second law of thermodynamics as well?)
We're not out of the woods yet -- not by a long shot. Heck, I sometimes still look for a break in the trees. He still pees his pants on a daily basis, and we are not unfamiliar with the practice of taking underpants to the yard to hose the crap out of them. ("Tavish, where are you supposed to poop??" "Inna toy-yet.") His car seat in both vehicles may have a distinct aroma should you steer your olfactory inquisitiveness to the waft that is both earthy and a little bit nutty.
Amy and I both feel quite fortunate. Dex took the better part of a year to piss in the crapper with reliable consistency, and Tav had it mastered almost before we yanked his pants down. The day we can bid farewell to absorbent undergarments of any kind will be a day long remembered chez Fraser.
More exciting than potty training (for me) is that I've submitted an application to be one of the next Canadian astronauts.
There are currently four space cadets in the CSA (Canadian Space Agency), and they want to boost that number back up to six, where it once was. So, for the second time in its history, the CSA opened its doors to nation-wide astronaut recruitment. During the brief time they were accepting applications they received over 5,300. For a total of two spots.
I'm not too sure that I like my chances, but I'm going to plug away at it to see how far I get.
The initial application requirements were pretty broad:
Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Applied Science, Science, or license to practise medicine
Stand between 149.5 and 190.5 cm (4'-9" and 6'-3")
Visual accuity, with or without corrective lenses
Other basic fitness
So I matched all of that and sent in my application.
Just yesterday (Thursday) I received notice that I will be eligible to fill out the second stage of the application, which will entail my sending more detailed information for consideration. (personal info, grade point average, cover letter, experience, relevant experience [??], expertise, certifications, resume.) After that's all done, the field will be whittled to a precious few invited to Ottawa for a first round of interviews. I don't really expect to make it to that stage, but at least I can say that I applied to be an astronaut and was, initially, qualified.
That's kinda cool all by itself.
(When I shared this bit of information with a couple friends at a wedding this past weekend, one of them quipped, "I guess you just have to work on the '-tronaut' part then, huh?")
Like renewing an exercise program after a long stretch of indolence, I'm getting back into the blog posting thing. Perhaps with a tad more regularity? I'll have to eat more bran. And like those sore muscles after exercise, I hope to feel a sense of invigoration that drives me to keep at it. We'll see.
Tuesday was Canada Day up here in the Great White North, and the weather in this western part of it was nearly perfect. The temp crested to 30 degrees (C), which was, quite frankly, a little on the sweaty side. But we donned our red and white best, slapped on a few classy temporary tattoos, and hauled the kids in the wagon down to Lion's Gate Park to partake in dollar hot dogs, free cake and ice cream, and a band on the temporary stage that made most karaoke-ers sound pretty darned good.
We still had a good time for a couple hours.
Once we arrived, the boys immediately repaired to the playground where they set up a defensible sniper post. Declan chose his target early while Tavish mulled the moral implications of the day's intentions.
Tav decided he'd have better luck if he chose higher ground, even though he was also more exposed. Brave little fella.
Sweating from both the nerves and the heat, Dex fiddled with his gum while he calmly surveyed his marks.
Under the guise of taking in the petting zoo, I counsel Tavish on why it's not very nice to take out small children and pregnant women. You have to live with yourself afterwards, you know.
Deciding to have hot dogs instead of going on a rampage was probably for the best, in hind sight. It ended up being a pretty darned good day.