Saturday, September 12, 2009


We returned home from Vegas last night (this morning, actually) at about 130am.
After trying to unlock the door in the dark while being quiet so as not to wake the kids, we were finally inside. Chris and I both pretty much dropped our bags and went to peek in on the sleeping princes.

We had a great time and it was so nice to spend time with our friends as well as time alone with eachother. But, as nice as it is to get away, it is nice to come home again, too.

The weather there was fantastic- about 35-40 degrees all week. At night it cooled down to about 30! Chris and his lobster-red skin can attest to the heat! I wore sunscreen.....he did not.

We did some shopping... ok, who am I kidding? We did a lot of shopping! We saw some shows, did lots of sightseeing and ate lots of yummy food and just enjoyed being somewhere new, without kids and with great friends.

The flight there was not a good one for me. I get motion sick. Very motion sick. I spent a good portion of the flight with my head between my knees and a sickness bag clutched in my hands, a bag of ice on the back of my neck. Ugh. Not a good way to start a vacation. I had forgotten Gravol, which is why I was so sick so I was sure to get some before heading home. Actually, I got Drammamine, as it is called in the states, I discovered. Also, it is not behind the counter as it is here. When you ask for it here, they record your info to track it for some reason. Drammamine in my tummy, the flight home was much, much better.

When we arrived at the airport in Vegas (on mine and Chris' 7th anniversary!) we went to get our luggage. Dee and I were completely involved in finding out where to pick up our baggage, we didn't notice the limo driver waiting with the GRAHAM sign until Chris informed us that we had someone to help us with our luggage. A limo!!!! Our wonderful husbands arranged to have a limo pick us up, with champagne and roses waiting and take us on a 1 hour tour before dropping us off at the hotel. We also got to ride back to the airport in the limo- a nice change from the public transportation we had been riding all week.

The limo ride was great as was the champagne. Dee and I were giddy with anticipation! :)

The picture is a little dark but here are Chris and I at the famous Las Vegas sign.

Dee and I saw the Bodies Exhibit (check out the site! and some photos here) which was amazing. The guys thought it would be too gross, so we went without them. They were actual bodies that had been preserved. By far my favorite part was the fetal development section. Just incredible.

We went to Freemont Street which is "old Vegas" and has been re-vamped with a light show on the ceiling of the outdoor street. Here are Chris and I on Freemont Street.

We also saw a Cirque du Soliel show, which was impressive, as we anticipated.

Thursday afternoon was spent lounging by the pool, where Chris met his sunburn.

Friday afternoon before heading home we went to the Shark reef Aquarium, America's only predator based aquarium where we saw many interesting fish and sharks. Here's a photo of me touching a large sting ray. They are so soft, like well worn leather.

We had a great time, but 4 days was more than enough for one trip. We were ready to come home. There is so much to see and do in Vegas, though. That was our second trip and I see us going back again some day because there are just so many incredible shows to take in and sights to be seen. Vegas is way more than drinking and gambling!

Some Randomness

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?10 years ago I would've been 17...just starting University at Augustana in Camrose. I was taking my bachelor of arts with a concentration in psychology and a minor in Scandinavian Studies (don't ask!). I had intended to go and take a concentration in drama and a minor in sociology- it turned out I wasn't as good an actress as my high school performances had me believing and I discovered that sociology was kinda boring. So, I switched. Pysch was interesting and I can (sorta) speak Norwegian and have read many pieces of literature important to Scandinavian history. At one point I could tell you the deeper meanings of what those writers were writing. Not so today. But, ask me about current celebrity gossip and I can fill you in! LOL

Sidenote: I always wondered this and writing about Norwegian literature reminded me again about this wonder I have. Lisa, since you are the literature guru, maybe you have some insight.
In school we study all these pieces of literature and are taught that there is almost always another, deeper meaning to what was written. For example, in Ibsen's Peer Gynt, Peer peels away an onion to find a non-existent core and realizes that he himself is made up of layers like an onion (a thought that Shrek stole, by the way!). And that the trolls that Peer encounters signify the the self-indulgences that deflect man from a truer purpose. My question is this: How do we know that hundreds of years ago, Henrik Ibsen wasn't just sitting down and writing a fictional story about a little man who encounters trolls on his journey and on the way peels an onion looking for something inside? How do we know that he was purposefully putting this imagery into his work in the hopes that his works would be studied and dissected for many years to come? Perhaps it is just that over the years people have chosen to believe that certain figures and images convey greater meaning and these thoughts are continually passed on and changed with the passage of time??
Do authors actually sit down and think "ok, I am going to write this and it will actually mean this. Let's see who is smart enough to figure this out." Like a puzzle. I just think that people look too hard for hidden meaning into things and maybe they should just be taken at face value sometimes. But, then again, that wouldn't make for a very good literature class, now, would it?

Anyhoo....on to my randomness...

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today? Well, since it is 9:30pm, I think I will be planning to go to bed shortly. But 5 things I will do before I make it to bed are: get undressed and into pjs, get a snack, do my bedtime routine (teeth, hair, face, etc), go pee and read a bit.

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?I always enjoy snacks! I LOVE 5cent candies and slurpees, am quite fond of chips and salsa, peanut butter and jam sandwiches with a glass of milk, oreo cookies.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:Pay off student loans, go to Disneyland (with my kids of course and I'd love to take my whole family), vacation, invest to ensure that my kids were set for life.

5. 2 of my bad habits: Eating sugary snacks, not drinking enough water every day

6. 5 places I've lived: Blackfalds, Ponoka, Camrose, Edmonton, Crossfield

7. 5 jobs I've had: Cashier at Extra Foods, Group home staff, Psych Aide, Group home coordinator, teacher

My friend Tasha tagged me in this and I don't feel like actually tagging people so, If you're reading this and have a blog, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Potty Training Blues

As you may be well aware, Luca and I have been having a battle of wills about the potty for some time now.

He refuses to poop on the potty and I am getting very frustrated and tired of cleaning poopy underwear.

Luca turned 3 on June 29th. He should be ready to potty train. At least that's what I am told and am reading. I have run out of ideas.

I tried letting him run around bottom-less and that seemed to be the most successful method yet in that he really didn't want to poop on the floor. Unfortunately, he got really good at holding it until about 53 seconds after he had his pull-up on to go to bed. I don't know what is more frustrating- pooping in underwear or holding it to poop in a pull up that is less than a minute old! I'm kinda cheap and I hate that he is basically wasting a pull-up! Those things are not cheap!

So, any suggestions?????

To make matters worse, Adelynn, Dee's 2 and a half year old basically decided a few weeks ago that she was done with diapers and has been doing wonderfully using the potty. She still has the accident here and there, but is consistently using the potty both for pee and pooping. I wish she could teach Luca a thing or two!

I know it can't be forced but seriously! Something's gotta give!!!!

Any help you might have is greatly appreciated. I've exhausted all my ideas, now I need yours!

More catch up!

It seems like I am always playing catch-up! I have good intentions to post regularly, I really do!
Unfortunately, since I haven't been very good at posting, here's another general post about what has been happening with us the past month.

In Early August, we were thrilled to finally meet Lisa, Tom's girlfriend. Because her and Tom live in Ottawa, it hasn't been possible to meet her until this summer when she joined Tom for the wedding of a good family friend. We absolutely loved her and don't hold it against her that she is keeping Tom out East away from all of us! ;)

The wedding that we attended was an absolutely gorgeous outdoor wedding at the home of the groom's parents. The groom and his family have been close friends with Chris' family for years. All of the flowers for the wedding were different types of Dahlias and were grown right there in the Kusiek's yard. They were absolutely amazing and as far as I know they are still enjoying many blooms from their Dahlia garden!

We went camping at Pigeon Lake with my parents as well as the Sowers family (Brock- my soon to be brother in law's parents) and the Campbell family (Brock's sister's family). That weekend was the birthday party for my nephew Donovan who turned 4. Hard to believe that he is 4 already! We had a nice time camping and at the party. It was great to be able to visit and we enjoyed our last camping weekend of the summer.

My sisters came and stayed with me for a few days this month which was fun. We did girly things like painting nails and watching chick flicks with popcorn and slurpees. My sisters and I have lots of fun when we are together- they are some of my very best friends and I love spending time with them. I miss that we are not as close geographically as we used to be.

Last weekend was Jessica, my baby sister's Bridal shower and stagette. It was a wonderful day to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Jessica and Brock. We had a lot of fun at the stagette as well, dressing her up and making her ride the mechanical bull! Jessica and Brock will be getting married in a very intimate ceremony in Canmore followed by a celebration reception a few weeks later in Wetaskiwin. Our Bridesmaids dresses arrived on the weekend as well and we are all very happy with the result. They are just beautiful. I can't wait for the big day!

This past week has been busy with getting things ready for Vegas for Chris and I, getting the boys laundry washed and packed to go to Ponoka and tidying the house. Only 5 more days, we can't wait! We are so excited to be going on a child-free holiday with our best friends!

Today was also the first meeting of the MOPS steering team. We started to plan our year and I am so excited for the first meeting. MOPS is such a wonderful organization and I don't know what I would do without it here! This fall there has been 2 MOPS groups started at churches in Airdrie, which is fantastic to see it reaching out to more moms that might need some support and friendship.

Well, that's our last month in a nutshell. I will try to add some pictures later, I am on my laptop right now with all my photos being on the desktop PC upstairs. So, for now all you get is words!

Til we get back from Vegas.....................