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Filed in:Alexandra

First Steps

November 14th, 2004  · stk

Picture, if you will, Holloween night. Alex was wearing her normal 'baby costume' (we decided not to trick-or-treat with her because she is too young and really, it would be more about US than HER and besides, neither our waistlines or our teeth would benefit from the consumption of so much confectionary treats). So we're at home, with what we consider is a huge bowl of candy, one which Alex was HUGELY interested in. The door-bell rings and surprise, surprise, there is Taylor with some of her friends - the first of over a hundred trick-or-treaters to visit our stoop that evening. Candy is doled out and soon the bell rings again - more strangely clad kids. We don't often get visitors, especially at the front door (most come to the back, where there is ANOTHER bell, with a different chime ... so you can tell if it's the front or the back). Alex, the social creature that she is, crawls to the front door and says "HI" and waves to everyone! (The total picture of cuteness, but of course, we're somewhat biased). To make a short story long, it's about two-thirds of the way into the night of ghosts and goblins, Alex is in the living room & the bell rings (yet again). "Alex, come look at the trick-or-treater's," says Mom, grabbing the large bowl, now with a pitifully small amount of candy, barely covering the bottom of the bowl, which we parsimoniously dole out, trying to make it last the night. Alex is holding on to a chair, out of sight of the front door, but close to the entry hall. Mom opens the front door & greets the kids, while Dad takes in the scene from his perch on the nearby couch. Alex, supremely interested in the commotion at the door, releases her grip on the chair and takes maybe five unsteady steps to the entry hall and looks on from a wobbly stance. "HI," she says, finally dropping to her knees and crawling, quite literally, out the front door to say "Bye" to the receeding group. Dad is proud as punch and mom has to take his word for it, because she missed the momentous occasion!

That was the beginning of a process that Alex has been improving on a daily basis. Some of you may have noticed the "news flash" that we posted to our homepage - which had a short video of Alex walking. (Click the cartoon in the upper right to view it). That was taken just the other day, only about 10 days after her initial unsteady wobble. What was, early on, a rare walking event, has now become daily fare. Though, we admit, she has yet to get up from the floor to take her steps, prefering to launch herself into a jerky trundle from a standing position. It is both joyous and painful to watch. Such obvious milestones are rare, mostly they're little things that we miss because we're 'too close' and see her every day. But still, each walk is a trip through a mine field, each unsteady sway so close to toppling her and so many hard objects to break her fall and her face. The other night she pitched forward into the coffee table (which, thankfully, has no sharp edges), but she still ended up with a supremely bruised lip and then there was the accompanying loud wail and alligator tears. The price of learning.

But, our baby girl is now "walking" and our job of tending has gotten MUCH more difficult.

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Updated: 30-May-2005
Web View Count: 13792 viewsLast Web Update: 30-May-2005
Filed in:Friends

tom & sheila

October 5th, 2004  · stk

Summer is over, school has started & many are thinking about Holloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas (how many shopping days left?) NOT Tom & Sheila! This dynamic duo, who started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, leaving from the Mexican border on April 12th, are setting their sights on the Canadian border as I write this. That's correct, they're still hiking! We just received an email from them, saying that they've made it to Steven's Pass, in northern Washington. (Fortunately, they passed Mt. St. Helens without difficulty, but they did run into a blinding snowstorm in the Goat Rock Wilderness. Get this - they were hiking at 11 PM, with head lamps on, struggling through the whiteout, on very dangerous terrain. They were miserable and wet for nearly a week, but they're toughing it out and still on the trail. They're expecting to make Canada between the 15th & 17th of this month. That's a LONG HIKE!

For more information, you can read their journal(no longer online) by clicking on the link.

We're rooting for you, guys and wish like hell that we could be there at the border to meet and help you celebrate (but it doesn't look like it's gonna happen with Rachel in school).

Jan 2005 EDIT: Tom & Sheila DID make it all the way to Manning Park, right when they said they would (October 16th). Though poor weather plagued them, they perservered through the rain and fog. Congratulations guys!!

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Updated: 4-Dec-2006
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Filed in:Alexandra

Alex is One

October 5th, 2004  · stk

Alexandra had her very FIRST birthday on October 3rd, just two days ago. While the meaning of the occasion was all but lost on our little girl (it was more a celebration involving Mom & Dad), she DID enjoy eating ice cream & cake. She also had fun 'reading' her cards (many cards had images of animals on the front - which Alex interpreted as either a DOG, or a CAT, making the appropriate sounds. Some of the DOGS, however, WERE CATS and visa-versa. Hey ... it was HER birthday & she was gonna cry if she wanted - (which she did only once, in a frustrated temper tantrum that fortunately didn't last long!) She also enjoyed her presents, the clothes and the toys. (Of course, the wrapping paper kept her amused for a great while, as well, ripping it up into tiny shreds - CONFETTI!) Our landlord, Laura & her daughter Mairin, stopped by, bearing a Pooh dish & cutlery set, staying part of the afternoon, helping Alex celebrate. Because Alex LOVES company, it was a nice treat for the birthday girl, in lieu of family. Of course, the celebration was scheduled around Alex's morning nap, and as a result, was conveniently limited to her awake time - 2 to 7 PM. She and Marin had fun together and all-in-all, Alex had a very good birthday. By 8 PM, however, she was ready to go to bed, tuckered out from all the excitement & activity.

It's hard to believe that our baby girl is now one year of age. Seven teeth, an expanding vocabulary, a pleasant disposition & just on the verge of walking ... she's growing up right in front of our eyes. Scott put together a slide show that chronologically covers Alex's first year - (over 100 photos!) View it Here. (Note: You can always access this show from the banner menu, oddly called "Slide Shows".

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Updated: 1-Dec-2007
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Filed in:Scott
Our Life

New Shop

October 5th, 2004  · stk

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'!

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Updated: 15-May-2005
Web View Count: 8286 viewsLast Web Update: 15-May-2005
Filed in:Rachel
Our Life

Nurse Rachel

October 5th, 2004  · stk

No, she's not a nurse yet, but she's well into her first semester at the University of Alberta. She's taking "Medical Mike" (aka Medical Micro-Biology, which Scott refers to as, "Medical Bob"). It's her most interesting course. The other course is (in the parlance of University-speak) "Nursing 306", which is a 6-credit course "Nursing & Health Assessment". It's kind of like an Intro to Nursing course, which has a lab associated with it. She brought home an infant blood pressure cuff and has been practicing on Alex. Scott is a little worried that they're going to learn about giving injections & drawing blood. ;)

It has been difficult to adjust and carve out a new schedule. We've been sharing cooking duties a lot more and have instituted a weekly menu plan (needed when you have two cooks in the kitchen). We shop once a week - mostly it's still Rachel that shops, as Scott detests shopping. But he did go last week (what a zoo! You really got to pick your times to go to avoid a crowd.) Rachel went back to work when Alex was just two months old, so he's used to being Mr. Mom, but now, as a student, when Rachel returns home, she has homework to do & he's used to relinquishing childcare duties when she pops in the door. Finding the time to study is something that Rachel is finding difficult. The Oop goes to bed at 8 PM, so that's a logical time, but often we're tired and ready to veg out then. Gradually, we're coming up with a new dance, one that has Alex taken care of & allows both parents their needed time. Now all we have to do is carve out some "us" time! (Our 3-year wedding anniversary is tomorrow, by the way).

Happy Anniversary Honey! :)

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Updated: 11-Feb-2005
Web View Count: 1899 viewsLast Web Update: 11-Feb-2005