Sunday, March 29, 2009

Warning: Gas Alert and The Hockey Game!



---------The gas story is at the end of this post, and it is one that you don't want to miss!!---------

A downside of being a dentist is that you need to pay for many different kinds of insurance. An upside of being a dentist is that insurance agents give you incentives for meeting with them. This is how we got tickets to the Flames hockey game.

I am so bummed that I forgot to take my camera, but I come from an Oilers family and that is considered a sin in Calgary, as they are arch enemies! A couple years ago I got an Oilers jersey from my in-laws (thank you) and I wore it tonight to the Flames game, after Justin assured me that I would not get beat up! The comments that I got were very entertaining to me. My favorite was a guy in the hall "see, I knew that I should have worn my Oilers jersey!". Another ..."wrong game, wrong stadium". The usher (a sweet older man) threatened not to seat me, but Justin assured him that I was ok. The game was really fun to watch and the Flames did win. I do have to admit that it was pretty exciting to be in that stadium of red.

There was something that did happen that made my blood boil!!!! The opposing team was from the states and when the American national anthem was playing a guy a couple rows up started booing. I almost jumped over the seats and lynched him. How could anyone be so disrespectful to any country, but especially one that is neighboring his own country. No nation deserves that kind of disrespect ... ever!
To end on a lighter note: The best thing of the night happened in the beginning. Justin and I are walking into the stadium and Justin fluffs. (this actually happens quite frequently, but the last 24 hours they have been DEADLY!!!!!) Well, he lets one go and the people behind us just about died! They scream, "OH MY GOSH .... SOMEONE IN FRONT OF US JUST LET THE WORST FART RIP EVER!!!! OH MY GOSH .... I THINK I AM GOING TO DIE!!!! CONGRATS TO WHOEVER PRODUCED THAT ONE, IT IS THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER SMELLED .........." This continued for a solid 3 minutes or so, as this particular brand tends to linger longer than others. I don't know if Justin was more embarrassed or proud of his accomplished torture.
I was trying soooo hard not to laugh out loud!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lately Evan has insisted on calling me Daddy. He knows the difference, because when we ask him where Mommy is, he points to me. I started by calling myself "Mama", and he just started calling me "Nonny" (he can't say "M's"), but lately he refuses to call me "mommy". We have been working on it, and now he calls me "mama" (aka:nana) Love this kid!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Jetson's have arrived!

I was watching Oprah yesterday (an older show from this week) and I was blown away!!! The show was on life extension, which in and of itself was mind blowing and then they showed us this!!!
This is a full functioning rat heart that was grown in a labratory! The best part though was that this was just the tip of the iceburgh. Sience has braught us to a time where they can successfully grow almost any organ in a lab using your own cells and transplant them to your body. There was a surgery they talked about where a young woman had cancer in her bladder, so they made her a new bladder using her own cells and transplanted the new organ into her. It eliminates many of the drugs you have to take after a transplant, because it was made using your own cells!

They showed a full functioning artery, heart valve, liver ... they can do it on anything! As if that wasn't enough??? It only takes weeks to grow a new organ!!!

They even had a guy who cut off the top of his finger and with a special powder ... grew a new one! NO JOKE (I totally thought of you Walmir).

This stuff is insane, but I LIKE IT!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Garbage soup and Spam


Back in the summer time when I knew that money would be tight, I did a lot of research on different ways to save money. I pride myself on making yummy healthy meals for cheap and being able to keep our grocery bills lower than a lot of other people. (I said I don't enjoy cooking, not that I don't make good meals)

One of the idea's I got last summer was a meal called garbage soup. Most everyone has that little amount of food left over from most meals that is too little for left overs and so they throw it away. Garbage soup is made from those. Anytime there is food left over that you would normally throw away you stick it in a container in the freezer, regardless of whether you think it goes together or not. When the container is full, you put anything else you feel like together with the contents of that container and make a soup. I have expanded that idea to freezing food in my fridge that I know we won't finish before it goes bad.

This is my second time making garbage soup and I have to say that it was another huge success!!! I know that it sounds kind of gross, and as you are making it (aka: throwing everything together from the last several months) you wonder to yourself if it is even going to taste good, but so far it has tasted really good both times! Try it .... you might be surprised, and save money too!

Tonight I was informed that I am a spammer! I am one of the people in charge of my high school directors retirement celebration. It is a monumental task considering that the band at my high school has approximately 400 people in it every year and he taught at my school about 25 years. I made a list of one year in Excel and then spent the day finding those I could on facebook and sending them the information about the celebration. I got to my second to last page of names and got a warning from facebook that my suspicious activity could be annoying to others and that if I continued to abuse the application my account could be terminated permanently! I was shocked ... and that is when Justin informed me that I am a spammer and it wanted me to stop. I hope that by taking a break for today I will be able to at least finish my list tomorrow! I don't want to lose my account. Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Braggin' Rights ... (compliments accepted)


The story begins last July when we moved to Canada. I was so bummed out because I was leaving an orchestral position and a state where my name was already established and I would get regular free-lance jobs playing my oboe. To build that in a city that you have zero connections in is REALLY hard to do!

I finally auditioned for the sub list in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra about 1.5 months ago. I was told repeatedly that I was the third call on the list. I went away from the audition happy with my performance, but really not expecting to get a call. (mostly it was just so they could know that I exist!) Well Saturday I got a call and they needed someone last minute!

I got to play in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra today!! I almost died getting to the hall though. Last night our good weather ended and we had a major snow storm! The scariest moment of the drive was I was sliding on ice toward a red light and the car in front of me was doing circles .... scary! That is in the past and I am just so excited right now. I played with the Calgary Phil! The best part was that I was pretty much on their level of playing! I expected to be a little bit intimidated, but I wasn't. Hopefully I will get called again in the future, only time will tell.

What a fantastic experience I had today! Props to me (I'll be humble tomorrow!!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yeah for warm weather???

On Saturday we took advantage of our "warm" weather! It finally hit the 50's and everyone here was loving it! Honestly I have to say that it really does feel warm after what we have been through lately. We got together with Kathy and Kyla, and The Law family and all headed to the zoo! It was really fun!!!!

Many interesting things happened while we were there.
1) We lost Adaline in the gorilla exhibit. (not to worry, we did eventually find her)
2) We watched zoo porn!!!! (the giraffes were mating in a small VERY public space)

My favorite animals of the day were the owl (we were seriously this close to the owl and no fence in between!) The owl had the greatest personality, I held Evan right up to him and at first he was a little nervous, but then he just kept "hooing" at him!. The Tamarins (the cute little white monkeys in the picture) were another favorite. These guys could fit in my hand and they are full grown! My other favorite was the baby gorilla!!!!!!! Wow .... she was sooo cute!

Then my very favorite animals of the day were all the little monkeys that came home with us!!! Could they get cuter?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Marley and Me


Today I saw the movie "Marley and Me" for the second time. Wow it is such a wonderful movie I just couldn't go without saying a little something about it.

I am an animal person. I always have been. I know there are a lot of people who are not, but this movie epitomizes why I love animals so much. It definitely doesn't sugar coat anything about animals (it includes all scenarios of poop, throw up, and other nasty behaviors) but it lovingly displays why that is all worth it.

When I went to see it for the first time I expected a comedy, and it was that and more! It really is a funny movie that makes you fall out of your chair laughing, but you also cry with the family, and every other emotion in the book. This story is life, and I love it! (including living in Florida and eventually ending up in the cold) Now I really want to read the book!

WATCH THIS MOVIE .......(but remember the tissue!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Saturday Fun!

What a crazy fun Saturday!

Last minute my friend Becca wasn't able to run in a race that she had signed up for and offered her spot to me. I figured "why not" and we made a weekend of it! We drove to Lethbridge for the second week in a row and dropped off Evan at my cousins house so that Justin and I could attend the temple for the first time in forever!
(Evan got to eat some popcorn while he watched his movie on the drive)


When I was changing into my nice clothes for the temple I realized that I forgot dress shoes! I took a before picture of my running shoes and insisted that we buy temple appropriate shoes before we left for Cardston. Thankfully I found some super cute shoes on sale!!!
(Can you believe I even went out in public looking like this???)

(we brought snoopy with us to play with his new best friend!)


When we drove to Cardston we took Kari's car and she just took our truck around town so Evan could watch his "teedee" (TV). We were very excited when we noticed that we were going to turn their car over to 300,000 kilometres! We made sure that we documented the occasion very well for them. I am especially happy that I saw it, because I have turned over my dad's car twice and didn't notice either time ... he wasn't too pleased that he missed it AND that I didn't enjoy it! The coolest part about turning their car is that it happened right in front of the temple!!!!


During our session I kept starring at two of the temple workers because they looked really familiar! I finally saw their name tag and knew it couldn't be a coincidence. They were Crapo's and my family knew the Crapo's really well when we lived in Rosemary. After the session was over I hunted them down and sure enough ... IT WAS THEM!!! In fact when I was walking up to Brother Crapo in the lobby he looked at me and said .... "I think I know you". I told him that he indeed did, but hadn't seen me for about 17 years. It was cool that they recognized me though!
(of course I HAD to get a picture with them, notice the new shoes I am wearing!)


Our next stop was a quick visit to my grandparents in the Cardston cemetery. I am so proud to be the grand-daughter of all 6 of my grandparents and it was really nice to be able to go and remember my Grandpa and Grandma Leavitt! The treat was that I didn't expect to be able to say hi to my Uncle Nick as well. I didn't know that he was buried next to them. It was nice for me to see them.


Next up on our list for the day ... my race. Now let me tell you that I did not have high hopes for myself. My knee and my back have really been giving me problems for about a month and a half. I have continued running, but really tried to listen to my body and stop when it hurt. Before the race I loaded up on Advil and told myself that it was ok to walk if I had to. The cannon goes off and I am off. The first thing we do is run down a mile long (really steep) hill!! I think to myself "I bet you anything that we are going to have to run up this hill, and that will suck!" My philosophy for running is to just go a nice steady pace while running faster down hills and taking it slow uphills. I was getting passed by sooo many people and I anticipated a slower than normal time for me, so imagine my surprise when I turn the corner and see the clock say 59 minutes!!!! (I didn't care at the time about the seconds) I knew that I was going to finish the race in under an hour, and I did!!! I ran my 10k in 59:48 ... faster than I normally go!!! It was insanely fun and I was even more surprised when my knee and back didn't hurt today. Am I on the mend? I sure hope so!

If any of you are wondering about the really REALLY steep mile long hill ... YES that is how the race ended! I was just proud that I kept running up and didn't have an asthma attack. I was NOT thrilled with whoever planned that course!

(If you are wondering why I have that stunned look on my face it is because I still can't believe that I ran a 9:34 avg. mile and did that well! I am pleased with myself!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 12, 2009

(Ok, I wrote this on March 12, but didn't quite finish it until today ... whoops!)

First I have to wish a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Alex!

Today I decided to take a personal day! I don't know why, but the last two weeks I have felt that I have had no time to clean the house properly (only time for quick pick ups) or feel like I did something super fun and out of the ordinary. I decided that today was the day!

We did our normal morning routine, but I also managed to get in about 7 loads of laundry. Usually I do one load a day, but I was really behind and needed to just make a huge dent! I was thrilled to be able to finish that task and deep clean one of the bathrooms.

When Evan woke up from his nap we headed out the door and hit some local nursery's to learn about gardening in Calgary. I have been so excited to learn how to grow a successful garden here and about composting, since my compost didn't actually compost last summer. We learned ALOT and had so much fun. Evan loved looking at all of the plants, and we are going to start preparing our garden in about a month.

Speaking of growing things ... I have been working on growing an avocado tree from seed and I was sooooo excited when the roots came out, but after almost two months looking for the shoot I thought I had done something wrong. Today I found this .... (look at the top)


Straight from there we headed to Open Sesame to celebrate my dear friends birthday! It was a surprise party and it was so much fun to celebrate this wonderful woman!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

mmmmm



It is no secret that cooking is not my favorite activity! I cook because I have to feed my family, and I want them to be healthy. I make "no fuss" meals and am slowly building my repertoire of "real" food. The things I make I make well ... but I usually don't enjoy the process. This all true except for one meal .... empanada's!!! I made them for dinner tonight and I have only one thing to say ...

THANK YOU NATASHA FOR TEACHING ME!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Haircut


Yup, we finally reached that milestone of a first haircut! The reason I waited so long is because he has these beautiful curls in the back. When his hair curls it is just too cute for words, but when it doesn't curl he looks like a white trash woman with a bad mullet! It almost broke my heart to cut it, but we were having way more bad hair days than good ones, it had to be done.

We went to a place that specializes in cutting kids hair. It was a perfect first experience. Evan got to sit in a truck and watch "Memo (Nemo)". As always he was so well behaved.

For your first hair cut they laminate some of his hair and give you a certificate, which I think is adorable!!!!!

Enjoy all of the pics of our little man ... he definitely looks more grown up now!

(Right before his first cut)

This is a really good shot of his beatiful "mullet" hair! Check out the back ... I could braid that!


BEFORE


AFTER


p.s. Happy Birthday Tummy Mommy!!!

Pictures

As promised, here are the remaining pictures of our weekend!
my cousin Kari and I. We love that we are Kira and Kari

We took a walk in their neighborhood and found these! Do you think the car is leaving any time soon???

Snoopy had so much fun with his new best friend Mack. We LOVE having Snoopy with us right now, he is just too much fun for our family!


Here is a video I got of one of the rides. This isn't even close to the craziest bull they had there OR the craziest ride, but it is still cool!
video

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am sooo glad that we are alive!!!


I did not take this picture, but this is a picture that displays a little bit of what we drove in last night ... except we had even less visibility and it was dark outside!!! Do you see the parts on the side of the picture that are COMPLETELY white? That is what our entire front wind shield looked like ... we could see NOTHING! But let me start at the beginning.

After an insanely busy week we were fortunate to have a very fun weekend. One of my Christmas presents this year were tickets to a dinner theater in town. We went with the Law's on Friday night and had a wonderful time. The show was very silly, but also very entertaining! It was about the pirates of the North Saskatchewan and the man who played "Captain Jack" was spot on! I seriously couldn't believe that he wasn't Johnny Depp, except that we were watching a dinner theater and I don't think Johnny would do anything like that now :-) At the end of the show they ask you to fill out comment cards which they then put into a raffle, which ... I WON!!! I never win anything and so it was a very exciting event for me! I won tickets to the next show.
(Irene this picture is for you ... I wanted you to see my outfit!!!)

Saturday we drove to Lethbridge to spend time with my cousin. It was a lovely relaxing day filled with the best manicotti I have ever eaten! WOW it was soo good! We then headed over to the main event, professional bull riding! It was very cool and very entertaining. One cowboy got trampled, but he walked away just fine. I really think that the guys who ride the bulls and the bull fighters (the clowns) are insane, but they make for a good show! Our seats were pretty close and it is truly crazy to see the size of these animals! The best ride of the night was also the guy who won! The bull was crazy and I couldn't believe that he actually stayed on that long. This sport really makes you realize just how long 8 seconds can be!

We of course headed home after that and hit the blizzard head on, in the middle of nowhere! I am normally the one who is freaking out in the passenger seat, but Justin is always very calm. Imagine how I reacted to my "really calm" husband totally freaking out because he had never driven in anything that bad before! I was so scared and I knew that my reaction was not helping the situation AT ALL so I called my dad, kept my eyes closed and just had him talk me through! I was convinced we were going to die right then and there in the middle of nowhere!!! The white wash continued until we were almost home, but we did indeed arrive safely.

Unfortunately the drive from hell almost tripled the time it should have taken to get home and it was also day light savings! With the time change we got home at 2:50am and were in bed by 3:06am. I had to be awake at 7:00am to finish the last details on my primary lesson for church and I had to arrive early so we could run through the piece I was playing before church started. I am happy to report that I played well and I think the lessons went well.

Needless to say I came home from church and as a family we all took a VERY long nap!!! It was lovely and I am so looking forward to a less hectic week ahead!

(I have pictures from the rodeo, but I can't find the cord to the camera and Justin is already asleep. I will load them tomorrow!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is the Doctor in???


Calgary Children's hospital neuromuscular clinic has a wonderful program that they have set up. About 3 times a year they gather all of the specialists to one place and set up you appointments to see all of them saving you A LOT of trips to the hospital. Today was that day and it was really important that we go, because we are still learning and this will be our first opportunity to meet with some of the specialists.

We arrived at the hospital at ten minutes to 9:00AM and left at 1:00PM. We saw 7 different specialists!!!! Evan was so good (I had treats) and was super cooperative for all of the doctors. It was a tiring day, but a very good day!