Saturday, July 31, 2010

When We Think JULY . . .

. . . we think COUSINS!

LOTS of cousins . . .


. . . which means lots of FUN :)


For the past several years, my sister Anita and her kids have come to visit for at least a few weeks in July, and now that means 14 cousins all together.

We have had so much fun swimming, playing at the park, picking berries,


eating ice cream, shopping at Toys R Us (think 11 kids and 3 moms kind of fun!),


roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a big bon fire,

going to the movies--you name it, if you can do it with 14 kids we probably tried to do it this past month :)

Even though it's been a bit crazy at times, ask any one of us--July always goes way too fast!

We're really going to miss these guys.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lesser Known Facts about Darth Vader

Although I've never considered myself a Star Wars expert, I've always felt that I knew the basics when it came to this aspect of popular (nerd) culture.

Growing up in the 70s, I'd seen the films (some of them even at the movie theater!)--I knew the names of the main characters and could summarize the gist of the story lines. I felt pretty confident in my overall knowledge of the Star Wars saga.

This all changed when I realized I was the mother of a 5-year-old boy who was obsessed with Star Wars, Darth Vader, and anything even remotely related.

When Benjamin started asking me questions about people like Boba Fett (who?) and other lesser-known characters, I quickly referred to the literature--in the form of the very advanced Level 3 Readers that Ben was bringing home from his school library. Whenever Jason came home from work I asked him my list of Star Wars questions that had accumulated throughout the day--then memorized the answers and practiced delivering them smoothly so I could impress Benjamin the next time he asked.

However, as months have passed, I have learned that there are some facts about Darth Vader that are simply not printed in the readers, do not appear in the films, and are not readily available from even the most sci-fi savvy husbands.

Here are a few:

1. Darth Vader has been married--at least twice. I don't mean secretly, like when he married Padme Amidala in Revenge of the Sith (see how good I am getting, though?). I'm talking about full-out weddings with bridesmaids and flower girls. Fortunately, I have been able to compile extensive photo evidence to prove this.

That Darth Vader is one lucky man--I mean robot.


2. Darth Vader's primary objective is not to control the universe, build the Death Star, or complete any of the other sinister plots that have been attributed to him. His number-one goal is to invade Princess Land and convince all the princesses there to join the Dark Side. I have heard him talk about this repeatedly, and I happen to know that Jasmine and Belle have already agreed to join him.


3. Darth Vader has an extensive frog army that he uses to round up the princesses and take them to his castle (I'll bet you didn't even know he had a castle!).

4. On a lighter note, Darth Vader loves Christmas . . . and ballerinas, apparently. He has even been known to swap his mask for a Santa hat, under the right circumstances.


5. Some say that Darth Vader was even there to celebrate with the original inhabitants of the manger during that first magical Christmas Eve, although I think this might be pushing it.

6. Finally, not many know that underneath his famous black space suit, Darth Vader actually wears Winnie the Pooh gumboots. Who would have thought?


I'm sure I will continue to learn more and more about Darth Vader as the years go by, with Benjamin as my son. It just goes to show that some things can only be learned through playing :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Breaking from Tradition

This Canada Day was unlike any other we have experienced.

First, Jason decided to work. This meant that I took all three of my--ahem--well-behaved children to the parade ALONE. My first-ever Canada Day parade without Jason!

Next, it was cloudy, cool, and actually RAINING during the parade. Last year it was so hot we had to leave early (with me being pregnant and none of us wearing sunscreen), and every other year I can remember July 1st has been sunny and really warm.

We also sat next to two families who had dogs. Janae couldn't resist making some new friends, and had lots of doggy kisses during the parade. Usually we get smokers, so I have to say this was a move in the right direction :)

Janae was also one of the lucky kids to have a teddy bear given to her. Someone from a float representing Victim Services came running up to our G-G, gave her a red teddy bear, and took a picture of her holding it. We might see her in some publicity material for . . . Victim Services, I guess (hopefully no-one will get the wrong idea).

But not all traditions were broken. We did attend the parade, after all. And I was very happy that Alaina kept the tradition of one of our kids falling asleep in the stroller (this has happened every year so far!). That made for a much more pleasant walk home :)

Happy Canada Day!