Friday, December 21, 2007

How we got here.

The first two flights out of Calgary were cancelled, so we're really just happy our flight took off at all. I'm not really complaining here. I'm just telling a neat story.

We spent almost six hours at the airport before we finally could take off. Our plane was stuck in Toronto, so we had to wait until it could get all the way to Calgary for us. Max was lucky to have his iPod and Gameboy with him, so that kept him entertained for a while. He also played video games in the arcade and read a book with me.

Corina spent at least two hours in this:
Our flight was pretty much fine, but when we got to the London airport, no one was there to pick us up! My ride couldn't even get off his street because it was so snowed in. We waited outside with about 20 other people for a cab to come, but because of the weather it took about 45 minutes. I was the only one with kids though, so I took the cab when it came. Sucks to be you, old people.

The cab got us within a few blocks of our destination, but that's as far as he could go. The roads were insane. We got out of the cab to walk the rest of the way, and when I was trying to get the suitcases out, I fell. I fell really hard! Look at this:

That's my hip. It hurts a lot.

Anyway, we then had to walk many blocks through knee-deep snow while pulling 5 suitcases at 1:00 am, while I nearly cried because I hurt my hip and my knee and my wrist and my shoulder. We got here though, and we're having a great time visiting with everybody. We're so busy running here and there that we're going to need a vacation when we get home from this vacation.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

They put it in all caps. That means it's SERIOUS.

Winter storm warning for: London - Middlesex
Issued at 10:51 AM EST SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER 2007
A NEAR-CRIPPLING SNOW STORM WITH VERY HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW AS WELL AS SOME ICE PELLETS TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE PREPARED TO CHANGE PLANS ACCORDINGLY TO AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL DURING THIS STORM. THIS MASSIVE SNOW STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE NEAR-PARALYZING CONDITIONS AS ANY ROAD TRAVEL ON ANY UNPLOWED STREETS MAY BECOME NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE ON SUNDAY. ALL MOTORISTS WHO MUST TRAVEL ARE URGENTLY ADVISED TO USE EXTREME CAUTION AND PLAN FOR MUCH EXTRA TIME TO REACH THEIR DESTINATION.

And guess what! I fly into London right in the middle of that. Or not. My flight is probably going to be cancelled, and I am NOT IMPRESSED. (That means I'm serious too.)

That picture is of last year's snowstorm in London. We haven't had storms like that back home since I was little, and now two winters in a row? I frown on you, London.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Concert

The kids had their Christmas concert tonight. I taped them each doing their favourite song. Corina like the song about underwear the best. She isn't too into the singing though. It was past her bedtime.

Max didn't get into his song until about 45 seconds in, and then he did an awesome job. The way he's dancing around makes me laugh and laugh. He's a funny kid. (He's one of the boys in blue at the back...the one on the left.)

The reason he did so well is I told him I'd take him to dinner at the Red Dog Diner tomorrow if he sang and danced for this song. He's earning his meal.

I don't care what the old man represents!

One of the courses I was registered in for next semester is Children's Literature. I would have to analyze children's books and write essays about them, and then I would have to kill myself, because I hate that kind of crap.

Today I dropped that course and registered in something much more awesome. I'm taking Child Psychopathology! I will be examining the origins and symptoms of emotional and behavioural difficulties, and also looking at causes, symptoms, and treatments of organic, social/emotional, developmental, & learning disorders to help me understand the dynamics of mental illness.

That course is so much more relevant to my career, and so much less suicide-provoking. It will probably be a lot of work though. That's the only part I'm nervous about.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alberta Words

Here are a few more things that make Alberta weird. Not as cool as "fingering", but still.

These little guys here...we call them markers in Ontario. They call them markers right on the box, which is a good clue as to their correct name. In Alberta, they are "felts". Working in the schools, the word comes up a lot. Some people don't even know what I mean when I call them markers. How can you not know? It's written RIGHT ON THE BOX!
I had never heard of stuffed animals being called "stuffies" until I moved here. It's not like a cute little nickname for stuffed animals. It's just what they are. They are not animals. How dare you! The first time someone mentioned a lunch kit, I had no idea what they meant. I know now, but I refuse to call it that. It's a lunch bag, cowboys. (Don't touch the Tardis! Woo hoo!)
At the beginning of my first winter here, I went over to a friend's house. She mentioned she needed to go plug in her van. I said, "You have an electric van??" She stared at me, I stared at her, she stared at me, I stared at her....yeah. It gets cold enough here that everyone plugs in their cars in winter so they'll start. I had no idea.
I just learned this one recently. A friend of mine from the States was saying that she hates how people here pronounce "decals". I asked her how they say it here, because I hadn't noticed. She said they pronounce it, "DECK-uls". I didn't believe her, so we asked all our friends who were there, and guess what! Look at these pretty princess DECK-uls. And this final one I learned at my second practicum, which was at a middle school. One of the students told me he forgot his gym strip. I was trying to figure out what he said - jimstrup? jimstip? jimwhatthehell? Gym clothes. They call their gym clothes a gym strip, because the stripping off of the regular clothes is apparently the part we want to focus on in Alberta.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Finger

Back home in Ontario, when we do this to someone:
...it is called giving them the finger. (That baby is giving you the finger!)

In Alberta, they call it "fingering", as in, "That baby just fingered me". Or, "Mommy, that guy who babysat us last night fingered me."

In Ontario, that means something much more...personal. Is Alberta the only place where people say this gross thing? I hate it so much. If my kids ever say it, they will be shipped back to Ontario until they learn how to speak properly again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Corina's Skating Field Trip

She doesn't actually know how to skate, but that doesn't keep her from having fun.
(How do you spell "pileon"? Pilon, pile-on...the construction things. Is that a Canadian word? I have no idea.)
Anyway, give Corina one of those, and she'll skate all over the place. And look how brave she is to try without the...pyleawn. Hehe.

Falling is cute, but you know what's even cuter? Corina's good attitude about her fall. That's what.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gingerbread House Nervous Breakdown

The kids came home yesterday. The only time we saw each other this past week was during the brief hospital visits, so we missed each other like crazy.

About an hour after the kids got home, a friend brought over the gingerbread house things they had at a party this weekend. We missed out on it because the kids were with their dad and I was sleeping. Things went well at first. Look how nice Max's house is!

Corina got hers put together, but then it fell apart. She got it put together again, but then....it fell apart again. And so did she.
I know it seems mean to take pictures of her while she's crying, but I was already standing right there with the camera taking pictures of Max, and, well...I like to document the sad moments sometimes too. So sue me.
Poor little girl. She had such a hard week. It was rough for her being away from me for so long and she was quite sad about it. She was very brave and well-behaved while I was in the hospital though. I think the gingerbread house issue just brought out all her stress from the week. She cried harder than I've seen her cry in a long time and she just couldn't stop. She slept with me last night and woke up much happier.