Monday, January 31, 2011

Kaycie Sez... The Sick and Teething Baby Edition

I am tickled pink that I have developed a bit of an international following - it's so cool to see that people are reading this blog in so many countries!  I'm not sure what time of day it is where you are reading this, but here at my house it's 5am and I have been up for a loooong time with my son, Knolan, who is currently sick with a cold and sprouting teeth like it's going out of style.  Knolan doesn't get a lot of mention on this blog, but I'm going to try to find some way to share some stories about him that will be interesting for all... he really is a cutie!

Anyway, I find myself up in the middle of the night, not able to sleep because Knolan is up every 20 minutes or so crying, so I figured I'd might as well try to blog since it's easy to do with the lights out and in bed!  So... I've got some more Kaycie Sez, but since I've been leaning on the Kaycie-isms quite a bit lately, I'll first share one story with you about our little Knolan:

The other day I was in our kitchen unloading/loading the dishwasher.  Ken had just left for work, Kaycie was watching a Yo Gabba Gabba episode on YouTube, and Knolan was in his Einstein.  An "Einstein" is what we call the activity-centre-thinger that Knolan sits in sometimes, and we call it that because it's made by Baby Einstein (and that's what our friend Tracey calls it - works for us!).  Here is what it looks like:

Now, the Einstein is generally on the opposite side of the kitchen to the table where the laptop sits.  When the kids are crazy and I need to get something done, a Yo Gabba Gabba episode works as a short distraction for Kaycie, and Knolan will last about the same amount of time in the Einstein.

So.... I was working away, getting lost in the seductive and glamourous world of dishes and kitchen cleaning, when I looked over and Knolan was no longer in his Einstein on the far side of the kitchen... he was in the Einstein right beside his sister watching Yo Gabba Gabba with great interest!  I thought I was losing it.  I asked Kaycie if she had moved Knolan, and she insisted she hadn't.  I called Ken and asked him if he'd moved Knolan before he left the house, and he was just as baffled as I was.  Then I looked over and saw Knolan grunting and pushing with his legs and saw the whole Einstein move another 2 inches closer to Kaycie.

All I can say is Holy Leg Power, Batman!

I can barely move that thing around!  It's got rubber, non-slip grippers on the bottom and it has a steel frame - it's not exactly in the light weight category.  I guess our little Knolly Poly reeealllly wanted to see what his sister was doing.  :-)

Anyway, it seems as though Knolan has finally fallen asleep, but my husband is now awake and can't sleep through my key clicking, so I will sign off and leave you with our daughter's latest comedy stylings.  Ciao!

Kaycie Sez...

When I lost my cool a bit with Kaycie over something, she got right up in my face, put one hand on her hip and the other hand gently held my cheek and she said:  "Mommy, you are gorgeous and furious."

When I told her we had to go put a letter in the mail before we went home after school:  "Mommy, my brain is not full because my stomach is not full, so we need to go home right away and put food in my tummy so that my brain will be full.  And by the way, my brain fills up starting at the legs."

When I told her that we needed to hurry and finish lunch because Daddy was "working his butt off" cleaning upstairs and that we needed to go and help him:  "Daddy can't work his butt off!  If he worked his butt off he would have a bloody butt and that's not good."

When suggested that she clean up all of her memory game pieces and that when she was done tidying up, we would make some popcorn for a snack and watch a movie together:  "Welllll... I have a great idea.  Why don't you and Daddy make some popcorn for me and put on a movie for me and then I can watch the movie while YOU clean up my toys!  Isn't that a great idea?!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kaycie sez...

A very quick edition of "Kaycie Sez" for y'all.  Just some snippets collected from the last few days.  Enjoy!

Overheard while she was playing in her room:  "Volcano... I command you to kill all the dinosaurs!  Ready... set.... go!"

Walks into the kitchen while I'm cooking and says:  "Mommy, I'm heading out to destroy the city."

At dinner with Ken's cousin and her family, while looking at their dog, Phoebe, who is sprawled out on her back relaxing:  "Mommy, look at the dog!  She wants somebody to come and scratch her belly!  And her privates!"

After climbing up on Ken's back, and yelling to her Gramma:  "Look at me!  I'm riding a unicorn!"

A random pearl of wisdom from Kaycie overheard while she talked to her Grammy on the phone: "You do what you do when you need to and when you need to you just do it!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Machine Told Me To Drive Into A Lake!

I'm sure there are some fellow fans of "The Office" out there who will remember the episode where Michael and Ryan battled over new technology - resulting in an impromptu gift basket road trip and ending with Michael driving into the lake while trying to use his GPS.  One of my favourite snippits from the show took place when Michael returned to the office:
Michael: I drove my car into a [bleep] lake. Why you may ask did I do this? Well, because of a machine. A machine told me to drive into a lake. And I did it! I did it because I trusted Ryan's precious technology, and look where it got me.  
Jim: Into a lake.  
Michael: Exactly!
Well, the theme of this post is technology, so I thought that the above quote would get me in the mood to share with you my recent encounters with new technology.  Over the past few weeks, our family has acquired some new gadgets... with hilarious results! 

Technology #1:  SYNC

My husband started a new job this month, and one of the nice perks that came with the job was a company car.  Ken's new car comes equipped with Sync - a fully integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system.  It is so awesome!  If you are on your cell phone and enter the car, the car detects the phone and takes over the call so you can continue the call on the car's speaker phone.  You can also use voice commands to dial your phone.  It can tap into your MP3 player and allow you to choose songs using voice commands.  I heart Sync!

Anyway, Ken took me and the kids for a trip in the car to check it out as a family.  Kaycie had been on a couple of short trips with Ken in the car already, but Knolan and I were new to this car.  Ken was very good about explaining all of the features of the car, especially the commands for Sync.  It's pretty cool.  All you do is press a button, you hear a tone, and then a woman's voice prompts you to "please say a command".  We have started affectionately calling our Sync lady "Sheila".

Our first full family encounter with Sheila, however, was the stuff the Three Stooges shows are made of.  Ken went to show me how Sync worked and pressed the button.  I heard the tone and then before Ken or I could say anything to Sheila, out of the backseat we hear Kaycie shouting, "PHONEBOOK".  Apparently she had been watching Ken carefully on their previous outings.  We giggled a bit about that and then Ken asked her to be quiet for a bit so he could show me how the system works.  Here's how the next few minutes talking to Sheila sounded:

"Dee-doop" (Ken pressing the all-powerful button)

Sheila - "Please say a command."

Me (shouting like I think Sheila is hard of hearing) - "PLAY... TRACK... IF SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL"

Ken - "Ha, ha... I took all of your Chicago songs off because I needed room for my Tokyo Police Club songs."

Me (still shouting) - "PLAY... ARTIST... JOURNEY"

Ken - "Again... I needed space for cooler songs. And you don't need to scream at her.  Just talk to her normally"

Me - "Play.... Track......... Ummm... I.... Play....."

Sheila - "Playing Track Exiles Among You... The Weakerthans"

Ken (laughing and mocking Sheila) - "You WILL listen to what I select for you, and you will like it."

Me - "Why does she hate me?  Ooh!  Ooh!  Let me try again... I have one this time."


Sheila - "Please say a command."

Me - "Play... Track..."

Small high pitched voice from the backseat - "PHONEBOOK!"

Me - "Ugh.  Can I try again?"

Sheila - "Dee-doop.  Please say a command."

Me - "Play... Track..."

More of the voice from the backseat - "PHONEBOOK!  TROY TRACK!  LONG JOHN SOLO!  PHONEBOOK!"

Ken (laughing so hard he can't breathe) - "Kaycie, honey... let your Mommy talk to the car!"

Me - "Play... Track... Ummm.... Artist...  Ummm.... Dangit!!"

Kaycie - "ROLL DOWN WINDOW!"  (An important footnote to this is that Kaycie is constantly trying to roll down her window.  That girl is obsessed with getting the window open to the point where Ken has had to lock all the windows in the car.  Since then, you hear a constant clicking from the back seat due to her persistent attempts to bypass the lock system and roll down the window.  At this point, Ken and I burst out laughing.)

Ken (trying to regain composure and yet not send me over the edge) - "Ok... slow down and talk normally.  Now... do you actually have a real song you want to ask for?"

Me - "Just press the button!"

Sheila - "Dee-doop.  Please say a command."

Me - "Play... Track... "


Ken and I burst out laughing and can no longer take poor Sheila seriously.  Ken presses the button.  "Dee-doop."

Sheila - "Please say a command."

Me - "Play... Track... Sweet Child of Mine"

(Collective holding of the breath)

Sheila - "Now playing Sweet Child of Mine"

... and the crowd went wild!  Kaycie commanded us to shake our hair like "rock stars" and play air guitar with her as Axl Rose FINALLY was able to serenade us.  By the way, I am now compelled to embed the video clip from "Step Brothers" of Derek and his family singing "Sweet Child of Mine" in their car... so funny.  If you haven't seen this movie and you're in the mood for some stupidness and ridiculousness, I recommend it.  :-)

Anyway, once I got the hang of it, and once we could control our contributing voice in the back seat, Sheila and I became fast friends.

Technology #2:  Kinect

For Christmas, instead of exchanging gifts, Ken and I decided we'd get one big gift for our little family - and that gift was Kinect.  I have to say, Kinect is really, really cool.  If you are unfamiliar with this gaming system, it is a little box that you connect to an Xbox that scans your whole body, creates a profile for you, and then allows you to essentially use your whole body as a game controller.  Even Kaycie likes it.  She plays a game called Kinectimals where she has adopted a baby snow leopard and can teach it tricks and play with it by pretending to throw balls for it to run after, laying down on the floor to teach it to 'play dead', using her hands to virtually 'pet' the leopard, etc, etc.

The great feature of Kinect is that it is especially suited to fitness games/applications.  The other night Ken and I sat down with a bowl of ice cream after the kids had gone to bed.  We were trying to decide what to watch on TV, when I decided that it was about time we started using Kinect to get into better shape, and suggested that instead of watching TV that we look at some of the free demos on our Kinect to see what fitness game would be best for us to buy to use at home.

Ken found a few different demos, but the one that interested me the most was the Biggest Loser for Kinect.  It is so cool!  It shows a 3-dimensional image of your body in the lower right hand part of the screen, and that way you can watch your form on TV to make sure you are positioned correctly for each exercise.  It looks like this:

I must say, however, it is not a very forgiving image.  :-)

Kenny set up the demo so that I could try it.  So, I set down my ice cream, moved the coffee table out of the way, and got up in front of the screen to let virtual Bob Harper train me.  I was mortified, but motivated by seeing my 3-D image on-screen.  I could see all of my bumps and lumps, but that didn't bother me so much.  What bothered me was that it perfectly captured the unconscious habit I have of tugging down the back of my shirt constantly.  :-)

Anyway, Bob started me off with some squats, so off a squatting I did go, watching my 3-D doppelgänger carefully to make sure I had good form.  If you have good form, your image is green.  If you're a bit off, it turns yellow.  If you're way off, it turns red.  I have to say, I think I did pretty well!  I was "in the green" for a good portion of my workout... and it was a great workout!  I was really feeling the burn, as they say.  :-)

Then Bob suggested I get a drink of water and then continue exercising.  So, I reached over for my glass of water sitting on the coffee table, which sent Kenny into fits of laughter.  He said, "Look... it's showing your butt when you lean over to get your water!"  So, I looked over my shoulder, and sure enough, there is 3-D Kirsten looking back over her shoulder staring me down!  I laughed and stood up to take a drink of water.  Ken starts laughing even harder.  "Look, you're drinking water!"  For some reason this strikes me as even funnier and I spew water out of my mouth and nose and make this weird choking sound.  Then Kenny can't stop laughing and I risk total asphyxiation as we watch 3-D me choking and spewing water like a 3-D sprinkler on screen.

Somehow I managed to get past this and continue with my workout.  I did some boxing moves, some kicking, some squats, some lunges and a bunch of other stuff.  Then I declared that we should buy the game, and that my workout was over for the night.  I sat down on the couch and pulled the coffee table and my ice cream toward me so I could finish my evening snack.  At this point, Kenny is basically dry-heaving with silent laughter, and that's when I noticed 3-D me was on screen dragging the coffee table toward her and picking up a big ol' bowl of 3-D ice cream.  I was howling... it was just so sad and funny at the same time.

That's when Kenny noticed that 3-D me was the colour green and he could barely breathe as he pointed out to me that Bob Harper thought I had excellent form as I dragged over my bowl of ice cream.  :-)  Nothing like an unforgiving 3-D image of yourself straining to reach a snack to spur you on to a daily exercise routine!  I can't wait to get my hands on the full version and get going!

I guess that's it for my recent encounters with technology.  Thankfully, neither ended up with me driving into a lake... just a continuing ability to laugh at myself.  :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

People (and squirrels!) Are Interesting - New Year's Edition

Happy New Year!

After all of the holiday festivities, and the notable absence of any sort of routine, our little family has settled back into our "regularly scheduled programming", and with our routine back in place... here come your regularly scheduled late night blog posts!  After a particularly successful bedtime for the kids, and a wicked awesome 3 hour nap on the couch (go me!), I am wide awake and and giddy from watching Josh Groban sing Kanye West tweets (you should check it out - hilarity!).

So... what to do with my giddy self?  Share with you the latest batch of interesting people, I say!

  • Sir Swears-a-Lot:  I've got to start off with this weirdsmobile who was in the lobby of my doctor's office while I was getting my kids dressed to go back outside to the car.  This guy was standing there screaming into his cell phone a string of profanities that would make the dad from "A Christmas Story" blush!  He was using some seriously offensive words over and over and over.  Poor Kaycie looked dumbfounded.  I would have said something about his language in front of my kids except he was so angry that I was a little scared that it might escalate things.  When he was all done, he walks over to me and whispers: "My apologies for all of the cursing in front of your little ones."   What?!?!  He had the presence of mind to apologize for the f-bombs, but not to just stop the spectacle all together?!  All I could do was just look at him with this blank stare on my face.  And... he whispered his apology?  Like he didn't want to disturb anyone with his contrition?  People are so weird.
  • Dapper Dan:  We were on our way to our friends' house for a visit and when we stopped at an intersection to wait for the light to turn, my husband and I both got a kick out of what we saw.  Standing at the corner was a big group of ragtag teenagers with their baggy pants and their oversized hip-hop coats, a bunch of people bundled up for the cold weather, and one young man wearing only his pristine full-on white suit with a brilliant red tie and some seriously nice shoes.  No coat, no hat, no mitts.  Just the suit... and he looked ridiculously awesome!
  • The Bird Feeder Gang:  I saw three ladies at the mall sitting on a bench sharing a gigantic bag of sunflower seeds - in the shell.  And what do you think they were doing with the shells once they'd chewed the seeds out of them?  Dropping them in a huge pile on the floor in front of them - like a pile so big it had a little peak to it!  I was seriously grossed out - kind of wish I'd had the nerve to say something to them.
  • Turkey Vulture Squirrel:  I will concede that the squirrel who hangs out in our backyard that I am about to describe is not a "person", but I really think this squirrel has earned a spot on this list... because he certainly is interesting.  Last winter, my daughter and I saw this squirrel jumping around in our backyard maple tree with a quarter of a large pizza in his mouth.  That might not sound so amazing, but if you think about it, a quarter of a pizza is pretty big compared to a squirrel!  And this squirrel was doing some serious acrobatics with this chunk of food hanging out of his mouth! Anyway, I'm not sure if this is the same squirrel from last winter (how long do squirrels live?), but for fun, let's say it is.  Kaycie and I saw our scavenging friend a couple days before Christmas sitting in our tree in the backyard with an entire double spread piece of newspaper hanging out of his mouth.  Then I noticed that the paper was getting smaller and smaller.  It was then that I realized this squirrel was actually trying to eat an entire sheet of newsprint!  And I'm telling you... this little sucker almost accomplished his goal!  I wish I got a better picture of this, but we did manage to grab a couple of snapshots of him on our fence on the way out of our yard... presumably off to find a stick or something to jam the rest of the weekend edition down to join the pizza!
"Arts & Entertainment.... nom, nom, nom, nom!"

We believe he may have been eyeballing the potential getaway vehicle in the neighbouring yard.

So there you have it... my latest batch of interesting people (and squirrels!).  Stay tuned for more... I'm telling you, there is no shortage of strangeness out there!