The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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Dinosaurs, Garbage and the iPad


Four is a good age, especially if you can ignore the strong tendency for resistance and rebellion. Life with Kai is seriously fun these days. He talks. A lot. He tells me things like, “Mom, I can’t go to daycare because I need a massage.” He imagines endlessly. We make up stories about garbage trucks named George. Toll booths and restaurants appear out of nowhere in our apartment (usually inspired by a table or a chair at an odd angle) and there’s trouble if you don’t bother to pay!

At the beginning of May, we headed down to Drumheller for a weekend with the dinosaurs. We went with Maria, Rafael, Jackie and Jean-Pierre in order to celebrate the boys’ fourth birthdays. They are a mere 11 days apart.

We hadn’t really travelled on the backroads of Alberta before, but they were lovely. Rolling hills, canyons, badlands, ghost towns. Wow! Drumheller, the site of Canada’s most famous dinosaur finds and museum, is a paradise for children. The museum is great and we did a guided tour through some of the badlands. Dinosaur fossils are so common that on the tour, they picked a spot, showed us what the fossils looked like and told us to have a look. We all found fossils — dinosaur bones, dinosaur tendons, petrified wood.

Kai and Jean-Pierre loved the dinosaurs, but are a tad young to really appreciate them. Which is fine with me because I really loved Drumheller and can’t wait to go back. Seriously, if you are visiting Alberta, this should be on your itinerary.


More pictures from Drumheller



Those of you who know Kai, know that he is obsessed with garbage. (Which is fairly ironic since my father spent a good part of his career engineering landfill sites!) In any case, Kai has several toy garbage trucks and he spends a lot of time dumping garbage (lego) in strategic places around our apartment. Strangely, the garbage trucks never seem to collect the lego lying everywhere on the floor…

Last weekend, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre held an open house. We figured it was the perfect opportunity for Kai to see a garbage dump in real life. It did not disappoint. Actually it was quite fascinating for all three of us because Edmonton is really innovative with its waste management. There was a lot of stink and a lot of conveyor belts taking various types of garbage in different directions. Add in garbage trucks and construction machines and you have Kai heaven. The only downside was that we haven’t yet figured out how to make conveyor belts from Kai’s toys so that he can fulfill his dream of turning our apartment into a modern day waste management centre.


Who looks more excited? More pictures from the dump


The iPad

I’ve out-geeked Andreas. Hard to believe, but it was me that insisted that we get an iPad once they were available in Canada. Awesome. I love the thing. I only wish that it were more compatible with my government computer so that I could do work related things with it. As it stands, I am mostly addicted to the games. The most difficult part of the iPad is that Kai and I fight over it. It is the perfect interface for children and Kai is already very proficient at it. Witness the drawing that Andreas and Kai made of our building. (A bit of artistic license there…)

The rest of the summer

The summer is looking good — very good. I have one more month of work left before I go on an extended leave of absence in order to give writing a shot. But before I get serious we are heading east to Ontario and then to Germany for a month. Woo hoo! The six weeks are looking busy with a lot of travelling, visiting, and exciting things planned. We can’t wait!

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