Goodnight mush.

Call me crazy, but I've decided to take the plunge.



I'm going to do NaBloPoMo. (National Blog Posting Month.) Taken from the idea of those masochists that decide to write an entire novel in the month of November, this is for those of us who have slightly less time for writing on our hands, or value our family lives more--all we have to do is do something--write a post, post a photo, copy a joke--to our blog every day for a month, beginning November 1st.

In general for the last six months or so, I have averaged about 4 posts a week. However, just for fun, I've decided to go for this--just to see if I can.

Although I won't be offended if you don't take the time to read every post I write, if some anonymous package arrives on your doorstep, and it's ticking, you may want to think twice about opening it!

Okay, never mind all that. Ahem.

Yesterday, it struck Jason and I that we are leaving for Arkansas for our "Christmas" holiday in less than 8 weeks--and four out of five of our family do not have their passports yet. I got Jabin's birth certificate in the mail last Friday, so now the race is on. Considering that Passport Canada's turnover time right now is about 8 weeks, not including the shipping time, I will be driving to Edmonton on Friday (leaving somewhere around 6:30 a.m.) to hazard the hours-long line-up at the passport office with three energetic children. (Anyone have any really great ideas on how to occupy those children in a queue for that length of time? Singing action songs may entertain more than just my kids, but it only entertains them for so long, and then I'll have to find something new.) The advantage of driving all the way to Edmonton (about 5 1/2-6 hours one way) rather than just mailing the applications to Winnipeg is that the handling time is reduced to 2 weeks, so it gives us some breathing time for getting them back.

What shall we do in Arkansas, you ask? That is the abode of my mother and her husband, and they have finally gotten their wish for us to descend on them en masse for a holiday. Jude and I visited them in 2003, when he was only 9 months old, and we haven't been back since. (He probably doesn't remember it, I'm guessing.) It's not anything personal--a trip of that magnitude isn't exactly something we can do on an annual basis, is all, for lots of reasons that I'm not going to go into. Anyhoo.

I don't know what all we will be doing while we're there--mostly enjoy the fact that we have nothing really pressing to do, would be my guess. (Although I have recently heard rumours of a trip to the Dallas zoo. Believe it or not, my kids have never been to a zoo, either. I know! What kind of family-enrichment-activities have we done with our kids, right? Well, um, uh... there've been some. Honest! Just none that included zebras.)

Speaking of zoos, one of my kids' favourite movies is Dreamworks' Madagascar, whose main character is a lion named Alex, voiced by Ben Stiller. I don't remember how it came up, but I think I was trying to remind Jude of some family members that are dear to us, but whom he hasn't seen much in the last couple of years since moving up here.

"Do you remember Nick and Alex?"

"No, who are they?"

"Those are your cousins. Well, first cousins once removed."

"I have a cousin named Alex?! COOL!!!"

Do you know how many times he's mentioned that since then?

He's name-dropping on the basis of fame as a fictional character in an animated movie.

Where do humans learn that, anyway?