Thursday, December 08, 2011

Niagara Butterfly Conservatory

We went to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory during our stay at Great Wolf Lodge before Christmas.

Abby has a Blue Morpho land on her hat.

Abby finds the butterfly on her hat.

Fionna chases butterfly and dad catches one.

Great Wolf Lodge

We weren't going to get a legitimate break from work during the normal X-mas vacation this year, so we pulled the girls out of school for a few days and went down to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. This is a crazy, kid-themed hotel with a waterpark inside it.

Front Entrance

Talking Christmas moose. He sneezes a lot.

Talking tree, talking momma bear, Abby and Fionna

Fionna and Sheryl are sliding down the crazy waterslide.

The charity gingerbread house. You can give a donation to Big Brothers and Big Sisters to get a chance to eat your meal inside.

Here we are inside.

Up close inside

Sheryl and Fionna are excited.

James and Abby are grumpy.

Singing Christmas carols by the fire with Jillian.

The big fireplace. Notice the wolves on the mantle.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Abby and Fionna really love Leah Salomaa!

As it turns out, we have a friend of a friend connection to a great folk singer from down in Toronto, Leah Salomaa. She comes up to North Bay frequently to visit family and will often do a concert while here. As a result, the girls have been listening to her music since a very young age. They've even attended some of her "adult-oriented" concerts, which are themed more along the lines of Celtic and meditative lines. We have fond memories of a concert last year that was held at one of the local yoga studios during the evening; the whole family sprawled out on a blanket just in front of the stage.

The girls have been using the iPod Touch to learn their letters, numbers and reading for a long time now. Ironically, it was only recently that they discovered that an iPod can actually be used to play music! It just hadn't come up before; most of our music-listening is done together as a family. Apart from listening to Peter and the Wolf over and over again, they also have Leah on there as a perennial playlist favorite.

They've listened to the stuff enough that they know most of the lyrics, Mondegreens aside. Name that tune!

Leah promised us there's another kids' album on the way some day. The girls are excited!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt 2010, Cloverfield-Style

Thanks have to go out to Amanda and Derrick for hosting their second annual Easter Egg Hunt at their place. Twelve kids, twice as many parents, 120 eggs, good food by potluck and 27degree C temperatures! We paddleboated across to their place this year...which seems incredible for April 3rd, but there you go.

First, compare what the scene looked like last year, at this time...

And now, flash forward to this year. Slight change in attire. Abby seems to approve.

What's with the funny stances, Abs? (I like the Superman one). Oh, and nice Glamour Barbie pose, Amanda!)

Here's the video of the mass start of Part 1: The Hunt! (Cloverfield-Style)

And here are some shots of  Part 2: The Much More Sedate Aftermath.

People who say that chocolate gets kids overly-wired have simply failed to perform Part 3: Keep The Kids Running Around For Another 2 Hours Before Trying To Get Them To Do Anything Useful.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marry Mary Mac

I had set up the laptop in the library while chopping veggies to make an Indian dish for a potluck. Abby and Fionna had been cutting paper and doing crafts in there while listening to my iTunes library. At some point, I noticed there was thumping and giggling going on in there so I poked my head in there, but quickly retreated in favour of sticking in just my hand with the point & shoot Elph, in order to not disturb them. And this is what I caught:

Sheryl and I had had both girls in ballet lessons for awhile, but their initial excitement gave way to resistance and trepidation with each successive visit to the studio. The problem, we conjectured, was that the lessons at this particular studio were too regimented and no "fun"; stand on your sticker spot, hands THIS way, eyes forward, that sort of thing. Personally, I don't particularly care if the girls never set foot on a stage ever. But if I can keep them dancing like Leah Salomaa can get them to dance, we're all good.

Ok, now everyone on your feet!

Mary Mac (traditional Celtic)

There's a neat little lass and her name is Mari-Mac

And make no mistake she's the girl I'm gonna track 

Lots of other fellas try to get her on the back. 

But I'm thinkin' they'll have to get up early.

Mari-Macs mother's makin' Mari-Mac marry me
My mother's makin' me marry Mari-Mac
Well I'm gonna marry Mari cause Mari's takin' care o' me. 
We'll all be feelin' marry when I marry Mari-Mac.

Now Mari and her mother are an awful lot together
In fact you hardly see the one without the other
And people often wonder if it's Mari or her mother
Or both of them together I'm courting


Wedding's on a Wednesday, everything's arranged
Soon you'll never change your mind unless you minus change
Of making the arrangements and feelings lots of rage
Marriage is an awful undertaking


Sure to be a grand for grand of that a fair
Gonna be a fork and plate for every man thats there
And I'll be a bugger if I don't get my share
All though I may be very much mistaken

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?

Auntie Jen had brought me a bunch of geeky Star Wars themed clothing from Ecko Clothing. I've just now gotten to the stage in my life where I am established enough to wear this kind of cool clothing on an ordinary day and:

A) not be at ComiCon
B) not get chased down the hallway and get locked in a locker by the football team

The truth is, though, that even though I'm sort of in this sweet spot, I've also spawned in the meantime and then you have toddlers around, your possessions are not truly your own...

"Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?"

"Let me see your identification..."

"Open the blast doors!!"

"Do you know what's going on?"

"Maybe it's another drill..."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I hope my daughter hasn't inherited my maternal aunt's gift of prescience...

0400 Saturday AM: Fionna creeps into my room and snuggles into my bed, all upset

F: Daddy? I had a bad dream.
J: Mmmpfhhh? Hunh? What? Oh...c'mere .... [snug] 
[a minute passes...]

J: What was the dream about, hun?
F: The sun froze and got cold and went out, and all the buildings were falling down, and we had to had to leave and drive far away.
[another minute passess...]
J: Were we ok? Did anyone get hurt?
F: No...we were ok.
J: Yeah, hun. I've had that bad dream before. It's just a bad dream. Go on back to bed.
[Fionna goes back to bed, gets tucked in with Bo and manages to sleep through to morning. As does her dad, sort-of] 


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Abby Birthday to you!

I surrender. I'm surrounded by double-X chromosomes and the other night, I spent an hour helping to ice a Pink Princess Castle Cake.
 I'm pretty sure Abigail was impressed...
 ...and she was very skilled at holding Court...
 Chloe and Ming-Ming provide entertainment.
 Yup. That's a pretty pink, girly birthday.
 I think a bunch of the moms left the party still wearing their tiaras. Some had errands to do...
 And here's a video of Abby with one of her favorite presents. Who knew she liked stick puppets?

We have the castle cake "kit" available for loan if anyone likes what they see and also wants an all-pink birthday party...

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