Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Traditions

This year Ewan is much more aware and interested in Christmas and Santa Clause. Alan and I are trying to create some traditions that we can continue on as a family each year. I would love to hear about the different traditions that all of you have also adopted for your family during the holiday season. 

Visiting Santa is of course an important one and this year Ewan did a great job and had a full on conversation with Santa Clause! We also did our own family photo shoot, which turned out not too bad, considering I have barely picked up my camera over the past year. Another evening we made a gingerbread family after dinner - as you can see in the picture Alan took it very seriously!

Another tradition that I wanted to begin was an advent calendar. We opted not to do a traditional (in my family anyway) chocolate calendar and instead I made 24 numbered paper envelopes that we have hung across our fireplace. For this year each envelope has a holiday themed sticker inside and Ewan opens one each day. We are counting backwards from 24 to 1 so that Ewan can see the numbers getting lower and understand that there are fewer and fewer days until Santa will come. As Ewan gets older I would like to have a family event put in each envelope - such as putting up the Christmas tree, building a gingerbread house, a movie night etc.

I am also trying to make more home made gifts to involve Ewan in being a bigger part in giving. One of the gifts I am very proud of is a tutu that I made for my niece. Ewan watched me make it and then tried it on - and also happened to love it - I think I have to make him one as well! Another set of gifts we have made together are peppermint scented and coloured bath salts. Ewan helped me dye the bath salts and add the peppermint oil and then fill each of the jars. And he had a great time doing it. As a gift tag, I am going to print a picture of him making all of them. 

It is hard to believe that Christmas is already next week - December is just flying by, but we have had a great time getting into the spirit. We are also very much looking forward to the Nursery School Holiday concert next Wednesday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Snow Day!

Yesterday I had taken a day off and Alan ended up being able to take a day off as well - so we were able to have a 'family day' together. After the amount of work that went into the float for the parade - we definitely needed a break!

It was an even better surprise when we woke up to the first snow fall of the season! Ewan was so excited to see the snow that he and Alan went straight outside to shovel while I made a big pancake breakfast. After breakfast, we drove out to Starbucks to enjoy a holiday hot chocolate and do some reading. Afterwards we made our way home for a relaxing afternoon of reading, building a snowman, more hot chocolate and decorating the house for Christmas - a little early, but it just seemed like the perfect day for it!

I hope everyone was able to enjoy all of the snow yesterday as well!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last Trimester!

I am now currently in the last trimester of pregnancy- which I am both thrilled with and also a little saddened  - and also a little anxious. I am excited that very soon we will get to meet the new addition to the family and start on a whole new adventure together as a family.

However, I am also saddened that everything will also be changing - Ewan is at such an great stage right now - everything he can do and everything he says has Alan and I both amazed and entertained all the time. It is also wonderful to be able to give him our full and undivided attention and really just to be the three of us.

The anxiety is stemming from being away from the centre for 8 weeks - don't get me wrong, I am very confident with the staff that I have, however some things you just know because you are always there - like needing to dust the groove of a particular toddler toy or the top of a triangle in the pirate ship that collects dust like crazy or knowing how to set up the obstacle course for a particular theme. Writing these things down make them seem silly and I am sure the centre will not only survive, but will continue to thrive while I am away - it is just hard to leave my first 'baby' for that amount of time.

I have been trying to really stay in the moment when I am with Ewan and really make the most of the one on one time that we have together. I also feel like I should be trying to squeeze in special things that we can do 'just us' - like jetting off to Disney World! (Just kidding, not really, I kind of do really want to go.) But I am having a hard time thinking of things that we can really do only together. Maybe I should just be focusing on enjoying the day to day routine that we have created together. Any suggestions about things you did or wanted to do while it was just you and your first baby?

We are enjoying milkshakes together in the picture:)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The craziness of Fall!

Since September it really has been a whirlwind of to-do lists and events almost every weekend as well as jumping back into routines and schedules - I really only feel like now things are beginning to calm down.

As far as family life is concerned, I think we have a good routine and schedule that seems to be working for us and Ewan is doing much better than I had expected about adapting to his weekly schedule - that is unfortunately different every day of the week - but he is a pretty go with the flow kid and is taking the craziness of our life in stride. As a family we have enjoyed visits to the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, a great Thanksgiving weekend filled with wonderful meals with family and friends, and a great Halloween night!

As for me personally, I am still waiting for the 'easy' part of this pregnancy to arrive. I have come to terms with my lack of energy and I am still trying to get to bed earlier and nap when I am home in the afternoons with Ewan. I am also taking an array of supplements to try and boost my energy and trying to fit in a few work outs throughout the week. I have also gotten used to the night time nausea. But now I am struggling with an all over rash and itchiness that by the evening is driving me crazy! I have been told it is nothing serious and that some women develop this rash during pregnancy and it will subside once I have the baby. So, only 3 more months to go!!! I have been to a naturopath and have some supplements to take and I am also taking oatmeal baths most nights - but any other advice from other moms who have had this would be wonderful!

As for A Gym Tale things are always crazy in early Fall, but everything seems to be falling into place nicely. Both the morning and afternoon Nursery School programs are running wonderfully and we have a really great group of kids that are really starting to show their personalities and friendships are beginning to bud. We have also had great parent participation so far this year. The Before and After School program has also found its rhythm and the program has been running really well. Weekends have also been busy with Birthday Parties and the hostess's are really putting on some great performances with the kids and as always we are striving to improve our customer service skills in order to make each visit the very best possible. Lastly, play classes have been an absolute pleasure to run and it has been great meeting so many new families. It is also hard to believe that registration for all the winter programs, camps, and the New Year's Eve Sleepover are also underway!

I hope everyone has been enjoying the wonderful Fall season that we have had so far and that all the kids enjoyed their Halloween! Here is a picture of my little elephant riding on a horse (his very own idea for a costume!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I hope you all didn't fall for that last post....

I really hope that everyone did not fall for Alan's last post - but I have heard through the grapevine that many people couldn't believe that Alan actually opened the envelope. Not a single person has told me about the post directly- so I do appreciate that you all tried to let me have my surprise!

For everyone who does not know Alan very well - he would never have actually opened the envelope without me - but he has a sick sense of humour and thought it would make for a hilarious post and posted on my blog before I could stop him!

But Alan and I did decide to open the envelope - TOGETHER - and yes, we are having a Girl! We did it after a wonderful date night out and it was a perfect time to open it up together and we both really liked making it a special occasion and opening it in privacy as opposed to finding out in the ultrasound clinic. We are both very excited that we will have both a son and a daughter. Now for the next baby, there is no reason to find out as we will have one of each!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Envelope Opened! (Exercising a Dad's Right to Know)

Shhhhhh... I have to share some news..., but don't tell Lindsay...

This might be the last time I have the chance to hijack my wife's blog.

That statement is not necessarily meant to infer that I will not live long after writing this entry - although testing a hormonal woman's patience at this stage of pregnancy might suggest otherwise. At the very least, Lindsay is sure to change her password this time.

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!
(just, don't tell her Mom yet)

All I can hope is that Lindsay will grow to understand that I did what I did with her in mind. You see, I realize that my wife has been sick for six months, is always tired - regardless of how much she sleeps, can barely tie her own shoes, and worst (as far as she's concerned) can not stomach eating chocolate. No chocolate for God's sake! The last thing I want is for her to stress any more than she has to - not when I can prevent it.

And that's what I did!

By finally opening the envelope that hid our next baby's gender from us, I have alleviated needless questions that may have been festering in her head. And the best part is, she is likely to find out tomorrow during play classes when the blog and facebook news spills in. By that time I'll be safe at work and she will have all day to calm down and realize for herself the rationality in what I have done.

Some people might even say I'm a hero. The naysayers might suggest that I have acted strictly on a childish curiosity with no concern for my wife's wishes. My fellow man however would realize the sacrifice that I have made tonight.

In an effort to silence Lindsay's subconscious questions, I have taken on an extraordinary burden three months early for which I was not prepared. I will father a daughter.

Obviously, I'm looking forward to having a Daddy's Little Girl, dressing her in frills, and singing butterfly kisses; but eventually my princess-to-be will be a teenage girl... and... that... is... not... cool.

This is my burden.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Have I created a Monster?!

So I think I have created an Iphone - more specifically a You Tube - addiction in Ewan!!!

About a year ago, Ewan began using my Iphone for educational apps (anything by Duck Duck Moose is amazing for toddlers / preschoolers) mostly when we were out to dinner, at A Gym Tale if I needed to take a phone call, or out doing groceries. But it has slowly progressed to him moving on to You Tube - he can actually turn on my phone, open You Tube, go to his favourites, choose a video and then scroll through all the related videos and play those!!! I don't even know how he has a favourite list and how he figured all of this out?!

I new that a problem was beginning when he started talking about my phone in his sleep - 'phone mama? Please - I NEED IT!' - all in his sleep. And then last week he pick-pocketed me and I turn around and he is huddled in a corner of the party room at A Gym Tale with the volume down low watching a Thomas video! And I should have clarified which videos he does watch - thomas, mickey mouse club house, the shrek theme song, and some penguin videos he found somehow. Now Ewan doesn't watch TV, so the only media dose he gets is the Iphone or sometimes a movie - but he now says that he 'needs' the phone and will steal anytime it is in reach. I have started to limit his usage to just before dinner time as I am getting dinner ready, but in the mornings or mid day it is like he is having withdrawals!

I am hoping with a regular 'scheduled' You Tube video time, he will get into a routine of knowing when he can have his fix and will not try to steal at other times. However, I can only imagine this addiction will get worse as he gets older.

Now he does always see me with my phone - because of A Gym Tale, my phone is always on me or on my bedside table when I sleep, or next to the shower - maybe I have an addiction! But, in the event that someone had to call in sick or an emergency during business hours the girls at work need to be able to reach me at all times.

Oh Ewan, I have tried so hard to shield you away from television and it seems I have only created an addiction to another form of media!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Decision...

Thank you for the messages and emails about your stories and suggestions. I could not decide what I wanted to do, so I had the ultrasound technician put the gender in a sealed envelope and then I hid it when I got home! We have yet to open it up, but Alan has been in China since just after the ultrasound. I think we may have a nice date night at home and open it up together. I do like the idea of a surprise, but Alan very much wants to know the gender, and I think it is a nice compromise finding out together in our home.

So I will let you know when we decide the time is right to find out. But, more importantly, everything is looking great and the baby is growing just as expected. The baby is also very active!!! Over the past two weeks, the baby has been moving so much that it is actually turning my stomach and has brought back the nausea. Has anyone else had experience with this? I am only in my 22nd week, so I can only imagine this is going to get significantly worse as the baby gets bigger!

Other than the ultrasound news not much has been going on. Alan has been in China, so Ewan and I have had oh so much quality time together - for better or for worse. These two year old mood swings are going to be the end of me! Now that Alan is back I think we need some alone time! Also, with Alan away I have had no one to wake me up when I put Ewan to bed, so I have been falling asleep around 8pm most nights. What an exciting life!

One exciting new change with Ewan is his ability to play for longer by himself without me needing to be right by him. Several times he has asked to go into the yard with Sidekick and the two of them just run around for a good 30 minutes - just enough time for me to get dinner and lunches made for the next day. At this moment him and Sidekick are running around the living room and kitchen playing fetch. I wanted him to grow up with a pet and it is so wonderful seeing him develop this bond with his puppy.

Well time to get back outside and enjoy the last bits of summer. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The big debate!

So Tuesday afternoon I have my next ultrasound booked to find out what the gender of the baby is...if we end up going. I booked this ultrasound in July, tentatively, because Alan and I were not in agreement about finding out the gender of the baby and I thought two months would be plenty of time to debate. Well, we kind of forgot about debating and now the ultrasound is this Tuesday!

Alan is all for finding out the gender and I would kind of like the experience of the big surprise. And to be honest, I just don't feel the urgency this time around. The pregnancy is flying by, I in week 20 - the half way point already, and have barely given thought to this baby! We have everything we need this time around, unless a girl - I guess we will need more clothes, a few girly cloth diapers and new bedding. But we really have all the essentials that we will need. But I have such little time off - do I want to spend it picking things up that I could have done in advance. Other bonus is naming the baby - we already have a girl name picked out - since my first pregnancy, but another boy name would be an almost impossible task - that could really take my whole 9 weeks off post baby to decide on a name! The other pro of finding out would be to better prepare Ewan of a brother or sister.

Even with these points I am not quite convinced. So, as much advice over the next few days would be very much appreciated!! Please help us with this decision and let me know what you chose and why.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of school already!

So once again it has been a little while since posting, but I have filled the past 2 weeks with enjoying every last moment of holiday time with my family and relishing in not having a schedule for either myself or Ewan! We also had a wonderful last day of summer celebration dinner out at the Keg - always phenomenal food. As a side note, it was also the first time we brought Ewan and I was blown away with what a great 'family' restaurant it is. For $9.97 Ewan had a drink, a plate of strawberries, carrots, celery and dip as a starter, followed by a full chicken breast and mashed potatoes (actual real food for children is always a bonus as opposed to pizza or grilled cheese), and ice cream for dessert! Anyway, it was a great end to a wonderful summer.

I have also been taking some time to prep for Nursery School and Music and Gym classes - which I am always very excited to bring in new ideas each year, hosting a 'Meet the Teacher Night' and knocking some things off my 'to-do' list at A Gym Tale. The Meet the Teacher night was wonderful and we had such a fantastic turn out, it is really nice to see so many families so excited for their little ones and so ready to get involved in their learning!

And today we had the first day of school (for some children - we are doing 3 first days of school so that all the children start with only about 10 children in the class as opposed to 24). And I have to say it was one of our most successful first days! We did not have any children come in crying and only 2 moments of slight teariness when children realized half way through that mom had left. Now at this age it is many of the children's first time leaving mom and dad and so some adjustment and tears are expected - it is a big transition for both children AND parents. Myself, Miss Linds and Miss Megan are prepared to ease the children in as gently as possible and usually once we get them in they are distracted by the many activities, the ball pit or the trampoline. But we all had to admit what a nice 'first day back' it was for us with no tears! We are all very much looking forward to meeting all the other students this Friday and on Monday.

Well it is 9:55pm and I am falling asleep at the computer - going from no routine to waking up at 5:30am  is going to do me in. I will be lucky if I make it to Saturday. It is shocking how quickly my bedtime has changed from midnight and 1am to 10pm!!! Now if only Ewan would sleep in past 5:30am - the child has a sixth sense and wakes up within five minutes of me being awake! Any advice would be appreciated!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some news to share!

Alan and I feel that it is probably time to share our big news with everyone - especially since it really is no longer possible to keep private without many questioning looks. We are excited to share that we are expecting our second baby as of February 2nd, 2012! I am now four months pregnant, back into the stretchy pants (which I despise) and I am happy to say that the 24 hour a day nausea is starting to subside - finally! Ewan is also very excited with the idea of a baby, kisses my belly each morning and also thinks that he has a baby in his belly too!

Now after the congratulations, I know that the first question on many of your minds is 'who will be teaching my child?' Well I do have a plan in place as well as a wonderful team of experienced staff that I am confident will continue to run A Gym Tale seamlessly and will win all of your children over as they have over the past three years. And as always I can always be contacted directly by email.

With regards to the Gym & Music classes, I do plan on working straight through my pregnancy until the very end of January. I will be running the first 6 weeks of the winter Gym & Music play classes - I make no guarantees that I will actually be able to get up from circle time, but I will be there! And then one of the girls will finish the session for me continuing on with all of my class plans. I will then be returning to teach all of the Spring session classes, most likely with the baby in a sling (yay, no need for a doll for the baby class!)

As for the Nursery School program, I will start to step back in January as Chrissy, a teacher who has been with us for the past three years, is returning from her maternity leave. Come the Spring I will be back part time in a 'supervisory' position.

We are very excited to share this news with everyone and I look forward to sharing stories of the pregnancy with all of you as well as hearing about all of your transitions from a one child family to two.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An enjoyable Sunday at home

After spending the morning at the dog park with both Ewan and Sidekick running around for a solid hour we made our way back home with the dog and the boy fast asleep. I was then free to take some time to go through the veggie garden which has been very good to us this summer with an abundance of carrots, yellow beans, broccoli, snow peas, spinach, onions, zucchini and now tomotoes galore. I spent the afternoon taking on the challenge of making homemade tomato sauce in order to freeze for the craziness of going back to work in the Fall - which as much as I have missed everyone, I have also really enjoyed my time off! Making the sauce was a surprisingly easy task - peeling the tomatoes were no problem, I decided to skip seeding them - next time I will try this. But then I just added all sorts of fresh veggies and herbs (carrots, onions, oregano, basil) that we had growing - making sure to puree it all so Alan will never find out vegetables were used! Dinner will be served in about an hour and the house smells amazing and I probably have enough sauce for 4-5 cans just from this batch.

I have really started getting inspired to cook and make more creative meals. The past week I have also started reading up on bento boxes and the hundreds of creative lunch ideas for kids and Ewan is loving them all. One mom from nursery school this year inspired me with all of her creative snack ideas. The idea is to make everything is small portion sizes and in creative designs and shapes. I have ordered my bento boxes so that I am ready for Fall lunch making (I have to find some way to make this task 'exciting'!). For lots of ideas just google bento.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hiring Time!

The past week has been busy with interviews - meeting with 17 new potential members of A Gym Tale! We had some really great candidates and it was a difficult choice to narrow it down to 4 new party hostesses and a new nursery school and after school teacher - which is always a good thing to have lots of great people applying. Now this week I am undertaking the challenge of meeting with everyone for orientations and beginning training. Don't worry - the quality of parties and camps will not diminish at the least - no one will ever have a party host who is not trained to our standards. Quite the opposite actually, for the month of August and some of September, parties and campers will get to enjoy all their 'old' favourite hostesses as well as get to meet a new member of the team who will be mentoring with our senior staff.

It is an exciting time of year as we bring on new staff, but also a difficult one as we say goodbye to some very loyal and dedicated members of our team who are going on to school outside of Ottawa or their careers of choice post graduation. Alan and I are very proud to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful members of the team for usually one full year and most often several years. It is also great to see how much pride and ownership our staff take in A Gym Tale and how serious they all take their 'mentoring' roles in training the new staff. It is a great relief as a business owner to know and see that your staff do actually care about your business and that they take their jobs as entertainers and teachers very 'seriously' and it is their own goal to create the very best birthday party or the greatest camp day ever!

So we welcome our new team members and we wish our current staff members leaving us the very best of luck and great success!

One last note - the only area that I am struggling to fill is our Princess character visits - so if you know of any potential princess's (especially a sleeping beauty), please send them my way!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Photo Session!

A few months ago Alan and I decided that we wanted to have another family photo session. The only one that we have ever had was when Ewan was 4 weeks old, it was a great experience and I absolutely love the pictures that the photographer had captured.

This time we wanted to have the picture done at our home in our back yard. We wanted them to have a more personal touch and we wanted Ewan to be comfortable in his environment for the session. We decided to have Elizabeth Fulton photography do our photo session. She has a wonderful website (http://elizabethfultonphotography.com/highlighting lots of newborn, family even wedding sessions. On top of great pictures, Elizabeth also gives you a cd copy of your pictures so that you can print them where ever you would like and always have a back up on the cd. Elizabeth was relaxed and patient - even when Ewan decided to be a monster that morning! We had some great posed shots as well as lots of candid pictures of Ewan. And the the cd was ready within a week of the session!

Here are a few of my favourites - 

I hope everyone enjoys their week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A weekend getaway...

So last Thursday evening we packed up the car and drove to Toronto - Ewan did surprisingly well, just singing and chatting, even though he was up for almost the entire drive right to 11pm! Friday we had a wonderful day beginning with a fantastic breakfast buffet at the Delta east (great hotel) followed by a day at the zoo.

The highlights for Ewan were the pony ride and seeing the penguins, polar bears, rhino's and the tiger. It is incredible how big the zoo is and how much there is to see - Alan and I were exhausted by the end of the day. But we did manage to finish the day off with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe - which is a great themed restaurant, but Ewan was a little freaked out by the mechanical elephants.

The next day we spent a low key morning by the hotel pool to try and recover from the zoo day. That afternoon we took Ewan to see Winnie the Pooh - his very first movie in the theatre! He likes Winnie the Pooh - but definitely liked the popcorn better! Once he was finished his popcorn he was more or less ready to go.

Unfortunately, on the Sunday we went to Wonderland and our weekend getaway took a turn for the worst. Compared to any other amusement park that I have been to, Wonderland was a disappointment - it was too small and way too many people. There was only one sit in restaurant to actually get out of the heat and it cost $40 for 2 burgers and fries! We went on two rides in the crazy heat before Ewan napped and then we attempted the water park. There were no lockers - they sold out first thing in the morning, so we had no choice but to leave our stroller with the other strollers at the stroller parking to go on the lazy river together. Getting out of the water - 7 minutes later, we quickly realized our stroller was stollen along with the diaper bag, our shoes, Alan's cell phone, wallet and car keys amongst many other diapers and our clothes. We spent the next 6 hours dealing with security and then the medical emergency centre as Ewan began passing out  from what we thought might be heat stroke. The day just continually got worse until we finally had to cab home. Later that night Ewan began vomiting and we could not get his fever down and so we had to call an ambulance to get us to the hospital. Truth be told, this was probably the highlight of Ewan's weekend - riding in the ambulance! They got the fever down and and chalked it up to a virus, not heat stroke, which is supposedly very rare. The next day I realized he had gotten all 4 of his 2 year old molars in and that was most likely the reason for his fever.

We were lucky to have family ship our extra car keys to us in Toronto and we were on the road that afternoon excited to get home. Just a word of advice, at least bring a bike lock to keep your stroller locked to fence if you do bring it to an amusement park. Even when we thought we had not brought many valuables, the loss very quickly added up!

We have another weekend away to Montreal planned for next weekend - hopefully this is a better trip!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A must read...

So, if you haven't already heard of the book titled 'Go the F--k to Sleep' by Adam Mansbach, you really must read it or You tube the version read aloud by Samuel L. Jackson. It is hilarious, although vulgar, especially if you have a child that is difficult to put to sleep. I mean, so funny it actually made me cry! If you are looking for a laugh definitely check it out!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Fun!

It is only the second week of summer and it has been absolutely wonderful so far!

Last Monday was my first official day of summer and we started the week off by taking a family day trip to Calypso Waterpark! If you have not been to Calypso yet, it really is a phenomenal day out. Although the entrance fee is very steep, it is a full day of fun and in my opinion is comparable to any large amusement park. You are encouraged to bring your own picnic lunch and there are more than enough picnic tables in a shaded location. There are tons of sides for the older kids and tons of fun for the younger ones - Ewan had a great time last year at 16 months and an even better time this year at 2 years being able to go on all the little slides. It was a great day to start out our summer.

 Later in the week I also set up a science table outside and tried a few messy experiments with Ewan. Ewan is now in the stage where he must do absolutely everything by himself and so I set all the ingredients up in a way that he can manipulate them. For example squirt bottles with the colored water and vinegar, little scoops for the baking soda and corn starch and lots of spoons and bowls for mixing and pouring. As difficult as it was to not direct him, I was able to just let him go on mixing trying different things and he lasted for over an hour just mixing and pouring! We experimented with volcanoes using baking soda, colored water and vinegar and then making magic mud with corn starch and the colored water. And afterwards I just hosed Ewan down. It was a great messy afternoon! For more messy and creative play ideas visit 'Play at Home Mom' blog http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/. It is a wonderful blog emphasizing all sorts of indoor and outdoor play activities.

I also have to highlight that we are so thankful that the water ban has been lifted. Almost every day before dinner I have the sprinkler on and Ewan will run around the yard for at least an hour. It gives me time to prep dinner and he cools down and my grass and gardens are finally starting to turn green and bloom!

This week we have some playdates lined up and a trip to Toronto to visit some family, Wonderland and the Zoo!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Happiest and Saddest Day of the Year

 The Happiest and Saddest Day of the Year

I have not been feeling well lately - that's always the way when you finally get some time off, and I have been too busy to post recently, so my wonderful husband is writing this post for me as I narrate - that's why it is written so well... Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!

Last week A Gym Tale's Nursery School Program hosted its fifth annual graduation ceremony for all of our students. It was the largest turnout EVER! Moms, Dad, Grandparents and sibling filled the centre to watch a memorable performance and to see the happy graduates be presented with their graduation certificates.

It's so cute to see how seriously they all take themselves when I call their names. They peek up at the crowd, stand up quietly and cross the floor to where I am waiting with the certificate. They beam with pride as they shake my hand (just the way we've practiced).

Lindsey, Katie, Chrissy and I have watched these kids grow for ten months. We've formed attachments to them. We pride ourselves of the work we do with them. Therefore, while this was such a wonderful experience to see our students demonstrate what they had learned for their families, it is always the saddest day of the year. We will miss all of our friends dearly over the summer.

Likewise, a wonderful year has also come to an end for our Before- and After-School Program. The program was re-vamped this year by Lindsey and Katie and was a resounding success. My mornings were earlier this year with my friends from Barrhaven Public, but they were also very relaxied and entertaining with such a wonderful group of students all year.

Meanwhile, Sleeping Beauty has also been making house calls recently. Over literacy week, she visited Jockvale Public School's library and met lots of new friends. Spider-Man, Batman and Wolverine have also been very busy at schools, parties and outdoor events. I wonder if Ewan will grow up thinking his parents are a real Princess and Superhero???

I am looking forward this summer to some extra time off with the Boy. Speaking of whom, in my next post, I will be listing some of the awesome fun super duper activities that I have planned for the two of us while my husband slaves away in the office and while my incredible staff run the most fantastic and entertaining camps for our friends in the community. Should be a Blast!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ice cream and watermelon days...

The last few weeks have brought beautiful weather and I have been trying to take advantage of every free moment and spend my time outside. Although if is doesn't rain soon - and a lot - my backyard paradise is going to be dried up and brown!

Ewan is absolutely loving spending so much time outdoors - especially with the abundance of watermelon and mini ice cream cones that I continually bring out to him! But how can you not with such an adorable little face!

This is the last week of play classes and although it is hard saying goodbye to everyone over the summer holidays, I am very much looking forward to spending more ice cream and watermelon days together with my little man!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Long Weekend!

So it has been awhile since my last post, the time seems to be flying by! Ewan and I have also been sick with a cold, which has given me some much needed rest and a few early nights. With Ewan's birthday 2 weeks ago and 5 parties later, I think we finally have it behind us and can begin to look forward to the upcoming season. Now we just have to stop Ewan thinking that everyday is his birthday!

Also, with Ewan's birthday finally over, it has kind of occurred to me how little time is left in the school year and Spring session. Myself and Lindsey (yes, there are 2 Lindsey's) have been busy planning some special events for the end of the nursery school year, writing report cards, prepping the graduation and organizing themes and events for the summer camp program. It is kind of crazy how quickly summer can creep up on you! It is both exciting, because I take more time off in the summer, but also sad because many of the families we have come to know and see weekly, or even up to three times a week, we will miss over the summer.

But I am excited and confident that this summer will be our best camp program yet! We will have the themed obstacle courses and playground play that everyone has come to love, but we also have some new themes lined up, a more structured gymnastics skill building component as well as a focus on various sports skills, a themed character visit at some point each week, themed arts and crafts and an outdoor play time once a week which will include rocket experiments, parachute play and even bouncy castle fun throughout the summer.

Currently, I still have spaces in each of the themed weeks and I do have both part time and full time care available. Visit www.agymtale.com for more details.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2nd Birthday Celebrations!

Today, we celebrated Ewan's 2nd Birthday with a friend party in the early afternoon and then a family party over dinner. It really was such a wonderful day - myself, Alan and Ewan really enjoyed every moment of it. I had so much fun planning for the party and I was organized enough that I also got to enjoy the parties! It was so wonderful seeing Ewan playing and laughing with all his little friends. He was so excited and happy all day - the little guy partied from 1pm to 8pm before crashing in his bed! Thank you to Kids Crooked Playhouse for getting us Ewan's new Play house in time for his Birthday (it's the super cute blue wooden playhouse in the 1st pic below), Run a Mok for the bouncy castle, to Crash the clown (www.dance4dreams.com) for a great performance and to Piece of Cake (http://pieceofcakeottawa.ca/Piece_of_Cake_Ottawa/Welcome.html) for a beautiful and delicious cake. 

Here are some highlights from the day -

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us, Ewan is so lucky to have such wonderful friends in his life. AND I forgot to give out the loot bags - isn't that terrible, that is one of the best parts of the party!!! I will deliver them this week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Sidekick!

Happy 1st Birthday Sidekick - although some days (ok many days) you drive me crazy - we are so glad to have you as part of the family!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My baby boy...

My baby boy will turn 2 years old in 15 days! For his 1st birthday, I was so excited to celebrate with him but also still so anxious to experience all sorts of firsts with him (words, walking, crawling - Ewan was a late bloomer with many things!). Now, for Ewan's 2nd birthday I just want everything to slow down - I feel like he has turned into a boy overnight! He never stops talking and singing in both French AND English now, his pretend play skills are expanding every day and he wants to help with everything and simply learn about everything around him and he also just learned how to climb up onto the couch for the first time (still a late bloomer with some things, lol!) I simply cannot believe my little man will no longer be my little helpless baby boy.

I also have a confession to make... next Saturday was supposed to be my first overnight away from Ewan - and I cannot do it!!! Isn't that crazy! I should be able to leave him for an overnight, right?! Now if I did leave him, it would be an absolutely awful night for anyone who stayed with him. But I think it would still be worse for me. At first I thought it would be my first full night sleep in TWO years, but I don't think that I would sleep at all that night for being worried. Do you know that this past week, Ewan has slept straight through until 3am several times - and I was awake from 1-3am until he awoke worried that something was wrong - that is craziness!

I am still going to Toronto to visit some University friends for the night - I am not cancelling my visit - Ewan will just come with me. It has actually turned into a family trip - Alan had to leave for Houston on the Sunday morning (which meant I would have to have flown back super early on Sunday) so now we are going to drive down together after the Saturday morning play classes and Alan and Ewan will visit family in TO and meet up with me later that night. Ewan and I will spend Sunday slowly making our way home with lots of stops along the way.

I will aim for mine and Alan's wedding anniversary in August for a first night away from Ewan - lots of time to psych myself up for it:)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Did anyone else just see that snow storm?!

Really snow?! I am trying so hard to get into spring, the last thing I wanted to see after the crazy weather day we had today was a blizzard and my yard covered in snow!

I have not kept up with blogging lately as I have been preoccupied with planning and planting my gardens. I was a little late starting, so it has been taking up more time than it really should be. But I am seeing results! From the seeds that I planted last week - I now have 'seedlings' for broccoli, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and all sorts of herbs. They are quickly taking over the only south facing windows I have in my bathroom! The peppers are the only seeds that are not producing yet.

Throughout the week, I have been using my afternoons to prep my veggie garden. After weeding, adding more soil, and compost I then used string and little kabob sticks to make my 16 x 5 square foot gardening grid. I have also planted the peas, spinach and tomatoes directly into the garden. Still to come in the next week are the onions, carrots, cabbage, swiss chard, and lettuce.

And unfortunately, I have also been dealing with a little boy who has just been 'off' the past week or so. I am thinking he is having an allergic reaction to something in his diet. I am taking him off his soy milk and any dairy this week to see if there are any changes. Poor little guy just hasn't been himself. Here is a pic of him peacefully having a late afternoon nap on the couch while I make dinner.

I am hopeful this week will bring some warm weather or at least a beautiful long weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First blooms in the garden!

Yesterday I dug out my three planters in the garage under the heaps of things that have piled up over the winter to find that all three planters have started to sprout the tulips and daffodils that I planted in October! It was very exciting to see yet another sign of spring approaching. It also gave me motivation to plant my seeds yesterday evening. For some reason I have been procrastinating on doing this for months now. But seeing those plants peeking their heads out of the soil gave me the push that I needed.

Here are some pics from my gardens last year (again trying to find the energy and motivation to plan this years gardens and I thought going through some pics might help.)

Above: my veggie garden with zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peppers, beans and spinach. This year I have added peas, carrots, and broccoli. And yes, Alan and I also built this rock wall last year - it was a massive undertaking (to us anyway's) and I highly recommend hiring a landscaper instead of doing it yourself - it was so much work!!! Alan was so angry I talked him into it, lol! But google made it sound soooo easy!

The garden by the patio filled with annuals for colour all summer long as well as rose bush's and some ornamental grasses for fall/winter.

My shade garden at the side of the house. We are also adding a stepping stone path to our backyard along this garden.

This is my 'family and friends garden' - it is made up of plants that have been gifted to me.

This is my front yard garden - which was doubled in size in the fall. So I am now trying to plan out how to fill it.

This picture is the pile of dirt that was delivered to my door - it definitely did not sound like this big of a pile when I ordered it over the phone! After digging for weeks and ending up with a pile of 'bad dirt' just as large and then having to figure out a way to get rid of it - I was finally able to plant the above gardens.  Last year was my first attempt at gardening - it very much frustrates Alan that I tend to go overboard with every new project that I start. Thank goodness I enjoyed it, as Alan may not have talked to me after I had him dig for a month straight, lol!