Friday, March 14, 2014

March Break - Part 2

March Break - Day 5
I checked the weather in the morning and saw the headline "Spring today, winter tomorrow". We wanted to take full advantage of the spring day. We went to Synder's Flats in the morning. Fiacra and Ailbhe cross-country skied again. It was beautiful out and actually got to 7ºC. Fiacra's face and neck got sunburnt!!!! How is that possible?

After another late lunch, we went to the cemetery, Fiacra, Ailbhe, and their friend Ty on scooters, and Finian in his walker. It was Finian's first time to use the walker outside. He loved it, especially the enormous puddle he charged straight into.

Ty stayed for dinner. Apparently I'm a hero who saved him from meatloaf.

March Break - Day 6
The winter storm warning was accurate - it snowed most of the day. We went to our friends' house in the morning and stayed for lunch. Ailbhe and Finian were delighted to be surrounded by dogs. Fiacra's buddy came home with us for the afternoon - they played outside for a while then played board games.

Once Finian was in bed, Connell, Fiacra, Ailbhe, and I played Ticket to Ride, our first time to play it. Fiacra won easily.
March Break - Day 7
It was cold today. Give me back the spring weather! We went to the library in the morning and for a swim in the afternoon. After dinner, Connell took Fiacra and Ailbhe climbing. 
We have been having a fantastic march break. We have done lots but it has felt really relaxing. We have been taking our time and not rushing. This of course means that the kids are getting to bed late but they usually will sleep in to make up for it (not Finian unfortunately). None of us are looking forward to next week. Bring on Summer!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Break - Part 1

This March break we want to spend a lot of time outdoors since it is warmer than it has been in a looooooong time. There has been lots of snow this year, which we love, but it has been really cold. We are excited for some warmer weather while the snow is still around.

March Break - Day 1
We dropped Finian at pre-school and Connell at work, and continued to Bechtel Park for a hike. It was around 0ºC and really sunny.

In the afternoon Fiacra went to play with a friend, Finian, Ailbhe and I went to play outside. We were visited by our favourite dog friends.

March Break - Day 2
At last Finian got his way and we went to the zoo. He asks to go on an almost daily basis. This was our first time going to the zoo during the winter. It's a bit of a pain taking off all your outside layers for the heated indoor exhibits but it was definitely less crowded than during the summer.

After the zoo, we drove downtown to our hotel, went for a swim, and went out for dinner. I have no photos of any of this!

March Break - Day 3
We took the subway to the ROM. Finian loved the subway. Fiacra displayed his non-cityboy status by saying goodbye to the other people as we got off at our stop.

After the ROM, we took the subway and streetcar to MEC to look for climbing harnesses for the kids (their new obsession). Ailbhe found one straightaway but Fiacra didn't find any that were as comfortable as the one he uses at the climbing gym. He was uncharacteristically reasonable and decided to wait and see what brand he uses at the gym.

March Break - Day 4
It was forecast to be 6ºC today, I could get used to this weather. Ailbhe decided she would like to try cross-country skiing at Bechtel park. They didn't let the fact that they don't own cross country skis stop them. They used very short plastic strap-on skis that we got at a garage sale during the summer with sticks as their poles. They skied a full loop and went up and down the hills many times. They had so much fun. I see cross country skiing in our future which I am very happy about.

After a very late lunch, the kids took their scooters to the cemetery to try them out. They got them for Christmas but haven't had the chance to use them yet. They met up with some friends, had a snowball fight and got a dinner invitation.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter is Over

Okay, that title is likely premature, but today felt so warm at -4º C compared to the temperatures we have had for most of the winter. It has been a really cold and snowy winter.

Finian and I left for an appointment in Hamilton at 8 this morning. It was -22º C when we left. We got home early afternoon and played outside for a long time in beautiful -4º C sunshine.

Our street is narrow and has no boulevard strip, so it is almost down to a single lane due to the huge snowbanks on either side. The city came a few weeks ago and removed all the snow build-up with a huge snowblower and a line of 5 dump trucks. Within a few days, and 2 snow storms later,  the snow banks were back. I did a 73 point turn to get out of the driveway this morning.

This was the first winter since Fiacra started school that the kids had a day off due to cold temperatures. I think it was -41º C that day. I definitely prefer snow days over cold days. Snow days are usually not too cold and there is lots of new snow to play in. Cold days are, well, cold.

Fiacra came running with me again this past Sunday, it was -17º C. He mentioned once that his nose was cold but otherwise didn't complain. We did 20 minutes together, he loved it. He says that this Sunday, he is ready to do my full run with me. At least it will be slightly warmer!

Finian's snow angel
Fiacra's snow angel
Slight adjustment
Snow demon

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Running Buddy

Fiacra came running with me this morning. There was a lot of fresh snow on the ground from the snow storm yesterday, so fairly hard running conditions, but he loved it. We did 15 minutes and then I dropped him home before continuing by myself. He wasn't too happy about that, but he hasn't been running over the winter. I wanted him to have a good run and be eager to come again next week. His adventure running club restarts in March so it will be good for him to get some running in before then. We plan to run together every Sunday morning.

Pre-run warm-up
Post-run stick hunt
The snow plow had passed early in the morning and pushed all the snow onto the sidewalk. There was a big workout waiting to happen to get the sidewalk cleared. Connell was very happy when he went outside, to find our friend had done the rounds with his snowblower and cleared it for us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

One Canoe, Two Canoes

We are hoping to do a lot of canoeing this year and have been looking on Kijiji for a canoe since last summer. Then in a single week, we bought 2 canoes. The first is a really light fibreglass canoe. Connell drove to Barrie in very bad weather to buy it. It's only 14 feet so too short for backcountry trips, but perfect for day trips. The second canoe, our friends bought for us, as well as one for themselves. They are 16 feet tanks, which were previously rented out through an outfitter. They are in great shape and are a perfect size for backcountry trips.

Now we just need to lose the snow and freezing cold weather.

Darn this snow!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kneading Dough - Boy Style

While Ailbhe and Connell were at dance class this evening (Ailbhe - dancer, Connell - chauffeur services only), Fiacra, Finian, and I made dinner. We used a recipe for homemade tortillas that I had been given 9 years ago but hadn't managed to make yet. We mixed the ingredients and got ready to knead the dough.

"Watch Fiacra, I'll show you how to knead the dough"

"That's okay Mum, I'll knead it Fiacra Style"

"Oh God"

Behold  - kneading dough boy style (maybe best done with no guests present).

The tortillas were so delicious. Fiacra ate double the amount he normally eats. I think it was best that Connell didn't witness the kneading.