Saturday, February 23, 2013

Family Fun - Week 7

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 7 of family fun.

It was Ailbhe's 7th birthday on Sunday. She asked to go out for breakfast, so we went to Rise and Shine (which used to offer free kids' breakfasts but as we discovered, doesn't anymore, too bad).

After breakfast, we came home and Ailbhe opened her presents. She can be really difficult to choose presents for, but we did well this year, lego, playmobil, and an Usborne colouring book on Ancient Egyptian art, which she loves. Fiacra and Ailbhe are into the Egyptians at the moment due to reading The Kane Chronicles.

We went sledding on Monday morning to celebrate the family day holiday in Ontario. We always enjoy sledding!

Fitness Goals - Week 4

Week 4 is actually coming 3 weeks after week 3. Finian was sick and then I caught a bad cold, so we weren't operating at full steam. I can generally run with a cold but a cold and a badly sleeping toddler isn't a great combination, especially at 6am. I did a few runs and also some workouts on the bike trainer, so not too bad.

I was back on track last week and had 3 great runs. 

Tuesday 6:45am -1ºC feels like -8ºC 42 minutes. I checked the weather before I left and it said freezing drizzle. I was worried it would be very slippy*, but it had snowed overnight so the snow gave enough traction.

Thursday 6am -5ºC feels like -10ºC 60 minutes. The weather report had freezing fog this morning. It had been above zero the previous day, so snow had melted and then froze again overnight so quite a few icy patches. There are advantages to running at 6am, one of them being no cars, so we could run on the road where it was icy. I ran with Tyandra, so nice to catch up with her.

Sunday 7.15am -20ºC feels like -25ºC 42 minutes. It was bright and sunny leaving home, I can really notice the days getting longer. It was cold, the balaclava is getting lots of action this winter. I had a very cold, painful belly when I got home. I need to wear a warmer top when it's this cold.

We are busy in our house at the moment. We are getting our house ready to sell. My weights workouts have temporarily changed to washing walls and painting.

*slippy is a word in Ireland, it took me quite a while and many odd looks before I realized it's not used in Canada. Another such word is amn't (pronounced amint) as in am not. I still say this and now Fiacra and Ailbhe do too.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Family Fun - Week 6

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 6 of family fun.

Last week, our good friend Sheri turned 40. To celebrate, her family went to The Old Marina Restaurant beside Puslinch Lake. They gave it a great review and thought we would enjoy watching the ice fishing on the lake. I have always wanted to see ice fishing so we went to the lake for family fun on Sunday morning.

It wasn't too cold on Sunday morning, -10º or so, but the large ice cube (i.e. the frozen lake) had a big effect. My feet were cold walking out on the lake. One of the ice fisherman said that they sit with their legs out-stretched and just the back of their heels in contact with the lake for this reason.

It was interesting to see the ice fishing. Finian and I saw two guys catch a pretty big pike (I think) and then drop it back in. The fishing rods they use are pretty tiny. There were are about 20 little groups out on the lake fishing.

Fiacra and Ailbhe were, for some reason, full of complaints. Fiacra was feeling a little off colour. The snow on the lake was fairly deep and it was hard work walking through it. I don't know if it was that, or their feet were cold, or Fiacra wasn't feeling well, but they were happy when we turned around to go back to the restaurant.

The complaints continued in the restaurant until I suggested that we take turns listing our complaints, we often take turns telling the interesting parts of our day, so a slight variation on that!

Ailbhe: I am very very very tired. My knee aches and there is NOTHING I want to eat on the menu.

Fiacra: I am very very very tired and very hungry.

Me: I am too hot wearing my snow pants.

And that was all it took, the grumps were happy again. Or maybe it was the arrival of the hot chocolate. Connell and Finian were off looking at the trains but I assume they had no complaints at all. Ailbhe found something she wanted to eat and we had a lovely lunch. Even Finian, our terrible eater, ate a good lunch, completely enthralled by eating with a toothpick.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day

I got a text at 6 a.m. this morning, just as I was coming down the stairs to go on the bike trainer - a snow day, schools closed. Fiacra was ecstatic.

Snow falling 6 a.m.
Our Deck 6 a.m.

It has snowed all day. This is the most snow I think I have ever seen in a single session. Fiacra and I went out to clear the sidewalk and driveway and it was way over the top of my boots.

Ailbhe working hard
Ailbhe wasn't quite as happy as Fiacra to be missing school. She made a chart of each of the periods in a school day, e.g. 9:08 to 9:45 writing, had Connell set his phone so that an alarm would go off at the end of each period and has followed it for the whole day, including two nutrition breaks, gym, and music (piano practice). She went wild though and followed the Day 2 schedule rather than Day 5 as it would have been today. Day 2 is her favourite day. Our school board operates on a 5 day cycle rather than a Monday through Friday schedule.

Fiacra was happy to just hang out this morning. He did math club with Connell and then some minecraft in exchange for writing. Fiacra oftens complains that they don't do any math at school, so Connell has started doing math at home with him. I'm not sure why we call it math club, even Fiacra has wondered this. Fiacra loves to play minecraft but is not so keen on writing. He gets 2.5 minutes on minecraft per sentence written. He claims we agreed to this, I have no recollection of it but it seems to be working. In fact, his spelling has really improved. 

Minecraft time

Finian helping.

Fiacra, Finian, and I spent a long time outside. Fiacra was outside for over 2 hours. Ailbhe wasn't able to join us as it wasn't time for nutrition break.

Our Deck 11:30 a.m.

Finian covered in snow

The snow had a blue tinge to it today.

A lot of shovelling to be done.

Snow plough going past.

Not too cold today!
Fiacra and Ailbhe have gone outside again to try snow shoeing with Connell. I really need to wake Finian up from his nap. I'm going to try making cookies with him. Nothing beats a snow day!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Family Fun - Week 5

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 5 of family fun.

Finian was sick last week, bronchiolitis and an ear infection, so he wasn't really up for a big outing at the weekend. The Cambridge butterfly conservatory is on our list of potential family fun activities, so we decided to go there to cheer Finian up a little. I knew Finian would love it, but it surprised me how much Fiacra and Ailbhe enjoyed it too.

Finian, still looking under the weather.

One of the people working there was really friendly and informative. He told us that the butterflies with the really bright, almost unnatural looking chrysalis are usually poisonous, like these two. We watched lots of butterflies emerge from their chrysalis and hang to dry.
Ailbhe asked him where all the caterpillars were. He said that they don't breed butterflies at the conservatory, they import chrysalises from Costa Rica and the Philippines. They have a bird population to take care of the caterpillars - otherwise the caterpillars would eat everything in sight. They do have a few caterpillars though and he brought out an owl butterfly caterpillar to show her, not a handsome guy!

He pointed out the eggs of an owl butterfly on a leaf, they are pretty tiny.
Ailbhe and Fiacra holding the owl butterfly caterpillar. 
Owl butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

If a newborn human baby experienced the same growth rate as this owl butterfly caterpillar, it would be the size of a school bus within 3 weeks.

The kids got to touch this guy.
We are loving our family fun activities. It was a great resolution and we are determined to stick to it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Deep Thought

I was tiding up Ailbhe's art supplies yesterday. I noticed this written in one of her books. Can you decipher it*?

It seems such an odd thing to write down. I asked her about it but she couldn't remember writing it. 

* I start an hour late. I end an hour late. From Ailbhe

Friday, February 1, 2013

Family Fun - Week 4

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 4 of family fun.

We were looking for something fairly low-key for this week's family fun. After three exciting activities, trampolining, the cinema, and the science centre, we wanted to manage expectations a little and remind the kids that simpler family outings are fun too. On Saturday, there was snow on the ground and it wasn't too cold, so sledding was a perfect choice.

We always have a good time when we go sledding. The kids like to attach the sleds together and have us all pile on. Sledding is something in which Finian can fully participate at an age-appropriate level, in fact, he's bit of a dare devil.

Ailbhe starts all bundled up but quickly loses layers

Finian is ready to go

Fiacra having fun

Finian at the top of the hill ready to go down on the surfboard.

There they go!

Connell looking divine

Ailbhe on the shovel sled

Getting little brother back up the hill
Conditions look great for sledding again this weekend, hooray!