Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Zoo followed by BBQ

For the long May 24 weekend, Hubby and I went to visit Pam and V in the Greater Toronto Area. And we arranged with Patti (a former IF blogger, now inactive) and her husband to get together with them and their 3-year old for a day at Toronto Zoo. 

Hubby took a few great shots of the polar bear in his habitat. He'd just come out after a swim.

Petite wanted to see the crocodiles, so we took the kids inside the area where they're kept. They didn't move much, so I wonder if she realized they were real! 

Petite wanted to see the monkeys, but as soon as she saw the "mingos" she was taken!

Personally I love the big cats. This is one of the better photos I took. 

Patti and her husband brought a wagon for the kids to share. After lunch, they were determined to play, even though they were starting to tucker out. 

It was the first weekend the Zoo's Splash Pad was open. We got some wonderful photos and a video of Petite running in and out of the water. She had a blast! And it was a great way for the kids to refresh. 

Patti took this one, appropriate titled "Anticipation." 

The kids on the merry-go-round, and they loved it!

The kids both finally crashed when they were loaded into the vehicles for the ride home. A nap was definitely in order. They needed it for later that night... 

... because that evening, Pam held a huge BBQ (about 50-60 people) for her husband's birthday. Here are the kids enjoying themselves to the fullest! (Patti's husband, M, took this photo.)

Little Miss is such a socialite! Just like her great-grandmother on her grandfather's side. She was the centre of the party, dancing, laughing, and generally unafraid to approach anyone in the room! So much so, that when V's birthday cake was brought out, she was right there with him! 

The cake was a masterpiece! Pam does the most brilliant pieces. The cake is in the photo below; the pancakes are really a cake! It was scrumptious! On top of that, Pam's husband V let Petite help him blow out the candle!

We had a glorious visit. And that day was spectacular. One we shall not forget anytime soon.

Thank you Pam, V, Patti and M for making our time in the GTA such fun!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holiday Booked!

We've been eyeing another cruise for awhile now. For long-time readers, you will recall that we went on a Western Caribbean cruise in January 2011 (Petite was about 16 months old at the time). And while we've jaunted back and forth to see my folks, and gone camping now and then, we would really like to try a cruise again now that Petite is a bit older and we aren't quite as restricted with diapers, bottles, strict nap and feeding times, etc.

Added to that, my girlfriend K and her daughter K have been asking for us to go with them on vacation for a number of years. Life just seems to get in the way. So with hopes of planning far in advance to save, we started shopping around in November 2011 for something in early 2013, giving us all enough time to save money, plan details, figure out all the ins-and-outs, renew passports, etc.

We finally made the leap.

Yesterday I put down a deposit on a 5-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise that goes in February 2013. Six people (three kids, three adults) in two rooms, departing out of Miami. There are stops in Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), Nassau and Half Moon Cay (Bahamas). We are SO excited.

I'm already looking at excursions, hotels in Miami (for a day or two prior to the cruise departure), things for Petite to see and do, onboard amenities, and stuff to keep the teens busy.

I CANNOT WAIT. *dances*

YAY! A full week of no cooking or cleaning and with luck, we'll get some sun and sand and fun. Oh joy!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


As you go through life, there are moments now and then that make you stop, sit up, and take notice of your surroundings rather than blindly rushing headlong down the path of daily humdrum. One of those moments happened to me this morning.

It's a dull, grey, rainy day here in the nation's capital. The rain started just before midnight last night. I heard it falling softly as I was watching the late night news before bed. The rain continued through the dark hours, drenching the budding flowers, soaking the newly mown lawn, pooling in puddles in the crevices of sidewalks and dips in the concrete on streets.

Petite loves the puddles. She relishes the idea of stomping gleefully in them, her feet protected from the water by her much loved rainboots... brown with pink polka dots this season, to match her splash suit. She has recently discovered the fun and fantasy of carrying an umbrella as well.

I remember as a little girl, I loved umbrellas. Something about having an open umbrella in my hand transported me to a wonderful world of pretty parasols, of polite company, of the gentillesse that accompanies the finer things. A Mary Poppins world of sorts, I suppose, even at a very young age. I'm not entirely certain if Petite feels this way when she carries her pink Dora and Boots umbrella, but her face lights up at the prospect of carrying it nonetheless. So a part of me fantasizes that she too is transported to some magical world of wonder with an umbrella in hand.

This morning when she spied the rain beating down, her eyes lit up at the understanding that she could wear her rain boots AND carry her umbrella today to daycare. She threw herself wholeheartedly into the process of getting ready to leave the house, happy to have such a reward.

For to her, these things are special. What we as adults view as a burden ("Ugh, miserable weather. Now I have to deal with a raincoat and an umbrella, boots/shoes that can handle the water, etc.") she views with the unbridled excitement of childhood. Petite experiences them through a child's eyes. And for just a few moments this morning, so did I.

Outside, she found a big puddle at the end of our walkway and stopped short. She jumped down off the step into it, loving the way the water splashed about and made droplets fly hither and yon. Petite's upturned face looked into mine from under her pink umbrella, "Mommy jump too? Come on! Splash Mommy!" I was so busy enjoying how she was experiencing this moment, I didn't even think she might want me to splash with her. Unfortunately I had to say no; my shoes weren't conducive to such frolicking! For me, I found it wonderful simply to enjoy watching her, and knowing how much she loved to splash about.

I dropped Petite at daycare, and continued on my way to the office, going about my day as usual. At some point during the morning, a coworker said something to me that triggered my memory of Petite's splashing and her smiling face, holding her umbrella with such joy this morning. I stopped what I was working on. And this thought occurred to me:

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Mommy had a pair of rain boots too so I could splash with Petite?

Frankly, we all need a pair of rain boots, don't we? It would be absolutely thrilling if each and every one of us had rainboots so we could enjoy the moment... when it presents. We would all be much happier for it.

Carpe Diem. Go splash in a puddle today, if you can. Whether you're big or small. Old or young. Whether you have a child or not... splashing in puddles IS FUN. Just pure fun.

I think I'll kick off my shoes a little later, turn up my pants and splash away!