Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo - Done!


Woohoo!!!!!! An entire month of posting... not bad. I made it through a few colds around the house and it took a couple of really late nights not to miss a day, but I made it. It was lots of fun and I highly recommend you take small challenges like this for yourself. I may even do it another month during the year... but not December. I deserve a short break ;)

Say Hi Santa!

This weekend Santa happened to be at the mall [Yes, he's early but that's just the kind of guy that he is - lol]. J insisted on going to say "hi" to him. So we got into line and waited, waited, waited.

Patiently waiting for santa
J had a blast touching every decoration, tree, reindeer and playing with [or climbing] whatever else was around. To be honest, it kind of amused me. I don't care if he seems unruly at times. It's just a perception thing... to me, he's just a boy with a lot of LIFE in him. He's endlessly curious and wants to touch and feel every thing around. He's never really out of control unless he's tired or hungry and then it's meltdown time, but he hadn't gotten to that stage yet...

Playing with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

He took a picture of the Christmas trees while we were waiting...
Trees seen from a toddler's viewpoint

This one's thrown in just for fun because I don't usually get to be in the pictures.
EJ in the Ergo - always a good sport
You must be asking yourself: "Ok, that's nice and dandy but where are the pictures with good ol' Saint Nick???"  That's the catch. See, J just wanted to say Hi! Quite literally.

We stood in line and watched him bounce around just so that he could be in front of Santa, smile, give a small wave hello and walk away. Luckily, Santa doesn't hold a grudge and J still got a nice sticker book out of the short visit.

I knew J wouldn't sit on Santa's lap and that's ok by me. I don't particularly care about the tradition of him bringing gifts and the whole naughty or nice discussion. I'm not sure I ever seriously believed in him as a kid. I knew of him and I understood that he came around this time of year, but I don't remember having any attachment to Santa or being crushed by discovering that he wasn't real.

There's nothing like chocolate ice cream
What does one do after saying "Hi" to Santa? Go for ice cream of course!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cooking - Quiche

Growing up I never thought I enjoyed cooking until I finally had my own kitchen... and guess what, I like to cook! The only problem is that, with two kids, I have very little time (and energy) left to do much of it. On the other hand, my quest to live a greener and healthier life means that I've eliminated much of the processed foods in our house. This means that I try to make almost everything from scratch... almost... ok, I still buy my pasta, bread and pizza (don't judge me - lol).

I've become quite good at finding recipes and tweaking them to make them my own. The key is making something everyone will eat, that's relatively simple/quick to make and that packs sufficient nutrition.  Not an easy task... The key is to experiment and not be afraid to alter recipes. Brings to mind a recent post by Sandra Dodd on Following directions. Recipes are like directions. You can follow them exactly as they are and the dish will surely be good - but what have you really learned? Have you grown as a cook? Probably not. In cooking, as in life, one must take chances and be adventurous to grow. Be willing to challenge the status quo... but I digress. This post was is about cooking.

One of my staples has become making quiche. I love making quiche. Especially now that I've figured out how to easily make the crust from scratch. You can add ANYTHING to quiche and it'll still be delicious. So far, J loves to help me cook and I realize that I must take full advantage of this while I can. This is an opportunity for him to learn what real food looks like and to understand how much time, energy and thought goes into every meal. I now realize the importance of REAL food and it took me 36 years to get here. I'm hoping it doesn't take him as long...

Rolling his own quiche crust
This particular crust was made using chick pea flour, mainly because I had run out of any other kind but also because I like experimenting with different flour types. Normally I use only whole flour as I do not see the nutritional benefits of white flour or enriched flour. I can buy white flour pie crusts anywhere, so if I'm going to make them I'd rather use the healthiest alternatives that I can find. I gave J his own dough to roll and mould into a pie pan. Watching him fill the pan almost made me cry. He's so good at it - it shows how much he watches me when I do it. He even knew to poke holes in it with a fork. Yay for him!
Uncooked ingredients & crust
Ingredients for the pie crust (bottom only):
  • 1 cup flour (this time I used chickpea flour)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • a pinch of salt
I also sometimes add some softened cream cheese (like a tablespoon) to make it a little tastier or flakier. The little one is the one that J made. Just mix everything together and knead dough by hand. Adjust the consistency by adding more flour or water as needed. Then roll it into a thin layer and mould into a 9 inch pie pan. With a fork or toothpick prick some holes at the bottom and around the top of the pie crust. Then pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes at 350.

Now you're ready for the pie filling. Eggs and cheese are my standard and everything else will depend on whatever I have in my fridge. Here are the ingredients for the one I made in the picture:

  • cauliflower (both white and yellow)
  • diced asparagus ends
  • cut up red bell pepper
  • diced sweet potatoes (slightly cooked)
  • cut up leeks and onions
  • diced cheese (mozzarella, cheddar)
  • grated parmesan
  • paprika
  • 4 or 5 eggs
You can add some cream if you want it to remain extra moist otherwise the consistency is a little more like an omelette. Fill the pie crust and cook for about 30-35 minutes at 350 (or until the eggs are no longer soft and giggly).

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Revisited Books

Part of our bedtime routine with J, our 3.5 year old, has always included books. Ok, not always... but certainly after his first birthday it started becoming more of a ritual for us. I know I've said it before, but it still amazes me how much J LOVES books. He is perfectly thrilled to sit with us and read book after book after book.

He learns them all by heart and will repeat the story if you give him the chance. By the time he was 2 he had most of Dr. Seuss memorized (well, the most popular ones). It seems his love of books is getting to a new level. He's started telling himself the stories as he turns the pages - so essentially reading to himself without actually reading the words, just by having memorized what page goes with what parts of the story. He'll sit there and quietly do this while waiting for me to get EJ to sleep.

I am in awe.

Here are two of his past favourite books we've recently revisited [entirely at his request]:

Click the image to see more
* Thanks to Aunt A for this sweet art related book. It's a classic. I highly recommend it for toddlers 2-5 yo*

Click the image to see more

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Waka Waka

The other day while driving J to school we heard Shakira's Waka Waka song on the radio. For those who may not know, this was the official song of this year's FIFA world cup. Though I'm sure it was much more popular in the summer we had never really heard it before and J instantly loved it.

Truth is that he's always loved music with a beat. He has a great ear for music and loves to dance. So the more beat there is, the more he likes it. Some of his past favourite songs to dance to include these:

Anyway, in the afternoon he started walking around singing to himself "da, da, da, da, A-FREE-KA" (and he had only heard it once). For now he has no concept of what or where Africa is. He's simply repeating what he heard phonetically. It was so darn cute. I thought about possibly making this into a learning opportunity and showing him a map but I didn't. He'll have plenty of time for that later. Instead I surprised him by going on You Tube and finding the video for him to watch.

His eyes lit up and he instantly jumped out of his chair and started dancing around. Priceless!!!



*Update* Since I first wrote this post we watched the video again and I did take the opportunity to show him a world map. It was fun. I started by showing him Canada, of course. After that I showed him Europe because we were there this summer. We discussed how we took the plane and crossed the ocean to get to Italy and then we followed on the map and made our way to Africa. We talked about how hot it is there and that some of his favourite animals are there, like lions and elephants.

Who knew that a song from Shakira could lead to so much learning... [slight sarcasm there]. I truly believe that children are always learning even when it seems they aren't doing anything at all. It's part of what fascinates me about my 3 year old and what motivates me to spend more time with him.  I don't understand people who think that learning only happens in a structured classroom type of environment. Life is all about learning and questioning and evolving. Or at least it should be.

Whoa, sorry - It seems digressed... it must be getting late... This post was about the fun time we have dancing together and how much J loves music. What songs do your kids like to listen to? Do they still get up and dance completely uninhibited or have they reached the shy and self-conscious stage?

Friday, November 26, 2010

And then there was light...

When you first buy a house everything seems so nice and new even if it isn't newly built or renovated. If the agents/sellers are doing their job right, they stage the house to make it inviting and feel as thought it's ready to move into. Then, you move in, and over time you start to notice things that can or should be improved. It's inevitable...

The one thing that I really loved about this house was the amount of natural light that came in through the many large windows. Considering how affected I am by the lack of sun in winter, I need as much natural light as I can get. However, the room we chose as the kids' playroom doesn't have a window. Instead, it leads to a deck in the back yard through a set of sliding glass patio doors. You'd think this would bring in some of that lovely natural light that I crave so dearly but it doesn't.

Hideous wood doors = dark & gloomy room

The room is dark and gloomy because of these hideous black wooden blinds that cover the patio doors. I call them blinds but I'm not even sure that's the right word to describe them. I guess they're more like a second set of doors, they're wood and heavy and don't roll up like blinds. You can only slide-open one of them them at a time.

The issue I have with them is that they're dark. It's not the colour per say [though having big black doors inside certainly doesn't complement a room] but the only way to get light in is to open the slits on these blinds which really doesn't let in much light at all [as you can see]. The other thing is that they are not functional. Soooooo not functional. In summer it's a pain getting in and out of the house to use the deck or backyard.

So, this became one of those inevitable changes that we really hadn't anticipated needing when we first moved in. It took a while to decide on what could be done to replace them. I didn't want to get regular blinds because I just didn't think I'd like the look - I wanted something different. I was inspired while at a friend's house and we decided to go with drapes.

Drapes & rod ready to be installed

After searching at a few stores it became clear that we'd have to get custom ones. This is how we ended up at Fabricville - not only did we find the fabric there but they made the drapes for us too. I had a really hard time deciding what base colour to choose and that's when I randomly asked J what he thought would be best. Without a moment's hesitation he stated that the drapes had to be red. Luckily he takes after me in the creative department and has great colour instincts! He even selected the fabric that we ultimately ended up using.

The length still needs to be tweaked a little but I was so excited that I just couldn't wait to put up a picture. What a difference it makes to actually be able to see outside. I wish I could do a before and after side-by-side picture comparison but I just can't seem to work that out... there is a HUGE difference. The room feels airier, brighter and just livelier overall. Plus, I have to say that in my humble opinion my son's colour choice was spot on... red rocks!!! ;)

"Hey Ma, there IS a world out there!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mac N' Squash

Wednesday I woke up with a craving for homemade mac and cheese but we had no good melting cheese left and I wasn't about to drag two sick kids out in the cold to buy some. So, I looked around the kitchen to see if I could get inspired... Lying on my counter were 2 beautiful winter squash that my parents gave me last week so I decided to make Mac n' Squash instead. I didn't have a recipe so I just grabbed what I had available and went to work inventing...

Here's what I used:

  • 1 medium squash (I think the one I used is called Delicata Squash but feel free to correct me)
  • 4 tbsp of creme (I used 45%)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 servings of elbow macaroni
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of grated parmesan (I'd also add cheddar cheese if I had any)
  • Some bread crumbs

First cut the squash in half and place face down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about an hour (will depend on the size of course). You'll know it's ready when you poke the skin with a fork and it feels soft or sinks in on itself.
Squash will make its own water when baking
Remove from oven and drain the excess water (you may want to reserve the water incase you want to add some back). Let sit a few minutes and then carve out the flesh with a spoon and place into a bowl. Mash the cooked squash with a fork until blended into a smooth texture. Add the parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast flakes and paprika to taste & mix well. Beat the egg and then add to the ingredients, once again mix well.

Gluten free brown rice elbow macaroni
Cook the elbow macaroni in a separate pan and drain well. Combine the pasta with the other ingredients and pour into an oven dish (I use a ceramic dish from Emile Henry). At this point you may want to add some of the squash water you reserved earlier as it will dry up at it bakes in the oven and this will keep the dish moist. 

As a final step cover the top of the pasta with some bread crumbs and extra grated parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 for roughly 30 minutes. Here's what the finished product looks like. It was yummy!!!! The hubby even had seconds, always a good sign ;)
My Mac N' Squash

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Looking for a way to climb up

He hasn't met a water puddle he didn't like

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Redpath Museum

Yesterday we went to the Redpath Museum with the Montreal Homelearners Group to participate in a workshop on Octopuses and Squids. Every Sunday, the museum offers a different discovery workshop which is then followed by a craft related to the topic that was presented. We've been in the past for the Sunday workshop on dinosaurs as well as the one on Egyptian mummies. I don't really know how much J learned (more than I think, I'm sure) but I know he had fun. So, when I saw that the homelearners group organized a workshop I jumped on the occasion to bring J to it.

They've renovated the learning room since we last went there. It used to be a dingy old room that looked a lot like a dusty science lab. Now, they've added lots of new tables that are set together to looks like a humongous boardroom table and 2 big screens on 2 separate walls so that the presentation can be seen no matter where you are sitting.

The workshop was given by Ingrid Birker, the coordinator of the science outreach and public program for the museum and she was great! In the past we haven't had this kind of visual presentation - I don't know if it's done this same way for other sessions or at the Sunday workshops... The kids all sat around the tables and listened intently. Normally J would have been running around, but even he was mesmerized by the visual presentation. There was even a jar with an octopus that J was fascinated with. He kept staring into the jar and turning it over and over again to see the octopus move around. I must say that I really learned a lot too. It was a great mix of kid friendly information and adult geared science facts.

Then the kids got to do their craft. They were given instructions on how to make an octopus/squid out of a sock. J was just thrilled to be cutting things... he loves using scissors so this was perfect practice for him.

Here's what it should look like...

And, here's what ours looks like... LOL
Our sock puppet octopus
J had so much fun cutting the tentacles that he didn't want to leave them long and kept cutting them over and over... who am I to argue with the 'process' of art!

Octopus fun fact: Did you know that the octopus is dubbed as the 'chameleon of the sea'. They can blend into backgrounds by changing their colour and some can even change the texture of their skin. How cool is that!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hurray for Plan Toys

At one point I had specifically asked friends and family to not buy any plastic toys for J. This was in the midst of the countless of toy recalls that were occurring due to lead paint, phthalates and other toxic issues. At the time, I really wanted to avoid plastic toys as much as possible and I still do. Some took my request seriously and others didn't... either way, as a parent I am the one responsible to protect my child. There are so many issues with toxic toys that it boggles the mind. Case in point, a recent article discusses the failed promise by Toys "R" Us to clean up their act:  Toxic Toys "R" Us: Broken Promises by Major Toy Retailer Uncovered.

I had recommended Plan Toys as an alternative to purchase gifts from because I had done some research and found them to be in line with my values. Plan Toys is a GREEN company and use GREEN materials such as chemical free rubberwood and water-based non-toxic colours AND their toys are NOT made in China (certainly a rarity these days).

This is from their website:
PlanToys® practices the "FOUR R's" of green living: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Our manufacturing processes are designed to reduce waste and save energy. We reuse materials, and have introduced innovative methods to recycle paper and other products. We are always looking for new ways to improve and preserve our environment.
Well, just recently my admiration for this company grew even stronger. Let me explain. When J turned 2 he received the Balancing Cactus toy you see below. It looked like a great learning toy but I thought he was a little young to 'get into it' so we left it in the box for when he'd be able to truly enjoy it. Fast forward to today and J is now 3.5 and I remember that we have this great gift that hasn't been used yet. So, we open the box and start taking out the contents only to notice that the most important piece is missing - the cactus base. Oh no! This toy is NOTHING without the base. It's been so long I don't dare say anything to the friend that gave it to us (sorry!) and even if I did, what store would exchange a toy that was purchased 1.5 years ago (?)...
So, I wrote to Plan Toys instead. I sent them an e-mail explaining exactly what had happened and asked how/where I could get a replacement part. I received a response from their exclusive Canadian distributor Playwell Entreprises Ltd. Not only did they respond quickly, but they sent me the part I needed completely free of charge and I received it within one day of them saying they had it in stock. Hurray!!! And of course, the toy is a hit - see for yourself ;)

With great products, a green conscience and excellent customer service to boot - I HIGHLY recommend Plan Toys! I will certainly keep them as my first choice for toys for my kids.

*off topic, but in case you're wondering... Yes, he wears his hockey shirt A LOT*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mini Santas

We created mini Santa Clauses the other day. It was a free kit we received from a kid's clothing store - I guess I bought a lot of clothes ;)

The instructions called for a needle to sew some thread into the Santa hat but I decided to bypass that step... I forgot to take pics of the pieces pre-fab so all you get is a picture of the box they came in... sorry.
And here is the finished product. I think they look more like little gnomes than Santa Claus but I like them nonetheless.

We tied a bow on the hat instead of sewing them
They were really simple to make so I think we're going to make some larger ones. I've been thinking about what we could make with all of those empty toilet paper rolls we have. Up to now we've been just tossing them into the recycling box but I think they would work really well to make more of these little people.

All you need is:
  • Felt to wrap around the toilet paper roll, to make the body
  • Cotton balls for the beard
  • Some sweater-knit fabric for the hat (recycle an old sweater)
  • A tiny little button for the nose
  • And Colourful/shiny string to tie a bow around the hat

And, after you're done, you can dance around like my son did. Do the happy dance - lol - Sometimes he really is a slice of heaven!!!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Water Fun

Today is a simple post. It's a reminder that the simplest things can be fun - you don't always need elaborate goal oriented projects.

I gave J a big bowl of water, added a thick tablecloth on the kitchen table [and then again on his own play table] and let him play. He decided he would 'wash' his toys and had hours of fun getting each of his toys, one by one, and washing them... hours of fun! The tablecloth was soaked and the floor was wet but there was one very happy child in the room.

He played last night while I cooked supper and then again today. He experimented with different shapes & sizes to see what would float vs. what would sink, he'd put water in one toy & then attach another on it to see where the water would end up, he'd throw toys in the bowl to see how far the water would splash... it was great fun! And, I must add, it was all child-led. I never suggested what he should do with the toys or the water. The only input  I had was that I vetoed some of the toys from getting in the water - like his stuffed animals. Other than that - it was totally him deciding what/how to experiment. A simple 'must-do' activity!

The heavy curious george wooden car goes SPLASH!
Add one to another & see where the water ends up


"Look mommy - water only drips from here"

"Look mommy - look how much water flows!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Organized Mess

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk?
--  Albert Einstein
I admit that my surroundings may seem like a mess to most people. Most of the house appears uncluttered but if you look closely you'll find I often have stacks of papers lying around and my drawers certainly aren't in neat little folded piles. But, I know where everything is. In an odd way this mess is my organizational system. Ok, no need to say it, I know I'm sort of fooling myself. I mean, keeping my things in piles is really a recipe for disaster. Maybe one day I'll learn to conquer my mess. In the meantime, it works for me (in a slightly dysfunctional way). This is why I literally LOSE MY MIND when someone moves my things or attempts to make things neat on my behalf.
Image from www.clutter-buster.com

My organized mess extends itself to how I keep track of my to do list, appointments and events. To be honest, my system for these items is faulty. VERY faulty. I can admit that. I have appointments written on business cards that get lost, I am inconsistent at using the calendar function on our electronic gadgets and I try to set e-mail reminders, when I remember. But mainly the dates I need to remember are all in my head. Basically, this has worked out well enough so far but my days are about to get busier since I've recently accepted to lead our Nouri-Source sector group recently, the breastfeeding support organization I volunteer for. And, as the hubby says, my brain is so full of 80's music knowledge that there's just no room for new information to get in.

The point is that I don't have anywhere reliable to jot down the various dates I need to keep track of. As much as I am a tech person I really need something non gadgety that I can keep handy to write down all those important dates. I guess I'm off to buy a pocket calendar... Or better yet, I'll make my own. In fact this would be a great craft project for us to do. It's also a great way to show J how you don't necessarily need to buy things. The issue of consumerism and materialism is always on the back of my mind. I'd like my son to understand the difference between a need and a want and not believe that material things are what he truly needs to feel happy. I'd also like him to understand that you don't have to buy everything - you can be creative and make things yourself. Plus, there's something rewarding and satisfying about owning and using something you've made yourself. Yea, that settles it, I'm making my own pocket calendar... Now if only I could create something to make the rest of my mess 'look' more organized ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Solitude

The other night I escaped to a quiet cafe to be alone with my thoughts. All I wanted to do was to sit quietly, sip some coffee and think, or read a few blogs (that in turn, lead me to think). I enjoyed that time so much that I did it again on the weekend. It was only the second time I've gone out alone in recent years... All other times I've been away from the family it was to meet friends or go to a class or to do something similarly social. But, this time I was craving solitude.

Solitude by Frederic Leighton
I remember the first time I went to a movie by myself. It was in college and I felt the need to be alone. So, I skipped class and went to a movie (no worries, I still passed the class). It was an impulse moment and I was nervous about it. There was no one to share the popcorn with, no one to chat with about the previews and no one to dissect the movie with afterwards... Yes, It felt awkward at first. But, that feeling quickly passed. The nervousness was replaced by relief and contentment. I was at peace with being alone with my thoughts.

Don't get we wrong, I consider myself a very social person. I truly enjoy getting together with friends and chatting away until all hours of the night... [Gals, you know who you are]. I also don't need to 'escape' my family often and really relish when we can spend time all together. But, sometimes I feel I don't want anyone around and just need to spend some quiet contemplative time. As a mother I very happily devote myself to my kids. Their time as children is so short and they learn so much everyday that I feel I need to be there for them. Plus, I actually like spending time with them. I do.

Though, lately I've also started feeling a little lost. I think it's a normal feeling that many moms experience. The loss of who I used to be and not truly knowing who I'm becoming or who I want to be... So, I've started thinking a lot about ME. What direction is my life taking and what changes am I going to make. I sought out solitude to spend some much needed introspective time... and guess what - I enjoyed every single second of it. That time was needed to help me keep my resolution to be more 'present' with the kids and live for the moment. In fact, I think it's going to become one of my 'feed my soul' rituals ;)

Do you have a 'feed your soul' ritual? Do you sometimes crave being alone or is it something you avoid at all costs?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toddler Cooking

Last week was our turn to bring a 'community snack' for J's nursery class. Of course, we just HAD to make muffins! I'll tell you right now, muffins are one of my staples. I make lots and lots of muffins. Large ones, teeny ones and flower shaped ones too. I think they are absolutely the perfect snack and you can really add almost anything to them and my boy will eat them. Plus, taking pictures of the toddler cooking - priceless!

Showing off his festive new apron
 Step 1, get toddler a festive holiday apron that he will truly enjoy wearing. And who says you can't have fun dressing your boys!?!?! *giggle* In reality he never wears an apron when helping me cook, but I saw this and simply had to buy it.

Large & flower muffin pans

What good are muffins without chocolate chips!
This time we made Apple sauce + rolled oats muffins with a twist. The twist is cream cheese and sesame seeds. I enjoy adding sesame seeds in our muffins because not only are they quite healthy, but they add a great 'crunchiness after they're cooked.

Here's my recipe - disclaimer: all measurements approximate because, like my own mother, I cook by doing 'a little of this, and a little of that':
1 cup whole oat flower 
1/4 cup sesame seeds (normally I would also add some chia - the richest, unprocessed and fully-digestible whole food source of Omega3)
1/4 cup brown sugar - but add more if you like your muffins sweet (I use Sucanat
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup soft cream cheese
1 tsp real cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup of oil (I use olive oil)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Add some rice milk if it seems too dry
Place in muffin pans & cook for 25-30 min at 365 degrees. Enjoy!





Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday @ the Museum

We spent our Saturday at the McCord Museum. It was opening day for a lovely new exhibit called Toys that runs from November 14th, 2010 to March 6th, 2011. It is geared for kids 3-10 years of age and is free for children under 12 (always a plus).

Keyhole entrance
It isn't a very large exhibit, but the small room is packed with many toys to discover if you really take the time to go through it all. The entrance was enchanting. You were looking through a keyhole and entered into a magical world of vintage dolls...

Bilingual puppet show
Vintage dolls

We were also treated to a bilingual puppet show (mainly for the younger ones) that lasted about 20 min. and then the kids both played in the exhibit room for a while. 
Marbles and a unique chess game

Large foam blocks to build destroy
It was obviously very kid friendly. Everything was touchable and only some items were behind glass. There were some large foam building blocks that EJ gravitated towards. He scouted for any kid that was building towers or whatever and dashed as fast as he could to go destroy them. It was like watching a heat seeking missile.


There was an area with hand puppets and a stage for the kids to act out their own shows. And a huge dreamland playhouse that represents what kids dream about when they go to sleep at night.
 One of the highlights was an entire wall where they could draw on with neon coloured markers. And you already know how much my son loves to draw with markers, so how could this not be a hit.
An entire wall to draw on - a kids dream!
We managed to make this outing last a total of 4 hours - not bad. Of course that included lunch... Both kids were exhausted and napped in the car on they way home. Score!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Something Good

Here's a snippet of a conversation J and I had while eating breakfast the other day....
J: "Mommy, can I listen to ONE Tumblebook while I eat?" (*eyes fluttering*) 
Me: "No, we eat while we eat!"
J: "Mommmmmyyyyyy, PLEEEAAAASSSEEEEE??? Just ONE!!!"
Me: "Ok... which story do you want?"
J: "Something good"
Me: "Yes, but which story do you want to listen to?"
J: "Mommy, Something good!!!!"
Me (getting frustrated): "But J, can you please describe the story that you want?"
J: "Ok, there's a girl and she keeps getting things from the shelf and her father says noooooo"
Me: "Mhmmmm... I can't remember which one that is..." 
J: "Something good"
Me: "Mhmmm... but..." 
J: "She buys carrots and sugar, lots of sugar. And her father says nooooooo"
Me: "Ooooooh, rrrrriiiiiiigggghhtttttttt. I remember that story"

I know it's Robert Munsch because those are the ones we've been 'reading' a lot of lately. There are a few that he adores and he wants them over and over again but this particular book we've only seen once. So, I look up Munsch and guess what... the book's name is SOMETHING GOOD! Wow, this kid really amazes me. What a memory. He clearly has me beat (in more ways than one!).


So, I was going to link to the Tumblebook here but it doesn't seem to work. Instead, here's a link to the CSL library children's page that offers Tumblebooks and you can search for it yourself if you're curious. It's a really sweet story and I'm glad he likes it so much. Though, to be honest, I'm not too thrilled by the way it's read (I find the voice a little annoying). Still - it's a good one ;)
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