coffeepoweredmom

Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Canada Day Picnic

Probably the best way to spend Canada Day. Ever.

Here is a little slideshow for your enjoyment.

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Roughing It

I hope you guys are ready for a lot of photos.

Our Camping Trip

For our first family camping trip we went to Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario. Phil and I were looking for something that was outdoors, tent camping, but we could drive the car into. I’m all for backpacking and canoeing, but I couldn’t imagine trying to carry gear and wrangle children, perhaps when they get older…and more obedient.

I wasn’t feeling well that morning, didn’t eat too much, skipped my coffee, took some medicine that was lying around, and promptly threw up 15 minutes into our 2 1/2 hour drive to Sandbanks. I then threw up again maybe 45 minutes later, after a 15 minute break for my nausea. After that second emergency-vomit-in-a-parking-lot stop I took a breather for 10 minutes, forced a bunch of food into my stomach, and was good for the rest of the trip.

We had researched the different available campsites online. Since we were going midweek there were a TON available, so we decided to forgoe the reservations (saving ourselves $11) and pick a few different sites that we could request. We got our first pick, #74 – full shade, dirt, close to the bathrooms and water pump without being in a direct toilet-walk-path.

We arrived at the site and Ally immediately found a big awkward rock that she dubbed “Hat Rock” and she would continually put it on her head for the duration of our trip. Amazingly, Hat Rock disappeared less than 30 minutes from our departure time. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the other adults threw it into the woods for whatever reason. Stubbed toe, perhaps?

Upon the advice of another myhonestself from justmypeanuts http://myhonestself.wordpress.com/ we grabbed the kids magnifying glasses from the dollar store. Ours came with plastic tweezers. The kids loved them!

Phil and Uncle Eric also loved them and talked for a long time about setting sticks on fire with them. Lo and behold, Phil was able to get a stick to smoke and he left a nasty black burn spot on it. Plastic magnifying glasses aren’t the greatest for fire creation.

After the tents were set up, and the sleeping bags unpacked (Camper Tip #1: set up everything first, it’s easier to do in the daytime and when you’re not as tired) we utilized the park map they gave us and found some ‘shortcuts’ through the woods to go see the beach.

Ooooooooh! Beach!
Kira almost exploded with excitement when she saw this. The beach is her most favourite place EVER.

Aunt Heather wanted to find an animal bone on the beach, little did she know that our section of beach was an unofficial graveyard and she found many more than just this first skull. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that she brought home at least 12 different animal bones.

The kids started chasing the waves out and running back in, until Kira stopped paying attention or forgot or something and soaked her running shoes and socks. Yeah, running shoes. We were just supposed to be looking. So we took them off and rolled up their pants.

The water was chilly but it was so pristine and clear. Quite a different view of Lake Ontario than the normal filth where we live.

I hung back with Uncle Eric and Aunt Heather to take this picture. Immediately after, Kira ran too deep into the water and fell over. Face first. By the time my mind processed that she was in danger, Phil had already run into the water – clothed – and pulled her out. My hero ❤

When we got back I put on my flipflops and offered Phil my hiking shoes since his were soaked when he was saving Kira. They are LITERALLY three sizes too small. We gathered some wood for a fire and began trying to light it but the wood was really damp from the previous week’s thunder storms. It took my brain a while but I finally realized that the wood on the beach would be dry since it was exposed to the sun almost constantly.

I am a Fire Building Goddess! Do you like the kids’ camp chairs?

We played in the tent for a while, the kids loved their new sleeping bags (gift card courtesy of Uncle Mal) and couldn’t wait to goof around in them.

More goofing. Is there something on my back?

Ally wanted to get her pyjamas on, so I got them both ready and then we settled in for some marshmallows!

Kira’s camping chair is a puppy. Ally’s is a butterfly. Neat!

They even got to roast them over the fire!
I promised myself that I’d be more lax for camping.

Kira was sooooooooo messy!

The next morning we packed up to head to the beach. Intentionally to go in the water this time.
Kira discovers she has pockets while she waits. Stikes a cool pose.

These ripples were in the sand, not the water. They were amazing to look at and they felt fantastic under bare toes!

The kids were outfitted with swimsuits and life jackets, and Phil and I went barefoot with shorts. We brought swimsuits but the water was cold so we weren’t really interested in full submersion.

We walked out as far as we wanted (before my shorts started getting wet) and then came back and splashed around in the shallower area.

We had a picnic lunch on the beach before heading back to chop some wood for our dinner, evening and breakfast fires. All of the adults took turns chopping wood (I probably did the least amount, boy have I become weak) and Ally was interested in trying as well. I helped her out since the axe was so heavy and dangerous, but she loves contributing.

During one of our runs for beach wood, we found this ‘bird of prey’ leg. I would have brought it home but let’s just say… the bugs weren’t done with it yet.

Ally found a bunch of different flowers that she loved to pick and bring to people. These ones were my favourites.

The second evening I surprised Ally with a shirt that I picked up for $3 on clearance a month or so back. It reads “I love sleeping under the stars when we go camping” and has a bunch of pictures on it, which include a tent, a fire, and a tree.

We played Scoop Ball in our site during the evening. We almost didn’t because we couldn’t find the bloody things and had decided that we must have left them at home. Then, when I was looking for something else, I found them.

I saw this bird, and my stupid camera flash caught the trees and left the bird dark. I was unable to get another picture of him. It *looks* like a woodpecker, but I’m not sure.

That evening I caught a toad. Yay for night vision!

Four of us were sitting around the campfire, noisily, and a raccoon came up and started wandering around the tent!

The next morning I took the girls back to the beach one last time while breakfast was being started.

This is the beach in the morning. Beautiful.

After breakfast Phil and Uncle Eric amused themselves by trying to get a hanging branch to fall from the tree.

Uncle Eric tried to climb the tree.

Then Kira tried to climb the tree. That was really funny.
Eventually they did get it.

I packed up the sleeping bags and the tent and then the girls and I went for a walk in the woods. This is one of my favourite pictures.

The view above our campsite.

And then we headed home. It was amazing.

Amazing. I would do it again in a heartbeat. These aren’t even half of the pictures I took.

Oh, I also took this picture for you guys! Bagged milk, tied shut with an elastic to keep it from spilling in the cooler. The bag has dirt on it from my dirty hands. The milk is still good.

PS Remember the PHOTO CHALLENGE! NO ONE IS PARTICIPATING AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO CRY! Nine more days.

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Brooklin Spring Fair

I’m up to June now. That only puts me about two weeks behind, but we’ve been packed with activities recently and I just want to share them all.

The first weekend of June every year plays host to the Brooklin Spring Fair. When I was a kid my parents used to take us to this fair, I stopped going when I moved away, but once I moved back to the area I’ve been able to start going again! Unfortunately, Phil was working every day of the fair this year (bummer), but the girls and I were able to meet up with Aunt Jodi and Uncle Russ and have a great time!

Also, I swear I dressed nicely but then the weather was cool because of the rain and I was wearing Phil’s sweater so….I look like a dude. The whole time.

First stop – the animal tents where Ally got to hold a chick! Kira wanted to, but she kept crushing it. I gave it back so it wouldn’t die.

Quail chicks!

I think we pet 80 goats. Maybe more. There were SO MANY goats.

We did facepainting but Kira was having none of the ‘face’ part and ended up having her hand painted instead.

Ally’s swirls.

Thank God for Aunt Jodi and Uncle Russ. The first ride that the kids wanted to go on? The only one that’ll make me vomit in under a minute. I can’t do the Berries!!!

Luckily I signed up for the one with vicious heights. Woo!
Do you like my sweater?

Then we played the duck catching game (guaranteed winner).

Kira’s arm got a little wet.

Ally won an elephant!

Kira won this yellow cat that she chose and then promptly hated and didn’t want anymore. I don’t think she held it the entire time we were there.

We had fair poutine because the kids started eyeing Aunt Jodi’s, I also bought cotton candy and freshly squeezed lemonade which are my fair-favourites. 😀 It was awesome, like always, and we’ll be going back next year as well! Hopefully next year we’ll remember to go to the petting zoo portion because it was somehow overlooked this year!

PS Remember that I’m super cool and am having another Photo Challenge! PARTICIPATE!

 

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Ah Drew Da Beesh!

We went down to the beach again at the end of May. We try to do fun things with the kids on the days that Phil is off work, and they love to go to the beach. Especially Kira. After we brought her for the first time this year, she’s been constantly ‘drawing’ the beach. Hence the title. She’ll draw her picture and then proudly scream in your face “Ah drew da beesh!!!” over and over again until you smile and say “You drew the beach? Wow, that’s amazing!”

I, of course, took a bunch of pictures. Here are some of my favourite:

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Speaking of pictures, don’t forget about The Great Outdoors Photo Challenge! You have until June 30th at midnight EST!

Also about pictures, I am catching up chronologically on all of the photos I’ve taken of our family doing fun stuff, I’ll get to camping fairly soon!

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The Third Elephant

At the end of May we went to the Toronto Zoo. Yes, the end of May – I’m catching up people!

We love the zoo, Phil’s brother gave us a family season’s pass for Christmas and we’ve been able to go whenever we feel like it since then. On this particular day I was shocked by the third elephant. There are three little elephant statues near the real elephants and we like to pose for pictures there:

So we posed: Ally, Phil, Kira; then Ally, Mommy, Kira; then I put both kids on one elephant and took their picture.

Hey look! A picture of me! You’re welcome.

As we go to leave the area, Ally sighs and says “I wish you had three babies, then we could each sit on an elephant.” Darn you, Toronto Zoo!!!

Also, for your viewing pleasure:

Giraffes mating

“Go away, goose!”

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