Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break Getaway

This week off, that was so anticipated, went way too fast.  We had A LOT of fun on our spring break getaway.  Caution...a pile of holiday photos ahead!

As you know, all our adventures start off with a long drive and this trip was no exception.  Anyone up for a little game of travel BINGO?  We never did see a helicopter or an ambulance.  But we decided as a family that it was a good thing if we didn't see an ambulance, so that square was a gimme. 

No picture of little sister on the road this time.  She does not like to ride in her Papa's truck.  She has the nose of bloodhound.  It is hypersensitive to all smells and a while back she decided she does not care for the smell of Papa's truck.  So for the entire ride she holds her nose or covers it with her blanket and periodically reminds us that she don't like Papa's truck. 

Fast forward ten hours, numerous movies and shows, apps and songs, snacks and naps, BINGO game and miscellaneous Barbie shoes on the truck floor.... and we arrived at our spring break destination.  

Hello to all things West Ed.
Our first stop:  The Santa Maria.  My pirate girls thought it was awesome to be on a real pirate ship.  I didn't ruin their fun by telling them that Christopher Columbus wasn't actually considered a pirate.  

Since we arrived at the mall in the early evening we decided to go for a little walk around and make a game plan for the next several days.  The girls wanted to do everything RIGHT NOW.  Trying to explain the economics of buying a day pass in the morning as opposed to an hour before closing is met with very confused and not very understanding looks from six and three year old eyes.

But they both agreed on what our first line of business was going to be in the morning...

Little sister found her favorite without hesitation...

These girls love rides.  Callie is not a crazy daredevil kinda girl.  She is cautious.  And Lexi, well she'll try anything that she is tall enough for...

Nana gave the girls money to buy an ice cream and since we were on holidays, we had ice cream for lunch.  Chocolate with sprinkles for Lexi and vanilla with gumballs for Callie (which she picked out and gave to her dad).

I love how happy we can make them by simply skipping the sandwich and going strait for dessert.  After our lunch of champions  we went right back for more...

Callie can not resist the carnie games.  She thinks they are the bomb.  Put in a twoonie, play for 30 seconds, and the machine spits out a couple of tickets.
"Look mom!!  Look at all the tickets I won!" 
"Great, babe.  3000 more and you can get a stuffie!"

This was the only time the dad was on the swinging pirate ship.

The best thing about staying at the mall was being able to go back to the hotel for a time out.  Since we are a family of introverts, we all recharge by having quiet time.

There were so many things to see and do on our little get away.  Some of my favorite times are the before and after and in between times.  Before we do anything in the morning.  Having coffee made in the little hotel coffee pot.  Watching the girls play with hotel notepads while I click on the local TV news channel.  And because this massive playground doesn't get rolling until 10 am I had plenty of morning time to relax.

Jon's favorite thing is seeing the girls so excited.  And they were very excited about this waterpark...

Somewhere along the way Callie has developed a fascination with penguins.  She couldn't wait to see them and loved all the demonstrations at the Sea Life Caverns.  We witnessed a snake feeding, scuba divers feeding giant sea turtles, and the sea lion show.  Lexi, on the other hand,  didn't last five minutes in the Cavern.  Recall her sense of smell?  Yah, the lingering aroma of dead fish had her heading for higher ground.

She's getting more freckles everyday.

Being in this huge mall for 4 days, we just had to do some shopping.  My girls, and my hubby for that matter, don't particularly like to go shopping.  Unless it's at the Disney store...

Or the Build-a-Bear Workshop...

Lexi stepping on the foot peddle to stuff her bear.
 This was the first time we have had this Build-a-Bear experience.  I let the girls choose their bear fur on their  own.  Without any guidance or suggestions from me.  I watched them walk up and down the bear fur bins, eyeing up their favorites.  My mind was screaming, "ooooh, look at that classic white teddy!  Come on sista, pick the vintage style Paddington Bear"  But my mouth remained silent as they both choose their bears' fur in under 2.2 seconds.

For two girls who don't like to shop for their own clothes, they did all right in the Bear clothing department.
Choosing the bear was the easy part.  Picking an outfit was a different story.  Callie had three outfits she wanted for her bear but she had to pick just one.  One outfit and one pair of shoes.  That seemed reasonable to me for a bear.  Mama had fun at the Build-a-Bear too.  It reminded me the hours of fun I had with my Cabbage Patch Dolls when I was kid.  

Their Bears turned out to be a perfect match to their individual personalities.  Custom built by them to be the their best pals.  We welcomed into our family a rainbow, Spiderman bear named Cuddley and a brown, rockstar bear named Honey...

The girls are thrilled with their new treasures and their new memories.
It was a great little getaway. For all of us.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter's Final Act.

We spent a good chunk of time outside today.  I took a picture of our backyard snow hill that has provided so many hours of  entertainment this winter. It has also given its fair share of bumps and bruises. Callie has a bit of road rash on her nose today after a tumble and face wash into the ice crusted snow hill yesterday.  

I took these pictures because in three days it will all be gone.  Bring on the umbrellas and rubber boots for the first day of spring.  Next week is our spring break and we are in desperate need of a set change around these northern parts.  Calling all stage hands... out with the snow and in with the spring backdrop.

We ventured out exploring in the deep snow.  The bright sun was shining on our faces, reflecting it's rays off the sparking, white blanket.  The March sun differs from the January sun.  It has a tiny bit of warmth.  Just enough to give us hope that we are nearing the end of mitts and toques and snowsuits.

Just to be clear, I'm not wishing the time away...just the weather.  As we trudged through the deep snow I thought about the end of another season and, as always, I wondered if we made the most of it.  Because for as much as I want winter wrap and spring to be center stage I am aware that we won't have another 6 and 3 year old winter again.

(half hour later...) I just looked back at the last four months of blog posts and I can confidently say that we are ready to move on.  Skating, sliding, skiing, ice forts, road trips, birthdays, board games, friends, family and we are finally scraping the bottom of the mega-sized can of hot chocolate.  It was a good winter.

Winter, exit stage right.  Center stage, a little St. Patty's love.  Next scene, spring break.  Woot woot!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I received Volume Two of my blog book in the mail this week.  There is something very satisfying about seeing my words and pictures in old fashioned print.  Maybe because it is something tangible, something to hold on to that gives a sense of accomplishment.  I wonder what will become of these two volumes of our family memories.  Will they end up in an attic collecting layers of dust or will they be packed away in a damp, musty basement storage room?  Will they end up in the hands of a stranger someday who reads through them and wonders about the kind of person who would write about such regular, routine events of day to day life. 'Cause let's face it, it's not like I'm Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis with a climactic story to tell.

We are just a little family of four.  Living our lives like so many others.  With dreams and hopes of all travel the world, to live in castles, to live where winter isn't such a bully, to meet new people, to learn the story of many dreams, and we can't forget the reoccurring dream shared by many... you know the one where the publisher's clearing house people show up at our door with that great big cheque!

I think it's fun to daydream.  Callie and I play a game called dream house.  I say,"my dream house has a massive mudroom with places for summer/fall/winter/spring coats and shoes AND it still has space for our friends to hang their coats when they visit."

Then Callie says, "my dream house has a waterslide."

After we're done one upping each others dream house we finish with what makes us happiest right now... we  were both loving the fact that watermelon was on sale this week.  It always comes down to the little things.

My blog books may not be full of exotic travel photos, grand mansions, famous people or impossible obstacles  to overcome but they are full of the little moments that bring me joy.  I could easily say, "nothing's new this week.  Same old, same old.."   But that wouldn't be true.  Lot's of things happened since last weeks post.  And without trying too hard, happiness could be found in each of them...

Nana and Papa are home from their long and sound and we missed them.
Fantastic Friday night supper with friends...great conversation and the kids had so much fun.
Skiing wind-up party...spring must be coming soon!
Hair cuts for all the girls in the house...we can see Lexi's sweet face again.
The clock sprang ahead an hour...oodles of evening sunshine thought the living room window.
Callie's Kindergarten report card...proud mama and dad
Lexi is fighting off a stomach bug...hmmm, bright side?  Oh ya, extra snuggles for mom.
I caught a head cold...Okay that's it.  No good can come from the mom having a cold!

So, no Nazis to hide from for us, no big cheques being delivered either but we have written our prescription for our cabin fever problem.  Just a little something out of the ordinary.