Monday, July 22, 2013

Camping with the Cortes, BMX camp 1, Vancouver Day, and other stuff

 We didn't actually spend Canada Day long weekend in Canada - we headed south to go camping in the beautiful Cascades again.  We invited some friends to come too, the Cortes family that we met through Callum's classmate, Matias.  We camped at Gold Basin Campsite, on the Stawagamish River, which allowed us to go on a few decent hikes and enjoy plenty of playing in the water.  Our first day, we tackled the Big Four Ice Caves together - all the kids managed fine and were rewarded with snow at the end (though, no ice caves yet). A little hike to Bear Lake the next day and playing at the river, then the Cortes' left while we stayed another night.  

 Unfortunately, our cameras and phones managed to lose battery power so I didn't get any pics of the Lake Twenty-Two hike we did on our last day.  The boys were real troopers, hiking over 9km with an elevation gain of 3300ft.  For some reason, I underestimated how rigorous it would be, so the boys had a few moments where they just "couldn't go on", but the lake at the top was beautiful and worth the exertion. 

When we got home, Callum and Max participated in a couple Day camps up in Cloverdale - Max at a Sports camp while Callum did another BMX camp with Matias. 

It seems that we may have a yearly tradition of watching the Tour de White Rock bike race.  We order pizza and eat it with Pop and lollypops on the sidewalk.  Very healthy. 

I took the kids to Vancouver this past Friday for another "Adventure", as we call them.  First it was a stop at the Kerrisdale Play Palace, which is basically bouncy-castle center. 

Then it was Granville Island for lunch and the Waterpark. 

 After the Waterpark, we biked to Kitsilano beach, where we met up with Jeff and our friends Julianne, Banyan and Georgia.  Before heading home, we went to this AWESOME taco place, The Taqueria, on Cambie, then the boys completely conked asleep on the ride home.

I've been meaning to take some photos of our blooming garden.  I'm quite happy at how the front is all filling in around the steps.  

My empty vegetable beds aren't completely disappointing as Max planted a lonely pea plant from his Preschool - but look at how prolific the one plant is!  Impressive, Max. 

Watching my tomato plants grow is quite satisfying as well.  Mmmm... can't wait.

 Oh ya, and the carrots that Cindy transplanted from her garden turned out to be a lesson learned - you just can't transplant them.  They turned into these mutant carrots!

Simon thought they were funny too.  He's got some cute faces he makes now, including his scowl.

And while we see some cute Simon faces, here's a few more: 

We went for ice cream at White Rock beach a few days ago and the boys meandered back along the water.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Night Market, Father's Day, End of School!

 It was June for a brief period of time, right?  Well, one Saturday night, Jeff and I met up with our friends, Marc and Zenija, at the Richmond Night market, where I indulged in every kind of fried finger food and the fish-shaped, chocolate and bean stuffed pancake! Mmmm.

One Sunday was Father's Day, where my boys participated in a very appropriate Father's Day activity - washing Daddy's car.

The weather was weird this month - for several weeks we would wake up to grey, stormy weather with sometimes hard downpour rain, but by the afternoon it was hot and sunny!  Perfect gardening weather, really, if I had actually planted a decent garden.  

Anyway... Callum is a playdate addict (in fact, a little background story: I was chatting with a Mom of one of the girls in his class and she mentioned that she hasn't had any playdates for her daughter this year and I just about went into shock!  No Playdates??!!? Callum would need to be admitted to a rehab facility for withdrawal from his playdate addiction if I didn't provide him with a friend to play with at least a few times a week!!!),... and I was happy that it was finally warm enough to pull out the sprinkler and for the boys to do some burying in the gravel with his buddy Beckham.  

 While thinking about it, here's another side story: Callum loves going to school and I can't even remember more than twice that he actually missed a day.  So I was quite surprised one morning a few months ago when he said he didn't want to go.  What?  Well, I got it out of him that his 2 good buddies, Gus and Beckham, were saying less-than sensitive things when they played "mini-sticks" hockey together because they are both on league teams, so they were pretty good, and Callum was not.  We had a little chat about how he could handle the situation, i.e. talk to them about it or play with other friends or just suck it up, and he went to school.  Well, it was definitely a few weeks before he asked for playdates with Gus or Beckham but I was happy when he started asking again and now it seems that the hockey phase has passed... until next season...

Simon, Simon, Simon.  I don't think I have spent enough time sharing tid-bits of information about this little boy.  He screams and hits me a lot.  I mean, a lot.  It is pretty much accepted that anytime I want to put him in his car seat (particularly after dropping his brothers off somewhere that he is not allowed to stay), he will violently oppose my attempts to buckle him up.  Sigh.  On another note, however, he is awfully sweet and resourceful.  He gives me kisses and arm-less hugs by holding his face up against my leg.  He is a dream to put to bed as he requires no stories, no songs, no cuddles, just a blanket and a soother (that he hasn't bit through at all!) and a goodnight kiss.  Although he is perfectly capable of going up and down the stairs himself, he refuses to go down until I piggy-back him down. He still has no words, other than "Umaa, Umaa", though he will sometimes randomly say something like "Hewo" for Hello and "Deedoo" for Thank you.  He now loves raspberries and cheerios, but I can't say that he particularly likes anything else. He just tends to act in complete denial of his true age of 1-year old, believing that he should be able to do everything his 4 and 6 year old brothers can do!

 On June 19th, Callum had his Kindergarten Graduation! Ha ha! There are 3 kindergarten classes, all french immersion, and they got up in the gym to perform all the songs they learned, then they filed out so they could re-enter one by one to receive their "diploma" from their teacher.  Callum had Mme. Paulus for 3 days and Mme. Sproule for 2 days a week, but Mme.Paulus handed him his paper.  Then there was a dessert party in their classroom.  Too cute. 

The following week was Max's last day of Preschool with Wind&Tide, but we actually had it in our backyard since they wanted a Sports Day and his school has no yard.  Races and snacks and fun, though Max boycotted participating in the songs since he was upset that they weren't going to sing Happy Birthday to him (!?!).

On Callum's actual last day of school, I thought I was so original in my idea to take the boys to Menchie's for ice cream - apparently a lot of other Mom's had the same idea since there was a huge line up and kind of a party going on outside!