Weekend at the cottage
We went to a friend’s cottage this weekend, a new experience for all. When you are used to going to a family cottage most weekends, a new cottage can be a little bit scary. I was a little bit nervous, but excited to spend some time with great friends (the other guests) and make some new friends, as our hosts were Willy’s co-worker’s family, they were unknown to me.
We got off to a rough start by forgetting enough things that we had to turn around 20 minutes into the trip, but we managed to arrive well before lunch, as was our plan. I was relieved to see that the hosts were nice (I had an inkling there), and that there cottage matched my expectation of cottage.
We unloaded and headed for the lake. The kids dipped their feet in the lake and explored their surroundings. Goose was a little fish and wandered around the shallow beach, hopping in and out to get toys, float boats and float boats while floating in a boat.
Woo spotted a kayak and was instantly intrigued. He asked if he could sit in it, so we placed him in the boat with a paddle. He was a natural. He did so well, paddling here and there, turning, staying upright! We were all astounded.
The rest of the day was more of the same, time in water, around the water, playing with friends, crafts and running around. We hoped that they wore themselves out, as we were all sleeping in a camper trailer. Bedtime was sub-optimal, but Willy was a hero and took care of the little monkeys, even through the inevitable meltdown for way past tired Woo.
Unfortunately, Sunday morning came really early, our friends wee ones woke (LOUDLY) at 5:15, spelling the end of sleep for us. The monkeys were really good about staying in bed until close to 7:00, much to our relief. This was aided by Woo’s discovery that his pal A was in her bed, RIGHT OUTSIDE HIS WINDOW. Their conversation was really quite cute, and kept the peace for a good forty minutes.
Willy let me have a few extra winks, and headed off with the monkeys. I have no idea what they did for the next hour, but I am all good with that. Sleep was great.
Our gracious hosts made us a wonderful breakfast, and then led us to the local playground. It was an older playground, which meant that it had some cool equipment, stuff that is generally deemed to unsafe to include in our playground. By far the most fun was had on the teeter-toter…
It was an overcast morning, so we stayed at the park for a couple of hours. The adults even got in on the fun by flying kites, something that I haven’t done in years. The camera battery had died at this point, so there are no pictures of this fun.
Upon our return to the cottage, the boys headed out in the peddle boat and the kayaks, while I packed and played with Goose. We had a quick lunch and headed home. The kids lasted about five minutes before nodding off into a happy exhausted sleep!
Time for some cinnamon soup
Last summer Woo went through a finicky phase, right around this point in the summer. The gardens were bursting with fresh produce (ok, ours was occasionally producing a tomato, bean, or leaf of lettuce), and Woo decided that decided that he would not eat vegetables. Not even our staple ingredient, tomatoes. It was time to get creative with new recipes and my hand blender. The nights we failed outnumbered the successes, so we rejoiced in the successes.
Zucchini is one of the vegetables that we were consuming in vast quantities. This suited me, as I could eat grilled zucchini every day. The rest of the family needed a bit of variety in the presentation. I was very excited to find a recipe for pureed zucchini soup. It was simple and flavourful, and a hit with Willy and Woo.
The challenge was that I had to sell it to Woo. It was pretty obvious that it was a vegetable soup. The secret wasn’t the ricotta that was dolloped on top, the pesto drizzle, or the fresh bread for dipping. It was the secret ingredient in the soup. Cinnamon, of course. The little man loved it, and as soon as I called the dish cinnamon soup he was sold. We ate a lot of cinnamon soup last night, all of us grinning at the knowledge that we had put one over on each other.
Tonight we had cinnamon soup again. Goose has been fighting her veggies of late, but LOVES cinnamon…
Wordless Wednesday – Tomfoolery
or how not to get three little peeps to look at the camera at the same time.
Some days the good guys win. Sort of.
Long day today, but one of those days that make me remember why I do what I do, and why I keep doing it. The reality is, I did very little. Instead of heading to the office, I drove to a prison to accompany a client to a parole hearing. She was attending on behalf of her family, the rest of whom were unable to attend. I was attending to support her in any way I could.
She was the picture of strength, silently sitting through a process where the man who murdered her family member was allowed to say whatever he wanted in an effort to convince the parole board that he should be granted full parole. I know that she wanted to defend her loved one, to refute the lies. She could not, as the rules do not allow her to comment on the actual hearing. Instead, she was forced to sit and listen. She did so stoically, needing little from me.
At the end of the long hearing she was given the opportunity to read the statement that she had prepared weeks prior, her victim impact statement. It is a very brief opportunity to share her feelings and her pain in an effort to help the board understand the true impact of homicide. It was raw and honest, given a true reflection of some of the harm felt by this family. We can never know how much or little this statement influenced the board’s decision. They denied this offender’s request today, to the relief of the client and her family.
I am immensely proud of the work that I do to help victims navigate the criminal justice process. In this instance, I offered emotional support, normalized her grief and her ever present anger, held her hand, but most importantly, I made sure that she knew she was not alone. In a process that is so focussed on the offender, this victim needed to know that I was there for her, and only her. Today I did that.
Touch a truck – worth coming home from the lake.
A few months ago I heard about an event in my ‘hood called “Touch a Truck”. It is a half day event that lets kids (big and little) get up close and personal with trucks of all shapes and sizes. The added bonus is that it is a fundraiser for Mothercraft, a local non-profit that supports families! It sounded right up our alley, given that Woo is completely in love with all things truck, and has been for years. He regularly asks us to drive around searching for trucks, just so that we can catch a glimpse!
We knew that we had to go, so started our weekend with an early trip to the cottage that allowed us to come home on Saturday night and still feel like we had gotten a weekend in. It worked, and we had a great day on Saturday frolicking in and around the lake. We left after supper and were home and settled in for the night by nine. It felt like a Sunday night, so it was a bonus that we still had a whole day off today.
We hadn’t told the monkeys our plans, so this morning I teased them with a few details. Woo had a pretty good idea that there would be trucks where we were going, so he was pretty keen and easy to get out the door. We had to drive by the truck set up to find parking and it was impressive! You could hear all the horn honking before you could see the trucks, and then you were on top of them – a massive display of trucks and machines! There were fire trucks, loaders, street sweepers, police vehicles, the bookmobile, buses, street sweepers, army trucks, race cars, tractors and a crane!
We spent the better part of two hours moving from vehicle to vehicle to vehicle, climbing in some, and just checking out others. There were a good number of people there, but most of the lines were not too long, and most of the parents were really good about keeping things moving. I was sad that the kids didn’t get to fully explore every vehicle until they were tired of them, but think that the balance of seeing so many outweighs that. In the end, the only desired one that we missed getting in was the crane. The line for it was far too long, we would not have made it. I think that Woo’s favourite parts were the horns, he’s a honker!
While this day was more for Woo, I was pretty impressed with how happy Goose was with all the trucks, and how eagerly she crawled into the majority of them. She was so happy to be doing something that her big brother was doing too. She is fearless!
I was pretty sad at the quality of the pictures that I took today – I was rushed, I brought the wrong lens, and the auto focus on my DSLR is wonky at times. I did get a goodly number of pictures of the trucks to stick on the digital frame for when Woo is wanting to see pictures of trucks, and there were a couple of decent ones of the kids. None capture the joy that the lil bunnyrabbitz felt today – little stinkers have decided that they don’t smile for the camera anymore!
I started a 365 project this week too.
They say third time is the charm…
Yes, this is the third time that I have attempted to write a blog. I think that I am slightly more committed now, so we will see how this goes. I haven’t quite figured out where I am going with this, but I imagine that there will be a heavy focus on my family, as they are my main focus in life… but also some stuff on me, and my passions. I also need to record some of the crazy things that my littles say and do.
Today my little man, Woo, was trying to avoid his quiet time. This entailed many trips to the bathroom, several calls for new toys and a couple of complaints that his toys were pulling his hair! On one of the trips to the bathroom, he stopped in the hall, patted my belly and asked if there was baby in my tummy. I assured him that there was not. He gave me a sage look and said, “Oh, is it A LOT of lunch then?” He then returned to his room and promptly fell to sleep. Clearly this was weighing on his mind and he needed to get to the bottom of it.