Thursday, July 11, 2013

For the first time in a long while I put baby Bo down for a nap in my own bed in hopes of a longer nap. So far it is working. He is at times a very calm sleeper.

Buzz and I have spent the afternoon playing with his Playmobil people (a new love of his thanks to his Auntie) and playing outside. More accurately he played outside while I tidied the kitchen and got a load of dishes going. Usually we don't put the dishwasher on until later in the evening due to the cost of hydro during the day, but today the piles of dishes seemed to be towering and so on it goes. 

We have been soaking up the summer as much as we can around here; berry picking, long walks, visits to wading pools, playing in the backyard. The one thing Buzz has been dying to do is camp in the backyard and this is the one thing that has been a little hard to get done. There has been so much rain that the yard is often saturated and far too wet to set the tent up out there and so we finally set it up in the playroom. He was thrilled! We will be leaving it up for a little while as they are having a great time playing in it, this tiny tent was well woth the clearance price. At 5x6 feet it is perfect for indoor campouts.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Paint and Rain

Today the rains came sweeping across our town and the great city of Toronto to the south. Highways were flooded, rivers swelled, we went out to the library. Things here in town were fine only fleetingly touched by chaos. I think we will go searching for puddles tomorrow. Tonight when the rain had calmed a little Buzz took to the curbside to do a little puddle dancing.

Before the rains came today Buzz had a chance to play outside, painting polka dots and swirls with a little chalk paint (cornstarch, food colouring, and water). This is an extremely messy activity, but so much fun, I like to get in on the painting as well.

Hopefully those caught in the flooding waters this afternoon are climbing into warm and dry beds tonight. We are certainly thankful for ours.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


It has been forever since my last post. We hace all grown a little older around here. Our baby is walking, the boy has grown ever so tall. We have moved from our beloved Toronto to a town and we are spending these long summer days exploring sidewalks and trails.

I have much to write about but only fleeting moments in which to do so. For now some photos from the past while, moments of exquisite delight.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the boys

Buzz woke up grumpy this morning. Every morning Ed brings him from his own bed into ours before he leaves for work, he does the same with Bo, thus this morning Buzz woke up to Bo kicking him in his belly. He was not impressed. I moved Bo and told Buzz to close his eyes, have a beautiful dream, and then wake back up with a smile on his face. He did and I took some photos. 

This last one is my favourite. This sums up our mornings, Buzz laughing from jumping on the bed, Bo staring at you with his deep blue eyes, the boys holding hands. In the three months since the arrival of Bo the boys have become close, Bo watches Buzz when he is near, Buzz requests Bo at night when he won't fall asleep, holds his hand when they're together. When they are happy, they are lovely. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

for the love of cars

My boy has a love of cars. The older boy. The young boy so far only has a love of familiar faces, warm baths, and milk.

Back to the older boy and his love of cars. We encouraged it for sure by watching the UK version of Top Gear while Buzz played nearby on his road map rug with his giant collection of tiny cars. We buy him said cars when we are on shopping trips. For $1 and change he is thrilled, we talk about the colour, make, model, and year. This generally provides us with a long conversation (by three year old standards at least). 

Much to our delight Buzz started to recognize cars while we were out and about. Chevrolet, Mercedes,Honda, BMW, car after car he will name them, our version of the billboard alphabet game.

When asked about his favourite car he might tell you Lamborghini, but when asked what he will drive when he gets big, the answer most definitely is a Toyota. My whole family drives Toyotas and so this practical decision is quite likely in his genes. He would probably choose a red Prius just like the little one he often carries in his pocket.

If you look at pictures of Buzz you are likely to see a car in his hand or beside him on the floor, he has one with him at all times. I find them everywhere. The diaper bag, underfoot, the stroller, the car, in my bed, in Buzz's bed, in kitchen cupboards and for certain in the bathtub, they are everywhere lest he need one at a moments notice.

We can't  wait to take him to the car show next year, his eyes will be as big as saucers. My hometown is home to a great many classic cars, some of which are brought out to be shown along the roadside once a year. We were unable to go to see them this year, but when next we go and he is able to see his teeny muscle cars in life size greatness he will likely be thrilled.

While children often go through stages of things they like, their interests changing on a whim, our sons' appreciation for cars has been here since before he could speak. I suspect this interest will stick around for a while.

I bet  his dreams are filled with cars (and hopefully rainbows and unicorns too), he does after all go to sleep surrounded by them. I love that he is so enamored with them, it is endearing and of course endlessly entertaining on road trips.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A few new photos

Today we went on one of our jaunts down to Evergreen Brickworks to take some family photos and let Buzz run around and have some fun. This is the first time we've gone down there with Bo with the intent to take a family photo. I think it turned out great and am planning on getting it printed to put up on our wall. 

The photos of the boys in the circles are actually them sitting in the windowsills of the cob house. The people at Evergreen Brickworks have been working on this cob house for quite a while and I think that it is finally done, it is definitely Buzz's favourite place to play.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Playground Review : Bayview Village Park

When planning an adventure around the greater Toronto area we are often on the lookout for great playgrounds. While any playground can be fun and enjoyable, there are definitely some factors that make them more or less fun for both Buzz and myself (Bo doesn't yet care). Being the type of person who plans our outings I usually like to hop on the internet the evening before and check out whats in a given area. I always look for peoples opinions on local playgrounds, I'm almost always disappointed with the amount of info that is out there.  While you can sometimes find info on the parks in general, information on the playgrounds themselves are lacking and so I'm going to attempt to fill the void.

The format of my playground reviews may change a little as we find things that we love or despise about various playgrounds, but I hope that I can at least give a little insight into the condition, amenities, and general awesomeness of playgrounds around the city. I will do my best to include some photos, although they will most likely be from my phone as opposed to to the camera.

First up is our playground of choice for this evening : Bayview Village Park.

Location : On the east side of Bayview Ave, north of Sheppard.

This park is within walking distance to the Bayview stop on the Sheppard Subway Line. If you are driving to the park there is a parking lot which has about 25 spaces.We've only been here a couple times, but both times we were able to get a parking spot without any problems. As this park is surrounded by a residential area I suspect a lot of people walk over.

From a parents point of view I think the best thing about this park is that it has a fence separating it from Bayview Ave. Without the fence it would be unplayable as the playground equipment is located fairly close to the road. The fence runs all along the west side of the park and seems to generally contain the kids.

There are three separate play structures with slides, they seem to be for toddlers, young kids, and older kids as they are three different sizes.  I suspect that they  have been there for a while as they are made of wood, not metal and plastic like is commonly seen in most playgrounds. They are all pretty simple structures, but the kids seem to enjoy them. The surface under the playgrounds are either covered in sand or soft rubber. The sand is not deep enough to play in and is closer to teeny pebbles in some areas.

This park has a splash pad!! The sprinklers are in a concrete pad and the button to turn them on was difficult for the toddlers to activate, but all the kids running around seemed to the enjoy the water. The sprinklers are pretty basic, the only structure on the splash pad is a water tower, no water spouting animals or cat tails here. We were here around dinnertime and the splash pad was mostly shaded which was nice. The splash pad seems to be wheelchair accessible, however most of the playground is not all that wheelchair friendly.

Unfortunately the age of this playground is starting to show, there is some minor graffiti on some things, the benches could use a coat of paint, and the water fountain was leaking terribly. Despite the age and basic play areas this park has a lot going for it. The fence allows parents with more then one kid to watch them comfortably. There are plenty of shady or sunny places for a picnic, playing with a ball, or general running around. There are a decent amount of places to sit and even washrooms (albeit port-a-johns not large enough to fit a stroller).  This is a park that we will probably return to as it is near some shops that we frequent. I think that when it was first built the park would have been great, shiny and new is always better than tired and old. It could use some updating and a little maintenance, although I didn't see any trash around, the play areas seemed dusty and a little dirty.

Above all else this park is pretty average, it has some really good things going for it, but it is also fairly boring looking. Sometimes boring is great for kids, it develops their imaginations, however sometimes its just plain boring. This park leans a little more towards just plain boring.

This park has:

-3 play structures with slides.

-2 other structures with monkey bars and rings to swing from.

-5 picnic benches and 4 park benches within the playground area. More benches can be found on the outskirts of the big fields.

-Large open field

-Tennis courts

-Baseball diamond

-2 port-a-johns (not wheelchair accessible)

-concrete splash pad

-shaded grass area

-fence (not gated)

-parking lot

-2 child swings

-1 toddler swing

-1 accessible swing with asphalt leading up to it.

-1 drinking fountain (not working well when we were there).

 Score : 4/10