25 Days of Christmas

3 Dec



Well it’s that time of year again and the count down is on! The countdown to Christmas has started and so has my families #25daysofchristmas advent calendar that was started by my friend Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fishbowl  

We have had great fun as a family with this version of the 25 days of Christmas and are excited about doing it again this year for the third year in a row.  You can find the activities we did last year over here


With a 2.5 year old and an 8 month old here are the activities we will be doing this year….


Saturday December 1- Daddy’s Christmas Party

Sunday December 2- swimming at Mommy’s work

Monday December 3-ice cream sundae desserts

Tuesday December 4- write letter to Santa

Wednesday December 5- bake sugar cookies

Thursday December 6- make paper snowman and decorate

Friday December 7- make your own pizza and movie night

Saturday December 8- biodome

Sunday December 9- decorate Christmas tree

Monday December 10- bake gingerbread cookies

Tuesday December 11- make snowflakes

Wednesday December 12- tubes and jujubes

Thursday December 13- Santa craft

Friday December 14- Christmas Movie and picnic dinner

Saturday December 15- Parc Omega

Sunday December 16- Museum of Civilization & Kids Museum

Monday December 17- visit library

Tuesday December 18- make gingerbread house

Wednesday December 19- taffy lane

Thursday December 20- snowy walk

Friday December 21 colour xmas sheets

Saturday December 22- see Santa

Sunday December 23- swimming Gatineau

Monday December 24- open 1 present

Tuesday December 25- Santa comes!! 


It is so fun now seeing our son get really excited about different activities and watch his eyes light up.  I can’t wait to see his amazement Christmas morning!!



Sesame Halloween

30 Oct


We went to the Museum of Civilization on Saturday morning for some Sesame Street fun.  We had a great time and lucked out by ensuring we were there early and beating a lot of the crowds.  Of course Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby were the highlights for many there was still some great other fun to be had….and we got to meet all three of them! Cookie  and pumpkin decorating stations were set up as well.  With kids in costumes and Halloween celebrations underway it was definitely fun for the whole family.





Keeping Busy and Having Fun!

29 Oct

Fall is here in full force and even though we are sad that Summer is over we are taking Fall head on! September has always felt somewhat of a New Year and fresh start for me. Back to a routine with scheduled activities and classes, my business really picks back up, we start looking at the year ahead for travel plans and commitments, etc.

With a new fabulous nanny three days a week who likes to take the children to activities and with our regular scheduled activities on the other days we definitely needed a calendar this September to keep track of where we are going and when!

Here are some of the fun activities that Dominic is participating in throughout the Ottawa area……

1. Ontario Early Years Family Literacy Centre
This is a wonderful place that Dominic has been enjoying as part of his every Monday morning routine. They go to the one at Cambridge school. Set up like a preschool or kindergarten classroom children are welcome to go around to various stations or free play. For ages 0-5 and available 9-2 Monday to Friday it is enjoyed by many.

Swim lessons- With numerous swim lesson options with the City of Ottawa and Gatineau we decided to take part in both for twice the fun! Monday’s evenings Dom participates in a low ratio swim class. With only 3 children and one fab teacher it has been well worth the extra money!  Thursday mornings he also participates in a parent and tot swim class with our wonderful caregiver. The class is en francais and he has tons of fun.  Because Gatineau programs are soooo cheap (well in comparison to what we are used to paying in the past for other programs) we have also noticed that classes fill up very very fast. We were lucky to get in to a class!

Making Music Together – Tuesday mornings at the Old Town Hall is a popular spot for children ages 0-4. With the first class filling up they quickly added a second due to the demand.  Dominic enjoys play with instruments, exploring music and singing in songs.  According to our caregiver he also enjoys playing with the other children and sometimes flirting a little bit with another little girl!

Monkey Rock– Wednesday mornings the kids and I head over to Monkey Rock in the Glebe for 45 minutes of singing, dancing, moving, drumming, shaking and more!  Their are smiles on the kids faces the entire time and even little Bella really enjoys the class. This is a fantastic class for children of all ages.

Gatineau Library- The Gatineau Library offers a fantastic program for toddlers that Dominic has been enjoying for almost a year now. They enjoy 30 minutes of story time, a craft that connects to the story and then some songs and an activity. He always comes home with a wonderful craft, an extra colouring sheet to do with the story and excited about the stickers he has received.

Gymnastics– Jumping today mommy? Time for gymnastics? This is quite often a question heard in our home as we love the program at the Ottawa Gymnastics Club.  I have taken children to various gymnastics programs and centres and the one at the Ottawa Gymnastics Club in Westboro has been the best. Structured so the children are learning new skills while still having fun.

Soccer- who wouldn’t want to run around in a room with 2 year olds and a hundred soccer balls being kicked around?! ha!  This 45 minute program is held at an outdoor park on nice fall days and inside a community centre if the weather is not cooperating.  For under $40 this has been a program enjoyed by the whole family as its time for Dominic to socialize with other children, be active and have fun as we participate together.

We are already looking at Winter registrations (gah! Already….I know!!) and are excited for some new programs.  So what programs do you enjoy with your little ones?

Summer is the New Fall!

2 Oct

I will admit it. There was a time in my life that Fall was my favourite season. The crisp air, leaves turning colour, wrapped up in a warm sweater. But I’ve had a change of heart. My break up with Fall started around the time I had my first baby and the love affair with summer become full on and heated this year. With two kids under 28 months there is always fun to be had. Hubby and I are exploring parts of Ottawa and events that we never even knew existed! This summer kicked butt! We had a jam packed summer and I’m sad to see it go. I have already brainstorming all the fun for next year!

Here are some of our highlights from this summer……

*Meech lake- hidden gem, quiet beach, beautiful scenery and all of our friendly Chelsea neighbours!

*Mont Cascade- seriously we were here ALL summer! I think they lost money on our summer memberships 😉

*CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic- we will definitely be there again next year! Day full of fun, trucks, games, rides, face painting and friends!

*Lac Leamy- clean beach, nice water, play structure, walking paths, lots of space and BBQ pits. Oh and sun!!

*RCMP Musical Ride- what little kid doesn’t love watching horses, people jump out of PLANES! and parachute, fresh lemonade, and an evening of fun. This was definitely worth the extra late bedtime.

*Granby Zoo- this was our second summer going and we will be back! I think this will always be a summer constant for the kiddies! Day of animals AND waterslides! The lazy river was definitely a water favorite and seeing all the zebras and elephants!

*Splash Pads! We love visiting City of Ottawa and Gatineau splash pads probably more than wading pools right now. Mostly due to the fact that the toddler can roam a bit more free and is more happy running around the splash pad then a wading pool that has larger children and deeper water.

*Lombardy Fair- ugh it was a hot day. Hot, Hot, Hot! But how could we miss introducing Dom to a country fair that I never missed as a child?!

*Playdates- oh were these ever fun! Rotating parks and friends homes. Full of sunscreen, children’s laughter and mom’s spending some quality time together.

To my brother…..

27 Sep

Dear brother,

Some thoughts to share with you…..

I drive down the road to dads and right before I turn on to his road I look down the other way. I think “that’s where it happened.” I can’t drive there without thinking of the horrible day.

I look at the sweet baby girl I have been blessed with and wish that you would have been able to hold in her your big strong arms like you did to her older brother.

I think how you are supposed to still be here to protect this sweet girl as she grows up and scare away all the boys. I had many hopes of how you would be involved in my child’s life should I ever have a baby girl. But you are not here on this earth. Because you can’t do it we asked Chris to by her godfather. The next best thing to you. You grew up together, played together, got into mischief together, became men together. It just seemed right. I want my daughter to know about you. How wonderful and amazing you were.

I still get emails from a hotel as a preferred guest addressed to you from
when I booked a hotel for you when you went with friends to Montreal. It’s like if I hit “unsubscribe” it’s another way to make it permanent that you are not here. Not that it’s not already horrifically permanent enough. But every few months an email comes in….Dear Dan…..

I have a lot of your old report cards and some things from school. Don’t worry I won’t show them to anybody. They are safe and sound in your own personal file. I know you wouldn’t want anybody to look at them but man did you ever do good in gym and tech. Math & science…..mmmm….not your thing?! 😉

I just bought Dominic some more zip up pj’s. You know…the ones with the feet in them? Every time I zip them up I think of the time when you were his age and you zipped up a little too fast and kind of snagged your man parts. Eeek! Sorry bud….must have reeaaaaalllly hurt! I think you learned to zip slowly after that.

You know I like my chicken fried….cold beer on a Friday night…..a pair of jeans that fight just right and the radio up….. This song reminds me of you. It pops into my head randomly, I love playing it on my iPod and sometimes the kids and I have dance parties to it.

Some days go by fast and some seem a little bit longer. One thing that doesn’t change is that you are thought of often, still loved to the moon and back and missed largely.



13 Sep

Lately in my house life is about pirates.  Playing with pirate playmobil, watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates on Disney Jr and imaginary play with pirates (who somehow always end up driving some truck through the sand).

So of course there was much excitement when Little Tikes sent us this wonderful Little Tikes Play and Scoot Pirate Ship.

We received the delivery after a long day of playing, swimming and eating dinner out but when Dominic saw the picture on the box waiting on the front step there was no way we were going straight to bed. “Pirate mommy, play mommy, pirate!”

The box was ripped open in 2 seconds. Okay well about 5 minutes as it was packaged well and I had a 2 year old jumping all excited, a 2 month old wanting to be fed and just go to bed and me with a pair of scissor jabbing through packing tape. Daddy was driving in his own car since we had two vehicles at dinner. His car is without air conditioning but sometimes I think about trading my air conditioning for being able to play my music as loud as I want or having extreme quiet while I drive without 2 littles in the back! and…..I have gotten off track of this posts topic 😉

The pirate ship was assembled with little hands eagerly “helping” and there were many shrieks of excitement.  Luckily it did not take long for daddy to put together.

Dominic immediately was intrigued that he could actually ride on it.  On he got and away he went! To the kitchen to get his nightime bottle! He was quite creative and found a nice little holder for his bottle on the front of the ship.

This pirate ship has been a toy of interest since it came through our front door.  With the seat of the ship lifting up and allowing for some storage of small toys underneath it I am continually finding new things that have been hidden inside. It continues to amaze me how kids can put something somewhere and a week later go right back and remember where they had “hidden” it.

I am also a big fan of toys that “grow” with the child.  Baby girl, 6 months, is already enjoying leaning against it as she learns to stand.  I can see her sitting on it in another 4-5 months and her big brother pushing her around!

Disclaimer: The Play n Scoot Pirate Ship was sent to me. I did not purchase the product. I was not compensated in any other manner for this review and post and all opinions are my own!

Bedtime Shenanigans

2 Sep

We used to have a bedtime routine. Dinner, bath, tv, books, mama snuggles & milk, then some daddy snuggles and sleep.  Daddy would stay with Dom until he drifted off into lala land sometime around 7p.m.  Bedtimes around here have been calm and full of snuggles.  They are still calm but definitely not our regular 7p.m. As Dom is getting older and much smarter our evenings are going something like this…..





“SNACK!” “MAMA SNACK!” “TOAST! DADDY TOAST!” “RAISIN TOAST” (our child has been eating those cranberry orange pita’s like crazy!! He easily eats 3 a day!)

Bedtime (or so we attempt!) Wide awake still 30 minutes later……..


Adam- “no Dom you don’t need juice, its bed time.”


Adam- “no Dom go to sleep.”

“K Daddy”

**insert quiet here**

Approx 5 minutes later…….

“Watch! Cars Daddy! Watch Now! I watch now…k?”

*out of the bedroom comes Dominic with Adam in two”

“SOSO (how Dom says Oso from Disney Jr) mama, watch!”

*this is where Adam informs me that once again our son is wide awake at 8p.m. and is nowhere near ready to go to sleep. However was more than ready an hour ago when we initially put him down.*

So we all snuggle and watch tv while our son demands snack after snack.  We think he is obviously going through a growth spurt. We have modified nap times to see if earlier naps, later naps, no naps, etc. will help with the bedtime routine.

For now we have decided that we will take the extra one on one time we have with our little man in the evenings and enjoy it before he decides he is too cool for his parents and snuggles!

Sometime around 9 (or 10, or……) we get this….