Friday, July 24, 2020

Road Trip Fun

We are on the second day of our road trip today so I'm assuming we are all still doing well.  We are not a family that plays movies in the car (although we do have the iPad so if worse comes to worse, we do have backup).  I'm old school where I think being bored in the car "builds character" and also E has gotten carsick in the past when he has tried reading or colouring so I don't want to risk the screen making him carsick too.

(from last's year camping trip)

So here are some of the things we do in the car:

Find things from our surroundings that start with each letter of the alphabet (i.e. A=animal, B=barn, C=car, etc.)

Find the letters of the alphabet from signs and licence plates

I Spy (although hard in a moving car)

I Got It! which is basically 20(+) questions

Singing - we like soundtracks from Frozen, Trolls, Sing, Mary Poppins, and a new one, Teen Titans Go to the Movies.

Watching the map and setting timers - E has a watch that he can set timers on so if we tell him we will be at our next stop in 45 minutes or whatever, he can set a timer and he enjoys checking in to see the countdown.

Napping and meditation - for real, E once meditated on our whole car ride home from Algonquin. (He learned about mindfulness in SK.)

For this trip I put together little surprise packs of books, toys, games, and candy.  I made equivalent ones for each E and Q and can hand them out when we need a distraction.  I bought a few things at Dollarama but also put in some books and toys we already have.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Out of Office...but not out of Province

We are taking a holiday this week! This was our scheduled holiday anyway although it is not exactly how we planned it.  We are travelling up to Northwestern Ontario to visit my cousins where we will fish, swim, boat, and enjoy the great outdoors.  My family from Nova Scotia was supposed to come up too, along with other family from Ontario, but no one else is able to make the trip, for various reasons.  We were also supposed to fly up but now we will now drive the 1,600 km trip instead. As well, Dave's parents are going to come too since they did not go to Nova Scotia this year as they had planned. We are looking forward to being away, seeing our family, and even the adventure of a road trip.

This is where we are going and I've written about our past trips here.

You can follow along with me on Instagram (@smacto) to see what we are up to.  I have one post tomorrow, and then I'll be back with fresh posts the first week of August. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

Since we will be away next week I'm documenting my What's Up Wednesday today.

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Beer butt chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans
Monday - Shell pasta with pancetta, asparagus, and mint
Tuesday - Sausages and sweet potatoes
Wednesday - Not sure but maybe pick up some fast food
Thursday - We will be the road so we'll grab some take out pizza in Wawa
Friday - Hamburgers when we arrive at our destination
Saturday - hopefully some fresh fish!

What I'm reminiscing about...
Past trips we have taken to Hyatt's.  I went up for the first time when I was 15 with my grandparents and have been a few times since then.  There are many memories of the place with people that are no longer with us.  Like my Uncle Robert (this was in 2014).

And Wayne! (also in 2014)

What I'm loving...
This hair masque. I got it for my birthday and it smells so nice.  I use it about once a week as a special treat. I don't even know how much it actually works, but it reminds me of my trip to San Francisco when we went to Dry Bar, so it makes me happy. 

What we've been up to...
Golfing.  Dave and I golfed twice this month while the boys were out of town. Then Dave has taken E golfing twice, and we have all hit up the driving range. Our goal of being a golfing family is taking shape.

What I'm dreading...
If you're a parent, you're probably thinking the same thing as me - the upcoming school year. What will it look like? Will we be able to find childcare for the days when the children will inevitably be at home (no way they are going back 5 full days a week)?  Will I be back at the office myself?  It's a lot to think about and I feel like we are running out of time for a good plan to be put together and I'm not confident in the government, school board, and unions being about to agree on anything. 

What I'm working on...
You know what it's like when you're going on vacation...people come out of the woodwork for requests just as you're trying to leave the (home) office.  So today will be spent dealing with last minute things and trying to make sure I don't have any obligations while I'm away (although I will be bringing my computer.

What I'm excited about...
Nothing specific other than our trip.  Then just gliding into August, enjoying the summer weather, and hoping that Canada keeps its Covid numbers under control.

What I'm watching/reading...
We just finished up Fleabag on Prime, it was so so funny (and a bit sad)!  We also watched Modern Love on Prime, episodes based on true love stories, and it was also lovely.  Now we are watching Indian Matchmaker when I'm sure is fraught with tons of cultural insensitivity, but I am enjoying it anyway.  It's like Bachelore(tte) but not.

I am reading The Cooking Gene - A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South.  I have always been a fan of Gone with the Wind and have read it so many times, but have been reconsidering how that book was written and its commentary on slavery (mostly acting as though the slaves were just fine before the Civil War and were happy to dote on their white "family" (owners)). This book is giving me a new perspective of the Old South, and does it through food, which is always appreciated. 

What I'm listening to...
John Legend's new album, Bigger Love.  I heard him on Armchair Expert's podcast this week and wanted to check out his new music.  It is lovely.

What I'm doing this weekend...
We will be fishing, swimming, visiting with family, and enjoying the great outdoors. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Hmm, not too much, we don't have anything planned.  Just continuing to enjoy the warm summer weather and happy we are comfortable and healthy in our home and neighbourhood without the need to do too much more than that. 

What else is new...
This hawk and its mate were hanging around our yard for the past few days around 5:00 pm each day.  We thought they were nesting in our front tree but then it didn't really look like a hawk's nest and I think they were actually raiding a squirrel's nest (eek!).  On Tuesday evening, one of them sat in our oak tree out front for awhile and Dave got this great shots.

Linking up with Shay and Sheaffer (if I remember to do it next week!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Weekend Recap

Dave had a tee time for him and E late on Friday afternoon so it was just me and Q for dinner.  I had picked up some pre-made mac and cheese and samosas from Hot Oven Bakery but Q didn't like the mac and cheese.  Then we just hung around the backyard for a bit.

And then we went to our neighbours where they were making ice cream in an antique ice cream maker.  Q got in on the action.

And we all got enjoyed a bowl, including E when he and Dave got back from golf.

Then the kids watched Trolls World Tour in the backyard. 

The next morning we were all a little tired from being up late the night before.  Dave did a bit of work in the morning and we just played around the house.  Then I packed up a picnic lunch to bike High Park. Q fell asleep on the way.

The splash pad was so refreshing.

Ice cream for all.

Since Dave and E were golfing on Friday we moved pizza night to Saturday night.  

We watched a bunch of Ultimate Beastmaster so E was literally climbing the walls.

Get it in ya!

Dave's pizza which he said was the best ever.

Sunday was a hot day and we were expecting a storm so we got out to the driving range early.

I sat out front to watch the storm roll through, this was at the end.

After a nap or two and some movies, the sun came out so we took a quick bike ride, and then got home to make supper - beer butt chicken, roasted potatoes, and green beans. 
Cheers to a great weekend. 

Some chipping practice in the backyard.

We watched a few episodes of Indian Matchmaking on Netflix before bed.  Fascinated by Aparna.

Monday, July 20, 2020

You're Doing Fine

The other day I was running with a group (on Thursday mornings we do a HIIT workout and then a 4K run together) and during the run, one of the ladies said to me "you're really good at running". I was sort of taken aback since I do not think that about myself.  Instead I always feel like I'm running slowly and that I'm barely succeeding.  This is in fact how I think of myself when I'm running (this is Baymax from Big Hero 6):

But isn't it interesting that other people see you in a different way and they don't hear the stories that are going on inside your head.  I was keeping up with the group, holding my stride, getting up that hill (even though I was out of breath at the top), but I keep going.  She thought I was doing great, and I was! I don't run everyday, but I try to run at least once a week and I'd like to keep this going for as long as I can.  I am not the fastest, but I am not the slowest, and I'm a good runner :)

So on that note, remember to pay someone a compliment.  It can really turn someone's day around.  They may be hearing all of the negative stories on their head, and they should hear that they are doing well.  We often compare ourselves to others, which can work to be motivation, but really we are just competing with ourselves, so keep going, you're doing fine!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Favourites

Happy Friday! It's the end of Week 18 with us all being at home together.  Certainly things have changed since March and we are allowed to shop and do more outdoor activities, but we certainly have a long way to go (ahem, the 2020/21 school year plans anyone?).

I wrote about our new summer "schedule" in yesterday's post.  Trying to keep the kids doing non-screen time activities.  I'm not anti-screens, I just don't want them to consume the day so we needed to set some expectations.

We made a couple of bird feeders on Monday and it went exactly as predicted - the squirrels were able to knock them down and ate all the food.  Oh well, squirrels need food too I guess!

We are going on a fishing vacation next week so the boys have been practicing down at the Humber. 

I drew the boys in chalk.   I think it looks pretty good, haha

It kind of reminds me of this "It's a cartoon!" (if you know, then you know)

E got some new golf clubs this week (which means Q gets E's old bag). Dave managed to find a half day golf camp for him to attend in August.  He took the kids out to the driving range this week.

I was a good Mom yesterday and made caramel corn.  I have been wanting to try it for awhile so I told E I would do it when it rained next.  

We visited the High Park Zoo on Thursday morning.  Despite a few rain showers, we had a successful trip. 

If you saw my Instagram story yesterday, you'd have seen my run in with a skunk.  I was sitting outside cooling off after my run and the little guy came around the corner.  I quickly got out of his way without causing too much alarm.  Phew!
This is a still from our Nest cam.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.