Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trip to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Yesterday Noah, Dan, Emily, Dave and I went to the Ex. It was an absolutely beautiful day for it!
Noah enjoyed the petting zoo. He is mostly over the anxieties he incurred from his "bad turkey experience" in Paris. He pet a pig and a goat, but rightfully kept himself at a safe distance from the animals for the most part.

We thought that since he was so into the rides at Centre Island, he would be into the rides at the CNE. No, not this day. We tried to take him on the rides in the kiddie area, but even though he initially seemed to want to go, he ultimately did not. He was intrigued by the Ferris wheel (he has seen it in his "Go Dog Go" book). Emily and I lined up to take him on it. While he was very anxious to get on the Ferris wheel (and annoyed at having to wait in line), once we actually climbed onto the ride he changed his mind. I tried to get him to sit down beside me anyway, thinking 'He'll be fine in a minute'. However, through his Mommy where are you's the ride operator stated "I'm not supposed to let them ride if they're acting this way". Yeah....I guess taking a very upset, almost 2-year-old on a Ferris wheel would NOT be a good idea! Too funny!

Jacob (in Noah language "Bapee" - that's long a sound followed by long e sound) was working at the Pizza Pizza all day. We visited him on his break. Noah thought Jacob's pizza slice looked yummy, so big brother gave it to him.
It was a very overwhelming and exhausting day for Noah: the heat, the loud rides, the crowds, the random Canadian Military parade which included people on crazy-faced floats (or military trucks) throwing plastic necklaces into the crowd. He did extremely well with it all.
He cheered up quite a bit when we told him we were going to go eat dinner. (Here he is pictured above with his big sister and Dave, going across the bridge into Ontario Place. How sweet is this?) We went to a nice restaurant at Ontario Place. It seems to be the only place in the area where you can order non-greasy food. It is called the Marina Grille, and it is located right beside the Cinesphere.
Jacob finally got off work at 9pm, after a 12-hour shift. Noah rode his first and only ride of the day with Jacob just before we left. Actually, it was the ride Noah first wanted to go on when we got to the Ex: The Choo Choo Train. Unfortunately, at that time it was not working. Luckily, it was all fixed and running as we walked by it to exit the grounds. Big brother won dibs to ride with him!
He was absolutely exhausted at this point, as you can clearly see! He still enjoyed the ride though!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Terrible Twos

This is how I found Noah one morning. I ran to get the camera!

I have recently been reading a lot on this phenomenon, since I am currently in the midst of it with my 23-month-old son. And, I have to say that merely reading about it is THE best strategy I have found in dealing with Noah's highly emotional, highly irrational psychotic episodes -er - I mean - quests for independence. Why? Because the worst part of these tantrums is that I'm never sure if I'm dealing with them in the right way. Enter mother's guilt. Did I cause the meltdown?  Am I perpetuating the meltdown? Am I reacting in a way that will ease him through this phase?

Having now read about the terrible twos, I at least know that this is a normal period of development. Sure, I knew this superficially before, but when you're a stay-at-home mom dealing with a child having perhaps 20 of these meltdowns per day, you need to be reminded of this. The article I found most informative on this subject is by pediatrician Dr. Greene. He states the following in response to a frazzled parent's letter:  "Children of perfect parents (if there were such a thing!) would still need to go through the developmental phase your son is going through. Ideal children do NOT always agree with their parents. Ideal parenting does not prevent the "Terrible Twos" -- it helps children navigate them." ( http://www.drgreene.com/qa/terrible-twos?pagination=show ) It is helpful, as a parent, to read this and know that this is actually a healthy behaviour in your child. (Believe me, it looks anything but healthy!)
Greene goes on to explain "...an irresistible urge to make his own choices began to well up inside him. This is an exciting development, but the difficulty with his making an independent choice is that he must disagree with you in order for the choice to be his own." Aha! This explains why reverse psychology works so well with Noah! More importantly though, it helps me to understand his need to have  some control over decisions made. He is starting to see himself more and more as his own person, separate from mommy and daddy. He needs to feel that he has some say; that we respect his need to confirm his unique identity.

Dr. Greene's advice is to offer your child 2 or 3 choices, when possible. But he warns: "Your son still needs the security of knowing that he's not calling all the shots. When it's time to eat, say something like, "Would you rather have a slice of apple or a banana?" He feels both the reassuring limits that you set and the freedom to exercise his power within those limits." In recent days, I have been trying this strategy, and it has definitely minimized some of the meltdowns. For example, Noah became angry when I told him he couldn't go in a certain direction at the park. I explained to him that I didn't want him to go towards the road where the cars were because it was dangerous. Then I gave him the choice of two other directions he could go in. Success.

Upon our arrival home, I tried to take Noah out of the wagon. "Neeeooooo!!!" he said irritably. I was going to just take him out - he has no choice, right? Then I thought better of it and created some choices for him. I asked him if he wanted to get out now, or if he wanted to wait until I pulled it over to the window (before I put it out on the balcony). He went with choice number two. No fuss. I know there are times when it is really impossible to give choices, or perhaps times when we as parents are just too tired to think of choices, but for the most part offering choices will make the situation go much more smoothly.
Me? Cause a fuss? Pffft!

There's another technique I've tried that works well with Noah (sometimes, not always). Let me give you the scenario first: Noah asks to go to the playground. I say yes, and try to get his shoes on (or, ask him to get his shoes). He says no. I tell him he needs his shoes on if he wants to the playground. He still says no, even when I tell him we cannot go to the playground then. I do something else, telling him to let me know when he's ready to get his shoes on. This is giving him the power to decide when something happens.

I have to say though, that in recent days, Noah has stepped it up a notch, and this technique is not working as well. I have had to give him different choices of playgrounds, and he's even becoming picky about which playground we go to! Offering him a plum in the wagon, on the way to the playground, worked for a while. Crackers worked for a while. I guess the bottom line in this scenario is to keep the ideas novel and fresh, so that they are distracted from the power struggle and are instead focused on the activity.

Are there any other moms out there who have ideas to share? I would LOVE to hear them! I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Finger, One Thumb, Keep Moving

ONE FINGER, ONE THUMB (We learned this one from the Early Literacy Centre.)



One finger, one thumb, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, keep moving
We'll all be merry and bright
(Move your index finger and thumb throughout the verse)

One finger, one thumb, one arm, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, keep moving
We'll all be merry and bright
(Move your finger, thumb and arm throughout the verse)

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, keep moving
We'll all be merry and bright
(Move your finger, thumb, arm and leg at the same time)

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head, keep moving
We'll all be merry and bright
(Move your finger, thumb, arm, leg throughout the verse. Nod your head once when singing the part.)

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head and a sound like this, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head and a sound like this, keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, a nod of the head and a sound like this, keep moving
We'll all be merry and bright
(Same as the last verse, but add a silly sound after singing "a sound like this")

The Alphabet Wall

My home has slowly, over the last 2 years, been taken over by children. However, I think I have reached a whole new level of tackiness with the alphabet wall. It is my wall of glory/shame. It is great for my home daycare, I just can't have adults visit anymore! I guess it is the teacher in me that compelled me to do it. Still, I don't regret it.

There are two long strips of Velcro on a laminated backing, which contain enough space for the complete set of alphabet cards to stick to. The alphabet cards are also laminated and have Velcro on the back.
Truthfully, the kids aren't that into it yet. (A little surprising, since Noah is very into the alphabet. Just not this representation of the alphabet, I guess!). Noah likes to just rip them all down, which is why I usually keep the cards in the closet. I ask them now and then if they want to put the ABC's up. They are into it for about four letters, then tire of it. I am so glad it is up and there for the future though; when they are ready, I am ready!
Noah and Aidas have seen a little bit of the movie "Up" (as much as their attention spans could take). The DVD was a gift from Noah's Nanny. The CD case has been hanging around our living room, and they keep bringing it to me to talk about the "boons" (balloons), the dog, and the little boy pictured on the front. They know that the movie is called "Up", and I show them the letters on the front that spell this. Today I spelled "UP" on the wall with the alphabet cards, and showed the kids how it was the same as the letters on the CD case. They thought that was pretty cool!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Planning a Birthday Party for a 2-year-old

This weekend, Noah got to go to his buddy Hollis's 1st birthday party. Happy birthday, Hollis!

On the left: Not impressed with the singing of "Happy Birthday". On the right: Mommy Hien feeding her boy.

In one more month, Noah will turn 2, and we will throw a little party for him too. I wasn't sure exactly what a party for a 2-year-old should look like, so I looked for some advice on the net. Here are some tidbits of advice from cyberspace that I will be taking into account when planning Noah's party.


  • "By the age of two, guests will appreciate a little goody bag." (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/traditions/2yrpartyguide/) I know from the 3 kids' parties we've been to, that Noah did really enjoy the loot bag. It's nice for all the children to get a little treat, especially after watching their peer open gifts!


  • "Just keep the party short to avoid a house full of cranky toddlers." (http://www.chiff.com/entertain/2-year-old-party.htm) Everyone discussing this topic seems to offer this advice! I think 2 hours is the maximum amount of time a party for a 2-year-old should be. They just get overstimulated after a while, with all the commotion.


  •  "Two-year-olds don't have a long attention span, so don't plan too many structured activities," (http://www.momstoday.com/articles/birthday-time/happy-second-birthday-4939/) I was looking at some websites recommending games like 'Pass the Parcel' and 'Simon Says'. Really??!! The two-year-olds I know would not play these games, at least not in the traditional sense. 'Pass the Parcel' would entail one child running down the hall with the parcel, and the other children trying to tear it away from him. There would probably be biting involved. Simon Says would go like this, "Simon says clap your hands. Now stomp your feet. Oops, Simon didn't say to stomp your feet! You're all out." Poor confused children. No, I think the best tip for planning a party for a child this young is: Keep it simple! I see it as a larger, more organized playdate.


  • '"Don't worry if your child has a meltdown, refuses to eat cake or is just generally disinterested in the whole event." Dabek reminds us that toddlers can be unpredictable. "If you relax, have fun and don't set too many expectations for the party, you will have a much happier outcome!"'  (http://www.momstoday.com/articles/birthday-time/happy-second-birthday-4939/3/)  
I have yet to plan this party, so I am still mulling over a lot of ideas. Once I have had the party, I will add my own tips to this list, based on what went well at the party. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Traffic Signs

I decided to make "Stop" and "Go" signs with the kids. They already know their basic colours, and they know from books we read that green means go, and red means stop. They are also noticing stop signs during our walks. I figured this would be a good way to solidify the knowledge they have about traffic signs or lights, and make the print that goes with the signs (or at least the stop sign) more familiar to them. The alphabet must be overwhelming to kids, so if I can find fun, non-threatening ways for them to interact with print, I can lay a positive foundation for later reading.

I cut out of bristleboard two octagon shapes and two circles. I gave them the red paint for the octagons first. They merely dotted their paintbrushes a few times on the shapes, so I 'helped' them paint them in. It went similarly when painting the circles green. They got a little more into painting when I took the shapes away and gave them a few other colours to work with, but it was still a pretty short-lived activity.


When the painted shapes dried I glued large popsicle sticks to them. In front of them, I wrote "STOP" on the two stop signs and "GO" on the two green circles and then gave one of each sign to each of them. They proceeded to go up and down our long hallway holding both signs up at once and yelling "STOP!" (Noah's version of 'stop' is "paaaa." He seems to begin with the last consonant for some words.)


Anyway, I still have to admit they are not crazy about painting. Aidas is definitely more into it than Noah, though. They are still young though, and their tastes seem to change week by week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Adventures in Kidland

Teething troubles. Noah seems particularly bothered by his brand new molars coming in. When you think about it, it's gotta hurt! Poor guys. Here they are, sucking on teething toys from the fridge.

We went to the "Choo Choo Playground", commonly known as Vine Parkette. It is really a beautiful playground, with an abundance of children's toys (including ride-ons and sand-box toys). The Junction is such a child-friendly neighbourhood that these toys remain at the park. The special feature of this playground is that it is right by the train tracks. It is so exciting for the kids to see the trains go by! In this picture, Noah is watching a train chugging slowly along.


As if seeing 3 trains was not enough excitement, we also saw a tractor. It was there to sweep the baseball diamond.

We watched that tractor intently for a very very long time!

The Hokey Pokey

THE HOKEY POKEY (I simplify it a bit for this age group. Begin by standing in circle.)



You put your one hand in (put one hand in the middle of the circle)
You take your one hand out (put your hand behing you)
You put your one hand in (put the same hand back in)
And you shake it all about (shake your hand)
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around (turn yourself around until you're facing the middle of the circle again)
And that's what it's all about! (one clap after this line)

Repeat with: one foot, head, whole self

Ring Around the Rosie

RING AROUND THE ROSIE
(I use "husha" instead of "ashes" because the origin of the song kind of creeps me out. Kids LOVE this song and its actions!)



Ring around the rosie
A pocket full of posies (Hold hands and walk around in circle)
Husha! Husha! (Stop walking, but keep holding hands)
We all fall down! (Fall down!)

Old Macdonald - Letter Recognition

OLD MACDONALD (An old favourite! I don't normally encourage the kids to sing while eating, but thought it would be a better way to demonstrate on camera how we are linking letters with sounds in songs.)



Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O (point to each letter as you clearly sing it)
And on his farm he had a cow (show picture of, or toy of)
E-I-E-I-O (point to letters)
With a moo moo here
And a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O (point to letters)

For those NOT familiar with the song, you can choose different animals and animal sounds for different verses.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here is the Hive

HERE IS THE HIVE (I learned this at the Mother Goose Program at the Ontario Early Years Centre. The kids still love it, after a year!)





Here is the hive (Make a fist with one of your hands, knuckles facing up)
But where are the bees?
They're hiding away, where no one sees
Open the hive and look inside (Turn fist over)
One, two, three, four, five (Straighten one finger at a time)
Bzzzzzz! (Tickle! Just below the neck gets a giggle out of most kids!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preschool

I have been trying, here and there, to show the kids how to use a glue stick to glue shapes to paper. So far, they are interested, but in the very basic elements of the activity rather than the finished product. Aidas likes to dig his finger into the glue stick. He has also experimented with trying to tear the foam shapes apart. Noah likes to feel the glue on the paper, and also enjoys tearing shapes off the paper after they have been glued on. Clearly, it's a little early for them to enjoy the activity in its traditional form!

Aidas likes when we drive a car over each letter of the alphabet as we sing our ABC's. We've focused on the capital letter "B" this week; noticing it in books, toys, and signs during our outings.

This is an activity I had purchased in my early days as a teacher. It is a sorting activity containing different coloured cars, trains, buses, airplanes, boats and fire trucks. Sometimes they like to just play with them. Other times, they have opted to "sort them" in a sense. One day they would be into the boats, and would collect all the boats. Another day it would be the school buses. In the past few weeks though, they have been getting VERY good at sorting by colour. They can say all the basic colours, and usually pick the right one when I ask for a particular colour. Their mistakes make sense too. They sometimes mix up purple and blue, or red and orange.  

I cannot believe how these boys are growing so much before my very eyes! At the end of this month it will be one year since I have been caring for Aidas! What a wonderful little boy, and such a good friend to my son. They are the ultimate brothers in cuteness! Come September, we kick it into high gear again at the daycare, with 20-month-old twins joining the team. No more lazy days of summer for me!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ooo Aaa Went the Little Green Frog

Ooo Aaa Went the Little Green Frog
 (I've heard this one many different places. Kids like it because you can make really silly sounds and they find it fun to watch you contort your face. You can use any old sounds you like. You can use different vowel sounds or a vowel sound with a silly sound.)

video
Ooo aaa went the little green frog one day
Ooo aaa went the little green frog
Ooo aaa went the little green frog one day
But he didn't go ooo ooo aaa
Cause we all know frogs go (Clap)
La di da di da (Raise hands while wiggling thumb and fingers)
La di da di da (Raise hands while wiggling thumb and fingers)
La di da di da (Raise hands while wiggling thumb and fingers)
We all know frogs go (Clap)
La di da di da (Raise hands while wiggling thumb and fingers)
They don't go ooo ooo aaa

The Key to the Kingdom

THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM
(I learned this one by attending the Mother Goose program with Noah at the Early Years Centre.)

video

This is the key to the kingdom (thumb up)
And this is the kingdom (Arms wide apart, palms inward)
And in the kingdom, there is a town (Arms closer together, palms inward)
And in the town there is a street (One arm straight out, palm out)
And on the street there is a hill (Move palm facing away from you)
And on the hill there is a house (Fingers meet over head, elbows out to make a triangle)
And in the house there is a room (Hands apart, palms inward, as if about to clap)
And in the room there is a bed (Thumbs together, rest of hand pointing up - make square shape with hands)
And on the bed there is a basket (Cup hands together, palms upward)
And in the basket there is a blanket (Fold one hand over the other)
And under the blanket...there's a little baby! (Open hands up again - same as basket gesture)

(For the next part, just do the actions in reverse)
Baby under the blanket
Blanket in the basket
Basket in the bed
Bed in the room
Room in the house
House on the hill
Hill on the street
Street in the town
Town in the kingdom
And THIS is the key to the kingdom!

BINGO Song

BINGO (Noah and Aidas have been fans of this song for a while. It is on one of our children's cd's. Though you can't see it in the video, we have the letter cards in front of us. Both of them take turns turning them over, and then I clap above the overturned card. I'm just hoping to familiarize them with some of the letters in the alphabet in a fun way. Start with all 5 letters facing up, and make sure that they are right side up to the kids.)


video


There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
(Slap your hand just under each letter as you say it - just make sure they can still see the letter as you do this)
And BINGO was his name-o

There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o

(Clap) -I-N-G-O, (Clap) -I-N-G-O, (Clap) -I-N-G-O,
(Clap your hand over the overturned "B", and slap your hand just under each of the rest of the letters as you say them)
And BINGO was his name-o

There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
(Clap, clap) -N-G-O, (Clap, clap) -N-G-O, (Clap, clap) -N-G-O,
(Clap your hand over the overturned "B" and then over the overturned "I", and slap your hand just under each of the rest of the letters as you say them)
And BINGO was his name-o

There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
(Clap, clap, clap) -G-O, (Clap, clap, clap) -G-O, (Clap, clap, clap) -G-O,
(Clap your hand over the overturned "B" and then over the overturned "I" and "N", and slap your hand just under the "G" and the "O" as you say them)
And BINGO was his name-o


There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
(Clap, clap, clap, clap) -O, (Clap, clap, clap, clap) -O, (Clap, clap, clap, clap) -O,
(Clap your hand over each overturned letter and slap your hand just under the "O" as you say it)
And BINGO was his name-o

There was a farmer had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
(Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap), (Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap), (Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap),
(Clap your hand over each overturned letter)
And BINGO was his name-o


















Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fish Stick Recipe

Note: Outdated picture
Our daily schedule at the home daycare has changed slightly. You can see the new schedule by looking under the "Pages" heading to the right of the home page.

Other things are changing slightly, such as the menu. As you all know, toddlers can be very picky eaters, and what they like one day might differ from what they want to eat the next day. I am broadening the menu, as I find new ideas to keep them interested in mealtime. So keep your eye on the menu "page", as I will be periodically updating it.

Some of you may have read an earlier post about the safety of canned tuna. I did try giving them tuna sandwiches in the end. I figured, after researching information on this topic, that it was far healthier to include tuna, in moderation, than to completely omit it for fear of high mercury content. It turns out, they are not into trying tuna sandwiches right now! I can try again in a few weeks, or I can try a different presentation of the tuna, perhaps in a casserole. My main goal with the tuna was to get them eating Omega-3 fatty acids, which are supposed to be very important to brain development. For information of their benefits, see the sites below.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/articles/intelligenceandmemory/omega_three.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid

The reason I had chosen to serve them tuna was because I thought they would immediately like it. I guess I introduced it too late. So, I have been thinking about other ways for the kids to get Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. One thing I did was to buy Omega-3 eggs, which they seem to enjoy as much as regular eggs. I have also been meaning to buy flax seed bread. Flax seed is apparently an inferior form of Omega-3, but it is still better than nothing. The best source of Omega-3's, the experts say, is from fish. The trick is to find fish your kids will eat that is also low in mercury. For a chart on mercury levels in different fish, visit:
http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/product-specificinformation/seafood/foodbornepathogenscontaminants/methylmercury/ucm115644.htm
If you would rather have the short version, fish low in mercury, and that a child may actually eat are: salmon (fresh or canned), haddock (NOT halibut!), cod, shrimp, trout and tilapia.
 
I found a recipe on the internet for fish sticks, which the kids really enjoyed. I used cod. The recipe can be found at: http://wondertime.go.com/life-at-home/article/fish-stick-recipe_PF.html

Monday, August 2, 2010

Family Time

Dan and I took 2 days off work before the long weekend. We wanted to do some day trips without battling huge weekend crowds. So, Thursday we went to the Toronto Islands. At Centreville, we weren't expecting Noah to go on any rides by himself. First of all, we weren't even sure if he was allowed to. (He is only 22 months.) However, most of the rides' only requirement is that the child be under 4 and a half feet. Still, in France, which was only 2 months ago, Noah was very anxious about going on rides. We were surprised when he decided he wanted to go on the Bumblebee ride all by himself! We thought for sure, he would scream in terror once the ride started, but no! Here he is, sitting beside an older child, on the ride.
From there he continued the trend, by riding the firetrucks and the boats by himself.
He also liked other rides that we all went on together, like the train and the swans. Here he is waiting in line to go on the swans, or as he calls them "kaak boa" (quack boats). I guess they look a lot like ducks to him.
He has always been fascinated, yet slightly terrified of the merry-go-round. He calls it "aya". I have NO idea why. Neither carousel nor merry-go-round sound like "aya". We went on the carousel 3 times that day. The first 2 times he was great. The 3rd time, something spooked him, and he was uncertain. Dan went on with him that last time, and said he was holding on to the pole on the pony for dear life! You never know what emotion you are going to get, from one moment to the next, with toddlers, do you?

Later on, he enjoyed seeing the animals at the little farm. We also went through the maze. Noah was understandably a little puzzled by the maze. He did not see the point of the dead ends, or appreciate the challenge, but it was a nice little hike anyway!
If you are ever at the Toronto Islands, you have got to try dining at the Rectory Cafe. It is quite a ways from Centreville, but the food and outdoor atmosphere make it well worth the walk. If you are walking towards the beach, away from Centreville, turn left when you get to the beach. The path you are on will eventually turn into the boardwalk. It is about a 20 minute walk on the boardwalk, with a nice view of the lake. You will find it on your left hand side. Don't mistake one of the houses for the restaurant. You should immediately see all the tables and chairs outside. It is now a tradition for us to go there every year for dinner, after a day on the islands.

We took a late ferry home from Ward's Island. Here was our view while waiting for the ferry.
For more information on Centreville, go to http://www.centreisland.ca/ For more information on the Toronto Islands, including a map, go to http://www.toronto.ca/parks/island/ The downloadable map will also show you where the Rectory Cafe is, if you care to check it out.

Day 2 - the Toronto Zoo with Noah's cousins Kacey and Mackenzie, his aunt and uncle Krista and Scott, brother Jacob, and Dan and me. We all had a fabulous time. Noah got plenty of attention from everyone. It was so nice for him to spend some time with his cousins. Here he is on the pony ride.
He definitely got more out of the zoo than he did last year. His favourite animal now is the zebra, which he calls the "booba". Here are some pictures of our day. I really LOVE the picture of everyone on the zoo truck!
FYI - kids under 3 are free at the zoo. For adults it is $23.00, but if you have a CAA membership like we do, you can get a 10% discount. For more information about the Toronto Zoo, visit their website: http://www.torontozoo.com/

For the long weekend, Dan, Noah and I went to a friend's cottage in Perth. Noah thoroughly enjoyed himself. He is really into boats, so it was great for him to float around on a kayak by the dock. He was really NOT into wearing the life jacket!
He seemed to enjoy the kayak more than our friend's bigger boat, probably because he had a better view!

He also had a great time running around on the deck of the cottage. He got his way much more than he ever would have at home. He got to go to bed later, and got to eat pretty much whatever he wanted, including cookies for breakfast! Funny what you will give in to to keep your baby peaceful for the sake of everyone!


We have had such a beautiful summer already, and we still have a month left!