Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Playground Crashers

Please note that the MENU page of this blog has been updated. I apologize that a lot of the pages are very out of date. I am working on making them current, and will let you know each time a page has been updated. Now...on to daycare news!

In the past week or so, we have hit a few different playgrounds, rather than sticking strictly to Lithuania Park.

It has been some time since we have visited Baird Playground. It was a nice change for the kids! The sand is similar to the sand found on tropical beaches, and the kids were quick to rid themselves of their shoes. (And although I helped Leila rid herself of her shoes too, I soon had to put them back on. Turns out the sand was not only as soft, but also as hot as the sand you might find on a tropical beach!)

See this Little Tykes toddler slide Thomas is sitting on in the photo above? Well, although he started innocently enough, sliding down, he later mastered jumping down. Not only did he jump, again and again, from the top of this little slide (which is quite a high jump for a little guy), he actually jumped the length of the orange slide each time. I was amazed he could jump that far! Thomas really is all about jumping these days!

Well, now that the heat wave is long over, the wading pool is absolutely frigid! No longer is this daycare provider arriving at the pool ready to swim with the kids! Riley seems to dislike the water temperature too, and prefers to play on the outskirts of the pool. One kid accidentally splashed her and she was not pleased. Noah and B. are just wild and crazy, and get fully soaked. And little Thomas boldly, yet slowly and steadily, wades in up to his tummy. Then he turns around and walks out. He does this again and again, as if daring himself to tread a little deeper each time.

For the longest time, Riley and B. bathed this baby in the bucket. Sometimes the dolly was right side up, and sometimes her legs were sticking out of the bucket. Nonetheless, they did not tire in their effort to thoroughly clean her, and the teamwork they demonstrated was admirable.

Finally, Leila requested to go in the wagon. Perhaps this was her way of saying "Pack it up folks. I've got a Jello popsicle at home with my name on it!"

Earlier in the week, we had gone to Vine Parkette. This park is known to the older kids as "The Choo Choo Playground", because freight trains and Go Trains can be seen running directly beside it. It adds an extra element of excitement for the kids. Usually, when a train is heard approaching, all play stops. Play is resumed only when the train has passed by....or when the train is going so slowly that even the biggest train afficianado would lose interest.

One of the other great things about Vine Parkette is that there are lots of ride-on toys for kids to enjoy.

Because Vine Parkette is quite a ways from the daycare, we also packed the bigger boys into an extra wagon I have. Unfortunately after two trips in this wagon, the wheel started to come off, and it is currently out of service. At least it finally gave some truth to the song "Bumpin' Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon", by Raffi (if you happen to know the words, you'll know what I mean). We are going to try to fix the wagon, but I fear the wagon is trying to tell us not to put boys of that size into it! 

We finished our adventure with a trip to "Ice Cream Junction". Actually, Noah and I have a bad/good habit of going there every time we go to the Choo Choo Playground.

I don't think anyone enjoyed their ice cream more than Thomas did, or at least it appeared that way. He was SO in his happy place.

He made it through his entire ice cream, and then, feeling completely relaxed and at peace with the world, drifted off to sleep in the wagon.

It was a great day!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Noah Dances at the Beaches Jazz Festival!

I highly recommend adding the Beaches Jazz Festival to your list of summer family outings. Even if you don't care for jazz, you will still have a spectacular time, especially at the street party, which runs certain nights during the festival. Though it's too late to enjoy "Streetfest" this year, keep your calendar open near the end of July next year. This is absolutely one of our favourite summer activities!

Leila and I watching an AMAZING band called "Juice".

What a great way to enjoy music by such talented musicians: outside on a summer's night! For FREE!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wee Waders

What did we do to keep cool during the oppressive heat wave this past week, you ask? Hang out at the wading pool! Usually, the water in the wading pool is downright frigid. It was only slightly warmer during the heat wave, but the need for relief from the heat lured even little Leila into the deepest part of the pool.

Thomas gets right in as well, but doesn't like to get squirted by the big boys' "Aqua Zookas". I have welcomed splashes from the children this week, and they have equally enjoyed soaking me. I was shocked at how quickly my clothes started to dry! Finally, one day I went all out and wore a bathing suit. Why the heck shouldn't I feel cool and comfortable as well? And if I can't use being a home daycare provider as an excuse to act like a giant child sometimes, where would the fun be in that? We had a wonderful time. :)

Eventually we have a few that stray from the pool and decide it is time to go on the playground. They are allowed to play for a little bit, but in heat like that, I don't like to keep them out too long when they are not actually in water. So this usually means we are nearing the time to go home and have popsicles!

Did you know that it is NEVER, EVER too hot to be a beautiful princess? Just ask Riley. Actually she is our most die-hard wader. I tell her "It's time to go home now, Riley". She says, "But I don't wanna go home!" We continue this conversation, as I slowly chase her around the middle island of the wading pool. One time I had to pick her up and physically carry her from the pool. She never has a full tantrum about this, but she figures she will state her case right until it is obvious that resistance is futile. Then she moves on. She is just a very strong and assertive girl. She has only been here a couple of months, but we love her dearly already.

Here is another way we have been trying to keep cool: popsicles! They are actually pretty healthy too. I use the President's Choice Blue Menu orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D. Thomas approves!

One day we had a pretend picnic in the living room. The kids kept bringing me different sandwiches that they had made, while I was making dinner in the kitchen. There were some pretty odd creations. I tried to explain to the older boys that veggies and ice cream just don't go together, but they insisted I try the broccoli ice cream. Of course once I tried this pretend creation, I realized it was delicious! ;)

Noah and B. were lucky enough to meet some of their classmates at the wading pool this week. They all had fun splashing each other....until someone didn't want to be splashed, which was a common occurence.

Because of the extreme heat, and the fact that we are one kid less on Fridays, I decided it was a good day to go to the big outdoor swimming pool, at our apartment. The kids were so excited! Unfortunately, when we got to the pool at 11am, the lifeguard told us it was adult swim until noon.

We decided to kill some time by buying some popsicles from the little store. Between that and Leila demanding that I help her walk everywhere, we somehow managed to endure the hour, sweating like mad the whole time. I felt so bad for the kids in the extreme heat! Our air conditioner does not work well at all in heat of that intensity.

Anyway, we FINALLY were allowed in the pool, and it was glorious!

B., although a little nervous at first, was very brave, and practised his swimming skills the whole time! Thomas was keen to jump into the pool, again and again!

Riley met us at the pool, with her dad! It was great to have the whole gang together in the big pool. She seemed to enjoy the nice, cool water on such a hot day too. 

Noah has become quite the little fish. He rolls around in the water, practises his back floats, and constantly bobs, to obtain the maximum refreshment!

Leila is getting very comfortable in the water too. I was glad she was able to enjoy the water, even though it was quite a bit cooler than the other in-ground pool at the apartment we usually go to. If it's warm enough next Friday, perhaps we will try this again!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Show some Support for Home Daycare

If anyone would like to share a positive review for this, or any other home daycare, it would be wonderful. Home daycare (which is usually unlicensed) has gotten a bad rap in the media for some time now. It would be nice to let Torontonians know that it's not ALL bad! See the link below to write a review:


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Leila Pactises her Step-Step

I am currently on holidays, so there is nothing to report for the daycare. I am adding this cute video of Leila walking with assistance. Thank goodness she has finally moved on to holding only ONE hand. My back thanks her! It was such a joy to watch her toddle along today!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Noah and Leila seem to be on a Canada Day/Music/Pizza high here. Some images may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.