Friday, February 27, 2015

Toronto's Deep Freeze No Fun for Little Kids!

If you're a Torontonian, I don't have to convince you how cold a winter this has been. It has probably been close to 10 days that I have opted not to take any of the children outside. And it has probably been closer to 15 days that I have chosen to keep the babies in with my helper, while I take the bigger, hardier guys out.

Some of the frigid days we have gone out, are definitely shorter in duration than our usual time outside. We throw ourselves into it when we're out. Thomas is the polar bear, always ready to tackle a snow bank! I love watching him in the snow because it takes me back to my childhood and all the fun I had outside.

Leila seems to get cold the fastest, and if I don't get her in promptly, she will have a meltdown. And I mean she will COMPLETELY lose it, so that it's a struggle just to get her anywhere what with all the flailing around. :) So, recently (especially February which has been particularly cold) we have stayed close to home. Yesterday when we attempted to go out, it was Amadea who promptly spoke up and said "Go home". This was followed by an episode from Leila. I should have heeded Dea's warning sooner! Next week should be more bearable. I am aching to play in the snow with these guys! A big snowfall, and a temperature around 0 Celsius sounds devine to me! (Don't hate me - I don't have to drive to work and so have a very different outlook on snow than commuters do!)

Here are some pictures of cozier times.

The photo below is probably one of my all-time favourite pics. But I know, I say that a lot.

Cutest Mickey and Minnie ever!

Today we did some painting at the easel. 

I had two babies away, and Leila was so tired she asked to have a morning nap, so it was a very quiet morning!

Thomas was extremely into painting today! He was describing his paintings to me. They involved bad guys and good guys. It was great to see his creative juices flowing!

When Amadea finished painting, he wanted to switch to her side of the easel, just for fun. Then he had a great idea: hand prints!

But why stop there? He wanted to do foot prints too!

We didn't go further than that because it's really not body painting kind of weather. :) I'm not opposed to the idea though, and we have done that before at the daycare. Kids are washable, so why not?

I love that this was all his idea. And I was able to indulge him!

Then he went back to painting....

Amadea wanted to sit on my lap and watch him. Perfect opportunity for her first selfie! She is growing up so fast! She is sweet and beautiful (and not to mention, smart as a whip) and I truly adore her. In June, she will be a big sister! I think she's ready for the role. ;)

But really, at the end of all the fun and games, ya gotta clean up. It's a hard knock life, you know. They made me laugh when they did this, because they look like some sort of organized cleaning crew with their headgear and all! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday!

I'm usually on the computer in the room where Thomas and Marcus sleep when it's nap time for the kids. A couple of weeks ago, when Tom woke up, I showed him this old video of Leila (at about 18 months). Neither of us could stop laughing. Too. Darned. Cute! (Oh, and that's a toothbrush in her hand, by the way.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Making Menus

I snapped the picture above while we were playing make believe outside one day. We had just taken the car (rode in the sled) to Nema's house. (Nema is Thomas's grandmother, and her house is apparently on the east side of Lithuania Park.) I was lying down to go to sleep at 'Nema's', which is when I saw the sun shining behind these two...and, well....I really like to photograph the sun and sky in my photos...especially behind these cuties!

Isn't he gorgeous?! Happy boy!

Years ago, when Noah was less in school, and more in the daycare, I had them make menus. In time, most of those menus got ripped apart. We still, however, had one that had not completely fallen apart yet, and the current daycare kids always use it. So, it was definitely time to make new menus.

The first day we worked on them, the kids chose a name for their restaurant, and decorated their front covers.  Thomas called his "Superhero Restaurant", Amadea called hers "Dea's Restaurant", and Leila called hers "Frozen Restaurant" (as in the movie, not as in frozen food).

The second day, we looked through magazines and found pictures of food they would like to serve in their restaurants. At this age, I didn't worry about categorizing it into 'Starters', 'Mains', etc. And with the exception of saying, maybe once or twice, that it would be nice to also order some veggies in their restaurants, I did not interfere with their food choices. I love how Thomas's menu then ended up featuring a huge picture of brussel sprouts, while all the other photos on his menu were desserts. :) At least he had one type of vegetable available, which is more than I could say for most of the menus. Noah's menu features a steak that costs $80.99, but you get it free if you order the $14 chicken and fries combo. :)

The babies did get a little bored with this, which is also why we split the project into two days. The second day, Maryam was away, but Marcus discovered his love for tearing paper. We just had to watch that he didn't also ingest it!

That's it for now. But I just wanted to also share these pics I took this morning of little Stevie Nicks and her firefighter friend. (Sorry, I saw Fleetwood Mac a few weeks ago!)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Family Day at the CN Tower

I haven't done one of these family posts in ages; it's been strictly daycare. However, I have these beautiful photos of a wonderful day, that I'd like to share.

I hadn't been to the CN Tower in years, and Noah and Leila have never been, so it seemed like a fun excursion for Family Day.

Even on one of the most frigid days of our Canadian winter, it is amazing to see how beautiful Toronto is.

Lake Ontario was especially pretty.

What was also great, was that the CN Tower was not crowded at all. (Hmmm....could that be because it is ridiculously overpriced? Anyway, it worked for us!)

The glass floor was awesome. Leila was definitely a little nervous.

But not this crazy guy! (Obligatory "lying down on the glass floor" photo.)

You know what was really crazy though? The fact that we spent the majority of the time in Kids Zone. On the surface, this may not seem odd. It's just that the Kids Zone was extremely....minimalist.

It was a tiny playground that didn't seem fitting for something as monumental as the CN Tower It didn't matter though, because the kids had a great old time playing here. And the bonus: Dan and I got to sit and relax, and watch them play from the comfort of a nice soft couch, coffee in hand.

The day was very fun, and different from the usual. Lots of good memories. I hope everyone had a fun Family Day too!

Oh, and here is a cheesy family photo that I paid an obscene amount of money for! It doesn't even make sense. We're supposed to be at the CN Tower, yet the CN Tower is off in the distance, in the backdrop of the picture. I still love it. It's hilarious! When in Rome....right? Right? :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine's Daycare Party!

Before I get to the Valentine's bash, I had to include a couple of photos of Amadea and Leila playing babies after dinner one night. It is adorable to see. They feed their babies very well!

Here are some of the Valentine's crafts we did this year. We didn't do a lot. The kids were more into running around and playing, than sitting and doing crafts. Plus the babies couldn't do much in the way of crafts, so the activity was less focused than it has been in some years. 

We did do this awesome craft, where you make animal faces out of hearts, although a few of the animals ended up looking quite angry! We'll have to refine it a bit for next year. ;)

Here are some of the decorations we had up for the Valentine's party. I can just feel your excitement building....;)

A big thanks to Dollarama once again. Where would I be without you?!

The party-goers were: Leila, Noah, B., Thomas, Amadea, Maryam, Salim and Shivani. We also had a lot of help from B.'s mom, and Salim's older brother and sister! Oh, AND, Noah's big brother Jacob stopped by for the party!

We had: heart-shaped pancakes (with syrup or icing sugar to sprinkle on top, but most of the kids opted for plain), chocolate cupcakes with pink icing and heart sprinkles, heart sugar cookies, and a variety of treats that the kids had given to each other (and of course, me to them).

Each child was given their own little bag to put their Valentines and treats into. I also sent home with each kid, a twirly straw, a heart cup, and a separate treat bag from me. They had a lot of loot! (Just the way it should be!)

Marcus was home sick, and missed the party. But baby Maryam got to take part in the celebration! It was a little overwhelming for her, and on top of that she was teething, but she was a real trooper around all the craziness!

I love the picture below of sweet Shivani (whom we haven't had over for some time!) and Amadea. Notice the huge cookie in Amadea's hand. Yes, a terrible amount of sugar for the kids on this day, but you gotta indulge once in a while! Aaaannnnd, nobody puked! Bonus!

After lunch the kids played freeze-dance. They danced to the music, and when the music stopped, they had to find a heart to stand on. One heart was taken away each time.

I don't need to convince you they had a blast! Check out their awesome dance moves!

Noah's big brother Jacob, Salim's older sister Sofia, and his older brother Rustam, were super helpful. While I cleaned up from the disaster that was the dining room, they helped with the games.

Here's a video of the dancing. Noah kept saying REM. I didn't really understand what he was talking about until we started up the music and "What's the Frequency Kenneth" started playing. I think he might have heard that CD once months and months ago (we have a lot of old 90's cds). Apparently, he found it on a cd shelf in his room and took it upon himself to put it in the dvd player. Little rascal! There was no point switching it over to Raffi, as they seemed happy enough with it!

The kids also played a game where they had to keep balloons in the air. This was Sofia's idea, and the kids loved it!

I had also made a large sheet (Bristol board taped together) with hearts taped onto it. On each heart was a number. The kids had to, one at a time, stand behind the carpet and toss a heart bracelet onto the poster. If their heart bracelet was touching a heart, they got the points written on that heart. Each child got 3 bracelets to throw on his/her turn. They loved this so much that they played round after round. By the end of the game, the total points for most of the kids neared 100!

This party was so great, because there were no tears about not doing well, The kids did not show a competitive spirit (at least not in a negative way), even though they might have. (Thank goodness! We want everyone happy and having fun!)

Lastly, here are the kids playing Simon Says. They loved this, because each of them got a turn to be Simon - except it was "Thomas Says", or "Noah Says". They loved this! (Thanks again to Sofia for running this game!)

I leave you with a couple of pictures of the littlest Valentine, Marcus. Even though he missed the party, he returned this week in his Adidas jacket, looking cuter than ever!

Don't mess with this tough guy!