28 November 2007

Friday Night Short: Quatchi, Miga + Sumi

My first mascot was Amik, from the Montreal Olympics in 1976. I loved him to pieces regardless of the fact that he wasn't the least bit cuddly and lacked any sort of personality at all. Since then, I've acquired [or more accurately, my son has acquired] one of the Athens mascots from a good friend who was living there during their Games. And one of Torino's mascots that I brought home after seeing the Games there.

And now I'm a proud owner of three more. I'm really smitten with these wee Vancouver critters. The video is beautiful. Stunning even. Check out video here. The plush versions are here.

25 November 2007

The Best Seat in the House

We parked the car on the parade route this morning, in parking lot facing the street. In the afternoon, when the Santa parade started, we set up camp, fully bundled up and with some warm beverages. The little sun roof in the back of our Element came in handy yet again, allowing us to poke our heads up over all the other spectators.

24 November 2007

"Tony Chestnut Knows I Love You"

Tony [touch toe, then knee]
Chestnut [touch chest, then head]
Knows [touch nose]
I [point to eye]
Love [cross heart with my arms]
You [point to wee one]

We tried our hand at roasting chestnuts on the BBQ. I love them. The flavour starts out quite bland. Immediately I felt little disappointed. But then the flavour became quite complicated and deep. A delicate combination of sweet and nutty. I would do it again for sure ... even if our little Spud was completely disinterested in them. I think they would compliment grilled root veggies nicely. And I might try them chopped up in a fresh salad next.

Here's what we did:
1. Cut an "x" or a simple slit in the side of each chestnut with a sharp knife [this will prevent any dramatic explosions].
2. Grill 20-30 minutes on medium heat, turning once.
3. Let them cool enough to handle. Peel and eat.

Serving them with salt is optional. If you are having troubles peeling they may be either overdone or underdone.

22 November 2007

Getting Messy

My wee guy is a bit fussy about getting stuff on his hands. I wanted to show him how fun it can be to get messy. We bought a cheap plastic table cloth and some cheap shaving cream at the dollar store. It took a little while to get him started but before long he was right into it, making mountains and volcanoes with his hands.

Next time I will try it with canned whipped cream. If I use shaving cream again I will be sure that I love the sent. It's surprising how long the scent of Old Spice fragrance can linger on ... making my little guy smell like an old man.

21 November 2007

Armchair Travel: Cuba with Child

We are going to Veradero for a one week in January. It will be our third time to Cuba. We went once BB [before baby], to Jibicoa. This trip included two daytrips to Havana. Love Havana! Our second trip, with child, was to Cayo Coco. We did one long daytrip to Trinidad from there. This time it is the touristy mecca of Cuba: Varadero. While we are independent travellers at heart, we have yet to do anything other than the all-inclusive there, with a few light forays, out and about. Nonetheless, I will enjoy journalling our experiences of r-and-r'ing with our 3 year old, in the new year. In the meantime, it's fun to do a little armchair travel. What follows are some links with tips and travel stories about travelling in Cuba with kids.

1. 6 Fun Things to do with Kids in Cuba Scroll to the bottom for a list of 6 kids books on Cuba.

2. Family backpacks Cuba with 2 year-old "Despite it being a challenging holiday, principally due to our new status as a family, Cuba was exactly what the psychotherapist ordered in terms of a plausible adventure for all of us."

3. Travelling Cuba en Famille "If you want more than a beach holiday, Cuba with young children needs careful planning. Compromise is the key: beach time for them, sightseeing for you"

4. Preparing for Cuba with kids and Parental Leave "Cuba seems a perfect destination for travel with kids: no rampant tropical diseases, a great health system, a reputation for being family-oriented ..."

5. Tips Avoiding All-inclusives Travelling Cuba with Kids "... stay in casas particulares (private houses that rent out rooms and usually provide meals"

6. Keeping kids busy on overcast resort days "Sketching local flora was one way to occupy a six-year-old, who had his heart set on building sand castles, in windy Cuban weather"

19 November 2007

Hey, Mr. Socks-for-Hands...

"Daddy dressed me and first he put my shirt on my knee. And then he put my pants on my head. And then he put my socks on my hands ... look Mom!"

11 November 2007

Visiting Some Wild Ones


OK, so my favourite runner-up animal, next to camels, are donkeys [hmmm, what does t it say about a person when they are so enamoured with beasts of burden?]. Today we saw, donkeys, squirrels, bunnies, guinea pigs, ducks, crows, herons, gulls, and countless other bird varieties. We visited a nearby Wildlife Rehab centre where we saw some pretty incredible animals and heard some pretty incredible stories, both heart-breaking and heart-warming.

There was the little sea bird that eats 1 prawn and 13 shrimp a day, among other things. And the lonely bunny who finally found a partner [spayed, of course]. The star of the show was the Barred Owl. It was such a pleasure to meet him, with his beautiful curiosity and mysterious cooing sounds. With only one eye and damaged wings, this guy is never going to be the wild, free owl he once was; he will always need to depend on people to look out for him.

Besides the animal stories themselves, inspiration lies in meeting the people behind these operations. The people who dedicate their lives to rescuing and healing creatures at their most vulnerable. Perhaps your nearby Wildlife Rehab Centre would appreciate a little visit from you and your wee wild ones and a little donation to help keep the operation going. Try googling one for your region.

08 November 2007

Yay for Wee Parts!


Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays? I can't wait to get my hands on these sweet sets. The kings are awesome. I adore the little cook set. Do you think they are making felafel? And anyone who knows me at all, knows I have a special place in my heart for camels. I've always appreciated the detail that goes into Playmobil. It's toys like these that make me extra-specially happy that my little guy is past the choking hazard stage. Yay small parts!

06 November 2007

Scavenger Hunts


I created this photo list of items found in a park, in Fall. On the weekend, I'll take the little guy to the park and we'll check off all the items we see together. We did this last Fall too and it was loads of fun. Next, I'll make one for the beach and forest. And the market. Maybe more. If you'd like a pdf, send me your email address and I'll shoot it your way.

UPDATE: I have these pdfs available at wee printables. Help yourself!

04 November 2007

Marble Mayhem


What You Need:
· A cereal box with one of the sides cut out
· Art paper which is a little smaller than the box
· A piece of tape to lightly keep the paper in place
· Marbles
· Paint

What You Do:
After placing the paper in the box, let your little one roll the paint-dipped marbles around in the box.

The art is in knowing when to stop. This is probably where you come in. Simply whisk away the paper when it's achieved framability and slip in another for your little artist to continue his genius.

03 November 2007

Crochet Project Complete

I did it. I finished my second-ever scarf last night and here it is in action. In the end, it's quite long, going around his neck twice, but it's a little narrow I think. It only took me 2 in-front-of-the-tv evenings. I don't know why I thought it would take so much longer. It must be that my first experience of crocheting a scarf, took ... well ... it seemed like a lifetime.

02 November 2007

Maritime Holiday Photo Journal

Extraordinarily long bridges [Confederation Bridge]

Boats to board [Halifax, NS]

Sea life to see [Mahone Bay, NS]

Theodore [Halifax, NS]

History [Lunenburg, NS]

Stunning beaches [PEI]

Dramatic coastlines and lighthouses [Peggy's Cove, NS]

"Cow's" ice cream [PEI]

Cabin life [PEI and NS]

And sometimes peace and quiet [PEI]