Staycation before Minnesota!

We had an extra day to hang out in our home town. We were going to play a bit, work a little and have some fun.

After a filling pancake, sausage and bake potato pieces, they boys found the neighborhood kids and went out for a play.

We went to the local park and played frisbee a bit and after they got bored, we headed home. After that, the great rollerblade session was planned.

Unfortunately, Alvin had a fall on his bike, and the rollerblading was cancelled. Alvin got a good scrape on the side of his knee cap. This needed cleaning and bandaging. He also hit his mouth on something when he fell, and his loose tooth popped out. I was more worried about his other teeth in case they were damaged. After a quick worried inspection, they seemed to be okay.

After a bit of relaxing, and supper, we went for an outing to a local park not too far from the house. We discovered a recently installed kids playground at the Ahuntsic park. Both Matisse and Alvin proved to us the amazing feats of running up a giant hill.

Every one was rewarded for the amazing running skills by a cool ice cream cone:)

Then we went home and went o bed:)

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The flight that never was…

You know the feelings. The ones that you have when you have an upcoming trip/vacation. You are excited to go, and are counting down the days. Looking forward to the departure date.

Well, we were exactly that. We even had a chalkboard that we used to count downto the final day! As corny as that sounds, that is what we did:)

The final day arrived and we were more or less packed. Matisse and Alvin all set to do. Mom, her cool, calm and collected composure. Me, about the same.

We hopped in the car to head off to the airport. We arrive at about 2:30PM, and parked the car. We noted the exact location, so when we come back form our trip, we’d more easily find the car.

We arrived at check in, and and with so few people, we breezed through. Wed quickly sped through the area where they scanned us and our bags. Simple. American border crossing, only about 60-70 people were ahead of us. We were happy! Not a long wait. We got through there in maybe 15 minutes. Yes!!!

We were inside the airport. We can relax and just let time go by while we wait for the plane. We decided to have a celebatory meal at Houstons. Nice bar and grill sort of restaurant. It was pretty good.

When we were almost done, Myrtelle got an unexpected email from Air Canada. Yikes! The flight was cancelled!!!! These happened justr before 5PM. Our flight was for 6:30PM.

No details on what was to follow. We were expecting a follow up email to let su know hwo we woudl eb recheduled. Over an hour later, no news. I decided to go ask the lady at the air canada counter at our departure gate. After she was finished helping someone, she basically said that she could nto help me, an dpointed off to a departure gate down the hallway, that was for customer service.

Once there, the line was 50-60 people long.We hopped in line and it was about 6:30PM.

Over an hour later, and not even half of the others had been served. WE did eventually get another email from Air Canada, a little after 8PM. They had rescheduled us in 2 days time, but not on a direct flight., arriving 2 hours later. Good thing, we no longer had to wait in line. Bad thing, we lost two days from our planned vacation. WE decided to have a mini staycation, and have some fun.

We went home to start our next fun filled two days!

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Sleep over, the start of more to come…

The idea was planted a week earlier. The four neighborhood stooges(Matisse, Marlone, Mohamed and Naveed) had this great idea of a sleep over at our house. Well, 4 and 1/2 stooges actually(the 1/2 being Alvin of course!). The following weekend was going to be a madhouse of a time with all the buddies over. Video games and other crazy things to do!!

Things deviated when the location was going to be changed Naveeds house.

It was mentioned once, and I asked why the need the change. In the end, the sleepover was at our house.

Friday night rolls around and the idea was to have a food pizza, video games and some other activities. Marlone and Naveed almost did not show up. After a little discussion, they all showed up, and we decided on the kinds of pizza toppings that they all wanted.

They all then ran down and played FIFA soccer on Mohameds’ playstation. They played for a good while after eating pizza, and at one point, Naveed and Marlone decided to head on home, since they were not staying the night. The two and a half stooges who remained, ended up “going to bed” since it was too late.

But, silly as I was, I believed them! Joke was on me. They stayed down there talking for the next hour or so before silence finally took over and dreams floated in…

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Alvin, the basics, almost…

While Alvin loves the water when playing at the local park with his friends, he has certain reservations when going to his weekly lesson at the YMCA. He can start off his lesson in the cheeriest of moods, but some where in those 45 minutes, his mood changes and he is afraid of the water and all that has to do with swimming. When all was good, he loved swimming, but when he was unhappy, he wanted out.

The last lesson had just a couple more moves that he needed to demonstrate his ability to swim. While he tried, he just had not yet mastered them

He will be repeating the otter level of swimming lessons again. I am still super proud of Alvin, because going into these lessons, which were his first lessons ever, he knows much more coming out of this class than he did going into it. We will be practicing his swimming during the summer so that the time he signs up for the Otter class in the fall, he will be well practiced and will do much better and less nervous about being in the water:) I am looking forward to the day that he gets his card at the end of the class when he graduates to the Dolphin class!!! Matisse will have competition soon!

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Birthday today! 7!

This day was anticipated long before it arrived. The count down was done many moons prior to the day of festivities. He was 7, long before he actually got there:)

From the moment that he got up, Alvin was ready for his day. His gleam in his smile, and the spring in his step. This was his day, and he was sharing it with all of us.

The house was cleaned with care, and the food was prepared with love all for the little guy!

whet the guests finally arrived at 3PM, the birthday boy was ready to great them at the door. All the neighboorhood kids showed up: Maliq, Sara, Mohamed, Marlone, and Naveed. As the afternoon went on, the aunties, and cousins showed up as well. The party was in full swing and Alvin was smiles all the way!

There was plenty to eat. Even a Mignon cake and a ice cream cake for all to eat.

I did notice that during the evening, 4 distinct groups formed:

  • little people – Sara, Maliq and Alvin
  • adolescents – Mohamed, Naveed and Matisse (and Alvin too when he bounced between groups)
  • teenagers Melissa, Jean Marc and Maxim (and Alvin too when he bounced between groups)
  • adults – all the aunties (and Alvin too when he bounced between groups)
  • Dad just bounced around playing referee when needed, but mainly hung out with the little people making sure that they had fun

When present time arrived, Alvin was front and center, ready to receive the gifts form all his admirers. He was is such a joyful mood, as to be expected from a birthday boy.

By the time the guests were ready to go home, Alvin was definitely ready for a good long sleep:) He deserved it after a great performance!

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Matisse, officially off to swimmers level!

How is it possible,. Just over two years ago, my little Matisse was a beginner swimmer, did not want to do the lesson that was asked of him by the teacher more than once. Meaning, he would not get better.

For some reason, after hitting the dolphins level, he got interested in really learning how to swim. He liked going back, and learning new things.

Today, I have the pleasure of learning that not only does Matisse love swimming even more. He also advanced to the next level of swimming: Nageurs(swimmer)

He will now officially learning how to swim. 🙂 The basics are now mastered. My master fish is ready for the next level of fishdom!

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New room projects

The new room was coming along just nicely. The pieces to put more details of the room had arrived. Now, the boys just needed to put them together.

I asked Matisse to read the instructions and do the best that he could. By the time I arrived, his bed was at least half built. This was great!

When I started helping, things hit a snag. Things were not fitting right, and after reading the instructions, a couple of the items were backwards, which forced us to undo part of what was already done, in order to flip the piece around. Well, a certain Matisse started to grumble because he did not want undo everything. Unless we undo it, and rebuild things, it would not work out, I told him. He grumbled some more, and started helping fix the mistake.

The extra effort to undo things paid off. Once we fixed the mistake, all the pieces fit together and the bed when together relatively quickly.

The bedroom was one step closer to being finished…

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Weekened of adventure!

It started off like any other weekend, except that we had the luck to be able to walk to Matisse’s swimming lesson, because mom had the car, and it was sunny! He, of course, was grumbling because he wanted to ride a bike. Dad wanted a good walk and fresh air. Dad prevailed 😉 We had a good walk to the YMCA.

While Matisse was inside working on his Dolphin level swimming skills, Alvin and I hung out inside the YMCA and he ran around about making friends as usual. We eventually went outside and played on the equipment outside. Matisse made his way outside after his lesson and we had a good walk home and found an some delicious pizza waiting for us. MMMmmm….

Matisse had been bringing up the idea of buying a present for his friend who was moving to another neighborhood. He was getting pretty persistent. So, when we woke up in the morning, I told Matisse that yes, we could go find his friend a present. But, he will come with us to Alvin’s swimming lesson to encourage his little brother. Afterwards, we will head to his toy store to find a present. He quickly accepted the offer.

During Alvin’s lesson, Matisse was called on for his smiley face and encouragement to help his little brother. He was actually happy to help;-) Alvins courageous face and strong “I can do it” act did not last the whole lesson, but more than 2/3’s of it. I was happy with that!

After our traditional “long hot shower” after our lesson, we headed off to the toy store. Toys R us was our destination.

Upon arrival, the boys had their eyes everywhere with excitement. There were nothing but toys. After looking around and not knowing where to go, we finally asked where the BayBlades were located. There was a they realization that did not come cheap. So, after looking at all the options and considering our budget, Matisse chose hsi gift, and Alvon found one too.

Then the next requests were so predictable. Dad, what about something for me? All I want is this, or that. Then I gave him the option of buying a present for his friend, or something for himself. He wrestled with it for a bit, but finally decided that he wanted to give his friend a gift more than one for himself.

Off we set off to have lunch. We decided on one of two restaurants. A new Mexican restaurant that we found next to Toy’s R Us, or another restaurant a short drive away. We all seemed to be on board for the mexican restaurant, but Matisse did not want to walk to it. He insisted that I drive the car 100 feet so that he did not have to walk so far. I stepped out of the car and started walking with Alvin. Matisse grumbled as he followed…

We jumped in line and waited until it was out turn to order. There were to many options. We decided on ordering: 3 tacos, or mega burrito and a plate of nachos. We ordered them with a variety of ingredients each! When we got the order at the table, we knew that we went over board:) In a good way!

We ate the nachos and tacos, no problem. But, after a couple small bites each, we went home with the burrito! It was giant! Left overs:)

Later that evening, I got Alvin and Matisse out for a walk. It was evening, but it was still light out, and not too chilly.

We headed down to the Beaisejour park by the river. It was a nice walk, but there were a small number of mosquitos. We just kept walking a few steps ahead of them. Then, I made a bad call… Instead of heading home, I took the path that leads behind the hospital. There were a few mosquitos, like in thr park. Matisse was complaining about them. It only got worse once we got to the bridge section of the path that is over the spring time water pond. The mosquitos only got worse, and I told both Alvin and Matisse to walk faster. NO luck. They seemed to love Matisse more that Alvin and I, and he got more than his fair share of bites.

We survived the walk and Matisse was unhappy with me for that walk, understandably. After a good night sleep, all was forgotten, well, almost…

The next day, we were off on a bike ride. We went through mosquito forest with little issue. We made it to the park and the boys started to fly their drones. My bad luck returned and the mosquitos found Matisse and Naveed. Not Alvin and I as much. Matisse wanted to go home… So we did…

I hope that our future rides are less, we’ll say, adventurous!!!!

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First overnight scouting adventure!

Okay, maybe the title does push the boundaries of the limits of exaggeration. Adventure might be a big word, but when put in context, it might fit for the uninitiated. So, I’ll use it.

Since joining the local scout group last fall(after waiting a year and a half due to the pandemic), the activities have been limited to weekly meetings. Which are a good thing, since Matisse and Alvin got to meet a whole new group of kids and have new activities to do. But, there had been no other activities besides the weekly meeting. Time was right to do something else!

There was to be a sleep over for. New scouts need to do an over night activity away from home. This close to home, away from parents trip will help the younger scouts get used top away form home activities.

The night started on a good note. After some fun and games, the scouters had a search and find game which grouped older and younger kids together. I loved that. Little ones learning and encouraged by older ones:)

After the game, the main attraction of the night was launched. Bad Boys was screened. But, as the night went on, the kids slowly left the movie and “watched” it from a distance. They were more than likely playing another movie or a game. Only the adults were left watching the movie:)

It was then bed time. All were off to bed, but some stayed up later than others:) The older ones(adults ) and younger ones(beavers) were likely out first.

But, Alvin could not sleep and was restless. Half an hour later, he was moved from his friends and slept with me:) Something about arms and legs rolling on top of me was not conducive to sleeping!! I had to ask him to stop more than once to go back to sleep, and not on me. He eventually fell asleep, as did I:)

I was, as to my biological flaw predicts, the first to actually wake up. But, I was tired enough to just stay laying down. More comfortable.

Bodies slowly started moving and getting up. I had a sore back form the ultra comfortable sleeping gym mat! I am getting too old.

Alvin must not have had the same sore back, since he slept for more than another hour, long after everyone else woke up. He needed a good sleep apparently.g

Matisse and Alvin enjoyed the rest of their morning with a continental style breakfast and played some more with their scouting friends.

Then we decided to head home in the chilly morning where mom was happy to see them.

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Team effort- fish in training

We have a new swimmer in the house who still has a bit of apprehension about going to his swimming lessons. So much so that he refuses to go, but with a little encouragement, he makes his way to the car, and begrudgingly gets in.

Today, the same thing happened. He was adamant about not wanting to go. It was not any worse than normal, but I was hoping that he’d get a little better with time. But, this was not the case.

I know that I can encourage him the best I can, but needless to say, this does not always work. So, I decided to try another strategy. I enlisted the hello of dear old mom. She happily agreed and along with big brother, we all hopped in the car and and went to Alvins lesson together. Mom had an immediate impact. He was still scared, but the mom factor helped:)

While I was in the water with Alvin, Alvin was always able to get a glimpse of encouragement by looking over his shoulder. Every time he succeeded in something, he looked for moms smiling face and clapping hands to reassure him of his success.

Between moms presence and the teachers constant appraisals of his good efforts, our little fish will find his way up the stream, I am sure of it…

Next week, big brother will be by the poolside to cheer him on, and we will find a time to get some swim time so that he can practice with his big brother and dad. This will hopefully add to his confidence.

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