Okay, wow. This past week has been BUSY. It kicked off last Thursday with Nikki, Alex, Ryan, and Nikki’s Mom heading to Storybook Gardens to celebrate its 50th birthday. Everything was 50 cents – admission, rides, some food, etc. Of course, since everything was so dirt cheap everyone was there. I would imagine Nikki may report more but there were long lines to get in and for the food. From what I could gather Alex’s favourite two parts were the whale, which, sadly, is no longer a slide, and the splash pad. I was more than a little sad that I didn’t get to go because I had to work.
Next up on the busy-ness was the weekend. Sunday would see a trip a to the zoo but first we had to get through Saturday. We packed up the kids, grabbed Jen’s brother, dropped Ryan off at Nikki’s folks for the weekend then headed up to Waterloo. Actually, Saturday wasn’t terribly busy by itself – just part of a busy weekend. At Jen & Mike’s, we mostly sat around while the kids played. Chantalle caught the bus up from London after she finished work for the day and joined us for supper. After the kids went to bed we broke out Settlers of Catan and the Seafarer’s expansion and played that. It’s a sad game when the most drunk guy there pulls out a miracle six-point turn for the win – exactly one turn ahead of when Nikki would have won had it made it to her. We were all tired though and were in bed by 11.
Sunday. The Zoo. After getting a fairly decent night’s sleep we were up pretty early on Sunday. Got everyone ready and packed up into the vans. Dropped Jen’s brother off at the bus station – he had to work and unfortunately couldn’t go to the zoo with with us. And off we go. The drive to the zoo was rainy. Really rainy. The Weather Network was claiming 1mm of rain for the day. They lied. Fortunately, once we got to the zoo the rain wasn’t heavy and was actually just a really light sprinkle. The nine of us (Jen, Mike, Bri, Serena, Katie, Chantalle, Nikki, Alex, and I) met up with a close friend of Jen’s who is also named Jenn (with two ‘n’s), her fiance Chris and their kids Nicholas, Kaitlyn, and Scotty (hope I got all the spellings right! Sorry if I didn’t) making us a gang 14 strong. The zoo was what you would expect of the zoo. Lots of different animals. We’ve gone to the zoo every year starting in 2005 and not much has changed. I was really looking forward to it this year as I was hoping Alex would be super-fascinated with the different animals. While he showed more interest in the animals than in previous years, it was still a little disappointing to me but we still had a great time. He seemed to really love the big animals like elephants and such. By far the coolest part was the Poke The Stingray exhibit. Okay, you don’t actually “poke” them, although i suppose you could. You hold your hand in the water flat and they swim over or under your hand. They’re really soft and squishy. Most definitely worth the $3 each to get in! By the end of the day a lot of kids, Alex included, we’re definitely tired and definitely a little whiny. It was a busy day for them. While not 100% positive, I’m sure Alex was sound asleep before we even got to the highway. We stopped in Milton for some Wendy’s then made it home around 10 after dropping off Chantalle and picking up Ryan.
This week Alex started swimming lessons. He goes every morning for two weeks from 10:45-11:15. Like most things, he hates to go at first then doesn’t want to stop. Yesterday of course was day two of swimming. Obviously it was also Canada Day. So the morning starts off with us dropping Ryan off at Nikki’s folks. Then we head over to the pool. Outside the pool they had a sign saying “splash pads open”. Silly me – I took that to mean that they actually had a splash pad there so I told Alex we’d go there after swimming. Oops. The sign actually refers to the splash pads across the city. So after swimming we stop back off at Nikki’s parents and ask them to keep an eye on Ryan a bit longer so we can take Alex to a splash pad. We head downtown to the Forks of the Thames and let him play there for a while. Again – like everything else – he ran away from the water at first whenever it would come on but soon enough he was playing and splashing in it. He was actually really good when it was time to go – no tantrum, no whining. So then we head back down to the south end to scoop up Ryan and then head home where Ryan and Nikki have a little nap in the afternoon while Alex & I chill out in the backyard. Around 3:00 I fire up the BBQ and throw on the half dozen rib eye steaks I picked up on Monday. By 4:00 my mom has joined us and all of us head back over to Nikki’s folks for a nice BBQ dinner. After dinner, around 7:30 we (Nikki, Alex, my mom, and I – Phyllis & Gord stayed home with Ryan) head over to the park to settle in and watch the fireworks. Again, Alex was super good and did as he was told while waiting the 2 hours or so for the show to start. Once the fireworks started Alex sat mesmorized by the display of lights and sound. He had a small bag of chips to snack on and my mom said that he didn’t even look at the bag; his hand just moved down to the bag, grabbed a chip, and back to his mouth. Of course by the time the show ended it was about 10:30 and Alex was one tired little munchkin. Once again we scooped up Ryan and headed home. Alex was asleep by the time we got to the mall (about two blocks). It was a really long day but most definitely one of the best Canada Days in my life! This is going to be a great summer!
From the start of the weekend through last night I’ve taken over 1200 pictures. I’ve got to sort through them all and resize them and get them uploaded. It’ll take me a few days but they should be up by the end of the weekend.