Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tourists for the day

We haven't done many touristy things in Ottawa yet so when a friend asked if we'd like to join a group on a boat trip on the Ottawa river we went for it. About time since we'll be leaving Ottawa fairly soon. We set off from the bottom of the Rideau Canal lock system and puttered about for an hour and a half. We learned a little more about the city and then checked out the free bit of the Bytown Museum that shows you how the locks work. Afterwards, joined another family and went up the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. We found out that there is a law forbidding any building from being taller than the flag on the Peace Tower and we counted (or lost count of) all the Canadian flags visible around the city. 

They enjoyed the bus journey there with friends, playing and eating on the boat, seeing the huge bells in the tower, ice cream at the museum and rolling down the big grassy hill by the locks.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A long awaited camping trip

This place is almost too good to be true. A perfect spot for camping with kids, and especially good for keen paddlers. We joined a family who live on our street. One of the many families we are going to miss when we move on from here. But I'm not thinking about that yet- more about the camping...  

A gorgeous beach, right by our campsite in the trees. The river widens here and a giant eddy of sorts means still water with a gradual entry but not far from some great rapids for a bit of whitewater fun. We took our good canoe and pootled about on the quiet bit of the river while our friend did some whitewater paddling upstream. He also played rescue boat and cheerleader for Siobhan and Regan when they bravely donned life jackets and launched themselves into the river just upstream of the biggest set of rapids. John said it was just like a roller coaster only better, and 100% natural!  

The kids enjoyed hours of beach time, plenty of nakedness, swimming in the river and smaller rapids, jumping off a rock, paddling to an island, and exploring a bit in the evening and (very) early morning- we spotted a skunk, some deer, toads, caterpillars, fish and john caught a snake for a closer look. And we had a tame chipmunk hanging about. The weather was perfect until the last minute when it began to chuck it down.

Here are a few photos... More to come and I may get round to making a little movie as there were a lot of sweet moments caught on video.

After leaving this awesome place, which is purposefully being kept a secret from the  rest of Ottawa ;) we went to visit some friends at their cottage on a lake nearby. As always it was fun and inspiring to spend time with such a big family (7 kids-makes us want a bigger family too). We drove ATVs through the muddy woods in the rain, each boy riding along in front with a grin from ear to ear, and then jumped off a cliff and platform into a pristine lake. Steve and I jumped from about 30 feet- crazy stuff!! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

At the beach

A nice thing about Ottawa is the proximity of city beaches. This morning, the kids and I hit Britannia Beach so Siobhan could have some kid-free time to get the house ready for a viewing. We had fun in the park, swam in the water and explored the break waters.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shenanigans in the back yard

I was asked not to look for a while. I snuck a peek and snapped a picture of the three of them working together on something. These moments when the boys are collaborating beautifully and Araliya is watching and absorbing and learning and her big brothers are including her, well, they just make me pause for a second to smile and take it in (and then occasionally I rush for my camera!) 

This is the view from our back door, above, and then a few minutes later from the kitchen window. 

 I was soon handed a map and used it to find my very own treasure! It might just be a ball of sandy plasticine (and daddy might have something to say about the hole in the lawn) but the excitement was palpable and infectious! 

Now I have a few minutes to write this while they work on setting up a new treasure seeking adventure. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

And the walls came tumbling down

We had a special treat. Something you don't see everyday. The demolition of a building. This was the old Agriculture and Foods Canada building by Dows Lake . It was apparently sliding 2-4cm per year and became unstable. It was an early rise to catch the sounds of exploding charges seconds before it drop but it was definitely worth it.

After it was all finished (70seconds) we noticed a lady who was visibly upset. She worked in the building for 26 years and had lots of good memories.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Just trying out the option of blogging from my new phone. Here's a recent photo of these three munchkins on our way to school one morning. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Duncarnival June 2014

 Our street truly does rock! We are very lucky to live on such a great street with an awesome sense of community. We've written about this before... pot lucks, street bbqs, late night beers outside after kids are in bed, snow clearing camaraderie, cups of tea and hot apple cider while supervising play on the road, ladies nights in, football watching, wine drinking on front porches, communal parenting, kids in and out of the house...  And today it was the annual Duncarnival Street Party.

 There were a variety of things going on... bike decorating and a bike parade led by a unicyclist neighbour, nails, tattoos and facepainting, a trampoline, a bike/skateboard ramp, a charity lemonade stand and a jewellery stand by some of the kids, a bake table, a craft table, some painting, chalk, water play, bubbles, a pinata, various beverages from different houses and a barbeque supper.

 Araliya taking part in the bike parade. sure does!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Little laughs

An example of Brendan's love of words.
We have a tummy bug in the house. After the sixth vomiting episode at about 4am this morning, we're just getting back to sleep when Brendan starts prodding me...
"Mum, Mum, listen!"
He continues slowly, enunciating every word...
"I'm SICK of being SICK!"
I open one eye to see a huge smile on his face before we both fall back to sleep.
Then first thing this morning he sees Tadhg and says with evident glee, "Tadhg, listen, guess what I said to mum in the middle of the night. I said 'I'm sick of being sick!'" And he explains the two meanings of sick and thinks it's hilarious. So sweet.

 And a story from Tadhg's teacher.

A new boy joined Tadhg's class yesterday. He is a junior in the mixed Junior/Senior Kindergarten class and doesn't speak any English yet. During the morning Tadhg was very kind to him and at recess he played with him outside. On the way in from recess a teacher told Tadhg he was a very kind and caring and was a good person. Fast forward to story time a little later. The teacher wants some of the kids to take charge of some puppets. She says "hmmm, I think we'll let Tadhg choose first, because he has been a very kind boy today." Tadhg totally milks it, puffs out his chest and chooses, "I think I'll be the wolf, hmm, no maybe I should be the mouse, yep, I'll be the mouse because the mouse is the best and I'M the best boy in this class!" Big cheesy grin.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Seeing in the new year is pretty tiring! After walking home from our neighbours' house at 2 in the morning, Tadhg wearily makes his way up the stairs but can't quite reach the top. He drops, fast asleep, and starts snoring draped across the top step!