Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Year!

I don't know why, but leap years fascinate me! I only know of one person who's birthday lands on February 29! I just think it's so neat that we all get an extra day this year! 

The weekend started out perfectly as I was away from the office for a bit in the morning and grabbed a FREE Tim's coffee! 

I knew starting out this weekend that it would be mostly a weekend with just Sam and I. Ryan had Friday night off of work! But Saturday he made plans to go sledding for the day. 

Friday night Sam helped me grab the mail and was fascinated with it. Luckily, it was mostly just junk and he proceeded to look through all the mail all night rather than play with any of his toys! 

After Sam went down to bed, Ryan and I did our February date! It involved a few competitive games. The winner of best out of 3, got a 10 minute back massage. First we played rummy, and I SMOKED Ryan. Then the next game Ryan chose was Yahtzee and again, I won by almost 100 points! Woo hoo! 

I was up early Saturday morning and Ryan headed off on the sled. I got some chores done and then Sam woke up STARVING! He has been eating SO much food lately! It must be a growth spurt! After eating 2 pieces of french toast, bagel with cream cheese, 1 apple and 1/2 a banana, we headed to my parents for a visit where he ate 2 Eggo waffles. I have no idea where he puts it all! 

Finally, I had to say no to anymore food! With all the food we played and visited with my parents for a bit. Grandpa and Sam were really into puzzles that morning.  

We headed to the curling rink to buy some 50/50 tickets to support our local Lions Club and see some friends curling! It was nice to get out of the house for a bit. 

We headed home for lunch and snuggles before nap time. 

While Sam was sleeping I got to work on some house stuff. I had to laugh when I looked down and realized the Band Aid I was wearing. The only ones I have in the house are Toy Story ones! #MomLife

A friend of mine gave me the idea to try out making hamburger buns with my bread maker! I was a little nervous with how they would turn out but I was so pleased with how easy it was! And they taste so good! I am really getting a lot of use out of my bread maker since Christmas! I now make bread, cinnamon buns, bread sticks and hambuger buns with it! 

Being that I knew Ryan would be away, I opted to have a meal that I REALLY wanted to try and wouldn't have been able to serve to Ryan. 

I LOVE a good Fish taco but I find it hard to find. After pinning a couple of recipes, I decided to try THIS one. The only difference was that I used frozen highlander fish. 

It turned out SOO good! A new favorite meal and one I can make up special for when Ryan's gone. Sam gobbled down the fish! I hope he always continues to be less picky then Ryan is.   

Like many, I started and FINISHED Fuller House this weekend! I really enjoyed it! I loved the flashbacks to some of the old episodes. I love a "feel good" sitcom. 

Sunday morning Sam slept in until past 8! He was a very rested and happy boy Sunday morning. We relaxed before church eating breakfast and snacking on Cheerios's. I snapped this quick pic of Sam as he said "cheeeeese". I just love that sweet face. 

Both Sam and Tucker, right into The Wiggles! 

We had a great morning at church and then I made lunch for my parents and us (Ryan was sleeping). A quick potato soup with homemade bread. 

Sam went down for a nap and I had a quick one myself! I love a good Sunday nap! 

Both boys were up by 4 and we played, ate supper and then Sam helped his Daddy fix the leaky sink! He even brought over his own little tool kit to help. He also insisted on wearing his winter boots while working. Safety first, I guess! 

It was a great weekend but this weekend I was kind of reminded how many weekends it's just Sam and I the majority of the time. It's well known that I don't like winter but I am at the point now where I am ready for it to be over. I am looking forward to having FAMILY time together on the weekends versus being by myself every weekend because Ryan has to either sleep or work. 

How was your weekend? 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Our Disney Cruise Trip - The Details - Part 3

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's a snowy day today and a good day not to have to travel the roads! It's days like this that I am so glad I don't have to travel to the city everyday for work! 

I wanted to FINALLY finish our Disney cruise vacation recap! 

There were so many fun things to see and do on the ship but there were special themed days as well! Before you leave on your trip, you get a detailed itinerary of the fun activities on the ship so you can pack accordingly. 

One of the first themed nights was formal night. Everyone was to wear their best out for supper. We were more semi-formal then most. There were some people in ballgowns and tuxedo's! But we wanted to be comfortable. 

The next themed night was Pirate night! Everyone got Mickey bandanna's in their rooms to wear that night! I had made everyone in my family Pirate costumes for Christmas. It was super easy! A few thrift store t-shirts, a pair of scissors and a dollar store pirate set!   

Mickey got a pirate costume too! Sam would not go anywhere without his Mickey during this trip! 

Before supper that night we attended the "Pirate and Princess" party featuring Jake and Sophia The First! Sam was surprisingly really into it! We just sat on the side of watching the whole show! After supper that night, there was a pirate party on the deck! It was full broadway show and dance party! 

We got off the boat at every stop that the ship made. One of my favorite stops, even though we were there the shortest amount of time, was Grand Cayman. It was so beautiful there. A very vibrant place with so much history! While we were walking around doing our own self-guided tour of the town, we stopped in at a United Church that was open for viewing. It was beautiful with all the wood work! The church was actually built in the early 1800's and still has regular service. 

We had two ports of call (stops) on our cruise. They were Mexico, Grand Cayman and Castway Cay. 

Star Wars day at sea was an all day themed day in honor of the latest Star Wars movie being released. 

While we aren't the biggest Star Wars fans, it was still fun to get in on the hype that day. There were so many people who went ALL out on their costumes. Again, for Christmas I made everyone their star wars costumes. Dad was Luke Skywalker, Mom was Princess Leia, Ryan was a Jedi and Sam was Yoda! I also purchased them all light sabers with their costumes! I purchased a Star Wars shirt on the boat and just wore that. 

All day there were storm troopers and other characters walking around interacting with the guests! It was so neat! You couldn't help but join in on the fun! For supper it was a Star Wars themed menu! That night there was a Star Wars party on the deck with a HUGE firework show. We didn't end up going to the party and were able to watch the fireworks right from our room! It was awesome! 

That night my parents stayed with Sam's monitor and Ryan and I went off to the movie theater. All day they were showing the newest Star Wars movie so we went on a little on-ship date to go see it! 

All week there were CONSTANTLY characters walking around! Sam would get so excited when he would see one. It made the trip really magical having the characters always around like they were guests themselves!  

The last day of the cruise was a stop at Castaway Cay which is Disney's private island. It was a little windy and the ship had some difficulty getting to port but they made it. We wouldn't be able to stay long because Sam was getting tired and needed a sleep. But we got off and walked straight to the beach to enjoy some time in the sand! 

It was pretty cold and windy but us crazy Canadians still had no problem getting into the water! 

Sam loved the beach but his lips were turning blue from it being so cold so after about an hour Sam, Ryan and I went back to the ship and Sam went down for a nap. 

I can't say we were really ready for our trip to end! We were in a good routine and were having a blast that it was sad for it be over! It was an amazing family vacation and while we know Sam won't have any memory of this trip, Ryan and I will always cherish the ones that we made and will remember! 

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a Disney Cruise to anyone with small children. They honestly make it so easy for parents! The staff go out of their way to not only make the stay comfortable but memorable and magical. 

Here are my top 6 tips when planning a Disney Cruise: 

1. Get a room with a veranda! It's a little bit more money but if little ones go down for a nap, it's nice to sit out in the sun reading. If you want to save some money however, every stateroom has a divider where the kid sleeping area is and the parents bed is. The TV can swivel to be on on side or the other. 

2. Get the early dining time! You can either eat at 6 PM or 8 PM. When you book your cruise you book a seating time and you ALWAYS go to dinner at that time. I couldn't imagine going to supper at 8 with Sam. That would be a disaster. 

3. Go along with the themes. I know it may seem a little dorky but it's fun to get involved and play along with the themes. It adds to the magic! 

4. Pack light! You don't have a lot of space in your room. You need a few nicer outfits for dinners but for the most part you are in a bathing suit and comfy clothes and sandals! Also, pack your own lanyard to carry around your "key to the world" card. You don't want to lose this card and a lanyard helps. It's your room key and what you use to buy things with. 

5.  You all know how cheap I am and this may only be a tip for some. On the ship, there are some "fancy" adult only restaurants. Basically, it you wanted a fancy date night you could go. But the meals were EXPENSIVE! It was very VERY fancy food as well. You're regular meal at supper you would get a 4 course meal with many options to choose from. These were always pretty nice options in my opinion. Ryan could get a "normal" steak meal and I could get something fancier. The best part, this meal was already paid for, included in our trip price. I don't feel it is necessary to go to an expensive fancy restaurant when the regular dining that was included was SO good! 

6. Download the on ship APP! You can buy WIFI on the ship but it is VERY expensive! You can use the app to see the events for the day, see the new menu for supper (which changed everyday) and actually chat with other guests in your party. It would be how we can communicate with my parents throughout the ship. Best part, the app is free! 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Mine was filled with celebrations, friends, family and time with Sam! A wonderful combination! 

On Friday, the farm hosted it's annual snowmobile trip! We host this for a few of our clients as a way to show appreciation and to get out with clients who we have known for years and are friends. We had a big gang this year, 20 sleds! I hear they all had a wonderful time! After I picked Sam up, we joined all the guys back at the bar to say Hi! Sam proceeded to eat his weight in french fries, which made supper really easy! 

We got home, bathed and got ready for bed. Sam would not leave daycare that afternoon with out this baby doll. He was carrying it around all night (and weekend). So, before bed on Friday, I got to snuggle with my real baby and this baby doll. This is Sam helping the baby to pray during our bedtime prayer. 

Saturday morning Sam slept in and I got lots of coffee time in! We were invited down to visit with my parents so that Ryan could sleep in peace and quiet. My dad was driving around plowing all the laneways and Sam heard the tractor and instantly starting flipping out and trying to get outside. I quickly put his boots on and he ran to the tractor to go for a drive! This little guy is obsessed with tractors and trucks! Grandpa was happy to have a little helper! So Sam had a good 30 minute tractor ride. 

We had a fun visit with my parents where Sam proceeded to eat them out of the house. He must be going through some sort of growth spurt because the amount of food he is eating this last week is astounding! 

I decided it would be nice to get out and about, so we headed to the Shawville Library for Story Time! It was a cute story about finding the right hat! Sam enjoyed it a lot and we will be back sometime in the future! 

We got home in time for a quick lunch and down for a nap. While Sam napped I made a lasagna for Sunday nights supper. I love a nice homemade lasagna but I always forget how many steps/dishes/time it takes to make one! But was glad to have it done! 

I got ready and headed out the door with friends to downtown Ottawa for a little farewell party for friend, Josee. We had a delicious supper and cake at the Royal Oak before transforming into artists! 

We all had such a good time doing Paint Nite! It was a great way to spent an evening! 

The best part is that we all got to have a similar painting for our homes!

I have to say I am not a very artistic person but I do like this painting because it goes with my paint color in the kitchen! 

We all had a lazy Sunday morning as I made some homemade garlic breaksticks, we watched The Wiggles and ate breakfast. 

Then it was time to head out to church where Sam was the only kid there and I think he loved all the attention. At the beginning of the service Sam decided to join the Minister in her pew behind the pulpit. It was so cute! I love that he feels so comfortable at church. He knows the routine and the people so well. 

We had a yummy bacon/egg breakfast at my parents before headed home where both boys went down for a nap! I got the last of the supper preparations done as we were having some special guests over! We were having Ryan's family over to celebrate Nana's birthday! We had a wonderful visit and it was the perfect way to end the weekend! 

How was your weekend? 


Friday, February 19, 2016

Valentine's 2016

Happy Friday everyone! Wow! Where has the last week gone!? 

I'd like to take a little Disney break to talk about our Valentines day! To be honest, Ryan and I don't really celebrate Valentines day. We usually get each other a card and write a sweet note but that's it. At the same time, we recognize the day by doing nice things for one another. We want to show Sam love all year along but taking the day to go above and beyond the usual to make another person feel special. 

Now that Sam is in daycare, I am constantly trying to make sure that I teach Sam about showing love and appreciation to his friends! Valentines is a great opportunity to give friends a little token! 

I had an idea for a little bird feeder craft but wanted something personalized from Sam. One snow day that he was home with me, I decided he could paint some cards for his friends. He picked out the colors he wanted and things were going really well at first...

And then his creative genius took over and he couldn't control the art. 

It was a mess but he was loving it. As much messes drive me nuts, I'm getting better at forgetting it in the short term knowing that it will eventually be clean again. Enjoying the moment and the fun that is happening. 

Thank goodness for non-toxic kids paint! 

We kept Sam's master pieces and I cut them out into hearts. 

Next was making the bird feeders! The first recipe I used was a DISASTER! Basically, birdseed soup! But I learnt through trial and error how to make a binder. It's basically out of corn syrup and flour. If you find a recipe that does not contain corn syrup and flour, it will not bind! 

I used a better recipe and used a heart-shaped cookie cutter I had on hand. I used a straw to make the hole for hanging them. I set them on a cookie tray at night and by the next morning they were hardened! 

With scissors I cut off the closer part of a ziploc sandwich bag to package them up. A pretty red or pink ribbow to close up the bags. The tags read:

"To: Name 

I think you're a "Tweet"heart! 

Love, Sam"

Ryan and I started a tradition early in our relationship of going to Ladysmith Hotel for wings! We always like the idea of going to one of our favorite local hotspots rather then trekking to the city to some fancy, over-crowded restaurant! I hate crowds and I do not want to fight them to have a Valentines day meal! 

Ladysmith was perfect and Sam has joined us for the last two years! We had the whole restaurant to ourselves which was perfect because Sam isn't the best at restaurants lately. Doesn't like to sit and wait for food or for everyone to be done eating! 

But Sam must have known it was a special day because he sat and was a very good boy!  

"Cheers Mommy to Valentines day!" 

How did you spent Valentines day? 

Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Our Disney Cruise Trip - The Details - Part 2

As I mentioned before, it was been quite the week for sickness! I woke up yesterday morning though feeling like a completely different person! I had energy back, I felt motivated to do a little house work without feeling spent, and I could eat and drink everything normally. The trend continues today and so I feel like I am 100% mended and it is a welcomes relief to this normally fast-paced girl. 

Today, I'd like to continue re-capping our trip! I want to get it documented so that I have it written out for me to have for memory-sake.

The hard thing about going from Disney World to a Disney Cruise is you instantly have to go into relaxation mode! At Disney World you are running around going from one ride to another. Disney Cruise they look after so much for you and it is so relaxing in comparison.

One of my most favorite features of the Disney Cruise was their dining service! Every day was a different menu and at the beginning of your trip you had a schedule of which restaurant you would be in that night. Our ship had three restaurants. Animators Palace was a fun, colorful and cartoon filled restaurant. Royal Court was a princesses palace. Finally, Enchanted Garden was a outdoor themed fancy restaurant. Disney Cruise offers rotation dining which means that the server stays with you for your whole trip! No matter which restaurant we were at that night, we had the same waiter. This way he really got to know our needs. Sam would have chocolate milk waiting for him and he also knew to not bring Sam's meal out until ours was ready. It was great!

The food every night for supper was AMAZING! Honestly, looking at the new menu every night was my favorite part. I got to try some foods that I would normally never get to try. It was usually 3-4 courses! Dessert being a highlight for sure!

Star Wars themed dessert! 

There were also an awesome breakfast buffet (that also turned into lunch buffet but we only ate there once and weren't fans). Near the pool was our favorite lunch spot, Mater's Tow. It had the BEST chicken fingers either of us had ever had! There were all of the favorite Diner options. After you were done lunch you could head around the corner to Eye Scream, a soft self serve ice cream place! It was 6 different flavors you could choose from! We got pretty good at getting the perfect cone swirl.

Also on our ship were two movie theatres! You could go to any of their feature movies at any time. We only did this once with Sam because we was way more interested in the popcorn then the movie. We only got to see about 30 minutes of The Good Dinosaur.

Another good feature I should mention, but that may not work for everyone is their on board child care. While it was important for us to go on a trip WITH Sam, we thought we'd give this on board child care a try for a day during his nap. It was great! On the first full day of cruising, we checked out the facilities and met the care givers. On day 3, we took Sam with all his sleep aids (soother, teddy), diapers and handed him over. They gave us a phone that worked on the ship. We headed off to the quiet adult pool not really relaxing because we were worried about Sam.

20 minutes later we got a text from the nursery to let us know that Sam was fast asleep! We settled in with a couple adult beverages and read, swam and chatted. It was so nice to be able to get a few hours of not running after a toddler or being stuck in our room for nap time. We signed Sam up for 2 more afternoon sleeps like this! It was nice to be able to have that time to ourselves and yet know that Sam was somewhere safe getting his afternoon nap. It allowed us both to be able to leave our room rather then we always cooped up.

An awesome in room feature, Disney Movies on your TV in your room. If Sam woke up early some mornings we would have a pre-breakfast snack while watching a movie. The TV guide basically gave you a choice of almost ANY Disney animated film there was! You could pause and re-start it. No fuss with DVD's! It was great! 

Finally, there is a US rule that said that non-potty trained children are allowed in the pools. Very understandable and to accommodate the much younger crowd, there is a splash area just for them!! Nemo's Reef was a huge play area with lots of fish water features and even a water slide! Sam took a little while to warm up to this area but after an hour was in LOVE! We couldn't even walk by it without him insisting on going in. The best part is that it's near a children's pool and for the most part, not busy as all. There were lounge chairs outside Nemo's so Ryan would typically go play with Sam in the water while I would sit back in the sun and read for a while. 

Also for toddler entertainment, was "Toddler Time" everyday at 11! It was 2 hours in a room at the VERY top of the ship. It had an AMAZING view. The staff would set up fun play area's for the young kids and set out coffee and muffins for the adults to enjoy while the kids played! We did this a couple of times! Between Nemo's Reef and this play time, Sam never had any issues napping! 

Part 3 coming soon!