We visited Ottawa's Central Experimental Farm the week before last with a friend and her son, and I'm thinkin' we should probably get a pass.
When I looked up the place, it didn't give a whole lot of info, and I was a little concerned that Levi and Owen wouldn't find much to interest them. Totally not the case. This place is awesome.
First of all, it is massive, and secondly it is right in Ottawa. There are a lot, and a large variety, of animals. We saw many baby animals, as you would at this time of year. There are crafts and activities for kids - we enjoyed a maple taffy talk and tasting. There is a great exhibit with tractors to sit on, and which are rigged to feel like you are sitting on actual moving tractors.
The honey exhibit is also great, with an area of toys for the little ones to play with.
There is a playground for when there is a little less snow on the ground, and possibly slightly warmer weather - though our day was an extremely beautiful one, thankfully.
Also, there are great puddles to be jumped in, but I can't guarantee those will be there if and when you visit!
We have been packing up our home gradually since November, and finally the time came to load it all, move it a few hours up the road, and settle in to our short-term rental. So here we are, and here we have been for 4 weeks, in our country's capital.
We have gradually settled into our new city with a wee bit of exploring, but mostly a whole lot of playing and hanging out at home, reveling in the fact that we are neither packing nor rushing out of our home for a showing.
This month has flown by, and now with only 1 sleep to go until the magical moment where we have keys in hand, time has slowed down to a painful crawl, where we are not seeing it pass through hours or days, but minutes and seconds. Come on Tuesday!!! A little more space, our familiar comforts, and the beginning of unpacking, and organizing is a very welcome prospect to me with the due date of our third babe less than 3 weeks away.
It's almost time to make our new house, our new home!!
On our second weekend in Ottawa, we visited a local sugar shack called Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm. They produce only enough maple syrup on site for visitor's to see the workings of a sugar shack, while the bulk of their maple syrup is all produced on another farm owned by the same family.
We enjoyed a tasty pancake breakfast. Levi ate his weight in both pancakes, and maple syrup. Definitely the 6 bucks worth we paid. Stanley the bear visited all the tables at breakfast, and both of our boys became happier and more excited about him, the further away he got. Funny how these costumed characters are put in place for the kiddies, but the majority of the little ones are terrified of them.
Goats, pigs, chickens, horses - one being the largest I have ever seen - are all there for visiting. A wagon ride is also on offer, but we skipped it this time. Maple taffy, of course, is the best bit.
It is amazing, really, to think that someone thought "hey, if I boil this watery substance coming out of the maple tree for a certain amount of time it will taste super sweet and awesome. Especially good on pancakes!". I mean it probably didn't work quite like that, but still is that not crazy?
There are a pile of maple sugar farms in the Ottawa area, and nearby in Quebec, and we plan to sample as many as possible. We've had a good start!
Once upon a time, I was nervously and excitedly preparing myself for a planned induction. Just over four hours after it began, my husband and I were staring into the face of our 9 pound, 10 ounce bundle of boy.
This little boy has moved so quickly, keen to keep up with big brother. It seems like he went from crawling, to climbing, jumping and kicking a ball in a flash.
Nothing beats hearing him say "mama" and "dada", although his personal current favourite is "NO". His words become more abundant by the day, and in no time he'll be telling us the stories that Levi already seems to understand.
A feisty, and cuddly little Mister whom we love so terribly much. He was practising his candle blowing yesterday, and was so ready for today - Me? Not so much. Time is getting away on me with these little ones.
Always, when I am sewing, or knitting, or crocheting, my 3 year old wants to get involved. He really wants to make his own of whatever I'm up to. For a long time, I have planned to get him his own sewing needle (a big, blunt, wool needle), but I wasn't sure how, exactly, I would get him using it. Thank you, Amanda! When this post popped up on Soulemama it was too perfect! It was exactly how I could and would get him involved.
My little guy is so proud of his new skill.
"Daddy, I was sewin'. I was just sewin' with my sewin' hands. But not with mommy's big sewin' machine."
What a treat to see him intently stitching away at his little piece of art. :)
Moving out of a house has time and space constraints, that make it so much more draining than moving in.
We started packing for our move more than three months prior, and felt on top of things the whole way through. Of course, those final days always come with surprises - like the ridiculous number of loose items that will not fit in boxes and are just a complete and total pain. I don't know what we would have done without family to help us get through that whole truck loading process (THANK YOU!). We managed to fit everything in our truck with not a pin-sized spot available!
We always knew this home was a transitional, impermanent one and so didn't stress about leaving it. And yet, sitting in my emptied boys' room the night before with them rolling around me, I did feel a twinge of sadness at leaving behind the home which was both of their first. Looking around at the room where I nursed, cuddled, read to, changed, played with, and chased these two miraculous additions to my world definitely sparked some feelings.
And then, sitting in our room in the final moments - my hubby and me - we felt nothing less than total excitement. Finally being able to appreciate an empty home, and start to think about what is to come in the following weeks.
I believe a little change in one's life is good for the soul - exploring new places, and meeting new faces will be a grand new experience for all of us that I am very much looking forward to.
HAND IN HAND : Crafting With Kids By Jenny Doh (20 Top Bloggers & Favorite Projects) I just wanted to post about this great book that compiles 20 bloggers, with each talking a little bit about their creative life, and then sharing a favourite kid friendly project. I would love to get around to every project at some point but, so far, we have managed only one.
Levi printed gold trees with the potato stamp I made from a cookie cutter, and then he decorated the trees in red paint. I would have liked to add another colour of fabric paint for him to use, but running out to any shop right close to Christmas was not in my plans unless absolutely necessary (e.g. grocery store)!
I sewed them to a backing fabric with a ribbon for hanging attached, and he stuffed them.
A fun project, and one he is super proud of!
Looking back on the activity in the book that inspired our project, I see I should've taken the route of a raw edged ornament. Much simpler, quicker, and I even prefer the look of it.
I'd show you the finished product, but unfortunately Christmas came and went all too quickly in our house this year what with the listing of our home. All decorations were packed away quite swiftly after celebrating. Kind of sad, but also kind of exciting - time to get packing everything!!
Anyway, if you love crafting with your kiddies, this book is definitely worth having!
Oh, and yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a great start to 2013!