Freezing Cold, Forts and Picnics…

Today was cold!  Super cold!

We did a couple things to try and keep warm.

The kids stayed in their thick warm pajamas and we cranked the heat.

We  also ordered a cord of wood to get the fireplace going but unfortunately it won’t be delivered until tomorrow morning.

Even with all our attempts to get warm there was still a chill in the house, so after the school work was finished, the kids and I built a fort and filled it with all sorts of blankets.

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The kids spent the rest of the day in their fort.  They read books, played a little DS and the Princess even took a little nap.  I packed a little lunch for the two of them so they could have a fun picnic inside the fort.

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They had so much fun they decided to sleep in it tonight.

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My two sweet ones are snuggled in their little hideout, sound asleep, warm and cozy.  It’s a fun way to stay warm on a cold winter’s night!

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RV Show 2013

This is our 5th year going to the RV show and we love it!  Even the Professor and the Princess get excited as the day gets closer and this year the little Monkey joined in the fun.  He loved going through the RV’s trying out different seats and claiming beds as his own.

Even though we were not in the market for a new trailer this year, we still enjoyed checking out all the different RV’s.  It’s interesting to see the different types, the layouts and the new features.  There truly is an RV for every person.

For those who like luxury, there were plenty of options to choose from…

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Big kitchens.

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Modern sophistication.

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Big screen TV’s and fireplaces.

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Skylights.

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Comfortable beds.

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Washer – Dryer hook ups.

For those who might like or need something a little smaller…

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Small but has everything necessary.

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A hard top pop up.  Reminds me of a ski chalet.

And for those who want the most minimal camper experience!

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I personally thought this one was the coolest camper ever and I’m not the only one.

They even have it written on the camper itself.

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The show was as great as ever.  If you’ve never been, I recommend checking it out.  Especially if you’re looking to buy an RV.

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Daddy Says… Flipnotes

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This Christmas, the Professor was pretty impressed to receive a Nintendo 3DS handheld game system as a gift.  We had been talking about it for a while, and he was saving up his money to buy it himself, so he was genuinely surprised to find it among his gifts!  Just as happy about the gift was the Princess… By default, she was given his old DS as a practice system.

She didn’t hesitate to start taking all sorts of photos, playing games and recording little songs that she could then play back at various speeds to alter her voice. One of the programs we found is Flipnote. It’s a simple program where you can create animations by drawing them one page at a time.

I made a quick little Star Wars animation and the Princess liked it so much, she decided to do one of her own.  After a few frames, she asked me to take over, but offered some ideas of how it should go.  About halfway through the battle, she decided the scene needed a cat:

She liked the surprise ending with the cat so much, she made her own:

When we showed Mummy, she thought it was so cute, she decided to make one too!

I have to say, I think Mummy’s says it all.

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Kitchen Construction 2012

We have started our kitchen construction again.  I’m calling it 2012 because it’s not the first time we’ve had to live through tearing our kitchen apart.  The first time we did it, we had just moved into our home and realized that the kitchen cabinets were useless.  They were rotted out, not to mention super-duper ugly, and we spent the first couple of months storing our supplies under a fold away table.  Not the most convenient way to live or cook!  There wasn’t much we could do about it since we had spent every cent we had just getting the house.

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Thankfully, friends of friends of ours were getting a new kitchen and were replacing perfectly good cabinets.  Since we couldn’t afford new cabinets of our own we installed the gently used cabinets and they have worked fabulously for us.  The price was great, plus it was nice knowing the perfectly good cabinets were not going to sit in a land fill somewhere.

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I was just so thankful to have a fully functioning kitchen that we stopped working on it and took a break.  Well, there was that and the shingles we lost in a hurricane which caused the roof to leak right through the Little Professor’s ceiling.  Then the boiler needed to be replaced and the little monkey’s room needed attending.

The time has come to finish the kitchen!

Before we do anything else we need to put up a new ceiling and while we are doing that…some recessed lighting.   Unfortunately in order to install a new ceiling we need to pull the present one down.

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And of course, true to the house, we found an even uglier ceiling under it!

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So we spent the weekend tearing down ceiling.  Well, by “we” I mean Daddy.  I did a lot supervising and gave plenty of suggestions.

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By the end of the weekend a third of the ceiling was torn down!  At this rate it’s going to take a month just to get the ceiling down.  It’s bittersweet.  I’m excited to get on with the kitchen, but the stress of living in a construction zone is still very fresh in my mind.

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I know in the end it’ll be worth it, but the process is not nearly as fun as the completed project!

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Bedtime Stories…

Bedtime stories are precious.

Our’s first started back when the Little Professor was tucked away safe in my tummy while Daddy would read to him.

Our favourite book was…

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It’s a sweet, little book perfect for new parents falling in love with their life changing bundle of joy!

As the years have passed, there are a few gems that we continue to enjoy and every once and a while we stumble upon a new one to add to our most loved collection.

Here are some of our favourites…

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Wow, It’s a Cow!  By Trudy and Jay Harris

This is a cute book for the little ones.  It’s one of the Monkey’s favourite.  It’s full of rhyming, animal sounds and little peekaboo flaps!

What more could a curious, little toddler ask for?

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Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A book about the special bond between mother and son and the evolving relationship that comes with age.  This book is especially dear with the Little Professor and myself.  Even though he is off reading goofy, little novels full of wedgies and other mildly rude stuff, he still loves to snuggle up with his mother for a private reading of Love You Forever.  He even requests that I rock him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

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   Princess Justina Albertina – A Cautionary Tale by Ellen Dee Davidson

A seriously fun book with a great, though slightly drastic, ending.  To be honest, it’s the ending that makes this a favourite with our family!  Princess Justina likes to have her own way.  She reminds me of too many kids we have come across in our adventures.  You know the ones! They’re at the stores, parks, and restaurants constantly demanding things a little too loudly from parents that obviously have never said no in their life. It’s crossed my mind to keep copies of this book in my purse to hand out to those darling little cherubs.  Maybe the end of the book will scare them straight!

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You Are My I Love You by Maryann K. Cusimano

This is not so much a story but rather beautiful poetry depicting the day in a life of a parent and their child.  Each verse  flows with song and permeates with love.  It’s graceful and lovely and the perfect transition between an animated day and drifting off to peaceful sleep.

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Mommy’s Best Kisses by Margaret Anastas

What mother doesn’t just love to kiss her child and what child doesn’t absolutely love being kissed?  This book is an interactive, playful excuse to kiss my children – not that we need one.  This book leaves us all laughing and giggling, smiling and wiggling.  It’s sweet and fun and has given us many precious times together.  From the moment I first skimmed through it at the bookstore right up until tonight, this book has brought a smile to my lips and spilled happy tears from my eyes.

If you have little ones in your life, you might want to add one of these books to your special collection.

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Daddy Says… The Doc is In

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Having children is always an adventure, you get introduced to all sorts of characters along the way!  In the past year or so Disney released a new show, Doc McStuffins.  It’s about a young girl who is a doctor to all of her toys.

The Mighty Princess has really enjoyed the show and watches it whenever she gets a chance.  So this past Christmas Mummy and I got her a cute little doctors set, so she can take care of all of her own toys too.  However, it seems she also enjoys dressing her little brother up as a doctor as well.  As I was making them some breakfast over the weekend, I was introduced to Doc McMonkey!

Not only does he look the part, but apparently he (with some assistance from his big sister, I’m sure) had been patching up an Orca that had a couple of “boo boos”.

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With the imagination on these kids, you just never know who you’re going to meet!

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Something to Marvel about….

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I managed to finish the Little Professor’s quilt in time for Christmas!

At one point, around 3 days before Christmas, I wasn’t so sure I was going to complete it.  I knew I had to.  I had made a promise to my little man to have it finished by Christmas, but I was beginning to think keeping that promise would involve sewing all night right through Christmas Eve.

Thankfully, it never came to that.  There was only one night that I sewed through the night to early morning but it wasn’t Christmas Eve.

Phew!

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In the end it was worth all the hours I put into making the quilt.  Everything from choosing the fabrics, creating the design of the quilt, to the endless hours of free motion quilting – something I had never done before which turned out to be a lot more time consuming than I could have imagined.  Fun, but time consuming!

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In the end it was all worth it to see the look on the Professor’s face when he opened it Christmas morning.

Since then he hasn’t spent a night without it.  He likes to wrap himself in it when he’s reading or playing his DS.

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As I was finishing this quilt I decided two things:

1.  I love quilting!  I can’t wait to get started on my next one.

2. It’ll be while before I sew another huge quilt.  I’m sticking to lap quilts from now on!

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Daddy Says… Eating the House

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This year the kids and I built a Gingerbread house.  I was pretty impressed with all the decorating ideas they came up with!  The Princess stacked a few tootsie rolls together for a chimney, and the Professor used a bunch of swedish fish as paving stones for a walkway in front of the house.  There were squares of Hershey chocolate bars as doors and windows, twizzlers for trim along the roof and even a couple of lollipops with mini M & M’s attached as apple trees out front.

It really was a lot of fun & the kids had a blast.  Even the Milk Monkey was there, his biggest contributions were getting to eat small pieces of twizzlers, and adding a lot of “ohhh”s and “wow”s, but he loved it too.

This past weekend, we let the kids break it apart and start eating!

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It was a little bit sad to see their creation turn into an after dinner treat, but they really enjoyed it.  The Milk Monkey kept looking at us with an “I can’t believe you’re letting us do this!” look.  It was very cute!

Somehow I think this will become a new Christmas tradition for us!

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