40th Birthday Party

Monday, March 29, 2010

I missed a couple of days of work last week with fever, chills, and muscle aches. I saw my chiropractor twice, rested a lot, and felt better by Friday. Good thing, too, as I was going to Montreal for the day with my girlfriend, Sylvie. It was her 40th birthday and her husband had asked me to distract her for the day so he could throw her a surprise party. Usually Sylvie and I get together for a nice dinner, possibly some shopping, and lots and lots of conversation around each of our birthdays. It is something we've done for probably the last five years, and it's a tradition I'm eager to continue.

We've never done anything on her actual birthday before, so it was a bit of a tough sell to get her to agree to it, but with François' encouragement, we headed out for Montreal on Friday morning at 9:30. The drive to Montreal flew by as we discussed Sylvie's university courses and everything she is learning. I was so inspired by the changes in her and her excitement about school!

The shopping in Montreal was great, as always. We spent the day in a mall rather than criss-crossing St-Catherine street. With the cold weather, we would have been uncomfortable in our big coats - necessary for outside - then hot in the stores. Sylvie managed to find quite a few nice things. I still haven't blogged about my new year's resolution for 2010, but it is to be frugal. I might blog about this in the next little while.

Despite my newfound fiscal restraint, I did buy a cute dress at Mango, after Sylvie convinced me it looked good on me. I bought Sylvie lunch, which is our tradition, but she didn't want to spend too long eating as there was lots of shopping to do, so we ate at the food court! I gave her a hard time about that, but I guess she had a point about a restaurant lunch taking too long.

By 4:30, we were at Starbucks getting a snack and a coffee for the road. The traffic was surprisingly light and the time flew by as we continued into hour 8 of our conversation. Sylvie dropped me off on the way home at a mall which is right off the highway. DH was waiting for me, ostensibly to drive me home, but of course, we were going to wait 5 minutes then follow Sylvie back to her home for the party. I had a different outfit in the trunk and I changed in the car.

We got to the party and everything was in full swing. François had catered the food, and had hired a waitress and a DJ. The music was fantastic and we ended up dancing quite a bit. It was so much fun! What really impressed me was the Sylvie's group of friends. All of her closest friends were there, and they are a great group of ladies. The interesting thing was that they were all accumulated, if I can say that, at different points in Sylvie's life. Her oldest friend, Joane has known her since kindergarten. She and Paule met when they both served on the board at the daycare. I met Sylvie over 20 years ago on my first day at work in the government. She and Nadine met when Sylvie lived in Quebec City. Mélanie is a friend from university. She and Josée run together on Wednesday nights. And so on, and so on.

I was inspired by Sylvie again when I heard about the time and effort she puts into each friendship. Sylvie and Paule go for a walk every Thursday night. She and Mélanie take all of their classes together. She and Joane are planning a trip south. I am honoured to be one of Sylvie's friends.

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Photos are Up!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After agonizing over the photo selections for the two sets of three picture frames in my house, and after having a few misses with the photo processing at Black's, I finally have new photos in the frames at home. Black's was great and wouldn't rest until I was satisfied.

I ended up using these photos of the kids in the basement. It was really cool getting photos printed at 12"X18". Upstairs, I used three family photos, in colour, to replace the black and white individuals of each kid that had.

I'm thrilled that the photos are printed and hung. Now, what'll be my next project?

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The Corner Restaurant

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Last weekend, DH was inspired to create a menu for supper one night. Each child could choose a starter, a beverage, and one of 5 entrées. The food was all stuff the kids like, like hamburgers, pizza and chicken fingers. DH hand-printed menus for the kids, and even put a motto on the front: A Place For People Who Like to Eat.

The restaurant is called The Corner Restaurant, inspired by the fact that the table was in the corner of the family room. Once all three kids sat there, it wasn't in the corner anymore, but the menus were already printed up, so the name stuck.
The kids are eating their first full meal at the 'restaurant'. The special of the day was hamburgers. The girls set the table with a cloth tablecloth and napkins, and a vase of flowers.

Daddy was the waiter and chef and he referred to the kids as 'ma'am' and 'sir'. Too cute.

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Domincan Republic, Part II

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On our trip to Domincan, we stayed in Punta Cana at a resort which was one part of a larger resort with about 4 different sections. We were in the adults-only section of the resort, and we had access to all the other parts, but the other people didn't have access to our resort. It felt very exclusive, and the ratio of staff to guests was higher than anywhere else on the resort.

They advertised that it took 15 minutes to walk to the other lobbies of the resort, but it only took us 5 mins at a leisurely pace, so we rarely took the tram, and walked instead. There was tennis, mini-putt, bike rentals and other activities, but we never wanted to partake.

The beach was absolutely perfect when the weather was nice.
We spent our afternoons by the pool, and a couple of times, it was cool enough that we needed to use our towels as blankets. There was a swim-up bar, some nice gazebos, and a great snack bar by the pool.

One morning, we got up early to take a long walk on the beach and see the sunrise. We walked for probably 45 minutes until we finally saw the sun peek through the heavy clouds and we took a few pictures. We saw a few other couples out on leisurely strolls, and a few joggers, as well as a few resort workers cleaning the beach. We were absolutely starving by the time we got back to the resort, but it was worth seeing the sunrise together.


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Sugar Shack 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mom and I took the kids to the sugar shack on Friday, the last day of March Break. I had read Dani Girl's review of the Log Farm, and decided it sounded just like what we were looking for - rustic, close to home and reasonably priced. I'd been there before but the fact that they had a sugar shack was news to me.

After buying tickets for the farm, the all-you-can eat breakfast, and the sugar shack tour, we headed out into the field that takes you to the farm. I just love these old split rail fences! It was really bright and sunny, which was lovely for the tour, but a little bright for photo-taking.

Here's my mom with the kids.
Here I am. I can't believe how big Mr. Boy looks! He'll be 8 soon.
On the farm, there was a nice fire, with marshmallows for roasting. The kids enjoyed that part!

There were a goat and a pig loose on the farm, as well as horses, a cow, sheep, and chickens in pens. The old farmstead was there, with straw mattresses on the beds upstairs, and a cellar. There was a blacksmith shop, a summer kitchen, and an old outhouse. The farm yard was awfully muddy, and I saw one 8 or 9 year-old boy get his boots stuck in a deep, muddy puddle, and end up coming out of his boots and putting his sock feet into the puddle! I was really hoping that wouldn't happen to any of my kids.

Then we took the very muddy path to the sugarbush. It isn't modernized, as I suspect they aren't producing maple syrup for resale. When we'd been to Fulton's, a few years before, everything was tubing, rather than old-fashioned buckets, which make it less charming somehow.


They had old metal buckets and we could walk around, looking for a full bucket, exchange it for a new one, and help fill up the giant vat of sap. Turns out, we could only find a dribble of sap, but it satisfied the kids.
They had maple taffy that they were making on ice from an ice machine due to all the snow being gone. What a weird winter we had!

Everyone was getting really hungry at this point. It was almost noon and we'd been walking around for 1 1/2 hours. We went for the all-you-can-eat brunch, with homefries, sausages, pancakes and syrup. It was delicious, and we were able to eat outside on picnic tables because it was sunny and the area was sheltered.

We finally called it a day. The kids were muddy and full. I was tired and I smelled like a campfire. With dinner plans that night, I laid down with Precious for her nap. We both slept like logs.

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Happy St .Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Since I'm about half Irish, I'm wearing green and I might have a green beer tonight after hockey. But aren't we all Irish on St. Patricks' Day?
Mr. Boy had a sleepover here with Liam last night. This was their mid-morning apple juice, with green food colouring added. Sweet Pea is still in her jammies, and she's wearing her new soccer cleats, making her a little taller than usual. Precious is wearing her jammies, too, and she had seconds on the green juice.

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Domincan Republic!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back in January, in honour of the 10th year of our marriage, DH and I managed to get away for a week to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. We didn't feel like having to make decisions on our vacation by touring, traveling, sightseeing, or going to museums. We just wanted to eat, drink and be merry.

We got what we asked for and more on our trip to the Dominican. The people were great. The service was fantastic. The food was amazing. The resort was incredible. The weather was so-so.

We had unlimited access to the a la carte restaurants, but chose the buffet 3 nights for supper as it afforded us more flexibility in when we ate. One of the nights was seafood night, and we literally ate nothing but seafood and dessert that night. As much lobster as we wanted, whole fish, shrimp, crab legs... Yum, yum, yum.
A simple room with a wonderfully big king-sized bed!
Everything was perfect, although the weather could have been a bit sunnier, and we had a wonderful, relaxing trip.

We even met a Sylar/Dr. Spock/Zachary Quinto look-a-like from Quebec and he gladly posed with us in a photo we planned to pass off as a real photo of Zachary Quinto with us. But the jig is up.

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Little Ballerina

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Precious had her final dance class on Saturday. It was ballet for 3 and 4 year-olds in a low-pressure environment. The teachers invited all of the parents to come and watch the last class. No special dance or performance, just enjoying the little girls galloping, showing us their 'pretty toes', and marching, etc. Precious had the same teacher that Sweet Pea had three years ago - Miss Stephanie.

Precious did great, and was no more distracted than the other little ones. When they all pretended to bake a cake, she was even able to volunteer an ingredient for the cake when it was her turn - bananas - and it brought a tear to my eye, I was so proud!
They played with ribbons and Precious loved holding the teacher's hand.
They were asked to march very quietly. Precious managed a rather loud, full-out sprint, and she was so cute doing it!
There was time for a little free expression to music. Precious ran and pranced, and was generally adorable.

I can't tell you how long it has been since I've taken any photos. I've probably taken photos on about 3 occasions since Christmas (excluding our trip to Dominican). That reminds me - I guess I'd better post the photos of our trip soon!

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