Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Dance-A-Thon

Thanks to everyone who donated to Ben's school's Halloween fund raiser! Ben went dressed as Elroy in the costume I made for him (See the shoes?!!) The school went all out with decorations, and even hired a professional DJ. It was tons of fun for everyone. Nothing better than seeing so many kids so happy.
Here are the best pictures of Ben dancing.
The pumpkin is his best friend.
Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quote of the day- Monday October 19th 2009

So usually when we have pasta with meatballs we make the meat balls from ground turkey.
This time we had meatballs made from ground beef....
"Mummy I don't like the turkey today."
"It's not turkey baby it's beef."
"What is beef made from Mummy?"
"Beef is cow. Beef is meat from a cow"
Ben thinks a moment, takes another bite, thinks some more.
"I don't like cow balls Mummy."

Friday, October 9, 2009

In preparation for Halloween! -Reinforcing the mistaken idea that Mummy can do anything.

We can't afford to buy the boy a Halloween costume this year. They are just too darn expensive, and we don't have the money.
I resigned myself to the fact that he probably wouldn't get to be want he wanted and I would have to make something he probably would be happy with.
Imagine my delight when he said that he wanted to be Elroy!!
For anyone who doesn't know, Elroy is the toy Ben sleeps with and has slept with since he was a small baby, he's also a bit of an imaginary friend who gets up to all kinds of crazy things! Here is "real" Elroy:
I thought, this is great! I can sooooo make an Elroy costume!! I don't know why I thought this because I've never actually sewn a Halloween costume before, and didn't have a pattern or even know how to make something from a pattern.
But I rushed right out an bought two meters of light blue velor, plus a tiny bit of white for inside the ears. Then I lost all my steam and for a couple of days was thinking "But how the heck do I actually do it?" Then it came to me last night as I was falling asleep. It was just like that scene in snow white when they make the dress (only without the enchanted scissors and pretty birds.) I would just fold the material in half, cut a hole for the head put it on him and pin the shape of his body. It would be a tunic style costume. I would make a hood with ears. And I did just that. Andrew was absolutely amazed that Ben stood still long enough for me to pin the entire thing as it was a very long process. I guess I've just gotten used to the fact that my boy is super amazing. Here the documentation of the final pinning, the sleeves, before I attached the front of the hood to the tunic:
And here (insert drum roll) is the finished product! Ta-Da! One Elroy costume!

As you can probably tell from the photo, Ben is absolutely thrilled with his costume. And it really is much better than anything I could have bought because of this.
So, lesson learned. Next year regardless of finances, I'll be making his Halloween costume!

Monday, September 21, 2009

September camping, so many milestones!

This trip was so amazing in so many ways! We all had a blast. The weather was completely perfect and we had something new and exciting to do every day. From taking a hike along the Bruce Trail, to sitting in a canoe, to just chilling on the shores of Cypress Lake Ben was a joy and a wonderful companion. He has the makings of a true outdoors men. This trip was chalked full of first for him and they were all great!

First sight of a wind turbines on the drive up!

First time in a canoe! We saw a water snake who Andrew picked up of the end of his paddle so that Ben could have a better look. Thereafter whenever we saw an animal Ban demanded Andrew pick it up on his paddle.

First time staying up to see the moon! We tried to wake him after he had already fallen a sleep one night but it just wasn't happening, so the next night we decided to keep him awake until it was dark enough to see the big beautiful full moon, and a night time camp fire. It was really special.

First open air fire! Also the first time eating food cooked over a fire.

First smore! He like the chocolate and the marshmallow. The gram cracker? Not so much.

First time sleeping in tent! (For Ben not Andrew, but I didn't have a picture of Ben in the tent!)

First time in a hammock! He loved it so much. It was great for us too because he was completely contained and required almost no supervision. Occasionally he would demand a new book.

Longest ever car trip! We were planning to stop many more times on the way up for bathroom breaks and to stretch our legs. But we only had to stop once! He was a really pleasure in the car on the way up. On the way back, however, after only about an hour on the road he threw up all over the place. (It was a rental car *sigh*) But nobody's perfect right?

Longest ever hike! He didn't really need a lift but I was willing to indulge since we were walking for such a long time. The funny thing is, after the first long walk, and then playing for hours in the rocks by the Georgian Bay, he didn't even ask for a lift on the walk home! He ran most of the way back.

All in all it was a pretty perfect trip.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sensory Camp is Awesome! - Even after you leave.

So Sensory camp is over but not forgotten thanks to our little bean and lettuce plants.

Especially in an urban setting, it's easy for people to lose their connection to the natural "wild" world. It's easy to forget that all the food we eat originates in the earth. In a world of intense food processing, fast and faster food, a child's knowledge of food creation may be limited to the super market and the factories where food is packaged and processed.

A vital connection is missing. The connection to the soil and the complex ecosystems that thrive there within making life possible. If parents don't feel that connection to the soil themselves how can they pass it on to their children?

In a world were parks are being replaced by parking lots, trees are be coming rare and manicured grass is the only thing we see ever growing how can parents reconnect themselves?

If they are fortunate enough to have access to some out door soil they can cultivate their own little garden. (Last year we did tomatoes, this year it's pumpkins but we've had a slug invasion so we'll see if any survive.) But, with limited knowledge this is challenging, intimidating even. Surely if it were that easy everyone would do it, right?

Well, one of the things we learned at Sensory camp is that all we really need is a pot, soil, seeds, a sunny window sill, and water to grow our very own "food" plants.

Now we are seeing just how it grows and eventually we will eat some food right out of the dirt! (And yes we did do this at Sensory camp, but this is different because these are plants we have grown ourselves, right from seeds!)

Sensory camps was not only a fun way to to pass the summers day it also taught us some valuable lessons and is allowing us to renew our connect to the soil.

I'll update with more of our plants progress.


Ben went to school yesterday!
It was only for half the normal time to see if he would need any extra help adjusting, and since he doesn't he will be starting next Monday (September 14th) for the full 2 and a half hours.
Ben's thoughts and comments on his first day?

"I didn't really learn anything."
"We sang a song about Canada."
"There were two toy telephones. One did not have any buttons."
"The teacher did not read us any books even thought they have a lot of book there. I saw them."
"One little boy wouldn't even talk at all, he just cried. It was very annoying."

Here are some photos of the big day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sensory Camp is Awesome!- Day five.

*Big sight*
The last day of sensory camp was a bitter sweet affair. Bitter because it was such a wonderful program and we were all so very sad to see it end and sweet because we got to taste vegetables from the teaching garden and make a tasty face. But I'm getting a head of myself. First things first, I finally got a photo of the legendary manatee on wheels!

We reviewed all the five senses on the green carpet after we were all name tagged and signed in. Then we headed off to the teaching garden For the last time :(
At the teaching garden we planted our very own Bean and lettuce plants. One of the facilitators gave us a quick demonstration on how to fill the pots, put the seeds in and water with a spray bottle.
Then each child got their very own pot with their name on it and planted their beans.

Afterwords the pots were stack in a bin to carry back to the center while we read a book, but , the story was interrupted by a loader bringing logs for a new log circle. It was very difficult to concentrate on the story with that interesting machine doing interesting things.

After the story it was time to harvest some vegetables and have a little taste. We had a walk around the garden and the facilitator identified different vegetables and picked one of each.

Then the children were invited to find, pick, and taste a black bean all by themselves.

For snack time we were able to taste all the other vegetables.
White cucumber, yellow zucchini, yellow beet, and green and red tomatoes.

Ben did not like the zucchini or the beet but he did like the cucumber and the bean. He declined to try the tomatoes as he is not fond of tomatoes. Those of you who know Ben know that he is a very finicky eater and it has always been a challenge to get him to try new foods. I was surprised and delights that he tried so many new vegetables all at once.

During free play one of the little girls tried to teach Ben how to hula hoop. She was pretty good at it too.
Ben made several valiant attempts and then decided to try to pull hula hoops into the tube instead.

After free play it was time for a song and then back to the center for our craft.

On the way back we played follow the leader once again.

Our craft was making a tasty face that we could eat. The pudding was a big hit.

The tasty face disappeared very quickly.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Sensory Camp. But, at least we have a piece of camp to take home in the form of a bean seed which we will hopefully be able to grow into a lovely pant.