The Good Life: Spring

Summer is officially here! For you in Southern Ontario, I’m sure you’ve been enjoying 30+degree weather for some time. For us, however, our spring is late and usually it doesn’t really warm up until July. Even today (now end of June), the kids are still needing their rain suits, fleece jackets and boots up here! 
Anyway, here are a few picture updates from the Spring (April & May) on Abram Lake. 

Our porch on April 28th! So much snow!

Patio life in Northern Ontario 🙂
Thankfully it all melted into many, many puddles that the kids loved to splash in!

Since the days have warmed up, we have spent all of our spare time outside. It’s so much easier to entertain the kids just in our own back yard. We spend endless hours biking, playing on the beach, gardening and just puttering around the yard. Thankfully, we have the best neighbours so the kids always have playmates to keep them occupied!

Henry enjoying an early Spring swing

The three musketeers – Alice, Henry & Sailor 

Henry trying to pass along his love for biking to Sailor 
These two on their machines 🙂

Trampoline fun!

Finally we’re able to hit the beach!
Alice and Ada.
Alice LOVES Ada so much. As soon as she wakes, she’ll yell from her crib, “Baba! Baba!” (Baba = Ada)
She will pick up a ball or stick and yell, “Baba!” and throw it to her. It’s so cute. She also likes to snuggle with Ada on her bed. Thank goodness Ada is so patient with her.

Alice trying to keep up with her brother

Taking time to smell the dandelions!

Up early, waiting at Sailor’s door, ready to play trucks!

Safety first! Helmets at the beach is a standard for my kids.
They always seem to frequently transition back and forth from biking to the beach,
so we just leave their helmets on all the time!

Alice, forever trying to catch up to Henry!

No more snow and ice on the beach!

Alice helping me to prep our veggie garden

Quiet days on the water

Alice has been changing so much over the past few months. She’s very independent and much like Henry, likes to do things on her own. For example, she will refuse to eat unless you let her fend for herself with her fork. She loves to be on the go and, like Henry, hardly ever sits still. Just like Henry at this age, she will not cuddle or sit very long for a story. Over the past month or so, she has picked up a number of ‘words’, like ‘ball’, ‘Baba’ (Ada), ‘Da-Da’ (Dad), ‘bup’ (boat), etc. She still hasn’t figured out who I am, but I’m trying not to take that personally 🙂 She also will identify her nose, toes, eyes, belly button, etc.

Since Alice is still working out her language skills, her communication is mostly in the intonation of her noises accompanied with LOTS of gestures. When she wants to do something, she will pat her belly and point at whatever she wants. Or she has specific gestures for different things, like raising her right arm up in the air for ‘airplane’ whenever a floatplane roars over the house. It’s really interesting watching her develop. It’s the best part of being a parent.

Her day, like Henry’s starts at 7am when she wakes. She’s happy to chat and call out for Ada until I come and get her. For breakfast, we let Blake snooze while Henry, Alice and I eat our oatmeal, PB on toast, eggs and fruit. She ADORES blueberries (like Henry) and will go crazy when you open the freezer for them!

I’m usually out the door by 8:30am with Henry (to take him to daycare). During the day, she spends her time with Blake. They go for boat-rides, hang out in the yard or garage, putter around the house or do errands in town. She also still naps twice a day from 9-11am and from 2:30-4pm usually. I tried to cut her back to one nap so that Henry and Alice would be on the same schedule, but alas, that was a fail. This kid loves her sleep!

At the end of the day, I try to get home by dinner and often can sneak in a little play time in before bed. I always try to be the once to give the kids a bath (usually with wine for me if I’m off-call), then we read on the couch with Alice’s bottle before we do our teeth then it’s in bed by 6:30-7pm. I often try to rock her or snuggle her, but she really is not one for cuddles and literally reaches from my arms to her fleece. So putting her down for the night actually takes 20seconds. You just put her down. That’s it! Then she snuggles her fleece and babbles a bit before snoozing all night.

Thankfully, ever since 3 months, she has been the BEST sleeper. I can count on one hand the number of times she’s woken up in the night since 3 months. It’s pretty amazing!

My sweet girl

With her favourite uncle Johnny. She goes crazy when she sees him. 

Chilling out in the hammock

On a mommy-daughter date. We biked to the farmers market for pizza!

Getting dirty in the garden

Contemplating life in the woods

More gardening in her jammies!
With her bestie, Ada
Trying to climb out of her crib – already!!!
From back in the Spring when there was still snow – she loves to ‘snuggle’ up to objects
 like trees or leaves or flowers to feel their texture on her face. It’s so funny!
With my colleague, Lianne’s daughter Natalie at our physician retreat

At the library with Sailor.
This picture is so cute and hilarious because it really captures their personalities.
Here is Sailor, reading quietly, while Alice dumps the toys all over the place!
With Simon at a library date

As for Henry, he’s becoming more and more expressive as the months go on. I’ve started writing down his sayings because they are hilarious! Of course he has his toddler moments, but overall, he’s pretty good and gets along with Alice surprisingly well. Not shockingly, he is quite particular about most things and likes his toys ‘just so’ and does NOT like it when his hand are dirty!

These days, he goes to daycare pretty much full time at an awesome day home in town which he loves. I usually drop him off when I go to work and he always sends me off with a big hug and kiss. His naps haven’t changed in over a year and he still has a giant nap from 1-3:30/4pm in the afternoons. Bedtime for awhile was super stressful as the days were longer and lighter just at the time he learnt how to break out of his crib. Thankfully the three hour bedtimes and 5am wake-ups have disappeared although he now goes to bed later (8-830pm) which means our kid-free evenings are getting shorter and shorter!

Putting Henry to bed these days is the best. Tonight he even asked to go to bed and will say, ‘Mom, want to sleep with me? I have a spot for you!’ Of course I lay down and snuggle in his crib to sing to him and it’s all I can do to stay awake!

Henry, the most extreme toddler ever.
Not sure if any other kid would think that playing hockey while ON a skateboard was a good idea!
After the bath, he always requests to ‘be dress’ meaning, he likes it when you make a towel dress 🙂 

You know summer has officially arrived when Henry is now fully outfitted in his lifejacket AND biking helmet!
So far, our summer is going to be very low-key. We haven’t planned any vacations and will be staying put on the shores of Abram Lake until the Fall. My favourite kind of summer!
Having pizza dinner with Cat and Caleb

Reading with Auntie Bacon before bed
Megan biking like a boss on our women’s trail ride up Sioux Mountain

The view was worth it!
Our recent clothing swap where we all came together with bags of clothes
and much wine and ended up with each other’s wardrobes!
Henry and Blake – watching endless Jays games together

Back in May, Blake and I went on an amazing kid-free weekend to Kenora while Meghan and John took care of the kids.
It was the first time we’d been away from them over night since Alice was born.
It was a much need break to reconnect, drink and eat some delicious food!

Prior to opening weekend (aka May 24), Blake did a great deal of work on our 30 year-old boat to get up back in the water. I’m so thankful that he’s handy! We’ve been doing lots of fishing and have been enjoying loads of fresh walleye for dinner. I love summer here!
The boys heading out for their first fishing evening of the season!

Henry LOVES fishing. At first he wasn’t too sure, but he loves casting and ‘catching’ fish which is accomanied by dramatic running commentary that usually goes like this:
Henry casts…
“Mom! I got one! I got a big one! I got a walleye! Mom! It’s a big one! It’s an eater!” (as he’s reeling)
When he realizes that his lure is empty, he’ll say EVERY TIME:
“Aw, it got away!”
And then he’ll try again!

The boys coming in from an evening of fishing. Because I’m on-call so much, and because Alice goes to bed at 6:30pm, we usually stay home. Of course, I love getting out on the water, but there is also something quite nice about being left behind on a quiet evening watching the sun set over the lake. 
Like last summer, Blake and I have revived our weekly tradition of dates where we go fishing or go for a paddle.
Here we are on a night for fishing with Ada!

Fishing at the Chutes at sunset
Mis Alice riding Sailor’s bike

Just a regular evening at our house! Here is Keith multi-tasking like a pro – cutting the grass while entertaining three kids 🙂
Summer is finally here! I love days like this!

Our first outdoor meal on our deck

Blake and Henry having a ‘Cheers’

Henry’s pre-dinner snack while awaiting the BBQ fare

On the beach, with his helmet, as usual!

Doing some lake-side yoga with Ada

Alice throwing sticks for Ada.
Alice and I trying to stay in the shade

Henry catching a ride with Sailor
Alice being her goofy self

Like Henry, she’s a climber and always wants to climb up on the coffee table and jump off!

Shopping with Mom

More toddler yoga in their jammies

 Celebrating the Jewish holiday of Shavuot at Benji & Tal’s

Here’s to more sunny days ahead!

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