Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nanny and Poppy Visit

We had the pleasure of Nanny and Poppy's (aka Bev & Gerry) company this weekend. Tina's parents came down from Goderich early Saturday morning - around 9 am or so. Jeremy quickly said "hello" and began to play with Nanny and Poppy. Corbin, on the other hand, was watching TV in the basement and did not hear the doorbell. After a few verbal reminders, Corbin finally made it up and welcomed Nanny and Poppy with big hug. Adam received a present, two flashlights, from Bev & Gerry. Adam thanked them and said "one for Jeremy and one for Corbin". The rest of the weekend was relaxed and easy going.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Christmas Inventory

We finally got around to taking an inventory of presents for the boys and our nieces. We pulled all the bags out and sorted the presents by child and then further sorted by who is giving what and when. There were a few gaps here and there, nothing that cannot be remedied with a short trip to Toys R Us and Best Buy. We 'tagged' each present to avoid second guessing who is giving what and bundled the presents according to when they are being given (Christmas Eve and Christmas morning).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Day On The Trails

Today, the four of us, headed out to Ojibway Park on the west side of Windsor. The park is a natural area consisting of a forest with various trails and a nature centre where visitors can learn about the park and purchase books, bird feeders, bird seed and some goodies for the kids. Tina wanted to take the stroller, but Adam said let Jeremy walk and run free. It was a warm fall day - perfect for wandering on the trails.

The park was covered with leaves, everywhere. Jeremy liked the sound made when walking through the leaves, so he walked just off the trail where all the small saplings and bushes are located. Naturally, this meant that he kept walking into them - branches would bounce of his forehead. We ended up taking one of the longer trails - about 3 to 4 km - and Jeremy walked it for the most part.

We also brought the walkie-talkies so Corbin could wander the trails without out constant supervision. For whatever reason, Corbin was reluctant to go out on his own, so either Tina and Adam had to be with him. We ended up in the Nature Centre where Tina bought the boys a rubber snake for their excellent behavior.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Night Out

Dana, our former respite worker (she worked with Corbin - giving us a break) offered to babysit both Corbin and Jeremy one night. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity. The boys did not seem all that concerned or sad that Mom and Dad were leaving them with Dana for the night. We headed out for dinner at the Mongolian Grill in Lakeshore. Eating at the Mongolian Grill is an experience. You grab a bowl and fill it your choice of noodle followed by your choice of meat or seafood. Next you pour a ladle of oil and then choose your sauce (or combination of sauces - watch out some are hot). You can add some herbs and spices to liven up your dish. You walk over to the grill, which is a flat 5 grill with a hole in the middle that heats up to 600 degrees F. The cooks take your bowl and pour on the grill and proceed to slice it and mix up with sticks. About 45 seconds later, your meal is ready for you to take back to your table. Fresh, hot and tasty.

After filling up on a few bowls, we drove over to the Lakeshore Cinemas to see what was playing. Harry Potter just came tonight so the majority of people were going to see that movie. We decided on Jarhead, a movie about a Marine who was involved in the first Gulf War. The movie was excellent - well written and well acted. It provides a unique point-of-view of the first Gulf War. Highly recommended. Next we stopped for a coffee and a donut at Tim Horton's. We arrived back to a quiet house - the boys were asleep. Dana said that everything went well. It was nice to get out and spend some time together away from the boys.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pee in the Potty

After Adam toweled him dry, Jeremy asked to sit on the potty. So Adam opened the lid on the potty and helped Jeremy to sit properly on it. Adam tells Jeremy to push and a few seconds later, Jeremy declares he is done and gets off the potty. Adam looks in, and lo and behold, there is pee in the bowl. It was the first time that Jeremy went pee or poo in the potty. Adam yelled "I don't believe it, but Jeremy went pee in the potty". Seconds later, Tina and Corbin came into the bathroom to congratulate Jeremy, who proceeded to sit on the potty again. Yet more pee in the bowl. Let's hope that this is the beginning of the end of diapers (and let's hope that this is a short journey).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Babcia Visits Windsor

Babcia, Adam's mom, visited us this past weekend. She arrived, early Wednesday evening, by train. She spent the weekend playing with Jeremy when Corbin was in school and with Corbin when Jeremy was napping or otherwise preoccupied (like eating or getting his diaper changed). On Friday, when Adam and Tina were out buying Christmas presents for the boys, Babcia took Jeremy to the park for over an hour. Jeremy loves parks and he was loving it. On Saturday, she took Corbin to the park while Jeremy napped. There was a sudden silence in the house, something that Tina and Adam last experienced some three and half years ago. It was too quiet. It was a wonderful weekend for all. Tina and Adam were able to get some downtime and finish the Christmas shopping for the kids. Jeremy and Corbin were able to expend vast amounts of energy playing with Babcia. And Babcia got to spend a lot of quality time with her grandkids.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Christmas Shopping

In what has become an annual tradition on Remembrance Day (aka Veteran's Day in the USA), we went shopping for Christmas presents for our boys and our nieces. Adam and Tina get the day off, but the kids are in school, which makes it easy to buy the presents in one morning. Adam's mom was down and she was able to stay with Jeremy, which made the day even easier. We start with a breakfast at a local eatery and then proceed to Toys R' Us. The place is hopping by 9:30 am and we usually bump into one of Adam's co-workers, Jim, and his wife Tracey. While you do spend a lot of money in one day, the Christmas shopping is done for the kids. No need to fight the crowds and lines. Usually the weather is nice and makes for a very relaxed shopping experience. All we have to worry about now are presents for each other and our parents.

Comfort Inn & Suites - St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites
Location:
703 Route 5 South, St. Johnsbury, VT, 05819, USA
Stayed: 01-Jul-2005 to 03-Jul-2005 - Two Nights

Room Type: 2 Queen Beds Non-Smoking with Sofa Bed
Room Rate: $99 USD (Government Rate)
Room Amenities: Coffeemaker, Fridge, TV, Iron & Ironing Board, Small Table & Chairs, Desk
Room Number: 116

Access: Highway
Breakfast: Deluxe Continental included
Floors: Four
Internet: Wired
Parking: Free surface
Recreation: Large indoor heated pool, Whirlpool, Sauna, Outdoor patio
Other: Elevator, Video arcade, Laundry room
Nearby Amenities: Shopping, Movies, Restaurants in downtown St. Johnsbury

Good: Located right at Exit 20 on I-91; Excellent recreational facilities including a large indoor pool and a video arcade; Ample surface parking; Large rooms. Excellent check in and check out.

Bad: Temperature of pool was cool - would hardly call it heated.

Overall: Great location. Only 45 minutes from Canadian border; about 30 minutes to Santa's Village and 15 minutes to Littleton, New Hampshire. Cannon Mountain is about 30 minutes to the southeast. This was the first day of our vacation out east and we wanted to cover as much ground as possible (Brantford, Ontario to St. Johnsbury - 870 km/540 miles). So we decided to stay the two nights at this hotel and use the first night to recover from the long drive. It was a wise decision and with the great facilities at the hotel, it was a great start to our vacation.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Holiday Inn Express - East Greenbush (Albany), NY, USA

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Location: 8 Empire Drive, East Greenbush, NY, 12144, USA
Stayed: 09-Jul-2005 to 10-Jul-2005 - One Night

Room Type: 1 Queen Bed Non-Smoking with Sofa Bed
Room Rate: $92 USD
Room Amenities: Coffeemaker, Fridge, TV, Iron & Ironing Board, Office Chair & Desk, Clothes Steamer
Room Number: 123

Access: Highway
Breakfast: Complimentary Express Start Breakfast including omelets, bacon & hard boiled eggs
Floors: Three
Internet: Wired free
Parking: Outdoor free
Recreation: Indoor pool, Whirpool
Other: Elevator, Business Center
Nearby amenities: Restaurants, Shopping

Good: Easy access from I-90; One of the best continental-style breakfasts around, includes the awesome Express Start cinnamon rolls AND omelets, bacon and hard-boiled eggs.

Bad: No in-room microwave

Overall: Excellent hotel to spend the night on a long trip back to Canada. The breakfast is top-notch.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Super 8 Motel - Truro, NS, Canada

Hotel: Super 8 Motel
Location: 85 Treaty Trail, Truro, NS, B2N 5A9, Canada
Stayed: 05-Jul-2005 to 06-Jul-2005 - One Night

Room Type:
2 Queen Bed Non-Smoking - 2nd Floor
Room Rate: $110 CAD
Room Amenities:
Coffeemaker, Fridge, Microwave, TV, Iron & Ironing Board, Small Table
Room Number: 218

Access: Highway
Breakfast: Continental included
Floors: Two
Internet: Wired
Parking: Outdoor Surface
Recreation: Indoor Heated with Water Slide & Hot Tub
Other: Elevator
Nearby Amenities: Restaurants, Movies, Grocery Store

Good: New hotel (two years old in 2005); kids will like water slide; excellent continental breakfast with a good selection of hot and cold items; quick check-in and check-out; right off Highway 102; movie theatre, Tim Hortons, Sobey's Express and A & W Restaurant all located within walking distance; affordable.

Bad: Not much too do around hotel.

Overall: Great place to stop if you are travelling from/to Digby or Yarmouth from/to PEI, New Brunswick or Cape Breton. The water slide was the highlight of our 2005 summer vacation for our son.