Sunday, 27 August 2006

Bye Bye Babcia

It was time to part ways with Babcia. After nine or so days of 'babysitting', Adam had to take his mom to the train station for her trip back to Brantford. The boys were coy and were not to enthusiastic about saying goodbye to Babcia. Eventually, they relented and gave her lots of kisses and hugs. Thanks Babcia.

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Corbin Travels to CPRI

Tina, Corbin and our respite worker, Sarah, traveled to the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London. CPRI is a provincially operated regional resource centre providing specialized (tertiary) diagnostic assessment, consultation, education, research and short-term treatment services for children and youth with complex emotional and behavioral disorders who require a clinical, highly specialized interdisciplinary approach.

Sarah (who needed a wake up call) brought her pillow, hoping to catch some shut eye on the trip up - guess she does not get at 7:00 in the morning like us working stiffs. Today's visit was about having Corbin assessed by an Occupational Therapist. The day went well and Tina and Corbin will be returning next Tuesday for further assessment.

Saturday, 19 August 2006

Babcia's Turn

Next babysitter, er, Grandmother please. Adam & Corbin picked up Babcia at the train station. She had not seen Corbin in over two months. Jeremy was excited to see Babcia again. The boys were all over Babcia in a matter of minutes, who just happened to have gifts for them. Not sure how she can carry one weeks worth of clothes, tolietries and gifts in that small suitcase.

Friday, 18 August 2006

The 10 Days of Bev

Tina took Bev to London where they were going to meet up with Gerry for dinner. The past 10 days were fairly painless. It did give both of us a chance to get some things done around the house, go on a date and do some shopping. It gave Bev a chance to spend some quality time with the boys. After Tina and Bev left, Jeremy kept asking where is Nanny; Corbin just wanted to play video games.

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Going Out On A Date

Whenever we have someone watching our kids - be it friends or family - we try to take advantage of that situation and do something without the kids. Sometimes we will go to our favourite Chinese food restaurant near the University or grab a dinner at Moxie's followed by dinner. Sometimes we will just go out shopping.

With Bev watching the kids, we decided to go catch a movie and grab a bite to eat. We saw Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Both of us are big fans of Will Ferrell and enjoyed the movie. The movie theatre was freaking cold - what's with the temperature in these places. Who knew you would have to bring a jacket or sweater to stay warm in the middle of summer? After the movie we headed to Moxie's for a great meal - they have excellent steak dinners.

Monday, 7 August 2006

Back To Cincinnati - Day 4 - Jabbering Jeremy

Last day of our mini-vacation. We grabbed breakfast, packed up and checked out. Before heading back to Windsor, we stopped at Borders Books, browsed around and bought a $100 worth of books. Prices in Canada have not been keeping pace with the drop in the exchange rate, so we decided to buy some books in the US, which ended up being around 40% cheaper than buying in Canada.

The trip home was uneventful. The weather was warm and sunny. Jeremy started talking about a soccer game and asked if we would come to his soccer game. None of us were sure what he was talking about, so we played along. Stopped for a quick lunch and gas along the way - can't quite remember where, but it was a McDonald's. Arrived at the Ambassador Bridge and filled up on cheap gas. Crossed the bridge. Had no problems at Customs. Though it was a much needed break, we were happy to be home.

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Back To Cincinnati - Day 3 - A Full Day Of Fun

They were predicting that today would be hot and humid - not good weather to be outdoors. So we decided to head indoors and visit the Cincinnati Museum Center. We visited the museum back in March and had a wonderful time. However, the directions to the museum were wrong and Adam had to take a little detour.

After that visit, Adam emailed the museum about the directions. The museum sent out staff to check the directions and verified that the exit numbers were incorrect (this is the area where I-75 and I-70 meet in downtown Cincinnati - it is quite the spaghetti junction with exits numbered from 1A to 1H). Mary Todd Hardeman, Vice President for Development and External Affairs, offered to make our next trip to the museum "on the house". We decided to take them up on this offer.

On our previous visit to the museum, we only visited the Natural History & Science Museum and the Children's Museum. Our complimentary passes included all four components of the museum, including the Omnimax Theater and the Cincinnati History Museum. We chose the Cincinnati History Museum as our first stop. This museum includes a scale model of Cincinnati in the early 1900s. There running streetcars and trains - which Jeremy wanted to go on. There were lots of hands-on exhibits for the boys to try out. Exhibits include a replica of a steamboat and a restored streetcar - both of which you could enter and explore.

Next we had a quick lunch followed by a visit to the gift store. We made our way to the OMNIMAX Theater for a showing of Beavers. An OMNIMAX movie is projected onto a five-story 72-foot diameter, tilted domed screen. The screen is so big that you only focus on a portion of the screen. Beavers showed the evolution of two beavers and their ever expanding dam and lake. The imagery is amazing. Corbin enjoyed the movie - he sat in awe. Jeremy was a little cautious, but he did like the scene that involved a bear.

We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting the Natural History and Science and Children's Museums. When we decided to leave, Tina noted that we had spent over five hours at the museum. That was a mind-boggling number given that we had no major issues with either boy. We highly recommend the Cincinnati Museum Center as a place to visit if you are in the Cincinnati area.
A big thank you to Mary for the complimentary passes.

Tired, we headed out into the heat and humidity to the van and drove back - via a scenic route - to the hotel. Time for a swim and some food.

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Back To Cincinnati - Day 2 - Animals and Plants

Started off the day with the awesome Holiday Inn Express Quick Start Breakfast Bar. Those cinnamon rolls are the best. The weather forecast was pleasant: sunny and warm. We got ready and headed out to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Though we arrived shortly after opening, the place was already bustling. There was a special event held in the morning for members. We received 50% of the price of admission since we were members of the Toledo Zoo. At the Cincinnati Zoo, you pay for your admission and parking before you park. This is better than having to pay parking, park and walk to the gate and then pay admission. Once you are parked, you walk straight into the zoo. Given the hilly topography of Cincinnati, there were parts where you had to walk up (but that meant there were parts where you had to walk down). For a small cost, you could take a train on wheels to get to other parts of the zoo.

The Zoo itself is fairly compact but packed with exhibits. Since this is also a botanical garden, the zoo is done to the nines with wonderful plant displays. The environment is very pleasing. Both Jeremy and Corbin loved the zoo. We managed to catch the Elephant Bath show, which both boys watched in awe. Once the show was done the elephants bathed in the pool and were about 15 feet or so away.

Exhibits are interspersed with walkways going everywhere - it is possible to visit this zoo and not take the same route each time. After about three hours or so, and before the afternoon sun began to take its toll, we headed back to the parking lot and the hot van. Back to the hotel and time for a dip in the pool, naturally.

Hunger started to settle in and we drove out to a nearby commercial area. We settled on the Olive Garden. After about a 10 minute wait, we were lead to our table. The orders were taken. The kids had spaghetti - which they ate very quickly. Unfortunately, our orders were delayed - seems like one or two large tables placed their order at the same time as ours. The waitress apologized and said that the manager would stop by. We were shocked that the waitress took the initiative to tell her manager that our meal was delayed. The manager came by, apologized and offered to pay for any deserts we ordered - she even said we could take them home. Wow.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Back To Cincinnati - Day 1 - The Return

Headed to Cincinnati, Ohio for a mini family vacation. We left around 2:00 pm - the weather was perfect for driving - warm and sunny. US Customs was not too bad - about a five minute wait. We stopped in Monroe, Michigan for a late lunch at Denny's. The boys were cute and polite as usual. The food was good and hot as usual. Adam filled the van with gas and we headed south to Cincinnati.

We arrived at the hotel, the Holiday Inn Express in Blue Ash (the same hotel we stayed during March Break), just before 7:00 pm. The drive down was uneventful. Adam checked in. We were given a room on the first floor across from the swimming pool - Tina liked that idea. No dragging the kids up and down the elevator. We unpacked and then went swimming.