Sunday, July 21, 2013

Photo overload, but this race was all about the visuals

It's been a few years now that I have been saying I am going to do the Bluewater Triathlon. It's the only one on my local circuit I haven't been to now, and it was on Saturday. I had planned to do it this year (really!) but then I heard that The Color Run was coming to town on the same day.
We thought that might be something fun we could do as a family, so The Color Run won out. The kids did not take too much convincing to sign up, though Mallory eventually started saying she wanted to back out. Luckily, the counsellors at her daycamp last week were all running it. They were talking about it and got her excited again, too... though we would come to find out that excitement would be short-lived!
You wouldn't know it from this shot though...
The weather turned nice after that big string of storms right as we started. We ran for about five minutes and then Mallory wanted to walk. And not only did she want to walk, she wanted to complain the whole time. It was too hot... it was too far... "I didn't ASK to enter the longest race on Earth!" she said. I nearly dumped her in the Detroit River and went on without her.
Liam had a blast though, and how could you not? Here we are inside one of the Color Zones. (Yeah, The Color Run is an American thing - thus the spelling!) The colour powder is cornstarch. It was not as difficult to breathe as I'd feared and we didn't get it in our eyes. All was well.
What's this? Mallory actually running a few steps again?
Ah, it's because she's on a mission to get her dad.
Approaching the final Color Zone.
This is what we looked like at the end of the race... covered from head to toe!
One of the volunteers wandering by handed the kids a few extra packets of colour, which they promptly used to attack Chad.
I got a bit of it, too.
Despite how we were all disguised by the end, and despite there being 11,000 people there, I managed to find Anne!
We hung around the 'after party' for a bit, using up our last bits of colour and watching the coordinated colour-bombings going on... but by then it was getting late and we had to get going. 
We stopped at McDonald's on our way home, where a lot of other Color Runners were congregating, too. I think we freaked out the general public. We are no worse for the wear today, except that I have a streak of blue in my hair that didn't wash out. Thanks to the likes of Katy Perry and her ilk, I am going to consider this hip rather than "old lady whose rinse turned her head blue". Hopefully it doesn't last too long - I have not had funky-coloured hair since I purpled myself during frosh week in university. It was OK at 19 but at twice that age, it's not really my thing.

(Oh, and as for that Bluewater Triathlon? - on account of bad weather, the swim was cancelled and it was turned into a duathlon - so I don't think I missed out on much anyway!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Making our way through the summer bucket list

We started a list of things we wanted to do this summer back when school ended. The idea was quickly abandoned though when I realized nobody was into it except for me. But before I dropped it, I did hear that the kids wanted to go blueberry picking again this year.
As is usually the case, our summer weekends are quickly filling up. Last Sunday we didn't have much planned and when we headed out of town on Saturday, we heard that the blueberry patch had just opened. So even though we were out of town on Saturday, and I was headed out to Erieau again on Sunday afternoon, we decided to squeeze a quick trip to Thamesville in on Sunday morning.
Actually, we'd talked about it as a possibility, and then on Sunday morning I was lazing about and didn't really feel like going... but Liam was adamant. He is not this gung ho about many things, but blueberry picking is something he is fiercely protective of. We were going and that was that. He was so anxious to see the sign and see how tall he was... thought he was going to hit the 5' mark. Really he's about 4.5'. Maybe next year buddy!
(Here he is modeling his completely blue head-to-toe outfit, including underpants. Like I said, he was enthusiastic. I was originally wearing a pink shirt but I was heckled and so I changed into blue, too.)
(Thamesville will be home to a huge War of 1812 re-enactment this fall. It's rumoured that the Queen is coming for it. Yeah yeah, I doubt it too!)
After picking blueberries, we needed to cool off... and the cousins came by for a swim, too.
So, we did it - we knocked at least one item off the list. I can now line up 8 blueberry patch photos to mark Liam's 8 trips in the 9 years he's been on this earth, and Mallory is 7 for 7. It was never intentional, but it's pretty cool.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Saturday in the summer

Last weekend, we took advantage of finally having a beautiful hot summer day fall on a weekend. Chad had plans that had him in and out of the house all day, so the kids and I packed up and headed to Stratford.
Originally I'd thought about going to see "The Three Musketeers" since it's being billed as the family-friendly show at The Stratford Festival for the season. But I've heard a few different reviews now, and none of them good: not child-friendly-enough for kids this age, and too long at 3 hours.
Instead, we strolled through Art in the Park, where Mallory took a picture of just about every painting, and continued along the waterfront to the boat house. We rented paddleboats and bought bags of corn to feed the ducks and geese. After the strenuous leg workout, we treated ourselves at the candy store, where a chocolate- and gummy bear-coated caramel apple was the prize.
The swans were on land, not in the water, so we saved some corn in case we ran into them on the walk back home. Sure enough, we did.
Mallory continued to take pictures of the swans, and was not deterred even when a wedding occurring on the island across the bridge concluded and the recessional they played was "Marry You" by Bruno Mars, which we could hear clear as a bell. A couple of months ago that would have brought whatever Mallory was doing to a halt; in this case, it merely made her pause. I have a feeling though that if the music being played was Taylor Swift instead, she would have taken a lot more notice.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Staycation 2013

This week, the kids spent several nights at Camp Gramma and Grampa. They'll be going to several daycamps this summer, but the weeks involving a long weekend they are going to sleepaway camp at the trailer (combined with a few vacation days we're taking to stay home with them).

They were at the trailer for three nights. That's the longest they have ever been away from home. We weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves, having a break like that. I dubbed it our Staycation - we could do whatever we wanted! Party time for the adults! The kids set off Monday night, after soccer, and by 8:30 we had the house to ourselves. I was exhausted from the holiday weekend, having had several successive early mornings combined with late nights (damn you, fireworks!!) I was set on going to bed early. Instead I got sucked into watching the Lifetime Jodi Arias movie. Time not well spent.

I vowed on Tuesday to do something more productive. It was a busy week at work and I was at the office later than normal. By the time I came home and went for a spin, it was late. We grabbed something to eat and I found myself in front of the TV again. I got about 15 minutes into Extreme Weight Loss or some such thing when I realized the week was going to be over and I wouldn't have anything to show for it. I got my ducks in a row and finally finished hanging the gallery wall in Mallory's room (with some assistance from Chad). It's been in the works for months - frames assembled and hanging plan plotted out; just needed to get around to it. It was actually a lot faster to hang than I'd imagined - not sure why I put it off for so long.
(OK, it's not entirely done. Still looking for something to add to the lower right!)

On Wednesday night, Chad and I had a date. We first heard about The Lone Ranger movie last summer while in Utah - where parts of it had been filmed. So we were keen to see it... at least until Wednesday morning, when all the terrible reviews were published. We had to make a decision: spend 2.5 hours of free time on what could well be a terrible movie, or skip it and get something else done instead? We decided to see the movie and I'm glad we did. It was too long, but it wasn't as terrible as the critics made it out to be. The scenery was beautiful and the last half hour's action sequence was a lot of fun.
Thursday night... how did the end come so quickly? Another busy day at the office and then I'd planned to meet a group at the lake for a swim. We waffled a bit since the weather didn't look good, but went and it was actually a great night for it. The storm blew in after I was back in the car. Picked up a couple teeny tiny pieces of sea glass to add to my collection. (It's hard to find out there!!)

From the lake, I drove around the bay to the trailer to pick up Chad (who'd ridden his bike out) and the kids. Mallory looked very tan and Liam looked like he grew two inches in the time he was away. They told us stories about Camp Gramma and Grampa the whole way home. I think they had a good time.
 Today we took some vacation time to stay home with the kids. The weather was lousy and we found ourselves back at the movie theatre... twice in one week! That's a record for us. This time around, we saw Despicable Me 2: received much more favourably by the critics, but dare I say it wasn't as good as the first one?
And with that... our Staycation is over. Back to real life with the kids... at least until August, when they will pack up for another couple of nights. Next time around, I will plan out how I'm going to spend my time, but also be more realistic about how much can be done in a day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scenes from a Canada Day weekend

Our Canada Day weekend looked pretty much like you'd expect in most ways. There was some enjoying of the great outdoors...
Some fun and games with family...
Some treats (I may or may not have fed my kids leftover strawberry shortcake for breakfast yesterday morning):
And some fun with pyrotechnics. We stayed small scale, with a few packs of sparklers to entertain us. (We even got Mallory to hold some; big step forward for a fire-phobic girl.)
But we also went to some local fireworks, saw even more fireworks our neighbours were setting off from a viewpoint in our back yard, and last night I realized that we had a great view of our city's fireworks from my bedroom window.
More fun with sparklers. Penmanship is a tricky thing when there are no lines to write on.
We went downtown for the local celebration. We were lucky to do this early in the day because after that it just poured. Seriously, what is up with the weather? I don't ever recall having a cold Canada Day before. 
The kids played soccer last night and I was wearing jeans, a t shirt and a hoodie, and if I'd had another layer I would have been wearing that, too. In July. Unreal.
This week, the kids are at Camp Gramma and Grampa for a few days... enjoying a sleepover at the trailer. They are pumped to be there - it might be difficult getting Mallory jazzed up to do day camp at the YMCA next week. We have an assortment of day camps, stay home days and a family trip planned for the summer, so if there's something she doesn't like the good news is that within a few days, it will change. Here's hoping I can keep up to date with what they're doing and where they're supposed to be going on my calendar. It's much easier when they simply go to school every day!