We managed to spend some time with rocks and trees and water! this summer.
You know what else I have been doing? Listening to music. I am really enjoying Arctic Monkeys’ latest album. I even found a photo from this summer that goes very well with one of the songs.
“Maybe I was a little too wild in the ’70s
Rocket-ship grease down the cracks of my knuckles
Karate bandana, warp speed chic
Hair down to there, impressive moustache”
Star Treatment by Arctic Monkeys
Trev is now old enough to babysit, so I can go to movies again!!! We actually went to see “Sorry to Bother You” a couple of months ago and I have been thinking about updating the blog since but could not think of profound thoughts or intriguing pictures to put up. You know what? This blog is not about that. I will go back to irreverent thoughts about life, sometimes without points or illustrations but always about something on my mind. For example, parenting!
My goal this summer was to spend quality time with the kids and to get them to start doing life chores (cooking, cleaning, getting places on time) without losing my mind. I think I did ok!
Just to prove it, here is a photo of the boys on one of our mandatory fun outings.
Our three camping trips in four weekends adventure concluded with a wonderful outing to Algonquin park, but let’s start from the beginning.
Sometime in early June the boys convinced me to take them to the outdoor megastore and buy them fishing rods. So I did. Then they quickly concluded that we have to go fishing. We decided to go to Gatineau Park and check out the campsite next to the yurt we stayed at this winter so we can compare and contrast. Because our primary purpose was to fish, Markus called it Camp Fishy.
Our secondary purpose was to see the Lusk cavern. We checked out the cave from the outside as the water was really high so I was not comfortable going in there with Markus. We might come by later on in the season when there is less water and we are better equipped to waddle through it. We managed to avoid rain (it rained while we were sleeping) and added a short canoe ride. I enjoyed the camp ground by Lac Philippe but because it was rainy the fully forested sites were a little cold and very full of mosquitos. It would be a great location during the summer heat.
Our neighbours put together a group camping trip to Long Sault. This is the second year we’ve joined and we had tons of fun. After some hemming and hawing we decided to brave the weather and head out to camp late Friday night. We arrived at 11PM and were only the third of six families that were going to arrive that day.
Beaverbrook camping is great for letting the kids run around with their friends and the adults chat and relax. Like last year, we visited the bird sanctuary with enough kids (eleven) no birds were to be found.
There was a pretty hilarious thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon which reminded us of the pitfalls of setting up the tent in the middle of the night. I was taking a nap during the storm and relived of the ’90s waterbed craze.
We had a lovely pot-luck and a huge campfire in the evening. I am not sure about exact numbers but I think there was about eighty people in our group.
Elite Beaverbrook Camping
Car camping is all well and good, but nothing beats Dan’s backcountry trips. By now, Owen had broken his arm and had to sit this one out. We are assured that Chris and he had fun. Trev, Markus and I headed out to the Algonquin Park to join three other families. We picked up our three seater canoe at Achray and paddled from the Grand Lake to the far end of Stratton lake where our site was.
Eight kids, of which mine were the oldest in the group, made for a busy picture.
The visit to the High Falls was definitely a highlight. The water was too high for us to feel comfortable going down the slide, so we left that to the twenty-somethings who always seem in abundance on this spot. We found a nice pool to splash in. Despite the high water and this being relatively early in the season, the water was much warmer than last time.
The trip back was made somewhat challenging by the wind. This was the first time I was steering the canoe the whole trip. Trevor did a fair share of paddling and I was pretty impressed with his stamina. I was also very happy to have such awesome friends who made canoeing with kids, which would otherwise be stressful, so much fun.
WARNING: As of next month I will put password on the blog. The password will be the name you get from first letters in our kids names.
The weather forecast was a bit iffy so we were not sure if we were doing the CHEO ride this year until the last minute. As you can see, we did end up at the event.
Because the adults were outnumbered, we did the 15km ride that took us along the river and back.
The weather started out fine enough, but drizzle caught us half way through and combined with cold made it a bit hard for the little bike ornaments that were not pedalling.
Don’t worry, they cheered up as soon as food arrived.
At the way back we got to enjoy the benefits of the minivan – out whole family including bikes still fits!
Final thoughts from the boys:
T: If it was a nice day I would have done 40km.
O: If it was a hot day I would do 70!
M: If it was a really hot day I would wear shorts!!!
Some days the kids come back from school with bad notes and we have to figure out how to deal with it best. The easiest thing to do is to take away screens or the night light for a week, but sometimes we get bored with that. When Owen gets in trouble, I prefer to have him have to help me in the kitchen for a week. Trevor has mostly figured out how to stay out of trouble and is getting really good at negotiating his rewards. I have to be careful about what I promise, a problem I did not have before. Markus hates losing his light and he is mostly good anyway. The trouble with Markus is that negotiating him out of his decisions is like ending the Cold War. No-one can win but no-one can look like they lost either.
We are at the point where parenting becomes more about making the right choices and saying the right things than brute force. I can’t easily lift my kids any more and 123 magic has the tendency to wear off. Fortunately, the kids have been wonderful and parenting is more fun now than ever before.