Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Wishes

From The Twingle Family, to yours; we wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Heart Warming Mommy Moments

Pickle, Boo and Pretty are all colouring in the kitchen right now.  I'm quickly checking my email and details for tonight's school sing along when Pickle comes running into the office (aka: dining room) yelling "mommy kiss and hug, mommy kiss and hug".  I pick her up to be the lucky recipient of the BIGGEST bear hug and slobbery kiss.  She then gets down and runs back into the kitchen to colour with the twins.

My heart is melting.

Kisseo eCard Facebook App Review and Giveaway

I was recently asked to review the Kisseo eCards app for Facebook.  It seems in today's busy society fewer people are taking the time to send hand-written notes and so Kisseo has come up with a solution.  By simply using a platform that many of us are already familiar, Facebook, we can send our friends and family eCards for any occasion.

"Kisseo eCards help you stay connected to your friends. We have 5,000+ cards to send for any occasion, and now you can send them directly on Facebook! This is especially great for the upcoming holiday season – all holiday cards on the app are free so you can spread holiday cheer to all your friends!"


I was quite surprised by the number of free cards available to send and how easy it is to do so.  Once you allow the Kisseo eCard app access to your Facebook account, you can choose to upgrade your membership to "premium" which gives you access to EVERYTHING.

While the free cards were great; the premium selection is amazing.  There are animated cards, interactive cards and more.

Cards are broken down into categories so you can easily find what you're looking for.  I send a birthday card, several Christmas cards and a Hanukka card without any difficulty at all.  Well, okay...maybe there was some difficulty in deciding which card to send!

I'm very glad I had a chance to try it out.  While I do prefer the traditional handmade, handwritten card; the Kisseo eCard app is going to be very handy in a pinch.

Giveaway


One lucky reader is going to win a free 1-year premium membership subscription to the Kisseo eCard Facebook app!
Giveaway will close January 16, 2012.
Good luck to all

Parenting with Laryngitis?

Can it be done?

The answer is yes...though with a lot of difficulty!

I'm on Day 6 with laryngitis and I gotta say, it's not fun. Never mind the fact that I sound like I should be operating an adults only phone line; but, it's really difficult to get the kids to listen to me when I sound like a member of the Chipmunk family.

Thankfully, it seems as though only my voice has been affected by this virus. I feel fine otherwise which is good since I still have a plethora of tasks to do before Christmas this weekend.

So while I may sound like Alvin, Simon or Theodore I still have a household to run. Right now it involves a lot of gesturing to get my point across; but, I think we are all finally figuring it out.
Much like Cindy Brady asking Santa to give her mommy's voice back, I'm asking Santa to bring me mine.

In the interim I'm squeakily wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Can't Get into It.

I'm not sure if you've read my posts about how much I love Christmas? It is by far my favourite holiday and I can't wait for Hallowe'en to be over so I can get out the Christmas decorations and send my cards.

This year; however, I just can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. Sure, the house is decorated and we took the kids to the Santa Claus Parade; but, not much more.  I make my Christmas cards each year and only have a handful completed, and no desire to do the rest.

I haven't even taken the kids to see Santa yet.

The floor under my tree is pretty much bare, with the exception of the three gifts my parents took the kids out to buy.  I've bought a few things here and there; but, again I would normally be finished my shopping by now.

I don't know why I can't find the Christmas spirit. I think it's the commercialism and politics of it all. The true meaning of Christmas has been lost on so many people; and it's become increasingly difficult to just wish someone a "Merry Christmas" for fear of offending them.

Or maybe, it's the guilt of spending money on gifts when we have bills to pay.  Whatever the reason, Christmas spirit, eludes me this year.  I really hope, I can get into it soon because I'm missing out on all the fun the season brings.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Santa Bailout

The Santa Bailout
This infographic was commissioned by First Choice.
Join the conversation on Twitter, #savesanta,
for the chance to win an iPad2.

First Choice, home of all inclusive, have created a competition to fix Santa's finances.  To win an iPad 2 add your comment below and tell us how you think we can save Santa from financial ruin.  Be sure to send an email with your comment to blog@firstchoice.co.uk so they can track your entry.
For additional chances to win, tweet: “Santa’s finances are a mess, so I’m blogging to #SaveSanta & #win an iPad2 with @FirstChoiceUK.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nûby Response

I heard from Nûby last night regarding the sippy cup mentioned in this post.

There was no apology or assurance that it was a one-time occurrence, or that they would look into this particular product.  The email simply contained the following:


Hello;

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Could you please send us your information (name, address and telephone number) We can send you out replacement straws. Thank you and have a nice day.



Esmeralda CS3016| ISIS Customer Service

Needless to say, I'm quite shocked that a company like Nûby wouldn't even acknowledge that there was a problem with the cup.  I doubt I will use the replacement straws they have offered to send.  And quite frankly, I'll think twice about purchasing Nûby products in the future.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Highly Disappointed

On a recent trip to the US, Mr. Twingle and I found these Nûby cups and thought we'd give them a try with Pickle.  
She's been fighting using any sort of sippy cup for milk, so we thought this might be a good option.

We had used Nûby cups for the twins when we transitioned from bottles to cups; but, Pickle doesn't like the ones we used with them.  In fact, if she sees us reach for it in the cupboard she goes into meltdown mode.  She won't use it for anything.

We were pleasantly surprised when she decided she liked the new Nûby cup.  We had bought two since they happened to be on sale at Toys R Us at the time.  

Well, we've only had them about a week and I've discovered I'm actually quite disappointed with them.  While Pickle loves them and drinks her milk, water and juice without question from them; today while drinking the silicone straw sheared right off in her mouth.

It's difficult to see from the photos, but part of the silicone straw is ribbed like an accordion, I guess to allow some bending.  Well, that is where the straw broke.  Not only am I disappointed in the product itself; but, my little girl easily could have choked on, or swallowed, the piece of silicone that came off.  

I've contacted the company with my concerns and complaints.  We shall see what comes of it.  

In the interim, I would strongly advise against purchasing this cup for your little ones.  I'm hoping I just got a faulty straw.  I will continue to allow Pickle to use the second cup we got; but, you can be certain that I will be watching her like a hawk to ensure her safety should it happen again.

I'll post again when I hear back from Nûby customer service.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Not Ready for This

I knew this day was coming; but, I'm so NOT ready.

For what? you ask.
For the day Pickle decided to start climbing out of her crib.

I put her down for nap two weeks ago and she decided that she wanted no part of that. After a lot of babbling and talking to her "friends", I hear, through the monitor "Mommy help, I stuck". I run up the stairs thinking she has an appendage stuck through the bars of the crib to find her straddling the front rail, feet dangling and hanging on for dear life.
I lift her down and ask her what she was doing, to which she replied "I no nap"; well no kidding!

That night she wanted to sleep with Pretty in her bed. We didn't think that was a great idea; but, thought maybe they could sleep together on the futon also in Pickle's room. After about an hour of trying to get Pickle to lay down and go to sleep we put her back in her crib where she happily stayed because Pretty was still going to sleep in her room.

We didn't have any more escape attempts again until last week. Every day last week whether it be first thing in the morning or after nap (providing she actually napped), little miss Pickle was found perched on that front rail.

Needless to say, it was time. You see, I broke my collar bone at 8 months old by climbing out of my crib. I didn't need to see my baby do the same thing to know it was time to transition to the toddler bed.

So yesterday, Mr. Twingle converted the crib to the toddler bed. We let Pickle play in her room and explore the bed without the need to actually sleep, yet!

We started the bedtime routine a little early last night with a soothing vapor bath. Then got into some snugly warm Jammie's and read a couple books. We tucked her and her "friends" into her big girl bed, gave her a new Tinkerbell night light and closed her door. She immediately got out of bed and tried to open the door; thank goodness for childproof door knob covers! We let her cry for about 15min before Mr. Twingle went back in to settle her down and put her back in bed. It didn't take long for her to settle down and Mr. Twingle left the room again. This time she stayed in her bed though she cried, not as hard as the first time. 5 minutes later, she was asleep, in her bed, looking ever so cute!

All in all, not a bad first night in her big girl bed. I just hope tonight goes as smoothly.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy (American) Thanksgiving

Wishing all my friends, family and readers in the US, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your turkey dinners.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GlassesUSA

Shopping for new glasses can always be a tedious task, at least, that's how I feel about it.  I only wear glasses for reading and luckily my prescription doesn't change often.  If fact, it hasn't really changed since I was in university, more than ten years ago (ugh, I feel old).

I came across GlassesUSA.com, an online eyeglasses shop and thought I would check it out.  They have everything from designer frames to sunglasses.  There is something to fit every budget.

They even offer fashion frames.  This means you can get your favourite eyeglass or sun glass frames without an rX.  Simply click the "frames only" button and enter 00-Plano where the prescription would go; and voilà, a new pair of fun glasses to smarten any ensemble.

On my first visit, I was confused by the website a little.  You see, I selected a category of frames to look at; but, the page didn't appear to change at all.  It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the category of frames you're looking for.  Once I figured this out, the site was very easy to navigate.

I think the virtual mirror option on GlassesUSA.com is very cool.  This allows you to take a photo using your computer's camera and then "try on" the frames you like; just like visiting an eyeglass store!  I probably spent more time than I should have playing with this particular feature!

After an extensive search through the many frames available, I decided I was going to purchase a pair of non-prescription sunglasses.  I don't really need new reading glasses as I just replaced the frames last year and you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses, especially with the winter months approaching.  There's nothing worse than becoming snow-blind.

I decided upon the Michele style, which luckily for me, were on sale for $69.00, regularly priced at $115.00.  That's 40% off!  A good deal, if I do say so myself.

I easily added the glasses to my cart and set up my online profile for checkout.  The only snag came when I tried to apply a gift card.  You see there is no one on the check out page to apply a gift card/certificate.
I ended up contacting customer service via email and was pleasantly surprised when they returned the email within the hour.  I was expecting minimum 24 hours before getting a reply.  Unfortunately, customer service wasn't much help.  They didn't answer my question at all, simply telling me I couldn't use more than one discount code at a time.  I responded, thanking them for their prompt reply and addressed the issue that they still hadn't answered my question.  I even took a screen shot to send them with the problem I was encountering to ensure they understood the problem.  We did manage to get the problem solved and you simply enter the gift card/certificate number in your shopping cart where it says "coupon codes", BEFORE proceeding with the checkout and getting to the payment options page.

Once the gift card problem had been resolved, check out was easy breezy.  It was quick, efficient and easily navigated.  I placed my order at 8:26am on November 6, and the order shipped on November 9 from Israel and was attempted for delivery to me on November 10!  I have to say, I totally wasn't expecting it that quickly.  Sadly, I wasn't available to accept the delivery and had to pick up the package from the shipping depot.

My only disappointment is that it isn't noted anywhere on GlassesUSA.com that international shipments may be subject to Duty and/or Tax.  While I'm not surprised, it would have been nice to know;  there was $7.91 in Duty owning on my shipment.

My overall experience with GlassesUSA.com has been wonderful.  Once I worked out the navigation on the site and the snafu with the gift card, everything else just fell into place.  I would definitely recommend GlassesUSA.com to anyone looking for new eyeglasses; whether they need prescription glasses or not.  The customer service is fast and friendly and even apologetic when they don't answer your question the first time.  And the glasses themselves are great.  The same sturdy quality I would expect from a small eyeglass boutique with high prices.

I'll definitely be looking at GlassesUSA.com when I need to buy glasses in the future.

I hope you'll check them out too!

DISCLAIMER:  I was provided with a gift card towards the purchase of eyeglasses for review by reps at GlassesUSA.com.  The words and opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Harry Potter Party - Quick Update

This past weekend was the Harry Potter party I've been planning for the past few months.  Overall, it was a great day.  The kids had fun, which is all I could have hoped for.  I have to get a card reader to download the pictures from the party, so stay tuned for a more in depth recount of the days events and photos!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holiday Cooking Made Simple

It’s finally here… that thing you love to hate… the holidays.  I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about it, as if that would somehow slow down the approach of turkeys and trimmings and diets and gifts, but a bit of advance planning can make a big difference to your holiday season.
This time of year is magical for children, but can be incredibly stressful if you’re not careful.  As the holidays approach, the panic descends, relatives arrive and the food piles up in the kitchen. Not only do you have to cook a huge turkey, but you also have to make sure that all the side dishes are done and ready to serve at the same time. It is even more difficult when your small children are fussy eaters or when your guests have varying tastes or restrictions. For example, if one person likes their meat well done, and another wants bacon but not sausage with their meal (not to mention the vegetarians) it can be incredibly trying.
In these situations the easiest thing to do is to take note of everyone’s preferences and get out the George Foreman grill. You can stick the turkey in the oven and quickly cook your accompanying squash, bacon or onions, meaning that you can cater to everyone’s needs. The grill is also great in the days after Christmas; you can easily make yummy snacks by using the leftovers. For example, you can make tasty turkey and cranberry paninis or even reheat some of the left-over meat. 

The grill is also great a great thing to have around if you want a low fat holiday, whether you are cooking meat or grilling vegetables. Holiday cooking doesn’t have to be stressful, and by using a grill you can both reduce your stress and use up leftovers after the holiday meals.

*This is a SPONSORED post provided by Caliberi.  I have received compensation for publishing this post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Goodwill Spa

As a mom of three, I seldom get to pamper myself.  It's not just because I can't find the time; but, often I can't justify the cost when I could be buying things for the kids.  I used to regularly get my eyebrows waxed every 2-3 weeks and now, it's more like 2-3 months between waxings.  The upside is I'm saving money by going so long between waxings; the downside, I end up looking like a wooly mammoth.

This is part of the reason  I was excited to see a tweet, not too long ago, about a spa here in Hamilton, that was running a free brow waxing promo.  Free?  That's right up my alley.  

But there's a catch...

You see, Rachel from Aesthetics by Rachel is offering her customers a free eyebrow wax for a simple donation of two canned goods.  These canned goods will be given to the Good Shepherd foodbank.  This small goodwill gesture to her customers helps out thousands of people in the end.  Talk about paying it forward!  That's a catch I'm willing to make!

I went to visit Rachel last week and got my eyebrows waxed.  I took with me, more than the required two canned goods, as I felt inspired by Rachel's generosity.  Not only did I do something that helps others, making me feel good in the process; but, I got an awesome eyebrow wax out of it.  I will definitely be going back to Rachel even when her Christmas promotion ends.  She's professional, kind, personable and did a wonderful job on my wooly mammoth brows.

Rachel offers many other spa services too.  I highly recommend you check her out and don't forget to bring your canned goods.  Why not bring something along even if you're not looking for a brow wax?  After all, 'tis the season of goodwill.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good Neighbours

I am incredibly thankful that I have been blessed with good neighbours!

Growing up in my parents' home, we didn't always have the best neighbours.  We actually had several sets of neighbours over the years.  None of whom with which we were particularly close.

I'm a grateful that as an adult with my own home, I have been blessed with wonderful neighbours.  In fact, I don't know what I would do without my neighbours sometimes.

When Mr. Twingle is out of town, they are MORE than happy to help out with the kids.  Each week, M. pops over at 8:10 so I can put Boo & Pickle to bed instead of keeping them up in order to pick Pretty up from Brownies.  This is a life saver as Pickle doesn't do well when she's over tired.

M. and I often share a cup of tea when I get home and talk about our days.  Despite the 30 year age difference, I know I have a friend in this wonderful human being!  She won't take payment of any kind for her generosity and so I often bake goodies for her and her husband, J.  They tell me it's not necessary and I don't have to do it; but, they never say no to the muffins, pies and cakes I take over.

Thank you M. & J. for your friendship and generous spirit.  You have no idea how much it means to me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Teaching Kids to Clean Up After Themselves

If anyone has any tips or tricks, I'm all ears.

I don't understand how the twins, at seven years old, cannot figure out that they need to put things away when they're done with them...and not haphazardly either.

Their playroom is in our basement.  It's unfinished and rarely used and so I don't have to look at the mess every day.  I KNOW that this is part of the reason it ends up looking like a bomb went off; but, why?

When Mr. Twingle or I clean it, everything has its place.  Barbies go in one bin, cars in another and so on.  Why do they feel it necessary to dump out every. single. bin each time they play?

Just two days ago, they were asked to clean it up.  Because it was so bad, I just wanted it cleaned and told them I didn't care where the toys went as long as they were put away.  Little did I know, that they would take this to mean dirty dishes and video tapes, not in cases, could randomly be tossed in heaping piles on the bottom shelves.

Am I being ridiculous thinking that if I organize things for them that it will make it easier to clean up when they're done?  Should I just let it go and say "kids will be kids"?

I just don't know what to do anymore.  It's become a constant battle; one, I'm tired of waging.  I don't want to get angry over this anymore.  They don't take care of anything and so when they ask for things like a Nintendo DS, I flat out tell them NO and explain that until they learn to take care of their belongings they are not getting anything that needs to be treated with care and respect.

I don't want to be one of these moms that does everything for their kids.  I want them to learn to do things for themselves.  I've tried reward charts and allowances...none of it seems to work.

Sigh...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings

Gosh, it's been more than a week since my last entry, sorry :(

I have to say, this cold is still kicking my ass.  We're going on three weeks and every time I think I'm starting to feel better; it comes back with a vengeance.

It doesn't help that the past two weeks have been crazy busy.  Never mind that we are up at the crack of stupid every morning to get the twins off to school.

The weekend of Pickle's birthday was super busy.  The Friday night I was giving a Holiday Card Class to the ladies of momstown Hamilton.  It went really well and I think they all learned a lot.
Saturday was the crazies of days though.  It started bright and early with Boo who had to participate in Apple Day; an annual tradition that Scouts do to raise money.  We got there at 9am and were given our apples and a location.  At 10, Pretty had a Brownie hike, so I had to grab the three kids, load them back up in the van, take Pretty there only to learn that the hike was cancelled.  So back to finish selling apples.  We finished up at noon and went home to rest before Pretty had to be at a birthday party.  Needless to say I was pooped.  Then on Sunday, my parents came down to hang out with Pickle on her actual birthday.  It was a relatively quiet day at home.

This past weekend was just as busy.  I was out all day on Saturday for a stamping event and yesterday, my Guide unit was at Sears selling cookies.  Of course, Mr. Twingle has been away for all of this so more times than not, I bring all three kids with me which can be a challenge in and of itself.

I'm looking forward to a quiet week before another busy weekend.  Boo has Beaveree on Saturday and Sunday, I'm going to my parents to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday!

Sigh...it's no wonder I can't shake this cold.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birthday Wishes to the Pickle

What a bitter sweet day.  My baby turns two.  I can't believe it...two!  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday Mr. Twingle and I found out we were expecting, again; and calling up the doctor for an ultrasound head count.  
I'm not really sure what we would have done if it had been twins again.


After a relatively smooth pregnancy with some minor blood pressure concerns, my scheduled c-section was booked for October 22.  However, on the 14th my blood pressure skyrocketed and the doctor decided that it was better to deliver her at 37 weeks, 5 days, than put us both at risk.  So at 9:30am on October 16, weighing 7lbs 6oz, my little Pickle was born.




The past two years have gone by in a blur.  Pickle is such an easy-going little person.  She makes me laugh every day with her little personality.


We have been totally blessed to have her in our lives and I wish my littlest girl, the happiest of birthdays.


Love you, Pickle xoxo.






Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Question Friday - October 14, 2011

TGIF!  Even though it's been a short week for us Canadians with the Thanksgiving Holiday last Monday, I'm glad the weekend is here.

I hope you all had a fabulous week and will pop by to say hi again sometime.

In the meantime, it's time for Five Question Friday!  When you're done here, go visit My Little Life to say hi.  Don't forget to link up your own FQF answers.


1.  Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or a cone?
Honestly, it depends on the day.  At home, a bowl works just fine.  Although, it does mean one more dish that I have to wash.
But if we're out on a hot summer day, it's got to be an ice cream cone!

2.  What three things do you love the smell of?
All of mine are food related, is that wrong?
First, I love the smell of mulled apple cider.  There's nothing better than the aromas of apples, cinnamon, cloves and allspice, wafting through the house.
Second, turkey.  A turkey roasting in the oven...YUM.
Last, fresh baked bread.

3.  Giftcards or no? (In regards to gift giving...)
It depends on the person.  While gift cards can seem impersonal to close family members; to a teacher or one of the twins' classmates, I don't see anything wrong with it.

4.  What sports did you play in high school, if any, and do you still play them?
I didn't play any sports in high school; but, I did play softball for several years before high school.  I haven't played though since I broke my arm when I was 13.

5.  Were you in a band in high school?  What instrument did you play?
Yes!  I was in the concert band, wind ensemble, Honour Band and even jazz ensemble.  My main instrument is a B-flat clarinet.  I also played the alto-sax for jazz ensemble and a school talent show once.  I still play to this day, though not formally.  I pick it up now and then at home and hope to someday get back into it.

_____________________________________________

So, that's it for me!  Don't forget to link up and share your 5QF answers.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wedded Bliss

Yesterday, Mr. Twingle and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately, he had to work so we weren't together.  But an abundance of calls and texts throughout the day made it special in its own way.

It seems like only yesterday when I realized that this guy, that I'd known forever and always thought kinda goofy, was actually really sweet and even kinda cute.  We dated for six and a half years before getting engaged on Christmas Eve 2002.

Our Thanksgiving Sunday 2003 wedding was beautiful.  The weather was perfect after some early morning rain and the colours were at their peak.  A more enchanting setting, we couldn't have asked for, when I married my best friend.  The man who makes me laugh everyday; inspires me to be a better person and is a wonderful father to our three kids.

I love you, Mr. Twingle
xoxo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Paint with Water

FarmRich Winners

First off, my apologies for the VERY late drawing for the winners of our FarmRich giveaway.  Between being sick and everyday life, I got busy and forgot.

However, I'm ready now and have used Random.Org to draw both of our winners.

Drum roll please....

Our first winner is : mama said...
oh my the jalapeno peppers...forget the kids!!!!

Mama, you didn't leave me an email address, so if you see this post, please contact me before the end of the week to claim your prize.

Winner number two is: 

Tamra said...

I joined your site via GFC.
Tamra, I've tweeted you with instructions.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So Sick

Why is it that as moms, when we get ill, we get REALLY ill.  The twins brought home the usual back-to-school bug about a week and a half ago.  Pretty got the snuffles and Boo got a cough; but, that's it.  No fever, no aches and pains, nothing.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with the head cold from hell.  I have a raging fever, chills, my nose has turned into a faucet and as such is now raw from the constant blowing, my entire body aches from my hair to my toe nails.  I'm sick.

Of course, Mr. Twingle is out of town which is usually the case when I get sick and so I have to suck-it-up and get through the day.

Last night, Boo had Beavers and thankfully we have arrangements with a neighbour, that we take her son to Beavers and they bring Boo home.  As soon as he got home at 8:00, I got him into bed and went to bed myself, where I stayed until 7:00 this morning.  I slept through the alarm, waking with 15 minutes to get the twins up, dressed, fed, lunches packed and out the door for the bus at 7:15.  Somehow, and I'm not really sure how, I managed.

And on that note, I end my pity post.  If you got this far, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Breaking Dawn

Camping on Safari

This past weekend, I took my Guides and Pathfinders to camp at African Lion Safari!
What an amazing experience for everyone who attended.
Friday night, I got to the private campground around 5pm and began setting up tents. Normally, I would wait for the girls to arrive before setting up the tents; but, there was a break in the rain and I wanted to take advantage of being able to put up the tents without getting totally soaked.

The girls began arriving around 6pm and we were able to get a small fire going before it began to drizzle again.

By time all the girls had arrived it was time for our snack, or "mug-up" as it's referred to in the Guiding world. Pizza and hot chocolate were perfect snacks to warm up our damp bodies.
For the first time in my history as a Guide leader, all my girls were asleep by 10:30pm on the first night of camp. I'm still shocked!

Despite the early bedtime, I couldn't sleep and ended up starting my morning earlier than planned. Hearing the lions roar as they began their day was quite amazing.

Saturday turned out to be a perfect fall day. The sun was shining and the temperatures were perfect. After a quick breakfast, the Safari crew picked us up and took us over to the park. Our first adventure was the bus through the animal reserve. Turns out that being the first bus through was lucky as all the animals were out and ready to be seen.

This little brown Zebu (above), was born the day before we arrived at Safari. While a little unsteady on his legs, he got a kick out of chasing the baboon!



This giraffe wasn't afraid of our bus tour at all. In fact, he was quite curious about us coming up to the bus and lowering his neck to look in the windows at the girls; which of course sent them squealing with delight!


The KING of the jungle, cleaning his teeth after his morning meal.

After our trip through the compound, we took to the park and explored EVERYTHING.  The girls had a great time in the discovery centre, learning about endangered and extinct species (earning their Endangered Species badge along the way).  Here two of the girls check out giraffe skulls.

We then ventured out on the scenic railway tour and were fortunate to see some animals along the way.  Say "cheese"

The girls burnt off some steam in the obstacle course before we went for lunch and the elephant swim.  Afterwards, we continued our day by attending all of the shows Safari offers.  A few of the girls decided to end their day at the park with a once-in-a-lifetime, elephant ride!

Overall, we had a fabulous weekend.  It was the perfect way to start a new Guiding year and get to know the girls.  I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for us.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Football

While my computer was down, we took the twingles to their first ever football game.  I received four free tickets to the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Labour Day classic, in exchange for helping Momstown hand out Backyardigans stickers before the game.

The day was actually quite chilly and we bundled everyone up in long pants and sweaters.  Then off we went to Ivor Wynne stadium to hand out stickers.  The twins were super excited and couldn't wait for the game to start.  Mr. Twingle and I thought their enthusiasm wouldn't be long lived as the game didn't start until 1pm and we had to be there for 11am.  However, what we didn't know is that there were going to be activities for kids to keep them occupied.

Even Pickle got in on the action, trying out her first bouncy castle!  Which, by the way, she thought was AWESOME.  She really got mad when we had to leave.


Boo decided he wanted to be a TiCat fan unlike me.  I'm an Argos fan so it's probably a good thing the TiCats weren't playing the Argos as they usually do on Labour Day.  Instead they played the Montreal Alouettes.  


When it was finally game time, we learned that we had seats in the VIP tents in the end zone!  We got free food and a great view of the game.  Here Boo & Pretty pose in front of the gate separating us from the field.

The TiCats set up a play.

Pretty was SO excited to pose with a TiCat cheerleader.

Overall, we had an awesome day.  We had to leave with about 7 minutes left in the game as Pickle was overtired and super crabby.  It was probably good to leave early and beat the crowds all trying to get out at the same time.  
The kids are already asking when we can go again?  Maybe next time I'll take them to an Argos game instead :p

Apple Picking

This past weekend we embarked on a family tradition and went apple picking at Frootogo farm in Waterdown.
The weather was absolutely perfect. Warm and sunny with a cool Fall breeze. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

The kids were super excited to be out in the fresh air and at the farm in general, even Pickle couldn't contain her excitement.  We grabbed a wagon and a bushel to collect our apples (before they were gone) and headed over to the animal pens.  Pickle was quite enthralled by the rabbits; but, not so much so that she didn't want to leave.  When we told her it was time to go, she immediately hopped back in the wagon, excited for her next adventure!


For those of you who haven't been to Frootogo, they have an AWESOME play area for the kids.  Climbers, slides, swings, a giant sandbox, bales of hay and a corn maze are just a few of the fun things for the kids to do.  Before we got to work, we let the kids burn off some of their sillies in the play area.  While Mr. Twingle took the twins through the corn maze, Pickle ran from slide to slide and car to car, unsure of what to do first.



 We finally decided to try and find Daddy and the twins in the corn maze; but, not before Pickle found a plastic chair that she decided HAD to come with her.  She carried it all the way through the maze, only tripping over it twice!

I couldn't help snapping a picture of these beautiful sunflowers.  They were scattered all over the play area adding pops of colour here and there.


As we were rounding up the kids to head into the orchard, Pickle spotted the giant wood painted characters from Winnie the Pooh.  She made a beeline calling "Tiggie, Pigget, POOOH!".  You can see by the picture, just how large they are in comparison.

We couldn't leave without a hug for "Pigget".

Finally, what we came to the farm for:  apples!  We picked two varieties, Cortland and Macintosh.  These are the Corts.  Aren't they purdy?  We picked two bushels of these to make apple sauce, pies, crisps and any other apple baked dish we desired.

Pickle though apple picking was great.  I think she helped herself to five or six apples.  Every time she turned around she had a new one in her hand.


If you haven't done so already, you should definitely check out Frootogo and start your own family tradition!