Growing Out On A Limb


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Fall Day

It was a beautiful fall day to be outside and enjoy the sunshine.

The kids and I are solo this weekend and we went curling with Oliver, hit two parks, and spent some time with friends.  Days like this remind me of maternity leave and how we used to just wander around our new neighborhood, checking out parks and meeting new friends.

Eleanor is little miss independent on the playground (but always nearby… I don’t have to worry about her bolting like I did with Oliver).

IMG_20151017_150543 She loves the slide.  She slid down, yelled, “again!”, and ran the circuit again.  IMG_20151017_150735 Emery has recently been saying that he wishes we had swings in our yard and today I found out why:  he has figured out how to pump his legs and work the swings all by himself.  (He also jumps off while going pretty fast and gives me a mini heart attack but … well, that’s boys for you).  IMG_20151017_150757 Oliver has been working on the monkey bars at school and went the whole length of them today.  It hurts his hands but he tells me that if he licks them and rubs them on his pants they feel better :).  IMG_20151017_150813 IMG_20151017_150820 This is my beauty.  IMG_20151017_151106It is definitely harder without daddy around but part of me loves the extra time with them.  And I think this is my favorite time of year – I love the crispness and cool air in the morning and the warmth of the sun in the afternoon.  Tomorrow will be another beautiful day and we plan to enjoy it.

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Waterfront & Ice Cream

On the weekend we had grand plans to go to the train station for a free day of train rides, lego displays, etc, etc.  But when we got there there was no space left and the lines were so long that we changed our plans and took a walk along the waterfront instead.

(Could she get any prettier?)

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It was a chilly day but not too chilly for – papa, are you paying attention? – ice cream!  We got it at Sugah and will return there this summer… good price and they mix in an add-in on a frozen slab while you wait.  Yumm!  IMG_20150502_154003

Eleanor even went solo on her first cone!  IMG_20150502_153248

I like strolling along afternoons like that.  We were all tired by the time we got back to the car.


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The Best Shopping Buddy

A couple of weeks ago, mommy just needed to get out of the house for a few hours.  I was looking for nothing, had nothing to buy, but Eleanor and I went to a few of our favorite stores anyway.  Just browsing around.

Eleanor loves getting dressed (or at least trying to at this point) and trying on everyone’s shoes.  So when we shop, she likes checking over the things I put in the cart to try on.

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Mommy and Eleanor dates are fun… it won’t be the last!


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An afternoon at the Oval and the Museum

A couple of weeks ago we took the kids downtown to the Oval and the Natural History Museum.  It was such a fun “city” afternoon!

The oval is an outdoor rink located downtown.  The kids are just learning and didn’t last long on the ice but I know hubby loves teaching them and watching them learn.  And that place was packed!  The nice weather brought lots of people out but it was setup so well that the scads of people didn’t seem to be bothering anyone.  We were all just enjoying the nice afternoon.

We will definitely go back.  IMG_5325IMG_5328 IMG_5330The Museum of Natural History was just a walk from the car and has a dinosaur display right now so we went there from the Oval.  We spent hours there because the kids were loving running from exhibit to exhibit.

They had a few live animals, including the kids’ favorite – snakes!

IMG_5333 They have a marine section that I think is always there – whale skeletons, aquatic animal displays, and this cool sand table.  As the sand shifts, the mountains and valleys change colors and the contour lines change.  I thought it was really cool and so did the kids.   IMG_5337 And the dinosaurs were cool, of course.  I didn’t get good pics of them because their displays were dark but the dinosaurs moved and roared and were quite realistic looking!  IMG_5340 Then we decided on an impromptu trip to montana’s for supper.  Why not.  IMG_20150308_170409 IMG_20150308_170444A fun family day!


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Epic Lightsaber Duel

On Saturday morning, something came across my facebook newsfeed about Hal-Con… the local version of Comic-Con.  I immediately thought about how much fun that would be for Oliver, since he has been so into Star Wars lately.  I clicked through and saw that tickets were sold out but wait a minute… here are some free open-to-the-public events.  Wait … what?  A lightsaber duel in Parade Square?  Now that has the makings of an epic mommy-Oliver date.  Doing it.

Oliver was stoked.

I pictured and was expecting convention goers dressed in full Star Wars gear, performing light saber duels in front of a big rowdy crowd that was cheering them on.  When we showed up, there were half a dozen people waiting.  I thought, “Oh no, this is going to be lame and Oliver is going to be so disappointed”.  But, closer to 7 pm, people started piling in.  There was easily over 100 people there.  Then they started handing out cheap little light sabers out to everyone… red and blue (or dark side and light side to the Star Wars savvy).

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That was when I realized… we weren’t going to be watching a lightsaber fight, we were going to be IN a lightsaber fight.

Sure enough, they separated the red sabers and the blue sabers on opposite sides of the park, yelled, “May the force be with you!”, and the sides ran toward each other.

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Oliver and I were the “dark side” (and, considering his costume, how could we not be?) so we seeked out the blue light sabers.  I expected him to be shy but before the “duel” started, he put down his mask and it didn’t come up once the entire time.  It was mostly adults and when they came across Oliver in his costume, they were so playful with him, letting him win and pretending to be hit.  A few even came running to him when they saw him.

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Perhaps the highlight of the night was meeting “big darth”.  He didn’t hesitate to pose with Oliver and I found out later that darth had been good with kids during the whole convention.  Pretty cool.  IMG_20141108_191142 On the way back to the parking garage, Oliver wanted me to take his picture “in the city”.  Everyone smiled at little vader walking around the city.  I’m guessing after a couple days of the convention, costumes on the street aren’t that surprising!

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Oliver and I both agreed that was the best mommy-Oliver date yet!  I had so much fun doing something that was just for him and I.  We both came away from it with huge smiles.  And I’m already thinking about taking in more of Hal-Con next year.   Would I have been saying that a few years ago?  No.  But seeing how excited he was to see all the costumes up close and to take part in something that is such a huge interest for him right now, that’s the clincher for me.  (And if I am honest, the whole thing seems like good ole innocent fun to me so why not?).


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High Head Trail in Prospect

Last weekend was one of those incredible weekends that was warm and sunny and felt more like it was smack dab in the middle of summer than the beginning of fall.  We had nothing to complain about, except maybe that we had closed the pool just the weekend before.  Wouldn’t you know it.

So on Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed for a trail in Prospect called High Head trail.  When we were house hunting we looked at houses in this area so we knew it was beautiful but I was not at all prepared for just how beautiful it was.  To me, this is quintessential Nova Scotia – narrow winding roads, buildings with weathered wooden shingles, boats moored here and there, rocky shoreline and landscape.

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What could make this better?  A super hero and a Darth Vader.  Of course!  We have been talking a lot about Halloween lately so the boys have been into dressing up and insisted on going on the hike in costume.  How could we say no?  (And why would we?)
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I love this picture of Emery having a rest.  (The masks were a bit of a hindrance so they didn’t stay on long).

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See?  Breathtaking.  IMG_4393

And breathtaking again.

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Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can!  Both of the boys loved climbing and jumping over the rocks.  Mommy did too!  IMG_4397

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He loves that costume (even though the mask didn’t work out for the hike).
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Eleanor, as usual, was along for the ride and seemed to enjoy it.  IMG_4424

Periwinkles!  Oliver has always been hesitant about things like this but Emery has no fear and reached in the water and started picking things up.  I love his curious little mind.  IMG_4427

We didn’t quite make it to the end of the trail because we did a lot of rock climbing along the way, but we knew it was time to head back when the kids’ moods started to shift.  IMG_4440

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So pretty.  I would like to return here when the leaves are fully turned, to see what color the grass and bushes become.  If they continue getting red, it will be quite something!  Just another fabulous find in Nova Scotia!  IMG_4456


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Kearney Lake Trails

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny fall-ish day – the perfect day for a hike.  The Kearney Lake trails are near Kearney Lake beach, which the kids and I visited early in the summer, so less than fifteen minutes from our house.  I am definitely putting this on my revisit-when-the-leaves-turn list.

The trail we were on came down along Kearney lake in a couple of spots.  This is Popcorn Island.  Don’t ask me why.

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The trail was rocky and full of roots in a lot of places but the kids are used to that and had no trouble.  IMG_4315 IMG_4317 Eleanor, as usual, was along for the ride.  IMG_4321 Apple break!  IMG_4336 IMG_4337

At about the halfway point we took a trail off to the left that was quite beautiful with moss-covered rocky cliffs to one side but it ended up not being a trail after ten minutes or so of hiking.  No problem… we sat and had our apple break, took this muscly-posed shot, then found our way back to the main trail.  IMG_4342 This might be my favorite shot of the day.  Just a hint of fall.  IMG_4345 Then we came to Charlie’s Lake.  Gorgeous.  And look… does this mean they like each other after all?  IMG_4353 IMG_4362I did not feel well but am glad that we got out for this hike.  The fresh air had to be good for my cold and was definitely good for the soul.  The kids love looking around the woods and finding neat things in nature and, for whatever reason, maybe just the distraction of it all, we rarely have to referee when we are out like this.  That makes for a nice break for all of us.