Sunday, 24 July 2016

Baseball, Rounders and Cricket in one game

What started out as a very slow relaxing day, eating breakfast at 10, turned into a tidy and clean up. We have a stair basket that accumulates anything in the house (downstairs) that doesn't belong there. Now the idea being that when you pass it, you take what's yours. This rarely happens and today it was so full and overflowing that Huffle and I took it upon ourselves to go through it. Most of it was stuff brought home from school but then that resulted in stuff needing to go into the boys rooms which then turned into them tidying and us cleaning.

.....and lots of silliness

The bathrooms were cleaned too during the process and floors swiffed and swept. By then we were bored and we got to sit and play and relax until we decided where to go for mid afternoon dinner.

Today was cloudy up until early evening when the sun came out fully. It was still very warm but not as humid, probably around 28*. During dinner we chatted with the owner about Pokemon Go as he had downloaded it yesterday too. It seemed the whole bar was playing it.

Later this afternoon we Facetimed Grandma and Grandad and then played Baseball. I was playing rounders but the boys were playing baseball. It seems the rules are very different. I didn't realise you had to run if you hit the ball even if it wasn't a good hit so I kept getting out, though I did get a few Homeruns because I can hit the ball! Huffle also got out for forgetting to run. He was obviously playing cricket!

This evening Huffle and Small coached the FrenchTwins and I watched Smallest at his practice. Huffle got injured again when he bent his foot the wrong way. OUCH!

Today's harvest

 

 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

I just caught a Jigglypuff on the kitchen table

Oh boy I can't remember it being this hot before. Today was a record hot day for this time of year. Of course this was the day we had long awaited for tickets to see the Blue Jays and Huffle wanted us to be driving away by 10am. It was I who held the party back becuase I couldn't find my baseball hat and so we left 20 minutes past the AIS time (ass in seats).

It was a busy hours drive down into Toronto but we parked in our usual 'ticket on the dash' car park and started to make our way towards one of our favourite Gelato places, staying in the shade as much as possible. When we got to the gelato shop, it was closed with lots of people outside looking disappointed. While we wondered what to do, the owner opened it up. Hurrah. We had Key Lime, Stratiatella and Raspberry and ate them inside the air conditioned shop whilst watching people catching Pokemon outside.

On we trudged to the stadium and to the outside part where games were being played. We stood under the mister to get cool and Smallest and I made a poster before queuing up for the 'fastest throw'. The girl who was pointing the speed gun was useless. Most of the time she wasn't looking at what was being thrown and the gun said what it wanted. We watched some really fast pitchers who scored a feebly 28 when it should have been in the 50's. Of course when the boys did theirs, we had no idea what their speed was but they seemed to do well. We were too hot so went inside where the kids (and Huffle) had their tattoos put on and then tried the 'Plinko' game where Smallest won two placemats and Small won a bowl and a bracelet. We went up in the lift as we were up in the gods again in the 500's and it was too hot (have I said that already?) and Smallest played on another game while we waited for Small and Huffle. This time he won a keyring. He went back to try his luck halfway through the game when I went to refill our water bottles and won another keyring. He was desperate for a bowl!

Our seats were right at the top, right at the back on row 24. We couldn't get any further. This wasn't too bad as we found behind our seats there was a bit of shade and we stood there for part of the game trying to escape the sun. Today the Blue Jays played terribly against The Seatle Mariners. To be fair, there was so much going on around us, kids standing up and moving seats, mum's going off and getting drinks, Dad's buying beer from the portable vendors, birthday songs, a bunch of Spanish supporters. It was all going on. I tried to focus but everytime I did, something made me look at something else and I missed it. Towards the end it got more exciting though and I did watch that part. Several Homeruns and spectacular catches. They still lost 14-5.

This lady sat in front and made herself some earrings out of peanut shells
This was my view for most of the game. Big headed baboon
We could see the CN Tower from our seats

We walked to the nearest pizza place and ordered our slices for taking to the harbour but they burnt them. Eventually we got pizza and sat on the harbour wall watching the boats and ducks and people catching Pokemon again. This time I downloaded it for a laugh and we caught several Pokemon who just happened to be walking by. What a silly game, but the kids like it. I can't believe you just stand around and catch Pokemon - I caught one on the baseball diamond.

Smallest found a ducky friend

We had lots of drinks, listened to a bit of music, walked around the harbour and finally into a hotel to take advantage of the toilets, ice cold water and air conditioning, before driving home. Everyone was starting to feel tired and headachey and once we were home we had cooling showers, more drinks and Small looked for Pokemon in our home. I found two on our kitchen table. I'm going to regret downloading this!!!!

 

 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Honey where is the Baby

A very very hot and humid day with temperatures reaching 35*. No idea what the humidex was but it was sticky indeed. The boys didn't want to bike to swimming and I didn't want to make them so we went in the car.

Both did 500m again and they did them within 15 minutes. Small has to do under 15 minutes but Smallest doesn't. They improved from yesterday so by next week they will be super swim machines. More bobbing, diving and a bit of rescuing and then we drove home.

After lunch where Huffle and I braved the porch (soooo hot but with a part breeze that helped) and the kids watched TV, I took them out to buy a birthday present for one of Smallest's football friends. We chose a PlayStation Gift Card, some stickers and we gave him an English Curly Wurley. We then bought some pool noodles for us and for MrsSwim and went and delivered them.

The afternoon was spent relaxing, playing, preparing dinner, a bit of cleaning (by me). It was just too hot to do much at all. After dinner Small and Huffle went off to their football where Huffle took back control of the Coaching by talking to MrFrench. The team is happy again and won a thumping (Huffles words) 9-1 and they got to play in some different positions towards the end. Small played up front for a part of it which he enjoyed.

Smallest and I went to LittleSeymours birthday party at the mini golf. It was crazy (and I mean the kids not the golf). I happened to drop Smallest off late due to the fact our kids were fighting before we all left and I had sent Smallest to his room to think about his behaviour. Anyway, I was told I could stay at the party if I wanted to and I didn't really know what to do. Stay and be part of the party or go and watch Small and Huffle. As I was deciding, one of the kids asked if I knew how to score and they asked if I would score for their team. It was quite fun (though Smallest wasn't in our team) and I was able to assert my authority when things got heated, excitable and just silly. The boys were very competitive and wanted to know the scores all the time so I had to keep a running total. They enjoyed it and afterwards they had snacks, drinks and pizza followed by a cake which had blue icing. The blue was everywhere, over people's faces, all over my hands (I handed it out), on Smallest's hat. After cake they went into the batting cages and all had a go each. We finally left around 9pm.

 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

1km swim, 2km cycle and an hour of footy

A very hot and humid day today with temperatures in the 30's but feeling like high 30's. PHEW!

The boys and I finally got ourselves together mid morning and cycled to Swimming. Poor Smallest was really struggling but luckily MrsSwim had asked MrSwim if he could look at the bike. All it was, was his back tyre rubbing on the frame and he untightened it, moved it into place and retightened it. Now he moves like lightning and can use the gears correctly.

Both boys swam 500m today in less than 15 minutes. For Smallest, it is a requirement for his Level 10 badge. For Small he will need this for his Bronze Medallion that he will try for in Winter. They both struggled but did it. They have the rest of next week to keep trying too. Small also practised saving Smallest.

We cycled back home and had lunch. This time we all stayed inside as it was so warm. Much later we gave in and put the air conditioning on for when we got home from Smallest's football game. After lunch the boys showered and played on their tablets, tidied the sun room and went on the Wii.

I went to Suffolks and finished planting her new plants for her. It was incredibly hot work and I stabbed my back on a tree branch. OUCH! Why am I so clumsy? We had time for a cuppa, a chat and a look at how to make blinds.

When I got home the boys were on the Wii in the nice cool of the basement, Huffle was busy at work so I made dinner and then had a chill on the porch for five minutes waiting for Huffle to finish work. After dinner we all went to Smallest's game. The score was 5-3 to the other team and they were very much the stronger team if not a little rough. There was plenty of action and five minutes from the end, our team started looking good and got a few goals. Huffle said if they had had ten more minutes we would have won. It was a good atmosphere with good banter and the humidity was dulled by the lovely breeze. Smallest worked very hard and had bright red cheeks when he finished.

 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Competitive?

Everyone, Huffle excluded of course, had a lovely relaxing slow morning of breakfast, TV and playing. It was another hot day and the bicycles were taken out ready for a our bike ride to swimming lessons. MrsSwim asks me everyday (third time this week so far) if I want to put the kids into competitive swimming. Everyday we tell her we are too busy and the boys don't really want to do it. It's nice that she thinks they are good enough but her forgetfulness is worrying. I asked her today if Small could just swim and not do the theory part. I don't think she was too happy but she did oblige and then later she said "did you ask me the same thing last year?". I don't remember (ahhhhhh it's catching) but I suppose I could have seeing as he hasn't done any badges with her for about three years. Today he concentrated on stroke improvement which he says is hard because she teaches certain strokes different to how he has been taught before. He did some endurance too and Smallest and I counted for him because we thought he was cheating. At the end he did a lot of diving off the board and some cannonballs. He didn't want to get out because he said the water was so nice. I sat there thinking how nice it would be if we had a proper in ground pool. That's never going to happen as they cost thousands!

Smallest still has to do theory and he learnt about hypothermia today, did stroke perfection and his laps plus various dives. He is such a strong swimmer, well they both are but considering how small and skinny Smallest is, he has so much strength. She says his kick is amazing and the way he glides across the water - he should be in competitive ha!

He wanted this photo taken and I wouldn't have put it on normally except that I didn't take any photos of him swimming!

We cycled home (hopefully MrSwim is going to check the bikes over for us tomorrow if MrsSwim remembers to ask him, insert emoji with wide mouth and teeth here), and had lunch. The boys watching TV inside and Huffle and I watching First Dates on the porch (we have had to go back to series 2 as we have finished all the others).

This afternoon the boys did some research on the Internet for things they wanted to do this Summer, including the address, price, times and days open for The Science Museum, Canada's Wonderlandm(I can't see that happening without Huffle with us), Biking at Centre Island, Swimming at Leisure Centre and Splashing at the Splash Pad. I was very impressed and left them to it while I visited The Royals with a bowl of raspberries, a pot of jam and a stone from our holiday beach. We sat outside and chatted for ages and when I came home they were playing on their tablets after taking down bits of tree, that Huffle cut down, to the fire pit. Huffle cut down a tree that was outside our landing window and gave us some privacy but it looked ugly and wasn't a nice tree, plus it blocked our view of the side garden we have created. It somehow makes the house look bigger from the side now and has really opened up the space. On the down side, I now want to plant it all up properly and finish the paths but I can't because we have to have some work done on the septic tank openings and that won't be until Autumn.

I had some time to myself on the porch and then came in and made dinner. Smallest helped me again today and we made Leek and Cheese sausages for me. He wasn't so good at shaping them but excellent at rolling them in breadcrumbs though he didn't like getting his hands messy. I do like the fact that he wants to help me.

After dinner we all went to football. Now, we have been away for two weeks and it seems in our absence that MrFrench (dad of twins who Huffle coaches on the side) has completely taken over the coaching of the team. He started by telling us that he preferred to stand on the opposite side of the field to the one we normally stand/sit on. Huffle said fair enough as he felt it was better to be away from the parents in case his language got colourful. Then he proceeded to organise the team and tell Huffle where he had placed certain players In different positions. After the team had a small kick around he made them run around the pitch three times and shouted at them if they didn't go fast enough or tried to duck out of the running (like Small who ran round once and then lay down at the side of the goal trying to look inconspicuous - to be fair it worked). I feel he overstepped the mark seeing as he isn't the Coach, he isn't the Assistant Coach and Huffle was now back. Apparently some of the boys told Alfie they didn't like it and they were pleased our holiday was over. Huffle is not pleased with the stress, mainly from me telling him not to let it continue and how I felt it was unfair on his assistant coach. The man takes over and takes the game too seriously. It is House League after all and is supposed to be fun. Even MrFrench's two wives were there putting in their six penneth.

My view of half the football field. The sun was so bright and so low!

Tonight we harvested from our garden, a handful of French beans, a very proud courgette, some lettuce and some orange tomatoes that Smallest really likes. Oh dear MissMo, what will you do now that your tomatoes are being eaten?

Some beauties in our garden right now

 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Ice creams for everyone*

I got up a bit earlier this morning as I had a shopping spree planned with Suffolk. I left the boys at home with instructions to clean their teeth, make their beds and open their curtains (I knew I would only be gone an hour at the most). Huffle also asked them to practice their piano and apparantly they played three pieces each.

When Suffolk moved into her house (pretty much the same time as we moved into ours, 4.5 years ago) her garden was full of plants and flowers. She has since been taking out all the plants (with my help) and putting down grass as she wants space for the kids to play. Now she is starting to add plants back in and I helped her choose some nice ones today. She took them home and placed them (I will probably plant them in the next day or so). It's strange how some people are so scared of planting. She was worried about whether it needed full sun or part shade. I told her one of the plants liked full sun but that it worked perfectly well in the UK and that there is a definite difference to the amount of sun here and there. I keep telling her it doesn't matter and we can always move them if they don't work. I believe she bought some more on her way home.

I got home in time to whisk the boys off to their swimming lessons. They didn't want to cycle today so we drove, checking by the library on the way for the opening times. Once again both lessons were good though Small spent half of his lesson re-learning CPR. He is supposed to be doing endurance and stroke refinement so I could tell he wasn't completely happy. I will try and talk to her tomorrow and see if he needs to do those things seeing as he isn't going for any particular badge. We have looked up which badges he can do next and the is one a year he can do towards his lifesaving and becoming an instructor starting at age 13 through to 16. He will probably carry on with these in the Winter. Smallest was having trouble with his breaststroke but I think he is just out of practice. They had a mini competition at the end to see who could make the biggest splash off the diving board. Small won!

We had lunch and then Smallest and I did a shop for chlorine, some food and Pokemon cards. The check out lady asked if we were into Pokemon Go". No we are not! Such silliness. She was telling me that some Pokemon stuff was being hidden in secluded places to entice people there to then rob them of their Pokemon stuff. It's probably just a fad but I'm happy my kids are not into it. It's only just arrived in Canada apparently though Toronto Botanical Gardens were advertising that they had pokemon there. Very modern. Small stayed at home and played on his tablet.

When we got home the three of us cycled to the library where we met a curious librarian who never stopped talking. The boys signed themselves up for the Summer Reading Challenge, got a couple of books and we cycled home. Smallest's bike has a problem with his brakes rubbing, making it difficult for his wheels to move freely and Small's front brake wasn't working properly. I think I need to get them serviced by a professional.

Once home I started on dinner while the boys filled in their reading stuff. Smallest has to read fifteen minutes a day (which he normally does anyway) and fill in a sheet with what he has read and Small has to read 200 pages and write a review. Each 200 pages gets him a ballot for a chance to win something good. At the end there is a silent auction. I am happy that they are reading and writing during the Summer.

Smallest helped me with dinner and stirred my sauce and added seasoning to his taste. He thinks he is a proper chef now. We had pan fried haddock with a parsley sauce, new potatoes from our garden and our green beans. Yum yum. Smallest started to make Apple Crumble but he got bored peeling the apples and then we realised he had football training tonight so everyone went and I stayed at home to finish the crumble, tidy up and make custard. I also had a nice relax on the porch with a glass of red after watering the garden.

*Coach asked Huffle to play Centre Back but was told if he got injured he had to buy ice creams for everyone. Suffice to say he didn't get injured. Well that worked.

The boys wanted crumble because it smelled so good so they both got a small amount before bed.

 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Has it been three days yet?

I slept well but apparantly my snoring kept Huffle awake. Whoops.

Huffle went back to work today and I only saw him a couple of times and he seemed very busy. The boys and I had a slow morning, getting swimming stuff ready, pumping up bike tyres, finding goggles etc. Mid morning we cycled off to the other end of the village for swimming lessons.

Both boys are swimming by themselves and not in groups. Small has done all the badges he can do so is just doing endurance and perfecting his strokes. Smallest is Level 10 and no one else who goes is that far ahead. I prefer it like that because sometimes the younger ones put the kids off when they don't listen and mess about. Mine go to swim and that's just what they do. It was nice to see them back in the water properly doing swimming. MrsSwim asked if they wanted to do competitive but neither of them do. To be fair there isn't a lot of time with Football. They both swam really well despite their long absence from it (though swimming everyday in the lake on holiday probably helped). We cycled home and had a quick lunch before heading off to Suffolks for some gardening.

The boys went off to the park to play football but it was too hot so they sat in the shade and played something silly and then helped to chop up wood. Gardening was hot work today but we got a lot done and tomorrow we are going plant shopping to fill in some gaps and put some lovely colour in her garden.

I took photos to show Suffolk what is flowering in our garden at the moment

We came home and the boys had an ice cream and went on the Wii while I made dinner. We had French beans, broad beans and beetroot from the garden - yum yum. After dinner we had a visit from MissMo again looking for treats from the garden. She went away with a beetroot, some raspberries and some beans.

Tonight Huffle introduced the boys to Robot Wars. We are eagerly awaiting the new series. Waspgate: Huffle decided to knock down their nest tonight with my line prop which he has left under the decking when he ran away like a little girl into the barn. The nest still has wasps in and he will spray it again tomorrow.

Today I heard the term 'East Indians' ie, East Indians have bought the Co-op (Beer Store). At first I wondered what East meant, East of India, Eatern India, and then I realised. West Indians come from the Carribean but East Indians come from India I guess. I have never heard that term before.