Week 13: Book worm

All of my boys love to read but my middle son is hands down the biggest bookworm in our family, possibly only rivalled by me!  You can actually trace his path through the house by the piles of books you find scattered about in the house. When he settles down to read he likes to have lots options available, which is why there’s never one or two books lying around the house but piles on the tables, chairs, and any flat available surface.  Now that the sun has returned, I love walking into a room and finding him following the sunbeams around as time passes. He and his cat could spend hours lounging in the sunshine together.

When your kids are little, they usually have favourite stories that you read hundreds if not thousands of times.  Make sure that you take photos of them enjoying their favourite books because it’s fun to look back and remember the books they were obsessed with and how their interests change as the months and years pass.  Even my older boys are both completely immersed in series that they will happily read over and over again. I love having photos of them with their favourite books because I know it’s a detail of our daily lives that I will soon forget.

Week 14: Park Omega

We made our first trek to Park Omega when our eldest son was just 6 months old.  Since then we’ve gone back almost every year and even though the boys have now been many, many times they all love our annual visits because each trip is different depending on the time of year we visit.    

We love to visit in the Spring when the snow has nearly melted so that we can visit the sugar bush on the property.  If you visit later in Spring it’s the perfect opportunity to see all the new babies and to get out and walk the trails where you can feed the deer by hand.  

We also love to visit in the Winter, as the animals are eager to venture out of the forest for treats when there isn’t any greenery to snack on.  When we have tired of visiting all the indoor venues in Ottawa, Park Omega is the perfect day trip that gets us out of the house and outside.

Fall is a beautiful time to visit because of the gorgeous leaves.  The crisp Fall temperatures mean the animals are active and it’s a great time to take advantage of the many kilometres of walking trails.  The boys love to visit the Heritage farm, which is only open at certain times of year. There is a great playground and plenty of farm animals to visit, which makes the farm a ‘must see’ destination with your kids.  

Our never ending Spring meant our visit this year was the muddiest that we remember!  Walking the trails to the heritage farm almost resulted in a few lost boots and we were glad there were so many deep puddles for us to clean our feet before we climbed back into the van.  The bears had come out of hibernation and the highlight for the boys was watching the Cinnamon bears wrestle and play together.

Living in Canada means that not only is the weather unpredictable but if we restricted our camera and phone use to days without rain and snow, there wouldn’t be many opportunities to take photos.  Research to find out how much moisture your camera and phone can withstand and consider purchasing a water resistant or waterproof case to take with you on your adventures.

Week 15: Canada 150 Park

Now that my eldest boys are 13 and nearly 11, I wonder every year whether our park days are coming to an end.  Since the boys were toddlers I have spent thousands of hours at parks around Ottawa. When I need to tire them out, when I don’t know what else to do, when we want to meet up with friends, when we need to get outside: the local parks have been a haven of “get out of the house and get through it”.

After watching the TVO show Giver, the boys were so excited when the Canada 150 Park was built in Ottawa.  Since it opened we have been at least a dozen times and it was our first park outing of 2019 on the Easter weekend.

I was curious to see what the boys did when we arrived and very quietly sat back and watched as they spent at least 20 minutes spinning each other around in circles.  I had planned to take photos of them exploring the park but ended up sitting back and watching them laugh and play together. I secretly had a little sigh of relief that our park days aren’t over yet.

Oftentimes when we take out our camera’s we have an idea in mind about what we want to photograph.  With kids these best-laid-plans rarely come to fruition and so try to remember to take photos of whatever unfolds, even if it wasn’t what you had originally planned for.  Sometimes the most memorable moments are those that are completely unexpected!

Week 16: Monkeying around

As someone with a long history of having two left feet, I was surprised when our youngest showed a natural ability in gymnastics.  We weren’t sure how our free-spirited third son would respond to the more structured and disciplined instruction of a competitive environment but he has thrived since joining in the Fall and is so proud to show us all the things that he’s learned.  It doesn’t hurt that he was the first of our boys to climb to the top of the rope: when you’re the youngest by 4 and 6 years, any achievement you have over your older brothers is a momentous one.

Remember to turn off your flash when you’re photographing sports indoors.  Not only can it be distracting and dangerous for the athletes but your flash on your camera won’t work with fast shutter speeds, which is what ‘freezes’ the movement in your photos.