Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cannington Dog Sled Races

Yesterday was spent checking out the dog sled races in Cannington, ON. Cannington is a small town about 20 minutes northwest of Lindsay. For the last 10 years they've run dog sled races where about 80 teams compete to win about $10,000 total.

We weren't really sure what to expect, but were really pleasantly surprised by our time spent there. There was so much to do! Set up in a large park, there was a marketplace, dog sled rides (only for little kids they said...), glass-blowing, sledding, a Metis village, a historical museum, sleigh rides, petting zoos, and of course, the dog sled races!

The first thing we did upon arriving was check out the dogs and sleds. There were so many beautiful dogs around! It surprised us that not everyone uses huskies or Alaskans for sledding, but you learn something new everyday, no? Unfortunately, it was really cold, so we didn't take a ton of pictures, but here are a couple:

My favourite dog of the day
This is the best picture we got of the actually dogs racing. This race consisted of 4-dog teams. They ran a timed 4 mile course, and the team with the fasted time won $400.

One of the other neat things about yesterday was the Metis village. Because the aboriginals have such a close connection with dogsledding, they come every year and set up a little village where there are teepees, a wigwam, and booths showing handicrafts and furs. This stage was set up for traditional storytelling, dancers and Metis fiddle playing. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the show!

A Native "hoop"dance

This may have been my favourite part of the day! It's an event called "skijoring". You basically strap yourself to one or two dogs and go cross-country skiing (I make it sound so difficult). It was amazing to watch the skiers fly past and see just how excited the dogs were to pull them. It looked like a ton of fun!

This lady was flying! I think she won the race...

The last thing we did before leaving was check out the Zoo-to-You exhibit. As you can see by the picture, Jo was in her happy place! It was a little bit warmer than outside, as you can also tell by the foggy picture. This was an exhibit with a number of different animals... chinchillas, tarantulas, snakes, tortoises, frogs, ferrets... and you could hold them! This gator below was at a size where it could bite your hand off... Must be why Joanna looks so excited!

Even though we came home cold and tired, we all agreed that this was definitely an event to go to again. There was definitely enough to fill a full day with fun! The races were a blast to watch and the activities in between were more than entertaining. We will be keeping it on the calendar for next year and encourage you to come and join us!

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Lowdown

It's been a while since I presented you with a post, and today you get a 2 for 1 deal: an update on me and on James! It's sure to put you on the edge of your seat in excitement.

James gets to go first because his news is a bit more interesting than mine. This past weekend James volunteered with Ontario Streams. He got to participate in burying Atlantic Salmon eggs in a tributary of the Humber river. The eggs were placed in a plastic tube where they will hatch. In May the tubes will be opened and the success rate of the of the project will be determined (they have had great success rates in the past). This is all part of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program. It was an awesome way spend a morning: outside in beautiful Mono, wearing hip waders while sitting in a stream. He really enjoyed himself and it was a great conservation effort to be part of! Here are a few pictures:




Now for me. Officially, I have two more weeks before this child is due, but unofficially, I am ready any time now! We would be happy with an arrival at any date from now on. I'm done work (although I did pick up a shift at CH today), so I'm free all the time! 38 weeks has also brought a few more aches and pains, and I'm definitely slowing down... but I count those as positive because it means Baby G is on its way!

That being said, I needed a way to pass some time, so I made up a Top 5 Best/Worst Things About Pregnancy" list... just for fun. We'll start with the worst:

Top 5 Worst Things About Pregnancy

1. Waking up 10 times a night... either to roll over (although I don't think it really counts as "rolling" at this point) or go to the washroom.
2. Mood swings. If you didn't suffer (I say "suffer" because it is not a choice!) from this, you are lucky!
3. Rib shots. At 3 in the morning. When I can't sleep. Because baby thinks it's midmorning. And time to play the piano with its toes on my ribs.
4. Mobility Issues. I don't know about you, but this whole waddling thing is overrated. I can't seem to go anywhere without looking like an 80 year-old with hip problems who forgot their walker. That and having to make important calls whether the thing that fell on the floor is really worth picking up.
5. Waiting. And waiting. I just want to know what's coming. I want to know what my baby looks like.  I want this bundle of joy in my arms!

Top 5 Best Things About Pregnancy

1. Movement. As much as I complain about the rib shots, there is nothing quite as amazing as feeling your baby move around inside you. A little foot poking out here, a bum sticking out the top... does it get any better? 
2. Less shaving. Yes, you heard that right. I need to shave my legs about half as often as I did before. It has been amazing! The downside: hair loss from my head is up 200% at the same time.
3. Tiny clothes! Maybe you don't get as excited as me, but I love sorting and looking at all the little onesies, outfits, shoes, hats... you get the picture. I can't wait to see my baby in all my favourites!
4. Dreaming. How exciting is it that in a few weeks we will have a baby to love and cuddle and take care of? At this point, I am only excited about all the things that come with a baby. I am looking forward to changing diapers and soothing cries. I'm not so naive to believe that this will last, but for these last few weeks I'm going to get my dreaming done and be only ecstatic for what is coming!
5. Seeing James' excitement. I do believe that dads-to-be have a harder time bonding with baby before it's born, so I love seeing James light up when he feels the baby kick or helps to pick out clothes/toys. He's going to be a great dad!

So there's my list. I'll finish with a 38 week picture, just so you can get a laugh out of my low-lying trucker belly. Now that baby is dropping, the belly gets a little lumpier and lower each day, giving the impression that I've really had a few too many beers, rather than having grown a baby for the last 8 1/2 months!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Little Bit of Nesting...

Disclaimer: most of you will likely not be interested in this boring housekeeping post... if so, pleae disregard. But if I know my Roodzant relatives and OCD family members... you will love it! So I am going to share. :)

I am currently 36 weeks and am starting to get the urge to get things organized and ready for when the baby comes. Yesterday I spent most of the day doing some organizing and cleaning- setting up a dresser for the baby, doing little's laundry and making my messy house neater in general. It felt so good to get organized!

Here are some before/after pictures to prove I worked hard!

a preview of the crib set- can't wait to see the finished quilt!
baby laundry!
... in progress. Who knew they were so time-consuming to put together?
le produit finis!
And finally... another progress picture. I am certainly getting larger and the kicks are definitely getting harder. We've moved in the downward direction, which has resulted in my back being less sore (aw yeah!), but making bending over generally more difficult (groan). I'm still feeling great and I'm excited to see how the next few weeks will progress! Tomorrow I've got an appointment at the hospital to get a tour and do pre-admission stuff, and pre-natal classes officially start tomorrow evening... it's about to get real!
36 weeks and counting down!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Special Post All His Own

Erin and I agreed that the only way to fix my blunder of not including TWO nephews born in 2013 in my New Year's post (apparently life only started after March to me), was to give him a post all his own!

So... in honour of his first birthday this coming Thursday, I present:

Colsen Levi Gritter

Ball lover, peekaboo player, head nodder, and mischief maker extraordinaire!

It's hard to believe he's been around for a year already, and yet, how could we have ever lived without him? We love this little guy!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Goodbye, 2013... Hello, 2014!

Well, 2013 has come and gone... and lots of changes have come and gone with it! 2013 was the year we decided James would head back to school, decided to move, and found out we were expecting!

Other things we did in 2013:

1. Roadtrip to Arkansas/Tennessee/Kentucky.
2. Roadtrip to Newfoundland:

3. Went rock-climbing on the Civic holiday:

4. Spent a weekend at the Aasman cottage.
5. Enjoyed some fall hikes in the Haliburton/Kawartha Highlands area:

5. Gained a new nephew!

We have been very blessed in 2013 and are looking forward to 2014! We will welcome our baby in just a few weeks and are super busy getting ready for that adventure! We also have a family trip to New Hampshire planned for my mom and dad's 30th anniversary. 

This past year we have learned that our best laid plans are best left in God's hands. We are excited to see what He has in store for us in the coming year.