Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Break - My @$$!

They may call the middle week of March a "break", but for most of us that are juggling work and a family, this week is usually the furthest thing from a break. Unless you forked out the big March Break dollars to head south for a family holiday, of course.

Actually, this might be the first year ever that I am very thankful we didn't do exactly that. What a week it was! The kids, playing outside without coats. Me, heading to the mall for a shopping trip in flip flops and capri pants. Driving around all week with the windows rolled down. When was the last time THAT happened in March?

All in all, it was a pretty good week. A little on the crazy side, but good nonetheless. On Monday we kicked the week off with a trip to the Reptile Show at Erin Mills Town Centre. My kids are big animal lovers, but Erin in particular is a fan of all things cold blooded. I don't think there is a reptile or amphibian on the planet that she can't identify at first sight. Marc is a big fan of the BBC "Earth" DVDs. We own every single boxed set and he and Erin watch them over and over. All that viewing has paid off because she really is a walking, talking nature encyclopedia. The kids got to hold a ball python, a giant tortoise, a Cayman (crocodile cousin, with its jaws safely taped shut) and various other little critters. Of course, I forgot my camera for this little adventure, but thankfully a friend snapped some shots with her trusty iPhone. We also got to visit with some friends in the afternoon that we hadn't seen in a while.

Tuesday we had booked tickets to see "The Stars of Pop" at the Stage West theatre along with 2 friends and their kids. Oddly, after not going to Stage West during the entire 25 years I have lived in Mississauga, this marked my second visit in 4 days. This show was definitely better than the "adult" show I had seen on Saturday evening, in spite of a few laughable moments throughout. The show featured tributes to Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift (my personal fave) and The Jonas Brothers (the source of the above mentioned laughable moments). The performers really tried hard and the kids enjoyed it, so I guess that is all that matters.

Wednesday, Erin had a friend over for the day and we headed to Jack Darling Park to enjoy the phenomenal weather. (Yes, it hit 20 degrees today!) Then a little shopping trip to pick up some leggings for my impossibly high maintenance child that is now refusing to wear pants. Yes, Erin, I am talking about you! What child has a total emotional breakdown at the thought of wearing jeans???? Sigh. I shudder to think about what I will have to deal with when she hits her teenage years.

Thursday was a total "work" day for me, much to the kids dismay. "What do you MEAN we aren't doing ANYTHING today Mom?????". That's right, kiddos, mom has to work! Amazingly, they tagged along with me for most of the day without too much complaint. A March Break Miracle! Makenna and I did make cookies in the evening, and I think they might be the best cookies I (we) have ever made. Makenna says it is because of her perfect cookie rolling (amazingly, each cookie was perfectly round and exactly the same size!), but really, it is just a great recipe. Milk Chocolate, skor bits and oats. How can you go wrong?

Friday was my personal favourite. After a working morning, we picked up a friend of Makenna's and headed to Roller Palace for some good old fashioned roller skating. Man does THAT bring back memories! The place hasn't changed in 25 years - I think the DJ is even the same guy from when I was a kid. It's a bit of a costly outing, in my opinion, but it's 4 hours of roller heaven. Makenna, while not the most co-ordinated child on the planet, did pretty well with her skating this time. I think with a little more practice she may be able to relax and have more fun. Erin, on the other hand, is a natural born skater. I was quite shocked to discover this the first time we had her on ice skates, and roller skating was no different. By the time we left, she was zooming around the rink passing kids twice her size. She fell quite a bit, but she's pretty close to the ground to start out with, so it didn't seem to faze her much. She said that she would like to be on the Canadian Roller Skating Team in the Olympics, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that there wasn't such a thing. Who knows, maybe it will be introduced at the 2020 summer games, just in time for her to win the first gold medal in the sport! haha

Saturday morning, we hit the theatres bright and early for the 10:30 am showing of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Did you know that all movies that start at AMC Theatre before noon are only $6? SCORE! (Sadly, it cost us more for popcorn and drinks than for admission...). The movie, while not as funny as I had expected, was actually pretty good. Some really good messages in there for adults and kids alike. I wouldn't say you should rush out and see it, but if you do find yourself accompanying your kids to the theatre, I think you will find it enjoyable.

After a hectic working afternoon, we had some friends over for dinner. A really great couple that we met while on vacation in Cuba last year. They have 2 kids around our kids' age and it doesn't matter how much time passes in between visits, these kids pick up exactly where they left off, as if they just saw each other yesterday. I think we adults can learn a lot from kids. Marc made the most fabulous chicken parm, completely from scratch, even pleasing the 4 toughest critics in the house. When was the last time you made dinner for 4 kids and all FOUR of them licked their plates clean? (Kraft dinner and hot dogs doesn't count!) It has never happened in our house before last night, that's for sure.

All in all, between the kids activities, work appointments and deadlines, the week didn't feel like much of a break. A break on the BANK ACCOUNT or my NERVES, maybe, but not overly relaxing. Sure, it was great not to have to get up with the kids every morning and rush them out the door, but there was definitely a lot of rushing around going on. I am really thankful that we had some great weather this week so the kids got a chance to remember what sunshine actually felt like. It is truly amazing what a little sun can do for your mood and energy levels. I think I might have gotten more accomplished this week than any other week in history. I also think that if the weather had been gloomy and cold, I might have been more inclined to sit around the house all week with rented movies and video games as our only source of entertainment.

So, while the week may have been a little hectic, it was probably the best March Break that I can remember. I'm glad that I got to spend some time having fun with the kids, but I'm equally glad that as of tomorrow at 9AM, my job as "Entertainment Co-ordinator" is over. At least until Summer Vacation, but let's not even THINK about that yet!

J :)

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