I got to spend the whole weekend with my cousin! I love Marshall!!
This week and weekend were both equally loaded full of awesomeness for the Teeters! First, there was a trip down to Toronto to see our friend Jim Bryson play an album release show for his new album Thursday night. And, second, there was a visit all weekend with our nephew Marshall which gave Todd and Chantelle a weekend to be a couple again. Add in the amazing spring-like weather we have had from Friday on, and it was a particularly great weekend all the way around!
The week started ominously however with reports early on that we were going to receive another blast of winter. The forecast early in the week was that there was potential for either a heavy snow or rain (or both) and then a deep freeze come mid week. The worst part about this was all of it was supposed to arrive just ahead of the trip I would need to make down to Toronto. Thankfully, as with most weather reports, the outcome was no where near the sensationalized version on the news and the roads were clear and fine for a drive down to Toronto, without incident.
Thursday was the day of Jim’s show down in Toronto and after seeing Emelia off to school, a trip to the gym, I made my way down and met up with our friend Johanna who had also made it in town for the show. We putzed around town while we waited for my concert wife Dawn to wrap up her day at work. After checking out the newish, super cool record store Quixotic Sounds, we popped over to Paper Bag Records to say hello to my friend Brooke and work digs. It was great fun and we – as people who live in Toronto do – added a ton of steps to our activity trackers.
By the time Dawn was done her work day we were all very ready to eat, so we hopped in the car and skedaddled over to The Lakeview Restaurant for a dinner of poutine and grilled cheese. There was a ton of laughter and of course pictures during dinner. We met up with other CBC Radio 3 friends and got over to the wonderful new music venue Jim was playing (The Burdock) in perfect time for the show and to get front row seats. And the venue – a new one for Toronto – was stunningly beautiful! It was the perfect place for the music we were about to hear.
The show itself was fantastic! I have had the opportunity for quite some time to get acquainted with this album and talk with Jim through the creative and production process on this record. To have it out there for the rest of the world to experience finally makes me so happy because this album is just so darned good. He was able to have some of the musicians who helped him make the album (Caroline Brooks of The Good Lovelies, and Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene) as well as his amazing backline of talented artists. We got to hear a good chunk of the new stuff and as well in the encore we were treated to a cover of the Echo & The Bunnymen song Bring On The Dancing Horses and the Harry Nilsson Everybody’s Talkin‘. The venue was loaded and it was great to see how well the new album was being received!
I spent the night on Dawn’s futon and the next morning it was up early and over to Chantelle and Todd’s to pick up my lil’ bundle of fun in Marshall to bring him back to London for a weekend with us. We were loaded up and on the road with minimal anxiety for Marshall’s Mommy & Daddy—in fact I think there was a skip to their step as they walked off for the weekend as a couple and not parents of fifteen month old.
While I had to work on Friday and Saturday, Danielle & Emelia got to spend their days with Marshall. Friday night was a close shift for me so I came home to a house full of asleep kids and a Danielle not far behind. We were reminded of what life is like with a fifteen month old as Marshall was up through the night, but we did get two good stretches from him, and even Emelia managed to get up and for once be quiet. I had an early start to the work day, but that in turn left me done earlier to spend the evening with the kids and Danielle.
Today was a wonderful day off work that even started with a couple kids allowing us an even later start to the day than Saturday. We putzed around the house until Marshall had his morning nap and then after the kids were lunched up we made our way over to spend the afternoon burning off energy at Adventures on Wonderland where the kids had an absolute blast. Both kids went (and went) (and went) to the point that we think neither will have challenges getting off to sleep tonight.
Close to when we were wrapping up Chantelle and Todd joined us and we headed back to the house to get everyone some food before Todd, Chantelle and Marshall hit the road back to Toronto. We had a great dinner and the kids from the big smoke got back on their way home with full tummies and us full of smiles and memories from a wonderful week and weekend.
What a perfect way to wrap up a week!
The week leading into the weekend was a quieter one around here in daycare world. I had one little one away on a family vacation and another one out for part of the week with a nasty fever virus that has hit small children and adults all around the city. It made for some quieter days with the kids and allowed me to get a few things squared away on my long to do list. The biggest one is that my business taxes are done and ready to go once I have some final paperwork in from John and Emelia. Once I get those all in I can send everything off to the accountant and I can get things processed. This is in record time for me this year and I am happy to have that monkey off my back.
The biggest part of our week all came down to Friday around noon hour. For a few months we had been trying to plan a weekend that Marshall could stay here with our family so Charlie and Todd could have a much needed parents weekend away just the two of them. It was the perfect storm of planning when I was told by my one daycare family that they were going to be gone this past week on vacation, it coincided with John’s trip to Toronto to see Jim’s album release and a weekend that my sister and Todd could get away. All was perfect and we had a weekend planned.
Once Friday arrived our focus was 100% shifted to Marshall. John texted me just after 9:00 that he was almost at my sisters and he and Marshall would be on the way soon. By noon they were home and Marshall was rested from his nap on the way down. I had the daycare kids down for their naps and I got to have some serious auntie and nephew time. It was pure happiness to have so much time with him. And he was a dream. He didn’t play the least bit of strange, even coming off a cold he was full of smiles and energy. The afternoon flew by and I was able to get the kids up and ready to go get Emelia at school.
Emelia could not wait to show her cousin off to all her friends, and he was full of smiles the second he saw her. The rest of the evening was all about the two kids playing and hanging out. Friday evening there was a movie night at Emelia’s school, she wanted to go again so she could show Marshall to all her school friends. Shortly after arriving it was obvious that Marshall would never make it through the movie and I had to slip out. Thankfully Emelia’s best friends mom was there with the girls so she was able to bring Emelia home for me.
I got Marshall and he was more than ready for bed, I was expecting a bit of a battle for bed since this was his first sleep solo with us away from mommy and daddy and nope he was a dream. There was a protest in the beginning but it was short lived and was asleep and hard by 7:30. Emelia got home shortly after 8:00 and she was so tired she was out cold by 8:30. I was pretty spent by that point that I vegged out on the couch waiting for John to get home. He and I were both out for the night (or at least we thought for the night) by 11:00. Well around midnight we got the rude awakening we had a baby in the house. Marshall woke less than happy at this point and it took little time to realize that if anyone was going to get sleep he was snuggling in with us.
I have to say although tiring because that kid can make his rounds around a bed it was so sweet to have a baby in bed to snuggle with. He nuzzled in and passed out hard for the rest of the night. John and I woke the next morning not quite rested but happy that Marshall got his sleep and was comfortable with both of us that he snuggled in with us for the morning. He certainly knows how to patrol a bed from every possible angle in his sleep. He is very much like his cousin in that way!
Sadly John had to work on Saturday but it meant that I got a fair bit of play time with Marshall. Emelia and Marshall spent the morning playing and about an hour before we were due to go to Emelia’s gymnastics the two kids snuggled on the living room carpet and Marshall fell right to sleep. Thankfully he transports perfectly into his carseat stayed asleep so we could leave for Emelia’s gymnastics. After bringing Emelia to her gymnastics Marshall and I were off to get the weekend errands done. He slept until we got to Costco. He really was a dream to get things done with, he never fussed and was just the sweetest little charmer to everyone who would say hi to him. The two hours flew by and then it was time to get to Emelia’s practice. Marshall was in awe of the whole gymnasium, I don’t think he could quite figure out which of the many gymnasts was Emelia but he just loved watching the girls practice. Emelia happily showed her baby cousin to her gymnastics friends and he was full of smiles for these girls as well.
We finally were ready to head home. Marshall was ready be free of his car seat and to play with Emelia. The kids are just so sweet together, and man does Emelia ever adore her cousin. She was a great helper all weekend with him. Eventually they (more Emelia) was getting stir crazy so we packed up and went to the mall so we could do a bit of window shopping for Emelia’s upcoming summer wardrobe. As the time was getting close to supper so we packed up and made our way home. Marshall grabbed a much needed cat nap on the way and he woke a happy and hungry boy. By the time John got home from work we were all ready for supper and we had lots of time to hang out just the four of us.
Once bedtime rolled around I quickly got the two kids bathed and to bed and John and I settled in for the evening. I was anticipating a bit of a rough sleep again from Marshall but he was a dream, he slept right through the night and he and Emelia timed getting up at the same time. I took the kids downstairs to get them fed and me a coffee so John could get a bit more sleep. We took the morning at a quiet blissful pace and planned out our afternoon. Once Marshall was our for his nap we got to hang out with Emelia and spend some quality time with her. We finalized our plans for the afternoon and got everything in order. Marshall woke after almost 2 hours and we had a quick later lunch and then were off.
We had decided on Adventures on Wonderland for the kids, it had been years since we had been there, it was the most cost effective of our options and it had something that both the kids would adore. And it was a perfect afternoon. Emelia started out with Marshall in the toddler room but then John took her off to the big kid play zone and I stayed with the baby. Marshall made his rounds all over the playroom and took it all in. After a couple hours Charlie and Todd arrived and we got to spend about another hour together there watching the kids play.
We wrapped up our visit with a meal back here and play time as a family. My sister and Todd had a great weekend away and I got to spend a ton of time with my favourite little boy. It couldn’t have been more perfect if we tried. I wish we lived closer but it makes the times we are even that more special.
That was our week, full of family, family and more family!