Saturday, 15 September 2012

Troll Falls

I had been wanting to go to Troll Falls for a very long time.  Kristen was visiting us so we decided to head out last weekend.  If you have never been, here is a link to Hike Alberta that gives you all of the directions and fun things like that!!!  I saw the photos from the winter/spring and I cannot wait to check it out then too.  
In the mean time, here are some photos:
the beautiful mountains on an early Sunday morning
Greg, Kristen and the girls heading out on the hike.  
Penelope started out walking.  She likes to put her hands in her pockets which decreases her speed but at least half!
The girls’ new BFF
First time in the big girl carrier.  We sadly sold the Ergo since Penelope was getting too big.  I highly recommend it if you are looking for a carrier for your new babe.  It was fantastic.  My only regret is that we didn’t have it with Finley.  We went through 5 carriers before settling on this one!!!  Money well spent!!  And the best part is that it has a high re-sale value too!!
Troll Falls!!!  It was pretty awesome!!!
The gang heading to the top part of it.  I stayed down since I really wasn’t supposed to be hiking anyways with my ankle injury.  Better to be safe than sorry because we all know how clumsy I am!
This hike was awesome and it was especially awesome if you have little kids like we do. They loved the waterfall and it was so short that Finley had no problem doing it without complaining.  Penelope isn’t quite the hiker that Finley was at that age but hopefully she will come around as she gets older or we are in some serious trouble!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Camping in Radium

On September long weekend, we headed out for the final camping trip of the season.  We were headed to Radium where we would be hanging out with the Callaghan family for the weekend.  We all met up at Moraine Lake where we were going to hike up to Constellation Lakes.
This Lamborghini showed up right before we started.  The dude driving was a total doucebag with frosted hair and big gold hoops and a tight fitted hobo shirt.  I am not lying.  He and his girlfriend, who was wearing stilettos, got out and each posed in front of their car with the doors opened and Lake Moraine in the background.  It was pretty funny!!!
Starting on our hike – I was a bit worried considering my ankle injury
Family getting ready to hike
The clouds were pretty cool
This is snow – thankfully it didn’t last long or follow us to our campsite!!
Madi with her new Katy Perry hair
Tanner, Jimmy and Dekker with Constellation Lakes in the background
Moraine Lake
After the hike, we headed to Radium where we camped at the Redstreak Campground. This was the first time we had been here since 2005.
The girls helping Greg putting up the tent
Keeping warm
Making a cherry bush pie
Love this photo of Penelope
Making roughrider pancakes for breakfast.  
Another good one of Penelope
Our first hike of the day was supposed to be Dog Lake.  We got there but it the bridge was washed out.  Madi and I were kinda glad because it was kinda place that was probably used for a settings in horror movies.  Like you  were never coming back.  There was even a creepy blue van in the parking lot.  We went back into Radium and hiked the Juniper trail.
Taken at Sinclair Falls
Sinclair Falls from up top
After hiking Juniper Trail we headed back to the campsite to have lunch before we headed to the hot springs for the afternoon.  No pictures from that as I was not taking in my iphone or our other camera so just imagine us sitting in the hot springs with a nice mountain background relaxing.  It was pretty awesome and not too busy.
Penelope eating Madi’s ice cream…
Finley’s ice cream…
and my ice cream that I gave to Greg to finish.  This girl clearly loves her ice cream
Silly girls
Playing Skip Bo
Finley brought these to me and wished me a happy birthday….so sweet :)
My own birthday bush pie!!!  Thanks Nancy for making this for me!!!  It was delicious!
Tanner totally looking like Shy Ronnie from Ronnie + Clyde (an SNL digital short).  It was pretty awesome
Jimmy drinking is tall boy in front of the final fire of the summer
Pack up day….Nancy hiding from the camera while making us breakfast
Finley was sad to say goodbye to her cousins
Madison hiding her face from the camera because she had a pink stain on her face from drooling during the night and the colour came out of her hair.  It was pretty funny.
We all packed up and the Callaghans went back to Red Deer where my Aunty and Uncle were waiting for them and we headed to Marble Canyon for a short hike before heading back to Calgary.  It was a fantastic hike that I highly recommend and it is great for little kids!  Below are some photos of some beautiful sites at Marble Canyon
Marble Canyon Trail
Trailhead: Marble Canyon parking lot, 89 km north of Radium Hot Springs.
Length: 0.8 km one-way. Minor elevation gain. One set of stairs. Trail criss-crosses the narrow canyon over footbridges.
Story: The erosion of a 40 m deep gorge by the pounding waters of Tokumm Creek. The canyon walls are limestone and dolomite; some is white, resembling marble.
It was a really good weekend of final camping.  We had tons of fun and we can’t wait to head out next year.  I already have a few places in mind that we would like to check out!!!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

First Day Back at PaceKids

Today was Finley’s unofficial first day back at Pacekids.  I say unofficial because officially school does not start until Wednesday, September 12.  Today, Friday and Monday are basically just for the kids to get reacquainted with their aids although every aide except for one is new to the afternoon program.  
She picked out yet another purple dress to wear today.  If you haven’t noticed, purple is one of her favorite colours thanks to Rapunzel.  If you ask her, pink and purple are tied for her favorite.
Because it was a full afternoon, she got to bring her lunch kit.  She really does not need to use both but she insists.  I am hoping the novelty wears off – especially since there is nothing to put in her backpack most days!!
Penelope was again excited to be “going to school”.  She took her backpack full of her diapers and milk over to her bff’s place so they could watch her as we had our first center visit this afternoon.
She insisted on the purple Gap hoodie after we lost her pink one in the US somewhere.  It is probably a size or 2 too big but she loved it – because it was purple :).  As long as we don’t lose it, it should last a few years!
Heading to the car.  She was so excited to see her old buddies from last year.  She was sad when I told her that 3 of them “graduated” and would not be back this time around.
Heading into the building….
So we got into the school and was introduced to Finley’s new aide.  She seemed quite nice and led Finley to the where all the classrooms were.  I was surprised when she told Finley that they would be in the ocean room this year.  This probably means nothing to most people so I will explain.  There are three classrooms at PK.  The Arctic Room, The Jungle Room and The Ocean Room.  Last year, Finley was in the Jungle Room and I assumed she would be again this year.  The Ocean Room is used primarily for the younger kids in the class with more developmental delays than just speech.  The Arctic room wasn’t used last year in the afternoons but I hear it will be this year.  I assume it is similar to the Ocean Room although I could be wrong. The Jungle Room is usually for the older kids who have basically just have speech delays. Most are in their kindergarten year.  
With exception of one aide, all of the aides are new for this school year.  Last year it was a revolving door with them so hopefully things will be better this year.  I spoke to the one that I knew and chatted with her. She told me that Finley was in the ocean room with a bunch of kids – some i knew, some i didn’t.  The kids I did know about are super cute and loveable but they don’t speak very well and rely heavily on sign language.  Finley knows enough sign language as it is and I was thinking that this was going to be a step backwards.  I asked her why Finley wasn’t in the same class as her two other friends and she was surprised as well but didn’t know.  I soon left Finley at school and headed to the mall to kill time before coming back at 3pm for her IPP.  
I immediately called Greg and told me what was going on and that we would have to pull Finley out if they kept her in the ocean room and put her in at another local school near our house.  I was so upset I was in tears.  This was not how this was supposed to go. We decided that we ask why Finley wasn’t in the same class and could we change it when I got to the meeting.  If they didn’t switch her, she was leaving.  Simple as that.
A couple hours later, I am back for the IPP.  Both the speech pathologist and the physiologist saw me and told me that there was a HUGE misunderstanding and that she would be in the same room with her bff’s and some new kids too.  Apparently with the massive turnover, things got all messed up and she was definitely in the Jungle Room.  HUGE RELIEF.  MASSIVE.  Apparently, one of the aides sensed that I was upset so mentioned it to them and they were like – woah no way, Finley is in the Jungle Room.  They apologized numerous times for the mix up and any stress it may have caused.
The IPP went well – I met with the new occupational therapist and new teachers.  They seem really great and I look forward to a great year with them!! 
 The only downside is that they still DON’T know if we have funding for the school year.  This really surprised me because they told me a few weeks ago when they called to confirm Finley was coming back that she had indeed received funding.  OMG – are you kidding me?!?!  My stress and blood pressure levels were again through the roof!!!!!!  Thankfully, I am still registered at another school until it starts on Sept 14 so I told them that I would need to know by then.  They told me not to worry because they were confident that she would be ok.  
Anyways, that was my afternoon.  And to top it all off, Greg is working late and Penelope cried and wouldn’t get off of me for the first hour that we were home.  It was not fun.  Seriously debating putting these kids to bed early as I have SO much to do before Kristen arrives tomorrow night!!!!