Ali's Adventures

September 30, 2012

Hilights of the week- September 30th

Filed under: Derby,Gratitude,Hilights,Kids,Move — by Alison @ 11:40 pm

1.  A long conversation with a good friend, and feeling like I was able to help a little even though I’m far away.

2. Getting other people hooked on Ticket to Ride.

3. The return of Castle.

4. H at preschool by himself. The big grin and hug he gave me when I picked him up.

5. E taking pride in her school work.

6. Supportive friends and tweeps who threaten to write strongly worded letters on your behalf.

7. Only 4 more sleeps until my sister arrives.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.


September 27, 2012

Motivated by the stopwatch

Filed under: Derby,Learning,Plans,Weight loss — by Alison @ 5:20 pm

Last week in derby practice we did timed laps. One of the WFTDA minimum skills requirements is 25 laps in 5 minutes. A lap is about 180 ft, roughly 55 m. I might have my calculations off, but one of the issues is that the inside and outside oval aren’t completely aligned. It doesn’t seem that way when you’re skating but the diagram is clear. And now that I know it makes sense that passing going in to the corners is so tough.

Before we did the 25 in 5, we all did 5 lap sprints. My times for both were pretty good.

5 laps (275 m)- 53 seconds

25 laps (1375 m)-  4:23 (263 seconds)

During the 5 lap sprint, I fell trying to pass someone on the corner. Next time, I’m aiming for under 50 seconds and I’d love to get my 25 lap time down closer to 4 minutes.

In a wonderful coincidence, I found the notebook where I kept my speed skating ability meet times. It’s fun to compare these to the derby times.

The speed skating track is 111 m. The traditional distances are 500 m (4.5 laps), 1000 m (9 laps and a bit), and 1500 m (13.5 laps). For the ability meets I was skating in, our distances were 333 m, 500 m, 666 m or 777 m.

In my first meet ever, I did 500 m in 1:21.30. My personal best, 2 years later was 1:02.91. I also managed to reduce my 666 m and  777 m times by 10 seconds each. My best time for 333 m was 43.83 seconds, maybe I should aim for that on derby skates.

The funniest part about looking over my times, was how many of them noted that I had fallen. It seems the faster I was getting, the less in control I was. And that was the same feeling I had being timed last week, I love going all out and seeing what happens. I’m not worried about falling, I do worry about taking other people out, but there weren’t many of us on the track at a time, so it’s okay.

I want to feel fast and trust that I’m in control. I think it’s a good way to be 🙂

September 24, 2012

Hilights of the week- September 23rd

Filed under: Derby,Gratitude,Hilights,Kids — by Alison @ 12:19 pm

This was a super busy week. We packed a lot in and wrapped it up with the Great Wallingford Wurst Festival.

1. H’s first day of preschool went really well.

2. Coaching soccer, I love coming up with ‘strategy’ and seeing the kids get excited.

3. Built a terrarium with a good friend. It was a lot more fun than I thought, mainly because she’s so awesome.

4. Got timed at practice this week and it felt good to race against the clock.

5. Watching E with her friends all weekend. Cool to see them hang out with minimal adult supervision.

6. Another great night of Ticket to Ride with our friends, I may be addicted.

7. My sister comes next week.

8. White Collar

9. Brownies. I didn’t get any of the ones I made for the bake sale, so I had to make more last night. I really love brownies.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

September 18, 2012

Preschool Day 1

Filed under: Adventure,Kids,Learning — by Alison @ 6:20 pm

H had his first day of preschool today.

Ready to go.

He’s registered in a co-op preschool for 2-3 year olds. It meets twice a week and as a co-op parent I’m there with him one of those days. On a normal day, I would be assigned a station and not just follow H around. Today was our slow start day, so only half the class was there. It was a good chance for H to explore the classroom and the amazing outdoor play yard.

First look at the outdoor area.

It seems the pre-school has a very general schedule: indoor station play, snack, outdoor play, and closing circle. The teacher (Teacher Tom) is a strong advocate for free play and learning through exploration. One of the first things he said at the parent’s meeting is that “kids aren’t just mini-adults, they are fully formed children”. I like his approach and the way he interacts with the kids. I’m looking forward to the year.

Next week, I’ll leave H there by himself. This will be very new for us, but based on how much fun he had today, I think it’ll work out.

Indoor water play. Sensory table doubles as paint rinsing station.

Outdoor play. Note change of clothes as a result of indoor water table.

September 17, 2012

Hilights of the week- September 16th

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights,Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 4:57 pm

1. Games night with friends, that included my first batch of home-made ice cream.

2. E’s first soccer game of the season went well. Coaching again is fun.

3. Watching H play with his friend L makes me smile. They’re both little blonde dynamos.

4. Two friends booked trips to visit us, one in October and another in January.

5. Actually bought a dress while shopping on the weekend.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

September 13, 2012

Kids in the Capital Photo Challenge 5: Friends and Green

Filed under: Kids — by Alison @ 2:11 am

I really like looking through my photos and seeing where they’ll fit. I think I might need to be more aware of the list while taking pictures as well. Here are our latest photos for the Kids in the Capital ABC Photo Challenge.


Heading for ice cream after school


We picked up H’s Halloween costume today. He likes it.

Here ‘s the rest of the list:

Join in and link up if you want to play too.

September 9, 2012

Hilights of the week- September 9th

Filed under: Derby,Gratitude,Hilights,Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 8:26 pm

1. Great first week of school. E seems to be settling back in well. I was really pleased with her teacher when I met her, and think it should be a good year.

2. At the playground, another little boy wanted H to play a complicated game with him. H sat down and started dumping sand into a truck. Other little boy sat down and did it too. Quiet leadership in action.

3. Booked a trip to Disneyland for October, and we’re staying at a resort hotel.

4. Played Ticket to Ride with Dan. Fun game, even though I was a bit of a poor sport at first.

5. Derby scrimmage! I really felt that I was more in control this time, was lead jammer most of my jams, and only ended up in the penalty box once.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

September 7, 2012

Lost tweets from the Vancouver Airport

Filed under: Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 4:44 pm

In July, we flew from Seattle to Ottawa via Vancouver. I prefer this flight because it avoids Toronto’s Pearson airport, we get to use the fun automated customs lines and our long airport wait is at the beginning of the trip while we’re still excited about travelling.  The only downside is that the free wi-fi in the Vancouver airport never works for me, and I refuse to pay for roaming data charges. I’ll pause here while you get out your tiny violins to play along with my whining. I also always forget that I’m not connected, so I try to send out witty tweets during my travels.

Here are tweets saved as drafts on my phone.

It’s $25 people, stop with the excessive carry-on. If you don’t need it on the flight, check the bag.

Having our first Tim’s of the trip. (Less than 30 minutes after clearing Canadian customs)

Mountains are pretty #thatisall

Sir, the washroom I am bringing my two kids and stroller into, is the family washroom not the men’s room. Don’t follow me.

Really wish I’d heard the pre-boarding call. I love setting up the car seat with an audience.

H has decided to lick himself instead of napping. I don’t support this development.

We’re over Saskatchewan and still have 3 hours of flying left. Ontario is big. (I seem to have forgotten about Manitoba, sorry about that)

There’s a snapshot of what it’s like to travel with me.

September 5, 2012

Weekend getaway in Vancouver

Filed under: Adventure,Hilights,Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 5:31 pm

For the Labour Day weekend I wanted to go somewhere in Washington State, maybe even Oregon, and sit by the ocean. I was not the only person who had this idea, and everywhere decent was booked up. With the quick delivery of H’s new passport (yay, Passport Canada) we were able to leave the US and decided to visit Vancouver. Even with the long weekend border traffic, it only took us 3 hours. The drive is pretty straight forward and some of the scenery is very pretty. Even the border crossing has things to enjoy.

Watering can sculpture in the Peach Arch Park.


The Canadians are so helpful. Nothing like this on the other side.


In Vancouver we stayed at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites in English Bay. The hotel room had a fantastic view of the ocean, and the kids liked watching the boats out the window. There was a mall right under the hotel, with a No Frills and a Shoppers Drug Mart. Both very handy so we could stock up on our Canadian essentials, Party Mix and PC Organic cereal bars.

We spent a little time at the beach in English Bay, visited Granville Island and the Steam clock. Over all it was a great trip. Hopefully, we can make a trip back soon.

English Bay


We did get to splash in the ocean.


On the ferry to Granville Island, where we picked up Montreal style bagels.


Steam clock. Seemed to be off by 15 minutes, but we saw it sing.

E lost another tooth. She’s a reverse vampire.



September 4, 2012

Hilights of the week- September 2nd

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights,Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 6:01 pm

Bit late with this week’s, I’ll blame it on the long weekend.

1. First day of Second Grade (aka Grade 2) went well. E seemed pleased to be back at school.

2. Long weekend getaway to Vancouver was a big success. That is one pretty city, especially in the sunshine.

3. Positive response to my friendship attempts.

4. A good friend may be coming to visit in January.

5. Celebrated our Tenth anniversary with greek food and an attempt at board games.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

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