Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome to the world Isabella

Today we welcomed our new niece Isabella, who was born around 8:30am in Valencia, Venezuela..
She is the first daughter of my brother in law Gabriel and his wife Maria...
Isabella was born via c-section and she weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 19 in long...I hear she is so sweet and soft...
Her parents are over the moon with excitement and all of our family is full of joy with this new arrival..
Unfortunately, we won't be able to meet baby Isabella for now...(one the perks of being so far away from family *tears*).. We will hopefully meet her in December when they all come to visit for the holidays and I'm sure we'll have plenty of times to soak in her sweetness!...
Needless to say, I can't wait to hold her and meet her in person.. For now, we'll have to settle for Skype and Facetime (thank God for modern technology!)...
Welcome to the world, baby! We love you very much!

Meet our new cat "Abuelita"

Our family has a new member and her name is "Abuelita" (little grandma)...
She is a 6 year old calico cat that we adopted yesterday at our local pet store...
She is the sweetest and most cuddly cat ever...and SO HAIRY (my least favorite part!)...
She had been waiting (in a cage) to be adopted for over 5 months so we decided to bring her to our home and end her misery once and for all.. we are so excited for this new arrival and the girls are over the moon too...
The only "not so happy" camper is our 7 year old cat Pankeko, who has been hissing at her every chance he gets...
I really hope this is just a phase and they eventually become friends!
Welcome to your new home, Abuelita!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aqsa's 4th birthday party

Today we attended Aqsa's 4th birthday party, celebrated at Little Java's in Weston. 
He turned 4 on April 17th, but the party was a little delayed...
Aqsa is my friend Sandra's only son.. he is such an adventurous and hyper little boy..
His party theme was Spider Man and he had such a blast jumping up and down on every bounce house he could find...
Naturally, the girls had a wonderful time as well  and ate like there's no tomorrow...
The cake was really tasty and the food was even better..
Happy Birthday, Aqsa! We had a great time!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Movie review: "Brave"

Today we saw yet another animated film.. this time it was Disney-Pixar's "Brave", which just came out and Olivia was dying to see...
"Brave" is about a Scottish princess, Merida, whose mother is trying to marry off to the best suitor in order to follow her kingdom's tradition...
But Merida has other plans...she believes her fate should be decided by herself and not just by following her mother's desires...
The princess runs off and finds a witch who gives her a poison, which turns Merida's mother into a bear....
Long story short..she bonds with her mother (who's now a bear) and makes her own fate...
The characters are cute and the animation is perfect..very colorful and well designed...
The message of the movie is "our fate is within us, we just have to be brave enough to see it"... it's a good message but I must say the movie was a bit slow paced and the "Scottish" accent drove me nuts at times...
Some parts of the movie were violent and there were moments were Olivia seemed "sleepy/bored", although she did enjoy it and was happy with the ending...
I'm not sure I'd recommend this one to moms with kids under 4.. I think the story is a bit complex for a pre-schooler and the movie is too slow, failing to keep the little one's attention at times....
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars... good.. but not great!

Meeting baby Alanis

Yesterday I met little Alanis, who is the first daughter of my long time friend Gaby
Baby Alanis was born via c-secion on June 11th, she weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 21 1/2 in long.  During my visit I held baby Alanis for more than 2 hours and let me just say that newborns always melt my heart...they are so sweet and cuddly.. totally irresistible...
Baby Alanis was such a cutie with her little yawns and funny faces.. way too adorable..
Gaby and her husband Jesus are over the moon with the arrival of their little bundle of joy... and so is everyone around them (including myself)...
Welcome to the world, Alanis! I'll make sure to come see you again soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh Canada!: Part 3 >>> Niagara Falls

During our final day in Canada, we visited Niagara Falls, which is like the Orlando of Canada.. there's just so much to see and do in that town, aside from the awesome Niagara Falls, of course...
We were able to visit several museums and attractions in Niagara Falls, including the Louis Tussaud's wax museum, the Ripley's Believe it or Not and a few others.. it was so much fun..


...after a few fun attractions, we walked down to the falls..and let me just say "Oh my gosh!" what an amazing place...Last time I visited Niagara Falls (the only time) was in 1995 and 17 years later, the place is just as breathtaking...what a great feeling to stand in front of such a beauty of nature...beautiful sight!


..here's a picture of my friend and "tour guide", who sure knows how to show a guest a good time (thanks, Jen)


...Olivia and I went on the "Maid of the Mist", which is probably one of the most amazing things I've ever done.. It was so great to get so close to the waterfalls and feel the mist and sound of the water.. on top of that, there was an amazing rainbow that sure took my breath away....and we got soaked! (Olivia's favorite part of all)


Here's a short clip of our "Maid of the Mist" ride...SO MUCH FUN!

..after our fun (and wet) boat ride... we went on the Niagara SkyWheel, a huge ferris wheel in the middle of Niagara Falls... we had a great view of the falls from up top and the kids had a blast going around (5 whole times).. such a great experience...


Niagara Falls was just amazing! The town is so full of life and entertainment.. It is such a great place for families and tourists of all ages..
Oh, and we happened to be there the day Nik Wallenda walked across the falls..how cool is that?
Our trip to Canada was such a blast and I can't wait to go back with the whole family..
Thank you, Canada.. for an amazing time!..and thank you to the Grant family for spending time with us and showing us what Canada is all about!

Pirate day

Yesterday was "Pirate Day" at summer camp and even though I did not find any super fancy pirate costumes for the girls, they did sport some cute eye patches and hats, which they were very excited about...
Gaby even took it as far as saying "Arrr!" every time someone called her name... it was adorable...

Every week there will be a "dress-up" day at summer camp, so I will have to get very creative.. Next week's theme is "Wizards"...any ideas for that?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Movie review: "Madagascar 3"

Animated films never cease to amaze me... they can be so entertaining and fun and "Madagascar 3" did not disappoint!.. What an AWESOME movie...so wholesome and creative!
I've always been a fan of the Madagascar franchise but this one has been *by far* the best out of the 3..
It starts off with the animals trying to leave Africa (where the 2nd movie left off), but once they realize the penguins have abandoned them and don't plan to come back, they take off to Monte Carlo to look for their traitor friends..
Once in Monte Carlo, they come across Captain DuBois, who is in charge of animal control; she is the funniest evil character I've seen.. and brings so much color to the movie...
The animals then join a circus, meet some other circus animals and form lasting friendships... In between there's lots of music, jokes and funny parts that just make this movie such a feat for the whole family...
The movie also features great animated images of many European cities.. the animation is so perfect.. technology truly is amazing!
I strongly recommend this movie to people of all ages.. it is so worth it.. and even better in 3D.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars.. no doubt about it!

Oh Canada!: Part 2 >>> TORONTO

Days 4 and 5 of our trip were spent touring around Toronto, which is the most populous city in Canada and one of the most important ones in Ontario.
Toronto is such a beautiful city.. it has so many interesting landmarks and it offers such a great vibe...
While in Toronto, we visited the CN Tower, one of the most iconic spots in the city...We went up to the lookout, which is more than 1,100 ft above ground and enjoyed the beautiful views from the top...


 ..here are some of the amazing views from the top of the CN Tower.. it was amazing to admire the city from up top.. way too cool!


...the observatory has two floors..here we are enjoying the fresh air from the top floor...


..and here's Olivia trying to blend in.. I think she did a great job! ;)


...the next day, we visited a few other interesting places, including museums, parks, government buildings, etc... This picture is of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), which is one of the coolest buildings I have every seen... (I really love modern architecture)...


..this is the parliament building... another cool building..


...and here's St. Lawrence Market, one of the most famous spots in downtown Toronto, featuring foods from many places in the world.. with over 120 vendors, merchants and artisans... It was such an interesting place, with so many neat things...


...we also visited the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), another one of Toronto's great museums, featuring modern art housed in a wonderful building by famous architect Frank Gehry...what a great place!


...here's a view of the Toronto metro, which is less than impressive.. I found it to be messy and dirty.. but I guess all subway systems are like that...


 ..and a view of some of the modern buildings that are part of the Toronto skyline...it is indeed a very beautiful and interesting city...


It was so great to walk around Toronto and be able to visit all the interesting spots the city has to offer.. It is such a beautiful place and I am sure we will be back at some point!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh Canada!: Part 1

Olivia and I just got back from a week long trip to Canada... We visited Toronto, Niagara Falls and a few other little towns in Ontario. 
We stayed with my wonderful friend Jen, whom I met through WTE almost 6 years ago (when we were pregnant with Olivia and Jackson). Her and her family were so amazing to us and I will be forever thankful for such a wonderful time with them. 
I'll talk about my trip in several posts because it seems that we did so much that I simply can't summarize it in just one post. 

First, here's a picture of Jen's backyard, which was like heaven for Olivia.. She really enjoyed playing in the swing set and just running around...


... on day 1 we went to Springwater Park... a local park that houses rescue wildlife animals..the scenery was beautiful and we saw some pretty neat animals, including bears, foxes, deer and owls... so much fun...


...here's a picture of Olivia and Jackson... it's hard to believe these two "met" in their mothers' bellies and soon they will be 5... they really clicked.. it was great to see them playing together..


On day 2 we went to Santa's Village in Muskoka, which is a little Christmas themed park that is great for kids.. It has cute rides and of course Santa himself is there to greet all kids... It was really fun!


 .. Olivia had a blast playing in the water and enjoying the wonderful weather...

 .
. here's Olivia with Santa, who was very nice and extremely entertaining....


...this was Olivia's favorite ride at the park.. she had a blast jumping up and down... so adorable...


...and here's our little souvenir picture...it doesn't get better than having Christmas in the summer! ;)


..and here are the kids again.. acting silly in their elves hats...


On day 3, we visited Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ontario.  It is a sanctuary for Catholic saints and martyrs. It features a beautiful church with stained glass windows and a wonderful prayer garden.  This place was just amazing.. such great energy and peaceful vibe...
We had a great time walking around the gardens and admiring the sculptures and art work..


I will continue to talk about our trip in the days to come... There are so many pictures and stories I want to share, but I don't want to bore anyone with all my anecdotes....

Happy Blogging!