We received this in the mail from a grateful mom.

"Playful Grounds. Everyone had such a great time at XXXXXX's birthday party. The food was fantastic, and the space was perfect for the kids to have fun while the adults could visit with one another. Having you both take care of everything saved the day!"

This makes me happy.
So here we go. Today I tried to add whip to kids hot chocolate. It worked fine yesterday, I swear. Today, it spluttered and splooged and generally seemed pretty sad. I shook it. I heard nothing. I only realized that in retrospect. Of course what I should have heard was the same thunking sound that I heard yesterday. But I'm tired. And I drink. So I deemed the canister to be empty and suggested to Davina that she make more whipped. The lost piece was indeed in the canister and had wedged itself in the EXACT spot to prevent any cream from exiting the canister. Sigh. I'd like to say that I think this concludes the Saga Of The Whipped Cream... but I doubt it.

Who would've thunk that whipped cream would be so challenging or be the cause of so many laughs? Well, the laughs part I could have guessed but the challenging part? We make our own whipped. It's organic and yummy and easy to make. After blending the ingredients, you simply pour the mixture into your handy dandy whipped cream dispenser, attach the CO2 cartridge and splooge all over your closest friend. Easy peasy.

Ya. Right.

The first time we did it, smooth creamy whip erupted all over the front counter sink which left Davina frantically trying to figure out where to spray it. I don't think we were even open yet.

A week or so later, Davina told me we were out of whipped. I took the canister into the back and when I started to unscrew the CO2, it EXPLODED. There isn't a font big enough to describe the amount of creamy whip that was all over me, the sinks, the walls, the appliances - EVERYTHING. Clearly it was not empty. Again, much laughter ensued.

Next, a few weeks later, Davina confidently went into the back to make more whipped. She mixed it, poured it, assembled it and came running back out to properly complete a yummy mocha. She added the topping and it just kept going. Now that was a sight to see. Davina holding the canister over mug after mug and eventually straight into the sink, of yummy, creamy stuff shooting out of a long cylindrical tube. Let the jokes fly.

Finally we got the hang of it.

Then one day after I had emptied the dishwasher and put the pieces of the dispenser aside, Davina had made more whip and reassembled the canister and asked where the piece was which holds the CO2 cartridge. I showed her where I thought I had seen it, but it wasn't there. Neither of us could find it anywhere. We took the kitchen apart. Eventually we concluded that it must have fallen off of the back of the table into one of the beer cases and had probably been returned to the beer store.

We ordered a new piece.  No whip for days equals sad.

The new piece came yesterday equals happy!

We attached the new piece to the already filled canister and were ready to go! We shook it. We heard something rattling around in the canister. What could it be? We didn't know. What could be in there. Ya, whatever could it be.

If you come to the cafe in the next few days and order something with whipped cream, you will hear a clicking sound as me and Davina laugh at each other. We won't know for sure until this canister is empty, but I'm sure it's the missing piece which went straight from the dishwasher into the canister for safe keeping.

I know I'm really overdue for a proper entry. I've been swamped. I promise to do one soon! In the meantime, I'll just add the e-mail that I'm sending out in case anyone who wants to read what's new around here isn't actually on our mailing list:

I wanted to send an e-mail to let you know of some new things at the café. We have holidays coming up! We will certainly have some specials for Easter and fun stuff for Mothers Day. And we’ll have some yummy chocolate covered Matzo for Passover! All the details will be on the site at www.playfulgrounds.com

Speaking of the site, I’m gradually adding more to it and making changes to make it more readable.  

I decided that we need a Funny Of The Day section. Too many things happen around here that seem to just encapsulate the fun and games of running our own business. So we now have a section for it. Feel free to visit often. I hope it makes you laugh even one tenth of the amount that we laughed while these things were happening!  http://www.playfulgrounds.com/funny-of-the-day.html

We are changing up the menu. Adding brunch! Among the new additions are “Playful Eggs”, Caesars,  Sangria and a selection of salads. The updated menu will be online shortly and will be up on the boards in the café starting on Monday.

We now have Gift Certificates. They come in denominations of $10 and are a perfect gift for all the moms you know out there. They are displayed on the front counter in the café.

We ran two workshops this week, both of which were very successful. There are more booked over the next few weeks including a fitness workshop (how to get your body back), a fundraiser for the Children’s Book Bank (storytellers and facepainters and more!), and a financial planner to help with saving for your little one, debt management etc…. Sign up by e-mail or in the café on the board at the back. More info is here: http://www.playfulgrounds.com/parties-events-and-workshops.html

Our hours are changing. We are about to be open on SUNDAYS! Planning for April. Watch the site for the details. http://www.playfulgrounds.com/hours-and-location.html

We also have a comment card available in the café. If you can think of any convenience that we’ve missed, please fill out a card. We will also draw one card per month for a FREE $10 GIFT CERTIFICATE!

One of the first things so many parents say when they come in to the cafe for the first time is 'Thank you! Thank you for opening!'.  I have to say how happy this makes me! This is what we were going for. There were a lot of nay sayers when we were trying to gather funds to get this cafe off the ground. A lot of people who said "Do you really think there's a market for that? I mean, moms have all that free time - they can just go anywhere." Seriously. No word of a lie. We knew that we knew what we were talking about, but damn a little validation is nice. So below are a few comments we've received via e-mail:

"I don't have a question to ask, I just wanted to say this place sounds AWESOME! I will definitely be by with my 16 month old XXXXX. Congrats and good luck to you ladies! :)"

"wow - i can't wait to come to your cafe
i will be there soon and i will tell my friends"

"Congrats on the new business. Brilliant idea."

"I think what you are doing is terrific. You should be very proud of yourselves! Congratulations and I wish you tremendous success. If I'm in the neighborhood I will pop in and support you, with our without my child!"

"Please open a location in Leaside. There are so many stay at home mums and dads in this area with no child friendly coffee shops. We would love for you to open a Playful Grounds on Bayview!"

"Really happy to see someone setup a child friendly space in this neighbourhood. I have heard that the cafe will only be open weekdays initially. I hope you do consider setting up weekend hours. For those of us no longer on maternity leave, and not stay at home moms, the only days we can visit are Saturday and Sunday. I think moms and dads will want to go out as a family and enjoy the space. I hope you consider this, but I also realize it may be tough to do this right off the bat! Good luck in this business - I think there's a huge demand for a space like this."

Thank you to everybody who has supported us. Please keep it up so we can be around for a long time and open all the branch locations that you've requested!