Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This morning I woke up...

…thinking that the light beyond my eyelids seemed much brighter than 7am, but as I had not yet had my wake-up call, that I should probably lie very very still and most definitely NOT open my eyes in order to prolong this glorious utopia of sleep. So that's what I did. And when my wake-up call eventually came, in the form of a hand on my shoulder and a kiss on my cheek, I finally did open my eyes to see the most scrumptious little face smiling back at me. At 8:30am. Talk about a perfect start to the day.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Spring in Pictures

Spring has sprung, indeed. In fact, we hit fast forward into summer for a bit there before Mother Nature gave a little tug on the reins.

Let's catch you up with a photo essay of sorts, shall we?

After seeing the signs on the way home from school one day:

we decided to kick off the season with a trip to a maple sugar bush with Grandma and Grandpa in Kingston:

E started getting an allowance and made her very first purchase with her very own money:

Someone got some new wheels (with our very own money):

to add to her 1st set of wheels:

and earned a few badges of honour along the learning curve:

We've been getting creative with our sleeping positions:

…and with our make-up application:

We created a new hockey fan:

We celebrated Mother's Day at the Tulip Festival:

before husband extraordinaire whisked me away for a relaxing vacation:

E experienced her very first roller coaster:

followed by the requisite introduction to cotton candy:

There was a dance recital:

and some bug hunting:

and lots of al fresco dining surrounded by new attempts at gardening:

Whew. So far so good.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


This morning E told me that talk time was her favourite part of the day yesterday.

I have been looking forward to it all day. Actually, since it ended last night. We had an early dinner, an early bath and lots of time to chat. We read our books, gave hugs and kisses, and then she said it. E turned to me and whispered: "Is it okay if I ask dad to do talk time with me tonight?"

Equal parts heart exploding with happy that she wants to share this new special thing with her dad and heart exploding with disappointment that I'm missing out. Rest assured that dad will be thoroughly grilled when he gets down here.

What's taking him so long anyway??



On Saturday, E decided that she wanted to practice her letters. So we sat together at the dining room table as she practiced her letters and corrected me as I attempted to practice mine. After a while I decided that I had had enough practice and started taking pictures of her. I thought it was adorable how focused she was. I could tell that she was really thinking hard, but I couldn't really see what she was writing. When she was finished she showed me her card and said "Look what word I wrote!"

I took the card and read "E-l-l-e-a-f-u-i-n-t". Elephant! She has been working on her letters a lot at school, and she's doing really well with her reading at home, but the idea that she could put it all together to think out and then write out a big word phonetically just blew me away.

And then:

"T-r-q-a-i-s". Turquoise! Way to set the bar high, kiddo. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Talk Time

Tonight was the first of hopefully many, many bedtime chat sessions for E and I. Maybe in a week or two I'll offer J a chance at it…but maybe not. Judging by how tonight went, I'm hoping we can do this well into the University years. Which might be awkward for her roommate. And even more awkward for her boyfriend. Perfect.

Usually E gets an "extra thing" before bed. It started when she got into the habit of calling us 532 times after we put her to bed for all kinds of ridiculous reasons. If she managed not to call at all one night, then the next time she would get an "extra thing" after stories and before bed, like an extra story, an extra song, an extra cuddle, etc. She's long since done away with the calling, but the extra thing kind of stuck. So I decided to tweak it and make it a little more special by instituting "talk time". During talk time I get into bed with E and we turn out the lights and we talk. She can tell me or ask me anything she wants, and we just chat. 

Here's what we chatted about tonight:

How did the meteor kill ALL of the dinosaurs?

How are leaves made?

Let's practice some yoga breathing!

How are all of the things that are pretend actually real in Disneyworld?

How does magic work?

My hope is that one day she'll have something to share that might be so important to her that if she couldn't figure out a way to say it in the hustle and bustle of the day, in the glare of daylight, when she only had half of my attention, that she knows she'll have a chance during talk time. I want this to be a place for us to really connect every single day, a ritual that she can count on when she needs to get something off of her chest, or to hear a few words of encouragement. I want her to go to sleep every night feeling fully loved and supported, and I feel like this is one way I can make that happen. 

So many nights I feel like we rush through bedtime preparations, and I'm afraid that I leave her with the feeling that we just want to get back downstairs as fast as possible…because usually we just want to get downstairs as fast as possible. But by taking the time to chat with her tonight, I felt so much more relaxed and happy as I said goodnight. This is rapidly becoming my favourite part of the day. I can't wait to find out what questions she has for me tomorrow night…

More Shameless Truth Telling

Oh sure - it's cute when SHE does it.

I have a confession to make.

Now, this is one that many of you will probably relate to and won't come as too much as a surprise, but I swear I never thought it would happen to me.

I am addicted to my cell phone.

I check it constantly. I refresh facebook all the time. I get antsy if I can't get to it at any point. I take it into the bathroom. **shame**

I remember a time, wayyyyy back before I purchased my first cell phone, walking into a public bathroom one day and hearing someone talking on their phone…mid-stream. I was horrified. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of a conversation so important that it needed to be had right then and there. Ew. Fast forward to present day and I could be bursting at the seams and will still race frantically around the house searching for my phone so that I don't have to worry about having nothing to do in there. It's bad.

Part of the problem is the new data package I added on a few months ago. With the internet literally at my fingers every second of the day, it becomes difficult to ignore. And as a planner, refreshing my schedules to keep track of changes is like…well, it's almost the same feeling I get when things get particularly stressful and I sneak into the kitchen and stick a chunk of something - anything - chocolate into my mouth and feel a wave of relief flood my body…okay, so I'm addicted to chocolate too. Please don't offer me any crack.

In any case, screens in general are taking up too much of my time and their time is up. No more mindless surfing, no more obsessive checking, no more stupid (albeit hysterical) you tube videos. I'm going to become a hands free mama. I've already started to make changes.

For instance:

This morning, when the alarm (which is the alarm on my phone, naturally) went off, I turned it off and walked away from it, rather than taking it into bed to check a couple of things to "help me wake up". Of course what I did instead was crawl back into bed and oversleep until E wandered in, but no one said that this would be seamless.

And get this, I didn't even look in the direction of my phone until I grabbed it to put it into my purse on my way out the door. Even then, I didn't check it! Not until I had driven E to school, then driven myself to work, settled in and was waiting for my first client did I bother to pull it out. And when I did, I checked the three emails that were unread (Oooh! 3 at a time is much more exciting than 1 at a time!), sent off a quick text to my husband and stashed it again - WITHOUT checking facebook!

Speaking of driving, I have become abominable with cell phone use while driving. Totally irresponsible, unsafe and definitely not a good role model. But that was before today. Today, and from now on with no exceptions, the phone does not even make an appearance while I'm driving. Not even J's requests to text him when I'm almost there to pick him up will sway me. He can stand outside and wait or I can sit in the car and wait. Imagine.

Today, in the time I have before picking E up from school, I have allowed myself to check facebook once. I didn't linger, just opened a couple of links about the situation in Turkey (and once again I am so grateful for the privileged life I have), snickered at a few statuses and moved on. Checked tomorrow's schedule once and moved on. On to Handsfreemama. She has some wisdom.

If you want to be less of a jerk vis a vis your screens and your loved ones, I'm starting by referencing this list as much as possible. Also, how much do you love this idea?

Once I'm finished this post, I'm going to get some snacks ready for after-school park time and head out to get my girl. And I will not so much as lay a finger on this laptop until she is in bed. I'm a little anxious at the idea, but I think I can do it.

Speaking of bedtime, we're starting a new thing tonight called talk time. More wisdom from handsfreemama. I'm super excited and I'll let you know how it goes.

In case you're wondering, yes, it does seem to me that I am incapable of creating a single brilliant idea on my very own. I do appear to need spoon-feeding from any number of mom blogs and parenting websites. Perhaps this impending crackdown on screen time will open up more time for, you know, independent thought. Maybe I'm a genius under all of these technological shackles…

The reception on this coaster is terrible.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Songwriter in training

I love you and you love me, I love you so you love me
A heart grows, a flower grows, a tree grows beautiful arms
A tree is a plant, it's true, a tree is a plant