Christmas Magic

While walking home from the care provider we passed a house with their Christmas light display on and this prompted the following two conversations which occurred at the same time:

Lil bug: How does Santa get into our house? Monkey Boy: Do reindeer really fly?

Me: I like to think that Santa's reindeer can fly.

Monkey: How do they fly? Are there people with metal poles pushing them up?

Me(slightly puzzled and distracted by the conversation with lil bug): Umm, I don't think there are poles. I'm sure they can really fly because of magic...what were you saying bug...

lil bug: I bet Santa will come down the chimney to get to our house but I hope he doesn't get all dirty

Me: I don't think he will to get dirty. He is magical.

lil bug: maybe, maybe we can ask him to clean the chimney when he visits so he doesn't get dirty and we can have a clean chimney...that's a good idea right

Monkey: yah that is a good idea we should leave him a note and some apples for the reindeer

Me (going back to the flying reindeer conversation as it dawned on me that metal poles and people pushing reindeer sounded a little odd): monkey, how do you think reindeer fly...with poles?

Monkey: maybe there are people who have metal poles attached to the reindeer and they push them up while running or they drive in their cars to go faster.

Me (seeing some weird dr. suess sculpture picture in my mind's eye): do you mean that the reindeer are wood or metal statutes?

Monkey: no, they are real but people hold them up...or maybe they have tiny wings that help them fly ... or no jet engines that come out of there bodies and send them flying

Me: wow those are great ideas. I'm not sure what really happens though. I think only Santa knows.

Monkey: when we write a letter to Santa this year I'm going to ask him how the reindeer fly and then he will write me back with the answer.

Me: good idea, can we go inside now and make supper.

Monkey and bug: YAH!

Apple Orchard

Annual trip to an apple orchard was a success. We went with some dear friends, picked lots of apples, and enjoyed this weekends' one day of sunshine in the countryside. We tried a different orchard this year. Although we like Mountain Orchards (in particular their apple cider donuts), we decided to try Kilmarnock Orchard. It is just outside the quaint village of Merrickville. It was a good orchard - clean, healthy trees, and equipped with a couple of kubotas pulling wagons. I missed the donuts and the larger selection of trees tall enough for ladders. However I would go again as the crowds were minimal, the location was great (right on the river, we even had to cross a swing bridge over the Rideau canal), and the apples are good (Bug ate a good portion of five).

We capped the day off at the local chip wagon for a family-sized container of fries. We also squeezed in a trip to the ice cream store in Merrickville. I had Indian Chai Latte, J had Key Lime Passionfruit, Monkey had vanilla with sprinkles and Bug ate a whole Crazy Kids (vanilla with oreo cookies, sprinkles, etc).

The only thing left to do is use the apples. I see apple crisp, apple pie, apple sauce, butternut squash and apple soup, apple muffins, etc in my near future. Good thing my bug was helping me this morning with the peeling and coring.

First day of Grade One

My monkey boy has started grade one. It was a grand day of firsts. First time on the school bus, first time at a proper school, first time taking a lunch, first recess, first school desk, first great day.

Our evening conversation (one of many):
Monkey Boy (MB): School wasn't like what I dreamed.
Me: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
MB: Good. It was better than I thought it would be.
Me: What did you like the best?
MB: Recess, I found my friends M (cool neighbour girl who is one grade higher) and R (neighbour boy and care provider's son who is also in grade one but a different class). We played together. I wasn't alone.
Me: Wow, was there anything else you liked?
MB: Everything. I'm so excited about going to school tomorrow.

Nonetheless I am one thrilled momma. I was worried that his anxieties would override his enjoyment, that he would feel out of his element, that he would spend the day trying to keep his fear pushed down under the surface. I didn't need to worry. He was nervous and jittery. Yet he had such great moments that made it a great day for him.

His kindergarten teacher (who taught him at his daycare last year) took the time to insure his new teacher understood his potential anxieties and to impart to her that Nevan is a great kid to teach. His previous teacher even came over to him to greet him, wish him luck and enjoy one of his hugs.

His confident well-spoken gal pal from next door sought him out before and during school. Their friendship might change as they age and become entrenched in other friendships but right now it enables him to find a place in the playground. They even spent their time jumping on the trampoline tonight talking about working on their playfort at school.

He liked having lunch and snack at school. He is already talking about the fun "play day" scheduled in the near future. He liked having a desk all to himself.

My monkey boy has started on his journey to knowledge and independance. He is truly excited. I love him. I love having a six year old boy.

Crisp air, cool temperature, hints of sunlight, happy kids ... rising early to watch the hot air balloons take flight was so worth it.

best mom

"You are the bestest mother ever momma" as declared by monkey boy today.

Might have something to do with taking him and his sister out of care early to do the following:
visit to new school prior to classes starting tuesday sept7
dairy queen treats
swim at local public pool
long tv night viewing
cookie dough
non-yelling mom!

Lost tooth

My monkey boy lost his first tooth today. Holy crap we are entering a new phase in his life! Now to come up with something clever from the tooth fairy.


FYI I haven't gone postal at my workplace despite the tone of my last post of many months ago.

I've been busy with the regular stuff of, kids, house, and the juggling act these elements of life require. Our renos are done (more or less). A post with the details on this event is forthcoming. As a teaser though I must say our colour choice rocks, our flooring is awesome and we now have a very livable space.

Today's post though is about family and Easter. We are not an overly religious household. We observe the holidays but in a fairly secular way. The focus today was the Easter bunny. There wasn't too much pomp or fanfare but it was a nice day, especially since we are experiencing warm temperatures (around 20 degrees celsius).

My folks are in town which is a real treat. It is the first Easter they have spent with our kids. Monkey boy and lil bug woke at their usual 7am time (our boy has a very defined inner clock). I had placed gifts from our siblings and the cards from our parents out on the dining table. They had a hoot checking out the loot they received...pez dispensers, books, bracelet and clothes were quickly viewed and checked out. It was enough to keep them in check until the grandparents emerged from our luxurious basement (again a teaser for a future post).

They received cards from both sets of grandparents containing money (which my little shoppers always like to have in their clutches...Monkey can save and budget but lil bug will spend quickly). Then it was on to the treasure hunt. I love this part. I created easter bunny faces, commissioned J and my folks to decorate them and I wrote a clue on the back. It was so much fun watching them run around the house finding clues and then the treasure from the Easter bunny. This year I gave them a basket filled with a book, clothing and outdoor toy purchased on my line of credit at a consignment store (I love boom kids here in Ottawa). I also gave them each some much needed socks, activity sticker book and a chocolate Easter egg perched inside a egg cup from Laura Secord. Yup I spoil them and there was even more to come.

I forced the kids to eat a bran muffin and some fruit before they could venture into the backyard to find all of the colourful eggs the Easter bunny left behind. This too was a hoot to do for them. This was such a fun part of the morning that I wished I had more eggs to hide just to see the pleasure on their faces when they discovered a hiding spot. Thanks to my mom, who stuffed lil bug's eggs with mini-Oreo cookies and monkey's with licorice and then labelled them with their first initial, this event went smoothly without a single child bickering or crying.

The adults were finally given a turn to have breakfast and the children relaxed in the house enjoying way too much junk and a little t.v. time. After the dishes were done my mom took the kids out biking. You would think this would be an ideal time for the rest of us to relax. Well that wasn't in the agenda. J worked on putting marmoleum (again this eludes to my future reno project post) down in our front entrance area. This meant cutting the marmoleum to the right size and removing the existing 1960's lino from the entrance. A bigger job than anyone expected especially considering he still isn't done removing the paper backing from the floor.

My dad and I spent the better part of the day assembling a treat J and I have been wanting to get the kids since last summer. We bought a trampoline (a springfree trampoline). I purchased the oval (8'x13') sized trampoline. I tried to find a second hand one but it seems like that I wasn't the only one wanting one. There were 10 wanted postings last time I checked on usedottawa and not a single large sized safe tramp for sale. So I decided to try Costco. This particular brand has typically been carried by Costco but when I checked with them they did not have any on order.

I decided to go directly to the company. I spoke with some very informed customer service people. One told me about the product and let me know that Costco hadn't ordered any this year. She then passed me onto the order department. I was willing to fork over some money for the product depending on the shipping costs. The kind person on the other end asked which ones I was looking at and then recommended I not purchase through them but order them through or Canadian Tire. She said not only were they cheaper than their pricing but I could also avoid shipping costs. Now that is true customer service. I put one of the few remaining trampolines on hold at our nearby crabby tire (I say this cuz the service although not unpleasant is so agonizingly slow). Dad and I started the assembly process around 10am, took a break at 12:30, resumed at 2pm and finished by 3pm. Yup not exactly a quick process considering my mom and J both helped with the rod installation while I fed the kids and prepared an adult lunch from 11:45-12:30.

Despite the cost and long set up time, the trampoline is terrific. Both kids loved it. Monkey boy has already figured out how to seat and stand up in a bounce (quite a feat for a kid who hasn't spent much time on a trampoline). Our neighbours also joined in the fun. They have two girls. One is a year older than monkey and the other is the same age as bug. We cut a hole in the fence between our yards so they could play more. So far it is working out, even though our youngest both tend to be strong-willed.

All in all a great but exhausting day. I love family and creating memories.

Frackin' co-workers

Okay I am at work and I should not be blogging. I hardly blog cuz I don't have time even at home. But I am mad. No, that is understated. This requires upper case: I AM MAD!!!! Why are some people such bitches?!!!!! Perhaps some people should be required to partake in a basic course on how to be civil and diplomatic when approaching you with problems. I don't need confrontation or rudeness. Frack, I am probably one of the nicest goddamn people around but that does not mean you can walk over me. She frackin knows that I will bend over backwards to make things work right. BITCH!!!

Okay that feels better. Must go cuz as I said I am way too busy.