Tag: school

Late Night Friday Fun or How to Write a Blog Post in 10 Minutes

Well, well, well. We made it. Friday at last!

Yes. It’s still Friday. Oh sure, it is just about midnight, but I have vowed to post something new to ye olde blog and that is exactly what I am going to do. Never mind the fact that I have been messing with the space time continuum all week here, there, and everywhere. 

What a week! It was good over all, but it felt so long. I had a strong start on Monday, though, and that made all the difference in me surviving a very long week. As opposed to two short weeks in a row. I mean 5 whole school days in a row! Wow! Wait. No. Thing 2 had 5, but Thing 1 only had 4. Plus, as the Mother/Chauffeur, let’s face it, all my weeks are long!

Honestly, this week was a roller coaster. It had me feeling like this on Monday because I finally managed to hit publish.

Tuesday was nice. I made the most amazing tacos for dinner and everyone loved them.

On Wednesday, the rain began.

I was exhausted and couldn’t nap because I am bad at naps. Also, grey rainy days always make me feel so very peckish. Of course, no good ever comes of this.

Thursday was also rainy, but it was an intermittent rain. There were nice little breaks interspersed among the torrential downpours. I had appointments to get to, so I decided to make the most of it.

I was feeling pretty positive on Thursday. I had a positive Parent Teacher interview experience. That is always such a welcome surprise. Thursday was alright.

This was me on Thursday night. 

Also this

because balance.

Friday, as usual, arrived just in the nick of time. 

My week might best be describes as emotional.

So when I decided that I was going to do as little as possible on Saturday, I most definitely felt like this.

Then I texted my NS BFF and told her I wanted cake. 

Because I have a lot of feelings and they are all delicious.

And that is how you write a blog post in 10 minutes.

bows

Now about that cake …

 

*Full disclosure: This took slightly longer than 10 minutes because Giphy is an internet rabbit hole if ever there was one. Yay, Giphy.

 

One Step Forward And Two Steps Back. (Or My Life In Glacier Parenting)

I had no intention of blogging tonight. (Well not here at least.)

I’d really rather be doing something else. (Eating chocolate, mostly.)

However, here I am. (Hi! Fancy meeting you here!)

I have a PSA*. (Pullleeeease STOP Arguing!)

 

Today, while sunny and nice outside, has been ridiculous.

There were homework woes that have not been displayed so outwardly in years.

I forgot how trying it could be.

Well, no. Not quite forgotten. I will never forget the struggles we have gone through.

It is more like I had hoped a milestone had been passed for good, but clearly no, that is not the case.

Life, is not really well known for being so simple, is it?

 

The frustration of feeling your child’s frustration is awful. I swear to you that I know this kid better than he knows himself. I know the way he is feeling. I know that I do. They are his feelings, though, so he must feel them. I try my best to help him help himself. I encourage. I monitor. I remind. I know.

I do all these things and yet I end up feeling like the enemy. I can do and I can know all these things, but I cannot experience his life. I cannot live it. I can’t make him understand these things anymore than someone could understand them for me. And you know what? That really stinks!

How frustrating for the frustrated to not understand that I understand. 

It gets a bit tangled right about there. Hands tied. Deep breaths. Bite tongue. Walk away. Just for a little while. A minute or two. Go have some water. Figure out dinner. Make a plan. Check on his little sister. Let cooler heads prevail.

I am not a fan of all this sadness. It is draining.

I am totally exhausted right now. I feel like my day has been stolen. Everyone’s has. Everyone’s.

Not the way I prefer to end a week. Or start a week. What is Sunday? Is it the end or the beginning? I am too tired to choose. Does it even matter? (Now I have Semisonic’s “Closing Time” running through my head. You know? “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”)

It would be worse to maybe never feel it though. My empathy, I must believe, is a strength.

And yet. 

Hoo boy! This day. 

It feels like the Toddler phase is never-ending ’round here.

Alas, feelings are not facts. I say it. I believe it. I must apply it to myself. 

Sorry if I scared the bajoopees out of those of you currently parenting Toddlers, earlier.

It really does get better. I promise. It does.

It’s just that, for me, today, I felt like all the steps forward were being outnumbered by all the steps back.

 

 

 

*Go ahead, fire away with all the things PSA could stand for. I meant Public Service Announcement, but I admit some pretty funny not so PG words also popped into my head. Meh. At least my sense of humour is still intact**.

**Full disclosure: It was hanging by a thread not too long ago and quite frankly is still a bit iffy***.

***When Thing 1 was teeny, he used to say “Iffy Daisy!” instead of “Oopsie Daisy!”, which was something we said a lot. Mostly, because we had a teeny Thing 1 who was busy dropping and spilling things.

They Love Me Anyway

For as long as I have been making school lunches, I have been leaving little notes in the Things’ lunch boxes.

Long before they were the avid readers they are now, I would print simple messages of love and encouragement on sticky notes. I am a believer in environmental print*. Kids are smart. They don’t need all the rules memorized before they put theory into practice. A little heart shaped slip of paper speaks volumes. A speedily scrawled smiley face on a paper napkin can make a kid’s day – especially a day that is in dire need of levity. You remember those days, right? We all have them.

Sometimes it’s a silly doodle. Sometimes it’s a riddle. Sometimes it’s a hint about a special after school activity.

Other times it’s a reminder, cleverly disguised in witty prose.

 

Here are today’s notes.

 

 

 

 

And they love me anyway.

 

Do you write notes?

Do you leave notes in your children’s (or partner’s) lunch boxes?

Are you a poet (and totally know it!)?

Are you a writer or a printer?

When is the last time you wrote a letter or a note on actual paper for someone else to read?

Do you value the skill of cursive writing?

Or are you all g2g lol and ttyl 24/7?

Why not leave me a note in the comments! *wink*

 

 

*Don’t believe me about the environmental print? Try this experiment with a teeny kiddo** who is not yet reading in the traditional sense: Show them a favourite item (National Brand cookies or the cover of a familiar book, for example.) with writing or a logo on it and see if they recognize it. They will. That’s *reading* when you are not yet a reader in the traditional sense. Kids are awesome!

 

**Umm… not just any kiddo, to be clear. Make sure the kiddo is yours or you might totally freak the kid and his/her parent/guardian out!

***The Things don’t call me “Ma”, but I called my Ma, “Ma”, when I was little. Also, we are still working our way through the entire “Little House on the Prairie” series and well, it’s just fun to sign some notes that way!

 

Thirty-Four Years. That’s Quite the Run!

Last Friday, Thing 2 participated in her school’s Terry Fox Walk. I wrote my usual lunch note for her, but I included one of my very favourite Terry Fox quotes.

“It took cancer to realize that being self-centered is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others.” ~ Terry Fox

She didn’t know what I wrote until she saw the note at lunch.

Before we headed down for the bus she ran to her room and came out with a handful of coins from her piggy bank.

Oh my heart! The little hand with all her little quarters and nickels and dimes.

We must be doing something right.

 

Oh sure, there’s that, but this kid… she’s something else. All on her own.

Looking sporty in Roots from head to toe for her first Terry Fox Walk showing her Canadian pride!

 

I helped her put her donation in her back pack and explained why I choose each year to add $1 per person in our family.

 

“When I started this run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we’d have $22 million for cancer research, and I don’t care man, there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason!” ~ Terry Fox

 

It’s what Terry wanted.

 

“I did it!” Second Terry Fox Walk under her teeny belt. Her Big Bro set quite the example and she knew she was a part of something special.

 

I couldn’t stop tearing up on Friday. Maybe it’s because Terry Fox was a kid.. or maybe it’s that I remember him from when I was a kid.. but I just kept thinking about how his family – and country and the world at large carried on his Marathon of Hope just as he wished. What a beautiful tribute to his life!

 

These are the signs I made for Thing 1’s 3rd Grade class. It’s amazing what a paint stir stick and a bit of time can do! The kiddos loved the signs. Simple. Of *course* the baby sister had a sign, too!

 

 

“If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope .”

 

I love that his legacy lives on through so many children who take part in these events year after year.

This photo makes me cry. Grade 3 was a very challenging year for Thing 1 and this quote was very intentionally given to him. There’s *always* a bright side! One of my all time faves.

 

“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

 

 

 

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Don’t worry, Terry, it has gone on without you. It goes on and on and on.

Every year in 25 countries all over the world.

To date The Terry Fox Foundation has raised $650 million* to support cancer research in Terry’s name.

Not bad for some Canadian kid, eh?

 

Do you participate in the Terry Fox Run? Do your children take part at school? Do you have memories of Terry Fox?

Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

 

 

*Of course you can always donate directly, anytime of the year here.

This is Planet Hoth

Oh, April darling. You are the funniest month yet. I just can’t get enough of your amazing sense of humour and jovial, bringing-all-the-yuks-all-the-time ways.*

Yes. It is April Fool’s Day. Yes. Atlantic Canada is having another spring storm. Oh, I know that it’s “winter” weather, but a few days ago in a brief moment of clarity, in the 35 minute window of calm, before yet another storm front, a friend decided maybe Spring was feeling snubbed with all the “Winter” storm reporting and was merely waiting for a mention, to take its place in the limelight, so I stopped saying winter. Yes. Even though there was a blizzard blowing outside my window.

Did it work?

It totally did!

APRIL FOOLS!!!

Of course it didn’t work, because this winter is NEVER going to end. EVER!

We are at home yet again. It’s Tuesday. That’s a refreshing change** from Wednesday, isn’t it? The school buses were cancelled and as per our policy*** so, too, was school.

We knew there would be freezing rain today, but we really didn’t believe it would be followed by more snow and blowing snow and falling snow and snowing snow and snow snow snow snow snow! Oops! Sorry. Forgive me. It’s all been a bit much to handle.

Thank goodness for Things who know how to entertain themselves****, a husband who can work from home when the weather is stormy and a sense of humour that is firmly in place, because otherwise I would absolutely be adopting hermitage as a valid life choice. I live pretty close to the edge of hermitage, these days, anyway. I mean, it’s not like I can go anywhere in this yucky weather and we have enough cereal for a Seinfeld episode, so we won’t starve. Maybe we should just take that final leap?

 

 

Meanwhile, life on Hoth is not all that bad.

It’s always bright.

There’s no shortage of ice for our drinks.

We hear the Tauntauns are arriving any day now.

So far no one has been frozen to the ceiling.

 

I’m just going to wait here for Han Solo to rescue me.

 

So, how was the weather where you live today?

Please tell me it was spring-like.

Like Obi-Wan, you might be my only hope!

 

*Lilith Sternin implied.

**There has been a “weather event” every Wednesday since December (pretty much) in The Maritimes.

***It’s in the manifesto!

****There was a Disney Channel marathon, some CPU time, an awesome animal rescue invention building session, some reading, a game of “Guess Who? Mix n’ Mash”, and a rousing game of “Can You Escape?”. Yup.

Fin.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end ~Semisonic

Though some of us would like it to last a little longer and some of us would like it to last forever, today is the “official” last day of March Break. That’s it! That’s all she wrote. It’s over. Fin. Finito. This is the end. Roll the credits. Curtains! (You catch my drift? You buying’ what I’m sellin’? Okay, somebody stop me!)

Clearly, I have a problem with goodbyes.

So, before I let go of March Break 2014 for good (Hah! As if I could. Forever is a long time.), allow me to fill you in on the rest of our week.

From Monday to Wednesday the Things were pretty busy with all kinds of fun, frugal, or free activities and just enough downtime at home to maintain a bit of balance while still having fun.

We had a tentative plan to take in a Toonie Matinee with friends on Thursday, but as luck would have it Mother Nature had a different plan. (Has anyone else noticed how completely horrible many of Mother Nature’s plans have been this winter?) We were in for some nasty weather. There were big snow storms all around us and we had snow, followed by a lot of rain with the threat of a flash freeze, so we decided to kick “downtime” up a notch. While the storm raged on – or “rained on” in our particular case – we spent the day, safe and warm, inside. A nice sleep-in in the morning with extra Thing snuggles. A leisurely lunch. Lots of LEGO! A bit of CPU time. A DVD from the library. We spent the whole day jammified! It was glorious.

In retrospect, we needed it. That was the *exact* Thursday we required. Thanks, Mother Nature*!

On Friday (Oh no! It’s already Friday!!) we decided we’d definitely take in a movie at the theatres and figured it was our last chance for a Toonie Matinee, so that was what we were going to do in the afternoon. On a whim, I decided to check out what was happening at Chapters that morning and I was very happy I did because Thing 1 & Thing 2 were really happy to attend a KLUTZ event where they learned to make cootie catchers and paper airplanes. Each Thing even won a prize for a test flight with their planes. (Eventually, all the children were given a prize for their efforts – it was nice.) Kudos to Chapters Indigo for its daily events during March Break. It’s very nice when a retailer has a free event and does a great job executing it.

Thing 1 & Thing 2 were ready for lunch after their fun activity, so we headed home to make lunch and relax for a little while before heading out to the movies.

That’s when Daddy-O and I came up with a little surprise for the Things.  We would take them to see a *new* movie and we’d make it our Friday Family Fun Night. They were really excited to see “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” – in 3D no less – and we all enjoyed going to the the movies together. I enjoyed having movie popcorn for dinner. I’m not gonna lie.

On Saturday I went for a big walk with my NS BFF and it was great! The weather was perfect and we had as much time as we needed to solve the problems of the world while getting a bit of exercise. There is nothing like a nice long walk ‘n’ talk with your best friend to elevate your mood and erase any exhausted-from-a-week-of-March-Break-fun feelings.

This brings us to Sunday. Sunday, can be a sad or stressful day at the best of times, but after a break from school it can be really difficult to face the reality of back to school. Thanks to some friendly** friends, we had early morning plans to go outside and play. I love going outside to play and so do Thing 1 & Thing 2. Isn’t that convenient? Even though it was cold and a bit snowy and had rained all night, we were outside by 10:30 in the morning meeting new friends and playing. It was really wonderful! A great way to start the day and a nice, positive way to end the March Break. Yay, for smart friends!

Our final fling with fun for the March Break was to try out Ol’ School Donuts. If you have not had a chance to try these delightful, hot, morsels of pure joy, I highly recommend that you find out where this fun red school bus will be parked next weekend and go! Scrumptious!

What better way to end a great week than with a last hurrah!

*But seriously, enough already with the snow!

**Do you see what I did there?

Family Day, we hardly knew ye.

It’s Family Day in Ontario (and several other provinces). We live in Nova Scotia. I have two kids. Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been hearing a LOT about how today is Family Day all weekend because we have been watching CBC (Yay, Olympics!) and YTV – way more than on a typical weekend, because of the yucky weather – and they mentioned it quite a lot.

Now it’s Monday morning.

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

Yeah. That.

Thing 1 is in an uproar about how “everyone” else gets to stay home. Everyone? Really?

Even in Ontario (which is where the Things started school and therefore (contradictatorily) their introduction to the glory of the day off) not everyone has the day off. I saw someone refer to today in Ottawa as a “Half-Holiday”. Yes. Many people are working today.

Being the parent that I am, this led to a chat about exactly who has a holiday today. Telling me you don’t know is not helpful and doesn’t support your whining argument that you should be allowed to stay home. Find out!

So, Thing 1 wandered sloth-like towards the Mom CPU aka my beloved, awesome, perfect, old school, made of paper, calendar and was aghast to discover that “FIVE!!” places have a day off today. Never mind that one of the “places” is the United States of America celebrating President’s Day (not a Canadian province, but hey, they can hope). Four provinces are listed on February 17th as having a special day. Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, all celebrate Family Day and Manitoba observes Louis Riel Day.

Not exactly “everyone”, is it?

Poor Thing 1.

So what’s the big deal about Family Day anyway and why doesn’t everyone celebrate it? Why doesn’t Nova Scotia have a day off from school and/or work?

Well, the good news is that next year Nova Scotia will have a February holiday. It was decided, but you know, we need a whole year to prepare for the shock of a day off for just nothing. We wouldn’t want to implement it right away. That would be too much. MY GOD! Think of the children!!

So, we have a whole year to prepare for the third Monday in February, 2015. There will be a name the holiday contest and I just heard on the news that the very first to-be-named-February observance will honour Viola Desmond. You know who she is, right? I hope so! If not you should make a point of learning who she is. I’ll give you a hint. February is designated as a very special month each year for a particular aspect of our history. No. Not Valentine’s Day. No. Not the Olympics. Something much more important than either of those.

February is Black History month! That’s your hint. Go find out!