Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apple picking

It seems that apple picking is the thing to do in Ottawa in fall. And so, today was our day.

I grew up in the Niagara Region, the fruit belt of Ontario. Apples were abundant to say the least and pick-your-own was also a mainstay but, funny enough, not with the apples. I picked apples for pay but I never did it "for fun." If you wanted apples, you went to the farm and bought them. I assume this is because picking apples is a bit of a skill if you don't want to ruin the chances for a decent crop the following year.

But, in Ottawa it is the thing to do and every apple farm offers it. So, off we went to Mountain Orchards about 40 minutes south of Ottawa. I chose it because I heard good things about it and also they have my two favourite apple types: Empire and Honey Gold.

Mountain Orchards is a great place to pick; it is just what I look for in pick-your-own: the farm experience with a few fun things thrown in but not too much. I don't like it when working farms try to become dog and pony shows. Mountain Orchards does it just right, I think. They offer some pies and hot cider and coffee and also they make some cider donuts right there that you can get hot (totally delicious by the by). The only "entertainment" they offer is swings and tether ball. You have to know that John and I played tether ball. My shoulder protested but I didn't care. It was so much fun. I spent a ridiculous amount of time in public school playing tether ball.


We rode a big tractor-pulled wagon down to the orchard. We went by their corn field and some fallow fields and then, to Emily's excitement, a whole bunch of bee hives that were set up next to a tree line close to the orchard. We disembarked, got instructions on picking and where to pick and headed to the Honey Gold row. The apples were badly pock-marked from hail. The Honey Gold got the worst of it but the farmer promised that it doesn't affect taste or quality.

We had Honey Gold last year from a different farmer at the Carp Farmer's Market and they were by far our favourite apples of last year. We picked a big bag today. After that we moved onto Empire, my second favourite. They were beautiful and soooo delicious - we ate one or two at the end of picking. They are super crisp, slightly tart and juicy. Mmmmmm.

Picking apples with kids is great. It is easy for them to do and it is over quickly. After running through the trees for a few minutes we headed back for tether ball and the drive home.

For my dessert after lunch I bit into one of those Honey Gold and you know what? They suck! Not very crispy, absolutely no flavour and totally not what we had last year. Maybe I made a mistake? Now I'm thinking it isn't exactly the same name: maybe it was Honey Crisp last year. Anyway, I'm badly disappointed and have 15 pounds of Honey Gold I have to do something with.
At least I've got my 15 pounds of Empire.

Ideas anyone for flavourless apples?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I should never really be allowed near heavy machinery or power tools

So, yeah, I punctured the water line behind the shed (see yesterday's post if you're not clear what I'm talking about). Kind of sucky but could happen to anyone, right?

Turns out that it is actually more likely to happen to me. Because me? I've turn into a Grade A Clutz.

In my early teens, late tweens, I was clutzy. My parents told me often. I remember one night carrying my plate into the kitchen from the eating area whispering to myself "don't drop it, don't drop it." What did I do? I dropped that sucker. The plate was full of gravy. It went all over the floor and, if I remember correctly, my shirt. I'd been holding it with two hands. How does that happen?

Well, things improved as time went on. I don't fall down much. I don't really get hurt all that much. I don't trip too often.

Until the last couple of months. I drop lids and glasses and plates all the time. I trip on things outside. I wipe out.

I'm starting to hurt myself. Like a couple of weeks ago when I sliced through the end of my left pinky finger through the nail and into the flesh. I ended up losing half my nail. Gross.

And then tonight. And it wasn't even anything I could control. It's now to the point that if something is going to happen to someone, something random and freaky, it will most definitely be me so if you're in my vicinity you'll definitely be fine but you might want 911 on speed dial for my sake.

John and I were putting the dishes away. One of those super heavy Bunnikins plate/bowl jobbies slipped out of the cupboard (somehow) and fell from a decent height onto the countertop below. Where my fingers were sitting. My pinky finger on my right hand. The pain was unbelievable. I couldn't talk except for to scream NO I'M NOT OKAY. I glanced at my throbbing finger that seemed to be screaming at me and I could see the blood pooling under the finger nail at its base. This was within 5 seconds of the incident. OMG did it hurt. And this is from a woman who had 20 hours of back labour.

A few minutes later I was sitting on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my finger begging the girls to stop talking to Mummy because SHE JUST COULDN'T TALK RIGHT NOW. Or read stories for that matter.

And yet, I am managing to type because that's the kind of giver I am.

Long story short, Murphy is living in my house and applying his laws willy nilly all over the place.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Free showers, fires and blackberries

Finally, I have a few minutes to sit down and document last weekend: our last weekend of the season at the cottage.

The weather was gorgeous: lots of sun, warmer than expected temperatures, no bugs (although a small population of blackflies infiltrated the cottage which was totally weird), nice fires, lots of outdoor time. Just all around great.

It always is nice to be closing the cottage on a nice weekend. It sucks to carry canoes through a window in the pouring rain, which is always a possibility in September in Ontario. On the other hand, it makes it lamentable to close when the weather is nice because you just want to be able to come back for another weekend as soon as possible.

Having said all that, the nights were getting pretty chilly by the middle of the weekend and I couldn't keep the fire in the wood stove going all night long so there were some extra wake-ups by Hope and some damn cold floors in the mornings. I'm not sorry to say goodbye to that. I'm not sure if this was the girls trying to stay warm or just being dorks:

On Saturday we puttered around the cottage. John pulled apart what remains of our dock. The dock is old now - probably 20 years old, I'd say and time for a replacement. That will possibly be next summer's project depending on cash flow. Now that only the cribs are left, it looks (a little) less ghetto. That pretty much took up most of the day. Emily attempted a swim in the lake but got no further than mid-shin before she declared it too cold. She's getting soft. Last year she was in on the same weekend and was adamant that it was beautiful.

The cleanup of the dock ended with me accidentally piercing the water line behind the shed when I casually threw down a board that had nails poking out of it. We'd decided not to remove those ones because there were so GD many of them. Crap. However, out of great misfortune comes empowerment. I shut off the water, traced the water line to ensure it was ours (not guaranteed in a group of cottages the age of ours) and then started going through our plumbing supplies to find out what I could do to fix this problem. While tracing the line, I found a splice that had been done years ago. Eureka! I just copied how that was done after finding the right stuff in the plumbing stuff and voila! Problem solved. I felt so handy and awesome and like I could just build a house right then and there. Granted I caused the problem, but still. I felt like I could probably take care of this place okay from here on in.

Saturday night my dad and Donna came over for a great visit and meal. We had lots of fun chatting, looking at photos of their new house and recent trip to Malaysia. They loved hearing about Emily's school and what she does. Not that we could get much out of her on that front. Like most school-age kids her brain cramps when you ask her what she did at school each day: "the regular stuff."

On Sunday, John went for a run while I pruned blackberries at the back of the properties. They haven't been pruned since they were planted several years ago so the berries are very small and not as plentiful as they should be. Next year should be great. Next year, I'm also buying neoprene gloves.

We met John at the end of his run at the Huntsville Pool for the $1 showers. Unfortunately we found out the pool was closed for annual maintenance. Luckily, a couple of the maintenance guys took pity on our sorry lot (they probably caught a whiff of John) and let us into the change rooms at no charge. We had the place to ourselves. There is nothing better than a hot shower when you haven't had access to one for a couple of days.

We poked around in town for a couple of hours after that and then after supper at the cottage had our last campfire of the summer. It was, in fact, Hope's very first campfire. She loved it. She particularly loved the marshmallows.

I just love how, this summer in particular, the cottage is moving beyond being a place where I have so many memories and becoming a place where the kids are building lots of memories. It's starting to quickly feel like our family place, not in an ownership sense but in a "our little family" sense and not just my family's place, meaning my family of my sister and parents, if that makes sense.

Probably not, but it makes sense to me.

The next day was close up which went way better and faster than I expected. A final stop at the perogie restaurant on the way home and Bob's your uncle.

Actually Bob's my dad, but same diff.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apparently I occasionally sound Canadian

I will give a full report on the last weekend at the cottage another day this week. For now, I want to share something funny.

I'm taking another course this fall towards my certificate in teaching English as a second language. The current course I'm taking is Intro to Linguistics. My prof, an extremely gregarious and funny woman, sent us off, for fun, to take the What American Accent Do You Have quiz. Currently there isn't one for Canadians although that would be very interesting.

Here was my result:

Which American accent do you have?

North Central

What people call the "Minnesota accent." Sounds almost Canadian. You may have even been asked if you were from Canada before.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Indeed, I have been asked. Many times. How quaint.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last weekend at the cottage upon us

We're leaving tomorrow to close the cottage. This means two things: we're going to be cold and I'm going to have that forlorn feeling that always marks the very last weekend at the cottage.

There is no insulation in the cottage for the most part. This summer I developed a system though of lighting the wood stove before bed which then heats up the top floor and keeps it toasty most of the night. Of course, I will have the wood stove going the whole time. Maybe we'll just hang out upstairs most of the weekend.

Actually, I'm sure it will be beautiful. I love the cottage this time of year.

See you all next week!


I was carrying Hope down the stairs from our top floor, as she always asks me to do and I always agree to for some reason. She started picking her nose. Gross. I told her to stop, that picking your nose is icky. She smiled. She looked at her finger. She wiped her finger on my shoulder. She started laughing.

So did I. How could you not?

She'll do just fine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And now more on the same....

I just spent the last 10 minutes reading some of my favourite blogs and realized I should take some time to write my own post rather than just think how great everyone else's posts are. So, here I am.

Thanks for the encouraging words about my predicament: too much to do, too little time. I am going to stick with the course. I am going to stick with the physio. I'm going to figure out a way to be in Emily's class fairly frequently (calling in some favours for people to babysit). I'm going to get Children's Hour underway and then ask for more help through the rest of the year and possibly not do it next year. I'm likely not going to be knitting much in the next while or cleaning the house all that often. In other words, I'm just going to try to do it all and grin and bear it and try not to complain (much).

I'm motivated to get this certificate finished. The course I'm taking is on the path to getting a certificate to teach ESL. The reason I want this is so I can have a job that allows me to be at home when the kids are at home. Teaching ESL would do this. My current job does not. I'll still have to put one more year in with the government at some point but after that, I plan to go elsewhere. The pay won't be nearly as good but life will be better.

And so, now I have to get to one of those projects. Enough blogging, back to the grind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I don't want to whine but....

and now I go on with the whine. I did warn you though.

I have committed myself to WAY TOO MUCH. I'm exhausted, slightly stressed, and fairly unhappy at the moment. While on paper it doesn't sound like much, the amount of hours required are way more than it seems on the surface:

  • taking a course this fall - twice a week for 1.5 hours each class. Not too much reading but quite a bit to study and lots of assignments.
  • coordinating Children's Hour at church. I thought this would entail a bunch of stuff at front and be clear sailing after that. Boy, was I wrong. I am currently putting at least 5 to 10 hours per week into this. That's too much. Also, I'm bitter. There are parents who bring their kids and then complain about helping (it is supposed to be a parent cooperative) or just don't show up on their days to teach. I find that deplorable.
  • getting lunch on the table by 11:15 every day. I find this difficult so far.
  • helping out in Emily's class. So far hasn't happened but it will and I want it to be a priority. So far, it is falling to the end of the list. Crappy.
  • therapy for my shoulder. I've had to give up on massage therapy. It isn't working. I've switched to physiotherapy but my therapist wants me to come twice a week and doesn't have evening hours. How am I supposed to do that when I have two kids and John needs to put some time in at work, after all?

Do you see my problem? Way. too. much.

If I had my dithers (I love that expression), I would get out of Children's Hour. So far, not fun. But I've made a commitment for the year and there is no one else to do it. I hate to say it but I may have to drop my course, which I really don't want to do but I can't fit physio and my course in during the same week. I just don't know how to swing it all.

Oh, and it would be nice to play with my kids without falling asleep on the carpet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The end of a big week

The first week is now complete in Emily's school career. One week down, only 559 to go until she graduates from Grade 12.

Her first week went remarkably well. Not once did she say she didn't want to go or seem slighly less enthusiastic than that first day picture portrays. She was that excited every. single. day.

That's a lot of emotion to have coursing through a little body.

And the result was a few end-of-the-day meltdowns. As such, we've changed up the nighttime routine slightly. Dinner ends and it is straight to the bath (if it is a bath night). The result is that if a meltdown happens and she needs to go to bed, well, at least the bath is already done and she can go straight there without being a super-dirty bird the next day.

I'm feeling the transition too. Our days are different now. Emily gets on the bus at 11:50 each morning which means we have limited time to do anything in the morning and lunch prep has to start by 11:00 at the latest. It is definitely changing the routine and morning dynamic. But, I'm getting used to it. The end result is that we're at home more in the mornings. That's not a bad thing.

I do look forward to tomorrow though. Nowhere that we have to go. No bus to meet. No snack to pack. Should be a nice break.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's cooking Wednesday

Okay, I'm back on the wagon as of today; back to participating in my bloggy BFF Shan's spectacular What's Cooking Wednesday.

I've missed it.

Last winter I decided to concentrate on one cookbook of mine each month. I might do that again but for now I'm going to try some new lunch recipes. Our lunches around here are in a deep, deep rut. I need some new material. Grilled cheese, sandwiches, perogies, Jungle Buddies (white meat chicken nuggets). I'm tired of them all. The kids are too. So, I've started to peruse the interweb for some ideas and hit one today which I tried out. This recipe is from Today's Parent Magazine.

Asian Tuna Nuggets

1 16 oz (184 g) can tuna, drained and finely flaked
½ cup (125 mL) cooked rice (cold leftover is perfect)
3 tbsp (45 mL) dry bread crumbs
1 green onion, minced
1 clove garlic, squished
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce

Edited to add: 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger (I totally forgot to type that and it is really important for the flavour)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a cookie sheet. Empty the tuna into a mixing bowl and mash it up well with a fork. Add the rice, bread crumbs, green onion and garlic and mix well, making sure the clumps of rice are broken up.

In a small bowl, stir together the beaten egg, soy sauce and grated ginger root. Add to the tuna mixture and mix very well.

Working with 1 tbsp at a time, form mixture into small patties about 1 inch in diameter. Make sure they’re firmly packed. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately with sweet-and-sour sauce for dipping.

Yum, yum, super-yum! These were great. Emily gave it a ho-hum rating but she hasn't been eating much for lunch the last few days (too excited to get on that school bus and head to JK). Hope threw her traditional lunch temper tantrum when I set the food in front of her (meals are decidedly unpleasant right now) but came back to it later and ate four of them. I snarfed.

Very healthy, very delicious. Two thumbs up.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Family Man

The next Canadian federal election is now officially underway as of yesterday. What, you didn't know? There's another election going on? Where? Oh, there. Yes, I think I'd heard about it.

Of course, it pales in comparison to the drama and intrigue of Canadian federal politics.

Okay, so we don't have a 20-month governor of Alaska who questions what a VP does and hides her pregnant 17-year old daughter behind her infant son. But, we have Stephane Dion.

What? What do you mean "who?"

Given that things are undersay, the signs are popping up all over, on lawns, on radio and on t.v.. In fact they were popping up a couple of days before Mr. Harper visited the Governor General.

I'm taken aback, intrigued and disgusted, slightly, by the Harper t.v. ads. Well, one ad in particular. Here it is. Watch and tell me what you think. I'll do the same:

I saw this on t.v. for the first time two days ago, officially one day before the writ was dropped. I was surprised by my emotional reaction to it. And then I was slightly appalled, but not surprised, by what the Conservatives are trying to do here. My emotional reaction was a little catch in my throat, an inward "awwww". I believe I reacted that way because I'm a parent myself and I'm already sad about the day that Emily doesn't want to spend as much time with me. I can empathize with him. I also think that his feelings about being a father are truly heartfelt and that brings out an emotional reaction in other parents.

But WTF does this have to do with politics?

I analyzed my own feelings and then I wondered, for quite a long time, about how they were going to connect this to the election.

They didn't.

I think the Conservatives are doing two things here: betting on an emotional response from viewers and hoping those viewers don't analyze those feelings enough and just translate it into a vote for Harper. He's emotional (let's be honest, we've never seen that before after all), he's a "family man", he understands other parents, hey, we're the same!

The other thing I think they're doing is saying that Harper has kids, the other guys don't, therefore he's more real, more better, more familiar.

Why do we need familiar? This isn't a reason to vote for someone. I don't think that being Joe or Josephine Neighbour means you should lead Canada. I think you should have something extraordinary, something NOT like everyone else in order to do that job.

That's the current problem I see with American politics, too. People want someone like them. Why? Do people really think that is what makes a great leader? Great leaders are great because they are, for the most part, different.

Maybe Stephen Harper is indeed different but clearly his people think that Canadians don't want to know what makes him stand out. Apparently Canadians want to know what makes him the same.

And that scares me. It scares me because it is yet another way that the Conservatives assume Canadians are like Americans. And let me tell you something. The Canadians I know are not the general populous painted by American politicians.

What to know something else? Americans generally aren't either.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Look who's two!

Hope, my wee baby, turned two today! We had friends, Ron and Meredith and kids over and Mike, Cibele and Sophia. It was loud, messy and oh, so much fun. Hope had a great time. The food was yummy, if a bit late getting on the table (church obligations this morning, the involved Dora cake (see last year's efforts - at least I had done it once before speeding this year's process up a bit) and a clingy newly-two year old meant everything got on the bbq and on the cutting board later than planned).

The Dora cake, by the by, turned out even better than last year although I forgot to get a good picture of it. You'll have to watch the video instead:

Hope's favourite gifts of the evening were the frog backpack from Beth and the Mr. Potato Head from Omi. A close second were her new baby, the baby-doll Baby Bjorn, the baby-doll exersaucer and the puzzles (not yet fully explored). In other words, she loved everything.

Happy birthday, sweet pea.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I no longer have complete control of her universe

Day 1 of Project Go To School is complete. There was total excitement. There was a hurried lunch. There were introductions to new friends and neighbours. There were unexpected tears.

The tears were mine and they were indeed unexpected. From Emily there was only unbridled enthusiasm for every little thing that had anything to do with getting to, being at or coming home from school.

Emily's bus comes at 11:58. We're required to be out there at 11:53. Lunch has to happen before that which makes morning activities rushed, difficult and probably stressful although this morning wasn't thankfully. We went to the library, which is a very quick bike ride. Luckily, I had leftovers from last night's supper that I was able to put on the table in 3 minutes flat. Good thing too otherwise I would have been cooked since I walked in the door from the library at exactly 11:19 am.

I'd better buy a watch.

When lunch was done and I started the motions to go out the door, Emily, to whom I was applying sunscreen at the time, couldn't keep her feet on the floor. Which made the whole sunscreen application thing a little challenging.

We went outside and took the required First Day of School Ever Photo.

I think her enthusiasm is evident. You can actually see her about to jump out of her skin.

We walked to the bus stop. Actually, we walked to the end of the street and looked both ways in an attempt to find someone who knew what they were doing because I definitely did not. The bus driver left me a message a week ago saying the pick up was at the end of our street but over the past couple of years I've seen parents and their kids standing willy-nilly all over the sidewalks. It's never been clear where the stop is. I saw a mother and kids standing near our mailbox area. She confirmed I was in the right place. Thankfully, she'd done this before and was able to educate the newbie. Her little boy, Mohammed, is in Emily's class.

Emily was thrilled, as was Mohammed, to have a new friend even before the bus arrived. I pushed down the feelings of bad neighbour-ness when I realized they live DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM US and I really didn't know them or even recognize them. I didn't know she had three kids. I still don't know her name.

You know, I really like our street but I could only name maybe three families who live on it. First names only. That's sad. That's big city. Where I grew up, a small, rural town in the Niagara Region, and I was only a kid at the time, I could name a bunch of people on our very long road. Why can't I do that now? I'm not a hermit. I generally like people. Maybe it's my neighbours. Maybe they're the hermits. In any case, I'm going to make an effort to change that. Not sure how. Perhaps stalking will work. I honed my skills today as you'll soon find out.

Anywho. The bus pulled up. The jumping started again. The door opened, the driver checked off Emily's name and she was up the stairs and in the front seat without a kiss, hug or barely a look behind her.

Bye-bye mum, you are so yesterday's news.

As she climbed those stairs something happened that really surprised me. My lip started to quiver. I couldn't have spoken without my voice cracking. My girl was going to school and I wasn't going with her. I no longer would know how she was spending every minute of the day. Yes, she's done drop-off preschool programs but this is different. I won't be talking to her teacher at the end of every class, asking how she did or what she loved. She'll be coming home and, like today, won't remember most of what happened or what she did. For two and a half hours a day, she's someone else's. That's what hit me at that moment. And I didn't expect it. I still feel sad about it.

And then I became the stalker. But so did Mohammed's mum so at least I had company.

I drove to the school, parked a few metres away where I could easily see the whole scene. I watched the bus sitting there with doors closed. Mrs. B. approached, the doors opened and each student was let off into her care. She took them all into the little Kindergarten play yard (there were only 7 of them) and gave them a tour and the rules about not going beyond the fence (or so I gathered from her gestures). And then, she led them all inside in a nice line. I cried through the whole thing. Not just a quivering lip. Not just a cracking voice. I had big tears and some shaking shoulders. I drove away.

I met the bus (in the wrong place turns out) and welcomed home one of the most excited new students I have ever seen. Her first words were "Mummy, I had so much fun!" A few more exclamation marks would not be exaggerating her tone in any way. She had a big smiley face taped to her shirt that said "Kindergarten makes me smile." Uh, yeah. That's for sure.

In her bag I found a little paper that said: Quiet as a mouse award goes to Emily W. who was as quiet as a mouse going into school today. I'm willing to bet she was quiet most of the time. Taking everything in. Observing the other kids.

Here is what I was able to glean about Day 1:
- you have to take a paper clip to be able to use any of the centres. If there's no clips left, you can't use that centre (because there are already the requisite number of kids there) and you have to go to a different area. I love these Kindergarten teacher tricks.
- she ate snack on the big square but didn't have enough time to eat her carrot sticks.
- Krishtika didn't remember her from preschool.
- Mohammed is her new friend.
- she forgot to give Mrs. B her glue sticks.
- the soap dispenser was broken
- Mrs. B read Spot's First Day of School
- Emily's favourite thing is still the play house.
- she played a computer game that had something to do with a cow.

She was so ridiculously tired tonight that when that inevitable meltdown came, I agreed to skip the bath and put her right to bed. The next couple of weeks will be a hard adjustment, getting her through supper to bedtime with minimal crying. Once that adjustment time has passed I think we'll have a very, very happy kid who is loving school, making new friends, and a happier mummy who is more comfortable with giving up some control over her kid's life. And probably making better use of my time with her because it is little more limited.

And how did I spend those two hours away from her? Did I put my feet up while Hope slept? Enjoy a glass of wine? A cuppa tea? Perhaps a good book, some knitting, some sleeping?

That would have been nice if my second born would have slept. Which she didn't do yesterday either.

If she is dropping her nap there is going to be a lot of swearing round these parts. Perhaps some Valium as well. That would be just too nasty. Too mean of this universe.

It can't be, can it?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

On her game

The intake interview with Emily's JK teacher, Mrs. B, went great. Emily was just about jumping out of her shoes to get into that classroom. When Mrs. B came to get us from the waiting area, Emily starting jumping. Mrs. B remarked that clearly someone was excited about starting school. It was a good first impression.

I found it really cool how Mrs. B asked Emily to do things that seemed to Emily to be mostly normal things but really were a way for Mrs. B to assess how far along Emily is with reading, colours, shapes etc. The first thing she asked Emily to do was to find her name tag in the cloak room area. Then she got to pick a cubby hole and Mrs. B taped the name tag to the cubby. Then Emily had to picked a coloured laminated card (and tell Mrs. B the colour she chose) and a sticker to put on the card. The card then went in her cubby. It will be her sticker card for all the stickers she'll get over the next while. Thank you thank you thank you. I'm so tired of peeling stickers off the wood floor in our house.

After a quick explanation of the cubby hole and what she's expected to do when she arrives (changing shoes, hanging up backpack, sitting in bottom of cubby to show she's ready), we went into the class for the big tour.

First we sat on the coloured square on the carpet, something they'll always do when they first arrive. Emily had to tell her the colours of the lines making up the square and then identify the shapes inside the big square. She nailed it. Emily has known all this stuff for a long time, easily identifying colours by the time she was two but if she is in a new situation with a stranger she has the tendency to freeze up and claim she doesn't know things just to get out of having to talk. Not yesterday. She was totally on her game and pretty comfortable from the start. I think she was fuelled by excitement.

After that it was a tour of all the stations and then Mrs. B and I sat down and talked while Emily drew a picture and played in the playhouse (her favourite thing there, she tells me).

I think Emily will do really well there. I think she'll love it. I think, from what I learned in a short interview, that Mrs. B is a great teacher for Emily. I think we might have some issues with getting Emily on the bus. It's the only thing she says she's nervous about. I've told her she doesn't have to take it the first day if she doesn't want to.

Tomorrow she goes for her first real class.

How did we get here so fast?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My fingers can't move as fast as my brain

And my brain doesn't really move that fast.

I have all these posts lined up in my brain like a little desktop file organizer. And yet, here we are at the end of the summer with only a post or two a week. And one was just suggesting a movie.

Not stellar.

I haven't posted about:

how I'm a relatively crappy friend sometimes leaving my two close friends Greg and Tamara (hi T, I'm still so sorry!) in the lurch in Orangeville with no directions to our cottage.

how Emily barfed two nights ago and why you'd care

how Emily starts school this week

Let's start there.

Today at 11:40 am we go for our "intake interview" with Emily's teacher. We met her at the Open House in the spring and she is, by first impression and reports from other parents, amazing. Her name will hereby be Mrs. B. She is one of those career Kindergarten teachers. She is about 50 I'd guess, has an enthusiastic, caring and generous approach to kids and parents (we arrived late to the Open House and she gave us a 20 minute tour of the classrooms and school on her own time) and yet you can tell (and I've heard) that she has high expectations of the kids and brings down the law when necessary. Just what Emily needs.

So, we meet her again in about an hour. She'll show Emily the class again, show her her cubby hole and we'll talk about Emily.

Emily is just a little excited. Like excited enough to ask me at 8:00 if it was time to go yet.

On Thursday she'll go back again for one "integrated start" day. This means that half the class goes on that day when she does (about 10 students). It will be a get to know you day and get to the know the routine day. She'll be able to take the bus that day.

The bus. We're eligible because we live too far away for a 4-year old to walk. She says she wants to ride it and it would be way easier for me since she goes to school right when Hope should be getting to bed in the afternoon but something about putting her on a school bus has me COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT. She's four. Four!

I plan to put her on the bus and then follow it with the car for at least a few days to make sure she isn't crying when she climbs off the bus.

I'm the stalker mummy.