Sunday, June 30, 2013

A great start to summer

The first two days of summer have been pretty much perfect so far.  Yes, it was raining cats and dogs the first day and yesterday saw a cold wind blow in but that has had no affect on the perfection rating.

On Friday, we met lots of friends at the Museum of Science and Technology where we let our kids run wild and free and took in  a great physics demonstration by one of the excellent museum demonstrators/teachers.  I whispered to my friend that the kids probably learned more at that demonstration than they'd learned the entire last day of school. They were all really engaged with it and two of our group got to go up as volunteers.  Anna was even brave enough to risk having her face smushed by a swinging bowling ball.

I ended up coming home from the museum with more kids than I went with (thank you, Mazda 5, for making this possible).  The rest of the day was a whirlwind of playing, movie, playing, tea party, playing and then a very wet walk to the library in the rain.  It was such a great day and aside from two of my own kids being a bit whiny at times, everyone got along like a house on fire.

The crazies having lunch

I think they need to work on the drainage system at the park.
Yesterday I took the kids strawberry picking to Ovens Berry Farm in Osgoode.  We'd never been there before but we will certainly be going back.  The berries were great, there were very few people picking berries (it was threatening to rain... I have to assume that it is normally busier) AND they have rows and rows of Saskatoon berries as pick-your-own as well.  And no one but us was picking them! They also have pick your own rhubarb and lots of raspberries that they'll be starting to pick next week. The farm has to be the tidiest berry farm I've come across.  And thankfully they have a little play structure for the kids when they give up on picking (about 15 minutes into the process).  It's a small farm, just the right size for me.

Filling our baskets
Henry tried it out too but found he was better at sitting and eating.

Three batches made and more to come.
After we got home, the kids played Wii for a while and helped me make freezer jam (I am amazed how quickly Saskatoon jam sets) before we headed to our local wading pool.  Unfortunately it was closed - I continue to be flummoxed by how arbitrarily our wading pool is closed.  It seems to be at the discretion of the lifeguards but really? It wasn't raining, it was a bit on the cool side but there were kids there when we arrived who were equally disappointed that they couldn't swim.  The sprinkler park kept Henry happy while the girls played on the playground.  We ended the day with three very tired kids and more freezer jam.

Henry brings a lot of joy to the sprinkler park.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I've been searching for a way to break the ice after such a long absence from my once-loved blog.  I realized tonight that there isn't a smooth way to do this where I glide back in, segueing into a well-crafted post after a pithy sentence that somehow erases the months and months that I've been away (only proverbially... in real life my only absence was a lovely few days in Austin this spring).

Rather than explaining my absence (so very, very busy with... life) or trying to play catch-up (which would never work well), I'm just going to jump right back in and see what happens. It's my blog after all and that's how I want to do it.

Things are changing in my life.  After seven straight years at home with my children, I am returning to work this September.  I'll be back with the government, in fact, with the same department but in a much diminished role.  I didn't truly expect to go back at the same level I left, given I was away for 7 years but I didn't really expect to return to an entry level position.  However, things are really tough in Canada's public service right now.  People are losing jobs not getting them.  I'm just so thankful to have found something that will fulfill the debt that I owe the government from my maternity leave top-up.  I don't owe them money... I owe them time.  If I hadn't found a position, I would have had to pay that top up back. 

The position I've taken will be for one year.  I don't know what will happen after that.  I'm not too concerned at this point.  Right now I'm completely focused on reorienting our family from one where there is a parent home full-time who is largely responsible for most stuff at home - meals, laundry, cleaning, school work, play, lessons, etc - to having two parents working full-time and all the kids in daycare and school.

I'll be tough.  Particularly on me.  On the plus side, there will be more money in our pockets.

And that is the first transition.  The others are much more interesting to talk about, but I'll save that for another night when the UK version of Life on Mars isn't calling my name.