September 30, 2015

fairy fox

Sometimes I love the way that stories come out of my kids' mouths, especially when they're still so little. Lady M has been in school for 4 years now, so has become quite familiar with the legacy of Terry Fox, and her understanding as to why she participates in the Terry Fox Run with her school every year.

But this year, our little Lady A will be participating too with her friends in kindergarten. She announced this by coming home from school and declaring: "we have to bring in a toonie. Because Terry Fox was running, but he died, and so he couldn't run the money any more". Yes. Amazing. I love the way she explains things, and the way they interpret what they hear at school.

Later that night, at dinner, she further explained "Fairy Fox got sick, and had to have his leg tooken off, and he got a robot leg"! Even though she knows his name is Terry, it accidentally came out 'Fairy' making her story even sweeter. It was so important to her to help raise funds with the rest of her classmates, so was sent into school with her contribution the next day.

Of course Lady M was itching to help fill in the blanks as she understands the story of Terry Fox more clearly than Lady A, but she was patient and gave Lady A time to share her understanding.

October 1st is the day that she'll be participating in her first Terry Fox Run, and we'll be eagerly waiting for her to come home from school and tell us all about it.

September 15, 2015

lessons in moving

We started looking for a new house around the time that hieroglyphics were becoming obsolete. It's been a long haul. Why, you may ask? Well I'll tell you.

First of all, Cal and I had two very different dream homes in mind:

Kristin's dream home: a newer house, mud room for all of the damn boots and shoes that are strewn about my front entrance, move-in ready, large kitchen, space for entertaining, fence for the dog, pretty kitchen, no renovations required. Easy, right?!

Well, then there's this:

Cal's dream home: significant acreage, space for guitars and other musical goodness, fence for the dog, separate family room, hot tub, happy to complete renovations.

Hmm. Slightly different. To summarize, we were on different pages of the MLS. 

Knowing each other's housing wants, we spent a lot of time looking for some kind of mystical home that combined all of these elements, and we spent plenty of time viewing houses that were better suited to his wants, and ones that were better suited to mine. At times we considered whether buying two houses and working between them both might be the better solution! But, with each new showing and open house we attended the end result was always the same: not quite what we wanted. And the months of searching kept flying by...

Fast-forward somewhere between 18 months and 2 years: we went to see a house that seemed to fit the bill. Having clearly identified our shared wants, and somehow finding common ground over time, we found the house that was right for us. On a Saturday morning we viewed the house at 11:00am, wrote the offer at 1:30pm, presented it in competition at 3:30pm, and won it shortly after 4:00pm at which point we signed the papers on the hood of our real estate agent's car. Whew! After a couple years of house hunting, we had a new house in 5 short hours!

But there's just one little thing that remained...selling our current house...and before that, prepping it. You see, we have our lovely 10-year-old dog, Dakota:

She looks sweet, right? Well she is...but she's also taken a little toll on our house over the 7 years we've been here. So with our listing date upcoming, we shipped her off to my parents for a few weeks so we could complete the few little restoration projects that she created for us in the house. We also took on a number of other small projects to finish beautifying the house and have learned a few things along the way...
  • Re-screening doors has become a new forte for Cal and I! Those damn things are annoying, but with the right tools (thanks Rona!) and some patience, our screen door (previously ripped by Dakota's determination to get into the backyard one afternoon) looks fabulous! 
  • The laundry never stops. Now this is not really a new revelation, but how is one ever supposed to stop doing laundry long enough so that the house can remain looking like a museum for those coming to see it? 
  • My sweet children are so patient, and are hopefully developing lifelong habits of tidiness seeing as they must pick up every toy, marker, hair elastic and morsel of food that finds itself out of it's 'proper' place. Lady M commented the other day "I don't like bossy mummy"...apparently I've been a bit, shall we say, directive lately. I like to think I'm just demonstrating varied types of leadership for them in an effort to help them build up their own repertoire of leadership skills. That's just good parenting, wouldn't you say? 
  • Running around the house in the morning chopping pillows, folding toilet paper edges, and picking up stray hair elastics does not help me in being on time for work each day! 
  • Though all four of us enjoy home reno shows (with Property Brothers, Love it or List It and Flip or Flop being some of our faves), and Lady M regularly makes comments such as "it's okay, we can just reno it", we are not going to get into the business of home flipping any time soon. 
Although we've put in a lot of late nights, plenty of elbow grease, and I may have upped my bossiness leadership quotient a little bit lately, the end result when we move to our new home will be well worth it. And not having to look for houses anymore is the best pay-off of all! 

September 10, 2015

waterproof mascara: the sequel

We knew this day was coming...we knew that our little girl was well prepared for school...but waterproof mascara is still one of those key items required to make it through this milestone.

The last couple weeks in our house there has been a great deal of chatter about school. With Lady M heading into grade two, and Lady A preparing for junior kindergarten, the excitement has been mounting!

School supplies were purchased and packed into fresh new backpacks. First day outfits were purchased and laid out with care. We had a wonderful summer filled with memories to last a lifetime, so when Labour Day weekend hit, we knew the first day of school was just moments away.

Tuesday morning, first day part 1
Tuesday was the first official day of school. Lady M had been fighting an upset tummy all weekend thanks to an extended case of the butterflies. Though she looked confident in her zebra dress, and matching hat, the nerves were kicking in. The school was familiar this year but she was still clinging to my leg a little bit when we stepped into the gym that morning. (It was a very rainy first day of school this year - no outdoor organization possible!) Once she learned who her teacher was, Lady M relaxed a little bit, and by the time we were leaving, she was happily walking down the hallway toward her new grade two classroom.

Next we headed to Lady A's new school. Though she was prepared to go to one school close to our current home, we bought a new house a few weeks ago so decided to start her at the school in that district to save her from changing schools in November. Until Monday morning, she had never stepped foot in the building. And her school is BIG! There are 8 kindergarten classes alone (that's almost double the population of Lady M's entire school). But, she walked in with confidence and we headed to her new classroom to participate in her 30 minute 'meet and greet'.

The meet and greet mostly consisted of me completing paperwork, and Lady A sitting quietly beside me observing everything around her. She was quiet until she finally said "mummy, are you almost done? I'd like to go play with the play-doh" that she had spotted at another table. I finished up, and she happily played with the delightfully familiar dough and that seemed to be just the icebreaker she needed. Apart from that, the orientation consisted of looking around the classroom and writing her name on the whiteboard (a highlight for her)! And as we walked out of the school, she looked up at me and said "I don't want to leave". Ahhh, music to my ears. My sweet little 4-year old was feeling comfortable.

Later that night, Lady M came home raving about her day at school, and declared "I think I have the best teacher in the school"! The butterflies were long gone, and she was holding tightly to a goody bag, and a kind note that her teacher had given everyone in the class. Clearly, a super start to second grade.

Wednesday marked Lady A's first full day of school. She bounced out of bed and was beyond excited to get the day started. She may have been most thrilled about her new outfit that consisted of a flowered skirt, and t-shirt that read "Hooray for today!", and boy did she look cute when she got dressed. Seeing as I had taken her to Tuesday's orientation, I was needed back in the office and Cal was on drop-off duty. In my office I anxiously awaited some pictures via text message and was thrilled when I received a beautiful picture of Lady A, in front of her school, grinning ear to ear.

Wednesday morning, first day part 2
Cal said she was watching her crying classmates with concern, but kept looking back at him and smiling broadly. While he was holding back tears in the school yard, I was barely containing mine in my office. But when I picked her up at the end of the day her smile was still enormous and she told me she had a fantastic day. All we can ask for, really.

It's funny how these days are bittersweet - I want my kids to find great success and happiness with their schooling, and enjoy all of the wonderful social and growth opportunities that come along with it; but I also want to keep them small for as long as possible.

Three years ago I was writing about Lady M's first day of school (read 'waterproof mascara' here!), and suddenly 1,095 days have passed by in the blink of an eye. My older beauty is settling into second grade, my baby girl is in full-time school, and I'm still just 29. {wink, wink}.