Friday, November 28, 2014

Kind, Caring and Loving

Okay, I'm going to take a moment away from all the flashing, blinking and beeping Black Friday ads that I've been receiving to show these pics from the weekend.  The beautiful sunshine and crystal, clear blue sky will give you a hint as to what the temperatures were like this week.  Callie has been waging a  seven year old protest against wearing her winter jacket this year.  I don't know why but I've decided to take the natural consequences route, for now anyway.

Today was parent-teacher conferences at school for not just one but TWO girls.  It's funny how we go into these meetings knowing that all is okay.  The report cards basically say it all....

"I love having Callie's enthusiasm in our classroom.  She is very intuitive and asks fabulous questions."  November 2014, Grade 2 

"Lexi gets along well with her classmates. I'm always looking forward to seeing Lexi's smile everyday!"  November 2014, Kindergarten

But, as Jon and I sat in little chairs at little tables in our kids second home there is still a feeling of vulnerability.  A need to be reassured once again by these people who spend so much time with our children.  Just sitting there at that little table in a classroom plastered with alphabet letters, word walls and posters, my heart is hoping that the teachers see my babies as the kind and loving and sensitive beings that snuggle up to me each night.

Yesterday I signed line number 15 on Callie's home reading log which grants her the coveted task of choosing a prize from the class treasure chest.  Tonight she showed me what she picked.  She told me about how she saw this Duck Dynasty Action Figure in the treasure chest and thought about how much her friend would love it.  But there was also a little purse that she really would have liked for her McKenna doll.  After mulling over this internal conflict in her mind she decided that she would take a chance that the purse would still be in the chest after fifteen more books.  

So we have a little, blue gift bag sitting by the door waiting to be delivered to her special friend tomorrow.

Dear Santa:
Yes, she has been an extraordinarily kind, caring and loving girl this Christmas.
Sincerely, Callie's proud momma

Monday, November 17, 2014

This Week's Artifacts

You know how archaeologists dig up artifacts from ancient civilizations and piece together all the clues to form an image of how they lived their lives?  Well, the modern day artifacts are phone photos.  My phone currently houses 959 photos and 72 videos.  Here are a few from this past week. Try out your archaeology skills and see if you can piece together what's been happening around here...

Clue #1 Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte -
That would mean I was in the city for a work conference, getting inspired by some really smart people who have all written multiple books on mental health and wellness.  For optimal mental health, I recommend four hours in Chapters book store with a latte in one hand and credit card in the other.  According to my research, that is just as effective as clean eating, exercising, yoga, and meditation combined to flourish in positive mental health!

Clue #2 Snow and Snowmobile Helmets -
The girls are chomping at the bit to get out on their sled. We've got big plans this year that involve a ski-doo, an axe, and the perfect Charlie Brown tree.

Clue # 3 I spy with my little eye, a Movember mustache.  Can you find it?

Clue # 4 Something Borrowed and Something Blue -
The girl's Madame is planning a wedding and she got showered with gifts on the weekend.

Clue #5 Book Shelves are no Longer White -
After a month of trying to get paint to stick to the old melamine shelves, they are finally reassembled and back in an upright position in Lexi's room.

Clue # 6 Splashes of Christmas Everywhere -
The holiday bug has bitten!  Carols are on the piano, parcels are showing up at the door, cards have been ordered, wish lists have been made, lights have been plugged in, holiday movies have begun and the Yuletide fireplace is on the TV...(but I haven't let myself turn it on yet!)

Clue #7 Lots of Snuggles and Selfies -
Because that's just what you do after mom's been gone for three days!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Snow and Other Stuff

The Halloween treats have been devoured.  We've turned our clocks back an hour.  And the snow has come to stay.  All these things can only mean one thing... cue up the Christmas carols, light some gingerbread candles, get out the fuzzy jammies and let's get ready people!!!  It's coming.  

In case you didn't know, I like the getting ready part.

The first snow was wet and sticky...

And then more snow came and made the trees look all pretty and winter wonderland-y. The girls tried out the sled for the first time this year.  

 And we celebrated Grandma's birthday.  Grandma could hardly get near her gooey, sweet, covered in sprinkles cake because she had so many helpers to blow out candles.

And now the snow, along with the wind, has made our entire yard like a skating rink.  The girls "skated" in the yard with their dad today while I cleaned and organized toys downstairs.  The girls came and helped for a little while but they mostly just played with all the stuff I was trying to sort. Now all the play food is in the kitchen, the doctor stuff is in the doctor kit, and the dress up clothes are all nicely folded and grouped together into appropriate outfits.  I don't know why it makes me so happy when the toys are all in their designated bin.  Sometimes I just want to Kragle all the pieces together like the dad in The Lego Movie! Ha.  

I best be getting to bed.  We've got a crazy, out of normal routine, week coming up that's going to need some stellar organizational skills to ensure that everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there!  It truly does take a village!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Trick or Treating Machine

Last year the girls wanted one of those giant blow up Halloween cats for the yard.  We picked one up on sale after Halloween along with a few other props to make our yard spooky and festive looking.  A couple of weeks ago we set up "le chat noir" and hung ghost bags full of leaves around the yard.  We even made a little graveyard in the sand box with tombstones and skeleton bones.  It was the perfect little backdrop to take some Halloween pictures until... the wind and snow came.

We came home from school one day and the blow up cat was nothing but a deflated pool of nylon laying on the deck, the cute string of leaf bag ghosts were ripped off and all tangled in the fence boards, the tombstones were knocked over and blown into the corner of the yard and the skeleton bones were frozen into the sand and buried under a skiff of ice and snow.  

Long story short...  we took costume pictures at school.  You never know what your going to get for Halloween when you live in the north.  This year we had a cold wind biting at us while we treated.  

Callie says she wants to be a police officer when she grows up because she likes the outfits they wear and she likes the trucks they drive.  So when she saw the police costume her mind was made up. And Lexi,well, she went back and forth for a month between a beautiful butterfly and shimmering mermaid. In the end, little sister couldn't resist the the sparkling sequins of a mermaid tail but only to curse it out when she found out she couldn't run and keep up with the big kids because she kept tripping on her fins.

Grandma Witch trailed behind with Lexi trying to tuck her fins into her boots so that she wouldn't trip and have a repeat from last year.  But it happened anyway. Sister tripped and fell and cried big crocodile tears because the big kids were going ahead without her.  So it turned out that Callie continued on Trick or Treating with her friends that we had met up with along the way and Mommy Witch and Grandma Witch carried a sobbing, sparkly little mermaid back to grandma's house to cut the fins of that mermaid tail so that sister could continue at the proper trick or treating pace.

After we finished hacking off the bottom of Lexi's costume and our cheeks were warmed up and the tears were all gone, me and my little fin-less mermaid were ready to hit the streets, just the two of us. As it turns out, little sister is a trick or treating machine!  She had so much fun talking to everyone, petting their dogs, looking at their decorations, asking them questions...all at her own pace.  And to top it off, she refused to go home until her bag was completely full!  She kept saying, "just one more house, mom!"  Finally, when she could no longer lift her bag, we headed back to grandma's house.

Callie had made it back to grandma's house with her bag full of treats and she was mighty impressed by the haul of goodies that little sister had collected.  We sat by the fire and warmed our fingers and toes.  The girls sorted, counted and then ate their treats.  I would say it was another successful year of trick or treating. And, I'll say that I'm really glad when Halloween lands on a Friday!