Blog Archives

I am not ready to give her up!

It may be ridiculous, but all I can be right now is sad.

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and already it’s too short.  Two months?  That’s barely enough time to picnic, forget finishing our unpacking, fixing up the house, gardening, heading to the lake, and all the other things we want to do.  We’re going to blink and it will be time for school again.

Autumn used to be my favourite time of year.  I loved the weather, the leaves, the fact that most folk stopped coming to the lake – leaving it just for us…  I loved everything about it.  Now I’m dreading it.

Autumn this year means my baby is leaving me.  And the kicker?  I’m the one who convinced her to give grade one a try, she wanted to stay home and have me teach her.  But Ms. Jackson, the grade one teacher at Mayfair?  She’s fabulous.  Is so obviously passionate about her kids, and I just know Lily-Ann could learn so much from having her be a daily part of her life.  I’m just so not ready to give her up.  Not even close to ready.

Moving from Pre-k to Kindergarten was hard enough.  I still miss our Friday afternoons.  But the idea that come Fall I will only have my girl for a few hours every day???  It’s just too much.  I honestly cried myself to sleep last night.  It’s ridiculous, I know.  I can’t help it though.  I am not ready to give her up.

We haven’t even started Summer holidays and already I’m depressed and upset over Summer coming to an end.  How the heck am I going to make it through?  There isn’t enough time in the world to prepare me for giving up my daughter full time to the school system.  Can’t she go part time?  Honestly?  Truly?  Is that an option?  Because THAT would make it all better.

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Preparing for Yule!

The girl, her face all filled with light and wonder, as we prepare to decorate the tree.

Filled with Wonder!

I figure it’s about time that I shared a few pictures from December first, when we decorated our Yule tree.  It’s our first year with a big (six foot) tree.  I’ve posted before about our little half-a-tree that we normally hang on the wall.  Well, in our new house we actually have room for a regular sized tree – so when Grampa offered us his (he was switching to a table top sized one) we gratefully accepted!

Lily-Ann, all wrapped up in garlands, ready for Yule!

All wrapped up!

We really did love our little half-tree-thing…  but this?  Watching the girl’s face light up, getting to pick out and buy new ornaments, as well as hanging some that Grampa and Gramma Joan gifted us?  It was pretty amazing.  Lily-Ann had the most wonderful time and it did my heart some good to be a part of it all.

Kid Kid decorating our Yule Tree, our first year with a large tree!

Trimming the Tree!

After it was all decorated, I put out the bags for her Advent Calendar, and she dug through them looking for bag number one…  thus beginning a wonderful new Yule tradition in our wonderful new home.

ready to open bag number one from her advent calendar.

Advent, Day One!

With that, here’s wishing you all a Joy-filled Yule!  One packed full with wonderment and delight.  Take time to be childlike!

Dicken's Christmas quote about how good it is to experience life through a child's perspective.

 

 

The night before school starts

The night before school starts,

and mom writes my name.

On notebooks, and pencils

helping me to lay claim.

Okay, yeah…

I’m not a poet,

that’s as far as it goes.

The rest of this blog post

is thankfully in prose.

 

My Sharpie is no longer sharp after writing “Lily-Ann” on 12 markers, 24 crayons, 24 pencil crayons, various notebooks, folders, and a scrapbook, as well as on shoes, pencil cases, glue sticks, erasers, a pencil sharpener, a bottle of white glue (with a no clog lid), and a backpack. Gotta love the night before the first day of school. Pre-k was easy all supplies are communal, but as kids enter the regular school system labeling everything quickly becomes the norm.

I remember my Mom scrawling our names on everything… And with so many of us it was no quick task. As our pencils and pencil crayons were wore down into little nubs, and all that remained was a letter or two, I’d still think of Mom writing our names every time I saw mine. It was a reassuring thing, though it didn’t register as such on a conscious level until many years later.

I hope, as Lily-Ann sits in her classroom this coming school year, that seeing her name spelled over and over again brings a sense of belonging and love. That she knows how treasured she is, not just by her Mom (who wrote her name so very many times) but by everyone who knows her. She really is such a special kid, and her joie de vie has left many with grins where previously there were none.

Girl is ready to be a “school kid” whether or not I am ready for the same. 😉

"Look Mommy!  PONY tails!"

“Look Mommy, PONY tails!”
I’m so glad I had my phone out and captured this moment. 🙂 And thanks so much to another My Little Pony Trading Post member for the lovely G1 sparkle pony in her left hand (she arrived in the mail today, and the girl is currently sleeping with her).

Avatar Art by Kid-kid

I keep a wipe off marker board with four markers and an eraser in the car.  It helps keep the girl busy when she’s tired of being cooped up.  It’s got a number of slide in sheets that can give it a different look, and allows her to switch out the background whenever she likes.  The sheets have things like lines for practicing her writing, tic tac toe graphs, blank open space, grids…  and she can flip them out and around all on her own.  It’s a perfect thing for in the back seat.  I love it!

Today we were in the car for a total of about twenty minutes.  We had to get groceries and then stopped for slurpees at the co-op convenience store on the way home.  During this time she did four different drawings, and asked me to share them.  They are all of different members of “Team Avatar”.  And for those of you who are fans of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, you should have no trouble at all identifying each character.  She still has a couple she’d like to add, but here are her creations thus far:

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I love all the detail she put into the Cabbage Merchant…  she even passed the board up to me in the front seat so I could add text into her speech bubble.  It says “My Cabbages!!”

My Little Pony Toys are Magic!

Last night, while kid-kid was at her weekly sleepover at my parent’s place, Damon and I were at the store.  We excitedly discovered both FS (Fashion Style) Princess Luna and the pink FS Princess Celestia My Little Pony toys at Superstore….  and even better than just finding a toy you’ve been looking for, is finding it at a reduced price!  The MLP collector in my tried to convince Damon that we should buy two of each – one of each to keep mint in box, and one of each for the girl to play with.  LOL  That proved futile, but we did buy one of each – one for the girl and one for me.

Tonight, after supper, I presented the ponies to the girl.  She was ecstatic!  We giggled together, and compared Luna (who is mine) and Celestia (who is hers), talked about how each was similar, how each was different.  We laughed about all the ways we can play with them.  Lily-Ann shared her plans to hold a royal wedding for them, and how my FS Pinkie Pie and her FS Twilight Sparkle could attend.  How tomorrow she is going to lay out all the pony outfits (while she doesn’t have all the FS toys, she does have all their outfits – purchased from a customizer who didn’t need the clothes, only the ponies themselves) and shoes, and how each pony is going to get to have a new outfit for the big event.  How the cutie mark crusaders are going to be the flower girls, and what role each pony will play.

Being so close to bedtime, we didn’t liberate the princesses from their packages…  but we sure had fun talking about her plans for them.  I knew she would be excited about our little surprise for her, but the extent of her delight was a surprise for me.  Now we each have a pink FS pony and a purple FS pony – a fact that thrills her to no end.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  There is nothing like sharing something you love with someone you love.  And I feel so very lucky to have a toy that I loved thirty years ago be that something that can unite us today.  I remember the joy and excitement I felt when enveloped by that “new pony smell” that is the off-gassing of the plastic when the package is first opened, and sharing it with the girl now, it brings back all those same memories for me – and it means the world that I can give that same unbridled (pun obviously intended) happiness to my daughter.

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Now if only Hasbro would send out a WHITE Celestia, the girl’s happiness (and mine as a collector) would be complete.  😉

A2Z – Gender Creative

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Gender Creative

 

The very first time I’d heard the term “Gender Creative” I was in a board meeting for Breaking the Silence (which was held in March).  Fran Forsberg, an amazing woman and dedicated volunteer, had used it to describe two of her children, and it clicked with me instantly.  Gender Creative – could there be a more perfect or beautiful way to describe a child who is, well… creative when it comes to gender?  I absolutely love the term, and hope it catches on like wildfire.  Having such a beautiful way to describe children who don’t necessarily fit into their assigned gender.

Children are too young to know how their sexual identities and desires will eventually shape them, but they often know right from the get go if their assigned gender fits or not.  Some children easily play in one or both binary gender roles.  Others feel at home solidly in one camp or the other (and it may or may not match their assigned gender).  Describing these children as Gender Creative allows them the freedom to experiment and play with their identities – as we should allow all children.

We should actively encourage our children to try on different roles, to play different parts.  We do this with little boys by encouraging them to pretend to be firemen, policemen, doctors, and race car drivers.  With little girls we encourage them to dress up as princesses, home makers, nurses, and ballerinas.  When we should be encouraging all our children to try on these different roles – regardless of their assigned gender or assigned sex.  I know I am equally thrilled when Lily-Ann dresses up as a cowboy, or tells me how she wants to grow up to play for the Blue Jays as when she wears a tutu and wings to school, announcing that she has decided to be Tinkerbell.  We play cars and My Little Ponies.

The point is that children SHOULD be Gender Creative.  It shouldn’t be the odd kid out who plays with gender, and finds it fluid and easily adaptable.  All children should have the freedom to find themselves without society forcing binary roles onto them.  It actually makes me sick to my stomach when I hear a parent tell a child “No, you can’t have that, it’s a girl toy” or “I’m not buying that for you, girls don’t play with action figures.”  It’s when the I’m-gonna-fix-the-world me comes out, and I can’t help but do a little educating – and I’m not always as polite as I should be.  Oh, I try to be…  but there are times when the beastly me comes out, and it’s pretty much always when I see a little kid just being their genuine self, and having that self squashed by a parent who so clearly doesn’t get it.

So, until we get to the point where society is able to allow ALL children to just be children – without forcing gender binaries on them.  Until then?  I like the term Gender Creative.  What a beautiful way to express how all kids should be free to be.

Gender Creative and Proud to be a part of the Pink Revolution

the april a to z blog challenge

A Starfish in Our Family Bed

I don’t know about you, but I love the “crappy pictures” blog.  It’s a pretty good look inside life as a parent, and has a way of capturing those moments you need to laugh about so you don’t start crying.  LOL  One particular drawing that I picture quite often, that I first saw ages ago now… or, well…  what feels like ages ago in Mommy to a young child time, can be found here:  http://crappypictures.com/2011/06/what-it-is-like-to-not-sleep-at-night-illustrated-with-crappy-pictures.html

Now, I have that link set to open in a new window.  So go take a peek if you haven’t seen it before, and then get your butts back here for the rest of my blog post.  I’ll wait.

See?  This is me waiting.

Are you finished yet?

How about now?

Just about done?

Alrighty then.

Back to me.  😉

Well, when the kid fell asleep last night, as usual I wrote my blog post…  it was pretty boring, but it had been a “sick day” and my brain was pretty much toast.  The girl was still sick today, but I actually got to have a small bath break in the evening while her Daddy and her each played games on their respective mobile devices, next to one another, in the same room, rather than playing WITH one another (I wasn’t going to complain, I needed the break).  Okay, now I’m getting off topic (seriously, I hadn’t had a mommy-only bath in MONTHS, it was SOOOO good…  just me and the only grown up reading material I could find – a Readers Digest from last year).  LOL

Okay, so anyway…  After writing in my blog, the Daddy and I turned on a couple of episodes of Community to wind down for the night.  It wasn’t long before THIS happened:

What it looks like when a four and a half year old "starfishes" across the family bed.

What it looks like when a four and a half year old "starfishes" across the family bed.

And yes…  that is the kid, taking up the entire top half of our family bed.  So, while Amber so perfectly illustrated the baby starfish in her crappy pictures blog, this is what it’s looks like when a four and a half year old starfishes across the entire family bed.

Gotta love it!

One pricey book order

I loved the scholastic book orders when I was a kid.  Mom and Dad always made sure I could get a new book (sometimes two or three) every month.  I looked forward to going through the brightly coloured pages of the order, searching for the right one.  Something that piqued my interest:  often it would be something about unicorns, or wizards, or fairies.  So You Want to be a Wizard was one of my very favourite books, and I remember with fondness the Unicorn Queen series as well.

The Secret of the Unicorn Queen, book one, Swept Away

I absolutely love that the kid being in school means we once again get the excitement and joy of a monthly book order.  She loves looking through the pages as much as I did.  And her teacher always makes sure to find us a copy of the “big kids” book order sheets too.  After all, the pre-k book order is all picture books and board books – and we generally like to order chapter books.

Normally we get a book or two, or if there’s a really good deal on a pack of books we’ll get that.  This last one though?  Eeeps.  I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on a book order.  But honestly?  It was something we couldn’t pass up.

The best time to teach a child about ANY topic is when they are passionate about it.  And right now, thanks to first reading a book about Odysseus and now reading the Goddess Girls books, the girl LOVES learning about Greek myth.  So when a four piece children’s encyclopedias all about mythology showed up in the last book order, what else could we do?  We figured out the money, because one doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  😉

So soon, we’ll be sitting down with the girl’s very first encyclopedias.  And she couldn’t be more excited about them.  It’s going to be really cool, and I love that this is a topic that enlivens her.  Learning can be so much fun – especially when you are allowed to follow your passions!

Mmmmmm…. We Made Monkey Wraps!

Monkey Wraps, with banana, peanut butter, and chocolate

Monkey Wraps are something I came up with several years ago now.  Others have come up with similar ideas (I’ve seen something like them called a breakfast wrap once about a year ago now), but any way you slice them, they’re an excellent breakfast, lunch, or snack table staple for little hands and mouths.

Now that Lily-Ann is four, she makes these herself – with supervision…  which makes them even better than if I’d done them.  🙂  And seriously, if a preschooler can put them together, you know you should be able to.

This is a four ingredient meal that is excellent in lunch boxes, for an after school snack, for breakfast on the go, or for anytime you need something simple yet relatively healthful.  All you need are 8″ wraps, bananas, peanut butter, and a chocolate spread.  We really like using organic bananas as they taste WAY better, and we prefer peanut butters that are nuts ONLY (without the extra ingredients).  The chocolate spread and the banana give plenty of sweetness without needing a peanut butter with sugar in it.

the kid's wrap, prior to wrapping it

Above, you can see what the inside of the kid’s wrap looked like before wrapping it up.  Put as little or as much of the chocolate spread and the peanut butter as you like.  I usually leave the bananas whole, but Lily-Ann likes to break hers into pieces.  Either way works.

a little smear of peanut butter will help seal the wrap

This one is mine…  part way closed.  Take a look at the edge – it’s a trick I use when making ANY type of wrap.  Use a little bit of peanut butter (or in a savory wrap use mayo or cream cheese) along the edge.  When you wrap it up, it will help seal it closed so it doesn’t pop open when you let go.

Slice them into pieces.  I find thirds works perfect for little ones – but for a bite size snack on a tray cut them into one inch thick rounds and serve them with a variety of other finger foods.  And enjoy!

the girlie, chowing down on a monkey wrap

Chowing Down!

I Love Sundays!

Another fabulous Sunday with the family!  Ever since we started setting aside Sundays to do something special with the family they’ve become awfully wonderful.  And while it’s not always easy coming up with something we all want to do, AND that sticks within a small budget, it’s worth a little work finding things.

Today we headed down to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for some early afternoon treats.  Baked goods, home made ice cream, and greenhouse produce – always a hit with our family.  Then we hopped in the car and headed out to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo for an outdoor adventure.  Because, let’s face it…  taking a four year old and a 17 year old to the zoo together is ALWAYS going to be an adventure.  LMAO  Especially with Damon and I along for the ride.  😉

We made a snowman (yes, at the zoo).  Made a whole row of snow angels.  Had an hour long snowball fight (it lasted nearly the entire time we were there).  Found a huge branch on the ground buried under the snow and made a bunch of wands from it.  We wrote in the snow.  Cast spells on one another.  And giggled at the baby lion cubs as they climbed on their mother.

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