Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I have such respect for moms that work full time! I worked part time this week (and will be for the next week or 2) and I'm wiped! I'm only working from 9-11:30 Monday to Thursday mornings but its been so busy! My day starts at 6:45 when I get up, shower and get ready. Somewhere in there the boys get up and need to be fed and dressed. Then we fight to get out the door (why is it always a fight to put shoes and coats on?!?) where we drop Levi off at Dee's and I pick up Adelynn and Houston for school.  We get to school and wait for the bell to ring at 8:40 so they can go in, then I rush out to the colony and make it just before 9.  My morning working with the little boy is busy and goes by so quickly. Then at 11:30, I rush back to town to be at the school for 11:40 to pick the kids up. We drop off Adelynn and Houston and I pick up Levi and we head home for lunch (unless Dee has graciously already prepared lunch for the boys).  Try as I might in the afternoons, I don't get much done. Then evenings seem to be busy with client meetings, library board meetings, etc. I was really looking forward to having today off to catch up on laundry and housework, but here I sit, on the computer! ;)

  • The weather has been pretty great but this weekend is going to be our "clean up" weekend. I'm going to harvest my little garden, put flower pots away, yard furniture away, etc. Chris is going to winterize the trailer and take it to Ponoka to be stored for the winter.

  • Next weekend we are going on a little family holiday to Edmonton. We're going to stay in a hotel downtown (the boys are excited to stay in a "skyscraper"- we live in a small town where the tallest building is 3 floors! LOL) I managed to book us into a room on the 27th floor, so that will be fun for them. We're also going to go to West Ed and the Waterpark. The boys love swimming and have recently begun to love waterslides, so this is the motherlode!  Since we didn't get much camping or holidaying in this summer, this is going to be our little getaway. I've only got a few more weeks until I am on call again so we are definitely taking advantage of the free time!

  • Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed a spontaneous, hour long phone call with a dear friend. We typically "talk" a few times a week via Blackberry Messenger and rarely talk on the phone. It was so nice to just chat, laugh and enjoy each other. I don't know why we don't have phone dates more often. I think we should.  Makes the fact that she is 3 hours away seem not so far.  I think we're going to try to Skype so the kids can see each other too!  What would we do without technology?!

  • Being in school/ dayhome means passing bugs from kid to kid. Levi woke up this morning with a horrible cough and he is MISERABLE.  I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later but it certainly doesn't make it any easier to deal with!  Surprisingly, so far Luca doesn't even have a sign of the sniffles.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Thoughts

  • Luca is loving school. He's always so excited to go, which is great! BUT, he comes home so tired and is a bear all afternoon!  I know that if we can make it through the afternoon, bedtime will be smooth sailing because he is so tired. That's the silver lining right there.

  • I subbed in Luca's class today. He was really excited leading up to today knowing I was going to be the teacher but then at school he barely paid any attention to me. He paid attention when it counted, but didn't seem to give a hoot if I was there or not. Even though my feelings were a bit hurt, I guess that means he's confident enough that he doesn't need to hang off me.

  • There are currently 25 children in Luca's class and 25 in the other kindergarten class. HOPEFULLY the classes will be split soon to make a 3rd class. All the parents are anxiously waiting to see if this will happen (it is dependant on funding for another part time teacher).  Let me tell you- after being the teacher in there today will all those kids and about 6 of whom are a handful, I think that if they don't split the classes Carla (Luca's teacher) will go insane by Thanksgiving!

  • Last Friday I got a random call from the school board. It was the lady in charge of the staffing for Teaching Assistants. They were in a bind and were wondering if I would be interested in working as an EA (Educational Assistant) on a temporary basis until a permanent EA could be found.  The reason I was asked  even though I am overqualified as a certified teacher, is that the job is on a Hutterite Colony and few people are willing to work out there. On my Sub form, I stated that I was happy to sub there and have in the past, so I was asked to take this support position for a little while. I'm working with an absolutely adorable little guy for two and a half hours a day, in the mornings. I'll be there for 2-3 weeks depending on how quickly a permanent aide can be found.  So far I am absolutely loving it. I'll write a post about how awesome the members of the colony are later.

  • Last weekend we headed out to Wilderness Village near Rocky Mountain House for our last camping weekend of the season. Friends of ours have a site out there and it is fantastic. They invited us out and we had a great time visiting, playing and even venturing into the outdoor pool!  The boys are already asking if we can go back in the summer. I'm sure that we will take advantage of their hospitality next year!

  • While we were out camping, Luca was tripped by Loki's leash and did a faceplant in the gravel resulting in some pretty awesome scrapes, scabs and bruises on his forehead. Of course, today would be "picture day" at school.....I'm fairly certain we will be getting retakes done on retake day!

This picture actually doesn't do it justice. The scabs are quite dark and there is more bruising than you can see in the picture. Ah, life with boys!
  • Last week I spoke at a prenatal class again with a fellow doula and friend of mine. We put quite a bit of effort into making our presentation very concise and covering a range of topics related to doula care, modern birthing choices and options for birth. I think it went very well. Last spring when we spoke at the same class (different participants), both Shannon and I benefited by getting clients from the class. I'm not expecting that to happen this time as there were only 4 couples there and 1 of the couples hired me months ago to be their doula! Oh well, I'm hoping we will be invited back to their next session. At the very least, I hope we gave those couples some very valuable information.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Some events remain clear in our minds no matter how many years have passed.

I can remember the events of 10 years ago like it was just yesterday.

I was 19 years old, in college.

On the Tuesday morning, I was driving to school in my Ford Probe, heading for a 9am Religious Studies class.  Just before I got out of my car, I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre.  I remember thinking "wow, that's insane". But, thinking it was one of those strange, freak things, I got out of my car and walked to class.

I got to class and sat in my usual spot. My classmates started trickling in, everyone asking if we had heard about the plane that crashed into a building.  Soon it was 9:05, then 9:10, then 9:15.... we started wondering if our prof, Jack W. was coming to class. None of us knew at this point that a second plane had hit the second tower. This was before the time of Blackberries and iPhones, before news was at our fingertips 24/7.

After waiting the obligatory 20 minutes, we all started to trickle out. It would seem that our normally punctual Prof wasn't coming. Maybe he was sick and had forgotten to get someone to post a note on the door of the classroom.  (At our next class, on the Thursday, we found out that he was glued to his tv, like the rest of us were later that day).

Since I didn't have another class until later that afternoon, I headed back to my car and went back to my apartment.  I don't remember hearing anything on the radio on the short drive home but remember walking in the door of the apartment to find my roommate sitting on the sofa, glued to the tv.

She was supposed to be in class as well. When I asked what she was doing home, she just pointed at the tv. I came further into the apartment to better see the tv and saw what she was watching in horror. Footage of a second plane slamming into the second tower kept replaying on every station.

Neither of us went to class at all that day. We sat, transfixed in horror as we watched people jump from terrifying heights to their death, then sat, numb, when the towers collapsed.

While we couldn't quite grasp the enormity of how this one event would help to shape many aspects of the rest of our lives, we knew without a doubt that the world as we knew it had changed.  Before I was 20, my ignorant, safe, naive little world was split wide open and I truly became aware of the terror and horrendous nature of some people.

There was fear, disbelief, shock, grief...... 

Images from that day are still sharp as photographs in my mind.  Ten years later, I remember with an ache in my heart and sadness for all those that lost their lives, those that lost family members, and those that sacrificed their safety and time to search for survivors and later, bodies. 

While I am not an American, I do mourn and remember this pivotal day in history.

To our neighbours to the South- we remember with you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers (on Saturday!)

  • Wednesday was not only Luca's first day of school, but our 9th wedding anniversary. My mom was here to watch Levi in the morning and she stayed so Chris and I could go out for supper. We went to The Keg for steak and the Marble Slab for dessert. Yum!  It was great to just get out together and enjoy conversation without being interrupted by kids.  I reflected a lot on the last 9 years and what makes our marriage work, but that's a whole other post for another day!
  • Thursday was the first day back at MOPS for the year and the boys were so excited to go. Luca won't usually get to go because he will be in school but he got to attend this week and enjoyed seeing his friends.
  • This week has been HOT! The high 20s / close to 30 degrees every day! We're really enjoying this extended summer weather. Here's to hoping it holds up for another week as we are heading out for one more camping trip next weekend.
  • I've got the itch to travel. Somewhere. Anywhere. I just want to experience somewhere new. We were really hoping to get away for a few days while I am not on call for babies but we couldn't make it work with our parents schedules to watch the boys for a few days.  Chris and I are going away in the Spring though to celebrate our 10th anniversary (a little early). Guess we'll probably have to wait until then to get away.

Friday, September 09, 2011


Luca had his much anticipated first day of kindergarten on Wednesday morning.  The school here does staggered entry for kindergarten, so on Wednesday only have of the class went until 10am (they normally will go til 11:30) and they did an orientation. 

We started our day with Luca excited to wear his new school clothes. Before I let him get dressed though, he needed to eat. I was sure that if he ate after getting dressed he would spill and then a major meltdown would ensue. (sometimes us moms have foresight!)

My mom arrived just in time to have breakfast of fried eggs and toast. She was coming to stay with Levi while I took Luca to his first day.  The boys were both so excited to see her so early in the morning and Luca was smiling from ear to ear when he told her that he was going to school that day.

We got dressed and began the short walk to school (about 6 blocks or so).  About half way to school, we stopped at Adelynn's house to walk with them as well. Luca and Adelynn posed for some first day of school photos and then we were off, full of excitement.

We arrived at the school and headed down to the classroom to "meet" the teacher. Of course, we already know her, so Luca just said a quick hello and then went off exploring.  After spending a few minutes exploring the classroom with our children, the parents then went next door to the library to have an informational meeting with the principal.  It didn't faze Luca in the least when I told him I was going to be leaving to go to the meeting. He was thrilled to have found some toys, costumes and familiar faces.

I thought I was totally prepared for him to go to school and was excited for him, so I was a bit surprised at the teary eyes and lump in my throat that appeared when we were exploring the classroom.  I AM excited for him, I think it was just the emotional aspect of my biggest baby growing up.

After the meeting, the parents snuck back into the classroom to see all the children sitting on the carpet listening to a story.  When the story was done, Luca was eager to show me the poem with his handprint on it that he made as well as his "I survived the first day of kindergarten" badge he was proudly wearing!

He was disappointed to find out that not only were we leaving but that he wouldn't be returning the next day.

As part of the staggered entry process, their first few days are spaced out. Luca was in group 'A', so his group went on Wednesday morning, with group 'B' going Thursday morning. On Monday, group 'A' will go again but this time until 11:30, and group 'B' on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, the entire class (both groups) will go and that is their "official" first day. From then on, he will go Monday to Thursday, every morning and alternating Friday mornings.

I've already been asked to sub in Luca's class on September 20th. I will try it once and see how it goes. I don't want it to be weird for either Luca or myself and I don't want to interfere in any way with his kindergarten experience.  So, we'll see how that goes....

For now, I'm wearing my "mom" hat and being equally excited and sad for this big milestone in our lives.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Smattering of Stuff

Ok, I know it has been over a month since I last posted but I've been super busy!

I changed the page on the calendar this morning and had to just stop for a moment. Wait, what? Its SEPTEMBER???

Summer flew by. For the most part we had great weather and enjoyed lots of time in the yard or at the splash park.  We had a pretty good routine of getting up, having breakfast and heading out to the back yard. They boys would play on the trampoline or in the sand box while I sat on the deck with a book and coffee. Sometimes we had friends over to play, sometimes we just enjoyed the day quietly, just the 3 of us.

When we went to the splash park, we usually met friends there. We would pack a lunch, take a blanket or sun tent and the boys would spend hours going between the splash park and the playground while the mommies visited and kept eyes on all the children.

We managed to get out camping for an extended weekend this August. The boys and I went out on Wednesday (Chris took the trailer out Tuesday to Red Lodge near Bowden).  Chris came out Wednesday after work for supper and helped get the kids to bed, then headed back home for the night and came out after work Thursday for the weekend. We had great weather and had a fun time camping.  Next summer I plan to take one of the summer months off so that we can enjoy camping without trying to plan around babies.  Babies can be so unpredictable sometimes... ;)

Sunny, lazy, fun days of summer.

Not every day was so lazy and laid back though. Between the first weekend in June and August 31, I attended 9 births and welcomed 10 babies to the world. Some were fast and went smoothly, others were long and had ups and downs of emotion and intervention.  In each one, Mommy and Baby were perfect and healthy and I left each experience humbled and honored to be a part of such an incredible event in each of those family's lives. 

I'm looking forward to a bit of a break for about 6 weeks (I'll still be meeting with clients and speaking at a prenatal class) and will be ready adn recharged for the 5 more births I have between the end of October and the beginning of December. I chose not to take any clients between now and the end of October so I could truly be present and enjoy this change in our lives. Next Wednesday, my big boy goes to his first day of kindergarten.

I have so many mixed feelings about what next week will bring. A milestone. In my mind, a HUGE milestone. It feels bigger than it did when he started preschool.  Kindergarten is the first step of "real" school. He will be attending in the public school in Crossfield with the bigger kids. This will be his school for the next 6 years.  Next Wednesday will be the first day of 13 years of school.

It seems like not long ago I was holding my first child in my arms for the very first time. Now I will be sending him off to school. He's 5. He's independent. He's strong willed at times. He's shy and cuddly. He's growing up. But he's still my baby.

On the other hand, I am ready for the routine that school brings. The early bed times, the schedule that we all can settle into. Spending mornings with Levi- just him and me. 

Luca's teacher is a friend of mine, she lives down the street and we have spent some time with her and her family this summer. She is kind and warm and I know that Luca will be comfortable in her classroom. I also know that she is a wonderful, careful and thoughtful teacher. I know this because I have been her substitute teacher for 2 years now and have seen the inner workings of her classrooms.  I have no anxiety whatsoever about the person that Luca will be spending every morning with. That makes me happy.

Luca is so excited to start school. We have a new backpack, lunch kit, indoor shoes and clothes all purchased and ready.  School supplies have been ordered and delivered to the school (our school does a direct purchasing program- we just go online and choose the class our child is in, pay a very reasonable price and exactly what the teacher requested is then packaged and sent directly to the school and placed in the classroom labeled with the students' names.)

Levi and I start MOPS next Thursday.  Levi calls MOPS "his school". He loves going and feels so grown up, like his brother.  I'm looking forward to another year of getting to know some more moms, enjoying the guest speakers and activities MOPS provides and of course, the amazingly delicious snacks we get each week!

I'm planning to sub again this year when I can between births. Now that I'm getting busier wtih doula clients, it may become a bit more difficult to sub on a regular basis. We'll see what this year brings.

Next Wednesday, September 7th is not only Luca's first day of school, but is our 9th wedding anniversary.  I don't know if I'm just feeling nostalgic because I'm reflecting on how quickly Luca has gone from an infant to a school aged child, but I'm also reminiscing about our wedding day. That too, feels like it happened only yesterday. I guess the years go by quickly when you are busy with a young family and genuinely enjoy the company of your spouse.  I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful partner in life. Here's to 9 years and many, many more. I love you babe!