I went to the final birthday this weekend of my gaggle of parties over the last week and this week is my March Break!
This week saw me head down to Toronto on the train Tuesday after work. I was headed there for two days of training for work that I was very excited about. Part of the reason was it was more tools for my belt as a leader at Apple. But the other reason is one of the things I have appreciated about every time I get out to other stores or out for training – is meeting and putting faces to my colleagues all over the world. Every single time I am taken aback at the talent we hire and the people I work with—it reaffirms just what how fortunate I am to have this life at Apple.
The other big thing that happened this week in the Apple world was the Special Event on Monday which many suspected was just for the Apple Watch. But, as had happened so many times before that was the only thing we had up our sleeve so to speak. In fact the event – teasingly titled ‘Spring Forward‘ – didn’t even start with the Watch. We introduced some amazing new features to AppleTV—most notably the partnership that resulted in the stand alone service HBO Now which only be able on AppleTV and iOS devices initially. But then we also showed off a brand new, and (in my humble opinion) amazing new MacBook (which I want so bad)! All of that happened before we ever talked about the Watch.
What does any of this have to do with Emelia? Or Danielle for that matter? Well… the thing is I am amazed that I had the good fortune after the age of 40 to show both of them that you can change careers, take risks, and even do something completely different if you want to at any point of your life and have it turn out for the better. Danielle first showed us that by shifting careers into a successful home-based daycare that has sustained us for the last seven years. And I have now contributed to that same concept in my life at Apple. And that was cemented for me this past week when Emelia – very excitedly I must say – requested that she could come to Daddy’s store this summer for the Apple Camp. She was even more excited at the idea that Daddy might be able to help out with her specific time at the Apple Camp.
And to that point I have watched Keynotes for Apple (either live or as live as it can be) for as long as they have been broadcasted. My family way back in the early eighties loaded up the grocery-getter and travelled all the way to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan to attend the Mac User Group meet-ups. It’s safe to say we have long been part of the Apple family. But these last three years as an actual part of the Apple family have truly been amazing. When I think about all of the amazing opportunities I have had and the people I have met, I am truly humbled and overwhelmed. And when I think about what I am passing on to Emelia in this journey, I am even more overjoyed.
The one thing that did strike me Monday as I sat and watched the Keynote was as much as it was nice to be able to sit and watch it all start-to-finish uninterrupted at home on my day off, there was a piece of me that wished I was at the store with the rest of my team able to watch it unfold and get really nerdy and excited about what was about to come…
The rest of the week after returning home from Toronto from my training was a blur. I closed the store Friday evening and then promptly had a weekend off with my two girls which was the perfect remedy for being away. We spent Saturday doing whatever we wanted – which mostly was good as Emelia was up through the night with an upset stomach and a visit to the bathroom to reverse process food out of her mouth. And despite her overnight sickness we were not allowed to cancel the appointment she had to try out contact lenses. As always with Emelia, a few hours from throwing up she was at 100% better and ready to get on with life. So absolutely that meant we HAD to proceed with her contact lenses trial regardless of what Mummy and Daddy felt.
After we got that out of the way (of which I am sure Danielle will tell you more about), we spent the rest of the day puttering about the town. We checked out a cool shop that featured really unique mid city modern furnishings as well as getting to a couple of stores that Emelia wanted to visit too. And it we got over to the newly-opened Farm Boy right near us. It was a perfect lazy day that ended with a slow pace at home that had Danielle and I catching up on episodes of House of Cards after we got Emelia to bed. I may have even partaken of the Cuban cigar and a dram of whisky on the porch before I headed off to bed too.
Today was more of the same sort of bliss with my ladies. We started by waking up whenever the heck we wanted and then taking the morning at a leisurely pace. We of course had Emelia’s much beloved gymnastics to get her to by noon, and then right after that the last of her birthday parties to get her to. This gave Danielle and I, two glorious hours to putter about the city like we did before we had Emelia. It was really nice for us. But it was also nice that ended with picking Emelia back up.
We closed out the day with steaks, potatoes that I BBQ’d out back (in shorts no less!) along side some asparagus and a glass of vino. Emelia has just slipped off to the world of slumber after an exhausting afternoon of completely rearranging her room. Dnaielle and I are just about to reconvene for our usual Sunday evening meeting on the couch. This couldn’t have been a better week for me with all the things I love!
The week was once again a blur. The biggest part of that was the fact that John was away for a few days in Toronto. So I tried to take full advantage of having little plans other than trips to the gym with Emelia to get some important tasks done around the house. One of the biggest dreads when you are self employed is the mountainous task of doing my business taxes. Although I have an accountant that takes care of the really important stuff to minimize my tax bill each year and to maximize John’s refund, I do have a lot of prep work to assure he has everything in a nice neat package. It was a pain but I am happy to say that other than about an hours worth of details that I will finish this week I have everything in order for my meeting in just over a week. And then the real stress begins, waiting for the annual tax damage.
Between balancing Emelia’s homework, the nightly activities and routines and keeping things up in the house before I knew it John was due back home and the week was nearly over. And it could not have come soon enough, with all the changes in the temperature the poor kids all have running noses and I was certainly more than ready for this weekend. It was a glorious weekend when we had not nearly as many plans and we had the weekend off together.
Friday night was a normal night, Emelia was tired and drifted off quickly. John came home after the close shift and we watched a bit of boob-tube before crashing ourselves. And then around 3 in the morning Emelia came in our room saying her stomach was upset. We tried the usual tricks but nothing was really working. She settled in bed with us and we tried to get some sleep. She was back and forth feeling really queasy. Finally around 4:30 or so in the morning we went back to bathroom and she said, if I could just throw up I would feel better. And then she did, a couple times in a row. And when she was done we cleaned up and back to bed we went. She tossed and turned for most of the night and I finally got back to sleep around 6:30. By 8 in the morning Emelia woke up and got me up. We tried food but she wasn’t interested. By this time she was asking about her appointment with the eye doctor we had booked that day. I had in the middle of the night called to cancel. I tried calling again in the morning and got the receptionist and they told me that they had not yet cancelled and the next double appointment (which is what we needed) would be about 6 weeks out. Emelia was devastated. The doctor’s office was OK with us bringing her in and we decided to take her in.
So the appointment was to test out how Emelia could do with contacts, were her eyes a candidate? Could she handle them being in? Basically was she willing to do the work to have day to day contacts over glasses. And she was a trooper, and with little problems she had her contacts in. She said they felt strange at first and kept blinking to adjust. But by the time we were scheduled to go back to the doctors to have them removed her energy was back, she felt 100% in spite of the night before and felt like she couldn’t tell she had them in. She said she is willing to do the work so she can avoid glasses more often and have contacts instead. The real test is just over a week away however, the 1 hour consult to learn how to put them in herself and to learn how to properly take care of them.
The rest of the day was just about getting some errands done and puttering around town. We started by going to get her ears checked to see how the piercings were healing and they are doing well but still need to wait a couple weeks until we can change the earnings. Next we popped into the new Farm Boy store that is near us. I was in healthy food heaven! The store is incredible and Emelia just loves going in and learning all about the food and helping me pick out the food for our next week’s meals. She was willing to try some new food including sushi which she actually liked so we are slowly expanding out of her comfort zone. Between our talks about the importance of the healing power of healthy food and her health lessons at school she is really taking an interest in proper nutrition and this could not make me happier!
After Farm Boy we went to drop off our latest spring cleaning purge donations to Talize and we popped in to snoop around. Well Emelia made out amazingly well. Her constant obsession these days, besides gymnastics, is her American Girls. She is obsessively stalking YouTube for videos for homemade set ups of doll houses and doll rooms. All she talks about is wanting an American girl doll sized house. She has mini-rooms all over her bedroom. So Emelia and I often have lists of ideas she learns from watching these videos to make her own doll rooms. Well, while we were walking around Talize we spotted a few accessories in the store and she scored a doll sized chair, and two old mini jewellery boxes she and I repainted to make on into a TV wall unit and the other as a table for her dolls living room. We were home for seconds and she wanted me to get out the craft paints so we could repaint the furniture together. She was so excited.
Today we took the morning at a much slower pace. Emelia came in this morning to get me for breakfast. I got her breakfast together, put on the cartoons and told her mommy and daddy needed more sleep. She sweetly and quietly watched her cartoons so John and I could catch up on our sleep. Once we were all up we got everything together for the day. Emelia had another birthday party today to hopefully finish off the birthday party extravaganza of the last two weeks. But before that we had to make a trip to Home Sense. When I was washing Emelia’s bedding on Saturday the quilt she had for the last few years did not survive the wash and we needed to have it replaced. So off we went to find a replacement quilt for her room and then off to gymnastics.
After gymnastics we brought Emelia to her friend Vittoria’s to celebrate her classmate’s 8th birthday. John and I then got to have 2.5 hours to ourselves, we did a bit of shopping and then before we knew it we were due to pick up Emelia. When we got home Emelia and I were doing some organizing in her room. The conversation quickly turned into how to make this room of hers work for her American Doll collection. See the disadvantage of the home daycare is the large toy room that we have cannot be used for any of Emelia’s toys so we are constantly playing battle with space and how to make her room work best for her. And with March break this coming week I knew she would be spending a lot of time in her room playing. So we went to rearranging her room. No small feat to say the least. She was incredible purging a ton of toys, donating a fair bit of toys to the daycare use and throwing away a ton of junk. She seemed to finally get it and I was so impressed how much she just easily passed along. So two large boxes and one large bag of garbage later we have a better set up. It took a few hours to pull it off but she loves her new room set up and so do I.
And that was the weekend that was. There was some sickness, some shopping, a bit of cleaning, a ton of purging and lots and lots of family time. A pretty full weekend!