Birthdays and Back to School!

IMG_0002I go back to school tomorrow! I am very excited about this as I miss my friends! And Happy Birthday to my Daddy today.

2D497D23-69A8-45A0-8D2D-6BCF1780EE4DHe said

The day most parents have been counting down to for a solid four or more weeks has finally arrived. Tomorrow morning the kids return back to school. For Emelia this year more than any other, this couldn’t have come soon enough. For the last month it has been painfully obvious that Emelia needs the structure and challenge of school. And that as much as she needs the time with Danielle intensely, she is not able to process that Danielle is doing a job and not just there for every token whim of Emelia’s. And Emelia at eight-going-on-eighteen when it comes to attitude is quick to point out that she doesn’t want to share Mummy, the house or an agenda that isn’t her own. Thankfully that ongoing struggle should be greatly minimized by tomorrow morning at nine in the morning when the bell rings.

8D8B33FC-4AD4-45BA-8AC8-BAB7752CEC41And yes, today also happens to be my birthday. Incidentally the day every year I also owe my oldest brother David an apology for wrecking his first day of school. While I was due around this time, the hope was that I would hold off until after Mom had the chance to take David to his first day of school. Anyone who knows my level of patience at times is not surprised that I didn’t wait long enough for Mom & David to have that trip, as I forced her off to the hospital to deliver me. And to add insult to injury not only did David miss out on Mom taking him to school, I also ended up coming out a boy despite David clearly wanting a sister since he already had another brother in Greg!

IMG_0003Turning forty-four really doesn’t bother me, mostly because I don’t feel that age. Sure, I came into needing reading glasses finally this year, and I am much slower recovering from things I din’t bat a lash at in my twenties and thirties, but at the end of the day the forties have given me some of the finest moments in my life so far. Especially when you think about how I rung in my fortieth year by making a massive leap of faith career jump to join Apple and work in the dream of dream jobs and an environment I truly cherish being part of every single day. Forty also feels like a real sweet spot where I don’t sweat the things I might have before, and I enjoy things for what they are a whole lot more. So I approached and have gone through this birthday much like the last quite-a-few before: Not wanting much of a hullabaloo made and just spending as much time with my family as a I could. And that we did!

IMG_0007I woke up this morning after Danielle and Emelia let me sleep in till well after nine in the morning, to a wonderful egg and bacon breakfast. And no sooner had I sat on the couch downstairs, before there was a coffee in one hand and a new record (which needed unwrapping) in the other. We hung around the house, listening to the new (to the collection) Wilco record and then eventually made our way over to Mom & Dad’s so I could work on the wood cabinet I am making for the Marantz stereo amp for the record player in the front room. I had fresh sheet of walnut veneer plywood and Danielle & Emelia visited with Mom so I could work away on the table saw that I have stored over there. Woodworking is very cathartic and methodical: a lot of measuring and double-checking. It is very much like graphic design in that respect. And it’s something I have really come to love doing—especially when the project you’re working on turns out.

IMG_2412After getting the cuts I needed done and the case glued & clamped together, and visiting with Mom & Dad for a bit, we headed back to the house for a steak dinner Emelia & Danielle had planned for me. (Talk about spoiled!) After the fabulous dinner, I tested the wood case with the Marantz amp and was delighted to find out that it fit perfectly! There is a lot more to still do to it yet (installing the walnut facetrim, routering the facetrim, finding a metal ventilation screen and cutting it in, staining and/or varnishing it). But, I am completely delighted with where I am at now.

IMG_2413With Emelia off to bed, and me content with a perfect birthday, it’s time to turn the keyboard over to Danielle so, she can share her week and then we can convene on the couch for the Wes Anderson movie of my choosing… Thinking The Darjeeling Limited.

Thus concludes a fabulous birthday!


IMG_2417She said

Today ends a great weekend of hot and steamy weather and a week that has as many ups as it had downs. This week I was determined to enjoy and cherish my last week home with Emelia before she had to return to the routine of school. Her over the top behaviour the week before had improved some and she was a much better help with the children although she still had to throw in a dash of sass to make sure I was really looking forward to school returning.

IMG_2421A week ago the weather had dipped down to cooler temps and it felt like fall more than summer, well this past week it flipped and we had really hot and very muggy days. The days were planned around finding a shady and breezy place to play for the mornings and having the kids play out in the water for the afternoons. It truly was the perfect way to end the dog days of summer. The kids loved the fresh air and games and we really had a great start of the week. By Thursday however things had started to shift a bit, all the daycare kids were really fussy, clingy and at times down right miserable. It was not at all like them, there were tears and arguments that I don’t see with this group. We came home early from park, settled in for an earlier movie so I could get lunch made and get the kids to bed. They all slept and slept. They all woke it seamed in much better moods and the rest of the day was a fun filled time.

IMG_2422And then the texts started coming…

My first text came while I was visiting my cousin Carolyn and Ron who were hosting my Aunt Carolyn visiting from BC. We were in the middle of a great visit with I got a text from one the moms asking if her daughter seemed off during the day because she was vomiting. After testing back and forth John, Emelia and I finished our visit and then came home. After getting Emelia to bed I went into disinfecting mode, everything was cleaned top to bottom. I finally crashed for the night. The next day I found out that two more of the kids had been throwing up through the night, after texting my two other moms about the situation one opted to keep her daughter home and the other sent her son but only for a couple hours. In the midst of this John’s stomach was unsettled and Emelia wasn’t 100%. Nothing really developed thankfully for either John or Emelia, but the virus had taken hold of my 4th daycare child and took out at least two of my daycare families.

IMG_2424By noon my weekend had started and I continued to update the parents as updates on the children came around. Saturday morning we woke all feeling better and took the morning at a lazier pace. Once we were all going I prepared for Emelia’s and my day and John got ready for work. I had a beach day planned with one of my daycare families who I have become close friends with. Norma, Tom, Reece and Presley all met us at Grand Bend and we spent the next 4 hours playing in the sun, water and sand. The kids had an amazing time. By 4:30 we were ready to have a break from the heat and head back to London to meet John for supper. After dinner John brought Emelia and I home and she and I settled in for a quiet movie night just her and I.

IMG_2428Sunday was a really crazy busy day. We got John to work and then went on the mad rush from store to store not only getting groceries, last minute supplies for school we also had what seemed like an easy task that ended up leading us on a wild goose chase. See Friday Emelia decided that she wanted a very specific look for her first day of school outfit. We are in the middle of a brutal heatwave right now so we are trying to assure we had something that was suitable for the weather and her non-air conditioned school. Well, she decided after seeing a few characters in movies she loves that she needed (I mean NEEDED) to wear a white collared shirt, black plain skirt and a men’s style tie. We owned a skirt, we found thankfully a short sleeve collared shirt, the tie however turned out to be the impossible missing link. We were at without exaggeration 10 stores trying to find this allusive tie. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Thankfully some friends came through and she has this beloved tie and is happy as a clam but seriously…

IMG_2433In the midst of the caper of the missing tie we also had to get a few things done for John’s birthday today. She and I found the perfect record to add to his collection, an older issue Wilco record that he didn’t have. Emelia wasn’t too sure that getting another record was a great idea but John loves it and she’s happy he loves what she got him. After a long and exhaustive Sunday we picked up John and came home for a quiet end of the day and a family movie night, a horrible pre-tween movie but a happy girl who was so happy to spend a night with mommy and daddy so it was all worth the brutal dialogue.

IMG_2434And now today, John’s birthday!!!! Emelia and I had planned out all the details yesterday. We had breakfast all planned out, the perfect present, a card she hand picked (a birthday card for kids but she told me it was perfect for daddy because he is just a big kid – very true), we had the perfect dinner planned and even went to the bakery to get mini cakes for each of us that matched our favourite deserts, cheese cake for John, gluten free chocolate cake for me and a roasted marshmallow tart for Emelia. It was great end of a sun filled weekend.

IMG_2418Tomorrow morning our baby girl starts grade three. I cannot believe she is already in grade three! She is nervous because this is the first year I have not been able to find out for her who her teacher and classmates are but she is super excited about getting back to school and seeing her friends. And I would be lying if I am not looking forward to having her back in routine and the structure of school. That is it for me this week, I am going pass the computer back to John for some last minute additions and go watch a movie and soak in this last day of the summer vacation.

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