I had a play date with my friend Hannah today. This week we went skating at school. And next week is March Break!
This week was a bit of an interesting one in the world of Emelia. There is no doubt with her height and three hot minutes before she no longer fits into most clothes, that she is growing like a weed. But, this week it also became glaringly evident that she is also developing in other ways… There are moods, new emotions and a pendulum swing thrill ride that appears to be the early onset of puberty. Being that she’s nine, it is to be expected in the next couple of years, but Danielle and I aren’t one-hundred percent certain we’re ready for this!
Danielle – and I – for some part have had a lot of conversations this week as we try to help her sift through the new feelings that she has been encountering. The most gut-wrenching of them all is when she tells us she is, “sad and not sure why” but the flip side of that is some very intensely cuddly moments where she needs snuggles and just wants to be as close as she can get to one of us. Danielle discovered a wonderful book in the American Girl series called “The Care & Keeping of You” that talks all about the sort of changes that she is experiencing or will be soon and it had been an absolute godsend at bed time to help her understand the changes.
The only downside to this book was at the mere mention of developing breasts and talking about bras, as well as having a bestie in her gymnastics a year older than her in development, Emelia became hyper aware of the notion that she needed a training bra! Now, let’s be absolutely clear on this, she in no way does. But, we also recognized that any form of arguing or trying to dismantle this notion for her would only serve to incite Emelia into a more rigid and stubborn stance on the matter. So, we decided rather than argue with her, we’d allow her to explore this grown up thing she felt she had to do. Of course we did make sure make it abundantly clear as well that with grown up things comes grown up responsibilities… like not sleeping with a night light for example.
A change in schedule this week afforded me another Saturday off with my girls. Originally I was supposed to be in all weekend long, but with needs of me being in Thursday this week, that translated to me being off on a Saturday to spend it with Danielle and Emelia. And it couldn’t have been a better day! By noon the temps were in the high teens and we were off to the grocery store to get the fixings for the first real barbecue of the season. We had windows open in the house and I had myself a beer or two while I cooked steaks on our barbecue. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Today was back at work for me while the girls got out about town to spend it with some friends. The kicker for me was that the clocks spring ahead and that hour I needed to get up to get ready for work came sooner than I would have liked and with a lot less sunlight than I would have liked. But the day ended wonderfully with making a beeline from work to meet up with the rest of my family (less Greg & Testza) including the Welland Teeters (less Linda) at East Side Mario’s for dinner. David and his kids were in town to kick off their March Break and it was the perfect opportunity to get together. And the perfect way to end a pretty great week.
This week was a flip flop of emotions as John has already mentioned. While I don’t think we are fully in puberty with Emelia we are certainly dealing with some heightened emotions and confusion for her. We are doing our absolute best to give her the means to understand, communicate and absorb these intense emotions, but it is not easy but we are trying our best to be there for her in these confusing times.
Over the last few years Emelia has been American Girl obsessed and yes the company is known mainly for their dolls they are also great about giving girls a real sense of self and self-esteem. It has been over the years I had noticed that they had wonderful books about young girls development, not only physically but emotionally and socially. I had kept them in the back of my mind for Emelia for the right time. Well we are in that delicate right time. We are talking at length with her about the changes in her body and really trying to assure she has a strong sense of what is important and how to emotionally manage the hard world of tween and teen girls.
The books have really been great for her, she is learning more and more about her body and she is feeling with the words the books are giving her she can talk to us about what is confusing her. But it did come with a hang-up, Emelia is in a strange age where she wants to still be a little girl but is not understanding her body’s need to grow up. In one chapter there was a discussion about breast development and the author had said that some girls get what I guess you would call as a pre-training bra, essentially a camisole without the fabric going to down to her waist. But since we saw these pre-training bras as Old Navy along with this book she was sure she needed one. She is no where near developing and as many times as I told her she will have to wear a bra as soon as she develops and for the rest of her life and that she shouldn’t rush it she was sure she needed it. I am not one for letting her do things before her time but this process seemed to give her some sort of stability in her mind in a very confusing time. So we got her the pre-traing bra. Not sure how long the interest in wearing one is going to last but she has one none the less.
Emelia’s rollercoaster emotions were not the only thing going on this week, the big deal this week was finalizing most of the details for the cruise in May. I had been looking at options for our travel to and from the hotel and then to the ship the next day as well as getting back to the airport at the end of our trip. Because we were dealing with multiple locations the costs were going up and up. So I started looking at alternatives, in the end I peeked over at our Air Miles account and found out that we had more than enough to book two one way bookings for the car on the day we arrive and for the day we leave. This is giving us so much more freedom and at a fraction of the cost of the shuttles. That was the first hurdle, then the next step, the night/early morning arrival of our flight going to Florida.
We have a flight that leaves Toronto at 8:45am, so what that means is that we need to be at the airport 2 hours before, and we live 2 hours from the airport. John and I were talking about what time we would have to get up the night before and it wasn’t looking good. In my search for the car rentals I decided to look at hotel options for the night before. Well I found a sale on one airport hotel and it was within the remaining air miles we had left. I messaged John asking what he thought about staying in Toronto the night before and he was sold. So off I went and booked everything, the hotel in Toronto at the airport, the car rental for the day and night we arrive in Florida that we drop off the next day before boarding the ship, and the car rental the morning we get off the ship we can return at the airport for our evening flight back. All on Air Miles, all three with car insurance was under $50!!!! And with that, and finalizing our reservation details with the cruise company we are in amazing shape.
This along with both of us working made for a busy week and before we knew it the weekend was here. Friday night Emelia had big plans, earlier in the week one of my amazing daycare families offered to take Emelia with them and their children to see Disney on Ice. I had thought Emelia would not be interested so we hadn’t bought tickets but apparently she was – and she had an incredible time!
Finally we get to Saturday and the weekend could officially start and we had all of Saturday together as a family. Emelia had her normal gymnastics and John and I got our weekly errands done but when we picked her up from gymnastics we could spend the rest of the day together. We did a bit of spring/summer clothing shopping for Emelia and then came home to our first spring bbq of the season!
Today John had to go back to work and Emelia and I had pretty fun plans. I had started messaging my friend Leanne to see if she and her daughter had plans for Sunday – they were free and the girls both have a obsessive love of American Girl. Well the Canadian version of the company called Maplelea was having a special event at the downtown market all weekend and the girls were excited to go. They had a little shop set up there and Emelia with saved allowance in hand planned carefully and maximized what she could buy with her money. She and Hannah were thick as thieves and were so happy to spend the afternoon together. Our lives are so busy so the girls do not see each other nearly as much as we would like but you would never know when they get together that there has been any time passed, they instantly fall into this comfortable pattern together. They really do adore each other!
Once we said our good-byes Emelia and I came home and had a late lunch and then were off again, Emelia has outgrown everything so we are slowly trying to get her spring/summer clothes in order in budget. I was able to get a few more shirts to put her now in great shape for the rest of the spring leading into summer. But the one thing she does need is shoes, and she is painfully picky and has a hard foot to fit so shopping is always hard. We didn’t have much luck today so we will try again next weekend.
We were running out of time so we had to quickly get things in order so we could get across town for a family dinner with John’s family. Andrew and Amy are in town for a couple days on their March break so they can both tour and learn about what the college and university in town offer. It gave us a chance to visit with everyone and of course before we left Emelia wanted to stay. With nothing packed other than thankfully the new shirts I bought her today she is staying over and getting lots of time with her cousins. Not sure how much sleep will happen tonight but we will certainly have a happy girl when we pick her up.
That was the crazy week that was!