Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Birthday Party

Yes, another year has come and gone, and it was time to party. We arrived at the kids' place late afternoon on party day, and I was given the royal treatment. 
Danica sat right by my side, and made sure I was comfy.  Mommy poured me a glass of wine, and we all settled in for the party.

Danica had to try on all my rings, and really liked this one. 
It was soon time for gifts, and this was a summer bag full of butterfly themed gifts. Pretty, pretty, pretty
Danica, of course, read the card to me.
Then she helped folding the tissue paper...
...and modeling the clothes.  From a sparkly scarf... a sparkly butterfly summer top.
MMMM, time for a birthday feast.  I usually choose Chinese take-out for my birthday, as it is something I would never make for myself, but do enjoy once a year.  Yes, once a year is enough for me.
Sweet and sour chicken balls are a favorite with the kids.  Might be a tad hard to eat though.
All set to dig in...yum!
Now comes the best part for the kids.  Singing, then blowing out the candles...then a finger full of icing.  

It was a fabulous and fun celebration.  I look forward to all the fabulous and fun times to come this year.  68...bring it on!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

An interesting phone call from a 6 year old

The phone rang the other day, and it was Danica calling to say hello, and to let me know all about Google+, and how to use it if I wanted to contact her.  I listened intently, as she gave me all the ins and outs of Google+.

The conversation soon moved on to other things though, and by the end of the phone call my head was spinning, I had a huge smile on my face, and I again wondered if I had really had this conversation with a 6 year old.

The conversation hopped around from topic to topic, and it went something like this:

Do you know who Martin Luther King was? she asked.

Yes, he was a civil rights leader in the United States.  I replied.  I don't know a lot about him, but you could probably research him on Wikipedia later.  I know you and mommy do a lot of that together.

Is he like Nelson Mandela from South Africa?  I was reading about him the other night, and his childrens' names are very different, and I can't remember any of them.  His grandfather's name had about 31 letters in it, and I can't remember it either because it was so long.  His wife's name was Winnie, and that is easy to remember.

We talked some more about Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, while I shook my head in amazement at the topic of this conversation.  We then moved on to what she had done last night.   Mommy had taken them out for dinner and a movie.  

Oh, I said.  I always liked Disney movies. 

Walt Disney?  She asked.  I was reading about him the other day, and his daughter, Diane, just died in November last year.  His other daughter, Abigail, is still alive, but I can't remember her age.

Well, I don't know anything about his family, but I always enjoyed his movies.  I replied

Do you mean Saving Mr Banks?  She asked
I don't know.  Is that one of his new movies? I asked incredulously.

It is a movie about Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews, with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in it. She chatted on. I read about it in the theater when we were there last night, and it is now playing at the Empire Theater. 

Oh.  I replied almost speechless.

We talked some more before she said good-bye to rush off to do other exciting things with her day.  I rushed for a pen and paper to jot down, as best I could, what she had said.   I knew I had to blog about this most amazing conversation.

She absolutely astonishes me.  She is so interested in people, and wants to know their names and birth-dates.  We watched a movie with the kids during March Break week, and at the end of the movie, she went to the computer to look up each actor, find their birth-dates so she could calculate their age now,  see the country where they were born, and what the national anthem of the country was.  We then had to look up who wrote the anthem, and what his birth-date was.  We listened to all the national anthems and chose which one we liked best.   Amazing, just amazing.  I must admit that I have never ended watching a video in this way.  We had to pause the screen when the credits started to roll, so she could find out the actual name of each character, then look them up on Wikipedea.

My head is still spinning, and I imagine it will do so for years to come at the actions of this most amazing child.  Hope I can keep up with her questioning mind.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Conversations with a 6 year old.

I have been pondering this blog for a few weeks now, and decided that this was the morning to try to put some thoughts down on "paper".

A few weeks ago, Danica had a dentist appointment, so she didn't come to our house to catch the bus that morning.  Daddy took her to the appt. and would drop her off at school after.  They had to stop by our house on the way to school though, to pick up her snow pants that she had left here the night before.  When they arrived, she looked really pale, and she told Daddy she didn't feel well..  He thought she was just looking for a way to get out of going to school and told her to get her pants and let's get going.

She went into the bathroom, and I told Daddy that I thought she genuinely needed a rest as she looked wiped out to me.  We assured him that we would give her lunch, allow her to rest for a while, then take her to school if she felt better in a little while.  He thought she was just pulling-our-leg a bit, but went on his way to work without her.  We made a bed for Dani on the couch, turned on one of her favorite TV programs, and she snuggled down under the blanket for about half an hour.

After lunch, we gave her the option of going to school, or settling down on Buppa's rocking chair for the rest of the afternoon.  She gave it some serious thought, and finally said, "I still have a lot to learn, so I think I'll go to school."  We were surprised that she chose school, but after some thought, weren't.  If that makes any sense at all. 

On the way to school, out of the blue,she asked what the population of our little town was.  I said there was a lot of building going on, and it was growing fast, so I didn't know what the exact number was these days, but she could probably email the Mayor and ask her.

Oh yes, she replied, I could ask Wendy LeBlanc.

My goodness, I said, I am impressed that you know the mayor's name.

Yes, she said, and Rob Ford is the mayor of Toronto.

That's right.  I said with more than a tad of amazement in my voice. Trying to carry on the conversation, I asked,   Do you know who the premier of Ontario is?

Yes, it is Kathleen Wynne.

I was flabbergasted at this point.  Do you know who the prime minster of Canada is?

Stephen Harper, came the quick reply.

How can this 6 year old know this?  I then  asked her if she knew who the president of the US was.
She was silent for a few seconds as she gave it some serious thought.  She then said  It is a different sounding name.  I gave her a hint and told her it started with a B, and she soon had it  Barack Obama.

By this time we were at the school, so the conversation ended there.  We signed her in at the front desk, and continued on our way for the afternoon. We were both shaking our heads in wonder at the conversation that had just transpired with a 6 year old.

It doesn't stop there though, I have an amazing phone conversation to share with you too, but I'll save that for the next blog post.  Stay tuned......

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 17th at our house

This is what went on at our house before school on the 17th. 
Shamrocks firmly in place, and hair clips added to the do.
Is that Amma peeking at me in the mirror?
We even had time for some St Patty's Day crafts before the bus arrived.
We pack a lot of fun into those 20 minutes before the bus arrives in the mornings.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Monday morning of Winter Break week

When the kids are on holiday, and we are schedule for a full day of childcare, it is easier for us to go to their house for the day. So Monday morning of March Break, we arrived bright and early to find the kids relaxing on the couch.
Dani is munching a piece of toast while she watches JJ do tricks on his Tablet.
Later that day, Dani got busy with her knitting.
Then we played a game in which we alphabetized all JJ's Skylander figures. 

After lunch, it was quiet rest time, and we said both kids could rest on JJ's new bed in the clouds as long as they were quiet.
Cute huh?  We could hear them laughing and giggle over a game they were playing, but there were fairly quiet, and Buppa and I rested, so all was good.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

JJ's new bed

Somebody is as pleased as punch with his new bed.
Sure looks pleased doesn't he?
He can go up and down the  ladder like a pro.
JJ has a very small room, so there is no bottom bunk, just a a top one.  The space under the bed can be used for storage bins, and an open play area.   JJ thinks it is neat that he can play under the bed, or touch the ceiling when he plays on top of the bed.  Doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dragon walk

We actually had sunshine and milder temps one day last week when JJ was here for a sleepover, so we went out for a Puddle/Shadow walk.  Well, we thought it would be a Puddle/Shadow walk, but it turned into a Dragon Walk.
Buppa walked on the dry pavement, but JJ wanted nothing but puddles or snow.
We came across this fence with a very interesting hole in it, and decided that it was a special doorway for dragons.  JJ picked up a stone, but it was really a dragon's egg.  He carried it with him for the rest of the walk.  I think it was planted in our front garden when we finally got home. 
Special signs were left in the snow all along the walk.
Artist at work
What's this?  A dragon's den?  A wolf's den?  I had better check it out.
Oh Amma, I see dragons in there.
Oh joy...puddles galore.
Jumping for joy!
I kept trying to get the splash landing, but missed it every time.  At least I got this one with his feet in mid air.  I must get myself a faster camera!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Last but not least.

Danica had a Spark's sleepover on the weekend before March Break, so JJ came here for a sleepover on that night.  Sleepovers are fun, but one-child-at-a-time works best, and it is easier when the other child has something else to keep them busy so they don't feel left out.

As our children grew out of toys and games, I gave most of them away, but I kept a few favorite ones - namely -  the Fischer-Price Castle, School House and Sesame Street; the tub of  Lego; the bag of Constructs; and Ally's Transformers and Power Rangers. 

During this past sleep-over the last toy, the tub of Lego, came out of storage, and JJ was thrilled. 
This tub of Lego was purchased for Auntie Ally over 30 years ago,  and it still looks good as new. 
What a treasure.
All the Lego men had to join us at the dinner table that night. 
So, that's it.  No more toys in storage.  Glad I kept what I did, and the kids have both had hours of fun playing with all of them.  I wonder if they will still be around for their kids?  I'll keep them safe just in case.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Great-Grandma Pearl's Treasures

We managed to finish our week, of March Break childcare, in one piece, and sort of standing.  I was pretty knackered at the end of the week, but it was fun, and lots of happy memories were made, so worth every tired minute.

It is now time to catch up on some blogs, and post some long overdue pictures.  

AC posted a blog about JJ and Buppa's briefcase here.  This is the other half of the story.

After my mom died, my sister sent me mom's jewel case.  It was full of all her "treasures"...all costume jewellery and bits and bobs  of this and that. A wedding favor from one niece's wedding, a matchbook from another was tucked inside the box with all her jewels.  Memories swirled in the air each time I opened the box and pictured mom wearing different pins and earrings.  I wasn't sure what to do with  the box or contents,  so I tucked the case away on a shelf, and it collected dust there for the past 12 years, 

Danica spends lots of time looking at Great-Grandma Mary's silverware chest, and asks lots of questions about each butter knife,  pickle fork, salt spoon and other interesting pieces.  This year I decided to give mom's jewel box and contents to Danica.  I dusted it off, and presented it to her on the same morning that AC gave JJ his briefcase. 
Can you tell, Danica was more than pleased with this gift?
Here she is holding up a pair of clip-on earrings.
Oh my, what treasures!
She was enthralled with the contents, and the way the  bottom drawer opened when you opened the lid was amazing.
She carefully studied each piece of jewellery, and made sure to put it back in the same compartment in the box.

I am sure mom would be pleased that her great-grand-daughter has her treasures, and cherishes each one. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sleepover fun

 As I said in the last blog, JJ came for a sleepover before March Break, and we all had fun.  Sleepovers always include a trip to the $$ Store to get a sleepover treat.  I try to point the kids towards a craft item, but in the end the decision is theirs, and JJ more often than not chooses some sort of action set.  We have archery sets, swords and lasers to help him fight the bad guys.  This past sleepover he choose a police set.  It had a badge, ID card, baton, handcuffs with keys, and a gun.    The handcuffs were the biggest hit.
Here he is watching the video he brought over to share with us.

Video is done, and he is on his way up to bed.

Time for a good-night kiss.  You can't see them clearly in this picture, but the handcuffs are around his stuffies.

You can sort of see the handcuffs around this stuffy.  He had two stuffies, and he used the handcuffs like collars to join them together.  JJ goes to sleep listening to music on his iPod, so his ear-phone are in place and he is ready for lights out.  He was sleeping within 15 minutes, and I came in and took the ear phones out and shut off the music. 

Next morning, he was snuggled down in the pillows and played on his Tablet while AC and I enjoyed our wake-up cup of coffee. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Dance, dance, dance

Danica had her Ballet and Highland Dance exams this week. and they were both scheduled for times when Mommy was at work, so Amma fixed her hair, arranged her clothes, and Buppa got us to the dance studio on time.   
Little girls come in all shapes and sizes, and each one is absolutely beautiful.
All set, and awaiting admittance into the ballet exam room.
Next came Highland Dance.  Highland shoes are rather difficult to lace up properly, so one of the other mothers helped me with that task.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
All kilted up and ready to go.
Smiles ready, fingers perfect, and feet ready to dance
What a cute little Highland princess.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Regenia's side of the table at the party.

I just got this in the"mail" the other day, and AC helped me get the formatting just right so I could post it here on my blog for friends who wanted to meet Regenia too.  Enjoy...

Tea at Two

I believe it was 2010 when I began blogging.  At the time my brother, who was a long-time blogger, told me I would make online friends.  I didn’t get that so I gave it no thought.  I was going to blog to sort out thoughts, reflect on life issues that I do not understand.  That has been so good for me.  But the added bonus was just how right my brother was.  I have made online friends and totally enjoy having met them and keeping up with what they share about their lives via their blog posts. 

One friend from Canada suggested we “meet” for tea.  And we did just that.  Sue is in Canada (Ottawa, I believe) and I am just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina.   The many miles separating us made no difference.  We had only to confirm that we were in the same time zone and schedule our calendars.  So, this past Saturday, March 1st we shared tea at 2:00.  I loved the idea.  So, of course, I really looked forward to it.  A fun aspect to our meeting for tea was that we were both using our mothers’ tea cups.  That made it not only fun, but, from my perspective, also touching.  Our mothers could never have imagined their tea cups being used for such a tea between friends.  But I think they would like the idea that their tea cups are still bringing people together.  

Sue has posted wonderful pictures on her blog.  And she did it so promptly!  I am here, several days later and I am finally getting the opportunity to share my part of the tea for two with her.  I had made blueberry scones for book group last week, with the intention of also having a scone with my tea.  

My friend Naazneen shared crumpets from Trader Joe's with me.
I used two tea cups with my pictures as you can see.  Both can be seen in the picture below.  I keep this tray of my mother’s tea cups on my dinning room table.  These are only a few of her collection.  When she had to leave her home my sister and I chose some for ourselves but also set aside the remaining so my mother’s three granddaughters could have some of her cups.  

The fact that my mother’s tea cups are near her picture on the china cabinet gives me pleasure.  Next to her picture are two small angels she gave me early in my married life, maybe even in the first year. 

Sue shared that she read poetry while enjoying her tea.  So let me share what I did.  I was able to think over my morning.  Every Saturday morning I volunteer at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the regional hospital.  I usually help out between 8 AM and Noon.  This past Saturday I was there until 1:20 and just arrived home in time for our 2:00 tea.  (I actually had to tell the handsome little guy I was holding that I had to go for tea with a new friend!)  Anyway, I made notes for myself regarding “my” babies.    

That morning I had the thrill of holding a baby weighing 2 lbs. 13 ounces.  That was the smallest I have ever handled.  Usually the ones that small are in incubators and only the nurses touch them.  But this sweet baby girl no longer had respiratory issues. They were having difficulty, however, regulating her temperature.  So for several hours she and I snuggled, with extra blankets over her.  And guess what?  After our cuddling her temperature was normal. 

I also thought of “my” sweet baby girl, born at 24 weeks, weighing less than two lbs. and originally not expected to live. I love her desperately.  I had the fun of getting to help her coo for the first time and to smile, and to control my fingers so as to be able to control her “paci”!  That was SO much fun to watch.  Here is a picture her mother took for me the day that little sweetheart went home.  I have permission to share her picture with friends.  But because this is the internet I will block out her beautiful little face.   I hate to do that but it seems appropriate. 

Sue, we will have to do this again!!  Thank you for the idea!

You are most welcome for the idea Regenia.  It was fun indeed, and we will have to do it again.  It is so nice to put a face to the name now, and know a bit more about you and your family.  

Have a sunshine filled day, and give those babies a hug from me too.