Thursday, November 29, 2018

The winter months are here, but there is a still a little produce to be had.  The single artichoke I harvested from the 2 plants I stuck in the ground last summer.  A handful of late figs from a tree down the road - the owner let me break off a branch to plant in the ground and see if it grows next year.  I roasted them with some honey and a squeeze of lemon I plucked from the lemon tree (shrub really) in my garden.  There are some piddly little brussel sprouts and a few carrots still out there that I might save for Christmas dinner, just because it's kind of fun to forage in the garden for a holiday meal. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

It was a Pro-D day for both of the kids today, so they had the day off from school. Logan hung out with Nathan, and they managed to convince Nathan's dad to brave the crowds and drive them to BestBuy, where they checked out computer stuff and Logan came home with a computer mouse that sounds like it might almost be able to drive our car. Danika had a friend spend the day - it's the Doncaster school craft fair tomorrow, which is a big fundraiser for the parent advisory committee.  The girls baked cookies to donate to the bake sale table, and are going to sell kids craft kits that they are assembling and packaging.  Surely there must be other kids who, like Danika, think a craft sale should be about buying crafts to do at home, not something someone else has already made. They squeezed in a viola/cello performance in Danika's bedroom, as well a swim at Crystal pool before bed, so they should sleep soundly.
Post craft fair - The girls sold kits to decorate picture frames and blue glass bottles (think tea light holder, candy jar) as well as chalkboard painted pots with seeds/soil.  The frames and pots sold out, but the bottles were less of a hit.  Still, they made enough to purchase someone's handknitted snowman stuffies and have $5 in profits left in each of their pockets.

Friday, November 02, 2018

A fuzzy blue bunny and a sloth (lying slothlike) - two plush onesie costumes were required because Amazon failed to meet its guaranteed delivery date for the sloth.  When it still wasn't here the night before Halloween, Danika asked what our Plan B was.  Thankfully the lovely pizza guy's wife who is selling some leftover stock from their former onesie shop out of her basement was kind enough to deliver the somewhat oversize blue bunny to us right before it was time to head out the door to meet up with Danika's friends. A few safety pins and she was good to go.  She was the mascot to their cheerleading duo.  Logan donned a Trump mask and joined a group of his friends as they  raced around the neighbourhood, covering as many houses as they could before 8:30. We weighed his candy bag afterwards - almost 7 pounds of trick or treat goodness.  Having gorged on it for 2 days, he agreed it could be hidden away for awhile now.

We've been home for over a week now and are back into fall routines.  Parent-teacher interviews were this week.  Both kids seem to be off to a good year.   Danika's teachers are very structured, which suits her well and she's been enjoying helping out in the classroom after school with a few of her friends who also go to after school care.  Apparently they even get to use the janitor's super big dustmop sometimes. Although Logan's teacher stressed the importance of using French as much as possible in the classroom and at home and dealing with distraction, he is working hard and is a pleasant and positive member of the class (a 7/8 split that has only 19 students - a small class for middle school). It's indoor flying season, so he and Everest are working with Stewart to build lightweight foam planes to fly in the gym on Sunday afternoons.  While he was flying this weekend, Danika was at the trampoline gym with a friend, whose mom kindly sent photos.  She scored a new pair of socks, since one of her Skyzone socks didn't make it out of the foam pit... I wonder how many lost socks are living in that foam??

Sunday, October 28, 2018

October adventure - installment 1
We are on our way! Travelling in our usual style of late, we began the adventure with a red eye flight from Victoria to Toronto, departing at midnight and landing at what was 4:30 am to us.  With 9 hours to spend in the airport, we tried to use the Air Canada lounge.  We had 3 guest passes, but were unable to purchase a 4th and the reception staff showed no Canadian generosity.  Logan was very keen to see the inside of the lounge, so Daniel graciously volunteered to spend his day outside and the kids and I sprawled in comfy chairs, sampling the buffet.  Danika and I got a bit of a nap and Logan played video games.  Eventually, we landed in Tampa, picked up our rental Dodge Journey, typed the address into Coco and made our way to Siesta Key where the kids had a late night hot tub and the adults found a glass of wine before collapsing into bed to rest up after what ended up being a 20 hour journey.

Installment 2 - the rest of the trip

to come.....

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Danika turned 10 two weeks ago.  Double digits.  Last year of elementary school. Midway through the tween years, that transition from young child to teen. I'm liking 10.  I didn't find 8 so easy.  Nine was getting better and 10 is looking good so far. Not that there isn't still drama from time to time, it's just tempered a bit. Reasoning skills and emotional IQ mature right along with shoe size. It may just be the calm before the storm of 13, but I will enjoy it while it lasts!  Grade 5 is off to a great start - Danika is enjoying her teachers, and helps out after school sometimes in her classroom as well as with her former grade 3 teacher. Madame Malo runs a very structured home reading program, and Danika is diligent about completing her homework.  She chose to play the viola in the Grade 5 strings program, which is lucky to have Mrs. Rebstock teaching again this year. She thought it would be easier to carry around than a cello and less screechy than a violin.
We had a family fondue for her actual birthday, and she created unicorn cupcakes (I love the fact she makes her own birthday cake!). She had a birthday party downtown last weekend, inviting 6 girls from her class to a 3-D film about ocean creatures at the IMAX, and then heading over to the board game cafe for a couple of hours of milkshakes and games.  It was a fun afternoon, and the indoor activities were a good match for the rainy day.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Summer ended with our annual trek back to Manitoba.  We were flying on points and I'd booked late so we ended up on an overnight flight, which had no redeeming qualities other than we got to see a tornado shelter at 4 am in the Saskatoon airport (I've never seen one of those in an airport before - it was just an enclosed area next to the bathrooms).  As usual, we had a great visit with everyone.  Grace and Christopher came out to Grandma and Grandpa's with us, and the boys went fishing (they had an introductory lesson in how to clean the day's catch).  Grandpa took them out driving the quad on the back roads near his old farm, exploring abandoned homesteads. The girls hung out in their bedroom giggling much of the time, emerging to do chores for cash to pay for Animal Jam video game dollars. We visited with Grandma Alice, and Uncle Lee came for a few days from Denver.  We drove up to Blue Lake one day and even though the temperatures were only about 14 degrees, the kids still spent 2 hours tubing behind the boat.  Eventually we made our way back into Winnipeg.  Sadly (not!), the outdoor ropes course that terrified me last year has closed down, so the kids took in the Winnipeg waterslides instead. There was also a trip to a laser tag and arcade palace, which makes the one in Victoria look tiny.  We made it home in time to hang out with Daniel for the long weekend before summer officially came to an end and school started up again. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

I took Danika for her annual check up to the allergist.  Her issues with dairy are under control, as long as she stays away from all milk products.  And we are going to reduce the dose in her asthma inhaler by half, which is great - perhaps that's something she eventually won't need.  It wasn't all good news though - a scratch test revealed she's allergic to cashew and pistachio nuts, which are related.  We weren't shocked by this, since she developed a hive on her lip after licking a cashew ice cream bar earlier this summer.  Cashew milk is gaining popularity amongst the dairy alternatives at the grocery store, but it's not an alternative for Danika.  We were caught off guard by the prescription for the epi-pen and the lesson in how to use it ("blue to the sky, orange to the thigh, count to 5 to stay alive").  That was a little overwhelming and although the doctor and the nurse were really good, Danika doesn't like the idea of having a "serious allergy" - when we talked about her dairy allergy, we were always able to say that having milk products would give her a tummy ache and there may be long term cumulative effects, but she wouldn't have a dangerous immediate reaction.  Now she feels she has to be "really careful" about what she eats.  She's already very good about reading labels - it's just too bad the list of things she's watching for has grown.