2014 Photos In Review, Part 1

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Izzy, crazy as always.

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Seasons Passes to Wonderland!

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Taking in the Symphony- Tchaikovsky visits America.

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Lots and lots of trips to Wonderland.  We brought many friends on cheap days.  Alex rode every single ride in the park, multiple times over.  His bravery knew no bounds!

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A Katy Perry concert with Kelly!  Alex, Rob & Albert saw Spamalot that night instead.

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Rob and I took in a Metal Music Festival.  It was loud.  He loved it!

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Wonderland, again.

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Major girl drama with dentists but we found one she didn’t try to bite.  Truth be told, for nearly a year and a half we could not get her to cooperate with dentists or hygienists.  It was exceptionally frustrating.  Her anxiety was overwhelming but we found a kind and compassionate pediatric dentist in Ajax whom we both now adore.

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Camping at Darlington with friends.  Short but sweet.  Time is hard to come by for all of us now so a few days at a nearby campground was great fun.

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Izzy’s favourite activity is clothes shopping.

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Alex went go karting, and nearly took out a few employees along the way.  This was a free fun day at Neb’s Funworld for all kids that joined up for their bowling league.  Much to my surprise, the boy was a demon on the track.  He started at the end and drove at full speed with a devil may care attitude.  I actually closed my eyes a few times.  I

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He has also Magic-ed a lot this year.  Thursday night is Youth night and Alex is one of their regulars.

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He’s getting older.  So is his sense of humour.  Its getting harder to tell them apart.  Here Rob is showing him horrific music videos from the olden days.

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Worst nightmare come true.  Dental phobic Iz needed dental surgery.  It was an ordeal alright.  We were happy to have gotten her to the dental surgeons office with little fuss but come mask time, it took all of us holding her down when they put her out.  She had a tooth that needed to come and, because she refused to let anyone near her mouth, she also needed a cleaning and check up.  We were terrified that things would be bad but the little bugger had no cavities at all.  Its not the best feeling seeing your kid put under.  Fingers crossed that was a one and only experience for us all.

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15 years of wedded bliss, accomplished!  Ok, not all the days of those years were entirely blissful but the stats work in our favour.  Love this man, my best friend in the world.  Many more years ahead, hopefully :)

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Alex had a very growth spurty year.  He’s within inches of taking his dad and uncles.

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Yep, Wonderland!  All the way into Fall.

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Rob moved office buildings.

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The kids learned to appreciate each other more.  Ha ha.

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A track & field meet.  One of many school activities the girl joined.

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Alex,, now joining me on grown up nights out, like Nuit Blanche.

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My fellas, two peas in pod.

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Rick Mercer taping with the boy!

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My special treat for Izzy’s class.  A litter cake for Halloween.  It was positively disgusting and the kids loved it!  They even fought over the tootsie roll poops.

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Izzy was an Egyptian Princess and Alex was the Monopoly Man.  It was a miserable night though (pouring rain) so their coats covered most of their costumes.  The highlight was one family down the street with a cotton candy maker in their garage.  They were the most popular house that night.

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Reading a poem for the Remembrance Day Ceremony.  This is a big deal for the girl who can be very shy speaking in public.  She volunteered to be one of the readers!

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Alex playing poker with the big boys at a family Christmas function.  Moments like this really point out the passage of time.  Out of frame are a bunch of little boys running around with mini hockey sticks.  Alex found them loud and hyper.  Alex.  Alex found them spazzy.  Oh, puberty, thou art a funny thing!

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Izzy trying out 3/4 acoustic guitars at Long & McQuade.  The one she’s holding was one of her Christmas presents.

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An igloo cake for Izzy’s classroom holiday party.  I rock.  I know.

Another Summer Over

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Izzy had a rough night with some nerves about school. She was looking forward to it, generally speaking, but fourth grade brings a new (to the school) teacher. She woke up with plenty of time to get ready (after waking us up multiple times in the night), made her breakfast, packed her snacks and dressed quickly. I didn’t even walk her to school. She set off with a friend and fellow classmate, picking up another child on route. At lunch she was happy to report that the teacher is very nice, and two years younger than me. She gets a locker this year and starts french classes this afternoon. Overall, a very happy Izzy on her first day. Not that shocking though.

Alex did some online work. Rob is off work this week so we won’t really get into our sit down stuff until next week. This is his last year homeschooling and I plan to enjoy it as much as I can. He’s not thrilled about going to school but is coming around. Change happens and he is learning to roll with the punches. Puberty helps. He seems to be more willing to spread his wings. He says he may even consider starting before the end of this year, like late Spring. We’ll see what time brings.

Another School Year, Already!

Izzy is going into grade 4. And Alex is wrapping up homeschooling this year, 6th grade. Summer is a blur of trips to Canada’s Wonderland (season passes, yay!), running around with friends, and much more. It was a very short summer with cooler than average weather and school basically letting right at the end of June and starting right at the very beginning of September.

Izzy’s teacher is new to the school. She will be in a 4/5 split class and this year…drum roll please…gets a locker! Insert confetti here. This is a huge deal for her and a big perk to moving up with the more senior side of the school.

Alex and I are going to keep working at math and writing to prepare for school. He is taking his usual lessons and adding bowling to his list of activities. There is a cooking class I might still try to get him into as wel but it kind of interferes with Thursdays Youth Magic Night. Its so hard to decide. On one hand, nerd outlet night. On the other hand, learning to feed himself with a useful life skill.

Regardless of what they do I am sure these next few months are going to be insane. As usual. Thankfully I get off on this kind of thing.

Cold and Flu season, 2014 ed.

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Is there anything sadder than sick children?  Its been a rough start to 2014.  I’m pretty sure we contracted H1N1, strain A.  Its the flu with a particularly hellish respiratory component.  We had all the symptoms and its peaking in our region.  Six weeks this family cycled through the flu.  That’s four of us, getting sick, consecutively, overlapping each other.  Izzy missed some school this week too after catching a vomiting plague upon going back to class.  Thankfully no one else caught that one.  We are almost all better.  Almost.

Edited to add that looking at Alex is his cute jammies made me chuckle when I realized they are size 18!!!   You can barely find youth clothes over 16. :(   Thankfully nerds are hip these days so next year I will be able to find grown men jammies with Star Wars pics on it.

Catch up time!

I think about this blog from time to time.  Something will happen and I think, I need to get this down.  But life is a bit busy.  And there is that voice in my head that says enjoy, live life, don’t worry about documenting so many things.  Another part of me hates leaving gaps.  Sure, this blog misses a lot of good moments regardless of how much I post – conversations I have with the kids, intimate snuggle sessions on the couch – but I would like to leave them something to remind them about these early years.

So what happened over the last few months?

Well, a lot of girls have been coming over to my house.  I thought it was busy last summer.  This Fall/Winter, its felt like Grand Central Station over here.  With a gaggle of girls comes girly fun time, such as an evening of Monster High.  The new dvd arrived and we had a few of them over for treats and a screening.

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And, there were birthdays!  They deserve their own, separate posts though (coming soon).

Oh, and how I almost forgot this is beyond me!  My neighbour had a bad fire in her garage.  It was a rough night.  Izzy was at a friend’s house and I was cooking up a storm when banging at our door alerted us to a problem.  Alex clued in before Rob and I did. Years of fire preparation came in handy.  He had his shoes on and was heading to his safe spot before I could even really register what was going on.  The rule is that in the event of a fire, we meet of at our friend T’s house.  Alex was there within seconds.  Rob went out with a bunch of other neighbours to see if it could be contained (it couldn’t) and another friend came over to help me grab any essentials.  This, of course, included the cat, my purse, phone and insurance documents.  I have to say, I walked around my house multiple times thinking of things to grab – photos, computers…  Nothing mattered.  Nothing at all.  Everything was replaceable.  I turned off the stove.  Unplugged the crockpot.  Then walked out into the rain and hoped to hell the fire trucks would arrive before too much damage was done.

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It was a very long night.  Those minutes you see a fire consume the garage in a house attached to yours last forever.  My neighbour’s garage was toast.  It started in her car started.  The rest of her unit suffered bad smoke damage.  It was all gutted and she had to live in a hotel for two months.  My house was just fine.  There was minimal smoke damage in the garage (small layer of soot when we opened the door, hours after fire was out).  The firemen were in and out of our unit several times and when we were finally let back in, that same night, I was very aware of how close a call we had.  The reason we were kept out of our home in the initial hours was because it was too hot.  When it was cool enough to enter, it still felt like a hot muggy August afternoon.  Very visceral and very disturbing.

Later that month, Rob and I got away for a much needed weekend alone doing the Niagara wine tour circuit.  A rare but lovely event courtesy of Kelly and Albert.  A thank-you for helping out at the wedding.

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I just adore that guy.  My best pal through good and bad.  Luckily, the good has been a little more prevalent these days.

There was Halloween.  Izzy was Jinna Fire from Monster High (the ongoing obsession with the local 8 year old girls), as were most of her friends.

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I made a snack for her class.  My specialty is gelatin worms.  The teacher wanted healthy treats so I covered a tray of fruit (including lychee eyeballs with blueberry pupils) with the worms.  It was a huge hit!  Apparently many of the boys refused to even try a worm.  A real hoot to all the (supposedly) braver girls.

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Alex is at this glorious stage in his life where he and I are beginning to share favourite tv shows together.  I have a fellow BBC Sherlock addict.  And The Walking Dead too.  He was Rick Grimes from TWD.  A much more grown up costume over years past.

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Here he is all sweaty after several hours of trick or treating.

We discovered the latest crafting craze, Rainbow Loom, and went totes cray-cray, as the little girls like to say.  Ok, I like to say it too.  Mainly because it drives Izzy nuts and makes her friends laugh.

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And Alex got to hang with a polar bear, and his friend Ro, at the Toronto Zoo.

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Of course, there is a lot more life going on not documented.  I will be back again soon with some wedding pics, birthdays, and maybe even Christmas! :)

I don’t know how 6 weeks just flew by

I find life with school much busier, and that’s not a bad thing!  Izzy is still doing quite well.  She had a science unit test on plants last week and thinks she did well.  We should find out soon.  We studied all week!  The appeal of reading seems to have worn off, though.  She isn’t really reading literature at home without major prompting.  That’s not to say that her reading isn’t getting better.  She can read forms, labels and such.  Books just don’t seem to entice her.  I told Rob that our ‘clones’ had apparently swapped our academic interests.  Alex loves literature and the girl loves math.

My course work is going well.  I am immensely enjoying myself.  I will be sad when the class ends and am thinking of taking some other courses until I am fully back in school.  I love interacting with like minded people and getting new information on topics that interest me.

 

 

She’s Doing Great

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I received a call from Izzy’s teacher on Friday.   She asked me to come to today’s assembly, if I was able, to watch Izzy get an award.  The school hands out monthly awards to a few kids from each class.   Its for good behaviour, showing a positive attitude and being helpful.  It was also a secret.

 

I am so proud of her.  The award shows that she behaves exactly how we expect her to behave outside this house, but more than that, it shows things are going just great.  She has not just adjusted but thrived.   Watching the school assembly today I saw a confident, happy girl with lots of friends, having fun.  She is a good kid.  Having that confirmed (to her) by the other people she spends her days with now is wonderful.