Sunday, September 29, 2013

Playing Around for a Worthy Cause!

A friend of ours is a paramedic and she and some co-workers are raising funds to go on a medical mission to Africa in the new year.  (Sadly as we were on one side of the world raising money a terrible tragedy was taking place on the other side of the world, close to where they will be going.  Praying for safety already!) 

One of their fun raisers that we were invited to was a pig roast with games, food and pony rides.  That had our names written all over it!!

We headed out as soon as gymnastics was over hoping each km of our long drive that the weather might improve.  We’ve been experiencing a beautiful fall with warmer than normal temps and lots and lots of sun.  Sadly this day started out as the exception to the rule, so much so that our first stop after gymnastics was to purchase new boots for Hannah as she had outgrown the ones she wore in the spring.

We took advantage of being close to another friend and her sweet daughter Grace and enjoyed lunch with them.  Suzanne and I met about 6 years ago while we were still in the early stages of waiting for our daughters and now they’re both home and had fun splashing in the puddles together!IMG_0926

Many of Hannah’s clothes are hand-me-downs from M3’s girls and in turn we share them with Grace afterwards.  I’m thankful both to have clothes given to us and also someone to share them with afterwards.  It’s fun to look at Suzanne’s blog and see Grace in outfits that Hannah once wore.

After lunch we hopped in the car and headed to the pig roast to meet up with Hannah’s best bud Ben and his family.  We hadn’t seen one another in a number of weeks so there were hugs all around.  The kids quickly set off to find the games and check out the prizes that could be won.  IMG_0927


This game was a favourite of all the kids.  Hehe!IMG_0938


The kids found the craft tableIMG_0936

although the jury is still out on whether more paint got on the paper or Hannah!IMG_0937

Each game meant tickets to be entered into the prize draw.  They quickly found our friend and she became the kids go to gal to have their names written on their tickets.IMG_0943

At the end of the day the Cinderella bag was filled with about 98% of tickets containing Hannah’s name so she won the prize she’d worked so hard for.IMG_0958

Unfortunately Ben was trying to win the prize that every other boy in attendance was and he was not successful.  Poor sweetie.  It was a lesson for both kiddos to learn the hard way.  Ben was heart broken and Hannah was suddenly in a quandary as she was happy for her own toy but felt badly and offered hugs to her buddy Ben.

Towards the end of the day when the rain stopped and the sun came out a pony and horse arrived for the kids to arrive and they were in their glory!  The first time she rode a pony she was just 18 months old and since then each time the opportunity arises she’s excited to ride again!IMG_0951

Check out her smile!!

In spite of the cold, rainy start we had a wonderful day with our friends!  I love the friendship Hannah and Ben share!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Soccer 2013

IMG_0818 - CopyHannah really enjoyed soccer last year and this year she was excited to go back.  She started off really well and was happy to go and play on the same team as her buddy Noah.IMG_1347

It was a pretty hot summer and unfortunately we had to miss a number of weeks due to vacation, sickness and other commitments.  I’m not sure if it was one of these things or a combination of many but Hannah’s desire to go to soccer waned greatly by the end of the season.  She went from running and chasing the ball to begging me not to go and sitting on the grass playing with the clippings.IMG_2885

In the end I decided to end her season early by one week when we were leaving for Disney the following day.  She was so happy not to have to go.  This isn’t like her so I’m not really sure what happened.  She went from a girl jumping with excitement on soccer nights to being almost in tears when she knew it time to go.  We cut our losses and called it a season.IMG_2884

All of this happened more than a month ago and since then Hannah has spoken fondly of playing soccer so I’m not sure what 2014 will hold.  I’m not going to write it off based on a less than stellar season but before I sign her up I want her input and commitment.  She’s a speedy little runner so if she chooses to continue I know she’ll do well but I also know it needs to be something she wants to do, not just something I want for her.  Time will tell.

For now, I leave you with a pic from the beginning of the season when Hannah was ‘all in!’

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

13th Annual Apple Picking Sleepover

Last weekend was one that we all enjoy!  It warmed my heart when Bec and Tor informed me that they will never be too old for our annual ‘Apple Picking Sleepover!’
Now that they’re 14 and 15 this year I wasn’t sure if they would still want to come but it was them who announced shortly after we got together that they have no plans of these yearly celebrations stopping so keep the invitations coming.  Yay!! 
It was an absolutely beautiful day!IMG_0834
Once in the orchard the girls knew our first picture would be them walking down one of the rows of apples.  We slid under a rope to get to an empty row and then went back to the ones that were ready for picking.  IMG_0839Our fall is busy this year so our adventure was earlier than normal.  Not many apples were ready but we made out just fine and the apples were beautiful and delicious!
My girls.  IMG_0860
Hannah (4 1/2)IMG_0852
Bec (14)IMG_0850
Tor (15)IMG_0848
Precious moments….precious memories!IMG_0857
The girls are SO good at playing with Hannah.  First there was schoolIMG_0886
and then ‘Trouble’.  I’m sure there was some Princess time too.IMG_0888
Special memories created for all of us!IMG_0855

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hannah’s First Piano Lesson!!!

The day finally arrived. 

The day mommy had dreamed about for  many years. 

Yesterday Nana gave Hannah her first piano lesson!IMG_0901

(Look at those beautiful long fingers!  From the moment we first saw her we teased that she’d been born with piano fingers!  Here’s one of her referral pictures taken at 3 1/2 months old)Hannah 2

Nana and I decided back in June that Hannah would start lessons this fall and Hannah talked about it often.  She was excited!  She was ready!  And she asked often when she would start.  She has grown up hearing Mommy teach piano to her students in the basement so it’s a concept she’s familiar with.

I purchased her books last week but she wasn’t aware of that until yesterday morning.  She danced around the house squealing when I pulled her new books out of the bag.  She was ready….NOW!

When we finished lunch she asked Nana if it was ‘Fall.’  Not knowing where she was going with this we said it would be fall next week.   She then asked Nana if today was the day she was going to start piano lessons and was thrilled when Nana said, ‘Yes!’

It was fun to be on the other side of the lesson and be the mom sitting behind and listening to what Hannah was learning.

At one point Nana traced her little hands in her book so that Hannah could write in the finger numbers.  I sat on the couch and held back tears!  LOL!  I have traced many a little hand into their piano books and today it was Hannah’s hands that were being traced!  My Hannah!  My baby girl!!IMG_0897

Hannah still is a little unsure of writing number’s 2 and 5 so Nana wrote these in for her and Hannah wrote the others.IMG_0906

She learned about the musical alphabet being made up of the notes A, B, C, D, E, F and G.  She also learned finger numbers, groups of 2 and 3 black keys and quarter notes (ta), half notes (ta-ah) and whole notes (ta-ah-ah-ah).  IMG_0893

You did great Hannah!  Mommy is so proud of you!! 

Thank you Nana!  What a gift for Hannah to be taught by you!IMG_0900

A new part of our daily routine will now include piano time and I’m hoping to make this a fun part of our day as she learns how to play this beautiful instrument!

And yes, you will now be subjected to the occasional piano video here on the blog.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Visit to Hannah’s School

I’m guessing you’re noticing a theme here.  School, school and more school. 

I made a conscious decision to slow down our lives substantially for the first couple of weeks of school so there isn’t much else to write about right now.  Hannah and I normally live very busy and active lives but since she is suddenly going to school all day, every day, I guessed that she would need more mommy time and more down time so I slowed us down.  And I’m glad we’ve done that.  Last Friday night she had 2 long crying spells in her sleep and I’m sure they we caused by all the changes she had experienced in the previous few days combined with how tired she was.  I held her, rocked her and comforted her through them and she eventually settled both times.  In the morning she had no recollection of them which is typical.  When she was a baby she suffered with night terrors especially when we travelled, was over stimulated or tired and they still occur occasionally although thankfully not nearly so often.  This week she has done really well even with the hiccup in her bussing.  Ange is still taking her each morning and I pick her up each afternoon.  Hopefully all will be resolved by the end of the week.

Wednesday was a welcome BBQ and meet the teacher night.  I was really excited to go to Hannah’s school with her and she couldn’t wait to show me around!  Here she is in front of her cubby with her box of duck tissues and self portrait above.IMG_0825

We ate our lunch in the area that she waits for her bus with her Early Childhood Educator (ECE), Miss H.  Miss H works alongside her teacher Mrs. C in her classroom fulltime.  I am thankful that there are 2 fulltime staff in her class of 23 students.

After the BBQ Hannah led me to the gym where there was a hands on display of therapy animals for the kids to look at and touch.  All of these animals are used by a local organization that does therapy with children.  There was a baby kangarooIMG_0820

a hedgehogIMG_0821

a white cockatooIMG_0822

and even a baby fox!IMG_0824

There was also a tortoise there and suddenly the story of the tortoise and the hare made much more sense.  Give this boy space and he could move!!

I was really excited to see her classroom so that I could picture where she is each day.  She was in her glory in the kitchen areaIMG_0826

and we built many block towers together before it was time to go home.  This one collapsed just as I snapped the picture.IMG_0827

Hannah is loving school and is excited to go each morning!  Details of her days are still slow in coming but over time they do.  I have been nothing but impressed by her school, her teachers, the office staff and the organization and care they have for all of their students!

An update on the bus:  Thankfully the bus situation was resolved yesterday.  It ended up being much more involved then either the principal or I realized but thankfully a solution was found and Hannah will be back on her first bus with her bus buddies on Tuesday.  I’ve enjoyed the extra time I’ve had each day when I picked her up and took her to daycare but will be happy when she’s back into her normal routine too.

Hannah is flourishing and JK is great!

Monday, September 09, 2013

It Was Only Day 5 and the Principal Called!!

Oh no! 

It was about 9:30 this morning when my desk phone rang and I looked over to see Hannah’s school name in the call display box. 

My heart began to beat…fast!

I answered to hear, ‘Hi Catherine, This is CB, principal at xxxx PS.’

My heart beat even faster!

She quickly reassured me that all was fine with Hannah at which point I think I began to breathe again.  LOL!

It seems like her bussing needs a little adjustment which is going to mean a couple of days of changing things up. 

When I originally called the school to inform them that Hannah would require a bus from Ange’s, I didn’t realize that there was more than one bus to her school from that pick-up location.  As I mentioned in my first bus post she was assigned to a different bus from her bus buddies but the driver had allowed her on his bus since I wasn’t sure which one she was to be on.  She’d been on their bus all of last week so I thought it had all been taken care of.  Ummm…no.  Unfortunately it hasn’t and the school has been advised by the bus company that until the switch is officially made that the school is required to put her on the other bus.  Since the 2 buses take 2 different routes there is no guarantee that they will arrive at the drop-off at the same time so between the principal on I we quickly worked on a Plan B for the next couple of days.

I understand rules are there for a reason and this is just a ‘glitch’ for us.  I’m still very thankful that all these rules are in place because those rules help keep my child safe and truly that’s the bottom line!IMG_0801

Mrs B and I chatted through my options and it quickly became evident to both of us that the easiest transition for Hannah would be for me to make arrangements with work to pick Hannah up at school for the next few days and drive her to Ange’s.  She in turn ensured that Hannah’s bus buddies knew about the change for a few days.  The other thing she did was go down and talk with Hannah herself and assure her that Mommy was going to pick her up today.

When I went to pick my sweetie up she was in the JK pen with her teacher who was diligently checking each child’s pick-up sheet to ensure the person picking them up was permitted to do so.  I saw older siblings turned away because the parents had not granted permission and honestly, I was thankful.  I am thankful that they are SO careful.   Mrs C saw me and called to Hannah and opened the gate for her to leave.  We said goodbye and were on our way. 

Hannah still wasn’t too sure about what was happening but I tried to explain that there was a little mix-up with her bus and Mommy would be picking her up for a couple of days.  I quickly noticed that the tag identifying her bus had been removed from her bag so that she was not accidentally put on the bus. 

I cannot express how thankful I am that the school is so careful with the care they take of Hannah and the other students!

I drove her to Ange’s and my little sweetie was pretty quiet.  I explained that I was taking her to Ange’s for a bit while I went back to work and then would return to get her soon.

Her little voice came from the back seat, hesitantly saying, ‘Mommy, this is a confusing day!’

I told her that I totally understood and what she needed to know was that this was just for a couple of days and soon she would be back on her old bus.  I made sure she knew that Mommy was going to be right with her through this.

The second part of the temporary change was that she was also supposed to be on the new bus in the mornings for a few days.  This wouldn’t have been as difficult as Ange would have put her on the bus and the same teacher as always would take her off but tonight Ange offered to drive her to school for me and drop her off in the pen until the change back to her original bus is finalized.  This was an AMAZING gift!!!  Thank you Ange!

I am thankful once again for Hannah’s 'go with the flow’ personality and security to know that it’s going to be okay.  She truly is amazing!!

Soon she’ll be back on her original bus with her buddies but for now Mommy is blessed to see her gal an extra few minutes each afternoon!

A Special Visit with Friends

On our way to the airport for our Disney trip, Hannah and I were able to enjoy a visit with special friends.  Karen and family live a couple of hours from us and sadly we don’t get together nearly as often as we should!

Karen and I first met back in 2007 shortly after she returned from China with her dd Samara.  We hit it off immediately and a precious friendship was born.  We have that great kind of friendship where we may not see one another for years and yet when we get together we pick up right where we left off.

The same seems to be true for our kiddos.  Sadly the last time we were all together was August of 2010 just days before I went back to work after my maternity leave.Imported Photos 00152

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While Karen and I have seen one another, our kiddos have not.  That being said, they had a blast together!  Hannah loved their home and the great playhouse they have in their spacious back yard.  I must admit that that’s the one thing Hannah and I both wish we had, a larger back yard.  Ours is super tiny and every couple of months it’s the one desire she will express about our home as she says, ‘Mommy, I wish we had a back yard.’  I do too baby girl, I do too!

During our visit we had such a great time chatting and catching up that I forgot to pull out the camera until we were getting ready to leave.  IMG_0005

It was wonderful to see you friends!  Let’s make sure our next visit doesn’t take another 3 years!!  We love you!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Hannah’s 2nd Day of JK–Adding the Bus Portion

Today we added the next part of the puzzle and after a minor bump of not knowing what bus number she was to go on, it went well.   I didn’t realize that there would be more than one bus at her stop both going to her school, but there is.  I have arranged with 2 sisters on her bus to walk her from the drop off at a school close to Ange’s  up to her house for me each afternoon.   Ange will put her on the bus each morning which is a huge blessing!  Who knew one of the biggest stresses in parenting would be the 10 minutes between when her bus arrived at the drop off location and Ange’s house?!

Mommy speaking with the bus driver ensuring she can go on his bus and finding out what I need to do to have it switched permanently.IMG_9128

My brave little girl walking up the steps of the bus for the first time.IMG_9130

First official seat on the bus. 


Once she was on board I ran to my car and quickly drove to the school.  Since I’ll normally be at work during this time I just wanted to know the routine so that I could have peace of mind while I’m there.

Hannah making her way into the school with the teacher’s responsible to get the kids from the bus to their classrooms.IMG_0804 - Copy

From here Hannah gave me a quick kiss on her way by and then she was on her way. 

I returned to the school at the end of the day to learn that process too.  Her ECE teacher took she and the other bus students from her class to the front of the school, keeping them inside until their bus arrived.  I was happy to know this step and to know that she was being watched so carefully as this area of the school is very busy with cars, buses and many children moving about.

Once again I hopped in my car and drove up to the school near Ange’s.  The bus arrived shortly after that and Hannah came off the bus holding the hand of her bus buddy who will be walking her to Ange’s each afternoon.  She was happy and excited after her day at school and we were off.  The walk isn’t far and she did well.  I am so thankful to have found these responsible girls to help me out.

So, day 1 on the bus is behind us and all-in-all it went well.  I never took a bus to school so this is a new stress for me but it’s been a good start and I can only hope it continues to go well.

Great job Hannah!  Once again, you made Mommy proud today!  IMG_0801

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