Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

Today was Big C's last day of daycare. He's only been going two mornings a week since I officially became a SAHM. He had lots of friends there, and we thought some continuity and some time to focus on Little G exclusively was a good idea. But, it being summer, most of his friends are either on vacation or leaving to go to another daycare pending the start of their school year. I thought it would be nice to have a month where we didn't have to be anywhere at any particular time unless we wanted to be. Starting September 8th, we have to be at school at 8:55am precisely, every single weekday. (Couldn't they have made it 9am? Really?? 8:55am?? It's like I'm watching BBC TV, or something.)

It was surprisingly emotional. Getting him to daycare has become more trouble than it's worth, and I thought I would be glad to see this day come. Big C has been there 3 years, though. We know all the teachers. They taught him things like sitting at a table, drinking from a real cup, sleeping on a bed (not a crib), using the potty and even, sometimes, eating vegetables. If it were up to me, he would probably still be in diapers, sitting in a high chair and drinking pop in a baby bottle. I kid. I don't give my kid pop. Oh. Unless you count the "Gingerale Medicine" I give him when he has a tummy ache. (Ha! Thanks to my french immersion education, I totally don't know how to spell medicine! Is that right? I spelt it "medecine" first off, without thinking.)

Everyone had big hugs for him, and the daycare administrator even got him a present. They have been very good to us. I was mortified that I could only afford to give them homemade cards and a teenie tiny box of chocolates each. I wish I could have gotten them something more substantial to show my thanks, but I had eight teachers to buy for. It adds up. And when you're agonizing over whether or not you should return a $12 t-shirt because it was an unecessary expense, you can't just go and spend $200 bucks on presents. Still, I hope they know that the size of the gift doesn't reflect my gratitude.

And next up, Big C will be on to bigger and better things: SCHOOL! Can it really be that time already?

And speaking of new very good friend, Metro Mama, just had her baby. A little brother for Cakes. I'm so happy for her! She's already enjoying the wonder that is little girls, and now she gets to find out that boys can be da bomb, too. Happy Birth Day, little man!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Good Book

I am extremely, ridiculously lucky in that the good people at Random House send me review copies of some of their books. I don't write a post about every single one of them. Sometimes, I simply don't have time (loved The Lady Elizabeth, but life went crazy..and now the moment has passed). Some don't inspire me (sorry Vassanji, I'm usually a fan, but you lost me on this one). Sometimes, the book is amazing, but other bloggers posted way better reviews and I feel like I have nothing to add. (Have you read Six Months in Sudan? You should. It's the exact opposite of 'my type of book', and I loved it. Loved. Go read Kgirl's summary.)

But sometimes, I am truly enamoured by a book and I feel that I have to say something - even if it sucks as a 'review' - about it. This is the case with The Good Mayor. I was trawling Chapters looking for something to read, and finding nothing when I came across this book by an author that I'd never heard of. And no wonder, it's Andrew Nicoll's first book. The quaint, sepia cover caught my eye (I totally judge a book by it's cover. Totally. And the way it feels in my hands when I pick it up. I'm very tactile. And weird.), as did the quote:

'Simply makes you want to go out and fall in love with someone.'

I won't bore you with a summary of the story - especially as when you talk about 'what happens', it's really just a) the Mayor is in love with his secretary b) his secretary is married c) her husband sucks d) she starts to fall in love with the mayor. Not much to it, right?


I don't know how to describe it, except to say it's...magical. Nicoll has a way with words that is quite remarkable. Rich, plummy, unexpectedly descriptive words give this novel an offbeat charm that is simply entrancing. I had a hard time putting it down. I kept finding little chunks of time to read whatever I could, as often as I could. I was recommending it to people before I even finished it.

I was entirely captivated. The (surprise) twist near the end (which I won't reveal) was a little off-putting. But it was the only time that I was not completely under this book's spell. This is one that I think I will keep and read again. And again. A perfect, lovely, summer treasure. I look forward to more from this author.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Six months ago today, I had to quit my job because we lost daycare for Little G and couldn't find a suitable replacement.

Today, six months later, while playing in the park with G, I got an email from a nearby daycare. They have spots for both boys, and what would I like to do? They are close to my house. They walk the older kids to C's school. It comes recommended by a friend whose child attends. It is the most affordable daycare in the area (they're privately owned, and can do what they want.)

I don't have a job anymore.

Is this supposed to be some sort of cosmic joke at my expense? Is this a turning point in my life where I am supposed to make the "right" decision, but just can't see it yet? I feel like I'm in a movie and everybody in the audience is saying "Why can't she see what she's supposed to do? It's so obvious?" It's not obvious to me. And my life is not a movie.

If I take the spots, I'll no doubt find a less than inspiring job and wish every moment that I was still at home with them. If I turn them down, I will no doubt be offered my dream job within the month. This is the irony of my life.

Why can't the different paths in life be marked with signposts?? Things would sure be a lot clearer.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Family STAY-cation '09

I. Am. Exhausted.

I need a vacation.

Oh, wait. I just had one.

Mr Earth took some time off from work coinciding with Canada Day, so that we could do things as a family. We didn't have the money or the energy to go somewhere exotic and new, so we decided to check out all that the Big Smoke has to offer. Well, not all. Not half, really. But a couple of things.

Big C was so excited to take Mr Earth to the Science Centre. The boys and I have been there a couple of times, but never with Daddy so it was very! exciting!. Big C took him around in a mad panic trying to show him everything there was to see. Little G and I hung out. It was overwhelming for him and he was racing around screaming at everything, but he really, really liked the ball drop area. They had a lizard and snake exhibition. I saw the biggest snake I ever want to see when I'm only separated by a thin layer of glass. Shudder. I personally will not go back to the Science Centre until school is back in session. It was a madhouse. Mad. House.

You gotta love a boy with balls.

Next we went to the Big Zoo. We brought the stroller, but Little G walked almost the entire 3 hours. He was falling-down tired by the end. I'm not sure what he made of the live! animals! He looked bemused half the time. We checked out the Kids Zoo area for the first time, and it was pretty neat, actually. Big C was disappointed that there were no animals he could pet.

Now doesn't the sight of brothers holding hands just warm the heart?

This photo is for Kgirl. It's the closest we get to matching outfits here at Casa Earth.

Big C and the baby Alpaca. I just love this picture.

Finally, after much deliberation, we decided on the CN Tower for our last excursion. Did I mention that Mr Earth is deathly afraid of heights? Fun times. Little G and I loved the aerial views. Big C was a little more hesitant. (Mr Earth would say SMART.) I'm impressed that Mr Earth and Big C did make a special trip to see the glass floor (from a distance), and even go outside.

Little G and I danced on the glass floor. (See my toes? I really was there! Even if I'm not in any photos.)

What a view.

A great time was had by all. And now I am so tired, I can't speak. I wish Mr Earth could stay home every day. But then we really would have NO MONEY. I like money. So off to work he goes. We will miss him during the day, though.