Monday, September 30, 2013

School for D, M's mornings with me

School is off to a great start for D; she's not as tired as I had anticipated, although she has fallen asleep twice on the bus ride home. Stories from school come out slowly, a piece at a time, and she tells different (though not conflicting) details to Hubby than she does to me. Names of classmates, descriptions of activities, songs, rules, routines. Among my favourites: the daily report of who got to be the "chef" (leader) that morning. D is anxiously awaiting the day she will be named chef. Typical eldest child.

It amazes me how fearless she seems to be. Her whole life up to this point has been spent mainly with me, although she's often been looked after by other people, including family, Sunday school teachers, babysitters, nursery volunteers, etc. And all of a sudden, she's off on a school bus five days of the week, getting used to new routines and ways of doing things, in English one week and French the next, and she's fine with it all.

Something that I quite love about Catholic school is that they start the day with prayer, and (I think, from what D has told me) they say grace before snack time. D has informed me of the need to have "nice praying hands" (held flat together, not with fingers interlaced), and that's led to some conversations about why we close our eyes and put our hands together, and whether the exact way we place our hands is as important as focusing our attention on God when we talk to him. I anticipate lots of conversations like this, and I look forward to them! It's a neat way to explain why we believe what we do, and why we act the way we do.

In the meantime, M and I have been greatly enjoying our mornings together. Her first choice from the joujouthèque was, not surprisingly, a loud, somewhat obnoxious, ride-on toy. Besides play group and Wednesday morning Bible study, we've started going to a Mom & Tot yoga class at a studio relatively nearby. It's a nice half-hour walk straight from the bus stop, and I get more of a workout from the walk than I do from the class. M sort of participates, but it's only been two weeks so far. On the other days, we go to the park, read books at home, and do chores. It's really neat to watch her play by herself. She's started narrating her toys' actions, interspersed with disjointed bits of songs, just like D did at that age, and continues to do! "Hey teddy bear, whatcher doooing up there? Come down now. H-I-J-K-Q-R-S-T-U-V-DW all wet." And so on. This kid cracks me up, and I love spending time with her!

Attempting to start a trend of wearing sunglasses around one's midsection

Monday, September 16, 2013

The real first day of school

D's sort-of first day of kindergarten was last week, with a small sub-section of her classmates. I drove her and M was along for the ride, and the only tears that morning were from the baby sister who insisted, "Me, too! My turn!" as her big sister headed off down the hall without a backward glance.

Tomorrow, I'm sure a variation on that scene will replay as D takes the bus to school. But whereas, on Friday, M and I just ran errands all morning, we've got play group tomorrow and since D won't be there, M gets to choose what we get from the toy library, or "joujouthèque." I'm hoping this will stave off her jealousy somewhat.

A dollhouse with Little People is always a big hit

"You mean I get to choose?"
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a backpack to prepare and a season finale of The Amazing Race Canada to watch. Cheering on the Mitic brothers!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Settling into fall

While most families are celebrating the end of the first week of school, we're still waiting on the first day. D and I went to meet her teachers (one English, one French; they trade off each week) on Friday, and met a couple of her classmates as well. Next week she'll go in for half the day, and the week after that she starts on the bus. She seemed to enjoy seeing the classroom and playing with the toys, so I'm not too worried about her settling in.

In the meantime, I've got lots to keep me occupied at home! I'm very much looking forward to mornings with M, and I'm wondering if I might be brave enough to enrol her in gymnastics or swimming (keeping in mind that I will have to participate in any such activity!). I'm also co-teaching a class at the women's Bible study at church, so that's pretty prep-intensive. And finally, there's all the usual housework and crafting. We were the happy recipients of a hand-me-down bedroom set, and the desk was too big for D's room, so we set it up in the basement. It's the perfect size for a sewing work station, and there's even a power outlet in the right spot on the wall to accommodate both the sewing machine and my laptop! Handily enough, the iron and ironing board are already in the same room. Now when I haul out my sewing machine, I don't have to put it away. The desk has three drawers, so that's where my meager fabric collection goes, along with the few notions and patterns I've gathered. Who knows, maybe I'll go crazy and sew more than once a year?

Here's what I managed to make today during the girls' nap: the Little Man Bow-tie Onesie. It was that rare pattern that was easy and quick for a novice like me. I bought three plain white onesies, and used a scrap of fabric left over from a pillowcase dress.

This week's selection from the toy library (I have to photograph it immediately before the girls play with it, so that I can make sure to get all the pieces together before returning it!). It's been a big hit.

Who wouldn't love to spend the morning with this crazy broad? She's super.