Category: Birthdays

Slow down, you move too fast

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We’ve been off this weekend. Both kids played in soccer tournaments. I’ve still got my own game to come this evening. I’m a bit soccered out, truth be told, so let’s see if my enthusiasm holds over for a few more hours, in what looks like it might be rain.

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I was thinking today that soccer tournaments had become part of my interior landscape: the jam-packed parking, the noise, the music, the sight of game upon game, the whistles, the cheers and cries, and the bright team colours. I saw my kids come out to play. They didn’t come to watch, they came to engage, and that was a joy to witness.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to pull out the little camera after the opening moments of the first game. And my real camera’s memory card is broken, so I lost the other photos from the past week (some fun ones of the kids making boats for a bathtub race, and of CJ showing me his new tricks on the parallel bars: all gone.)

This coming week is so jam-packed that you may suspect I’ve decided never to blog again, again. It’s the last week for nursery school, I’m heading to Toronto to meet with an editor, we’ve got soccer games galore, swimming, there’s a county track meet, a kindergarten picnic, several appointments at the allergist, and that only takes us to Thursday. So …

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Here is Fooey’s photo of her giant Duplo tower, right before I made her take it down. You’ll note that I was on a mission to clear the living-room and vacuum up the dog hair — someone is shedding right now. The mission was sparked by another mission to find a lost library book. I turned the house upside down searching, finally admitted defeat and stopped in at the library on my way between running children to picnics and soccer games and back again that evening. I spent about fifteen minutes searching the library’s shelves — and lo and behold, there was the lost book! That was my entire Thursday in a nutshell: minor complications solved with some effort and irritation on my part.

It’s nice to have something every day to look forward to, amidst the busyness. I often find many somethings, the moments when I’m relaxed into the scene at hand (say, lunch!), aware that more needs to be done, but not going there yet. I try not to go anywhere until I need to, literally or figuratively. I think that’s why all of this busyness never feels like too much.

What we’ve been up to since last I posted

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Someone got glasses.

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All four kids had cavities filled at the dentist. (Popsicles only incidentally implicated.)

Kev and I cleaned the house and yard (not pictured).

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I baked a cake. (Party cake # 1!)

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Twelve candles were blown out.

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Soccer girl and mama went on a road trip. Too much sun. Too much chlorine. Hotel dreams. Big saves in net, sweet passes from the wing, and a game-winning goal. One proud mama, too tired to type more than this.

But tomorrow’s a holiday, may we all sleep in.

Five-year-old’s birthday party with friends: album

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Party planning, by Kevin. We never got to the “tats or stickers.”

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Before.
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After.

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Before.
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During.

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We asked everyone to draw a picture of CJ.
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Fooey drew a mermaid instead.

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Worms in mud. Our nod to holding the party on April Fool’s Day.
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Deconstructing worms in mud.

CJ’s theme was “Indoor/Outdoor,” which he never fully explained, although we did end the party outside, in the cold, with children jumping on the trampoline. We decided to riff on a number of seasonal themes, including the one that we’re all waiting to have arrive: spring! Kevin collected and painted rocks white, so the kids could decorate them. We then had the kids choose flower bulbs from a paper bag to take home and plant — that counted for both April Fool’s (onions?!) and spring. The painted rock can mark the planting spot. And we held an Easter egg hunt, because it was Easter Monday, and because we find, at parties, that kids love looking for things. We also squeezed everyone into my office and I read them stories, a low-key entertainment method we’ve used at many a party.

Birthday parties are very hands-on and structured for this age, but this passes quickly. So we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

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This kid, whose birthday comes next, and who is seen here recording the birthday proceedings, is at a different stage now: basically we could order pizza, stock up on junk food, and let him stay up late with friends, with as little supervision as we could stand, and that would pretty much cover it.

Doses of happy

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It’s Birthday Eve at our house, a holiday Fooey claims to have invented. Birthday Eve means one among us is on the eve of his birthday. And we take photos to mark the occasion, but that’s about it.

“We won’t have a sweet little four-year-old after tomorrow,” I said to Kevin.

“But you’ll have a sweet little five-year-old,” CJ anxiously reassured me.

Won’t we, just?

::

Kevin just texted to tell me he’d seen AppleApple and her class running by from their excursion to the library this morning. Meanwhile, I’d received an emailed check-out notice from the library with the following titles:

You have checked out the following item(s):
TITLE
Prescription for herbal healing / Phyllis A. Balch

TITLE

Homegrown remedies / Anne McIntyre. —
TITLE
Healing with herbs / Penelope Ody ;
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Healing tonics : 101 herbal concoctions to
TITLE

Home herbal : cook, brew & blend your own

TITLE

Medicinal plants of the world : an illustrated

Fascinating, huh. AppleApple is planning a science project on herbal medicine. Coincidentally, this dovetails with one of the subjects in The Girl Runner, so she might find her mother taking notes.

I love the smallness of the world, sometimes. The magic of connections.

::

Michael Ondaatje’s Bookmark

Speaking of connections, did you know there’s a registered charity in Canada devoted to marking famous places in Canadian fiction? For real. It’s called Project Bookmark, and it’s the invention of writer Miranda Hill (side note: I’ll be reading with Miranda next Sunday at GritLit in Hamilton).

Project Bookmark is launching a month of fundraising with a creative twist: every day in April there will be a prize draw for that day’s donors. Each day is sponsored by a “reading personality,” who is offering up a prize of his or her own devising. Personalities include Margaret Atwood and Shelagh Rogers, so a mere $20 could get you something pretty unique and amazing.

Sounds like it’s been a helluva lot of work to organize, and I’m hoping Project Bookmark reaps the benefits. I love the idea of marking out our literary landscape, grounding the imaginary in the real, and inviting us to consider how the two interact. I also like imagining where I would place a Bookmark. And thinking about the real places that inhabit my imaginary worlds — or is it the other way round? Do my imaginary worlds inhabit real places?

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed

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Celebrating a birthday, a Burns day, and a full moon. We dined on “cockadoodle soup” (aka cockaleekie soup, which sounds just as odd, come to think of it) and haggis. There were kilts. The songs all had bagpipes. The girls found their ghillies and performed. And today I am tired and my head aches just a wee bit. Seems just about perfect for the end of January, hey.

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