Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Lunches

There are good days and there are bad days as a mother.

There are days when I feel like I could be on the cover of Chatelaine magazine with my healthy, glowing, well-groomed children beaming beside me with "Mother of the Year" written underneath. Then there are the days when I feel certain I will one day be a guest on the Maury Povich show with my adult children toothless, unemployed and bitter, accusing me of ruining all of their lives.

Most days are in the no-man's land in between. I can watch Finny extend a compassionate arm to a classmate and pat myself on the back...and then two seconds later, grit my teeth as she yells at me from across a crowded playground to "get me something to eat before I starve to death". No please, no question words, no tenderness. Just bossing around the lazy, incompetent servant.

One single thing serves as a barometer of my daily successes and failures as a parent: the school lunch.

Some days, my children head off to school with balanced, nutritious and tasty meals lovingly prepared by my own hands. Those are the days (usually right after grocery shopping day) when the almond butter is organic and the whole wheat buns from Whole Foods were warmed up in the oven that morning. I pack the muffins I baked the afternoon before and they have flax seed in them. The unsweetened applesauce with cute, clean spoon from Daiso and a note from me wishing them the best sort of day. Every delectable element is in a reusable container, smug and planet-friendly. When I am done making their lunches, safely tucked into their bags (which contain completed homework and signed permission slips), the kitchen is tidy and my homemade latte is steaming beside the stove with the perfect sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

There are other days. Days when I am up only twenty minutes before we should be out the door to school. The pantry is bare. I separate the Ritz cracker crumbs into three ziploc bags. I throw in gummies. They are fruit that must be healthy. I send the granola bars that are basically just chocolate bars (and nasty ones at that) in shiny foil wrappers. I toast a four day old bagel that could easy break their teeth. I know full well as I jam all that stuff into their bags that they won't eat any of it (except the gummies and the chocolate...I mean, granola bar). I just need to know that if someone looks in their bags, they have food.

I am the same person. I have the same loving intent in my heart and yet...and yet...I guess John Denver said it best: "Some days are diamonds, some days are stones."

Monday, April 23, 2012

E- birthday parties for everybody

Les had a short trip to Toronto for her grandmother's 95 birthday, so the kids and I were on our own, starting with our crazy Thursday schedule.

I managed to get everybody from school to the pool in time for Lucas' 3:30 swimming lessons.  The girls played in the pool until their lesson began at 4, at which time I scurried Lukey off to his hockey lesson.  We then scarfed down dinner before basketball class at 6:30.  

On Friday I met up with my mom to move her old couch down to Point Roberts and get the kids some bikes.  Here we are waiting for our pizza dinner that took place in the back of the van. 

On Saturday, we rushed back from the Point for Lucas' friends birthday party and then all headed up skiing with Molly's friend Maya. 

We stopped at the Cleveland Dam and Stanley Park on the way home. 

Lukey and I went for a rollerblade while the girls played on the slide.

On Sunday the girls went to a birthday party in Richmond, so Luke and I spent the day playing.  We started with Playmobile and then went for a ride to Granville Island and looked at even more toys.  He's a focussed little dude....when it comes to getting more toy cars.  

Once we got the girls back, we went to my basketball game and then for a late night swim.  One hour after we got home, Les was back with us and our little adventure was over. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's going on around here?

It was Crazy Hat Day at school last week. We don't have any crazy hats just lying around. Inside my head, I was wondering if I could convince the kids that a baseball hat is craaaaaazy. I pretty much knew how that was going to go. So, the night before was hat making night. Newspaper and Whole Foods bags, paint, flowers, duct tape and feathers...voila, masterpieces. And they looked crazy. Mission Accomplished.

With Crazy Hat Day out of the way, it was Easter Weekend. Normally, the Easter long weekend is my first feeling of summer knocking on the door. The weather is good, we go down to Point Roberts, it's more than two days is a taste of July.

Except when it hails...the kids ran out and braved mild concussions (those hail pieces were ginormous).

Duck and run for cover...check out the hail on the stairs. That's intense!

The storm passed and the sun budged out through the clouds. We'd been suffering through a bit of cabin fever all day, so it was time to get out and play.

I love this picture of Lukey, even though it is out of focus. He is moving too fast and having too much fun to slow down for a picture.

Molly by one of her favourite trees.

A boy and his scooter.

Eric demonstrating shooting form for Finny.

Molly framed by the sunlight.

Look at that form!

It was a glorious day and it cured our cabin fever immediately. Nothing like shooting hoops in the sunshine to fix what ails you...

On Sunday, the co-op resurrected (sorry) the Easter Egg Hunt. We took a couple of years off, but this year it came back with a gusto. I was showing the girls these pictures and they both commented on how tired they looked...I guess the hunt starting at 10 is just quite simply too early for my little family.

Nothing a few pastries, donuts, slices of coffee cake and handfuls of chocolate eggs can't cure.

See? Can't slow down to eat. Must run AND eat.

Is that a face that loves candy? Yes, it is!

Moll too. I will point out here that there's no picture of Finny with her bag of treats. She didn't even get out of the door with it intact. She'd already opened it and started eating. Good self control.

We went straight from the hunt down to the Point. We had a fantastic turkey dinner with my parents on Sunday night (without Eric, who's been working like a demon) and then had Eric's family over on Monday for brunch.

And what's an Easter brunch without....another hunt? Hey, why not? I didn't weigh it to make it official, but I am guessing that the kids claimed roughly their own body weight in Easter treats over the weekend.

It was nice enough to spend the whole time outside.

Finny helped hide the eggs, then promptly forgot where she put them.

...even the ones in plain sight. I found this one in the middle of the path.

I hid this one. I thought it looked like he was laying the egg. And thinking about it reaaaaally hard.

Cousins post-hunt.

Enough with all that fun. Now it was time to get the kids to work (while disguising work as fun). We challenged them to pick as many "yellow flowers" as they could. Finny won.

Lukey doesn't need and artifice to get him to work. He digs it. He likes nothing better than putting on work gloves and getting dirty. He tended to the bonfire and shoveled and raked to find more fuel for the fire.

And I helped.

I can feel summer coming. Monday evening, I found myself reluctant to head back into the city. I hit Point Roberts mode and it was a jolt to break back out. Come on, summer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

E -Spring skiing

We've been waiting all year for a little visibility up on Grouse Mountain and were finally rewarded today. As you can see in the gondola here, lots of other people had the same idea on this beautiful Saturday morning. 

A big thanks to my Mom for getting the kids to the point of being self sufficient on the slopes.  We were all able to ski together and roughly the same pace. 

And I had enough confidence in Lucas to tackle the peak....and he was pretty chilled looking down at this pretty steep run. 

The kids also did pretty well at my geography quiz.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

E- 7 in a row

Thanks to his generous uncle, Lucas came with me to his first Canucks game last night against the Anaheim Ducks. And thanks to 7 wins in a row, the Canucks are battling for the #1 spot overall in the regular season, meaning there is still something to play in the last few games of the year.

It was a great game to see as the Canucks won and put the puck in the net 7 times including the shootout. My favorite part was seeing the intelligence, skill and calm that Henrik Sedin showed which allowed him to dominate the game in a quiet but very impressive way. Lucas' favourite part was the foam finger!