Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the graduate

Well the first year of school is officially finished.
And what a fun year it has been.
When I think back to all of my apprehension and fears this time last year I can't believe that I ever felt that way.
Lulu really flourished this year and I couldn't be more proud knowing that she experienced one of life's big milestones with such enthusiasm and comprehension.
That kid is a Jolly Phonics expert- seriously.
It's so hard not to compare- but really watching her not only keep up with kids more than a year ahead of her (and in many cases- surpass) how can I not be so proud?
I love that she is practically reading now- and I can't wait for her to be able to experience tucking into a favourite book and reading it all on her own.
That's not to say that I don't still love reading stories to her every night.
Her writing has come along way as well- her letters are precise and in most cases really neat & tidy.
That makes one of us...
Then there all the great new friends (and parents) that she (I've) met.
So nice to really feel like we are officially part of our community.
Anyhow I've written about this in the past, but I'm just so incredibly grateful that we live in such a fantastic neighbourhood with such an excellent school with so many great teachers.
Feeling blessed at the moment is an understatement.
Fingers crossed that next year we'll be as lucky as we were this year.
But as much fun as school was this year, I'm very happy to officially say hello to summer break or as Lulu & I were singing all morning.....
Skool's Out For The Summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

gone fishin'

Full Moon
The G20 Summit
Crazy traffic
For some reason sticking around the city this weekend isn't really that appealing.
definitely need a change of scenery....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

date night

For the past few months I've been making a concerted effort to commit to booking babysitters once a week so big daddy & I can get out and spend some time alone.
MUCH needed time alone I might add.
A couple of weeks ago we found a new cheap & cheerful sushi joint that I thought was fantastic.
There are so many sushi restaurants around town and we have three or four that we go to on a regular basis.
But we kind of stumbled upon this one by accident while trying to avoid the construction mayhem on Bloor St (when oh when will it be complete?!- what a mess..)
Anyhow it's on Bay st- just across from Pusateri's.
Ignore the carpeted floor (the only flaw in my opinion) the food was really great as was the service and rest of the decor.
We had such a fun night- sipping sake, eating fresh (inexpensive) sushi and hanging out for a few hours at the Bookstore afterwards.
Though I might warn against book shopping while under the sake influence as we ended up buying a ton of books that we really didn't need.
So our cheap date night- kind of ended up not so cheap.
Ah well.
What can I say? we felt like two kids in a candy shop.
Even the most casual things can be that much more relaxing and fun when you get to be together as a couple without the kid(s).
Nothing against our little angel- but I think it's really healthy to spend time apart.
I'm currently trying to build up our roster of babysitters- as our regular gal is off to camp for the summer.
sniff sniff..
But all is not lost, as we are trying someone new for this week- fingers crossed that she works out.
Who knew it would be so difficult to find great babysitters?
Actually, Lulu really looks forward to her night with the sitter as there is usually pizza, potato chips, bear puffs, ice cream, movies and games involved.
Have to butter up the babysitters and feed them well- it's pretty competitive out there when it comes to booking the best kids.
When I'm at the grocery store buying "food" for the babysitter I always feel like telling the person behind me in line that "it's not the stuff I usually feed my family- it's for the babysitter- honest"
Something tells me that the usual veggies & hummus with flax pita might not go over so well with the 13-15 year old set.

How about you-What's your favourite thing to do on "date-night?"
and how often do you have date nights?
inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, June 14, 2010

tell me why I don't like mondays?

Actually I usually LOVE Mondays.
Not that I don't enjoy the weekends, but I really like getting back to our weekly routine and starting a fresh new week.
Most Mondays I usually go to the gym for a two hour workout to get the week started off on a good foot.
Well that, and to work off all the guilty pleasures I indulged in over the weekend.
Unfortunately that wasn't the case today.
Big daddy had the day off and we had a ton of things to deal with in the morning, plus for some reason (late bedtime and up at 5 a.m. with nightmares) Lulu was in fine form.
Anyhow I did manage to squeeze in a run- but like I said- the day just didn't start out the way it usually does.
Big daddy was in a mood that could best be described as- cantankerous.
He's not quite used to the Monday morning "routine".
Lulu was also thrown off by big daddy's day of playing hooky and suddenly fell ill right before school was about to start.
I could spot a good fake a mile away but big daddy- being the novice that he is- let her stay home from school.
and that's when the day that started off on the wrong foot- ended up on the wrong leg.
Everything we wanted to get done today- didn't.
C'est La vie.
Unfortunately big daddy doesn't speak french.
so he is currently sulking.
Lulu admitted to faking being sick at 3:30- we made her stay in bed until then- hey if you are "sick" then you stay in bed.
Big daddy felt (feels) totally burned.
I feel a little smug since I kept telling him she was fine- and really just wanted to stay at home with him.
He told be I was being "harsh" and "the poor little thing is really not feeling well"
And "maybe she has anxiety about going to school and dealing with "certain" classmates"
That part did get me- I admit.
But still, I was 99.9% sure she was fine and just wanted to extend the weekend.
Once I made that call to the school- guess who perked up?
'nuff said.
Tuesday is looking very good right about now.

Oh and above picture is Lulu latest drawing of big daddy.
hmmm...what's she trying to convey?
aside from the fact that Big daddy needs to add a pair of pink pants to his summer wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

social hurdles

With the school year end just around the corner, I find myself reflecting on all that both Lulu & I have learned during the year.
I say "I" because as much as this was a new beginning for Lulu in her academic future- it was a huge learning curve for me too.
Somehow during the first week of school I was coerced into becoming (at the time a reluctant) "class parent".
But now I am so happy that I got involved at the very beginning.
It forced me to come out of hiding and get to know all the parents (and kids) in Lulu's class.
I also had the unique position of having a really great one-on-one relationship with her teacher.
How great is that?
Bonus that she has such a fantastic teacher.
That being said, I'm not really the type of parent who gets too overly involved with what's happening with Lulu in class- not that I don't want to know, but I figure she's in great hands and Ms. Fantastic teacher would let me know if there ever was anything to be concerned about.
Each time we have discussed Lulu- I get nothing but glowing reviews.
She's very bright, socially mature for her age, a bit sensitive, but over-all a very good listener and great with "most" of her class mates.
All but one.
More on that last bit in a minute though.
It was really great getting the chance to get to know all the parents when it came to organizing things like Halloween parties, Christmas, teachers gifts and the year end party.
We are so fortunate to have had such a great class of really nice parents & kids this year.
So all in all it has been a very positive experience for both of us.
However...the past few weeks Lulu has been having some conflict with one of her class mates.
One minute they are super happy playing together- the next it's drama, drama and more drama.
Lulu & this girl really seem to clash.
I can't point the finger of blame in her direction only- because I know Lulu contributes to these little (or depending on the day-BIG) outbursts.
But it's just so out of character to see her upset so often.
We have talked about this situation at length.
I have made countless suggestions of maybe the need for a bit of separation- "play with some of your other friends instead" to her.
but the second we get to school she goes running up to this girl despite the fact that I keep "suggesting" that perhaps they need to give each other a bit of space.
It's like the more I do that- the more she does the opposite of what I recommend.
Kids will be kids and they need to learn to work these things out, it's all part of the social experience- but I am so tired of the drama when the two of them get together.
It can turn a perfectly beautiful afternoon completely upside down.
There is more that I could add- but now that this blog is no longer anonymous- and a few people at her school know about it, I won't go into too much more detail.
But I will say that Lulu has come home from school three times with cute pictures of colourful flowers, grass, sun etc. that she has drawn for me and there has been a big black scribble mark in the middle of the picture.
When I asked her what that was all about- she told me that "girl with conflict" scribbled on it because she said her drawing was ugly and she was a bad artist.
When I brought her to school a few weeks ago and her hair was in buns (my favourite hairstyle on her) "girl with conflict" comes up to her- right in front of me and says- "your hair looks weird" said in quite a mean way.
Now Lulu refuses to wear her hair like that anymore.
There are a few more things that have happened that Lulu has told me about- and some of these incidents are cause for concern.
It makes me wonder what else has happened that I don't know about.
I do know that lately Lulu isn't herself.
More than once I have heard her say "nobody likes me anymore"
She has been very emotional lately- and it makes me feel so bad for her.
I can't believe this is happening to her.
In JK!
I feel awful.
And is this normal?
When I talked to ms. Fantastic teacher about this- she assured me that Lulu is not to blame and that she is a really sweet kid.
She is very popular with her classmates and I had nothing to worry about.
That was a relief- because I can't lie and say that a part of me was wondering if it was Lulu.
She can certainly be feisty when she wants to be.
A wall-flower she is not.
Does that sound terrible to not instantly take sides 100% with your own child?
I just never want to be the parent who thinks that their kid can do no wrong.
School is full of situations like this- especially with girls.
She's a tough cookie- and I know she can hold her own, but I just wish this wasn't the way we were finishing up the year.
I hope I'm doing the right thing by trying to discourage a friendship- because I just know- nothing good will come of this "relationship" I have a gut feeling about it.
But then again- who knows? maybe I'm handling it all wrong.
Who knew these politics would start as early as kindergarten?
Like I said though school is definitely one big learning curve.
Can't wait for high-school...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

puppy power

It's interesting how kids move in and out of phases- or in Lulu's case- obsessions.
Last year it was dogs dogs and more dogs.
It was her favourite thing to play and talk about.
She would beg us for one every day.
we told her that when she turned five we would get her one.
Well...her 5th birthday has come and gone and still no fido here at casapetitegourmand.
but the main reason being that some time around say 6 months ago she just sort of stopped being so dog obsessed.
She still LOVES dogs- don't get me wrong, but she no longer asks us for one constantly, nor does she bark when being spoken to or walk around the house on all fours drinking water out of a bowl on the floor.
kidding...well sort of...
Maybe it had something to do with "seeing people picking up dog poop with their hands mama!"
When she realized that the movie Dog Hotel is not actually real- and no toilet training for dogs would realistically be possible- she started having second thoughts.
Anyhow I'm sure we will eventually get her the dog we promised.
The truth is, both big daddy & I would love to have a family pet again.
I grew up with dogs, he grew up with cats.
So we both think it would be nice for Lulu to know what it's like to have a pet growing up.
Just not yet.
We will know when the time is right I guess.
Fortunately it's no longer on the top of the list for Lulu and she is more than thrilled with her Zhu Zhu fake hamster.
As am I.
oh and I forgot to post about it, but Lulu's 4th birthday party was featured in Canadian Family Magazine May issue.
and is also up on the main home page at the moment.
so check it out.
ruff. ruff.
Let's just hope that her new love of horses subsides before her next birthday party....