Thursday, September 29, 2011

I learn something new every day

These cell phone-snapped photos were taken back on Meet the Teacher night. The grade 1 kids had done 'getting to know me' type worksheets that included a family picture (thus the inclusion of a leftover Christmas card from last year) and information about their favourite things and what they want to be when they grow up. I don't know if the most surprising thing about Liam's submission was his favourite food, which I know is hard to see here, but it's a Joe Louis (we have never bought these and to my knowledge, he has never tasted one... though I don't blame him for thinking they look good!):Or his wildest dream, which I am sure is pretty common among six-year-olds:Or his career aspiration:The funny thing is, I have long maintained that being a mailman would be a wonderful job - the kind of thing I might take up part-time after winning the lottery. You get lots of fresh air and exercise and get to stroll around all day with the company of your own thoughts and perhaps your iPod - what's not to love about that?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Due south

Sunday promised to be a nice day, and I had been holed up breathing in my own filth and germs for the past two weeks. So when Chad suggested we make a quick trip down to Point Pelee to get outside for the afternoon, it sounded like a good idea.The last time I'd been to the park was six years before, when I ran the now-defunct 'Get to the Point' half marathon for the second time. But the race stayed on park roads and didn't get out to the true point. This trip would change that.First, though, we decided to hike the marsh trail/boardwalk.Unfortunately, this was when Liam experienced his very first bee sting. A bee that (we think) got caught up in the hood of Liam's hoodie took out its frustrations on the back of Liam's neck. I'd always hoped that this first bee sting would take place with a paramedic close by in case he turns out to be allergic... luckily he did not turn out to be allergic, because we were out on the boardwalk and in the park, which has one very long and narrow access road in and out. No medical help in sight.After Liam calmed down and the bee curled up and died, we made a trip to the visitor's centre, and from there we hopped on the electric tram that shuttles visitors down to the 42nd parallel. You're not allowed to drive there on your own.From there it was just a short walk to the beach - and following the beach along to the point brought us to the very southernmost point in mainland Canada:Even though we didn't catch the fabled monarch butterfly migration on this trip, it turned out to be a really nice day - likely the last of its kind this year. I'm glad we went. On the drive home, both the kids and I fell asleep within minutes of being in the car. It was the most activity I'd done in weeks; I'm not sure what their excuse was.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


And so it begins. We are, once more, an arena family - now up to four hours a week at the rink. Liam is in hockey for the second year, and Mallory has started playing ringette - or, more accurately, she's learning to skate in the ringette program (not quite sure how much actual ringette will be played this year!)Last year we thought it was bad that Liam's practises were at 4 p.m. on Mondays, which was difficult to make it to from the office. This year, his practises are early Sunday mornings (this week was 8:45)... which is a nuisance because his games are late on Saturday afternoons (anytime from 3 to 6 p.m.) So we're at the rink on Saturday night and again first thing Sunday morning. This gives Liam little rest between sessions and if we happen to go out of town for a weekend this winter, we'll miss the whole week's worth of hockey.The upside is that Liam was initially drafted by the Canadiens but was then traded to the Bruins. He thinks it is pretty cool that he has been traded just like the big guys are, and given that Tim Thomas was his favourite player last year, he wound up in a pretty good spot.Mallory is playing on Mondays, alternate Thursdays, and wildcard slots in between. On her first night of practise she wanted to get off the ice after 40 minutes or so, and we let her. She had just started school, was clearly exhausted, fell asleep in the car on the drive from school to the rink... it's still an adjustment for her. Tonight she soldiered through the whole practise despite the fact that the first 10 minutes or so is quite disorganized and leaves her with no personal attention from any of the instructors. (Hoping this changes soon!) But, I asked her tonight if she wants me to get on the ice with her next time, since many of the parents do, and she said no. Plus, she's able to fend for herself - get up when she falls, move around the ice, etc. - and it just makes her a more resiliant kid to fend for herself. So I'm good with that.Of course as luck would have it, neither kid plays at the rink close to our house - all their games and practises are either at Thames Campus or Erickson. So far we have been able to do the school or daycare pickup/dash home/change/get to rink OK but once the snow starts to fly, it will get a bit trickier. So, yeah, it's not such a bad thing that Liam's play is limited to weekends.
Thanks to Cory and Megan for the ringette face mask hand-me-down. It would be too easy if we could just use the same mask from last year... instead, it has to have angled bars instead of 90-degree angled ones. I guess this makes sense if there's a chance of a ringette stick poking Mallory's eye out otherwise. Mal is just happy to have the hot pink mouth guard and skate laces... you can dress her up like a hockey player, but she's still a girly girl at heart.