A New Season

We are now several days into the official start of fall, and I suppose it is time to say farewell to summer. This summer was a good one- one of the best in recent memory. We spent a lot of time outside, the weather was sunny and warm, and we even got in a little cottage getaway at the end of August. It was very nearly perfect, and I am sure that as time goes on, the memory of hearing, “What are we going to do now, Mama?” fifty times a day will fade and I will remember this summer only as a happy, blissful time in our lives.

Some highlights:

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And now here we are, nearing the end of September. We have entered into a new season. Charlotte is in French Immersion now; in a class that doesn’t include her nearly lifelong partner in crime, Vera. These two changes combined made me very nervous about the new school year. Unsurprisingly though, these changes were probably harder on me than on Charlotte. She is now spouting French phrases around the house (“Regardez moi!”) and she still plays with Vera every day before school and during their outdoor play times.

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This is a new season for Penelope, too. She is now attending a home daycare with the most lovely caregiver I could have ever hoped for. She has adjusted to this change beautifully. Penelope has two new playmates in the toddlers that attend this daycare, and she adores it. I love the fact that she is out in the world, with her peers, and enjoying herself. She has made so much progress recently- she seems to be understanding phrases and directions and she is pointing and communicating more. She still doesn’t have any words yet, but she makes herself known. She pulls to stand easily now, and will cruise for a few steps along furniture. And speaking of steps- she can now crawl up stairs by herself! There is no doubt in my mind that she will walk one day- she is one determined girl.

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Having fun at her caregiver’s house

Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not enjoy change. AT ALL. So all of these changes occurring simultaneously made September a bit of a difficult month to navigate. In addition to the changes, I have been working a lot more- nearly twice as much as I was before- and trying to balance the shift work with family life is exhausting at times. Things are more settled now, though, and I am breathing a bit easier. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still wary of what the future has in store, but I am trying to focus on the present. Right now, life is good. Everyone is happy and healthy. This new season is a good one so far.

Summer Break

It is officially summer, and with it comes a few changes in our daily routine. Charlotte will be finished with junior kindergarten as of Thursday (sob) and I will be tasked with filling her days for two long months. She is really going to miss school (and so will I). I love the structure that school gives to our days. Charlotte loves just about everything to do with school- seeing her friends, learning new words and concepts, eating her lunchtime bagel in her classroom with Miss Lisa, pizza days, assemblies, singing songs, and playing. Somehow I will have to find a substitute for school to keep her occupied. This is a daunting prospect to say the least.

Almost done with JK

Almost done with JK

Charlotte is not the only one whose daily routine is changing- Mark will be working from home all summer, teaching summer school online. So basically, the peaceful and relaxing days that Penelope and I spend together are on hiatus until September. I know I will have to endure a lot of the following: “What are we going to do today?” (Mark). “How many bedtimes until senior kindergarten?” (Charlotte. And me.) I think my best bet to survive the summer with my sanity intact is planning- days at the zoo, beach, visiting family, playdates, etc. Both the girls and I need structure to our days, and I want to enjoy the summer instead of just counting down the days until September.

Oh god, how am I going to keep these two entertained all summer long?!

Oh god, how am I going to keep these two entertained all summer long?!

How do you keep your kids occupied and happy during summer break? Please give me all your tips and tricks!

Routine

Ahh, summer. Warm days, playing outside, swimming, relaxing- what’s not to love? And while I absolutely adore summer, there is an aspect to it that I’m not crazy about: the complete and total destruction of any routine in our household.

When you have small children, and a spouse who is a teacher, the “vacation mode” feel to summer is magnified times a thousand. Mark stays up late and sleeps in. Charlotte constantly asks, “Who are we going to see today?” Penelope’s nap schedule is completely shot to shit. Mark takes advantage of his time off and takes Charlotte to tons of fun places, like the zoo, the farm at Archibald Orchards, and the CNE. And it’s wonderful- they both have a fantastic time, but it means later bedtimes and toast for dinner on occasion.

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At the zoo

 

Beautiful butterfly at Buskerfest

Beautiful butterfly at Buskerfest

At the CNE

At the CNE

With Mark being off, I have found time to go the gym, but I seem to have sacrificed my writing time. Whenever Penelope and I come along on these adventures, her naptime and/ or her feeding schedule gets messed up, and she ends up crying and unhappy. Then we get home, and I’m exhausted and the laundry isn’t done and the dishwasher isn’t unloaded and it’s all too much. I am officially experiencing summer overload.

Out for a walk on Queen St, about ten minutes before she started crying and didn't stop for an hour and a half

Out for a walk on Queen St, about ten minutes before she started crying and didn’t stop for an hour and a half

Whenever I envisioned how I would feel when Charlotte headed off to kindergarten, I assumed I would feel sad that my baby was no longer, well, a baby. This could not be farther from reality. I am DYING for school to start and to get things back to normal around here.

As a kid/ teenager/ young adult, I hated routine. It was so boring. I wanted spontaneity and excitement and the opportunity to lounge in the sun all day. Now, I am CRAVING routine. I love getting up in the morning and knowing, more or less, what the day will bring. I love having a schedule. Before school let out, I had Penelope on a wonderful, predictable schedule. Now, every day is different. Some days she has one nap, some days it’s two, some days (the hardest days) it’s none. And I can’t stand it. I’m really hoping that within a couple weeks of school starting she will have a schedule once again. And I will have my sanity back.