Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's that time of year again...


It is dance recital season.  The time of year many moms dread because of the vast amount of time that will be spent on rehearsals, costumes, makeup, and performances.  My kids love dance class and get a lot out of it and as much as I dread the hours of kid wrangling at the recital and the attacks of claustrophobia I get in the stuffy basement dressing rooms, there are other moments that I remember why I shell out the money and time for this.

There was a performance by some senior girls last night that brought tears to my eyes with it's emotional depth and poignancy.

Noticing how  Charlotte has  improved over the year made me so proud of her.  To see her have fun and enjoy herself on stage was awesome.  The late night was particularly hard on her and we will spend the rest of the weekend trying to help her catch up on her lost sleep and try to maintain our sanity while she has meltdown after meltdown.

I watched with shock and horror as Matthew stood on the stage and picked his nose through his dress rehearsal.  Then, on the night of the final recital I saw this:
video

And if you can actually bring yourself to watch until 2:30, you will see him steal the show.
(The song is Fireflies by Owl City)


(There is no video of Charlotte because I lost my seat after the intermission while I was helping her in the dressing room so I could not get a good view with my camera while she was dancing. )

So as much as I complain, I always go back.  I can't stay away.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Silver Lining

Things are slowly, slowly getting back to normal around here.  The river has dropped a lot in the past few weeks so the hard task of cleaning up sandbags and dikes has started.  This means that roads are opening around my suburb and evacuees may be able to go home soon.

There have been some good things to come out of this disruption in my life:

The early wake up and bus departures has given me time.  I can drop off the kids and be home before 0830.  If I am smart, I use the time to do chores and my house is looking better and better because of it.

Emptying out my basement to prepare for possible flooding/sewer backup  (that never came, thank goodness) has given me the opportunity to purge our belongings and get rid of toys, books and clothes that we don't need anymore.

Congregating at the bus stop every morning and afternoon has given me the opportunity to meet the parents of a couple of Emmett's friends.  Hopefully some more playdates can happen because of this.

There is always a silver lining, right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Normal

We are settled in at home again, for better or worse.  We are still under evacuation alert, but it seems unlikely that the emergency sirens will go and we will have to make a run for it.  A couple of days ago the local media informed us that our big fat river has crested and levels have been dropping slowly but steadily ever since.

This does not mean life is back to business as usual, however.  Emmett's school is still evacuated, as is the major shopping center closest to us.  There are now two roads open in and out of my suburb, but during peak rush hours it is safer to go the long way around our city on the highway to reach the side with the grocery store.  Emmett is being bussed to a secondary location for school, and Char's bus schedule has been changed to such an early hour that I have yet to get her there on time.  We tend to drop Emmett off to board his bus, and then we continue on into the city for her drop off and whatever errands I have to run during the morning.

My basement is still cleaned out and the kids all sleep upstairs for the time being. I may consider letting them move back into their bedrooms on the weekend, depending on what the flood forecast says.  Lucy is loving having two extra beds in the living room!  She is playing the Basset game where you sleep on the illegal bed until caught, slink back to the legal bed, and then rinse and repeat as humans leave and enter the living room.

I am not sure how long this new normal is going to last, but we are just taking it one day at a time.

A nightly battle for control of the bed.

Charlotte's room has never looked so clean.

We are not auditioning for the show Hoarders, this is just one of the landing spots for basement valuables.

Some recent spelling words from Emmett's school agenda. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thankful

In amongst the stress and pain of these past few weeks there have been some bright spots.  When the local media called out for help with sandbaggers people from all corners of the city dropped everything and put on their boots and work gloves.  The city had enough help that the mayor was able to turn away the assistance of the military so they could go help in places that needed it more. The local University opened up their classrooms to my boy's evacuated school.

In my own world I was given the gift of friends who navigated the gnarly traffic and road closures to bring me plastic storage bins and extra hands to empty my basement and feed me tea when I allowed myself moments to feel the gravity of our situation.  My mom dropped everything and drove five hours to open her new house to us for a week.  My mother in law came into the country to pick up Emmett so he wouldn't miss his Beavers meeting and then took him to school the next day.  My other mother in law is forcing me out of her house and into a spa today.

I am grateful to those friends who couldn't help me in person, but offered up kind words and prayers.  It means a lot to have my family being held in so many hearts and minds right now.  Every positive vibe helps.

Yesterday, on our way to visit the Big City we stopped for supper at McDonalds.  On the Weather Channel they were showing footage of a little town in the area preparing for a planned dike breach this morning.  The little boys at the table next to us called their grandparent's attention to the images.  Emmett overheard it and walked over and told them he lives near "big sandbags" too.  We all had a moment of commiseration.  Can we spare a thought for those people today?

Friday, May 13, 2011

High Water Event....

If you have been watching the news in Canada at all, you might have heard a thing or two about what is being referred to as a High Water Event  in my area.  I was under emergency evacuation notice last week.  The Prime Minister even stopped by for a photo op.  My neighbours on the other side of the river were forced out of their homes and don't know when they will be allowed back.  The evacuation order for my side of the river was revoked last week so my family was allowed to stay home.    This was not easy though, given widespread road closures to allow access for workers to a large dike system running through our city to keep the floodwaters at bay.  I packed up my basemet, then I packed up  the kids and escaped to my mom's new house an hour out of town to get some space.
I got home today to find my suburb eerily quiet.  A lot of my neighbours have left.  The big shopping complex down the street was evacuated, as was Emmett's school.  Thankfully, my house is still high and dry. 
I am a bundle of nerves.  I am not sleeping or eating.  I am just waitng.  Waiting.  Waiting for the water to go down.  Waiting for the roads to open.  Waiting to find out if my friends will lose their home

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Public Service Announcement.

Dear World:  You need to know that none of the "gifts" on the list linked below will be well-received on Mother's Day by most of the moms I know. 

If any of these show up in my house and are passed off as gifts, Mama will NOT be impressed. The cheapest and best gift for me would be the opportunity to sleep in, with hot coffee waiting and the time to enjoy a good book while  I am still under the covers.  All of these things can be found in my house already, so no trip to the store is required. 

Let me put it this way:  if the word LAUNDRY is in the title, it is NOT a gift.

Here is the link I am ranting about.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Disconnected.

So, the flood that is ravaging the southern part of my province and the center of my city knocked out my internet for three days.  What did you miss?  A blizzard.  A birthday.   A trip to a respected pediatrician that resulted in confirmation of what I already knew about my boy. It is resulting in a new therapy program that is messy and difficult and not to be discussed here to preserve my boy's dignity.  (In a nutshell we can add Sensory Processing Disorder to our list of challenges. )

What did I miss?  Less than I thought I would.  The first day was awful. I didn't know what to do with myself.  I didn't know how to check for the time of the movie we wanted to see!  Then I smartened up.  Losing an invisible thing that we can live without is nothing compared to what so many others have lost in this flood.  I fervently hope that a few days of internet is all I am fortunate to lose from this.

So, since I don't have anything deep and thoughtful to say, here are a few random shots from the past week


This is what you find on your memory card after confiscating the camera from your three and a half year old.
Here is a newly-minted six year old on her school's Silly Hat Day. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Don't Mess with Mother Nature

April 29:
This is a flooded park near our house.  Please note the grass trying to wake up.
 May 1:

These pictures were taken of my front yard this morning.  A blizzard hit our city yesterday and this is the aftermath.  Roads were closed.  There were whiteout conditions during hard wind gusts.  This is Spring on the Prairies.  You never know what is going to happen.