Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mr. 6

Lawsey today you turn six.  As I'm writing this you are still sleeping (which is a miracle because you don't sleep well here).  This year has been so hard for you and I'm sad for you and also amazed at your resiliency!  Moving away from all your family and friends was tough.  Also, you never quite felt safe in the bedroom of the rental.  Combine that with a bad med combination and you don't sleep well.  Thankfully you've got an incredible kindy teacher (Ms. Peak is really and truly amazing isn't she) but the stress of moving from a francophone school to a more intense English speaking school isn't helping.  Thankfully you're so smart (no really a cognitive test confirmed you're actually smarter than we thought).

This year has had some great experiences for you though and while we haven't been here long the new house seems to be so good for you.  You've made some new friends in the neighbourhood, You're doing karate, you're reading and writing and I seriously am amazed at how you've caught up!

Things I never want to forget:

  • The first night you read me goodnight moon ON YOUR OWN and I was blown away!
  • How you seriously say the funniest things and make us laugh all the time!
  • How you don't dance but if I put on music you will do crazy ninja moves all around the house.
  • What an amazing swimmer you are.  Seriously you can dive to the deep end of our pool, have an amazing front crawl and you love it!
  • How you will still snuggle me and how you tell me you love me ALL THE TIME!
  • How the first night we moved in to our house and got into the spa you said "we should be thankful for this spa"!
Honestly so many things to be thankful for with you and I'm sure hoping that six is easier for you than five was!  I love you so much.

AJ is THREE

Oops, I kinda forgot to post this!

Well today you turned THREE!  I cannot believe it.  Honestly how did this happen. On day you were two and then you woke up an adult.  Okay not quite but it does feel like you were just a baby.  Maybe that's because we still call you baby and think of you as the baby.  Honestly with those sweet cheeks and lovable smile it's hard not to do anything but snuggle you.  And lots has happened this year for you.  You've moved from the only home you've ever known to a new country and a rental house.  You've potty trained (okay Grandma Carol did that for us when she came to visit at Christmas time), given up your Kirby, and in January you will start preschool!

Things I never want to forget about you at three:

  •  How you love to line things up!  Mostly your toy cars but you'll line up anything. I find lines of toy cars everywhere.  
  • How you love backpacks, boxes and bags and love to put "treasures" in there.
  • How exceptionally stubborn you are (okay I could forget that).
  • How sweet you are.  You love to rub my face and tell me you love me!
  • How much you love a birthday party!  Man do you ever party.  You love to sing the happy birthday song and pretend to eat cake.
  • How you STILL talk with a little herky-jerky voice "Ia wanta cookiea".  IT's way cute!
  • How you can get angry at us but it's so cute it makes us laugh and then you'll yell "don't say laugh  DON"T SAY LAUGH"!  
Oh so many things but those are all the ones that stick out in my head.  Thanks for making our family complete and for being so wonderful AJ.  We love you to the moon and back!  


Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Year Texaversary!

One year ago today our little family got on a plane and flew to Texas.  We landed in Houston and a shuttle took us to our rental home in Katy, Texas.  Since then so much in our lives have changed.  The boys both started school (Laws in Kindergarten and AJ in preschool), we bought a house, M got a new job, we applied for Green Cards, we drove home to Canada (I still really need to blog about that). etc.  So how has the first year been?  Amazing, sad, lonely, and everything in between.

Laws - The transition was so rough for our little Lawsey!  He went from a super small Francophone school in Canada to the largest elementary school in Katy (1600 kids).  He struggled with medication and never felt safe in corporate housing.  He had to leave all of his friends and family behind.  All of this led to anxiety and stress.  Once we moved into our current home things got better.  We also have an amazing psychiatrist who has worked so hard to improve his mental health and we've got a new diagnosis of ASD.  Life is better now and the school system is a better fit despite its size.  We feel blessed to have him here.  This year we made the decision for him to repeat Kindergarten.  Kindy here is more intense than home (the curriculum is equivalent to grade one and two back home) and he struggled starting late when we moved.  Having him repeat has given him more confidence and self-esteem and has allowed him time to focus on his social skills.  The cutoff here is different (September 01) and so most children are 6 when they start kindergarten which means he's the same age as many of his peers.  He's also started soccer and we've realized he's an incredibly talented swimmer (most of his free time is spent in our pool).  Life is much better for this boy lately and it's nice to see him to happy and confident!

AJ - The transition for AJ was much easier.  He misses family and snow but loves being able to play outside all the time and swim in the pool.  He loves school here and has loved having me home with him too.  Before he started school in January we were together 24/7.  We have sure grown close and having him away in school is often hard for me!  If he didn't love it so much I'd have him home all the time.

M - The transition has been stressful for M.  For a man who takes on all the financial responsibility and security of our family he's struggled with things being out of his control (no green cards, etc).  His company also had some major changes.  Yet he loves all the things Texas has to offer: low cost of living, golfing all year round, beautiful weather and his new hobby: backyard pooling!  Between Laws and M that pool is used A LOT!  He also has a better commute than back home and we all love having more time together!    He also continues to miss snow...

CanadianMama - I have honestly loved the majority of this last year.  While I've hated seeing Laws struggle and while I've sure missed my parents and friends back home, this has been a wonderful adventure.  Having lived my whole live in Calgary or Airdrie I didn't think I would be okay with moving.  I was totally wrong!  I've made some wonderful friends here and when people come to visit it's quality time with them that I didn't get before.  My biggest complaint (beside being away from my mom) is no job.  Which has actually been the biggest gift.  Truly it has been wonderful to be home.  For the first time since I had children I've had a clean home, dinner on the table and organized children (most of the time)!  I love being able to be there for every event (field trips, sick days) and having so much time with my boys.  But  I sure miss my job!  Social work is my passion and I miss it daily.  In Calgary I had the perfect job.  It was part-time, flexible hours and I loved the actual work.  I also had the most amazing boss.  I think about her all the time; I learned so much from her and she became such an important person in my life.  But I love the lifestyle here and I'm so glad I was brave enough to try this!  Also, I will NEVER miss snow!

I don't know what the future will hold but I do know we've been blessed in Texas y'all! And while Texas is where we live; Canada will always be our home.    


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tidbits From Texas

1) We officially have a new diagnosis for my 6 year old (to go along with his other two). He was assessed by the developmental team through the school board. It's will mean more services and support for him next year. It's amazing to me how much better the school system is here. Back home he would have never received that assessment! Sometimes I think that moving here was the greatest thing that ever happened to my kids. I'm glad I was brave enough to say yes to the move. 
2) Inspired by my parents on their last visit I decided to lose some weight myself (they've had amazing success on the South Beach Diet). I've finally lost the 10lbs I put on with the move (my Texas ten lol). It feels good to have my old clothes fit again!
3) today is the Father's Day Fishing Tournament put on by our HOA (home owners association). M and another dad in our neighbourhood signed up so at the crack of dawn they woke up and took the big kids. I'm here with the little and he's actually sleeping in for once!
I'm re-finishing a super ugly old oak table and chairs. None of our new furniture works with our new house but because we had to buy a new house and didn't sell our old one money is tight right now. So I found a super cheap one on Varagesale and I'm painting it. More pics to follow. It's actually really fun and turning out way better than I expected!  


Friday, June 6, 2014

School's Out!

Today was our first day of summer vacation. When M got home from dinner we had this conversation:
M - how was your day?
Me - awesome!!  Seriously the wickedest day ever
M - what did you do?
Me - okay so I slept in until 6:30!  Then I read my book in bed until 8 when AJ started yelling for me. Then we had breakfast together and at 9 Lawsey got up. Then we cleaned up a bit and packed up for the beach club. We got there at 10 and stayed until 12:30. It was pretty awesome, not many people and the boys swam and made sand shit the whole time. Then we ate lunch and it was quiet time. After an hour Lawsey and I played Crazy 8's and War until AJ woke up. Then we went to the store and came home to make dinner! 
M - (no response. He seemed depressed)

And that's how I plan to spend the next month!  Remember when I was afraid of being a SAHM?  Turns out it's freaking awesome!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Katy For The Schools; Cinco For The Pools

The community we live in here in Texas is about the size of west Airdrie, maybe a bit bigger, and it has seven community pools.  They are all closed right now except a few of them are open during the weekend.  THe waterpark across from our house was open today and we decided to check it out.  It was AWESOME!  I cannot believe we get to access them all summer.  WOOHOO!!

This is an aerial view of the splash park.  It is surround on three sides by a swamp and when I went to look for images online I found this video of an alligator in it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk-JoC70TI4

Thursday is the last day of school and then Friday the pools are all open for the summer.  I plan to check out this beach club Friday:


It's going to be an awesome summer!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hoppy Easter Ever Bunny

Normally, in Canada we would celebrate Easter with brunch, small practical gifts for the kids from the bunny and a great community Easter egg hunt. Which was often cold and windy. Then we would have a large family dinner. This year was a little different. 

The kids honestly didn't need anything this year so they got small gifts. Games to fit their age level (I'm not overly religious but I struggle to buy large gifts, sugary foods and cheap crap as a way of celebrating Jesus dying on the cross for us. Ya know?).  And so far we've played them all a bunch!

After the egg hunt we spent the day in the pool!  

That evening we ate the best Easter dinner prepared by my mom!  It's so nice having family here for the holidays :)