Friday, June 29, 2012

Excuse notes and other things

In writing this letter I realized how much weight I put on my parent's authority in the form of the excuse note over the years. Granted, this one was for an imaginary Teacher Jane, and a fictitious ballet class, demanded from Edie due to a real-live scraped knee, but as I was writing it it dawned on me that all of those excuse notes that I made mom or dad write and sign over the years were kind of like fake money, a bit of a currency only exchangeable between teachers and parents and meaningless outside of that group...This never ever crossed my mind in those days, oh the innocence of youth. I believed in the excuse note.

This is the only ballet happening around here...

Which usually turns into this...
On a different note, we think that Celia's first official non-baby, non-prompted word was uttered the other day, hamburger. Awesome hey? Popcorn might have preceeded it, but it's up for debate in the household.

A few weeks ago we took a work/family trip up to the South Saskatchewan River Delta, to the community of Cumberland House, which is tucked in on this side of the Saskatchewan Manitoba border. We spent one night in Nipawin on the way up, it being our first long car trip with the girls. Lots of Little House on the Prairie audio books helped immensely. Nipawin is...nice...The second day we arrived in Cumberland House and took an hour and a half boat-ride up the river to a location roughly 30 miles south of the E.B. Campbell dam, a dam commissioned in 1963 effectively creating Tobin Lake and altering water levels downstream of the dam ever since. We stayed with a couple (Solomon and Renee Carrier) who live on the river in a camp with no electricity, travel by boat, ski or dogsled, and have raised their children there. He is formerly a professional canoe racer and she is a school teacher who home-schooled her own children first. They are very interesting and remarkable people. They have lived on the river since the 80's and because of their reliance on the land, have witnessed different stages of impact that are likely dam-influenced. They were hosting a group of grade 8 and 9 school kids from Cumberland House on the tail end of a 2 week-long canoe trip. These kids were great, and Edie was in great awe of the teenage girls from the get-go. Tim and two of his colleagues ran workshops on water science, history and sociological issues with the kids for 1/2 a day, after which we headed back to Cumberland House by boat. In all, it was a good and pretty easy first camping trip for us. We're looking forward to more to come.  

Prank calls in Nipawin.  What else is there to do?

Upsidedown baby in Nipawin.  See above caption.

Very eager fisher

Edie and Merle take in the river

Teacher Tim

This camp, complete with teenagers was a perfect babysitter for Edie. I forgot that I was even taking care of her for the most part.  Check her out on the slope.

No running water or electricity means outhouses!

In her element.

Merle tells some stories on the riverbank.
Edie and I had a big race weekend last weekend, with Edie's first duathalon race (called trikes and tykes), and my first team sprint triathalon. It was a pretty fun-packed weekend all told. Edie was a champ and despite a helmet meltdown in the transition zone from the run to trike, she got through it, tying for 1st with all of the other kids :). I had to step in for the meltdown and encourage her along the way, and part of me was wondering what we were trying to prove when she was crying while peddling her way to the next transition, but she came out of it and gave a very brave run for the finish line, which she didn't technically cross because she saw Dad and Celia standing beside it and ran to them instead. She got a medal from a Huskies Basketball player and lots of snacks and treats. We were so proud of her. We were also both pretty teary throughout the whole thing.

Some pre-race training.

Complete with support crew.
Tas and Edie with their game faces on.
Off she goes!  Tears begin, ours at this point.

Now Edie's...

On the home stretch...Tears ours again.

Missed that finish-line by a hair...No worries! 

My race on the other hand was pretty low-key. My friend Lori, a former nationally-ranked gymnast,  triathlete and now a mom of 2, took the swim and bike, and she pulled through like a champ. I took over for the run, ran half of my distance, missed the turn-around and accidentally crossed the finish-line where they took my time-chip immediately. We still had the best time for our category, and would have even if I had finished at my pace, but technically it was a big DQ weekend for me. I hope to vindicate myself in the next few races I've got scheduled for the summer. Lori still wants to race with me, so that's a bonus. Apparently a pitfall of being a racing mom is that when I'm on my game, I'm still not really on my game like I used to be...bringing my children to my race is probably not of benefit to my game either.

Early in the spring Edie and I built a birdhouse out of scrap wood that we had acquired. It wasn't pretty, it resembles Ned Kelly's head gear, and we didn't think that there could be a bird desperate enough to use our birdhouse, but it turns out that there was/is. The now family, does not let us very near, and thus their species has not yet been identified. We're pretty happy with our new neighbors though.

Pride of ownership evident.

We've got some big trips coming up, the major ones being a 2 week foray into the Rockies at Kananaskis in about a week, and then the girls and I will be home for 3 weeks in August while Tim heads down under to take on more fieldwork for his many ongoing projects. Pretty fun stuff. We get back and Edie starts pre-school...yikes. Time is flying.

Edie and buddy Tasman at the zoo.

Aurelia and Lori (racing mom), at the zoo.

Edie and Nadia, under the tree in our front yard.

Ceeley puts in some library time.

Double trouble.
Loving the summer in the 'toon. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Daddy,

You've been gone for 4 full days now, and we've got 3 sleeps left before we see you again. We miss you.  Here are a few pictures and stories to keep you up to date on how things are going.

First off, Mom is talking to herself again, singing too. Please come home. We can't handle much more band music, for realsies. And what's with the food these days? Did she forget how to cook simply because you're not around? I've never heard of breakfast for supper before! Isn't that silly? Someone other than us needs to tell her to stick to the basics- meat and rice. No one here would complain about that. Easier for her too. When will she learn? Celia is working hard on getting our message across on this one.

Mom tried to get a good shot of us this week for you. Didn't go over too well. I, of course was as cooperative as anything, Ceeley, well, I tried hard to help...I give you the evidence.

Compromise: solo, keys, no smiling. 
What a funny girl! Oh ya, apparently because Nana Midge was a hairdresser way back in the day, Mom feels that she possesses the skill required to cut my bangs. Note to self; hold out for the hairdresser next time! I'm three, I can pull off the cropped bangs look, but seriously Mom...Fork over the $7 it would cost to have someone who knows what they are doing do this right. Take it out of my piggybank if you have to.

They'll grow back, right?
To be honest though, Mom is holding her own this week. We've done some pretty fun stuff, and will be hitting the zoo tomorrow. Team Jardine is just not complete without you here though, we miss you very much.

Have fun in Orlando. Say hi to Goofy and Mick Mouse for me.

Love always,