so far so good with the new school year. the only issue has been the roadworks going on on the only road to and from the school which has increased the time there and back from about 7 minutes to more like 30 or 40 minutes. fortunately the weather has been absolutely fantastic [mid-80s ish - good for the end of september] so i've been more than happy to let the children ride their bikes while i rollerblade with zoe in the jog stroller. the early morning rollerblading has been very reminiscent of rollerblading to work in london.
speaking of my life in the world of internet, i'm currently taking an online XHTML course since my website knowledge could do with a bit of an update. it's very strange to be doing coursework again. i have to say that so far it's all been nice and straightforward. with a bit of luck i might make an effort to give unblog a face lift before my maternity leave finishes.
zoe suddenly seems lot more mobile. it's not that she particularly has any more skills (still crawling a little bit, cruising, standing on her own and walking 2 or 3 steps before falling. she just seems to be getting a little further and being a little less frustrated as she figures out how to sit down from standing and how to sit down from crawling [instead of lying on her face screaming!] she's also doing much much better with people outside her immediate family - very handy because it means she is happy to be held and play with other people when i'm at the school/community centre which makes for some nice peaceful cups of tea. of course 'playing with someone' generally means finding some sucker repeatedly willing to pick her toys up as she flings them as far as possible
if anyone would like to come to my house and serve aly and toby, please let me know - they informed me that they're 'too tired and weak' to make their own breakfast'. they're going to be an awful lot weaker if they sit around waiting for me to bring them breakfast - they've been making their own perfectly capably for a few years now.
urgh.. one of the american day time soaps just came on. no idea which - they all look the same. such atrocious acting. as a coronation street fan, i'm probably not one to judge but still, i have to go and trawl through the hundreds of channels to find something else. maybe the discovery channel?
sleep rules according to zoe:
no leaving the car once i'm asleep in it. perhaps try climbing out of a window if you really have to go somewhere?
close the garage door while the engine is still on then turn it off and sit there. [see point 1 above]
do not even think about sliding the side of the crib up and down to get me in. if i'm already asleep, i will be instantly awake. if i'm awake i will be very very angry. in fact so angry i won't be getting to sleep for at least another hour. instead of sliding the side up and down please use a step stool to lower me in gently.
i will need breastfeeding somewhere between 1 and 4 times each night. i will randomize the exact number to keep you guessing. nothing other than breast milk will do. patting or singing me back to sleep is not an acceptable alternative.
well the children are sort of back at school - 50 minutes yesterday - hopefully a little more today. they don't get put in their classes for this school year until friday afternoon so i'm sure they are not learning a massive amount this week!
autumn has arrived with a vengeance. we had a very soggy day on vancouver island at the saanich fair on sunday [toby's birthday] while sascha was test driving another boat. i had left my jacket in victoria last time we stayed over and was happy to see it again - especially since it had my house and car keys in the pocket. i was also a little surprised to find change in my pocket - i never usually keep any money in my pockets. only in victoria could you lose a jacket only to have it returned with bonus money in it!
aly arrived home with dani on monday, so the household is back together again. so far it hasn't been too chaotic, although there was an hour last night where i hadn't managed to get a very cranky baby to sleep, aly was crying because she had lost her hamster [again] and toby thought he might throw up.
with all this rain after 3 or 4 months of beautiful weather, zoe is very confused about the wet stuff falling out of the sky and the arrival of long sleeves and socks. she's happy to have socks to pull off and chew on, but is a little put out by the sleeves which don't seem to come off.
we had a great day at splashdown park last week with tonya, britt, cyd and dani. i wasn't sure how zoe would be. she loves her bath, but hates water parks with sprinklers. as it turns out, she loved dipping her toes in the hot tub and going down the baby slides once i had perfected my technique of holding her over my head out of the splash zone while i disappeared under the water! aly and toby were their usual selves - toby picked the one slide he really liked [not too high - he doesn't do heights] and went down it a million times, while aly dashed off around the park with her cousins to do as many different scary slides as possible. i got to go on a few slides thanks to the handy babysitters [thanks guys!] and especially loved going down the black hole with aly. sasch couldn't make it because he was in a hockey tournament. a week later, i think his back has just about recovered!
britt, dani, cyd and tonya
cyd and toby on toby's favourite slide
our incredible escaping hamster, wanda, has survived to see another day. she has lived in a variety of places in the house [aly's room - too noisy at night, laundry room - hamster doesn't like the noise, dining room - hamster kept escaping and leaping 3ft to the ground] and had been relegated to the garage. we had been away for two days and when we got back we noticed that the cage was broken. she's been through 3 different cages and has always managed to find at least one way to escape, in this case, something had fallen and opened the cage so it wasn't her fault. anyway, the garage is a big big place with a lot of hiding spaces. added to this, the kitchen workmen had been in and out of the garage while we were away. we couldn't quite believe that she was either a. still in the garage or b. findable if she was in the garage or in the crawl space under the house. after a few hunts we had pretty much given up hope when sascha saw some movement around the rollerblades. i made a leap for her and she was back in cage #4 in time for bed. she's well over 2 years old - i'm sure she should be getting a little less nimble by now [i know i am!]
this weekend we were in victoria again - to drop aly off for another week and for sasch to sea trial a boat we were interested in. as it happens, they broke the boat! [the steering went and they limped back to shore amidst much 'excitement']. we now have our eyes on another and will be back to check that out next weekend. zoe, unfortunately, went back to being a sleeping nightmare away from home, but did amuse us by spending the entire weekend babbling [despite not having babbled at all until this point, apparently she can happily shout dada, haha, wawa, baba and lala]. now we're home she's quiet again, but it's nice to know she can do it when she wants to. aly did exactly the same thing - never said a word unless she had a specific point to make.
so it's september and with a bit of luck, my kitchen will be completely finished within a couple of weeks. school is about to start and life will return to normality. bring on the school lunches, chaotic mornings, arguments over homework and the reams and reams of paperwork for me!