Monday, September 29, 2014

National Coffee Day- WOO HOO!

Let me sing you the song of my people...

Source: The Nest via Pinterest (broken link)

I love coffee. I actually didn't have my first cup of coffee until I was working at the IWK Foundation. Nancy introduced me to the latte and I was hooked. I loved how it was coffee but not harsh. Then I discovered really good coffee...not the burnt bottom of the pot stuff that I had been served for my first taste that turned me off forever. Austin didn't like to sleep...(at least I thought he didn't- compared to Amelia he was a dream sleeper!) and I was tired. One day I was out just for the sake of being out. Austin had finally fallen asleep in his car seat and I was tired and didn't want to take him out of his seat for fear of waking him. I pulled up to the coffee drive through and asked for something caffeinated.  I got an amazing cup of medium roast Paradiso and then I became this:

Source: The berry

My kids know that coffee is just part of my life. At my friend Kelly's house, Austin would drive the Crazy Coup car up to the "drive through" and order "A dubba dubba wif keam and a watté no foam"


We are a family that has coffee dates. The kids get a little hot milk and we all sit together and chat- a modern tea party. I cherish my coffee dates with friends where we just curl up on the sofa with a warm mug and talk. I miss when life seemed to be a bit simpler on maternity leave and those coffee dates were frequent and full of laughter. Work is getting in the way of my social life.

I really just want to drink coffee and make pretty things. Instead I have to work full time partly because of my fabric and coffee.

Source: Bear and Robot

So it's National Coffee Day. Whether you are like me and need a cup to start your day, or you could take it or leave it, coffee is not just a drink. It's part of our social fabric and I, for one, am very happy to include it in my everyday!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post: Urban Farm Girl: From homeschool to public school

Please don't judge me, I let my daughter go to school

As parents we are constantly being judged. Judged by our kids, by our parents, by our partners, by other kids parents, by random strangers in the grocery store line up and mostly by ourselves. In a world of parenting books, parenting blogs, and parenting experts we are all trying to give the best, be the best and do the best for our children, but what if we aren't sure what the best is? That's where I am right now but it wasn't always that way....

I had it all figured out, really I did! Natural childbirth, attachment parenting cloth diapers, co sleeping, babywearing and breast feeding till the ripe old age of 4 ( years not months) I quit my job to be a stay at home mom. My children were never left with a baby sitter expect family. I did my best to love and nurture, to respect and care. 

Life was good and I was proud of myself. 

When Clare was 3, I was introduced to the idea of home educating, it was just what I was waiting for! I had already taught her everything she knew, so why shouldn't I continue teaching her? Of course I could! So we ordered a pricey curriculum and signed up for classes at the Art gallery, a dance class and swimming and got started when Clare turned 4. She loved it, I loved it, and all was right with the world. My daughter is a bright, funny, happy, fun loving and independent little girl. 

She also has a mind of her own.....Grade 1 and things were going great until, one day, out of the blue Clare comes to me and says " Mom I want to go to school". I remember looking at her blankly, no words would come, my mind was racing. I thought you were happy, I thought this was working, why would anyone want to get up early, go to school with a bunch of strangers, sit in a desk, deal with the kids, do home work? I just smiled at her and shook my head yes. 

Let's back up a decade or two...

It was grade 6. Lunch time on the playground. The feeling of fall was in the air, cool and crisp. I watched a group of girls talking, laughing, giggling, arms linked as they walked. They were in my class, I knew them and they knew me. We had been in the same class since primary, but we weren't friends. They were , not so much. I got up the courage to approach them, slowly walking in their direction, telling myself that they would let me join in. Why wouldn't they? But you know what? They didn't. When I finally walked close enough to be heard I said "Hi". And one of them turned, looked me in the eye, smiled and said "bye!" I froze, did I hear her right? Did she say hi or bye? Why would someone say bye? Unless, yes that's it, I was not welcome, my heart sank. I remember that day like it was yesterday and I'm now 32 years old. The strangest part is that it hurts as much now as it did then. 

So it brings me back to the question, why would anyone want to go to school?  
But Clare is different than I was, she is confident and social and loves other people. She will chat it up with just about anyone. This summer she befriended a 75 year old lady in the swimming pool in Quebec. They swam together for an hour, laughing and chatting. Clare asked for her room number and address before we left. 

I made the call to the principal of the school around the corner and he agreed that Clare could attend Phys Ed class. That's all I will was willing to give, 1 hour twice a week. I told myself that she wouldn't like it, I might have even prayed that she wouldn't like it.  
Day one, she had new sneakers, we were on time, her hair was done, we sat waiting on the bench for the class to arrive. I said "hello" to the teacher, Clare said "hi" to the class and then she was gone. No hug, no "I love you mom", no "can you come in and stay with me mom?". Nothing just a wave, a smile and a bye. 

 Week two and she begs, please can I go upstairs and do math with my friends? Math? Ok I can understand gym class but math? No I said, quickly stuffing her sneakers in the bag and taking her by the hand. We are going to go home and put on our Pjs and make cookies I said smiling at her. She didn't look as impressed as I was with my idea. 

Six weeks before school was out for the summer I let her go, full time, all day. 

It killed me but once again I was sure she wouldn't like it. Surely all day would be too long, surely she wouldn't find it fun. I give it a week I told Drew, one week. He just smiled at me knowing his daughter well. Clare finished out the year, all A's and B's. We enjoyed the summer and I put school out of my mind. 

Two weeks before school went in Clare started asking when she was going back to school. My heart felt like it was honestly breaking. It wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't what I planned. But it was what she wanted.... 

Today was her first day of grade 2. She sprung out of bed and threw on her clothes. Grabbed her backpack stuffed with duo tangs, colored pencils and glue sticks and hurried the rest of us out the door. Shes there right now, in a room of 20 kids and a teacher I don't know. Someone else molding and shaping her, teaching her and caring for her. 

Isn't that my job? 

Yes it is, but I'm learning to share my precious baby girl, I'm learning to respect her decisions and trust her choices even at 7 years old and I'm secretly praying that she will change her mind. So to all you moms and dads out there who have it all figured out, please don't judge me, I'm just a mom trying to do her best and right now that means letting my daughter go to school.