Thursday, August 26, 2010

a ride to the beach

I think I have fulfilled my quota for exercise for the year.
After dinner Joel, Sofia and I rode our bikes to the beach . . . I think it’s about 1½km to there from our house.
There, we walked around a bit and then rode home.
I have pictures to prove it.
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Yeah . .  it was cold . . . thus the gloves and toques . . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

it’s about time . . .

. . . I came up for air and visited my blogging friends . . .
Life’s been busy as usual . . . I took the children to the zoo about 10 days ago . . . I wanted to make sure we got in at least one trip this year when the weather was warm . . . The day went really well, other than our picnic “fiasco” . . . we took along sausages to grill at the fire pit. However, the wood was all damp, and previous picnickers had put out their fires with water, so we couldn’t get them to roast. So, after being there for 40 minutes, we decided to not bother trying to eat them, and move along. About 200 meters later, we came across some gas grills and decided to go for it. Picnic #2:
P1030834 Look out Gordon Ramsey . . . here comes Sam!
P1030836 Waiting for the food to cook.
P1030838_edited-1 Beautiful spot for a picnic!
Last weekend I took down the swimming pool – not because it was getting too cold to swim, but because nature knew that Fall is coming and the Birch tree seeds are falling constantly . . . very messy. It’s a big job to take it down, dry it out and fold it up for storage, but it’s done (still have the cover to wash and store and the ladder to take down though).
School is now in its second week. For the first time, ever, I have no “first day of school” photo. Sam is in his first year of Senior High, Mattias is in his last year of Elementary, Joel is in 3rd Grade and Sofia in 2nd Grade.
I have also gone back to work. I’m teaching at the younger kids’ school. For lack of a better term, I’m the relief teacher – covering classes when the teacher is teaching somewhere else. I teach Sofia’s class one block a week (religion), Joel’s class 6 blocks a week – 3 of which are team teaching a large group that also includes Mattias’ class,  Mattias’ class 6 blocks a week, and the grade 1’s 4 blocks a week. In a couple weeks, my adult English classes will start, as well as Scrapbooking. I think this fall may be a little overwhelming . . .
On the attachment front with Sofia, the summer continued to have ups and downs. In hindsight, it always seems so obvious that inappropriate behaviours are a result of insecurities that she feels, but as parents we’re still learning to work through these episodes in ways that are best for her and not the ways we expect to deal with it, or have always dealt with behaviours like these with the boys (read: we still haven’t figured out what we’re doing). Recently, after incidents, when the air has cleared and everyone has calmed down, Sofia has begun to ask us to tell her “her story”. She asks often why we picked her, why a girl, why not a baby, etc.? She loves to hear about the first letter we got – our referral – and the info that was included (even though some of it was wrong – it said she had curly hair). She loves to hear about how we planned the first trip and then our thoughts during that trip. However, she doesn’t seem to have too many memories of it herself – she relies on our memories and the pictures/video. I think, for Sofia, this is her birth story.
I also think, that a lot of the extreme behaviours we’re seeing right now are coming to a head, and soon we may see the light at the end of the tunnel . . . I think this because of her wanting to hear her story so much.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8 is great

It’s been a busy week around here. Last Monday was my birthday, followed by Sofia’s 8th birthday on Wednesday. Between July 13 and August 16, Stefan’s family celebrates 8 birthdays (next year it will be 9 because grandchild #11 is scheduled to make his/her debut tomorrow).
It is still difficult for us to separate within Sofia whether difficult behaviours are a result of personality or PI. The time leading up to her birthday last year was extremely difficult, so this year we really tried to downplay it so the excitement wouldn’t be too much for her to bear (like last year). It wasn’t so easy though because from mid-July she had been asking how many days until we turned the calendar, how many days until her birthday, etc. I don’t need to go into details about behaviour issues, but it was a bit better this year, so hopefully it will be even smoother next year.
Without further ado, some pictures:
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We had the “friend party” in the afternoon, with 10 classmates. The plan had been to have an outside party – play in the sprinkler, swim in the pool, play badminton and croquet, etc. However, it POURED rain all day, so the party was indoors . . .  and I had nothing planned. They amused themselves playing board games, Twister, and spying and running and shrieking all over the house.

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I forgot to take a picture of the cake until after the first cut. Sofia chose a High School Musical theme. The cake didn’t turn out exactly hw I wanted because the icing was too runny and wouldn’t do as I wanted.

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In the evening we had a party for the family. I made 2 cakes for that one. Again, the icing made problems for me on the Barbie cake . . .  I couldn’t keep her out too long because her dress was melting off . . . a little risque for a family party.

On Friday we went to a waterpark for the day. We had perfect weather!
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Mattias

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Joel (they come down this one HEAD first!)

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MAYBE we can blame it on the sun melting the ice cream too fast?!?!

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Almost everyone at the park screamed on this one – the boats came down SOOOO fast! (this is Mattias and Joel)

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Sofia.

Yesterday we had a wicked thunderstorm right in the middle of the day. This is what it looked like at 11am:
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One minute later.

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Two minutes later.

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Can you see the rain spilling over the gutter? bouncing off the driveway? It was w.i.l.d.


The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.