Monday, 19 September 2011

Once a month, I volunteer with the Angler's Monitoring Initiative - in short, it's just a group of fisherman who care about the quality of the local streams and do basic testing for pollution to make sure the fish thrive. When I go, I almost always take Isabella with me. The fisherman are very good with her and she loves getting her hands dirty. As a result, my three-year-old knows the names of bugs that I didn't learn until I was in college. Yesterday, we took a bucketful of bugs and small fish home with us so that she could bring it to playgroup today for a bit of "show and tell." It was a moderate success, and Isabella was certainly the most excited one of the group - she was the last one standing and put up a fight when it came time to clear up.

 Playgroup this term has been going very well for her. It was only last term that I still had to promise treats and surprises for her to allow me to leave her there. But with the older four-year-olds now in reception, what the Brits call kindergarten, there are only the littlest kids left, which has been a big boost for her confidence. I also prefer it because there is more one-on-one time with the teachers/playleaders. She is also very much into art now and brings me home more drawings and pictures than I know what to do with. What do other parents do with all of the art that accumulates with kids?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

First Movie and Gratitude

Once upon a time I kept a running list of things I wanted to blog about, and was good at putting them down on a regular basis. That ability is now gone - so either I've gotten better at living in the moment, or have lost my ability to remember things well.

It's another weekend, and the end of another full week. Pedro is down with a cold and our plans for camping seem to have gone out the window along with the forecast for good weather. No matter though, we had a good week -  I took Isabella to see her first movie in a theater yesterday. We saw The Smurfs, and I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. I was bored for the whole first 30 minutes, but once the Smurfs made it to Manhattan and the double entendres started, I found something in it for me (any by the way, the set/interior designer for the New York apartment...very cool)! We bought popcorn, and true to form, Isabella dumped half of the bag while wiggling in her seat. Then she commented on how dark the theater was and how they needed to turn on the lights and kept talking about this until we were both startled to attention by the cinema's sub-woofers and lack of volume control. It was such a cool experience with her - it was another true first and I kept feeling like I was getting away with something by being at the movies in the middle of the day.

My reverie burst when we walked out of the theater, and I could see my car in the middle of the parking lot....with the driver's side door wide open. Wide open and even touching the car right next to it! Apparently, I left my door open when I ran to the other side of the car to prevent Isabella from wandering away from the car and didn't bother to close it. Nothing was missing - but nobody bothered to close the door either - it was so weird. Like the time I left my handbag on top of the car and no one stole it. Again, I felt very lucky - because as we saw during the early August riots in London - English people aren't always honest and polite. I've had a string of minor misfortune lately, dealing with an unfair parking ticket, a dog who peed on a neighbor's foot, dead appliances, and other small things that can wear away at morale.

But life is good, truly. When much of the world faces down war, natural disasters, economic collapse, corruption and injustice...I am so grateful for our spot of tranquillity. I didn't have any theater photos, but these pics I took earlier in the week of my girl feeding "Teddy Pedro" water from the dog bowl will have to do.

just a spoonful of sugar...

feeling better already