before the plunge + Strong Start slash Franc Depart

there have been so many starry-eyed moments in the past, i don't know, 5-6 years where i felt i was going somewhere, that my dreams of who i wanted to be as a creative individual were on the brink of taking off.  there have been many ball-rolling conversations, instances of hope, and fantasies of finally being able to do what i love for a living.  the past two days have been overwhelming.  syx texted me first thing while i was at Franc Depart with chloe about a free online seminar specifically geared towards family photographers (though it really does apply to a wider scope of photography and small business in general).  it's been very helpful.  i was laughing to myself as i was brought back to my school days of rapidly taking notes in class.

creativelive.com offers free online seminars and high quality workshops by professionals in the industry.  thank goodness they have been showing the seminar twice a day so that if i miss it in the morning i can catch the first showing's end in the afternoon and then grab the second showing's beginning in the evening!  the ladies hosting this 3 day seminar are not my cup of tea, but they definitely have made me a much more well-informed person and with this information, i feel better equipped to tackle my own business plans.  HOORAY.  getting my shit together!

i'll leave it at that for now to share a few photos from the last couple of days.  the weather has been phenomenal.  literally, day after day of gorgeous clear skied sunny days.  yes the crisp mornings and chilling breezes have made their way back into Vancouver, but the sun is still warm enough that sitting out on the playground during the last hours of the morning is still as glorious and delightful as those 26 degree weather days.  or maybe it's the great company of new moms in my life.  and the free coffee.

NEW MOMS!  are you tired of your Roaming Rascals, Library, Salsa Tots, etc...  please head to your local/nearest Strong Start!  it is free!  it is basically a pre-preschool for kids from newborn to 3-4 years old.  it is a small classroom with toys and activities for your kids, directed by a "teacher" who implements a school-like schedule for the kids.  there is playtime, clean-up time, circle time with stories, and snack time.  the snacks are provided.  they are free.  there is free coffee and tea for the parents.  Franc Depart is the bilingual version of Strong Start.  there are puzzles, painting, sensory boxes, play kitchens, dress up, etc...  even if your baby is still literally a baby, just GO.  you'll meet new supportive moms in your area and having new supportive mom friends is the first thing you need when that masked avenger finally comes screaming out of your vagina into the world.  ok so maybe it's like the 4th thing you'll need after a tequila shot or flute of champagne (pick your poison), people to bring you meals, a head of cabbage for your inflamed rocky mountain boobs that have seemingly tripled in size, and some stool softeners for that traumatic first poo!  ok so 5th in line.

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WE MADE BLUEBERRY SCONES


new mom friend via Em upstairs


yes.  apron.


cutting out the scones!


eating the scones!


Cohen


and chloe saved one for Momo!

school is going well.  the only downer is that school starts when we usually wake up so the three of us are all a little bit zombied out.  it's been alright.  i don't push and stress moses out.  i wake him up with general noise as i ready myself.  i am kind and encouraging as his grogginess wears off.  i don't want school to be a crappy thing for him.  i'm pretty relaxed and positive until about 10 minutes before we leave. by then he is awake and i can push a little harder to get things moving.  he's doing fantastic.  he asks me how to say things in French on regular basis, counts to 12, fumbles through 16, nails 17-19 and forgets 20.  i caught him hugging the teacher he claimed he didn't like the other week.  apparently she gave another kid a time out, and i told moses she wasn't being mean, she was just doing her job, lol.

i received another newsletter which again tugged at my heartstrings.  they are "having a great time singing, dancing, and talking about the human body.... colours and numbers are now integrated in many daily activities.  Our apple crumble was delicious!  We are looking forward to tasting more food during the month"  

I have to tell you, i don't know what it's like in the other Strong Starts across the Lower Mainland, but i can't rave enough about this school because they really seem to be on a similar wavelength as Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything (which i still need to post about...).  if you haven't been following me, i challenged myself to start cooking about 4-6 months ago, hence the plethora of food posts.  i strongly believe in healthy eating habits though i am flexible and realistic in terms of my kids eating beyond their own kitchen table.  

i don't know if other schools make the same effort to educate their students on nutrition.  i doubt they do, but i could be wrong since i have been out of the school system for a while now...  the school has compost bins in both the preschool classroom and Franc Depart, and a larger one in the hallway.  i can only assume every class has one.  I LOVE THAT.  the table cleaner is Seventh Generation.  some of the scone ingredients were organic.  THIS MAKES ME REALLY HAPPY.  i'm not going to apologize because "I AM THAT MOM" (i'm stealing that phrase from a mom friend who kept using it to justify why her child had to wear certain shoes and have clothes match a certain way...).  we are all our own THAT mom, and i'm just the one that believes in organic and eco-friendly lifestyles.  affording it is a different story, but i figure we do what we can.

ok.  moving on so some of you don't lose your eyeballs in the back of your head from the eye-rolling i have just caused...  november 5th PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES.  i don't know which is more paramount, this or the Christmas Concert.  seriously, i feel nauseous with elation.  i'm also in shock and denial that i am old enough to be on the parent side of this and not the child side...  when did this happen to me?  on that topic, all the second cousins i used to babysit and play with as toddlers are all now in their early 20's and adding me on Facebook and that is also making me feel old.  ON THE FLIP SIDE, Dani's husband mentioned that some 17 year old gymnastics instructor who works at Thrifty's keeps saying HELLO to their son Micah when father and son do a grocery run.  yeah, that 17 year old gymnastics instructor is ME.  YES!!!!!!!  gymnastics instructor?  because i once mentioned knowing Micah from gymnastics.  also, Ben (dad) is the nicest dude ever because he looked after his two kids (same age as Mo&Co) ANNND Moses yesterday afternoon, giving me a few hours of peace, quiet, and time to myself while chloe napped.  THANKS DANI AND BEN!


this morning started off with a panic from chloe bear.
i don't know why my husband still tries to fit her in these small jammies.
her toes totally busted through overnight and this made her VERY upset in the morning.


after calming her down, i gently told her to wait while i got the camera so i could take some photos of her tiny toes peeking out.  she seemed fine with this for the first few photos and then totally changed her mind and basically told me i was a mean old bitch.  well at least that's what her face seemed to convey.  it seemed plausible.


but aren't these photos so damn cute!!!!!!  her poor toes!  they must have been so uncomfortable!

that's all i've got for you tonight.  the weekend is going to be a complete gong show of Thanksgiving Dinners!  tomorrow we host the Langemann's so it's obviously bound to get a little out of hand.  Saturday i'm doing a family photoshoot in the aftenroon and then it's probably the usual O'Brien get together.  Sunday, seeing Caela in the morning/afternoon and then it's the extended O'Brien dinner on English Bluff with kev's Nana and Grandad.  Monday we are hosting for my mom, bro, and my cousin Lauren!  thank god Kevin took tuesday off.  i have been really bad with chloe's doctor appointments.  her 18 month appt was supposed to be in June.  i asked kevin to take it off bc it's the appointment where you need 3 people to hold your child down while one gives the shots.  yes.  traumatic.  didn't want to do it on my own.

WISHING YOU ALL A FANTASTIC THANKSGIVING LONG WEEKEND!



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