Monday, June 25, 2018

School Days - Grade 1 Edition

I cannot believe the last day of school is this week!!

We were wondering how E would do in Grade 1 since he had a few challenges with reading and writing in SK.  We knew the class would be more structured than he was used to and we didn't know if that would be a good thing or not.  I would say he had a successful year.

E participated in whatever activity he could.  He volunteered as an Enviro Rep for his class, he ran in the cross country race, and he participated in the lunch time chess class for one session.   He is very comfortable at school, has lots of friends, knows the teachers, and has a lot of fun. 

His teacher was great, she has been a teacher for many years and you can tell she enjoys working with the younger grades.  She had lots of patience for E.  We met with her within the first couple weeks of school, and then a few other times when he got his report cards.  Her comments were that he was coming along with his work and is a pleasure to have in class.  She said there would be the odd time that he is overly excited and could be rolling around on the floor or something, but was never mean or rude, just silly.  He is also very quick to help out his friends, she said almost to a fault because he tends to dive right in and start doing the task for someone rather than asking if they would like some help.  

His class did dictation tests every Thursday in the second term and E surprised me with how well he did.  We helped him practice his words and although there was the occasional struggle, he was mostly very diligent with writing them out, and if we asked him one in the car, he was able to spell it out loud.  We reinforced that it was a good feeling to get a good mark on the test, and one time when he got 5 out of 9 (a week when we didn't practice as much), he realized that he didn't like not doing well.  He wasn't upset but he put in the work for the last few tests and got good marks on those.  I enjoyed seeing the work he brought home and the increased detail and colour in his drawings.  

We still need to work on helping him with his school work.  Although he did a lot more written work in class, he is still behind on reading (in both English and French), makes some lazy silly mistakes with forming his letters and numbers, and tends to doodle in the white space of the work sheets.  This summer we will hopefully have some more time in the evenings to work on his reading and writing.  He got a curriculum book for Christmas and we worked on it for a few months but then got out of the habit.  I think if we keep using his reading app and doing the book on a regular basis, we can help him get ready for Grade 2.  I don't know who the teachers are for next year but we will hope for a good one!

Overall he is a really good and happy kid and although he could still work on his listening, paying attention to instructions, and then focusing on the task at hand, I can see a big improvement year after year, and I know he will continue to grow and get better at these things.  He's figuring what he needs to do and when he puts his mind to something he is usually pretty successful.  Bring on Grade 2!!

I wrote about Senior Kindergarten here and Junior Kindergarten here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Favourites

Q likes to put his spoon or fork in his mouth like the and hum.  He thinks he's pretty funny.

I picked up this lotion a few weeks ago at Nordstrom.  It smells nice but isn't too over powering. 

I got to golf on Wednesday this week and although I was terrible, it was a beautiful day and I was happy to be out on the course. 

I love sporting events with nations compete so we have been paying attention to the World Cup.  I love seeing the various flags around the city for people supporting their teams.  I am Team England, Dave is going for Germany, and E picked Costa Rica from the list of flags I showed him.

We went out to our favourite pizza place on Thursday night.  I wanted to take more photos but when I got my phone out Q just wanted to hold it and when I tried to take it away he would shriek, so once I finally wrestled it away from him, I just put it away. I did snap this one of Q eating the arancini (rice balls) that E had ordered. 

I see I need to take a few more pictures of E so I'll try to that this weekend.   Have a good one!

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favourites,
and The Blended Blog for Friday Loves.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Goals

I wrote about some summer food goals here but here are some other things we want to do this summer.

We love going down to swim at the Sunnyside Pool and then eat the cafe.   I hope we can do that at least once this summer. 

We have not been to Canada's Wonderland since the first summer we moved here.  I am so freaked out by the big roller coasters but I still want to go on them.  I think E will love it and there may be some things Q can go on too. 

Every time we have gone to the Toronto Islands we have gone to Centreville, which is fun, but it doesn't leave much time for the beach, splash pad or playground.  We would like to go over with the plan of doing the beach all day.  

Let's Go Blue Jays!  We have not been to any Blue Jays games yet but we need to get there. We took Q last year and although he fell asleep, he did well.  E has been going for several years so he likes it and may appreciate it all the more since he has been playing his own t-ball games. 

Take E down to the bike park by the Lakeshore.  He had fun there last year and it never seems to be very crowded.

I asked E what he would like to do and he named a bunch of things, most of which we are already planning to do, but he also said "make nachos" so we can definitely add that to the list!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Media Wednesday

This month I checked Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng, off my reading list (see that here).  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.  It has been awhile since I was this engaged in a book and wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen.  Like many good books, it starts with an event and then goes back to fill in the lead up to that event.  It follows the Richardson family - mom, dad, four teenage kids - and the mother and daughter that live in the Richardson's rental property.   The setting is an idyllic suburb of Cleveland where everything has been planned and created to be "just so".  It is also set in the late 1990s which I thought was an interesting choice, but also made it more relatable since I was the same age as the kids in the book at that time.  

What I enjoyed about the book was that it just told the story, developed the characters, and made you weigh the choices made by those characters.  It doesn't get into minute detail, doesn't have any sort of literary tricks, or big 'a-ha' moments, it's just a good read. The plot is easy to follow and it makes good sense. 

Pick this up for some good summer reading - a little more meat than a beach read, but not too heavy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Weekend Recap

Here is a photo leftover from Thursday night at the school's Party in the Playground.  The fire department came by to show off their truck.  Q was a little more excited than this photo shows, but he was getting tired at the end of the night!

On Friday we ate a quick dinner so we could go for a walk with our neighbours to get an ice cream cone.  I thought I would be able to share mine with Q but he wasn't content with just a lick or two so the ice cream lady gave him a tiny scoop on his own cone and he was happy with that.  

Yes, that's a chocolate chip on his nose.

After the ice cream we stopped by the playground for a little while and then home to bed.  Dave and I watched Game Night.  It was pretty good, we like Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman. 

On Saturday morning the boys went to High Park for 8:30 t-ball practice, and Q and I followed later.  I ran and he fell asleep.  

We watched E's baseball game and Q played by the garbage bins.

Striding to the plate.

Q and I did some errands on the way home and then it was nap time for him (again).  We watched a bit of the World Cup and the golf, and then We got the pool out.

Enjoying one of my birthday gifts.

One of E's friends stopped by too

We had a shrimp pasta salad with roasted vegetables and a pesto sauce.  Dave and I watched some TV before a relatively early night. 

The next morning Dave headed out for a run and I got to work making some cinnamon buns for Father's Day breakfast.  I have only once attempted the yeast version and that takes way too long, and I have tried Dave's grandmother's recipe but it never really turned out for me.  When I found this recipe for a no yeast bun that is made in a muffin tin, I thought I would try it and they turned out really well.  I will definitely make these again.

Dave opened his cards and enjoyed the cinnamon buns and smoothie I made.  E and I went to church while Q stayed home with Dave so he could have a good morning nap and get ready for our afternoon adventure.

We have been craving some tacos so I thought about going out of our usual neighbourhood and trying out Grand Electric in Parkdale.  We got a seat on their patio and enjoyed lots of great food.  

Then we just headed West to Roncesvalles and took the streetcar up to the subway to go home.  I liked this art - There is no Them, there is only Us.

We had a quick detour to a playground and then we found this cookie place..  

Q picked out the Pride cookie with the rainbow chocolate balls (and I enjoyed the other half).

The owner is from Newfoundland and has this photo gallery of NL photos and drawings.

Pit stop at McDonalds before going home.  Queen and King.

We set up the sprinkler when we got home so the boys could clean themselves up and cool down.  A shower was a welcome sight after that long hot day, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Three Things

Three things going on with us at the moment...

Q (21 months)

1. Q very much likes to his own cup, his own ice cream cone, his own taco, and he does not want t take some of yours while you're holding onto it.  Then he screeches and you have to let him.  

He also needed his own bubbles (which he promptly dumped out).

2. He is copying what we say more and he has the cutest little voice when he says "no" or "shoes". His elocution needs work but he'll get there.  We aren't worried.

3.  Q loves being outside and will sometimes head out to the backyard by himself if we are taking too long to get ready in the mornings.  When he does see we are getting ready to go, he will bring everyone their shoes (not the ones they are going to be wearing that day necessarily) and gets his jacket and hat.

1. Every child in North America (it seems) is doing the floss dance.  I asked E if he knew how to do and he says he's "working on it".  

2.  His school had a party in the playground last week with lots of bouncy castles, a BBQ, games, cake walk, and music.  He had a great time running around, but I think his favourite part was the cheesies. 

3.  E's soccer skills are improving.  He played goalie last week and stopped a few.  He also has no fear about going straight for another player the ball (as his mother yells from the sidelines, "play the body!", just kidding).  Here he is posing for his photos last week.

1.  Dave attended the father's day party at Q's school last week.  We sure got lucky with Dave as the dad in this family!

2. He is getting ready for his annual golf trip with the boys from out east.  This year they are headed to Moncton.

3.  Dave mows the grass about 10 times a week (or so it seems); he's always looking after it and watering it.  We have a manual push mower and the blade was a little off this week so he flagged down the blade sharpening guy (if you live in Toronto, you know who I mean) and got the mower sharpened along with our knives.  

1.  I am enjoying sitting outside in the evenings to blog, read, or just enjoy the weather.  I am happy our backyard is a little more usable than it has been in the past, and that the weather has been nice. 

2. I have lots of books to read right now.  I have a parenting book, a novel Dave got me for my birthday, and a library book from my reading list.

3. We are not strictly following our meal plan but I am still trying to make healthy choices throughout the week.  I sometimes get tired up cutting up all the vegetables and I got behind on making soup and healthy snacks to keep in the freezer.  I need to get back into that this week.