Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ten Things I Loved This Week

This hasn't been an easy week for anyone. A bomb, an explosion, a controversial Senate ruling... and that's just in the U.S. Here in Canada the attack ads between parties are ramping up, the weather is insane (T-shirt and shorts one day, winter coats the very next day). And personally, a particular situation involving my daughter being bullied by a couple of classmates escalated to the parents actually  joining in and contributing to the bullying. No, I have no words. And yes, it's being dealt with. And as always, my daughter continues to be amazing and is surrounded by many other friends. ;) But in the midst of all of this, it's more important than ever to find those ten things that made us happy this week.

1. It was 26 degrees here on Thursday! (For my American friends, that's about 80F.) T-shirts, shorts, it was HOT, the sun was shining. It was truly amazing. My kids doffed their winter clothes from just a couple of days earlier and dug into their summer clothes, happily pulling on their shorts before racing out to meet the sun. And the fact that it was below zero and snowing only two days later made us only appreciate it more in retrospect.

2. On Monday I travelled to a writer's workshop a couple of hours away to speak to high school students about why they want to become writers. It was a lovely idea for a conference (I wish I'd had that kind of encouragement when I was a teenager!) and most of the kids were very keen. Some of them admitted they'd just signed up for creative writing because they had a spare and didn't really like writing at all, but hey, at least they were truthful. One young man told me he wants to be a war correspondent, and it sounds like he's done the reading and research into the idea to do that. And then he told me he didn't like Matt Smith as the Doctor. So we had a longer discussion about that. ;)

3. I always love the thrill of receiving a package in the mail, even when I was the one who ordered it in the first place. Books, a graphic novel, and a CD. It's like Christmas... if I bought the presents for myself. ;)

4. I told a story to my son when he was snuggling under the covers for bed, and I made a crazy voice for one mouse and he started laughing this great big belly laugh, and then kept laughing so hard he couldn't breathe. Then I started laughing at him laughing and soon the two of us were out of control.

5. Getting back to yoga after a few weeks off, with my best friend.

6. Despite the terrible thing that happened in Boston, I was in awe seeing the coverage of people running towards the bombs to help other people, or hearing that some runners came through the finish line and continued running to a hospital to give blood. The bombing didn't destroy my faith in humanity; it restored it.

7. This photo, taken during a break in filming the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special:

8. I'm a Brownie Scout leader for my daughter's unit, and on Friday we went to a grocery store to sell Girl Guide cookies to people as they left the store. One man came over, bought a box of cookies, and then handed it back to my girls and said, "Here. So you can have a snack while you're doing this." And then smiled and walked away. It was such a lovely gesture.

9. My son has been struggling a bit with reading lately, and so I've been drilling him on phonics and trying everything I can think of to try to teach him how to blend sounds together. I'm not a teacher, so I don't know how to do a ground-up teaching of something as fundamental as reading (and his kindergarten class is mostly J/K, so the teacher has opted to teach a J/K curriculum only, leaving the seniors, of which my son is one, to learn reading with their parents). On Tuesday we had just finished a page of letter-writing and I was about to work on some blending when the phone rang. I picked it up and was talking before I realized what was happening behind me. I turned, and there he was, finger under the words, reading it as easily as anything. It was like something in his brain had just clicked, and he could read. It's an April miracle!

10. On top of the bullying with my daughter, the poor thing had to have a root canal this week because a year ago she shattered her front teeth getting out of a pool. A year later the tooth began aching so badly she spent most of last weekend screaming in pain, and no amount of Advil, Anbesol, or heating pads were helping. The dentist told me on Monday that it would appear the nerve had gotten infected somehow when it had been capped a year ago, and the infection took a long time to travel up the canal to the root, where it's gone haywire. So on Friday I went to a specialist, who went into the tooth and pulled the nerve out. The entire time, my little girl just laid there, eyes closed, as calm as she possibly could be, and the receptionist came over to me (standing in the doorway) at one point and told me they always have to give kids a sedative or nitrous oxide because little ones just can't handle root canals. My girl is amazing.

And how about you? Were you able to find some silver linings this week?


EsDee said...

My white lilacs are blooming and they have the most wonderful scent. I go out everyday and just stand with my nose next to them sniffing like a dog. I do this every year. My neighbor thinks I am nuts. Yay spring!

Efthymia said...

Receiving a package of books you ordered is the best feeling! It's possibly even better than Christmas, because you KNOW you'll like the present. ;)

Page48 said...

I loved learning that Rupert Giles (ASH) and Shallow Cuts (JG) will be joining Spike (JM) on the back half of S4 of "Warehouse 13".

Allison said... is a really great website for kids who are learning to read (I used to teach SK). :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Oh, Allison, I wish you lived near me!! ;) I'd be picking your brain all the time. I love Starfall, thank you for the recommendation! My children's previous kindergarten teacher that we had when we still lived in Toronto recommended it to me and I've used it ever since.

Joan Crawford said...

I love this website not only because it makes me think they are calling my children monsters (they aren't, the kids actually get to create and help monsters - super fun!) but because it works.

If your son is in to technology, he might like a "Tag" reading system, too.

Does your son have any kind of speech issues? My youngest does and it was affecting her ability to recognize words: she would hear herself say "dare" instead of "there" and then she would look for a "d" on the page... so some word recognition was a bit tricky. We've got her in speech therapy and it's working like a charm.

Nikki Stafford said...

Thanks for the site, Joan! I've never heard of that one, but I'll check it out tomorrow when he's at home with me. :)

JS said...

As someone living in the boston area, extremely grateful last week is over, and for witnessing true heroism. And that my friend convinced me to turn around and go home as I was on my way into Boston Friday morning, just as I was watching the police cars race into the town at the next exit - Watertown.

Austin Gorton said...

Man, my hat is off to you daughter. I've had a ton of dental work done in my life, including root canals, and I don't think I've ever taken it as well as she did. Certainly not without copious amounts of drugs...