Here I am sitting in a cradle that has been passed down through a couple of generations - originating from my grandpa's family.
I appear to be watching my mom or dad and I remember I always liked to sit in things - laundry baskets, wash tubs, drawers. I remember getting stuck in a toy box in my underoos once, calling for someone to come rescue me. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten out on my own, but I wanted my family to come and laugh at me - or bring me a snack.
A couple of additional wonderful things about this photo include:
1) The sweater on the bed that matches the curtains and bedspread (and the word bedspread).
2) My collection of assorted dolls on the bed (ET, ikea moose, raggedy ann, kermie, gonzo, cookie and lion. Yes, those were their names. I wasn't very creative at naming my toys. In later years, I had a bear named Beary, a monkey named Monkey and a Gorilla named Gory. Lame.) If you look closely, you'll also see our first cat Blackie.
3) My mom's attempt at giving me pigtails. Fine hair is the pits (but Batiste XXL volume dry shampoo is da bomb.)
4) That stuffed horse on the dresser is named Ed. As in, Mr. I think my mom still has it.
Report cards are due to the office next week, and I've been inputting marks and comments like a mad-lady. When I was home for my dad's birthday party, my sister and I were going through some old pictures and came across his old report cards from elementary school. I both laughed and cried.
Let us first start with the noticeable differences between then and now. The 60s report cards were actual report "cards". One piece of card stock folded in half kept for all 3 terms. Some marks for penmanship and arithmetic and spelling and a couple of handwritten generic comments. The 2013 Ontario Report Card is 4 pages long each term. The front page is school information, Religion* and Learning Skills marks and comments. Page two is Language (English and French, and Native Language if applicable), Math and Science marks and comments. Page 3 is Social Studies, Phys Ed, Health and the Arts (Drama, Dance, Visual, Music) and student goal-setting. Page 4 is grading information and parent goal-setting. All of that writing and I still feel bad that I left spaces in some comment boxes. We get the report cards sent back to us if they aren't done "properly", they need to be personalized and have to include strengths and next steps for the students. There are check boxes for immersion and IEPs, and guidelines as to how many strands you have to report on each term. You also can't give less than a D or you get red-flagged by the computer system. You are supposed to comment on what they can do and what they've completed, so if a student rarely completes assignments, that can't really be "counted" against them. If they slack off in math, or don't put in any effort, you are supposed to comment on that in the Learning Skills section, not the Math section. Heck, there is a whole policy document about how to write them.
Can you imagine writing reports cards like my dad's teachers? One small card for all three terms with a sentence or two handwritten general comments? One even says "completed to 18." What does that even mean? Seriously, that sort of report card writing would take no time at all. Talk about stress-free! I wonder if the principals even had to proof-read them? Likely not. One of the report cards we found of my dad's had a comment that wasn't at all related to school, it talked about how my dad had terrible taste in hockey teams. What?!
Here are two quotes that were typed on the front of many of the old report cards we found that I liked...
"Our schools are endeavouring to provide an environment where your child may grow naturally in intellect, in social co-operation and in moral responsibility. Parents help by ensuring for the child proper rest, well-balanced diet, prompt and regular attendance at school. Feel free to contact the school on any problem concerning your child's progress. Calls at 8:45 am or during noon hour disturb the school routine at least. Appointments can be conveniently arranged."
"All children have not the same ability to learn in school. Comparison of reports, therefore, is apt to be unreliable and unfair. The school exacts the same standards of obedience, honesty, cleanliness, application to studies, interest, regularity and punctuality that should be practiced by all citizens as they form the basis of a happy family life at home or school."
I am not complaining about writing report cards, I've become quite efficient, and I nerdily love the curriculum that we get to teach and report upon (so pumped about the new immersion document!). I also appreciate the PD day we are given to write them (well, to at least get a crack at them). These report cards are definitely more packed with details than those of the past, but are they really helpful to parents?
I spend a lot of time deciphering comments on report cards during interviews. For example, a comment reading "With teacher assistance, Benny can add 3-digit numbers with some effectiveness." really means, "Benny can't add very well." - but doesn't it sound nicer? I also spend a lot of time explaining that a B actually means "meeting grade-level expectations" and is more similar to an A of the past, and a C isn't the end of the world, it just means that they haven't solidified the expectation, but they are progressing.
I also wonder how many parents read all of the words that teachers spend hours typing up in "parent-friendly language" (whatever that is supposed to mean) or do they just look at the letter grade? Also, if parents don't know what the curriculum says in the first place, then they won't realize that "Shan writes very simple texts using one or two forms. She generates some clear ideas with supporting details and is beginning to use paragraphs in her writing." is not at grade 5 level, and is much lower than the grade 5 expectations his/her peers are reaching, which are "Penny writes longer and more complex texts using a variety of forms. She identifies and orders main ideas and supporting details and groups them into several developed linked paragraphs. She determines whether her ideas and information are relevant, appropriate, and adequate for her purpose, and does more research if necessary."
Does anyone care to guess how many page 4s I get back from parents?
On that note, I need to go finish writing my Learning Skills (which in my opinion, are the most important part of the Report Card.)
I've been off my feet all week and I am not supposed to do "regular" activity for 6 weeks, it is recommended not to drive for a while or go swimming. I could go back to work whenever I feel ready, so I took the week and I'll be heading back tomorrow. I won't be playing any capture the flag or doing bar routines (sorry kids!), and I probably won't be wandering around too much or sitting on the carpet with you as usual - but I'll be a-ok. I haven't taken any pain meds for 3 days and there are only 2.5 weeks of school left (oh my!). I am getting tired of staring at the sad state of my house. It is frustrating. I am home all alone, this is the prime time to get laundry done, clean the house and organize things. But I can really bend over so well to pull a load of laundry out of the washer.
"You need to rest", "Take care of yourself". Thanks friends and family. I have been - it was laparoscopic and the doctor said I could go back to work the day after if I felt like it. This surgery seems so wimpy after having a c-section and having to care for a newborn all wrapped it one. Eli has been at his babysitter and Rob has been at work. This week has been like being sick when I was in university. Endless hours of Internet, drawing pictures, eating snacks and reading books, with no one to answer to or take care of. I got some track, yearbook and report card stuff done too. When they get home, Rob has been playing with Eli like mad and taking care of food, and I am appreciative. xo.
Eli is a couple of months over 2 years and for about 3 weeks, we've been breast-free. I thought I would be writing a big epic, reflective post about how sad I was letting go of the incredible bond we have nursing for over 2 years blah blah blah, or how freeing it has been. It is neither. It just is. I'm over it, just like that. Like really over it. I find it very amusing how I could once have been so passionate about blogging and talking about breastfeeding, and now not really caring one way or another.
I went away for 3 nights to a conference in Toronto at the start of May, and when I came back decided that if Eli asked for milk (which he was really only doing at bedtime), I'd just offer him water or milk in a cup instead. He just patted me and said "all done". Just like that. They've started their decent. The end.
I really wish I was a more consistent blogger. I spend hours reading and being inspired by others, but I just can't bring myself to posting myself - "the timing isn't right", "i'm being too judgy", "this is not the right picture", "i've already seen this on another blog or pinterest".
I've also been really thinking about what my blog identity is. For awhile I was a Mom blogger (ick), and before that a teacher blogger (not really). Sometimes I like to post photos of my home and crafts and book reviews and playlists. I don't know. Jack of all trades perhaps. I am all of those things: mom, teacher, crafter, blogger (wife, daughter, sister, reader, friend, eater, techie, music-lover...) but I don't want to be pigeon-holed into one category. Not one of those things defines me - all of those things do. The interesting thing is that I get all annoyed with bloggers who I have pegged for DIYs start writing about their babies, and those who I counted on for good momisms write more about fashion... or just get downright braggy. Double standard I guess. But I'm allowed, it's my virtual world.
I am also in the bad habit of posting to many images and too few words. Reading back over my last (lack of) posts, I've realized that more impersonal, lists or captioned-photos have flooded my feed. I love them, but I need more text.
My new blogging goal is to write more. I've never been very verbose to begin with. I need to pick things I love - favourite people, favourite places, favourite things and think of stories about them and write. This is how I teach my kids to write small moments à la Lucy Caukins at the beginning of each year. Just do it. Don't get caught up in reading other people's blogs and mirror them. Be true. Be you.
I feel the blogging urge coming back. It might be because there are only 24 school days left for the year.
I'll be back soon.
I've got lots to say.
It is the end of monthTWO of my instagram photo challenge fun. I played along with all 31 pics for March with some lovely gals and Chantelle at FatMumSlim. You should follow me on instagram and play along with the photo challenges. I am @mmewright.
Oh. and while you're at it. Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Easter 2012. Nice horse.
Easter 2011. Nice bike.
60 years old.
60+ memories from friends & family, near & far. (that tend to be about beer & general debauchery...)
Thank you to everyone who contributed. This photo says it all.
Happy birthday daddio. xo
** This is not an original idea. Holly's post over at Nothing but Bonfires about 60-year-memories has been pinned like wildfire. I've had it saved for a year now, just waiting.
My dad turned 60 this week. Andrea and I planned a classy affair for him Saturday at the Walkerville Brewery. The beer was flowing, the pizzas were delicious and the laughs were contagious.
The theme? Seinfeld. If you know my dad at all, most of his daily activities and stories reference an episode. His birthday party planners paid homage.
Art Vandelay business cards.
A large BRO.
A festivus pole (Bagels, no!).
Airing of Grievances forms (found here).
No extra squares to spare in the bathroom.
Kenny Rogers Roasters (rubber) chicken.
Black & White cookies (two races of flavour living side-by-side)
Marble Rye & a babka.
Refuse eclairs (half-eaten in a garbage).
Junior Mints & Juji Fruits & Pez
A handglued fusilli Jerry.
Pretzels & no-double-dipping dips.
A big salad (with tomatoes like volleyballs!) & poppy seed dressing.
Muffin tops (and stumps for the homeless).
Snickers (cut up with a knife & fork).
Advertisements for Rochelle, Rochelle, Del Boca Vista, Little Jerry's fighting debut, the soup Nazi & Kramerica Industries.
Donations to the Human Fund.
And no Lindsay party is complete without a handful of buttons (I was in the pool!, They're real and they're spectacular!, Serenity Now!, Anti-dentite, Giddy-up! and Master of my DOMAIN.)
We also had some trivia cards, a Kramer poster, some books, a pillow set up for under-the-table naps and Seinfeld episodes playing on the projector.
I hope you enjoyed it daddio! xoxo.
*If you would like to hold your own Seinfeld-themed or Festivus party, and would like to use my printables - let me know!
What? It is completely normal that I am sitting in a drawer ripping up paper. Don't you think? (Me, circa 1983)
It's just as normal as putting on a winter hat and bib and reading a novel in a tunnel (Eli, circa 2013).
St Patrick's Day 2011 and 2012 and 2013.
Our yearly tradition (click!) of enjoying a Guinness, music and lunch at the Hawg's was thwarted by Winter hours. Since the pub was closed today, we had our yearly beer at the Bruce.
And because I thought our photo shoot was superRAD, I thought I'd post a couple more. Happy St. Patty's day!
With a lot of Country musak around these parts (including my husband blaring Willie Nelson), I've been seeking something else.
If you haven't yet played around with this super-rad app/site - then run (don't walk) and try it. Rob has been listening to it for quite sometime and my sister has shared some playlists with me. It is a live streaming of music. The Consierge (pictured above) suggests playlists for the time of day, mood and activity you may be embarking on. I, however, am drawn to the pre-made playlists. Here are some gems that make my heart skip a beat.
90210 Slumber Party: Relive your bright and summer California-in-the-90s memories with these musical guests and soundtrack highlights.
Sparkle & Shine: Cleaning with Showtunes: No reason not to feel like a star when sweeping the dust away. Let the stars of Broadway lend a hand with some heart-felt bounce from the footlights of the great white way.
Acoustic Bedtime: Here's a batch of acoustic cuts by some of the best singer-songwriters around, from the 60s to present, to help you enter dreamland with ease.
Yummy Yummy Sugar Sugar: Late 60s bubblegum, with a touch of breezy AM pop and a few Saturday morning favourites added in for good measure.
Blogged 50: We read all teh music blogs so you don't have to.
Canuck Folk: Perhaps it's the vast countryside, the towering mountains, or the epic prairies, but Canada has long inspired singer-songwriters to weave gorgeous music with beautiful verse. Enjoy some of our legendary troubadours as well as the new generation who are carrying on the tradition.
Other playlists that I am sampling: Kids Favourite Disney Covers, Dawson's Creek, Coffee Shop Sway, la musique de French, Songs to raise your kids to, The Ultimate Les Mis, Mr. Sandman, Classic Canadians, Movie Musicals.
Oh, the playlists of my life.
Oh hey guys! I'm staying at a new house this week. I went in the car, on a bus and on an airplane to get here. And I don't have to wear my boots. It must be far away. Daddy and Gramps and uncle Doug have been getting into their tight clothes and taking their big bicycles somewhere all morning. I've been spending some quality time with Mommo, Cata and the fresh air.
Here are my favourite things on my trip...
I get to spend countless hours outside running, jumping and rolling around in the yard in the gardens and grass. I've made trails under a hedge for Thomas and the Batmobile and held many conversations with sticks. I've also been taking some great naps, blowing lots of bubbles, climbing trees, stairs and giant rocks. I've been riding moose and bikes.
The best part of trip. I saw Woody* in real life! I cried his name a few times, but he didn't answer.
[*Editors note: Eli did not see Woody. He saw a tall, skinny man wearing a large cowboy hat and boots. He did yell "Hi Woody!" a number of times over and over again. That part is true.]
I jumped on the instagram wagon. Behind the pack. No, we didn't get iphones, but I did install the app on my pink ipad. Of course, I had to jump right into a photo project. Chantelle at FatMumSlim posts monthly photo challenges with very simple (or very complicated?) themes each day. I played along with all 28 pics for Feb with my rad friends @elphabaly and @joelenemurphy and the people trending #FMSphotoaday.
[NB: At first I thought that I found a new blogger to love, but then quickly realized that I have rekindled a love for an old blogger from the past. I started reading Chantelle's letters to Lacey long before Eli was born, thinking that I'd totally do that for my future babies. It didn't happen, and then I forgot about it. I am glad to have re-found this blog!]