Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cecchetti Dance Theatre's Swan Song {but it's really mostly about Fiona}

I've said before that I have witnessed big change in my little girl this year.
After Fiona's year end dance performance I reflected on how far she's come in even this small part of her life.
When we first started attending the Cecchetti Dance Theatre classes I could barely peel Fiona off of me and certainly couldn't leave the room.
I sought help from the instructor with no great expectations.
But man, ask and you shall receive.
She immediately formulated a plan to transition Fiona into the class and make her feel comfortable.
After only a handful of weeks I was dropping her off and getting the backhanded wave as she sprinted to line up with her classmates.
She loved the classes so much that she even ran her own "dance show and lesson" at school just a month after the last performance.
 I volunteered to be one of the supervising parents at the show again which was exhausting but great.
I love being a part of the excitement backstage and seeing the beautiful performers up close.
On the other hand, 13 three and four year olds can wear a Mama out.
I was thankful for the lunch break and thoroughly enjoyed my date at Next Act with sweet Fi.
 The show was Peter Pan and once again blew me away.
The kids were captivated and forgot all about their own performance as they waited for the cue in the wings.
 Once they shuffled onstage, however, they stole the show.
Who wouldn't love these little lions and zebras?
As I mentioned in this post, the Cecchetti families received exciting news that the school, starting next season, will be the new Edmonton studios of the Alberta Ballet.
They certainly have earned it with the amazing instruction and organization.
Never would I have believed that it was possible to incorporate all levels and ages of performers into such a beautiful production, until I saw them do just that.
As long as this continues to make Fiona as happy as it does now, we look forward to many amazing performances yet to come.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Proud of you Edmonton

I love Edmonton.
This is where I would usually insert all of the "despites" but not today.
I'm done apologizing for all that others don't like about this city.
It is a damn great city.
I feel that way more than ever having just participated in the Pride Parade.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014As I biked through our beautiful river valley across the amazing high level bridge and rounded the corner towards the rainbow filled streets to line up for the parade I couldn't have felt happier.
I have always felt lucky to be surrounded with people who celebrate diversity and inclusion but it still warms my heart to see just how many do so.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
Then I get to hang with these beautiful people as we get ready to spin our little hearts out for 8 city blocks.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
To top it off we saw our mayor bike by with his wife and kids.
Not to mention that he was surrounded by many city councillors and joined by a number of local politicians from all branches of government.
We've come such a long way. 
So proud.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014 Mayor Don Iveson
Photo courtesy of MasterMaq, used with permission.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
 This was our first year participating in the parade and it was a blast.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
The crowd was beautiful.
So colourful, loud, energetic and diverse.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
 We outfitted a truck with flags, ribbons and the large speakers we use to fill a gymnasium with sound at our yearly competition.
Even so it all seemed to fade in the background compared with the amount of colour and sound the other entries had going.
Next year bigger speakers and more colour is in order.
Edmonton Pride Parade 2014
We had some wonderful volunteers cheering us on, working our sound, keeping us hydrated, driving the truck and taking photos.  Thanks Darren, Niki, Scotty and Steve.
Thanks also to Stacey for taking Ced to the parade while Daddy was finishing off my volunteer duties at Fiona's dress rehearsal.
It was too bad they had to miss the festivities but if you can't be at the parade why not celebrate pride with some ballet looking fierce as a zebra, am I right?
Zebra Costume
 Pride Week is still in full swing and it's not too late to take in the family and some not-so-family events.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Update on Fiona and the Lake

As Fiona stomped out of the room screaming today {or something like that, I've lost track} my {pregnant} friend Jenna commented that "this is why they don't come out 4."
There could not be a more true comment.
I remember when Fiona was first born we had a friend from Calgary stay with us for a while.
I agreed to watch her 4 year old daughter on the days she went to work.
She was a sweet girl but I remember at the time thinking that I would never have enough energy to parent a preschooler, ever.
At the time I certainly did not.  
But only because I was the mother of a barely crawling baby.
I had yet to be broken in.
I hadn't had to run after/ reason with/ argue with/ reprimand/ hand out consequences to/ have my feelings hurt by a child yet.
I only knew how to parent an 8 month old, it's all I needed to know.
Now I have this beautiful girl who will be attending public school in only a year's time and I still find myself wondering if I am doing the best I possibly can for her.
At least now I have the energy.
Fiona loves dressing like a princess {just ask the cashiers at the grocery store}.
Fiona loves to sing and dance but only on her terms, if you ask for a performance you will most likely get a no.
She starts many sentences with "Well, most-blee..." or "And even I..."
She still loves eating at a "res-iss-trant" and can often out-eat us all.
She's a fast runner and has recently started choosing a scooter as her mode of transportation.
She's so funny but this side of her personality stays most-blee at home.
She is cautious but will at times take some {calculated} risks.
She surprised me the other day by going down the big waterslide at our pool all by herself.
Months ago she shocked me by doing this for the first time then a fall on the way out made her rethink the decision, until now.
She is constantly surprising me.
She is a breath of fresh air.
 Until she's not.
Fiona likes to do things like colour all over her body or cut chunks of her hair off.
Don't even mention what I'm in for in her teens, I know.
 Then moments later she'll do something so sweet like pick me a bouquet of "flowers" or line them up the steps.
 She still needs more sleep than most children much younger and has reverted to taking a daily nap.
Pretty much anywhere.
 She loves the lake and can't wait to break out the pink lifejacket.
We're one step closer since we got the dock in a couple weeks ago.
This was one of our big projects out there since we turned the large section into a floating dock.
We managed to get it done in a day since the kids cooperated and it cost us a total of $10 for materials since we already had 2 barrels.
Now we're just praying that it holds up.
 We toyed with the idea of investing in running water {with tanks} and approached the bank for an equity line of credit to do so.
We have almost two hundred thousand in equity but found ourselves having to fight a little too hard for the loan.
According to the bank, Jeff's salary cannot count towards our income since he is "self-employed". 
Never mind that Jeff is payed a monthly salary by our company with multiple shareholders.
Never mind that we provide work to 8 people and have written letters of employment for their financing.
In the end we dropped it since the frustration wasn't worth the end result.
At this point I would much rather haul a couple of water jugs and use the outhouse than plead our case to another banker.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Update on Cedric and Spring

Sure I can update you on Spring, I am the authority on seasons don't you know.
Obviously incorrect but I will say that I can't believe spring is almost over and I have yet to talk about it.
I have been watching cherry trees bloom and kids rolling on beautiful lush grass on Instagram and wondered longingly when that would begin here.
Finally, in the last few weeks our fruit trees have blossomed and our lilac is just now in it's full glory.
Our lawn is another story, it needs a lot of TLC.
We're pretty tough on it so it seems to be in a constant development phase.
I'm also pretty sure I let our beautiful plum tree die.
This tree has year after year produced enough plums to yield dozens of jars of plum jam even after we eat as many as physically possible.
In the last couple of years a second tree has grown next to it, this is the one pictured below.
It hasn't yet produced fruit but we haven't needed it to because of the abundance of the first.
This year, however, our big tree didn't bloom at all so I'm not expecting any fruit.
What do I know though, I'm no arborist, maybe there's hope for it yet.
Plum Tree in bloom
We managed to plant the garden again this year so now is the time when I sing to it a little, recite some positive affirmations then say a little prayer that something will grow.
I'm sure I'll be a good gardener someday, right?
You Auto Know
Looks like Cedric's not convinced.

 Of course I have more important living things to tend to so I give myself some slack.
Cedric certainly has me on my toes.
He is determined to attempt and accomplish everything.
His favourite phrase right now is "DID IT!"
He's so proud when he keeps up to his big sister and her friends.
Though I'm also so proud of him I often wish the thing he "DID" did not involve heights, speed or objects that could be used as a weapon.
He called me "Mom" today for the first time and I already miss his previous names for me which included "Mum-mum" then "Ma-yee" most recently.
Boy with bow tie
He can seem so big at times so I do things like not cut his baby curls off.
I totally understand the little-boys-with-long-hair thing now.
I mean how can you bring yourself to chop those sweet little locks.
I did however give him the dapper style you see above to eschew comments like "what a sweet little girl" or "how old is your daughter?"
I joke of course, not about the comments I do get those, about letting them guide my choices for Ced. 
This handsome devil can rock any style he wants as far as I'm concerned.


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