sick days and Christmas cookies

Brendan started school in September. He’s in JK, and spends a total of two hours and forty minutes at school every day. It’s such a long stretch, that sometimes I even have time to go to the grocery store with Nathan before I have to turn around and pick him up again.

Many mornings after drop-off, I end up hanging out at the school with Nathan while we kick, throw or bounce the ball that he’s decided to bring along that day. Just in case he forgets to bring one with him, we have a stash of about 15 balls in the back of the car. For some reason he likes to bring a ball to the car when we drive anywhere and toss it in the back. I’ve never fully understood that fascination, but it does make sure that we have a ball for all sports where ever we go.

Yesterday and today, however, Nathan was robbed of his morning run around the playground. We went to the school, brought Brendan to his classroom, helped him take off his rain boots and  coat and then discovered that he really didn’t feel well enough to be there. Not in the least. He had a headache, and felt a bit warm. So right after O Canada, I helped him get re-bundled and headed back home with both boys in tow. The past two days were his first sick days, so I wasn’t quite prepared for how to properly entertain Nathan (who feels just fine, thank you very much) while looking after his big brother.

Can you guess which one is sick?
Can you guess which one is sick?

On Brendan’s part, there was a lot of tv watching. On Nathan’s, a lot of throwing balls “up high in the sky” (or, more accurately, at the wall).

I did come up with a few genius activities. I had a package of egg-free gingerbread cookies ready for decorating. The end result reminded me why I try to avoid giving Nathan too much sugar. The boy was practically bouncing off the walls. I’m fairly positive that he ate a handful of the red sugar. Good times. They both even ate some of the cookies, even though they taste marginally better than cardboard. I guess the icing masked the flavour of the cookie.

Christmas 2012
At this point I think he’s just eating the candy off the cookie, but knows to avoid the cookie itself.
Christmas 2012
Not known for his refined tastes, if I would have let him, he would have eaten every.last.crumb.

Today, after much tv watching, we completed the finishing touches of the Christmas tree (they took care of the bottom half of the tree), and made some ornaments. At first, they showed zero interest in putting anything on the tree, and then out of the blue started working their way through the box of unbreakable ornaments. Nathan spent more time leaving mini bells around the house than on the tree, but the result is pretty nice I think.

Tomorrow, Brendan will definitely be going to school. I think that whatever has been ailing him has passed – he spent half an hour running sprints upstairs before bedtime. He’ll be devastated when I break the news to him in the morning. No matter how much he loves his teacher (and he adores her), he still puts up a decent fight most mornings. Hopefully that won’t continue forever.

Oh Christmas tree
Oh Christmas tree

the long and winding road

I’ve been silent for a while. Life, as always, has been busy, but there’s more to it than that. I started doing freelance editing about two days after I quit my full-time job, and for the past few months many of my nights and weekends have been spent in front of the laptop. Some nights I would work a full 7 hours after tucking the boys into bed. I couldn’t even think about writing anything interesting, and the last thing that I wanted was to spend any more time in front of my laptop. I’m at the end of a long stretch, though. The final book that I’m editing in 2012 will be completed by the end of the week, and I’ve decided that I’m going to take a much lighter workload from now on. I need time to think, time to play with the boys, and time to just relax. I haven’t had enough of that lately.

Yes, they are in the trunk section of the car. No, I wasn’t driving so they remained safe the whole time. Although they begged me to let them sit back there for the drive home.

And beyond my work, there has been a lot going on. Brendan started school, we had part of our house reno’d, Brendan turned 4 (OMG!), and I have rediscovered my love of cooking delicious meals. I will get back to writing about the wonderfulness of my children, I promise. And I will share photos of our brand new office and anything else that seems remotely interesting to me, but which might bore the average person to tears.

I will oblige and share a photo, but for today, those worthy subjects will have to wait. Right now I feel like writing about something that has been tugging at my heart since I heard the news.Today I discovered that an old friend died after a long battle with cancer.

In the wonderful and weird world of Facebook, I found out by seeing a post on my “newsfeed”, that came directly from her wall. I haven’t spoken to Tina in about 10 years, but we kept in touch via the occasional facebook message, and I sent her words of encouragement as she navigated through her cancer treatments.

Continue reading “the long and winding road”