I can't believe that it has been almost a month since my last post. Which, now that I look at it, was kind of blah, since I don't really know if it conveyed what I was trying to express. Oh well. Anyway, I had all of these grandiose plans for posts on various topics and life updates, but given that my choice these days is between blogging, sleeping, and photo editing, the latter two usually win out. So, now I'll write a total cop-out post with some of the exciting things that have been happening here in PKLand. Dun dun dun...
Daycare has been done since mid-August. I was really really sad to leave PK's daycare. I think I just about cried on PK's last day. We made some really awesome friends there, and I was sad that I wouldn't been seeing them every day. Plus PK was totally thriving in the pre-school program and totally loved her classmates and teachers.
2. Summer Camp
After we finished at the daycare, PK attended one week of summer day camp at her new school. The point of this exercise was to get PK used to her surroundings, even if the summer program itself wasn't in any way a Montessori program. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about sending PK to day camp, especially since there were daily field trips scheduled for the kiddies, some of which involved walking and/or taking public transit. I was really nervous about the thought of PK taking public transit with a bunch of other 3-to-6-year-olds.
I am happy to report that PK's summer camp experience was extremely positive. Since she was only there for one week, she didn't really get to bond with any of the kids, but from what I can tell (this kid doesn't like to divulge too much info - arrrgh!), she had a pretty fun time. Among other things, she got to go to Ontario Place, visit a fire station, and have picnics in the park.
3. End-of-Summer Vacation
After PK's week at day camp, we went on a family vacation to Vermont. This vacation was really special for us, because the hubby and his family have been spending summers there in one form or another since the hubby was a kid. In more recent years, we'd been going down to Vermont with the hubby's parents, my mother-in-law's brother and his wife from Montreal, my sister-in-law and family, plus a bunch of my father in-law's family from Boston and Calgary cousins and their kids. We had stopped going about three years ago, which of course coincided with PK's birth, though the Boston and Calgary folks had been keeping up with the tradition.
I really missed going to Vermont for Labor Day weekend. It was a highlight of the end of summer. I love going to Vermont at that time of year, where you get the tail-end of summer with the warm days, and the cool autumn nights. There was something so very awesome about the little mountain town where we stay. A few main roads. Little inns dotting the landscape. Total quaintness. No sign of Starbucks or McDonalds. No malls. It was awesome.
So this year I was determined to return, and I managed to convince everyone else to do the same. We rented a big house with the Toronto and Montreal folks. At our peak, we there were 11 of us. It was awesome. PK spent a whole week with both of her cousins. Both she and her younger cousin had never been to Vermont before. They had a blast, and we had a blast showing them our old traditions, and picking up some new ones.
4. Montessori School
After Labor Day, PK started at her new school. In spite of the fact that we were somewhat familiar with the school and routine from our week-long summer day camp experience, it was still new territory for us. Kids are dropped off at the doorway, and are whisked away to their classrooms by the teaching assistants. Parents are discouraged from entering the school at pick-up and drop-off, in order to keep things moving, and in order to make them more independent. Kids must greet their teachers with a handshake. They must also shake their teachers' hands before leaving for the day. PK has been pretty good with the routine overall. She's pretty headstrong though, and sometimes gives her teachers a hard time when I pick her up. Like if she forgets something (e.g. rain boots) in the coatroom, she's supposed to go down and get it herself. Sometimes she makes a fuss and wants someone to get it for her. She can also be a real pain in the butt when it comes to shaking hands at the beginning or at the end of the day. Am I in for it when she becomes a tween/teen or what? Oy...
Packing lunches has turned out to be an interesting experience, since it was a brand-new concept for the hubby and me. We'd been relying on the awesomely nutritious and super-cool menus provided by PK's old daycare, so things such as breakfast and lunch weren't a worry for us. Since starting day camp/school, lunches have been hit and miss. Sometimes she'll do really well, and other times, she'll barely touch her lunch. The hubby makes a point of reviewing PK's lunch contents with her after packing them, to ensure that she's aware of what she's getting. He also emphasizes that whatever she doesn't eat goes to the trash, and that has somewhat struck a chord with her. We try not to get mad over untouched lunches, but it's a bit disheartening. On the bright side, she at least makes up for crappy lunches by having a big dinner.
Breakfasts aren't provided by the school either, so we have to make sure that she eats a good breakfast at home beforehand. This means that we now sit down to breakfast as a family. Before this, the hubby never used to have breakfast, and I would always eat breakfast at the office. I actually really like this new family routine!
We don't take the stroller with us to/from school since a) it's pretty close by and b) there's no good place to park it for the day, so in the mornings the hubby will drop us off at school on his way to work, and in the evenings, I often carry PK home from school. It's only 500m away, but this girl is sure getting heavy. I definitely have some good biceps as a result. If I'm lucky, she'll walk partway, though it takes 20 or 30 minutes instead of 15 or so.
One big thing that I've noticed since PK started school is just how tired she is. By the time we get home, EVERYTHING pisses her off. To mitigate this we have started putting her to bed earlier. We've managed to move her bedtime from 9pm (I know...bad mommy) to 8:20pm. The hubby and I end up with a longer evening together, and PK wakes up well-rested in the morning. Unfortunately, she's still exhausted in the evening, but at least that means that she falls asleep pretty quickly.
Well, that was quite the update. Hopefully it won't be another month until I post again.