Growing Out On A Limb

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Kearney Lake Trails

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny fall-ish day – the perfect day for a hike.  The Kearney Lake trails are near Kearney Lake beach, which the kids and I visited early in the summer, so less than fifteen minutes from our house.  I am definitely putting this on my revisit-when-the-leaves-turn list.

The trail we were on came down along Kearney lake in a couple of spots.  This is Popcorn Island.  Don’t ask me why.


The trail was rocky and full of roots in a lot of places but the kids are used to that and had no trouble.  IMG_4315 IMG_4317 Eleanor, as usual, was along for the ride.  IMG_4321 Apple break!  IMG_4336 IMG_4337

At about the halfway point we took a trail off to the left that was quite beautiful with moss-covered rocky cliffs to one side but it ended up not being a trail after ten minutes or so of hiking.  No problem… we sat and had our apple break, took this muscly-posed shot, then found our way back to the main trail.  IMG_4342 This might be my favorite shot of the day.  Just a hint of fall.  IMG_4345 Then we came to Charlie’s Lake.  Gorgeous.  And look… does this mean they like each other after all?  IMG_4353 IMG_4362I did not feel well but am glad that we got out for this hike.  The fresh air had to be good for my cold and was definitely good for the soul.  The kids love looking around the woods and finding neat things in nature and, for whatever reason, maybe just the distraction of it all, we rarely have to referee when we are out like this.  That makes for a nice break for all of us.


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Summer pics … found!

This is so not like me.  I’m not sure how it happened.  But I was looking through my phone last night and there they were… pictures I hadn’t posted.  Some of them from the end of July!  I’m either losing my touch or have three little critters that demand my attention and make me forget things like this.  Or a bit of both.

The first week of August, I had the boys both enrolled in summer camps offered by the city’s rec department.  They were cheap, only a week long, and, best of all, I managed to find two that were the same week and overlapping times.  Emery, Eleanor, and I still had to find something to kill an hour or so before Emery’s started.  Insert the playground below, located in Bedford.  IMG_20140730_095319

I know you can’t see the playground structure but it’s a decent one.  And with views like this, I liked hanging out there too!  IMG_20140730_095335For part of the week, we had cousin Megan and her friend Kerrington visiting, as well as Ali and Aaliyah.  So we went back to this park for a second day.

IMG_20140801_101953 Ducks like snacks too!  IMG_20140801_102235 While Emery was in his 45-minute long summer camp, the rest of us found things to do with Eleanor and Aaliyah.  They’re easy to please.  It was around this time that Eleanor decided she liked climbing up on the slides and “sliding” down the last couple of inches.  IMG_20140801_112722 She was pretty proud of herself. IMG_20140801_112810Then there was New Brunswick day… err, Natal day!  We drove downtown for the longest parade I think I’ve ever seen.  It was a good one.

IMG_20140804_095814We went to the waterfront for a picnic lunch.  It was one of the last days of the busker festival so we watched a busker doing neat tricks on stilts.  The boys played on the little playground down there for a while.

IMG_20140804_113736Then we got on the ferry.  Service was free that day so why not?  The original plan was to take the ferry to Dartmouth and do the bridge walk that was planned for the holiday.  They close the bridge down altogether so I thought it would be incredibly cool to walk across it, not to mention there would be great views of the city.  But by the time we got to Dartmouth we decided the boys were tired and had had enough.  I guess we’ll plan better for that event next year.


And a couple of pool shots… IMG_20140807_141217At the end of the summer, the boys are both doing full running “cannonballs” into the pool.  Oliver swims quite well without his life jacket, though Emery is still perfectly comfortable with leaving his on.
IMG_20140807_141321Fun summer times to reflect on, now that the weather is starting to cool down.  The pool is still open, hoping for that one last blast of summer air.  Will it ever come??

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Family Fun Day

Last Saturday our new-to-us subdivision had their annual ‘Family Fun Day’ … a free BBQ, fun games for the kids, pony rides, etc.  We were excited to attend because a) it was free and b) it was a good way to mingle and hopefully meet some of our new neighbors.

And we were not disappointed!  The kids had a great time and we did get to meet a few people.

Oliver surprised me by being up for everything (this time last year he would have been too shy).  Emery surprised me by being too shy to really participate in anything but lately I notice he gets a little overwhelmed by crowds of people… a phase, I suspect.  He still had fun on the playground and eating hotdogs.

Oliver with the goat we named ‘Grassy’.  Because he was eating grass, of course.  IMG_20140906_114433 I was extra surprised when Oliver wanted to get into this big roll-y ball.  He had no hesitation and even went in it again with a friend from his class that we met later on.  IMG_20140906_115352 There were hotdogs and juice boxes and snow cones.  And at 2 pm, when it all wrapped up, they threw tons of candy up in the air and watched the kids scramble after it.  What could impress a five-year-old more?  IMG_20140906_120946

The star of the show (mine anyway) was little miss Eleanor in her sweet little old-fashioned dress.  My goodness, I want to squeeze her every time I look at it.  IMG_20140906_123144

To nana and papa’s excitement, Oliver tried out the pony rides.  “Another cowboy in the family!”, they said.  Yee haw!  IMG_20140906_125015 Fire trucks never get tired.  Oliver’s classmate Harry is in the background.  He sits beside Harry at school and plays with him a lot.  Nearly every day his first question coming off the bus is, “Can we have Harry over for a play date?”.  IMG_20140906_131548It was a fun day with our new neighbors!

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Oliver’s First Day of School

The first day came and went!  

It was raining so he put his rain boots and coat on, then we headed to the bus stop.  I was worried that Oliver’s excitement would quickly wane when the bus pulled up but he gave me a quick hug and off he went.  (Bus stop bonus:  Meeting some of our neighbors!).  


The only way he would agree to the above shot is if he could also do a silly pose.  


I met him at the school and helped him find his classroom.  His teacher is actually from hubby’s home town.  Small world!  When it was time to sit on the mat he said he didn’t want me to go but no tears or anything.  

IMG_6668When he came home, he was so chatty and told me all about his day (which means he had a great time).  He very proudly said, “And guess what, mommy?  I even made a new friend!”.  

This morning he jumped on the bus with no qualms at all.  Emery was dropped off at preschool with no issues.  Even Eleanor was dropped off without tears today.  They’re all superstars.  

And now I work.  In this very quiet house.  


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Oliver – The eve of primary

Here we are… the day before Oliver starts primary.  

I think this must be the definition of mixed feelings.  I am excited for him – to meet new friends, to be riding the bus, to be surrounded by kids and learning so much – and I know that the teachers are prepared to help him adjust.  But for days now my stomach has been filled with anxiety.  

I ran into a friend last week whose son is also starting kindergarten and, among the commiserating, she said, “They’ll be fine.  They’re ready”.  I don’t think she noticed but I had this panic-stricken moment moment when I thought, “Oh my god.  Is he ready?”.  

Will he wash his hands?  Will he eat all of his lunch at recess time?  He can’t tie his shoes yet!  Will he sit all alone on the school bus every day?  Is he going to ask to go to the bathroom in time?  If he makes it, will he pee on the seat?  Will he wander into the woods unnoticed at recess time?  

And let’s assume he makes it home with clean hands and tied shoes.  Will he tell me what he has done all day – who he played with, if someone was mean to him, whether he raised his hand to answer questions or not?  

It’s hard to let go.  For over five years, even when I wasn’t home with him, I have known what his day has looked like – what was for lunch, who he played with, etc.  Tomorrow, all that changes – not only will my heart be walking outside of my body, but it will be walking outside of my body alone.  And what I will know about his day is what he will choose to tell me.  God, I hope he wants to tell me everything.  

Whether I am ready for it or not, when he steps on the bus tomorrow morning he starts on a new road of independence.  And it’s important for him to take that road.  I just need to trust him, trust that we have prepared him, trust that he can handle it, and trust that he will tell me when he can’t and needs help with something.  

In a month or two, I’m sure this whole school thing will be routine and seem like no big deal.  But for now, for today and tomorrow, it is a big deal.  A really big deal.  But for him, I need to let go.  He’s ready.  

Can someone please remind me of that when I am bawling as the bus pulls away? 

Today we went for a special “date”, just him and I.  Maybe this will be our back-to-school tradition.  We went to (where else?) “Old McDonald’s” for something to eat and then to the library for some new books.  


I wanted a nice picture of the two of us.  This is as close as we got… 


… and then the sillies set in!  IMG_6644

I kept saying, “Okay, this time be serious” and he would say, “Okay”.  And we would get this… IMG_6650

… or this … IMG_6655

… or this … IMG_6659

… but it all ended in this so mission accomplished.  IMG_6657

I love him.