Monthly Archives: December 2014

Santa 2014!

When we got to the mall on Sunday morning, it was later than we’d planned, and the lineup for Santa was already really long (and he hadn’t even arrived to start his shift yet!). I was very proud of how both kids behaved while waiting, and I promised them a trip to DavidsTea afterward as an incentive to keep positive. “I don’t want to see Santa,” said Owlet; “I just want to have tea.” Oops? (Anyone else remember that last year, when asked what she was going to tell Santa she wanted for Christmas, she said tea? I’m so proud.)

It only took about an hour in the end, and we got a very nice photo.

The little DavidsTea semi-shop was jam-packed with people, though, so all we did was taste the teas of the day at the entrance. (They’re opening a full-sized store in that mall very soon, thank goodness. Next year, the bribe will be a bit easier!)

For the purposes of comparison and exclaiming at how the children have grown:

The 2013 Santa photo
The 2012 Santa photo
The 2011 Santa photo

Owlet: 40 Months Old!

We have pictures, so let’s do the 40 month post anyway, yes? This will be backdated to 4 December 2014 in a few days.

There was an overnight language upgrade again. There’s subtlety, updated syntax, that sort of thing. And pronunciation has become even clearer, not that we’ve had trouble understanding her for a while now. She can count to twenty without hesitation (fifteen is sneaky and sometimes get dropped; Sparky had a similar issue with fourteen and sixteen, which is interesting).

Her expression in art has leveled up, too. Her paintings are often still chaotic, but she painted a picture of flowers that were very recognisable this month. Her use of colour has really exploded, too. Rather than just making one or two marks on a page and calling it done, now she’s filling the entire paper with rich colour and lots of motion. Painting is her number one activity; if she can’t paint, she’ll colour or do something with stickers. I bought some poster paint, cleaned out the unit that housed the ColorWonder gel paints that all dried out, and mixed the poster paint to go in each little pot. She likes it much more than watercolors, which can be slow to get started, and it’s much easier to pull out her little art desk, pop open the paint jars, and let her go.

She loves just about any craft activity, though; if there are stickers and glue, she’s excited.

When she needs a pencil sharpened she says, “Can you scrape this please?” And her pencil grip has miraculously improved. I saw her approximating a correct pencil grip the other day for the first time. Apparently she’d seen her godsister coloring at my last concert, stared at her hand for a bit, then shifted her fingers around her own marker so it was like hers. It was encouraging.

(THose were taken on different days; she just really loves that shirt.)

We gave her a couple of quarters to put in her bank one day when we gave Sparky his allowance, and suddenly she was very interested in it. “Can I have a money?” she says. “My owl is hungry.” So we dig a nickel or a dime out of our change pockets, and off she goes to ‘feed’ her owl bank.

She has decided that when she is big and has her ears pierced, she would like feather earrings. Also ladybug ones, and rainbows. She must have heard about pierced ears at school for some reason; I rarely change my earrings from my small, plain hoops, and I don’t talk about them.

At the end of November they started working on a winter unit at school, and she brought home this little diorama:

There’s a bonus view of her wonky jack o’lantern jar next to it. It had an LED tea light in it that burned out pretty quickly because she insisted on having it on all night, every night.

She’s fun. They’ve started with the Christmas songs at school, so now there’s a lot of Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells happening in the car. She still gets stuck in those funny little-kid loops when singing, where they slip into a line from an earlier verse and then sing the chorus and end up slipping on the same line again. We grin and bear it, myself with more patience than Sparky. He refuses to hear that he did it, too, because he could never be so uncool.

~ Sparky’s forty-months post, for comparison

How Is It December?

This year has flashed by. I’m not panicking about it, just feeling slightly sad. Owlet’s post for last month is still in draft form, and her next one is due tomorrow (ah ha ha, that’s not going to happen). For all the time I’m spending at the computer, not much of it has been writing in any form.

I’ve been tangled in horrible paycheque luck these past three months. The most recent snafu is that accounting has recently discovered that no, Canadians can not in fact be paid via direct deposit, which is a complete contradiction to what they said when I checked with them in early October. The direct deposit option was being promoted as a quicker way to be paid, and after the really, really, really late payment earlier this fall, it had sounded like a good idea. Everyone is horrified and apologetic, and I’m waiting to be paid. The accounting department is swamped because two of their full-time employees retired this summer, and the new employees are making mistakes and working more slowly. There’s not much I can do except wait. Which is stressful on its own, of course, because not only can I no longer schedule an expected payment date into my agenda and work out a household budget with any confidence as I used to (it used to be four and a half weeks from the Friday of the week my invoice was sent through, like clockwork), but I can’t even expect the payment process to be flawless (other than slow). I’m sure it will get better… eventually.

I’ve been prebooked to copyedit another book on math, which is great; not only do I already have a stylesheet for the other book in the series, but my December work schedule is taken care of. I’m also slowly working through a private editing project of picture books, which is fun but challenging on how to schedule it into my other work, as well as how to think about it/approach it and put my thoughts down on paper for the author.

I recently applied for a copyediting position with a quarterly magazine incredibly relevant to my interests. The editing sample they asked for consisted of working over a five-page article, which took me a day and a half because it needed a lot more work than the example they’d provided as a guideline, and I was constantly referring to the house stylesheet and making decisions in a bit of a murky situation. However, a zillion other people also applied (many non-professionals as well as professionals). Yesterday they announced the position had been filled (by a professional), and that they’d been spoiled for choice with a lot of perfect people, but they could only choose one. I am moving forward, disappointed but not devastated, assuming I am one of the perfect people who didn’t get hired. It would have been more lucrative than my ongoing freelance job with the publisher, and the work would have come at four predictable, reliable times per year, so I could have organized my schedule around them. But it wasn’t to be.

Our fall concert went well last Saturday. We brought Owlet, and it was her first non-Canada Day concert. As always, I wish I’d done better, and hoped the people sitting closest to me weren’t hearing the sludgy mess I made of quick finger-twisting bits. Our next concert is in March and we’ll be doing Beethoven’s seventh, which is very exciting for the celli and bass. Up next for me is our Christmas studio recital, which is a bit later than usual this year, on December 21. I’m working on a transcription of Wagner’s “Song to the Evening Star” from Tannhäuser which is asking a lot of me in the letting-go department.

The furnace went on the fritz a couple of weeks ago, necessitating repair. We had the money, but it meant that the optometrist appointment and new glasses I was planning on didn’t happen, and isn’t going to for a while. (See above re. unreliable payment schedule.)

I think that’s about it. Knitting is at a standstill, because the shawl I’m working on is now at the 400+ stitches per row point, and there is always something else that has to be done instead of knitting a row. I’ve spun a couple of yarns, but I’ll save those for another post.