Sunday, November 11, 2007

Missed one already

I missed posting yesterday. That's just the way it goes around here.

I have been plotting out this coming week with careful thought. I have a thousand interesting things to do but they have all collided in one busy week. The fun starts tonight when I go into work for 6:30pm at the theatre for a rental show coming in.

Monday: substitute teaching at Sadie's school
Tuesday: Dave's birthday! The girls are excited
*Wednesday: "Tech Week Widows" dinner with 5 kids and three Mom's - fun!!!
Thursday: Girls night at our house with two out of town friends and one cute baby (I hope Cam comes)!!
Friday: day of prep for catering gig - birthday party for 30 people
Saturday: Birthday both girls are invited to that I am catering in the morning. Birthday party for Hannah to attend in the afternoon.

I will have 3 extra people for the catered lunches I make each day which brings me up to 8 full lunches and two small salads each day. And of course 5 yummy lunches for Hannah and 3 yummy snacks for Sadie. It's a full week alright but I have it all charted and I can manage.

*My friend Laura and I get together when her husband Mitch and Dave have to work long hours at the theatre for a couple of weeks leading up to the Opening of the show they are working on (aka Tech Week). She brings her two girls over after school and we feed them dinner, let them play, pop them into pj's and she takes hers home to bed at the end of a fun night. It's a really good way to get through what is otherwise a very long and lonely stretch of time. Dave typically leaves the house in the morning and isn't home before we are all asleep. The girls find it hard and ask for him a lot but distractions help so much. I am hoping the busy week will make it fly by for them

Friday, November 9, 2007

movie night

Hannah, you are snoring on the futon mattress on the floor in the living room. Your friend just left after a very successful "pretend sleepover". She's a little young to actually sleep here but she lives close enough to be picked up just before bed.

We started the evening off with soup and grilled cheese and veggies, then moved on to chocolate chip squares and ice cream. After a lot of giggling in the bathroom, pajamas were donned and we hit the living room for a movie and popcorn. And chocolate.......And pretzels.............and a bit more popcorn.

After your friend left, you flopped on the mattress and said "I can't sleep!" Needless to say, you were asleep in less than two minutes. Sweet dreams my beauty. (How could they be anything BUT sweet after all those treats!)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Snow and Lentils

I have joined a bloggers group to post something every day in the month of November. I have already missed 8 days, but here goes....

There are flakes falling here again today. Yesterday was the first sign of them. You know when the snow is sparse and hard to see.... I'm not sure if it's the disbelief that it's back after months of absence or the fact that the snow is so tiny and spread out that makes it so hard to see. I always have to blink a few times to know if I am seeing right.

I made a pot of lentil soup yesterday, which I haven't done in months. (instinct at the first sign of snow!) In fact, I bet there was still snow in the ground when I made it the last time. It is a recipe that lives only in my head, one that my Dad made countless times when I lived at home. I now make it through the winter months as a really good comfort food. We always have a little white vinegar on the table to splash in your bowl - a nice little brightness in the warm dark soup. I also always make croutons out of whatever bread is sitting around, just like my Dad did (really salty and crunchy). The only part I leave out is the smoked sausage (Dave doesn't know what he is missing out on because I never serve it with meat).

Thanks for the recipe Dad. It's kind of like you are still feeding me after all these years. I will be sure to pass the recipe on the Hannah and Sadie.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Sadie - you've got croup and this is the 4th night we've spent glued to each other (just like the picture). You are on the mend now but it's been long for you. I know because you totally lost it at dinner today. You were so determined to be the crankiest. You were drinking from your milk cup when you looked over and noticed that Hannah was drinking from hers too.
"No I'M drinking milk!"

(Hannah and I are guilty here of laughing a little)
"It's NOT funny"
Don't worry Sadie - Hannah and I managed to get you to find the humor in it!

Here you are eating a Clementine at 1:00am - our first box of the season!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


The other day we had a playdate with a new kindergarten friend of yours Hannah. I made mini cupcakes for you to share. Sadie had her friend over too. We had a great little lunch together and a long play. By the time snack time rolled around, there were three cupcakes left. Sadie arrived two seconds too late as the last cupcake was scooped up and she immediately protested. You had your cupcake in you hand and had already taken a bite. Without a single moment of hesitation, you reached across the table and tried to hand Sadie your cupcake (which was exactly what I was wishing I could have done for her at that moment). Of course she was so upset that she refused it anyway but I just thought it was worth marking down. How amazing that you didn't even stop to think about the fact that you would have been the one to be left with no cupcake. Now THAT is what sisters do.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Apple Picking

Sadie at Preschool

Sadie - you are amazing me. I took you and Hannah to the Orchard House Family Picnic today and another Mom told me you were her hero. Her son Arman is in your class and he is not feeling too brave about school yet. His Mom sits in class with him every day and she gets the pleasure of watching Arman and YOU (I'm jealous!) and all of your friends enjoying yourselves. She told me how you carry yourself with grace around the classroom, playing and following along with your teachers. She commented on how you are the smallest and one of the youngest but also one of the strongest. You have clearly learned and benefited from having such a great big sister in Hannah. She is proud of you too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hannah in Kindergarten

Hannah - my brave little school girl. Dave and I commented on how we have become so familiar with your "Brave Face". It's so mind blowing to see you trying to keep it all together when you want to burst into tears and hide. We are going into day 3 of Kindergarten and you are struggling so much with everything new. It's so tough for you to go off on your own, needing to take care of yourself but I'm proud of you for doing it anyway. You are clearly going to need a long time to get used to this new crazy trip you are going on but I know you are ready.

When you woke up this morning you started to cry almost right away. "Please!!! Do I have to go to school?" I had to give you the same line I was given 29 years ago by my parents. "Yes, you have to go to school. All children have go to school." At the moment, I am really not sure why you have to go to school but you do so tomorrow is a new day, and the day after that, and the next day too. Let's hope you find yourself soon.

I am also so happy to witness a beautiful sisterhood in the making. When you walked off with your teacher crying on your first day of school I got very teary myself. I was instantly out done by Sadie, who began to sob. I am sure it was partly because she was worried she was missing out but I also know that she was definitely feeling your pain. You have a true friend in Sadie - where ever you go, rest assured she is missing you as much as I am.

I hope that tomorrow you wake up without the butterflies and tears. I hope you gobble down your oatmeal and rush off to get backpack on. I hope you skip all the way to school. But, if you don't, I will take care of you in the best way I know how - for as many days as it takes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Camping at Oka

We just got back from a weekend at Oka. Our first time camping there, although we have visited the beach many times before. It was also our first time camping by ourselves and it was so nice to be by ourselves. You girls got such a kick out of all the toads hopping around. I caught one after you went to sleep and took a picture of it in your pink Croc Hannah. He peed on my hand when I picked him up so I left him alone after snapping a quick picture for you.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How sweet, and a little sad...
This is a photo of Sadie hanging onto my leg on the day of Hannah's preschool graduation.

Sadie- you just recently learned the notion of missing someone when they are not around. I am glad you are developing a full bag of feelings to work with from this point forward but there is a small part of me that wishes I could shield you with my Wonder Woman powers, protecting you from having to miss people you love.

For the past few months you have been fairly pleasant with the good byes. It so much easier to give you a kiss and have you yell "Bye Mama" while I walk all the way down the stairs. About a week ago, you suddenly changed the script on me though. Now at good bye time you reach out for me and start chanting "miss you Mama". It's so amazing how you figure that stuff out all on your own. The concept of missing someone is not easy to explain and I think you're brilliant for figuring it out all by yourself.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hannah - Thank you for noticing!

It has been hot today and we spent most of the day walking around and playing in the park. You and Sadie were totally fried and you complained about your feet most of the walk home. After a much needed long bath (full of bubble and giggles), we had dinner on the back balcony. You asked for something to drink. When I got up to get the water, this is the conversation that followed:
You: "I can get the drinks if you want".
Me: "No - you rest, I'll get them."
You: "But you didn't."
Me: "Didn't what?"
You: "Rest."
Me: "Can you tell I'm that tired?"
You: "You are as tired as me. We are all as tired as me. We all need to rest."

Love you Hannah!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sadie turned Two!! Happy You You Sadie Jayne!

"Happy You You" has been Sadie's way of saying (and singing) Happy Birthday for the better part of this year.

I am so amazed by my little power house two year old girl. She is small but mighty and makes a smile burst onto my face just thinking about her. All day on Friday, the day before her actual birthday and the day before our huge birthday party, she kept telling me it was time to "go now". I was fairly busy preparing things for the big day and didn't take the time to figure out where exactly we were supposed to be going. When bed time rolled around, she sat up during story time and said "Go now Mama". I asked her where she was going and she said "Happy You You!". I guess she picked up on the fact that there was a pretty special birthday party in the works and thought she ought to be the first one there.

My heart is full of love for my two little girls.

Another year, another party
We had a double birthday for the girls yesterday. It was just as great as last years party although we had to move it from the park to our house because of weather. We are lucky to have so many really wonderful friends to help us celebrate the birth of our daughters. I haven't done the final count yet but we were right up around 50 people. It was pretty nuts for a while in the dining room, which is where we tend to gather when company is over.

I have this huge dining room table that came from the house I grew up in. It has seen some pretty amazing parties over the years. There have been a lot of laughs and tears shared by a lot of family and friends at that table. I am counting my blessings that my young family is leaving it's marks on this family treasure. Hannah and Sadie have left marker, food, spilled milk and their own tears on it. In fact, just yesterday, Sadie managed to split her lip on it when the tray from her booster seat fell off unexpectedly. I am pretty sure she has left her bright pink blood on it now. The lip is fine and the table is now a part of her too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th, 2007 - Hannah is 5 years old today. This is a picture of her on the beach on our camping trip. I have begun to notice how hard she tries to be good to her sister, good to her friends and thoughtful to Dave and I. It makes me very proud; I have every faith that she will know to do the right thing when she is out there on her own, fending for herself in Kindergarten. Dave and I gave Hannah and Sadie a scooter each for their birthday this year. It's so cute to see Hannah scooting along the sidewalk on her hot pick "Razor". She has been asking for a scooter since she was two, so it was a great pleasure to buy her one after all that waiting. Day one of the Surette / Strahl family Birthday week is over.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My First Blog

Well, I guess I could try to recap the last 34 years or just dive in, so here we go...

Rocket Cheese is a bit of an inside joke around our house. Both Hannah and Sadie have invented some very colourful words that have a lasting power greater than I could have ever expected. Rocket Cheese is the name Hannah gave to Macaroni and Cheese very early in her life. We have called that comfort food by her pet name for it ever since. Choosing a blog name that hasn't been chosen yet is tricky so this is the first one I thought of.

Front Page News
Hannah has lost her first tooth. (June 26th, 2007) The Tooth Fairy found the tiny pearl in a hand sewn pillow with a pocket that Hannah and I made together when she first noticed the tooth was loose. Hannah woke up to find two Loonies and a note saying "Thank you for the beautiful tooth. I can tell that you do a good job of brushing your teeth. Love The Tooth Fairy." Hannah was thrilled. She used the money to buy book 3 in a series she and I have been reading at bedtime called The Fairy Realm, By Emily Rodda. After we read the tooth shaped note, she said "Oh...I was supposed to catch The Tooth Fairy." When I asked her why, she said that she and her friend Nour (from Preschool) wanted to catch her to ask her if they could be Tooth Fairies too.

In other news, the girls both have their birthday's at the beginning of July. Hannah will be turning 5 years old and Sadie will be turning 2.

Hannah just had her Orchard House Preschool Graduation. She will be heading off the Willingdon for Kindergarten in September.

Sadie will be starting preschool at Orchard House in their new location. We had a tour of the new building with one of Sadie's friends, who will be attending school with her in September. This is a picture of Sadie and her friend sitting on the steps of what will become the New Orchard House Preschool. We are very excited for Sadie to follow in Hannah's footsteps. We have had such a good experience with Orchard House that we know that Sadie will thrive there.
Upcoming Events
We are planning to go camping this weekend. Hannah has been camping several times but Sadie has not been camping yet. We just couldn't make it happen last year, so we are long overdue. We have to buy a bit more gear now that we have to fit four in a tent. We won't all fit on one air mattress anymore - especially because Hannah and Sadie are used to sharing a double futon with a toddler bed attached to the side. We bought one extra single mattress and hope that will due for this trip. It adds up when you have to shell out for two of everything. Over the summer, I hope to accumulate another single air mattress and two more sleeping bags but we can make do with blankets and lots of cuddling for this time.

Next weekend will be our second annual Family Picnic in MacDonald Park. We will celebrate both Hannah and Sadie's birthdays together with a group of about 60 friends. Last year's party was so much fun that we hope to repeat it year after year.