Desperate times calls for selective memory

This has been on my calendar for a while.

Something about Tuesday

Emma, as you no doubt are aware, is the hugest Pixar fan ever.She’s been counting down to the Wall-E DVD release for quite a while. Probably since we saw it at the movie theatre. So she has been looking forward to the day she could go to the store and get Mom or Dad to buy it for her as soon as humanly possible.

And, just between you and me and the entire internet, I pre-ordered it from Amazon. Not the single-disk version, not even a 2 disc set, but the THREE DISC SPECIAL EDITION.

Yeah, I plan on videotaping her reaction when she opens it for her birthday. Shhh, don’t tell her.

Did I just say birthday? Why yes, I am a cruel mother making her wait that long. Except the hard part has been keeping it a surprise. At first, I used avoidance.

“Mom! Wall-E comes put on DVD next week!”

“That’s nice honey, what do you want for lunch?”

But as the date drew closer, we had to step up our tactics.


“We’ll have to wait and see. Did you brush your teeth yet?”

And finally I had to pull out The Big Guns. We coincidentally had to go get groceries on Tuesday, and as we were discussing our driving plans, Emma comes out with this:

“Since we’re getting groceries, and since today Wall-E comes out on DVD, could we buy it? I’m sure the grocery store will have a stand right by the checkout.”

“….. go ask your father… Ron? Can you explain this to her?

So. Ron spent a good five minutes explaining very carefully that no, we will not be buying Wall-E today at the store. Someone may have purchased it for her as a present already, what with her birthday being a month away and Christmas a week later. So in case she did not receive it on either of those occasions, Daddy then promised to take her shopping for it. *After* Christmas. She had to wait.

I thought she took the news rather well. She was calm, did not appear upset, and said, “Okay, Daddy,” quite plainly.

At the grocery store, we got most of the way through without a mention. But then we had to go by the electronic section and there was the display. It was huge. It *talked*. As we were standing there looking, the voice box in the cardboard wall-E fell out. I had to replace it.

Now we’ve been there a good five minutes and of course they are right at Emma’s eye level. Our conversation was the sort of “yes, that is cool,” and I tried to veer it towards the, “Oh, these are just Blue Ray..” or “Eh, it’s only a one disc movie.. pfft..” to try and downplay it, even while being entranced by the whole thing myself.

But as I was replacing wall-E’s voice box, Emma was holding a movie case.

“I’m gonna put this in the cart now.”


“It’s okay, right Mommy?”


“Hey, remember what Daddy said?”

More thoughtful looks and some lip-chewing. And then I had to pull out my whole bag of mommy tricks, saying I know how much she loves the movie – remember that part when the ship was tipped and the lady said “Hey Frank? Wanna have kids?” and the kids rolled across the floor to them? – but, you know, her birthday is just around the corner, as well as Christmas, and I’m sure she’ll get some presents she really likes and it’s hard, I know, but she just has to wait.

I held my breath.

“Okay mommy. I can wait.”

Phew. Dodged a bullet there.

I only hope Ron hid the package somewhere *I* can’t find it, before I cave.

Stuffing in as much as possible

First off, y’all gotta go look at my mom’s blog where she’s been posting quilt pictures and food. I’d say it makes me long for home again, except I just got off the phone with her, so I’m full up for the week. 😉

My Mom: Best in Small Doses. (If you’re wondering, she’s probably cackling loudly over that right this second.)

To pick up where we left off in the sage of my life –

Wednesday: Ron had called the internet install guy and asked if he could drop in and have a look at our wiring and talk about how much it would cost to move it so it comes directly into the office upstairs. He showed up right at lunch on a day Ron was at the office, took a hard look at everything, shaking his head and muttering, then I went to check on lunch. I come back and he has the entire thing disconnected and is moving it already. Why yes, I *was* right in the middle of mucking around in a client’s database. By the time he gets it all set up again (bang, thrash, pound) it won’t work on my computer. He gets his laptop hooked, checks the connection, gets it working for him to verify it’s up and running. He takes one look at our computer, says “It’s not Windows, can’t help ya.” and leaves.

So I had to wait until Ron got home, and he spent an hour getting it back up and running, where we discovered our router was toast and our IP adrress changed too. Then he had a client project to start that took from 8pm to 3am. (Wow, you really wanna work from home now, don’t you? 😀 )

Thursday: Emma and I went on a field trip to the Potato Museum, got home in time to make lunch. Then Ron and I went on a “date”. 😀 First, we picked up some books for Emma from Tree of Life. They are out in the middle of nowhere in a very nice spot, but really only a pleasant drive between my house and town. Great people, you should buy homeschooling books from them. I got books 1 through 3 of Draw Write Now.

In town, we picked up a new router and Ron picked out a desktop for him. We’re gonna need it. He asked about getting no operating system and they said sure. All they did was swap out the hard drive with an empty one.

When we got back, Emma and I spent a good solid hour drawing.

Friday: I worked. Ron put the second window in our bedroom, since it’s been cold at night and the old window by the head of our bed was chilly. It made a HUGE STINKING DIFFERENCE. Now we have all new windows on the North and East side of the upstairs of our house.

It hasn’t been cold enugh to run the pellet stive all the time, but we have been using it to take the chill off the downstairs. We still get quite a bit of solar gain, and with the new windows in place, we’re retaining heat well.

That night, I finished up some work (two clients had server crashes, yay fun!) and we went to get groceries past 7:30pm on a Friday night. remind me never to do that again.

Saturday: I loaded up my car with a bunch of crap that thankfully was already set aside by my past self. (Yay for smart and lucid days!) I took myself down to the clubhouse/community hall where we were having a small community yard sale. I spent all darn day there and made maybe $30 at most. I came home with 3 empty boxes though, and I spent less than $10.

Also this week in Meaghan’s kitchen:

Seriously, I’m gonna hafta start freezing some of this stuff. I didn’t even count the peach jam and pear preserves, but that might have been last week.

Emma at 7.5 – learning notes

I realized it’s been a while since and Emma update and a talk about what she’s learning. Again, she is in an upswing of amassing information as quickly as posible. This is one of those times where I start to rethink our parental policy of answering questions as best we can.

As a side note, does anyone else have small(ish) children that regularly say, “Can we go look that up on wikipedia?”

Emma has been getting along with Meaghan, which is good because they share a room. Yesterday, or maybe the day before, Meaghan accidentally whipped some cream too far and made butter. Since it had sugar and vanilla in it already, it was very gourmet butter. We then had cinnamon toast. 🙂

So at some point she grabbed Emma, took her off to the kitchen and made butter again, explaining to Emma how it worked and letting her use the noisy scary mixer too. It was extra delicious because they made it themselves. Today, they presented me with pictures explaining how the milk fat molecules get happy and link arms. It included smiley faces on the molecules.

Meaghan also helped Emma update her blog.

Another day, back last week when it was desperately hot, Emma set up an experiment. I don’t even know if she got it from Zoom or if she thought it up herself. She filled some smaller 500ml pop bottles with water and placed them in various locations outside in the sun. Then she used Daddy’s laser temperature gun to take their temperature. She wrote it down in a chart that she made on a piece of paper. Every so often, she went back out and took the temperatures of the bottles and wrote it down. It was interesting to see that some of the bottles got hotter depending on where they were. (You and I know this is likely, but here she proved the theory.)

Something she did get from Zoom, she did yesterday with Daddy’s help because he was still home. She wanted to find out how many people in our house were squares and how many were rectangles. If you are a square, then your height is the same (or close enough) as the span of your arms held out wide, from fingertip to fingertip. Daddy helped her measure after they hunted down his measuring tape. She again grabbed a piece of paper and made a chart, complete with faces and checkboxes, to record her results. Initially she wrote that 3 of us were percents. She asked me if this was right. I could see her brow furrowing, thinking hard. So I did explain that in this case we weren’t using percents (I’ll save that for later), but it was 3 of us out of 5 total. A fraction.  Ah, that was better. It all made sense now.

Emma would also like Addison and Kaytlyn to measure themselves and send their results, please. 🙂

We had to wait for Sarah to get up then wake up before she got measured. After that, the big kids and the parents talked about torso length compared to leg length. Sarah is 5’4″ and Meaghan is 4’10”, but seat them side by side on the dining room chairs and Meaghan is taller. Ron is taller than I am, yet we have the same inseam.

This recording things is happening more often, and is good. 🙂 One time when we got the groceries, she took out her notebook and pen from her purse and made a graphic list of what we needed, checking off each item when we got them. Somehow her list had a few special items on it that my list didn’t.

We also managed to get her to try a few new things to eat. She’s always had food issues, despite my efforts. Once she decides she doesn’t like something, it’s a struggle to get her to eat it again, even if it was a previous favorite. But we have had success! Last night, she ate fruit cocktail with me. Sure, she stuck to the pineapple and pear chunks, but that was pretty good. “I have to go in the other room for a minute, don’t eat my share,” I said. She giggled. Naturally when I came back a large portion was gone. I am a sneaky mom indeed.

Meaghan also make pumpkin cake which Emma really REALLY liked and we all talked up how much she would like my specially baked squash (with butter and brown sugar…mmmm… ). Another item was Kraft Dinner, which she loves, but we got a box with spiral noodles, which made her quite suspicious. Once she tried it, of course, it’s her new favorite.

Saturday I took her to a small yardsale down the road as they had clothes her size. She brought her purse because she is seven going on forty. She found a new Spongebob purse and eventually transferred all her items to her new purse. She also picked out a Spongebob hat and tshirt. She picked out most of the shirts we bought, and played with the kids there. They had chicks, so she wanted to go look.

Over the weekend, I also cleaned off and organized her desk, so she could not only see the top of it, but use it too. She was so happy! So grateful even. I got plenty of hugs for it. I found some more of her best pipsqueak markers, so she has almost filled her marker case I made. She still uses it faithfully. I organized her drawers a little better, so she has glue & tape and scissors available and will hopefully not run off with mine quite so much. When I was done and showed her where everything was, she only moved a few things to make more sense to her. 😀 Then she spent quite a bit of time there is a large workbook left open on it.

We have a large box of blank assorted paper for kid use, which I just moved to the side of her desk. There’s one-sided printouts, stray looseleaf, some construction paper, and scraps cut off from longer paper. Ron still occasionally brings home paper printed one side because it might be good for a kid project. He did this when he worked for Star Choice, as in the early days, they would print off reports and then find the calculations weren’t correct and literally have a ream to throw out. So he’d bring it home for the kids. Often only 1/4 of one side would have printing. Meaghan recently told me that when she was little, she thought that’s how paper was when you bought it.

Emma has also been making little booklets for the neighbours – full of pictures of them and her, and declarations of love. Even Earl mowing his lawn, which was pretty funny. “But I drew him with a shirt on,” she told us, very solemnly. The last time she drew some pictures for Wanda at the post office, it was a series of hearts & love. Except the hearts were anatomically correct, in the ribcage, with veins and arteries, and with lines to show it was beating. Wanda was so impressed she gave her a toonie. That’s a $2 coin with a polar bear on it.

In what can only be sheer coincidence, the polar bear is now Emma’s favorite animal.


I took Emma to the movie theater this afternoon, as a treat because it’s expensive and something we just rarely do. Especially considering we’ll be getting the DVD even if we hadn’t seen the movie. In our house, a Pixar movie means an automatic purchase. Emma, and indeed the rest of the family, is a huge fan.

So, we went to see Wall-E.

And here’s where I’d love to tell you what a moving, wonderful story it is, but … I have no words. The words I just typed don’t even begin to describe it. A magnificent film that should receive every award in existence would not even begin to cover it.

Within the first minute, my eyes filled with tears. Ten minutes in I was just trying not to sob. I’m sure any feeling adult in the room was the same. And in the ending scenes it was the same. A roller coaster, swept along in the imaginative storyline, the world – indeed what could very well be *our* world – Pixar has not only done it again, they have blown their previous works out of the water. The competition should be quaking in their boots as anything else is just a cartoon.

The technical details of the animation of a garbage-ridden planet will leave you breathless in its horrific degradation. And this isn’t a film where the pure beauty of a class of professionals pushing themselves to the limit and breaking boundaries is such a joy and awe-inspiring moment. No, it’s the combination that you rarely see; one of fine craftsmanship in both the view and the storyline.

I can barely even express the storyline – the depth of feelings intertwined with what is shown on the screen, the sparse dialog that leaves you welling tears and laughing in the next moment.

And while the irony of it was not lost on me – leaving the theater and seeing the garbage on the floor, overflowing the two meager bins, being assaulted by Wall-E merchandise cropping up in stores now at limited quantities and low prices – there’s still the spirit of Pixar embedded in the file, thumbing its noise and wagging a finger even as it receives funding from its own corporate overlords.

Somehow, we don’t mind, for the creative talents they employ and the stories they have to tell need to be told, need to be unleased in almost any way possible. As long as we don’t fully succumb to the lure of consumerism.

Which, I think, was their ultimate point.

Some days I can barely keep up

Especially with Emma. We were at the grocery store last night and she was chatting up the clerk, like she always does. And then I hear her ask,

“Do you know what powers solar sails?”

I’m standing there trying to make sure the clerk doesn’t put meat on top of the bread and simultaneously trying to figure out where Emma heard about this. I’m also playfully guessing the answer.

“Solar wind?” I’m thinking that’s obvious, right?

“Nope!” Emma grins at me.

The clerk and I go back and forth, and eventually I have to remind her there’s no gravity in space. Emma finally ends our suffering by grinning hugely, opening her arms wide and declaring, “PHOTONS!”

Photons?” I ask, “Seriously?”

I look at the clerk. She shrugs. “Hey, I’ve never even heard of the word before.”

“Oh, I have,” I assured the clerk, “I’m just wondering where SHE did.”

Today, we were over at the post office and I asked Emma if she thought our post mistress might know the answer. We went through the same stream of questions. At the end, Wanda looks at Emma and says, “How old are you again?”

And shakes her head.

Emma overheard

“What does escargot mean? Does it mean a snail on the road?”

Earlier this week she asked me what euphemism meant. After I told her she said people should just say what they mean. 😀