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Okay – so I participated last week for the first time in the ever fabulous Lizzi’s Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop.  The hop encourages you to nurture an attitude of gratitude – and asks for you to reflect on 10 things you are thankful for in the past week.

Please check it out.

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To put it mildly, I got a very warm welcome last week.  So I’m back.

Here goes:

Number 10

I am thankful that the Target has finally opened at our local mall.  See, Zellers shut down and so my closest large store for affordable kiddy clothes – not counting Walmart – was suddenly unavailable. So the shiny new Target (which, as far I can tell, is Zellers with a face-lift) opened a few weeks ago and we finally got down to visit them last Sunday.  I got most of the items on my list: a few new shirts (in 6-6x) and some belts for my tall and skinny 4-year-old.  The plumber butt/belly top look was getting to be a bit much.  The catch?  We now have to teach her to do and undo a belt if she ever hopes to use the washroom again.  But, in the spirit of thankfulness, I should look at this as an opportunity for fine motor skill development, rather than one more item on an incredibly long “to do” list, right?  Right?!

Number 9

I am thankful for Pinterest for teaching me how to cook.  In the past year, I have gotten so many great recipes via that site.  I made this lovely pumpkin dip for my daughter’s birthday party last weekend and, have to say, I’m pretty darn proud of myself!

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin Dip

If you feel so moved, you can check me out on Pinterest here.  I haven’t figured out how to link my Pinterest account to a WordPress Blog yet!

Number 8

I’m thankful for the differences between my two children.  My 15 month old has recently discovered blocks – in that she can suddenly stack them – like, 10 tall.  My eldest never showed any interest in blocks so it is fascinating to watch my youngest so obviously trying to figure out how they work, how they go together, how to not have them fall over.  I come from a family of engineers – so maybe she’ll “represent” for this generation!

Number 7

A few days ago I posted about how we are trying to live frugally for the next little while.  Well, let’s just say I’m exceptionally thankful that we don’t have to live REALLY frugally, because I don’t know that we could do it.  We skipped the big grocery shop this week, haven’t eaten out/gone out in over two weeks, have been clearing through the pantry and freezer for meals, and have upped the number of lunches we bring to work.  That said, I still managed to spent over $100 this week in two smaller grocery trips and odds and ends.  I miss the days when spending $100 meant I had  something fun to show for it.

Number 6

I am thankful that I finally found my 4-year-old a witch costume that doesn’t make her look like a hooker.  I am also pretty thrilled that she wants to be a witch and not a princess because, and I quote, “witches are more interesting than princesses.  They do more stuff.”  Darn tooting!  Despite frequent indications otherwise, apparently Cinderella’s NOT eating my daughter!

Number 5

Okay – this one’s a little lame, but I’m really excited that both Vampire Diaries and Nashville are back for the fall TV season.  So I’m thankful for new episodes to look forward to each week.  I appreciate that Nashville is pretty much just an hour-long weekly advert for country music and that Vampire Diaries is pretty much Buffy 2.0, but my brain wants the candy it wants.  I’m developing a bit of a liking for country music as a result (so success on that front, country music industry) and am greatly enjoying how Vampire Diaries is not only one of the few examples of where a show is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE BOOKS and manages to have fun with the vampire myth in a way that is somewhat creative and new.  Oh, and for any Vampire Diaries fans out there, let me just take a moment to direct you to two fun sites: Forever YA and The Mystic Grill.

Number 4

I’m thankful for my four-year-olds’ teacher.  She wrote home recently to express concern over how our daughter wasn’t repeating after here and picking up language as fast as she should be and suggested we get her hearing tested.

Quick background: I’m English, hubs is French.  Daughter understands both; mainly speaks English; but is now at French school – given we think it’s important that she be fluent in both given she is equally both.  However, given I’ve been main caregiver and daycare when I’m at work is English, she doesn’t really speak French, so despite a year of French preschool, she is a bit behind.

Regarding her hearing, we got it tested when she was two because at 18 months she wasn’t speaking at all, so we wanted to rule out the concern.  There were no problems at that time.  We also did a speech evaluation then, which figured she was probably just on the lower end of the benchmarks for speech and would talk when she was ready.

She certainly did.  I suspect it’s likely the same for French.  She isn’t sure of herself yet, so she’s shy.  In the month she’s been at school I’ve certainly noticed a huge improvement.  And we’re making a large effort to reinforce French language skills at home.

Anyway, had a great back and forth with the teacher where I went over all this.  But also checked in with our doctor to schedule another test, just to be sure.  Either way, I think just having the discussion helped both the teacher and us.  We know she’s concerned about how our daughter’s progressing so we’ll continue to work with her more at home.  And she knows a bit more about our daughter’s backstory (ie: that she was late speaking in English too and that we’re noticing improvements here even if it’s still a bit behind where they’d expect her to be there).

Number 3

I’m thankful for my blog – and all the random fun things I learn and bloggers I discover as a result of it.  My three favourites from this week?

a) Advancing my kinda questionable tweeting skills with Aussa Lorens

b) Discovering that there is a blog out there called I Carried a Watermelon.  Possibly the best blog title EVER.

c) Discovering, in a round about way courtesy of the Wakefield Doctrine that there was a Bluegrass/country cover of Gin and Juice.  As a note, it also helped me figure out what Bluegrass actually WAS – which is something I’d vaguely wondered about since seeing this College Humor video a few years back which passingly references it.  Anyway, to make a long sub-bullet less long (and if I’d known I was going to go on like this I would have gotten some water first) he actually posted the Hayseed Dixie cover of Bohemian Rhapsody – also good – and through that I found country-fried Snoop Dogg.  I’ve been yee hawing to it all week.  Check it out.

Number 2

As mentioned above, my eldest started school about a month ago.  In addition to the French/English mix, we’re also Catholic, so she is going to a great French Catholic school just around the corner from our house (not going to lie – that school was a definite plus when we bought the house 7 years ago).  Anyway, they apparently say grace in class before lunch, because she is now leading our family in “la priere” before we eat each night.  She makes us all stand; put our hands together; and then she sings grace.  It is adorable.

Number 1

I am thankful for my husband.  We celebrated our five-year anniversary this past week.  So here a wedding photo – because what woman doesn’t take any excuse to post one of those:

This one just always makes me smile.  And I think it was the one that made the photographers portfolio.

This one always makes me smile. And I think it was the one that made the photographer’s portfolio.

So that’s it for me for this week!  I’ll try to keep the “attitude of gratitude” going until next week.

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