Friday, October 09, 2015

Moving On Up

...and over, laterally, under.

Things are moving and shaking at Casa Dotytron and Lagerfeld.

Move #1 - the Big Yam.  After going through the rigmarole of applying for Optional Attendance to a desired, but outside of our catchment area school, setting the Big Yam up in his new classroom, with all new homies and a slightly longer commute, he was happily settled.  Until, that is, the dreaded September reorganization happened.  The dreaded September reorganization for people who don't have school-aged children is when the school rejigs things based on actual enrollment, versus the projected enrollment that forms the basis for class placement at the end of the previous school year.  As a result of the shuffle, the Big Yam was moved from his 2nd floor, beautiful kindergarten classroom, to a dank and depressing basement class taught by a newly-minted teacher (who had been the ECE in his old classroom).

We were actually fine with everything, because the important thing for us is that the Big Yam was moving with his homies, and he did.  Until the parents of his homies went BALLISTIC about the dank and depressing basement classroom and went full-on mental (let's just say, there was a feature on Global News about it).  Don't get me wrong, the new classroom wasn't ideal - there are only a couple of small windows, the bathroom is outside the classroom through a dingy and dank storage closet, and there isn't any running water so hand-washing is an issue - but our main concern was that the Big Yam adjusted socially.  He was also totally fine with the transition - new teacher, new classroom, losing some homies (more on that later), because outside of our home, he is the most unflappable, easygoing kid in the free world.  Inside our home, it's a totally different story, but fine, whatever, he continues to make us look good in public, I'll take it.  Anyway, some parents went apeshiz and pulled their kids into the Catholic system because they were so upset about this classroom situation.

I actually went by the classroom yesterday to check it out, and the TDSB had BUSTED THROUGH THE CONCRETE WALL and framed a doorway so that now the kids have direct access to the bathroom.  They cleared all the gym equipment out of it, had repainted, had a sink roughed was incredible.  Which goes to show that when there's political pressure to make things happen, you can cut quickly through the central services facilities backlog and get prioritized.  The weird thing is, that it was thanks to the efforts of the parents who ended up leaving the school that this got done, and now they don't even get to see the fruits of their labours.

Move #2 - New job for me.  I had back to back to back interviews the week after Labour Day and it damned near killed me, but the result was I received two job offers.  I ended up taking a promotion at my home position and I start right after Thanksgiving.  It was a tough decision to make and it involved me talking the poor ears off of my life decision sounding boards: the Dotytron, Dr. Rei, the Roomie and constructing a decision matrix with weighted scores.  YOU GUYS. DECISION MATRICES ARE THE BEST.  I seriously couldn't have made the choice without one.  Even if one of the categories was "Lync" which is the Microsoft-instant messaging system that people in the public service use.  We use it at my home position, but the firewalls mean that I can't communicate with people outside of the organization.  Anyway, the point is, being able to Lync with Dr. Rei has improved my employee engagement by about 10000%.  IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE WORKING, GUYS.  Anyway, the Roomie and the Dotytron were very dismissive of my ability to IM Dr. Rei showing up on the decision matrix, but I weighted it the lowest, and seriously, I can't tell you how awesome it is being able to chat with your BFF while at work, and IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE WORKING.

My new job comes at a cost of the awesome people I've met while on secondment and the loss of opportunity to continue to build my professional reputation in the public service.  I was finally feeling very engaged and energized where I was and saw lots of movement and opportunity ahead - it's hard to think that I might be letting that go taking on this position.  I think that's always going to happen whenever you make a change, though.  So I'm trying not to get too worked up about it.

Move #3 - Lindsay Lou Lou is moving around each G-D night after we put him to bed and thrashing his room like he's all the members of Motley Crue.  He takes all the clothes out of the dresser, he climbs on top of stuff to chuck all the books off the book shelves, he tugs on the blinds until they snap up and can't be brought down again, all while Quincess watches from his jail/crib and conscientiously objects, "Noooo! 'Top it! Lenny! 'Top it!" His little voice wailing is the most heart-breaking thing.  His distress is compounded by the fact that like every child in the free world, he wants to be sleeping in our bed.  We don't know what to do.  Lindsay isn't angry or anything.  He just goes on a systematic tear.  The odd time I've opened the door and he's just working at the easel and greets me with a raised eyebrow, mid chalk-stroke.  The rest of the time he hustles his fat bubble butt to his bed post-haste but resumes his thrashing as soon as you leave again.  We've had a small measure of success the past two nights by lying on the floor of their room until they're near-drowsy.  We also got drawer guards so he can't open the dresser drawers.  I don't really care about him thrashing the room, but I am worried more about him climbing the dresser and bringing it down on top of himself, and then poor Quincess having to pay silent witness to that on top of it all.

My friend JJ referred to Lindsay as "Bam Bam" and it's so apt.  He is such a Bam Bam.

I love these little nutters but two 2 year olds is hectic.  And yet.  And yet I go around exhausted at the end of the night ("end of the night" = 9pm, when I'm at the drop-down point of the day, stumbling around the house in a haze), and I go to hang up a little vest and I feel the pockets heavy with something and I empty them out to find this:

20-something "corn-eggs" tucked into a pocket for saving.  C'MON.

We have been terrible parents lately.  Dropping balls everywhere.  We forgot to send the Big Yam to school with his "1 item related to fall" today.  We forgot that Monday was picture day and he looked like a scrub.  But!  I was a rebellious parent and sent him in for his birthday with homemade cupcakes and I asked him how it went and he said, "Everyone. FREAKED. OUT."  LOL!!!  They were a hit, apparently!

Quincess' "handsome face"

They're moving out of a phase where they were obsessed with Disney's Cinderella.  I put hats on them like Cinderella does to her mice and started calling Lindsay "Gus-Gus" and Quincess "Jaq-Jaq" and they wouldn't take the hats off.  I like this photo cuz they look like stoners in the common room in residence in undergrad

So yeah.  They're friggin' adorable and I love their trying little butts.  I put Quincess in our bed the other night in this misguided attempt to show Lindsay that if he doesn't thrash his room, he gets privileges.  Quincess hunkered down immediately, the covers pulled up under his nose, and I turned off the lights, told him I would be back, and he was just so thrilled to be in our bed that he poked his little head up just enough for me to see his teeth flashing in the moonlight in this ultra-pleased grin.  It was the cutest thing.

Last Friday, we were all piled in the basement, watching Peter and the Wolf and goofing off and the Dotytron turned to me and said, "You ever have those times when you're just so high on your family? This is one of those nights." A family can come in many forms.  The Dotytron and I were a family long before the goon squad came along, and yet, adding to your family is a magical thing. I like the idea that there are more people to bear witness to the quirks and trials and tribulations that make up the idiosyncrasies of our family, and more people to contribute to them in the intimate way that goes along with living under the same roof.

We've been making a point of availing ourselves to urban nature exploration.  We did a tiny portion of the Humber River trail last weekend, and before that, Highland Creek.  It's pretty awesome.  Exploring the watershed is amazing and honestly, what else am I supposed to do on weekends now that I have a pair of Blundstones?  Are you even allowed to live in the city, work for the government, bike to work, wear Blundstones and like, NOT do urban nature hikes?  Probably not, amirite?

Here's what we've been eating lately:

Taco Tuesday one night was chilaquiles

A torched salmon sushi rice bowl where I thinly sliced raw wild salmon and then torched it slightly with a blowtorch, to give it the aburi sushi taste that I like

I got ambitious one weekend and made blintzes

We've been going hard on the Sunday suppers.  This was ginger-pear glazed ham, smashed potatoes, grilled zucchini, and the ever present green beans

The Big Yam kept pestering me for "pumpkin pie with a cherry in the middle" and so I made pumpkin pie, and I suspected, he had no idea what he was requesting and didn't eat a single bite of it.  However, one night I put Lindsay to bed and noticed that his hands smelled strangely of cinnamon.  Then, I came downstairs and found that the slice of pie I had cut on the counter looked like it had been compromised.

Sunday Supper - Rosh Hashanah edition.  Braised brisket, latkes, broccoli patties, and the ever present green beans

Mushroom pappardelle.  Killer stuff.

Coconut browned butter cookies

Quickie weeknight dinner - bacon, mushroom, spinach, and cheddar quiche and zucchini patties


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