31 May 2013

Moving on up

7 years ago I walked into WPK-8 Centre for the first time and dropped Lily off. It was the first time I had set foot in an American school and I felt a lot like a fish out of water. My baby girl was starting big school and I knew she was going to be there for a very long time.

Fast forward to today. My not so little girl graduated from the 5th grade and since she has been accepted into a magnet program will be leaving this awesome school next week.

 How on earth can the last seven years have gone by in the blink of an eye?

The new administration decided to give the kidlets a promotion ceremony and did a truly outstanding job and unlike at Rosie's graduation last week all the parents were on the best behaviour. The children were asked to dress for the occasion and not wear their uniforms, for Lily this involved a 3 hour shopping spree that resulted in her deciding to wear something she already owned...shoot me now please.

The school doled out a huge amount of awards today but the kids were kept in the dark. She knew she was getting Principals Honor Roll  and thought she was a shoe in for one;  the D.A.R.E. project, I don't think she expected 5. I was so proud of her.

The first of many awards today
Adam and Lily besties and worst enemies all rolled into one.
Her truly wonderful teacher Mrs Tamargo
Officer Chappel from the D.A.R.E. program
Certificate of Promotion and Principals Honor Roll.
5 achievement awards, 3 medals.

We went out to lunch to celebrate.
if by chance you weren't around 7 yrs ago, this is what she looked like when i dropped her off then
It is such a bittersweet day. Lily doesn't have to leave this school as it is a k-8. Many of her friends are moving on and she is too. They have been together for so long and I have seen them all grow so much. For all of us parents it was a hard morning. Luckily for me I get five more years there because of Rosie but at least now I know that those 5 years will be gone before I know it.

 Someone pass the tissues please.

30 May 2013

Stand clear of the doors....

.....and mind the gap.

The title has nothing to do with anything other than allowing me to segway into the gap comment.

The tooth fairy will be visiting again this evening, hence the word, gap. Lily finally lost another tooth. She has lost all of her teeth in bed at night, funny girl. Since they only ever get out of bed if something is wrong I knew when I heard her coming down the stairs that she had lost a tooth. It couldn't possibly be anything else as she had only been in bed for 4 minutes. Rosie didn't like to be left out so she was in close pursuit.

Once things were calm Rosie asked Lily, how do you pull out a tooth and Lily told her you just pull. With that Ro started to yank on all her teeth. Lily then added, they have to be loose first. Ro then looked deflated and merely said, Oh. I think in her head she was adding up some serious cash. Whacko.

Mind the gap.

She wanted a photo of it...believe me, it wasn't my idea.

27 May 2013

I'm doing it again

Every once in a great while I get into a furniture staining mood. If you've been around awhile you remember that about 4 years ago I stained every single piece of furniture in the living and dining room. I left one piece because it is fiddley. I can't stand it any longer.

I am going to cheat. I am taking the easy way out and using spray paint. It isn't going to be a complete cop out because I still have to sand it's fiddley little arse but I am not going to use stain. If you also remember back 4 yrs ago I drove my poor Father insane with my constant phone calls because I had so many issues with the stain so this will spare him.

I started a couple of days ago wielding my cans of spray paint and I now feel confident enough to take on a bigger project so as time allows I will be attacking it. Since I don't like mess of any sort and can't deal with anything being out of place it will have to all be done in one day. Oh and did I mention I can't stand waiting for paint to dry. Hah, should be fun.

before I attack it.
When this little project is done I plan on repainting the living room. The green is starting to make me gag. How do people pick a colour and stick with it for years and years? For my birthday I want a Home Depot gift card....

If you like decorating blogs you have to check this one out. Brandi, at Don't Disturb This Groove left a comment the other day and I linked back to her and am now stalking her. I love, her style and the fact that she does everything on a normal budget. She re did her kitchen without actually redoing her kitchen and I love it, absolutely love it.

26 May 2013

so were we

Just a quick hop skip and jump from our house on the outskirts of the Everglades National Park is this quasi famous produce stand on steroids called, Robert is Here. It has a lovely little history behind it and it is now not so little and has a petting farm, splash pad, collection of old farm equipment that one can peruse and a myriad of other oddball things. It sells wonderful milkshakes and amazing produce, which unfortunately isn't organic and is triple the price of the supermarket for just run of the mill stuff but it also sells stuff that you just don't see at Publix so it is worth the trip.

The girls and i were headed that way today and decided we would make a point of stopping by. Lily and I had milkshakes, Ro doesn't like them so she had some popcorn, Lily also had some of the most disgusting boiled peanuts I have ever seen/tasted in my life and she loved them. We visited the animals and they splashed about in the water for a little bit. We chatted with Robert and the girls managed to wangle a quick trip on his fancy schmancy golf cart, how do they do this stuff?  They also tasted some unusual fruits, some were a little too unusual and were met with wrinkled up noses. Have you ever tasted a Jack Fruit? Don't hurry.

It was a fun and rather reminiscent of an afternoon spent in England. The best part...all though the fruit market of a beehive of activity the rest of the property was relatively deserted.

Old fashioned water pump.
Universal sign for happy....kids, in clothes....+ water.
I think Rosie is splashing her
This photo shocked me. I became very aware of how grown up she looks.
any second now it should squirt
Passion flower
As we got back into the car to leave I realised we had parked in front of this field. How happy are these sunflowers?
So if you happen to be driving south on the Florida turnpike and reach the end, turn right at the light and just keep going. You'll be glad you did.

25 May 2013

Pass the duct tape

Lily talks a lot. Seriously, from the minute she wakes up until the minute she goes to bed she talks. She has always been this way. I suppose there may have been a brief interlude where she wasn't capable of actually speaking but believe me it was very brief so it may just have slipped my mind.

All day long, yack, yack, yack and it really does drive you bloody mad can get under ones skin. I am so used to it that I can tune it out but every now and again the constant yipping drives even the toughest of us to distraction. Lately, and I do believe it is the excitement of the end of the school year, she has been worse than ever. Today I was driving and in the rear view mirror I saw Rosie and her mouth was opening and closing much like that of a gold fish. Finally she just blurted out, over Lily, "fine I was  was trying to say something but I won't bother because you just won't stop and I can't get a chance!" She looked so deflated.

I interrupted Lily and just told her to stop. Stop talking, I said, just stop it, you don't ever stop talking, Your poor sister never gets a chance because you gobble up all the words. She didn't seem at all offended. I don't think it means a thing to be told to stop, she must hear it all the time. I certainly wasn't trying to offend her but I am sure if someone told me to stop talking I would be shocked but not her. Her personality is loud.

The only time she is ever really really quiet is when she is reading a book or her head is in her ipod. Thank God she loves to read. She even talks whilst she swims.

Pass the duct tape, maybe that will work.

I love this out going loud girl but even when she sleep s she talks. I'll try the duct tape for sure and now that it comes in nice patterns she'll probably be OK with it.

23 May 2013

I think I can, I think I can.

I think I can, I think I can. These are words that I have asked Rosie to repeat after me countless times. Words I use to encourage her frequently when she is feeling unsure but today it was me chanting those words like a Tibetan Monk.

My tiny little baby my great big 6yr old, graduated from kindergarten and I had to keep telling myself I could get through it with out crying. As luck would have it it was so unbelievably disorganised that I was more frustrated than upset. I think the people in this part of the world just might be the deafest bunch of arsehats anywhere. The principal set the ground rules, which although odd, made sense to her, and therefore needed to be followed. One of the said rules was, PLEASE STAY IN YOUR SEAT. There will be plenty of opportunities to take photos after the ceremony.

As soon as she started talking parents stood up and blocked everyone behind them. WTH? THe man behind me yelled sit down so loud...but everyone is deaf here. When Rosie crossed the stage to receive her diploma (which turned out to be a blank piece of paper tied with a red ribbon) I missed her because someones fat head was in my way. I had actually walked to the back, to the very last row at this point and was standing against the wall. Parents were everywhere, blocking the aisles, pushing forward, it was chaotic and really really annoying. Next time I attend any function at this school I am wearing some seriously high platform shoes.

After it was all over and done with, the teachers took their respective classes back onto the stage for a class picture. i was holding the teachers phone and she was asking me for it but I couldn't get near enough to her to hand it over. It was mad. I finally pushed through and then couldn't get back far enough to get photos. People, be nice. I really do have to stop being so polite and start acting like an animal.

Alas, all was not lost because due to the pandemonium my eyes stayed dry. woo hoo. I did manage to get some photos of Rosie at the end of the event and they turned out just fine. She had a great time and is now heading off to 1st grade next year.

the processional
Oh, you have already graduated...I must have missed.
Giving a "Wildcat" cheer
With her class heading back to the classroom. I am going to miss her teacher a whole lot.
Congratulations to my Kindergarten graduate.
Heaven help me....next week Lily graduates from Elementary school and prepares for Middle school. Xanax......Wine......don't mind if I do.

22 May 2013

A little hint

Something big is happening tomorrow and it looks like this.

This mama's heart isn't really ready for it but I can't stop it.

19 May 2013

queen of the road

Rosie and I were lounging about this morning reading books and playing a memory game, over and over when I decided that "now" was a good a time as ever to teach her to ride her bike. I had tried a few weeks back but she remained very wobbly and wasn't overly enthusiastic. I am enthusiastic so with all sorts of enthusiasm I chased her out of the house.

Our first attempt was tepid at best, our second, mediocre and after our third she took off for all of about 3 feet and stopped. She just didn't seem interested and certainly wasn't excited about the prospect. I came in the house and got a cold drink. Today was a bad idea, it was 86 degrees very early on. As we got back to the front door I said very firmly, follow your nose, whichever way your nose goes, your bike will go, so if you look over your shoulder to see if I am still holding you your nose will go behind you and your bike will follow it and YOU will fall. And pedal, pedal, pedal and don't stop pedalling. Your pedals are your engine. You are going to do this today so if I have to stay out until 6;00 o'clock tonight so be it I will but you are learning to ride your bike. ( I have been so compassionate this weekend, I bet I'll get Mother of the year again) She looked at me as if she was ready to cry so I slapped her helmet on the head and crawled back outside.

She got back on her bike. Stuck her cute little nose right out in front of her pedalled like a mad woman and took off down the street. Not unlike Forest Gump, she didn't stop for the rest of the day. That snippy 6:00 o'clock comment came back and bit me on the bum. I must have run 5 miles today with her. Not only did she learn to ride her bike but she mastered it. She starts by herself, stops, can ride in circles, rides over speed bumps, goes around little obstacles and generally tears up the neighbourhood. My mother used to say that ladies don't sweat, they glow, well as of today I can say, oh hell yes they do! Once I felt that she was confident enough I stopped running and went and got my bike and rode with her. The child that really couldn't careless about learning to ride didn't want to stop for one second. And the best part, the great big grin.

My name is Rosie and I can ride a 2 wheeler with no training wheels. 
Mummy, I've got it. I am riding a bike. I love how she sits so straight with her nose pointing forward.
and there she goes.....
I took this by mistake as I was running but I like it
cheesy grin
Even when she stopped she still smiled her 1000 watt smile
Learning to ride a bike deserves a celebratory cupcake.....with a candle.
We love to ride bikes so having her free of training wheels is so freeing for all of us. ( I should probably explain why she is wearing long trousers in such hot weather. When you learn to ride a bike you fall off all the time so I wanted to protect her knees a bit. Well guess what? She didn't fall off once. After I took these photos she went in the house and changed into shorts)

Lily did go to her meet today but I didn't go her dad took her.  I watched her every move from my phone and sent texts to congratulate her. She did OK but wasn't happy with her results. Apparently she likes me to take her. I know the ropes and know how to set her up. She is a little superstitious and I know what she wants when she wants it. She did bring home her LBS so that was good! She also returned the other one...all by myself Mummy. I kept your credit card hidden just like you told me and did exactly what you said, see mummy I can be responsible. Thank you for giving me a second chance and trusting me. You are welcome Pickle. Thank you for stepping up to the plate.  Oh and Lily, I like to take you, I like to be there for you and to watch you. But after yesterday it just wasn't fair on your sister.

18 May 2013

Feel free to leave

You are not expected to stick around and read yet another freaking post about a swim meet. I'm the Mother it's my job to write it all down and document it with a few photos here and there and tell you how well she did and how she loved it.

I am supposed to skip the part about how god forsakingly hot it was today and I definitely shouldn't mention how she lost her ridiculously expensive competition suit because after she got changed she just dumped it on the table. No, I won't tell you how she did that and how I nearly went postal on her for it. Actually I might, I'll use it as bribery to make you stick it out to the end of the post to see if I spill the beans.

Today was a long course meet and only the second one she has ever done. She started with an IM which is something that a lot of swimmers seem to dislike but Lily really loves them and usually does really well in them. She did well in this one and won her heat by more than half a pool length. She went on to win all of her heats but didn't place anywhere. Her best was a 9th. She knew that this was going to be a tough one due to her arm but she wanted to do it anyway. Kid loves her a meet. Since I am no longer a novice swim mum I don't write all her times down anymore, they are all on an app on my phone...who knew. I punch in her name and BAM, every time, every course, every stroke and her ranking. I used to scribble everything down on her heat sheets.

This was a chase swim so I was able to get close to both ends of the pool and still get photos...cool.
I just like scoreboards ?
Swimmers take your marks....not as much fun as gentlemen start your engines but whatever.
And she is off
her impression of a shark, perhaps
a few minutes of fun with friends.
If I've got the camera then there is going to be a fly shot!
LOVE LOVE LOVE that splash action. It's almost arced
It was so hot that Rosie and Lily's friends brother are showing signs of wilting here. 
She looks so beefy here.
Lily looked at this photo and was appalled at how bad her dive was but I looked at this photo and loved the colour of the sky. The weather changed really fast. We got caught in a really bad storm driving home (twice)
Changed and ready to leave.....I wonder where that bathing suit is?
why yes that is a Miami Heat shirt she is wearing and not her Flying Fish one...sometimes a girls just gotta do what a girls gotta do! Go Heat.
That LBS (little black suit) is one expensive suit, well not in the scheme of big time swim meets but it cost nearly as much as a month of fees. I don't mind at all. It is skin tight, she loves it, she swims like a rocket in it and it is required by her team for meets....but not everyone appears to have them, cough cough. She loves her LBS and so does Rosie love hers. She went off to the changing room after her last heat and changed. While she changed I packed up the stuff, and lordy knows there is a lot of stuff. I picked up her goggles and team cap and threw them in a baggie and put them in the bag. When she returned she sat and talked for a a few minutes and then I closed up the bags and we headed home. Coral Springs is about 50 minutes from us but this afternoon it took a bit longer due to the storm. Once home we started unpacking. We have a routine and as we were following it, it became obvious that LBS wasn't with us. She hummed and hawed and blamed me, well tried to. I went nucking futs and called the complex, no LBS. I calmly and sweetly threw them both back in the car and tore back up to Coral Springs, oh so happily in another rain storm. I screeched to a halt in front of the complex and told her not to return without it. She came back empty handed. I then slammed the car into a parking space and we went to look together. No LBS. #%*@ !

Lost and found didn't have it either. Since she has to swim again tomorrow we stopped in the team store and picked up a plain black competition suit for a few million dollars, which I oh so motherly told her she WOULD be paying for herself, and drove back home again in yet another storm. fun times.

As we were nearly home I received a text. Since I don't text and drive I asked Lily to read it. It was from her Coach: Lily, D's mum has your suit, she will bring it to the meet tomorrow. Swim Fast, Coach.

Lucky little Devil.

Her bags are packed, minus LBS. The new suit is still in the bag with the receipt attached firmly to it. Her snacks, drinks and lunch are ready to go. I hope it doesn't rain for the drive up there at 6am!

Swim fast little one and more importantly be responsible.

17 May 2013

It's going to be a wet weekend

Sheesh, I haven't posted all week, what a slacker.

Lily is on a school trip today, she left at 5.00am and will be returning tonight at midnight. She was so very very excited and getting up at 4am was not a problem. She was very loud so we all got up. She has to get up at 6am tomorrow to go to a swim meet....could be interesting.

Meanwhile her little sister has been a little lost but at the same time revelling in the mummy one on one time. I gave her the option of skipping swimming but in true Cope kidlet style she opted to go. What is with these responsible children I have?
I must be the only slacker!

drill after drill after drill
I love how hard they concentrate
popped up for air oblivous of the camera and of me
Realised I was right there and smiled

13 May 2013

celebrating my children

Mothers Day started late for us as both children slept until nearly 8am, this is unheard of. They crept  thundered downstairs and made me breakfast that they then served to me in bed. It was so, so sweet. After we had devoured our food and filled the bed with crumbs we got ready for a little fun. We packed a picnic lunch and headed to John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo.

We spent the day kayaking and having fun on the beach. I can say without hesitation that it was the best Mothers Day ever. We got thoroughly lost in our Kayak even though Lily swears she knew where to go. I will however give her credit for having a better sense of direction than me but she wasn't exactly correct. I handed my oars over to Rosie and let her have a paddle, that in itself was priceless. She and Lily have no concept of paddling in any kind of rhythm so we just sort of shifted positions in the water.

Following our boating for the day we ate lunch and spent the afternoon on the beach. The girls were in awe of the tropical fish and were trying so hard to catch them with their hands. No fish were harmed! I do believe that if fish could laugh they would have been hysterical at the lame efforts of Lily and Rose.

The car journey home was a peaceful one as 2 very tired girls make very little chatter.

We ate our favourite Chinese dinner and loathingly called it a night.

My view, the back of 2 heads. 
paddling fools
I just love that they will try anything.
Big girls
Checking for fishes
Child looks like a dog swimming but actually this was how she fished. Not surprising that she didn't catch anything is it?
Lily takes a calmer approach to fishing
Ice cream and the beach go hand in hand
I just love driftwood.

Now, if you promise to keep a straight face I will share my Mothers day card from Ro.

It's a little out of focus but the part you need to focus on is: Mom's favourite place to go is? Walmart. Walmart. WTH? I am a Target shopper and I don't think I have ever ever been inside a Walmart with Rosie in her life. Even in China we didn't have Walmart it was Carrefour. Lily and I laughed so hard When I put her to bed last night she said, Happy Mothers day Mummy and I am sorry about the Walmart. It's fine little bit, it's just fine, everything else is spot on.

BUT seriously WALMART? You'd have to have been to one in Miami to understand why I find them so so nasty.

Lily made me an origami card, well 2 actually and they pop up and I love them.

Thank you for the best Mothers Day ever.

P.S. if you are visiting the  Florida Keys don't miss Pennekamp there is so much to do and see there and it is a really short drive from Miami.


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