Thursday 7 April 2016

I Have Moved!

Greetings faithful readers!

If any of you have me bookmarked (I should be so lucky!) I'm here to announce I will no longer be updating this blog.  I have consolidated all my ideas and moved to WordPress!

Please follow my new blog at A Modern Mom's Life.  I am still having my Mom musings as well as posts about things going on around town, my book, and product, reviews as well as following along my daughter Emma's acting and modelling career in my new, streamlined space.

I am also still the same on TwitterFB and G+.  I'm also now on Instagram.  Please do follow me on all these platforms so you don't miss any of my ramblings!

Hope to see you on the new blog!


PS - I have a new email too:  Drop me a line and say hi.  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday 30 March 2016

My Little Builders

Over March Break the building stores around town held some free builds for kids.  My hubby was able to take the girls to a few.  They loved it!  Now I have a bunch of wooden toys that are just delicate enough that I can't throw them into the toy box.

At Home Depot they give the kids fun orange aprons to wear to "protect" their clothing.  Except the arms, and chest, and other areas paint can be splattered on.  Regardless the kids love having aprons "like Grandpa!" (He used to work there, but doesn't anymore)

Both the girls built a wagon and a helicopter at Home Depot and Emma built a Monster Truck at Lowes (and was able to bring a kit home for her sister so they could build with Dad at home!)

I think Dad is going to be stuck finding out when all these builds are in the future.  I seem to recall they happen on Saturdays during Rose's dance time (or really close to it.)  They also seem to be a very popular thing for lots of other kids as well.

I'm glad the girls are enjoying learning different life skills.  They're not very good with the hammer (yet!) but they love giving it a try.  I think real-world experience is the best way to learn (and remember) new skills.  I hope they continue trying new things and enjoying the experience!

Here's to raising well-rounded kids (or at least trying to!!)


Thursday 25 February 2016

Spring is Coming and With It, Fashion Show Auditions!

Emma Fall Fashion Show 2015
Spring is fast approaching, and with it the Spring Fashion Show!

Emma will audition in March for a spot walking the runway of the Cataraqui Centre.  The show is April 2nd with 2 "shows" - one at noon and one at 2pm.

I expect it will work much the same as the fall fashion show Emma was selected for in September.  She had fun (as did I) but I remember it being a busy time.

We are hopeful that the mall people will choose Emma again to model something cute for the stores.  I'm under the impression they will choose someone who's "worked" for them before.  That seems to be how this "business" works sometimes.

Besides last fall's fashion show, Emma has not really done much as far as the Mode Elle world is concerned.  She had one "real" audition - you can read about that here - and she didn't get it.  I didn't much think she would as it had something to do with food, and we all know how adventurous Emma is with her eating!

So stay tuned to hear about Emma's next adventures in modelling.  I'll try to take lots of pictures and create posts when I've got something fun to talk about.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Audition Number 1 Under Our Belt

I'm guessing we didn't get the role Emma auditioned for.  It's now Wednesday and she was there on Friday.  She doesn't seem at all concerned, so much so that I'm not sure she understands what went on and why she was there.

Regardless, she had a good time and she got to eat some candy so that day was a success in her books!

Here's the run down of their day.  It's all second hand knowledge as I wasn't really a part of any of it, so there may be inaccuracies.  Also, the photos are all from Patrick's phone, no real camera took the journey with them.

Patrick picked Emma up at school and they were on the road by about 1:30 and made it to Toronto in good time.

Their first thought was to check the place out.  Of course it's right off the DVP most of the way downtown.  They were going to Larissa Mair Casting.  Since this was our first visit to any casting company we had no idea what was going to happen.

I guess I should say that we still aren't really sure what exactly she was auditioning for.  Apparently it's normal to not really know what you're there for.  The email I received from Mode Elle said it was for Knorr/Master Chef Canada.  What it doesn't say is whether it's a commercial, a show, or what it may be.  We never did find out.

Emma's audition was for 6:45 and I think they got there at 4 something.  So they went wandering and found a park.  Fun!  I guess she played there for a bit of time and they went wandering through stores. 

After they were done wandering the streets they decided to go back to the audition place and wait quietly inside.  Patrick said there were tons and tons of kids trying out.

We had packed a bag with everything she may have needed (change of clothes, snacks, hair baubles, colouring book, hairbrush...) and besides brushing her hair and sitting quietly and colouring, of course, she didn't need any of it!

Patrick said she was very patient, and she talked a little with the other kids, but mostly just coloured and waited.  Since they were so early they actually took a no-show kid's place got it done an hour early.  Showing up plenty early does pay off sometimes!

I don't really know if it was a big place, and if they lined up when there names were called or what, but apparently it was pretty quick audition.

Emma says she went in and there was a plate and it had a Nib (or Nibs?) and a gummy worm on it.  She was supposed to approach it as "Ick!  I'm not going to like this!" (that should have been easy for little miss picky eater!) and then try it and put on a "Wow, that's actually good!" face.  Also not a stretch as this has happened at our dinner table before.

She claims she did it, and, of course, parents don't go into the audition room, so we have no real idea how it went.  Seems like there must have been other kids with more appropriate reactions and/or acting skills, since we didn't get a part.

After they were done they grabbed McDonald's (of course) and then visited with some friends who live in Toronto before they headed home.  It was a very busy day for Miss Emma.  I think they got home around 11pm.  She was wiped, and slept most of the way home.  Patrick said it was "talk, talk, talk, silence" and she was out.

It's a mixed blessing that she didn't get a part in this production.  Patrick said there were to be 5 days of production time she'd be needed for.  And it was to be 3 days one week and 2 the next.  That's a lot of travelling, or going and having to stay over.  But at the same time, if we're going to do it, it might as well be a lot (with enough $$ to cover our time!) and all at once.

Let's hope another opportunity comes our way.  Besides the driving to Toronto, I'm so interested in the process that I really want to take her to something!  And, of course, how cool would it be if she scored some commercial gig or something!  As long as she's enjoying it, and we're not losing our shirts money-wise, we'll keep it up.  It's good for her development to learn how to act and approach people you don't know, and to be confident and all that.

Stay tuned to hear about other opportunities we may be offered.  And leave me a comment so I know you visited!


Wednesday 6 January 2016

We Have An Audition!

Today we had a case of "careful what you wish for."

Over the holidays we were discussing household things, what we'll keep up with (dance, maybe try skating more this winter, and other free community things), and what we might not.  Sadly Emma's Mode Elle stuff is (or was) teetering on the edge.  The idea there was "if we don't get her actually doing anything with it we won't pay the $$$ to keep her registered there."

Well today I received an email from Charline at Mode Elle.  Emma has an audition on Friday!  Of course it's in Toronto, and at 6:45pm it means we have to take her out of school early.  Not really a big deal, and at least it's Friday so not much worry about her staying up too late!

Emma Foley HeadshotPatrick is taking the afternoon off to whisk her away to this "talent" audition.  I'm a little sad about that, only because it means I won't have the first hand experience to then blog about later.  I am very glad I don't have to navigate my way into downtown Toronto for 6pm on a Friday.

I don't know if this audition would then include shooting the spot as well, or returning at a later date to actually "do" the work.  It would be amazing if it was all done in one go.  We're not lucky enough for that to be the case, though!

I will try to post a follow-up after they've been through the process.  I'm dying of curiosity myself about what goes on.  I know "Dad" won't get to see her audition but at least he can get her impressions right away.  I'll likely have to wait til the next morning, as I might be in bed by the time they get home!

I really hope Emma enjoys this opportunity.  Whether she "lands the role" or not, quite frankly, is irrelevant.  She has increased her confidence like crazy since taking the course at Mode Elle.  She has also expressed a growing interest in theatre which is great since we have a great theatre community here.  Being at the Tett Centre every week (usually twice a week) has allowed us so expand our knowledge of community theatre groups and other artistic things that go on around town.  I want very much for Emma to expand her horizons, and explore things that are interesting to her.

So stay tuned - I will follow up in some fashion with another post.  Until then, wish us luck - not only with the audition, but the travel time too!

Saturday 2 January 2016

A Comparison Of My Daughters: Age 4

I'm going to do that thing that no mother should ever do: compare my children.  (To each other, not to anyone else's children...)

For the last few months I've been amazed by Rose and all the things she's up to.  So much so that I am constantly comparing her (in my mind, of course) with how Emma was at her age.  They are almost complete polar opposites.  It's astounding to me.

Emma at 4 - With 1 year old Rose peeking out the window.

Emma was always my quiet girl.  Well, once she got over being the baby that cried ALL THE TIME.  She was never a chatty kid.  She's 7 now and she's more chatty than before but still very content to sit and listen to what's going on around her.

Rose, on the other hand, was a quiet, easy-going baby, and now she never stops talking.  Just yesterday we watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and she talked through the whole thing.  "Who is that?"  "Where are they going?"  "When does Harry get his owl?"  "Is that person going to teach them?"  "That's a lot of children!" and so on.  I actually had to walk away, she was way too distracting!

Rose at 4 - always playing
The junior kindergarten experience is vastly different between the two girls.  To be fair, kindergarten education has changed since Emma started.  Rose is now having full-day everyday class where Emma went every other day and alternating Fridays.  Regardless, I think they would have had different experiences without that change.  They are vastly different kids!

Rose is now "air writing" everything she sees everywhere.  People's shirts, billboards and signs anywhere, and if words show up on tv.  She is so interested in letters (and numbers) and especially the ones in her name.  We have to trace words in every book we look at and she talks about the letters and the sounds and all that "academic" stuff all the time.  Emma never was interested in letters the same.  It was a struggle to "work" at school stuff with her.  Now (at 7) Emma likes words and reading and all that, but at 4 she had no interest.

The other big difference I'm seeing is the after school conversations.  Emma always told us she never did anything at school and it was "boring."  Rose, on the other hand, will talk for ages about who was at school and what they did and who was mean and all that.  I don't always understand what she's talking about, but boy does she talk!  She loves her class and her teachers and it really shows.  Not that I think Emma didn't enjoy her days then but she would rarely talk about it without considerable prodding from us parents.

I find it so fascinating that two little people who sprung from the same gene pool can grow and learn in completely different ways.  Life is a constant social experiment, especially when kids are involved.

Do we treat the girls differently?  Likely.  They are different people with different needs.  Rose needs the affection and cuddles and constant physical contact (especially when she's tired) while Emma is content to colour quietly or watch videos or movies alone, and without asking a million questions about what's going on.

We are fortunate that despite their differences (or because of them?) they are fast friends.  We don't really have "real" fights around the house.  Well unless they are with us parental people.  Sure, feelings get hurt (more often Rose's) but Emma knows how to work things out and give in to Rose when she's about to have a meltdown.

I'm intensely curious to see where the girls go from here.  Will Rose be fluently reading by age 5 1/2, due to this early interest in letters?  Will they stay emotional (and verbal) counterbalances to each other?  This raising kids business is way more interesting (and challenging!) than I ever thought.

Share your household's dynamics with me.  I love hearing other families observations of their kids and their differences (or similarities).  Post your comments below for me to marvel over!

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Emma's First Salon Visit

Emma has beautiful long straight hair.  Up until now we've had it trimmed up by our daycare lady.  She does a swell job, and Rose is still happy to go under her scissors.  I just felt it was time for Emma to experience a luxurious salon haircut.

I go to James Brett downtown.  The atmosphere is fun and I've had quite a few of the stylists over the last few years.  They all do a stellar job.  I'd say no one is better than another.  In the summer we went to the Princess St Promenade and had Brandy give Emma some cool fishtail braids outside on the sidewalk.  Emma loved it, and Brandy remembered us.

Our appointment was for 9:45, so hubby took Rose to dance and Emma I went downtown.  We had to explore a few stores as we were early but we decided to go wait in the salon, I had a cup of tea and Emma had a glass of water and we watched some of the stylists do their thing.

Finally Brandy was ready for us.  She had to get a booster thing for the chair, but the seat next to them was free for me to sit and watch the proceedings.

A wash was first on the agenda.  Emma is a gal who loves getting her hair washed.  We chatted with Brandy about what "style" she'd like.  Turns out she wants it to look exactly the same as it looked before.

Brandy suggested only about an inch of trim off the ends as her hair was in really good condition.  She then also told Emma that in order to keep her hair as beautiful as it is now she should not do anything to it.  No colour, no perm, nothing.  Emma also shared that she'd like to just keep growing it and keep it long.

 After the ends were trimmed, the blow dryer came out.  That was a new experience for Emma.  She's had a curling wand used on her, but not the noisy hairdryer.  I was impressed at how well she held herself (as opposed to being pulled in the direction the hair was being pulled.)  Once dry, Brandy went to work giving Emma some long layers.

 Once the cut was complete Brandy made sure to show Emma how it looked.  To my inexperienced eye it really didn't look much different.  Good thing that's what we were going for!

Of course, being a beauty salon, they offer "finishing touches."  The first item Brandy said she had to do was to put a braid in Emma's hair.  And it wasn't just a braid.  She created this really cool flower out of a braided piece of hair.  Then we needed a little hairspray as well as some shine spray added to keep it looking beautiful.  I was, of course, consulted before really anything happened anywhere along this journey.

After the braid was all spun up and pinned into its flower Brandy suggested that little miss needed a little lip gloss to finish off her "look."  Well if anyone knows Emma at all, she was all over that suggestion!

We got to go over to the makeup area and Emma chose between 4 pink-ish colours.  Naturally she chose the one with a purple hue.  Brandy painted it on her and she loved it!

Before we left I got them to pose together for a photo.  I don't know who had more fun, Brandy or Emma!  It was a great first salon visit for Emma.  She's one who likes to be pampered - just like her momma.  We will return to James Brett (and Brandy) for Emma's next haircut for sure, but it won't be for a while.  Emma's hairstyle doesn't really need much maintenance from a stylist, which means haircuts won't happen too often.  That helps keep it special when we do go!