Well, the girls and I are up in Ottawa again so that I can write an English proficiency exam in order to work as a nurse in the US. Yes, you read that correctly. I have to demonstrate English proficiency even though:
a) English is my first/native language
b) I attended high school in the US (at an English school in upstate NY)
c) I have two university degrees conducted at English universities, in English, and
d) English is the ONLY language I speak
Believe me when I tell you that I tried to get the good folks at the credentialing organization to see reason (read: by sobbing on the phone), but alas, rules are rules. As ridiculous as the rule is, I don't even think I'd mind so much except for the fact that I called in November to ask about this exact issue and was told that I would NOT have to write the English proficiency exam. So it was a bit of a bummer (again: sobbing) to find out that I did in fact need it right before I was supposed to start my job.
But I've listened to Florence + The Machine's "Shake it Out" about 1000 times and am trying to just let it go. It is what it is. I am also letting go of my need to have my "To Do" list be empty/void of boring moving tasks. Some things will just take longer than I would like, and I could either drive myself crazy about it, or when someone tells me I have to wait a month to get a letter so I can hopefully get my license one day I can say "Whatever," put my feet up and watch an episode of The West Wing. (It makes me happy when one of the characters becomes stymied by some silly government machination. I mean, if it happens to great minds like Sam Seaborne and Josh Lyman, then I shouldn't feel so badly when I can't cry my way out of an unnecessary exam. . .)
The girls are just delighted to be here in Ottawa. Honey Bee has discovered "hot cocoa," and looks for any opportunity to indulge. (Me: "Your cheeks are all red. Are you hot?" HB: "No, I'm cold. Brr! Can I have some hot cocoa to warm myself up?!") These days, she is so wonderful about playing "imagination games" with herself, Mouse, or anyone else that will indulge her. Tonight, she decided that Mom, Dad and I were all very sick due to "cracked fingers" and tended to our wounds. She loves to dress up as a princess, command her subjects, and issue royal decrees. She also loves helping to cook dinner, wash dishes, and clean the house. She loves to dance and sing, likes to say that she's "hungry and drinky" and will do just about anything for a bit of "TB" time. Its so fascinating to watch her evolve into her own little self. And boy, does she know her own mind. I just love that about her.
Having conquered walking fairly swiftly, Mouse is moving on to mastering talking. She can say "Mama," "Dada," something that sounds v similar to Honey Bee's name, and has started saying "Nana" for my mom since she's been here. (This morning when she woke up, she started calling for "Nana" to get her, even though I was lying in the bed in the same room as her, which I thought was pretty awesome. Too bad Nana didn't hear her calling. . .) Her favourite word is "YEAH!" usually proclaimed with a great deal of enthusiasm, no matter the question asked, and she is also quite fond of saying "HI!" with a big grin when she sees someone. She has quite a strong little voice and now that she's figuring out the whole talking thing, can be quite persistent until she gets her way. The moniker Mouse almost doesn't seem fitting sometimes anymore, but she is still so tiny and spritely, that it still rings true for me.
Mouse dislikes meat and vegetables, so I sneak veggies into smoothies every now and then to reassure myself that she isn't 100% carbohydrate.
Huz and Dog are doing okay without us. I think Dog has been a little lonesome for the daytime company she gets with us there - the other night she "asked" Huz to come up on the couch for some snuggles by casting a forlorn look at the couch and then at Huz. They were spared the horrific dump of snow fortold to the east coast of the US a few days ago, and then today, without any warning, experienced blizzard-level snow. (That reminds me of a part of a Berenstain Bears book where Mama decides "no TV for a week" and Papa says "But how will I know the weather?" and Mama, in all her smart alecky glory, says "Here try this: Its called putting your hand out of the window to see if its raining.")
I will look sad until you feel guilty and let me sit on the couch.