Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It is absolute heaven when a little boy falls asleep in your arms. Especially when he spent the preceding five minutes yelling and screaming because his Daddy had the nerve, nay the audacity to take his older brother out for breafast and not him! He doesn't grudge the Boy for going, he just wishes he could have gone too!

Boy2 absolutely LOVES his Dad. There are times when only Mommy will do, but he is far more inclined to go to Dad than his brother was. Of course now the problems arise because the Boy is becoming more attached to Dad too, as he gets older. Frequently the Boy will tell Dad the he wants to go for a walk, but not with Mom or his little brother. They usually take Boy2 as well, though.

Anyway, I've been watching the forecasts for here and southern AB this week. It's gotten a little chilly here with quite a bit of rain coming over the next few days (figures, I'm going to have a full house for most of them). But I've been looking at the AB weather because we decided on Monday that, since there really doesn't look like a visit out will be emminent in the next month or so and it's been at least nine, if not ten months since we were in sunny AB, that we'd do a zip trip. That means leaving here after kids leave Friday (so, by the time food is in tummies and the van is loaded it'll probably be six). Getting in to my parents late night, spend the day, go out to visit Hubby's Mom, spend Sunday, leave Monday back for S'toon.

We both are wishing there would be time for visits with good friends and family of the heart, but it's sadly not possible right now. But, I glanced at the weather expected for Firday, Saturday in the Lethbridge area. Holy Cow, do we ever know when to pick our trips! Up to 30 cm of Snow?!! Really not your ideal driving conditions.

We also have family coming out for Hubby's grad. His Dad is coming out for a visit from Manitoba, and we haven't seen him since July. I told the Boy about this visit a couple of weeks ago, including the number of sleeps, to help with the passing of time. He is so excited to be seeing family! All of the little girls I look after have family in the area. Grandmas and Grandpas sometimes pick them up, and all the kids are excited whenever they do. But then the Boy asks where his are. Oh, boy. We just tell him that they live far away, but we'll see them soon.

I wouldn't trade the way we've done things for the world. Living farther away from the family unit has developed independence and has taught us to lean on each other and our faith. Plus, the infrequent visits make them all the more special. However, when my three year old hears someone talking about her cousins and starts asking where his cousins are, my heart just breaks.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

thoughts for parents

I have been seeing some interesting things online lately that simply confuse me. One of them, while I applaud the overreaching goal of acclamation and pride, just bugs me for some reason. When I was on facebook earlier a couple of women had this posted in their status:
I traded eyeliner for dark circles, salon hair cuts for ponytails, long showers for hairy legs, late nights for early mornings, designer purses for diaper bags and I wouldn't change a thing!! I LOVE MY KIDS!!!! With Mother's day drawing near lets see how many Mom's Repost this. Mom's don't care what we gave up and ...will continue to give up for
Like I said, I appreciate that these and other women are happy and proud of their "mom" status. What I don't understand is the underlying tone of martyrdom. Yes, as parent we give up things for our children. We don't have the luxury of spending the day in bed when we feel like poo. We can't just go out and stay out to all hours of the night. The impromptu excursions are at an end when you have to plan around feedings, naps, and diaper changes. Kids have some incredible mood swings so you really never know how they will be in public, no matter how good a day they were having up to that point. These are simple facts. The thing is that everyone who gets into this whole "parent"thing (at least theoretically) knows this.

Maybe it's just a kneejerk reaction, but I can't measure my love for my children by the things I've given up and wouldn't change for the world. I look at my boys and all I feel is incredibly lucky and blessed to have them. There are times when both Hubby and myself feel like it would have been nice if we hadn't had that first "oops!" but it is no more than a fraction of a second. Our lives are so much richer because of the way things are now. The smiles, the hugs, the laughter, but also the battles, the clashing of wills, and the time outs.

Granted, according to some, we're still in the easy years. The challenges that occur through toddler and preschool years are nothing compared to what some parents go through with teenagers. That being said, I do firmly feel that the foundations laid early in life will make it at least a little bit easier later.

I'm proud to be a mother of two of the finest, adorable boys that ever graced the planet (biased, though the opinion may be). I love the hugs and cuddles at all hours of the day or night (I may not appreciate them at 2 am, but I know how important those hugs are too). I clean up after them when they are healthy and when they are sick. I bathe them, kiss their ouchies, gives hugs and kisses. I feed them, I treat them, I discipline them. Part of the thing here though, is that I don't do these things alone. Hubby does all of these things and more. When all the boys want is me, he picks up and does what I'm not able to do. I find it an honour to see the bond growing between these males in my life.

Enough said. I know that the post above is primarily because Mother's Day is approaching. I guess I figured that Mother's Day was a chance for the kids and fathers to voice appreciation instead of mothers tooting their own horn. I don't need an excuse to do that, I do it every single day. If I'm told that I'm doing a great job mothering, I always say that it's easy to be a great parent when you have such great kids to work with, but I also acknowledge that there is still alot of work put in to forming these angels. I just wish more parents stopped focussing on what they've given up and started noting the blessings intsead.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

early spring!

Great bedtimes are wonderful. Unfortunately we have to get through some LOOOONNGG afternoons to get to them. Today, both kids fell asleep on the way home from church, but only Boy2 stayed that way. So, after spending the afternoon outside and going for walks, guess who was so tired he was falling asleep in the wagon? That's right! My eldest blessing and joy! Rubbing eyes, putting up a fight, willing every little thing to be a battleground. He wants more supper, no jammies, no teeth brushing, need stories, more water, are you done singing? I want to play with Boy2... you name it, he asked for it. Then he gets that defiant look that just set my contrary streak up and I just want to say no for the sake of saying no. (real mature, I know!)

But it really has been a blessed weekend. Yesterday we went for a walk and found crocuses. So many in one spot! When we pointed them out, the Boy was very interested but not in the flowers. He wanted to find the bugs crawling around inside them! The things that interest boys! We had to stop at nearly every gopher hole to see if they would come out when he called them. We had to run on the grass as much as possible. We had to stop and pick up handfuls of gravel to drop into the river when we crossed the bridge. Supper for the last two days has been outside on the back lawn. Spring really is wonderful!

Boy2 has started announcing little new flashes when he does something. Things like " sneeze!" when his little nose explodes, or "burp!" when a bubble comes up. It's really quite adorable. This afternoon he was almost back to sleep when he burped. He put his head up, smiled, held his num, and said "burp!" then laid his head back down.

Enough said. It's been a long day, full of sunshine and coffee, and I'm about ready to turn in. Back to child care tomorrow, and grateful that there's only another week and a half for Hubby until he's DONE!!!!! Hopefully he'll be able to get the rest he so greatly needs! (not really a terribly realistic goal in this house, but who knows?)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bath beads and dragon kisses

Friday evenings are wonderful. They remind me that the week is done and I have at least two whole days with just me and my boys (yes, I include Hubby with that). Plus, when by Wednesday they kids are refusung to open the door for the extra children and are beggingfor it to be "just us", the week starts to seem long, no matter how much I enjoy the life the other children bring.

Today, there were no afternoon naps for my kids. Boy2 had one at 9:30 this morning and slept for just over an hour, and the Boy was just too wound up and I didn't have the energy to push. So, by the time the extras went home, we decided to go out.

Fast food (while terribly unhealthy for us) was the choice. We did drive thru, then went to the river for a much delayed picnic. Neither child ate much, the toy was too alluring, as was the park. After, we walked (opposite direction of the park). We met puppies, ran on the grass, crossed a bridge, and sat on benches. I really don't know where the Boy gets his energy. He just kept going and going and going! Boy2 did his best to keep up, and actually did a decent jobe of it too. He would not let go of his little dragon toy, his sunglasses, or his hat. He would not be carried, piggybacked, or shouldered. Determination, thy name is toddler.

We convinced them that returning to the van would be a good idea, then the fight started for control. The Boy knows that the van means home and bed, so he just kept finding things to see if he could get the outing extended. Daddy picked him up and carried him the last little bit. When we got home, the Boy informed us that he wanted a red bath (a friend gave Boy2 bath tints for his b-day). We had already used up the last one, so he decided on a bubble bath. We did bubbles last night and I can't let him have one two nights in a row. Hubby suggested using my bath beads. The kids thought that it was a fantastic idea, so I let each one put in two bath beads.

Wow! I'd never seen water bead off of their skin quite like that! When they squished the beads, the Boy started calling them tadpoles and "helped" them swim. Then they were just doing their regular bathtime playing (spashing, being fish, pouring water over themselves and each other while trying to convice Daddy to join in). When the Boy got out, there was no fuss. But has anyone ever tried to haul out a greasy toddler who absolutely refuses to leave the bathtub? Then, as soon as he was out, he needed his dragon. With dragon in hand he proceeded to assist him in giving me kisses. Who knew that dragons love to kiss mommies?

Bedtime was a joke, since both kids were absolutely and utterly exhausted. Their dragons are on the change mat, watching them sleep. They smell slightly perfumed, are lightly greased, and thoroughly loved to pieces by their parents. Now for two whole days of just us.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Wow! If ever there was a day...

Yesterday I had four extra kids over, plus a sick Hubby (He really, really never is sick. I think the last time was two years ago), and a furnace that decided yesterday was a good day to blow it's motor. We had the huge, loud, piercing whistle at midnight yesterday morning, but with the activity and noise, we didn't get the smell until supper when all the kids had gone home.

So, we tried to find our landlord's phone number. Do you think we could find it? It had been written on a whoteboard on the fridge, but that was eight and a half months ago, so the first three or four digits were by now erased. We went through files, the lease agreement, emails, could not find it. Called a 24hour repair service, told them the make and what the problem consisted of, and was told to replace the filter and see. If that didn't work, since it's a high efficency heater, they would be able to get the part until morning anyway. After looking through some deleted emails (thank goodnes our computer doesn't really get rid of ANYTHING!) Hubby found a phone number for the landlord. What did we get? Answering machine! Keep in mind that we emailed a couple of times through the afternoon and evening.

So the furnace has been off for over twelve hours now. We finally got a phone call from the landlord at nearly ten last night. They had problems trying to get into their email. So he asked what the status was then, asked to call right back, and did. He was trying to get a hold of their regular furnace guy, but was unable to, so they'll be trying again this morning. They also gave us their contact numbers again (hopefully we won't be needing them!).

With lots of blankets, we got through the night (it's not reall all that cold in here, just cooler than we normally have it) but the Boy just informed me that he was cold, and snuggled right under a big comforter. But then he found the thermometer we accidentally left there from when Daddy took his temp yesterday. Now he's walking around trying to take Boy2's tempfrom his elbow! Oh, boy. Boy2 just stole it and ran with a giggle in his wake. At least they're staying warm.

Also, after bedtime, I had to run out to get diapers (Boy2 was out) as well as the standard sick stuff (gingerale, grape juice, gravol...). I got home to discove that I'd forgotten the diapers! (I blame the pregnant brain of course!). So I went out again. It was misting. You know, not really raining, but that fine mist that you associate with standing close to a waterfall? Now, I love the rain. I even enjoy the mist. Not so much with glasses though.

I'm fortunate enough that I don't really need to wear glasses. I have a very paltry perscription. I just do wear them because if I don't for too long I get migraines. Hubby is practically blind without his. He can see blurrs, but that's about it. When I sometimes misplace my glasses, and he sees me walking around trying to find them, he reminds me that they should be on my face, and that he would not be able to look for his unless they were on his nose.

Anway, gotta go. Been up for an hour already I need to shower before too much more time passes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


There are certain sounds I love to hear, no matter what the state of my headaches are. I absolutely love the sounds of happy children playing. It's the silence that worries (except at nap and bed times, but that's different). Take right now, for instance. I have the Boy in the bathroom, filling up a cup of water and then taking a siringe (medicine applicator for babies) and getting himself a drink of water that way. Boy2 was playing drums on the side of the bathtub, but now is trying to put his own shoes on. The extra child this morning is just following them around (probably wondering what the heck they're doing) while holding her Pooh Bear.

Yesterday afternoon, the Boy got out his plastis scissors and wanted to cut, so I got out construction paper. Both boys were trying to cut, Boy2 less successfully, and then the Boy held up his creation. "Look! I made broom!" (a little half circle with "bristles" cut out of the flat end). He then made one for his brother.

It's like earlier in the day, I had a huge headache. The Boy turned off the music, then proceeded to make his own with his younger brother on vocals. They wanted to be the Guess Who. I did take some pictures and will post them later.

But it's the happy, playing sounds that I enjoy so much. This morning, Boy2 climbed out of our bed (he always ends up there for at least the last half hour of the night), found an ambulance, and tried to get the Boy to play with him. Then they climbed on the bed, presumably to get us to play with them as well. When I suggested they go to the living room to pay, and that they could probably see to turn on the lights themselves, they left, only to come back to show us what they'd found and to thrust empty sippies at us til we got up.

Granted, the happy noises only last so long, or they escalate to happy shrieks and squeals. Neither of which are favorites of mine (well, the latter only if we're outside) but they come as part of the package. Happily, at least lately, the nice and wonderful sounds ar the most common. Now if I could only convince them that sleep isn't an enemy but a friend...

Monday, April 12, 2010

little tidbits

After a cold, but nice weekend, we're back to the grind. Hubby wasn't really able to catch a break due to the end of the semester rapidly approaching (two and a half weeks to go, Yay!), but we were able to spend a relaxing Saturday and Sunday. When we did our grocery run late Saturday afternoon, we detoured into a book store (a VERY dangerous place for our family). After convincing Boy2 that he REALLY didn't need another Thomas the Tank Engine toy, we got a googly-eyed fish book for Boy2, a Get Fuzzy comic book for Hubby and I (we just need mindless reading sometimes), and the Boy got a new Dinosaur book (we were unsuccessful in convincing him he didn't need another dino book).

This Dinosaur book isn't just a fun, coloured book on your average dinos. No, this has how fossils are made, family life, what they ate, how they hunted, so many different names, which period they lived in, you name it, they have a page for it. So, here is what I have learned in the last two days about dinosaurs that, if I ever knew them, I'd forgotten.

the stegosarus looks remarkably like the huayangosarus, but the latter has fewer plates and more spikes.

one of the smallest fossils ever found was of the Mussaurs which was only eight inches long.

most dinosaurs ignored their young after the initial hatching (sometimes it sounds so tempting!)

the iguanadon was the first dinosaur fossils ever found

the stegoceras' (not to be cofused with the stegosaurus) skull could be as think as 3 inches

the brachiosaurus had to eat virtually all day long to obtain enough to survive

the velociraptor could not bend its tail

micropachycephalosaurus has the longest name of any dinosaur

the albertosaurus had extemely strong muscles to clamp the jaw shut, but weaker muscles to open them

the archaeoptyeryx is the link that some scientists use to group birds and dinosaurs together

both the styracosaurus and the chasmosaurus look alot like the tricertops

alot of the meat eaters fed on carrion, older, younger, or weaker animals intead of hitting the strongest ones (okay, I could have guessed that one)

the megalosaurus was the most powerful hunter in Erope in the late Jurassic period

I realize that by sharing thes little tidbits of information I am enriching the lives of so many. I just wish my wonderfully curious little boy wasn't so intent on saying "read book me" while holding up a fact book instead of a story book. He is such his father's child!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Freezing snow!

"We go for walk?" Those are the words I've been hearing all day. Now, normally I wouldn't mind it and I'd even say a resounding "Yes", but for the fact that this worning we woke up to a sky that was doing it's best to dump snow on us. It's worsened and goten better intermittently through the day, but that wind, which I expect in Southern Alberta, where alot of our family are and where we spent our courtship and the first year of our marriage, is horrendeous! I can hear it blowing toys around in the back yard (silly me didn't get the kids to tidy yesterday afternoon).

Around ten thirty I said yes and we'd try it. Of course, once the Boy starts getting ready, Boy2 has to get stuff on right away. Do you think Boy2 would agree to winter boots like his brother? Noooo! He had to wear his Pooh rain boots. At least I got winter coats on them. Hubby decided to come with us (thankfully!). We went around our little cul de sac, straight, then around the next cul de sac. By this time, I was nearly freezing, so I took Boy2 and the one extra child I had this morning back to the house while the Boy insisted on going on with Daddy (thanks again, Sweetie!). As I turned around with the littler ones, we got a blast of arctic hilling air. The wind was now at our faces! As soon as we got home, the extra little girl was upset because she wanted to play in the backyard! After telling that it was too cold, and wouldn't she much rather play with the train tracks on the floor, she felt better.

Put a pot on the stove (no cold lunch today!) we did hot cocoa with mini marshmellows for the kids. Hubby and I still had coffee on the go. Before naps, after naps, after supper, it has been "We go for walk? We go backyard? We go outside?" Thankfully some of those were directed to another little girl who came over this afternoon and her response was "It's too cold! You're silly!"

But between trains, strawberries, painting, and Curious George, we got through the afternoon. Too bad it's not supposed to let up and melt by tomorrow. Looks like the picnic by the river is postponed until futher notice. Maybe we can make do with a living room picnic lunch?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cats and Picnics

This has been a good week. I had an extra day off that I wasn't expecting, the weather has been absolutely wonderful, and and the children have all been pretty well behaved. That has made it a good week. Added to that is the fact that night time sleeping has been more or less good too. The boys have slept soundly (if not solidly through the night) and Hubby has stayed in our bed for nearly a week (one of the hazzards of my pregnancy is horribly loud snoring. My obstetrician said her husband had to move out of their room during her pregnancies too!).

With Hubby walking or biking to school with the weather as nice as it is, the Boy and Boy2 try to get us out the door early too. More often than not this week we've been out for our first walk/trike ride by seven thirty in the morning. Then we hit it again around ten, then again after nap time. Sometimes we even go for another one after supper with Hubby when he gets home. What started as an impromptu idea on Tuesday for a picnic snack on the front lawn has become what is to be expected. Picnic snack, picnic lunch, picnic snack, wanting to do a picnic supper. It's quite cute. Yesterday, waiting for lunch, the Boy brought out his little piano (you know, Fisher Price, only has five big colourful keys) and starting singing a Daddy song (I don't know, he just kept singing "Daddy, dad, dad, daddy" over and over) then Boy2 gets out a maraca and uses it as a microphone doing the same thing. After lunch is done, out come the trucks ( ambulance and firetruck) and they start racing down the driveway. Bless their hearts, I not once had to remind them to stay off of the road.

When we go for walks, it's never very far. Just around the half dozen little cul de sacs that make up our immediate neighbourhood. Tuesday, we hit the motherload of cats out and about. There's an orange tom at the very far end, a calico four houses down from that, and a couple of others within a six house radius. The calico and the marmalade are very friendly, but the others won't even come near. Again, the boys don't need to be reminded to stay on the sidewalk. The Boy just crouches down, claps his has gently to encourage them to come. Boy2 copies his brother. Since we can't have pet here, the only cats that they remember are from friends and family back in Alberta. No cat that they've come in contact with "talks" when they want affection. Where the tom is quiet and just rubs when he wants to be pet, the calico talks and talks and talks while trying to rub her head on your leg. I think it kinda scares the boys. They just don't know how to handle her. I tell them that it's okay and she's just talking and wants to be pet, but everytime her mouth opens, they back away.

After that, when we go for walks, we have to go on kitty hunts. This morning we saw the tom, but not the calico, and the Boy was asking where the talking kitty was. He also has been pretending that there are cats in the house. He pets them and puts them on the bed, brings then to me to pet, tries to take them out for a ride on his tricycle. We really need to find a place that will allow pets. Of course, when we win the lottery, we'll just buy a house and it will all be taken care of. In the meantime, imaginary cats and the promise of picnics will keep a couple of little boys very happy. We're going on a family picnic by the river on Saturday (or at least that's the current plan), so these short term goals are great. Hopefully we'l remember the camera!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Boys

My boys are just wonderful. I realize that I have said this quite a bit and it is likely that I will continue to restate that fact. It isn't that I'm immune to their antics or temper tantrums. It's just simply the fact that I absolutely adore my children. Hubby keeps telling me that it's probably a good thing, since I'm stuck with them for life. But when we go for a "mommy/daddy" walk (the exercise is for mom and dad, not the kids so the boys are forced/coerced/bribed to sit in the wagon for most of the duration) and I turn around to see how they're doing and all I see is Boy2 leaning back onto the Boy and the Boy has his arms wrapped around Boy2, I can't helpbut feel the maternal pride and love swell. Of course, because they are only human, two seconds later they are at each others' throats, but that one moment is forever etched in my mind.

It also helps that they really do love each other. Naturally, Boy2 has no memory of life without big brother, but the Boy's memory of life before little brother is, I think, virtually non-existent. That is the benefit of having them closer together. Nineteen months isn't a long time. We went from having a baby-on-his-way-to-toddlerhood to having an almost toddler and another baby. Now, with number three on it's way, we are having to readjust ourselves to a new way of thinking. The Boy was still so much a baby when Boy2 finally made his appearance. #3 will be coming into a home with a MUCH different dynamic.

Still, when Hubby moved the rocking chair out of the boys' room this morning (to save the wall from further disaster) I got a little sad. Yes, in just under five months there will be another baby to rock to sleep, but part of our night time ritual is either myself or Hubby sitting in the rocking chair after prayers, and singing/reading scripture to the boys. Tonight we tried just saying "goodnight" and closing the door. Is it sad that I'm glad it didn't work? We left the room. Hubby went on the computer to do homework and I went downstairs to change laundry. I came back up, glanced through the mostly closed door and saw Boy2' bed empty. Hubby said he was second guessing the approach, so I went in since the Boy had just started calling me. There they were, both on the Boy's bed under the blanket. As soon as he saw me, Boy2 got out and climbed into his own bed. The Boy was trying to tell me it was alright and Boy2 could sleep with him, but i tried to tell him that, while I thought it was wonderful and good that he wanted to share his bed with his brother, there were two beds in the room for a reason.

I don't ever want to stop the intense brotherly love that exists between those two. They have been through so much together, between moving so many times in their short lives and having to share their space with four other kids through most of the week, and will likely go through so much more ( that's just how life works). Sure, they fight, what kids don't? But they are perfect little boys, full of energy, life, and a love of dirt, trucks, and dinosaurs. What more can a mom ask for?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Music, music, music!

I have a musician in the making. My little Boy2 was walking around the house today with a drum mallet and a maraca (alternately) as a microphone. I have absolutely no clue as to what exactly he was singing, but the dancing and long sounds coming from his mouth gave away the secret of what he was doing. My only guess is that he picked it up from his brother, who picked it up because his favorite past time in the whole world is to sit on Daddy's lap and watch Youtube music videos.

When Hubby is home, at the computer and music starts playing, there is a sudden stampede of two pairs of little feet (that sounds like a thundering herd of elephants) into the computer room, followed by the chuckle as Daddy tries to help two little boys both onto his lap comfortably. It doesn't matter what Hubby has playing. Any sound at all from the computer speakers produces this effect. It could be music ( rock, country, classical, religious) or a comedian's routine (we've found a few we really like) or a lecure. And heaven help us if we scroll down and they can no longer see the little screen (again, it doesn't matter what is on the screen).

But I really do love the natural sounds of kids making music. When the Boy had his second Christmas ( I was pregnant with #2) we requested no toys with batteries. We got no toys with batteries, but we did get drums, xylophones, maracas, shakers, rattles, you name it. The funny thing is, I really don't like the sound of most battery opertated toys ( most of them end up getting a battery-ectomy within a month or so) but I LOVE the cacophony that comes from children leading each other around in circles, banging cymbals, shaking noise makers, and hitting drums (so long as it is olny the drum being hit. These ARE children after all).

So last week, when my nerves were frazzled by the day's end, I welcomed the cooperative play that developed into an impromptu marching band made up of five children aged five and under (with the youngest one being lapped again and again. She was having SO much fun!) Or today, with the one flying solo. They both take turns doing it. The Boy frequently uses the broom as a microphone or an upright bass (these are cultured little boys!). It makes me want to dig out my clarinet (that I keep meaning to take out anyway), and start practising again.

But for now, I'll enjoy the wonderful sounds that the imaginations of the kids bring to life.