Monday, May 31, 2010

Bikes and Trikes

So, last Monday we got the Boy a new bike. Yep, two wheels (with trainers), new helmet, the whole deal. Now everyone he sees he says "I got a new Bike!" I'm so glad that he likes it. Now, if we'll only get a day that has the weather more bike ride suitable, I'm sure he'd be riding all day.

With the switch, of course what happens in a family with siblings, means that Boy2 also got a "new" bike. The Boy's old tricycle and helmet that were too small for him now are the property of the younger brother. Would work out better if he could get his legs working right. He's used to being pushed by the handle of the older trike, but this other one doesn't have that, so it's all toddler powered.

When we have gone out, the expedition looks like this: Daddy and the Boy take off on the brand new orange bike, and I follow with Boy2 on his trike. Before we know it, the Boy and his Dad are out of the cul de sac and zooming around (first time on he fell down maybe three times. Isn't that amazing?) and out of sight. Boy2, obviously much slower, does his best. The first try consisted of me nugding the back of the tricycle gently with my foot and making the steering corrections as they were needed. (Sadly, I can't just hunch over and push him... hips and back just wouldn't take it for very long) Second outing, he figured out the steering (for the most part) and he can peddle downhill very well (I know gravity does most of this, but I applaud him anyway).

I think he understands the principle of what has to happen in order to go, but it just isn't working yet. What we need is a stretch of about two weeks of some nice weather where we can go out once or twice a day to practice (dicey with the extras here, but we do that before they come or after they've gone). I think, by the end of summer, he'll be giving his older brother a run for his money!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So, last night we had a power outage. Strange since it's the first one I've had since I can remember. I know I've had them before (one hears stories from when one was young) but yesterday evening power was out for nearly two hours.

Early evening isn't really a bad time to lose power. Supper was made and we were halfway through. There were clothes in the dryer and some in the wash, so if power hadn't been restored every available surface would have been covered with soggy, wet clothes. As dusk approached, however (and with the amount of cloud we've had, I was suprised that it didn't arrive sooner) it became evident that we'd need to light a candle or two. Our bathroom has no window, so we really needed a little bit of light in there.

Let me tell you, that was the most romantic evening I've ever spent in the bathroom. I was sitting, doing my thing with the door open ( yeah, if you go to the bathroom in our house, you'd better lock the door if you don't want company) and then Boy2 came, stood in the hallway, started singing and clapping "bir-day ooooo!". It was soo cute. It maybe reminded me that I should try to light candles more often.

His words are coming along, though. His brother's are too. It's really neat hearing them try to have a conversation in the van. Makes me happy that we don't have a dvd in the van. It's much better to see and hear them entertain themselves.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

books and swimming

Well, the heat is here. Two or three days with a high of nearly thirty makes it hard to believe that a week and a half ago the daily high was ten! But, now that the good weather is here, Hubby and I decided to work on our backyard. This means that no children are allowed to play back there until the grass decides to grow back. I don't know what is up with our lawn, but the grass seems more dead than alive right now. I think it may have something to do with the ice and puddles and kids trying to dig and move the water around when the big melt happened.

So, Friday evening we put some seed/fertilizer on the grass, and now comes the oh-so-difficult task of waiting, watering, and keeping little feet off of it for a while. We had no clue it would get this hot this fast. So we play inside, downstairs (soooo much cooler down there!), go for walks, and the occasional visit to the park. Sunday we went for a family swim followed by a visit to the library. That was such a hit that we're thinking of making it habit. At least until we move or the baby comes, whichever happens first.

The boys really do love swimming, though. We tried out a different pool this time, and it has a big waterslide (well, bigger than the 18 inch one at the pool closest to us) and neither one wanted to stop. I wasn't comfortable going down, being six months pregnant, so Daddy took one, then the other, then the first one again, then the second one. Boy were there screams when it was time to go! The Boy has started understanding time a bit more, so it wasn't him complaining, it was Boy2. I took the Boy into the changerooms while Boy2 got one last ride down the waterslide. Oh, the howling we heard as they came into the changerooms. Once he was undressed and in the shower he didn't mind so much, but that's just the way it goes.

The library is always fun. Since both Hubby and I are horribly addicted to the printed word (Hubby more so than I am) and with school being done, there has been at least three or four trips to the library bringing home at least eight or nine books plus something for the kids. (just to give you a idea, the week Hubby's classes ended, he took out about a dozen novels and was done them before the end of he week. I had only read three of them) So every time Hubby goes to the library, he takes at least on child if not both since I'm tied to the house with the extra kids. There are currently eight children's books and twelve adult books around the house. I'm trying to do my best, and I may even keep up this time, since Hubby is working five days a week, but I'm not holding my breath. I don't get much time to read during the day, and by night time I'm just beat (especially with the heat!). Hubby seems to function on less sleep than I do (always been the case, actually) and he reads quite quickly (must have picked that up from reading all those academic books for nearly a decade).

I am so grateful that the boys have (so far) caught or love of reading, though. Neither one of us a strong supporter of movies while traveling, so we load up the books and toys before a journey. More often than not, though, they talk and play with each other. Th Boy is always loooking outside, talking about what he sees or asking what something is. Thank heavens his Dad was a farm kid, 'cuz I would have no clue about some of the things we've seen (although after a dozen or more trips from here to various family members my knowledge is much greater than it was).

Well, that's probably enough rambling today. I really need to start doing this on the desktop so I can put pictures up. Maybe this weekend. We're supposed to get 30-40 mm of rain Saturday, so maybe I'll work on that while the kids watch some cartoons.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

dump truck races

Wow, what a difference employability makes! Hubby went to a temporary employment company this morning and came back with a starting date of tomorrow! Yay! Now that he's happy and working for now, our lives can become a little less stressful.

Add the absolutely gorgeous weather we've had the last two days, and we have some very happy people around here. Today everyone (literally everyone) had a nap today, and then they were scooted outside to the backyard to enjoy the sunshine. I actually managed to keep everyone out until they all went home! Snacks and sippies came out, dirt was dug, water spilled, conflicts resolved, and we ended up with the pool out (kept empty, of course. It's nice out but not that nice). The kids were pretending to swim.

But my highlight of the afternoon was watching the Boy, Boy2, and the five year old girl ( I think I'll call her Blondie) racing dump trucks around and crashing into the fence. They'd start at the same fence, count off " ready, set, go!" and then race to the opposite fence, sometimes turning 90* and go to the side. Once or twice, Boy2 would lag behind, stop when the others got to the other end, turn around and go back, so that he would beat them when they made their return trip! What a smart boy!

So, between the dirt in their hair and the dirt in their ears, they had a bubble bath tonight. The water was disgusting when we emptied it, but the boys were squeaky clean! Now, Boy2 is asleep (he was asleep nearly an hour ago, but woke up when I left had started playing with his brother) and the Boy will be out shortly. He really is very tired. All I have left on my list is to tidy the toys scattered through the living room, then cuddle up with Hubby and a book. Not a bad way to end a beautiful day, if I say so myself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We have been on fire lately! Thankfully not literally, but the last week and a bit have been so packed that it's hard to get back into routine. My poor boys! The visit with Grandpa over the weekend was amazing. There were bike rides, picnics by the lake, looking at dinosuar bones, and walks.

Hubby reorganized the basement before the family came, and we've been enjoying that space as we discover the planetrough the "Planet Earth" and "Blue Planet" series done by the BBC (absolutely amazing by the way. There isn't a person in this house not enthralled by it). We've spent the first part of this week organizing and cleaning upstairs. I've thrown out a box of toys and had three other boxes to donate to the Sally Ann. Packed up a box of books (now the kids' boox shelf isn't overflowing), Hubby has packed up a box to donate a couple for the basement. There are lids that now fit on the toy boxes and most of the assorted pieces of assorted toys are now back in place (any bets on how long it'll stay organized?).

Baby is getting bigger and more active (just as it should in the sixth month) and we're now at the point where we can see the tummy move with some of the bigger kicks and stretches. We have "tum tum" time everyday day with both boys (the lift my shirt, the Boy lifts his and presses it against mine. Boy2 just puts his head ther and smiles as his head is moved up and down from my breathing).

It's hard to see if the boys' behaviour is induced because of all the activity lately, or if it's because we've been getting out boxes to help us organize. Poor Boy has seen his world packed into boxes so many times, he probably thinks we're doing it again. Plus there are alot of stressers around right now and no matter how we try to sheild the children, they pick up on them like magnets. the stress of expecting a new baby is enough, but throw in the fact that Hubby has been trying to find a summer job to pay bills and isn't getting calls back, deciding whether to renew the least or let it lapse, what do we want to be doing... it all adds up and they pick up on it.

But life is still pretty good, if you ignore all of that. The children are happy and healthy, Hubby and I are as well. We have what's important.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ahhh, Family!

It's been a wonderful day. I absolutely love it when children play nicely and there are few fights. It also helps that there was much less work to do today than anticipated. The boys napped, ate, played, and watched a little bit of TV as a treat. When Poppa arrived, there was so nuch excitement that you'd think that Santa and the Easter Bunny made a personal appearance just for them!

Then, when some cousins came a couple of hours later, they practically ran out the door before the van was parked! Yay! Relatives to play with! But it really is wonderful to see how differently the kids play with relatives compared to the ones that come in nearly everyday. Things aren't conflict free, but they do seem to take on a different tone. Plus, if there was any fear that they would make strange with the adults, they were groundless. When I got jammies on Boy2, he ran right to Poppa and snuggled in. I really thought he was going to go to sleep, but he didn't. There was too much else going on. And watching the five year old cousin sit on the Boy's bed and "read" him a story before bed was wonderful to watch, too.

Tomorrow we'll be up early to breakast and load up the cousins' van so they can continue on their trip (what a nice way to cross most of the country! The train!) Then we'll spend a nice family day with Poppa before the ceremonies and services of the actual graduation. There's a whole list of things that the Boy wants to do that won't likely get done (I don't think the weather is too conducive to fishing or flying kites), but we will be making some wonderful memories.

I really do love being around family, if only to give the kids a taste of what it's like. I can remember living farther away from relatives and only really seeing them twice a year or so. Poppa was telling us about his growing up where there was alot of extended family all in the same neighbourhood. I don't really think that my kids will ever really have quite that close a familiarity with their extended family, but I would like them to have it as more than twice a year. Well, we'll see how the summer and fall go...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy May!

Happy May! I woke up this morning to rain that quickly turned into snow (yay). However, that doesn't dampen anyone's feeling overmuch in this house. No matter what the season is, Boy2 loves the snow. Where I get excited over snow in the fall and early winter, like most people, past the middle of February I'm just done with winter. I know the moisture is needed, but I would much rather have the rain right now than the snow.

But, despite the appearance of winter outside, there has been a flurry of spring cleaning in the house today. Hubby is getting a little antsy from no longer being a student (he just completed nine consecutive years of post secondary education! Congrats, Sweetie!) and not having a job yet. So to be productive he cleaned, organized, and moved around the basement this afternoon. I must say that the change is incredible. The desktop computer is back downstairs with recycling and empty boxes under the stairs, full boxes in one corner, laundry in another, and the TV by the computer. All swept and organized.

One of the reasons for the change today is that we have family coming up tomorrow. The spare room is now back to being just a spare room, and there's the futon downstairs for extra sleeping space. And we'll need all of it tomorrow night. For more than a month now, the Boy has been counting sleeps until Poppa comes out for a visit. Hubby's dad is going to brave the prairie weather to come out for the graduation and convocation services this week. We haven't seen him since the July long weekend last year, so we're really looking forward to the visit.

There is also the added pleasure of putting my oldest sister and her family up for the night tomorrow night. They are en route to Ontario to do some visiting anf family history with my dad's side of the family and are taking the train out on Thursday morning bright and early. The train is leaving out of Saskatoon, so they decided to come out for a brief visit and then leave. We'll have them again for the night when the train comes back in a couple of weeks. The boys are looking forward to seeing more of their cousins, though. Even if they are all girls.

So it'll be a fun, full week.