Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry 2013 Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our mayhem!  It's been a fun week here, Christmas Eve was really good.  We went to a 4 pm church service, came home for supper, then went to another 8 pm service across the harbour.  It decided to snow for us (Which was AWESOME!!) and driving to the second service in the snow and fog the boys were singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, adding snippets like it was a foggy Christmas Eve, just like tonight, that Santa came and asked for help. Driving on the bridge, Girlie asked where we were heading.  We told her we were going to church and we heard this heavy sigh come from her. "What??!  AGAIN?!  But we already went to church.  And it's bedtime!"  I swear, that girl is 3 going on 13!  But we survived and made it.  Monkey fell asleep on the way there but was awake for the whole service.  Sergeant and Girlie fell asleep during that second service, and everyone was asleep by the time we pulled in to the driveway at about 9:45.  Hubby and I were in bed by 11:30 and the kids were still asleep when Hubby and I put the coffee pot on at 5:30.  Didn't stay asleep long after that, but that's part of the season, right?

We went through the stockings, put together puzzles, made breakfast, read a few new books, ate probably too many sweets before getting ready for church (can you hear Girlie say "Again?!").  We opened one gift each before we left and then we were on our way.  The kids were actually good through all of this.  When we got home was another story.  Girlie knew that we were going to open the rest of the gifts and just tore into the first big gift she saw.  One of Smarty's.  She didn't get the whole thing opened.  We stopped her before she got the chance.  But it made for a serious time out, lots of yelling, tears, and talk between Hubby and I as to whether or not she'd join us for the rest of the morning.  She did, she was properly contrite. Over excitement, overtired, too much chocolate, everything.  Completely understand the why, that's why we couldn't let it go.  Not a behaviour we want to condone.

But everyone had fun, no one was hurt throughout the day.  Hubby went for a walk during nap time and came home to cook our turkey supper.  Just a small enough bird to feed our little family with enough leftovers for a turkey pie the next day.  I'm loving that the kids like turkey dinner now.  Seems like it was forever that they wouldn't touch it!  And I made a chocolate cake for dessert.

It was such a nice week that Hubby lost track of time!  He forgot Friday, so he spent most of Saturday thinking it was Friday.  Normal for alot of people, not for him.  It shows how relaxed he has been this last week or so.  Yesterday afternoon we visited the Natural History Museum, today the Discovery Science Centre.  We will likely be spending quite a bit of time at those two locations this year.  Very fun and entertaining for all of us.  It was nice to go out and do those things together.

Now for some pictures that everyone is looking for :)
Helping Daddy make Christmas Breakfast

Me wearing Monkey's new tiara

Happy for chocolate before breakfast

Eating breakfast like royalty

Playing while eating

Snap bracelet/watch

My view across the table

She wanted to help Sergeant with his puzzle

Matching onesie jammies!

Checking out the Hello Kitty Lego house

Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga

"Daddy help build this?"

Loving the fine motor play

Teaching the boys to play checkers

Building a Skylanders robot

Happy children

Beautiful girls!

Handsome boys!


Smarty and the girls making stuff

Stink eye!

Momma, I can feed her!

Go Fish!

Friday, December 20, 2013

December plans

So a few days ago Smarty was laying in the bed with Hubby.  Just quiet and snuggling when out of the blue Smarty asks "Dad, what kind of light artillery do you think we need to protect our house?"

 Hubby stopped and asked "Protect our house from what?"

"From people who want to get our stuff.  We need to protect our house."

"I don't think we need artillery to protect our house, Son.  It's pretty secure."

That was good for a chuckle!

Yesterday driving to and from preschool, we heard two different versions of Santa Baby on the radio.  Girlie in the back asked both times if it was Christmas tonight or if the singer was "just joking."  Guess she was taking the line "Hurry down the chimney tonight" literally.  I had to explain that the singer was just pretending that it was Christmas night to which she replied "She's being silly!"

It's been a busy week here.  There has been more snow falling which is something that makes the whole house happy.  Even in rain follows closely on  it's heels.  The world is currently white and icy.  Sergeant was sick all last weekend with the flu, and a sore throat for the first part of this week.  All of the kids' tempers are shorter as we approach the holiday, but everyone was happy this morning to know that it's the last school day.  Daddy even has the next two weeks off which is very odd.

There has been baking, baking, and more baking.  Perogs, Oh Henry squares, mocha truffles, shortbread, regular bread, mocha logs (notice two things with the word mocha in them?) and as it is there is extremely little left.  Gifting it all away so we don't eat them all ourselves.  And it's fun.

Monkey has figured out how to get her own diaper off.  After being so lucky that the other three never did, we're paying for it now!  Thankfully she hasn't made a mess, running around bare, but she certainly loves feeling free!  She's been working on getting her own pants on this fall and can get one leg in but not the other.  So she just runs around with one leg in her pants and the other one dragging.  This morning, though, she actually got both legs in and they were on the right way too!  Such a smart cookie!

This holiday is looking so different than usual, I'm almost not sure what we'll do with ourselves.  No doubt that we'll fill the days, though.  I saw some people sledding on a hill near Shearwater this morning and thought that it would be a fun way to spend a morning in the next little bit.  Trips to the library, have friends over, eat popcorn, watch movies, go for drives.  I'm looking forward to two weeks of no school!

Our snow day on Wednesday was fun.  Two minutes after I told the boys they had no school, Smarty had the diningroom table absolutely covered with paper, glue, scissors, tape, crayons, markers, you name it!  Then when they were done with crafting we went downstairs and set up the tent and pulled out the sleeping bags and they watched some cartoons while playing in it.  They weren't happy when we took it down at bedtime, but we'll have it up again soon.  It's going to be a fun Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

long overdue

Long, long, long overdue post.  I apologize for those who have been waiting and waiting for updates.  There has been alot of fog, alot of rain, and now finally snow!  And sunny skies!  Hubby came home and then left again for a 5 day sail on the HMCS Halifax, which is awesome.  When we went to pick him up from it he brought the boys aboard to grab his gear.  They LOVED it.  And this past Saturday he did a baptism on the Preserver and Smarty went with him to assist.

Yesterday was school concerts and today is report cards.  Girlie even got one when we dropped her off at preschool.  She's doing very well, exceptional at sharing toys and playing well with others.  Is this really our girl?  We'll see how the boys are doing, but their parent teacher conference went well and they seem to be well above their class averages.  And they are have new friends!  They still really miss their old ones.  Kinda heartbreaking hearing the random mentioning of missing people from Alberta.

But here are some pictures from the boys' concert yesterday.  I'll make a more concerted effort into posting more regularly.  It's good for me to write these anecdotes down as well for everyone to read them

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Less than a month left

It's been too long and I know I have no pictures at the ready for anyone, but life moves on.  School is picking up speed for the boys.  Both Smarty and Sergeant have started bring home reading assignments.  Sergeant's is poems and readings that they've done in class all week that he's beginning to learn some of the words on sight.  He's printing, too.  "Mom, I can spell the word BLUE.  See, I can write it too!"  And he guesses what words are based on some of the sounds.  "This says Soy Sauce."  Me: "How do you know it says soy sauce?" Him: "See?  S and S.  Ssssoy Ssssauce"

Smarty is reading a grade or two ahead of his age.  And his teacher is impressed with his comprehension.  We need to work a bit on his reading aloud, but that seems like more of a function of his speech issues he had as a younger child.  Remembering to slow down and speak the words individually, things like that.

On Wednesday we went to the library.  Not an unusual outing for us, but the boys didn't want to go.  I wanted to at least return the books we had, so we went, with the clear understanding that the boys wanted to drop them off and go home again.  An hour later we were leaving the library, with two dozen books between the three older children and myself.  Well, only three for myself.  I can't take too many or the kids would be ignored and we'd live in an even messier house!

But Smarty grabbed a half dozen or so Bones books.  They are graphic novels about a dog, I guess, and he solves problems with his friends.  Smarty found them at school and has been reading them non stop!  The other two are looking at them as well.  We have an Octonauts one, some about volcanoes and earthquakes, racing cars, Pokemon, almost too many to keep track of right now!

Girly is absolutely LOVING preschool.  There was no doubt that she would.  She's starting to talk a bit more about who is in her class, what she is doing.  They did a leaf craft the day after we did one here, so I thought that was cute.  Her attitude seems to be fluctuating too.  Volatile is the word that comes to mind, but they are all dealing with life pretty well.  It's really only in the last two weeks that the crankiness and yelling has gotten worse than normal.

But Monkey seems to slowly be warming up to being left.  She is still yelling when I drop her off at casual care on Fridays so I can go the the coffee group that meets at Shearwater.  The last two times when I've come to pick her up she's been happy and interactive!  And apparently she cries a little bit less each time I leave.  That's some progress, at least.

Three weeks until Hubby returns.  Just under.  Yay!  Tomorrow is a Deployment Cafe that the Halifax site puts on once a month for families with a member away.  We enjoyed the one last month, so we will be returning tomorrow.  Care, supper, and games for the children, adult conversation with others whose spouses/partners are away for the grownups.  Overall, a good time.  I've been able to get out for a couple of runs in the last little bit.  Marie (I mentioned her in the last post) has been coming over after I drop Girly off at preschool to watch Monkey so I can get out.  It's good having her come over because it takes away my excuses.  I don't need help putting things off.  I do that just fine on my own!  But the running feels good.  During I keep asking why I torture myself, but I feel good for doing it.  And not because I feel guilty if I don't.  I feel more sluggish and ick if I haven't had some quiet alone, me time.  Plus the endorphins that gradually kick in are nice.

I'll try harder to put new pictures up, and to update before too long.  No guarantees, though.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's been another busy-ish week here.  I'm not really sure if I'll get used to the shorter school days!  Getting boys to school, going for a longer walk with the girls in the double stroller (it's so cute when they both fall asleep!), tidying, groceries, laundry, the list doesn't stop, but I think we're getting into a groove.  But there is another curve starting this week.  Girlie starts preschool!

Thursday was a parent orientation for the preschool for her.  It made me smile, listening to the reasons for procedures, child to teacher ratios, first aid, child release protocol.  Brought me back to my ECE days :)  Crazy that the time has flown by!

The boys are getting used to school.  Sergeant was very happy that we weren't missing naps this weekend!  Pretty funny since all during the summer he'd put up a nit of a fight if we insisted on naps.  So I got him to sleep at nap times the last couple of days.  Not for long, but he's sleeping and charging his batteries.

Monkey is a monkey.  She is able to communicate, even though there aren't really any words yet.  She has "dad" "mom".  But she understands everything!  Should we get your shoes?  Where's your fleecy?  Want a num and a snuggie?  She gets it!  She goes and grabs or looks for whatever it is.  Such a clever monkey!

Smarty is starting to make a few friends.  After the first couple of days, he seemed very lonesome during the playtime before school.  After school was fine.  Lots of kids, lots of games.  But the teacher loves having him in class.  And I enjoy watching them play with others and talking with the parents and grandparents who pick them up.

I have been very grateful for a couple of things this fall.  That I'm able to text and message friends and family back west.  That I can (sometimes) have a text conversation with Hubby (he can't have his phone in him and the time zones are sometimes difficult to work with).  That the spouse of another chaplain (I'll call her Marie) is willing and able to watch the kids when I run out to the preschool parent orientation night, or to get my roots touched up and a haircut.  Our children love playing with hers, she does face painting, she is trained in ECE as well, so we get along very well.  We also have a friend from a long time ago who is here for an internship for her MDiv, but with the United Church.  I met her about ten years ago, she was in her undergrad with Hubby and we hadn't seen her since I was pregnant with Smarty.  So it's been really fun reconnecting with her.  We spent the afternoon together with her at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum.  Lot's of fun!  I think I'll call her Coastal Transplant.  She grew up in the High River Area, but moved from BC to here.  So Coastal Transplant. :)

But we went to the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm this afternoon.  Lots of fun.  Hope you enjoy these pictures!
Love the eyebrows!


Smiley Girlie!

Coastal Transplant and Girlie bonding with the cows

Kinda family photo

Smarty watching

Playing with Stilts


Big Smiles!

Rocking horse

Too small for him!

It's harder than it looks.  I tried!

Watching Ducks

House Built in 1901

Inside the house

Prefab house :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First day of school and fun pics

Okay first off, I'm changing the names that I call the kids.  Girl2 is now Monkey, the Girl is Girlie, Boy2 is Sergeant, and the Boy is Smarty.  Now that that is out of the way...

School has started!  Hard to believe that the boys are now both in class all day every day.  Classes begin at 8:30 and the younger grades are out at 1:50  It's a much shorter day than I am used to, so it is difficult to adjust to, with naps and snacks.  I've been having to wake up Girlie to get her out the door on time to get them.  But she is loving playing at the playground with her brothers.  Yesterday was day 1 and we walked to the school.  When making up the lunch bags, I "had" to make some for the girls too.  So we put juice boxes and snacks into a lunch bag that Girlie walked around with.  Today was the same.  She was so disappointed that it wasn't her first day, but I have her enrolled at a young preschool at the Shearwater base starting in a couple of weeks.

The boys' teachers are happy to have them in their classes.  They seem to be quickly making friends.  It was heartwarming watching a little girl from Smarty's class start walking along with us for the last little bit of the walk to school and start talking and seeing them run off and play together before the bell rang.  When Sergeant came out at the end of school today he was yelling "Mom!  I made a friend!" Best part?  He remembered the name!

Tuesday was Hubby and my anniversary.  Eight years!  We went out on a date before he left as an early celerbration, but Hubby had 2 dozen roses delivered here.  Almost made me cry and really surprised me.  The kids thought we needed to go out for supper, but with emotional and whiny children, we decided to get into our jammies and make pancakes for supper instead.  

Yesterday was Girlie's birthday.  Hard to believe she's 3!  Since Hubby is away for it, we celebrated it with Smarty's birthday last Monday (do I really have a 7 year old son?).  But we went out for supper yesterday, since we didn't get to the night before, to celebrate both the birthday and a successful first day of school.  Went to one place and discovered it was closed because they had no water, so we went across the street to another place.  10 minutes after we were seated we were told that they were closing because they now had no water.  They were serving the people there already but were starting to turn people away.  I was very glad we got there when we did!  

Today Girlie and I made a cake.  She requested a chocolate apple cake that I make in a bundt pan.  She calls it the doughnut cake :)  So when we got back from our walk this morning (I have started walking the loop around Colby Village after dropping the boys off) we got busy putting dishes away, cleaning counters, and getting the mixer out to make it up.  After a friend stopped by for a visit I asked them to come over after her kids got out of school to share in the cake.  So they did.  We had cake and ice cream.  Very tasty!

Monkey really is a monkey.  She is loud, she is determined, and she is mischievous.  I love her expressions!  She does everything she can to keep up and be involved with the others.  They unrolled the yoga mats and were "exercising" yesterday and today.  Between the push ups (so cute watching Smarty try to do one) and the jumping jacks (which he does a really good job on) it gets loud and funny to watch.  But that little monkey takes the cake!  When I bring her downstairs to change laundry, she insists on me lifting her up so she can pull on Daddy's pull up bar.  Goofy girl.

Tonight marks the end of the first week Hubby has been gone.  One week down, seven to go!  I've texted a bit with him, but with the time difference and the long days he's doing, there isn't much time to talk.  We tried Skype once, the connection was very poor.  We've had a bedtime phone call that was very nice.  The kids did a bit of painting to send him.  I printed off some photos.  I showed the boys when Daddy will be home on the calendar.  They were very happy that he'd be home by Halloween.  He'll be home for the important one :)
Helping me make broccoli soup

Silly, goofy children!

There's those smiley eyes!

Funny Faces

Trip to the beach to stick our toes in the ocean

Daddy snuggies the night before he flew out to Quebec

Maybe they come by their goofy-ness honestly?