Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finally some pictures!!!!

Making up songs
Playing at the Natural History Museum
Team work for a puzzle!

Playing nicely
Ready to Trick or Treat

Blowing bubbles
Can we go out yet?!

Stuffing pillows
Pumpkin shaped cookies!!!

Halloween Howl at the elementary school
Big smiles

Sergeant's Iron Man pumpkin
Smarty's pumpkin
Monkey's Pumpkin

Girlie's pumpkin

Friday, October 24, 2014

catching up!

Way way way way WAY too long since I've posted.  Crazy busy with life, but that really shouldn't be an excuse.  So my apologies for those who like to keep updated and I am not holding up my end.

School is in full swing with nearly two months down. Lots of driving for me, between getting boys to school and Girlie to preschool.  It's been amazing as always watching the personalities and understanding grow in these children!  Smarty and Sergeant enjoy their reading and are more than capable in their understanding in what they read.  Some of the conversations we have! Out of the blue topics like "Was Jacob a sinner?" "What does the eye of a needle mean?" "How did we grow in your tummy?" "Mom, did you know that your eggs are so tiny you can't see them?!" some very heavy discussions and some lighter ones too.

Monkey is talking!!  And lots!  She is loving being more clearly understood, and we are obviously loving being told what to do and where to go by that adorable toddler.  She really is such a tyrant!  Yesterday we went to a Halloween party at the school and the kids were so excited that they were ready way ahead of time so I told them to sit and read for two minutes while Daddy and I finished getting ready.  Well, more than two minutes later she was telling Dad that it was time to leave because mom said two minutes and she kept pointing at the clock on the wall.  Two minutes were obviously over.

I think she gets all that cute and attitude from her big sister.  Wow, Girlie might be four but she's going on sixteen!  I simply can't wait until she really is a teenager! oh, give us strength!  But they are both so cute and have no shame, which is exactly how we want them to be.  We're working of curbing and focusing all of that, though.  I managed to convince Girlie to be a tiger for Halloween and Monkey is going to be a caterpillar.  The world's most adorable caterpillar.

Sergeant is going as Iron Man and Smarty as Batman.  "I hate this place" (points to anyone who gets that reference!). Smarty has joined the running club at school which runs two afternoons a week after school and is nearly over, I believe.  Smarty was disappointed that he isn't old enough for that yet, but it's only for grades 3-6. And, as something for us to do together, the boys and I have started tae kwon do two evenings a week while Daddy does tea parties and bedtime with the girls. So both the boys and I are working on our kicks and punches, doing push ups and hitting things while the girls and Dad have their bonding time.  Working out so far! and my muscles have been sore, so I know something is working!

Hubby went away for a couple of weeks at the end of September but has been back and super busy with work ever since.  Sorting out the commute, uniforms, where he needs to be in a day, all that fun stuff. Health wise he's doing pretty good so far as we know. Keeping up with the suggested follow up of blood tests and scans to stay on top of anything that might show up.  So far he's still clear, though.  Very, very grateful for that.

I lost most of my voice this week, but this afternoon it seems to be back.  Thankfully! I hate not being able to sing along to the music I have playing or to the kids.  And it's always better to be able to use your full voice when trying to get a child's attention!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

All Settled

We are all moved in!!  And more or less unpacked.  All essentials were unpacked and put away in the first few days, and everything else is puttering along.  I'm finally getting frustrated enough about the boxes laying around with only a little bit of stuff in them that I'm going to try to get the rest of it all cleared away this week.  Hubby had that first week we were here off and I seem to always find better things to do when he's home than to clean and organize, so when he was back at work last week I thought I'd get it all done.  Yeah, didn't happen.  I did, however, bake and do laundry and cook relatively healthy meals, so I still call that a success.

The kids are still adjusting to the move.  Even though it wasn't a far one, it's still taken a toll.  We had kids over all the time, everyday, and there doesn't seem to be as many on this street.  There is a terrific park down the road, and the streets are more flat on this side, so it's easier to ride bikes to and from and we've even let the boys ride down all by themselves a time or two.  Always reviewing the rules and encouraging them to stick together.  I'm getting some play dates with kids from school, so that's helping a bit too.

Yesterday Hubby and I ran in the NAVY 10 km race over at Stadacona.  Well, he ran the 10km, I ran the 5km.  He finished 96th for the 10, I finished 109 for the 5.  I'm very happy and proud of both of us!  Considering the year of health that Hubby went through, and the lack of overall motivation to run myself, we both did very well.

One more week until Smarty has another birthday, Hubby had his the day after we moved.  Daddy got a nerf gun.  We had a flurry of darts flying around the house, aimed at people and things, now the guns aren't working and I'm still finding darts all over the place.  Never dull here!  We're going to have just family here on Smarty's big day and have a friend party later in September when his friends from school will be around. And he's requested home made tortellini for dinner, so we're going to have to start that relatively soon.  We'll likely make them and freeze them in a couple of batches to break up the work involved to creating enough for everyone to eat.

I found a new bread recipe that seems to work better in the humidity here.  It's very tasty, but very different from the one I had been using.  And more labour intense.  But it doesn't crumble when you look at it, and it slices nicely.  All the criteria I needed.  I made up a peach pie that turned out yummy, even though the crust burned at the edges and the bottom was a bit soggy.  Just means I need to make a few more pies to perfect it, right?

We've been very lucky with the weather this summer so far.  Especially these first three weeks in August.  More sunny days than rainy ones, less fog (although that could simply be from being on this other side of the hill).  The last couple of days have been cooler, more wet, hints of the autumn that is on it's way.  I wouldn't say it's here yet, but getting closer.

I love hearing the birds in the back.  We have more trees here, more variety of birds, Smarty says he's found a den of what he thinks are raccoon in the back yard.  There are lots of people with dogs on the street so the kids are getting to know some of them.  Always friendly with those.

We have a few beach days left of the summer.  This Sunday is one for the MFRC at Shearwater and it looks like the weather is supposed to cooperate for it.  Then next Friday is one for one of Hubby's new units so we get to hang out for that too.  I'm really looking forward to both, they are at MacDonald Beach and it's really a great location for kids.  Nice lake, little park, they always have games and prizes, BBQ.  Lots of fun.

Friday, July 25, 2014

busy in the sun

It's been a fun week here! Sunshine, neighbour kids over, pool filled, sprinklers, freezies, and a trip to the beach (a lake this time).  Packing, cleaning, trying to stay on top of regular mess and moving mess, each day trying to pack at least one box.  I went through the kids' closets and drawers.  I have decided that the girls have WAY TOO MANY shirts especially.  I haven't been brave enough to cull them, but that'll happen.  When I can't really close their drawer, I think it's a problem.

There have been an awful lot of cute around.  Monkey is talking more and more, and being understood (which is HUGE!).  She loves her "suit" and "pooh" which is her bathing suit and swimming diapers (some of which have Winnie the Pooh on them).  It was so adorable when I put her in the bath after one particularly sunny day outside and I saw the little tan line from her bathing suit.  Girlie has one too, and it is great to see that they are enjoying the sun when we have it.  

Something Hubby does occasionally at supper time is give the kids the "game plan" for how the rest of the evening will be going down.  So a couple of times this week, Smartie has asked what the morning game plan was.  The first time was Wednesday morning right before I poured my first cup of coffee.  So I sat told everyone to sit in the living room, walked past my coffee, then turned back around saying that coffee was the game plan.  That was followed by a lot of "EWW, I don't like coffee!"  I just smiled and said that was good, because I wasn't sharing any with them ;)

So I sat down and went through what had to be done, I wanted to get done, what I expected from them.  And I told them that they had some input in the order of things.  I was going to go grocery shopping first then get the kids to put laundry away.  Smartie wanted to put laundry away first.  By all means, kiddo!  

They all have been really good this week.  When they saw me boxing up extra blankets they got a bit anxious, but that disappeared quickly when I explained that the box was going to the new house and not the second hand store.  There are some things to be dropped off, but not those blankets.  

Well, I've likely lounged enough this morning.  I woke up so tired and with a headache.  After everyone had their breakfast I turned on the TV and came back upstairs to lie down.  Wasn't planning on sleeping, but I drifted off for a half hour or so.  Woke with a start, then decided to answer emails and blog.  Glad I did.  First cup of coffee is almost done, the tylenol I took seems to be working, so I think I might be ready to get moving.  Good thing the only deadlines I have are the self imposed ones.  It'll all get done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

and again

I have been so slack on updating here!  Good news is that we've been busy, enjoying sunshine when we have it, baking and crafting when we don't.  Hubby's dad  and step mom came out for a visit the first part of this month so we took a break from regular life for a little while and did some more sight seeing.  back to Peggy's Cove, this time watching a fog bank roll in, various parks and beaches, and three days in Prince Edward Island.  That was such a fun trip!  We loved, loved, loved it. It'll likely be a regular trip for as long as we find ourselves in Nova Scotia.

The boys finished off their school year strong.  For the last few weeks of school they did an alphabet countdown.  Each day was a different letter, so they had "wish day" for w and wrote down a wish, g was wearing green, i was for ice cream.  They had fun with it :)

Girlie is excited to have only one more year until she's in kindergarten, and she's practicing her letters.  She's getting really really good too.  She writes her name pretty well, and her fine motor skills are incredible!  Yesterday she was practicing being a civil engineer.  Grabbed a box and made herself a kitty house out of it, figuring our what to do to prevent it from falling down.

Monkey is really good at being a monkey.  In the last month or so though her speaking has really picked up!  I can sort of understand her and she is liking being understood more.  She's also becomming more affectionate with Daddy.  There are times it gets weird, simply because no one is used to her being this way.  This morning she gave Dad a hug before he left the living room to go to the door, again at the door, as soon as he was out the door she ran to give him another, he had to come back after putting his bag in the car to give her another one.  And another one.  Very cute.  Good thing he's learned to give himself plenty of time so these extra hugs don't make him late for work!

We have been busy with other things as well.  We received word a while ago that our landlords are posting back and we'd need to find other lodging, so we are moving at the end of this month.  Slowly packing and cleaning, culling and sorting.  Last night Hubby dropped off our extra crib (we have no one in a crib now!!  Eek!) to a friend who had twins a couple months ago.  Sad to see it go, glad it's still getting used.  Came across our two snugglies, two baby gates, a couple prenatal books.  Those are going to have to either find new homes or be recycled somewhere.

The three older children are at VBS this week.  To take advantage of it and to use it as motivation, I have been doing more, telling myself that the time frame is just what I need to get stuff done.  Monday I moved the oven and the fridge and washed under/behind them, washed the floor, did some laundry, made bread.  Yesterday I got groceries, packed a box from the kitchen, made a cookie bar (so, SO yummy!).  Today I am packing up what I hope will be the last of the books, the winter stuff, more laundry, and maybe some board games.  I want to pack the craft things but I'm pretty sure we'll be using them quite a bit in the next two weeks.

So if anyone would like our new mailing address, I can email it to you.  It's in a different school zone, but I have filled out the cross boundaries to keep the boys in the same school.  It just means that I'll be driving the boys to school everyday instead of walking.  And with Girlie in preschool three mornings a week this fall I will be doing more driving.  But that's alright.  There's a putting green in our new back yard, a clothes line, and fewer toilets to clean.  And the way that the interior is set up it's going to be great for entertaining.  As much as we don't want to have to move, it'll be good to get set up again, see how furniture will work best in the new space.  More changes, but enough that will stay the same so it won't be a huge adjustment.

Enough for now.  Thanks to those patient people who put up with my extremely infrequent posting.  Again, I will try to keep up better but know that I will get it eventually ;)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

parent teacher interviews and crafts

I have pictures to post!  But I won't be putting them on right now.  I'll see about doing those later today. 

We are one week in from Hubby's second absence this spring.  He made it home from workups in one piece, came home a whole day early and surprised us all.  We had three full, amazing days with him then dropped him off at the airport for Borden.  One week down, four to go! 

Where the girls in particular took April hard, they seem to be settling back to their normal personalities now.  In more recent days and weeks it's Sergeant who is acting out more and finding it harder to adjust.  But we have our calendars up, putting a sticker on each day that passes until Daddy is home.  That seems to be helping.  And the good news is that apparently these are the last set of courses he'll need from Borden for a while.

I had parent teacher interviews with the boys' teachers this week and they are doing great.  Well adjusted, wonderful to have in the school, great friends, responsible.  Everything a mom wants to hear about her children :) And they are right where they should be academically, if not a bit ahead. 

My time out from reading has held!  The house work still isn't getting as done as I'd like, but it isn't as bogging down as when I ignore the state of affairs in the house. 

When the kids play outside so much (happily a lot in the last couple of weeks) they've started asking if they can play café.  That means I fill a pitcher with water and bring it and some cups out onto the deck as well as cookies or fruit or muffins and they have snack.  They started out serving each other but now it's more of a self serve set up.  Seems like it was Sergeant's idea to begin with so he called it Sergeant's Café.  This was all well and good until Smarty wanted to have a turn having it named after him.  I broke in before it got ugly and suggested Mac Café, since it was Momma who was baking and cooking.  They all thought that was a great idea.  So now I have an idea floating around in my head about making a sigh with that name and framing it either for the kitchen or dining room.

I'm loving the brief time with sunshine, learning to take advantage of it because we know the rainy foggy days are coming too.  Seems like those still outnumber the sunshiny days, but it's nice getting that break.  I have had the windows open more this last week.  Loving the fresh air!

After stocking up on new markers, coloured paper, and stickers a couple weeks ago I'm being driven crazy!  I love that the kids help themselves to the craft supplies, that's why we have them.  But having little pieces of paper all over (because you have to cut out your pictures, right?) and markers and crayons not put away when they are done, and then them complaining that they weren't finished yet when I put it away when they've left the table like that for more than a half hour...  Sigh.  I'm not really complaining though ;)  Girlie has gotten really, really good with scissors, their imaginations are incredible!  Then they sometimes make puppets, then do little puppet shows, yesterday they built a fort in the living room with chairs and blankets (without any instruction from me!).  It's very cool.

But I should probably sigh off now.  This post has taken forever to write because of child and life interruptions, but I'll make the attempt to do another one in the next few days

Saturday, April 12, 2014


It's raining.  Again.  I know I shouldn't be surprised, and I am very glad it isn't the white fluffy stuff that (apparently) we had much more of this year than usual.  (Funny side note: every place we move to has a bad winter at least for the first one we're there for.  First winter in Saskatoon they had the worst blizzard in 50 years, first winter in Spruce Grove had the coldest, highest snowfall in years, and now here.  If weather hadn't been off all around the country, I'd think we are jinxed!)

We've made it through the week.  And I think we've even made progress!  Every time we went to go out Girlie would throw a fit.  Yelling and screaming that she doesn't want to leave the house.  Just wants to stay home.  I totally get that, but she's my little social butterfly normally and having her yell and scream and sometimes try to hit me (NOT tolerated in this house!) was very trying at times.  But we went on a playdate after school Thursday and she was fine (as long as we remembered to bring banana muffins to share).  We went for a walk in the beautiful sunshine, found salamanders, worms, little sleeping frogs, wood peckers, heard mourning doves, the Sea Kings flew really close by a few times, and puddles were splashed in.  Then when I dropped the girls off at casual care so I could attend the coffee group, there was no fuss from either of them!  They walked in, took boots off, coats off, shoes on, kisses goodbye, and left!  I was in shock!!

This week has been a busy one.  I had to put myself on a novel reading time out, since things just weren't getting done and in this house with these children, that isn't a good thing.  Things don't just add up, they grow exponentially!  The laundry, the toys, the books, the dishes, food really should be planned and cooked, otherwise that balanced (or mostly balanced) diet just doesn't happen.  So after we had that big rain on Tuesday where I did read all day, the novels have been put away and I've been doing really well!  Stayed on top of tidying (after playing catch up), actually made meals instead of thinking that canned soup would work.  Again.  Nothing wrong with the soup, though...

We have had palydates after school twice, so I planned the meals so that they would either be ready when we got home (LOVE crockpot meals!) or for pick up.  Yesterday we just got some hot and ready pizzas from Little Caesar's.  And then I got to go out last night for a board games evening with friends.  So I got a sitter and got to play Clue for the first time in what seems like forever.  I remember playing with Hubby when we bought the game back in Calgary (wow, was that really 5 years ago!) but before that, the last time I had played was with my sisters years ans years ago.  I can remember laying on our parents' water bed, playing the game, fighting over who got to be Ms Scarlet...

Hubby had the chance to call us yesterday.  Maybe that's why I'm in such a good mood despite the rain.  It was wonderful to hear his voice instead of only emailing, but even the emailing has been nice.  They are in Charleston, two days off, then more work again.  13 more sleeps until he's here!  Wish it would be for longer, but at least we'll have those couple of days.

My children are a bunch of turkeys!  Regular goof balls.  And I love it!  They try to sneak attack (they aren't very good at it yet), tickle fights, and just being silly.  It's great.

Monkey actually sort of has a few words!  I am so excited about that.  You can tell that she wants to be understood better and is sorta kinda trying harder.  But she still makes herself understood without words.  Very well.

Smarty and Sergeant are taking their role of boys of the house very seriously.  Every morning they are in my room with me, making sure I'm not lonely, and Smarty has offered on more than one occasion to stay up later with me for the same reason.  And as long as it doesn't interfere with what they are already doing (they have the same reading addiction I have.  So does Hubby for that matter, although he can usually put the book down...) they will accomplish the tasks I ask them to with minimal fuss.

But I should probably start the day.  We've already breakfasted (tasty pancakes!) and my coffee is almost done, so I should likely shower and get moving.  Need some groceries, would love to go for a walk but I don't think that'll happen in the rain right now...  I don't mind it, but I don't like hearing the complaints.  We'll have to see what the afternoon will bring.  I may brave it yet.  And hopefully we'll get a chance to Skype with Daddy.  That would be beyond awesome  :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

One week down!

One full week in!  Yay!!  I've had a few emails from Hubby since he's left, they are doing well, everything is on schedule as far as I know.  And they are keeping really, really busy, so that's good.

For us, it's been up and down.  Girlie has been having a rough go of it, adjusting to Daddy being gone.  A lot more tantrums, even more volatile emotions, but I can see progress being made.  All the kids have been ending up in my room with me by 6am every day so far, and I've noticed a correlation between the amount of time the girls spend in my bed and their grumpiness during the day.  I'm working even harder to get them to stay in their own room as much as possible during the night.  The boys (Smarty in particular) likes to bring his pillow and blanket and stay on the floor beside the bed to keep me company so I don't get lonely.  Sergeant will do that too if the bed is occupied by the girls.  This morning he came in before Girlie, so got to snuggle with me.  Everyone misses Daddy, but we're doing well, I think.  Overall better adjusted than the last time he was away this long.  It helps that we get to see him for a day or two in the middle before he heads off to Borden for courses.  Another benefit this time is that we've started making more connections with the people here, and so are getting more and more support.

Yesterday, while we were driving, Girlie started talking about dinosaurs.  Not that uncommon a topic in our family, but she was saying how the largest dinosaur was/is the Nautilus and it has super long sharp teeth!  "Do you know how big they are, Mommy?  100 meteors!  Almost as big as my pinky!"  Now for those who know what a Nautilus is, you know that they are not huge, they are a cephalopod that has been around since the dinosaurs (at least that's what I remember.  You can read about them here).  She is such a funny girl!

Girlie and Monkey have been playing puppy a lot this week, with Monkey being the puppy.  I keep hearing "Come on, Jemimia!  You're such a cutie!" (we have friends who's dog is named Jemima) So Monkey goes around on her hands and knees, licking everything!  I really wish she would understand when I tell her that her tongue shouldn't be licking what she's licking!  Building her immune system, right?

I am so excited about the boys' reading!  Sergeant has been starting to pick up chapter books, and I love watching them sit, learn, and explore other worlds, other realities.  We've done painting (kept Girlie's attention better than anyone else's!) and posters have been drawn and coloured.

I've been getting the boys to do more around the house too.  Dishes, sweeping, putting laundry away, giving them a task and just letting them do it is so satisfying, especially when they do a great job at it!  We had a super lazy week last week, I couldn't seem to get my nose out of a book or three, so we had to catch up on Saturday.  When I let them know what was going to happen and the time frame it needed to happen in, they were more than competent at getting it all done.  With minimal fighting too!

We have another rain fall warning on for tomorrow, so today we're going to prepare.  New boots for some, new splash pants for others, another umbrella or two.  Our stereo died Saturday so I'll be finding a replacement for it today too.  I'm so old fashioned, I'm still using CD's and I know it's going to be more and more difficult to find one that plays them.  I'm up for the challenge, though!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Puttering along

Two days in on this sail, and things are about as on par as I thought.  There were a few casualties Monday, a paper airplane thrown by Sergeant knocked down a figurine and smashed it.  Smarty broke a glass while washing dishes (at least he was cleaning, right?).  Monkey hollered and hollered until I started singing one of the hymns Daddy always sings to the girls at bedtime.  He may not be her "preferred" parent, but she is certainly fairly attached to him in her own way.

Last night was an easier bedtime, fewer stalling tactics from the boys, Monkey fell asleep in my arms during story time, Smarty cried a bit because he wishes Daddy didn't have to be away for so long, but it didn't last long.  The girls didn't sleep well, as a result I didn't sleep well.  But I can nap and go to bed early if I want.  So that's something.

Yesterday was a very lazy day.  Spent it reading and cuddling.  This storm that blew through was not what I needed.  Especially after the last one that was only a couple days earlier!  Lots of shoveling and salt (since it's all ice under the snow).  But today I think I'm going to be back on track.  Keeping busy, baking, cleaning, that's what I want to have today.  I'll feel better if I do anyway, and it's always nice to have even a little bit to show for your work at the end of the day.  Plus I want to start a couple of projects and some tidying needs to be done before I do that.

I'll write more anecdote stuff either later tonight or tomorrow, but for now I wanted to let everyone know that we're doing alright, planning ahead, and looking forward to Hubby coming home on the 25th.  23 more sleeps!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Change is the new normal

We have a 6 year old in the house!!  Wednesday was the big day, and he was thrilled when he opened his gifts of a fart gun (yes, you read that correctly) and a magic loom.  The fart gun lights up and makes farting noises when you pull the trigger (thanks to the minions of Despicable Me for that!) and the Magic Loom loops small elastics together to makes rings, bracelets, and necklaces.  The two things he'd been talking about for the last few months were finally in his possession, and he is loving them!

We had a cake and movie night that night, birthday party will be tomorrow with some school friends, and he is so excited.  This morning we went to the dollar store to pick up goodies for the loot bags.  So much fun!

More big changes here.  Hubby finished his course, had this week off for leave, and then a week from Monday he'll be sailing again on the Halifax from the 31st to the 25th.  After that he flies from here to Borden from the 27th of April to the 31st or so of May.  At least this time he'll be home for a day or two in the middle!

Last Saturday was busy and fun.  We got Girlie into a big girl bed (yay, because now she can get snuggies in her own bed!), moved Monkey into a toddler bed (yay, because now I don't have to get out of bed when she starts crying at night, she can just crawl into bed with me), got our spare room set up downstairs, and we picked up and set up a new bed frame for Hubby and I.  Saturday night was absolutely horrible, but the nights after that seem to be much better.  I think we're all sleeping better now too.

It's been neat this last couple of weeks listening to the kids.  Smarty is getting so big and responsible, and super creative.  Last night Sergeant picked out a book to read before bed and I was going to just read it, but Smarty asked if he could sing it.  So I told him to go ahead.  He made up a little tune to sing the story to and did great.  Held the attention of the other three.

Sergeant has broken out into random songs lately.  Usually this one or this one and then those songs get stuck in everyone's heads.  And he'll stand on the hearth, jump up and down, singing his heart out.  Girlie gets into it, Monkey starts dancing along, Hubby and I smile at each other.

Blankets all over the girls' room floor as they play at putting stuffed animals and dolls to sleep.  Moving the rocking chair, stools, pillows, they get little aprons on when they see me getting mine on so they can "help".  Monkey is starting to rock the wardrobe changes.  Girlie used to do it, need to change her clothes if they got wet or dirty.  Monkey just has to see another pair of pants and she'll try to take the ones she's wearing off and put the new ones on.  Lots and lots of laundry.

Our snow is nearly gone, I've been hearing bird song that I haven't heard in t few months, but the wind is still quite chilly.  Yesterday was raining, pouring even, all day long.  No letting up, river running down our street.  Made me glad we live on a hill and there is no water in the basement!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Break

The museum was so much fun!  They had the new exhibit up and running (bugs), and there was an Australian area that wasn't there before.  We saw a kangaroo, breaded dragons, blue tongued skinks, and there was a man playing a didgeridoo.  So awesome!

We filled Monday with painting, practicing our sorting by sorting laundry and sorting toys to put away.  Tuesday was filled with a morning play date, cowboy cookies, blueberry bread pudding with a toffee sauce that Hubby did (sinfully good!).  Yesterday I decided to make tortellini.  Yup, you read that right.  I used the spinach we had in our fridge (with Parmesan cheese) for the filling and the boys helped seal and form them.  Now they don't want to go back to dry pasta!  I think that's awesome.

Today we went to a friend's for tea and cookies in the morning and came home for lunch and naps.  While my two angelic and very tired girls were sleeping, the boys and I got busy.  We started washing floors, doing dishes, sweeping, cleaning, putting books and toys away.  At least the ones on the main floor.  The basement is still a mess of cars, blocks, pillows, and dolls.  When Girlie woke up she had to help wash the living room floor too.  And the boys helped sort more laundry.  Since that really is a never ending job.

All in all, it's been a busy, fun, and fast March break.  Tomorrow Smarty will be making cookies, I'll be making a peanut butter pie, and we'll make another trip to the library.  The girls have really enjoyed having the brothers home all day.  And that they can have their nap and not have to be woken up to pick the boys up from school.  I mentioned to Girlie that preschool was on for next week and she just started saying that she couldn't go to preschool because she was too tired.  Poor girl didn't hear when I said next week, I guess.

Tuesday night Hubby decided to grab an ice cube and put it down Smarty's pants.  Lots of giggling, more ice cubes, Smarty grabbed some, Sergeant grabbed some, Girlie got involved.  They kept it going for quite a while.  Then Wednesday afternoon Smarty decided to get it going again with Sergeant, and then again at bedtime yesterday.  Good thing ice cubes are renewable!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A sunny afternoon

So, last night's post was written because I decided that I needed to, not because I felt like writing.  It felt disjointed for me to write, and I'm sure it wasn't the most enjoyable to read.  But now I'm feeling like writing, so this one should be better :)

This morning I decided that whomever decided that there should be no school the week following the time change was brilliant!  The plus side is that the kids didn't wake up until 7, the downside is that we were pushing it to get to church on time this morning.  But we did make it. Of course.  We are a well oiled machine of cooperative parenting.

As I was thinking of ways to fill the week and keep the kids occupied and involved I came to the conclusion that I was going to let Smarty make our bread this week.  It's a (nearly) foolproof recipe and I think he'll enjoy it.  He does like participating in the kitchen and will sometimes ask me if I'll trade him my washing dishes for his sweeping the dining room.  I think I want to nurture that more.  All of them already have some input on our meal plans, but it'll be good getting them slowly more involved in reading and following recipes and seeing first hand how a meal comes together.

And I'm sure we'll have our fill of painting, play dough, dolls, and building.  The tent will likely come up this week too.  And we'll try to fill it with play dates and outside time.  I hope this hint of spring we've been glimpsing will stay long enough to get to some parks and maybe some longer walks.

This afternoon I think we're going to make it out to the museum (Yay!) and then play the rest of the week one day at a time, see what play dates solidify.  And weather seems to be fickle, so that'll have a lot of bearing on what we do.

Right now it's gorgeous out, Girlie and Daddy are starting to stir as I send the boys outside to play.  Time to gear up and roll to the museum!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

getting dressed

It's been a good week.  Today we wanted to get out and see the school that Daddy has been doing his course at, so we loaded up and drove out.  Beautiful drive, started to rain, saw alot of the ocean, discovered new roads along the sea front, pretty little houses, quaint little shops. 

Today I've been very grateful in my codirector of parenting.  At lunch Sergeant asked how babies came out of the mommy's belly.  I told him I'd answer after nap time, Hubby looked over and told him straight that they go through the vagina.  Sergeant just looked incredulous from Dad to me and said "No, they don't."  So Hubby just told him that he was too young to understand how or why, but that was the truth.  I'm still not sure he believes it.  Hubby told me later that it was up to me to tell him how the babies get in the belly to start with!

And at bedtime, as I was sitting in the girls' room, I heard the boys asking what the word "redeem" means.  I didn't really get a chance to hear the response, but I am grateful that the kids are asking these questions.  It means we're doing our jobs well as parents.

We have had kitties, puppies, girls playing house, boys reading, library visits, tasty dinners, yummy baking.  We have spring break coming up this week and I'm not sure who's most excited about it, the girls, the boys, or mommy.  Daddy has leave coming the week after, and that's when Sergeant turns 6.  EEK!

Monkey is dressing herself.  She has decided that I'm not allowed to put her pants on or pick out her clothes.  I "flat" her pants, lay them on the floor up right so she can pull her legs through, and she pulls them up.  Then I help her pull them over her diaper.  Then she stands on tippy toes to dig in her shirt drawer and then I leave her room.  She finds me a few minutes later after not being able to put her shirt on by herself and gets me to help her.  It's very cute, and it seems to have cut down on the fight that usually happens when I try to hog tie her down to clothe her.

I'm really looking forward to this next week off from school.  No rushing around, nap time whenever we need it, no waking the girls up to pick up the boys.  It's going to be very nice!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Little things

There have been   a few moments in the last while that have made me think "I need to write that one down!".  And then I forget.  So here are a couple of them while they are on my mind.

First, this morning after bringing everyone who needs to be at school to school I came home with Monkey and did a half hour on our elliptical (kijiji is wonderful!).  When we went up so I could shower I set her up on my bed with books and the leap pad.  Since those are things that would have kept the others occupied while I was busy.  Halfway through, the bathroom door opened and I peeked out to see those bright blue eyes looking up at me.  Okay, not the first time she's decided to check in while I'm in there.  But when I turned off the water and grabbed my towel, I saw her by the toilet, pants off, diaper still on (thank HEAVENS!), new diaper on the floor, toilet seat up.  She really, REALLY wanted to sit on the toilet.  This is by far the earliest any of our kids has wanted so strongly to be on the toilet.  If she's serious about this, she could be fully toilet trained by the time she's 2!  That's huge!

Yesterday the girls had a lot of fun with their toys.  Violet, Girlie's Leap Frog puppy, was carted around with a pull-up on, blankets, she tried to put her favourite pants on it, three of the puppy stuffies had a nap on the girls' room floor and we all had to be quiet so we didn't wake them up.  It was very cute.

Yesterday I received a phone call from the school to tell me that Smarty had taken a header on the play ground and scraped his nose and a bit of his forehead.  He enjoyed retelling what exactly had happened and he always starts off saying that he and two of his friends were rough housing.  Yup.  That is a frequently used word in this house!

Sergeant had his first "naturally lost" tooth!  Saturday night I pulled it out and the new one is already popping through.  No sigh of his other top tooth, but I'm sure it'll be there before too long.  His other one seems to have come in nicely.

Some time last week, I heard Girlie head into the bathroom, singing to herself.  Then I hear her voice get louder as she announces to me "I think I'm big enough to pee standing up, Mom".  So I rushed to the bathroom to see her just putting herself in position in front of the toilet.  I quickly turned her around and got her sitting down, while explaining that she doesn't really have the right anatomy for peeing standing up.  Didn't get into the fact that there are women who have accomplished this feat, just that, because her bits don't stick out (I used proper names, we always have.  Just don't want to type them here...) she won't likely be able to even consider trying for quite some time.  She just looked at me and told me she wanted boy parts.  Didn't want to be a boy, just wanted the parts so she could pee standing up too.  Five minutes later she was dancing and twirling, talking about how she wants to be a kitty cat when she grows up.  That's my happy girl!  Think big, Sweetheart!

With another birthday nearly upon us, the boys sat down yesterday after school to write down a list of children Sergeant would like to have over.  Turns out, he wants his whole class!  Told him that it was too many people and we would narrow it down by the time we do invitations.  Next we'll do cake and game planning.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Morning lazy

So I decided to give the blog a bit of a face lift.  I like it!

Sunday morning, kids had early breakfast (because they are always up early) and now are watching a bit of cartoons so Mom and Dad can be a little lazy.  Hubby finally updated his blog (YAY) and I thought I would too.

It's odd for me to be sitting on the couch with the tv on downstairs, listening to the quiet followed by chuckles at whatever the Cat in the Hat is doing.  We used to have it on more, now we've moved away from it as the older kids are getting older.  These poor girls don't get near as much screen time as their brothers did!

We've had an absolute;y beautiful last day and a half but it's grey again today.  Warmer, but no sun.  I think I'd take the sunshine and colder weather over this.  But we're supposed to get a bit more snow too, so that should be fun.

We had an amazing supper last night!  For Christmas the kids got a new cookbook that they have been going through off and on, but one of the meals they wanted back in January we never got around to making so we did that yesterday.  Tasty pasta casserole that we adapted for what we had in the kitchen. It was supposed to only have the pasta, cauliflower, and ham in a cheesy garlicky white sauce.  I added some broccoli, used mozzarella cheese instead of the sharp (just because it's what we had.  The sharp would have added a kick to it), completely forgot about the Parmesan, and put it a bit of powdered mustard instead of Dijon. It was very, very good.  Sergeant wasn't fond of the broccoli (he loves broccoli soup, really dislikes simply cooked broccoli), Girlie didn't like the cauliflower, but they ate it, because that is what they need to do.

Then there were games brought up.  Our friend Coastal Transplant came over for supper and visiting so the boys wanted to play games with her while Daddy ran a bath for the girls.  We had Zingo (Bingo with a ZING!) and Candyland.  Bathtimes, teeth, then bed, with Hubby and I playing cards a bit longer with Coastal Transplant and chatted a while before she headed home.

Well, Girls are starting to loose focus on the cartoons now.  They are dressed now (in matching pink dresses) and I should get moving so we don't fall behind before church.  Plus I'll need to take a bit more time for another cup of coffee :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A free moment

I know I just posted last night, but the timing of my morning has been such that I have time and leisure to write more again today.  The hot water in our house has been a brownish-orange colour for a while so I called our property managers about it.  This morning it is being replaced :)  Great thing about renting through a property management company!  Since I got distracted in the girls' room yesterday in my cleaning I didn't wash the floors, so when I got home from dropping boys off at school and Girlie off at preschool I started getting the floors ready for scrubbing.  Before I filled the bucket, though, the utility van pulled up and he turned the water off.  So I'll be doing dishes and floors later today,  and instead I am sitting at the kitchen table with snack and coffee, going to write.  Then tackle the girls' clothes.  Going through too small stuff and putting away the clean clothes I did yesterday.

For the last two mornings all I've wanted to do was curl up with my coffee and not move.  Not because I'm sad, although there is more than likely still alot of that kicking around in my mind, but because I want to be lazy.  It must be contagious since Sergeant has had a difficult time getting out the door for school these last two mornings too. 

Last night I made a fun "kitty cat" hat for Girlie for preschool, and the others want one too now, so there has been construction paper, scissors, crayons, and glue sticks around the diningroom and kitchen.  And I'm loving the creativity!  Smarty made a blue fin tuna, both boys were making and decorating cupcakes (complete with cherry on top!), Monkey was of course scribbling on paper not to be left out.

When I showered this morning I came out to see the kids pretending to paint themselves with hair elastics.  And there were blankets covering the livingroom floor as a basket for kittens (the kids being the kittens). Messy but fun.

It's really easy to get bogged down here.  With the cloudy weather and the insane cost of living, it's not hard for this prairie family to get to missing "home".  We keep busy and trundle along, though.  This last weekend was absolutely gorgeous so we walked along the pier, took in some sunshine and fresh air.  Sunday we left for church early and drove along the ocean for a bit.  Windows down, salty air blowing into the van.  It was refreshing. 

I am really looking forward to the boys' no school day tomorrow.  Their first one since Christmas break.  And then one more week until Spring Break!  Hubby is doing a course here, started Monday and it goes for three weeks, but because of the way the course is run, he's been able to come home earlier in the day!  I've really enjoyed that, and so has he. 

But I guess I'd better get busy here before having to go pick Girlie up.   Hopefully when I get back, the water heater will be completely installed and I'll have water again!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

more adjusting

Another couple of weeks that seemed to fly before I could get to sit down and write.  Hubby got some compassionate leave starting on the 12th so he could stay home with the kids while I flew back to Alberta for my sister in law's funeral.  I was very grateful to have the chance to be there and spend time with some family.  Heartbreaking. 

Flew back home on the 16th, coming in at 10:30pm, with Hubby leaving for a short sail the next morning.  So we are now trying to get to normal, whatever "normal" is. 

As far as the kids go, it's more of the same.  Growing like weeds, getting smarter everyday.  Sergeant is becoming so confident in his reading, Smarty has been practicing reading out loud, which we've noticed has helped in his speech and how clear his regular speaking is understood. 

Girlie has been up and down, very happy then horribly upset and about nothing in particular.  Yesterday the world was ending because I only brought my own water bottle when I picked her up instead of hers.  Nevermind the fact that when I bring hers she only wants to drink from mine anyway.  Grr.  But that should settle as we get used to life again.  So many changes so quickly with me leaving and then Hubby so quickly after.

But now we're all home, all settling.  Smarty is going to a birthday party this weekend, Sergeant has his next birthday in three weeks.  Eek!  So he's staring to plan what he would like for food, cake, people, games.  Smarty is trying to help and encourage the guest list to include some kids from his class.  Sorry, but this is your brother's birthday, not yours!

This last Sunday we hosted a baby shower for a colleague of Hubby's.  A itty bitty little girl, so small and light.  The kids had a blast blowing balloons up, trying to tidy the floor, eating food.  And holy cow, there was alot of food!  Good to connect with other people too.  And talk baby.  Because everyone loves babies!

Something has come up in trying to get to the root of some behaviour we've been seeing in the kids.  When asked why there has been more anger, more meanness, our poor Sergeant said that it was because he missed the prairies and could we please pray for Alberta and Saskatchewan because "I just miss them so much!"  It was heartbreaking, but allowed us to open the conversation about why we're here and how long we can probably expect to be here before a more western posting.  After a couple nights of talking about this, they seem to be better.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Roller Coaster Ride

It's been a week of ups and downs.  Last Friday Hubby and I met with the oncologist to get results for some blood work and the CT scan.  We were elated to find that everything was clear, no signs of cancer anywhere else.  So from here he has blood work every three months, a CT scan every six months, and of course self checks every month and come back in if something starts feeling "not right".

Yesterday morning my sister in law (brother's wife) died from her battle with lymphoma.  Just under two years ago she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma while pregnant with their second child.  They went through treatments, delivered a healthy baby girl, then more treatments and was declared cancer free just before Christmas 2012.  Last May she was back in hospital and found that it had returned and returned with a vengeance.  Both Hodgkins and non-hodgekins this time.  She did stem cell treatments, they raised money for further chemo, but with infections in the lungs, pneumonia, and other difficult hurdles, she was let go.  And will be sorely, horribly missed.

So that has been the big up and then down.  Other than that, I think things are doing pretty well.  Smarty had a referral to the speech language worker through the school for an assessment and we were told that, aside from remembering to breathe and slow down, his issues are all developmental so they'll get better as he gets older.

Sergeant was "Star of the Week" a couple weeks back (they take turns) and so yesterday he brought home a booklet made up of pictures and sentences from the class about his "About Me" poster.  And he and Smarty went over to a friend from school's house for a couple of hours after school Thursday without me, so they were feeling all grown up!

Girlie has decided that lipstick is THE THING and has begged me to buy her some.  So I picked up some lip smackers for her.  Monkey thinks it's awesome too.  The plus side of this is that it's encouraging me to wear lipstick more.  The down side is that Hubby doesn't really like to kiss me with it on :( And trying to find a balance between acknowledging that make up can help you feel good but it isn't necessary to make you beautiful.  Already these problems!  I was hoping for waiting until they were a bit older before it happened!

Monkey is starting to communicate with word-type sounds!  This is so exciting!  And since the last of her teeth have decided to come in, she's a bit less grumpy!  Yay!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Teleportation and follow the leader

Many of you may have experienced this.  Either with children or with pets.  For some unknown reason, you cannot be in the bathroom with the door closed.  I've given up when I'm home alone with the girls.  This morning it wasn't me that was interrupted.  It was Hubby.  In the ensuite.

Now he'd already been in there for a bit and no one noticed.  Then I went into our room to see if I could convince Monkey to have an early morning nap since she'd decided that 4:30 was a good time to start her day.  So I laid down with her, Sergeant wanted to lay beside me too and hear me sing, then Girlie came into the room too.

"Mom, where's Daddy?"
"In the bathroom." I say
She turns and bangs on the door "Dad, are you in there?"
"Nope" Dad replies.
"Daddy, what are you doing in there?"
"What do we do in the bathroom, Girlie?"
"Go pee and poop.  Are you peeing and pooping, Daddy?"
"Nope, I'm not in here"
She starts banging on the door even louder and harder.  Sergeant starts laughing and decides to join her.  So they are hitting the door, kicking, I'm reminding them to be gentle so the door doesn't break, Hubby is trying to convince them that there isn't, in fact, a secret tunnel leading out from the bathroom to parts unknown.  They eventually lose interest and decide to play in the bathtub in the other bathroom.  (I seriously don't see the draw to playing in a dry bathtub, but they can't seem to get enough of it).  When Hubby comes out of the bathroom he looks around, glances into the other bathroom.  Then he comes back into the bedroom, closes door to the ensuite, and lays down on the bed, back to the door.  A minute later Sergeant comes back into the bedroom, sees the door to the bathroom shut and tries to open it again.  Of course this time he's successful, but the light is off and there's no one in there so he closes the door and looks confused.  Hubby turns and asks who he's looking for.  The look on Sergeant's face was priceless!  "You teleported!?"

They go back out to tell Smarty what Daddy had done and while they were doing that, Hubby closed the door of the bathroom again, and this time hid on the floor on the far side of the bed.  They came back, looked int the bathroom, on the bed, in the other bathroom, starting to go down the hall, looking in bedrooms, and just as Hubby went to see if they were far enough away to let him hide someplace they'd already looked, they came back and saw him in the hallway.  "Daddy, where'd you go?"

And this turned into follow the leader.  Smarty and Sergeant followed right behind Hubby wherever he went, so he led them outside.  But they didn't go outside, they closed the door on him instead and came back to tell me, while chuckling to themselves, that they shut Daddy outside of the house.  Then they left him in the spare room downstairs.  It was a fun morning!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

crazy life

Our children are crazy.  I know every child has some form of it, but I'm not sure everyone would believe what happens in this home daily.  From house rules like "no light sabres at the table" to "kitty's need to pick up their toys", we have some real doozies!  

And I love the playfulness that surrounds us.  A few weeks ago, the kids were all up and playing nicely so Hubby and I were still laying in bed.  No one had asked for breakfast yet, no one was yelling or crying.  Rare moments.  Monkey came up and into our bed because she was feeling ignored by the parents.  So she was lifting our shirts, blowing raspberries on them, giggling like nothing on earth.  All of a sudden the room was overrun by ninjas!  

Two ninjas jumped into our room, arms and legs flailing, followed by the cutest pink poodle you've ever seen on all fours.  They may even have been singing "My Inner Ninja".  "Can we watch Kung Fu Panda?"  And the poodle saying "I'm a ninja puppy!"  Then one of them gator crawling along the bottom of the bed with such speed that we just looked at each other saying "did he really just do that?"

Or yesterday, they brought up their knight figures.  Complete with battering rams, catapults, and canons.  All four of them playing nicely.  Well, Monkey was more trying to eat the pieces, but still...

After meals it gets pretty loud here, too.  Smarty is usually done first, then Girlie decides she's done, then Sergeant, and by that time Monkey is very loudly indicating that she wants to be out of her chair too.  Then the chasing begins.  I can never really tell who starts it, but soon Sergeant and Monkey and Girlie are running around the table, down the hallway and back again, through the kitchen and around the table again.  Frequently Smarty is right in there too.  That's usually when we say "Go crazy downstairs!"

The weather has been so weird this month.  Even for the natives!  Heavy snow, rain, more rain, freezing, more rain, snow.  And now we have a blizzard warning on for tonight and tomorrow.  And it kinda bugs me that the kids have fewer outside recess days here than they did in Alberta in January.  

Tomorrow Hubby has his first visit with the oncologist, so I've arranged for our girls to be watched so I can go with him.  And his CT scan is on Monday, for those who'd like to know.  Just trundling along, finding out what the next steps are, if any.

This weekend I made a super tasty seafood lasagna.  Boiled some lobster tails to add to it.  And you know what?  It didn't bother me that the kids hardly touched it.  More for Hubby and I!  And yesterday I did up some white chocolate chip cranberry cookies.  Wow.  Just WOW!  The ones I did last time were peanut butter chocolate chip and I thought those were irresistibly good.  These ones are more so!  It is much more difficult to exercise that self control right now!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Three days in

Back to school and all that that entails!  Three days in and so far we've done pretty good.  Hubby started running again on Sunday so he's back at it.  For a brief note here: he stopped running in December because he had an orchiectomy.  There was an unknown mass in one of his testicles that had to be removed to find out what it was.  Followup appointment last Thursday confirmed that it was Seminoma, so now we are waiting on a CAT scan to see if it's spread anywhere or if it was contained.  Hopefully it was contained.

But Hubby started running again.  He's going slow and not as far as he'd like, especially since he is only 5 weeks post surgery.  But it's getting him out of the house and a bit more active and he's happy to be back at it, and it is helping us get back into a familiar routine.  Daddy gets up for his run, comes home to an awake house, and the day starts.  I don't think I'll ever get used to this time for dismissal, though. I really don't like having to wake the girls up from their naps, but that's the way it's done here.

The other night we were watching the news and there was a story about a  5 year old boy found dead in Saskatoon.  Poor Sergeant's ears perk up at hearing this and he said "A 5 year old boy in Saskatoon died?  Good thing it wasn't me!"  All I could do was hug him and tell him I was glad it wasn't him too.  Then last night he woke up in a panic saying he couldn't breathe. Yelling and crying, I rubbed Vicks on his chest to help clear his nose but he still wouldn't settle.  Finally I asked what else was wrong.  He had had a nightmare.  A bad dream where I died.  Poor guy!  So a cup of water and some prayers later and he slept soundly for the rest of the night.  But this morning when I asked him about his dreams he remembered what that one was.  He didn't tell me details, just asked for hugs and kisses.

Smarty is practicing reading out loud.  Part of their assignment this month is reading a book aloud to the class and answering questions about it.  As well their show and tell will be presenting a favourite toy and telling three things about it then answering three questions from the class.  Tonight he briefly mentioned that he should have practiced more.  He doesn't present his book until the 22nd and his show and tell is the 23rd.  Good that he wants to put the time into it!  He's taken to hiding beside the bed when Daddy is in the shower.  The idea is to sneak up and either scare Dad or attack with snuggles.  It's very cute and this morning when it backfired on him he was very disappointed. But there are always other opportunities!

Girlie has had a few days adjustment to Daddy being back at work.  I'm slowly moving my way back up in her favour.  I didn't do anything to fall from her grace, aside from simply not being her Dad.  She now has stopped pushing me away and laying at the far end of the bed, practically falling off to get away from me at nap time.  She'll pull me closer and tell me she loves me.  I'll never quite be up to where Hubby is, but I'll take what I can.  For as attached as the others are to me, I guess it's alright to have one firmly attached to him.  They all love him but Girlie takes it to a whole other level of affection.

Monkey is a regular monkey.  She's sleeping better (finally!) and she's kinda sorta trying to talk.  Okay, it's still mostly communication with squawks and squeals, but I can sometimes get her to mimic at least the starting sound of some words if no one is around.  But she is crazy smart!  She hears and understands everything and certainly knows what she does or doesn't want!  A couple evenings ago she was playing with Hubby after supper.  And not playing the way she normally does.  She was being cuddly and affectionate.  He was weirded out by that.  She usually yells at him, not pulling his face closer for kisses or climbing onto his lap for hugs.  She was back to normal today, so it may be a slow change.  She is trundling along well, though.

Yesterday I got the Christmas decorations down and into boxes.  Well, for the most part.  I"m sure I'll still be finding some things around for a few weeks if not months.  That's just the way it seems to go here.  And wow, the weather is funny!  Blizzard last Friday, sunny Saturday and Sunday, rain warning for Monday, then freezing up Tuesday and Wednesday so far.  Quite a bit of the snow we got on Friday is already gone from the sun followed by the crazy rain.  Then yesterday we had such loud wind!  Now I'm used to the prairie wind.  This is different.  Sounds and feels different than the 120 km winds of the chinooks.  Simply crazy.  But that's enough for now.