To Grandma’s house.

The last time the kids stayed at their grandparents for the weekend Oliver was a little under the weather. When he was there his grandma told him he could come for his very own sleepover to make up for it one day.

Yesterday was that day, and Oliver was so excited. I met Neil’s mom at my work so she could take Oliver home. On the twenty minute drive in, Oliver talked my ear off (which is his typical in-vehicle style). He was so excited to go to grandma’s for a sleepover all by himself, because “it’s the grandma that has a closet for me to sleep in!” It’s true, Oliver likes to sleep in their closet. With the closet doors shut even. It’s pretty funny. Over and over he chatted about how fun it would be on his sleepover and he kept saying “I’m so excited!” and sometimes he would say he would miss me because “I won’t have you, Mom” but then he’d be right back to saying how excited he was.

It’s very, VERY rare for our children to have one on one time with anyone, including us. Although we try to spend individual time with the kids, it’s just not entirely feasible a lot of the time, or occasions are few and far between. A trip to grandma’s house all by yourself is a very special treat.

I’m sure he’ll have the best time.

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My kids are getting bigger.

It’s happening so fast. Chubby cheeks and big bellies are fading away into long limbs and lean torsos. Everyone can talk now, can tell me what they need. Everyone sleeps all night, mostly. In the morning they make themselves and the littler ones toast, eat on their own, and clear their places when they’re done. We’re no longer ruled by “the baby needs to nap at…”, no longer breastfeeding, no longer changing diapers. Kids ride their bikes to the park on their own, and little ones take themselves to the bathroom on their own. Pants are getting shorter and legs are getting longer.

When I come home from work after midnight, I always peek into the bedrooms, look over each little face, and kiss soft cheeks. Lately my heart hurts over how big they’re getting. Everyone, but especially the baby.

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She’s closer to three than two now, and although having no babies is in one way so exciting, this next big phase in life, it’s also really sad. Although I’ve been avoiding it, soon she’ll be out of her crib, and into a bed. That crib has been in constant, continuous use, for nine years. I’m going to miss it. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I wish I could do it just one more time. I know everyone says it to you a million times over when you’re in the thick of babies and the exhaustion that comes with them, but it’s true: they’re tiny for such a little time.

It was a good run, my babies.

Rushing River Day 1: The day of many poops in many places.

After a year off, on Sunday we arrived at our ol’ faithful site 200 at Rushing River. The weather was perfect and everyone was feeling good. Set-up went off without a hitch; only a single profanity muttered. We cooked chili over the fire and ate it with corn muffins smothered in butter, toasted marshmallows, and then slept all night, everyone! (WHAT!)

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Monday was our first full day here and I christened it “The day of many poops in many places” because besides the hiking, playing at the beach, picking wild blueberries, and roasting hot dogs, I feel like Neil and I spent WAY too much time shuttling children to bathrooms.

“I have to poop!” one wails urgently, and so we run for the car, drive as quickly (and as safely, of course) to the bathroom, where the child steps one foot in the doorway, proclaims the bathroom too stinky, and states “I don’t need to go anymore. I can handle it.”

Repeat times one hundred, or something like that. No bathrooms were good enough, or close enough, and then when we got to them, all of a sudden the urge had passed.

Until we were on the beach, and then it’s a poomergency and I’m cleaning a poopy bathing suit in a sink. Sadly, not the first time that’s happened to me. THIS SUMMER.

But then there were a couple successful bathroom trips and I sighed a sigh of relief. We should be safe now.

Or so I thought. Then one baby goes for a pee in the bush that turns into quickly turns into something more, dangerously close to her dad’s foot.

But then it’s finally basically bedtime. We’re sitting around an amazing fire that’s slowly dying. Just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

And wouldn’t you know, the one child that hasn’t gone today, all of a sudden needs to go. At the good bathrooms, Dad. So in the truck they go, where halfway there, he “doesn’t really need to go anymore.”

Like he had a choice in the matter.

And that’s that. The day of many poops.

And here’s where I apologize for writing about the many poops. It was just one of those days I didn’t really want to forget. Because one day, my kids will be able to take their own selves to the bathroom, RIGHT.

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To do.

It’s a sunny Friday morning and I’m so excited about the next week or so.
We’re doing our (mostly) annual Rushing River camping trip, so I’ve got bins and bins of camping supplies to go through, checking if we need to replenish anything. Camping menu needs to be planned and groceries need to be bought but I can’t go today because I can’t fit all my kids plus groceries in my fuel-efficient but kind of small car/van! I’ll go first thing in the morning tomorrow.

The house is a mess and needs to be cleaned up, especially the basement, which looks like a tornado went through. I’m not sure when it was vacuumed last. I also feel like I should disinfect some surfaces as Ivy’s just getting over hand, foot, and mouth.
Gonna blow up and fill up the little pool so the water’s not too cold by the afternoon when it’s supposed to be 31! Friends are coming for a barbecue and I’m going to make some turkey burgers, too. Also, planning on feeding my kids better food today than yesterday. I literally gave them chocolate cupcakes for lunch. And Ben ate a giant candy apple that he bought with his own money. Yup, that’s how we roll. I gave them some vegetables later, don’t worry.

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I was about to make myself a cup of coffee and the power just went out for some reason. Went to unload the dishwasher and Ivy must have turned it off halfway through the cycle yesterday evening, and I can’t even turn it back on because of the power. Oliver’s crying because he can’t have ice in his water, because the fridge power is off. The dog pooped in the basement too, so that’s awesome.

This day is not off to the super best start so far. Hopefully the power comes back on quick.

Nice try, kids.

For a couple months now we’ve been planning to leave the kids with Neil’s parents for the August long weekend. It felt like forever since we had some time alone (that wasn’t in a hospital) and we were really, REALLY looking forward to it.

And then on Tuesday Seth got a weird fever. It only lasted 12 hours but he still wasn’t feeling great the rest of the week. Sometimes he seemed fine, and other times, just not so good. Still, good enough to go stay with some grandparents. So on Thursday night I took the kids to Portage to my mom and dad’s. We planned to stay overnight, and then I was gonna ditch in the morning. But then at 5:30 in the morning, Oliver started crying. He was really hot. No. No. No. This could not happen. I gave him some advil and he fell back asleep until 9:30. Obviously my plans were going to have to change. I decided I’d wait it out, and that hopefully it would be similar to Seth, and the fever would be gone by the afternoon. Oliver went back to sleep after lunch and napped for over three hours, but when he woke up, he seemed to be feeling a little better. Definitely less warm, and he said he was very hungry and ate some muffins and some ham. He told me he felt good to go for a sleepover. So I tucked some advil in his suitcase and got outta there before anything could change for the worse.

And it worked! He was still a little unwell, but everyone stayed healthy enough for a weekend at grandma and grandpa’s, and Neil and I got our kid-free staycation. We shopped, we ate out, we went to the waterslides and to the beach. It was great. On Monday we picked our kids up, played in the pool with them for a bit, and came home. Seth was the first one asleep on our way home, which is basically unheard of. He’s still not 100%, and didn’t really eat much the last few days, but I think he’s coming around. Ivy punished us for leaving her by reverting back to her newborn days her first night at home, but thankfully last night she slept straight through.

 

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The weather has been amazing the last few weeks, and we’ve been making the most of it. More time outside, less time in, and I’m behind on some blogging for sure. Might just stay behind, because there’s only a month of summer left to be had, and we plan on having it!

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Just saying.

I just had to sit down and brag about my awesome husband for a bit here.
I’ve been working the last few evenings so that means Neil works all day, picks the kids up from daycare, comes home, makes and feeds them supper, plays with them all evening, then puts them to bed. I never hear him complain about doing all that, either.
Last night when I came home from work at midnight, I even found two loads of laundry (that I had been avoiding) had been folded AND PUT AWAY. That’s how seriously amazing he is.
The other week when I worked, he had a sleepover with all the kids on the basement floor. He’s basically the best dad and the best husband, ever.
I love that man so darn much.

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The strawberry saga.

It’s strawberry season here, and one of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go picking with the kids. Last week on Thursday it was supposed to be 28 and sunny out so I thought it would be a great day to head to my mom and dad’s for some pool time and then some strawberry picking.

We were already off to a less than perfect start when the sun never made the appearance we were hoping for. It was hazy and definitely less than hot all day. Kids still want to swim though, and they had a great few hours in the pool. Ivy mastered water wings and apparently felt so confident in her skills that she even took a jump in without any flotation device at all. Seth to the rescue- he scooped his bobbing sister out of the pool and, although slightly shaken, she was back in the pool in minutes, swimming all over the place like a little fish.

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In the afternoon I decided I better check the farms before we just headed over to pick. And wouldn’t you know, all the farms were picked out. Strawberry dreams, dashed. Not defeated easily, we decided to try our hand at saskatoon picking. It was slow going because saskatoons are tiny as well as extremely delicious. I’m not exactly sure what our ratio of eaten berries to berries that made it in the pail was, but I’m guessing somewhere around 5-1. Soooooo yummy. We were yummy too, apparently, as we were eaten ferociously by the mosquitoes, despite having been very generous with the spray again. So we picked a pail and bought another pail of pre-picked, ate tonnes of them, and made an amazing pie.

On Saturday I still needed me some strawberries. I tried to convince Neil to get on board but he wouldn’t have it. So we went alone. We checked first that the farm was picking, then we drove the 50 minutes to get there. We got in the long line to be taken to the fields, waited five or ten minutes, at which point someone came and cut the line off five people ahead of us, saying they were picked out for the day. WHAT.

Thank goodness there was a petting zoo and a hay bale maze there, so we could play with goats to ease our (my) disappointment. All well and good until Ivy got between a mama sheep and her baby and nearly got rammed.

Time to call it a day and call the mother-in-law. Request to pick up a few pails of pre-picked for me and it was done and done.

On Sunday we got our four pails, promptly ate at least half a pail, and then Seth and I made jam! It was our first time and it turned out great. I’m sure it won’t be our last jam making session. We made 18 little jars, and one’s almost gone already. I’m sure they’re not going to last too long.

 

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So this year’s strawberry season was a bit of a fail, but it ended on a high note. We’ve still got about a pail left on the fridge and if I had a way of getting another one, I’d be on it. Such a perfect summer treat!