That time Neil wasn’t actually the best husband ever.

I know, you’re shocked. But it’s true. There was this one time that Neil did a bad thing.

It was way back when we had a kid free weekend. When was that even? Seems like a hundred years ago already. Sign me up for another one, please! Anyway, that weekend. We went shopping. My grey hairs were getting a little out of control and it was time for me to cover those puppies up. I picked out a box of a medium brown, like I like. Neil kept picking out the very dark browns or even blacks, like he likes. I do not like being very dark, but Neil always wants my hair as dark as possible for some reason. That’s his thing. But I was like, no, man, I don’t like that, and it makes me feel weird, so I’m getting this medium brown. Chuck it in the cart and carry on.

I got home, and set to dyeing my hair. Yes, I dye my own hair. In my bathroom. And you were always wondering why I look so amazing all the time. I left it on per suggested time, rinsed it off, and dried it. I was surprised at how dark it was, and really disappointed. I don’t like my hair that dark! I pretty much hated it, and thought about dyeing over it, but I didn’t think that was really going to work. I told myself I’d just wash it extra-much and it would fade. I noticed Neil didn’t really say anything about my hair, and I didn’t either, mostly because I was bummed about it.

A couple days later Neil asked me how I liked my hair. I told him I really hated it. He was all like “oh.”
THEN he confessed to SWAPPING hair dye boxes on me! He just put mine back and put the one HE wanted in the cart. I didn’t even look at the box at home because I didn’t suspect my husband of such trickery. Anyway, can you even believe that?? On one hand, as a co-worker pointed out, it’s sweet that he takes some interest in my hair; on the other hand, it’s MY HAIR!

I’m pretty sure Neil was remorseful and I’m fairly confident that he’s not ever going to do that again, but seriously, I still can’t even believe he did it in the first place!

So now you know, Neil’s not always perfect. And neither is my hair.

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A lost gecko and emotions run high.

Last night while we were tucking the babies in bed, Seth ran out of his room saying “Yoda’s not in his cage!”

Yoda cannot climb out of his cage; he’s not that kind of gecko. But he can be taken out of his cage, played with, and completely forgotten about whilst one rainbow looms on the bedroom floor. Which is exactly what happened. The last time I had seen Yoda he was sitting on the floor beside Seth while Seth watched a Youtube tutorial and made bracelets. By bedtime last night Seth had absolutely no recollection of this situation. I believe him, too, because Seth (and I’m gonna put it out there and say all other males as well) cannot multi-task. When he is focused on one thing, he simply cannot pay attention to another thing. He just can’t. So that’s what happened. Yoda was forgotten about, the evening went on, and then at bedtime it was apparent that Yoda was missing.

Seth was more upset than I’ve really ever seen him. He was in tears, and so distraught that he couldn’t even focus to actually look for Yoda. Neil and Ben and I looked in all the dark corners in the bedroom, picked up boxes and books and papers that Yoda might hide under, and wondered if Yoda would have left the room. He’s pretty small, after all, and that would be a big hike for him.

Seth was crying, “I’m so so sorry! I’m so sorry that I lost Yoda!” Honestly it did my heart good to see Seth so emotionally invested in something. He’s so even keel about everything sometimes I wonder if he just doesn’t care about anything! But clearly he does.

Ben found Yoda hiding in Seth’s giant Halo lego set. The relief on poor Seth’s face! I was relieved too. I was worried Yoda was hiding in a sweatshirt on the floor and then we’d either step on him or chuck him in the washing machine. Since Yoda doesn’t climb, and moves fairly slowly, I didn’t ever think we would lose him, but we did, and we found him, so there’s that life experience done now.

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Today we’re just chilling out at home. I worked out, cleaned the bathroom, and made a giant batch of granola. Ivy’s down for a nap and Oliver’s playing on the iPad so I think that means it’s break time for me too. The sun is shining and it’s supposed to get to 12 today so I think we’re going to check out the playground when Ivy wakes up. Later we’re going to pick the boys up from school and go to the library. I still need to figure out what to make for supper, story of my life, and I’m trying to get all of our video clips onto DVDs, too. I just ordered a couple photo books so I’ll be up to date to the end of February, which makes me sooooo happy. If the videos are up to date too I’ll be at peace with my life! Really I just need to get them off this computer because the hard drive is getting dangerously full. Anyway, always a million things to do, and I’m thankful that I get to mostly stay home to do them!

Easter weekend.

Long weekends are just the best. Especially weekends where you don’t have much planned and almost everything is closed so you’re forced to just hang out together in the kind of warm-ish spring weather.

On Good Friday we went for a walk in Bird’s Hill Park. We were thinking that the paved paths would be all dry, but I guess they don’t clear all the paths in the winter so some still had a lot of snow on them. By the end of our hour in the park most of us had wet socks and Oliver was wet up to his knees, but everyone was happy. We were all so refreshed by spending some good, quality time out in nature.

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Family selfies (Ivy’s face in the bottom corner cracks me up every time):

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After the park we went home and changed our socks and shoes and then headed out for supper. The big boys taught Ivy and Oliver how to blow chocolate milk bubbles so it was a highly successful evening.

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On Saturday, we did our Easter egg hunt, and then the kids had another hunt at my parents house, so the kids ate candy for breakfast and supper. Thankfully we squeezed some veggies into them at lunch time.

Sunday was another quiet day together. The sun was shining and I think it got to 12 C out. The kids were outside more than they were inside yesterday; it was amazing. They ran around the yard, “suntanned” on the deck, and jumped on the trampoline for hours. We had our first bonfire of the season, too. Unfortunately we were out of marshmallows for roasting, but what can ya do.

It was such a great long weekend. I’m so thankful for my amazing family and time we spend together.

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Ivy eats chalk.

She totally does. And by eat, I mean eat. She’s eaten several entire pieces of chalk. White chalk, colored chalk, she’s not picky. She will even lick the chalkboard, saying “yum” after each lick. It’s pretty weird, but we still love her.

While we were having our morning cuddle this morning, I looked at Oliver’s huge blue eyes and his long eyelashes and asked him why he was so beautiful. Ivy piped up right away, “I boo’ful, too.” I told her, yes, of course she was. And then she told me, “Mommy boo’ful too.” And that’s why I keep her, folks.

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Today I’m at home with the babies, getting over a sore throat that resulted in yesterday being super non-productive. We’ll have to leave the house to buy milk, but I think I’ll wait until the sun warms the day up a bit. It’s currently -16 C (feels like -19 though, apparently). Such a lovely spring day. I mean, why don’t we just live in Antarctica or something? At least we’d get to see penguins there. All we got here are geese right now. Anyway, I’m hoping to crank out some projects on the sewing machine today, too. Finishing up a jumper for Ivy, and thinking about making her a couple of skirts, since that’s basically all she’ll wear these days. Pretty skirts, and only pretty skirts. “PITTY SKUHT!” Neil’s managed to sneak her into pants once or twice when she was totally distracted, but usually she’s asking for a pretty skirt as soon as she’s done breakfast every day. I also want to sew Seth a wallet, because that kid’s money just seems to be reproducing in his sandwich bag of a piggy bank. He always has SO much money. I don’t even get it. He spent $25 on rainbow loom supplies on Saturday, but he still has a pile of cash. So I think he needs a wallet, or something more practical than a sandwich bag, anyway. He has big plans of selling stuff on our driveway this summer so he’s gonna need a good place to keep all his moneys. Hopefully our day goes smoothly, and Ivy and Oliver don’t spend too much of the day fighting with each other. She’s already checked herself into her crib for some down time while Oliver ran to his room and shut the door saying he needed some alone time. And it’s only 8:30. Same old thing every day around here it seems…

The children draw.

And draw, and draw, and draw. Our table has been strewn with papers and markers for over four years, it seems. I fantasize about having a work station for them in the basement, but for now I’m not really complaining about the fact that ALL of my kids LOVE drawing and literally spend hours of each day churning out amazing artwork. There are much worse pastimes for young children, I’m sure. Drawing is quiet and doesn’t require parental involvement, so besides the mess of papers, pencil crayons, markers, and crayons, it’s pretty much the best ever.

I feel like the kids have taken their picture quality up a notch lately, and I’m loving the latest creations.

Seth’s pictures continue to include a lot of weaponry and armor, good guys/bad guys/guys with super powers, etc. but he’s also including some humor in his drawings lately. Toilet humor, of course, but humor it is. I’m a fan.

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That last drawing started as a pair of eyes I had drawn. We did lots of those for awhile. I drew eyes and the kids made them into weird things. It was fun.

Ben’s latest artwork had me pretty much dying. Apparently he was paying closer attention to that show on animal planet than I realized…

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Why yes that is a nursing mom and baby animal about to be eaten by a giant something or other. I’m just really praying no nipples show up in any of his school artwork. And clearly we need to discuss the anatomical differences between mammals and reptiles.

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What is even happening here?? I also love this picture he drew yesterday:

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I helped him figure out how to spell a lot of the words, but wow is his printing ever neat. Just like his dad, this one!

He also started signing his name Benji, which melts my heart. One of my stipulations when picking his name was that I had to be able to call him Benji. I’m glad he’s calling himself that now too.

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Oliver’s drawings are FILLED with detail. He draws and draws till every little space if filled up, both sides, usually spinning an elaborate story while he draws.

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He’s starting to write his name too, although he only ever wants to write it “however I want” which always includes many, many O’s, I’s, and L’s, but never any other letters. Sometimes his name includes as many as 20 letters, but only those three. Thankfully we have a year and a half until kindergarten.

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These are only a fraction of the amazing drawings we have laying around the house. 95% of them make their way into the recycling bin, but I do save my favorites. Some of them make it into their “keep forever” boxes, and a lot of them get photographed and make their way into photobooks. I love looking back at all of them and seeing how their style has changed and evolved. Hoping Ben’s anatomically correct drawings don’t evolve too much, though…

Ben designs a hoodie.

Like two years ago I pinned this awesome t-shirt tutorial by Petit A Petit and Family, with great intentions of making one for my kids. But unlike most things I’ve pinned, I actually made it! Yes, it took years, but hey, it got done.

Ben drew me a picture, and I made it into a hoodie.

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I made the shirt part of the hoodie using the Tee for Two pattern by Patterns by Figgy. I could not find a link to that pattern- maybe they don’t sell it anymore? It’s also found in the book Sewing for Boys. I used the size 6/7 and just kind of widened everything so it would fit more like a sweatshirt and less like a skinny tee. I’m not a pattern drafter or anything, though, so I ended up with a super wide neck at the end of it all. Next time I try a trick like that I’ll make sure I stay away from all neck parts. I was a little at a loss what to do. I tried using some super stretchy ribbing and just making the sweatshirt fit into the neckband but after two tries, I realized it was not going to happen. It just left the sweatshirt with too many puckers, plus I didn’t like the color of ribbing I had anyway, so I had to come up with a plan B. Thankfully I had an old grey hoodie hanging out in my sewing stash and with a little cutting and a little sewing, the cuffs and hood got a new life. The neck still ended up being wider than I wanted; I should have overlapped the hood a bit more in the front, but it works, and Ben loves it, so I’m happy. I’m actually very happy with the overall fit of the hoodie. It’s not too big or baggy, but has just enough room to be the right amount of cozy and comfy. Just what I wanted.

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Clearly Ben loves a good photo shoot.

Did you notice? Ben lost his first tooth a couple of weeks ago! That’s big stuff, people.

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I may have to put Ben to work as a fashion designer more often, I think. This was such a fun sewing project, and I’d love to make one for Seth, but I’m intimidated by his ultra-detailed tiny drawings of dragons and warriors and various weapons. Oliver’s drawings would be perfect (and simple!) on a shirt, so I might have to get on that for summer. Maybe I’ll try a muscle tee or something.

“I love Ivy, but why does she always ‘mack me?”

You would think that the days I just have Oliver and Ivy at home would be the easiest, but they’re not. I feel like I spend most of my day breaking up fights between those two. Well, not so much breaking up fights as pulling Ivy off of Oliver, telling Ivy not to hit Oliver, or asking Ivy to leave Oliver alone. It’s like she can’t though. She lives to irritate him. Whatever he has, she all of sudden NEEDS. Immediately. Whatever couch he’s sitting on, she must sit on. Directly beside Oliver. Oliver’s a kid that likes to have a little personal space, and Ivy’s the kind of kid that refuses to give it. A bad combo.

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Ivy is just constantly picking on her big brother, and Oliver just continuously takes it. He never hits back. He just starts crying, every time. Sometimes I wish he would give her a good smack.

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It’s hard to find any pictures of the two of them together where they’re both happy, but they do sometimes like to play together in Ivy’s crib. It’s usually short-lived, but you gotta take what you can get I guess.

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As I was tucking Oliver in the other night after he’d had a particular trying day with his little sister, we prayed that Ivy would learn to be nicer and would quit smacking Oliver.

Oliver looked at me and said, “I love Ivy, but why does she always ‘mack me?” That kid, no matter how bad he gets it from her, he gives nothing but love back. I hope Ivy knows how lucky she is to have a brother like that. And I hope she’ll leave him alone one day soon.