Let’s get married.

I climbed into bed with Oliver for a cuddle the other night.

He started talking to me, saying,

“I saw something on tv where some people have two marries, but I might not get married I think.”

“It’s okay Oliver,” I said. “You only have to get married if you find someone you love.”

“Well I love you, Mom.”

Pause.

“Mom, can you tell Dad he shouldn’t have married you on that day?”

“Why Oliver?”

“Because then I could marry you on that day.”

Oh my heart. That kid just kills me with his sweetness and genuine love for me. He says things to me all the time like, “Mom, let’s just hold hands for awhile.” Or, “let’s just have a few kisses now.” I’m overwhelmed with his innocence and affection and I really really don’t want him to grow up, although he promises me he’ll still hug me even when he’s bigger than me.

Neil went to see Oliver later than evening, and said, “I heard you want to marry Mom.”

Oliver told him, “Well, a long long time ago people had two marries.”

What are they teaching kids in Sunday School these days??

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School starts.

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School started yesterday. The boys weren’t overly excited, but they weren’t dreading it either. By Tuesday night they were both looking forward to it, at least a little bit.

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Ben came home from school saying “I had the best day of my life!” and told me that it was so much fun there. Ben generally does like school and makes friends easily, so I wasn’t surprised, really.

Seth, like always, had very little to say about school. He said he had a good day, and that they were allowed to pick their own seats on the bus, and so Ben wanted to sit with him (groan) but that was about all I could get out of him. He was happy, though, so I know he liked it. I can’t believe he’s in grade three already!

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I’m excited to get back into the routine that fall always brings. When Neil was in the hospital I finally got into the habit of making lunches the night before, and I’m going to try to keep it up as it makes mornings so much better! Especially since I’ve been sleeping in till almost eight with Ivy and Oliver lately (what!). Having only two kids at home is kind of dreamy. Mostly it’s quite a lot quieter, although Ivy can really get into it with Oliver, and when she gets on a screaming rampage, well, it’s not that quiet. Shopping though! After a summer of taking four kids with me everywhere, loading just two kids into the car, and then shopping- it was amazing! We had to go out to buy socks for the kids, who basically wore out every sock in our house over the spring and summer. I bought twenty pairs so I hope they’ll last till Christmas…I topped off our shopping trip with a pumpkin spice latte.

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Happy fall everyone! (But ok, I miss summer already.)

A week away.

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My sister and I and our combined seven children just spent eight days at a cabin in Arnes. Our husbands joined us for the long weekend, but otherwise it was just us and the kids.

We had the best time.

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We spent hours and hours at the beach; digging in sand, collecting shells and sea glass, jumping in waves, stopping only to buy pastries the size of our heads.

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The kids put on talent shows, played games, rode bikes, caught giant frogs, fought a bit, but mostly got along very well. They ate their weight in cereal, but quietly, while their mothers slept in, so we didn’t mind. We went through three giant boxes of cereal, two small ones, and three jugs of milk.
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On rainy days we watched too much Yukon Vet (and now we know how to get a sperm sample from a bison, so that’s good), played with play-dough, and burned through 24 markers and three packs of paper.

On sunny days we barely came inside, had bonfires, ate a hundred marshmallows, and stayed up far too late every night. We went to the farmers’ market and ate fresh homemade doughnuts, bought fudge, and fed the ducks. We went to Gimli and walked the pier and played on the playground and drank delicious coffee. We watched fireworks, dads hid on and scared the bejeebers out of kids, and we took turns teaching each other gymnastics, ninja moves, and yoga poses.

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Seriously, it was the funnest way to end the summer. Having a sister is a gift in itself, but having a sister with children the same age as mine, it’s just the best thing ever. Being able to spend time with her, a whole week, was so great. Our kids had so much fun together, and I’m so glad they have each other and that we could do that. It’s harder and harder to spend time together with kids in school full time, but I love that even though our visits together are not near as often as I’d like, our kids just pick up where they left off the last time they saw each other. I hope that they’ll always be friends, not just cousins.

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So now it’s the night before school starts. Backpacks are packed and lunches are made, and I’m excited but sad, because it seriously was the best summer. And it seriously felt like it was five minutes long. And I realize I probably say that every single fall, but I mean it more than ever right now.

Good-bye summer.

 

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.