Sunday, May 8.

Because I couldn’t think of a clever title.

Sunday, May 8, was both Mother’s Day and Oliver’s actual birthday. Which basically meant no Mother’s Day laying about for me, but that was ok. Neil picked me up a couple books that I’m really excited to read, and the kids gave me a couple sweet gifts they made at school. Ben wrote me a poem that I’ll share on here another time because I love it so much I feel like it deserves it’s own post.

Oliver opened his gifts from us, and had his birthday breakfast of choice: peanut butter and bananas on toast. That kid eats at least two bananas every day, and often three. He’s a banana fanatic.

We went to church- Oliver was soooo excited to get to go to church on his birthday and be able to pick a prize out of the birthday box. After church we went for donuts with Neil’s parents, and then we came home to get ready for the big birthday/mother’s day party.

We were celebrating my grammy’s birthday, my birthday, Oliver’s birthday, Lucy’s birthday, and Mother’s Day. All my family came. It was a beautiful day out and we had a great time eating yummy food and visiting while the cousins all played hard together.

Tali pulled Ivy around in the car.


And then Lucy pushed her around, heels on and mocktail in hand.


Ivy’s clearly living the good life.

Brielle just loved Neil’s beard. She couldn’t stop touching it. So darn cute, that baby!

I’m so thankful for our family and all the fun we have together. Such a good bunch of people we are.😉

Happy birthday/mother’s day to us!


And can we talk about how cute these two are?


Oliver :: Six.

Well, the littlest boy turned six last weekend. We celebrated on Saturday with his first-ever school friends birthday party. I was so excited to meet Oliver’s friends, and all of the rsvp’s were from moms telling me that their kids were sooooo excited to come to Oliver’s birthday party. One of the kids even tried to convince his mom that the party was earlier than it actually was. I told her to just bring him over early anyway if he was that excited, and so she did.

All Oliver wanted for his birthday was Minion stuff. Minion everything! And a candy table. He reallllly wanted a candy table. And he told allllll the kids at school he would have a candy table. I feel like this may have contributed to the overall excitement level with his friends. So we whipped together a super simple birthday party. A yellow cake with some minion toys on top, a minion tattoo station, pin the eye on the minion, and of course, a candy table. I even made some Minion eye photo props just for fun the morning of the party. We went to Bulk Barn and tried to pick yellow candies or candies that minions might like, and then I let the kids fill their own treat bags. Seth and Ben were really excited about Oliver’s party too, and took charge of things like the tattoos and some outside games. Neil and I pretty much sat around and watched while they ran the show. Pretty awesome.

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day out, so kids jumped on trampolines and played Ollie Ollie Octopus and kicked a soccer ball around. Nothing beats being able to play in the backyard for a birthday!


Oliver had so much fun with his friends, and I think they had so much fun too. While they were eating cake, one of the kids said, “This is the best day of my life.” I mean, melt. This was the first year Oliver knew how to blow out candles, so that was exciting! Look at that sweet face!

It was such a great day celebrating our amazing kid. Happy birthday Oliver! We love you!


It’s my birthday.

I turned 35 today.

It was awesome.

I woke up to Benji bringing me a cup of coffee in bed. Not just a regular cup- he had drawn little pictures and cut them out and used tape to decorate my coffee cup. Pretty special.

And then he gave me the birthday card he made me.

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Um. What? Likely just Ben being Ben I thought to myself.

Then Seth asked me what I wanted on my pancakes. Pancakes? What alternate universe am I living in right now? Not only did Neil take a day off work to spend with me on my birthday (what! Just call me the luckiest ever) BUT he also googled a recipe and made me some pancakes. Not just pancakes, but HEART SHAPED pancakes. Clearly this was going to be the best birthday ever. You guys, I just love my family so so so much.


When I was done my pancakes the kids told me to come to the livingroom to sit on the birthday throne they had made me. There were blankets and pillows and presents, so I sat.

Straight onto a whoopie cushion. All of a sudden the birthday card warning made sense. Oliver laughed so hard he was slapping the couch. It was actually awesome.

Neil got me a pile of stuff from Lush, a super awesome t-shirt, and a freaking awesome non-hoodie. And a beach hat. Ivy was adamant that I get a beach hat for my birthday, and had been talking about it for like a solid month. And then a couple days ago she was like, “I’m SO sorry, Mom. We forgot to get you a beach hat!” She tricked me!

So then ALL  of my kids went to school. It happened to be the one morning a week Ivy has preschool. So obviously Neil and I took advantage of our child-free time and… went for a walk at Bird’s Hill. And maybe some other stuff, not gonna lie. But mostly, a hike at Bird’s Hill.😉


It was HOT you guys. The walk. And maybe some other stuff. Just sayin. Weather records were broken today for real. It got up to 33!

We had delicious sandwiches for lunch and iced coffee on the deck and took it easy all afternoon. When the kids got home we went to the beach! On a Thursday! On May 5!

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We were planning to roast hot dogs at the beach but it was actually way too hot for a fire, so we went home and made them in the oven instead. Then we bathed all the dirty children, caught up on Survivor, and ate birthday cake.

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Now kids are in bed, besides that one who just wandered out here and asked us if she could cuddle us. We’re in the process of dropping empty threats so we can crack open that bottle of wine asap.

It’s been the best birthday, and the good news is that the birthday partying isn’t done yet. Tomorrow I prep for Oliver’s birthday, Saturday is his party, and Sunday is Mother’s Day/Oliver’s birthday/big family party. It should be awesome.

Cheers to 35!



Oh Monday.

I know most people complain about Mondays, but I actually really like them. It’s a fresh new week; what’s not to love?

This morning Oliver asked for breakfast in bed. I don’t really know where that came from because no one in this house has had breakfast in bed in approximately 7 years, or possibly never. But he wanted oatmeal, and he wanted it in bed. Sure Oliver. Why not?

When he was done eating he thanked me for his breakfast in bed, put his bowl in the sink, and proceeded to the table to set up the game Blokus. We just discovered this game a couple weeks ago, and Oliver loves it, and is VERY good at it. Like almost always beats Neil and I, and we’re not letting him win. It’s baffling, really.


I of course had a million things to do, but starting my week off with a cup of coffee and a couple rounds of Blokus seemed like a good plan. We tied, but only because it’s easier with just two players. My faith in Oliver’s brain is restored when watching him play this game. (No offense, Oliver, but you can often be a space cadet and sometimes I’m not sure what’s going on in your head.)

We had a church song on and Ivy simply cannot listen to music without getting dressed IN A DRESS and then accessorizing. When I try to take a picture of her, she HAS to drop a pose.


And now the kids are drawing with the Art for Kids Hub app. Ivy is drawing Lalaloopsies, and Oliver is doing Star Wars stuff. I just over heard Ivy say to Oliver, “Awwww! Oliver! That is soooooo good!”


IMG_2715I mean, if that’s not a good start to a week, what is?




Oliver and Ivy.

They’re either best friends or worst enemies, and on any given day it’s much more likely that they’re fighting with each other than that they’re actually getting along.

The other day they were yelling at each other and I told them to stop fighting.

Oliver immediately blamed Ivy. “She started it!”

Ivy retorted, “Ladies do NOT start fights, but they can finish it!”

Then they just kept on grumbling and fighting. I heard Oliver under his breath, “That girl doesn’t scare me.”

I mean, all you can even do is laugh. They’re a pretty funny pair. They both come up with the funniest one liners and I really love them, even if they make me crazy half the time.

Yesterday they were playing with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. Oliver proudly told me, “I drew one of those dead people things (a tombstone!) and I put Ivy’s name on it.”

I mean, come on. That’s hilarious. She had it coming I guess. She had basically beaten him up earlier that day.

My little loves.


Oliver is extremely uncomfortable with that much physical contact from his sister. But obviously I made him do it anyway.

Ben :: Eight.

Today Ben turns eight.

We celebrated yesterday with the most low-key birthday party ever. I think it cost me a total of like $25, including treat bags. For reals. We blew up a few balloons, but Ben didn’t want them hung up. He didn’t want any games either. He didn’t even want a cake! All he wanted was to hang out with his friends in the basement, and eat cinnamon buns. And so that is exactly what we did.


Everyone had a great time, including me, since this party required basically zero effort besides making cinnamon buns and opening up a couple bags of chips.

Today we got up and fed Ben some birthday pancakes and then he opened up his birthday presents from us. Ben is really into cars lately, and so Seth got him a model car to build, and Oliver bought him a lego car. Oliver came up with that idea all by himself, because Ben loves Lego City, and he loves cars, he said, and made him a couple birthday cards, too. He was so excited to give his present to Ben this morning.


Neil and I (and Ivy!) got Ben a snow skate, which is basically a skateboard with no wheels that still costs just as much as a regular skateboard. Ben was really really wanting one and he was very excited to get one, so it was all worth it. After a little lego building he was outside playing on it at 8 this morning, and he had the best time.


Neil flew to Edmonton today for the week, so I took Ben for a date after school today. I took him to Toys R Us and Walmart to spend some birthday gift cards. He bought more cars mostly. Why are there toys as big as that Darth Vader? I don’t get it. Who has one of those? And why?


We had such a great time together. One on one time is such an unusual occurrence in this family- it was a real treat to get to spend three solid hours with Benji. We went for supper at Five Guys because Ben loves “burgs” lately. Especially with cheese and bacon, obviously.


It really was delicious. He made me smile because he commented on how “old” he felt, eating a burger covered in all kinds of toppings, because when he was little he’d only eat a plain hamburger with ketchup and nothing else. I had to agree with him; his burger taste has definitely matured. And so has his appetite. Holy smokes, we ate so much delicious burger.

After Five Guys we needed a food break so we went to play at the pet store for awhile. Ben still loves animals, and we had fun holding tiny furry things and narrowly escaping ferret teeth. Ben found a baby ball python to pet, and a little kitten to play with through the bars. After awhile he asked me if I was less full now, and when I said I was, we went for dessert. Ben ordered a root beer float and an order of mini donuts. After all that food we basically had to crawl to the van.

The picture Ben drew in the restaurant totally cracked me up. I mean, the forks and the knife! And the noses! One of the girls in Ben’s class told her mom that Ben was the best draw-er in the class, and that she was going to write books, and Ben was going to illustrated them. I think she might be onto something, because seriously, that picture. Later he added the server carrying food and water, and some restaurant decor, too. Obviously I tore this part of our “tablecloth” off and brought it home with me.


I have to say, I was so proud of Ben in there. He has just turned into such a confident kid, and I’m actually amazed by it. Only a few short years ago Ben would have barely made eye contact if a server talked to him, but today he happily made conversation and then even wore a silly hat and stood on a bench proudly while the staff sang him happy birthday.


I’m just in love with this kid and who he is. He’s just so full of life, with such a mischievous sense of humor, a good dose of wit, and a whole lot of love and compassion. He’s getting to be so confident in himself, and his personality is really shining through. I can just tell all the girls are going to fall in love with him, if they haven’t already. Sometimes he calls me babe, and smacks me on the butt when he walks by, and I have to say, I think it’s seriously hilarious. Mostly I’m just glad that he feels like he knows who he is and is comfortable enough to be himself, because he’s amazing.

Happy birthday Ben. Like you said, we took the food too far today, but other than that, it was the best night ever. I love you and I love spending time with you. Happy birthday baby.


ps. I just read the post I wrote about Ben’s 7th birthday and I’m actually horrified by how much he’s changed and grown up since then. *ugly cry*

I hate mornings.

Wow. I hate mornings so much. Well, not mornings in particular. I just hate the waking up part. Well, I hate the waking up because kids are screaming at each other part.Seriously, though, I basically hate my life between the hours of 7 and 9 every day. Maybe that sounds a little intense, but seriously, it’s the worst.

I worked yesterday so I went to bed around 1, and it took me awhile to fall asleep. Some mornings the kids do actually get out bed quietly, take care of each other, and then come wake me up at around 7:30 with a sweet, soft, “Mom? It’s time to wake up.”

Most mornings, though, are more like this:

I’m woken up by a four year old who climbs into my bed whispering, “Don’t make me go back to my room, Mom.” I don’t mind the cuddles, but she usually starts asking me random questions when I’m trying to fall back asleep, and that’s not my favorite.

I hear Seth come up the stairs, so I shoo Ivy out of bed to go eat breakfast with Seth. Lately her thing is to just make loud noises repeatedly until someone feeds her. Ben is already eating and absolutely refuses to interrupt his breakfast to pour a bowl of dry cereal for his sister. Or Seth DOES NOT “do honey” if she’s asking for toast. Whatever her simple request is, the boys seem to get some joy out of saying no to her. So then her loud noises turn to yells, and screams, and tears, and then she runs back to me where she tells me how rude her brothers are. I holler at them to feed their sister already. I mean, how many thousands of my breakfasts have been interrupted because I had to make the boys breakfast, or second breakfast, or third snack. Their turn.

By the time she’s finally quiet and eating, Oliver finally stumbles out of his bedroom, all squinty eyes looking like he drank too much last night. He’s not a morning person either, and so when Ben tells him he doesn’t know how to make oatmeal, he’s immediately crying. I yell that I’ll be up  in a minute and make him his oatmeal.

When I do finally get out of bed, I’m met with requests for spaghetti and lasagna for school lunches, which is the worst. The smell of marinara and meat sauce at 0730 is really too much for me, but I oblige because I don’t want to be the worst mom ever.

Lunches are finally packed, the kids have unloaded the dishwasher, but Ben still isn’t dressed, and the dog isn’t fed. I still haven’t had time to make coffee and all I really want to do is die.


I wish I was better at doing the mom thing in the morning. Kids, I’m sorry. I want to greet you with a smile and a kiss at 7, but so far I’m not meeting that goal. If you could just leave me alone at least until I finish my first cup of coffee….

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