It’s a good day to have winter tires.

We woke up to snow, finally. We’ve had a little dusting on the ground for the last few days, and the kids have been having fun in it, but this morning we have real REAL snow. Like get yer shovel out snow. Like use your winter tires snow. (I sold that second set, just sayin’. Phew!) Like get outside and play snow.

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Like add ten minutes to your getting out the door time snow because snowpants for everyone snow. Ben has been feeling like he’s too cool for snow pants for at least a year already (they’re not “slim fit” enough, apparently) so he was definitely disgruntled about having to wear them this morning. He claims he will NOT play in the snow and NONE of his friends will either so he shouldn’t have to wear snow pants. Sure Ben. Not gonna lie, starting to be worried about this one as a teenager…He’s for sure gonna be a no-jacket-in-thirty-below guy because that’s super cool.

I’m okay with snow because it is November 22nd after all, and it makes my Christmas decorations seem more legit. I put a Christmas tree at my front door and I love it. We are gonna put our tree up on Sunday, although Neil told me the weatherman says the snow could all be gone by then. The forecast is calling for temps just around freezing, which is alright by me!

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Ivy and I are staying cozy in the house this morning until the rest of the people get to where they’re going and traffic is quieter and then we’re going shopping for new mitts and some hand soap. Somehow we have no soap in this house, and that’s not a good thing.

But first, just one more cup of coffee. Plus this cute face.img_3944

I buy tires.

It’s winter tire season. Or at least, it would be if it wasn’t 15 degrees out still. How is this November? This weather is craaaaaazy. In a good way.

Anyway, winter tires. Neil wanted to buy new but I was sure we could find a set on Kijiji. I like cheaper better than I like new. So Neil researched tire size for the van, and I found a sweet set, close by, for a great price. I went and picked them up and I was like “I’m amazing! This deal! These tires! Those people were nice! Yay!”

Neil came home and set right to work putting them on. Except what. They don’t fit. Different vehicles have different sized rims and bolt patterns apparently. So that sucked the joy out of my Kijiji find.

Ok so now what are we going to do? Buy new rims for these tires? Yeesh new rims are expensive. Ok new plan: buy new tires on rims that fit, sell old tires. I went to a tire size website where you could input your vehicle year and make and then it would tell you what size rims you need. Great! Now I know! Amazing! I just found another set for an even better deal! And its the right size! Sweeeeeet!

So I brought the tires home. Neil came home from work and went to put the tires on.

” Eff! Cuss! Expletive!”

The tires didn’t fit. What? Google told me they would though! I re-googled. Wtf. Why does google say something different now?? GOOGLE YOU LET ME DOWN. Ok, ok, I take responsibility. I looked it up wrong somehow. I don’t actually have any idea what happened. Honestly I’m holding google at least partially responsible.

And so now we have two sets of winter tires in the garage. That’s it, we’re just buying new rims. I went to get a quote. Okay that quote was crazy, but we can find a cheaper one, and get the local guys to install instead of the fancy tire place.

And then Neil decided to get just one more set of tires. Just one more set….

And now we are officially a used winter tires shop.

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Need a set? Call 204 479 xxxx. No, really though.

Okay actually the good news is that Neil’s set fit and is on our van. And the other good news is that I resold the first set I bought for only $10 less than I paid.

But, yes, I still have a set.

It makes a good story anyway, right? It will be even better when I sell the second set though, that’s for sure.

 

Oliver’s haircut.

Oliver has almost always had long-ish hair. I have a problem where I don’t want him to cut his hair because in my heart then he’s still a baby with fair hair that curls up in the summer. The reality is that he now has brown hair that’s basically stick straight except for one little piece that may flick up bi-annually. But I don’t know, I still like it. I like stroking his hair when he cuddles me, and I like the way he tosses his head to move his hair out of his eyes. PLUS he wanted to have long hair, like Seth’s friend who has shoulder length hair. Basically I want my kids to have whatever hair they want. As long as it’s what I want.­čśë

Anyway the other morning Oliver told me he wanted to cut his hair. I looked at his somewhat-homeless-looking appearance and thought we better just go for it. Before I sent him off to school, I snapped some “before” pics, ┬áthen I called and booked him an appointment for later that day.

Oliver has some weird disorder where he cannot comfortably make eye contact with a camera. Drives me insane.

I picked him up from school and took him for his haircut. Oliver LOVES getting his haircut, I think mostly because he gets to talk to someone for a solid fifteen minutes. And I do mean for a solid fifteen minutes. He hops right up in that chair and then just starts talking and does not stop until he gets out. I never fail to be amused by Oliver’s chattiness with strangers. He did confide in the stylist that someone at school had called him a girl so I’m not sure if that’s what motivated him to get a cut, or what. He didn’t seem bothered by it though, just very matter-of-fact. So anyway, the hair came off, and Oliver turned into Ben. Apparently some kids at school were already calling Oliver “Little Ben” and now he can really own that title, although it’s not his favorite, obviously.

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That’s a cute face though, right? His eyes! And, as Oliver was quick to point out, you can see BOTH of them.He’s spent half his life seeing through one eye while the other one was hidden behind his hair. We’re probably lucky it didn’t turn into a lazy eye, ha!

I feel like I’m still getting used to his haircut, because it changed his appearance so drastically and all of a sudden he looks so much more grown up. Thankfully he still struggles with getting dressed independently so that sort of thing reminds me that he’s still my little guy.

Don’t grow up too fast little buddy. It’s too hard on my heart.

Halloween 16.

Oh Halloween! How could we not love a night where all the neighbors come out to play and visit and kids can dress up and get one million treats? It’s the best!

This year we had a Queen of Hearts, Yoda, a hot dog, and Harry Potter. Oh and Batman of course, although Batman is finding his costume is getting a little snug.

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Oh and a monkey and Teemu Selanne. The monkey is Ben’s best friend Noah, and Teemu Selanne is Dotty, but you probably guessed that.

I made Seth’s Harry Potter costume. His best friend came trick or treating with us too, and they were both Harry Potter.­čÖé I hate sewing costumes so much but Seth was so happy with his costume and said thank you and told me what a great mom I was so many times I couldn’t help but feel good about it too. That kid is a genuine sweetie.

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At one point in the night after the kids were home from trick or treating already, some girls came to the door and then whispered “Oh! There’s Seth!” Seth barely looked up but we convinced him to come to the door and at least acknowledge that his classmates were there. Neil joked around with the girls about what Seth was like in school and then they ran off giggling their little heads off so loudly- it was hilarious. Neil and I thought it was the best, but Seth appeared basically mortified. He later admitted that those girls always walk right in front of him to block him, and when he’s playing soccer they always hang around his net “bothering him”. It’s happening you guys!! So funny! Anyway, that was definitely the highlight of my halloween!

Ben was a hot dog. I totally didn’t get one picture of him solo in his hot dog costume. Sorry Ben. He really wanted to be hot dog and I really didn’t want to make a hot dog costume, but Kijiji came through for us on that one! Ben had so much fun trick or treating with his best friend. He must have done the dab like a hundred times. If you don’t know what the dab is, see group pictures above. If you’re still confused, ask a school-aged child to explain.­čÖé

Oliver was Yoda. I made that costume too! I made him three fingered mitts and he thought those were the best, although they made holding his candy bag a little tricky.

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Ivy had seen her costume at Costco when she was there with someone other than me awhile ago and decided right away that’s who she was gonna be for Halloween this year. $15 and a little face paint and she was set. She took her role very seriously.

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She only did about half the block and then was happy to come home and check out her loot. I love this picture of Yoda explaining “the force” to the Queen of Hearts:

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The kids had so much fun this year. The weather was damp and drizzly but it wasn’t cold thankfully. They did the bay, came home and sorted their treats, and then Seth decided they should switch up costumes and do some more houses. He said since most hardly anyone was out anymore that the people would give out extra lots of candy. And boy was he right. Oliver did two house and had half a bag of candy! The kids did another 30 minutes or so and now we have enough candy for approximately┬áseven years.

Anyway, another halloween in the books, so much fun. Ben came into my bedroom this morning saying it’s sooooooo far till next Halloween! He can’t wait, he said. He’s planning to be a unicorn and he’s very excited about it already. We’ll see if that costume idea lasts a whole year, but if it does, I’m really excited too.

Hope you had a fun Halloween too- I’m so excited it’s November! Usually I’m super annoyed by Christmas stuff out so early in stores but this year I just want to buy all the things and decorate everything. Exercising restraint for at least another month is gonna be hard this year I think.

Ivy and I are off to buy paint and a toilet, so it’s pretty exciting times around here. I’ll leave you with another group shot of our amazing crew.

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I like Yoda’s pose in that one.­čÖé

All the feels this morning.

This morning I worked on organizing the kids stuff that we’ve been accumulating since birth. You know, the hospital bracelets, cards, footprints, locks of hair, tiny onesies, and a hundred drawings by chubby little hands. And obviously I’ve just been choking back tears the entire time. Because WHY do kids grow up so fast? It’s so upsetting! And why don’t we realize how fast it will go when we’re dragging our sleepless bodies through the seemingly endless days of constantly breastfeeding, changing diapers, and doing mounds of tiny laundry? When we just wish it would hurry up so we could have a sliver of personal space ┬áback? Why do we do that? I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had known. I know you told me. I know everyone else told me too. But I still wished it would hurry up sometimes. And now I just wish I could go back. Go back and hold those tiny bodies on my chest, wipe that spit up off of both of our shirts, and pace around bouncing a tightly swaddled cranky baby, just whispering over and over how much I love them, even if I was crying about how tired I was at the same time.

But I can’t go back, so I’ll need to keep reminding myself that they’re still so little, and that one day I’ll look back on my ten year old and choke back tears thinking about what a sweet boy he was, and how I loved watching him wear the same jeans and t-shirt every single day for two solid years, how he didn’t care what anyone thought about him as he just went about being a happy and innocent kid. So I’ll slow down, I’ll hold them all tight, I’ll remember their current little-ness, and treasure it.

Parenting is basically the worst best thing ever.

Anyway the original reason I decided to open the laptop and blog after another month-long hiatus is not because I intended to turn into a mushy tear-stained mess but because, while rooting through all that stuff, I found Ben’s baby calendar. I read through the whole thing, and wow, it is incredible to see how that personality of his that we see now- how we could see it way back then. How amazing is that? One of my favorite parts of the calendar was reading the blurb on the back, where I just scribbled some random notes about Ben. I wrote that one of his first words was bike, and that he loved skateboards and bikes so much. And I find it so neat how this still holds true! He still loves skateboards and bikes and is currently working on saving up $300 to buy a mini BMX bike he’s been eyeing up for the last six months.

There’s no picture to go with this post but I just wanted to get my emotional thoughts out of my head and onto “paper”. Motherhood is obviously my favorite thing ever and the biggest gift I’ve ever been given, and I’m incredibly thankful for my children and the abundant love that comes with them.

ps I actually devised the most genius, space saving, COST EFFECTIVE system for storing ALL THAT STUFF and I WILL share it with you because you need to know!! Expect the post somewhere in the next one-27 months.

First Day of School //2016-17

Okay so I posted like one time over the summer and now it’s ever-so-suddenly fall. What even just happened? Blink. It’s over. Sigh.

Today the kids went back to school. First grade for Oliver, third for Ben, and fifth for Seth.

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Oh Oliver, how can you be in grade one already? I miss you already, so much. I thought of you so often today, and I’m feeling sad about you going to school again tomorrow already! I’m so happy you had such a great first day, though. I loved seeing your big smiling face in line with your new classmates, waiting to follow your new teacher in for a brand new year. I got choked up saying good-bye to you, just like I’m choked up again just writing about it. I just love you so much buddy. I love the kid that you are, and I know your class will too.You’re so friendly, kind of quirky, and really fun. I took these pictures half an hour before the bus was due to arrive, and you wouldn’t even come back inside afterwards- you just wanted to wait outside and be ready. You were laying on the driveway using your backpack as a pillow waiting for the rest of us, which made us all smile.

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Benji, I’m so glad you had such a great day too! I’m so glad it wasn’t nearly as scary as you thought it would be, and I’m really so glad you liked your teacher too. I’m happy you had so much fun at recess playing soccer with your friends, and I’m glad you were so hungry that you ate your whole lunch up. It makes me feel like the nervousness that left you with no appetite for breakfast was gone, and that makes me happy. I hate it when you’re anxious about things, but I’m always proud that you know what you’re feeling and are able to acknowledge it as normal and okay. Those times when you tell me your tummy feels funny and that you’re nervous, and then we can pray about it together- I’m just happy we can do that, and that you can tell me those things. I’m really excited for you to have such a great year. You’re starting to know more and more who you are, and who you are is seriously just so fun. You’re very into clothes lately┬áand are developing your very own sense of style. It’s kind of weird, and I like it. You love knee high socks these days, and when I bought you new underwear you were so excited it might as well have been Christmas. Those kind of things make you who you are and I just love it!

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Aw man, Seth. Why are you so grown up already? Last year of elementary school! You’re the oldest kids in the school now and I know you’re excited about that. I know you were nervous about having a teacher with a reputation for being very strict, and I’m really glad you liked her so much. I know you’ll have no problem at all with a teacher who demands the best from her students. You ARE a student.You love learning! You always work independently and do your best, and I know you’re gonna ace grade five just like every other grade. I’m excited to see how you get involved with patrolling or volunteering in other areas of the school this year. I know the younger kids really look up to you, and I know you’re an excellent role model for them. Oliver told you yesterday that you were his favorite patrol, and your face beamed so big. It made me so proud, and so happy. I’m so happy that the rest of my kids have you as their big brother. I know you’re always gonna look out for them and have their backs.

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So here we go! Cheers to another amazing school year ahead of us; to learning, to laughing, to making friends, and to being kind! I love you, kids, more than you’ll ever know.

Tinkertown.

On Tuesday we went to Tinkertown for Seth’s “birthday”. It’s always someone’s birthday when we go because saving money is our favorite. We went with Alissa and her kids, and Breanne and her two girls. Three adults to nine kids- seemed like a pretty good ratio.

It was a hot day but there was a nice breeze. We got there when Tinkertown opened at noon and stayed till it closed at 7. We got our money’s worth, people.

 

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Filed under “things no one tells you before you grow up” you’ll find “You lose the ability to swing up and down or spin around at all without getting the cold sweats and immediately nauseated followed by either actually throwing up or just feeling like you’re on the brink of vomiting for an entire hour afterwards.” For us grown-ups, Tinkertown is a cross between having so much fun sitting by your kids who are laughing uncontrollably having the time of their lives, and feeling super sick for an entire day.

The kids really did have the best time though.

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Seth and Ciara were practically joined at the hip, which always makes my heart happy. Those two don’t see each other that often, and I love how they love each other still, at ten. I hope and pray so hard it’s a lifelong friendship that only gets better and better.

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A bunch of the kids did that horrible pirate ship thing many many times in a row. So many times. So. Many. I had to go on it with the littler kids a couple times because Alissa and Breanne had already thrown up, for real, less than an hour into our day. I don’t mind that ride that much, but two times in a row was way too many times, and I barely made it off of there.

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I did better than Lucy though, because she staggered off, throwing up all the way down the off- ramp, and then barely made it over to the bench we were sitting on before she was threw up again.She shut the ride down so staff could come hose it down. That’s pretty awesome. We made it to at a 25% puke rate. I’m proud to say none of my family puked, although I was incredibly close more than once. Oliver remembered throwing up last year, so he was extra cautious with his ride choices this year, smart kid.

Us moms faded fast in the hot sun, so we set up under some shade and let the kids have at ‘er. The big kids were old enough to do their own thing and come back and find us, and the littler kids paired up with the medium kids to do some rides right where we could see them. I lost Oliver once and didn’t even know it, but besides that, I think we did really well going home with the exact amount of kids we arrived with.Alissa found Oliver wandering around somewhere while I was sitting at a bench beside a play structure waiting for him to come out when apparently he’d left quite awhile ago…. Oops.

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We ate fried dill pickles and cotton candy for supper. Seth loved those fried pickles so much, he ate half of mine when I had to take a kid to the bathroom. I bought him another one and then I ate half of his when he wasn’t looking. He said next year he’s bringing his own money so he can have as many fried pickles as he wants.

Group shots are hard with nine kids, but we tried.

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I can’t remember what Oliver’s problem was there, but the picture was non-optional, crying or not.

Even though it completely exhausted us and made most of us sick, it was another fabulous year at Tinkertown. Can’t wait to do it again next year.