On not marrying close relatives.

While driving home from Winnipeg today Oliver started singing in the back seat. His song went like this,

“I’m gonna grow up and have weird babies!…..

Because I’m gonna marry my cousin!”

I laughed so hard, obviously.


I know I barely blog anymore- I’ll blame it on Instagram- but this just had to be documented.

I wish he’d never grow up because the things he says are just constant hilarity right now. Although I might be safe to assume that the hilarity will just get better and better as he gets older. I’ll just have to wait and see I guess! For now I’ll just keep listening and laughing! 

Oliver :: Seven

On Sunday we celebrated Oliver’s seventh birthday, Captain Underpants style. I made capes for the kids, Oliver drew a big Tippy Tinkletrousers on our chalkboard, and my good old pinata-making brother-in-law made a gitch pinata. Oliver REALLY wanted an underpants pinata, and, not-surprisingly, those don’t seem to be readily available at the party store. Uncle Adam to the rescue! The kids thought it was the absolute best. It was hanging out on the deck, and every new kid that arrived got taken straight outside- “come see Oliver’s pinata! It’s hilarious!” It was perfect. It always does my heart good to see my little introvert surrounded by all his friends, who, judging by their birthday cards, really seem to get him and his sense of humor. It was such a great day.

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Oliver had so much fun and received so many great presents- art supplies, lego, and books. I love how excited kids get to give their gifts. Oliver read every card and all the kids were cracking up at some of them.

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Did you notice- there were GIRLS at Oliver’s party! So fun to have a mix at a birthday and I think this may have been our first every birthday party where the guest list wasn’t comprised solely of boys. One of the girls even wrote “love you he he” on her card for Oliver. Neil and I had a good little chuckle. These lovely children ate the Captain Underpants cake almost all up, an then had a great time whacking at the very-heavy-duty pinata. It was so much fun.

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We ended the day off with a quick trip to the ER for Ben, who cut his foot on a sharp rock and needed four stitches. He didn’t cry even once, and really didn’t even waiver from his usual happy face, throughout it all. He even watched the doctor put the local aneasthetic in his gaping wound with hardly more than a mild teeth-clenching. I was super proud of him. Honestly I think he was just enjoying all the extra screen-time.

Yesterday we skipped school to hang out for Oliver’s birthday. We were planning to head to the Narcisse snake pits but the weather screwed up those plans. Neil took the afternoon off work and took the boys to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 instead. Oliver played with his lego and puzzles and pile of new Captain Underpants books. He had a great birthday. I can’t believe he’s seven now. I feel like he might always be my baby. He’s my boy baby and Ivy’s my girl baby, although since Ivy is often more independent I probably consider Oliver more of my baby than I do her.

He’s such an amazing kid, my Oliver. His mind works in such an incredible way. He still spends almost every waking minute drawing or writing at the table, although now that he is a reader, he can be found curled up with a book fairly often too. He’s not much of an outside kid, but lately I’ve been convincing him to go outside just to sit on the deck and read. He’s also finally mastered the bike, and is very happy to go biking whenever he can. I’m so happy he’s got the hang of it!

He’s still planning to be an author when he grows up, but he’s also leaning heavily to being a massage therapist too. He is very interested in massage therapy and is always offering to give massages (of course he loves to receive too!). He has designed a logo for his own massage place (msos dot com- “massage” is a tricky word to spell!). He has made us countless gift certificates for free massages although he recently started charging 50 cents a session. He can give a pretty good massage but be warned- he WILL massage your buns when you least expect it!

Oliver’s tender heart is my favorite thing, although it leaves my heart on edge so much- just worrying over his heart. Neil and I definitely don’t worry about our other kids the same way we worry over Oliver. He’s so sensitive and gentle, and I just never want to see him hurt. He would never, and honestly HAS NEVER, hurt anyone on purpose. Never. I’ve basically never had to discipline him for anything. He would just never do anything to offend or hurt anyone. He’s just the sweetest child and I feel like my heart could just burst open I love him so much.

Anyway, happy birthday my dear Oliver. Being your mother makes me the luckiest person ever.

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ps when Oliver turned onetwo, threefourfivesix! And just for fun, his birth story (it’s a good one!).

Sitting here in my favorite spot on the couch drinking coffee, watching Ivy draw at the table, and I can’t help but feel like I just want to let this moment sink deep. I want it to go somewhere in my brain where I can easily access it again, years from now when she’s a teenager doing whatever teenagers do. But in reality I know I’ll totally forget it, it’ll be a vague distant “what was that even like?” kind of feeling. That’s why, instead of scrolling through my instagram feed, again, I’m just stopping and documenting. 

I want to remember how we spent the morning signing school agendas and home reading forms; packing backpacks and discussing middle school orientation with Seth, recess-time plans with Oliver. How Ben was so excited about the new underwear I bought him last night. How Ivy asked Oliver to teach her to draw, and how he happily obliged. How I helped Oliver turn his shirt around so it wasn’t backwards, like I do almost every morning. How Seth talked about what video games he wanted to play after swimming lessons today. 

I read something somewhere that struck such a chord with me- it said “it’s not that you want more babies, but you want more time with the babies you already have.” Yes, I do! I want more time! But there’s no more time to be had, and so I’m working on slowing down more, on making the most of the time we’re in.

The other night when I was tucking the bigs in, I prayed with Seth and kissed him goodnight like usual. He looked so content and full of love, like he always does, that I climbed into bed with him and just laid there with him for a few minutes. He held me beside him (he’s almost as big as me now!) and held my hand while I laid there, and I felt like I couldn’t remember the last time I did that. Why do I rush to get those kids tucked in as quickly as possible, like it’s a race to “free time”? Honestly of course by 8pm I’m more than ready for some free time, but I need to remind myself how fast these years fly by, and try my hardest to slow them down!

Anyway, end of emotional rambling. I think with middle school AND kindergarten coming up this fall I’m feeling the feels extra hard right now. I feel like I’m in a near-constant state of lump-in-my-throat, tears-prickling-at-the-back-of-my-eyes emotions. Who knew I would be such an emotional softie when it came to my kids growing up? I’ll tell you, four years ago I wouldn’t have guessed this would be me.


So, may I never forget what it’s like to have little bodies that sit at my table and cover it with countless papers, pens, and markers. May I hold them close and hold them long. 

Oliver’s drawings.

I feel like Oliver’s been drawing basically nonstop since he could hold a pencil. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first thing he does when he wakes up is reach for a paper and pencil, and it’s usually the last thing he puts away at the end of the day too. He fills every spare minute he can with drawing, and I just love his work! He crams so much amazing detail into every drawing he does. Lately he’s been adding a lot of misspelled words, too, which I love. He does his six year old best. 

These are a few of my favourites from the last couple days:


He’s been reading Dog Man all week and he just loves it. He ordered one off Amazon (with his mom’s help of course) and read it in a day, and now he’s reading one of Ben’s. He still reads solely out loud, stumbling along and asking for help when he doesn’t know the word, or just skipping or making up the words.  I just love it. At the end of the book there’s a “how to draw dog man” section and Oliver clearly aced that lesson. I posted one of those pictures on IG and the author of the book left a comment- so cool for Oliver (and me too!).


Those are Oliver’s mock up logos for a BMX shop. He’s a leftie so he occasionally writes his letters in reverse. I told him he may have a career in graphic design/branding.


That little guy at the end of the first line of that comic strip just kills me.


That pose! That’s A.B. Pronounced “Abby”, like “abs”- like a six pack who’s a guy. 

Here’s another picture of “Ab Man” and his “Abby Sidekicks”. I die. (Still working on getting “b”s and “d”s straight when writing.)


The “ab-y sidekicks” are actually just little six packs with arms and legs!! His imagination runs deep, that’s for sure.

And this last picture is just a school project, but I still love it.


I love that the things that make him lucky are 1) his pets 2) his family 3) his home and 4) fruit. Oliver lives for bananas. If we are out of bananas, life is not complete, so it’s only fitting that he drew a bowl of fruit. 

Oliver is starting art classes in a couple of weeks and I’m really excited to see how that goes. He’ll be learning all kinds of new mediums and I’m curious to see if he’ll like them, or if he’ll just want to stick to good old paper and pencil. Either way I really can’t wait to see what he creates.

What she said.

Yesterday I was working on a quilt block while Ivy played nearby, when she turned to me and said,

“You know, there’s basically no such thing as bad luck, scientifically speaking.”

And she used air quotes when she said “scientifically speaking”.

Five year olds are freaking awesome.

She’s been keeping busy working on a million pieces of paper food for daaaaays now. She’s drawn and cut out fruits and vegetables, slices of pizza, a whole cake, many many pieces of cake, cupcakes, donuts, brownies, jugs and glasses of lemonade, plates, forks, spoons, napkins, and even tiny crumbs. It’s actually seriously awesome. She’ll make you a plate of paper food, hand you a fork and napkin, and do the same herself. She even dabs at the corners of her mouth with her napkin (which is a piece of paper) after she’s eaten her food (all hand drawn and cut out by Ivy). She’s made a very impressive collection already and she still has plans to add to it. She wants to work on hard candies today. 


Today I’m trying to fight off a chest cold/maybe bronchitis for the second day and so Ivy is watching way too much YouTube kids, again. I just dragged myself out of bed after sleeping for 2 1/2 hours, because I felt like I should probably feed Ivy lunch. Because it’s 2 pm.

I had to bake cookies and blondies this morning for Seth’s class bake sale tomorrow, which almost killed me. 

The laundry is piling up but I feel too overwhelmed to carry it to the basement.

Neil’s away in Edmonton till midnight. Being sick and single parenting is a bad combo. I’m trying to figure out if the kids can cook their own supper tonight, or if they’d mind just eating popcorn for supper. 

Anyway I did make it out of bed and onto the couch and I’m sure Ivy won’t mind topping up her screen time by watching some Netflix with me.


She loves wearing that toque with built in headphones while she’s on the iPad, and she will only ever play on the iPad in bed, usually with her door shut. Works for me.

Also, she’s been wearing those pajamas since Monday evening. She even wore them to swimming lessons. That’s how we roll. 

At the zoo.

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It had been awhile since we used our zoo memberships so last week we took advantage of an inservice day and headed out. It’s a long drive for us, but literally every time we’re there I wonder why we don’t come more often. We always have the greatest time and are usually there as long as we possibly can be.

That random toddler kept photo bombing my shots!

My favorite part is the polar bears. I just can’t get over how awesome they are swimming around in the tunnel. The one that was swimming when we were there last week was relatively new to the exhibit and he was so playful. He was basically taking selfies with people. He was selfie’d out by the time the other people were done taking pictures with him, but he still followed Ivy around, and tried to catch Ben’s toque. The zoo volunteer there said she’d never seen him do that before.

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The seals are a lot of fun too. There are so many of them now and the kids had so much fun with them.

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After the polar bears we had a snack and the kids played in the indoor playground. I feel like they could easily spend an entire day in that playground. This time I left them in there and drank my coffee in the restaurant area alone. It was pretty sweet sipping my coffee in the quiet sunshine instead of in the dark noisy play area.

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After the zoo I had promised Oliver he could buy a new fish for his tank. Ivy had to play with the hamsters of course.

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She just loves anything tiny and fluffy. And I mean, they are pretty cute.

Anyway, it was a super fun day. We kind of rushed home because Neil got Jets tickets on the glass last-minute and he was going to take Ben with him.


 Neil was worried about Seth being upset but Seth very matter-of-fact and truthfully responded that he didn’t really care about hockey games and that he’d rather read. Good old Seth. And you know, he wasn’t lying one bit.

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Lately he’s been choosing to read in his room instead of the living room, and since he reads for hours a day, I miss him!  But I don’t blame him, if I could find a quiet place to read all day I totally would!

The big chop.

Last week Ivy asked if she could go get a haircut. She wanted to chop all her hair off. She’s been asking to cut her long hair off and on for a good year so I decided to just go with it. It’s her hair, after all, and if she wants it short, she should be able to have it short. We discussed the pros (less brushing, less tangles) and cons (no braids, no ponytails, it will take a long time to grow back) and she was still adamant about cutting it. So we booked her in for a cut.

First she had to let me take pictures of her beautiful long hair though.

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Ahhh! It’s so thick and long and healthy! Her hair is really amazing- I just love it.

But honestly she hated having it brushed- it was a fight every single time; and she refused to wear braids or ponytails most of the time, so why not cut it I guess.

It was long enough that she could donate her hair, so that was a nice perk.

And, of course, she looks adorable.

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It’s been over a week now and she’s had no regrets. She loves her haircut. I love it too, although I miss that crazy long hair too!

And now someone else who needs it more can have that lovely hair for their head.

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I lied- her one regret is that she didn’t keep her braids to play with at home. 😉

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