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.

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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.

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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!”

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The neverending neverending.

Lately I’ve just felt so overwhelmed by my “to-do” list. Like I’m doing and doing and doing and never not doing but I never get to the bottom of my list. And since I never get to  the bottom, I never get to anything fun, or relaxing, or just anything I actually WANT to do. I’m trying so hard to do all the NEED-to-do’s that I never get to the want-to-do’s. It’s so frustrating. Am I just the worst time manager? Well, I know I’m not the best. Do I just have too much? I don’t know. Why haven’t I been able to find even ten minutes to start that book I got for Christmas? I don’t get it.

Anyways, this morning, I decided to forget the to-do list and just chill out.

I had a really long shower.

I cleaned the bathroom, but I wanted to do it, so it was ok with me.

I helped Oliver with writing a book he’s working on.

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I braided Ivy’s hair. Apparently completely wrong because she burst into tears as soon as she looked in the mirror. It was so bad she threw herself sobbing onto her bed and fell asleep.

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I ate lunch with the kids.

And I’m going to have a nap.

I still do need to do a couple things this afternoon, and there are a couple sewing projects I’ve been wanting to start for forever. I want to make it happen this afternoon.

I’m going to make fajitas for supper, and I want to make donuts for dessert, just because.

I just want to have a good day, for goodness’ sake.

Funny story/side note:

Last night when I came home from work I went to climb into bed and nearly tripped on Ivy, who was sleeping on the floor.

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I’m starting to think she’s got narcolepsy. Or that sleep is a coping mechanism for her. She’ll definitely put herself to sleep whenever things aren’t going her way. Yesterday and today she had already had a nap before 11:30 am. It’s weird.

Anyway, cheers to a good day. And a nap.

 

 

Winter in Winnipeg.

On Saturday we went to meet a friend’s new baby, and then we went to the Forks to play. It was a nice mild day, and even though the kids were adamantly against skating on the river trail, they were game for a winter walk. We were actually about to head home but decided we better just make the most of the great weather and spend some time outside.

And it was the best.

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We just walked the trail, played in the warming huts, and ran around in the snow maze. That maze was definitely the kids’ favorite part. Ivy and Oliver just ran around in there forever.

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I’m not really an “outside” person when it comes to winter, but I should do stuff like this more. It’s always really fun and it always makes me really appreciate and love where I live! I think the warming huts are my favorite part.

 

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We tried to do a family selfie. Ivy wasn’t into it.

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Neither was Oliver apparently. I dragged him into some other pictures though. Ben, though: #winning.

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Wow. Crow’s feet happening in full force there.

Anyways, such a good day, and the kids want to go back. I want to go back too, but this time just with Neil. Like on a date. A real date.

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I’d take that handsome guy on a date too. :)

Happy winter! Even happier because it’s already February 2nd, and the groundhog saw his shadow so it’s basically almost spring now.

The end of January.

January 29th already. I mean, really. Amazing. Spring is just around the corner, right? It was pretty cold the first couple (few?) weeks of the year, but this week it’s warmed up and it even rained a couple days ago. Rain! In January! That was weird. But I was okay with it. We made snowmen and shovelled the driveway in the rain. Today is supposed to be above zero too, so hopefully our snowmen don’t melt away.

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The last few days we’ve been mostly at home, just hanging out. We haven’t gone out much, except to the post office. The other day when we were getting ready to go Oliver said to Ivy, “Come on sibling, time to go.” I laughed so hard. I asked him if he even knew what sibling meant, and he didn’t. All he knew was that the dinosaur on Jurassic World ate her sibling. So, you know a dinosaur ate its sibling, and that is why you chose to call your sister sibling? Seems accurate for Oliver, really.

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I took all the kids to the doctor on Tuesday. A couple of them were having their annual check-ups, and Seth was having a follow-up from an MRI he had in November about his wonky knee. Ben and Ivy are healthy and average heights and weights. Seth’s MRI showed a lesion in his knee and so he has a referral to orthopedics now. I’m not worried about it; and actually it feels good to know there actually is something there bothering him. It’s been bugging him on and off since kindergarten, sometimes to the point where he can’t even weight bear, but usually just to the point where it is painful and causes him to limp. It was hurting him again last week, but that was the first time in almost nine months or so probably. Super random. Anyway I guess we’ll see what ortho says about it!

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Can we talk about those brown eyes and those freckles though? And his big soft heart, too? He’s such a good kid you guys. Every night when I tuck him in, and he pulls me close for a cuddle and a kiss, I just feel so lucky and so thankful.

So that’s what’s been happening around here. Not a lot of anything, but that’s pretty much how I like it.

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Seriously, I just love being at home with no plans on the agenda. It’s my favorite.

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Of course, there’s always a million things that need to be done here, but that’s okay. One toilet at a time, one load at a time, one dish at a time. And maybe one nap at a time, too. As Ivy would say, “This is my life!” She means, “This is the life”, ha! I laugh every time she says it!