Garden Center.

I know I never blog but today was one of those times where I just felt like I really wanted to remember it and I knew I just wouldn’t if I didn’t document! So here I am, documenting.

Anyway spring is finally finally here after a loooooooooong coooooooold winter. Finally! I saw our first robin today so it’s legit. I know other people have claimed they’ve seen robins, and some have even texted me pictures of said robins, but I haven’t seen any in person, so it didn’t count.

Anyway spring has me just dying to see stuff growing and to get started in the gardens. Of course nothing is actually growing yet and I can’t get in the gardens for weeks still, so I was forced to buy some trays and soil and seeds and start some stuff indoors. I always want to do that but never do- I’m never sure where to put stuff. But today we did it and set up trays in Oliver and Ivy’s rooms. And let me tell you- they are thrilled. Those two are my little gardening buddies. Ivy especially, but Oliver likes to see things grow too.

He was so excited to have his own “garden center” in his room. We planted pink, blue, and white pumpkins, red sunflowers, blue poppies, milkweed, black eyed susans, sweet peas, and I can’t remember what else. Oliver is convinced we are going to get RICH selling pumpkins and sunflower seeds this fall. I saw pink pumpkins for $10 a pop at the farmers market last year so I’m kind of hoping he’s right. 😉

As soon as we had everything planted and set up in their rooms he got straight to work making a to-do list for his mini garden center.

I think it’s one of the best/funniest to-do lists I’ve ever seen.

I’ll translate for those of you who no longer speak seven year old.

  • plant seeds
  • water plants
  • make tons of moolah
  • build more shops
  • check on plants dayley (aka daily 😉)
  • sell more plants
  • get rich
  • do da floss (this is a dance move that you definitely know if you currently have kids)
  • and also best mate (this is another dance move from a video game called Fortnite that you also definitely know if you currently have kids)

And here’s the backside of his list:

  • design logo

And those are two flowers doing the aforementioned floss and best mate dance moves.

Guys I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited about Oliver’s future greenhouse empire. Especially because he said I could work there and take home plants for free.

Whether it pans out or not I’m really happy to have kids that enjoy gardening as much as I do and I love all the memories we make together working in the dirt. I can’t wait to see everything popping up in our little mini garden centers this week.


Ivy :: 6

Blogging happens so rarely now. I’m trying to get myself to a place where I don’t beat myself up about it; where I recognize there are seasons for everything and maybe this just isn’t a blogging season anymore, and that’s okay. BUT regardless of how little I write now- blogging on birthdays is a must. Although now that I say that- did I forget to blog on Seth’s birthday? Shoot.

It’s Ivy’s birthday today. She’s six now. SIX. If you had told me six years ago how quickly this day would come, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. The days of having all four kids in school seemed like a fantasy that was an eternity away. The fantasy became reality far quicker than I thought, and it turned out not to be a fantasy at all. Sure, I love my quiet days at home, but I really do miss the kids. Snow days are as exciting for me as for them- I’m so happy when I get them home with me. I decided yesterday, while pouring through old pictures and videos of the kids when they were smaller, that if I could, I really would freeze time right now, and keep them just how they are. Sometimes I think I’m just too sentimental to be a mother, even though if you ask my family (especially my dad), they’ll probably say I’m not sentimental at all. I guess I’m only sentimental when it comes to my kids. I want to hold them tight and stay with them forever and I feel time slipping through my fingers like fine sand and it’s upsetting!! All that being said, they’re turning into the best little people I know, and I’m so extremely proud of who they are, and I truly am excited to see what they turn out to be, so I guess it will be okay, right?

Ivy, though. Six!

She’s so excited to be six. She’s such a grown-up, responsible, and independent child. If you ask her to do something (like put the dog out, or sweep the floor, or put her laundry away) she will almost always reply “sure, Mom” and get right to it without complaint. She helps her brothers when they need help too- especially Oliver, who doesn’t have that same independent spirit. She’s made him breakfast on more than one occasion because he still lacks the confidence to pour himself his own bowl of cereal.

She loves her family so wholeheartedly. Her and Oliver had a rough weekend of too many nit-picky fights- they were just in a funk (which is not super unusual for those two). When I tucked her into bed she just cried about how they weren’t getting along and she was so upset about it. We tried to make a plan about how they could get along better, including giving space where space is needed, and having more patience with him. She discussed it so thoroughly with me, and I know she took my suggestions to heart. She loves being with her brothers and playing lego with them, or having wrestling matches, or making little movie trailers with Ben on his phone. We had the laziest, most-wonderful Christmas break together, just all hanging out at home together, but boy that girl missed those boys when they went back to school that first day without her.

As much as she loves playing with her brothers, she’s also just the best at independent play. She always finds something to do to keep herself busy when we’re at home alone together. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up right now and lately I’ll find her sitting in her neatly made bed holding a book with one hand (like teachers do!) and “reading” to a bunch of toys sitting in a row at the end of the bed. She likes to look at Pinterest and find a little craft to make on her own, or play with all her Shopkins for hours.

She’s always up for an adventure, and oh I love her for that. Maybe it’s because she has three older brothers that she’s usually trying to keep up with, but I think she’d probably be just as brave without them- her personality is so big and so up for anything.

She is truly a gift to us all, with her happy heart that’s always so very quick to forgive. She is generous with her love and her cuddles. Whenever we say I love you, she always replies “I love you more!”, to which I always reply, no, you don’t- you’ll see one day when you have your own kids! She does love us a lot though, you can almost feel it in a tangible way. Neil was showing her a little slideshow that he made her for her birthday, and she was just resting her head on his shoulder, her eyes looking soft and almost a little misty, kissing and hugging Neil from time to time. She told me later it made her so happy she almost cried. She’s so quick to compliment or encourage all of us- I just love that about her. She’ll often comment on what I’m wearing or how nice my makeup looks (on those rare occasions I put it on!). If her brothers try something she’ll tell them they did a great job. She is just a light in this house, and we are all so lucky to know her.

Happy sixth birthday my girl. I just don’t even know what I’d do without you. I love you so very very much.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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. 

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.


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.


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.


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


Ivy :: 5

Ivy is five today! Holy smokes you guys- the last five years went so crazy fast. I just can’t believe my last little baby is a full-on kid now. Not gonna lie, lots of feels about that. She’s a really great kid though, so I’ll be ok.

Oh Ivy, I just love you so freaking much!


You are such a fun kid, always up for any adventure. You’ll tackle any hike, try any new sport, and throw yourself right in on a royal rumble with your big brothers. If it looks fun, you’re up for trying it.

You love animals. Pretty much all animals, although soft and cuddly is your favorite. Cats are your life. I think if we got you a cat all of your dreams would come true and your life would be complete. But even though you love soft and cuddly, you also love catching frogs and snakes, and you love playing with our bearded dragon. You give him baths and take him for walks in your doll stroller sometime. Right now you want to be a vet when you grow up, and I think it could be a good fit for you!

You love playing. You play all day long with your Lego, your Shopkins, your dollhouse, whatever. You like hauling all the millions of small things you own out into the middle of the floor by the kitchen and playing there. That way you’re not alone. You keep yourself busy and you love being at home with your stuff. Yesterday morning you asked me, “Mom, are we staying home alllll day today?” And when I answered yes you said, “Oh good! I just love being at home with you.” I love being at home with you too babe! We have such nice days together. And even when we do have to go run errands, you’re always a good sport, always patient and helpful, even when we’d both rather be at home.

You’re such a good sister and daughter. You get along really well with all of your brothers, even Oliver, FINALLY! You play with them all the time, whatever they’re playing. You have no problem watching Star Wars or superhero movies, or wrestling, biking over jumps, imagining you’re a bad guy, whatever. You get right in there and play with anyone. You hardly ever get to play anything “girly”- so you love it when your cousins come over. You love those girls so much!


You’re polite and kind but also so crazy and weird sometimes. I love that about you. You tell fart jokes as well as any of your brothers but you still love dressing up all fancy once and awhile. You’ll accessorize to the nines or hang around in your brother’s old sweatpants. You love lip syncing. I haven’t heard you sing in years since you discovered lip syncing. Even if I’m singing in the van you ask me to “just move your mouth but don’t let any sound out, Mom.” You love music and you know what your favorite songs are. You’re pretty much the boss of the radio in the van.




Even though you’re mostly a really sweet girl, you are also very strong willed and have no problem saying NO to me and Dad if we ask you to do something. If you don’t want to do something, you’re pretty resolute in your decision not to do it. If you decide you don’t like what I cooked there’s pretty much nothing I can do about it. Once you’ve decided something, you are sticking to that decision for life apparently.


Your favorite foods are KD, spaghetti, sushi, and hamburgers. You asked for KD for your birthday breakfast. We had birthday pancakes with sprinkles instead. Grammy took you to “King Burger” for your annual birthday date last night. Almost every time we’re in Winnipeg you’re also of a sudden hungry for a “buhger”. We go through drive-thrus more often than I’m comfortable admitting. I can’t say no to your face and you know it.

You still love sleeping. You already when back to bed for a rest once this morning. (You were up so early today- SOOOO excited for your birthday!) You would take a nap every day if I let you, and if you ever catch me dozing on the couch, you’re like, “I’m gonna have a nap too Mom!!” You literally love napping. Like your Mama. I love your little sleep-loving self so much.

I just feel so lucky I get to be your Mom, Ivy. I love all the time we get to spend together. I’m excited to watch a girly movie with you today and to go out for sushi at a real restaurant instead of just Superstore. You’re a true gift to me Ivy and I love you so very much. Happy 5th birthday Baby.


ps: when Seth, Ben, and Oliver turned five. Apparently I didn’t write anything meaningful when Seth turned five. Sorry buddy. I’m sure you were a great kid then. 🙂