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.


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. πŸ˜‰


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. πŸ™‚

Ivy :: Four.


Today is Ivy’s fourth birthday. To me, it’s like the final farewell to the baby years in this house. Four is most definitely NOT a baby anymore. There are no more babies in this family. I’m okay with it I guess, because big kids are pretty awesome. I just wish the baby phase lasted a teeny bit longer. It whizzed by so fast I feel like I kind of missed it.

So, it’s hard to believe.Β Hard to believe I have my last baby is four years old now. It actually feels kind of crazy to say it.

But this four year old, my Ivy James, she’s incredible.

Obsessed with make-up lately. Always with the make-up, thanks to those aunties who bought her cheap make-up for Christmas. She’s always putting make-up on, and on, and on, and on. Washing it off, re-applying. Doing make-overs with her five year old cousin. Checking herself out in the mirror. She loves the make-up.

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Taylor Swift. She’s her biggest fan, and lip-syncs to all the words. Her favorites are Blank Space and Wildest Dreams, but any T.Swift will do. When she hears her on the radio, she’s yelling, “Turn the music up MOM!!!” She loves a lot of music, really, and recognizes a lot of the voices on the radio. She’s got some sweet dance moves lately, too. Not from dance class, mind you, which she HATES and NEVER wants to do EVER AGAIN. (Thanks for deciding that precisely once class after begging me to sign you up for a “million million” more dance classes.)


She’s funny, and she knows it. She loves being the center of attention, and often is. Being the baby of the family AND being the only girl helps a lot. Plus she comes up with some pretty silly stuff, like “panty day”. That was pretty hilarious.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Ivy loves playing. She keeps herself busy playing with all sorts of things but lately her favorite things are My Little Ponies, Shopkins (what are those anyway?), and Barbie Lego. Basically anything tiny wins. She also loves all plush toys too. She got a stuffed kitten for her birthday yesterday and it may as well be real to her.


She loves people too. She loves her cousins so much, and I am so happy she has so many girl cousins to play with (6!). She loves her brothers like crazy, too. She’s even starting to play nicely with Oliver (FINALLY).


She’s super polite but can be super sassy. She’s sweet and compassionate, loving and forgiving; fun, adventurous, and brave. She still loves napping and she still sucks on her fingers, despite me taking away her blankie in September.



We love our Ivy times infinity and we feel extremely lucky that she’s part of our family. I just love my family so much, all parts of it, and it wouldn’t be complete without her.

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Happy birthday Ivy. I love you!

ps. Of course whenever my kids have a birthday I spend hours reading back about when they were littler. Here’s when Ivy turned one, two, and three.

pps. We had family and friends over to celebrate yesterday. Ivy requested hot dogs and pink and purple cake. Tonight for her actual birthday she’s requested sandwiches.


Conversations with Ivy.

This is an actual conversation I had with my three year old daughter yesterday morning:

Ivy, you need to sleep in your own bed. You are coming to my bed every night and waking me up.

Well, it’s an accident that I came in your bed.

No. Getting out of your bed and walking to my room and then getting in my bed is not an accident.

Don’t be a jerk.

I mean, I have no words.

Like none.

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And this morning she brought me the heat pack and asked me to “put the hotness back in it.”

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up.

But quit calling me a jerk.

Ivy draws.

Like her brothers that have gone before her, Ivy has turned into an avid little drawer.

Lately the kids have been obsessed with Art for Kids Hub on Youtube. (If you haven’t checked this out, please do. I highly recommend.) Drawing drawing drawing one million pictures a day. Using at least one old growth forest’s worth of paper every week.

Ivy’s favorite video is how to draw Peppa Pig. It’s 12 minutes long, and she’s watched it many many times.

If you’re wondering, this is what Peppa Pig actually looks like:


And this is Ivy’s version:


I might be completely biased, but I think it’s pretty darn good for a 3 1/2 year old. I also particularly love her self-portrait:


We’ve been having lovely girls days together while all the boys are at school, although she always complains that she misses them. She chooses naps over screen time, which is a clear indicator that she is her mother’s daughter.

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She keeps herself busy playing in a box while I do chores, or paints and colors while I prep supper. It’s a beautifully quiet and simple day with just a single kid around. Downright dreamy.

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Today she kept interrupting what I was doing, asking for a snack, and I was getting frustrated, and I guess my tone of voice made it clear. While I told her to wait a minute, she said, “Geez Louise Mom!” All I could do was laugh. She’s also been busy reminding me to say “pardon me” instead of “what” which is pretty amusing, especially since she’s the queen of asking “WHAT?” when she doesn’t hear something clearly.


Anyway, my Ivy, she sure knows how to have fun, and I love her so much. We watched home videos of her today, of when she turned just one year old. I’m upset I have no more babies after watching all that cuteness. I have to buy Ivy size 4 clothes now, and that’s a real heartbreaker if you ask me. My time in the toddler clothing section is very limited, and I’m sad. Thank goodness my sister-in-law is having a baby any day now. Preferably tomorrow, please. I need more babies in my life, stat.