Seth is 9.

Today is Seth’s ninth birthday. It’s weird how there’s absolutely no trace of little kid left in him. It’s been gone for awhile now, really. He’s just a big kid who does his own thing and takes care of himself and doesn’t really need me anymore. It’s fine, but it’s kind of weird. He very rarely ever comes to me spontaneously for a hug or a kiss, although he will oblige me briefly if I appear appropriately pathetic. I have to assume this situation will only get worse.

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But, even if he doesn’t need me, he’s a good kid, my nine year old Seth. He’s turning into a lover of routine and efficiency. Every morning he has his “chores” that need to be done: get dressed, make bed, put laundry away, brush teeth, feed Dog, empty dishwasher. It’s like he’s always trying to beat his previous time, and having everything done as quickly as possible is a real source of pride for him. I absolutely never have to remind him to do these things, and I’ve never once heard him complain about them. This is possibly because these are first thing in the morning chores, and Seth is tortured by laying in bed a moment past 0700. Asking him to help do dishes or sweep the floor after supper is almost always met with complaint, coupled with a sudden urgent need to use the bathroom.

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He continues to read voraciously, usually downing a chapter book or two a day. This is probably one of my favorite things about Seth, probably because it reminds me so much of myself. I was the same way as a kid, and now I’m jealous of the hours he has to devote to laying around reading every day, although I still try to squeeze some reading in whenever I can. Seth and I, sitting on the couch, just reading, it brings me a lot of happiness.

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He’s a good big brother. And the worst. He can take such good care of his siblings, or be such an obnoxious jerk to them. By them, I mean mostly Ben. Although they both still get along really well almost all of the time, sometimes Seth is such a master at pushing Ben’s very sensitive buttons.

He still loves his Lego. He started building his birthday sets this morning, then we were out all day. He seemed almost tortured at a certain point in the day, because he just wanted to get home and finish building, he said. He even told me he didn’t want to play video games today because he just wanted to build. That’s basically a miracle because he’s also obsessed/addicted to Minecraft. Sometimes he wants to talk about Minecraft, and I try so hard to act interested, but it’s like torture. I just don’t get it. But the Internet told me Minecraft is good for kids’ brains so I’m just holding on to that. We don’t do much screen time around this house anyway, so I’m sure it won’t kill him. Just please don’t talk to me about it anymore. That’s what your friends are for. (He and his friends are currently planning on producing Minecraft YouTube videos, which I think would be super fun, but I have no idea if any of them have any idea how to do that.)

He loves soccer too. His spring season went so well this year, thank goodness. Last spring was a total bust due to a variety of factors, but this season was a hundred times better. I love seeing him having so much fun and being so passionate about something. He’s gotten so much more confident on the field over the last year, and I’m really proud of him. He’s signed up for a soccer camp at the end of this month, and he actually told me he’s really excited about it, which is highly unsual for Seth when it comes to any time commitments outside of being at home. I’m excited for him too.

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Today we celebrated with birthday pancakes, as per usual. That was a stupid thing I did a couple years ago that has now somehow turned into a tradition that involves me getting out of bed and making pancakes with icing and sprinkles and candles before everyone is starving. It’s not the worst, I guess, and I’m not gonna lie, I like my pancakes with sprinkles on top four times a year. He opened his presents: Pokemon from his brothers, Halo lego, a soccer net, and a new ball from us.

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After breakfast we checked out the Lego store that just opened up here. Lots of inspiration in there- so much to look at. Then my mom and dad babysat Ivy while the rest of us went to see Jurassic World. Yes, we were those people who brought their five year old to Jurassic World. Oliver seemed completely un-phased while I actually yelled out loud on at least three occasions. Clearly we’ve done something wrong parenting-wise there. We ate popcorn and Mars bars for lunch and we all loved the movie. Seth said it was the best movie he ever saw.

We picked up some groceries for his birthday party tomorrow, and then we went to A+W for Seth’s birthday supper. I told him he could pick anywhere he wanted, and I was sure he would pick a pizza place, but I was very happy when he chose A+W. Miraculously, coupons arrived in the mail exactly yesterday, and we fed our entire family supper for the same price as our popcorn at the movie. That is not an exaggeration. At all. What the what is with the stupid expensive movie popcorn? That’s why we only buy it twice a year or something. Anyway, Seth had a good birthday, and I’m happy he got to do the things he wanted to. We just had a big thunderstorm and I’m hoping the sky is getting all the rain out of it’s system so we can play outside with his friends tomorrow.

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(Ivy’s face!!)

Happy birthday, dear Seth. I love the big kid that you are.

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ps. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

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Mosquitoes and tiny goats.

Yesterday was a nice sunny summer day. It needed to be enjoyed. I thought an adventure was in order. Ben loves going on adventures, which is really just a fancy word for exploring a trail in Bird’s Hill Park.

So we grabbed the water bottles and the bug spray and hit the trail.

For like 90 seconds, at which point we were surrounded by approximately one hundred thousand mosquitoes. We ran back to the car and re-applied mosquitoes spray liberally. I sprayed our clothes, our hair, and our bodies again. We hit the trail again. We made it farther this time. We lasted a whole 3 minutes before we turned around and got the heck out of there. The air was just thick with mosquitoes and the buzzing in my ear was making me crazy.

So we bailed on that adventure and ran across the road to Pineridge Hollow, which was complete with beautiful flower beds, ponds with tadpoles, tiny goats, and a shop full of neat toys for kids and pretty things for moms. We stayed for two hours. It was great.

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Ben made friends with this goat. It liked when Ben scratched it’s side, so Ben just scratched and scratched that goat. They bonded.

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Ivy and Seth loved these little Pygmy goats. They will only be 15 inches tall when they’re full grown! What! Someone get me one!

 

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We played in the shop. I bought a pretty dish towel and the kids each got a stick of candy. Happiness all around.20140716-212611-77171510.jpg
When we were adventured out we headed home, are supper, and spent the evening working on the playhouse, playing with the kids from the neighbourhood, and finished it all off with a game of 500 Up. That game can be a little rowdy I guess, as Ben and Seth had a run in that resulted in a big puffy black eye for Ben.

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Poor Ben, he was so worried about what other people would say about his eye, worried that people would laugh at him. (This was likely because Seth took one look at him and totally burst out laughing. Jerk). It took some time to convince him that people would think it was cool but he did decide to go to VBS this morning and he came home wearing that shiner like a badge of honor.

Shiner or not, it was a good summer day. Tomorrow we’re hoping to crash my parents pool and then pick a few baskets of strawberries. I can taste them already.

Seth is 8.

Today Seth turns 8.

Last night when I prayed with him, I thanked God for this boy who made me a mom the first time. It was late at night, so close to the time of his birth, which was just after midnight. I told Seth how at that exact time eight years ago, I was working so hard to get him out, screaming and swearing, and it hurt so bad, and I was so tired. But then he was born, and I remember just instinctvely reaching down and scooping him up and pulling him to my chest. I cried, so relieved, so happy, so so in love.

I can barely believe that that first baby of mine is eight years old.

He’s a great kid. Loves reading and lego most of all. Takes good care of his brothers and sister. Helps with a happy heart, usually. He’s pretty quiet, and does his own thing a lot, and just needs some space, sometimes, but in the mornings, he’ll come sneaking into our bedroom and ask for a cuddle, and it’s just the best. He climbs right in, and spoons around me, his feet are almost where mine are, he’s getting so tall, and drapes his arm over mine and holds my hand. It doesn’t last long, and it might be the only affection given voluntarily in a day that I get from him, but it reminds me that he’s still my baby, and that he loves me.

Happy birthday Seth. I love you.

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A lost gecko and emotions run high.

Last night while we were tucking the babies in bed, Seth ran out of his room saying “Yoda’s not in his cage!”

Yoda cannot climb out of his cage; he’s not that kind of gecko. But he can be taken out of his cage, played with, and completely forgotten about whilst one rainbow looms on the bedroom floor. Which is exactly what happened. The last time I had seen Yoda he was sitting on the floor beside Seth while Seth watched a Youtube tutorial and made bracelets. By bedtime last night Seth had absolutely no recollection of this situation. I believe him, too, because Seth (and I’m gonna put it out there and say all other males as well) cannot multi-task. When he is focused on one thing, he simply cannot pay attention to another thing. He just can’t. So that’s what happened. Yoda was forgotten about, the evening went on, and then at bedtime it was apparent that Yoda was missing.

Seth was more upset than I’ve really ever seen him. He was in tears, and so distraught that he couldn’t even focus to actually look for Yoda. Neil and Ben and I looked in all the dark corners in the bedroom, picked up boxes and books and papers that Yoda might hide under, and wondered if Yoda would have left the room. He’s pretty small, after all, and that would be a big hike for him.

Seth was crying, “I’m so so sorry! I’m so sorry that I lost Yoda!” Honestly it did my heart good to see Seth so emotionally invested in something. He’s so even keel about everything sometimes I wonder if he just doesn’t care about anything! But clearly he does.

Ben found Yoda hiding in Seth’s giant Halo lego set. The relief on poor Seth’s face! I was relieved too. I was worried Yoda was hiding in a sweatshirt on the floor and then we’d either step on him or chuck him in the washing machine. Since Yoda doesn’t climb, and moves fairly slowly, I didn’t ever think we would lose him, but we did, and we found him, so there’s that life experience done now.

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Today we’re just chilling out at home. I worked out, cleaned the bathroom, and made a giant batch of granola. Ivy’s down for a nap and Oliver’s playing on the iPad so I think that means it’s break time for me too. The sun is shining and it’s supposed to get to 12 today so I think we’re going to check out the playground when Ivy wakes up. Later we’re going to pick the boys up from school and go to the library. I still need to figure out what to make for supper, story of my life, and I’m trying to get all of our video clips onto DVDs, too. I just ordered a couple photo books so I’ll be up to date to the end of February, which makes me sooooo happy. If the videos are up to date too I’ll be at peace with my life! Really I just need to get them off this computer because the hard drive is getting dangerously full. Anyway, always a million things to do, and I’m thankful that I get to mostly stay home to do them!

“The Gingerbreadman and Santa”

Seth came home from school the other day with his first self-published short story. I really loved it. Seth does not enjoy writing, not yet, anyway. Every week he comes home with a little journal of what he did at school that week. He did this in grade one too, and I have to sign it or write a little note back to his note, that sort of thing. I swear, he’s written the exact same thing every single entry. For two years. I’m so bored of reading it and signing it, because it’s SO boring. He complains about it too, and just can’t seem to think how to expand his thoughts farther than “I had math. We went to computer class. We had assembly.” Etc. Etc.
Anyway, I was so pleased to read his short story, with detail and expression and humor everything else a good short story (written by a seven year old) should have.

So here’s his story, just as he wrote it:

“The Gingerbreadman and Santa”

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Santa was at an igloo about to eat a gingerbreadman when all of a sudden the gingerbreadman spoke and he said “Santa don’t eat me.” When the gingerbreadman spoke, Santa fainted. Santa woke up a minute later and remembered that he had to deliver the presents. Then the gingerbreadman spoke again and said “Can I come with you.” Then Santa said “Yes you can come with me.” Then the gingerbreadman quickly hoped out of the igloo and climbed the sides of the igloo and then hopped into Santa’s sleigh. Then they flew to a nearby barn. The gingerbreadman jumped out of Santas sleigh and saw a snowman. The gingerbreadman crept a little closer then the snowman said “Hi my name is Frosty the snowman what is yours?” When Frosty the snowman said that the gingerbreadman ran around the barn twenty-seven times. Then he stoped and thought for a minute. He looked to the side and he saw Frosty the snowman and at that very second he fainted. Then half a minute later he woke up because he felt some snow fall over him. He looked up and saw Santa’s sleigh fly above him to the house across the street. So the gingerbreadman got up and walked across the street. But he did not know that Frosty the snowman was following him. The gingerbreadman thought that something was following him but he thought that it was just a deer, moose, or bunny.

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So he looked back to see Frosty the snowman. When he saw Frosty the snowman he was scared so much he ran to the house and climbed up the house and jumped into Santa’s sleigh. He got in just in time to see Santa pop out of the chimney. Then the gingerbreadman fell asleep. Then he woke up and hour later and said “Santa can I live with you.” Santa said “Yes you can.” So the gingerbreadman and Santa got out at the North Pole in front of the house. Santa went in the house and started making a little bed. So the gingerbreadman wen it. Santa and a bunch of elves yelled “Merry Christmas”. The End.

I realize that probably you’re not as amused by this story as I am, being that I am the author’s mother, but I just wanted to share it. I know I don’t write much about what the older kids are up to, and it’s probably because they’re busy doing their own things most of the time, and they need so much less of me than the babies do. Seth’s at school full time and when he’s home he’s often in his room playing lego or sitting on the couch reading. He barely needs me anymore, which is weird, because he’s only seven. The other morning we found him in bed with a balled up kleenex in his nose. He had a nose bleed in the night and took care of it all by himself. (He told me this was because Neil told him never to wake us up, to which I replied of course he can wake us up if he has a problem he needs help with, but I’m also wondering why Neil hasn’t given this firm instruction to the other kids…) But even though he’s so independent, he still knows that I at least need to feel needed by him, and so every once and awhile he spontaneously finds me just to give me a hug. He likes to climb in for a cuddle in the mornings too, and I really do love his quick little hugs and kisses. He continues to be such a sweet big brother, especially to Ivy. Lately he doesn’t want to do much without her, and it seriously melts my heart. Their relationship reminds me a lot of me and my baby brother a million years ago. I love having kids close in age, but there’s something so special about that almost six year age gap too. I’m very proud of the boy Seth is, and every day he makes me prouder. Even if I’m also a little sad at how big he’s getting. Do you know he’s read over 500 chapters or short books since the middle of September?? Only a few other kids are at 300, and no one else has made it to 400. Needless to say, I’m a proud mama. Also, his brain. I was talking about how many muffins I made the other day, 5 dozen, and Seth was just wandering by, then paused for a minute, then said, “So, 60?” HOW DID HE DO THAT? I don’t even know my 12 times tables, and I know they haven’t started learning multiplication in school yet. So, his brain. It’s amazing. I love his brain. And his sweet heart.

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Seth says.

Mom: “Last night Dad was vacuuming and he broke our vacuum cleaner.”

Seth: “Oh. I guess just kids and moms can vacuum.” (You wish Neil.)

Timeless advice from Seth: “You never go by a porcupine because it might throw some porks at your cheek.”