Sunday, May 31

We All Scream For Ice Cream

I'm not an ice cream girl. I like ice cream, but I can (and do) pass it up. That was before I discovered Chapman's Hokey Pokey ice cream. It's fantastic! It's expensive! We don't have it very often. However, it was on sale last week and I couldn't resist!

Sarah enjoys the Hokey Pokey and insist on feeding herself.

Katie can help herself to the ice cream (I don't enjoy this trick).

Bethie loves it so much that she feels she must consume every last bit.

Katie, too, loves the Hokey Pokey.

But Sarah loves it most!

Thursday, May 28

Out of The Mouth of Kate

Katie is a very articulate child. Recently, she has said to me:
  • "I am sick and tired of you always telling me to put my own shoes on!"
  • "Mummy, you're driving me CRAZY!"
  • "How many times do I have to tell you....?"

She never got to finish the last statement as I am fairly articulate myself. She, instead, was subject to the Wrath of Moi! I realised too late that she will probably remember what I have said as I reprimanded her and adopt my words as her own the next time I hear the Wrath of Katie!

Monday, May 25

A Great Idea

It was a beautiful day yesterday. We spent most of the day outside. When Sarah woke up from her afternoon nap, Dan went in to get her up and to give her a snack. I was "in charge" of the twins.

At this point in the day, I felt that the twins didn't require a lot of attention. They were happily playing together and running all over the yard. I was enjoying myself in the front garden doing some planting, weeding, and watering. Despite not having a fence, I wasn't too worried when the twins disappeared from my view. They have an innate respect for our property boundaries, they are terrified to go near the road, and they typically warn me before they do anything bad.

When Dan went in, I continued to let them muck about out of my sight. Every couple of minutes, I would call out "Are you happy?". Both girls would respond "yes". Great. They were content and within ear shot. I kept on doing my thing.

Katie made an appearance. She said, "I have a great idea! Let's put water into the pool!" (the pool is their little plastic wading pool that Dan had left out when cleaning the shed). I told her that this wasn't a good idea at all. It would be far too cold. Instead, she and Bethie could pretend to swim. This satisfied her and off she went.

About 10 minutes later, Katie was back and Bethie was right on her heels. As Katie spoke, she started taking off her clothes "I've got a new plan. I'm going to put my bathing suit on". As I was frantically trying to get her clothes back on, I explained that she could pretend that she was wearing a bathing suit. Both girls were pleased and disappeared again.

Moments later, the girls were back. Sopping wet. Since I had the hose in the front with me, I was confused why they could be so completely wet. Katie explained that they had gone swimming in the pool, and then she asked me to join. Needless to say, I was interested.

As we head into the backyard, I saw that the girls had pushed the pool under the "wheel" where I keep the hose. There is a small leak where my two hoses join. By moving the pool, they had captured the water that was leaking and thus started to fill the pool. And then they went swimming.

Much to Katie's dismay, I dumped the water out of the pool. Then she and I had heated negotiations about what we should do with the pool. I wanted to put it away and she wanted me to put more water in the pool. While we were "debating" this, Bethie had sat down in one of my gardens and literally rolled in the dirt.

Katie was screaming and crying and absolutely dripping wet. Bethie was happy as a lark, but wet and filthy! This is when Dan came outside again and commended me on my magnificent parenting abilities. How did I react? I took Sarah and told him to deal with the twins!

Wednesday, May 20

There's Only One Boss In Our House

I wanted Big Sarah to go to church with me and the twins. I knew that if I asked her myself, she would instead tell me where I could go (and it wouldn't have been church!). I decided to use Bethie. Bethie loves church. She loves the songs, she loves dancing in the aisle, and she loves the attention. She definitely would be keen for Big Sarah to join us.

As instructed, Bethie approached Big Sarah and sweetly asked "Will you come to church with me?". Gotcha! How could Sarah say "no" to such an earnest little girl? In fact, Big Sarah did not say "no". Instead, she said "I have to ask my boss."

Bethie said nothing. She walked into the other room, found "The Boss" and said "Katie, can Big Sarah come to church with us?".

Tuesday, May 19

Bikes and Buddies

This was a very exciting long weekend for the girls. Big Sarah presented the twins with the ultimate gift: big girl bicycles with training wheels! The only thing was that these bicycles were not already assembled. I begged Dan to wait until later in the day when my father was coming over and he could assemble the bicycles for us. "Nonsense!" said my not-so-handy husband, he would do it himself.

Big Sarah and I took the kids to the grocery store. I stressed and worried and envisioned awful things happening to my babies when they mounted their bikes. Dan, historically, does not do well with putting things together, or taking things apart, or fixing things. Bearing that in mind, you can imagine my surprise when we arrived home and both bicycles were (properly) fully assembled. Bethie, however, was even more surprised than I was. She squealed with delight "Daddy, how did you put the bicycles together without any help?!" I laughed until I thought I would die!

The twins did well on their bicycles. We spent all weekend walking in loops around my neighbourhood. Once, we ventured onto the bicycle path but it was way too busy for us to continue.
Katie - learning how to make the bike go fast

And they're off!

Sarah, not to be outdone, is in the wagon watching the girls carry on.

Babies on bicycles!

For a special treat, I made "Strawberry Shortcake" (rather, my quickie version of it). The kids enjoyed licking the bowl.

Even Sarah.

We invited Trystan and Grayson over to play. Grayson is the boy wearing Baby Sarah's jeans and jacket. Sorry Mauricio, you gotta come prepared or I will take over!

After us ladies pushed for at least five minutes, we made the men take over. This is Dan doing laps around the yard with Trystan.

Mauricio was left to push the remaining children on the swings (he didn't realise that I was taking his picture too).

Thursday, May 14

Summer's Comin'

Tuesday was great. The kids were in daycare and I had nothing to do but entertain myself. Needless to say, Big Sarah and I were off on an "adventure"! After Sarah's mandatory stop for coffee at Tim Horton's, we went from nursery to nursery to nursery. Everywhere we went, we bought more plants. We learned two very important things:
  1. Sarah doesn't like spiders and is rather surprised to see them on plants.
  2. I need to pay more attention when I buy plants. Specifically, I should look for the word "giant" - even when it's associated with a (presently) tiny wee plant.

We came back home and planted our wide variety of little treasures. When Dan saw how packed my gardens had become, he inquired if I was done buying plants for the summer. Sarah and I laughed and informed my poor husband that we haven't even started to buy annuals!

Sarah and I were delighted with the results and can't wait to watch everything grow. As we "toured the estate", we both commented how much it felt like summer. The kind of summers you have when you are young. The kind of summers that last forever and you have not a damn thing to do except enjoy yourself. What a good feeling!

Of course, I took some pictures. Here are my babies enjoying the afternoon:

Katie The Ham (left) & Bethie

Katie & Bethie

The Sarahs

Wednesday, May 6

Her Father's Daughter

Katie pushed Sarah on the swing. It started off sweetly enough...

...then she turned into her father!

Bethie didn't care who was pushing her as long as she was being pushed.

Neighbourhood Watch

The play structure is a big hit...with everyone. Everyday, most of the neighbourhood children end up at our house. Some are invited, others just mosey on over, plunk themselves down on my deck, and watch their children play.

The funny thing is, I am a very anti-social person.

That reminds me, I would like a dead bolt for my birthday!

Monday, May 4

Sarah In Pictures

While the twins were being pushed for hours on the swings, Sarah got some "quality time".

Lazy or Smart? You Decide!

The twins love to be pushed on the swings. I tried to teach them how to pump their legs, but they refused. They want to be pushed. They want to be pushed for hours.

Yesterday, it was Dan's turn to dedicate a morning to pushing Katie (left) and Bethie. Being the devoted father that he is, Dan pushed...
...and pushed...

...and pushed...

...and pushed...

...and then delegated to the task to Big Sarah while he took a break and had a cola!

Some Birthday Snaps

Katie (left) and Bethie: waiting for the guests to arrive.

Sarah: Not seemingly impressed by her third birthday cake in 24 hours!

The icing was smushed into Sarah's face by a guest. Again, she doesn't look impressed!

Sarah: Having a look at all of her birthday presents!!!

The twins and their cousins opening Sarah's birthday presents!

Sarah, with her blankie, just watching the action!

A Present For Sarah

Dad wanted to know what to get Sarah for her 1st birthday. I told him that I had discussed this at length with Sarah, and she would quite like some bricks laid down between my side door and my shed. Dad, for some reason still unknown to me, decided that Sarah would appreciate something else instead. I suggested a swing set, and emailed him a photo of the one I had in mind. Again, concern was expressed by both Dad and Dan about whether or not this would be an appropriate gift for a one year old. Here is my reasoning: Because Sarah is our third baby, we have every toy under the sun already for her to play with. What she really wants is "quality time" with me and Dan. That's kind of hard to wrap up and stick a bow on it. A play structure would entertain the twins leaving Dan and I free to play with our littlest baby.

So, Dad bought a play structure. None of us have the skill to assemble this thing which boasts on the box "It takes two people 10-12 hours to build". Had Dan and I tackled it, we'd still be working on sorting the wood!

Tullio "volunteered" his two assistants, Peter and Cody. They are only 18 years old but highly skilled. Peter complained the entire time, mostly about how stupid the instructions were and that he could have done a better job designing and then building his own creation. At one point, I was inside the house looking at Peter assembling the "tree house". I said to Dan, "He's not doing it right". Dan said that I couldn't possibly know whether Peter was doing it right or not. Within seconds, Peter leaped up, threw the instructions and some tools on to the ground, and started yelling at Cody. Turns out that I was right. I was glad the twins weren't around to hear the language!

In the end, Peter and Cody did an excellent job, despite the "adjustments" I wanted them to make. They moved the play structure a couple of times until I found the perfect spot to put it. Then Cody moved my lilac bush too!

I was quite pleased and wanted a picture of Peter and Cody on the play structure. I ask Big Sarah (who is quite attractive) to bat her eyelashes and get the boys to pose. She refused. So I asked Peter and Cody to have their picture taken. They tried to (politely) decline. That's when Big Sarah stood in the doorway of my house and bellowed "Just let her take the damned picture! And smile, too!". They did as they were instructed. Here is the result:

PS. The twins absolutely adore this play structure. Sarah is happy because she is getting more time outside, and more time to enjoy the baby play structure without two 3 year olds knocking her over!

Friday, May 1

Bethie's Logic

We were having dinner and Bethie dropped a bit of pasta on the floor that I had scrubbed earlier in the day. I asked her to pick it up. Instead of doing it right away, which is not her custom anyway, she told me that I should go and buy a "little dog". I informed her that I need a little dog like I need a little hole in my head, and restated that she should pick up the pasta. Bethie told me that if we had a dog than the dog could eat the pasta. This would ensure that she wouldn't have to pick up any dropped food, and I wouldn't demand so much of my children anymore. I said that I would rather vacuum than have a dog. She replied, "But sometimes a dog is like a vacuum". This is true. But vacuums can be put in the closet and left there, similar to Bethie if she doesn't pick up the damned pasta (I didn't say that but I thought it!).

Happy Birthday To My Littlest One

Today, Sarah turns 1. My littlest baby (or as Dan would say, my last baby...we'll see, Dan!) is now a toddler who walks and dances and squeals with delight. She demands to participate in all the activities that the twins do, and refuses to take "no" for an answer. She bangs about and gets into everything. If I say "Sarah, no!", she laughs and continues to commit her offence at a faster rate. She is her own person.

We are done with the bottles every 4 hours. We are done with waking up in the middle of every single night. We are done having to entertain a tiny wee "lump". We are done with being tethered to the house. We survived. High five, Dan!

Happy Birthday, my Sarahburra!

Now, bring on the toddler years.