Wednesday, August 31

Day One

Katie and Bethie got off the bus after their first day of school, and came racing up the driveway shouting "Grade One is awesome!".

I was pleased.

Their new teacher sent home a "First Day Kit" of goodies with a little note that read:

A Starburst: You will be a shining star in school if you always do your best.
A Penny: To remind you that you are a valuable member of our class.
A Sticker: We will always stick together and help one another.
Smarties: You are going to learn SO much in First Grade this year!
A Pencil and Eraser: You are going to learn how to write its okay to make mistakes.
A Bookmark: For all the books you are going to learn to read this year.
A Hersey hug: We all need hugs now and then.
Lifesaver: I am here to help you. Don't be afraid to come to me if you need anything.

I thought that was really nice. So lovely, that I ignored the basic mistakes in sentence structure. I'm sweet like that.

I never saw the Hersey hug. Guess those got eaten on the way home.

I made the twinnies share their Smarties equally with Sarah because Sarah adores Smarties. Then I rushed out to the gas station and bought another box (regular size), and let all three share the box. Because I'm a sucker.

All in all, a good day.

Tuesday, August 30

First Graders

At long last, the first day of school!

Dan and I had the children up, fed, dressed, and outside by 7:10am. The bus doesn't come until 7:35am. I guess we (and by "we" I mean Dan and I) were a bit excited. But it allowed us lots of time to take pictures!

Bethie, Sarah, and Katie



Bethie, Katie, and Sarah

...and they're gone.

Dan - no longer able to contain his JOY!

Sarah was thrilled, too!

The joy of being the Only Child (for 40 hours a week)
The twins are an hour into their first day of school. I miss them already!

Monday, August 29

The Very Last Day

Every evening during dinner, I ask the children, "What was your favourite bit of the day?". Since tonight was the very last day of their summer vacation, I asked, "What was your favourite bit of the entire summer?".

The children had a pretty good summer. I put a lot of effort into keeping them entertained and happy and active. They had soooo many things that they could have chosen from.

They could have mentioned:
  • seeing the RCMP Musical Ride
  • seeing the fireworks
  • going to several wading pools many times throughout the summer
  • going to beaches, during the day and the evening
  • visiting Little Valley Animal Farm
  • driving all over the city to go to new, as well as "tried and true", parks
  • going to the Cumberland fair
  • making lanterns
  • attending the Lumiere Festival
  • going to the Farmer's Market
  • having an afternoon out of Uncle Sean's boat
  • having a picnic in the park with Dan
  • painting at the Children's Garden
  • seeing "Winnie the Pooh" in the theatre
  • making endless batches of pudding pops
  • painting their very own ceramic piggy banks
  • going to a friend's birthday party
  • playing with their cousins
  • spending hours and hours in Granny's hot tub (kept a "refreshing" temperature for their enjoyment only!)
  • playing outside on their very own Bouncy Castle, and on their new massive inflatable water slide (and a wee blow up slide for Sarah)
  • going to see the lights on Parliament Hill
  • dining out at their favourite "fancy" restaurant (Swiss Chalet) TWICE
  • having a Splatter Party for their birthday
Had any of the children mentioned any of these activities, I would have been thrilled. I would have felt that all my energy, and my careful planning, had been worth it. Instead, each child agreed that the very best bit from the entire summer was today when Dan stopped at the gas station and let them each have a Slushie.


Summer 2012 is going to be super easy!

Tuesday, August 23

There Are Fairies In Our Garden...

The children are obsessed with fairies. This may be my fault. I told the children that the fairy statues in Granny's garden come to life when everyone is sleeping. I told them that the fairies dance around her garden, and you can see their twinkling lights.

Katie didn't believe me.

I said, "Didn't you see the twinkling lights outside the night you slept at Granny's?". Bethie swears that she did. She's a believer with a pure heart. Katie informed me that they were not allowed out at night and therefore didn't see any fairies.


I moved a couple of fairies and shouted, "LOOK! THE FAIRIES MOVED!". Bethie and Sarah were thrilled. Katie suggested that I had moved the fairies, even though I swore that I hadn't touched the fairies.

When we left Mum's, each girl shouted "Goodnight, Sweet Fairies".

The next morning, I was told by the children that we had to go to Granny's to see if the fairies had moved.

Oh, dear.

I called Mum up and told her to move the fairies. She informed me that she had, in fact, put the fairies back where they belonged. I told her that she had to move them where they didn't belong. So, Mum had to run out into her garden to move her ornamental fairies to the wrong spots. To please the children. And me. Which she did!

And now Katie believes in fairies, too.

Monday, August 22

Forever and Ever

On my 6th birthday, my grandmother called me on the telephone and said:

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was hardly new.
When I was Three,
I was barely me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be Six now forever and ever.

And then my grandmother told me that I must memorize the poem, and that she would call another day to ensure I had. I memorized the poem. Twenty eight years later, I can still remember talking to her that day. And it seems so long ago.

Today, my babies turned six.


And I find it difficult to believe that Katie and Bethie, my babies, are now six years old. They are on the cusp of great learning, great friendships, and great adventures. They have so many choices and opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

Yet, I want to hold them close to me. I don't want to let them go.

I'm trying to tell myself that they are getting older, more capable. They are becoming "big girls". But when I see them sleeping at night, one sucking her thumb and holding a fluffy, the other cuddled with her two bears, I find that hard to accept.

These "big girls" still need lots of cuddles. They still become upset when a sister touches their crayons. They still believe that fairies come out a night. Okay, Katie doesn't. Katie thinks I tell her stupid little lies for my own amusement. But they both believe that our garden gnomes frolic while they sleep.

They are still so little.

Tonight, on their sixth birthday, I think back to the day they were born. Tiny, premature, and utterly helpless. We've come a long way over the last six years. I also look to the future, knowing that they will continue to thrive, excel, and soar. I'm excited for them, but there's a big part of me that wishes they would "be Six now forever and ever".

Tuesday, August 16

Back To School

The twinnies begin Grade One at the end of this month. I'm not looking forward to it. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the eight hours of QUIET, but I really do miss them when they are gone. But, let's be completely honest, I have difficulty in surrendering my children over to "the government" (aka "Big Brother", aka the local school).

Homeschooling is not an option. I can't even get the children to follow basic rules like Thou Shall Not Pummel My Sister, or (more seriously) Thou Shall Not Plaster The New Fancy Schmancy Couch With Silly Putty. There's absolutely no way I could get them to learn "I before E except after C". So, I'm kinda committed to sending them to school.

All I had to do today was to pick up their supply list (that in itself deserves a post!) and pay the required $200 so they can attend the free, publicly funded local school.

Easy peasy, right?


I have greatly annoyed the receptionist (who said that she couldn't possibly deal with me until Monday), irritated the school principal, and totally pissed of some lady at the school board. Oh. I also embarrassed Dan, who had to ask me to lower my voice. I declined.

I can't wait to meet the teacher. Sigh.

Saturday, August 13

The Couch

In our living room, we have my grandmother's lovely couch. It was in excellent condition when we received it.

It's now trashed.

The couch used to be white. It's not anymore. But that doesn't really bother me. What bothers me is having to mediate the fights between three girls who each think that they have the sole right to lie down, outstretched on the couch. If a sister is in the way (or within reach), a swift kick is the only solution. Sigh. I'm too tired to be a policeman...

Dan and I cracked.

We bought a new couch.

(Ummm...the couch photographs poorly. It's not brown, exactly. It's a lovely earth colour, with a rose undertone that turns almost purplish in the evening. Trust me, it's lovely.)

We set the couch up in the living room, and I explained the rules to the children:
  1. No eating on the couch.
  2. No drinking on the couch.
  3. No jumping on the couch.
  4. No silliness on the couch.

Yeah, I give the couch 6 months before it's destroyed.

Thursday, August 11

Ready For Granny's

A couple of weeks ago, Dan and I had to do a mad dash to his hometown for family reasons. We would be gone for one night.

The children were horrified. The wondered (quite loudly) how we could possibly abandon them for an entire night!

I tried to reassured my little darlings. I wasn't "abandoning" them. I was going to be gone for one sleep. It was kinda like Granny Daycare two days in a row, but they would sleep at Granny's too.

Note to all readers: My mother is an entirely different person than the one who raised me. Thirty years ago, she would chase my brothers and I around with a fly swatter. She had a perma-scowl fixed on her face. She could drive a car with one hand, and whack each of us in the backseat with the other. She spoke in capital letters, as in "STOP FIGHTING", "I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT", and "BE QUIET!!!!!!". With the birth of my children, my mother has morphed into the kindest, sweetest, most loving caretaker in the world. The children can (almost) do no wrong. When she chases them, it's to give them a cuddle, not a beating. And I am amazed. Lucky girls, they get the new and improved version of Mum! (My mother is reading this and she is not amused).

Anyway, to cheer the children up, we told them that they could pack their own overnight bags. So, they packed everything they owned. Seriously.

When we got to Mum's, she panicked a little, and inquired as to just how long  did Dan and I intended to leave the children in her care!

And that would have been the end of that, except after I took this photo of the children and their overnight essentials, I asked Dan to carry everything inside Mum's house.

The man cracks me up!