Friday, September 30

The etoN

Dan and I got a note home from the grade one teacher. It directed us to read the note Katie had written in her agenda. I must confess, folks, I expected the worst. Like a list of everything wrong with me!

I was pleasantly surprised when this is what I saw:

I studied what she had written, trying to sound it out. After a while, Dan gave me a clue.

Then I wrote a note back to the teacher saying:

"?melborp eht eb ot smees tahW".

(Okay, I didn't, but I wanted to!)

Thursday, September 22

Fresh From The Vine

In June, Bethie convinced me to buy a watermelon plant. Truthfully, it would be more accurate to say that buying the watermelon plant was a compromise because Bethie had wanted to grow corn. In suburbia. In my opinion, watermelon was a better choice.

So, I bought the plant and stuck it in the back corner of my garden. In the shade. In an area that I barely water. Needless to say, the watermelon didn't thrive.

Every once in a while, Bethie would check on her watermelon. I felt badly. I tried to prepare her for the fact that the vine wouldn't produce any watermelon. Time passed, and Bethie gave up on the watermelon.

The other day, I was preparing the garden for winter. I pulled out the neglected watermelon plant and went to throw it in the compost. Dan said, "Oh look, there are watermelons".

I was shocked. I called Bethie to have a look. She was thrilled as she picked three watermelons.

Don't get too excited, they weren't very big.

Bethie held this one up and declared it to be Sarah's, as it was so small ... and so is Sarah.

This one was slightly bigger, but it was smashed in half before I got a picture of it. It was still white on the inside. Bethie gave this watermelon to Katie.

The last watermelon, and the one that Bethie kept for herself.

Even thought this watermelon was red on the inside, I informed Bethie that it couldn't be eaten. I was too late. Apparently, it CAN be eaten.
I told Bethie that I would buy a watermelon plant again next year. I will plant it in the sun, and even water it. I may even add a little bit of Miracle Grow to give it a wee boost. Bethie is very excited. In fact, she responded so positively that I just might decide to grow corn.

(Dan will read this post and declare that there is no way I will be allowed to grow corn in our garden. However, he won't be at all surprised when it appears!)

Friday, September 16

Mr. Cool And The Cow Train

When I first met Dan, I thought he was "cool". That lasted for about 2 days. I have spent the last 15 years laughing at Dan for his complete lack of coolness. And yet, there has been no improvement. So the laughter continues...

Dan and I took the children apple picking. And that's when it happened. Dan saw the "Cow Train" and simply couldn't resist a ride!

Some children, Dan, and Katie waiting for a ride on the Cow Train. Please note, Dan is the only adult going for a ride.

Katie is very excited.

Dan is...not as excited.

Bethie (left) and Katie use this waiting time to get in a couple of photographs.
Dan just waits. And waits. And waits. The children look around, and climb in and out of the Cow Train. And do things that children do. You know, the types of things that drive Dan crazy.

As the wait time increases, Dan's patience decreases...

 And off they went. Dan had so much fun, he rode the Cow Train again!

The man cracks me up!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15

Not Good Enough

I'm a lucky girl.

Some people walk blindly through life thinking that they are pretty good, or at least, good enough. I know better. I have three children who are kind enough to give me a detailed list of my shortcomings. The list is constantly updated, and no detail is too small not to mention.

This morning, I was informed that I was a complete and utter failure as a mother. Why? Because I have failed to take a picture (or a hundred) of the twinnies each and every day before they went to school.


I thanked both twins for chastising me because this clearly is a significant shortcoming. I also thanked them for raising their voices, as I have great difficulty appreciating the seriousness of their concerns unless it is shouted directly into my face.

I quickly got my camera out, and proceeded to have a photo shoot. At 7am. Sigh.



Bethie (l) and Katie

Bethie (l) and Katie

Bethie (l) and Katie

My favourite of the twinnies.
With the photo shoot completed, I thought that I would be back in the children's good books.

Not quite.

As the twinnies were walking out the door to catch the bus, I handed them each an umbrella. Just in case. Because I care.

Bethie said, "Is it going to rain today?". I replied that I wasn't 100% sure, but it might rain in the morning.

Bethie, knowing that I am prone to make mistakes and I need to be carefully monitored, said "Didn't you check the Weather Network?". I assured the little darling that I had, in fact, checked the weather, but the weather man's "best guess" was that it  might rain. I said that no one knows for sure, but the cold wind and the dark clouds are kinda a hint.

Bethie said, "God knows for sure". Quite right, but I am not God, nor does He feel the need to update me every morning on the state of the weather.

Not good enough.

I hear that raising little girls is tough, and it will only get harder. Really? I don't think that my self-esteem will endure, especially when I need to be as all knowing as God!!!

Tuesday, September 13

Fancy Moi

Dan likes painting the walls in the house. He's not particularly good at it, unless you like the ceiling painted, too (I do not). He's also not particularly good at choosing paint colours. I learned that when he painted my tiny, windowless powder room "Holy Crap Blue" (yes, I believe that is  the official name).

Although, in all honesty, "Holy Crap Blue" is not as shocking as my cousin's bathroom, which he painted "WTF Orange".

Anyway, after Dan painted our living room, I strongly requested that he refrain from painting any more rooms in my house. That was about two years ago. For two years, Dan has been nagging and nagging me to let him paint another bathroom.

He wore me down.

I told Dan he could paint the bathroom, but I had to agree on the colour. I chose white (although I convinced him that it had a "rose undertone").

Dan  did a wonderful job. He primed the already white walls. And then he painted them white again. Simply beautiful. (Yes, I crack myself up).

But it was kind of ... boring.

Dan told me to leave the bathroom alone. He did not  want me to "fancy it up". Dan does not have the same approach to decor as I do. He likes classy things. He likes his rooms to look clean and modern and minimalistic. I like my house to look like a kindergarten classroom.

I promised to leave the bathroom alone, and Dan went to work.

Then I pulled out the paint.

How do you like the result?

Much better, eh?!

But the fun didn't end there, folks. We decided to fancy up the powder room, too!

"Cotton Candy Ice Cream" by Sarah

"A Bird in the Nest" by Katie (left)
"The Apple Tree" by Bethie
What did Dan say?

He was thrilled. Well, maybe not "thrilled", but he didn't take the paintings down...which wouldn't have been difficult considering I hung them up with thumb tacks.

Monday, September 12

Passing Grade One

I failed kindergarten.

Not the first go 'round. I've been told that I performed brilliantly when I was in kindergarten. As a matter of fact, my father will tell you I was the most clever student in the entire class.

Turns out, I absolutely suck as the parent of kindergartners.

My first big failure last year was that I failed to ensure that my children (who were not yet students of the school and who couldn't read) won the Summer Reading Contest. Turns out that all of the other parents of future kindergartners participated in the contest, and their children won prizes. My children sat in the school gym feeling left out and crying. Because their mother sucks.

I wasn't about to make that mistake again!

As we understood the contest rules, there is one ballot awarded for each book (if it's short) or each chapter that is read to the darling child. I hit the library. More than once. And requested books online. (I seldom took the children in  to the library because they would morph in to three unholy terrors) Dan and I quickly saw the value in reading "chapter books". More bang for your buck (or more ballots for your effort). He focused on Harry Potter, and I became well acquainted with Junie B. Jones and her very difficult life.

The night before the twinnies first day of Grade One, we had read the children 101 books/chapters. That number seemed kinda made up to me. So, I woke the children up and read them 2 more chapters of Junie B. Jones. Dan and I congratulated ourselves for reading 103 books/chapters.

And then we noticed our mistake.

The school didn't award ballots based on quantity. There would be one ballot awarded for each 20 minutes of reading. AHHHH! Dan suggested that I take our list and do it over again according to the school's specifications. I calmly explained to Dan that I would not be doing the list over again (well, maybe not calmly, but I only swore once).

Off to school the twinnies went with their lists.

A week later, the twinnies come home from school thrilled to bits! Their "prize" is to be Principal (Bethie) and Vice-Principal (Katie) for a day!!!

I was ecstatic! I had done right by my little girls. They got the benefit of lots of reading during the summer (sorry, I can't give you the exact amount of minutes, but quite a lot) AND they get a fun day at school. AND the Principal (and their teacher) is sure to think that I am the most wonderful mother in the world.

I congratulated myself at how well this Summer Reading Contest had turned out. And then I overheard Bethie and Katie dreaming up some new "rules" that they are going to enforce when they have Executive Power. Sigh. This may end badly...

Sunday, September 11


Just after Sarah's first birthday, we bought a Bouncy Thing for the children. The twinnies enjoyed the Bouncy Thing, but Sarah loved it. In fact, it rapidly became one of her favourite outdoor activities.

Sarah is constantly asking me or Dan to inflate the Bouncy Thing. When the weather is lovely, we will haul the Bouncy Thing out, inflate it, let her bounce, and then haul it back in. However, she wants to bounce during the winter, she wants to bounce when it's raining. She wants to bounce just about all the time. Not for a long time, but at least once a day.

Recently, I had a brilliant idea.

I suggested to Dan that we (and by "we", I meant he) set up the Bouncy Thing in our unfinished basement. That way Sarah can bounce whenever she would like. And it would be great fun during the winter.

Dan didn't think this was a great idea.

Turns out, he was wrong.

He just needed to put things in perspective. Really, Dan should be happy. It could have been worse...

In July, my father had asked me what Dan wanted for his birthday. I told Dad that Dan really wanted Dad to buy my brother's old Bouncy Thing With An Attached Water Slide. So Dad bought us the massive new Bouncy Thing, and I reassured Dan that he did, in fact, want this for his birthday.

The twinnies love the water slide.

And Sarah like the attached Bouncy Thing.

Dan should be happy that this is not going into our basement...yet.

Also, my brother has upgraded to a Bouncy Thing with two water slides.

I have my eye on this one, too. But, as of right now, there are no plans to erect this in my basement.

My (comparatively) small Bouncy Thing becomes a reasonable compromise, right???

Wednesday, September 7

The Great Debate

Both Katie and Bethie got to make super big splatter canvases during their birthday party. Originally, Dan and I had planned to hang the paintings in their bedroom. However, once we got the canvases home, I realised that they matched my decor perfectly (yes, Mum, there is a theme to my decorating: chaos!). I wanted them more prominently displayed.

I decided to hang the two canvases over the couch.

This did not go over well.

You see, years ago, Dan's brother gave us a black and white photograph that he had taken himself, enlarged, and framed.  It's quite a good photo. Love the photo. However, Dan hung the photo over the couch. Small photo, big couch. It looked stupid. And I've had to look at it for years.

Dan wanted his brother's photo to remain above the couch:

I want the canvases above the couch:

Guess who won?!

Note: Yes, I know, the photograph and paintings were all hung too high (and off center). But Dan is the one in charge of getting things to stick to the walls. I've learned that he does not appreciate constructive criticism, like "Holy cow! When is the flood expected to hit?!". You win some, you lose some.

Tuesday, September 6

Fairies and Lanterns

In August, Mum and I took the children to a lantern making workshop. We thought it would be fun. It was. It was also very hot!
Sarah took great care in decorating her lantern. She really enjoyed herself.

Bethie enjoyed having Granny help her.

Katie initially enjoyed making her own lantern. Then she delegated the rest. Sigh.
On August 20th, Dan and I took the children downtown to the Lumiere Festival. It was fun. The girls really like everyone commenting on how cute they looked.

Katie, Sarah, and Bethie all dressed up and ready for the Lumiere Festival.
Katie was a bit disappointed. She had envisioned everyone dressing up as fairies and then parading through the streets with lanterns in hand. When she realised that she wouldn't be a star of the parade (and that there wouldn't be a parade at all!), she was inconsolable. I felt badly.

At one point, massive lanterns were sent off into the night sky. There were huge crowds around them, and the children couldn't get too close. After the last lantern had been set off, the crowds dispersed. Dan and I sat down and gave the children some juice. After about 5 minutes, another lantern was produced. My children got an excellent view of the entire operation. In fact, we kept having to tell them to take a step back!

This lantern, we told the twins, was especially for them. They had to make a Birthday Wish, and the lantern would carry their wish into the sky. This pleased them to no end!

When we were leaving, the International Fireworks Festival was just beginning. It was perfect timing! I left Dan and the children on the side of the road to watch the fireworks while I went to find the car. By the time I returned, the children were begging for bed. YAY! We'll definitely go again next year.

Saturday, September 3

The Unloved

When I was growing up, my brother had a friend named Francois. He wore glasses. He always seem to have them held together with tape. At the time, I wondered what was wrong with his mother. How could she send her child to school with his glasses held together by sticky tape? Didn't she love him?

Fast forward twenty-five years.

I have two daughters who need to wear glasses. These glasses cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars each. I wanted to get them glasses that were less expensive, but they all So, I splurged. Because the more expensive glasses flatter their little faces. And it's important to me that my daughters feel beautiful.

My dainty little daughters have managed to strain, break, and damages their glasses. Over and over again. Once, Bethie left her glasses on the floor by the front door. I didn't notice. Neither did Dan when he came home from work and flattened them. And it embarrasses me every time I have to take their glasses, which have been twisted in to the shape of a pretzel, in to be repaired.

Katie recently ripped Bethie's glasses off her face. More accurately, Katie ripped one arm of Bethie's glasses off her face. Bethie's glasses were presented to me in two pieces. I didn't yell. I got out the sticky tape.

I found that medical tape works better though.

I've learned that Francois was, in fact, loved by his mother. She was just at the end of her rope...or the end of her money! Or both!

Friday, September 2

Splatter Party

I decided to have a Splatter Party for the twins 6th birthday. I booked the party for the day before their actual birthday. Because their birthday fell on a Monday. Because it's easier to have a party on the weekend. Because it was no big deal.


The twins were rather insistent that they have their party on their birthday, not the day before. So, I lied to them. I told them that their birthday was on the Sunday and that everyone else was confused about the date. They bought it. Thank God.

Anyway, they had a lovely time with their friends, covering canvases (and themselves!) in paint.

The children had to fling the paint on to their canvases.

It was a very messy procedure.

Everyone was covered in paint.

Only one person cared.

OK, two people cared...but Katie was "painted" intentionally by a little darling she had invited to the party.

Bethie is soooo animated. Sarah kept going to the basin to wash her hands, but she always came back for more fun.

These balloons were filled with paint, and the children had to pop them over the canvases.

Blowing out the candles on the Splatter Cake.

All the children gasped when they saw all the colours inside the cake. It totally made all the work worth it!

Everyone had a great time!