Girls Day Out – Boys Day In….

 We had an amazing weekend!

My Little Princess and I went for a girls day out to the American Girl store.   This in itself is a wonderful treat but to top off a very special day, we went on our female excursion with some dear friends.

The Little Princess was so excited!

Here’s a little background info about the Princess and her American Girl doll.  Daddy and I were not really sure if she was ready to get her doll, they are very expensive and must be well taken care of.  So we decided if our Princess wanted to get one – which she absolutely did…she made that very clear, repeatedly! – she would have to pay for half of it.  That’s a good chunk of money for a 4 year old but we felt it would be a good learning experience.  She had been saving her whole life for something special and she decided on an American Girl Doll.  Once Daddy and I agreed she could get one, she knew exactly which one she wanted – Cecile!

      

She promised to love her forever!

So off we were to the American Girl store with our friends.  We had plans to spend a lot of time there and we certainly did!  We left early so that we could get a lot of browsing done before the crowds arrived.  The girls had so much fun looking at all the dolls, clothes and accessories.

There was some serious shopping going on!

  

         We spent a good hour looking at everything!  We made “hair appointments” for the dolls and then went for lunch at the American Girl doll Bistro.  Lunch was surprisingly delicious, which is always welcome when you’re paying a high price for novelty!   The two BFF’s were in their glory sitting in the beautiful pink booths and I think us Mummies were enjoying ourselves just as much!   Even the little dolls were socializing!

  

After lunch we headed over to hair salon to get Cecile’s hair done –believe me! She needed it!   When the Princess chose Cecile as her doll I had tried to talk her out of it because of the hair.  I knew it wouldn’t take long for those beautiful ringlets to turn into a frizzy mess!  Between the Princess and I, we have our fair share of frizzy hair and I wasn’t looking forward to adding to it with a doll!  The salon visit was an absolute must and the $10 it cost us wasn’t too painful compared to the $20 styles!

                                  

Once Cecile had her new look, we decided she needed some new clothes.  After some more looking around and spending way too much money, we made our way home.  I reminded the Princess many times that this was part of her birthday presents, that it was a treat and the majority of Cecile’s clothes will be made by Mummy at a fraction of the cost of her new outfit – mostly to ease my own guilt of spending so much money on doll clothes.

My sweet little Princess was fine with that, she was just appreciative for the day she had.

When we got home she sat in my lap and hugged me tight!

I was happy knowing that she was aware of how special the day was and that she was very blessed to have experienced it!

While we were out shopping, Daddy was home with the boys!  I’ll let him tell about what they were up to!

Daddy says… Boys day in:

So, while Mummy and the Little Princess were having a girls day out with a couple of their friends, the Little Professor, the Milk Monkey and I had a boys day in!  The girls’ outing was planned about a week in advance, so in an effort to keep the Little Professor from feeling left out, we decided to have a special day at home doing some of his favorite things.  Thankfully, during an excursion into the attic this week, I stumbled across some old Nintendo Gamecube games.  I knew one of them in particular would be right up the Little Professor’s alley, so I kept it on hand for our Sunday together.

Once the ladies were out the door and on their way, the guys settled in for some time just kicking back and gaming:

           

I’m not sure the Milk Monkey really understood what was going on up on the screen, but he was having fun anyway!

We had a great time just hanging out being guys, and we topped it off with the Little Professor’s choice for lunch – a pizza topped with plenty of meat.

Yes, it was a very manly afternoon, but my favorite part was just spending time with my boys.

As much as the kids enjoyed their time apart, once we were all reunited,

the Princess and the Little Professor were inseparable for the rest of the evening!

Just another busy week…

We’ve had a busy week.

Here’s a recap…

The Milk Monkey is now standing on his own.  It’s fun to watch his little expressions as he does it!

He’s not quite sure about it.

My princess loves soccer this year and played surprisingly well this week.

I enjoyed watching her as she played hard, and I particularly got a kick out of her calling water breaks.

I love her so much!!

  

My Not So Little Professor has been busy growing!

He’s getting so big, I’m not quite sure where the time has gone.

I still think of him as just a baby and then I see pictures like this…

And I wonder how he grew to be so big and handsome so fast!

I love him so much!!

I’m super proud of him…he’s an amazing little…er, big guy!

Speaking of handsome guys…I’ve noticed the Milk Monkey’s hair has been rather slicked back and kind of crusty.

It’s also started to smell like saliva…an unmistakable scent that always turns my stomach!

I found myself asking the question…

“Who’s been spitting on the baby’s head?”

It was the Princess, she was styling his hair. Yuck!!!

As for me…

I spent every free moment sewing, trying to make progress on my Princess’s quilt.

She knows I’m sewing something for her birthday – she’s convinced it’s clothes for her American Girl doll.

It’s not, so now I’m feeling the pressure to get the quilt done with enough time

to sew her some doll clothes.

However, the biggest moment was when we taught the Milk Monkey how to brush his four tiny, baby teeth.

I love that little baby!!

    

 

Oh, and Daddy has been up to something very exciting!

He has spent the week working on the honestlymummy website.

Hopefully soon we’ll have some exciting new changes coming up!

He’s never created a website before so he’s learning as he goes and he’s pretty amazing at stuff like that.

I adore my husband!!

Really, it’s been just another average week, but average these days are so much more exciting than they use to be.

I seriously really enjoy my life!

Contentment…

Contentment – It’s taken me over 35 years to apply this valuable word to my life.   Much time has been wasted racing to the next big moment and I won’t get it back.  When I was young, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to drive, when I was single I couldn’t wait to be married, when my first two children were babies, I couldn’t wait for them to reach each new mile stone.  I would think that life would be more exciting once we got to the next big thing.  No wonder I was always so tired!

Then we bought our house – a fixer upper.   My husband and I had never fixed up anything before, so this was going to be  new and exciting.   We had watched plenty of  HGTV, so we were obviously qualified for the job.  Yes, that was sarcasm!  We made a list of all the things that would need fixing – it was very long.  Still, with the skills we learned from watching TV, we figured it shouldn’t take us too long and we would have the perfect house once we were finished.

As reality set in, (you’ve gotta love the harshness of reality) I realized it was going to take a lot longer than we had planned.  HGTV must do a lot of editing!  I began to hate our house.  I was embarrassed by it.  I could picture in my head the finished product, but let’s face it, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money to recreate it for real.

Then one day the revelation came –  I may not be able to change my surroundings but I sure could change my attitude!

Here I was complaining about how my house looks when there are so many people who are homeless.  Our house may not be pretty or big – that’s an understatement! – but it’s warm and dry and cool in the summer.  It’s clean – not to be mistaken with organized…but, that’s another post.  I will get to my lack of organizational skills one of these days!  It’s in a nice neighbourhood, surrounded by wonderful people.  The funny thing is, my children love our house, they find it comforting and safe – they do not have a clue about how cosmetically deficient it is!

I needed to stop complaining.

I needed to learn to be thankful.

I needed to be content.

I needed to learn to enjoy every day as I live it.

It’s amazing how much that has changed my life, especially as a parent.  Sometimes parenting is hard, sometimes it’s very, very hard.  It’s easy to wish for bedtime to arrive, and believe me, there have been many days when I truly have, but lately I try not to.  Instead, I try to appreciate the moment I’m in, even the hard ones.  It’s not always easy – I’m a work in progress!  When the children have completely trashed their room for the umpteenth time and I’m exhausted and would rather have the hairs on my head plucked out one by one than have to supervise another room clean up, I am thankful that…

my children have a bedroom

that they are safe in their room

that they have toys

that they are healthy and can play

…it’s amazing how fast that changes my attitude.  Sometimes, just stopping and hugging it out does wonders too.  I’m never more thankful than when I have my children snuggled in my arms.

Recently I’ve been presented with ample opportunity to practice my contentment skills.  Every fiber of my being wants to be in our trailer travelling full time but our situation at the moment is not conducive to that lifestyle.  It’s easy to get resentful towards the reasons we can’t be on the road right now, but instead I’m trying to be thankful for what we can do.  I’m thankful for the warm weather that has allowed us to camp  already and I’m thankful for all the trips we have planned for the rest of the year.  One day we will be able to live out our dream but for now…

I am content!

 

 

 

Once, Twice, Three Times a Baby….

I love being a mummy and sometimes the realization of that amazes me.  When Daddy and I first met we were both very adamant about not having children.  The idea of living out our life with very little responsibility was just too appealing.  We were both pleasantly selfish with our time and didn’t feel the need to add the stress of kids to our lives.  However, life had a different plan for us and we soon found ourselves with a very big surprise – a 10 lbs, 8oz surprise, thank you very much!  

 

Once we found out we were expecting we both instantly fell in love with the baby growing in my tummy.  We bought all the baby books and started researching online.  We even bought one of those pregnancy belly belts.  You know, the kind that have little speakers in them and come with a microphone.  We would hook it up to my stomach every night and Daddy would read books to our sweet little one or sometimes just talk to him and sing songs.  It was very exciting!  We started making plans for the baby who would become our Little Professor.  We would raise him to fit into our life so things wouldn’t have to change.  How hard could one baby be?  He’d learn to sleep anywhere and on our schedule and he’d be really well behaved so we could bring him to restaurants late at night.  We could still travel because he’d be an only child and how much stuff does one child need?  Right?  Right??!!

Wrong!  Things changed drastically!  We were tired all the time, and it took us forever just to get out the door and honestly, we just didn’t want to go out as much.  We wanted to stay in and play with our darling little boy.  His giggle was infectious and every new thing he learned was amazing.  We loved being a family!  We loved it so much we started thinking about having another child and I found myself pregnant by the Little Professor’s first birthday.  We realized we had a talent for parenting, we were so good at it and really, how hard could one more child be?  Seriously!?

I wanted a daughter.  I wanted a little girl really bad, but was told that my husband’s family only have one girl per generation, and she had already been born – she was the only girl out of 11 grandchildren.  Still, I wanted a little girl and I prayed and prayed.  When we went for the ultrasound and found out we were having a girl I just cried and when she was born it was overwhelming!  She was so beautiful, so precious – a tiny 9 lbs 14oz bundle of perfection.  When we brought her home our Little Professor fell in love with his little sister immediately – he was angry at us for days.  The two of them became best buddies from the start and still are.  Sometimes I think they’re twins.  They play together so well and I often find them snuggled up to each other in one or the others bed.

The Little Princess spent the first year of her life crying.  We had to hold her constantly, even during the night.  Then all of a sudden she just stopped and she became the most pleasant little girl and has been ever since – of course she still has her moods now and then, after all she is a girl.  She’s definitely Mummy’s girl and I love that!  We snuggle a lot and chit chat like girls do.  I love that we have a really good relationship at such an early age and hope it continues on this path.

Having two kids was definitely much more work than one…at least for the first two years.  There were days when I thought I might be going crazy.  There were times when I actually had to step outside and sit on the front porch to keep from having a melt down.  Sometimes I melted down and I’d call Daddy and yell out my frustrations to him while he patiently listened.  All my stress would come flying out in my desperate pleas for help and I would be able to muster enough strength to continue on with the day.  Eventually as the kids got a little older, and my patience grew a little more, we found our groove and parenting became easy again.  Once again Daddy and I tossed around the idea of having another child.  The decision to have a third was a big one.  We were in a good place as a family and we weren’t sure about changing the dynamics again.  In the end we decided we wanted to add another child to our family and we are so glad that we decided to do it.

The Milk Monkey is an amazing little guy!  He has been the easiest addition to our family out of all three kids.  He’s so content and easy going. He’s a lot of fun to have around.  His brother and sister adore him and he thinks they are amazing!  Sometimes I’ll look over to see all three of my wonderful children playing together and I’ll just stop what I’m doing and watch them.

It makes me so happy to see them together and I know they are what life is all about.  In the end it’s not the money, or the stuff or even a career that I’ll think back on…it’s my children and the love they have brought to my life.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even have a fourth!

 

Daddy Says… Camping Gear

Unfortunately our schedule has kept us from camping the past couple of weeks. So, to make up for it, this weekend we spent some time shopping for some gear to use while camping. Each time we go camping we find that there are things that we could use to improve our camping experience, so Mummy has been making a list on her iPhone.  The list includes some of things we just didn’t think of before we got out there; a laundry basket, a small axe, flashlights – and a shovel that could kill a pig (as seen on Doomsday Preppers) among others. We didn’t get everything on this trip, but we did find at least a few items.

Some decorative lights to hang along the awning:

Some solar powered pathway lights to help light up our campsite at night:

We also bought a few less exciting items including a dustpan and broom, a citronella candle to keep away the mosquitoes and some sunscreen.  The point being that even when we’re not camping, we’re thinking about it and planning ahead for when we will be.  There are a lot of places we’re really excited to go to, and amazing things to see along the way.  It may take little more time then we would like, but one day we will be out on the road full time, and we’re going to want to have all the little things ironed out before we go.  In some ways, we can look at these local camping trips as our practice runs for the biggest adventure yet to come.

50 Things I Didn’t Know Before I Had Kids

I didn’t know…

 What it means to be busy.

What exhaustion is.

A six-year-old can swallow an AAA battery and have it pass right through his system.

 A four-year-old can stick a hexagon nut so far up her nose a hospital trip is necessary to get it removed.

We would clean off a hexagon nut covered in boogers and screw it back on the bolt where it belongs.

 I am capable of homeschooling my children.

A one and a half year old can remove his diaper and smear poo on the walls when he’s supposed to be sleeping.

I would rather record him, rather than stop him from smearing the poo.

 I would wake up at 2 AM only to have The Wiggles – Big Red Car song in my head, go back to sleep and wake up in the morning with the next verse.

 How expensive American Girl dolls are.

 Sticking shaving cream into the hairdryer is very logical to a four and six yr old and hilarious when it starts smoking.

 How much cooperation you need from a baby to buckle him into a car seat.

The inevitability of walking around with baby puke, food and or baby boogers on my shirt.

 The inevitability of being  pooped on repeatedly.

 How difficult it is to maneuver a stroller around clothing racks.

How high some playgrounds are built.

A child will watch his favourite movie over and over again.

I would learn every word of my children’s favourite movies by heart.

How to get a child to peepee in the toilet.

Wipes would get permanent marker off of skin, in fact it would get just about anything off any surface and still be gentle enough for a babies bottom.

What true love is.

Moon sand vacuums up off white carpet surprisingly well.

Play-doh is delicious to children.

That no matter how well I protect the area, paint will get everywhere during a craft.

What it’s like to be really snuggled in the mornings.

I would willingly kiss a fevered face repeatedly even though I knew I’d catch the bug.

It really isn’t worth crying over spilled milk, coffee or any other form of liquid.

What it would be like to take care of sick children while I was sick.

That children really do say the darndest things, and that I’d think my children are the funniest around.

That my favourite subject of conversation would be my children.

The horror of discovering that I ran out of diapers while out and the baby pooped.

I would willingly talk about poop on a regular basis.

Sometimes I’d sleep with one of my daughters stuffies because she asked me to and I promised I would.

I would rather spend an early Saturday morning at the soccer field than sleep in.

A two year old would not think twice about eating a live slug.

I’d have to reprimand my daughter repeatedly for mooning guests at a bbq.

The joy of meeting my babies for the first time and how it would change my life.

That no matter what I do, people would judge my parenting skills.

How much time I would spend dressing and undressing Barbies.

The pain of stepping on a tiny piece of Lego in the middle of the night.

How every little boy discovers Spiderman and Star Wars even though they’ve never seen the movies.

How many tickle spots children have.

The panicked feeling of losing a child only to realize they’re standing right behind me.

How noisy a car full of children could get.

How quickly a snuggle with the family pet could go from affection to torture.

Children grow out of clothes and shoes freakishly fast.

How little privacy I would have in the bathroom or in general.

Laundry would become a never ending chore.

Some children enjoy eating boogers.

I would do ANYTHING to protect my precious children.

 

Pump n Jump

Really, the name says it all.  There are a lot of pumped up inflatables for the kids to jump in and get all their excessive energy out.  My children and I, went for the first time yesterday.  Our neighbour was taking her kids and had mentioned it to me, so we went along too.  To say that the Princess and the Little Professor thoroughly enjoy bouncy houses, would be an understatement.  We’ve been renting them for every birthday since they turned one, so getting to spend the day in a very large room with unlimited use of multiple bouncies was a dream come true.  Getting to experience it with friends was definitely the cherry on top.

                                   

I really wasn’t too sure what to expect.  I had read some reviews before hand and they were very mixed.  It’s always hard to get a good idea about a place from some of those websites.  I honestly never know if its some disgruntled employee when they’re bad, or the owner writing their own review when they’re exceptionally good.  I guess sometimes it’s better just to check it out for myself and I did, and I’m glad I did because we had a great time.  Actually, what I should say is, the kids had a great time and I was just happy I had good company to keep me sane.

There were 3 main issues I kept coming across in the reviews, customer service, cleanliness and the children’s experience, so I decided those were the things I wanted to check out.  The cost was very reasonable, $10 on a weekday and $11 on the weekend/holiday.  We were charged $11 even though it was Wednesday because it was school vacation week.  It seemed a little shady to me, but we don’t usually go to places like that during school vacation, so I’m not sure if that’s just something places do.  The extra $2 was completely worth the look on my kids faces.  They were ready to explode, they couldn’t get their shoes off fast enough!  They took off running and didn’t stop for at least an hour, maybe more, at which point we took a much needed break and headed to the food court for some pizza.  It wasn’t until we left JnP that I realized just how loud the place was, the mall was so calm and quiet and very inviting in comparison.

On our way back to the PnJ we stopped at a little water feature.  The kids wanted to throw pennies in and make some wishes, they were given two and playfully told to make their wishes wisely.  The Princess wished for a new princess dress with her first wish but her second wish was lost as she was distracted by a bird that had found it’s way into the mall.  The Little Professor’s first wish was quick and determined, then he sat by the water feature for a while really thinking what he wanted for his second.  He gently tossed in his remaining penny and skipped off.  I later asked what he had wished for and he said “My first wish was easy…it was for a Toy Story Train Lego set, but I wanted to make my second wish a good one, so I wished that I would never lie again”.  He certainly has a kind, loving spirit in him.  He tries so hard to live his life well and has a good sense of right and wrong.  I really love that about him!  It makes me so proud and quite frankly it makes me want to squeeze him – tight!  

     

The rest of the afternoon went by in a frenzied blur of kids rushing from one jumpy to the next.  We spent hours of keeping track of our energetic children as they slipped in and out of amusements.  There were a few bathroom emergencies, water breaks and a couple of melt downs.  All to be expected of course.  As the minor mishaps became more frequent and little faces were stained with tears from exhaustion, we decided it was time to go.  Our departure was met with feeble resistance as everyone held hands and we made our way out.

In the end, my concerns from the reviews I read were pointless.  The employees were friendly enough and seemed to do their job fine.  They weren’t overly helpful or didn’t appear to put in extra effort beyond their basic duties.  They were there to take home a paycheck and not much more.  I would think the noise of the place would be hard to deal with day in and day out.  They walked around constantly making sure kids were following the rules which were designed to keep them safe.  They were diligent in that.

As far as cleanliness goes…it’s a playground and just because it’s inside doesn’t make it any less of a playground.  The bathrooms were kept clean considering all the kids running in and out of them.  The wooden floor appeared to be washed.  The padded floor looked worn and walked on and the amusements looked as though a million kids had played in them.  Adults were walking on all the padding with shoes which is why children are suppose to be wearing socks.  I certainly wouldn’t want them to run around in bare feet.  I had read one review that stated ” I wouldn’t want to visit those people’s homes if they think this place is clean!!” however, most people do not have a playground frequented by thousands of kids in their house.  I think they do a fairly good job considering what it is.  Once we were home, I sent the kids up for a shower and put their clothes straight into the wash.

We will definitely keep it on the list of fun things to do!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Comes Early…

Yesterday was another unseasonably warm day…and by warm I mean in the 80’s!  We started our day as normal, the kids got busy with their school work and I tackled the big pile of papers on my desk.  I had plans to take the kids out today, so I knew we had to accomplish twice as much yesterday, which meant sacrificing some fun time outside.  The kids finished up what they were doing and it was a normal day as usual when they came running over to me all excited.  They had seen our neighbours outside swimming in their little kids pool.  Summer was finally here and they wanted to go swimming too!  Even though I had made a decent dent in the stack of papers there were still more than plenty to get done.  Sadly, I explained the situation to the kids.  This only managed to hold them off for a little while.  They decided to try again and again.

Working from home is a love-hate job.  I love that I get to be home with my children and spend so much time with them.  I love that I can take them places by shuffling my days around, but there are days when they have to amuse themselves too.  Sometimes I have to tell my children that we just can’t go do that right now.  As much as I’d like to just be a stay at home mum, I’m very thankful for my job and the flexibility it gives me.  As far as jobs go, it’s the best I could ask for.  It does have it’s perks, especially in the summer when we are fully set up out back, I can work on the patio while the Little Professor and the Princess play on their playground.  We’re just not set up for that yet.  Soon, very soon!

                            

Shortly after they had come to me yet another time, the phone rang and it was our neighbour (the one with the kids pool) asking if we were going to come over.  I decided that was it, and told the kids to throw on their bathing suits.  It wasn’t long before all the little ones were soaking in the crisp, cool water with the smell of warmed sunscreen wafting from them.  Even the Milk Monkey enjoyed himself in the splashes of the bigger kids.  It wasn’t easy prying them away a couple hours later for soccer practice.  I guess when the weather is that hot in April, you just have to go swimming.  I didn’t even mind staying up into the wee hours of the night to get the rest of my work finished, while my exhausted swimmers slept soundly in their beds.

Lost in a World of Fabrics…

Just about every Friday the the Little Professor and the Princess spend the day with their Nana.  It gives me a break and they always have a blast going to the library to play chess, visiting playgrounds or watching the ducks and feeding the fish at the pond.  The princess hardly ever makes it home without drifting off on Nana’s couch while waiting for Daddy to pick them up and they are always both exhausted after an amazing day.

               

They look forward to their day with Nana and so do I.  It gives me a chance to catch up with all the things I’ve gotten behind in and sometimes I actually get out of the house with only one child, which is always a welcome change in the routine.  This past Friday was one of those days.  I spent most of the day getting caught up with work, but later in the afternoon I managed to make it out of the house.  The little Monkey and I made our way to the fabric store which is one of my favourite places.  All the colours of the fabrics lift my mood and set me on a journey of inspiration.

                       

The long isles of multi-textured textiles muffles the sounds of the store, creating an insulated cocoon.  It’s so peaceful and it gives my busy mind a chance to breathe.

I’m one of those people who has to touch everything when I shop, as I’m sure most women are, so it takes me a while to make my way through a fabric store.  I especially take my time in the Minkie collection – so soft.  Daddy and our two older children do not appreciate this quality about me however the Milk Monkey was more than happy to be my partner in crime.  He studied all the material, tasted a spool of thread and happily flirted with all the ladies in the store.  He was in his glory!

My reason for the trip to the store, aside from the pure enjoyment of it, was to get some fabric to make the Princess a quilt.  Her birthday is rapidly approaching.  She turns 5 years old this May and my little Milk Monkey turns one, 11 days later.   As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, toys are just not high on our list for gifts, we already have more than our house can contain.  I decided it would be nice to sew a quilt for my little girl who has everything.  Recently, I have started to gravitate toward quilting – all the super cool mummy’s are doing it these days!  I decided this was the hobby for me, along with all my other hobbies of course.

This will be the second one I make.  The first quilt I made was a Christmas gift for the Milk Monkey, a little rag quilt in the shape of a turtle.  It was a big hit with him, he loves to play on it.  It turned out far better than I had expected, especially for my first try.

                      

The quilt for the princess will be the traditional kind.  I’m excited to get started.  Even more exciting is that I plan on using a sewing machine passed down to my husband by his Grandmother.  It’s an old singer that apparently is sought after by quilters to use for machine quilting.  I just love how much sentimental value it will give the quilt knowing that it was made using the Princess’s Great Grandmothers sewing machine.  It’ll be a gift that will be valued far beyond any cheaply made toy we could ever buy.  I might even add one of those “Made With Love” tags to it!