30 July 2015

Nova Scotia Summer

Sometime in March or April I say to Steve (and myself), "Why do we live here?  I can't live here.  I'm not living here anymore."  The spring is really miserable in Nova Scotia.

Then the summer arrives and I take the kids up the road to hear the live local music on Thursday nights.  I sit in a wooden chair shaped like a giant fish and the kids play and dance in the sand pit.  Sometimes the weather is perfect for a summer night and sometimes it drizzles rain and I tell The Bairn, "You're not made of sugar.  You won't melt," and I wonder how many mothers over the years have said the exact same words to their children and I think that life can't get any nicer at all.

Tonight the band sang this song (with accompaniment from a lady in the crowd on the spoons).  I'd never heard it before, but I like it.

20 July 2015

My Little Ones

My children are just impossibly sweet and funny at the moment. We're at some sort of sweet spot in which they're both at good ages that just delight me every day, and I feel the need to gather up all the pieces of them, the moments that grandparents assure me are the best of our life, and hold them still somehow.

I read with Ellen and think to myself, "I must remember how impossibly sweet it is to have a curly-haired girl snuggled under my chin."  I watch her run across the playground and know that it would be a crime to forget how her cloth diaper makes her skirt puff out like a cupcake and that she waves her hands over her head when she runs and that her motion is more up and down than it is forward.  She bounces.  She enters the kitchen with a blanket around her neck and announces that she's a 'sup'aherio' and then the next day in the stroller she argues with her brother that she's not a baby, she's a 'wobot.'

The Bairn snuggles in my lap and promises that he will never leave me.  He sits in the backseat of the car after church, munching on snacks and informing me that he learned about 'Heavenly Father and robots and cars and trucks and monster trucks' in his class.  He explains to Steve that babies live inside their mothers until they're born and come out to drink milk from the mommies' 'milksides.'  He loves the outdoors (but not wearing pants there).  I took him hiking last week and he named all the sections of the trail - Mom's Jungle, Franklin's Forest, and The Bairn's Jungle.  He ran over the bridges and literally oohed and ahhed at everything I pointed out to him.

Not a fan of pants outside

These kids drink monkey milk (banana smoothies) every day and beg to help Steve make pizza.  They want to eat all the bread dough before I bake it and delight in picnics (even if it's just grapes on the deck).  They love playing in the sandpit at the market, visiting the beach, and going to the splash pad.  Ellen holds us by the finger and leads us around and The Bairn calls excitedly to show me the things he's built.  They both worry about bugs.

Watching the July 1st Parade

I just can't get over them.  They go to bed at night and I recount our day to Steve and I think, "Remember this.  Remember."

07 July 2015

Gems from the Bairn

Steve goes on church visits on Tuesday nights.  Tonight after Steve left.

Bairn: Mom, do you love Daddy?
MBC: Yes, do you love him?
Bairn: He went away on visits, but I'll never leave you alone.  I'll always stay here with you.

Looking at pictures of Italy.

MBC: I've been there. 
Bairn: When were you there?
MBC: Oh, before you were born I used to travel.
Bairn: Yep, I was just waiting in the hospital for you.  Wog, wog, wog.  Just waiting for you to come get me.

At the local market where Steve does some engineering for their new building.

MBC: Daddy's over in that building for a meeting today.
Bairn: No, no, Mommy.  This is the market.  Daddy comes here for doughnuts.  Church is for meetings.  Why are you so wrong?


We went to one of our favorite parks last week.  It looks like Ellen is sad in these photos, but she wasn't.  The Bairn ran around the pirate ship play structure yelling, "Shiver my timbers!"

on the pirate ship

we climbed up that lighthouse

It was really windy.

29 June 2015

Family Camp Vacation

We went camping.

The kids, Steve's parents, Steve's sister and her kids, and I drove up to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick on Wednesday and Steve joined us the next day.

Things we enjoyed:

  • playing with cousins
  • the zip lines at the camp playground
  • roasting marshmallows
  • the beautiful views
  • sleeping in a tent (when I asked The Bairn about camping at Fundy, he said this was his favorite part)
Things we did NOT enjoy:
  • bugs
  • the loudsters in the tent behind us

The Bairn playing with his baby cousin

Lexi took good care of Ellen and The Bairn.

Like, really good care.

This is what Ellen does when we ask her to smile.

On Friday, Steve and the kids and I drove down to Peaks Kenny State Park in Maine and camped for two more nights.  Our real reason for visiting Maine was attending the Whoopie Pie Festival, but there is always the secondary reason for visiting, which is buying stuff in America that we cannot get in Canada.

Things we enjoyed:

  • attending the Whoopie Pie Festival  I didn't think I would actually max out on whoopie pie tastings, but I did.
  • Playing at the lake.
  • Daddy's yummy camp breakfasts, featuring all-American breakfast sausage (insert MBC breaking into patriotic-sausage-loving songs right here).
  • Singing songs in the car.  Ellen spends a lot of her time in the car demanding, "Nudder song!"
  • Sweet camping kids.  The Bairn really loves camping, especially when he gets to help Daddy cook and do jobs.  One night I was listening to him talk to Steve while I put Ellen down to bed and I heard him saying, "Daddy, you're really great.  You're so good at killing bugs and you're pretty big."  He also told me that his favorite part of camping in Maine was me.  "You're so hugful, Mom."
  • Absolute silence during quiet hours.  A ranger hushed up our loud neighbor at 10:00 sharp.

Things we did not enjoy:

  • Driving long distances with Ellen.  She doesn't enjoy it and she can wail for hours.
  • That point when we had just crossed the border and I took both kids inside the gas station and Ellen lay on the floor, covered nose to toes in banana residue, and cried and refused to stand or be carried while the Bairn tried to steal sprinkle cupcakes from the bakery cupboard and I hissed, "That's enough.  No treats!" at them.  
  • Breaking camp in the rain.

Flopsicles in the car.

Playing at the lake.

Sweetie Pie, the Whoopie Pie Festival mascot

I love little kids in wellies.

We love camping.  The Bairn drove home with a blanket over his head, a tent where he looked at books and occasionally popped his head out to tell Ellen that he loved all the colors in the world.

21 June 2015

Father's Day For My Spouse

The Bairn and I talked about Father's Day early this year.  It was on my mind.  We would serve Steve's favorite meal.  We would make festive hats.  The Bairn suggested that we purchase Steve a gummy candy shaped like a snowblower, because I guess that combines two things that The Bairn associates with his dad.

Yesterday I woke up feeling sick and a few hours later Steve was also ill (though in a much more melodramatic man cold kind of way).  The family meal was postponed.  I had no energy to make hats.  I didn't even remember to have the kids write in Steve's Father's Day book that we use every year.

Today we feel better, but still a little fragile.  We made homemade macaroni and cheese and ate it on the couch while the kids slept and then watched Lady and the Tramp with constant Bairn commentary after naps.  It was kind of perfect, actually.  Comfortable and low-key.  I'm glad to be married to someone who's happy with that kind of celebration.  Who spent the week helping me clean up sick kids and is currently snuggling Ellen down to sleep.  He is a good dad.  Happy Father's Day to him.

18 June 2015

The Goings On

Ellen walks around with a paper hippopotamus on her hand saying, "Sorry, sorry, sorry."  Because, you know, if you can say 'hippopotamus', you can say 'I'm sorry.'

There's a satellite dish buried in our backyard.  The former house owners put it there to be fish pond until it became a giant mosquito breeding ground and then they used it as a fire pit and then they buried it with a bunch of trash.  They were super classy.  Steve's been unearthing it, which has left a giant hole in the yard for The Bairn to spend his mornings exploring.

Ellen loves to dress herself.  She has a preference for hats, boots, ruffles and anything 'fancy.'

The garden is mostly all planted.  We didn't label our seedlings very well, so we're not really sure what we're growing.  Lots of tomatoes, some sort of peppers, a variety of squashes, beans, maybe pumpkins, maybe melons, kale, cucumbers.  The Bairn loves walking up and down the rows.

I am having all the FEELINGS about our lawn.  Our lawn tractor is broken and we can't afford to fix it and it takes me 3 hours with Ellen on my back to mow it with the push mower but the teenagers (and more specifically their parents) ask rates I consider scandalous to do the job.  We're currently paying a kid more per hour than Steve's draftsman charges to have a tidy lawn.
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