11 August 2018


The children found a cat.  They are thrilled.  They named it Furball and made it a house on the deck (since I will not allow it in the house).  Ellen takes little dishes of water out to Furball and then loses her mind when Nee-Nee puts a rock in the dish and ruins Furball's cleaning drinking supply.  The kids want to feed the cat, but Mama says that it can either find its way back home or learn to eat the plentiful supply of mice in our yard.

Foolish Furball has stuck around for 24 hours now even after discovering what kind of children live in this house.  Ellen grabs Furball at every opportunity, forces her (him?) to the ground and pets her furiously.  Ellen came inside in tears this morning after Furball scratched her.  It was a tiny scratch but Ellen was devastated that her best friend would do such a thing to her.

03 July 2018


Little Natey calls himself 'Nee-Nee' and briefly said 'nes' for 'yes,' which is probably the cutest thing I've ever heard in my whole entire life.  Then he said 'nip' for 'yes.' Also cute.

Nee-Nee is two.  He is my most polite child but if I turn my back on him, he colors the kitchen table with markers, empties the silverware drawer into the sink, and uses the spray bottle to soak all the furniture.

He says the sweetest tiny prayers with arms folded tightly.  He loves puppies and 'Howdy' and "E-uh."  He sleeps in his own bed but flings the master bedroom door open sometime early in the morning to come find me every single day.  Fortunately, he'll snuggle back down if I join him.  Yesterday, I saw him find a sample of cat food we received in the mail.  Mistaking it for a treat, he hustled it outside and climbed to the top of the play structure with it where I saw him trying to wrestle it open in secret.  He brought it back unopened, but if made me laugh and laugh.  Earlier in the day, also at the top of the structure, he frantically steered the steering wheel, yelling to me, "Drive away from worms!"

He repeats words.  "I want want want cookie."  "I need need need dat!"

He loves to "fly" to bed and I just love to see him pattering around the house (E sometimes calls him Baby Tap Tap, because we can hear his little feet coming and going).

23 February 2018

8 Years

Steve and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.  We spent the previous week in Ohio at a trade show with just the two of us and the baby, which is pretty luxurious for us at this point in our lives.  Steve's parents stayed with the two older children and, the kids tell me, let them watch movies past bedtime and eat candy and ice cream.  I came home to a house cleaner than it's been in ages, so it was a giant win all around!

On our actual anniversary, Steve and I shared red velvet cupcakes with the kids (our wedding cake was red velvet) and I gave Steve this card by Nikki McClure.  It's called 'Seal.'

An Impending Birthday Party/The Party is Over

I started writing this post about The Bairn's upcoming birthday:

The Bairn is turning six this month.  (How can it be?  Wasn't he just born?  Soon he'll be in college!  etc.)  Now that he's in school, he's discovered the world of birthday parties.  In the past, we've mostly just invited a few family members to the house for a homemade ice cream cake and then taken a trip to the wave pool or a museum as a special treat.  This year I have promised The Bairn a birthday party.  He came home from school today and told me that he would not tell me anything about his day, because it's a secret, except that he asked his enemy at school if he would be nice if he came to The Bairn's birthday party, and the enemy said, 'Yes.'  The Bairn informed me that this means we will be inviting the entire Grade Primary class to his party.

Then a month went by without finishing the post and now the birthday has come and gone.  [And I still didn't post it, so now Valentine's Day (mentioned below) is past also.  I'm winning at blogging.]

I talked The Bairn into only inviting the boys in his class to his party and told him we would be having it at home, despite the fact that birthday parties at home are Not The Thing at The Bairn's school.  Keep the Expectations Low is my main parenting philosophy.  [We prepared valentines today.  There are no toys or candy attached to the cards we printed out from the Internet.  My other philosophy is I Don't Care What the Joneses are Doing!  We're Not Keeping Up with Anyone!  Fight the treat bags, people.  Srsly.]

The party was Lego Ninjago themed, and Papa came as Sensei Wu and trained all the aspiring ninjas.  Ellen is still wearing her ninja headband (strip cut off an old bed sheet - I am SERIOUS about the low expectations).  She even wore it to church and while she was making 'snow ninjas' in the yard yesterday.

I added a note on all the invitations that gifts weren't necessary [loooow expectations], but every single child still brought The Bairn something.  We opened presents at the same time we did the cake, and The Bairn was so excited by his Lego sets that he didn't even eat any of his own cake until the next day.

Baby Ninja

The Bittles

I found this post in my drafts from the summer.  It's not complete.  There was supposed to be more about The Bairn and Natey, but I don't want it forgotten, so I'm posting it as it is.


I call my kids my little bittles and, because of this, they call themselves the bittles.  As in, "Mom, wait for the bittles!" and "Oh look, this spoon is bittle-sized."  When I straighten up at night and put tiny shoes back on the shoe rack or flip open a notebook and find drawings of escape plans and family members on top of my grocery lists, I'm so pleased to have these little bittles who have hit another funny spot that I particularly enjoy.

Ellen is currently obsessed with policey things.  She asks to watch silly robbers (Lego shorts) on the ipad and spends a lot of time designing Lego boats and aircraft and police stations for a minifigure she calls Shiny Silver, presumably because of his sunglasses.  She has an odd linguistic pattern that goes like this:  Mom, I want to tell you something.  It's this.  She likes me to scoop her up in a towel after her bath and drop her on her bed as hard as I can, so she can pretend to be a bird landing in its nest.
At the harbour in Halifax.

The Bairn is the huggiest boy in all the world.  He calls me his lovey and tells me he loves me the best because he loves to jiggle my arm fat.

Camping with cousins in New Brunswick.

Hiking in Fundy National Park

Cape Enrage - We couldn't go down to the beach because the tide was coming in.

A cemetery we happened on while driving to Moncton.

Natey and Ellen on a tandem swing at the park.

30 September 2017


Our baby is a rascal.  Sometimes we call him the Wild Baby of M-town.  I'm sure I loved all of my babies this much when they were this age, but there's something about a third baby that already seems so abundant (a boy and a girl and, wait, another boy!) and the fact that he's the third means that we realize how quickly he'll be out of this sweet, funny, rascally age.

Just enjoying a bit of meat at Steve's client's Eid celebration earlier in the month.

This baby pudges around the backyard doing all kinds of important work.  He begs to go 'ide and I just slide the screen door open for him and he lets himself down off the deck and patters around in the grass, lining up rocks and filling up buckets.  I peek out the door and he's in the sandbox working on a project or busy at the water table.  Earlier this week, I looked out and shouted because he'd climbed all the way to the top of the kids' play structure.  He'd figured out the rock climbing wall and let himself into the little fort.  When I tried to coax him over to me to get him down, he was too pleased with himself, peeking between the wooden slats and calling out, "Hiyo!  Hiyo!" to the kids on the swings down below him.

Driving his car at the neighbor's house.

He loves books with animal pictures.  He flops himself down on my lap several times a day with a book in hand so that we can look at 'puppies' (all animals) or 'now' (the sound a cat makes).  If his brother and sister are with me on the couch, he shoves right by them and pushes and fusses until he can settle himself right down in the middle, on my lap.

He does tricks - Patty Cake and So Big and Where are Your Teeth?  He sits for long periods of time ringing the doorbell on the dollhouse or snuggling a stuffed animal or rifling through my drawers.  When he wants something he knows he shouldn't have, he runs with it and when we get close enough to take it, he throws it.  He and his sister and I made cookies this week and he stood at the table hurling the cookie cutters across the table as his contribution.  While I was picking green beans recently, he helped.  As I picked, I would hand him a few of the beans and he'd walk them to the end of the row and deposit them in the bowl.  Adorable.

He spends a lot of time with "E-ah" now that The Bairn is in school.

His favorite activity is brushing his teeth.  We had a stool right next to the vanity in the bathroom and every day someone would forget to close the bathroom door (to keep Nate out).  I'd walk in and find him standing on the stool brushing his teeth (usually with someone else's toothbrush).  "What are you doing, " I'd ask and he'd answer "Deet." (Teeth.)  Today I found him sitting on the stairs with The Bairn.  He was very happily letting his brother brush his teeth.

20 July 2017


The Bairn is playing tee ball this summer.  Twice a week we drive to ball field in a neighbouring village and The Bairn spends a great deal of time making dust storms and sitting down on the bases.  He also does a lot of this:

I didn't realize until we got to the ball field that he was wearing boots instead of sneakers.
It's hard to play tee ball in boots.

I thought that maybe he wasn't really enjoying the world of sports (which he would come by honestly), but then when he was chatting to Grandma on the phone about it, he declared that tee ball is amazing and that he loves it.  Also, his coach gave him a team t-shirt this week that The Bairn was shocked to discover he could take home and keep.

This is Ellen's favorite thing about tee ball:

She really wishes this were her puppy, but it belongs to a long-suffering family that lets her drag their pet around.

The Bairn also started swimming lessons this week.  He's very nervous about getting his head wet while swimming, so I have to make lots of deals in the morning.  Okay, if you jump off the side today, you can have cereal when you get home.  And he requests lots of prayers to make him brave for swim class.

Ellen much prefers watching The Bairn swim to watching The Bairn sit on a ball field (despite the lack of puppies).
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