Saturday, 28 April 2012

Look Who's Five!!

Our baby is five today! Five is a big number. Five means she's no longer a little preschooler. Five means she'll be leaving home in the fall to be swallowed up by the big yellow school bus. Five means she will gain more independence as she is away from home and playing on the playground without us right there watching her. Five is scary for us as parents. Five is exciting beyond words for Bethy. I keep telling Bethany that every birthday she has from now on she will turn four all over again so she can stay home with me and just keep going to preschool. She refuses. I said the same thing to the other kids when they turned five. They refused too. Either I'm doing something wrong that they don't want to stay home with me forever, or I'm doing something right that they don't want to stay home with me forever. It depends on the day!!

Bethany loves life. I don't quite know how to describe her in a way that would actually capture who she is. She says what she thinks (she gets that from her Great-Oma V AND her Great-Opa B!!). She's not afraid to be who she is. She can't sit still. I think the highest Ron & I have counted when she is actually still is 4....maybe. She's discreetly attentive. You don't think she's paying attention to what you are saying and weeks later she will give you the details on the conversation you had. She's competitive. It's how she passed swimming lessons, she couldn't let the other kids do better than she did! She's inquisitive. There are no less than 10 questions from her brain in five minutes. Ron took her to the elevator one day. Forty minutes into the drive he sent me a text saying she hadn't stopped asking questions since they left the yard. He wondered how I could answer questions all day! I say Bethany might be a genius some day because of all the questions she asks. Or not so much because I'm the one answering all the questions! She retains all the answers too. Random information comes out of her mouth and when I ask her where she learned that information she can tell me exactly where she heard it. Be careful what you say around her!! Bethany loves music. She is constantly singing some song from some show or preschool class. If she's not singing she's dancing. She has attitude. It's going to either get her into trouble or keep her out of it. Hopefully we can steer her in the right direction! She knows how to assert herself. If there's a line drawn she will erase it and tell you exactly where she thinks it should be. (It's a good thing her mother is just as assertive!) Bethany wakes up every day with a smile on her face, a sparkle in her eye, and a desire to live life so it's always exciting. We hope we can enjoy her enthusiasm!

Love you Sweetie!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Six Months

Sunday will be six months since we've moved into our house! The time has gone quickly, it sure has been easy to "settle in". The kids hardly ever mention the house trailer and never say they miss it or the other yard, which is kind of funny because we don't have any grass here. They have spent a lot of time playing in the garage. I back the van out, Ron has the truck at the farm, so the kids can skip, do tricks on their bikes (ok, that's just Nathan!), ride bikes with training wheels and not get hung up every 2 seconds on a gravel ridge, skateboard...I think you get the idea! The other week we came home and it was raining hard and very windy. Larissa says, "Mom, I'm glad we have a garage, now we don't have to walk out in this yucky weather!" She is definitely appreciating the house for what it offers and not taking it for granted. The kids can't decide which is their favourite thing about the new house. Nathan loves the size of his room and the fact that he has a place downstairs to shoot hockey. Larissa said the other day that our lives would be so different if we didn't have an island in the kitchen! I was preparing supper and she was sitting at the island with her craft supplies so we could "work together". Bethany wonders when we'll stop calling it the "new house" because it just feels like we've always lived here. Ron loves the lack of water consumption our new toilets and washing machine have provided! He will often tell people how much less water we use now. In the trailer we had 11 year old toilets and a traditional top load washing machine. Now we have 6L flush toilets and a top load HE washing machine. We haul our water so it's maybe more obvious to us than it would be to some people. In the trailer we would haul 3500 gallons of water every 4 weeks. We are now down to 2000 gallons or less in 4 weeks. We didn't have a single time of running out of water at 1:00 am in -30 this winter! (That maybe happened once or twice in the trailer!!;D ) I can't say I really have a favourite part either. The house just feels like home. There was no adjustment to living here. Perhaps that's due to the fact that we came by here almost every day during the building process and we we've been dreaming of this for years. The kids had no adjustment issues either. They were involved in choosing things for their rooms and they were just as excited about the new house as Ron & I were. Comfort. Love. Home.

We have been winding down our year long activities these last couple of weeks. Nathan's piano lessons and Larissa's private violin lessons finished last week. Bethany's final dance recital is this weekend. We've been busy running to extra practises for that but by Sunday at 4:00 it should all be done! Then soccer starts. That will be three evenings a week for 8 weeks plus Larissa has violin group class on a fourth night of the week, if we choose to go, so it might be busier in the next 8 weeks than it was all winter long, and I'm doing it all as a single mom! We started seeding last week Thursday, took a break due to rain, then started up again yesterday. There is no rain in the forecast for the rest of the week so hopefully we can get a good chunk done. What looked like an early spring due to lack of snow and an unseasonably warm March has turned out to be a very average year for us. I had secretly hoped for seeding in March, harvest in July and the month of August off to do some camping and fun family activities but I knew that would never happen. Ron would want to plant a second crop!! In reality I knew my "hope" would never happen but I figured it didn't hurt to dream! Fourteen years of being a farmer's wife still hasn't erased the 20+ years of being a teacher's daughter! Don't get me wrong, I love the farming lifestyle I just sometimes still feel like and old dog learning a new trick!

I have been out of picture-taking-mode the last few months so I don't have too many to share. I did receive a few complaints last time for not having any pictures posted (you know which aunt you are!!) so I will deliver on my promise to have some this time!

This is Larissa with her violin teacher.

The kids playing in the garage.

I know this isn't a clear picture of Nathan but I'm hoping you can see his facial expression. Lips puckered and tongue out of the mouth, a classic "I'm concentrating on what I'm doing" look for him!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Parents sure made it look easy

Parenting is hard! It's not a new revelation to me, it was just reconfirmed tonight. I had a great talk with my boy. Bedtime is great for that. I love bedtime for that very reason. Most nights it's just saying goodnight, a kiss and a hug. Other nights though, are like tonight. I started it. I did it on purpose too. It all started at the supper table. Larissa asked a very innocent question. "Can quadruplets ever be three babies?" The kids know up to triplets but we've never thought of going beyond that, we don't know anyone who's ever had three or more babies at once and animals have litters, so why did we need to go higher? So we did the whole 4=quadruplets, 5=quintuplets, 6=sextuplets (giggle). Yup. Giggle. (insert my inner groan here) Did my 9 & 7 year olds really just giggle at the word SEXtuplets? They sure did. My kids know the actual words for their body parts. They know it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. I can't remember using the word sex. I just explain things as the topics come up. Am I bit conservative in educating my kids in that regard? Maybe in this day and age I am. Can you blame me for being protective and wanting to keep them young and innocent? Is that not my job as their Mom? (these are questions I'm asking myself. I don't need actual answers!!) At the table we ignored the giggles and kept going until 8=octuplets. Neither Ron nor I could remember what 9 was. The kids were either satisfied that we knew until octuplets or still too distracted by sextuplets that the conversation basically ended there. Until I picked it up again with Nathan at bedtime. I asked him what was so funny about the word sextuplets. He looked at me, half rolled his eyes and gave me a look that said, "Do I really have to tell you?" So then I asked him what he knew about sex. "Uh, Mom, this is awkward." And then I heard everything about what he knew about sex to friendships at school to faith to our shower pressure being too hard that it pierces his back! We cried, we laughed, we sat in silence, we prayed. I love that kid! I have a boy. Everything I've heard about boys not talking is true. I don't always get things out of him....right away. I guess the key is keeping him up until midnight the night before so he's sleep deprived and he feels emotional enough about everything that he just talks. I wonder if it will work when he's 16? ;) Nathan's a great kid. He's confident, happy, even keel. He's also observant. Very observant. Some of the things we talked about tonight I don't remember thinking about as a kid. When we decided to have kids I thought it would be easy-ish. I remembered enough of my misspent youth that I could relate to everything that my kids would go through. (did I mention I was also naive??) What I didn't bank on was that it wouldn't be just my personality in those kids!! Nathan thinks. I don't think.  I talk it out and change my mind half way through a conversation and then maybe change my mind again. I fly by the seat of my pants. Open mouth first, activate brain second. Ron thinks. I'm so glad this parenting thing involves both of us! My parents sure made it look easy. I knew I was loved no matter what I did. Home was a safe place. Ron's home was the same. We're trying our best to raise our kids in that kind of home. I hope my kids will think we made parenting look easy too!!