Baywatch Babes

We spend every Thanksgiving at the cottage.  There is food aplenty but it is also time to close the cottage for winter so lots of work is done.  Leaves are raked, summer furniture and toys are put away.  Plus, we have to to divvy up the leftover food and bathroom products.  This past Thanksgiving, we managed to cross all the outdoor things off the list, and eat the Thanksgiving meal, but we accidentally had a little party and didn’t finish off the inside of the cottage.  I had to leave early on the last day, as my dad hosts a Thanksgiving meal too, so we needed to get home and shower before heading over to the next family party.

It wasn’t really my fault, you put all of the family (the Hubby’s side) in a cottage with wine and Euchre, things happen.  So when the Hubby, kids and I ducked out early morning with food still left to be sorted, it falls on the family still there.  During the cottage clean up, my sister-in-law, K, found (re-found) a Baywatch Air Freshener that has been hanging around the cottage for years.  Probably since the show first came out.  As punishment for my leaving early, she told me I had to hang said air freshener in my van until Christmas.

Well, jokes on her, it is still hanging.  At first, it was super embarrassing.  I have women in bathing suits smiling from one side,  A shirtless David Hasselhoff smirking on the other.  I cannot tell you how many times I forgot it was there.  Forgot to tell the person in the passenger seat the whole story of why the Hoff is checking them out.  I can only imagine what goes through the minds of the guys doing the oil change of a van with bikini babes and three booster seats.  So, maybe it is still embarrassing, I just no longer care.  It has really grown on me.  If you ever need cheering up, I’ll pick you up in my van and the Hoff will put a smile on your face.  You win, K, you win.

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Date Night With my Mom

The Hubby was out last night, and my mom and I had a date night.  She got home just in time to start watching The Voice.  For anyone watching right now, I love Hannah Kirby.  I want to be friends with her.  My mom and I always talk about if you could be an amazing singer or an amazing dancer, which would you choose?   For me, I would love to be able to sing.  I can make my way through a wedding dance floor no problem, but singing Happy Birthday is a different story.  Sure, it would be cool to bust out some serious dance moves, but I’ve always wanted to be able to sing.  Maybe one of my kids will get the gift!

The kids were in bed, although A did come down to say goodnight to SueSue (as my kids call her).  Then my mom and I popped the bubbly, and sat in front of the television.  I realize this may seem boring, but it was wonderful.  Weekdays are so busy, for both of us, it is so nice to just sit on our bums and do nothing.  The sparkling wine makes it fancy.  After The Voice, we started an NCIS show.  I didn’t realize there were so many different spin offs of this show.  Last night, we were in New Orleans.  When my mom and I watch a show, there is a lot of talking going on.  Sometimes talking over a show is annoying, and it is most definitely always annoying during a movie, but not last night. Not on date night. We were dissecting the show, trying to figure out who was the guilty party, on this occasion who kidnapped the baby.  It is a race to see who can figure the clues out in the shortest amount of time.  My mom was convinced she had figured it all out, but my thoughts were it was too early in the show to have the bad guy already.  I won’t go into detail about who was right (me cough cough) but neither one of us figured out the whole story so we’ll call it a tie.  Until next time!

Whoomp There it is!

IMG_2573The first day we got to wear our T-shirts outside, our first glimpse of summer!  The kids started swimming lessons Sunday morning, and then we headed to the park with some friends.  In those earlier hours, we had to wear the jackets because the sun wasn’t too hot yet, but after lunch it was so beautiful out!  I hear patios all over calling my name.  I can’t wait to be swimming at the cottage…well maybe I can wait just a little longer, Easter has really messed up my desire to look good in a bathing suit.  I am full of chocolate eggs and coffee.  Better to get that out of my system first!

F has been cranky and whiny this past week, and I knew it was most likely a sickness coming on that caused it, but it is still hard to be patient after days of it.  Turns out, it was a cold coming on, and the poor guy is home today.  He went to bed last night without dinner, as per his request, and then coughed most of the night.  He seems better today, but when this morning when he started crying (real tears) after I told him he couldn’t wear his lace up Converse running shoes to school because he cannot tie laces yet, I knew he needed a day home to rest.  We have watched a lot of Paw Patrol and now he is colouring in the drawing room.  I call the craft room that because I am an English major and my favourite courses were 19th century literature.  Yup, you guessed it, I love Jane Austen.  She is popular for a reason.

So, now we are having a day together, which is so fun.  I don’t often spend time with just one of my three kids.  The whining has also stopped because he has my undivided attention and I think the cold is passing through.  He sounds a bit like a seal when he coughs, it’s that barking kind, but we are on top of it with puffers.  I am sure L will be home with the cough next, but for now I am off to fold laundry and then colour my own picture in the drawing room with F.  Enjoy the sunshine!

Good Morning Sunshine

As I have said before, I am not exactly a morning person.  I like to sleep and things that get in the way of my sleep can annoy me.  Like if the Hubby did not shut the door of the bathroom while he flicks the light on and shaves.  Or if his alarm goes off and he tosses and turns and groans in the bed.  I am still sleeping here.  I don’t often wake my kids up, in fact I can’t remember the last time I woke the boys, but I did sometime this year wake up A so we weren’t late for school.  She did not want to get out of bed, and I didn’t blame her.  Sleep is good.   I feel I should add, I am aware that I am in the fault here by being grumpy in the morning, the Hubby is not annoying.  I should be getting up anyway.  But, knowing I am the one being ridiculous just makes me even more grumpy!  Then I wake up and I am a nicer human being.

The boys have a morning ritual they started around the age of one.  They hum and rock back and forth in their beds.  L is the ring leader, and sometimes F follows suit.  At the cottage last summer, Popi (my father-in-law) was sleeping in a tent right outside our window.  He woke up thinking he was in a monastery listening to monks.  It is very loud if you are anywhere near them, let alone in the same room.  After, lets say 20 minutes of the humming, they start throwing some words in.  They might sing about something they dreamed about, or something they want to do when they get up.  For example, I have heard something along the lines of “hmmmmm cars and trucks…hmmmmm I want to play with cars and trucks…hmmmm”.  It is hard to understand without actually hearing it, but think of their voice being very nasally with slowly drawn out and extended words.  The things they say can make me laugh, or make me cover my ears with my pillow and say “shhshhhshhh people are sleeping”.  It depends on how early it is and what they are saying.  I wish I wrote down some of the “songs” they have done, there has been some real gems.

After this ritual, they used to head into A’s room and wake her up.  She wrote a sign on her bedroom door that said “no boys allowed in the mornings” and a picture of her sleeping.  Then a friend introduced me to It’s OK to Wake owls from Indigo, and it has been a blessing (when they listen to it).  It is like an alarm clock stuffed into a soft owl.  I set the alarm for 7:00 a.m. and it glows green when it is okay to wake.  If they push it before it is green, it will say “go back to sleep” and sing a lullaby.  If they miss the green part (never happened) they can push it up to an hour after the time and it will say “it’s okay to wake now!” and sing an upbeat tune.  Genius.  Thanks to whoever invented this.

That sums up what happens in the first light of day at our house, but now the timer for my hair dye has beeped, so I am off to wash the grey’s away.  Until tomorrow!

Party Animals

I forgot how busy Easter weekend is with kids!  My sister in law, K, mentioned that you expect it to be chaos over Christmas holidays, but you forget how busy the Easter long weekend is.  She is so right.  It was super fun, but we are still paying for it.  Of course, in my case, some of that is self inflicted.  I went to an afternoon BBQ Friday with the kids at J and A’s house, the Hubby’s brother and his wife, and then to one of the best dinner party/ games night, sans kids, after.  It was too much fun, and the next day I was ready for bed as soon as I woke up.

There was no time for going back to bed Saturday, as we headed to my dad’s house for Easter dinner.  My dad always goes the extra mile to make sure the kids have a great time, and his kids too!  He loves to spoil us all, and he always remembers juiceboxes for the kids.  The food was good and the company was better.  My kids hadn’t seen their new cousin, my sisters daughter, in months.  My sister and her hubby have been escaping winter in Florida, and when they got back the kids all had colds so we stayed away.  It was so fun seeing them all together, and watching my niece, M, stare questioningly at the loud kids cartwheeling and showing of their “I am not running in the house Mama, only walking super fast” skills.  The night ended with chocolate oreo truffles, pie and latte.  If I was not there, I’d be jealous too.

Sunday, the Easter bunny visited us twice.  First at home, leaving chocolate, toothbrushes and dinosaur eggs, and then at the Farm (my mother and father-in-law’s place).  The kids look forward to the farm every year, it is so fun to watch them hunt for eggs outside with cousins (first and what do you call your cousin’s children? First cousins once removed? Second cousins? Them too!).  My mother-in-law is the perfect host, the food is always fantastic and plentiful, the wine flows and the table is beautifully decorated.  I would like to rewind, go back and do it all over again.  Only, the kids are still tired from all the excitement.

My guys are asleep by 7 p.m. most nights, sometimes A reads in bed for a little while.  Easter weekend had three late nights, A even had her first sleepover at another house Friday night.  They are all exhausted, and poor A is home from school today as she coughed all night long.  Thank goodness it is a short week, and the kid’s can have an early night until this next busy weekend comes!  Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  Thanks to all my family for celebrating with me.

Good Hair Day

If I were Julie Andrews, I’d be singing about wine, chocolate, cheese, good hair days and eyelash curlers as a few of my favourite things.  I can usually tell if I will have a good hair day right after the shower while it’s still wet.  Maybe I didn’t rub all the conditioner out or my hair knows if I am in a grumpy mood and follow suit, but whatever the reason for those bad hair days, the way it falls after I brush tells me if it’s going to be a good one or not.  I would say I have medium curly hair, if the scale went from slightly to extra curly.  When I last cut my hair, it was so damaged I had to have about 8 inches taken off, so now if I leave it curly my hair looks like a triangle.  All those with curly hair know what I mean.  So, if I have plans I usually straighten it.

Last weekend the Hubby and I had a party to attend, and I was having a good hair day.  Then it got even better.  The kids sometimes brush my hair, which I should add to my favourite things.  My daughter, A, had a friend over, but the boys F and L wanted to brush my hair.  They took turns, first with the regular brush, and then the round brush.  They tuck it behind my ear, or brush it over my eyes and giggle.  Then we painted our nails.  L wanted pink, but only on half of his nail pink because he only likes pink a little bit, and gold.  F wanted brown, the same as me.  The Hubby came home and I told him about our day and he laughed and said “great” sarcastically but I know it doesn’t bother him.  It was a great day, and my hair was so smooth my friend hosting the party noticed!

Working Mamas and Daddies

To all the working mamas and daddies out there, you are my hero.  Most of the couples I meet, both work full time.  I have been at home with the kids since my first was born, so I have no idea what it is like.  I did a bit of daycare, if you want to call it that, over the years when I was lucky enough to watch three of my four nephews and one of my goddaughters.  When the boys first went to school, I couldn’t imagine watching kids anymore.  I think I needed a break, and some of that selfish time I mentioned in an earlier post, but now I am thinking “bring on the kids”.  The Hubby would probably appreciate me watching the newest kiddies in our life since I could use the baby fix.  My sister, C, is going back to work in September, and even though location does not really make sense, I am hoping to have my new niece a couple days a week.  I know my sister is freaked out about leaving M, and that is something I can’t even fathom.  How do you leave?  At least in my sister’s case, she loves her job and everyone at work really appreciates her and are willing to help make being a working mama easier with working from home privileges.  I think that is a rare case, most working Mama’s have that 9 to 5 schedule and the few vacation days that are eaten up with when the sick days are used up.

My mornings are hectic enough, and the kids are capable of getting their own cereal while I get ready.  Getting ready most mornings usually means throwing on the mom uniform of sweat pants and sweater, sans shower.  I will get to the shower later, when the kids are gone… or some days not even then.  My teeth are brushed now though, which I could not say with confidence when there was a newborn (or two) in the house.  It’s a glamorous lifestyle.  So how do the mamas and daddies, who have to beautify (or at least shower) themselves, get the kid(s) ready, lunches made if said kids are in school, and out the door, all before I am probably out of bed?  You are my hero.  I am not a morning person, the Hubby always tells people I am the nicest person, after 10 a.m.  When F and L wake up around 7 a.m., they sing and hang out in their room so I get to stay in bed for another half an hour.  I love my bed.  Their noise wakes up A, and she crawls into bed with me while the Hubby gets ready and we take our sweet time getting up.  Sure, I could get up right away and shower, maybe even slap on some mascara, but hey, that’s what sunglasses are for.  I will miss the winter only for the large jackets and hats.  No one can see the bed head and giant comfy but super hideous hoodie I have on.

One of my best friends, C, is living the dream.  She has taken dance, gymnastics, since she was a fetus (pretty much) and seven years ago she opened up her own fitness and dance studio with one of her friends.  My three kids took her Acro classes when we lived closer, and it was amazing.  Like a mini boot camp for kids, it keeps them fit and A can’t stop doing cartwheels.  We had a dance party after dinner tonight and because of going to the studio over March break for dance camp, the kids wanted to hear hip hop like at Body Lines (the studio).  They were following the beat, mostly, and doing the cutest (I mean coolest, sorry L) moves.  Seven years ago my friend C had no kids and could put in all the hours it takes to establish a business.  Now she has two kids, my goddaughters.  Her friend and business partner, also has two kids.  They have the space to bring the kids to the studio with them, but it is costly, paying for a nanny (who is awesome) and it is tiring. I really do not know how their house is ever clean, when do they have the time for that, or when do they sleep?  It is long hours and not a lot of me time, unless three minute baths and 6 hours of sleep are all you need.  However, she is doing what she loves, what she is passionate about, and her kids will grow up knowing that.  Grow up knowing hard work and passion can take you anywhere.

I could go on forever about working mamas, but let me just mention my sister in laws, and then I HAVE to go and watch The Voice.  K, the Hubby’s sister, is a nurse.  Her life could be made into a movie.  She is completely selfless, smart,  and devoted to helping others.  She has been all over the world working with MSF (doctors without borders), she is a traveler who thrives on learning about and helping other cultures and she is my hero working or not.  Now she lives in the suburbs with her three year old, and works full time.  Yes, still a nurse, but not quite the same.  She would do anything for her family, her son, and me time is like a distant memory.  She is one of the best mamas out there.  One day, when her son is much older and ready to travel, I am sure she will be on that plane faster that I can demolish a glass of wine, but for now I get to spend time with her and I will enjoy it.  My sister in law, A, who is married to the Hubby’s brother, went back to work so her hubby could finish school.  That is love.  Does she want to be at work? Not so much.  Her youngest son, my nephew S, is not yet 2, and her two older boys go to school with my guys.  She worked before S was born, but I know when her hubby goes back to work she would prefer to arrange her hours around so she can spend more time at home with the kids. Plus, with her living right down the street, I hope one day we can be ladies who lunch. I selfishly wish we could hang out more! My brother in law, her hubby, is one smart cookie, so once he is done school he will have to fight all his job offers off with a stick, and he will have to say goodbye to staying at home.  I am not sure how he feels about that, but being an awesome dad, I am sure he’d rather be at home too.  Maybe I will win the lottery tomorrow (if I played, of course) and we can just buy a mansion and each family can pick a wing and everyone I love can live together and have dance parties after school everyday.  That would be living the dream for me!

Best Day Ever!

It is only 9:30 a.m. but today is the best day ever.  I woke up with a nose stuffed tighter than me in 90% of the jeans I own and a brain made out of wet sand, but who cares!  I heard the kids telling the Hubby there were going downstairs this morning.  On school days, the rule is we have to brush teeth and get dressed before we go downstairs.  Otherwise we would never be on time.  I jumped out of bed, off to remind them it is a school day, but there they were, all dressed and ready to go.  My daughter, A, said they were surprising me by getting ready and making their beds without me having to ask.  It was her idea “but the boys listened so you should be so proud of us!”.  I AM.  I almost cried, I gushed all morning about how grown up they are getting and how proud I am that they could do all that without my help, and by help I mean telling them 100 times to stop playing Lego and get dressed.

Lately, I have been driving to school even though it is a 7 minute (okay 20 minutes with the kids) walk because the morning is so rushed.  Today we got to walk, and not only walk, but arrive so early we could play at the park for 10 minutes.  It was stress free, there was no rushing and my son, L, held my hand the entire walk.  I heard birds singing, felt the sun shining and I am pretty sure I could do a cartwheel without sustaining serious injury.  The boys have been doing their best at school, and have had two solid days of no misbehaving.  That is huge, usually even when they have good days there was still a point in the day that they had an issue.  There is a new kindergarten App the school is using that I downloaded on my phone showing F and L monsters with corresponding points for good or not so good behaviour.  For example, I will see at 12:24 they went down a point for loud voices.  Not this week though, all I am seeing are positive points and I am not sure who needed to see that more, the boys or me!  Now I am drinking a hot coffee with cinnamon (although I cannot taste the cinnamon on account of the cold, I know it is there) and life is oh so good.

Staying at Home

March break is over!  The kids and I really needed it, to spend some time together and have a few days to stay in our pajamas for breakfast instead of the usual morning rush to get out the door.  The kids don’t usually sleep too late, it just takes a long time for them to get out the door.

I guess you could say I have been on a job hunt since the boys started kindergarten, but to be honest I have not tried too hard.  The problem I have is flexibility.  Sure, my kids are in school now, but who will hire me from 9:30-2:30, with extra sick days in case the kids get sick and summers off.  When you have three kids, they do not all get sick on the same day.  I could have one child sick at home for 2 or 3 days, then the next one gets it, then the next.  When the sickness is gastro(enteritis) all I hear is the Jaws theme song playing while the rest of us wait to see if it’s coming for us too.   Throwing up is the worst.  Luckily the times I have had it this year (yes it is only March but I have had the flu twice already this year, let’s not even talk about last year) the Hubby or my mother in law came to the rescue but what about work?  Sorry minimum wage job, I have to be sick for two weeks because the flu is circulating my house.

To put three children in before and after school care is crazy expensive, but we would do it if I wanted to further my career.  I do not want a career though, I want to be the stay at home parent.  I want to do the pick up and drop off, and make lunches and take them on play dates and extracurricular activities.  I want to be here for them until they are old enough to be left to their own devices.  I hope that day comes slowly.  My passion is to stay at home.  If I had another passion, then we would make it work, but I am so happy and grateful to stay at home.  The Hubby is lucky too.  He never has to juggle home and work the way dual parent income families do.  I am always here, he can do whatever it takes to further his career.  Client meetings run late, there is a social aspect of accounting, there are a lot of late nights. It is busy season right now, and we do not see a lot of him, but then he gets more freedom in July and August to spend with us.  There is no way I want to be stuck at some job while everyone heads to the cottage.  Plus, the Hubby still has to work in the summer, so we would need some kind of daycare that I just do not want.

Some people have asked me what I do all day, and yes I have me time.  Keep in mind that I hadn’t been alone in 7 years, so I needed the me time.  I have totally vegged out and caught up on my shows or met with friends for a kid free lunch.  I fully admit it,  I have done some selfish things while the kids are away.  I got a pedicure a couple weeks ago and it was glorious.  The woman scrapping off my dry skin, and laughing asking when the last time I came was, asked me if I had the day off work.  I just replied I work from home.  Mom’s always feel guilty.  So yes, I feel guilty for having time to myself, but I don’t always do fun things.  I still have a house to look after.  Laundry for five people, a house that is never clean even when it is, I am productive too.  I just don’t get paid for all the things I do.  Having three kids is not cheap, so of course we could use some extra cash flow.  Hopefully I will figure something out, but right now it is getting close to summer.  In summer, I am going to the cottage with the kids.