This truly is the epitome of my life with boys. Filthy house. Illicit use of electronics without permission. Potty talk and fart noises.
Thought you might enjoy this short video of our little monkey jumping on the bed and signing "jump" & "butterfly." When he runs out of the room at the end he is going to show us a picture of a butterfly. Turn up your volume so you can hear him laugh. This is the classic trach laugh, but he isn't wearing his speaking valve in this.
It seems a certain middle child of ours was very concerned last night. He quizzed his daddy over and over if Santa brought presents for naughty children. Daddy said no. But what about children who are a little naughty and a little good? I think Griffin's recent naughty deeds were starting to catch up with him. Thankfully, Santa saw the good and was able to overlook the naughty . . . for this year anyway!
I was surprised to see a few presents under the tree with my name on them. I was especially interested to see that my gifts were in boxes from a certain photographic supplier. Wow. I was getting photographic gear for Christmas. Of course, after I opened my gifts Ian fessed up. He admitted that recently while cleaning his woodshop he came across an unopened box and discovered that it was stuff that I'd ordered myself in July of 2006 and promptly forgot about. Sure, why not wrap it up and put it under the tree!
Ian assures me that if he were to order himself a new engine package for the Bertram he would not shove it in the basement and forget about it!
Merry Christmas! And may 2008 be a Joyful, Happy, Healthy year for all!
It's been a busy week! Both boys had their gymnastics ribbon ceremonies. They also had their Christmas shows at their schools. Griffin was an elf in his class program. You can see he was really enthused. Berkeley was one of about 50 kindergarten reindeer in his program. There is really nothing better than 50 kids singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer off key and all at different speeds to get you in the Holiday spirit!
Every night we snuggle with Berkeley and Griffin at bedtime. They share a room, so there is a nightly argument about who gets snuggled with first. Bedtime is a lively event. But, last night, it was certainly more interesting than usual.
Mommy: Ok boys, time for bed. Griffin, do you want to put a shirt on? It's cold.
The Little Voice in Mommy's Head: Ok. It is only like -15 celcius, but whatever.
Berkeley: Mommy, have you ever seen a tiger.
M: Yes, at the zoo. Now, lay down and be quiet.
B: No, in real life, where do tigers live?
M: Africa? India? Lots of places, but not in Whitby.
B: Do they just walk around?
Little Voice: I'm too tired for this. Just go to sleep already.
M: Yes, they just walk around.
B: You mean like where people actually live or in the rainforest behind the fence?
G: Mommy, mommy, mommy. Have you ever seen a dragon carrying Christmas presents in his mouth.
G: Are dragons real?
B: Yeah? Mommy, are dragons real?
LV: You are going to see a dragon in the morning if you don't go to sleep right now!
M: Do you think dragons are real?
G: No, we are asking you? Are dragons real, say yes or no!
M: I've never seen a dragon.
G: I love penguins. Penguins live in the water, right Berkeley?
B: (with a very disgusted tone) Uuuugh. How many times do I have to tell you that penguins live in ingloos!
M: Boys. It is time to close our eyes and stop talking.
LV: (with a very disgusted tone). How many times do I have to tell you to go to sleep. Right now!
B: Mommy, the reason you've never seen a dragon is because they hide near castles. Have you ever seen a castle?
M: Yes, I've seen a castle.
G: I gave a penguin a hug once.
B: Did you seen a prince and princess too?
M: Yes. Now, go to sleep.
B: Was the princess wearing a dress?
LV: Ok. I really should stop talking now but I am dying to know where this is going to lead.
M: Yes, the princess was wearing a dress.
B: I knew it! Princesses always wear dresses.
M: Do you think mommy is a princess when she wears a dress?
B: Uh, no. You are just a mommy!
LV: That does it NO more talking.
M: I mean it. Roll over and go to sleep!
Wow. That little voice in my head got a workout last night!
I can't resist singing this in my head today. We got our first snowfall (at least that will stay around) last night. The boys had a great time playing outside and I made chocolate chip cookies to enjoy when they came in. Parker got his first taste of a homemade chocolate chip cookie today! What a day. He liked it. He kept signing MORE! MORE! MORE!
**I haven't taught this version of Jingle Bells to the boys yet. Something tells me they already know it and just haven't let it slip.
Ian and I often wonder what the world would be like if as a pre-requisite to parenthood you had to pass a test. One pre-requisite would, of course, be maturity. This is the requirement that seems to be a hang-up for us. Our problem is that we find our children's low brow humor to be just as funny as they find it.
Take this morning for example: as I finished a roll of paper towel the older boys asked me to cut it in half so they could use it for a sword fight. I obliged . . . a little sword fighting doesn't phase me. Well, I don't think the sword fighting ever got started. About three minutes later Griffin saunters in with his sword held up to himself and says "Mommy, look at my weinie!"
I, of course, find this hilarious and struggle mightily to not bust out laughing while casually asking what exactly a "weinie" is. You see, this is not a term that I use. So, I'm wondering where exactly Griffin has picked this up. Griffin informs me that he has no idea what a weinie is but wonders if it is potty talk. Um, yes! That is potty talk and I find it hard to believe that he doesn't know what a weinie is because it is painfully obvious that he does! Especially because he still has his "sword" appropriately placed and is laughing uncontrollably with Berkeley. Please note that Parker is right in the mix watching the entire interaction. I fully expect that weinie might be his first word after what he witnessed today. Nothing gets by that one.
Maturity is definitely overrated when you are raising a houseful of boys!
1. You've told countless other Americans that NO! you don't live in an igloo and neither do any of your neighbors.
2. You are surprised to hear that a moose was spotted wandering on the road just couple of kilometers from your house.
3. It catches you off guard when your kids end their recitation of the alphabet X Y ZED. (Don't they know that in America we say ZEE?)
4. You laugh when a friend asks you to grab the homo out of the fridge. After three years of living in Canada your first thought is still "why do they have a small gay man in the fridge?" not "yep, I'd be glad to get the whole milk of the fridge."
5. You spend way too much time planning what shoes you are going to wear to a party because when you get there your shoes will go into the pile with the shoes of all the other guests. (Canadians do not wear shoes in the house! But, they do have impeccably manicured toes!) It is not uncommon to actually trip on shoes when entering a party. Occupational hazard.
6. Your five year old knows all the words to Oh Canada! but looks at you like you are crazy when you ask him about the Star Spangled Banner.
7. You own a hockey net, several hockey sticks and street pucks but the neighbors laugh at you when you play with your kids.
8. You are the only adult at the rink wearing a full helmet, face guard, knee pads, elbow pads and padded suit while trying to teach your kid to skate. Adding insult to injury, most of the three year olds at the rink know how to skate better than you do.
9. You never understood why the snow was still piled high at the rec center in July until you saw the zamoni come out and dump its load! (This qualifies as an Oprah "Ah Ha!" moment.)
10. It ruins your entire week when you find out that Pottery Barn Kids does not ship to Canada. And let's not even talk about the fact that there is NO Target anywhere in this entire country!
11. Your friends cannot understand your infatuation with your alma mater. In fact, they tease you that they are surprised that we didn't name our kids after our alma mater. They think you are crazy when they learn that, in fact, Griffin is named after your alma mater.
12. You can't bring yourself to eat poutine. Who puts gravy and cheese curds on french fries anyway?
13. Your French accent is deplorable.
14. You have no idea what a tuque (pronouced tuke) is, but you know it must be something to do with winter because everyone talks about them.
And lastly, you might be an American living in Canada if you are offended when you go through the drivethrough at Starbucks and your three year old tells you, "Mommy, I don't like Staaaaa Bucks. I like Tim Hoooooooooooooowtons. I wanna go to Tim Hoooooooooooowtons."
Yesterday was my birthday. It's interesting having a birthday when your children are old enough to know what birthdays mean.
In the morning, Berkeley and Griffin demanded to know where my birthday cake was hiding and when we were going to eat it. I explained that they needed to make my cake. They didn't think that was a good idea and suggested politely that I make my own and could it be chocolate with white frosting. I said, no, I wasn't going to make my own birthday cake but I would be happy to make an apple zucchini cake for breakfast and I could even throw in some chocolate chips for good measure. They thought that was a good idea until they were inspired to try to pick out the microscopic bits of "green stuff" from their breakfast cake.
After breakfast we discussed where we should go for Mommy's birthday meal. Chuck E Cheese! Chuck E Cheese! Chuck E Cheese! Again, NO! We went to Chuck E Cheese last year for my birthday. (Grandpa Bug had his first vist to CEC with us last year and he quickly noted that it was like Las Vegas for toddlers!) Two years in a row is too much when you are in your thirties. After much debate we settled on Rainforest Cafe. Lights, noise and drama for the kids and good food for the parents. It was fun.
Really, it was fun. About 2/3rds of the way through our meal Ian and I looked at each other and asked if we were actually enjoying a pleasant meal with all three of our children in a restaurant. I think it was a day for the record books. There were no temper tantrums, no food throwing, no one threw up and the big boys even politely shared their crayons. Is there hope?
After lunch we were walking around the mall when the boys spotted Baskin Robbins. It was decided that ice cream would stand in for a birthday cake and we all got our own little bowls. Everyone but Parker. In another surprising twist of behaviour, Griffin was happy to share his ice cream with Parker. It worked out just fine but next time, I think we are a five bowl of ice cream family!
Tomorrow, November 2nd, is Parker's first birthday. What a year. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone for their help and support this year. Really, we couldn't have done it without you. From those who came and stayed with us while Parker was in the hospital, to those who sent constant well wishes, to those who took our other kids at a moment's notice and without hesitation. A thank you also to the new people in our lives: the doctors, the home care nurses, the therapists, and the new "trach" friends who feel like old friends. A year ago we didn't know you but now we can't imagine life without you.
Enjoy this video montage to celebrate this year. There is music, so turn your volume up.