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I want to see how many times I can fit “4” into this post!

3 Dec

It is 8:04pm.  Four years ago I got my first drop of Pitocin and the contractions started in heavy.  We were already 40 minutes into the Raptors game, and I had to convince the nurse that I really DID want to watch it, and no, my husband didn’t have to turn it off…

I couldn’t have known that less than 4 hours later (in Room 404), my sweet Princess would make her grand entrance at the stroke of Midnight.  Maybe we should have named her Cindy?

Our sweet, nameless girl looked nothing like what we expected.  She was born within minutes of 2 other babies, and kept the poor OB hopping!  She arrived in the middle of the worst snowstorm of the season.  In fact, we got stuck in a ditch on the way to the hospital (right outside our house) and the snowplow driver had to hoist us out!

Who is this strange person? And why does she have more hair than me?!

Since that first snowy night when she entered the world, Holly Grace has been spreading life and love in our lives every day:

Announcing her new status as "Big Sister" just days before her 1st Birthday!

Can't get her thumb out of her mouth long enough to blow out 1 candle!

Year 2 was just as great.  Holly continues to charm and surprise us!

Terrific Twos!

And last year… this cool cake was inspired by Holly’s favourite book that year: Curious George’s Hot Air Balloon Ride.

Showing off Auntie Jenn's awesome Hot Air Balloon cake

Which brings us to FOUR!!!!  How on earth my baby is 4 years old is a mystery to me.  But I love her more every day and will spend the rest of my life trying to show her how much she means to me:

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Holls and Lamby... Best Friends Forever!

To-Do List: Birthday Edition

13 Aug

1.  Drink coffee in bed (note to self, get sheets in laundry in time to put back on bed for tonight)

2.  Have Bruce make breakfast (do not tell him there is no food in the house)

3.  Go grocery shopping (by yourself)

4.  Paint nails (use new Crackle nail polish that you got at the Rideau Centre this week.  Remember that when you asked Bruce which colour to get, he encouraged you to get 2!)

5.  Go golfing with Bruce (beat him… on one hole…)

6.  Eat fancy and expensive steak dinner at 2nd favourite restaurant (use gift certificate that you lost before you could give it to the intended recipient… but then found after you had bought a new one)

7.  Eat birthday cake (made by Bruce, who, after checking back of the boxed mix twice still failed to see the addition of water, so it was more like a giant Birthday Cookie)

8.  Thank Bruce for making me a Birthday Cake (and the girls for remembering that green is my favourite colour)

I don’t think I have ever crossed off so many to-dos in one day!!!

Happy 30th Birthday!

30 things you never thought you’d need to know

7 Aug

Nothing motivates me to write a blog than visiting my favourite blogs and not seeing anything new.  So… you’re welcome.

No segue is coming to mind, so I will just jump right in:

I am turning 30 on Saturday.

I.KNOW!

So, to celebrate this milestone, I thought I would tell you a little about myself.  You know all about my kids, my husband, and even my dogs.  But I rarely really talk about myself here.  You know, on MY blog.

So here are 30 things you may not know about me:

1.  My favourite colour is green.

2. My middle name is Rachel, but it took me years to realize that it was spelled the normal boring way and not “Rachelle” which in my pre-teen mind was WAY cooler.

3.  My biggest fear is getting lost.

4.  I have a really hard time running and doing other things at the same time (which is why I suck at basketball, but am decent at Ultimate Frisbee).

5.  I once drove for 4 hours outside Thunder Bay with kleenex stuck in behind the mechanism to keep them on.  I thought they were broken, but it was really because your high beams won’t work if your lights aren’t on…

6.  I would rather eat potato salad than potato chips.

7.  My favourite donut is the apple fritter not because it is a superior donut, but because when I was a student, and I wanted the most value for my lunch, the apple fritter seemed the biggest.

8.  I hate sneezing more than anything else in the whole world, even more than throwing up.

9.  There are people out there who only know me by the name, “The Waterfront Nazi”.

10.  My friend, Melissa once convinced me that they hoisted Shamu the whale up a tower and let him dive into a pool of water.  Thanks, Melissa!

11.  The only movie to ever make me cry is Armaggedon.

12.  I own 7 pairs of shoes.  Total.

13.  I once cheated on a test in the third grade.  I couldn’t remember the last of the four food groups.  FYI, it is Dairy.

14.  I wrote an entire 8th grade geography paper based on the fact that Alaska was a country…

15.  I have owned 4 dogs: Honey, Peaches, Nevis and Dude

16.  I have owned 6 vehicles (not including my parents or my husband’s): the Booger, Ugly, Lance, the Civic, the Vibe, and my current minivan.

17.  I once went on a cross-Canada road trip with 4 girls, a car we had no business driving that far, and one suitcase each.

18.  I swam with spawning salmon.

19.  I have rappelled down a cliff-face in the dark.

20.  I have swam in a underwater cave.

21.  I saw a barracuda while snorkeling.

22.  I have no idea what colour my eyes are.

23.  Every time I travel to the United States, my bag/vehicle/person gets “randomly” checked.

24.  I once bought a statue of a giraffe from a man on the street.

25.  I have only kissed one guy.

26.  I have never tried drugs.  Unless love is a drug

27.  When we were kids we used to catch fish in our lake.  But we hated cleaning them, so we always let them  go.  One time we caught a monster catfish, and it was so big we wanted to keep it to show my dad.  Of course, we forgot about it in a bucket of water in the sun for weeks.  When we finally remembered, it looked like the fish had disintegrated in the water.  It was so gross.  It was only a few years ago that I realized that a raccoon probably ate it…

28.  The only word I ever remember getting wrong on a spelling test in grade school was “sugar”.

29.  My favourite book is Pillars of the Earth.

30.  When I was still dating Bruce, I drove the Booger to his parents’ house in Newmarket during a snowstorm.  We were supposed to leave for Chicago together in the morning, and I didn’t want to be late.  The storm was getting so bad, I considered pulling off the highway and waiting it out, but I was afraid I would freeze.  It was then that I noticed a set of headlights coming toward me, windshield wipers frantically pushing the snow off the windshield.  Windshield wipers?  The storm was much more bearable after that…

I hope you feel you know me a little better after that, and also, that you don’t think less of me…!

Also, I want to know if there is anyone who knew every one of these things.  If you did, comment below.

Two Cute

16 Jun

Josselyn celebrated her 2nd birthday last Sunday (May 29), and Monday, and Tuesday… and, you get the picture.  It was a week-long celebration, with a week of events leading up to the big event.  What did we do for her on her double fun day?  Weeelllll… we actually invited ourselves to a friend’s house, brought supper and made them join us while we took the kids mini-putting.  I don’t think they minded.  We were there again tonight…

The big girls studying a difficult shot

Bruce adjusting Holly's swing

Josh helping Maya with the rest of us looking on

Bored of golfing, Joss is checking out the wildlife

Hole in One! PS I also got a Hole in One but no one saw it since I was at the end, and they didn't believe me!!!

More animals

Mini Golf anyone? Come visit, and we'll go to a great place!

Now that Joss is 2, I am noticing a subtle, yet real change in her behaviour.  She is still a toddler, and has worse tantrums than the other girls at any age put together but she is so much better than she used to be.  She has smiles for strangers, and hugs for friends.  She spontaneously calls out the names of my friends who she likes.  She melts down and cries, but can be distracted with apple juice (just not right away- she needs time to feel she’s made her case).  She still loves Purple, but has rechristened it “Mimi”.  She is learning to share.  And she is showing a heart of sweetness.  If she receives a candy as a treat for peeing in the potty she holds out her other hand every single time and says, “Holl?”  I must give her one for Holly too, or she becomes indignant then inconsolable.

She is a pretty good eater, and is definitely willing to try new foods.  But beware if she decides she doesn’t like it, because she’ll spit it back out in your hand.  She also likes to feed you her food.  But again, BEWARE: one time it wasn’t food, it was a booger.

She always shouts “ong ong” before you lay her down in her crib.  That means “song”.  And you could find yourself starting half a dozen before she nods that it is the right one.  Lately the “right one” is “I want to Eat Apples and Bananas”.  Strange for a lullaby…

I can take her out for short errands with no Pull-Up on.  Except today when the wait in the line at Wal-Mart was so lengthy that she peed in the aisle.

She loves to swim, and wants to do it on her stomach with her face in the water, and a good strong kick.  Except, she also doesn’t want to be held onto, and I have let her sink a few times when she was too insistent.  She always came up sputtering and smiling.  I worry about her…  She has slid down the slide or jumped into the pool without waiting for anyone to catch her.  Several times.  Today, she was walking along the edge of the pool with her lifejacket on and fell in.  It wasn’t on purpose, she just leaned too far forward, and I watched as she wobbled and tried to regain her balance but eventually succumbed to gravity.  I was on her in a second and pulling her out.  She didn’t love it, but she didn’t cry.

She is in the 2s and 3s room at church now.  Which means I have no one in the nursery anymore.  That is bittersweet.

She loves Curious George just as much as Bronwyn did at that age.  I may have to buy second copies of those books they are so dog-eared.

She is fanatically, maniacally obsessed with Dora.  She screams in the car if we don’t listen to Dora (not that I give in all the time- the girls are sick of that CD as much as I am), and cries when we don’t watch Dora on tv (why would we bother watching anything else?!?!??) but she does eventually get over it, and quite enjoyed Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper the other night.  There will be a photoblog on that story coming up soon.

What else?  She is around 24lbs, 33 3/4 in, and cute as a picture.  FYI that puts her in the barely 3rd and almost 75th percentile respectively.  We are stopped daily by old ladies and store employees who gawk at her hair, her eyes, and her *ahem* sunny disposition.  My baby is growing up, and I am excited to see that her strong-will and wild (er) disposition have tempered with age, while still showing signs of being a valuable asset to her when she gets a little older.  I can’t wait to see how she’s grown in another year!

Happy Birthday Josselyn!

BFF… is it possible?

19 May

Bronwyn has a BFF.  Her name is Madison, and our story of how we met is a good one:

The first time I laid eyes on Erin (Mads’ mother) she was speeding past us in a passing lane and I glanced over and told Bruce, “look, there is another black Vibe with a guy that looks JUST like you… weird”.

Turns out, we were going to the same place.  This guy (and wife and daughter) were the other members of the wedding party that Bruce was in (for their mutual best friend).

“Is it strange that Ben has two best friends that look the same, drive the same car, have wives that practice in the same profession and specialty, and have all the same interests?”

A little.

When they moved to our area, I had to get to know them.  That first weekend together when Bronwyn was 5 months old and Madison was 8 months old, and Erin and I traded off shifts attending the reception and babysitting the kids set us up for an unexpected friendship.

Fast Forward Five Years.

Both girls assure us that they are best friends forever.  Why bother making other friends, they have each other.  They don’t go to the same school.  They see each other maybe twice a month.  And when they do get together?  They play in separate rooms.

Erin and I have shook our heads more than once and this incongruity.  I mean, what’s the point in having a best friend if you don’t do anything “best friend-y”?

I think us adults could take a page from their book though.  I am in a position where I have had to make new friends in my adult life.  My old friends are far away, and we moved to an area where we didn’t know anyone.  It amazes me that in a combined town of 30 ooo people, I have managed to meet so many quality friends.  They keep moving away, but I’m trying not to take it personally…

I still struggle how to manage friendships though.  How is it that a concept I find incomprehensible, my 5 year old handles with aplomb?  I constantly second guess myself.  I feel shy about introducing myself to new people.  I hesitate over the proper etiquette of who should invite who over and what should we do together etc.  I trip over my tongue in an effort to make my friends feel welcome in my home.

And I still don’t have that calm assurance that Bronwyn has when she declares that the only person she wants at her birthday is Madison… obviously…

Once when we were all at the park, the most popular girl in Mads’ class came running over:

“Madison, I am SO glad to see you here.  Let’s play, ok?”

“Can’t you see I am with my BEST friend, Bronwyn?”

Snooty?  A bit.  But that unwavering loyalty isn’t something you can teach.  And I wouldn’t take it away from them for anything in the world.

Hoping all your birthday wishes come true, Madison!

Honeydew meets Honey-do

22 Mar

Sorry about the lack of bloggery yesterday.  Would you believe that I just forgot?  I blame our Pastor’s wife.  I am currently enthralled in a series she recommended and now am incapable of living my life outside these books (pun fully intended for you, Steph!).

Today I actually checked off everything on my “To Do” list except the one thing that was on there when I woke up!  For those of you who care about these things, that one thing was to clean the calcium deposits out of our toilet in the hopes of correcting its lazy flush problem without, you know, draining the field bed or something drastic like that!  So, you can sort of understand why that didn’t get done, right?!

But I did make snack for Pioneers (cut up fruit, including honeydew melon, sour cream dip made with Greek yogurt instead, and banana muffins), go grocery shopping, return a purchase at Canadian Tire (where I picked up an AWESOME new Spring wreath for the door- now THAT has been on my “To Do” list for years!), buy Holly new rubber boots (apparently her hand-me-downs from Bronwyn had holes in them- not a good feature in a rainboot…), and figure out how to work the big overhead projector at the church using the VCR (!)- Hanna Barbara Great Adventures of the Bible anyone… anyone?!?!?!  Pause while the nostalgia washes over me…

Anyway, I thought I’d round out this post with some more pictures of our trip:

Bronwyn playing with trains in the chapel

Holly and Bronwyn showing off their puppet creations

Tubing

Ryan and Elaine with Aubrey chilling in the knitting circle

My parents, with Joel, probably playing a board game

Keeping entertained in the car

Pretending to blow out candles on her birthday cake

Josselyn just loved Steph's new dog, Bella