Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who are those beautiful people?

I just have one little question... is this not the most gorgeous family you have ever seen?

Charla just updated her blog with some pictures from our family photo shoot, and they're so beautiful they brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine a more perfect way to capture my little family.

The picture above was taken at the very end of our photo shoot, and the kids were exhausted. I was grinning at Brandon because he was sitting on his Daddy's lap saying, "Cheeeeese. Cheeeeese. Cheeeeese." He just kept repeating it, over and over again, and it was adorable. He was so good the entire time--all three of them were. My kids love a camera.

Check out the blog, and check out Charla's website at She's amazing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I can't hear you...

I'm pretending I didn't notice that Thursday came and went without me posting a single picture. I'm thinking instead of pictures every Thursday I should just post excuses for why I'm not posting pictures. That would be fun, right?

We did, however, undertake a photo-related activity last night. Shaun and the kids and I all went to Middle Cove Beach for a family photo shoot. The weather was gorgeous, the light was awesome, and the photographer was a blast. We haven't had a really nice family picture taken since the summer when Kyle was about 7 months old, so we were overdue. As soon as the photographer has them ready I'll be sure to share!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let it snow!

I woke up to the most beautiful sight this morning! Snow! The kids and I were all terribly excited. Imagine my happiness when it continued to snow right on through the morning and we ended up accumulating about two inches of snow. It was a sight to behold. I even took pictures to document the occurrence. I never expected to be so lucky as to experience snowfall on May 26th.

If you're wondering what happened to the real Betsy (Alien abduction? Medication? Too much Wheel of Fortune? Perhaps this is just the result of spending all day with preschoolers?) I would like to assure you that she's fine and well. She has decided that since all the begging and demanding in the world has not been able to sway this Newfoundland weather she's going to deal with it the way she would her children--reverse psychology.

Monday, May 25, 2009

So What

If this doesn't make your Monday then nothing will!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My occupation

I was at a doctor's appointment not long ago, and the receptionist asked for all my pertinent information, including my occupation. When I stated, "I'm a stay-at-home mom," the receptionist replied enthusiastically, "A domestic engineer!"

*receptionist throws big, cheesy smile at the mommy*

Now, I know this woman was just trying to brighten my poor child-centric life, but I don't particularly care for the term 'domestic engineer.' Every time I hear the phrase I want to scream, "But I was a REAL engineer! Or I could have been if I hadn't been too much of a control freak to let someone else spend their days with my kids! I have a degree!" I don't need to be placated. I don't need a little pat on the head for encouragement.

What I do all day in no way resembles engineering. So far I've had very little use for differential equations and thermodynamics. And to call me domestic is an insult to the word--I can clean like a maniac, but the moment I think about laundry or cooking I shudder.

The next time someone asks me what my occupation is I'm going to say, "Kyle, Natalie and Brandon are my occupation." One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of the word occupy is 'to engage the attention or energies of.' Well, they occupy me all day, every day. Waking or sleeping they engage most of my attention and all of my energy. If they don't have all of my attention at any given moment they'll quickly stage a battle over a toy or accidentally dump water all over the floor to make sure they get it back.

It's not always fun, it's never glamourous, but it's always a rewarding challenge. I'm totally okay with my three little monsters being my occupation. I'm a mom, and I really don't need a fake title to legitimize it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Right on time

Here they are! And on time for once! I know, you're impressed. Hold the applause.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend in review

Whew! Shaun is home, and I finally feel like I can type in complete sentences again. I kind of fell off the face of the Earth last week.

Today marked the sixth day in a row of beautiful weather, and we have spent a ton of time outside again. I'm more of an indoorsy, television-watching, net-surfing, treadmill kind of girl, but one winter in Newfoundland has turned me into a fresh-air freak.

We kicked off our weekend with a trip to Canadian Tire on Saturday morning, and we bought Kyle his very first big-kid bike. We inherited a bicycle for Natalie from a friend a few days ago, and she's been pestering us to get it out and put it together for her, so in the interest of eliminating as much sibling rivalry as possible we needed to get one for Kyle, too. We should have known, however, that Kyle would ride his for two minutes and then quit while Natalie would want to spend forever riding her bike up and down the street.

Yesterday we played in the backyard and also went out to Middle Cove Beach to let the kids throw rocks. I know this sounds dangerous, but it's really the only thing to do at Middle Cove Beach. It's not like you can actually go in the water here--it's freakin' freezing. Brandon wanted to go in anyway, but we talked him out of it.

Today is Victoria Day, so Shaun's home from work, enjoying a three-day weekend. This morning I noticed that it was already 60F at 8:30 AM, so we decided to drive down to Bay Bulls and go on a boat tour. It had to be closer to about 40F out on the water, so the kids wanted to spend most of their time inside the cabin of the boat, but we all had a great time spotting icebergs and puffins anyway. Natalie loved the boat and looking out at the scenery. Kyle liked his lunch (a PB&J sandwich) and peeing in the miniscule boat bathroom. Brandon was pissed that we put him in an enormous life preserver and then wouldn't let him walk around--but he was also appeased by his lunch. It was a fairly typical outing. It reminded me, once again, of why we rarely attempt these ambitious adventurous excursions.

Now, I would never ask for rain, but I desperately need to do laundry, and it's really impossible to talk myself into housework with the weather outside begging to be enjoyed. So, while I won't ask for rain, you might want to ask for a little rain to be sent my way if you care at all that my children will be forced to go naked starting tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Single Mom's Log - Day 5

Have lost the will to blog. Too tired. Not from taking care of children but from spending hours and hours outside due to amazing weather. Running everyone ragged so that we will all sleep soundly at night.

Time on parenting island almost over--husband returns tonight. Thank God.

See pictures. Sorry for delay.

Footie-Jammie Boys

Don't Kiss Me!

Brandon Loves to Swing

I Picked You a Flower, Mom

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Single Mom's Log - Day 2

Weather: Cold. Flurries this AM. Gray skies. Pissing me off.

Been on parenting island for over 24 hours now, and so far no sign of mutiny. Perhaps aided by efforts to keep children busy every waking moment. Also lucky that today is Little Gym day. Have not had to break out foam stickers or Wii yet. Saving that for emergency.

Happy to report that all signs of cold and ear infection have vanished--expect them to return now that I have mentioned it.

Received word from husband that he arrived safely in land of sun and warmth. Idea of him enjoying sun and warmth also pissing me off. Hope he works long, hard days with little time for meals or sleep. Must remind him not to bring home any swine flu.

Weather forecast for tomorrow looks promising. Hoping to send children outside for extended periods of time. Also planning dinner with friend. Wish this could involve alcohol, but good conversation and tiring out children will more than make up for lack of drinks.

Item of note: For first time since moving here saw fire truck and ambulance on our street today. Was not kidding when said my life is exciting.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I would like to note that it's snowing again today. It won't make the snow log since it's not accumulating--probably because the ground was already wet since God knows it's cold enough--but it's been snowing for an hour or so. Real snow. Not flurries. And I'm really not happy about it.

Seriously? On May 11th? Snow?

I give up. Apparently my 'Dear Newfoundland' letter didn't work. I'm going back to bed. Wake me up in June.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Breakfast in bed

I'm totally in love with any and all holidays now that Kyle has discovered the joy of holidays himself.

I happened to mention the fact that Mother's Day was approaching about two weeks ago, and Kyle has been engaged in a flurry of 'art projects' ever since. Every time I've opened a drawer or a cabinet I've discovered one of these 'art projects' made of construction paper and glue hidden within, and the discovery was followed quickly by, "Mom! You're not allowed to find that until Mother's Day!" To which I replied, "Then maybe you should hide it in the laundry room instead of the kitchen..." Hah. He didn't get the joke.

Kyle would also have entire conversations with himself while he was creating these 'art projects', and I could often hear him muttering about sunflowers and breakfast in bed. He was taking this Mother's Day business very seriously.

While I was out getting high on Aveda yesterday Shaun took the kids out to buy flowers for me, and Kyle couldn't contain himself once I walked in the door--he ran to the dining room, and ran back to me with his arms full of tulips shouting, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy! These are for you!"

Kyle is trained (Yes, trained--I said it. Like he's a little dog.) to stay in his bedroom in the morning until his clock says 7 A.M., and at exactly that time this morning I heard his bedroom door bust wide open, he ran into my bedroom, and I heard him whisper (as loudly as possible) to his daddy, "What about Mom's breakfast, Dad?" Shaun jumped out of the bed, and I knew I had better stay put. Just a few minutes later my bedroom door came flying open again, and Kyle handed me a stack of 'art projects' that he had created just for me--ones that I apparently hadn't stumbled across while making dinner or putting away dishes. (I call these 'art projects' because that is what Kyle himself calls them. They might be foam sticker creations or construction paper keys or colored pictures of Humpty Dumpty--these are all among his current favorite things to create. I know. Four-year-old boys are random.)

Kyle then flew back down the stairs, and I could hear my three children creating all sorts of mayhem while my husband cooked an amazing omelette that these same children would shortly take credit for. I stayed tucked in my bed, reading a novel.

Then everyone, minus Brandon, came running back up the stairs--Shaun with tray in hand--to deliver my breakfast. Kyle and Natalie bounced up into the bed with me, grinning. I think they were planning to sit there and watch me eat every bite until Shaun reminded them that they were hungry, too, and should go downstairs and join Brandon for breakfast.

I am so proud of these little people who just wanted to make me happy today. Everyone understands the excitement that surrounds Christmas and Halloween and Easter--presents and candy, duh--but I was so proud of the way my big kids totally embraced this holiday that was all about me. They weren't trying to get anything out of it, and there were no presents for them, but Kyle and Natalie were so excited to try to give me a nice day.

I'm also grateful for an amazing husband who can make a mean omelette, goes out of his way to help our kids in all their little scheming, and even did several loads of laundry today just so that I wouldn't have to.

I have had an awesome Mother's Day. Kyle and Natalie and I went to see a children's play this afternoon--which they enjoyed though they spent half of the play being terrified that a knight was going to kill the frog prince, despite my attempts to assure them that this play was supposed to be funny. Then we all went to the kids' favorite restaurant for dinner, and I was amazed at how well-behaved all three kids were. I'm just so proud of my little family today, and I feel so lucky to be sharing my life with each and every one of them.

So lucky that I'm going to wait a few more hours before I start thinking about how my wonderful husband is leaving to go on another business trip tomorrow morning... but that's alright... he did the laundry. Did I mention how smart my husband is in addition to the omelette thing and being wonderful? Smart, smart man.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Aveda fog


(Not slightly-sad, 'my babies are growing up' sigh, but relaxed, contented sigh.)

I have just returned home from my morning at The Spa at the Monastery, and I have been wrapped, hydrotherapied, and massaged to where I'm floating around on an Aveda cloud.

I *heart* Aveda salons and spas. I'm not particularly attached to any hair stylist because I've had the same haircut for years, and I don't care who gives me a massage as long as they get rid of the knots in my shoulders that have resulted from carrying around one baby or another in my arms for almost four-and-a-half years. But I have become addicted to Aveda salons. They just smell so wonderful, and after I've been inside one I feel like I'm walking around in a magic fog of the 'pure flower and plant essences' that they speak of at Aveda.

I actually walk around for the rest of the day smelling my hair. I even make other people smell my hair. Just ask my husband and kids. It's a little strange, but they all admit that my hair does smell wonderful. (Though, it's very possible they're just humoring me to get me to cease and desist with all the hair-smelling.)

Now that I think about it, I wonder if this Aveda fog I'm in is due to some secret but totally deliberate and highly addictive 'plant essence' that was massaged into my skin and hair and hydrotherapied right into my brain. Hmmm...

Whatever. I don't care. This Aveda fog is totally harmless (you know, outside of the insane amount of money I spend on shampoo in an effort to recreate the fog in my own shower every morning), and my hair smells really good. I'm serious. You should smell it. Like I walked straight out of garden. Straight out of a flower even. Bliss.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Oops, I did it again

I know! I forgot yesterday was Thursday! Again. But when I started trying to think of what I could post for pictures today to make it up to you I realized I haven't had my camera out since that beautiful weekend almost two weeks ago. There's just so much snot around here that I don't feel like taking pictures. Snot and tears and whining. Yes, so much whining that I'm pretty sure you'd be able to hear the whining just by looking at pictures of it. It has just been one of those weeks. Blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pregnant women

This is hilarious! A friend in my moms' group in Sugar Land sent us all the link, and I couldn't resist sharing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Here we go again

Another week, another ear infection. So goes the story of my life. I'm getting quite annoyed at being the mother of one of these kids that have one ear infection after another. I've been on more doctor's visits with Brandon in his thirteen months of existence than I have with both of the other two combined in over four years. And Brandon is such an easy kid to be around when he's healthy that the fusiness is heartbreaking when he doesn't feel well.

We finally got in to see an ENT on April 24th, after a short little wait of about a month. Wouldn't you know that Brandon has been totally healthy for almost this entire month? He ears were free and clear of all fluid, and he was entirely happy the day we saw the ENT. And the next day he woke up with a cold. We were about a week into this cold when Brandon developed a fever yesterday. Here we go again. This is the pattern. First a cold, then a fever, then a hastily squeezed-in trip to the doctor, only to be told that Brandon has another ear infection. Then come the antibiotics. Lovely. And then another trip to the doctor to see if the fluid in his ears went away or if it didn't.

It's all very exciting stuff. Imagine the anticipation. Will he or won't he have to endure another course of antibiotics?

In addition, the regular ENT was on vacation today and the partner we got in to see appeared to be older than dirt, the only appointment time was right when Kyle needed to be picked up from school, and Natalie insisted that she was not going to take Brandon to the doctor because he would cry. Fun stuff.

At least there was no more vomit. Like I said, people, it's the little things that count.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You can take care of the dog

Natalie came running into the living room, waving a piece of construction paper at me, yelling, "Mommy! Look what I made for you! It's a picture of a cat. And a dog."

She then looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "Mommy, we need to get a cat and a dog. One of each. I will take care of the cat, and you can take care of the dog."

How sweet. I said, "Someday maybe we'll get a cat and a dog. How about I take care of the cat, and you can take care of the dog?"

Natalie then looked at me seriously, cocked an eyebrow, and replied, "I don't have time for that, Mom. I'll be busy."

Hmph. It's obvious how she feels about what I do all day long. I guess it didn't help my case that she was interrupting some serious lolling about on the couch and reading with this pet discussion.