• High Expectations*

    I am still REALLY overwhelmed by all the Septemberish talk, so we aren’t going to talk about that tonight. There’s a whole lot of NOPE happening there in my heart right now.

    So we’re going to talk about something exciting. We’re going to talk about PLANTS. Stay with me here.

    I was never a plant person until last year. I was never ever able to keep them alive–it’s actually a miracle my children are thriving given my plant record. I had some plants given to me last year, and I turned over a new leaf, if you will.

    (See what I did there? ha.)

    Long story short, I went from very disinterested in plants to loving them. They are my green babies and I have them all over my living room now.

    I also suddenly found myself curious about plants I find outside.

    Particularly the plants growing in my neighbours garden.

    I have a confession to make: sometimes I spy on my back neighbours. I mean I don’t actually “spy” on them… except that I kind of do. I live in a subdivision with smaller backyard lots that share a common fence. From my bedroom window, I can see into the backyards of the neighbours behind me, the neighbours next to me, and the neighbours behind them.

    I honestly don’t pay them all that much attention unless there’s a lot of noise or yelling happening, then I might take a peek and see what’s happening.

    On my word, I’ve become Rachel Lynde.


    One beautiful day last summer, I happened to look out my back window and I noticed that my neighbours had some new plants. This was in the early days of my plant awakening, and I didn’t recognize what they were. They were sort of separate from their vegetable garden and were very different from anything I had seen before.

    I sat and looked for a minute, then I squinted and looked a little harder. I thought to myself, “that looks like weed!” I started giggling because I’m FIVE and googled marijuana plants to confirm.

    YUP. My neighbours were growing pot.

    And yes, I needed to Google because I’ve never seen one up close. Because I’ve never tried it!! (Or cigarettes. Or alcohol. I promise I’m not weird!)

    (Well, I promise that I’m not REALLY weird.)

    Over the summer I noticed how they lovingly cared for the plants, then harvested(?) the leaves and did whatever it is that comes next.

    I told you, the new me is seriously plant curious.

    It was actually really interesting to see the process as it was very foreign to me… and we had recently watched Justified which is now one of my ALL-TIME favourite shows. SO GOOD.

    I don’t think I had really paid any attention to my neighbour’s yard at all this year until a week or so ago. I was looking out the window at something on the street, then my eyes focused a little…

    …lemme just say, that garden is THRIVING this year. Pretty sure they have “high expectations” for their crop.

  • Looking for the Good Things*

    I am so completely overwhelmed right now.

    Our province announced their plan for school in September, and honestly it’s not at all what I was hoping for.

    Mostly because I don’t really even know what I was hoping for. There isn’t any one solution that will work for every family situation. Now that the plan is in place, we basically have two weeks to decide what to do. Trying to weigh out how I feel about this for my 8 years old vs. my 4 year old who is supposed to start JK this year all feels very heavy. Today was… a lot.

    So, I’m not going to think about it anymore tonight. I’m closed.

    Instead, I’m going to focus on all the good things that happened today. For example:

    I got to do yoga AND shower before P woke up. Which never, ever happens. It was a really good start to my day.

    There was no humidity today. It was SO beautiful out and for the first time in WEEKS it felt nice to be outside.

    I spent the morning at the beach with the kids. We walked down with our pails and buckets, and I got to sit on the sand and read while they built sandcastles and collected rocks.

    I had french fries for lunch. WIN.

    One of my favourite songs came on the radio as I was driving home from picking up said french fries.

    As I was trying to process all the news this afternoon, the kids all played quietly on their own without even being asked. For two hours, no one fought, they played independently and it just gave me a much needed minute to breathe.

    No one complained about dinner tonight, and EVERYONE ate it (including P).

    I had a really nice snuggle with P after dinner.

    And now, I’m sitting in my quiet (clean!) kitchen with a cup of hot chocolate. As overwhelming as all of this feels right now, I also know that somehow this will work out. We will find the solution that is best for our family and we’ll move forward.

    Just before I sat down to write I decided to listen to the song my mom sent me a few days ago. I loved it then, but as I’m currently wading through a new storm in my heart the lyrics of Slow Down took on new meaning today:

    “In the midst of my confusion,
    In the time of desperate need.
    When I am thinking not to clearly,
    A gentle voice does intercede. […]
    In the time of tribulation,
    When I’m feeling so unsure,
    When things are pressing in about me,
    Comes a gentle voice so still, so pure.
    Slow down, slow down. Be still.
    Be still and wait on the Spirit of the Lord.
    Slow down and hear His voice,
    And know that he is God.”

    I am definitely confused and feeling so unsure right now… but listening to this brought me a bit of peace. Somehow we will figure this out.

    Just not tonight.

  • Baby Mine*

    Every night around 7:30 or so, we start herding the kids upstairs for bed.

    It’s a bit of chaos as we cycle the kids through the bathroom for their “peep and teeth”, then get each one into their jammies. S & H can both do this independently now, they just require the usual 2348294 reminders to get it done in a sort of timely fashion. P basically needs someone by his side to keep him focused, otherwise he flits back and forth between playing with toys and doing anything possible to annoy his brother.

    Then it’s time for stories. They each choose their own book and M & I divide and conquer to read them. He’s usually the more popular choice, but tonight I got to read with both boys. H chose a Ninja Turtle story, and P wanted to read a book about the origins of Batman. It was definitely WAY too long so I may or may not have ended the book at a convenient point in the middle when he wasn’t watching closely. S chose a Star Trek graphic novel to read with M… I love that her interests are so varied.

    After stories it’s time for bed. The boys climb into their bunks while I go through the room routine: turn off the lights, close the curtains, turn on their noise machine and switch on their moon lamps. They both also have little lanterns in their bed that they sleep with… it just makes them feel safe.

    Then it’s time for songs.

    I have been singing the same songs to each boy for years. I’ve offered to change it up more than once, but we always end up back in the same place. First H snuggles under his covers and holds his hand out in his top bunk. I slip my hand through the rail and quietly sing You Are My Sunshine while he closes his eyes to listen. Only then is he ready to roll over and go to sleep.

    For P, it has always been Baby Mine… and I have to sing it twice. Usually he’s still bopping around the room or thrashing around in bed, but often once I start singing he quiets down, pulls my hand to his cheek and just smiles and listens.

    I have loved that song since childhood, and while I’ve sang it off and on to all my children over the years, it’s definitely P’s song.

    I have this vivid memory from last year, a few days after my miscarriage. I was still having a lot of trouble moving around after my tailbone injury, but I was so determined to be part of the bedtime routine. Everything felt so upside down and I was just desperate for a small piece of normal.

    On this particular night I eased myself down to the floor next to his toddler bed, and we read stories and turned off the light. In the darkness, he asked me to sing Baby Mine to him, as I had done every night before we lost the baby.

    I began to sing:

    Baby mine, don’t you cry
    Baby mine, dry your eyes
    Rest your head close to my heart
    Never to part, baby of mine

    I barely made it through the first few words before I fell apart. I did my best to mask it, but little P knew something was wrong and just quietly wrapped his arms around me while I cried.

    I couldn’t sing that song for a while after that.

    Tonight, as he lay in his “big boy bed” on the bottom bunk, I held his hand and sang his song. Something about the way he held my hand to his cheek brought me back to that night. I felt a wave of emotion wash over me, and for a second it felt as fresh as it did that night last year.

    This time I kept singing and felt it ebb.

    I looked into the eyes of my not-so-little boy and just felt a quiet gratitude. I’m grateful that in the depth of that loss, I didn’t lose our song forever. I took that back. It’s not always easy, but even on the hard days I find there are always small moments to remind me:

    Life is good. ❤️

  • Random Bits & Robots*

    Writing is so weird sometimes.

    There are days when I sit down and I know exactly what I want to write about. Other nights I sit down and stare at the blank screen and wonder what on earth I could write that’s even remotely of worth.

    I’m having one of those nights.

    Today was a slow day. I woke up early and went for a run, and I finally feel like I’m getting my groove back a little bit. The past two weeks have felt a bit defeating in that regard and I feel like I took something back today.

    We just worked around the house this morning–I had the exciting job of cleaning out underneath the upstairs bathroom sink, followed by a good blitz of the bathroom. The kids went outside with M to weed our front walkway which was beginning to have more weeds than stones.

    We had someone in this morning to give us an estimate for a railing for our basement stairway. The spot is a bit awkward, so we decided to have someone else come and install it instead of trying to do it ourselves. Once all these finishing touches are done the basement will finally, finally be “finished”.

    This afternoon was a mish mash errands and work around the house. The kids spent the afternoon digging through the craft bin, and Miss S made herself a “robot” out of balloons and a cardboard box. I love seeing her imagination at work… tonight she made an entire body out of an upsidedown laundry basket and one of her play dresses.

    We watched some more Anne tonight, then herded the kids into bed and here I am. Writing and watching clips from The Thorn Birds which I’ve decided I absolutely need to see again once I’ve finished the book. Again. (I think this might be my 5th time through.)

    Time for bed.

  • Slow Down*

    I didn’t write last night.

    The truth is, I was so tired. We had a busy weekend and I was a little worn out. Instead of writing I curled up in my bed and read The Thorn Birds. Then M & I watched a bit of a movie before I was ready to completely pass out.

    Saturday was a whirlwind of chores and family activities. M likes to take H along with him when he runs–H bikes along beside him and they blast music from a little speaker attached to H’s bike. They normally go for 5 kilometers or so… on Saturday they did nine. My six year old boy biked for NINE kilometers. I was so impressed.

    That afternoon we had plans to visit some friends and go for a swim in their pool. We spent a beautiful afternoon in the sun swimming and jumping on their trampoline. Needless to say, H was completely zonked after and it was all we could do to keep him awake until bedtime.

    Sunday was P’s fourth birthday. We got him an Arkham Asylum set that ended up being taller than he was. He has barely left it since he opened it and was in absolute heaven playing with it all day.

    I spent most of the day in the kitchen making and decorating his cake & prepping food for his requested dinner. It was a quiet day, but no one complained. The kids played with their toys and got some extra Nintendo time… and P got his dinosaur cake. Everybody wins. :)

    Today was grocery pick up day for me. I’ve been doing some cleaning out and had three large bags of donation items waiting in the garage (M was thrilled about that), so I finally took them to drop off before getting the groceries. It felt weird to be back at one of my favourite haunts and not go inside… I miss thrifting. I don’t feel ready to go in yet, but I hope I will soon.

    This afternoon I tried to dig out the house a bit after the weekend–it always astounds me just how much mess can accumulate in two days if I’m not on top of it. Then of course it was time to make dinner, visit with my family via video call and get the kids ready for bed.

    I swear, sometimes I sit down at night and I have absolutely no idea where the day has gone. Out of the blue, my mom sent me a link to a youtube video tonight and encouraged me to watch it when I had a quiet moment. After Miss S and I had our “Anne Time” tonight (we’re on the third movie now) I curled up on my bed and watched it.

    I got SO emotional. It’s like a lullaby that it just hauntingly beautiful, and it was just exactly what I needed to hear. We’ve had a lot going on lately, and it was such a good reminder to just… slow down. To be at peace.

    I’ve attached the video here for you if you’d like to watch it… it’s definitely one I’ll listen to again. Thanks Mom. ❤️

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