Tag Archives: Childhood

Life With a Toddler

I’ve found that living with a toddler is exhausting. Horribly and wonderfully exhausting. I’m sure that wouldn’t surprise anyone. One minute I’m at my wits end wanting to run run away to Mexico because he’s having a tantrum and the next I’m melting into a puddle while he steals my heart with an adorable smile.

For those of you who don’t know what it’s like to have toddler in the house, let me put it this way: combine a playful puppy, a curious monkey, a jolly gnome, a squirmy octopus and a ferocious banshee. Mix them all up and then let that mutant run amuck in your home with all your stuff, never knowing which one of the personalities will appear from minute to minute or if it will be snotty, pooping or throwing food. Sounds crazy, right? Trust me, it is. But it’s also one of the most entertaining things to watch.

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Colourful Kids

One thing that I’ve seen develop as my children have grown over the years, and that I can say with the utmost confidence, is that my children are colourful. They both have a strong penchant for being their own person; not caring so much what other people are doing or saying. This was very apparent to me when they came out of their rooms this morning. Amelia was dressed like Cyndi Lauper (again) and Rhys was dressed like Micheal Jackson (again).

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On Friday after school Rhys told me that he needed to do a short biography presentation on Monday morning. I asked him who he’d like to pick and, without missing a beat, he said Micheal Jackson or Elvis. I thought both of those would be good candidates but was curious what kinds of people other kids have done thus far. Apparently, the other students mainly do biographies on each other. But no, Rhys needs to do something different.

So he went about finding some information on MJ and put together a short biography including a website where the kids can listening to his favourite song, Billie Jean, and watch the King of Pop do the moon walk. I figured his presentation would end there, until he came out of his room this morning all dressed-up and dancing around doing the best Micheal Jackson impression he could muster. I guess he figured a visual component would compliment his biography.

I’m very excited to see clear displays of my children choosing to walk their own path, adding in their own flavors to their day to day life. I will always encourage it. I will always be proud of it. My hope and prayer is that they become confident and happy adults capable of great things because of it.

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Then He Was 8

Today our boy turns eight.

It’s crazy to me that our little surprise baby that came along and rocked our world is such a big boy now. Every day that goes by it seems he grows up and matures in another way. From speed reading long chapter books to being a whiz at math to joining the running club, he’s no longer a little tyke. I miss toddler-Rhys, but I love seeing the this tender-hearted young man grow up. There are days that I’m not a very good mom to him but since he’s my first I’ve realized that he and I are learning this together.

I hope this year is a great one for him. Happy Birthday Rhys!

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A Bit Behind…

Day 25: Something You Made

Ammie has ‘letter’ homework that’s sent home on Fridays.

Yesterday she walked in the door and demanded I draw her a Buffalo for her ‘B’ page.

We’ve been having a lot of fun decorating her homework pages every weekend…not sure what her teacher thinks though.

Day 26: Colour

Instead of cleaning the kitchen I sat down with Amelia and helped her build a colourful Lego house.

The house had a built-in feeder for her horse and a flat-screen TV for the mom.

Day 27: Lunch Light (Today was supposed to be lunch but I got my days mixed-up…sorry)

The kids were at a glow-bowling birthday party this evening.

I didn’t realize that I had so much lint on my sweater until we walked through the doors…

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Day 10: Childhood

Light bright at night.

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A Little Bit of Life

I apologize for the lull in blogging the past few weeks, life has taken over! The kids are off and settled at school. Rhys continued on to grade 2 this year and Amelia started Kindergarten. I can’t believe that both of my kids are of the age where they are away a school during the week. Where’d all those years go? It seems like just yesterday that Amelia was crawling around chewing on Rhys’ toys and Rhys was obsessed with ‘worker-men’ and tractors. Now they both have their very own big-kid rooms where they hook-up their school bags after they come home, sit and read, build robots out of Lego and play dress-up with dolls (without my help). Gone are the days of sleepy cuddles and board books. Our conversations have begun to take a more ‘mature’ route on topics like school-yard games, friends, math class, careers, hobbies and computer class. Back-to-school was quickly followed by Rhys turning 7, which just compounded my astonishment over how big my children have gotten. Maybe it’s a good thing that there’s another one on the way? Maybe I’m just not ready to be out of the baby/toddler stage quite yet.

Rhys starting grade 2

Ammie starting Kindergarten

Rhys on his 7th birthday

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Other Side of the Tracks.

James and I like to joke that we grew-up on opposite sides of the tracks because, well, we did. We see eye-to-eye on nearly everything (faith, finances, parenting, our relationship, etc.) but it’s interesting how different the paths were that lead us to this point.

James grew-up in Elmwood right on Bronx in a tiny little house. He attended a community elementary school (Prince Edward) with some fairly underprivileged kids. I, on the other hand, grew-up in Charleswood and attended a private school for my entire education.   My family regularly went on vacations to places like Mexico and spent every summer in Penticton, B.C. stuffing our faces with fresh peaches, learning how to work a pottery wheel with my Grandmother and slowly slipping down the canal on an inner-tube. James can count on one hand how many times he’s been on an air plane, I think I lost count when I was 7. He grew-up listening to his dad play cheesy old gospel records while Mozart and Vivaldi were common morning tunes floating around our home. My parents loved to entertain and would often have nice dinner parties with people who, from my 4 foot perspective, must have been very important decked-out in their stylish 80’s sequins, shoulder pads and fur coats. There’s a story that one of my mom’s friends tells about how my sister and I were over playing with her kids one day when we were asked what we’d like to have to drink. She was expecting an answer like “milk”, or “water” but instead one of us politely chirped-up and said, “Perrier and orange juice please”. There also a story that my mother-in-law tells about how a she let a construction worker take little Jamie for a ride in his front-end loader to 7-11 for a slurpee.

James learned how to fish in a canoe on the rivers of Manitoba and I learned how to sail a boat in the British Virgin Islands. Two polar opposite upbringings (one not better than the other) and yet, by God’s grace, we’ve somehow come together and met in the middle to forge our own way of life with this family that we’ve been given.

I suppose that I’m thinking about all of this because we’ve moved back into Elmwood after having looked at buying houses in River Heights (and, quite honestly, we were hoping to find one simply to keep our kids at the school they were attending).

Our first morning back I woke-up before everyone else and rummaged through a few boxes to find our coffee pot not realizing that we hadn’t picked-up cream for a few days. I quietly stole out of the house and made my way to the corner store to buy some when I was struck by how happy I was to be back in this neighbourhood. The sun was poking through the houses, the grass was glistening with the new dew, birds were flitting around and the streets were a familiar sight. I knew that this person lived there, that house had a friendly shaggy dog, that other house always gets decked-out for Halloween, that guy walks his dog between 7 and 8pm every day. After being in a community for, going on, 5 years you get to know the little quirks and nuances of it’s residents and it’s rhythm. You know what each changing season brings to life in your little corner of the world. I was surprised by how at-home I felt. I let out a deep-sigh of relief, allowed the months of stress to slip off my back and thought to myself, “Ah, we’re back. All is well.”

Growing-up I would never have driven down in this part of our city and thought that one day I would be happy to raise my kids on the streets of Elmwood, but it’s where I find myself today. I’m glad to be back here, it feels like this is the side of the tracks that we are supposed to be on for this stage of our lives.

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