Holy shoot! He’s TWO!

We’ve been a family of five now for two years. Two years of juggling three babies, two years of figuring out what the heck to do with a penis, two years of breaking all over again and pulling myself back together again.

TWO YEARS.

Things I’ve learned in two years of Isaac:

  • Boys think penises are HILARIOUS and pull-able. I don’t know about you and your penis experience, but from what I knew before Isaac, penises weren’t meant for extreme tugging. Somehow, though, Isaac thinks his can super-stretch. I will leave him to be the expert…it is HIS penis, after all.

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  • Boys LOVE bodily functions. And so do girls. All of our children have a respect (I’m not sure if it’s healthy or not) and certain glee surrounding farting, burping, pooping, boogers, and being disgusting in general. Seriously. Isaac will stop babbling in the mornings to note Ben’s butt trumpeting. If you’re feeling self-conscious or have a low fart self-esteem, hang out with Isaac. He’ll make you proud of every duck that escapes your tush.
  • Boys LOVE construction vehicles. And big trucks. And cars. And tractors. And lawnmowers. In fact, Isaac has a standing date with the landscaping crew that comes to cut our grass every Tuesday morning. They look for him, he stands at our front door and waves and waves, and they smile and wave back. On the walk to and from school, Isaac will yell out the different trucks and vehicles he sees coming up and down the hill.
In heaven.

In heaven.

  • Isaac is a butt. Oh my, he’s super buttly. He loves climbing all the things he shouldn’t, loves getting into the toilet and the bum cream and the pens and the pencils and the groceries you just brought home and the phone you left on the couch while you grabbed him from jumping off the table. Seriously. He’s a jerk. He sees a vulnerability and he will exploit it. Faster than fast. He sucks.
  • Isaac is FREAKING cute. I know all mothers think their children are adorable, but Isaac with his chubby feet and his small bum and his fat thighs, and his irresistible giggle…KILL me. And he knows it. This is why he is still alive. This is why I have not killed him yet for all the buttly things he does.

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  • Loving Nana Jam knows no gender or age. All of our babies have mastered and graduated from the Nana-Jam Suck-Off, whereby they take a piece of toast, smothered in peanut butter and the jam that my mother-in-law, Dianne (a.k.a. Nana), makes, and they suck off all the jam and peanut butter and leave a soggy, sad piece of bread behind.
Nana Jam and chocolate...mmmmm

Nana Jam and chocolate…mmmmm

  • Boys love hard and boisterously. Isaac is the KING of running up to me, smashing his head into my leg, and then going into a full body spasm of excitement, complete with gritted teeth and animal noises. This is how he hugs me. He can give regular, boring hugs, as well, but this one is his trademarked, insane hug that sometimes knocks me off balance if I’m not paying enough attention.
He's coming in!

He’s coming in!

  • Animated films aimed at children can be dissected at a collegiate level. Isaac LOVES Cars. Not just the things that drive around in real life, but the Disney film featuring the voice talents of Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, and, the most beloved by Isaac, Larry the Cable Guy who lends his brand of fun to Mater, Isaac’s FAVOURITE character. Ben and I have watched the movie so many times now that we have in-depth discussions about the landscape, racing as a business, the merits of different racing/sponsor styles, etc. It’s ridiculous. We now preface conversations with, “I know you don’t want to hear it, but…” and then launch into a description of a facet of the movie we hadn’t noticed before. It usually ends with me freaking out, demanding we stop wasting time talking about the plot holes or inconsistencies at length.
  • Three kids is hard. So hard. Harder than two. And when one of them is a outright butt (see above), and when one of them can be more stubborn than any being on the earth, it gets even harder. We knew having kids this close together would be dicey…tricky, even. But knowing now just how hard it is…well, I think we’d still make the same decision. But DAMN. It’s hard.
The first day of school...it was kind of like herding cats.

The first day of school…it was kind of like herding cats.

  • Three kids is worth it. So worth it. Having an oldest, middle, and youngest…having the three babies we do…having them close together and crazy-like? All worth it. The other night I was lying on the couch with all three on me. It didn’t last long (fighting for space started, and then Ben sat down on the other couch, opening up a whole expanse of unused lap), but while they were all piled on me, it was heaven. And then it was hot and whiny. BUT. It was heaven for at least a minute or two.
  • Our family is complete. When Lillian was born, in the first few weeks afterwards, the hell weeks, as I fondly refer to them, I felt like it wasn’t enough. I felt like we were still missing someone. I don’t feel that way anymore. People are popping up pregnant all around me, and I’m still happy in the knowledge that I’m done having babies. That the factory is closed and that this family is the one we’ll walk the rest of our lives with. I’m so content here. I’m so thankful there are no regrets. I think if we had stopped at Lillian, I would have been filled with regret over the third baby that never was.
Love this face!

Love this face!

  • Isaac is awesome. He’s the sweetest little dude and I can’t wait to see the big boy and the man he’ll grow into. We were walking towards the school and he was strutting along in his way, and I turned to Ben and said, “One day, he’ll come home and tell us he wants to ask someone to marry him.” It’s a mind-blowing thought that this baby will one day become a man in his own right…but from what I’ve seen so far (penis-yanking aside), I know he’ll be awesome.
Happy birthday, dude!

Happy birthday, dude!

Happy happy 2nd birthday, Isaac! I love you SO much!!

~ Mama (a.k.a. Julia)

Am I 82? Or 24?

I have a confession.

I am really an old lady. A very weird, eclectic old lady. I am the kind of old lady that lives in a small town and becomes the object of gossip and kids telling stories about you being a mythical creature.

You do not have to take my word for it though. I have reasons why I believe I am an old lady.

I like Antiques.

I mean, actually I love antiques. I love old furniture, I love the history, and I love the fact that the pieces basically have past lives, and that you are a part their lives, and the future owners if you take care of it. I also love the fact that the articles have survived through people, disasters, and ups and downs. They are objects with a history, like pieces of art, in and of themselves.

I like Vinyl.

I have my own growing collection, and a player that I clean and maintain. I love the old school quality and scratchiness. The fact that it sounds more like you are there in the recording studios uncut. It just feels better to put on a record and sitting back and listening to it. Records are a memory. CD’s are stolen moments of time, but I would rather have the true memory, than a stolen moment. Honestly if there was a way to do it, I would listen to records in my car…Bad idea.

I like eating dinner at 4.

I know I surprise myself, but I really have no reason for this. It just feels nice to be done another part of your day at 4.

I like Films older than I am.

My top 5 favourite movies (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Singing in the Rain, White Christmas and Casablanca)
are all older than me. They are full of love and the way it was portrayed back then, and the simple brilliance of not just being romantic, but also better; at least in my opinion.

I actually own this photo thanks to a lady who knows me Very well. Thank you Birute Pilipaitis!

I actually own this photo thanks to a lady who knows me Very well.
Thank you Birute Pilipaitis!

I am an old lady in many ways, and that is why I truly believe I have a little old lady inside of me. She lets me be able to enjoy the more simple things, because the simple things in life are what makes life worth it.

~ Andreah

When the weather outside is frightful

There is nothing better on a snowy day than to cuddle up to loved ones on the couch and kick back to an old favourite, and it is especially sweet when it is close to Christmas. I love Christmas movies and I feel like it is seriously a problem.

I started buying VHS tapes of Christmas movies in the summer this year – they were a bargain at 3 for $1 – but I feel like I could almost need an intervention.

In the meantime, however, here are my top favourite Christmas movies!

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
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Let me just say I always cry when Tiny Tim’s crutch is in the corner, and the Cratchets (Miss Piggy and Kermit) are trying to stay strong for the kids…I need a tissue just thinking about it!

2. Love Actually
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This is a bit of a comfort movie, because I usually just watch it around Christmas time. There are some good scenes, and weird scenes, and everyone is tied together in weird and quirky ways. Also I love the opening where they are in the airport and everyone is so happy – it gives me warm fuzzy feelings!

3. White Christmas
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An oldie but a goodie! I mean, come on! Bing Crosby? Singing White Christmas? That is the end all and be all of Christmas!
I don’t care if you are not a Bing fan, he is awesome, and you are silly.

4. Home Alone 1, 2 & even 3
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It is an idea that they tried to beat to death, but these 3 movies are absolutely awesome for a laugh and a couple ideas of boobie-traps you can set around your house, you know…just in case.

5. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
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I know, I know, not a usual one you see, but Tim Burton really is my favourite, and it really has good points! Sally is freed at the end, her and the Pumpkin King get together (finally!), and after COMPLETELY messing it up, Jack (the Pumpkin King himself) saves Christmas! I know it is not traditional, but it is one of my top fives!

Feel free to tell me you favourite movies in the comments; you might give me more ideas to put on next year’s list!

~ Andreah

I just don’t understand

With the approaching Friday being celebrated as Halloween, it’s no wonder I find myself shielding my eyes and gasping in horror at an increased rate of gory and demonic movie previews, advertisements for terrifying haunted hayrides and even crazier haunted houses.

I just don’t understand.

Michael often tries to chide me into going to see the latest scary movie in a theater full of people where I cannot nonchalantly remove myself (multiple times) if I can’t handle it, or drag me to Canada’s Wonderland to voluntarily put myself in an uncomfortable state of panic by having strangers chase me around in a dimly – if at all – lit, scary-ass house/structure. It doesn’t fly. Ever.

It’s because I just don’t understand.

And don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal of being a little on edge and have yourself feel a little vulnerable…a LITTLE. I have even attempted to watch my fair share of scary movies. I either end up seeking refuge in a pillow or burrowing my head behind Michael. I have even left the room and refused to come back until the movie was turned off. I have requested multiple lights to be turned back on in the house. I especially cannot handle movies involving possession, demons or spirits. Just no.

Can’t do it. Nu-uh. No way. Because WHY?!

And I won't finish it.

And I won’t finish it.

I have even attempted and COMPLETED a haunted hay ride and maze. At night.

It turned out for me just about the same way it did for Andy and Amy when Ellen sent them through their first haunted house together:

I swore a little bit more. Okay, a lot more. And I may have been slightly impaired, but just a teensy bit. For real, just a teensy bit.

I feel the same way about these activities and this time of year in general, as I do about roller coasters.

I have completed what I feel is a good sample set of them and have determined I do not enjoy the feeling of anxiety and increased level of stress due to holding on, literally, for my life that is accompanied with the ride. Add in the long lines, usually in the sweltering heat, and the adrenaline crash I without fail will endure at the end of said rides – after any high stress altercation, really – and it just doesn’t seem enjoyable or worth it to me. What is the point?

I just don’t understand.

Maybe my feelings about the eerie, chilling things of this season stem back to the sisterhood’s upbringing – where things of this nature were not really present or welcome in our home. A home where Halloween was not celebrated or noted – it was just another day. It could be because we were raised to understand and respect the worlds beyond the physical, to not egg them on, tease or tempt them. These things I do understand.

It could be all of these things and more.

Or it could be that I just don’t understand.

~ Toni

My black and white romance

I am sorry, lovers of The Notebook, The Vow and any other romantic movie that has come out of late and was once a novel, but nothing beats a classic. Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Some Like It Hot…the list could go on!

It could be the unfurling of an intense love affair, or the turmoil and drama that each character was written to work through. It could be the epic lines that make me swoon and go weak in the knees, or it may just be the monochromatic colour scheme – either way they are drool-worthy.

Today when you walk into most home décor stores you are bombarded with mass-produced wall art of Audrey Hepburn and lines that were pulled from interviews that women idealize. There is also the new telling of the late great Elizabeth Taylor’s life – it seems to me that the leading ladies are who everyone remembers. From their perfectly placed hair, to their healthy and natural curves, we place them on a pedestal. I, however, play over and over Humphrey Bogart’s intense stare into Ingrid Bergman’s eyes as he delivers his infamous line…

That is enough to make your foot pop! The leading men is who we fantasize about.

There is a rumour going around that chivalry is dead – but we need to update our fairy tale! In the days of black and white, men and women’s roles were exactly that – black and white! The woman was docile, timid, and picture-perfect and the man was rugged, manly, strong and always the dominant one.

Now to bring you into this decade … These past couple of weeks have been pretty insane, my hours at work have gone up and my hours with Cody have gone down. I am finding it pretty hard to balance all aspects of my life, family, fitness, friends –  but I would be lost if I didn’t have Cody. He is running our house, cleaning the kitchen, taking care of the dogs, making dinner, and making sure I am staying sane. He tells me constantly that he is proud of me, and thanks me for taking on the extra hours to help with saving for our wedding and preparing for the many repairs and updates our house needs this coming spring.

He is my Humphrey Bogart – every time I come home from a long day at work and I find the kitchen clean and the smell of dinner on, I want to jump his bones! It means more than any diamond or present, it’s better than flowers, and it is the biggest way he can show me that he loves me.

Cody is a general labourer, so he is on his feet for his entire shift, it’s hard on his body and it can be even harder on our relationship if he has had a bad day at work. Being together 7 years, you pick up on each other’s cues and signs that a day has been bad. I couldn’t tell you what my particular cues are, but Cody’s are very apparent to me. However even after a hard day at work, he still finds a way to tell me that he loves me. This is my black and white romance.

We are not the perfect couple – in no way. We argue – we are both very stubborn – extremely stubborn. I am right when I am right and he is right when he is right. We have our dark times, but it’s the bright moments that matter. It’s those times that still give me butterflies when he grabs my hand in a crowd, or pulls me in unexpectedly to lay a wet one on me.  My black and white romance is full of colour, thanks to my leading man!

~ Jacqui (a.k.a. Soon-to-be Mrs. Wright)