Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In the Quiet Time

We had an unexpected power failure a couple days before Christmas.  As we were eating our pizza (cheese-less for Gen & I, who are on a dairy fast), the light flickered.  Once, twice, and out.  The little kids panicked, initially, but were quickly comforted when we brought out the candles.  The comfort was due, in part, to the flickering light, and also to the novelty of having open flame within their reach.

It was quiet.  No music, no furnace fan, no clicking of electronics and no refrigerator hum.  It made for a strange ambiance.  It was solemn, but not at all sad.  It felt loaded with importance, but with no expectation.

I told the kids of the great ice storm of '98, when we were without power for 6 days.  My friend, from a more rural address, was sans electricity for 3 weeks.  What fond memories! 

We sang Christmas carols together.  We told relay stories, where one person starts a story and after a few sentences another person jumps in to continue the tale.

We cuddled under blankets on the couch, while Maddie made wax sculptures from candle drippings.

It was wonderful.  If I could have packaged it, I'd have placed it under the tree and labeled it "Christmas".

My love/hate relationship with Christmas continues.  My heart is insistent on expecting a Christmas tht matches the season.  For me, Christmas should be like a walk in the woods after a snowfall.  Still,  muffled, dim, cocooned in a deep blanket of white...the feeling that I've been here before, I know this, it knows me, but as I look into the branches of the trees - by all appearances, dead - the sunlight filters though the ice and snow and there are no words for the beauty that is new every moment. 

But this.  This was Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

King's Landing Field Trip

King's Landing is probably one of my favourite places in NB, so I was pumped when the opportunity for a field trip came up.  We piggy-backed with a grade 1 class from Saint John and took part in their "The Child at Work and Play" workshop. 

It was all about how a 19th century child would have spent their day.  The kids began by "waking up".  Here are Maddie & Eva (sharing a bed, as was usual) asleep on the ticking.

The girls & boys were seperated into gender appropriate chores.  The girls made gingerbread.  Yum!  It's quite a feat to have 11 little girls make a single gingerbread. Here's Maddie, stirring the batter. 

Here's Eva, sweeping the house.

The girls took turns beating the bumps out of the ticking.  This was by far their favourite chore! 

Story & playtime with our historical reenactor.  They passed around typical toys - a doll, ball, books... the kids seemed surprised at how few toys there were, and at how simply they were built. 

The girls loved King's Landing.  As an added blessing, it really opened up my eyes to how little I expect from my kids, but how much they are actually able to take on.  They had fun, but they also came back a tad more mature than when they arrived. 

Maybe I'll add beating beds to their chore list!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Pssst...check it out!  I finally took the plunge and opened up shop on Facebook.   My next craft market is at the Boyce market in Fredericton, next Sunday.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amuse/231400363582819

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Here we are, almost December, and I just realized I didn't post pictures of the kids' costumes this year.  Story of my life. 

Eva (as Jasmine), Gen (bumblebee), Maddie (tooth fairy), Graedon (Spiderman)

As a treat (or was it a trick?  Hmmm?), I made these cupcakes in a jar.  The kids had so much fun breaking the spiderweb to get to the cake.  Next year I'm going to make them again with a few adjustments.  I'm thinking half the cake in the jar, then serve them with a scoop of ice cream between the cake & the web.  Yes.  Very good.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Solar System Convo...

We are so blessed that Rich gets to come home and have lunch with us most days.  I usually try to get the conversation going by discussing our morning, and what happened in school.  This week we started learning about the solar system, and our planets. 
On a side note, poor Pluto.  To spend all those years as a small, but important planet and then to be dumped like that.  Rejection is hard. 

After the usual banter, I said, "Hey, Daddy, guess what we're learning in school?!  We're learning about planets!  Maddie, what's your favourite planet?"

Maddie said, "I like the blue one!  What is it, Neptune?"

Eva chimed in, "My favourite is Earth!"

I said, "And some planets have rocky surfaces, like Earth, and some are made of gas!  Richard, what's your favourite planet?"

Richard, grinning, "I like Uranus!"  Laughed!

Eva, totally not getting it, "And Dad!  Uranus is gassy!"

By this time, Richard and I are practically in tears.  Maddie just looked at us like we were nuts.

And this was one of those rare moments when I got to see what my husband was like as a 12 year old boy. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Leaving the Boob Tube

We quit TV.  We have, approximately, been sans telly for about 6 weeks now.  Following a month of hell, amidst a fit of screaming, tantrums and gnashing of teeth, we banished the TV to the basement.  It sits there, hulking, while we piece together our lives, correct habits and attitudes acquired from the screen and get to know each other again.

I knew I wanted this, but I was unprepared for what would actually happen once we got rid of the thing.

Boredom.  The kids wandered lost for a few days, whining.  Nothing to do.  And then, after they realized how annoying being bored was, they DID something about it.  They broke out their crayons.  They pulled on their coats.  They dusted off their bikes.  They made tents in their bedrooms.  The perma-drool look they had adopted from staring at the screen began to dissipate, and their gaze cleared. 

Fights.  Oh my goodness.  Now the kids HAD to interact.  They could no longer forget their differences and switch on PBS kids.  They stand their ground more.  They offer, counter-offer, settle.  They negotiate (sometimes kindly, often not).  They learn that there really is no escape from conflict, not really.  But there IS a way through it.

Work.  I didn't have time to do it all before.  After my TV time, I was too tired to do much of anything.  Now, of a sudden, my housework is slightly caught up (slightly, but that's better than not), I'm sewing more, reading more.  I'm doing more work. 

Judgement.  How many people have been to our home, and how many have said, within minutes of entering, "Um.  You don't have a TV?"

Empty space.  What am I going to do with that yawning space in the corner of the room?  How will I rearrange the furniture, now that it doesn't all need to point toward the telly?  How awkward...will we need to face, gulp, each other??

Loss of quality time.  The nightly TV date with the hubby is no more.  Now we talk.  Now we sit at the table and chat, each with a project in hand.  The "other wo/man" is gone.  We're enjoying it, and each other, more.

Tongue in cheek, this post, but secretly...I think the kids are actually enjoying this television free home.  Not so secretly, so am I.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last Chance

  This week we had one of our lasts.  It had been surprisingly warm for November, and we packed up our school books early and I sent everyone to enjoy what could very well have been the final day of fall.

The air was eerie heavy.  The sky was frowning, the clouds were racing and the light was like dusk, even though it was mid-day.  We ran, we played, we planted, and we took full advantage. 

It felt like our last chance. 

The last chance to bury garlic bulbs, in hopes that it miraculously survives the freezing winter (isn't any bulb a miracle?).

The last chance for gum rubber boots and soil dirty hands.

The last chance for bare legs and summer dresses.  Last chance for casually thrown sweaters and jackets hung on tree limbs.

One last chance...

And, bonus, check out the latest fall fashion in rural New Brunswick:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Singing With Graedon

Graedon still takes long afternoon naps.  For that, I am thankful.

When I put him to bed, he always asks me to lie down next to him and sing him a song.  His favourite is "the moose song", aka Down By The Bay.  He giggles at every verse I make up.  I can see his little mind imagining the moose kissing a goose, the snake with the garden rake and the mouse in a tiny house. 

Sometimes he asks me for songs I don't know.  Sometimes he makes up his own.  Sometimes he mixes up songs.  The other day he sang The B-I-B-L-E...you know the one?  He finished it off as, "...the B-I-B-L-Eeeee!  Eye-ball!"  Close, Graedy, close! 

I've never been one to lie down with my kids when they go to bed.  I'm usually pretty tuckered out by that time, and if I were to do that with each kid, it'd be midnight before I hit the sack.  I really do enjoy the few minutes alone with Graedy, though.  He's pretty great.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Do

We Pattersons are fashion forward.  When you combine that with my absent mindedness, well, interesting things happen.

Thanksgiving blowout and no change of clothes or diaper?  No problem.  A tea towel, some pins and a grocery bag will do the trick.  Not only is the fit flattering, the green tinge of the bag brings out the sparkle in Gen's eye. 

Is the topless model a little too immodest for you?  This diaper cover also comes in a mock overall style.

BTW - no worries!  We're not stupid and didn't leave her unsupervised with the bag.  It was quickly covered up with her clothes as soon as the photo shoot was finished.  A proper diaper was soon located.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potty Post Number 2

See what I did there?  Number 2?  Yeah, I thought of it myself.


We have a new toilet!  The last one was fine, but never really flushed properly.  It was the normal size toilet. It looked like this:

This is not a picture of our toilet.  It's just one like it.  I just wanted to be clear on that.

The new toilet is in the bathroom right next to Graedy's room.  In fact, you might even call it Graedon's bathroom.  With the small toilet, Graedy would just get up at 2 am, do his business and be back in bed before he really awoke.  Now, our new toilet looks like this:

It's a very tall toilet.  It causes vertigo.  In fact, if we were to measure the distance from the floor to the rim of the bowl, it would be exactly the distance from Graedon's soles to his groin area...plus a half inch.  Just enough to cause problems, if you catch my drift.  I got him a stool, but I guess it's hard enough for a three year old to concentrate on aim without adding balance to the mix.

Now, Graedon has to run upstairs to use our other toilet.  The exercise is good for him, but slightly inconvenient in the middle of the night.

Our new toilet is tall....and if you were to measure it's height and compare it to the normal 29 year old female's shin length, you would immediately see that there is a problem.  It looks like this:

These are not my feet.  I think these are Jessica Simpson's feet.

I feel like a five year old in a waiting room.  I also tend to use the upstairs bathroom.

I've been searching for a solution to the problem, and I think I've got it.  They do it in Asia (and you know how smart and practical the Japanese are).  It's called the Squatty Potty.  It looks like this:

This is not me.  And, please note, she has her pants on.  You're welcome.

I kid you not, there has been research into this kind of thing.  Squatting to do your business is healthier because it helps avoid bloating, constipation, hemmorhoids and colon cancer as it promotes a more efficient and complete elimination.  Squatting in general is excellent for your pelvic floor and leg muscles.  And, it makes you happy.  I mean, just look at that girl.  She's ecstatic!

You might think I'm kidding, but check my bathroom next time you come over.  I am this close to convincing Richard to order one...and by this close, I mean the distance between the floor and the rim of the tall toilet. 

The First of Many Potty Posts

Rich and I had pie at the local truckstop last night.  As we were leaving, I visited the ladies' room.  I entered the room, turned right toward the stalls (which were all empty - I could tell because all the doors were open) and then swung left into the first stall. 

And, BAM!  I jumped out of my skin, clutched my chest and yelled, "Oh!  You scared me!"

There, sitting on the toilet was an old native lady wearing a beret, grinning a toothless smile.  "Heh, heh, heh," she chortled. "The door swung open on it's own.  Heh, heh, heh."

I just stared.  Her face looked like those dried apple carvings people make for Halloween.  I was so shocked at finding her there, and so puzzled as to why she didn't just reach out 6 inches from her knees and swing the door closed that I just said, "Oh." 

I turned away and went into the next stall.  The apple-face lady LOUDLY grunted and groaned the whole 30 seconds I was there (I was being quick.  I was extremely uncomfortable.).

It was weird.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'll Be Back...

Yes, you've missed me.  I know you have. 

Life has sucked.  All the energy from my body and brain, and so I haven't attempted a post in a while. 

I'll be Bach.  I'll be Mozart.   (I know.  Groan.  My favourite joke.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


There's no way to properly give justice to a homebirth.  I was privileged to attend my second one last week (other than my own).  Although there is beauty in every birth, no matter what the setting, there is something special to a birth at home.  Something different.  Something...

It might be the decor.  The open flame of the candles (definetly a no-no at a hospital), the family pictures on the wall, the coloured towels and blankets to match the woman's personality.  The smell of supper in the air, fresh laundry, the absence of bleach.

It might be the people present.  The children eating cereal at the table, while they wait for the sitter to pick them up.  The quick visits of good friends as they deliver a meal and pop in "just to check".  The friendly neighbours who sit vigil on their porches, hoping to be the firsts to get the news that the baby has been born. 

It might be the staff.  The midwife's apprentice who quietly sets up their equipment around the room, nodding and murmuring encouragement as the mother moans and rocks.  The midwife who asks permission before taking vitals or checking dilation, always respectful of the family's privacy, and never assumes she has first dibs to the mother's body.

It might be the father.  The way he kisses and holds his wife, freely, unhindered.  A man in his own home, where he is comfortable, where he is on his own turf is a powerful thing to behold.  There is no questionning look at the doula to ask if it's okay to join his wife in the shower.  He knows, and he does. 

It might be the mother.  She wanders her home, she wears her husband's t-shirt, or nothing at all and it's okay.  And she knows it.  She doesn't seek permission to eat, or to kneel on the floor, or to walk around her yard.  She has built a comfortable home, the perfect home for herself and her family, and she takes full advantage.

It might be the baby.  The calm, wise expression as he gazes into his mother's eyes.  The cry, then the quiet of a baby who's first touch was from a woman he recognizes from the massages he received in the womb.  Or, perhaps, his first touch was from his father, or mother, who lifted him directly from womb to heart.

There's something about a homebirth.  There's something about a new family in bed together, counting toes and stealing kisses. 

There's just something about homebirth.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Birds and The Bees

Sex.  If you just blushed and glanced really quick over your shoulder to make sure no one sees you read this entry, then this post is for you!  Hey, look!  Is that your mom that just walked into the room?

Just kidding! 

Seriously, though, I came across this article on the Focus on the Family website.  It's good.  It's really, really good.  As I was reading it, I kept thinking, "Oh, but they forgot this..." and then, there it was in the next paragraph. 

To sum it up - talk about sex with your kids.  Really.  It's important.  The fact of the matter is that sex is going to happen, is happening right now, and you need to address it.  Don't wait for the teenage years.  Your 12 year old boy that you think is too young to have "the talk"?  He's thinking about it right now.  And now.  A-a-and now. 

Your 6 year old?  She's got older cousins, or friends her age who (think) they know about sex.  They're not censoring on her behalf.  She's going to remember when they refer to her body parts as (and you can fill in the blank here, because I don't want to use slang  and attract the wrong crowd to my blog by search engine). 

Okay, so maybe you're homeschooling.  Maybe you don't have TV.  Maybe you only choose really, really good friends for your kids (?!).  Still, not a good excuse.  Where is sex?  Sears catalog (true story), grocery check-out, pregnant auntie, farms, radio, next table over at McDonalds, the Bible (whoa, what?  Yup, read it.) etc., etc., etc.

I don't agree with having "the Talk".  I think it should be more like "the Dialogue".  Sex education shouldn't be a class, or a program to be taken over a semester.  It starts at the first diaper change, continues at toddler bath time, preschool curiosity, grade school thirst for knowledge and on through the teenage angst.  Teach your kids through your actions & words right from the beginning.  Use real words.  No one would refer to a nose as a "sniff-sniff".  Don't refer to a penis as a "wee-wee".    If your 4 year old asks you how babies come out, don't brush him off.  If he's old enough to think up a question, he's old enough for a simple, age-appropriate answer.  Stammering and blushing and avoiding the subject will only teach him that sex is shameful and embarrassing.

The fact of the matter is that God made people.  After that, he left it up to them to make other people.  God didn't address Adam and Eve with, "Go forth and, you know, like, um, uh..."  God made sex.  God made it enjoyable.  He attached responsibilities and guidelines to it.  It's our job as parents to make sure our kids understand those responsibilities.

Read the article.  It's good.  It's really, really good. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Schools In

We're in week 3 of school.  I've taken pictures here and there, but I realized this morning that I haven't blogged about it.  Since school takes up a good chunk of our time and energy, it only seems right to give it it's due space on the blog.  Here are just a couple photos of what we've done:

We're learning about the sky.  Did you know the atmosphere is hundreds of miles deep, but only the first few miles are breathable air?  Yeah, I didn't know that either.  Here's Maddie testing out air resistance with her bike and a parasol.

Eva discovered that there's a big difference in air resistance when you run with an umbrella versus riding a bike.

We made posters the first day of school.

We covered journals.  The kids write in them daily.  It's been a big hit.

Graedon has a journal, too. 

There's lots more to come this year.  We're only getting started!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project Recycle Radio Pt. 1

I found this diamond in the rough at the local second hand store.  It's a really old radio.

I know...what would I possibly want with an old radio that doesn't work and, given the disintegrating wires and missing parts, will never work?

You'll find out soon.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Little Boy and the Cookie

*This is mostly a true story, except for the parts I made up.  For ease of reading, I've put the fictionalized part in italics.*

Once upon a time, there was a lady selling her wares at an outdoor market.  Along came a little boy and sat down beside her.  The boy had beautiful golden curls and big blue eyes.  He sighed deeply and turned his sad little face to the vendor lady.

"I'm so-o-o hungry, and my parents don't have any money," sniffled the little boy.  He gazed at the lady with his big puppy dog eyes.  "Do you have anything I can eat?"

The vendor lady felt so sorry for the little boy.  After asking whether he had allergies (safety first!), she asked him if he'd like a cookie.

"Oh, yes!" said the boy, all smiles.

The lady handed him a chocolate chocolate chip cookie, which he popped into his mouth immediately.  His face fell and he began to scowl.  "This cookie is HARD!"

Surprised, the lady said, "Oh, I must have left that batch in a bit too long.  Sorry."

Pouting, the little boy ordered in an angry voice, "Next time, you should make vanilla and chocolate!  Try to remember that for next time!"

And then the vendor lady grabbed that snotty little brat in a head lock, pried his piranha jaws open and took back her chocolate chocolate chip cookie by the fistful.

The End.

Recycling. Blah.

That title got your attention, eh?  My friend recently posted on her blog about how impractical and expensive recycling can be.  I've lived in neighbourhoods where the town arranged pick-up for the recyclables.  All you had to do was dump everything into one bin, and they took care of the rest!  Here, though?  We're on our own!  We're welcome to recycle, but the sorting is up to us, and we have to drive it to several different spots around town and drop it off.

I read A's post and my first thought was, "Oh, fiew!  I'm not the only non-recycler here!"  And, then, the guilt started creeping up.  As a passive recycler (that is - I recycle when there's a bin nearby, and I turn in my bottles for cash), am I single handedly ruining our planet??  Eeep. 

There's a lot of attention brought to recycling.  Personally (and this will bring me many a dirty comment, I'm sure), I think the idea of recycling is a band-aid solution.  We focus on how we can recycle, and yet, we don't stop to think about why we need to recycle in the first place.  Why are we buying so much stuff?  Why is that stuff wrapped in so much packaging?  We are replacing our old appliances for new, "energy-efficient" ones only to replace those ones in 6-7 years because they're cheaply produced and held together with spit and a prayer.  Really?  Is that energy efficient?  Is that better for the environment?  Is that even affordable? 

So, no, I don't put much emphasis on recycling.  Reduce, though?  Ah, yes.  That, I like.  Reuse?  Mmmm-hmmm.  It's as simple as (and these are not all currently being used by me, but they're still great ideas):

*buying second-hand.  Furniture, clothing, and home decor can be bought for cheap.  Because of our disposable culture, most of it is like new anyway!  When you're done with something, advertise it and make some of your money back.  Not underwear, though.  That's gross.  I'm especially talking to the lady with the yard sale at which she'd hung her leopard print nightie/thong set and slapped a $5 price tag on it.  *shudder*

*gardening & canning.  Mason jars are re-usable for years and years and years!

*cutting back at Christmas and birthdays.  Presents are nice but they don't translate to love.  As a mom, Christmas is one of the most frustrating times of the year.  We're so blessed with gifts, but sometimes it's hard to find a spot for it all.  The best presents are the ones that are useful, compact and of a quality make (nothing worse than having to throw out a gift on boxing day because it broke). 

*passing on books.  Loved that novel?  Send it on to a friend and let them love it, too.

*make your own lunch and use washable containers to carry it. 

*cloth diaper & breastfeed.  Huge money saver if you stick to the basics. 

*be content.  Yes, there's a newer and better model out there, and yes, you want it.  But do you need it?  If your old one is still doing the job, then keep lovin' it.  That goes for spouses, too.  :P

What are your tips for going green? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Visiting Québec

We try to visit Québec at least every year.  We missed last summer because Gen was due in the middle of August.  Traveling with an extremely pregnant, hormonal mommy who can't tie her own shoes is not advised...unless of course, you're into extreme sports or don't value your life.

The 7 hour trip stretched out to about 10.  We stopped often to pee and run around.  Québec City is about 4 hours into the trip so we usually make a pit stop there to visit the Aquarium.  It cuts up the trip right at that point where the kids feel that they just can't take it anymore.  After looking at fish for 2 hours (BTW, I heard that staring at fish is very calming and soothing), they were ready to get back into the van and drive the rest of the way...asleep :)

Sand sculptures at the Québec Aquarium.

A nice lady offered to take our picture by the bridge at the aquarium.  I fully expected her to tuck the camera under her arm and make a run for it, but no!  We got the camera back safe and sound.

The Pattersons, August 2011

 This summer we decided to try Le Village d'Antan.  For such a touristy attraction, I was disappointed that only a small number of staff spoke English (and then only enough to get by).  I found the historic village very interesting, but Richard and the kids got bored easily since they couldn't understand the stories behind the buildings and characters.

Still, very pretty, and quite different from King's Landing in Fredericton.  Le Village d'Antan tells the history of the Québecois and you can see the strong Catholic influence in the families and buildings.  King's Landing is older, and mostly (if not all) protestant.

Sitting in the one-room schoolhouse.
  No trip would be complete without a bathroom mishap, of course.  This picture was taken moments before I caught a whiff of something foul...and it wasn't the pony ride, either!  Gen had pooped on everything!  Wipes weren't going to do it, so we headed to the bathroom to rinse off in the sink...only to find out that the only running water was freezing cold.  Gen was quite awake after that. :)

"Uh oh!  I have a surprise for you, Mommy!"
The next day we hung around my old stomping grounds.  To my surprise they now have a Farmer's Market.  It's a nice one, too!  If I lived close enough, I'd be a regular. 

This man had the best apple juice and Sunrise apples I'd ever tasted.  Yum!

That night we had a bonfire at my Grandma Blouin's.  It's crazy how the kids seem to grow up so fast when you aren't there to watch them.  My little cousins are adults, and my littler cousins are practically teenagers.  The great thing about our family get togethers is that there's no age limit to singing "Squirrel", complete with the bum-wagging actions.

We met up with my brother, R, his wife, N, and little K!  It was a special treat to have the cousins play together.  K is a bundle of happy energy, running and laughing and generally enjoying life.  I'm hoping we can visit more often than just every other year. 

Asbestos is well-known for...you guessed it!  Asbestos!  Graedon was intent on going to see the great, big truck. 

Great, Big Truck...Tiny Little Kids

We visited with my Grandma Noble.  The kids thought her apartment was pretty sweet - especially the big bag of Cheetos! 


Turns out my baby is a tad Greek.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Killer Elvis

Remember the Breakfast Project?

Feast your eyes on what I call...pum pum pa-a-ah!  The Killer Elvis.

What's better than the infamous peanut butter and banana sandwich? 

A peanut butter and banana and chocolate and cream cheese sandwich!

And what's better than that?

Dipping it in egg mixture and frying it up like french toast.

Yes, it is bad for you, even if it has fruit and a dairy product in it.  I was a bit afraid to try it, and so I added maple syrup.  I'll try anything with maple syrup on it.  Being Québecoise, I cut my teeth on the stuff. 

The first bite was good.  The second bite was better.  The last few bites, well, I guess I should have known when to pull the plug. 

I don't know if I'm an Elvis fan, but me and peanut butter & banana sandwiches?  We're close.

Hello, Lover.

Firing Up the Infernal Kernel

We had our annual corn boil last Saturday.  True, we hadn't had it in a couple years, but we're hoping to put the "annual" back into the event.  Corn season snuck up on us, and so we whipped the party together in only a few days. 

What started as an "adult" party has graduated to a family friendly event.  We phoned up all the young families we could think of, and even with the short notice, a lot of them were able to be with us.  I counted more than 70 in all...which is mucho corno.

This time we set up in the back corner of our lot.  It's not super far...we only have 2 acres.  After the 104th trip to fetch forgotten items, bring little kids to the potty, get the phone, etc, it was plenty far.  I got my exercise! 

Remember how setting up a teepee for the kids was one of my summer goals?  It didn't exactly happen.  I think this is much better, though.  This was our reading tent.  The little girls claimed it very quickly, and I could hear much giggling from inside the white curtain.

The bubble station was also a big hit.  There were some massive bubbles happening here!

That was a hungry crowd, for sure.  It's never happened before, but we were very close to running out of food.  Of course, that might be a certain little boy's fault!  LOL

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Picnic

What better way to kick a summer funk than a picnic in the park?

We joined my mom and brother for the hugest summer lunch to ever fit in a basket - sandwiches, chips, watermelon, cucumber, apples, cheese, cookies, muffins, carrot sticks, ice cream...fiew!  We know how to eat, that's for sure.

We swing, swang, swung.

I taught my brother how to whistle a blade of grass.

As always, the splash pad was much appreciated.  The splash pad was made possible by an anonymous donor.  What a great gift to our town.

Sand.  It's so much fun.

Geneviève Turns 1!!!

Geneviève Anise turned 1 yesterday.

How is that even possible?

I had a quiet day, remembering how only a year ago I woke up in the middle of the night with some definite signs of her arrival.  I remembered the way she entered this world - fast and decided, carrying me with her.  I remembered how peaceful her birth was and I can't help but be awed when I think of it, and thankful to the women who accompanied us on her journey earthside.

She was born in a hurry, and Richard was the one to place her in my arms.  I remember his face, how proud he was.  Gen was my pudgy baby - rolls and dimples and wrinkles everywhere.  She still has those dimples when she grins.  She's a beautiful girl, and her personality matches her birth.

We celebrated with the Grammies and Grampies, and Auntie Lydz and Uncle Shawn.

Her cake was 4 layers of chocolatey goodness.  Most of hers landed on the deck, but she made good use of the icecream.

Gen, Maddie & Crystal, the bunny.

Her very own chair...when the other kids let her sit in it.  She's holding her ground, though, and giving them whatfor.

My sweet Baby Gen.