Pink socks will make you cry

5 Oct

We went to the farm yesterday afternoon: our annual trek to Belluz to buy pumpkins!

For the most part we had a really good time.  The big boys are at an age where we don’t have to keep them in our sights every second and the little boy is at an age where he is incapable of moving.  That means Jason and I don’t have to run ourselves ragged making sure our kids don’t run into the oncoming path of a combine harvester, or something like that.  We picked out our pumpkins, had some treats, pet some animals, went into the smaller corn maze, and went on the tractor ride through the fields.

The tractor ride was where things took a turn for the inconvenient.  One of the farmers asked all the kids on the trailer (behind the tractor) to sing as loud as they could.  You see, the tractor is loud, so you want to sing loud so the farmer can actually hear.  

She began leading the kids in an incredibly loud, screechy, and off-key rendition of Michael Row the Boat Ashore and almost immediately R3 began wailing.  As the first piercing screeches of the singers piercing the air, I saw his eyes pop open in shock and then his face crumpled into a terrified howl.  He literally cried for 30 minutes and nothing I did could comfort him.  He cried and cried and then he would quiet down for a few seconds and then start again.

Just wanted to clarify that I’m not mad at the farmer and we will be coming back next year!

I was a bit embarrassed because of course my baby’s first major freak out would be in front of thirty people.  Well, technically his first freak out happened at home when I said HEY too loudly in front of him and he was startled and then inconsolable.  But that only last ten minutes.  This was unreal and makes me think at he is sensitive to certain sounds just like R1 was as a baby/toddler.

I think most of the people on the tractor ride were fine with my cry baby, nobody (that I saw) was shooting me dirty looks or whispering to their neighbours about the bad mom who can’t keep her baby calm.  Luckily after our harrowing journey, R3 was able to fall asleep in the carrier and was happy on the ride home.  

When we were just about ready to leave, a woman approached us and said, “I want to thank you guys for being such awesome parents!”  I thought she was going to compliment me on my ability to remain cool while my baby was losing his shit.  But surprisingly, she was referring to how we let our kids be themselves and express themselves and not worry about how society dictates gender norms.  All that because of R2’s outfit of choice!  It was so nice to hear from someone who gets it.  

Colours are gender neutral!

A boy who wears pink will not lose his testicles!

Children of the world, be free to be you, even in a pumpkin patch!

 So I was feeling good about my parenting choices, but don’t worry, I was quickly given a lesson in the reality of child-rearing shortly after we got back from the farm.

My mom and I went to the grocery store; I brought R3 with us so I could keep holding him close in the carrier as he was exhausted and intermittently cranky from his earlier ordeal.  As often happens, a lady approached me in the grocery store to coo and ooo about the cuteness of my little babe.  She remarked on his red rimmed eyes and said he must be tired.  I said, “yeah, he’s pretty tired and he’s been crying off and on all afternoon which has made his eyes so red.”  She took a step back, gave us the up-and-down and said, “Oh, well no wonder he’s crying.  Poor guy is wearing pink socks!”  Then she did that thing where she pretended to speak as if the baby was speaking: “Why do you make me wear pink socks, mom?!”

I just said, I’m pretty sure that’s not why he’s crying, and walked away.

Anyway, just remember, no matter how many people commend your parenting, it all boils down to what colour your children are wearing.


Four Months

26 Sep

Dear R3

Today you are four months old.  

Life seems to be gradually moving towards a routine of sorts.  Over the past several weeks, you’ve been going to bed around 8pm and waking up for the day at 8am, with two nighttime feedings and three daytime naps.  

For most of the month, your naps followed a one short-one long-one short schedule, but the past week has been a bit frustrating because you wouldn’t nap longer than 20-30 minutes.  This has resulted in an overtired and inconsolable baby at the end of the day, one that is very difficult to relax into bed for the night.  If only I could communicate to you that a well rested baby is a happier baby and a well rested baby sleeps better and longer.  Even if you could understand that, it wouldn’t matter.  In fact none of this will matter because a baby’s schedule change so frequently; your nighttime and daytime routines will be different next month and then the month after that!

You had your two-month doctor’s appointment (delayed about a month because of your early entrance into the world) and you handled your vaccinations like a pro.  As of the appointment mid-September you were 22 inches long and 12.3 pounds.

You’ve discovered your voice and discovered your hands.  When awake and in a good mood, you love to coo and smile and make all kinds of strange little noises (accompanied by furious leg kicks); some of them are even quite loud!  You’re trying desperately to grab objects that come close and sometimes you succeed, but you’re always successful and pulling your hands to your face and you always find your mouth.  Now you don’t like to let a minute go by without digger or thumb sucking.

Last night, on the eve of your four-month birthday, you slept from 9:39pm to 6am.  We were a well rested bunch when we woke up in the morning!  I don’t know if and when this will become a regular occurrence but it was definitely a fabulous surprise!  

In the coming month, we are all hoping for a big belly laugh.  It’s clear that you’re trying to laugh with noises that sound almost like giggles.  Who knew it was so difficult learning to laugh!  Make it happen for us soon, kid!  We can’t wait!

 If you’d like a nifty photo prop like the Star Wars themed signs we’ve been using, you should check out Marie’s Digital Designs!

If you noticed and liked the amazing personalized button-bottomed tshirt my dude is wearing, you might be interested in checking out the art of Merk, a local treasure.  You can’t have a shirt like the pictured one because that is an original piece of merchandise!  But you could find other prints and/or shirts to spruce up your walls and wardrobes.

Whimsical Gifts

23 Sep

My dear creative friend Katie gifted me with three stuffies for my three boys.  I planned to have the big boys welcome their new brother with one of the stuffies and have the two other stuffies as gifts from baby brother.  But when baby brother was whisked to the NICU I pretty much forgot about my whimsical little stuffies.  And almost everything else actually…

Fortunately, stuffies don’t go bad.  They sat quietly in storage until this past weekend when I finally started getting motivated to clean and organize.  Things are flying into donation bags and trash bags around here and I can feel myself getting lighter with each bag that leaves the house.

While trying to tackle the storage room, I finally found the stuffies!

And they were ready to make their debut!  

 Aren’t they amazing?!  The little mushroom is for the baby and the Pirates are for the big boys.  And the Pirates even have removable accessories!  

 You can even see Katie’s pet’s hair on the pirate hat.  That is a special bonus gift!

R1 thought his pirate was cool, though he is past the point where he wants to play with dolls and stuffed toys very often.  

R2 was initially disappointed in the doll because he was hoping for Polly Pockets, for whatever reason.  But now he’s in love with the doll and wants to take it everywhere.  He even pushed it to the school book-fair in a small doll stroller.  

R3 was clueless as to what was happening but I’m sure he’ll grow up to really like his mushroom!

Thanks to Katie, who Eating Dirt readers will recognize from Sew Whimsical by Katie.  Katie is currently reevaluating her business and seeing what direction she wants to take, but she is still up for creating something special for your family!  Visit her page today!

Or you can visit her at the upcoming Valhalla artisan sale:  



16 Sep

I feel like the majority of my parenting duties, since my second child started crawling, have been refereeing fights, squabbles, and ridiculous disagreements.  

From the moment my first child was born, I’ve loved being a mom.  I loved him madly but when his brother started crawling, I had moments when I wondered if motherhood was a mistake.  Was it supposed to be this hard?  Were all three year olds jerks or just mine?

I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it was to be a parent to two; part of the difficulty was rooted in the severe guilt I felt for always being angry at my oldest.  On his own, without his younger brother, he was a dream.  But both together was awful.  Things got a big better, then a bit worse, then better and worse…such is life.  

Now we’re at a point where the two older boys can often play together without fighting.  But there is still so so so much fighting: so much asinine and idiotic fighting.  I hate it.

A few years ago, I snapped what is now one of my favourite photo series because it illustrates my children’s personalities so perfectly.  See, I said it was one of my favourites.  That should encourage me and let me know that around every difficult corner, there is humour and laughter.

Observe: first you have the sweet little trouble-maker who notices that mommy put new lamps along the walkway.  He goes to investigate only to be chastised and chased by his older rule-enforcing-no-nonsense-brother.  In the end, brother fixes what he perceived to be a major breach of protocol!


This type of situation played out so frequently in my home and most often the results were tears, time-outs, and priveleges lost.  

And while I do find humour in past scenarios, my patience wears ever thinner when similar scenarios are still playing out today:

Not enough time has passed for me to find this funny yet.

There were tears and stern words and consoling.  And I told them that if they ever had a physical fight so close to the baby again there would be severe consequences.  

I was trying to get a candid picture of the older boys sitting with the baby but it didn’t really go as planned.  I’m not sure why I didn’t put the camera down and shut it down the minute I could sense it was all going south.  Sometimes you just have to let these things play out.  Yes, most of the time someone is screaming in pain and/or sulking in a corner but maybe this could be the time they resolve their disagreement without parental involvement.  Hasn’t happened yet…

I feel sad and discouraged and I feel bad for R2.  He often can’t tell the difference between when R1 is joking and when he’s seriously pissed. I can sometimes pinpoint the moment when R2’s confusion takes over and his little heart breaks.  Yet he keeps loving his big brother and continues to try and emulate him.

Now I feel guilty because this post paints my oldest child in such a negative light.  He has so many great qualities but I’d be lying if I said his sensitivities and perfectionism weren’t difficult to deal with.  

All I can do is keep being the referee, encourage peaceful conflict resolution, and keep reminding the boys that everybody is different, and that includes brothers in the same house.  

Who knows, perhaps soon I’ll be looking back on today’s outburst and laugh.

Summer in review

6 Sep

While we had more activities planned last year, this summer seemed overwhelmingly busy as we transitioned from a family of four to a family of five.  The fall, winter, and spring had our family in a state of limbo as we all just tried to make it through one day at a time.  I felt like everything was on pause as I tried to keep going through one of the darkest times in my life (I know that sounds melodramatic and ridiculous, but it’s true).  And we made it.  We burst through dreary winter and spring seasons into a new life with a beautiful new son; that’s where our summer began.

Join me in a walk down memory lane. I’m posting this review for my own record-keeping purposes but, of course, it’s available for anyone (family and friends without Facebook) to see.

Summer begins! Welcome little one:  

Most of what we did this summer consisted of this:  

We even ventured outside a few times:  

Farewell to my grandmother:  

Father’s Day:  

Visits with wonderful out-of-town friends:  

Grandpa D came to visit:  

An iconic Canada Day photo:  

 I had a birthday:  

I got some tattoos:  

We tried to juggle bedtime routines with three kids:  

We started indoctrinating the youngest into Radio World:  

Our rats are still around and kicking after a trip to the vet to get treated for mites and lung infection:  

The CLE:  

Busker Fest:  

Rib fest / Car Show:  

A little bit of gardening:  

A first tooth was lost:  

A seventh birthday was celebrated:  

A last day of daycare:  

And a first day of school for TWO boys:  

And we did lots of visiting.  Lots and lots of wonderful people got to hold and cuddle with our sweet baby.  We are so lucky to know so many great people, friends and family, who want to be in our lives and the lives of our children!  



 I’m greatful for all these memories and I’m looking forward to cooler weather, cleaning out the house, and cuddling my baby while the big boys are in school.Happy Autumn!  

The photos aren’t all in order.  But they’re all cute.  Obv.

R2 Says

3 Sep

A collection of some funny/cute/weird things my middle son has said: Summer 2015 edition

Me: And this is where I’m going to have your name tattooed!

Great! And I’m going to stay in love with you! Then I’m going to karate chop cats.


I’m going to have a baby soon!
You’re too young to have a baby.

Well…I’m going to have a baby when I’m bigger.

You don’t have the correct body parts for having a baby.

Well my stomach is going to turn into a uterus and then I will have a baby.

That can’t happen buddy, but when you’re a grown up, you could adopt a baby.

Ok, I’m going to adopt a baby. But I’m going to have a uterus too.


The truck was turning on applecock road. Yes, I said Applecock.


In two months I’m going to be a grown up and have a baby girl named Ruby. And Dr Potestio is going to break my water!


Do you know what I’m doing today?


Loving. Everybody in town!


I’m so proud of you mom. You did a really good job giving me candy!


What’s what smell? It smells like a coffee shop full of butts.


Where’s the remote, man?

Man? I’m not a man…Spider-Man is a man.


I’m not going to sell you, mom. If RJ is mad at you and wants to sell you, I will just take you off the table when we have a yard sale. I would miss you if we sold you.


So you know where the car’s bum is? It’s the gas tank. But I don’t know what a car bum looks like from the inside.

Three Months

27 Aug

Dear R3

Today you are three months old.  

This is such a great age because the awake times are starting to become lengthier between sleeps and the day is starting to be broken up into a schedule with three naps: a shorter morning nap, a longer afternoon nap, and another short evening nap.

You go to sleep “for the night” between 8 and 10pm and wake up two or three times at night before waking up “for the day.”  So far the longest stretch of sleep you’ve locked was six hours.  Technically a six hour stretch of sleep could be considered ‘sleeping through the night’ but it took place between 8pm and 2am.  I’m hopeful that this next month will bring longer sleeps during mine and dad’s sleeping hours.

The end of July – the 31st – brought us a little treasure in the form of your first responsive smile.  This was a smile that happened AFTER we interacted with you and it seemed to be directed at us because you held eye-contact.  It’s always exciting to see the first responsive smiles as well as seeing your eyes focus on ours, two things which have been happening with increasing frequency throughout the month that let us know your personality is emerging.

We’ve also being seeing you respond to different noises around you.  For instance. If daddy comes into the room and says something, you turn your head in search of daddy.  You’re getting good at following the movements of people around you; it’s plain to see that you love staring at your brothers as they run around screeching and playing.

Your biggest discovery this month was your tongue.  You move it around, stick it out, and chew on it constantly.  It’s very cute, even though the baby drool has started.  It won’t be long before the front of all your shirts are completely soaked.

Towards the end of the month, you officially doubled your birth weight by reaching 10 pounds.  I’ve already put dozens of outfits into the ‘too small’ pile.

You’re eating 3 to 4 ounces at feeding times now, which are taking place ever 1 to 2 hours, longer at night.  Your neck is getting stronger and you’re able to push yourself up while on your tummy.  It’s so nice to see you turning into a little person, a little bit more every day!  

Once again, be sure to check out Marie’s Digital Designs for all your photo-prop needs!  I’m loving these Star Wars themed monthly photo props: they are so much fun!

Also, take a closer look at the cute outfit R3 is wearing:  

 You’ll definitely want to visit Sweet Beginnings to check out all the amazing creations.  Meagan is a kindred-geek-spirit and can often make baby clothes according to your geeky desires.

Until next month!  



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