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R3 Says

14 Dec

Long awaited by the masses?

The littlest R has started talking and that means the silliness has begun!

I’m pleased to present the first edition of R3 says!


R: Mommy bug!!!

M: Was there a bug?

R: Yep!

M: Where did it go?

R: Eat.

M: You ate the bug?

R: Yep.

M: Why?

R: Cuz! Bug scare me!!


Me: Don’t eat sand!

R: It’s yummy!

M: It’s not yummy!

R: It’s good!

M: It’s not good!

R: You funny, mommy!


R: (holding the iPad) Mommy face!!!

Siri: I’m sorry, I don’t know your mother. I don’t know you either!


(At naptime) I have a big peee-naaas!


(In the middle of the night, screaming from his room) OPEN DA DOOR!!!


R: Do the piggies, Mommy!!

M: Ok. This little piggie….etc

R: Mommy, the piggies hate you?

M: What??

R: No, I’m just kidding, mommy. It’s only a joke. Don’t worry. The piggie is an evil zombie. I get you a sword.


Me: What’s big brother doing?

R: He’s being a rectangle.


In this hand I have a baby crab. This hand I have a baby octopus.


I’m going downstairs and I’m going to get food. I need hiccups in my tummy.


(Walking to the grocery store in the snow) This is where the moose play!


30 Aug

Dear R1

Today you are 9 years old.


I don’t know how you got to be nine when clearly I myself haven’t aged.  What a mystery!

Your 8th year brought a new school and a new school bus route and the challenge of making new friends.  I was worried about how difficult this would be for you because you already had such a great group of friends at your old school.  I’m pretty thrilled with the kids I’ve met though.  Grade 3 seems to have set a good foundation for the rest of your years at this school.

You struggled a bit with the work this year.  You were trying to learn how to read English and French at the same time; we had some tearful conversations about how you just couldn’t understand what was going on.  It had me questioning whether you should even stay in the French program or whether we should find a tutor.  But we kept trying and kept at it.  

This was the year that the reading really clicked.  You’ve made amazing strides with reading English and the French had improved a lot.  Your math skills seem to be good (I have no idea what you’re doing with the new math) and the teachers say you’re friendly and helpful and very social.  

For a 9 year old, you’re a bit small compared to the other kids.  You’re not very fast or athletic but that’s ok. You’re  funny and sarcastic and clever.  You’re also a know it all and bossy and pretty picky.  

You have a short fuse with middle brother (I’m trying to help you be more patient) but you have a lot of patience with little brother.  You’re so helpful and so good and entertaining little brother; you make him laugh and cuddle him and help him if he gets hurt.  

Your compassion for him helps ease my worries with regards to your impatience with middle brother. And let’s face it, middle brother can be quite trying. 

You’re so interested in Lego and star wars and Minecraft.  The big three.  You’re also pretty obsessed with some game called Clash Royal and now Zelda.  Then let’s not forget Plants vs Zombies and DC and Marvel.

We are gearing up for grade 4 now.  Here’s hoping for more improvement with your French and a bigger mouth (I know, right?) to fit all the adult teeth that keep growing in before the baby teeth fall out.

Here’s hoping for more patience with middle brother and continued growth in your compassion for and understanding of the world around you.  You’re very perceptive and you just “get” almost everything I explain to you.  

In your own words, “The world isn’t divided into black and white, mom!”  No, it certainly isn’t.  I love you so much, my first born, the boy who made me a mother.  I will always love you.

R1 Says

19 Jul

As my oldest passes into a more mature and aware stage of childhood, he’s less likely to say things that prompt me to do a coffee spit-take.

I’ve been writing down his delightful ridiculousness for over six years now.  I started when I was in the hospital after R2’s birth.  R1 came to visit and heard babies crying all over the maternity ward.  With his little mind-wheels turning, he cried, “Kitties!”  

In my hormone addled new-mom brain, I thought it was the cutest thing in the world.  

I used to go back, even months later, to read what I’d written down and laugh until I had tears in my eyes.  

I would print out pages of my silly kid’s utterances and mail them to my brother.  He told me he’d sit in his truck in the post office parking lot, reading the latest from his nephew, just doubled over with laughter and tears pouring down his face.  

I love the image of my very mellow brother sitting alone in his truck and laughing his head off.  He said a woman once knocked on his window while he was laughing to see if he was ok.

Without further ado:

Mom, Dora the Explorer is just so old school!

Today went by so fast I couldn’t even memorize parts of it!


R1: Give mommy some chips, R2.

Me: No thanks, I’ve got heartburn from all the crap I ate this weekend. Not actual crap, but junk food.

R1: Awwww, gross!!

Me: Not real crap, why would I eat real crap?

R1: Because you’re awesome!!


R2: Only Canadians fart!

R1: No. Wrong. People from France fart. People from Syria fart. People from Finland fart. Everybody in the world farts, including Santa Claus.


R1: My scrape is almost healed. No scab left except this little guy.

Me: What do you call that little guy, George?

R1: No mom. George died in the Great War.


In Mario, you don’t actually eat the mushrooms. You smash your face into them.


And this one.  Not adorable and not funny.  Just awesome:

Life isn’t divided into black and white, mom.

My oldest.  

He’s a know-it-all.  He’s bossy.  He thinks he’s one of the parents, uniquivocally ordering the younger boys around.  He finds joy in harassing his more sensitive and dramatic younger brother.  He relentlessly regales any listener with unending tales of Minecraft.

But he’s smart.  He expresses himself well, with an advanced vocabulary he began using at fifteen months of age.  He loves to laugh; we have a similar sense of humour. He is curious and excited.  He likes routines; he values punctuality and reliability.  

He’s starting to see the world in an intelligent and and rational way: he loves to be silly and use his imagination but he understands about hardships and suffering.  He knows people suffer and he knows we can sometimes offer help.  

He doesn’t think twice about seeing two women holding hands; he’s not phased about a little boy wearing a dress.  He knows that colours and toys do not have a gender.  He grew up immersed in the knowledge that everybody is different and differences should be celebrated.

He understands right from wrong but knows that life isn’t divided into black and white.  

Yes, there are so many shades of grey, my son.  I’m here to help you navigate.

My eight year old almost nine year old.  Where did the time go?

Two Years

26 May

Dear R3

Today you are two years old.  

How is that possible?  

So much has happened in your short little life and you’re barely aware of any of it.  

Your life consists of a mom and a dad, two big brothers, two grandparents who love you, and some close friends.  Then there are relatives farther away who love you, but they’re not part of the every day.  You’ll remember who they are soon.  

Friends and play dates and toys and little adventures around the neighbourhood with mom; driving places with dad; going to gramma’s house.  Your world is getting bigger just as you’re getting bigger.  

It’s lovely to watch your eyes light up as you learn something new.  It’s lovely to watch your personality emerge more and more!

It’s been very fun watching you grow bigger over the past year too!

It seemed like, for most of the year, your vocal abilities were stalked on simple words like mama and no.  Over the last couple months it’s like your vocabulary exploded. I’ve been trying to write down your words as I hear them but it’s getting more difficult because there are so many!












Woof woof


Napa (belly button)

Guck-guck -truck

Gucky- duck

Moy – more

Peas – please

Day-doo – thank you

Puppy dough – puppy dog


Where are you?

You ok?





Apple juice


Peety- pretty




Enny- empty 


We’re getting very close to that wonderful stage of childhood development where you can get your kid to repeat funny and naughty words and it’s totally ok because he won’t remember!

You love your brothers so much and are very concerned with where they are at all times.  You know they go somewhere most days and you love going to wait at the bus stop for them after school.  You ask them if they’re ok all the time and where they are.  You laugh at them constantly and your favourite thing to do is be chased by your big brothers.  You have a particularly special bond with your biggest brother because he is far more patient with you!

As you’ve gotten closer to age two, you’ve began showing a bit of frustration and a temper.  If you do t get to grab something you want or run somewhere you want, there are tears; some theatrics.  At this age, however, you’re still pretty easy to distract so the tantrums have been short lived.  I know that’ll change in the next year…

You do like to run, but you also like sitting still.  You love observing your surroundings before deciding to go and make a run for it!

You do like to climb and have even attempted to climb out the windows on the second floor!

February 15th, it was a case of strep throat for you!  Interesting because your oldest brother had strep throat at the same age.

You’re a pretty good eater thankfully.  You don’t seem to have a favourite food that I’ve noticed.  You eat most regular foods fine (nothing too fancy), though you do have a certain fondness for treats and candy.  I think I can thank your big brothers for that…

For the most part, you’re mostly in a good mood.  You’ve always been so smiley and relatively easy going.  It seems, as the third child, you’re just excited to be included in whatever anyone else is doing!

If you would just sleep better at night, life would be perfect!  Hah!  Just kidding!  But life would certainly be easier to deal with if I got more sleep!

But of course I still love you!  My wonderfully mellow man!

Happy Birthday to a wonderful two year old!

Mother’s Day

21 May

Mother’s Day was last Sunday.  I spent an enjoyable day with my kids (and my mom) and felt all the appropriate feelings of love and thankfulness that go along with mothering an adorable group of children.

This Sunday I’m cuddled up in bed watching bad tv, drinking tea, and there are no kids in sight.

Oh, except on my phone of course.  Because what mother spends time away from her kids and doesn’t end up going through the hundreds of adorable pictures she’s taken over the last few weeks?

Yeah, that’s me.

So let’s go on a Mother’s Day Adventure!

This year’s Mother’s Day honestly felt (and feels) so different from last year.

Last year I was scared and stressed and on the verge of tears at all times.  

In May I was hoping my marriage could be saved as it hadn’t ended yet and I was trying to stay postive.  I fluctuated between confidence at one moment and paralyzing heartbreak the next.

This year?  

Well it’s been eleven months of knowing that the marriage is over.  

Last year if asked who the most important person in my life was, I would have answered truthfully that it was my husband.  I always said that my kids came second to my relationship with my husband; that relationship had to come first in order to keep a strong foundation for the kids.  It’s amazing how things change in such a short time.  

I’m certainly not scared or stressed anymore.  The worst that could happen (in this kind of situation) has already happened.  I survived.  

Now it’s these guys; they are the most important.  Look at how lucky I am:

Not everybody wants to be a mother; not everybody can be.  Somehow I ended up being a mother three times over.  

It’s so challenging.  I feel overwhelmed and exhausted constantly.  To be completely and bluntly honest, if I could have looked into my future and seen a divorce after three children, I would not have had three children.  

That’s a thought that causes a lot of guilt.  I’m not a bad person for thinking it though.  I don’t even think it’s bad to put it out there in Internet-Land.  I’ll gladly tell my kids that when they’re old enough to understand how hard it is to be a parent.

But here we are, me and the three.  

I love them madly and they love me.

Little kids get bigger and little problems turn into big problems.  We’ll meet them head on and keep going.


13 Apr

It’s impossible to deny that this past year has been an emotional roller coaster, both for myself and for the children.

My emotions have been up and down (which I’ll probably be writing about very soon) but aside from a few intense meltdowns last spring, I’ve been pretty good at staying calm and channelling my anger and hurt into positive and healing activities.

It’s harder to do that when you’re a kid though.  

R1, as the oldest, is quite logical and routine/rule oriented.  He told me once that he is fine with how life is going right now.  He thinks I’m the best mom in the world and there’s only one thing bad about me: I’m bad because I didn’t want to be married anymore.  

I told him very calmly and truthfully that I did not want my marriage to end.  He said he thought it was my choice and I told him it was not my choice.  I’m not going to lie.  

He accepted that answer because it’s the truth and R1, while in possession of a great imagination, is not prone to magical thinking in the face of life transitions.  A lot of kids engage in magical thinking, for example, if I do this, then mommy and daddy will get back together.

R2, as the middle child, is extremely emotional and feels everything so deeply.  

Several times a week he says to me, “It’s stupid that you aren’t married anymore!” or variations on that theme.  He cries about it pretty frequently and continually asks me when Daddy and I will get married again because he wants us to have another baby.  

Talking to him about this stuff calls for a different approach than it does with R1.  R1 requires basic facts; R2 requires platitudes of undying love and professions that we will all be a family forever.  He begs me to let him live with him forever and ever. Of course I say yes.

R3 is just R3.  He is sad when his daddy leaves the house, but overall he’s pretty happy just to be with his family: a whole bunch of people who love him madly.

Three little boys and three little spirits that need building up and reinforcing.

Yesterday, when the big boys got off the school bus, R2 was crying.  I thought R1 had said something rude to him (as frequently happens) but that wasn’t the case.  

When they got inside the house, R2 painstakingly described to me the horrible scene that had just unfolded on the school bus.  A little boy told R1 that he was stupid and R2 was completely shocked and horrified that someone could possible be so mean to his big brother.  

He said, “So-and-so said R1 was stupid and that made me so angry…BECAUSE I JUST LOVE MY BROTHER SO MUCH!” Followed by a torrent of fresh tears.

R1 and I both told him that it’s important to remember that we are a wonderful family and we are all special and amazing.  Insults from other people are very upsetting but they have no effect on how amazing we are or on our love for one another.”

The tears on his cheeks.  

His sad watery eyes.  

His red little cheeks.  

Such strong emotions about the big issues – like mom and dad’s divorce – and littler issues – like that boy called R1 stupid. 

Do all issues, regardless of size, seem equally huge to R2?  Or does the one big issue (the divorce) make all the littler issues seem even bigger?

He can’t articulate much beyond the fact that he’s sad.  What else can we do beyond continually reiterate our love.  We are a family and we’ll get through the big issues, as well as the little.  

With tears yes, but we will get through.

Disgusting Milestones, take two

31 Mar

Several years ago, I wrote about gross things that will happen to you after you have kids.

No matter how careful you are, or how vigilant you are, you will still get pooped on, peed on, and barfed on.  You will encounter the most disgusting things imaginable and…you won’t care.  

Yes it’s disgusting, but it all comes with the territory.  Pregnancy and childbirth are actually great ways to kick-start the disgusting journey of parenthood.  

If your child is coming to you via adoption or surrogacy, you should do something super gross to prepare yourself for the nastiness of the years ahead.  Like….mud wrestle an octopus or let a hippopotamus spray poop on you.

Let me recap the milestones I wrote about before: 

The first time your baby pukes/spits up all over you


 The first time your baby poops all over you


The first time your baby pees all over you


The first time your baby pees into your mouth


The first time you (accidentally) injure your baby


The first foods splattered all over the walls, floor, and everything else


The first time you trip over a full potty


The first time you stay up all night with a sick kid


The first booger you get handed


The first time your kid wipes his slimy face all over your shirt


The first time you unknowingly leave the house with spit-up running down the back of your shirt


The first time you leave the house with someone else’s poop smeared on your pants


The first time you lick your thumb and wipe your kid’s face in an attempt to remove sticky grime.


The first time your child laughs at you as you step out of the shower


The first time you scoop poop out of the bathtub with your bare hands.


The first time you take a peak down your child’s pants to see if he needs a diaper change and you come away with a handful of shit.

All those things have happened to me.  And I’ve been ok with everything.  Yes, grossed out and annoyed, but mostly ok.  

But one thing actually never happened to me, the grossest of them all!

My first two kids never, not once, took off a full poop diaper.  I anticipated it.  I heard horror stories.  I waited and it never happened.  Praise the lord!

But then today.  Ohhhhhh today.

I put my littlest R into his playpen while I had a shower, as I’ve done hundreds of times.

Who could have forseen the horror that awaited me?  After all, he’d already had two full diapers in the early morning!

When I got out of the shower, I got dressed and brushed my hair then wandered into R3’s room to see how he was doing.  

Alas, he was naked.  

My first thought was, ‘Oh how cute, look at his little butt!  Darn kid knows how to take his pants off now!’

Buuuuut then I saw the tell-tale brown smears on the playpen. Aaaand all over his body.  

And the smell!

You’d better believe he went right into the bath!  He wa in the tub before he knew what was happening!

Was it too much to ask to make it through all three kids without the shitty diaper explorations?

Yes, apparently it was!

Kids are disgusting!