Friday, February 28, 2014

Never say never

When I said we were done I really did mean it. But then I changed my mind. Luckily Nick was easily persuaded.  

Introducing Ethan Andrew Steeves born January 12th at 431pm. He weighed 8lbs 15oz and was 21.25 inches long.

When we told the kids Oliver was very excited about having another brother and immediately said we should name him Jack. Isaac said we should name him Olivia but when I informed him that was a girls name he decided on Peanut. Peanut evolved to Jack Peanut Angry Bird Steeves which we decided against.

Ethan is now 6 weeks old and the transition has been relatively easy. There has been zero instances of jealousy from either one of the older boys and Isaac especially is completely and totally in love. He loves to tell strangers that he is a big brother AND a little brother and constantly refers to Ethan as HIS baby.

This time we are definitely done. I mean it. Seriously.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dear Mom,

I have always planned to write you a mother's day post but it just never happened. I have even started a couple over the last few of years but life came up and they never got done. Then I killed the blog not thinking at the time that I hadn't yet done that post I'd promised myself would get done this year. So what's a blogger to do but to resuscitated the blog in order to tell the world about her fantastic mom.

We have had our ups and our downs like any mother and daughter. I know growing up I thought you were the strictest, most unfair parent in the world. Calling the parents of my friends who's party I was planning to go to (or at least telling me you were going to), enforcing the insanely early curfew of 1230 am when all my friends could stay out so much later. You will correct me and say, as I've heard many times that it wasn't me that had the curfew but instead it was your car that had to be home. I knew it meant the same thing. You had lots of rules that were meant to keep me out of trouble and I only have one thing to say:


Now that I have kids I hear your voice coming out of my mouth all the time. You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Sooner or later I'll be saying things like "there is nothing you can do after midnight that you can't do before midnight". And while I'm sure the words won't be the same I'm sure some version of "don't let me catch you necking at the Byway" will be heard in our house as well. All you Mom-isms are somewhere in my mommy bag to be pulled out when the time is right. I thank you for them.

I have learned so many lessons about life from you. You've instilled the value of family because in the end, that's all you really have. You have taught me not to take life too seriously and that whimsy is a must. I got my creative mind from you. You've made me believe that I deserve cubby holes and that holding out for them is well worth the wait. You've always been available to listen to me complain, give advice and help with whatever I've needed no matter what. You've forgiven me many times. You've always been someone I enjoy spending time with and not just because you're family. Our family vacations are some of my favorite memories, especially the ones we've had as adults. You are a wonderful Oma to my kids and I'm so happy we live close enough that you are a constant in their lives.

I called you recently with a complaint about  the kids being ungrateful and you laughed at me. You said that I should get used to it because it will take another 30 years before they learn to appreciate what we do for them and that's if I'm lucky. I can understand why you say that. I often realize much too late that I didn't give you appropriate thanks for some little thing, some huge thing or just for your friendship. I feel guilty about that because I always appreciate you, even when I don't say it when I should. I don't know where I'd be without your guidance and love and I am proud to call you Mom and Friend.

So here's to you on Mothers day from a most thankful daughter. I love you very much. And Just like you always say to me... Don't forget to Dance.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The pros and cons of beating a dead blog.

This blog is on life support and is holding on by a thread. Make that 2 threads. The house and the birthday letters. They are really the only things I care to post about anymore. I like the idea of keeping up the house posts as a way to have an album of the changes we've made in the house. It's all in one place. It's not that I couldn't make an album elsewhere it's just this one is already started.

Just like the house pictures, I like having the letters all together in one place. My ultimate plan for the letters is to make a book and give it to the boys on their 18th birthday. Because they started in that format, I enjoy the idea of it being book of blog posts. So why not continue doing them? The issue: My boys deserve to these letters to be unsensored. I have always tried to be honest with anything I post but its natural to make choices on what you say when you know you are posting for the masses. Honesty and full disclosure are two different things. Some things just aren't for public consumption.  I want the memories to be as personal and honest as possible. I also feel that the boys may not want something that intimate splashed all over the internet. Not that they care now but they might in 5 or 10 years when their friends Google them.

My experience as a blogger has been very positive. It was a great way to keep family and friends up to date on our lives when we lived so far away. It's been a baby book of sorts, document the kids first years and I'm glad to have that. Unfortunately I just don't have the time or energy anymore to continue posting on a regular basis. And truth be told, I just don't think my very average, southern life is very interesting. For the important things, I take pictures, I have the photos, I share the photos with the important people and post a few for the masses on Facebook. I think that offers up just the right amount of our lives. I just don't feel the need to share everything anymore.

So I think what's going to happen is this. Babies and Bulldogs (The originial and enduring name) will enjoy the immortality that only internet can offer. I plan to start a new, private blog where I can do the birthday posts in the format I like so much. I may share access to that blog with certain people (if anyones cares) but for the most part it will be family only. When the time is right I'll have someone make a book of those posts and the boys will have an enduring website dedicated just to them. I will continue to post the house photos for my own need of having them here. And you never know, I may write the odd post if the mood strikes me. But I doubt it.

So I want to thank everyone who has followed our lives over the last three and a half years. You've seen my kids grow up and have witnessed our Northern adventure. I thank you for your interest. I also appreciate the friendships I have been privileged to make through the northern bloggin community and know that they will continue long after the blog is gone.

Thank You.

NOW... the blog is dead. Flatline_______________________________________________

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The bedroom

After being here a year I finally decided to give our bedroom a well needed make over. I say well needed but really it wasn't a horrible room. It was just a little beige. Taupe I guess but it's all the same to me. You'll know by now I like to live in technicolor and most of our rooms are in big bold color. One of the reason I hadn't painted until now was because I really didn't know what I wanted. I've been looking for about 10 months for the perfect duvet cover to build the room around and although I found many I liked, Nick exercised his veto on almost everything I chose. I finally gave up and went with something plain and decided to make the room the statement piece and not the cover.

The other reason was time. Between work, Nick's shift work and the kids getting in the way I just didn't want to get in to a major project. The perfect opportunity came when Nick took the kids to Florida for 3 weeks and I had the house for myself for 2 of those weeks. I got to go down for a week and loved the time but my temporary bachelor life was a nice treat as well. With nobody to get in my way but the dog, I got it done.

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out. I still have to get the bed skirt on the bed which I own but just haven't bothered with. I also need to come up with some other decor or furniture to fill in the space around the bed. That will call come in time. I have no idea what I want and don't have the money to make any major purchases at this time anyway. I feel the room is sexy and cozy at the same time and I love being in there now. Oprah once said your bedroom should be your sanctuary and I feel like I'm alot closer to that now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Oliver v 4.0

Dear Oliver,

Four years from this moment you came in to the world, early and on your own terms. I should have known then that you’d be a handful. I often say the person who coined the twos as terrible had clearly not lived through the threes yet. If I’m completely honest, much of this year was a challenge as you pushed your boundaries and tested our patience. When I’m at my wits end I think of what your Oma  once told me. She told me that when kids turn 4 they turn in to lovely little people. I’ve held on to that and I’m thrilled to say that in the last few weeks I feel like she might be right. You’ve been just delicious lately and I hope we see this side of you more and more as the year goes on.
This year has brought so many changes in your life. You were thrown from our quiet, isolated life in Nunavut to a world where you’ve had to navigate all new social situations. You’ve found your place among our extended family. Isaac, Erik and yourself have become the best of friends and you love spending days at Courtney’s, Oma’s and Grammy's. You've also adjusted from being at home with me to going to a babysitter and to Preschool 3 days a week. You seem to be thriving and we’ve seen so many positive changes brought on by the additional stimulation and structure that going to school brings to your life. I love hearing about what you've learned at the end of the day. And I really enjoy you singing me songs your songs. And of course, you never sing without doing a silly dance along with it. It's just the way you roll.
You are growing up to be a wonderful young man I can be proud of. People always comment on how polite you are and how you are very considerate and kind to other people. You wear your heart on your sleeve and that heart is huge. You aren’t shy to tell people you love them or will miss them sooooo much. I'm happy to say that you are also very, very smart. You love to see how things work and still have that love of pushing buttons to see what happens. You are forever surprising us with how your brain works. You seem to be 3 steps ahead of us most time and know how to work things to your advantage. I see your father in how your brain works and I’m already dreading your teenage years. It will certainly be interesting.
Through all the ups and downs you always keep us laughing. Whether it was a memorable quote or you just being the silly guy you are you can always bring a smile to our faces. Some of my favorite quotes of the year are:
-I’m a pizza eater and this is my pizza eater costume!
-(after farting in the tub) No mommy, you don’t have to say 'excuse me' if there’s bubbles.
-Get Tank out of here! He’s freakin’ me out!
-I’m all dressed and I look fantastic!
-See you at my house Santa! Don’t forget to be quick and bring Super Mario 10 with you!
-I’m sweet.... and sour.
-When I turn 8 I’m going to get boobs like yours.
-“what’s going on?” Said on the Scrambler while laughing insanely.

 Some things I want you to know about your self-
-You have a mad obsession with Mario Brothers and insist that we call you Mario. Isaac is Luigi and you call Dad Yoshi. And me, you call me Princess and I love it.
-You have learned to write your name and your letters.
-Your favorite friend at school is Brooklyn and her mom tells me she feels the same way.
-Your favorite colors are green and orange.
-Your favorite food is pigs in a blanket.
-Your favorite toys (other than the Wii) are Hot Wheels cars.
-Your snuggles are the still the best.
So here’s to you O-Boy.

Happy Birthday
I love you

Love Mom


Friday, December 7, 2012

All things Santa

I know, I know... it's been forever since I've posted here. I'm just busy. Busy with work, kids, family, and living life. I've managed to finish my Christmas shopping before December 1st which is always my goal and am only left with a mountain of wrapping to do.

The kids are lots of fun this year because they are just that much older. Oliver is totally aware of Santa and all the fun that goes along with that. We did the obligatory visit with the big red man at the mall and I was pleased that Isaac didn't cry. Oliver talked his ear off with talk of the Mario Brothers 10 game he wants for the Wii and didn't want to leave. We left with a call of 'By Santa! See you at my house!!' as we walked away.

A couple weeks later we went to the Santa Clause Parade. I love a parade as you all know and I was excited that the kids got to see their first real southern parade.I knew the postal workers would be leading Santa's float so we got the kids to write their first letters to Santa

I'm so proud of Oliver's letter. He wrote every word himself, all I had to do was tell him what letters to write. I kept the real letters and stuffed the envelopes with ones I'd written because I wanted to keep the originals for their memory boxes.

Now Santa needs to get that wrapping done....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From now on, I'm in there!

I read an article last week that made made an impact like nothing has in a long while. I'm sure many of you have seen it being shared around Facebook. It's an entry at The Huffington Post by freelance writer Allison Tate called 'The Mom Stays in the Picture.' Allison writes about being at a family event where her son begged her to take photos with him in the photo booth. She didn't want to because she was not at her best, still holding on to some baby weight. Not dressed in her cute clothes. She goes on to talk about how so many moms avoid being in photos preferring to take them instead. She makes a case on why we should be getting in the pictures because our kids will value those pictures when we're old and gone. This is a crude summary and doesn't do her beautiful words justice but you get the gist. Her account is moving and had me in some serious tears reading it. If you haven't already, take a few minutes and read it yourself.

I really connected with her message because I am one of those woman who have very few pictures with the kids. Look back at this blog. It's not very often you see pictures of me, especially in the last year or so. When I do ask someone else to take the camera for a change I end up deleting their efforts 99% of the time. I just can't stand the sight of myself,  I couldn't care less about whether I'm wearing cute clothes, or if my hair is done. For me it's all about the weight. I've talked about it before when things were going well. I've posted about my good intentions earlier this year. Unfortunately, that and a couple other well meaning tries have ended in miserable defeat and a few more pounds. I just can't seem to get myself together and photos just show me how far away I've ended up from where I want to be. Reading Allison's words makes me realise that I'm being very selfish. Like she says, the kids don't look at me and see me as their FAT mommy, I'm just Mommy. The woman who snuggles them at bedtime. The woman who dances with them anywhere they feel like dancing. The woman who loves them for just who they are. So maybe I should give myself the same courtesy.  Not that being overweight  obese is a good choice, and I still want to fix that one big negative in my life but in the meantime this mom is going to get in the picture and stay there. I don't care how fat I think I look, how many chins you can see. I'm going to be in that picture.

In honor of Allison and my kids, I created my own photo booth like shoot. We had fun and I got some good shots. And I don't hate any of them. I look happy. My kids are smiling. That's what I want them to see when they look back when I'm gone.