Hayley

Look who’s two!

Also celebrating her birthday in June is little squishy cheeks right here, who despite my best efforts in telling her to stop growing, is now two years old.

Happy birthday sweetheart, but also this is entirely unacceptable.

How did it happen? Clearly this baby needs to work on her instruction-following skills. Right now, I’d rate it a 2/10 if I’m being optimistic. It’s like she’s not even trying.

I would be a lot sadder about this development but as it turns out, two years old happens to be my favourite age so I’m reluctantly allowing it while strongly registering my disapproval – all this growing business is to be halted immediately.

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Two year old Hayley is a dream and I can’t get enough of this baby. She’s sweet and adorable and feisty and funny and perfect in every way.

As an infant, her cuteness level was very high, but I had to pay the price (in the form of sleepless nights and exhaustion and long-suffering) in order to get to the good parts. Remember those days? I do.

But right now, it’s all just good parts and I’m enjoying this phase immensely.

She’s all talky talk non stop these days, which is the cutest thing. For the record, I’m all down for babies learning to use words because it’s been a huge turning point in our relationship. I tried watching those youtube videos on deciphering babies’ cries (THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME!!) but I always had difficulty understanding her very loud and angry high pitched screams. And now that she’s using words that I understand? Yes please!

Like when she’s tired, she announces “I’m very tired, I need to sleep” and I bring her to bed and she sleeps and problem solved. When she wants a snack, she asks for it and I fix her a snack. When she wants some momma lovin’, she yells “KISS ME, MOM!!” and grabs my face for a kiss and I cannot even.

Maybe its all that interaction with her siblings, but she’s got a wonderful sense of humour. She saw Theo trip and fall the other day and started laughing really hard and I was like “Hey, don’t laugh at your brother, falling down is not funny!” and she retorted back with “It’s a bit funny” and okay fair enough, it is a bit funny. Just make sure they’re fine before laughing.

She adores all of them though. Her favourite thing in the world is just to follow them around and be part of their madness. She’s finally big enough to get in on all the action and she’s terribly pleased about it.

One of the benefits of being the baby around here is that she’s got everyone wrapped around her tiny little finger and she knows it. She makes her 3 brothers take turns giving her unicorn rides (on their backs) and bouncy castle rides (on their tummies) and airplane rides (on their feet). Whenever she’s bored, she saunters up to one of them and says, “kor kor Finn, I want sit bouncy castle!!” and he will be like “ok sure!

If it so happens that Finn is busy and replies with “later ok baby? kor kor is reading a book,” she turns on her bambi eyes and says “Pleeeease?? Just small tiny one?” and immediately, her brother will be all “”aarrgghh, ok fine fine come sit here on my tum tum…

Sometimes I think about how close we were to not having this baby and I’m so glad that we did the crazy thing and went for baby #5. :)

Truett

Truett turns 10!

It’s birthday season again, my second favourite time of the year! And we’re kicking it off in style with Truett turning 10.

10, you guys!! This is legit big kid territory now, we’re talking double digits.

I look at this boy all grown up and I’m already starting to feel emotional because he was this tiny baby whom I held to sleep on my chest. And now he’s 10!! Two days ago, he just headed off to his first overnight camp away from me and I missed him more than I thought I would. I mean, for some perspective, there’s less time between now and him leaving for NS than the time I already had with him.

Admittedly, I haven’t really thought much about how it’s going to be like when the kids are all grown up. There could have been some level of denial there because I actively don’t want to think about it seeing how it makes me all teary but I’m here now and okay, it’s not so bad.

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Truett at 10 is such a joy to have around. He’s thoughtful and considerate and witty and just a really fun, easygoing boy.

I like spending time with this kid so much.

For one thing, it’s so easy having a 10 year old in the house. When Truett wakes up, he fixes his own breakfast, eats it and gets himself ready for the day. Some days, he helps to prepare breakfast for his siblings and even nags at them to finish their food.

Watching Truett in big brother mode is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. It’s executed with a mixture of resignation + unbridled exasperation, and in these moments, I feel like we’re developing a real and lasting bond.

Exasperation aside, he really is an incredible big brother, possibly the best one there is. He watches to make sure their fingers don’t get caught in elevator doors, gives them a boost when they need to climb up the bed, and reluctantly offers to share the last bottle of Yakult with them. Sometimes, the babies will ask him to join them in their baby games and he does it with way more enthusiasm than even I could muster on my best day. While he was away at camp, the 3 small kids were constantly asking me “WHERE IS KOR KOR TRUETT?? I MISS HIM SO MUCH, MAKE HIM COME HOME NOW!

He hardly ever gets mad at stuff. He gets bummed when he has his privileges taken away for behavioural infractions but even then, he doesn’t brood or sulk. He just retreats to his room to read his favourite Calvin and Hobbes comic as a temporary distraction. I totally get that. Calvin and Hobbes saw me through some really rough moments as a kid too.

You know how when you talk to your kids, you’re always consciously relating to them as your baby? We’re starting to transit to relating to them as grown up, thoughtful individuals who can hold their own and contribute their perspective, which is remarkably refreshing.

When Truett was an infant, all he needed was for me to hold him and kiss his chubby cheeks and give him milk and clean his poopy diapers. I kind of miss Truett as an infant, he was so squishy and munchable and I spent so many hours inhaling his face.  These days, I still plant kisses on his muscular jawline but the rest of it, he’s like “eww mom, don’t be weird.”

Although he still holds my hand and it’s not because he needs to. He hasn’t needed to hold my hand for several years now but sometimes as we walk, he’ll slip his hand into mine for a few brief moments. Or he’ll casually drape my arm across his shoulders and it always makes me smile.

Happy birthday, Tru! You’re the best kid a mom could ever ask for.

travel

A week in Melbourne

So we finally did it – we brought all 5 of our little ones on an adventure to Melbourne.

When I was planning this, I told the husband that it was nuts to even attempt it and he was like, “yeah it’s definitely nuts but it’s going to be so fun!” and the man has a point. In deciding if one should attempt something crazy in life, always consider how fun the endeavour would be and in this case, totally worth it level of fun.

If there’s one place to attempt a first trip with 5 kids, Melbourne would be it. It’s incredibly kid friendly and everything was very seamless and fuss free.

After a red eye flight in to the city (the two babies slept almost the entire way there), we picked up a minivan from the airport and drove to our Airbnb in Docklands. So far, so good.

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We spent our 6 days in Melbourne doing a lot of this.

Feeding sheep.

Feeding deer.

Holding a bag of food near the deer and making him wait because we know how important it is to take photos of food before eating it.

Walking next to what appears to be the hind legs of a deer.

Feeding camels.

Feeding guinea pigs.

Patting bunnies.

Patting crocodiles. Yeah, no, there’s no way this baby is patting the crocodile even though it’s clearly not a real crocodile. She was all “haha, I’m just going to pretend to want to touch it and then run away because eww so gross.

Patting more bunnies.

Okay why in the world is bunny fur so ridiculously soft?? These kids could pat bunnies all day.

And also just casually standing around looking all dapper next to bunnies; so dapper, in fact, that the dude at the back was shocked like “I had no idea one could look this dapper standing next to a bunny.

Talking to sheep.

Learning to count sheep.

Having to explain to the alpacas why the hay was all gone.

The alpacas weren’t pleased. They were like “there are three of us against the three of you and I like our odds” and the boys were smart enough to make a hasty retreat after a quick discussion. They know not to take on annoyed alpacas unless you’re prepared to get spit in the face. Nobody pfffttss like an alpaca pfffttsss, I mean, these guys know how to make their displeasure known.

Although alpacas are so adorable. Look at that fluffy, cuddly face. I’d risk getting spit on any day.

And this little fawn? It was totally giving me bambi eyes the whole time and I might have thought about bringing it home.

Looking at the kids having so much fun with all the animals was such a treat, and for a brief moment, I considered it. Maybe having a different life, one with wide open spaces and farm animals and bundles of hay and little bunnies. I told the husband about it and as the words were coming out of my mouth, I started to laugh because who am I kidding? I wouldn’t last a week as a farm girl.

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Apart from spending time with all the animals at the farm and the zoo and the parks, we also sat on our favourite steam train, dear old Puffing Billy.

This little daredevil baby loved having her head dangle out of the window as the train was rumbling down the tracks. For days after that, she was still talking about how “Hayley sit train and put the head outside SO FUN!!

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There were also some tree climbing adventures, some museum adventures, some penguin adventures, some playground action adventures, and a little bit of walking around the city but mom this is so boring adventures.

All in all, this trip went as well as we could have hoped, which is to say, very well indeed.

And my most favourite part of all was having a whole week just doing fun stuff together with all these babies and watching them love on each other.