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Daphne

Finn

Happy birthday, Finn!!

Birthday season this year has been very good to us indeed and I’m sad to see it go. When you have 5 babies, one birthday means everyone gets to celebrate so it’s been a lot of celebrating the past 2 months. I’m all for it though, because I’ve always been of the opinion that any kind of celebration is better than no celebration at all.

On that note, Finn is 6 years old and as dreamy as ever.

6 years with this kid and he still has my heart skipping a beat. He makes me smile when the days get rough and he makes being his mom such a treat. Finn is like the secret sauce in this family – he’s unassuming and a little quiet but he’s the one that brings everyone together.

This boy is a classic gamer kid. He loves all kinds of games – PS4, Nintendo Switch, card games, board games and he will get us all together for a game of Monopoly Gamer (his favourite version of Monopoly) or Exploding Kittens or Cluedo. When we have a free evening, the big kids will be like “let’s do movie night” but Finn will always choose game night and I think he’s on to something because game night always ends up being one of the best nights.

Finn’s favourite person in the whole world is Truett, no question about it. It’s not even close. I gave birth to this kid and I’m only a distant second. He loves everything his big brother loves (book bugs are the flavour of the month) and makes it his mission to know everything about it. He would spend hours memorising all the special powers of every book bugs guardian and how to counter their attacks and then discuss it with Tru for many more hours.

He watches the clock for the time Tru comes home from school because that’s his favourite time of the day. “KOR KOR, YOU’RE HOME!!” he’ll run for a hug and Tru will pat him on the head affectionately.

And I’m glad they’re so fond of each other. I’ve seen big kids at the playground who get really annoyed by their younger siblings and be all like “Go away you’re so annoying! Stop following me and doing everything I do” and I want to smack them on the head because it’s a privilege to have your younger siblings adore you like this. Every time Finn looks a Truett, the adoration is all over his face, like “this is the coolest human being I’ve ever met and one day when I grow up, I’m going to be just like him.

With the younger kids, Finn takes his big brother duties very seriously. Theo is still struggling with his phonics so Finn reads to him and makes him repeat all the words, it’s the cutest thing ever. “Say ex-ca-va-tor…okay say ce-ment-mix-er…” and Theo follows along.

He’s also the only one whom Hayley refers to as buddy. When she wakes up in the morning and sees Finn, she yells “BUDDY!!!” and runs to hug him and in turn, he baby talks her even though she’s been out of the baby talk phase a whole year ago.

He’ll say “hey baby, want buddy hug hug? Kor kor carry carry ok?” and I’m like “she’s way past the repeating words phase” but she enjoys being babied so that’s their thing.

Few weeks ago, we were riding in a packed elevator and Finn noticed that this toddler was jabbing her finger in the elevator door while her parents weren’t looking. He tried to gently guide her finger away from the door but she kept jabbing it back and finally when the door opened, her finger got pinched by the door a little but it would have been worse if she had jabbed the whole finger in. The little girl started screaming and Finn was like “I tried to help her but she kept putting it back and I didn’t want to grab her hand because I don’t know her” and that’s just so Finn. He’d be the one keeping a lookout for his younger siblings to make sure they’re not in danger of losing any limbs and telling them gently to stop it but he not the sort to be all up in your business if he can help it. I think Theo would have swiped away the finger with a flying tackle and pinned her down to stop her if he saw it.

//

I can’t imagine a day of not having this kid in my life and I’m so happy that he’s part of this little family.

Hayley

Bionic Baby

I think I’ve sufficiently recovered from the trauma to talk about it, so here goes.

Yeah, this happened.

Poor baby fractured her arm very badly last week and is now Bucky Barnes.

***

Here’s how it went down:

8.00pm

Theo and Hayley go to bed. More accurately, they begin the process of going to bed, which can sometimes last for 2, maybe 3 hours depending on how robust they happen to be feeling that particular evening. It always starts with a nice warm bottle of milk to get them feeling a little sleepy because I’m an optimist.

8.20pm

Hayley turns to her brother and asks sweetly, “kor kor, can I sit unicorn?” Theo’s love for her is deep so the answer to that question is always yes.

What is this unicorn game, you might wonder. Is it a magical gentle calming ride across a rainbow and into the sunset? No. I don’t know what kind of unicorn they have been exposed to but I would describe it as a very angry and violent mechanical bull on steroids. Theo will attempt to throw her off his back (as gently as he possibly can, which is not gentle at all) while she holds on to his ears. I repeatedly tell them that this game isn’t going to end well but these babies don’t ever listen.

Thankfully, nobody gets hurt from this, so they decide to move on to a more exciting game.

8.45pm

They move on to Theo’s favourite game, something called Destroy Enemies. They build a fortress around the perimeter of the bed with pillows + bolsters and proceed to fight imaginary enemies.

Meanwhile, I’m like “You guys need to go to bed. All the enemies have been destroyed, it’s calm and peaceful and it’s time to sleep. Mommy will be on watch duty, I’ll make sure the perimeter is secure” but Theo will not be fooled. He’s all “I need to check…oh wait, I spy some new enemies coming. WE MUST FIGHT THEM.” This goes on for another 20 minutes.

9.15pm

You would think that it’s time for bed after all the enemies have been defeated but that would make my life far too easy. They start throwing their stuffed toys onto the floor and I am appointed the designated toy picker. At first, I refused to be part of this madness because that would only encourage more madness but Hayley was all “please please please mom? My meh-meh will be sad all alone on the floor.”

I tried to be like “well you should really have thought of that before flinging her off the bed” but she flashed me her bambi eyes and with great reluctance, I sighed and went right about my toy picking duties. They clearly thought this was hilarious because they started throwing more and more toys for me to pick.

9.35pm

Next thing I knew, Hayley leaned over too far off the bed to fling a toy and fell off the side of the bed. Instinctively she stretched out her left arm to break the fall and ended up breaking that arm instead. She screamed like I have never heard her scream before. I rushed to pick her up and she managed to get in the words “MY…ARM…HURTS!!

I took one look at her arm and my heart sank is fast and so far I could barely breathe. Her left forearm was bent backwards and it was dangling like a pair of nunchucks. I’ve never been more terrified in my life and this image has been permanently seared into my brain.

I ran to the kids’ room and told the husband “Babe it’s an emergency, we need to bring Hayley to KKH now.” The husband came in, took a look at Hayley’s arm and said “ok yeah that’s broken, let’s bring her in now.

10.o0pm

At KKH, the doctor confirmed that both her radius and ulna on the forearm were fractured and they put her on ketamine before resetting the bones and putting her arm in a cast. It was all very traumatic.

***

These are some of the things I learnt through this ordeal.

1. Broken bones are not fun. But the doctor says that Hayley should make a full recovery and she could go on to be a baseball player if she wanted to.

2. This baby is a badass. After the initial screaming, she took it like a champ. She came home and told her brothers that she has acquired a new super bionic arm with special powers.

3. She will have to be in the cast for 2 months, so that’s 2 months of “MOMMY SCRATCH IT!!” Every night as she goes to bed, she instructs me to scratch the inside of her cast, which I pretend to rub gently and she’s like “DO IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT, MOM. SCRATCH IT SUPER HARD!!” I tell her that scratching is going to make it worse so we compromise and I offer to blow her armpits / upper arm area to ease the itch, which I do remarkably well.

4. Has she learnt not to put herself in danger from now on? That’s a big fat no. She has since attempted to climb the double decker bed + ride the scooter with her single arm and is running everywhere like her giant stump of an arm isn’t even a thing. I seriously don’t know what to do with this baby.

 

Theo

4 and looking fine

We’re almost at the end of birthday season but first, it’s all about this baby bear turning 4!

Let me say straight up that this boy is one of my most favouritest people in the world. He’s got that enthusiastic, endearing all in all the time kind of boyish charm that’s so hard to resist.

He’s super fun to be with too, I mean, this is a kid who knows how to show you a good time.

Theo is the kind of boy who wears his heart on his sleeve. He doesn’t play it cool or dial down his emotions because there’s no need for that sort of thing. If he’s happy, it’s all over his face. Joy will radiate from his eyes and he will break out into the widest grin I have ever seen. Ain’t no one else looks happy like Theo looks happy is what I’m saying.

There’s the full on happy face…

And the I can’t help it my face can’t contain this much joy happy face.

It works the same way when he’s sad. There will be great big tears welling up in his eyes and that sad baby face that goes along with it? This momma can’t handle.

I don’t suppose he’ll do too well at being a super spy or in casinos for that matter seeing that his poker face game is basically zero. But if you’re not planning on a career in espionage or gambling, it’s not a bad way to approach life, not having to ever have to hide how you feel.

He still loves green and all of the slimy animals that are of that color family. I was hoping that would be a phase that he outgrows but if anything, he’s surer than ever of his love for green and gross animals. Every time we go to the library, he heads straight to the non-fiction section to pick out books on frogs and salamanders and newts. And I read them to him over and over because love makes you do crazy things so now I know that frogs lay about 4,000 eggs at a go and also how to identify a golden dart frog (FYI when you see one, you RUN!!).

Okay, the testosterone is strong in this one. He’s a classic boisterous boy whose favourite game is called “DESTROY ENEMIES” wherein the game mechanics work exactly like you’d imagine. In involves identifying enemies and systematically eliminating them with a variety of methods including super turbo nuclear blasters and elemental electro energy forcefield.

He’s the only kid who seems to be actively considering the things I try to teach him. Like 20 minutes after I have a word with him about snatching his sister’s stuff, he comes over to me and says “I’m so sorry mom for grabbing Hayley’s toy earlier. I’m really sorry. I won’t do it next time.” It’s not the kind of flippant apology that you deliver reluctantly because you have to, but one that’s heartfelt and thoughtful and what kind of 4-year-old does this?

And then he’ll go and kiss his baby on the head or hand her another toy just to love on her a little. It’s not to say that there are no more squabbles or fights over toys because it takes time to learn these things but I feel like he’s trying to internalise them.

Theo was always a kid who couldn’t wait to grow up. He was already off running with the big kids trying to fit in once he was stable on his feet, and he talks like he’s several years older than he actually is. He may be #4 in the pecking order around here but it doesn’t stop him from making the most of his big brother status, always being protective of his baby and fussing over her. Whenever we pick him up from school, he’ll start waving at Hayley once he spots her and he’ll tell everyone around him who will listen that Hayley is his baby. Last week, his teacher was amused when she heard it, like “this is your baby??” and he nodded with so much pride. “Yes, Hayley is MY baby,” he said.

Although there’s still the baby side of him that I get glimpses of once from time to time and I live for these moments. He still makes his way to our bed in the middle of the night. I’ll find his baby feet jabbing into my liver at 5 in the morning and he’ll whisper, “I miss you mom, I just want to snuggle with you pleeeease…” and I’ll mumble something like “ok just for a bit” and there it’ll be, that look of absolute delight all over his sleepy baby face.

What he doesn’t know is that I enjoy his morning snuggles as much as he does and I want it to last for as long as possible, which I know from experience isn’t much longer.

Happy birthday, Theo!! I’m so happy I get to be your mom. :)