Gift Worthy Storytime Titles

Reading stories when you can still both fit on one chair and curl up in a blanket is one of my favourite parts about being a Mom.  Nothing beats it.  I loved story time as a child. I still have many of my favourite books stored in a treasured antique bookcase; titles from Richard Scary to Laura Ingles Wilder.  I read them to my kids, telling them about how their Grandma used to read them to me.  I love sharing my favourites with them.

In our attempts to make these little kids become avid and independent readers, sadly as they grow up, story time suddenly shifts to reading time, which is often a solo pursuit.  I miss those cozy bedtime stories with my big kids.  And it wasn’t really that long ago that they were the ones cuddled up with me reading Goodnight Moon and The Cat in the Hat.  The nice thing about having more children is that you really know how fleeting these cherished moments like story time are before they pass you by.  You relish in them even a bit more with that truth in your back pocket.  In our house, bedtime stories are an essential part of the bedtime routine, not just a really nice and preferable option.  Often now our big kids just happen to show up at story time with the Littles.  They crowd in around the old favourite book and relish in its memories for them.  I love when they do that.  So do their little brother and sister.

It is amazing to me that no matter how many times I read a particular book to one of my kids, that they will notice something new or have a different question about the characters or the story or the pictures than they did just a week before.  It is completely fascinating to me.  I honestly never tire of reading, or reciting, the same words over and over again.  This is what happens when you have tons of children.  You really do recite words by heart and do so often with the lights off, after a middle of the night waking requires a story to get back to sleep.

Here are some of our favourites; the ones you have to have in your collection as a new Mom.  Or the ones you need to replace if you are an experienced Mom like me and the spines are coming unglued with so much wear and tear.

These are the ones to give as gifts.  They are keepers.  I really tried to do a top 10.  I had massive protest from the kids.  They prohibited me from eliminating any of these.   So here is the complete and unabridged list.

Best Story Time Reads for the Wee Little Kids

  1. Goodnight Moon
  2. The Big Red Barn
  3. Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
  4. Birthday Monsters
  5. Hello Baby
  6. But Not the Hippopotamus
  7. Where the Wild Things Are
  8. Time for Bed
  9. Someday (This one gets me all teary eyed.  I’m not gonna lie….)
  10. Spot Loves His Mommy
  11. Where’s Spot – a peek-a-boo book my kids love
  12. Dr Seuss titles – The Cat in the Hat / Green Eggs and Ham / Oh the Places You’ll Go/ Hand Hand Fingers Thumb
  13. Mommy’s Best Kisses

Fave Book Titles for the Not Quite as Wee Preschoolers…and well beyond

  1. Widget
  2. Sadie and the Snowman
  3. Don’t Forget to Come Back
  4. Farley Follows his Nose
  5. Officer Buckle and Gloria
  6. Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type
  7. How Does a Dinosaur series:  How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight? /Say I Love you? / Eat his Food
  8. The Kissing Hand
  9. I Love you Forever – Robert Munsch *This book was written for Munsch’s stillborn child.  I loved it before, but even moreso now.
  10. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  11. Corduroy
  12. The Pokey Little Puppy
  13. The Boy and the Tiger
  14. Don’t Forget to Come Back
  15. Charlie’s Superhero Underpants – one of our all time top faves
  16. Slinky Malinky
  17. Bark George
  18. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share
  19. The Story of Dog – great bold illustrations and delightful concept
  20. Two Little Pirates
  21. Some Dads
  22. You are Special – Max Lucado (A favourite of ours to give for a christening or baptism gift)
  23. Charlie Anderson – great one about a well loved cat which gently introduces different family configurations
  24. I Love You Little Monkey
  25. I Love You Stinky Face
  26. Little Owl
  27. The Biggest Thing in the Ocean
  28. The Boy Who Loved Bananas
  29. The Velveteen Rabbit
  30. my old worn copy of Tibor Gergely’s Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories

Now I read bedtime stories to my little ones, and after they are settled, I climb into bed with my big boys and read to them from a chapter book we chose together.  We finished Stuart Little and are now reading Freaky Friday.  What a blast from the past!  I think the Hobbit might be voted in next.

I guess I just can’t let story time go yet, no matter what the ages of my kids.

Feel free to add your favourite titles in the comments section.  I am always looking for new stories to add to our collection!


My Very Own Midlife Crisis

Last year marked the start of my very own midlife crisis.  It started, as I describe in my post, on the cusp of the big scary birthday.  I was 38 going on 100 weeks pregnant, as sick as a dog, out of breath and very overwhelmed.

I was expecting my fifth child, and about to embark on another leave of absence from my job which, I was reminded by a senior colleague, was going to have a pretty negative impact on my team. In other words, support for my impending maternity leave was reluctant.  My manager had been given the orders to juggle my clinical duties to exclude my research project, meaning I would have to pursue that endeavour on my own time; clearly a sub optimal arrangement for my work-life balance.  Basically, my career at my current workplace was taking a turn in a direction I didn’t like at all.

My son was having a terrible year at school. Watching him struggle but still put on a brave face each morning and muscle his way through the day, was really tough.  He wasn’t sleeping, had developed anxiety and said that he felt stupid every single day.  His confidence was in the toilet.  We picked up the pieces every day when he returned from school, doing the dance between psychologist and cheerleader, trying to reinforce that he was bright and capable, offer some coping strategies and then help him get through his homework.  Between this dance, parenting other children at the same time, and managing the situation with the school for countless hours each week, I was very stressed and exhausted.

I didn’t feel like celebrating much as I turned the big 4-0. We decided to wait to plan a big to-do until later.  Later meant after the baby came and I felt more human.  In 2 weeks, I would be receiving the very best birthday gift in the whole world anyway.  I had been anticipating that gift for 9 months!  No birthday party could beat that!  The pregnancy had been hard the whole way through.  I had been sick and unwell the whole time.  I often said that I felt like I had been working really hard for this baby.

So at 40 weeks, I asked my doctors to induce.  I might have even begged.  I told them something seemed unusually hard and that I had never felt this way before.  I needed the baby out and I needed it to do it quickly.  They calmly reminded me that there was no clinical reason to induce me.  Being exhausted was just the way it was and that given the number of kids I was already parenting, as much could be expected.  I insisted that I needed to get on with it.  Then my physician looked at my chart, and exclaimed, “Ah!  You just had a birthday!  Normally we wouldn’t induce you as you are only just past 40 weeks pregnant, but you are 40 now.  The risk of stillbirth goes up significantly at that age.  Now we have a reason to induce.”

Now that’s foreshadowing.  They scheduled the induction for 24 hours later.

Then it happened; the sucker punch out of nowhere.    The day before I was going to be induced, Samuel’s heart stopped beating.

My baby boy dying was simply the final straw.  I am quite sure that some type of midlife crisis was already well underway, but the death of my beautiful baby boy really was like gasoline to fire.  I hated 40 more than I have ever hated a birthday or an age ever.   The entire past year, I have turned down every offer from everyone to celebrate it belatedly, over and over again.  “I don’t want to celebrate this stupid birthday.” I have said each time.  “There is nothing about 40 that is worth celebrating.” “I hate 40.” So we didn’t do anything.

But over the past week, I have suddenly felt like I should have done something.  After all, you only turn 40 once!  I started to regret that I let the whole year go by without doing any particular thing which would mark the occasion with some significance.  In the twilight of this milestone year, I realized that what had most certainly started out as the year I thought I would never survive, the year I have hated the most out of any other of my life thus far, and had become the year that I survived.

 I survived.

I made it through. I am still standing!  And I think maybe I am even standing straighter and taller and with more grace and faith than ever before.  All of the challenges, the stress, the grief, and the heart crushing pain were superseded.  They were transformed by strength and love, support and friendship and lots of prayer, reconstituting the rubble that I stood in the midst of into a brand new version of me. This rendition looks much different than last year’s version.

There is an obvious scar that I don’t hide.  I let it show.    And I give the cause of that scar a voice.  The silence of stillbirth makes me crazy. So I am not silent.

I am fiercely proud of my family.  My children are quite simply the light of my life.  And though no one will ever know my Samuel like I did, they will know his name, and his story. It is my story!  It is our family’s story.  And I am unfazed by those for whom this is uncomfortable.  Their discomfort may have given me pause before.  Now it gives me the words I write here.  My creativity has seen its rebirth because of them.

In this new version of me, I am clearer about what I want and what I don’t.  Much of this is different than it was before.  I don’t apologize for that.  I would have done before.

I experienced other unexpected losses this year in addition to my son.  Certain relationships ended because I finally stopped fighting for them. They were unhealthy and just didn’t work.  I have completely let them go, without reserving hope for their future.  I don’t hold onto “maybe one day…..” anymore.  Enough is enough. This has been a difficult and painful process, but it has been necessary.   I feel free and more peaceful since.

I am kinder to myself and more protective. Sometimes that means I am less kind to others, and less open.  I am less forgiving in some ways, but more tolerant.  I am indifferent to more things which don’t concern me, as my energy is more focused on what does.  I am still courageous and as always a fighter, but now I pick my fights more judiciously.  But may the good Lord help you if I bring that fight to your door.

I have allowed myself to become important to me again.  I learned how to let myself weigh back into the equation of my life.  I had been last on my own priority list for so long, I had fallen off of the bottom.  Sadly, this didn’t even bother me that much!  Now, I have a workout appointment almost every day with myself.  I don’t cancel.  I get more sleep.  I remember to take a snack for me, not just my kids.  I go out more with my friends, and I have hobbies that I actually pursue, not just remember pursuing.

Thank you little miss 40.  I am not scared of you anymore.  I don’t hate you anymore.  The journey of discovery I took along your road has been affirming. You marked the launching of a new part of my life in a new version of me, whom I am still just getting to know.  Sometimes living within this new skin feels uncomfortable, like a pair of new shoes which have not been completely broken in, but it is who I am now.  And the evolution is worth celebrating.


Top Three Things Which are Impossible to Teach Kids

A few things must be noted before I go on.

1)  I confess that this list is biased based upon some of my own recent frustrations.

2)  This is not a complete list by any stretch.  These are just a few little things which make the day to day round exponentially harder or easier depending on;

     a) How many of the things on the list you are attempting to accomplish and,

     b)  How many small ones you have currently battling to learn any of the items listed.

The Top Three Things Which are Impossible to Teach Kids:

1.  Putting on mittens.  (This could also be on Top Three Most Frustrating Things to Teach Kids list)

Gloves are even worse.  I have collapsed, close to tears on many a walking path in winter trying to get a glove on my baby/toddler/preschooler for the umpteenth time.    You just get each tiny little finger lined up with each finger in the glove, and push…….the thumb never seems to make it! You’d think I’d have figured out a foolproof system for this, given the number of kids I have.  But nope!  No system here.  I have no advice for new parents on this front.  But I have become a master at cursing imperceptibly through pursed lips while putting on said gloves/mittens.  I could offer excellent lessons in the art of that!

My big boys were five before this task became somewhat less painful.  My youngest could do it when she was two years old.  Yet, I did nothing different. They get it when they get it.

2.  Blowing their nose.

This one is impossible to teach I have decided.  I have tried demonstrating the in vs. out technique, prompted them to “blow out like an elephant,” which has obvious associated risks for the young observer, and even cued them to “Sniff like you are smelling a flower, and oops you sniffed up a bee!  Now snort it out.”  Nothing. They sniff it up or blow out with their mouths. (Although, how cute is that?) The snot battle wages on.

They just get it when they get it.  One day, suddenly instead of wiping endless snot all over their faces and the backs of their hands, they are blowing it into a tissue.


3.  Toilet training

Currently, I am sitting in my bathroom, barricading my little one in here with me and giving her the perceived “choice” of potty or toilet.  I have told her we are not leaving until she makes a decent effort to be productive on either one.  We have been here for 15 minutes and counting.

My second child was fully capable of toileting at 16 months.  I’m serious.  I did nothing special to achieve this.  He was ready and so he did it.  With this little monkey, I have bribed – no, ‘provided incentives’, from Dairy Milk Chocolate Buttons and Smarties, to coveted comfort items, etc. etc., but she is my most resistant yet.  She has switched between the potty and toilet now 5 times, and nothing.  Arrrgggh.  So much for the whole “girls are easier than boys to toilet train” theory.

And yes, yes I have read THAT book with the title which promises your child will be trained in a weekend.  Oh yes, and the other one which promises five days until certain victory.  Got them all right here.

If there is anything that having kids teaches you, is that there is not one formula that works for every child, and that is isn’t always about you being an ineffective parent or not having availed yourself of the ample resources about any number of pressing parenting concerns which come with the turf.  The more kids we have, the more I know this is an absolute truth.

Certain milestones are just difficult until suddenly, they aren’t.  That is just the nature of these little beasts.  And just when you think you have figured that one key thing out, and assume with oh-so-much confidence, that you will be ever-so-prepared for the next child you take through that particular stage of development, they play with your mind.  That next child has no trouble with that particular skill, the same one you went to painstaking efforts to teach the previous kid.  It will be a different task that they just won’t be able to do as easily as the other child.

Case in point:  I am still with my daughter in the bathroom.  We are now on minute twenty………

It’s a good thing I love chocolate buttons.

Family Fun at the Pool

At the wave pool on the weekend something happened that epitomizes the reason that I feel all too often, extreme disgust for the general public, and why I have avoided such “fun family experiences” such as this one, for years.  Stuff like this is the bane of my existence.  I think it also offers a reasonable explanation for what has perhaps happened to “those kids” who then become “those youth” who display a total lack of social responsibility and decorum, and consequently evolve to become the obnoxious adults who then exhibit rude and  inappropriate public behaviour.  I wager a bet that most of those repulsive acts could be traced back to a situation just like this one.

My friend watched a little boy who must have been at least four years old, in other words certainly old enough to know better, tell his auntie who had been supervising him, that he needed to go to the bathroom.  He was jumping around a bit and things were looking fairly urgent.  The washrooms were down a cold and overly airconditioned corridor which was more than ten steps away, but they weren’t for example, on the other side of the parking lot.  Nope, just maybe 20 metres from where they were standing.  “Really???” she asked.  “You have to pee?”  “Yes,” he nodded his head emphatically, “I need to pee.  Can you take me?”  This woman didn’t even look around to see if anyone was listening.  She glanced down the corridor, sighed exasperatedly, and said, “Oh just go in the pool.  Right there.”  The little boy looked at her and hesitated.  He didn’t want to, but it was obvious the aunt wasn’t going with him and the child didn’t want to go alone.  He walked slowly to the kiddie pool, sheepishly sat down in the water, and relieved himself in the company of at least forty other kids and their parents.  I am not kidding.

I wish I had witnessed this.  If I had, I would have given this idiot a piece of my mind.  I would have asked the woman if she was for real?  I would have asked what in the hell was wrong with her that she would not only suggest but condone that this behaviour? Kids learn in tots swimming lessons that peeing in the pool isn’t allowed! It is literally one of the very first things they are taught.  This is a well known socially accepted norm, or so I thought. I would have indicated that peeing in the pool is a public health violation and then would have asked her what exactly she was trying to teach her nephew?

Would her lesson of choice have been that laziness is most certainly a reason to NOT do the sanitary thing, like use the toilet?  That rules are only there if you have the inclination to follow them, but that if you don’t really feel like going to the trouble say of getting a little chilly and walking a few more steps to the toilet than is convenient for you, then what the heck, the rules go out the window.  Then peeing in the pool is ok?  News flash lady – this isn’t really an ‘at your discretion’ kind of thing! 

Or maybe the wisdom she was trying to convey is that public property is yours to do what you want with.  It is there to serve your purpose and you can treat it anyway you like.  Treat it like your garbage dump, your toilet, whatever serves your immediate need, because hell, it isn’t YOUR place.  It’s not your job to keep it clean or sanitary for everyone to use.  That friends, is somebody else’s problem.  But not yours.  No way. That could be it!  If she had been trying to teach the boy that, then she did a good job.

The unequivocal message she did deliver to her nephew that day, was that consequences only count if you get caught.  If there isn’t someone offical standing over us and ensuring the rules are adhered to, then it is ok to break them. Strangely enough, this boy was not asking if he could go in the pool.  Funny isn’t it, that even at his young age, he had no question about where it was he should empty his bladder?  He knew to go pee in the toilet, where pee belongs.  He seemed uncomfortable with the idea.  Why didn’t his aunt?

Fast forward ten years from now when this kid is tossing his cola can onto the playground, pissing on your back fence, or simply being overly loud or rude on public transit. Or maybe he’s the kid who is just too busy with his iphone, pod and pad in between tweeting and twitting to notice anyone at all, including the elderly person who could use his seat at the bus stop or the clerk at the 7 Eleven whom he hasn’t bothered to address as he pays for his slushy.  These acts aren’t all criminal, but most are examples of behaviours that just aren’t considerate or polite.  They aren’t admirable.  And they certainly do not exemplify anything I want my kids to model. Maybe all of this crappy behaviour could be traced back to this precise moment, when an adult this innocent child looked up to was supposed to reinforce the right thing to do.  Every time.  And because she didn’t, this otherwise good kid hasn’t got much of a hope for success or happiness!

Ok, maybe I am putting a bit too much emphasis on this as the TSN turning point of this little guy’s life.  I am sure it won’t be.  But it is sad that in this moment, he wasn’t provided the opportunity to learn that his behaviour and attitude matter.  On the other hand maybe this little boy will grow up to think his aunt was an idiot that day and will actually save the world. Who knows?  I sure as hell hope he is otherwise surrounded by people who think that he deserves better guidance than his aunt did.

Good luck to you little man.  You know the right thing to do.  Now go and do it.

“So…..are you back at work?” and other comments which drive me crazy

I swore I wouldn’t publish a rant post.  Really, I did.  Yet the material is just so abundant, that I am giving in to the familiar urge to just “get it out on paper”.  I need to release it – the rant – from its confines in my brain where is only serving to pollute my usually positive and glass half full, (albeit battered at the moment) self.  Perhaps this little commentary on things one should not say, will serve to gently educate the usually well-meaning general public, friends and family about what  grieving parents often experience in the aftermath of the loss of their child.  Ok, yes,  I am totally justifying my rant post as educational.  So, as long as I might be doing a bit of public good…….here I go!!

1.  “So………..are you back at work?”

This question drives me crazy.  I have been asked this question about 8 times over the span of a few days recently, which makes me realize that I have now passed a  certain undetermined milestone in the eyes of many which leads them to believe that this question is natural and not offensive.  The trouble is, when the onslaught of this question started, I re-engaged in a long series of sleepless nights again, just considering that this is what I “should” be doing.  I love my work and am quite grateful to have a career that gives me a sense of accomplishment in addition to a decent paycheck.  But right now, I absolutely have no desire to be there.  I don’t care about work, and unequivocally do not want to be there.  I just don’t have the energy or focus or concentration.  In a word, I am not ready to go back yet.

I totally get the question though.  It is a signal that the person asking it likely does not realize the length of time a mother losing her baby may need to fully recover.  They couldn’t possibly understand the roller coaster process of grief that you are trying to allow for whilst being a parent too.  They have no idea that although from the outside, your life looks exactly like it did before your baby died, that in reality your life has changed profoundly.  In fact, YOU have changed profoundly.   And while you are busy trying to just put the pieces back together, you are also trying to redefine what those pieces even ARE.  Counsellors call this “finding your new normal”.  The less offensive question or comment regarding work could just simply be “How are you doing?  It is good that you are able to take some time off from work to heal.”

One aspect of finding your new normal is redefining your family.  One assumes that this would be easy in our case.  We planned to have four children close together.  Then we had four children close together.  Then we were done having kids.  Everyone knew it.  I unabashedly gave away clothes and baby things, happy to pass them on to those friends of mine entering this delicious but exhausting stage of life.  I was sad to be finished having babies, but knew we were ready to move forward from this time of our life.

Then we got pregnant with our little Samuel.  He took us by surprise, completely.  He was a miracle, even breaking through all contraceptive barriers and showing us that our lives weren’t really totally in our control.  From the start, he showed us how to surrender to that fact and embrace the bend in our road with gratitude.  So we did.  Joyfully.  We were delighted that a new baby would join us, but after this I felt we couldn’t continue to risk having more kids.  My body had been through so much in 8 years with 5 pregnancies and an early miscarriage as well.  I was physically exhausted.  In January, my hubby booked the procedure.  I was relieved.  After our bonus baby came, we would be DONE….again.

Then, a week before my husband was scheduled for the vasectomy, I had a really random thought.  “Maybe we shouldn’t do it.  What if something happens?” The thought hit me like it wasn’t mine… it just landed in my mind and kind of smacked me sideways a bit.  I was alarmed by it.  I quickly dismissed it as weird but maybe normal.  My husband, begrudgingly, had the procedure. Then my due date came and went.  My body did not seem to want to go into labour despite two cervical rimmings and as much activity as I could manage.  I felt so depleted.  I didn’t feel the way I did close to my other deliveries.  I told my husband that I was worried because it felt like the baby didn’t want to come.  Something just felt different.  Everything looked normal, nothing was clinically a red flag, but the truth is, I felt different.

Then Samuel died.  Our worlds came crashing down with his loss.  This was like the sucker punch in a boxing match of a lifetime; the KO that you don’t see coming.  This one did it.  This has been the only time in my entire life that I thought I might not make it through something.  How does anyone make it through this? Somehow though, we are making it through, bit by painful bit.  The roller coaster of redefining our family over and over was about to hit a new low.  What now?

Well, now I don’t feel DONE anymore.  I would love to have another child.  I will wait for a few more months to see if I still feel the same as time moves along and as I work through my grief.  But it is complicated now for a number of reasons.

1. My husband is happy to be finished having babies, although to his total credit, he is willing to discuss it.

2.  I am now 40.  This is not the age at which I would have thought that I would want to have another baby much less be seriously considering it.

3.  Having another baby would mean another surgery, one which costs money even here in Canada.  It is not like they tell you this when they give you the snip, but that is a whole other rant!  This leads me to the next comment that I despise with everything in me.

2.  “You know, having another baby will not bring Samuel back……”

This is likely the stupidest thing anyone could ever think would be helpful.

“Nooooooo Wayyyyyy!!!!!!?”   I want to say.  “You are KIDDING!??  Here the whole time I have just thought I could just get pregnant, and he would just jump right back in there.  I am so totally grateful that you have enlightened me to how this works.”

This is of course my internal monologue.  I respond in a kinder and much more appropriate way, but sometimes I wonder why I have spared this person the truth of knowing how this suggestion affects me and likely most other women wrestling with the same question.  Having a rainbow baby as they are called; that is a baby born after a loss, can be a very healing and hopeful experience.  The urge to create new life is quite a natural and positive one in many cases.  It is also a very personal decision, and one that no one, no matter how close they are to the grieving mother, should adjudicate at all.  Ask questions, yes.  Be there to listen, yes.  Say comment #2,  never.

So there it is, my educational rant.  Ahhhhhh.  I feel much better having written that off my chest.  I hope that this post might provide some insight into why it is my cheeks and ears sometimes flush in frustration at certain well intended and seemingly benign comments, and why at times, I seem to shift into a darker mood quite abruptly.  Perhaps I have  written the words that others in similar shoes might be experiencing too.  Regardless, I know that I feel better just getting it out there.

Thank you for listening.

Our happy circus

As I sit down to start this blog, I am interrupted 6 times before I have even completed this sentence.  No joke.  I am pretty sure any future entry will be no different for a very, very long time.  I am the mother of four awesome kids aged 8, 6, 3 and 2, and am about to give birth to our fifth bundle of joy any time now; hence the name of my blog, Five under 8.  At this point, my husband has known me longer pregnant than not, and I have more “transitional” pieces in my wardrobe than any garment I could identify with for longer than a month or two.  Admittedly, I am one of THOSE annoying women who actually enjoys being pregnant and even manages to feel beautiful through most of it, although I have finally reached the point where I can say that I am absolutely and unequivocally DONE.  I am tired of being pregnant, out of breath, and uncomfortable. I am excited to be beyond the stage of producing these little humans, and be entirely devoted to raising these little humans.

We had always planned on a largish family, and wanted them close in age.  The plan however, was for a family of between 3 and 4 children, so this little one took us all quite by surprise.  I had donated all baby clothes no less than 2 weeks after our youngest had outgrown them and had gleefully tossed the gaudy plastic exersaucer the moment she had reached the weight/ height maximum.  Upon realizing that our well laid plans to reclaim some semblance of balance and personal time had been usurped by an unexpected twist of fate, I faced a set of emotions that I had not experienced with any other pregnancy.  I was panicked, terrified, and angry that the so-called birth control we used had failed to deliver on its promise to do just that.  Thankfully, I got over that relatively quickly, and am proud and delighted to have a larger-than-most family.  Contrary to popular assumption, I don’t actually have a huge tolerance for disorganization or noise, but am learning to embrace the chaos of my happy circus.  I do fully appreciate the gift that each of our children brings to us and each other, and in an effort to remember and honour each crazy moment, I have created this blog to record and share my musings on it all.

I hope you enjoy it.