Friday, 27 February 2015

Take that, Winter!

Let's just pretend that your car was trapped in a pit of snow and ice for four days, and in spite of numerous attempts to remove it from the icy grave you call a driveway, the car will not budge. So, you finally concede defeat and hire a tow truck to pull it out. A hundred dollars later, you are happily speeding down the highway singing "I'm free at last! I am free!". Then the following day, as your daughter is driving the recently rescued car to school, the back tire blows. You thank Heavenly Father that she is okay and that a friend is nearby to drive her the remainder of the way to school, but there is a tiny part of you that is not feeling so grateful and wants nothing more than to throw one giant, colossal temper tantrum, which involves kicking every particle of snow back to where it came from and uttering that oh-so-delightful word that can only be released in times of your deepest, darkest frustration:

FUDGE!!!! (wink, wink)

but you don't. Instead, you decide that the best way to retaliate against this dreadfully long, and ridiculously cold, and excessively snow-packed winter is to kill it with kindness. That's right because let's be honest, there is nothing more annoying than when you are trying to coax someone into anger and they refuse to bite. So, instead of waving your white flag just yet, you are going to indulge me and allow me to focus on all those things that I really do love about winter, you know those cozy winter fantasies we tossed a side along with our hundredth shovelful of snow during Blizzard #3. We have to find a way to cope with all this ridiculousness because, in spite of your lovely FB countdowns to spring that say we only have 22 more days left, no one is falling for it. We live in Canada, spring begins in the middle of May, which means we have two and a half more months of this snowy, cold bliss. We need to come up with a better strategy of attack than whiny complaints and tantrums. We need to fight back and show Winter we are tough, and we can handle anything it throws our way.

Oh, dearest Winter! Although you are cold, miserable and snowy, and in spite of the fact that you have eaten up all of my spare cash in exorbitant heating bills, replacement shovels for those that have been lost or broken, copious bags of salt and sand, tow trucks and five new winter tires, I still love you. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1.Let's get the obvious ones out of the way first - Christmas and my birthday! 

2. Snow days - heck, this winter we even got to share two snow days with Mr.Level-Headed. That never happens!

3. Movies - oh, how I love to curl up with my fleecy throw, a bowl of popcorn on my lap, and my peeps all around me to watch an entertaining movie. One of my faves this winter was The Book Thief and in theatre - The Imitation Game. Of course, there was also the finale to the Hobbit, which was AWESOME!

4.Comfort food - storm chips, storm cookies, storm pop, storm cakes, storm candy. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, all these yummy treats will bring on what I think will be the hottest hashtag of spring: #storm20. You all remember the frosh 15, well this is pretty much the same thing, but 5 lbs worse.

5. Storm babies! Another hashtag I foresee being very popular this spring. Come on, there are only so many movies you can watch . . . wink, wink.

6. A clean dog! Without any mud puddles to splash in, dirt to roll in and the river to swim in, Scout is one very clean puppy. Mind you, he is excessively furry at the moment and fat, but I can handle fur more than I can handle dirt.

7. A break from shaving my legs! I know I can't be the only one . . .

8. Wool sweaters and lots and lots of layers, to cover up those hairy legs and the #storm20 I put on (for extra insulation mind you).

9. Early bedtimes - if you come by my house anytime after 9:30 pm lately, you will find all the lights off and six Websters snoozing soundly (we can thank the lack of daylight hours as well as all those storm carbs.)

and finally:

10. Playing with my baby in the snow . . .

(from way back when - like 4 weeks ago when our hockey net was still visible!)

Awwww . . . he makes almost anything bearable. Come on, you knew I would figure out a way to post more adorable picture of Leif. Yes, I am shameless.

So, take that Winter! I am so happy right now that I might even kiss you on the lips the next time you drop another 20 cm on us.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Puppy Love

Although Leif and Scout are best buddies now, it did not start out that way. When Leif was born, Scout was indifferent to this tiny human who cried all the time and stole his comfy sleeping spot between mom and dad. Then, when Leif began to crawl, Scout's indifference evolved into disdain. Not only had this kid kicked him out of his bed, but he was now able to move and liked to hang out underneath the table, where from Scout's perspective, is the ideal spot to snatch some stray snacks. Of course, Leif soon also discovered Scout's bowl of food, and as much as I am sure it killed him, Scout would simply back away and wait for someone to come get the little nuisance. As Leif began to encroach upon more of Scout's territory, his frustration became more visible. Typically, he would just roll his eyes (I swear he would), groan, get up and move, but one time, he growled. Thankfully, Mr. Level-Headed was here because the mama bear in me almost reared her ugly head and had that dog skinned alive and made into a rug, but like I said, Mr. Level-Headed was there and firmly told Scout that was not allowed with all of his alpha-male authority. Truthfully, though, it did scare me and I began to watch their interactions very closely.

Thankfully, things quickly began to change right around the same time Leif started solids. Scout, being the opportunistic pooch that he is, finally realized that this mini tyrant who had been driving him crazy over the past couple of months did, in fact, serve a useful purpose. As more and more food found its way to the floor from the highchair, Scout's affection and tolerance for Leif blossomed. With each handful of goldfish crackers that Leif would kindly share and with each flick of his peanut butter toast onto the floor, Scout fell in love. Now, Scout spends his days following Leif around, sitting anxiously at his feet, and allowing him to poke and prod him to his heart's content just for a portion of the yummy remnants of food that Leif leaves in his wake. In fact, Leif is keenly aware of how dependent their relationship is on food and will now request that I feed Scout with him. The other morning as I broke off a piece of banana and gave it to Leif, he looked at me, pointed to Scout and said:

Dout? (Scout in baby language)

Yes, that is Scout.


Oh, you want me to give him some banana. No way!

To which Leif responded by tossing his banana onto the floor and requesting another one for himself . . . tee hee!

Smart kid, but I think the puppy might be even smarter.

And now for the photo evidence because, in all honesty, is there anything cuter than babies and puppies?

I think not.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Dear, Thing 5

Oh,Thing 5! Only 21 weeks gestational and already you are completely ignored. No blog posts are written about you, no weekly baby bump pictures to capture your growth are posted, and up until recently when your kicks and rolls became much more noticeable, your mama would even forget all about your existence. I am sorry. It's not that we don't love you or that we are not excited for you to join our family, it's just that your older brother, Leif, keeps us all very busy. Not to mention, you were kind of a surprise. Yes, your mommy and daddy wished and prayed that we could have another baby, someone to grow up alongside Leif, but in all honesty, we truly did not think it would happen, especially not this soon and definitely not that easily.

When I first told your daddy that I was pregnant, he said:

No, you're not.

Like, he has any grand insight into these matters, but in all fairness, your mama is a bit neurotic and often thinks she is pregnant, when in fact she is not. So, I guess we will forgive him this time. So, yeah, I had to show him the stick I peed on before he would even believe me. Then we just looked at each other, laughed and said, "okay", not really expecting this pregnancy to go much further. You see, we had a lot of trouble having your brother Leif, and we lost two babies before him. (I like to think that we, in fact, did not lose two babies, but that it took Leif three times to get here), and so as Leif's first birthday approached, which marked when we could start trying to conceive you, we were mentally preparing ourselves for yet another long and heartbreaking journey. Much to our surprise (and delight now that you seem to be sticking around), you decided to show up before it was even "go" time, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, as I am sure yourdad does to, from saving us from that ordeal. Trust me, it is no fun trying to have a baby when a baby is just not ready to come. It kind of makes your mama even more crazier than she already is . . . eeek!

But you are here, and you seem to be doing well. You are not a very cooperative baby, though. You sleep during your ultrasounds making it difficult for the doctor to check everything out, you hide when the nurse practitioner tries to listen for your heartbeat, and you never, ever, ever kick when anyone but Leif touches my belly. Leif, who is completely oblivious to your existence, will be in for the shock of his life when you arrive. But in all fairness, you have been doing your best to let him know you are here by kicking him repeatedly whenever he nurses. I guess the war for mama's milk has already begun between you two . . . yikes!

Although I am starting to get very excited to meet you, Thing 5, I do have to be honest, I am completely terrified. I have never had two babies so close in age before. Leif is only going to be 19 months old when you arrive, which is still a baby. He likes to sleep between  mom and dad and he loves to nurse. I have never had two babies in diapers before either, and with the demanding schedule of your older three siblings, I just don't know how I am going to do it. But have no fear, your mama loves a challenge and she always manages to care for all her babies. 

So, Thing 5,in spite of your recent neglect, know this:

you are loved,

you are wanted,

and you have a large family who will do all they can to help you make your way through this world with love, laughter and minimal bumps and bruises.

16 week bump. This picture speaks volumes about our life right now!

A thing 5 sandwich, nestled in between a slice of Leif and a slice of mom.

There you are! 19 weeks gestational

We may not know if you are a boy or girl, but we definitely know you are a soccer player! Dad is excited because we now have enough to make up our own futsal team . . .  tee hee!

I love you, baby and I can't wait to hold you in about 18 weeks from now!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oh, What a Night . . .

On Saturday night, our family gathered together at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal to celebrate my cousin Laina's marriage to Rogan Manley. It was a beautiful wedding. In fact, it was one of the best weddings I have been to in a long time. The ceremony, the reception, the dinner and the dance were all held in the same location and the venue was spectacular. The bride was breathtaking, the food was scrumptious, the music was fabulous, but my most favourite thing about this wedding, outside of the photo booth, which I have publicly decreed needs to be a part of every social gathering I attend from here on out, was the company - my family. I grew up being very close to my mom's side of the family, and there are a ton of them. I have so many fond memories of them from Christmas time, to baby showers, to that one summer my mom babysat two of my cousins and my older cousin Mike taught me the "cool" way to drink a mini-sip, to Sunday dinners, to babysitting, to funerals (yes, we even have a way of making funerals memorable) and to weddings. When we all get together it is definitely a party; unfortunately, though, like most families these days, we do not get together often enough. So, on Saturday night, I made sure I chatted with everyone. I got as many hugs and kisses as I could, and like always, I made sure there were lots of laughs. It was so much fun catching up with cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends, whom I only really chat with via Facebook, and it was so much fun busting a move with all of them on the dance floor.

Oh, the dance floor! I have not danced like that in a long time. Usually, it is just me and the wee Websters dancing in the living room or in the car, and I forgot how much fun it was to let loose with a large group of people under the disco lights, with the music blaring. In fact, I danced so much, that by the end of the night my feet were swollen and my legs were aching, but it was all worth it. The one song I was waiting for was Uptown Funk because it is a huge favourite here at Shenanigans Inc., so much so that Avery has declared it to be our theme song. Well, when it came on, I was the only one left on the dance floor but I did not care. Thankfully, everyone took pity on the lone pregnant woman dancing and quickly joined me. I am sure I was quite the sight!As you have probably already guessed, Mr. Level-Headed is not a fan of dancing, but he is always up for dancing a few slow songs with me. Awwww . . . I have to say, I really love that guy!

Eventually, the evening drew to a close, as we received numerous frantic texts from the wee Websters who had been trapped in a small South End apartment all day babysitting two babies. Don't feel too bad for them, though, Grammie had them well-stocked with lots of yummy treats. By the time we arrived, both the babies were fast asleep in the same bed. As I stood over them, gushing over their extreme cuteness, I could not help but think how lucky they are to have one another. Leif and Ava are only one month apart and they are so close. They love each other so much, and there is nothing cuter than the bear hugs they give one another whenever they are reunited. Mind you, they always end in tears because they tend to knock one another over when they give them, but nonetheless, it is adorable. 

Families are such a tremendous blessing! Yes, they can be difficult and mine is just as crazy as everyone else's and probably has more skeletons in the closet than most (seriously!), but there is nothing like being with your family, people who have watched you grow up, who have shared some of the most important moments of your life with you, and who love you in spite of your craziness. I love my family, and I am so grateful to know that families are indeed forever!

I can't believe I actually convinced Mr. Level-Headed to get into the photo booth with me. It must be love . . . 

There was no convincing necessary with this crew - The Skov Sistas, aka Kurty's Angels

I can't wait for the next wedding . . . so whose it gonna be?