Posted by: simplyscrambled | May 21, 2014

‘Eye’ (click) see you.

M – This is an old draft I revisited just now. So…

Here is an extremely short collection of pictures taken by Mango. (I was going to add more by her, Nectarine, and us, but didn’t. So there.)

April 16, 2014, testing it out.

(Pretty sure the shirt was not picked out by me)

April 16, 2014

April 16, 2014

Mango was one of the first to get Nectarine to smile (yes, that was a smile, just slightly over the top ;)) for the camera. It took a while for Nectarine’s smiles to become more natural. When asked, Nectarine is sure to point out that Mango is her sister, but she is also her “best friends” (you can tell by how she gives Mango her stuffy and a hug when Mango is crying, just a quiet reminder that she’s there for her when needed. By no means are they squabble-free. Many times they say things in the heat of the moment (and mean it too). I.E. “I’ll NEVER be your friend if you don’t give me the pink marker. NEVER” (which lasts about 2 minutes).

She wanted 'silly' pictures.

She wanted all of us to make some silly faces

I think D ‘accidentally’ erased all hers after they went to bed. This is the only one I could scrape up and it barely qualifies.

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This silly? Come seriously? 😉

 

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Mango’s baby (at the time) (with Nectarine going by in the background)

There were scads more pictures (some quite good), but I was too lazy to go through them all (considering I had almost gotten this far along by mid-April). Besides, this way I can stretch it out into another post. Me so smrt samrt smarter – um… ahem… Isn’t that so clever of me?

 

M

Posted by: simplyscrambled | May 11, 2014

Love

M – Here’s how much Mango loves Nectarine.

Nectarine preferred Mango's 'help' over my own...

Nectarine preferred Mango’s ‘help’ over my own…

Just so you know, Mango was letting Nectarine use her helmet and ride her bike. This was only up and down our sidewalk, so everyone relax. Considering Nectarine is just over 3 and Mango past 5, Nectarine did very well. She could even reach the pedals and keep herself going. That makes me think it is time for Mango to get a bigger bike.

Another example of how close they are.

Mango made Nectarine her very own book.

Mango made Nectarine her very own book.

Reminding her how old she is (if she could read)

Reminding her how old she is (which would help if she could read)

No spell checker for her :)

No spell checker for her 🙂

The meat of her story

The meat of her story

Simple ending (a bit predicable, but she is only 5).

Simple ending (a bit predictable, but she is only 5).

Her idea, her words, our sticky pad.

It must have made an impact, because the next day Nectarine went up to Lemon and told him he was zero, but wished he was one already…

Mango knows how to read and is teaching Nectarine. They even go to school where Mango is the teacher and Nectarine the student (what can I say, it’s a small class).

Why not read/learn in comfort?

Why not read/learn in comfort?

Nice to see honest love.

Hugs everyone,

M 🙂

Posted by: simplyscrambled | April 20, 2014

Breaking Boredom’s Back.

M – Anyone with a child will recognize this phrase. “I’m …boorreed…” Of course you are bored. The television and computer are off, and we’re not letting you use our cell phones (Mango: “but I know how, I use the iPad at school” – that is scary right there). We offer suggestions, naturally everything is immediately shot down. They’re only 5 and 3 (and almost 1). Having enough stuff to do ourselves (none of it fun), we leave them to stew.

What do we see when we get back? Imagination (all these pictures were taken within the last 3 weeks)!

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Nectarine’s first picture of daddy

For some reason my hair is at the bottom, but overall, it’s quite good.

They decided to go see grandma.

Here’s their train.

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Chairs and dolls. An afternoon of fun (they had to stop various places to go shopping, etc.)

 

Easter = Easter Bunny. Easter Bunny may need help.

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(Bunnies: These eggs are heavy. I wonder if we overfilled them with chocolate – after all, all we can manage here is 9. Whew. Good thing Mango thought ahead by drawing (and cutting out) a bunny and a helper.) 🙂

These here constitute a creation. It is Mango’s, and the positioning of every magnet cannot be moved without her wrath (I wonder what it means?). She however, does come by and adjust, add, or take away a magnet sporadically

 

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It’s a Masterpiece!

D left here food/shopping list on the kitchen table. She came back to find this added by Mango.

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Don’t ask me why it uploaded sideways, it looks just fine on the computer.

Catching snow on her tongue.

Catching snow on her tongue (Mango did too).

They finally decided to go outside *be assured, I was with them the whole time(s)* (and 5 minutes later it began to snow…and snow…and snow). They loved it 🙂

Here they are in our back alley again, digging out a cave for their polar bear home. Certainly wasn’t my idea.

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Here they’re trying to be bats.

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Quiet! It’s too noisy and bright to get any sleep here.

They made a trail for the Cookie Monster to follow.

Oh my. I guess we had holes in our pockets after all. Hee hee.

 

Lemon just slides and rolls and crawls everywhere, mostly to cables peeking out from behind expensive equipment or racing ( quite fast) for the stairs. He doesn’t have quite that entertainment problem yet, although reading him dozens of books daily can be quite taxing for D

 

However…

I’m glad they know how to have and make fun! – on their own.

Posted by: simplyscrambled | April 5, 2014

Caution is … for parents.

M – Not surprisingly, children are unknowing of the consequences, so tend to try (not necessarily safe) things followed by rapid apologies/crying if things go badly.

Lemon wasn’t a fan of the pre-made baby food (except maybe Puffs) (full of blah, boring, bland flavours and …well… mush to be found there). So we carefully give him a diced-up version of what we have. The vegetables are steamed and sliced. the (well cooked) meat is cut into chunks large enough to grab (you know – it develops his pincer (fine motor skills)), but small enough he can slide each piece down his throat without getting stuck. He grabs one – stuffs it into his mouth. Brings over his other hand to try to cram 2 more bits in. Same goes for fruit. There were a dozen pieces there less than two minutes before I took the picture. Honest.

Yummy. More!!

Yummy. More!

Lemon is walking…sort of…with eager (and dangerous) help..

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Nectarine is adjusting to being a 3-year-old. She is quite a character. She is just starting to grasp that the gingerbread tokens in Candy Land have a set path to follow.

Posing with her stuffed toy "Pinkie" (maybe because it's pink?)

Posing with their favorite stuffed toys, Pinkie and Shelby

(Pinkie is a pink something, and Shelby is a turtle (with a shell) – go figure)

Mango ran and leaped into reading. Even alone. That alone part seems to make her feel uncomfortable. She is not one for quiet, alone time. For instance, we had the music turned off in our van once, and she asked me to turn it on. She explained that she wanted the music on, because otherwise she would have to talk and she didn’t feel like it.
That’s not to say she doesn’t want us to read to her (she still loves that), but she is now transitioning ‘chapter books’. Chapter books, well, have chapters. She reads them – often more than one in a sitting – to herself, Nectarine, Lemon, us, basically everyone and anyone. I guess that means she is past the ‘transition’ part.

She’s reading Hansel and Gretel to Nectarine.

So Lemon can stand (holding onto stuff of course), crawl up stairs, all that stuff. He just doesn’t crawl – more of a slithery rolling thing.

Here Nectarine was (or so she claimed) helping Lemon stay standing. What do you think?

Don't worry Lemon, I've got you.

Don’t worry Lemon, I’ve got you.

Here’s another example of children going further than may be safe (I guess they assume their parents will always rescue them)

 

Don't worry. This melting snow is perfectly safe.

Don’t worry. This melting snow is perfectly safe.

She (and Nectarine) reached more than one rooftop in our alley that day. They loved it. I nonchalantly stayed back, giving them their freedom (in reality, I was all tense from being ready to dive under them as the snow crumbled and they fell, screaming for help.

Now, here is an event that tells me something about Nectarine…

Just another corner of our basement...

Just another corner of our basement…

This corner of our basement is the crawl space under our stairs, where Christmas ornaments, old paint (just in case some part of our house needs a touch up – although the touched up part would then look so much better and cleaner that we’d just have to redo the whole area), spider webs, etc. I went downstairs to do some laundry when I found her poking around way in the back there. When asked, she told me she thought I was in there.

No remorse in that face.

No remorse in that face when I caught her.

To be fair though, she asked D where daddy was, and she was told I may be in the basement doing laundry. I wasn’t. When she didn’t see me, she did not return up to lighter and brighter rooms, she chose to delve deeper (into places I couldn’t fit even if I tried). When I did go down moments later and started taking clothes out of the dryer (mere feet away from her), she didn’t stop, didn’t even turn around. Let’s call this being either very focused or very curious…

Thing is, our basement is in shambles with various objects strewn willy-nilly (blame it on our foundation problems).

 

Let’s just end this post with some nice, safe, family pictures

One of their favorite activities.

One of their favorite activities, story time with D

Are those shark teeth closing around my head?

Don’t I look so cute?

I exercise by playing with our children. My knees can get quite sore.

I exercise by playing with our children. My knees can get quite sore.

For being over 2 years apart, they almost the same height from here.

For being over 2 years apart, they look to be almost the same height here.

 

Enjoy. I’ll go and think about keeping our children safe while they sleep blissfully and innocently upstairs.

Posted by: simplyscrambled | March 9, 2014

Perception – one way of looking at things…

M – Perception is just seeing something from your point of view. Your child dresses herself and looks garish. She thinks she looks a pretty as a princess. You see a muddy puddle, they see ingredients for a mud pie. You see a toy-strewn room, they see a playground. You see a messy table, they see several unfinished crafts/projects. Get the idea?

To illustrate further:

You see a face to clean, he sees a first…non-milk…meal.

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I’m eating real food!

You see plastic teeth from the Dollar store, they see scary fangs.

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Fear the Nasty Nectarine

You see a museum piece (which they were allowed to climb), they see a canoe fighting a rushing river.

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Don’t fall into the water, there’s a bear chasing us!

You see a Nectarine’s first real drawing (as compared to random swipes of a marker across the page), She sees a work of art. (Of which many more are to follow).

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Don’t you love it? Great…now what did I draw?

You see a sleeping angel. She was fighting a nap war…and lost.

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Watching a movie cosily on the couch works every time 🙂

You see two children playing, she sees herself teaching Lemon how to work the toy.

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Now, each button plays a different tune…

Now you see cupcakes on a rented table in a rented room, she sees a perfect number ‘5’ masterpiece created for her birthday.

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D – Arrgh! Why won’t these stoopid things line up? Quit with the smearing already!

You see a pile of stuffed animals, they see a zoo.

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We can’t put them away! This is where they belong.

You see a Jump-a-Roo thingy close to Nectarine’s head, she sees a tent to ‘read’ in.

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I feel so dry. Get out of the rain mommy!

I could go on. However, you get the idea. One last one.

You see love, they feel it.

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Not bad for not being staged, right?

Thankfully, there is a lot of love in this house.

Posted by: simplyscrambled | February 6, 2014

Rock ‘n’ Roll…and roll…and roll…

M – life has been busy here, every which way one looks.

As you may guess, Mango can now read quite well; Nectarine went from hopping on one foot to sliding headfirst backward off the couch (onto a pillow) (don’t ask me now that transition was made – I think it was encouraged by Mango; Lemon went from rocking back and forth to now rolling over to his destination (even if he doesn’t know what it is before he starts).

Our house is still being tortured, as is our bank accounts. Sure hope it is worth, because after we save up, there are plans in place for numerous other areas in the house. At least the bathtub is a huge hit for everyone here.

I mean, from this (storage bin on the kitchen floor):

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Don’t breathe, don’t lean, don’t have fun, you’ll splash!

To this:

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Is this our bathtub – for really real?

Granted, the tile and plumbing covers were yet be installed, so no still no splashing yet, but that was just days to away.

D had her birthday at the end of the year, but she was already planning for Mango’s just 10 days hence. The January gathering seemed a success (everyone went home happy).

Looking back a bit, there was much excitement over Christmas – for some. We have an ‘Elf on a Shelf’, which watches over our house from December 1st until Christmas. Every night, he/she goes home to the North Pole and reports to Santa your daily doings. When we first got the elf (last year), it was nameless, so Mango dubbed it Charlie (it’s gender still changes, but is more often on the male side). Every morning when the children come downstairs, they look for him – making sure to never touch him (or he loses his magic), and aware that he can’t talk to them, only to Santa (another magical side effect). Right now, it works. We just sometimes almost forget to make sure the elf has moved in his nightly travels. Sometime in the future I can tell a story about an eager child, a helpless elf, some quick thinking, and some physical contortions. I was sure I had a picture or two, but who knows what happened to them…?

Here we are visiting cousins. A common activity, really.

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We’re on a train!

Lemon is just out of sight, upset. He was on the ‘train’ briefly, but didn’t seem to enjoy it. He cried there too.

We had quite a few family visitors over the holidays (not all simultaneously). 4 were from Winnipeg, 4 came from the States, and 1 came from Saskatchewan (D’s side); 5 from Winnipeg, 2 from just outside Winnipeg, and 6 from Alberta. Of those 22, 12 were cousins. Crazy times.

Want to see Grandma dance?

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Just a blur of frenzied motion

I’ll update more in the future, as a new month just began a few days ago (it’s February now)

Maybe I’ll just upload pictures. It’s easier.

How about some Christmas pictures? Here.

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Focused and proud of their creation

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Multi-lingual Santa and wife. They Sign too.

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What would Christmas be without children?

Christmas (and other holidays) tend to highlight what we love.

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Lemon’s first Christmas

I really dislike putting up the tree and lights (I know what my father meant now), but I love the effect it has on our children and family – even the extended one.

Hugs

Posted by: simplyscrambled | December 26, 2013

(Icy?) Glass ceiling.

M – Mango is on the cusp of reading (with very little guidance); Nectarine went from almost jumping to teeny hops (more stumbles really) to hopping on one foot. Crossing the other leg behind if supported; Lemon can roll over… sort of. He goes from tummy to back readily, but his outstretched arm tends to get in the way when trying from his back. They are breaking our ideas of who they are and evolving/metamorphosing into newer versions of themselves. I`m not sure I`m ready.

Mango and Nectarine finished their swimming lessons ( Mango also finished her skating and gymnastics lessons too). Just in time for their 2 week holiday (with blizzard weather outside). Whee.

Christmas was tiring but good. The Eve was spent with D’s side (1+4+4+5 = 14), the following day was spent at M’s (2+6 (plus dog)+5+5 = 18 1/2). Whew.
Semi-random pictures upcoming. Don’t know why these letters look italicized, but so be it.
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Nectarine stopped crying after for the whole session after their first class. The second had still quite upset and unsure, but at least she didn’t cry for the entire half-hour.
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They didn`t worry about bugs or worms or miscellaneous droppings.
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Only one class had her fall down hard enough she cried (first fall that class). When given the option by us, she chose to go on. By now (it did not take long) she is probably better than me. No surprise there though. She teaches me sign language and I had a hard time staying ahead of her in Spanish and French. At least I think she`s forgotten those already.
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That pumpkin has definitely been a favorite for whoever wears it. Just like Mango, Nectarine wore it for days before and after All Hallows Eve.
OOoooOOoo. Did I scare you? Did I?
After creating such an elaborate costume, he stayed home anyway.
 
We tried mini-golf (I add this even though I was an Advent calendar activity)
It was moderately successfully, although rules went mostly unheeded, children climbed everything, climbed golf scenery, and hands/putter was used to `guide` balls closer to holes (Mango consistently got 3 points for every hole).
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So I am a bit behind. Do not judge me.
Do not want mix up the Christmas time with the months before though. I`ve already spent 2 hours drying my eyes and hurting my back front of this screen.
 
Merry Christmas anyway. After all, it is December 26th as I add this post.
 
 
 
Posted by: simplyscrambled | November 27, 2013

Nectarine anyone?

M – I don’t know what to put here that’ll segue pictures and thoughts together, but as I am just trying to start-up my deficient blog, back off. For some reason every picture has Nectarine in it, and as I have spent yet another two or so hours here, there is no way I am going to change them or add more (to make the child exposure more equal)

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Full of energy and excited for ‘Story Time’ at our local library

I say local library as it is only three or so blocks from our house. You can’t see it, but I’ll have you know there was a gale force wind that day which managed to be in my face (and finding unknown ways into my jacket) both coming and going. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but her cheeks were definitely rosy and it sure felt hot chocolate worthy out there.

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It’s not easy sleeping with a mean wind and bright sun in your face. She managed.

Speaking of sleeping, both she and Lemon managed yesterday, when something that sounded like a jack hammer was tearing apart our bathroom upstairs. Hopefully I’ll remember to upload some before and after pictures (after all, while our life seems to revolve our children, stuff does happen without them).

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Another ‘Story Time’ at a different library (which we just observe and keep the peace)

Thank goodness for free libraries (and extra thingies they do for children). Even so, we have oodles of book at home anyway (D and I used to be avid readers – before children – of books without pictures).

If that’s not enough, even the floors are nice too.

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This was between stairs and the outside door

She didn’t actually sleep there, I think she is just a tactile person who wanted to ‘examine’ another texture.

That was that.

Lest you think we lead a sedentary life, here is a picture of people ready to burn off some energy.

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Nearly not afraid anymore

The first two classes Nectarine cried nonstop. now she smiles and ‘high-fives’ the instructor.

To assuage my conscience, as they are doing a bit less now, every week:

  • Mango has story time (just ending for Christmas now),  gymnastics, gymnastics at school, as well as swimming and skating lessons.
  • Nectarine has two ‘Story Times’ (also on hiatus until January) and swimming.

Life is expensive already. Wait until Lemon can move and actually do stuff…

Posted by: simplyscrambled | November 20, 2013

First, seconds, and thirds…

M – ‘We’ (D) had our third child July 16th, 2013. Not a number anyone our in extended family (secretly) hoped for, but it serendipitously made it a bit easier to remember. 2013 is easy, as it went 2009-2011-1013. Month is a bit tougher. I suppose there could be another number series there (January-March = 1-3 = a 2 month difference, and March-July = 3-6 = a 3 month difference). So, 1,2,3. Too complicated, so I’ll just suck it up and remember it. Now, Mango was born on the 10th, Nectarine on the 6th, so our last being on the 16th will be easy. 🙂

Blog-wise (if I ever get back into it) the last one will be “Lemon”. Get it? Le-mon = the man. Besides, his name starts with an ‘L’ and it is a short fruit to spell (unlike Nectarine [to be fair, it wasn’t easy find a relatively common fruit beginning with an ‘ N’].

Mango is starting to read … sort of. Nectarine is hopping and skipping … sort of (the skipping is more of a gallop). Lemon is rolling over … sort of – because we’ve never actually seen it (we only have other people’s word on it, although we’ve seen him roll on his side many times).

Here are some early pictures of Lemon (and a few without him too).

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Their first nap together – ever

I reserved this space for the first picture of us (parents) and Lemon, but I had been there all night and hospital pictures are rarely flattering (much like driver’s licence photos) :p, so we decided to omit it. Instead here are some nicer ones

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Yes, we are happy

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Beaming…and bemused.

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I had forgotten how big he already was (for being only 8 days old)

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Can you feel their love for him?

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Just on the floor together – happy

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Couldn’t resist. D, Nectarine, and ‘Pinkie’, squeezing in some sleep

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Happy to be sisters

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Up early and waiting eagerly

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um…bonding time…

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One with a (working) microphone, the other with a maraca – didn’t matter to them 🙂

I’d add pithy stuff about each picture, but I’ve already spent over 2 hours arranging pictures and compiling this post. It’s no wonder I keep putting it off. Wastes a whole evening of watching TV.

The future is full of moments. Jump in and enjoy them.

Posted by: simplyscrambled | April 21, 2013

Puddler-jumpers…

M – While a puddle-jumper as I remember it meant a small plane that made short hops to many out-of-the-way places, that is not what I meant here.

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In search of puddles that are splash-worthy

This picture and any with puddles in them were taken around April 10th. Just saying…

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This is more like it 🙂

It was worth buying those splash pants after all. Even though the Spring thaw usually only lasts a few days, children get soaked. Not when bathing though. I guess cold muddy water is so much nicer than warm clean water.

Nectarine loves picking up rocks (much as Mango did at her age). Since the ones she picked tended to be immersed in water, her mitts got soaked before I had time to take pictures. Didn’t seem to mind though. Cried at the injustice when trying to persuade her to part with them.

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There are not just puddles back here. Look at what I found, Mango!

Whenever we went out (D always seemed busy inside, so I was the de facto choice), there seemed to be a mean north wind. Made it a bit less fun for me. Especially since my shoes have holes in them. 😦 Didn’t faze our explorers though.

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Look at me hop! Splash!

As Nectarine hasn’t got the hang of jumping yet, she just stomped through the water. Still worked though. When I finally convinced them to go inside, I was surprised to pour water out of their wading boots. You’d think splash pants and big boots would keep them dry. Wrong.

They went out twice that week. The following week we didn’t have to worry about them freezing in icy water.

It snowed. A lot.

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Crazy weather = happy children

It was not fun (for adults), considering the snow pictures were taken more than a week after the watery pictures.

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Little 2-year-old Nectarine was taller than me in this picture

The neighbours were nice enough to let us use their yard, as ours is a war zone – lots of money and men fighting a settling foundation = a yard of mess and mud.

For some reason Mango loved it when I picked her up and tossed her into the deep snow. I didn’t. Throwing 4 1/2 year-olds gets tiring rapidly.

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Nectarine is comfy on the snow, Mango is getting ready for another throw.

The afternoon ended with them very happy and me digging through the snow (for the second time), looking for Mango’s boot.

They slept well those nights. I was tired and sore. Definitely feeling my age. 😉

However, I know these times are something I’ll miss when we are no longer central to our children’s life. 😦 Best enjoy everything we have.

Snowy smiles, M.

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