Anna is thirteen

Have you been wondering what a teenager looks like these days? Wonder no longer:

My big first baby turned the big one-three on June 24. Next year, I might have to bake a sheet cake to fit all the candles.

At least she gets candles. Fire regulations prohibit candles on my cake now. Safety first, etc.

Here she is, opening one of her few gifts that wasn’t jewellery:

She has a thing about jewellery in the same way I have a thing about books. And wool. And bags. And office supplies. And vegetable seeds.

Here she is with her brudda and sista:

 Three birthdays within a month. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

“You need to have another baby,” Anna said a few days after her birthday.

I know it’s out of character, but I might have said something the tiniest bit impolite, like, “Good God, why?”

“Because three birthdays aren’t enough. We need someone with another birthday so we can have another cake.”

I maybe, possibly, just might have snorted and rolled my eyes. “I think I’d rather skip the baby part and just bake another cake.”

The kids erupted in cheers and exchanged high fives. Snookered me again. This is exactly how I got scammed into owning two dogs, a cat and a fish. These kids are good.

my baby is nine

On June 5, Charlotte turned nine:

 Not nine days, not nine months – nine years. I’m not really sure where those years went.

Oh, wait. Laundry. Yes, that would be it. Laundry and dishes.

She is our girl of many faces, the drama queen, the ham:

Always entertaining.

Foster drew a picture of Jessie from Toy Story on a card for Charlotte:

 Jessie, a spunky cowgirl, is one of Charlotte’s favourites, which pleases me because she is the antithesis of airhead ‘fashion’ dolls. And yes, he drew Jessie free hand.

Anna needle felted a letter C:

That stands for Charlotte.

(You’re welcome.)

And at risk of getting my butt kicked by my photo-averse mother, here is the birthday girl with her Jam:

 Gah, so sweet.

Happy birthday, my baby.

 

 

my boy is eleven

As usual, I’m running about two weeks behind, so without further ado:

Foster the birthday boy as seen on his big day, which was, yeah, okay, last month, but give me a break. I had to get the film developed.

Ha, not really, but I messed you up for a second there, didn’t I? Remember the days of getting film developed? My kids don’t, of course. And that’s when I start to feel really old. “Film, mother?” they ask. (We’re very high class.) “What is this film whereof you speak?”

Here’s Foster revelling in Pirates of the Caribbean Lego:

His longtime career ambition: Lego designer. He’d be great at it.

And the best gift of all, although he might not realize it at the moment – the love and devotion of his sisters:

They’re a tight little unit, these three, and my wish for all of them is that they’re able to carry that closeness into adulthood.

And that they’ll eventually be able to guilt one another into forking over more for a nice nursing home for me.

call me Mommy dearest

Today is the one week anniversary of Mother’s Day, that glorious occasion otherwise known as The One Day of the Year that Figuring Out What to Have for Supper is Not My Problem.

After breakfast in bed – a dicey proposition with three children, two dogs and a cat all using the bed as a combination trampoline/wrestling mat – I opened my gifts, which included:

Felted Fish by Foster.

Cute, isn’t it? He is a craftsman.

Not to be outdone, Charlotte made this:

Felted Perry.

Perry is, of course, Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb:

Perry lives a double life, spending half his time fighting crime as Agent P (as seen above) and the other half posing as an ordinary pet platypus:

Charlotte took pains to make sure Felted Perry included both Agent P’s hat and Perry’s wall-eyed blank stare so I could “play with him either way.” A+ for attention to detail.

Anna presented me with vouchers good for two breakfasts in bed and two “no kids” days – “10 hours max” – because she knows I’d totally take advantage and stretch it out to eleven or twelve hours, given the opportunity. I tried to scan her coupons to show here, but couldn’t get a clear image for some reason. What do you want to bet she produced them with some kind of cutting edge anti-reproduction technology to prevent me from running off dozens of them? Foiled again.

I spent the afternoon with my mother, fending off blackflies as we toured two local gardens. (Sorry about the bites, Ma. I’m sure the scars will heal someday.)

Ooh, look – pretty forget-me-nots:

And a nice rhodo:

And this…thing. I call it flowering quince and my Mom calls it Japonica:

Whatever. You say tomato, I say watermelon.

Charlotte the chef

While excavating the family dumping ground (otherwise known as my desk) the other day, I came across the following two recipes written by Charlotte sometime last year. I wish I could be more precise as to the dates these were written, but sadly I didn’t scrawl the dates on the backs as I usually try to do.  Must have been out clubbing seals or raiding tourist sailboats on those days.

Like the best archaeologists, however, I’m able to guesstimate a time frame based on the artifacts found immediately above and below the recipes, which is corroborated by what I already know about the development of communications at that time  (i.e. Charlotte’s handwriting and spelling). It’s all very complicated.

Outmeal Recipe

1. Pour in outmeal

2. Pour in a lot of water

3. Put in cinnomon

4. Put in brown suger

5. Put it in microwave for 15 sec

6. Put on raisons

7. Put in a bit of milk

8. And eat it

Smelling good! Thumps up!

Popcorn recipe

1. get out ingreddeints. butter and popcorn nuts.

2. get out other stuff        bowl, popcorn pumper.

3. put popcorn nuts into popcorn pumper.

4. start pumping the popcorn

5. when it’s ready heat butter and pour it in

6. eat it or put in bags For shcool.

Considering Charlotte’s recipes already surpass some of those by the best-known television chefs  (see Rachael’s Ray’s Late Night Bacon recipe and Paula Deen’s English Peas recipe on the Food Network), I predict she’ll be a huge star in the celebrity chef world in another twenty years. Guess I’d better start being nice to her.

reasons to love and fear Foster

After supper the other day, Foster took me aside and said, “I need to get a job. How do I get a job?”

“Why do you need a job?” I asked.

“Because I need some money.”

“Why do you need money?”

“Because there’s a Lego man Charlotte really wants and I want to buy it for her.”

“Oh, I see.”

“And I need two dollars so I can go to that machine in the mall, the one where you use a claw to pick up a toy, and try to get the blue bear for Charlotte. She really, really wants that blue bear.”

“Well, we’ll see what we can do,” I said and thought, awwww, quit breaking my heart, kid. Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard? How many ten-year-old boys do you know who spend their time daydreaming about what to buy their little sisters?

The next day, a Body Shop order arrived for me and included in the box were three little manicure sets – one for each kid. (They were marked down to $2 – go check it out if you need a manicure kit because there might be some left.) Inside each kit is a pair of nail scissors, nail clippers and a metal nail file.

Within a minute of receiving his, Foster held up the pieces one at a time to show me. “Look, Mom. The clippers are for snapping the lock on the gate, the scissors are for cutting the phone lines, and the file is for stabbing somebody! It’s The Ultimate Murder Kit!”

Uh, okay.

Weirdo.

Sweet, loving, considerate, homicidal freak.

See this innocent little face?

If he asks for a two dollar loan, I’d just give it to him.