Category Archives: birthdays

3 years old.

Happy Birthday #4!

Today you turn 3 years old.

3!  I can’t believe it.  I remember when we found out you were growing in my belly and Daddy thought that “for sure” you were a boy.  We decided on not finding out whether you were a girl or a boy and be surprised for the first time.  In fact, I found out from the ultrasound technician that you were our 4th little girl and just kept it a secret from your Dad playing along like I didn’t know.  Good times.

Daddy calls you my mini-me.  We are alike in so many ways:

  • We both are NOT morning people.  You need to cuddle with me and slowly wake up.  This wake-up ritual consists of staying in bed for 20 minutes after your eyes open and no one talking to you.  God help the sibling who comes and tries to say “Good Morning” to you during this block of time.
  • We both have to be in charge.
  • We both don’t take ‘no’ very well.
  • We both are night owls….especially when we get a good nap during the day.  We thrive at night – we’re easier to talk to, hang out with, and are overall happier when the sun sets.
  • We both love our flip flops.  Both last summer and this summer she has lived in her flip flops.  Where #2 needs to wear her converse (even in the heat) and #3 loves ballet flats (of course!), #4 looks to wear her flip flops first.
  • We both love smoothies for breakfast.  The other 3 girls love smoothies but are always wary when it’s green or there are “specks” floating in it.  #4 does not care.  Spinach? Good.  Kale? Good.  Unknown floating dots of healthiness? It’s all good.
  • When we are in a good mood, we can really ham it up:

Focus your attention on the top right corner.

As you can see from the picture, my main goal was to take a picture of #1 stretching before her workout.  And of course, someone realized I had the camera out and decided to try to get in the pic.  A half an hour before she was whining and writhing on the floor in an awful mood because she was hot and apparently ‘dying’ of thirst.  I gave her water, stripped her down, and she perked right up.  And notice she’s still in diapers?  This brings me to another similarity…

  • We are both stubborn.  Toilet-training is taking a little longer than I thought.
  • We both have really bad tempers.  None of my older girls had any bad temper tantrums.  But #4 can really turn up the heat.  We were sitting at my mom’s house and my cousin was staring at #4.  Big mistake.  #4 stared back and said, “Hey you!  Wanna fight?”  And lately, I have heard her scream at her sisters in anger, “Off with your head!”
  • We both love watching sports.  She sat through the entire NBA Playoffs this year.  After we put them all to bed, Ever-Patient and I would turn on the game and she would wander downstairs, sit between us, and ask, “Who’s playing Daddy?  Big Baby?”  Ever-Patient would respond, “Yup.  And Kobe.” And #4 would nod knowingly, “Oh.  I miss LeBron.”
  • We both are very particular about what and who we like.  We were at a restaurant and she turned to me and said, “I don’t like her.”  Her was our waitress.  She spotted another one at another table, pointed at her and said, “And I don’t like her.”  Another waitress passed by and she said, “I like that one.”  She often says the same about her sisters.

We love you wild thing.

Happy Birthday.

about #3.

Sparkles is 5 and does not waste an opportunity to scream it to the world.  She informs the grocery clerk, strangers walking their dogs on sidewalks, and bank tellers.  Where #2 wanted a small, intimate gathering of her closest friends at the museum, #3 also wanted a gathering of her closest friends…her 18 closest friends in her class (which is each member of her class).  We ended up at our local park with my eldest and her friends running games, face painting stations, and other fun activities for the wee ones.  I sat back and chilled out with the parents.

Miss Perma-Smile.

Here are some fun facts about #3:

#3 and her guitar is like Phoebe Buffay and her guitar.  Some of #3’s original songs include the following titles:

I love orange” (she repeats this line over and over)

I love green” (again, repeating the one line)

I love pink”  (yes, you guessed it, another one-line wonder)

Will you be my valentine’s today?” (this one is interactive as she always waits for your response)

I don’t know why”  (my personal favourite…the lyrics are below in italics)

i don’t know why if it’s short or long

oh yeah

you don’t know if I’m at the groceries or if i’m at home or if i’m with my friends

oh yeah

but you should know

Plain and simple:  she loves to move.  When she hears music, she can’t help but start to sway, shrug her shoulders rhythmically, and shake her groove thang.

She has started asking a ton of questions about how the world works:

“In the world, did they make the streets first?”  “What about the trees? Who planted them all on our street?”  “What is the farthest country?”  “Do all people live on Earth or somewhere else?”

Sparkles is a word-maker-upper.  She tends to come up with words where there are no words for a situation or when she completely forgets what something is called.  The sensation of a body part “falling asleep” is typically referred to as “pins and needles.”  Instead, #3 says, “My feet feel scrunchy.”  And another time she referred to this sensation again and said, “Mom, my feet feel like, you know, when the TV is all black and white and shhhhhh [she made this sound with arms waving in the air]…you know, when it’s full of spots.”   She sat beside me one day and said, “I’d like to see my scropeback.”  I said, “Pardon me? What is that?”  She said, “You know, that thing you work on with the photos and the pretty paper?”  The light bulb finally went off and I said, “Oh, you’re scrapbook!”  And she said, “That’s what I said.”

On the seesaw with a "new" friend at the beach.

She is in the midst of her first soccer season.  I love watching her play.  She has no fear but at the same time does not exhibit one malicious bone in her body.  At soccer, she runs after the ball with a smile, taking elbows from the over-aggressive kids who have over-aggressive parents.  Her smile never fades for one minute in the entire game.

She is a resilient little ball of sunshine.  But she does have her thunderous moments.  She has mood swings when she is sleep-deficient.  She will break into hysterics asking for “mama” when I’m not around but 15 minutes later she will perk up when her favourite song is played.

She also loves to tell people our business.  During the school year, we would go to the grocery store.  Only #3, #4, and #5 would be with me and strangers would comment of the 3 kids and how busy I must be with 3 young children.  I like to keep the chit-chat to a minimum so I tend to just smile and keep moving.  But #3 ALWAYS chimes in and says, “Oh!  But there’s 2 more.  One’s in Grade 6 and the other is in Grade 1.  And I’m 4 and three-quarters because my birthday is on June 5th.  And she’s 2 and he’s only a baby still…”  And then she would proceed to tell people her birthday plans and what we did as a family the weekend before.

When we spend one-on-one time together, she normally cuts it short because she misses her sisters.  She wants to always ride her bike to Starbucks for a ginger molasses cookie and play at the playground for a little while where she always ends up making a friend.  Ah yes, everywhere she goes, she makes a friend or two.

Ever-Patient coaches her soccer team and he said to her after a game:

Ever-Patient:  “Do you know what I love most about you when you play the game?”

#3:  “What?”

Ever-Patient:  “I love how when you fall, you always get back up.”

She smiled and gave him the biggest hug.  The next morning, she was sitting eating breakfast and said to me with a chest swelled with tremendous pride:

#3:  “Guess what Mama.  Dada says I am really good at getting back up.  I am always going to get back up.”

And now every time I ask her what her favourite part of the game was she always says, “The time I got back up even though I fell down.”

And I said:

“Not just that you got back up, but you got back up with the HUGEST smile ever!”

Keep smiling kid.  You make our worlds that much brighter.

As I am writing this, #3 tells me write one more thing so here it is:

“She also loves nature.”


A little over a week ago, #1, my first-born, turned 12.


She celebrated it first with her friends by having a water fight after school followed by a movie and then with family by having another water fight and good food 2 days later on her actual birthday.  Simple fun that reflected her desire to still have one foot firmly planted in childhood.  It was a relief to witness her requesting a themed birthday party with her friends (‘Alice in Wonderland’) and I loved watching her plan the details – from designing the invites to cutting out decorations and assembling the loot bags.

Although she had a wonderfully childish birthday, I have noticed her slow lean into young adulthood commence in subtle and almost unnoticeable ways.  There have been many instances where I have felt myself tumbling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to help her navigate these early stages of adolescence.

People with older daughters have warned me about the changes in attitude and demeanour that girls experience when they turn 11 or 12.  I have been warned about the selfishness, the know-it-all remarks, and the mean-spirited behaviour toward younger siblings.  When I tell people I have 4 girls and that my oldest is 12, I get that look which seems to be a mix of pity and sympathy which is often accompanied by a “You’ll see.”  I often defend my daughter and boast of her grace and compassion only to be dismissed by yet another “You’ll see.”

Because of all these foreboding predictions from family, friends and strangers alike, I have tried to be more observant of her this year, almost holding my breath as I awaited the rebellious pre-teen to rear its ugly head.

I can proudly report that the monster has not surfaced and what I have witnessed is more gratifying and amazing than I had ever expected:

I have watched her choose who she wants to be.

This is the first year I have seen her make her own decisions about her friends, her extra-curricular activities, how she spends her free time, how she tackles school work, and how she interacts with her family.  She still defers to me and her father at times and still asks for advice when necessary but this year she has asserted herself more.  She has become an active participant in shaping her life.  She is more aware of the fundamental physical laws of cause and effect as she discovers for herself that every decision she makes has a consequence.  This has been the biggest learning experience for Ever-Patient and myself – letting her weigh the decision, make it, and own it, even if she has to suffer unfavourable consequences.  She is forming opinions and not only finding her voice but using it.

I have seen her struggle – struggle with employing tact vs honesty, struggle with her need for independence vs her need to feel taken care of, struggle with the choice to spend time with family or friends, struggle with the need to be alone with the desire to still feel included in our family shenanigans, struggle with discerning what she wants vs what we want vs what she thinks we want her to want.  I have seen this in her distance even though she is sitting across from me at the dinner table.  I have seen this in her eyes as she faces decisions that I will no longer make on behalf of her.

In the last couple of years, she has demonstrated her need for solitude and the desire to independently choose.  But this year has been different.  Ever-patient and I have been different.  We have slowly and deliberately stepped back.  She has relied on us to make the best decisions for her or influence her in ways that satisfy our own motivations.  Now, she hears more often than not, “What do you think?”  “What do you want to do?”  “This is your decision.”  We tell her to weigh her options, reflect on the potential consequence of each alternative, and decide for herself.  Because in the end, her choices affect her and she is accountable.  I am here when she needs me and I give an opinion if and only I hear these 5 words:  “Mom, what do you think?”  My answers are seldom concise.  I never tell her, “You should…”  I give her an informed opinion with supporting experiential anecdotes but in the end I try to emphasize choosing an option that reflects compassion, respect, and integrity.  Whatever she chooses, I make it clear that she needn’t look for approval or disapproval from me.  The outcome of her choice and how she feels about herself in the end will be its own internal reward or punishment that she alone will have to live with.  Though I have adopted a trustful approach, I am still working to provide an environment in which she has the opportunity to explore all the possibilities that life has to offer which includes giving her a safe sphere in which to make choices.

I’ve just let her be.  I have instinctively followed her lead.  I have been quiet when she needed a listener.  I have spoken up when she needed to feel supported and validated.  I have held her tight when she has been frustrated trying to find the words to match her emotions.  I have been patient when she has been impatient (for the most part).  I have let go when she needed to breathe her own air and live her own life.  I have ached at every “I love you Mama” because I know it’s not a reflex statement but a declaration of gratitude and appreciation.

Here is a scrapbook layout I made…a message to her from her father and I:

“Yes is a world, and in this world of yes live all worlds.” e.e. cummings

12…always say ‘Yes’ to this day. this moment. this story. this life.

Love: Mama and Daddy

to my best friend…


You are still a big kid.

Today I celebrate the birth of my best friend.  He turns 33 today.  I can still remember celebrating his 18th birthday.  For the last 15 and 1/2 years, we have celebrated many occasions – birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries of many sorts, the birth of a few children, thanksgivings.  Each and every year, his birthday rolls around and immediately he says not to make a big deal and to treat it like a normal day.  He tells me and the kids not to stress ourselves over getting him gifts or doing anything special for him.  He says it’s enough that we love him.  This attitude towards his birthday is reflective of his attitude towards life.  He gives and gives and gives – sometimes almost to a fault.  His happiness revolves around taking care of me and the kids and then himself.  I constantly remind him that life will not fall apart if he chooses to be selfish – in fact, I encourage it.  But somehow, he is wired to have this purpose in life: to make sure his family comes first.

He has rearranged his work schedule with the birth of our fifth to ensure he can drop off #1 and #2 in the morning, pick up #3 at lunch to take her to school, and pick up all 3 in the afternoon.  His free time consists of running a volleyball club which in the beginning was for our oldest daughter but now he takes pride in coaching and being a positive athletic influence on the kids.  For example, this past weekend the club attended a tournament in Barrie.  He took two teams – my daughter’s team and another team who is a year older.  In the past two tournaments, he had focused on our daughter’s team for obvious reasons.  But this time he felt that the other team needed him and he devoted all his time and energy to these girls and barely saw our daughter throughout the tournament.  She wanted him with her but he explained to her the value of commitment which he made to the entire club and to the development of all the girls.  It was a difficult decision for him but he knew the impact even one tournament could make on this team.  When he’s not coaching, he’s at home replacing light bulbs, grocery shopping, cooking, blogging, filming, listening to #2 read, helping with homework, carrying #5 in the wrap, giving piggy back rides, changing diapers, giving baths, tucking them in their beds, paying bills, and taking out the trash among other things.  After all that and when the kids are in bed, he’ll look me in the eye and ask me about MY day and how I’M feeling.  Then he’ll take the baby so I can get some sleep before the next feed.

So…Dear Ever-Patient,

Today, I celebrate YOU. Just YOU and the boy I have watched grow into the greatest dad and a truly good man.  I appreciate each and every little thing you do for us – from making sure my gas tank is always full (literally and figuratively) to being our sole source of financial support giving me the opportunity to be home with our kids.  Your work ethic is incomparable and you deserve more credit than you give yourself.  The kids ADORE you – #1 loves her time with you at volleyball, #2 cherishes her early morning routine with you (getting up and hanging out with you before the rest of the house gets up), #3 could just give you “movie kisses” all day, and although #4 is normally attached to me, she lovingly runs to you to change her diaper 😉  And of course, there’s #5:

You and your son.

Thank you for showing me how to see the best in people when I believe in the worst.  I am grateful for that day almost 16 years ago when we met through a high school fashion show.  I am grateful for every day since then.  I am grateful that our girls will see that there are men out there like their father and for our son to see the kind of man that he can be.

I love you…still.

And from the kids:

Mucho take it easy!

(#4 was not in the mood.)

Happy Birthday.

a late birthday post.

My youngest, #4, turned 2 on July 30.  I am very late with this little birthday post…


The morning of her bday..a little dazed and confused but happy.

“2” is a crazy age.  We are in the thick of the toddler years and have never experienced it quite like this before.  I have never encountered someone so little test the patience of an entire household and toe the line of established boundaries so often it seems like she is doing a non-stop psychological hokey-pokey (which incidentally is one of her favourite songs).

#4 is a ticking time bomb at the moment.  Some mornings she wakes up and is a ray of sunshine, greeting her sisters, “Good Morning,” making funny faces, and generally loving life.  Other mornings, her sisters try to give her good morning hugs, only to be greeted by a hand in the face and a cranky, “Leave me ‘lone!”  At this point I realize that everything will be a battle of wits and wills and someone will end up in tears (most likely me).  She pushes every last button of mine and just when I eventually use up my last ounce of parental self-control, she flashes me one of these:

This is the face she gives you when you tell her to smile.

This is the face she gives you when you tell her to smile.

This little one is also the big boss lady amongst her sisters.  We have had to curb the constant tattling on her by her sisters and have had to referee what appears to be uneven fights, thinking the older sis has the upper hand, only to realize who is really the puppet master of us all.  Sharing and following simple instructions – mostly related to chores – represent her major areas of improvement to say the least.  There have been multiple incidents where #4 has decided to throw an object to the ground (or at someone).  50% of the time she will pick it up and put it away nicely, and offer an apology if necessary with the most angelic expression.

One of her angelic moments...with her current BFF, Ernie.

One of her angelic moments...with her current BFF, Ernie.

But God help us all if she refuses.  Just recently, she threw a marker on the floor and Ever-Patient and I exchanged glances as if we knew we were sitting on the edge of a dormant volcano wondering if this is the very moment it will erupt.  In the most nonchalant and non-confrontational voice I could possible muster, I say: “Baby, can you pick that up for me please?”  During her perfectly sane moments, she’ll say “sure” and pick up the marker and put it away.  But should the wind blow the wrong way on a particular day or if there is a full moon, everyone run for cover because you are about to witness the mother of all tantrums.  In the episode now known as the infamous “Marker Meltdown,” after I had asked her casually to pick it up, she screamed a hearty “NO!” and began to stomp, cross her arms and engage in her patented whiny cry – the warm-up cry to the much-feared “the-world-sucks-as-I-know-it-and-you-will-share-in-my-misery” cry.  Ever-Patient tends to be weaker in will power during these tantrums and he swears it’s because she looks just like me and he can barely say “no” to me as it is.  But me on the other hand, I will match her stubbornness and NEVER-back-down-even if-you’re wrong mentality which is totally characteristic of our sign, Leo.  The marker will remain on the floor until #4 picks it up.  Here is how our little dance goes:

Me (calmly): “Please pick up the marker and put it away.”

#4 (not so calmly):  “NO! Go away Mom.”  Crying continues with head being thrown back, writhing on the floor, and seizure-like limb flailing around…kind of like someone who is desperately in need of an exorcism of some sort.

Me (5 minutes later, still calmly):  “Please pick up the marker and put it away.”

#4 (as if being tortured):  “Nooooooooooo….”  Still consumed in what appears to be demonic possession without any actual demons.

Our little pas de deux normally continues for about 20 minutes before she eventually runs over to hug me, says “sorry,” and then picks up the object.  However, during “Marker Meltdown,” it took almost 2 hours.  At about the hour and a half mark, and her sisters constantly begging us to pick up the marker for her, Ever-Patient moved her into her Time Out Spot – sitting on a stool in the bathroom – and we would ask her every 2 minutes if she was ready to stop crying and pick up the marker.  Finally, she had stopped crying after half an hour.  #1 peeks in on her and says, “She’s asleep in the bathtub.”  Ever-Patient moves her into a bed and decides to pick up the marker for her.

Post-Marker Meltdown

Post-Marker Meltdown

You may think my pregnancy hormones have inflicted some sort of irrational crazy disease on me after you read about the “Marker Meltdown” incident.  But, I am pleased to inform you that since then, she has not had a tantrum of that magnitude – on our meltdown scale, it was probably a 10.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10).  However, there have been a sprinkling of the whiny cries, but only during sleepy moments which are understandable.

I love how she exerts her independence and is constantly challenging herself (and sometimes us).  Out of the 4, she is the youngest to have climbed ladders in the playground and to have gone on rides in the amusement parks.  She is fearless in the water – jumping in with just water wings and prefers to cruise the pool by herself.  I love the way she pretends to “eat my arm” by pinching it and pretending to put a piece of it in her mouth.  In fact, she falls asleep that way – by squeezing my arm.  I love how that as soon as she turned 2, her vocabulary and eagerness to talk exploded exponentially.  Today she introduced herself to the guy fixing our neighbour’s porch: “Hi, I Lala.”  He replied, “Hello, I’m Peter, Lala.  Nice to meet you.”  Now every time we pass by him she says, “Hi Peeta.”  I love how she asks, “Mama, play Piggy Mah-ket Go Home with me”…which is “This little piggy went to the market…” on her toes on both feet.    I love her tender moments with me.  On my birthday, just as we lay down to sleep, she put her little arms around my neck and whispered, “Happy Birthday Mama” and we hadn’t really talked about it being my birthday since that morning.  I love it when I give her carrots for snack she asks, “Where’s hummus Mom?”  I love how she is embracing pretend play with #3, calling her “Mom” when they are together.  I love how when we drop off #3 at school in the afternoon, #3 says, “See you later alligator!” and #4, all teary-eyed because she has to leave her big sis says back, “In while croc-dile.”  I love how she teases Ever-Patient, dangling her love in front of him like a carrot in front of a rabbit, only to say, “I want Mama.”  I love how over the past 2 years, she has managed to fit perfectly in our family.

Jumping in the pool (topless).

Jumping in the pool (topless).

A zoo birthday for #4.

A zoo birthday for #4.

Happy Birthday Princess.


I am 31 today.  Here are 31 things about ME right now…

  1. I am happy in my own skin.
  2. I still tend to commit to things too hastily.
  3. I am madly in love with my 4 girls and the baby boy inhabiting my insides.
  4. I am madly in love with my husband.
  5. Every morning when I wake up, I immediately draw the curtains and look at the sky.  If it’s blue, I get out of bed with an extra bounce in my step.  If it’s gray, I close the curtain and lie down for an extra 10 minutes convincing myself that the sun will eventually make its presence known.
  6. I would write all day long if I could.
  7. The perfect moment for me is having all 6 (plus baby whoops) all together in my bed, squished and laughing hysterically.
  8. Curling up with a good book comes a close second.
  9. I hate wearing makeup.
  10. I lose my patience when I am tired and anxious.
  11. I am very grateful for every experience: the good, the bad, and the really bad…and for my family who inadvertently has taught my children how to value “relationships” over “things.”
  12. When I get “caught up” in trying to “catch up,” I am now able to let go and focus on what is important (see #13.)
  13. Life has been less stressful since Ever-Patient and I composed our family mission statement:  Live simply. Live healthy. Celebrate relationships. Value the Present.  Learn Continuously.
  14. I sweep/swiffer vac the floor 3 times a day.
  15. I am proud of the life I have chosen.
  16. I must do one crafty or creative thing a day.  (This includes doodling/painting/sidewalk chalking with the kids, art journaling, writing, baking, or even making random patterns on a scrap piece of paper while I’m on the phone.)
  17. My word for 2009 is RELEASE.  Focusing on this theme of letting go helped me this year whenever I encountered unexpected challenges.
  18. I have been caught up with laundry for the last 2 months.
  19. I am proud that I have cooked one meal this week. (And many “buttermilk pancake” breakfasts from scratch…because they just taste so much better and the kids love eating their berries with it!)
  20. I don’t like eating outdoors.
  21. I still love watching this: 
  22. I hate sleeping with my window open because I can’t stand the sound of the birds waking me up in the morning.
  23. I miss my daily coffee.
  24. I love jewelry…only I hate wearing it.
  25. I could spend all day at the library or my local bookstore.
  26. If I didn’t have 4 children and one on the way, I would definitely try to open one of these in town asap.
  27. I want to learn the following this year (in no particular order): to sew, to letterpress, to make homemade marshmallows, to speak Spanish, and to enjoy the months: November, December, January, and February.
  28. One of the most important things that I have learned in the last 31 years is that no amount of money in the world will change the past, change people, make you happy, give your children the “best life,” or make you feel better about who you are.
  29. When I answered the question, “What is the purpose of life?”, an answer that may be different for everyone, I stopped questioning who I was supposed to be and started to really live my life the way it was intended to be lived.
  30. If this were my last day here, I would be content with all that I’ve done and all that I’ve said in my lifetime.
  31. I miss peanut butter.

25 things #3 says.

#3, who will be referred to as “Sparkles” for the remainder of this post, celebrated her birthday about a month ago and is owed this special post celebrating her turning 4 years old.

fabulous 4.

fabulous 4.

In my experience, the 3-5 year old stage is one of the most exciting and amusing stages to witness your child journey through.  There is an intangible electricity that they emit as they start to really enjoy what the world has to offer.  Sparkles is no exception.  She is in full sponge mode, soaking up everything there is to learn, being extremely inquisitive, and taking the most delicious risks.  Twirling is her thing.  The best thing about it is that she makes me twirl and although I am no natural at twirling, she reminds me that it’s ok and to keep twirling anyway.  Her imagination runs wild and sometimes her line between reality and fantasy is quite blurred so you can imagine the types of conversations we have.

In celebration of our beloved Sparkles, here is some things she says…some of it has been directed at me while other gems have been overheard…

  1. “Get me off this toilet!”  This she has been known to scream when she is waiting for someone to help her wash herself.
  2. “True love’s kiss!”  She spotted an innocent smooch between Ever-Patient and myself and proceeded to squeal and say this.
  3. Ever-Patient has taught her a few sayings…  Ever-Patient: “They’re jigglin’ baby.”  Sparkles:  “Go ‘head baby.”

    100% sass.

    100% sass.

  4. More from Ever-Patient…  Whenever one of the girls says, “I can’t….”  Sparkles immediately chimes in, “You can do it.  You can do it.  Just put your butt into it.”
  5. “I miss my sister.”  She used to say this every day after we would drop off #2 at school for her afternoon kindergarten class.  It was a couple of hours of suffering without her big sis…they would be attached to the hip all morning and then Sparkles would have to navigate the afternoon, trying to fit into the big sis role for #4.  I can’t imagine the sweet sorrow parting that September will bring when Sparkles loses her BFF for the entire day!
  6. “You’re like my fairy godmother.”  This was overheard after #2 picked an outfit out for Sparkles to wear one morning and helped her get dressed, after Sparkles was fraught with indecision for 10 minutes.

    Best buds.

    Best buds.

  7. One morning, after #1 has gone to school, we are all sitting at the table.  #2 is finishing her homework, Sparkle and #4 are eating their second breakfast.  Sparkles looks up from her plate and says:  “I love you, Joey.”  No response.  Sparkles says it again, “I love you, Joey.”  Still no response from #2.  Sparkles now is yelling (only two feet away from her sister) and is standing on her chair: “I LOVE YOU, JOEY!!!!”  Without looking up from her work, #2 mumbles, “I love you too.”  Sparkles sits down with a contented expression and finishes her food in peace.  Her sister loves her back.  All is right with the world.
  8. I set aside alone time with each child about once a month where they choose the activity they’d like to do with me and for this hour or afternoon, depending on our schedules, they have my complete undivided attention.  It was Sparkle’s turn for some Mama-time and I asked her what she wanted to do.  She twirled and said, “Let’s just dance, mama.”  That evening, we twirled, dipped, cha-cha-ed and even choreographed our own dance.

    She danced like no one was watching...

    She danced like no one was watching...

  9. Sparkles: “Can I tell you a secret, mama?”  Me: “What baby?”  Sparkles: “I love you.”  My Heart. Cue the melting.
  10. “But there’s more…”  Sparkles always says this whenever a stranger comments on #2, #3, and #4 while #1 is at school.  I always receive nice remarks from people about having the 3 girls and because I am normally in a rush or in no mood for small talk, I don’t volunteer more information, specifically the fact that I actually have 4 girls with a boy on the way.  But Sparkles cannot resist letting people know…like the old lady walking in Greektown, the cashier at Canadian Tire, or the “muffin-lady” at Loblaws.
  11. Sparkles to #4:  “Your shoes are fash-inating.”  Me: “You mean fascinating, don’t you?”  Sparkles:  “No, FASHION-ATING.  They have so much fashion.”

    Sparkles giving #4 a headlock...I mean a hug.

    Sparkles giving #4 a headlock...I mean a hug.

  12. “Professor Outfit, do I button my sweater?”  This was overheard when she asked #2 her fashion advice on whether or not she should button her cardigan or leave it unbuttoned to show off her dress.
  13. “You never say ‘hello.'”  This was said to me as she passed me in the hallway.  I turn around and say, “What?  Sorry.  Hello?”  Sparkles turns to me and says, “Oh, that was from ‘Twilight.'”  Sparkles likes to quotes movie lines she overhears or remembers and tends to just surprise us with them at odd times.
  14. Another movie line she dropped on me recently:  “What’s with our relationship?”  Me: “Excuse me? I wasn’t aware that something was wrong with our relationship.”  Sparkles: “Mama, what’s a relationship?”
  15. When it’s time to leave the house to go somewhere, Sparkles puts on her shoes, looks down at them, and says, “I wonder where my shoes will take me today.”

    What could she be thinking?

    What could she be thinking?

  16. “Oh please open for me magic doorknob.”  Sparkles begs the doorknob to open for her because her hands are full and she can’t open it herself.
  17. “That’s not appropriate.”  She uses this expression in the most inappropriate and random circumstances.  For example, Ever-Patient says:  “Please put on your sweater.”  And this would be her reply.
  18. Sparkles likes to have pretend cell-phone conversations with my phone.  Me: “Who are you talking to?”  Sparkles: “My friend, Alicia.”  Me: “Is she in your ballet class?”  Sparkles: “No!  Alicia KEYS!”
  19. In dire distress: “Mama, my bum keeps farting!”
  20. Last summer, my cousins took the girls to Marineland, but before we went there, we stopped at my cousin’s apartment in Hamilton.  We went inside and Sparkles said, “When I get bigger, could I stay here?”  The monkey pillow and the clap-on/clap-off lights sold her.
  21. More from Marineland…”You’re killing me.  You’re really killing me.”  (Another movie line.)

    Definitely not camera shy.

    Definitely not camera shy.

  22. In anticipation of the annual Marineland trip year this summer:  “I can’t wait to see the Begula whales again.”  Yes, she says BEGULA.
  23. Sparkles: “There was a fun-derstorm today.”  Me: “Do you like them? Or do they scare you?” Sparkles: “I like them because I like to dance in the rain.”
  24. “What kind of tree is that, Mama?”  Me: “I don’t know it’s name.”  Sparkles: “Then I will give it a name.  It’s new name is ‘Floppy Tree’ because it’s very floppy.”
  25. Last week, we were on the porch at dusk.  Everyone was busy reading, munching on berries, or drawing, except for Sparkles.  I noticed her out of the corner of my eye, standing on a stool, elbows on the railing, looking up at the sky.  I could hear her whisper to herself, “I wish I was up on the moon.”  She looked up at the half-moon in the darkening sky and closed her eyes.  She opened her eyes, looked around at us, and said sadly, “It didn’t work.  I guess I really don’t have magic powers.”  I quickly took her in my arms and whispered in her ear, “Maybe you will someday.”
I hope you will always dwell in possibility.

I hope you will always dwell in possibility.

We love you, Sparkles.