Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter exhaustion

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So here is what I've learned for sure after today...

make 3 signs next time.

Never just one.

Because just when you think you'll actually be able to get all of the kids in the shot as you're rushing out the door in the morning, and just as you scribble 29 weeks on that piece of ask the dreaded question "Who wants to hold the sign?"...and all hell breaks loose. 

And you start to lose kids. 

One by one.

Until you're down to just 2 kids.

And then finally just one. 

So 3 signs next time is key. 


And as I walked up the stairs tonight with Sophia in my arms and Mya and Carter trailing behind me I heard this little voice behind me say "Poor mommy", and Terry and I laughed as we realized that even little 4yr old Carter had noticed that the weekend had finally worn his mom out. My slow movements climbing those stairs was enough to make this little boy notice.   

Because the weekend was great--it definitely was.

But it's finally worn this 7 month pregnant lady out...and my spot on the couch was calling me tonight after we put everyone to bed.

The weekend was packed--completely jammed full of Easter fun and Sophia's 2nd birthday all wrapped up into just a couple of days. And it started with Friday morning, when 24 neighbour kids and their parents showed up on our court to take part in a big Easter egg hunt that I decided to put together just weeks in advance.

So my living room floor looked like this about a week ago, late at night, as I sorted through and organized piles of treats for all of the kids--making sure that every child got the exact same amount in the end (because tears at an Easter egg hunt are just not allowed).

And if you build it--they really will come.

And they'll search all over our court and through everyone's yards for those precious treats that we hid early that morning...

checking their treasure hunt papers that I had made for each child--letting them know exactly what treats they needed to find and how many of each they were to search for.

So everyone's baskets were full in the end...

and everyone's bellies were full as we all piled food and treats onto the tables for everyone to share.


Then just as we cleaned up the last of the tables and put away the last of the juice boxes from the morning, we packed up the kids and headed to my parents house to celebrate our little Sophia's 2nd birthday that same afternoon, while throwing in our big family Easter dinner in there as well.

So at 10pm the night before, I finished making Sophia's birthday cake--four layers of melt-in-your- mouth deliciousness wrapped in chocolate...with a cute little bunny placed on top.

And the rest of the weekend? Well...these kids woke up this morning to our house full of Easter treats, ready to be found by little hands. 

 And then ready to be sorted, one by one, so that everyone of course was left with the same amount in the end. Because remember the tears after an Easter egg hunt.

So mom is tired, but happy.

Because it's all worth it in the end. Worth all of the planning, worth all of the work, worth all of the exhaustion, worth all of the too-much-candy-too-much-excitement meltdowns, because it's childhood memories in the making...and so it's worth every minute of it.

Happy Easter everyone!

Go take a rest now. You deserve it.

Erica xo

Thursday, 23 March 2017

We brought 6 kids to Disney World and lived to tell the tale

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Okay, so technically there were 5 kids that were actually running around. But anyone who has been 6 months pregnant hauling bags and strollers through hours and hours of walking through Disney World, keeping track of lots of kids while climbing onto buses and maneuvering through massive crowds would tell you that that 6th kid still tucked away inside my belly definitely gets credit for being there.  

But we made it. We got suitcases packed, we got everyone onto the plane... 

we figured out how to sleep with all 5 of us in one hotel room and we set off for a wild week of fun, magic, delicious food and adventure at the happiest place on Earth.

There were princesses galore...


and Mickey sightings everywhere.

There were characters like Prince Charming who showed up at our dinner table...

and Cinderella who followed close behind (while Sophia clearly wasn't impressed with Cinderella's pop by visit!).

But Donald Duck? Well, he was somehow less scary than beautiful, soft spoken, loving Cinderella!

There were incredible live shows with dancing and singing and unbelievable costumes.

 There were personal visits with superstars like Elsa...

and Anna of course.

And incredibly over-priced stuffed animals and toys that were right at arms reach for any kid passing through.

There were aquariums full of beautiful fish, sharks and other sea creatures...

and spontaneous naps that we clung onto as long as they would last.

There were delicious dinners cooked right in front of us...

freezing cold days that made us feel like we were back in Canada again...

and rides that made us laugh out loud when we got the pics back. *if you look long enough at the faces on the right, you'll laugh too...and then there's Terry in the back who thinks he's on a major roller coaster.

And the rest? Well, I'll let the rest of the pictures tell the story of our days at Disney...

 But also let me tell much as these pictures show how fabulous a time we had, we didn't take pictures of us popping cookies into kids mouths to keep them from whining and complaining about having to wait in crazy long lines everywhere we went.

And we didn't take pictures of the overly tired, overwhelmed kids who each had their meltdown moments at some point during the week. Because Disney World might be the happiest place on Earth, but it's certainly not immune to the childhood meltdown (as noted as we walked past countless kids losing it on their magical vacation, and smiled understandingly at their exhausted parents).

But fun? It still certainly was!!

It was worth the crazy crowds where we thanked our travel agent for recommending strollers "just in case" for every child to sit in---because safety in huge crowds meant that we strapped all of the kids in and plowed through thousands of people knowing that we had every little person safely with us.

It was worth the many hours that my sister spent sewing and making Mickey shirts for all of the adults, and Disney character shirts and outfits for all of the kids (like Mya as Snow white, Carter's Incrediblel's shirt and Scarlett's Mulan outfit).

And we forgot all about the fact that Sophia cried most of the plan ride home when I saw the pictures of our excited kids with the pilot right before take off. 

So we made it, our little family of ours. We took all 11 of us (well, 12 of us to be precise)--and made it to the happiest place on Earth. We made memories that the kids will talk about for years to come, we saw magic happen right before our eyes and we ultimately had a wonderfully amazing trip together. 

And when we got home? Well, forget the millions of loads of laundry that had to be done--I chose to procrastinate by doing a little treat-making instead. 

Because after a trip like Disney World with 6 kids, you really need a vacation. 

Erica xo

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