The Lobster

Matts family are fishermen, grandfather, both parents and now his brothers. He's always worked on fishing boats, dreams of owning his own someday, so he's comfortable around lobsters. His whole family is. The first time I'd ever had lobster was at his parents house, his mom plopped a plate with a whole lobster on it. I had no idea how to eat it, everyone dove in, successfully cracking it open, I sat there in awe of this bug on my plate. That was a few years ago, I've had lobster since, but Matt does all the work for me (I know, what a dream) so I still have no idea how to properly eat a lobster. I could look it up but then I actually would have to do it myself. Looks brutal and messy. Also, I was attacked once, Matt brought two home, left them in a plastic bag, in the fridge overnight. I'd forgotten about them being in there, opened the fridge the next morning and OUT COME THE LOBSTERS. I only wanted milk for my coffee, not nightmares for life. But thanks lobsters, you two tasted extra yummy.

Max has been on Grampie Brown's fishing boat a few times (while docked, he's not fishing yet!) and has been around lobsters and fish his whole short little life. It's just normal to him. So, after we had E and hadn't had any shellfish in the house for the first few month...my mom has allergies so we were being careful...we decided on lobster for dinner. Then just to see how fearless, E would react, seriously this girl isn't scared of anything, like normal parents, we set them loose in the kitchen.

Like we thought, she was curious, but not even a little scared. She probably thought our new dog was really weird. Max had never held one before this, I think Ellie's fearless demeanour gave him some bravery too, or he didn't want the baby to show him up. Penny wasn't around but I kind of wish she had been, it'd been a fight between her and our dinner, I'm sure.

(p.s. reminds me of this scene from Annie Hall, especially when she makes him pause to take a picture.)


On Old Souls

There are generally two types of old men,  the loveable, friendly, grandfather-to-all types (like my pops) and their ornery, cantankerous counterparts. I fall into the second category. Yes. I know, I'm not that old, nor am I a man, but hear me out (read me out?). My personality would tell a different story.

How I feel, most days...

While the grandfatherly type can usually be found on a bench -wherever there are benches, because they will always find them- mingling with other like minded gentlemen, the second type... my people... are on their own bench, complaining. How is it that every bench that has ever been, since the invention of benches, has had an elderly man on it, at all times? Oh, and they're usually complaining about my favourite things, in no particular order:

+ the weather

+ today's youth

+ their health

I'm not sour all day, everyday, but it's not unlikely either. Matt is the complete opposite, sunshine and rainbows to balance me out, it's why we work. When he's in the mean reds, I'm chipper and upbeat, almost alarmingly so. But, this works for me, being an old soul, happily unhip, tea drinking, untrusting anything new or novel. 

I will forever befriend the elderly man in my closest vicinity, it's like a habit at this point. We are kindred spirits, those grumps and I. And, once I'm as physically old as my demeanour, you will be able to find me on the bench, with the others.


Our Weekend 002

We had such a good week, which is why I didn't post anything, Matt was home so we ran errands, snuggled in our jams and saved our energy for the weekend. Grampies birthday is today (Happy Birthday!) so he and Grammie were in the city for a couple of days. We met them for lunch on Saturday, along with Matt's sister and enjoyed way too much coffee and breakfast-for-lunch. We sat in the restaurant for an absurdly long time just chatting. It was the perfect way to celebrate Grampie, sitting around the dinner table, just catching up. That evening we had a delicious dinner with friends, busy Saturday, the best kind of Saturday if you ask me.

The next day, we bundled up, albeit under dressed, and went to Citadel Hill for a Victorian Christmas. It was freezing and totally worth it, the boys got a big kick out of it, soaking in the fortress and everything in it. They had lots of little things to do, carol singing, displays and a children's parade with Father Christmas, which we told Max was Santa's great-grandfather. He bought it. It wasn't structured, everything happened every fifteen minutes so we didn't miss out on anything if we lingered too long inside to defrost a bit. Best way to spend a chilly Sunday, wandering around a fortress in blankets.

More pictures, after the jump...


Parade of Lights

You'll just have to take my word for it, it was beautiful. I have no pictures, not a single one, because my phone died while I was on the bus. But, I'll get to that in a moment.

Every year, the Chronicle Herald puts on a Christmas Parade of Lights in downtown Halifax, it's big and beautiful and signals the HRM that, yes, it's okay to start decorating/shopping for Christmas. Yes, local businesses, put out all of your Christmas loot (if they haven't already) and blast Jingle Bells non-stop until January 1st. So, that happened last night, I decided to take the littles on my own because Matt was working away. I didn't want them to miss out on ringing in the Christmas spirit! We took the bus (my favourite) which was uneventful, made it downtown, grabbed some food and ate it picnic style while we waited.

My sister in law joined us once the parade started and it was nice to have company, then I tried to take a few pictures, my phone was dead. D E A D. I was downtown, in a crowd, with no phone. If Beth hadn't been there, I may have thrown up. But, she had hers (because who doesn't carry a phone anymore?) and so that was reassuring enough to enjoy the rest of the parade.

The bus home was easy, walk five minutes to the terminal, get on, get off right outside my front door. Super simple, fool proof even. Except, we waited and waited and waited and it never came. Well, maybe it did, but everyone in Dartmouth had come out for the parade and so Metro Transit authority thought it best to shuttle them all back home first, turning my super simple bus into a Dartmouth ferry bus. Twice. After an hour, and with no one left at the terminal except us and the homeless, I took a different bus, it was supposed to take me close to home, the driver would call us a cab and we wouldn't get kidnapped. Basically. It was also 9:30 at this point.

On the new bus, we had the pleasure of sitting next to a inebriated, older gentleman who was having a hard time keeping his Saturday night celebrations down. Fun. Then the bus driver tells me, "Lady with the kids that needs a cab...get out here, I'll call one." She lets us out in a terrible neighbourhood, and either never called a cab OR the cab just didn't show up. I waited half an hour either way. So I walked home, with the littles, at 10 p.m. in a bad neighbourhood.

I don't want to seem like I'm complaining but, come on. What have I done in my life that the universe had turned on me like that? We made it home, littles fell asleep in the stroller on the walk, we weren't  kidnapped, so not a terrible night. Just not a very good one.



MMMbop, yeah I saw Hanson in concert last night. It was incredible and embarrassing all at the same time. I now understand how all those 1D fan girls feel, teenage Carla's dreams came true.

Surprisingly, I learned a few things from that concert:

+ the Hanson brothers are very awkward when they aren't singing

+ they haven't aged? Tell me your secrets Hanson

+ they kept making music after I stopped listening, in high school, not that I thought they'd stop because I moved on, but still....six albums!?

+ their fans (excluding me, of course) are absolutely nuts. Rush the stage, dance wildly in the aisles, sing at the top of their lungs, nuts. One  girl woman screamed "I'm going to cry!" Yes, alright Dear, get a hold of yourself

+ most people are willing to stand in front of a band and watch a concert through their phone screens, amazing!

Seriously though, they're really great in person, and did my old soul some good to get out with a girlfriend and stay up past 9 p.m. even if I did fall asleep during the opening act. In my defense, he had a soothing voice, sang slow songs and the lights were out. Basically lulled me to sleep. I don't even remember his name.



So, I usually hate it when I see twins dressed alike, it's always tacky rompers that the Mom couldn't resist buying two of. For whatever reason, I don't have those impulses. You will never see my kids in coordinating lederhosen. But, it's totally OK if the kids aren't twins, and its a classic outfit like, jeans and stripes, right?

It was kind of an accident, at least that's my story.


Our Weekend 001

Baby Batman, clearly not as into it as I am

This weekend was the third annual SciFi convention, HalCon, and our first time attending. We got Matt tickets for his birthday and planned on going to see Billy Dee Williams on Saturday. We headed out early, met up with Matt's brother and sister and walked to the convention in hopes we'd make it there just in time for his Q & A.... ha! Wrong

We were greeted with a lineup around the block for registration, since we purchased our tickets online. Matt's siblings bought their tickets at the door so they could enter right away, I waited inside with the babies while Matt braved the cold outside in the queue. After an hour, he met up with us inside and we joined him in the line. Another hour passed and we were still in line with at least 100 people in front of us, then we heard rumours they were over capacity. The fire marshall showed up and we were all asked to leave. There was a boom in ticket sales and no limit on purchases, they had over twice as many people show up than they had anticipated and couldn't accommodate us all, refunds were offered for cash paying customers, but the lineup for refunds was at least three hours long so we decided to wait and go the next day. 

Max was incredibly disappointed after waiting what felt like an eternity along with hundreds of other disgruntled people, to have to leave without seeing Lando Calrissian AND wasting an entire Saturday afternoon. E was very patient, had a nap, played and made a few friends, was told she was "the most patient child ever", which she kind of was. 

So we left, sad and grumpy and ate our feelings at a burger joint down the street, totally worked. Since it was freezing, we walked back to Aunt Beth's house for hot chocolate and to complain as a group to Beth, who listened sympathetically. 

The next morning, we got there at 8 a.m. got in line and finally got in less than an hour later! I was doubtful, and grumpy, it was way too early for this nonsense to not work, again. But we were in and immediately overwhelmed, there was a lot going on and it was spread out over three levels and only an escalator to use....we took the stroller. Folks, I put a stroller on an escalator, this isn't new or shocking but it was terrifying! Matt almost wiped out when he tried to do it, clearly, I'm the more seasoned stroller-pusher. 

We spent a total of three hours there, the boys sulked the whole time, Max was scared of most of the costumes, Matt was confused as to what we were supposed to be doing and I was expecting to loathe every minute of it, I LOVED it. Had no idea that was coming. Seriously shocked. I was a crazy fangirl all of a sudden, and maybe it was because the boys hated it so much that I tried to make the most of it, or maybe I am a SciFi convention kinda gal and never knew. Either way, I plan on going back next year, without the boys.

More pictures after the jump....



We had friends over for a play date a few weeks ago, they have littles the exact same age as ours. The older boys were playing while the babies stared at each other and then E got sleepy. It was 2 p.m. and she hadn't had a nap yet that day. When asked what her nap schedule was like, I naively replied " oh twice a day at 10:30 and 2:30 on the couch, while she nurses. I was NOT expecting the reaction I got. She was horrified that E slept on top of me, for both naps, everyday, for hours at a time.

 "How do you get anything done?" I do it while they're awake.

"When do you have time for yourself?" Um… good question.

I was totally embarrassed, and a little mad at myself for letting this happen. If everyone else was using nap time for marvellous, unheard of things like "me time" what the hell was my problem? Why didn't I think of that? And more importantly, how do I fix it?

Max gave up naps at around age two, but when he was napping, it was the same situation. I may have been able to slide out from underneath him occasionally, but it never lasted more than twenty minutes, so I almost never did it. She doesn't always sleep on me, sometime she'll pass out in the car, or in her stroller and then we can put her in a bed, but most of the time, it's nursing while snuggled up to me. I should mention we also co-sleep with E and did with Max until Ellie showed up. Apparently I hate sleeping.

So, since then I have been trying to get E to nap without me, without  much any luck, and have tried to transfer her to the crib for at least a few hours every night, it's not happening. I was OK with our situation until it came up as a hot topic, do I really need to change things now? Probably. But, for now I'm ok with the extra, daytime snuggles.


Little Harbour Photo Dump

  Some pictures from our weekends in Little Harbour at Grammie and Grampie's house…

Can you spot the teensy ponytail? 

Always a good time :)


Birthday Weekend

We went to my in-laws to celebrate Matts birthday this weekend, he'd been working in the area all week and had no idea we were coming. It was a nice surprise since all he'd asked for were his kids for his birthday. We drove down the night before and were sitting at the kitchen table waiting for him when he got in from work, I wish I had taken a picture of his reaction when he saw us!

He and I took advantage of the babysitter offers from his (five!) sisters and went out for dinner that night. The next day, on his actually birthday, he had to work but that gave me, his sisters and his Mom time to get everything ready for the traditional Brown family birthday feast.

Best part of the night, when Matt opened the gift from his parents.....

Happy birthday Matty, we're pretty crazy about you!


Happy Halloween

Pumpkin family

I love being scared, when I was little, I'd stay up late with my Dad watching horror movies, and it was one of my favourite things to do with my Grandfather as well. He liked the old black and white classics. But Halloween has never been my favourite. I always hated my costumes, not a chocolate fan and the idea of traipsing around in the cold at night to beg for food I don't like is low on my priority list. But, now that I have kids, well it's kinda fun.

We did all the usual Halloween type things, decorated pumpkins, baked cookies (that didn't last long enough to take pictures of!) and made costumes. And by "we", I mean me. I made costumes. I don't sew so I got resourceful and glued costumes...seriously. I did the same thing last year and the littles are too young to notice the difference, but I may eventually have to learn to sew. Maybe I'll put up a quick tutorial next week.

Batman and Robin 2012

Luke and Leia 2013

Aunt Katie came to help take the littles out, because of course, Matt was working. It was so much fun, Max said "Trick or treat? Thank you and Happy Halloween" at every door, all in one breath. So cute. Ellie was happy to cruise around in the wagon, occasionally she'd wave goodbye to someone. Stone cold, that gal.

The Millennium Falcon has been downgraded due to budget cuts.

They came home with one small bag full of treats, which they dumped on the floor immediately. We sorted through the pile, picked out what they liked and put the rest aside for the Halloween Fairy. Oh, you've never heard of the Halloween Fairy? That's because it's me. I'm her. I stole half my kids candy BUT they love the idea of collecting candy for a little fairy and they don't eat treats regularly so they we're overwhelmed with the amount they got anyway. Oh, whatever, I ate their candy, deal with it.

Hope you all had a spooky night, Happy Halloween from the Campbell-Browns!