Golden Elsa

“All women are princesses, it is our right.”

~Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

Elsa is 9 today. Her golden birthday, which I was told, is VERY important.

Yesterday she celebrated with a few of her classmates, getting pedicures, making slime, decorating ice cream cone cupcakes and having a dance party. All llama, no drama. 🦙

It was a good day.

The llama love continued today, as she brought some beautifully decorated and delicious cookies to share with her friends at dance. By the way, I have a great cookie connection in Halifax if you need one. ☝🏻

It was also parent participation day, which meant I attempted Elsa’s Level 5 class. It felt great to move and dance. I just followed Elsa’s lead…

An even better birthday treat, Elsa received her Society of Russian Ballet exam results for Level 4 and received an examination mark of Highly Commended!

This was her first time taking a ballet exam and she really enjoyed the process. If you’re interested, here is more information about the examination.

Russian Society of Ballet

Elsa shines with her spunky sense of humor, confidence, laser-like focus and work ethic. She has a heart of gold.

We love you sweet Elsa Claire.

In Like A Lion

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Remember this?

The gym unit that brought so much joy yet so much pain…

Well, Elsa felt the wrath of the scooter and crazily enough she suffered a finger avulsion. I will spare you the “before picture.”

Aside from the initial pain, Elsa feels fine. The doctor splinted the bad finger to her pinky and applied a clean dressing so the skin would hopefully adhere back to her finger. 🤮

Thankfully, after a few days, her body started doing its thing, and with a follow up at the doctor, a simple bandage was all that was needed. We celebrated with lunch out.

The joys of getting out of the house and feeling alive, but it’s Canada so now we are hunkered down for snowstorm #1 of the weekend.

It begins…

Sophie is hating on the weather because it could spoil her school musical performance. Elsa has a ballet exam tomorrow, which means we may be traveling by dogsled and morning hockey might be canceled (Soren is grumping).

Ellinor on the other hand is feeling the snow flow.

No one puts fourth child in the corner.

Ellinor went to bed and we embraced her enthusiasm, heading out for shovel session number one. All of the kids’ misgivings about the weather disappeared as they ran outside to play.

It’s a beautiful and calm winter night; no wind and gentle falling snow. It’s March 2nd and kind of magical.

March, Where Are You?

A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period –

When March is scarcely here

~Emily Dickinson, A Light Exists In Spring

February’s only redeeming quality is it has 28 days. Otherwise, it’s one of the least exciting months, usually cold (especially in Canada) and uninspiring. It just can’t compete with months like July or December. Sorry February…I’ve never been into you. February is like a pair of pleated khakis or a mock turtleneck.

We did manage a few “warmer” days between our big snow day and now. Honey got a walk in, the second of her life.

Lately, it’s been biting cold and windy. I’ve been lucky enough to score parking spots near the school so I can run Elsa and Soren in without having to take Ellinor out of the car. This weather literally takes her breath away. We even skipped Ellinor’s gym class and opted to snuggle under a blanket and watch Peppa Pig, her new favorite.

After school hours are more hectic than usual, as Sophie is happily preparing with her classmates for the school musical, Fiddler on the Roof. This means my babysitter is tied up, requiring me to bring the little ones with to drop Elsa at dance. While she is at class, we bide our time at the book/toy store and get Starbucks.

Woah…wait mom. Is that Peppa Pig? Worlds collide.

Playing with the germ infested, community Duplos.

March is almost here and lots of happiness awaits like Elsa’s birthday, Sophie’s musical performance and spring break. The prospect of slightly warmer weather has us excited and ready for more time outdoors.

Ellinor’s face says it all.

Storm Chips

A big storm is heading our way. Lots of snow, turning to a wintry mix and then freezing rain (i.e., classic Halifax; #classichalifax), which means we are hunkering down with our Storm Chips.

This is the first time I have eaten these kind of chips and I was a little wary because I really dislike ketchup chips (sorry Canadians). I will say though, Parker and I both liked them. They tasted of muddled, yet delicious flavoring, but most predominantly the dill pickle flavor which is one of my all time favorites (a true Minnesotan).

Yes, chips are delicious, but why am I blogging about them?

According to Haligonians, one knows a snowstorm is on its way by the condition of the snack food aisle. In addition to grabbing the essentials like batteries, milk and water, people in the Maritimes stock up on chips.

Back in 2014, CBC Halifax host Stephanie Domet noted this phenomenon, sending out a tweet, adding the now famous #stormchips and the rest is history.

Here is an interview with Stephanie:

STORM CHIPS ⛈

According to Ipsos Five, a division of the Ipsos Reid polling group, Atlantic Canadians eat more potato chips per capita than anywhere else in the country. Supposedly, chip sales have increased since the hashtag was coined and subsequently Covered Bridge capitalized, creating their now famous Storm Chips.

Storm Chips…chips for trick or treaters…it’s all coming full circle.

Now you can stock up and eat whatever chip you like during a winter storm. If I’m feeling nostalgic for my youth, it’s all about the Cool Ranch Doritos, but San Diegan Betsy loves her some Takis Fuego, especially during a snowstorm.

All I know is after all the chips I just ate, we better have a snow day tomorrow.

#chipsbeforebed

#chipsweats

#mykidsdidnteventrythem

#ilovecoolranchdoritossmashedinasandwich

#classichalifax

Other than loving chips and eating them well beyond my stomach limit, that is the extent of my chip knowledge.

For more information about chips in Canada, please visit Dr. Will Shead’s hilarious and informative social media accounts – Chip Quips.

Chip Quips – Storm Chips

Chip Quips – Instagram

Chip Quips – Facebook

Winter Hermit

“I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored.”

~Wayne Campbell, Wayne’s World

I reached the pinnacle of boredom on Monday. As I sat on the couch, watching Season 3 of The Great British Baking Show, I realized this weather has turned me into a shut-in. [insert dramatic voice] I feel like I have nowhere to escape.

Knowing I was starting to unravel, I decided I needed to do something beyond watching Ellinor play with pencils and then stop Honey from eating said pencils (basically what they do all day).

To combat my cabin fever, I planned a few meet-ups with friends and signed Ellinor up for her first gym class. After registering online, I made a promise that I would be more diligent about our attendance than I was with the ill fated music class we had “taken” this fall.

We went to our first class today and I was the youngest mom in the room by 10 years. All the the women were first time moms, whereas I was now the seasoned mom of four who looked a little more haggard and a lot less enthusiastic than the others.

Ellinor enjoyed herself.

I learned she has a slight fear of parachutes, but surprisingly wasn’t as shy as I thought she would be. She followed directions and even seemed interested in what the teacher had to say, although she did tend to wander and play on her own. I can only imagine she felt exhilarated, the solo Larson kid, free to explore and have her own time outside of the house and the mini van.

At the end of class, I was shocked at her amazement and curiosity with the bubbles and then I realized, oh crap, she has never played with bubbles. #fourthchild

We really need to get out more.

Baby gym time also means epic naps and even more sensational post-nap hair flow.

Gym day was a success.

Groundhog Day

“Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties cause it’s cold out there…it’s cold out there every day.”

~Phil Conners, Groundhog Day

I haven’t felt that inspired to write lately as we have been hunkered down at home. Partly because it’s been too cold (not like the polar vortex that just passed through Minnesota) and also because I’ve been tending to sick kids.

Elsa spent much of last week home with the stomach flu, which turned into a nasty cold all topped off with an insane nose bleed on Friday. Tis the season for the crud as most teachers and parents of young children will attest.

Ellinor loved having Elsa home and I enjoyed it as well. We spent much of our time binge watching The Great British Baking Show.

Okay, so a biscuit is a cracker and pudding is bread? Wait, no pudding is a cake?

We are well into season three and we know more then we will ever need to about proofing dough. Good bake!

It’s Saturday and Elsa is still under the weather, but our weekend plans are limited to sitting indoors, so no worries. Again, it’s cold.

Our letter board correctly expresses how we, especially me, feel at the moment.

While we wait out winter, Soren continues to embrace the ice and cold. He is progressing in CanSkate, completing Level 1 and checking off some skills in Level 2. When he got off the ice with his patch and ribbons he told me, “Oh my gosh mom…I totally wrecked it!”

He also got his rookie card in hockey.

Meanwhile, Sophie is preparing for her school musical (Fiddler on the Roof) where she is in the chorus and Elsa is gearing up for ballet exams. All fun things that help winter pass by.

Aside from shuttling the kids around, Parker is busy at work and I’m trying to find a hobby. I need something that bides my time when Ellinor naps that doesn’t require a vast amount of artistry, can challenge my brain and also keep me occupied and fulfilled for an extended period of time. A task that has proved somewhat difficult…

Maybe I should start a baby fashion blog. Seriously, who wore it better?

Tuesday

“And a quiet old lady who was whispering “hush”

~Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon

Parker drove our van back from Maine today and got home just after dinner. We were thrilled to have her back in the driveway…oh, and we were happy to see Parker too. 😉

Best dad ever…he brought back provisions from Trader Joe’s.

My kids could live off freeze dried fruit.

While I began the task of cleaning up the kitchen (happens probably fifteen times a day), I looked over and saw my tired and sick little 🐝.

She left the sweetest drool mark on the couch. Good thing the upholstery is kid friendly.

Once Ellinor was tucked into bed, I realized we still had to install the new Canadian car seat into the van.

In hitting the deer, our insurance company required that we purchase a new car seat. Our “old” seat (we just purchased it this summer) was supposedly damaged goods and we were told to cut the straps and discard the seat, sending it on it’s way to the landfill.

If we wanted to go one step further, we could take the advice of the cult I mean, website, Car Seats For Littles where people recommended a person drive over the seat with their car so no one else will try to refurbish and use it. I mean after all, car seats expire…that thick, hazardous plastic which will exist on this planet for the next 100 years (or more) is expiring as we speak. I’m anxious just thinking about it!

Here I am beginning the car seat install. I’m so thankful that every country has their own rules and regulations for car seat safety.

What the eff is this bar?

We have a heated garage, but once I lugged this monstrosity outside, I realized why I hated today; it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite starting the car and blasting the heat, my fingers still felt like they were going to fall off, as I clumsily hung halfway out of the van door trying to figure out the nuances of this Canadian seat, aided only by the flashlight on my phone and the dome light in the car. With Parker’s help, I managed to get it installed, but not before becoming an unhinged lunatic.

We came back into the house and found the kids snacking on dried fruit…not even remotely ready for bed. I gave them the look and off they scattered to brush their teeth. There is no arguing with a woman who has lost feeling in her fingers.

Our bedtime routine took forever and like always, involved Soren and Elsa passing out wherever, at which point we transferred them to their beds once we were certain they were asleep. For two highly organized and regimented people, we have never successfully managed a solid bedtime routine with any of our children.

Up until 10 pm on a school night? Sure!

Snacks after teeth have been brushed? Why not?!

Staying up late to watch an important TV show, like Big Brother? You know it!

Parents falling asleep before children? Heck yeah!

Little kids sleeping on our floor or at the end of our bed? Sensational!

Parker is sound asleep after driving nearly 12 hours by himself, Honey is snoring next to me and I hear Ellinor stirring. I’m going to close my eyes and will myself to sleep knowing a school day morning comes faster than most. Goodnight Tuesday.