Growing Out On A Limb


Spider Pancakes

In the spirit of Halloween, we made Spider and spider web pancakes this weekend!

The only trick to these is to put the batter from whatever recipe you like into a squeeze bottle.  I’m not sure we’ll ever have plain old pancakes again!  The possibilities are endless… letters, cars, Christmas trees, snowmen.

Oliver thought these were pretty fun.  But as long as there is syrup, he is happy.

Look at me, whipping out another idea I saw on pinterest.  As much fun as it is to browse pinterest for ideas and inspiration, it’s much more fun to actually knock a few of them off the list (and in most cases, less time consuming!).


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Every year I look for a way to decorate our Halloween pumpkins without carving.  I love to carve pumpkins but I just know that a carving session would end in Oliver being upset that I won’t let him run the knife.  So we do this instead:

Jean calls Emery a “pumpkin head” so lately he has been calling everyone a “puh-kin ed” in his drawn-out and relaxed tone.  I definitely see a couple in this picture!




This past weekend Oliver and I went to see… the Wiggles!

This is the last tour with the four original Wiggles and they came as close as Saint John so it was impossible to resist.  I hesitated a bit because I wasn’t sure if Oliver would sit for it … crowds and new situations are not his forte … but I’m so glad I took the chance.  It was such a great show and we had a really great time!

We got there, got our snacks…

… found our seats, and Oliver didn’t take his eyes off the stage until they came out.  I’m still not sure that he realized what we were going to see until the Wiggles actually came on stage.

Here they come!

And here’s where I admit that I always get choked up at moments like this.  I was so excited for him to get that first glimpse of them on stage and so glad to be there with him in that moment that I teared up.  Oliver’s eyes got big and I could tell he was quite surprised that they were right there.

Our seats were quite good (I think this pic makes the stage look further away than it was).

It was neat to look down at the crowd on the floor and see all the kids and parents dancing.  They were doing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” at this point so had little lights shining all over the crowd.

Captain Feathersword definitely got a rise out of Oliver.

Another confession:  I was kind of star struck!  Is that lame?  Murray came to our section at one point and I was more excited than any of the kids around me!  They talked a lot about the fact that Murray, Greg, and Jeff are done and even had the new Wiggles there for a couple of songs.  It was obvious that they were having fun with each other through the show, joking and carrying on and laughing at each other during the skits.  I was really surprised at how much I, as the adult, was entertained.

My only regret was not taking Emery.  I wasn’t sure I could handle both of them in that arena and thought it was quite a lot of money when he is too young to really appreciate it.  But I think he would have been totally captivated by it all and that would have been well worth the money.  The big finish!

I looked around at the kids at the concert and many of them were singing and clapping and dancing but not Oliver… that’s just not his style and I didn’t expect it.  He just sat and ate his popcorn and didn’t shout back or clap once.  But his eyes barely left the stage and I knew he was happy to be there so none of that mattered.

I admit, there might have been a time when I felt upset or like I wasted money because he didn’t jump up and down and seem to enjoy himself like the other kids.  But I know who he is and learn more about his personality every day and love him for every smidgen of it.  It’s about accepting those personality traits for what they are, not wishing they were something else or trying to change them.

And I know he enjoyed himself.  If I wasn’t sure when we left, I knew for sure when he burst through the door at home and said to hubby, “Daddy, I had SO much fun at the Wiggles!”.

And he’s still talking about it.  What a special day for us.

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Fall leaves in craft form

Oliver loves to create.   Lately he prefers a blank piece of paper over a coloring book (most of the time).  Now, I know that every mother thinks their child is exceptional – it’s our job.  Seriously though, Oliver astounds me all the time with how creative he is and how advanced he is with his artwork.

The other night we were enjoying a nice moment after supper over paper and a crayon, both adding little drawings to the paper.  After he got done drawing a bright yellow sun, I said, “Oliver, you are a really good artist.”.

“Mommy, what’s an artist?”

“An artist is someone that is very good at drawing and coloring and painting and making creations”.  (Every now and then he will pile a bunch of random stuff up, very deliberately, and call it his “creation”… kind of like a sculpture).

“Oh.  I’m a good artist.”

“Yes honey, you are.”


Over the past couple of weeks we have done some fall artwork.  Lately Oliver likes using his scissors and glue so that’s where we went with the fall art.

First the tree.  This was done on contact paper that was taped sticky side up on the table.  First I cut out the trunk shape and stuck it on.  Then we cut up red, orange, yellow, brown, and green scrapbook paper scraps to look like leaves and Oliver stuck them on.  The whole things easily sticks on the window.  

It’s hard to tell the colors in these pics but it is beautiful up in our window.

Emery sat right beside him with another piece of contact paper and I had given him leftover paper circles (Thomas-themed) that I used for Oliver’s cupcakes when he turned 2.  A few of them made it to our tree, which my anal nature didn’t like at first of course, but in the end I decided they were Oliver’s personal touches.  Brian calls it “custom”.

The same day we did a couple of crafts using leaves we had collected on a walk the day before.

The idea was to use the leaves to construct a turkey.  Like this one, which I made.  (Note this is also more proof that I do in fact occasionally do things I find on pinterest… ya!)

But Oliver was zeroed in on using the glue and didn’t care much about the leaves going on in any structure.  He went freestyle.

We happened to be going to our friend Olivia’s birthday party the next day so I suggested to Oliver that we make a nice picture for her.  He liked that idea and was very proud of what he came up with:

Lots (and lots) of glue, a featherless turkey, and the return of the Thomas circles.

And I, of course, think it is darling.

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Thanksgiving weekend

We had a family-filled Thanksgiving weekend, which, on its own, is a lot to be thankful for.  I was sick all weekend and therefore a little grumpier than usual (sorry hubby) but overall it was a good weekend.

We spent Saturday visiting with Brian’s family.  We took a trip to Everett’s orchard, a really neat and tidy orchard with this  spectacular view.  Cousin Megan even rolled down the hill a few times!

That was after apple-picking, which Emery and I did not partake in.  Emery needed a nap so I stayed in the car with him (and may or may not have dozed off as well).  We all just hung out in this spot after apple picking was done.

On Sunday we had the typical turkey dinner with my family, which was all kinds of wonderful.  It’s really nice to just hang out for the afternoon, with nowhere to go and nothing to do but gab and joke and laugh.

On Monday we made cookies.  Oliver loves to help but I admit, when it’s time to drop the cookies on the baking sheet, he does more dropping into his mouth than he does onto the sheet.  But that’s okay too.

The we went out to “the blue house” for lunch (with cookies of course) and a walk in the woods.

Wow, the leaves are beautiful this year.  This was taken on the way out to the camp.  Believe it or not, as breathtaking as this is, the leaves are on their way out at this point.

Oliver was very excited to go for a walk in the woods.  We explained to him that he needed his hunting vest on and why but his face in this picture shows his reaction to that.  It’s his personality – he’s pretty set in his ways and doesn’t adapt well.  Probably if I had warned him about it or if we all had the same vests to wear he would have acted differently, but I didn’t and so he didn’t and I ended up with it on.  

Three generations enjoying a walk outside in the woods.  

I’m so glad Oliver likes to be outside.  

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Oliver’s new room

When Emery was on his way, we did Oliver’s room in an alphabet theme.  When we put the house on the market, we disassembled it so we could repaint and fill in all the holes in the walls (because 26 letters means 26 ways to hang them – nails, tacks, foam tape).  Even though it meant lots of work down the drain, I decided to not put the alphabet wall back up.

We went with cars.  A while ago I picked up these mosaic sticker car things in the clearance section of the Superstore.  Oliver liked doing them so I picked up a second set and decided to use them in his room.  I couldn’t just hang them though, the walls still seemed bare, but what could I do that wasn’t going to mark up the walls?

Fabric.  Yup, I ironed fabric on the walls (otherwise known as the proof-I-do-things-I-see-on-pinterest project).  Just like with applique, you iron heat ‘n bond to the back of the fabric, peel the paper off, and then iron it to the wall.  And apparently it pulls right off when you’re done with it, like vinyl.

This opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Here is his new room.  The border is the fabric.

Here’s a closeup of the fabric border and the mosaic car.

This was an old window from my grandparent’s house.  I painted it the same color as his dresser and mod podged scrapbook paper to the back of it.  I was going to attach clothespins to the front so I could hang pictures or artwork in it (and I still might) but I kind of like the way it looks like this.  Just artwork.  

And I don’t think I ever gave hubby props for this shelf.  I saw it in a pottery barn catalog one day and he said, “yup… looks easy enough” and replicated it pretty much exactly.  I love it.  I feel like there is a lot more I could do to it but when your house is on the market there is only so much time and effort you want to put into redecorating.  Oliver walked in the day I finished the additions and said, “Wow… mommy, it is so beautiful!”.  That’s all the thanks I need!