Growing Out On A Limb

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TOO much fun!

Last weekend we decided to go visit with aunt Ali in Saint John for the day – I figured we should take advantage before all of our visits are on skype.

The weather stank (rain in biblical proportions) so we were stuck inside for most of the day.  We made the most of it though.

Aunt Ali and cousin Aaliyah.

(Hey Ali … this is what four kids looks like.  You in?)


Aaliyah is at the age where she watches everything and soaks it all in.  She was watching Oliver on the tablet and kept touching the screen, pulling away, and then looking at Oliver.  He showed super patience by just laughing and continuing to play.  (Why can’t he show even an ounce of that patience with Emery lately?!)
IMG_4910 After lunch we went to an indoor play place to blow off some steam.  After checking in and getting the baby settled, I went around the corner to the area for the bigger kids and met Oliver who screamed, “I am having TOO much fun!” with a huge smile and a wild look in his eyes.  And THAT is why I adore these places.   IMG_4923

Emery loved it too.  He has no problem keeping up with the bigger kids.  It’s as if he doesn’t even realize that he’s younger and smaller.  Not much slows him down.

IMG_4926Thanks for the great day, Ali!


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Orchard 2013

My favorite family outing of the year – apple-picking at Dukeshire’s orchard!  It means fresh fall air, running happy children, and delicious all-you-can-eat apples picked right off the tree.

It is also the perfect place for photo ops.  Then again, we seem to do that everywhere we go!

Ah yes… the “buddy” picture that is in no way indicative of how I have to pull them off each other a few dozen times a day.  Typical brother stuff though because they do play well together sometimes too.  I have even heard Emery declare that Oliver is his best friend (between pushes and shoves).


I’m sure Emery ate a half dozen apples.  IMG_2853


Oliver seems so tall and grown up lately.

Nana and Papa came with us and picked apples of their own.  Papas know that the big ones are at the top…
IMG_2883 … and how much his grandsons like to climb.  IMG_2893 He was so proud of himself for getting to the very top without being scared.  IMG_2908

Monkey see, monkey do!  IMG_2912

IMG_2915 Wow, my boys are handsome!  IMG_2919 This is the best one of all of us.  It was such a beautiful sunny day.  IMG_2923 And this is the best one of the five of us… yup, the best one.  Oh well, better luck next time!  And more pics of Eleanor next year, I guess (she slept through the fun this time).  IMG_2925

This is my favorite picture of the bunch!  These boys are so full of personality.

IMG_2935Hopefully the boys and I will get back to the orchard one afternoon before the season is over… I can’t think of a better place for them to get rid of some energy.

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Eleanor – One Month Old

Eleanor turned one month old on Sunday.  With all of the big changes in our family lately, the days have been even more of a blur than usual and her one-month birthday leaves me with two feelings – on one hand, the labor and delivery seems like so long ago and I’m left thinking, “that was only four weeks ago?!”; on the other hand, it all seems like yesterday (I’m sure all moms can relate to that feeling).

Eleanor is still sleeping a lot and doing well through the night too (I’m up once and again early but then she goes back to sleep early morning).  She is also really good at sleeping close to the chaos of a 4- and 2-year old, which is helpful pretty much a necessity.

The boys are both really good to her.  They both ask to hold her quite a bit and say they love her and are generally very gentle with her.

Mostly he’s okay, but sometimes I notice a bit of envy in Emery, especially when he wants to sit with me but can’t because I’m feeding Eleanor.  A few times Emery has said, “I’m feeding my teddy” and when I look over he’s got his shirt lifted up and the teddy held up to his chest… it’s so cute and innocent and warms my heart.

How do we celebrate one-month birthdays around here?  Why, we take pictures, of course!


The angle of this shot kills me.  I might need to get this put on canvas.  IMG_2795-001

Check out those chubby cheeks – signs of a good eater.

  • Five days after being born, she was back at her birth weight (6 pounds 3.5 ounces).
  • At her two week checkup, she was at 7 pounds 4 ounces – a full pound more than her birth weight.
  • At one month old, she weighs in at a whopping 9 pounds 6 ounces – more than two pounds in two weeks!

Wow… she’s beautiful.


Right out of the bath, which she loves.  IMG_2813

This is her “worried” look, as one nurse put it.  I think she is also doing some finger exercises here (working herself up to being a great piano player).  Or trying to flip me the bird… not sure.

IMG_2824We all love her so much!

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Checking things out

Since moving, to the kids everything is “new house”, “old house”, “new town”, “old town”.  They (especially Oliver) will ask, “Are we going to the grocery store in our old town?” or notice landmarks and say, “Oh!  We’re almost to our old town!”.

In between unpacking boxes, we’ve been trying to take in a bit of our new town.  It’s not that Woodstock is completely foreign to us, but when you live close it’s much easier to just jump in the car and do quick little outings.

Last Saturday afternoon we took in the local park.  We have been there before but it seems sooo much better when you have to drive eight minutes instead of thirty.


Eleanor just hung out.  IMG_4802

My little monkeys. IMG_4806

I can’t get over how grown up this kid looks lately!  IMG_4810

Our “new house” is an older farm house, complete with goats and rooster in the back yard (WAS complete with goats and rooster… They were taken to a different farm the same afternoon this picture was taken).  Both boys were really brave when petting them and feeding them grass.  They hated to see them go.  IMG_00000034

Our yard has these trails mowed into the field beside it… kind of like a maze and lots of room to run around.  I love the blue sky and clouds in this picture.  IMG_00000039

On this morning, we parked downtown and took a walk on the confederation trail.  It was a beautiful (but chilly) fall morning.  It’s nice to break the day up by getting out and doing something simple like this.


Along the way we found a little path that led down to the water’s edge and a great spot to throw rocks in the water.  That is the local marina across the inlet.

We’re looking forward to checking out many more things in our new town!

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Oliver’s First Day of Preschool

Oliver has been so excited to start preschool and yesterday was finally the day.  He packed up his new angry birds backpack with his snack and toys (“enough to share with the other kids”, he said) and was ready to go.

We showed up a little early to look around, thinking that he would be overwhelmed by all of the kids and the new surroundings.  But he jumped right in and was playing with another little boy even before we left.


He had no problem letting me go, although I’ll admit to being a bit teary-eyed (not in front of him).  When I picked him up he gave me a big hug, said how much fun his new school was, and started telling me all about it.  As a mother, I’m so happy to see him excited about school (especially since he has had trouble adapting to new things in the past), relieved that he wasn’t hanging onto my pant leg as I tried to leave, kind of wistful to think of how fast he is growing up (my god, is he really starting school??), but at the same time excited to see him develop and hit these milestones like a champ.

It’s such a mixed bag of feelings but they are all wrapped up with pride at the big boy he is.

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Oliver’s Soccer Finale

Oliver has looked forward to Wednesdays all summer because Wednesday was soccer night!  He really listened well and joined in on all the exercises (except for the team cheer at the end… that intimidated him).  He especially enjoyed any drill where he got to get a run and kick the ball.

Last week was his last practice, where they played a bit of a game with a few of the parents.  They are all so cute to watch running after the ball.

Wait… how did Emery get in goal?  Daddy and him (and Oliver later) manned the goal … and did a good job too!  IMG_4767

Action shot!  I’m not sure if he is saving a shot on net here or kicking the ball out after a save/goal.  IMG_4784


Awesome team shot.  Coach Sarah was so good with all of the kids.  Oliver really liked her.


And then there is the medal.  He carried it around for days … doesn’t this face scream pride?


What a great experience for him… for his self esteem, for giving him a taste of playing on a team, for having something to look forward to every week that was all his own.