Growing Out On A Limb

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Oliver’s 6th birthday party

On Saturday we had Oliver’s 6th birthday party.  It is still hard for him to understand that when your birthday falls in the middle of the week, your party will be on a different day.  But I tell him that just means there are two days to make him feel special.

We had ten boys here, including Oliver and Emery, from his class and who he has met on the bus (and one little girl that managed to stay out of the way for the most part).  So of course the majority of the two hours looked like this:


They went outside to play in the snow for a while, then came in for a snack of cheesies and fruit dipped in yogurt.  
IMG_5225 And then cake… Angry Birds Star Wars theme!  IMG_5227Note to self:  Sparklers might seem like a good idea in place of candles but it is difficult to light them all at once and the sparks will cause the plastic tablecloth to melt.  Both of those things will cause dramatic boys to run screaming for their lives.

Plan B: Candles.
IMG_5258 They’re like baby birds!  IMG_5274A little pinch of sugar and spice in between all the boys.  With yogurt-dipped cheesies thrown in too.  Yum.IMG_5222No angry birds star wars party is complete without light sabers!IMG_5291 IMG_5300Watching Oliver’s little social life begin and grow is fascinating.  I love meeting his friends and hearing him talk about them at the end of every school day.
IMG_5318 Then we opened gifts, which were plentiful and thoughtful.  Most of the gifts were lego star wars sets, which was spot on for Oliver and, amazingly, they were all different sets!  I thought it was quite a coincidence but then it occurred to me… he had asked his friends to get him lego star wars sets!  He told me he had and I was mortified for half a minute but decided not to worry about it… what else are boys going to say when talking about their upcoming birthday?  IMG_5324

I think birthdays are meant to be celebrated in a big way – it’s your special day!  He loved having his friends over to play and being in the spotlight for a while.  And I could tell he felt super special at the end of the day, which makes me happy and all the work and craziness totally worth it.




Eleanor’s daycare provider sent me this picture today.  Someday this will warrant a stern talking to but today it just meant running for the camera!  11006454_10155187339620464_80407531166272101_n-001

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Oliver turns 6

Six already!


Your birthday party is on the weekend (I am reminded of that several times daily!) but today we celebrated your actual birthday with gifts, cupcakes, and candles.  Your friends sang ‘bonne fete’ to you at school.  At bedtime you told me you loved your day sooo much, that you felt special, and that it was time for the most special birthday gift of all – a hug!  You climbed onto my lap and I was struck by how big you are, how far your legs hung out over mine, how heavy your head was on my shoulder.

Six.  Already.

At six you …

  • are Star Wars-lovin’ – and I mean Star Wars-Lovin’.  Legos, Angry Birds, real Star Wars… it doesn’t matter which brand.  One night we were talking about counting sheep to fall asleep and you said you would count TIE fighters over Tatooine.  Yup.
  • are so great with school.  You take everything about school in stride, from the mean kids on the playground to learning french (It is amazing to me how much french you have learned in such a short time).  You giggle when the bus driver calls you “Oliver Schmoliver”.  And I can see how exposure to other kids your age has made a real difference in how you interact with kids in general.
  • are so kind and soft with Eleanor.  She loves when you spend time with her.  You’ll be the best of friends.
  • are musical.  You sing and hum to yourself a lot.  We need to focus on piano lessons more.
  • play longer with Emery more and more.  It really makes mommy’s heart warm to watch you two building borders with blocks or making legos or helping each other in a dominoes game.
  • are still a handful sometimes.  We’re working on listening skills and temper control.
  • are so creative.  The things you build with Lego blow my mind – cars, star ships, shooters.
  • still love being outside, snow or no snow.

You can’t wait for your party on Saturday and I can’t wait to throw it for you!  Tonight you were happy to pick out your cupcake and put candles in it, but you are super excited to have your friends over and play.  IMG_5201 IMG_5204

Oh, and the light saber.  Sorry, but no … you can’t pack it in your back pack.  IMG_5211Love you, my big boy.  With all the powers of the Force.


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Pretty as a picture – Eleanor at 18 months

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  This is the prettiest thing I look at every day.  IMG_5167 Eleanor is almost 18 months.  She says a few words now… hi, bye, mommy, daddy, me me (when she wants something).  She is really good at copying the intonation of our voices, even if she doesn’t always get the sounds right.

She knows where her belly, her ears, and her eyes are.  We’re working on the rest.  IMG_5170

She is a ham for the camera and for us, making super squinty faces to make us all laugh.  She loves being near her brothers and especially loves when they play with her one on one.  Sometimes Oliver will chase her up and down the hall, making her giggle and giggle.

And she is really affectionate.  She leans in for hugs several times a day, from us and from the parents at her daycare home (she is a single girl among boys and they all love her).  Lately she gets a little jealous if I am snuggling with one of the boys and pushes her way in.

I think she looks a little like me in these pics.  I’ll have to find a baby picture of me to compare it with.

Love this little dolly.

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Hangin’ out

It’s been too long since we have picked up the camera and taken pictures of the kids just hanging around, doing their thing.  The days and weeks go by, the routine churns on, and if we’re not out doing something “fun” or special, I often don’t think to pick up the camera.  I know the everyday moments involving legos and dominoes and couch forts are just as special as when we get out and do something a little extra, I just need to capture them a little more often.

Lately, the everyday moments often involve legos… because they are played with every day.  Every single day.

IMG_5175 The boys build spaceships and vehicles and blasters and even houses full of gadgets and often play with them for the rest of the day.  When I see how much creativity is put into their building, I completely understand why all the “best toys” articles have them somewhere in the list.  Yup, I find legos everywhere (and I do mean everywhere), but it’s a small price to pay.  IMG_5178Eleanor just watches on but as long as she is where the boys are, she is happy.  And quite a little ham for the camera, it turns out.

IMG_5186 “Mommy, take a picture of my man!”.  IMG_5188IMG_5176More camera!