Growing Out On A Limb


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New Year firsts!

Nana and papa visited after Christmas and over New Year’s … it was a visit full of firsts!

Papa wanted to go geocaching.  He has heard us talk about it and was curious to see how it worked, so we went for a walk to find one.  It was a big box but there wasn’t much inside of it.   20161229_162549

We were the barker’s beauties cheering him on.  20161229_162542

Oliver had his first hockey tournament last week – four games over two days.  He got these new “dressy” clothes to use for his hockey games.  I can’t get this kid to put on jeans for school but he proudly dresses up for his hockey games!  20161230_111753

On New Year’s Eve we curled in a family bonspiel – nana, papa, emery, and I.  It was a lot of fun.  Emery has never curled the full sheet of ice and had to use the heavy rocks, but he did great.  I think he used some of the skills he has learned in the Ice Cubes program and learned more about the game.  20161231_101141

We had a great visit with nana and papa but today we are all back to normal business!


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NYE and the tooth fairy!

Oliver, being one of the last of his circle of friends to have all of his baby teeth, was really anxious to lose his first tooth.  The sucker was loose and hung on for what seemed like months!

Finally, on a New Year’s Eve family bowling trip, he bit into a jelly bean and it was a goner.  Thankfully daddy found it and put it in his pocket.

He was pretty tickled that it happened on a special day like New Year’s Eve and spent several days talking about how funny the hole felt.  He was pretty excited to show his friends when he returned to school!

The tooth fairy brought him $4 and he was stoked to spend it on a new beanie-boo.

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First Day of School 2015!

This is a big one – Yesterday was the first day of primary for Emery and the first day of grade one for Oliver!

Oliver was good to go.  He knew what it was all about!  Many of his best buddies are in his class again this year, which was exciting to him.

Emery surprised me.  He can be shy and quiet so I thought he would be nervous about his first day but once he knew that a couple of his preschool buddies were in his class and that Oliver was going to sit with him on the bus, he felt really good about school.  And he jumped right on the bus without even looking back.

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We found his seat and a few of his buddies and he did not have a hard time letting me go at all.  At the end of the day he told me his favorite part was “all of it”.  IMG_20150908_082639Oliver was not quite as thrilled about the classroom picture.  Is he embarrassed of me already??  IMG_20150908_083429At this point, the goofy back-to-school pictures are as obligatory as the back-to-school photos.  IMG_6456 IMG_6457I’m so proud of Emery for being brave and diving into his first day like a champ.  And I’m super proud of Oliver for being a good big brother by sitting with Emery on the bus, playing with him on the playground, and at their after-school program.  They’re both champs to me!


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Oliver – The eve of primary

Here we are… the day before Oliver starts primary.  

I think this must be the definition of mixed feelings.  I am excited for him – to meet new friends, to be riding the bus, to be surrounded by kids and learning so much – and I know that the teachers are prepared to help him adjust.  But for days now my stomach has been filled with anxiety.  

I ran into a friend last week whose son is also starting kindergarten and, among the commiserating, she said, “They’ll be fine.  They’re ready”.  I don’t think she noticed but I had this panic-stricken moment moment when I thought, “Oh my god.  Is he ready?”.  

Will he wash his hands?  Will he eat all of his lunch at recess time?  He can’t tie his shoes yet!  Will he sit all alone on the school bus every day?  Is he going to ask to go to the bathroom in time?  If he makes it, will he pee on the seat?  Will he wander into the woods unnoticed at recess time?  

And let’s assume he makes it home with clean hands and tied shoes.  Will he tell me what he has done all day – who he played with, if someone was mean to him, whether he raised his hand to answer questions or not?  

It’s hard to let go.  For over five years, even when I wasn’t home with him, I have known what his day has looked like – what was for lunch, who he played with, etc.  Tomorrow, all that changes – not only will my heart be walking outside of my body, but it will be walking outside of my body alone.  And what I will know about his day is what he will choose to tell me.  God, I hope he wants to tell me everything.  

Whether I am ready for it or not, when he steps on the bus tomorrow morning he starts on a new road of independence.  And it’s important for him to take that road.  I just need to trust him, trust that we have prepared him, trust that he can handle it, and trust that he will tell me when he can’t and needs help with something.  

In a month or two, I’m sure this whole school thing will be routine and seem like no big deal.  But for now, for today and tomorrow, it is a big deal.  A really big deal.  But for him, I need to let go.  He’s ready.  

Can someone please remind me of that when I am bawling as the bus pulls away? 

Today we went for a special “date”, just him and I.  Maybe this will be our back-to-school tradition.  We went to (where else?) “Old McDonald’s” for something to eat and then to the library for some new books.  

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I wanted a nice picture of the two of us.  This is as close as we got… 

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… and then the sillies set in!  IMG_6644

I kept saying, “Okay, this time be serious” and he would say, “Okay”.  And we would get this… IMG_6650

… or this … IMG_6655

… or this … IMG_6659

… but it all ended in this so mission accomplished.  IMG_6657

I love him.  


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Eleanor is one!

Dear Eleanor,

Last week was your first birthday.  The very first one!  We celebrated on a rainy day while on our beach vacation in Shediac.  It seems like a million things have happened since then so I am slow writing about it but believe me, it did not go by unnoticed and we had plenty of people there to help us do it in style!

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Here are a few things about you as you turn one…

  • You are petite but meaty and healthy.  I love your chubby little legs.
  • You are a good eater (maybe a little picky about meat sometimes, but then, so am I!).  You love ice cream and see it coming a mile away!
  • You like the slide at the park, especially when sliding with one of your brothers.
  • You don’t say any words yet but make lots of noise!
  • You give me open-mouth kisses (that make me melt) and high fives!
  • Sometimes you love to just sit and watch your brothers and they are totally enamored with you.  They need the occasional reminder to be gentle but are mostly very soft with you.
  • You still have very little hair but it is dark.
  • You’re pretty shy around strangers, which makes me nervous about your first day of daycare.  (To be honest, I’m a little nervous about how I will feel that day too).
  • You like raspberries on your belly – they make you belly laugh.
  • You walked at 9 1/2 months so by now you are constantly moving around the house from toy to toy, from drawer to drawer.
  • You like being outside, whether it is on a hike in the carrier or wandering around barefoot in the grass.  You also like floating in the pool.
  • You are very expressive and seem to have a thousand faces.  All of them make me smile.
  • In your first year we have moved our family twice so you have already had three bedrooms.

The last year has been full of big changes, ups and downs, and many challenges.  Being home with you and two boys that fight like… well… boys, has definitely tested me as a mother.  The boys often took my attention away from you but I tried really hard to find pockets of time in the day or little excursions out where it was just you and I.  I plan to keep that up because I already enjoy our girl time together so much and because you manage to make me smile even when I’m feeling low.

You are a bright light in this house of boys and the prettiest thing I look at every day.

Kisses,

Mommy

No birthday party is complete without balloons!  And a pretty party dress.

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Nana and Papa, Ali and Aaliyah, aunt Betty, and of course your brothers and daddy were all there to celebrate.
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Your cake was what I could manage while on vacation.  I think it turned out pretty cute!  IMG_6537

Just a pic of your pretty face.  I love your eyes, your cheeks, and your sweet little turned up nose.  IMG_4237


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On her feet!

Three days ago I wrote this post about Eleanor and how she likes to climb, getting her upper body up on little boxes and such.

Two days later (yesterday) and…

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She started the day by getting to her knees and I said to hubby, “Watch her stand up before the day is out”.  And she did.  Her eyes seem to say, “Just watch me”.

She is so proud of herself and when I sit her on the floor she seems to make a beeline for something at the right height to lean on and get her feet underneath of her.  This kid can’t even sit up for long on her own yet!

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Hubby and I can’t stop laughing at this picture.  Today I noticed she does this open-mouth pose for the camera consistently.  So cute. IMG_5779

Pretty girl.
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She is also doing this scrunchy face for the last days, sniffing in and out.  She’s looking a little angry here but she wasn’t.  IMG_5794

Just more cute.  Serious cute.  IMG_5796
More scrunchy-faced goodness!  IMG_5810I tell her that if she is going to get up to shenanigans like these at 7.5 months old …
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… she has to expect the occasional fall.  (This one was a slow, soft fall by the way … no crying).  IMG_5809

And, as if to make mommy’s words hold some weight, not an hour after those pictures she took a more serious spill, bumped and scratched her head, and cried and cried.  IMG_5823Poor muffin… but she’s still smiling!  Any bets on how long it will be before she is walking?


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Snowshoeing

This past weekend Oliver went snowshoeing with hubby.  We borrowed a pair of really light-weight and small snowshoes from a friend because we knew anything difficult and clunky would turn him off immediately.

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He just motors on them!  He and daddy just went into the woods behind the house but it was enough for him to get a feel for them.  I think we need to get a couple of pairs for next winter!  IMG_5673