Growing Out On A Limb

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Oliver is 10!

It seems impossible that ten years ago I was cuddling my newborn … my first little babe … so hopeful and scared and full of love and awe.  I’m not sure I feel any more like I know what I’m doing now that I’m parenting a ten year old than I did back then, but I like to think I have a pretty good handle on who you are.

I am already starting to see glimpses of the tween and teenager you will soon become.  It makes me mourn that little newborn stage but only for a second – because then I think how cool it is to watch you grow and learn and start coming into your own.

As you turn ten…

  • It’s all about hockey.  Hockey and video games and sometimes hockey video games.  Las Vegas Golden Knights at the moment, but that flows with the tide a little bit.
  • You are playing on the TASA Flames – forward.  You are a good skater and always looking to make a smart play – but dang, those goals feel good too!
  • Favorite video games are NHL ’19 and recently Fortnite.
  • You are playing cello with the strings program at school.
  • You like games – card games, board games.  Phase 10 and cribbage are your favorites at the moment!
  • You do really well at school – a little distracted sometimes, but super smart.
  • Right now we are reading the How to Train Your Dragon series together – they are so good!


For your birthday we went to a Mooseheads game with a few friends – they won!  and had a little sleepover with lots of munchies and cake and video games. 20190216_170230

Vegas Knights cake!  20190216_205844

I hope that your birthday left you feeling loved and feeling as special as you are to me!






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Emery turns 8

Dear Emery,

You were excited for this one! I’m not sure what it was about turning 8 that had you so wound up, but it did not disappoint!

You had a big day – a bottle drive for your hockey team, a hockey practice, and then your friends joined you for the rest of the day – the other two of your three musketeers. We spent a couple of hours doing job simulations, playing with light sabers, and fighting zombies at Halifax VR – that couldn’t have been more fun! Pizza, cake, popcorn, movies, and a sleepover topped off the big day!

I’m so proud of the big boy you have become! You are a pretty quiet guy but there is a LOT going on in that head of yours. You are typically easy to please, a friend to everyone, easy to engage in play (whether it your best friends or Eleanor), and easy going. You have a kind heart and it shows often with your friends and siblings. You aren’t a push over though!

Here are some things about you as you turn eight:

  • You are loving your first year of hockey – we never have to ask twice to get you going. You always play your best and seem to love to be part of a team. I can’t wait until you start playing games!
  • You are an awesome reader, english and french. More and more you are picking up books on your own and selecting bigger books to read. Right now it is dog man and diary of a minecraft warrior.
  • You still love super hero stories, ninjago, and now voltron – you’re a sucker for a hero!
  • I don’t think school is your favorite, but you work hard and behave and make excellent grades. And you love that your best buddies have been in the same class since primary!
  • That brings me to my favorite thing about you – you are such a great friend to your friends. When you, Akshat, and Gavin get together I just love to watch you interact – you are such a tight little threesome.
  • You’re a sensitive little guy – when Eleanor was sick a few weeks ago you wrote her a nice letter for her to read when she felt better. (I think this is also why you take it so hard when your big brother is hard on you).
  • You do love video games, but you are just as happy engaging in pretend play with someone
  • You love to be creative and are especially good at drawing
  • Imagine Dragons is your favorite band. Sometimes you take “google” into your room and just chill on your bed with tunes and a book.

I just love watching you grow along with your friends, your siblings, your schoolwork, your hobbies. Sensitive and kind – keep on keeping on, sweet boy!

Love you,



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Eleanor is 5!

My lovely…


We have been talking about this birthday for months but this morning when I said, “Happy Birthday, you’re 5!”, you said, “I don’t want to be 5!”.  Maybe in this case the build up was better than the moment?

If you had asked me six months ago if you were ready to start school, I wasn’t sure… you still seemed so small!  But in the past six months you have grown and matured and seem to be saying and doing older and smarter things – Five-year-old things!  Now I can’t wait to see you jump on the bus with that massive backpack on your back.

You are sweet as pie but can be spicy as cayenne!  You love hugs and snuggles and all things girly, but you also love farts and making faces and walking through mud puddles.  You love your brothers so much and love to laugh and be funny with them.  When they bite you are definitely not afraid to bite back.

Here are some things about you as you turn five:

  • You have a pretty goofy sense of humor.  You love to be funny and to hear funny things.
  • You just learned to swim and within one week went from wearing a life jacket to diving to the bottom of the pool.
  • You love LOL dolls, shopkins, and all of those hold-in-your-hand collectibles.  You also love Fancy Nancy books.
  • You are a great friend to your friends.
  • You have known your letters for a long time and like to practice writing; you are also very anxious to learn how to read so I’m sure that will come soon!
  • You like dancing and singing and seem to be musical.
  • You are a really adventurous eater but when you don’t eat something, you really don’t like it!  Your birthday supper was … pizza!  Oh, and you love candy.
  • You like secret kisses and secret handshakes.  Recently, you often look at me and mouth the words “I love you” like it’s our own little secret.
  • You love to color and draw and being creative in general.

Today you celebrated with your friends (we will miss Lisa!) and at home we had cake, ice cream, and presents.  On the weekend we will have a party for your closest friends!


I am so excited to watch you start school and navigate your way through a new routine and making new friends.  You’ve got this, girly!



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Oliver turns 9!

My fun and fierce Oliver,

Another year goes by (far too quickly) and here you are… Nine years old! You are the same fun, intense, straight shooting kid and are killing grade three, the new school, and kicking butt at hockey.

You definitely see things black and white (you’re welcome) – there’s not a lot of grey in your world. You definitely want what you want when you want it. That makes you hard sometimes, especially on your siblings, but we are working on softening up the hard line you take sometimes. As hard as you can be on them, I know you can be an equally great friend to your buddies – funny, playful, helpful, and loyal – and we also see that sensitive side that makes you slow down and play a game with eleanor or clean up the basement without being asked.

That personality also makes you take on everything with ferocity. When you are playing hockey, you chase the puck down hard. When you are goalie, you’re diving on the puck. When you are playing a video game you look up tricks that help you advance more quickly. You definitely go after what you want.

Here you are in goal…

You are still smart as a whip – an excellent reader and so good at mental math it is borderline “rainman”. You like to help the teacher a lot. You love the computer lab and are looking forward to next year when you might be able to play basketball and instruments.

You are a natural born piano player (it isn’t any wonder with long fingers like those) and like to fiddle around even when I am not telling you it’s piano lesson time.

For your birthday we had three of your buddies here for laser tag and a sleepover. I love watching you hang out with your friends.

Happy birthday, Oliver.. double digits next year!

I love you!


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Eleanor turns 4!


Today, you – my little girl – turned four.  Time seems to move so quickly but is it possible that it moves even more quickly for you, my youngest child?  I try to so hard to do what everyone tells you to – to enjoy it, to soak it in while they are little.  And I swear I do, but then, on days like today, I think back on your sweet little baby face and have a hard time believing the time has gone by so quickly.


You have a sweet, girly, spunky personality.  You hate getting your hair done but you love haircuts and trying mommy’s makeup.  You love being on a pedestal on days like your birthday, but you’re not always comfortable with the attention. You love shopping dates with mommy (even if it is just to sobeys).

You love your brothers but you have no problem letting them know when they have ticked you off.  I think you are going to be a sensitive but strong woman.


Some things about you as you turn four:

  • You love dresses.  Every day.  And slippery socks.  So you can twirl in your dresses.
  • You are girly in so many ways, but it often happens that you have a doll in one hand and a toy gun in the other, tucking in a doll one minute and wrestling with your brothers the next.
  • You have incredible attention to detail when you are coloring.
  • You are working on sharing – we don’t often have friends your age to visit and when we do, it is difficult for you to understand that they aren’t taking the toys away with them.
  • You love the pool – you jump from the ladder (not the side yet) and swim around with your life jacket on like a fish!
  • Your brothers love you – they play hide and seek with you, family, Emery often plays dolls and make believe with you.

We have had a birthday week of fun (because everyone should have a birthday week!).  On Saturday you and I went on a little date to the mall – we wandered, we picked up a few things, we rode the escalators, and then we had lunch at the food court where there are LOTS of things to look at!


On Sunday we had a pool party with your friends – it was the first time they were all together outside of Lisa’s house and it was so cool (the moms had fun too)!  We swam, we cupcake’d, we opened presents, we played … it was a great time!

20814870_10156153832311393_1285681533_nToday, on your actual birthday, you had another good day with your friends (your Lisa is so awesome and caring!) and then another pool party with more friends.  How lucky are you – two pool parties for your birthday?!  20170815_180315

Then it was time for chocolate cake with sprinkles!  20170815_190746And more presents – a tea set, a doctor’s set, and a sweet little stuffie named kiki!  20170815_191558


After a birthday week like that, I hope you never question whether or not you are loved!



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Oliver’s 8th Birthday


My dearest Oliver,

It is so easy for me to think back eight years and remember meeting you for the first time – you, who first made me a mother – that it is sometimes hard for me to reconcile the tall, maturing boy in front of me with that tiny baby they laid on my chest.

You are an amazingly strong kid – so athletic, fast, and competitive.  When you asked to play hockey last year we told you to first learn how to skate – you were so driven and worked hard.  Now you are not only playing hockey, you are scoring goals and holding your own against kids who have played before.

I see how proud you are when you learn a new skill, when you make a great play, to be part of a team.  This sport is great for your self-esteem.  It is discipline, it is taking direction from a coach, it is fist-bumping your team mates when you get a goal, it is rushing the goalie at the end of every game (win or lose) to tell him “good game”.  I was unsure about hockey at first, worried that it would demand too much of us, but it is so many things that are good for you right now that we all happily attend every game.

Today you earned the “herd hat” for good play – it was an extra special birthday gift.  oliverherdhat

We still struggle sometimes – all of your athletic strength is equally matched with strong will and opinions and you have a high spirited energy that sometimes carries you away.  Other times, there is so much love and caring and patience that comes out of you.  It’s hard to know which one we are going to get, but I see all of that leveling out as you mature.

For your birthday this year, you invited your two best buddies for a sleepover and a movie (Lego Batman).  It was a high energy evening with lots of popcorn, laughs (until 11:30), video games (hockey, of course), and late-night cake.  20170217_182832


On your actual birthday – today – we had hockey, a shopping trip to spend your gift cards (you love being able to choose), ordered pizza to eat downstairs in front of a movie, and more cake. We didn’t get many pictures but trust me – at the end of the day you told me you loved every gift you received and bought, and everything we did with your friends and family.  You felt loved and you were grateful.

I love you more with every day, with every secret kiss…


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happy birthday to me

This year, my birthday weekend (because everyone deserves at least a birthday weekend) was a road trip to NB.  The goal was to watch the Superbowl with my dad, but it had a whole lot of added perks!

Like a sprinkle donut break on the road.  20170204_100352Like lovely artwork by these two lovely ladies.  20170204_181938Like a little music-making, a visit, and cake with family.20170204_201002Like a little snowfall.20170205_160759Like snow angels with this angel.20170205_163744Like a little snowy outdoor fun with this beauty (and a few silly-faced selfies).  20170205_163851Like snowy follow the leader.20170205_164427Like a cheering buddy for the superbowl.20170205_172639_014Like watching the superbowl with this guy.  He might not be a cheering buddy when it comes to the patriot, but he’s my favorite guy to watch football with!  20170205_174455

Hubby and the kids also had cake for me on Friday night, so I guess I would call that a pretty full birthday weekend!