Growing Out On A Limb


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Oliver’s 8th Birthday

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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

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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…

Mommy


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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!


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Emery turns 6!

Emery … you are 6!

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You are our sensitive-but-sometimes-feisty, cautious-but-sometimes-impulsive, thoughtful-(okay-always-thoughtful) six year old boy today!

Your imagination is big and you are super creative.  You like reading and writing (especially writing) and crafting.  You love all the typical boy things – vehicles, minecraft, star wars – but will sit and play dolls with eleanor too.  You love playing with your siblings – you’re so loving.  You take pride when you do something well and wear it all over your face.

Here are some more things about you as you turn six:

  • You are a Beaver!  You look forward to Wednesday nights and seem proud to put on your uniform!
  • You are so great at reading – english and french!  You get more confident with your reading every day.
  • You started curling this year and have been killing it!  I hope you stick with it.
  • You still like snuggling from time to time.  We have big hugs, a secret kiss, and a song at bedtime (my favorite time of day).
  • You do have your moments when you fight back (to us and your siblings).  We correct it but part of me is glad you stand up for yourself.
  • When playing in minecraft, you surprise me with the things you build – they are so creative!
  • You like words and sounds and you often rhyme or pick out funny sounds within words.

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This year we gave you the choice between having the typical big party at our place with your friends or picking two of your best buddies for a sleepover and going somewhere special.  You chose the sleepover so we took luke and akshat to the indoor trampoline park, mcdonald’s, and then back to our place for cake and ice cream.  It was so much fun!

And of course we had our own mini celebration here today.  Regardless of how we celebrate, my goal is always to make you feel special… and I’m pretty sure we managed that!  

Love you to pieces… Mommy

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Eleanor’s First Haircut

It’s funny how I can have two boys with thick fast-growing hair and also have a girl who, for three years, has had thin, wispy hair that seems to grow very slowly and in patches.  She sleeps and her hair becomes a frizzy mess that halos around her head.

I took her for her first real haircut not long after her third birthday – not because she truly needed it, but because the two pieces that have grown long kept falling into her eyes.  And I thought a little cut might make it thicken up a bit.

She was so very excited but she really had no concept of what a haircut was so I expected her to balk once she saw the big chairs and strangers started talking to her.

Nope.  She climbed right up in the seat and sat perfectly still for the seven minutes it took the hairdresser to trim her bangs and even out the back.
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She felt so pretty when her hair was done.  It didn’t look that much different but I suppose every girl feels special after a little pampering!  20160831_173409-copy


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Eleanor Turns 3!

My lovely,

You are the sweetest of sweets, the brightest of lights!

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You are such a girly girl.  It amazes me how inherent the “girly” is when you are surrounded by trucks and superheroes and rough-and-tumble boys all of the time.  You will often spend long periods of time tucking your dolls in, changing their clothes, and hugging them.  When I asked you what you would like for your birthday, you said, “Ummmm…. PINK!”.

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You love to make people laugh and have a smile that draws people in.  You are sometimes shy around people you don’t know, but it usually doesn’t last long.  And even that is becoming less frequent as you get older.

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You are (usually) so easy-going and happy-go-lucky and just want to be silly and have fun.  Being your mom is so much fun.

Here are some things about you as you turn three…

  • You love to go shopping with mommy.  Sometimes you wave and say hi to people, sometimes you sing ‘Let it Go’ loudly as we roll down the aisles.  Either way, people are drawn to you and can’t help but say hi.
  • You know all of your letters and some of your numbers.
  • You are into Paw Patrol and Frozen.  Your two other favorite shows are Busytown Mysteries and SuperWhy.
  • You are the girl of a thousand faces – you scrunch your face into every emotion and love it when people laugh at you.
  • You love books and our time reading bedtime stories.
  • You take NO crap from your brothers.
  • You love swimming and are swimming no problem this summer with your life jacket on.
  • You love to be helpful!  (I, for one, hope this continues for a looooong time)
  • You have the loveliest curly hair but most of the time you really dislike ponytails or hair bands.
  • You really like singing lately.  You’ve always sung here and there but lately you have found your voice, are learning more songs, and rocking it more loudly.

When I asked you today how you felt now that you are three, you said, “Ummm… BIG!  I’m not two!”.

We had a combo birthday party for you and your cousins and nanny while we were camping last week, but today we hung paw patrol decorations and had a paw patrol cake because it is your special day!

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Opening presents on our camping trip.20160813_190735

And a selfie with mommy just because it makes me happy.  I can’t wait to see what 3-year-old you brings to the party.  20160809_145414

Love you,

Mommy


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Sidney & Stanley

Last weekend we headed to dartmouth for the stanley cup parade.  It was really neat to see Sidney Crosby in the news all week, popping up all over the city with the cup – Tim Horton’s, the waterfront, a senior’s home.  It really is difficult to imagine how it feels to come home and have thousands of people line up to see you and celebrate with you.  Or to imagine how proud you must feel as a parent to know that your kid is a hero to so many other kids out there.

Oliver really wanted to go.  He and his friends talk a lot about hockey and, though he doesn’t play, it seems to be heading that way.  And who knows when we might get the chance to see a stanley cup parade again?  So we packed up and headed over early for the 10:30 am parade.

Heading over early meant there was plenty of time to kill.  I can’t believe we fit all five of us in a selfie!  And only two of the kids look like they’re picking their noses – bonus.  20160716_094716

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Extreme closeup #3 – Eleanor needed to get in on the action too.  20160716_095010

The pics are the best I could manage.  Look at the row of guy standing in front of me, all with their phones up!  It makes me chuckle a little bit.  20160716_105052We were very near the beginning of the parade route so we could stand right up next to where the truck rolled by.  Most people walked behind the truck for the whole parade, which ended a few blocks away and they did speeches and more celebration.  That was a little too much for us this time and it was really hot so we opted out.  20160716_105059

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Honestly, I’ve been feeling really “meh” about encouraging Oliver to get into hockey.  He has friends that do and he talks about it all the time so I know he wants to, but I (maybe selfishly) dislike the idea of hanging out at an arena and early morning practices on the weekends.  It just seems to take over your life (not to mention your wallet).  But Oliver is an active and athletic kid.  And a competitive kid.  And he could stand to learn how to be competitive while being fun and fair and a good sport all at the same time.  So we have signed him up for a week of hockey summer camp so he can try it out and we’ll go from there.

And after watching Crosby in the news all week – making people happy by visiting the IWK, senior’s homes, and all the rest – I figure that there are far worse people that my kids could hold up as their heroes.