Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Tale of Two Parties

As usual, we did the at-home party on the boys' birthday and threw a party for school friends today. Instead of 8 kids like last year, there was 13 so lots of hooligans! The theme this year was Mario. All the adults that attended are exhausted – M. kept saying to the boys that they must be tired after things wound down but indeed they are not tired. Sugar is the energy that fuels their little furnaces at this age. The family party was a little more subdued:

In case you were wondering, Seth really was pretty intense about those cupcakes!

Today's party was... less subdued (at least I remembered to take a picture of the cake this year though):
The frosting gave them so much energy.

Nate's one true love...

... who gave him the best present of all.

The moustaches were popular.

Even with the girls! Work it, little Miss Thang!
The last three standing during a game of "Freeze Dance". The competition was fierce.

Check out those moves!
And a little family resemblance!

In the end, Miss Thang took the cake. Literally. To herself on purpose.
Seriously, what WAS in that frosting?!?

- L.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

8:54 AM

For Seth, my last:

Seven years ago at this exact time you were born.

Your favourite number is 19 and your favourite colour is orange.

At age 7 this doesn’t surprise me because you like things that are “unpoplier” on purpose. You despise blue and regular “poplier” numbers like 7 for this reason. 7 years + 18 weeks and 3 days ago, I wrote this about you:

"Unfortunately we weren't able to get a profile shot of Baby B at 20 weeks, but not for lack of trying. I think we did everything short of having me stand on my head but he was persistently facing away from the camera and/or face down so no luck."

Of course, you were known as Baby B back then. You were also laying sideways for a long time and I still remember when you decided to finally get into a heads-down position because it was probably the freakiest thing I’ll ever feel in my innards that didn’t hurt. It was however, not “poplier.”

Last year you faced an unseen adversary because of anxiety and your less than “poplier” way of approaching things. I worried so much for you because anxiety has been my bugaboo my whole life. This year, your anxiety is gone and has been replaced with a physical outlet. Tics are not “poplier” at all, by the way. I’m just glad you can let it out now. You take me down some funny paths Baby B, Boogee, Seth-one but none of them are dull.

I can do grown-up things with you! When we went to see my friend Chris’ gallery last weekend, you helped me pick out art to buy while your brother only noticed Chris’ toys and candy (a hallmark of any reputable animation-type person by the way). You give everyone who knows you the best quotes for getting through life and it’s as much how you say things as what you’re saying. You love being cheeky that way and you still laugh the hardest at your own jokes.

You still love to draw and build things and you can create entire universes in a day. Character development? Check. Character design? Check. Landscape or location? Check and check.

This is just a little bit about you at seven. I hope you have the happiest of happy birthdays today, Seth. I hate this part now, but…

We cool.

8:53 AM

For Nate, my first:

Seven years ago at this exact time you were born.

Your favourite number is still 7, so this is a lucky year for you. Your favourite colour is still blue.

At age 7 you are still the life of the party. You love to jump and bounce about and you still chat a person’s ear off. The neighbours all know you well.

You have been gifted by the tooth fairy so many times this year. You lost them like you got them, in a hurry. A few weeks ago I heard you crying in the bathroom and went to check on you. You were worried you’d lose all your teeth because they all seemed to be falling out at once. You’ve got another wiggly tooth as I type this. Don’t despair little one – your brother is quite jealous and wishes he had your problems right now and you probably have at least a few school chums who feel the same way.

You are the first person turning 7 in your class this year – such is the luck sometimes with February birthdays. This year you have met people who “aren’t a friend” because you were met with unkindness. You dealt with it as anyone should  – you stood up for yourself and that made me feel good that you know how to do that.

You still love maps and calculators. Speaking of the latter, Santa brought you a new calculator this year because you wore out the one from last year – and speaking of Santa – I’m pretty sure that you KNOW because you have made some good arguments about Mommy being Santa and I can tell this idea isn’t upsetting to you. For now, I want to see how good my skills are at still being Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, et al, so I keep trying to “outsmart” you (not much longer I suspect). The main thing to remember is that when you stop believing, they stop coming to visit – all of them go away – so keep on believing and they will keep coming to visit as long as they possibly can.

You remain generous with physical affection and aren’t embarrassed in the least if we hug or kiss in public so I know it will be no trouble at all when I sign off thusly:

This is just a little bit about you at seven. I hope you have the happiest of happy birthdays today, Nate-one.

All my love,

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools Everyone!

Yum! Rocks!

Thanks to Gamma Rita who sent along some very convincing chocolate "rocks" in a recent care package, my April Fools joke on the boys pretty much scripted itself.

The day before I pranked them, M. and I had a conversation about recent studies proving the nutritional value of eating rocks – iron! calcium! MINERALS!!! – and once we got the boys' attention ("People eat rocks? Really?!?") we showed them this totally legit video from a bad reality show. M. went further and said he was going to try some rocks for a snack later and would let us know how it went. Of course it was a school day, so I had limited time to work with by the time morning rolled around but I did manage to serve up a small bowl of rocks that I "happened to find in the backyard" with breakfast this morning.

There is a video here where the boys claim that they weren't fooled, but I'm 100% sure that was a put on for the camera. Before I took the video they seemed pretty convinced and very reluctant to try them, so I'm going to call this years prank a win.

Happy April Fools everyone. Until next year...

- L.

P.S. Last year I fooled the boys and later M. by telling them there was a festival of hot air balloons flying over downtown Toronto.

M. was harder to fool since he was on guard, but a little Photoshop convinced him it might be legit and he stood outside not once, but twice looking around for the mysterious balloons until he figured it out. Ah, good times.

Perhaps They Aren't Hooligans ALL The Time...

Every month at school the students are allocated a character building trait and the students in each classroom that best emulate that month's trait are honored at assembly with an award. Seth won for "Respect" last September and Nate won the honors for March for demonstrating "Honesty".

There is a video of Nate and a classmate accepting their awards last Wednesday here. No video of Seth's big moment, but there are pictures of both boys and their awards at least.

Nate's award reads: "This award is presented to Nate for showing honesty. He is always honest with his teachers and friends by telling the truth."
Seth's award reads: "This award is presented to Seth for showing respect by speaking politely and kindly waiting his turn."

I am so proud of both of them and their achievements, but mostly it's good to know that they show well in public.

- L.

P.S. Why yes, that is the lovely Miss E. sitting behind Nate at assembly. He must have been doubly thrilled that day since they aren't in the same classroom, and as such encounters like this one are entirely left to chance.

P.P.S. Seen in the gymnasium at assembly. The hoop is regulation height so not sure who could dangle from up that high, but someone must have hence the warning. Kids!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter Everyone!

Here are various pics taken over the past week getting ready for Easter and out enjoying the beautiful sunny weekend. Happy Easter to all!

Our Dollar Store "Easter House" that we put together earlier in the week.

Our Dollar Store Easter wreath. A bit spindly, but it cost $1.25 so there's that.

Easter egg dye kit!

We have messed this up so many times over the years it's become a joke, as seen here and here (#6).

This year we finally got it right – yay!

Easter morning with our Easter "baskets". The boys decided the Easter Bunny must be real and NOT Mommy, because how would I get to the store at night when everyone is sleeping? That is some excellent logic so I didn't argue.

Our Easter bunnies that we named "Snuffles" (awhhh!) and "Snot" (poor thing).

Fun with Easter straw!

Seth with his green "mohawk" and still sleepy eyes.

The children's choir at church. The video of them singing is here.

On our way home Seth decided he was a statue and wanted a picture.

The weather was nice enough once we got home to take a quick shot outside sans jackets.

While we were out the Easter Bunny paid us a second visit and hid Easter eggs all over the house filled with chocolates.

Just in case there were any lingering doubts that Mommy might be the Easter Bunny, I'm pretty sure this added another layer (or five) to the mystery. You could practically see the gears turning while they tried to figure it out. Ah, maybe next year.

- L.

P.S. These pictures were from the park yesterday after I persuaded the boys to take me out for a walk. The phrase, "Let's be dangerous!" lives on, some of which I had to put the camera away for since it was starting to look a little too dangerous. Even "Cannonball!" was not without it's injuries – and there's video proof here.

Seth's restaurant. Some things never change.

We've mastered the monkey bars finally.

"Cannonball!" on the slide is still a work in progress however. Again, there is video here.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Let's Be Dangerous!"

It's the last day of March break and we spent it similar to the first day – with a lunch out and some time at a park. The weather was sunny, but definitely colder than last weekend. There is a playground we spent most of our time at. Nate gives a demonstration on being a helicopter on the swings, because why use a swing for swinging when you can use it for being a helicopter? There is a video of that here.

"Look out" sounds about right.

"Lights! Camera! Action! I'm a helicopter everyone!"
"Let's be dangerous!"
"Danger is our middle names!"

On the way out of the park, we passed the bike/skateboard park which was empty today. The boys thought that was too good to pass up and scurried around playing a new game called Let's Be Dangerous! followed by running up the ramps and yelling, "Dangerous!" and then giggling. Mommy was not overly amused, but since I wasn't about to run up the slippery ramps after them I took a few quick pictures instead before I killed the party.

- L.