Thursday, 8 October 2015

Carter is 3!

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This is what 10:30pm scrambling to blow up balloons and get the table set for the next morning looks like--because if you put out some fun party plates, fun straws and cups and blow up some balloons, you all of a sudden have a quick breakfast party, right before school. 

Because our boy turned 3 yesterday. 

"I know I have fun party straws somewhere" I told Terry as I ran around at the last minute trying to put things together. He looked at me like really, do you need party straws?....

"It's all about the details. He needs a fun straw to drink his milk out of in the morning. It'll make him feel like this day is different than normal, like it's YES I need the straws--and I need those fun pirate cups. He'll love drinking from a pirate cup". 

I wanted him to walk down and feel excitement. Feel like this was his birthday. 
Because a few cheap, simple things like balloons and party plates can seriously make someone's day.

So waffles on party plates were had.

And big sisters reaped the benefits of Carter turning 3, because ice cream for dessert--at 7am, was also allowed on this special day...because you only get one birthday a year.

And the best surprise of all? ..Well, he got exactly what he wanted for his special day. The one thing that he would tell everyone he wanted for his birthday--a skateboard. Like the big boys on our court have, he'd always say.

So we wrapped him up in knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet (birthday presents from Nana and Papa)...and he was thrilled.

And when you're the big sister, and your birthday is only a couple weeks away, you get an early birthday present too...because they both wanted nothing more than a skateboard to call their own. So Grandma made sure they each got one (thanks Judy!).

So look out world--here comes danger on wheels.

Happy birthday to our sweet, adventurous, dare-devil little Carter. We love you to the ends of this Earth.

Love, mom and dad xox

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Preschool and Growing up

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I stare at my kids sometimes when they don't know I'm doing it. I stare at them and I can see them as teenagers. I try to envision what they are going to look like 10yrs from now. Mya will sit there, her wispy hair falling down to her shoulders, blue eyes staring straight through you--and I'm grateful that she'll have a brother by her side when she hits that age in her life, because when the boys come knocking--Carter will be there to greet them, shotgun in hand while extending his hand like a gentleman. Of course.

I look at Mya and I can see past the little 4yr old baby face that greets me each morning. I can see past the tiny shoes and cute hair bows. I can see a young woman sometimes...a young woman who has skills, passions, an education and a life of her own. I dream sometimes about what her life will look like years from now. Who will she be? Who will she love? What will she love? What experiences will she have? My daydreams for my kids fill my brain when I'm sitting staring at them.

And when I look at Carter, I can see a 16yr old boy in him all the time--hair all styled just so, because he's already in love with his hair gel and will ask everyone he meets if they like his "spiky hair". And when I watch his adoration for sports--when I watch him swing a bat and crack that ball across our court, or when I see his determination to get that puck into the net or try to master skateboard tricks that are far beyond his reach, I dream about what he will excel in and I'm excited to see where life leads him. What will he be interested in? What will he teach us? Who will he love? Where will life take him?

And I look at our sweet baby Sophia and I can't help but try to picture what she will look like as a toddler, running through our house, sleeping in a big girl bed and developing her own little personality just as her siblings have. In so many ways I wish I could keep her just as she is right now--that sweet tiny little baby. But I also can't wait for what her future holds for her.

I love dreaming of who they will be one day. I love dreaming of where our life will lead us through our kids. I love dreaming of where our family will end up years from now. Because life and growing up is a pretty wild experience and you just never know where it will take you.

So when I see them growing up right before my eyes, it doesn't make me sad. It doesn't make me want to go back--it doesn't make me want to stop it. Instead, it's exciting. Because one day Terry's and my life will be very different than what it is today. One day we won't be in this place of sleep deprivation and toddler craziness. One day we won't be reminding our two year old (almost 3yr old!) to be careful as he speeds off on his bike and tries to do crazy stunts off of skateboard ramps...we won't have to tell him to PLEASE stop climbing things--you're giving your mother a heart attack...because this is our life right now. Whatever the big boys are doing...well, that's what he thinks he can do. No fear. Complete confidence. He just goes for it. And if he falls? Well he barely takes notice--he just wipes himself off and gets right back up again.

It's hard to believe that he was once a tiny baby hooked up to machines in the NICU just after he was born.

So one day these days of having toddlers won't be here anymore. We won't be willing him to sleep in past 5:30am and we won't be shaking our heads laughing (or lots of times sighing--let's be honest here) every time that he shows us how he fits so perfectly into the stereotypical mold of a "little boy". Dirt. Danger. Speed. Loud. Funny. And that little popped collar, swagger that he has always had since the time that he started walking is why people jokingly called him our little frat boy--because he looked the part. Had the swagger. Had the style. Had the confidence. Had the big personality--the let's have a good time...and in case you didn't notice, I'm pretty hilarious kind of personality that we of course love him for. So as we travel through these toddler years of wiping the tears of 2yr old meltdowns, of putting band aids over scraped knees, and reminding him that not everyone wants to wrestle--no really, not everyone thinks it's fun buddy. I know--hard to believe. We will definitely miss all of the good, sweet, amazing stuff that comes along with it.

The hugs, the kisses, the way that he crawls up onto my lap and snuggles right in, and the way that his eyes light up every time that he sees me. I want to bottle those things up and never let them go. And yes, little boys can give you a run for your money--they can be loud and tiring. But he has my heart, and always will.

Our baby boy is growing up. And I kind of like it.

So yesterday was the start of something new. Something where this little boy of ours got to feel big.
He got to wear a backpack. Big deal stuff.

He started preschool.

So we packed his water bottle, an extra set of clothes and a snack, and he excitedly jumped around the house that morning willing the time to speed ahead until it was actually time to go.

And the expert school-going sister tried her best to help as she ran over to her little table and scribbled down something quickly then handed it to him---"Just in case you're a bit scared Carter at preschool can keep this in your backpack".

 Love this.

So, he did great. He waved goodbye without even a glance back as I dropped him off, and I got a big thumbs up and "he did awesome" from his teachers when I picked him up a few hours later.

Life is a changin'. And it's all for the good.

Happy Thursday everyone,

Erica xo

Friday, 18 September 2015

A fairy & pirate birthday bash

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All that Mya wanted was a pool party for her birthday this year--with all of her friends, and with fairies.

Because I love fairies so much mom, and I love all my friends she told me.

So I looked at this little blondie, staring at me with those baby blue eyes and I hatched a plan.
A plan that meant that we celebrated her birthday a bit early this year, to avoid the cold that October undoubtedly brings and to be able to enjoy the heat and sun of September with all of her friends in the pool.

And this plan would have worked out perfectly, if I hadn't unknowingly chosen the coldest day of September as the party date. So as we cursed the weather network, telling us that rain, wind and cooooold air would be sharing the day with us, we tried willing the sun to come out with no avail.

So two hours before the party guests arrived, still hoping for the heat to creep through the chill, I begrudgingly planned last minute for an indoor party and brought pretty much all of it inside.

But you see, what I didn't plan for was that these kids wouldn't feel the cold. So as the wind blew through the backyard, and as winter coats were pulled over sweaters (seriously..there were winter coats)---these kids wanted to go swimming. SWIMMING! 
And their super parents went in with them.

So she got her pool party. Cold and all. And she loved it.

Because this year her birthday bash was a bit different than previous years. Life is changing as another year has passed.  Mya has now made her own group of great friends from school and still has her wonderful friends from outside of school, so for the first time in her little 4yr old (almost 5yr old) life she got her very own big girl party, she called it. A party where she specifically chose each and every friend who was invited and where the guest list was literally half the size of our regular joint birthday parties (hers and her brothers combined as we've always done, like their western cowboy party)--which meant that she could then have age appropriate games, activities, prizes and fun with a small group of friends. So Carter got a special day with his Papa going to an air plane show that day (and will get his birthday celebration in October) and Mya got her big girl party. Both thought they won the lottery. Clearly. is her fairy birthday party (with pirates of course, for the boys).

 A tutu and flower headband is a must when you're a fairy...

so we dressed her up and apologized to her for not being able to find teeny tiny wings...because, well, they're a must too, if you're a fairy.

So we had a dress up station for the kids as they walked in the front door, and each little fairy got some wings, a tutu, and a homemade flower headband  (*you can make your own too with just a glue gun, some artificial flowers and plastic headbands).  And the boys were given a pirate hat and eye patch...

then they were sent over to paint a fairy house--because if you put these little bird fairy houses outside in your backyard, fairies will come when you're sleeping...they really will.

And the rest of the party was full of yummy treats, including a KitKat cake that I decorated the morning of...



and games where you passed the present until the music stopped, and until every single layer was unwrapped...

and where empty boxes of nothing but another present inside were meant to trick unsuspected little people...

until that final layer was ripped apart, revealing a bag of treats for everyone--because everyone is a winner when you're turning 5yrs old.

And where little people were told that fairies snuck into our house when we weren't looking and they were sending us on a treasure hunt to find the hidden treats--so little fairies and pirates tore through our house on a search for the next hidden clue telling them where to go next, until they found that sparkly bag left by the fairies with mini chocolate bars in it for everyone.

Then they were sent outside and handed either a piece of paper with a fairy on it coloured a certain colour, or a pirate ship coloured a certain colour--and they had to go find 5 fairy wands or 5 pirates that matched their colour...because sneaky fairies secretly hid them around our yard when no one was looking.

and when they finally found their 5, they won!..and they got to go to the Treat Man---and they chose from the bucket of yummy treats, rings, stickers, bracelets or tattoos.

Then, just when we figured their sugar high was just about perfect...they all jumped in the pool, these crazy kids.

And we all pretended that it was sunny and hot.

So after opening some amazing gifts from some amazing friends,

we said goodbye to all of the pirates and fairies, and sent them home with their very own bubble wand...bedazzled with some fancy flowers and ribbon for the fairies (I love my glue gun), and rugged, burlap tied pirate patches for the pirates.

Then just as the last guest waved goodbye, the fun started up all over again on our court as skateboard ramps were positioned just so...and neighbours poured out to finish off the day with some fancy bike, scooter and skateboard tricks. Because, clearly the party must go on.

So thank you all of Mya's friends who gave her the party that she wished for. And as I tucked little legs into fleece jammies that night, I decided that the cold, the wind and the clouds was maybe exactly how it was supposed to be that day. Because to Mya, it was perfect. 

Happy (early) 5th birthday my sweet girl. 

Love, mom xox

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