Harrison – Three years old!

Dear Harrison,

It’s been about six months since your last newsletter. And a lot about you has changed, but at the same time so much seems the same. I guess it just feels like you’re growing into yourself more every day. You’re still a loveable, friendly, happy-go-lucky, dinosaur-loving, talkative munchkin.

Let’s talk milestones shall we? After September whenever anyone asked you how old you were you always said you were two and a half. You never forgot that extra half. It was very important to you. September had beautiful fall days and we got outside to play and go for walks quite a lot.

In October you started at a new preschool. It was a big adjustment for you. I must admit it took me by surprise that you had trouble going from a home daycare to preschool. Not because I didn’t recognizes the differences, but because you’ve always been so adaptable, and really quite brave when it comes to meeting new people, and visiting new places. It was completely heartbreaking dropping you off those October mornings. Every day I would hear back that after a short period of sadness you were happily playing and having a great time. But more than once, I wanted to just put your coat back on and take you home. Or not leave the house at all due to your pleading. More than once I went to the car and cried myself. Over time of course drop offs became routine and no problem. You were eager to see your friends and teachers in the morning. You continue to thrive at preschool and have made lots of friends. You’ve been able to explore so many new things in this environment too.

One of your favourite parts of going to preschool was a field trip that was planned for the pumpkin patch. You got to ride a school bus to the pumpkin patch. I think that might’ve been your favourite part. You also got to trek into the corn field, take a ride on a tractor-pulled wagon, and even got to pick out your own pumpkin in the patch. You were totally in your element. You still talk about various parts of that morning as you remember them. Sometimes you remember riding the bus, sometimes going into the corn and sometimes, picking a pumpkin the size of your head (as per the instructions)!

And your memory is absolutely amazing. You remember things like your field trip, the long names of dinosaurs, things people have said, past events, and the little details of every day. Sometimes you remember things that I’ve forgotten. And your ability to make associations is truly astounding to me. This morning we passed a cement mixer on the expressway. You pointed out that we had passed it. I told you it was because he was going “so slow, because he’s big and heavy”. You responded with “Yeah, like a stegosaurus”, because we’ve learned from your many dinosaur books that the stegosaurus was a slow moving animal, but we haven’t talked about that part of stegosaurus in a few weeks. Not to mention, you then added, “he has a walnut”. Which means he has a walnut-sized brain. Yep. You’re right. We’ve learned that in your books, too. I told you that he didn’t have a big brain like you, and you responded “Yeah, I know everything”. Some days it sure seems like you do.

So if you haven’t guessed, your love of dinosaurs has just expanded over the last six months. You love to read about them, you love reading through your dinosaur flash cards and rhyming off their multi-syllabic names like most adults can’t!

But your love of animals doesn’t stop just at dinosaurs, you still love all animals. In November we took a great family trip to the new aquarium in Toronto. You loved going through the tunnel and watching the sharks and other animals swim above us. After we returned you often talked about taking your favourite people to the aquarium, often promising friends and family that you would go together. You’re so kind!

You’re still loving your swimming lessons. You are always asking about when your next lesson is. I’m so glad you love to be in the water. And this winter you and I started skating lessons. You didn’t exactly love it at first. You did really well at the first lesson enjoying the newness of the experience. The few lessons after that included lots of yelling at me that you wanted to go home, and a few tears. You didn’t really like the falling part that comes with learning to skate. Of course, we kept with it and you were skating without my help in just 7 short weeks. You were getting up on your own, spinning around, hopping on the ice, and bending over and picking up toys. It was hard to see you struggle with it because you couldn’t see the great strides you were making each week. It was so hard to explain to you that you were a natural when you were sitting on your butt on the ice. I knew you had it in you though!

As far as the last few holidays go, they’ve all been great. We spent a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend at Nana and Poppa’s. You helped pull veggies in Poppa’s garden, and picked apples from his trees. It poured rain on Hallowe’en so we just hit up a few houses on our street before I decided that we were all too wet go any farther. It didn’t matter to you. You loved that everyone was handing out candy. And you loved being Buddy the Dinosaur from the TV show Dinosaur Train.

In the fall we hit up two parades, both the Oktoberfest parade and the Santa Claus parade to kick off the holiday season.

We spent Christmas as a family of four at home. Your dad and I want you and your brother to have memories of Christmas at home, just like we do. And maybe you won’t remember this Christmas (or maybe you will – your mind is like a vault), but I will always remember this very special Christmas, our first as a family of four. It was so fun to see you come downstairs on Christmas morning to find your train set that Santa brought you. You had all the joy and exuberance and excitement that I could’ve asked for. You were so fun to watch. You wanted to play with everything as you opened your gifts. The hardest part was trying to keep you focussed enough to keep opening presents before getting to play with everything. After the gift mayhem at our house we went to Gramma and Grampie’s house in London and had Christmas dinner with the family there.

You are a highly quotable child and I’ve been keeping a record of the awesome things you say in your quotable book, but one of your favourite catch phrases lately has been to say “Sure!” or “Sure is” or “Sure does”. You sound so grown up when you say that.

All in all, I’d say you have it pretty good, little buddy. Here’s a day in your life: In the morning you usually wake up by calling for me. Usually you say, “Mom, is it morning time?!” And repeat at increasing volume and urgency until I’m in your room. Then, if you’ve woken up at what we deem to be too early to get out of bed, you usually snuggle up between your dad and I and watch a show on our TV. Your favourites right now are Busytown Mysteries, My Big Big Friend, Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood and Chuck the Truck. After a show (or two depending how early you woke up), we head downstairs for breakfast. Your favourite breakfasts lately are “circle toast” ie: toasted English muffins with PB and J, “sugar brown” aka instant oatmeal with brown sugar on top, and usually one day on the weekend we have pancakes. Your favourite is when I make banana chocolate chip. You’re also a fan of dad’s egg mcmuffins.

On school days we then scurry upstairs to get dressed and then out the door. Sometimes if I’m tending to Foster you get to play or watch a show before getting your gear on to get out the door.

After school seems to be a blur of 4 hours. I leave the house to pick you up and moments later it seems to be 8 o’clock! After school you and your brother usually play while I put dinner together. Your favourite dinners right now are make-your-own-pizza, chicken wings, shawarma with Greek salad – you LOVE Greek salad – and you’ve been known to like a chicken McNugget Happy Meal. You always, always, always, ask for dessert, so if you’ve had a good meal then you get a little dessert after dinner. At Christmas we invented a game called the M&M game in which everyone at the table picks a colour of M&M and then we pop them out of the bag one at a time. The person with the most of their colour is the winner. But you always get to eat them all!

After dinner we usually have a family dance party. Your favourite song for dance party time is the quirky “What does the fox say?” by Ylvis. You absolutely love it. You sing it all the time. I love watching you dance. Your dad has taught you the upside down turtle “move” which you love. You also love to make a penguin parade around the room, and during the Olympics we even created some sports-themed dance moves for the events. You’ll have to ask your dad to show you the ski jumper some time. You still sometimes ask us to do the bobsled.

After dance party you and I “race” up the stairs. Somehow you always win. Every night you ask “I wonder why I’m so fast?”.

Our bedtime routine consists of getting you into your pyjamas, reading a couple stories or reading through your dinosaur cards, and then a bathroom break/brush your teeth. After you climb back into bed we have a family “huggle” where your dad and I give you a hug after you’re tucked in. On a good night, you go right to sleep or talk to yourself a little before drifting off to sleep. Other nights you press your luck and call on us for every last thing in the book.

It’s a pretty good day. I love spending my days with you. And even though those last few hours seem to fly by they’re some of the best times. Our family dance parties are epic, if I do say so myself.

The last three years have been epic. I’m so looking forward to seeing you grow more into yourself each and every day.

Love,

Mama

blowing out my birthday candles

First day of preschool

thanksgiving parade

sums it up

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Friday Finds

Well I’d say this week was a bit of a write-off in terms of what I got accomplished around the house. Husbandman was away on business for two nights. Both of the boys were fighting colds and something else that came with a fever, and we had another heaping of snow. I’m very happy to see Friday arrive and hopefully a healthy weekend.

I’m really hoping that the 7-day forecast includes some warm weather. Canadian comedic genius Rick Mercer knows that the weather network can play on our distaste for winter this time of year to keep us hanging on.

And even if the forecast doesn’t include a day above freezing I can still look forward to the start of warmer weather with these 10 Spring Crafts and Treats from two twenty one.

Barack Obama is no match for Zach Galifianakis’ interview skills.

house envy kitchen

Found a new blog that I’m loving. So much eye candy on this blog. I mean seriously. House Envy is very aptly named.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of these, but here are 20 interesting parenting hacks. I love 8, 14, and 15.

insane detail movies

7 movies that put insane detail into stuff you never notice.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her friends decided to do a photo shoot. A beautiful act of friendship. And it was all caught on video. A must watch.

Friday Finds

Happy weekend, friends!

I’m looking forward to hosting our friends for our annual Super Bowl party on Sunday. Harrison has his usual activities on tap and another storm is about to hit bringing with it about another foot of snow. I say, bring it on  so long as the freezing (I mean really freezing *cough* polar vortex *cough*) temps are gone!

If you’re hosting a party like me, you might find these free party printables handy.

animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova-6

These are some of the most gorgeous photos of children I’ve ever seen.

And here’s some other photos of children, recreated by those same children as grown-ups. Funny.

Once the Super Bowl is over it’s time for the Olympics. I’m such a sucker for the Olympics. I love ’em. I love the sports, the spirit of the games, and of course the stories like the one of these sisters that makes you think about your goals and dreams and what you’d do to reach them… and what it would take to give them up.

And if that video just made you cry watch this. You’ll cry laughing.

Happy Super Bowl weekend!

Friday Finds

Hi! I’m back for Friday Finds this week. Roland was away on business and my parents came to visit and help wrangle the kids, so blogging took a backseat to visiting and family time. But I thought I’d squeeze in this post before the weekend. Maybe you’re reading this on Saturday morning. If so, sit back, sip your coffee and enjoy this week’s roundup.

pallet entry table

I love this DIY entry table made from pallets.

I’m really looking forward to the second half of The Hobbit coming out next month. But while I wait I think I’ll just take a tour of Middle Earth.

Don’t dress your age. Fabulous Fashionistas.

Confession: I went to Science Camp and I made a Rube Goldberg machines just like these. Such a great idea!

I think we’ve made it past the worst of the “crying for no reason twos” but it is still tons of fun to peruse the site Reasons My Son is Crying. If you don’t want to get lost for hours checking out the site, here’s a sampling of 23 of the best photos.

A-dorable.

Wreaths abound this season. Use them all over your home. I’ll be decking our halls this weekend and using this as inspiration.

vintage ornament

If you’re feeling crafty, try your hand at this vintage ornament by The Pretty Purveyor.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Finds

Hope everyone is having a great week.

We had a wonderfully warm week here and I got out of the house lots to take advantage of my favourite-est weather. Crisp mornings and sunny warm afternoons. Absolutely heavenly! We had highs in the mid-20s this week. So, what did I do? I also ordered our Christmas cards. (Let’s not forget we’re less than 100 days away!) I ordered mine from Tiny Prints because they had an “earlybird special” promotion and I saved 25%. Sweet!  I love this sparkly-backed one, but we opted for a version with multiple photos this year.

Fall is my absolute favourite time to shop for clothes. I’ve been restraining myself since I’m on a maternity leave budget, but I’m pretty sure this foxy sweater needs to be mine.

Love this design lesson on mixing warm and cool tones from Third Floor Design Studio.

Could this be the future of our phones? (video)

I’m super excited to watch Sarah Richardson’s new series Real Potential (yes, it aired Thursday night, but I’m writing this post before it aired).

And finally, a video from my alma mater. A message direct to Elon Musk (renowned entrepreneur and “big thinker”).

Have a great weekend. Tonight I’m hosting a little Girl’s Night In to celebrate my birthday (a few days early) and we are cleaning up our garage to prep for fall/winter, but mostly to make room for the delivery of our materials for our master bathroom reno. Details to come! EEK! I’m excited.

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but we had an expectedly hot week. We even had our hottest day of the summer, and broke a record for highest temperature ever recorded on September 10th. It felt like 43 with the Humidex! I’m not gonna lie, I’m looking forward to cooler temps. The crisp days of fall that make you want to snuggle up at home and eat hearty, hot homemade food. Like this one pot wonder – I know I’ll be breaking out this recipe this fall.

I love this look for fall. Its what I’ll be wearing.

My favourite city – the best spots to go with your tots.

giselles closet

A kitchen to die for, a fitness room made for a pro, and a closet fit for a supermodel: Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen’s house. Did I mention it has a moat?

I love this look for fall. I’m looking forward to cardigan weather.

Inspriring DIY chandelier round-up

Meanwhile in Canada…

It’s Friday the Thirteenth! OooOOooh!

This guy sees his wife for the first time again after surgery. The truth comes out.

Have a SUPERstitious day and have a great weekend! My mom is coming for a short visit, and I’m hoping to work on a few more projects, so we’ll be busy.

Friday Finds

Welcome to another Friday Finds!

This weekend my hometown is hosting Lift-Off a hot air balloon festival. In honour of that, how cute is this pendant from Etsy seller ingredientsforlovely?

hot air pendant

Love it!

You’ve probably already seen this because it’s been making the rounds on the Internet but I think this is awesome and takes some serious dedication to a dare. This retired Physical Education teacher wore the same outfit for his yearbook photo for 40 years!

40 yearbooks

Cool Mom Picks is one of my favourite blogs to follow because, well I’m a mom, and they’re always letting me know about great stuff. I especially love the freebies, like these free iPhone wallpapers (that they sourced from here) and this round-up of free super cute desktop wallpapers downloads. I love the design from Val Marie that makes organizing your desktop look pretty. Sweet!

wonderfulSince I’ve been off on maternity leave I’ve been planning lots of changes around the house, big and small. We’re in the planning stages of remodelling our master ensuite (details to come) and part of the trouble we’ve been having is deciding on fixtures. Is something too modern for the house? Too traditional for our taste? How would one look with the other? Etc. That’s why I love this post from Kelly at View Along the Way (you should be reading her blog) about how to find your style using Pinterest. She also helped me have a light bulb moment about some of the indecision I’ve been having when deciding what to bring into the house. You have to mourn the loss of the other styles you’re not choosing too.

And one last thing that’s been buzzing around the Internet that you may have seen, but is still definitely worth sharing here because it really struck me. These parents captured one second a day of their child from birth to age one.

I don’t think that’s the original source, but its the video nonetheless. What a beautiful way to capture how quickly babies change. The highs and lows, and the little joys of every day. Beautiful! Sigh. I’m getting teary. They grow up so fast!

Have a wonderful weekend. Make every second count.