Sunday, November 30, 2008

Early Winter Late Fall Fun

It's been busy. I'm back at work, Sebastian has been at daycare for a week...well, not the whole week due to the dreaded daycare virus that is perpetual from November to April. Oh well; what's another snotty nose for 5 months? But his first days were good: they tell me it's like he's been there forever. He's even got a girlfriend. Of course he does; those eyelashes and smile could charm anyone!
First day of "school." Wow. Time flies at an alarming rate! Wasn't it just yesterday I posted Matthew's first day picture?
His eleventh month brought us steps. He's a walking machine now! A little tentative, but not for long, I'm sure. Much to Matthew's chagrin, he's everywhere now! He loves nothing more than anything Matthew is holding. Sibling rivalry is interesting so far!

He walks!
We also took in the Santa Claus Parade. Luckily the weather cooperated and it was just cold enough to enjoy hot chocolate, but not cold enough to make the kids miserable. Nothing says Christmas cheer like whiny, cold kids! The highlights of this parade were the fire trucks, and of course, the candy. Oh yeah. Santa was good, too.
"Is that him, Daddy?"
I think the Candy Canes were more popular than Santa this year.
The Big Man himself.

Keep on looking. Sebastian's first birthday is right around the corner. No novels, I promise. But hopefully at least one post!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

We took the kids on a one-night family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge. It was amazing! I can't wait to go again when the kids are a little bit bigger and can go on all the really fun water slides. That being said, there was still so much for us to do, and we packed it all in to a little over 24 hours.

Our room: Kid Kamp. Matthew loved it so much that when he got home, all he could say was "I want my camp back."
This is the "doorway" to the bunk bed room that had its own TV. We wouldn't let Matthew sleep on the top bunk, but he did get to watch Treehouse up there. He loved it (who wouldn't?)!
A fraction of the water park.
In the hotel lobby, they had animatronics that were truly amazing. At bedtime (8:30) to hotel had storytime, where the kids were encouraged to come down in their pajamas so the characters could tell a bedtime story. I didn't get a picture, sadly, but it was so cute! Matthew loved the characters.
Sebastian? Not so much.
To kill time between water slides and splash park, we took in a game of mini-golf. Matthew's pretty good, but a bit of a cheater. I wonder whose genes are responsible for that?
Bye Bye Great Wolf Lodge! See you next year!
(I notice that Sebastian is not well-represented in these pictures. He had a great time! We took him to the pool where he DID NOT want to get out ever, and also splashed around the splash park loving every second. His favourite part? You guessed it: watching Matthew! He also enjoyed the mini golf, but was really leary of the animatronics. He hates fake moose, I guess!)


For Halloween Matthew was Pablo from the Backyardigans (if you don't have kids, that's meaningless to you. Sorry about your luck). Sebastian was a monkey (fittingly). We got together with the neighbours to go to the houses around us since all our kids are the same age. What a fantastic evening!

Pablo the Penguin
Our little Monkey
Before the candy even started, Matthew was a crazy man. Note the bag on his head! You know that episode of the Simpson's where Homer is spinning around on the floor in the kitchen? Picture that as Matthew on our front lawn. It was hilarious!

I couldn't resist the picture of their cute little Halloween bums! Matthew was so excited his costume had a tail.
Matthew was in 7th heaven with all the candy, but didn't quite understand why he couldn't go right in to people's houses! Our babysitter (a WONDERFUL 16 year-old) made special loot bags for all the kids, so Matthew thought he would thank her by walking in and talking about it on her couch (practically).
Sebastian just rode along in the stroller with Garret. Those two may be trouble-makers one day, but on Halloween, they were angels!
Finally, I had to get a picture of our house all lit up. I put the decorations up a week earlier when Matthew and Rob were out. When they came home (in the dark), I got a call from Rob, who was in our driveway, telling me I needed to turn the outside lights on because Matthew wouldn't come in! Yep, another nomination for Mother of the Year!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Artistic Me

I love my new camera! This is my attempt at art. No Ansel Adams, but it'll do!

Rob thinks I use this feature too much. Wait until I tell him I'm trying to figure out the "action shot" setting....

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

Fall is filled with so many fun things to do. Better get them in before the snow! We took the kids to a pumpkin patch, complete with 6 acre corn maze, tractors, hay and a wagon ride. Despite a few balloon "incidents," we had a great time.

Look how big our boys are!!
Sebastian's even taller, but refused to stand up. He climbs on everything, including other kids, but as soon as I want him to climb on something, the kid's got spagetti legs.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like a giant sling shot for firing pumpkins.

The balloon. Words of advice: when your child is screaming like one of those banshees on Nanny 911, and a 15 year-old kid gives you a helium balloon to make him stop, just tell the teenager to keep his balloon and high-tail it out. It's not worth it!!! Especially when your banshee (i.e. sweet 3 year old) has a mild case of OCD....

More Pumpkin Patch

Just spending a beautiful fall afternoon chillin' in the comforts of a tractor inner tube. Oh, to be a farmer? These pictures are for sure coming out on either one of the boys' wedding days. Especially the one where Sebastian is eating the display.

Matthew, like Rob, would now love to own a tractor like this one. You know, for our 100 sq. feet of lawn.

The 6 acre corn maze. Luckily Rob new what he was doing, or we'd still be in there!

Donkey Sanctuary

A little while ago, I took the boys to the Donkey Sanctuary for something a little different to do. I figured Matthew would enjoy petting the donkeys and running around on a farm. He loved it! They had about 60 donkeys (all of them rescued), some sheep, goats and a couple of dogs. It was so much fun.

Matthew brushing Apollo the donkey.

Sebastian getting to know a sheep...


Bye, Bye Donkeys!

Bedtime Stories

We're so lucky that both our boys love being read to. It's part of our night-time routine and Matthew will not go to sleep without at least 2 stories. He's learning to pick out the longer ones to delay bedtime just a little longer. He's also really getting into telling stories himself. A favourite is The 3 Little Pigs, when he shouts at the top of his lungs "Not by the hair on my chinny, chin chin!"

I took these pictures because Matthew insisted on wearing pajamas very similar to Sebastian's (they both have feet! Matthew looks absolutely adorable!), and then wanted to read him a story in his rocking chair. A lot more giggling happened than reading, but I got the pictures just the same. Another memory to cherish for when they are both so big they won't want to do this together. And certainly not in pajamas with feet!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sebastian 9 and 10 months

Oh my goodness, life seems to be so crazy these days. Sorry about not updating the blog. I have a tonne of pictures, so I'll do my best to update in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of Sebastian at 9 and 10 months. He's growing like a weed! He can clap and wave and wiggle up the stairs like a bat out of hell. He's cruising on everything now and will take a very tentative step while holding on with only one hand. He uses his walking toys all the time now, much to Matthew's delight and sometimes annoyance. The people at the gym daycare call him "the climber" and "the monkey" because he climbs on EVERYTHING, but mosly other kids. That's my boy!

9 Months and up the stairs: "You can't catch me!!"

His favourite thing is still his silly older brother.

10 months: loves books and the phone. In no particular order.

I will try hard to update this week, just in time to get behind on the million Halloween pictures I am sure to take!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

How are we parents of a 3 year old?

Where did 3 years go? Matthew and I celebrated his birthday with a little photo session. He wanted to play (read: throw things at me), and I wanted to capture my now-almost-in-college man on film. It went well (read: no black eyes from new hot wheels being thrown at me, and no temper tantrums because I would not stop taking pictures). Here are the results:

Matthew is almost 40 inches tall and probably weighs somewhere around 38 lbs. I cannot believe the space between his 2 1/2 yr. height marker and the one taken here!
He's finally lost his baby belly and actually has the arches forming in his feet. Another sign that his baby years are over: he's got actual kneecaps. Bruised kneecaps (he can't help his clumsy heredity), but actual kneecaps nonetheless.

We can have actual conversations with Matthew now. His vocabulary is so amazing, and his opinions, while sometimes frustrating, are so well vocalized now. A stage I'm not really that excited about is the "But why, Mommy?" coinciding nicely with the "But that's not fair, Mommy" with arms crossed and fully furrowed brow to show absolute defiance. What I am excited about is his spontineity. Without the slightest prompt, he will tell me he loves me. He will run with absolute abandon to the front door when Rob comes home, yelling "Daddy's home! Daddy's home!" and then tell Rob about his day at daycare or at home.

Without putting too much bias on this statement, we think Matthew is a pretty smart 3 year old. He can count to 50 almost totally by himself. He knows his address, including the house number and city (we're working on the phone #). He knows the sounds that all the letters make, and has even referred to the c in cat as a "hard c." He loves books and wants us to read to him all the time. Oh, and he also knows the secret to cold fusion (well, he will someday).

He's an amazing little boy who lights up our lives every day, even on the not so good days when he's telling us in the loudest, whiniest, inches-away-from-total-meltdown voice that he does NOT want a bath/to go to bed/to put on his shoes/to go to the bathroom/to brush his teeth/to be nice to Sebastian. Even on those days, the bright moments are so much stronger than the dark ones. We love you Matthew! Thank you for being such an incredible gift to us all!