Thursday, January 30, 2014

Turning 4

Mom with the birthday party boy!
I have to start this post by telling you about how I devastated my son on my birthday two weeks ago. Caleb was extremely excited for my big day. He went to bed talking about it and on the morning of the 17th he woke up with a big 'Happy Birthday' song and hug for me. Then he looked into my eyes filled with hope and anticipation and asked 'What are we going to do today to celebrate your birthday?'...It was a Friday and I clearly had not properly prepared him for what happens when you turn 35. You go to work and have a pretty regular day. I had to break the news to him - he was off to school and I was off to the office. He couldn't contain his disappointment. He burst into tears. He was expecting a super-fun-adventure day, it was my BIRTHDAY after all. He pulled himself together and came downstairs to face yet another blow.

'Where are the decorations?' he asked.  I just shook my head. Very quietly he said, 'It's like it's not even your birthday.' And that was how I broke my son's heart. We did have brownies and a special dinner, but I could tell the day just didn't come close to living up to the expectations he had built up in his head.

 So yesterday, on January 29th, the day my son turned 4, I took the day off work, kept him out of school, put up decorations and had a day full of nothing but fun and games. We made cupcakes, brought them to share with his friends at daycare where his teacher lead everyone in dancing games, zumba routines and limbo contests. The two of us then played in the snow, invited another friend over for a play date, ate grilled cheese sandwiches, opened gifts, made a pillow fort, sang songs and capped it all off with a sleepover with mom. It was just the way a birthday should be. I was even able to capture a video interview of my 4 year old (which is quite endearing, if I do say so myself and I'm sure you'll agree if you check out the video below).

We kicked off the birthday celebrations with a family party and pirate cake in Fredericton

Complete with costumes (and scary faces) thanks to Cale's cousins Aly and Ava 

We were so happy to take in another year of the Shivering Songs Festival. Cale and cousin Monica loved dancing to Alan's band.
Dance party at school 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Turning 35

Tomorrow I turn 35 and instead of making one resolution to start off the new year, I've decided to make a list of things that I want to learn/accomplish/prioritize over the next 5 years. When I turn 40 (over the hill, as they say) I hope to be able to look back at this list and check off every single item. I'll likely add to the list over time, but for now here are a few things I hope for my 40 year old self.

  • Have a healthy, happy and active family
  • Learn to make, and stick to, a real family budget
  • Have savings for retirement and also for fun (family travel)
  • Make and host a full Thanksgiving dinner. Pumpkin pie and all.
  • Join the board of an NGO
  • Volunteer in my community
  • Join a naturalist club and improve my bird watching/naturalist skills
  • Find a hobby that I truly enjoy
  • Own a well-stocked professional woman wardrobe
  • Go camping often with my family
  • Learn how to do basic home maintenance
  • Own and live in a house that we plan on staying in for at least 5 years
  • Learn to bake my own bread and birthday cakes
  • Stop biting my fingernails (I stopped in October and have yet to return to this life-long habit - keep it up!)
  • Feel happy with my body and fitness level
  • Coach a sports team that my kids play on
  • Keep having the time of my life with my best friends
  • Start making plans to spend at least 6 months in Africa with my family
  • Be living the life that truly makes me happy
And I'll end off with my favorite Caleb quote of the new year - While sliding down the super steep and incredibly fun hills at Fort Royal, Caleb did one especially fast hill by himself. At the bottom, with his face covered in snow, he looks up at us and says 'Now that's what I call a party!!' Amazing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our holiday in photos

We were so happy to make it home safely for the holidays. We arrived at my parent's house on the 20th and Caleb immediately commented on how much he liked their 'invisible' Christmas tree, handmade by Greg.

Christmas morning was full of magic. Cale couldn't believe his eyes when he woke up and saw that Santa had come. He received many amazingly thoughtful gifts, like this fiddle from his Grampie Jeffries. 

Another of Cale's favourite gifts was a book that his cousins, Aly and Ava, had recorded themselves reading.

Alan and I also received some wonderful things - like matching Red Sox jerseys!! Much to the dismay of some of Alan's relatives- he is now a officially Boston fan for life! Sorry, Mary.

We tried to give some thoughtful gifts as well. We had a great time making dish sets for some relatives that featured Caleb's artwork. Adorable and dishwasher friendly!

I made sets of felted sea creatures for my three of my nieces. I included some Bay of Fundy shells put everything together in boxes that Cale helped me paint. I'm not sure what to do with my spare time now that these little guys are all finished!!

It's a Jeffries family explosion!! All of Alan's siblings were home for the holidays this year, and seeing all the cousins together was incredible. This was a pre-Christmas dinner shot, and if you can believe it, there were another 6 family members who ate with us (including my parents). What a way to end a memorable Christmas day.