Thursday, September 6, 2018

FOUR! (And end of summer highlights!)

Happy 4th Birthday, Odie!
We once again ended our summer vacation with a bang - a backyard birthday bash for Odin that included 24 kids and 38 people in total! Odin had an extra special September the 1st. We hit the market in the morning for our mandatory Saturday pretzels from the German Baker, spent a few hours on rides at Upper Clements Park, went for multiple rides on Odin's new training wheel bike, and then celebrated all evening with friends. Yes, he slept very well that night!

My first attempt at a true birthday cake! A very flat and imperfect dinosaur that the kids all loved. I'll call this a success!
Caleb spent at least 1.5 hours before Odin's birthday working on decorations like this amazing sign. complete with a string of Os!

Diving into the main event!


Upper Clements Park Merry-Go-Round!
Train ride selfie!

Our last few weeks of summer have been equally action packed. We had Aly and Ava stay with us for a week to help me babysit the kids and we spent a weekend with family at Greg's fishing camp on the Miramichi. My favourite day was during a recent camping trip, where we played on the beach for hours while Caleb's set up a hermit crab sanctuary. We captured dozens of hermit crabs and provided them a selection of new shells. It was fascinating to watch the crabs check all the shells out before selecting a new one and being released back into the 'wild'!

Another amazing highlight was watching Alan play an afternoon outdoor show in Lunenburg last weekend. All summer we've kept a list of our top 10 summer fun goals, and one that we hadn't been able to cross off was finding a 4 leaf clover. I remembered finding them a lot as kids, so I thought once I actually started looking again, I'd find a few right away. This proved not to be the case, despite many attempts of sitting in clover patches over the past few months! Then- on Sunday afternoon during the show, Caleb sprinted over to me with a giant smile on his face - he had found a coveted 4 lead clover! He's still smiling about it a few days later! Wonderful way to end the summer!

Here are a few more photos and a birthday interview at the end!
Cousins in summer mode!

Best babysitters ever

Our annual 'Mom and Kids' camping trip had to be changed to a super sleepover at our place due to heavy rains....on the driest summer on record. Bad luck, but we turned it into epic times with an indoor tent! 
Fishing with Greggy

Canoe selfie. Odin also received his first stitches in August. He fell off his bed in the middle of the night and stood up and banged his head on his trunk. Tough times for a very tough little boy. He's healing up nicely. 

Feeling the summer vibes. 


Photo by Odin

Family shot on the Lunenburg waterfront

Second day of pre-primary and Grade 3! It's crazy to have both kids at the big school this year - and who is organized enough to get a photo on the first day of school!?! Not us this year! 
And now for an entertaining attempt at an interview with a newly minted 4 year old!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Sampler

Water babies!!

It's August already, and I haven't posted in awhile...but I have lots of photos to share today! We've been having a great summer jampacked with family and friend adventures! Here are a few highlights!

Boys spend a week in Fredericton! My mom provided a great list of all the fun they had -

3 big bike rides
bonfire at Uncle Jay and Aunt Gale's
swims at Donna's pool and YMCA
Covered Bridge potato chip factory tour in Hartland
World's longest and shortest covered bridges
Linda's birthday party bbq
Huge water fight with neigbours (Aly came running to inform us that they've got big waterguns that aren't from the dollarstore! So it wasn't a very fair fight until the hose and buckets came out!)
Interviewed on the radio while at Mactaquac beach with the Gaudet family - Caleb is still so proud to be a 'celebrity'!
Wrote a song with Monica and Tanya (Roar like a Tiger)
Went canoeing at Eric's
Went to 3 different playgrounds
Wilmot Splash pad
Visited the camp in Mactaquac where Alan and I got married - and caught 2 sunfish
Library with Grampie John
Caleb went to cooking school at the Superstore and made a delicious strawberry themed menu!
Science East

Train bridge bike ride

Covered Bridge chips - choose your own seasoning - Odin opted for chocolate, raspberry and lobster- combined! He ate the whole bag!

We then followed that week up with a week-long staycation at home! We visited the Balancing Rock in Digby Neck, went camping for 2 nights in Dunroamin to celebrate Alan and my 10 year anniversary (!!), played a full game of Risk, had several swims and took in the Natal Day fireworks! Great family time, but now I need to go back to work to get some rest!!

On ferry to Long Island to visit Balancing  Rock
Balancing Rock!
Sunny in all her glory on a waterfront camp site!
Late nights...
....Followed by naps in the camper!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Family (and Joe) updates

I'm trying to keep up at least one blog post a month!! I do love writing it and especially love looking back through at the memories from time to time. I am terrible at printing photos, so this is my main way to store all of my images. I'm going to look into getting my blog printed as a memory book one of these days.

So, a lot has changed since my last post. Mainly - I started a new job!! I'm so excited to say that I'm now working in the private sector, with a truly amazing and forward thinking company called Perennia. I'll be working closely with the fishing industry to develop new seafood products and help reduce seafood waste, and help to grow the value of NS seafood exports. The best part? I get to work from home. Saying good bye to my cubicle felt so, so good - and what a luxury it is to have a much more flexible schedule and ownership over my projects. I can now attend class trips, work remotely from Fredericton at times, go for walks when I need a break and still feel super productive. I'm truly happy with this new arrangement.

All is well with the boys these days as well. Caleb is deep into the world of Mine Craft at the moment, but now that the weather is warming we are spending lots of time in the backyard and shooting hoops on our new basketball net. Odin's big personality continues to grow each day. He's a force to be reckoned with, but I wouldn't have it any other way. He is very crafty at trying to get what he wants and has the quick negotiation skills of a seasoned lawyer. He keeps us on our toes for sure.

Bad news about the three Joe's however. Two of them have recently died, as Odin's new obsession seems to be with death. He talks about it all the time, asking who we know that has died or what happens when we die. Do we just go flat? Do we come back? Thankfully, he has stopped wanting to talk about death each night right before bed, because it was getting a bit creepy! But, we still have one Joe and he is still very present in our lives. It seems that Odin uses him as a way to reference events or experiences that haven't actually happened so that he can feel included. For example, when eating or trying something new, he'll always say something like, Oh yes, I've had this before at Joe's. Or, yes, I did see that movie at Joe's house one time. Things like that. It's adorable and I'll be sad when the day comes that  our last remaining Joe is no longer part of our every day.

I thought it would be nice to end off with some photos of a game that my sister-in-law Mary, gave us for Christmas. None other than Pie Face, which has absolutely no strategy or purpose other than to watch people get whip cream thrown in their face. The boys think it is the best game of all time. Well, Caleb loves it at least. Odin won't go near it, but that's ok because he tried it once at Joe's!

Greggy going down!

Aly action shot

Caleb desperately hoping to get pie-faced!

And Mama Linda cuddling up with Odin after all the excitement! 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring is here!

Marsh 'walk' with some mama friends! 
We've made it through another winter! And in Annapolis Royal, at least, it was a *fairly* easy winter to get through. We had very little snow, which meant less shoveling, but also less sliding, skating other fun outdoor winter activities. We did get some snow last week, so I made sure to get the boys to the Fort for our one and only sliding adventure of the winter. We have lots of other updates (I know it's been awhile since I've written a post) - so here it goes!

Sliding with friends
Parent-teacher night - It was a 'Student Led' session, so Caleb showed Odin and I all of the work he's been doing this year. My favourite was a weekly gratitude journal where they have been writing 3 things they are thankful for sine the beginning of the school year. Caleb had things like family, playhouse, electric guitar, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, food and friends. 

In late February, Odin went to the IWK to have tubes put in both ears. This procedure has been a long time coming, with years of ear infections, ear drum ruptures and hearing troubles. Since his ears were not properly draining, the doctor told us it is like he has had earplugs in all this time. We were really happy to finally have this corrected, and thankfully everything went smoothly and we've already we have noticed a big change in his hearing. It's wonderful to hear 'What??' a few less times each day!

Recovering. The nurses were quite amused that once he work up from his anesthetic, he asked immediately for a popsicle - not his mom! Haha. Sounds just about right!
We had another very successful Easter Eggstravaganza Event in Annapolis Royal. I volunteered to help with the planning of the event, which includes hiding 10,000 eggs  at the Fort, followed by crafts, Zumba and other free events at our local gym. Caleb revised his volunteer role of stealthily hiding extra eggs near kids who not found many yet. I saw him at the very beginning of the hunt, and didn't spot him again until almost everyone had left the Fort grounds. His once full bookbag was finally empty of eggs and he proudly said that only one parent caught him in the act!

After our big day in AR, we headed to meet up with Alan in Halifax. He's been working hard for the past few weeks at our Bayside home - painting and doing small repairs. Our last tenants have moved on, and we are switching from a long term rental property to a Air BNB/ Vacation rental. Its an exciting move for us, and hopefully with a beautiful oceanfront home on the route to Peggy's Cove, this will be a successful business model for us. It's been fun spending time again in Bayside. The boys love having a woods to explore and a bonfire pit in the backyard, and the view is truly spectacular. The house will be ready for bookings next week!!

Easter morning egg hunt in Bayside!

Forest bathing in our backyard woods

Following an evening bonfire, we were delighted to watch a full moon rise over the water in front of the house!!

Family visit to Peggy's Cove

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February round up!

Look who can now reach the freezer door! He is very proud of himself, and we are only a little worried about an increase in our power bill!
February has come and gone, and Spring finally feels so, so close. I almost let the month slip by without a blog post! We already have crocuses coming up on our lawn and last week we set up our basketball net in the driveway. It felt very strange to be playing basketball outside instead of going sliding, but we are very thankful for the mild weather and lack of snow. We've had a good month overall, a few illnesses to get through, but  also several fun things to celebrate including Valentines Day and Alan's 35th birthday. I felt very loved when I read Odin's Valentines message to me - Surely other kids also wrote messages about their mother's buying them food!?!

The boys also spent a few action-packed days in Halifax with my dad while I was in meetings. They had a great time playing in the hotel pool, buying too much candy at the Freak Lunchbox, exploring various indoor and outdoor playgrounds and visiting the Natural History Museum. We came home to news that our friend's sheep had giving birth, so we had an adorable visit with a tiny lamb. A true mix of city and country living!

February has also been a huge month on the potty-training front. Odin is FINALLY out of diapers during the day and having very few accidents. This progress has been a long, long time coming, but as they say - you'll know when they are ready, and Odin is finally ready. We are now in the tricky parenting stage of taking him in the car and on outings with no diapers and trusting that he'll tell us when he needs to go. It's risky business, but there is no turning back at this point!

Caleb has also had a great month on the friendship front. For the first time, two different kids have called to ask if Caleb could come over to play after school! This is huge for Caleb, who has always had friends, but has never really had a best friend who would invite him over. He seems to be finding 'his people' that share his interests and who he can really relate to. It was so wonderful to see his huge smile after I told him about the play date invites. He is such a fun and special kid, it's great to know that others see it too.

New favourite winter head wear!