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Happy valentine’s day!

Just a little collage of two of my favourite valentines! Definitely a holiday that’s better when you have a baby to dress up in a giant heart to kiss all the livelong day, and a little boy who wishes you a happy valentine’s day constantly and gets way too excited about the nursery school cards and treats.

Although, who are we kidding, I was pretty excited about them too.

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And happy valentine’s day to you too, Kento! Even though you are literally currently making fun of me for eating a popsicle too loudly. Which only makes me want to eat it louder. It’s a vicious cycle.

My first surprise party!

… and probably last, just to be clear that I’m definitely not expecting a lifetime of surprise parties in my future. Once was awesome!

The weeks before my big (thirtieth! ahh!) birthday, Kent hadn’t brought up any plans or asked me what I wanted to do, which made me think that maaaaybe he was planning something secretly, so I decided to leave it alone and not bring it up. The week before my birthday I noticed a little bit of shifty behaviour, like phone conversations behind closed doors and not wanting me to look at his phone.

I guess this behaviour would cause some to think “affair,” others to think “birthday surprise!” I’m a glass-half-full type of girl.

I wanted this surprise to stay a surprise, so I stayed far away from his phone and any closed doors. But I couldn’t help but monitor my friends’ and family’s behaviour very closely the week leading up to my birthday and analyzing every conversation to see what they knew about what he was up to. Turns out my family and friends are all very good liars and secret keepers. I was definitely living in a web of lies that week.

The day before my birthday a friend of mine said that since I didn’t have any plans on my actual birthday her and a few other friends were going to pick me up and that we could either stay in and have a craft night (we have a thing for craft nights) or go out and do something REALLY AWESOME. Obviously I picked the latter.

She picked me up that evening and gave me this booklet I’d made for her in our early twenties which included three and a half pages of small-print, single spaced memories of events and sayings. Hundreds of them, and honestly I probably remembered 5%. Maybe. Things like “we woke up in a parking lot surrounded by police officers.” I should add: We were TOTALLY good girls who just liked to have fun and those police officers were definitely not in that parking lot because of us (that I would remember.) Obviously we were sleeping in our car in a parking lot, but I don’t remember where or why, and who forgets something like that? I wish I’d been much more detailed with my reminiscing.

We had so much fun back then! Now the quotes I write down are things Casey said. :) Life is still amazing and fun, but in a different way.

Anyways! She picked up two more friends and then they blindfolded me, telling me they were taking me to four stops that were all places we had memories from. The first stop was Moxie’s for Bellinis (I loooove Bellinis.)

Then we got back in the car for stop #2. They led me in with my blindfold on…

(and this is where I should add – I totally should have guessed that this was all a rue for my surprise party but I totally didn’t! I thought maybe Kent was surprising me with something the next night since I had left him at home with Casey and Summer and he did a good job pretending to be nervous about his first night alone with her. I am SO gullible.)

… then took it off and a whole bunch of my family and friends were standing in my parents’ kitchen yelling “surprise!” Casey was even there! (actually he stayed up the whole night and went to bed when we did.) I guess this would explain why he kept insisting the whole day that “we need to go to a party!” I thought he was just associating “birthday” with “birthday party” since, with big families, we tend to go to a lot of birthday parties. Again, SO gullible.

We basically just sat around my parent’s house chatting like we used to back in the day when my sisters and I all lived at home, and it was perfect. My family did such a good job of planning and making tons of food and keeping it a big secret.

This is the only photo I have. I’m pretty sure everyone was having more fun than it appears. ;)

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And now I’m kind of dying to throw someone a surprise party. Have you ever planned one or had someone throw one for you?

Halloween 2013!

Casey the “construction guy” spent two hours prior to trick or treating moving all of our Halloween treats from one bucket to another and to various places around the house, never once asking me if he could eat one, having the time of his life. Funny guy.

And yes, we managed to convince him that he should wear his costume. There were no tears involved!

I sent him and Kent out without us a few minutes ago because it’s pouring rain and Summer is fast asleep and well, I’m not crazy! I’m sad to miss it though, because last year the cuteness of seeing him run around as Elmo getting treats nearly killed me.

The need for a jacket instead of a cute plaid shirt ruined the costume a tad, but that’s pretty much par for the course here in Ontario! At least it wasn’t winter jackets this year. Although cold may have been preferable to a downpour…

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Summy, cat in disguise, world’s plumpest baby… I mean, who needs a costume when you’re this cute to begin with?!

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Halloween nursery school snacks: Oreo spiders and orange pumpkins

Hallween was our day to provide the snack for all of Casey’s nursery school friends. I scoured Pinterest and found so many cute ideas! Man, people are creative. Casey and I settled on these pumpkins made out of oranges and these spiders made out of Oreos.

They turned out so cute! And had my little boy, terrified at the thought of nursery school not even a month ago, sitting by the door half an hour before it was time to go asking if we could leave yet. Not, unfortunately in his costume. He loves getting me to wear his construction hat, tool belt, and vest, but ask him to put them on and I might as well be asking him to walk through hot coals… not. going. to. happen. I figured that once he got to school and saw his friends in costume he’d change his tune, but nope. Ah, well. Hopefully for his friend’s party this afternoon and trick or treating tonight he will figure it all out.

Here are my masterpieces! I’d tell you how to make them, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. I just have a few words of advice: my pretzels were too big to simply stick them in the Oreos (I used melted chocolate to stick them together), so I’d recommend getting the thinnest pretzels you can find, probably a no name brand, and double stuff Oreos. I used the Halloween Oreos instead, poor decision. And I used white chocolate chips for the eyes and again used melted chocolate to stick them on.

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The oranges are even more self explanatory, just stick celery in the top and call it a day.

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And, just cuz she’s the sweetest,  this is what the little lady was up to while Casey and I put his snacks together.

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Father’s Day!

A song from the (freshly shorn, easily distracted) Casey to his favourite Dada.

Lauren (“LauLau”) came over yesterday and we had ice cream in the backyard so he was doing some reminiscing.



Easter weekend.

We had a nice weekend that involved watching Kent run a race downtown, teaching Casey to ride his tricycle, two big family gatherings, nonstop baking, trips to the playground, an adorable cousin egg hunt, Easter morning mass, board games, tons of chocolate, and thrifting and a playdate on Easter Monday.

AND, we actually had some actual nice weather for once, although you can’t tell by the fact that Casey and I are wearing winter boots and a winter jacket in these photos. I’m always cold and I never trust that it’s actually spring until a few weeks in. I was right this time – we had a blizzard happening yesterday.

I didn’t take many pictures but here are a few from Lauren’s iphone from our Saturday afternoon festivities.

We tried for a nice family picture. Casey was more interested in keeping an eye on the chocolate he had just collected and make sure no cousins got too close.

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And a trip to the playground with the cousins:

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Luckily, sometimes the best family photos are totally unplanned!

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And of course, the requisite Easter morning picture. Please note the handfuls of chocolate… love it.

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Starting the season off right.

Our Christmas celebrations officially started yesterday evening, with the “lighting of the lights” ceremony downtown with Kate’s family. Casey spent most of the time running through the lit up trees yelling “wow! wow!” He’s a keeper.

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Could they be any cuter?

Today we met some friends at a Dutch store in town to see Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa, and Zwarte Piet, his elf. Casey was way too afraid to do the lap thing, but he was okay talking to Sinterklaas while I held him. I’ll take what I can get.

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Note the “choo choo” in Sinterklaas’ hand. Casey never lets them get too far away! The only way I got Casey that close was by telling him that Sinterklaas wanted to see his trains.

Later I showed him a picture on my camera of Kate’s family with Sinterklaas, and he immediately brought the camera over to his three Chuggington trains and showed each of them the picture one by one. The only time he cuddles with me is while we watch Chuggington, so I approve.

I admire the couple of bloggers I’ve seen who create a list of things to do each day to enjoy the season as a family. I think we may have to start doing that too, to make this crazy time of year feel more organized and enjoyable than hectic. Do you do the list thing? What is (or what would be) on it?

Happy Elmo-ween!

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Happy Halloween! This year we decided to just go ahead and be completely unoriginal or creative and just let Casey be what would make Casey happiest – which was a store bought costume of his hero, Elmo. His “smile-for-camera du jour” seems to involve closed eyes. Such a monkey.

It was a good decision. Casey loves wearing it, loves looking in the mirror at himself, loves everyone hearing everyone shout “ELMO!” when they see him, and happily keeps the hat on (miracle.)

I had the best day with my little guy! In the morning we did some daytime trick or treating and visited my parents, my Oma, a couple of friends, and surprised two of my sisters at work. Kate and Lauren and their co-workers had eaten all of the candy, so Kate’s boss reached into his lunch bag and gave Casey his banana. Ha! I was thankful for a healthy snack on the way home!

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In the evening we dressed him up again and headed out around the neighbourhood. It was drizzling and cold out, but Casey was such a champ. If we asked, “Casey, do you want to go home?” he’s answer with “NO!” and if we asked, “Do you want to get more candy?” he’d say “YAH!” He wanted to do all of the walking, all of the candy-holding and choosing, and all of the knocking. He learned that if he asked for “more?” people were completely charmed and he was rewarded with boatloads of candy. He even started saying “trick or treat!”

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All that candy seemed like a great idea until we got home, then we decided to give that same candy out to trick or treaters, since we hadn’t bought any. Casey was more than happy to hand it all out. We’ll see if this still seems like a good idea tomorrow!

And the best part of Halloween? A brand new nephew! Kent’s sister and brother-in-law had a little boy named Benjamin yesterday. So happy for them and psyched for Casey to have another boy cousin!

Happy Birthday Kent!

Last year I posted this video on Kent’s birthday and I caught Kent watching it all time in the weeks afterwards. So Kent, for your birthday this year (or four days later…) you get a new video to love!

I left this message on the mirror for Kent to wake up to on his birthday. I had to get a little creative because Casey’s letter set only has one of each letter.

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Happy birthday Kento! And in the words of Casey… “Ya you!”

Status of the curls and mothers day.

Not to talk this to death, but in case you thought I was crazy for not thinking that Casey’s hair is too long from the picture yesterday, here are a few  pictures from today that show what it actually looks like now. I caught Hailey standing behind him springing his curls today. So cute!

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Hope all my mom-readers had a great day! I woke up to Kent and Casey bringing me a surprise McDonalds for breakfast in bed. We took an early trip to the gym but sadly I quickly realized I was feeling pretty awful. I took a rest when we got back and then headed to a bridal shower for my cousin’s fiance. When I got back Kent had the house all cleaned and had made rhubarb muffins. Late in the afternoon my dad came by to help Kent cut down a huge tree that Kent has decided he wants out of the yard and then we all ate dinner outside. I put Casey to bed, Kent’s playing guitar in the basement, and I’m feeling like an early bedtime is in order. Just in case you wanted a play-by-play. I like doing that sometimes – it feels like old school blogging. I’d be happy to hear yours too!

And of course a big happy mothers day to my own wonderful mom and equally wonderful mother in law!

SO, official Casey-hair poll: Time to cut or not time to cut?