Friday, September 23, 2011

Noah's 3rd Birthday Party!

On Saturday, September 17th, we held a kids birthday party for Noah. Lots of his current and past daycare buddies attended. We were also lucky to have 2-year-old Hollis attend, whom Noah hasn't seen since his 2nd birthday party! For the first little while the kids were given different game or activity options. Above, the twins and Noah are making Nutrio (like Cheerios) bracelets, using thin shoelaces. (My mom used to have us make Cheerio necklaces at my old birthday parties.) I think the maximum amount of Nutrios that any of the kids had the patience to bead onto their shoelace was 5. Because of this we promptly tied them on their wrists so that they could sport 5-Nutrio bracelets. (And of course these 5 were quickly eaten!)

We were also very successful with "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". Noah, Lucas, Maya and Hollis were all brave enough to give it a try. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen!

Next, we tried bowling. I bought this game at Party Packagers, specifically for the party. The kids (most having not tried bowling before) obviously had no idea about the rules, and simply tried knocking them down with their hands at first. Marlaine (Lucas and Maya's mother) was instrumental in the success of this game. She advised me to place a piece of tape a little ways away, so that the kids knew where to stand. She also made the set-up between turns far easier by taking 4 pins out of the game. It was nice to have a helper!

We also had large pieces of plain paper stuck to the windows, and lots of crayons. Not many of the kids noticed, or had the time to take part in this activity though. The balloons were much more fun!

Noah also had his big sister Emily, and older brother Jacob (who made a special return from the University of Waterloo), along with Jacob's girlfriend Monica (whom Noah is also very fond of) there to celebrate with him.

We made the meal preparation exceptionally easy this time: we didn't do it. For lunch, we had pizza delivered from Pizza Pizza. We didn't even worry about calling for it once the party started. Instead, we ordered it the night before and arranged for it to be delivered at a specific time.

My friend Kirstin, who co-owns the company "Yummy Mummy Cupcakes", made Sesame Street cupcakes for Noah's party. Noah had chosen these after looking through the various creations Kirsten and Tarra had showcased on their website. They were, as always, delicious. 

I had to make the three pictures above as big as possible, since they are my absolute favourites. This was also my favourite part of the party. Seeing how happy Noah was when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him was the best thing in the world. It was one of those special moments you never want to forget. I love my baby - I mean - big boy! 

Next, it was time for opening cards and presents. He got some amazing gifts: Dora Eye Spy Game, Animal Domino Game, Candyland, T-Pain Microphone, Cement Mixer Truck, and a motorized Thomas the Tank Engine (with track and crane). 


His friends helped him introduce some of the toys to their new home. It was, in my opinion, a very successful party. Lots of fun was had by all (or at least I hope)! Happy Birthday, Noah!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baby Oscar Joins the Daycare

We had an 8-month-old baby join the daycare last week. In preparation, I brought the exersaucer and high chair up from storage, and combed the apartment for little toys that could cause choking. I ordered child-proofing supplies, since the wear and tear on most of the previous ones installed for Noah have rendered them useless.

Baby Oscar is an absolute sweetheart. It is as if this kid was made for this daycare! He is just already so patient when I need to do things for the other children. I would expect far more fussing from a baby, but he seems to be such a tough little guy; a real trooper!

The transition from mommy to daycare seems to be going pretty smoothly, with the exception of sleep. It's not that he has trouble sleeping here, it's just that he needs more of it than the other guys. So, we are trying to figure out a sleep schedule that works both for him and fits into the daycare schedule. I tried getting him to nap in the stroller while the others played outside late in the morning, but to no avail. He is determined to keep up with the older boys.

And how are the big boys relating to the baby? Definitely better than I expected. I thought they would be mowing him down as they drove their cars, bikes or trucks around the apartment. Actually, this was my biggest concern with Oscar joining the daycare; his safety in the company of the big boys. However, they are really heeding my direction in regards to the safety of the baby.

Oscar helps Noah and Simba with a puzzle.

The big boys are also learning how to understand and relate to someone who is so behaviourally different (eating/moving/communicating-wise) from them. Speaking of moving though, it is amazing how much more mobile Oscar is this week compared to last week. Whereas last week he mostly stayed put on his belly, this week he is crawling like a pro, usually in an attempt to play with the boys. Nothing like the motivation of playing with the "cool group" (read: older group) to get a baby going!

As for the exersaucer, I don't know who's having more fun with it, the baby or the big kids! I thought it was adorable that Aidas gave his little doggie a ride in it, and also brought it toys and water.

This is another game that has become quite popular over the course of the week. One guy crawls under the exersaucer and sticks his head up through the seat, often exclaiming "I can't see!" I had to ban it when other game players then tried to turn the seat, or push the other's head back down, or just fought over who's turn it was to crawl under.

All in all, a good couple of weeks of transition!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Good-Bye Party for Lucas and Maya

Friday was Lucas and Maya's last day at the daycare. Their family is moving to England in a few months. It is sad that they will be too far away for even the occasional play date, but we are also excited for them and their future adventures, and we are happy to have shared their company for the past year. In recent weeks, we have been reading books from the library about England and discussing the things they might see and do there. And on Thursday, we had a good-bye party for them.

  We had lots of decorations and balloons for everyone to play with.

Although B. and Aidas had not joined us yet, we got started, making Smartie cookies first thing in the morning. Maya, Noah and Lucas took turns adding the ingredients, even cracking the eggs, with a little help! All this turn-taking took extra time. By the time I put the dough in the oven, I thought the kids would be itching to stretch their legs, so I told them they could play until the cookies were ready. No: they wanted to wait. I guess they were afraid they would miss out!

Well, it was worth the wait. The cookies were delicious, and we had plenty to share with family and friends.

After naps, Noah and I gave a present to Lucas and Maya: a photo book filled with memories from the past year (captions included). Actually, I made two copies of the photo book; one for them, and one for us to keep at the daycare. Lucas and Maya really seemed to like their gift. I thought it was big enough that they would be okay sharing it, and they were at first. But then a squabble arose about who got to turn the pages, so they had to take turns with the book instead. 

Luckily, we still have the twins in the neighbourhood for a little while. We plan to have play dates while we can, and hope that they will be able to attend Noah's birthday party as well. Good-bye Lucas and Maya. You have been with us one full year, during which time you have been a complete delight! We will all miss you dearly.