Saturday, March 30, 2013


We had Leila's family birthday party a week early, since it would have been difficult to get everyone together on the Easter weekend. It was a huge success, mostly thanks to a nice long nap she had had that morning.

But also thanks to all the family who were there to celebrate with us!

Dan always prepares a perfect brunch, and this was no exception! There were eggs, cold cuts, and many different kinds of breads and cheeses. Oh, and most importantly, smoked salmon.

Even the youngest (and most scrutinizing) eaters enjoyed the food!

Leila was very shy and clung to mommy and daddy for the whole party. She was such a little princess! She really did enjoy trying to grab the balloons from up high.

She was very interested in opening presents. What impressed her most was the tissue paper. She was very grateful for this! Big brother Noah was a great help with gift opening, and did a really good job at sharing the spotlight.

Leila got lots of beautiful clothes, her own china set from Tiffany's (big sister Emily loves to spoil!) a wooden xylophone and drum, a wooden stacking toy, a little musical bear, and a beautiful hand-made bear by Jacob's girlfriend, Monica. (It even has "Leila" stitched into the foot!) Oma and Opa also gave her money for her education fund, and a gold bracelet with her name engraved in it.

The best (and most emotional) moment for me was when we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. I can't believe what a beautiful little 1-year-old girl I have! We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Though not as earnest as her big brother had been, she seemed to like her first taste of cake.

And...big brother still earnestly enjoying his cake, to this day! (He takes after his mommy!)

Here are some great pictures of the family that came to celebrate Leila.

Bottom left photo: Big bro Jacob, big sis Emily, and their mother, Joanna.
Bottom right photo: Monica, Jacob, and Emily.

Bottom left: Dan's Auntie Doreen, and my mother, Alice.
Bottom right: Emily and her boyfriend, Dave.

Cousins Mackenzie and Kacey.

Auntie Krista and Uncle Scott.

And here are some more of the Belle of the Ball.

Happy Birthday, my gentle, beautiful girl! You have such a sweet soul!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Crafts

The daycare has been busy with kids doing Easter crafts. One of the crafts we did last week was potato print Easter eggs. This is the same craft we did a couple of years ago.

I helped the kids to mix the paints to make pastel colours. Then they dipped cut potatoes into the paint, and stamped them onto Bristol Board, shaped like eggs.

They came out very well and our apartment is decorated with the work of the young artists!

We also stuck foam shapes onto Bristol Board eggs.

Noah has been so crazy about crafts lately that I had to keep looking for new ideas. I found the woven basket idea below. I used construction paper for the basket, and three little eggs cut from Bristol Board.

One of the cutest crafts we did entailed painting one of each kids' feet yellow.

They then stamped their foot onto plain white paper. Once the footprint had dried, they glued on a beak, a googly eye, and feathers. Ta-da!

Last but not least, the bigger boys made a chick breaking out of an egg. This was made by gluing a cut-out shape of a chick onto a sheet of construction paper. They then glued on a beak, 2 cracked egg shapes, and googly eyes.

Hope you enjoy the quick update!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winter Fun!

We had a lot of fun playing outside after picking the bigger boys up from school today!

Friday, March 15, 2013

T is for Truck

We have had the good fortune of seeing (on more than one occasion)  a total of 3, yes THREE cement mixers busy at work on Pacific Avenue. The kids always stare at the trucks and the workers in awe. I still remember a couple of years ago, mentioning to a construction worker that the kids thought of them as gods. The man turned to the kids in the wagon and said, "Stay in school kids. It's not as fun as it looks." No kidding! I don't envy them, working out there for such long hours on the coldest and hottest days of the year!

B. came out of school the other week with a paper Chinese lantern he had made in class. Noah was envious and begged to make one at home. B. gave us the general instructions. It was super easy! Here they are proudly showing off their work. (B. made a new one after someone sat on his original.)

We got the dress-up bin out one day. Oscar enjoyed trying on the backpacks, and then we switched the bag to the front so he could wear a baby carrier. He thought it was pretty cool that he was carrying his baby the same way I carry "La-la". 

Thomas is always donning our firefighter hat, but he found a firefighter jacket to go with it, in the dress-up bin. How adorable is he?!

Noah was king for a day - oh who am I kidding?! Noah is king EVERY day! 

On the March Break, we had the flexibility to do some different things. One day we went to Chapters book store in Bloor West Village, where they have a huge Thomas the Tank Engine train table. The kids also had fun looking at books and playing with other toys in the store. Oscar especially loved riding the plasma car down the ramp again and again. When it was time to give someone else a turn with the ride-on toy, he still enjoyed running up and down the ramp. We stopped for a little treat at Tim Hortons on our way home (a great incentive to finally leave the book store). 

Another adventure we had on the March Break was going to the High Park Zoo. On our way we encountered gigantic snowflakes. It was the best part of the trip, in my opinion! The other day I had been reciting "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" when we were trudging through the mud. This time we did the part about the snowstorm. B. kept asking me to say it again and again. Here are a couple of our little adventurers. If you're wondering where Thomas is, he is actually enjoying quite different weather, in a warmer climate, just for the March Break. 

The zoo was surprisingly not busy, considering it was the March Break. The kids enjoyed seeing the animals, and Noah is a lot braver than he was the last time I remember taking him.

Oscar enjoyed his view from the wagon.

When we got to the Llamas, there was an employee of the zoo feeding them through the fence. He let both B. and Noah feed them peanuts and carrots. The boys were excited to help out!

It didn't take long for the worker to pick up on Oscar's affinity for trucks (Oscar makes this quite clear wherever he goes). He proceeded to dig out a pile of photos and found a picture of the zoo tractor to give to Oscar. He asked B. and Noah what their favourite zoo animals were. B. said "bison" and Noah said "Wallaby", and the man gave them each a picture of their choice. This man really made their day. Apparently Oscar's parents had to post the picture of the tractor up in his crib, he just loved it so much. Whatever gets you through the night, Osc!

Since we were one man down (no Thomas) and I had my help with me, we let the boys go on the castle playground (with my helper shadowing Oscar). I hadn't seen the playground since it had been rebuilt. Wow! It reminded me how great playgrounds used to be before they tore them all down and put in those generic, plastic structures. This playground was one of the few that was better - wooden ones are, in my opinion. But the new section is even better than the old one because there is much more space; it used to be very narrow and a bit of a hazard for the very little ones.

Another day we went to Lithuania Park. It was fun but frigid! And yet another day, which was not as cold, we were able to enjoy one of the other playgrounds in High Park.

It was Leila's first time on the swings. I think she liked it!

Oscar kept going down one of the big slides. He'd get to the bottom, and then say "'gain!" (Again)

Here's to hoping things warm up with Spring officially arriving next week!