Charlie’s 1st Birthday Party
July 8, 2018 § Leave a comment
Charlie turns ONE on Tuesday, but we celebrated his birthday yesterday with a whole bunch of family and his best friend, Evan’s family too :) Here are some photos from the fabulous day.
Both of Charlie’s Grandpas were there!
For the first time since my niece Anna was born, all 7 grandkids/cousins were together in the same place.
The Spiderman pinata was absolutely destroyed by the kids.
Charlie and his best friend Evan.
A blurry, but only complete family photo of the day.
One of Charlie’s favourite new toys!
We ended the evening by going out for dinner with the grandparents at Swiss Chalet, where we all ate ravenously, especially Charlie.
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate this little ray of sunshine!
January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment
I wanted to break the blog silence by writing about our Christmas!
As usual, we drove up to Canada for about 5 days. This was our fourth road trip to Ontario with Henry and he’s really a champ about the long drives. He insists he never wants to fly on a plane again – only drive! (The above photo is actually a rare moment when we actually had to put Storybots on a phone to keep him going.)
We drove all the way to Niagara Falls, Ontario the first day and stayed in a falls view room at the Marriott that night. It was freezing there, but beautiful!
Because we drove about 9 hours the first day, we had just under two hours left to drive to my parents’ house in Woodstock the next day. It was very snowy.
We settled in quickly with a jam session with Grandpa in the basement and later on, helping Grandma shovel snow off the deck.
The rest of the visit was great, including many visits from family members and even dinner out to a Woodstock fish & chips favourite.
Grandma also helped Henry build an enormous “tractor trailer” with 26 wheels out of old coffee boxes. He just realized yesterday that we hadn’t brought it home, but that will give him something to look forward next visit.
What made this trip better than those in the past was that Henry happily slept in his own little bed beside ours! Here he is, watching two Spiderman videos before lights out.
On Christmas Day, my sister’s family The Martins came over which bumped our kid count to 6!
Things got a bit crazy by the end of the day, but they all had so much fun. A special shout out to my Mom who made such a delicious dinner while dodging children all day!
…also to the Dads who policed the kids’ table full of 2 and 3 year-olds. (My brother-in-law is literally a policeman after all!)
The next day, we said goodbye to my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Deb who lives next door, and drove two hours to my sister’s new house in Port Perry. The weather was not great, but their house is beautiful!
Henry was thrilled to play with his cousins – jumping on beds with Ben and playing in the playroom with Jillian – before getting in the car to begin our long journey back home.
Thanks for another great visit, Canada, see you soon!
Road Trip to Canada
September 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if you noticed, but we were away in Canada at my parents’ comfy cottage last week! Here’s some photos and commentary if you’re interested in our first road trip with Henry…
After renting a car from Laguardia airport, we left our apartment Friday morning to do the first half of the 10 hour drive. Henry hadn’t been in a car since December and was pretty much horrified at the thought of getting into his car seat. After much encouragement from us and even our doorman, we gave him some cheezies to munch on and he gave into a nap.
We stopped in Syracuse for the night and met up with our friend Matt, who took us to the State Fair that evening. Henry got to see goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens, and run around the bright lights and giant stuffed animals. He was very excited about the blimp floating over the fair and got to eat salty, deep-fried chicken fingers (probably much more delicious than the multigrain breaded organic kind from home ;)).
We left our hotel Saturday morning and arrived in Oshawa for my twin niece & nephew’s first birthday party that afternoon. It worked out very well that we got to see my sister’s family before heading to my parents’ and Henry got to enjoy running around with other kids (and toy cars) before spending another 1.5 hours in the car.
Henry seemed to settle into the cottage faster than ever once we arrived, even playing us some guitar and enjoying our applause.
Since we were on vacation, we let Henry stay up late and in turn, he’d sleep later than usual in the mornings. One day, he even slept until 10:00! (He was up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.)
Our days at the cottage were glorious. Grandpa cuddles…
Enjoying a new selection of toy cars and tiny plastic animals…
Feeding chipmunks and blue jays peanuts…
Visits from family…
Serious sandbox time…
Visiting Fenelon Falls’ beach and ice cream shops…
And one day, my dad arranged for us to visit the local fire hall. Having a grandpa on city council has its benefits!
A huge thank you to my parents for taking care of us for a week! And thanks to all my family who came for a visit. It was so great to see you!
Now to plan our Christmas road trip…
A Quick Solo Trip To Toronto
July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
This weekend, I took my second solo trip since Henry was born! I flew to Toronto Saturday morning and enjoyed reading, eating, and listening to music – basically a trip to the spa compared to flying with a small child ;)
I arrived downtown Toronto around 1:30 and met Sarah and Julia for a late lunch at Fresh, of course. Then they took me to a few cute new shops around Queen & Roncesvalles, including North Standard Trading Post. I’d been meaning to get Henry one of their cute hoodies and treated myself to a few things as well including one of Tami Noa Levy‘s provincial animal series prints.
Sarah hosted a few lady friends at her new house for cheese and snacks before we all headed out to dinner at Burdock. Her and Phil’s new place is very cute and the cheese was delicious! It was great to see more examples of the homes my friends are starting to own in Toronto because Nick & I are getting very used to the idea (and starting to plan) how to do the same thing in a year or two!
After dinner, we headed down the street to Bar Neon where Mike, Rob, and Tristan came to meet up with us.
Although it was only one afternoon and evening of spending time together, I appreciate any time I get to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. Especially one pregnant Sarah Curtis! That night, my sister Jenn came to meet me for a sleepover at my hotel and although I didn’t get back there til 11:30, we still stayed up for a few hours chatting. I’ll take whatever I can get!
The next morning, I met my brother Ryan for breakfast at The Beast. After eating the giant plates of food and maple bacon donuts, I agree that it is aptly named!
After I left Ryan, I made one last attempt to enjoy the weak Canadian dollar before I went to the airport to fly home. Let’s just say, I am set for both yoga shorts and Canadian Dairy Milk for a while!
It was really nice to get away, even for just one night, but also wonderful to return home to these two guys. I got the best Henry hugs ever when I walked in the door!
See you again soon, Toronto!
2014 Thankful List
November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m so fortunate that I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year! In preparation for this 4-day weekend, here’s a little list of what I’m thankful for these days.
MY PARENTS, who have always been there for me. They may be far away, but my Mom and I text every day. Every time we visit, they spoil us. I can’t wait to get back to see them for Christmas!
MY SISTER, JENNIFER, and her big, amazing family. She is such an inspiration to me as a mom – if she can handle four kids, surely I can handle one!
MY BROTHER, RYAN, and his wife, Suzanne. We always have interesting conversations when we’re together and Ryan keeps giving me giant Dairy Milk bars! Suzanne has also been sweet enough to visit us twice in NYC the past year.
FRIENDS – especially those with kids! (They just get it!) Seriously though, we have a few wonderful good friends – both here and in Canada – and we love them so much.
HENRY’S BABYSITTER, VALERIE. I’m so happy that I found such a cool lady whom with I can trust what is most important to me. I’m also very thankful I haven’t had to trim Henry’s nails in months – she does it without me even asking! ;)
MY ASHTANGA PRACTICE. Although I’ve gone from practicing at my studio 4 times a week to once a week, I am grateful to have such a portable way of keeping my mind and body in check. I may not have been able to progress much this year, but I have definitely maintained my practice and I know I will get back to working on it when I am able to.
HENRY. You all know this little joker. As my yoga teacher Alana likes to say, Henry is now my practice. He’s taught me many things over the past year and challenged me like no one else has ever been able to. I love him more and in a different way than I’ve ever loved anything before. I’m so thankful he’s come into our lives.
MY HUSBAND, NICK, who amazes me on a regular basis on how thoughtful he is. He is always thinking of Henry and I, and works hard to keep our marriage in shape. He’s handsome, smart, and funny. I could go on, but I’ll just say after 7 1/2 years, I’m still madly in love.
Thanksgiving in Canada
October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment
Last week, we flew up to Canada to spend my birthday/Nick’s birthday/Thanksgiving with my family!
Sure, waking up at 5am and traveling for 7 hours wasn’t the funnest birthday activity, but the payoff was HUGE. We spent a quiet evening with my parents at their beautiful cottage and I ate 3 delicious birthday cupcakes, made with love by my Mom.
None of this cupcake actually made it inside Henry’s mouth.
Henry enjoyed running all over and exploring my parents’ place. Last time he was there, he was only crawling!
On Saturday, we went to my sister’s place in Oshawa for Thanksgiving and met these two tiny babies!
My Grandparents and brother & sister-in-law also met us there. My brother brought me a much-appreciated birthday gift: two giant Dairy Milk bars! (Canadian chocolate just puts American chocolate to shame.)
For the first time, Henry got to run around with his older cousins. No one complained about him being boring this time!
In fact, I think Henry got much more attention than he ever expected!
Kids have been a presence at family gatherings for years now, but this time, it was like a kid explosion! Good thing they are absolutely adorable.
My Dad needs a bigger lap for all his grandsons!
These two just might be coming down with baby fever soon. I hear it’s contagious.
My sister Jenn is doing an incredible job at raising four kids (FOUR!!!). I asked her if she ever loses track of where everyone is and she admitted that yes, sometimes she does. You can’t really blame her – the twins are the quietest people in the house!
Although Henry didn’t sleep properly any of the nights we were there (he became my bed buddy), it was so great to get this trip in to see my family and meet my new niece and nephew. See you again at Christmas, Canada! Hopefully this time with more rest ;)
Grandma’s 80th Birthday Party
July 29, 2014 § 2 Comments
This year, my Grandma is turning 80! My parents were generous enough to offer their beautiful home as a venue for all my family to get together for a giant party to celebrate her. Nick, Henry, and I were so happy to be able to come too!
We arrived Wednesday evening and despite a rocky start with sleep, Henry had THE BEST TIME.
He loved being outdoors, seeing too many trees to even try to touch them all, the river, boat rides, and having so much room to crawl.
And of course he loved spending so much time with family.
We spent 4 days at the cottage and 1 day in Oshawa with my sister. Unfortunately, we had no time to get to Toronto to see friends, but I was so happy to have a visit from my friend Sara! (Also pictured: my cousin’s cute and friendly son, Kieran.)
Sara and I have been friends for over 10 years, but she moved to Scotland about 6 years ago and got married last year. She was in town visiting her parents with her husband, David, and friend, Hana. It was so great to catch up and enjoy her new Canadian-Scottish accent ;)
Later that evening, we had a campfire, complete with Grandpa selfies.
The next day, Henry had his first ride on my parents’ pontoon boat. I didn’t think I’d be able to put his robot costume-sized infant life jacket on him without a fight, but he didn’t care – SO MANY TREES!!!! For the rest of the day, all he wanted was to go down by the river and look at everything. He is already more outdoorsy than his parents.
Soon, more babies arrived! New parents Jeremy and Gioia brought an adorable 3 month old Dante.
Henry continued to love life, chowing down on PC baby food (added sugar! woooo!) and yelling to join the dinner conversation.
We had dinner at the longest table, sitting about 32 people. We enjoyed heartfelt tributes to my Grandma by my mom, aunt, and uncle. Tears were shed!
Then the cupcakes came out. Of course, the great-grandchildren that knew how to blow out candles lent a helping hand.
It was a really great weekend, filled with family. Unfortunately, we were missing the Martin family – my sister is too pregnant to travel that far away from her hospital. Twins come quickly!
So on Sunday morning, we packed up and said our goodbyes so we could say hello to Jenn and her family. And one great big HELLO to that BELLY!
I don’t know how she is doing it, but she looks absolutely fantastic and is still up and moving!
Henry is just about old enough to actually play with his cousins. It’s a pretty heartwarming sight. Of course, he is still a baby so at one point Jillian declared “I’m bored of Henry now.” I’m both looking forward to and dreading that honesty once Henry can talk. haha.
What a great trip. I wish it was longer, but we were very happy to get home yesterday. Happy birthday to my Grandma and lots of love to my whole family!
December 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
This Christmas was a very special one – it was Henry’s first.
Nick, Henry, and I flew to Toronto on Sunday with no drama. Henry fell asleep as soon as we checked his car seat and put him in the Baby Bjorn. He stayed asleep pretty much until we were just half an hour away from my parents’ cottage, and in true Canadian style, chose a Tim Horton’s parking lot to decide he was hungry and take a dump.
We were welcomed to my parents’ with a dinner of chili and lots of hugs. My Mom and Henry are so sweet together – they had lots of cuddling to catch up on since she was last here.
It was really nice to spend the first few days of our trip just relaxing in Fenelon Falls, where my parents live in a wooded area on a river. It snowed every day and is always the best place to spend Christmas. My Mom spoils us with her cooking and baking, and it was great to have an extra couple sets of hands to hold Henry. (Long showers and Nick & I actually going to bed at the same time!)
On Christmas Eve, as is tradition, we all met at my sister’s house in Oshawa. It’s the only place big enough to comfortably hold us all.
Henry met his Great-Grandparents and cousins for the first time.
We watched lots of CP24. The Santa Tracker reports were very exciting!
On Christmas Day, we were thrilled to have a visit from the Gordons. The last time Julia and I were at my sister’s place, it was for my baby shower and we were both pregnant.
Blake is just 10 weeks older than Henry, but look at them together! It was so great for these two little hams to meet, even if they didn’t understand quite what was happening.
We spend our last few days back up at my parents’ cottage, apparently dressing in coordinating colours for each family.
We flew home yesterday and besides long lines at Pearson Airport, it was a breeze. Henry is a great traveler!
We had a great holiday and hope you did too!