Posts filed under ‘elliot’

traditions

proactive about forming traditions, or not; we all have them.  i’m the type of person who despises routine, but cherishes the traditions that our little family has organically formed. 

on christmas eve, we squish into the living room, and have a sleepover. there is always one gift opened, and that gift in itself is a tradition: footy pyjamas, and a toy made by me.  we sleep late the next morning, and slowly get through breakfast, and reading the christmas story from the bible. 

my kids are growing up, and so am i.  they no longer “play” with the toys that i make them, and i no longer have the time to make weekly toys.  so this year, i really struggled with what to make them for their christmas eve gifts.  i didn’t want to break with tradition, but i also didn’t want to waste time and resources. 

i brainstormed and consulted with friends and family, and came up with handmade ornaments.  and now i kind of wish that i’d had the idea many years ago.  the ornaments summarize the year that is coming to a close.  in doing this, the kids can have a chronological record of their childhoods. practically, they can start a collection for their own trees in their own homes- days which are too rapidly approaching.


elliot has been into pokemon for years, but this year he was pretty focused on the release of a new game, and counted down the days for at least ⅓ of the year.  given his history with pokemon (it was really the first “thing” he was into), i thought it fitting that his first ornament be a pokeball.

anne’s been in ballet for almost 4 years now, but this year she made the decision to focus on it more seriously.  she doubled-up her lessons, and began daily practice at home. she’s even been teaching me!

tomorrow night we’ll continue our tradition of pyjamas, handmade “toy”, and a sleepover.  i’m looking forward to seeing the reactions of my not so midgety-midgets when they see the new twist on an old tradition.

merry christmas to you all! thanks for reading!

December 23, 2016 at 23:14 Leave a comment

my midgets… part 2

i posted a brief note about how unbelievably amazing my kids are.  somehow the post got deleted, so i’m trying again, but i’m feeling way less-wordy.

here are the pics you wanted!


November 17, 2015 at 18:10 Leave a comment

i’m getting what i deserve

when i was a kid i loved christmas, because i loved sneaking and snooping!  i totally turned into a super spy as soon as the christmas tree went up, and i spent tons of time looking under beds and into the backs of closets.  i’d unwrap gifts and expertly rewrap them to keep my misdeeds secret.  sometimes i’d take a toy out of its packaging and play with it for a while,  before sealing it back up until christmas morning.

i was so good at my surprise face.

when elliot announced that he’d been snooping in my studio the morning after i’d stayed up late sewing gifts, my surprise face was authentic.

he had been so extremely close to finding his gift!  i listened, horrified, as he told me all about the “half used bag of stuffing” that he’d found and “the cut up pieces of felt” that he discovered INCHES away from the blanket that his gifts were hiding under.

after i’d picked my wits back up off the floor and quickly wrapped the gifts that he had almost found, it dawned on me that my kid was MY kid.  oi.

some of you have heard me complain about how elliot found his kindred spirit in the calvin and hobbes comics a couple of months ago.  he’s had his best friend “cheetah” since he was one, and the calvin & hobbes characters are such a perfect fit for the two of them.

boy and catlook how little my boy is there!  also how stuffed cheetah is.  elliot has loved cheetah from the moment he received him, and they’ve done absolutely everything together!  so when eli read calvin and hobbes for the first time and realized that there was “another” kid just like him with a stuffed-yet-real pet cat, and a HUGE sense of mischief, he was hooked.  it wasn’t long before anne became “suzy” and water guns were being squirted all over the house.  he drew pictures of nagoobians, and i think he said i was an alien?

as much as i don’t enjoy elliot going crazy mcnachos and emulating calvin, i do realize that it is partly my fault.  i didn’t read calvin & hobbes when i was a kid, but i’m pretty sure i didn’t need any help with my impishness  (i once tried to convince my youngest sister to jump off of the railing of a second story deck because “you’re really adopted, and your alien parents are here to bring you home, but you just have to believe and jump first”).  it’s pretty clear to me that i’m getting back what i gave to my parents and sisters (and friends, and teachers, and babysitters).    so this christmas i’m super excited to give elliot this:

elliotcheetahfinallllllit’s just a small print in a frame for his bedroom, but it’s a picture of friendship, love, and imagination.  it’s also a sign from me to him that i accept him with all his crazy amounts of mischief.

i know my exasperated mother said more than once “i hope you have a kid just like you!” and i’m so glad that i do!

 

 

December 15, 2012 at 09:31 1 comment

changes

elliot doesn’t like change.  he never has.   do you see the fear in his eyes?  poor kid.  

moments before the photo was snapped, he agreed to let me have my way with his hair, in exchange for eating whatever he wanted (as long as there was healthy food) for the ENTIRE following day.

he wanted to keep his reliable old hair-do, but his stomach convinced him to take a gamble.

just as i was finishing up, he sighed and said “i hope it’s not a mohawk…”

um.  oops.  *technically* not a mohawk though, because the sides fade into the longer top, instead of ending dramatically with a fringe.  details like that are important to my boy!

he looked himself over in the mirror, and spent a looooonnnnnggg time rubbing the short sides of his head before declaring “i like it!  it’s like i have daddy’s moustache on my very own head!”

and then he got all silly and giddy and jumped all over his daddy as they celebrated their matching hairstyles.

a week later, he’s telling me that his hair is starting to grow, and needs to be cut again.  looks like he’ll be keeping the fade-hawk for a while!

September 21, 2012 at 22:52 1 comment

i love “i told you so” moments, but only when i get to say it.

elliot insists that he never sleeps.  every morning he tells me “i didn’t sleep last night, i haven’t slept for days.”    my rebuttal is always the same: “elliot, i checked on you last night before i went to bed, and you were unconscious.”   sometimes i talk to my sleeping boy or kiss his cheek or do something to make sure that he’s really asleep, so that i have further proof when morning comes.   still he contends, and then boasts that he could stay awake ALL night.  so when he started going on about it again on friday, i said “fine.”

“huh?”

“fine.  you can stay up all night.  but if you fall asleep while you’re trying to stay awake, then you can never ask to stay up late again.”

“deal!”

so last night of course, i was ready to die at 9:00.  i’m usually good to go until around 2am, but last night was tough.   derek and i watched scary dr.who episodes with elliot (trying to show him that he doesn’t want to stay up!), then i opened my crochet school videos and worked on that for a bit while elliot practiced his french knitting (corking). somewhere after that elliot entered the giddy over-tired phase, and  there was a period of time where my yarn from my crochet was being thrown to the cat to play with and elliot was sitting on my head laughing his face off and calling me a “society” and then bursting out “hahah! i don’t even know what a society is!!!”.  giddy turned into obnoxious then turned into “let’s watch a movie” and insisting “i can stay up all night”, but it was less like a boast and more of an encouragement to himself.

i fell asleep two-thirds of the way through hoodwinked, and woke up as the credits were rolling.  elliot was “wide” awake, so i put on another video and crashed again.  derek woke up when the credits rolled on that one, and thankfully— elliot was asleep!  yay!

wow, i was pretty worried when i saw how alert he was at 2:30 am.   this was only good parenting if we won, of that i was convinced!   PHEW!

this morning he didn’t sleep in, at least not as much as i would expect a boy with a 3am bedtime to sleep in.

then, while the kids were watching sweet pea beauty just a few minutes ago,  i found this:

no doubt he’ll insist that he didn’t sleep, but this time i have his sister as a witness and photographic evidence to back me up.  i may throw in a kiss on the cheek as well.  y’know… just to back up my argument.

October 22, 2011 at 17:13 Leave a comment

i’ll let elliot tell you

the above is what elliot wrote in his school journal this morning.  if any of you have talked to elliot at all since saturday, you already heard this news.  the kid is bursting with excitement!

we went back to the animal shelter on saturday and filled out the paperwork for adopting the pest who wouldn’t leave our house or my kids’ memories.  i hate cats. i love my kids though, and when elliot realized where the family discussion on saturday morning was headed, his face made me confident in the decision.

elliot’s wrestled with and rejected several names over the last few days, but he finally settled on Percy for the following reasons:

  1. the cat was persistent at making us his family.
  2. elliot was persistent in asking his parents and asking God to give him a cat.
  3. “percy” passes the cute factor.
  4. “percy” begins with the “purr” sound.
i was hoping that elliot would pick a name that would remind him that God had given him this pet as a result of constantly praying, so i’m satisfied with what he decided.  elliot and i also went out this weekend to grab supplies for making a scratching post for the cat, and the nerf guns are loaded and ready for cat training on wednesday.
i still can’t believe that a cat will be in my house.

October 3, 2011 at 14:30 6 comments

how to plan a pokémon party

there wasn’t a lot of time to organize elliot’s pokémon party, but with the help of the internet and the kids we pulled it off.   here are some of the details in case anyone else out there is frantically googling “easy pokémon party” for their little one.

  • decorations:
    -streamers!  they’re the easiest thing ever, and if you pull them from the centre of the coil, they’re already twisted and fancy-looking.  it just requires tape and a sturdy chair to stand on before your house is ready to jump.
    -balloons! the second-easiest decoration.  seriously, streamers and balloons in a themed colour are transforming.  the kids enjoyed drawing circles and stripes on each balloon to give them a pokéball look.
    -printed and painted pictures, thanks to google images.  i filtered the results so i had only large images, and printed them poster-style (which you can only do on a PC, apparently- so much for my superior mac!).  then i taped them together and the kids and i painted them together.  here’s the trick for making them look more polished:  sharpies!!  i love sharpies! once the paint is dry, trace the outline of your pokémon.  we hung these colourful pokémon on all the walls along with a print out of their name and some info on each one.
  • games:
    -elliot wanted carnival-ish games, so using one of the above paintings, we played pin the flame on the charmander.   not a lot to say about that one, i cut the flame off of charmander and we used it.  ta.da.
    -there was also a jar full of gummibears, and we pretended they were pokémon.  i put some black ribbon around the jar and taped a white circle with a black border on top of the ribbon.  there’s no picture, but it’s basically the strip & button that’s on a pokéball.  the kids had to guess how many pocket monsters were in the jar, and they were surprisingly great estimators!
    -bobbing for pokéballs.  this game was really gross!  it was obviously just bobbing for apples, but i didn’t have a barrel so i used the kitchen sink.  the kids were really into the game, but they were spitting like crazy!   the kids really loved this one, and i’m glad that elliot insisted on playing it.
    -hot potato, played with a stuffed starly and to the music from the pokémon show.  you can buy the album here, but your kids will want to listen to it 24/7 and you may not be willing to go there.
    -twister, but instead of saying “right hand, red” i said “right hand, fire.”  and the other colours were pokémon types (green: grass, yellow: electricity, blue: water).
    -balloon stomp.  i know there’s a pokémon that has a stomping ability, but i can’t remember it.  i stuck a toy inside one balloon and the kids broke balloons until the winner found the toy.
  • prizes!  you can’t have competitive games without rewarding the winners.  we bought miniature pokémon figures to give to the winner of each game.  to keep it fair,  if a child won a second prize, they got to give one of their prizes to someone who had yet to win something.  everyone went away with something.  as soon as they won a prize, i stuck it in their goodie bag to avoid things getting lost.
  • goodie bags:  completely uninventive, but i bought them.  i ordered them just before the summer got crazy, and i’m glad that i did because there’s absolutely nothing pokémon in stores besides the cards!
  • food:  the party started in the evening, so the food was limited to dessert (and some un-themed sun chips when the kids seemed a little cranky at losing hot potato!).
    -staryu cookies.  star-shaped sugar cookies frosted with map-o-spread (i was out of time to make more frosting and really, sugar is sugar!), and topped with the top-side of a peach ring.   i just used scissors to cut them in half and it wasn’t too tricksy.  then i filled the centre with red frosting, and they were done.
    -cupcakes.  i used yellow & red cupcake liners, and frosted the tops.  to make them look like pokéballs, i started with a black circle and then the black stripes coming out from the circle to the edge.  i didn’t keep them perfectly centred or straight because i wanted each “ball” to look different and at different rotations… does that make sense?  after i had the black outline, i star-tipped the red onto the smallest half (because i had less of it) and then filled in the other half and the circle with white.  they weren’t very time-consuming at all, and the kids enjoyed them.
    -ice cream.  chocolate, not because it fit any pokémon theme, but because it’s eli’s favourite.
  • craft:
    -elliot loves crafts, so his party had to include them!  some of the kids weren’t so into it, but elliot and a few others were, so i don’t regret incorporating it, even though it wasn’t the most popular.  i basically gave the kids ovals of poster board, markers, tape, scissors, pencil crayons, and anything else they asked for.  they made their favourite pokémon characters.  a couple eye holes and a length of elastic thread later, and they had their own personalized pokémon masks to take home with the rest of their goodies.
i’m pretty sure that’s all of it.  even if it isn’t, i’m so done typing!  this might just be my longest post ever.  the internet was extremely useful in giving me inspiration and ideas for this party, so i’m happy to contribute my own ideas to the mix even if it makes my fingers fall off.  hope it helped someone!

August 20, 2011 at 20:26 Leave a comment

i’ve been gone so long, my memory foam forgot about me.

i remember speaking to one of my neighbours in may, about how relaxing this summer was supposed to be.  i was just going to do one camping trip, two weeks of vbs and the usual cottage week at the end with my sisters & parents.

halfway through june, the summer calendar started getting a little congested, and by the end of june there was barely room to breathe.  an opportunity to go on a missions trip that i’d passed on for several years in a row, came up and everything aligned to enable me to go.  elliot also wanted to go to day camp this year, so we tried out a week of that as well.  then there were friends that we wanted to visit, and the blank spots on the calendar were the logical place to do just that.

so here we are, at a place in between a missions trip and a road trip, and capitalizing on the few hours i have after elliot’s birthday party and before a wedding.  i feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that i have to share here, but i’ll be point form-ish and if there’s anything to elaborate on, i’ll just do it in a separate post.

the last week of july started a string of events that would have me away from home for 2½weeks.
first: vbs at my parents church.  for the last few years i’ve played gym teacher as i run the games department of their vacation bible school.  it’s a smaller church, and half of the kids are the kids of people i grew up with (or just behind) when i lived in niagara.  i look at this week as a mini-missions trip each year, and i enjoy having a chance to show God to a bunch of toddlers through grade 6’s.  my kids also enjoy having a whole week to spend with their cousins, whom they don’t get to see very much of.
oh, and my kids brought home the chicken pox.

at the drive in with desiree & pauline. the kids watched their own video on a squishy bed in the hatch while the grownups had their sound faded to the front of the van.

 second: i was home for 22 hours before heading off on an actual official missions trip to toronto with they sr. high youth group that derek and i have been working with for 10 years now.  we were a group of um…16? and we headed to toronto.  half of the group worked at a day camp, and my half of the group worked at a soup kitchen each morning.  when we weren’t at the kitchen, we were handing out water bottles or bagged lunches to homeless; or playing with the kids at regent park, or being educated on the truth of sex trades, homelessness, and poverty that are daily ignored in the city just 45 minutes from our doors.


for my part, i not only enjoyed investing in relationships with the clients at the soup kitchen, but also investing in the teens who accompanied me on the trip.  it was a growing experience, but also exhausting as each day began at 6:40 and ended around 12:30.
(picture source

third:  when fatigue threatened to overtake me towards the end of the week in toronto, the hope of relaxing on the beach on saturday constantly encouraged me.  my mom and i had scheduled our annual camping trip long before anything else was added to the calendar, and because we booked at a popular provincial park, it would have been difficult to move the dates.
i was home for 4 crazy hours of doing laundry and unpacking and repacking and being reunited with my derek and my kids before printing off directions and heading to emily provincial park to meet up with my mom.
the first night it rained, and my tent leaked.  the following morning (elliot’s birthday) i re-staked my guy wires, and while making elliot’s birthday breakfast a deluge of rain flooded us out of our site.  we were at the bottom of a hill, and that was the closest thing to a flash flood that i’ve ever seen.  we ate soggy pancakes and sausage in my van before heading into town where we got changed into dry clothes in a walmart bathroom.  we then drove around aimlessly before checking showtimes at the local cinema and settling down to watch the smurfs on the big screen.  it wasn’t at all the beach that i’d been hoping for, and it wasn’t quite the awesome birthday that i had planned for elliot, but it was a fair plan B, and the next day was sunny and sunburn-y and we had a great time at the beach (at least i remembered sunblock on my kids!).

moments after finishing the 2011 photo with anne, elliot ran out of the water shouting “don’t move!!” to me. he quickly grabbed his fishing net and used the pole to scratch a heart into the sand at my feet just to say “i love you, mom.”

when the rain pushed us out of our site early on the final day, the kids and i headed home where i promptly sat on the couch and died.  the previous 2½ weeks had drained me of every ounce of energy that my body had to offer, and now that i was home it had no reason to put on the charade of being awake any longer.  when derek woke me up a second after i shut my eyes, he’d unpacked the van and made lunch and wound the clocks ahead by an hour and a half.

i had a day of laundry and cleaning and planning a birthday party yesterday, and today was full of executing those plans for a perfect birthday party for my 7 year old.  from the time i woke up to the moment the last child left tonight, every thought was “birthday party, birthday party, i’m never going to get this done in time for the birthday party.”  i even prayed “God, please give me more time that i actually have, because there’s no way i can pull this off.”
thankfully, i was sweeping up the last dustpan-full when the first guest arrived, and the party was a success.  elliot felt loved, and that was the ultimate goal.

pokéball cupcakes, staryu cookies, make your own pokémon mask, and pin the flame on the charmander!

despite the fact that tomorrow will be another busy day of cleaning up after a party and packing suitcases and finding food to eat without doing groceries, and despite the fact that this has become my normal routine, i’m having a really great summer!  my only lament is that with the fullness of schedule, the time seems to be flowing by more quickly.  thankfully, when i look back on the summer in just a few short weeks, i’ll have a great many things to fondly reminisce about.

August 11, 2011 at 23:14 1 comment

april already!

last week i was at the library and when i signed out my stuff the librarian said “blablabla, movies are due april 4th”  and my eyes bugged out of my head and i blurted “april?!! really?  already!”  the poor librarian took a step back in shock at my enthusiastic blurt, but confirmed the fact that i have no concept of time.   so here we are, it’s april.

first order of business: i finished up my monthly self-bettering thing with kicking the habit of crossing my legs.  remember that my criteria had to be that it was simple, and something i could do even if i chopped a hand off or the plague re-visited my family.    i’ve been wanting to stop crossing my legs for years, actually.  i’m one of those people who hate having habits.  i don’t even like putting my socks on the same foot first each time, or developing a pattern of right foot one day, left foot the other.    it needs to be unpredictable, random and chaotic to fit into my life, i’m quirky that way.    at first it was difficult because my short legs left my feet dangling in some cases, and i didn’t want my posture to suffer, but it was just 2 weeks to finish off march, and by the end of it all i’d figured it out.  enthralling right?  yeah, you wish you were me.

so for april’s self-bettering thing, it should be another healthy month because i like to do those every 3 months, but i’m still actually counting the calories and stuff like i was in january. it’s like healthy month never ended- yay! that’s kind of the point of these month-at-a-time things-  trying to form habits by be disciplined for a measly month.  april’s official habit that i’ll try to form is to play with my kids every day.

i know i’m a homeschooler, so i see my kids all day every day; but after we’ve done our school work for the day, we tend to part ways and do our own thing or run errands or whatever.  for the last two days i’ve been playing more with the kids, and really enjoying it.  i thought that i would feel like i have no time to myself or that house work wasn’t getting done, but  there’s time for all of it and investing in the kids is always rewarding on it’s own.  we’ve always had dance parties, wrestled, and played spontaneously, but this month is INTENTIONAL play time with the kidlets every single day.

i’m off to play pokémon with elliot!  another post coming soon about making sushi, and there’s been a post brewing about elliot and his awesomeness for a long time.

April 2, 2011 at 15:25 1 comment

this week was crazy fast!

school this week was ahhh-mazing!  i couldn’t believe how well and how quickly it went!   math is getting a bit more complicated for anne, so there was some frustration with harnessing her focus, but that’s nothing compared to the first few weeks of school!  can’t believe that we’re going into week 10.

and speaking of 10… (master of segues!).. i’ve been making myself go to bed at 10 o’clock every night.   i normally like to go to bed around, say, 1? 2?  yeah, i’m a late night girl.  do you have any idea how going to bed at 10 cramps my style?!  i have time for NOTHING.

so why am i cutting my productive hours so short?

i intended to get up earlier.  not at an indecent hour like 6 or anything, but around 8 at the latest.  HOWEVER.  the midgets wake up around 7:30/8, and then go play quietly for an hour or two and let me sleep!  they don’t bug me for breakfast or anything… it’s really quite the problem and nobody else on earth will give me sympathy for it.  i thought that by going to bed at 10, i’d be more alert in the morning and just get up with them, but no– still the same problem.   i’m incredibly well-rested, but i only have enough time to get the required tasks out of the way before it’s bed time again!

*sigh*

i’m hoping that daylight savings time fixes this problem, because i am completely emphatic about not using an alarm clock.

this week’s crafts, despite the lack of time to do them:

 

arm warmers for the kids.  my friend natasha (hi gnat!) gave me some old knee socks, and i cut them up and sewed them up into way cool accessories for my midgets.    i love how anne’s intentionally posing in this picture.

i got my first order of fabric from connecting threads (an online fabric site that is run by the same company that i order most of my yarn from) this week and i’ve been positively itching to get into it!  i finally got a chance to sew up a christmas gift today for my 11 year old niece.  the pattern was free, and the whole thing only use 1½ fat quarters.   love those things!  i didn’t take a picture of the lining, but it looks like this.  inside is a magnetic closure and a pocket where i’ll hide an itunes gift card for her.

and one last picture for you:

elliot woke me up at 6:40 this morning to show me this!  it’s the first lost tooth in this house and there was too much enthusiasm for sleeping after that!  i’m not going to count on this to get me out of bed early every day, but it sure was a great way to wake up!

November 6, 2010 at 16:58 Leave a comment

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