Laurelin’s 3rd birthday

In all the bustle of the end of the school year and then summer vacation, I’ve neglected to post photos of Laurelin’s 3rd birthday.

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Laurelin is now a full-blown 3-year-old and no push-over, in every sense of the word. She’s feisty, not afraid to push and shove people 2 or 3 times her size (we’re working on that…) and is learning to use her words to say what she means instead of whining or squealing. (On that note, check out her Twitter page, which we’ve started for her like for the other two girls. Some days when I need a laugh I reread their funny sayings on Twitter and that perks me right up!)

The other day at the playground I watched her run next to the merry-go-round, pushing it faster and then swinging herself onto it despite it going quite fast and the platform being about chest height for her. Despite her reckless feistiness, she is very funny, she’s caring, and she can play quietly for extended periods of time making up the most hilarious little stories if you just quietly sit and observe. She gives wonderful cuddles and I’m so thankful she hasn’t lost all her baby squishiness and smell. And yet… she’s turning into a little big girl before my very eyes, and I can’t help feeling just a little bit sad.

During our visit to New Zealand over Christmas, Laurelin was introduced to the wonders of Peppa Pig and has been watching it since then (such a cute show!). So it would be no surprise, then, that she wanted a Peppa Pig themed birthday party — which she got. Well, it was really just a glorified play-date with some decorations and a cake, but if you don’t tell, I won’t!


Marica’s 9th birthday

My oldest turned 9 last month. Where did the time go? I know all mothers always say that, but my oh my, they grow up fast. Gone is the little girl who liked her hair braided all pretty, and who would wear whatever her mother put out for her. Now she’s in the short-hair-for-life camp and has some very particular tastes in clothes. But, despite those unavoidable aspects of growing up, she has continued to grow up into a lovely young girl, whose mother I’m proud to be.

This year Marica’s birthday celebrations stretched over 2 days — her actual birthday, and the following Saturday when she had her birthday party.

On her birthday, there were presents from us and her sisters, a playdate, and her own choice of dinner (spaghetti and meatballs).

For her party, she wanted “fire colours”, so I tried decorating with red, orange and yellow for the most part.

Of course we had good old fashioned party games like Pin the Tail, The Sock Game, The Candy Game, The Chocolate Game, Pass the Parcel, and some other ones I forget now.

The cake was probably my best birthday cake attempt yet. I used this recipe (everything from SmittenKitchen is wonderful!), but doubled it to make a layer cake and stuck a whole can of dulce de leche in the middle. Mmmm.

And because I can anticipate questions: Yes, it takes a really long time to separate 4 packets of M’nM’s into different colours. And yes, here in the States you get different sized M’nM’s. You might not get them at every grocery store, but I usually find the mini ones and the mega ones at Target.

And now I have a 9 year old. Her last year in the single digits… forever. I’m sad to see her growing up, but also excited to see her become more of her own person.  Ah, the bittersweetness of parenthood.

We love you Marica!

Esther’s 6th birthday

Esther turned 6 in November. Hard to believe, isn’t it?! Her birthday celebrations were spread out over two days — on Friday at co-op the kids sang Happy Birthday to her and she and Marica handed out cupcakes that Marica had baked (no, Mum, you’re not allowed to help me!), and then after co-op we had a little party here. I gave Esther the option to have a lot of friends, but she just wanted something quiet with her friends Elijah and Sophia. So cute. The party had yummy food and games and dress-ups and cupcakes with candles. Esther thought it was a hit.

The next day we had present-giving in the morning. Esther’s favorite gift were the fairy wings by far!

Afterwards the kids went to Elijah and Sophie’s house for a play date while Ben and I did a little sight-seeing with cousin Greg who was visiting that weekend too.  It was a fun visit, but so fast!

That evening we had a special meal with things Esther had asked for, as well as a ladybug ice cream cake. By the time everything was ready the cake was already starting to melt out of itself, hence the moat around it. :-)

Esther is really turning into a big girl. She loves to read, do crafts, paint, draw and be creative in all sorts of ways. This often results in a fair bit of mess, but I don’t mind (too much)! She’s sensitive, kind, and doing much better at being a good big sister to Laurelin and not to not be quite such a pest to Marica. She loves to do school and is doing very well at it. She loves to dress up and you’ll usually find her in ballet clothes and fairy wings these days. Because her interest in all things ballet has not diminished for many months now, we’ve signed her up to start ballet classes in the new year. She’s super excited. We love you, Esther!

She’s 8!

Marica turned 8 in February. It’s been so fun to see her grow up a bit more over the last year! I’ve especially enjoyed seeing her sense of humor develop a bit more (starting to understand and appreciate puns and subtleties), and to see her get a little bit more mature and responsible.

On her actual birthday, we had some special snacks in between our mini co-op classes — one of them being the kids making marshmallow snowmen. These two snowmen had already lost their scarves by the time I got around to taking photos.

DSC_0049 DSC_0051Would you believe that this was her favourite birthday present? The $2 pair of straw glasses!


On the weekend, Marica had a birthday party here at home with 3 friends. Unfortunately 3 of the friends she invited couldn’t come, but we all had fun nevertheless (and perhaps a smaller group of hyper girls made it a little easier on the mother…?).

I’m a firm believer in good old-fashioned kids’ birthday parties. They can have a wedding-style reception one day… when they get married. In the mean time they’re kids, and they can have fun games, some cake and other party food (they don’t eat like this regularly, so then when they get it for birthdays it’s a real treat!).

For Marica’s party, we did Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs, Musical Statues, Sock ‘Em, Balloon Burst, Find the Toy, and Pin the Eye On The Boy (a variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey — Marica was keen to draw a picture for the game, so I asked what she can draw best and she said faces, so that’s what we did!). If you want to see the rules to any of the games above that might sound unfamiliar to you, you can have a look at this site.

After the games, it was time for the kids to make their own pizzas. While they were baking, the girls played some rowdy jumping around games downstairs, and then it was time for a pizza lunch, followed by cake. Marica has decided that she will have a new favourite colour each year, and her eight-year-old favourite colour will be light blue. The kids always get to choose a cake from my kids birthday cake book, and Marica chose the number 8 cake, much to my relief (nice and simple!). I had seen some gimmicky birthday cake candles recently and seeing that they were only $3 with free postage, I ordered it and hoped for the best, despite the Chinglish on the box. It was pretty cool — have a look at the video if you’re interested!