Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All the uses for a pig

A designer looked into a pig to see all of the uses that Holland gets out of a pig. And you thought it was just bacon.

TEDxAmsterdam: Christien Meindertsma from TEDxAmsterdam on Vimeo.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The kids

End of the year summary to come.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

An update on Gavin

It's been a while since we updated. So here's where we are:


He says real words now. Tonight, while eating a little veggie curry for dinner, Gavin said the following words:

1. Uh-oh.
2. No.
3. More.
4. Dada.
5. Mama.
6. Lulu (Lucy's new name)
7. Go.

He fully understands everything that we say. For example, if he's climbing on the chair to get on the dining room table, and you say "no", he immediately crawls as fast as he can onto the table. He knows that no means you're coming for him.

We tried him at the dinner table this week. Autumn and Gavin sitting across from each other while mom and dad take a seat at the ends of the tables. It worked on Monday, but not so much on Tuesday. So, we sent him back to his chair.

It's messy.

What else? He loves to give kisses. Ask him for a kiss and he puckers up like mad and throws it down. Last week, he was cutting 3 molars, which seriously impacted his sleep, and ours.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween 2009

"What do you want to be for Halloween?" We'd ask Autumn.

A Butterfly.


"No, a Princess."

And it would go back and forth like that, with her witching from a Butterfly to a Princess. So mommy got the idea to combine them. Why not be a Butterfly Princess?

Autumn loved it. She couldn't wait to tell everyone about it.

This is her at school, singing her Halloween songs. Her favorite is:

"Halloween Candy
Tastes just dandy
Bubble gum too
I like to chew
I went trick or treating
Then I started eating
Oh my tummy
I feel sick"

We think there might be a line about calling the doctor quick, but we're not sure.

Now Gavin is at the age where he doesn't get to pick his costume. So we made him be Oliver Hardy, of the Laurel and Hardy fame. Dad was Laurel. Here's the proof.

Look how happy he is. I bet he'll love this picture when he's older.

Much older.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Me and Gavin.

we are having fun together. sometimes the days are sooooo long and exhausting- but the truth of the matter is that i am grateful for this time at home. I quit my job a couple years ago now and it was definitely the right choice- NOT the easy choice, but the right choice.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remember when she was so tiny? I know, she's only three, and still tiny, but still. Remember?

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Autumn's first crush

A couple of night's ago, just before bed, Autumn just all of a sudden blurted the following:

"Dad, I love JT."

I paused, letting the moment sink in. This is a big moment. This is her first crush.

"You do?" was all I could muster, I didn't want to pause too long.


I asked her why.

"He's funny."

"Do you want to give him a hug?" I prodded.

No, she said, but her smile was saying something else.

So we have JT. A boy from her school. She sees him every day, and each day we learn something new about him. Today we learned that JT lives far away.

We knew it was coming. I for one think the giggles and smiles are cute. But then, this is the harmless crush time of her life.

Talk to me in ten years.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Gymnastics class

If you've met Autumn, you know she's not shy.

Last night, she really wanted to go to gymnastics, so we ended up getting there 15 minutes early, which actually turned out ot be a mistake since she wanted to go in.

Still, I managed to sit her down and get this:

And of course, I had to peek. She spend the 45 minutes with a huge smile on her face. And if she saw me, she smiled and waved yelling "Hi Daddy", I wanted to watch more, but I was clearly distracting. But, I managed to watch her roll around, walk on a balance beam ("My teacher helped me"), run through an obstacle course, and then walk, in single file, out of the class.

She loved it. Just loved it.

Mommy is home today.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More gifts from Mom

This is Autumn saying thanks.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Every day, mom left Autumn a card and a present. This is today's thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The second day of school

"See that tower daddy?"


"That's my school"

And so we pulled into the parking lot at the same time as one of her teachers.

"Daddy, that's my teacher"

"Hiiiii", she said, waving her hand.

Dropping your little girl off to school isn't easy. But mommy picked a place that is warm, fun, and inviting. Autumn loves it, you can tell.

Yes, she loves hanging out with us, but she loves other kids, and she loves trying new things that aren't food.

We did another video this morning. The lighting isn't the best, but the sound works: enjoy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The first day of school, part II

"They're all on the playground", a mom told me. The mom is actually someone I know professionally, so it was interesting to see her.

I went to get her, and as soon as she saw me, she gave me the biggest, tightest hug I think she's ever given me. At first, I thought it was because she was upset, but then she turned to all the little girls and said:

"By everyone. My daddy's here and I'm going home".

"Dad, can I have a sucker when I get home?"

Her favorite part was making the party in the play kitchen, although lunch was fun with her new lunchbox that mommy bought her.

This is her full report:

First Day of School

I had to wake up Autumn for her first day of school. I woke her up at 7:45AM. She's often up at 6:00, but this morning she wasn't.

We had breakfast, got dressed, and opened on of the many presents and cards her mom left her. Then we taped this:

We'll tape another one tonight.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Gavin Loves Autumn

"Daddy, daddy, watch this. Watch"

Autumn says when I walk in the store. She grabs my hand and leads me to Gavin, who is sitting in the other room.

"Gavy, again" she commands to Gavin.

Gavin smiles and hits himself on the head.

"Gavy again."




This can go on for hours. What Gavin is really responding to is Autumn's laugh. Making Autumn laugh makes his day.

He just loves her. Often, in the car, he'll just stare at her while we're driving. If she permits a little hand holding, then he's even happier.

As a guy with a big sister, I know the feeling. Growing up, my big sister was always the coolest person in the room. I'm glad that Gavin gets to experience it. I'm not sure if a doting brother is something that eventually gets on a big sister's nerves, but Autumn handles it relatively well. It will be fun watching her figure it all out over the years.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

summer shots.

making cookies
the girls at the beach
the boys.
after haircut (excuse the grain)

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Autumn and Gavin connect on something

Some things to think about:

Gavin is currently in the nodding his head mode. Ask him if he's doing okay, and he'll nod.

Autumn thinks the word poopy is insanely funny. For example:

"What would you like for dinner Autumn?"

Smiles, "Poopy!"

That kind of thing. So, it was a stroke of genius, in my opinion, to combine the two things. Thus, Autumn will turn to Gavin and ask:

"Do you like to eat poopy?"

And Gavin will nod his head. Hilarity ensues.

"Does mommy like to eat poopy?"

Nod. Laugh. Repeat.

"Does Lucy like to eat poopy?"


It's funny enough that anyone would laugh.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Haircuts and second children

The first haircut is one of those water shed moments. Gavin will never again have a first haircut.

Now, let me explain why we don't have a picture of it.

Autn Tracey took Autumn for a girls a girl's weekend. When I went to pick up Autumn halfway, the first thing she said to me after she woke up was "Dad, when I can visit Aunt Tracey again?".

So she had a good time. She came back with painted toes that she shows to everyone (random strangers beware, if you come near us, she's showing off her toes.).

But this isn't about that.

It's about Gavin. On Saturday morning, we were walking with only one kid. One kid is a breeze. We can go back to the zone defense, and not having incorporate the man on man defense.

So there we were, heading to the market. When we walked past Vito, the barber. Vito is not like you imagine a Vito to be. He's Italian, and outside of the Danforth in Toronto, where the barbers are greek and argue with each other in greek while cutting hair, most barbers are Italian. It seems.

Vito is no different. And he's excellent. He's only $12, and he knows what he's doing. So much so that there's often a line up of 6 guys waiting to get a cut. A visit to Vito is a time investment. So, you can imagine our surprise when there was no wait. One guy getting a cut, and then us. And this is the Do Gavin was sporting:

As you can see, he needed a cut.

No line up. His first barber experience from Vito, something that's authentic.

So we went for it. Without a camera. And Vito came through. Here's one more shot.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Grandparent's and Autumn

Last night, Grandpa came over for dinner. After dinner, I took Gavin up to read him some books and put him to bed. When I came downstairs, Autumn was on Grandpa's lap watching home videos with mom.

At around 7:30PM, Grandpa and Autumn went upstairs to begin to the bedtime routine. We sat downstairs and listened to Autumn's uncontrollable laughter. She was losing it. At 8:30, Rhona went up to check on them. I could hear Autumn screaming with laughter.

At around 9:15, Grandpa finally called it. Almost two-hours of book reading, laughing, and carrying on. Autumn was still talking about it this morning.

Grandpa is going to be a hard act to follow tonight when it's just me (Rhona has an appointment).

But aside from that, I'm thrilled that Grandpa and Rhona get to hang out together. And it's not just grandpa. On friday, Granddad came into town and took both kids to Niagara Falls.

"Dad. It was a huge water fall. This big." (Autumn holds her hands out as far as they'll go).

"And I had strawberry ice-cream for lunch".

Two hour book readings and strawberry ice cream for lunch. That's what Grandparents are all about.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

He's walking

Call it. He's a walker.

On the camping trip, he took his first real steps. But thjey had to sneak up on him. Like the story about riding a bike, when you are holding Gavin's (Autumn calls him gabby-gab) hand, he walks. Let go, and he'll walk until he realizes you've let go.

Standing is the same thing. He could stand in line at the DMV, but the problem is, he notices that he's on his onesie, and drops.

It's funny. One time today, he dropped with a pretty solid thud, and I think it hurt his butt. But here's the real reason it hurt: because something inside him knows he doesn't have drop. Something is telling him to be annoyed by the sudden drop and thus cry. Because he's been dropping for months. He's been able to stand with the help of a chair, a table, a random leg for a long time. And so, he's been dropping for a long time.

But this is different.

We have video. We'll get around to it. Second child always gets shafted.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Autumn's observations

She's three. Remember that detail when you hear this tale.

On Sunday, Autumn and Gavin went to their grandparent's house in Brampton so we could deal with things at home. When Autumn left, this was the hairstyle I was sporting.

I needed a haircut, which I got the day she went to Brampton.

Mom went to pick them up yesterday morning, and spent the day there, swimming, and hanging out. They left later in the evening last night, so when Autumn got home, she was basically asleep. thus, this morning when she woke up, it was the first time she'd seen me since Sunday.

The first thing she says is:

"Dad, you got a haircut. When did you get it cut? Can I touch it?"

She's a smart girl that one.

Oh, and thanks to Nanny and Granddad for taking them for a bit. We appreciate it.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

No more binkies!!!

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It is done... we did it or at least we started it.

For 6 months we told Autumn that when she turned 3- there would be no more binkies. We figured if we took it away from her... we would also just take them away from Gavin too. Let's be honest- in a fit of panic either she or we would grab it out of his mouth and give it to her... So, no more binkies for anyone in this house.

It has been 3 days now (night and day) and we have successfully overcome the addiction. I am amazed that there was not more screaming, kicking, or meltdowns... other than the occasional request for it... we are fine. We did it!!!

I am so proud of Autumn and Gavin. Gav of course can't voice his frustration and although it takes him longer to fall asleep during the day and night- he seems fine also.

thank god i am not going to have one of those kids who is like 5 yrs. old sucking on a binky in the store. It just looks strange and a little pathetic- not that I can't understand and relate to how that happens.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birthday Shots....

the loot.

there is nothing more upsetting than watching kids rip through gifts with no attention to who bought and selected them... they motor on through with no time to play with them or appreciate them. Both Matt and I agree that this is something we would like to somehow avoid during Birthday parties. Who knows... maybe we will come up with a system to slow the process down. This year we tried to make her give the giver a hug before moving onto the next... it wasn't pretty nor was it perfect- but we will figure it out. Maybe we will move back to our system of no gifts... but that is extreme- any suggestions?

vegan blueberry cake and cupcakes

she asked for a Blueberry birthday cake for months... then it turned into a request for a cake AND cupcakes... blueberry of course. So, here you see the finished product- Vegan Vanilla and Blueberry Cake with Butter'milk' frosting. Both were delicious and were adapted from a recipe for vanilla cupcakes from The Joy of Vegan Baking, an excellent resource for baking recipes of all types.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Autumn turns 3

Do you know what that means? This blog is three.


Anyway, she got lots of good stuff, had a nice day. Ran around in circles and then crashed. She slept in until 7:00AM! We'll update in good time.

This is her on the day before her birthday with her little cousin Turner. He's uncle Simon and Aunt Christina's son.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Uncle John

One of the coolest things Autumn gets is childhood books from Uncle John. We have some old looking books that Autumn just loves. We can't control when she'll fall in love with a book, but when she does, she wants to every night. So when, in early May, she discovered "the Twelve Days of Christmas", we went with it.

And so did she. Here's the YouTube link.

She loves singing the last part fast. Loves it.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Gavin Turns One

On Saturday, with little fanfare, Gavin turned one. We think he had a good day. It began with pancakes at one of our favorite places, Amy's Place on Main Street. He mowed some pancakes, then mommy pulled out a cupcake. Which he enjoyed. (Note the full body bib)

Next, nanny and granddad took Autumn and Gavin to the Buffalo Zoo. They looked at animals, watched Autumn go on the train by herself, and then played in the little toddler room. I think this image sums up how Gavin is one. in it, he looks like a little boy, not a baby.

Nanny and Granddad had to go after to zoo, but grandma and grandpa came over and more festivities ensued. Autumn had gone to the toy store to buy Gavin a present, and now she wanted him to open it.

So we did that.

Next, it was time for the cupcakes for Gavin's birthday dinner.

He's one.

It's strange to even write that. And while I'll deny that it went fast, these round number birthday's are so interesting. He's getting bigger. On his first birthday, he actually went poopy on the potty.

I know.

He was struggling a little to push one out, so we gave him this little thing you stick up his bum in order to loosen some stuff out. Normally, you would just hold him on the changing table and let the stuff push it out. But I figured, he's one. I'll stick him on the potty.

He laughed, and then pooped. And peed! I was yelling for Rhona to come and have a look, but she was busy with Autumn. So we high-fived, and went on with the night.

Now, I realize this isn't something to get worked up over. We had stuck a thing up his bum that makes him poop, so there's nothing to see here, right?


The next day, he did it again. I had just fed him a strawberry carrot delight that I'd made, and i figured, what the heck, I'll sit him on the potty. Like the day before, he laughed, and laughed. And then, pooped. And peed.

Will we have a kid who's potty trained before he walks?

No. I doubt it too. But that's two diapers I didn't have to change. And both were substantial poops (I got a picture of the second one, his first unassisted potty poop).

It was a good weekend.

Happy birthday little buddy.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gavin, on the eve of bing one

OMG, people say. He's almost one? And she's almost three?

Wow, that happened fast.

They repeat it a few times, shaking their head and pondering how time has just flown by over the last year. Well, here's a counter point.


Time didn't fly for us. In the last year, we didn't sleep a lot. Here's a list of the reasons we didn't sleep:

Gavin needs food. The lack of sleep comes with a new baby. We knew this. It wasn't news. Like all little babies, he woke up every night looking for food for about the first three months. Then, just when he started sleeping a bit, along came potty training.

Autumn learning to be potty trained. this sounds wonderful, right? No more diapers, no more smelly bums. But wait. Autumn was still in her crib, so she couldn't go potty on her onesie. She needed help. "Maaaaaaaaam, I gotttttttta goooooooo potttttttyyyyyy!". Which would inevitable wake up Gavin and remind him that his belly wasn't filled to the absolute maximum and it required food.

Gavin needing to be held. It should be noted here, for the record, that two is way more than one. With Autumn, we were good about not bringing her to our bed. We held firm, and it didn't take Autumn long to be a good sleeper. but with Gavin, we weren't as good. That's because for the most part, we were dead tired. So he slept in our bed a lot. Snuggling. So it's no surprise really that he quite liked snuggling in our bed, and if we moved him into his crib, he would let us know that rather liked the other better. And since the manner he would let us know is crying, he did that.

A lot.

Throughout this last year, Rhona and I have held that we just needed to make it through it. By Gavin's first birthday, Autumn would be in a bed, and getting up to pee whenever the heck she wanted (she is).

Gavin would be a better sleeper, having learned to get himself back to sleep and no longer nervous if his belly wasn't overflowing (he is).

But the suggestion that this has all happened so fast, as if we're sitting around wondering where did the time go, is a load of hooey.

Thank heavens we friggin made it.

(All of this should not be read to think last year was complete hell. We had many, many fun times. It's just that none of them came between the hours of midnight and 5:00AM.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our long weekend in photos

Griffith Sculpture Park.... exploring, wearing out the dog... enjoying the sunshine on Sunday.

Stopping for a moment to look at horses.... the white one was her favorite.


AHHHHHHHHH..... a tired, wet and happy dog!!!

Look at the length of that tongue.... Lucy chilling out.

Mom chilling out on the chairlift... peaceful.

We seem to be in the 'pee' outside phase. An important part of childhood I think...

Climbing the chair poles.... strong daddy!

Exploring Gavin. Picking anything he can get his hands on...

Mom, Gavin and Lucy.

An inchworm... We are super into bugs- this is great for her but often not so much for the poor helpless, crushable bugs... note the DORA tattoo... yikes.

What a fantastic weekend.... the beginning of a summer full of fun, memories and trips.

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