Family Photos 2017

December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas! These I meant to share yesterday. You know, to go with the whole Christmas, family, togetherness vibe, but Santa showed up and things just went mental from there. But look at this, for the second year running we’ve done family photos. I can’t even believe it. For those who may not remember, last years family shoot was a real struggle, the experience left us a little traumatized, to the point that the husband and I decided 2017 would be the year to skip family photos. And up to a few weeks ago, that was still the plan. Until I changed my mind. Yes, last year’s session wasn’t easy, but you know what? I loved the photos. My good friend and amazing photographer Tessa, did an amazing job capturing the images she captured in the midst of a toddler shit storm of emotions. So recently when she reached out to see if we wanted family pics again this year, I said “f#ck it, lets do this.” So we did.

Of course the Husband was allergic to the idea, again. And Cullen is a liability in any situation. So this year my approach was a lot more casual and low key. I didn’t stress about outfits, times, locations or any of that stuff. I let Tessa make all those decisions and all we did was show up. Even if Cullen’s mood was challenging, I knew that we would walk away with great images. But this year he was a totally different child, happy, playful and cheeky. What a relief. It made things so much easier and fun. We may even consider family photos for 2018. Three years running, now that would definitely be something.

Some of my favorites from the session, as captured by the amazing Tessa.

Sugar Rush

December 21, 2017

We are days away. Final preparations are in full swing. This past week we went to visit the man himself, to ensure he got our letters and to make clear certain specifics about the requested gifts they might have overlooked during the letter writing. Then we had some friends over for a gingerbread decorating party. This is always a crowd favorite and as usual more candy made it into mouths then onto the houses. And we, the parents, do our best not to focus on those high levels of sugar ingestion, reassuring each other that come New Years, there will be a massive candy clear out and we will juice press bucket fulls of organic kale back into those hyped up little bodies.

Meeting the main man and for the 2nd year now nobody was scared. By nobody, I mean Cullen.

We’d just come for a morning spent at the Aquarium, where the boys had their faces painted.

Meeting adjourned. Complimentary candy canes for all.

The official Santa visit photo.

Gingerbread party day.

Keane’s friend from school, Noah.

Ella, Keane’s other school friend.

And Cullen’s friend Grayson. Who wasn’t really into decorating, but his mom was.

Hard at work.

Let the ingestion begin.

Grayson kept disappearing to play with Cullen’s trucks (he’s obsessed too) but pop back every now and then to contribute an M&M or two to his moms project.

With each mouthful I could see them keeping close eyes on me, hoping I wasn’t noticing and therefore never cut off their sugar joy.

Impressive little creations coming together.

Some of the finished houses.

Ella gets a bear hug before she leaves.

And the boys have one final go at their houses before the sugar dealer here cuts them off for the rest of the evening.

Take To The Ice

December 18, 2017

Last year Daddy had to alternate between boys. My ice skating skills are barely enough to keep myself upright, never mind supporting 2 little boys to do the same. So The Husband, a former ice hockey player back in the day, took one multiple times around the ice, followed the other, while I set myself up rink side capturing the memories and trying to distract the child not currently on the ice from constantly asking when it was their turn again. This year however, Keane wanted zero help or balance assistance from anyone, citing, “Momma, I can do this, watch me” and he did do it. Its been a full year since he was last on the ice, but in that year he’s developed some major balance. He was back and forth and doing lap after lap alternating between ice walking and ice skating. But he was completely independent and that was what was most important to him. Cullen was much improved from his first ice skating experience last year too. He still enjoyed assistance from Daddy but had a couple of free standing moments too. Even I got to go on the ice this year. And while I was no Kristi Yamaguchi (bad ass Olympic ice skater from back in the day) I managed to stay on my feet and even offer Cullen some support when he demanded a skate with Momma.

Game face.

Always with a truck on hand and kept himself occupied while we laced Keane into his boots.

Booted and ready.

A little confidence builder lap with Daddy.

And away we go.

A break in the action to drive our lego truck through the ice.

There I am, seconds after landing a perfect triple salchow. The Husband’s trigger finger just wasn’t fast enough to capture it.

Dear Santa

December 14, 2017

It took 4 days, but finally all heat and power have been restored. The snow is 90% melted and life is for the most part, back to normal. But we have lost 4 days of Christmas prep productivity and now the sense of mad rush is building. Currently we are trying to track down packages that couldn’t be delivered due to “extreme weather or natural disaster” the e-mail said. To frantically hit the shops for everything last minute and then lose the will to live in the longest slower then slow moving lines at the post office. Why can’t I be that person with freakish levels of organization that had all of their Christmas shopping wrapped up last August???

One thing that did get done this week was our letters to Santa. I feel like we’ve cut the sending of these a little tight, but I think Santa already knew what the boys wanted, he was just waiting on the final confirmation.

“Dear Santa, Please can you send me a drone. Keane 2012″ (proof of identity by reminding Santa of the year he was born)

Cullen joined us at the table to get his letter composed.

I may have helped a little with Cullen’s letter just to make sure the message was clear, he wants “the wooden flat bed tow truck”.

Keane’s safely sealed.

Destination, North Pole.

The next morning before school, they were mailed.

Time To Go Snow

December 10, 2017

We are heading in to Day 3 with no heat or electricity, but still plenty of snow. So we’ve turned our focus to igloo building for survival. If it works for the Eskimos…. The boys are showing no signs of snow burn out yet, but I’m so ready for this snow to move on. I’ve had my fun, and this no heat, no power adventure has well and truly runs its course. Bring back my first world amenities please!

The garden does look pretty though.

We’ve had a good 10″ of the fluffy stuff.

Cullen is up to his knees in it.

Not really up to his waist here, he’s actually kneeling down.

This big snowball is all thats left of our snowman. The boys kicked him down, not long after we build him actually.

Now its a Jurassic playground for Cullen’s dinosaurs.


Operation build an igloo.

Almost big enough to fit.

A little more digging and there we go. Perfect!

Hey neighbour!

This igloo as doubled as a cave for the dinosaurs and as a shelter for baby Jesus (that yellow thing is the manger). Yep, Cullen robbed baby Jesus from his cozy stable and set him up in the cave, with a couple of T-Rex’s to watch over and protect him. Good luck baby Jesus.