Thursday, March 29, 2012

Elmo Cupcakes & A Birthday Bike

I didn't pull out all the stops for Silas' 3rd birthday party. We had a simple little family get-together that had a very loose "Elmo" theme. I looked online for a good Elmo cupcake idea that didn't involve using that nasty red-dyed icing and, in the end, compiled a few different ideas to come up with these.

They were SO simple. I dipped my frozen cupcakes in warmed-up white icing and then straight into a bowl of red sugar-sprinkles.

I put a bit of the icing into a zip-loc bag with a cut-off corner and squeezed out the eyes.

Then it was chocolate chips for the eyeballs and an orange m&m for the nose.

And voila...

Nice to know I didn't put in hours of labour for a treat that was gone in less than a minute.

And what birthday would be complete without a birthday present?

Hmmm, I wonder what it could be...

It's my very own bike!

Here he is, climbing on his Strider bike for the first time. These pedal-less balance bikes have been gaining popularity as an alternative way for kids to learn to ride a bike. After having such a hard time getting Micah to ride without training wheels, we were keen to try a new method. (Speaking of which, Micah finally let us take his training wheels off for good yesterday while Silas was trying out his new bike. Yay!)

Silas asked where the pedals were at first but soon he was happily walking his bike along. The idea is that eventually he'll start pushing off and then resting his feet on the footrests as he gains a bit of speed. Right now he's just in walking mode, but I'm curious how much time it will take before he gets the confidence to pick up his feet a little.

And in case you're looking really closely at that last picture, I realized the moment after I snapped it that Keziah was in tears after wiping out at the end of the street. Training wheels definitely don't always keep you upright! I'm thinking she might benefit from a bit of time on the Strider bike herself...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My baby turns 3 today.

He's pretty excited about it.

And he was so willing to comply with my picture taking this morning, that I went a little nuts and took a LOT of pictures.

"I'm fwee!"

I decided to do a repeat of last year's "2" photo shoot and get some good pictures of him with the number 3 (thanks to the Ross school playground.)

Getting acquainted with his new favourite number...

Aside from the typical 2-year-old (or 3-year-old) behaviour, Silas is a super lovable kid. I honestly could just eat him up most days. He chatters nonstop and says super cute stuff all the time. The kid is FULL of personality.

(Fall 2011)

(Fall 2011)

Right now Silas' loves being outside, even if he's by himself. There are piles of rocks to climb on, puddles to dig around in and a trampoline to jump on. And the other day when I peeked out the window to check on him, there he was with his pants and undies down at his ankles, peeing away on the gravel driveway. He's a farm boy all right.

A few other things Silas loves right now:
- basketball (I have to keep reminding him not to bounce it in the house - poor Grandma & Grandpa below us hear enough noise as it is!)
- any outdoor sports no matter how cold it might be outside
- movies (this is a bit of an issue that we need to work through as he loves them way too much and thinks that as soon as we get home from anywhere it's time to put in a movie...)
- drinking his milk in a "pwincess cup"
- dressing up in costumes

And, a true 3rd-born, he loves doing everything his big brother and sister do and is catching up with them more and more. The baby stage is long behind us now and Silas is really just one of the kids!

Happy birthday Silas. Mommy loves you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Is...

... new rubber boots,

...fruit trees about to blossom,

...daffodils ready to bloom,

...cats basking in the sun,

and dandelions.

Yes, we love our dandelions around here...

And spring is... um... big piles of rocks??

Well, spring is playing with big piles of rocks.

And definitely climbing big piles of rocks... (with no jackets on I might add!)

I think it's safe to say, spring is... finally here!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lorax won't be pleased.

There have been BIG changes on the acreage this past week... Erik's dad spent a few days tearing down a whole row of trees to make room for our future house addition.

The peanut gallery watching from indoors (where it was much warmer and drier)...


One down. A bunch more to go.

Here's the new view from the back of the house.
We were able to leave a cluster of trees by the street as well as another cluster at the back of the house (which is just to the left and back of where I'm standing while taking this picture).

The view from our deck. The neighbours suddenly got a lot closer.

Here's a before picture from the front - this was taken back in the summer before we moved in:

And now after.

Feels a bit... naked.

But it also gives me the feeling of progress. This addition will be the future home of Erik's parents. And when it's complete, our family of 5 will take over both upstairs and downstairs of the original house, doubling our current living space. There's a lot that needs to happen before we get to that point, so a little bit of tree-removal just makes it seem that much closer...

Friday, March 09, 2012

Spa Party

Friday nights have become our unofficial "nail polishing" night. Micah and Erik take off to basketball shortly after dinner, which leaves Keziah looking for some girly things to do with her Mama.

And... well... since, Silas is stuck at home with us girls, he usually gets in on the action too. Last Friday we decided to make it a full-out spa party - soaking our feet in warm bubbly water, and lotioning up our legs before applying the polish.

Rub-a-dub-dub. Little feet in the tub.

The look of concentration as the lotion is applied.

And even I got my nails painted at the spa party.

By a 5-year-old.

Can you tell?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Erik and I are notorious for being evening snackers. We recognize this may not be the recommended time of day to stuff your face full of food, but nevertheless, when the kids are finally asleep in their beds we always seem to get the munchies. Our snack of choice is usually popcorn. I used to buy microwave popcorn by the case at Superstore, but in an effort to eat it less processed we started popping it the old-fashioned way - in our air-popper, which we were quite happy with.

Until yesterday.

Erik was chatting with a friend of ours the other day who also enjoys an evening popcorn ritual with his wife, except they make it in a paper bag in the microwave. It sounded interesting and we figured it was worth a try!

All you need is popcorn kernels, margarine or butter, salt (if it's sea salt - even better!) and a paper bag:

I put about a 1/2 cup of kernels in the bag with some generous shakes of sea salt and a big dollop of margarine (I'll probably have to perfect my ingredient quantities over time as I get more experienced)...

Then you fold the end of the bag over 2 times.

Microwave until there's about 3 seconds between pops. I started mine at 3 minutes and ended up stopping at just over 2 and a half minutes. Also, I laid my bag flat on its side in the microwave to start, but I'm not sure if that would matter.

Out came a full - albeit greasy-looking - bag of delicious popcorn.

After giving the bag a couple of shakes I poured it all into a bowl (instead of eating it from the damp bag). And it was REALLY good. The margarine and salt were evenly infused throughout the whole bowl of popcorn without leaving it feeling greasy.

Overall - a successful popcorn-popping method that just might be a snack-time game-changer for us!