Ah, me boys

Photos of the day: Lucas’s baptism

by DaniGirl on November 15, 2015 · 4 comments

in Lucas, Photo of the Day

You know how it is when you let something slide, and then you r-e-a-l-l-y let it slide, and then it’s too late and you’re embarrassed about how horribly you’ve let it slide and you’re past the point of redemption, so you lie awake agonizing about it but can’t bring yourself to do anything about it during daylight hours, so suddenly seven years have gone by and you STILL haven’t had your seven year old baptized? Yeah, that.

Once I finally (finally!) confronted my shame and talked to the church, I found them wonderful and welcoming, and not once did anyone scold me for letting Lucas reach the age of seven un-baptized. In fact, the only thing even remotely like castigation was the priest gently patting my cheek and saying, “come back to Church, child” when I confessed to him at our school’s summer picnic.

Since Lucas will be receiving the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation and first communion this year, and Simon will be receiving the sacrament of confirmation, we’ve been going to church a lot this year. You know what has really surprised me? How much I’ve grown to like it. I find attending mass with the boys a time of peace and calm in the week. I like the singing, and the time to reflect, and the sense of community.

Lucas’s baptism was a delightfully low-key and yet spiritual. The people I love most in the world were there, and there were several other families who also missed getting their kids baptized as infants. (Had I only known, I would have agonized a lot less!) And Lucas so loved the idea that he was dressed and ready for church before half the family was up, and took special care to wash his face and comb his hair so he’d be clean for Jesus.

Both our parish priest and my friends and family are quirky and have a healthy sense of humour, and the day was the perfect mix of community, sacred, and joyfulness. There were selfies with his godparents:

Lucas's baptism

But there were also more solemn moments.

Lucas's baptism

And do you know how you’ve chosen the two most perfect people in the universe to be your third child’s godparents? When they gift him with, I kid you not, a Minecraft version of the bible, old and new testament.


In a way, I feel like maybe we were meant to wait, so this lovely day could unfold as it did, because I really can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate Lucas and our family’s fledgling reacquaintance with the church. Huh, who would have guessed it? :)


Ever since we moved to Manotick, one of our favourite family traditions has been our autumn trip to Miller’s Farm to pick our Halloween pumpkins. I don’t know whether it’s the October light or the fact that the boys genuinely love the excursion, but there are always fun photos to be found.

I particularly like this one: which one is the jack-o-lantern with the gap-toothed smile?

Pumpkin picking 2015-2

Pumpkin picking 2015-4

Pumpkin picking 2015-6

He’s almost as tall as his dad, and can carry his own (ridiculously large) pumpkin.

Pumpkin picking 2015-3

They’re still pretty patient about posing for me. And cute, to boot!

Pumpkin picking 2015-5

Pumpkin picking 2015-7

Pumpkin picking 2015-8

We interrupt this post for a flashback to 2011:

302:365 The boys in the Pumpkin House

Oh my goodness! Just a few changes in four years, right? Sigh. Some things don’t change, though. The boys went to play parkour on the hay bales while I entertained myself taking photos of not-them with my fish-eye lens.

Pumpkin picking 2015-10

Pumpkin picking 2015-12

And since I’m searching the archives, here’s another pumpkin trio — from 2009!

271:365 The cutest pumpkins in the patch

I am grateful to have such sweet boys to indulge me, for family traditions, and for this blog to archive my memories and share them with you. :)


Photo of the day: Thanksgiving trio

by DaniGirl on October 12, 2015 · 2 comments

in Ah, me boys

I have a lot to be thankful for, not least of which is the fact that I can occasionally still talk these guys into posing for my camera.

Thanksgiving trio

We took a Thanksgiving wander (calling it a hike would be a bit of an overstatement) through the trails at the Lime Kiln to feed the chickadees. The chickadees weren’t too interested (I’m guessing they were as stuffed as we were after turkey dinner at Granny’s house) but dang that is a beautiful place this time of year.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for family and friends, for strong, healthy bodies and belly laughs, for beautiful places to walk and the gift of sharing them with you.

Happy Thanksgiving, my fine bloggy peeps! May you be overwhelmed with infinite wells of joy and turkey.


One thing I really, really love about having had the blog all these years is finding these little morsels of joy. I wrote this for me six years ago, and I was right — I had forgotten almost all of these things, and each one of them is exquisite and worth remembering. For #TBT (throwback Thursday), here’s a treat from the archives – October 2009.

Lucas in the land of chalk drawings

These are the things I want to remember about life with 20-month old Lucas. I write them here because they are ephermal, because they’ll disappear in the blink of an eye or the beat of a heart and I won’t even notice they’re gone, and someday I’ll be sad that I didn’t capture them a little bit better.

I want to remember how he says “Yeah!” with such enthusiasm when you ask him a question, like “Do you want to wear your Bob the Builder jammies tonight?” and he says it so that you cannot mistake the exclamation mark at the end.

I want to remember how he grabs me around the neck and squeezes hard when I pick him up, often crushing his face into mine in a sweetly aggressive sort of mashed-up kiss, as if he has just a little bit too much love for an ordinary hug and kiss to express.

I want to remember how even though he is perfectly capable of saying “Nimon” he calls both of his brothers “Tittan”. He started out calling them “Ninon” and “Ninnan”; now, they are the two-headed brother monster with one name.

I want to remember how he begs for whatever bit of tasty treat you’ve got not unlike a labrador puppy might, by standing as close to you as he can making obvious eye contact with you, all the while encouraging you to share with a musical “Mmm hmmm! Mmm hmmm!”

I want to remember how he must be just like his big brothers in all things, and how he loves to draw when they draw and play with lego when they play with lego. I really don’t think it’s occured to him that they are any older or any different than he is.

I want to remember how he loves certain videos and how he asks for them by ‘name’. Bob the Builder is of course “Bob!” (always with the audible exclamation mark) and Blues Clues is “Puppy!” The Muppets episode with Mark Hamill is less easy to convey; he gargles in the fashion of Angus McGonagle, the Argyle Gargoyle who gargles Gershwin. I’ll need to get the new Flip video camera out for that one, I think.

I want to remember how he loves for us to sing “Old Macdonald” in the car, and how when we pause to allow him to name an animal, he says “Cow!” each and every time, over and over again. (And yes, the exclamation mark is audible on that one, too. I think like any new skill that gets acquired by a toddler, he’s busy incorporating the exclamation into his repetoire through fierce and constant repetition.)

I want to remember how hard it is not to laugh when he is vexed and falls to the floor in a disappointed heap, not exactly throwing a tantrum but utterly exasperated by being denied the whimsy of his desire.

I want to remember his good ear for mimicry, and how he can repeat several words in a sing-song of sounds even though he’s only stringing together a word or two at a time. He will stack up a couple of blocks and then look at me and say, “Don’t you do it!” daring me not to knock over his tower the way he knocks down the ones I build for him. And he is pitch-perfect in capturing my tone as he climbs up onto the table and then scolds himself: “Git DOWN!”

I want to remember the way he chortles with glee and relief when we say it’s time for “Blankey and Soo” the bedtime duo. “Banky Sooooooo” he repeats.

I want to remember the way he looks solemnly into my eyes each night as I tell him the story of his day, agreeing with “Mmm hmm” to the key points, around his mouthful of soother.

I want to remember how utterly beautiful, and exasperating, and exhausting, and fulfilling it can be to parent the ball of curious and relentless and lovingly adorable energy that is Lucas at 20 months. It’s so hard to believe some days that it won’t be like this forever, that it might not be like this next month…

I cried when I read this again. Wasn’t this just yesterday? And how, how, HOW had I ever forgotten how he called both brothers by the same name? Even now, he refers to them as “the brudders.” And how he used to gargle when he wanted that Muppets movie – priceless.

I think maybe I’d better get to work writing a post that captures the boys at 7, 11 and 13, before the wonder of now is lost to the rushing sea of time.

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Oops! I accidentally saved this as draft and then wondered why it didn’t post!

Here’s my wee babies, all grown up on the first day of Grade 2, Grade 6 and Grade 8.

First day of school

Handsome devils, eh? They get that from their father. :)

So far, the year is off to a good start. Crazy to think that next year, I’ll have one in elementary school, one in middle school and one in (gasp!) high school!


Sigh. I like autumn with it’s new faces and new schedules and new friends, but I’m always sad when summer ends.

End of summer jump

Happy end of summer, y’all!


Flashback faves: Back to school

5 September 2015 Ah, me boys

Found this in the archives, published on this day back in 2007: Tristan starting SK and Simon in preschool. Where HAS the time gone? They’re starting grades 6 and 8 next week! Last night was “meet the teacher” night at Simon’s nursery school. They had an open house, and everyone was invited to drop in, […]

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Photo(s) of the day: A walk at the Chapman Mills boardwalk

27 August 2015 Ah, me boys

The boardwalk at the Chapman Mills conservation area near Barrhaven has always been one of our favourite places for a wander on a summer day. I have dozens of photos of the boys on the boardwalk going back to when we had Katie and before Lucas was even in the picture, so to speak. When […]

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Revisiting Thunder Cove

6 August 2015 Ottawa to PEI 2015

Although we’d had a loose idea of what we planned to do pretty much every day of our epic PEI trip, we awoke the morning of the final day with no clear plan. We chatted as a family to make sure we’d done just about everything we’d wanted to do, and discussed how we wanted […]

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A PEI tradition: a night at the ceilidh

5 August 2015 Ah, me boys

We’d been at the ceilidh for about 10 minutes when I leaned forward and whispered in Beloved’s ear: “Okay, so maybe not ALL my ideas are good ones.” A ceilidh, pronounced “kay-lee”, is part dance, part social gathering, part kitchen party, and PEI takes its ceilidhs seriously. On any given night during the tourist season, […]

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