Photo of the day: Contentment

by DaniGirl on February 4, 2016 · 0 comments

in Lucas, Photo of the Day

It was early in the morning. I was reading my newspaper and drinking coffee, and I looked up and found them like this:

Plugged in

She’s happy to cuddle, he’s happy to play, I’m happy to get an adorable photo. Everybody wins.


Here’s the latest fad in winter fashion: chickadee seed hats. All the cool kids are wearing them!

Lucas with a chickadee

Feeding the chickadees in winter is always more fun. They’re hungry and more willing to come a little closer to even the twitchiest human to get some bird seed.

(Don’t you love Lucas’ adorable red tuque? It’s cute even without the optional chickadee attachment.)

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Photo of the day: Walking

by DaniGirl on January 7, 2016 · 1 comment

in Lucas, Photo of the Day

I‘ve got two big photographic learning projects this year: learning to make beautiful black and white photos, and conquering the use of flash. I didn’t need any flash with this one, what with that big flash bulb in the sky, but I am happy with the tones and shapes in this one.


I sort of wish his head weren’t directly in front of the play structure, but I think the rim lighting around his head gives it just enough separation to make it work. What do you think?

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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? :)


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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Remember a few weeks ago when I asked you if I was crazy for not wanting my sweet little baby boy to play keeper for his soccer team? And to a one, you told me yes, I was being crazy, and to get over myself and let the child play keeper, for the love of soccer?

You win this one, oh wise bloggy peeps. You were so right!

Lucky for me, Lucas had some clever, experienced parents giving him good advice. My friend and guide to the world of soccer parenting Lesley told me that if I were to tell him one thing, it should be that he is allowed to use his hands in goal, so don’t be afraid to grab it. That was better advice that what I’d come up with, which was an encouraging grin masking a flinch of nerves.

Lucas had his turn as keeper in the second half of the game. They’re not exactly the best team in the league, and it’s not unusual to see teams run up goals against them, but I was pleased to see that on the night Lucas was scheduled for keeper, at least they weren’t getting trounced. He’d been in goal, I kid you not, about 90 seconds when the other team’s best player sent a hard boot at him from about six feet away – and Lucas took it full in the face. It was exactly my worst fear, and of course it hurt and of course he cried. He came off for a few minutes, went back on, flinched away from the ball as it came toward him and came off again, not quite done feeling the sting of the shot. The coach was great, told him as soon as he was feeling better he’d put him back in goal, and another mom had an ice pack handy.

Best of all though, was my brother Sean. Sean, whose kids have been through a couple of years of soccer between them, had come along with the big boys and his son to cheer Lucas on, and he came over to make sure Lucas was okay. Sean coached Lucas to stand in a bit of a crouch with his hands up in front of his face to protect it.

Lucas went back into the game and assumed his crouch, and pretty much stayed that way. To our great amusement, he spent the entire rest of the game with his hands up beside his face – even when the play was literally in front of the opposite goal. Like this:


Zoomed in – the play is nowhere near, but he’s ready and he is 100% focused on where that ball is! Sean joked that Lucas would likely sleep that night in the same crouch, his hands up to protect his face.

defense detail

The very best part was watching him shake it off and actually make six or seven saves. He took one hard one off his hip (he learns, I’ll give him credit for that: he took two hard balls to the ‘nards last week, so he’s learned to protect what matters!) and clearly he listened to Lesley’s advice because he made several other saves by reaching down and plucking the ball out of play. He only let in two goals, which is not bad at all for a team that has lost by double digits more than once.

You were so right, oh wise bloggy peeps, and I was wrong. And the joyful, fierce look on his face for the rest of his night in goal was like a gift. He loved it, when it stopped hurting. I gotta tell you, I had no idea. And that ball to the face was a damn good lesson – he did not take his eye off the ball for the rest of the game!

So we’re driving home after the game, and he’s sparking with energy from game (still a loss, but not a blowout like the past few weeks) and I asked him, “So Lucas, you’ve played offense, defense and keeper. Which one do you prefer?”

Of course he said keeper. Of course he did.


A love letter to Lucas, Age 7

8 February 2015 Lucas

Lucas, my baby boy, today you are seven years old. Not so much a baby anymore, I guess! Lucas, you are warm and affectionate and curious and stubborn and an incredibly talented artist. You love nothing more in life than a blank page and the time to fill it, and I continue to be blown […]

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How to host an at-home art themed birthday party for seven year old boys in five easy steps

7 February 2015 Lucas

For his birthday party this year, Lucas was insistent on an at-home party. Really, I asked. Are you SURE? I am always willing to throw money at an on-location party, partly so someone else will have to deal with the mess and the noise and the chaos, and party because I am just not the […]

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A love letter to Lucas, Age 6

8 February 2014 Lucas

My dear, sweet Lucas, today you are six! years! old! Sweet Lucas, you are an adorable kid. You are warm and affectionate and love to share kisses and hugs, not only with your mom and dad, but grandparents and teachers, too. You draw beautiful artwork woven with expressions of “I love you mom” written right […]

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A love letter to Lucas, Age 5

8 February 2013 Lucas

My sweet baby Lucas, you are FIVE years old today! Lucas, you are growing up waaaaaay too quickly. Not only are you five years old, but you are a clever and advanced for five, so much so that sometimes we forget you’re still wee. And I know for a fact you think you’re a peer […]

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