I'm really psyched because my editor over at the food blog is sending me to a cook book launch tomorrow. I've been to those before and they're always fun, but this is like ZE IT one.
Martin Picard (the most renowned Quebec chef, yes, the foie gras poutine guy) is launching a new book on maple syrup, which is apparently part recipes, part novel, part sexy photography (?), and part history lesson/documentary on the trade. His restaurant, the famous Au pied de cochon, has opened a sugar shack in the Laurentians a few years back, just as a seasonal, fun side project. It costs mucho dinero to go there, not to mention that it's always sold out months and months in advance. Let's say I'll try not to eat lunch beforehand!
LP is really excited that I get to meet "Martin sur la route". It's like he thinks we're friends or something.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I'm really psyched because my editor over at the food blog is sending me to a cook book launch tomorrow. I've been to those before and they're always fun, but this is like ZE IT one.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Last week I heard this super interesting bit on the CBC radio, about a French author who penned a book on the science and purpose behind children's play. He discussed, among other things, how a 7 year-old Einstein built elaborate 12-stories high castles made out of playing cards, or how the children of a Dutch optician during the Renaissance "invented" the telescope while playing with their father's glasses and realizing that if you placed two different ones at a certain distance, perhaps covering them with a bit of stiff fabric or paper to hold them in place, you could suddenly see things much bigger than they actually were in reality... I loved how he highlighted the fact that play is actually crucial in developing so many important real-life skills, like problem solving, goal achievements, perseverance, creativity, etc.
LP has a red locker-like toy storage cabinet in his bedroom. Its two doors can only be opened with a key. For years, the two tiny keys stayed in place. Then, inevitably, one of them broke in the lock earlier this year. No worries, I said, we can still open it with the one we have left. I put the remaining key on a shelf nearby, just out of the reach of F's little hands.
Then, a few months ago, just as inevitably, after a particularly chaotic play session between my two children, I found the locker doors closed and the key nowhere in sight. LP didn't know where it was. We'll find it around, I said, wishful-thinkingly.
But we didn't. So we couldn't open the thing anymore. No worries, I said, the next time we go to IKEA we'll ask them for spare keys... For sure they'll have them... But when we finally did, well, they didn't. They explained that there were several dozen series made, and that these weren't all available anymore. We got the one we thought looked like the closest match. It didn't work.
Yesterday LP, fed up by not having access to all these wonderful toys anymore, decided to take matters into his own hands. All by himself, he closely examined the lock, then went on searching for an object that seemed to match the key hole. He finally found it, in the form of a very thin, profiled fridge magnet.
We heard him cheer wildly in his room. He had opened the door.
The key was inside.
Friday, February 24, 2012
On Monday we finished dinner early. As I was taking away the dishes, LP said, very decidedly and excitedly: "I have an idea!" And we expected it to be something fun and silly that we would (regretably) have to say no to this being a weeknight, like "let's build the biggest Hot Wheels track ever!" or "let's make popcorn and place all the sofa cushions on the floor and watch a movie on them!"
But instead, he said: "Let's start packing some boxes!"
We had meant to for a while. The house has been officially sold for over a month. We gave ourselves a much deserved break after four and a half months of non-stop showings, but now it was becoming slacking. We had boxes neatly folded in the basement, and plastics bins, and tape, and markers, all ready. It was nagging me. But it also felt totally overwhelming.
"That's a great idea!", I said.
So we went downstairs, and soon a quite cheerful, slightly comical frenzy was going on. M put on some music.
Then the moment appeared like a movie in slow motion.
And suddenly it hit me. A few tears burned my eyes fleetingly.
We were doing this. We were this family packing away their house, this house where we started as a twosome, then over the years brought two tiny infants that were now growing up. One who was putting his things in a box, and the other one who was doing her best to annoy and prevent him from doing so.
We were beginning our motion, brought farther by life, by the promise of spring we've been holding on to for seven months, since this year it was going to come with a new house.
It was happening. And it was definitely very sweet, but also just a little bitter.
After less than an hour we had assembled a dozen or so boxes of books and toys in the middle of the space. And left terrible chaos. The day that signaled "the end of life as we'd known it" in our house had arrived. The chaos would only ever-increase in the next few weeks, culminate in a move, then decrease as we settle somewhere else.
In that somewhere, it will be spring.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
It's been a while since I've done a post on beauty... But the products landscape in the natural/organic range is very exciting, these days. It's really not so hard to find great stuff anymore - I even have choices (which feels like the greatest luxury ever). This is proof that demand can very much influence the offer. I've been far from alone in wanting more natural/less chemical and scary options... And in only a few years, here they are.
Here is a mishmash of products I've recently adopted. It's not a sponsored post or anything; just my own opinion.
I know this line is not new, but I've recently turned to it as a replacement for my previous Clinique addiction. Clinique is not a bad line -the fact that its products are unscented and dermatology-tested makes them better than most, actually. And previously, it was the only system that effectively tamed my acne (I have very oily skin, and localized breakouts that get worse, not better, with age). But their products contain parabens and other ingredients I don't want anymore. So I've tried a variety of things from different other brands (some cheap, some quite pricey), before coming to the conclusion that my skin seems to thrive on exactly that, "a system". By which I mean a consistent line of products that are designed to work together, within a certain order.
And I'm completely woved by everything I've tried from them so far. The Zero Oil Cleanser is great, the Full Story mascara is amazing (quality mascara is one of the most difficult things to find without parabens and other nasties), and the Brighter by Nature pressed powder is... simply the best I've ever tried. I apply it with a kabuki brush, instead of with the package sponge. It's velvety and light while providing great coverage, it controls oil well (altough I don't believe any product could ever completely prevent my face from becoming a shiny mess within a few hours if I didn't blot regularly), and the shade is absolutely perfect (no hint of orange, etc.). It even has SPF 30. I'm never buying another brand again.
Alba Botanica Acnedote Astringent
As previously hinted, for the past few years up until very recently, my skin was not happy. The one ingredient that seems to work for my acne is salicylic acid. But it shouldn't be used by pregnant or nursing women, so I stopped two years ago, only to end up pizza-faced very quickly. When I stopped breastfeeding in the fall, my hormones got even crazier and the problem became worse, to the point where it was clearly a cruel joke played on my face.
Completely randomly, I happened to be shopping in a Boston supermarket with F this Christmas Eve, and found this product on the shelves. I knew the brand, but had never really used their products. I saw that it contained a potent dose of salicylic acid, naturally derived from tree bark. I decided to try it and ladies and gentlemen, within a few days my acne was gone. And it remains gone to this day. Not. One. Pimple. It's very rare that a product delivers exactly what it promises, but this is it.
I'll be out in a few days though, and I'm nervous. It just doesn't appear to be available in Canada! Argh! I've purchased the Origins equivalent (the Zero Oil toner), which also contains salicylic acid, as a replacement. Fingers crossed hard that it works.
Desert Essences shampoo
Plainly put, I'm in love with this. I use the Italian red Grape kind, for color-treated hair, and it's fantastic. The smell is so rich and so luscious, it immediately brings me back to childhood memories (grape juice, candy, I don't know). Which makes me wonder: if it is possible to achieve such a wonderful, powerful, enticing fragrance naturally, why do manufacturers need to resort to artificial ones and then add tons of chemicals to prevent them from turning bad???
Eos lip balms
I find them simply irresistible. And judging from the Google search I made to find this image, the stars all seem to think so too.
Monday, February 20, 2012
...we're drowning in renovation/decoration projects, looking at magazines, websites, blogs and tumblrs, having home improvement on the mind at all times, spending time each week to scout and shop... We're back in the game, baby! This is the exciting part... And we'll take full advantage of it, before funds run out and weariness sets in. Of course, we're aware that we won't be able to complete everything all at once, but here are the main things we need to do in the new house, listed in order of priority. We've both taken one week off (which actually equals 11 days since it coincides with the Easter long weekend) post-move, to take care of the first three plus the bulk of unpacking. Then, if we could do everything else within say, two (three?) years, that would be awesome.
- Redo the flooring in the three upstairs bedrooms. It's now parquet, but we want to change that to hardwood to match the rest of the house. Well, complement more than match -the thin oak planks we have simply don't exist anymore. We've chosen sustainable, sturdy and durable bamboo, tinted in a similar color. We weren't sure that we wanted to tackle this at the beginning, but quickly realized that we should. A year from now, it will be much more complicated and painful to empty the rooms and do this as a multi-weekend project.
- Replace the vanity (for a smaller, more current one) in the ground floor powder room/laundry room. As of now, it is unnessary large, which only allows space to put the washer and dryer on top of one another. By reclaiming the space, we'll be able to put them side by side, and M will install a countertop/folding station, as well as a couple of cabinets above for supplies.
- Paint. We wanted to keep painting to a minimum, but when we went back last week, we realized that we had our work cut out for us. In some places, the colors could really use some refreshing, while in some places they are bad (one corridor wall is hospital green, the glass room next to the kitchen is bright orange, F's room is dark wood panels with midnight blue -which really has a way of screaming "a little girl sleeps here!"). We'll probably hire someone to help with this, otherwise I don't think we're going to make it.
- Replace the stairs railing, from dated 80s wood to stainless steel. M will buy the materials and do it himself, but it will be quite major work (and not cheap, so we're using some of our equity to fund it). But. Since there's a lot of railing, it will have some crazy impact once done. We're betting that it will change the look and feel of the house entirely, bring it to this century, and even possibly add to its value. Here is an example taken from the supplier's site, which both shows you what is currently there, and what we want it to be (except not black, just steel).
- Update the fireplace, which is currently covered in 80s greenish paint splatter wallpaper. We're still unsure of what to do.
- Change the flooring in the kitchen/adjacent glass room. The kitchen is newly renovated, and honestly it is amazing. With one exception: unexplicably, they put vinyl flooring. Eventually, we'll replace it with great-looking tile, and maybe, add radiant heating.
- Redo the master bathroom. Take down the hideous 80s granny tile backsplash, replace the double-sink vanity (we really don't need two), using the reclaimed space to install a new, larger and better shower.
- Install crown molding, replace doorknobs, change LP's bedroom door (it's now glass), update the light switches and install dimmers, etc.
In the meantime, we've bought:
- a sofa (ours is a really bad $300 IKEA one from 7 years ago, which we've been holding on to "until we move"). It's not on their website but anyway it's from there.
-to which we'll likely add a Barcelona chair and ottoman, as well as a cool floor lamp (M is making us a coffee table from an old farm scale we have in the garage). And eventually, a rug? But we've tried having them before and with the kids they always ended up badly used/stained fairly quickly.
-to which we'll likely add a couple more Herman Miller Eames Eiffel chairs.
And we've decided on the following:
LP's bedroom does not have to be fully painted, and the walls are gray with red curtains. He's the only one with a cathedral ceiling (and large triangle-shaped window) in his room. We agreed on an Italian, sort of retro car theme, so we will paint one wall in three large color block stripes: green, white and red!
The theme of F's bedroom will be "citrus colors". The wood panelling will be painted white, and the walls will probably be bright yellow. We bought her a tiny 50s-looking shiny vinyl orange armchair, as well as a shocking pink silly cukoo clock. I want the accents in green, yellow, orange and hot pink; not so much different from what she has now, the mobile I made her being a good example...
Friday, February 17, 2012
This is the house I consider my childhood home, where I lived from 8 to 16. (That's still my longevity record, followed by 7 years in our current house). I took this picture last summer, on the day we made the offer on our new one. It was the week I spent in my hometown with the kids, and I went to give LP a tour of my "young years". I was nervous and excited, and I told myself I would only write this post when our current house sold and we would be focused on the move. I didn't expect it to be so long.
I loved that house so much. In my memory, it was unbelievably great, and an absolutely perfect place/neighborhood to grow up in. My parents entertained a lot, so it really had a feeling of being at the center of everything. We walked to school, the hospital where my dad worked (still works) was five minutes away, all of our friends were within a few minutes' distance. Our backyard was immense, with a downhill slope that led directly to a forest. My dad originally planted that garden and those trees, which used to be tiny. The blue spruce was "mine". It used to be fairly equally tall as I was, year after year.
Winters were long and harsh, but we skied and sled in our own yard, played outside a lot, and they never seemed like the burden they have become. Summers were warm and fantastic. I still get teary thinking about how endless they seemed back then, sun drenched, full of days in the swimming pool followed by dinners outside and long evenings lingering by the fire. All the smells even come back to me. We had so much room, it was safe, it was wonderful. When my parents divorced and put the house up for sale, I was devastated. I told myself that maybe one day, I could get the house back.
Time has passed. I've moved on. I left my hometown close to twenty years ago. I don't think I'll ever move back there, much less buy this house -the neighborhood is different now, aged, not so family-friendly anymore. But...
There was something that clicked to me immediately, when we first visited our soon-to-be-home. It had a very similar feel... Our new house is from the '80s, while my childhood home was built in the '70s, but it's still very much the same architectural paradigm. The way the dining room/living room space was/is laid out exactly the same: the dining room above, accessible by climbing a few steps, the two rooms semi-open onto each other -blocked only by a two-faced fireplace and the same railing on both sides, with a shared sloped high ceiling. The glass room that opens up to the backyard. The view from the back (not a forest in our new house, rather a park-like golf course -still, very alike). The way our bedroom connects to the master bathroom. The garage, which is at the exact same place. And in the basement, the very similar large storage space, complete with the same built-ins like cedar closets and a wine cellar...
We bought the house from a doctor, who had it built over twenty-five years ago, and consequently, has been the sole owner. He told us how it was only the second one erected on the street, how he walked the construction site with muddy boots and carefully chose the lot with the best view. He raised two boys there, who are now teenagers. He got divorced 5 years ago, and reluctantly put the house up for sale because his new girlfriend has two teens of her own, and the house plainly wasn't large enough for everyone. It was difficult for him, I could tell he was sad to let go of this home "he never expected having to leave", but also happy that we loved it so and planned to raise our own little family there. It's not like they were trading down and need you to feel sorry for them, mind you: they had a house built (probably more like a mansion), in our same town, but in what we call the "millionaires' corner" on the newer side. Still, he told us that it wasn't on the golf anymore, and that leaving that view would be "very hard".
I asked him how the boys were taking all of this. Very badly, he said. They are devastated.
I told him that I understood, I very much understood. But that maybe he could tell them never to forget that one day, years and years from now, perhaps they could sort of get their house back.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Superbowl night, he was so excited and jittery he threw up his milk. "Mom, I think that's because we ate too much crap".
Disgusted by the performance of his beloved Patriots, very wise and authoritative: "Well, if they don't even want to win, it's their loss (c'est eux les pires)...
Reminiscing... "The best meal I've ever had in my life was... spaghetti carbonara in Parma."
Asking questions about one of his teachers, who comes from South America. "Where's Colombia?" Us: "It's near the Equator, close to Panama and Venezuela". LP: "But is it the same as British Colombia?" Us: "No, it's not. The name is a little strange, but British Colombia is in Canada, actually". LP, trying really hard to understand: "But the people who live in British Colombia, they come from England?"
Dropping his sister in the daycare nursery, before going upstairs with the big kids: "Have a nice day, bébé! I'll be there with you soon, OK? I'll see you this afternoon". (At the end of each day all kids gather together to play, and apparently, when they're reunited, it's quite the party).
LP talked a little more than she does when he was her age (15 months); that's apparently very typical for second borns. She's still progressing quite fast, though...
-Bébé (which she sometimes uses to refer to herself)
-Baba (her brother)
-Encore (more), which sounds like "Ha-Caw!" (She says it in different contexts -for food, for kisses and tickles, for music to continue playing, for another episode of The Backyardigans...)
-Beau (beautiful) "Bo..."
-Gauffre (waffle) "Gau!"
-Regarde (look) "Ha-Gah!" (I remember this being LP's first verb as well)
-Chat (cat) "Ça!"
-Chien (dog) See-n"
-Canard (duck) "Ka-Ka"
She also does a specific sound for "milk" (a little bit like "lalala" -the word is lait-, but she also twists her tongue) and "banana" (similar, like "blabla" with some tongue twisting). When she, usually purposely (or even we, by accident) drops something on the floor, she exclaims: "Uh-oh!" When she's hungry and very excited about food, she'll also shout (she's all about volume) with a good dose of impatience and expectation: "Miam-miam-miam!" (Yum!)
Sometimes she goes on very elaborate monologues, with determined tone and pitch, but none of what she says making any sense. Like most kids that age, she understands a lot more than she can say... She blows kisses on Skype, kisses us on the mouth upon request, gives her doll her pacifier when when say so, etc.
She spontaneously started putting things (like remote controls) near her ear to "talk on the phone" (and seriously, we're really not big phone talkers). She sings, often, and sometimes we decipher the words "papa-maman" (which reminds me of a certain someone...) She's combined words a few times: "Regarde papa" (Look daddy!) or "bye-bye papa" (yes, daddy is definitely her go-to word). Additionnally, she has a very wide (and loud) repertoire of shrieks she uses when her brother bugs her, or when we don't give her what she wants...
Monday, February 13, 2012
Apparently Zamphir hasn't killed the Pan flute! Who knew? :-)
I love how LP pointed out that the bridge "was his favorite part". Because in songs, it's also exactly what always gets me.
And the "I thought my life would get easier" part? So did I, dude. SO DID I.
(Also open your ears for 'Skippin' Town' and 'Let's Go Surfing').
Friday, February 10, 2012
I think sometimes, we tend to forget how food is nothing but fuel for our bodies...
LP asked to go to Five Guys for his birthday dinner. Now it's certainly yummy and great quality for fast food, but let's not kid ourselves, it's junk nonetheless. And even though I used to eat a lot of that stuff (and much worse), in the past few years it's become very rare. So my body is now reacting to it kind of weirdly. Every time I have a burger, fries and a soda as a meal, I end up deeply regretting it after. This was no exception: the next morning, I was in a state that can only be described as hungover. I had no energy, I had a bit of a headache, I felt weak, my tongue was tingling (because of all the salt), I was completely off. The task I had to do at work required some extra focus and sharpness, but all morning long, I could barely manage.
I hadn't packed a lunch so come noon I decided to go try this nearby organic and vegan takeout counter warmly recommended by a friend. We're not vegans, we're not even vegetarians, but we do eat fairly healthy and I'm always on the lookout for new options so I was really curious to see what it was all about.
So my lunch consisted of: a small green salad and toasted orange-ginger crispy pumpkin seeds with an almond-lemon sauce, and a "tree-rice" pilaf (brown, wild and barley) with celery, cranberries and walnuts, topped with barbecued tofu and roasted squash (which tasted a lot like home fries and was probably the best part). I also added a large glass of green juice, which tasted really fresh (mostly like apples and parsley, which surprisingly is not a bad combination at all). It was a good meal. Really good, more than I expected it to be. There was great attention put into incorporating different textures and tastes, and it didn't feel like a sacrifice or a compromise at all...
And you know what? I started to feel myself coming back to life with each bite, and especially each sip of that potent liquid chlorophyll. The difference was striking. Within minutes I felt rested, full of energy, in a good mood. The headache and slight dizziness were gone. I had no afternoon slump (which rarely happens), and I tackled all my work quickly and efficiently.
Between the junk and the vegan, there's a lot of middle ground, and it's very rare that you'll experience both extremes like that so close to one another... And we clearly shouldn't generalize from this one example. But still. It was kind of an awakening for me. Food for thought, really.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I find my all-time most read Top 5 posts so strange and funny... Probably because, they couldn't be more random, and are not at all representative of this blog as a whole?
Number 1: Poutine (This is the most popular BY FAR. Like, 10 times more pageviews than number 2, 20 times more pageviews than number 3, and so on. Why?????)
Number 2: Kitschy French music (Really? Although I do remember one time being really puzzled by these Arabic characters that came up in the google searches people did to end up on my blog. And I was so surprised when I put them through babelfish, and they simply meant: Carla Bruni. Ha!)
Number 3: Alice in Wonderland (My friend E whose wedding it was I was working on will probably be amused to read that).
Number 4: Anti-cancer recommendations (I have Jamie to thank for this one...)
Number 5: Non-white wedding shoes
I'm not exactly sure what to think of this. Hmm.
Monday, February 6, 2012
This year, we celebrated LP's birthday at the Montreal Science Center, where the Dinosaurs Unearthed expo was presented. We invited his cousins and some little friends; all in all there were 12 children present, which was a bit crazy!
The kids loved seeing the big, roaring life-size dinosaur replicas, and some even went twice. I didn't actually see it, because unfortunately a little boy from daycare got really scared and so I took his aside and we waited for the other ones to come back. The little boy didn't even want to eat or drink after that, so we felt bad we had possibly traumatized him... :-(
I always had a lot of respect for the girls at our daycare, but especially on that day! Just taking the kids to and from the party room without any incident required a lot of coordination and stamina, and bearing the responsibility of them for an afternoon? Phew! Imagine all the time...!
The cake, of course, followed the theme. I baked a rectangle chocolate cake, and made buttercream icing in different colors (I bought white fondant for the dinos and tinted it, as well). M shaped the dinosaurs, and my mom mostly decorated the cake. The volcano was a cupcake covered in icing, and the plastic palm trees cost 70 cents each at the baking supply store... My mom said that even though it looks elaborate, it was actually the easiest birthday cake she's made so far (remember the Ferrari? That was something). She's of course being modest but the truth is she's amazing at doing that. I wouldn't be able to pull any of this off if it weren't for her...
LP was spoiled by everyone, as usual... He got lots of cool dinosaur-themed presents, as well as a scooter we are afraid he might have to share. His sister somehow decided that it was for her. She fussed and fussed and shrieked until we made her have a turn. She was surprisingly a natural, providing that M held it straight. We kept on trying to put her two feet on the footrest... But she would always wiggle herself out. We soon discovered why... She had seen LP do it and she knew that the way to go was not with two feet up, but rather with one feet down to push yourself. So she did... With her tiny little leg stretched, but still barely touching the floor.
It was lovely spending some time with my entire family. I still can't believe that we used to be five, but now we are fourteen!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
My heart aches a little as I'm starting this letter. How can it be possible that next week, I'm going to enroll you in school?
This last year has been challenging for all of us. You're growing, you're very opinionated and stubborn, you're emotional and intense, and you're quite strong-willed. You often choose not to listen to us unless you absolutely have to, and you like to test us just because you can. You can imagine the results this mix can sometimes bring in our household, especially with everything we've been through since your last birthday -learning how to adapt as a family of four, not sleeping enough, buying and then (forever later) selling a house, me going back to work full-time when I so wished I could spend more time with you. Sometimes I've lost my patience, and I'm really sorry. It's been a bit of an ajdustment for me, how our relationship changed as you grew and your life stopped revolving around me, as you went from only child to older brother. We're all good, but your mommy still had a little bit of mourning to do.
Of course (and most of all!) you are also a wonderful, smart, funny, silly, thougtful, sensitive boy, and you continue bringing so much joy into our lives. I especially loved watching you during our two recent trips to California, being so carefree and so happy, like I wish you could be all the time. I also love watching you with your sister, how proud and loving and protective you are towards her. You two having fun together is really the highlight of my life, I hope you know that.
You continue having such an incredible memory and such a great attention to detail it still takes us by surprise, sometimes. Although we're trying not to push you, you're very close from knowing how to read, by now. You write your (quite long!) name very well, as if it were nothing at all. You figured out (oops!) how to download apps on your own. In the past year, you've learned about difficult concepts such as cancer, and death, and divorce, and you've been very good at both internalizing and externalizing them. I love eavesdropping on your play monologues, and keep on being amazed by your imagination, but also amused by the way it often involves some sort of an external running commentary, including verbe tenses (like passé simple) which you've only heard us use in the books we read to you. You're "telling stories" already. Is that surprising that I remember also doing that as a child?
The moments when we connect, especially at bedtime, are still among my favorite ones, even when we have a quite difficult day. You make us laugh (and also drive us a tiny bit crazy) by acting like a teenager so much, already. When you tell us about the role-playing games that were part of your day, you always specify that in them, "you were 11". You haven't caught our "we hate winter!" bug yet, everything is so fresh and so fun to you, and you would do anything just to sneak a few more seconds of catching snowflakes on your tongue before coming in, even if it means disobeying us. Watching you conquer your fears, your apprehensions, your challenges, watching you persevering and then suceeding, watching you beam when we cheer you on, is all making us so proud. You've done so much in the past year, from learning how to ride a bike to becoming more relaxed toward the loud sounds that used to startle and terrify you. You've spontaneously started understanding, and even speaking, some English (although you once shouting "WTF?" doesn't reflect very well on me, I'm afraid). Even when your routine got badly screwed during the worst weeks of the house being on the market, you've coped quite well. I know that it's hard for you but that you're still working on getting these meltdowns under control. You keep trying and we'll do the same, OK?
We are now about to embark into a new phase of our lives, first moving into our new house two months from now, then at the end of the summer you leaving your beloved daycare to go to school. We are very excited, and hope that the changes will go smoothly for you. We expect that it might create a little insecurity at first (I even feel it myself, how could I expect you not to?) but that it will soon be fantastic. You being with the big kids and learning all kinds of great things, and especially you being able to play outside freely, to run around, to ride your bike and your scooter even in the street, to make all kinds of new friends. This is a big part of us moving -having found a place where you two can do that without us always being worried (about the pool, about the cars and buses on our current street that go way too fast). I can't wait before we decide on how we'll decorate your "big boy" room and make it confortable, cool, and yours.
Happy birthday, my beautiful boy. I could never be able to put the extent of my love for you in words.