Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It seems we can't go more than a couple of months without getting the itch to take a trip to Canada. Even when those months include busy times, like Christmas and New Years, and busy things like having a baby, our hearts just seem to point north. We knew that there were lots of friends and family in the motherland waiting (not so patiently) to meet Baby Liam, we knew Iain was missing his Canadian family as much as we were, Dad was turning 60, and we had nothing going on in February. So we decided to go.

Here was our plan: leave on Friday morning and spend a long weekend together in Canada, after which Neil would fly back and work for the week. (Ever wonder who those travelers are that can fly with nothing but the shirt on their backs and the book they're reading? It's the awesome guys who are leaving their families to have fun while they return to work...thanks Neil!) Then he'd come back Thursday night, spend another long weekend and we'd all drive back together. However, just as we get the itch to go, we always get the itch to stay. So by the time Neil was coming back to join us, he'd already decided we'd stay another day, which made it a long-long weekend! Then we got a big snow storm, which delayed us one more day. Then it was Neil's birthday, so we couldn't drive for 12 hours on his birthday, now could we? So we stayed one more day! It turned into a nice long holiday, just enough to beat the mid-winter blues. Here's what we did!

Did I mention we left our house at 2am? This is what we looked like!
Thankfully, the boys did a lot of THIS on both trips! We were quite worried about what a 12 hour car ride would be like with a toddler and a newborn, but we were pleasantly surprised!

We celebrated Dad's 60 birthday in style, with the "kids" making a bang-up dinner of steak au poivre and lobster. He didn't want a big shin-dig, and clearly specified NO SURPRISE PARTIES, but we couldn't let him get away without any embarrassment, so we did have to break out the birthday button! Breha was in charge of veggies (as you can see from the photo below!), Brett did the lobsters in, I was photographer and girl-of-all-trades, and Neil manned the steak. Contrary to how the photo appears, we did NOT burn the kitchen down! Mum also contributed Dad's favorite...cherry cheesecake! Hopefully Dad enjoyed it, and felt very appreciated and loved!

We spent Valentine's Day wearing red and missing Neil (as evidenced by Liam below!) and were sorry that our poor planning led to us spending our FIRST VALENTINE'S DAY apart, since our first date.

We spent lots of time at the Reed's sweet new pad, and Iain had lots of play dates with Gavin, who is his best buddy. Or is that Shane?

We threw a surprise shower for THIS friend, who is soon to be the mother of TWINS! And we actually pulled off the surprise, against ALL ODDS!

We tried our hand at baby cake pops for the centerpieces, with mixed reviews. Iain alternately called them "piggies" and "masks", and we never could decide whether they were cute or scary! But they sure tasted good!

Iain learned the "putting your finger on your nose means you don't have to pray" trick...

Liam learned that getting out of the bath isn't so bad, if the house you're in is warm!

We celebrated Neil's birthday with a delicious prime rib dinner made by Mum, hockey, and (to Iain's excitement!) his "own stoonas"! We even got a coffee date that afternoon!

Best of all, we (and especially our boys!) got to spend lots and LOTS of time with people who love us and are too far away! Neil and I really enjoyed having so many sets of helping hands to take care of our little men: it sure made bath time, bedtime, dinner time, heck...ANY time a lot easier! I'm all for this commune living business! For Liam, it meant getting the constant holding and cuddling that he usually misses out on by dint of being the second baby, being fed on time, and with mama's undivided attention, instead of on the go, or while big brother is being fed lunch, reading a book or playing, and-wonder of wonders! actually getting a bath (almost) every day! For Iain it was getting to play hockey and golf to his hearts content, and always having someone free to take him "doon", learning how to "ding it good" on the dinner bell with Uncle Brett, doing twinkle-toes with Auntie Be-yoo, and getting kisses and hugs day and night from Grandma and Grampy. As always, it was so fun to see how lucky we are, and what great family and friends we have! And NOTHING is better than that!

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