The ActiveMama family recently did our annual photoshoot with Sarah Jane Photography, who has been taking our photos for a few years now.
We went down to Shipbuilder’s Square at the foot of Lonsdale again, since we found last year that it had the perfect mix of backdrops for our photos. It’s not busy, it has an urban feel, the view is great and there are no distractions (like parks or bodies of water) that cause whiny kids! While I really wanted to hit up a forested area, it’s so hard to find the right light in the shade of the trees.
I couldn’t be more happy with the photos this year! Sarah did a great job capturing the kids in the chilly wind before they got too grumpy. Damien has some dermatitis on his face right now, which is worse in the cold, but Sarah did a good job clearing that out of the proofs. Thanks Sarah!
Check out all our photos here.
Yesterday I was invited to the launch of Christmas at Canada Place for 2013, getting a chance to preview the free holiday activities. Aiden brought along one of his best buds for the event, plus we left the Dads at home with the younger kids, so it was quite the treat for them! It was so nice to be able to really give Aiden the attention of the night.
Christmas at Canada place is held ‘outdoors’, but in the covered parking area, so it was quite warm. We started our night with a little skating on the artificial ice, which kept our boys going for nearly a full hour. Both boys were up on their skates in minutes, neither having really skated before. The artificial ice was a great introduction to skating and really boosted their confidence. It was so cute to see them skate around, happily falling and crashing without getting wet or cold.
After dragging them off the ice, we went for a train ride on the mini train, noting the familiar face of the conductor who runs the Polar Express each year. We checked out the animatronics of the Woodward’s Windows, made a cute reindeer craft and lined up to meet Santa. Both kids balked at meeting Santa this time, but thankfully we have other scheduled Santa visits.
We had a fantastic night, though I do wish the hot chocolate had been closer to the skating area, since us moms could have enjoyed that during the skating! By the time we got to that area, it was too late to give the boys that kind of treat.
It is so great that this event is provided for free, as so many Christmas activities are not. Though they suggest a $2 donation for the skates and for the train rides, it is still one of the most frugal family-friendly Christmas activities in the Vancouver area. Check out the website for full details on hours and musical performances.
Yikes, we’re half way from one to two already!! It’s so hard to sum up a boy just filled with life! This last month? Filled with joy. The older Damien gets, the more clearly distinct his personality becomes from Aiden’s. While they were similar in infancy, as time passes they grow more and more different. Damien is more extroverted still, and quite passionate in temper, has a more adventurous palate, and is not afraid – of anything! He’s a rough-and-tumble boy who loves to get messy, to splash and to roll around and have fun. On the flip side, he’s still a mama’s boy, very cuddly, and loves to read and to listen to or to create music – what a sense of rhythm this boy has!
- Wears size 6 shoes, 12-18 pants, 18-24 shirts
- Has been battling a skin rash on his face, from teething? Several doctor visits later, we’re not exactly sure what it is or if the cream(s) we’re using are helping or triggering it to get worse. We’ll see.
- Favourite foods: fried rice, Mexican rice, meatballs, roasted chicken, salmon, toast with cream cheese, fresh fruit smoothies, yam roll sushi, miso soup, Mexican noodle soup, refried black beans, bran cereal, cereal bars, any kind of protein served in a sauce. He’ll try just about anything!
- Foods he dislikes (meaning he’ll only eat them if he has no choice): crackers, hot dogs, pizzas, most cereals, peanut butter / jam. Basically, all the crap food that Aiden wanted to eat at this age. While we introduced food the same way to both kids, Damien has always gravitated to the mixed / flavourful foods while Aiden always preferred more bland foods, getting more picky about things being mixed by this age.
- Can kick a ball
- Can walk all the way tofrom our house to Andrews on 8th (about 3 long blocks) and back. Aiden was 2.5 before he could do this.
- Starting to identify colours. He is most likely to point out red and black – I’d even suggest his favourite colour may be red.
- Can hold a steady beat to a song or just on his own (super concentrated while doing so)
- Can alternate between slow and fast beats
- Can alternate between tapping and clapping in alternation
- Has some clear obsessions
- Loves to be defiant
- Was a dragon for Halloween – photos to come!
- Loves to make animal sounds: moo, meow, roar, hiss, buzz, caw, whoo whoo, ar (for woof; he mimics the sound he hears real dogs make)
- Started to understand manners: can sign “please” and “thank you” with pride
- Can string together two signs (“more” “please”)
- Favourite song: Hey Ho by the Lumineers
- New words: echo, car, bla (black), ra (red), paw, ellow (elbow), Raffi, star, Mommy, whoa, yoo-hoo, papa, troll, hey ho
Just today on Instagram, I posted this photo and comment:
This is Damien to a T. Gives me a smirk then walks just off the path. #rulebreaker
And the photo truly does sum up Damien in so many ways. He likes to assert his personality and have his way. He likes to test his limits.
Store shelves? Grabs everything and puts it on the floor or throws it. Paths? Let’s walk in yards instead! Electrical sockets? Hello, holes for fingers! Breakable objects? Can spot them a mile off, has to investigate!
Nothing escapes Damien’s observation. If there’s a limit, he will test it. In the photo above, Damien stopped, gave me “the look” (a smirk), then walked purposefully onto the grass. While I am all for romping in the grass when appropriate, he thinks running into people’s yards or running straight for the nearby road is great fun, so I’ve been trying to enforce this limit. Over and over again.
It will be interesting to see what Damien does with the Christmas tree…. Aiden never pulled off ornaments… I don’t think Damien is going to be like that ;)
The limit testing has given me a lot of incentive to revisit parenting tactics such as sportscasting, positive reframing and holding my limits. It’s a work in progress ;)
There used to be a time when a kiss could make it better. When the magic of a touch could dry the tears and warm the heart. And while a gentle touch and cuddle still do the job, there’s no more “Mommy, kiss it better!”
Instead, there’s a subtle hand sneaking up to wipe away that kiss just given. A smile and a shrug. Thanks mom, but no thanks.
They grow up quickly.