On Sunday we headed up to Kilmer Park to enjoy the beautiful weather. Kilmer is one of the more tame of North Vancouver’s water parks, and is definitely not as busy as the others. Given that Aiden finds water parks overwhelming (he doesn’t like to get his hair wet), it’s nice to give him an opportunity to test his own limits in a more tame setting.
Damien, on the other hand, has no issues with water. Never has. We’ve given both of these boys the same experiences, so it just goes to show how much is nurture vs nature. Anyway, my little water baby dove right into the water park, sitting and splashing in the water and having me finger walk him through the spray over and over (which must have been hitting him right at face level!).
Despite his teething, he had a good afternoon. It was one of the only times in the last week (as well as a nice Friday) that he was more like his happy self. I can see us spending many afternoons at Kilmer this summer!
We make a point of involving our family in as many community events as possible. In part, it’s a great way to fill up the weekend for two boys who need to get out and be active, and in part because it keeps us connected with where we live. We take great pride in being a part of North Vancouver.
Today, despite the rain, we headed up to Lynn Valley for the Lynn Valley Days parade and festivities. We have been faithful attendees at Lynn Valley Days for at least 3 years now, sometimes arriving early for pancakes or staying to have lunch. Though we don’t care much for visiting all the booths in detail, we love the parade: the firetrucks (though Aiden hates the sirens), the bands, the dancing and the enthusiasm of the whole experience. Toss in some snacks (and candy) and you have a happy family – even with the rain!
After the parade, Aiden spent some time on the train ride and in the bouncy castles, though eventually we did decide to call it a day with the ongoing sudden downpours making our outdoor activity a little less relaxed than normal!
Damien had a great time checking out the parade – a little more involved than last year when he slept through the whole thing (he was only a week old).
I feel like I have a photo album full of deliriously happy Damien just swinging away. Of course that’s not true, but we have spent a lot of time at the park yet and I am quite pleased to have something to do with Damien while Aiden is off playing!
Damien perks up the second he sees the swing and happily kicks away and smiles while he’s in it – at least part of the time. He is a rather serious fellow still.
Aiden has always been quite afraid of the swing. He always tensed up with quick movements or changes in height, even as a young baby. He hated going down the stairs! Putting it all together over time, I think it has a lot to do with his inner ear and the sudden change in pressure. There was a brief time when he’d swing a little bit, but now he barely moves more than a couple of inches when he’s seated, as you can see from the photo below showing the arc of both boys:
We took Aiden skating during the Christmas break for the first time. We opted to go during a Public Skate time, which worked the best with the kids’ schedules. Unfortunately, we did not know until we got there that the skate aids (like the skating walker) is only available during Family Skate times, not Public Skate times. Who knew?
Of course, once you tell your 3 year old that he’s going skating for the first time, you kind of need to follow through. Since Damien was going to be due for a nap half way through our time at the arena, Ianiv opted to go skating so I could nap Damien in the Ergo. Unfortunately, Ianiv has only skated a handful of times and not even recently. Ianiv soon found he was not so steady on the ice!
Well, Aiden was excited and eager to get out on the ice. He balanced ok on the skates when he was walking but had absolutely no stability on the ice, even just standing. Ianiv basically propped Aiden up under the arms to take him around the rink and it was not a fast circuit!
Next time we will be more prepared for skating – still, Aiden enjoyed his first skating trip!
I absolutely love Christmas. I always have been a big fan of holidays of any kind but my spirits always soar around Christmas. I love spending weeks finding the perfect gifts for people, sometimes making them or buying them. Stocking stuffers are my favourite thing to buy – I often pick things up all through the year in anticipation! I love spending the time to carefully wrap presents, adorning them with something personal be it a homemade ornament, homemade gift tags or homemade paper – I’ve done all variations before. Now that I’m a mom, I love that my kids can share in my joy for the season.
Although Damien was too young to appreciate most of our adventures (except the Stanley Park Bright Nights Train, he loved that!!), Aiden was really into Christmas this year. Granted, there was an unhealthy obsession with chocolate that had to be moderated (advent calendar!), he was really into the magic of Christmas. We baked cookies, made crafts almost daily, went on a variety of adventures (Polar Express, Bright Nights, Capilano Suspension, Park & Tilford Lights, The Magic of Santa theatre), watched movies, read books, sang songs & listened to music, and generally talked about Christmas a great deal. He was very interested in how Santa made presents and, appropriate to his obsession with The Polar Express, how said train got to the North Pole and what it did the rest of the year.
We managed to avoid the Santa Question yet again, though it was a close call. Aiden is very inquisitive and it was clear some answers were hard for him to accept – though he loved the idea of magic! In all honesty, we’re pretty blunt about things being either real or pretend in our house, since Aiden is very sensitive to suggestion and very analytical (plus, it suits our parenting). To say that all magic doesn’t exist except Santa is a little weird – so, we’ll re-assess next year. Again.
Aiden loved Christmas day – opening his presents (and helping with everyone else’s gifts) and being with family. I wish we had more parties, actually, since it is so nice to have the excuse to share our joy with those we love. Aiden was happy with his presents (which mostly ended up being things like trains and cars with some games, crafts & dinosaurs too) and he is already asking about when Christmas will come back!
Don’t they look cute? Ok, we have a better photo of them in this outfit, but it’s not uploaded yet. Plus, the whole Christmas PJ thing was kind of a gong show – I put in an order on Gap for PJs only to realize a few days before Christmas that the PJs must have sold out as I confirmed my purchase (had some other stuff on there), so I never realized I didn’t have them! They were blue with penguins, the perfect matching-yet-not-too-Christmas-themed look I was going for. Oh well – next year! These ones ended up being cute, even if they were quite roomy for my thin guys!