Brielle is one year old!

DSC_1185January 12, 2016 was Brielle’s first birthday! Crazy to remember that day a short year ago; the last weeks of pregnancy filled with anticipation, waiting, longing to meet this baby. And then she was here! The day is full of amazing memories of holding my little girl in my arms and finding out she was a girl! Such excitement. Jon, thrilled to have another little one. And Isaiah, only 13 months old, as he came into the apartment with Grandpa, looked around and said “ba-by??” Totally curious about what all this excitement was about.

DSC_1155Brielle, you have been an incredible addition to our family. I can’t believe that was only a year ago because it feels like you’ve been a part of us forever. You’re curiosity, excitement to discover your world and keep up with your brother are amazing.

DSC_1186Celebrating you this month was a joy. One of your favourite things are pearl necklaces. Well really any necklace but specifically the pearl one that I let you have (and you now broke, but you don’t seem to mind. You still play with it just the same). Because of this we decided to give necklaces away at your party. And to decorate with them in mind.

We had a group of friends over Saturday and family on Sunday to celebrate you. You had so much fun toddling around and being social with all the people who came over; soaking in all the attention.

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DSC_1091DSC_1101 DSC_1105 DSC_1112 DSC_1119DSC_1136 DSC_1143 DSC_1148 DSC_1150Thank you to so many who celebrated our little girl with us!

Brielle- we look forward to the year ahead and how you will grow and change and learn and love. We are crazy about you our little girl.

New Years Day sledding

New Years Day was a perfect day to enjoy the freshly fallen snow. Isaiah was very excited to try out this thing called sledding… in theory. He had heard about it but hadn’t experienced it yet as we have been waiting for snow. DSC_1018 DSC_1009Off we walked to the hill, trekking through the snow. Just walking there is hard work when you are 2!DSC_1020 DSC_1023  DSC_1026 Here’s a little video of his first run down the hill.

DSC_1031The second run was a bit faster than he expected and he decided that was enough for now. I think we need to find a smaller or more gradual hill to start on. We warmed up inside with hot chocolate per Isaiah’s request. He had read about that in a “snowy winter” book he has. All in all a great way to spend New Years Day!

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Christmas with the Geerlinks

Because of conflicting schedules, Christmas was scheduled to be celebrated with my parents and siblings on December 27. Unfortunately Steph woke up that morning with the stomach flu😦 So she didn’t make it. But thankfully our little family was finally healthy and all were able to enjoy this Christmas dinner. Mom set the fancy table for Christmas Eve to and we got to see it again on December 27 (and this time I was able to enjoy it). The carnations, the gold risers, the candles. A beautiful spread! DSC_1016 Dad’s job is always carving the turkey. Hard at work again!  DSC_1026 DSC_1028 Everyone ‘busy’ in the kitchen. Looks like a lot of supervisors.DSC_1031 “Mom… where’s the food?”DSC_1040 DSC_1044 It felt very odd to set the table for so few people this Christmas. Our family in Thunder Bay, BC and the other side of Georgetown (sick) were definitely missed!  DSC_1050 DSC_1053 Isaiah learned the actions to “Away in A Manger” this Christmas. He refers to it as “the cow song”… his favorite part is “the cattle are lowing” always followed by “moooooo”. He got the whole table involved after Christmas dinner.  DSC_1056 Gifts started with a duplo gift for Isaiah and Brielle. Isaiah was thrilled to see the barn and all the farm animals. Brielle? She was most excited to back up and sit down on the box. A seat right at my height.  DSC_1063 We all helped to build the farm and tractor and played duplo together for a while. Celebrating Christmas with toddlers.  DSC_1068 DSC_1073 DSC_1077 DSC_1082 DSC_1085 Brielle was just too sweet again with dollies and strollers. DSC_1088 Rick Mercer … mugs, tshirts, hats, and tickets to attend a filming live! For a Rick Mercer enthusiast.DSC_1102DSC_1118DSC_1120The “proper” family Christmas photo.

DSC_1112 And the realistic family Christmas photo.DSC_1117 Celebrating Brielle’s first Christmas this year was full of joy and energy. It is just so fun to see the kids experiencing Christmas and many of the traditions that I have grown up with. I look forward to so many more Christmas’s together.

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Our little family Christmas

Celebrating Christmas with our little family was a morning full of joy! We decided to do our own little thing on Christmas Eve morning instead, so we could be with extended family over the next days. We woke up and opened stockings in our pajamas.

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DSC_0924 Brielle was curious about this whole present opening thing. It’s her first Christmas and she hasn’t had a birthday yet so she was taking it all in. Her brother was eager to show her how it’s done.

After stockings we had a lovely Christmas morning breakfast as a family; waffles, fresh fruit, breakfast sausages and of course coffee. We cleaned up breakfast and sat together on the couch and read the Christmas story together. A rich, fun morning followed by gift opening. Memories to last forever.

DSC_0928 Isaiah gave Brielle this puzzle. I thought she would still be too young for it but she did so well! Too fun to watch them working on it together.  DSC_0936 Isaiah’s gift from us was a train track and some trains. He has loved these tracks when he’s seen them elsewhere, so knew exactly how to get to work building.  DSC_0950 DSC_0954It was so fun to see him occupied as he ran his trains down the track. Here’s to hours of trains fun! DSC_0957Brielle soon caught on to the whole paper ripping part.

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With determination she broke into her gift. I wish I had videoed her opening this because she knew exactly what sounds to make as she saw the dollies. Her voice changed to a higher tone as she said “awwww”. DSC_0969

And then the cuddles. DSC_0974 DSC_0976 DSC_0977

And the kisses. Seriously too sweet!! DSC_0983 Lastly they opened a kitchen set. Isaiah has already been making ‘pancakes’, ‘pizza’ and ‘soup’ for us regularly.    DSC_0992 DSC_0993 DSC_0996 DSC_1004 DSC_1008Such a fun morning together! And perfect timing. We arrived at my parents place on Christmas Eve at 3 pm for a nice dinner and a family sleepover to start Christmas Day at their place. Within an hour of arriving we were confident that both Jon and Brielle had the stomach flu. We came home and spent the rest of the evening recovering here. Christmas Day was my turn to be sick; Jon and the kids hung out with my Dad’s extended family without me. Rough way to spend Christmas. Made us all the more thankful for our great morning together on Christmas Eve day.

 

 

Christmas Time is Here

Christmas time is here… happiness and cheer.

Saturday Dec 12 was the big kickoff to our Christmas season (we had to wait until Isaiah’s birthday festivities were through. Our place is too small for a Christmas tree and lots of toddlers). We took a trip out to Hillsburgh to Wintersinger’s Tree Farm. It was a great place to cut your own tree! Complete with a wagon ride and hot apple cider.

DSC_0704 DSC_0724DSC_0742 DSC_0798 DSC_0796 DSC_0793 DSC_0787 DSC_0778 DSC_0774 DSC_0763The afternoon was spent drinking apple cider, decorating the tree and making/ decorating shortbread cookies. Very fun day but in all honestly… slightly chaotic. When I had the sweet nostalgic idea I maybe forgot for a moment that we have a two year old and almost one year old. We were pulling Christmas beads out of Brielle’s mouth while keeping Isaiah from eating the whole batch of shortbread dough, making sure Brielle didn’t pull down the Christmas tree while vacuuming up the pine needles again. All in all though, such a fun day full of memories!

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DSC_0822 DSC_0816 DSC_0831 DSC_0825 DSC_0845DSC_0854The next day was the Christmas pageant at church. Our kids were going to be the sheep. Isaiah talked about it all week, perfecting his “baaa”. In true two-year-old form, he got nervous as he was supposed to walk on stage “mommy, mommy, mommy”. So I held his hand and went up with them. He was still nervous on the stage so pulled off his sheep ears and put them on me. “maybe if I bail on the part people won’t see me up here anymore?” It didn’t matter though. They were still adorable sheep.

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Before the service began. Practicing his “baaaaa”

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Attention fully captured by the shepherd drumming line. Brielle was fascinated by the horse.

DSC_0879 What a great getting-ready-for Christmas weekend!

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Brielle 11 months

Brielle is already 11 months and walking like she’s going on 2. She has an older brother to keep up with and she is determined to do just that! She is often found toddling around with a mini stick in hand, attempting to use it to hit the ball… sometimes even when Isaiah is napping. I’m not sure if it’s because she really is working on her skills to be able to beat him, or if it’s just what she thinks is the next step. “This must be the reason you learn to walk. Learn to walk and then learn to play hockey”.

DSC_0916In the past couple of weeks Brielle seems to be babbling so much more. She continues to say “ma” for a lot of things. She says “ma ma ma” when she sees me, and “ma ma ma” in an annoyed tone when she’s anxious for more food (her version of more), and “mmm ma” for Grandma when we arrive at Grandma’s house to visit. I think it’s Brielle’s own form of a tonal language. Her other adorable word is “hi”. Whenever we are saying hi to someone we will hear Brielle’s little high girly voice say “hi” too. Whenever I talk to her and try to get her to say more things, Isaiah comes running over, insisting that Brielle’s next word should be Isaiah. We’re working on that.

It’s so fun to see Brielle learning to love books. Sometimes she is quiet and I go to find where she has wandered off to. There she sits in her room, perched in front of the book shelf. Pulling books off and looking through them, one by one. She has a distinct favourite right now– Moo baa lala. Sometimes if you start quoting the book she will fill in the blanks, ‘the cow says, “moooo”, the sheep says “ba, ba”‘. So fun!

DSC_0898Brielle loves the Christmas tree. Her favourite game is to hold onto the branches and shake them until one of the ornaments falls off. At which point she picks it up and puts it in her mouth. Everything.in.her.mouth. This is the stage.

DSC_0900DSC_0901 DSC_0912At this age Brielle does so well playing on her own. As long as she is rested and fed she is happy to just walk around and find things to play. One of her favourite activities right now is emptying the cupboards. Tupperware, pots and pans, olive oil and vinegar bottles, everywhere. Time to get the child proof clips on some of these cupboards!

DSC_0906Lastly, Brielle is starting to try putting headbands on her head, or socks on my feet. If she finds one of her headbands in the diaper bag or on the floor, I’ve seen her reach for it and attempt to pull it on her head. Too cute! The other day she found my sock in my room and started swinging it against my foot. Smart cookie! Watching everything.

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Brielle it’s so fun to be celebrating the first Christmas with you as a part of our family! Your joy is contagious. We love you little one!