Birthday Boy...


Hello folks, its me again, Benjamin. Notice anything different about me? You guessed it, I am a year older! If I had a dollar (Canadian or American at this point would do) for every time I hear, "Has it been a year already?" or "Where has the time gone?"...and that's just my mom saying it!...I could pay my way through university.

This being my first birthday and all, I didn't know quite what to expect. And, as things go, I probably will have no clue what to expect next year either...don't have an account at the long-term memory bank least not for birthdays. This one turned out to be pretty fun, but pretty low-key, which, I am learning, is how things go around here.

It began with the dynamic duo bursting into my room and greeting me only slightly more zealously than usual. If it is only up to them, I will probably turn out with a great sense of self-esteem. What can I say? They love me. Balance that out with all the Barbie doll, princess dress-up clothes exposure that I suffer at their hands, and I may just turn out fine after all.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, bursting in. So in they came all smiles and clapping and singing. Now there is one thing you need to know about me. Some people say that yawning is contagious. I don't find this true for me. Mom and Dad can be yawning away, at say 10 pm, and I don't feel the slightest need to yawn. However, I do find another action both spontaneous and contagious...clapping. What can I say, I can't pass up on an opportunity to clap. I've been this way for awhile. Most of those baby milestones I tend to be on the lower end of the curve. Mom says I'm laid back, others use the word "lazy". Neither is really true. I just know a good thing when I see it...and letting the dynamic duo do most of my work for me is a pretty good thing. However, when it came to clapping I started early and I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for it. So in they come clapping, and I start clapping and it turned into a giant clap fast...great start to the day!

Dynamic Duo posing in front of their handiwork

After my standard breakfast of oatmeal and applesauce, it was time for the presents. Mom tried to fore go the usual first birthday ritual of the baby liking the wrapping paper more than the gifts by letting the dynamic duo decorate a big packing box (about 97.5% big one, and 2.5% little one in effort), so all I had to do was crawl in and collect my toys. It was good fun!

Dynamic Duo supervising my present opening. Note the green ball. I was completely freaked out by it, but now, a week later, am coming to terms with it. Another one of those scarred for life moments.

However, mom should have known that a baby's desire for tissue paper will not be ignored. While the dynamic duo were playing with my toys, I sneakily snuck into Mom and Dad's room and got in their trash can, where there just happened to be, you guessed it, tissue paper! It was all golden until Mom caught me. When will parents figure out the mixed signals they send when they say "No" and then run to get their cameras to capture ones misdeeds on film? The clincher is that they say "Smile" in the midst of all the evidence. Yeah, I'll never get tissue out of the trash can again. Sure.

The tissue paper trail.

The rest of the day was much like any other: eat, nap, play, repeat. That is until the evening. It turns out my birthday was on a Sunday. This is really super because Sunday nights are house church nights, and a bunch of fun people come to our house. This meant that they got to celebrate with us. We ate pizza (which I love) and cake (which I endured) and laughed a whole lot. It makes me wish I could turn one all over again. Oh yeah, since I have already forgotten this whole event, I will get to do it all over again...same song, second verse. Maybe mom will just reissue this blog this time next year. Lucky you.

Cake's not so bad, but I'll take lasagna over it any day of the week!

Haircuts, Harvest Party, and Happy Thanksgiving!


For those of you Americans out there, we hope the title hasn't sent you rushing to the calendar wondering where you lost a month and a half of your life...this weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving. Though being a bi-national family sometimes has its hassels, one of the perks is the extra holidays. This year we had the unique treat of gathering with about 50 others to give thanks, eat turkey, and "be" Canadian together. It was a treat, but I did miss the "good turnips" that are always apart of the Cook family Thanksgiving table...don't knock 'em until you've tried them!

But I'm getting ahead of myself, and out of sequence. Let me fill you in on the last few weeks. A recent lice outbreak at the school and preschool gave me the motivation I needed to get the girls' hair cut. Sophie got lucky, I at least took her to a beauty salon. It looked so easy (sorry, all of you trained, talented hair stylists out there) that I was sure I could do it Annie's hair. I started by hacking it off, and then proceded to become extremely sick to my stomach! What had I done? After a reassuring smile to Annie, I fled the bathroom to receive reality-check-advice from John ("It will grow. Its only hair.") and returned with re-enforcements in the person of a dear local friend who cleaned up my mess a bit and you can hardly tell the difference between the professional cut and the home-grown doesn't hurt that Annie's curly hair covers some of the rough edges! You can see their new do's in the pictures below.

September 28th was Sophie's school's annual Harvest party. It was a gorgeous day (before it has always been in October, but this year the planners got smart and took advantage of the beautiful late September weather) full of games, costumes, treats, and a potluck meal of epic portions. Because of the diverse nationalities represented at our school, we got to part take of not only the standard North American fair associated with potlucks, but also dishes from Brazil, Korea, Norway, Ukraine, and India. What a treat! Because of the lice outbreak, we ended the night taking turns at bat against a giant egg-shaped pinata labelled "nit" (for those of you lucky enough to never have come in contact with a lice out break, "nits" are the eggs the lice stick to the hair shaft with their own personal brand of super glue). It was a fabulous night spent with wonderful friends, delicious food, and loads of fun.

Sophie and a buddy (dressed as a Hawaiian girl)...they decided Sophie could be her Hawaiian cat!

This dear friend gave Annie yet another reason to love Cinderella.

Naptime wasn't going to keep the rest of us from joining in the fun...we parked a sleeping Benjamin in a quiet corner.
For such a featherweight, Sophie proved quite adept at the crowd-favorite game, pillow-jousting.
An awake, but dazed Benjamin is questioning why this had to be the week he had to cut his one year molars!

A youngest-to-oldest policy meant that Annie got her swing in before the pinata broke....Should I say swings? It took awhile for her to actually make contact.

While Benjamin was busy cutting teeth, Sophie was wiggling away at her two top front teeth. Having already lost her bottom front teeth (and cut new ones) she is an old pro at this tooth-losing business.

Sophie displaying her lost tooth.
And now the Thanksgiving shots...
John and Annie, joined by our new friend, Esther, show off Annie's favorite Thanksgiving treat: Chocolate. OK, so its not as festive, but it is certainly TASTY!

Sophie and Annie, joined by a fellow Canadian and schoolmate. The look on Annie's face captures how she feels about being with the "big girls".

Ben's first Canadian Thanksgiving: he would have licked the plate clean if we'd have let him!

Thanks for taking the time to catch up on our news! Don't forget to drop us a line and let us know what is new in your world.
Coming soon: Benjamin turns ONE!