Sunday, January 20, 2013


Of all the things I have done as a mother, the thing I have accomplished best is photograph my children growing up. 

In their first year of life, I took a picture of them every week and every special occasion and put them in mini photo albums. The first year is of course the most remarkable and I have frame by frame evidence to prove it.  I have framed pictures of the kids in their first year. I have pictures taken of both kids at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and a year.

Everywhere along the way I have photos. First day of school, last day of school,  Halloween costumes, Christmas outfits, lost teeth, first camping trip I have documented it all.

I get even the less popular milestones.

Like the don't-you-dare-put-me-in-this-car-seat tantrum: 
Or the I-told-you-bad-things-would-happen-it-you-put-that-thing-around-my-head glare:
And my kids are extremely accommodating. They pose for pictures. They repose for pictures when the sun was bad or I had the camera on the wrong setting. They endure costume changes, my changing my mind about the best background for the shot.  They allow me to take endless combinations of people with only the occasional groan.  

You can imagine when a once in a lifetime event happens, like moving on from elementary school I can go a little nuts.  With a 150 pictures taken for a kid's birthday, which happens every year, for a big milestone, it's gonna mean a lot of pictures.

For each pose there are 4 to 10 shots taken. Here a few samples:
 Before school:
  Before school, closeup:
Before school, with Sydney:
During ceremony:
Slide show: Jackson Kindergarten
(yes, I took a picture of a picture):
Slide show: Jackson grade 5
 After ceremony, with Opa:
with Sydney
 with Opa and Sydney
with Daddy:
with Mommy:
with family:
 with Kindergarten through grade 2 teacher:
with grade 5 teacher
(what?!?! I missed grade 3 and 4 teachers?):
At home:
At home, close up:
At home with family:
At home with Sydney:
At home with Finnegan
(who is much less obliging):
At restaurant celebrating with Opa:
At restaurant, solo:
At restaurant with Mommy
(what? I missed Daddy on this round):
But every 10 year old boy has his limit. Somehow I got to the end of the day's festivities and realized I did not have one photo with the honoured boy and Mommy and Daddy together.  I had to rectify this.  Back home after our special dinner out, I begged for just one more photo:
 A picture is worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What to do?

December was  full.

Of concerts.

And pierced ears.

And tree decoration.

And special craft projects at school.

And shopping.

And well there's work.

And readying for the holidays.

And so much homework, I know that the Geneva convention on homework amnesty in December must surely have expired. Let's get Joe Biden on that one (after he sorts out the hockey strike).

And Husband's birthday which I always try to give the due it deserves since having your birthday 5 days before Christmas it is easy  to gloss over, compared to say someone with an April birthday.   (Though this year, I asked Husband to pretend his birthday was not on the 20th as I had to work late.  I told him it would be pretty cool to have his birthday on the last day the world is in existence and he went for it).

By the time school was done and I was done work, let's just say the house needed a little attention.

So Saturday morning, I declared a full-on work day and we feverishly vacuumed, dusted, organized and sorted clean laundry piles. The kids cleaned up their den. I sorted through piles of mail, and we accomplished a lot. Husband shopped for groceries, to keep us in provisions for the holidays.
Sunday brought church and a few more projects upstairs and we were looking good for the holiday.  Monday I made yams and felt giddy that the house was so clean for the holidays.

We enjoyed wonderful celebrations with both sides of the family and just the four of us.

And it was good. I felt blessed and happy. It was all worth it.  We had all earned a few days of rest and relaxation.
I did have a few tiny ideas about some things I might get done. I thought an hour a day, on some task or other we can never get to and we would really hit 2013 running.
So I thought I could:
  • take the dog on a long vigorous walk every day,
  • organize my closet,
  • tidy my side of the room,
  • clean out night table,
  • organize the office
  • clean under our bed,
  • organize the pantry,
  • mend some things on the large mending pile (after I collect things from all over the house that need mending and make pile)
  • organize the storage room,
  • organize the shelving in shop,
  • put all the games in the old book shelf,
  • clean the guest room (this one could take all of 2013, I wasn't even fooling myself.)
I guess I should have known I was setting myself up for failure. So I made a few tiny amendments to my list:
  • take the dog on a vigorous walk one day
  • pick up clothes from bedroom floor,
  • clean up night table,
  • pretend for 15 minutes to organize the office,
  • drink 5 cups coffee per day  (thanks Tassimo)
  • do puzzle (being careful to sort pieces by colour),
  • watch many movies,
  • watch 2 seasons of West Wing,
  • say every 10 minutes "isn't it great you guys don't have any homework???",
  • count blessings.
Ten out of ten.
Ready for 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, Hill Style

Happy New Years toasts over pizza / ginger beef, depending on your culinary preference
(and red wine, white wine or brown wine)
I  know we really have to impose some kind of limits, but she sits there so politely while we eat.

(it's a game of fast charades)
In the name of matrimonial harmony, I am not posting the picture of John
acting out a stripper. 
Everyone's an actor.
A gift each left (though the tree is gone)
I would disown these two on account of perpetual silliness, only they agreed to pose for me when I forgot to take the picture 'live'.
Yup, she's part of the family.
 Happy New Year!!!!