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the tooth fairy

We are just starting to get excited about the tooth fairy for our oldest – he is six and has lost one tooth with a couple more that seem to sort-of, almost, feel a little bit wiggly especially at night when it’s bedtime and there is only his teeth to play with as he lies there waiting for sleep to wave it’s magic wand…

The idea of her – and she is a she – is magical.  And we love magic here.  More plausible than fairies in our garden, more anticipated than the Easter bunny, and more stealth than even Santa… somehow she manages to fly in, get under your head, carry away a tooth that is almost as large as she is, and leave a small prize in it’s place that no one could have possibly known you were pining over all without waking you… and better yet – she switches it up and sometimes leaves cold hard cash.  This chick is cool.

What isn’t as cool is when your four-year old out looses her teeth to your six-year old.

I’ll spare you the gory details but in a nutshell she was running down the hall in over-tired excitement trying to take off her sweater and lunge at a parting gift that she wanted to hand over to a favorite guest – and when she slipped on the hardwood floor she only had her face to break the fall.

A torn frenulum, fractured palate and five loose teeth presented a grim diagnosis for her shining smile as we took our concussed little munchkin home from the emergency dentist that day.  To add to the pain, we came home with two types of antibiotics, orders to ice, drink meals through a straw, and not allow her any trauma – not even a slip up the stairs or a friendly jostle from her sister.  Then, and only then, might we save her teeth.

One month. A month of nothing but liquid and melt in your mouth baby-style food, holding hands up the stairs, no sports, constant watch.  We all went a little crazy – but we thought we did it – we thought we saved them.  We were wrong.  A bone infection meant her front two teeth needed to be pulled asap.

Que tooth fairy.

Our incredibly brave, impossibly tough, and very sweet little K was amazing – as was her dentist.  As the medication wore off, the car ride home was a glimpse (far, far) into the future for me as she babbled happily like a little drunk and missed her face completely with her Popsicle over and over.

no front teeth

Her reward for bravery and a wonderful attitude was a very early visit from a very special tooth fairy.  She wrote a note and placed her teeth under her pillow – she drew pictures and wrote some words explaining she didn’t want money but heard from mom this might be a special occasion and that she could possibly have two extra special magical gifts.  We thought she wanted a barbie car and a doll chair.  Her note told us we were right on the car but not the chair.  Thank goodness tooth fairies are magical because I don’t know how you change your order at 9pm on a week night and still end up with your ask in the morning … nor do I know how this tiny fairy could possibly lug in a car and a pool … even with her magic.

tooth fairy note

Our tooth fairy did not disappoint. She wrote Kate a special note (it was VERY long) and there was fairy dust from the note all the way to the gifts – which as it turns out she had to leave outside the door – much too heavy to lug in.  She knew Kate secretly wanted to keep her teeth so she left her a special container and made an exception to her rule so that K could hang on to her chompers in style. A souvenir she was quick to share with her preschool buddies.



Kate awoke to the magical note and the fairy dust and the special gifts she’d quietly asked the tooth fairy for that no one else knew about … there was gold and silver and stars and glitter everywhere – clearly a sign of all the effort this visit took.

Now …Matty is due to loose another tooth and can’t wait to see the fairy dust and get his next note and little prize… and while he knows it won’t be as big as Kate’s (special circumstances as laid out in the note that the six-year old read in detail) he is still vibrating with excitement about what he might see…

K & C are pretty sure they saw a flash of light while they were asleep that night- and they are pretty sure that was our fairy flying away back home … M can’t wait to try and wait up for her soon…even though he admitted tonight that he knows in his heart she will use her magic and out wit him 😉

Oh tooth fairy – you sly little minx.





the making of his 40th

The hot man in my life turned 40 recently. He wasn’t melodramatic about it, didn’t request large unwieldy gifts, or a party, or even a day to mourn his 30s.  He never asks for things and much prefers us not to spend too much money, or time, or money, on him… and is, as a result, so hard to figure out how to please.

So of course, we needed to make it big.

cam 40 sign

It began with his awesome friends, who surprised him with a day at the whitecaps – boys day out. I took that opportunity to clear out some of his “list” of to-dos.  The following weekend I whisked him to Vegas for some sun, good food, and fun with my best guy.  Then we ended the month of “40” with a party…not going to lie – this one has been simmering for over a year – but it turned out very differently than I’d imagined – and every bit as “him” as I’d hoped.

It was supposed to be a sun drenched backyard bbq adult style – with all of cam’s favorite things from slurpees to icecream, bocce tournaments, a singer in the background, and food truck in the driveway.

In ended up a crazy rainy day with all of cam’s favourite things – but once I let him in on the plan the CMA in him came out and the food trucks and singer were quickly dashed aside in favour of me cooking for 50 people and him setting up an apple play-list.  The results made him super happy – and the night was incredible – all because of our wonderful friends and family who came from near and far and found childcare (not easy!) for the night to party with us.

I wanted to set the tone right for the evening – not to be confused with one of those parties you attend for an hour and leave, this was to be a par-tay.  So – the invites were key – I made drink coasters as invites – I found a great website called Evermine  and was able to create awesome coasters for invites, and with pics of cam from his childhood for throughout the event.  Also sent evites from paperless post out so people had a reference point to look back to for the event when the coaster was turfed or lost.

We took the theme of Cam’s favourite things and ran with street food (one of his favs) which led us to tacos – and the opportunity to make halibut tacos and chicken carnitas.

We had help from our neighbour building a super cool taco stand and the kids and I painted it, and some old pieces of wood with chalkboard paint to make the taco theme more authentic, and the signs for the bar/food/directions stand out. I ordered bamboo taco plates, cutlery and dessert plates through Bio & Chic and wooden planters, galvanized tubs for beer and pop shop drinks, and manly burlap table runners through save-on-crafts.  

We had tacos a few nights in May, trying to perfect the recipe for both versions – and I got more and more excited as the party items started to roll in.  His favorite pops from lime soda to orange crush to old fashioned root beer, a bunch of local beer from Vancouver breweries that came highly recommended from colleagues and friends, a rented slurpee machine for slushy gin and tonics, containers for individual ice creams for dessert that my daughters and I would make, labels for the ice cream, water bottles, and more…


On the day of the event the rain was … powerful.  The tents we bought/rented for shade became rain canopies in our shifted plan from the main house to the “beer garden” garage set up.  The long tables we’d rented with 50 white outdoor chairs were changed the morning-of to high-boy tables and inside chairs. The games I had planned slid away with the mud down our eaves.

cam 40 rain

And then the time of the party came and the clouds broke and despite the weather networks’ 90% call for rain – the sun shone through for the whole evening. huh. My love/hate relationship with my weather ap continues …

…did I mention there was a candy bar? I think that was the girls’ favorite thing to help make happen 😉

I said that the party was a success because of our amazing friends and family and that is very much true.  From my sister and mom who were guinea pigs for appies and various tacos to my mother-in-law who came in early and helped chop, cook, saute and broil, to friends who lent crock-pots, warming dishes, and mad tart and cake-making talents – to the relentless friends and neighbours who cleaned up as the night progressed and made the end of the night a breeze for us.  Most of all though, it was the fact that people came to celebrate Cam.  People we haven’t seen in months or years, made the effort to get out to see him, share a few laughs, and celebrate this incredible guy.  When I looked around throughout the night I just felt … lucky and blessed.  So many good people.  Such easy laughter and conversation. Such a great smile on cam. Such a good night.

cam 40

Kid diy screen printing

That whole “I do it” phase most certainly did not end with self-feeding or dressing … It crept into everything from teeth brushing to pushing the shopping cart to writing the answers to everything … In marker. And now Matt wants to bake and use the oven on his own and K and C want to turn on the tv, iPad, computer, phone and find what they want there as well. I find at six and four and a half parental controls and use (or not) of options is already getting tricky… So lord help me in ten years when the “I do it” de jour is driving for Matty and make up for the girls… I need to get good locks on our doors – or a tougher backbone.  

In the meantime though, I’m always happy to have those strong self moments expressed through our kids creativity – so I loved when I found cheap ($5 each) iron on transfer packages that allowed kids to colour their own design/message.  

the transfer paper and crayons

We had white shirts from a sale a few weeks earlier and I showed the kids through a mirror how to backwards print and why. They made their own designs and chose where on the shirt to position each one.   

I ironed and they peeled away the backing …eh voila! A great kid diy project.  

  … And yes Kate and Charlie chose to write who they loved on their frocks while our little rocker replicated a logo he’d designed for his pals’ band and made the first of many groupie shirts for the “bird band”.