Monday, October 21, 2013

We have an announcement

Amanda and I do not stand on mountaintops and make announcements about our lives. Our lack of Facebook updates can attest to this. We do not have personalities that seek a lot of attention and tend to be more private than is probably necessary.

So, we should begin with this announcement: We are having another baby.

We did not rush to tell our friends and family when Amanda was pregnant with our first child, Ezra. This time we have been even slower. We are very excited to be having another baby, but have been unconcerned about making the pregnancy public knowledge. I think there are several reasons we are dragging our feet.

This is our second child so the announcement is a little less life changing. With Ezra, we were becoming parents. Ezra was also the first child in both our families. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters were becoming grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts. Currently, my sister and sister-in-law are both pregnant; announcing another pregnancy is no longer “stop the presses” family news. This time, letting people know we are adding to our family seems less urgent giving us an opportunity to enjoy the news in private a little longer.

Another reason we are delaying the announcement is that Amanda had a miscarriage earlier this year. This has given us an even greater desire to keep the pregnancy quiet. We do not doubt that our friends and family will be excited about a new baby, but we also know their excitement will be waiting for us when we are ready.

Yet, the biggest difference with this pregnancy is that there is one person we are much more excited to tell than anyone else: Ezra. Compared to telling him, all other announcements seem trivial and unimportant. A new baby will impact Ezra’s life as much as ours. We are excited but also nervous to talk to him about becoming a brother. Will he be as thrilled as us, upset, worried, indifferent?


Ezra has always told us that having another child was, “a bad idea.”  So, we were surprised by how positive and happy he was to find out our family was growing. We will see if this enthusiasm continues after the baby actually gets here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Welcoming a new family member: the birth story

We are happy to welcome our nephew and Ezra's cousin, Lincoln, to our family!

My sister shared her birth story on her blog, Hollow Life.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Gruffalo birthday party: invitation

Each year I make the invitation for Ezra's birthday party. For his 4th birthday, Ezra requested a party based on his favorite book, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

I wanted Ezra to feel like a part of the book's universe. So, I drew an original illustration, based on the book's artwork by Axel Scheffler, which had Ezra celebrating his birthday with the characters in the story.
I had fun attempting to create a drawing in the style of another artist, and Ezra loved the invitation. 

Take a look at the invitations for Ezra's third, second and first birthday parties.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Gruffalo birthday party

To celebrate Ezra's fourth birthday we hosted a party for his friends and "invited" the characters from his favorite book, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

We found the perfect location for the party, a city park with a shelter in a forested area. We enlarged and printed the characters from the book with plans to place them among the trees and shrubs along the park's wooded path. The kids could then take a short hike in "the deep dark wood" to find their favorite Gruffalo characters. 

No matter how well a party is planned, weather will always remind you of how little control you have over an outdoor party. The day of the party was filled with rain. Luckily, it subsided for the two hours of the party, but the ground was too wet to move the gruffalo, fox,  mouse, owl and snake from the park shelter. Instead of inhabiting the woods, these wild creatures were forced to became table decorations.

Much of The Gruffalo's narrative focuses on describing a gruffalo. "He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws," the book explains. These descriptions lent themselves wonderfully to a game of "pin the feature on the gruffalo."

What the gruffalo looks like if all his features are "pinned" to the right spot.

For the guests to take home, we made gift bags with a different goodie for each of the book's characters including homemade fox masks.

Ezra tends to be shy in new environments so we we're slightly worried he would find the party, with its big guest list, overwhelming. We were happy to discover our concerns were unfounded. Ezra had a wonderful day, and has already begun to plan his fifth birthday party - which he wants to be "even bigger!"