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I'm Nadine. Thanks for stopping by. The floors are creaky, the kids are loud, but the door's always open and the coffee's always on.

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Gilbert John: Year One Complete

Gilbert John: Year One Complete

 O-N-E.

O-N-E.

Note: Gilbert turned one on the 5th of October. We’re just operating a little slow over here.

Gibber-Dibbers, you’re one!

This year has flown by. So much so that I think I’m in denial about your age. How can my itty-bitty (giant) baby be so old?

You’re as tall as your sister was at 18 months. You have eight teeth. You shout “Go!” at me when I tell you to stop shredding the sheet music, and “Shoo!” when squirrels get too close at the park.

You can sign “milk” and “more” and “all done.” Although you’d rather just whine for what you want. As do we all.

You start clapping, seemingly involuntarily, when someone begins singing “If You’re Happy (and You Know It).”

 Birthday party decor. Only one of Matthew’s shirts died in the making of this banner.

Birthday party decor. Only one of Matthew’s shirts died in the making of this banner.

“Old McGibby Had a Farm” always makes you smile. As does the word “ratatouille,” preferably said in an Italian accent. (It’s a French word, babe. We’re screwing you up. I’m sorry.)

You would eat anything in muffin form. Or if it’s on the floor. We briefly considered putting a tarp on the floor and scattering bits of lunch across it for your birthday party. Theme: Floor Food.

You have the best smile. It spreads across your face until it overtakes everything else and all you are is one big grin.

You desperately want to talk. You babble your way through all the vowel and consonant sounds, trying to contort them into a real conversation. You’ll get there soon.

Your hair colour gets all the compliments. Your hairstyle, however, is what I like to call “Russian figure skater, circa 1993.” We’ll address the thin, stick-straight mullet soon, Gibby.

You’re good at hugs and cuddles, wrapping your arms around our necks and nestling your head under our chins. Never change.

You love your sister. And she loves you. Every morning, you perk up when you hear your sister walking down the hall. We start each day with a playful sibling wrestling match and end each day with joint storytime and hugs. You’re starting to play together. Nothing is sweeter than the sound of the two of you laughing hysterically in the living room.

You’re a daredevil in the bathtub.

You’re learning to roll a ball across the floor. Every time you do it, you burst into laughter at the marvellous thing you’ve just done.

You can crawl up the stairs, but don’t show an interest in doing so without adult supervision. Thank you.

You show little interest in walking even though you can stand without much effort. I’m not complaining. This house isn’t ready for you.

 The birthday boy. On the brink of tears. All day.

The birthday boy. On the brink of tears. All day.

Sometimes people overwhelm you. You burst into tears at the sight of aunts and uncles in our living room for your birthday party. You sobbed when we visited family on Thanksgiving. You always come around eventually, but you prefer your space at first.

You still have a morning nap. Often, it’s too long and eliminates any hope of an afternoon nap. So even though your sister still has a fantastic afternoon nap, Mama doesn’t get a break.

You leave your socks everywhere: under the couch, in the aisle at Home Depot….

Everyone loves your name. Because everyone loves Gilbert Blythe and it brings them great joy to snuggle with a Gil.

Nicknames: Gil, Gib, Gibby, Gibber-Dibbers, Gibby-Dibby, Gibbles and Bits, Armagillo, GJ….

You were *almost* sleeping through the night until a few weeks ago. And then we had a weird week of screwed-up bedtimes and late-night car transfers, followed by a few days of mild fever and general crankiness — and now we’re all tired and sore and scrambling to get back on track.

As I mentioned, you were sick recently. Feverish and teething and miserable. After hours of not being able to console you any other way, I gave in and let you sleep beside me all night. It was cute. At first. And then you performed acrobatics for hours and I’m thankful you’re generally great at staying in your own crib. Because your father and I don’t appreciate being kicked in our sleep by a small unapologetic grunter.

Your favourite game: whining with your sister in perfect unison. It’s adorable and oh-so-annoying. But I don’t want to complain that my kids like each other. So I soldier on. And drink more coffee.

You love books. Every morning, you pull every book you can reach onto the floor as if it’s your daily chore and you’re just doing your duty. You chew on the spines of board books until they’re all lacking last pages. (Cliffhanger!) And you cry every night when I come to take you away from bedtime stories with your dad and sister.

Not exaggerating: you eat more books than vegetables.

 Daddy made carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting. You made…a mess.

Daddy made carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting. You made…a mess.

You’re working on your dance moves.

You want to play with all the outlets and glass bowls. And have very selective hearing when I bark “No!” at you from across the room.

You’re ticklish.

You cry when we open the front door if it doesn’t mean you’re going for a walk. You’re essentially a puppy.

See also: You ate dog food at Thanksgiving. Instead of the turkey and potatoes we gave you.

You have a song:

G, I like you / G, I love you

G, I always thank / The God above for you

G, I hope you know / That you can always come to me

G-I-L-B-E-R-T

We love you, Gibby. Thanks for joining our team.

 Birthday suit. The best way to end a birthday party.

Birthday suit. The best way to end a birthday party.

Ursula: I’m the boss. And Mommy’s the boss. And Daddy’s the boss. And Gibby’s the boss.

This team might have management issues.

Nostalgic Style: Amy’s Blazers

Nostalgic Style: Amy’s Blazers

The Art of the Sick Day

The Art of the Sick Day