Happy Birthday, Theo!!

Birthday season continues with baby Theo turning 1 last week. We celebrated by getting him his favourite food in the whole world. Uh huh, cake. Most kids are fascinated by the candles and the singing and the attention, but this baby is all about the cake.

He’ll have his cake and eat it. Which is exactly what he did. And then he had another cake and ate that too.

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His entire life right now can be summed up by a very discerning equation:

Cake = happiness and all the good things in the world.

This boy knows what’s what.

***

Hey baby Theo,

It’s your first birthday time capsule, how about that? You’ve been my baby for a whole year, and I couldn’t be happier to be your momma.

I know we had a bit of a rough start, you and I. The first month we spent together was straight up challenging. We struggled with the nursing, and the sleeping, and the gassiness, and the shouting. I’d wake up every morning and wish that you’d magically grow up.

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Well, abracadabra, because look at you now. At this moment, I wish that you’d just stop growing for one minute and let me take in your squishy baby face.

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There’s a lot to like about one-year-old you.

Like this face.

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Urgh, how does anyone get to be this adorable? Is there any fairness in life? No.

Also, I like how you’re like the equivalent of a baby Chuck Norris. All testosterone and brute strength and manly grunts. The other day, I watched you playing with a wooden spatula and instead of using to pretend to cook like normal children, you were trying to yank it into two with your bare hands. It was a solid piece of wood, and you thought that you could pull it apart like cotton candy. After a few minutes of grunty pulling, you got really frustrated and started yelling, then finally sobbing into my shirt tragically, like “I’m NOT STRONG ENOUGH!!!”

I’m starting to suspect that you already have more testosterone than both your brothers combined. As though there isn’t already enough manly hormones in this house.

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You’re really into birds these days. Why?? There are so many other beautiful animals in the world like fluffy bunnies and puppies and chinchillas, but the one animal you spend your day obsessing about is birds. I do not get it. They squawk a lot and poop everywhere and are generally pesky, but you get so excited every time you see a bird.

“BUH! BUH!!” you’d point and yell.

Now I understand what it means to love someone because I’m starting to get excited about birds too. We’d go on bird hunting walks (we just look for them, not hunt them for food, although that would be fun) to play our favourite game called See Who Can Point At More Birds. I’m progressing from “eww birds, gross” to “I can tolerate being near them”. Maybe one day, I’ll even learn to like them.

Before you were born, I used to worry that you’d miss out on having an appropriate amount of attention, having to share with 3 bigger siblings. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re so loved by so many people.

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Especially your 3 favourite siblings. If they hear the slightest sound of distress from you, they’ll immediately stop any activity we’re doing and make me “faster go take care of baby Theo”.

I love your toothy grins, and your face-eating kisses, and your delicious munchy rolls, and your cuddly chest snuggles, and your arsenal of rude faces, and the way you climb onto my lap with your favourite book.

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I love you more than you love cake and we both know that’s a lot.

Meet the Mozz Squad

So here’s a secret: getting rid of dengue is best done as a team. Sure, it’s possible to do it alone, but then where’s the fun in that? Besides, having back up is always better than not having back up – they can help to double check all the areas in case we miss a spot.

With that, I’d like to introduce you to the members of this small but effective dengue fighting team. We call them the Mozz Squad.

Alpha One

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Also known as Mission Commander. Leads the team on regular search and destroy operations. First in, last out, does not leave until the mission is completed.

Honey Badger

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Dedicated, tenacious, overall badass. The team’s secret weapon.

Maverick

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Assists on missions but occasionally gets distracted by birds and small furry animals.

***

Now that you’ve met the squad, here’s a sneak peek into one of our Mozzie Wipeout Missions.

1. Make sure all water containers are turned over when not in use.

It only requires a small pool of stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed, so we need to conduct regular inspections of the house to ensure that there is no stagnant water anywhere.

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I don’t know why we still have these jerry cans but the rain does sometimes splash onto the top of the cans. The mozz squad checks to see the containers are dry at all times.

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We also make sure that all water storage containers are turned over to prevent water from entering or stagnating within when it rains.

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Maverick says it’s A-ok!

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2. Check scupper drains along the corridor to ensure that the flow of water is not obstructed.

A clogged drain can cause stagnant water to accumulate, which forms ideal habitats for mosquitoes to make lots of babies.

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Drain could do with a bit of cleaning (ahem), but otherwise, all clear.

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3. Check flower pot plates for stagnant water.

Flower pot plates are one of the most common breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and the water from the plates have to be removed every other day. We also loosen the hardened soil so that stagnant water does not accumulate.

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We make it a point to get the kids involved in mozzie extermination missions and they take it very seriously (so cute!). They know that we all have a part to play in keeping our home safe from dengue, plus they help to remind us to do the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout regularly. Win-win.

Alright, mission complete. Mozz Squad over and out.

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Nesting nesters

You know what I’ve discovered during this moving process? It’s totally not that scary and I’m actually enjoying this. Decluttering, labelling boxes, planning, peeking into other people’s homes, lurking on craigslist and carousell, and putting together a new place in my head. There’s fun to be had here.

My Kirsten is such a nester. She’s got a great instinct for this. She spotted me on Pinterest looking for ideas while putting the kids to bed one night and she was SO EXCITED, like “oh oh this one! No, that’s not going to work, let’s go with this look instead, we can put up some pretty pictures on the wall and get some lights and little poofy round paper balls.

Who needs a decorator when you have a daughter? This is her shortlist for her room and I love it, I couldn’t have picked better ones myself.

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On a related note, I’ve also discovered that I’ve given birth to a bunch of rag and bone children. Their hoarding impulses are out of control. These kids are emotionally attached to broken toy parts and crumpled scraps of paper and bits of crayon stumps. Especially Truett, I’m looking at you, my beautiful bizarre offspring. He has treasure boxes stashed in obscure corners of the house, and they’re not really filled with treasure at all. One box contained a missing nail buffer block that I was searching the house for (I gave up and bought a new one) and a half eaten cookie left over from 2012.

So the point of decluttering is to make them throw out all the junk and I notice that they’re giggling and sneaking it into the packed boxes when they think I’m not looking. What will I do with these monkeys?

I think I’ll keep them, is what I’ll do.

They’ve actually been a really great help with the packing – making lists and cutting tape and being generally helpful. Even baby Theo is getting in on the action.

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Yesterday afternoon, when I was in full on packing mode, Truett brought Finn into the room and put him to bed for a nap.

Heart eyes.

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