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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas: It's a wrap

It was a happy Christmas morning here on Planet Silas, and a lovely day all together. We video chatted with Grandma and Papa, opened presents, played, and had brunch with Patrick and his mom.

But let's backtrack, just for a minute.
On Christmas eve, Silas got his last puzzle piece and we put it together:

We baked Silas' great-great-great Grandma Manz's white cooke recipe. We heard Santa is quite a fan so we left him a few. And we did not forget a treat for the reindeer:
Along with the wrapped presents, I like to hide a few things in the bows of tree. Silas found two fire dogs and several firefighters tucked amidst the branches. I told him a few days beforehand that there would be surprises left by Santa in the tree. The story got a bit confused as he reported to me on Christmas Eve that Santa himself would be hiding in the tree (sounds a bit scary to me but Si seemed to think it was a fantastic prospect).

I think he must have been a good boy this year. Santa done him right.
Hours of imaginative play. My favorite is when the firefighters have conversations. He does a different voice for each. Priceless.
Me and Squishy Bear. It doesn't look like it, but he wanted to have his picture taken. Hugs beat presents.
Later in the day...Brunch at Patrick's. Silas is waving to Drew's family. They are still trying to work out some kinks with Grandma G's computer so that we can video chat. They could see and hear us but we couldn't see or hear them. Half way there!
Patrick's mom, Silas, and a good book.
Patrick and Silas still had time to work on some art:
And that's a wrap! In closing, I wanted to say that this was, in many ways, Silas' first Christmas. We try not to make a big deal of things, try not to have too many presents, try just to hang out as a family and enjoy ourselves and each others' company. That being said, this was a big deal for Silas. This is the first year that he was really aware and understood what was happening. His excitement was infectious. Christmas can be a stressful and even sad time for a lot of people and I myself have struggle with that as an adult. But Silas puts everything into perspective for me. This was a largely stress-free holiday thanks to him and so, I will end with two quotes from our young sage:
"I just want to play ALL day. Playing is my favorite!" and "Ho, Ho, Ho, MEEEERY Christmas!"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa's elves are sleeping...

Their work here is done.

Gifts are wrapped. Fire station is assembled. Child is nestled all snug in his bed. Time for some mulled wine.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting for Santa

We decided to light up our home on this, the shortest, darkest day of the year, by decorating our Christmas tree. In the midst of our efforts, Silas ran over with two pillows and pretended to sleep. That's when I took this video:

Happy Solstice everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Are you a Hanukkah duck?"

A conversation between two rubber duckies overheard while making dinner last week:

Duck#1: Are you a Hanukkah duck?
Duck#2: Yes I AM! Are you a Halloween duck?
Duck#1: Yes I AM!

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The two ducks have been inseparable ever since. Gotta love pretend play :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


What's December without overdoing it on sweets a bit? We decided to up our sugar quotient for the week by starting it off with a batch of gingerbread cookies. There's something about the ginger-molasses combo that is tough to beat. Silas and I worked as a team through the whole process. Rolling out the dough is probably his favorite part, followed closely by mixing:
When Silas saw the next picture, he exclaimed "Look, I'm crying!" Not really. I believe he was actually saying, "It's the caaamara!"
Silas is contemplating which cookie cutter to use next...
I wanted to mention in this post that the Christmas trees, which you can see in the background in the above picture, have been a real success so far. He's excited to find the new puzzle piece each morning and then put together the pieces we have so far. More than half way there!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

St. Nick

I whipped up a pair of fingerless cabled mitts to match Si's Little Rabbit hat just in time to put them in his boot for St. Nicholas' Day. Good thing too, given the bout of cold weather we've had this week. (The picture above shows the entire ensamble, including the sweater I made a while back with the same yarn that still fits, but is getting a tad short in the arms.)

And, since I intended this post to be about Father Christmas, I will just mention that there will be no pictures with Santa this year (or possibly ever). He knows who Santa is. He knows Santa is pretend but that being said, the line between fantasy and reality is pretty much non-existent for him, so he seems more than willing to metaphorically embrace Santa. But literally embrace Santa...not so much. I didn't want to deny him the opportunity to visit Santa so I told him last week that we could see Santa if he wanted. Pretty quickly, he became interested in the concept and said "I'm going to see Santa." But just a few days later, that sentence got lengthened to "I'm going to see Santa, and I'm not going anywhere near him."
So we took him to see Santa, asked if he wanted to proceed with the traditional sitting-on-Santa's-lap-while-mom-and-dad-pay-for-an-overpriced-picture experience. He replied that he did not. And that was the end of that... or maybe not... We were in the local indi book store on the Island when a man dressed totally like an old school Father Christmas (green tunic, crown, glittery beard, etc.) came wandering in. Silas clung to me but gradually started to talk to him and gave him his request (a firetruck, which has been his unchanged request ever since we started asking him). No pictures were taken and no money changed hands. It was a sweet moment.

And now, for your feature presentation:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Little Rabbit and the Christmas Forest

As promised in the last post, here are a few more pictures of the Little Rabbit hat, which I made for Silsas just before Thanksgiving.

And in other "Knitting for Silas" news, below are a few pictures of the Christmas Forests, which I've been working on for the past several months. Finished in time for December 1st, there is a puzzle piece hidden beneath each numbered tree. At the end of the 24 days, we'll be able to put our puzzle together. This was a lot of fun to make and it will surely be a part of our holiday celebrations for years to come. You can read more about it on my knitting blog HERE, and watch a video of Silas exploring it during my photo shoot HERE.

One more thing...A BIG birthday shout out to Papa. Happy Birthday! We love you :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 09 Book of the Month

Announcing Planet Silas’ December 09 Book of the Month:

Shall I knit you a hat? : a Christmas yarn / by Kate Klise ; illustrated by M. Sarah Klise.

When Mother Rabbit knits a warm winter hat for Little Rabbit, he likes it so much that he suggests they make hats for all of their friends as Christmas gifts.

Definitely at the top of our list of favorite picture books, this is a wonderful, colorful, knit-themed Christmas book, perfect for all of you knitting mamas out there. Another example of a book that I’d love to live in, Little Rabbit and his mother have such a caring and close relationship. They share carrot cake as well as hat-making ideas, and snuggle together on the couch of their cozy little home. Silas and I love to look at the pictures together, especially the winter market scenes, which are filled with an assortment of animals buying or selling all kinds of foods and holiday treats. I love that the Rabbits stay up late together making gifts for their friends, and I love that although the hats may be ridiculous, their recipients realize the value of the homemade hats, not just for their practical application, but because their friends cared enough to make each hat “especially for you” as Little Rabbit says.

At the back of the paperback edition, there is a pattern to make a hat like Little Rabbit’s, complete with bunny ears. How could I resist! Now I have my own Little Rabbit!

(I'll post a few more hat pictures later...)

Maybe if we’re very good boys and girls, the Rabbits will invite us to their house to celebrate Christmas with some tea and three pieces of carrot cake each! That’s what I want for Christmas this year:)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silas' List of Thankfulness 09

I asked Silas what he was thankful for, and the list below was his response. I think it's safe to say that he hasn't quite mastered the concept of thankfulness. The list isn't overly long because after a while, he grew tired of the activity and told me he wasn't thankful for anything anymore. One cannot force gratitude. Thankfully, outside of my asking outright what he's grateful for and expecting coherent responses, he does act grateful and tell us "thanks" even unprompted.

Silas' List of Thankfulness 09

Work (aren't a lot of people these days?)
Alphabet (letters l,m,n,o,p in particular)
Icky foods
Little superhero man
Icky people
Stinky pie
Dreams of horses

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks...and the House that Si Built

Just one image to share from thanksgiving...
Silas and I have spent a lot of time lately building houses out of blocks. Mainly, we work together, or as is often the case, he asks me to build a house for one of his little animal figurines, and I do so, with his input and additions. But the block house in this picture was built all by Silas with no help from anyone. He was very proud and wanted to share it with you, dear blog readers.

Thanksgiving was spent cooking (and eating of course), and on Friday we had several lovely social engagements. The rest of the weekend should be nice and quiet. Who knows, I may just update this blog again, or perhaps attend to my much neglected knitting blog...One thing that I'm hoping to still get to is Silas' List of Thankfulness 09. We did a list last year, meaning to start a tradition and well, I sort of forgot about it this year. It's not too late, right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back a bit

I was looking through photos trying to find something in particular and realized there were some from September that I'd meant to post, but never got around to. Without further ado, here they are.

Fences are for climbing in Silas' world.
A tree frog on the kiwi vine by our deck. Drew took this one.
Gone are the dandelions and the jacket-less outside playtime.
The rainy season is upon us...

I've got a few more "forgotten" pictures, which I'll post soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Currently, Silas' Halloween bulldozer is being used by his animal friends. "They're having Halloween!" he says as he pushes them around the living room.

And in other news, Si is only wearing trainers at night. Otherwise, it's all underwear all of the time. Woo-hoo! We switched Si's doctor this week (we're all going to the same family doctor now) and we really like her. Silas weighed in at 31 pounds and was 36 inches tall, which is pretty average for his age.

I know I haven't been updating as much lately, but that's just the way it is right now. I'm in a blog lull. I'm sure things will pick up again at some point. Till then, be well everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ABC Song Duet

Been meaning to post this for 2 weeks now...

Monday, November 9, 2009


Grandma/Papa/Silas pictures...taken with Grandma's camera.
Silas loves the little Ernie boat that Patrick got for him.
Having a good time with Papa:

Silas' banjo becomes whatever instrument he wants it to be. Most often, it's a guitar, but is also a stand-up bass, a cello, or as seen in the picture below, a violin:

The boys, making Si's bulldozer costume:
Making Halloween cookies with Grandma:
And that's that!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 09 Book of the Month

Introducing Planet Silas' November '09 Book of the Month:
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall ; pictures by Barbara Cooney.

Winner of the Caldecott Medal back in 1980, this is an oldie (relatively speaking), but a goodie. I picked up a copy at a library book sale recently and thought it might be something Silas would take interest in later on. I was wrong: He was interested in it immediately.

In this look at a farming family in 19th century New England, a father journeys 10 days to a coastal market town to sell the goods and food his family has made and grown over the course of a year. Through the items the man loads into his cart, we learn that the family spent March tapping sugar maples, and April spinning, knitting, and weaving the wool sheered from the sheep. We learn when each of the crops were planted, and that not even the feathers that fall from the geese are waisted. Each family member contributes and creates. When the ox-cart man returns from the market, he is without his cart and even his ox. But he has brought back a few simple items that will make the work that his family does that much easier. They quietly slip back into their simple rhythm: Cooking, candle making, whittling, planting, shearing. And the ox-cart man begins building a new cart for the young oxen in his barn.

As beautiful as this book is, both in words and pictures, I didn't expect Silas to take to it the way he has. He sits there quietly while it is read and studies the pictures. We talk about how the man had to walk because there were no cars or bikes. We talk about the fact that we still do some of the same things that that family does (like knitting and making things and growing food). Silas loves the pictures of Portsmouth the best and has told me that he's been there and in fact lives in one of the buildings pictured.

It is easy for a young child, whose entire day is spent in imaginative play, to place himself in such a book. But the mood of this book extends this sort of immersion to the far more closed and cynical minds of adults too. And it does it without you even realizing.

We will be coming back to this book often.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trick or treat or, better late than never

Again with the neglectant posting... It's November 5th and I'm finally catching up with a few more Halloween pictures.Trick or treating takes place downtown, where they close off the main street and all of the costumed kiddos gather to rake in the candy. Silas was super excited to wear his bulldozer. He took the whole thing very seriously.Since the costume was a bit cumbersome, we held onto his toolbox and collected the candy for him. There was actually only one item that he was truly excited to receive. And believe it or not, it was an apple (handed out at the grocery store). Nope, it wasn't candy that he begged me for for the rest of the day. It was that delicious red apple, which he got to eat for dessert. He really could have cared less for the several toolboxes worth of candy we collected. Not that he doesn't have a sweet tooth, mind you, but having never had that sort of candy before, he didn't think much of it or seem to care.
That night, we let him pick out three pieces to save and try some other time. The rest of the candy was taken by the Candy Fairy, and she was nice enough to leave him a little present in exchange (she was also nice enough to share a few pieces of candy with Silas' parents :)

Silas' friend O is dressed as a mushroom (hat conveniently attached to the stroller, she is more interested in S's bulldozer at the moment), and her parents went as gnomes:
Halloween wasn't all about trick-or-treating. That morning, we carved the Cinderella pumpkin we grew in the garden this summer.
Grandma, mom, and Silas all helped.
I bought Silas a safety knife and he quickly mastered it...
...with a bit of guidance.
Silas named the jack-o-lantern Spud and really seemed fond of him. On Monday, we asked if it would be okay for us to give Spud to the sheep to eat. I thought he might be resistant, but he said that was fine and, well, that was the end of Spud.

I'll have a few more pictures from my parents' visit, one of these days...