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Michael Tigchelaar • Zekar photography

Michael Tigchelaar • Zekar photography

ITS A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL: Little Peter Schuurman sits happily outside one of the buildings at Westfield Heritage Village near Rockton as his photo is snapped recently. Peter, who turns one on Jan. 4, was one of two winners in last year’s First Baby Contest in Flamborough.

Flamborough boys set to celebrate first birthdays

By Dianne Cornish
REVIEW STAFF

As the countdown begins for Flamborough’s first babies’ contest of 2013, last year’s winners are oblivious to all the excitement, happily enjoying their comfortable home surroundings after having hit several milestones over the past year.

Ryder Hackett-Thifault and Peter Anthony Schuurman, who will celebrate their first birthdays on Jan. 4, are eagerly exploring their world every day and mimicking the actions of their older sibling as they learn new skills, including the ability to share toys.

According to their parents, both are ‘typical’ little boys, overly boisterous at times but lovable.

Ryder, who took his first steps at 10 months and began walking just last Sunday, is “a very, happy little boy who copies everything Hunter (his older brother) does,” said his mom, Ashley, from their Waterdown home this week. She and her husband, Jamie, have watched him grow along with his three-year-old brother and are delighted with his progress.

At six or seven months, he began crawling on his hands and knees, opening up new adventures for him as he became much more mobile.

“Later, he perfected ‘the Mowgli,’ standing with hands on the floor and his bum up in the air,” his mom said with a laugh.

“He was late with teething,” his mom reported. “He didn’t get his first tooth until he was about nine months old.” But he’s got five now and three more are coming through.

Before he began teething, he was sleeping 10 to 12 hours every night, but he now sleeps between seven and eight hours nightly, his rest interrupted by the cutting of new teeth.

Ryder’s favourite possession is his Froggy blanket. “He sleeps with it every night,” said his mom. He has an adorable habit of blurting out baby talk as he sings himself to sleep.

The Hackett-Thifaults, candidly confide that things are not always peaceful. “We have our moments,” Ashley said. Hunter has a collection of Disney cars that he likes to line up on the floor and Ryder will often move some of the cars out of line, an action that doesn’t sit well with his big brother. But, “for the most part, they’re good together,” reports their mom.

With the boys’ birthdays coming so close together – Hunter’s on Jan. 2 and Ryder’s on Jan. 4 – it took some organizing to get the celebrations lined up, but it was decided that two parties, one on Dec. 29 and the other on Jan. 5, would be held to accommodate the holiday season and the arrival of out-of-town relatives. “We’ll be singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to both of them,” Ashley said.

At the Schuurman household in rural Flamborough, little Peter quickly won his way into the hearts of his mom, Marijke, his dad, Jeremy and his two-year-old sister, Megan. “He has been a welcome addition and we love him a lot,” said Marijke.  “We give thanks to God for blessing us with the gift of children,” she added.

Peter is “a pretty typical boy,” his mom said. “He’s a lot busier than his sister was, he definitely makes more noise and he’s very determined about things.” But, he also “likes to cuddle and just adores his sister.”

Whatever Megan does, Peter wants to do. When she plays with her dolls, he wants one, too, and happily Megan has no problem sharing her toys with him.

Peter began doing the “army crawl,” using both his arms to move around on the floor, when he was about seven months old. He progressed to the more traditional hands-and-knees crawl when he was nine months old. Recently, while the family was vacationing in Myrtle Beach, he began to walk, using the furniture to steady his steps.

“He knows what he wants; he just goes for it,” his mom said, noting their young son also has a healthy curiosity. “We call him curious George. He likes to go everywhere and see everything.”

Peter began teething at six months and now has eight teeth. His first birthday will be marked with a joint celebration as many of his cousins also have their birthdays in January.

The Schuurmans and Hackett-Thifaults feel blessed to have two healthy and happy children and both couples say they plan to add to their families in the future. “We both come from a family of five, so we’re used to bigger families,” said Marijke. Ashley, who was stricken with morning sickness throughout her pregnancies, said she still wants to have more children. “The reward is worth the nine months,” she said.

• • •

The Flamborough Review is once again hosting its First Baby Contest, which will award the first two babies born to Flamborough parents in 2013 a slew of prizes.

To enter the contest, the mothers and/or fathers of the first two New Year’s Babies must contact the Flamborough Review office (905-689-2003) and provide written proof of the exact date and time of birth, hospital and a signature with the name of physician. Parents must live within the boundaries of Flamborough. The contest will be open until Jan. 18, 2013 (longer if necessary) at 5 p.m. Winners’ parents will be given a letter of certification by The Flamborough Review which they must present to the listed businesses in order to collect their prizes. The new families will be featured in a future edition of the Flamborough Review. The first baby born will be awarded Prize Package A valued at $270:  Tim Hortons, Royal Bank, Fortinos, Bill’s Auto, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Greensville Gourmet. The second baby born will be awarded Prize Package B valued at $230: Tim Hortons, Scotiabank, Parkside Chiropractic Clinic, Jay’s Auto, Dairy Queen, Swiss Chalet,  County Ag, Gator Ted’s. (See the advertisements of the participating sponsors for more details). No purchase necessary. Employees of the Metroland and sponsors, as well as members of their household or immediate family are not eligible for this contest.

For full contest details click here.

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