Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Through Photos

Started by making cards and pictures for family members.

Then Rob took the kids to Loblaws to make a gingerbread house - an annual tradition.

Put up the tree together. It was a lot of fun. The kids went over each and every ornament, reminiscing about Christmas' past before it went on the tree. Listening to some old fashioned holiday music and drinking egg nog, it felt like a moment taken right out of a Jimmy Stewart movie. A lovely day!

Did some baking...started with the fudge and chocolate peanut butter confetti...yummm!

Went bowling with a few other homeschool families.

Made ornaments at a Ceramics Studio.

Had the in-laws over for a big turkey dinner.

Went to a homeschool Christmas piano recital with our closest hs friends. Alex played Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Izzy and her buddy E goofing off a bit at the recital.

Took Aunt Kelly out to pick up a new car. Pretty Mini.

Picked Izzy up a new bed at Ikea. We are coming closer to fulfilling our destiny by furnishing the entire house by Ikea. We'll need a plaque by the front door soon. This home and all its furnishings brought to you by...

First night in her big girl bed.

A Christmas Eve tradition. We head out that morning to Rob's company kids party, have lunch at East Side Maris, grab an early afternoon train and come home to a nice surprise. One of Santa's elves delivers an early present, a new pair of pyjamas, an ornament for each child to put on the tree and a new game.

This year they scored with 2 sets of pyjamas and The Amazing Animal Trivia Game. Santa must have sensed the need for pjs that fit. Later that night, before bed, we leave Santa his cookies (one from each child) and some water. We also sprinkle some special sparkly oats outside for the reindeer.

Christmas morning was a happy one. There was Lego, a Leapster, some Strawberry Shortcake toys and a whack of stuff for the Wii. We ate homemade Belgian waffles with whip cream and strawberries for breakfast. A lovely red wine broth fondue for supper.

Boxing Day was another treat. Aunt Kelly stayed with the kids while we had a night out. There was dinner at a restaurant and a movie. Avitar. I was a little disappointed in the movie but, then, it really isn't my kind of movie anyway. We booked a suite with a Whirlpool tub and had a whole night to ourselves. It was a glorious treat for me after running around and working so hard over Christmas.

Unfortunately (and fortunately) my phone died while we were out. Just a week ago, the man at the Corporate Plan Telus office remarked that he was surprised to see my LG Chocolate phone still working after nearly 3 years. If he had actually touched it I would have sworn he broke it for me, lol. Since we got rid of our land line last year it was imperative that I got a replacement right away.

I finally got to pick up **my baby** :-)

I have wanted one of these from the day Steve Jobs showed it to the world. I love, love, love my iPhone. Rob and I each grabbed one and let me say, we are addicted to them. I even have to fight them away from the kids. I now can't even fathom how I survived without one before now, lol!

We took a short road trip to see my brother and the kids. More presents. More great food.

It was a good Christmas.

Now I am off to ready the family for a New Year's party with the neighbours. I hope everyone out there had a lovely holiday too. Happy New Year to you all!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blabbering On

I was thinking over my last post and how it was too hard to articulate what is going on in my head sometimes. I think it boils down to mother-daughter relationships and how strange and awesome it is to see how my role with Izzy evolves.

I didn't have a good relationship with my mother. Lets just say that there were many generations of females on that side of the family who just plain sucked at being mothers, sisters, daughters...

When I found out I was expecting a girl the second time around it kind of threw me for a loop. The first few years of her life are pretty typical of life with a young child. Nothing particularly noteworthy. Now she has blossomed into a little girl and looks to me as her model of what a woman is. Yikes.

So there are times when she mimics me or when she looks up to me when I am surprised and wonder a little what to do next. We are very, very close and I love that. It is a new world for me. I pined for a good mother-daughter relationship. Coveted those that belongs to my friends. It is amazing, surprising and weird to be part of one now. It makes me just want to stick her in a bubble and keep life as perfect as I can for her.

So yesterday, when we were at the hospital and I let my mind wander into the far off future I think I was a little shocked to think I could be a big part of it. To think she may want or need me around! There is a ton of history I just don't post about but it obviously clouds my thoughts. There are so many of us without mothers - either lost through death or by being emotionally and mentally incapable of parenting.

Gah...I am getting all emotional now. You know, I never think twice about how much I love and adore my son. Stupid childhood baggage! I wonder if I will ever stop being surprised at how good I have it now?

I was told more than a few times when I was pregnant that a girl was a good thing. That I was meant to have her in my life. That I needed her in my life. True, true, true! I have never been so happy that we accidentally got pregnant after deciding to have an only child.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Being Thankful

I had a moment today where I just felt eternally grateful for having such healthy and happy children. I know so much is out of my hands as a parent but I just have such gratitude right now I just had to write it down.

Today Izzy went to the hospital for an echo-cardiogram. The doctor heard a murmur that is probably nothing but she thought Izzy should have out-grown. To be safe, our doctor ordered some tests. I am not worried. I am pretty zen about this stuff in general - not alarmist at all. Izzy was scared but soon realized how simple the test was. The only "problem" with having healthy children is that they only see a doctor once a year for check-ups and doctors/hospitals are scary unknown entities.

She was a trooper though. She hopped on the bed and I held her hand. She would look at me and we'd squeeze each other's fingers as code. She looked so tiny on the bed. Unnatural. I hated seeing her on one, even though it was just for a simple test. It certainly made me stop and think about how lucky I am. My niece and nephew have had many medical issues and surgeries.

We watched her heart on the monitor and I had this surge of emotion jolt through my body. It took me back to those days I watched her on the ultrasound in my womb. There were many opportunities. I think I had 14 ultrasounds...excessive but there were some other issues at play. Back then I could just watch that perfect little body with that perfect beating heart forever. It was beautiful. Today was beautiful too but I felt more protective this time. Like I wished I could stop time and have her keep her perfect, healthy little body forever. I had this insatiable need to take her home and feed her leafy greens and carrots. I guess it hit me that she will grow and age and some day die. Man this sounds awful but I didn't feel this in a negative, morbid sort of way. It was more of a profound wish to have her grow up healthy and strong and live to see her great-grandbabies.

This might be because she is a girl. And because I just had my physical too. She was so obstinate at her check-up a few days ago that my internal voice was thinking 'suck it up buttercup - one of the joys of being a woman is being poked and prodded' and my mind keeps moving forward thinking about the foundations I set for her now and how they will affect the future. Having just finished up my reproductive stint it hit me that I can't protect my girl from the future. Not that I really want to. She will experience her period, pap smears, and hopefully if she chooses, motherhood. I can't do these things for her - keep the pain or fear away.

I am rambling now. It was just such a mixed bag of thoughts today.

I Should be Sleeping

Believe it or not, I still have a sore throat! It must be an infection. It has lasted too long and is bugging my right ear too.

Anyway, I have a million things to do tomorrow. It is payday and with Christmas in a week and some family heading this way for turkey on the weekend I have much to do. Like actually buy a turkey.

So tomorrow I will be dragging the kids around to many busy stores. They have a haircut squeezed in there too. I am sure they will be soooo pleasant when it is all said and done. The deal is that if they are relatively good while mommy bores them to death spending the day getting in and out of the car, then we can go to this Chinese buffet that they love. Rob has another late night (and another lunch out - dim sum, one of the perks of working downtown Toronto is weekly meals out with the colleagues at fab restaurants) so it will just be the three of us. Unfortunately we are getting used to evenings without daddy. I can't wait for this project to end!

Thankfully most of the important shopping is done but the tiny details just keep adding to my to-do list.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Girls V. Boys?

Printing, writing, colouring? Are these all things where girls are just naturally more proficient? Izzy will, through her own initiative, sit down and compose something for someone. Alex has to be bribed, cajoled or threatened into it. Already Izzy's penmanship surpasses Alex's but what is more amazing to me is the way she strives to learn new things. She is pretty good at capital letters but still writes lower case so she will be better at that.

We haven't done much in the way of school work lately. I feel bad, I think, because I don't feel that bad. Go figure. Actually, that isn't totally true. We have lapsed with the oral reading but mommy had the cold from hell and still feels congested so reading to the kids was tantamount to torture. Thankfully Alex is such a good reader but even he has been spending more time on the Wii than in front of a good book.

Not that much will change in the next few weeks. Life is busy and we are having too much fun to slow down and do math right now. That is what the terrible dead of winter is for. Getting stuck in the house and catching up on...everything.

Bowling Party!

We met up with 3 other families this morning at a local bowling alley. Something fun for the kids to do, where we could all socialize and have a little fun. I think it went over pretty well.

There were 4 boys and 4 girls. The boys team were a sight to see. They would walk up the lane together, encourage each other, console each other. Real team spirit! The girls spent more time wondering when they were up again. They were the younger set though, with two 3 year olds, a 4 year old and a 6 year old.

Moms played one lane at the very end. I was horrible. Bowled a 55. I think I should just stick to Wii Bowling instead.

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Funny!

Poor Macy Cat! She is being tormented by a couple of very brazen squirrels nesting in the tree behind the house. This one was hysterical. It came right up to the patio window and was just staring at all of us. A few minutes later Macy sauntered into the room and noticed her nemesis crouching in on her territory. The poor squirrel was frightened into moving down one step - ha, ha!

It is quite entertaining. They mimic the cat when they see her, driving her even battier and we all get a real kick out of it. My poor indoor cat just doesn't know what to do with them. Thankfully the glass separates them because I am pretty sure Macy wouldn't stand a chance against these little critters.

When One Day Stands Out from all the Rest

Yesterday was one of those days.

The house is clean and that has a calming effect on all of us. I tend to be cluttered and my house reflects that. So when I woke up, I could do pretty much anything I wanted without having to tidy first. We decided that after some piano and math, we would turn on the Christmas music, decorate the tree, start the baking and break in the new Wii Fit Plus disc.

I felt like I was in some sappy holiday movie. Izzy was so happy and helpful that I wondered more than a few times that day if she had been switched by aliens. We took our time with the tree, going over each and every ornament. We have amassed quite a collection. Each year Santa brings them a new one that reflects a little about who they were that year. They remember some of the ornaments and anticipate seeing them again and placing them on the tree. Alex is hysterical. Sometimes it is like he walked out of a Dicken's novel, saying things like, "I am delighted to help you mommy..." and "...these cookies and eggnog are scrumptious!"

It was beautiful. We were just missing Rob, only not really as he doesn't appreciate this sappy Christmas feeling like the rest of us. The tree twinkled all day long and we sang old fashion Christmas songs. I made the fudge and some cookies. We reminisced about holidays past and then made tacos for supper. That was the only glitch in the day. The kids felt tacos were not really Christmas'y or festive. Well, everything can't be perfect.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I just wanted a dusting!

Of snow, that is! With Christmas being a few weeks away I have been craving a little snow. A light blanket, you know, for aesthetic purposes to get me in the mood for the holidays. I grew up in Northern Ontario and, at least twenty-some-odd years ago we had snow from Halloween til Spring. Here you see blow-up Snowmen on grassy green lawns. It just seems wrong.

Well snow came today. Lots of it. Wet, slushy stuff too. I got up to clear the driveway while Rob showered. Alex wanted to come out but after two minutes my head was soaked and I kept him in the house. Wet snow weighs a ton! I was worried that weather station called for snow, turning to ice and rain, then melting only to freeze again over night. God, I love Southern Ontario (insert eye roll here). Our driveway slopes and I hate that jolting feeling when you hit the ice.

I cleared it all up and Rob walked out the door only to come back in 5 minutes later. Ice pellets were pinging him in the face while he waited for the bus that never showed to take him to the train station. He wound up working from home. I still had to schlep the kids to their annual check-up with the doctor. The parking lot was under a foot of slushy water. We grabbed a few groceries to come home and hunker down for the rest of the day. Doubt we'll leave the house tomorrow anyway.

I can't complain like my fellow Canadians out in Alberta right now with record lows of -40 before wind chill. That would suck too. I love snow. Can handle snow storms. I just hate the snow, melt, freeze, melt, freeze, snow again thing we have going on here in our neck of the woods. I should be used to it by now. Crazy area we live in. No snow this November (first time since 1937) but a white Christmas, probably. Wouldn't be surprised at all if we were back to fall jackets in January.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Man, I need sleep badly!

I an [thisclose] to heading off to a hotel. Or I would be if Rob wasn't working insane hours and weekends.

Still sick. Just down to a sore throat and cough that can get so bad I am surprised I haven't blown out my tonsils or adenoids yet. So laying down - not easy.

On top of being sick and miserable, Izzy has not slept through the night in months. She wakes up 2 or 3 times each night and comes in the room either crying or making demands. Rob does his best to field her problems but she wants me. One night, after having been up with her for hours, I pretended to be asleep while he took care of her and she just shoves past him yelling for me and smacking my foot to wake me up.

I hope this gets better soon. Sleep deprivation is a killer for me and it is only a matter of time before I snap. I can survive on less sleep than I should but then I am so lethargic and moody. Last night I finally fell asleep on the couch around 1am, trying to sleep sitting up while hacking up a lung and half an hour later she comes down the stairs crying, wanting to sleep with me. Too tired to put up a fight, I let her crawl in behind me and I had another terrible night's sleep with Miss Iz kicking me in her sleep and rolling me off the couch.

So today I am so exhausted. I can barely move and I just want to crash.

Tonight Alex has to go caroling at a senior's centre with the other cub scouts and Rob emailed me telling me how cruddy he is today. All I ask for is a light at the end of this tunnel. I am pretty sure that when she is 16 Izzy won't be barging into my room all through the night. And, hopefully by then, this H1N1 will have passed through my system too.