Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Day After.

Christmas has come and gone. We've eaten the turkey, and the "Christmas lasagne", we've opened our presents and played with our new toys; now we're just wallowing in the satiated aftermath.

I received some rather nice gifts (I'm looking at you, scrapbook kit), and I wouldn't usually show favouritism like this, I must admit, but I do have a top three:

1. Beege saying to me, on Christmas eve, "You're the best Mummy ever, and I love you more than anything!"

2. Kee (my terminally un-snuggly girl) crawling into my bed, giving me a kiss and then sharing her blanket with me for a half hour cuddle.

3. (Last, but most certainly not least) A gift certificate from my parents for babysitting from "Friday, after school to Sunday after dinner" on the weekend of our anniversary.

There is a large portion of Christmas that has been lost in a flurry of wrapping paper and over-excited children, but there were some moments that stand out in my memory. [Tomorrow my family is leaving me for a few days (for Christmas take three) so I'll even have a chance to write about them!]

I hope your celebration was as nice as mine!


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Santa Thing.

We don't really make a big deal about Santa in our house. We don't go to see him, but we do leave a snack out for him. We don't use him as a threat to make the kids behave, but we do use him to get them into bed on Christmas Eve.

Beege told me the other day that she believes in him because she's had the "empirical evidence" of snacks being eaten and lists being fulfilled.

(The fact that Santa prefers chocolate milk and those yummy Peak Freans cookies with the fruit jelly in the middle, just like Mummy, hasn't come under scrutiny yet.)

Armed with this belief, Beege writes her letter to Santa every year. It's pretty much been the same list since she started writing it. The only difference is that now she writes it herself:

Desember 2011.19
Dear Santa,
I want some new vidio games, new movies, new cudly toys and new games. Merry Christmas!
from, Beege


Kee hasn't been in on the letter to Santa thing up to this point, but this year, she wanted to write one too*:

Dear Santa,
How are you? I hope you are having a nice Christmas. My name is Kee. I would like a snowglobe for a present if you have one.
Thank you,
Kee

Last night, when Beege found out that I hadn't written one, she wrote one for me, just to make sure Santa didn't forget me:

December 22 2011
Dear Santa,
I would like an art kit, a knitting kit, some thread, some ribbon and some new paints. I also want some more money to help me do something. Merry Christmas.
from,
Jessica

When I asked her what the "something" I wanted money for was, she explained it was to buy a house.

If you bring me a house, Santa, I promise that I will leave you whatever kind of snack you want.





*As dictated to Mummy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Twas the Night Before the Night Before the Night Before Christmas.

Somewhere, in amongst the vast amounts of loose papers that get sent home, there was a notice regarding the school's holiday assemblies. I mean, I think there was; I never saw it, but I'm assuming that we get notices about these kinds of things.

So yesterday, when I picked up Beege and her teacher "reminded" me about it, and the fact that she was supposed to wear black pants and a red shirt, I had no idea what she was talking about. Luckily for me, Beege doesn't exactly care whether something is technically clean. Usually, I would insist on doing some laundry, but right now I am so tired that I didn't bother.

Oddly enough, nothing happened.

By which I mean that not only did she not burst into flames when she started singing, but no one noticed or commented on my daughter's lack of freshly laundered clothes. It was liberating. I may never do laundry again.

Unless things are stained. Or smelly. Okay, I guess I'll still do laundry.

The concert was that lovely mix of awkward and adorable that you get at grade school shows. My daughter was, of course, all adorable.

While my plan had been to sit as near to the door as possible so I would be able to make a quick escape, we ended up way on the other side of the gym in the front row. So I am thrilled to announce that my rebellious intestines gave me a break, there were no coughing fits and I only had to blow my nose like a foghorn once.

Kee even stayed beside me the entire time; although I did have to fork over the camera to get her to stop asking "can we go home now?" over and over.

There are 75 more pictures almost exactly like this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reprieve.

Okay. So... I freaked out a little.

In recent years we (the husband and I) had decided that Christmas eve and morning would be a (nuclear) family only occasion. We would wear our pajamas, we would act silly, we would not tidy. We would enjoy each other, and the prospect of not having to do dishes.

A visitor* would mean changes. A visitor would mean I'd feel obligated to clean the bathroom. I would feel like we shouldn't use paper plates on Christmas. I would feel like I had to put a bra on.

There are just some people that I have trouble being myself in front of; and it was one of those people who was going to land on my doorstep on Christmas eve. Sitting in a corner, biting my tongue and trying not to be noticed isn't really my idea of a merry Christmas.

Apparently, Via Rail also prefers more than a week's notice from Christmas travelers; tickets have been sold out for weeks. There will be no visitor.

*exhale*

Of course, I feel like a total jerk for my immediate panic on hearing that she would be coming. And my tears of relief upon hearing that she wasn't.

So it's only right that instead, I shall be visited by the plague.

As long as I don't end up in the hospital**, or cleaning vomit out of my ear, I'm calling it a win.



*I hasten to say that while this particular visitor would have unsettled me more than most, I would rather not have ANYONE over on Christmas. Call me greedy, but I want a couple of days all to myself.
**Christmas 2010.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Surpriiiiiiiiiiiise!

Yesterday, I felt like I was almost ready for Christmas.

All the shopping is done, except stocking stuffers and yams. The things that I haven't finished making are all in progress. The two things that I haven't started making have all the details worked out in my head, which is really the most difficult part; it's messy in there.

Of course, now I'm sick. And so are the girls. But we're not really sick, we're just that annoying kind of sick that doesn't need to lay down but walks around all prickly and oversensitive. There is a lot of hacking and nose blowing. I foresee a lot of crying in the next few days.

I feel as though someone has been beating me while I sleep. Everything is sore and someone has filled my head with cotton; I can hardly think. That in itself isn't so awful. I mean, we were going to rest over the holidays anyway. We've gone to some lengths to keep things calm and relaxed. I'll still be sitting around wrapped in a blanket, I'll just be having NeoCitran instead of hot chocolate. Not the end of the world.


So throw in a house guest. Who we didn't actually invite, but who it's kind of impossible to just flat out say no to. A house guest who doesn't actually like me.

We are going to have someone come and stay with us - from Christmas eve to boxing day - in our tiny apartment. Our tiny apartment that doesn't even have room for the four of us. We don't have a proper bathroom door. We leave our bedroom door open at night in case the girls call us. There is no privacy available in this apartment.

As I have previously complained, there is absolutely no storage in this place. We store extra toilet paper and diapers beside the couch. We have to keep our dirty laundry in the living room. Piles of fabric taking up half of the available seating. We've got boxes waiting to go to Goodwill, baskets of laundry waiting to be folded, and a giant box of felt all lined up behind the couch. First thing you see when you open the door. Not to mention we lost previously available space to the tree.

When I said we were going to have to find some place to move it all, my husband asked me why. I swear to god, if he'd been closer to me, I might have punched him in the head.

So. Long story short: Instead of quiet time enjoying my family in my pajamas, I will be uncomfortable and stressed in my own house for Christmas.

I'd probably better go scrub a floor now.

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Malls For Me!

I love Christmas. I love almost everything about it. I love the music and the lights and the cheesy movies*. I love dedicating (at least!) a few days to doing nothing with my family.

One of the things that I don't love however is the commercialism. The idea that you HAVE to get this toy or that game. The commercials, the malls, the shopping, the rush, the stress. I could do without all that.

So this year, I decided I would.

Sort of.

While I hate shopping, I do love giving gifts. Especially gifts that I've put some thought and time into; so I decided to (try to**) make all my gifts this year. Which, I suppose, is a different kind of stress, but I get to feel a warm, satisfied glow as I look at the little pile of gifts under my tree.

It's actually going pretty well, but it does present a problem. I'm spending a lot of time making things. I want to post pictures. I want to post tutorials. I think that a couple of people I know might actually read my blog though.


I can post this picture of our lovely Gingerbread tent.

For now, I'll leave you with a few links to some good tutorials in case you're in need of ideas for those last few people on your list.

Here ya go:

Great for sticking in a stocking, some quick and easy hand warmers.

50 homemade gift ideas from Mr. and Mrs. Not Made of Money.

Some last minute ideas from Homemade Gifts Made Easy.

A tutorial (that made me laugh out loud) for a re-usable coffee cosy.
A couple more in-depth tutorials if you'd like a more polished looking coffee cup sleeve, one from Fiskars, and one from House on Hill Road.





*There are a few notable exceptions: The Jim Carrey Grinch, and Four Christmases, and The Christmas Shoes, to name a few. I can't help it if I prefer my Christmas movies to be heartwarming.
**No matter how hard I try, I still haven't been able to make an Xbox game.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Random Selection.

When Kee and I go to the library, I don't really have a chance to browse. In the interests of preserving my sanity, and avoiding scathing looks from the other patrons, we tend to head straight to the children's section. Once there, we can spend as much as an hour selecting 8 page board books, playing with the (likely germ infested) toys, and harassing strange children.

Do I complain? No. Heavens, no.

When it comes time for Mummy's book selection, however, I'd better be less than five minutes, or the whining begins. Luckily, our library has a section on the way out where they display a selection of seemingly random books.

They may be new releases or something, I don't know. I should read the sign next time.

Anyway.

Usually, since I haven't heard of any of the books on display, I just grab something that doesn't look horrible. And really, I'll read almost anything*, so I'm generally happy with whatever I end up with.

Yesterday, I decided it would be interesting to let Kee pick my books for me.


So. From left to right: A book about a pink girl who likes cats. A whole book about SHOES! And last but not least, the story of a purple princess with a gold hula hoop, whose head hurts.

While not exactly random, - she did have reasons, after all - I may have found my new book selection method. We'll see, after I've read them. I am a little curious about what exactly is wrong with that princess' head.



*Except The Lord of the Rings. I just can't. I've tried. I'm sorry.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beege at Five.

Since Beege was old enough to have opinions, I've been asking her some questions on her birthday; Kind of an exit interview for the year. Anything important you want to remember? Any new things you want to try?

The intention is to write this information out neatly, add her school picture for the year and then a sentence about any important highlights from the year.

"Scrapbooking," I believe it's called.

I used to do things like scrapbooking. I used to make all my own Christmas cards. I used to see friends. I used to actually leave the house...

Anyway. Sidetracked.

I haven't actually managed to get a single one of these interviews glued down on a pretty piece of paper. I fully intend to though. It would certainly help if I would write everything down in the same place, instead of (as I did this year) on the back of a scrap piece of paper that was also used to write out a Chinese food order.

However, because I am as brilliant as I am disorganised, this year, I'm going to blog it.

Brilliant, right? Not only do I have it written down somewhere that it won't go through the laundry, I get a post out of it! High five!

**********

Beege: Last Day of Five.

Favourites:
Colour: Purple! [with eye roll, indicating ridiculousness of the question.]
Food: Pizza. But, ordered pizza. From Pizza Pizza. Not from the freezer.
Board game: Candyland.
Movie: Only the most hilariousest movie in the house... Despicable Me!
Thing to do: Read a book.
Book: I don't know.
Song: I don't know.
Toy: I don't know.
Day of the week: I don't know!

Anything special you want to remember about this year?: Being a black cat for halloween. Going to mini golf for my birthday; it was super fun.

Antything you're looking forward to for next year? MAD SCIENCE!*

Anything else you'd like to say about this year?
I love Daddy, I love Mummy, I love Kee... I love everyone I know.

************

A few things I'd like to add: You love school. You think of everyone you meet as a new friend. You're learning to be more patient with your sister, which I know can be hard. You are overflowing with hugs and snuggles. I get angry with you sometimes when you're acting silly because you're so smart that it's easy to forget that you're only six. OHMYGOD, YOU'RE ALREADY SIX!! No matter how old you get, in the back of my mind, superimposed on the strong, beautiful, AMAZING person you are becoming, will be that sweet smelling baby I held for the first time. Love you.

**********

Now, when I'm doing this again next year, I'll be able to look back and reminisce about how I never got this one done properly.

Ahh, technology.


*I feel pretty strongly that our kids have more than enough stuff, so for her birthday we're sending Beege to Mad Science: Extraordinary Laboratory. It's once a week for eight weeks and they do a different experiment each time; I'm almost as excited as she is.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Funny Girl: Redux.

Kee's been on a rhyming kick lately; she'll just rattle off words (and not words) that rhyme while she's doing something else. She's really pleased when she stumbles upon actual words that rhyme.

All this rhyming has also kicked up her joke telling a notch. For a while there, it was all "knock knock" jokes; her favourite being "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?" [Yes, for the love of god, don't ever say "banana" again!]

She has now moved on to what did the ________ say to the _______? Most of the time, instead of trying to come up with something for whatever the item was to say, she'll yell "NOTHING! ______s don't talk!"

Have you ever watched Wild Kratts? It's not a bad show; educational, and much easier to deal with than Zaboomafoo. Wild Kratts is one of Kee's very favourite shows.


They call each other "Bro" all the time.

So, I suppose this was inevitable.

Kee: What does a bro say to a hoe?
Me:...
Kee: WHAT DOES A BRO SAY TO A HOE?
Me:...
Kee: [agitated] MUMMY!! WHAT DOES A...
Me: I don't know, honey, what?
Kee: [dissolving into giggles] Nothing! Bros don't talk!

Which, really? Sort of funny.



Sometimes, it's not just deja vu.

Mini Golf is Better in The Dark.

So, Nablopomo is officially over - several days ago, in fact - and of course, I feel like I'm neglecting my blog again. Not that I managed to post EVERY day like I meant to, but 26 is pretty darn good from where I'm sitting. Which is at my computer. For the first time in a few days.

So. Beege is going to be six years old tomorrow. I'm still surprised.

We took the girls to glow-in-the-dark mini golf over the weekend to celebrate, and they both loved it. Kee calls it "little hockey". She didn't quite get it, but she's three; give the kid a break. A bit of advice for you; if you're taking a three year old to play mini golf, you might as well not even get a club for yourself because someone is going to need to chase her around.

There were also a number of arcade games for us to waste our money on, which they loved. Kee took a liking to the claw game - you play until you win - so we have a new collection of demented stuffed vegetables to love. Beege actually won one of the BIG prizes out of the claw machine. You know, the ones that lure you to the machine but nobody ever wins? She got a big, weird, crooked, kind of creepy, stuffed purple cat.


[Strange fact about me: I hate loud noises, flashing lights and crowds... but I LOVE arcades. I don't get it either.]

The only damper on the day was that the birthday girl had picked IKEA to have her birthday lunch at. Don't ask me; the kid loves IKEA. Of course, she only likes the macaroni, and for some reason, this location didn't have any. (They did have coconut-curry soup, which seemed a little weird for IKEA, but okay.) There were some tears, but she accepted McDonalds as a substitute, once I promised her ice cream.

Now I have to figure out what kind of treat I can send in to a class with one kid allergic to nuts, two kids allergic to eggs, one allergic to milk, and one with a gluten intolerance.

I'm thinking pencils.

So, don't expect to hear from me tomorrow, I'll be too busy dancing with my daughter.