Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

Dear Claire,
     Well honey, you are a full-on toddler now.  With opinions, and demands, and your own way of doing things.  Sometimes I look at you and wonder how you could be so different from me in just about every way.  You are assertive, strong, capable, and so sure of yourself.  And there are instances I remember of seeing you about to do something that would have terrified me.  But you step back, swallow, and approach situations with such courage that, instead of swooping in to save you from a random kid bumping you on the playground or your swim teacher letting go of you in the deep end of the pool, I sit still and watch you react with strength, in complete awe.
     And your dad and I treat you like you're the best thing since sliced bread.  We used to joke all the time that we can't say "no" to you, but it's becoming a problem.  Not because you're getting spoiled...okay, well you are rather spoiled...but because we've gone too far to turn back now.  It was our fault, we treated you like another one of our nieces since the day you were born, and I hope you don't hate us for it.  You really have a great life - every weekend is a party with our cousins, whom you absolutely adore.  You ask to watch Spiderman every day, and what once was a comic hero I thought I loved...well his one-liners can get annoying.  Especially when you quote them.  In response to damn near everything I say.  I would say you are a daddy's girl, but I think it's more that DP is a Claire's-daddy.  You have him wrapped around your finger.
     Some of your other favourite things are Starbucks cake pops, meatballs for dinner, anything pink, all the songs from Frozen, skirts, being tickled at bedtime, listening to your radio, having sleepovers, YouTube shows, and play doh.  You also like pretending to be a cat but I'm trying to shut that down before it becomes a thing.  You don't like to go to church with me on Sundays and I don't force you, I figure you like staying in pyjamas with dad, and you don't like it when I pick out your clothes for you either.
     You are extremely smart.  You can recognize colours, letters, and numbers.  You pick up songs and prayers after only a few times hearing them.  You love the water and can already float front and back, and your gymnastic tumbles are on point.  Gigi is teaching to do head stands and bridges, and you're getting quite good at those too.  You are quick to apologize and have a sympathetic nature. 
     Everyone compliments your hairstyle but despite that, you want to grow it out.  You want long hair like your cousins, and like Queen Elsa, and I don't blame you one bit. 
     You've taught me so much about being a mother, about being a human.  I am more relaxed of a person, less stressed, I laugh more.  I leave dishes in the sink and play with you on evenings.  I try not to clean up under you while you're playing but I'm still working on that one.  I think I've taught you some things too.  You have excellent manners, are clean, and value family.  You are extremely loving, and giving of hugs and kisses.  And helpful, you love to cook and I trust you cracking eggs and stirring food in pots.  I trust you to rinse dishes and load the dishwasher.  On nights we don't cook, you and I go out to eat, it's become our thing.  You like wings just like I do.  And cheeseburgers.  Everyone says you're a great eater, you get that from me too!
     I can't wait for the year to come, to love you more than I already do, which seems impossible.  To go on more family outings, all four or five or six of us, depending on which cousins of yours we have that weekend.  And to have more parties!

Love,
Mom
P.S. After resisting/correcting you on calling me "mom" it seems I've come to like the sound of it.  I gave up trying to get you to call me "aunty" also.  Mom it is.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Week After

For the first time in forever (did anyone else just sing that?) I took off the week after Christmas instead of the week of.  And can I just say that I am hooked?  Christmas was over, there was no shopping to do, or wrapping, or trying to conserve money, or trying to maintain obligations to people, or stress.  I kept the girls with me for a week and we literally acted like Ladies Who Lunch.  Every morning we would get up and go thru the Starbucks drive-thru in our pyjamas, come home to play with Christmas presents, shower at some point, go meet DP for lunch at a casual restaurant near his work where I would order a bloody mary, then come home and watch movies for the rest of the evening.  It was luxurious.  And we did this every day!  Okay well except for the one that I had housekeepers come and clean my house, because Ladies Who Lunch don't clean their homes themselves, and we went to my dad's house to do science projects.


 

 
Other than that, one night we went to the drive-in for the Chipmunks movie. I was worried it would be cold, but about halfway thru the movie our windows fogged up and the kids started peeling off their sweat-tops. Another night I got tipsy and ordered a table and chair set for the playroom from Amazon, so we waited for it all the next day and then put it together so they could colour and do play doh without being visible to me.  On NYE, the kids all had a sleepover party at my cousin's house, while DP and I stayed home enjoying peace and quiet.  Here are some pictures from the week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And seeing the pictures, yes I realize it looks like all the pictures were taken on the same day, but in reality, there was a lot less showering than I alluded to above. What? We were on vacation! And Gigi REALLY loves her moustache sweater.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Day

We slept in on Christmas morning after partying at my dad's until 2am the previous night.  So when I opened my eyes and saw it was 8am, I kind of panicked.  So I got everyone up and went downstairs to wait for Claire.  As she walked down the stairs and saw her present from Santa, I caught a glimpse of the childlike glee that the small window of time spent actually believing in Santa allows.  It was indeed magical. 

 
 
She had a blast opening all her other presents - a baby, feeding set, and playpen - as well as her stocking that was filled with candy, stickers, walkie-talkies, card games, and Shopkins. We went to Christmas Mass in matching red plaid dresses, then to my parents' for the presents from them and from us to the kids.



 
The kids made a killing, and so did Claire.  She got a hot potato and a couple of matching games, a set of Frozen dolls, a Queen Elsa Barbie, a Belle baby, and a new princess dress.  DP got a shirt and tie and I got a box of treats.  Literally.



My dad had wrapped me everything individually!  Like rolled cookies, fuzzy socks, fancy hot chocolate, summer sausage and good mustard, roasted almonds, new wine glasses, etc.  My mom gets me workout clothes every year and I was happy to see some hot pink.  That's going to be colour for 2016.

After that we went to my in-laws for dinner.  Well it was like 2pm, but boy were we ready to eat.  She made a mashed potato bar which my dad loved, and my mom and I sat with my mother in law picking at the ham and drinking large glasses of wine.  The highlight of the visit though, was Fiori's Christmas present from me.  "Riley."


 Oh yeah, and DP making necklaces with the kids. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Rewind

Christmas Eve was at my dad's house.  My mom went to visit family in Vancouver for that night so my dad cooked and entertained.  It was different, but good.  Gigi had some anxiety about it all beforehand which my mom helped quell before she left, so other than that everything went smoothly. 

Early that day I had gone over to put together Claire's santa present, since I had it delivered there and wanted it done so I wouldn't have to spend another Christmas Eve up until morning putting stuff together. Plus DP was working most of the day so I needed something to do. Or maybe just after 3 years I finally learned something!  My dad was cooking and the house smelled amazing.

 
 
 
Around 4pm we all got dressed; the girls looked precious in their sequined outfits. Except that my kid always want to act goofy for the camera. Anyway, guests started arriving around 5 and I'll just go ahead and throw a bunch of pictures up because they speak for themselves.  It was basically some mingling, then dinner, then drinks started flowing and the kids opened presents.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Oh, and there was that time that Claire asked if she could put on a Christmas show, to which we all stopped what we doing and obliged her, of course.



 
 
 
During present opening, I was lucky enough to get my annual Christmas pyjamas, and put them on immediately. You're welcome for the pic, I know you all were wondering.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

New Beginnings.

Claire is starting a new preschool in the New Year.  They opened a place near our house and it would be so much more convenient with drop-offs and pick-ups if I'm not the sole person responsible.  Her daycare right now is blocks up from my work, and while I LOVE it, it's taken a toll on me all these years.  When I'm sick or have a day off, I usually keep her home because the 30-minute commute isn't worth it.  I did really love the religious aspect of it too (even though I poked fun a lot) and will miss that at her new preschool.  But like with anything, if the kid isn't learning it at school you just have to supplement at home.  I already taught her the Lord's Prayer so maybe I can do more with her.  Or, who am I kidding...probably just enroll her in Catechism.

She does well with change which is another reason I'm comfortable with this.  DP did NOT want to switch her but deferred the decision to me since I'm the one who takes her there and back, thank goodness.  And I know she'll be okay. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Dad's Birthday

Since Claire loves birthday parties so much, I thought instead of buying my dad a gift for his 63rd birthday, we could take him out. And I was right, she was so excited. We didn't even do it big, just went to a pub for the MNF game. But that's all it took.


My mom and dad were taking pictures of us girls, and then when I took a picture of them, Claire also took a picture of my parents. It's how a small child sees the world.


Anyway so my dad had a good birthday, he always says he doesn't want gifts, that he's the happiest when all his girls are together.