Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's oh so quiet

After the hubbub of pre-Christmas stuff last week, the departure of Nick & Family and getting myself back to work for a few quiet days, everything seems almost too quiet. The kind of quiet where you start to think you're in the wrong place, at the wrong time, on the wrong day. Like this morning when I arrived at work and all the lights were off and all I could think was "Crap - today's the 31st and the office is closed and I'm such a loser for being here." Then I realised that actually, it was only the 30th, the office was open, I was just the first one on the floor (at 8:30am - late by my standards).

Which reminds me of a little story I meant to share earlier this month.

On December 3, Eric's girlfriend Sam successfully defended her PhD thesis (yay Sam!). To celebrate they invited some of her friends and family out for drinks. First we were going to meet at the bar around 7pm. Then it was decided to meet closer to 5:30pm. Things were busy at work for me at the time and I knew I wouldn't leave work much before 5:30pm but hurried to get there as soon as I could. What do you know? Even though I arrived around 6pm, I was still the first person there! Even when I'm late, I'm early. Sigh ...

I should embrace my neurosis (does punctuality qualify as a neurosis?) and live with it. Why do I feel obliged to apologize for it? Seriously, I am sick in the head.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day

I've probably said it the last couple of years but I'll say it again - Christmas is really about the kids. This year Wesley and Darcy made that perfectly clear. Talk about seeing two overexcited kids. I don't think either of them were quiet for more than 2 minutes in the 8 or so hours I spent in their company yesterday. That's a lot of excitement, a lot of chattering, singing, running, screaming, bouncing, yelling, laughing and anything else you can throw in.

While Darcy and Wesley opened Santa's presents at my parents' house in the morning, I got caught up on a little quiet time of my own. And it was a good thing because once I got to my parents', it was all noise, all the time.

We went to visit my grandparents at the senior residence to give my Mom a bit of peace while she finished preparing our huge turkey dinner. Grandma and Grandpa were thrilled to see us all but of course more interested in hearing and seeing Darcy and Wesley. It was very sweet to see Darcy give her Great-Grandma a hug and kiss and to see Wesley shake his Great-Grandpa's hand.

Back at the house, once Eric & Sam, Marc, and Bob & Gayle arrived, we sat down for Christmas dinner. For the first time in quite a few years we actually celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day with the entire family. There were 12 of us around the table and the table was loaded with food. Mom is a great cook and she's especially good at feeding masses of hungry people amazing food. She never disappoints. Well, for me at any rate. My Uncle Bob and brother Nick were ready to call Christmas a bust because this year Mom didn't have time to make the fudge "mice" she usually makes. The 14 other kinds of cookies and bars apparently meant nothing.

After dinner we took a break from food to do our Secret Santa gift exchange and give the kids their gifts. From the noise, I'd say Wesley enjoyed himself. Then it was back to the table for dessert. The evening ended with our traditional Annual Titcombe Pit Extravaganza. This year's winner by a landslide was Sue! I lost miserably.

And that's it. Christmas is over for another year.

If you want to see some pictures, check them out here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve - It's been a long, fun, loud, laughing sort of day. I'm beat.

This morning I joined Nick, Sue, Darcy, Wesley and my Dad for tobogganing. Instead of heading up to Mont-Royal we went to Westmount and enjoyed a smaller, more kid-friendly hill, local kids and families, and free parking. The weather for this was perfect. Not too cold with just a sprinkle of snow coming down.

Last year when we went tobogganing, Wesley screamed basically the entire time we were there, unless he was being held by Sue. This year there was no screaming. Only laughing and laughing and laughing. Wesley could have stayed there all day. He loved going down in the toboggan and was all ready to go by himself! He was so funny - all bundled up in his snowsuit, he could hardly move but that didn't stop him from doing anything. He ran, he climbed, he threw snowballs! He didn't stay interested in the tobogganing for too, too long but the park next to the hill caught his eye and we spent a fair bit of time there with him. He went on ALL the slides (think there were 4 different ones), the swing, those stationary wobbly animals/car-things. His favourite was the slide. Any slide, but the bigger, faster and more dangerous the better. We had to keep a close eye on him because he seems to invite danger or at least know where to find it, and fast!

Darcy enjoyed it too but in her own way. She is clearly more independent and not interested in having to go down the hill with an adult. But coming up the hill on her own was another matter! She found out that wasn't so much fun, especially if you had to pull the toboggan.

The funniest part of the morning was when Nick and Darcy went down the hill and suddenly there was Wesley running down the hill after them! As it was, he could hardly move in his snowsuit but that didn't stop him. He managed to run his bouncy little run for longer than you would've thought before he face-planted into the snow. But up he got and off he went again. There was no stopping him. People walking up the hill laughed at the sight of him too. It was hilarious.

The kids had a quiet afternoon at home before Eric & Sam came over to celebrate Nick's birthday. Instead of going to a restaurant to celebrate (that's the usual thing) we ordered Chinese take-out this year. It was easier mostly due to MonkeyBoy (aka Wesley) who could at least be let out of his booster chair when he'd had enough of sitting around the table with us.

Both Darcy and Wesley were a little shy around Eric & Sam when they first came in but soon warmed up to them. By the end of the evening Wesley was all over Eric, to the point where he even managed to drool onto Eric's face, which we all thought pretty funny.

It was my turn to put Darcy to bed and once again she asked if I could sleep over. I don't know what I've let myself in for, but I've gone and said that maybe, if she comes back in the summer, she could come and sleep in my extra bedroom, in the chair that turns into a bed! Darcy was pretty excited by that idea.

Tomorrow will probably be another long, loud and laugh filled day, so I'd better get to bed.

Happy Birthday, Nick - hope you enjoyed it!


Yesterday I had the honour of participating in Darcy's (my niece) first movie theatre experience. It was fun!

Nick, Sue, Darcy and Wesley flew in to Montreal on Tuesday afternoon. They're staying with my parents until Sunday. Nick & Sue had a bit of Christmas shopping to do, so we decided to meet at the mall close to where I live. I met up with them there and Sue, Darcy and I went for lunch at the mall, while Nick took Wesley home for his nap.

To say Darcy was excited is putting it mildly. Or maybe it's a stage. But she was full of jumping and dancing and loud talking! It was pretty funny - the more excited she got the bigger her eyes would get. Anyway, Darcy insisted that I sit beside her for lunch and then had to have some of my sushi. Next time she gets her own!

Sue went over the movie rules with Darcy. Rule #1: get popcorn. That's my favourite one. The others are all the usual: no talking, if it's funny we can laugh, if it's sad we can cry, we have to sit still.

Here's a picture of Darcy at the movies, popcorn and all.

Previews are a lot more interesting with a 5 1/2 year old. Darcy would like to see Toy Story 3 and Ocean. Girl has good taste. None of us was interested in seeing Cats & Dogs.

The movie we saw was Disney's The Princess and the Frog. Darcy did really well. She sat quietly and watched the movie. It was only towards the end, at the sad part, that she got upset and cried. But Sue was great letting her know it would all turn out in the end, and of course it did. As Sue mentioned on her facebook status, "Darcy laughed and cried. It was better than Cats."

Us girls made our way back to my place on the bus. Darcy was thrilled to be on the look out for the right numbers on the bus and had to stand up on the ride, even though more than one person offered their seat to her. Nick & Wesley showed up shortly after we got home and we all had tea and cookies. Dinner was spaghetti and I was pretty amazed that the kids ate my sauce. I didn't tone down the spices or puree it and although they were both excited and a little on the tired side, I would say they did pretty well.

Darcy managed to spill her cup of water twice and that did earn her a time out away from the table. But that was really the worst of it, so I think it was pretty successful. Wesley could hardly finish eating his cookie before wanting the broom to sweep up his mess. What a funny little guy. At the mall in the morning he would hardly look at me. But after half an hour at home, running up and down my hallway, sitting on the bench at my vanity and looking at himself in the mirror saying "Me!", he was quite happy to have me spin him around in the office chair and even played a bit of hide n' seek with me, behind the dining room curtains.

More pictures of the day here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Any Requests?

Have got 6 kinds of cookies made and 2 kinds of chocolate bark done. Have one more cookie to make and 2 types of bar/cake. But to bring the total up to an even dozen, I need one more. I'm willing to try something new but nothing too fussy or time intensive. Any requests, ideas or suggestions?