I've been waiting...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Silent Night

Like most of us here in Southern Ontario I spent the last couple of days mostly without power.  It just came back in the past couple of hours, hopefully for good this time.  Grace and I spent most of our daytime hours alternating between inside and outside, trying to clear the ice from the driveway and walkway and then inside trying to stay entertained in a house that was becoming increasingly cold.  By today it became obvious that the house was headed towards single digits temperature wise and we could no longer stand it.  My neighbours had long ago headed for a local hotel to keep warm and we headed out for warmth at a local restaurant and then to a friend's house to dress Grace for bed and heat up her milk.

Last night however, while it got cold, it was cozy too.  We had finally ventured out in the car late Sunday afternoon and with no way to cook dinner, picked up McDonald's to take home.  Once home we had a lovely dinner by candle light of burgers and fries!  After dinner Grace and I played Mega blocks by candle light for a while and then time to get ready for bed.  I dressed Grace in her warmest pajamas.  She had to suffer a cold milk bottle, not her favourite, but we snuggled a little to keep warm and she was fast asleep quickly.  And then the silence hit.  We are all so used to our gadgets and background noise that when true silence happens it's kind of nice.  No TV, no music, no computer, no white noise coming from Grace's room, not even the baby monitor, just silence.  Outside the window there was complete darkness, not even cars driving by.  I enjoyed it.  I lit a few more candles and spent the evening wrapping gifts and sipping on Baileys.  Finally I got to go to bed early too.  

Maybe we'll do it again by choice one night!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Christmas tree fun with Grandpa!

"I'll show you which one I want Grandpa!"

"This one!"

"And since you'll be carrying the tree, maybe I should drive?"

"I'll carry the tree for you Grandpa."

Once we got the tree home, my wonderful nephews came over to help bring it into the house.  For years I have managed myself but I have to admit, it certainly made it easier with a second and third and fourth set of hands.

Of course I'm a little out of practise with the whole tree thing.  I haven't had one in two years.  So, we thought we were all smart by screwing the base into the tree before bringing it into the house.  Then we discovered that it was indeed too tall for the house.

Yes, that is snow and a saw in my living room, cutting the top off the tree.  Thanks boys!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Christmas Miracle?

For those of you that know me personally, you know my story telling tactics.  Long and drawn out.  So, grab a coffee and sit back because here's one for the record books!!LOL

I need to set the scene for you:  

Early Saturday morning.  A blizzard on the way.  It's absolutely frigid outside.  I'm really sick.  Grace may be getting sick.  A week and a half before Christmas.  The only place where I "might" find a Barney toy is at a mall an hour away.  What does this mother of a Barney obsessed two year old do?  You guessed it!  

And now the story:

I knew the storm was coming but thought if we headed out early enough, we could be home before the real stormy weather hit.  So, quick breakfast and out the door.  In fact, our trip was going to serve double duty because we would be going right past the other mall, where Grace's Christmas photos have been sitting for a week, waiting to be picked up.  About 20 km down the road, I run out of windshield washer fluid.  Ugh.  I have a warning light for that on my dashboard.  Why didn't it come on????  Feeling like crap from my cold, I pull over and buy some very overpriced washer fluid. Ugh. 

Back on the road, it occurs to me that I didn't pack the stroller for Grace.  Ugh.  That will make our visit to the malls very challenging but we're only going in and out for one item, I figure we'll survive.  I keep driving as the snow is getting heavier and heavier.  I stay off the 400 series highways because the they are completely snow covered.  Finally an hour and 20 minutes later, we get to THE MALL.  We finally find parking at the back of the lot and I begin to "drag" Grace across the parking lot.  It is absolutely freezing and finally I just pick her up and carry her, my arms ready to break after only a few minutes.

 As quickly as I can, I locate the Customer Services desk.  I need to find out where this toy store is and get in and out of here fast.  The snow is coming down like crazy, and while I'm a careful and confident winter driver, I don't trust the city people that I'm driving amidst.  I just want to get out of here with a Barney toy for Grace.  Just inside the doors, Grace spies the escalator.  I have probably never mentioned this on here before, but Grace has an absolute obsession with escalators.  She loves them.  I cannot contain her.  She starts running for the escalator.  I run and bring her back.  The minute I put her down, she runs full force again towards the escalator.  Again, and again, and again.  Where is the #%# stroller????!!! Ugh.

Between sprints to the escalator, I frantically ask the guy at the desk, "Apparently there is a toy store here that sells Barney stuff.  Do you know where it is?"  Run and grab Grace. Try to hoist her up on the counter but her puffy jacket is too slippery and she keeps sliding down.  "It just closed down" the guy says.  I stare at him.  It takes a while for this news to sink in.  "What?"  I say, thinking if I don't believe it, maybe it won't be true.  "It closed down a little while back.  There isn't anything else here except the Disney store."  Barney is not a Disney character.  Ugh.

So Grace and I trudge our way back across the busy parking lot, now walking through about 4 inches of slush and snow.  Not fun.  We get to the car and someone has kindly parked so close to my passenger side that I can't fully open the back door.  For those of you who have had to do this, you can attest to this, pulling a squirming, bundled up child across the back seat from the driver's side to the car seat on the passenger side, kneeling on the seat while you try to buckle them in is not fun.  Ugh.

Oh well, I guess I'm ordering something from Amazon for $50 I think as I slip and spin out of the parking lot and onto the main roads.  No way I will get on the highways, there were fender benders everywhere I looked.  We still need to make a stop half way home at the other mall to pick up photos.  I'm eager to get this task done as I really don't want to make this trip again any time soon.  Not 5 minutes from the mall, I look in the rear mirror and... you can imagine... Grace has fallen fast asleep.  I don't want to wake her.  She has enough trouble sleeping as it is.  And besides, she may be getting sick, she needs to rest.  Ugh.

So this may be a good thing.  Grace sleeps well in the car and traffic is terrible, the weather is terrible and it will undoubtedly take me a long time to get home.  Grace is going to have a great long nap.  This is good.

Just on the edge of the city, at least 15 minutes past the photo mall, Grace wakes up.  Really awake.  And she's not happy.  Ugh.

What to do, what to do?  Keep going and just get home but have to make this trip again in the next few days?  Turn around and go back to the mall and pick up her photos?  I chose option B, I turned around and tried to make it back to the mall.  Once inside the mall, Grace rode the escalator up and down twice and then we went to pick up the pictures.  Still sans stroller, I have now resorted to carrying her, slippery coat and all.  As the young guy behind the photo centre desk is trying to convince me into buying the additional prints, I see Grace running into a photo shoot. I bring her back and try to hold onto her but that darn coat is so slippery and she will have nothing to do with that.  She starts squirming like crazy to get down and finally I get across to the guy that I didn't even bring my wallet in, I'll just take my pictures and go. Ugh.

Back in the car, I remember that there are a couple of second hand stores in this area.  Maybe I should pop in and look for a Barney toy.  We stopped at the Salvation Army Thrift store.  No luck, no Barney.  Ugh.

By now, we are both very very tired, hungry, very very cold and at least I am frustrated and grumpy.  Grace on the other hand, was taking this ridiculous day surprisingly in stride.  Then, I see Value Village across the highway.  Should I even bother?  I mean, really, what are the chances that they will have a character that hasn't been on TV or popular for almost 20 years?  Something gave me one last burst of momentum to make it across the highway and get Grace out of her car seat one more time.  We looked around for a while until I found the toy section.  Grace came upon a few things that interested her, a toy guitar (have one) a Barbie car (don't need one) and some sort of shaker toy that she will outgrow in about a week.  I had almost given up hope. In fact, I had given up.  I had searched every shelf and no Barney.  Just as we were preparing to leave, I spotted something purple peeking out from behind some other stuffies.  I thought I had already looked in that area, but there he was, BARNEY!!!!  A perfectly sized stuffed Barney for... are you ready for this??  $1.99!!!  When Grace spotted it, I thought she would jump out of her skin.  She frantically tried to tell me in her non-verbal way to take the plastic wrap off and give it to her.  I tried to help her understand that we should pay for it first.  We paid, I got her in her car seat and presented her with the first stuffie she's ever really liked.

For the entire long, slow drive home in the snow, Grace had Barney sitting in front of her, smiling at him, making him dance, swaying herself from side to side, pretending to dance.  I had tears in my eyes all the way home watching her, while I silently thanked God for helping me persevere just one more store.  

Barney will not be a Christmas present, I couldn't possibly take him away from her now.  Since Saturday, Grace has carried him all over the house, he's been out to Grandma and Grandpa's and has watched himself on TV several times.  He seems to like his new home and new family. We're so glad!


Sunday, December 8, 2013


Whoo Hoo!!!!  Tonight I put Grace in her crib, kissed her, said goodnight and told her I was going down to the kitchen to do my work and then, I walked out of her room.  SHE WENT TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!  First time ever!!!!  I have always had to stay in her room until she was out cold.  If I even stood up she screamed.  Tonight Grace was dead tired from refusing to nap (I can't have it all can I???!!!?) so I thought it was as good a night as any to try it out.  It took a while but, no screaming, just tossing and turning and then off to dreamland!!!  I'm thrilled and so proud of her!  Could this be a glimmer of light at the end of our long sleep issue tunnel????

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Train 2013

Grace and I had the opportunity to ride the Santa Train last weekend with friends.  A good friend of mine had gotten us tickets and while I hadn't really thought of going this year ( I felt she was too young to really get anything out of it and I sort of hold the philosophy that I don't need to do everything for her right away in her first year here). Anyway, my friend had kindly thought of us and had already purchased the tickets so off we went!  I have to say we had a great time!  

Here's Grace running for the train.  These are the best shots I could get of my little firecracker at the station, holding her ticket for the conductor

Grace, as many of you know, LOVES music so when the two "elves" came through the train singing and playing a guitar, she just couldn't get enough.  Here she is, not watching for Santa, but following the women playing Christmas songs!!!lol  One of the musicians was a parent from my school and she got quite a kick out of Grace's enthusiasm! 

Santa of course made a stop at our seats but Grace would have nothing to do with him, no offense Santa!

 Yummy gingerbread cookies!
 Yummy hot chocolate!!

Afterwards, we all gathered at Brian and Heather's for a take-out Chinese dinner, a great way to end a great afternoon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gathering Branches

The advantages of gathering greenery on this mild Sunday afternoon?  It was not too cold, my parents' forest was beautiful with the snow and it was quiet and serene.  The disadvantages:  it was not too cold, which meant dragging Grace on a toboggan along a very muddy path, while she let her beautiful pink mittens drag on the ground on either side of the toboggan.  Can you say laundry night?  Good times, good times....