Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Breaking News!!!!!!

Guess who's walking? He's still on wobbly street but is improving everyday. This whole walking business just started on Monday night and he's made incredible progress in just 48 hours. He wants to walk everywhere and he wants us to follow him everywhere - and cheer of course.

This first video is short. I apologize for the clothes - long johns and a turtleneck onsie but Jim is responsible. In the second, longer video, I insisted he wear pants.

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I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. I love the way 2008 has ended and am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more good things for us in 2009 because to be perfectly honest, 2008 pretty much kicked my ass. Bennett will be spending the evening with grandma and grandpa. I just hope they don't get him too drunk tonight - there's nothing worse than a hungover 2 year old.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas

On Christmas Eve Jim and I went to a movie. Bennett stayed behind and helped Grandma and Grandpa entertain. For some reason when we returned Bennett was wearing nothing but his pants. However, I learned a long time ago never to ask a question unless you're sure you want to hear the answer.

Bennett with cousin Ryan - a fellow Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Poor guy...









Bennet with cousin Sherry. They met for the first time on Christmas Eve and apparently Bennett fell in love.












Bennett with cousins Ashley and Mackenzie. He doesn't seem quite as impressed with the princess dress as Mackenzie was. However, he's always happy to see these two ladies!











Bennett trying out his new canoe paddle. A great gift from cousins Lucy and Henry. He looks like a natural doesn't he?


















Mackenzie couldn't take Bennett's shirtless cuteness anymore and just threw him on the ground and then proceeded to smother him with hugs and kisses. He's such a ladies man....









The winter wonderland we woke up to on Christmas morning.














Opening presents from Santa at Grandma and Grandpa's



















Telling Uncle Austin a big story about something.
















Feeding Grandpa asparagus on Christmas Day. He was very good about making sure that Grandpa and Daddy finished their vegetables.












By Boxing Day, my little man was running out of steam.














Finally a picture with the elusive Auntie Bonnie - and what a wonderful one it turned out to be!!!!













Bringing Daddy and cousin Amber for a walk. You'll notice that Mummu isn't too far away from either of her boys.











Checking out his new Smart Cycle
As you can see it was a busy Christmas but a wonderful Christmas. As always the best part was being with family. And the food - food is always important....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What I Saw In My Neighbourhood This Morning!


After all the cold and all the snow we are now under a Freezing Rain and Heavy Rainfall Warning. It's supposed to be 10 degrees C today (approx. 50 F) and we are supposed to get up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain. This is apparently due to a weather system over Minnesota (thanks Kiera!). I also know Dawn in Michigan is under a flood watch now too.


If you remember in one of my earlier posts, I mentioned how Canadians sometimes do crazy things. Well, look what I saw in my neighbourhood this morning! Typical Canadian behaviour when the weather warms up - Winter coat, boots and shorts! I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this. Now my only problem will be convincing Jim that he can't wear shorts too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve


In case you forgot, it’s Christmas Eve. And once again we are in the midst of a snowstorm. Although I’m not sure I should say that after yesterday. While at the grocery store the cashier and I were making small talk about the weather. I mentioned that I was doing my groceries ahead of time in anticipation of the coming snowstorm. She then asked the following question, “Well, is it a storm or are we just getting snow.” I must admit that one stumped me. I have no idea what the difference is. In my view, getting 30 cm (12 inches) of snow qualifies as a storm.

Enough about the weather, let’s get back to Christmas. Like most families we have some traditions that we follow every year. My French-Canadian heritage means Tourtiere (meat pie) at Christmas. Fortunately for me my mother just happens to make the best. Unfortunately for me, she has no idea how she makes it – she just does. On the other hand I’m also half native and one tradition we have is enjoying a steaming bowl of rabbit soup on Christmas Eve. Fortunately for me, a family friend delivered a couple of wild rabbits just in time. Unfortunately for me, I’ll have to wait a couple days more days for my soup. It should surprise no one that a couple of my favourite traditions revolve around food.

There is also room for new traditions and a few years ago Jim and I started one of our own. We go to see a movie every Christmas Eve. Two years ago we missed our date as I had just gotten out of the hospital with a 9 day old baby. However, we made it last year and we made it this year despite the “storm”. We went to go see Yes Man with Jim Carrey. It was pretty good and the popcorn was wonderful.

Bennett stayed with Grandma and Grandpa and helped to entertain some of my cousins. After the movie we all had a great visit, opened presents and ate some food. Now we’re home and Jim just put a very tired 2 year old to bed. We’ll probably open a couple gifts and then crawl in on either side of him.

A pretty good way to spend a Christmas Eve I think.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Crafts




I will be the first to admit that I’m not crafty. I pretty much have to as my mother or Jim will be quick to point it out. I’ve never been artistic, I never really enjoyed colouring and I still haven’t managed to master the stick figure.

However, when my friend Kara invited me and Bennett over for a Christmas craft, I couldn’t refuse. I did take the time to warn her about my pathetic craft skills and she kindly agreed to start mine for me. Now this could have been out of kindness or more likely the fact that she’s a bit of a control freak and was worried about the end result if I was left on my own. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks about this project which I affectionately referred to as “The Glitter Craft”. This was entirely my own invention and revealed my raven-like tendency to be entranced by shiny objects. Although Kara was reluctant to give in to the glitter, my persistence finally paid off and she too began to refer to “The Glitter Craft.”

All of this craft talk brought back memories of my last crafting experience which took place approximately 17 years ago. At the time I was in university and overwhelmed with essays, exams, etc. My mother thought crafting would be a good way to relieve my stress. I should mention that I come from an artistic family many of whom can quilt, cross stitch, paint, sing, write poetry, carve, etc. I, however, have inherited none of these talents. Despite my wariness, I agreed to my mother’s suggestion and we proceeded to make Christmas centrepieces for candles. I worked hard on my project as it was a welcome respite from spending hours squinting at a microfiche looking at local immigration records from the late 1800s. I was quite pleased with my centrepiece and my mother had nothing but compliments. Later in the day my aunt came over and my mother proceeded to show her what I had made. My aunt looked at it with admiring eyes and then looked down at me and asked “It’s lovely…what grade were you in when you made it?” Oh, how I was crushed! I refused to put it out and to this day I have no idea where it ended up. Hopefully the pine cones were returned to nature where they should have stayed.

So, as much as I looked forward to today’s craft session with Kara, I must admit I was a bit nervous as well. As it turns out, I had little to worry about. The craft was very straightforward and left little room for me to screw up. Being the wonderful host she is, Kara provided and let me use as much glitter as I wanted. However, I couldn’t help but notice the worried looks she threw my way as I added more and more glitter.

I’m more than pleased with the end result and would proudly show it to my aunt. Has this changed my outlook on crafting? I would have to say no. I agree to craft on special occasions but other than that, I’m afraid that Bennett will have to rely on others for artistic projects. The scars run deep my friends.....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma!



Happy Birthday to my grandma who is one of my favourite napping partners! I hope you had a nice day and will share your cake with me this weekend.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Bennett!!

I can't believe it has been 2 years already. Everyone always says it goes too fast and it's true. My baby is becoming a little boy. A wonderful little boy who has worked hard and accomplished so much this year. We love you and are so proud of you Bennett!

The video is about 8 minutes long. It's hard to condense one year into less than that! Making and watching the video has helped me step back and see just how much progress Bennett has made.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party Day





Tomorrow is Bennett's 2nd birthday but we had a party today. It was a smallish gathering of just family. I think he had a wonderful time and he was absolutely spoiled with presents! We went with a Go Diego Go! theme. The cake was delicious but Bennett was totally unimpressed so I didn't even get a good cake all over the face shot.

Thank you so much to everyone who came today. I'm so grateful every day that we have such a wonderful family. We missed you Auntie Bonnie but thank you for the amazing tub toys and calling to sing Happy Birthday. Another special thank you for our good friend Kasia for the Diego doll!

The video is not the greatest but is still kind of cute. We've been trying to teach Bennett how to blow as part of speech therapy but obviously we haven't mastered that yet. It was a good thing Daddy and cousin Mackenzie were there to help.

I've created a montage celebrating Bennett's second year. I plan to post that tomorrow on his actual birthday - come back and check it out!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Extremes


So, let’s just get something straight. I’m pretty much your typical Canadian. I’m polite, hold doors open, apologize way too often and use the word (yes it’s a word) “eh” more often than I would care to admit. Another typical Canadian trait I have is my obsession with the weather – I love to talk about it and I love to complain about it. It’s rare to find a Canadian that is completely satisfied with the weather on any given day. It’s often too hot, too cold, too much snow, not enough snow, etc. We live in a country of extremes – and it can sometimes cause you to do things that other people (non-Canadians) might think are crazy. Things like wearing shorts in a snowstorm or shoveling in a t-shirt.

However, this post isn’t really about the weather. Well maybe a bit. Since my last “Snow Day” post we have had two more major snowstorms. It hasn’t escaped my attention that winter hasn’t even started yet. That alone is surprising as these days it seems that most things escape my attention. It leaves me shaking in my Sorel snow boots to think of what might happen when winter really starts. But once again in typical Canadian fashion, I’m getting thrown off topic by my distraction with the weather.

This morning I was getting Bennett ready to go to daycare. I layered him in thermal underwear, lined wind pants and a fleece sweater. Next, were boots, coat, hat and mitts. I didn’t bother with snow pants as he has a pair at daycare already. By the time I was done I was sweating and cursing winter under my breath. I was so hot that I was seriously considering stripping and throwing myself into the snow pile in my front yard to make naked snow angels. The only things preventing this from happening is that we were already running late and my father was standing there waiting for me.

As I started to layer on my own clothing I was thinking of how it could be worse. I started thinking of a couple years from now, getting Bennett ready to go out in the snow and how just as I snap the last button into place, he’ll look up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and say, “Mommy, I have to pee.”

Ahhh…winter.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snow Day


So I would’ve posted this earlier but for some reason my Internet service has been either spotty or non-existent. Someone is supposed to look into this on Thursday.

On Monday we had a pretty big snowstorm. The news reported 13 cm which is about 5 inches for my American friends. However, the consensus seems to be that we had more than that. Bennett was supposed to go to daycare for the morning where he had an appointment with his occupational therapist. I called early to cancel both when I woke up and looked out the window and saw my new van buried in the snow and my neighbour’s truck parked sideways in the road. School buses were cancelled – this is a big deal – we rarely get snow days around here as we are accustomed to having a lot of snow.

Bennett and I spent the whole day in the house with no TV and no Internet. This is what we did:
• We watched our neighbour try to shovel his truck out – this was unsuccessful so he had to call a tow truck.
• We entertained grandpa who was brave enough to drive down the street and have a morning visit.
• We played with a rubber ball that lights up when it bounces – this was a great game that we played several times throughout the day.
• I gave in at around 2pm and called Jim at work to ask him how to use the DVD player so I could put in a Diego video.
• I argued with Bennett about the location of his afternoon nap. I insisted on his crib and he insisted on our bed with me in it. He eventually won but I put up a good fight.
• Bennett and I danced. I’m sure our moves would only win strange looks on the dance floor rather than prizes. But at least we’re in synch as we both have issues with our right leg.

At no time during the day did we do any therapy. As I was going to bed I was feeling incredibly guilty about this – wasting a whole day doing essentially nothing. And then I remembered something that my physiotherapist said to me about a year ago when I confessed that I hadn’t done any of my exercises for 2 days. She said to me, “sometimes, life is the best physiotherapy”. So, on second thought we did do therapy. It’s called Life.

Below is a video to the song Bennett and I danced to. Have a listen and maybe do some of your own dancing.