Friday, December 18, 2009

Rewind: Fall forever

We had the most spectacular fall this year, after a rather cool and sunburn-free summer. The lovely weather stretched on and on. The grass stayed green, the trees held onto their leaves, and we began to believe that winter might have taken a sharp left at Albuquerque. Eventually we got a frost, and then a little more and the leaves started coming down.
And down.
And down some more.
At some point, I think people started hoping for snow so they wouldn't have to rake the leaves yet again.
But not my boys. There's nothing more fascinating to Aaron than machinery at work, and he quite enjoys it when Daddy is 'lawning' as he has named the act of mowing the lawn.

His fascination with all things mechanical continues to amaze me. He will drop whatever he is doing to run across the house and stare if he hears the blender or mixer start up. He delights in watching the can opener work. A car backing out of a parking spot is almost as good as Thomas the Train on TV.

Nature versus Nurture? Game, set and match to Nature as far as I can see!

Rewind: Birthday Bonanza!

I've got a lot of catching up to do! Much of it involves cake.
The fall is a very busy birthday season in our family. None of the four of us actually have birthdays in the fall, but many of our favourite people including aunties, uncles, cousins, great grandma and friends celebrate October and November birthdays. Meredith has declared she doesn't really like birthday cake and would rather have just ice cream next year for her birthday. Aaron has no such reservations, and can devour an adult-sized piece of birthday cake in less time than it takes me to put some kind of stain treatment on his shirt afterwards.
One particular birthday party involved two uncles, and a cake that did double duty!

Happy birthday Uncle Brad!

and Uncle David!

To blow out the next set of candles we travelled much further than our own living room. At the end of November, my grandma celebrated her 92nd birthday! Don't tell her I posted her age on the internet, or it's curtains for me. She graciously allowed Meredith and Aaron to help blow the candles out.
Two year olds and candle blowing are just such a moist combination....surely that's why the cupcake was invented?

The trip out to Deloraine was one of the highlights of our otherwise somewhat sick and bleak November. Minus the drive-home-at-night-so-the-kids-will-sleep part wherein Aaron slept for 15 minutes of the 3 hour and 20 minute drive.

Delerious with fatigue? Who me?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

After a slow start, preparations for Christmas seemed to ramp up this weekend. There's still shopping to be done, cookies to be made and wrapping, wrapping, and more wrapping to complete. But it finally smells like a Christmas tree in our house, so all is good with the world. We always had a real tree when I was growing up. I don't remember ever going out to cut a tree, my dad usually brought one home from the Co-op store in town. I don't know whether he waited until the selection was poor, or just had a thing for Charlie Brown Christmas trees, but we had some seriously sad looking trees! It got to be a real joke, waiting to see how miserable the tree would be from one year to the next. Fortunately Dave loves a real tree too, so we've had one ever since we had a house with space to put one up. He and Aaron set off to the tree lot on Saturday and picked out the nicest tree we've ever had. The star touches the ceiling and it's so broad at the base that you can barely squeeze past it. It's gorgeous and soft and fragrant.

We set it up yesterday, let it thaw out, and got the lights on before the kids went to bed. I had been telling Meredith a few days earlier about the thing I loved to do best when I was a kid at Christmastime. After the tree was set up, I loved to lay with my head under the bottom branches, looking up at the lights, wallowing in that delicious scent, and feeling the cool breeze on my face as the tree continued to thaw. She asked if we could do it last night, and it was a thrill to share that pleasure with my own kids.

And yes, Aaron is naked.

We got the decorations on today and that was another trip down memory lane. Memory lane detours to the nut house if you take the wrong turn and have a two year old who insists on using a step stool to reach 'UP HIGH' in the tree....

This afternoon we set out to make gifts for the kids' teachers - the special people at daycare, school, and lessons that make their lives so much richer. We transformed these empty jars:

into Holiday Candy Cookie Mix.

Not without running out of ingredients part of the way through the task, of course!

After the size-small helpers were fast asleep I finished off the tags and they're ready to go. Sealed to keep salivating mouths from swiping any more M&Ms!

This week is the school Christmas Concert, so we've got another first to look forward to. Hopefully we'll sneak some more moments under the Christmas tree amidst the frenzied pace.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The world according to Meredith...

I am a delinquent blogger.

But sometimes, something happens that just cannot go unnoticed. I have lots of things to catch up on here in chronicling the last month of our lives for our collective memory. Suffice to say that the Sick Day turned into a sick 7 or 8 days, very first report card came home, very first parent-teacher interview was attended, potty training (and emergency pant wearing) began at daycare and everyday life continued in this midst of it all. Lots of details to record as time permits!

But tonight is an ode to the tender heart of my sweet Meredith. She was having trouble settling down to sleep at bedtime. She called me back at one point because she said she had an "emergency" to talk about. This would be my own words coming back to bite me. :) Of late it seems that she is in a stalling pattern at bedtime and will call us several times for tiny little things until after about the 8th or 9th trip into her room I tell her, "Unless it's an emergency, I don't want to hear from you again. Please close your eyes, lay down, and go to sleep."

Tonight's emergency involves her morning bus driver, Veronica. We hear lots about her lunchtime bus driver, Ron, around here because he apparently gives the Kindergarten kids TicTacs on the bus, and one day brought his dog for them to meet.

Rock star status.

Veronica has more than just the Kindergarteners to deal with, as she has a full bus in the morning, so we hear more about how Veronica had to tell the older kids to sit down lots of times that day, or that Veronica really liked a particular dress Meredith was wearing one day. Tonight's news was that Veronica won't be driving this bus anymore, as she's going to drive vans now (a mysterious concept which neither Meredith nor I understand, but to which I nodded solemnly).

Meredith was sobbing with the idea of not seeing Veronica each morning anymore. What made her even sadder was that she hadn't known beforehand so she could have made her a card "to make her feel better".

I'm so very thankful for the compassionnate empathetic heart my firstborn has. It may cause her no end of pain in her life, but it will also bring her the greatest joys of love, and relationship, and kindness. I'm also very thankful that she is still young enough that a good long hug and a promise that together we will find a way to get the card to Veronica was enough to soothe her sadness.

Tonight is a fleeting moment I couldn't stand to forget!