Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas 2009 - Part 1

We took the Christmas Tree off to Christmas-Tree-Woodchipping land on the weekend, so it's high time to post about Christmas before Valentine's Day is kissing us on the lips. Christmas seemed to go on forever this year, which wasn't a bad thing at all. It was so nice to have the family and friends (and presents) spread out over several days rather than all at once.
Christmas morning came, and the jolly old elf had been true to his word. He tiptoed in while we were sleeping and left a bounty of goodies for creatures great and small. Even the cats had their stockings filled.
Meredith had mentioned to Santa more than once that her heart's desire was a Nintendo DSI. Cautious-for-the-sake-of-parents Santa at the mall had mentioned that his elves were finding it difficult to get parts to make these little delights so he hoped they'd be able to find enough to make her wish come true.
And they did!

Aaron seemed at risk to be lost in the giant bag Santa used to wrap his gift...

...but emerged victorious with a giant fire truck and semi truck/car carrier. He has delighted in pushing these around the house and carrying his new toy hamster in the bucket of the ladder truck. He has learned an important life lesson though, one should always wear underwear when riding a fire truck. Unfortunate injuries may be sustained if ridden nekkid.

The hamsters ( little Zhu Zhu pets that Santa tucked into their stockings) were cute enough that I was wishing Santa had brought me one too! As were the adorable new hats sent from Aunt Lois in Alberta for both the kids.

After a flurry of gift opening at home, we got dressed and headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Rose's for Christmas day. There was a delicious brunch, another mountain of presents, and best of all, a full day with the cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents.
Here's Aaron surveying the present landscape under the tree!

And here's Aaron under the tree himself. Christmas is overwhelming to all of us, not least to a 2 year old.

What seemed like several hours later the gifts were open, the kids were playing, dinner was nearly ready, the martinis were served and there came an unearthly howl from the basement. The sound was coming from Aaron who had apparently fallen off the couch and had a terribly sore arm. He hadn't been into the martinis.
The poor little guy just couldn't be consoled, and after half an hour of trying to comfort him we headed off to Children's Emergency. The roads were horrifyingly bad, thick with new snow and icy underneath. Dave did a great job of getting us there without further injury and the staff at Children's had us in and out in the wink of an eye. The doctor we saw felt his arm wasn't broken, more likely sprained and sent us on our way with a dose of Tylenol and a new teddy bear.
When we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's Meredith wanted to know where her teddy bear was. Eventually she could be persuaded that not getting a new teddy bear was in fact a good thing on this particular day, as she avoided significant bodily harm.
Christmas with the Poole side followed a few days later, and was just as delightful, minus a trip to the ER. Part 2 to follow!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the road to Christmas...

Don't blink or you'll miss Meredith's Christmas Concert...

This is the best, and by best I mean only, photo we have of Meredith's Christmas concert. She did great, the whole group of Kindergarteners made it on and off stage without crying, and were the cutest little pack of elves. They were only on stage for maybe 90 seconds total by the time the got lined up, sang their song, and filed off. We have video of the event, but this was the only still picture that was captured. I can't even find her in the picture!

The kids found all kinds of ways to entertain themselves while I was tidying and baking and wrapping. Most of them involved turning the house upside down, so imagine my pleasure when they discovered the joys of iPods and headphones!

Houston, we have silence.

Headphones are a beautiful invention. Until your five-year-old decides to have a conversation with you while wearing her headphones, not realizing that her voice is TEN TIMES AS LOUD AS NORMAL.
Since that time, Aaron has started saying one of his funniest phrases too. I was trying to get his attention that day to tell him something and he couldn't hear me because of the headphones. Eventually I knelt down beside him, lifted the headphone, and spoke into his ear. Ever since then, if he doesn't hear what I'm saying he channels his inner octogenarian, runs up beside me and says "Talk in my ear Mommy." It cracks me up every time.

I walked into Meredith's room the weekend before Christmas when Dave had the kids out running an errand and found this interesting scene. All of her favourite stuffies were lined up in rapt concentration on something. What you can't see in the picture is that they're facing the lovely little Christmas tree she has set up on her dresser. I concluded that they were having a tree-gazing party. Meredith informed me later that she'd been teaching them 'school things' like how to count to 20 in French, and what sorts of things make your friends sad.

Before I knew it, it was Christmas Eve. Santa continued his annual tradition of popping in for a visit before the kids went to bed.

He was a hit, to say the least.

This was a tremendous relief to us, as our 'photo with Santa' from the mall this year features an angelically smiling Meredith, and a demonically howling Aaron. He was terrified of Santa at that particular moment. The elf working at the photo booth was a kindly soul who confided her children were now in their 20's and their very favourite Santa picture from their own youth was a crying one.

When Santa left to begin his rounds, he reminded our kids that he wouldn't be back until they were sound asleep. Bedtime has never gone so smoothly! They left enough cookies to add another inch to Santa's waistline, a full glass of milk, and a handful of baby carrots for Rudolph and then it was off to bed in their new Christmas jammies.

At what age does the sleeping-in-on-Christmas-morning phenomenon begin??