Christmas 2014

Christmas is always such a magical time of year. Growing up, I remember the season being magical. The idea of wonder and excitement has always been there, but good Christmas memories are non-existent. For one main reason, I remember more stress then wonder. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to me that my kids don’t experience stress at Christmas. I want them to live in the magic and remember that.   

This year Christmas was our most laid back one of all. All my shopping was done by mid November. We had extra time to make homemade gifts to friends and family which was a lot of fun for the girls. We made salted caramel for our circle and a few extras, as well as the usual shortbread. The girls had the most fun helping me make glittery snowman playdoh that smelled like peppermint for their friends. We packaged it with some pipe cleaner arms and googly eyes so the recipient could build a snowman
Our schedule wasn’t packed. Jon had a week of vacation he needed to use so he was home in early December as well as almost two weeks over Christmas and New Years. We took the girls to see Santa in early December. The older two girls where happy and excited to see him. Evelyn was fine with waving at him but wanted no part in sitting in his lap. So this happened…
We apparently traumatized her pretty good because she woke up screaming “NO SANTA LAP!” once and would say it at any mention or picture she’d see of St. Nick through the rest of the season. Hopefully she won’t remember for next year. 
The big girls also had their Christmas pageants. I need to brag here… With kids in a fine arts school you don’t have to suffer through their productions. They are actually GOOD! Like REALLY GOOD. Sofie is in Kindergarten and they had their own show singing carols one night. I was so proud when I got to watch her up there singing with her class and no teacher beside her. She knew all the actions and did amazing! I cringed/laughed my face off, when she went and patted the principal’s butt during the closing remarks. He didn’t miss a beat though, took her hand and let her say goodbye in the microphone afterwards. The timing of my picture was perfect…
Livi’s performance was at the Art Centre in town and in grade one to three kids, plus the whole school choir which is all grades and 100 kids. Livi’s sang in the back-up choir the whole show and each class was featured in a song. Her class was dressed as the toys, Livi was a stuffed elephant, that the elves were making. She was also chosen for a part during another song where she had to stand very still and get made by an elf. She was hoping to be picked for that part so I was really happy for her when she did 🙂 Of course she did wonderfully. She was a little nervous and told not to smile while she was being made, despite her Aunties best efforts in the front row. 

Our Christmas gatherings were spread out this year which was AWESOME! I think it was the first year in our entire marriage we didn’t have something on Christmas day. Boxing Day was free too! The Saturday before Christmas was my family get together. The crazies all together under one roof is never short on fun! 

The Sunday was our Friends Christmas brunch. These three boys were room mates in college and us wives have been close since then. I adore this group. They are my safe ones. They are very important to me. Our kids adore each other and I hope we can continue our traditions as we all continue to grow up together!

Christmas Eve was church and lights, ended with a house that has a hologram of Santa in the window. It gets my kids to bed so fast because they think he is so close. I am in awe of their pure, innocent belief in Santa. It is such beautiful, uncorrupted magic. Jon went out and rang bells and called “ho ho ho” when Livi was going to the bathroom. She is so excited when she hears him. I was given strict instructions to get to bed right away, because everyone knows Santa doesn’t come if you’re awake.

Jon’s mom slept over Christmas Eve and opened presents with us in the morning. I managed to get them matching pajama’s again this year. I love it. I will try to do it again next year! The girls got a few gifts each. I’ve mentioned how amazed I am by Livi’s care and kindness towards others. Well, Christmas morning she shone again. She was more concerned with assisting and making sure her sisters opened their presents than her own. We had to remind her to open her own. Pure love that kid. I think this was the first year that both Sofie and Evelyn were fully engaged with the Christmas morning festivities. It was so special to finally get here.

I love Christmas. It is just so magical and pure. We did a more homemade, relaxed, family focused Christmas this year. I need to do this more for my family. We gave out homemade gifts which were well received and we had so much fun making them!
I know this post is late. I wrote most of it a month ago but am just finishing it now. Merry Christmas to anyone who might still read this blog and I hope your new year SPARKLES!

My Baby is 2.

2 years have gone by, and fast. My baby is 2 years old. This is the last time I will celebrate one of my children turning 2. It’s the birthday between being a baby and being a kid.

I remember Evelyn’s birth well and cherish those memories. I didn’t like being pregnant with either of my kids but I loved giving birth. There are certain things about those early morning hours bringing Evelyn in to the world that are still so vivid to me…

~ I remember eating leftover chicken teriyaki while watching Downton Abby and sitting on an exercise ball at 2am. I would take breaks to stand up and rock through a contraction then get back to my show.

~ I remember Livi waking up early before 6am and sitting beside me on the bed where I was resting between contractions. I had prepared her as much as I could to see me labour and watch her sister be born. I asked her if she was scared or worried. She said no but her face looked a bit concerned.

~ I remember getting out of the tub the last time and Kristi (our doula) saying to me that I sounded “pushy” and “maybe we should go…” and me adamantly denying the possibility that I would be that far along already. It was still such easy labor after all.

~ I remember the moment I realized I was much further along than I thought. I was kneeling in the back seat of the car, turned backwards, hugging the seat and trying to occupy myself with texting people and calling the hospital. I had just got off the phone with the maternity triage nurse who had said they couldn’t call my midwife until I was assessed in the hospital, even though I told her I thought I was further along than I should be. My body changed. I think the transition was actually over and I began to push. It was so apparent and shocking that I reached down to actually check if I could feel her head. I tried to hide it from Jon and remembered a breathing technique our aunt, and doula for Livi, had taught me which helped me not to push. Jon heard it in my groans though and realized what was going on.

~ I remember Kristi’s hand. I didn’t think I would make it up to the maternity ward from the doors where Jon was dropping me off. I had gotten out of the car and had to bare down immediately. Kristi said something about when the contraction was over, we would run together. All I could see was her hand and I took it and we ran…. We made it to the hand sanitizer station, then to the information desk, then to the elevators. Each time I thought I would collapse and my baby would fall out of me but following each contraction she gave me her hand, which I grabbed tightly and we ran again. I must have looked quite hilarious. I was 40 weeks, fully dilated and 0 or +1 station running through a lobby bow legged. (+3 is the baby crowning)

~ I also remember the nurses face when I stepped out of the elevator. Jon had jumped out first in a panic demanding assistance, but they didn’t take him seriously… then they saw me waddle out with my legs spread apart like a cartoon of someone sore from riding a horse for too long. I locked eyes with one nurse in particular and she just stood there wide eyed for a second. It still makes me laugh.

Evelyn’s birth was not what we had planned. I had hoped for both Grandmas, Livi and a photographer to be there and capture those precious moments. I’m thankful I have such vivid memories in my mind and I will hold on to them tightly.

First morning picture. We had been out after midnight in the ER because of croup.
She was a grumpy 2 year old.

We did salvage the afternoon and got some birthday pictures!

Evelyn is a passionate 2 year old now. She is very dramatic and quite the little goof ball. She doesn’t sit still and is not big in to cuddling, unless she is sleeping with me, then she must be pressed up against me. She is always on the go, loves to climb and jump. Her motor skill seem very well developed. Instead of walking she will jump around the house which I’m sure my mom downstairs appreciates a lot! She adores being outside and would live out there all day if the weather allowed. She has her own way of doing things and we are not permitted to interfere with her process without repercussions. She enjoys the process of learning and figuring things out. I think she may end up being my academic child because she likes the process of learning as much as the end result.

Her favourite foods are probably yogurt and cookies. She goes in to the pantry and helps her self cookies often. I need to watch that better. She adores her big sister Livi and Livi adores her back, but Sofie and her have a love/hate relationship right now. Developmentally they are about the same age, but they don’t have the bond that twins might have. It makes for some loud, screaming baby days. I’ve already been seeing the love re-bloom so I think it will just get better as they learn to share and give each other the space that they need. I actually think they’ll be great friends… one day. 

Evelyn is very tall and has been in size 3 clothes since around 18 months old. She can count to 10 reliably and then mixes up all the teen numbers. She has been in a big girl, real size bed for a few months now. That transition went much easier than expected. She is still very uninterested in getting potty trained but she will sit on it everyone once in a while, just to show us she is like her big sisters. Her language is coming a long, though it was slow to start. We are mostly working on using her big girl voice with the words that she has, because she tends to be quite whiny. She fits her role as the youngest well.

Evelyn LOVES watching music videos on YouTube. Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Tragically Hip are currently her favourites. Jon is very thankful for her interest in the Hip. She also adores books with her favourites being the Olivia series and those big first word board books. She really will sit and listen to any book though. She has a blankie that is her favourite thing in the world and goes hand in hand with her soother. She sleeps with them every night along with an Eeyor stuffy and 3 fairly large My Little Ponies, two of which she has acquired from her sisters. It’s quite the crowded bed.

How old are you?

Christmas birthdays are hard. So much else is going on and they get put off. I will need to do better with planning when she gets older. I managed to pull something together this year though. The BK’s came swimming with us, then came over for dinner and cake. It was My Little Pony themed and I was pretty proud of the cake that I came up with and made 🙂 Evelyn was very impressed too!

I suspect this next year is going to be filled with growing up and maturing. New skills and language are already turning up. I think she will be quite the little lady by this time next year but I hope she keeps a hold of her unique weirdness. It is fabulous to see. My kids birthdays are always a little bittersweet. I’m not completely sure I’m always ready for them to be growing up. Evelyn is my last baby so it is even more apparent to me with her. I’m so grateful for the passionate, strong-willed child she is becoming. Though strong-willed children are not the easiest to parent, I’m sure it will serve her very well later in life.

To Evelyn,

I hope you read this when you are older and know how completely loved you are. You were such a wanted surprise and I’m so thankful for you and how you have completed our family. These two years went fast for me. You are a very busy little girl. I want time to slow down so I can soak in these last baby moments with you. 

Your passion is inspiring and I can’t wait to see how you use it in the coming years. Your strong-will is going to take you places and serve you well. I can’t wait to see how you change our world. You have already changed it for us. 

Happy Birthday to my baby girl who is 2 now. You are precious beyond words.

I love you fiercely