Friday, December 30, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
His diagnosis included the hypothesis that it was probably stress-related, and at first I protested that I didn't think that could be it, but then I thought about it some more. We did have to convene the Emergency Operating Centre at work on Friday for an unforseen incident. Mallory did spend the night vomiting. We did have family obligations the next day which followed on the obligations we had the weekend before that and the weekend before that and... The constant to-do lists and running around that happen at this time of year. And as usual, I am sure I had probably not been getting enough sleep, eating well enough, exercising as much as I should, and I know my pool time (the one thing that always makes my back feel good) has been dwindling as of late.
And then I thought about how this has probably been the poorest-ever year for me from a health perspective, what with the injuries I had over the summer (also back related; not really surprising, hmmm?) that made my race season 1 for 3, the pneumonia I had in September, and the never-ending sickness that pervaded our household through much of October and November. Clearly, something is not working.
So this is my vow - to make 2012 the Year Of Health. To sleep more, eat better, move as much as I can, and let as much stress as possible roll off my back. To commit to doing less, but rather than seeing it as wasted opportunity, I'm going to make it as purposeful as possible. The past six months have been tough ones and I'd rather not repeat them.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This is me officially unplugging for a bit, for the sake of my body + soul.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
This is what I'm referring to. Yep - it's happened again - Mallory has come down with a nasty stomach virus with a week to go until Christmas. We have not been able to keep up with the laundry tonight (three pairs of pajamas/three sets of bedsheets, and it's not even midnight!)
This time, though, we are early knowers. We have a family Christmas party tomorrow but I'm pretty sure we infected that side of the family when we went through this back in 2007, so this year Mallory and I will stay home and Liam and Chad will head out without us. I couldn't bear for Liam not to go - he is never happier than when grazing at a buffet table or playing with Fluffster, The Cat Who Dresses Up Like Santa.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The only rule of Elf on the Shelf is that you are not allowed to touch him, or else his magic might disappear.
With that in mind... I laughed out loud when I read this post today, because I could totally relate. The same thing happened to us.Well, our kids didn't have such a complete meltdown, but an unsuspecting grandmother did touch the elf (in plain sight of the kids) before we could warn her about the rules of Elf on the Shelf. There was an immediate, horrified gasp from Liam and Mallory, who worried that the elf's magic would thusly be ruined. I gave them a quick reassurance that it would not matter, but still they got out of bed extra-early the following morning to race back to that same spot and make sure he wasn't stuck there, magic drained like an old Energizer battery.
True, Reddy has taken a lot of work on our behalf. There was one morning when I was very, very lucky to remember that he was in the same spot he'd occupied the day before, and I held the kids off of going downstairs with some lame excuse, then rushed around to find him a new spot moments before they came in. Another Elf on the Shelf low moment came when Liam saw the tag on him (I had rested him on a plant, and by the end of the day, the branch he was on had flopped over, exposing his backside.) "Why is there a tag on Reddy?" he wondered aloud. I quickly changed the subject and that night after Liam was in bed, I chopped the offending tag off. No need for Liam, who can read an amazingly wide assortment of literature these days, to see "MADE IN CHINA".
But there have been benefits, too. It is not uncommon to wander into whatever room Reddy happens to be hanging out in and find Liam staring at him intently. I can see what is running through his mind. He is willing Reddy to blink. I remember that feeling of willing an inanimate object to come to life very well. (Heck, I still feel that way whenever I pass a religious statue - I always make eye contact because you never know, I might see a sign.) When I was a kid we had a Snap, Crackle or Pop figurine (who knows which one) that came out of a Rice Krispies box, and sometimes for fun my mom would play a game where we would put him on top of the fridge and leave the kitchen. Upon returning, he would be gone, hidden somewhere around the house. And I totally bought into it that he was some magical little thing that could hide entirely on his own.Before we got the Elf on the Shelf, I read all kinds of stories of people who caught their elves doing naughty things, like having marshmallow fights with their Barbie dolls or decorating the house with candy canes. I always sort of thought our elf would do those things too, but he doesn't. He mostly just moves from kitchen to living room to bathroom and back again. I came across this post and nodded along in agreement with almost every word. Maybe Reddy will step it up as Christmas approaches, though to be honest, I am working until December 23rd this year and I don't foresee a whole lot of extra magic until I'm done... but he goes home to the North Pole for good on the 24th, so at that point, why bother?
Oh well... there's always next year.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Liam's big wish this year is for a Lego pirate ship. I had it on pretty good authority that Santa had requested this item from Sears back in the middle of November, only to get an email a few days ago telling him that the order had been cancelled. This upset Santa quite a bit and he fired off a nasty email to Sears saying he found it unacceptable that his order would have been deemed to be fulfilled only to be cancelled three weeks later, and what if he can't find the item elsewhere and has nothing under the tree for Liam on Christmas morning? Sears replied with an unapologetic mass email,which means that Santa will be taking his business back to the elves next year. Meanwhile, Santa sourced the Lego set elsewhere and though it hasn't arrived yet, he has a tracking number that at least indicates it's on its way (and residing in Mississauga, last he checked.)
Mallory's big wish this year is for all things Barbie. Actually, she has deemed that she wants the purple barbie and the Ken doll pictured here (actually, their names are Delaney and Nicholas - I think she will be pleased by that!) and this ridiculous thing called the Puppy Water Park, which is a swimming pool you can fill with water and a couple of plastic dogs that swim in it. No idea how much use she will get out of it but she very much wants it. And let's face it, Barbie wishes are easy wishes to fulfill - they are cheap and they are available everywhere. Santa is going to throw in an extra playhouse type thing that will hopefully give her more mileage with the dolls than the water park will. And, she is getting the Barbie Princess Charm School movie, starring Delaney and Nicholas, which I think she will be thrilled about.
Mom and Dad's gift to the kids is a Leappad for each of them, and thank goodness we had the foresight to order these in October because we paid $85 each for them and they are now going for upwards of $250 on eBay - they seem to be sold out everywhere. This year's version of the 1983 Cabbage Patch doll shortage.
Liam is still very much into Beyblades and will get a BeyLocker... some hockey books... Mallory has some more Squinkies and a Rapunzel t-shirt coming her way... and several more fun little things that will make for a happy Christmas morning.
If only Chad were so easy to buy for!!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can...
I simply adore Christmas movies. They're even better now that the kids like watching them, too. We finish up homework and race to get into pajamas so that we can watch some of our favourite holiday specials before bed.
(Name that movie? Here are some additional hints:
I love smiling. Smiling's my favourite.
You're not Santa. You smell like meat and cheese!
Son of a nutcracker!)
Monday, December 12, 2011
Yesterday was our first family Christmas get-together. I am particularly enamoured of this picture of Mallory in the midst of a game of Duck Duck Goose. Can't believe she is actually mostly in focus:The day prior was a very big day for Liam. He, Chad, and both of his grandpas went to the Red Wings game in Detroit - his first NHL game. I have gone back and forth over it, considered adding a page of extra photos, but in the end I'm going to stick just with what's here and will recrop this one horizontal and maybe add some text to finish the day off:And you knew this would probably show up as my entry for December 9:
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
This year I bought a 6x8.5" Christmas recipe binder (from a scrapbook store during their Christmas in July sale and got it for $6!) It has 6x8.5" page protectors and 2-up photo pages. So the guesswork was taken out of the equation for me (gotta love simplifying). Each layout is one 6x8.5" page plus two 4x6" photos printed and inserted in the sleeves. If something super fantastic happens one day I might throw in an extra photo sleeve.
Some of the pages will have some stuff added to them once printed... some of them are complete as they are. I'm random like that.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Liam also chose a hockey ornament for the Christmas tree this year, one we weren't able to find locally and finally bought off eBay today. More on that when it actually gets here.
So I guess this digressed from a school update to a hockey update, but whatevs. Back to school - Liam is doing really well and the only thing we have been given for him to work on is helping him to open up to his teachers, to help him prove to them that he knows as much as he does. And if that's the only thing that needs improving, well, we can't ask for much more than that.
Friday, November 25, 2011
On the drive home, over dinner and into the evening we talked about ringette not being the be-all end-all. That perhaps we’d give Mallory a break from skating until after Christmas, and then get her back into CanSkate lessons for ½ hour a week. Or maybe we wouldn’t try to keep pushing the skating; maybe we’d look for a dance class or even get Mallory started on piano lessons, since she seems to show an affinity for music.
Later that night I got online to check out the league’s cancellation policy, though, and I discovered that the deadline for pulling out and getting even a partial refund had long since passed. So we can quit ringette, but we are still on the hook for $400 worth of ice time and a bunch of equipment. Then and there, I vowed that it’s not over until it’s over: Mallory is going back to ringette. It may not be every week, it may take some bribery, but she is going back. I am not going to kiss that $400 good-bye just yet.
It was with this fresh in mind that we went into parent-teacher interviews this week, and perhaps that’s why I was braced for the worst. Well, not the worst, exactly. I mean, I know Mallory is a pretty bright little thing and that socially, she is one to be reckoned with. I was a bit apprehensive, though, that we might hear back that she lacks focus, is bossy and stubborn, or tries too hard to be the class clown. Instead, we got a glowing report on her that indicates that in addition to actually being a very friendly, responsible and caring kid, she’s at the top of her class academically, reading and writing and doing math at a level beyond what’s normally taught in JK. So she has pretty much shattered my perception that Liam was going to be our intellectual kid who’s less of a socialite, and that Mallory was going to be social as all get out but potentially lack the academic strengths that Liam has.
Then I remember the ringette thing, and I’m glad that she can focus and do well at school and give us something to praise her about, because boy howdy has she been close to being tossed out the window after some of her escapades at the rink.