Friday, December 23, 2011

Back to normal

I remember standing in line at the cafeteria at the Mariner Center in Camelon after dropping young Kaya off at mini gym; frequently glancing back and baby Lana, hungry in the high chair, I chose a couple of fruit corners for her and I and waited for my turn to pay. I overheard two lovely old biddies having a chat about the recently passed festivities.

"Aye, we hud a braw Christmas, but ahm happy it's all o'er and we can get back tae normal."

Her friend agreed enthusiastically. And I just couldn't for the life of me understand why.

I've always been a huge fan of Christmas. It's magic, it's excitement, it's anticipation, it's a break from the norm. I get so stifled by repetition and routine. I love something to come and break it up a bit. And Christmas is the perfect occasion for just that. Songs and baking and flashing lights and gifts and focusing on each other instead of the grind. I always suffer a bit of a let down and a major downer when it's all over and we have to dump the tree and sentence the bright decorations to a year of seclusion in an old box in the basement. It all just seems so sad.

As a young adult I looked forward to having my own family to share the excitement of Christmas with. When Kaya was a baby we spoiled her rotten and video taped every pain staking minute (of which there were many) of us trying to prompt her to show some interest in her gifts. She was 4 months old. There wasn't much interest shown. It took a long time to work through the items under our tree that year. The following year played out much the same.

When she was two, Rene and I wondered whether she really understood what was going on. Did she understand this Christmas thing? Surely she couldn't remember the previous years which she had been less than excited about. We weren't sure how much was just going over her head. Until Christmas Eve, when she spent an hour repeatedly jumping up and down on our bed yelling, "A KANGAWOO! A KANGAWOO!!" (her version of a cbeebies song). The girl was pee-your-pants excited. This was everything I had ever wanted. I loved it!

Check out that cutie.

Fast forward 7 years and here I am now, nearing the end of the week from the pit of heck. I have one almost toddler who is oblivious yet still picking up on the vibe in the air and reacting to it. He's extra clingy and extra excitable. And the rest of them? Are COMPLETELY out of WHACK! There has been non stop fighting, squabbling, hurt feelings, crying, questions about, "what if such and such (insert various creative random events) happens on Christmas Day?", broken dishes, yelling, grabbing, jumping on furniture, pulling down stockings, attacking Christmas trees, complaints of not doing this right or that fast enough, power struggles, chocolate messes, illegal previews of presents and upsets that follow and just on and on and on. The kids are WIRED.

I'm glad they're excited and everything. Truly I am. I hope they'll have a wonderful Christmas. And will be over. And I am SO looking forward to that part!! I am exhausted from trying to keep the place decorated, keep a steady supply of Christmas treats and crafts, trying to keep peace and keep *some* semblance of order, staying up late to clean the disasters they've made and to wrap presents (which I'm SO behind on right now).

I'm a little ashamed of myself to admit that I am going to be super duper happy when it's all o'er and we can get back tae normal. Or....our version of normal anyway. *yawn*.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alasdair's first year in pictures

Seriously? A year? No way. But my calendar says it's true. Dec 12 2010 my baby boy was born in a hurry, in my half filled birth pool in a peaceful room with his Daddy and big sister welcoming him in.

The year seriously flew by so fast. We moved house when Ally was a few weeks young, which was full of crazy. Then shortly afterwards my health started on a downward slope and life kind of became a blur. Things are slowly getting better and I find myself looking back on the last months wondering where time went. My baby is growing up, without my permission.

Ally is a very, very loved little guy. Doted on by all his siblings - including Zoe! She's crazy about him and treats him very well. He is never left wanting for attention or cuddles.

He is such a sweet little guy. He loves Yo Gabba Gabba and dancing. He loves to clap his hands and crawl or cruise around. No steps yet, and he doesn't seem in a hurry to let go of the wall or whatever he's holding onto. But I know he could if he wanted to. His favorite words to say are, "what's dat" and "daddy". He can say a handful of others too, like "cat", "this", "mummy", "gabagabagaba" (yo gabba gabba). He's starting to venture into stinker monkey land - enjoying touching things he knows he shouldn't (like the thermostat) and then shaking his head and growling (in imitation of the reaction he anticipates from his mother), then looking at me with the most charming grin you could imagine - sometimes throwing in a blown kiss or a cute babbly voice or a peekaboo for that added melt-me factor when it seems necessary. He's impossible to resist.

I haven't posted enough photos of my sweet boy. Mostly because I've had technical difficulties, and even now that my laptop is working, I'm finding that smugmug is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to upload anything, so I'm having issues with that. But I wanted to share a photo for every month of his life thus far (minus Dec because I haven't got them on the puter yet) to share his adorableness with you all. So here he is.


1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

Happy Birthday sweet Ally. We adore you.
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